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today's leftovers

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Misc
  • Open-source tech helps companies quickly adapt during pandemic

    As the COVID-19 pandemic shakes the world, companies need to change to embrace remote work and increasingly online operations. One way to quickly adapt to these new dynamics is to use open-source tools, available for access from anywhere in the globe, according to Alan Clark (pictured), who works in SUSE’s CTO Office focusing on emerging technologies and open source.

    “Our customer sentiments are changing; their purchasing habits are obviously changing. That’s changing the services that companies need to deliver,” Clark said. “And one of the powers of open source is being able to provide that to them and deliver those services very rapidly.”

  • Zstd 1.4.5 Released With 5~10% Faster Decompression For x86_64, 15~50% For ARM64

    Facebook's compression experts responsible for Zstandard have today released Zstd 1.4.5 with more performance improvements.

    Zstandard 1.4.5 comes with faster decompression performance. On x86_64 CPUs the Zstd 1.4.5 performance benefits are in the area of 5~10%. But if you are running on Arm SoCs this time around it can be 15~50% faster. Most of the Arm decompression improvements will be on the lower end of that range but for certain SoCs under ideal conditions can be 50% faster.

  • Kernel sources for the Moto G8 Play and Nubia Play 5G are now available

    To promote such development as well as fulfilling the legal obligation regarding GNU General Public License v2, most OEMs nowadays publicly release kernel sources sometime after their devices hit the market. Now two major smartphone manufacturers, Motorola and Nubia, have released kernel sources for the Moto G8 Play and the Nubia Play 5G, respectively.

  • Instaclustr CTO on open source database as a service

    Ben Bromhead: Our original vision was wildly different and, like all good startups, we had a pretty decent pivot. When the original team got together, we were working on a marketplace for high value data sets. We took a data warehouse approach for the different data sets we provided and the access model was pure SQL. It was kind of interesting from a computer science perspective, but we probably weren't as savvy as we needed to be to take that kind of business to market.

    [...]

    Our take on it [managed Cassandra as a service] is also a little bit different from some of the other vendors in that we really take a multi-technology approach. So you know, not only are we engaging with our customers around their Cassandra cluster, but we're also helping them with the Kafka cluster, Elasticsearch and Redis.

    So what ends up happening is we end up becoming a trusted partner for a customer's data layer and that's our goal. We certainly got our start with Cassandra, that's our bread and butter and what we're known for, but in terms of the business vision, we want to be there as a data layer supporting different use cases.

  • Best Chrome Extensions for Screen Capture

    Oftentimes when you are browsing the Internet, you end up finding something that appears on your computer screen that you would like to share with others. These could be as simple as a meme that hooked you in, or as important as some error message that you need in order to consult with IT. You might even need to record your screen for a demo that explains how to use a tool or complete some task.
    At times like these, it is important to have tools that help in grabbing an image or recording your screen. This is where Chrome extensions for screen capture come into play, which come packed with features that may not be present in the default Snipping Tool.

    In this article, we will be looking at some of the best Chrome extensions for screen capture.

  • Security updates for Friday

    Security updates have been issued by CentOS (firefox, ipmitool, kernel, squid, and thunderbird), Debian (pdns-recursor), Fedora (php and ruby), Red Hat (dotnet and dotnet3.1), SUSE (dom4j, dovecot23, memcached, and tomcat), and Ubuntu (clamav, libvirt, and qemu).

  • macOS 10.15: Slow by Design

More in Tux Machines

Sunsetting XRandR Brightness

One of the first features I added back then was smooth brightness changes. PowerDevil supports three ways of changing screen brightness: through XRandR configuration, through DDC (display data channel, for desktop monitors, experimental and not built by default), and by writing to sysfs (/sys/class/backlight or /sys/class/leds). Since the latter requires privileges and uses a helper binary through KDE’s KAuth framework, I only implemented the animation for the XRandR code path, which was executed in the same process. Obviously, XRandR doesn’t work on Wayland, and it seems that modern graphics drivers don’t support changing brightness through it anymore either. I recently sat down and wrote a patch to have the helper binary execute a similar animation. KAuth works quite magically by exposing methods defined in an .actions file through DBus and then calling them as slots through Qt’s meta object. Unfortunately, the way it is designed doesn’t allow for delayed replies, which I wanted to use so the job only finished once the animation was completed in order to keep PowerDevil’s state consistent. I then found that KAuth randomly keeps its helper running for 10 seconds, more than enough for a 250ms animation. Read more

Python Programming

  • Reporting Exceptions in Python Scripts with Sentry

    Python scripts are the glue that keep many applications and their infrastructure running, but when one of your scripts throws an exception you may not know about it immediately unless you have a central place to aggregate the errors. That's where adding Sentry can solved this distributed error logging problem. In this tutorial, we'll see how to quickly add Sentry to a new or existing Python script to report errors into a centralized location for further debugging.

  • Luke Plant: Keyword-only arguments in Python

    Keyword-only arguments are a feature that has been around since Python 3.0. But I’ve seen and used them much less use that I could have. They are described in PEP 3102, which is pretty readable, but I think they could benefit from more exposure with examples and rationale.

  • Creating and Modifying PDF Files in Python

    The PDF, or Portable Document Format, is one of the most common formats for sharing documents over the Internet. PDFs can contain text, images, tables, forms, and rich media like videos and animations, all in a single file. This abundance of content types can make working with PDFs difficult. There are a lot of different kinds of data to decode when opening a PDF file! Fortunately, the Python ecosystem has some great packages for reading, manipulating, and creating PDF files.

  • Will McGugan: Rich gets Richer

    Since my last post on Rich there have been a number of improvements. [...] Coverage has reached 97% which is not bad at all. To be honest though it is the use of type annotations throughout which gives me the most confidence.

Linux 5.8 Kernel: Qualcomm Adreno, MacBooks and AMD

  • Qualcomm Adreno 650 + 640 GPUs To Be Supported By Mainline Linux 5.8 Kernel

    The crew working on the MSM DRM driver from Freedreno / Google / Code Aurora (Qualcomm) have an interesting batch of changes for this open-source GPU driver for Qualcomm Adreno hardware come Linux 5.8. New hardware to be supported by this open-source MSM driver in Linux 5.8 include Qualcomm's Adreno 405, 640, and 650 series. The Adreno 405 is an old, low-end part from the 400 series and used by the Snapdragon 415/615/616/617 SoCs. The Adreno 405 support isn't particularly exciting but it's there for those interested along with the relevant MSM8x36 changes to the MDP5 code.

  • Linux 5.8 Picking Up A Quirk For Being Able To Reboot The 2009 MacBook Without Hangs

    With the upcoming Linux 5.8 cycle a quirk is being added to be able to reboot the 2009 era Apple MacBook without needing to boot with any special flags. Up to now the 2009 Apple MacBook (Macbook6,1) required a reboot=pci boot parameter added to the kernel otherwise when rebooting the system there would be a hang. This late 2009 MacBook (MC207LL/A) with Core 2 Duo CPU is very slow by today's standards and hopefully many of you still aren't using it in production, but should you be doing so and running new kernel releases, with Linux 5.8 the kernel can reboot without hanging or needing to manually add the flag.

  • AMD Energy Driver Queued Ahead Of Linux 5.8 For Core/Package Power Sensors

    Landing this weekend in hwmon-next ahead of the upcoming Linux 5.8 kernel cycle is the recently reported on "amd_energy" driver for supporting AMD Zen/Zen2 core and package energy sensors. This is the recently reported on work of a Google engineer allowing AMD Zen CPUs to expose power usage on Linux via the Runtime Average Power Limiting (RAPL) framework. The amd_energy driver is making it to the Linux 5.8 kernel by way of the hardware monitoring "hwmon" subsystem thanks to this Google open-source contribution.

today's howtos