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March 2019

LLVM Clang 9.0 Adds "-ftime-trace" To Produce Useful Time Trace Profiling Data

Filed under
Development
BSD

LLVM has merged a very useful feature for the Clang 9.0 release this autumn: the -ftime-trace feature allows producing time trace profiling data in a friendly format that is useful for developers to better understand where the compiler is spending most of its time and other areas for improvement.

Clang has already supported -ftime-report for printing time summaries for each stage of the compilation process while -ftime-trace yields much more useful data. The output of -ftime-trace is JSON-based profiling outputs that can be loaded into Chrome's chrome://tracing visualizer. This data shows how much time LLVM/Clang is spending on compiling each file, down to the function granularity.

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SDDM v0.18.1

Filed under
KDE

We are happy to release a new SDDM version.

SDDM is a Qt based graphical login manager developed in a collaborative fashion by people from Liri, KDE and LXQt.

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Linux Lite 4.4 is ready to replace Microsoft Windows on your aging PC

Filed under
Linux

One of the best things about operating systems based on the Linux kernel is they can sometimes be very lightweight. Why is this important? Well, when an OS uses very few resources, it can breathe new life into an aging PC. In other words, just because Windows 7 or Windows 10 run like molasses on your old computer, that doesn't mean you have to buy a new one. The right Linux distribution can make your older PC feel fast and new.

One of the most popular lightweight Linux-based operating systems is Linux Lite. Heck, the name of the distribution tells you that it is designed to use few resources! Version 4.4 is now available, and as per usual, it is based on the latest Ubuntu LTS -- 18.04. The Xfce desktop environment will feel familiar to those switching from Windows. Those new to Linux will also appreciate the easy access to many popular programs, such as Skype, Steam, and Spotify. Even the excellent Microsoft Office alternative, LibreOffice, is included.

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Openness, Open Data and Open Hardware

Filed under
OSS
  • Open-source seeds: protecting new crops from privitisation

    From the green grass of England to the tropical forests of the Amazon basin and the semi-arid plains of North Africa, when it comes to food, no one crop can suit every soil type, or withstand the challenges of climate change. It is therefore vitally important that humans seek to preserve and increase the biological diversity of crops.

    In pursuit of this goal, Dr Johannes Kotschi from the Association for AgriCulture and Ecology, along with researchers from the University of Göttingen, has developed an open-source seed (OSS) licence that can be applied to new crop varieties. The OSS licence prevents seeds and their derivatives from being privatised, patented or otherwise protected in a way that would limit their sale or further modification. In doing so, it ensures that new varieties are available to everyone. Alongside the licence, the organisation OpenSourceSeeds supports breeders and seed producers who use it.

  • Aptiv Releases Comprehensive Open-Source Automated Vehicle Data Set

    Aptiv has released a comprehensive set of automated driving training data including camera, radar and lidar signals that has been fully annotated and labeled.

  • Aptiv Releases Comprehensive Open-Source Dataset for Autonomous Driving

    Global auto parts supplier Aptiv, formally known as Delphi Automotive, announced today the full release of nuScenes, an open-source autonomous vehicle (AV) dataset. The dataset will help developers improve the safety of autonomous vehicles.

  • MIPS R6 Architecture Now Available for Open Use

    Asked if any other MIPS cores – beyond R6 – will be available in the future, Swift said additional announcements are in the offing, indicating that Thursday’s offering is only the first set of MIPS Open’s release.  

    “Remember, this is a journey, not a destination,” Swift reminded.

    Other pending announcements include MIPS Open’s certification partners and MIPS Open Advisory Board. Names of individuals or companies for those initiatives are not yet public.

  • Wave Computing launches MIPS Open, provides royalty-free access to chip design data

    A few months after announcing plans to “open source its MIPS instruction set architecture,” the folks at Wave Computing are following through. Mostly.

    The company has launched the MIPS Open program and released the first components, offering developers royalty and license fee-free access to the latest versions of its 32-bit and 64-bit MIPS architecture.

    But it’s questionable whether this is truly an “open source” initiative, so much as an “open use” project designed encourage developers to work with the company’s chips.

DragonFlyBSD Receives Initial FUSE Port For File-Systems In User-Space

Filed under
BSD

Tomohiro Kusumi has contributed an initial FUSE implementation to DragonFlyBSD for implementing file-systems in user-space support.

The design is based roughly on FreeBSD code but is a cleanly written implementation for allowing user-space file-systems to work on this BSD. This initial FUSE support isn't designed to be API/ABI compatible with the FreeBSD code due to different sysctls and other factors.

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Nate Graham's KDE Usability & Productivity Weekly Report

Filed under
KDE
  • KDE Usability & Productivity: Week 64

    Week 64 in KDE’s Usability & Productivity initiative has arrived, and I think you’ll see why this week needed two posts.

  • KDE's Konsole Now Supports Splitting, Plasma Vault Integration In Dolphin

    KDE contributor Nate Graham has continued his weekly blog posts outlining some of the notable improvements made in the world of KDE. One of the notable changes this week is the Konsole terminal emulator allowing arbitrary grid-like splits of a single window. That honors a ten year old bug report about wanting to restore support for "Quadkonsole" for allowing several consoles to render within a single window. That support is finally in place for the KDE Applications 19.08 release due out this summer.

Software: Python IDEs, Kodi, Best alternatives to Skype

Filed under
Software
  • 9 Best Free Python Integrated Development Environments (Updated 2019)

    Python is a widely used general-purpose, high level programming language. It’s easy to read and learn. It’s frequently used for science, data analysis, and engineering. With a burgeoning scientific community and ecosystem, Python is an excellent environment for students, scientists and organizations that develop technology software.

    One of the essential tools for a budding Python developer is a good Integrated Development Environment (IDE). An IDE is a software application that provides comprehensive facilities to programmers for software development.

    Many coders learn to code using a text editor. And many professional Python developers prefer to stay with their favourite text editor, in part because a lot of text editors can be used as a development environment by making use of plugins. But many Python developers migrate to an IDE as this type of software application offers, above all else, practicality. They make coding easier, can offer significant time savings with features like autocompletion, and built-in refactoring code, and also reduces context switching. For example, IDEs have semantic knowledge of the programming language which highlights coding problems while typing. Compiling is ‘on the fly’ and debugging is integrated.

  • Are free VPNs any good for Kodi?

    Before we get to the VPNs, let's start with Kodi, which is a free and open source media player.

  • What Is Kodi and How Does It Work?

    What is Kodi? Imagine your own version of Netflix or Amazon Prime Video, but one that is completely free? Sounds too good to be true, right?

  • Best alternatives to Skype 2019: paid and free

    If you're looking for the best Skype alternatives, then you've come to the right place. For many years, Skype has been one of the most popular VoIP (Voice over IP) services, with home and business users alike using it to video and voice call friends and family over the world.

    However, in 2011 Microsoft acquired Skype, and since then it has been tweaking the interface and adding (and removing features) which has not been too popular.

    So, if you're looking to move from Skype to another VoIP service, then this guide to the best Skype alternatives will help you make the leap. We look at both free alternatives to Skype, as well as packages you need to pay for, which is good for large companies with employees around the world.

Linux laptops alive in South Africa

Filed under
Linux

While it may serve a small niche in South Africa, Dell has been offering laptops that run Ubuntu Linux for years.

This is according to Chris Buchanan, client solutions director at Dell EMC in South Africa.

Dell and Canonical recently announced the new version of the Dell XPS 13 Developer Edition laptop, offering up to 16GB RAM and a 1TB SSB. Since then, a 2TB version has become available.

Like other Developer Edition variants of the Dell XPS 13, the 2018 model comes with Ubuntu Linux rather than Windows. At the time, the latest long-term support release: Ubuntu 18.04 “Bionic Beaver”.

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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