Drones and other remotely piloted vehicles are inherently limited by their controls; you frequently have to switch controllers when you switch vehicles, and you can usually forget about customization. You might not have to worry if the Open Source Remote Control (OSRC) project gets off the ground, however. The long-in-development peripheral uses a mix of modular hardware and Linux-based software that lets you steer just about any unmanned machine. On top of a programmable interface, you can swap in new wireless modules and shoulder switches to either accommodate new drones or improve existing controls. You can also attach a 4.8-inch touchscreen module (typically for a first-person view), use cellular networks or even share one vehicle between multiple operators -- handy if you're at a flying club or shooting a movie.
Cloudera, a leader in enterprise analytic data management powered by Apache Hadoop, announced the formation of Cloudera Labs, a virtual center for fostering innovations in incubation within Cloudera’s engineering R&D, and fast-tracking promising open source initiatives. Cloudera intents to use the Labs is to bring more use cases, productivity, and value to developers by seeking and exploring new solutions to their problems through the development of future standard technologies that will power the Hadoop ecosystem.
Mirantis, the "pure-play" OpenStack vendor, is gearing up for the release of version 6.0 of its open source cloud computing platform, which will be based on OpenStack Juno and include the latest Hadoop big data and network functions virtualization (NFV) features, the company said in details of the new release.
Mirantis 6.0 debuted in technical-preview form Oct. 30. General availability will follow in two to three months, according to the company, which is pitching the new version of its OpenStack distribution as the best combination of ease of use with advanced open source cloud computing features.
VistA is the electronic health records system created by the Veterans Administration, which became open source because as the result of taxpayer funded work it was covered under the Freedom of Information Act and was obtained by outside companies seeking to leverage it for their own projects. The VA and the DoD flirted with using VistA as part of a common open source EHR that would cover members of the military from the first day of active duty into their lives as veterans. But whether because of organizational or technical reasons, that joint technical project broke down.
ExecutiveBiz: Where can Open Source help agencies manage some of those budget challenges?
Jonathan Moneymaker: In our National Security market Open Source is an idea whose time has come. Gone are the days of questions around quality, scalability, or security. The value is really in speed and flexibility. In many cases deploying open source solutions enable us to start at a 80-90% or higher solution then integrate or customize that framework to a specific mission set that is able to adapt as fast as the threats our customers are combatting.
In terms of scalability or security, we designed in parallel to our customer’s roadmaps building on Accumulo, the AWS infrastructure and ensuring capabilities such as our big data and visualization platform, Lumify, are fully ICITE compliant. By doing so, it gives our customers the speed to mission required and every dollar spent goes directly into mission capability delivering budgetary relief that they have been looking for from costly traditional proprietary licensing models.
Lumera Labs is aiming to Kickstarter an open source Linux camera attachment for one-click transfers to the cloud via WiFi, plus GPS tagging, HDR, and 3D.
We’ve seen a number of pricey, Internet-ready smart cameras, such as the $1,200, Android-based Samsung Galaxy NX, but what if you’re rather fond of your high-quality dumb camera, but wish it was instantly connected to the web? Montreal startup Lumera Labs aims to fill this need with an open source camera attachment called the Lumera that can “support and hold any kind of camera with any type of lens,” thereby providing one-click uploads to web services.
Xine is both an open source multimedia playback engine and a video playback application that's been around for a very long time. The number of people using this application has diminished, and there are few maintained third-party apps that are based on this engine. We'll take a closer look at the application to see why this is happening.
In my previous column, I pointed out that free software was now so successful, and in so many fields, that people might wonder whether there's anything left to do. The question was rhetorical, of course, of course: the ingenuity of the open source community means that people there will always find new and exciting projects. And not just the big one that I suggested of baking strong crypto into all our communication tools. There are countless other novel uses for open source, as these three very different examples below indicate.
According to Satya Nadella, Microsoft loves Linux. He said as much, complete with pictures -- and his team backs him up. In itself, it's a remarkable statement.
Nadella's predecessor, Steve Ballmer, described open source in the darkest terms, characterizing it (with the GNU GPL) as a commercial cancer and never retracting the slur. In many ways, that dark prophecy has come true for Microsoft, which has seen its rent-seeking business model steadily eroded by open source. Though it still has a cash cow to milk, Microsoft's monopolies no longer frighten anyone.