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Wednesday, 29 Jan 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

"You Don't Own What You Buy" and Openwashed Microsoft Entrapment

  • You Don't Own What You Buy: The Tetris Edition

    In the convoluted realm that has become copyright, licensing agreements, and SaaS-style everything, we've had something of a running series of posts that focus on the bewildering concept that we no longer own what we buy. Between movies simply being disappeared, features on gaming consoles being obliterated via firmware update, and entire eBook platforms simply ceasing to work, the benefits of handing over very real dollars have never been more fleeting.

  • The Surface Duo SDK is now available for macOS and Linux
  • Microsoft releases open source source code analyzer

    Looking to aid developers who rely on external software components, Microsoft has introduced a source code analyzer, Microsoft Application Inspector, to help surface features and other characteristics of source code.  Downloadable from GitHub, the cross-platform command-line tool is designed for scanning components prior to use to assist in determining what the software is or what it does. The data it provides can be useful in reducing the time needed to determine what software components do by examining the source code directly rather than relying on documentation. 

OpenMandriva Lx 4.1 RC is out

OpenMandriva Lx 4.1 is just around the corner. The team is publishing today the last milestone for current release cycle. OMLx 4.1 RC release is mostly bug fixing and update packages. Read more

Proprietary Software and Security Leftovers

  • FilelistCreator is a directory printer for Windows, macOS and Linux

    Many people organize their data into folders to quickly find what they want. The Windows operating system comes with default folders for images, videos, and downloads for example that many users of Windows use. Windows does not really provide good easily accessible options to compare the contents of two folders; this is especially the case if root folders contain hundreds of even thousands of files and folders.

  • Ragnarok Ransomware Targets Citrix ADC, Disables Windows Defender

    A new ransomware called Ragnarok has been detected being used in targeted attacks against unpatched Citrix ADC servers vulnerable to the CVE-2019-19781 exploit. Last week, FireEye released a report about new attacks exploiting the now patched Citrix ADC vulnerability to install the new Ragnarok Ransomware on vulnerable networks. When attackers can compromise a Citrix ADC device, various scripts would be downloaded and executed that scan for Windows computers vulnerable to the EternalBlue vulnerability. If detected, the scripts would attempt to exploit the Windows devices, and if successful, inject a DLL that downloads and installs the Ragnarok ransomware onto the exploited device.

  • The Risks and Potential Impacts Associated with Open Source [Ed: DevOps site gives a platform to Black Duck -- a Microsoft-connected FUD arm against FOSS]
  • Security updates for Tuesday

    Security updates have been issued by Debian (iperf3, openjpeg2, and tomcat7), Mageia (ansible, c3p0, fontforge, glpi, gthumb, libbsd, libmediainfo, libmp4v2, libqb, libsass, mbedtls, opencontainers-runc, php, python-pip, python-reportlab, python3, samba, sysstat, tomcat, virtualbox, and webkit2), openSUSE (java-11-openjdk, libredwg, and sarg), Oracle (sqlite), Red Hat (libarchive, nss, and openjpeg2), Scientific Linux (sqlite), SUSE (nodejs6), and Ubuntu (cyrus-sasl2, linux, linux-aws, linux, linux-aws, linux-kvm, linux-raspi2, linux-snapdragon, linux, linux-aws, linux-oem, mysql-5.7, mysql-8.0, tcpdump, and tomcat8).

  • Hacker Releases 500,000 IoT Credentials

    One of the biggest issues that IoT has is keeping everything secure. Putting devices online is a double-edged sword: it allows benevolent useful services to connect to it, but it can also allow malicious agents to harvest data from it. This was proven a few days ago when a list of 500,000 IoT credentials made their way onto the Internet. The list was posted on a hacker forum for anyone to see and use.

  • Apple is attending a meeting in Washington on Monday as a Board Member of the CARIN Alliance on Health Record Sharing

    The CARIN Alliance is meeting with the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) on Monday, January 27, 2020 at 3:00 pm ET in Washington, D.C., and representatives from Apple and Microsoft will be attending via phone. Apple is an official CARIN Alliance Board Member and what transpires on Monday could affect Apple's work positively regarding their Health Record-Sharing Platform beyond their current work with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

  • Big tech CEOs are learning the art of the filibuster

    But it’s clear that as prevailing sentiment about big tech companies has darkened, tech CEOs see increasingly little value in having meaningful public conversations. Instead, they grit their teeth through every question, treating every encounter as something in between a legal deposition and a hostage negotiation.

    We saw this in 2018, when the New Yorker profiled Mark Zuckerberg. We saw it again last year, when Jack Dorsey went on a podcast tour. At some point this year Tim Cook will probably give a zero-calorie interview to someone, and if it’s a slow-enough news day I’ll write this column for a fourth time.

Red Hat vs. SUSE vs. Canonical Contributions To The Mainline Linux Kernel Over The 2010s

After last week looking at the AMD/Intel/NVIDIA contributions to the mainline Linux kernel over the past number of years, there were reader requests for seeing how some of the top distributions compare namely Red Hat, SUSE, and Canonical. These graphs today are looking at the contributions by SUSE, Red Hat, and Canonical to the mainline Linux kernel. Keep in mind this is the Git commits made from using the respective corporate domains for each organization. Read more

Linux Foundation: CHIPS Alliance, Cloud Foundry Foundation, Kubernetes News

Filed under
Hardware
OSS
  • Intel joins CHIPS Alliance to promote Advanced Interface Bus (AIB) as an open standard

    CHIPS Alliance, the leading consortium advancing common and open hardware for interfaces, processors and systems, today announced industry leading chipmaker Intel as its newest member. Intel is contributing the Advanced Interface Bus (AIB) to CHIPS Alliance to foster broad adoption.

  • Intel Joins CHIPS Alliance, Contributes Advanced Interface Bus

    Intel this week became a member of CHIPS Alliance, an industry consortium that is working to accelerate the development of open source SoCs (and SiPs) for various applications. As part of their membership, Intel has also contributed its Advanced Interface Bus to the group, giving developers access to the bus and thus the means to interoperate with Intel (and other) chips that will be using it.

    Designed for use with system-in-packages (SiPs) devices, Intel’s AIB is a high-bandwidth, low-power, die-to-die PHY level standard that uses a clock forwarded parallel data transfer mechanism (akin that used by modern DDR DRAM interfaces). The technology is agnostic to manufacturing processes and packaging technology, so it can be used to connect a wide variety of chips/chiplets using different types of packages, including Intel’s own EMIB, TSMC’s CoWoS, or other 2.5D technologies from numerous vendors.

    Intel’s AIB has been available to third parties on a royalty-free basis for a while now, so contributing the technology to CHIPS Alliance is the next step for Intel in increasing its adoption. By making AIB available to a very broad group of chip designers, Intel is encouraging development of an ecosystem of chiplets that can later be used with its own CPUs, GPUs, FPGAs, and other components to build special-purpose multi-die SiPs.

  • Cloud Foundry Foundation Announces 2020 Summits in North America and Europe

    Cloud Foundry Foundation, home to open source projects helping build the future of cloud applications, today announced Cloud Foundry Summits for North America and Europe, now co-located with the Linux Foundation's Open Source Summits. Cloud Foundry NA Summit will take place on Thursday, June 25, 2020, in Austin, Texas and Cloud Foundry EU Summit will take place on Thursday, October 29, 2020, in Dublin, Ireland. Early bird registration for Cloud Foundry NA Summit is now open.

  • Octarine Open Sources the Kubernetes Common Configuration Scoring System and kube-scan

    Octarine, the continuous Kubernetes security company that simplifies DevSecOps, today announced the release of two new open source projects: the Kubernetes Common Configuration Scoring System (KCCSS), a new framework for rating security risks associated with misconfigurations, and kube-scan, a workload and assessment tool that scans Kubernetes configurations and settings to identify and rank potential vulnerabilities in applications within minutes.

  • Octarine releases open-source security scanning tools for Kubernetes

    Octarine, a startup that helps automate security of Kubernetes workloads, released an open-source scanning tool today. The tool, which is called Kube-scan, is designed to help developers understand the level of security risk in their Kubernetes clusters.

    The company is also open-sourcing a second tool called The Kubernetes Common Configuration Scoring System, or KCCSS for short, which is the underlying configuration framework used in Kube-scan.

    As Ocatrine’s head of product Julien Sobrier points out, there are 30 security settings in Kubernetes, and Kube-scan can help you see where you might be vulnerable on any one of them, measured on a scale of 0-10, with 10 being extremely vulnerable.

  • SReview kubernetes update

    About a week and a half ago, I mentioned that I'd been working on making SReview, my AGPLv3 video review and transcode system work from inside a Kubernetes cluster. I noted at the time that while I'd made it work inside minikube, it couldn't actually be run from within a real Kubernetes cluster yet, mostly because I misunderstood how Kubernetes works, and assumed you could just mount the same Kubernetes volume from multiple pods, and share data that way (answer: no you can't).

    The way to fix that is to share the data not through volumes, but through something else. That would require that the individual job containers download and upload files somehow.

    I had a look at how the Net::Amazon::S3 perl module works (answer: it's very simple really) and whether it would be doable to add a transparent file access layer to SReview which would access files either on the local file system, or an S3 service (answer: yes).

Linux 5.6 Preview

Filed under
Linux
  • Linux 5.6 Is Looking Like It Will Be Spectacular With A Long List Of Features

    Linux 5.5 is likely to be released later today and with that are many new features. But as soon as 5.5 is released it marks the opening of the Linux 5.6 merge window and this next kernel has us particularly exciting... It's certainly shaping up to be one of the most exciting kernel cycles in recent times with many blockbuster features and improvements.

  • Intel SST Core-Power Support Ready For Linux 5.6

    Earlier this month I wrote about Intel SST Core-Power patches as part of Intel's Speed Select's functionality for more control over per-core power/frequency behavior based upon the software running on each core. The "core-power" profile support appears ready now for Linux 5.6.

    While Intel Speed Select Technology support was added to Linux last year as one of the new features with Cascade Lake, the "Core-Power" (or SST-CP) profile hadn't been wired up in full to this point. Intel SST-CP allows for dealing with per-core priorities when encountering power constraints.

New Debian Developers and Maintainers (November and December 2019)

Filed under
Debian

The following contributors got their Debian Developer accounts in the last two months:

Louis-Philippe Véronneau (pollo)
Olek Wojnar (olek)
Sven Eckelmann (ecsv)
Utkarsh Gupta (utkarsh)
Robert Haist (rha)

The following contributors were added as Debian Maintainers in the last two months:

Denis Danilov
Joachim Falk
Thomas Perret
Richard Laager

Congratulations!

Read more

Python Programming

Filed under
Development
  • Prettier logging with Rich

    There are a few things going on here. Important fields are rendered in their own column to make it easier to scan. To reduce visual clutter, the time field is only rendered if it changes and I've set the date format to time only, which is fine for local development (if you forget what day it is you need a vacation). The message column has some syntax highlighting applied to it, tuned for web development, but more importantly it is word-wrapped. Finally there is a column for the python file and line that called the log method.

    This would be my ideal logging for web-development, your mileage may vary and you may want to tune it for your domain.

  • Release of Relatorio 0.9.1

    We are glad to announce the release of Relatorio version 0.9.1.

    Relatorio is a templating library mainly for OpenDocument using also OpenDocument as source format.

  • How to write a very simple calculator in Python as a complete beginner programmer

    As I progress with my journey as a computer coder, I have realized that for one to master the art of writing scripts and applications, hours of practice matter more than months of study being spent on How To Program books. Reading theory about computer programming matters, but it does not make one a code writer. Based on such conclusion, I have decided to share real world scenarios materialized in computer code, mostly Python.

    Through this article you're going to learn how to put in practice basic concepts in Python with the main purpose of pushing your skills to the next level as a doer, instead of just a thinker.

    Although once finished you will end up with a simple calculator which supports basic maths, at least you will know how to properly make use of builtin utilities such as input, def statements and the while True loop.

  • How to create image quotes from scratch with nider open source python package

    Being a blogger, I have needs on tools which can ease my job as a content producer. Having knowledge on the Python programming language I have discovered an open source package which fits my needs when it comes to generating images with text.

    As an 'advanced' terminal user, I truly like automating stuff on the console. Before launching a fresh command prompt on your own computer, make sure you meet the requirements shown below in order to follow me through the rest of this blog post.

  • An open source alternative to Internet Download Manager written in Python, pyIDM

    Most of the computer geeks are familiar with the Internet Download Manager tool. Although it is one of the best among download managers; being a soldier of open source software, I decided to share pyIDM as an alternative for anyone who is passionate about computer programming.

    According to the official documentation shared on the Github platform, pyIDM supports multi-connections at a high speed due to its download engine which relies entirely on LibCurl.

KeePassXC 2.5.3 and Some Tips

Filed under
Software
OSS
Security
  • KeePassXC 2.5.3

    KeePassXC is a community fork of KeePassX, a native cross-platform port of KeePass Password Safe, with the goal to extend and improve it with new features and bugfixes to provide a feature-rich, fully cross-platform and modern open-source password manager.

    KeePassXC currently uses the KeePass 2.x (.kdbx) password database format as its native file format in versions 3.1 and 4. Database files in version 2 can be opened, but will be upgraded to a newer format. KeePass 1.x (.kdb) databases can be imported into a .kdbx file, but this process is one-way.

  • How to manage your entire passwords with KeePassX, single master key for all of them

    Having many accounts on different social media networks, I have to keep trace of different usernames and passwords. Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter and chat applications; different login credentials for each one of them. Not to mention the local accounts.

    Due to the struggle that comes with remembering all usernames and passwords, and of course due to loss of many important accounts in the past, I have decided to store my entire login credentials in a database which can be accessed through a single master key.

  • How to fully take control of KeePassX through the command line with pykeepass open source python package

    Having needs on secure personal data management, KeePassX is the software which I have chosen to solve my own problem. Being open source, many developers have written their own libraries from scratch to fully interact with KeePassX from the command line.

    After many hours of research on Github, and a lot of tests on my local environment, pykeepass ended in my toolset. Fully open source and free of charge, this python tool supports interaction with the entire features being integrated on KeePassX; directly from the command line.

Red Hat and IBM: Stronger Now?

Filed under
Red Hat
  • OpenShift: Working with Internal Docker Registry

    OpenShift provides an internal container image registry that can be deployed in an OpenShift environment to locally manage images.

  • IBM’s Quarterly Sales Finally Rose—But Not By Much

    IBM’s shares rose by around 5% on January 21 after it said its fourth-quarter revenues had increased by 0.1%, to $21.8 billion, after five quarters in a row of year-over-year sales declines.

    Big Blue’s fortunes were boosted by a new mainframe product line and revenues from open-source software giant Red Hat, which it acquired in July 2019 for around $34 billion. Adjusted net income for the quarter fell about 5%, to $4.2 billion, while the company reported earnings per share of $4.71 compared with analysts’ consensus estimates of $4.69. IBM saw its full-year 2019 revenue fall 3.1%, to $77.1 billion, and its net income drop by 10%, to $11.4 billion.

  • Six months after IBM spent $34 billion to acquire an open source software company, IBM's Q4 results showed that 'Red Hat goodness is kicking in'
  • IBM Sales Expected to Dip Despite Red Hat Purchase: What to Watch

    International Business Machines Corp. is expected to report fourth-quarter earnings after the market closes Tuesday. The technology giant may be heading for its sixth successive quarter of year-over-year revenue decline—but has been trying to reverse that slide, in part, through the $33 billion purchase of open source software giant Red Hat Inc.

  • IBM Earnings Hint at Signs of Turnaround

    International Business Machines Corp. reported a slight increase in quarterly revenue, ending a streak of falling sales and providing a first indication Chief Executive Ginni Rometty’s roughly $33 billion acquisition of open-source software giant Red Hat may help turn around Big Blue’s fortunes.

  • IBM Open Sources SysFlow Monitoring Platform

    Fred Araujo, a research scientist in the Cognitive Cybersecurity Intelligence Group at IBM Research, said IBM developed lightweight SysFlow agent software and monitoring tools as a way to provide more context around the telemetry data being collected while simultaneously reducing the amount of data that needs to be stored.

    SysFlow encodes a representation of system activities into a compact format that records how applications interact with their environment, Araujo said, noting that level of context provides deeper visibility in everything from container workloads to cybersecurity forensics. However, unlike existing monitoring platforms, SysFlow doesn’t require IT organizations to collect a massive amount of data to achieve that goal—it is intended to provide for a superset of the NetFlow framework used to analyze network traffic patterns to capture system events, he said.

    Araujo noted IBM doesn’t envision SysFlow eliminating the need for legacy log analytics platforms, as they provide a way to analyze log data. However, SysFlow does enable IT organizations to apply analytics via a graph-like visualization to surface patterns that goes beyond a comparative simple rules-based approach, said Araujo. For example, SysFlow’s approach will make it easier to uncover the relationship between various events that make up a cybersecurity attack and subsequently to identify what countermeasures to employ to create the appropriate kill chain response. It also should substantially reduce the amount of fatigue cybersecurity teams experience from chasing down false-positive alerts, he said.

  • Open source principles key to digital transformation

    The book outlines how open source principles can be used to build a better business by powering the transformation of not only technology, but also culture and business practices.

    However, there is no single understanding of exactly what digital transformation is. Most people recognise that the world has changed with digital devices and services connecting everything and everyone, and customers have more choice than ever before.

    As a result, every industry faces disruption and businesses have to change – transform – if they are to meet new consumer demands and stay ahead of the competition.

  • Fedora program update: 2020-04

    Here’s your report of what has happened in Fedora this week.

    I will not hold office hours next week due to travel, but if you’ll be at FOSDEM, you can catch me in person.

Internet Wars: Microsoft EEE Against Mozilla's Rust, Moving From Chrome to Mozilla Firefox, Cake PR and Microsoft Still Playing Dirty

Filed under
Google
Microsoft
Moz/FF
Web
  • Developers love Rust programming language: Here's why

    In fact, Rust has been voted the most-loved language for the past four years in Stack Overflow's annual developer surveys, even though 97% of respondents haven't used it. So how has it become the most-loved programming language?

    "The short answer is that Rust solves pain points present in many other languages, providing a solid step forward with a limited number of downsides," explains Jake Goulding on Stack Overflow's blog.

    [...]

    Mozilla Research describes Rust as a "systems programming language that focuses on speed, memory safety, and parallelism".

    It's often seen as an alternative to systems programming languages like C and C++ that developers use to create game engines, operating systems, file systems, browser components, and VR simulation engines. Mozilla, which continues to sponsor the project, says programmers can use Rust to make software that's less prone to bugs and attacks.

  • I finally switched from Chrome to Mozilla Firefox — and you should too

    I have been in an on-and-off relationship with Mozilla Firefox for the past five years. Every time I’d get ecstatic over a major new Firefox update — hoping to, at long last, break free from the hegemony of Google Chrome — my hopes would be crushed as soon as I began browsing the web like I normally do.

    Firefox’s performance would fall noticeably short and struggle to keep up with my workflow, sending me scurrying back to Google Chrome after a few minutes of poking around. No matter how compelling the rest of Mozilla’s offerings were, they could never convince me to hit that “Yes” button whenever Firefox asked whether I’d like to set it as my default browser. Catching up to Chrome almost started to seem like a far-fetched goal for Firefox — until recently.

    [...]

    Today, in addition to being fast, Firefox is resource-efficient, unlike most of its peers. I don’t have to think twice before firing up yet another tab. It’s rare that I’m forced to close an existing tab to make room for a new one. On Firefox, my 2015 MacBook Pro’s fans don’t blast past my noise-canceling headphones, which happened fairly regularly on Chrome as it pushed my laptop’s fans to their helicopter-like limits to keep things running.

    This rare balance of efficiency and performance is the result of the countless under-the-hood upgrades Firefox has rolled out in the last couple of years. One of the recent major performance updates arrived in May when Mozilla natively integrated a handful of clever optimizations for which users previously had to rely on third-party extensions.

  • Passive aggressive baking at its finest

    Cakes are a long standing weapon in the browser wars. Whenever a major browser hits a new milestone or makes an important release, cakes are rapidly exchanged.

  • Microsoft will never win the search engine wars by forcing people to use Bing

    Bing is known as the default search engine for Windows, and not much else. Microsoft’s solution? To forcibly install a Bing search extension in Chrome for Office 365 ProPlus users.

    The company says that this is designed for enterprise and business users to find relevant workplace information directly from the browser address bar, but we all know Microsoft is desperate to get more people using its search engine. It sounds harmless, but here’s why forcing people to use Bing won’t help Microsoft in the long run.

    [...]

    Fast forward to today, Bing still has a few problems that need to be addressed, and where Microsoft should put some extra attention towards, instead of forcing Bing down people’s throats. These include both search relevance and design — the two core areas of any search engine.

    First of all, there is a search relevance. In our testing, searching for Digital Trends on Google and Bing provide two different results. On Bing, we get a look at some older Digital Trends articles, which at the time of this writing, were older stories from 4, 6, and 3 hours ago. Compared that to Google, and articles are more relevant pulled from a most recent time frame.

Nate Graham's Latest KDE Report and Adriaan de Groot in conf.kde.in

Filed under
KDE

  • This week in KDE: Converging towards something special

    Plasma has gained its first user of the new notification inline reply feature in 5.18: Telegram Desktop!

    Big thanks to Kai Uwe Broulik for venturing forth to contribute a patch to Telegram that made this possible.

    Next up, we have a winner for the Plasma 5.18 wallpaper competition: the elegant and soothing Volna, by Nikita Babin!

  • KDE Developers Continue Polishing Ahead Of Plasma 5.18 LTS

    KDE developers were busy as always this week working to polish up the forthcoming KDE Plasma 5.18 and other areas of their open-source desktop stack.

  • conf.kde.in retrospective (1)

    I spent a week in Delhi on a trip to be part of conf.kde.org. During the event I twitted a whole bunch, for each of the talks, but here’s a bit of a (short) write-up. First of several, because I want to get the general “I traveled” out of the way, and focus on other people’s work later.

    [...]

    I gave four talks (Calamares, Transifex, Frameworks, and more Frameworks) and also some impromptu stuff during a technical break (about Rick Astley). I’ll put them up on my site eventually, when I figure out how to do that effectively (they’re generated out of Markdown). There might be pictures of those talks; I took pictures of most of the other talks.

    Other talks were about translation, and Open Source migrations, and Plasma deployments, and GCompris, and Plasma Mobule, and .. well, and lots of stuff. I really enjoyed hearing from all the students and other KDE contributors how they work. New student attendees were treated to a show of “here’s how we work, this is how welcome you are”, which I think is a good way to start.

Games: Plague Inc: Evolved, Valve's ACO, Push Me Pull You, 3D Buzz, Zombie Panic, Lazr, ReDoomEd

Filed under
Gaming
  • Plague Inc: Evolved hits new all-time high on player count due to the Coronavirus outbreak in China

    Plague Inc: Evolved, a strategy/simulation mix that supports Linux, has seen a sudden surge in popularity recently as China has a real-life Coronavirus outbreak people are testing it out in the game.

    In the last 24 hours, it's hit a new all-time high peak-player count of over fifteen thousand people all trying to cover the world in something terrible. This is thanks to the modding support the game has with the Steam Workshop, there's multiple packs that add in some form of the new Chinese Coronavirus.

  • Valve's ACO Helps The Radeon RX 5600 XT Compete With NVIDIA's RTX 2060

    As shown yesterday the new video BIOS of the Radeon RX 5600 XT paired with the corrected SMC firmware on Linux yields impressive performance improvements that -- similar to Windows -- allows the card to compete better with NVIDIA's GeForce RTX 2060. For Linux users, activating the Valve-funded ACO compiler back-end for the Radeon "RADV" Vulkan driver helps turn up the competition even more.

  • 'Push Me Pull You' is a strange but kid-friendly multiplayer comical wrestling game featuring humanoid conjoined twins

    This somewhat bizarre but at the same time completely original game, sponsored by the Victoria State Government and Film Victoria Australia, has been out since July 2016 with Linux support, but it was overlooked by almost everyone. Also, it didn't help the fact that several months ago I requested the developer to send a copy for the GOL staff to check, but they said they were no longer handing review keys. Although it barely has Steam user reviews, it has received a number of awards and the few people who wrote reviews for it seemed to like it.

  • All courses from online learning site '3D Buzz' went free, due to the website shutting down; torrent available

    Although most of the courses were paid, a couple of weeks ago the site had to shut down, following the ramifications of one of its founders' tragic death by cancer in 2017 (memorial and portfolio page); however, they decided to release absolutely all the content (about 200 GB of videos) for free to download, out of appreciation for all the community's support across the years.

    [...]

    In my personal case, I didn't check any course due to lack of time, so I can't tell you about their general quality, but if you want to get a glimpse, they have a YouTube account with dozens of old videos to see if their style of teaching suits you.

    This unfortunate event shows another facet of such an horrific disease; sometimes it's not only about the extreme torment of the affected person and the psychological devastation that causes on relatives and friends, but also the catastrophic financial consequences that worsen an already grisly situation. However, an excellent gesture like this at least helps to keep the person's legacy alive, and opens the slight possibility that somebody uses this (now free) content to release a masterpiece in a couple of years. One can only hope...

  • Zombie Panic! Source getting the big 3.1 release with Linux support 'as soon as possible' - needs testing

    The Zombie Panic! Team put out another update on the progress towards version 3.1, what's turned into a massive overhaul to many parts of the game as Linux support also comes in.

    Not long to go though, with version 3.1 Beta Update 5 being released yesterday which should be the last major update as they move onto focusing on the smaller things to get a "public release as soon as possible". This still could be months away, depending on how many issues come up.

  • Lazr, an impressive cyberpunk physics-enhanced 2D platformer is on Kickstarter with a big demo

    After an impressive tech demo, then an expanded demo, the physics-enhanced 'clothformer' Lazr is now on Kickstarter to help it cross the development finishing line.

    The developer, Garrick Campsey, didn't originally plan this to be a full game. Being made as a result of a challenge from another game developer adding dynamic motion simulation into a platformer. A video of the prototype then went somewhat viral on Twitter and they decided to continue it into a proper game.

  • 'ReDoomEd', a port of the original Doom level editor, was released on Linux

    DoomEd was a program written by Carmack and Romero on 1993, to directly build the levels from the original Doom. Seventeen years later, the developers behind Twilight Edge Software are releasing a free and independent port based on that program, appropriately called ReDoomEd, which is based on DoomEd's source code, publicly released by John Romero himself on 2015.

GtkSourceView branching

Filed under
GNOME

We’re currently finishing up the cycle towards GNOME 3.36, which means it’s almost time to start branching and thinking about what we want to land early in the 3.37 development cycle. My goal is to branch gtksourceview-4-6 which will be our long-term stable branch for gtksourceview-4.x (similar to how the gnome-3-24 branch is our long-term stable for the gtksourceview-3.x series. After that, master will move to GTK 4 as we start to close in on GTK 4 development. The miss-alignment in version numbers is an unfortunate reality, but a reality I inherited so we’ll keep on keepin’ on.

That means if you are not setting a branch in your flatpak manifests, you will want to start doing that when we branch (probably in the next couple of weeks) or your builds will start to fail. Presumably, this only will affect your Nightly builds, because who targets upstream master in production builds, not you surely!

Read more

New Kate Icon

Filed under
KDE

For years, Kate had a very generic icon. Unlike most other editors, that have very distinctive ones, we went with an icon that represented the use case of the program but provided no branding.

In 2014, we tried to improve our branding by introducing a mascot - Kate the Woodpecker. Thought we used that in some places, like on the web site and in the about dialog, overall, the only thing most people did see was the generic icon (that even differs a lot between different icon themes).

I was not very happy with this and reached out last year to Tyson Tan to improve on this, given he already provided our mascot design. I wanted to have some distinct icon that matches a bit the idea we had with the mascot.

After some iterations this process has lead to a new icon for our lovely text editor as can be seen below.

Read more

SQLite Release 3.31.0 On 2020-01-22

Filed under
Server
OSS

The legacy_file_format pragma is deactivated. It is now a no-op. In its place, the SQLITE_DBCONFIG_LEGACY_FILE_FORMAT option to sqlite3_db_config() is provided. The legacy_file_format pragma is deactivated because (1) it is rarely useful and (2) it is incompatible with VACUUM in schemas that have tables with both generated columns and descending indexes.

Read more

Also: SQLite 3.31 Released With Support For Generated Columns

Setting the Record Straight: PinePhone Misconceptions

Filed under
GNU
Linux
Gadgets

The misconception concerns the openness of the PinePhone. On numerous occasions I’ve seen the PinePhone being refereed to as closed-source on one level or another. I don’t know the origin of this misconception nor do I understand the reason why it has become propagated throughout the internet. What I do know, however, is that it has been repeatedly quoted in online articles covering the PinePhone or other Linux devices for over a year now.

So let’s set the record straight: the PinePhone is not ‘full of closed-source firmware’ and, moreover, is one of the most open devices out there.

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Also: announcing arduino-copilot

Programming Leftovers

Filed under
Development
  • Python 3.9.0a3
  • Python 3.9.0a3 now available for testing

    Python 3.9 is still in development. This releasee, 3.9.0a3 is the third of six planned alpha releases. Alpha releases are intended to make it easier to test the current state of new features and bug fixes and to test the release process. During the alpha phase, features may be added up until the start of the beta phase (2020-05-18) and, if necessary, may be modified or deleted up until the release candidate phase (2020-08-10). Please keep in mind that this is a preview release and its use is not recommended for production environments.

  • Weekly Python StackOverflow Report: (ccxii) stackoverflow python report
  • Perl Weekly Challenge 044: One Hundred, Two Hundred

    We can populate each place “between digits” with one of three possible values: a plus sign, minus sign, or nothing. To check all the possible permutations, we’ll use an indicator function similarly to The Knapsack Problem. In this case, though, there are three possible values, so we need to loop over numbers in the ternary numeral system.

    The only operation we’ll need will be the increment, so we don’t need the full support for arithmetic in base 3. We can implement the increment ourselves: we start from the right of the number, change any 2 into 0 and move left. Once we find 0 or 1, we increment it and we’re done.

    To create the expression, we just need to intersperse the digits with the operators. See the apply subroutine below.

    To evaluate the expression, we won’t use eval, as we don’t want to introduce security problems into our code. As the operations are just addition and subtraction, we can transform the expression into a large sum of positive and negative numbers (the latter correspond to the numbers being subtracted). We’ll use a regexp match to split the expression.

  • Confessions of a Recovering Proprietary Programmer, Part XVII

    One of the gatherings I attended last year featured a young man asking if anyone felt comfortable doing git rebase “without adult supervision”, as he put it. He seemed as surprised to see anyone answer in the affirmative as I was to see only a very few people so answer. This seems to me to be a suboptimal state of affairs, and thus this post describes how you, too, can learn to become comfortable doing git rebase “without adult supervision”.

    [...]

    Fortunately, one of my colleagues pointed me at tig, which provides a dynamic ASCII-art display of the selected commits. This is again not as good as gitk, but it is probably as good as it gets in a text-only environment.

    These tools do have their limits, and other techniques are required if you are actively rearranging more than a few hundred commits. If you are in that situation, you should look into the workflows used by high-level maintainers or by the -stable maintainer, who commonly wrangle many hundreds or even thousands of commits. Extreme numbers of commits will of course require significant automation, and many large-scale maintainers do in fact support their workflows with elaborate scripting.

    Doing advanced git work without being able to see what you are doing is about as much a recipe for success as chopping wood in the dark. So do yourself a favor and use tools that allow you to see what you are doing!

Software: MuseScore 3.4, arduino-copilot and LibreOffice 6.4 RC3

Filed under
LibO
Software
  • MuseScore 3.4 Release

    Today we are pleased to announce another significant update, MuseScore 3.4. In addition to dozens of bug fixes, it introduces UX improvements when working with score elements and telemetry.

  • Music Notation Software MuseScore 3.4 Released!

    Right-click on the Appimage, then go to Properties -> Permissions, check the box ‘Allow executing file as program’. Finally run the Appimage to launch MuseScore 3.4 and enjoy!

    MuseScore also available as Snap (runs in sandbox), which can be installed directly from Ubuntu Software, though it’s still v3.3.4 at the moment.

    Also the flathub repository contains MuseScore flatpak package....

  • announcing arduino-copilot

    arduino-copilot, released today, makes it easy to use Haskell to program an Arduino. It's a FRP style system, and uses the Copilot DSL to generate embedded C code.

    [...]

    Copilot is quite an impressive embedding of C in Haskell. It was developed for NASA by Galois and is intended for safety-critical applications. So it's neat to be able to repurpose it into hobbyist microcontrollers. (I do hope to get more type safety added to Copilot though, currently it seems rather easy to confuse eg miles with kilometers when using it.)

    I'm not the first person to use Copilot to program an Arduino. Anthony Cowley showed how to do it in Abstractions for the Functional Roboticist back in 2013. But he had to write a skeleton of C code around the C generated by Copilot. Amoung other features, arduino-copilot automates generating that C skeleton. So you don't need to remember to enable GPIO pin 13 for output in the setup function; arduino-copilot sees you're using the LED and does that for you.

    frp-arduino was a big inspiration too, especially how easy it makes it to generate an Arduino sketch withough writing any C. The "=:" operator in copilot-arduino is copied from it. But ftp-arduino contains its own DSL, which seems less capable than Copilot. And when I looked at using frp-arduino for some real world sensing and control, it didn't seem to be possible to integrate it with existing Arduino libraries written in C. While I've not done that with arduino-copilot yet, I did design it so it should be reasonably easy to integrate it with any Arduino library.

  • LibreOffice 6.4 RC3 is available

    LibreOffice 6.4 RC3 is available for downloading now. There are builds for all main OS for 64 bit. There is a 32 bit build for Windows also. These builds are only for testing.

Linux For Everyone

Filed under
GNU
Linux

Linux is almost like the boogey monster of operating systems. People consider it an OS for hackers and users with advanced computing skills. However, this is not true, most simple operations in Linux are as easy to perform as they are in Windows or MacOS. It should be noted that all Linux distributions are not created equal and it might be best to choose something that is well supported and easy to use.

Why switch? There are two big reasons to switch to Linux, the first being it works excellently with older hardware, giving it an extension of life. The second is, it is free, which makes it an excellent alternative to all the paid operating systems out there. Programs on Linux are also free and they are good enough to be used professionally. Now that you are convinced here are six of the best Linux distributions out right now.

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