Article: Replicable Open-Source Solutions for Public Service Delivery

Cities, Innovation, Open Space

Replicable Open-Source Solutions for Public Service Delivery

Our world is changing. Transformations to mobility patterns, pressing air quality issues, and growing flood risks present new challenges for European cities. Now, however, thanks to digitization and data, cities can tackle these challenges together. Rather than reinventing the wheel or going down the traditional software vendor route with all its associated issues, cities can improve local services by co-developing and replicating digital solutions based on open-source software.

When the Covid-19 pandemic ripped through Europe last spring, governments had to act fast. With populations confined to their homes, digital solutions were the obvious way forward. But as hospitals started filling up, there was little time for lengthy procurement processes or expensive software development.

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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: COVID-19 has opened the floodgates for smart cities—whether we like it or not

Cities, Open Space

COVID-19 has opened the floodgates for smart cities—whether we like it or not

The COVID-19 pandemic will be “a lubricant for the smart city,” according to one urban planning expert. From banal city service digitization efforts to ubiquitous urban surveillance systems, the smart city may be materializing faster than expected, says Klaus R. Kunzmann, a professor emeritus and the former head of the Institute of Spatial Planning at the Technical University of Dortmund, Germany.

In a recent article for disP—The Planning Review, Kunzmann argues that the conditions created by the pandemic will make it much easier for local governments to pursue smart city solutions in areas such as traffic controlcrime prediction, and data sensors.

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Article: What does the pandemic mean for the smart city revolution?

Cities, Design, Innovation, Open Space

What does the pandemic mean for the smart city revolution?

The potential power and practicality of smart cities continues to be a topic of debate in the midst – and tailwinds – of Covid-19. A recent TechHQ article documented Sidewalk Labs’ abandoned plans for a smart city development in an area of Toronto. With lingering question marks over privacy and the monetization of citizens’ data, many cities and governments are skirting around the unmediated adoption of smart city technology.

However, with life in the fast lane stymied the world over – and with the chance to think differently about the use of space around us – the case around smart city technology is as prominent as ever, and some tech giants are pressing on with what they see as “rethinking cities to be for and about people”.

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