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IBM Surpassed Dell in Sales?

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"IBM said its sales of Intel-based servers surpassed sales at Dell Inc. in the fourth quarter, a first for Big Blue, a company better known for its mainframes and high-end Unix machines."

"An analyst at IDC, which tracks the server and PC market, would not confirm IBM's assertion in advance of the data's release. Dell did not dispute the claim."

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Richard Hughes: 20 Million Downloads from the LVFS

A few hours ago the LVFS provided its 20 millionth firmware update and although it’s just another somewhat unusual base-10 number, it’s an achievement I’m immensely proud of. As one of my friends said last week, “20 million of anything is a big deal”. Right from the start, the fwupd daemon and LVFS website data provider was a result of collaboration between many different companies and open source projects, and is now cemented as an integral part of the firmware ecosystem. People building open source projects, especially low level infrastructure like this, are not good at celebrating success and it’s no wonder so many talented maintainers burn out over long years of dedicated service. This post celebrates some of the things we’ve done. Little known to most people, fwupd and the LVFS grew out of the frustration of distributing the ColorHug firmware. If you bought one of those devices all those years ago, you can know you were a tiny part in starting all this. I still use ColorHug devices for all kinds of automated firmware testing, perhaps even more so than for screen calibration. My experience building OpenHardware devices really pushed me to make the LVFS free-for-all, on the logic that I wouldn’t have been able to justify even a $100/year subscription. Certainly making the service free in all respects meant that it was almost risk-free for companies to test the service. Read more Also: LVFS/Fwupd Serve More Than 20 Million Firmware Downloads For Upgrades On Linux

IBM (and Few Red Hat) Leftovers

  • Business Buddy delivers personalized support for struggling small businesses

    Enter Business Buddy, a Call for Code solution providing a one-stop-shop to deliver personalized and responsive COVID-19 updates to small businesses. The Business Buddy team comes from the University of Sydney in Australia, where they report that small and medium-sized businesses make up 90% of the Australian economy. The Business Buddy team did their due diligence to find the root cause to how and why local businesses were impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Through their research, they found that 30% of businesses had to reduce staff numbers, and 9 out of 10 businesses expressed solvency concerns over the next 4 – 6 months. Through the team’s engagement with local businesses, they discovered that the major pain point for most companies was not the lack of governmental support, but the ineffective communication channels. Business owners have not been able to access the full breadth of support because information on different fiscal relief programs was scattered across multiple websites, making it prone for businesses to miss opportunities to find assistance. It was this pain point that the Business Buddy team decided to combat – and ultimately, build a solution to address it.

  • Open Source Success: Linux on the Mainframe

    Twenty years ago, IBM opened its most proprietary computer technology—the data-centric, IBM Z mainframe platform—to Linux, an open source operating system. That decision may seem logical and straightforward given the now widespread adoption of Linux and open source software, but at the time it was a bold choice, and it has proven to be a resounding success. In this installment of FOSSlife’s Open Source Success series, we’ll look at this important link in the evolutionary chain of open source.

  • Agrolly advances capabilities for small-scale farmers with technology innovation

    Meet Agrolly, a Call for Code global finalist solution built by a group of Pace University students with diverse backgrounds and experience from Taiwan, Brazil, Mongolia, and India. Agrolly aims to fill in the information gap so that farmers with less resources available to them can still make more educated decisions, obtain the necessary financing, and improve their economic outcome. Using IBM® Cloud Object Storage, IBM Watson® Studio, IBM Watson Assistant, and The Weather Company technologies, the platform provides a full service solution to execute climate risk assessments. Featured in the platform is a long-term rainfall forecast, which is tested periodically for increased accuracy, in addition to crop water requirements for the Food and Agriculture Organization for the United Nations (FAO), which is tailored for the location of each farmer, type of crop, and stage of the farm. Agrolly also provides a forum module allowing farmers to exchange information and solutions and allows text and picture uploads. Lastly, the Agrolly platform includes crop-risk algorithms allowing for risk assessments to be executed by small farmers.

  • OffShip connects online shoppers with pro-environment organizations to offset shipping emissions

    Did those last minute holiday gifts you rush-shipped make it in time? How about that impulse purchase from your favorite retailer that you wanted on your doorstep in two days? While shipping companies keep up with the demand and incentivize the market with more efficient and affordable services, attention is rarely placed on who actually suffers the brunt of these simple clicks, the environment. With online shopping growing in popularity, consumers are now using this as their primary method of purchasing goods. This rise in popularity, paired with the onset of COVID-19 that’s keeping everyone at home, has made online shopping even more essential and depended upon. This has rippling effects on the environment as carbon-based combustion grows in concert. Online shopping can be an effortless and fun act for the buyer, but its increased heavy usage calls for a reality check in regards to what it is doing to the world around us.

  • Onboard edge computing devices with SDO and Open Horizon

    For many companies, setting up heterogeneous fleets of edge devices across remote sites has traditionally been a time-consuming and sometimes difficult process. This week at the Open Networking & Edge Summit conference, IBM announced that Intel’s Secure Device Onboarding (SDO) solution is now fully integrated into Open Horizon and IBM Edge Application Manager and available to developers as a tech preview. The Intel-developed SDO enables low-touch bootstrapping of required software at device initial power-on. For the Open Horizon project, this enables the agent software to be automatically and autonomously installed and configured. SDO technology is now being incorporated into a new industry onboarding standard being developed by the FIDO Alliance.

  • The Call for Code University Edition finalists announced

    Throughout history, we’ve been reminded that solutions can come from anywhere and from anybody. Year after year, Call for Code continues to demonstrate the importance of encouraging participants with diverse backgrounds from around the world to offer their vantage point on some of society’s most pressing issues, locate problems within these challenges, and build solutions that fight back. Tackling global issues at scale requires global action–and The Call for Code University Edition has produced hundreds of promising solutions from the worldwide community of student participants to fight back against COVID-19 and climate change.

  • SchoolListIt keeps students on track and puts parents at ease

    Using IBM Watson® Text to Speech and other technologies, the SchoolListIt app can take information from Google Classroom and WordPress sites and turn these into mobile-friendly assignments with due dates.

  • Safe Queue facilitates social distancing with app-based virtual lines

    Nowadays, standing in lines can have some serious consequences. Whether it’s maintaining six feet of social distance, or wearing a mask correctly, some people continue to not follow current directives — and this can put people at risk. From the trip to the grocery store to picking up medicine from the local pharmacy, we soon realize how integral standing in lines truly is as we shop for daily or weekly essentials. With lines now being moved outdoors to maintain reduced occupancy counts in the respective building, people are not only at risk of the COVID-19 virus, but weather conditions as well. This is where Safe Queue comes into play. Safe Queue is a simple app that works using QR codes and your location to hold your place in line while you wait nearby, say in a car in a parking lot. After you get within 1000 feet of your destination, Safe Queue uses your GPS location data to allow you to add yourself to a virtual queue. You can stay a safe distance away from the location, even remaining in your car while tracking your spot in line. When it’s your turn, you can approach the establishment, and the person operating the door can confirm your entry based on a QR code issued by the Safe Queue app. You can then enter the building without ever having to physically wait in a queue. The app is built on simplicity and privacy. At no point is any personal information collected. When it’s your turn to enter, you simply show your phone at the front of the line and can gain access — no registration required.

Games: OpenRCT2, Vecter, Dwerve, ScummVM, Warzone 2100, OGRE and Cassette Beasts

  • RollerCoaster Tycoon 2 continues living with a new release of OpenRCT2

    OpenRCT2 is the free and open source game engine reimplementation of RollerCoaster Tycoon 2, adding in many advanced featured and cross-platform support. Another new update is out now with the v0.3.1 "Self Defence Against Fresh Fruit" release that went up on Septembet 27, 2020. Quite a wonderful sounding set of new features too like 2x and 4x zoom level options (which require the use of the OpenGL renderer), there's a new API for listening and communicating over TCP which they mentioned could be used towards things like Twitch integration, their API expanded to expose more for people to hook into like scenery placement / removal and there's even new snowy weather types like a blizzard.

  • With an incredible neon style, Vecter is an infinite racing-shooter that is now on Linux

    Vecter from developer Taranasus is a free infinite racing game all about lasting as long as possible and destroying anything in your way. The idea in Vecter is that it constantly tries to destroy you while you race. There's obstacles, enemies, power-ups sometimes to help and more on the way as it's further developed. After launching into Early Access in November 2019, it's now officially on Linux too. Curiously, the developer mentioned in their release announcement how they're actually using Linux themselves now as Manjaro is the main system on their laptop. [...] While it's currently in Early Access they have said a full release is planned for October 15. You can play it right now officially on Linux direct from Steam.

  • Funded and on the way to Linux, Dwerve mixes Tower Defence with dungeon crawling

    After a slick limited-time demo and a Kickstarter campaign, the dungeon crawling / tower defence hybrid Dwerve has now managed to complete the campaign and get fully funded. It's a blend of genres that's not usually done, you often get one or the other and to see them blended together like this seems like it could work real nicely. The Kickstarter campaign managed to finish with $53,750 pledged and they went through multiple special stretch-goals, which are funding points for them to confirm certain features like a Mario-styled overworld map, a boss-rush mode, more enemies and so on.

  • Play more classics including one from 1976 with a new ScummVM release

    ScummVM, the awesome all-in-one solution for playing tons of classic adventure and RPGs has a brand new release available which expands the games supported. Release 2.2.0 "Interactive Fantasy" is out and it's quite the history lesson. One of the noteworthy titles they mention that's newly supported is Colossal Cave Adventure, which originally released in 1976 and is known as the first work of interactive fiction in gaming. Their support of other interactive fiction games expanded dramatically too as they pulled in support for more game engines like ADRIFT, AdvSys, AGT, Level 9, ZCode and more. They said this has given ScummVM support for around 1,600 more titles.

  • ScummVM “Interactive Fantasy” 2.2.0 Sees the Light

    A new release of ScummVM is ready. This is a thrilling one because we are embracing adventure games as far back as 1976! That’s right, the infamous Colossal Cave Adventure, the very first Interactive Fiction game, is now supported by ScummVM.

  • Warzone 2100 to get a graphics boost with Vulkan support

    The free and open source RTS Warzone 2100 continues advancing, with a big graphics rendering overhaul recently merged in ready for the next release. Originally developed by Pumpkin Studios and published by Eidos Interactive, released as open source in 2004 and the legacy of it continues on as a completely free game. Quite an innovative RTS at the time too, very different to anything else that was out. One I remember spending a great many hours on!

  • Graphics rendering engine 'OGRE' to gain Vulkan support in the 2.3 release

    As another win for both open standards and modern graphics APIs, the classic and continually improving open source graphics rendering engine OGRE will get Vulkan support in the upcoming 2.3 release. Need a quick primer on what OGRE is? It's a scene-oriented, flexible 3D engine written in C++ designed to make it easier and more intuitive for developers to produce applications utilising hardware-accelerated 3D graphics. The class library abstracts all the details of using the underlying system libraries like Direct3D and OpenGL and provides an interface based on world objects and other intuitive classes. Some time ago, back in November 2019 they announced Vulkan support had been started but it was early days for it. We got an official update on this on September 26, 2020 as their blog post announced that Vulkan support will be landing in the OGRE 2.3 release (along with Android support).

  • Check out some open world gameplay from the upcoming Cassette Beasts

    Cassette Beasts is the in-development title from Bytten Studio (previously Lenna's Inception), which is an open-world monster capture / transformation RPG inspired by Pokemon Fusion. Being made in Godot Engine, it's a very promising looking game with a fun take on the monster capture genre with the spin that you transform into these creatures using retro cassette tapes.