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First Month on the New Server (Updated)

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Site News

Tux Machines behind Varnish cache proxy

Chart for Tux Machines

Summary: Tux Machines growth and a note regarding SPAM prevention after a week or so of experiments

Here are the first four weeks' log sizes, plotted with LibreOffice and demonstrating week-to-week growth since the site's nameservers changed and the server moved to CoPilotCo. After 4 weeks all logs get deleted (logrotate) to ensure privacy through lack of data retention (except short term in case of DDOS).

Nokia

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Just talk

It is now the talk of the town. Nokia will be making their own smartphone based on Android. It seems like they no longer want to be in the shadow, under Windows Phone. I would like to think this might be the comeback of Nokia phones after a decade or so. I liked Nokia as a gadget way before this so-called "smart phones" trend started. I remember when SMS became the most convenient tool for communication, like a telegraph type. Nokia phones were once a gadgets giant; only then, when Microsoft bought Nokia, the once cellphone giant was kept and never to be found. I mean, not literally, but I can hardly see Nokia out in the Market along with those cellphone giants like Mac/iOS , Blueberry and Samsung. Nokia's merging into Microsoft has never been good; their tandem strategy never created any new innovation that makes them different from the other competitors. In fact, there were no success stories for Nokia when it was based on Windows Phone.

I expect Nokia to have lots to offer in the next expo. Improvements in software using Android OS, distinct design in hardware which can compete in comparables among the others. The price might be a little less than the existing smartphones to attract potential costumers. Lastly, I wish Nokia well for bravely taking such a huge change. In this road it has many challenges, but it's worth taking.

Opening Up Communications (Updatedx5)

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Site News

Script kiddies can't get their way

Diversity

Summary: Script kiddies made it impractical to manage comments and forum posts; we are trying to tackle this issue today

IN ANOTHER attempt to restore user registrations, this time on the new server which has just been configured for mail, we are enabling anyone to quickly self-register (takes less than a minute and requires no verification), then immediately post comments, forum posts, etc.

Site Update (Updatedx2)

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Site News

Newspaper

Summary: Recent changes at Tux Machines, in just a nutshell

INSPIRED in part by Slashdot, we recently added topical icons to submissions, applying these changes retroactively to over 50,000 older pages. The idea was, this can improve orientation by helping to quickly associate text with topics. More minor modifications were made as well, some textual and some layout related. They are subtle but they can be seen. After receiving feedback regrading icons size we made further modifications. Regarding social media buttons, some of the ones we initially found were unbelievably privacy-infringing (allowing Google, Facebook, Twitter etc. to see visitors of this site), so we disabled them immediately and replaced them with static buttons. Right now we can assure that whenever loading pages in this Web site nothing except our security-aware network gets contacted. We share no data about visitors (with anyone) and Apache logs get shredded for good after a few weeks, leaving sufficient trail just in case of attacks on the site, which would merit investigation. Log rotation is similarly privacy-respecting at the cache level, which leads to the following point.

Today, after the above changes had been made and stability attained (there were some network disruptions yesterday), we also updated Drupal, ensuring it is secure and fully up to date (the latest minor bugfix release is a month old). There is still an issue with Varnish and until we tackle this issue users who are not logged in might be getting error pages. One way to overcome this is to append "?something" to the URL requested. This bypasses the Varnish cache until we finish our investigation of this issue and resolve it for good.

Update: The issue with Varnish turns out to be a conflict between two caching layers. It's fixed now. If you spot an issue, still, please let us know.

Update #2: Yesterday we identified another issue and soon thereafter fixed it. After Twitter syndication had failed we realised that RSS feeds were not standards-compliant, due to a blank line at the start of each generated page in Drupal. This is a common issue and it is a nightmare to debug (requires a complete code review with help of GNU utilities like grep). After 4 hours of investigation I found the culprit and fixed the coding error. RSS feeds are back.

My Valentine

Filed under
Just talk

Rianne Schestowitz

Yesterday was a rainy day. Our plans to go dining and bowling were more or less ruined by that. Manchester has had stormy weather as of late and there is not much one can do to avoid it.

Almost every couple went out to celebrate valentines. In my case, as I am working regular hours at day (and sometimes at night), I don't have much time for planning or thinking of ways to celebrate valentines day.

My dear husband, who had a day off yesterday (after he had worked at night), surprised me in many ways. He prepared a bubble bath for me with glasses of wine and candles lit. Pizza was inside the oven and table setting was quite ready, with many special beverages to mark the special day.

Everything was organised and prepared by him. While we were having our dinner we watched Tom and Jerry (a favourite from my childhood) and we were both enjoying it. Later he wanted to prepare the new mattress he bought to make sure we would have a good night's sleep.

Our own way of celebrating valentines -- so simple but passionately expressed with pure love and tenderness.

Justice

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Just talk

Justice

I was born in a quiet and beautiful town in the Far East together with my cousins. As far as I can remember, we enjoyed watching the sunrise and sunset, bathing and fishing in the river along with other children. My childhood years bring back good memories: Playing hide and seek, flying kites, throwing yo-yo, jumping on Chinese garter and so much more. Life was full of fun and so simple back then. There were times I ate meals in our neighbours' house, treated like family. Sometimes we exchanged food. This you will never experience in an highly urbanised city, as there is nothing like this in the Western world. It's a small town where you almost know every other person. Everybody is like your family. That is how I remember the place that I left 24 years ago. This year my husband and I were planning to visit my beloved town. But I have second thoughts. It's a bit scary to visit a place where people are killing other people like animals.

Mandrake Derived Distros

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Linux

Todays special is about Mandrake derived distributions, namely,
OpenMandriva Lx 2014 alpha vs Mageia 4 final vs ROSA 2012 R2 final vs PCLinuxOS 2013.12 final.

In (my limited) testing, I've used the X86_64 versions favoring the KDE desktop, and I've used the NVidia binary drivers provided with each distro.

Here's my experience with each one:

Statistics Not Compatible With Varnish

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News

Statistics

VARNISH is valuable for a number of reasons, including security, privacy, and performance. I first used it around 2009 when another site of mine had repeatedly come under DDOS attacks. Using Varnish means that requests for pages usually come from the same IP address (the cache proxy), if at all. Much of the time visitors get served static (cached) pages transparently and quickly. The downside is, this interferes with statistics (the Apache server does not even see all requests) and it is not compatible with modules like polls, where each IP addressed is allowed just one vote.

During the server/site migration we tried to preserve as many of the features as we could. There was a transition from old Debian to new CentOS and the new architecture is quite different (still 2 CPU cores but with more RAM, a virtual container, and resilience owing to proxies/redundancy). Thanks to those who suggested workarounds. We have looked at some of them, but without losing on performance there is no way to keep meaningful statistics. These statistics have been disabled. Not even we, with direct access to the server and the CMS, have access to meaningful statistics.

We are going to try to focus on high quality selection of news, not on numbers.

Over 8 Years of TuxMachines, by Nations

Site stats

Slight Site Changes

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News

Yesterday, following a mostly successful migration (there are still some impending fixes to .htaccess), slight changes were applied. For regular readers of the site, here they are summarised:

PCLinuxOS 2013--An Old Friend Revisited

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Linux

I first heard about Bill Reynolds (AKA "Texstar") when I was using Mandrake Linux 7 (later called "Mandriva") many years ago. Back then, Texstar was putting together updated KDE releases for Mandrake Linux, as Mandrake would only typically update their KDE release once or twice a year.

Windows 8.1 "The Worst Ever"

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Just talk

I've taught High School Computer Science for 25 years--Computer Programming, Web Page Design, Word Processing, Database Processing, and Spreadsheet processing. I have Linux on all my home computers with a dual boot into MS Windows 7 on my main computer. I don't use Windows 7 very often--but, I can find my way around in Windows 7. Since I have no experience with Win 8, I've thought all the recent hoopla about Microsoft's Windows 8 and 8.1 was just inexperienced grousing.

This is "See Ya Around"

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Site News

I started to say "this is goodbye," but just because I sold the site doesn't mean I won't be around Linuxville. I'm still writing at ostatic and I may turn up here now and again as well. I'll be looking around to expand my writing after the new year too, so you're not rid of me yet. But the sale on tuxmachines.org has been completed.

New HTPC the Lenovo Ideastation Q190 & Ubuntu

We cut the cord a couple of years ago, the need to get TV over traditional TV Ariel was no longer needed and services such as TV Catchup, iPlayer and the other UK Catchup TV Channels streamed over the net to my TV were all we needed.

Having had an Asrock 330 Ion be the trusty device for nearly 5 years the box finally gave up the shost last week.

The options available for using the internet to provide your TV are huge, from the giants of Apple with Apple TV, Google are dipping their toes in the water they have the ChromeCast, and there are a huge bagfull of Android Devices which all claim to plug into the HDMI port of your TV.. Then there is the Raspberry PI which has a custom build of OS's to provide different interfaces.

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Sold! (tentatively)

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Site News

I guess tuxmachines.org has been sold for $1000. I know it's kinda low, but times have changed and the new owner plans to carry on the tuxmachines tradition.

going twice

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Site News

going twice

fair warning - going once....

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Site News

Well, I think I'm going to accept one of the two $1000 bids received, unless anyone else wants to bid...

Tuxmachines.org for sale (update)

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Site News

I've decided to try and see if anyone might be interested in buying and doing something with my domain and site. So, today, I'm posting this ad here: tuxmachines.org for sale.


Update: I've received some bids and will decide by Monday....

Why is Security not Turned on by Default?

Filed under
Just talk

This isn't a Windows thing, Linux as well should be more secure than the assumption that the OS with elevated privileges is secure enough, there is so much more Desktop Linux could be doing to make the users experience more secure.

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Sometimes the Tech pres just gets it wrong..

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Just talk

While I know this is a Linux site, i feel that Windows RT is getting the same bad rap Linux gets from the Tech press in many areas. A lack of true understanding of just what they are dealing with or just a huge need to present some form of being part of the crowd. I'm not sure just what it is however it needs to change. It's the same thing that happens when some people review Ubuntu PHone for example and claim it's not a viable platform.. and it annoys me..

Why Everything you've read in the tech press about Windows RT is WRONG!!

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More in Tux Machines

Today in Techrights

today's leftovers

  • iTWire - Microsoft to reduce global workforce
  • Microsoft Faces Two Lawsuits For Aggressive Windows 10 Upgrade Campaign
    The series of lawsuits against Microsoft doesn’t seem to terminate sooner.
  • Controlling access to the memory cache
    Access to main memory from the processor is mediated (and accelerated) by the L2 and L3 memory caches; developers working on performance-critical code quickly learn that cache utilization can have a huge effect on how quickly an application (or a kernel) runs. But, as Fenghua Yu noted in his LinuxCon Japan 2016 talk, the caches are a shared resource, so even a cache-optimal application can be slowed by an unrelated task, possibly running on a different CPU. Intel has been working on a mechanism that allows a system administrator to set cache-sharing policies; the talk described the need for this mechanism and how access to it is implemented in the current patch set.
  • Why Blockchain Matters
    If your familiarity with Bitcoin and Blockchain is limited to having heard about the trial of Silk Road’s Ross Ulbricht, you can be forgiven -- but your knowledge is out of date. Today, Bitcoin and especially Blockchain are moving into the mainstream, with governments and financial institutions launching experiments and prototypes to understand how they can take advantage of the unique characteristics of the technology.
  • Our Third Podcast, with Cybik, is Out Now
    Cybik comes back on how he came to know and use Linux in the first place, his gaming habits, how he got involved into the Skullgirls port, and shares with us his outlook on the Linux gaming landscape. The podcast is just an hour long and you can either download it below, and use our RSS feed (that has the additional benefit of making it easy for you to get new episodes from now on):
  • GSoC: final race and multi-disc implementation
    It’s been a while since I wrote a post here. A lot has happened since then. Now Gnome-games fully supports PlayStation games, with snapshoting capabilities. The next thing I’m working on is multi-disc support, specially for PlayStation titles. So far, there’s a working propotity although a lot needs to be re-engineered and polished. This last part of the project has involved working both in UI, persistance and logic layers.
  • This Week in GTK+ – 11
    In this last week, the master branch of GTK+ has seen 22 commits, with 6199 lines added and 1763 lines removed.
  • [Solus] Replacement of Release Schedule
    In the not so distant past, Solus followed a static point release model. Our most current release at this time is 1.2, with a 1.2.1 planned to drop in the near future. However, we also recently announced our move to a rolling release model. As such, these two schools of thought are in contradiction of one another.
  • First release of official ArchStrike ISO files! [Ed: last week]
  • July ’16 security fixes for Java 8
    On the heels of Oracle’s July 2016 security updates for Java 8, the icedtea folks have released version 3.1.0 of their build framework so that I could create packages for OpenJDK 8u101_b13 or “Java 8 Update 101 Build 13” (and the JRE too of course).
  • Pipelight update
    I decided to do an update of my “pipelight” package. I had not looked at it for a long time, basically because I do not use it anymore, but after I upgraded my “wine” package someone asked if I could please write up what could be done for wine-pipelight. As you know, pipelight is a Linux plugin wrapper for Mozilla-compatible browsers which lets you install and use Windows plugins on Linux. This configuration enables you to access online services which would otherwise be unavailable to you on a Linux platform. The pipelight plugin wrapper uses wine to load the Windows software.
  • Red Hat, Inc. (NYSE:RHT) Current Analyst Ratings
  • Friday Session Wrap for Red Hat, Inc. (NYSE:RHT)
  • Fedora @ EuroPython 2016 - event report
  • Android 7.0 Nougat could be release as soon as next month
  • Android gains anti-spam caller ID feature
  • Amazon Cloud Revenue Hits $2.9B
  • ServerMania – Discover High Availability Cloud Computing, powered by OpenStack
    Cloud computing is fast growing in the world of computer and Internet technology, many companies, organizations and even individuals are opting for shared pool of computing resources and services. For starters, Cloud computing is a type of Internet-based computing where users consume hosted services on shared server resources. There are fundamentally three types of cloud computing available today: private, public and hybrid cloud computing.

Leftovers: OSS and Sharing

  • Student survey data shows Open Source training uptake amongst women and young people remains extreme
    Future Cert, the UK and Ireland representative for the LPI (Linux Professional Institute), is calling for more awareness of Open Source software training amongst the under 21s and especially women, which the industry is so desperately in need of. New figures from a recent Future Cert student survey reveals that the number of women and young people taking LPI Certification in Open Source computing remains extremely low. Of those questioned, 98% were male, and just 2% were female, taking an LPI exam. This figure is significantly less than an already low figure of around 15% to 17% of women in IT careers in general. It raises the question, what does the industry need to do to make an Open Source career attractive to women?
  • Quality in open source: testing CRIU
    Checkpoint/Restore In Userspace, or CRIU, is a software tool for Linux that allows freezing a running application (or part of it) and checkpointing it to disk as a collection of files. The files can then be used to restore and run the application from the point where it was frozen. The distinctive feature of the CRIU project is that it is mainly implemented in user space. Back in 2012, when Andrew Morton accepted the first checkpoint/restore (C/R) patches to the Linux kernel, the idea to implement saving and restoring of running processes in user space seemed kind of crazy. Yet, four years later, not only is CRIU working, it has also attracted more and more attention. Before CRIU, there had been other attempts to implement checkpoint/restore in Linux (DMTCP, BLCR, OpenVZ, CKPT, and others), but none were merged into the mainline. Meanwhile CRIU survived, which attests to its viability. Some time ago, I implemented support for the Test Anything Protocol format into the CRIU test runner; creating that patch allowed me to better understand the nature of the CRIU testing process. Now I want to share this knowledge with LWN readers. [...] The CRIU tests are quite easy to use and available for everyone. Moreover, the CRIU team has a continuous-integration system that consists of Patchwork and Jenkins, which run the required test configurations per-patch and per-commit. Patchwork also allows the team to track the status of patch sets to make the maintainer's work easier. The developers from the team always keep an eye on regressions. If a commit breaks a tree, the patches in question will not be accepted.
  • Open-source Wire messenger gets encrypted screen-sharing
    Chat app Wire has been rapidly adding feature as of late as it looks to gain some traction against the myriad of competitors out there. The latest trick in its arsenal is screen sharing. Now you can click on the new screen-sharing button to, well, share your screen during a call (if you’re on a desktop, that is). It works during group chats too and, as with all Wire communications, is encrypted end-to-end. Wire believes it’s the first messaging app to include end-to-end encryption.
  • SPI board election results are available
    Software in the Public Interest (SPI) has completed its 2016 board elections. There were two open seats on the board in addition to four board members whose terms were expiring. The six newly elected members of the board are Luca Filipozzi, Joerg Jaspert, Jimmy Kaplowitz, Andrew Tridgell, Valerie Young, and Martin Zobel-Helas. The full results, including voter statistics, are also available.
  • SFK 2016 - Call for Speakers
    Software Freedom Kosova is an annual international conference in Kosovo organized to promote free/libre open source software, free culture and open knowledge, now in its 7th edition. It is organized by FLOSSK, a non governmental, not for profit organization, dedicated to promote software freedom and related philosophies.
  • Microsoft's Next Open Source Target Could Be PowerShell: Report
  • Open-source drug discovery project advances drug development
  • The First-Ever Test of Open-Source Drug-Discovery
  • Open-Source Drug Discovery a Success
  • CNS - Open-Source Project Spurs New Drug Discoveries
    Medicines for Malaria Venture, a nonprofit group based in Geneva, Switzerland, distributed 400 diverse compounds with antimalarial activity — called the Malaria Box — to 200 labs in 30 nations in late 2011. The findings from subsequent studies and analyses were published Thursday in the journal PLOS Pathogens. Distributing the Malaria Box to various labs enabled scientists to analyze the compounds and develop findings that have led to more than 30 new drug-development projects for a variety of diseases. As a stipulation to receiving the samples, the various research groups had to deposit the information from their studies in the public domain.
  • Wire and Launchkit go open source, a water flow monitoring system, and more news
  • Apache, astsu, Biscuit, Python, Puppet 4, systemd & more!
  • The Onion Omega2: The Latest Router Dev Board
  • Build a $700 open source bionic prosthesis with new tutorial by Nicolas Huchet of Bionico
    The 3D printing community has already successfully taken over the market for cosmetic prostheses, as fantastic initiatives like E-NABLE have proven. But the world of bionics is a different place and just a handful of makers have gone there with any form of success, such as the very inspiring Open Bionics. But even 3D printed bionic prostheses are definitely within our reach, as French open source fanatic Nicolas Huchet of Bionico has proven. Though by no means a making expert himself, he 3D printed his own open source bionic hand during a three month residency at FabLab Berlin and has now shared all the files – including an extensive tutorial – online. This means you can now 3D print your very own bionic prosthesis at home for just $700.
  • BCN3D Technologies develops open source 3D printed 'Moveo' robotic arm for schools
    Designed from scratch and developed by BCN3D engineers in collaboration with the Generalitat de Catalunya’s Departament d’Ensenyament (Department of Education), the BCN3D Moveo is an Arduino Mega 2560-powered, 3D printed robotic arm which could enable schools and colleges in Spain and elsewhere to teach students the basics of robotics, mechanical design, and industrial programming. When the Departament d’Ensenyament approached BCN3D one year ago regarding the possibility of an educative robotics project, the tech organization jumped at the chance to get on board.

Security Leftovers