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tuxmachines 2nd quarter report

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This second quarter has been very exciting for me. The hits have continued to grow each month and we've had some great community contributions in the forms of articles and comments. Meanies still plague the site, but I've had a wonderful time reviewing distros and posting news links.

Pure ddos attackes have subsided somewhat since I turned off the mail server, however comment spammers have been hitting the site pretty hard. One day it went on all day long, and sometimes they hit so hard and fast it amounts to a dos. I turned off anonymous posting to keep their spam from showing up but turning off comments completely don't stop their attempts. This can be very frustrating and if I was paying per kilobyte, I'd be very angry. Spammers should be shot on the spot - no cigarette, no last request, no blindfold. As a result of having to turn off the mail server, new members and node subscribers may have noticed their notifications delayed. I have the mail server set up to come on for a few seconds every so often to get that mail pushed out. I apologize for these delays, but it does help keep the site up more consistantly.

So, the hits on the main site (not counting the gallery) for the second quarter look like so:

2005-07 192514
2005-06 167216
2005-05 137881

We want to thank those community members who have contributed articles to tuxmachines this quarter. In case you missed them, the contributed articles to tuxmachines this quarter include:

One wonderful addition to the site was Texstar's Linux 101 series, with contributions by atang1. Many of my readers subscribe to or rss Texstar's blog as well. We hope to be seeing more of this distinguished and respected community member here on tuxmachines. We miss him. His distro keeps him pretty busy though.

I have reviewed several distros and movies. Some highlights include SymphonyOS Alpha 3 and Alpha 4, Mandriva 2006 Beta 1, and PCLOS Pre-9.

Regulars might notice I tend to favor those distros that are new or more unpublicized. Those are the one's I'm curious about. There's no end to the reviews on the big guys, so I don't have to install them to see what they have, how well they function or what they look like. I can just read someone else's review. Some new or more obscure distros that really impressed me include (but are not limited to): KateOS, Underground Desktop, Frugalware, Litrix, Astrumi, and PC-BSD.

I haven't had as much time to go to the movies lately, but I didn't really like War of the Worlds or XXX: State of the Union. Perhaps the run of bad movies also contributed to my sudden lack of interest in going.

Tuxmachines is always open to community contributions, so if you have written or would like to write a howto, review, opinion piece, whatever and need somewhere to feature it, give us a hollar or just submit it as news. You could even start you own blog as the very distinguished taran did or the always interesting brockenlife did. We hope to see more of these fine gentlemen as well.

Tuxmachines may soon be looking for a co-editor to help scour the internet for interesting linux and computer/technology related news for the morning shift. I anticipate a drastic change in my real life working schedule soon and may need someone to take this most important position. More info and requirements to be announced in a future posting as the time and need approaches, or if you are interested, please drop me a line.

I can't thank my readers enough for visiting my humble site and I especially want to thank my two most consistant supporters: PCLinuxOnline.com and DistroWatch.com, without whom tuxmachines would be nothing.

I also want to thank the other sites that link to my original articles. It's an honor and privilege to find my links upon your pages. These include but are not limited to lobby4linux, capnkirby, guilinux and licklinux.

The summer months seem to be a slow period for distro and movie releases. Hopefully we'll have an even more exciting next quarter. Thanks everyone and here's a virtual champagne toast to you all.

More in Tux Machines

Graphics: Wayland, Radeon, Mir, Vulkan

  • Igalia Continues Working On Wayland & Accelerated Media Decode In Chromium On Linux
    Months ago we had reported on Igalia's efforts for improving hardware video/media acceleration on the Chromium browser stack for Linux and getting Chromium ready for Wayland but it's been relatively quiet since then with no status updates. Fortunately, a Phoronix reader pointed to a fresh round of ongoing work in this space. Igalia is working on supporting the V4L2 VDA (Video Decode Acceleration) on the Linux desktop for video/image decode of H.264, VP8, VP9, etc. Up to now the V4L2 VDA support was just used on ARM and under Chrome OS. This is part of the consulting firm's work on delivering first-rate Wayland support for Chromium -- it's a task they have been working on for quite some time.
  • Radeon GPU Profiler 1.2 Released With RenderDoc Interoperability
    AMD's GPUOpen group has announced the release of Radeon GPU Profiler 1.2, it's open-source GPU performance profiler. What's significant about this release is initial interoperability with the popular RenderDoc debugger. Beginning with Radeon GPU Profiler 1.2, there is beta support for allowing a profile be triggered from RenderDoc and for displaying data across the opposite tool along with synchronization between the two utilities.
  • Mir Is Running On Arch Linux; Mir Also Progressing With EGLStreams Support
    Prominent Mir developer Alan Griffiths of Canonical has published his latest weekly update on the status of this Linux display server that continues working on supporting Wayland clients. First up, via the UBports community, Mir is now working on Arch Linux after some basic changes and packaging work. So similar to Ubuntu and Fedora and others, it's now easy to run Mir on Arch Linux if so desired.
  • VK9 - Direct3D 9 Over Vulkan - Hits 26th Milestone
    It's been a wild week for the various Direct3D-over-Vulkan projects with VKD3D 1.0 being released for the initial Direct3D 12 over Vulkan bits from the ongoing work in the Wine project to DXVK continuing to get better at its D3D11-over-VLK support. There's also an update on the VK9 front.
  • Wine-Staging 3.9 Fixes D3D 10/11 Gaming Performance Regressions
    One day after the exciting Wine 3.9 update with VKD3D work and more, the Wine-Staging code has been updated against this latest development release. While since the revival of Wine-Staging earlier this year there has been more than 900 out-of-tree/experimental patches against this Wine branch, with Wine-Staging 3.9 that patch count comes in at 895 patches. It's great to see with more of the changes working their way into upstream Wine after being vetted while other patches are no longer relevant. Also decided this week is that Wine-Staging developers will rely upon the WineHQ bug infrastructure for handling the submission of new Wine-Staging patches so that the work is much easier to track by users/developers in seeing the status and background on proposed patches for the staging tree.

Security: The Microsoft Cyber Attack, VPNFilter, Compliance, Docker

  • « The Microsoft Cyber Attack » : a German Documentary from the ARD on Relations Between Microsoft and Public Administration Now Available in English

    On February 19th, 2018, the German public broadcaster (ARD) aired a documentary on Microsoft relations with public administrations. Part of the inquiry is about the Open Bar agreement between Microsoft and the French ministry of Defense, including interviews of French Senator Joëlle Garriaud-Maylam, Leïla Miñano, a journalist, and Étienne Gonnu of April.

    The documentary is now available in English thanks to Deutsche Welle (DW), the German public international broadcaster, on its Youtube channel dedicated to documentaries : The Microsoft Cyber Attack. It should be noted that April considers itself as a Free software advocate, rather than open source, as the voice-over suggests.

  • VPNFilter UNIX Trojan – How to Remove It and Protect Your Network
    This article has been created to explain what exactly is the VPNFilter malware and how to secure your network against this massive infection by protecting your router as well as protecting your computers. A new malware, going by the name of VPNFilter has reportedly infected over 500 thousand router devices across most widely used brands such as Linksys, MikroTik, NETGEAR as well as TP-Link, mostly used in homes and offices. The cyber-sec researchers at Cisco Talos have reported that the threat is real and it is live, even thought the infected devices are under investigation at the moment. The malware reportedly has something to do with the BlackEnergy malware, which targeted multiple devices in Ukraine and Industrial Control Systems in the U.S.. If you want to learn more about the VPNFilter malware and learn how you can remove it from your network plus protect your network, we advise that you read this article.
  • FBI: Reboot Your Router Now To Fight Malware That Affected 500,000 Routers
  • Compliance is Not Synonymous With Security
    While the upcoming GDPR compliance deadline will mark an unprecedented milestone in security, it should also serve as a crucial reminder that compliance does not equal security. Along with the clear benefits to be gained from upholding the standards enforced by GDPR, PCI DSS, HIPAA, and other regulatory bodies often comes a shift toward a more compliance-centric security approach. But regardless of industry or regulatory body, achieving and maintaining compliance should never be the end goal of any security program. Here’s why:
  • Dialing up security for Docker containers
    Docker containers are a convenient way to run almost any service, but admins need to be aware of the need to address some important security issues. Container systems like Docker are a powerful tool for system administrators, but Docker poses some security issues you won't face with a conventional virtual machine (VM) environment. For example, containers have direct access to directories such as /proc, /dev, or /sys, which increases the risk of intrusion. This article offers some tips on how you can enhance the security of your Docker environment.

Programming: Fonts, Jupyter, and Open Source FPGAs

  • 11 Best Programming Fonts
    There are many posts and sites comparing fonts for programming and they are all amazing articles. So why I repeated the same subject here? Since I always found myself lost in dozens of fonts and could not finger out which one was best for me. So today I tried many fonts and picked up the following fonts for you. These fonts are pretty popular and easy to get. And most importantly, all these fonts are FREE!
  • New open-source web apps available for students and faculty
    Jupyter is an open source web environment for writing code and visualizing data. Over the past few years, it has become increasingly popular across a wide range of academic disciplines. [...] JupyterHub is a variation of the Jupyter project, which adds support for user account management and enterprise authentication. The TLT instance allows students and faculty to log in with their credentials for full access to their own Jupyter environment and provides direct access to their Penn State Access Account Storage Space (PASS). Using PASS for storage provided a large persistent storage space that students and faculty were already familiar with and was easily accessible from the local lab systems or their personal devices.
  • An Ultrasound Driver With Open Source FPGAs
    Ultrasound imaging has been around for decades, but Open Source ultrasound has not. While there are a ton of projects out there attempting to create open ultrasound devices, most of this is concentrated on the image-processing side of things, and not the exceptionally difficult problem of pinging a sensor at millions of times a second, listening for the echo, and running that through a very high speed ADC. For his entry into the Hackaday Prize, [kelu124] is doing just that. He’s building an ultrasound board that’s built around Open Hardware, a fancy Open Source FPGA, and a lot of very difficult signal processing. It also uses some Rick and Morty references, so you know this is going to be popular with the Internet peanut gallery. The design of the ultrasound system is based around an iCE40 FPGA, the only FPGA with an Open Source toolchain. Along with this, there are a ton of ADCs, a DAC, pulsers, and a high voltage section to drive the off-the-shelf ultrasound head. If you’re wondering how this ultrasound board interfaces with the outside world, there’s a header for a Raspberry Pi on there, too, so this project has the requisite amount of blog cred.

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