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Matchbox computers: Small is beautiful (and powerful)

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Hardware
Gadgets

You could sum up most of the history of computing in one word: smaller. Each successive generation of computing devices has been tinier, more energy-efficient and more powerful than the previous one. Now we've reached a point where an entire PC can be crammed into a space not much larger than a matchbox or a stick of gum.

This new wave of "matchbox computers" (also known as "thumb PCs") has ushered in not just new form factors but new kinds of applications. Hobbyists have flocked to these tiny systems, attracted by their size, low cost and inherent hackability.

Raspberry Pi was one of the first open-source matchbox computers: inexpensive, tiny and energy-efficient.

rest here




More in Tux Machines

Open Hardware and OSS Leftovers

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  • Open source power for classrooms: Arduino Uno WiFi Rev2 for CTC GO! joins Open Roberta

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  • Boston Dynamics Robot Dog Now Freely Available to All as Open-Source Code

    Boston Dynamics‘ robot dog Spot has gone through extensive updates in order to become the finished product it is today, and now the Softbank-owned company will make the bot’s SDK available to everyone via GitHub. The release will allow developers and robotics alike to “develop custom applications that enable Spot to do useful tasks across a wide range of industries,” according to Boston Dynamics VP Michael Perry. The access was previously only open to early adopters, but now it’s available as open-source code. However, fellow developers will have to join Boston Dynamics’ early adopter program in order to lease a robot. The company says its to “create custom methods of controlling the robot, integrate sensor information into data analysis tools and design custom payloads which expand the capabilities of the base robot platform,” according to the company.

  • The programmer behind wildly popular open source project Jenkins and Atlassian Bitbucket's former head of product raised $3.2 million to speed up software testing
  • 6 Reasons Why Network Monitoring Software Should Be Open Source

    Open-source software (OSS) is built upon code that's free and available to anyone who needs it. It adheres to the Debian (Linux) free software guidelines. The only type of certification comes from the Open Source Initiative, which makes sure that coding listed as "open source" meets their criteria by a) Being available for distribution to anyone without any restrictions, b) Making sure the source code is available, and c) Including a license that stipulates that any modifications or improvements are released with a new name or version number. Unlike closed, proprietary code, open-source requires no licensing fees or permission as long as you adhere to the terms of service outlined by the developer. Although tech support is hit-or-miss and depends on the developer, it has a large and active community of developers who are happy to help you work out any issues. You'll also find dozens of digital libraries on the internet that contain base code, modules, and fully formed apps that you can use, alter, and share. There are many reasons why working with open source code is preferable, and these are especially applicable to network monitoring apps and tools.

  • 2020: Expect more from containers, open source and cloud

    2020 is the year in which open source will become even more fundamental to the success of companies as they move to become fully-fledged, digitally-led businesses; proprietary software will lose relevance; companies will increasingly turn to the cloud to deliver value and capitalise on growth opportunities; and containers will finally become mainstream. [...] He also believes that the new decade will herald unprecedented growth when it comes to companies not only becoming container-led but also cloud-native - ready to benefit even more from a cloud-centric (and open) landscape. “South African businesses are having more serious discussions around multi-cloud and hybrid cloud implementations. Throughout this, an open approach, relying on an agile approach through containers, gives organisations the impetus they need to be digital-first,” he says.

  • Rodney Don Holder: Here’s why open source AI is important for development

    As these names suggest, open source references a mindset popular in the Silicon Valley tech industry. Artificial intelligence and machine learning operate on computer coding and incredibly refined hardware components. The open-source mindset believes that making these batches of code and hardware blueprints available to the public does more for humanity than does keeping it all close to the chest. In contrast, Rodney Don Holder explains that a closed source approach seeks to protect code and hardware from the public eye. Their concern is more proprietary than it is collaborative. One example of closed source software is Apple as they work hard to maintain control of their software.

  • What is Apache Tomcat? Introducing the Widely Used Java Servlet and JSP Container

    What is Apache Tomcat? Essentially it’s an open-source Java servlet and Java Server Page container that lets developers implement an array of enterprise Java applications. Tomcat also runs a HTTP web server environment in which Java code can run. Three years after the original release of Java in 1995, Sun Microsystems architect James Duncan Davidson developed an open-source servlet reference implementation for the first Java Servlet API. Java servlets are small Java programs that define how responses and requests are handled by the server. A developer would write their servlet or JSP and let Tomcat conduct all of the routing and backend work.

  • Teledyne Extends S-Parameter Leadership with Open Source Software: SIGNALINTEGRITY

    Teledyne LeCroy, a worldwide leader in electronic test and measurement solutions and a business unit of Teledyne Technologies Incorporated, announces today the availability of an open-source software tool, SignalIntegrity, offering free solutions to signal integrity problems for design and test engineers. In order to avoid signal integrity issues in today's world of gigabit-per-second transfer rates, engineers must have superior tools for the necessary combination of simulation, modeling and measurement. The goal of this software is to provide free tools for solving real-time signal integrity problems. More than 1,500 users have downloaded the Python-based software since it has been made available.

  • Open source all-in-one DevOps platform: OneDev’s UI is easy to use

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  • DFINITY Foundation Demonstrated ‘LinkedUp’ Open Source Platform

    It also empowers the next generation of developers so that they can build a new breed of tamper-proof enterprise software systems and open internet services. They aim at democratizing software development. He also added that the Bronze release of the Internet Computer would provide the developers and enterprises with infinite possibilities of building on the Internet Computer. All of this is a reflection of the strength of the Dfinity team that they have made so far. Dfinity has also said that its Internet Computer Protocol enables a new type of software that goes by the name autonomous software. This software guarantees permanent APIs which cannot be revoked. [...] Their second major milestone is of demoing a decentralized web app called LinkedUp on the Internet Computer, which can run on an independent data center in Switzerland.

  • Google Open Sources Albert NLP

    Google has made ALBERT (A Lite BERT) available in an open source version. ALBERT is a deep-learning natural language processing model that the developers say uses far fewer parameters than BERT without sacrificing accuracy. Bidirectional Encoder Representations from Transformers, or BERT, is the self-supervised method released by Google in 2018. It has become known for the impressive results the technique has achieved on a range of NLP tasks while relying on un-annotated text drawn from the web. Most similar NLP systems are based on text that has been labeled specifically for a given task.

  • Scientists working with Google just published the most detailed brain scans ever created

    Google and its partners at the Janelia Research Campus today released the largest, most detailed set of brain scans ever published. The project encompasses nearly one-third of the brain of a fruit fly and includes detailed mappings for more than 25 thousand neurons featuring more than 20 million synapses. The best part: it’s all been released open-source to the public. This is a great day for science. [...] Luckily for organizations and individuals who can’t afford the resources it would take to build this particular project, Google and the scientists at the Janelia Research Campus have published the entire project open-source. Even better, the team painstakingly formatted the data, images, videos, and other information in a way that makes it easily accessible to everyday people and usable by world-class researchers.

  • People of WordPress: Robert Cheleuka

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  • Elastic: Big Data Needs Effective Search To Drive Value

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  • MariaDB Announces Cloud Native Open Source DB

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Security Leftovers

  • Does Your Domain Have a Registry Lock?

    Dijkxhoorn said one security precaution his company had not taken with their domain prior to the fraudulent transfer was a “registry lock,” a more stringent, manual (and sometimes offline) process that effectively neutralizes any attempts by fraudsters to social engineer your domain registrar.

    With a registry lock in place, your registrar cannot move your domain to another registrar on its own. Doing so requires manual contact verification by the appropriate domain registry, such as Verisign — which is the authoritative registry for all domains ending in .com, .net, .name, .cc, .tv, .edu, .gov and .jobs. Other registries handle locks for specific top-level or country-code domains, including Nominet (for .co.uk or .uk domains), EURID (for .eu domains), CNNIC for (for .cn) domains, and so on.

  • Cisco Warns of Critical Network Security Tool Flaw

    The flaw exists in the web-based management interface of the Cisco Firepower Management Center (FMC), which is its platform for managing Cisco network security solutions, like firewalls or its advanced malware protection service. Cisco has released patches for the vulnerability (CVE-2019-16028), which has a score of 9.8 out of 10 on the CVSS scale, making it critical in severity.

  • No big deal, Rogers, your internal source code and keys are only on the open web. Don't hurry to take it down

    Source code, internal user names and passwords, and private keys, for the website and online account systems of Canadian telecoms giant Rogers have been found sitting on the open internet. The leaked software, seemingly uploaded to GitHub by a Rogers engineer before they left the telco, is written in Java and powered various components of Rogers.com. The materials are marked "closed source" and copyright Rogers, yet can be found on the web if you know where to look. Details of and credentials for services and systems on the ISP's internal networks are included. This kind of information, along with source code to skim for security bugs, is a boon for miscreants casing the telco to compromise it. These details may have already been exploited by criminals, or may prove useful for future attacks. It's also a reminder that engineers and management must take all precautions to avoid pushing private company code to public repositories. It should be noted that no customer information nor account details – beyond the names, passwords, and email addresses of some members of the ISP's web development team – are present in the public code repository. The web app blueprints date back to 2015, so just how much of this code remains in production is unclear. One hopes the passwords and keys have been replaced over the past five years, at least. With any luck, this may well be more of an embarrassment to one of Canada's biggest broadband'n'telly telcos than anything else.

  • Rogers’ internal passwords and source code found open on GitHub

    Sensitive data of another major Canadian firm has been found sitting open on the GitHub developers platform. Security researcher Jason Coulls said he recently discovered two open accounts with application source code, internal user names and passwords, and private keys for Rogers Communications. No customer data was found. He suspects the code belonged to a developer who has left the telco. Coulls, who works in the IT department of a Toronto firm and has his own security consultancy, initially told The Register of the discovery, after which the news site contacted Rogers. One problem is the code he saw describes data payloads and how it goes between databases and web services. “You can use that to get to the stuff that people [thieves] would go after,” he explained.

  • How to patch your open source software vulnerabilities

    Software vulnerabilities are a fact of life. Researchers -- if not hackers -- constantly discover new ways to compromise popular software libraries. It's up to enterprises to quickly deploy patches to secure software before hackers get in. Consider the Equifax breach, in which a hacker exposed the data of more than 145 million users, resulting in $575 million in fines for the credit rating agency. A U.S. Senate investigation identified a backlog of over 8,500 unpatched vulnerabilities at Equifax -- the hacker gained access through just one of those unpatched systems. Vulnerability backlogs are especially prevalent within enterprises that rely on open source components. Nearly all applications make use of some open source components that take the place of either mundane or arcane coding tasks. An open source project often has an active community to maintain and augment it, but that's not always the case. Ultimately, open source software requires a leap of faith from the user that what they're adopting is secure and effective.

Entrapment and Digital Prisons (Microsoft GitHub and Sonos)

  • Microsoft open-sources ONNX Runtime model to speed up Google’s BERT

    This is the most recent leap forward in natural language for Microsoft, but not its first attempt to make Google’s BERT better. About a year ago, Microsoft AI researchers also released MT-DNN, a Transformer-based model that set new high performance standards for the GLUE language model performance benchmark.

  • GitHub now uses AI to recommend open issues in project repositories [Ed: Microsoft now uses mindless buzzwords like "HEY HI!!!" (AI) to market its proprietary software trap]
  • AVSystem Releases a New Version of Open-Source Anjay LwM2M SDK

    AVSystem is pleased to announce that an open-source version of Anjay 2.2.1 has just been released on GitHub.

  • See you later, Sonos: Meet the open-source audio system that would perhaps perhaps no longer ever die

    This week, Sonos launched — after which therefore retracted — that it would perhaps perchance ruin-of-life a assortment of popular audio streaming products made by the corporate at some level of its first 10 years in alternate. Sonos had made up our minds to complete improve on yarn of these first-skills products lack sufficient processing vitality and storage to accommodate contemporary aspects. Regardless that there delight in been many enhancements in presents, miniaturization, and general efficiency, loudspeaker skills has no longer fundamentally changed since its introduction in the 1920s. Offered that they’re no longer inclined outside their efficiency specifications, the drivers and cones can closing a long time. Diverse elements inner speakers encompass magnets constituted of ferrous and uncommon earth presents that attain no longer expire.

  • So long, Sonos: Meet the open-source audio system that will never die

    Sonos had decided to end support because these first-generation products lack sufficient processing power and storage to accommodate new features. Although there have been many improvements in materials, miniaturization, and overall performance, loudspeaker technology has not fundamentally changed since its introduction in the 1920s. Provided that they aren't used outside their performance specifications, the drivers and cones can last decades. Other components inside speakers include magnets made out of ferrous and rare earth materials that do not expire. In addition to solid-state MOSFET-based signal amplifiers, self-powered speakers also contain transformers, which are made of solid cores of metal wound with fine conductive wire. Updates to transformer technology in recent years include Gallium Nitride (GaN), which reduces heat and overall footprint. These components, particularly MOSFETs do not "go bad" unless they are abused, such as being subjected to high temperatures, very high voltages, or transient power spikes, which can be mitigated by a simple surge suppressor or power conditioner.

FUD and Openwashing Leftovers

  • Kevin Owocki on Gitcoin, Controversy and the Future of Open Source Funding

    Some of that controversy has been from outside the Ethereum community, pointing to Consensys and Ethereum Foundation support as an example of centralization. Some of the controversy has come from within, as debates rage about what is or isn’t an acceptable use of “public” resources.

  • Sonatype: Secure code with less hassle

    Software development has changed drastically over the past decade. Take a 22-year-old graduate with a degree in computer science. At one time, they would start off testing code, then start to write code line-by-line. Today, 80% of applications are developed using open source software. Instead of laboriously worrying over each caret and comma, code is grabbed and assembled. This can make for quick iterations and rapid project completion.

  • Lyft's open source asset tracking tool simplifies security

    The modern map -- in fact, any map since the Age of Sail -- serves an important purpose in navigation. Exploration feats, such as Magellan's circumnavigation of the globe, Lewis and Clark's American expedition, or more recent excursions to the Earth's polar regions, would not have been possible without mapping knowledge and ability. A cursory look at ancient or medieval history shows that early maps, prior to their use for navigation, served a different purpose entirely. The map in the 15th century manuscript La Fleur des Histoires was by no means intended to be geographically accurate. Instead, it was designed to convey a concept or idea -- in this case, the separation of ruling powers by region. However, the real power of mapmaking -- that is, for navigation -- would not be realized for generations.

  • vChain, the Makers of the CodeNotary Open Source Code Trust Solution With Over 9 Million Monthly Customer Integrity Verifications Raises $7 Million in Series A to Secure Today’s DevOps Process

    vChain, the leading trust and integrity company, announces the close of a $7M Series A investment round. Elaia, a leading European tech venture fund, led the new investment round which includes also other notable investors such as Swiss-based Bluwat and Acequia Capital (Seattle, USA). vChain was founded in late 2018 and released its first product in April 2019.

  • Open source licence series - WhiteSource: permissive is winning, but is there a hurt factor?
  • Open source licence series - Instaclustr: Is open core a rotten deal?

    Ideally, open source software should be, well, free and open.

  • Open source licence series - Percona: is the battle won, or is this a different war?

    Recently, the Cryptographic Autonomy License (CAL) was submitted for OSI consideration. As Holo’s co-founder Arthur Brock explains in his blog post, his goal is to protect end-user privacy and autonomy. Restrictions in this case focus not on whom, but how the software should be used. While many on the OSI board seem to support the licence, Bruce Perens, OSI co-founder and the person who drafted the original Open Source Definition (OSD), resigned from OSI saying, “… it seems to me that the organisation is rather enthusiastically headed toward accepting a licence that isn’t freedom-respecting. Fine, do it without me, please.”

  • Open Source Wood Innovation Award Given to an Active Member
  • Open Source Plant Material And Intellectual Property

    Today we hear the term “open source” more and more. It is a term that is most commonly identified with software and firmware development out of the Silicon Valley. However, the term is becoming common in the plant industry.

  • Garadget review: Open your garage door with open-source technology

    There’s no scheduling system nor (surprisingly) a logging system built into Garadget, but it does support Alexa, Google Assistant, SmartThings, IFTTT, and a whole host of lesser-known third-party tools, but all of that will invariably force you into the system’s forums again. For example, there are two Garadget Alexa skills, one for if you want to say “smart garage” and one for if you want to say “Garadget” to invoke the skill. Setting up a connection to SmartThings requires using Samsung’s developer tools.