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Introducing Craig Topham, FSF copyright and licensing associate

Filed under
GNU
Legal

My name is Craig Topham, and I’m the latest to have the honor of being a copyright and licensing associate for the Free Software Foundation (FSF). I started work in November, and the delay in assembling my introductory blog post is a testament to how busy I have been. Although my post feels late, it gives me a chance to share my experience here at the FSF, along with sharing a little bit more about myself.

From 2005 to 2017, I worked as a PC/Network Technician for the City of Eugene, Oregon. The role had the inherent reward of allowing me to be a part of something much larger than myself. I was helping local government function. From the mayor and city council all the way to the summer staff that worked the front desk at the recreation department's swimming pools, I was one of many making it all work. It was even a part of my job to support some free software the city used! Sadly, a vast majority of the software that we used was proprietary, but despite the painful duty of supporting nonfree software, the overall experience felt pretty great. As I close that chapter of my life with all the wonderful memories and marks made, I am beset with a wild sense of relief. Like finding a rock in my shoe after twelve years, the alleviation is palatable: I never have to labor to master proprietary software again!

For unknown reasons (which I contemplate often), I did not learn about the free software movement until 2004, despite a lifetime of using computers. Like so many before me, my initial education on the movement came via Free Software, Free Society: Selected Essays of Richard M. Stallman. What so instantaneously drew me to free software was the simplicity of the four freedoms: run, edit, share, contribute. These freedoms, coupled with the ethical nature of the movement, made it a natural fit for me. It did not take me long to realize that this is what I needed to soothe my “How can I make the world a better place?” angst. Inevitably, I became an FSF associate member on October 28, 2007 because it was (and still is) the easiest way to help out. If you are reading this and you are not a member, I encourage you to change that and help make the world a better place.

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Oracle introduces patch series to add eBPF support for GCC

Filed under
Development
GNU

Yesterday, the team at Oracle introduced a patch series that brings a port of GCC to eBPF (extended Berkeley Packet Filter), a virtual machine that is placed in the Linux kernel. With the support for binutils (binary tools), this port can be used for developing compiled eBPF applications.

eBPF was initially used for capturing user-level packet and filtering, it is now used to serve as a general-purpose infrastructure for non-networking purposes as well.

Since May, Oracle has been planning on introducing an eBPF back-end to GCC 10 to make the GNU compiler target the general-purpose in-kernel virtual machine. Oracle’s inclination on bringing in the eBPF support for GCC is part of the company’s efforts towards improving DTrace on Linux.

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Screencasts and Shows: Debian 10.1 KDE Run Through, LINUX Unplugged and mintCast

Filed under
GNU
Linux
  • Debian 10.1 KDE Run Through

    In this video, we are looking at Debian 10.1. Enjoy!

  • Manjaro Levels Up | LINUX Unplugged 318

    It’s offical, Manjaro is a legitmate buisness; so what happens next? We chat with Phil from the project about their huge news.

    Plus we share some big news of our own, and the strange feels we get from Chrome OS.

    Special Guests: Brent Gervais, Ell Marquez, and Philip Muller.

  • mintCast 317 – Yak Shaving

    This week, in our Wanderings, Toyam (Void Linux maintainer) shaves a yak and gets to soldering, I blew up and recovered my Mint install, Tony’s been editing audio and LUGing, Josh has been playing with Windows Subsystem for Linux , and Joe finally gets the Note 10

    Then, in our news we cover the Linux Mint Monthly News, exFAT in the kernel, iPhone and Android exploits and the new Pinebook Pro

    In security, we talk Firefox and why you should give it another try

RK3399 hacker board upgrade adds 4GB LPDDR4 RAM

Filed under
GNU
Linux
Hardware

FriendlyElec has released an upgraded version of its Rockchip RK3399 based SBC, the NanoPi-M4. Called NanoPi M4V2, the new $70 board is mostly identical to its predecessor, but offers 4GB of LPDDR4 RAM, along with two user buttons for power and recovery.

A little over a year ago, FriendlyElec rolled out its third RK3399 based SBC of 2018, the NanoPi-M4. The board seemed to hit on a sweet spot tradeoff in terms of an affordable SBC with a decent amount of RAM. Now the company has launched an upgraded version, the NanoPi-M4 that has 4GB or RAM while moving to the more advanced LPDDR4, in contrast to the NanoPi M4’s LPDDR3. While the NanoPi-M4 costs $75 in its 4GB version ($50 for 2GB), the new NanoPi-M4V2 with 4GB costs only $70. The new board adds two new users buttons—for power and recovery—that were not on the original NanoPi-M4. Other differences on the new NanoPi M4V2 include 2×2 MIMO support and an inconsequential heavier weight of 50.62 grams (versus 47.70g).

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Also: $70 NanoPi M4V2 SBC Gets 4GB LPDDR4 RAM, Power & Recovery Buttons

Archman Xfce 2019-09 is Released with Some Improvements and a Number of Bug Fixes

Filed under
GNU
Linux

Talliana has announced the new release of Archman XFS 2019-09 on September 05, 2019 and named it “Lake with Fish”.

In this release you will see a 70% centered panel at the bottom of the screen. With this panel’s smart hiding feature, the entire screen will be in your use.

Also, window tasks are grouped as icon in the panel.

To make the distro more elegant, they used the Surf Arch icon by default instead of the Papyrus icon set.

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Raspberry Pi 4 Review and Benchmarks

Filed under
GNU
Linux
Hardware

A System-on-Chip (SoC) is a Central Processing Unit (CPU) with other components built into the same chip. In the RPi4 the Graphical Processor Unit (GPU) is built-in to the CPU. Nearly every component on the board can be integrated into the CPU.

The Advanced RISC Machine (ARM) is made by the Arm Holdings which only develops designs. The ARM Holdings does not produce the chips but produces the designs of the processor and separate Intellectual Property (IP) Blocks.

An IP Block will consist of one component. For example, an IP Block can contain the design for a USB Hub Controller. Another example would be an IP Block for Bluetooth.

[...]

The RPi4 is a better improvement over the RPi3 in all of the hardware upgrades made to it.

There seem to be complaints about heating issues but this will occur on any type of higher end processor. If you run an RPi4 then you may want to invest in a fan to keep it cool.

The uses of the RPi4 are numerous for many projects which could benefit from a small system board. The Internet has many projects listed with designs for building anything you may want. These designs can range from arcade game consoles to sensors within your house. There are also designs for robots as well.

Once there are 64-bit Operating Systems available for the RPi4 then things will be more interesting. It is possible to get a 64-bit OS to work, but it requires a bit of hoops to jump through to make it work.

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CompuLab's Airtop 3 Is The Most Powerful Fan-Less Computer We've Tested Yet

Filed under
GNU
Linux
Hardware

The past month and a half we have been putting CompuLab's Airtop 3 computer through some demanding benchmarks and a variety of endurance workloads. With the Airtop 3 under test loaded with an 8-core / 16-thread Xeon processor, NVIDIA Quadro RTX 4000 graphics, and 64GB of RAM with NVMe SSD storage there were some concerns over thermal throttling and if this fan-less industrial PC design could really deal with the generated heat. But after all of this testing, the Airtop 3 continues running strong and another shining example of CompuLab's engineering strength.

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GnuCash 3.7 Released

Filed under
GNU
Software
  • GnuCash 3.7 released

    The GnuCash development team announces GnuCash 3.7, the eighth release of the 3.x stable release series.

  • GnuCash 3.7

    GnuCash is a personal and small business finance application, freely licensed under the GNU GPL and available for GNU/Linux, BSD, Solaris, Mac OS X and Microsoft Windows. It’s designed to be easy to use, yet powerful and flexible. GnuCash allows you to track your income and expenses, reconcile bank accounts, monitor stock portfolios and manage your small business finances. It is based on professional accounting principles to ensure balanced books and accurate reports.

    GnuCash can keep track of your personal finances in as much detail as you prefer. If you are just starting out, use GnuCash to keep track of your checkbook. You may then decide to track cash as well as credit card purchases to better determine where your money is being spent. When you start investing, you can use GnuCash to help monitor your portfolio. Buying a vehicle or a home? GnuCash will help you plan the investment and track loan payments. If your financial records span the globe, GnuCash provides all the multiple-currency support you need.

LXLE 18.04.3 Released

Filed under
GNU
Linux

After many weeks of tweaks, adjustments and issues addressed the final version of LXLE 18.04.3 is being released for public criticism. LOL.... come on that's kinda funny.

This release concentrated on slimming down the distribution; Providing computing essentials with a focus on low system resource usage while maintaining ease of use.

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Ubuntu vs Linux Mint Distro Comparison

Filed under
GNU
Linux
Debian
Ubuntu

With the constantly changing system and desktop requirements, our needs for a suitable operating system change too. For people belonging to the programming and software development field, an operating system or a distro matching their work capacity matters a lot. If you are a Linux user and looking for a new Linux distribution for your system, then the two best options you could consider – are Ubuntu, and Linux Mint. Keeping in mind both of the above distros have a number of editions to download from, so we will compare the latest ones for your ease.

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