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Open Hardware/Free Hardware and Sharing of Physical Designs

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  • Why Hardware Must Speak Software

    Data is value. But merely having usable data doesn’t necessarily translate into taking full advantage of it.
    The key question that enterprises are asking is, how can we tap data’s available but inaccessible potential, furthering our customers’ goals and boosting revenues? And for answers, they’re increasingly turning to open source solutions.

    Leading companies are evaluating and maturing open architectures—integrated collections of composable compute, networking, and storage resources.

    The scalable hardware infrastructures enable processes for continuous integration and development of software. Far from black box, open source software and, increasingly, hardware offer better visibility and control for everyone. The upshot: democratizing the tech industry by removing barriers that stand in the way of collaboration.

  • Free and open-source hardware enables more bang for your buck in research funding

    FOSH is rapidly gaining momentum as part of a global "open design movement," whereby the free release of information on customized research hardware, such as design, schematics and bill of materials are easily accessible anywhere with an internet connection.


    FOSH research priorities for Finland would include developing open-source transmission electron microscopes and scanning electron microscopes

    The study concluded that conservatively speaking, FOSH development of two-electron microscopy tools would save Finland over 40m€ so equivalent level of nano-scale imaging could be obtained. Similarly, millions of Euros would be saved nation-wide, while significantly strengthening Finland's atomic layer deposition (ALD)-related research excellence.

    Overall, the results indicate Finnish science funders could save millions of Euros annually on scientific equipment purchases if all hardware costing over 10,000€/item is converted to FOSH. Furthermore, the majority of this would become 'on shore' production, currently carried out by equipment manufacturers in other countries.

  • ‘Open Design’: Printing research hardware to save on capitol costs

    Free and open source hardware (FOSH) is rapidly gaining momentum as part of a global ‘open design movement’ whereby the free release of information on customised research hardware, such as design, schematics and bill of materials are easily accessible anywhere with an internet connection.

    This information can then be fed into 3D printing devices for hassle-free and cost-effective manufacturing which, after the initial investment of a 3D printer, would only be as expensive as the raw printing materials. This enables rapid and much less expensive hardware to be produced, which can be produced rapidly at scale, such as ventilators during the current pandemic.

  • Open-Source 2 GHz Oscilloscope Probe

    If you do any work with high-speed signals, you quickly realize that probing is an art unto itself. Just having a fast oscilloscope isn’t enough; you’ve got to have probes fast enough to handle the signals you want to see. In this realm, just any old probe won’t do: the input capacitance of the classic RC probe you so often see on low-bandwidth scopes starts to severely load down a circuit well below 1 GHz. That’s why we were really pleased to see [Andrew Zonenberg’s] new open-source design for a 2 GHz resistive probe hit Kickstarter.

  • Enel Foundation alumnus, university team designs open-source ventilators

    A team of engineers and healthcare practitioners at South Africa’s University of Johannesburg (UJ), including the Enel Foundation’s 2019 Open Africa Project (OPA) alumnus Dr Samuel Masebino, have taken an innovative approach to the provision of ventilators in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.

    The latest reports indicate that South Africa has less than half the number of ventilators needed to deal with peak infections, with the pandemic expected to peak between July and September, with between 40-70% of South African’s expected to contract the virus.

  • NVIDIA’s Chief Scientist Designed A Cheap Open-Source Ventilator

    In an effort to aid the coronavirus effort, NVIDIA has come up with its own design for a low-cost ventilator that can be assembled in just 5 minutes. Bill Dally, the Chief Scientist at NVIDIA, has developed an open-source design for a mechanical ventilator that can be easily assembled using off-the-shelf parts that cost about $400 (about INR 30,300).

    Dally, with the intention of creating the 'simplest possible' ventilator, came up with OP Vent (open source, proportional solenoid valve ventilator). In his paper, detailing his design, the ventilator is described to be for emergency-response and will be used to combat a shortage of ventilators.

  • NVIDIA Chief Scientist Releases Low-Cost And Open-Source Ventilator

    NVIDIA Chief Scientist, Bill Dally, is the man of the hour at NVIDIA’s offices. Dally made an open-source and low-cost breathing ventilator that you can even assemble at home in case you contract the COVID-19 virus.

  • Nvidia Chief Scientist Releases Open-Source Low-Cost Ventilator Design

    Chalk this up to the positive impulse being shown by many in HPC to help fight the COVID-19 pandemic. Nvidia chief scientist Bill Dally – heeding a charge from Nvidia CEO Jensen Huang to company leaders to look for creative ways to fight the pandemic – developed and released an open-source design for a ventilator that’s made from about $400 worth of components, vastly less than the many thousands of dollars usually required.

  • International group of physicists design FDA-approved, open-source ventilator

    As the spread of COVID-19 sparked a global search for ventilators to help critically ill patients, an international collaboration of particle physicists and engineers pivoted to design a mechanical ventilator made from readily available components.

    The ventilator, approved late last week by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for emergency use with COVID-19 patients, came together in about six weeks, driven by members of the Global Argon Dark Matter Collaboration. The international coalition studies dark matter, a mysterious substance that makes up about 85% of the matter in the universe but which cannot be directly observed.

    Andrew Renshaw, assistant professor of physics at the University of Houston and a member of the collaboration, now is working to ensure quality assurance of the controlling software and to connect the effort with U.S. manufacturers.

  • UJ engineers design open-source ventilators to combat COVID-19

    A team of engineers and healthcare practitioners at South Africa’s University of Johannesburg (UJ), including the Enel Foundation’s 2019 Open Africa Project (OPA) alumnus Dr Samuel Masebino, have taken an innovative approach to the provision of ventilators in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.

    The latest reports indicate that South Africa has less than half the number of ventilators needed to deal with peak infections, with the pandemic expected to peak between July and September, with between 40-70% of South African’s expected to contract the virus.

  • Home surveillance With RaspberryPi and Telegram bot

    How to build a home surveillance system with a RaspberryPI, a motion sensor, a camera and a Telegram bot.

  • An open source camera stack for Raspberry Pi using libcamera
  • Announcing TIMEP: Test Interface for Multiple Embedded Protocols

    Today I’m releasing a new open source hardware (OSHW) project – the Test Interface for Multiple Embedded Protocols (TIMEP). It’s based around the FTDI FT2232H chip and logic level shifters to provide breakouts, buffering, and level conversion for a number of common embedded hardware interfaces.

Cheap UK open-source 3D printed medical microscope...

  • Cheap UK open-source 3D printed medical microscope uses Raspberry Pi camera and processing

    Called OpenFlexure microscope, “it is unique among 3D-printed microscope in its ability to yield high-quality images,” according to the university.” It has been designed to be easy to use, with an intuitive software interface and simplified alignment procedures. It is also highly customisable, meaning it can be adapted for laboratory, school and home use.
    For the first time, labs around the world can 3D print their own precision microscopes to analyse samples and detect diseases.”
    £15 would cover the cost of the printed plastic, a camera and some fastening hardware. A fully-automated, laboratory-grade instrument with motorised sample positioning and focus control, said Bath, would cost a couple of hundred pounds to produce, and would include a microscope objective and an embedded Raspberry Pi computer.

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Android Leftovers

Audiocasts/Screecasts, Linux App Summit, LIMBAS and More

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  • Why Do You Guys Want Linux Creators To Record Outside

    For some reason people seem to like the outside Linux rants so I thought I'd explain why they went away and how I'm planning to bring them back, they're very easy to make so I feel like I'm generally just being lazy when I put one of these out but if you guys want them I guess I can't say no.

  • There's going to be an online Linux App Summit this November

    Are you interested in helping to make Linux a great end-user platform? Or perhaps you just want to listen to speeches and find out more info from those working on it? Mark November 12-14 on your calendar. This is the date of the upcoming 2020 Linux App Summit, an event co-hosted by GNOME and KDE as they work to bring everyone together to push Linux further. LAS will have a range of different talks, panels, and Q&As on a wide range of topics covering everything: creating, packaging, and distributing apps, to monetization within the Linux ecosystem and much more.

  • LIMBAS: Build a Database-Powered Enterprise Apps with ease

    LIMBAS is a framework for building enterprise applications for medium and large-scale companies. With LIMBAS you don't need to re-invent the wheel or start from scratch as it offers you the tools for building highly performed applications. LIMBAS is a good option for prototyping because it's fast, offers powerful tools that ease the production. It can be used to create all sort of databased powered applications. The project is already used by several companies in Europe (Germany and Switzerland).

  • Slovak procurement office recommends making licence requirements specific

    Public services in the Slovak Republic that wish to avoid IT vendor lock-in have been advised to make their licence requirements clear – for example by requesting open source – when procuring software and related services. This is one of the recommendations in a case study published last April by the country’s public procurement office and Slovensko.Digital, a non-profit organisation promoting open government and government modernisation.

  • Adding a fiber link to my home network

    Replacing this particular connection with a fiber connection was a smooth process overall, and I would recommend it in other situations as well.

    I would claim that it is totally feasible for anyone with an hour of patience to learn how to put a field assembly connector onto a fiber cable.

    If labor cost is expensive in your country or you just like doing things yourself, I can definitely recommend this approach. In case you mess the connector up and don’t want to fix it yourself, you can always call an electrician!

  • New Training Course Explores Open Source CI/CD Tool Jenkins X

    The Linux Foundation, the nonprofit organization enabling mass innovation through open source, today announced the availability of a new training course, LFS268 - CI/CD with Jenkins X. LFS268, developed in conjunction with the Continuous Delivery Foundation, is designed for site reliability engineers, software developers and architects, DevOps engineers and others who need to not only master continuous integration (CI) and continuous delivery (CD), but also gain a deeper understanding of the cloud-native ecosystem.

  • Participate in the 2020 Open Source Jobs Report!

    The Linux Foundation has partnered with edX to update the Open Source Jobs Report, which was last produced in 2018. The report examines the latest trends in open source careers, which skills are in demand, what motivates open source job seekers, and how employers can attract and retain top talent. In the age of COVID-19, this data will be especially insightful both for companies looking to hire more open source talent, as well as individuals looking to advance or change careers.

Debian and Ubuntu Leftovers

  • Jonathan Carter: GameMode in Debian

    About two years ago, I ran into some bugs running a game on Debian, so installed Windows 10 on a spare computer and ran it on there. I learned that when you launch a game in Windows 10, it automatically disables notifications, screensaver, reduces power saving measures and gives the game maximum priority. I thought “Oh, that’s actually quite nice, but we probably won’t see that kind of integration on Linux any time soon”. The very next week, I read the initial announcement of GameMode, a tool from Feral Interactive that does a bunch of tricks to maximise performance for games running on Linux.

  • Mike Gabriel: No Debian LTS Work in July 2020

    In July 2020, I was originally assigned 8h of work on Debian LTS as a paid contributor, but holiday season overwhelmed me and I did not do any LTS work, at all.

  • Opinion: Robots are proving themselves now more than ever

    By Rhys Davies, product manager for robotics, Snapcraft and Ubuntu Appliances at Canonical, the publisher of Ubuntu

  • Kubernetes 1.19 release candidate available for testing

    The Kubernetes 1.19 release candidate is now available for download and experimentation ahead of general availability later this month. You can try it now with MicroK8s.

  • Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter Issue 643

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Linux Devices and Open Hardware

  • Mini-PC and SBC build on Whiskey Lake

    Supermicro’s 3.5-inch “X11SWN-H-WOHS” SBC and “SYS-E100-9W-H” mini-PC based it feature an 8th Gen UE-series CPU, HDMI and DP, 4x USB 3.1 Gen2, 2x GbE, and 3x M.2. Supermicro has launched a fanless, 8th Gen Whiskey Lake SBC and mini-PC. The SYS-E100-9W-H mini-PC (or SuperServer E100-9W-H), which was reported on by Fanless Tech, is certified only to run Windows 10, but the 3.5-inch X11SWN-H-WOHS SBC supports Ubuntu. Applications include industrial automation, retail, smart medical expert systems, kiosks, interactive info systems, and digital signage.

  • Exor nanoSOM nS02 System-on-Module Features the 800MHz version of STM32MP1 Processor

    Exor provides a Linux RT board support package (BSP) or Android BSP for the module which also fully supports the company’s X Platform including Exor Embedded Open HMI software, Corvina Cloud IIoT platform, and IEC61131 CODESYS or Exor xPLC runtime.

  • Onyx Boox Poke2 Color eReader Launched for $299

    Manga and comics fans, rejoice! After years of getting black & white eReaders, the first commercial color eReaders are coming to market starting with Onyx Boox Poke2 Color eReader sold for $299 (but sadly sold out at the time of writing). The eReader comes with a 6-inch, 1448 x 1072 E-Ink display that supports up to 4096 colors, and runs Android 9.0 on an octa-core processor coupled with 2GB RAM and 32GB storage.

  • xDrill Smart Power Drill Supports Intelligent Speed/Torque, Laser Measuring, Digital Leveling (Crowdfunding)

    Many home appliances now have smart functions, and in my cases, I fail to see the added value, and I’m not sure why I’d want/need a connected refrigerator with a touchscreen display. So when I first saw somebody make a “smart” power drill with a small touchscreen display I laughed. But after having a closer look, Robbox xDrill smart power drill could actually be a very useful device saving you time and helping work better.

  • Raspberry Pi calls out your custom workout routine
  • Odyssey Blue: A powerful x86 and Arduino machine that supports Windows 10 and Linux

    It has been a few months since we reported on the Odyssey, a single-board computer (SBC) designed by Seeedstudio. Unlike many SBCs, the Odyssey, or ODYSSEY-X86J4105800 to give it its full name, supported the x86 instruction set. While the Odyssey can run Windows 10, it is also compatible with the Arduino ecosystem. Now, Seeedstudio has expanded on the design of the Odyssey with the Odyssey Blue.

  • Bring two analog meters out of retirement to display temperature and humidity

    Tom of Build Comics created a unique analog weather station that shows temperature and humidity on a pair of recycled gauges. An Arduino Nano reads the levels using a DHT22 sensor and outputs them in the proper format for each display. Both units have a new printed paper backing to indicate conditions, along with a trimmer pot for calibration. To set the build off nicely, the Nano and other electronics are housed inside a beautiful custom wooden box, to which the antique meters are also affixed.