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Wednesday, 26 Oct 16 - Tux Machines is a community-driven public service/news site which has been around for over a decade and primarily focuses on GNU/LinuxSubscribe now Syndicate content

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Red Hat and Fedora

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Red Hat

Zorin OS 12 Beta - Flat white, no sugar

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I did not do any other testing, no extensive tweaking, no customization. I felt no need or desire to do so. Now, do remember Zorin OS 12 is still in beta, so we can excuse some of the problems we see here. But others are purely Ubuntu, and have been ported over from the parent distro without any discrimination or any improvements and fixes introduced in the last six months. The big offenders include: multimedia and smartphone support, poor software management, and then the somewhat heavy utilization and slow performance.

Zorin is quite pretty but weary on the eyes, it tries perhaps too hard to be more than it is, and overall, the value it brings is negatively offset by the myriad papercuts of its design and the implementation of its unique style, plus the failings of the Ubuntu family. It's an okay choice, if you will, but there's nothing too special about it anymore. It's not as fun as it used to be. Gone is the character, gone is the glamor. This aligns well with the overall despair in the Linux desktop world. Maybe the official release will be better, but I doubt it. Why would suddenly one distro excel where 50 others of the same crop had failed with the exact same problems? Final grade, 5/10. Test if you like the looks, other than that, there's no incentive in really using Zorin. Oh how the mighty have fallen.

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PlayStation 4 hacked again? Linux shown running on 4.01 firmware

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Hackers attending the GeekPwn conference in Shanghai have revealed a new exploit for PlayStation 4 running on the 4.01 firmware. In a live demo you can see below, once again the Webkit browser is utilised in order to inject the exploit, which - after a conspicuous cut in the edit - jumps to a command line prompt, after which Linux is booted. NES emulation hilarity courtesy of Super Mario Bros duly follows.

Assuming the hack is authentic - and showcasing it at GeekPwn makes the odds here likely - it's the first time we've seen the PlayStation 4's system software security compromised since previous holes in the older 1.76 firmware came to light, utilised by noted hacker group fail0verflow in the first PS4 Linux demo, shown in January this year.

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Also: 'Deus Ex: Mankind Divided' Coming To Linux In November, Mac Port On Hold

pcDuino goes quad-core, swaps Arduino for RPi compatibility

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LinkSprite’s $25, 64 x 50mm “pcDuino4 Nano” SBC is a re-spin of FriendlyARM’s NanoPi M1, offering a quad-core H3, Raspberry Pi expansion, and 3x USB ports.

Can you be a pcDuino without the Duino? For its latest open source pcDuino board, LinkSprite has switched from Arduino compatibility to a 40-pin Raspberry Pi expansion interface, breaking the mold of the three pcDuino SBCs, and five models total, that made it into our June HackerBoard SBC survey. The new pcDuino4 Nano, which is on pre-sale for $25, follows the $40 pcDuino3 Nano, which fell directly in the middle of the pack of our reader rankings of community-backed SBCs, but was the most popular of the pcDuino models overall.

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Linux 3.9 To Linux 4.9 Kernel Benchmarks: Testing The 21 Last Kernels

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With the in-development Linux 4.9 kernel showing signs of some performance improvements, I've gone ahead and tested the last 21 major kernel releases on the same system. From Linux 3.9 to Linux 4.9, each of the major kernel releases was tested from the same Intel Core i7 desktop with a variety of benchmarks.

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Keeping up the fight for free software

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Here's John Sullivan's vision for a more just world: You pop into your favorite electronics retailer and encounter a panoply of new gadgets, each one more alluring and astounding than the last—and each one guaranteed to respect your freedom. Your freedom to inspect its software. Your freedom to modify that software. Your freedom to have that software collect only the data you wish.

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This Linux computer may be smaller than a coin, but it packs some big computing power

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Whether you think they’re a novelty, sneaky powerful, or just seriously cute, microcomputers are here to stay. Find out what all the fuss is about with the versatile, ultra-adaptable VoCore 2 Linux mini computer, paired with an Ultimate Dock for just $42.99.

If you’ve never experimented with a microcomputer like the VoCore 2, you may be surprised by how much you can do with this tiny open source computer and wireless router. The VoCore 2’s 580 MHz processor is ready to handle almost any coding plan, including Java, JavaScript, Python, and Ruby projects.

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Also: Daily Deal: VoCore2 Mini Linux Computer And Ultimate Dock

Nantes: Open source cuts off recurring charges

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Switching to open source means the end of the periodic recurring charges from proprietary software vendors, says Eric Ficheux, change management specialist at Nantes Métropole, France’s 6th largest city. “The total cost of ownership of LibreOffice is far lower than of its proprietary predecessor”, he says.

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LinuxAndUbuntu Review Of Gentoo Linux - A Linux Distro For Advanced Users

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Many people think that Gentoo is just another Linux distro, but it is wrong. Gentoo Linux is a special, different and powerful Linux distribution, because it isn’t like other systems that have pre-compiled software and tools for easy management, in Gentoo the user must configure everything.

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today's leftovers

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  • Windows Btrfs Driver Updated With New Capabilities (WinBtrfs)
  • Install Laravel on Ubuntu 16.04
  • 'Tether' a very promising UE4 first-person adventure game will be coming to Linux

    It's not often a trailer leaves me begging for more, but 'Tether' [Steam Greenlight, Official Site] ticked all my boxes. The developer is using UE4 and claims the Linux builds are working as expected.

  • If you're in the mood for a decent Zombie survival game, don't pass up on Project Zomboid

    Project Zomboid [Steam, GOG, Official Site] is the rather good sandbox Zombie survival game from The Indie Stone, and it has come a long way!

    It doesn't have a SteamOS icon on Steam, as Valve removed it a long time ago as it (and a bunch of other games) wouldn't launch correctly on SteamOS. It works perfectly fine on a normal Linux distribution and I assure you the Linux version is still on Steam and perfectly up to date.

  • GTK+ 3.22.2 Deprecates APIs That Will Be Removed in GTK+ 4, Improves Win32 Theme

    Today, October 24, 2016, the GTK+ development team released the second stable maintenance update to the GTK+ 3.22 GUI (Graphical User Interface) toolkit for GNOME-based desktop environments.

    GTK+ 3.22.2 comes just two weeks after the release of GNOME 3.22.1 and in time for the upcoming GNOME 3.22.2 milestone, which will also be the last one pushed for the GNOME 3.22 series. GTK+ 3.22.2 is mostly a bugfix release, but also adds various improvements to the win32 theme and deprecates APIs (Application Programming Interface) that'll be removed in the next major branch, GTK+ 4.

  • No One Is Buying Smartwatches Anymore

    Remember how smartwatches were supposed to be the next big thing? About that...

    The market intelligence firm IDC reported on Monday that smartwatch shipments are down 51.6 percent year-over-year for the third quarter of 2016. This is bad news for all smartwatch vendors (except maybe Garmin), but it’s especially bad for Apple, which saw shipments drop 71.6 percent, according to the IDC report

    Apple is still the overall smartwatch market leader, with an estimated 41.3-percent of the market, but IDC estimates it shipped only 1.1 million Apple Watches in Q3 2016, compared with 3.9 million in 2015. To a degree, that’s to be expected, since the new Apple Watch Series 2 came out at the tail-end of the quarter. But the news is still a blow, when you consider how huge the Apple Watch hype was just 18 months ago.

  • 10 must-have Android apps for Halloween
  • What’s wrong with Git? A conceptual design analysis

    We finished up last week talking about the how to find good concepts / abstractions in a software design and what good modularization looks like. Today’s paper jumps 40+ years to look at some of those issues in a modern context and a tool that many readers of this blog will be very familiar with: Git. With many thanks to Glyn Normington for the recommendation.


    The results of the reworking are made available in a tool called gitless, which I’ve installed on my system to try out for a few days. (Note: if you use oh-my-zsh with the git plugin then this defines an alias for gl which you’ll need to unalias). As of this paper (2013), Gitless was only just beginning as a project, but it continues to this day and tomorrow we’ll look at the 2016 paper that brings the story up to date.

    The kinds of concepts the authors are interested in are those which are essential to the design, to an understanding of the workings of the system, and hence will be apparent in the external interface of the system, as well as in the implementation.

Leftovers: Software

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  • Krita 3.1 Digital Painting App Now in Development, Promises Cool New Features

    The Krita development team announced this past weekend that a second Beta pre-release version of the upcoming Krita 3.1 point release is now available for public testing.

    The current stable release of the Krita 3.x branch is version 3.0.1, and the Krita 3.0.2 maintenance update was planned for this fall, but it looks like it gained so many cool new features and improvements that the development team decided to bump the version number to 3.1.

  • Using Twitter From the Command Line Is Actually Really Fun

    The command line remains so incredibly popular because it’s so incredibly versatile. You can do a lot in a terminal.

  • FFmpeg 3.1.5 "Laplace" Multimedia Framework Released for GNU/Linux Distributions

    The fifth maintenance update to the latest stable FFmpeg 3.1 "Laplace" open-source multimedia framework was announced the other day for GNU/Linux systems, bringing more bug fixes and improvements.

    FFmpeg 3.1.5 was released on October 22, and it's now considered the latest stable and most FFmpeg release from the 3.1 release branch, dubbed "Laplace," which was officially released at the end of June 2016 and currently used in almost all GNU/Linux distributions.

Rackspace and FOSS Report

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  • The Rackspace State of Open Source

    As the OpenStack Summit in Barcelona kicks off, Rackspace has released a report entitled ‘The State of Open Source’. With every conference seemingly extolling the virtues of open source software, this report is timely. It manages to differentiate between enterprise open source and the wider open source software market.

  • Why digital transformation needs open source

    As if there wasn't already ample reason for businesses to switch to open source, Forrester analysts Paul Miller and Lauren E Nelson released a report in April 2016, entitled Open Source Powers Enterprise Digital Transformation — CIOs Need To Embrace Open Source Software To Drive Change, which further drives the point.

  • Despite Security Fears, Open Source Is Fuelling Innovation and Cost Savings in UK Businesses
  • Security concerns fail to hold back UK open source success

    However, despite its increasingly common use, many (54%) still perceive external security threats to be a big barrier to adoption, that’s according to a report published by Rackspace.

    The State of Open Source study, which was conducted among IT decision makers in UK businesses with over 1,000 employees and revenues over £500m, and looks at the ways open source is being used, its benefits, but also what is holding back adoption and business concerns.

    According to the report open source has come of age with 85% using open source technology to migrate a closed source project to open source.

    Open source also isn’t just a tool for small businesses; the vast majority (90%) of large businesses are now deploying open source-based enterprise applications, with 25% being completely open source.

    The reason for the growing adoption is because of the money and time savings. Rackspace found that for each project that had been migrated to open source technology, six out of ten organisations saved on average £30,146 and reduced project lifecycle by six months.

    Greater innovation was reported by many (49%), and 46% were driven to open source because of the competitive opportunities. Additionally, just under half (45%) said that it enabled them to get products and services to market faster.

    John Engates, Chief Technology Officer at Rackspace, said: “While open source technologies have been around for many years, it is great to see that enterprise businesses are finally dipping their toes in and seeing the tangible benefits.

FOSS and Blockchain

Security Leftovers

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  • The internet apocalypse map hides the major vulnerability that created it

    During Friday’s massive distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack on DNS service provider Dyn, one might be forgiven for mistaking the maps of network outages for images of some post-apocalyptic nuclear fallout. Screenshots from sites like showed menacingly red, fuzzy heat maps of, well, effectively just population centers of the United States experiencing serious difficulty accessing Twitter, Github, Etsy, or any of Dyn's other high-profile clients. Aside from offering little detail and making a DDoS literally into a glowing red menace, they also obscured the reality of just how centralized a lot of internet infrastructure really is. DNS is ground zero for the uneasy tension of the internet’s presumed decentralized resilience and the reality that as of now, translating IP addresses into domain names requires some kind of centralized, hierarchical platform, and that’s probably not going to radically change anytime soon.

    Other maps provided by various business to business network infrastructure companies weren’t much more helpful. These maps seem to exist mostly to signal that the companies in question have lots of cool data and that it can be made into a flashy map — which might impress potential customers, but that doesn’t offer a ton of insights for the layperson. For example, threat intelligence company Norse's map appears to be mostly a homage to the Matthew Broderick movie War Games: a constant barrage of DDoS attacks beaming like space invader rockets across a world map. Akamai has an impressive 3D visualization that renders traffic as points beaming into the atmosphere. And website monitoring service Pingdom offers a dot map at such a far-out zoom level that it's essentially useless for seeking out more meaningful patterns than "outages happen in population centers, also there are a lot of outages."

  • CoreOS Patched Against the "Dirty COW" Linux Kernel Vulnerability, Update Now
  • World’s first hack-proof router launched

    Turris Omnia router, tagged the world’s first hack-proof router, was launched yesterday at the CES Unveiled Show in Prague, Czech Republic.

    As an essential part of any home internet network, routers are rather poorly secured and protected against cyber attack. More often than not, the only security feature is the default password. With easily required internet knowledge and some skills, these routers can be hacked, providing unauthorized access to a complete internet network. From there on, anything is possible.

ARM/FPGA module runs Linux on Arria 10 SoC

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iWave’s rugged, Linux-friendly, 95 x 75mm “Arria 10 SoC Module” expands upon the dual-core, ARM/FPGA SoC from Altera with DDR4 and 24 transceivers.

The iWave Systems Arria 10 SoC Module builds upon Intel/Altera’s Arria 10 SX SoC, a faster, newer sibling to the Cyclone V SX, which iWave tapped for its Qseven based iW-RainboW-G17M-Q7 COM and iW-RainboW-G17D development board combo. Both the Cyclone V SoC and Arria 10 SoC combine dual-core Cortex-A9 subsystems with FPGA circuitry, but the Arria 10 boosts the ARM clock speed to 1.5GHz, up from 800MHz, and offers a higher end FPGA.

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Ubuntu 16.10 Review

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The list of major new features in Ubuntu 16.10 is impressive and interesting, but only if you are using the server product. Very little has changed on the desktop side of things other than the included packages being slightly newer. In fact, other than touting the number of applications available as Snaps, the only desktop-focused feature in the release announcement is a developer preview of Unity 8 desktop.

To see what the desktop version of Ubuntu 16.10 has to offer compared to the previous 16.04 LTS release, I downloaded the 1.48GB ISO and gave it a try. Below, I take a look at what is new and different. I also take a look at the Unity 8 developer preview.

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Also: Why is Ubuntu's Unity 8 development taking so long?

NVIDIA 375.10 vs. Linux 4.8 + Mesa 13.1-dev AMD GPU Benchmarks

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In prepping for the GeForce GTX 1050 Linux graphics card reviews this week, I've been re-testing my various AMD and NVIDIA graphics cards atop the very latest driver stacks. As a precursor while waiting for the GeForce GTX 1050 Linux review in the days ahead, here are those fresh benchmarks of the other graphics cards.

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Tool That Lets You Install Ubuntu Touch on Your Mobile Device Now Supports Maru

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It's been a little over a week since we told you all about Marius Quabeck's awesome new tool that lets you easily install the Ubuntu Touch mobile operating system on your device, and it looks like the developer was quite busy adding new functionality.

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6 smart settings to make your Android phone anticipate your needs

There's no denying that our smartphones have made our lives so much easier, putting our contacts and schedules, our driving directions, the whole internet, right at our fingertips. But if you're using an Android phone you might be leaving even more convenience on the table. There are a bunch of super-smart settings in Nougat and Google Now that’ll make your Android device feel like it’s 10 steps ahead of you. Your Android phone can be proactively telling you how long it’ll take to get to work in the morning, and nudging you when your favorite team is about to take the field. Your device can keep itself unlocked whenever it’s on you, and those snapshots you just took can automatically be arranged into beautiful collages. Battery running low? Android can know to dial down background activity to keep your phone alive. And if you love the idea of asking Google questions without ever touching your phone, you can train your phone to do that, too. Read more

Android and Tizen Leftovers

Update: Convictions Upheld, Sentences Extended In Romanian Microsoft Bribery Trial

According to the blog post, the trial ended on October 3rd, and investigators found that more than 100 people, including former ministers, the mayor of Bucharest, and various businessmen were involved in this latest corruption scandal involving Microsoft. More than 20 million euros were paid by Microsoft there as bribes. [...] These bribery convictions are just the tip of the iceberg. Multiple news outlets are reporting on investigations of bribery in other countries as well as separate investigations by the US Department of Justice and the US Securities And Exchange Commission. Read more

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