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SciFi

9 open source robotics projects

Filed under
OSS
SciFi

Open source isn't just changing the way we interact with the world, it's changing the way the world interacts back with us. Case in point: open source robotics.

Robots are playing an increasing role in our world, and while we perhaps haven't reached the utopian future with robotic housekeepers imagined for us in the Jetsons, robotics are making advances in fields that fifty years ago would have been completely unimaginable.

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Introducing MrRobot, Ubuntu Touch App Enabled Robotics Powered by Raspberry Pi

Filed under
Linux
SciFi

Today we have the great pleasure of introducing you to a brand-new project developed during the Ubuntu ShenZhen hackathon by Joseph Wang. It is called MrRobot, just like the TV show we taked about in a couple of articles right here on Softpedia.

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Linux-based bipedal robot endures kicks and dodgeball attacks

Filed under
Linux
SciFi

OSU demonstrated its speedy, bipedal ATRIAS robot withstanding a barrage of kicks and dodgeballs. ATRIAS runs on ROS and a real-time Xenomai Linux kernel.

Researchers at Oregon State University’s Dynamic Robotics Laboratory have demonstrated their Linux-driven ATRIAS robot withstanding a considerable beating while keeping its cool. OSU recently posted videos of its unusual torture testing procedures, which include human kicks and a barrage of dodgeballs, as reported by IEEE Spectrum. Eventually, the human-sized bipedal robot is knocked from its feet, but not before it absorbs a lot of hits. The robot protects itself with strategies such as side stepping and hopping on one foot

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Linux for Astronomers

Filed under
GNU
Linux
SciFi

I've looked at specialty distributions that were created for engineers and biologists in previous articles, but these aren't the only scientific disciplines that have their own distributions. So in this article, I introduce a distribution created specifically for astronomers, called Distro Astro. This distribution bundles together astronomy software to help users with tasks like running observatories or planetariums, doing professional research or outreach.

From the very first moment of booting up Distro Astro, you will notice that this distribution is aimed at astronomers. The look and feel of items, from the boot splash screen to wallpapers and screensavers, have all been given an astronomical theme. Even the default wallpaper is a slideshow of Hubble images.

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Imitate Fake Hollywood Terminal Hacking Melodrama with This Amazing App for Ubuntu

Filed under
GNU
Linux
Movies
SciFi
Humor

We all know that Hollywood movies are the worst place to see some accurate depiction of anything from real life and that includes computer terminals. Well, there is a solution for that now and we can only hope that some misguided producer will see the new "hollywood" package made for this exact purpose.

Hollywood movie producers invest a lot of time and money in custom interfaces and GUIs that don't really do anything, but they think they’re nice and interesting on film. Most of the time, someone is hacking away by typing frenetically while windows with crazy stuff open and close. This is why this kind of image is now seared into the public's consciousness and hacking looks more exciting than in real life. It isn't.

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NASA’s R2 bot to receive legs via SpaceX

Filed under
Linux
SciFi

The 330-pound Robonaut 2 measures 3 feet, 4 inches tall from the waist, and is equipped with more than 350 sensors. Its stomach-located brain runs Linux on 38 PowerPC-based processors. The robot is operated remotely by humans, using the Robonaut Tele-operation System (RTS). This telerobotics system requires a ground- or space-based user to wear a 3D visor, vest, and pressure-sensitive gloves. (For more on the R2, see our original coverage.)

According to the OSRF, the R2 team also uses the open source Gazebo simulator to simulate R2 for development and testing. NASA and ROS.org released their Gazebo models of the R2 and the ISS as open source.

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Top 10 tech tricks we're sick of seeing in movies

Filed under
Movies
Sci/Tech
SciFi

cnet.com: Think how awesome it was the first time you saw a lightsaber in action. Or how your mind was officially shredded when Neo mastered the Matrix. Technology in movies is cool. But for every thrilling example of cool-ass tech, Hollywood seems to produce a tired, dated cliche.

Michael Crichton, million-selling science-fiction author, dies at 66

Filed under
SciFi
Obits

latimes.com: Best-selling author Michael Crichton, who wrote such novels as "The Andromeda Strain" and "Jurassic Park," and created the popular TV drama "ER," has died at 66, his family said today.

George Lucas Talks More 'Star Wars' TV

Filed under
SciFi

cinematical.com: In a two-part interview with TV Guide, George Lucas talked some more about those two Star Wars TV series he currently has in the works.

BBC confirms Doctor Who series five

Filed under
SciFi

the register: The BBC has announced there will be a fifth series of Doctor Who, although it won't be until 2010 and David Tennant is doubtful to reprise his role as the Time Lord.

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today's leftovers

  • Podcast Season 4 Episode 8
    In this episode: Bitcoin scandal. RMS wins an award. Savers and rich people can buy the DragonBox Prya (thanks Canseco!) and Devuan reaches beta. Plus loads of Finds, Neurons and a long-stewing Voice of the Masses.
  • Interop: SDN Growing to $12.5B, SD-WAN to $6B
    "Open source is not just at the bottom of the networking stack, it now goes from layer 2 all the way up to network and security services," Casemore said. "It's significant fact in the market landscape and vendors have to give it due consideration."
  • RcppArmadillo 0.6.700.6.0
    A second Armadillo release 6.700.6 came out in the 6.700 series, and we uploaded RcppArmadillo 0.6.700.6.0 to CRAN and Debian. This followed the usual thorough reverse-dependecy checking of by now 220 packages using.
  • Vivaldi Browser's New Snapshot Adds Editable Mouse Gestures, Tab Improvements
    We've been informed by Vivaldi's Ruarí Ødegaard about the availability of a new snapshot build of the proprietary Vivaldi web browser for all supported platforms, including GNU/Linux, Mac OS X, and Microsoft Windows. Vivaldi Snapshot 1.2.470.11 is now live for those who want to get an early taste of what's coming in the next stable update of the cross-platform web browser, which it looks like it gets a lot of attention lately, especially from those who want to migrate from Chromium-based browsers like Google Chrome or Opera. And today's snapshot introduces editable mouse gestures.
  • GNOME's Nautilus File Manager: "Its Best Moment Since It Was Created"
    At various points in GNOME's history the Nautilus file manager has been less than maintained, but these days the situation is much brighter. GNOME developer Carlos Soriano has come out to write about how great the Nautilus situation is these days. Soriano wrote in a new blog post, "as far as I can see the development status of Nautilus it’s in its best moment since it was created, and part of that is thanks of the status of gtk+ development and the values and vision of GNOME as a project."
  • Neptune Linux 4.5.1 ISO Out Now with USB 3 Boot Support, KDE Plasma 5.6.2
    Neptune developer Leszek Lesner announced the release and general availability of a new Live ISO image for his Neptune Linux rolling operating system, version 4.5.1. The new Neptune Linux 4.5.1 ISO is now ready for download and includes all the updated packages and security patches released in the distribution's main software repositories since Neptune 4.5.
  • My free software activities, April 2016
  • m23 rock 16.2 brings support for Ubuntu 16.04 clients
    From this version on, m23 offers support for m23 clients using Ubuntu 16.04 LTS Xenial Xerus. A set of desktop environments is, of course, included for the new Ubuntu. Friends of the Univention Corporate Servers will be happy to hear that the m23 app is now available in the Univention App Center. As always, several small improvements have also been made to various parts of the software.
  • Unity 8 and Snaps Are the Future of the Ubuntu Desktop, After Ubuntu 16.10
    Today, May 5, 2016, is the last day of the Ubuntu Online Summit 2016, and we've just attended a very exciting session where the Ubuntu developers have discussed the future of the Ubuntu Desktop after Ubuntu 16.10 (Yakkety Yak). You can watch the entire session below if you don't want to read the next paragraphs, but as usual, we'll try to detail and explain a few things for you so that you know now what to expect from future versions of the Ubuntu Linux operating system, on the desktop, of course.
  • Router hackers reach for the fork: LEDE splits from OpenWRT
    A split seems to have emerged in the Linux-router-OS community, with a breakaway group splitting from OpenWRT. OpenWRT is the chief open router firmware implementation, but it has run into headwinds of late. For example, downtime for the group earlier this year was traced back to the small organisation running a single, small, server without redundancy.
  • Samsung’s 360 degree camera will cost just about $350, oh and it runs Tizen !
    Samsung is one of those big guns from the consumer electronics market who has been betting huge on Virtual Reality. After partnering with Oculus for the Gear VR headset which has set its own benchmark for the best untethered VR solution one can buy, now that the headset has been in good shape, Samsung is working out ways to deliver content on it. Samsung have joined hands with multiple partners to provide VR experiences on its Milk VR platform and had also unveiled its own 360 degree camera at Unpacked 2016 event back in february- Gear 360 to let almost anyone to produce 360 degree content that can be viewed on the Gear VR.

Windows Desktop 'Fun'

Phoronix on Graphics

Leftovers: OSS