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today's leftovers

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  • How to Set and List Environment Variables in Linux
  • Hardware hacking basics, Slackel + OSCAR | Choose Linux 17

    Getting into hardware hacking with Arduino, and analysing sleep data from CPAP machines.

    Plus a glimpse into the past in Distrohoppers.

  • Debian 11 Testing with XFCE 4.14 Run Through

    In this video, we are looking at Debian Testing Bullseye with XFCE 4.14.

  • Introducing Glean — Telemetry for humans

    In the last few years, Firefox development has become increasingly data-driven. Mozilla’s larger data engineering team builds & maintains most of the technical infrastructure that makes this possible; from the Firefox telemetry code to the Firefox data platform and hosting analysis tools. While data about our products is crucial, Mozilla has a rare approach to data collection, following our privacy principles. This includes requiring data review for every new piece of data collection to ensure we are upholding our principles — even when it makes our jobs harder.

    One great success story for us is having the Firefox telemetry data described in machine-readable and clearly structured form. This encourages best practices like mandatory documentation, steering towards lean data practices and enables automatic data processing — from generating tables to powering tools like our measurement dashboard or the Firefox probe dictionary.

    However, we also learned lessons about what didn’t work so well. While the data types we used were flexible, they were hard to interpret. For example, we use plain numbers to store counts, generic histograms to store multiple timespan measures and allow for custom JSON submissions for uncovered use-cases. The flexibility of these data types means it takes work to understand how to use them for different use-cases & leaves room for accidental error on the instrumentation side. Furthermore, it requires manual effort in interpreting & analysing these data points. We noticed that we could benefit from introducing higher-level data types that are closer to what we want to measure — like data types for “counters” and “timing distributions”.

  • Debugging TypeScript in Firefox DevTools

    Firefox Debugger has evolved into a fast and reliable tool chain over the past several months and it’s now supporting many cool features. Though primarily used to debug JavaScript, did you know that you can also use Firefox to debug your TypeScript applications?

    Before we jump into real world examples, note that today’s browsers can’t run TypeScript code directly. It’s important to understand that TypeScript needs to be compiled into Javascript before it’s included in an HTML page.

    Also, debugging TypeScript is done through a source-map, and so we need to instruct the compiler to produce a source-map for us as well.

  • Sponsor Article: why open frameworks matter

    The use of computers to control buildings was an inevitable consequence of the falling cost of the technology and the huge increase in the complexity of the equipment required to achieve comfort in large modern buildings. As with computers, the nascent BMS market was initially supplied by manufacturers who offered highly-proprietary systems which only they could install and maintain. As the technology matured, so the software to program the required control logic was made easier. As a result, a wider range of people could provide the engineering. Meanwhile, pressure from end users, who didn’t want to be tied to only one manufacturer for the life of the building or campus, led to the development of open protocol standards that could enable one manufacturers’ system to talk to another.

    However, since the way buildings are contracted tends to require a functionally-biased packaging of sub-contracts, each piece of controls equipment in a building developed separately, and each sub-sector developed its own standards. The result today is a plethora of ‘standard’ protocols which are used by the various sub-systems in a building; BACnet for HVAC, DALI and KNX for lighting, Modbus for electrical metering and power management, M-Bus for heat metering etc. Some protocols such as LONworks did manage for a while to gain traction in multiple segments, but its adoption has declined in recent years. So, although people still dream of there being ‘one standard to rule them all’, the reality is much messier, and the challenge of how to get systems talking to one another has not gone away.

  • Free Software Supporter - Issue 137, September 2019

    Defective by Design is calling on you to stand up against digital restrictions management and join us in celebration of the International Day Against DRM (IDAD) on October 12th, 2019. Keep an eye on defectivebydesign.org for further announcements.

  • Some Intel Firmware Binaries Will Reportedly Be More Liberally Licensed

    One interesting nugget of news from this week's Open-Source Firmware Conference is that some Intel firmware binaries pertaining to their Trusted Execution Technology (TXT) will be more liberally licensed under their simpler microcode/firmware license.

    Open-source firmware consulting firm 3mdeb shared that Intel will reportedly publish TXT-related binaries like BIOS and SINIT ACMs under a similar license to the Intel FSP and microcode.

More in Tux Machines

Richard Stallman: You can get arrested without a reason

The last few months have put data protection back in the spotlight. During a crisis of this kind, do we have to choose between safety and privacy? We talked about this with Richard Stallman, digital privacy activist and the founder of the Free Software Movement. Read more

7 Amazing Linux Distributions For Kids

Linux is a very powerful operating system and that is one of the reasons why it powers a lot of servers on the Internet. Though there have been concerns about its user-friendliness which has brought about the debate of how it will overtake Mac OSX and Windows on desktop computers, I think users need to accept Linux as it is to realize its real power. Today, Linux powers a lot of machines out there, from mobile phones to tablets, laptops, workstations, servers, supercomputers, cars, air traffic control systems, refrigerators, and many more. With all this and more yet to come in the near future, as I had already stated at the beginning, Linux is the operating system for future computing. Because the future belongs to the kids of today, then introducing them to technologies that will change the future is the way to go. Therefore they have to be introduced at an early stage to start learning computer technologies and Linux as a special case. One thing common to children is curiosity and early learning can help instill a character of exploration in them when the learning environment is designed to suit them. Having looked at some quick reasons why kids should learn Linux, let us now go through a list of exciting Linux distributions that you can introduce your kids to so that they can start using and learning Linux. Read more

Fedora 33 Beta To Be Released Next Week

After missing the preferred target date of 15 September and the secondary beta target date of this week, Fedora 33 Beta is now on track to ship next week. Fedora 33 is ready to make its beta debut next week for increasing the testing of this half-year update to the Red Hat sponsored distribution. Ben Cotton announced on Thursday that it's a "GO" for releasing Fedora 33 Beta next week with the current images in good shape and no blocker bugs pending. Read more Direct: [Test-Announce] Fedora 33 Beta is GO

Android Leftovers