A New Experimental Open Source Showcase, and Nitrate Testing in This Week’s Wrap Up

Open Source Wrap Up: August 8-14, 2015

Google Launches Showcase for Experimental, Open Source Android Apps

Google has launched Android Experiments, a site that showcases apps that use cutting edge technology with clean, modern aesthetics and interfaces. All of the apps hosted on Android Experiments are open source, allowing other developers to learn from these examples and use them to build their own software. The mobile app market has been slow to adopt open source, which prevents a lot of newcomers from creating their first app by making it significantly more challenging to start. Google seeks to address this with Android Experiments by allowing anyone to submit apps to be included in the showcase.

New Simple, Cheap, Open Source Nitrate Tester

Nitrate pollution as a result of agricultural runoff is a major problem for the world’s waterways. Commercial testing of nitrate levels is an expensive process that involves proprietary tools and the use of toxic regents like cadmium. Joshua Pearce, professor of Material Sciences, led a team of Michigan Tech students in the development of a low-cost, open source tool for testing nitrate levels. It is built using a 3d printed enclosure, an LED light source, and a light sensor. Samples are mixed with a low cost regent that changes its color based on the levels of nitrate. The light and light sensor can then be used to determine the amount of nitrate in the sample. This tool can make nitrate testing much easier for citizen-researchers, farmers, the academic community, and more.

Rust 1.2 is Released

Rust is a high level programming language that provides efficient bindings to the C programming language. The Rust community has released version 1.2 of their growing project. It features across-the-board improvements to compiler performance and parallel code generation. This release also includes improvements to the performance of Cargo and the inclusion of support for the Microsoft Visual C toolchain. Along with this release comes the beta version of 1.3 which includes even more performance gains and better support for Windows environments.

Come Find Us at LinuxCon NA 2015

We’ll have a booth at LinuxCon NA in Seattle next week. Stop by and check out our demo of Tizen running on a Raspberry Pi 2, or ask us any questions you might have about the work we do. We’ll have some old-time cartoons for you to enjoy, and visitors can feel free to poke around using the device’s terminal if they feel so inclined. We’ll be on the 3rd floor, to the right as you come up the escalators.  We hope to see you there!

Author: Ben Lloyd Pearson

Ben is an open source technologist experienced in a wide array of modern IT tools. He's done a bit of everything, from web development, to systems administration, web publishing, and beyond.