Tiny, 8-bit console designed for hackability and homebrew game development

Pocket CHIP is a tiny, $50, ARM-based pocket games console with a full keyboard and a Bluetooth interface. Read the rest

The gift economy at the heart of open source

With the 18th O'Reilly Open Source convention approaching, Tim O'Reilly has written a stirring editorial on the value that inspires him about FLOSS: "to create more value than you capture." Read the rest

Let's Encrypt is actually encrypting the whole Web

Let's Encrypt (previously) a joint EFF-Mozilla-Linux Foundation project that lets anyone easily create an SSL certificate for free in minutes and install and configure it so that visitors to their Websites will be shielded from surveillance, came out of beta this week, and it's already making a huge difference. Read the rest

Kids celebrate their 3D printed prosthetic hands

Kevin writes, "Peyton Andry is a Cincinnati boy who was born with symbrachydactyly, a condition that caused the fingers of his right hand to be shorter or missing entirely." Read the rest

MIT Media Lab will default to permitting student code to be free/open

Historically, MIT Media Lab students who released their work under free/open licenses had to get approval from a committee (that always granted it). Read the rest

How DRM would kill the next Netflix (and how the W3C could save it)

The World Wide Web Consortium's decision to make DRM part of HTML5 doesn't just endanger security researchers, it also endangers the next version of all the video products and services we rely on today: from cable TV to iTunes to Netflix. Read the rest

How libraries can save the Internet of Things from the Web's centralized fate

Everyone thinks libraries have a positive role to play in the world, but that role differs greatly based on whether you’re talking to a librarian or a patron. Ask a patron what libraries have in common and they’d probably answer: they share books with people. Librarians give a different answer: they share a set of values. It’s time for libraries to step up to those values by supporting access to the Internet and taking the lead in fighting to keep the Internet open, free, and unowned.

30% off O'Reilly's Open Source Convention in Austin, May 16-19

O'Reilly's venerable, essential OSCON is in Austin, Texas this year, meaning that you'll get to combine brain-thumpingly good talks and workshops on free/open source tools and techniques with some of the world's best BBQ, millions of bats, my favorite toy store anywhere, and one of the best indie bookstores you could hope to visit. Read the rest

Open Source Initiative says standards aren't open unless they protect security researchers and interoperability

The Open Source Initiative, a nonprofit that certifies open source licenses, has made an important policy statement about open standards. Read the rest

Github patches from women who don't reveal their gender more likely to be accepted than patches from identifiable women

Researchers used a huge dataset of Github activity, up to April 15 2015, to examine the relationship between gender and the acceptance of a suggested revision by a project's maintainer. Read the rest

Switching to Linux, saying goodbye to Apple and Microsoft

Veteran technology journalist Dan Gillmor's been using GNU/Linux since 2012, switching away from all the "control freak" services, tools and software that he'd grown used to over decades of computing. Read the rest

Guesstimate: a spreadsheet for adding up uncertainties

Guesstimate is a new free/open source project from Ozzie Gooen: unlike normal spreadsheets, its cells accept confidence intervals, and it outputs models based on 5,000 Monte Carlo simulations. Read the rest

Ian "Debian" Murdock dies after threatening suicide

Ian Murdock is half of the founding team of Debian, a popular and foundational flavor of GNU/Linux from which Ubuntu and Mint are descended. Earlier this week, he posted a series of bizarre, racialized tweets in which he threatened to commit suicide to call attention to the police brutality he was experiencing. He is now dead, though the cause of his death has not been disclosed. Read the rest

North Korea's paranoid GNU/Linux watermarks every file

Florian Grunow and Niklaus Schiess downloaded the sourcecode for Red Star OS, North Korea's homegrown, paranoid fork of Red Hat's Fedora, a flavor of GNU/Linux. The researchers analyzed the OS and presented their findings to the thirty second Chaos Communications Congress in Hamburg yesterday. Read the rest

Bro: a free/open intrusion detection system

"Bro network" an (unfortunately named) open/free IDS that turns all your network traffic into events that can trigger scripts you write. As Nat writes, "Good pedigree (Vern Paxson, a TCP/IP elder god) despite the wince-inducing name." Read the rest

UK spy agency posts data-mining software to Github

Gaffer is a graph database "optimised for retrieving data on nodes of interest" developed by the notorious UK spy agency GCHQ, and now you can download, run and improve it because they've posted it to Github under the permissive, free/open Apache license. Read the rest

The TPP's ban on source-code disclosure requirements: bad news for information security

The secretly negotiated Trans Pacific Partnership is 2,000 pages' worth of regulatory favors for various industries, but one that stands out as particularly egregious is the ban on rules requiring source-code disclosure. Read the rest

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