Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

Gaming

Games: EA, Lutris, and Canonical's Second Thoughts After Valve's Response

Filed under
Gaming
  • EA calls loot boxes 'surprise mechanics' and compares them to Kinder Eggs

    Confusion was a theme—over language, games, the questions—with highlights including one MP asking if Epic can close down text messages. He meant chat, but for a moment Epic's representatives struggled to explain that they don't have control over SMS. Later, Fortnite gets compared to a casino.

  • Lutris is an excellent gaming platform!

    In Linux, typically, when there's a solution to a problem, there are seven other solutions to the same problem. But not so when it comes to Linux gaming. Here, we only have several incomplete solutions to a rather big problem. Steam did massively improve the situation, and it looks like the most mature and likely technology slash software to bring parity to the Linux gaming scene. Still, it's not a perfect fix.

    There are many Linux games that don't quite fit the Steam category [sic]. You have old games, indie games with their distribution channels, Windows games that need WINE, and so forth. If you want to have all these under a single umbrella, there isn't really a solution. Well. Maybe. A challenger appears: Lutris. Let's have a review.

  • Valve looking to drop support for Ubuntu 19.10 and up due to Canonical's 32bit decision (updated)

    Update: Canonical are now saying 32bit libraries will be "frozen" and not entirely dropped.

Wine-Staging 4.11 Released With Its 800+ Patches On Top Of Wine

Filed under
Software
Gaming

Just hours after releasing Wine 4.11, the team maintaining the experimental/testing version of Wine -- Wine-Staging -- issued their release with more than 800 patches re-based on top.

Wine-Staging 4.11 is at 818 patches on top of upstream Wine, which is lower than previous releases thanks to a number of patches getting upstreamed this month.

Read more

Games: Ascii Patrol Game, Canonical/Valve, and Weekend Picks

Filed under
Gaming
  • Play Ascii Patrol Game in Linux Terminal!

    Typing a command in the Linux terminal is one of the exciting things. We are like a king who is giving orders to his soldiers to do certain things. Terminal on Linux has many benefits when you understand the commands that exist. In addition to executing a command, we can play games at the terminal.

    Playing games on the Linux terminal is one of entertainment. There are many Terminal-based games that you can play on the Linux terminal, one of which is Ascii Patroll. This game is inspired by the classic game "Moon Patrol", and we can run it on the CLI.

  • Valve Will Not Be Officially Supporting Ubuntu 19.10+

    The planned dropping of 32-bit support on Ubuntu saga continues... Well known Valve Linux developer Pierre-Loup Griffais has said they plan to officially stop supporting Ubuntu for Steam on Linux.

  • Valve looking to drop support for Ubuntu 19.10 and up due to Canonical's 32bit decision

    Things are starting to get messy, after Canonical announced the end of 32bit support from Ubuntu 19.10 onwards, Valve have now responded.

    [...]

    I can't say I am surprised by Valve's response here. Canonical pretty clearly didn't think it through enough on how it would affect the desktop. It certainly seems like Canonical also didn't speak to enough developers first.

    Perhaps this will give Valve a renewed focus on SteamOS? Interestingly, Valve are now funding some work on KWin (part of KDE).

  • What are you playing this weekend and what do you think about it? It's mostly Dota Underlords for me

    Let's lighten the mood a bit shall we? It's question time here on GamingOnLinux! Let's have a talk about what you've been playing recently.

    I will of course go first: Dota Underlords. I have quite the sweet spot for it already, even though I'm absolutely terrible at it. This might be the game to finally get me to kick my unhealthy Rocket League obsession, which is amazing considering how radically different they are. I adore strategy games though and unlike normal Dota, I don't need to think ridiculously quickly. Since you don't need any kind of reflexes for it, sitting back and relaxing with the Steam Controller is another reason I quite like Dota Underlords. In the evenings on weekends especially, I can be quite the lazy-gamer, so anything that allows me to kick back with it is likely to get my vote.

    After only being out for a few days, it's already annihilated the player record for Artifact. Artifact's all-time high was only just over 60K whereas Underlords has sailed past 190K, although that shouldn't be too surprising since Underlords is free and isn't rammed full of micro-transactions (yet?) and it helps being on mobile as well of course (According to one of the SteamDB folk, the mobile players are being counted too).

Games: Dota Underlords, Streets of Rogue, Jupiter Hell

Filed under
Gaming
  • What deals Linux fans should look out for this weekend

    Here's a little rundown of some good deals going for Linux users, if you're after something new come and have a look. That is, if you can pull yourself away from the free Dota Underlords from Valve which is currently pulling in masses of players (over 150K right now!).

  • Streets of Rogue, one of my favourite games is leaving Early Access on July 12th

    I don't know where to start with Streets of Rogue, it starts off pretty tame and as you get further into it the whole game just becomes mental.

    What is it? Well, it's hard to properly pin it down to a genre because it's such a tasty mix. It takes inspiration from games like The Binding of Isaac, Nuclear Throne and Deus Ex to create something entirely unique. It all takes place in a procedurally generated city, one where anything can happen. One minute you're stick in the middle of rival gangs, another you're being chased by cannibals. The AI interactions can be seriously amusing too, very fun to mess with them.

  • You can now try the pre-release demo of the brutal roguelike Jupiter Hell for the weekend

    ChaosForge are giving you a chance to play the demo of Jupiter Hell before everyone else, just for the weekend.

    What is it? A crowdfunded turn-based sci-fi roguelike with modern 3D graphics and an incredible atmosphere. Seriously, while it is turn-based it has the ferocious intensity of a real-time game, it's pretty amazing. It's one I personally pledged towards, although I've been given earlier access by the developer. I've had a seriously good time with it, as shown off before multiple times here on GamingOnLinux (like here and here).

Games: Vengeful Heart, Steam Woes/Matters, Failed State, Himno - The Silent Melody, Event Horizon - Frontier, Cecconoid

Filed under
Gaming
  • Vengeful Heart, a revenge-themed visual novel styled like old PC-98 visual novels

    It takes something a little different to get me interested in a Visual Novel since it's not my usual preference and Vengeful Heart is one such game. It's a tale of capitalism, companionship and cyberpunk with a focus around revenge.

    Built with Ren'Py, Vengeful Heart has a seriously good style going for it based on the classics from the PC-98, a retro line-up of Japanese 16-bit and 32-bit personal computers manufactured by NEC.

  • The Latest Linux Kernel Appears To Be Causing Connectivity Issues For Steam

    If you are planning to enjoy some Linux gaming this week via Steam, you may want to think twice about upgrading to the latest Linux kernel Git code or even the newest stable point releases.

    A number of Steam Linux users are reporting of connection troubles when upgrading to the latest Linux kernel releases, including the likes of Linux 5.0.0-17 on Ubuntu or 5.1.12-arch1-1-ARCH on Arch Linux, among other kernel combinations and distributions. A number of users are reporting issues with connecting to Steam following a kernel upgrade in recent days.

  • New website, new company, new partners, new code

    As a freelancer I am contracted by Valve to work on certain gaming-related XServer projects and improve KWin in this regard and for general desktop usage.

    In the XServer there are two main projects at the moment. The technical details of one of them are currently discussed on a work-in-progress patch series on Gitlab but I want to write accessible articles about both projects here on the blog as well in the near future.

    In KWin I have several large projects I will look into, which would benefit KWin on X11 and Wayland alike. The most relevant one is reworking the compositing pipeline. You can expect more info about this project and the other ones in KWin in future blog posts too.

  • Survival adventure game 'Failed State' has entered Early Access

    After a promising demo way back in 2017, Failed State has finally entered Early Access on Steam with same-day Linux support.

  • Himno - The Silent Melody announced, as a standalone combat expansion of the first peaceful game

    After the success of the peaceful platformer Himno, David Moralejo Sánchez and GrabTheGames have now formally announced the next game Himno - The Silent Melody.

    I was very impressed with the atmosphere in the original, but I couldn't help wanting to fight something so it sounds like Himno - The Silent Melody is exactly what I want from a sequel.

  • Event Horizon - Frontier will have you continually upgrade and defend a space station

    Pavel Zinchenko's new game Event Horizon - Frontier looks like a pretty sweet mix of 2D space action, with base defence and it's releasing soon with Linux support. It's set in the same universe as the previous game, Event Horizon, which was released late last year which also has Linux support.

  • Cecconoid, an 8-bit inspired "flick-screen" twin-stick-shooter that looks awesome is coming to Linux

    Developer Triple Eh (previously made Lumo), are now working on an 8-bit inspired twin-stick shooter called Cecconoid. It's soaked in retro and it looks awesome!

Games: Albion Online, Reign of Blood and MewnBase

Filed under
Gaming
  • Albion Online's seventh major post-launch update 'Percival' to launch on July 10th

    Albion Online is going to get bigger once again and the Percival actually sounds like it's going to be pretty good, especially if you're a solo player.

    For starters, the new randomized dungeon feature is finally going to have a version for solo players! Just like the version for groups they will spawn at random throughout the world of Albion. You will be able to use dungeon maps to unlock higher tiers, for a bigger challenge and better loot too. That makes me happy, as Albion is far too geared towards bigger groups, nice to see solo players get some attention this time.

  • War not bloody enough? The Reign of Blood DLC for Total War: THREE KINGDOMS might change your mind

    Creative Assembly has announced the Reign of Blood effects pack that's coming to Total War: THREE KINGDOMS and it looks quite brutal. The developer says it will enable you to experience "the battlefields of ancient China in gruesome detail" if that's your thing.

    For the campaign it will include event-pictures depicting blood and gore, along with blood effects for battle-resolution combat animations between characters. For the battles it will add dismemberment, charred bodies, blood spray and…you get the idea.

  • Sweet survival base-builder 'MewnBase' has another update out, continues looking fun

    Not as serious as other survival games, MewnBase from developer Cairn4 has a sweet style and you're a space cat because why not.

Games: A Year Of Rain, Evan's Remains, Dota Underlords, ISLANDERS, Nowhere Prophet, Fear The Rampager and More

Filed under
Gaming
  • Daedalic Entertainment's new RTS "A Year Of Rain" will be coming to Linux

    This is really exciting news, as a huge fan of such RTS games, Daedalic Entertainment's "A Year Of Rain" looks really good and it turns out they're going to support Linux.

    Interestingly, back when it was first announced in March I did email Daedalic to ask about Linux support. They told me then, that they didn't really have any answer on it. However, it seems things have changed and they've decided Linux will be supported. On Steam, the developer said it's planned and it seems it may even happen during the Early Access period.

  • Evan's Remains, a beautiful-looking puzzle platformer with visual novel elements plans Linux support

    Evan's Remains from Matías Schmied and Whitethorn Digital is a new one to capture my interest. Blending a rather atmospheric puzzle platformer, with a little visual novel flair and it's planned for Linux.

  • Dota Underlords from Valve is now in open beta for Linux, mobile too

    Valve are doing some really impressive work with Dota Underlords, their new strategy game that everyone can now try.

    As a quick reminder on the gameplay: you go through rounds, picking heroes and placing them on the board, then you fight against the choices of other players and neutral enemies for loot. The actual battles are done by AI, with the tactical part based on your choices and positioning. You lose health based on the amount of enemy heroes left if they beat you and it's the last player standing to win.

    It's free and will remain free to play, with some sort of optional Battle Pass likely to come for cosmetic items in future. They have a lot more planned for it including: daily challenges, a level up system, a tournament system, seasonal rotation for heroes and more. They said that during the Open Beta Season, it will regularly see new features and updates.

  • Colourful city-builder 'ISLANDERS' has officially released for Linux and it's really lovely

    I don't think I've hit the buy button on Steam that quickly in a while, as ISLANDERS, a colourful city-builder is now officially out for Linux.

    Developed by GrizzlyGames, ISLANDERS is a minimalist strategy game for those who don't have hours to invest in resource management. Released back in April, the Linux version arrived yesterday along with a big update that also adds in a Sandbox Mode and the ability to undo your last building placement which sounds handy.

  • Roguelike deck-building game 'Nowhere Prophet' releasing on July 19th, looks very interesting

    Deck-building card-based games really are all the rage now! I'm okay with this, as I love them and I am excited to see what more developers do with it. Nowhere Prophet is one that looks great and it's out next month. Developer Sharkbomb Studios and publisher No More Robots have now confirmed the release date of July 19th. We got confirmation back in April, that Linux will be supported too.

    Set on planet Soma, this science-fiction post-apocalypse game mixes in two distinct modes of play. The first is the travel system, with you facing encounters across a procedurally generated map (so the game is different each time). If you enter combat, it switches into the turn-based card game mode.

  • Dead Cells "Fear The Rampager" update is live and it continues being awesome

    Still one of my top games, Dead Cells just got another big free update "Fear The Rampager" so it's time to jump back in for one more run.

    The big addition this time is the introduction of The Rampager. A new foe to challenge you that's currently haunting a variety of biomes in Boss Stem Cell 3 and higher.

  • Heroes of Hammerwatch updated and the Witch Hunter expansion is out now

    Crackshell have expanded their rogue-lite action-adventure game Heroes of Hammerwatch with a free update along with the great sounding Witch Hunter expansion.

    First up, the free update available for everyone adds in a few new features including new dungeon mechanics, companions, new drinks and a new statue if you have the Pyramid of Prophecy DLC. Additionally the free update has some performance improvements, more chest room variations, enemies can now be killed by poison and plenty of other balance changes.

  • My Friend Pedro | Linux Gaming | Ubuntu 18.04 | Steam Play

    My Friend Pedro running through Steam play.

Games: QUICKTEQUILA, Valve, Counter-Strike, Mordhau and Snaps of Games

Filed under
Gaming
  • Lovely Planet 2: April Skies is an FPS with a sweet style for those who like to go fast

    Lovely Planet 2: April Skies from QUICKTEQUILA and tinyBuild has released, with Linux support just like the first game. Are you reading to run, jump and shoot? There's a lot of that.

  • Valve have given out some more details on the Index VR HMD with a "Deep Dive" about the Field of View

    As the first in a series of posts giving out more detail on what Valve wanted to achieve with the Valve Index, a new Deep Dive post is up starting with information about the Field of View. Future posts will also be covering Extensibility and Mod-ability as well as Optics and Clarity so we will keep an eye out for those and let you know when they're up.

    VR is something that's completely new to me, I've never owned one and the most I've ever tested is about 30 minutes of a Vive in a local GAME store and it was…weird. I want to be convinced, so perhaps the Valve Index will truly sway me over.

    As for the FOV post, Valve said their goal with the Index was to "improve the overall fidelity of the VR experience, including visuals, audio, ergonomics, tracking quality, and more". Interestingly, I wasn't actually aware until this post that you could tweak the HMD's lenses distance to your eyes which is pretty handy and that's on top of the slider on top of the unit to adjust the spacing between the lenses. It certainly seems like Valve have made some interesting design choices, to make it as comfortable as possible for many people.

  • Valve are doing a small celebration for 20 years of Counter-Strike

    Has it really been 20 years? Madness. Counter-Strike started off life as a Half-Life mod in 1999 and the series is still going strong. Pretty amazing really, to think something that started off as a modification in 1999 for another game by two people has later spawned four games: Counter-Strike (2000), Counter-Strike: Condition Zero (2004), Counter-Strike: Source (2004) and Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (2012).

  • Mordhau | Linux Gaming | Ubuntu 18.04 | Steam Play

    Mordhau running through Steam play.

  • Fresh snaps for May 2019

    Got a potato gaming computer? You can still ‘game’ on #linux with Vitetris right in your terminal! Featuring configurable keys, high-score table, multi (2) player mode and joystick support! Get your Pentomino on today!

Games: Dead Mage, Slime Rancher and HyperRogue

Filed under
Gaming

Games: Seeds of Resilience, Missed Messages, GIGABUSTER, Eagle Island

Filed under
Gaming
  • Turn-based survival villager builder 'Seeds of Resilience' released

    Seeds of Resilience has an interesting idea about survival, with you trying not to die on a deserted island and the full release is now available. The full release comes with 12 missions to unlock characters and learn the game as well as a plain survival mode to go at your own pace and do as you wish.

  • Short free Visual Novel "Missed Messages" has beautiful artwork and a mature subject

    I rarely try Visual Novels, mostly because too many of them are overly lewd in some way. However, Missed Messages is of a different sort and it's quite beautiful.

    Developed by Angela He, it's completely free and surprisingly well done. The theme is quite a mature one too, with it touching on suicide and self-harm. It also touches on romance, there's a few memes (who doesn't love a good meme) and so on. What's striking initially is the artwork, it's seriously good. Great chilled-out soundtrack to go along with it too, the quality here really is impressive.

  • GIGABUSTER, an action platformer inspired by Mega Man Zero and Mega Man X will support Linux

    Available to help fund on Kickstarter, GIGABUSTER is an action platformer taking inspiration from Mega Man Zero and Mega Man X.

    They're very clear on release platforms too which is nice to see, with a mention of a Steam release for "Windows, Mac, and Linux". Interestingly, it's being made with Construct 2, a very interesting HTML5 game creator that I've tinkered with myself and found it to be pretty impressive. Thanks to that, you can try out the early W.I.P demo right in your browser on Game Jolt.

  • After a very impressive demo, Eagle Island is launching on July 11th

    Eagle Island, a game where you run around and throw your loyal owl companion at your enemies (yes really, it's awesome) is set to release on July 11th.

Syndicate content

More in Tux Machines

today's leftovers

  • Hardware Review - The ZaReason Virtus 9200 Desktop
  • Chrome OS 76 will disable Crostini Linux backups by default
    Essentially, this is still a work in progress feature. And I shouldn’t be terribly surprised by that, even though in my experience, the functionality hasn’t failed me yet. That’s because we know that the Chromium team is considering on a way to backup and restore Linux containers directly from the Files app on a Chromebook. That proposal is targeted for Chrome OS 78, so this gives the team more time to work that out, as well as any other nits that might not be quite right with the current implementation.
  • Andrei Lisita: Something to show for
    Unfortunately along with the progress that was made we also encountered a bug with the NintendoDS core that causes Games to crash if we attempt to load a savestate. We are not yet 100% sure if the bug is caused by my changes or by the NintendoDS core itself. I hope we are able to fix it by the end of the summer although I am not even sure where to start since savestates are working perfectly fine with other cores. Another confusing matter about this is that the Restart/Resume Dialog works fine with the NintendoDS core and it also uses savestates. This led me to believe that perhaps cores can be used to load savestates only once, but this can’t be the problem since we re-instantiate the core every time we load a savestate. In the worst case we might just have to make a special case for the NintendoDS core and not use savestates with it, except for the Resume/Restart dialog. This would sadden me deeply since there are plenty of NintendoDS games which could benefit from this feature.
  • OSMC's June update is here with Kodi v18.3
    Team Kodi recently announced the 18.3 point release of Kodi Leia. We have now prepared this for all supported OSMC devices and added some improvements and fixes. Here's what's new:

OSS Leftovers

  • A comparison of open source, real-time data streaming platforms
    A variety of open source, real-time data streaming platforms are available today for enterprises looking to drive business insights from data as quickly as possible. The options include Spark Streaming, Kafka Streams, Flink, Hazelcast Jet, Streamlio, Storm, Samza and Flume -- some of which can be used in tandem with each other. Enterprises are adopting these real-time data streaming platforms for tasks such as making sense of a business marketing campaign, improving financial trading or recommending marketing messages to consumers at critical junctures in the customer journey. These are all time-critical areas that can be used for improving business decisions or baked into applications driven by data from a variety of sources.
  • Amphenol’s Jason Ellison on Signal Integrity Careers and His Free, Open Source PCB Design Software
    Ellison, Senior Staff Signal Integrity Engineer at Amphenol ICC, gives his insight on the importance of networking, giving to the EE community, and his open-source signal integrity project. How does signal integrity engineering compare to other EE fields? What are open-source resources worth these days? What makes for a good work life for an engineer? Learn this and more in this Engineer Spotlight! Jason Ellison started down the path to becoming an electrical engineer because someone told him it was "fun and easy if you're good at math." In this interview with AAC's Mark Hughes, Ellison—a Senior Staff Signal Integrity Engineer at Amphenol ICC—describes how his career has grown from these beginnings into the rewarding and diverse work of signal integrity engineering.
  • Cruise open-sources Webviz, a tool for robotics data analysis [Ed: Releasing a little tool that's part of proprietary software so that it 'feels' more "open"]
    Cruise, the self-driving startup that General Motors acquired for nearly $1 billion in 2016, generates an enormous amount of data by any measure. It orchestrates 200,000 hours of driving simulation jobs daily in Google Cloud Platform, spread across 30,000 virtual cars in an environment running on 300,000 processor cores and 5,000 graphics cards. Both those cars and Cruise’s fleet of over 180 real-world autonomous Chevrolet Bolts make thousands of decisions every second, and they base these decisions on observations captured in binary format from cameras, microphones, radar sensors, and lidar sensors.
  • EWF launches world’s first open source blockchain for the energy industry
    The Energy Web Foundation this week announced that it has launched the world’s first public, open-source, enterprise-grade blockchain tailored to the energy sector: the Energy Web Chain (EW Chain). More than ten Energy Web Foundation (EWF) Affiliates — including utilities, grid operators, and blockchain developers — are hosting validator nodes for the live network, according to the company.
  • Pimcore Releases Pimcore 6.0, Amplifying User-Friendly Digital Experiences Through Open Source
    Pimcore, the leading open-source platform for data and customer experience management, has released the most powerful version of the Pimcore platform, Pimcore 6.0. The updated platform includes a new user interface that seamlessly connects MDM/PIM, DAM, WCM, and digital commerce capabilities to create more advanced and user-friendly experiences quickly and efficiently.
  • VCV Rack reaches version 1.0.0: free and open-source modular synth gets a full release
    VCV Rack is a free, open-source modular software synth that’s been gaining ground for a couple of years, but only now has it reached the significant milestone of version 1.0. Designed to replicate the feeling of having a hardware modular synth on your desktop, VCV Rack enables you to add both free and paid-for modules, and now supports polyphony of up to 16 voices. There’s MIDI Output, too with CV-Gate, CV-MIDI and CV-CC modules enabling you to interface with drum machines, desktop synths and Eurorack gear.
  • Flying Above the Shoulders of Giants
    Thanks to open-source platforms, developers can stand on the shoulders of software giants to build bigger and better things. Linux is probably the biggest...
  • MIT Researchers Open-Source AutoML Visualization Tool ATMSeer
    A research team from MIT, Hong Kong University, and Zhejiang University has open-sourced ATMSeer, a tool for visualizing and controlling automated machine-learning processes. Solving a problem with machine learning (ML) requires more than just a dataset and training. For any given ML tasks, there are a variety of algorithms that could be used, and for each algorithm there can be many hyperparameters that can be tweaked. Because different values of hyperparameters will produce models with different accuracies, ML practitioners usually try out several sets of hyperparameter values on a given dataset to try to find hyperparameters that produce the best model. This can be time-consuming, as a separate training job and model evaluation process must be conducted for each set. Of course, they can be run in parallel, but the jobs must be setup and triggered, and the results recorded. Furthermore, choosing the particular values for hyperparameters can involve a bit of guesswork, especially for ones that can take on any numeric value: if 2.5 and 2.6 produce good results, maybe 2.55 would be even better? What about 2.56 or 2.54?
  • Open-Source Cybersecurity Tool to Enhance Grid Protection
    A revolutionary new cybersecurity tool that can help protect the electric power grid has been released to the public on the code-hosting website GitHub.
  • Quick notes for Mozilla Whistler All Hands 2019
  • Deeper into the data fabric with MongoDB
    However, to gain access to rich search functionality, many organisations pair their database with a search engine such as Elasticsearch or Solr, which MongoDB claims can complicate development and operations — because we end up with two entirely separate systems to learn, maintain and scale.

Raspberry Pi 4 is here!

The latest version of the Raspberry Pi—Raspberry Pi 4—was released today, earlier than anticipated, featuring a new 1.5GHz Arm chip and VideoCore GPU with some brand new additions: dual-HDMI 4K display output; USB3 ports; Gigabit Ethernet; and multiple RAM options up to 4GB. The Raspberry Pi 4 is a very powerful single-board computer and starts at the usual price of $35. That gets you the standard 1GB RAM, or you can pay $45 for the 2GB model or $55 for the 4GB model—premium-priced models are a first for Raspberry Pi. Read more

Open Data, Open Access and Open Hardware

  • DoD’s Joint AI Center to open-source natural disaster satellite imagery data set
    As climate change escalates, the impact of natural disasters is likely to become less predictable. To encourage the use of machine learning for building damage assessment this week, Carnegie Mellon University’s Software Engineering Institute and CrowdAI — the U.S. Department of Defense’s Joint AI Center (JAIC) and Defense Innovation Unit — open-sourced a labeled data set of some of the largest natural disasters in the past decade. Called xBD, it covers the impact of disasters around the globe, like the 2010 earthquake that hit Haiti. “Although large-scale disasters bring catastrophic damage, they are relatively infrequent, so the availability of relevant satellite imagery is low. Furthermore, building design differs depending on where a structure is located in the world. As a result, damage of the same severity can look different from place to place, and data must exist to reflect this phenomenon,” reads a research paper detailing the creation of xBD. [...]

    xBD includes approximately 700,000 satellite images of buildings before and after eight different kinds of natural disasters, including earthquakes, wildfires, floods, and volcanic eruptions. Covering about 5,000 square kilometers, it contains images of floods in India and Africa, dam collapses in Laos and Brazil, and historic deadly fires in California and Greece.

    The data set will be made available in the coming weeks alongside the xView 2.0 Challenge to unearth additional insights from xBD, coauthor and CrowdAI machine learning lead Jigar Doshi told VentureBeat. The data set collection effort was informed by the California Air National Guard’s approach to damage assessment from wildfires.

  • Open-source textbooks offer free alternative for UC Clermont students
    Some UC Clermont College students are avoiding paying hundreds of dollars for textbooks — and getting the content for free — thanks to online open-source textbooks, a growing trend among faculty at the college and throughout higher education. UC Clermont Dean Jeff Bauer, who is also a professor of business, said the benefits of open textbooks are many. “All students have the book on the first day of class, it saves them a lot of money, and the information can be accessed anywhere, anytime, without carrying around a heavy textbook,” Bauer said. “They don’t need to visit the bookstore before or after each semester to buy or sell back books, either.”
  • Open Source Computer Controlled Loom Knits Pikachu For You
    The origin story of software takes us back past punch card computers and Babbage's Difference Engine to a French weaver called Joseph Marie Jacquard.
  • Successful open-source RISC-V microcontroller launched through crowdfunding
    X-FAB Silicon Foundries, together with crowd-sourcing IC platform partner Efabless Corporation, launched the first-silicon availability of the Efabless RISC-V SoC reference design. This open-source semiconductor project went from start of design to tape-out in less than three months employing the Efabless design flow produced on open-source tools. The mixed-signal SoC, called Raven, is based on the community developed ultra-low power PicoRV32 RISC-V core. Efabless has bench-tested the Raven at 100MHz, and based on simulations, the solution should operate at up to 150MHz.
  • Open Hardware: Open-Source MRI Scanners Could Bring Enormous Cost Savings
    Wulfsberg explore the possibilities of open source MRI scanning. As open-source technology takes its place around the world—everywhere from makerspaces to FabLabs, users on every level have access to design and innovation. In allowing such access to MRI scanning, the researchers realize the potential for ‘technological literacy’ globally—and with MRIs specifically, astronomical sums could be saved in healthcare costs. The authors point out that medical technology is vital to the population of the world for treating not only conditions and illnesses, but also disabilities. As so many others deeply involved in the world of technology and 3D printing realize, with greater availability, accessibility, and affordability, huge strides can be made to improve and save lives. Today, with so many MRI patents expiring, the technology is open for commercialization.