NASA's About To Release a Mother Lode of Free Software

If you've been thinking about getting started on the rocket project that's been on your mind for ages, now is a good time to get serious. Next week, NASA will release a massive software catalog with over 1,000 projects. It's not the first time the space agency's released code, but it is the first time they've made it… » 4/04/14 6:40pm 4/04/14 6:40pm

You Could Build This Metal 3D Printer For $1,500

One of the limitations of 3D printing is in the materials—plastic might be the most affordable and widely available, but it's also cheap and brittle. So some students at Michigan Tech University have made a relatively cheap metal 3D printer, and they're releasing the plans to the masses. » 12/03/13 12:20pm 12/03/13 12:20pm

DARPA's Using Smartphone Guts to Build Cheaper, Smarter Drones Faster

Just a few weeks after President Obama announced plans to scale back the country's drone program, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Administration (DARPA) announced plans to roll out a program for the rapid development and manufacture of sensors to help power unmanned aerial, land and underwater vehicles. The… » 5/29/13 5:45pm 5/29/13 5:45pm

Watch Siri Turn Into a Home Automation Master With the Help Of…

With home automation being all the rage these days, it was only a matter of time before Siri got her little, occasionally holier-than-thou claws into the action. All it took was YouTube user Elvis Impersonator, a Raspberry Pi, and enough trust in Siri's goodness to believe she won't devolve into a Hal 9000 wannabe. » 2/06/13 3:40pm 2/06/13 3:40pm

There Is Blatant Racist and Sexist Language Hiding in Open Source Code

GitHub is an exceptionally popular open-source community where any developer can find code for pretty much anything. But there's a problem—some of that code contains extremely offensive racist, sexist, and homophobic, language. » 2/01/13 11:16am 2/01/13 11:16am

It's all the more disturbing because this blatant prejudice hides behind the…

Open Source Book Scanner Uses a Household Vacuum To Turn the Page

In an effort to streamline the process of scanning hundreds of millions of titles, Google Books engineer Dany Qumsiyeh has designed a $1,500 automated scanner from sheet metal, dissected electronics, and a household vacuum. It can chew through a 1,000 page odyssey in about 90 minutes, and you're welcome to build your… » 11/13/12 5:20pm 11/13/12 5:20pm

Californian Students Are Getting Some Free Digital Textbooks

On top of tuition, room, alcohol, board, and alcohol, one of the big costs of going to college is paying for your own personal library of expensive textbooks, whether they're digital or physical. Californian students can look forward to a bit of a break however, now that the state has set up the first online… » 9/30/12 12:30pm 9/30/12 12:30pm

HP's Open Source WebOS Code Has Arrived. Will Anyone Actually Use It?

There's almost no reason for any normal person to get excited about the beta release of open source WebOS, but for those of us who still can't come to grips with the fact that Palm's stunted mobile OS was an abject failure, there's still a faint beacon of light to soothe the soul. » 8/31/12 1:31pm 8/31/12 1:31pm

Wikipedia Is Running Out of Editors and Admins

Wikipedia is a wonderful resource, the kind of website that makes you marvel at what the internet can achieve. But it's only as good as its contributors and, while some are extremely committed, the sad truth is that the project is running out of editors and new admins. » 7/17/12 3:45am 7/17/12 3:45am

When Johann Sebastian Bach Goes Open-Source He Goes All The Way

You have to hand it to good old J.S. Bach for the latest project taken up in his name: a successful campaign to open-source and app-ify one of his most beloved works, The Goldberg Variations. » 6/08/12 10:20pm 6/08/12 10:20pm

", an award-winning pianist… volunteered to play the Goldbergs without compensation and with no claim to copyright. Both…