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April 2022

Videos/Audiocasts/Shows: OBS, OpenArena, mintCast, Linux App Summit 2022

Filed under
GNU
Linux

consfigurator 1.0.0

Filed under
Development
Software

I am pleased to announce Consfigurator 1.0.0.

Reaching version 1.0.0 signifies that we will try to avoid API breaks. You should be able to use Consfigurator to manage production systems.

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Unity 7.6 Released for Public Testing as the First Major Update to Unity7 in 6 Years

Filed under
Linux
News
Ubuntu

Featuring a new flat UI while retaining the system-wide blur, Unity 7.6 promises major improvements like redesigned Unity Dash (app launcher) and HUD, as well as refreshed styles for dock’s menus and tooltips for a modern and slick look, and improved low graphics mode to make the Unity Dash faster.

The upcoming release also improves the app info and ratings in the Unity Dash preview, improves the “Empty Trash” button in Unity Dock to use the Nemo file manager instead of Nautilus, and lowers the RAM usage.

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GNOME 43 Release Date Slated for September 21st, 2022

Filed under
Linux
News
GNOME

The release schedule for the upcoming GNOME 43 desktop environment series was published at the end of March 2022, shortly after the release of the GNOME 42 desktop environment, suggesting that the final release date is slated for September 21st, 2022.

GNOME 43 will be the third major update in the GNOME 4x series, and development slowly kicked off this month but an alpha version will be readied for public testing in early July, while the beta version is expected a month later in early August.

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today's leftovers

Filed under
Misc

  • Changes/StrongCryptoSettings3Forewarning1

    Cryptographic policies will be tightened in Fedora 38-39, SHA-1 signatures will no longer be trusted by default. Fedora 37 specifically doesn't come with any change of defaults, and this Fedora Change is an advance warning filed for extra visibility. Test your setup with FUTURE today and file bugs so you won't get bit by Fedora 38-39.

  • Kubernetes backup with advanced cluster recovery for SUSE Rancher clusters | SUSE Communities

    SUSE Rancher includes a rancher-backup operator to easily backup, restore or migrate Rancher. However, for broad, ecosystem wide backup and disaster recovery, SUSE’s software development partners step in with application, data and workload-centric solutions addressing the needs of an entire Kubernetes computing landscape. Catalogic Software, a SUSE One Gold Innovate partner, delivers CloudCasa, a Kubernetes Backup and DR as a Service offering, and we’ve invited Catalogic to author a guest blog so you can learn more about their solution. ~Bret

  • threads and libxcb, part 2

    I've been working on kopper recently, which is a complementary project to zink. Just as zink implements OpenGL in terms of Vulkan, kopper seeks to implement the GL window system bindings - like EGL and GLX - in terms of the Vulkan WSI extensions. There are several benefits to doing this, which I'll get into in a future post, but today's story is really about libX11 and libxcb.

    Yes, again.

    One important GLX feature is the ability to set the swap interval, which is how you get tear-free rendering by syncing buffer swaps to the vertical retrace. A swap interval of 1 is the typical case, where an image update happens once per frame. The Vulkan way to do this is to set the swapchain present mode to FIFO, since FIFO updates are implicitly synced to vblank. Mesa's WSI code for X11 uses a swapchain management thread for FIFO present modes. This thread is started from inside the vulkan driver, and it only uses libxcb to talk to the X server. But libGL is a libX11 client library, so in this scenario there is always an "xlib thread" as well.

    libX11 uses libxcb internally these days, because otherwise there would be no way to intermix xlib and xcb calls in the same process. But it does not use libxcb's reflection of the protocol, XGetGeometry does not call xcb_get_geometry for example. Instead, libxcb has an API to allow other code to take over the write side of the display socket, with a callback mechanism to get it back when another xcb client issues a request. The callback function libX11 uses here is straightforward: lock the Display, flush out any internally buffered requests, and return the sequence number of the last request written. Both libraries need this sequence number for various reasons internally, xcb for example uses it to make sure replies go back to the thread that issued the request.

  • Hackaday Podcast 166: Engraving With The Sun, Explosive Welding, Juggling Chainsaws, And Torturing Wago Connectors

    Join Hackaday Editor-in-Chief Elliot Williams and Staff Writer Dan Maloney as they dive into the last week of Hackaday articles. If you love things that go boom, you won’t want to miss the discussion about explosive welding. Ever use the sun to burn something with a magnifying glass? Now you can CNC that, if you dare. We’ll take a quick trip through the darkroom and look at analog-digital photography as well as a tactical enlarger you can build, watch someone do terrible things to Wago and Wago-adjacent connectors, and talk about how suborbital chainsaws can be leveraged into a mass storage medium. Not enough for you? Then don’t miss our bafflement at one corporation’s attitude toward 3D printing, the secret sauce of resin casting, and our rundown of the 2022 Sci-Fi Contest winners.

  • GRAID SupremeRAID SR-1010: unleashes record-breaking 110GB/sec reads | TweakTown

    The huge 110GB/sec reads are also only in a Linux environment, and on a RAID 5, RAID 6, or RAID 10 array. If you are on a Windows environment then those super-fast read speeds drop rather significantly: 70GB/sec reads (versus 110GB/sec on Linux) and 35GB/sec reads (up from 25GB/sec on Linux).

Games: Steam Deck and Dungeon Crawler Jam

Filed under
Gaming

Linux Devices: Librem, Raspberry Pi, Arduino, and More

Filed under
GNU
Linux
Hardware

  • Weekly #LinuxPhone Update (17/2022): Plasma Mobile Gear 22.04, Nemo Mobile 0.9 and Phosh gesture support is inching closer!

    It's saturday, Linux App Summit is taking place. There's some bad news regarding open modem firmware and I am writing this in a train slowly but surely taking me to the sea for some time off.

  • Self Hosted forum with phpBB and Raspberry PI

    King of self-hosted forum platforms, phpBB has a strong story and is spreadly used. As its name suggests, it is based on PHP and is so light that you can run your self-hosted forum with phpBB on Raspberry PI

    In this tutorial, I’m going to show you how to install phpBB and configure your very first topic on a cheap Raspberry PI Zero W.

    phpBB is an open-source (Licensed under the GPLv2) forum software, built with a bulletin board logic, that can link a group of people or can power an entire website. Its features can be extended using extensions that can be installed and configured with few clicks.
    PhpBB includes a customizable registration process for your users, allowing administrators to manage permissions up to a fine level.

  • Improving the Stability and Reliability with a Modular Modem in the Librem 5 – Purism

    Usually we can fully rely on our phones to be reachable at any time—given cellular reception of course—and we take that for granted.

    You surely know situations in your life where that becomes especially critical. Be it when you’re expecting an important call or when you need to be able to receive “emergency” calls in general. The Librem 5 phone is the primary device for the majority of our team, therefore the stability and reliability for us is equally as important for us as our customers.

    The Librem 5 phone is a pretty exceptional device. It’s a general- purpose computer running the same software that laptops run. Plug in a cellular modem into a laptop and you have roughly the same thing in just a different form factor.

    One of the hardest things these days is to get a removable cellular modem card that does audio calls in the first place. It’s a tough market full of proprietary hardware and software where licensing requirements inhibit modems from doing audio calling. For the Librem 5 phone we found one but we can really consider ourselves fortunate as it was and will continue to be a supply chain challenge.

  • DIY SBC cases and SBC Case Builder tool based on OpenSCAD - CNX Software

    Since you can’t always rely on single board computer (SBC) vendors to provide a case to match your needs, some went the DIY route. Willy Tarreau designed some laser-cut enclosures with Inkscape for various SBCs, while hominoids went a step further by developing the “SBC Case Builder” tool to automatically generate various types of 3D printable enclosures using OpenSCAD.

  • Firmware updates, part 1: Bootloader

    This is the first post in a series about doing device firmware updates (DFU) over the air (OTA) and continuous delivery of firmware for embedded devices. We'll explore the different parts of a complete end-to-end system with this capability.

    This post will be about a fundamental component in such a system: the bootloader.

  • Shedding light on power plant control networks

    Like all critical infrastructure sectors, the energy sector has become reliant on automation techniques to monitor and control its networks. However, not much is publicly known about these techniques or the networks that tend to use proprietary protocols and operate in closed settings.

    To address this knowledge gap, we at the Brandenburg University of Technology, recently conducted a project to study the design of industrial control networks that run power plants. Below are some of our key takeaways that we presented recently at PAM 2022.

  • How effective is HTTPS/TLS usage in the consumer IoT ecosystem?

    Unfortunately, little is known about the degree of effectiveness with which IoT devices use TLS. What’s more worrisome is that TLS usage in other non-browser software has been found to be particularly problematic, with some experts calling it “the most dangerous code in the world”.

    To fill this knowledge gap, we at Northeastern University and IMDEA Networks studied ~17M TLS IoT device connections. The following post offers a brief snapshot of what we discovered and presented at IMC 2021.

  • Arduino And Git: Two Views

    You can’t do much development without running into Git, the version control management system. Part of that is because so much code lives on GitHub which uses Git, although you don’t need to know anything about that if all you want to do is download code. [Dr. Torq] has a good primer on using Git with the Arduino IDE, if you need to get your toes wet.

Free Software Leftovers

Filed under
Software

  • What Computer Science Programs Should Teach (IMHO)

    Mostly I’m impressed with the energy out of new graduates, but observing some things, I think I’m not positive that is directly correlated to what colleges are teaching them. There are also a lot of things in industry that I see people lack experience in, and while it’s not the fault of a college program to teach people things, nor even should it be a requirement that someone have a CS degree, these are things that are most easily fixed if they were addressed at this level.

    Well, first off, there is little “Computer Science” in much of anything any of us in the computer industry do. So I think, really, we should just admit that what universities are teaching is “software engineering”. That’s ok. Call it that if it lets you rewrite the curriculum. Even that’s a euphemism though? Should we maybe first admit that too?

  • People of WordPress: Meher Bala

    In this series, we share some of the inspiring stories of how WordPress and its global network of contributors can change people’s lives for the better. This month we feature a Indian-based WordPress developer and long term contributor on how it helped her find a career and a local and global community to belong to.

    WordPress is an inspiration to Meher Bala, a frontend web developer and community builder from India. From using the software as a basic website tool to helping entrepreneurs and good causes around the world fulfill their aspirations, she has overcome personal barriers and now aims to inspire others.

    Meher found her vocation and learned new skills through WordPress. She also discovered a way to encourage other women to consider careers in IT.

  • 8 Photoshop Alternatives for Creating 3D Elements

    Blender is a favorite among 3D designers. Whether you’re creating a scene or a character, there’s not much you can’t do with this software.

    You can use Blender for 3D printing, and like Substance 3D Stager, you can add lighting to your scenes or work with UV maps to create accurate texture mapping in Blender designs. And that’s not even the half of it; check out these Blender tutorials to acquaint yourself with the program.

    Blender’s 3D abilities are definitely more complex than what was offered by Photoshop’s 3D features. It can easily replace some features like 3D text creation and perspective warping.

  • Uncurled

    The uncurled book is now in a state I think I can show off without feeling embarrassed. I believe I will still need to work on it more going forward to add and polish content and make it more coherent and less of a collection of snippets. I hope that I over time can settle down and gradually slow down the change pace. It will of course also depend a lot on the feedback I get.

EU Joins Mastodon Social Network, Sets Up Its Own Server

Filed under
Server

The effort is currently only a pilot, but it represents the EU’s goal of supporting private and open-source software capable of rivaling mainstream social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube. On the same day, the European Commission also launched an account for PeerTube, another decentralized platform that revolves around video sharing.

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Inform 7 v10.1.0 is now open-source

Filed under
Software

Inform is a design system for interactive fiction based on natural language, and consists of a core compiler, together with extensions, kits and other resources, a number of outlying tools, and documentation, along with applications presenting the system in a friendly way on MacOS, Windows and Linux. This software had been used extensively since 28 April 2006, but by 2016 its source code was in considerable need of modernisation. In part that was wear-and-tear, but it was also the effect of years of experiment in which the code was often built without a full understanding of the concepts it was groping towards. In early 2016, then, a substantial work of renovation began. That work is now essentially complete, and the first results can be seen. The git repository “GitHub - ganelson/inform: The core software distribution for the Inform 7 programming language.” became public today, presenting the complete source and extensive technical documentation. And with that, the whole system was placed under the highly permissive [sic] Artistic License 2.0. This is an open-source licence recognised as such by, for example, the Free Software Foundation.

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More in Tux Machines

today's leftovers

  • 3600 Games Now On The Steam Deck with Teardown, a Great Demolition Game as Verified

    Valve has provided more verification in the past few days vs usual for the Steam Deck. We are now more than 3600 games validated (3626 games to be precise at the time of publication) on the Steam Deck – in two categories...

  • The Steam Deck’s Super Power: Super Sleep

    The Steam Deck undeniably has some great features, but if it were a superhero its superpower might not be what you expect. No, it’s not the powerful processor or advanced options and software, but seemingly the complete opposite of that: the Steam Deck’s real power is its super sleep. First, a superpower needs to be reliable and without any big caveats. The Deck’s sleep ability is just that: every time it works quickly and flawlessly. It is a quick power button press away or in the Steam button’s power menu. In the middle of a game without a pause button (hi, Elden Ring)? No problem. Running low on battery or just need a moment to move the Deck without accidentally hitting the buttons? Or want to resume in that spare minute to get in a quick gaming fix? The Deck delivers every time. You can also set the Deck to go to sleep after some idle time, confident you won’t lose your game progress or battery life.

  • [Slackware] Chromium 103 (regular and ungoogled) available as Slackware package

    Apologies for the delay, I was out of town, but i have finally uploaded my new chromium 103 packages for Slackware 14.2 and newer. Their un-googled siblings are also available. Thanks as always to Eloston and his friends for updating the patch-set for ungoogled-chromium. Last week saw a Google Chromium update which addresses a series of vulnerabilities, which is nothing new of course, but in particular one security hole that has now been patched would allow remote attackers to take control of your computer and execute arbitrary code. See CVE-2022-2156. An update of your installed browser package seems in order.

  • I bought THIS LAPTOP: Tuxedo Stellaris 15 Gen 4 Review - Invidious [Ed: Nick from The Linux Experiment already got his channel banned before... for shilling laptops. Maybe he's not afraid of it happening again.]

Programming Leftovers

  • The Poisson distribution: From basic probability theory to regression models

    Brief introduction to the Poisson distribution for modeling count data using the distributions3 package. The distribution is illustrated using the number of goals scored at the 2018 FIFA World Cup, suitable for self-study or as a classroom exercise.

  • Webscraping in R with Rvest

    Web scraping has become an incredibly important tool in data science, as an easy way to generate new data. The main advantage is the automation of some pretty repetitive tasks. Web scrapping can also be a good way of keeping up with new data on a website, assuming it doesn’t have a big change in its HTML structure.

  • Clang Static Analyzer and the Z3 constraint solver | Frederic Cambus

    Notes on using the Z3 constraint solver with the Clang Static Analyzer As far as static analyzers are concerned, one of the most important point to consider is filtering out false positives as much as possible, in order for the reports to be actionable. This is an area on which Coverity did an excellent job, and likely a major reason why they got so popular within the open source community, despite being a closed-source product. LLVM has the LLVM_ENABLE_Z3_SOLVER build option, which allows building LLVM against the Z3 constraint solver.

  • Least Common Denominator APIs

    Often, our instinct is to build for optionality. What if we change databases? What if we change clouds? We target the Least Common Denominator (LCD) interface to avoid vendor lock-in and make sure our software is portable – after all, Optimization is Fragile. LCD interfaces look like targeting the S3 API, a generic PubSub implementation, or vanilla ANSI SQL. LCD interfaces are good enough most of the time, but when we need to run a specialized workload, sometimes they don't perform how we'd like. We could solve our problem quickly by narrowing the API – coupling it to a specific cloud or managed service, but that destroys our optionality. Here, you should probably fight your instinct to stick with the pure implementation and weigh the trade-offs – how many developer-hours and pain can you save by narrowing the interface? Optimization and optionality are inherent trade-offs. There's a way to architecture services to be efficient and generic but also practical.

  • Quantum computer programming for dummies

    For would-be quantum programmers scratching their heads over how to jump into the game as quantum computers proliferate and become publicly accessible, a new beginner’s guide provides a thorough introduction to quantum algorithms and their implementation on existing hardware. “Writing quantum algorithms is radically different from writing classical computing programs and requires some understanding of quantum principles and the mathematics behind them,” said Andrey Y. Lokhov, a scientist at Los Alamos National Laboratory and lead author of the recently published guide in ACM Transactions on Quantum Computing. “Our guide helps quantum programmers get started in the field, which is bound to grow as more and more quantum computers with more and more qubits become commonplace.”

  • Create new variables from existing variables in R

    Create new variables from existing variables in R?. To create new variables from existing variables, use the case when() function from the dplyr package in R.

  • Construct a Perfect Binary Tree with given Height

    Given an integer N, the task is to generate a perfect binary tree with height N such that each node has a value that is the same as its depth. Return the inorder traversal of the generated binary tree.

  • Announcing urllib3's bounty program

    We’ve recognized that one of the biggest challenges to shipping v2.0 is not having enough time to devote to contributions. Our bounty program is hoping to spur interest from the community in the urllib3 project and fairly pay contributors for their time and experience. The bounty program works by marking issues with bounty amounts we’re willing to pay for anyone to complete an issue. Don't worry if you're not an existing contributor — new contributors are welcome and encouraged!

  • Learning from Failure – Nitinol Fracture Mechanics in R | R-bloggers

    Despite our best efforts, nitinol implants fracture and fail. Sometimes we want them to fail (on the bench, to learn).

  • Every Sufficiently Advanced Configuration Language is Wrong

    Every sufficiently advanced configuration language is the wrong tool for the job. [...] The logical extreme is becoming more evident – advanced configuration in general-purpose programming languages. You can see this in the emergence of Typescript for Infrastructure-as-Code. For the most basic (and human 0x777) configuration needs, there will always be simple formats – YAML, JSON, INI, etc.).

  • Another Exercise In Encoding Reversing | Didier Stevens

    In this blog post, I will show how to decode a payload encoded in a variation of hexadecimal encoding, by performing statistical analysis and guessing some of the “plaintext”. I do have the decoder too now (a .NET assembly), but here I’m going to show how you can try to decode a payload like this without having the decoder.

  • Examples Of Encoding Reversing | Didier Stevens

    I recently created 2 blog posts with corresponding videos for the reversing of encodings. The first one is on the ISC diary: “Decoding Obfuscated BASE64 Statistically“. The payload is encoded with a variation of BASE64, and I show how to analyze the encoded payload to figure out how to decode it.

  • An Introduction to Python: A Language for the Ages – The New Stack

    For anyone just getting into software programming, one of your best friends will be Python. Why? Python is very simple to learn and easy to implement. Even better, what you can do with this language grows as you learn more. You can start with very simple text-based applications and migrate to GUI applications and much more. And because Python is supported by most major operating systems (Linux, macOS, and Windows), you can begin your journey, regardless of platform. Python includes support for features such as lists, tuples, functions, variables, JSON, and ranges. But where did Python come from and why is it still so important today? Let’s dig in and find out. To follow our series of introductory tutorials, start here.

  • How To Write Comments In Python

    The way you think is reflected in programming in order to convey the individual steps that you took to solve an issue utilizing a computer. Commenting your code helps clarify your thinking process, which in turn makes it easier for you and other people to comprehend the purpose of your code in the future. Because of this, you will have an easier time locating bugs, fixing them, enhancing the code at a later time, and reusing it in other applications as well. The act of commenting is essential to the completion of any and all tasks, regardless of how little, medium, or fairly enormous they may be. It should be considered standard procedure for software engineers since it is an important component of your workflow. Without comments, things have the potential to get quite complicated very quickly. In this post, we will cover the many techniques of commenting that Python offers, as well as how it may be utilized to automatically produce documentation for your code via the use of the so-called module-level docstrings.

Android Leftovers

PeaZip 8.7.0

PeaZip is an open source file and archive manager. It's freeware and free of charge for any use. PeaZip can extract most of archive formats both from Windows and Unix worlds, ranging from mainstream 7Z, RAR, TAR and ZIP to experimental ones like PAQ/LPAQ family, currently the most powerful compressor available. PeaZip provides fast, high compression ratio multi-format archiving - view file compression and decompression benchmarks for more information. PeaZip is localized in 29 languages and is capable of handling all most popular archive formats (180+ file types), supporting a wide array of advanced file and archive management features (search, bookmarks, thumbnail viewer, find duplicate files and compute hash/checksum value, convert archive files...), especially focused on security (strong encryption, two factor authentication, encrypted password manager, secure file deletion...). Read more