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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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today's leftovers

  • Linux Foundation Hosting Open Source Project on UAS Interoperability

    The Linux Foundation, a nonprofit technology consortium, plans to host the InterUSS Platform Open Source Project, which is designed to enable “trusted, secure and scalable” interoperability among unmanned aircraft system (UAS) service suppliers (USSs) to advance “safe, equitable and efficient” drone operations, the foundation has announced. Initial contributors include both industry and regulatory organizations: Wing, AirMap, Uber and the Swiss Federal Office of Civil Aviation. Similar to the evolution of cities, our skies are becoming busier with traffic, the Linux Foundation explains. In an effort to unleash innovation and ensure safety, aviation regulators around the world are implementing UAS traffic management to support increasing and diverse drone operations. Under UTM, a set of USSs (also known as U-Space Service Providers, or USPs) assists drone operators with conducting safe and compliant operations.

  • #CFSummit2019: Open Source Community Witnesses High-Velocity Of Change

    This time last week, The Hague, The Netherlands welcomed over 700 people all attending the 2019 European Cloud Foundry Summit. While last year, the theme was very much tailored around pushing enterprise-ready platform-as-a-service portfolio, as it continues to strike closer relationships with the world’s biggest cloud service providers, but this year, the summit took a more forward-thinking approach with its ‘Building the Future’ theme.

  • CEDIA 2019: Home Assistant Is an Open-Source Home Automation Platform, Uses Raspberry Pi
  • Homura Is A Windows Game Launcher For FreeBSD - Supports Steam, Origin, UPlay + More

    While FreeBSD doesn't see much in the way of game ports besides compatibility with open-source games/engines, FreeBSD's Linux binary compatibility layer for years has allowed running Linux games on FreeBSD and there is also Wine support for FreeBSD to handle Windows software. Thanks to those efforts, it's possible to make a FreeBSD gaming box. Homura is a newer open-source project focused on providing a Windows game launcher for FreeBSD systems. Homura is akin to CrossOver or Lutris and wraps around Wine/WineTricks and makes it easy to deploy various Windows games and gaming services under FreeBSD.

  • The Hardware FOSDEM Uses To Carry Out Linux Video Recordings Of Their Event

    Not only is FOSDEM one of the best open-source/Linux events in the world for those who make the journey each February to Brussels, but they also for years now have done a masterful job at recording the different talks and developer room sessions. Each year gets better both for the event itself as well as the video recordings even with FOSDEM operating on a very limited budget due to the event being free to attend. For those curious about the hardware/software setup powering their video setup, here's an interesting blog post.

  • Matplotlib titles have configurable locations – and you can have more than one at once!

    Just a quick post here to let you know about a matplotlib feature I've only just found out about.

  • Microsoft Operating Systems BlueKeep Vulnerability

    BlueKeep (CVE-2019-0708) exists within the Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) used by the Microsoft Windows OSs listed above. An attacker can exploit this vulnerability to perform remote code execution on an unprotected system. According to Microsoft, an attacker can send specially crafted packets to one of these operating systems that has RDP enabled.[1] After successfully sending the packets, the attacker would have the ability to perform a number of actions: adding accounts with full user rights; viewing, changing, or deleting data; or installing programs. This exploit, which requires no user interaction, must occur before authentication to be successful.

Software: Accounting, TrueCrypt Alternatives and Shotcut 19.09.14

  • 5 Popular Free and Open Source Accounting Software
  • 5 Best TrueCrypt Alternatives - Open source encryption apps

    If you want to protect your data from prying eyes, then you need to encrypt it. Previously many of us relied on Truecrypt to do this, however, as the popular encryption app was mysteriously discontinued, we have created this article to give you five alternatives to TrueCrypt. If you are serious about security, then you will do this yourself rather than using a third-party to do it for you. This is what is meant by end-to-end encryption (e2ee). But even if you are using e2ee, how do you know that the software is not doing something untoward? Such as secretly sending your encryption keys back to its developers, or creating a backdoor in the encryption. The only guarantee we can have against this is the use of open-source code. Only if a program can be freely examined to ensure it does what it is supposed to (and only what it is supposed to) can we place a reasonable amount of confidence in it.

  • Shotcut 19.09.14

    Shotcut is a free, open source, cross-platform video editor for Windows, Mac and Linux. Major features include support for a wide range of formats; no import required meaning native timeline editing; Blackmagic Design support for input and preview monitoring; and resolution support to 4k.

KMyMoney 5.0.7 released

The KMyMoney development team today announces the immediate availability of version 5.0.7 of its open source Personal Finance Manager. This release becomes necessary due to the new regulations of the PSD2 which affects the online banking availability for German users. To make KMyMoney compatible with them, especially the Strong Customer Authentication part, KMyMoney had to be adapted to updated APIs of the Gwenhywfar and AqBanking libraries which provide the banking protocol implementations. KMyMoney now requires a Gwenhywfar minimum version of 4.99.16 and an AqBanking version of 5.99.32. Read more Also in KDE right now: Roman Gilg: Political activism in KDE [Ed: Gilg is wrong. Climate change is science. It is not politics. AstroTurfing by oil giants tried for decades to warp it into a partisan 'political identity issue'.]

Lennart Talks Up systemd's SD-Boot + Boot Loader Specification

In addition to announcing systemd-homed for better user home directories, Lennart Poettering also used this year's All Systems Go conference to drum up support for systemd's boot efforts around SD-Boot and the Boot Loader Specification. systemd-boot/sd-boot is systemd's UEFI boot manager formerly known as Gummiboot. SD-Boot continues picking up new functionality and at least optional usage by more distributions. The Systemd Boot Loader Specification (also known as the FreeDesktop.org Boot Loader Specification) meanwhile is trying to assist use-cases around dual/multi-boot operating system setups and related use-cases with drop-in file handling, standardized configuration files and the like. Read more