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SciFi

Help with COVID-19 research using Folding@home on Linux

Filed under
GNU
Linux
SciFi

Right now, every human on the planet is affected in some way by the COVID-19 pandemic. Many people are looking for ways they can help. People are making masks and starting projects to invent or provide critical equipment. One thing you can do is donate what you have. If you're like me, you have computing hardware sitting idle much of the time—that's a resource that can contribute to finding a solution to the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as things like Alzheimer's disease and cancer.

[...]

Folding@home started in 2000 with volunteers donating CPU and GPU time on computers that would otherwise be idle to work on things like creating antibiotics and curing cancer, and since then has made many important contributions. Currently, Folding@home makes more than 100 petaflops of processing power available to researchers. One current high-priority project is the research being done to find ways to combat the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Folding@home software can be installed on almost any computer. There are client downloads for Windows, macOS, and Linux. There is a VMware appliance. There are also projects to get the client running on Android and a Chrome plugin. There's even a Docker image.

In this article, we’ll look at the Linux install and configuration, and we’ll look at a headless install for CentOS 7 that you can use to build multiple VMs.

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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

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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.

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Forget Windows, I just installed Elementary OS on my Chromebook and it’s awesome

In my path to Chrome OS enlightenment, I’ve explored many method with which users can run non-native applications and even alternative operating systems. My most recent endeavor involved installing a full-blown version of Windows 10 inside the Linux container on Chrome OS. While I have absolutely no use for such a monstrosity, the path that brought me there was fun and I believe a lot of users were excited about the premise of running Windows alongside Chrome OS. All of this was made possible thanks to an update to the Linux kernel that is available to some users inside the Chrome OS Linux container. My first theory was that this was being tested exclusively on ‘Hatch’ devices that are equipped with the Comet Lake family of processors. After some input from some colleagues, it appears that the ability to run qemu/kvm in a nested environment is more widely available than I presumed. I have seen reports that users have successfully installed Windows on devices ranging from a Core i5 Pixel Slate to the aging Dell Chromebook 13 that has a Broadwell CPU. Perhaps it is the Core i CPU that is the key. Who knows? [...] Elementary OS is an Ubuntu-based OS but make no mistake, it stands out as its own operating system. Many have called the the macOS of Linux but as you can read in a blog post from the Elementary CEO, the OS design and function are very intentional and quite unique in its own right. All of that is neither here nor there. Elementary OS caught my eye as a distinct and very different distro that I had never used and I wanted to give it a try and see how it ran on Chrome OS. My Windows experiment was a success, for the most part, but Windows is chunky and often times I found the OS struggling to work well inside the VM. Elementary OS is a “pay what’s fair” platform which means exactly what you’d think. While you can technically download the .iso image for free, a donation of your choosing is recommended and I’m sure, well appreciated as it is open-source software. Read more

Python Programming

Debian, Chris Lamb, NXIVM sex cult prosecution

NXIVM was operated by Keith Raniere in collusion with his associate/girlfriend, the actress Allison Mack. Debian was officially led by Chris Lamb, while his girlfriend Molly de Blanc had created the infamous Anti-Harassment team, analogous to Scientology's Sea Organization, to promote submissiveness and obedience under the guise of a "Code of Conduct". [...] Early in 2018, Alexander "formorer" Wirth had set up Debian's public Git repositories, hosted in the Salsa.debian.org service. Shortly after this, at DebConf18 in Taiwan, Lamb had started the discussions about how to brand volunteers with adverse records in Git / Salsa. A few days before Christmas, this weapon was unleashed on Dr Norbert Preining, who maintains the LaTeX packages used widely in the academic world. [...] Just as Debian oligarchs often use nicknames and acronyms, NXIVM's founder, Raniere, had chosen to hide behind the pseudonym Vanguard, taken from an arcade game in which the destruction of one's enemies increased one's own power. It is a remarkable parallel to the style used by some of the worst leaders in Debian over the years. In fact, every year there are public discussions about who to kick out of Debian. Enrico Zini, one of the Debian Account Managers who is currently engaged in blackmailing a volunteer, asked candidates in the 2006 leadership election to publicly name five people they would expel. [...] Lamb, de Blanc and their associates, the Anti-Harassment team and Debian Account Managers, had been making secret findings of misconduct against volunteers and then making veiled threats to disclose these abusive decisions if the volunteers were not submissive enough. Dr Preining called their bluff by releasing a bundle of their nasty emails himself. Read more

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