Motherboard: The Internet Was Built on the Free Labor of Open Source Developers. Is That Sustainable?. “On the surface, the open source software community has never been better. Companies and governments are adopting open source software at rates that would’ve been unfathomable 20 years ago, and a whole new generation of programmers are cutting their teeth on developing software in plain sight and making it freely available for anyone to use. Go a little deeper, however, and the cracks start to show. The ascendancy of open source has placed a mounting burden on the maintainers of popular software, who now handle more bug reports, feature requests, code reviews, and code commits than ever before. At the same time, open source developers must also deal with an influx of corporate users who are unfamiliar with community norms when it comes to producing and consuming open source software. This leads to developer burnout and a growing feeling of resentment toward the companies that rely on free labor to produce software that is folded into products and sold back to consumers for huge profits.”
The Register: Google’s stunning plan to avoid apps slurping Gmail inboxes: Charge devs for security audits . “To prevent a data grabbing snafu along the lines of Facebook’s Cambridge Analytica scandal, Google is asking developers who use sensitive Gmail APIs to pay for a security audit that proves their apps play by the rules. And the cost – anywhere from $15,000 to $75,000 or more, every year – could put some smaller companies out of business.”
ZDNet: Linus Torvalds takes a break from Linux. “In a surprising move, Linus Torvalds, Linux’s creator, is taking a break on his Linux kernel work to work on his behavior to other developers. In a note to the Linux Kernel Mailing List (LKML), Torvalds wrote, ‘I need to change some of my behavior, and I want to apologize to the people that my personal behavior hurt and possibly drove away from kernel development entirely.'”
TechCrunch: Google updates its speech services for developers. “Google Cloud’s Text-to-Speech and Speech-to-Text APIs are getting a bunch of updates today that introduce support for more languages, make it easier to hear auto-generated voices on different speakers and that promise better transcripts thanks to improved tools for speaker recognition, among other things.”
Mashable: Facebook cuts off access to user data for ‘hundreds of thousands’ of apps. “Facebook has just blocked a truckload of apps from accessing its user’s data. Facebook’s VP of Product Partnerships, Ime Archibong, explained in a blog post Tuesday that Facebook had cut off API access for ‘hundreds of thousands of inactive apps that have not submitted for our app review process.’ That’s a lot of random, dormant apps that had access.”
BetaNews: Twitter removes 143,000 apps, now requires developers to request API access. “As part of its continuing efforts to clean up the platform, Twitter has removed 143,000 apps in the last three months for policy violations. To help reduce the need for such measures in the future, the company has also introduced a new registration system that means developers must now request access to Twitter’s APIs.”
The Verge: Twitter is going to make third-party apps worse starting in August. “Twitter has long had a strange disdain for third-party Twitter apps, but it’s allowed many of them to pass under the radar for the last several years. That’s starting to change this summer, when Twitter will revoke a key piece of access that developers currently have to the service, replacing it with a new access system that limits what they can do. The changes aren’t going to make third-party Twitter clients useless, but they are going to make the apps somewhat worse.” WHAT? Twitter treating third-party developers like crap? Say it ain’t so. Or, more accurately, say we’ve seen this movie before.