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today's leftovers

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  • How You Can Help Localize Kubernetes Docs

    Last year we optimized the Kubernetes website for hosting multilingual content. Contributors responded by adding multiple new localizations: as of April 2019, Kubernetes docs are partially available in nine different languages, with six added in 2019 alone. You can see a list of available languages in the language selector at the top of each page.

  • Deploying Docker Containers on Arm Hardware Just Got Easier

    Docker and Arm have announced a partnership that will allow containerized applications for Arm to the developed on x86 hardware.

  • Snapshot Sanity | TechSNAP 402

    Why Linux doesn't just work on all hardware, criticism of your field, and the ethics of acquiring old software.

    Plus venturing outside, and how we install unusual applications.

  • Fedora Community Blog: FPgM report: 2019-17
  • Jonas Meurer: debian lts report 2019.04

    After a longer break (~two years) I again took part in the funded Debian LTS project in April 2019.

  • Webinar Recording: “Effective Data Science with PyCharm” with Dan Tofan

    Yesterday we hosted a webinar with Dan Tofan, author of the recent Pluralsight course Boost Data Science Productivity with PyCharm. Dan gave a tour of how data scientists can put a professional IDE like PyCharm Professional to work, emphasizing our Scientific Mode, newly-reimplemented Jupyter Notebook support, and the Databases tool from DataGrip. The recording is now available.

  • Red Hat Summit 2019 session highlights: IT Automation and Management

    Management and automation technologies have always been instrumental to enterprise IT governance, however their importance grows as organizations grapple with increasing scale and complexity. Traditional solutions can often be unable to adapt to the needs of these rapidly changing hybrid cloud environments and organizations can acquire new tools to help address these challenges. Cloud-ready, agentless management and automation solutions can help standardize processes, accelerate IT service delivery, and more effectively manage infrastructure for compliance with policy-driven IT.

  • Guru Night at Red Hat Summit: Hands-on experience with serverless computing

    Millions of developers worldwide want to learn more about serverless computing. If you’re one of the lucky thousands attending Red Hat Summit in Boston May 7-9, you can gain hands-on experience with the help of Burr Sutter and the Red Hat Developer team.

today's leftovers

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Misc
  • Harvey Available As Flatpak App

    WCAG stands for Web Content Accessibility Guidelines. Its role is to keep the website accessible to everyone. There are three levels; namely A, AA, and AAA.

    ​The further the level, the harder it becomes to design your website ie., A guideline is much easier than AA and AAA, again AA is easier than AAA but more difficulty in implementation compared to A. But that doesn't mean it's compulsory for your website to be WCAG compliant.

  • Voyager Live 19.04 Run Through

    In this video, we are looking at Voyager Live 19.04.

  • IT’s future: Multicloud may soon become mix and match cloud [Ed: By Mike Evans, VP of Cloud Partner Strategy at Red Hat.]

    This example is not uncommon in today’s enterprise IT world. And as of now there isn’t one clear solution, but that is not to say there isn’t one coming. While multicloud is a growing trend, we could eventually see services beyond multicloud that better meet the needs of end users. Some elements of these services are already starting to appear in limited practice today, but we can expect to see full solutions emerge as the next logical step in cloud evolution as more and more enterprises run into multicloud challenges.

  • Culture Can Both Paralyze and Empower IT

    SUSE’s team of consultants build efficiency and provides your business with a faster routes to market, allowing you more time to focus on looking forward and executing on projects that will allow your company to grow. Do not focus on technology — that is our job.

    I know you are thinking ‘Ryan, you can’t truly think that technology has nothing to do with my data center?” Yes I am. And for the reasons, read on.

today's leftovers

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  • Announcing Akademy 2019 in Milan, Italy (September 7th - 13th)

    Akademy 2019 will be held at the University of Milano-Bicocca in Milan, Italy, from Saturday the 7th to Friday the 13th of September.

    The conference is expected to draw hundreds of attendees from the global KDE community to discuss and plan the future of the community and its technology. Many participants from the broad Free and Open Source software community, local organizations and software companies will also attend.

    KDE e.V. is organizing Akademy 2019 with unixMiB — the Linux User Group of the University of Milano-Bicocca. unixMiB aims to spread Open Source philosophy among students.

  • Checking out Crunchbang++
  • Intel Iris Gallium3D Picks Up Conservative Rasterization Support

    On top of Intel's new open-source OpenGL driver seeing some hefty performance optimizations, the Iris Gallium3D driver has picked up another OpenGL extension ahead of the Mesa 19.1 branching. 

    Iris Gallium3D now supports INTEL_conservative_rasterization alongside the existing support in the i965 driver. INTEL_conservative_rasterization is the several year old Intel extension for seeing if all fragments are at least partially covered by a polygon rather than the default rasterization mode of including fragments with at least one sample covered by a polygon.

today's leftovers

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Misc

today's leftovers

Filed under
Misc
  • Plop Linux 19.1 released
  • How do you say SUSE?

    SUSECON 2019 has come and gone and was definitely one for the books. Whether you were able to attend the event in person or not, you can still view plenty of videos and content that was shared at the event.
    One of my favorite videos from the week was “How do you say SUSE” -which comically reminded attendees how to properly say “SUSE.” Don’t quite know exactly how to pronounce SUSE? We’ve got you covered….Broadway musical style.
    The keynote videos from each day are not to be missed as well as the series of amazing music parody videos that have recently been created. One of the major take-a-ways this year was the recent announcement that as of March 15, not only did SUSE become an independent company, we are now the largest independent open source company in the industry.

  • In 2019, Most Linux Distributions Still Aren't Restricting Dmesg Access

    Going back to the late Linux 2.6 kernel days has been the CONFIG_DMESG_RESTRICT (or for the past number of years, renamed to CONFIG_SECURITY_DMESG_RESTRICT) Kconfig option to restrict access to dmesg in the name of security and not allowing unprivileged users from accessing this system log. While it's been brought up from time to time, Linux distributions are still generally allowing any user access to dmesg even though it may contain information that could help bad actors exploit the system.

    The primary motivation of CONFIG_SECURITY_DMESG_RESTRICT and an associated sysctl tunable as well (dmesg_restrict) is for restricting access to dmesg so unprivileged users can't see the syslog to avoid possible kernel memory address exposures among other potentially sensitive information that could be leaked about the kernel to help anyone trying to exploit the system. But even with these options being available for years, most Linux distributions leave dmesg open to any user.

  • Is Email Making Professors Stupid?

     

    I can think of at least three strong arguments for why higher education should be that industry, significantly restructuring its work culture to provide professors more uninterrupted time for thinking and teaching, and require less time on email and administrative duties.

  • What is ZIL anyway?

     

    The Infocom ZIL code dump has kicked off a small whirlwind of news articles and blog posts. A lot of them are somewhat hazy on what ZIL is, and how it relates to MDL, Lisp, Z-code, Inform, and the rest of the Golden-Age IF ecosystem.

    So I'm going to talk a lot about it! With examples. But let's go through in chronological order.

  • Death by PowerPoint: the slide that killed seven people

    Edward Tufte’s full report makes for fascinating reading. Since being released in 1987 PowerPoint has grown exponentially to the point where it is now estimated than thirty million PowerPoint presentations are made every day. Yet, PowerPoint is blamed by academics for killing critical thought. Amazon’s CEO Jeff Bezos has banned it from meetings. Typing text on a screen and reading it out loud does not count as teaching. An audience reading text off the screen does not count as learning. Imagine if the engineers had put up a slide with just: “foam strike more than 600 times bigger than test data.” Maybe NASA would have listened. Maybe they wouldn’t have attempted re-entry. Next time you’re asked to give a talk remember Columbia. Don’t just jump to your laptop and write out slides of text. Think about your message. Don’t let that message be lost amongst text. Death by PowerPoint is a real thing. Sometimes literally.

today's leftovers

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Misc
  • Newer isn't always better when performance is critical

    Some years before I formalised my engineering education, I was working as an instrument technician on a seismic survey vessel mapping an area off West Africa. These ships map the geology under the sea bed as the first stage of marine oil exploration. In full production, a single vessel will generate a revenue of several hundred thousand dollars a day. So you need to have a good excuse for when the recording system fails and you leave a hole in the survey coverage, especially when you have an ex-military Norwegian built like the proverbial Viking as party manager.

    The recording system was crashing; no error warnings, no smoke or fire. It just stopped recording. Repeatedly. The survey was looking like a cartoon Swiss cheese that had been attacked by hungry mice. What had changed? To save money the company had developed its own recording system, replacing Old Faithful with New Unreliable. I had my reservations when the prototype was tested in parallel with Old Faithful leading to my tearing out the connection between the two systems with under a minute to the start of a production line to go. I was younger then and could handle the excitement.

  • Minikube: 5 ways IT teams can use it

    As far as tool names go, Minikube is a pretty good reflection of what it does: It takes the vast cloud-scale of Kubernetes and shrinks it down so that it fits on your laptop.

    Don’t mistake that for a lack of power or functionality, though: You can do plenty with Minikube. And while developers, DevOps engineers, and the like might be the most likely to run it on a regular basis, IT leaders and the C-suite can use it, too. That’s part of the beauty.

    “With just a few installation commands, anyone can have a fully functioning Kubernetes cluster, ready for learning or supporting development efforts,” says Chris Ciborowski, CEO and cofounder at Nebulaworks.

  • Ubuntu Podcast from the UK LoCo: S12E02 – Light Force

    This week we have been upgrading disk drives (again) and playing Elite Dangerous. We discuss Mark’s homebrew Raspberry Pi based streaming box, bring you some command line love and go over your feedback.

    It’s Season 12 Episode 02 of the Ubuntu Podcast! Alan Pope, Mark Johnson and Martin Wimpress are connected and speaking to your brain.

  • Altered, a sweet looking puzzle game where you're part of the puzzle is coming to Linux

    Releasing sometime this Summer, Altered looks like a rather sweet take on the puzzle genre as you're a block that forms part of a puzzle.

    The developer, Glitchheart, describes it as a "meditative" puzzle game that mixes difficult puzzles in with a "soothing atmosphere". The description made me chuckle a little, as you can make it seem as soothing as you want but if the puzzles really do get difficult you can't stop players getting frustrated. Still, solving puzzles doesn't need to make you sweat which is more the point here as it seems there's no set time limits and no dangers.

  • How To Navigate Directories Faster In Linux

today's leftovers

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Misc
  • Auto Infotainment Market: Automotive Grade Linux to Fuel Auto Infotainment Applications
  • Google, Hyperledger launch online identity management tools

    In two separate announcements last week, Google and Linux's Hyperledger project launched tools aimed at enabling secure identity management for enterprises via mobile and other devices.

    Google unveiled five upgrades to its BeyondCorp cloud enterprise security service that enables identity and access management for employees, corporate partners, and customers.

  • Cockpit Project: Cockpit 192

    Cockpit is the modern Linux admin interface. We release regularly. Here are the release notes from version 192.

  • 9 Useful PDF Manipulation Tools

    Portable Document Format (PDF) is a file format created by Adobe Systems in 1993 for document exchange. The format includes a subset of the PostScript page description programming language, a font-embedding system, and a structural storage system.

    Over the years PDF has become an extremely important file format. If you want to create documents that can be viewed under all major operating systems, PDF is the ticket, as it maintains the overall look and feel of documents regardless of what platform they are viewed under.

    There is a large range of PDF-related software available with many different applications available that can both output to and open files. Many open source software save documents to this format such as LibreOffice and GIMP.

    The purpose of this Group Test is to highlight high quality small tools that are designed to manipulate PDF files. We are not considering PDF editors, PDF viewers, tools that add an OCR layer to PDF files here. This is because these categories are covered by other legendary Group Tests.

  • Blender short film, new license for Chef, ethics in open source, and more news

    Spring, the latest short film from Blender Animation Studio, premiered on April 4th. The press release on Blender.org describes Spring as "the story of a shepherd girl and her dog, who face ancient spirits in order to continue the cycle of life." The development version of Blender 2.80, as well as other open source tools, were used to create this animated short film. The character and asset files for the film are available from Blender Cloud, and tutorials, walkthroughs, and other instructional material are coming soon.

  • 6 alternatives to OpsGenie for managing monitoring alerts

    Now, if an issue comes up with any of this company's products, the response team should act before the customer (and company) experiences negative effects. There won’t be much of a problem if the response team is immediately there to jump on the issue, but in case they are not, someone from the response team should notify them in some way to reduce the diameter of functional or possible financial losses.

    Here's the problem. People are not able to notice and respond to issues all the time. If you send the response team an email or text message, there is a probability that no one on the team will see it before the issue causes significant financial loss. Also, the response team might already be receiving so many email alerts that even if they are available, they may find it difficult to spot the high-impact issues among the smaller ones. In this situation, you should send someone from the response team a distinct alert, such as making a phone call or messaging a pager. However, if you decide to call, you need to know who is actually available, otherwise you might have to call multiple people until you find the response team member who is ready to jump on a ringing phone at that very moment, which can take even longer if your call is at an odd time for their location.

    Instead, what you need is a tool that not only monitors your systems but also intelligently manages the alert process for the quickest results possible. A popular commercial option is OpsGenie, and in this article, we will talk about open source alternatives to this proprietary option.

today's leftovers

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Misc
  • An eBPF overview, part 2: Machine & bytecode

    In our first article we introduced the eBPF VM, its intentional design limitations and how to interact with it from a userspace process. If you haven't yet read it, you should probably do so before continuing because starting directly with machine and bytecode specifics can be hard without a proper introduction. If in doubt, see the flowchart at the beginning of part 1.

    The second part of this series takes a more in-depth look at the eBPF VM and program studied in the first part. Having this low level knowledge is not mandatory but can be a very useful foundation for the rest of the series where we examine higher level tools built on top of these mechanisms.

  • Blockchain 2.0 – An Introduction To Hyperledger Project (HLP) [Part 8]

    Once a new technology platform reaches a threshold level of popularity in terms of active development and commercial interests, major global companies and smaller start-ups alike rush to catch a slice of the pie. Linux was one such platform back in the day. Once the ubiquity of its applications was realized individuals, firms, and institutions started displaying their interest in it and by 2000 the Linux foundation was formed.

  • Qt 5.13 Beta 2 Available For Testing Lottie Support, WebAssembly, glTF 2.0 For Qt 3D

    Nearly one month after the release of the Qt 5.13 Beta 1, the second beta of this forthcoming tool-kit upgrade is now available.

    Qt 5.13 is another big upgrade to Qt5 with featuring Lottie support for playable animations, glTF 2.0 import support for assets into Qt 3D, WebAssembly improvements, upgrades the Qt WebEngine against Chromium 73, adds fullscreen-shell-unstable-v1 to Qt Wayland, and removes the old Qt Canvas 3D module.

  • GStreamer Editing Services applies to the Google Season of Docs

    Pitivi is based on the GStreamer Editing Services library. GES makes it easy to manage the timeline of a video project and export it to a new video file, and is carefully built to be reusable by other projects, not only Pitivi.

    Since a few years ago, while not mentoring students for GSoC, we’ve been busy working on Pitivi 1.0. A large part of this was spent on fixing and improving the GES library. Time has come for the GES documentation to also be improved, to attract new users and contributors to the GStreamer ecosystem.

  • Bluestar Linux 5.0.7 Run Through

    In this video, we look at Bluestar Linux 5.0.7.

  • Some Of The Best Open Source VPN Tools

    With the help of VPN connections, You can establish private connections between two networks or points. VPNs are popular due to it’s security features.

    In this post, We are going to write about the best open source VPN tools.

  • On The Block with Parity’s CEO: Snowden, open-source businesses, and surviving the hack

    “We’re seeing young companies that have found business models on top of open source. They recognize it makes sense to collaborate on the foundational layers that are more infrastructure. And then find your competitive edge on a higher level,” she said. She also seemed to hint at profiting from an on-chain founder’s reward model similar to that of ZCash. “[If] you have a protocol that has some payment value mechanism built into it, it should be possible…to build some reward mechanism so that the open source protocol doesn’t suffer.”

  • btLr text direction in Writer, part 2

    All this is available in LibreOffice master (towards 6.3), so you can try it out right now, if interested.

  • Can schools be agile?

    Not surprisingly, a go-to resource I recommend to any school wanting to begin or accelerate this process is The Open Organization by Jim Whitehurst. Not only does the book provide a window into how educators can create more open, inclusive leadership structures—where mutual respect enables nimble decisions to be made per real-time data—but it does so in language easily adaptable to the rather strange lexicon that's second nature to educators. Open organization thinking provides pragmatic ways any organization can empower members to be more open: sharing ideas and resources, embracing a culture of collaborative participation as a top priority, developing an innovation mindset through rapid prototyping, valuing ideas based on merit rather than the rank of the person proposing them, and building a strong sense of community that's baked into the organization's DNA. Such an open organization crowd-sources ideas from both inside and outside its formal structure and creates the type of environment that enables localized, student-centered innovations to thrive.

today's leftovers

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Misc
  • The Challenges Facing Privacy Apps

    When we talk about privacy as a concept, we tend to drill into the benefits of privacy and the crucial role that it plays in our lives as individuals. In aggregate, privacy extends its role to protect fundamental freedoms that we all agree are pillars to a free and happy society.

    What we don’t talk about is the challenges that privacy apps face, and how often tools are not designed to fulfill the needs of the needs of the end user.

    [...]

    Using software that is open source is a critical piece of the puzzle, because this allows peer review to verify that the developer isn’t collecting unnecessary data to make the app or service work, and that the developers have considered all of the external privacy threats.

    If the software isn’t open source, there’s no way to verify this. You have to implicitly trust that the developer doesn’t want to grab your data for money, which is always in their interest to do. You are hoping that the developer is principled enough to resist the urge to make more money off of you. This is an even greater concern when the application is free. You have to consider how, if not through your data, is the app developer making money?

  • Spy on your smart home with this open source research tool

    Testing the IoT Inspector tool in their lab the researchers say they found a Chromecast device constantly contacting Google’s servers even when not in active use.

  • How To Enable (UP) And Disable (DOWN) A Network Interface Port (NIC) In Linux?
  • The woes of 520-byte sectors
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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.