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Software

OSS, Free Software, Programming and Proprietary Traps

Filed under
Software
  • EnterpriseDB looks to grow market for PostgreSQL

    One of key vendors in the PostgreSQL community is EnterpriseDB, which provides a commercially supported distribution of Postgres. A primary competitor of EnterpriseDB Postgres has long been Oracle's namesake database, but simply replacing Oracle isn't the only use case for PostgreSQL, according to Ed Boyajian, president and CEO of EnterpriseDB.

  • Hot off the presses: A sneak peek at the LibrePlanet 2020 schedule

    LibrePlanet 2020 is organized by the FSF. Hundreds of people from across the globe will converge to explore this year's theme, "Free the Future." We'll be delving into the threats to user freedom that we've all been reading about every day in the media, as well as the unique role the free software movement plays in solving these problems.

    In addition to the first keynote we announced last month, Brewster Kahle, LibrePlanet 2020 will feature a panoply of presentations. Our lineup includes some talks we absolutely can't wait to see, and we think you'll feel the same way! You can now dive in to the speakers already confirmed and start planning your itinerary.

    [...]

    LibrePlanet 2020 offers lots of opportunities for socializing, too! The annual FSF open house will take place on the evening of Friday, March 13th, at the FSF office. And the LibrePlanet Saturday night party will feature a sparkling new location. As we have in the past, we'll organize a dinner specifically for women, genderqueer, nonbinary, and gender non-conforming attendees, please mail campaigns@fsf.org if you're interested in joining. If you are looking to organize your own dinner or meetup, you can do so using the LibrePlanet wiki 2020 conference social and dinner pages as a central place for communication about this.

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  • The History of Pong | Code the Classics

           

             

    One topic explored in Code the Classics from Raspberry Pi Press is the origin story and success of Pong, one of the most prominent games in early video game history.

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  • 2020.08 Altered Noise

           

             

    Jonathan Stowe announced a long overdue migration to the Raku era of their NoiseGang portal, a group for the promotion and support of audio and music application development. Definitely a place to check out if you’re into making music using your computer!

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  • Larry Tesler's Copy-Paste A Mixed Blessing For The Software World
  • Secure IoT Linux Platform FoundriesFactory Sees Adoption from Startups to Enterprise
  • Microsoft's Azure Sphere, its Linux-based microcontroller plus cloud service, hits general availability
  • Hey, remember Microsoft's IoT Linux gear? After two years, Azure Sphere is finally here
  • Microsoft Wants To Bring Defender For Linux Users

    In an announcement, Microsoft revealed that they wants to bring the Defender antivirus to Linux operating system. Right now, Microsoft Defender for Linux is in public preview.

Ethical Code Hosting Services in 2020

Filed under
Development
Software

I was really inspired by Free Software Foundation's list of ethical repositories in which I saw GitLab.com service there among other old longstanding services. The Foundation (often called FSF) is a serious organization with long consideration if they wish to update that list. However, in fact, there are many more services coming by time and now there are several interesting ones worth to try and enjoy. Although I myself am not a programmer, but code hosting is not unfamiliar to me, as a free software community member (just like you all, dear readers) I often get so many useful information and sometimes submit bug report to projects I love. You can, for example, take information here as reference to host a Git server software at your home as you see perhaps many serious projects also using it. As an author and mere free software user, I hope this list could be useful for everybody and particularly for programmers. Happy hacking!

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Excellent System Tools: nnn – portable terminal file manager

Filed under
GNU
Linux
Software

I’m devoting most of my spare time writing about the Raspberry Pi 4 (RPI4). My findings are captured in a weekly blog chronicling my experience of using the tiny machine as a desktop replacement. One of my forthcoming blog posts examines file managers on the RPI4 looking at both graphical and terminal-based file managers.

As I’ve spent a lot of time using nnn in the past few weeks, it makes sense I look at the latest release on a regular Intel machine, in advance of my RPI4 file manager blog.

LinuxLinks has previously reviewed imgp and googler. They are open source software coded by Arun Prakash Jana. He’s also the developer of nnn which has seen a new major release in the past fortnight. I’ve never reviewed any of Mr Jana’s software before.

How does the author describe his software? His man page says “nnn is the missing terminal file manager for X. (Nnn’s Not Noice) is a performance-optimized, feature-packed fork of noice with seamless desktop integration, simplified navigation, navigate-as-you-type mode with auto select, disk usage analyzer mode, bookmarks, contexts, application launcher, familiar navigation shortcuts, subshell spawning and much more. It remains a simple and efficient file manager that stays out of your way.”

In a single sentence, nnn can be probably best summarized as software seeking to bridge the gap between the terminal and the desktop environment.

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Notable – Markdown based Note-taking App for Linux

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Software

Notable is an open-source Markdown-based note-taking application that works in Linux, Mac OS, and Windows.

Notes are written and rendered in GitHub Flavored Markdown, no WYSIWYG, no account required, no proprietary formats, and the app isn’t bloated.

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Fast download managers for Linux, Alternative to IDM

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Software

Download managers are great. They make the downloading process a lot easier and faster. However, the most popular download manager is IDM which is only available to Window. That is why in this quick guide, You will learn about the fast download managers for Linux that are alternative to IDM and even better in some cases.

Having a fast download manager in your system is very essential as we tend to download files from the internet and the default downloader that we have got with the browsers. These download managers are not very efficient and do not provide any modern needed features.

Here I have compiled a list of best and fast download managers for Linux. Let’s get started with the first one.

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Software: QOwnNotes, Searchmonkey, Remote Touchpad and Google Maps Plugins for WordPress

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Software
  • Norbert Preining: QOwnNotes for Debian

    QOwnNotes is a cross-platform plain text and markdown note taking application. By itself, it wouldn’t be something to talk about, we have vim and emacs and everything in between. But QOwnNotes integrates nicely with the Notes application from NextCloud and OwnCloud, as well as providing useful integration with NextCloud like old version of notes, access to deleted files, watching changes, etc.

  • Searchmonkey – A powerful desktop search app for Linux

    In our day to day activities, we need to search for specific files in our Linux systems. These can be documents, texts, and even multimedia data including video and audio files. 

    Linux comes with a powerful command-line tool (Terminal), that enables users to search for data and text using various command-line arguments. One advantage of using the Terminal is it supports the use of regular expressions and scripting.

    Having said that, not everyone is well-versed with the many Linux commands; this brings forth the demand for having an interactive and reliable Graphical User Interface. One of such powerful tools is the Searchmonkey application.

  • Remote Touchpad: Control Mouse & Keyboard from Your Phone

    Remote Touchpad is an open-source utility allows to remote control the mouse and keyboard connected to your computer from the web browser of a smartphone or any other device with a touchscreen.

    Remote Touchpad supports Flatpak’s RemoteDesktop portal (experimental), Windows and X11.

    Simply run the utility on your machine. It outputs an URL along with QR code in a terminal window. To take control open the displayed URL or scan the QR code in your phone.

  • Top 10 Best Google Maps Plugin for WordPress (2020)

    A touch webpage is far more of use with an internet map. This guide shows the top 10 best Google maps plugin for WordPress. A traveling site will be that more pleasure for those who (and also you subscribers ) may view in a glance most of the locations you have already been. You will find a lot of motives to incorporate maps onto your own WordPress website, regardless of what your explanation is that you have to have a simple and effective means to perform nothing but that.

8 Essential Free Speech Tools

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Software

Speech synthesizers are text-to-speech systems used with computers. This type of software is programmed to include phonemes and the grammatical rules of a language, so that words are pronounced correctly. This article identifies the finest open source speech synthesizers that are available for the Linux platform. This category of software is particularly useful for increasing the accessibility of the internet, but there are many other applications for speech synthesizers.

Although this article focuses on open source software, we would take this opportunity to mention the IVONA Text to Speech System, software that is compatible with Linux. IVONA is an incredibly impressive text-to-speech system, generating exceptionally natural sounding voices. Unfortunately, the software is released under a proprietary license. While its open source competitors, eSpeak, Festival, and Praat Speech Analyser, sound somewhat robotic in comparison with the human-sounding IVONA, they do provide clear audio with text documents.

This article also highlights the best speech recognition software for Linux. Speech recognition is the translation of spoken words into text. This type of software helps users to operate their computer by speaking to it, and is a real blessing for anyone who finds it difficult to type, such as the elderly, or people with physical disabilities. Using speech recognition software, users can easily write emails, surf the net, manage their finances, chat to other users online, and perform many other computer activities.

To provide an insight into the quality of software that is available, we have compiled a list of 8 of the finest speech tools covering the spectrum of speech synthesizers, speech recognition software, speech recognition engines, and speech analysis. Here’s our recommended tools.

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GNOME and KDE: GNOME Shell and Mutter, Qt, Plasma Mobile and Okular for Debian

Filed under
KDE
Software
GNOME
  • GNOME Shell + Mutter See Changes For Tracking Software Rendering, VNC To Toggle Animations

    GNOME Shell and Mutter saw a set of patches land today for GNOME 3.36 that have been around for a few months and deal with the tracking of software rendering and VNC usage where GNOME Shell should in turn disable animations to ease the rendering workload.

    The GNOME Settings Daemon has until now been responsible for controlling the animation heuristics when they should be disabled while now Mutter has added support for tracking software rendering situations and in turn GNOME Shell is relying upon that for determining when to disable desktop animations.

  • How not to lose the alpha channel

    Working on color imagery for QiTissue recently, I realized we were accidentally losing the alpha channel in multiple places. For efficiency reasons, we keep colors in memory using the QRgb type, and convert that to/from QString for serialization purposes via QColor as needed. Here’s what I discovered about why that doesn’t work, and some ways I fixed it.

    Firstly, be aware there is no QRgba in the Qt API . There is only QRgb, for 8bit color channels. It can hold an alpha value too, despite the lack of a trailing a in the type name. Then there is QRgba64 which uses 16bit per color channel. For our purposes, 8bit per channel is sufficient. So where do we lose the alpha channel, when QRgb can store it in principle?

  • Fosdem and Plasma Mobile Sprint

    From January 31st to February 8th I went on a little tour, first at the two days of Fosdem in Brussels, then to Berlin for a KDE sprint about Plasma Mobile.

    It was the first time i went to Fodem: it’s an awesome experience, even tough big and messy: which is the awesome of it… and the bad of it at the same time

    Even tough there were 800 talks I didn’t attend that many, some about the Elixir language, some about retrocomputing, some about iot stuff. At Fosdem the best thing to do there.. is meeting a lot of interesting people, rather than attending talks, which are very interesting never the less, which you can find videos here.

  • Norbert Preining: Okular update for Debian

    The quest for a good tabbed pdf viewer lead me okular. While Gnome3 has gone they way of “keep it stupid keep it simple” to appeal to less versed users, KDE has gone the opposite direction and provides lots of bells and knobs to configure their application. Not surprisingly, I am tending more and more to KDE apps away from the redux stuff of Gnome apps.

Malicious Proprietary Software

Filed under
Microsoft
Software
  • Discord Is Not An Acceptable Choice For Free Software Projects

    Discord’s communication is not end to end (e2e) encrypted. It is encrypted only between the individual user and the servers operated by Discord Inc. Their spying extends to every single message sent and received by anyone, including direct messages betweeen users. The service can and does log every message sent, both in-channel and DMs. It is impossible to have a private conversation on Discord, as there will always be an unencrypted log of it stored by Discord. Discord can, at their option, provide those stored messages to any third party they wish, including cops or government snoops, for any reason, even without a legal order, without any obligation to tell you that they have done so.

  • [Attackers] Were Inside Citrix for Five Months

    Networking software giant Citrix Systems says malicious [attackers] were inside its networks for five months between 2018 and 2019, making off with personal and financial data on company employees, contractors, interns, job candidates and their dependents. The disclosure comes almost a year after Citrix acknowledged that digital intruders had broken in by probing its employee accounts for weak passwords.

  • [Vulnerable] firmware lurks inside Dell, HP and Lenovo computers amid supply chain security efforts

    “Firmware is meant to be invisible to the user, and so it’s not surprising that most people don’t pay attention to it,” said Eclypsium CEO Yuriy Bulgin. “However, these components make up the foundation upon which every device, operating system, and application depends.”

    Researchers used unsigned firmware to show how an attacker could compromise an operating system remotely in order to steal network data. The highlighted flaws could also enable “direct-memory access” attacks which exploit a computer’s core operating system.

  • Aera Launches Cognitive ‘Business Brain’ Operating System [Ed: This is NOT an 'operating system". Terms misused these days.]

    Infor labels one of its core brands Infor OS and quite unashamedly uses the term operating system to explain the function of its industry-specific Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) and Supply Chain Management (SCM) cloud software. Mountain View headquartered Aera Technology has used a similar naming convention within its branding and called its automation-centric cloud platform the Aera Cognitive Operating System.

  • Microsoft Defender ATP for Linux Now In Public Preview

    Microsoft Defender ATP for Linux is now available in a public preview that allows administrators and security professionals to test the product in six different Linux distributions.

  • Keen to check for 'abnormal' user behaviours? Microsoft talks insider risk, AWS imports and compliance at infosec shindig RSA [Ed: “Microsoft talks insider risk”; but Microsoft is the risk]

    As well as widening the preview of Microsoft Threat Protection, a system aimed at a more automated response to threats, the gang has also extended the cross-platform support for Microsoft Defender Advanced Threat Protection (ATP) to include a whole bunch of Linux distributions.

  • Microsoft plans to add Linux support for Chromium-based Edge

    Microsoft fought long and hard to maintain and push its own proprietary browser, even launching Edge, hoping to get away from the stigma against Internet Explorer. However, the dominating market share of Chromium-based browsers finally got to Microsoft, and the company announced it would rebuild Edge with the Chromium source code. Last month, we reported that Microsoft’s Chromium-based Edge was out of development and ready for public deployment.

Software: Rav1e, Cockpit, SSH Tools and Curl

Filed under
Software
  • Rav1e 0.3.1 Is 25~40% Faster At Low Speed Levels For Rust-Based AV1 Encoding

    It was not even two full weeks ago that Rav1e 0.3 was released with speed optimizations and other AV1 encoding enhancements while released on Tuesday was Rav1e 0.3.1 with a change to boost encode speeds at lower levels.

    The principal change with Rav1e 0.3.1 for this Rust-written AV1 video encoder is 25~40% better performance at lower speed levels (two through five). This big speed-up is by disabling fine directional prediction and intra-block transform splitting within inter-frames. The consequence of disabling these features for the double digit percentage speed improvements is approximately 1~2% lower video quality at these levels, which the developers deemed to be an acceptable trade for the faster encode times.

  • Cockpit Project: Cockpit 213

    Cockpit is the modern Linux admin interface. We release regularly. Here are the release notes from version 213.

  • Tools for SSH key management

    I use SSH constantly. Every day I find myself logged in to multiple servers and Pis (both in the same room as me and over the internet). I have many devices I need access to, and different requirements for gaining access, so in addition to using various SSH/SCP command options, I have to maintain a config file with all the connection details.

  • Daniel Stenberg: The command line options we deserve

    A short while ago curl‘s 230th command line option was added (it was --mail-rcpt-allowfails). Two hundred and thirty command line options!

    A look at curl history shows that on average we’ve added more than ten new command line options per year for very long time. As we don’t see any particular slowdown, I think we can expect the number of options to eventually hit and surpass 300.

    Is this manageable? Can we do something about it? Let’s take a look.

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