GitHub Preserves its Code in the Arctic World Archive

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GitHub plans to store all of its open source code in the Arctic World Archive to prepare for possible doomsday scenarios.

The data is stored on reels of film coated with iron oxide powder. It can be read by a computer or — in the event of a global power outage — a human with a magnifying glass. Crucially, this film will last for 1,000 years. Among the first data deposit at the vault is the source code for Android and Linux operations systems, as well as a range of programming languages, web platforms, cryptocurrencies and AI tools. GitHub is planning on having all active public repositories stored by February 2020.

This sounds like a neat project. It also sounds like the Arctic World Archive is “around the corner” from the Doomsday seed vault, another preservation project. Note: The photo I chose for the featured image is of that seed vault.

Google's OpenTitan aims to Create an Open Source Secure Enclave

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Google wants Android phones to have a Secure Enclave chip like iPhones. Its OpenTitan project aims to help design an open source one.

OpenTitan is loosely based on a proprietary root-of-trust chip that Google uses in its Pixel 3 and 4 phones. But OpenTitan is its own chip architecture and extensive set of schematics developed by engineers at lowRISC, along with partners at ETH Zurich, G+D Mobile Security, Nuvoton Technology, Western Digital, and, of course, Google.

The consortium will use community feedback and contributions to develop and improve the industry-grade chip design, while lowRISC will manage the project and keep suggestions and proposed changes from going live haphazardly.

You can view the OpenTitan Github repo here, but it’s not fully fleshed out yet.

The ProtonMail iOS App is Now Fully Open Source

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Since 2015 ProtonMail’s web app has been open source, and today the company announced that its iOS app is, too.

In addition to making our iOS app open source, we have also documented and published our iOS security model. This is important to us because raw code without documentation can be almost unintelligible sometimes, and a documented security model will assist in rigorous assessment and review of our code by the public. Our iOS trust model is also available on our Github page.

Apple Joins Academy Software Foundation as Premier Member

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The Academy Software Foundation advocates for greater open source software development in the motion picture and media industries. Apple has joined as a Premier member.

To support the continued growth of open source software across our industry, we have the privilege of providing developers with tools that make it easier to contribute code and participate in the community…With Apple as a new member, we hope to work with them to improve support for Apple platforms, which will continue to democratize open source software development.

GitHub Sponsors Lets You Pay Your Favorite Open Source Contributors

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GitHub Sponsors is a way to support the developers who build open source software. It’s currently in beta.

As a thank you for these valuable contributions, GitHub Sponsors charges zero platform fees when you support the work of other developers. We’ll also cover payment processing fees for the first 12 months of the program to celebrate the launch. 100% percent of your sponsorship goes to the developer.

I love this idea. GitHub is one of the only open source “app stores” we have that isn’t tied to Android or Linux.

 

What Would Happen if You Remove Apple From Your Life?

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Kashmir Hill has experimented with cutting out tech giants from her life. In week 5 she found out what it was like to remove Apple.

In addition to abandoning all my iProducts, I am blocking myself from interacting with Apple in any way, using a custom VPN designed for me by technologist Dhruv Mehrotra. The VPN prevents my devices from communicating with the 16,777,216 IP addresses controlled by Apple, rendering iCloud and any Apple apps defunct.

It’s an interesting experiment, especially going so far as to block Apple IP addresses. I look forward to Ms. Hill’s next experiment: Blocking Amazon, Facebook, Apple, Google, and Microsoft all at once.

JPL Open Source Rover Project Lets You Build Your Own Working Robot Rover

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NASA’s Mars rovers are amazing and so very cool, which is why it’s awesome the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) released open source plans so you can build your own. The plans show you how to build a scaled down version of the Curiosity rover with off the shelf parts. You’ll need a Raspberry Pi for the rover’s brain, some mechanical skills, and a lot of spare time. JPL says you should plan on spending at least 200 hours on the project, plus the parts will cost about US$2,500. It’s worth it because in the end you’ll have your own rover and you can modify it any way you like.

JPL Open Source Rover Project Lets You Build Your Own Working Robot Rover

NASA Offers Free Code In New Software Catalog

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Every year since 2014, NASA has published a software catalog, On Wednesday NASA released a software catalog with over 1,000 free code samples. The free code is divided into 15 categories like robotics, aeronautics, climate simulators, biological sensors and guidance systems. Although the code is free, some restrictions may apply. For some, any U.S. citizen can apply to use it. Others can only be used by other federal agencies. And there is even some open-source code in the catalog. Open-source code can be directly downloaded, but most others require you to create an account, or in some cases sign a government contract or a usage agreement. If you’re in the sciences or like to tinker at home, be sure to check out this year’s NASA catalog.

NASA Offers Free Code In New Software Catalog

The iOS Chrome Browser Is Now Open Source

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iOS chrome browser banner

After several years of switching the code, Google made the iOS Chrome browser open source. For the past several years the Chrome team has been updating the code in order to bring it under the Chromium Project. Since iOS browsers must use Apple’s WebKit rendering engine, the app had to support that as well as Google’s Blink engine.