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OSS

Increasing Lab Efficiency with an Open Source LIMS

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OSS

A Laboratory Information Management System (LIMS) is a software-based laboratory and information management system that provides streamlined workflow automation and management. This type of software is typically used in analytical laboratories such as R&D labs, in-process testing labs and quality assurance labs.

A LIMS seeks to embrace the way you work, offering single sample, batch samples and manual or automated methods, producing reports for internal or external customer use. Management of resources is an important characteristic of planning work allocation against availability and for auto analysers around calibration and maintenance schedules.

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IPFire 2.25 - Core Update 149 released

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Linux
OSS
Security

We have been busy baking another large update for you which is full of oozy goodness. It includes an updated toolchain based on GCC 10 and glibc 2.32 and we have added a lot of tuning which makes IPFire 33% faster on some systems.

IPFire is based on glibc 2.32, the standard library for all C programs, and GCC 10.2, the GNU Compiler Collection. Both bring various bug fixes and improvements.

The most notable change is that we have decided to remove a mitigation Spectre 2 which caused that user space programs in IPFire were running about 50% slower due to using a microcode feature which is called "retpoline". Those "return trampolines" disable the branch prediction engine in out-of-order processors which was considered to help with mitigating leaking any information from any unaccessible kernel space.

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Update devices remotely with open source tools

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OSS

The ability to access, connect, and manage multiple devices remotely through a single account is important. Going a step further, being able to completely update devices remotely is another way for sysadmins to reduce effort and minimize headaches.

UpdateHub is an open source solution that allows you to do complete device updates, including firmware and bootloaders, remotely. Its goal is to make it easier to do device updates and reduce rework and risk, whether you're updating thousands of devices or managing small deployments. UpdateHub handles all aspects of over-the-air (OTA) updates, including package integrity and authenticity, while you take care of your other work.

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Delightful Free and Open Source ASCII Art Tools

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OSS

ASCII art is a graphic design technique that relies primarily on computers for presentation and consists of pictures put together from characters defined by the ASCII (American Standard Code for Information Interchange) standard. These characters are letters, numbers and special characters such as # / and \. ASCII art is as much a constituent element of the internet as emoticons, cats, or acronyms such as ROTFL and LOL.

ASCII art was invented, in large part, because early printers lacked graphics ability. Characters were used to replace graphic marks. Dot matrix printers designed for bulk printing often used ASCII art to print large banners, to help distinguish different print jobs from different users. ASCII art was also used in early e-mail when images could not be embedded.

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Best Free and Open Source Media Centers

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OSS

The majority of Linux distributions come supplied with a wide range of software that lets individuals use their PC to watch movies and television programs, listen to a music collection, and view photos. However, if you are looking for a more harmonious approach, turning your Linux box into a state of the art media center with an integrated easy-to-use interface, media center software will be just the ticket.

In the media center department, Linux has a fairly narrow range to choose from. Fortunately, the software featured in this article ticks all the boxes. We have also chosen to include some distributions which are dedicated media centers, as they significantly simplify the installation process particularly on esoteric hardware. At the heart of each of these distributions is Kodi.

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Open Usage Commons: Google’s Initiative to Manage Trademark for Open Source Projects Runs into Controversy

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Google
OSS

Back in July, Google announced a new organization named Open Usage Commons. The aim of the organization is to help “projects protect their project identity through programs such as trademark management and usage guidelines”.

Google believes that “creating a neutral, independent ownership for these trademarks gives contributors and consumers peace of mind regarding their use of project names in a fair and transparent way”.

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Wiki.js: A Modern Open-source Wiki Engine for the Enterprise\

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OSS

Whenever there is a mention of a Wiki, the first thing that always come to thoughts is: Wikipedia.org. So first let's draw a like between Wiki and Wikipedia.

A Wiki is a software that built to ease collaborative writing and editing processes for teams. They are designed with a specific goal to provide productive writing environment for writers and editors, as well as a set of management tools for moderators and managers.

Wikis have been around since the dawn of the modern internet as we knew it, and the most popular Wiki system is MediaWiki which Wikipedia uses.

Over the years we used many wiki engines in work, starting from MediaWiki, DokuWiki, PmWiki, Wikkawiki, and TiddlyWiki. All of them are still popular wiki engines with loyal communities.

[...]

Wiki.js is a fully customizable and modular wiki engine written entirely in JavaScript. It comes with a rich set of features, and works smoothly on different systems and environments.

It's also a blazing fast web application, with an eye-candy design, furthermore, It supports many database interfaces with primary support for PostgreSQL (Note that the other database engines may be dropped in the next major release).

With a developer-friendly tool set, developer can integrate Wiki.js with any existing system as they can build modules, and create custom themes for it.

Wiki.js is a perfect solution for scientists, researchers, business managers, writers, historians, software developers and technical writers. It's also a polished solution for the enterprise. Here in this article we will explain why.

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Best Free and Open Source Load Balancers

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OSS

Load balancing is defined as the methodical and efficient distribution of network or application traffic across multiple servers in a server farm. Each load balancer sits between client devices and backend servers, receiving and then distributing incoming requests to any available server capable of fulfilling them.

The underlying concept is simple but powerful. Imagine you’re working with a website that needs to serve a huge number of users. Currently, the domain points to the IP address of a single web server. Responding to each request consumes some fraction of the server’s resources. When the server is using all of its resources, it will either take longer to respond to requests or the requests will fail entirely and the user experience will suffer. You can add more RAM, more storage capacity, and, in some cases, additional CPU cores, but you can’t scale forever. Enter load balancers.

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3 open source alternatives to Confluence

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OSS

One of the most important things to do well in a modern enterprise is to collect company knowledge. Organizations need shared workspaces where individuals and teams can collaborate and share their experience and knowledge. This makes knowledge-management systems essential in today's agile environments.

Some companies use Confluence, others use GSuite, and still others use SharePoint. But they're all proprietary software, which means they don't offer their source code for you to audit or modify. If you are uncomfortable entering your company's shared knowledge into software that you don't own or control, the open source projects BlueSpice, XWiki, and DokuWiki are excellent alternatives.

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Free Software (and OSS) Leftovers

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OSS
  • Where’s the Yelp for open-source tools?

    We’d like an easy way to judge open-source programs. It can be done. But easily? That’s another matter. When it comes to open source, you can’t rely on star power.

    The “wisdom of the crowd” has inspired all sorts of online services wherein people share their opinions and guide others in making choices. The Internet community has created many ways to do this, such as Amazon reviews, Glassdoor (where you can rate employers), and TripAdvisor and Yelp (for hotels, restaurants, and other service providers). You can rate or recommend commercial software, too, such as on mobile app stores or through sites like product hunt. But if you want advice to help you choose open-source applications, the results are disappointing.

    It isn’t for lack of trying. Plenty of people have created systems to collect, judge, and evaluate open-source projects, including information about a project’s popularity, reliability, and activity. But each of those review sites – and their methodologies – have flaws.

    [...]

    Solomon Hykes, Docker’s co-founder, strongly disagrees. “GitHub stars are a scam. This bullshit metric is so pervasive, and GitHub’s chokehold on the open-source community so complete, that maintainers have to distort their workflows to fit the ‘GitHub model’ or risk being publicly shamed by industry analysts. What a disgrace.”

    Hykes isn’t the only one who views GitHub stars as a misleading flop. Fintan Ryan, a Gartner senior director, thinks stars are just a game that confuses marketing and the code that’s actually on GitHub. And Microsoft project manager for open-source development on Azure, Ralph Squillace, tweeted, “In my opinion and for Microsoft project [engineering] and management they are worthless. [But] There are always people who seize on them anyway.”

  • How Nextcloud simplified the signup process for decentralization

    When you download the mobile or desktop app, the first thing you see is a choice for "Log in" or "Sign up with a provider."

  • Community Member Monday: Pranam Lashkari (Collabora/GSoC)

    Today we’re talking to Pranam Lashkari from our Indian community, who is working in the LibreOffice ecosystem at Collabora, improving the web-based version of the suite…

  • Hello world from Eostre Emily Danne, intern with the FSF tech team

    In my hobby work, I've worked on making OS installs highly reproducible - my / is a read-only squashfs image that gets periodically rebuilt, my /etc is a git repo, and I keep my /home distributed across a few machines via Syncthing. At the FSF, I'm applying that experience by reimplementing some infrastructure as neat little scripted installs. Without revealing too much about our infrastructure, we have some systems that were created using forgotten knowledge by previous generations of sysadmins; it's my job to turn the arcane shell invocations in their ~/.bash_history files into something we can eventually manage with Ansible, though for now I'll just be writing shell scripts that do the same thing.

    This also comes as Trisquel is about to release version 9.0, so I'll probably end up testing that too.

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More in Tux Machines

Games: Discover, Overland and DOSBox on Chromebooks

     
  • Another Discord voice chat overlay for Linux appears with 'Discover'

    Since the official Discord client doesn't currently support the Overlay on Linux, it's up to the community and another has been released named Discover. Not to be confused with the KDE application store, which is also named Discover. The Discover overlay for Discord was created by the same people as the last one we wrote about. This time, it's a little different. They're not relying on Discord's StreamKit and it instead interacts with the Discord client directly. This means it could expand to support other chat applications too in future perhaps, plus they said it should also be "lighter on system resources and less hack-and-slash included than discord-overlay".

  • Post-apocalyptic road-trip strategy Overland has a big 1.2 update with an all-dogs mode

    Possibly one of the most stylish turn-based strategy games around and one that's also rather difficult, Overland just had a big 1.2 update released with some funny new additions. A post-apocalyptic road-trip game all about making tough decisions. You thought XCOM 2 was difficult? Overland can be quite on the brutal side. Small maps that don't give you a lot of wiggle room, with one misstep it might all be over. Every noise you make only brings weird creatures closer and you've got to get moving across the United States. [...] Finding another dog and inviting them into my crew might be the sweetest thing I've seen in a turn-based strategy game, as they both give a little "woof" and wag their tails and suddenly I've got a two-dog crew driving across the USA during the end of the world. It's weirdly wholesome, until one of them dies that is — so sad.

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  • Revisit childhood games with DOSBox on your Chromebook

    I’m back at it! I spent the better part of yesterday morning tinkering with virtual machines and the Linux container on my Chromebook to see was sort of shenanigans I could get myself into. Somewhere along the way, I decided to fiddle with MS-DOS. More on that later. Along the way, I discovered a nifty little app that I had never heard of until this week. Just to be clear, this application is not new. In fact, it’s been around for nearly two decades and its sole purpose is to emulate DOS in an x86 environment. [...] There you go. You’re all set. You can now launch DOSBox from the terminal by just typing or you can open it with the app icon that is now in your app launcher. I’m sure you’re now wondering what you can actually do with DOSBox. Don’t worry. We’ll get to that next. As I mentioned above, DOSBox has been reworked to bring countless older video games directly to the web by allowing users to play in the browser. Chances are decent that, if you are looking for one of your favorite childhood games, it’s available in a browser-based version. Sites such as playclassic.games use this very technology to run games like Oregon Trail, DOOM, and Civilization I&II. Anyway, you can use DOSBox to do the very same thing locally on your Chromebook. Here’s how to get your favorite MS-DOS games on Chrome OS using DOSBox. First, we will need a game to play. For many DOS games, you can download the .exe file and run the game directly from that file. Other games, like the example we’re using, has an installation file. That file will create the .exe file that will launch the game. In honor of all the Intel Gemini Lake Chromebooks out there, we will be installing the cult classic Commander Keen. If you have no clue what I’m talking about, most Chromebook code names and baseboards are named after video game or animated characters. The original Google Cr-48 is code-named Mario. More recent devices powered by Intel’s Gemini Lake processors are named after characters from ID Software’s Commander Keen series of video games.

Python Programming

  • Ternary Search Algorithm: Explained with example.
  • Robot Framework with Selenium and Python: All You Need to Know

    With 5000+ stars and 1500+ forks on GitHub, Robot framework has been a go-to-option for many organizations who are aiming for Agile and Test Driven Development (TDD) where developers should write functional code only when there is a test that has failed. Robot framework allows acceptance testing, behaviour driven testing, Robotic Process Automation (RPA), and Acceptance test-driven development (ATDD). It offers an extensible keyword driven approach to perform automation testing. The learning curve is simple as you don’t need to have a programming experience to get started with the Robot framework. Robot framework is written in Python, however, it is not restricted to that. You can implement keywords in Robot framework using Python, Java, JavaScript, Perl, .Net and PHP.

  • How and why I built a menu planning application: What's on the Menu?

    The application that I build can, of course, be used for searching recipes. Additionally, a list of persons could be maintained with their list of allergies, favourite ingredients and when the user decides to plan a meal or cook for them, then appropriate recipes would be suggested which fulfils the needs of the people being planned for. It also learns to suggest recipes based on previous selections.

  • PyCharm: Webinar Recording: “From The Docs: PyCharm Skills, Beginner to Advanced” with Alla Redko

    PyCharm has broad, useful, up-to-date documentation. How does it get made? Who works on it? What are some hidden gems? Last week we had a webinar covering this with Alla Redko, technical writer for PyCharm, and the recording is now available.

  • Mixing text and chemistry toolkits

    This is part of a series of essays about using chemfp to work with SD files at the record and simple text level. Chemfp has a text toolkit to read and write SDF and SMILES files as records, rather than molecules. It also has a chemistry toolkit I/O API to have a consistent way to handle structure input and output when working with the OEChem, RDKit, and Open Babel toolkits. In this essay I'll combine the two, so chemfp reads records from an SD file, which are then passed to a chemistry toolkit for further parsing, then chemfp adds a data item back to the original record instead of converting the toolkits molecule into a new SDF record.

  • Colin Watson: Porting Launchpad to Python 3: progress report

    Launchpad still requires Python 2, which in 2020 is a bit of a problem. Unlike a lot of the rest of 2020, though, there’s good reason to be optimistic about progress. I’ve been porting Python 2 code to Python 3 on and off for a long time, from back when I was on the Ubuntu Foundations team and maintaining things like the Ubiquity installer. When I moved to Launchpad in 2015 it was certainly on my mind that this was a large body of code still stuck on Python 2. One option would have been to just accept that and leave it as it is, maybe doing more backporting work over time as support for Python 2 fades away. I’ve long been of the opinion that this would doom Launchpad to being unmaintainable in the long run, and since I genuinely love working on Launchpad - I find it an incredibly rewarding project - this wasn’t something I was willing to accept. We’re already seeing some of our important dependencies dropping support for Python 2, which is perfectly reasonable on their terms but which is starting to become a genuine obstacle to delivering important features when we need new features from newer versions of those dependencies. It also looks as though it may be difficult for us to run on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS (we’re currently on 16.04, with an upgrade to 18.04 in progress) as long as we still require Python 2, since we have some system dependencies that 20.04 no longer provides. And then there are exciting new features like type hints and async/await that we’d like to be able to use.

Screencasts/Audiocasts/Shows: elementary OS, Zorin OS, Emacs, Vim and Artificial intelligence as Free Software

  • Early Look at elementary OS 6 New Desktop Features - Road to Odin
  • Zorin OS 15.3 Lite overview | Your old computer. New again.

    In this video, I am going to show an overview of Zorin OS 15.3 Lite and some of the applications pre-installed.

  • Boost Productivity With Emacs, Org Mode and Org Agenda

    Do you use "productivity apps"? If so, Emacs, Org Mode and Org Agenda lets you make todo lists, schedule tasks, manage projects and much more. I've never been a "todo list" or "appointment scheduling" kind of person but the more I play with Emacs and Org, the more I think that I should be doing these things.

  • The Untapped Magic Of The Vim Runtime Directories

    Prior to using plugin managers vim plugins were handled in a completely different way, you would make use of all these special run time directories and be required to move the files for each plugin into the specified directories, while they're not used as much anymore there's no reason why you can't make use of them in a modern vim configuration.

  • Artificial intelligence as Free Software with Vincent Lequertier

    For the seventh episode of our Software Freedom Podcast we talk with Vincent Lequertier about transparency, fairness, and accessibility as crucial criteria for artificial intelligence (AI) and why it is important for our society to release AI software under a Free Software license. Our guest for the seventh episode of the Software Freedom Podcast is Vincent Lequertier. Vincent is a member of the Free Software Foundation Europe and is researching AI in the health care sector. Together we discuss the use and development of artificial intelligence from a Free Software perspective. Vincent explains what AI actually is and why it is important for our society to release AI software under a Free Software license. We discuss why the criteria of transparency, fairness and accessibility are important when working with artificial intelligence and how they relate to Free Software. Finally, we also discover what challenges AI is facing in the future and whether we should be afraid of the increasing use of this technology in our daily lives.

NVIDIA GeForce vs. AMD Radeon Vulkan Neural Network Performance With NCNN

With having added Tencent's NCNN tests to the Phoronix Test Suite with Vulkan acceleration, here is a look at the real-world impact by using RealSR-NCNN for scaling up with RealSR. Various NVIDIA GeForce and AMD Radeon graphics cards were tested for this initial NCNN / RealSR-NCNN Vulkan comparison. This is our first time looking at how well Vulkan performs in this area with the current state of the Linux drivers. The GeForce hardware was tested with the latest 450 series proprietary driver while on the Radeon side it was with Linux 5.9 and Mesa 20.3-devel using the RADV Vulkan driver. One of the Tencent developers working on NCNN has commented as well that using RADV's ACO offers a big boost for the performance, which fortunately is the current default for the RADV Vulkan driver. Read more Also: Phoronix Test Suite / OpenBenchmarking.org Now Has 600 Different Tests/Benchmarks