Article: Germany’s Gitpod bags €11M funding for its cloud-based open-source software development platform

Innovation, Open Source, Open Space

Germany’s Gitpod bags €11M funding for its cloud-based open-source software development platform

Developers wastes hours in switching contexts between projects and branches, manually setting up and maintaining development environments.  Managing multiple development environments on a single computer is plenty of work on its own. As a result, millions of modern app developers, who work across many different codebases, face unnecessary “works-on-my-machine” problems.

Meet Gitpod, an online service that provides disposable, ready-to-code development environments for GitHub projects (GitLab, GitHub, and Bitbucket project).

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Article: NLPCloud.io helps devs add language processing smarts to their apps

Language, Open Data, Open Source

NLPCloud.io helps devs add language processing smarts to their apps

While visual ‘no code‘ tools are helping businesses get more out of computing without the need for armies of in-house techies to configure software on behalf of other staff, access to the most powerful tech tools — at the ‘deep tech’ AI coal face — still requires some expert help (and/or costly in-house expertise).

This is where bootstrapping French startup, NLPCloud.io, is plying a trade in MLOps/AIOps — or ‘compute platform as a service’ (being as it runs the queries on its own servers) — with a focus on natural language processing (NLP), as its name suggests.

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Article: Eyecam open-source webcam will make you feel spied on

Hardware, Open Manufacturing, Open Source

Eyecam open-source webcam will make you feel spied on

Most people will use webcams connected to a computer or integrated into a laptop without thinking about the possibility of being spied on, but Eyecam will certainly raise awareness and make you feel like somebody is truly watching. The open-source webcam is shaped like a human eye and acts like one thanks to a Raspberry Pi camera and an Arduino board controlling six servos for eyeball, eyelids, and eyebrows movements.

The project was conducted at Saarland University in Germany, and Eyecam looks amazingly realistic – and creepy – with the eyeball and eyelids moving, especially when face tracking is enabled, and expressions are possible with servos controlling the eyebrows.

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Article: Gitpod nabs $13M for cloud-based open source software development platform

Open Software, Open Source

Gitpod nabs $13M for cloud-based open source software development platform

Gitpod, a cloud-based open source development environment, today revealed it has raised $13 million in a round of funding. The German startup also introduced a handful of new features, including native support for Microsoft’s Visual Studio Code editor.

The raise comes amid a boom in activity in the browser-based coding sphere, as developers move away from local development environments to the collaboration-friendly cloud — particularly important in a world that has rapidly transitioned to remote work. Moreover, local development can cause problems when it comes to testing performance and security because not everyone has the same technological setup as the developer. Moving to the cloud helps circumvent many of these problems.

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Article: The progress of Open Banking and road ahead

Money, Open Governance

The progress of Open Banking and road ahead

According to McKinsey, among the positive signs noted by banks for 2021, apart from an overall opportunity to accelerate growth in digital payments, is the use of real-time payments infrastructure to offer fully digitised customer experiences. This will  improve the flexibility and the cost of their operating models through the usage of APIs and by offering payments-as-a-service (PaaS) that enable  industry utilities to build scale etc.

Many banks choose to partner with technology providers to expand quickly and modernise their product portfolio and offerings to meet customer expectations in banking, lending, payments, and money management.

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Article: On the right side of the game: how open source is making digital laggards catch up

Open Data, Open Software, Open Source

On the right side of the game: how open source is making digital laggards catch up

“When it comes to the digitisation of public processes and services, and smart cities is part of that, Germany is at least five years behind the rest of Europe.” That is the FIWARE Foundation CEO’s Ulrich Ahle’s blunt assessment of his native country’s standing in the smart cities market, despite its engineering heritage.

He points to the European Commission’s Digital Economy and Social Index, which ranked Germany 21st when it came to digital public services provision last year. “And you can imagine there are not too many countries after that,” he adds drily.

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Article: Instaclustr Acquires Credativ to Expand Open Source Data-Layer Services

Free, Libre, Open Data, Open Source

Instaclustr Acquires Credativ to Expand Open Source Data-Layer Services

Instaclustr extends breadth of expertise and geographical footprint by acquiring the German and U.S. operations of credativ, the international business with expertise supporting PostgreSQL and other open source data technologies.

Instaclustr, delivering reliability at scale through fully managed open source data technologies, announced that it has acquired Germany- and U.S.-based credativ.

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Article: China backs bold plan to tear down journal paywalls

Access, Open Decision-Support

China backs bold plan to tear down journal paywalls

In a huge boost to the open-access movement, librarians and funders in China have said that they intend to make the results of publicly funded research free to read immediately on publication.

The move, announced at an open-access meeting this week in Berlin, includes a pledge of support for Plan S, a bold initiative launched in September by a group of European funders to ensure that, by 2020, their scientists make papers immediately open.

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Article: Plant breeders test drive first open-source seed bank

Access, Food, Open Decision-Support, Open Provisioning

Plant breeders test drive first open-source seed bank

Two German plant breeders this April released newly developed tomato and wheat varieties under open-source licenses. The breeders, Göttingen University’s Bernd Horneburg and his team, and Dottenfelderhof researcher Hartmut Spieß, issued the licenses to encourage other scientists and breeders to experiment and improve these plants varieties under a legal framework.

Under the OpenSourceSeed initiative, agricultural scientists can access open-source seeds, by paying a small fee to cover maintenance breeding and delivery costs. They are then allowed to “use the seeds in multiple ways,” according to the open-source license. But should users develop subsequent varieties, they are not allowed to issue patents on them, and instead must agree to release them under the original open-source license.

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Article: Liquid Democracy: The App That Turns Everyone into a Politician

Access, Open Decision-Support, Open Governance, Politics

Liquid Democracy: The App That Turns Everyone into a Politician

Liquid Democracy is one of the boldest contemporary innovations in democratic decision-making. The idea uses web technology that allows users to interact in new ways. Its primary innovators are located in Berlin, and Germany has been the first to adopt and apply Liquid Democracy systems in the context of political parties, parliamentary processes, and some organizations.

Liquid Democracy has a number of key features. In the Liquid Democracy system, a party member can assign a proxy vote to any other member, thereby assigning a personal delegate, instead of voting for a representative.

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