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GNU

Know the Differences between Raspberry Pi, Arduino, and ESP8266/ESP32

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GNU
Linux
Hardware

When it comes to choosing a platform for STEM education or hobbyist projects, there are a number of low-cost, compact maker boards on the market. The most popular include the kid-friendly Raspberry Pi SBC that was designed with children in mind, Arduino boards for electronics projects, and more recently boards and modules based on EspressifESP8266 and ESP32 wireless SoC’s. In this post, we’ll look at the use cases and strong points for each of the boards whether you are just dabbling in the hobby of coding and DIY electronics, or you have a commercial project.

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OSMC's March update is here with Kodi v18.6

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GNU
Linux
Movies

Firstly, and most importantly, we hope that everyone and their loved ones are staying safe. We continue to work on and develop OSMC during this time and offer support and our store also remains open with orders being fulfilled promptly and without delay.

Team Kodi recently announced the 18.6 point release of Kodi Leia. We have now prepared this for all supported OSMC devices and added some improvements and fixes.

Our next video stack with support for HDR10+ and 3D MVC for Vero 4K and Vero 4K + will be made available for testing on our forums within the next 48 hours.

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VSIDO - A Debian-Sid Tracking Distribution with Fluxbox

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GNU
Linux
Debian

There are a lot of distributions, spins, customizations and modifications of distributions out there. Not all of them are listed on Distrowatch, such as MiyoLinux I just wrote about a week ago. I once started a series about light weight distributions using window managers such as Openbox and IceWM or lighter desktop environments. Vsido which is utilising Fluxbox certainly fits the bill so let's see.

Vsido first came to my attention on the Crunchbang forum. It is developed by a guy called the VastOne. Instead of the widely popular Openbox window manager it is using Fluxbox and gives the user a basic environment to start with but one that one can already be productive in depending on the needs. This particular modification, I hesitate to call it a distribution because that is what it's based on, is tracking Debian Sid which means the Unstable development branch of Debian. Nevertheless, if you know anything about Debian and how to succesfully use it, Unstable it a lot more reliable than it sounds. People have tracked it for years without the need to reinstall.

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Waveform Free is a Professional Digital Audio Workstation with Linux Support

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GNU
Linux

If you like to make music on Linux then you’ve no doubt heard about Tracktion T7 which is considered one of the best free digital audio workstations (DAWs) around.

But that’s changing. A new, free replacement for the Traction T7 DAW has been announced, and it looks mighty impressive!

First a bit of background. New versions of Tracktion for Windows, macOS and Linux are typically released as paid, closed source software.

But every few years the company behind the pro audio tool releases an older version entirely for free (as in beer), with no functional limitations.

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MythTV 31.0 is Released

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GNU
Linux
Movies
  • MythTV 31.0

    The Current Release is 31.0.

  • MythTV 31

    For those stuck at home looking for something to do, version 31 of the MythTV DVR and home media center hub, has been released. Features include, significant changes to video decoding and playback, improved channel scanning, and Python 3 support. See the release notes for more information.

  • MythTV 31 Released With Video Decode Improvements, Finally Supporting Python 3

    For those stuck in home isolation amid the coronavirus pandemic, MythTV 31 has been released for any open-source DVR and HTPC needs.

    This is the first MythTV open-source DVR update since MythTV 30 at the start of 2019. With MythTV 31 there is a lot of work on the video decode/playback plus a few other items worth noting:

    - Numerous changes to video decode and playback handling. OpenGL is now a hard requirement for MythTV 31. There is full GPU-based video acceleration for VA-API, VDPAU, NVIDIA NVDEC, VideoToolBox, Video4Linux2 codecs, MMAL, and MediaCodec. Being dropped, however, is CrystalHD and OpenMAX support. More details on the video handling changes via this Wiki page.

Alpine 3.11.5 released

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GNU
Linux

The Alpine Linux project is pleased to announce the immediate availability of version 3.11.5 of its Alpine Linux operating system.

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Hardware: ARM, CEM521, Arrosticini

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GNU
Linux
Hardware
  • Open-Source ARM Development Simplified

    The ARM series of processors are an industry standard of sorts for a vast array of applications. Virtually anything requiring good power or heat management, or any embedded system which needs more computing power than an 8-bit microcontroller is a place where an ARM is likely found. While they do appear in various personal computers and laptops, [Pieter] felt that their documentation for embedded processors wasn’t quite as straightforward as it could be and created this development board which will hopefully help newbies to ARM learn the environment more easily.

    Called the PX-HER0, it’s an ARM development board with an STM32 at its core and a small screen built in. The real work went in to the documentation for this board, though. Since it’s supposed to be a way to become more proficient in the platform, [Pieter] has gone to great lengths to make sure that all the hardware, software, and documentation are easily accessible. It also comes with the Command Line Interpreter (CLI) App which allows a user to operate the device in a Unix-like environment. The Arduino IDE is also available for use with some PX-HER0-specific examples.

  • Axiomtek CEM521 COM Express module comes with Intel Whiskey Lake-U and supports both Windows 10 and Linux

    Axiomtek has announced the release of the CEM521 — a computer-on-module (COM) Express Type 6 compact form factor module powered by Intel 8th generation Whiskey Lake-U processors with options of the Core i3/i5/i7 or the Celeron 4305UE.

    For those not in the know, the COM Express specification defines specialized PCs that are either available as single-board computers (SBCs) or as a processor mezzanine that can be plugged into a carrier board. COM Express computers are used in industrial IoT applications such as medical imaging, military, networking, etc. 

    The Axiomtek CEM521 is capable of withstanding operating temperatures ranging from -40 °C to +85 °C. It can support two DDR4-2600 SO-DIMM slots for up to 64 GB RAM and offers display out via one LVDS, one VGA, and one DDI port. Other I/O options include eight PCIe lanes, three SATA-600 ports, one Gigabit Intel i219-LM LAN, four USB 3.0 ports, eight USB 2.0 ports, and four digital I/O channels. A TPM 2.0 module is also availabel for hardware-based data encryption. The CEM521 can also be paired with the CEB94011 development baseboard for additional ports and flexibility. 

  • Cooking Italian Cuisine With Open-Source Hardware

    Arrosticini — sheep or lamb skewers — are a staple of the cuisine of Italy’s Abruzzo region. A typical dish of the pastoral tradition, they are said to have been invented early in the last century by hungry shepherds stuck in the fields during the seasonal movement of their flocks to fresh pastures. The shepherds would butcher an old sheep, cut the meat into small pieces, slide the pieces onto sticks, and cook the skewers over a flame.

    Cooking an arrosticino to perfection requires careful control of the cooking temperature and cooking time as well as even heat distribution. The traditional method is to grill the skewers on a fornacella charcoal grill. According to purists, electric cookers compromise the traditional flavor of an arrosticino (and the self-respect of the chef). Grilling arrosticini the traditional way, however, is a labor-intensive, exacting process. Is it possible to achieve grilling perfection using a motorized setup?

Relax-and-Recover – Backup and Recover a Linux System

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GNU
Linux
Software

Relax-and-Recover (ReaR in short) is a simple yet powerful, easy-to-setup, full-featured and leading open-source bare metal disaster recovery and system migration solution, written in Bash. It is a modular and configurable framework with numerous ready-to-use workflows for common situations.

ReaR creates a bootable rescue system and/or system backup in various formats. You can boot your bare metal server using the rescue system image and initiate a system restore from the backup. It can restore to different hardware where necessary, hence it can also be employed as a system migration tool.

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Parrot GNU/Linux 4.8 Released With Kernel 5.4 And New Docker Containers

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GNU
Linux

It has been around six months since the major version release of Parrot OS was released. Last month, Parrot came up with a beta version of Parrot 4.8. Continuing the development, Parrot OS has now officially released the stable version 4.8 with various new changes in features and team workflow.

Since Parrot GNU/Linux distro is based on Debian, Parrot 4.8 imports all the updates that were a part of the Debian testing repository in the last six months. If you’re an ethical hacker and pentester, you can sharpen your security lab more than before using this Kali Linux alternate OS.

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Screencasts/Audiocasts/Shows: FuryBSD, Open Source Security Podcast and GNU World Order

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GNU
Linux
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More in Tux Machines

How to Install Latest Java 14 in Ubuntu 18.04, 20.04, Linux Mint

Oracle Java 14 is released. And here's how you can download and install in Ubuntu 18.04 LTS, Ubuntu 20.04 LTS, 19.10 and Linux Mint 18.x, 19.x. Read more

IBM/Red Hat Leveraging COVID-19 for Marketing

  • Automation against the COVID-19 crisis: 4 suggestions to get started

    Without public cloud computing, we wouldn't be able to face the pandemic in the way we are. On-premise data centers have never scaled this fast, and not even the most rigorous capacity planning in the world would have forecasted the resource consumption we face today. News outlets covering the outbreaks would have not been able to cope with an entire planet constantly refreshing the home page in the hope of reading good news (that’s what I do). Hospitals and research facilities publishing dashboards full of virus spread statistics would not have been able to acquire the massive datasets they have as fast as they did. Videoconferencing and streaming platforms wouldn’t be able to serve, exceptionally so far, the enormous amount of the human workforce suddenly forced to work from home. And what is public cloud computing in the end? An astonishing, unprecedented, disciplined, methodical, pervasive amount of automation (and a few other, equally critical things). Automation doesn’t just allow us to cope with the urgency and scale of the demand in the public cloud and inside our data centers. Automation is helping organizations around the world to transition to a work-from-home productivity model. Without automation, the security teams would be hard pressed to install VPN clients across millions of laptops, tablets and smartphones all around the world.

  • UNESCO CodeTheCurve global virtual hackathon: Build your skills and help make a difference

    At least 1.5 billion young people are currently at home due to school closures relating to the global COVID-19 pandemic. One hundred eighty-three countries have been disrupted. Students, parents, and communities continue to cope with social isolation, while exploring how to maintain a sense of normalcy with the sea of online learning content, collaboration tools, and social media platforms available for the world to consume. Conversations that once took place face-to-face have now moved virtual. For students, parents, teachers, educators, and others, home confinement has brought the additional attention and need for an innovative learning paradigm, one centered on practical and real-world digital skills. This is a time that’s especially challenging for the 49% of the global population who lack access to broadband internet. For those who are online, the spread of misinformation and disinformation relating to COVID-19 complicates the situation even further by diminishing confidence in public health guidance by authorities, and has given rise to panic and uncertainty.

i.MX8M Mini Pico-ITX board has a DSP for voice control plus optional AI

Estone’s “EMB-2237-AI” Pico-ITX SBC integrates a “SOM-2237” module that runs Linux on an i.MX8M Mini and adds a DSP for audio. The carrier adds LAN with PoE, MIPI-DSI and -CSI, mics and speakers, and an M.2 slot with Edge TPU AI support. Estone Technology’s EMB-2237-AI is the first SBC we’ve seen to combine the 100 x 72mm Pico-ITX form-factor with an NXP i.MX8M Mini SoC. Other Mini-based SBCs include Seco’s SBC-C61, Boardcon’s sandwich-style EM-IMX8M-MINI, and Garz & Fricke’s recent Tanaro, among others. Read more

Python Programming

  • Python 2.7.18rc1

    Python 2.7.18 release candidate 1 is a testing release for Python 2.7.18, the last release of Python 2.

  • Python 2.7.18 release candidate 1 available

    A first release candidate for Python 2.7.18 is now available for download. Python 2.7.18 will be the last release of the Python 2.7 series, and thus Python 2.

  • Python Software Foundation: Python Software Foundation Fellow Members for Q1 2020

    Congratulations! Thank you for your continued contributions. We have added you to our Fellow roster online. The above members have contributed to the Python ecosystem by teaching Python, creating education material, contributing to circuitpython, contributing to and maintaining packaging, organizing Python events and conferences, starting Python communities in their home countries, and overall being great mentors in our community. Each of them continues to help make Python more accessible around the world. To learn more about the new Fellow members, check out their links above. Let's continue to recognize Pythonistas all over the world for their impact on our community. The criteria for Fellow members is available online: https://www.python.org/psf/fellows/. If you would like to nominate someone to be a PSF Fellow, please send a description of their Python accomplishments and their email address to psf-fellow at python.org. We are accepting nominations for quarter 2 through May 20, 2020.

  • How to Make an Instagram Bot With Python and InstaPy

    What do SocialCaptain, Kicksta, Instavast, and many other companies have in common? They all help you reach a greater audience, gain more followers, and get more likes on Instagram while you hardly lift a finger. They do it all through automation, and people pay them a good deal of money for it. But you can do the same thing—for free—using InstaPy! In this tutorial, you’ll learn how to build a bot with Python and InstaPy, which automates your Instagram activities so that you gain more followers and likes with minimal manual input. Along the way, you’ll learn about browser automation with Selenium and the Page Object Pattern, which together serve as the basis for InstaPy.

  • Sending Encrypted Messages from JavaScript to Python via Blockchain

    Last year, I worked with the Capacity team on the Crypto stamp project, the first physical postage stamp with a unique digital twin, issued by the Austrian Postal Service (Österreichische Post AG). Those stamps are mainly intended as collectibles, but their physical "half" can be used as valid postage on packages or letters, and a QR code on that physical stamp links to a website presenting the digital collectible. Our job (at Capacity Blockchain Solutions) was to build that digital collectible, the website at crypto.post.at, and the back-end service delivering both public meta data and the back end for the website. I specifically did most of the work on the Ethereum Smart Contract for the digital collectible, a "non-fungible token" (NFT) using the ERC-721 standard (publicly visible), as well as the back-end REST service, which I implemented in Python (based on Flask and Web3.py). The coding for the website was done by colleagues, of course using JavaScript for the dynamic elements.

  • Unpacking in Python: Beyond Parallel Assignment

    Unpacking in Python refers to an operation that consists of assigning an iterable of values to a tuple (or list) of variables in a single assignment statement. As a complement, the term packing can be used when we collect several values in a single variable using the iterable unpacking operator, *. Historically, Python developers have generically referred to this kind of operation as tuple unpacking. However, since this Python feature has turned out to be quite useful and popular, it's been generalized to all kinds of iterables. Nowadays, a more modern and accurate term would be iterable unpacking. In this tutorial, we'll learn what iterable unpacking is and how we can take advantage of this Python feature to make our code more readable, maintainable, and pythonic. Additionally, we'll also cover some practical examples of how to use the iterable unpacking feature in the context of assignments operations, for loops, function definitions, and function calls.

  • Spin the table: Solution!