Article: Open source technologies for delivering historical maps online – case studies at the National Library of Scotland

History, Open Data

Open source technologies for delivering historical maps online – case studies at the National Library of Scotland

Over the last four years, the National Library of Scotland has saved money and improved user access to online historical maps through the implementation of new open source technologies. These new tools include a new Viewer for MrSID images using OpenLayers, a collaborative Georeferencer application, new Tile Map Services for delivering georeferenced historical maps online, and a new GeoServer and OpenLayers application for accessing 44,000 series maps as clickable indexes.

All of these applications were developed by Petr Pridal / Klokan Technologies, in collaboration with the National Library of Scotland, and all of them are easily extendible to other map libraries. These open source tools also provide an excellent basis for collaboration with other map libraries, sharing technology, experience and advice.

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Article: Printing Weapons at Home for Fun and Mayhem

Hardware, Open Manufacturing

Printing Weapons at Home for Fun and Mayhem

It’s now possible to print functional weapons at home.  This is going to progress rapidly now.  Think: global file sharing of designs for servicable weapons, from pistols on up to ?, that can be printed at home.  What you can print — from the materials to the size/quality of the object to the completeness (snap together construction) — is already moving forward quickly.  The weapons effort will just be along for the ride.

“HaveBlue” has tested the first “printed” firearm and it works.  Here’s his site, but it’s VERY slow.   It didn’t blow up in his face.

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Article: 4/4 Fabbing & cities: Barcelona Fab City

Hardware, Open Manufacturing

4/4 Fabbing & cities: Barcelona Fab City

This post is the fourth of 4 posts about Digital manufacturing (fabbing) environments that we have been publishing weekly on Fridays. In these posts I have shared my research on fab labs, open innovation and smart cities, mainly in Europe and in Spain.

The fourth post is the result of a research on fab labs and their relationship with smartcities. In the last two articles I have written about two recent nodes of the global fab lab network. Although there are other fablabs in Spain, I decided to give visibility to these two initiatives in León and in Sevilla.

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Article: Open health: what is it and why should you care?

Open Health

Open health: what is it and why should you care?

“Open health” captures a broad set of information technologies that will change the way we approach health and health care. It encompasses “ehealth” (the storage and provision of personal medical information online) but also includes the release of health information to the public at large. It’s the health side of “open data” policies being pursued by countries all over the world.

The capacity for anyone to access large amounts of health information is likely to have far-reaching effects.

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Article: 6 Reasons Open Access Matters to the Medical Community

Access, Open Decision-Support

6 Reasons Open Access Matters to the Medical Community

These days there is continuous discussion on ways to improve the efficiency, quality, and cost-effectiveness of healthcare. I would argue that one of the most neglected and important ways to improve our healthcare delivery and innovation is by opening access to research.

“Open Access” is the free, immediate, unrestricted availability of high-quality, peer-reviewed scholarship over the Internet – combined with the rights to use this information to its fullest possible extent. So as a future physician why does open access matter to you? Here are 6 good reasons

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The Emergent Open Source Revolution

Open Source

The Emergent Open Source Revolution

REVOLUTION OS tells the inside story of the hackers who rebelled against the proprietary software model and Microsoft to create GNU/Linux and the Open Source movement.

On June 1, 2001, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer said “Linux is a cancer that attaches itself in an intellectual property sense to everything it touches.”

Microsoft fears GNU/Linux, and rightly so. GNU/Linux and the Open Source & Free Software movements arguably represent the greatest threat to Microsoft’s way of life. Shot in cinemascope on 35mm film in Silicon Valley, REVOLUTION OS tracks down the key movers and shakers behind Linux, and finds out how and why Linux became such a potent threat.

REVOLUTION OS features interviews with Linus Torvalds, Richard Stallman, Bruce Perens, Eric Raymond, Brian Behlendorf, Michael Tiemann, Larry Augustin, Frank Hecker, and Rob Malda. To view the trailer or the first eight minutes go to the ifilm website for REVOLUTION OS.

Article: How Open Source Really Is Changing The World

History, Open Data

How Open Source Really Is Changing The World

I sit in front of my TV and/or computer screen every day and am truly amazed at what I see going on in the Mideast and other parts of the world. It seems that some of the last bastions of dictatorship and oppressive ruling governments are crumbling before our eyes. I am not naive. I know that there are still other places and countries where change has to come. I also realize that that regime change doesn’t guarantee that we will see true democracy take hold. But the scent of political change is in the wind.

Political change today is not being driven by guns and tanks and airplanes. Those are the tools of the old guard trying to keep the status quo.  The forces of change are harnessing technology to  effectuate change. The Internet, the social networks, the mobile net, they are all being wielded by a new generation who are using these tools to gain for themselves the freedoms they see their peers in the rest of the world enjoy.

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Article: Low Cost Cellular Networks with OpenBTS

BTS, Open Infrastructure

Low Cost Cellular Networks with OpenBTS

In mid-2007, Kestrel Signal Processing, Inc., a small software radio consulting shop in northern California, started writing an implementation of a GSM basestation. The initial developers were Kestrel co-founder Harvind Samra and myself. Our goal was to create a new kind of light-weight cellular network that could be built out inexpensively in remote and sparsely populated areas. Our software-radio GSM system, now called OpenBTS, was released publicly under the GPLv3 license in September 2008 and will be used in pilot deployments with small operators by the time this article goes to publication.

This will probably be the first use of a free software basestation in a public cellular network, where both network operators and subscribers can download and read the full source code of the GSM protocol stack that connects their handsets to the rest of the world and where the operators will be free to modify the system to meet their specific needs. This article introduces the goals and evolution of the OpenBTS project.

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Article: Netherlands to promote open-source software

Code, Free, Open Software, Open Source

Netherlands to promote open-source software

The Dutch government has set a soft deadline of April 2008 for its agencies to start using open-source software — programs that anyone can modify and that work with a variety of technology — the Netherlands Economic Affairs Ministry said Thursday.

The Dutch government has set a soft deadline of April 2008 for its agencies to start using open-source software — programs that anyone can modify and that work with a variety of technology — the Netherlands Economic Affairs Ministry said Thursday.

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