Open Source News Digest by [19-26/07/2018] - Open Source Wood, Sneaky Devs, Blockchain in Advertising and More

in tech •  7 months ago

My main job on the Open Source Radio Show on MSP Waves (aired live weekly on Wednesdays at 6PM UTC) is causing mayhem is bringing in the freshest and most interesting news from the open source world, and (when possible) adding some commentary to each new item.

Unfortunately, I usually find myself rushing through the news items on my list and leaving many of them out in the chaos that is live radio. To ensure you still get your weekly dose of what's moving and shaking in the open source ecosystem, I am posting a weekly digest of open source news included or (unfortunately) left out in my news segment on the show on Thursdays.

This week, due to some unforeseen circumstances (thanks, migraine from hell), this post is published on Saturday. This does, however, mean I can offer you a link to the full show as published by our wonderful producer @buckydurddle.

This week we had:

  • AndroidX now open source
  • Apache received $600m worth of open source contributions in 12 months
  • Data transfer project
  • Open source wood structures
  • Unknown developer tries to sell free software
  • IAB is looking into the role of blockchain in advertising

Google’s ‘AndroidX’ developer support libraries are now open-source

The AndroidX is designed to help developers maintain backward compatibility with old versions of Android, and this past week it's gone open source. Like many other technologies from Google, Microsoft, Facebook and even Apple, this project is destined to benefit from the contributions of the open source community.

Apache received $600m worth of open source contributions in 12 months

In case you're wondering just how much value these corporations get from making their source available to the developer community, you can probably guess from looking at the financial reports of Apache, who reportedly received contributions worth 600 million dollars in just 12 months.

Open Source Wood

Open source software and hardware are familiar concepts, but what about wood? Apparently, there's an initiative out there collecting and awarding open source designs for wood structures, like the recent winner of their contest, the Kokoon housing design.

(Kokoon Wood Building System. Source:

Google, Facebook, Microsoft, and Twitter partner for ambitious new data project

One of the most interesting projects to be uploaded to Github this past week was Google's Data Transfer Project. The current version of the system supports data transfer for various types of content, drawing from publicly available APIs from Google, Microsoft, Twitter, Flickr, Instagram and others.  Much of the codebase consists of “adapters” that can translate proprietary APIs into an interoperable transfer, but are used mostly for one-time transfers rather than continuous interoperability. The majority of this code was written by Google and Microsoft engineers, but now that it is open to the public, everyone and anyone can make it easier for people to move their data between services.

Unknown Dev Brings LibreOffice to Windows 10 via the Microsoft Store

LibreOffice is a free and open source office suite used by many on Linux, but less on Windows. Which is why many were surprised to see it in the Windows 10 applications store a PAID version of the software. Not only would Microsoft hesitate to allow such a direct competitor onto the store, but since when does it cost money?

Well, turns out it still doesn't, but some enterprising developer decided to check if submitting it to the store and selling it would work, while ignoring the license of the software and behind the backs of its developers. It worked. It is unclear if anyone actually bought the free software, but Microsoft quickly removed it and now searching for LibreOffice will show you a purchase link for Microsoft Office instead.

IAB Tech Labs Launches Blockchain-Analysis Pilot Program

When I initially discovered blockchain technology, I was writing content for a company providing services to publishers looking to monetize their content. One of the most interesting technologies in the ad-tech world are the ad exchanges - public, private, local and international. Most of these exchanges are owned by companies that don't only charge a percentage from both publishers and advertisers, but also tend to collect and resell user information behind the users' and clients backs. So obviously, the idea of a decentralized ledger for the buying and selling of ad views or clicks sounded pretty interesting to me.

A few years passed, and a number of ICOs and initiatives have made attempts at creating such decentralized ad exchanges. Now, the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) tech lab announces that its Blockchain working group is launching a pilot program with a number of participants, each with their own group of publishers and advertisers participating.

One of the companies mentioned in the press release is Lucidity, that is looking to verify impressions and track the programmatic supply chain through a blockchain-based decentralised shared ledger. The company is also planning other blockchain projects to tackle fee transparency, digital publisher signature and audience verification.


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Quite interesting and yeah sneaking Libreoffice in is trollling at it's best. Wonder how long it will last though ;)


It actually lasted for a few days, from what I understand, until someone noticed and bothered to ask if it's official. How did Microsoft let it on there is something they should be figuring out sooner rather than later if they want their users to trust the downloads in the store inside their operating sytem.


Well the idea of a curated App store is something of a myth.

Perhaps you recall Apple having to pull thousands of maleware apps and of course there are the recent high profile incidents of malware in the Ubuntu Snap store and even docker hub

Bottom line is I think it is hard running app stores and curating them effectively. So for Microsoft this is part of their learning curve ;)


Oh, absolutely. I happen to be a mobile app marketing specialist so this topic is a very relevant one for me. It's very hard to scale curation without being open to abuse. As always, the answer is giving the USERS the power to crowdsource quality scoring. The problem with that is the same as with steemit - the lack of a reliable user authority algorithm to give "real" users a higher weight that bots and fake accounts made for burst campaigns and keyword bursts on mobile app stores.


In the Linux world there have been many attempts at trying to rate and review applications but the engagement always seems low. Not really sure why that is when it is quite a natural thing to do.

I have noticed that on Steem quite a few bots chase you trying to trick you into upvotes or to catch on the coattails of your success but they are more annoying than being really disruptive.

But only part of it is gaming the system, Steettiquette too needs to be formalised as well and I personally always upvote things I generally like and any replies to me that I feel worth it. I want my appreciation to be seen and more importantly seen to be seen.

But that is a long process and this is the internet after all so I am pragmatic about it's success. We shall see though.. we shall see.

Thanks for the news updates! :)

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Hello, very good content, I liked it a lot, I gave you a vote in favor, I hope you follow me and give me votes in favor too, kisses