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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

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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

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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

  • CRI: The Second Boom of Container Runtimes
    Harry (Lei) Zhang, together with the CTO of HyperHQ, Xu Wang, will present “CRI: The Second Boom of Container Runtimes” at KubeCon + CloudNativeCon EU 2018, May 2-4 in Copenhagen, Denmark. The presentation will clarify about more about CRI, container runtimes, KataContainers and where they are going. Please join them if you are interested in learning more.
  • Meet Gloo, the ‘Function Gateway’ That Unifies Legacy APIs, Microservices, and Serverless
    Gloo, a single binary file written in Go, can be deployed as a Kubernetes pod, in a Docker container, and now also on Cloud Foundry. The setup also requires a copy of Envoy, though the installation process can be greatly simplified through additional software developed by the company, TheTool. The user then writes configuration objects to capture the workflow logic.
  • Why is the kernel community replacing iptables with BPF?

    The Linux kernel community recently announced bpfilter, which will replace the long-standing in-kernel implementation of iptables with high-performance network filtering powered by Linux BPF, all while guaranteeing a non-disruptive transition for Linux users.

  • The developer of Helium Rain gave an update on their sales, low overall sales but a high Linux percentage
    Helium Rain [Steam, Official Site], the gorgeous space sim from Deimos Games is really quite good so it's a shame they've seen such low overall sales. In total, they've had around 14,000€ (~$17,000) in sales which is not a lot for a game at all. The good news, is that out of the two thousand copies they say they've sold, a huge 14% of them have come from Linux. It's worth noting, that number has actually gone up since we last spoke to them, where they gave us a figure of 11% sales on Linux.
  • Want to try Wild Terra Online? We have another load of keys to give away (update: all gone)
    Wild Terra Online [Steam], the MMO from Juvty Worlds has a small but dedicated following, now is your chance to see if it's for you.
  • Arch Linux Finally Rolling Out Glibc 2.27
    Arch Linux is finally transitioning to glibc 2.27, which may make for a faster system. Glibc 2.27 was released at the start of February. This updated GNU C Library shipped with many performance optimizations particularly for Intel/x86_64 but also some ARM tuning and more. Glibc 2.27 also has memory protection keys support and other feature additions, but the performance potential has been most interesting to us.
  • Installed nvidia driver
  • Stephen Smoogen: Fedora Infrastructure Hackathon (day 1-5)
  • Design and Web team summary – 20 April 2018
    The team manages all web projects across Canonical. From www.ubuntu.com to the Juju GUI we help to bring beauty and consistency to all the web projects.
  • Costales: UbuCon Europe 2018 | 1 Week to go!!
    We'll have an awesome weekend of conferences (with 4 parallel talks), podcasts, stands, social events... Most of them are in English, but there will be in Spanish & Asturian too.
  • Tough, modular embedded PCs start at $875
    Advantech has launched two rugged, Linux-ready embedded DIN-rail computers with Intel Bay Trail SoCs and iDoor expansion: an “UNO-1372G-E” with 3x GbE ports and a smaller UNO-1372G-J with only 2x GbE, but with more serial and USB ports.

OSS Leftovers

  • IRS Website Crash Reminder of HealthCare.gov Debacle as OMB Pushes Open Source
    OMB is increasingly pushing agencies to adopt open source solutions, and in 2016 launched a pilot project requiring at least 20 percent of custom developed code to be released as open source – partly to strengthen and help maintain it by tapping a community of developers. OMB memo M-16-21 further asks agencies to make any code they develop available throughout the federal government in order to encourage its reuse. “Open source solutions give agencies access to a broad community of developers and the latest advancements in technology, which can help alleviate the issues of stagnated or out-dated systems while increasing flexibility as agency missions evolve over time,” says Henry Sowell, chief information security officer at Hortonworks Federal. “Enterprise open source also allows government agencies to reduce the risk of vendor lock-in and the vulnerabilities of un-supported software,” he adds.
  • Migrations: the sole scalable fix to tech debt.

    Migrations are both essential and frustratingly frequent as your codebase ages and your business grows: most tools and processes only support about one order of magnitude of growth before becoming ineffective, so rapid growth makes them a way of life. This isn't because they're bad processes or poor tools, quite the opposite: the fact that something stops working at significantly increased scale is a sign that it was designed appropriately to the previous constraints rather than being over designed.

  • Gui development is broken

    Why is this so hard? I just want low-level access to write a simple graphical interface in a somewhat obscure language.

OpenBSD and NetBSD

Security: Twitter and Facebook

  • Twitter banned Kaspersky Lab from advertising in Jan
     

    Twitter has banned advertising from Russian security vendor Kaspersky Lab since January, the head of the firm, Eugene Kaspersky, has disclosed.  

  • When you go to a security conference, and its mobile app leaks your data
     

    A mobile application built by a third party for the RSA security conference in San Francisco this week was found to have a few security issues of its own—including hard-coded security keys and passwords that allowed a researcher to extract the conference's attendee list. The conference organizers acknowledged the vulnerability on Twitter, but they say that only the first and last names of 114 attendees were exposed.

  • The Security Risks of Logging in With Facebook
     

    In a yet-to-be peer-reviewed study published on Freedom To Tinker, a site hosted by Princeton's Center for Information Technology Policy, three researchers document how third-party tracking scripts have the capability to scoop up information from Facebook's login API without users knowing. The tracking scripts documented by Steven Englehardt, Gunes Acar, and Arvind Narayanan represent a small slice of the invisible tracking ecosystem that follows users around the web largely without their knowledge.

  • Facebook Login data hijacked by hidden JavaScript trackers
     

    If you login to websites through Facebook, we've got some bad news: hidden trackers can suck up more of your data than you'd intended to give away, potentially opening it up to abuse.