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Elementary OS 0.4 'Loki' Review | An Easy To Use Linux Distribution

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Elementary OS is one of the most beautiful Linux distros that I have ever tried. It is based on Ubuntu and the version 0.4 of Elementary OS is based on Ubuntu 16.04 LTS. This review has been written after using the operating system for a complete week.

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today's howtos

KDE Plasma 5.18 Makes It Easier to Enter Emoji

A brand new emoji picker tool is currently in development for KDE Plasma 5.18. This smorgasbord of smilies will be accessible through a meta + . key binding (one assumes ‘meta’ is KDE speak for the super key, but you may want to check). And below is a currently glimpse at what the glyph selection palette currently looks like... Read more

Leftovers: Fedora, SUSE and Programming

  • Updated NeuroFedora Computational Neuroscience ISO image available

    We've been working on making more software available in NeuroFedora. Neuron is now built with IV support, so models from ModelDB that use these should now be runnable using NeuroFedora. The Computational Neuroscience ISO image has been updated to include these improvements. After receiving some feedback, we've also added Julia and R to the image. The new version, 20191201, is available for download here. The checksum file is also provided. So please test your download for correctness before you proceed to use it.

  • Time needed to dist-upgrade Fedora

    Every couple of months I upgrade my main home computer to the latest Fedora. As this process is not instantaneous, this means some time without internet, wifi, smart home controls etc. This time I decided to measure how long it takes exactly. Hardware is mid-range home server: Core i5 CPU, 16GiB of RAM, storage is 2x HDD in btrfs raid1, over LUKS, bcached on NVMe drive.

  • SUSE Revives Patches For Exposing /proc/cpuinfo Data Over Sysf

    Back in 2017 were patches for exposing /proc/cpuinfo data via sysfs for more easily parsing selected bits of information from the CPU information output. That work never made it into the mainline kernel but now SUSE's Thomas Renninger is taking over and trying to get revised patches into the kernel. Renninger sent out revised versions of the "sysfs-based cpuinfo" on Friday that within /sys/devices/system/cpu/cpuX/info/ would expose nodes to easily parse pieces of cpuinfo like bogomips, cpu_family, flags, model, model_name, stepping, vendor_id, and more. Reading the information via sysfs with a single-value-per-file makes it much easier for parsing compared to having to parse the entire /proc/cpuinfo output and complements other CPU information already accessible via the very convenient sysfs.

  • Do's and Don'ts of implementing a hamburger menu

    The infamous hamburger menu is one of the examples where I see bad practice very often. Surf the web one day using a screen reader or using only your keyboard and you will most likely experience some of the problems as well. Let's have a look at the most common errors and how to avoid them.

  • The GCC Git Conversion Heats Up With Hopes Of Converting Over The Holidays

    Decided back at the GNU Tools Cauldron was a timeline to aim converting from Subversion as their default revision control system to Git over the New Year's holiday. For that to happen, by the middle of December they wanted to decide what conversion system to use for bringing all their SVN commits to Git. As such, now it's heating up ahead of that decision. Eric S Raymond announced the conversion work in progress. Right now he's been working on addressing the remaining problems with Reposurgeon in being able to convert the GCC SVN repository to Git. Following those lingering issues being resolved, he's seeking broader review of the Reposurgeon "recipe" and then "the conversion progress starts to become desirable."

  • PyGotham 2019 Speaker Coaching Recap

    I’m one of the organizers for PyGotham, the yearly Python programming conference in New York City. This year thirteen PyGotham speakers received training from opera singer and speaking coach Melissa Collom, paid for by the conference and free for the speakers. Eight of the speakers were new to the conference scene; Melissa helped them focus on delivering value to their audience, structuring their talks clearly, and speaking with conviction. All the speakers who responded to a survey said they felt more confident and they were more likely to propose conference talks again. Here’s what some of our speakers said: “Melissa helped me pick out the areas I needed to improve, that I could work on for maximum impact in the limited time that I had before the conference. More importantly, she told me what she thought were my strengths and it helped me immensely to know what I had working for me.” “It was fun and Melissa made me feel comfortable to be myself! She brought out the best in me. The positive and constructive feedback was helpful and provided in a supportive way.”

  • Marco Zehe: The myth of getting rich through ads

    In addition, the web hosting was expensive, but not really performant. And they often let essential software get out of date. My WordPress at some point had started complaining because my PHP version was too old. Turned out that the defaults for shared hosts were not upgraded to a newer version by default by the hoster, and one had to go into an obnoxious backend to fiddle with some setting somewhere to use a newer version of PHP. I then decided to try something completely new. I exported the contents of my three blogs and set up blogs at WordPress.com, the hosted WordPress offering from the makers themselves: Automattic. I looked at their plans, and the Premium plan, which cost me 8€ per month, per blog felt suitable. I also took the opportunity to pull both German language blogs together into one. I just added two categories that those who just want to see my tecnical stuff, or the private stuff, could still do so. With that move, I got a good set of features that I would normally use on a self-hosted blog as well, so I set up some widgets, some theme that comes with the plan, and imported all my content including comments and such. I lost my statistics from the custom plugins, but hey, I had lost years of statistics from before that when I decided to no longer use JetPack on my self-hosted blogs, too, so what. And I did two more things. I added a “Buy me a coffee” button so people could show their appreciation for my content if they wanted to. And I opted into the Word Ads program, that would display some advertisement on the blog’s main page and below each individual post. I simply wanted to see if my content would be viable enough to generate any significant enough income. [...] When I compare my experience to that of my wife, who runs both a guide and a forum for the popular Sims FreePlay game in Germany, it is clear that even she with her thousands of visitors to both the guide and forum does not always generate enough traffic to get the minimum Google Adsense payout threshold per month. And that is just enough to cover her monthly domain and server costs, because the traffic is so heavy that shared hosting cannot cope. So she has to run a dedicated v server for those, which are way more expensive than shared hosting. So, ads on the web are really not a sustainable model for many. Yes, there may be some very popular and widespread 8content-wise) blogs or publication sites that do generate enough revenue through ads. But the more niche your topic gets, if you don’t generate thousands of visitors per month, ads sometimes may cover the costs of a service like WordPress to run your blog, but only if you are on one of the lower plans with less control over what your blog can do or the ads that are being displayed. I believe that a more engaged interaction with the actual audience is a better way to generate revenue, although that, of course, also depends on readers loyalty and your own dedication. I think that initiatives like Grant For The Web are the future of monetisation of content on the web, and I may start supporting that once my move back to self-hosting is complete. I’ll keep you posted.

Proprietary Issues, Flaws, Entrapment and Openwashing

  • Microsoft: 44 Million User Passwords Have Been Breached

    It found a match for over 44 million Microsoft Services Accounts, used primarily by consumers, and AzureAD accounts, which is more worrying for businesses.

    “For the leaked credentials for which we found a match, we force a password reset. No additional action is required on the consumer side. On the enterprise side, Microsoft will elevate the user risk and alert the administrator so that a credential reset can be enforced,” it explained.

  • Anti-Virus Vendors Flag uTorrent and BitTorrent as a "Threat" Again

    The popular BitTorrent client uTorrent is currently being flagged as a threat by several anti-virus tools. The issue affects the desktop client as well as the Web version and the BitTorrent Mainline client. According to the anti-virus vendors, the flags were likely triggered by bundled advertisements or other unwanted software.

  • DeepMind co-founder Mustafa Suleyman is moving to Google

    Suleyman announced over the summer that he was taking open-ended leave from DeepMind, fuelling speculation of a rift. However, he has emerged, seemingly unscathed and will now take up a role involving AI at Google. It's not clear exactly what that looks like

  • Developers join call for GitHub to cancel its ICE contract

    Since at least September, employees of GitHub have been pressuring the Microsoft-owned code repository to terminate its contract with Immigration and Customs Enforcement, without success. Now they’re getting reinforcements from a constituency that could have more clout.

    In an open letter published Wednesday on GitHub, software developers representing the open source community joined the call for GitHub to immediately cancel the $200,000 contract with ICE.

  • Exadel Launches Adobe Experience Manager Authoring Toolkit as Open Source Tool for Digital Marketing Community

    Exadel, a global leader in digital software engineering solutions, announced the availability of its Adobe Experience Manager (AEM) Authoring Toolkit. An open source project developed and maintained by the Exadel Digital Marketing Technology team, the Toolkit is available as a packaged, fully supported solution to Exadel’s enterprise clients and as an open source tool for the community. The Toolkit supports an automatic yet versatile and extendable generation of UI elements for AEM authors and provides a next-gen authoring experience in Adobe’s Coral UI-powered environment.

  • Alibaba Cloud Releases Machine Learning Algorithm Platform on Github [Ed: Alibaba gives its code to proprietary software  and Microsoft will control it. Is this "open source" or trapsource?]

    Alibaba Cloud, the data intelligence backbone of Alibaba Group, announced that the core codes of Alink, its self-developed algorithm platform, have been made available via open source on Github, the world’s largest developer community. The platform offers a broad range of algorithm libraries that support both batch and stream processing, which is critical for machine learning tasks such as online product recommendation and intelligent customer services.

  • OpenBSD bugs, Microsoft's bad update, a new Nork hacking crew, and more

    The freely available OpenBSD operating system is the host of some annoying security holes. Researchers at Qualys found and reported authentication bypass flaws that can be exploited locally, and potentially remotely, to log into services without valid credentials. "We discovered an authentication-bypass vulnerability in OpenBSD's authentication system: this vulnerability is remotely exploitable in smtpd, ldapd, and radiusd, but its real-world impact should be studied on a case-by-case basis," notes Qualys. "For example, sshd is not exploitable thanks to its defense-in-depth mechanisms." Admins will want to update their systems as soon as possible.

  • ‘The Information Nation’: Kremlin researchers and forensic journalists intersect at Russia’s black market for leaked personal data

    The Russian Presidential Affairs Department’s Scientific Research Computing Center (GRCC) develops systems to monitor and deanonymize social-media users, and it sells these systems to government and private clients alike. Using the company’s services, insurance companies can root out dishonest employees, and security-guard companies can recruit new staff. Other GRCC programs allow the police to hunt down “extremists” online. In a special report published in late September, Meduza learned that these computing systems collect information on Russians not just from open sources, but also from leaked databases that are sold illegally on the black market.