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Sci/Tech

Box Plot

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KDE
Sci/Tech

In one of our previous blog posts we wrote about the new development in the spreadsheet and the extension in the statistics dialog that now make use of new visualization elements. One of these elements is the Box Plot...

Of course, this new visualization type is not only available in the statistics dialog in the spreadsheet, but it can also be used in the Worksheet, in the area where LabPlot plots the data. In this blog post we will introduce this important new development, as it is going to be part of the next release.

A box plot (also known as a box-and-whisker plot) provides a quick visual summary of the important aspects of a distribution of values contained in a data set...

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Computer scientist showcases world's first RISC-V-based Linux PC coupled with an AMD RX 6700 XT GPU

Filed under
GNU
Linux
Sci/Tech

Back when Nvidia was announcing the intentions to buy ARM and many industry analysts immediately expressed their concern regarding the status of the ARM architecture that might not remain open source for too long, SiFive came out with a big push for its RISC-V CPU architecture as a true open source alternative. Similar to the Windows-on-ARM initiative, SiFive promised to deliver a general use PC platform that would allow software developers to adapt the Windows and Linux-based code for the RISC-V processors. It only took SiFive a few months to launch its first PC motherboard called the HiFive Unmatched, which is based on the U7 SoC. However, since the RISC-V community is not that big, development on the PC platform is not exactly fast. Interestingly enough, Nvidia recently managed to enable RTX 3000 support for ARM-based laptops, and, almost at the same time, a RISC-V enthusiast managed to make an AMD RX 6700 XT work on Linux-based HiFive Unmatched system.

This is essentially a double milestone for the RISC-V community. Hackster.io reports that computer scientist René Rebe first managed to make the HiFive Unmatched run Linux, and then added support for the Radeon RX 6700 XT GPU through the Mesa Gallium 21.1.5 driver. Apparently, the U7 SoC is not properly supported in Linux, but Rebe was able to work his magic and patched the Linux kernel to support both the RISC-V architecture and the RDNA2 GPU in around 10 hours. The GPU is not fully functional as of yet. It can display the GUI, can render 3D graphics in accelerated-mode and also decode hi-res videos, but cannot run games. Nevertheless, this is still an impressive achievement that is not facilitated by the SiFive team itself.

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Meet the open-source software powering NASA's Ingenuity Mars Helicopter

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Sci/Tech

So they turned to F Prime, a reusable, multi-mission flight software framework designed for CubeSats, small spacecraft, and instruments. The program was initially developed in 2013 by a team led by Tim Canham at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Southern California with the aim of creating a low-cost, portable, pliable software architecture option that would allow components written for one application to be reused easily in other applications and run on a range of processors.

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Following NetBSD, DragonFlyBSD Now Has "COVID"

Filed under
BSD
Sci/Tech

There is now covid going around the BSDs... DragonFlyBSD has ported it from NetBSD.

Yes, COVID as in COVID-19 / SARS-CoV-2 but this is actually an open-source package containing the SARS-CoV-2 genome and a manual (man page) encouraging vaccination and other steps to help prevent the spread of COVID.

DragonFlyBSD lead developer Matthew Dillon ported the covid utility from NetBSD. Following that commit this weekend was a follow-up patch for this covid utility now living in DragonFlyBSD world.

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How To Host Counter-Strike: Global Offensive Server on Ubuntu

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Sci/Tech

Counter-Strike: Global Offensive popularly known as CS: GO is one of the most popular games of all time. Released in 1999, the game involves two teams where the Terrorist team tries to plant explosives whereas the Counter-Terrorists team tries to prevent it.

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GNU Scientific Library 2.7 released

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GNU
Sci/Tech

Version 2.7 of the GNU Scientific Library (GSL) is now available. GSL provides a large collection of routines for numerical computing in C.
This release introduces some new features and fixes several bugs. The full NEWS file entry is appended below.

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Needed Free and Open Source Medicine

Filed under
GNU
Sci/Tech

So, what could be the solution? This reminds one of a similar situation in computer software when hardware prices dropped like a stone in water but software costs rose like a helium balloon and became the dominant part of the cost for anyone wishing to use a computer. This was made possible by converting software into a product which offers only the right to use, as opposed to the prevailing practice of allowing the users to do whatever they want with it, as was done in the Unix world before software became proprietary. Thus was born Free Software, launched by a prominent hacker of the time at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Mr. Richard M. Stallman under the project he called GNU’s Not Unix (with the recursive acronym GNU). This is software that gives users the freedom to use, share, study and modify. With those rights, the software became freely downloadable at zero cost, enabling anyone to use even an old computer, and thus making it accessible to virtually anyone. Today the software has grown to be the dominant one among all computing devices.

Can this be a model for medicine too? Yes, indeed. It can. In fact, there are medical systems other than modern medicine that practised this kind of openness. All traditional medical systems were open, as the concept of the ownership of knowledge, such as copyright and patent laws came only very recently. In fact, the first copyright law was enacted only in 1710 by Queen Anne of England and was known as the Statute of Anne. It was actually meant to prevent publishers from controlling the printing and sales of books to benefit only themselves. The statute sought to benefit the authors in order to encourage them to write more for the good of society. That it eventually got to be controlled by publishers is another story altogether.

The point is that, before all that happened, all knowledge was free (well, almost1), and everyone could learn whatever they wanted. Thus, medicines were often prescribed not by just a name, but by giving the recipe to prepare them. This continues to be the custom in systems like Ayurveda, Siddha and Unani systems of medicine developed in India and the Arab world and the Traditional Chinese Medicines (TCM2). But these medical systems may not be acceptable to many who are looking for scientific validation. This, unfortunately, is a drawback of these systems that were created millennia before modern science was born. But it could be easily recified if some researchers in the medical field are open-minded enough to do experiments to validate their medicines and treatment protocols, which have many pieces of anecdotal evidence of success. Alternatively, the government of India could direct its own Central Council for Research in Ayurvedic Sciences (CCRAS) to validate Ayurvedic, Siddha or Unani treatment protocols using modern scientific methods.

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Martian rover has some Linux computers, too

Filed under
Linux
Sci/Tech

NASA’s Perseverance rover is equipped with a Linux-driven, Atom-based CompuLab COMEX-IE38 module designed to compress images. The rover also has a Qualcomm 801 Linux system like its Ingenuity copter, which is embarking on a new scouting mission.

As LinuxGizmos and many other sites reported in February, NASA’s semi-autonomous Ingenuity drone copter is equipped with an embedded Linux computer based on the Qualcomm 801 (formerly Snapdragon 801). Ingenuity, which has since run several successful test flights on Mars, making it the first craft to fly in the atmosphere of an extra-terrestrial planet, uses the Qualcomm 801 via the Qualcomm Flight platform for navigation and camera control and processing.

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BREAKING NEWS: Linux Flies on Mars

Filed under
Linux
Sci/Tech

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is the American space agency responsible for the civilian space program, as well as aeronautics and space research.

A tiny and extremely lightweight helicopter, named Ingenuity, was transported to Mars in NASA’s Perseverance Rover. Ingenuity was deployed on 3 April 2021.

NASA has successfully flown this helicopter on the red planet today.

As it’s primarily a technology demonstration, Ingenuity’s first powered flight on the alien planet was brief. The Mars-copter flew to about 3m, hover, swivel and safely land in its momentous 40 second flight. But it’s a huge step forwards, paving the way for longer flights and the prospect of this technology undertaking reconnaissance missions.

[...]

This is a moment in history for us to remember. An open source operating system built by thousands flies a helicopter on another planet.

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Google operates with a Debian developer to produce COVID-19 research simpler on Linux

Filed under
Google
Debian
Sci/Tech
Ubuntu

“The Bazel team jumped in to help Olek and the COVID-19 research community. Yun Peng, Software Engineer at Google with Olek Wojnar led the team of Bazel and Debian volunteers to move the project forward. The joint effort between Debian and Google has produced some great results, including packaging the Bazel bootstrap variant in 6 months’ time (Debian 11 — released in Late 2021; Ubuntu 21.04 — 22 April 2021),” clarifies Google.

The search giant further says, “Bazel is now available as an easy to install package distributed on Debian and Ubuntu. The extended Google team continues to work with Debian towards the next step of packaging and distributing Tensorflow on Debian and other Linux distributions.”

While Olek Wojnar deserves a lot of credit for this successful partnership, Google has clearly acquired significant praise as well. Not only has the search giant assisted amazingly in this case, yet it has for some time been a companion of both the open-source and Linux communities.

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Raspberry Pi 4 2GB jumps to $45 as 1GB model returns from the dead at $35

Citing chip shortages, Raspberry Pi announced its first price increase, bumping the RPi 4 with 2GB RAM up to $45. Meanwhile, the discontinued RPi 4 1GB has come back to life at $35. In the spirit of Halloween, Raspberry Pi Trading has reanimated the 1GB RAM version of the Raspberry Pi 4 Model B, which it killed off when it dropped the price of the 2GB model from $45 to $35 in Feb. 2020. The company also increased the 2GB price to $45. With the 1GB version returning at its old $35 price, we have essentially turned back the clock to early 2020. (In which case, maybe we could get a second chance on stopping the pandemic.) In the Raspberry Pi blog post announcing the changes, CEO Eben Upton cited industry-wide supply chain issues for its first price increase in Pi history. The chip shortages, combined with heightened demand, have caused severe shortages of the RPi Zero and the RPi4 2GB. Read more

The love/hate relationship the cloud has with Linux

The cloud is run by Linux and open-source. There is no debating that claim at this point. It's fact. And not only does Linux power all of those cloud services we deploy and use, but the hold it has over that particular tech sector is also only going to get stronger as we march into the future. I predict that, over the next five years, the cloud and Linux will become synonymous to the point everyone (from CEOs to end-users) will finally get just how important and powerful the platform is. So it's safe to say, there would be no cloud without Linux. There would also be no cloud-native development, Kubernetes, Docker, virtual machines or containers in general. With that in mind, it should stand to reason that the relationship between Linux and the cloud would be all love. Read more

You Can Now Install the UnityX Desktop in Arch Linux, Here's How

UnityX is the successor of the Unity7 desktop environment created by Canonical for its popular Ubuntu Linux distribution back in 2011 with the Ubuntu 11.04 release. But Canonical pulled the plug on Unity7 after seven years of development, yet the community wasn’t ready for this major change. In May 2020, developer Rudra Saraswat created an unofficial Ubuntu flavor called Ubuntu Unity, which features the good old Unity7 desktop environment. Now, the Ubuntu Unity creator wants to take Unity7 to the next level and created UnityX, a modern, yet simple desktop environment. Read more

PSA: gnome-settings-daemon's MediaKeys API is going away

In 2007, Jan Arne Petersen added a D-Bus API to what was still pretty much an import into gnome-control-center of the "acme" utility I wrote to have all the keys on my iBook working. It switched the code away from remapping keyboard keys to "XF86Audio*", to expecting players to contact the D-Bus daemon and ask to be forwarded key events. In 2013, we added support for controlling media players using MPRIS, as another interface. Fast-forward to 2021, and MPRIS support is ubiquitous, whether in free software, proprietary applications or even browsers. So we'll be parting with the "org.gnome.SettingsDaemon.MediaKeys" D-Bus API. If your application still wants to work with older versions of GNOME, it is recommended to at least quiet the MediaKeys API's unavailability. Read more