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HP open sources gadget R&D

CoolTown goes GPL

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The smart choice: opportunity from uncertainty

HP is to liberate some of its R&D crown jewels, much as IBM's AlphaWorks lab does now.

A number of projects under HP's CoolTown banner will be released tomorrow in a SourceForge-style developer forum. A lot of the ideas behind CoolTown are intended to make 'pervasive' and 'context aware' technologies real, or as the project leaders told us when we last dropped in to see the work in progress about a year ago, HEHAW ('Hey, Everything Has A Web Page).

The source will be released under the GNU GPL. Amongst the goodies on offer will be 'beacons' and key-fob sized 'taggies', which transmit and receive a URL wirelessly, a 2.4 kernel-based Linux reference platform, 'baseboard', the CoolBase appliance server; a web presence manager; and 'esquirt', which HP says allows a phone or PDA to function like a universal remote control. Assuming anything else is listening.

It's not the first time HP has tried to rev interest by enlisting the GPL. Its E-Speak project, a far more mature and coherent framework for web services, was released under a software libre license a couple of years ago. ®

Related Link

The CoolBase family of projects can be found here.®

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