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Open Source News (30)

Texas Instruments Launches Improved BeagleBone PC

Category: Small Form Factor, Open Source, Modding
Posted: April 23, 2013 02:33PM
Author: Tobias Thydal

Texas Instruments has launched its ARM-based BeagleBone Black PC today, and it's certainly going to raise some eyebrows in the DIY crowd. The board is a mix of two famous and loved devices. It has the microcontroller capabilities of the Arduino board, while being able to perform many of the same tasks as a Raspberry PI. The board is of course open-source and will be running a pre-installed Angstrom Linux OS. The specifications are a single-core Sitara AM335x ARM Cortex-A8 processor at 1GHz, 512MB DDR3 RAM, and 2GB of eMMC memory that holds the OS. It also has two Programmable Real Time Units, which are responsible for the microcontroller tasks.

The board is shipped with a single DC power barrel connector, two USB 2.0 ports, a micro SD card reader, a micro HDMI port for video output, and a 10/100 Ethernet jack. On top of that, the BeagleBone Black has two 46-pin connectors located on either side of the board, which accept cape expansion cards. These improve the functionality of the board by adding sensors, serial ports, batteries, LCD displays, and FPGAs. 

According to Texas Instruments, the BeagleBone Black is capable of driving a 3D printer due to the improved ARM processor and the pre-installed OS. The BeagleBone Black also has potential in robotics, since a powerful processor and microcontrollers on the same small board opens up for many possibilities, such as machine vision, which is the new craze amongst developers.

That Texas Instruments are able to cram so much hardware on a tiny PCB and maintain a price of only $45 is truly remarkable.

Source: Extreme Tech

AMD Closes Open-Source Linux Development Lab

Category: Open Source
Posted: November 9, 2012 01:31PM
Author: EuroFight

AMD has shut down its development lab in Dresden, Germany, which focused on developing support for AMD server chips on the open-source Linux kernel, and also wrote code for desktop and notebook processors. This comes despite other companies, such as Valve, moving towards the kernel, which is behind the popular OS Ubuntu, as well as other distributions such as Fedora Linux and is also a popular HTPC operating system. It is also the kernel used in supercomputers due to its customizable nature, and ability to address large amounts of memory while supporting extremely large numbers of physical cores.

The move is part of a company-wide restructuring plan that will see the firm laying-off 15% of its total workforce. AMD shares have fallen sharply since the firm signaled Q3 revenue would likely dip by up to 10 percent from Q2, blaming the drop in revenue on lower than expected sales of tablets, many of which use AMD APU and GPU technology.

Ubuntu 13.04 to be Called Raring Ringtail, Emphasis on Mobile and Battery Life

Category: Open Source
Posted: October 18, 2012 10:24PM
Author: bp9801

Canonical has used a variety of alliterative codenames for Ubuntu releases, with ones like Oneiric Ocelot, Precise Pangolin, and Quantal Quetzel being some of the most recent revisions. The upcoming Ubuntu 13.04 is no different, as Canonical is calling the new release Raring Ringtail. Among the numerous alliterations in CEO Mark Shuttleworth's blog comes some information concerning 13.04. For starters, Canonical is focusing on the phone, tablet, and TV market, with the first two emphasizing battery life, the number of running processes, and memory size, to name a few. However, Ubuntu 13.04 is not going to be a full-fledged mobile OS by the time it launches, but rather nailing down some specifics to make it a viable alternative. Canonical launched Ubuntu 12.10, Quantal Quetzel, earlier today, and does not expect a full release of Raring Ringtail until next spring.

Software to Simulate Human Motion

Category: Open Source, Science & Technology
Posted: November 4, 2011 05:06PM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

With over 600 muscles in the human body, and the legs containing more than 100, modeling human motion is very complex, despite how much we take it for granted. Researchers at Stanford University’s School of Engineering have created OpenSim to model how we move. Medically, this can be a very powerful tool when attempting to treat diseases, such as cerebral palsy. The software can also aid preventative medicine, such as showing a person how their current gait could lead to joint damage. Visitors to The Leonardo, a science and technology museum in Salt Lake City, can experience this by walking over a pressure-sensitive floor. For younger museum patrons there is a display where they can control muscles in the legs to kick a soccer ball. The soccer demo is a simplified version of OpenSim, but still demonstrates the complexity of the muscles, as simply cranking up the strength does not work.

As the name suggests, OpenSim is open source and can be freely downloaded from opensim.stanford.edu.

Why is Open Source Software Beneficial?

Category: Open Source, Science & Technology
Posted: August 23, 2011 12:38PM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

For software to be open source means that not only is the program itself free but the code it is compiled from is accessible to anyone. With the source code one can make changes to the program such as closing security holes, adding new features, improving stability and performance. The source code often still has a license that must be obeyed and of those there are some that require advancements be contributed back to the community. This means companies can take a program’s code, make their own changes to it, and then sell the new product for a profit but at least some of the changes must be given to the original program’s community. An example of such a company is Red Hat who makes an operating system based on open source Linux. Of course with the changes being given back to the community, free-riders can emerge that never contribute anything and take advantage of what others have invested time and money into. Why then is this scenario beneficial compared to the closed source market?

That is what Columbia Business School alumni Brett Gordon wanted to find out. By modeling a high-quality company that makes contributions to the code and a low-quality free-riding company the results showed there are spillover effects to keep prices low. The high-quality company by making advances the low-quality company may use can results in a lack of differentiation between their two products. So the high-quality company has to keep the price down to sell their product, otherwise consumers, looking for the better deal, will buy the free-riding company’s product. In the end, high-quality products are still being produced, and by the nature of the open source market, prices are kept down.

100,000 Downloads in Five Days For CryEngine 3 SDK

Category: Open Source
Posted: August 23, 2011 08:30AM
Author: edwardquilo

In just five days after Crytek made the CryEngine 3 SDK freely available for non-commercial use, the company revealed that its engine has been downloaded for more than 100,000 times. Turns out that there are a lot of would-be developers out there. Now that Crytek is simplifying things with the free version of its source engine, chances are that more people will get accustomed to using it for creating their own games. Of course, this only gives hopeful developers with more options to choose from, including Epic's free version of its Unreal Engine, the UDK. 

For those venturing into commercial game development, Crytek is also offering a royalty-only license model, where 20% of the developer's takings go to Crytek. Now, could this mean that we'll be seeing gorgeous indie games based on the CryEngine 3? At least a few of those 100,000 downloads just might give us something worthwhile. 

CryENGINE 3 Available for Free

Category: Open Source
Posted: August 21, 2011 07:26AM
Author: Tobias Thydal

Crytek is going to release its CryENGINE 3 SDK as a free download for anyone interested. CEO Cevat Yerli assures that the free SDK contains all the features found in the commercial version, including game sample code from Crysis 2. That will allow independent developers to create their own game almost from scratch. Though the independent developers can use it to create what they want, they are not allowed to sell their products, only give them away for free. New developers will be able to realize their own ideas while working with one of the best game engines on the market. It is possible to take the commercial route, but that will require the developer to enter a royalty-only licensing agreement, which insures that Crytek gets 20% of the revenues. You can download the CryENGINE 3 SDK here.

Guardian Project: Open Source Mobile Security

Category: Mobile, Open Source
Posted: April 20, 2011 12:59PM
Author: Charles Coggins III

The Guardian Project, while still in the early stages of development, has already provided apps to the privacy-conscious user. What is the Guardian Project? Guardian Project is an open source project based off of Google's Android OS and the goal of the project is to bring privacy and security to your mobile device. The idea is to give mobile users anonymous Web browsing, full disk encryption, and secure instant messaging. Smartphones store as much personal data as your PC and laptop, but phones can be carried everywhere and are easily lost. Smartphones also connect to a variety of networks and can determine where you have been using your GPS. These awesome features make security a complete nightmare. The Guardian Project not only wants to help protect your device but make you aware of privacy tradeoffs, so you learn to make good privacy decisions in the future.

Google Maps Allows User Contribution

Category: Networking, Internet, Open Source, General News
Posted: April 19, 2011 05:40PM
Author: IVIYTH0S

Google has released an extension of its online Google Maps that will allow users to add new places to the database. Google Maps is available in 183 countries worldwide, but not all of the maps are detailed enough in some of the more remote areas. By allowing the average user to pitch in, some of the sections with less coverage may be improved from any of the residents with an Internet connection. Well supported areas also seek to benefit since the local populace will be able to improve directions or the accuracy of different landmarks in their city. The editor will even allow users to input such things as where parks are or even where individual dormitories may be on a college campus. Google will be adding a lot of verification for the new information, like checking accuracy, and will reward users who contribute a lot of good information with more privileges and even the ability to undo or change another user's input. In addition, Google will include Map Maker Pulse, which will allow users to watch the maps bear new updated information in real time.

Red Hat Introduces a New Programming Language

Category: Open Source, General News
Posted: April 15, 2011 02:14PM
Author: Charles Coggins III

Over the past two years Gavin King and his team of engineers from Red Hat have been working in secrecy on a new programming language. King calls this new programming language Ceylon. Ceylon is intended to be a language that people can easily learn and will make it easier for people to read and understand the code they are looking at. Ceylon's characteristics are very similar to that of the Java programming language which is one of the main features King hopes will make Ceylon a hit. It uses Java syntactics, runs on existing Java virtual machines but will remedy many shortcomings the Java program language has. King introduced Ceylon this month at a conference in Beijing and published all his documentation from that conference on his website.

Google Keeping Honeycomb Under Wraps, For Now

Category: Open Source
Posted: March 25, 2011 05:51PM
Author: Nick Harezga

Google has touted the openness of its Android operating system since day one, but it looks like it may be hitting a small road block. Android 3.0, code named Honeycomb, is the brains behind the wave of upcoming Android tablets. Google doesn't feel that it is ready for the public to look at it just yet. It feels that some work still needs to be done in order for it to be ready for non-tablet devices, such as smartphones. However, Google has every intention of releasing the code when it is ready. This setback only adds to the doubts that many have about the openness of Android.

Bulletstorm Arrives with 3D Support

Category: Gaming, Open Source
Posted: February 22, 2011 05:56PM
Author: Nick Harezga

Bulletstorm is a new action game developed by People Can Fly using the Unreal Engine 3 from Epic Games, and is now available for purchase online and in stores. After watching the trailer, I am definitely intrigued by the game and its potential. However, there is another interesting aspect aside from the game play. Bulletstorm takes full advantage of integration between the Unreal Engine 3 and 3D Vision from Nvidia. For those of you with the hardware capable of taking advantage of this, you should be in for a treat.

OpenOffice 3.2 Released

Category: Open Source
Posted: February 15, 2010 12:45AM
Author: Daryn Govender

OpenOffice.org has released the latest version of its popular OpenOffice office suite: version 3.2. The new version promises faster start-up times in Writer and Calc, better support with Microsoft Office 2007 documents and the addition of comments in Impress to help improve collaboration, among others. As always, OpenOffice is an open-source project meaning it can be downloaded for free. You can download OpenOffice 3.2 here and view the full list of new features to version 3.2 here.

Linux Kernel Attracting More Developers

Category: Open Source
Posted: August 19, 2009 04:24PM
Author: Nick Harezga

The Linux kernel is one of the largest Open Source projects currently out there, with contributions coming from individual programmers to big corporations. The good news is that the number of contributors is increasing. A report published by the Linux Foundation indicates that the number of developers has grown by ten percent since the study done in 2008. Companies like IBM and Intel help make up the nearly seventy percent of contributions made by companies. With the number of developers contributing to the development of Linux, the various operating systems based on the kernel will continue to see improvements across all platforms.

Google Working Towards 3D Internet

Category: Open Source
Posted: July 26, 2009 08:04PM
Author: JifDaKiwi

The team at Google have begun working on their O3D plug-in which brings hardware 3D acceleration into Chrome. Right now, the team is focusing on integrating the new code into Chromium, the pre-stable, open-source build of Chrome. This opens up possibilities of not only decent web-based 3D gaming, but also adding a CAD-design program to Google's already formidable Google Docs suite, further bringing Google's vision of a cloud-computing based future one step closer. It is not expressly mentioned, but assumed that this plug-in will also be an integral part of Chrome OS.

Microsoft Releases Hyper-V Linux Drivers Under GNU GPLv2

Category: Open Source
Posted: July 20, 2009 04:40PM
Author: Nick Harezga

Microsoft is contributing 20,000 lines of source code to the Linux kernel relating to its' Hyper-V virtualization software. The move is intended to create greater compatibility for virtualized Linux on Windows based servers. Since it is being released under the GNU GPL, the code will now be part of the Open Source community and will be included on all Linux distributions as soon as it is integrated into the kernel. This is the first time Microsoft has contributed directly to Linux development, and is very exciting to people involved with Open Source. This is likely a move by Microsoft to take some market share away from VMWare, which controls a great deal of the virtualization market already.

USB 3.0 on Linux

Category: Open Source
Posted: June 11, 2009 07:50AM
Author: David Solymosi

Do you ever find yourself in an argument with fellow enthusiasts against how bad and slow Linux hardware support is? Well fret no more, you now have a new point to bring up. Linux drivers for USB 3.0 have been created, before the first USB 3.0 controllers are being mass produced. The drivers, under Sarah Sharp's name, will soon be added to the Linux kernel code, and will be officially supported sometime around September, which would probably make Linux the first operating system with official USB 3.0 support. Until then, we'll just have to make do with USB 2.0 and one-tenth the speed.

Developers Attempting to Bring Android to Ubuntu

Category: Open Source
Posted: May 27, 2009 04:34PM
Author: Nick Harezga

Developers at Canonical are working on creating an Android execution environment for the Ubuntu Operating System. With this development, users would be able to take advantage of the rapidly expanding pool of Android applications on their Ubuntu machines and perhaps other Linux distributions in the future. Some difficulties are currently being encountered due to the fact that despite being based on the Linux kernel, Android was built using a custom runtime environment from Google. A key to the success of the project is finding a way around the Android interprocess communication system. The source code for this hasn't been released yet, but will be soon in hopes that the community will be able to aid in the development.

Google Update Becomes Open Source

Category: Open Source
Posted: April 14, 2009 06:16PM
Author: David Solymosi

Google Update is a small program included with all Google software, which quietly checks for and downloads updates in the background. Now, the source code has been released under an open source license, allowing anyone to view and use it. Google says that they are releasing the code to help developers, and to make Google Update completely transparent. Yup, it's just an updater, not a key device for world domination.

More Businesses Use Open Source Software

Category: Open Source
Posted: April 12, 2009 08:59PM
Author: Brentt Moore

In a recent survey of 2,200 IT executives ranging from Germany, France the United Kingdom, the United States, and Canada, around forty six percent of those businesses involved used open source software or are planning on implementing it sometime this year. The main reason for the immense open source movement is due to the cost savings made instead of buying commercial software that technically does the same exact thing. Many programs found on the market have counterparts that are free for personal use, as well as commercial use, which aids businesses immensely. As of right now, France leads the adoption of open source software with a steady fifty eight percent, with Germany trailing behind with forty nine percent. According to the survey, the United Kingdom is the country lagging the slowest behind as far as open source adoption goes. Even past these statistics of adoption, one out of every three firms stated that they had no formal policy with open source software or coding.

Google Taking Applications For Summer of Code Program

Category: Open Source
Posted: March 26, 2009 05:24AM
Author: Nick Harezga

Google is once again taking applications for the Summer of Code program, which offers students the opportunity to work with a mentor and contribute to various open-source projects. The program will accept 1000 students, down from 1175 last year, and will reward those who complete their given project with up to $4500. Some projects that have been worked on in the past include the Linux Kernel and working with the Apache Foundation. This will likely provide a great chance to get your feet wet in the industry as well as make important contacts for when you graduate. If I wasn’t already working full time I’d certainly throw my name in the hat for this.

French Police Force Adopts Ubuntu Linux

Category: Open Source
Posted: March 12, 2009 06:40AM
Author: Nick Harezga

The national police force of France have begun to transition all of their workstations from Windows XP to Ubuntu Linux. The change was initiated after they decided that it would be easier to switch to Ubuntu than Vista. An initial test of 5,000 workstations showed that they would be able to cut costs without reducing their capabilities or efficiency. The police force has saved an estimated 50 million Euros since 2004 by making this switch along with switching some of their software to open source as well. They plan to finish the conversion of all 90,000 workstations by 2015. Perhaps the success of this program will inspire others to make the change as well.

Fedora 10 Released

Category: Operating Systems, Open Source
Posted: November 25, 2008 12:35PM
Author: Dale Shuck

The Fedora Project released Fedora Core 10 today that includes enhancements in the areas of virtualization management, boot time and security. The latest release also includes the Open Office 3.0 software suite. System admins will like the new remote virtual host and storage management features. Users can now share their Internet connections and machines can boot quicker using the new Plymouth graphical boot system. PackageKit, introduced in Fedora 9, has been updated to offer to search for codecs used to play media files when a user clicks on a multimedia file to open it. Other features include improved hardware support, support for a wider range of webcams and improved printing capabilities.

New Version of Ubuntu Released

Category: Operating Systems, Open Source
Posted: October 30, 2008 04:23PM
Author: Brentt Moore

Numerous alpha versions of the new Ubuntu have been looming around the Internet for multiple months. Many users have been anticipating the major release of Ubuntu 8.10 due to its many improvements in performance and usability, a brand new connection manager that contains 3G support, and the ability to put a bootable version of the Linux operating system onto a USB drive. Also included are guest sessions and a system cleaner application that will show any unneeded software packages that are on the computer that Ubuntu is installed on. As of today, both desktop and server editions are available for download from the official Ubuntu website. Both editions of 8.10 will continue to be maintained until the year 2010.

End of Security Updates for Firefox 2.0

Category: Software, Open Source
Posted: October 29, 2008 07:50PM
Author: Brentt Moore

Mozilla Corporation’s policy is to support a browser for six months after it has been replaced by a new version. Firefox 3.0 has been out for some time now, and version 2.0 has continually been updated with numerous security fixes; the last of which had patched fourteen vulnerabilities. But because of the policy that the corporation holds, Mozilla only plans to supply two more security updates to the aging browser. Mike Beltzner, the director of Firefox, stated that the plan for the end of development for version 2.0 is set for the latter part of December. He also noted that a large number of Firefox 2.0 users have already upgraded their browser to version 3.0. Firefox will be the last release of the open source browser at the end of its life span.


Firefox 3 Beta 5 Released Today

Category: Internet, Open Source
Posted: April 2, 2008 01:41PM
Author: Chris Benjamin

Hey there, Firefox users - Mozilla announced today that Firefox 3's Beta 5 is now available for download.  New features in this release include - improvements in the user interface across multiple platforms, and alterations for new features like bookmark backup and restore, and full page zoom.  Also, core functions like security, web compatibility, and overall stability have been improved.  Beta 5 also incorporates changes aimed at improving speed, performance, and memory usage.  Interested users can download Firefox 3 Beta 5 - in 45 different languages - for Windows, OSX, and Linux.

News: Google Desktop goes Linux

Category: Internet, Open Source, General News
Posted: June 27, 2007 07:35PM
Author: Josh Jones

c|net - Google was set to launch late on Wednesday a beta version of Google Desktop search for Linux in a sign of encouragement by the search giant for Linux on the desktop. Google Desktop allows people to search the Web while also searching the full text of all the information on their computer, including Gmail and their Web search history. Because the index is stored locally on the computer, users can access Gmail and Web history while offline.

Article: Top Five Amarok Tips

Category: Software, Open Source
Posted: June 18, 2007 08:38PM
Author: airman

Techgage - Amarok is one of the best audio players for Linux, but there is a lot more it can do than just play your tunes. We are taking a look at our top five tips of things you can do with this amazing player.

News: New Google Linux Apps Coming Soon

Category: Operating Systems, Open Source, General News
Posted: June 17, 2007 05:29PM
Author: airman

[Phoronix] - In addition to Chris DiBona's words about NVIDIA and ATI binary display drivers, Google had also made an interesting splash at the first-ever Linux Foundation Collaboration Summit during a presentation by the Google Linux Client Team. What was it? Well, there are some "significant accomplishments" and other new Google desktop applications coming out this year for the Linux platform.

Article: IBM SVP Steve Mills: Open Source Is Inevitable

Category: Manufacturers, Open Source, General News
Posted: June 17, 2007 06:38AM
Author: Josh Jones

Tech News World - The [free] WebSphere Community Edition conforms to the Apache Geronimo standard, and we download more than 20,000 copies a week -- a week! The majority of users don't buy a maintenance contract from us. They are just happy to get a copy and do what they do, and they don't have to tell us what they are doing.

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