Giant robots and open source

I know why you're excited this week ... you've seen the "Kuratas", a 13 foot tall, 9,900-pound robot you can ride in at speeds of up to 6 miles per hour and which is equipped with a water bottle cannon and Gatling guns that can fire 6,000 BBs per minute (the operator can fire the armaments just by smiling ... no, really, watch the video).

The Kuratas robot, built by Japanese artist Kogoro Kurata and marketed by Suidobashi Heavy Industry, can be controlled by the onboard operator, a remote control device, or a smartphone and runs V-Sido, a "next generation robot OS".

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A Kuratas complete with custom paint job can be yours (according to Gizmag) for only $1,523,500. Order early for your next trade show to avoid disappointment. (Kuratas, of course, gets a Gearhead rating of 5 out of 5. How could I not rate it like that when I want to find one under my Christmas tree ... of course, that's going to be a Christmas tree of epic proportions.)

So, on to more prosaic topics ...

Do you use Open Source Software (OSS)? If you do you are probably aware of the various types of OSS licenses and terms in those licenses that your organization needs to be able to square away with organizational policies and industry regulations.

But which OSS packages do you use?

That's actually not a simple question because many commercial software products use OSS in subsystems you may not be aware of. So, to ensure your organization is in compliance with legal requirements you first need to know which OSS packages you are really using and that is not an easy thing to do

I should say that wasn't an easy thing to do because OpenLogic, a company that provides open source support, scanning, provisioning and governance solutions for enterprises, provides a free, open source tool called OSS Discovery Audit Edition you can use to scan for embedded open source software packages.

OSS Discovery Audit Edition can recognize over 330,000 open source packages and is available for Linux, Solaris, Windows, OS X and FreeBSD.

And in case you're not completely up to date on issues of using OSS and/or distributing software that uses OSS, OpenLogic has a useful e-book to help you understand the issues: "Guide to Adopting and Distributing Open Source Software".

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