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today's leftovers

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  • Re-encoding DebConf17 videos

    Feedback we received after DebConf17 was that the quality of the released videos was rather low. Since I'd been responsible for encoding the videos, I investigated that, and found that I had used the video bitrate defaults of ffmpeg, which are rather low. So, I read some more documentation, and came up with better settings for the encoding to be done properly.

  • Internationalization, part five: documentation and release!

    This concludes all the tasks outlined by my Outreachy project, but of course not my involvement to LTSP Manager. I’ll keep using it in my schools and be an active part of its ecosystem. Many thanks to Debian Outreachy and to my mentors for the opportunity to work on this excellent project!

  • LXD Weekly Status 12
  • Bodhi Linux 4.3.0 Lightweight Operating System Released In 3 Flavors — Download Here

    The developers of Bodhi Linux have released Bodhi 4.3.0. Based on Ubuntu 16.04 LTS, this release is powered by Linux kernel 4.11. Please note that this isn’t a feature release and the existing users don’t need to perform a re-installation. The new users can visit the project’s website and choose from 3 flavors.

  • Google’s ARCore brings augmented reality to millions of Android devices

    Google is taking a second swing at augmented reality with a new SDK called "ARCore." The SDK is available for download today (Google should have a blog post here) along with a set of ARCore demos. After experimenting with Project Tango, an AR initiative launched in 2014 that loaded a smartphone up with custom sensors, Google's AR reboot brings most of that functionality to regular old Android phones through the magic of software. If you're drawing mental comparisons to Apple's ARKit, you're on the right track.

    We're not just working off the blog post here, as I was lucky enough to have this project explained to me by some of the Googlers in charge of it. Let's start with the basics.

More in Tux Machines

Security: VPNFilter, Encryption in GNU/Linux, Intel CPU Bug Affecting rr Watchpoints

  • [Crackers] infect 500,000 consumer routers all over the world with malware

    VPNFilter—as the modular, multi-stage malware has been dubbed—works on consumer-grade routers made by Linksys, MikroTik, Netgear, TP-Link, and on network-attached storage devices from QNAP, Cisco researchers said in an advisory. It’s one of the few pieces of Internet-of-things malware that can survive a reboot. Infections in at least 54 countries have been slowly building since at least 2016, and Cisco researchers have been monitoring them for several months. The attacks drastically ramped up during the past three weeks, including two major assaults on devices located in Ukraine. The spike, combined with the advanced capabilities of the malware, prompted Cisco to release Wednesday’s report before the research is completed.

  • Do Not Use sha256crypt / sha512crypt - They're Dangerous

    I'd like to demonstrate why I think using sha256crypt or sha512crypt on current GNU/Linux operating systems is dangerous, and why I think the developers of GLIBC should move to scrypt or Argon2, or at least bcrypt or PBKDF2.

  • Intel CPU Bug Affecting rr Watchpoints
    I investigated an rr bug report and discovered an annoying Intel CPU bug that affects rr replay using data watchpoints. It doesn't seem to be hit very often in practice, which is good because I don't know any way to work around it. It turns out that the bug is probably covered by an existing Intel erratum for Skylake and Kaby Lake (and probably later generations, but I'm not sure), which I even blogged about previously! However, the erratum does not mention watchpoints and the bug I've found definitely depends on data watchpoints being set. I was able to write a stand-alone testcase to characterize the bug. The issue seems to be that if a rep stos (and probably rep movs) instruction writes between 1 and 64 bytes (inclusive), and you have a read or write watchpoint in the range [64, 128) bytes from the start of the writes (i.e., not triggered by the instruction), then one spurious retired conditional branch is (usually) counted. The alignment of the writes does not matter, and it's not related to speculative execution.

In Memoriam: Robin "Roblimo" Miller, a Videographer and Free Software Champion

Videographer Robin Roblimo Miller

Robin "Roblimo" Miller was a clever, friendly, and very amicable individual who everyone I know has plenty of positive things to say about. I had the pleasure of speaking to him for several hours about anything from personal life and professional views. Miller was a very knowledgeable person whose trade as a journalist and video producer I often envied. I have seen him facing his critics in his capacity as a journalist over a decade ago when he arranged a debate about OOXML (on live radio). Miller, to me, will always be remembered as a strong-minded and investigative journalist who "did the right thing" as the cliché goes, irrespective of financial gain -- something which can sometimes be detrimental to one's longterm health. Miller sacrificed many of his later years to a cause worth fighting for. This is what we ought to remember him for. Miller was - and always will be - a FOSS hero.

May everything you fought for be fulfilled, Mr. Miller. I already miss you.

Today in Techrights

Tux Machines Privacy Statement

Summary: Today, May 25th, the European General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) goes into full effect; we hereby make a statement on privacy AS a matter of strict principle, this site never has and never will accumulate data on visitors (e.g. access logs) for longer than 28 days. The servers are configured to permanently delete all access data after this period of time. No 'offline' copies are being made. Temporary logging is only required in case of DDOS attacks and cracking attempts -- the sole purpose of such access. Additionally, we never have and never will sell any data pertaining to anything. We never received demands for such data from authorities; even if we had, we would openly declare this (publicly, a la Canary) and decline to comply. Privacy is extremely important to us, which is why pages contain little or no cross-site channels (such as Google Analytics, 'interactive' buttons for 'social' media etc.) and won't be adding any. Google may be able to 'see' what pages people visit because of Google Translate (top left of every page), but that is not much worse than one's ISP 'seeing' the same thing. We are aware of this caveat. Shall readers have any further questions on such matters, do not hesitate to contact us.