Mozilla’s New Open Source Voice-Recognition Project Wants Your Voice

An anonymous reader quotes Mashable:
Mozilla is building a massive repository of voice recordings for the voice apps of the future — and it wants you to add yours to the collection. The organization behind the Firefox browser is launching Common Voice, a project to crowdsource audio samples from the public. The goal is to collect about 10,000 hours of audio in various accents and make it publicly available for everyone… Mozilla hopes to hand over the public dataset to independent developers so they can harness the crowdsourced audio to build the next generation of voice-powered apps and speech-to-text programs… You can also help train the speech-to-text capabilities by validating the recordings already submitted to the project. Just listen to a short clip, and report back if text on the screen matches what you heard… Mozilla says it aims is to expand the tech beyond just a standard voice recognition experience, including multiple accents, demographics and eventually languages for more accessible programs.
Past open source voice-recognition projects have included Sphinx 4 and VoxForge, but unfortunately most of today’s systems are still “locked up behind proprietary code at various companies, such as Amazon, Apple, and Microsoft.”

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D-Wave Open Sources Its Quantum Computing Tool

Long-time Slashdot reader haruchai writes: Canadian company D-Wave has released their qbsolv tool on GitHub to help bolster interest and familiarity with quantum computing. “qbsolv is a metaheuristic or partitioning solver that solves a potentially large QUBO problem by splitting it into pieces that are solved either on a D-Wave system or via a classical tabu solver,” they write on GitHub. This joins the QMASM macro assembler for D-Wave systems, a tool written in Python by Scott Pakin of Los Alamos National Labs. D-Wave president Bo Ewald says “D-Wave is driving the hardware forward but we need more smart people thinking about applications, and another set thinking about software tools.”

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Yelp Employee Posts Open Letter About Cost Of Living And Low Wages, Gets Fired.

whoever57 writes: Talia Jane was employed by Yelp in San Francisco but after posting in an open letter to Yelp’s CEO, Jeremy Stoppelman, that her after tax income of $ 8.15 was insufficient to provide basic necessities like heating, food, etc., she discovered that she had been fired. How did she discover? Her work email stopped working. Even her boss did not know what had happened. Stoppelman denies having a hand in her firing, making the claim “(There are) two sides to every HR story so Twitter army please put down the pitchforks,” replying to the criticism. He didn’t personally turn off her email, perhaps he did not even make the decision to fire her, but as the person who ultimately sets the culture and policies of the company, his claim to not be directly responsible is unconvincing.

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What Is Open Source Pharma (and Why Should You Care)?

Andy Updegrove writes: Humanity today is almost completely dependent on huge pharmaceutical companies to create the drugs we need. But these companies focus exclusively on drugs that can be sold at high prices to large populations — in other words, to patients in developed nations. This means that those who live in the emerging world that suffer from the remaining ‘neglected diseases,’ like Malaria and drug resistant TB, have no one to depend on for relief except huge charities, like the Gates Foundation. They also have no way to afford many of the patented drugs that do exist. But there is another way, modeled on open source software development, which relies on crowd sourced knowledge, highly distributed, volunteer efforts, and advanced open source tools. That methodology is called Open Source Pharma, and it has the potential to dramatically drive down drug development while saving millions of lives every year.

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Netflix Open Sources Sleepy Puppy XSS Hunter

msm1267 writes: Netflix has released a tool it calls Sleepy Puppy. The tool injects cross-site scripting payloads into a target app that may not be vulnerable, but could be stored in a database and tracks the payload if it’s reflected to a secondary application that makes use of the data in the same field. “We were looking for a way to provide coverage on applications that come from different origins or may not be publicly accessible,” said co-developer Scott Behrens, a senior application security engineer at Netflix. “We also wanted to observe where stored data gets reflected back, and how data that may be stored publicly could also be reflected in a large number of internal applications.” Sleepy Puppy is available on Netflix’s Github repository and is one of a slew of security tools its engineers have released to open source.

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How Open Film Project “Cosmos Laundromat” Made Blender Better

An anonymous reader writes: At the beginning of August the Blender Institute released Cosmos Laundromat: First Cycle, its seventh open project. More than just a 10-minute short film, Cosmos Laundromat is the Blender Institute’s most ambitious project, a pilot for the first fully free and open animated feature film. In his article on Opensource.com animator and open source advocate Jason van Gumster highlights the film project and takes a look at some of its most significant contributions to the Blender open source project.

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“Hack” Typeface Is Open Source, Easy On the IDEs

Ars Technica writes that “At SourceFoundry.org this week, programmer Chris Simpkins debuted the 2.0 version of Hack, an open-source typeface designed specifically for use in source code.” The revamped font is “characterized by a large x-height, wide aperture, and low contrast design in order to be ‘highly legible’ at common coding text sizes,” and the font specimen shows how legible it is right down to downright tiny sizes, though Simpkins says the sweet spot is between 8 and 12 pixels.

Hack’s roots are in the libre, open source typeface community, and the project expands upon the contributions of the Bitstream Vera & DejaVu projects. … Simpkins has been working on the project throughout 2015, and he tweeted that this latest version includes “new open type features, changes in weights, significant changes in spacing, Powerline glyphs, and more.” The typeface now comes with four font styles: Regular, Bold, Oblique, and Bold Oblique.

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MIAOW Open Source GPU Debuts At Hot Chips

alexvoica writes: The first general-purpose graphics processor (GPGPU) now available as open-source RTL was unveiled at the Hot Chips event. Although the GPGPU is in an early and relatively crude stage, it is another piece of an emerging open-source hardware platform, said Karu Sankaralingam, an associate professor of computer science at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Sankaralingam led the team that designed the Many-core Integrated Accelerator of Wisconsin (MIAOW). A 12-person team developed the MIAOW core in 36 months. Their goal was simply to create a functional GPGPU without setting any specific area, frequency, power or performance goals. The resulting GPGPU uses just 95 instructions and 32 compute units in its current design. It only supports single-precision operations. Students are now adding a graphics pipeline to the design, a job expected to take about six months.

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Croatian Party Advocates Government Adoption of Open Source

An anonymous reader writes: Earlier this year, Croatian political party Sustainable Development of Croatia (ORaH) published a new policy that encourages the government to pursue open source solutions, addresses the dangers of vendor lock-in, and insists on open document standards. Best of all, they did it the open source way. In this article on Opensource.com, Croatian startup founder Josip Almasi highlights some of the policy’s implications, as well as why it could matter in the upcoming election.

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