So last month we saw the release of CM 11 M7 as a Snapshot. Again, those of you who are new to CM a ‘Snapshot’ is a nearly-stable release. This type of release is considered safe-to-use by CM and believed to contain all features and all bugs worked through. It is worth remembering being a Snapshot this does mean it is possible some unknown bugs may still exist although these will be minor. Now already we are seeing the next major release available today. CM 11 M8 was released this morning and offers Android 4.4.4. As the release has only just been made public the devices supported are rather limited although the variance will grow quite quickly knowing CM.
In December when Qualcomm, the Linux Foundation, and several major consumer electronics companies announced the open source Allseen Alliance for standardizing Internet of Things connectivity, we wondered at the absence of major semiconductor companies. Well, here they are, starting up their own rival IoT group called the Open Interconnect Consortium. Intel, Samsung, Broadcom, and Atmel have launched OIC along with computer manufacturer Dell and Intel’s embedded software provider Wind River.
The OIC members will “create both a standard specification and an open source project to address the challenges of connecting billions of IoT devices,” according to the OIC FAQ. The organization says it will create a “standard for interoperability across multiple vertical markets and use cases,” starting with smart home and office markets, followed by automotive, and later moving to industrial and health applications.
Most open source software projects come to life because someone is trying to scratch an itch.
Some group of coders or a team of academics or a fast-moving startup will build some software that solves a very real computing problem, and then they’ll open source the code, sharing it with the world at large. Maybe, the coders are trying to help the larger world of software developers, believing that others will find the code useful too. Maybe, they’re trying to get more eyes on their code, hoping that others will contribute bug reports and fixes to the project. Or maybe, as is typically the case, they’re trying to do both.
The company announced today that it is acquiring RakNet, which specializes in a software-development engine for connecting games across an online network. RakNet, which is also the name of the technology, enables studios to quickly add voice chat, network patching, and secure connections to their products. Oculus VR, which is building its Oculus Rift virtual-reality headset, notes that thousands of indie developers and major companies like Everquest developer Sony Online Entertainment and Minecraft studio Mojang licensed the tech for their games. Oculus isn’t just purchasing RakNet, it is also making it open source, which means other developers can see the code, add to it, and use it for free.
“We’ve known Kevin Jenkins, founder of Jenkins Software and lead engineer on RakNet, for years, and we’ve used RakNet internally at Oculus for various networked systems and tools,” reads a blog on Oculus VR’s website. “After working with Kevin for a few months, we were all excited by the idea of open-sourcing RakNet to the community.”
Recent reports from Facebook and Google confirmed what we’ve known all along: the giants of tech have a diversity problem. But in the world of open source, the problem is even worse.
According to a survey conducted last year, only about 11 percent of open source contributors are women. Meanwhile, women account for 23 percent of all computer programmers and 39.5 percent of web developers, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Using open source software solutions is helping a Welsh pilot project to manage flood risks and provide a stepping stone for future research. The Citizen Observatory Web (Cobweb) project involves citizens using their smartphone or tablets, to submit data observations within the Dyfi area in Wales, to help collect environmental data for use in evidence based policy.
"We're heavily involved in Drupal. I'm a member of the Drupal security team and the former lead of the team for over two years," Knaddison said. "So it's an area where we have a fair amount of expertise and depth, and we feel that our situation is best served by fixing vulnerabilities directly in the software itself."