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September 2019

FOSS – A boon for e-governance and educational institutions

Filed under
OSS

Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) Community is By the Community, For the Community, of the Community, To the Community on No Profit No Loss Basis. Open Source Software, is and will always remain free. There is no license to pay to anybody.The central government mooted out a policy on adoption of open source software, which makes it mandatory for all software applications and services of the government be built using open source software, so that projects under Digital India “ensure efficiency, transparency and reliability of such services at affordable costs”. “Government of India shall endeavour to adopt Open Source Software in all e-Governance systems implemented by various Government organizations, as a preferred option in comparison to Closed Source Software,” said the policy statement, put on the website of the Department of Electronics and Information Technology.The Open Source Software shall have the following characteristics:- A) The source code shall be available for the community / adopter / end user to study and modify the software and to redistribute copies of either the original or modified software. Cool Source code shall be free from any royalty.

Read more

Programming: GitLab, JDK, Eclipse, pdb, Julia and More

Filed under
Development
  • GitLab Adopted by KDE to Foster Open Source Contributions

    Today GitLab, the DevOps platform delivered as a single application, announced that KDE, an international technology community that creates free and open source software for desktop and portable computing, is adopting GitLab for use by its developers to further enhance infrastructure accessibility and encourage contributions.

    KDE is a free and open source software community dedicated to creating a user-friendly computing experience. It offers an advanced graphical desktop, a wide variety of applications for communication, work, education and entertainment, and a platform for easily building new applications. Adding access to GitLab will provide the KDE community with additional options for accessible infrastructure for contributors, code review integration with git, streamlined infrastructure and tooling, and an open communication channel with the upstream GitLab community.

  • Oracle releases JDK 13 with switch expressions and text blocks preview features, and more!

    Yesterday, Oracle announced the general availability of Java SE 13 (JDK 13) and that its binaries are expected to be available for download today. In addition to improved performance, stability, and security, this release comes with two preview features, switch expressions and text blocks. This announcement coincides with the commencement of Oracle’s co-located OpenWorld and Code One conferences happening from September 16-17 2019 at San Francisco.

    Oracle’s director of Java SE Product Management, Sharat Chander, wrote in the announcement, “Oracle offers Java 13 for enterprises and developers. JDK 13 will receive a minimum of two updates, per the Oracle CPU schedule, before being followed by Oracle JDK 14, which is due out in March 2020, with early access builds already available.”

    This release is licensed under the GNU General Public License v2 with the Classpath Exception (GPLv2+CPE). For those who are using Oracle JDK release as part of an Oracle product or service, it is available under a commercial license.

  • Eclipse Che, Kubernetes-native IDE, version 7 now available

    Today, the Eclipse Foundation announced the release of Eclipse Che 7, the Kubernetes-native IDE, enabling developer teams to code, build, test, and run cloud-native applications. We are excited by this announcement and the new capabilities that this version offers the community and developers building containerized applications.

  • Python Debugging With pdb

    Nowadays, we often take for granted the excellent debuggers built into our favorite IDEs. But how do you debug your Python code when you don’t have the luxury of using an IDE?

    pdb, short for Python DeBugger, is a module for interactive source code debugging. It’s built into the Python Standard Library, so it’s always accessible to you. Because it runs in the command line, it’s especially helpful when you’re developing on remote systems.

    In this course, you’ll learn how to perform the most common debugging tasks using pdb, including setting breakpoints, stepping through code, viewing stack traces, creating watch lists, and more.

  • Happy Birthday Practical Business Python!

    On September 17th, 2014, I published my first article which means that today is the 5th birthday of Practical Business Python. Thank you to all my readers and all those that have supported me through this process! It has been a great journey and I look forward to seeing what the future holds.

    This 5 year anniversary gives me the opportunity to reflect on the blog and what will be coming next. I figured I would use this milestone to walk through a few of the stats and costs associated with running this blog for the past 5 years. This post will not be technical but I am hopeful that my readers as well as current and aspiring bloggers going down this path will find it helpful. Finally, please use the comments to let me know what content you would like to see in the future.

  • 6 Excellent Free Books to Learn Julia

    Julia is a high-level, high-performance dynamic programming language for technical computing by Alan Edelman, Stefan Karpinski, Jeff Bezanson, and Viral Shah. Julia aims to create an unprecedented combination of ease-of-use, power, and efficiency in a single language.

    It’s a homoiconic functional language focused on technical computing. While having the full power of homoiconic macros, first-class functions, and low-level control, Julia is as easy to learn and use as Python.

    Although Julia is a new language, first appearing in 2012, its roots are in Lisp, so it comes with mature features like macros and support for other metaprogramming techniques like code generation. Julia’s expressive grammar lets you write easy-to-read and easier-to-debug code, and its speed gets you through more work in less time. It’s a great choice whether you’re designing a machine learning system, crunching statistical data, or writing system utilities.

    Distinctive aspects of Julia’s design include a type system with parametric polymorphism and types in a fully dynamic programming language and multiple dispatch as its core programming paradigm. It allows concurrent, parallel and distributed computing, and direct calling of C and Fortran libraries without glue code.

  • A slack hack

Security: TrendMicro, Mozilla's Firefox Monitor and Capsule8

Filed under
Security
  • New Linux malware mines crypto after installing backdoor with secret master password [Ed: Skips the part about it having to be installed in the first place (not the fault of Linux)]

    Cybersecurity researchers have identified a new strain of Linux malware that not only mines cryptocurrency illicitly, but provides the attackers with universal access to an infected system via a “secret master password.”

    TrendMicro’s latest blog also reveals that Skidmap attempts to mask its cryptocurrency mining by faking network traffic and CPU-related statistics.

  • Linux malware masks illicit crypto mining with fake network traffic

    A new cryptocurrency mining malware targeting Linux systems has demonstrated how complex this type of malware has become. Known as Skidmap, the malware is not only harder to detect, it also gives the attackers unfiltered access to the affected system.

  • What to do after a data breach

    You saw the news alert. You got an email, either from Firefox Monitor or a company where you have an account. There’s been a security incident — a data breach. And your account has been compromised.

    Getting notified that you’ve been a victim of a data breach can be alarming. You have valid cause for concern, but there are a few steps you can take immediately to protect your account and limit the damage.

  • Capsule8 Protect Earns HIPAA Compliance Certification

Graphics: CUDA, Radeon and Vulkan

Filed under
Graphics/Benchmarks
  • HIPCL Lets CUDA Run On OpenCL+SPIR-V

    Based off AMD's GPUOpen HIP as part of their ROCm stack, researchers at Tampere University in Finland have created HIPCL as leveraging HIP as well as POCL for routing CUDA codes to run on any hardware supporting OpenCL+SPIR-V.

    HIPCL provides a path of running CUDA on top of OpenCL, permitting the OpenCL driver also supports the SPIR-V intermediate representation. The OpenCL implementation also needs to support Shared Virtual Memory (SVM) so that actually rules out using NVIDIA's own driver for taking this route in place of their actual CUDA driver. HIPCL also relies upon a patched version of the LLVM Clang compiler.

  • Radeon RADV Vulkan Driver Tackling NGG Stream-Out

    One of the areas the RadeonSI OpenGL and RADV/AMDVLK Vulkan drivers have had a challenging time promptly support with AMD Navi GPUs has been the NGG (Next-Gen Geometry) functionality but it's slowly getting worked out.

    The NGG engine support has required various fixes to the graphics drivers, Navi 14 NGG support is borked, and various other Next-Gen Geometry support issues in the Navi driver code. At least on the software side the open-source developers have continued to improve the support and today the latest improvements arrived for the Mesa RADV Vulkan driver.

  • Radeon Navi 12/14 Open-Source Driver Support Now Being Marked As "Experimental"

    In an interesting change of course, the open-source driver support for AMD Radeon Navi 12 and Navi 14 GPUs is being flagged as experimental and hidden behind a feature flag.

    Back at the start of August AMD sent out their AMDGPU Linux kernel driver support for Navi 12 along with Navi 14. That Navi 12/14 support has since been queued up for introduction in the Linux 5.4 kernel along with the new Vega-based Arcturus GPU.

  • Vulkan 1.1.123 Released With Two New Extensions

    Vulkan 1.1.123 is the latest weekly update to this high performance graphics API and it's formally introducing two more extensions.

    Besides the usual variety of documentation clarifications and corrections, there are two new Vulkan extensions with version 1.1.123.

Purism: A Privacy Based Computer Company

Filed under
GNU
Linux
Gadgets

It all started when Todd Weaver, Founder and CEO of Purism, realized Big Tech could not be trusted as moral guardians of his and his children’s data. The current paradigm of corporations data hoarding is, as Todd describes it, built on “a tech-stack of exploitation”–and not by accident, but by design. Companies such as Google and Microsoft–and especially Facebook–intentionally collect, store and share user data to whomever they see fit. In recent events, the California Consumer Privacy Act, which becomes effective on January 1, 2020, will make residents of California able to know what personal data is being collected about them, know whether their personal data is sold or disclosed and to whom, say no to the sale of personal data, access their personal data, request a business delete any personal data information about a consumer collected from that consumer and not be discriminated against for exercising their privacy rights. This sounds good, and it is, but not according to Big Tech. Big Tech such as Facebook hired a firm to run ads that said things like “Your next click could cost you $5! Say no to the California Consumer Privacy Act”. Big Tech does not care about privacy, they care about their bottom line. This is where Purism comes in.

Purism is a privacy focused company. Their devices, the Librem5, Librem13 and Librem15 run PureOS–a GNU/Linux distribution that puts privacy, security and freedom first, by design. It includes popular privacy-respecting software such as PureBrowser. The OS helps you “Surf the web safely without being tracked by advertisers or marketers” and allows you to easily encrypt your entire OS and data with your own encryption keys. This is huge, especially if you understand how much of your “private” data is actually being shared.

Read more

Benchmarks: Linux Boot Times, 16-Core HoneyComb LX2K ARM Workstation and New PTS Release

Filed under
Graphics/Benchmarks
  • A Look At The Speedy Clear Linux Boot Time Versus Ubuntu 19.10

    Given the interest last week in how Clear Linux dropped their kernel boot time from 3 seconds to 300 ms, here are some fresh boot time benchmarks of Clear Linux compared to Ubuntu 19.10 on both Intel and AMD hardware.

    The systemd-reported boot time was compared between the latest Clear Linux and Ubuntu 19.10 daily images. Ubuntu 19.10 was used for offering the bleeding-edge packages and being more in line to what is offered by the rolling-release Clear Linux. As well, Canonical has been working on some boot time improvements for Ubuntu 19.10.

  • 16-Core HoneyComb LX2K ARM Workstation Looks To Offer A Decent Performance Oomph

    When it comes to ARM-powered workstation boards there hasn't been a whole lot to get excited about with the likes of the Socionext 96Boards Developerbox being quite expensive and not yielding good performance or featureful boards compared to alternative Intel/AMD/POWER workstation/enthusiast boards. One of the more promising ARM workstation boards we have been following is the HoneyComb LX2K (formerly the "ClearFog" board) and it's looking like it could end up being a decent offering in this space.

    The HoneyComb LX2K / ClearFog is the 16-core mini-ITX workstation board we have been following since earlier this year. They have been aiming for this 16-core ARM workstation board for $500~750 USD and it looks like they will actually strike on the lower-end of that price-range.

  • Phoronix Test Suite 9.0 Released With New Result Viewer, Offline/Enterprise Benchmarking Enhancements

    Phoronix Test Suite 9.0 is now available as the latest quarterly feature release to our cross-platform, open-source automated benchmarking framework. With Phoronix Test Suite 9.0 comes a rewritten result viewer to offer more result viewing functionality previously only exposed locally via the command-line or through a Phoromatic Server (or OpenBenchmarking.org when results are uploaded), new offline/enterprise usage improvements, various hardware/software detection enhancements on different platforms, and a variety of other additions.

SDR dev kit builds on Zynq UltraScale+ RFSoC

Filed under
Linux
Hardware

Avnet has launched an “RFSoC Development Kit” that extends Xilinx’s eval kit for its Linux-powered, Zynq UltraScale+ RFSoC. The kit adds a Qorvo 2×2 Small Cell RF front-end for SDR prototyping and integrates MATLAB and Simulink.

Xilinx launched its 5G-focused Zynq UltraScale+ RFSoC variant of its Arm/FPGA hybrid Zynq UltraScale+ MPSoc last year and then announced a Gen3 update in early February. Avnet has now launched an extended version of the Linux-driven Xilinx Zynq UltraScale+ RFSoC ZCU111 Evaluation Kit that adds a Qorvo 2×2 Small Cell RF Front-end 1.8GHz Card and MATLAB support for software-defined radio (SDR) prototyping,

Read more

Also: SMARC 2.0 module runs Linux on i.MX8M Mini

PCLinuxOS 2019.09 updated installation media release

Filed under
GNU
Linux
PCLOS

The KDE versions both full and the minimalistic Darkstar contain kernel 5.2.15 plus a fully updated KDE Plasma desktop. Plasma desktop 5.16.5, Plasma Applications 19.08.1 and Plasma Frameworks 5.62.

The Mate Desktop was refreshed with kernel 5.2.15 and the applications and libraries were updated to their most recent stable versions from the previous release.

The Xfce Desktop was tweaked and now uses the Whisker menu by default. A login sound was added and the applications were updated along with some minor bug fixes.

In addition all ISOs now include the Nvidia 430.50 driver and will be used instead of the nouveau driver if your video card supports it. Hardware detection scripts were updated to provide better support for video cards that can use the Nvidia 430.50 driver. Pulseaudio has been updated to the stable 13.0 release. The Simple Update Notifier was reworked and now works for keeping you notified of system updates and the ability to update from the applet using apt-get. Small improvements were made to the Live media boot scripts. Vbox test media is also included on the installation media. This program allows you to quickly test an ISO on the fly or usbstick with various options without having to create a permanent VM in Virtualbox. Requires a valid Virtualbox installation. Thanks to the people involved for their contributions to this program.

Read more

More in Tux Machines

Graphics: CUDA, Radeon and Vulkan

  • HIPCL Lets CUDA Run On OpenCL+SPIR-V

    Based off AMD's GPUOpen HIP as part of their ROCm stack, researchers at Tampere University in Finland have created HIPCL as leveraging HIP as well as POCL for routing CUDA codes to run on any hardware supporting OpenCL+SPIR-V. HIPCL provides a path of running CUDA on top of OpenCL, permitting the OpenCL driver also supports the SPIR-V intermediate representation. The OpenCL implementation also needs to support Shared Virtual Memory (SVM) so that actually rules out using NVIDIA's own driver for taking this route in place of their actual CUDA driver. HIPCL also relies upon a patched version of the LLVM Clang compiler.

  • Radeon RADV Vulkan Driver Tackling NGG Stream-Out

    One of the areas the RadeonSI OpenGL and RADV/AMDVLK Vulkan drivers have had a challenging time promptly support with AMD Navi GPUs has been the NGG (Next-Gen Geometry) functionality but it's slowly getting worked out. The NGG engine support has required various fixes to the graphics drivers, Navi 14 NGG support is borked, and various other Next-Gen Geometry support issues in the Navi driver code. At least on the software side the open-source developers have continued to improve the support and today the latest improvements arrived for the Mesa RADV Vulkan driver.

  • Radeon Navi 12/14 Open-Source Driver Support Now Being Marked As "Experimental"

    In an interesting change of course, the open-source driver support for AMD Radeon Navi 12 and Navi 14 GPUs is being flagged as experimental and hidden behind a feature flag. Back at the start of August AMD sent out their AMDGPU Linux kernel driver support for Navi 12 along with Navi 14. That Navi 12/14 support has since been queued up for introduction in the Linux 5.4 kernel along with the new Vega-based Arcturus GPU.

  • Vulkan 1.1.123 Released With Two New Extensions

    Vulkan 1.1.123 is the latest weekly update to this high performance graphics API and it's formally introducing two more extensions. Besides the usual variety of documentation clarifications and corrections, there are two new Vulkan extensions with version 1.1.123.

Purism: A Privacy Based Computer Company

It all started when Todd Weaver, Founder and CEO of Purism, realized Big Tech could not be trusted as moral guardians of his and his children’s data. The current paradigm of corporations data hoarding is, as Todd describes it, built on “a tech-stack of exploitation”–and not by accident, but by design. Companies such as Google and Microsoft–and especially Facebook–intentionally collect, store and share user data to whomever they see fit. In recent events, the California Consumer Privacy Act, which becomes effective on January 1, 2020, will make residents of California able to know what personal data is being collected about them, know whether their personal data is sold or disclosed and to whom, say no to the sale of personal data, access their personal data, request a business delete any personal data information about a consumer collected from that consumer and not be discriminated against for exercising their privacy rights. This sounds good, and it is, but not according to Big Tech. Big Tech such as Facebook hired a firm to run ads that said things like “Your next click could cost you $5! Say no to the California Consumer Privacy Act”. Big Tech does not care about privacy, they care about their bottom line. This is where Purism comes in. Purism is a privacy focused company. Their devices, the Librem5, Librem13 and Librem15 run PureOS–a GNU/Linux distribution that puts privacy, security and freedom first, by design. It includes popular privacy-respecting software such as PureBrowser. The OS helps you “Surf the web safely without being tracked by advertisers or marketers” and allows you to easily encrypt your entire OS and data with your own encryption keys. This is huge, especially if you understand how much of your “private” data is actually being shared. Read more

Benchmarks: Linux Boot Times, 16-Core HoneyComb LX2K ARM Workstation and New PTS Release

  • A Look At The Speedy Clear Linux Boot Time Versus Ubuntu 19.10

    Given the interest last week in how Clear Linux dropped their kernel boot time from 3 seconds to 300 ms, here are some fresh boot time benchmarks of Clear Linux compared to Ubuntu 19.10 on both Intel and AMD hardware. The systemd-reported boot time was compared between the latest Clear Linux and Ubuntu 19.10 daily images. Ubuntu 19.10 was used for offering the bleeding-edge packages and being more in line to what is offered by the rolling-release Clear Linux. As well, Canonical has been working on some boot time improvements for Ubuntu 19.10.

  • 16-Core HoneyComb LX2K ARM Workstation Looks To Offer A Decent Performance Oomph

    When it comes to ARM-powered workstation boards there hasn't been a whole lot to get excited about with the likes of the Socionext 96Boards Developerbox being quite expensive and not yielding good performance or featureful boards compared to alternative Intel/AMD/POWER workstation/enthusiast boards. One of the more promising ARM workstation boards we have been following is the HoneyComb LX2K (formerly the "ClearFog" board) and it's looking like it could end up being a decent offering in this space. The HoneyComb LX2K / ClearFog is the 16-core mini-ITX workstation board we have been following since earlier this year. They have been aiming for this 16-core ARM workstation board for $500~750 USD and it looks like they will actually strike on the lower-end of that price-range.

  • Phoronix Test Suite 9.0 Released With New Result Viewer, Offline/Enterprise Benchmarking Enhancements

    Phoronix Test Suite 9.0 is now available as the latest quarterly feature release to our cross-platform, open-source automated benchmarking framework. With Phoronix Test Suite 9.0 comes a rewritten result viewer to offer more result viewing functionality previously only exposed locally via the command-line or through a Phoromatic Server (or OpenBenchmarking.org when results are uploaded), new offline/enterprise usage improvements, various hardware/software detection enhancements on different platforms, and a variety of other additions.

SDR dev kit builds on Zynq UltraScale+ RFSoC

Avnet has launched an “RFSoC Development Kit” that extends Xilinx’s eval kit for its Linux-powered, Zynq UltraScale+ RFSoC. The kit adds a Qorvo 2×2 Small Cell RF front-end for SDR prototyping and integrates MATLAB and Simulink. Xilinx launched its 5G-focused Zynq UltraScale+ RFSoC variant of its Arm/FPGA hybrid Zynq UltraScale+ MPSoc last year and then announced a Gen3 update in early February. Avnet has now launched an extended version of the Linux-driven Xilinx Zynq UltraScale+ RFSoC ZCU111 Evaluation Kit that adds a Qorvo 2×2 Small Cell RF Front-end 1.8GHz Card and MATLAB support for software-defined radio (SDR) prototyping, Read more Also: SMARC 2.0 module runs Linux on i.MX8M Mini