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NASA Takes Open Source to Mars

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OSS

NASA software engineer Parker Abercrombie is using open source to create a virtual workspace. The benefit of this open source project is that scientists and engineers can visit Mars in a virtual reality environment. While NASA hasn’t yet sent a manned mission to Mars, the virtual environment Abercrombie has made possible using open source is the next best thing.

The project, called OnSight, enables scientists and engineers to work on Mars using what is known as “mixed reality.” Special headsets equipped with the OnSight software download the latest 3D maps of Mars’ terrain, giving the user a first-person view of the planet, much as if they had landed in a spaceship and were exploring on the ground.

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More in Tux Machines

Linux distro review: Intel’s own Clear Linux OS

Intel's Clear Linux distribution has been getting a lot of attention lately, due to its incongruously high benchmark performance. Although the distribution was created and is managed by Intel, even AMD recommends running benchmarks of its new CPUs under Clear Linux in order to get the highest scores. Recently at Phoronix, Michael Larabel tested a Threadripper 3990X system using nine different Linux distros, one of which was Clear Linux—and Intel's distribution got three times as many first-place results as any other distro tested. When attempting to conglomerate all test results into a single geometric mean, Larabel found that the distribution's results were, on average, 14% faster than the slowest distributions tested (CentOS 8 and Ubuntu 18.04.3). There's not much question that Clear Linux is your best bet if you want to turn in the best possible benchmark numbers. The question not addressed here is, what's it like to run Clear Linux as a daily driver? We were curious, so we took it for a spin. Read more

Games: Vintage Story, RimWorld, Julius, Faeria, Hive Time

  • The latest update and brand new trailer for 'Vintage Story' look fantastic

    With a survival experience that's so crammed full of features you're likely to get lost for weeks, Vintage Story has always looked pretty good. Recently though? They turned it up a notch or two. Version 1.12 went out this month as a major update focused on adding more visual flair including new animations, more reflective surfaces, a new personal-damage overlay effect, a rework of clouds (and they sure do look pretty), cold regions will see an aurora borealis effect, armour stands, performance improvements and various other tweaks to really make it something quite special.

  • If you think you were done with RimWorld think again - the 1.1 update is in Beta

    Adding in a ton of new content, adjustments and fixed - RimWorld 1.1 is now available in Beta to suck you back into building a colony. While RimWorld was done and released in full back in 2018, they're clearly not done with it. One big improvement will be for players that have high resolution monitors, as the UI should now look good even at 4K. There's a new Quests tab to give you info on available, active and previous quests as well to help you not get lost. Modding sees improvements too with "a new data-driven quests generation and management system" so apparently modders can add or change quests "without programming" and there's also improvements done to clean up the mod management interface.

  • Open source modern Caesar III game engine 'Julius' has a fresh release up

    Get ready to build a city with the classic Caesar III, as the developer behind the open source game engine Julius tagged a big new release. Some nice new features were added this time with a new full-city screenshot feature set to Ctrl+F12, it will be a big file of course but it's such a fun feature. A good way to show off all that time you spent. You can also now enable a monthly auto-save, to ensure no lost progress.

  • Unique deck-builder 'Faeria' has a huge patch out with gamepad support

    A few bits of interesting news to talk about for Faeria, a deck-builder with a unique board-building mechanic as it just got a huge update. One of the major new systems introduced is a player reporting mechanic, so you can report naughty people. You will find this as an option in-game in the friends list, as recent players appear there. There's also new music, a dynamic music system was added so during battles music will change depending on what's happening too which is quite cool and spices it up a little. There's also in-game leaderboards, new special PvP maps, in-game DLC display and controller support.

  • Bee-themed management sim 'Hive Time' has a new amusing trailer

    Released back in December, Hive Time is the rather sweet Bee hive building and management sim from our contributor Cheeseness and it has a new trailer out. Telling a short tale of a busy hive while introducing a worker Bee named Penelope, it's actually quite an amusing little trailer that would have sold me on the game if I wasn't already enjoying it.

today's howtos

Education With Moodle and Open-Source Textbooks (Open Access)

  • Transforming the traditional classroom with Open Education

    The Tamarind Tree school in Dahanu, India, encourages self-learning through open educational resources and open technology At Tamarind Tree, the traditional classroom and traditional teacher role do not exist. Using open source software and open educational resources, the school has developed an entire digital ecosystem, with their LMS built on Moodle “My Big Campus” in the centre. Each day, students access the learning content and go through activities independently, nurturing their curiosity and self-assurance. In this setting, the role of the teacher is not as someone who delivers content, but more like a facilitator who mentors the children during their learning journey. As well as guiding the children through what they’re learning, when a teacher detects that a student is having difficulties with a topic or concept, or requires help, they will schedule one-on-one meetings where they both research and learn together.

  • Beaufort County Community College saves students over $50,000 on new textbooks

    New textbooks, called Open-Source Textbooks, are saving students more than $50,000 per semester at Beaufort County Community College (BCCC). Open-Source Textbooks are licensed under an open copyright license and made available online to be freely used by students and teachers. Some professors at BCCC are using Open-Source Textbooks to decrease the cost of student's education and help them stretch financial aid or scholarships. Professors seek out Open-Source Textbooks from a curated online library developed by academics from all over the country, then add additional material.