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Where Open Hardware Is Today

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Hardware
OSS

Open hardware could not exist without the prior success of FOSS. It has been twenty years since the Dot.com era, when FOSS was an untried idea. Since then, other groups based on the ideals and practices of FOSS, have grown into successful semi-independent communities of their own, such as OpenAccess and OpenStack. FOSS ideals no longer have to be proved, so open hardware does not need to be defended, either.

If anything, open hardware has gone on to have its own successes. Like FOSS before it, open hardware has an affinity with academia, where the exchange of ideas is a norm analogous to copyleft licenses. When academics venture into manufacturing, they are likely to organize under the same principles.

FOSS-based ideals are especially common in non-profits. Probably one of the biggest successes for open hardware is in the field of aesthetics. A traditionally constructed artificial hand costs upwards of $30,000. That price is beyond the reach of many families in a developing nation like India, where the average family income is about $21,000. By contrast, a custom-made artificial hand is sold by an open-hardware company like Open Bionics for $400. Although the cost of an open hardware hand is still high by the standards of developing nations, it is at least within reach, especially with charity. It also means, of course, that seventy-five open hardware hands can be made for the price of one proprietary one. Building on FOSS, open hardware has gone on to prove its own practicality.

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Programming Leftovers

  • Purism: Our tips for remote working

    Most of us don’t like writing documentation at the best of times but when going remote, a great team wiki or docs portal can help keep everyone in the loop and reduce repetitive questioning in team chat. Choose a solution that tracks changes (version control) and if needed, has an easy to use interface for non-technical people. We use wiki.js backed by git. You should document something if you have to say it more than once. This will empower people to answer their own questions by searching for the answer. If you are looking for a good example of team documentation take a look at GitLab’s public handbook (our wiki is private).

  • Dirk Eddelbuettel: RQuantLib 0.4.12: Small QuantLib 1.18 update

    QuantLib is a very comprehensice free/open-source library for quantitative finance; RQuantLib connects it to the R environment and language. This version does relatively little. When QuantLib 1.18 came out, I immediately did my usual bit of packaging it for Debian as well creating binaries via my Ubuntu PPA so that I could test the package against it. And a few call from RQuantLib are now hitting interface functions marked as ‘deprecated’ leading to compiler nags. So I fixed that in PR #146. And today CRAN sent me email to please fix in the released version—so I rolled this up as 0.4.12. Not other changes.

  • Observing Coronavirus Pandemic with Raku

    Every few years a new unknown virus pops up and starts spreading around the globe. This year, the situation with COVID-19 is different not only because of the nature of the virus but also because of the Internet. Whilst we have instant access to new information (which is often alarmist in tone) we also have the ability to access data for ourselves. Johns Hopkins University Center for Systems Science and Engineering synthesizes COVID-19 data from different sources, and displays it on their online dashboard. They also publish daily updates in CSV files on GitHub. I decided to ingest their CSV data and display it using different visualizations to reduce panic and provide a way to quickly see real numbers and trends. The result is the website covid.observer. The source files are available in the GitHub repository.

  • This Week in Rust 332
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    We’ve passed the final approach fix, and we’re now established on the glideslope for the PyCharm 2020.1 release. This week’s build brings a couple of bug fixes as we hope to take the release in for a smooth landing. Let us know how we’re doing by getting this version, if you run into any issues please leave us a ticket on YouTrack.

  • EuroPython 2020: CFP for the Online Event

    Since we had started the CFP under the assumption of running an in-person conference and are now switching EuroPython 2020 to an online event, we will extend the CFP for another two weeks until April 12, to give everyone who would like to participate in this new format, a chance to submit a session proposal.

  • Visualizing Decision Trees with Python (Scikit-learn, Graphviz, Matplotlib)

    Decision trees are a popular supervised learning method for a variety of reasons. Benefits of decision trees include that they can be used for both regression and classification, they don’t require feature scaling, and they are relatively easy to interpret as you can visualize decision trees. This is not only a powerful way to understand your model, but also to communicate how your model works. Consequently, it would help to know how to make a visualization based on your model.

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today's howtos

Audiocasts/Shows: Command Line Heroes, Linux Headlines and BSD Now

  • Command Line Heroes - SEASON 4, EPISODE 5: Smarter Phones: Journey to the Palm-Sized Computer

    Few could imagine what a handheld computer would look like—or even do. But a trio of visionaries saw where computing was headed. Hear how they threw out the conventional wisdom on hardware and changed everything.

  • 2020-04-02 | Linux Headlines

    ProtonMail’s new Linux bridge makes its encrypted services available to standard email clients, new LTS releases for Linux Container tooling, a Manjaro-powered laptop from TUXEDO Computers, and a special edition PinePhone with Ubuntu Touch pre-installed.

  • Grains of Salt | BSD Now 344

    Shell text processing, data rebalancing on ZFS mirrors, Add Security Headers with OpenBSD relayd, ZFS filesystem hierarchy in ZFS pools, speeding up ZSH, How Unix pipes work, grow ZFS pools over time, the real reason ifconfig on Linux is deprecated, clear your terminal in style, and more.