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How schools around the country are turning dead Microsoft PCs into speedy Chromebooks

Filed under
GNU
Linux
Google

The Ovid-Elsie school district sits an hour west of Flint, Michigan, the city now notorious for being poisoned by its own penny-pinching administrators. The district, which serves roughly 1,600 students, is one of the poorer areas in the state, with a per capita income of just over $15,000. "We’re looking at close to three-quarters of our kids [who] are classified as economically disadvantaged here," said Kris Kirby, the district’s assistant superintendent. So when it came time to find computer equipment for every classroom, Ovid-Elsie had to get creative.

The school was eager to experiment with Google Chromebooks, which have been sweeping the education market. But even those machines cost several hundred dollars each, far too much for Ovid-Elsie to afford one for every student. Dan Davenport, the director of technology for the area schools, had looked into using Chromium, the open-source version of Google’s Chrome operating system, but was stymied by the complexity of supporting a range of different drivers on a mishmash of old computers.

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Go 1.6 and Development by Women

Filed under
Development
Google
  • Go 1.6 is released

    Today we release Go version 1.6, the seventh major stable release of Go. You can grab it right now from the download page. Although the release of Go 1.5 six months ago contained dramatic implementation changes, this release is more incremental.

    The most significant change is support for HTTP/2 in the net/http package. HTTP/2 is a new protocol, a follow-on to HTTP that has already seen widespread adoption by browser vendors and major websites. In Go 1.6, support for HTTP/2 is enabled by default for both servers and clients when using HTTPS, bringing the benefits of the new protocol to a wide range of Go projects, such as the popular Caddy web server.

  • Go 1.6 Released
  • Women write better open source code on GitHub than men [Ed: conveniently (and wrongly) concludes from that it’s FOSS (not CS) that discriminates against women]

    Woman may be more competent than men at writing code but still there is evidence that they are discriminated against in open source communities because they are women.

  • A New Study Suggests That Women Write Better Code Than Men

    A recent study conducted by researchers from the computer science departments at Cal Poly, San Luis, Obispo and North Carolina State University reports that women write better code than men.

  • If Women Are Better at Coding, It’s Because They Have to Be

I bought my mom a Chromebook Pixel and everything is so much better now

Filed under
Linux
Google

The problem: most of the Chromebooks on the market feel cheap. They're generally marketed as secondary computers, so they're made to be inexpensive, and that means almost all of them are made of cheap-feeling plastic. There's nothing wrong with that, but I needed to pass the sleek test. The only viable option was Google's own Chromebook Pixel, which is an amazingly beautiful machine that's ridiculously expensive by most normal standards, because it's a thousand-dollar computer that just runs Chrome. It sounds insane: most tech products that cost a thousand dollars do many, many more things than simply running a web browser. I spent weeks tossing the idea around every chance I got, just to see if it would ever sound less like I was slowly going crazy.

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Google peddles Linux based load balancer to open sourcers

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Linux
Google
OSS

Google has developed an open source infrastructure software build using its Go language.

The ad-flinger has released the Seesaw load balancer for Linux, built to replace two existing systems.

Code has been released to GitHub here.

Google’s site reliability engineer, Joel Sing, blogged that Seesaw would increase the availability of service and reduce the management overhead.

“We are pleased to be able to make this platform available to the rest of the world and hope that other enterprises will be able to benefit,” Sing wrote.

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Seesaw Liberated

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Google
  • Google’s ‘Seesaw’ Load Balancer Goes Open Source

    If you’re a network or systems administrator, you’re likely familiar with the concept of a load balancer. It’s a hardware device or software stack that distributes network application load across all the machines and servers connected to it in order to help mitigate network congestion. Google’s software solution, called Seesaw, was created in 2012 in response to a lack of adequate load balancing software for Google’s own use. Coded in Google’s own Go language, the software boasted a flexible Linux backbone and was used to manage Google’s own network needs, which entailed things like automated deployment and ease of use and maintenance.

  • Google Open Sources Its Seesaw Load Balancer

    Google announced today that it is open-sourcing Seesaw — a Linux-based load balancing system. The code for the project, which is written in Google’s Go language, is now available on GitHub under the Apache license.

    As Google Site Reliability Engineer Joel Sing, who works on the company’s corporate infrastructure, writes in today’s announcement, Google used to use two different load balancing systems back in 2012. Both, however, “presented different sets of management and stability challenges.” So to fix this, he and his team set out to find a new solution and because the ones available at the time didn’t meet Google’s needs, they started writing their own.

Google deep learning capabilities heading to Android, creating phones that can think like people

Filed under
Android
Google

Your next Android phone might be able to see like a real human being.

Google has announced that it is to integrated deep learning into its phone operating system, allowing the phones to use algorithms to recognise what is in pictures and think about it like a person.

The company has begun a tie-up with Movidius, a company that makes chips that help with “machine vision”. The two companies have already worked together on Google’s Project Tango, which uses a series of cameras to allow computers to be able to see spaces in 3D.

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How Google backed an open source winner

Filed under
Google
OSS

It’s hard to fault the pedigree of Google’s Kubernetes container management tool, and it seems many of the world’s cloud-forward enterprises agree.

Inspired by Borg – Google’s internal container management software, which manages the two billion-plus containers the web giant starts each week – Kubernetes has scale in its DNA.

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Desktop GNU/Linux and Chrome OS

Filed under
GNU
Linux
Google

Chrome 32-bit

Filed under
Google
Web
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ownCloud Desktop Client 2.2.4 Released with Updated Dolphin Plugin, Bug Fixes

ownCloud is still alive and kicking, and they've recently released a new maintenance update of the ownCloud Desktop Client, version 2.2.4, bringing some much-needed improvements and patching various annoying issues. Read more

Early Benchmarks Of The Linux 4.9 DRM-Next Radeon/AMDGPU Drivers

While Linux 4.9 will not officially open for development until next week, the DRM-Next code is ready to roll with all major feature work having been committed by the different open-source Direct Rendering Manager drivers. In this article is some preliminary testing of this DRM-Next code as of 29 September when testing various AMD GPUs with the Radeon and AMDGPU DRM drivers. Linux 4.9 does bring compile-time-offered experimental support for the AMD Southern Islands GCN 1.0 hardware on AMDGPU, but that isn't the focus of this article. A follow-up comparison is being done with GCN 1.0/1.1 experimental support enabled to see the Radeon vs. AMDGPU performance difference on that hardware. For today's testing was a Radeon R7 370 to look at the Radeon DRM performance and for AMDGPU testing was the Radeon R9 285, R9 Fury, and RX 480. Benchmarks were done from the Linux 4.8 Git and Linux DRM-Next kernels as of 29 September. Read more

How to Effectively and Efficiently Edit Configuration Files in Linux

Every Linux administrator has to eventually (and manually) edit a configuration file. Whether you are setting up a web server, configuring a service to connect to a database, tweaking a bash script, or troubleshooting a network connection, you cannot avoid a dive deep into the heart of one or more configuration files. To some, the prospect of manually editing configuration files is akin to a nightmare. Wading through what seems like countless lines of options and comments can put you on the fast track for hair and sanity loss. Which, of course, isn’t true. In fact, most Linux administrators enjoy a good debugging or configuration challenge. Sifting through the minutiae of how a server or software functions is a great way to pass time. But this process doesn’t have to be an exercise in ineffective inefficiency. In fact, tools are available to you that go a very long way to make the editing of config files much, much easier. I’m going to introduce you to a few such tools, to ease some of the burden of your Linux admin duties. I’ll first discuss the command-line tools that are invaluable to the task of making configuration more efficient. Read more

Why Good Linux Sysadmins Use Markdown

The Markdown markup language is perfect for writing system administrator documentation: it is lightweight, versatile, and easy to learn, so you spend your time writing instead of fighting with formatting. The life of a Linux system administrator is complex and varied, and you know that documenting your work is a big time-saver. A documentation web server shared by you and your colleagues is a wonderful productivity tool. Most of us know simple HTML, and can whack up a web page as easily as writing plain text. But using Markdown is better. Read more