Watch How Open-Source OpenStreetMap Mapped the Globe In Just 7 Years

A decade ago, OpenStreetMap launched as a free, open-source alternative to the other mapping tools you may encounter on the internet. Turns out that the collaborative experiment worked exceptionally well, and thanks to a new site, you can see for yourself how the Wikipedia of mapping has covered the whole planet. » 8/11/14 3:30pm 8/11/14 3:30pm

So Long, Open Web: Mozilla Accepts Closed Source DRM and We All Lose

It's official: the last holdout for the open web has fallen. Flanked on all sides by Google, Microsoft, Opera, and (it appears) Safari's support and promotion of the EME DRM-in-HTML standard, Mozilla is giving in to pressure from Hollywood, Netflix, et al, and will be implementing its own third-party version of DRM.… » 5/15/14 5:15am 5/15/14 5:15am

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

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