Article: A New Open-Source Farming Robot Takes Shape

Food, Open Provisioning, Open Source

A New Open-Source Farming Robot Takes Shape

The world of automated farming may be an unglamorous one to those not invested in its attractions, but like the robots themselves that quietly get on in the background with tending crops, those who follow that path spend many seasons refining their designs.

The Acorn is a newly-open-sourced robot from Twisted Fields, a Californian research farm, and it provides a fascinating look at the progress of a farming robot design from germination onwards.

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Article: How open source finance can expand open banking’s mission

Money, Open Governance

How open source finance can expand open banking’s mission

Open source finance expands on the mission of open banking by empowering individuals to immerse themselves in an open framework of financial governance.

Stripped to its bare bones, open banking involves the use of open-source APIs to securely connect consumers’ financial data across several services on the backend. This helps to present a fully integrated picture of consumers’ financial health on the frontend.

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Article: New database tracks data on slaves, slavers, and allies

History, Open Data, Open Source

New database tracks data on slaves, slavers, and allies

Vele was 16 when she embarked a slave ship in 1832 at Cameroons River in West Africa. Precillia Cozzens, 35, was registered as a slave in New Orleans in 1846. Domingos, age 6, was listed in an inventory of enslaved people at Aguiar Plantation, Brazil, in 1806.

The records of these three are among more than 750,000 of people, places, events, and sources available to search in a new open-source database called Enslaved: Peoples of the Historical Slave Trade (Enslaved.org), a repository of information and stories about those who were enslaved or enslavers, worked in the slave trade, or helped emancipate enslaved people. The entries run from the 15th century to the late 1800s and span Western Europe, Africa, and North and South America.

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Article: Microsoft’s new Power Fx is an open-source language based on Excel

Code, Language, Open Data, Open Software, Open Source

Microsoft’s new Power Fx is an open-source language based on Excel

Microsoft Power Fx is an open-source programming language that hopes to make coding as straightforward as building a spreadsheet.

Power Fx is described by Microsoft as a general-purpose, strong-typed, declarative, and functional programming language. It shares the same syntax and functions as Excel, with Microsoft explaining that Power Fx behaves much in the same way its popular spreadsheet application handles formulas.

This concept is at the core Power Fx: to make programming apps as easy as building a spreadsheet in Excel. Instead of having to grapple with multiple pieces of code, Power Fx leverages formulas, which are declarative and immediately recalculate as code is updated. This means any errors are detected and highlighted immediately and don’t interfere with the rest of the code.

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Article: $1.3M in grants go toward making the web’s open-source infrastructure more equitable

Code, Open Manufacturing, Open Software, Open Source

$1.3M in grants go toward making the web’s open-source infrastructure more equitable

Open-source software is at the core of… well, practically everything online. But while much of it is diligently maintained in some ways, in others it doesn’t receive the kind of scrutiny that something so foundational ought to.

To that end, $1.3 million worth of grants were announced today, split among 13 projects looking to ensure open-source software and development is being done equitably, sustainably and responsibly.

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Article: Streamlining data science with open source: Data version control and continuous machine learning

Open Software, Open Source

Streamlining data science with open source: Data version control and continuous machine learning

MLOps, short for machine learning operations, is the equivalent of DevOps for machine learning models: Taking them from development to production, and managing their lifecycle in terms of improvements, fixes, redeployments, and so on.

MLOps, short for machine learning operations, is the equivalent of DevOps for machine learning models: Taking them from development to production, and managing their lifecycle in terms of improvements, fixes, redeployments, and so on.

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Article: Propelling Artificial Intelligence Forward with Open Source Technology

Open Source

Propelling Artificial Intelligence Forward with Open Source Technology

Despite economic impacts from the COVID-19 pandemic, the Artificial Intelligence (AI) industry has continued to grow and is forecasted to continue its growth trajectory in the coming years. However, the industry needs high-quality training data to support this growth.

It’s not surprising then that as the AI industry has grown, the data labeling industry is growing rapidly in tandem. The data annotation tools market size was more than $700 million in 2019 and is predicted to grow by more than 30% in the next six years. As the demand for training data increased, there has also been an increase in offerings from different data labeling tools and partners.

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Article: Microsoft launches Power Fx, a new open source low-code language

Code, Language, Open Data, Open Software, Open Source

Microsoft launches Power Fx, a new open source low-code language

Microsoft today announced Power Fx, a new low-code language that takes its cues from Excel formulas. Power Fx will become the standard for writing logic customization across Microsoft’s own low-code Power Platform, but since the company is open-sourcing the language, Microsoft also hopes that others will implement it as well and that it will become the de facto standard for these kinds of use cases.

Since Power Platform itself targets business users more so than professional developers, it feels like a smart move to leverage their existing knowledge of Excel and their familiarity with Excel formulas to get started.

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Article: How Bellingcat’s Online Sleuths Solve Global Crimes Using Open Source Info

Access, Open Decision-Support, Open Source, Research

How Bellingcat’s Online Sleuths Solve Global Crimes Using Open Source Info

This is FRESH AIR. I’m Terry Gross. Crowdsourcing has created a new form of online open-source investigation, as epitomized by the group Bellingcat that was founded by my guest, Eliot Higgins, in 2014. Higgins and people affiliated with Bellingcat, while at their computers.

Have uncovered evidence that Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad fired chemical weapons at his own people, figured out who controlled territory during the Libyan civil war, identified the Russian intelligence agents alleged to have poisoned MI6 double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia and found evidence that the 22-year-old woman alleged to have stolen Nancy Pelosi’s laptop on January 6 was a neo-Nazi sympathizer who used coded neo-Nazi language in a video and in that video gave the Heil Hitler salute.

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Article: This Software Giant Declared War On Amazon. Will Other Open Source Companies Follow?

Open Source

This Software Giant Declared War On Amazon. Will Other Open Source Companies Follow?

In January, the publicly-traded software company Elastic faced a serious existential threat — from itself. After blocking Amazon’s cloud computing division, the industry’s largest vendor, from selling its own version of Elastic’s free software, Elastic then accused Amazon of “ethically challenged behavior.”

Elastic provides immensely popular software used by corporations like Walmart and Audi that, among other things, powers search boxes on company websites.

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