Items tagged with Open Source

If you're a Linux fan, then you should know that this week is a very special one. On August 25, 1991 - 25 years ago - Linus Torvalds shot out a simple message to a Minix usergroup which stated that he was working on a Minix replacement. Within, he famously said that his creation wouldn't "be big and professional like GNU". Not even Linus Torvalds could have predicted what his OS - eventually called Linux - would become. While it might have taken a little while to get off the ground in a big way, Linux was a pet project that had no goals of world domination, but over time, that eventually happened... Read more...
The Amazon Echo has been a pretty hot gadget to have around the home.  At its core, the Echo is a smart speaker system which can respond to voice commands care of Amazon's digital personal assistant named Alexa.  Alexa can queue up your favorite playlist, remind you about your meetings for the day, re-order toilet paper, or even help set some mood lighting with the right integration.  For all the fun and convenience the Echo can offer, though, it doesn't come cheap with a current price point of $179.99.Fortunately, Amazon has provided a solution to this cost problem, provided you... Read more...
Last week, we posted a story about the AMD Radeon Technology Group’s plans to support FreeSync over HDMI and other upcoming display technologies like HDR and DisplayPort 1.3. In that story, we mentioned that AMD and the new RTG (Radeon Technologies Group) organization would have more news as the year drew to a close. Today, we can talk about their next major initiative in dirving GPU resources across a wider swath of new applications, known as "GPUOpen."In a nutshell, AMD is releasing a slew of open-source software and tools to give developers of games, heterogeneous applications, and HPC applications... Read more...
Facebook wants to democratize artificial intelligence (AI) research, so it’s giving back to the community in a big way. It announced today that it will open source its incredibly powerful Big Sur computing box. Facebook hopes that by making the designs for its server available for free, it will help us further advance AI research to the benefit of all humanity. “We want to make it a lot easier for AI researchers to share techniques and technologies,” wrote Facebook engineers Kevin Lee and Serkan Piantino in a blog posting. “As with all hardware systems that are released into the open, it's our... Read more...
Most people think of malware as being disruptive, unintended software. Short for "malicious software", malware explains itself pretty well, but as GNU founder Richard Stallman can attest, our interpretations of what makes software "malware" can vary greatly. For Stallman, who just penned his insights for The Guardian, malware is software that does what it's supposed to do, but with caveats. Tracking is a major beef of Stallman's, and is his biggest target here. Even "open source" OSes like Android are not safe from being called the M-word, as it's designed to harvest an absurd amount of data on... Read more...
Ten years ago, the mere suggestion that Microsoft could one day open source Windows would have resulted in much laughter, and you might have even found yourself checked into a facility to monitor your mental health. Today, though, things are certainly different. The entire landscape has changed dramatically over the past ten - even five - years. Mobile is an order of magnitude more popular than it was when Windows Vista hit the scene, and the same could be said about cloud storage - it's now everywhere. Could Microsoft really take one of its biggest money-earners and convert it to open source,... Read more...
Interest in 3D printers continues to grow and, as time goes on, more 3D printers are being offered to consumers and professionals alike. For software giant Autodesk, it is trying to simplify 3D printing with its open source Spark platform and Ember 3D printer for a market that continues to expand. By making both software and printer open source, the company is trying to make things easier by eliminating the need for users to purchase proprietary materials from companies. Instead of being forced to buy a specific type of plastic, the open source nature of Ember will allow the printer... Read more...
There are far too many headlines about Company X suing Company Y over alleged patent infringement, and Company Z spending an inordinate amount of money on patents in hopes of not being the next to be hit with a lawsuit. It's become a game of sorts, and unfortunately it stifles innovation and growth. Luckily, not everyone wants to play. Tesla CEO Elon Musk, for example, penned a blog post about how it's tearing down its wall of patents (literally). "Yesterday, there was a wall of Tesla patents in the lobby of our Palo Alto headquarters. That is no longer the case," Musk begins. "They have been removed,... Read more...
Linux, and Ubuntu in particular, missed a golden opportunity to truly break into the mainstream market during the early days of Vista. The buggy operating system (prior to SP1) left consumers angry and willing to consider alternatives, but at the time, even Ubuntu was still a little rough around the edges to draw widespread interest among lifelong Windows users. With Canonical's release of Ubuntu 14.04 (Trusty Tahr) coming hot off the heels of Microsoft discontinuing support for Windows XP, could a mass migration take place? Hey, anything is possible. And unlike the early Vista era, Canonical is... Read more...
Out of seemingly nowhere, Linux is becoming a hot topic. Major technology players ranging from Google to IBM are coming forward in support of the open-source OS, and at LinuxCon 2013, IBM announced plans to invest one billion dollars in new Linux and open source technologies for IBM's Power Systems servers. As IBM puts it: "the investment aims to help clients capitalize on big data and cloud computing with modern systems built to handle the new wave of applications coming to the data center in the post-PC era." Two immediate initiatives announced, a new client center in Europe and a Linux on Power... Read more...
Historically, hardware makers in the technology space have had it fairly tough. Entry costs are extremely high, finding a manufacturing facility that meets high standards is tough, and judging just how interested a consumer base is in advance is nearly impossible to nail. But when it comes to the Raspberry Pi, that's one product that has seemingly caught fire. Of course, the open source base and the ultra-cheap pricing probably has helped tremendously, but either way, we're glad that it's living to see yet another day. Element14 has just unveiled a new 8GB Raspberry Pi Bundle, which will ship for... Read more...
It's tough to say at this point whether or not this move is more than just a PR stunt, but Verizon Wireless is the latest member to join the Ubuntu Carrier Advisory Group. Considering that VZW is America's largest mobile operator, that's a lot of notable weight being put behind an open source initiative. The carrier has professed that it will work closely with the group in order to "shape Ubuntu into the most compelling new, alternative platform for mobile.  Samir Vaidya from the Device Technology team at Verizon Wireless said: “Verizon Wireless is joining Ubuntu’s Carrier Advisory... Read more...
Following what Linus Torvalds called a "very quiet" week, the Finnish American open-source software guru officially released the Linux 3.9 kernel. The latest kernel had been in development for 10 weeks and includes a device mapper target that allows a user to configure a solid state drive (SSD) as a cache for hard disk drives (HDDs) to increase system performance. The release comes a week later than Torvalds would have liked, though he seemed more concerned with people trying to "game the system" than with the slight delay. Image Source: Flickr (LuChOeDu) "So the last week was much quieter than... Read more...
After getting delayed a couple of days, the Linux 3.8 kernel is all polished and ready to go, Linus Torvalds announced. The big new feature in the 3.8 kernel is F2FS (Flash-Friendly File system), a new file system designed specifically to take advantage of NAND flash memory-based storage devices, such as solid state drives (SSDs). "NAND flash memory-based storage devices, such as SSD, eMMC, and SD cards, have been widely being used for ranging from mobile to server systems. Since they are known to have different characteristics from the conventional rotational disks, a file system, an upper layer... Read more...
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