Kagetsuki writes: Standardized education teaches a limited curriculum without accounting for anything students achieve outside of that curriculum. GAKU Engine is an open source school management system that sets out to change that. It lets schools manage their standard curriculum, yet augments it by tracking extracurricular accomplishments and integrating with external educational services.
Kagetsuki writes: Remember that bad grade you got in that class that one time? If your school had been using GAKU Engine you could have picked up some badges from Code School, or learned to solder at a Maker fair, or gotten a red belt in Karate to put on your grade report and balance it out.
Nearly every school in the world uses a School Management System. Often these are inflexible and proprietary closed source solutions which can cost over $100k a year. GAKU Engine [meaning “Learning Engine” in Japanese] is a full featured, customizable and extendable FOSS School Management system. But the objective of GAKU Engine isn’t just to replace closed source solutions, it aims to let schools break free of sticking to a standardized education and give students credit for all the skills and knowledge they acquire outside of school. Schools can also enhance their educational offerings with external content and services. They can augment student records with badges, achievements, and licenses. Plus there’s an extension system and an API so new functionality can be added and other systems can be integrated.
Kagetsuki writes: Many schools pay over $100k a year on proprietary, inflexible, closed source School Management Systems. Some systems come bundled with full curriculum packages or integrated learning systems which cost schools millions in tablet computers and student licenses. Schools need a full featured, standards compliant system that is flexible, extendable, free of vendor lock-in, can be integrated with any curriculum or integrating learning system, and is free to use without a license.
GAKU Engine [meaning “Learning Engine” in Japanese] is a full featured, customizable and extendable Free Open Source School Management system. But the objective of GAKU Engine isn’t just to to run a standardized education; it aims to let schools break free of the standard by enhancing their educational offerings with external content and services, and augment student records with badges and achievements. With your help the base system could be completed and running in schools within the year.
Kagetsuki writes: It’s ironic you’ll often find a poster of Einstein in schools as, after being flunked out and declared an idiot by his instructors, he had a disdain for formal education. Standardized education has become the result of countless committees deciding what they believe it is important for students to know and generalizing when and how they should learn it. This complete disregard for neurodiversity and ignorance of students who excel outside of the standard curriculum has failed Einstein and many other alternative and revolutionary thinkers. Now, programs like the US Common Core are going to very quickly make this situation worse.
GAKU Engine [“Learning Engine” in Japanese] is an FOSS School Management System that wants to change that. It’s built to support all the needs of a school providing a standardized education, but also comes equipped with tools to augment it. The core system comes with badge system integration, tools to record awards / achievements / licenses, and a system to integrate information from external educational services and other schools. It’s open source so anyone can modify it and has an extension system and an API so anyone can extend or integrate with it.
Kagetsuki writes: While grainy GIF images can have entertaining uses they aren't the ideal animated image format due to lack of full color support and an alpha channel [for varied transparency]. Animated PNG doesn't have these faults and has been available and incorporated in quite a few browsers since roughly 2004. Lack of tools and recogniting has hurt adoption, so to remedy this there is a campaign on kickstarter to create an Open Source, high quality Animated PNG [APNG] conversion library and GUI Editor based on the APNG Assembler tool "apngasm". Even the primary goal includes libraries/modules for C/C++ and Ruby along with a cross platform GUI authoring tool. Aside from supporting the project simply using APNG willl help raise interest and support in the standard and bring us one step closer to a world with cleaner animated images.
Kagetsuki writes: The same people who ran the Phantom Open Emoji kickstarter are running a new campaign to create an OSS high quality Animated PNG [APNG] conversion library and GUI Editor based on the APNG Assembler tool "apngasm". If you're sick of grainy ugly GIF images and want a high quality animated image format with transparency APNG is available for use now, but without better tools APNG images will continue to be difficult to create. If this campaign succeeds that problem should be solved.
Kagetsuki writes: The same people who ran the Phantom Open Emoji kickstarter are running a new campaign to create a high quality Animated PNG [APNG] conversion library and GUI Editor based on the APNG Assembler tool "apngasm" here: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/374397522/apngasm-foss-animated-png-tools-and-apng-standardi . If you're sick of grainy ugly GIF images and want a high quality animated image format with transparency APNG is available for use now, but without better tools APNG images will continue to be difficult to create. If this campaign succeeds that problem should be solved.
Kagetsuki writes: There's a project on KickStarter for a Free and Open set of emoji [the grapical emoticon glyph set which has a block reserved in Unicode]. Currently there are no full sets of Emoji that are completely free (as in beer and and freedom), so if this project gets funded it will be the first and only set of emoji that can, say, be distributed with FLOSS Linux/BSD/GNU systems. Not to mention anyone will be able to incorporate them into any project without any restrictive conditions. Check it out at http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/374397522/phantom-open-emoji .
Kagetsuki writes: "We've just gotten a letter from an attorney representing the Business Software Alliance stating someone (we're certain it's a disgruntled former employee) submitted information we are using illegally copied software. The thing is we're not using illegally copied software, all commercial software we are using we have licenses for. Still, according to articles on the BSA that's irrelevant and they'll end up suing us anyway. So we now need a lawyer to deal with their claims and we don't have the money — this will surely be the end of the company I've sunk all my savings and 3 years of my life into. My question is has anybody dealt with the Business Software Alliance before? What action should I take? Is there any sort of recourse we can take to try and recover financially, or at least cover our legal fees?
As a side note Adobe is a member of the BSA. As Flash and AIR are some of our primary release platforms all the software we own happens to be from Adobe. We've also been a very pro-Adobe shop and have gone out of our way to defend our choices in using Adobe platforms (AS3 is great, check out the free Flex compiler!). Please, if any Adobe employees read this: do something, anything to get the BSA off of us!"
Kagetsuki writes: "The Sharp NetWalker (http://www.sharp.co.jp/netwalker/), a tiny netbook with an ARM Cortex core, OpenGL ES2.0, running a custom version of Ubuntu Netbook Remix will be released in Japan on September 25th. Yes, an ARM netbook with standard OpenGL ES 2.0 that runs a fully vendor supported Linux distrobution — and it fits in your pocket! It features a unique optical pointing device that is sort of like a track pad for your thumb (which works great and takes little getting used to), and of course includes a stylus and touchscreen as well. Sharp claims battery life of about 10 hours and the unit includes UBS 2.0 and WLAN. In store demo units can be found all across Japan, and I've personally confirmed it can play full screen ogg theora/vorbis files without dropping frames, ran some GL demos very nicely, and generally found no lag in application response time at all. Perhaps most impressive is application start up time, FireFox started within seconds and gnome-terminal almost instantaneously. I found the keyboard a bit difficult to use due to size, but the keys have a solid click to them which I liked. Prices range from 39,000 Yen to 45,000 Yen (about $400US to $460US) depending on what store you purchase from. I've got mine reserved already."