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Jack Wallen dons his prognostication fedora to predict what he believes will be a banner year for open source.

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When I think of open source and 2021, a Saga song comes to mind: “On The Loose.” I believe no one can stop open source in the coming year–that’s how big it’s going to get. That’s saying something, given how enterprise businesses already depend on open source technology on a daily basis. The dependency we’re currently experiencing is nothing compared to what I predict for the coming year.

Of course, it’s not just about business, as I have one rather bold prediction for consumers as well.

What are these predictions? Let me warm up my crystal ball, dim the lights, drop the needle on some music to create the perfect ambiance, and gaze deep into the waters of the future.

SEE: Linux service control commands (TechRepublic Premium)

Kubernetes simplified

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: Kubernetes is a challenge. Even for experienced admins, deploying successful pods and services is a task that is often more frustrating than it is rewarding. However, I believe there is hope on the horizon. I predict that 2021 will finally bring a web- or client-based tool that will make Kubernetes management a true point-and-click affair. 

Instead of having to craft complicated pod/container manifests, admins and developers will only have to make selections from drop-downs and checkboxes to deploy a basic container/pod. 

What’s best, the software to power this solution will actually be easy to deploy–either as a Docker container or a binary executable. Either way, I look for someone to bring a level of simplicity to Kubernetes we’ve yet to see. 

Of course, it will be open source.

Proprietary solutions get the boot

What will be seen as a major win for open source, businesses will start giving proprietary solutions the boot. What will be the primary driving force behind this change? Money and integration. In light of the pandemic continuing to have a stranglehold over the world, businesses will continue to look for ways to cut costs. One of the easiest wins is the continued migration from proprietary to open source solutions.

Surprisingly, the biggest issue to drive this change is interoperability. As businesses continue to integrate more and more open source solutions, the domino effect will be that more and more open source solutions will be required. When the only way a business can leverage open source Technology X is by integrating it into open source Technology Y, that integration will require the use of open source Technology Z to serve as the bridge. This type of shift will run rampant through businesses, until their entire backend is composed of nothing but open source technology.

Goodbye proprietary solutions.

FOG computing

FOG computing will be the big buzzword of the year. What is FOG computing? Simple: A distributed network that connects edge computing and cloud or IoT together. The purpose is to connect the location where data is created to what will either store or use said data.

FOG computing will be powered by open source solutions like OpenStack, Docker, Kubernetes and Ansible, Prometheus, and Grafana.  FOG computing will also usher in a new era for the cloud–one that is decentralized and distributed. 

By the end of 2021 expect to see more and more FOG computing to be rolled out. 

Big data gets even bigger

This trend of big data just keeps on climbing and should come as no surprise to anyone. The difference in 2021 is that open source will not only be leading the charge, it will dominate the sector at unheard of levels.

I can hear you proclaiming open source already powers big data, but 2021 is going to see even more open source technologies leading big data into the future. 

Where the surprise comes is who will be at the head of this charge: SUSE.

With SUSE acquiring Rancher Labs, it will be primed to be the enterprise solution for big data, but it’s not just adding Rancher Labs into the fold. SUSE is already the de facto standard for SAP HANA rollouts. With their SUSE Manager tool serving as one of the single best solutions for large environment management, there’ll be no stopping the company from taking big data by storm and leading it into a most open future.

Linux begins enterprise desktop rollouts

Thanks to companies like System76, Lenovo, and Dell, businesses have serious options for Linux on the desktop. Although the open source platform has struggled to make much headway in that space, 2021 will be a different story. 

I believe we’ll start seeing more and more companies (small to large) buying into Linux on the desktop. This will have the added benefit of even more companies jumping into the mix and offering more and more desktops and laptops, all powered by Linux and open source technology. 

One added bonus for this movement is that System76 will finally gain the recognition they’ve deserved for so many years. Linux on the desktop would not be where it is today, had it not been for their stalwart support for open source technology. Year after year, System76 has proved that high-quality, business-class systems, powered by Linux, can be produced at a level befitting the enterprise.

2021 will be a very good year for Linux desktops in business.

Linux on the home desktop will start to gain serious traction

That success within the realm of business will start trickling down to consumers. As more and more people start using Linux at their place of business, they’ll begin seeing the benefits of the open source operating system and desire to adopt it for their home computers. 

I suspect that by the end of 2021, we’ll see Linux desktop market share to finally break the 10% bubble. It may not sound like much, but given how Linux has hovered around 2% and maxed out at 5%, that 10% figure is like a dream come true.

That’s only the tip of the iceberg. Although Linux will max out at around 10% by the end of the year, it will lead to continued growth over the coming years.

So what do you say, open source community? Are you ready for 2021 to start? I’m sure you are, for more reasons than just your favorite technology.

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Linux 101: How to copy files and directories from the command line

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Jack Wallen continues his Linux 101 series, with an introduction on how to copy files and directories from the command line.

Are you new to Linux? If so, you’ve probably found the command line can be a bit intimidating. Don’t worry–it is for everyone at the beginning. That’s why I’m here to guide you through the process, and today I’m going to show you how to copy files and folders from the command line. 

Why would you need to copy files and folders this way? You might find yourself on a GUI-less Linux server and need to make a backup of a configuration file or copy a data directory. 

Trust me, at some point you’re going to need to be able to do this. Let’s find out how. 

SEE: Linux: The 7 best distributions for new users (free PDF) (TechRepublic)

First we’ll copy a file. Let’s say you’re about to make changes to the Samba configuration file, smb.conf and you want a backup copy just in case something goes wrong. To copy that file, use the cp command to copy the source to the destination like so:

 cp /etc/samba/smb.conf /etc/samba/smb.conf.bak

You’ve probably already encountered your first problem. Because the smb.conf file is in /etc/, you’ll need to use sudo privileges to make the copy. So the correct command is: 

sudo cp /etc/samba/smb.conf /etc/samba/smb.conf.bak 

In this example, smb.conf is our source and smb.conf.bak is our destination. You might want to preserve the file attributes (such as directory and file mode, ownership, and timestamps) during the copy. For that we use the -a option as in: 

sudo cp -a /etc/samba/smb.conf /etc/samba/smb.conf.bak

Copying a directory is done in the same way, only you use the -R option, for recursive. Let’s say you want to make a backup of the entire /etc/samba directory and you want to copy it to your home directory. That command would be: 

sudo cp -R /etc/samba ~/samba.bak

To preserve the attributes, while copying the directory, the command would be:

sudo cp -aR /etc/samba ~/samba.bak

And that’s all there is to it. You’ve just copied your first files and directories from the Linux command line. Now, go out and celebrate this victory, you’ve earned it.

Subscribe to TechRepublic’s How To Make Tech Work on YouTube for all the latest tech advice for business pros from Jack Wallen.

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‘Junk DNA’ plays a key role in regulating circadian clocks

Drosophila circadian rhythm

If you’ve ever had a bad case of jet lag, you know how a disruption to your body’s circadian rhythm makes it difficult to function. Molecular circadian “clocks” exist in cells throughout the body, governing more than just sleep and wake cycles — they are crucial to many aspects of human health. For more than a decade, researchers have been trying to figure out what makes them tick, in search of new insights into diseases like Alzheimer’s, cancer and diabetes.

Until now, that research has focused on what is known as clock genes, which encode proteins that drive oscillating cycles of gene expression affecting physiology and behavior. But research just published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences reveals the discovery of a new cog in the circadian clock — a genome-wide regulatory layer made up of small chains of non-coding nucleotides known as micro RNAS (miRNAs).

Junk DNA plays a key role in regulating circadian clocks

Drosophila ciacadian rhythm. Credit: Chhandama via Wikimedia Commons, CC-BY-SA-4.0

“We’ve seen how the function of these clock genes are really important in many different diseases,” said Steve Kay, PhD, Provost Professor of neurology, biomedical engineering and quantitative computational biology at the Keck School of Medicine of USC. “But what we were blind to was a whole different funky kind of genes network that also is important for circadian regulation and this is the whole crazy world of what we call non-coding microRNA.”

‘Junk DNA’ proves to be a valuable tool in circadian rhythms

Formerly thought to be “junk DNA,” miRNAs are now known to affect gene expression by preventing messenger RNA from making proteins. Past research has indicated miRNAs may have a role in the function of circadian clocks but determining which of the hundreds of miRNAs in the genome might be involved remained a problem.

Kay and his team, led by Lili Zhou, a research associate in the Keck School’s Department of Neurology, turned to the Genomics Institute of the Novartis Research Foundation (GNF) in San Diego, which has created robots capable of high throughput experiments. Working with scientists at the institute, Zhou developed a high throughput screen for a robot to test the close to 1000 miRNAs by individually transferring them into cells the team had engineered to glow on and off, based on the cell’s 24-hour circadian clock cycle.

“The collaboration with GNF made it possible for us to conduct the first cell-based, genome-wide screening approach to systematically identify which of the hundreds of miRNAs might be the ones modulating circadian rhythms,” said Zhou.

“Much to our surprise,” said Kay, “we discovered about 110 to 120 miRNAs that do this.”

With the help of Caitlyn Miller, a biochemistry undergraduate from USC Dornsife, researchers then verified the impact on circadian rhythms by inactivating certain miRNAs identified by the screen in their line of glowing cells. Knocking out the miRNAs had the opposite effect on the cells’ circadian rhythm as adding them to the cells.

Physiologic and behavioral impacts  of miRNAs

Researchers also focused on the physiologic and behavioral impacts of miRNAs. They analyzed the behavior of mice with a particular cluster of miRNAs inactivated – miR 183/96/182 – and saw that inactivating the cluster interfered with their wheel-running behavior in the dark compared with control mice. They then examined the impact of the miRNA cluster on brain, retina and lung tissue, and found that inactivating the cluster affected circadian rhythms in a different way in each tissue type – suggesting that the way the miRNAs regulate the circadian clock is tissue specific.

Understanding the impact of miRNAs on the circadian clock in individual tissue could reveal new ways of treating or preventing specific diseases.

“In the brain we’re interested in connecting the clock to diseases like Alzheimer’s, in the lung we’re interested in connecting the clock to diseases like asthma,” said Kay. “The next step I think for us to model disease states in animals and in cells and look at how these microRNAs are functioning in those disease states.”

Source: USC




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Samsung Galaxy F62, Samsung Galaxy M02 Spotted on India Support Page; Hints at Imminent Launch

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Samsung Galaxy F62 and Samsung Galaxy M02 have leaked in the past on several occasions, and now the model numbers associated with these phones have been spotted on Samsung’s official support page in India as well. This indicates that both the phones’ launches could be inching closer and Samsung is gearing up to introduce them in the Indian market. Samsung Galaxy F62 is also reported to be called the Samsung Galaxy E62. In some markets, this phone may likely be also called the Samsung Galaxy M62.

MySmartPrice spotted two model numbers – SM-E625F/DS and SM-M022G/DS – on the Samsung India support page. The support page doesn’t offer any details about the phone, and it doesn’t even reveal the commercial name of the phone, but the SM-E625F/DS model number is largely associated with Samsung Galaxy F62, or Samsung Galaxy E62, in the past. Likewise, the SM-M022G/DS is associated with the anticipated Samsung Galaxy M02 handset.

Samsung introduced the Galaxy M02s in the Indian market earlier this month, but the Galaxy M02 still remains in the rumour mill. As per a Geekbench listing, Samsung Galaxy M02 may run on Android 10 and come with 3GB of RAM. The smartphone could also come with the Qualcomm Snapdragon SoC that is clocked at 1.8GHz.

The rumoured Samsung Galaxy F62 has also leaked in images, hinting at a square shaped module on the back. The phone has also been spotted on BIS website and an earlier report also claims that the production of the rumoured Samsung Galaxy F62 has begun at the company’s Greater Noida facility in the Delhi-NCR region. The Galaxy F62 could be one of the slimmest phones from Samsung and it is expected to launch in the first quarter of 2021. Specifications leaked in the past include Exynos 9825 SoC, have 6GB of RAM and Android 11.


Is this the end of the Samsung Galaxy Note series as we know it? We discussed this on Orbital, our weekly technology podcast, which you can subscribe to via Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, or RSS, download the episode, or just hit the play button below.

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