Entries with tag open source technology.

Linux Proponents Fight Patents Threatening Open Source Software

A group known as Linux Defenders is using the law to identify and fight US patents that, they say, threaten Linux and other open source software. The group—which the Open Invention Network, Software Freedom Law Center, and Linux Foundation created—is using the recently passed America Invents Act to examine newly published patent applications. If one appears as if it could cause problems for open source software, Linux Defenders files defensive publications, documents describing existing technology that would invalidate some of the pending patent’s claims, to be read by US Patent and Trademark Office examiners during the review process. Linux Defenders has filed about 200 of these defensive publications. The concern is that either the granting of broad patents or those duplicating existing open source technology could damage open source applications. The threat is very real. “One good loss at trial on a serious set of patents could make Red Hat go away. It would be gone,” Tom Callaway, Red Hat's Fedora engineering manager, told Ars Technica. “That’s the seriousness of patents and that’s how chilling they are on our industry.” (SlashDot)(Ars Technica)

Material Reuse Makes 3D Prototyping Affordable

Michigan Technological University researchers are working on a process that promises to save 3D-printer users money. Typically, 3D printing requires users to purchase plastic filament to prototype and create objects. The Michigan Tech team created RecycleBot, a plastics extruder that lets users utilize high-density polyethylene milk jugs for 3D printed items. The scientists made their plans open source to encourage people to take advantage of the technology. They estimate that 20 milk jug yields approximately 1 kilogram of plastic filament. The plastic filament typically costs between $30 and $50 per kilogram. Work they conducted with Queen’s University researchers has been published in Rapid Prototyping, while a second paper with Michigan Tech colleagues will appear in the Materials Research Society Online Proceedings. (EurekAlert)(Michigan Technological University)(Rapid Prototyping)

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