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IBM (and Few Red Hat) Leftovers

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Red Hat
  • Business Buddy delivers personalized support for struggling small businesses

    Enter Business Buddy, a Call for Code solution providing a one-stop-shop to deliver personalized and responsive COVID-19 updates to small businesses. The Business Buddy team comes from the University of Sydney in Australia, where they report that small and medium-sized businesses make up 90% of the Australian economy. The Business Buddy team did their due diligence to find the root cause to how and why local businesses were impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Through their research, they found that 30% of businesses had to reduce staff numbers, and 9 out of 10 businesses expressed solvency concerns over the next 4 – 6 months. Through the team’s engagement with local businesses, they discovered that the major pain point for most companies was not the lack of governmental support, but the ineffective communication channels. Business owners have not been able to access the full breadth of support because information on different fiscal relief programs was scattered across multiple websites, making it prone for businesses to miss opportunities to find assistance. It was this pain point that the Business Buddy team decided to combat – and ultimately, build a solution to address it.

  • Open Source Success: Linux on the Mainframe

    Twenty years ago, IBM opened its most proprietary computer technology—the data-centric, IBM Z mainframe platform—to Linux, an open source operating system. That decision may seem logical and straightforward given the now widespread adoption of Linux and open source software, but at the time it was a bold choice, and it has proven to be a resounding success. In this installment of FOSSlife’s Open Source Success series, we’ll look at this important link in the evolutionary chain of open source.

  • Agrolly advances capabilities for small-scale farmers with technology innovation

    Meet Agrolly, a Call for Code global finalist solution built by a group of Pace University students with diverse backgrounds and experience from Taiwan, Brazil, Mongolia, and India. Agrolly aims to fill in the information gap so that farmers with less resources available to them can still make more educated decisions, obtain the necessary financing, and improve their economic outcome. Using IBM® Cloud Object Storage, IBM Watson® Studio, IBM Watson Assistant, and The Weather Company technologies, the platform provides a full service solution to execute climate risk assessments. Featured in the platform is a long-term rainfall forecast, which is tested periodically for increased accuracy, in addition to crop water requirements for the Food and Agriculture Organization for the United Nations (FAO), which is tailored for the location of each farmer, type of crop, and stage of the farm. Agrolly also provides a forum module allowing farmers to exchange information and solutions and allows text and picture uploads. Lastly, the Agrolly platform includes crop-risk algorithms allowing for risk assessments to be executed by small farmers.

  • OffShip connects online shoppers with pro-environment organizations to offset shipping emissions

    Did those last minute holiday gifts you rush-shipped make it in time? How about that impulse purchase from your favorite retailer that you wanted on your doorstep in two days? While shipping companies keep up with the demand and incentivize the market with more efficient and affordable services, attention is rarely placed on who actually suffers the brunt of these simple clicks, the environment.

    With online shopping growing in popularity, consumers are now using this as their primary method of purchasing goods. This rise in popularity, paired with the onset of COVID-19 that’s keeping everyone at home, has made online shopping even more essential and depended upon. This has rippling effects on the environment as carbon-based combustion grows in concert. Online shopping can be an effortless and fun act for the buyer, but its increased heavy usage calls for a reality check in regards to what it is doing to the world around us.

  • Onboard edge computing devices with SDO and Open Horizon

    For many companies, setting up heterogeneous fleets of edge devices across remote sites has traditionally been a time-consuming and sometimes difficult process. This week at the Open Networking & Edge Summit conference, IBM announced that Intel’s Secure Device Onboarding (SDO) solution is now fully integrated into Open Horizon and IBM Edge Application Manager and available to developers as a tech preview.

    The Intel-developed SDO enables low-touch bootstrapping of required software at device initial power-on. For the Open Horizon project, this enables the agent software to be automatically and autonomously installed and configured. SDO technology is now being incorporated into a new industry onboarding standard being developed by the FIDO Alliance.

  • The Call for Code University Edition finalists announced

    Throughout history, we’ve been reminded that solutions can come from anywhere and from anybody. Year after year, Call for Code continues to demonstrate the importance of encouraging participants with diverse backgrounds from around the world to offer their vantage point on some of society’s most pressing issues, locate problems within these challenges, and build solutions that fight back. Tackling global issues at scale requires global action–and The Call for Code University Edition has produced hundreds of promising solutions from the worldwide community of student participants to fight back against COVID-19 and climate change.

  • SchoolListIt keeps students on track and puts parents at ease

    Using IBM Watson® Text to Speech and other technologies, the SchoolListIt app can take information from Google Classroom and WordPress sites and turn these into mobile-friendly assignments with due dates.

  • Safe Queue facilitates social distancing with app-based virtual lines

    Nowadays, standing in lines can have some serious consequences. Whether it’s maintaining six feet of social distance, or wearing a mask correctly, some people continue to not follow current directives — and this can put people at risk. From the trip to the grocery store to picking up medicine from the local pharmacy, we soon realize how integral standing in lines truly is as we shop for daily or weekly essentials. With lines now being moved outdoors to maintain reduced occupancy counts in the respective building, people are not only at risk of the COVID-19 virus, but weather conditions as well.

    This is where Safe Queue comes into play. Safe Queue is a simple app that works using QR codes and your location to hold your place in line while you wait nearby, say in a car in a parking lot. After you get within 1000 feet of your destination, Safe Queue uses your GPS location data to allow you to add yourself to a virtual queue. You can stay a safe distance away from the location, even remaining in your car while tracking your spot in line. When it’s your turn, you can approach the establishment, and the person operating the door can confirm your entry based on a QR code issued by the Safe Queue app. You can then enter the building without ever having to physically wait in a queue. The app is built on simplicity and privacy. At no point is any personal information collected. When it’s your turn to enter, you simply show your phone at the front of the line and can gain access — no registration required.

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Security Leftovers

  • Videoconferencing Malware, Vizom, Discovered [Ed: Wrong. Zoom itself is malware and they admit having back doors.]

    It was probably only a matter of time before the cyber attackers hit videoconferencing software in 2020. Apps such as Zoom had a bona fide boon this year because of the world health crisis. Researchers discovered a new form of malware that uses remote overlay attacks to hit Brazilian bank account holders who use videoconferencing software. [...] Phishing campaigns spread Vizom, disguising it as Zoom. Once the malware accesses a Windows computer, it hits the AppData directory to start infecting the system. Using DLL hijacking, it tries to force malicious DLLs to be loaded, using names the attackers believe are on the software directories for the Delphi-based variants.

  • Combating abuse in Matrix - without backdoors.

    Last Sunday, the UK Government published an international statement on end-to-end encryption and public safety, co-signed by representatives from the US, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, India and Japan. The statement is well written and well worth a read in full, but the central point is this:

    We call on technology companies to [...] enable law enforcement access to content in a readable and usable format where an authorisation is lawfully issued, is necessary and proportionate, and is subject to strong safeguards and oversight.
    In other words, this is an explicit request from seven of the biggest governments in the world to mandate a backdoor in end-to-end encrypted (E2EE) communication services: a backdoor to which the authorities have a secret key, letting them view communication on demand. This is big news, and is of direct relevance to Matrix as an end-to-end encrypted communication protocol whose core team is currently centred in the UK. Now, we sympathise with the authorities’ predicament here: we utterly abhor child abuse, terrorism, fascism and similar - and we did not build Matrix to enable it. However, trying to mitigate abuse with backdoors is, unfortunately, fundamentally flawed.

  • Security updates for Tuesday

    Security updates have been issued by Debian (python-flask-cors), Fedora (kleopatra, nextcloud, and phpMyAdmin), Gentoo (ark, libjpeg-turbo, libraw, and libxml2), openSUSE (bind, kernel, php7, and transfig), Red Hat (kernel, kernel-alt, kernel-rt, rh-python36, virt:8.1 and virt-devel:8.1, and virt:8.2 and virt-devel:8.2), and Ubuntu (collabtive, freetype, linux, linux-hwe, linux-hwe-5.4, linux-oem, linux-raspi, linux-raspi-5.4, linux-snapdragon, and linux-oem-osp1, linux-raspi2-5.3).

  • Reproducible Builds (diffoscope): diffoscope 161 released

    The diffoscope maintainers are pleased to announce the release of diffoscope version 161. This version includes the following changes:

    [ Chris Lamb ]
    * Fix failing testsuite: (Closes: #972518)
      - Update testsuite to support OCaml 4.11.1. (Closes: #972518)
      - Reapply Black and bump minimum version to 20.8b1.
    * Move the OCaml tests to the assert_diff helper.
    [ Jean-Romain Garnier ]
    * Add support for radare2 as a disassembler.
    [ Paul Spooren ]
    * Automatically deploy Docker images in the continuous integration pipeline.

today's howtos

  • How to Configure And Customize Openbox [Linux]

    Openbox is a great lightweight desktop manager for Linux, except that it can be a bit intimidating for the first time user. Here's a complete guide to configure and customize Openbox for new users.

  • 2 Ways to Upgrade Ubuntu 20.04 To Ubuntu 20.10 (GUI & Terminal)

    Ubuntu 20.10, codenamed Groovy Gorilla, will be released on October 22, 2020. This tutorial will be showing you 2 ways to upgrade Ubuntu 20.04 to Ubuntu 20.10.

  • 3 Ways to Power off Debian

    Along with many other routine tasks, Linux administrators also have to perform a safe shutdown or reboot. It seems the simplest task but should be done in a secure way. Our systems are continuously running processes. If the system is not properly powered off, files and processes will not safe closely, might result in corrupted files, and can leave your system in an unstable state. It is therefore advised to properly and securely power off the system.

  • Disowning a process in Linux | Network World

    When you disown a process in bash, you keep it from being terminated when you log out and allow it to finish on its own. This post shows how to use the disown command.

  • How to install Ubuntu Budgie 20.10 - YouTube

    In this video, I am going to show how to install Ubuntu Budgie 20.10

  • Install Lutris on Manjaro -

    In this tutorial, we guide you through the process of installing Lutris on Manjaro, allowing you to play a lot of popular gaming titles on Linux.

Android Leftovers