Items tagged with Open Source

As an organization, Microsoft no longer likens Linux to a deadly disease, as was the sentiment put out there by former CEO Steve Ballmer nearly a decade ago. Microsoft is now embracing Linux, or at least welcoming it into the fold, as the company readies its second iteration of Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL2) in Windows 10. This is a pretty remarkable turnabout when you think about it. In 2001, a boisterous Ballmer called "Linux a cancer that attaches itself in an intellectual property sense to everything it touches." The basis of his argument was that "if you use an open-source software, you have to make the rest of your software open source." Ballmer was wrong, and now several years later,... Read more...
Back in June, the Raspberry Pi Foundation announced their newest single-board computer, the Raspberry Pi 4. This tiny PC packs a quad-core Cortex A72 SoC from Broadcom and up to 4 GB of DDR4 memory at a very attractive price. While aimed at emerging markets for folks new to computers, the Pi really caught on with retro gamers and "makers" in general from the start. The latest Pi has a whole lot more computing horsepower than the last iteration, but software support hadn't quite caught up—until just now. The LibRetro team released Lakka version 2.3 with a ton of new features, a retro gaming focus, and perhaps the most important is official support for the Raspberry Pi 4.  Raspberry... Read more...
Applause broke out from the crowd at GTC 2019 when NVIDIA showcased a modded version of Quake II with overhauled graphics featuring real-time ray tracing and HDR visuals. Quake II RTX, as it is called, looks almost like a completely different game than the original version that launched over two decades ago. It was an impressive demo for sure, but NVIDIA has bigger plans for the mod. "Our goal is to publish an open source version of Quake II RTX," Principal DevTech Engineer and Quake II RTX's lead programmer, Alexey Panteleev, told AusGamers in an interview. That will be a remarkable gift to both Quake II fans and modders alike. Despite its age, there is still a bunch of interest in Quake II,... Read more...
It’s been a long time coming, but Google today announced that the iOS version of Chrome has now joined its Chromium open source project. Chrome doesn’t have nearly the same penetration rate on iOS that it does on other platforms, but it provides a safe haven for users that prefer Google services and are partial to Apple hardware. In case you’re not up to speed on the iOS version of Chrome, Apple requires third-party browsers to use the same rendering engine as Safari: Apple’s WebKit. On the other hand, alternate versions of Chrome — available for Windows, macOS, Linux and Android — make use of Google’s Blink rendering engine. According to Google, up until this point, it didn’t make much sense... Read more...
Overclockers and frequent PC builders alike can appreciate the advantages of having an open air bench or rack for testing. These make component swapping a breeze for comparisons and provide a flexible platform for checking a build before installing it inside a tight case. Few things are more frustrating than learning your motherboard is dead on arrival after you finished meticulously routing every last cable.As nice as open air cases and test benches are, however, they have largely come with their own share of hassles. Many test benches walk a spectrum between structural rigidity and layout flexibility. Some units lack defined mounting points while others wind up just too bulky to be practical... Read more...
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 anyway. To say that Linux is "everywhere" would be accurate. Android users are using a variant of... 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 are willing to get your hands dirty. Amazon released instructions on GitHub this week on how to setup... 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 deeper access to the GPU and GPU resources.Let’s discuss gaming first. AMD and the RTG are looking... 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 hope that others will be able to work with us to improve it. We believe that this open collaboration... 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 its users. He sums up his thoughts well, stating, "What sorts of wrongs are found in malware? Some... 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, though? I think the question is more "Will it have to?" and the answer to that is "Maybe." On the desktop,... 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 to utilize materials from a variety of suppliers. With Spark, Autodesk also hopes that the open... 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, in the spirit of the open source movement, for the advancement of electric vehicle technology."... 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 actively chasing Windows users with its latest release. "The 14.04 LTS release offers a solid, intuitive... 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 development cloud, focus on rapidly expanding IBM’s growing ecosystem supporting Linux on... 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 $40. The new pack incorporates a Raspberry Pi B Board and an 8GB SD card with the all six of the... 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 Group to participate in technology discussions around this new platform, which has the ability... 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 the preceding ones, which makes me suspect that one reason -rc7 was bigger than I liked was that people... 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 to the storage device, should adapt to the changes from the sketch," Samsung's Jaegeuk Kim explained.... Read more...
AMD isn't yet ready to welcome its upcoming Radeon HD 8000 Series graphics cards to the world, but the company is preparing for the impending launch, in part by publishing initial open source Linux drivers. Found in the Mesa graphics library, the open source drivers pertain to the Radeon HD 8870 and 8850 graphics cards. Barring any delays or issues, the new parts will arrive in the second quarter of 2013, followed by the rest of the Radeon HD 8000 Series GPUs. The Radeon HD 8850 and Radeon HD 8870 are built on a 28nm manufacturing process and both feature 3.4 billion transistors on a die that measures about 270mm2, according to previous leaks. The open source drivers were discovered by Michael... Read more...
After several setbacks and delays, the folks at Fedora have just released their newest Linux distro, Fedora 18, otherwise known by its code-name "Spherical Cow." One of the big new features in Fedora 18 is that it now supports UEFI Secure Boot by using bootloaders that have been signed with Microsoft certificates. In short, you should have no trouble booting Fedora 18 with a Windows 8 PC. The new version also introduces a vastly overhauled Anaconda installer. It looks new with a modern flair, and is designed to make installing the OS both faster and easier to do. That's especially important if Fedora wants to try and draw in potentially disgruntled Windows 8 users who simply aren't digging the... Read more...
The lukewarm response to Windows 8 might be just what Linux needs to gain a wider mainstream audience. Either way, Linux is more popular than ever these days, and that's good news for Red Hat, the open source company that makes a living serving Linux to the enterprise market. Red Hat's revenue for its third fiscal quarter came out to $343.6 million, representing an 18 percent bump from one year prior, or 21 percent if measured in constant currency. Subscription revenue jumped 19 percent to $294.2 million (or 22 percent in constant currency). Red Hat headquarters. "Strong execution, industry leading solutions and our ability to deliver a compelling ROI to our customers, all contributed to continued... Read more...
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