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Open Hardware/Modding

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Hardware
OSS
  • Delta X open source delta robot kit hits Kickstarter from €179

    After previously being unveiled earlier this month the Delta X open source delta robot kit has now launched via Kickstarter offering open source hardware, firmware and software for the community. Watch the demonstration video below to learn more about the Arduino powered 3D printed open source robot kit which is now available from €179.

    The Delta X offers both a complete desktop robot and a modular kit and can be combined with a range of end effectors to complete a wide variety of different applications, offering increased speed and flexibility when compared to other robotic arm kits on the market.

  • AXIS open source 3D printer from $125

    An affordable 3D printer has launched via Kickstarter this week in the form of the AXIS 3D Printer which is priced from just £99, $125 or €115. Complete with dual 3D printing head the 3D printer is based on open source technology with “tried and tested industry standard components designed to work right, first time” say it’s creators.

  • Freemelt raises $1.6 million in investment round for open-source EBM 3D printer
  • 3D printing stethoscopes, tourniquets and crucial dialysis-machine parts in Gaza

    Tarek Loubani is a Palestinian-Canadian doctor who works with the Glia Project, a group that creates open-source designs for 3D-printable medical hardware. Their goal is to let local populations manufacture their own medical wares at prices considerably lower than in the marketplace, and in situations where -- because of distance or war -- it may not even be possible to ship in equipment at any price. Some of their early work has been in blockaded Gaza, for example.

    So far, Glia has designed a stethoscope that can be made for about $2.83, and a tourniquet that costs about $7 to make.

  • GameShell Kit – Open Source Portable Game Console

    This portable console has a GNU/LINUX embedded operating system that lets you play all kinds of retro games from Atari, GB, GBA, NES, MAME, MD, PS1, and more. You can even create your own games if you want. Get one for yourself or build it together with your kids. Check out more details by clicking the link above.

  • Play classic games on an open-source console with GameShell: $143 (Orig. $199)

Linux VR Headset

Filed under
Linux
Hardware

Since most VR Headsets support Windows platforms today, there are very few options for Linux users. Despite its support, many people have faced troubles setting up and running their Headsets on Linux. However, not anymore. The VR gaming experience is now getting better!

The all-new Xrdesktop is an open-source development that lets you work with various desktop environments like GNOME and KDE. Since this project is under progress right now, we can hope for more features like Steam, Valve and other platforms for gaming and Virtual Reality experience.

In addition, the Xrdesktop will also offer integration with Windows as well. Once completed, it will be a great step towards traditional Linux desktop environments. The program is available for installation in both packages for Ubuntu Linux and Arch Linux.

Read more

Intel Resurrecting FSGSBASE Support For Linux, SVT-HEVC 1.4.1 Released

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Linux
Hardware
  • Intel Resurrecting FSGSBASE Support For Linux To Help With Performance

    Going on for months had been work by Intel Linux developers on supporting the FSGSBASE instruction for helping Intel CPU performance going back to Ivybridge where this instruction set extension was first introduced. The FSGSBASE support was queued for the Linux 5.3 kernel but was reverted due to "serious bugs" in the implementation. Intel has now published a revised version of this support.

  • Intel's H.265 Encoder SVT-HEVC 1.4.1 Released With Optimizations & More

    While not quite as exciting as the big performance boost found with SVT-VP9 for AVX2 CPUs a few days ago, Intel's Scalable Video Technology team has released SVT-HEVC 1.4.1 as their newest feature release to this open-source H.265/HEVC video encoder.

    SVT-HEVC 1.4.1 now allows setting an arbitrary thread count for the program, there is a new tile group for better tile parallelism to help with performance, support for building both shared and static libraries, fixed motion vector out-of-bounds issues, and other fixes resolved.

TPC-71W next-generation Arm-Based Industrial Panel PC for IoT applications

Filed under
GNU
Linux
Hardware

Advantech Industrial IoT Group, announced TPC-71W – the new generation of its industrial panel PCs aimed at machine automation and web-terminal applications. TPC-71W is a cost-efficient, Arm-based industrial panel PC that features a 7” true-flat display with P-CAP multi-touch control, high resolution and an NXP Arm Cortex -A9 i.MX 6 dual/quad-core processor to deliver high-performance computing. The system also features a serial port with a 120Ω termination resistor that supports the CAN 2.0B protocol and offers a programmable bit rate of up to 1 Mb/sec. Equipped with the Google Chromium embedded web browser and support for various operating systems, including Android, Linux Yocto, and Linux Ubuntu with QT GUI toolkits, TPC-71W allows system integrators to easily develop and deploy a wide range of industrial applications.

Read more

Also: Raspberry Pi CM3+ based EagleEye Smart Camera Works with OpenCV and LabVIEW NI Vision

Devices Leftovers

Filed under
Linux
Hardware

It’s Now Easier to Install Acer Firmware on Linux

Filed under
Linux
Hardware

Y’know, the Linux Vendor Firmware Service!

It’s an awesome initiative spearheaded by open source developer Richard Hughes that enables well-known hardware companies — Dell! Lenovo! Wacom! Etc! — safely distribute firmware updates to Linux users, sans hassle.

Yup! And as Acer is one of the biggest laptop sellers in the world their addition to the ranks of the LVFS is pretty big news (just like I said in my opening line, keep up!).

Read more

Also: Please welcome Acer to the LVFS

RK3399 hacker board upgrade adds 4GB LPDDR4 RAM

Filed under
GNU
Linux
Hardware

FriendlyElec has released an upgraded version of its Rockchip RK3399 based SBC, the NanoPi-M4. Called NanoPi M4V2, the new $70 board is mostly identical to its predecessor, but offers 4GB of LPDDR4 RAM, along with two user buttons for power and recovery.

A little over a year ago, FriendlyElec rolled out its third RK3399 based SBC of 2018, the NanoPi-M4. The board seemed to hit on a sweet spot tradeoff in terms of an affordable SBC with a decent amount of RAM. Now the company has launched an upgraded version, the NanoPi-M4 that has 4GB or RAM while moving to the more advanced LPDDR4, in contrast to the NanoPi M4’s LPDDR3. While the NanoPi-M4 costs $75 in its 4GB version ($50 for 2GB), the new NanoPi-M4V2 with 4GB costs only $70. The new board adds two new users buttons—for power and recovery—that were not on the original NanoPi-M4. Other differences on the new NanoPi M4V2 include 2×2 MIMO support and an inconsequential heavier weight of 50.62 grams (versus 47.70g).

Read more

Also: $70 NanoPi M4V2 SBC Gets 4GB LPDDR4 RAM, Power & Recovery Buttons

Raspberry Pi 4 Review and Benchmarks

Filed under
GNU
Linux
Hardware

A System-on-Chip (SoC) is a Central Processing Unit (CPU) with other components built into the same chip. In the RPi4 the Graphical Processor Unit (GPU) is built-in to the CPU. Nearly every component on the board can be integrated into the CPU.

The Advanced RISC Machine (ARM) is made by the Arm Holdings which only develops designs. The ARM Holdings does not produce the chips but produces the designs of the processor and separate Intellectual Property (IP) Blocks.

An IP Block will consist of one component. For example, an IP Block can contain the design for a USB Hub Controller. Another example would be an IP Block for Bluetooth.

[...]

The RPi4 is a better improvement over the RPi3 in all of the hardware upgrades made to it.

There seem to be complaints about heating issues but this will occur on any type of higher end processor. If you run an RPi4 then you may want to invest in a fan to keep it cool.

The uses of the RPi4 are numerous for many projects which could benefit from a small system board. The Internet has many projects listed with designs for building anything you may want. These designs can range from arcade game consoles to sensors within your house. There are also designs for robots as well.

Once there are 64-bit Operating Systems available for the RPi4 then things will be more interesting. It is possible to get a 64-bit OS to work, but it requires a bit of hoops to jump through to make it work.

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6 Ingenious Arduino Shields You Should Check Out

Filed under
Linux
Hardware

No matter which model you pick, the Arduino is a great starting point for your Internet of Things projects. On its own though, an Arduino is fairly limited. Out of the gate, it lacks several things you’ll need for more advanced IoT builds. These include advanced networking, various sensors and more.

Fortunately, Arduino models are extensible with additional hardware known as Shields. These add all sorts of functionality to your Arduino, letting it rival or even exceed what you can do with a Raspberry Pi.

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CompuLab's Airtop 3 Is The Most Powerful Fan-Less Computer We've Tested Yet

Filed under
GNU
Linux
Hardware

The past month and a half we have been putting CompuLab's Airtop 3 computer through some demanding benchmarks and a variety of endurance workloads. With the Airtop 3 under test loaded with an 8-core / 16-thread Xeon processor, NVIDIA Quadro RTX 4000 graphics, and 64GB of RAM with NVMe SSD storage there were some concerns over thermal throttling and if this fan-less industrial PC design could really deal with the generated heat. But after all of this testing, the Airtop 3 continues running strong and another shining example of CompuLab's engineering strength.

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today's howtos

Databases: MariaDB, ScyllaDB, Percona, Cassandra

  • MariaDB opens US headquarters in California

    MariaDB Corporation, the database company born as a result of forking the well-known open-source MySQL database...

  • ScyllaDB takes on Amazon with new DynamoDB migration tool

    There are a lot of open-source databases out there, and ScyllaDB, a NoSQL variety, is looking to differentiate itself by attracting none other than Amazon users. Today, it announced a DynamoDB migration tool to help Amazon customers move to its product.

  • ScyllaDB Announces Alternator, an Open Source Amazon DynamoDB-Compatible API

    ScyllaDB today announced the Alternator project, open-source software that will enable application- and API-level compatibility between Scylla and Amazon’s NoSQL cloud database, Amazon DynamoDB. Scylla’s DynamoDB-compatible API will be available for use with Scylla Open Source, supporting the majority of DynamoDB use cases and features.

  • ScyllaDB Secures $25 Million to Open Source Amazon DynamoDB-compatible API

    Fast-growing NoSQL database company raises funds to extend operations and bring new deployment flexibility to users of Amazon DynamoDB.

  • ScyllaDB Announces Alternator, an Open Source Amazon DynamoDB-Compatible API

    ScyllaDB today announced the Alternator project, open-source software that will enable application- and API-level compatibility between Scylla and Amazon’s NoSQL cloud database, Amazon DynamoDB. Scylla’s DynamoDB-compatible API will be available for use with Scylla Open Source, supporting the majority of DynamoDB use cases and features.

  • ScyllaDB powers up Alternator: an open Amazon DynamoDB API

    Companies normally keep things pretty quiet in the run up to their annual user conferences, so they can pepper the press with a bag of announcements designed to show how much market momentum and traction that have going. Not so with ScyllaDB, the company has been dropping updates in advance of its Scylla Summit event in what is perhaps an unusually vocal kind of way. [...] Scylla itself is a real-time big data database that is fully compatible with Apache Cassandra and is known for its ‘shared-nothing’ approach (a distributed-computing architecture in which each update request is satisfied by a single node –processor/memory/storage unit to increase throughput and storage capacity.

  • Percona Announces Full Conference Schedule for Percona Live Open Source Database Conference Europe 2019

    The Percona Live Open Source Database Conference Europe 2019 is the premier open source database event. Percona Live conferences provide the open source database community with an opportunity to discover and discuss the latest open source trends, technologies and innovations. The conference includes the best and brightest innovators and influencers in the open source database industry.

  • Thwarting Digital Ad Fraud at Scale: An Open Source Experiment with Anomaly Detection

    Our experiment assembles Kafka, Cassandra, and our anomaly detection application in a Lambda architecture, in which Kafka and our streaming data pipeline are the speed layer, and Cassandra acts as the batch and serving layer. In this configuration, Kafka makes it possible to ingest streaming digital ad data in a fast and scalable manner, while taking a “store and forward” approach so that Kafka can serve as a buffer to protect the Cassandra database from being overwhelmed by major data surges. Cassandra’s strength is in storing high-velocity streams of ad metric data in its linearly scalable, write-optimized database. In order to handle automation for provisioning, deploying, and scaling the application, the anomaly detection experiment relies on Kubernetes on AWS EKS.

Today in Techrights

OSS Leftovers

  • Workarea Commerce Goes Open-source

    The enterprise commerce platform – Workarea is releasing its software to the open-source community. In case you don’t already know, Workarea was built to unify commerce, content management, merchant insights, and search. It was developed upon open-source technologies since its inception like Elasticsearch, MongoDB, and Ruby on Rails. Workarea aims to provide unparalleled services in terms of scalability and flexibility in modern cloud environments. Its platform source code and demo instructions are available on GitHub here.

  • Wyoming CV Pilot develops open-source RSU monitoring system

    The team working on the US Department of Transportation’s (USDOT) Connected Vehicle Pilot Deployment Program in Wyoming have developed open-source applications for the operation and maintenance of Roadside Units (RSUs) that can be viewed by all stakeholders. The Wyoming Department of Transportation (WYDOT) Connected Vehicle Pilot implementation includes the deployment of 75 RSUs along 400 miles (644km) of I-80. With long drive times and tough winters in the state, WYDOT needed an efficient way to monitor the performance of and manage and update these units to maintain peak performance. With no suitable product readily available, the WYDOT Connected Vehicle team developed an open-source application that allows authorized transportation management center (TMC) operators to monitor and manage each RSU at the roadside. The WYDOT team found that the application can also be used as a public-facing tool that shows a high-level status report of the pilot’s equipment. [...] For other state or local agencies and departments of transportation (DOTs) wishing to deploy a similar capability to monitor and manage RSUs, the application code has been made available on the USDOT’s Open Source Application Development Portal (OSADP). The code is downloadable and can be used and customized by other agencies free of charge. WYDOT developed this capability using USDOT funds under the CV Pilot program as open-source software and associated documentation. The application represents one of six that the program will be providing during its three phases.

  • You Too Can Make These Fun Games (No Experience Necessary)

    Making a videogame remained a bucket list item until I stumbled on an incredibly simple open source web app called Bitsy. I started playing around with it, just to see how it worked. Before I knew it, I had something playable. I made my game in a couple of hours.

  • From maverick to mainstream: why open source software is now indispensable for modern business

    Free and open source software has a long and intriguing history. Some of its roots go all the way back to the 1980s when Richard Stallman first launched the GNU project.

  • Analyst Watch: Is open source the great equalizer?

    If you had told me 25 years ago that open source would be the predominant force in software development, I would’ve laughed. Back then, at my industrial software gig, we were encouraged to patent as much IP as possible, even processes that seemed like common-sense business practices, or generally useful capabilities for any software developer. If you didn’t, your nearest competitor would surely come out with their own patent claims, or inevitable patent trolls would show up demanding fees for any uncovered bit of code. We did have this one developer who was constantly talking about fiddling with his Linux kernel at home, on his personal time. Interesting hobby.

  • Scientists Create World’s First Open Source Tool for 3D Analysis of Advanced Biomaterials

    Materials scientists and programmers from the Tomsk Polytechnic University in Russia and Germany's Karlsuhe Institute of Technology have created the world’s first open source software for the 2D and 3D visualization and analysis of biomaterials used for research into tissue regeneration. [...] Scientists have already tested the software on a variety of X-ray tomography data. “The results have shown that the software we’ve created can help other scientists conducting similar studies in the analysis of the fibrous structure of any polymer scaffolds, including hybrid ones,” Surmenev emphasised.

  • Making Collaborative Data Projects Easier: Our New Tool, Collaborate, Is Here

    On Wednesday, we’re launching a beta test of a new software tool. It’s called Collaborate, and it makes it possible for multiple newsrooms to work together on data projects. Collaborations are a major part of ProPublica’s approach to journalism, and in the past few years we’ve run several large-scale collaborative projects, including Electionland and Documenting Hate. Along the way, we’ve created software to manage and share the large pools of data used by our hundreds of newsrooms partners. As part of a Google News Initiative grant this year, we’ve beefed up that software and made it open source so that anybody can use it.

  • Should open-source software be the gold standard for nonprofits?

    Prior to its relaunch, nonprofit organization Cadasta had become so focused on the technology side of its work that it distracted from the needs of partners in the field. “When you’re building out a new platform, it really is all consuming,” said Cadasta CEO Amy Coughenour, reflecting on some of the decisions that were made prior to her joining the team in 2018.

  • Artificial intelligence: an open source future

    At the same time, we’re seeing an increasing number of technology companies invest in AI development. However, what’s really interesting is that these companies - including the likes of Microsoft, Salesforce and Uber - are open sourcing their AI research. This move is already enabling developers worldwide to create and improve AI & Machine Learning (ML) algorithms faster. As such, open source software has become a fundamental part of enabling fast, reliable, and also secure development in the AI space. So, why all the hype around open source AI? Why are businesses of all sizes, from industry behemoths to startups, embracing open source? And where does the future lie for AI and ML as a result?

  • How open source is accelerating innovation in AI

    By eradicating barriers like high licensing fees and talent scarcity, open source is accelerating the pace of AI innovation, writes Carmine Rimi No other technology has captured the world’s imagination quite like AI, and there is perhaps no other that has been so disruptive. AI has already transformed the lives of people and businesses and will continue to do so in endless ways as more startups uncover its potential. According to a recent study, venture capital funding for AI startups in the UK increased by more than 200 percent last year, while a Stanford University study observed a 14-times increase in the number of AI startups worldwide in the last two years.

  • Adam Jacob Advocates for Building Healthy OSS Communities in “The War for the Soul of Open Source”

    Chef co-founder and former CTO Adam Jacob gave a short presentation at O’Reilly Open Source Software Conference (OSCON) 2019 titled “The War for the Soul of Open Source.” In his search for meaning in open source software today, Jacob confronts the notion of open source business models. “We often talk about open source business models,” he said. “There isn’t an open source business model. That’s not a thing and the reason is open source is a channel. Open source is a way that you, in a business sense, get the software out to the people, the people use the software, and then they become a channel, which [companies] eventually try to turn into money.” [...] In December 2018, Jacob launched the Sustainable Free and Open Source Communities (SFOSC) project to advocate for these ideas. Instead of focusing on protecting revenue models of OSS companies, the project’s contributors work together to collaborate on writing core principles, social contracts, and business models as guidelines for healthy OSS communities.

  • New Open Source Startups Emerge After Acquisition, IPO Flurry

    After a flurry of mega-acquisitions and initial public offerings of open source companies, a new batch of entrepreneurs are trying their hands at startups based on free software projects.

  • TC9 selected by NIST to develop Open Source Software for Transactive Energy Markets

    TC9, Inc. was selected by National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) to develop open source software for Transactive Energy Bilateral Markets based on the NIST Common Transactive Services. Under the contract, TC9 will develop open source software (OSS) for agents for a transactive energy market. The software will be used to model the use of transactive energy to manage power distribution within a neighborhood. Transactive Energy is a means to balance volatile supply and consumption in real time. Experts anticipate the use of Transactive Energy to support wide deployment of distributed energy resources (DER) across the power grid.

  • Open Source Software Allows Auterion to Move Drone Workflows into the Cloud

    “Until today, customizing operations in the MAVLink protocol required a deep understanding of complex subjects such as embedded systems, drone dynamics, and the C++ programming language,” said Kevin Sartori, co-founder of Auterion. “With MAVSDK, any qualified mobile developer can write high-level code for complex operations, meaning more developers will be able to build custom applications and contribute to the community.”

  • ApacheCon 2019 Keynote: James Gosling's Journey to Open Source

    At the recent ApacheCon North America 2019 in Las Vegas, James Gosling delivered a keynote talk on his personal journey to open-source. Gosling's main takeaways were: open source allows programmers to learn by reading source code, developers must pay attention to intellectual property rights to prevent abuse, and projects can take on a life of their own.

  • 20 Years of the Apache Software Foundation: ApacheCon 2019 Opening Keynote

    At the recent ApacheCon North America 2019 in Las Vegas, the opening keynote session celebrated the 20th anniversary of the Apache Software Foundation (ASF), with key themes being: the history of the ASF, a strong commitment to community and collaboration, and efforts to increase contributions from the public. The session also featured a talk by astrophysicist David Brin on the potential dangers of AI.