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An open-source ventilator design has been submitted for fast-track approval

MIT researchers hope to publish open-source designs for a low-cost respirator that could potentially help Covid-19 patients struggling with critical respiratory problems.

The motorized device automatically compresses widely available bag valve masks, the sort of manual resuscitator used by ambulance crews to assist patients with breathing problems. The designs could arrive as a growing number of engineers, medical students, and hobbyists attempt to build or share specifications for makeshift respirators—of unknown quality and safety—amid rising fears of widespread shortages as the coronavirus epidemic escalates.

[Source: MIT Technology Review]

System76 launches Lemur Pro, its lightest Linux laptop

System76 has been manufacturing Linux-based PCs for over a decade, and the company continues to pump out new systems for those who prefer the “alternative” operating system to Windows hegemony. With its new Lemur Pro laptop, the company adds to its already formidable lineup of notebooks, desktops, and servers.

At just 2.2 pounds (and a mere 0.61 inches thick), the Lemur Pro is System76’s lightest laptop to date. Between the slim form factor and the latest Intel processors — not to mention the 73 Whr battery — the Lemur Pro promises great battery life, though the company is only providing claims in a cheeky fashion (10 hours to watch the Lord of the Rings trilogy, 16 hours for reading Wikipedia, 21 hours for coding with VIM).

[Source: ZDNet]

COVID-19 vs open source: How developers are fighting the virus

Mister Rogers famously told children that in times of fear and uncertainty, they should “look for the helpers”. As children, we clung to that nugget of wisdom as a way to soothe our fears about the state of the world. But as adults, now it’s time for us to be the helpers. Computer scientists and software engineers are in a unique position where not only can they typically work from home during the COVID-19 pandemic, but they can help lend a hand.

How are programmers helping (besides responsibly social distancing with a well-stocked fridge of energy drinks)?

Martin Woodward from GitHub blogged about some of the open source projects they’ve seen that are helping track the pandemic, provide helpful datasets, and more.

[Source: JAXenter]

Megvii’s open-source platform offers Chinese AI alternative

Artificial intelligence company Megvii has open-sourced its self-developed deep learning framework MegEngine, allowing developers around the world to use and improve on the platform. The framework was initially developed in 2014 as part of Megvii’s Brain++ architecture, which the company uses to train computer vision algorithms—software that allows computers to interpret what they see.

MegEngine is especially effective when using large volumes of image or video data and can be used for complex tasks including image classification, object detection, and video analytics, according to Megvii.

Open-source deep-learning frameworks allow anyone with a bit of coding knowledge to train machine-learning models for a variety of purposes without having to build them from the ground up.

[Source: TechNode]

Keeping Tech Skills Up to Date From Anywhere, Anytime 

In a world where teams are distributed around the country, if not the world, it becomes difficult and expensive to conduct training in person. In addition to the instructor and materials fees, you have to account for travel expenses and the time employees will not be working both for travel and participation in the course. This is time consuming and cost prohibitive enough in normal times, but essentially impossible during periods of travel bans like right now.

Thankfully, the same technology enabling distributed work is also making it easier for teams to keep their tech skills up to date from anywhere. Modern training delivery and testing methods, including self-paced eLearning, instructor-led virtual courses and remotely proctored exams, mean anyone with a computer and stable internet connection can participate in training and certification activities from the comfort of their own home or remote work location.

To help workers working remotely – whether temporarily or on a full-time basis – stay up to speed on the latest advancements in open source tech, the Linux Foundation is offering 30% off all courses and certification exams purchased through April 7 by using code ANYWHERE30 at checkout. This applies to both self-paced eLearning and instructor-led virtual courses. Our goal is to help as many professionals become qualified in open source software as possible by lowering the barriers to entry. We also have nearly two dozen completely free training courses.

Singapore government to open source contact-tracing protocol

Singapore’s Government Technology Agency (GovTech) is contributing the source codes of the protocol that powers the TraceTogther contact-tracing app to the open source community to help stem the Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic. Launched on 20 March 2020, TraceTogether works by exchanging short-distance Bluetooth signals between phones to detect other participating users in close proximity using the BlueTrace protocol developed by GovTech.

The development team behind the protocol said in its manifesto that mobile apps and wearable devices that deploy the BlueTrace protocol will be able to blend decentralised and centralised models of contact tracing.

[Source: ComputerWeekly.com]

Poland-based VentilAid project 3D prints open-source ventilator

Engineers and designers from Poland-based Urbicum have banded together to launch the VentilAid project, an effort to design an open-source ventilator which can be reproduced using a 3D printer and an assembly of basic, easily accessible parts. The open-source ventilator is being designed to help medical professionals in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic in cases where more traditional hospital resources are limited or exhausted.

“We are facing a serious threat due to COVID-19,” the VentilAid team writes on its website. “Most of the countries are suffering severe shortage of medical equipment, that cannot be produced and delivered in a short time. Ventilators are essential to keep breathing when faced with the complications of COVID-19.”

[Source: 3DPMN]

Microsoft Defender for Linux is coming. This is what you need to know

When Defender came to macOS as well as Windows, Microsoft announced that the name of the software was changing, from Windows Defender to Microsoft Defender. Hidden in the presentation was a hint about the future: a Linux laptop with a penguin sticker on. Now Microsoft Defender ATP for Linux in is in public preview for Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7+, CentOS Linux 7+, Ubuntu 16 LTS or higher, SLES 12+, Debian 9+, and Oracle Enterprise Linux 7. But what does it actually protect those OSes from?

Microsoft already has Linux malware detection in the Defender agents on Windows and Mac, because files get moved from one device to another and you want to catch malware wherever it is — ideally before it gets onto a vulnerable system. If you’re using WSL, Defender already protects you against threats like infected npm packages that try to install cryptominers.

[Source: TechRepublic]

Habana Labs Preps More Linux Code For Their AI Accelerators With The 5.7 Kernel

Habana Labs, the AI accelerator start-up being acquired by Intel, has more driver improvements on tap for Linux 5.7.

Habana Labs has been a good open-source supporter with punctually working on their mainline Linux driver enablement for their products. Their upstream Linux driver work started off at the start of 2019 with their for their Goya inference accelerator and increasing work on their Gaudi AI training product. They have been aiming to land their Gaudi enablement in Linux 5.7~5.8 but now it’s looking like that will be the latter kernel if not longer.

For Linux 5.7 is more work on prepping their driver for Gaudi and future products but for now are not supported.

[Source: Phoronix]

Linus Torvalds Announces New Linux Kernel 5.6 Release Candidate

Linus Torvalds has just announced a new Linux kernel 5.6 release candidate at a time when the world is in lockdown due to the coronavirus outbreak. Torvalds explains that Linux kernel version 5.6-rc7 is actually “pretty small,” adding that this is also likely the effect of the COVID-19 which is keeping everyone at home focusing on other stuff.

“Nothing really stands out, it’s all pretty small. I’m going to be optimistic, and say that it’s because we’re nicely on track for a normal calm release, but obviously it may be partly because everybody is distracted by virus worries. But I haven’t seen anything that looks hugely worrisome on the kernel side,” Torvalds explains.

[Source: Softpedia News]