Lots of exciting things are happening. realvegancheese.org is now funded with three half-time paid researchers! I presented fread.ink at HOPE and a simple installer is almost done! disaster.radio has been gaining momentum and made the finals in the NSF/Mozilla Wireless Innovation for a Networked Society (WINS) challenge and we're partnering with Grey Cat Collective to ensure that disaster.radio and Outset devices are compatible.
fread.ink development was stalled for a while but has been moving forward over the past couple of months. I've been documenting and making it easy for new developers to build every part of the system from scratch by writing scripts that automate the setup of various build environments using a combination of vagrant virtual machines, cross-compilation toolchains and QEMU chroot. You can check out the recent activity on github if you're curious. I've also been setting up an apt repository for the fread-specific packages. Hopefully a 0.1 developer release will happen in late June. The developer release will happen as soon as wifi or usb networking are operational so development becomes possible without physically opening the e-reader and soldering a serial connector.
After spending most of my holiday free time hacking on this I finally got graphics working on fread! Not only is graphics working, it's working with 100% open source. I also decided to ditch buildroot and move to a slightly modified Debian Jessie as a base. I managed to get it down to about 180 MB _and_ now apt-get works! Next step is to integrate the Awesome from my last post :)
Attended iGEM as part of BioBricks. Spent a lot of time just talking to folks about the bionet and the new BPA 2.0 and OMTA legal structures. Since iGEM served as the official public announcement I can now reveal that I am working for the BioBricks Foundation to create a decentralized web-based system for sharing physical biological samples (DNA and strains to begin with). We just started work on it about a month ago and are currently funded for three years.
While in Boston I was lucky enough to get a tour of Tom Knight's new venture Ginkgo Bioworks, which featured an impressively automated full pipeline from DNA assembly to secondary metabolite analytics! I also visited AddGene and learned that they keep all their plasmids in strains and that their operation is mostly manual labour but heavily facilitated by internally developed inventory tracking and shipping software. Finally I took part in the inaugural meeting of the MIT Microbiome Club which featured some interesting talks on the rise of fecal transplants as treatment in western medicine based on work by MIT researchers.
Spoke about People's Open Network on the Hacker Q/A panel at Symbiosis festival together with Jenny Ryan (sudo mesh), Jake McGinty (Open Whisper Systems), Noah Schwartz (EFF) and Nadia Kayyali (EFF).
I was featured in the Danish National Radio program Harddisken (the harddrive) talking about the Real Vegan Cheese project. The interview is in Danish. Here's the episode and here's a direct link to the mp3. Skip to 21:30 to hear the bit about Real Vegan Cheese.
When we have enough free software
At our call, hackers, at our call,
We'll kick out those dirty licenses
Ever more, hackers, ever more.