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HP contributing $1 billion over two years to OpenStack

05/07, 9:10am

Company will make its public cloud service available to 20 data centers

Hewlett Packard will grow its open source initiatives over the next two years to the tune of $1 billion. The company claims that in conjunction with the financing, it will also make its OpenStack public cloud service available over the next 18 months to 20 data centers. The project is managed by the OpenStack Foundation, a non-profit corporate entity established in September 2012 to promote OpenStack software and its community.

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Telestream launches open source H.265 video encoder initiative

09/03, 7:18pm

New encoder designed to be scalable from mobile through 4K

Digital media tool producer Telestream today announced the public availability of an open source H.265 (HEVC) encoder. The new x265 project is intended to create the world’s most efficient, highest quality H.265 codec. Conceived by Telestream, the x265 project was co-founded and is being managed by the company’s development partner, MulticoreWare. The H.265 initiative is being introduced under both an open source and commercial license model.

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Google names 10 patents in open patent pledge to developers

03/28, 3:40pm

'OPN pledge' promises no lawsuits, assuming Google not sued

Perhaps trying to appease the US Federal Trade Commission and other governmental agencies concerned about patent abuse, Google is "taking a stand on open source and patents" and pledging to not sue "any user, distributor or developer of open-source software on specified patents, unless first attacked." Ten patents initially identified are related to MapReduce, a computing algorithm designed to efficiently deal with large-scale data processing.

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Briefly: Sony SmartWatch extensions, Moto Cliq 2 OS Update

05/07, 1:59pm

Extensions for Sony SmartWatch made open source

Two extensions for the Sony SmartWatch have been released as open source in an attempt to foster app development for the device. The 8 Game extension, a simple game based on sliding tiles to reorganize a picture, shows potential developers how they could create their own titles that can run on the timepiece. The Music extension permits the accessory to control music playback on the linked phone through supported media players, letting existing programming teams add SmartWatch functionality to their software.
Parties interested in developing for the $150 SmartWatch can download the SDK from Sony, with a further request from the electronics giant to suggest other extensions to release as open source.

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The Corpora's Q.Bo robot available for preorder

04/18, 6:40pm

All Q.Bo orders scheduled to ship in Fall

As previously reported, developer The Corpora has commenced pre-orders of its Q.bo open source robot. Ten individual items are available for pre-order, including three models of complete robots either assembled or ready-for-assembly, along with seven individual components available separately for the hobbyist. All orders are expected to ship in the fourth quarter of 2012.

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New Microsoft subsidiary to focus on open source, standards

04/12, 9:10pm

Group formed by Interoperability Strategy team

Microsoft has reportedly formed a new subsidiary that will focus on open-source projects and open standards. The subsidiary, labeled Microsoft Open Technologies, Inc. and formed by the company's Interoperability Strategy team, is said to be staffed by a group of 50 to 75 employees and headed by Microsoft executive Jean Paoli.

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Growl 1.3 goes Mac App Store, menu item, Lion only

10/03, 11:30pm

Upgraders should uninstall 1.2 first

Growl, the popular open-source third-party notification system for Mac OS X, has undergone some serious changes in its new 1.3 update: it's now Lion-only, a menu item instead of a system preference, and exclusively available through the Mac App Store, among other features. It's also now a paid app (at $2), which the developers hope will ensure its developmental future. The upgraded app also sports a new "rollback" feature similar to iOS 5, and a history log.

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Microsoft and Apple back away from Novell patent purchase

01/12, 12:30am

Move seen as win for open source

A consortium of several companies, including Microsoft, Apple, EMC and Oracle, has backed away from its plan to buy a large number of Novell patents. The companies had submitted a plan notifying German regulators of the decision to establish CPTN Holdings and purchase 882 of the patents, however the group withdrew its filing on December 30.

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First Look: Google's Chrome browser for Mac

12/08, 5:55pm

Open-source browser takes on Firefox, Safari

Google has finally released a beta version of its Chrome browser for the Mac platform, following a year of availability for Windows users. The open source software is designed to compete with other popular browsers such as Safari and Firefox. The latest release offers many of the same features as the Windows version, although the early Mac beta still lacks several capabilities.

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Backblaze gives away cloud storage design

09/01, 9:45pm

67TB of storage for $7900

Backblaze is in the business of providing online backup service and, by extension, wound up in the hardware business. Upset with the high cost of storage devices, the company designed and built it's own 67TB storage modules for about $7867 (materials alone) each. Now, CEO Gleb Budman says Backblaze is giving away the design, hoping the open approach will lead to improvements or inspire a separate company to build the boxes so Backblaze doesn't have to.

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Microsoft may adopt WebKit, won't stop IE development

11/06, 11:45pm

Microsoft may adopt WebKit

Microsoft's well known Internet Explorer web browser may have an open source sibling on its way based on WebKit, of Safari and Google Chrome fame, if statements made by CEO Steve Ballmer are indicative. TechWorld writes that Ballmer, speaking in front of developers in Sydney, answered a question posed by a student, on why Microsoft insisted on dumping money into the rendering platform, rather than adopting a faster open source model. Ballmer thought the question to be "cheeky," but provided a humble response.

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OpenMoko to explore Android handsets

10/29, 7:00pm

OpenMoko explores Android

Open source handset manufacturer OpenMoko is expected to unveil plans to adopt the Linux-based Android as early as November, under an alleged project name called GTA02. AndroidGuys reports that the project will launch on a similar handset to the Neo FreeRunner, offering users a 400 to 500 MHz processor, with 128MB of SDRAM and 256MB of NAND Flash, as well as A-GPRS and a four-in-one "laser pen".

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First Look: OpenOffice 3.0, office suite

10/14, 12:00am

OpenOffice 3.0

If you need an office suite for the Mac, your choices used to be limited to Microsoft Office 2008 or Apple’s iWork. Unfortunately, neither option offered a complete solution. Office 2008 can share the latest file formats with Office 2007 for Windows, but the Mac and Windows versions of Office neither look nor work exactly alike. If you’re already familiar with Office 2007 on Windows, Office 2008 for the Mac will seem different enough to frustrate and confuse you. Apple’s iWork is the only other office suite solution, but it lacks a Windows version. For a true cross-platform office suite, you can now rely on the open source OpenOffice 3.0.

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Google adds open source updater, JavaScript art apps

09/30, 12:30am

Java art app and updater

Google on Monday unveiled a new open source app called Update Engine to update its various Mac products, as well as Top Draw, a drawing application that constructs images based on JavaScript-based text files. Update Engine not only allows users to update their Google-designed Mac apps, preference panes, and screen savers, but also arbitrary files and root-level kernel extensions. Its open source nature also allows third party developers to adapt Update Engine for their own products.

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First Look: Google Chrome, open-source browser

09/04, 3:40pm

Google Chrome browser

The latest entry in the browser wars is Google’s Chrome, an open source project with a special emphasis on speeding up JavaScript performance. Although a beta of the browser is only available for Windows (Mac and Linux versions are coming soon), the browser already promises a handful of features to separate it from its competitors.

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Samsung accepts Nokia's offer to buy out Symbian

09/02, 3:55pm

Samsung sell Symbian share

The last hurdle in Nokia's attempts to buy out the Symbian software firm and make it into an open source group has been passed, as Samsung accepted Nokia's offer to buy out its stake in Symbian, says a Tuesday report. Back in June, Nokia announced it would buy out the shares of the other shareholders for a total of $410 million and then make the Symbian cellular phone operating system open-source, making it available without royalties to members of the Symbian Foundation founded by Nokia.

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First Look: Celtx, open source screenwriter

08/26, 4:00pm

Celtx, screenwriter

If you’re interested in writing a screenplay, a teleplay, or a stage play, you could use an ordinary word processor. Unfortunately, each script style requires different page margins and formatting conventions. You could take the time to define these formatting styles yourself, or you could just use a special scriptwriting program that does this for you automatically. Rather than pay $200 or more for a commercial screenwriting program, try the open source Celtx scriptwriter instead.

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Android to ship with HTC Dream in October?

08/12, 12:45am

Android and HTC Dream

Android is allegedly closer to release than previously believed, according to one insider who foresees a September 17th, 2008 pre-order date. The news comes after many in the industry pushed the highly-anticipated Google-produced open source operating system back to 2009. T-Mobile is expected to see Android via the HTC Dream (G1), which will supposedly ship in white, brown, and black finishes, and will sport a 3G data connection.

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Adeona offers open-source laptop "Lojack" software

07/17, 8:25pm

Adeona asset protection

A development team at the University of Washington recently unveiled Adeona – named after the Roman goddess of safe returns – Open Source security software that parallels functionality of paid services such as LoJack. The dev team claims that the software is privacy-preserving, in that no one other than the owner of the device can track a stolen computer through Adeona. Users are merely required to install Adeona, and do not have to rely on a third-party service to track the device.

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Boxee marries media player to social networking

06/30, 1:10pm

Front Row meets Twitter

For the past six years, a group of developers scattered across the globe has been quietly working to reinvent the way we watch movies and listen to music. The result is Boxee -- a media player based on the XBMC Open Source platform -- released in alpha form this month initially on the Mac. The developers says Boxee was born of frustration over what they saw as the somewhat clunky way computers gather and display content. Separate applications are needed to display photos or play music and movies, and content is often delivered in formats requiring proprietary media players. The ambitious end game for Boxee is to become the “one-size-fits-all” media center that works with any kind of content on any platform.

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First Look: Firefox 3 web browser

06/23, 12:05pm

First Look: Firefox 3

For years, Internet Explorer defined the standard for web browsers. After years of neglect and security flaws however, the browser grew less popular, prompting the release of a number of rivals. Perhaps the most successful competition has been the open source Firefox browser, which emphasizes security foremost. Now with version 3, the browser also boasts faster speed along with a host of other improvements.

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Firefox 3 launches, looks to set record

06/17, 1:20pm

Firefox 3

Though servers offering the software are currently buckling and inaccessible to many users, Firefox 3.0 on Tuesday has made its debut with the Mozilla organization looking to set a record for browser downloads. The major new release of the open source Web browser is available today in approximately 50 languages, and is purportedly three times faster than its predecessor, offering "15,000 improvements" including a smart location bar and malware protection. The new Firefox 3 smart location bar, dubbed "Awesome Bar" by Mozilla, adapts to user entries over time. The Firefox 3 Library archives browsing history, bookmarks, and tags, where they can be searched and organized.

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OsiriX 3.2 updates open-source image viewer

06/17, 3:30am

OsiriX 3.2 image viewer

OsiriX has released version 3.2 of its open-source medical and scientific imaging software, boasting improved performance and a host of new features. Based on the VTK, ITK and decmtk software development kits, OsiriX is fully natively compliant with the DICOM standard for medical images, as well as JPEG, TIFF PDF and AVI. In addition to an already extensive feature set, most notable developments in version 3.2 of the software include 80 percent faster rendering speed than previous versions and the return of 64-bit support on PowerPC G5-based systems. The full list of new features as documented in the release notes, is as follows:

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Tuneconnect 2.1 offers free iTunes control

06/16, 10:25am

Tuneconnect 2.1 released

TuneConnect 2.1 is a re-written revision of the open-source 'iTunes remote' software for Mac OS X. Written in 100 percent native code, Tuneconnect 2.1 uses a 'specially developed 'neural iTunes HTTP API' called Tunage to allow many different types of devices to share iTunes information, offering almost complete control of iTunes across a network. Version 2.1 of the web-based utility fixes some of the bugs that cropped up in the initial release and adds support for a small handful of the most-requested features from users.

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WebKit: new speedier JavaScript engine

06/03, 7:15pm

WebKit SquirrelFish

The WebKit development team on Tuesday unveiled a new JavaScript rendering engine called SquirrelFish for the open source browser, making the browser perform 1.6 times faster on the SunSpider benchmark. SquirrelFish is billed as a register-based, direct threaded, high-level bytecode engine with a sliding register window calling convention. The engine was designed around current theories and research progress performed by professors, and developers of the Lua programming language.

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xVM VirtualBox supports Mac OS, Solaris, more

05/09, 12:55pm

xVM VirtualBox 1.6 update

Sun Microsystems on Friday introduced a new update for xVM VirtualBox, adding support for Mac OS X and Solaris, making it the first open sourcevirtual machine to support both operating systems. According to The Inquirer, Sun is offering both a free open source version which has no usage restrictions, as well as a free licensed version with more features for individual home users. Business customers are required to pay for licenses, should they want the full version.

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GRASS 6.3.0b adds new module features, more

04/25, 12:35am

GRASS 6.3.0b adds features

The GRASS Development Team today unveiled GRASS GIS 6.3.0, a beta update to its popular geographic information system, adding hundreds of new module features, among other inclusions. The developers say that the version is merely the first step to a stable v6.4, and the impending v7.0. GRASS 6.3.0 introduces the wxPython user interface, the first change from the VAX 11/780 interface used since 1983. GRASS is open source, and is available from the project website.

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Lockdown 1.0 encrypts data with OpenSSL

03/08, 4:40pm

Lockdown 1.0 encrypts data

Northern Softworks recently unveiled LockDown 1.0, its new software that allows users to encrypt their files and data. LockDown makes use of OpenSSL to provide six encryption ciphers, which the developer claims are "industrial strength". Users simply drag-and-drop their data onto the application, and LockDown can even function with the clipboard. Northern Softworks is currently selling Lockdown 1.0 for $10 from its website.

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Bosco's Screen Share 3 adds Universal support, more

02/05, 3:45pm

Bosco's Screen Share 3

Hutchings Software today unveiled Bosco's Screen Share 3, an update to its free cross-platform screen sharing software, adding Universal Binary code and various improvements to the clients. In addition, a number of performance enhancements were made to both Mac and Windows clients. Bosco's screen share is designed to make setup and usage relatively simple; the author points out that most open source screen sharing utilities require complex setup. Hutchings Software is currently distributing Bosco's Screen Share 3 for free from its website.

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OpenEDA Toolkit 1.0 released for Mac OS X

12/19, 9:45am

OpenEDA Toolkit 1.0

ReyesSoft has introduced its OpenEDA Toolkit 1.0, bringing open source electronic design automation software to Mac OS X as well as Solaris and other UNIX-based platforms. The software includes Alliance CAD, Icarus Verilog, FreeHDL, the gEDA suite, GTKWave, Gerbv, PCB, Electric, and NG-SPICE support. OpenEDA Toolkit 1.0 is priced at $100 for the basic version, and the company offers subscriptions as well as user support for additional fees. OpenEDA Toolkit 1.0 requires Mac OS X 10.4 or later.

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Swift3D 5.0 exports as Papervision3D

12/10, 10:20am

Swift3D 5.0 released

Electric Rain today released Swift 3D 5.0 for Mac and Windows systems, enabling users to export to the Papervision3D file format. Papervision3D is an open source 3D engine for Flash that leverages ActionScript 3.0 and the Flash 9 player to draw true 3D and allow for real-time user interaction. Swift 3D 5.0 is priced at $250, with upgrades from previous users available from $80. The application requires Mac OS X 10.2 or later.

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Google unveils Mac Developer Playground

12/05, 4:50pm

Google developer playgroun

Google recently unveiled the Google Mac Developer Playground, a website for open source projects and demos. The Mac team of engineers uses the area to host projects that they build, from experiments to useful tools, as well as "just for fun" titles, something that they reportedly spend around 20-percent of their time on each day. Statz, for example, was created by Dave MacLachlan – one of the engineers responsible for the Mac version of Google Desktop – in his spare time. The program allows you to update your account status across many different messaging services.

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