Tagged With open source

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About a year and a half ago, I discovered this $US12 "Gongkai" mobile phone (pictured above) in the markets of Shenzhen, China. My most striking impression was that Chinese entrepreneurs had relatively unfettered access to cutting-edge technology, enabling start-ups to innovate while bootstrapping. Meanwhile, Western entrepreneurs often find themselves trapped in a spiderweb of IP frameworks, spending more money on lawyers than on tooling.

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It's official: the last holdout for the open web has fallen. Flanked on all sides by Google, Microsoft, Opera, and (it appears) Safari's support and promotion of the EME DRM-in-HTML standard, Mozilla is giving in to pressure from Hollywood, Netflix, et al, and will be implementing its own third-party version of DRM. It will be rolled out in Desktop Firefox later this year.

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If you've been thinking about getting started on the rocket project that's been on your mind for ages, now is a good time to get serious. Next week, NASA will release a massive software catalogue with over 1000 projects. It's not the first time the space agency's released code, but it is the first time they have made it so easy.

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Every time I tell someone about OpenStreetMap, they inevitably ask "Why not use Google Maps?". From a practical standpoint, it's a reasonable question, but ultimately this is not just a matter of practicality, but of what kind of society we want to live in. I discussed this topic in a 2008 talk on OpenStreetMap I gave at the first MappingDC meeting. Here are many of same concepts, but expanded.

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One of the limitations of 3D printing is in the materials — plastic might be the most affordable and widely available, but it's also cheap and brittle. So some students at Michigan Tech University have made a relatively cheap metal 3D printer, and they're releasing the plans to the masses.

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Caspar Bowden spent nearly a decade working for Microsoft, where he held the position of chief privacy adviser. He says he knew nothing of the PRISM data sharing scheme while there, a fact that's turned him into a code-examining member of the paranoid elite.

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IKEA is not the only place you can get a build-your-own-furniture puzzle. If you're into the whole open source thing, there's a new repository of completely free furniture designs that are ripe for the downloadin'. The only hurdle? You have to actually make the pieces before you can put 'em together.

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Last week I received my Ouya after nearly a year of naysayers saying that it will never come to fruition but I do have to admit that is was more a case of "ooh look...shiny" (which is an issue of mine) then truly believing it as a innovative game console that is open to new developers to get their feet in the door to the world of video games.