Open source news roundup for May 26, 2018

Tesla's GPL compliance, a new open source AI from Tencent, and more

Catch up on recent open source headlines.

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In this edition of our open source news roundup, we take a look Tesla (finally) starting to comply with the GPL, Tencent's new open source AI, an open source insurance policy, and more.

Tesla starts complying with the GPL

Like many companies, electric car maker Tesla has used GPLed software to quickly get up and running. Like many companies, Tesla has been slow in complying with the requirements of that license. But that's starting to change.

After years of cajoling, the company "is now releasing some parts of its software, which is going to be useful to Tesla hackers and security researchers." That includes "code used to build the foundations of its Autopilot semi-autonomous driving tech and the infotainment system found on the Model S and Model X cars." The source code is available in Tesla's GitHub repositories.

This first step is welcome but, as the Software Freedom Conservancy notes, "compliance means meeting all GPL's requirements, so we don't convey false hopes with an incomplete release."

China's Tencent debuts new artificial intelligence system

Go is an ancient, deceptively complex game of strategy that takes humans years to master. It's also a great challenge for artificial intelligence (AI) developers like the ones at Chinese company Tencent, who recently released their Go-playing software as open source.

Called PhoenixGo, the software "recorded a 200-game winning streak" on Tencent's competitive FoxGo online gaming platform. The program went on to win the World AI Go Championship in April 2018. To train PhoenixGo to championship form, Tencent's engineers took advantage of unused processing power on servers running the company's popular WeChat messaging service.

PhoenixGo's source code is on GitHub, but you'll need to supply your own server.

Lemonade launches open source renter's insurance policy

Have you ever tried to read an insurance policy? You might remember trying to wade through dense jargon, legalese, and unfamiliar concepts. An American insurer called Lemonade is trying to change that with an open source insurance policy.

The policy, called Policy 2.0, is "written in English and is intended for US renters." Lemonade's co-founder Shai Wininger said that the company wants to make insurance "simple, fair, and approachable to everyone." Wininger added that working with consumers "will result in a better and fairer insurance product for the 21st century."

If you want to contribute or just take a peek, Policy 2.0 is on GitHub.

AsteroidOS for wearables now available

If you're looking for an open source alternative to Google's Wear OS and Apple's watchOS, then you're in luck. The developers behind AsteroidOS have made stable version 1.0 of the platform available for download.

The initial version is limited. It supports the "display smartphone notifications, weather data, calendar entries, alarms and timers, as well as music playback controls" on a small number of watchOS devices. The project is trying to get traction with developers by also releasing documentation and a software development kit.

In other news

Thanks, as always, to staff members and moderators for their help this week. Make sure to check out our event calendar to see what's happening next week in open source.


About the author

That idiot Scott Nesbitt ...
Scott Nesbitt - I'm a long-time user of free/open source software, and write various things for both fun and profit. I don't take myself all that seriously and I do all of my own stunts. You can find me at these fine establishments on the web: The Plain Text Project, Open Source Musings, The...