Information is power, and the fossil fuel companies don’t want anyone but them to have power. They have lied to governments, manipulated political parties, and publicly deny their actions are killing all of us. Obviously, that’s not good.
Now an international team of researchers and concerned organizations have launched the Global Registry of Fossil Fuels to track the work of companies which are actively extracting deadly fuels. The goal is to help decision makers from local politicians to CEOs understand the dangers of the industry and explain plainly what harm they are doing.
Countries around the world are projected to produce more than twice the fossil fuels consistent with 1.5°C by 2030. It is clear that addressing the climate crisis requires managing the supply of fossil fuels, alongside demand-side measures, and that this needs to be done fairly and equitably. The Global Registry of Fossil Fuels is therefore the first the first-ever comprehensive, independent, policy neutral and fully open-source database that demonstrates the scale of CO2 emissions associated with each country’s national reserves and production, thus enabling policy-makers, investors and others to make informed decisions to align fossil fuel production with 1.5°C, and equipping researchers with the data needed to provide timely analysis.
One of the best open source projects is undoubtedly VLC, that little app with the pylon icon that plays any video file you throw at it. VLC embodies the spirit of a free and open world of computing in which the user can do whatever they want and not have anybody spying on them (VLC doesn’t track when you open the app or what you play). The team behind VLC is an impressive group of people who stay true to their values and better the world through their efforts.
The Italian health care system finds itself short on parts due to the influx of COVID-19 patients. Due to the nature of the virus people with it are more likely to need breathing support as lungs are in such a bad shape. Some geniuses at one Italian hospital decided to not wait for new parts and make their own instead. They 3D printed a key part of a respirator to help patients get through the worst aspects of COVID-19. Sadly, the company which manufactures the $11,000 part threatened the hospital with legal action so the ~$2 3D printed part won’t be available for other places.
While the article uses the term â€œreanimation deviceâ€, itâ€™s clear weâ€™re talking about respirators here, necessary to keep patients alive during respiratory distress. The valve in question is a plastic part, one which likely needs to be changed over when the device is used with each individual patient to provide a sterile flow of air. After the alarm was raised by Nunzia Vallini, a local journalist, a ring around of the 3D printing community led to a machine being sent down to the hospital and the parts being reproduced. Once proven to work, things were stepped up, with another company stepping in to produce the parts in quantity with a high-quality laser fusion printer.
Let’s be honest, people are bad at conveying their ideas on what streets can look like. Thankfully there’s an open source project designed to help people remix their local streets and share it with others. The web based design tool Streetmix provides a simple drag and drop interface to rethink your local roads, you don’t need an urban planning degree to figure out what should go where. Give it a try, generate some images, and go talk to your community about making your neighbourhood more people-friendly from the street up.
Why does Streetmix exist?
When city planners seek input from community meetings from the public on streetscape improvements, one common engagement activity is to create paper cut-outs depicting different street components (like bike lanes, sidewalks, trees, and so on) and allow attendees to reassemble them into their desired streetscape. Planners and city officials can then take this feedback to determine a course of action for future plans. By creating an web-based version of this activity, planners can reach a wider audience than they could at meetings alone, and allow community members to share and remix each other’s creations.
The goal is to promote two-way communication between planners and the public, as well. Streetmix intends to communicate not just feedback to planners but also information and consequences of actions to the users that are creating streets. Kind of like SimCity did with its in-game advisors!
A funding campaign on IndieGoGo is focused on making an open-sourced robotic prosthetic hand. This is wonderful because the end product will be shared with everyone and the hand can be made essentially anywhere.
The Open Hand Project isÂ open-source, which means all of the plans to make a robotic hand will be published online with no patents, anyone has the right to make their own and even sell it themselves. You’re funding the full development of the hand with the Open Hand Project, after that companies will be able to use the designs and sell the hands all over the world. This really helps get these devices out to developing countries and places where import taxes might otherwise increase the cost ofÂ distribution.