‘Zooshi’ from Fun Propulsion Labs showcases open source game development


Within the Google organization, there is a group of employees working to build sample games that demonstrate how available technologies can be used by game developers to create easy-to-build, performant, cross-platform games. This group comprises the Fun Propulsion Labs and their most recent creation, which supports Google Cardboard, has been released to the Play Store as Zooshi. Read more

TensorFlow machine learning code open-sourced by Google


If you appreciate the speed and ability of Google products to do things like translate signs on the fly or find pictures in your Google Photos library, then you may be pleased to know that capability may start to spread throughout the computer systems and apps you use on a daily basis. The possibility for this is thanks to a decision by Google to open source their TensorFlow machine learning system. Read more

Geeksphone quits making smartphones, leaves its Multi-OS platform in the hands of the community


Remember Geeksphone, Spain’s first smartphone manufacturer that developed a MultiOS platform allowing you to choose when you want to use Google’s Android, Mozilla’s Boot2Gecko or another community developed operating system on its handsets? Well, today Geeksphone has announced it will quit making smartphones and leave further development of its MultiOS software in the hands of its community.

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Google opens up code for Chrome for Android


Google’s Chrome for Android development team has announced the mobile version of the Chrome browser is now “almost entirely open source.” The parts not open sourced include some media codecs, plugins, and Google service features that are restricted due to licensing issues. The team open sourced over 100,000 lines of code, including the entire user interface layer. For developers, this move means they can built their own versions of the browser for Android devices. Read more

Google Carboard transitions to an open source platform


Google Cardboard, the virtual reality platform introduced at Google I/O 2014, now exists as an open source platform. Today, Google announced that it would begin to issue certifications to hardware from manufacturers that meet its criteria. The certification allows consumers to recognize that a particular Cardboard viewer is aligned with Google’s vision for the platform. Cardboard apps and games work perfectly with certified hardware.

Consumers and smaller manufacturers putting together their own Cardboard viewers are being helped, too. Define the key parameters and place a QR code on the Cardboard viewer. The official Google Cardboard app then recognizes the key parameters and tailors the experience for all apps and games.

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Google’s Patch Reward Program adds numerous open source software projects


Approximately six weeks ago, Google launched a new program it was calling the Patch Reward Program. The program encourages coders to take a proactive approach to improve “third-party” software that Google believes is key to the health of the Internet. According to Google:

“The goal is very simple: to recognize and reward proactive security improvements to third-party open-source projects that are vital to the health of the entire Internet.” Read more

HALO project open sourced by Paranoid Android team


The team over at Paranoid Android has announced they are open sourcing their HALO project. HALO brings Facebook Chat Heads-like notification functionality to Android apps, one of the few features of Facebook’s Home interface that actually received a positive response from users. Along with floating the notification on the screen on top of open applications, the HALO project gives users the ability to interact with app in a limited matter, like sending a response to a message. Read more

Google’s Takes ‘OPN Pledge’ to Protect Open Source and Patents


Following in the footsteps of Open Source pioneers IBM and Red Hat, Google has taken a giant leap forward in preserving the purity of Open Source and Patents in the world of technology.  In a recent blog post on Google’s “Open Source Blog”, Senior Patent Counsel, Duane Valz, makes a less-than-obvious attack on patent and money hungry technology companies (like the one named after that one fruit that Eve took a bite out of that started this whole mess).  He states the importance of protecting this purity to ensure continued innovation in the world of computer software, and continued advancement in cloud computing, the mobile web, and the internet in general.

Today, Google announced its “Open Patent Non-Assertion (OPN) Pledge“.  In it they pledge “NOT to sue any user, distributor or developer of open-source software on specified patents…unless first attacked.”  Gotta love that last part!  Google, in their infinite wisdom, has included an Apple escape clause (Oops!  Just came right out and said it that time).

At this point Google has only identified 10 patents relating to MapReduce in their initial pledge list, but vow to expand on that list, adding “past, present or future” open-source software that might rely on pledge patents.  Good for you Google! Read more