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: The State Of Open-Source Ecosystem In India

API, Innovation, Open Governance, Open Space, Standards

The State Of Open-Source Ecosystem In India

India has a vibrant and growing open-source community. In March, Microsoft’s GitHub, which has 5.8 million Indian contributors, announced a grant of Rs.1 crore to support India-based open-source maintainers and contributors who build world-class software using open-source tools. As per GitHub COO Erica Brescia, India is the fastest-growing country in terms of new developers contributing to open-source projects.

Open-source software development has a lot of potential in India and could become the best in the world under the right circumstances. The government of India can play a major role here. Introducing policy-level changes to open-source development could encourage a mutually beneficial relationship for both the government and the developers and give ‘Digital India’ a much needed push.

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Article: Nvidia Invests $1.5M in Mozilla Common Voice Open-Source Project

Access, Language, Open Data, Open Decision-Support

Nvidia Invests $1.5M in Mozilla Common Voice Open-Source Project

Nvidia is partnering with Mozilla to advance voice AI and speech recognition, beginning with a $1.5 million investment in the Mozilla Common Voice program. The open-source database of cataloged and transcribed voice recordings supports those developing voice tech who didn’t have access to the tech giants’ proprietary data.

Mozilla Common Voice began in 2017 as an alternative to major corporations for finding the huge amount of data needed to train a voice AI. Common Voice also formed as a potential resource for making voice assistants more accessible to the people whose languages and speech habits may be difficult for the more widely used variants like Google Assistant and Alexa assistants to understand.  And the database continues to grow at a rapid pace.

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Article: Mozilla winds down DeepSpeech development, announces grant program

Innovation, Language, Open Data, Open Space

Mozilla winds down DeepSpeech development, announces grant program

In 2017, Mozilla launched DeepSpeech, an initiative incubated within the machine learning team at Mozilla Research focused on open sourcing an automatic speech recognition model. Over the next four years, the DeepSpeech team released newer versions of the model capable of transcribing lectures, phone conversations, television programs, radio shows, and other live streams with “human accuracy.”

But in the coming months, Mozilla plans to cease development and maintenance of DeepSpeech as the company transitions into an advisory role, which will include the launch of a grant program to fund a number of initiatives demonstrating applications for DeepSpeech.

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Article: Supreme Court Decision Affirms Open-Source’s Role in Modern Software Development

Open Source

Supreme Court Decision Affirms Open-Source’s Role in Modern Software Development

A Supreme Court ruling that sided with Alphabet Inc.’s Google in its 10-year legal battle with Oracle Corp. reaffirms the business model behind open-source software—sharing bits of computer code for free, experts said. The ruling on Monday said Google did not violate copyright protections when it used lines of Java computer code that allow its Android mobile operating system to connect to other software. Oracle acquired Sun Microsystems Inc., which created Java, in 2010.

Experts said the ruling affirmed the right of companies to freely use one another’s software to some extent, a practice that has been key to innovation and interoperability. Some voiced concern that the line between fair use and copyright infringement was unclear, and that it could make it harder for startups to make a return on their investment.

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Article: Cure of the common code: OpenMRS aims to boost medical record systems in developing countries

Cures, Open Health

Cure of the common code: OpenMRS aims to boost medical record systems in developing countries

Consider the difficulties many of us face when we need medical procedures, tests or referrals. Now imagine you lived in a developing country where these challenges can be significantly greater.

For instance, getting a critical blood test might mean being given an informal slip of paper you have to take to a lab somewhere on the other side of town. After traveling for two hours, you wait another three hours to have your blood drawn, then are told to come back two days later for the results. When you return, you collect the handwritten results which you have to deliver back to your referring practitioner two hours away. Clearly, there are many points where the lines of communication could break down.

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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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