Article: What’s the point of open source without contributors? Turns out, there are several

Open Software, Open Source

What’s the point of open source without contributors? Turns out, there are several

Single-vendor open source projects are somewhat common, but are they actually “open source” in any useful sense of that term? It’s often said that open source is as much about community as code, but in a project with all committers and maintainers sitting behind the same firewall, there’s no real contributor community. So why bother with open source at all?

The first reason may have nothing to do with community, but everything to do with posterity. According to Steven Rostedt, “To allow their product to continue even when the company is gone. How many times have you lost good products due to the company failing? That is what builds trust with your customers.” Or, perhaps put another way, if the code is open source, the customer need not trust the developer of the code. The license doesn’t guarantee that the code will be well-maintained, but it does guarantee its availability.

Read Full Article

Article: ‘Electric Zine Maker’ Thrives as a Creative Open Source DIY Tool

Code, Open Software, Open Source

‘Electric Zine Maker’ Thrives as a Creative Open Source DIY Tool

When the pandemic hit, I decided to document the day-to-day life during this moment of turmoil and uncertainty as a grounding practice. I started making quarantine zines out of folded A4 sheets of paper, writing things like “I hate being scared of human contact, and I hate what this might mean for me long term” in black pen, attempting to give lockdown days some kind of coherent shape.

This project soon dwindled as the very thought of creating something out of abject loneliness and desperation became too overwhelming.

Read Full Article

Article: Elon Musk says people can now buy a Tesla with bitcoin

Money, Open Governance, Open Source

Elon Musk says people can now buy a Tesla with bitcoin

Tesla CEO Elon Musk announced late Tuesday that it is now possible to buy Tesla vehicles in the U.S. with bitcoin. The automaker last month revealed that it had bought $1.5 billion worth of bitcoin and that it would soon start accepting the world’s most popular cryptocurrency as a form of payment.

“You can now buy a Tesla with Bitcoin,” tweeted Musk, who was officially made the “Technoking of Tesla” this month.People outside the U.S. will be able to buy a Tesla with bitcoin “later this year,” Musk said, without specifying which countries.In order to accept the payment, Musk said Tesla is using “internal” and “open source software.”

Read Full Article

Article: Is TensorFlow ‘for Boomers’? PyTorch May Gain More Ground in Machine Translation

Free, Libre, Open Software, Open Source

Is TensorFlow ‘for Boomers’? PyTorch May Gain More Ground in Machine Translation

PyTorch, the open source framework used to build machine learning models, including those used for machine translation, released its newest version, 1.8, on March 4, 2021.

According to PyTorch’s official announcement, “highlights include updates for compiler, code optimization, frontend APIs for scientific computing, large scale training for pipeline and model parallelism, and Mobile tutorials.” Prior to this release, PyTorch released version 1.7 in October 2020.

Read Full Article

Article: 5 Examples of How Healthcare Data Analytics Can Save Lives

Cures, Drugs, Open Health, Procedures (Medical)

5 Examples of How Healthcare Data Analytics Can Save Lives

William Bruce Cameron once famously wrote, “Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted.” And in today’s data-centric business landscape, maxims like this can be necessary reminders that it’s not the data that really matters, it’s what we do with it.

But the parallel between what counts and what can be counted can sometimes converge – especially when it comes to healthcare data analysis. So here are five cases where healthcare data insight has led to meaningful action.

Read Full Article

Article: Real-Time Data Analytics Tool Helps Track, Treat Drug Abuse

Cures, Drugs, Open Health, Procedures (Medical)

Real-Time Data Analytics Tool Helps Track, Treat Drug Abuse

A team at the New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT) has developed a real-time data analytics tool to help treatment centers and counselors identify and treat drug abuse.  Nonprofits trying to help users overcome their addiction often have a difficult time getting real-time, actionable information on the fast-changing, underground culture of drug abuse.

Using machine learning and data analytics, researchers at NJIT have created DrugTracker, a community-focused drug abuse monitoring and support system.  DrugTracker monitors online platforms such as Twitter and Reddit and combines this information with geospatial data to find out where users are obtaining drugs, as well as trends or changes in the landscape.

Read Full Article

Article: Digital Data Helps Public Health Departments Keep Tabs on, Tackle the Flu

Cures, Open Health, Procedures (Medical)

Digital Data Helps Public Health Departments Keep Tabs on, Tackle the Flu

No one needs a reminder that this flu season was one of the worst in recent years. Preliminary data from the Centers for Disease Control suggests it may have been worse than the 2009 season, when the swine flu pandemic strain swept the country.

The good news, however, is that digital data is helping researchers and public health organizations provide more timely predictions about the spread of the flu and assessments of seasons in progress. The advantage is that public health officials no longer have to wait for a Monday-morning quarterback approach to flu season, but can stay on top of its spread as it happens.

Read Full Article

Article: Weighing Open Source’s Worth for the Future of Big Data

Open Data, Open Source

Weighing Open Source’s Worth for the Future of Big Data

The open source software movement began in earnest 20 years ago, when a group of technology leaders in Silicon Valley coined the term as an alternative to the repugnant “free software.” Fast forward to 2018, and the concept has been cemented in our psyches. But does open source have the staying power to drive the next 20 years’ worth of innovation?

There was, of course, open source software before 1998. Linus Torvalds created the first Linux kernel in the open back in 1991, and even IBM engaged in sharing of operating system internals going back into the 1950

Read Full Article

Article: The rise of peer-to-peer lending

Money, Open Governance, Open Source

The rise of peer-to-peer lending

Peer-to-peer lending is a relatively new concept in Ireland but in just a few years it’s expanding to provide finance to thousands of Irish SMEs worth millions in the process.

While it might not be a direct threat to banks (yet), the fact that, internationally, Goldman Sachs are due to launch their own peer-to-peer lending operation points to how seriously traditional banking operations now consider the model.

Read Full Article

Article: Automatically Identifying Eyewitness Reporters on Twitter During Disasters

Open Source

Automatically Identifying Eyewitness Reporters on Twitter During Disasters

My colleague Kate Starbird recently shared a very neat study entitled “Learning from the Crowd: Collaborative Filtering Techniques for Identifying On-the-Ground Twitterers during Mass Disruptions” (PDF). As she and her co-authors rightly argue, “most Twitter activity during mass disruption events is generated by the remote crowd.” So can we use advanced computing to rapidly identify Twitter users who are reporting from ground zero? The answer is yes.

An important indicator of whether or not a Twitter user is reporting from the scene of a crisis is the number of times they are retweeted. During the Egyptian revolution in early 2011, “nearly 30% of highly retweeted Twitter users were physically present at those protest events.” Kate et al. drew on this insight to study tweets posted during the Occupy Wall Street (OWS) protests in September 2011.

Read Full Article