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January 2019

Microsoft Entryism/EEE: Latest Examples

Filed under
Microsoft

Programming and Licensing: Debconf, DevConf.CZ, Debian, SALT, Eclipse GlassFish Java EE 8 Certified and HMD's GPL Compliance

Filed under
Development
  • Debconf Video Team Sprint – Day 3

    Today has mostly been spent in conversation.

    Jonathan has started to scratch an itch that I share, we need a better tally light solution. When we were using DV switch we had a simple tally light system using (iirc DTR on a) serial port to turn on or off an LED. This was fine because there was always a PC available at each camera running DVCapture.

    Since the move to Voctomix, each camera no longer has it’s own dedicated PC. Instead we have long 50R co-ax cables (remember the days of cheaper-net 10 base-2?) going directly to a PC running VoctoCore…. Yes we still use a serial port to drive a tally light (all be it these days from a USB to serial converter) but we could do so much better.

  • DevConf.CZ 2019 Recap

    DevConf.CZ 2019 wrapped up last weekend and it was a great event packed with lots of knowledgeable speakers, an engaging hallway track, and delicious food. This was my first trip to any DevConf and it was my second trip to Brno.

  • Scott Kitterman: Rise and fall of libclamav

    Because I was bored and needed to procrastinate, I decided to look at the history of packages using libclamav over the last several releases.

  • SALT is a third-party alternative to LG UP

    Although, currently flashing KDZ files is currently unsupported. You can check out the thread at the link below to download the software, and to leave feedback for the developer as the tool is refined. It works for both GNU/Linux and Windows operating systems, though the developer recommends you use the tool in his FWUL GNU/Linux environment.

  • Eclipse GlassFish Java EE 8 Certified

    GlassFish, and its associated Technology Compatibility Kit (TCK) code, has been fully migrated to Eclipse Foundation stewardship. The new release, Eclipse GlassFish 5.1.0, is now fully Java EE 8 certified, which represents a key step to ensuring backward compatibility of Jakarta EE.

    GlassFish is the reference implementation of Java EE, in other words, the standard from which all other implementations and corresponding customizations are derived. GlassFish was initially created by Sun Microsystems for the Java EE platform and is now sponsored by Oracle, who have a supported version called Oracle GlassFish Server.

  • How to cast a function pointer to a void*
  • HMD publishes Nokia 2 V kernel source code

    Like any other company, HMD Global is required to release the kernel source code for any phones and major updates that it releases by the GPL. Today the company has published the source code for the Nokia 2 V, which is Verizon's version of the affordable Nokia 2.1 that is beginning sales tomorrow.

OpenSUSE/SUSE: Tumbleweed, Events and SUSE Linux Enterprise Server for SAP Applications 11 SP4

Filed under
SUSE
  • Introducing The Linux Community Challenge #2: openSUSE Tumbleweed
  • May we live in interesting times

    In 1966, Robert F Kennedy gave his famous Day of Affirmation Address in Cape Town, which included the allegedly Chinese curse “may you live in interesting times”. This has been widely used since, but is it really an ancient Chinese curse? Much research has been carried out into the origins of this phrase, and while it can be traced back to a speech given by Sir Austen Chamberlain in England in 1936, it has been generally confirmed and accepted by many to not be of Chinese origin. As a result, I’m quite happy to live in interesting times – preferably working in an interesting role, in an interesting company, in an interesting industry and surrounded by interesting people. Working at SUSE, as part of the OpenStack industry, I get to tick all of these boxes daily! Incidentally, at the time of writing this, there were 155 roles open on the SUSE careers page – why not take a look and see if any are interesting to you?

  • Is time running out for your SAP Linux support?

    In 60 days, SUSE Linux Enterprise Server for SAP Applications 11 SP4 will reach the March 31, 2019 end date for General Support. This means that it’s no longer possible to purchase a Priority Support subscription with the updates, proactive fixes for bugs and security vulnerabilities, and unlimited technical support that you depend on. More than likely, your SAP systems and services are critical to your business operations, so it’s equally critical that you maintain Linux support for those systems.
    If you’re no longer running your systems on SUSE Linux Enterprise Server for SAP Applications 11 SP4, or have a plan to maintain support with Long Term Service Pack Support (LTSS) then you’re already ahead of the game. Just skip the rest of this blog and enjoy your day. If, on the other hand, you’re wondering what to do next then read on to understand your options.

Games: Graywalkers: Purgatory, Thrusty Ship, Unity, Slay the Spire, Night of the Blood Moon, MachiaVillain, Mage's Initiation

Filed under
Gaming
  • Graywalkers: Purgatory, an upcoming supernatural post-apocalyptic turn-based strategy RPG

    Graywalkers: Purgatory from developer Dreamlords Digital has me itching to try it out with a blending of turn-based XCOM-like combat with a supernatural post-apocalyptic theme.

  • In Thrusty Ship your main enemy is yourself and your throttle finger

    Thrusty Ship takes the basic gameplay of classics like Lunar Lander (and many others) with you fighting against gravity and turns it into a challenging and fun battle against your fuel gauge.

  • Unity 2019.1 Beta Deprecates Linux x86, Offers Up Many Vulkan & Linux Improvements

    Unity Tech has put out their first public beta of the upcoming Unity 2019.1 game engine update. There's some notable work on both the Linux and Vulkan fronts.

    Unity 2019.1 beta headlining features include incremental garbage collection support, implementing more GPU lightmapper functionality, particle improvements, and a number of enhancements to the Android platform support. For game developers making use of Unity there are also editor improvements with a number of new features as well as H.265 video transcode, NVIDIA OptiX AI denoiser, and other bits

  • Slay the Spire Now Available for Linux and Windows

    Slay the Spire has been available in Early Access for quite a while, but the game has finally been released in its full form - and stands out compared to pretty much anything else on the market. Roguelikes have been a giant part of the industry for a decade now too, but you don't really see these things combined in a mini-game - let alone in a full-fledged game. The game combines a bit of JRPG mechanics with it as well thanks to its turn-based nature and allows you to build new decks and learn as you go. If you find that a certain attack type is weak against one enemy type, you'll want to switch it up - but maybe find that your new attack setup isn't much more effective. Then you find that by combining various cards together, you get a more effective turn and wind up unlocking the mystery behind a certain enemy.

  • Night of the Blood Moon Now Available on Steam For Linux and Windows PC

    With the rise of rogue-like games over the past decade, the sub-genre has become oversaturated to many. Most games have aimed at making them more accessible, but Blood Moon aims to do things a bit differently. The goal of the developers is to make things challenging and more rewarding. The game's premise is unique too in that it has you fighting in a dream world and destroying all of the cute and sometimes terrifying creatures you see in the dream realm. You can kill as many of them as you want and unlock items, skills, or even helper pets. They act a bit like a third non-playable character in a fighting game in that they can help you briefly and save your bacon, but aren't going to give you a game-breaking adventure.

  • Major Update Released for MachiaVillain on PC, Mac and Linux

    Good Shepherd Entertainment and independent developer Wild Factor have released a shocking new content update for the evil mansion management strategy game MachiaVillain on Windows PC, Mac and Linux.

    MachiaVillain’s new update adds electric fields to your hellish homestead that can be used to power new tools and abilities. Set up alarms, jam mobile phones to keep victims from calling for help, and wield the Finger of Evil to zap enemies or give a boost to your minions.

  • Mage's Initiation adventure/RPG out now for Win / Mac / Linux

    After ten years of development, Himalaya Studios is excited to announce that Mage's Initiation: Reign of the Elements - a hybrid adventure/RPG in the tradition of the classic King's Quest and Quest for Glory series - is now available for $13.49 USD on Steam, GOG, and the Humble Store.

Desktops, Laptops and Distros: Lenovo Thinkpad T480s Business Laptop, Clear Linux, Chromebooks

Filed under
GNU
Linux
  • Reviewed: The Lenovo Thinkpad T480s Business Laptop
  • Clear Linux Outlines How You Can Build Your Own Linux Distro In 10 Minutes

    While Intel's Clear Linux is known to the most of you for its speed, it's also a distribution that is very easy to build off of for specific use-cases should you want your own pre-configured Linux OS. 

    Clear Linux tweeted out this week that with their mixer software you can build your own Clear Linux distribution in "less than 10 minutes" using its mixing software. Spinning your own Clear Linux distribution is done using their Mixer tool that is built around their package management concept of bundles with swupd.

  • 19 days of productivity in 2019: The fails

    There seems to be a mad rush at the beginning of every year to find ways to be more productive. New Year's resolutions, the itch to start the year off right, and of course, an "out with the old, in with the new" attitude all contribute to this. And the usual round of recommendations is heavily biased towards closed source and proprietary software. It doesn't have to be that way.

    Part of being productive is accepting that failure happens. I am a big proponent of Howard Tayler's Maxim 70: "Failure is not an option—it is mandatory. The option is whether or not to let failure be the last thing you do." And there were many things I wanted to talk about in this series that I failed to find good answers for.

    So, for the final edition of my 19 new (or new-to-you) open source tools to help you be more productive in 2019, I present the tools I wanted but didn't find. I am hopeful that you, the reader, will be able to help me find some good solutions to the items below. If you do, please share them in the comments.

  • Lenovo’s 4K Yoga Chromebook C630 Is Available to Order

    While certain Chrome OS devices already come with high-resolution displays—like the Pixelbook and Pixel Slate—there’s hasn’t been one with a 4K display. Until the Lenovo Yoga Chromebook C630, that is. And now you can buy one.

    We can talk about whether you need a 4K display in your Chromebook (read: you probably don’t), but at the end of the day, there’s always an argument for just how damn good a display looks when it’s absolutely packed with pixels. I’m sure this one is no exception.

  • Native backup and restoring of Linux containers in Crostini targeted for Chrome OS 74

    While using Linux on a Chromebook is helpful, if something happens to the Linux container, you could easily lose all of your installed apps, data, and settings. There is a manual method to import and export a container if you’re familiar with LXD in Linux, but Crostini in Chrome OS is getting a native function to do the same according to the Chromium commit log.

Linux Kernel Getting New Option So SSBD Isn't Over-Protective - Helping Performance

Filed under
Linux
Security

For the Linux kernel's Speculative Store Bypass Disable (SSBD) handling for Spectre Variant 4 protection is support for processes opting into force disabling of speculation via a prctl() interface. Currently when speculation is disabled, that is carried through to new processes started via the execve() system call. But a new bit will allow clearing that state when a new program is started by a process otherwise relying upon PR_SPEC_DISABLE, in what will help the performance in such cases.

Queued for introduction to the mainline Linux kernel is a new PR_SPEC_DISABLE_NOEXEC option for prctl as part of the Speculative Store Bypass Disable options but where the state is cleared on execve() calls. The premise is that programs opting into disabling speculation are doing so, but programs that aren't vulnerable to the speculation-related misfeatures normally aren't checking to see that the PR_SPEC_ENABLE bit is set rather just assuming the status quo. Thus with the current PR_SPEC_DISABLE behavior, programs spawned via execve() may be protected when they really don't need to be and carrying with that the added performance overhead.

Read more

Also: A new Linux Foundation effort for the edge

The D in SystemD stands for Danger, Will Robinson! Defanged exploit code for security holes now out in the wild

Filed under
Linux
Security

Those who haven't already patched a trio of recent vulnerabilities in the Linux world's SystemD have an added incentive to do so: security biz Capsule8 has published exploit code for the holes.

Don't panic, though: the exploit code has been defanged so that it is defeated by basic security measures, and thus shouldn't work in the wild against typical Linux installations. However, Capsule8 or others may reveal ways to bypass those protections, so consider this a heads-up, or an insight into exploit development. Google Project Zero routinely reveals the inner magic of its security exploits, if you're into that.

Back to SystemD.

In mid-January, Qualys, another security firm, released details about three flaws affecting systemd-journald, a systemd component that handles the collection and storage of log data. Patches for the vulnerabilities – CVE-2018-16864, CVE-2018-16865, and CVE-2018-16866 – have been issued by various Linux distributions.

Exploitation of these code flaws allows an attacker to alter system memory in order to commandeer systemd-journal, which permits privilege escalation to the root account of the system running the software. In other words, malware running on a system, or rogue logged-in users, can abuse these bugs to gain administrator-level access over the whole box, which is not great in uni labs and similar environments.

Nick Gregory, research scientists at Capsule8, in a blog post this week explains that his firm developed proof-of-concept exploit code for testing and verification. As in testing whether or not computers are at risk, and verifying the patches work.

Read more

Also:

  • Linux Kernel hid_debug_events_read() Function Local Denial of Service Vulnerability [CVE-2019-3819]

    A vulnerability in the hid_debug_events_read() function of the Linux Kernel could allow a local attacker to cause a denial of service (DoS) condition on a targeted system.The vulnerability exists in the hid_debug_events_read() function, as defined in the drivers/hid/hid-debug.c source code file of the affected software. The vulnerability is due to an infinite loop condition that may occur when user-supplied input with certain parameters is passed from a userspace. An attacker with root privileges could exploit this vulnerability by executing a program that submits malicious input to the targeted system. A successful exploit could cause the system to lock, resulting in a DoS condition.Kernel.org has not confirmed the vulnerability, and software updates are not available.

PinePhone Linux smartphone to sell for $149, dev kits coming soon

Filed under
Linux
Gadgets

The smartphone world is basically a duopoly at the moment. Android is the dominant operating system and iOS comes in a distant second place, while competing platforms such as Windows, BlackBerry OS, Symbian, FireFox OS have largely been abandoned.

There are still a few holdouts — Jolla continues to develop its Sailfish OS, but its market share is virtually nil.

[...]

Niche hardware and software isn’t cheap… but maybe it can be. Pine64 has announced that its developing a cheap Linux phone called the PinePhone that could sell for as little as $149.

[...]

The goal is to also provide physical switches that can disable or enable the wireless components, cameras, and speaker for privacy.

Read more

Want a bit of privacy? Got a USB stick? Welcome to TAILS 3.12

Filed under
Security
Debian

The Linux distro for the security-conscious has been updated with a fresh USB installation method.

Hot on the heels of Apple's latest privacy blunder, The Amnesic Incognito Live System (TAILS) has emitted version 3.12.

The big news this time around is the arrival of a USB image alongside the usual ISO. ISOs, handy for burning to a DVD or spinning up a virtual machine, are not so good when it comes to one of TAILS' strengths – running Linux without a trace.

The faff of needing a couple of USB sticks and around three hours of spare time is gone with this release. A single 8GB USB stick is sufficient to handle the 1.2GB download and TAILS reckons that the whole process should take an hour and a half.

A swift download and burn to USB using Etcher and a user is up, running and able to enjoy the discretion afforded by the Debian-based distro and the Tor network.

Read more

PineTab Linux tablet coming in 2019 for $79 and up

Filed under
GNU
Linux

Pine64 has big plans for 2019. The company, which produces low-power, low-cost computers capable of running GNU/Linux and BSD software, plans to release its first smartphone this year, as well as a $199 laptop that will be its most powerful model to date.

Also on the horizon? A dirt cheap Linux tablet.

Read more

More in Tux Machines

OSS Leftovers

  • Hideki Yamane: Debian 10 "buster" release party @Tokyo (7/7)

    We ate a delicious cake to celebrate Debian 10 "buster" release, at party in Tokyo (my employer provided the venue, cake and wine. Thanks to SIOS Technology, Inc.! :)

  • First Global Students Open Source Conference to Bring Together Next-Generation Tech Community

    Open-source software is a piece of software whose source code is distributed, modified and reused by the public with a few restrictions. The emphasis of open-source development on freedom, collaboration and community appeals to Silicon Valley companies and student organizations alike.

  • Zstd 1.4.1 Further Improves Decode Speed, Other Optimizations

    Zstd 1.4.1 is out today as a maintenance release to Facebook's Zstandard compression algorithm but with this update comes even more performance optimizations.  [...] This Zstd release also has several bug fixes including for niche use-cases where it could hit a rare data corruption bug. There are also build system updates and documentation improvements. 

  • Kubernetes As A Service On Bare Metal | Boris Renski

    Mirantis is one of those companies that continues to evolve with change times. Mirantis is now upping its Kubernetes game by offering Kubernetes as a service that supports bare metal. Mirantis CMO and co-founder Boris Renski explains the service in this interview.

  • YugaByte Commits to 100 Percent Open Source with Apache 2.0 License

    Version 2.0 Release Candidate of YugaByte Distributed SQL DB Available; First Product Available Under License Created by the Polyform Project.

  • Databases adopt open licenses, JavaScript gets faster on Android, governments use more OSS, and more news

    In the last year, a handful of major open source database vendors have tightened their grip on their code to try to remain competitive. Two vendors have bucked that trend and have gone all in on open source. The first of those is Cloudera, which announced that it's making "closed license components of its products open source" under the AGPL and Apache 2.0 license. While Cloudera's executives said they "had been mulling a modified open source license" like the one adopted by some of their competitors, they decided to go open and to adopt a "licensing/subscription approach" that closely mirrors that of Red Hat. Distributed database vendor YugaByte also adopted an Apache 2.0 license, making its wares fully open source. That move brings "previously commercial-only, closed-source features such as Distributed Backups, Data Encryption, and Read Replicas into the open source core project." That code is available in the project's GitHub repository.

  • Why Carl Malamud's Latest Brilliant Project, To Mine The World's Research Papers, Is Based In India

    Carl Malamud is one of Techdirt's heroes. We've been writing about his campaign to liberate US government documents and information for over ten years now. The journal Nature has a report on a new project of his, which is in quite a different field: academic knowledge. The idea will be familiar to readers of this site: to carry out text and data mining (TDM) on millions of academic articles, in order to discover new knowledge. It's a proven technique with huge potential to produce important discoveries. That raises the obvious question: if large-scale TDM of academic papers is so powerful, why hasn't it been done before? The answer, as is so often the case, is that copyright gets in the way. 

Security Leftovers

  • Researchers Build App That Kills To Highlight Insulin Pump Exploit

    By now the half-baked security in most internet of things (IOT) devices has become a bit of a running joke, leading to amusing Twitter accounts like Internet of Shit that highlight the sordid depth of this particular apathy rabbit hole. And while refrigerators leaking your gmail credentials and tea kettles that expose your home networks are entertaining in their own way, it's easy to lose sight of the fact that the same half-assed security in the IOT space also exists on most home routers, your car, your pacemaker, and countless other essential devices and services your life may depend on. Case in point: just about two years ago, security researchers discovered some major vulnerabilities Medtronic's popular MiniMed and MiniMed Paradigm insulin pumps. At a talk last year, they highlighted how a hacker could trigger the pumps to either withhold insulin doses, or deliver a lethal dose of insulin remotely. But while Medtronic and the FDA warned customers about the vulnerability and issued a recall over time, security researchers Billy Rios and Jonathan Butts found that initially, nobody was doing much to actually fix or replace the existing devices. [...] And of course that's not just a problem in the medical sector, but most internet-connected tech sectors. As security researcher Bruce Schneier often points out, it's part of a cycle of dysfunction where the consumer and the manufacturer of a flawed product have already moved on to the next big purchase, often leaving compromised products, and users, in a lurch. And more often than not, when researchers are forced to get creative to highlight the importance of a particular flaw, the companies in question enjoy shooting the messenger.

  • Desktop Operating Systems: Which is the safest? [Ed: This shallow article does not discuss NSA back doors and blames on "Linux" devices with open ports and laughable passwords -- based on narrative often pushed by corporate media to give illusion of parity. Also pushes the lie of Linux having minuscule usage.]
  • How Open Source Data Can Protect Consumer Credit Card Information
  • Open Source Hacking Tool Grows Up

    An open source white-hat hacking tool that nation-state hacking teams out of China, Iran, and Russia have at times employed to avoid detection....

Games: Dota Underlords and Stadia

  • Dota Underlords has another update out, this one changes the game quite a lot

    Valve continue to tweak Dota Underlords in the hopes of keeping players happy, this mid-Season gameplay update flips quite a few things on their head. I like their sense of humour, with a note about them removing "code that caused crashes and kept code that doesn't cause crashes". There's a few smaller changes like the addition of Loot Round tips to the Season Info tab, the ability to change equipped items from the Battle Pass and some buffs to the amount XP awarded for your placement in matches and for doing the quests. Meaning you will level up the Battle Pass faster.

  • Interested in Google's Stadia game streaming service? We have a few more details now

    With Google's game streaming service Stadia inching closer, we have some more information to share about it. Part of this, is thanks to a recent AMA (Ask Me Anything) they did on Reddit. I've gone over what questions they answered, to give you a little overview. Firstly, a few points about the Stadia Pro subscription: The Pro subscription is not meant to be like a "Netflix for Games", something people seem to think Stadia will end up as. Google said to think of it more like Xbox Live Gold or Playstation Plus. They're aiming to give Pro subscribers one free game a month "give or take". If you cancel Stadia Pro, you will lose access to free games claimed. However, you will get the previously claimed games back when you re-subscribe but not any you missed while not subscribed. As for Stadia Base, as expected there will be no free games included. As already confirmed, both will let you buy games as normal.

LabPlot has got some beautifying and lots of datasets

Hello everyone! The second part of this year's GSoC is almost over, so I was due to let you know the progress made in the last 3 weeks. I can assure you we haven't lazed since then. I think I managed to make quite good progress, so everything is going as planned, or I could say that even better. If you haven't read about this year's project or you just want to go through what has already been accomplished you can check out my previous post. So let's just go through the new things step by step. I'll try to explain the respective feature, and also give examples using videos or screenshots. The first step was to improve the welcome screen and make it easily usable, dynamic, clean and intuitive for users. This step was very important since the welcome screen is what the users will first get in contact with when they start using LabPlot. Read more