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SteamVR comes to Linux, a new game engine, and more gaming news

10 hours 49 min ago

In this edition of our open gaming roundup, we take a look at the SteamVR for Linux beta, a new open source game engine, and more.

Open gaming roundup for February 12-25, 2017


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Top 5: Intro to the Linux boot, a primer on the ESP8266 board, and more

Friday 24th of February 2017 08:20:00 PM

In this week's top 5, I highlight an intro to the Linux boot, a primer on the ESP8266 board, Linux command-line tools for data analysis, a Python script to find corrupted images, and open source applications for a Windows machine.

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Top 5 articles of the week

5. 6 open source tools I use on my Windows machine


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Password management made easy as news of CloudFlare leak surfaces

Friday 24th of February 2017 07:00:00 PM

In the last 24 hours, news broke that a serious Cloudflare bug has been causing sensitive data leaks since September, exposing 5.5 million users across thousands of websites. In addition to login data cached by Google and other search engines, it is possible that some iOS applications have been affected as well.


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Top 3 machine learning libraries for Python

Friday 24th of February 2017 08:02:00 AM

You don't have to be a data scientist to be fascinated by the world of machine learning, but a few travel guides might help you navigate the vast universe that also includes big data, artificial intelligence, and deep learning, along with a large dose of statistics and analytics.


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Tying together the many open source projects in networking

Friday 24th of February 2017 08:01:00 AM

There are a lot of pieces to the ongoing network transformation going up and down the stack. There's the shift away from proprietary hardware. There's the to need to manage complex network configurations. Add subscriber management and a wide range of other necessary functions. Add customer-facing services. All of those pieces need to fit together, integrate with each other, and interoperate.


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Which is the best programming language for beginners?

Friday 24th of February 2017 08:00:00 AM

What is the best language for a budding programmer to get their start with? There are probably as many opinions about which language is best for beginners as there are languages to choose from. And the options change all of the time. When we asked this question two years ago, Python came out on top as the clear winner. But is it still the best choice today?


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10 command-line tools for data analysis in Linux

Thursday 23rd of February 2017 08:03:00 AM

So you've landed on some data you want to analyze. Where do you begin?

Many people used to working in a graphical environment might default to using a spreadsheet tool, but there's another way that might prove to be faster and more efficient, with just a little more effort. And you don't need to become an expert in a statistical modeling language or a big data toolset to take advantage of these tools.

You can learn a lot about a dataset without ever leaving your terminal.
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How does the PocketCHIP compare to the Raspberry Pi?

Thursday 23rd of February 2017 08:02:00 AM

When the Raspberry Pi hit the tech scene, it made a huge impact. It wasn't the first tiny computer, by any means—the Chumby, the PogoPlug, and other hackable systems on chips preceded it—but there hadn't been anything quite so intentionally open and affordable as the Pi. You didn't have to hack the Pi, you just put an OS on an SD card, booted, and you were running an open source computer. The computer you were running only used a dozen watts of power, and it wasn't encased in a bulky plastic body that would end up in the landfill when you decided to upgrade.


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Are textbooks in or out? The state of open educational resources

Thursday 23rd of February 2017 08:01:00 AM

Open education is a hot topic in both the K-12 and higher education spaces due to a number of factors, including the desire to make education more affordable.


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What to do when people start hacking your culture

Thursday 23rd of February 2017 08:00:00 AM

I've previously written about the fact the Apache Software Foundation offers an exemplar of large-scale open source governance. Even with those supreme qualities, things can still go wrong. Apache offers some of the best protections for open source contributors but its mature rules can be manipulated by skilled politicians and/or determined agendas. What can we learn from their experience?


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6 open source tools I use on my Windows machine

Wednesday 22nd of February 2017 08:02:00 AM

In most of the places I have worked there has been a centralized computer and application standard that was more or less mandatory for all employees. There are benefits of such an environment, which I will not go into in this piece, but for me, as an open source and Linux enthusiast, I try to use the tools I'm used to and like.

So, I immediately install my favorite applications when I receive a new standardized Windows-based work computer, something I have been lucky enough to be allowed to do.


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A brief intro to building apps with React Native

Wednesday 22nd of February 2017 08:01:00 AM

React Native is a framework for building native apps using React and JavaScript. It allows you to create Android and iOS applications using only one language for both apps. Thousands of apps are using React Native, from established Fortune 500 companies to hot new startups. The best part is that its open source; see the official React Native repository on GitHub.


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Best practices for guiding new coders

Wednesday 22nd of February 2017 08:00:00 AM

As the new year progresses, many free and open source projects are turning their attention to various formalized mentoring programs, such as Mozilla's Winter of Security, Outreachy, and (the program with my favorite name) the X.Org Endless Vacation of Code.


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Internet-enable your microcontroller projects for under $6 with ESP8266

Tuesday 21st of February 2017 08:03:00 AM

To get started with IoT (the Internet of Things), your device needs, well, an Internet connection. Base Arduino microcontrollers don't have Internet connectivity by default, so you either need to add Ethernet, Wi-Fi shields, or adapters to them, or buy an Arduino that has built-in Internet connectivity. In addition to complexity, both approaches add cost and consume the already-precious Arduino flash RAM for program space, which limits what you can do.


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Rewriting the history of free software and computer graphics

Tuesday 21st of February 2017 08:02:00 AM

Do you remember those days in the early nineties when most screensavers were showing flying 3D metallic logotypes? Did you have one?


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A new perspective on meritocracy

Tuesday 21st of February 2017 08:01:00 AM

Meritocracy is a common element of open organizations: They prosper by fostering a less-hierarchical culture where "the best ideas win." But what does meritocracy really mean for open organizations, and why does it matter? And how do open organizations make meritocracy work in practice? Some research and thinking I've done over the last six months have convinced me such questions are less simple—and perhaps more important—than may first meet the eye.


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What we (think we) know about meritocracies

Tuesday 21st of February 2017 08:00:00 AM

"Meritocracy," writes Christopher Hayes in his 2012 book Twilight of the Elites, "represents a rare point of consensus in our increasingly polarized politics. It undergirds our debates, but is never itself the subject of them, because belief in it is so widely shared." Meritocratic thinking, in other words, is prevalent today; thinking rigorously about meritocracy, however, is much more rare.


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An introduction to the Linux boot and startup processes

Monday 20th of February 2017 08:02:00 AM

Understanding the Linux boot and startup processes is important to being able to both configure Linux and to resolving startup issues. This article presents an overview of the bootup sequence using the GRUB2 bootloader and the startup sequence as performed by the systemd initialization system.


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What will we do when everything is automated?

Monday 20th of February 2017 08:01:00 AM

Recently, I came across a study the caused me to think beyond the day-to-day world of code-slinging in which I live. According to the study Myth and the Reality of Manufacturing in America (PDF), conducted by Center for Business and Economic Research at Ball State University in Indiana:


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Boston summit preview, Ambassador program updates, and more OpenStack news

Monday 20th of February 2017 06:00:00 AM

Are you interested in keeping track of what is happening in the open source cloud? Opensource.com is your source for news in OpenStack, the open source cloud infrastructure project.

OpenStack around the web

From news sites to developer blogs, there's a lot being written about OpenStack every week. Here are a few highlights.


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More in Tux Machines

Leftovers: Ubuntu and Derivatives

  • 'Big Bang Theory's' Stuart wears Ubuntu T-shirt
    Am I the only person to notice that comic book shop-owning Stuart (Kevin Sussman) on the "The Big Bang Theory" is wearing an Ubuntu T-shirt on the episode airing Thursday, Feb. 23, 2017? (It's Season 10, Episode 17, if that information helps you.) The T-shirt appearance isn't as overt as Sheldon's mention of the Ubuntu Linux operating system way back in Season 3 (Episode 22, according to one YouTube video title), but it's an unusual return for Ubuntu to the world of "Big Bang."
  • Unity Explained: A Look at Ubuntu’s Default Desktop Environment
    Ubuntu is the most well-known version of Linux around. It’s how millions of people have discovered Linux for the first time, and continues to draw new users into the world of open source operating systems. So the interface Ubuntu uses is one many people are going to see. In this area, Ubuntu is unique. Even as a new user, rarely will you confuse the default Ubuntu desktop for something else. That’s because Ubuntu has its own interface that you can — but probably won’t — find anywhere else. It’s called Unity.
  • A Look at Ubuntu MATE 16.04.2 LTS for Raspberry Pi
    Installing Ubuntu MATE onto my Raspberry Pi 3 was straight forward. You can easily use Etcher to write the image to a microSD card, the partition is automatically resized to fill your microSD card when the pi is powered up for the first time, and then you are sent through a typical guided installer. Installation takes several minutes and finally the system reboots and you arrive at the desktop. A Welcome app provides some good information on Ubuntu MATE, including a section specific for the Raspberry Pi. The Welcome app explains that the while the system is based on Ubuntu MATE and uses Ubuntu armhf base, it is in fact using the same kernel as Raspian. It also turns out that a whole set of Raspian software has been ported over such as raspi-config, rpi.gpio, sonic-pi, python-sent-hat, omxplayer, etc. I got in a very simple couple of tests that showed that GPIO control worked.
  • Zorin OS 12 Business Has Arrived [Ed: Zorin 12.1 has also just been released]
    This new release of Zorin OS Business takes advantage of the new features and enhancements in Zorin OS 12, our biggest release ever. These include an all new desktop environment, a new way to install software, entirely new desktop apps and much more. You can find more information about what’s new in Zorin OS 12 here.

GNU/Linux Events

  • Takeaways from the Open Source Leadership Summit: Mainstream Open Source, Security, Policy, and Business Models
    The 2017 Open Source Leadership Summit, put on by the Linux Foundation, brought together leaders from the open source community in Lake Tahoe last week to discuss timely open source topics. The topics that came up most throughout the conference included: open source becoming mainstream, future open source business models, security in a time where everything is connected, and a call to action to be active in technology policy. Open source is becoming a larger focus for major companies, from Toyota to Disney to Walmart. While open source vendors continue to look to the Red Hat model as one of the most successful open source business models to date, entrepreneurs believe there are new models that can surpass this success. As the world becomes ever more connected to the internet, there are general concerns about security, and a call to take action in policymaking. Read on below to learn more about the conversations at the Open Source Leadership Summit.
  • Persistent Memory Usage within Linux Environment by Maciej Maciejewski & Krzysztof Czurylo, Intel
  • Persistent Memory Usage in Linux
    In most cases, when a machine crashes or fails, we lose whatever we had loaded into memory, which for some applications can result in quite a bit of time and effort to recover when the system comes back online. At LinuxCon Europe, Maciej Maciejewski, Senior Software Engineer at Intel, talked about how persistent memory can be used to retain its contents after a power failure.
  • Amidst Bias, Women Work to Find a Place in Open Source Communities
    Despite efforts to enhance diversity, women continue to be under-represented in the science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields, and open-source software is no different. A talk at the Linux Foundation’s Open Source Leadership Summit (OSLS), held last week in Lake Tahoe, highlighted some of the issues facing women in the open source community, from low participation to gender bias and unequal pay to overall job satisfaction.
  • Engineer Finds Passion and Community With Kids On Computers
    If you love technology, you can find a space for yourself and connect with others around mutual interests, according to Avni Khatri, president of Kids on Computers (KoC), a nonprofit that sets up computer labs using donated hardware and open source software in areas where kids have no other access to technology. During LinuxCon North America 2016, Khatri organized Kids Day, a day-long workshop that’s aimed at helping school-aged children get interested in computer programming. For Khatri, it’s also a way of furthering her dream of giving children unlimited access to education and helping them succeed in technology.
  • Join Hackaday And Tindie At The Southern California Linux Expo
    Do you like Open Source? Join Hackaday and Tindie at the largest community-run Open Source conference in North America. We’ll be at the Southern California Linux Expo next week, and we want to see you there.

Linux on Servers and Networks

  • Thanks to Red Hat, India's biggest stock exchange is now the world's fastest
    "Red Hat is now our backbone. Our business cannot run if Red Hat is not there." That is India's biggest stock exchange's CEO talking. Established in 1875, the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) is considered to be Asia’s earliest established stock exchange with an overall market capitalization of $1.43 Trillion in 2016 making it the world's 11th largest. Open Source have had many major wins last year, and this has to be one of the biggest.
  • CORD Partners with xRAN to Bring SDN to the RAN
    The Central Office Re-architected as a Data Center (CORD) open source project is partnering with the xRAN Foundation. The two groups plan to work on a software-based, extensible Radio Access Network (xRAN) architecture. Apparently, the xRAN Foundation is a new standards group that was formed in late 2016. Deutsche Telekom, a founding member, is hosting a press event at Mobile World Congress next week to introduce the group and explain its mission. Other initial members of xRAN include AT&T, SK Telecom, and Intel.
  • OpenStack sets its sights on the next generation of private clouds
    Today, the OpenStack Foundation is launching the latest version of its platform that allows enterprises to run an AWS-like cloud computing platform in their data centers. Ocata, as the 15th release of OpenStack is called, arrives after only a four-month release cycle, which is a bit faster than its usual six-month cycle, which will resume after this release. The reason for this is a change in how the Foundation organizes its developer events over the course of a release cycle. Because of the shorter cycle, this new release focused more on stability than new features, but it still manages to squeeze a number of new features in as well.
  • “I Am A Mainframer” Interview Series: IBM
    In our second conversation of our “I Am A Mainframer” interview series, Jeffrey Frey talks with Emily K. Hugenbruch, OpenStack Cloud Enablement Engineer, z/VM and Software Engineer at IBM about the OpenStack Newton release and her overall career experience as a woman working in the mainframe space.

Leftovers: Software

  • systemd 233 Is Around The Corner With More Additions, Changes
  • Peek – A Simple Animated Gif Screen Recorder for Linux
    Peek Gif Recorder is the perfect screen capture tool for short and sharp video clips. It was designed to use ffmpeg and imagemagick to take screencasts of your desktop and animate them to make them Gifs. It’s that nifty tool for those who might want to demo a bug or a brief gameplay session quickly.
  • Git v2.12.0
    The latest feature release Git v2.12.0 is now available at the usual places. It is comprised of 517 non-merge commits since v2.11.0, contributed by 80 people, 24 of which are new faces.
  • Git 2.12 Ships With A Variety Of Changes
    Looking through the release log, Git 2.12 doesn't bring any big breakthrough feature, but has a variety of improvements throughout. Git 2.12 brings updates for its p4 sub-command, finer-grained controls for what transport protocols can be used for clone/fetch/push can now be setup via the configuration file, a variety of updates to other sub-commands, several performance improvements, build updates for Cygwin, and quite a number of fixes too.