Life

Electronic resurrection through open source

Over at Make: Online last week, Phillip Torrone posted "If You're Going to Kill It, Open Source It!"--his wish list of dead products that he'd like to see given to an open source community for new life. It's a great suggestion--freeing the knowledge that went into a product gives it a little life after death and could give a unprofitable or seemingly useless project a better reason for existence. » Read more

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Blockboard puts the whole neighborhood in your hands

Blockboard is the latest start-up building a location-based mobile application that aims to give you a hyperlocal view into everything happening in your neighborhood. The iPhone app is currently available in ‘alpha' for San Francisco's Mission District residents (request an invite) and will expand into other neighborhoods in the coming months. » Read more

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Why we need an open wireless movement

Yesterday Peter Eckersly posted at eff.org about the EFF's coming Open Wireless Movement. Here's what he had to say:

If you sometimes find yourself needing an open wireless network in order to check your email from a car, a street corner, or a park, you may have noticed that they're getting harder to find. » Read more

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The future of space exploration is in the public's hands. What can collaboration do?

If 2011 becomes known as the year that our governments lost interest in space, could 2012 be the year that collaboration picks up the pieces?

As of this week, the Allen Telescope Array used by the SETI Institute has gone into "hibernation mode" after losing a significant portion of its funding. "Hibernation means that, starting this week, the equipment is unavailable for normal observations and is being maintained in a safe state by a significantly reduced staff," said SETI Institute CEO Tom Pierson. » Read more

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Open source tractors and DIY manufacturing

We've talked about open source cars before, but open source tractors? Marcin Jakubowski has helped to open the designs for 50 farm machines, including a design for a tractor that he was able to build in six days at a cost far less that of a manufactured tractor. By creating and sharing blueprints for open machines, we're seeing the foundation for open civilations. » Read more

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Linux users willing to pay more for the Humble Frozenbyte Bundle than others

On April 12 the Humble Frozenbyte Bundle of games went up for sale--for whatever price you want, and it's all DRM-free. On top of that, you can select how much of your payment goes to the developers and how much goes to charity.

Wolfire Games started organizing the Humble Indie Bundle series, which the HFB is the third of, in 2010. They're available for a limited time and benefit Child's Play and the Electronic Frontier Foundation. The first two drives generated between $1 and $2 million in sales.
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POSSCON offers a microcosm of IT for all levels of open source interest

It was my great pleasure to attend POSSCON 2011 this year. I had the opportunity to do a keynote, a panel discussion, and a technical talk, wearing the hats of both developer as well as "FOSS expert." And that dual-hat nature defines the conference itself quite well. Imagine if OSCON and OSBC had a baby: its name would be POSSCON. » Read more

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Recap: Making music with FOSS webcast with Adam Drew

Adam Drew is a technical support engineer for Red Hat's Global Support Services specializing in clustering, storage, and file systems. When he’s not working on enterprise storage, Adam can be found writing and recording music, writing for his blog, maintaining his FOSS Audio KBase, programming, and experimenting with graphic design and digital painting, all on free and open source software (FOSS). » Read more

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Open standards: The sentinel principle

The idea of standards stretches back many years. While competition is good, competition around basic attributes of products in mature markets can obstruct customers. When they work–standard electricity voltages, standard railway gauges being two examples–society benefits greatly from them. Quality standards in particular prevent vendors messing with the attributes of products in ways that could be harmful. » Read more

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Tidy Street reduces electricity usage with transparency and graffiti

Tidy Street in Brighton, UK is the center of a domestic energy monitoring project from CHANGE, a collaboration that includes The Open University and looks into using novel technologies to change human behavior, particularly to improve the environment. » Read more

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