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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

Type Title Author Replies Last Postsort icon
Story Screen sharing on Linux: The state of things Roy Schestowitz 29/01/2020 - 8:18am
Story today's leftovers Roy Schestowitz 29/01/2020 - 4:54am
Story OSS and Openwashing Leftovers Roy Schestowitz 29/01/2020 - 4:50am
Story "You Don't Own What You Buy" and Openwashed Microsoft Entrapment Roy Schestowitz 29/01/2020 - 4:47am
Story OpenMandriva Lx 4.1 RC is out Roy Schestowitz 29/01/2020 - 4:38am
Story Proprietary Software and Security Leftovers Roy Schestowitz 29/01/2020 - 4:34am
Story Red Hat vs. SUSE vs. Canonical Contributions To The Mainline Linux Kernel Over The 2010s Roy Schestowitz 29/01/2020 - 2:47am
Story Linux on AMD: Audio Issue Tackled and AMD Zen 3 CPU Support Roy Schestowitz 29/01/2020 - 2:44am
Story Latest in GNU/Linux-Chromebook Integration (Crostini) Roy Schestowitz 29/01/2020 - 2:41am
Story Linux 5.5 Rianne Schestowitz 10 29/01/2020 - 2:33am

Screen sharing on Linux: The state of things

Filed under
Software

When I want to show something, I can either:

Share a single window, which can sometimes just share the entire screen anyway, or sometimes crash the entire chat application if I hide the window by switching to another workspace.

Share outside of the chat application we’re using

So, I use OBS (which actually has third-party support for wlroots if you’re on Wayland) and stream to my own RTMP server.

Read more

today's leftovers

Filed under
Misc
  • 25/01/2020: This week in KISS (#8)

    Another new addition to the website is the packages page. This is a full listing of each package in the repositories with version and maintainer information.

    The page is updated automatically with changes to the repositories. The raw repository data is also available as a simple tsv file.

  • Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter Issue 615

    Welcome to the Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter, Issue 615 for the week of January 19 – 25, 2020. The full version of this issue is available here.

  • IOTA News: Power consumption of Bitcoin 5.6 million times higher compared to IOTA, New embedded Linux distribution

    Already in early January, Bernardo Rodrigues received a grant from the Ecosystem Development Fund of the IOTA Foundation for the development of an OpenEmbedded Layer for IOTA. The project of an OpenEmbedded Layer for IOTA projects, Meta-iota, is intended to enable an easy and fast integration of IOTA projects into Yocto-based embedded Linux distributions, as CNF reported.

    With honeycombOS, Rodrigues recently released another embedded Linux distribution tailored for IOTA nodes, clients and Tangle related tools. It is mainly based on Poky and was created with tools from the Yocto Project and OpenEmbedded. As Rodrigues further explains, honeycombOS is part of Meta-iota, which is supported by the IOTA Ecosystem Development Fund. In detail Rodrigues describes:

  • IGEL Announces Availability of the First Linux Client to Support Microsoft Windows Virtual Desktop

    IGEL, provider of the next-gen edge OS for cloud workspaces, today announced general availability of Linux client support for Microsoft Windows Virtual Desktop. As part of a limited preview of the Microsoft RD Core software developer's kit (SDK), IGEL is the first to offer a Linux-based client that is validated for use with Windows Virtual Desktop.

  • IGEL Announces Linux Client Support For Windows Virtual Desktop
  • Time to celebrate Data Privacy Day!

    In the words of the National Cyber Security Alliance, Data Privacy Day "is an international effort to empower individuals and encourage businesses to respect privacy, safeguard data and enable trust."

    Data privacy should be at the forefront of everyone's mind.  Protecting your personal data and understanding your right to privacy is becoming more and more important as we start to understand how valuable personal data is and how we are all accountable for protecting our privacy.

    Data privacy day is focused on staying safe online, which is a great opportunity to reflect on privacy in a personal way.  

  • Overview of syslog-ng RPM repositories

    Most Linux distributions – like openSUSE or Fedora – include a syslog-ng package in their official repositories ready to install. Some others – like SLES and RHEL – include it in semi-official repositories, like SLES Backports and EPEL. What is the use case for unofficial repositories?

    Unless you use the rolling version of a distribution, like openSUSE Tumbleweed or Fedora Rawhide, you will be using an old version of syslog-ng. In some extreme cases, like RHEL 7, it means a six years old syslog-ng release, missing many features – like multi-threading – which are taken now for granted. Even if the included syslog-ng version is up-to-date, it might miss a few features – like the Java and Kafka destinations – due to missing or too old dependencies in the distribution.

    If you are lucky or just have a simple use case, the syslog-ng package included in the distro is sufficient for you. If you need one of the features missing from the distribution package, consider the unofficial syslog-ng repositories.

    What “unofficial” means? While I am a Balabit/One Identity employee, these are not official repositories. They are provided as is, with a best effort level of support.

  • Introducing the TRIRIGA Assistant

    Wouldn’t it be nice if your office started to act more like a team player? For employees, that would mean effortless engagement with workplace services. For facility managers, that would mean more engaged and delighted occupants who provide feedback to keep the workplace not just humming but evolving.

    IBM TRIRIGA just announced numerous enhancements to the workplace experience in the latest release. Among these enhancements, the all new TRIRIGA Assistant. The TRIRIGA Assistant is a smart, conversational AI assistant, which is the same frictionless technology that we all have in our homes, and which is another way to meet the ever-growing expectations of the workforce. This AI assistant can help users find and reserve meeting rooms, report maintenance issues correctly, and even locate where a colleague sits. And that is just the beginning.

  • IBM Champions unlock the power of IBM

    After reviewing nearly 1,400 nominations, IBM is proud and happy to announce the 2020 class of IBM Champions.

    The IBM Champion program recognizes innovative thought leaders in the technical community and rewards these contributors by amplifying their voice and increasing their sphere of influence. The program catalyzes their ongoing contributions by providing education, engagement, and opportunities.

    An IBM Champion is a business partner or customer of IBM — an IT professional, business leader, developer, executive, or educator who influences and mentors others to help them innovate with and make the best decisions around IBM software, solutions, and services.

  • Explaining Knative, the Project to Liberate Serverless from Cloud Giants

    Today, using serverless means choosing a cloud platform to lock yourself into. The open source project expected to fix that is approaching prime time.

OSS and Openwashing Leftovers

Filed under
OSS
  • The Importance Of Growing Developer Action On Open Source Enterprise Blockchain Solutions

    Since major enterprises started taking blockchain seriously and looking at the technology's potential in their chosen arena, so have a number of popular enterprise-grade blockchain solutions have come to the fore.

    Some of these solutions are sold to companies as an all in one solution, slightly deviating from some of the core decentralized and open-sourced pillars of the technology, but the more popular ones are open-sourced and constantly being developed. The likes of Hyperledger Fabric, as well as Sawtooth and Besu, R3 Corda, and Quorum are all open source solutions that have been tracked for developer activity by Blockchain service firm Chainstack.

  • An Open Source Alternative to AWS SageMaker

    There’s no shortage of resources and tools for developing machine learning algorithms. But when it comes to putting those algorithms into production for inference, outside of AWS’s popular SageMaker, there’s not a lot to choose from. Now a startup called Cortex Labs is looking to seize the opportunity with an open source tool designed to take the mystery and hassle out of productionalizing machine learning models.

    Infrastructure is almost an afterthought in data science today, according to Cortex Labs co-founder and CEO Omer Spillinger. A ton of energy is going into choosing how to attack problems with data – why, use machine learning of course! But when it comes to actually deploying those machine learning models into the real world, it’s relatively quiet.

  • Ambitions for a Unix Shell

    As discussed in the January blog roadmap, I want to concretely describe a reduced Oil language, and see if we can get it "done" in 2020.

    So, to give context to upcoming posts about the language, let's review the project's goals from different perspectives: [...]

  • Inside Open-Source Networking

    In this edition of the Embedded Insiders podcast, Brandon and Rich continue their journey into the world of open source, this time by focusing on Z-Wave that was recently donated to the community by Silicon Labs (who acquired the networking technology from Sigma Designs).

    Later, the Embedded Insiders are joined by Laurens Slats from The Things Industries, who continues the discussion of open source networking technologies by outlining the state of LoRa and LoRaWAN. Their upcoming Things Conference in Amsterdam takes place January 30-31st.

  • Rockstar dev debate reopens: Hero programmers do exist, do all the work, do chat a lot – and do need love and attention from project leaders

    The idea that some software developers matter more to coding projects than others is controversial, particularly among open source projects where community cohesion and participation can suffer if contributors are not treated fairly.

    Scott Hanselman, partner program manager at Microsoft, argued against the notion of rockstar programmers back in 2013, as have many others. But not everyone agrees and it's a difficult debate to settle because there's no consensus about what to measure, much less about the methods used to make the measurements.

    What's more, projects may have different needs at different times – a dominant contributor may help bring projects to life but then become a liability when the project is mature.

    The latest entry into this long-running argument comes from a research paper, "Why Software Projects need Heroes (Lessons Learned from 1000+ Projects)," published last year [PDF] and just revised [PDF] with 16 additional pages.

  • Tierion introduces set of open-source tools to create 'trustless' Lightning apps
  • Nextcloud evolves into Nextcloud Hub to better meet your company's needs

    The Nextcloud developers have unleashed one of their most significant upgrades to their on-premises cloud hosting platform: Nextcloud Hub. I was invited to test the pre-release version and never before have I been so impressed with a piece of open source software. Nextcloud has evolved from a tool that can be installed and expanded with a number of applications, to an out-of-the-box, one-stop shop collaboration suite.

    Once installed, Nextcloud Hub includes built-in video chat, OnlyOffice integration, and so much more--out of the box. Admins will no longer have to install or connect to a separate OnlyOffice server. That's big news for anyone who's taken the time to add business-grade collaboration to the Nextcloud platform. Open source now has a seriously robust and user-friendly web-based office groupware suite.

    This evolution of the hottest on-premises cloud server software will come about with the next release (version 18 is available now) and will bring with it a full-blown, fully-featured cloud-based set of collaboration tools unlike anything you've witnessed in an open source stack.

  • LSD welcomes Knowledge Focus to Planet Open Source

    The strategic integration is the result of a shared vision to unify and further strengthen competencies across key open source solution spaces.

    With this merger, LSD hopes to explore new opportunities with their combined superpowers and will continue to deliver market-leading open-source solutions.

  • SUSI.AI release 20200120: Desktop and Smart Speaker

    More than a month has passed, but the winter holidays allowed me to update, fix, and stream line a lot of corners in SUSI.AI. And above all, work on a desktop version that can easily be installed. Thus, the FOSSASIA Team finally can release a SUSI.AI 2020-01-20 of SUSI.AI, the privacy aware personal assistant.

  • FOSDEM by train

    I’ve always loved train journeys, but with flygskam changing people’s travel preferences across Europe (and possibly worldwide, though probably not that much), I decided to take train to FOSDEM this time.

    [...]

    As some of my readers may know, my backpack was stolen from me after FOSDEM two years ago, and with it were gone, among other things, my passport and my residence permit card. With my flight home having been planned two and half hours from the moment when I realised my things are gone, I couldn’t get a replacement travel document quickly enough from the embassy, so I had to stay at my friends in Vilvoorde (thanks a lot again, Jurgen!) and travel with the cheapest ground transportation I could find. In my case, it was a night RegioJet coach to Prague with a connection to (again) RegioJet train to Bratislava. (I couldn’t fly even though I already had my temporary travel document since I might need to somehow prove that I’m allowed to be in the Schengen zone, which is difficult to do without a valid residence permit.) Sleeping on a bus isn’t the best way to travel for long distances, and I was knackered when I finally dropped on my sofa in Bratislava next morning. However, what I learnt was that it was possible, and were it a bit more comfortable, I wouldn’t mind something like this again.

  • Now available: Open source solar contracts to simplify transacting

    A team of legal advisors and renewable energy experts contributed to an Open Solar Contracts Initiative to accelerate the deployment of solar power worldwide.

    The open source project was initiated by the Terrawatt Initiative (TWI) and the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) in 2016.

  • joão leão develops the first open source electric skateboard made out of recycled plastic

    designer joão leão constantly ran into plastic waste washing ashore on the beaches of porto; he was also constantly running late due to his endless commute on public transportation. so, he created a faster method of personal transportation using recycled thermoplastics as the main manufacturing material — the PET MINI electric skateboard.

    [...]

    leão took inspiration from the anatomy of an armadillo for the electronics enclosure by designing a series of modular pieces along the bottom of the board. this allows for both the protection of the electronic components, and also maintains the flexibility of the deck — giving it the comfortable ride necessary for the city. other commercial products lose the deck’s flexibility, making it a rough ride through different urban terrains.

  • How I had a nerdy date night with StreetComplete quests

    StreetComplete is an Android app that makes it fun and easy to contribute to open data by completing quests.

    Quests are used to fill in incomplete or inaccurate information on OpenStreetMap, an open data project dedicated to mapping the world through crowdsourcing. Anyone can contribute to the map and, thanks to free culture and open source licenses, that data can then be used by anyone for anything, from video games to custom map applications and artwork.

    [...]

    Download the app to your phone from F-Droid or Google Play. It’s licensed under GPLv3.

  • Academic publishing must better serve science and society

    We propose a new vision for scientific publishing that starts with reversing the relationship between authors and publishers. Under this system, authors would be able to make their research freely accessible to everyone immediately. Journal editors would compete to publish it, but publication would not be the end of the story: researchers could continue to update their papers for years afterwards. Nor would publication be the aim of the game: the incentives, recognition and reward systems would not depend on where a paper is published, but rather on its contents and the extent to which it advances knowledge.

    This is already starting to happen. The number of preprints is increasing daily, and most journals now facilitate the submission of papers to preprint servers via their own submission systems. Others have appointed preprint editors to screen preprints and solicit submissions, adopting scoop protection policies that commit them to disregarding, in their editorial decisions, any competing papers published after submission of the paper or preprint.

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

Filed under
Microsoft
  • 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

Filed under
MDV

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

Filed under
Software
Security
  • 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

Filed under
Linux
Red Hat
SUSE
Ubuntu

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 on AMD: Audio Issue Tackled and AMD Zen 3 CPU Support

Filed under
Linux
Hardware
  • AMD Prepares Fix To Address Clicking Issue With Audio Playback On Raven APUs

    Unfortunately it wasn't a trouble-free experience at launch but with time Raven Ridge APUs have been getting cleaned up on Linux for a pleasant experience, thanks in part to the Google Chromebook play that has also seen these newer AMD APUs seeing HDCP content protection support and PSP / TEE trusted execution functionality.

    The latest overdue improvement on the AMD Raven APU front is a fix for a pesky issue during audio playback. If playing audio streams immediately one after another, clicking noises can be heard. That is in the process of being resolved thanks to a new kernel patch.

  • AMD ZEN 3 CPU Added To Official Linux Kernel With ‘Family 19H’ Indicating Launch Of Next-Gen Processors With Higher IPC Gains?

    AMD’s ZEN 3 Architecture, the next-gen evolution of the company’s powerful CPUs, is now officially a part of the Linux Family. Spotted inside the Linux Kernel are direct references to the AMD’s Zen 3 CPU microcode. Given the recent developments about the as-yet-unannounced AMD Architecture that succeeds ZEN 2, it is quite likely the company could release the new CPUs based on ZEN 3 in the coming months. And, if the leaked benchmarks and test scores are to be believed, AMD has truly pushed its processors and managed to achieve a substantial leap in processor power with lesser power draw.

    After giving a tough competition to Intel last year, AMD appears to be readying a new lineup of CPUs that are based on the company’s latest Architecture, the ZEN 3. Based on the 7nm Fabrication Node, the Zen 3 is the 3rd iteration of the ZEN microarchitecture, which is built using the EUV (Extreme Ultraviolet) lithography process.

  • AMD Zen 3 CPU Support Added To Linux Kernel As We Get Closer To Official Announcement

    It looks like we are getting more closer to the launch of AMD's Zen 3 CPUs as microcode for the upcoming lineup has been added to the Linux Kernel, as spotted by Komachi. The AMD Zen 3 line of processors are aimed to hit in the coming quarters and it looks like they are going to be a bigger upgrade than we have anticipated as many leaks and official representatives have stated.

    [...]

    However, this means that in the upcoming months, AMD is definitely bringing us more news as also stated by AMD's CEO, Dr. Lisa Su, in the 'The Bring Up' interview where she states that Zen 3 architecture is doing really well, they are excited about it and that she looks forward to talking more about it later in 2020.

Latest in GNU/Linux-Chromebook Integration (Crostini)

Filed under
GNU
Linux
Google
  • Chrome OS 81 to allow Linux username selection for Crostini

    I’m not judging but apparently, some Chromebook users have some strange email addresses. And by strange, I mean they don’t allow you to set up the default user when installing Linux in Chrome OS.

    I’m joking a little here. However, this is a real issue for certain Gmail addresses because it’s that account that’s used to create the default user.

    [...]

    Based on the current code merge, when starting the Linux installation process, users will be prompted to supply a username, which is then applied to the Linux container system settings.

  • Linux on Chrome OS: Disk resizing and custom username now working in Canary Channel

    A couple of weeks ago, we unearthed work being done that will give users the ability to set a custom size for the allotted amount of disk space used by Crostini Linux on Chrome OS. Still disabled via a flag, the resizing feature was still just a placeholder at that time. Today, after an update to the Canary Channel, it looks like the resizing function is now live. It’s still behind a flag and disabled by default but enabling it and starting Crostini from scratch now gives you the option to pick the amount of disk space you want to use for Linux.

    [...]

    The renaming feature, like the resizing one, was disabled behind a flag and wasn’t working as of yesterday. With the latest update to Canary, the custom username feature is now working when the flag is enabled and it appears right above the resizing option when you install Crostini for the first time. Some users may like this feature simply because they want to create a unique username for Linux but for others, this will be a crucial update when it hits the Stable Channel in the coming months.

Open Hardware/Modding: Arduino IDE, Raspberry Pi and PocketPCR

Filed under
Hardware
OSS
  • Arduino IDE 1.8.11 now available to download

    The Arduino development team has today announced the availability of a new Arduino IDE in the form of Arduino 1.8.11. The open-source Arduino Software (IDE) makes it easy to write code and upload it to the range of Arduino development boards board. The Arduino IDE can be loaded onto Windows requires Win 8.1 or 10, Mac OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion or newer, and Linux 32 and 64 bit computers and is written in Java and based on Processing and other open-source software.

  • Can you connect a Raspberry Pi to a GoPro Hero 6?

    A contractor is drilling in the office space above ours, and it sounds like we’re under attack by a swarm of very angry, Transformeresque bees. We can’t hear ourselves think. Although we can hear the drills.

  • Put The Power Of PCR In Your Pocket With This Open-Source Thermal Cycler

    When the first thermal cyclers for the polymerase chain reaction came out in the 1980s, they were as expensive as a market driven by grant money could make them. Things haven’t got much better over the years, largely shutting STEM classes and biohackers out of the PCR market. That may be about to change, though, if the €99.00 PocketPCR thermal cycler takes hold.

    PCR amplifies DNA in a three-step process: denaturation, which melts double-stranded DNA into single strands; annealing, which lets small pieces of primer DNA bind to either side of the region of interest; and elongation, where the enzyme DNA polymerase zips along the single strands starting at the primer to replicate the DNA. The cycle repeats and copies of the original DNA accumulate exponentially. Like any thermal cycler, [Urs Gaudenz]’s PocketPCR automates those temperature shifts, using a combination of PCB-mounted heating elements and a cooling fan. The coils rapidly heat a reaction block up to the 99°C denaturation temperature, the fan brings that down to the 68°C needed for annealing, and then the temperature ramps back up to 72°C for elongation with thermostable DNA polymerase. PID loops keep the reaction temperature precisely controlled. The whole thing is, as the name suggests, small enough to fit in a pocket, and can either be purchased in kit form or scratch-built from the build files on GitHub.

iXsystems' TrueNAS & FreeNAS Hit 11.3

Filed under
Hardware
BSD

FreeNAS is a free and open-source NAS software based off of FreeBSD and OpenZFS. It runs on commodity x86-64 hardware, as well as iXsystems gear. FreeNAS supports Window, macOS, and Unix as well as virtualization hosts like XenServer and VMware. TrueNAS is aimed at enterprise storage and supports SMB, AFP, NFS, iSCSI, SSH, rsync and FTP/TFTP sharing protocols over Ethernet and Fibre Channel network fabrics. TrueNAS also supports VMware as well as over protocols such as Microsoft CSV, ODX, and VSS, and Veeam.

Part of the 11.3 update sees TrueNAS gain several of the features that were already running in FreeNAS, now fully vetted and ready to go to the enterprise. These features include the modernized web UI as well as the ability to use and manage jails, plugins, and VMs. The new features are available in TrueNAS X-Series and M-Series platforms that scale from 10TB to over 10PB with hybrid or all-flash models.

Read more

GNU Projects and Upcoming LibrePlanet

Filed under
GNU
  • Mark J. Wielaard: A mission statement and social contract for GNU

    2019 was a difficult year for the Free Software Community with lots of questions about the future of GNU. It is hard to come up with good answers unless you know which shared principles you all value. After a very long discussion we finally have a first GNU Social Contract DRAFT and a new public wiki for GNU maintainers to share public discussion documents like this.

  • Pre-release 1.8.90 in alpha.gnu.org

    The pre-release recutils-1.8.90.tar.gz is now available at ftp://alpha.gnu.org/gnu/recutils/recutils-1.8.90.tar.gz
    The NEWS file in the tarball contains a list of the changes since 1.8.
    The planned date for releasing 1.9 is Saturday 1 February 2020.

  • GNU Spotlight with Mike Gerwitz: 16 new GNU releases in January!

    bison-3.5.1
    gmp-6.2.0
    gnuhealth-3.6.2
    gnunet-0.12.2
    grep-3.4
    gsasl-1.8.1
    guile-3.0.0
    help2man-1.47.12
    hyperbole-7.0.8
    kawa-3.1.1
    libredwg-0.10.1
    make-4.3
    mes-0.22
    parallel-20200122
    sed-4.8
    unifont-12.1.04

  • LibrePlanet 2020: We'll see you at the Back Bay Events Center in Boston, MA!

    We at the Free Software Foundation (FSF) are excited to say that the Dorothy Quincy suite of Boston's very own Back Bay Events Center will be the home of this year's LibrePlanet conference! We've taken the grand tour and couldn't be happier about our choice of location. We're confident that the Events Center will be a great host for the technology and social justice conference we've all come to know and love. It's just the right place for us (and the movement) to take our next steps in freeing the future.

    The Events Center is providing LibrePlanet with its own entrance and a dedicated and speedy Internet connection for the livestream, and is close to both public transportation and the FSF headquarters itself. As in past years, we'll have ample space for an exhibit hall and free software workshops, as well as the ever popular "hallway track," where you can engage with other attendees in conversations on contributing to free software projects.

    On the Events Center Web site, you will find accommodation and transportation suggestions that will pair nicely with those we've put up on the LibrePlanet 2020 site. The Back Bay Events Center is located at the corner of Berkeley and Stuart Street, and is close by the Back Bay stop of the Orange Line MBTA train and the Arlington stop of the Green Line MBTA train.

  • LibrePlanet 2020 needs you: Volunteer today!

    The LibrePlanet 2020 conference is coming very soon, on March 14 and 15 at the Back Bay Events Center in Boston, and WE NEED YOU to make the world's premier gathering of free software enthusiasts a success.

    Volunteers are needed for several different tasks at LibrePlanet, from an audio/visual crew to point cameras and adjust microphones, to room monitors to introduce speakers, to a set-up and clean-up crew to make our conference appear and disappear at the Event Center, and more! You can volunteer for as much or as little time as you like, whether you choose to help out for an hour or two, or the entirety of both days. Either way, we'll provide you with a VERY handsome LibrePlanet 2020 shirt in your size, in addition to free admission to the entire conference and lunch and our eternal gratitude.

Linux Foundation: XCP-ng, CHIPS Alliance, Open Source Technology Improvement Fund (OSTIF) and Project Alvarium

Filed under
Linux
  • XCP-ng Joins the Xen Project as an Incubation Project

    Today, the Xen Project is happy to welcome XCP-ng as an incubation project. XCP-ng is a fully open-source virtualization platform and is a result of the massive cooperation between individuals as well as companies.
    XCP-ng fits well into the Xen Project ecosystem for many reasons. In the past, the Xen Project was primarily focussed on providing code to system integrators, such as distros. Consequently, the project never connected well with it’s end-user community.
    XCP-ng includes some key features inherited from Xen Project as the ability to live migrate VMs without interruption, scalability and security but also brings a whole new ecosystem as a modern Web-ui (Xen Orchestra), compatibility with recognized solution on the market (eg. Netdata) and turnkey installer to ease the adoption.
    XCP-ng provides a central, validated distribution that delivers Xen. Why is this important? It’s a streamlined way for users to gain access and creates a default go-to solution for the community. The inclusion of XCP-ng with its large and active user community into the Xen project creates a bridge between users and developers. The healthy flow of knowledge sharing ensures input from end-users gets incorporated into new releases.

  • Intel Now Part Of CHIPS Alliance

    Intel has joined CHIPS Alliance, the consortium advancing common and open hardware for interfaces, processors and systems. To foster broad adoption, Intel said it is contributing the Advanced Interface Bus (AIB) to CHIPS Alliance.

    CHIPS Alliance is hosted by the Linux Foundation to foster a collaborative environment to accelerate the creation and deployment of open SoCs, peripherals and software tools for use in mobile, computing, consumer electronics and IoT applications.

    Intel is joining CHIPS Alliance to share the Advanced Interface Bus (AIB) as an open-source, royalty-free PHY-level standard for connecting multiple semiconductor die within the same package. This effort should encourage an industry environment in which silicon IP can be developed using any semiconductor process as a “chiplet,” and easily integrated with other chiplets into a single device to deliver new levels of functionality and optimization, the consortium said.

  • New Collaboration Brings Increased Open Source Security Support and Assurances to Software Developers

    The Linux Foundation, the nonprofit organization enabling mass innovation through open source, and the Open Source Technology Improvement Fund (OSTIF) today announced a strategic partnership to advance security for open source software (OSS) that has become critical to the world’s infrastructure.

    The organizations will bring together and build on a depth of their experience supporting security audits for widely deployed open source communities. This formal and strategic agreement will allow the Linux Foundation to augment its work on security audits, of which it has already invested more than $1m across more than 20 security audits for open source projects to date, by including audit sourcing experts through OSTIF’s network. OSTIF will share the resources available through the Linux Foundation’s Community Bridge, a funding and support ecosystem for developers and projects, with its community to help fundraise for new audits.

    “The Linux Foundation’s ability to fundraise across industries to support thousands of developers around the world is unprecedented,” said Amir Montazery, vice president of development at OSTIF. “The Linux Foundation is a pioneer in open source software and one of the few organizations taking the actions required to truly support it for generations to come. We are excited to join forces and increase our collective impact on improving critical software.”

    As part of the strategic partnership, The Linux Foundation will appoint Mike Dolan, vice president of strategic programs, to the OSTIF Advisory Board.

  • How open, trusted edge can help improve data sharing and monetization

    Data is valuable only insofar as you can trust it. If you can’t be confident about its origin or contents, then the information isn’t worth much.That’s a big problem for businesses eyeing the 5G future and developing strategies for monetizing data generated at the edge. Project Alvarium, formed under the Linux Foundation, aims to help organizations disrupt today’s edge business model by quantifying the privacy, accuracy, and security of data flowing into their networks using trust fabrics.

    [...]

    “The concept of a trust fabric will increasingly become critical in order to make reliable and non-damaging business decisions due to the ever-increasing volume and velocity of edge data, as well as the increasing risk of tainted data going undetected,” said Michael Morton, chief technology officer at Boomi.

    Project Alvarium doesn’t reinvent the trust insertion technologies that make up a DCF. Rather, the project focuses on system-level trust, unifying existing and emerging technologies under a framework with open APIs to create refined confidence scoring algorithms.

Mozilla: Thunderbird’s New Home, React, TenFourFox, Chromecast Extension For Firefox, 'Mozilla’s Rebel Alliance'

Filed under
Moz/FF
  • Mozilla Thunderbird: Thunderbird’s New Home

    As of today, the Thunderbird project will be operating from a new wholly owned subsidiary of the Mozilla Foundation, MZLA Technologies Corporation. This move has been in the works for a while as Thunderbird has grown in donations, staff, and aspirations. This will not impact Thunderbird’s day-to-day activities or mission: Thunderbird will still remain free and open source, with the same release schedule and people driving the project.

    There was a time when Thunderbird’s future was uncertain, and it was unclear what was going to happen to the project after it was decided Mozilla Corporation would no longer support it. But in recent years donations from Thunderbird users have allowed the project to grow and flourish organically within the Mozilla Foundation. Now, to ensure future operational success, following months of planning, we are forging a new path forward. Moving to MZLA Technologies Corporation will not only allow the Thunderbird project more flexibility and agility, but will also allow us to explore offering our users products and services that were not possible under the Mozilla Foundation. The move will allow the project to collect revenue through partnerships and non-charitable donations, which in turn can be used to cover the costs of new products and services.

  • react-content-marker Released – Marking Content with React

    Last year, in a React side-project, I had to replace some content in a string with HTML markup. That is not a trivial thing to do with React, as you can't just put HTML as string in your content, unless you want to use dangerouslySetInnerHtml — which I don't. So, I hacked a little code to smartly split my string into an array of sub-strings and DOM elements.

    More recently, while working on Translate.Next — the rewrite of Pontoon's translate page to React — I stumbled upon the same problem. After looking around the Web for a tool that would solve it, and coming up short handed, I decided to write my own and make it a library.

    [...]

    The first thing to note is that you can pass any number of parsers to the createMarker function, and they will all be called in turn. The order of the parsers is very important though, because content that has already been marked will not be parsed again. Let's look at another example.

    Say you have a rule that matches content between brackets: /({.*})/, and a rule that matches content between brackets that contain only capital letters: /({[A-W]+})/. Now let's say you are marking this content: I have {CATCOUNT} cats. Whichever rule you passed first will match the content between brackets, and the second rule will not apply. You thus need to make sure that your rules are ordered so that the most important ones come first. Generally, that means you want to have the more specific rules first.

  • TenFourFox FPR19b1 available

    TenFourFox Feature Parity Release 19 beta 1 is now available (downloads, hashes, release notes). I was originally going to do more iteration on Reader mode in FPR19, but in a possible recurrence of the issue that broke SourceForge downloads temporarily, a user reported on Tenderapp they had a site that was failing in the same way.
    On the test system I was able to reproduce the problem and it was due to the selected cipher having insufficient cryptographic strength to pass HTTP/2 TLS profile validation. The selected cipher was one I added as a stopgap for FPR7 to fix another site which was still working (and did not use HTTP/2, hence it didn't exhibit the issue). Disabling that cipher restored the new failing site, but caused the site I put the workaround for in FPR7 to fail, so in no situation could I get both sites to be happy with the set available. Although I didn't really want to do this, the only real solution here was to upgrade NSS, the underlying cryptographic library, to add additional more modern ciphers to replace the older one that now needed to be reverted. With this in place and some other fixes, now both sites work, and this probably fixes others.

  • Chromecast Extension For Firefox fx_cast 0.0.5 Adds Support For YouTube, Subtitles For Local Media

    fx_cast, a tool that enables Chromecast support for Firefox web browser, has been updated to version 0.0.5 with some new features and bug fixes. This release includes support for finding and converting local SubRip (.srt) subtitle files for local media casting, an important fix that gets YouTube casting to work correctly, and more.

    fx_cast is made of two parts: a Firefox extension and a companion application that needs to run in the background on the same machine as the extension. This companion bridge application is needed to connect with the receiver devices in order to get around Google's proprietary protocol.

    It's important to note that fx_cast is in the pre-beta phase, and is considered "incomplete and likely buggy". It supports casting web apps like Netflix or BBC iPlayer, HTML5 video and screen/tab sharing.

  • Mapping the power of Mozilla’s Rebel Alliance

    At Mozilla, we often speak of our contributor communities with gratitude, pride and even awe. Our mission and products have been supported by a broad, ever-changing rebel alliance — full of individual volunteers and organizational contributors — since we shipped Firefox 1.0 in 2004. It is this alliance that comes up with new ideas, innovative approaches and alternatives to the ongoing trends towards centralisation and an internet that doesn’t always work in the interests of people.

    But we’ve been unable to speak in specifics. And that’s a problem, because the threats to the internet we love have never been greater. Without knowing the strength of the various groups fighting for a healthier internet, it’s hard to predict or achieve success.

    We know there are thousands around the globe who help build, localize, test, de-bug, deploy, and support our products and services. They help us advocate for better government regulation and ‘document the web’ through the Mozilla Developer Network. They speak about Mozilla’s mission and privacy-preserving products and technologies at conferences around the globe. They help us host events around the globe too, like this year’s 10th anniversary of MozFest, where participants hacked on how to create a multi-lingual, equitable internet and so much more.

    With the publication of the Mozilla and the Rebel Alliance report, we can now speak in specifics. And what we have to say is inspiring. As we rise to the challenges of today’s internet, from the injustices of the surveillance economy to widespread misinformation and the rise of untrustworthy AI, we take heart in how powerful we are as a collective.

Programming Leftovers

Filed under
Development
  • Squashing Django Migrations

    The Django migration system is great for modifying your database schema after a database is live. If you’re like me, you quickly end up with many 10s or 100s of migrations.

  • Episode 2 - Writing README files

    Modern day added formatting. Mostly Markdown, sometimes Restructured Text.

  • Three guys on math
  • Excellent Free Tutorials to Learn Scratch

    Scratch is a visual programming language developed by the Lifelong Kindergarten Group at the MIT Media Lab. Scratch teaches programming concepts to kids, offering a stepping stone to more complicated programming languages. Coding includes dragging and dropping various code blocks and linking them together like jigsaw pieces to form logical scripts. While the MIT Media Lab designed this language for 8-16 year-old children, it’s used by people of all ages.

    Scratch has received many plaudits as an ideal way to introduce kids to computer programming and computational thinking. It’s a fantastic beginner’s language. Scratch is often used to make games, interactive stories, and animations, but it can be used for any purpose. The language uses event-driven programming with multiple active objects. The language helps students to think creatively, reason logically, and work together. The language is frequently used in schools, libraries, community centers, and museums.

    Scratch is released under an open source license.

  • 'Trust no one' is good enough for the X Files but not for software devs: How do you use third-party libs and stay secure, experts mull on stage

    In a chilly conference room at the San Francisco's Hyatt Regency on Monday, legal and digital security pros convened at USENIX's Enigma conference to hold forth on security, privacy, and related matters.

    Following a discussion panel on encrypted messaging, the talk turned to mitigating the risks that come with using third-party code, external vendors, and crowdsourced advice.

    Those risks became more apparent in the security problems spotted in a series of software libraries over the past few years.

    In August last year, a Ruby software package called rest-client was found to be sending credentials to a remote server. In November, 2018, the NPM module event-stream was modified to steal cryptocurrency. There were similar incidents in July last year involving the NPM module electron-native-notify and in September, 2017, when the PyPI, the repository for Python software packages, was found to be hosting malicious software libraries.

  • Technical Debt is Soul-crushing

    The problem starts when companies forget to pay off the debt and let it accumulate and pile up. For good software developers, it is totally demoralizing to work on products that have high tech debt. This aspect isn’t often talked about but it’s effects are very real. Simple things like changing a title tag of a webpage page takes up a whole day because the logic was scattered in five different files. At the end of the day, it’s not a great feeling that it took so much time for a small task. It’s even more upsetting when they have to explain it to their managers, colleagues or the product team why it took so long. Troubleshooting a bug is not just difficult but also painful. Jeff Atwood called it a major disincentive to work on a project: [...]

  • Against unnecessary databases

    In this post, I want to start sharing some of the design principles I discovered for making these scripts robust, generic and flexible. This is part of a series on building your own 'data mirror', and there are also more posts to follow!

  • An update on bradfitz: Leaving Google

    After ~12.5 years at Google and ~10 years working on Go (#golang), it's time for me to do something new. Tomorrow is my last day at Google.

    Working at Google and on Go has been a highlight of my career. Go really made programming fun for me again, and I've had fun helping make it. I want to thank Rob Pike for letting me work on Go full time (instead of just as a distraction on painfully long gBus rides) as well as Russ Cox and Ian Lance Taylor and Robert Griesemer and others for all the patience while I learned my way around. I've loved hacking on various packages and systems with the team and members of the community, giving a bunch of talks, hanging out in Denver, Sydney, MTV, NYC, at FOSDEM and other meet-ups, etc. While I've learned a bunch while working on Go, more excitingly I discovered many things that I didn't know I didn't know, and it was a joy watching the whole team and community work their (to me) magic.

  • 'I am done with open source': Developer of Rust Actix web framework quits, appoints new maintainer

    The maintainer of the Actix web framework, written in Rust, has quit the project after complaining of a toxic web community - although over 100 Actix users have since signed a letter of support for him.

    Actix Web was developed by Nikolay Kim, who is also a senior software engineer at Microsoft, though the Actix project is not an official Microsoft project. Actix Web is based on Actix, a framework for Rust based on the Actor model, also developed by Kim.

    The web framework is important to the Rust community partly because it addresses a common use case (development web applications) and partly because of its outstanding performance. For some tests, Acitx tops the Techempower benchmarks.

    The project is open source and while it is popular, there has been some unhappiness among users about its use of "unsafe" code. In Rust, there is the concept of safe and unsafe. Safe code is protected from common bugs (and more importantly, security vulnerabilities) arising from issues like variables which point to uninitialized memory, or variables which are used after the memory allocated to them has been freed, or attempting to write data to a variable which exceeds the memory allocated. Code in Rust is safe by default, but the language also supports unsafe code, which can be useful for interoperability or to improve performance.

  • Chinese academic suspended for copying programming language

Python Programming Leftovers

Filed under
Development
  • Python Modules and Packages: An Introduction

    In this course, you’ll learn about Python modules and Python packages, two mechanisms that facilitate modular programming.

    Modular programming is the process of breaking a large, unwieldy programming task into separate, smaller, more manageable subtasks or modules. Individual modules can then be put together like building blocks to create a larger application.

    Learn how to write and import modules so you can optimize the structure of your own programs and make them easier to maintain and grow.

  • PyCoder’s Weekly: Issue #405 (Jan. 28, 2020)
  • Why Should You Use typing In Python?

    I am using typing at my work project and now trying to use it for my personal or freelance projects only if it is not a one-time script. No sense to invest time in the 15-minute thing. And why you should use it too.
    Lots of people like Python because it provides a fast way to build software. But on the other hand, after some time of the team development, it can be hard to understand the code for the team members. Especially, for the new ones.
    I do personally believe that it increases the readability of the code. Seems to me that it is even more about self-documenting the code, not about the type checking. However, yes, it helps to find some obvious bugs.
    My favorite example is a variable called data. Is it a list? Or maybe a dict? Or maybe something custom? Looks like that you need to invest some time in figuring this out. And probably repeat it one more time in a month or two.

  • Text Classification with BERT Tokenizer and TF 2.0 in Python

    This is the 23rd article in my series of articles on Python for NLP. In the previous article of this series, I explained how to perform neural machine translation using seq2seq architecture with Python's Keras library for deep learning.

    In this article we will study BERT, which stands for Bidirectional Encoder Representations from Transformers and its application to text classification. BERT is a text representation technique like Word Embeddings. If you have no idea of how word embeddings work, take a look at my article on word embeddings.

    Like word embeddings, BERT is also a text representation technique which is a fusion of variety of state-of-the-art deep learning algorithms, such as bidirectional encoder LSTM and Transformers. BERT was developed by researchers at Google in 2018 and has been proven to be state-of-the-art for a variety of natural language processing tasks such text classification, text summarization, text generation, etc. Just recently, Google announced that BERT is being used as a core part of their search algorithm to better understand queries.

    In this article we will not go into the mathematical details of how BERT is implemented, as there are plenty of resources already available online. Rather we will see how to perform text classification using the BERT Tokenizer. In this article you will see how the BERT Tokenizer can be used to create text classification model. In the next article I will explain how the BERT Tokenizer, along with BERT embedding layer, can be used to create even more efficient NLP models.

    Note: All the scripts in this article have been tested using Google Colab environment, with Python runtime set to GPU.

  • PyCharm 2020.1 EAP starts now

    There are two types of people in the world: those who can wait to open a package they’ve received, and people like me, who need to see what’s inside this very second.

    PyCharm isn’t delivered in the mail though, and that’s why we have something even better for impatient people. The early access program (EAP) shows you what’s in the package a couple months before you get it. Take a sneak peek, and get PyCharm’s first EAP now!

  • Webinar Recording: “Advanced Debugging in PyCharm”

    Last week we held a special webinar for “Advanced Debugging in PyCharm”. Special how? In person, in the St. Petersburg office, with the two PyCharm team members in charge of the debugger, and a huge webinar audience. The recording is now available.

Perl/Raku Programming Leftovers

Filed under
Development
  • LANraragi v.0.6.8 - Cool Cat

    LANraragi is a web application for archival and reading of manga/doujinshi. It's lightweight and Docker-ready for NAS/servers. There is even a standing offer from the author to send out a free sticker pack for the first person to run the linux/s390x docker image on a real IBM System 390.

  • Making YAML.pm, YAML::Syck and YAML::XS safer by default

    Several YAML modules allow loading and dumping objects. When loading untrusted data, this can be a security vulnerability, if this feature is enabled.

  • 2020.04 Almost Springtime

    Damian Conway is back from sabbatical: in the second week of March, they will be giving some very interesting courses in Switzerland: Presentation Skills courses, redesigned language-neutral versions of the “API Design”, “Better Coding Practices” courses and a free half-day seminar on Raku on 12 March!

Audiocasts/Shows/Screencasts: LINUX Unplugged, Linux Headlines, Python Bytes, Faces of Open Source and Solus 4.1 MATE Run Through

Filed under
GNU
Linux
  • Success Through Vulnerability | LINUX Unplugged 338

    How did we get from shareware to free software? We jump in the Linux powered time machine and revisit software past.

    Plus a new Plasma focused laptop, and two powerful command-line picks.

  • 2020-01-28 | Linux Headlines

    A partnership to keep open-source secure, Flathub gets social, Kali Linux has a new release and Ubuntu’s first in a series of switch guides.

  • 2020-01-27 | Linux Headlines

    Linux 5.5 arrives with support for the Raspberry Pi 4 among many other improvements, Solus and SQLite both see minor version bumps that pack a punch, and The Qt Company has a major update that is not sitting well with its community.

  • Python Bytes: #166 Misunderstanding software clocks and time

    We all know about bits. Quantum computers use a more sophisticated data representation known as a qubit or quantum bit. Each qubit can exist in state 1 or 0, but also in superpositions of 1 and 0, meaning that the qubit simultaneously occupies both states. Such states can be specified by a two-dimensional vector that contains a pair of complex numbers, making for an infinite number of states. Each of the complex numbers is a probability amplitude, basically the odds that the qubit is a 0 or a 1, respectively.

  • Brunch with Brent: Peter Adams Part 1 | Jupiter Extras 50

    Brent sits down with Peter Adams, professional photographer and former founder and CTO of several internet-technology startups in New York and Silicon Valley. We explore his photography project "Faces of Open Source", his history in the dot-com bubble era, how he came to love open source, and more.

  • Solus 4.1 MATE Run Through

    In this video, we are looking at Solus 4.1 MATE.

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