Open source news roundup for July 31-August 6, 2016

A new open source database, open source firmware on TP-Link routers, and more news

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In this week's edition of our open source news roundup, we take a look at Attic Labs' new open source database, open source firmware on TP-Link routers, and more.

Open source news roundup for July 31-August 6, 2016

Attic Labs announces new open source database

You'd think that the last thing the world needs is another open source database. Attic Labs, a startup based in San Francisco, doesn't. The company has raised $8.1 million to help it further develop and promote its open source database system.

Called Noms, the database "aims to allow anyone to store lots of structured data such as numbers and dates, move it around, and collaborate on it," reports Silicon Angle. The article at Venture Beat adds that Noms lets users "fork and sync data in the same way that the Git open source software lets people work together on source code."

You can find the source code for Noms in the Attic Labs repository on GitHub. Silicon Angle notes that this is "a test version, with a commercial version expected in six to nine months."

FCC orders TP-Link to support open source firmware in its routers

Recently, hardware maker TP-Link was found to have violated U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) rules governing the power levels at which wireless routers are allowed to operate. As part of a settlement with the FCC, TP-Link will pay a $200,000 fine.

The fine isn't the only stipulation in the settlement. TP-Link must "let customers install open source firmware on routers," according to Ars Technica. This will let TP-Link's customers use open source software on their devices as long as that software doesn't allow those customers to fiddle with the routers' frequency or power settings.

TechSpot reports that "TP-Link will work with the open source community and chipset manufacturers to allow the installation of third-party firmware on TP-Link routers."

Comma.ai open sources its driverless vehicle data

When you think of driverless vehicles, the work being done by Google and Tesla probably comes to mind. They're two companies that are pouring millions into developing autonomous vehicles. Startup Comma.ai wants to do things a bit differently: the company is out to prove that it can build self-driving cars using existing vehicles and common components. As part of that initiative, Comma.ai has open sourced 7.25 hours of highway driving data collected from its initial driverless car experiments.

Comma.ai's founder George Hotz told TechCrunch that the goal of open sourcing the data is to help "the hobbyist community to accomplish more without having to do fairly basic, but time-consuming and resource-intensive work of collecting basic driving data for use in training machine learning systems." He added that the dataset (which you can find on GitHub) is fairly unique, as it focuses on highway driving rather than driving in a city.

You shouldn't expect to create your own driverless car with this data. TechCrunch points that "Comma.ai did not open source what they’re using to drive their test car, and the dataset represents where the company was at in terms of total data as of around six months ago." It is, however, a good place start.

In other news

A big thanks, as always, to the Opensource.com moderators and staff for their help this week.

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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...