“I want us to ask ourselves every day, how are we using technology to make a real difference in people’s lives.”
– President Barack Obama
I have the unique privilege of working on an Open Source technology stack everyday for the California state government. President Obama’s words were not just empty campaign promises. They were followed up by Digital Government, a website outlining the Obama Administrations views on the adoption of Open Source software, such as Drupal. Drupal is the content management system of choice for my state agency & was also chosen for the redesign of whitehouse.gov, energy.gov, & many other .gov websites. The TED Talk below outlines the possibility of an Open Source workflow (Git) improving politics, law, & distributed collaboration overall.
This morning I woke up to my Galaxy Nexus asking me to install the Android 4.1.1 Jelly Bean over the air update. I was so stoked to try the new features of Google Now & the smoother UI did not disappoint either. Thus far I am very happy with my experience, except for a possible faster battery exhaustion. Expect an update on this issue.
Popcorn.js is an exciting open source project from Mozilla that adds annotation functionality to HTML5 videos. The annotations can then be used to suppliment the video and tell a more compelling story, as demonstrated by the project’s demo gallery. This abbility to annotate videos will enhance a lot of projects like TedEd’s lesson flipper, which is also a huge step forward for Open Source learning tools.
IIFTTT.com (pronounced ift) is a new web app that allows users to create powerful if statements, or recipes, based on API triggers. The site uses OAuth 2.0 to allow users to log into other web apps, or channels. These channels, i.e. Instagram or Google Drive, have their own specific triggers that allow you to take action on them. When your trigger is fired, i.e. post a photo, you can use another channel’s API to execute an action, e.i. backup to Google Drive. This is very liberating for cloud data in an age where Facebook stores millions of user’s personal photos & videos for “free.” Historically the use of these APIs were reserved for developers who had the skills to work with them, but IFTTT flips that paradigm on it’s head and makes it simple for the end user to liberate their own cloud data.
The ever popular Mr.doob released a Chrome Experiment that implements the CodeMirror editor into the foreground with a live preview in the background. The editor also allows the user to download the file locally, share it with friends, & to hide the code. Mr.doob claims he built the editor out of necessity for developing on his ChromeBook & since it’s release has been Open Sourced on GitHub.
I’m very excited to announce the release of my Google Summer of Code project, Orion-X v1, to the Chrome Web Store. Orion-X is a Developer Tools extension that allows for the editing of any inspected web page’s files (more info). GSoC 2012 officially concludes next Monday, August 20th, & I am very happy with how my project has evolved thus far. Visit my GitHub if you are interested in contributing to this project & visit the Google Chrome Web Store to install Orion-X today!