open source

Apple programming language Swift goes open source

Apple has officially made Swift, its programming language that it first announced at WWDC 2014, an open source project. The company announced its intentions to do so earlier this year, and has now posted the Swift compiler's source code and standard library functions and objects online at its own website, Swift.org. By making Swift open source, it allows developers to use language as they please, making things other than apps for iOS and Mac OS X if they wish.

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Mozilla to focus solely on Firefox, spinning off Thunderbird email client

Mozilla Foundation, the makers of the popular internet browser Firefox, have revealed that in order focus their efforts on continued development of their most used product, they are planning to spin-off the email and chat client Thunderbird. This shouldn't come as a huge surprise to Mozilla followers, for while Thunderbird first debuted in 2004, shortly after Firefox, it hasn't been directly updated since 2012. This news comes direct from Mozilla Chairperson Mitchell Baker, via company-wide memo.

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Forget hoverboards, this 3D printed electric skateboard is cooler

Hoverboards that don't really hover may be fashionable right now, but a 3D printed open-source electric skateboard has the potential for far more impact. Faraday Motion's HyperBoard R2, tucked away at the Stratasys booth at SEMA 2015 this week, takes the flexibility of custom 3D printing and uses it to deliver a personal transporter that can be adapted to the needs - and budget - of each user.

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Google wants to make the mobile web faster with Accelerated Mobile Pages

In order to help prevent users from encountering slow loading webpages while mobile browsing, and in turn keep those site from losing visitors, Google has announced an open-source project called Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP). By using existing HTML technologies, Google's AMP is meant to help publishers build "light-weight" versions of their sites that will reduce load times on mobile, even if pages have bloated content like video, animations, slideshows, and graphics.

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Airnef utility supports Nikon WiFi cameras

Many of the newer generation of digital cameras from companies like Nikon offer WiFi to make it easier to share and download images. Getting those images wirelessly off your camera may involve software that you don’t like for one reason or another. It's always good to have a choice when it comes to the software you use and the new Airnef utility is able to download images from Nikon WiFi cameras.

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OSVR’s latest “hacker development” headset begins preorders October 1

OSVR (Open Source Virtual Reality), an open source platform for virtual reality software and hardware, has announced that next month it will begin shipping its latest public prototype version. The headset, which they are calling a "hacker development kit," will see release as HDK 1.3, with pre-orders starting October 1st and shipping to follow shortly after. The new headset is said to improve optics and display, along with offering a larger view box for those with glasses.

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These Google “bloat” apps are leaving new Android devices

Requirements for apps on new Google-approved Android devices are changing, reducing the number of apps needed right out of the box. This news comes from the manufacturing section of the device chain, from a set of requirements set by Google for manufacturers that wish to release Android devices with any of Google's key apps - including Gmail and Google Play. This change will have no effect on carrier apps, unfortunately - we'll still be seeing the crushing weight of red, yellow, blue, and pink apps as pushed by carriers here in the USA.

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IBM’s crazy LinuxONE servers pitch open-source to mainstream

First nobody told IBM that servers were meant to be nondescript slabs, and now Big Blue has gone wild with Linux on its new open-source LinuxONE range. The angular behemoths look more like gaming PCs than they do enterprise hardware, but they open the door to what the Linux Foundation is calling its Open Mainframe Project, a push to better place open-source server software in businesses. IBM is kicking things off with a big chunk of code.

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Robots are about to replace lockpicking kits

If you're protecting treasured first edition comic collection with a combination lock, you may want to upgrade your security. traditional combo locks are about to be toast thanks to this new robot. The contraption is the creation of Samy Kamkar, the same hacker who brought us the pocket-sized KeySweeper, capable of sniffing keystrokes from wireless keyboards. With a little help from a 3D-printer and Arduino, Kamkar's device exploits a trick he discovered which allows anyone to crack a Masterlock in eight tries or less. The programmable motor is more efficient than any lock picker, opening the lock in seconds.

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Next-gen Siri will rely on open source back-end

When Apple launched ResearchKit, the platform was open source, allowing anyone to contribute or develop for ResearchKit. The snarky quip was that Apple finally figured out what open source was. It looks like Apple wasn’t done with open source; they’ve apparently based the new Siri engine on an open source platform known as Mesos. It’s the same platform used by other major tech companies like Airbnb and Twitter, and Mesos says Siri will be one of the largest Mesos clusters.

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Apple makes ResearchKit available to Devs and researchers

ResearchKit has the capacity to truly change things. Today, Apple is letting Developers and researchers realize its promise, and has opened ResearchKit up to anyone who wants to contribute. Developers are now free to develop apps that utilize the framework, and researchers can begin new studies to aide in ramping up their studies. Announced at Apple’s March event, ResearchKit uses an iPhone as a diagnostic tool when users opt-in to providing data. On launch, Apple and a few select partners had medical studies relating to Breast Cancer, Parkinson’s Disease, Asthma, and Cardiovascular Disease.

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Facebook’s 10 year plan: AI, VR, and the flying web

Facebook may be best known for providing a route for former schoolfriends to annoy you with their baby photos, but the social site is also looking to bring the next generation of internet users online and give developers the tools to lure them. A combination of virtual reality, vast data centers, newly open-sourced coding tools, and innovative and less expensive web-delivery systems like drones were all on the agenda for Facebook’s second day F8 2015 keynote, along with how to teach an artificial intelligence about Lord of the Rings.

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