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Want to know if it's safe to buy an unknown foodstuff or medicine when you're already at the store? You'll have that option soon. In step with the White House's open data efforts, the FDA has launched OpenFDA, a platform that makes it easy for apps to fetch public health data. Developers only need...

June 3rd 2014 at 2:09pm 0 Comments
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The White House promised that it would open up government data last year, and it's now expanding those plans in some intriguing directions. For one, it's opening up the Smithsonian American Art Museum's digitized collection; you'll soon get to build apps and other tools using the institution's art...

May 10th 2014 at 5:01am 0 Comments
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A reader named Gabe emailed Massively last year with two questions (I'm getting through all the emails -- I am!). I'll address the second one eventually, but let's do the first one today because it's something I love to talk about: open-world MMOs. What happened to "open world" MMOs? I grew up wit...

April 4th 2014 at 2:00pm 0 Comments
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Microsoft believes the children are our future, and to prove it, it's teamed up with the Computer History Museum to make source code available for two groundbreaking programs: MS-DOS and Word for Windows. In a blog post that outlined the deal, Roy Levin, managing director of Microsoft Research, sa...

March 25th 2014 at 1:49pm 0 Comments
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With crowd-sourced development practices on the rise, indies are taking steps to more deeply entrench their fans in the game-creation process: Transparent development means pulling back the curtain and giving the audience a close look at the minutiae of making a game, including failed ideas, bad ch...

January 28th 2014 at 2:30pm 0 Comments
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As the first Firefox OS smartphone, the ZTE Open is an ambassador for its platform: it's built to prove that web apps can do the hard work of their native equivalents. It's also geared toward first-time smartphone owners with its simple interface and an $80 unlocked price. This combination of open...

October 3rd 2013 at 2:30pm 0 Comments
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ZTE is one of the few companies making a sly side-bet on Firefox OS, and next year it's planning to double-down on that initial wager with the launch of a second handset running Mozilla's smartphone platform. Speaking with IDG's Michael Kan at Expo Comm China 2013, ZTE's Executive VP He Shiyou exp...

September 25th 2013 at 5:19am 0 Comments
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The Spanish had first dibs on ZTE's Open smartphone, but earlier this month we were told Americans and Brits would eventually be able to buy the Firefox OS device through ZTE's local eBay storefronts. Well, the pages are now live, so in exchange for $80 or £60 (delivery is free), you can get...

August 17th 2013 at 10:10am 0 Comments
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Yes, the ZTE Open is hauling its laggy self to America by way of the manufacturer's eBay store. Early adopters who want to get a head start with Firefox OS, or regular buyers looking for a cheap device that can handle things like Nokia HERE maps and social networking integration, will be able to B...

August 12th 2013 at 4:44am 0 Comments
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To date, Firefox OS has only had a presence in Europe. Now, it's now venturing overseas to Latin America with a launch on Movistar. Both Colombians and Venezuelans can buy the Alcatel OneTouch Fire and ZTE Open from the carrier today. Whether or not the phones represent bargains will depend on the...

August 1st 2013 at 1:01pm 0 Comments
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Two weeks ago I wrote a column on the ups and downs of planning RP developments before they take place. I ended on the note that it's very important to decide exactly how much to plan ahead, but then I ended the column before actually offering any guidance on how to determine how much to plan ahead...

July 19th 2013 at 12:00pm 0 Comments