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SciFi

Stellarium 0.20.3 Released with Tons of Changes [Ubuntu PPA]

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Software
Sci/Tech
SciFi

Free-software planetarium Stellarium 0.20.3 was released a day ago with numerous changes. Here’s how to install it in Ubuntu 18.04, Ubuntu 20.04 via PPA.

Stellarium 0.20.3 fixed nutation and, with it, season beginning times, included many changes in AstroCalc tool, Oculars and Satellites plugins, and updated DSO catalog.

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Help with COVID-19 research using Folding@home on Linux

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GNU
Linux
SciFi

Right now, every human on the planet is affected in some way by the COVID-19 pandemic. Many people are looking for ways they can help. People are making masks and starting projects to invent or provide critical equipment. One thing you can do is donate what you have. If you're like me, you have computing hardware sitting idle much of the time—that's a resource that can contribute to finding a solution to the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as things like Alzheimer's disease and cancer.

[...]

Folding@home started in 2000 with volunteers donating CPU and GPU time on computers that would otherwise be idle to work on things like creating antibiotics and curing cancer, and since then has made many important contributions. Currently, Folding@home makes more than 100 petaflops of processing power available to researchers. One current high-priority project is the research being done to find ways to combat the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Folding@home software can be installed on almost any computer. There are client downloads for Windows, macOS, and Linux. There is a VMware appliance. There are also projects to get the client running on Android and a Chrome plugin. There's even a Docker image.

In this article, we’ll look at the Linux install and configuration, and we’ll look at a headless install for CentOS 7 that you can use to build multiple VMs.

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9 open source robotics projects

Filed under
OSS
SciFi

Open source isn't just changing the way we interact with the world, it's changing the way the world interacts back with us. Case in point: open source robotics.

Robots are playing an increasing role in our world, and while we perhaps haven't reached the utopian future with robotic housekeepers imagined for us in the Jetsons, robotics are making advances in fields that fifty years ago would have been completely unimaginable.

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Introducing MrRobot, Ubuntu Touch App Enabled Robotics Powered by Raspberry Pi

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Linux
SciFi

Today we have the great pleasure of introducing you to a brand-new project developed during the Ubuntu ShenZhen hackathon by Joseph Wang. It is called MrRobot, just like the TV show we taked about in a couple of articles right here on Softpedia.

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Linux-based bipedal robot endures kicks and dodgeball attacks

Filed under
Linux
SciFi

OSU demonstrated its speedy, bipedal ATRIAS robot withstanding a barrage of kicks and dodgeballs. ATRIAS runs on ROS and a real-time Xenomai Linux kernel.

Researchers at Oregon State University’s Dynamic Robotics Laboratory have demonstrated their Linux-driven ATRIAS robot withstanding a considerable beating while keeping its cool. OSU recently posted videos of its unusual torture testing procedures, which include human kicks and a barrage of dodgeballs, as reported by IEEE Spectrum. Eventually, the human-sized bipedal robot is knocked from its feet, but not before it absorbs a lot of hits. The robot protects itself with strategies such as side stepping and hopping on one foot

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Linux for Astronomers

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GNU
Linux
SciFi

I've looked at specialty distributions that were created for engineers and biologists in previous articles, but these aren't the only scientific disciplines that have their own distributions. So in this article, I introduce a distribution created specifically for astronomers, called Distro Astro. This distribution bundles together astronomy software to help users with tasks like running observatories or planetariums, doing professional research or outreach.

From the very first moment of booting up Distro Astro, you will notice that this distribution is aimed at astronomers. The look and feel of items, from the boot splash screen to wallpapers and screensavers, have all been given an astronomical theme. Even the default wallpaper is a slideshow of Hubble images.

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Imitate Fake Hollywood Terminal Hacking Melodrama with This Amazing App for Ubuntu

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GNU
Linux
Movies
SciFi
Humor

We all know that Hollywood movies are the worst place to see some accurate depiction of anything from real life and that includes computer terminals. Well, there is a solution for that now and we can only hope that some misguided producer will see the new "hollywood" package made for this exact purpose.

Hollywood movie producers invest a lot of time and money in custom interfaces and GUIs that don't really do anything, but they think they’re nice and interesting on film. Most of the time, someone is hacking away by typing frenetically while windows with crazy stuff open and close. This is why this kind of image is now seared into the public's consciousness and hacking looks more exciting than in real life. It isn't.

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NASA’s R2 bot to receive legs via SpaceX

Filed under
Linux
SciFi

The 330-pound Robonaut 2 measures 3 feet, 4 inches tall from the waist, and is equipped with more than 350 sensors. Its stomach-located brain runs Linux on 38 PowerPC-based processors. The robot is operated remotely by humans, using the Robonaut Tele-operation System (RTS). This telerobotics system requires a ground- or space-based user to wear a 3D visor, vest, and pressure-sensitive gloves. (For more on the R2, see our original coverage.)

According to the OSRF, the R2 team also uses the open source Gazebo simulator to simulate R2 for development and testing. NASA and ROS.org released their Gazebo models of the R2 and the ISS as open source.

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Top 10 tech tricks we're sick of seeing in movies

Filed under
Movies
Sci/Tech
SciFi

cnet.com: Think how awesome it was the first time you saw a lightsaber in action. Or how your mind was officially shredded when Neo mastered the Matrix. Technology in movies is cool. But for every thrilling example of cool-ass tech, Hollywood seems to produce a tired, dated cliche.

Michael Crichton, million-selling science-fiction author, dies at 66

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SciFi
Obits

latimes.com: Best-selling author Michael Crichton, who wrote such novels as "The Andromeda Strain" and "Jurassic Park," and created the popular TV drama "ER," has died at 66, his family said today.

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More in Tux Machines

Graphics: RenderDoc, Mesa, and Vulkan

  • RenderDoc 1.17 Released For This Leading Open-Source Graphics Debugging Tool - Phoronix

    RenderDoc 1.17 released this week as the newest version of this leading cross-platform, cross-API graphics debugging utility. RendertDoc 1.17 continues to be a gem for developers working with Vulkan and OpenGL along with Direct3D 11/12. RenderDoc as the MIT-licensed frame-capture-based graphics debugger works extremely well for game/engine developers as well as GPU driver developers in working through different issues.

  • DMA-BUF Feedback Support For Wayland Lands In Mesa 22.0's EGL Code - Phoronix

    Landing in Mesa on Black Friday was DMA-BUF Feedback support within the EGL code as another important step forward for Wayland. Introduced earlier this week was Wayland Protocols 1.24 and the primary addition to that collection of protocols is DMA-BUF feedback support. The DMA-BUF "feedback" support is important for Wayland multi-GPU systems where needing to know more information about the GPU device used by the compositor and for being able to efficiently exchange buffers between the secondary and primary GPUs.

  • RADV Vulkan Driver Finally Adds VK_KHR_synchronization2 Support - Phoronix

    The Mesa Radeon Vulkan driver "RADV" has added support for the prominent VK_KHR_synchronization2 extension introduced earlier this year. Added back in February with Vulkan 1.2.170 was VK_KHR_synchronization2 for simplifying the core synchronization APIs of this industry-standard graphics API. VK_KHR_synchronization2 makes Vulkan synchronization handling easier to deal with Those interested in the changes with the "synchronization2" revision can see this Khronos blog post going over the Vulkan synchronization handling in detail along with the changes from this extension.

Kernel: Futex2, Fixes, and Other New Features for Linux 5.16

  • Futex2 Brings Linux Gaming To The Next Level - Invidious

    Futex2 has been a work in progress by Valve and collabora for a very long time and it seems like it's finally going to make it's way into the kernel.

  • Patch out for Alder Lake Linux bug that reminds of the Windows 11 Ryzen CPPC issue - Neowin

    Linux boss Linus Torvalds merged earlier today several important patches for Intel CPU generally related to performance states (P-states) on Linux.

  • Linux 5.16 Merges Fix For One Of The Intel Alder Lake Issues - Phoronix

    Merged this Friday afternoon into the Linux 5.16 development kernel is fixing a performance issue affecting some Intel Alder Lake motherboards. The fix merged a short time ago is the item previously covered within Linux ITMT Patch Fixes Intel "Alder Lake" Hybrid Handling For Some Systems. As explained in that prior article, TurboBoost Max 3.0 / ITMT (Turbo Boost Max Technology) code within the kernel isn't being enabled for some systems, particularly if overclocking or even any memory XMP / optimal settings. The ASUS Z690 board I've been primarily using for the i9-12900K was affected as are numerous other boards. I've also heard reports of some motherboards running purely stock are even having this issue.

  • Intel Preparing USI Stylus Support For Linux - Phoronix

    Intel open-source driver engineers have been working on USI stylus support for the Linux kernel. The Universal Stylus Initiative (USI) aims to offer interoperability of active styluses across touchscreen devices. The Universal Stylus Initiative has a goal of allowing all styluses that comply with USI to work across devices. USI is backed by the likes of Google who wants to see USI working uniformally across Chromebooks, Dell and other hardware vendors, Intel is also involved and leading the upstream Linux support patches, and peripheral vendors like Logitech are also supporting the standard. Other big names like Wacom, Samsung, and many other players from desktop to laptops to mobile.

Open Hardware/Modding With LineageOS and Arduino

  • Ham Radio Gets Brain Transplant | Hackaday

    Old radios didn’t have much in the way of smarts. But as digital synthesis became more common, radios often had as much digital electronics in them as RF circuits. The problem is that digital electronics get better and better every year, so what looked like high-tech one year is quaint the next. [IMSAI Guy] had an Icom IC-245 and decided to replace the digital electronics inside with — among other things — an Arduino.

  • My phone - November 2021

    My current phone is the Google Pixel 3a from 2019. It’s running the LineageOS operating system without the Open GApps stack (GApps is short for “Google Apps”). This means there’s no proprietary software or tracking from Google on the phone by default.

  • PiGlass V2 Embraces The New Raspberry Pi Zero 2 | Hackaday

    Well, that certainly didn’t take long. It’s been just about a month since the Raspberry Pi Zero 2 hit the market, and we’re already seeing folks revisit old projects to reap the benefits of the drop-in upgrade that provides five times the computational power in the same form factor. Take for example the PiGlass v2 that [Matt] has been working on. He originally put the Pi Zero wearable together back in 2018, and while it featured plenty of bells and whistles like a VuFine+ display, 5 MP camera, and bone conduction audio, the rather anemic hardware of the original Zero kept it from reaching its true potential.

October/November in KDE Itinerary

Since the last summary KDE Itinerary has been moving with big steps towards the upcoming 21.12 release, with work on individual transport modes, more convenient ticket access, trip editing, a new health certificate UI, better transfer handling and many more improvements.

New Features
Current ticket access A small but very convenient new addition is the “Current ticket” action, which immediately navigates you to the details page of the most current element on the itinerary. That comes in handy when having to show or scan your ticket and avoids having to find the right entry in the list in a rush. This action is now also accessible from jump list actions in the taskbar on Linux, or app shortcuts on Android. Combined with the easily accessible barcode scanmode mentioned last time it’s now just two clicks or taps to get ready for a ticket check. Read more