Google Maps may be the dominant player in the mapping business still, but there's a rising star in an open-source competitor called OpenStreetMap that's been heavily backed by Microsoft. Due to the high fees of using Google Maps, some major services, including FourSquare and Apple's iPhoto app, have already defected to using OpenStreetMap instead.
This lovely warm summer season (soon!) we'll be seeing Google coming out in full force with code requests for college students galore with Google Summer of Code. This project will have Google having college students earning money coding for open source projects and getting Google on their resume for ultimate summer success. This project opens today, and for those interested in joining up, you'll want to submit your proposal including which projects you'll want to work on from a total of 180 cultivated over the past 10 days by, once again, students just like you.
Android has been baked into the newly released Linux 3.3 kernel, ending years of controversy over how blending the open-source software should be carried out, and making it more straightforward for developers to create cross-platform apps. Although Android and mainline Linux have always shared plenty of code, the underlying kernels have been separate; this new release means manufacturers will be able to simply throw their hardware-specific drivers into a Linux-based gadget and have a functional Android device.
Open-source robot project Qbo has gained a new set of sensors, in the shape of a custom ASUS Xtion tiara that allows the 'bot to 3D map his environment, autonomously navigate and - most importantly - avoid obstacles. While Qbo already has twin HD webcam eyes and four ultrasonic sensors (two up front and two on the back), adding in the Xtion Pro Live sensor bar augments the robot's awareness of its environment, layering 3D on top of the 2D mapping it was already capable of recording.
Since its inception, the Google Chrome operating system for Chromebook computers has been unique in its ability to work completely independently of the desktop environment. Very recently the open-source version of Chrome OS, Chromium, has been seen to be amped up by developers in a setup called Aura Shell to have not only a desktop which interacts directly with the offline storage space of the hardware its running on, but applications other than the Chrome browser being launched directly from the desktop as well. While some might say that this defeats the purpose of Chrome OS entirely, the developers working on this project insist that because this version of the OS still has a very cloud-based set of intentions, it remains true to the Chrome OS cause.
Last week the $35 Raspberry Pi computer went on sale, seeing strong demand and a total buyout of stock in under two hours. Those hoping to see the Linux machine hitting their doorsteps in the near future could be in for some disappointment: the Raspberry Pi foundation announced that it has suffered a production setback.
Raspberry Pi sold out in the UK in just two hours, and global buyers of the $35 computer also face a wait for their open-source PC with international sales also burning through the start-up's initial supplies. The Raspberry Pi Model B went up for grabs at element14 earlier, promptly running out and forcing would-be buyers to register their interest for the next batch.
The Raspberry Pi $35 open-source computer has gone on sale, and early demand for the incredibly capable mini-PC has already seen retail partner sites melt down under the stress. Announced back in 2011, as part of the $25 computer project, the $35 version is the more advanced "Model B" unit which has seemingly grabbed the attention of developers and tinkerers. Meanwhile, the $25 "Model A" version is going into production now.
The Android team predicted forking in the ecosystem, Google chairman Eric Schmidt said today at Mobile World Congress, taking the opportunity to snipe at Apple over the company's litigious tendencies. "We understood that this stuff would happen ... and it's fine" Schmidt said, explaining that while Google hoped that those manufacturers not sticking to the search company's official guidelines for Android would realize the potential benefits, "We don't sue them… if you get my drift."
Open source mobile platform and spiritual son of MeeGo, Tizen, has gained a new supporter in the shape of Huawei, jumping on board just as the Tizen team releases the SDK beta and source code. Huawei is the latest member of the Tizen Association Board, and apparently intends to release devices "for a range of markets" running the platform. Exactly when that will take place is unclear, however.