Article: Stanford’s New Open-Source Software for Designing Sustainable Cities

Cities, Innovation, Open Space

Stanford’s New Open-Source Software for Designing Sustainable Cities

New technology could help cities around the world improve people’s lives while saving billions of dollars. The free, open-source software developed by the Stanford Natural Capital Project creates maps to visualize the links between nature and human wellbeing. City planners and developers can use the software to visualize where investments in nature, such as parks and marshlands, can maximize benefits to people, like protection from flooding and improved health.

“This software helps design cities that are better for both people and nature,” said Anne Guerry, Chief Strategy Officer and Lead Scientist at the Natural Capital Project. “Urban nature is a multitasking benefactor — the trees on your street can lower temperatures so your apartment is cooler on hot summer days. At the same time, they’re soaking up the carbon emissions that cause climate change, creating a free, accessible place to stay healthy through physical activity and just making your city a more pleasant place to be.”

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Article: Mastercard Report Finds UK and Nordics Lead Open Banking in Europe

Money, Open Governance

Mastercard Report Finds UK and Nordics Lead Open Banking in Europe

According to a new report by Mastercard, which conducted in-depth research into how prepared European countries are to embrace the open banking ecosystem, the Nordic countries have been crowned best placed to take advantage of it, together with the UK.

Open banking is fast becoming a worldwide phenomenon. It empowers consumers and businesses to take control of their financial data and their financial futures while stimulating competition and innovation among financial service providers. The report – ‘Open Banking Readiness Index: The Future of Open Banking in Europe’ – found the Nordics’ and UK’s digital infrastructures ensure the countries are very well-placed to allow widespread use of this concept.

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Article: Facebook AI Open Sources AugLy: A New Python Library For Data Augmentation To Develop Robust Machine Learning Models

Free, Open Data, Open Software

Facebook AI Open Sources AugLy: A New Python Library For Data Augmentation To Develop Robust Machine Learning Models

Facebook has recently open-sourced AugLy, a new Python library that aims to help AI researchers use data augmentations to evaluate and improve the durability of their machine learning models. AugLy provides sophisticated data augmentation tools to create samples to train and test different systems.

AugLy is a new open-source data augmentation library that combines audio, image, video, and text, becoming increasingly significant in several AI research fields. It offers over 100 data augmentations based on people’s real-life images and videos on platforms like Facebook and Instagram.

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Article: What is open source?

Open Source

What is open source?

It’s difficult to overstate the role that open source plays in today’s technology-centric world, given that it intersects with just about every piece of software. Data from Synopsys, the company behind open source security management platform Black Duck, indicates that 98% of codebases contain at least some open source code.

But open source software is not only eating the world, as the popular expression goes, it’s also devouring the solar system — recent GitHub data showed that almost 12,000 GitHub developers contributed to the code that made the very first Martian helicopter flight possible on April 19, 2021. Chances are, though, most weren’t even aware that their contributions were used in the historic NASA mission.

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Article: Cities are imperceptibly becoming Smart Cities. But what does that actually mean?

Cities, Innovation, Open Space

Cities are imperceptibly becoming Smart Cities. But what does that actually mean?

A brand new metropolis built from the ground up with tech powered urban design. A white elephant nobody wants to live in. An eco-friendly suburb. The term “smart city” has evoked various descriptions, but it’s the world’s existing cities which will need to smarten up as Internet of Things (IoT) technology evolves and the world reopens for business and travel.

All cities can improve the provision and development of urban services through IoT technology – not just new ones built to be smart from the start, like Kenya’s Konza Technopolis. For example, a smart city might be simply one with improved capacity planning and management. By analysing data on public transport, “flow” models can be made which predict usage at certain times and help transport companies prepare in advance for peak periods.

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Article: Geoscience BC research project shows open-access seismic data near Kiskatinaw

Access, Open Decision-Support

Geoscience BC research project shows open-access seismic data near Kiskatinaw

Geoscience BC has created a network of seismographs in the Kiskatinaw area to understand how, and why earthquakes can be caused by hydraulic fracturing and wastewater disposal during natural gas development. The project installed a dense network of 15 seismographs in the Kiskatinaw Seismic Monitoring and Mitigation Area in 2020. Data gathered by the project will help inform regulatory practice for British Columbia’s natural gas sector.

Researchers have concluded that real-time, continuous data from a dense array of stations can generate shakemaps, identifying local and seasonal variations in ground motion from seismic events. The seismic data can also identify subsurface structures, aiding in analyzing geological sensitivity to induced seismicity.

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Article: Columbus’ Smart City Challenge Ends With Successes And Shortfalls

Cities, Innovation, Open Space

Columbus’ Smart City Challenge Ends With Successes And Shortfalls

Columbus city leaders and local researchers are touting the benefits of the Smart City Challenge, an effort to make technological advances in transportation. While there were some gains made in the now-expired five-year effort, there were also some failures.

“Every technology demonstration that Smart Columbus pursued, whether it was autonomous vehicles, connected vehicles, electric vehicles, charging infrastructure or share mobility navigation tools, it was deployed with the prosperity of our city in mind, and equity in particular in mind,” said Columbus Mayor Andrew Ginther.

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Article: Bio-hackers sidestep Big Pharma with new open-source insulin

Cures, Drugs, Open Health

Bio-hackers sidestep Big Pharma with new open-source insulin

Estimates find that some 10 percent of all Americans have diabetes, but just three companies manufacture the life-saving medicine needed to treat it. That’s believed to explain why diabetes has become the most expensive chronic condition in the United States, with prices doubling between 2012 and 2016.

An organization called Open Insulin hopes to change the calculus by creating open-source alternatives to the insulin made by the Big Three. The non-profit group is producing not only the compositions for insulin, but also hardware equivalents to the production equipment used by major pharmaceutical companies. The idea is that any community around the world could use the instructions to spin up their own small-scale manufacturing and meet local needs.

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Article: UK Catapult Project: Wing on Network ID and “an Open Access Drone Traffic Management System”

Access, Open Decision-Support

 UK Catapult Project: Wing on Network ID and “an Open Access Drone Traffic Management System”

The UK Catapult Project shows a path for wide-scale drone adoption, as participant Wing explains: demonstrating safe, scalable, and secure management of drone traffic – using Network ID.

Wing’s blog post announces the publication of results for the six month simulation project: and makes clear their support of the U.K.’s philosophy on Unmanned Traffic Management (UTM), a federated system that leverages network ID (NET-RID) technology for Remote ID for drones.  The UK system differs significantly with the published Remote ID rule in the U.S., which is focused only on broadcast technology.

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