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Site Update (Updatedx2)

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Summary: Recent changes at Tux Machines, in just a nutshell

INSPIRED in part by Slashdot, we recently added topical icons to submissions, applying these changes retroactively to over 50,000 older pages. The idea was, this can improve orientation by helping to quickly associate text with topics. More minor modifications were made as well, some textual and some layout related. They are subtle but they can be seen. After receiving feedback regrading icons size we made further modifications. Regarding social media buttons, some of the ones we initially found were unbelievably privacy-infringing (allowing Google, Facebook, Twitter etc. to see visitors of this site), so we disabled them immediately and replaced them with static buttons. Right now we can assure that whenever loading pages in this Web site nothing except our security-aware network gets contacted. We share no data about visitors (with anyone) and Apache logs get shredded for good after a few weeks, leaving sufficient trail just in case of attacks on the site, which would merit investigation. Log rotation is similarly privacy-respecting at the cache level, which leads to the following point.

Today, after the above changes had been made and stability attained (there were some network disruptions yesterday), we also updated Drupal, ensuring it is secure and fully up to date (the latest minor bugfix release is a month old). There is still an issue with Varnish and until we tackle this issue users who are not logged in might be getting error pages. One way to overcome this is to append "?something" to the URL requested. This bypasses the Varnish cache until we finish our investigation of this issue and resolve it for good.

Update: The issue with Varnish turns out to be a conflict between two caching layers. It's fixed now. If you spot an issue, still, please let us know.

Update #2: Yesterday we identified another issue and soon thereafter fixed it. After Twitter syndication had failed we realised that RSS feeds were not standards-compliant, due to a blank line at the start of each generated page in Drupal. This is a common issue and it is a nightmare to debug (requires a complete code review with help of GNU utilities like grep). After 4 hours of investigation I found the culprit and fixed the coding error. RSS feeds are back.

More in Tux Machines

Audiocasts/Shows

  • LHS Episode #303: The Weekender XXXIV

    It's time once again for The Weekender. This is our bi-weekly departure into the world of amateur radio contests, open source conventions, special events, listener challenges, hedonism and just plain fun. Thanks for listening and, if you happen to get a chance, feel free to call us or e-mail and send us some feedback. Tell us how we're doing. We'd love to hear from you.

  • 09/20/2019 | Linux Headlines

    The first Open Core Summit, an activist programmer takes aim at Chef, a French court disagrees with Valve’s licensing model, and Lennart Poettering wants to rethink the Home directory.

  • Too Good To Be True | TechSNAP 412

    It's TechSNAP story time as we head out into the field with Jim and put Sure-Fi technology to the test. Plus an update on Wifi 6, an enlightening Chromebook bug, and some not-quite-quantum key distribution.

Graphics: AMD, GNOME Shell on Wayland and NVIDIA Nsight Graphics

  • AMD Pushes Back 3rd Gen Threadripper & Ryzen 9 3950X Until November

    While the Ryzen 9 3950X and 3rd Gen Ryzen Threadripper processors were reportedly on track for launching in October with updates as of a few weeks ago, today AMD announced a slight delay in launching these new processors.

  • AMD have delayed the Ryzen 9 3950X and 3rd generation Threadripper until November

    Today, AMD sent out a brief statement about a delay in their 16 core Ryzen 9 3950X and the 3rd generation Threadripper. [...] So if you were looking to grab either, keep an eye out in November. Will share any more news when they send it about the expected date and pricing.

  • AMD Sends In Initial Batch Of Fixes To Linux 5.4 - Includes Dali Support

    While just yesterday the big DRM feature pull was sent in for Linux 5.4, AMD has also volleyed out their initial batch of fixes for this next version of the kernel. This new AMDGPU pull isn't strictly fixes but as anticipated does include the recently reported Dali APU support. Dali along with Renoir -- also newly-supported in Linux 5.4 -- are some of AMD's 2020 APUs. Dali will be targeting the lower-end of the spectrum it's expected for value mobile/embedded. From the driver code, Dali looks like a newer revved version of the current-gen Picasso APUs. Both Dali and Renoir are based on the Vega architecture.

  • Linux Plumbers Conference 2019, part 2

    Pain points and missing pieces with Wayland, or specifically GNOME Shell: GNOME Shell is slower Synergy doesn't work(?) - needs to be in the compositor With Nvidia proprietary driver, mutter and native Wayland clients get GPU acceleration but X clients don't No equivalent to ssh -X. Pipewire goes some way to the solution. The whole desktop can be remoted over RDP which can be tunnelled over SSH. No remote login protocol like XDMCP No Xvfb equivalent Various X utilities that grab hot-keys don't have equivalents for Wayland Not sure if all X's video acceleration features are implemented. Colour format conversion and hardware scaling are implemented. Pointer movement becomes sluggish after a while (maybe related to GC in GNOME Shell?) Performance, in general. GNOME Shell currently has to work as both a Wayland server and an X compositor, which limits the ability to optimise for Wayland.

  • NVIDIA's Nsight Graphics 2019.5 Released With Better Vulkan Coverage

    NVIDIA this week released Nsight Graphics 2019.5 as the newest feature update to their proprietary developer tool for graphics profiling and debugging across multiple APIs. The Nsight Graphics 2019.5 release brings support for more than a dozen new Vulkan extensions, a variety of user-interface improvements, compatibility enhancements, and better syntax highlighting.

Ubuntu: Video Encoder Performance, Ubuntu Touch, LZ4 Compression

  • Clear Linux vs. Ubuntu 19.10 Video Encoder Performance On The Core i9 9900K

    Often when doing cross-distribution benchmarks, readers often comment on the performance of Clear Linux particularly for video encoding use-cases as surprisingly different from other distributions. Some argue that it's just over the default CPU frequency scaling governor or compiler flag defaults, so here is a look at that with Ubuntu 19.10 daily benchmarked against Clear Linux. On the same Core i9 9900K system I recently ran some benchmarks looking at Clear Linux vs. Ubuntu 19.10 and then Ubuntu 19.10 with various common tunables to make it more akin to Clear Linux. Ubuntu 19.10 was used due to its recent software components being at similar versions to Intel's rolling-release distribution.

  • Serge Hallyn: First experience with Ubuntu Touch

    For the past few weeks I’ve been using a nexus 4 running ubuntu touch as, mostly, my daily driver. I’ve enjoyed it quite a bit. In part that’s just the awesome size of the nexus 4. In part, it’s the ubuntu touch interface itself. If you haven’t tried it, you really should. (Sailfish ambiances are so much prettier, but ubuntu touch is much nicer to use – the quick switch to switch between two apps, for instance. Would that I could have both.). And in part it’s just the fact that it really feels like – is – a regular ubuntu system.

  • Ubuntu 19.10 to use LZ4 compression to boot even faster

    anonical’s Ubuntu 19.10 “Eoan Ermine” will boot even faster than its predecessor, Ubuntu 19.04 “Disco Dingo” according to Ubuntu’s kernel team. After extensive testing on a variety of compression options on the Ubuntu installation image, Canonical engineers determined that the LZ4 decompression method provided a most appreciable gain in speed.

The Vivaldi 2.8 Release (Proprietary)

  • Vivaldi 2.8 Released with Unified Sync Support for Desktop and Android

    Vivaldi Technologies released today the Vivaldi 2.8 web browser for desktop platforms, including GNU/Linux, macOS, and Windows, an incremental update that adds significant improvements. With Vivaldi 2.8, Vivaldi Technologies continues to give desktop users full control over their browsing experience by adding various improvements across the board, starting with Vivaldi Sync, which now lets you sync bookmarks, passwords, history, notes, and autofill information across desktop and mobile. That's right, starting with Vivaldi 2.8, all your browsing data will be automatically synchronized between your installations of Vivaldi on desktop platforms, such as Linux, Mac, or Windows, and your mobile device where Vivaldi for Android is installed if you use Vivaldi Sync.

  • New Version Vivaldi Web Browser Has Been Released, Install in Ubuntu/Linux

    Vivaldi is the new web browser compare to other famous browsers, the initial release of Vivaldi was in January, 2015. It has improved a lot and evolved since the first release. Basically it is based on the open-source frameworks of Chromium, Blink and Google's V8 JavaScript engine and has a lot of great feature which I will table later. It is known to be the most customizable browser for power users, debuts features that make browsing more personal than ever before. Do we really need another browser? Since we already have a lot of them such as mostly used Firefox, Chrome, Opera and so on. The former CEO of Opera Software Jon Von Tetzchner didn't liked the direction of Opera Web Browser and said "Sadly, it is no longer serving its community of users and contributors - who helped build the browser in the first place." Then created a web browser which has to be fast, rich feature, highly flexible and puts the user first, so Vivaldi was born.

  • Vivaldi 2.8: Inspires new desktop and mobile experiences

    Today we are launching a new upgrade to our desktop version – Vivaldi 2.8. We’re always focused on giving you complete control over your desktop experience, while also making sure to protect your privacy and security online. Vivaldi on the desktop has been our foundation. And now – our inspiration. It continuously pushes us forward to deliver a browser that is made for you.

  • Privacy and the rise of the alternative search engine

    Over the summer we opened our blog to guest bloggers eager to share their perspectives on privacy. In this story, Finn Brownbill explains how we can put an end to tracking in search for the purpose of data collection.