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VMware In Talks To Acquire Pivotal

VMware today confirmed that it is in talks to acquire software development platform Pivotal Software, the service best known for commercializing the open-source Cloud Foundry platform. The proposed transaction would see VMware acquire all outstanding Pivotal Class A stock for $15 per share, a significant markup over Pivotal’s current share price (which unsurprisingly shot up right after the announcement). (Source: TFiR)

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CNCF Reaches 100 End User Community Members

The Cloud Native Computing Foundation  (CNCF), which sustains and integrates open source technologies like Kubernetes and Prometheus, today announced that its End User Community has grown to 100 members. The CNCF End User Community consists of enterprises and startups that are committed to accelerating the adoption of cloud native technologies and improving the deployment experience. (Yahoo!)

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rideOS Launches Ridehailing Platform

rideOS, a technology platform designed to accelerate the safe, global rollout of next-generation transportation fleets, today launched its new Ridehail Platform — including a Ridehail API and open-source mobile apps. The Ridehail API offers an easy way for automotive original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), autonomous vehicle (AV) companies, and transportation network companies (TNCs) to create and manage their own ridehailing network using rideOS’ underlying technology. (Yahoo!)

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CloudBees And Google Cloud Partner To Accelerate Application Development On Anthos

CloudBees and Google Cloud are collaborating to deliver a modern DevOps platform based on open source technologies powered by Google Cloud’s Anthos. The companies are using transformational technologies like Jenkins X, Kubernetes and Tekton to create a unified, end-to-end software delivery system. CloudBees provides companies large and small with Jenkins-based continuous delivery solutions that are secure, open toolchain-enabled and scalable to transform software delivery processes across hybrid computing environments. Google Cloud is delivering to enterprises a secure, open, intelligent and transformative enterprise cloud platform. Anthos, a hybrid and multi-cloud platform, is built on open source technologies pioneered by Google Cloud and enables consistency between on-premise and cloud environments. (Source: Press Release)

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Google Cloud Adds Compute, Memory-Intensive VMs

Google added virtual machine (VM) types on Google Compute Engine including second-generation Intel Xeon scalable processor machines and new VMs for compute- and memory-heavy applications. The former, available in beta, are general-purpose VMs. They provide greater than 20% price-performance improvement for many workloads and support up to 25% more memory per virtual CPU compared with first-generation machines, according to Google. These N2 VMs offer a balance of compute, memory, storage, and network resources for general-purpose workloads such as web and application servers, enterprise applications, gaming servers, content and collaboration systems, and most databases. They are available in Google’s U.S.-Central, Europe-West, and Asia-Southeast region now and will be available in most Google Cloud Platform (GCP) regions in the next few months. (Source: SDX Central)

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Teaching People to Share Technology: Adafruit Founder Limor Fried

This story is based on our interview with Adafruit founder Limor Fried

When Adafruit founder Limor Fried was studying electrical engineering and computer science at MIT, she realized she was less interested in the electrical engineering part.

“What I really liked to do was build stuff,” she said.

Instead of working on her homework or thesis, Fried spent her time designing hardware projects in her dorm. She built an MP3 player way before Apple made iPods popular.

“With electronics, you could build anything from an MP3 player to a GPS tracker,” she said.

Fried started building different gadgets, including LED light toys for the annual Burning Man creative festival. She published these projects on her website at MIT, including the CAD schematics, firmware and instructions on how to build them.

“It was kind of open source hardware, but at the time it wasn’t a thing yet. People would say, ‘Oh, no, you just published everything and gave it away,’” she recalled.

She started getting queries from around the world from people interested in building the devices she posted about, but they were having trouble sourcing the components.

“They needed actual hardware that I used in my projects. It was really difficult to get different components from different places,” Fried said. “You would have to order PCB [printed circuit board] from one place, resistors and chips from another place. It was really complicated for most people.”

Soon she started getting emails asking if she could sell a whole kit. Initially, she wasn’t interested, but she relented and began a small side business.

“I started selling a couple of kits, which I would ship from the local post office,” Fried said. 

That small business eventually became her full-time job: Adafruit. In the last 13 years, the venture has grown from a few kits to over 4,000 products.

Adafruit offers what it calls “open source hardware,” designing and manufacturing innovative yet affordable electronics products, components, tools and accessories. When this hardware gets into the hands of creative people, they build some incredible things with it.

What Fried loves about hardware is that you can actually touch it, pick it up and show it off. 

“You can take it out and wear it at Burning Man or cosplay conventions,” she said. 

In addition to being fun and creative, Adafruit’s hardware also helps people. In the last couple of years, Adafruit has been working on assistive technologies, developing adaptive and rehabilitative devices to assist people with disabilities. 

“It changes their lives,” Fried said.

These types of devices are a great option for people because you can do only so much with proprietary technologies. Off-the-shelf devices are difficult to customize, and hiring someone to build just what you need could be very expensive and out of reach for most people.

“Open source hardware is a perfect middle ground. It’s inexpensive and allows you to customize the way you need it,” Fried said. “The code is there. Instructions are there. Anyone can do it. Since it’s open source, people can iterate, tweak, fine-tune to their needs. We are seeing a lot of interest in open source hardware for assistive technologies.”

Adafruit’s hardware is working for everyone from creative hobbyists to people interested in building things for their smartphones to developers inventing products for the next industrial revolution. Adafruit also worked with computer game company Nvidia to help build its Jetson Nano Developer Kit, which lets users run multiple neural networks for artificial intelligence, machine learning and edge computing.

Adafruit also sends its kits to schools to facilitate STEM programs, as kids tend to respond well to learning with physical objects. A project that started as just a fun activity for Fried now has a real purpose.

“I think the mission is to teach people to share technology and show people how much fun and exciting and creative it can be,” she said.

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NVIDIA Publishes GPU Hardware Documentation

NVIDIA is releasing freely-available hardware interface documentation to assist in the development of the open-source NVIDIA Linux driver (Nouveau). The documentation made public at this point primarily covers Maxwell, Pascal, Volta, and Kepler generations of NVIDIA graphics as more is being worked on — obviously the latest-generation Turing we’d certainly like to see sooner rather than later. When asking about open-source Turing documentation, I hear it’s a work-in-progress. (Source: Phoronix)

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Huawei To Help Create Nation’s First Open-Source Foundation

Huawei Technologies Co said it plans to partner with other companies to set up China’s first open-source software foundation, which is expected to begin to operate in a month or two to expand the nation’s software community. The plan for the software foundation came after GitHub, the world’s largest host of source code, prevented in July users in Iran and other nations sanctioned by the United States government from accessing portions of its service. The incident highlights increasing geopolitical interference with global open-source tech communities, which are supposed to be fair and open to all, analysts said. (Source: China.org)

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University Research Teams Open-Source Natural Adversarial Image DataSet for Computer-Vision AI

Research teams from three universities recently released a dataset called ImageNet-A, containing natural adversarial images: real-world images that are misclassified by image-recognition AI. When used as a test-set on several state-of-the-art pre-trained models, the models achieve an accuracy rate of less than 3%. (Source: InfoHQ)

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Nvidia Breaks Real-time Conversational AI Records

Nvidia’s GPU-powered platform for developing and running conversational AI that understands and responds to natural language requests has achieved some key milestones and broken some records that have big implications for anyone building on their tech — which includes companies large and small, as much of the code they’ve used to achieve these advancements is open source, written in PyTorch and easy to run. (Source: TechCrunch)

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