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Sci/Tech

The Raspberry Pi Cluster from Outer Space

Filed under
GNU
Linux
Hardware
Sci/Tech

We see a lot of weird and esoteric stuff here at Hackaday, but even by our standards, Bell Lab’s Plan 9 operating system is an oddball. Named after the science fiction film Plan 9 from Outer Space, it was designed to extend the UNIX “everything is a file” mentality to the network. It envisioned a future where utilizing the resources of another computer would be as easy as copying a file. But as desktop computers got more powerful the idea seemed less appealing, and ultimately traditional operating systems won out. Of course, that doesn’t mean you still can’t play around with it.

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Astronomy Software by Any Other Name

Filed under
Software
Sci/Tech

In this article, I introduce another option available for the astronomers out there—specifically, Cartes du Ciel, also known as SkyChart. Similar to other larger astronomy programs, you can use SkyChart from the desktop to the observatory.

SkyChart probably won't be available in your distribution's package management system, so you'll need to go to the main website to download it. DEB, RPM and TAR files are available, so you should be able to use it for just about any distribution. Downloads also are available for other operating systems and for other hardware. You even can download a version to run on a Raspberry Pi.

When you first start Cartes du Ciel, you'll be asked where on the globe your observatory is located.

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GNU Octave 5.1.0 Release

Filed under
GNU
Sci/Tech

GNU Octave version 5.1.0 has been released and is now available for download. An official Windows binary installer is available. For macOS see the installation instructions in the wiki.

This major release improves compatibility with Matlab and contains many new and improved functions. A list of important user-visible changes is available by selecting the Release Notes item in the News menu of the GUI or by typing news at the Octave command prompt.

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Also: GNU Octave 5.1 Released With HiDPI Support, Drops OSMesa Usage

Unix turns 40: The past, present and future of a revolutionary OS

Filed under
OS
Server
Sci/Tech

Forty years ago this summer, a programmer sat down and knocked out in one month what would become one of the most important pieces of software ever created.

In August 1969, Ken Thompson, a programmer at AT&T subsidiary Bell Laboratories, saw the month-long departure of his wife and young son as an opportunity to put his ideas for a new operating system into practice. He wrote the first version of Unix in assembly language for a wimpy Digital Equipment Corp. (DEC) PDP-7 minicomputer, spending one week each on the operating system, a shell, an editor and an assembler.

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KStars v3.1.0 is released!

Filed under
KDE
Sci/Tech

I'm glad to announce KStars first release of 2019: v3.1.0 for MacOS, Linux, and Windows. This release focuses on improvements to stability & performance of KStars. In 3.0.0, we introduced quite a few features which resulted in a few regressions that we worked hard to iron out in this release.

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UNIX: Building The Most Important OS in the World

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OS
Sci/Tech

If you’ve ever used a smartphone, lost track of time browsing through website after website, or played a video game on a Next-Gen console, you have used the Unix operating system or one of its derivatives.

Linux is the spiritual successor to the original Unix system and Mac OSX is built off of Unix. Unix-based or derived systems are used in gigantic server farms, processing nearly all of the world’s Internet traffic. The Internet of Things and other embedded systems use Unix or its successors and Unix-based Linux has even been used in the International Space Station to run essential equipment.

All of this is possible because Kenneth Thompson, Dennis Ritchie, and their colleagues couldn’t watch a beloved project fall victim to corporate cost-cutting.

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9 Best Free Linux Fractal Tools

Filed under
Software
Sci/Tech

A fractal is a geometric shape or quantity which displays self-similarity and non-integer dimension. The property of self-similarity applies where a self-similar object is exactly or approximately similar to a part of itself. If you zoom in on any part of a fractal, you find the same amount of detail as before. It does not simplify.

There are many mathematical structures that are fractals including the Koch snowflake, Peano curve, Sierpinski triangle, Lorenz attractor, and the Mandelbrot set. Fractals also describe many real-world objects, such as crystals, mountain ranges, clouds, river networks, blood vessels, turbulence, and coastlines, that do not correspond to simple geometric shapes.

Fractals are rooted in chaos theory, and because of their nature they are perfect for organic looking artwork and landscapes.

Fractal-generating software is any computer program that generates images of fractals. Linux has a great selection of fractal software to choose from.

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Boosting Open Science Hardware in an academic context: opportunities and challenges

Filed under
Hardware
OSS
Sci/Tech

Experimental science is typically dependent on hardware: equipment, sensors and machines. Open Science Hardware means sharing designs for this equipment that anyone can reuse, replicate, build upon or sell so long as they attribute the developers on whose shoulders they stand. Hardware can also be expanded to encompass other non-digital input to research such as chemicals, cell lines and materials and a growing number of open science initiatives are actively sharing these with few or no restrictions on use.

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Also: The Entire Hardlight VR project is now Open Source

Awards for UNIX and for Security Protocols (Mozilla)

Filed under
OS
Moz/FF
OSS
Security
Sci/Tech
  • The National Inventors Hall of Fame Announces Its 2019 Inductees

    Posthumously honored inventors include Lee; UNIX co-creator Dennis Ritchie; thiazide diuretic pioneers John Baer, Karl H. Beyer Jr., Frederick Novello and James Sprague; hand-held electric drill inventors Duncan Black and Alonzo G. Decker of the popular Black & Decker power tool company; Andrew Higgins, the mastermind behind the Higgins Boats used by American troops landing at Normandy on D-Day; and Joseph Muhler and William Nebergall, creators of the cavity-preventing stannous fluoride toothpaste better known today by the brand name Crest.

  • National Inventors Hall of Fame honors creators of Unix, power drills and more
  • Eric Rescorla Wins the Levchin Prize at the 2019 Real-World Crypto Conference

    The Levchin Prize awards two entrepreneurs every year for significant contributions to solving global, real-world cryptography issues that make the internet safer at scale. This year, we’re proud to announce that our very own Firefox CTO, Eric Rescorla, was awarded one of these prizes for his involvement in spearheading the latest version of Transport Layer Security (TLS). TLS 1.3 incorporates significant improvements in both security and speed, was completed in August and already secures 10% of sites.

    Eric has contributed extensively to many of the core security protocols used in the Internet, including TLS, DTLS, WebRTC, ACME, and the in development IETF QUIC protocol.  Most recently, he was editor of TLS 1.3, which already secures 10% of websites despite having been finished for less than six months. He also co-founded Let’s Encrypt, a free and automated certificate authority that now issues more than a million certificates a day, in order to remove barriers to online encryption and helped HTTPS grow from around 30% of the web to around 75%. Previously, he served on the California Secretary of State’s Top To Bottom Review where he was part of a team that found severe vulnerabilities in multiple electronic voting devices.

  • Great, you've moved your website or app to HTTPS. How do you test it? Here's a tool to make local TLS certs painless

    A Google cyrptoboffin is close to releasing a tool that will hopefully make all of us more secure online.

    Now that most web traffic travels over HTTPS and browser features increasingly expect security, developers really should be creating and testing apps in an HTTPS environment.

    Doing so requires installing a TLS/SSL certificate locally, but the process isn't as easy as it might be. With a bit of effort, devs can generate their own certificate, self-signed or signed by the local root, and install it. Various online tutorials offers ways to do so. There are also projects like minica that aim to ease the pain.

    But it could be easier still, along the lines of Let's Encrypt, a tool that lets websites handle HTTPS traffic through automated certificate issuance and installation.

Taking machine learning to the birds

Filed under
OSS
Sci/Tech

The Cacophony Project's broad vision is to bring back New Zealand's native birds using the latest technology to monitor bird populations and humanely eliminate the introduced predators that are endangering them.

The project started in our founder's backyard to measure the effectiveness of his efforts to protect the birds on his property. From this simple beginning, the project has quickly grown into a system that includes two edge devices, a cloud server, and automatic identification of animals using machine learning. The project has been completely open source from the beginning and sees regular contributions from a wide variety of volunteers.

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More in Tux Machines

New Release of GNU Parallel and New FSF-Endorsed Products From ThinkPenguin

  • GNU Parallel 20190322 ('FridayforFuture') released
    GNU Parallel 20190322 ('FridayforFuture') has been released. It is available for download at: http://ftpmirror.gnu.org/parallel/ The change in signalling makes this release experimental for users that send SIGTERM to GNU Parallel.
  • Seven new devices from ThinkPenguin, Inc. now FSF-certified to Respect Your Freedom
    Thursday, March 21st, 2019 -- The Free Software Foundation (FSF) today awarded Respects Your Freedom (RYF) certification to seven devices from ThinkPenguin, Inc.: The Penguin Wireless G USB Adapter (TPE-G54USB2), the Penguin USB Desktop Microphone for GNU / Linux (TPE-USBMIC), the Penguin Wireless N Dual-Band PCIe Card (TPE-N300PCIED2), the PCIe Gigabit Ethernet Card Dual Port (TPE-1000MPCIE), the PCI Gigabit Ethernet Card (TPE-1000MPCI), the Penguin 10/100 USB Ethernet Network Adapter v1 (TPE-100NET1), and the Penguin 10/100 USB Ethernet Network Adapter v2 (TPE-100NET2). The RYF certification mark means that these products meet the FSF's standards in regard to users' freedom, control over the product, and privacy. [...] "I've always believed that the biggest difficulty for users in the free software world has been in obtaining compatible hardware, and so I'm glad to be participating in the expansion of the RYF program" said Christopher Waid, founder and CEO of ThinkPenguin. ThinkPenguin, Inc. was one of the first companies to receive RYF certification, gaining their first and second certifications in 2013, and adding several more over the years since. "ThinkPenguin has excelled for years in providing users with the tools they need to control their own computing. We are excited by these new additions today, and look forward to what they have in store for the future," said the FSF's licensing and compliance manager, Donald Robertson, III.
  • FSF Certifies A USB Microphone For Respecting Your Freedom Plus Some Network Adapters
    The Free Software Foundation has announced the latest batch of hardware it has certified for "Respecting Your Freedom" as part of its RYF program. Seven more devices from Linux-focused e-tailer Think Penguin have been certified for respecting your freedoms and privacy in that no binary blobs are required for use nor any other restrictions on the hardware's use or comprising the user's privacy.

Events: Red Hat Summit 2019, SUSECON Featuring Microsoft, and LibrePlanet About to Start

  • More keynotes hitting the stage at Red Hat Summit 2019
    Red Hat Summit 2019 is the industry’s premier enterprise open source technology conference. A place to come together to share ideas, collaborate with peers, learn from the work of others and celebrate advancements in open source. This year, we encourage you to think beyond your normal day-to-day, beyond the limitations and challenges you face, expand your possibilities to think about AND. No longer about having to choose, what if you could scale your technology AND culture to meet your needs to help you not just survive, but thrive in a changing business landscape? Think Linux AND containers. Think public AND private cloud. That’s what you’ll find at Red Hat Summit.
  • Red Hat Summit 2019 session highlights: Hybrid cloud infrastructure
    Cloud computing should not be a world that is dominated by public clouds or on-premises datacenters; instead, it should be a blend of technologies that create the concept of hybrid cloud. The Red Hat Global Customer Tech Outlook for 2019 further details this point, with only six percent of respondents planning a pure public cloud strategy, while 30 percent have a hybrid cloud strategy. So what exactly is the hybrid cloud mix? And how can you handle multiple public clouds plus on-premises resources? What about Kubernetes and containers? How is anyone REALLY doing this? At Red Hat Summit 2019, May 7-9 in Boston, Red Hat aims to address these questions and more around hybrid cloud infrastructure and strategies. From Kubernetes and Linux containers to hybrid cloud storage and functions-as-a-service (FaaS), presenters at Red Hat Summit will break these concepts down using real world examples to highlight the power, scale and innovation of hybrid cloud infrastructure in modern computing environments.
  • SUSECON 2019 Sponsors, Keynotes and Breakout Sessions Announced! [Ed: Microsoft a sponsor and thus keynote talk]
    At SUSECON 2019, we will be collaborating with our partners to showcase open source business technologies that transform.
  • LibrePlanet is coming in two days! Here's how you can participate
    It's almost time for LibrePlanet -- the Free Software Foundation annual conference and associate members' meeting -- and we couldn't be more excited! There is so much going on at the conference, great events in the evenings, a raffle, an exhibit hall, and an amazing collection of free software enthusiasts from around the world. We hope to see you there! Registration may be closed, but you can still register for the conference on-site, space permitting. In the event you can't make it to LibrePlanet, at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, MA, there are ways to get involved! We have three ways to enable remote participation: IRC, mumble, and, of course, the livestream. We provide these resources, along with video streaming, so that free software supporters who are unable to travel to the US for economic and/or political reasons are still able to participate.

Release of HardenedBSD 1200058.4 and BSD Now 290

Announcing CrossOver 18.5.0 and Games for GNU/Linux

  • Announcing CrossOver 18.5.0
    CrossOver 18.5 includes the FAudio library to provide superior audio support for games. FAudio is a reimplementation of XAudio2, a low-level audio library for Windows. This improvement broadens CrossOver’s game compatibility and resolves a wide variety of audio bugs on both macOS and Linux. CrossOver 18.5 resolves several Office 2010 bugs related to activation and licensing. The first involves a change which disrupted the activation status of Office 2010 bottles upgraded from CrossOver 17.x and earlier to CrossOver 18.x. Users who experienced persistent activation requests on earlier releases of CrossOver 18 should be able to successfully activate Office 2010 on CrossOver 18.5. We have also resolved a bug which caused Office 2010 to attempt and fail configuration on every launch for some users. On Linux, CrossOver 18.5 supports the very latest release of Office 365 and resolves a sign-in bug impacting Office 365 Home users. Finally, CrossOver 18.5 includes preliminary support for OneNote 2016 on Linux.
  • CrossOver 18.5 Released - Based On Wine 4.0 While Pulling In FAudio
    CodeWeavers, the main sponsor/contributor to the Wine project, announced the release today of their commercial CrossOver 18.5 software for more easily running Windows games and applications on Linux and macOS.
  • The GOG Spring Sale is now live, tons of titles discounted with flash deals each day
    Someone please lock away my wallet, as the GOG Spring Sale is live and it's full of discounted Linux games. For this huge sale, GOG are also doing Flash Deals so every 24 hours a couple of games will get a higher than usual discount so you will need to keep going back for the best.
  • Valve show off their new Steam Library design and a new Events page
    At GDC today, Valve did their presentation and they finally showed off the new design coming for the Library page and more. For those with a growing backlog of games, the Steam Library as it is right now is so basic it's just incredibly unhelpful. Going by what they've shown off, it's actually looking a serious amount better. Firstly, it has a home page for your Steam Library, to go over some recent games and recently updated titles, as well as show a slice of your friends list. That's a pretty handy feature, especially if you have a game you play regularly enough it will probably be quicker and easier to get going the next time.
  • You can now try XCOM 2 free until March 25th, also on a big sale
    Firaxis Games have put their strategy game XCOM 2 up to play for free between now and March 25th, so if you've been on the fence this is a great opportunity. It's quite easily my absolute favourite strategy game on Linux, much more interesting than the first of the newer XCOM games (although that's still damn fun too). It does have a few niggles and some performance issues here and there but that's not down to Feral Interactive's port as it's not much different on Windows.
  • Humble Store are giving away Tacoma during their Indie Mega Week sale
    Humble Store has another free game from you to grab with Tacoma, along with their Indie Mega Week sale now live. I enjoyed my Tacoma play-through, done in a single sitting and I think it's worth grabbing and actually playing. You can see my previous thoughts here. You can grab your free copy here, which requires subbing to their newsletter.