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Wednesday, 05 Aug 20 - Tux Machines is a community-driven public service/news site which has been around for over a decade and a half and primarily focuses on GNU/LinuxSubscribe now Syndicate content

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Quick Roundup

Type Title Author Replies Last Postsort icon
Story GNU/FSF: GNU Debugger (GDB), Free Software Foundation (FSF) Tech Team and Freedom Isn't Free Roy Schestowitz 05/08/2020 - 7:54am
Story Security Leftovers Roy Schestowitz 7 05/08/2020 - 7:51am
Story Pinta Open-Source Image Editing and Drawing App Sees New Major Release After 5 Years Rianne Schestowitz 05/08/2020 - 7:15am
Story Meet The Beautiful Linux App You Need In Your Terminal Rianne Schestowitz 05/08/2020 - 7:03am
Story Flash ISOs to Multiple USB Sticks on Linux with Popsicle Rianne Schestowitz 05/08/2020 - 7:01am
Story Announcing the release of Spacewalk 2.10 for Oracle Linux Rianne Schestowitz 05/08/2020 - 5:53am
Story Android Leftovers Rianne Schestowitz 05/08/2020 - 5:44am
Story Pantheon Desktop Review: A Beautiful Alternative to macOS Rianne Schestowitz 05/08/2020 - 5:11am
Story Linux 5.9: Checkpoint/Restore and Scheduler Improvements Roy Schestowitz 05/08/2020 - 3:37am
Story Remembering Thomas Gilliard (satellit) Roy Schestowitz 05/08/2020 - 3:35am

Hardware Freedom: 3D Printing, RasPi and RPi CM3 Module

Filed under
Hardware
  • Can 3D Printing Really Solve PPE Shortage in COVID-19 Crisis? The Myth, and The Facts!

    Amid COVID-19 crisis, we see severe shortage of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) worldwide, to the point that a strict organization like FDA is making exceptions for PPE usage, and there are volunteer effors to try to alleviate this shortage like GetUsPPE. Also, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) provides an Excel spreadsheet file to help calculate the PPE Burn Rate.

    There are many blog posts, video tutorials, and guides that teach people how to print their face shields and masks.

  • Raspberry Pi won’t let your watched pot boil
  • Growing fresh veggies with Rpi and Mender

    Some time ago my wife and I decided to teach our kids how to grow plants. We both have experience as we were raised in small towns where it was common to own a piece of land where you could plant home-grown fresh veggies.

    The upbringing of our kids is very different compared to ours, and we realized we never showed our kids how to grow our own veggies. We wanted them to learn and to understand that “the vegetables do not grow on the shop-shelf”, and that there is work (and fun) involved to grow those.

    The fact that we are gone for most of the summer and to start our own garden just to see it die when we returned seemed to be pointless. This was a challenge. Luckily, me being a hands-on engineer I promised my wife to take care of it. There were two options: we could buy something that will water our plants when we are gone, or I could do it myself (with a little help from our kids). Obviously I chose the more fun solution…

  • Comfile Launches 15-inch Industrial Raspberry Pi Touch Panel PC Powered by RPi CM3 Module

    Three years ago, we noted Comfile has made 7-inch and 10.2-inch touch panel PC’s powered by Raspberry Pi 3 Compute Module. The company has recently introduced a new model with a very similar design except for a larger 15-inch touchscreen display with 1024×768 resolution.

    ComfilePi CPi-A150WR 15-inch industrial Raspberry Pi touch panel PC still features the CM3 module, and the same ports including Ethernet, USB ports, RS232, RS485, and I2C interfaces accessible via terminal blocks, and a 40-pin I/O header.

Programming: Vala, Perl and Python

Filed under
Development
  • Excellent Free Tutorials to Learn Vala

    Vala is an object-oriented programming language with a self-hosting compiler that generates C code and uses the GObject system.

    Vala combines the high-level build-time performance of scripting languages with the run-time performance of low-level programming languages.

    Vala is syntactically similar to C# and includes notable features such as anonymous functions, signals, properties, generics, assisted memory management, exception handling, type inference, and foreach statements.

    Its developers, Jürg Billeter and Raffaele Sandrini, wanted to bring these features to the plain C runtime with little overhead and no special runtime support by targeting the GObject object system. Rather than compiling directly to machine code or assembly language, it compiles to a lower-level intermediate language. It source-to-source compiles to C, which is then compiled with a C compiler for a given platform, such as GCC.

    Did you always want to write GTK+ or GNOME programs, but hate C with a passion? Learn Vala with these free tutorials!

    Vala is published under the GNU Lesser General Public License v2.1+.

  • Supporting Perl-related creators via Patreon

    Yesterday I posted about this in the Perl Weekly newsletter and both Mohammad and myself got 10 new supporters. This is awesome.

    There are not many ways to express the fact that you really value the work of someone.
    You can send them postcards or thank-you notes, but when was the last time you remembered to do that?

    Right, I also keep forgetting to thank the people who create all the free and awesome stuff I use.

    Giving money as a way to express your thanks is frowned upon by many people, but trust me, the people who open an account on Patreon to make it easy to donate them money will appreciate it.

    In any case it is way better than not saying anything.

  • 2020.31 TwentyTwenty

    JJ Merelo kicked off the special 20-day Advent Blog cycle in honour of the publication of the first RFC that would lay the foundation for the Raku Programming Language as we now know it. After that, 3 blog posts got already published:

  • Supporting The Full Lifecycle Of Machine Learning Projects With Metaflow

    Netflix uses machine learning to power every aspect of their business. To do this effectively they have had to build extensive expertise and tooling to support their engineers. In this episode Savin Goyal discusses the work that he and his team are doing on the open source machine learning operations platform Metaflow. He shares the inspiration for building an opinionated framework for the full lifecycle of machine learning projects, how it is implemented, and how they have designed it to be extensible to allow for easy adoption by users inside and outside of Netflix. This was a great conversation about the challenges of building machine learning projects and the work being done to make it more achievable.

  • Django 3.1 Released

    The Django team is happy to announce the release of Django 3.1.

  • Awesome Python Applications: buku

    buku: Browser-independent bookmark manager with CLI and web server frontends, with integrations for browsers, cloud-based bookmark managers, and emacs.

  • PSF GSoC students blogs: Week 9 Check-in

DRM and Proprietary Software Leftovers

Filed under
Software
  • Some Photoshop users can try Adobe’s anti-misinformation system later this year

    Adobe pitched the CAI last year as a general anti-misinformation and pro-attribution tool, but many details remained in flux. A newly released white paper makes its scope clearer. The CAI is primarily a more persistent, verifiable type of image metadata. It’s similar to the standard EXIF tags that show the location or date of a photograph, but with cryptographic signatures that let you verify the tags haven’t been changed or falsely applied to a manipulated photo.

    People can still download and edit the image, take a screenshot of it, or interact the way they would any picture. Any CAI metadata tags will show that the image was manipulated, however. Adobe is basically encouraging adding valuable context and viewing any untagged photos with suspicion, rather than trying to literally stop plagiarism or fakery. “There will always be bad actors,” says Adobe community products VP Will Allen. “What we want to do is provide consumers a way to go a layer deeper — to actually see what happened to that asset, who it came from, where it came from, and what happened to it.”

    The white paper makes clear that Adobe will need lots of hardware and software support for the system to work effectively. CAI-enabled cameras (including both basic smartphones and high-end professional cameras) would need to securely add tags for dates, locations, and other details. Photo editing tools would record how an image has been altered — showing that a journalist adjusted the light balance but didn’t erase or add any details. And social networks or other sites would need to display the information and explain why users should care about it.

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  • EFF and ACLU Tell Federal Court that Forensic Software Source Code Must Be Disclosed

           

             

    Can secret software be used to generate key evidence against a criminal defendant? In an amicus filed ten days ago with the United States District Court of the Western District of Pennsylvania, EFF and the ACLU of Pennsylvania explain that secret forensic technology is inconsistent with criminal defendants’ constitutional rights and the public’s right to oversee the criminal trial process. Our amicus in the case of United States v. Ellis also explains why source code, and other aspects of forensic software programs used in a criminal prosecution, must be disclosed in order to ensure that innocent people do not end up behind bars, or worse—on death row.

             

    The Constitution guarantees anyone accused of a crime due process and a fair trial. Embedded in those foundational ideals is the Sixth Amendment right to confront the evidence used against you. As the Supreme Court has recognized, the Confrontation Clause’s central purpose was to ensure that evidence of a crime was reliable by subjecting it to rigorous testing and challenges. This means that defendants must be given enough information to allow them to examine and challenge the accuracy of evidence relied on by the government.

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  • Powershell Bot with Multiple C2 Protocols

                     

                       

    I spotted another interesting Powershell script. It's a bot and is delivered through a VBA macro that spawns an instance of msbuild.exe This Windows tool is often used to compile/execute malicious on the fly (I already wrote a diary about this technique[1]). I don’t have the original document but based on a technique used in the macro, it is part of a Word document. It calls Document_ContentControlOnEnter[2]: [...]

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  • FBI Used Information From An Online Forum Hacking To Track Down One Of The Hackers Behind The Massive Twitter Attack

           

             

    As Mike reported last week, the DOJ rounded up three alleged participants in the massive Twitter hack that saw dozens of verified accounts start tweeting out promises to double the bitcoin holdings of anyone who sent bitcoin to a certain account.

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  • Twitter Expects to Pay 9-Figure Fine for Violating FTC Agreement

                         

                           

    That means that the complaint is not related to last month’s high-profile [cr]ack of prominent accounts on the service. That security incident saw accounts from the likes of Joe Biden and Elon Musk ask followers to send them bitcoin. A suspect was arrested in the incident last month.

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  • Twitter Expects to Pay Up to $250 Million in FTC Fine Over Alleged Privacy Violations

                         

                           

    Twitter disclosed that it anticipates being forced to pay an FTC fine of $150 million to $250 million related to alleged violations over the social network’s use of private data for advertising.

                           

    The company revealed the expected scope of the fine in a 10-Q filing with the SEC. Twitter said that on July 28 it received a draft complaint from the Federal Trade Commission alleging the company violated a 2011 consent order, which required Twitter to establish an information-security program designed to “protect non-public consumer information.”

                           

    “The allegations relate to the Company’s use of phone number and/or email address data provided for safety and security purposes for targeted advertising during periods between 2013 and 2019,” Twitter said in the filing.

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  • Apple removes more than 26,000 games from China app store

                     

                       

    Apple pulled 29,800 apps from its China app store on Saturday, including more than 26,000 games, according to Qimai Research Institute.

                       

    The removals are in response to Beijing's crackdown on unlicensed games, which started in June and intensified in July, Bloomberg reported. This brings an end to the unofficial practice of letting games be published while awaiting approval from Chinese censors.

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  • Intuit Agrees to Buy Singapore Inventory Software Maker

                     

                       

    Intuit will pay more than $80 million for TradeGecko, according to people familiar with the matter, marking one of the biggest exits in Singapore since the Covid-19 pandemic. TradeGecko has raised more than $20 million to date from investors including Wavemaker Partners, Openspace Ventures and Jungle Ventures.

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  • Justice Department Is Scrutinizing Takeover of Credit Karma by Intuit, Maker of TurboTax

           

             

    The probe comes after ProPublica first reported in February that antitrust experts viewed the deal as concerning because it could allow a dominant firm to eliminate a competitor with an innovative business model. Intuit already dominates online tax preparation, with a 67% market share last year. The article sparked letters from Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., and Rep. David Cicilline, D-R.I., urging the DOJ to investigate further. Cicilline is chair of the House Judiciary Committee’s antitrust subcommittee.

Security Leftovers

Filed under
Security

           

  • DNS configuration recommendations for IPFire users

    If you are familiar with IPFire, you might have noticed DNSSEC validation is mandatory, since it defeats entire classes of attacks. We receive questions like "where is the switch to turn off DNSSEC" on a regular basis, and to say it once and for all: There is none, and there will never be one. If you are running IPFire, you will be validating DNSSEC. Period.

    Another question frequently asked is why IPFire does not support filtering DNS replies for certain FQDNs, commonly referred to as a Response Policy Zone (RPZ). This is because an RPZ does what DNSSEC attempts to secure users against: Tamper with DNS responses. From the perspective of a DNSSEC-validating system, a RPZ will just look like an attacker (if the queried FQDN is DNSSEC-signed, which is what we strive for as much of them as possible), thus creating a considerable amount of background noise. Obviously, this makes detecting ongoing attacks very hard, most times even impossible - the haystack to search just becomes too big.

    Further, it does not cover direct connections to hardcoded IP addresses, which is what some devices and attackers usually do, as it does not rely on DNS to be operational and does not leave any traces. Using an RPZ will not make your network more secure, it just attempts to cover up the fact that certain devices within it cannot be trusted.

    Back to DNSSEC: In case the queried FQDNs are signed, forged DNS replies are detected since they do not match the RRSIG records retrieved for that domain. Instead of being transparently redirected to a fradulent web server, the client will only display a error message to its user, indicating a DNS lookup failure. Large-scale attacks by returning forged DNS replies are frequently observed in the wild (the DNSChanger trojan is a well-known example), which is why you want to benefit from validating DNSSEC and more and more domains being signed with it.

  • Security updates for Tuesday

    Security updates have been issued by Debian (libx11, webkit2gtk, and zabbix), Fedora (webkit2gtk3), openSUSE (claws-mail, ghostscript, and targetcli-fb), Red Hat (dbus, kpatch-patch, postgresql-jdbc, and python-pillow), Scientific Linux (libvncserver and postgresql-jdbc), SUSE (kernel and python-rtslib-fb), and Ubuntu (ghostscript, sqlite3, squid3, and webkit2gtk). 

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  • Official 1Password Linux App is Available for Testing

    An official 1Password Linux app is on the way, and brave testers are invited to try an early development preview.

    1Password is a user-friendly (and rather popular) cross-platform password manager. It provides mobile apps and browser extensions for Windows, macOS, Android, iOS, Google Chrome, Edge, Firefox — and now a dedicated desktop app for Linux, too.

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  • FBI Warns of Increased DDoS Attacks

    The Federal Bureau of Investigation warned in a “private industry notification” last week that attackers are increasingly using amplification techniques in distributed denial-of-service attacks. There has been an uptick in attack attempts since February, the agency’s Cyber Division said in the alert.
    An amplification attack occurs when attackers send a small number of requests to a server and the server responds with numerous responses. The attackers spoof the IP address to make it look like the requests are coming from a specific victim, and the resulting responses overwhelms the victim’s network.

    “Cyber actors have exploited built-in network protocols, designed to reduce computation overhead of day-to-day system and operational functions to conduct larger and more destructive distributed denial-of-service amplification attacks against US networks,” the FBI alert said. Copies of the alert were posted online by several recipients, including threat intelligence company Bad Packets.

  • NSA issues BootHole mitigation guidance

    Following the disclosure of a widespread buffer-flow vulnerability that could affect potentially billions of Linux and Windows-based devices, the National Security Agency issued a follow-up cybersecurity advisory highlighting the bug and offering steps for mitigation.

    The vulnerability -- dubbed BootHole -- impacts devices and operating systems that use signed versions of the open-source GRUB2 bootloader software found in most Linux systems. It also affects any system or device using Secure Boot -- a root firmware interface responsible for validating the booting process -- with Microsoft's standard third party certificate authority. The vulnerability enables attackers to bypass Secure Boot to allow arbitrary code execution and “could be used to install persistent and stealthy bootkits,” NSA said in a press statement.

Mozilla: SameSite, SUMO, Firefox and More

Filed under
Moz/FF

           

  • Changes to SameSite Cookie Behavior – A Call to Action for Web Developers

    We are changing the default value of the SameSite attribute for cookies from None to Lax, per new IETF guidelines. This will greatly improve security for users. However, some web sites may depend (even unknowingly) on the old default, potentially resulting in breakage for those sites. At Mozilla, we are slowly introducing this change. And we are strongly encouraging all web developers to test their sites with the new default.

    [...]

    Testing in the Firefox Nightly and Beta channels has shown that website breakage does occur. While we have reached out to those sites we’ve encountered and encouraged them to set the SameSite attribute on their web properties, the web is clearly too big to do this on a case-by-case basis.

    It is important that all web developers test their sites against this new default. This will prepare you for when both Firefox and Chrome browsers make the switch in their respective release channels.

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  • New platform milestone completed: Python upgrade

    In 2020 a lot of the SUMO platform’s team work is focused on modernizing our support platform (Kitsune) and performing some foundational work that will allow us to grow and expand the platform. We have started this in H1 with the new Responsive and AAQ redesign. Last week we completed a new milestone: the Python/Django upgrade.

    Why was this necessary

    Support.mozilla.org was running on Python 2.7, meaning our core technology stack was running on a no longer supported version. We needed to upgrade to at least 3.7 and, at the same time, upgrade to the latest Django Long Term Support (LTS) version 2.2.

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  • Firefox 79 includes protections against redirect tracking

    A little over a year ago we enabled Enhanced Tracking Protection (ETP) by default in Firefox. We did so because we recognize that tracking poses a threat to society, user safety, and the autonomy of individuals and we’re committed to protecting users against these threats by default. ETP was our first step in fulfilling that commitment, but the web provides many covert avenues trackers can use to continue their data collection.

    Today’s Firefox release introduces the next step in providing a safer and more private experience for our users with Enhanced Tracking Protection 2.0, where we will block a new advanced tracking technique called redirect tracking, also known as bounce tracking. ETP 2.0 clears cookies and site data from tracking sites every 24 hours, except for those you regularly interact with. We’ll be rolling ETP 2.0 out to all Firefox users over the course of the next few weeks.

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  • Fast Company Recognizes Katharina Borchert as one of the Most Creative Business People

    We are proud to share that Katharina Borchert, Mozilla’s Chief Open Innovation Officer, has been named one of the  Most Creative People by Fast Company. The award recognizes her leadership on Common Voice and helping to diversify AI speech through machine learning. Katharina was recognized not just for a groundbreaking idea, but because her work is having a measurable impact in the world.

    [...]

    The full list also includes vintner, Krista Scruggs, dancer and choreographer Twyla Tharp, and Ryan Reynolds: “for delivering an honest message, even when it’s difficult”.

    “‘This is a real honor,” said Katharina, “which also reflects the contributions of an incredible alliance of people at Mozilla and beyond. We have a way to go before the full promise of Common Voice is realized. But I’m incredibly inspired by the different communities globally building it together with Mozilla, because language is so important for our identities and for keeping cultural diversity alive in the digital age. Extending the reach of voice recognition to more languages can only open the doors to more innovation and make tech more inclusive.”

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  • Latest Firefox rolls out Enhanced Tracking Protection 2.0; blocking redirect trackers by default

    Today, Firefox is introducing Enhanced Tracking Protection (ETP) 2.0, our next step in continuing to provide a safe and private experience for our users. ETP 2.0 protects you from an advanced tracking technique called redirect tracking, also known as bounce tracking. We will be rolling out ETP 2.0 over the next couple of weeks.

    Last year we enabled ETP by default in Firefox because we believe that understanding the complexities and sophistication of the ad tracking industry should not be required to be safe online. ETP 1.0 was our first major step in fulfilling that commitment to users. Since we enabled ETP by default, we’ve blocked 3.4 trillion tracking cookies. With ETP 2.0, Firefox brings an additional level of privacy protection to the browser.

    Since the introduction of ETP, ad industry technology has found other ways to track users: creating workarounds and new ways to collect your data in order to identify you as you browse the web. Redirect tracking goes around Firefox’s built-in third-party cookie-blocking policy by passing you through the tracker’s site before landing on your desired website. This enables them to see where you came from and where you are going.

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  • Moth wants you to design a Firefox Theme for San Francisco Shock

    This summer we partnered with Overwatch League’s San Francisco Shock to help the fans at home cheer on their 2019 Grand Finals Champions. This included Firefox Protection Plays and giving viewers a behind-the-scenes look at a day in the life of the SF Shock players.

    Before the summer season ends, we wanted to do one last thing for the SF Shock team and their fans. One of the players, Moth, shared that Firefox is the only browser he uses. He learned about Firefox while studying software engineering in college. Firefox and Mozilla’s mission along with the open source ethos is what keeps him a loyal user. To celebrate that, we’re inviting SF Shock fans — and anyone else who might be interested — to design an original Firefox theme.

Android Leftovers

Filed under
Android

ExTiX 20.8 Is the First Distro to Let You Try Linux Kernel 5.8, Based on Ubuntu 20.04.1 LTS

Filed under
Linux
Ubuntu

ExTiX is where you can try the latest GNU/Linux technologies before they’re available in your favorite OS. The new release, ExTiX 20.8, is based on the upcoming Ubuntu 20.04.1 LTS point release to the Focal Fossa series and uses the recently released Linux 5.8 kernel series.

So if you want to test your hardware against Linux kernel 5.8 before installing it on your production machine, you can just download the ExTiX 20.8 live ISO and take it for a spin to see what works and what doesn’t.

Read more

Ubuntu 20.10 “Groovy Gorilla” Artwork by Sylvia Ritter Looks Astonishing, Made with Krita

Filed under
Ubuntu

Slated for release on October 22nd, 2020, the upcoming Ubuntu 20.10 release is codenamed “Groovy Gorilla,” continuing Canonical’s tradition to codename new Ubuntu releases in alphabetical order using animal names.

Sylvia Ritter is well known for her amazing artwork, and she did create artwork for all Ubuntu releases in the past. The latest was published today for Ubuntu 20.10, which you can right now her DeviantArt page.

Read more

Red Hat changes certification rules in response to the coronavirus pandemic

Filed under
Red Hat

One of the best ways to get a job in tech is to have a certification. Yes, I know, you can do your work better than anyone with a certification, but try telling the human resources department that at a new company. Unfortunately, thanks to the coronavirus pandemic, it's harder than ever to take the tests you need to get or keep a certification. Red Hat, the Linux and cloud power, has an answer.

First, if you already have a Red Hat certification, which would expire between March 17, 2020, and December 31, 2020, it's been extended to January 1, 2021.

Next, Red Hat is launching remote certification exams for its four most popular certifications. These are...

Read more

Red Hat and Fedora Leftovers

Filed under
Red Hat

           

  • The Red Hat story
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  • Fedora Community Blog monthly summary: July 2020

    This is the second in what I hope to make a monthly series summarizing the past month on the Community Blog. Please leave a comment below to let me know what you think. Stats In July, we published 20 posts. The site had 6,463 visits from 4,128 unique viewers. 

  • Fedora rawhide – fixed bugs 2020/07
  • Red Hat Virtualization: The now and the next

    We’re excited to announce that Red Hat Virtualization 4.4, the latest update to our mature and trusted virtualization solution for traditional virtual machine (VM)-based workloads, will be generally available this week. As the established virtualization landscape shifts towards cloud-native technologies, Red Hat Virtualization has continued to provide the ability for businesses to deploy, configure and manage traditional workloads. With this latest release, Red Hat Virtualization is now rebased to Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8.2 and offers a more seamless integration with Red Hat OpenShift, providing a solution that can launch the next-generation of cloud-native applications while providing a foundation for VMs today.

    From traditional to cloud-native, virtualization here and now

    Red Hat is uniquely positioned to provide virtualization solutions for both traditional and containerized applications. With Red Hat Virtualization, we remain committed to providing customers robust and stable datacenter virtualization based upon KVM. 

    Based on RHEL 8.2, Red Hat Virtualization 4.4 inherits all of the stability, performance and security improvements that you trust for your most business critical workloads while adding new capabilities that make it even easier to manage a large virtual environment. We’ve also  improved observability with new dashboards for the Data Warehouse (DWH) showing performance and capacity of all your critical inventory. This leads to actionable results with unique analysis and trends of which workloads need attention, and when you need to add more hardware. Other improvements for virtualization admin include easier network configuration with NetworkManager. 

  • Creating an enterprise service request bridge between ServiceNow ITOM and Red Hat Ansible Tower

    At Keyva, we see clients in all phases of their automation journey. Some organizations are just starting out and automating domain lifecycle tasks, such as provisioning firewall rules or automating server builds, while others may be well down the path of creating self-service IT capabilities. In most cases, regardless of where a team is on its journey, they eventually want to arrive at the point where they can provide self-service IT capabilities to the teams and users that want to consume them. 

    At a basic level, self-service IT requests require two primary pieces of functionality: a request portal and automated request fulfillment. Let’s briefly look at both components.

  • Powering digital transformation at Royal Bank of Canada with Red Hat platforms

    Enterprises across the globe are looking to transform their operations and services to better align with current conditions. To succeed, they also need to adopt the latest technologies. Even the most traditional businesses - such as banks and financial institutions - need to use innovative approaches to deliver leading-edge solutions to their clients and partners.  

    As our customers begin to evaluate their digital transformation options, they are looking for a trusted partner to work with and a proven infrastructure platform to innovate upon. These are  often the key factors for success. Take Royal Bank of Canada (RBC), for instance. RBC is in the top 10 of global banks with over 86,000 employees and a complex IT environment.  As a leader in technology and innovation, RBC has been at the forefront of digital transformation. The bank has been recognized with multiple industry awards and honors, and continues to innovate to better serve their customers.

Is the Python Community Becoming Toxic?

Filed under
Development

The Python community is amazing. I started learning Python over 15 years ago and the community was almost always very supportive in helping me figure things out. However, the past few years there seems to have been a shift. I’m not sure if it’s just because Python has grown so much in popularity or if it’s something more basic, such as people becoming more sensitive about things. Whatever it is, the community seems to be heading away from what it once was.

I first started thinking about this during Brett Cannon’s PyCon keynote about his experiences in the open-source community and how we need to be nice to each other. Too many people think they can be rude when requesting features or bug fixes. But he also mentioned that maintainers also need to have a good attitude and not drive away potential new contributors.

A couple months after this keynote was when Guido Van Rossum, creator of the Python language, suddenly retired as the head of Python. At the time, the reason given was that there was so much acrimony and fighting over PEP 572 that he stepped down early.

This year we saw multiple members of the PyTest team drop out of the project.

While Reddit and StackOverflow remain very popular, in my experience I have found them to be difficult to break into. The Reddit Python community, while very large and diverse, is full of trolls and the moderators don’t seem to follow Reddit’s own rules. I personally have had problems simply posting articles on there while others I know have been harassed because their project wasn’t deemed to be “Pythonic” enough. The PySimpleGUI project has been demonized repeatedly there, for example.

Read more

Linux 5.9: close_range(), Keem Bay, and FSGSBASE

Filed under
Linux

  • Linux 5.9 Set To Bring "Close_Range" System Call - Coordinated With FreeBSD Developers

    The close_range() system call is intended to allow efficiently closing a range of file descriptors (or all file descriptors) of the calling task. This system call was devised in cooperation with FreeBSD developers. 

    FreeBSD developers merged their compatible close_range system call all the way back in April 2019 while now for Linux 5.9 in August 2020 this system call is deemed ready for inclusion. 

  • Linux 5.9 Adds Intel "Keem Bay" Support, 8 Snapdragon Smartphones, AMD EthanolX BMC, Old Tegra Tablets

    There are many ARM changes coming to Linux 5.9, including support for Intel's Keem Bay. 

    Keem Bay is the Intel SoC by way of their Movidius acquisition that is built for edge AI computing. Keem Bay is a SoC built with Arm Cortex A53 processors and an Intel Movidius VPU. Intel acquired Movidius in 2016 and has continued advancing their low-power, computer vision hardware. Intel published a DRM driver for Keem Bay and other driver changes while the pull request being talked about today is the actual ARM platform enablement. 

    Along with Keem Bay, new Arm SoC families being supported by the mainline Linux 5.9 kernel are Microchip SparX5 and Mediatek Infinity3 / Mercury5. 

  • After 5 Years, FSGSBASE Support Finally Ready For Linux To Enhance AMD/Intel Performance

    The Linux kernel work for making use of the x86_64 FSGSBASE instruction since Intel Ivy Bridge and since then AMD CPUs also is set to finally land with the in-development Linux 5.9 kernel. The FSGSBASE support has the possibility of helping Intel/AMD CPU performance especially in areas like context switching that had been hurt badly by Spectre/Meltdown and other CPU vulnerability mitigations largely on the Intel side. 

    Intel developers started the FSGSBASE Linux support around five years ago but never got through in getting it mainlined. Microsoft's Linux kernel engineer then a few months back decided to take up the work to try to get it mainlined as even Microsoft found value in the performance benefits. 

Games: xoreos, Vulkan, Poly Bridge 2, Unrailed! and More

Filed under
Gaming

  • xoreos, the FLOSS game engine for titles like Knights of the Old Republic has a new update

    xoreos is an in-development effort to create a free and open source game engine reimplementation of the BioWare Aurora Engine that powers games like Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic.

    It's finally had a new release with xoreos 0.0.6 and it still seems like quite early days for games being playable. This release appears to have laid the groundwork for more improvements to come. The biggest change is that the original Knights of the Old Republic now has a partially working tutorial, it doesn't sound like a lot but for a reimplementation project it's quite a big step forwards to show what it can be capable of.

  • Vulkan API gains new extension to aid translation layers

    Today, the Vulkan API 1.2.149 spec update went out and it includes another extension that's aimed at helping translation layers like DXVK. While we don't usually comment on such minor specification updates to Vulkan, we do pick it up in cases like this where it may directly benefit compatibility layers for Linux gaming.

    VK_EXT_4444_formats is the new extension, which was worked on by Joshua Ashton (original creator of D9VK, now part of DXVK) for Valve and Jason Ekstrand for Intel. This is actually Ashton's second extension, following on from the release of Vulkan 1.2.140 back in May.

  • The fab physics bridge-builder Poly Bridge 2 gets a huge free content update

    Already finished Poly Bridge 2? Looks like it's time to jump back in as Dry Cactus have just released a huge free content upgrade with lots of new goodies to play with.

    What is Poly Bridge 2? The sequel to the hit bridge-building physics puzzler from 2016, it brings with it new levels, new mechanics, a custom physics engine, workshop campaigns, and much more. It was already fun and it's constantly improved since release with all sorts of tweaks and little extras but this update released on August 2 is on a whole different level.

    World 5 has been added, bringing with it the Serenity Valley location with 16 brand new levels and challenges, along with new achievements to hunt down. If that's not enough for you the Sandbox Mode was also expanded with: a new theme and vehicle type, support for duplicating multiple selected items, accurate selection for boats and planes, undo support for multiple changes and a custom shape option.

  • Unrailed! is gearing up for launch with a discount before the price goes up

    Unrailed! is an absolutely fantastic co-op game from Indoor Astronaut and Daedalic Entertainment that has you frantically build a train track to keep your train going as far as possible.

    It entered Early Access back in September 2019, with Linux support arriving in February 2020 and now they're looking to the near-future with a full release approaching. They've not said exactly when but they have confirmed the price will be rising, so they've put it on a reasonably big discount (42%) until August 17.

  • Community Game Night - Rexuiz - LIVE

    This is another Community Game Night stream where you guys can join me in a game for some fun and laughs. You can also join me in my Discord channel's voice chat. Tonight, I'm trying out a new (for me) first person shooter called Rexuiz. It is a fork of the old Nexuiz game, which was great (Xonotic is also forked from Nexuiz). Rexuiz is available on Linux, Mac and Windows.

  • How to Install Itch on Ubuntu and Other Linux Distributions

    Itch is a platform for independent digital creators with main focus on indie games. It was actually started as website to host, sell and download indie video games but these days, Itch also provides books, comics, tools, board games, soundtracks and more digital content from indie creators.

    As a user, you can download these digital content either for free or for a price set by the creator. All your downloads and purchases are synced to your account so that you can download them whenever you want.

Collabora Office 6.4 Brings Outstanding MS Office Interoperability, LTS Support

Filed under
LibO
Linux

Based on the upstream LibreOffice 6.4 source code, Collabora Office 6.4 is a major release that brings a plethora of new features and enhancements on top of the existing LibreOffice 6.4 features, as well as better performance and long-term support that businesses and professionals need to keep their businesses running.

Highlights include outstanding interoperability with any file format generated from MS Office, including word documents, presentations and spreadsheets, support for up to five characters in Padded Numbering, and the ability to add visible signatures to existing PDF documents.

Security and privacy are probably the most important thing when dealing with our digital lives, and Collabora Office 6.4 introduces new security features, such as the ability to encrypt PDF documents when sending them with the Mail Merge feature in Collabora Office Writer.

Read more

An open source solution for continuous testing at scale

Filed under
OSS

In Sogeti's most recent World Quality Report, software testing ranked No. 1 in terms of its contributions to business objectives and growth, making it a key enabler for business digitalization. Despite this, the software testing industry still reports major pain points related to test maintenance, automation, tooling, and skills. Most of the tooling in common use lacks capabilities, is too complex to integrate, provides insufficient intelligence, or is too difficult to use.

Cerberus Testing provides a solution to these problems. It is a test automation solution built by retail companies to support digitalization initiatives and focuses on usability, scalability, and integration of the test lifecycle process.

Read more

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More in Tux Machines

AWOW AK41 Mini Desktop PC – Gaming – Week 5

This is a weekly blog chronicling my experiences of running the AWOW AK41 Mini Desktop PC on Linux. I’ve already touched on the graphics capabilities of the AWOW AK41. To recap, this Mini PC uses the Intel UHD Graphics 605, an integrated processor graphics unit from the Gemini Lake generation. Performance of the graphics unit is widely reported as in the low-end segment and rarely sufficient for modern games. It’s often touted that integrated graphics are not meant for gaming. But what does that really mean? There are tons of free games available for Linux. Many of them aren’t that graphically demanding. Read more

today's leftovers

  • Clarissa Borges: Which library is the GNOME UI extending from?

    About two weeks ago I did some research and learned about some libraries to choose one to extend from to use on my GSoC GNOME UI library project, and it turned out to be a very interesting topic that I’d like to share and take the opportunity to talk about how’s the project going, as it’s been a while since I don’t blog :P In case you don’t know what my project is about, I recommend you to visit my first post where I provide an explanation of the project goals.

  • KDE Plasma 5.20 Pre-Beta Run Through

    In this video, we are looking at KDE Plasma 5.20 Pre-Beta. Enjoy!

  • DebConf6 (20200804-debconf6)

    DebConf6 was my 4th DebConf and took place in Oaxtepec, Mexico. I'm a bit exhausted right now which is probably quite fitting to write something about DebConf6... many things in life are a question of perception, so I will mention the waterfall and the big swirl and the band playing with the fireworks during the conference dinner, the joy that we finally could use the local fiber network (after asking for months) just after discovering that the 6h shopping tour forgot to bring the essential pig tail connectors to connect the wireless antennas to the cards, which we needed to provide network to the rooms where the talks would take place. DebConf6 was the first DebConf with live streaming using dvswitch (written by Ben Hutchings and removed from unstable in 2015 as the world had moved to voctomix, which is yet another story to be told eventually). The first years (so DebConf6 and some) the videoteam focussed on getting the post processing done and the videos released, and streaming was optional, even though it was an exciting new feature and we still managed to stream mostly all we recorded and sometimes more...

  • DSLR Motion Capture with Raspberry Pi and OpenCV
  • mOLOID is a pet like no other

    As a part of their masters program at the University of Stuttgart, Jan Ingo Haller and Lorin Samija created a robotic pet that moves in a manner that may not be immediately evident. With the internals obscured by a cloth covering, the moving OLOID, or mOLOID, seems to roll from one vague lobe section to another like some sort of claymation creature. The mOLOID’s unique locomotion is due to an internal “oloid” structure, an arrangement of two circles at 90°. Two servos move weights around the perimeter of each circle to vary its center of gravity, causing it to flop back and forth.

  • How to speed up the Rust compiler some more in 2020

    First up is a process change: I have started doing weekly performance triage. Each Tuesday I have been looking at the performance results of all the PRs merged in the past week. For each PR that has regressed or improved performance by a non-negligible amount, I add a comment to the PR with a link to the measurements. I also gather these results into a weekly report, which is mentioned in This Week in Rust, and also looked at in the weekly compiler team meeting. The goal of this is to ensure that regressions are caught quickly and appropriate action is taken, and to raise awareness of performance issues in general. It takes me about 45 minutes each time. The instructions are written in such a way that anyone can do it, though it will take a bit of practice for newcomers to become comfortable with the process. I have started sharing the task around, with Mark Rousskov doing the most recent triage. This process change was inspired by the “Regressions prevented” section of an excellent blost post from Nikita Popov (a.k.a. nikic), about the work they have been doing to improve the speed of LLVM. (The process also takes some ideas from the Firefox Nightly crash triage that I set up a few years ago when I was leading Project Uptime.)

  • Data@Mozilla: Experimental integration Glean with Unity applications

    You might notice Firefox Reality PC Preview has been released in HTC’s Viveport store. That is a VR web browser that provides 2D overlay browsing alongside immersive content and supports web-based immersive experiences for PC-connected VR headsets. In order to easily deploy our product into the Viveport store, we take advantage of Unity to help make our application launcher. Also because of that, it brings us another challenge about how to use Mozilla’s existing telemetry system. As we know, Glean SDK has provided language bindings for different programming language requirements that include Kotlin, Swift, and Python. However, when we are talking about supporting applications that use Unity as their development toolkit, there are no existing bindings available to help us achieve it. Unity allows users using a Python interpreter to embed Python scripts in a Unity project; however, due to Unity’s technology being based on the Mono framework, that is not the same as our familiar Python runtime for running Python scripts. So, the alternative way we need to find out is how to run Python on .Net Framework or exactly on Mono framework. If we are discussing possible approaches to run Python script in the main process, using IronPython is the only solution. However, it is only available for Python 2.7, and the Glean SDK Python language binding needs Python 3.6. Hence, we start our plans to develop a new Glean binding for C#.

  • WordPress 5.5 Release Candidate 2

    The second release candidate for WordPress 5.5 is here! WordPress 5.5 is slated for release on August 11, 2020, but we need your help to get there—if you haven’t tried 5.5 yet, now is the time!

  • Podcast: CLUECON SPECIAL FEATURE – OrecX not only delivers top shelf stereo recording, but delivers a huge ecosystem of add on technology that may already provide the capability you want to use

    Bruce and OrecX have also been attending the ClueCON Conference from the beginning. The founders of OrecX are open source recording pioneers, launching the Oreka GPL in 2005 (used today by millions in over 190 countries).

The 10 Best KDE Plasma Widgets for KDE Desktop Environment

If you were looking for the best KDE Plasma widgets for your Linux desktop, then you are in the right place. There is much debate about the fact of who implemented the widget feature first on a computer GUI. But nobody can deny that the widgets have brought a new era in the modern user interface. Most of the people rely on beautiful widgets for performing different tasks without opening the main instance of the program. Although Windows ditched their native desktop widgets feature with their Windows 8 for the sake of the live tiles. Linux still has a great library of widgets that are being maintained by the developer community. Read more

Stable Kernels: 5.7.13, 5.4.56, 4.19.137, and 4.14.192

  • Linux 5.7.13
    I'm announcing the release of the 5.7.13 kernel. All users of the 5.7 kernel series must upgrade. The updated 5.7.y git tree can be found at: git://git.kernel.org/pub/scm/linux/kernel/git/stable/linux-stable.git linux-5.7.y and can be browsed at the normal kernel.org git web browser: https://git.kernel.org/?p=linux/kernel/git/stable/linux-s...

  • Linux 5.4.56
  • Linux 4.19.137
  • Linux 4.14.192