Items tagged with open-source

Microsoft has done something that might surprise a bunch of people out there, it has open sourced the WSL (Windows Subsystem for Linux) to make it easier for Windows users to run Linux distributions. The WSL sample that is now open source allows distro maintainers to build WSL packages for the Microsoft Store and to create custom Linux distro packages for sideloading. The distro launcher repo is on GitHub right now. Microsoft says that the open source WSL will enable: Linux distribution maintainers to package and submit a Linux distribution as an appx that runs on WSL Developers to create custom Linux distributions that can be sideloaded onto their dev machine Microsoft notes that since many... Read more...
Microsoft wasn't always particularly pro-open source. In fact, for much of its history, the software giant was very much focused on its own offerings often to the detriment of anything open source. That isn't the case today with Microsoft contributing to open source projects and developing versions of its popular programs like Skype specifically for Linux. One of Microsoft's bread and butter products is Office, and there is a version of the Office suite that can be used on Linux thanks to Android. Android support is something Microsoft was forced to adopt due to Windows Phone's abysmal market share to get a foothold in the mobile world. Microsoft has now pledged even more support to the... Read more...
Did you ever wonder what happened to Comma One? George Hotz (a.k.a geohot), the developer of Comma One and the owner of the company Comma.ai, announced on Twitter that his creation is now open-source. It has been renamed “Open Pilot”. Comma One is an autonomous driving aftermarket add-on. It would grant certain vehicles autopilot-like highway driving assistance abilities. Hotz had criticized his competitors for not releasing autonomous-driving features for other vehicles, so he unveiled his solution this past September and promised that the product would be available by the end of 2016. Hotz, however, cancelled the Comma One project this past October and he received a standard letter from the... Read more...
Decidedly in the "Don't be Evil" column (and giving all new meaning to the term "hot hardware"), Google has developed a tablet device for use by workers battling Ebola in Sierra Leone. The Sony Xperia tablet comes with an extra protective shell, can withstand chlorine dousing as well as exposure to the high humidity and storms that are typical of life in West Africa. And it can even be used by workers wearing protective gloves. Credit: Médecins Sans Frontières              The virulent nature of Ebola, which is passed on via close contact with infected bodily fluids, requires that patients of the disease be cared... Read more...
Although the 3D printing market has and will continue to grow rapidly, there are still some capabilities that the market needs that we take for granted on the paper printing side of things. For instance, you have to convert those excellent 3D models into a printable format, and that can be tricky. Enter Slic3r, a free and open source tool that coverts STereoLithography (STL) files into a printable format. The software cuts the 3D model into “slices” and then “generates toolpaths to fill them and calculates the amount of material to be extruded”, so says Slic3r supporter LulzBot’s announcement. LulzBot Taz 3D printer After being developed from scratch starting in... Read more...
DARPA, a wing of the U.S. Department of Defense, has developed quite a few technological innovations for the military that wind up trickling down to us civilians, and now the agency is open sourcing some of its projects with an eye toward fostering even better R&D. The DARPA Open Catalog is a “curated list of DARPA-sponsored software and peer-reviewed publications”, meaning that the agency isn’t just offering up anything and everything its working on, but in any case the first project posted on the site is the XDATA program. The XDATA program pertains to big data, so any fruitful collaboration on that project would be a boon to essentially everyone. If there’s sufficient... Read more...
The Raspberry Pi can be used for all sorts of applications, including sweet mini desktop builds, and it can also be used as a personal cloud server with arkOS. The arkOS project has been crowdsourcing funds, and it has already pushed past its $45,000 goal with 5 days to go in the campaign. The open source arkOS platform, simply put, is designed to let you easily host your own websites, email, web-based apps, and personal cloud. There’s a GUI interface called Genesis that should make setting up, configuring, and managing everything fairly simple, so you don’t have to be familiar with command lines to use it. Raspberry Pi Model B It sounds a bit like the WD My Cloud personal cloud server... Read more...
Is there anything a smartphone can’t do these days? Apparently, they now double as spectrometers, at least when you add a special kit that’s been developed by collaborators at Public Labs. The Public Lab Smartphone Spectrometer is a small injection-molded plastic device that you can adhere to a smartphone so you can take measurements in the field and scan liquids, gases, or lights. The device will work with most Android and iOS devices, and in the “hero” shot of the Smartphone Spectrometer, it’s actually mounted on a Firefox OS handset. The spectrometer’s software is web-based and runs on a variety of browsers including Opera and Chrome, and the team says that... Read more...
Ultimaker is releasing its latest 3D printer, the Ultimaker 2, and the new machine features significant redesigns from the first iteration of the Ultimaker. The company says that the new version is more accurate, more efficient, and it’s even quieter at 49dB. Specifically, the Ultimaker 2 has a new CNC-milled case (that’s all white with glowing sidewalls) with an OLED display, and its glass and aluminum build platform is designed to cool quickly so you can peel completed projects off more easily. The Ultimaker 2 can print with multiple materials, including PLA, ABS, and PVA, and it’s WiFi-compatible so you can print from a mobile device or computer (so long as the printer is... Read more...
Distributed manufacturing is most definitely evolving thanks in large part to innovations in the 3D printing world, and a company called Mebotics is looking to take things a step further with the Microfactory, an all-in-one machine that etches, 3D prints, and mills. The unit is small and light enough to rest on a tabletop or desk, and it’s also designed to run quietly and mess-free enough that it won’t disturb your downstairs neighbors or roommate while you’re working. The Microfactory has a fully-functional onboard computer complete with WiFi, USB, and Ethernet connections that allow for a variety of ways to control it (i.e., remotely) and input data and designs, and all of... Read more...
Intel’s Open Source Technology Center, in conjunction with CircuitCo, is developing a low-cost, embedded-type motherboard based on the Intel Atom processor called the MinnowBoard. The whole affair is very charming (complete with a cartoon minnow logo), and it’s being marketed as a sort of fun, hobbyist-friendly board. (Sound like the Raspberry Pi?) Although it uses Intel architecture, the hardware is open, and it runs the open source Angstrom Linux distro. Specs include an Intel Atom E640 (dual-core, 1GHz) with an Intel integrated Intel Graphics Media Accelerator GMA 600, 1GB DDR2 RAM, and UEFI firmware with 4MB SPI flash. There’s plenty of I/O, too, including DVI... Read more...
Time was, a lecherous fellow could make strangers on the street feel uncomfortable by making eye contact and offering a little wink and a smile. Now, they can crank the creep-o-meter up several notches, because soon Google Glass wearers will be able to snap photos with that same saucy wink. Google Glass developer Mike Giovanni announced that he’s developed Winky, an application for the specs that--all joking aside--makes it much easier for people to take photos. “You might not think it's hard to say ‘Ok, Glass Take a Picture’ or even just tap a button”, said Giovanni in a G+ post. “But it's a context switch that takes you out of the moment, even if just for... Read more...
Even though Google is a bastion of open source technologies (a statement some may disagree with), the company holds a king’s ransom in patents, and therefore, the power to sue the bejesus out of other people and companies should it see fit. (The search giant also has the deep pockets necessary to outlast most anyone in a patent dispute.) Hoarding patents has become something of an arms race, with many companies acquiring patents defensively in the event that another entity decides to try and sue them. Today, Google announced the Open Patent Non-Assertion (OPN) Pledge, which is designed to decrease the threat of patent litigation when it comes to open source software. Specifically, part... Read more...
As the weekend approaches and the itch to tinker with something crawls up the spine of nerds everywhere, open source hardware projects like this one scratch it like nothing else: There’s a card called an Arduino GSM Shield available now, which essentially lets you add GPRS/GSM connections to your projects. In other words, you can build your own unlocked phone with it. The device can be shipped along with Arduino’s Uno, MEGA, and Leonardo boards, and the GSM Shield itself comes with a SIM card. (You can, however, use whatever SIM card you like.) With the shield, you can implement features such as making and receiving phone calls and sending and receiving SMS messages. The shield is... Read more...
Although Canonical is still hunting for OEM partners to develop handsets for Ubuntu on smartphones, the OS is alive and well, running smooth and pretty on prototype handsets at CES 2013. The Canonical folks were kind enough to give us a demo, which you can see below: Note in particular the lack of any hardware button on this device; that’s on purpose, as Canonical wants Ubuntu to be a touch-only affair. Because there are no hardware partners on board yet (that we know of), the best we can do on specs is what Canonical says will be basic system requirements for entry-level and high-end phones. At the least, Ubuntu will need a dual-core Cortex A9 processor with at least 512MB of memory, and... Read more...
Now that Ouya open source gaming consoles have shipped to developers, we’re getting a look at what the Ouya interface looks like and how the little unit performs. Developer Codezombiegames posted some videos on YouTube unboxing the package, looking at the parts, and fiddling with the interface. Ouya has already done a video unboxing, but we haven’t seen the UI in action just yet. Here it is below: The interface is nice and clean, with simple but colorful backgrounds and simple white text with a pleasing font. There are no games built in, but there there is a Web browser, a settings area, and a downloads button.  The browser seems fast enough and played a low-quality YouTube video... Read more...
We’ve been following the Ouya open source gaming console ever since it raised an astonishing amount of money in a very short amount of time. The latest development is that Ouya has 1,200 developer consoles on pallets ready to ship as promised, which is a good sign for the future viability of the ambitious project. Ouya says that the consoles will be on devs’ doorsteps within days. The contents of the package include a welcome letter, a pair of D-pad controllers, the console itself, HDMI and micro-USB cables, and a power adapter. (Batteries are included.) The D-pads and console are both transparent to show devs the guts inside; the final product will look different. The console now... Read more...
Oh Raspberry Pi, is there no end to the fun and creative projects of which you are a part? The latest nifty implementation of the tiny $35 Linux computer is a mobile Raspberry Pi machine called the Pi-to-Go. The brainchild of a fellow named Nathan Morgan, who dug into his nearby stack of Dell laptop parts for the battery he used to make the computer. Morgan, in true open source fashion, is making his project’s schematics and step-by-step instructions available to anyone who would deign to attempt the same thing. He was resourceful in finding components. For example, his LCD is actually an after market camera used to help cars back up safely, and he bought a simple tiny wireless keyboard... Read more...
NVIDIA is cringing this one out and there's really not much that can be said about it, beyond what the founder of Linux already has.  In a rather passionate response to a student developer's question about NVIDIA driver support for Linux on her notebook, at a talk at Finland's Aalto Center for Entrepreneurship,  Torvalds absolutely rails on NVIDIA for their sub-par support of the Linux operating system.  Linus was asked by the student for his perspective on this very frustrating situation she's experiencing with her machine that is comprised of both Intel and NVIDIA graphics cores, the latter of which doesn't play at all very nice with Linux.  Torvalds goes on to explain that... Read more...
We swear we are not making this up. We know, we know, this is April 1st, the worst day of the year to try and persuade you to believe us, but this is the real thing. A Canadian developer, Dr. Peter Jansen, has been working on making tricorders. Yes, tricorders, as in the fictional devices that Star Trek writers used as convenient foils for moving plots forward for years. Dr. Jansen has actually already built two tricorders, the Science Tricorder Mark 1 and Mark 2, and he has more coming. He abandoned the Mark 3, but the Mark 4 has been fabbed and is currently undergoing software development. Dr. Peter Jansen, maker of tricorders, nerd king Basically, Jansen’s idea is a simple one: use sensors... Read more...
If you’re looking for a weekend project, having a go at the latest Ubuntu (beta) release would be a fun one. Ubuntu 12.04 Precise Pangolin, a long-term support (LTS) release, is now in beta and available for download from Canonical. Being an LTS release, there aren’t a lot of earth-shattering changes, but Canonical has definitely tweaked things a bit. New features include making Rhythmbox (which includes access to the Ubuntu One Music Store) the default music player, an update to LibreOffice (v.3.5), some minor interface improvements, increased support for ClickPad devices (where a physical button is built into a trackpad), and more. Overall, version 12.04 looks a lot like version... Read more...
Google on Thursday revealed a new service that's been working behind the scenes to protect Android users from malware. It's called "Bouncer," which Google developed to automatically scan the Android Market for potentially malicious software without getting in the way of the end-user. It's Google's way of juggling an open marketplace where apps don't have to go through an approval process like they do on Apple's ecosystem, while simultaneously combating the growing threat for malware "The service has been looking for malicious apps in Market for a while now, and between the first and second halves of 2011, we saw a 40 percent decrease in the number of potentially-malicious downloads from Android... Read more...
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