The Mediachain Project: Developing a Global Creative Rights Database Using Blockchain Technology

Alan Rothman’s article focuses on a creative, innovative effort to deploy the blockchain as a form of global registry of creative works ownership – specifically a global rights database for images. The co-founders of a new metadata protocol they call the Mediachain enables creators working in digital media to write data describing their work along with a timestamp directly onto the blockchain. The implications of this technology impact multiple sectors such as: legal, financial, libraries, museums and archives, and social media.

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GNU Gneural Network


Gneural Network is the GNU package which implements a programmable neural network. In the current release, version 0.0.1, it is a very simple feedforward network which can learn very simple tasks such as curve fitting, but we plan to deliver more advanced features very soon. In particular, we are already spending efforts to implement a network of LSTM (long short term memory) neurons for recurrent networks and deep learning. We also plan to implement learning reinforcement techniques.

The Ethical Motivations

Nowadays, companies such as Google and IBM are showing what can be achieved by using Artificial Intelligence (AI). The results achieved by AlphaGo and Watson are outstanding (the least one can say). But the fact that only companies and labs have access to this technology can represent a threat. First of all, we cannot know how money driven companies are going to use this novel technology. Second, this monopole slows down Progress and Technology.

We should ask ourselves: Do we really want that only a few can use AI? Should not Progress and Knowledge be for everyone instead?

This is why the author, Jean Michel Sellier, decided to create Gneural Network and release it under a free license like GPL.

Downloading Gneural Network

You can download Gneural Network from here.


Gneural Network is currently being maintained by Jean Michel Sellier who is the author of several other GNU packages (Archimedes, nano-archimedes and Dionysus). Please, feel free to contact him at

Support Gneural Network!

Please, remember that Gneural Network is a volunteer effort but you are more than welcome to contribute! There are several ways to do so, for example you can implement some code/method and/or you can financially support the development of new features in Gneural Network. In case you are interested in supporting this package, please, contact me at


Gneural Network
is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the
terms of the GNU General Public License as published by the Free
Software Foundation; either version 3 of the License, or (at your
option) any later version.

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A couple of weeks ago I asked for links to your favorite political news sites in a thread on Facebook, much as I did with and podcasting. This time, I wanted to create a river of political news as we entered the heart of the political year in the US. 

I got lots of great feeds, and now the river,,  is up and running for us all to use. 

If you have suggestions of news feeds (RSS or Atom) that might fit into this flow, please post a comment on Facebook, or send me a link on Twitter. I’m pretty open-minded about sources to include, I already include a few extreme conservative and liberal sites. But I’m most interested in thoughtful observers, people who offer real insight into the politics of 2016, regardless of their political point of view.

It’s already a very useful river, it can only get better. 

So thanks for all the great feeds!

PS: Of course the software generating the river is my own River5

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Lipstick on a Pig AKA the Raspberry Pi 3

So while waiting for local scratch kernel builds for much more interesting devices I started looking around to see if I could find details of the kernel sources for the new BCM2837 SoC that is centre stage in the Raspberry Pi 3.

The problem is I couldn’t. What I did find is the hack the Raspberry Pi Foundation uses to boot the RPi3 on github.

So there is no source code release for the new BCM2837 SoC, just a device tree file. Someone said to me “They’re violating the GPL” and before people get out their pitch forks… they’re NOT because this is the code they ship, they are meeting their obligations there.

So for the lay person (yes, I know there’s a lot of deep level tech details I’m glossing over deep ARM architecturey people!!) basically what they are doing is booting this device as a ARMv7 device, and because the code isn’t built for ARMv8 (32 or 64 bit) they really just get the speed bump of a ARMv7 device running a bit faster, and possibly some better memory speeds and other general improvements.

So what does this mean for other distributions that wish to actually to support the Raspberry Pi 3 as a aarch64 device? You currently can NOT do so!. Why? Basically it boils down to two things:

  • Source code release for the kernel: To be honest I don’t think this should be large. People with low level knowledge of ARMv7 and the BCM283x could probably hack this up
  • Firmware support: I suspect there will need to be a new firmware that supports booting this as a aarch64 device. I obviously don’t know for sure but I’m guessing the firmware will need changes to actually properly boot this as a aarch64 device. I’ve little doubt there’s a bunch of hackery going on in there!

Of the above two, if my theory is correct, the firmware is the problematic one because it relies on the Raspberry Pi Foundation to do the work. This work for something that they feel, at the moment, gives them no particular gain but only confusion about multiple OSes. They are of course correct for their use case, basically like old school enterprise where you buy a bigger server to scale vertically because your app won’t scale horizontally, but this is another kick in the guts of the Open Source community they so heavily rely on! Oh well, it’s about as much as I expected from the Raspberry Pi Foundation as after all their devices are only just now becoming usable with upstream kernels and open userspace GPU drivers…. after a mere four years.

So what does this mean for Fedora? Basically the only way we’ll be able to support it in the short, possibly medium, term is like it’s sibling the Raspberry Pi 2 as an ARMv7 device but with added shitty wifi. Really, this device isn’t a cheap aarch64 device, it’s just like lipstick on a pig! If a cheap aarch64 device is what you want one of those go and buy a PINE64.

On the plus side the work needed to support it as a ARMv7 device at the same time as it’s sibling should just be some minor u-boot and kernel device tree patches on top of what I previously documented . Note I’ve not looked closely at this as yet, I’m still waiting for mine to arrive (YAY day 3 of 1 day shipping)! Frankly I’d sooner support it this way, an aarch64 device with terrible USB2 IO and 1GB of RAM won’t provide much, if any, of a perf bump over ARMv7, and then have the Raspberry Pi Foundation spend their time working with Broadcom on fixing the wifi and enabling distribution of the wifi firmware in linux-firmware as proper opensource broadcom wifi support would have a wider impact on the Open Source community the Foundation relies upon!

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