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OSS

today's leftovers

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OSS
Misc

Audiocasts/Shows: Linux Action News, Full Circle Magazine and Python Podcast

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GNU
Linux
OSS
  • Linux Action News 110

    Elders in the community show us how to properly build services, Huawei is reportedly working on a Sailfish OS fork and Apple joins the Cloud Native club.

    Plus Facebook wants you to use their cryptocurrency, and CERN launches "The Microsoft Alternatives project"

  • Full Circle Magazine: Full Circle Weekly News #135
  • Podcast.__init__: Algorithmic Trading In Python Using Open Tools And Open Data

    Algorithmic trading is a field that has grown in recent years due to the availability of cheap computing and platforms that grant access to historical financial data. QuantConnect is a business that has focused on community engagement and open data access to grant opportunities for learning and growth to their users. In this episode CEO Jared Broad and senior engineer Alex Catarino explain how they have built an open source engine for testing and running algorithmic trading strategies in multiple languages, the challenges of collecting and serving currrent and historical financial data, and how they provide training and opportunity to their community members. If you are curious about the financial industry and want to try it out for yourself then be sure to listen to this episode and experiment with the QuantConnect platform for free.

R.T. Russell's Z80 BBC Basic is now open source

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Development
OSS

As part of the work I’ve been doing with cpmish I’ve been trying to track down the copyright holders of some of the more classic pieces of CP/M software and asking them to license it in a way that allows redistribution. One of the people I contacted was R.T. Russell, the author of the classic Z80 BBC BASIC, and he very kindly sent me the source and agreed to allow it to be distributed under the terms of the zlib license. So it’s now open source!

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OSS Leftovers

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OSS
  • Letter of Recommendation: Bug Fixes

    I wouldn’t expect a nonprogrammer to understand the above, but you can intuit some of what’s going on: that we don’t need ImageMagick to scale images anymore, because the text editor can scale images on its own; that it’s bad form to spell-check hex values, which specify colors; that the bell is doing something peculiar if someone holds down the alt key; and so forth.

    But there’s also something larger, more gladdening, about reading bug fixes.

    My text editor, Emacs, is a free software project with a history going back more than 40 years; the codebase itself starts in the 1980s, and as I write this there are 136,586 different commits that get you from then to now. More than 600 contributors have worked on it. I find those numbers magical: A huge, complex system that edits all kinds of files started from nothing and then, with nearly 140,000 documented human actions, arrived at its current state. It has leaders but no owner, and it will move along the path in which people take it. It’s the ship of Theseus in code form. I’ve probably used Emacs every day for more than two decades. It has changed me, too. It will outlive me.

    Open source is a movement, and even the charitably inclined would call it an extreme brofest. So there’s drama. People fight it out in comments, over everything from semicolons to codes of conduct. But in the end, the software works or it doesn’t. Politics, our personal health, our careers or lives in general — these do not provide a narrative of unalloyed progress. But software, dammit, can and does. It’s a pleasure to watch the code change and improve, and it’s also fascinating to see big companies, paid programmers and volunteers learning to work together (the Defense Department is way into open source) to make those changes and improvements. I read the change logs, and I think: Humans can do things.

  • The Top 17 Free and Open Source Network Monitoring Tools

    Choosing the right network monitoring solution for your enterprise is not easy.

  • Hedge-fund managers are overwhelmed by data, and they're turning to an unlikely source: random people on the internet

    Alternative data streams of satellite images and cellphone-location data are where managers are now digging for alpha, as new datasets are created every day. And hedge funds have been spending serious cash searching for those who can take all this information and quickly find the important pieces.

    Now, as margins shrink and returns are under the microscope, hedge funds are beginning to consider a cheaper, potentially more efficient way to crunch all this data: open-source platforms, where hundreds of thousands of people ranging from finance professionals to students, scientists, and developers worldwide scour datasets — and don't get paid unless they find something that a fund finds useful.

  • TD Ameritrade Is Taking Its First Steps Towards Major Open Source Contributions

    STUMPY is a python library to identify the patterns and anomalies in time series data. STUMPY has benefited from open source as a means to shorten development roadmaps since the early 2000s and it represents a new opportunity for TD Ameritrade to give back to the developer community.

  • The Future of Open Source Big Data Platforms

    Three well-funded startups – Cloudera Inc., Hortonworks Inc., and MapR Technologies Inc. — emerged a decade ago to commercialize products and services in the open-source ecosystem around Hadoop, a popular software framework for processing huge amounts of data. The hype peaked in early 2014 when Cloudera raised a massive $900 million funding round, valuing it at $4.1 billion.

  • No Easy Way Forward For Commercial Open Source Software Vendors

    While still a student in 1995, Kimball developed the first version of GNU Image Manipulation Program (GIMP) as a class project, along with Peter Mattis. Later on as a Google engineer, he worked on a new version of the Google File System, and the Google Servlet Engine. In 2012, Kimball, Mattis, and Brian McGinnis launched the company Viewfinder, later selling it to Square.

  • 6 Reasons Why Developers Should Contribute More To Open Source

    Even by fixing minor things like a bug in a library or writing a piece of documentation can also help the developers to write readable or maintainable code. They can independently suggest to the community and generally tend to stick by the rules of writing a code that is easy to understand. The fact that the code will be exposed to everyone naturally makes them write focus on making it readable.

  • WIDE Project, KDDI develop router with open-source software, 3.2T-packet transmission

    The WIDE Project has adopted a router developed by Japanese operator KDDI. The router runs open-source software, and will be used with the networks operated and managed by the WIDE Project. The router will use open-source software with up to 3.2T-packet transmission.

    For this project, KDDI plans to start tests this month to verify the practical utility and interoperability of these routers when put to use in the actual service environment. The WIDE Project will be in charge of network administration and definition of requirements for router implementation.

  • Lack of progress in open source adoption hindering global custody’s digitisation

    Custody industry is lagging behind the rest of the financial services sector for open source projects, according to industry experts.

  • TNF: Industry should be focusing on open source development

    According to O'Shea, open source and the community are helping firms to find and attract experienced technology talent “uber engineers”.

  • Google Open Sources TensorNetwork , A Library For Faster ML And Physics Tasks

    “Every evolving intelligence will eventually encounter certain very special ideas – e.g., about arithmetic, causal reasoning and economics–because these particular ideas are very much simpler than other ideas with similar uses,” said the AI maverick Marvin Minsky four decades ago.

    Mathematics as a tool to interpret nature’s most confounding problems from molecular biology to quantum mechanics has so far been successful. Though there aren’t any complete answers to these problems, the techniques within domain help throw some light on the obscure corners of reality.

  • Open source to become a ‘best practice’

    There are many magic rings in this world… and none of them should be used lightly. This is true.

    It is also true that organisations in every vertical are now having to work hard and find automation streams that they can digitise (on the road to *yawn* digital transformation, obviously) and start to apply AI and machine learning to.

    Another key truth lies in the amount of codified best practices that organisations now have the opportunity to lay down.

    One we can denote a particular set of workflows in a particular department (or team, or group, or any other collective) to be deemed to be as efficient as possible, then we can lay that process down as a best practice.

  • 10 Open-Source and Free CAD Software You Can Download Right Now

    Many CAD software products exist today for anyone interested in 2D or 3D designing.

    From browser tools to open-source programs, the market is full of free options available for hobbyists or small companies just starting out.

Openness/Sharing/Collaboration

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OSS
  • How We Helped Our Reporters Learn to Love Spreadsheets

    But, some people did learn. At The New York Times and elsewhere, coder-journalists have mashed databases to discover wrongdoing, designed immersive experiences that transport readers to new places and created tools that change the way we work.
    Even with some of the best data and graphics journalists in the business, we identified a challenge: data knowledge wasn’t spread widely among desks in our newsroom and wasn’t filtering into news desks’ daily reporting.

    Yet fluency with numbers and data has become more important than ever. While journalists once were fond of joking that they got into the field because of an aversion to math, numbers now comprise the foundation for beats as wide ranging as education, the stock market, the Census and criminal justice. More data is released than ever before — there are nearly 250,000 datasets on data.gov alone — and increasingly, government, politicians and companies try to twist those numbers to back their own agendas.

  • The New York Times has a course to teach its reporters data skills, and now they’ve open-sourced it

    The New York Times wants more of its journalists to have those basic data skills, and now it’s releasing the curriculum they’ve built in-house out into the world, where it can be of use to reporters, newsrooms, and lots of other people too.

  • Open Source Headset With Inside-Out Tracking, Video Passthrough

    The folks behind the Atmos Extended Reality (XR) headset want to provide improved accessibility with an open ecosystem, and they aim to do it with a WebVR-capable headset design that is self-contained, 3D-printable, and open-sourced. Their immediate goal is to release a development kit, then refine the design for a wider release.

  • Open-Source Bionic Leg Aims to Rapidly Advance Prosthetics

    Scientists at University of Michigan have created an open-source leg in hopes of expediting the development of smart prosthetics.

  • Open-Source AI Bionic Leg Offers a Unified Platform for Prosthetics

    Open-source design and programming could accelerate scientific advances by offering a unified platform to prosthetics research efforts.

  • Bringing Pneumatics To The Masses With Open Source Soft Robotics

    Physicist and engineer [tinkrmind] wants to change that. He has been developing an open source soft robotics tool called Programmable Air for the past year with the aim of creating an accessible way for the hacker community to work with pneumatic robotics. We first came across [tinkrmind]’s soft robotics modules at World Maker Faire in New York City in 2018 but fifty beta testers and a wide range of interesting projects later — from a beating silicone heart to an inflatable bra — they are now being made available on Crowd Supply.

  • Samasource announces company growth ahead of exhibition of fashion R&D open source dataset at CVPR 2019

FOSS in Finance and Blockchains

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OSS
  • Jack Dorsey answers our questions about Square’s plans for Bitcoin

    Square is a company best known for its disruptive card payment technology. Founded in 2009 by Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, the company sells affordable mobile-based point-of-sale systems. But beyond the world of traditional fiat currencies, the firm is making cautious steps into the fast-paced world of cryptocurrency.

    Back in March, Dorsey tweeted that Square was actively recruiting a modest team of cryptocurrency developers and designers to work on open-source contributions to the ecosystem. In the months that followed, Square’s kept quiet about its progress.

  • Jack Dorsey’s open-source Bitcoin initiative makes its first hire

    Jack Dorsey's open-source Bitcoin initiative, Square Crypto, brings on a former Google project manager as its first hire.

  • Nash Prepares to Launch Beta Version of Decentralized Exchange

    With a mission of “bringing distributed finance to everyone,” five open-source blockchain developers have come together to form a distributed finance platform using blockchain technology that allows for decentralized and non-custodial cryptocurrency trading.

  • Target open sources a blockchain solution called ConsenSource; plans to contribute to Hyperledger Grid framework

    Retail behemoth Target has been working on a blockchain proof of concept since mid-2018, the company’s vice president of architecture Joel Crabb wrote in a blog post. The blockchain solution called ConsenSource, which has been recently open-sourced, was developed to manage the certification of Target’s suppliers in the manufacturing of Target-branded paper products.

  • US Retailer Target Unveils Open Source Blockchain for Supply Chain Tracking
  • The Graph: An open-source query protocol for blockchains, using GraphQL

    Anyone who's ever tried to build distributed applications (dApps) on the (Ethereum) blockchain would concur: Although blockchains are conceptually quite close to databases, querying databases feels like a different world entirely compared to querying blockchains.

  • Why cloud is the best defense against AWS [Ed: Adobe keeps sending its stooge Mac Asay to support turning FOSS into de facto proprietary software (sometimes Adobe even pays the publishers to do this])
  • Software below the poverty line [Ed: Overlooks the fact that a lot of proprietary software is not profitable, is a failure, goes bankrupt faster due to high expenditure]

    Most people believe that open source sustainability is a difficult problem to solve. As an open source developer myself, my own perspective to this problem was more optimistic: I believe in the donation model, for its simplicity and possibility to scale.

    However, I recently met other open source developers that make a living from donations, and they helped widen my perspective. At Amsterdam.js, I heard Henry Zhu speak about sustainability in the Babel project and beyond, and it was a pretty dire picture. Later, over breakfast, Henry and I had a deeper conversation on this topic. In Amsterdam I also met up with Titus, who maintains the Unified project full-time. Meeting with these people I confirmed my belief in the donation model for sustainability. It works. But, what really stood out to me was the question: is it fair?

    I decided to collect data from OpenCollective and GitHub, and take a more scientific sample of the situation. The results I found were shocking: there were two clearly sustainable open source projects, but the majority (more than 80%) of projects that we usually consider sustainable are actually receiving income below industry standards or even below the poverty threshold.

Openwashing Leftovers/New Examples

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OSS

The fight to keep open source truly “open” ⁠— open source providers need to stand up

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OSS

However, as more projects get embedded into profitable business applications, we are beginning to see new trends in the space. Powerful vendors are pushing their own marketing agendas and monetising what should be freely available, leading open source providers to build walls around their code, limiting the extent to which companies can enrich, police and contribute to any given project, in a vicious cycle. This is the case with Amazon, for instance, which was able to profit from Redis Labs’ software without giving back to its open source community. In response, Redis Labs created a new software license that dictated clear restrictions on what could and could not be done with its software.

[...]

With more companies catching on to the ability to monetise open source by selling add-on support and enterprise services, huge technology players are scrambling to get into the scene. To demonstrate just how critical open source is to the software industry, in 2018 alone GitHub was bought for $7.5 billion, Salesforce purchased Mulesoft for $6.5 billion, and — the largest deal of them all — IBM took over Red Hat for $34 billion.

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GreatFET One open source hacking tool

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Development
Hardware
OSS

Electronic enthusiasts, hobbyists, hackers and makers may be interested in a new open source piece of hardware called the GreatFET One, which has been designed to provide a “significant step up” in capabilities from GoodFET while making the design manufacturable at a lower cost than GoodFET.

“Whether you need an interface to an external chip, a logic analyzer, a debugger, or just a whole lot of pins to bit-bang, the versatile GreatFET One is the tool for you. Hi-Speed USB and a Python API allow GreatFET One to become your custom USB interface to the physical world.” The GreatFET One by Great Scott Gadgets is now available to purchase priced at $79.95 directly from the Adafruit online store.

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Open Hardware: X-FAB RISC-V Microcontroller

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Hardware
OSS
  • X-FAB Silicon Foundries tapes-out open-source RISC-V MCU

    Together with crowd-sourcing IC platform partner Efabless Corporation, X-FAB Silicon Foundries has announced the first-silicon availability of the Efabless RISC-V System on Chip (SoC) reference design.

    This open-source semiconductor project went from design start to tape-out in less than three months using the Efabless design flow based on open-source tools. The mixed-signal SoC, called Raven, is based on the community developed ultra-low power PicoRV32 RISC-V core. Efabless has bench-tested the Raven at 100MHz, and based on simulations the design should be able to operate at up to 150MHz.

    The open-source top-level design uses X-FAB proprietary analog IP and is created with an open-source design flow. This hybrid open-source design brings the power of open innovation and at the same time protecting significant investment in proprietary IP.

  • X-FAB and Efabless Announce Successful First Silicon of Raven, An Open-Source RISC-V Microcontroller

    X-FAB Silicon Foundries, the leading analog/mixed-signal and specialty foundry, together with crowd-sourcing IC platform partner Efabless Corporation, today announced the successful first-silicon availability of the Efabless RISC-V System on Chip (SoC) reference design. This open-source semiconductor project went from design start to tape-out in less than three months using the Efabless design flow based on open-source tools. The mixed-signal SoC, called Raven, is based on the community developed ultra-low power PicoRV32 RISC-V core. Efabless has successfully bench-tested the Raven at 100MHz, and based on simulations the design should be able to operate at up to 150MHz.

  • X-FAB and Efabless Deliver Open Source Mixed-Signal SoC

    Mixed signal foundry X-FAB Silicon Foundries and crowd-sourcing IC platform Efabless Corp. have announced silicon availability of a RISC-V based mixed signal system-on-chip (SoC) reference design. The open-source semiconductor project went from design start to tape-out in less than three months using the Efabless design flow based on open-source tools.

  • X-Fab and Efabless announce Raven open-source RISC-V microcontroller

    X-Fab Silicon Foundries, an analog/mixed-signal and specialty foundry, and crowd-sourcing IC platform partner Efabless, has announced the silicon availability of the Efabless RISC-V system on chip (SoC) reference design. This open-source semiconductor project went from design start to tape-out in less than three months using the Efabless design flow based on open-source tools, they said.

    The mixed-signal SoC, called Raven, is based on the community developed ultra-low power PicoRV32 RISC-V core. Efabless has successfully bench-tested the Raven at 100MHz, and based on simulations the design should be able to operate at up to 150MHz, they added.

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