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GNU

Free software and the wish to be good

Filed under
GNU
OSS

The free software movement has recently been going through a lot. From the introduction of Commons Clause, to the resignation of Stallman. It seems like the mood in the air is that now is the time for a redefinition of what free and open source software actually is.

My view on this is that free software, and open source, is about software. For instance, I agree to Roman Gilg’s great post about activism. What we share within the FOSS movement is our passion for software licensing. For other political issues, we do not all agree. It is important to recognize this, and that by implying political standpoints, we limit the size of the communities.

To me, we in the FOSS movement need to define tackle two issues: what is distribution (to address the Common Clause issues), and can we be neutral to what the software is used for (to address the activism issues).

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MusicBrainz Picard Is A Cross-Platform Audio Tagger

Filed under
GNU
Linux

MusicBrainz Picard is an open-source and free tag editor for audio files. It is written in Python programming language licensed under GNU General Public License version 2+. It supports multiple popular formats such as mp3, FLAC, OGG, M4A, WMA and more. Picard uses AcoustID audio fingerprints, allowing files to be identified by the actual music, even if they have no metadata.
Picard can lookup entire music CDs with a click. Picard also supports plugins if you need a particular feature, you can choose from a selection of available plugins or write your own to extend functionality. Picard is not built to be a mass single-track tag fixer. Picard believes in quality over quantity and provides a plethora of customization to tweak music collections to your needs.

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SimpleScreenRecorder is a user friendly video capturing app for Linux

Filed under
GNU
Linux
Software

Video recording tools can be complex for many users. Besides requiring users to configure plenty of options, they often make use of technical terms such as bitrate, fps, codecs, sample rate and formats.

There are some solutions for users who are just getting started and those who want a simple app that makes configuration and recording a breeze, and one of them is called SimpleScreenRecorder.

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Audiocasts/Shows: Distro Review and More

Filed under
GNU
Linux

5 tips for GNU Debugger

Filed under
GNU

The GNU Debugger (gdb) is an invaluable tool for inspecting running processes and fixing problems while you're developing programs.

You can set breakpoints at specific locations (by function name, line number, and so on), enable and disable those breakpoints, display and alter variable values, and do all the standard things you would expect any debugger to do. But it has many other features you might not have experimented with. Here are five for you to try.

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False Accusations Against Linux Security Continue

Filed under
GNU
Linux
Security

For the past two years, ever since the release of dozens of NSA created Windows hacking tools in 2017, there have been an ever increasing wave of ransomware attacks against Windows computers. During this time, I have written several articles explaining in detail how hackers use hidden back doors in the Windows operating system to take over and lock up Windows computers. I ended each of these articles by urging folks to protect their data by replacing the poorly designed Windows operating system with the free and much more secure Linux operating system as this is really the only way to protect your computer, your data and your business from a ransomware attack.

It is surprising that despite these ever increasing Windows Ransomware attacks, the value of Microsoft stock has continued to increase to the point where Microsoft is now a trillion dollar corporation. I understand that Microsoft spends billions of dollars on marketing and promoting itself. But one would think that eventually the truth would come out that Windows is not a secure operating system. However, instead of exposing the truth about Windows Security Flaws, the corporate media is engaged in a relentless campaign of making a series of false accusations against Linux claiming that Linux also suffers from security problems.

[...]

Trend Micro is a Microsoft “Gold Partner.” None of the so-called news articles that repeated the Skidmap hoax note either of these facts. But I think it is relevant when it comes to assessing their credibility.

Now for the actual allegations. The headline for all of these articles is some version of the following: “Skidmap Linux Malware Uses Rootkit Capabilities to Hide Cryptocurrency Mining”

This sounds very high tech. The reader is likely to know that Cryptocurrency Mining is Bit Coin Mining. You likely have heard that hackers can and do take over Windows computers all the time and use them for Bitcoin mining. So if hackers can do this to Windows computers, it seems at least plausible that hackers could also take over Linux computers and use them for bitcoin mining. This only sounds plausible because most readers have no idea that there are huge differences between the security of Linux computers versus the lack of security of Windows computers.

[...]

By default, there aren’t any crontab jobs on any Linux computer. In fact, you would need to authorize the addition of any tasks by entering your root user password.

This is an example of the difference between Windows and Linux. Windows puts Microsoft in control of your updates through automatic updates remotely controlled by Microsoft (and whatever hackers also know about this backdoor and use it to remotely control your computer - while Linux puts you in control of your updates and all other changes on your computer. Hopefully, you can see now why the Trend Micro claim is complete and utter nonsense.

[...]

These are not Russian hackers. They do have a Command and Control Center. But it is not located in Moscow. Instead, it is located in Virginia and is run by NSA hackers that are pretending to be Russian hackers.

That’s right. This entire scam is being funded by literally billions of your hard earned tax payer dollars. This is how you can get a company with thousands of servers in 20 locations around the world without any need to make any kind of profit.

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Finally We See XFCE 4.14 and GNU/Linux Distros with It

Filed under
GNU
Linux

Now after Plasma 5.16 in June and a month before GNOME 3.34 in September, actually, in silent, the latest XFCE 4.14 released at 12 August 2019 after four years of development. Congratulations to XFCE Developers and especially Simon Steinbeiss and here's my short overview of latest XFCE I was waiting since 2015. I'm also looking for right time to write my own review next time. Here we go!

[...]

I'm writing this when I'm very busy with teaching in my online class and distributing USB pendrives. I'm very happy with them. And because we now have latest Plasma, latest GNOME, and latest XFCE, I surely am happy too and I hope I have more time to review XFCE 4.14 soon. It's a great experience for me to manually search between distros (especially openSUSE) and make use of Repology.org to find latest XFCE on them. I hope this simple post helps out a lot for everybody.

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The seriously powerful, six-core Dell XPS 13 goes on sale starting on October 1

Filed under
GNU
Linux
Hardware
Ubuntu

Dell also announced that the new Developer Edition of the XPS 13, which will come with Ubuntu 18.04 installed and have the option for the six-core Core i7.

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Top tips for using the Kali Linux pen testing distribution

Filed under
GNU
Linux
Security

Jim O'Gorman: Number one, regardless of what you're doing, you're going to want to have access to Unix and Linux-based tools. Otherwise, it's like trying to do an assessment with one arm tied behind your back and your eyes closed -- it's going to be extremely difficult.

If you take it as a given that you need access to these Unix, open source-based tools as part of your assessment, then the question is: What platform are you going to use? Kali is the de facto standard platform for assessment services, especially when you're running Linux.

With the heritage that we have, there's been kind of an evolution of what was originally in a lot of these pen testing platforms, when we were focused on just a collection of tools. That was the whole point: Here, you have your tools and away you go. We've evolved long past that now. That's a given: The tools are there, they're updated and they're there. That's kind of like the price of entry.

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Also: Top 20 Best Bug Bounty Programs on Internet in 2019

Lenovo admits ThinkPad CPU throttling problem when running Linux, fix in development

Filed under
GNU
Linux
Hardware

CPU performance is tricky to test these days, as CPUs of the same type can deliver vastly different performance numbers depending on the cooling and other outside conditions.

With recent ThinkPad laptops from Lenovo, it turns out that one of these outside conditions is the place where the laptop is used: The systems use the Intel "Dynamic Platform and Thermal Framework" (DPTF) to regulate the CPU performance based on if the system is used on a desk or on the users lap. On the desk, the CPU can reach much higher clock-rates, which leads to higher outside temperatures. On the lap, the CPU is limited to its basic TDP, enabling lower temperatures.

This sounds like a useful feature. The problem is that it only works correctly when Windows is installed, as DPTF requires several drivers to work. With an alternative operating system like any Linux based OS, it won't function correctly. The system is unable to recognize in which mode it should run and the CPU is locked down to the lower "Lap mode" performance.

That is why many ThinkPad & Linux users have been complaining about a lower than expected CPU performance in Lenovo's own support forum. After more than a year of complaints, Lenovo has finally admitted to this issue and thankfully also presented the prospect of a solution: The Chinese manufacturer will develop a firmware update for recent ThinkPad laptops that will basically emulate the Intel DPTF function on systems like Linux.

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