Mozilla Spurring Tech Project Development with Sprints and Grants

by Ostatic Staff - Aug. 19, 2016

At Mozilla, there is momentum gathering around new open source projects and the Internet of Things (IoT). The company is hosting an IoT sprint development weekend this September. Mozilla’s Hive Chattanooga, in collaboration with The Company Lab, is hosting 48Hour Launch: Internet of Things (IoT) Edition, on September 9-11. 48Hour Launch is a weekend-long competition that challenges teams of entrepreneurs and specialists to spend 48 hours transforming a startup concept into a viable business model, prototype, policy proposal, or piece of curriculum.

The experience culminates with a Demo Night, where participants debut their work for a chance to win cash prizes, free business services, and a free trip to MozFest in London.

According to Mozilla's blog:

"We’re living in a world where physical objects are quickly becoming conduits for something more genius than their original functions, and there is great opportunity for innovation in this Internet of Things (IoT) space. Innovations like your coffee maker starting up when your alarm goes off or your umbrella lighting up when it’s going to rain that day are changing the way we all live, work, learn, and play."

"These opportunities for innovation are even greater in gigabit cities like Chattanooga where our super-fast network allow for dozens (or hundreds!) of connected devices to operate simultaneously and to deliver real time big data. Our gigabit work at Mozilla is based on the belief that open, innovative technology can make learning more immediate, equitable, and immersive through next-generation technology."

If you're interested in participating in the sprint, apply here by August 26 and join up.

Meanwhile, Mozilla has also been funding a number of significant new projects. Last year, the company launched the Mozilla Open Source Support Program (MOSS) – an award program specifically focused on supporting open source and free software. As The VAR Guy notes: "The Mozilla Foundation has long injected money into the open source ecosystem through partnerships with other projects and grants. But it formalized that mission last year by launching MOSS, which originally focused on supporting open source projects that directly complement or help form the basis for Mozilla's own products."

Now, Mozilla has reported that it awarded a hefty $585,000 to nine open source projects in Q2 of this year alone. Here is more on a few of the most interesting projects and what they are focusing on.

 PyPy. PyPy is a fast, compliant alternative implementation of the Python language (2.7.10 and 3.3.5). Its developers tout its performance advantages over Python.

Tor: Tor is a system for using a distributed network to communicate anonymously and without being tracked. We've covered it a number of times.  Mozilla wants its developers to significantly enhance the Tor network's metrics infrastructure so that the performance of the network can be monitored and improvements made as appropriate.

Tails:  Tails is a secure-by-default live operating system that focuses on preserving the user's privacy and anonymity. Mozilla's investments will go toward developing reproducible builds.

 "Mozilla is proud to support the open source community of which we are a part and from which so many benefit," the company reports. "We look forward to enabling even more OS maintenance, improvement and innovation through MOSS, so please apply! The committee meets next in early September, so get your applications in by the end of August." Applications for a “Foundational Technology” award remain open.