Farming assistant app Agrolly wins IBM’s Call for Code contest

The innovative platform will be a one-stop-shop for farmers seeking out more information on what to plant and when.

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An autonomous combine–again, smaller and lighter than conventional farm machinery–harvesting HFHa’s first crop in September 2017.

Image: HandsFree Hectare

Agrolly, a platform built to help farmers in emerging markets, was chosen as the winner of IBM’s 2020 Call for Code Global Challenge.

Agrolly provides farmers with a bevy of information about weather patterns and crop characteristics, giving them advice on what would be the best thing to plant during certain times of the year. The platform also has ways for farmers to connect with experts as well as ways for them to share information and tools with each other.

During the virtual “2020 Call for Code Awards: A Global Celebration of Tech for Good” event, Agrolly was announced as the winner of the annual competition, which brings together the world’s brightest minds to create solutions to pertinent problems. This year’s task was to develop solutions to problems related to climate change and COVID-19.

“Climate change is making it worse for farmers in developing countries and they are losing yield production because of the changes. When you come to emerging markets and you look at these farmers, they don’t have the resources, they don’t know what to plant, they don’t know what the weather will be, and they don’t have advantages,” said Manoela Morais, CEO of Agrolly.

SEE: Big data’s role in COVID-19 (free PDF) (TechRepublic)

“We want to change the farming industry in the long run by listening to these small farmers in emerging markets, giving them a voice, and empowering them with the latest tech available. We wanted to create an ecosystem where they can contact each other, solve their problems and build a system that is better in the

ACCC code sees Google pause Australian rollout of News Showcase

Google has paused the Australian rollout of News Showcase, which is a news-based service pitched by the company as benefiting both publishers and readers.

News Showcase was only announced earlier this month, and when it was initially launched in Germany and Brazil, CEO Sundar Pichai explained the platform was aimed at paying publishers to “create and curate high-quality content for a different kind of online news experience”.

Although Google said it signed several agreements with Australian publishers for News Showcase in June, it has decided to pause its Australian plans as it is not sure if the product would be viable under the impending media bargaining code of practice published by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC).

Google has held firm that it is against the News Media Bargaining Code, saying previously it would force the tech giant to provide users with a “dramatically worse Google Search and YouTube”, which could lead to data being handed over to “big news businesses, and would put the free services you use at risk in Australia”.

“The agreements we have signed in Australia and around the world show that not only are we willing to pay to license news content for a new product, but that we are able to strike deals with publishers without the draft code’s onerous and prescriptive bargaining framework and one-sided arbitration model,” Google wrote in a blog post penned by Australia and New Zealand VP Mel Silva.

“We don’t oppose a code, and a system for resolving disputes between parties. But the arbitration system outlined in the draft is unworkable.”

The code, as drafted, adopts a model based on negotiation, mediation, and arbitration to “best facilitate genuine commercial bargaining between parties, allowing commercially negotiated outcomes suited to different business models used by Australian news media businesses”.

The

Huawei’s Four Open Source Basic Software Projects Infuse Diversified Computing Power into Every Line of Code

Four Basic Software Projects Power Innovation of Open Source Communities

While hardware provides the foundation of computing power, basic software helps unleash the potential, and application software creates tangible value for end users. Innovation will gain speeds when a virtuous cycle is formed among hardware vendors, basic software vendors, application software vendors, system developers, software developers, and users.

Open source software is an important part of Huawei’s computing ecosystem strategy. Huawei values open hardware, open source software, and partner enablement. By leading open source initiatives, contributing, and enabling business partners, Huawei supports the technical software ecosystem with continuous innovation.

In terms of community contributions, Huawei ranks No. 2 globally in the latest Linux Kernel 5.8 release. Huawei leads four open source projects: openEuler, openGauss, openLooKeng, and MindSpore, and has completed continuous integration with more than 40 mainstream communities. By contributing to upstream communities for mainstream scenarios, Huawei enables 80% of key communities to provide native support for Kunpeng. In this way, ARM developers can use these open source components easily. Such efforts all help to lay a solid groundwork for full-stack hardware and software collaboration.

Hardware is the basis of the entire ecosystem, and operating systems are the basis of software. openEuler officially went open source on December 31, 2019, and the 20.03 Long-Term Support (LTS) version was released in March 2020. After nine months of operation, the openEuler community has attracted more than 2000 contributors, set up 70 special interest groups (SIGs), and engaged more than 60 leading enterprises in China. Six top operating system vendors in China have joined the community and released commercial versions.

The innovation version, openEuler 20.09, will also be officially released on September 30, 2020. The release features 1+8: one kernel plus eight innovation projects, covering multi-core acceleration, iSula2.0 lightweight

I&B Ministry to private channels: Stick to the programming code of Cable TV Act

The Information & Broadcasting Ministry has asked private TV channels to broadcast content strictly adhering to the Programme and Advertising Codes prescribed under the Cable TV Act.

In its advisory, the Ministry stressed on the provisions in the Programming Code that states that no “programme should contain anything obscene, defamatory, deliberate, false, suggestive innuendos and half-truths.”

In addition, it stated that the Code prescribes that no programme should “criticise, malign or slander any individual in person or certain groups, segments of social, public or moral life of the country.”

This advisory comes at a time when serious concerns have been raised about what is termed the rising toxicity in content aired by news channels.

The advisory by the Information & Broadcasting Ministry also noted the recent observations of the Delhi High Court in the matter of Rakul Preet Singh Vs Union of India. In its September 17, order, the Court had said, “As far as the prayer for further interim relief made in the application by the petitioner, it is hoped that media houses and television channels would show restraint in reporting and abide by the provisions of the programme code as also the various guidelines, both statutory and self-regulatory, while making any report in relation to the petitioner.”

The Ministry’s advisory has been sent to various broadcasters and industry associations including the News Broadcasters Association, the Indian Broadcasting Foundation, and the Association of Regional Television Broadcaster of India. The Ministry has asked broadcasters to ensure compliance of the directions.

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Copyright, computer code debated in Google-Oracle court clash

US Supreme Court justices peppered lawyers for Google and Oracle with questions on computer code and copyright Wednesday in a court clash which could have major ramifications for the technology sector and digital innovation.

Oral arguments were heard in a decade-old legal battle between the two Silicon Valley giants stemming from Oracle’s claim that Google illegally copied parts of the Java programming language to develop its Android mobile operating system.

The case revolves around whether copyright protection should be extended to application software interfaces (APIs), or bit of code that allow programs and apps to work together, and if so, whether Google’s implementation was a “fair use” of copyrighted material.

In the court session held remotely, Google attorney Thomas Goldstein argued that the practice of reusing software interfaces “is critical to modern interoperable computer software” and allows developers “to write millions of creative applications that are used by more than a billion people.”

Goldstein maintained that these APIs were simply a set of instructions for software and were “minimally creative,” thus not eligible for copyright.

He claimed that Oracle’s effort would “make computer programming incredibly inefficient,” resulting in “fewer creative computer programs.”

Joshua Rosenkranz, the attorney arguing for Oracle, said the cases was simply about the theft of 11,000 lines of computer code, which should be under copyright protection as a “creative” work.

Rosenkranz said Google could have paid Oracle a licensing fee or developed its own code as rivals did.

“Microsoft and Apple both spent billion of dollars creating their competing platforms, and that’s exactly what the Copyright Act requires,” he told the eight justices.

– Like restaurant menus? –

Chief Justice John Roberts questioned whether the APIs should be considered like restaurant menus which simply organize offerings based on categories.

“You’re going to have… appetizers first and entrees