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Hardware

Long live ROS: Why the robotics revolution is being driven by open source development

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Hardware
OSS

The 2015 DARPA Robotics Challenge (DRC) wrapped up last month, and while teams from Korea and the U.S. took away $3.5M in prize money, the real winner was the open source robotics movement. Of the 23 teams competing in the DRC, 18 utilized the open-source Robotic Operating System (ROS) and 14 used Gazebo, an open source robot simulator that allows developers to test concepts in robust virtual environments without risking valuable hardware.

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BeagleCore Open Source Internet Of Things Development Board (video)

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Hardware
OSS

BeagleCore is a new Internet of Things development board that has been created to be 100 percent open source and provide an easy way for makers, developers and hobbyists to have access to all all the core features of BeagleBone Black in a miniaturised computer module.

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96boards goes enterprise

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Linux
Hardware

Proteus from Entroware Is a Powerful Gaming Laptop Running Ubuntu and Ubuntu MATE

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Linux
Hardware
Ubuntu

Entroware is a UK-based company that specialized in selling hardware powered only by Linux operating systems. Proteus is the top-of-the-line laptop from Entroware, and it comes with either Ubuntu 15.04 or Ubuntu MATE 15.04.

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CompuLab's Fitlet Is A Very Tiny, Fanless, Linux PC With AMD A10 Micro

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GNU
Linux
Hardware
Reviews

CompuLab, the manufacturer of the Fitlet based in Israel, describes their new line-up as, "a fanless mini PC with high performance, excellent graphics, up to 4 LAN ports and 5 year warranty. filtet is among the smallest PCs available and packs more features than any similar PC...For those familiar with the Intel® NUC – fitlet is somewhat similar. Just much smaller, fanless, with more features, and more powerful than NUCs in its price range."

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Razer adds Android and position tracking support to its open VR platform

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Android
Hardware
OSS
  • Razer adds Android and position tracking support to its open VR platform

    Razer and a small group of other companies have been trying to standardize how VR headsets work, and today the standard is getting an important update. Razer said this morning that OSVR — the Open Source Virtual Reality platform— now supports Android and position tracking. Position tracking, in particular, was a noted absence from OSVR's initial release back in January. It's something that the biggest VR headsets are using, and OSVR had to eventually get on board with it. Android support is a nice update as well, which should allow developers to start creating mobile VR experiences. Hardware support within OSVR will eventually be added to allow Android phones to take the place of a dedicated VR display.

  • Razer's VR kit gets Android support and position tracking

    Razer recently launched its Open Source VR intiative, complete with a virtual reality headset to get more developers into the VR game. The initial launch notably lacked Android support and positional tracking hardware, but it's now filed those holes with its latest OSVR Hacker Development Kit (HDK) 1.2. The IR system is included in the kit price, including the 100Mhz IR LED system and a camera that provides 360 degrees of position tracking. Previously, Razer included IR position tracking designs and templates, but didn't supply the hardware.

Blocks Modular Smartwatch-In-The-Making Will Run On Android

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Android
Hardware

U.K. hardware startup Blocks Wearables, which is in the process of building a modular smartwatch — shown off in concept-form in this teaser video last fall, and originally inspired by Google’s Project Ara modular smartphone — has confirmed the device will run on a modified version of Android Lollipop, rather than the Google Wear platform.

Also today the team has revealed the device’s core module will be powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 chipset, with peripheral modules using ultra-low-power ARM processors.

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Aura from Entroware Is a Mini-PC Beast That Ships with Ubuntu MATE 15.04

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Hardware
Ubuntu

Aura from Entroware is new mini-PC powered by some very powerful hardware and shipping with either Ubuntu 15.04 or Ubuntu MATE 15.04.

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Running Linux On The Intel Compute Stick

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Linux
Hardware

The Intel Compute Stick has begun shipping, a tiny device that plugs into any HDMI TV or monitor and turns it into a fully-functioning computer. This low-power PC ships with Windows 8.1 or Ubuntu 14.04 LTS, though at the moment the Windows version is first to market with the Ubuntu Compute Stick not widely shipping until June. I have an Intel Compute Stick at Phoronix for testing.

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The CompuLab Fitlet Is A Neat Little Linux PC With AMD SoC

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Linux
Hardware

Earlier this year CompuLab announced the Fitlet PC as a tiny, fanless, Linux-friendly PC. The Fitlets are finally starting to ship at scale and recently I received one of the AMD-powered Fitlets that's preloaded with Linux Mint. Here's a quick look at the Fitlet.

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More in Tux Machines

Why open source programming languages are crushing proprietary peers

It's no secret that open source now dominates big data infrastructure. From Kubernetes to Hadoop to MongoDB, "No dominant platform-level software infrastructure has emerged in the last ten years in closed-source, proprietary form," as Cloudera chief strategy officer Mike Olson reminded us. Read more

CORD becomes a Linux Foundation project

Central Office Re-architected as a Data Center (CORD), an open source integrated solutions platform for service providers leveraging merchant silicon, white boxes, and open source platforms such as Open Network Operating System (ONOS), OpenStack, Docker, and the cloud operating system XOS, is now part of the Linux Foundation as a new independent project. The Linux foundation is already home to many open source networking projects, including OpenDaylight and ONOS, so CORD is a natural fit for the non-profit foundation. Read more

Google beefs Linux up kernel defenses in Android

Future versions of Android will be more resilient to exploits thanks to developers' efforts to integrate the latest Linux kernel defenses into the operating system. Android's security model relies heavily on the Linux kernel that sits at its core. As such, Android developers have always been interested in adding new security features that are intended to prevent potentially malicious code from reaching the kernel, which is the most privileged area of the operating system. Read more

Fork YOU! Sure, take the code. Then what?

There's an old adage in the open source world – if you don't like it, fork it. This advice, often given in a flippant manner, makes it seem like forking a piece of software is not a big deal. Indeed, forking a small project you find on GitHub is not a big deal. There's even a handy button to make it easy to fork it. Unlike many things in programming though, that interaction model, that simplicity of forking, does not scale. There is no button next to Debian that says Fork it! Thinking that all you need to do to make a project yours is to fork it is a fundamental misunderstanding of what large free/open source projects are – at their hearts, they are communities. One does not simply walk into Debian and fork it. One can, on the other hand, walk out of a project, bring all the other core developers along, and essentially leave the original an empty husk. This is what happened when LibreOffice forked away from the once-mighty OpenOffice; it's what happened when MariaDB split from MySQL; and it's what happened more recently when the core developers behind ownCloud left the company and forked the code to start their own project, Nextcloud. They also, thankfully, dropped the silly lowercase first letter thing. Nextcloud consists of the core developers who built ownCloud, but who were not, and, judging by the very public way this happened, had not been, in control of the direction of the product for some time. Read more