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4 Open Source Drone Projects

Over the past few years, interest in both civilian and commercial use of drones has continued to grow rapidly, and drone hardware sits at the top of many people's holiday wish lists. Even just within the civilian side of things, the list of unmanned aerial devices that fit the moniker of drone seems to be constantly expanding. These days, the term seems to encompass everything from what is essentially a cheap, multi-bladed toy helicopter, all the way up to custom-built soaring machines with incredibly adept artificial intelligence capabilities...

How the University of Hawai'i Is Solving Today's Higher Ed Problems

Openness invites greater participation and it takes advantage of the shared energy of collaborators. The strength of openly created educational resources comes paradoxically from the vulnerability of the shared experience of that creation process. One of the leaders in Open Educational Resources (OER) is Billy Meinke, educational technologist at the University of Hawai'i at Manoa. The University's open creation model uses Pressbooks, which Billy tells me more about in this interview...

A Guide to Bootstrapping Your Open Source Project with GitHub

There's much more to managing a project with git beyond just committing code and working with branches. GitHub-Driven Development is a process that will help you organize and manage the progression of a project on GitHub, although much of this could be applied to other systems, such as GitLab, as well. This concept isn't only for developers; it can be used for project managers or anyone involved in the development of a project—it could even be applied to non-code projects...

Open Data Projects Win Wellcome Trust, NIH and HHMI Open Science Prize

The Open Science Prize, a new initiative from the US National Institutes of Health (NIH), Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) and the Wellcome Trust, encourages and supports open science approaches that generate benefit to society, advance research and spur innovation. An integral component of the selection process is demonstrated use and generation of open data, so PLOS is proud that this year’s winner of the Open Science Prize is PLOS author and evolutionary, computational biologist Trevor Bedford of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, Washington...

HHS Ventures Team Helps Detect Disease Outbreaks

It was a no brainer for the HHS Ventures Fund to include the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) GHOST project in its latest round of funding. There are about 3.5 million Americans infected with Hepatitis C (HCV), which attacks the liver and can lead to cirrhosis and other serious health problems, according to the latest data collected by the CDC. This CDC Ventures team is developing a cloud-based, public health research tool to help state and local health departments more quickly detect and fight the spread of disease. The team calls their system GHOST – Global Hepatitis Outbreak Surveillance Technology...

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Rise of Drones for Medical Supply Delivery

This is not going to all be about getting your books, or your socks, or even your new HD television faster. It is going to impact many industries -- including health care. And that impact has already started to happen. Zipline International, for example, is already delivering medical supplies by drone in Rwanda. They deliver directly to isolated clinics despite any intervening "challenging terrain and gaps in infrastructure." They plan to limit themselves to medical supplies, but not only in developing countries; they see rural areas in the U.S. as potential opportunities as well. Last fall they raised $25 million in Series B funding. Drones are also being considered for medical supply delivery in Guyana, Haiti, and the Philippines...

Open Labs Leads 48-Hour Hackathon for Good

The local hackerspace in Tirana, Albania might be small, but they make up for size in spirit. During the weekend of March 18-19, 2017, the Open Labs Hackerspace organized the first-ever, 48-hour "open source" hackathon focused on the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. The UN Sustainable Development Goals are 17 objectives identified by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) to build a better world, starting in our own communities. Some of the goals include quality education, gender equality, decent work and economic growth, clean energy, and more....

How a Lifecycle Management Tool Uses Metrics

Greg Sutcliffe is a long-time member and now community lead of the Foreman community. Foreman is a lifecycle management tool for physical and virtual servers. He's been studying how the real-world application of community metrics gives insight into its effectiveness and discovering the gap that exists between the ideal and the practical. He shares what insights he's found behind the numbers and how he is using them to help the community grow...

Invisible Fluorescent Ink Opens New Frontier in Fight against Counterfeiting

Counterfeiting gives brand owners major headaches. Companies lose sales and governments lose tax income. Resulting costs to businesses of counterfeit and pirated products add up to as much as US$650 billion a year worldwide, according to the International Chamber of Commerce. Scientists and engineers have developed many techniques in the fight against counterfeiters. You might have one example in your pocket right now – the banknotes we use almost every day are produced using special paper, with watermarks, holograms, glossy strips and many other security features...

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Kenya Creates Online System to Monitor Rural Sanitation

Kenya has launched an online monitoring, evaluation and reporting system to improve capturing of data on sanitation and hygiene status, a conference has heard. According to Kenya’s Ministry of Health, the country has open defecation rate of 14 per cent, with countries such as Wajir and Turkana having a rate of 76.7 and 82.2 per cent respectively. The online portal could help coordinate monitoring of water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH), and enable public health officials in rural areas facilitate rapid acceleration of the Open Defecation Free (ODF) campaign, experts say...