Open Source Weekly #6 - Ecology

I’ll write you once a week on open source, sustainability and avoiding complexity.
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Faster than expected.
The past few weeks taught us that when sh*t is knocking at the door, it’s already too late.
Unfortunately, there are a lot of other subjects where serious people are warning us that our current trajectory is not good. You get it, today we are going to talk about ecology 🌱
I don’t expect politics to understand negative externalities overnight so it’s our responsibility to build a sustainable future.
Open source and cooperation are really the only ways to a durable future (necessary but not sufficient), free of copyrights and patents 💩
Healthcare workers are heroes of today, these people are heroes of tomorrow 🙏

Projects

postmarketOS (Vision / Roadmap / Wiki)
💖 postmarketOS is my crush of 2020 💖
postmarketOS is a touch-optimized Linux that can be installed on smartphones (but also works on tablets and laptops).
They are tackling one of the biggest challenges of the mid-century: E-waste. They are aiming for a 10 year life-cycle for smartphones (I think they can achieve more). As of today people are reporting using it as a daily driver for some weeks but things are not perfect yet. Android apps support is currently unpleasant and there are still some audio quirks.
If you have a PinePhone I encourage you to help them to have it 100% working and report bugs.

Open Source Ecology
They are building reusable machines and sharing the designs. The goal is to create an open source economy: “an efficient economy which increases innovation thanks to open collaboration”. 3D printer, microhouse, tractor and much more.
This is the idea of reusable code blocks applied to the world of machines. Pure genius.

OpenSourceSeeds & Open Source Seed Initiative
Seeds are among those unique things that can perpetrate and reproduce themselves without limits. Until some supervillains started to patent seeds in order to seek a rent on nature. But this is not a comic, no superhero will come to save us.
Our food safety is threatened by the patent system. These things need to stop and those people to go to jail.

Sustainable Earth
A curated list of sustainable things: Books, blogs, projects, publications and more.

Low-tech Lab
A French initiative that focuses on open, useful, accessible and sustainable innovation.


Projects of the community

Projects of the community is a new section where I will randomly pick 1 or 2 projects of readers every week. If you want to have your project included, please open an issue on Gitlab.

Climate indices (BSD-3-Clause)
This project contains Python implementations of various climate index algorithms which provide a geographical and temporal picture of the severity of precipitation and temperature anomalies useful for climate monitoring and research.


Articles

This is why smartphone specs don’t matter as much as you think
Do you really need to buy this new smartphone just for the 42000 megapixel camera?

How to Build a Low-tech Website (Guide)
Reducing our energy consumption should be among our top 3 priorities for 2030. Here is the why and how to build a low footprint website powered by solar energy.

How to Build a Low-tech Internet
Reports from the field of communities around the world which are building a simpler and more sustainable internet infrastructure (and they can offer far lower prices to their subscribers).

Energy Efficiency across Programming Languages (PDF)
We all know that “premature optimization is the root of all evil” but at scale this can have an impact on the energy footprint of your services.

Sustainable Web Manifesto
“If the Internet was a country, it would be the 6th largest polluter”
This website offers some principles to reduce the energy footprint of websites.


Hardware

https://open-face-website.now.sh & http://faceshield.nu & https://github.com/aon3d/covid-face-shield
Not directly related to ecology but urgent at this time. If you have a 3D printer, I encourage you to build these face shields and distribute them to those in need.

Raspberry Pi
The Raspberry Pi is a pocket sized computer which is not 100% open hardware itself, but some schematics are published and the software is Open Source.
I believe this kind of device is good for the future not because it’s ecological to produce (it’s not), but because it’s polyvalent and reusable. You can build a tablet with it. When you no longer need a tablet, you can recycle it yourself into a web server. When you no longer need a server into a magic mirror or a security camera and so on…
You can discover a lot of community projects here: https://www.reddit.com/r/raspberry_pi and here: https://hackaday.com/?s=raspberry+pi


Stay safe ✌️
Sylvain

I’ll write you once a week on open source, sustainability and avoiding complexity.
You can subscribe by Email, RSS or Mastodon