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today's leftovers

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  • Kernel Electric-Fence: Linux 5.12 Merges KFence For Low-Overhead Memory Safety Feature

    Linus Torvalds just merged a set of patches that includes KFence. Short for the Kernel Electric Fence, KFence is a low-overhead memory safety error detector/validator that is suitable for use in production kernel builds.

    While there has long been KASAN as the Kernel Address Sanitizer for a dynamic memory error detector for discovering use-after-free and out-of-bounds bugs within the Linux kernel, KFence aims to provide a lower-overhead solution.

  • FOSS, Mentorship, and Doing Great Work

    Katherine Druckman and Doc Searls talk to Travis Carden and Petros Koutoupis about maintaining open source projects, mentoring contributors, Drupal, and automated testing.

  • Tailwind does not support pseudo-elements

    This week I came across another tricky part of Tailwind, pseudo-elements. But what if you want to use them?

    What are pseudo-elements anyway? Pseudo-elements are HTML elements that do not exist in the HTML markup at all. Such elements won’t be visible to the browser assistive technology, they can only be styled visually with CSS.

    It’s quite common to define the :before and :after pseudo-elements that style a non-existing element in position relative to the element at hand. People use it for typography or drawing to keep markup clean and tidy. A lot of times, they are used in code pens to showcase some advanced CSS.

  • Spidermonkey Development Blog: SpiderMonkey Newsletter 9 (Firefox 86-87)

    SpiderMonkey is the JavaScript engine used in Mozilla Firefox. This newsletter gives an overview of the JavaScript and WebAssembly work we’ve done as part of the Firefox 86 and 87 Nightly release cycles.

  • Patterns

    The biggest value in design patterns is that it gives us a common language for talking about software and how it’s organized. That’s why Alexander named one of his books A Pattern Language. We’ve all spent hours making diagrams on black- or white-boards to show how some software we’re writing is organized. Design patterns give a common vocabulary so that we can discuss software with some certainty that we all mean the same thing. I eventually realized that UML had the same aim: UML diagrams are like architectural blueprints, in which one kind of line represents a brick wall, another wood, another plasterboard. Unfortunately, UML was never quite standard enough, and like design patterns, was perceived as a good in itself. In the end, a common vocabulary (whether a pattern catalog or UML) is a tool, and any tool can be abused.

  • QtQuick3D instanced rendering

    Using this new instancing feature on my development machine, QtQuick3D can render one million cubes at 60 frames per second (FPS), using only 2% CPU time. The same scene recreated with the API in Qt 6.0, using Repeater3D to generate cubes, starts to struggle at ten thousand cubes: only managing 42 FPS and using 100% of the CPU.

  • Using the Display Posts plugin with WordPress and custom CSS

    My goal when I refactored the site (once again) using WordPress was to focus more on writing than fiddling. I mean, yes, this was a tiny bit fiddly, but I could have spent quite a bit of time trying to code this up myself. Especially since coding isn’t my thing.

    Instead, a few “off-the-shelf” open source bits and I’m in business.

  • EDB tries to crowbar graph, JSON, and time-series data models into PostgreSQL – but can they pull it off?

    EDB, a prominant backer of the PostgreSQL open-source database, expects to focus on graph, JSON, and time-series data in the upcoming autumn release. Analysts, however, are sceptical about its ability to optimise for different data models ahead of built for purpose databases.

    Last week, EDB announced a 59 per cent increase in annual recurring revenue, although being privately held it can pick and choose which financial metrics to release. Its team has grown by nearly half, to 300, however that is dwarfed by comparable open-source-supporting firms like Red Hat, with 13,000 employees.

  • 30 Years of Browsers: A Quick History [Ed: Mostly glosses over Microsoft crimes in that area, as might be expected from IDG]

    It didn’t take long for Internet Explorer (IE) to win over most internet users, but that did attract the attention of the US government, which brought antitrust charges against Microsoft for its practice of preventing computer manufacturers from uninstalling IE and installing other browsers. The case was finally settled in 2001, but IE had three more years of being the preeminent browser ahead of it, peaking at 95% of the market in 2003.

  • Michael Meeks: 2021-02-26 Friday

    Finally got around to posting my FOSDEM slides, first an update for the Collaboration dev-room on integrating

  • FOSDEM 2021: Building massive virtual communities in Matrix

    Matthew, the open source lead for the Matrix project, held a 48 minutes long lecture on Matrix, a open protocol communications system with encrypted chat, chatrooms and more, at FOSDEM 2021. The video is worth watching if you are curious to learn how Matrix works, what their future plans are for shared spaces and other features, and the practical use-cases it can solve for you and your organization.

  • New Affiliate Member Joins OSI: The TeX Users Group

    The TeX Users Group (TUG) is new to the OSI Affiliate program, but not new to the world. It's a membership-based not-for-profit that was founded in 1980 to encourage and expand the use of TeX, LaTeX, Metafont and related systems. TUG fosters innovation while maintaining the usability of these systems. TUG also supports users by hosting an annual event, maintaining a list of active local TeX user groups and publishing a regular journal called TUGboat three times a year.

    The OSI loves to let folks know about open source tools that they could be using like the TeX, LaTeX and Metafont systems for preparing documents. TUG is for anyone who uses the TeX typesetting system created by Donald Knuth and/or is interested in typography and font design. If you want to install TeX on your computer, please consult the resources mentioned on the TUG home page.

  • Release notes for the Genode OS Framework 21.02

    Genode 21.02 stays close to the plan laid out on our road map, featuring a healthy dose of optimizations, extends the framework's ARM SoC options, and introduces three longed-for new features.

    First, we extended our concept of pluggable device drivers to all network drivers, including Ethernet and Wifi. As reported in Section Pluggable network device drivers, such drivers can now gracefully be started, restarted, removed, and updated at runtime without disrupting network-application stacks.

    Second, the release features the infrastructure needed for mobile-data communication over LTE, which is a prerequisite for our ambition to use Genode on the Pinephone. Section LTE modem stack gives insights into the involved components and the architecture.

    Third, we are happy to feature the initial version of VirtualBox 6 for Genode. Section VirtualBox 6.1.14 gives an overview of the already supported feature set and the outlook to reach feature-parity to our version of VirtualBox 5 soon. Speaking of VirtualBox in general (both versions), we were able to significantly improve the USB-device pass-through abilities, specifically covering audio headsets.

    Further noteworthy improvements of the current release range from added VirtIO-block device support for virtual machines on ARM (Section VirtIO block devices for virtual machines on ARM), revived developments on RISC-V (Section RISC-V), over VFS support for named pipes (Section VFS support for named pipes), to streamlined tooling (Section Build system and tools).

  • Genode OS Framework 21.02 Adds LTE Data Support, More RISC-V Work

    Genode OS 21.02 is out as the latest feature release to this open-source operating system framework.

  • The Apache News Round-up: week ending 26 February 2021

    Farewell, February --we're wrapping up the month with another great week. Here are the latest updates on the Apache community's activities...

  • West: Post-Spectre web development

    Mike West has posted a detailed exploration of what is really required to protect sensitive information in web applications from speculative-execution exploits. "Spectre-like side-channel attacks inexorably lead to a model in which active web content (JavaScript, WASM, probably CSS if we tried hard enough, and so on) can read any and all data which has entered the address space of the process which hosts it. While this has deep implications for user agent implementations' internal hardening strategies (stack canaries, ASLR, etc), here we’ll remain focused on the core implication at the web platform level, which is both simple and profound: any data which flows into a process hosting a given origin is legible to that origin. We must design accordingly."

  • What Is the Shellshock Bug and Is It Still a Risk? [Ed: Borrowing old FUD to keep the scare. 2014 called. It wants is news back.]

    Like most security bugs, Shellshock took the internet by a storm in 2014 and compromised millions of accounts. This deadly bug originates from the Bash (Bourne Again Shell) which is the default command-line interface on all Linux, Unix, and Mac-based operating systems.

    The Shellshock vulnerability was first detected some 30 years ago but was not classified as an official and public threat until September of 2014. Even with the passage of time and numerous patches, this bug still remains a threat to enterprise security.

  • Five Tips For Life Sciences Companies To Protect Their AI Technologies [Ed: Some habitual copyleft FUD]

    Though they come in all shapes and flavors, open source licenses can generally be characterized into two groups: (1) permissive open source licenses, and (2) copyleft open source licenses. A permissive open source license (e.g., the MIT license) makes software code available for free to a user, but does not place significant restrictions on how the code must be used. Importantly, this means the user of code under a permissive open source license can combine the code with its own proprietary code and be under no obligation to disclose or license the combined code. Conversely, copyleft licenses (e.g., the General Public License (GPL)) also make software code available for free, but require that any modified code be licensed under the same terms. Therefore, if the copyleft licensed code is combined with proprietary code, the user may be required to make its proprietary code publicly available for free as well. Obviously, this is not a good outcome for a company desiring to keep its AI software secret. To avoid this negative outcome, companies should incorporate good hygiene around their use of open source software and implement policies and procedures to ensure that no source code is used that could jeopardize the secrecy of the company’s proprietary code.

More in Tux Machines

Android Leftovers

Best Free Android Apps: Joplin – note taking and to-do application

There’s a strict eligibility criteria for inclusion in this series. See the Eligibility Criteria section below. Joplin is a free, open source note taking and to-do application, which can handle a large number of notes organized into notebooks. The notes are searchable, can be copied, tagged and modified. Read more

How I digitized my CD collection with open source tools

The restrictions on getting out and about during the pandemic occasionally remind me that time is slipping by—although some days, "slipping" doesn't quite feel like the right word. But it also reminds me there are more than a few tasks around the house that can be great for restoring the sense of accomplishment that so many of us have missed. One such task, in my home anyway, is converting our CD collection to FLAC and storing the files on our music server's hard drive. Considering we don't have a huge collection (at least, by some people's standards), I'm surprised we still have so many CDs awaiting conversion—even excluding all the ones that fail to impress and therefore don't merit the effort. Read more

Hyperbola Linux Review: Systemd-Free Arch With Linux-libre Kernel

In the last month of 2019, the Hyperbola project took a major decision of ditching Linux in favor of OpenBSD. We also had a chat with Hyperbola co-founder Andre Silva, who detailed the reason for dropping Hyperbola OS and starting a new HyperbolaBSD. HyperbolaBSD is still under development and its alpha release will be ready by September 2021 for initial testing. The current Hyperbola GNU/Linux-libre v0.3.1 Milky Way will be supported until the legacy Linux-libre kernel reaches the end of life in 2022. I thought of giving it a try before it goes away and switches to BSD completely. Read more