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SciFi

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

Filed under
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

Filed under
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

Filed under
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

Filed under
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.

George Lucas Talks More 'Star Wars' TV

Filed under
SciFi

cinematical.com: In a two-part interview with TV Guide, George Lucas talked some more about those two Star Wars TV series he currently has in the works.

BBC confirms Doctor Who series five

Filed under
SciFi

the register: The BBC has announced there will be a fifth series of Doctor Who, although it won't be until 2010 and David Tennant is doubtful to reprise his role as the Time Lord.

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Red Hat News

  • 'Indian IT decision makers adopting open source to go digital'
  • 86% CIOs in India Bank on Open Source for Digital Innovation
    Red Hat, Inc. has announced the results of a commissioned study by Forrester Consulting, on behalf of Red Hat, about the use of open source in digital innovation initiatives in the Asia Pacific region. The results, highlighted in the study Open Source Drives Digital Innovation, revealed that IT decision makers in India are turning to open source to drive digital innovation to support business with new capabilities. The research surveyed 455 CIOs and senior IT decision makers from nine countries in Asia Pacific. The insights gathered reflect that 73 percent of respondents from India regard open source as a cost-saving initiative. The survey respondents from India believe that technology innovation is either “very important” or “critical” to their organization’s success.
  • Indian IT decision makers turn to open source: Study
    86 percent of survey respondents highlighted reducing cost as one of their key business initiatives within the next 12 months. Red Hat, a provider of open source solutions, has announced the results of a commissioned study by Forrester Consulting, on behalf of Red Hat, about the use of open source in digital innovation initiatives in the Asia Pacific region. The results, highlighted in the study Open Source Drives Digital Innovation, revealed that IT decision makers in India are turning to open source to drive digital innovation to support business with new capabilities.
  • Red Hat's OpenShift Gives Storage Flexibility to Developers
    Software-defined networking (SDN) has emerged as a mighty tech trend, and many of the leadin players on the open source scene are waking up to it. While it is known widely for its enterprise Linux efforts, Red Hat has updated its OpenShift Container Platform to provide support for dynamic storage provisioning in local and remote applications. It's all done with the cloud in mind. "Red Hat OpenShift Container Platform 3.4 provides a platform for innovation while retaining a focus on existing mission-critical workloads, offering dynamic storage provisioning for both traditional and cloud-native applications and multi-tenant capabilities that can support multiple applications, teams and deployment processes in a hybrid cloud environment," the company notes.
  • Earnings in Full Force, Analysts Take Aim at Red Hat, Inc. (NYSE:RHT)
  • The Jacobs Levy Equity Management Inc. Boosts Stake in Red Hat Inc. (RHT)
  • Earnings Outlook Revision Scan: Red Hat, Inc. (NYSE:RHT)
  • Capital Investment Counsel Inc Has $1,706,000 Stake in Red Hat Inc. (RHT)

Code for Pakistan and Linux Foundation Event

  • Code for Pakistan to host Open Source Day for Women
    Open source refers to software with its source code publicly available for people to modify and share. However, it does not simply mean to write a source code and make it publicly available, it is also about collaborative participation, transparency, rapid growth and community-oriented development. The Open Source Day is an opportunity for women with a background in Computer Science to get started on Open Source Projects and network with mentors in the tech industry. It provides them an opportunity to come together and hone their tech skills.
  • Open Source Software Strategies for Enterprise IT
    Enterprises using open source code in infrastructure must understand both the risks and benefits of community-developed software. Professional open source management is a discipline that focuses on minimizing risk and delivering the benefits of open source software as efficiently as possible. For successful open source management, enterprises must adopt clear strategies, well-defined policies, and efficient processes. Nobody gets all this right the first time, so it’s also important to review and audit your policies for continuous improvement. Additionally, successful open source initiatives for enterprise IT must provide real ROI in acquisition, integration, and management.

Security Leftovers

Leftovers: BSD

  • BSD Mag: Understanding Unikernels by Russell Pavlicek
    The number of tasks which lend themselves to being unikernels is larger than you might think. In 2015, Martin Lucina announced the successful creation of a “RAMP” stack. A variant of the common “LAMP” stack (Linux. Apache, MySQL, PHP/Python), the “RAMP” stack employs NGINX, MySQL, and PHP each built on Rumprun. Rumprun is an instance of a Rump kernel, which is a unikernel system based on the modular operating system functions found in the NetBSD project. So even this very common solution stack can be successfully converted into unikernels.
  • Summary of the preliminary LLDB support project
    Operating systems can be called monitors as they handle system calls from userland processes. A similar task is performed by debuggers as they implement monitors for traced applications and interpret various events that occurred in tracees and are messaged usually with signals to their tracers. During this month I have started a new Process Plugin within LLDB to incept NativeProcessNetBSD - copied from NativeProcessLinux - implementing basic functionality and handling all the needed events in the MonitorCallback() function. To achieve these tasks, I had to add a bunch of new ptrace(2) interfaces in the kernel to cover all that is required by LLDB monitors. The current Process Plugin for NetBSD is capable to start a process, catch all the needed events correctly and if applicable resume or step the process.
  • NetBSD Making Progress On LLDB Debugger Support
    NetBSD developers have been implementing the relevant interfaces needed for the LLVM debugger to effectively monitor and work on the operating system. As part of that they have also improved some of their own documentation, provided new ptrace interfaces, and more. Those interested in LLDB and/or NetBSD can learn more about this debugging work via this NetBSD.org blog post.