open source

Mycroft Mark II: the open source Amazon Echo you’ve always wanted

Mycroft Mark II: the open source Amazon Echo you’ve always wanted

Smart speakers are all the range in tech these days and soon it will be the battle of the titans. But as those giants scuffle, the small men, the consumers, sometimes get trampled on. Especially their privacy. It's no secrets that the likes of Amazon and Google want your data. They promise to do no evil, but you can never really tell. Consumers have opted to just accept the status quo in exchange for convenience. Now, however, they don't have to compromise just to get an Amazon Echo or Google Home experience, with the Mycroft Mark II Open Voice Assistant speaker.

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Apple Lisa OS code will be made open source next year

Apple Lisa OS code will be made open source next year

The Apple Lisa operating system will be made open source next year, it has been announced, giving anyone the opportunity to download the code. Though Lisa was never popular, the OS lives on in the hearts and minds of dedicated fans and enthusiasts. According to a post made in a Google Group dedicated to those enthusiasts, the Computer History Museum will be releasing the code with a statement of its own in the near future.

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Oculus Rift just gave a huge gift to the open-source VR world

Oculus Rift just gave a huge gift to the open-source VR world

Oculus today announced that a new version of its Rift Development Kit - aptly named Rift Development Kit 2 - is now available for DIYers to peruse. This open source kit comes will all the information you need to begin making your own VR headset, and offers quite a few improvements over the original RDK. If you're interested in what it might take to build a VR headset on your own, this is definitely worth checking out.

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Sony releases AOSP Android 8.0 for Xperia X line

Sony releases AOSP Android 8.0 for Xperia X line

Sony's Xperia smartphones aren't exactly the most popular nor the best selling Android smartphones in the market but they have one thing that no OEM, not even those close to Google, has. A comprehensive Open Devices Program that caters to power users, Android developers, and modders. Case in point is the AOSP version of Andriod 8.0 Oreo that Sony just made available for its 2016 and 2017 Xperia X flagship phones. This gives users and developers the green light to build vanilla and custom Oreo ROMs, ironically before some even get their official update.

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Apple releases kernel source code for iOS, ARM macOS

Apple releases kernel source code for iOS, ARM macOS

While it doesn't have as aggressive a stance against open source as the old Microsoft did, Apple has never really been seen as an open source-friendly company. Which is somewhat ironic considering some of its core foundations are built on open source software, like the BSD kernel and the KHTML engine used by WebKit. So it's not exactly a small thing, though not exactly huge either, that Apple just released the kernel source code for iOS. What's more interesting, however, is that Apple also released the source code for macOS kernel for the ARM architecture.

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Purism Librem 5: the promise of a truly free, truly open phone

Purism Librem 5: the promise of a truly free, truly open phone

Part of the appeal of Android is its openness, at least compared to iOS. But, let’s face it. Google isn’t running a charity and Android’s direction will always be aligned with Google’s business. There will always be a large hole to be filled as far as a truly open, truly free, truly secure, and truly private phone goes. And Purism, the people behind the more or less successful Librem laptops, is diving into that space with the Librem 5 phone, and it is taking open source communities along for the ride.

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Android Gallery app: for those that don’t like Google Photos

Android Gallery app: for those that don’t like Google Photos

An open-source gallery app called, simply, "Camera Roll - Gallery" has been released for Android. I should say "has been "unreleased" because it's not quite ready for prime-time yet, but it's got so much potential, I can't wait to tell you about it. This app is super simple, was designed with Material Design principles in full effect, and it's free to download and use. Basically it's a return to the basic Gallery app for Android users who don't ONLY want to use Google Photos.

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Best open source apps for Android & iOS in 2017

Best open source apps for Android & iOS in 2017

Our mobile devices, particularly our smartphones, have practically become extensions of our persons. And yet we do not treat them with the same guarded vigilance as we do our homes. Whereas we, most often than not, scrutinize almost everything that comes or is added into our abodes, we willy-nilly install apps sometimes with wanton disregard for what they might contain. Granted, the ease of installing and sheer number of apps make it statistically impossible to scrutinize each and every one. Not to mention technically difficult if the app's source code is unavailable.

Fortunately, there is a class of apps available under an open source license that makes it not only easier to inspect what gets installed on your phone but even take the app in new directions should the need arise. Here are some of the best open source apps for Android as well as iOS.

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Linux-based AGL OS to debut in 2018 Toyota Camry

Linux-based AGL OS to debut in 2018 Toyota Camry

Google and Apple (and BlackBerry) take heed. There's a new big player in the automotive platform market and its uniting rather than dividing diverse car makers, companies, and pieces of software. More importantly, it is one that is not interested in selling user data to the highest bidders or advertisers. Hosted by the Linux Foundation, the Automotive Grade Linux or AGL is preparing to prove it has just as much bite as bark and will be making its commercial debut in the 2018 Toyota Camry coming later this year.

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OpenLara lets you play the first Tomb Raider in your browser

OpenLara lets you play the first Tomb Raider in your browser

Tomb Raider's Lara Croft is easily one of the most iconic females in the gaming industry. And although she started out as a rather inappropriate icon, she eventually matured into something more befitting a modern female lead. But despite the advancements in the game's series and lore, the original Tomb Raider game still holds a special place in fans' hearts. And now you can relive those experiences, or live them for the first time, right on your web browser, thanks to the open source OpenLara project.

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Microsoft shuttering CodePlex, its own GitHub alternative

Microsoft shuttering CodePlex, its own GitHub alternative

These days, GitHub is the first thing that comes to mind when you think of services for hosting open source software and projects, but it wasn't the first on the block with this idea. For over a decade now Microsoft has been operating its own service, CodePlex, which it originally launched in 2006. However, these days CodePlex languishes in the shadows of GitHub, and Microsoft has acknowledged this by announcing its closure later this year.

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This $800 MacBook Air clone wants to be the Nexus of Linux laptops

This $800 MacBook Air clone wants to be the Nexus of Linux laptops

"Put Linux on it" may often be the solution to a sluggish old laptop, but what if you want to go open-source from the outset? That's the market the KDE Slimbook is looking to address, a new 13.3-inch notebook running the Ubuntu-based KDE neon operating system. The aim is out-of-the-box usability, with none of the driver headaches or setup woes that can sometimes come with repurposing a Windows or Mac machine.

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