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Open Hardware: Adafruit Feather and Stanford Doggo

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Hardware
OSS
  • Feather Plus Blackberry Equals Open Source Fauxberry

    The keyboard is a superior means of input, but to date no one has really figured out how to make a keyboard for small, handheld electronics. You could use tact switches, but that’s annoying, or you could use a touch screen. The best option we’ve seen is actually a Blackberry keyboard, and [arturo182] has the best example yet. It’s a small handheld device with a screen, keyboard, and WiFi that’s ready to do anything imaginable. Think of it as an Open Source Fauxberry. In any case, we want it.

    This project is actually a breakout board of sorts for the Adafruit Feather system, and therefore has support for WiFi, cellular, or pretty much any other networking of connectivity. To this blank canvas, [arturo] added an accelerator/magnetometer sensor, a single Neopixel, and of course the beautiful Blackberry keyboard. This keyboard is attached to an ATSAMD20G, a microcontroller with a whole bunch of I/O that translates key presses into I2C for the Feather.

  • Students from Stanford's Robotics Club Releases Open-Source Robo-Dog Online

    Robotics isn't cheap by any means, and no one knows this better than the students of the Extreme Mobility Team of Standford University's Robotics Club (SEMT). The materials used by university robotics clubs can cost upwards of tens of thousands of dollars, making it that much harder for many high schools and less well-funded colleges and universities to invest heavily in this important field of research.

  • Watch this open-source dog robot do backflips [Ed: This is more likely to be used in military rather than in aeronautics and astronautics (luxury of the rich)]

    “We’re hoping to provide a baseline system that anyone could build,” says Patrick Slade, graduate student in aeronautics and astronautics and mentor for Extreme Mobility.

  • Meet Doggo: Stanford’s cute open-source four-legged robot

    Doggo follows similar designs to other small quadrupedal robots, but what makes it unique is its low cost and accessibility. While comparable bots can cost tens of thousands of dollars, the creators of Doggo — Stanford’s Extreme Mobility lab — estimate its total cost to be less than $3,000. What’s more, the design is completely open source, meaning anyone can print off the plans and assemble a Doggo of their very own.

  • Stanford Students Built This Adorable, Bouncy, Open-Source Robot Dog

    Nearly all of the parts used to create Doggo were bought intact through the internet, while the rest can be easily 3D-printed. The total costs involved in building Doggo—including shipping and handling—amounted to less than $3,000, Kau and his team claim. Via the website Github, the team has also released all of the relevant information you would need to create your Doggo, including software coding, supply list, and manual instructions. From there, any enterprising roboticist could tweak the design to create an even more capable Doggo.

More in Tux Machines

Kernel: Systemd 243 and Linux 5.3

  • Systemd 243 Is Getting Buttoned Up For Release With New Features & Fixes

    While it would have been nice seeing this next systemd release sooner due to the Zen 2 + RdRand issue with systemd yielding an unbootable system (that is now also being worked around with a BIOS upgrade), the systemd 243 release looks like it will take place in the near future.

  • VIRTIO-IOMMU Driver Merged For Linux 5.3 Kernel

    With the VirtIO standard for cross-hypervisor compatibility of different virtualized components there is a virtual IOMMU device that is now backed by a working driver in the Linux 5.3 kernel. The VirtIO specification provides for a virtual IOMMU device as of the v0.8 specification that is platform agnostic and manages direct memory accesses from emulated or physical devices in an efficient manner.

  • Linux Kernel Looks To Remove 32-bit Xen PV Guest Support

    Coming soon to a kernel near you could be the removal of 32-bit Xen PV guest support as better jiving with Xen's architectural improvements and more of the Linux/open-source community continuing to shift focus to 64-bit x86 with trying to finally sunset 32-bit x86.

Google, Money and Censorship in Free Software communities

Alexander Wirt (formorer) has tried to justify censoring the mailing list in various ways. Wirt is also one of Debian's GSoC administrators and mentors, it appears he has a massive conflict of interest when censoring posts about Google. Wirt has also made public threats to censor other discussions, for example, the DebConf Israel debate. The challenges of holding a successful event in that particular region require a far more mature approach. Why are these donations and conflicts of interest hidden from the free software community who rely on, interact with contribute to Debian in so many ways? Why doesn't Debian provide a level playing field, why does money from Google get this veil of secrecy? [...] Google also operates a mailing list for mentors in Google Summer of Code. It looks a lot like any other free software community mailing list except for one thing: censorship. Look through the "Received" headers of messages on the mailing list and you can find examples of messages that were delayed for some hours waiting for approval. It is not clear how many messages were silently censored, never appearing at all. Recent attempts to discuss the issue on Google's own mailing list produced an unsurprising result: more censorship. Read more

IBM, Red Hat and Fedora Leftovers

  • OpenShift 4: Image Builds

    One of the key differentiators of Red Hat OpenShift as a Kubernetes distribution is the ability to build container images using the platform via first class APIs. This means there is no separate infrastructure or manual build processes required to create images that will be run on the platform. Instead, the same infrastructure can be used to produce the images and run them. For developers, this means one less barrier to getting their code deployed. With OpenShift 4, we have significantly redesigned how this build infrastructure works. Before that sets off alarm bells, I should emphasize that for a consumer of the build APIs and resulting images, the experience is nearly identical. What has changed is what happens under the covers when a build is executed and source code is turned into a runnable image.

  • libinput's new thumb detection code

    The average user has approximately one thumb per hand. That thumb comes in handy for a number of touchpad interactions. For example, moving the cursor with the index finger and clicking a button with the thumb. On so-called Clickpads we don't have separate buttons though. The touchpad itself acts as a button and software decides whether it's a left, right, or middle click by counting fingers and/or finger locations. Hence the need for thumb detection, because you may have two fingers on the touchpad (usually right click) but if those are the index and thumb, then really, it's just a single finger click. libinput has had some thumb detection since the early days when we were still hand-carving bits with stone tools. But it was quite simplistic, as the old documentation illustrates: two zones on the touchpad, a touch started in the lower zone was always a thumb. Where a touch started in the upper thumb area, a timeout and movement thresholds would decide whether it was a thumb. Internally, the thumb states were, Schrödinger-esque, "NO", "YES", and "MAYBE". On top of that, we also had speed-based thumb detection - where a finger was moving fast enough, a new touch would always default to being a thumb. On the grounds that you have no business dropping fingers in the middle of a fast interaction. Such a simplistic approach worked well enough for a bunch of use-cases but failed gloriously in other cases.

  • 21 to 1: How Red Hat amplifies partner revenue

    At Red Hat Summit, we announced new research from IDC looking at the contributions of Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) to the global economy. The study, sponsored by Red Hat, found that the workloads running on Red Hat Enterprise Linux are expected to "touch" more than $10 trillion worth of global business revenues in 2019 - powering roughly 5% of the worldwide economy. While that statistic alone is eye popping, these numbers, according to the report, are only expected to grow in the coming years, fueled by more organizations embracing hybrid cloud infrastructures. As a result, there is immense opportunity for Red Hat partners and potential partners to capitalize on the growth and power of RHEL.

  • Executing .NET Core functions in a separate process [Ed: IBM/Red Hat is pushing Microsoft patent traps again (and yes, Microsoft still suing]
  • DevNation Live: 17-million downloads of Visual Studio Code Java extension [Ed: Also celebrating for Microsoft again (as if helping the proprietary MSVS 'ecosystem' is their goal now)]
  • The NeuroFedora Blog: NEURON in NeuroFedora needs testing

    We have been working on including the NEURON simulator in NeuroFedora for a while now. The build process that NEURON uses has certain peculiarities that make it a little harder to build. For those that are interested in the technical details, while the main NEURON core is built using the standard ./configure; make ; make install process that cleanly differentiates the "build" and "install" phases, the Python bits are built as a "post-install hook". That is to say, they are built after the other bits in the "install" step instead of the "build" step. This implies that the build is not quite straightforward and must be slightly tweaked to ensure that the Fedora packaging guidelines are met.

Software: Genome Browsers, EtherCalc and Curl

  • Best Free Web Based Genome Browsers

    In the fields of molecular biology and genetics, a genome is the genetic material of an organism. It consists of DNA (or RNA in RNA viruses). Each genome contains all of the information needed to build and maintain that organism. In humans, a copy of the entire genome—more than 3 billion DNA base pairs—is contained in all cells that have a nucleus. The study of the genome is called genomics. In bioinformatics, a genome browser is a graphical interface for display of information from a biological database for genomic data. They are important tools for studying genomes given the vast amounts of data available. They typically load very large files, such as whole genome FASTA files and display them in a way that users can make sense of the information there. They can be used to visualize a variety of different data types. Genome browsers enable researchers to visualize and browse entire genomes with annotated data including gene prediction and structure, proteins, expression, regulation, variation, comparative analysis, etc. They use a visual, high-level overview of complex data in a form that can be grasped at a glance and provide the means to explore the data in increasing resolution from megabase scales down to the level of individual elements of the DNA sequence. There’s a wide range of web based genome browsers. We’re going to restrict our selection to the top 4.

  • Get going with EtherCalc, a web-based alternative to Google Sheets

    EtherCalc is an open source spreadsheet that makes it easy to work remotely and collaborate with others.

  • Daniel Stenberg: curl 7.65.2 fixes even more

    Six weeks after our previous bug-fix release, we ship a second release in a row with nothing but bug-fixes. We call it 7.65.2. We decided to go through this full release cycle with a focus on fixing bugs (and not merge any new features) since even after 7.65.1 shipped as a bug-fix only release we still seemed to get reports indicating problems we wanted fixed once and for all. Download curl from curl.haxx.se as always! Also, I personally had a vacation already planned to happen during this period (and I did) so it worked out pretty good to take this cycle as a slightly calmer one. Of the numbers below, we can especially celebrate that we’ve now received code commits by more than 700 persons!