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Sci/Tech

Programming: ProjectQ and Rust

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Development
Moz/FF
Sci/Tech
  • Open-Source Software Framework Makes Quantum Computing More Accessible

    To help further this field, Häner and a team at ETH Zurich created ProjectQ, a free, open-source software framework for quantum computing that allows users to implement their quantum programs in the high-level programming language Python using a powerful and intuitive syntax. ProjectQ can then translate these programs to any type of back-end, either a simulator run on a classical computer or an actual quantum chip.

  • This Week in Rust 245

    Always wanted to contribute to open-source projects but didn't know where to start? Every week we highlight some tasks from the Rust community for you to pick and get started!

Deep learning and free software

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Debian
Sci/Tech

Deep-learning applications typically rely on a trained neural net to accomplish their goal (e.g. photo recognition, automatic translation, or playing go). That neural net uses what is essentially a large collection of weighting numbers that have been empirically determined as part of its training (which generally uses a huge set of training data). A free-software application could use those weights, but there are a number of barriers for users who might want to tweak them for various reasons. A discussion on the debian-devel mailing list recently looked at whether these deep-learning applications can ever truly be considered "free" (as in freedom) because of these pre-computed weights—and the difficulties inherent in changing them.

The conversation was started by Zhou Mo ("Lumin"); he is concerned that, even if deep-learning application projects release the weights under a free license, there are questions about how much freedom that really provides. In particular, he noted that training these networks is done using NVIDIA's proprietary cuDNN library that only runs on NVIDIA hardware.

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Meet the Astronaut AI that Runs on Ubuntu

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Sci/Tech
Ubuntu

Meet CIMON (Crew Interactive Mobile CompanioN). This free-floating Ubuntu-based cyber colleague has been designed to “mitigate” the stresses of, and share the work during, long-term spaceflight.

And to do that he’s had to boldly go where no AI assistant has gone before: space.

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How Docker Is Helping to Save The World (Literally)

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Server
Sci/Tech

There are many different things that individuals might consider to be a life threatening event and then there are extinction level events, for example an asteroid hitting Earth.

While the idea of an asteroid hitting Earth and ending all life is the stuff of Hollywood movie like Armageddon, it's an actual, though remote, possibility that NASA is investigating, with the help of Docker containers.

NASA is currently developing a mission known as DART - the Double Asteroid Redirection Test, which is a spacecraft that will deploy a kinetic impact technique to deflect an asteroid. Christopher Heistand, DART Flight Software Lead, at the The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory (APL) that is helping to build the DART ship, detailed how his group is using Docker.

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Google's do no evil AI style likely to clash with open source approach

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Google
OSS
Sci/Tech
  • Google's do no evil AI style likely to clash with open source approach

    Google outlined its artificial intelligence principles in a move to placate employees who were worried about their work and research winding up in U.S. weapons systems.

    Guess what? It's already too late. There's no way that Google's open source approach and its headline principle to not allow its AI into weapons is going to mesh. Chances are fairly good that the technology already open sourced is in some fledgling weapon system somewhere. After all, TensorFlow and a bunch of other neural network tools are pretty damn handy.

  • Read Google's AI ethics memo: 'We are not developing AI for use in weapons'
  • Google Plans Not to Renew Its Contract for Project Maven, a Controversial Pentagon Drone AI Imaging Program
  • Google promises not to use A.I. for weapons or surveillance, for the most part
  • Google pledges not to develop AI weapons, but says it will still work with the military

    Google has released a set of principles to guide its work in artificial intelligence, making good on a promise to do so last month following controversy over its involvement in a Department of Defense drone project. The document, titled “Artificial Intelligence at Google: our principles,” does not directly reference this work, but makes clear that the company will not develop AI for use in weaponry. It also outlines a number of broad guidelines for AI, touching issues like bias, privacy, and human oversight.

    While the new principles forbid the development of AI weaponry, they state that Google will continue to work with the military “in many other areas.” Speaking to The Verge, a Google representative said that had these principles been published earlier, the company would likely not have become involved in the Pentagon’s drone project, which used AI to analyze surveillance footage. Although this application was for “non-offensive purposes,” and therefore hypothetically permitted under these guidelines, the representative said it was too close for comfort — suggesting Google will play it safe with future military contracts.

Free/Open Source AI Projects

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OSS
Sci/Tech
  • How open-source computing is making AI affordable

    computing and the cloud have brought many previously unaffordable IT options to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). The same is becoming true of artificial intelligence (AI), although it brings new challenges to all sizes of company.

    Even though many of the commercial, high-profile products are aimed at Global 2000 companies, and others marketed at SMEs are perhaps heavier on hype than intelligence, the smarter smaller organisations can learn, build on and use AI techniques right now, with those same open-source and
    .

  • Free Ebook Offers Insight on 16 Open Source AI Projects

    Open source AI is flourishing, with companies developing and open sourcing new AI and machine learning tools at a rapid pace. To help you keep up with the changes and stay informed about the latest projects, The Linux Foundation has published a free ebook by Ibrahim Haddad examining popular open source AI projects, including Acumos AI, Apache Spark, Caffe, TensorFlow, and others.

    “It is increasingly common to see AI as open source projects,” Haddad said. And, “as with any technology where talent premiums are high, the network effects of open source are very strong.”

Scientific Linux 7.5 Released As RHEL 7.5 Rebuild

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Red Hat
Sci/Tech

Testing of the release candidate earlier this month went well and out now is the official Scientific Linux 7.5 release.

Scientific Linux 7.5 is the re-spin derived from upstream Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7.5 and its many changes/improvements.

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How Netflix Deploys Open Source AI to Reveal Your Favorites

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Sci/Tech

In this AI based Science article, we explore How Netflix adopted an Open Source Model to improve their Entertainment Recommender Systems.
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Open Sourcing the Hunt for Exoplanets

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Google
OSS
Sci/Tech

Why is cryptocurrency open source? This paper from 1999 explains

Filed under
OSS
Security
Sci/Tech

Cryptocurrency's roots go back further than bitcoin. In fact, bitcoin was just the first cryptocurrency to use the blockchain rather than the first cryptocurrency ever.

Other early cryptocurrencies include now venerable names like World of Warcraft (WoW) gold, a digital currency designed for use as a store of value and a transfer medium in the gaming universe of World of Warcraft. It used a proof-of-work mining algorithm in which users would engage with the WoW ecosystem via their computer's graphical interface and complete various digital tasks to be rewarded with gold.

As the fiat currency value of WoW gold increased, it attracted more miners without any corresponding difficulty adjustment, eventually leading to substantial inflation and a collapsing economy.

Today's cryptocurrencies seem to have learned from the problems of the past. For example, bitcoin and many others will adjust mining difficulty to prevent massive inflation when mining power increases.

It's no surprise that almost everything cryptocurrency, from the coins to the exchanges to the wallets, are built on open-source software. This paper from 1999 might be more relevant than ever, especially with a few wallets and coins still being partly or entirely closed source.

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More in Tux Machines

Graphics: Wayland/Weston, Mesa and AMD

  • Wayland 1.16 / Weston 5.0 RC2 Released To Fix Vulnerabilities
    Two release candidates of Wayland 1.16 / Weston 5.0 were not originally scheduled, but it's been necessitated due to some pressing issues both with Wayland and its reference compositor. Samsung's Derek Foreman issued these "RC2" releases on Friday rather than going straight to the official Wayland 1.16 and Weston 5.0 releases. On the Wayland front, Michael Srb found and fixed issues that could cause pointer overflows within Wayland's connection code. These overflow fixes are the only changes in this Wayland 1.15.94 (RC2) version.
  • RAGE & Doom Get Radeon Workarounds In Mesa 18.3-dev
    If you are looking to enjoy id Software's RAGE or Doom VFR games this weekend on Linux via Wine, they should be playing nicer with the latest open-source Mesa graphics driver code. Timothy Arceri at Valve has added a workaround to get RAGE working under Wine with RadeonSI. The workaround is a DRIRC configuration addition for allowing GLSL built-in variable redeclarations. This is enough to get RAGE working with RadeonSI on Mesa Git. Though only RadeonSI is working out currently since the game relies upon the OpenGL compatibility profile mode that is only supported currently by RadeonSI when it comes to the Mesa drivers. Thanks to Valve's developers and others, the OpenGL compatibility profile mode for RadeonSI has matured into great shape these past few months.
  • Adreno 600 Series Support Lands In Mesa 18.3 Gallium3D
    With the Adreno 600 series support going into Linux 4.19 for the kernel bits, the user-space OpenGL driver support for the latest-generation Qualcomm graphics has now been merged into Mesa. Kristian Høgsberg Kristensen of Google's Chrome OS graphics team (yes, Kristian of Wayland and DRI2 fame) has been working on the Gallium3D support for the Adreno 600 series hardware along with Freedreno founder Rob Clark. This A6xx support is being tacked onto the existing Freedreno Gallium3D driver and amounts to just over six thousand lines of new code. Keep in mind this A6xx Freedreno back-end must also be used with the supported MSM DRM driver in the Linux 4.19+ kernel.
  • AMDGPU-PRO 18.30 Radeon Linux Driver Released with Support for Ubuntu 18.04 LTS
    Featuring official support for the AMD Radeon PRO WX 8200 graphics cards and initial Wattman-like functionality, the Radeon Software for Linux 18.30 finally adds support for some of the most recent Ubuntu, Red Hat Enterprise Linux, and CentOS Linux distributions. These include Ubuntu 18.04.1 LTS (Bionic Beaver), Ubuntu 16.04.5 LTS (Xenial Xerus), Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7.5, Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6.10, CentOS 7.5, and CentOS 6.10. SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop and Server (SLED/SLES) 12 Service Pack (SP) 3 is supported as well, but not the latest SUSE Linux Enterprise 15.
  • AMDVLK Vulkan Driver Update Fixes Witcher 3 Issue, Bug Fixes
    In addition to AMD releasing AMDGPU-PRO 18.30 on Friday, they also did their usual weekly source push of their newest "AMDVLK" open-source Radeon Vulkan driver code.

Kernel: Linux 4.19 Staging and Greg Kroah-Hartman's Very Many Stable Releases

  • Linux 4.19 Staging Brings EROFS File-System & Gasket Driver Framework
    Following the USB subsystem updates, Greg Kroah-Hartman sent in the kernel's staging area work for the Linux 4.19 merge window. This experimental/testing area of the Linux kernel is adding a new file-system with 4.19: EROFS. EROFS is developed by Huawei for possible Android device use-cases. EROFS stands for the Extendable Read-Only File-System and is developed to address shortcomings in other Linux read-only file-systems. EROFS features compression support and other features, but the on-disk layout format isn't 100% firm yet -- hence going into the staging area.
  • USB Patches Posted For Linux 4.19 Kernel, Including The New USB-C DisplayPort Driver
    Having wrapped up his latest stable kernel wrangling and the fallout from L1TF/Foreshadow, Greg Kroah-Hartman got around today to sending out the feature pull requests for the kernel subsystems he oversees. His first new batch of changes for Linux 4.19 today is the USB subsystem work.
  • One Week Past Linux 4.18.0, The Linux 4.18.3 Kernel Is Already Out
    Greg Kroah-Hartman had a fun Friday night issuing new point releases to the Linux 3.18 / 4.4 / 4.9 / 4.14 / 4.17 / 4.18 kernels only to have to issue new point releases minutes later. It was just on Thursday that Linux 4.18.1 was released along with updates to older stable branches for bringing L1TF / Foreshadow mitigation. Friday night then brought Linux 4.18.2, Linux 4.17.16, Linux 4.14.64, Linux 4.9.121, Linux 4.4.149, and Linux 3.18.119 with more patches. Those kernels brought various fixes, including in the x86 PTI code for clearing the global bit more aggressively, crypto fixes, and other maintenance work.

Trinity Desktop Environment R14.0.5

  • 2018.08.18: Trinity Desktop Environment R14.0.5 Released!
    The Trinity Desktop Environment (TDE) development team is pleased to announce the immediate availability of the new TDE R14.0.5 release. TDE is a complete software desktop environment designed for Unix-like operating systems, intended for computer users preferring a traditional desktop model, and is free/libre software. R14.0.5 is the fifth maintenance release of the R14.0 series, and is built on and improves the previous R14.0.4 version. Maintenance releases are intended to promptly bring bug fixes to users, while preserving overall stability through the avoidance of both major new features and major codebase re-factoring.
  • Trinity Desktop R14.0.5 Lets You Keep Enjoying The KDE 3 Experience In 2018
    For those that have fond memories of the K Desktop Environment 3, you can still enjoy a KDE3-derived experience in 2018 with the just-released Trinity Desktop R14.0.5. Trinity Desktop continues to see occasional updates as the fork of the KDE 3.5 packages. Trinity Desktop R14.0.5 is the new release this weekend and their first since R14.0.4 was released last November.

Mozilla: Bitslicing, Mixed Reality, and Sharing

  • Bitslicing with Karnaugh maps
    Bitslicing, in cryptography, is the technique of converting arbitrary functions into logic circuits, thereby enabling fast, constant-time implementations of cryptographic algorithms immune to cache and timing-related side channel attacks. My last post Bitslicing, An Introduction showed how to convert an S-box function into truth tables, then into a tree of multiplexers, and finally how to find the lowest possible gate count through manual optimization.
  • This Week in Mixed Reality: Issue 16
    On Monday Andrzej Mazur launched the 2018 edition of the JS13KGames competition. As the name suggests, you have to create a game using only thirteen kilobytes of Javascript (zipped) or less. Check out some of last year's winners to see what is possible in 13k. This year Mozilla is sponsoring the new WebXR category, which lets you use A-Frame or Babylon.js without counting towards the 13k. See the full rules for details. Prizes this year includes the Oculus Go for the top three champions.
  • Share files easily with extensions
    When we want to share digital files, most people think of popular file hosting services like Box or Dropbox, or other common methods such as email and messaging apps. But did you know there are easier—and more privacy-focused—ways to do it with extensions? WeTransfer and Fire File Sender are two intriguing extension options. WeTransfer allows you to send files up to 2GB in size with a link that expires seven days from upload. It’s really simple to use—just click the toolbar icon and a small pop-up appears inviting you to upload files and copy links for sharing. WeTransfer uses the highest security standards and is compliant with EU privacy laws. Better still, recipients downloading files sent through WeTransfer won’t get bombarded with advertisements; rather, they’ll see beautiful wallpapers picked by the WeTransfer editorial team. If you’re interested in additional eye-pleasing backgrounds, check out WeTransfer Moment.