Open source news this week: December 9 - 13, 2013
The top 10 Linux videos of 2013, reviving dead open source projects, and more
Open source news for your reading pleasure.
December 9-13, 2013
We scoured the web for some of this week's most interesting open source-related news stories so you don't have to. Here's what we found:
Top 10 Linux videos of 2013
The Linux Foundation has compiled its list of the top 10 Linux videos of 2013. The list includes a TEDx talk on what the tech industry has learned form Linus Torvalds, Richard Stallman's speech on his Internet Hall of Fame induction, Red Hat: Celebrating 20 years of open, and more. You can see the complete list, including video embeds, on Linux.com.
How to bring an open source project back from the dead
A new website has been created to make it easier to breathe new life into dead open source projects, reports Wired.com. The site is called Forked, and it's basically a way to search GitHub to find maintained alternatives of abandoned open source projects. While you can already view a project's list of forks within GitHub, Wired reports that Yannik wanted to create the Forked site because he "decided the default fork page left something to be desired."
"Hang on, I've got to text my fridge back."
Refrigerators may be sending us text messages sooner than you might imagine, and that's not all. The "Internet of Things" could soon lead to connectivity in a variety of home, healthcare, education, and automotive devices. The Linux Foundation is on a mission to advance "The Internet of Things" through the use of open source software and collaborative development that could make this transformation happen much faster. The Foundation announced this week the creation of the AllSeen Alliance, a group that includes top consumer electronics and home appliance manufacturers, enterprise technology companies, startups, and more. Together the alliance members will contribute to an open source framework that will ultimately make it easier to connect devices like your fridge, dishwasher, TV, locks, lights, and more to the Internet so that they can all communicate. Ars Technica has an in-depth look at what's on the horizon.
Making metal 3D printers more accessible
A low-cost, open source 3D printer that can print items with steel is reportedly in the works. While 3D metal printers already exist, they're expensive and not as easily accessible to consumers as the 3D printers that print plastics (although those printers are still costly too). This metal 3D printer still has some hurdles to jump through as it hasn't yet printed a useful object, Tech Week Europe reports, and the researchers advise that with the speed of innovation, someone else may invent one before this one is fully fleshed out. But it's exciting to know that 3D metal printers could soon be somewhat within reach.
Open source advances at Dutch defence ministry and in Munich
We always love to hear about governments and organizations adopting open source software. This week I'm giving a shout out to the Dutch Ministry of Defence, which is reportedly beginning to turn to open source information and communication technologies. You can find out more specifics about the programs they're using on the European Commission's Joinup site, where public administrations share and reuse interoperability solutions. Meanwhile, city officials in Munich announced this week that the city's switch to its own version of Linux has been successfully completed. You may recall that Munich was facing some challenges while quitting Microsoft, so it's good to hear that its switch to Linux has been successful. (Thanks to our community moderator Robin Muiwijk for putting this on my radar).
The latest on the Steam Machine
Prototypes of the Steam Machine video game console will be shipped to 300 game developers for beta testing this week. Meanwhile, the Linux-based SteamOS will be available for download possibly as early as today, ZDNet reports. Valve, the game studio behind Steam, advised this week that not all eager SteamOS fans should download it quite yet, advising that: "unless you’re an intrepid Linux hacker already, we’re going to recommend that you wait until later in 2014 to try it out."