* "MIT's Open-Source Food Computer: The Future of Urban Agriculture?"An article for IEEE Spectrum on Jan. 20, 2016
* Start-ups: Open-Source Beer and Coffee with Brewbot and Bonaverde, an article for IEEE Spectrum's Aug. 2014 print issue.
* A rising open-source star is changing the Web server world
An article for IEEE Spectrum online on Nov. 19, 2013
Web servers are the wellsprings of the World Wide Web, providing pages and other content to browsers and other Web-savvy applications on demand. The pecking order in the Web server world hasn’t changed much in years, with the open-source Apache Web server typically responsible for over 50 percent of all active sites and Microsoft’s server coming in second, at a little over 10 percent of active sites. Now, an upstart project has overtaken Microsoft and is poised to threaten Apache’s dominance.
The software, and its San Francisco–based parent company, is called Nginx (pronounced “engine x”). Like Apache, Nginx is an open-source server. But unlike Apache, Nginx wasn’t formed in the Web’s earliest days, when websites were relatively simple. It appeared during the 2000s as the Web matured and mobile platforms, social media, and bandwidth-choking Web streaming had emerged as new challenges for server design. Nginx at its best, in other words, is something of a 21st-century host for 21st-century Internet traffic.
* Open-Source Voting. Its proponents could put pressure on voting-machine makers, but critics say it's not a cure-all.
An article on open-source voting for the Oct. 2008 issue of IEEE Spectrum magazine. Image credit Digital Vision/Getty Images
* "Global Positioning Tech Inspires Do-It-Yourself Mapping"
Some map enthusiasts are doing for geography what the popular online encyclopedia Wikipedia has done for reference books.
Armed with the latest global positioning system (GPS) technology, volunteers are creating a wholly user-generated alternative to commercial maps - OpenStreetMap.
* "Roll Your Own Ringtone"
CAMBRIDGE, Massachusetts -- Cell-phone customers have spent more than $4 billion on ringtones taken primarily from popular hits. Now MIT's Media Lab hopes to unleash some new creativity into this market with a ringtone composition tool to the masses for free.
On Friday, the university handed out awards for original ringtone compositions created using its Hyperscore songwriting software. U2's the Edge acted as one of the judges, although he did not attend the event.
(cc) image by Quinn Dombrowski