U.S. government releases Open Data Action Plan, Arduino-powered garden, and more

No readers like this yet.
open source news and highlights


Open source news for your reading pleasure.

May 10 - May 16, 2014

In this week's edition of our open source news roundup, we look at the U.S. government's Open Data Action Plan, an Arduino-powered open source garden, and more.

U.S. government announces Open Data Action Plan

Last Friday marked the one year anniversary of the President's Executive Order for open data in government. To celebrate, and to let everyone know what's been going on in the time since, the White House released their new Open Data Action Plan. As a PDF. Rookie mistake.

The Sunlight Foundation reported in December that compliance with the executive order is less than stellar, and even the Cabinet agencies took until February to get their JSON (JavaScript Object Notation) in order. Either way, it's good to see word from the White House on the initiative.

More at Via E Pluribus Unum.

Be careful as you split Australian watchdog agency

The Office of the Australian Information Commissioner, a government agency that serves as a watchdog over privacy and freedom of information, will see its responsibilities doled out to other departments in the Australian government. There are concerns that the commission will be handed to the Attorney General's Department, which Labor Senator Joe Ludwig says "would be like putting Dracula in charge of the blood bank," as the OAIC is frequently called upon to objectively review government decisions for the public. "Handing over freedom of information to the attorney general would signal the death knell of open and accountable government," Ludwig said.

Autodesk reveals new streamlined open source 3D printing platform

There are a lot of 3D printers out there, and a lot of would-be hobbyists aren't sure where to start. Autodesk is hoping that the market is ready for simplification, and that's what their Spark initiative is all about. Best of all, they're making the platform and the printer hardware open and free. Hardware manufacturers, software developers, product designers, and at-home enthusiasts can build their own printers, test the platform, and contribute to making it better. What's in it for Autodesk? Software sales. Their 3D CAD software still retails for over $1,000.

Cooking Hacks releases new Arduino platform to track gardens

Libelium's open hardware storefront, Cooking Hacks, which dedicates itself to "making electronics as common as cooking," has announced their new Open Garden platform. Built with Arduino, the kits contain sensors that help a budding techno-gardener monitor their indoor or outdoor plants and modify conditions for the best possible growth conditions. An included web app, also open source, collects data and stores it in a database for analysis via browser or smartphone. Now to figure out a way to use Arduino to keep the deer away from my tomatoes...

Big thanks, as always, to Opensource.com moderator Robin Muilwijk and editor Jen Wike for helping track down open source news with me every week.

OpenStack aficionado Jason Baker is off at OpenStack Summit this week, covering lots of OpenStack related news for the blog. Check out the archives for news on OpenStack Summit.

User profile image.
Michael an unrepentant geek with a love for games, the social web, and open source projects to share with his kids. He writes about raising geek children at GeekDad and records a podcast about games called The Dice Section. You can follow him on Twitter at @oldbie.

1 Comment

Great news about Autodesk, I think they can do a lot to help make 3D printing more accessible and easy to use.

Creative Commons LicenseThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International License.