Showing posts with the label open source

Android least open source mobile platform

Interesting read: Android is least open of open source mobile platforms over on ArsTechnica. Valuable points are made. Also interesting is that the most open platform, Eclipse, is generally believed to be a disaster to work with. It's so flexible and open and customizable that the general public won't be able to get it suited to there needs.

True openness let's anyone contribute anything they feel like. Through a process of community-driven discussion and cherry-picking, various fixes and enhancement then find their place into the product. However, quality control, consistency checks and overall architecture are often overlooked or under staffed and, as a result, don't take place. It's also not a fun job to do, to have to tell people that what they did was great but can't find a place in the product because it breaks "the general idea". Someone sees a thing, investigates and works on it. If you shoot that down all the time, that person will never again…

Open-Source Photographic Motion-Control

OpenMoco is an Open-Source Photographic Motion-Control rig for (video) cameras. It's still a work in progress but already yields amazing results. Check out the video he made of the volcano in Iceland and dozens of other videos.

Slidy: PowerPoint Slides inside your browser

PowerPoint has a some things that are nice, but many people are terrible at handling all the fancy features and create behemoths of creativeness that are simply disgraceful to look at, let alone pay attention to. Wouldn't it be nice if you could simply make slides in a browser, preferably cross-browser and on mobile devices too, and get generic bullit or numbered lists, headings, simply builds and such?

That's just what Tim Berners_lee at the W3C did, when he built HTML Slidy. A light-weigth, cross-browser slide show presentation tool built using web standards XHTML and CSS. There is even a short howto on LinuxAndFriends. You can see an example there too.

VMware Acquires Zimbra

I was stunned as I read this morning that VMware Acquires Zimbra. Just a few years ago, Yahoo! bought this open source email and collaboration suite. Zimbra is a kind of open source Exchange server that uses open standards where MS Exchange uses proprietary closed formats to store your mail and calendar. You can use any client, desktop or mobile, to check your mail, calendar or contacts and work together on documents with coworkers. Zimbra is similar to Zarafa, in that is also replaces the expensive Exchange server, but Zarafa introduces an interface to Microsoft's MAPI layer. The interface exists for many platforms.

Google Nexus One details

Well, the internet and blogosphere is filled to capacity with news on Google's new smartphone, Google Nexus One.

3.7" AMOLED screen
700x480 pixels
Qualcomm Snapdragon @ 1 Ghz
multi color (back?)lighting
5 Mpx digicam with LED flash
11,5 mm thick, 130 gr weight
touchscreen, but not multitouch
3G, WiFi, Bluetooth
Android 2.1

Google sells it through its web store. In the US in combi with a subscription from T-Mobile or separate. Outside of the US, it is for sale in (sim-lock free!) Singapore, Hong Kong and England. The Netherlands can expect availability in march of this year, through Vodafone.

On a side note: we can expect the Xperia X10 around April and the Motorola DROID aka Milestone in March.

Xiph.Org: QuickTime Components

was reading several threads about adding Ogg Vorbis support to the Mac. The open audio format is better than mp3 (twice the quality in the same space) but not widely supported because, uhm, I dunno. I guess it makes too much sense.

Anyway, while Windows is fairly easy with audio and codecs are abundant, Apple's OS X is a bit tighter and more anal difficult. However, has a bunch of QuickTime Components that work as an add-on to QuickTime (hence the name 'components'). This makes it ubiquitous for OS X, as almost anything can tie into that. It adds a simple library and then even iTunes can play back or rip to Ogg files. :) Brilliant!

see for more tools and GUIs, if needed.

How works

On Slashdot I read a brief about an interview that CNET did with the guys behind The interview shows some of the ways that power, i.e. a 'behind the scenes' of

They run Linux (yay!) and use MogileFS, a distributed file system much like a software RAID system for reliability and redundancy. (Which, BTW, Hyves and Marktplaats also use.) They also use SSD drives abundantly, for speed obviously.

Nokia N900 mobile computer

Oh and speaking of Internet, should the Android Liquid A1 fail (available early december), then I can always change over to the fabulous Nokia N900 mobile computer. It runs Maemo5 Linux, has 32 GB of RAM, 1 GHz ARM processor (underclocked to 600 Mhz) and all the connectivity options anyone could want need. The specs are simply mouthwatering! A-GPS, 3D OpenGL support, Bluetooth 2.1, USB 2.0, microSD slot for up to 16 (!) GB.

Update: T3 has pricing info
Update2: T3 also has a review.

CoPress: open source College newspaper CMS

Just heard about CoPress, an open source CMS for student newspapers where hosting is taken care of, based on the popular WordPress by Matt Mullenweg.

CoPress came from the frustration of a student editor (Daniel Bachhuber) unhappy with his current CMS hosted by an outside company. He looked around to other CMSs (Drupal, Django, WordPress) and finally founded a new company (CoPress) to give him what he needed: an open platform for anyone wanting to run a College newspaper of sorts.

HTC confirmed to be cooking up Android 2.0 update for Hero

With Motorola's DROID coming, HTC is a bit jealous and confirmed to be cooking up an Android 2.0 update for Hero. I had a Hero in my fingers while in Singapore, but didn't like the feel and the form-factor. However, if you just bought one and are happy with, it would be a shame to have to buy a whole new phone just to get Android 2.0. So I'm glad HTC will release an upgrade.

Android 2.0 SDK

Google's just released the Android 2.0 for mobile smartphones with the Android OS.
Highlights are:
* multiple (G)mail accounts
* support for Exchange mail accounts
* more camera controls
* search in all SMS/MMS messages
* HTML5 support in browser (needed for Google Wave)
* Bluetooth 2.1

Google is actively looking at what Apple's iPhone brings and improving it. And open source... :)
Update: Engadget shows ass-kicking turn-by-turn navigation on Android using the free Google Maps! OMG!

O2Micro Smartcardbus driver for Linux 2.6

Just because it took a really long time to find it and because previous links in forums didn't seem to work, there is an O2Micro Smartcardbus driver for Linux 2.6 kernels available through the MUSCLE project. Other hits I found used a usr:pwd combination in the URL and that didn't work for me. Hope this helps.

Trying to install opensc and openct to get the built-in smart card reader in the Fu(s)jitsu Lifebook e8110 to work with the VPN solution from work. KPN is starting to promote working from home in order to reduce the housing needs for all its employees. 5 years too late if you ask me, but better late than never! ;) But you'll need to use your company (smart)card, if a reader is available, to identify yourself with a VPN client.

Testing it on Ubuntu 9.04 (LiveCDs RULE!) Get opensc through the Universe repository; you may need to edit your apt sources to activate it. And you need pcsclite, also from MUSCLE.
There is also a tool called o2scr that may work. Untested yet. An…

Android 2.0 screenshot walkthroughs

Speaking of Android, Boy Genius Report has a Android 2.0 screenshot walkthrough... exciting!

Android Phones

Nice website (why didn't I think of this?!) that lists all known and rumored Android Phones. *sigh* I guess coz it's just too easy...

Open Source GSM Network At HAR2009

At a hacker convention held in the Netherlands very recently, HAR2009 (@har2009), hackers have demonstrated it is very possible to run an open source GSM network for current mobile phones! See Slashdot for brief details or the HAR2009 GSM wiki for details. At the convention, 391 mobile users were able to talk to each other just like on any other GSM network. So cool!

OS X Optimizations

A thread over at Matt Mullenweg started discussions on optimizing OS X. I already knew about AppCleaner thru my ex's OS X experiences, but a few others are great too:
XSlimmer checks your system for various stuff you don't need by extracting them from Universal Binaries. They contain all kinds of languages and region-specific things, but you only need one (or two).
And a similar tool but one that only focuses on multi-languages built into a tool is Monolingual.

Google Chrome OS

Official Google Blog: Introducing the Google Chrome OS says "Google Chrome OS is an open source, lightweight operating system that will initially be targeted at netbooks. Later this year we will open-source its code, and netbooks running Google Chrome OS will be available for consumers in the second half of 2010. Because we're already talking to partners about the project, and we'll soon be working with the open source community, we wanted to share our vision now so everyone understands what we are trying to achieve.

Speed, simplicity and security are the key aspects of Google Chrome OS. We're designing the OS to be fast and lightweight, to start up and get you onto the web in a few seconds."

Google Chrome OS, Chrome itself and Google Wave... hmmm, I'm starting to see a pattern develop. anyone?

Amazon releases Kindle source code as open source

Amazon lives up to its promise and released the Kindle source code to the world. Basically a 2.6.22 kernel with E Ink drivers and various hardware support. It seems to have a GPL license, but that is as of yet unconfirmed.

Opscode: Chef

Opscode let's me be a chef. Finally! No exams, no hassle, no heat, no ovens, no troubles. Just be a chef! Cool!

Google Android 1.5 update available

T3 showed me that Android 1.5 was released yesterday. Most G1 users will get the update automatically, but in case you don't or disabled it, now you know.

The updates enables video filming, video playback in MPEG-3 and 3GP formats and a little button to share the video on GMail or Youtube. Cool! Google also threw in Picasa for your mobile and the GMail client got a useful overhaul.