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November 2017

System76 will disable Intel Management engine on its Linux laptops

Filed under
GNU
Linux
Security

System76 is one a handful of companies that sells computers that run Linux software out of the box. But like most PCs that have shipped with Intel’s Core processors in the past few years, System76 laptops include Intel’s Management Engine firmware.

Intel recently confirmed a major security vulnerability affecting those chips and it’s working with PC makers to patch that vulnerability.

But System76 is taking another approach: it’s going to roll out a firmware update for its recent laptops that disables the Intel Management Engine altogether.

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KDE: Qt 3D Studio 1.0 Released, KDE's Goals for 2018 and Beyond

Filed under
KDE
  • Qt 3D Studio 1.0 Released

    We are happy to announce that Qt 3D Studio 1.0 has now been released. Qt 3D Studio provides a 3D user interface authoring system that caters for both software developers and graphic designers.

  • Qt 3D Studio 1.0 Released, Powered By NVIDIA's Open-Source Code

    The Qt Company is today shipping Qt 3D Studio, its new 3D user-interface authoring system for both developers and designers.

    Qt 3D Studio 1.0 has a Studio Editor for creating interactive 3D presentations and applications, the Qt 3D Studio Viewer for testing new 3D designs in action, and is supported across Windows / macOS / Linux.

    Of course, this new 3D Studio is powered by the Qt5 tool-kit. This new software package is made possible and based upon NVIDIA's huge code contribution to Qt earlier this year of opening the NVIDIA DRIVE Design Studio that became the basis for Qt 3D Studio.

  • KDE's Goals for 2018 and Beyond
  • KDE's Goals for 2018 and Beyond

    The KDE community has spoken and it has chosen the proposals which will define the general direction of the KDE project over the next three or four years.

    How does the KDE community decide where it wants to take the project? Well, every once in a while, we hold a Request for Proposals, if you will. All members of the community are encouraged to submit their grand ideas which will lay out long-term targets. Proposals are voted on democratically, again, by the community. This ensures it is truly the community that guides the KDE project to wherever the community wants it to go.

How Open Source Will Enable Smart Cities

Filed under
OSS

Go back a hundred years and services like electricity and running water — let alone phones — would have all been considered luxuries. Now, we see these services as critical infrastructure that could cause a serious threat to life and societal order if they were to break down.

As the Internet of Things (IoT) is becoming a bigger part of our world, creating a marriage of software and hardware that ranges from the exceedingly useful to the overly creepy, it is also finding its way into many of the utilities that we depend on for modern living.

What we define as infrastructure is being rapidly altered by the growth of IoT and the move towards smart cities. We depend on traffic lights, security cameras and garbage removal to keep our cities livable, and we would quickly take notice if these services faltered.

As these devices and systems start to get brains, they become vulnerable to attacks like Mirai or the one that targeted the Ukrainian power grid. There is the added challenge of how to protect smart infrastructure, recognizing that it has major differences from the way that we defend power plants.

Historically, critical infrastructure projects have been tougher targets for hackers as their operational technologies (OT) relied on legacy systems that were not widely connected to the internet. As cases such as Stuxnet and more recent cyberattacks on electrical power systems have shown, these systems are vulnerable to external hackers, despite their supposedly high level of security and regulation.

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Security: Uber, Amazon, Updates, Reproducible Builds, Mirai and Tizi

Filed under
Security

Open Source Operating Systems: FreeRTOS and Genode OS

Filed under
OS
OSS
  • Announcing FreeRTOS Kernel Version 10

    The number of connected IoT devices worldwide is in the billions and growing rapidly. Many of these edge devices – from fitness trackers to sensors to washing machines to automotive transmissions – use low-cost, low-powered microcontrollers with extremely limited memory and compute capability. For some IoT use cases, very predictable response times can also be critical (think: automotive). A standard operating system won’t work here: you need a real-time operating system (RTOS) that works in very constrained systems.

  • Release notes for the Genode OS Framework 17.11

    In contrast to most releases, which are focused on one or two major themes, the development during the release cycle of version 17.11 was almost entirely driven by the practical use of Genode as a day-to-day OS by the entire staff of Genode Labs. The basis of this endeavor is an evolving general-purpose system scenario - dubbed "sculpt" - that is planned as an official feature for the next release 18.02. The name "sculpt" hints at the approach to start with a minimalistic generic live system that can be interactively shaped into a desktop scenario by the user without any reboot. This is made possible by combining Genode's unique dynamic reconfiguration concept with the recently introduced package management, our custom GUI stack, and the many ready-to-use device-driver components that we developed over the past years.

  • Genode OS 17.11 Reworks Its "Nitpicker" GUI Server

    Genode is the open-source operating system framework designed for "highly secure" special-purpose operating systems from embedded platforms to desktops while subscribing to a Unix philosophy and going for an L4 micro-kernel approach. The Genode OS 17.11 represents another quarter's worth of changes.

    A lot of the work represented by Genode OS 17.11 is on beating the operating system platform into shape to be a day-to-day OS. Among the changes to find is its GUI stack being reworked, scroll-wheel emulation and pointer acceleration finally, other input handling improvements, all x86 micro-kernels now using the GRUB2 boot-loader, Nim programming language usage, and more.

Kernel: Linux 4.14.3, 4.9.66, 4.4.103, 3.18.85 and Linux Foundation Pieces

Filed under
Linux
  • Linux 4.14.3
  • Linux 4.9.66
  • Linux 4.4.103
  • Linux 3.18.85
  • Four new stable kernels

    Greg Kroah-Hartman has announced the release of the 4.14.3, 4.9.66, 4.4.103, and 3.18.85 stable kernels. As usual, they contain fixes throughout the tree; users of those series should upgrade.

  • A Closed-Source Apple File-System APFS Driver For Linux Announced

    With macOS High Sierra finally ditching the HFS+ file-system and switching all macOS users over to Apple's new file-system, APFS, you may find the need to read a APFS file-system from another non-macOS device. Now it's possible with an APFS Linux file-system driver, but it's closed-source and doesn't yet have write capabilities.

    Paragon Software who has also developed a commercial Microsoft ReFS Linux file-system driver as well as an EXT4 driver for Windows has now developed an Apple File-System (APFS) driver for Linux systems.

  • What OPNFV Makes Possible in Open Source

    OPNFV provides both tangible and intangible benefits to end users. Tangible benefits include those that directly impact business metrics, whereas the intangibles include benefits that speed up the overall NFV transformation journey but are harder to measure. The nature of the OPNFV project, where it primarily focuses on integration and testing of upstream projects and adds carrier-grade features to these upstream projects, can make it difficult to understand these benefits.

    To understand this more clearly, let’s go back to the era before OPNFV. Open source projects do not, as a matter of routine, perform integration and testing with other open source projects. So, the burden of taking multiple disparate projects and making the stack work for NFV primarily fell on Communications Service Providers (CSPs), although in some cases vendors shouldered part of the burden. For CSPs or vendors to do the same integration and testing didn’t make sense.

  • The Evolving Developer Advocate Role — A Conversation with Google’s Kim Bannerman

    At this year’s Cloud Foundry Summit Europe, the story was about developers as the heroes. They’re the ones who make the platforms. They are akin to the engineers who played such a pivotal role in designing the railroads, or in modern times made the smartphone possible. This means a more important role for developer advocates who, at organizations such as Google, are spending a lot more time with customers. These are the subject matter experts helping developers build out their platforms. They are gathering data to develop feedback loops that flow back into open source communities for ongoing development.

Faulty Graphics Driver From NVIDIA

Filed under
Graphics/Benchmarks
Linux
  • NVIDIA Confirms Linux Driver Performance Regression, To Be Fixed In 390 Series

    If you think recent NVIDIA Linux driver releases have been slowing down your games, you are not alone, especially if you are running with a GeForce graphics card having a more conservative vRAM capacity by today's standards.

    Long time ago Nouveau contributor turned NVIDIA Linux engineer Arthur Huillet confirmed there is a bug in their memory management introduced since their 378 driver series that is still present in the latest 387 releases.

  • NVIDIA has confirmed a driver bug resulting in a loss of performance on Linux

    It seems there's a performance bug in recent NVIDIA drivers that has been causing a loss of performance across likely all GPUs. Not only that, but it seems to end up using more VRAM than previous drivers too.

    User HeavyHDx started a thread on the official NVIDIA forum, to describe quite a big drop in performance since the 375 driver series. So all driver updates since then would have been affected by this.

Linux-Based Sailfish OS: Slush update from Jolla CEO

Filed under
Linux
  • Slush update from Jolla CEO

    It’s been busy and productive times with Sailfish OS in the past months and it is time for an update from the cockpit. It is also an exciting week here in Helsinki, Finland as we have Europe’s biggest tech conference Slush 2017 once again going on and we’re looking forward to see and discuss a lot of new innovations during these two days.

    [....]

    In this collaboration Jolla will be offering the Sailfish X as a core development environment, and Zipper develops and offers the blockchain platform for it. The platform will have its own currency ZIP to fuel the community and platform development. We are also preparing a tailored community program for developing new blockchain related applications and features to Sailfish OS, and further, our intention is to use ZIP tokens to spur community growth and contributions. We will come back to this program later on. Stay tuned!

  • Jolla's CEO Provides An End of Year Update On Sailfish OS

    Jolla CEO and co-founder Sami Pienimäki has provided an update about the company's ongoing efforts around their Sailfish OS Linux mobile operating system.

Games: MAME, GOG, Godot, and Rich Geldreich

Filed under
Gaming
  • MAME Emulator Now Supports Oriental Legend 2 and Knights of Valour 2 New Legend

    MAME, the open-source and cross-platform computer emulator software, has been updated this week to version 0.192, a release that incorporates support for new systems and games.

    One of the most important changes of the MAME 0.192 release appears to be the progress done so far for the IGS PGM2 software, which will excite lots of arcade fans. This was possible thanks to a newly built FPGA-based rig that allowed the devs to dump the internal programs from the ARM CPUs for the Knights of Valour 2 New Legend and Oriental Legend 2 games.

  • GOG now have Epic Pinball and the platformer Jazz Jackrabbit with Linux support

    GOG have revived some more classic games today as they have released Epic Pinball: The Complete Collection and Jazz Jackrabbit Collection which have Linux support.

  • Godot 3.0 Game Engine Reaches Beta

    Development on the Godot 3.0 game engine has been happening for the better part of two years while today it reached its much anticipated beta milestone that also marks the feature freeze for this open-source game engine release.

  • Dev snapshot: Godot 3.0 beta 1

    Godot 3.0's development officially entered the beta stage last week, which coincides for us with what we name the feature freeze: from now on, no new features will be merged in the master branch, as the focus will be fully on fixing existing issues to stabilize the current feature set. Don't worry though, Godot 3.1 will arrive soon after the 3.0 release to bring all the nice features that contributors are already working on.

  • Rich Geldreich On The Concerns Of Open-Sourcing In The Game Industry

    Former Valve developer Rich Geldreich who was responsible for a lot of the Linux/OpenGL work at Valve in the earlier days of Linux gaming and who has also spent time at Unity, Microsoft, and other companies before starting his own consulting firm, has second thoughts about open-sourcing in the game industry.

Red Hat News

Filed under
Red Hat

More in Tux Machines

Software and Games Leftovers

  • LXD Weekly Status #35
    This past week we’ve been focusing on a number of open pull requests, getting closer to merging improvements to our storage volume handling, unix char/block devices handling and the massive clustering branch that’s been cooking for a while. We’re hoping to see most of those land at some point this coming week. On the LXC side of things, the focus was on bugfixes and cleanups as well as preparing for the removal of the python3 and lua bindings from the main repository. We’re also making good progress on distrobuilder and hope to start moving some of our images to using it as the build tool very soon.
  • Performance Co-Pilot 4.0.0 released
    It gives me great pleasure to announce the first major-numbered PCP release in nine and a half years - PCP v4 - is here!
  • Performance Co-Pilot Sees First Major Version Bump In Nearly A Decade
    The Performance Co-Pilot open-source cross-platform monitoring/visualizing stack has reached version 4.0 as its first major version hike in almost ten years.
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  • Sci-fi mystery 'The Station' has released, it’s a short but memorable experience
    What would happen if we discovered the existence of alien life? A question I've often asked and a question many games, films and books have covered in great detail. The Station [Steam] is a sci-fi mystery that sees you investigate The Espial, a space station sent to research a sentient alien civilization.
  • Halcyon 6: The Precursor Legacy DLC released, some good content for a small price
    Halcyon 6: The Precursor Legacy DLC [GOG, Steam] was released earlier this month, adding some really nice content at a small price to an already great game.
  • Parry and dodge your way to victory in 'Way of the Passive Fist', launching March 6th
    Way of the Passive Fist [Steam, Official Site] is a rather unique and very colourful arcade brawler and it's releasing with Linux support on March 6th.

KDE and GNOME Leftovers

  • Kdenlive Café tonight and beta AppImage
    The last months for Kdenlive have been very quiet from the outside – we were not very active on the bugtracker, did not make a lot of announcements, and the 17.12.x release cycle only contained very few minor bugfixes. The main reason for this was the huge work that went behind the scenes for a major code refactoring that was required to allow further developments. So after more than a year working on it, we hope to get ready for the 18.04 release!
  • [Krita] Interview with Christine Garner
    I did Archaeology in University and I love history, mythology, folklore and nature. I’ve always been drawing from an early age. I graduated in 2003 with an archaeology degree. I taught myself digital art and web coding skills for fun and practical reasons. I used to do self-employed web design and admin type jobs, but in 2013 I became disillusioned with my life and had depression. I took a Foundation art course in 2013 deciding to pursue my artistic passions instead.
  • Qt 5.11 Brings New Accessibility Backend on Windows
    Accessibility technology encompasses assistive tools such as screen readers, magnifiers and braille displays, as well as APIs and frameworks that allow applications to expose elements of their UI to such tools.
  • CSS Grid
    This would totally have been a tweet or a facebook post, but I’ve decided to invest a little more energy and post these on my blog, accessible to everybody. Getting old, I guess. We’re all mortal and the web isn’t open by its own. In the past few days I’ve been learning about CSS grid while redesigning Flatpak and Flathub sites (still coming). And with the knowledge of really grokking only a fraction of it, I’m in love.

OSS: Project Names, Events, NSF and Mozilla, ArangoDB, Oracle, Bitcoin and More

  • Choosing project names: 4 key considerations
    Working on a new open source project, you're focused on the code—getting that great new idea released so you can share it with the world. And you'll want to attract new contributors, so you need a terrific name for your project. We've all read guides for creating names, but how do you go about choosing the right one? Keeping that cool science fiction reference you're using internally might feel fun, but it won't mean much to new users you're trying to attract. A better approach is to choose a name that's memorable to new users and developers searching for your project. Names set expectations. Your project's name should showcase its functionality in the ecosystem and explain to users what your story is. In the crowded open source software world, it's important not to get entangled with other projects out there. Taking a little extra time now, before sending out that big announcement, will pay off later.
  • FOSDEM 2018 Community DevRoom Recap: Simon Phipps & Rich Sands
    It’s been a few weeks now since FOSDEM and if you didn’t have a chance to attend or watch the  livestream of the FOSDEM 2018 Community DevRoom, Leslie my co-chair, and I are doing a round up summary on posts on each of the talks to bring you the video and the highlights of each presentation. You can read the preview post of Rich Sands and Simon Phipps pre FOSDEM blog post here.
  • Scheduling Voxxed Days Zurich 2018 with OptaPlanner
    My name is Mario Fusco and I’m honored to be the Program Committee Lead of Voxxed Days Zurich for the third year in a row. Reading, evaluating, discussing, and selecting from the 200+ proposals that arrive every year is a long and challenging process. I must admit, I largely underestimated the task the first year I started doing it. It’s necessary to evaluate not only the quality of every submission, but also how they fit together. In the end, the worst part is having to reject so many incredible proposals because there are a limited number of slots. However, once all the talks have been selected and all the approval and rejection emails have been sent, the process is still not complete. Now it is time to take all the accepted talks and schedule the actual program. Even for a moderate sized event like Voxxed Days Zurich (the conference lasts only one day and we have four parallel tracks), this is not a trivial task. There are many constraints and nice-to-haves that you may need to consider. For example, some speakers will arrive late in the morning or will have to leave early in the afternoon.  Some talks require different room capacities.  Two talks belonging to the same track must not be scheduled at the same time. There are many more variables to this process.
  • 20 Big Ideas to Connect the Unconnected
    Last year, the National Science Foundation (NSF) and Mozilla announced the Wireless Innovation for a Networked Society (WINS) challenges: $2 million in prizes for big ideas to connect the unconnected across the U.S. Today, we’re announcing our first set of winners: 20 bright ideas from Detroit, Cleveland, Albuquerque, New York City, and beyond. The winners are building mesh networks, solar-powered Wi-Fi, and network infrastructure that fits inside a single backpack. Winning projects were developed by veteran researchers, enterprising college students, and everyone in-between. What do all these projects have in common? They’re affordable, scalable, open-source, and secure.
  • ArangoDB publishes industry-wide open source NoSQL performance benchmark
    ArangoDB, a provider of native multi-model NoSQL database solutions, announced the latest findings of its open source NoSQL performance benchmark series. To enable vendors to respond to the results and contribute improvements, ArangoDB has published the necessary scripts required to repeat the benchmark.
  • Can one 'multi-model' database rule them all?
    ArangoDB open source NoSQL performance benchmark series is one such open study.
  • Oracle-Supported Port of DTrace?, Linux Foundation Announces Akraino, New Feral Interactive Game and Qt 5.11 Alpha
    For those of us who have been holding out to see an Oracle-supported port of DTrace on Linux, that time is nearly here. Oracle just re-licensed the system instrumentation tool from the original CDDL to GPLv2.
  • Kernel patch releases, WineHQ, OpenIndiana project, FreeBSD Unix distribution, Xubuntu community contest
    The OpenIndiana project is still alive and well with a recent announcement of migrating the project to GCC 6.4. Unfortunately, this version does not cover the Spectre/Meltdown vulnerabilities, although the next version planned is 7.3 which will cover these hot issues.
  • Satoshi’s Vision? Bitcoin Cash Gets It Wrong, Says Max Keiser
    The movement was formally founded in 1983 by Richard Stallman with the launch of the GNU Project, which was founded on the idea that proprietary software harms users to the benefit of large corporations.
  • Bitcoin's Developers Are Debating A Change To Its Open License
    Ever since its launch last August, bitcoin has had an antagonistic relationship with its offshoot, bitcoin cash. But their battle may have provided a trigger to seek ways to protect bitcoin’s core code from indiscriminate use.
  • A new Maryland bill would allow students to buy textbooks tax-free twice a year [Ed: This is a reaction to open-source (Open Access) books and maybe an attempt to extinguish such state-level initiatives]
    University of Maryland student Kayla Little has wanted to be a doctor since she was 11 years old — but a nationwide rise in textbook prices has proved to be an obstacle to her success. "I've wanted to go into medicine for the longest [time], and I really don't want to give that up for books," said Little, who hopes to go to medical school and become an orthopedic surgeon for a professional sports team.
  • How the Grateful Dead were a precursor to Creative Commons licensing
    From its founding in 1965, the Grateful Dead was always an unusual band. Rising amidst the counterculture movement in the San Francisco Bay Area, the Grateful Dead’s music had roots in multiple styles and genres but did not lend itself to easy categorization. Was it psychedelic? Folk? Blues? Country? Yes, it was all of these and more. The band frequently performed well-known public domain songs, but they made the songs their own. Members of the band could effortlessly play across traditional and diverse styles. At concerts, they often performed songs that sounded familiar at first but grew and evolved across styles and genres. Songs often turned into lengthy jam sessions in which musicians played off one another, discovering new musical motifs and expanding them together.

Rust things I miss in C and learning to program is getting harder

  • Rust things I miss in C
    Librsvg feels like it is reaching a tipping point, where suddenly it seems like it would be easier to just port some major parts from C to Rust than to just add accessors for them. Also, more and more of the meat of the library is in Rust now. I'm switching back and forth a lot between C and Rust these days, and C feels very, very primitive these days.
  • Learning to program is getting harder

    I have written several books that use Python to explain topics like Bayesian Statistics and Digital Signal Processing. Along with the books, I provide code that readers can download from GitHub. In order to work with this code, readers have to know some Python, but that's not enough. They also need a computer with Python and its supporting libraries, they have to know how to download code from GitHub, and then they have to know how to run the code they downloaded.

    And that's where a lot of readers get into trouble.