Posts tagged ‘open source’

Rockbox at NYLUG: Will Software Replace Hardware? Will Apps Replace Software?

NYLUG member Robert Menes presented the Rockbox open source jukebox software at the most recent meeting. The software project started in late 2001 when Bjorn Stenberg became fed up with his ARCHON MP3 player and the software was first released in 2002. The software is designed to be installed directly onto MP3 players and to add to rather than replace the existing firmware, but there are many many different MP3 players, and the project supports them to varying degrees (details on the Rockbox website).

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Updated: Diaspora at NYLUG

Daniel Grippi and Raphael Sofaer, two of the four founders of the Diaspora open source social networking project, spoke at NYU this week. They said that the project was started by members of the ACM club at NYU and was inspired by a speech by Professor Eben Moglen called Freedom in the Cloud.

In an earlier interview, Grippi said, “it was the first time it made us think of the violence of those that use your data, and of how, behind the scenes of someone who offers you something for free, there’s always someone that uses the data you exchange with your friends. We deleted ourselves from Facebook and we started to think about an alternative. People don’t really understand the risks they’re taking, but even those that understand them don’t know where else to go to.”

Before starting Diaspora, the club had built a MakerBot and had completed other projects together, such as having the door to the club room tweet every time it was used.

The group decided to build a decent social network for nerds. They went to Kickstarter, whose founder is also a graduate of NYU. Kickstarter allows anyone to raise money for any project through very small donations, as little as $5 per person. The group posted what Grippi called “a pretty terrible video.” The goal was to raise $10,000. In fact, they raised $200,000, which at the time was a record for Kickstarter.

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