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Software

MPV 0.32 Released

Filed under
Software
Movies

  • MPV 0.32 Released with RAR5 Support & Initial Bash Completion

    MPV media player released version 0.32.0 today with some new features and various bug-fixes.

    MPV 0.32.0 features RAR5 support and initial implementation of bash completion.

  • MPV Player 0.32 Released With RAR5 Support, Bash Completion

    MPV 0.32 is out today as the newest update to this open-source video player based on MPlayer.

    MPV 0.32 adds support for RAR5 compressed content within its libarchive stream implementation. This latest version of RAR supports multi-threaded compression, other compression and decompression speed improvements, and other design improvements.

A big AppStream status update

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Software

What actually was AppStream again? The AppStream Freedesktop Specification describes two XML metadata formats to describe software components: One for software developers to describe their software, and one for distributors and software repositories to describe (possibly curated) collections of software. The format written by upstream projects is called Metainfo and encompasses any data installed in /usr/share/metainfo/, while the distribution format is just called Collection Metadata. A reference implementation of the format and related features written in C/GLib exists as well as Qt bindings for it, so the data can be easily accessed by projects which need it.

The software metadata contains a unique ID for the respective software so it can be identified across software repositories. For example the VLC Mediaplayer is known with the ID org.videolan.vlc in every software repository, no matter whether it’s the package archives of Debian, Fedora, Ubuntu or a Flatpak repository. The metadata also contains translatable names, summaries, descriptions, release information etc. as well as a type for the software. In general, any information about a software component that is in some form relevant to displaying it in software centers is or can be present in AppStream. The newest revisions of the specification also provide a lot of technical data for systems to make the right choices on behalf of the user, e.g. Fwupd uses AppStream data to describe compatible devices for a certain firmware, or the mediatype information in AppStream metadata can be used to install applications for an unknown filetype easier. Information AppStream does not contain is data the software bundling systems are responsible for. So mechanistic data how to build a software component or how exactly to install it is out of scope.

So, now let’s finally get to the new AppStream features since last time I talked about it – which was almost two years ago, so quite a lot of stuff has accumulated!

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The 20 Best Linux Debuggers for Modern Software Engineers

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Development
Software

Debuggers are a group of software used to analyze computer programs. They are very important from a software engineering point of view since they allow us to find problems in our code. There are several kinds of Linux debuggers, including memory debuggers, source debuggers, profilers, and so on. Common usage of these tools includes finding bugs, optimizing codebases, controlling runtime parameters, etc. Today, our editors have compiled a helpful resource outlining 20 of the best debuggers for Linux-based developers and software engineers. Take a look at them below to find out the perfect toolkit for your programming arsenal.

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Joplin: The True Open Source Evernote Alternative

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Software

If you like Evernote, you won’t be too uncomfortable with the open source software, Joplin.

Joplin is an excellent open source note taking application with plenty of features. You can take notes, make to-do list and sync your notes across devices by linking it with cloud services like Dropbox and NextCloud. The synchronization is protected with end to end encryption.

Joplin also has a web clipper that allows you to save webpages as notes. The web clipper is available for Firefox and Chrome/Chromium browsers.

Joplin makes the switch from Evernote easier by allowing importing Evernote files in Enex format.

Since you own the data, you can export all your files either in Joplin format or in the raw format.

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Deepin Music – a beautiful and simple music player

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Software
Reviews
HowTos

I’ve reviewed a smorgasbord of open source music players. But there’s still quite a few I’ve yet to put through their paces. For this review, I’m looking at Deepin Music. The software bills itself as a “beautiful and simple music player that plays local audio. It supports viewing lyrics during playback, playing lossless audio, and playlist customization”.

While the music player is designed for the Deepin Desktop Environment, it’s not tied to that environment. If you’re curious about Deepin Desktop Environment, it was featured in the survey of Best Linux Desktop Environments: Strong and Stable.

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List Of Top 7 Best Linux Firewall Software In 2020

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Linux
Software

Despite of being secure operating system, Linux still needs some mechanism to strength it’s security system. One of the mechanism is firewall which protects Linux system from unauthorized network traffic or access.

Basically, A firewall is a security system which monitors and controls incoming and outgoing network traffic. Firewall can be considered as a set of rules which monitors the data packets movement. It’s a wall between trusted network and untrusted network.

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KeePassXC 2.5.3 and Some Tips

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Software
OSS
Security
  • KeePassXC 2.5.3

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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LibO
Software
  • MuseScore 3.4 Release

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

  • Music Notation Software MuseScore 3.4 Released!

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

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

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

  • announcing arduino-copilot

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

    [...]

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

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

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

  • LibreOffice 6.4 RC3 is available

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

VirtualBox 6 review - Not bad, not bad at all

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Software
Reviews

When it comes to virtualization - mostly semi-pro or casual usage you'd find in a typical nerd setting, VirtualBox offers an excellent bundle of goodies; a friendly UI, lots of features, reasonable performance, simple and advanced options to suit every skill and mood. I've written about VirtualBox many times in the past, reviewing a whole range of topics, from the Guest Additions configuration to sharing & port-forwarding and then some. Several dozen articles to be more precise. Including major release reviews among them, of course.

Recently, VirtualBox 6.X has been released, so I thought this would be a good opportunity to take a look at what's new, check some of the improvements and fixes, and see whether you should move off the 5.X branch onto the latest edition. Come along, let's see what gives.

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Proprietary Software and DRM

Filed under
Hardware
Software
  • AWS outage cripples ACT Emergency Services Agency website as Canberra bushfire rages

    The outage hit as Canberra Airport was shut to commercial traffic because of the fire, with residents around Oaks Estate warned to get out of the road of the oncoming blaze after two fires merged and engulfed a rubbish tip.

    It is still unclear why the ESA website was hit by a single point of failure, however the blaze, known as the Beard fire, is burning close to the industrial suburb of Fyshwick which houses several data centres.

    The blaze near the airport is also within stone's throw of the the Australian Signals Directorate's Australian Cyber Security Centre offices at the Brindabella Park office complex that houses a clutch of other technology, consulting and miltech tenants.

  • The Pentagon CIO office's plan for better software

    In his speech, Ranks detailed several efforts underway at the DoD to increase update speed. To start, Ranks said, the DoD CIO's office is changing policy to allow for more iterative processes in acquisition, a departure from the current process where requirements are laid out years before technology is delivered. To complete that goal, Ranks said the DoD needs the enterprise capability to provide the tools necessary to create a more iterative process.

  • Google and Microsoft have gone too far

    Google and Microsoft are using dark pattern design to trick or force users to do things they never intended. Is it time to switch to more ethical search engines? (We list 10 alternatives.)

  • Sonos CEO Issues Half-Baked Apology, Continues Bricking Old Speakers

    Sonos CEO Patrick Spence has publicly apologized for confusion around Sonos’ smart speaker plans.

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More in Tux Machines

Leftovers: IBM, MicroK8s and Devices

  • Broadridge Signs With IBM For Greater Cloud Capabilities

    Red Hat, which IBM acquired in 2018 is the most pervasive container solution on the planet today, said Schlesinger. “It allows us to containerize our apps and then allows us to run them on any cloud unchanged, whether our private cloud, Azure, AWS or IBM.”

  • IBM Power-based cloud instances available… from Google

    IBM and Google may be competitors in the cloud platform business, but that doesn't prevent them from working together. Google is partnering with IBM to offer "Power Systems as a service" on its Google Cloud platform. IBM’s Power processor line is the last man standing in the RISC/Unix war, surviving Sun Microsystems’ SPARC and HP’s PA-RISC. Along with mainframes it’s the last server hardware business IBM has, having divested its x86 server line in 2014. IBM already sells cloud instances of Power to its IBM Cloud customers, so this is just an expansion of existing offerings to a competitor with a considerable data center footprint. Google said that customers can run Power-based workloads on GCP on all of its operating systems save mainframes — AIX, IBM i, and Linux on IBM Power.

  • An intro to MicroK8s

    MicroK8s is the smallest, fastest multi-node Kubernetes. Single-package fully conformant lightweight Kubernetes that works on 42 flavours of Linux as well as Mac and Windows using Multipass. Perfect for: Developer workstations, IoT, Edge, CI/CD. Anyone who’s tried to work with Kubernetes knows the pain of having to deal with getting setup and running with the deployment. There are minimalist solutions in the market that reduce time-to-deployment and complexity but the light weight solutions come at the expense of critical extensibility and missing add-ons.

  • QNAP Launches Two Bay TS-251D NAS: Gemini Lake, HDMI, PCIe Expandability

    QNAP has announced its new budget-friendly two-bay NAS aimed at home users and supporting hardware-accelerated media playback. The TS-251D can store up to 32 TB of data using today’s hard drives and can be further expanded with a PCIe card to add SSD caching or other options. The QNAP TS-251D NAS is based on Intel’s dual-core Celeron J4005 processor with UHD 600 Graphics core and hardware decoding for multiple modern video codecs. The SoC is accompanied by 2 GB or 4 GB of DDR4 memory that can be expanded by the end user. The NAS has two bays that can support 2.5-inch or 3.5-inch HDDs or SSDs with a SATA 6 Gbps interface, though RAID modes are not supported. The unit has one GbE port, one HDMI 2.0 output, two USB 3.0 ports, three USB 2.0 connectors, and an IR sensor for an optional remote.

  • Coffee Lake module boasts extended temp operation

    Axiomtek’s Linux-friendly “CEM520” is a COM Express Basic Type 6 module with an Intel 8th Gen “Coffee Lake” Core or Xeon CPU, 4x SATA, PCIe x16, 8x PCIe x1, and support for -20 to 70°C and triple independent displays. Axiomtek has released the Intel 8th Gen based CEM520, which follows its earlier 6th Gen Skylake Core and Xeon E3 based CEM500 COM Express Basic Type 6 module. Other Coffee Lake driven Basic Type 6 modules include Avalue’s recent ESM-CFH.

Android Leftovers

Programming and Security Patches

  • A little hidden gem: QStringIterator

    The code above is broken.

    It falls into the same trap of endless other similar code: it doesn’t take into account that QString does not contain characters/code points, but rather UTF-16 code units.

    All operations on a QString (getting the length, splitting, iterating, etc.) always work in terms of UTF-16 code units, not code points. The reality is: QString is Unicode-aware only in some of its algorithms; certainly not in its storage.

    For instance, if a string contains simply the character “A” — that is, MATHEMATICAL BOLD CAPITAL A (U+1D400) — then its QString storage would actually contain 2 “characters” reported by size() (again, really, not characters in the sense of code points but two UTF-16 code units): 0xD835 and 0xDC00.

    The naïve iteration done above would then check whether those two code units are uppercase, and guess what, they’re not; and therefore conclude that the string is not uppercase, while instead it is. (Those two code units are “special” and used to encode a character outside the BMP; they’re called a surrogate pair. When taken alone, they’re invalid.)

  • How to get started with test-driven development

    I am often approached by software developers who are on board with the switch to test-driven development (TDD). They understand that describing expectations first and then writing code to meet those expectations is the best way to write software. And they agree that writing tests first does not introduce any overhead since they must write tests anyway. Still, they find themselves stuck, not being clear on what to test, when to test it, and how to test it. This article will answer those questions.

    [...]

    One way to the test custom-made car battery would be to hire a testing crew, ship the car with the battery to Portland, and then get the testing crew to drive the car from Portland to Seattle. If the car arrives in Seattle, you can confirm that, yes, the car battery functions as expected.

    Another way to test the custom-made car battery would be to install it in the car and see if the engine turns over. If the engine starts, you can confirm that, yes, the car battery functions as expected.

    Still another way would be to use a voltmeter and connect the positive (+) and the negative (-) terminals to see if the voltmeter registers voltage output in the range of 12.6 to 14.7 volts. If it does, you can confirm that, yes, the car battery functions as expected.

  • Perl Weekly Challenge 44: Only 100, Please, and Make it $200

    These are some answers to the Week 44 of the Perl Weekly Challenge organized by Mohammad S. Anwar.

    [...]

    For solving this task, we first use a recursive combine subroutine that generates all possible strings by inserting between the digits of the “123456789” string the + plus addition, the - subtraction operator, or the '' empty string (i.e. no operator). We then use the evaluate subroutine with each string to perform the various arithmetic operations and compute whether the total is 100.

    [...]

    You have only $1 left at the start of the week. You have been given an opportunity to make it $200. The rule is simple with every move you can either double what you have or add another $1. Write a script to help you get $200 with the smallest number of moves.

    Obviously, doubling your asset is a faster way to go high values than just adding 1. But, if you only double your asset, you get powers of 2, leading you to 128, and then you have to go all the way from 128 to 200, which is most probably not the fastest way to get to 200. In fact, if you first go to three (for example by adding 1 twice), then multiplying by 2 six times, you get to 192, which is much closer to 200. That’s 16 moves, which seems not bad at all. But there may be a yet faster way, let’s see.

  • Wine Debugger Improvements Are On The Way, Start Of LLVM LLDB Support

    With Wine 5.0 having released and the Git tree back open for feature work, we're quite looking forward to see what new material will land following this feature freeze that was in effect the past two months.

    One of the new patch series out by CodeWeavers' Rémi Bernon is improving Winedbg, the Wine debugger. Winedbg is used for debugging Windows applications and among its many debug capabilities is a proxy mode for interacting with the GNU Debugger (GDB). It's that GDB integration that is being improved upon while also starting to support LLVM's Debugger (LLDB).

  • Security updates for Monday

    Security updates have been issued by Debian (jsoup and slirp), Fedora (community-mysql, elog, fontforge, libuv, libvpx, mingw-podofo, nodejs, opensc, podofo, thunderbird-enigmail, transfig, and xfig), openSUSE (arc, libssh, and libvpx), Red Hat (git, java-1.8.0-openjdk, java-11-openjdk, python-reportlab, and sqlite), Slackware (thunderbird), and SUSE (java-1_8_0-openjdk, python, and samba). 

Programming and Security Patches

  • A little hidden gem: QStringIterator

    The code above is broken. It falls into the same trap of endless other similar code: it doesn’t take into account that QString does not contain characters/code points, but rather UTF-16 code units. All operations on a QString (getting the length, splitting, iterating, etc.) always work in terms of UTF-16 code units, not code points. The reality is: QString is Unicode-aware only in some of its algorithms; certainly not in its storage. For instance, if a string contains simply the character “