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today's leftovers

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  • Molly de Blanc: Autonomy and consent

    When I was an undergraduate, I took a course on medical ethics. The core takeaways from the class were that autonomy is necessary for consent, and consent is necessary for ethical action.

    There is a reciprocal relationship between autonomy and consent. We are autonomous creatures, we are self-governing. In being self-governing, we have the ability to consent, to give permission to others to interact with us in the ways we agree on. We can only really consent when we are self-governing, otherwise, it’s not proper consent. Consent also allows us to continue to be self-governing. By giving others permission, we are giving up some control, but doing so on our own terms.

    In order to actually consent, we have to grasp the situation we’re in, and as much about it as possible. Decision making needs to come from a place of understanding.

  • Ritesh Raj Sarraf: User Mode Linux 5.2

    User Mode Linux version 5.2 has been uploaded to Debian Unstable and will soon be available on the supported architectures. This upload took more time than usual as I ran into a build time failure caused by newer PCAP library.

    Thanks to active upstream developers, this got sorted out quick. In the longer run, we may have a much better fix for it.

  • PCLinuxOS MATE Review

    Published for Patreons on Oct 8th 2019. Available to the public Oct. 17th, 2019 – Become a Patreon today to get this plus exclusive Linux tips not found anywhere else!

  • Worn Out EMMC Chips Are Crippling Older Teslas

    Much like the rockets and spacecraft of sister company SpaceX, Tesla’s vehicles are powered by Linux running on what’s essentially off-the-shelf computing hardware. Until 2018 the Model S and X were running the open source operating system on a NVIDIA Tegra 3, at which point they switched the Media Control Unit (MCU) over to an Intel Atom solution. In either event, the Linux system is stored on an embedded Multi-Media Controller (eMMC) flash chip instead of a removable storage device as you might expect.

    Now under normal circumstances, this wouldn’t be an issue. There are literally billions of devices running Linux from an eMMC chip. But any competent embedded Linux developer would take the steps necessary to make sure the operating system’s various log files are not being written to a non-replaceable storage device soldered onto the board

    Unfortunately, for reasons that still remain somewhat unclear, the build of Linux running on the MCU is doing exactly that. What’s worse, Tesla’s graphical interface appears to be generating its own additional log messages. Despite the likelihood that nobody will ever actually read them, for every second a Tesla is driving down the road, more lines are being added to the log files.

    Now, it appears that the near continuous writing of data to the eMMC chips on the older Tegra-based MCUs has finally started to take its toll. Owners on Tesla forums are reporting that their MCUs are crashing and leaving the expensive vehicles in “Limp Home Mode”, which allows the car to remain drivable but unable to charge. The prescribed fix for this issue by Tesla is a complete MCU replacement at the cost of several thousand dollars. As this failure will almost certainly happen after the factory warranty has lapsed, the owner will have to foot the bill themselves.

  • Seven more videos from the auditorium at LibreOffice Conference 2019

    Yes, here’s anther bunch of videos from our recent LibreOffice Conference 2019 in Almeria, Spain.

  • Self-publishing using LibreOffice Writer 6

    My new book, Self-publishing using LibreOffice Writer 6, is now available in paperback or PDF.

  • Montreal Subway Foot Traffic Data

    STM kindly sent me daily values for each subway stations from 2001 to 2018. Armed with all this data, I decided to play a little with R and came up with some interesting graphs.

    Behold this semi-interactive map of Montreal's subway! By clicking on a subway station, you'll be redirected to a graph of the station's foot traffic.

  • Is your Internet up-to-date?

    Modern Internet Standards provide for more reliability and further growth of the Internet. Are you using them?

  • Call of Duty: Modern Warfare ditches loot boxes for a battle pass

    Popularized by Fortnite, the battle pass system allows for players to buy the pass at the beginning of the season, and unlock a variety of items as they progress. Modern Warfare’s system sounds like it’ll be extremely similar to the Fortnite model (which has since been adopted by other major titles, like Destiny 2 and PUBG). Players will be able to buy a pass at the beginning of a season, with full transparency as to what the items included are, and how and when they’ll be unlocked.

  • Innr Smart White A19 bulb review: This inexpensive smart bulb seamlessly connects with a Philips Hue Bridge

    If you’re shopping for your first smart bulb and you’re not ready to invest in a hub, an Innr bulb isn’t the cheapest way to go. Instead, you’d be better off with a Bluetooth- or Wi-Fi-enabled bulb that can operate with just a smartphone app. The latest Philips Hue White bulb, for example, which can be controlled via Bluetooth as well as Zigbee), or a Wi-Fi-connected bulb like the $8 Wyze Bulb, which offers the bonus of being color-temperature-tunable.

  • The Untold Story of the 2018 Olympics Cyberattack, the Most Deceptive [Computer Attack] in History [iophk: Windows TCO]

    All nine of the Olympic staff's domain controllers, the powerful machines that governed which employee could access which computers in the network, had somehow been paralyzed, crippling the entire system. The staff decided on a temporary workaround: They set all the surviving servers that powered some basic services, such as Wi-Fi and the internet-linked TVs, to bypass the dead gatekeeper machines. By doing so, they managed to bring those bare-minimum systems back online just minutes before the end of the ceremony.

  • [Old] Olympic Destroyer Takes Aim At Winter Olympics

    The purpose is to copy the initial stage to the remote system in %ProgramData%\%COMPUTERNAME%.exe and to execute it via a VBScript.

More in Tux Machines

Thermostats, Locks and Extension Add-ons – WebThings Gateway 0.10

Happy Things Thursday! Today we are releasing WebThings Gateway 0.10. If you have a gateway using our Raspberry Pi builds then it should already have automatically updated itself. This new release comes with support for thermostats and smart locks, as well as an updated add-ons system including extension add-ons, which enable developers to extend the gateway user interface. We’ve also added localisation settings so that you can choose your country, language, time zone and unit preferences. From today you’ll be able to use the gateway in American English or Italian, but we’re already receiving contributions of translations in different languages! Read more

A technical comparison between the snap and the Flatpak formats

Since we’ve already discussed the snap layout and architecture in greater details in the previous weeks, let’s start with a quick overview of Flatpak. Much like snaps, Flatpak packages come with necessary components contained inside standalone archives, so they can be deployed and maintained with simplicity on a range of Linux distributions. Runtime and image components are bundled into a single file using the OCI format. In general, Flatpak applications are built against runtimes, but they can also contain additional libraries inside their own bundles. A Linux system with the Flatpak binary (primary command) installed and configured can then run Flatpak applications. At the moment, there are 21 distributions that offer Flatpak support. Furthermore, applications are sandboxed using Bubblewrap, which utilises kernel security and namespace features to set up unprivileged containers. Communication outside the sandbox is possible through a mechanism of portals, which allows granular access to system resources. Flatpak packages are available to end users primarily through Flathub, an app store and build service that is (semi)-officially associated with the Flatpak project. Submissions to Flathub are done as pull requests through GitHub, and require approval from the store admins. Similarly, publishers of proprietary software have to manually request inclusion of their applications. Flatpak applications are also sometimes available as manual download links. There is no automatic update mechanism available by default. Read more

Zorin OS vs Linux Mint

There are some specific linux distros out there that specially target the new and casual Linux users, most notably, Linux Mint and Zorin OS. In this article we will compare them.

Zorin OS vs Linux Mint

Both of these distros have earned a solid reputation from the community for being two of the most user-friendly distros of all. Both of them use Ubuntu as the core. Thus, both of them offer similar functionality at the core. However, the real magic is how each of them builds up on top of it. Both Linux Mint and Zorin OS comes up with different feel and vibe. While both of them are extremely user-friendly and robust, there are some key differences between them. That’s the beauty of Linux. Read more

Top GIF Recorders For Linux

Whether you pronounce it as ‘gif’ or ‘jif’, it’s still a no-brainer that the Graphics Interchange Format is the most widely used image format there is today, gaining in popularity exponentially. This surging bitmap image format is used for a number of purposes, most of which include producing eye-catching animations to improve digital marketing. However, due to its convenience of storing multiple images in the same file while retaining file compression, it is also now considered a popular alternative to screen recording. While there’s a lot of support for GIFs on Windows and other operating systems like Android, they can also readily be produced on Linux with a lot of flexibility and in the best quality. Let’s look at some of the most popular GIF recorder tools used to produce GIFs on Linux. Read more