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Programming/Development Leftovers

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Development
  • What's the Most Secure Programming Language?

    WhiteSource recently put out a report, taking a deeper dive into the security of the most popular programming languages.

  • SD Times Open-Source Project of the Week: Plum UI Kit

    The mobile framework NativeScript team is releasing a new open-source project this week designed to help developers style their applications. The team calls the Plum UI Kit a “kitchen sink native app” meant to provide common app scenarios with copy-and-paste abilities.

  • Kedro Open Source library For Machine Learning

    A new open source development workflow framework for creating machine learning code has been released. Kedro has PySpark integration and an SDK for working with datasets.

    Kedro has been developed by QuantumBlack, an analytics firm acquired by McKinsey's in 2015, and the name Kedro derives from the Greek word meaning center or core. Kedro helps structure your data pipeline using software engineering principles. It also provides a standardized approach to collaboration for teams.

  • Prisons Are Banning Books That Teach Prisoners How to Code

    According to public records obtained by the Salem Reporter, the Oregon Department of Corrections has banned dozens of books related to programming and technology as they come through the mail room, ensuring that they don’t get to the hands of prisoners.

  • Oregon prisons ban dozens of technology and programming books over security concerns

    Chan said he understands security concerns for books related to hacking, but they often see introductory or basic books disallowed.

Programming: PNG, AArch64, Python and Tor

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  • Segfaults and Twitter monkeys: a tale of pointlessness

    For a few years in the 1990s, when PNG was just getting established as a Web image format, I was a developer on the libpng team.

    One reason I got involved is that the compression patent on GIFs was a big deal at the time. I had been the maintainer of GIFLIB since 1989; it was on my watch that Marc Andreesen chose that code for use in the first graphics-capable browser in ’94. But I handed that library off to a hacker in Japan who I thought would be less exposed to the vagaries of U.S. IP law. (Years later, after the century had turned and the LZW patents expired, it came back to me.)

    Then, sometime within a few years of 1996, I happened to read the PNG standard, and thought the design of the format was very elegant. So I started submitting patches to libpng and ended up writing the support for six of the minor chunk types, as well as implementing the high-level interface to the library that’s now in general use.

    As part of my work on PNG, I volunteered to clean up some code that Greg Roelofs had been maintaining and package it for release. This was “gif2png” and it was more or less the project’s official GIF converter.

  • AArch64 support for ELF Dissector

    After having been limited to maintenance for a while I finally got around to some feature work on ELF Dissector again this week, another side-project of mine I haven’t written about here yet. ELF Dissector is an inspection tool for the internals of ELF files, the file format used for executables and shared libraries on Linux and a few other operating systems.

    [...]

    ELF Dissector had its first commit more than six years ago, but it is still lingering around in a playground repository, which doesn’t really do it justice. One major blocker for making it painlessly distributable however are its dependencies on private Binutils/GCC API. Using the Capstone disassembler is therefore also a big step towards addressing that, now only the use of the demangler API remains.

  • Weekly Python StackOverflow Report: (clxxxiii) stackoverflow python report
  • denemo @ Savannah: Release 2.3 is imminent - please test.
  • Arguments | Another way to work with user inputs – Part 7
  • Call for setting up new obfs4 bridges

    BridgeDB is running low on obfs4 bridges and often fails to provide users with three bridges per request. Besides, we recently fixed a BridgeDB issue that could get an obfs4 bridge blocked because of its vanilla bridge descriptor: <https://bugs.torproject.org/28655>

    We therefore want to encourage volunteers to set up new obfs4 bridges to help censored users. Over the last few weeks, we have been improving our obfs4 setup guide which walks you through the process: <https://trac.torproject.org/projects/tor/wiki/doc/PluggableTransports/obfs4proxy>p>

today's howtos and programming bits

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Development
HowTos

Development: bzip2, curl, debci and programming leftovers (C++, Python etc.)

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Development
  • Preparing the bzip2-1.0.7 release

    From bzip2-1.0.1 (from the year 2000), until bzip2-1.0.6 (from 2010), release tarballs came with a special Makefile-libbz2_so to generate a shared library instead of a static one.

    This never used libtool or anything; it specified linker flags by hand. Various distributions either patched this special makefile, or replaced it by another one, or outright replaced the complete build system for a different one.

  • Bzip2 Is About To See Its First Real Update In Close To A Decade

    The Bzip2 open-source compression program is about to see its first real release since September 2010. This new version brings new build systems, security fixes, and much more. 

    Earlier this month we wrote about Bzip2 seeing a revival under new maintainership. With Federico Mena-Quintero having taken the reigns from Bzip2 creator Julian Seward, he's busy working on this imminent 1.0.7 release as well as longer-term plans like potentially porting parts of the program to Rust.

  • Kids can be so crurl: Lead dev unchuffed with Google's plan to remake curl in its own image

    Google is planning to reimplement parts of libcurl, a widely used open-source file transfer library, as a wrapper for Chromium's networking API – but curl's lead developer does not welcome the "competition".

    Issue 973603 in the Chromium bug tracker describes libcrurl,"a wrapper library for the libcurl easy interface implemented via Cronet API".

    Cronet is the Chromium network stack, used not only by Google's browser but also available to Android applications.

  • Java and JavaScript remain the most popular programming languages

    That's according to State of Developer Ecosystem report out of JetBrains, which saw the firm survey 7,000 coders about key industry trends. The main takeaways are that Java is the most popular primary programming language; JavaScript is the most used overall; Go is the most promising; and Python is the most studied.

    69 per cent of developers (nice) have used JavaScript over the past 12 months, followed by HTML/CSS (61 per cent), SQL (56 per cent), Java (50 per cent), Python (49 per cent) and Shell scripting languages (40 per cent).

  • Candy Tsai: Outreachy Week 5: What is debci?

    After being asked sooo many times what am I doing for this internship, I think I never explained it well enough so that others could understand. Let me give it a try here.

    debci is short for “Debian Continuous Integration”, so I’ll start with a short definition of what “Continuous Integration” is then!

  • Token Based Authentication for Django Rest Framework

    Django is of the popular web development framework based on python having a large community and is used by many top websites presently. And Django Rest Framework, one of the most popular python package meant for Django to develop rest api’s and it made things really easier from authentication to responses each and everything.

  • Report from February 2019 ISO WG21 C++ Standards Committee Meeting

    The February 2019 ISO C++ meeting was held in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii. As usual, Red Hat sent three of us to the meeting: I attended in the SG1 (parallelism and concurrency) group, Jonathan Wakely in Library, and Jason Merrill in the Core Working Group (see Jason’s report here). In this report, I’ll cover a few highlights of the meeting, focusing on the papers that were discussed.

    The first part of the week in SG1 was spent primarily on papers related to the Executors proposal (p0443). First up was “Integrating executors with the parallel algorithms” (p1019). SG1 also saw this paper at the Fall WG21 meeting in San Diego (see my Fall 2018 trip report). Much of the discussion around this paper in Kona centered on whether supplying an executor to an algorithm required that the algorithm must execute on the supplied executor. Currently, execution policies are just hints to the algorithm, and the algorithm is free to ignore the hint (e.g., some algorithms have no profitable parallelization, or parallelization may not be profitable for small input ranges, so an algorithm may ignore the user’s request for parallelization).

    We also spent some time trying to get a clearer definition of what counts as a Thread of Execution (ToE) in the context of p1019 (e.g., does a ToE imply TLS? What about fibers, SIMD lanes, etc.?) and the standard parallel algorithms, as well as how exceptions might be handled. Currently, exceptions in parallel algorithms terminate the calling program. The consensus was that we’d like to aim for executors supplied to algorithms to require that the algorithm strictly execute on the supplied executor. The author was asked to work on a subsequent revision of the paper with this guidance in mind. No conclusions were reached on the topic of exception propagation or what specifically constitutes a ToE in this context.

    Next, there was a brief discussion on an experience report I wrote for the Fall meeting (p1192). I had no new information on this paper for Kona but expect to bring either an update or a new paper based on work I will be doing to replace the default execution backend of the libstdc++ implementation of parallel algorithms from Intel’s Thread Building Blocks to a backend based on OpenMP.

  • 3D – Interactions with Qt, KUESA and Qt Design Studio, Part 1

    I’m a 3D designer, mostly working in blender. Sometimes I come across interesting problems and I’ll try to share those here. For example, trying to display things on low-end hardware – where memory is sometimes limited, meaning every polygon and triangle counts; where the renderer doesn’t do what the designer wants it to, that sort of thing. The problem that I’ll cover today is, how to easily create a reflection in KUESA or Qt 3D Studio.

    Neither KUESA or Qt 3D Studio will give you free reflections. If you know a little about 3D, you know that requires ray tracing software, not OpenGL. So, I wondered if there would be an easy way to create this effect. I mean, all that a reflection is, is a mirror of an object projected onto a plane, right? So, I wondered, could this be imitated?

  • Linear Regression in Python

    Linear Regression is a supervised statistical technique where we try to estimate the dependent variable with a given set of independent variables. We assume the relationship to be linear and our dependent variable must be continuous in nature.

  • Announcing GitLabracadabra 0.2.1

    Mid-October I started at work a tool in Python to create and update our projects hosted in our GitLab instance.

  • Kubernetes 1.15 Releaased, Offensive Security Reveals the 2019-2020 Roadmap for Kali Linux, Canonical Releases a New Kernel Live Patch for Ubuntu 18.04 and 16.04 LTS, Vivaldi 2.6 Now Available, and Mathieu Parent Announces GitLabracadabra

    Mathieu Parent today announces GitLabracadabra 0.2.1. He started working on the tool to in Python to create and update projects in GitLab. He notes that "This tool is still very young and documentation is sparse, but following the 'release early, release often' motto I think it is ready for general usage."

  • Let’s Build A Simple Interpreter. Part 15.

    Before moving on to topics of recognizing and interpreting procedure calls, let’s make some changes to improve our error reporting a bit. Up until now, if there was a problem getting a new token from text, parsing source code, or doing semantic analysis, a stack trace would be thrown right into your face with a very generic message. We can do better than that.

    To provide better error messages pinpointing where in the code an issue happened, we need to add some features to our interpreter. Let’s do that and make some other changes along the way. This will make the interpreter more user friendly and give us an opportunity to flex our muscles after a “short” break in the series. It will also give us a chance to prepare for new features that we will be adding in future articles.

Programming Leftovers

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  • Getting Started with Rust: Working with Files and Doing File I/O

    This article demonstrates how to perform basic file and file I/O operations in Rust, and also introduces Rust's ownership concept and the Cargo tool. If you are seeing Rust code for the first time, this article should provide a pretty good idea of how Rust deals with files and file I/O, and if you've used Rust before, you still will appreciate the code examples in this article.

  • PyCharm 2019.2 EAP 4

    This week’s Early Access Program (EAP) version of PyCharm can now be downloaded from our website.

  • The First Step in Contributing to Open Source Projects

    I've been "programming" in Python for a while now, enough to be dangerous as they say. I've learned enough to be able to help others from time to time, but new enough that I still get distracted by the next shiny package I hear about on a podcast.

    I recently decided that, to help progress me further and to give back a little, I would help contribute to a package. I've heard the call to arms a few times, "Update the documentation, fix the bugs, build new features!". It's the Emerald City of the open source world. Being able to give back to the community that gives me something I enjoy so much was something that couldn't be ignored.

    But where to start? PyPI has over 100,000 packages, how does one just randomly pick one? Do I pick a well known product? Surely they can always use the help, but the large packages are so refined. With dozens of contributors already helping how could I possibly add something of value? Is it better to go for a smaller package? Find one that still needs work?

  • Python Pandas : Drop columns from Dataframe
  • What's the difference between PyQt5 and PySide2?
  • #135 macOS deprecates Python 2, will stop shipping it (eventually)
  • For Loop – Python Programming
  • EuroPython 2019: Beginners’ Day Workshop
  • GNU Guile: GNU Guile 2.2.5 released

    We are pleased to announce GNU Guile 2.2.5, the fifth bug-fix release in the new 2.2 stable release series. This release represents 100 commits by 11 people since version 2.2.4. It fixes bugs that had accumulated over the last few months, notably in the SRFI-19 date and time library and in the (web uri) module. This release also greatly improves performance of bidirectional pipes, and introduces the new get-bytevector-some! binary input primitive that made it possible.

Programming/Development Leftovers

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Development
  • ‘I code in my dreams too’, say developers in Jetbrains State of Developer Ecosystem 2019 Survey

    Last week, Jetbrains published its annual survey results known as The State of Developer Ecosystem 2019. More than 19,000 people participated in this developer ecosystem survey. But responses from only 7000 developers from 17 countries were included in the report. The survey had over 150 questions and key results from the survey are published, complete results along with the raw data will be shared later. Jetbrains prepared an infographics based on the survey answers they received. Let us take a look at their key takeaways:

  • Python and "dead" batteries

    Python is, famously, a "batteries included" language; it comes with a rich standard library right out of the box, which makes for a highly useful starting point for everyone. But that does have some downsides as well. The standard library modules are largely maintained by the CPython core developers, which adds to their duties; the modules themselves are subject to the CPython release schedule, which may be suboptimal. For those reasons and others, there have been thoughts about retiring some of the older modules; it is a topic that has come up several times over the last year or so.

    It probably had been discussed even earlier, but a session at the 2018 Python Language Summit (PLS) is the starting point this time around. At that time, Christian Heimes listed a few modules that he thought should be considered for removal; he said he was working on a PEP to that end. PEP 594 ("Removing dead batteries from the standard library") surfaced in May with a much longer list of potentially dead batteries. There was also a session at this year's PLS, where Amber Brown advocated moving toward a much smaller standard library, arguing that including modules in the standard library stifles their growth. Some at PLS seemed to be receptive to Brown's ideas, at least to some extent, though Guido van Rossum was apparently not pleased with her presentation and "stormed from the room".

  • When and How to Win With New Programming Languages
  • Understanding Data Ops and it's impact on Application Quality

Programming: Firefox Binaries, Python, GCC, Kotlin, C++ and Rust

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  • Stack Write Traffic In Firefox Binaries

    I became interested in how much CPU memory write traffic corresponds to "stack writes". For x86-64 this roughly corresponds to writes that use RSP or RBP as a base register (including implicitly via PUSH/CALL). I thought I had pretty good intuitions about x86 machine code, but the results surprised me.

  • Louis-Philippe Véronneau: membernator -- validate membership cards

    I currently work part-time for student unions in Montreal and they often have large general assemblies (more than 2000 people). As you can likely figure out by yourself, running through paper lists to validate people's identity is a real PITA and takes quite a long time.

    For example, even if you have 4 people checking names, if validating someone's identity takes 5 seconds on average (that's pretty fast), it takes around 40 minutes to go through 2000 people.

    Introducing membernator, a python program written using pygame that validates membership cards against a CSV database! The idea is to use barcode scanners to scan people's school ID cards and see if they are in our digital lists. Hopefull, it will make our GA process easier for everyone.

  • Developer Toolset 8.1 and GCC 8.3 now available for Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7

    Red Hat Developer Toolset delivers GCC, GDB, and a set of complementary development tools for Red Hat Enterprise Linux via two release trains per year. We are pleased to share that Developer Toolset 8.1 with GCC 8.3 is now available and supported on Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7.

    The Red Hat Developer Toolset 8.1 release includes many enhancements and changes, but here are a few of the highlights...

  • Finished converting all the buildfiles to groovy and downgraded to gradle 4.4.1; week 3+ update

    During the third week I mainly spent my time converting all the buildfiles in the "dist" task graph to groovy from kotlin-dsl.

    I finished converting all the build files from kotlin-dsl to groovy. I then proceeded to build the entire project with only the subprojects required for the dist task so that we can avoid converting all the uneeded subproject buildfiles to groovy. Ran tests on the binary obtained from the newly onverted project and compared it to the test result on an original unconverted project. Since the new project only contains the needed subprojects this new project is unable to run all the needed tests. So inorder to overcome this we copy the binaries built by our new project and run the tests using the original unaltered projects. The compiler test task we need is "compilerTest"; this is the only aplicalbe test for out build binary from the "dist" task. I have run "distTest" for the unaltered project and uploaded it here; "distTest" task encompasses compilerTest task within it. Here is the log of the "compilerTest" run on the geenrated binaries.

  • Intel Developing "Data Parallel C++" As Part Of OneAPI Initiative

    Intel announced an interesting development in their oneAPI initiative: they are developing a new programming language/dialect.

    Intel originally began talking about oneAPI last December for optimizing code across CPUs / GPUs / FPGAs and as part of "no transistor left behind." Early details sounded similar to HSA while with time more bits have become known while the big reveal isn't expected until Q4'2019 when it will enter beta.

    We've known OpenCL will take a big role and their LLVM upstreaming effort around their SYCL compiler back-end. The SYCL single-source C++ programming standard from The Khronos Group we've expected Intel to use as their basis for oneAPI while now it seems they are going a bit beyond just targeting SYCL.

  • You can't buy DevOps [Ed: Poor article about mere buzzwords]
  • This Week in Rust 291

Programming: Lucid Vision Labs, Librem 5, Instana, Python and GNU

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  • Time-of-Flight camera is powered by Jetson TX2

    Lucid Vision Labs unveiled a MIPI-CSI2 equipped “Helios Embedded” version of its new Helios Time of Flight 3D camera that combines a Jetson TX2 with a Sony DepthSense IMX556PLR ToF sensor with under-5mm accuracy at 0.3 to 1.5 meters.

    Time-of-Flight (ToF) technology spans a range of infrared laser scanners from 3D imaging and navigation systems found on autonomous robots and self-driving cars to the camera flash mechanism inside the Huawei Honor View 20 phone. Most ToF cameras are controlled from a Windows or Linux PCs, such as the Basler ToF Camera, the Terabee 3Dcam 80×60, or Lucid Vision Labs’ Helios ToF Camera, which was announced last October and is due to ship later this month. Now Lucid has announced a similar Helios Embedded version of the Helios ToF due in Q4 2019 that can operate autonomously thanks to its Jetson TX2 module.

  • Librem 5 June Software Update

    Hi everyone! The Librem 5 team has been hard at work, and we want to update you all on our software progress.

    Conferences

    A couple of blog posts back, we mentioned that our hardware engineer gave a talk at KiCon—and it is available for watching now!

    Also, recently Tobias Bernard attended the Libre Graphics Meeting, where he had lots of conversation around the future photo viewing application for the Librem 5 phone.

  • Instana Releases Red Hat OpenShift Kubernetes Operator Built on Quarkus

    Red Hat OpenShift introduced Kubernetes (K8s) Operator support with version 3.11. Since that time, the number of Operators created by the OpenShift community has been steadily growing. Instana introduced our Red Hat OpenShift Kubernetes Operator at Red Hat Summit 2019, and will be demonstrating our K8s capabilities at KubeCon Barcelona this week.

  • Book Contest: Creating GUI Applications with wxPython
  • How to Use Python lambda Functions
  • Event - GNU Hackers Meeting (Madrid, Spain)

    Twelve years after its first edition in Orense, the GNU Hackers Meeting (2019-09-04–06) will help in Spain again. This is an opportunity to meet, hack, and learn with other free software enthusiasts.

Qt 5.13 Released!

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Development

Today, we have released Qt 5.13 and I’m really proud of all the work that everyone has put into it. As always, our releases come with new features, updates, bug fixes, and improvements. For Qt 5.13, we have also been focused on our tooling that makes designing, developing and deploying software with Qt more efficient for designers and developers alike. Let’s take a look at some of the highlights of Qt 5.13 as well as some of the updates on the tooling side.

I will also be holding a webinar summarizing all the news around Qt 5.13 together with our Head of R&D Tuukka Turunen on July 2. Please sign up and ask us your questions.

Read more

Also: Qt 5.13 Released With glTF 2.0 Importing, Wayland Improvements, Lottie Animation Support

Python: Leading, Developing for Android and New RCs

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  • Leading in the Python community

    Naomi began her career in the Classics; she earned a PhD in Latin and Ancient Greek with a minor in Indo-European Linguistics, as she says, "several decades ago." While teaching Latin at a private school, she began tinkering with computers, learning to code and to take machines apart to do upgrades and repairs. She started working with open source software in 1995 with Yggdrasil Linux and helped launch the Fort Wayne, Indiana, Linux User Group.

  • What’s the Best Language for Android App Developers: Java or Python?

    Few things can be so divisive among developers as their choice of programming languages. Developers will promote one over the other, often touting their chosen language’s purity, speed, elegance, efficiency, power, portability, compatibility or any number of other features.

    Android app developers are no exception, with many developers divided between using Java or Python to develop their applications. Let’s look at these two languages and see which is best for Android app developers.

  • Python 3.7.4rc1 and 3.6.9rc1 are now available

    Python 3.7.4rc1 and 3.6.9rc1 are now available. 3.7.4rc1 is the release preview of the next maintenance release of Python 3.7, the latest feature release of Python. 3.6.9rc1 is the release preview of the first security-fix release of Python 3.6. Assuming no critical problems are found prior to 2019-06-28, no code changes are planned between these release candidates and the final releases. These release candidates are intended to give you the opportunity to test the new security and bug fixes in 3.7.4 and security fixes in 3.6.9. We strongly encourage you to test your projects and report issues found to bugs.python.org as soon as possible. Please keep in mind that these are preview releases and, thus, their use is not recommended for production environments.

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More in Tux Machines

today's leftovers

  • Hardware Review - The ZaReason Virtus 9200 Desktop
  • Chrome OS 76 will disable Crostini Linux backups by default
    Essentially, this is still a work in progress feature. And I shouldn’t be terribly surprised by that, even though in my experience, the functionality hasn’t failed me yet. That’s because we know that the Chromium team is considering on a way to backup and restore Linux containers directly from the Files app on a Chromebook. That proposal is targeted for Chrome OS 78, so this gives the team more time to work that out, as well as any other nits that might not be quite right with the current implementation.
  • Andrei Lisita: Something to show for
    Unfortunately along with the progress that was made we also encountered a bug with the NintendoDS core that causes Games to crash if we attempt to load a savestate. We are not yet 100% sure if the bug is caused by my changes or by the NintendoDS core itself. I hope we are able to fix it by the end of the summer although I am not even sure where to start since savestates are working perfectly fine with other cores. Another confusing matter about this is that the Restart/Resume Dialog works fine with the NintendoDS core and it also uses savestates. This led me to believe that perhaps cores can be used to load savestates only once, but this can’t be the problem since we re-instantiate the core every time we load a savestate. In the worst case we might just have to make a special case for the NintendoDS core and not use savestates with it, except for the Resume/Restart dialog. This would sadden me deeply since there are plenty of NintendoDS games which could benefit from this feature.
  • OSMC's June update is here with Kodi v18.3
    Team Kodi recently announced the 18.3 point release of Kodi Leia. We have now prepared this for all supported OSMC devices and added some improvements and fixes. Here's what's new:

OSS Leftovers

  • A comparison of open source, real-time data streaming platforms
    A variety of open source, real-time data streaming platforms are available today for enterprises looking to drive business insights from data as quickly as possible. The options include Spark Streaming, Kafka Streams, Flink, Hazelcast Jet, Streamlio, Storm, Samza and Flume -- some of which can be used in tandem with each other. Enterprises are adopting these real-time data streaming platforms for tasks such as making sense of a business marketing campaign, improving financial trading or recommending marketing messages to consumers at critical junctures in the customer journey. These are all time-critical areas that can be used for improving business decisions or baked into applications driven by data from a variety of sources.
  • Amphenol’s Jason Ellison on Signal Integrity Careers and His Free, Open Source PCB Design Software
    Ellison, Senior Staff Signal Integrity Engineer at Amphenol ICC, gives his insight on the importance of networking, giving to the EE community, and his open-source signal integrity project. How does signal integrity engineering compare to other EE fields? What are open-source resources worth these days? What makes for a good work life for an engineer? Learn this and more in this Engineer Spotlight! Jason Ellison started down the path to becoming an electrical engineer because someone told him it was "fun and easy if you're good at math." In this interview with AAC's Mark Hughes, Ellison—a Senior Staff Signal Integrity Engineer at Amphenol ICC—describes how his career has grown from these beginnings into the rewarding and diverse work of signal integrity engineering.
  • Cruise open-sources Webviz, a tool for robotics data analysis [Ed: Releasing a little tool that's part of proprietary software so that it 'feels' more "open"]
    Cruise, the self-driving startup that General Motors acquired for nearly $1 billion in 2016, generates an enormous amount of data by any measure. It orchestrates 200,000 hours of driving simulation jobs daily in Google Cloud Platform, spread across 30,000 virtual cars in an environment running on 300,000 processor cores and 5,000 graphics cards. Both those cars and Cruise’s fleet of over 180 real-world autonomous Chevrolet Bolts make thousands of decisions every second, and they base these decisions on observations captured in binary format from cameras, microphones, radar sensors, and lidar sensors.
  • EWF launches world’s first open source blockchain for the energy industry
    The Energy Web Foundation this week announced that it has launched the world’s first public, open-source, enterprise-grade blockchain tailored to the energy sector: the Energy Web Chain (EW Chain). More than ten Energy Web Foundation (EWF) Affiliates — including utilities, grid operators, and blockchain developers — are hosting validator nodes for the live network, according to the company.
  • Pimcore Releases Pimcore 6.0, Amplifying User-Friendly Digital Experiences Through Open Source
    Pimcore, the leading open-source platform for data and customer experience management, has released the most powerful version of the Pimcore platform, Pimcore 6.0. The updated platform includes a new user interface that seamlessly connects MDM/PIM, DAM, WCM, and digital commerce capabilities to create more advanced and user-friendly experiences quickly and efficiently.
  • VCV Rack reaches version 1.0.0: free and open-source modular synth gets a full release
    VCV Rack is a free, open-source modular software synth that’s been gaining ground for a couple of years, but only now has it reached the significant milestone of version 1.0. Designed to replicate the feeling of having a hardware modular synth on your desktop, VCV Rack enables you to add both free and paid-for modules, and now supports polyphony of up to 16 voices. There’s MIDI Output, too with CV-Gate, CV-MIDI and CV-CC modules enabling you to interface with drum machines, desktop synths and Eurorack gear.
  • Flying Above the Shoulders of Giants
    Thanks to open-source platforms, developers can stand on the shoulders of software giants to build bigger and better things. Linux is probably the biggest...
  • MIT Researchers Open-Source AutoML Visualization Tool ATMSeer
    A research team from MIT, Hong Kong University, and Zhejiang University has open-sourced ATMSeer, a tool for visualizing and controlling automated machine-learning processes. Solving a problem with machine learning (ML) requires more than just a dataset and training. For any given ML tasks, there are a variety of algorithms that could be used, and for each algorithm there can be many hyperparameters that can be tweaked. Because different values of hyperparameters will produce models with different accuracies, ML practitioners usually try out several sets of hyperparameter values on a given dataset to try to find hyperparameters that produce the best model. This can be time-consuming, as a separate training job and model evaluation process must be conducted for each set. Of course, they can be run in parallel, but the jobs must be setup and triggered, and the results recorded. Furthermore, choosing the particular values for hyperparameters can involve a bit of guesswork, especially for ones that can take on any numeric value: if 2.5 and 2.6 produce good results, maybe 2.55 would be even better? What about 2.56 or 2.54?
  • Open-Source Cybersecurity Tool to Enhance Grid Protection
    A revolutionary new cybersecurity tool that can help protect the electric power grid has been released to the public on the code-hosting website GitHub.
  • Quick notes for Mozilla Whistler All Hands 2019
  • Deeper into the data fabric with MongoDB
    However, to gain access to rich search functionality, many organisations pair their database with a search engine such as Elasticsearch or Solr, which MongoDB claims can complicate development and operations — because we end up with two entirely separate systems to learn, maintain and scale.

Raspberry Pi 4 is here!

The latest version of the Raspberry Pi—Raspberry Pi 4—was released today, earlier than anticipated, featuring a new 1.5GHz Arm chip and VideoCore GPU with some brand new additions: dual-HDMI 4K display output; USB3 ports; Gigabit Ethernet; and multiple RAM options up to 4GB. The Raspberry Pi 4 is a very powerful single-board computer and starts at the usual price of $35. That gets you the standard 1GB RAM, or you can pay $45 for the 2GB model or $55 for the 4GB model—premium-priced models are a first for Raspberry Pi. Read more

Open Data, Open Access and Open Hardware

  • DoD’s Joint AI Center to open-source natural disaster satellite imagery data set
    As climate change escalates, the impact of natural disasters is likely to become less predictable. To encourage the use of machine learning for building damage assessment this week, Carnegie Mellon University’s Software Engineering Institute and CrowdAI — the U.S. Department of Defense’s Joint AI Center (JAIC) and Defense Innovation Unit — open-sourced a labeled data set of some of the largest natural disasters in the past decade. Called xBD, it covers the impact of disasters around the globe, like the 2010 earthquake that hit Haiti. “Although large-scale disasters bring catastrophic damage, they are relatively infrequent, so the availability of relevant satellite imagery is low. Furthermore, building design differs depending on where a structure is located in the world. As a result, damage of the same severity can look different from place to place, and data must exist to reflect this phenomenon,” reads a research paper detailing the creation of xBD. [...]

    xBD includes approximately 700,000 satellite images of buildings before and after eight different kinds of natural disasters, including earthquakes, wildfires, floods, and volcanic eruptions. Covering about 5,000 square kilometers, it contains images of floods in India and Africa, dam collapses in Laos and Brazil, and historic deadly fires in California and Greece.

    The data set will be made available in the coming weeks alongside the xView 2.0 Challenge to unearth additional insights from xBD, coauthor and CrowdAI machine learning lead Jigar Doshi told VentureBeat. The data set collection effort was informed by the California Air National Guard’s approach to damage assessment from wildfires.

  • Open-source textbooks offer free alternative for UC Clermont students
    Some UC Clermont College students are avoiding paying hundreds of dollars for textbooks — and getting the content for free — thanks to online open-source textbooks, a growing trend among faculty at the college and throughout higher education. UC Clermont Dean Jeff Bauer, who is also a professor of business, said the benefits of open textbooks are many. “All students have the book on the first day of class, it saves them a lot of money, and the information can be accessed anywhere, anytime, without carrying around a heavy textbook,” Bauer said. “They don’t need to visit the bookstore before or after each semester to buy or sell back books, either.”
  • Open Source Computer Controlled Loom Knits Pikachu For You
    The origin story of software takes us back past punch card computers and Babbage's Difference Engine to a French weaver called Joseph Marie Jacquard.
  • Successful open-source RISC-V microcontroller launched through crowdfunding
    X-FAB Silicon Foundries, together with crowd-sourcing IC platform partner Efabless Corporation, launched the first-silicon availability of the Efabless RISC-V SoC reference design. This open-source semiconductor project went from start of design to tape-out in less than three months employing the Efabless design flow produced on open-source tools. The mixed-signal SoC, called Raven, is based on the community developed ultra-low power PicoRV32 RISC-V core. Efabless has bench-tested the Raven at 100MHz, and based on simulations, the solution should operate at up to 150MHz.
  • Open Hardware: Open-Source MRI Scanners Could Bring Enormous Cost Savings
    Wulfsberg explore the possibilities of open source MRI scanning. As open-source technology takes its place around the world—everywhere from makerspaces to FabLabs, users on every level have access to design and innovation. In allowing such access to MRI scanning, the researchers realize the potential for ‘technological literacy’ globally—and with MRIs specifically, astronomical sums could be saved in healthcare costs. The authors point out that medical technology is vital to the population of the world for treating not only conditions and illnesses, but also disabilities. As so many others deeply involved in the world of technology and 3D printing realize, with greater availability, accessibility, and affordability, huge strides can be made to improve and save lives. Today, with so many MRI patents expiring, the technology is open for commercialization.