Open source software development in DevOps trumps all others

Posted on: Mon, 2018-10-01 - 21:43 By: admin

Open source software development in DevOps trumps all others

Open source users are more likely to achieve all-round success in software development as opposed to developers who don't use open source.

That's one of the findings of a recent survey aimed at evaluating the current state of the growing DevOps industry undertaken by DevOps Research and Assessment (DORA) in collaboration with Google Cloud.

Some 30 000 respondents participated in the survey, the results of which have been published in the 2018 Accelerated State of DevOps Report.

According to DORA, DevOps is not a software development methodology or technique but rather a software engineering culture and practice that is aimed at unifying software development (Dev) and software operations (Ops).

Other findings in the report include:
* Software delivery and availability unlock competitive advantages such as increased profitability, productivity, market share, customer satisfaction, and the ability to achieve organisational goals.
* The utilisation of cloud infrastructure, improved software delivery performance, and high performers are 23 times more likely to leverage all cloud computing's essential characteristics.
* Outsourcing functions such as testing or operations hurt performance, and low performers are almost four times more likely to outsource those functions than high performers.


Open source software development trumps all others | ITWeb
Open source users are more likely to achieve all-round success in software development, a DevOps Research and Assessment survey found.

How To Set Up A Software RAID On Linux

Posted on: Mon, 2018-10-01 - 11:46 By: admin

How To Set Up A Software RAID On Linux

A hardware-based hard drive RAID is costly. For this reason, users regularly create a software RAID on Linux to satisfy their large data needs. Setting up a storage pool has gotten easier on Linux over the years, thanks to tools like Mdadm. With this program, users can create a software RAID array in a matter of minutes!

But you may also want to consider RAID vs backups or both. RAID does not replace having the need for a backup(s) at all.


#RAID #backups

How To Set Up A Software RAID On Linux
How To Set Up A Software RAID On Linux

Google Maps adds group planning to help manage your trip

Posted on: Mon, 2018-10-01 - 07:40 By: admin

Google Maps adds group planning to help manage your trip

But judging from the description it sounds more like selecting the same destination and nothing like Waze does to coordinate the actual travel progress and arrival times for a group. But let's see after the update goes out for Android and iOS in the coming week.



Google Maps adds group planning to help manage your trip
Google has added a group planning feature to Google Maps, as promised in this year's Google I/O. The update is now available for Android and iOS.

How to Remove Your Phone Number From Facebook - And use an Authenticator app instead

Posted on: Mon, 2018-10-01 - 07:37 By: admin

How to Remove Your Phone Number From Facebook - And use an Authenticator app instead

I've noticed that Facebook users the provided number to also track you and your previous contacts etc (I deleted my personal account and created an empty account to manage a business Page and lo and behold it suggested all my old friends to me even though I had deleted that account with the phone number).


How to Remove Your Phone Number From Facebook

Wet Shaving Acronyms & Glossary

Posted on: Sun, 2018-09-30 - 08:47 By: admin

Wet Shaving Acronyms & Glossary

When you first get into wet shaving, there are many acronyms and terminologies that may lead to confusion. At times it may feel like you have been let into a military compound or require the need to speak in a different language. For most men, their education in shaving only consisted of shower, shave and deodorant. It was an easy three-step process where most of the items could be acquired directly from a single aisle at the grocery or convenience store. But, many of the best ingredients for a truly classic shave have been lost to the layperson, including basic terminologies, definitions and acronyms.


#wetshaving #classicshaving

Wet Shaving Terminology | Complete List of Wet Shaving Acronyms | Shave Blog
Here we outline a complete list of wet shaving terms and acronyms. This complete glossary should cover all the bases for understanding various lingo in wet shaving.

Why Ham Radio has an important role to play in modern communications

Posted on: Sat, 2018-09-29 - 18:49 By: admin

Why Ham Radio has an important role to play in modern communications

It’s a good time to be technical. Maker communities are thriving around the world, tools and materials to create and adapt are cheaper and more powerful now than ever, and open source hardware, software, and information mean that if you can think it, you can learn how to do it and then make it happen.

For one group of technological explorers, this is more than just a golden age of opportunity: it’s providing the means to save one of the oldest traditions in electronic invention and self-education, one that helped shape the modern world: amateur radio.

The ironic thing about the modern world though is if the power goes off for any extended time, or a government decides to shut down the Internet (which has happened in a few instances), then all those modern conveniences cease to work (hopefully we still have FM receiver radios at home to receive news bulletins but how many people do have?) - a mobile phone or a home computer will no longer connect to the cellphone network or the Internet. If a ham operator has backup power (or a portable radio) they can continue to connect with the outside world either through working repeaters or directly through long-range HF radio. This is why ham radio/amateur radio operators are so important during disasters all around the world. They can send and receive news and requests for assistance directly from anywhere in the world (even to and from the international space station). There is a long history of these humanitarian roles played by ham radio operators.

If the Internet is down in an area, ham operators have designed an alternative network that can communicate data via IP addresses using ham radios. It is called Broadband-Hamnet and more details are at

Amateur radio operators are often also involved with testing and experimenting with technology and where they often collaborate with scientists. A lot of time is actually spent discussing the technology used by different operators and much experimentation happens especially around antennas and how the weather and atmospherics affect transmissions. There is some really interesting science behind how the different radio frequencies are affected over longer distances by atmospherics, the ionosphere, antennae design and polarity, radio power, etc.

Amateur radio operators have access to vast amounts of radio spectrum and can transmit with power ranging from 5W through 100W to 1,500W. In many cases they are bouncing these signals via satellites and even off the moon itself. Obviously, this could interfere with TV, emergency services, etc across country borders so all radio spectrum is strictly managed through international treaties and strong local law enforcement within each country - hence the need for each amateur radio operator to have passed an exam and be granted a license to operate. There are extremely heavy penalties for operating (transmitting) such radios illegally within most countries.

But licensing has another great advantage (vs the general Internet) on the social side of amateur radio when it comes to socialising... having operators that have all done basic training and are registered means there is far greater accountability and management of what is going on. Generally also discussions around politics, sex and religion are avoided.. which all means much more orderly and better quality discussions that take place. Compare that to any anonymous user posting comments all over Facebook or Twitter and you can see the attraction for many people that amateur radio has with regards to just "chewing the rag" with others on the other side of the world.

Whilst many operators like tinkering technically (and even build their own rigs and tune antennas) many are not technically inclined and socialise or assist at events and functions. There many radio clubs that can be found across most countries where they are happy to assist new operators to obtain their licenses or to advise around equipment. These various clubs also have their own meetings and social events and are often found helping out at community events or disasters. There are also no age limits but all operators do need to pass their exam to obtain a license to operate.

There is also a competitive side to amateur radio where some competitions are held to see how many "contacts" can be made in a period, where the furthest contact is located, making contact with really remote stations, etc but all in the spirit of cooperation.

If you are interested in this side of communications, an easy way to start out is to do some of the following:
1. WebSDR (web-based software defined radio) - these are websites you can log into and literally tune in to a ham radio using a webpage. You can tune it and change the various parameters. In this way you could "use" a radio based in any country. All you can't do is transmit yourself but this costs nothing. See
2. SDR - with the purchase of a cheap USB dongle (often a Realtek RTL2832U) you can install software on your own computer and listen in to local ham radio chatter, aircraft flying past, etc. All you will need is the dongle, a suitable antenna (even a TV antennae can work) and free software. Examples of software can be found at There is even software that will receive signals from local aeroplanes and plot it on a map for you.
3. Multiband receiver - this is often a more expensive option but these receivers will often scan a very wide range of bands and frequencies. The more serious you are the better the antennae you will want to use.
4. Services such as Zello and TeamSpeak 3 using the International Radio Netwrk (IRN) - these install on a mobile phone and/or a desktop computer and have various channels that can be added to allow you to interact and talk to amateur radio operators. An example of instructions how to get going with TeamSpeak 3 is at

The Internet today though is a really useful resource to find more information about amateur radio and also a means to even try it out using just the Internet and a computer before you decide to buy any radio hardware.


When everything else fails, amateur radio will still be there—and thriving
Ham is now a full-fat fabric that can provide Internet access. Why aren't you using it?

Free and Open Source Flightgear flight simulator has issued an update

Posted on: Thu, 2018-09-27 - 08:47 By: admin

Free and Open Source Flightgear flight simulator has issued an update

FlightGear is an open-source flight simulator. It supports a variety of popular platforms (Windows, Mac, Linux, etc.) and is developed by skilled volunteers from around the world. Source code for the entire project is available and licensed under the GNU General Public License.

It's worth noting some of the advanced features that this free flight simulator offers (I remember using those cheap coloured glasses a few years back with this sim to see a 3D view in the cockpit):

With FlightGear it is possible to choose between three primary Flight Dynamics Models. It is possible to add new dynamics models or even interface to external “proprietary” flight dynamics models: JSBSim, YASim and UIUC.

Over 20,000 real world airports included in the full scenery set. Correct runway markings and placement, correct runway and approach lighting. Taxiways available for many larger airports (even including the green center line lights when appropriate.). Sloping runways (runways change elevation like they usually do in real life.). Directional airport lighting that smoothly changes intensity as your relative view direction changes. World scenery fits on 3 DVD’s. Accurate terrain worldwide, based on the most recently released SRTM terrain data.) 3 arc second resolution (about 90m post spacing) for North and South America, Europe, Asia, Africa, and Australia. Scenery includes all vmap0 lakes, rivers, roads, railroads, cities, towns, land cover, etc. Nice scenery night lighting with ground lighting concentrated in urban areas (based on real maps) and headlights visible on major highways. This allows for realistic night VFR flying with the ability to spot towns and cities and follow roads. Scenery tiles are paged (loaded/unloaded) in a separate thread to minimize the frame rate hit when you need to load new areas.

TerraSync is a utility that automatically downloads the newest version of the needed FlightGear scenery while the simulator is running. TerraSync runs in the background (optionally as a separate process), monitors your position, and downloads (or updates) the latest scenery from the master scenery server "just in time". For some time now TerraSync has been integrated into the core FlightGear process, so there is no need to deal with TerraSync for the typical user.

FlightGear implements extremely accurate time of day modeling with correctly placed sun, moon, stars, and planets for the specified time and date. FlightGear can track the current computer clock time in order to correctly place the sun, moon, stars, etc. in their current and proper place relative to the earth. If it’s dawn in Sydney right now, it’s dawn in the sim right now when you locate yourself in virtual Sydney. The sun, moon, stars, and planets all follow their correct courses through the sky.

FlightGear has the ability to model a wide variety of aircraft. Currently you can fly the 1903 Wright Flyer, strange flapping wing “ornithopters”, a 747 and A320, various military jets, and several light singles. FlightGear has the ability to model those aircraft and just about everything in between.

FlightGear has the infrastructure to allow aircraft designers to build fully animated, fully operational, fully interactive 3d cockpits (which even update and display correctly from external chase plane views.)

A number of networking options allow FlightGear to communicate with other instances of FlightGear, GPS receivers, external flight dynamics modules, external autopilot or control modules, as well as other software such as the Open Glass Cockpit project and the Atlas mapping utility.

A multi player protocol is available for using FlightGear on a local network in a multi aircraft environment, for example to practice formation flight or for tower simulation purposes.

The powerful network options make it possible to synchronize several instances of FlightGear allowing for a multi-display, or even a cave environment. If all instances are running at the same frame rate consistently, it is possible to get extremely good and tight synchronization between displays.



Features – FlightGear Flight Simulator
Freedom. FlightGear is an open-source project. This means as long as you abide by the terms of the GPL license you may freely download and copy FlightGear. Anyway can have easy and open access to the latest development source code. Being an open-source project, we have made our file formats ...

Oculus’ $399 Quest to Take VR Mainstream

Posted on: Thu, 2018-09-27 - 08:28 By: admin

Oculus’ $399 Quest to Take VR Mainstream

That puts Quest squarely in the middle of Oculus’s other two headsets: the mobile Oculus Go, priced at $199, and the Oculus Rift, which also costs around $400 but requires a high-powered PC to use.

The Quest hardware looks unremarkable from the outside, and it uses the same Touch controllers as the Rift. But there are four wide-angle sensors on the headset that are part of the technology that makes the Quest stand out. The Quest has six degrees of freedom—“6DoF” as it’s sometimes called—which allows your head to be tracked positionally, rather than just rotationally. In other words, you can move, not just look around.

Usually this six degrees of freedom is accomplished using sensors around the physical room, in addition to sensors on the VR headset. In the case of the Quest, no room sensors are needed. Instead, Facebook VR executive Hugo Barra said, the Quest is using “advanced computer vision algorithms to track your position in real time, without any external sensors.”

The company is calling this technology Insight. The four wide-angle sensors on the headset look for edges, corners, and distinct features in the room around you, and then build a three-dimensional map of the environment. Barra said the headset is calculating an estimate of your head position “every millisecond,” and can even deliver precise tracking in larger than room-scale areas.

Basically, Oculus is taking a technology that usually requires a bunch of sensors at multiple touch points around a room, and recreating the same experience with just the four sensors on your head, using machine learning and computer vision. It’s doing this using every piece of room info it can grab: floors, ceilings, light, wall art, furniture. There inevitably could be challenges with this; things like super shiny floors and white, unmarked walls could theoretically trip it up. Barra said Oculus has tested Insight in “hundreds of different home spaces” and is confident it will work even in these environments.


Oculus’ $399 Quest to Take VR Mainstream | WIRED
Facebook's Oculus division wants more people in VR. The Quest, its new high-powered stand-alone headset, takes a flying leap in that direction.

The awesome smart “TV” you can buy without a TV licence in South Africa - No tuner included

Posted on: Wed, 2018-09-26 - 23:10 By: admin

The awesome smart “TV” you can buy without a TV licence in South Africa - No tuner included

Unfortunately, when you want to buy a new TV in South Africa you are required to have a valid TV licence. If you do not have one, you must pay for one at the store before they will release the TV to you. Users are also required to pay any penalties for failing to pay on time.

Fortunately, there is a way around this requirement – and its name is the Mecer 55-inch UHD LED Smart Panel Monitor.

Spotted by a MyBroadband reader on Loot, the panel offers everything you want from a modern smart TV. It runs Android, has a 55-inch UHD (3,840 x 2,160) display, packs two built-in 8W speakers, has wireless connectivity, sports multiple HDMI and USB ports, and comes with a remote control.

Yes, it is essentially just a monitor with Android built in but is certainly the sort of thing I'll buy in future as I'll never be buying another broadcast type TV device again. I can't remember when I last actually used the "TV function" of my current TV (it could be never actually).


The awesome smart “TV” you can buy without a TV licence in South Africa
South Africans don’t like paying their TV licences – but there is a way around this.

Audiophile Linux distro - this lightweight open source audio OS offers a rich feature set and high-quality...

Posted on: Wed, 2018-09-26 - 22:29 By: admin

Audiophile Linux distro - this lightweight open source audio OS offers a rich feature set and high-quality digital sound

The Audiophile Linux project is one of a number of special-purpose music-oriented Linux distributions. Audiophile Linux:
- is based on ArchLinux
- provides a real-time Linux kernel customized for playing music
- uses the lightweight Fluxbox window manager
- avoids unnecessary daemons and services
- allows playback of DSF and supports the usual PCM formats
- supports various music players, including MPD + Cantata

The Audiophile Linux site hasn’t shown a lot of activity since April 2017, but it does contain some updates and commentary from this year.



Taking the Audiophile Linux distro for a spin |
Explore how the principles behind open source--collaboration, transparency, and rapid prototyping--are proven catalysts for innovation.
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