Blog

Archive for the ‘open source’ category

May 5, 2017

$5,000 for your dream project

Posted by in categories: innovation, lifeboat, open source

The power of somebody believing in you and your ideas is unbelievable. It gives me exceptional strength. I will wake up 6am and crash 1am, working relentlessly in between. Just recently, the mere fact of somebody becoming a PumpkinDB sponsor gave me a lot of confidence in our success and continuing inspiration to dedicate big chunks of my spare time to this work.

In the grand scheme of things, the amount of money the project receives so far is rather insignificant, it just covers some of our associated expenses. So why is it that important?

Well, words are cheap. Many people said they like what we are working on, but the shelf life of the inspiration coming from this kind of feedback is rather short. Having somebody continuously use your work is the best type of validation.

But in the absence of something immediately useful (as it is often the case with any new, non-trivial project), there are two things that rock: contributions (as in “sweat” or “pull requests”) and money. Both time and money are painful to part with, so when somebody parts with either, you know you’re onto something.

Continue reading “$5,000 for your dream project” »

Mar 22, 2017

Free The Art: Cryptocurrencies & communities unite with creators

Posted by in categories: bitcoin, cryptocurrencies, entertainment, finance, fun, innovation, media & arts, open source, thought controlled

by Tatiana Moroz

The most moving thing to me about music is it’s ability to change. It changes the mood, the atmosphere, and it fills us with emotion. It can unify mankind in the power of good and triumph over evil regimes. What most struck me was when we saw this in the 60’s and 70’s folk songs that became anthems for the civil rights, equality, and antiwar movements. Even as a little girl, I knew that this core drive and expression for freedom was critical to the success of humanity as we marched ever closer to the nightmarish visions painted in 1984 and Brave New World.

This is a heavy and serious purpose, but one I took to heart as I created songs of hope, sadness, life, beauty and love. I noticed that the music industry seemed averse to this type of meaning based songwriting, and the radio waves were filling with more vapid nonsense by the minute. However, I kept my head down and tried to educate myself on the ways we could organize society for the better.

Continue reading “Free The Art: Cryptocurrencies & communities unite with creators” »

Sep 21, 2016

A Free Education for all the World’s People: Why is this Not yet a Thing?

Posted by in categories: education, ethics, internet, open access, open source, philosophy, policy, theory

When we as a global community confront the truly difficult question of considering what is really worth devoting our limited time and resources to in an era marked by such global catastrophe, I always find my mind returning to what the Internet hasn’t really been used for yet—and what was rumored from its inception that it should ultimately provide—an utterly and entirely free education for all the world’s people.

In regard to such a concept, Bill Gates said in 2010, “On the web for free you’ll be able to find the best lectures in the world […] It will be better than any single university […] No matter how you came about your knowledge, you should get credit for it. Whether it’s an MIT degree or if you got everything you know from lectures on the web, there needs to be a way to highlight that.”

That may sound like an idealistic stretch to the uninitiated, but the fact of the matter is universities like MIT, Harvard, Yale, Oxford, The European Graduate School, Caltech, Stanford, Berkeley, and other international institutions have been regularly uploading entire courses onto YouTube and iTunes U for years. All of them are entirely free. Open Culture, Khan Academy, Wikiversity, and many other centers for online learning also exist. Other online resources have small fees attached to some courses, as you’ll find on edX and Coursea. In fact, here is a list of over 100 places online where you can receive high quality educational material. The 2015 Survey of Online Learning revealed a “Multi-year trend [that] shows growth in online enrollments continues to outpace overall higher ed enrollments.” I. Elaine Allen, co-director of the Babson Survey Research Group points out that “The study’s findings highlight a thirteenth consecutive year of growth in the number of students taking courses at a distance.” Furthermore, “More than one in four students (28%) now take at least one distance education course (a total of 5,828,826 students, a year‐to‐year increase of 217,275).” There are so many online courses, libraries of recorded courses, pirate libraries, Massive Open Online Courses, and online centers for learning with no complete database thereof that in 2010 I found myself dumping all the websites and master lists I could find onto a simple Tumblr archive I put together called Educating Earth. I then quickly opened a Facebook Group to try and encourage others to share and discuss courses too.

The volume of high quality educational material already available online is staggering. Despite this, there has yet to be a central search hub for all this wonderful and unique content. No robust community has been built around it with major success. Furthermore, the social and philosophical meaning of this new practice has not been strongly advocated enough yet in a popular forum.

Continue reading “A Free Education for all the World’s People: Why is this Not yet a Thing?” »

May 27, 2016

Is a Blockchain a Blockchain if it Isn’t?

Posted by in categories: bitcoin, business, cryptocurrencies, finance, innovation, internet, open source, software, transparency

Anyone who has heard of Bitcoin knows that it is built on a mechanism called The Blockchain. Most of us who follow the topic are also aware that Bitcoin and the blockchain were unveiled—together—in a whitepaper by a mysterious developer, under the pseudonym Satoshi Nakamoto.

That was eight years ago. Bitcoin is still the granddaddy of all blockchain-based networks, and most of the others deal with alternate payment coins of one type or another. Since Bitcoin is king, the others are collectively referred to as ‘Altcoins’.

But the blockchain can power so much more than coins and payments. And so—as you might expect—investors are paying lots of attention to blockchain startups or blockchain integration into existing services. Not just for payments, but for everything under the sun.

Think of Bitcoin as a product and the blockchain as a clever network architecture that enables Bitcoin and a great many future products and institutions to do more things—or to do these things better, cheaper, more robust and more blockchain-01secure than products and institutions built upon legacy architectures.

Continue reading “Is a Blockchain a Blockchain if it Isn’t?” »

Apr 12, 2016

Alejandro Aravena, Winner of This Year’s Pritzker Prize, Is Giving Away His Designs — By Margaret Rhodes | Wired

Posted by in categories: architecture, open source

Alejandro-Aravena-Quinta-Monroy-Housing-03_0-482x299

“This January, Alejandro Aravena received architecture’s highest honor. This week, the Chilean architect announced that his studio, Elemental, will open-source four of its affordable housing designs. The projects can be downloaded, for free, from Elemental’s website (here).”

Read more

Dec 14, 2015

Why Infosys is joining Elon Musk, Y Combinator and others in pledging $1 billion for OpenAI — By Harshith Mallya | YourStory

Posted by in categories: education, ethics, open source, robotics/AI

YourStory-OpenAI

““Our trust in complex systems stems mostly from understanding their predictability, whether it is nuclear reactors, lathe machines, or 18-wheelers; or of course, AI. If complex systems are not open to be used, extended, and learned about, they end up becoming yet another mysterious thing for us, ones that we end up praying to and mythifying. The more open we make AI, the better.””

Read more

Oct 30, 2015

Can Computers Be As Creative As A Human?

Posted by in categories: computing, entertainment, media & arts, open source

To many people, the introduction of the first Macintosh computer and its graphical user interface in 1984 is viewed as the dawn of creative computing. But if you ask Dr. Nick Montfort, a poet, computer scientist, and assistant professor of Digital Media at MIT, he’ll offer a different direction and definition for creative computing and its origins.

Defining Creative

Creative Computing was the name of a computer magazine that ran from 1974 through 1985. Even before micro-computing there was already this magazine extolling the capabilities of the computer to teach, to help people learn, help people explore and help them do different types of creative work, in literature, the arts, music and so on,” Montfort said.

“It was a time when people had a lot of hope that computing would enable people personally as artists and creators to do work. It was actually a different time than we’re in now. There are a few people working in those areas, but it’s not as widespread as hoped in the late 70’s or early 80s.”

Continue reading “Can Computers Be As Creative As A Human?” »

May 2, 2015

WikiLeaks Finally Brings Back Its Submission System for Your Secrets

Posted by in categories: hacking, open access, open source, privacy

— Wired
It’s taken close to half a decade. But WikiLeaks is back in the business of accepting truly anonymous leaks.

On Friday, the secret-spilling group announced that it has finally relaunched a beta version of its leak submission system, a file-upload site that runs on the anonymity software Tor to allow uploaders to share documents and tips while protecting their identity from any network eavesdropper, and even from WikiLeaks itself. The relaunch of that page—which in the past served as the core of WikiLeaks’ transparency mission—comes four and a half years after WikiLeaks’ last submission system went down amid infighting between WikiLeaks’ leaders and several of its disenchanted staffers. Read more

Apr 24, 2015

Article: Harnessing “Black Holes”: The Large Hadron Collider – Ultimate Weapon of Mass Destruction

Posted by in categories: astronomy, big data, computing, cosmology, energy, engineering, environmental, ethics, existential risks, futurism, general relativity, governance, government, gravity, information science, innovation, internet, journalism, law, life extension, media & arts, military, nuclear energy, nuclear weapons, open source, particle physics, philosophy, physics, policy, posthumanism, quantum physics, science, security, singularity, space, space travel, supercomputing, sustainability, time travel, transhumanism, transparency, treaties

Harnessing “Black Holes”: The Large Hadron Collider – Ultimate Weapon of Mass Destruction

Why the LHC must be shut down

Continue reading “Article: Harnessing ‘Black Holes’: The Large Hadron Collider – Ultimate Weapon of Mass Destruction” »

Jan 17, 2015

IBM Reveals Proof of Concept for Blockchain-Powered Internet of Things

Posted by in categories: big data, business, complex systems, computing, cryptocurrencies, disruptive technology, economics, futurism, information science, open access, open source, strategy

Quoted: “IBM has unveiled its proof of concept for ADEPT, a system developed in partnership with Samsung that uses elements of bitcoin’s underlying design to build a distributed network of devices – a decentralized Internet of Things. The ADEPT concept, or Autonomous Decentralized Peer-to-Peer Telemetry, taps blockchains to provide the backbone of the system, utilizing a mix of proof-of-work and proof-of-stake to secure transactions.”

Read the article here > http://www.coindesk.com/ibm-reveals-proof-concept-blockchain…et-things/

Page 1 of 512345