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Software

Security, Proprietary Software and Openwashing

Filed under
Software
Security
  • Linux 4.4.215 / 4.9.215 / 4.14.172 / 5.5.7 Kernels Bringing Intel KVM Security Fix

    A few days back we reported on a security vulnerability within Intel's KVM virtualization code for the Linux kernel. That vulnerability stems from unfinished kernel code and was fixed for Linux 5.6 Git and is now being back-ported to the 4.4 / 4.9 / 4.14 / 5.5 supported kernels.

    Back on Monday when the CVE-2020-2732 patches first came to light, little was publicly known about the issue but that it stemmed from incomplete code in the vmx_check_intercept functionality in not checking all possible intercepts and in turn could end up emulating instructions that should be disabled by the hypervisor.

  • Let's Encrypt Has Issued a Billion Certificates

    We issued our billionth certificate on February 27, 2020. We’re going to use this big round number as an opportunity to reflect on what has changed for us, and for the Internet, leading up to this event. In particular, we want to talk about what has happened since the last time we talked about a big round number of certificates - one hundred million.

    One thing that’s different now is that the Web is much more encrypted than it was. In June of 2017 approximately 58% of page loads used HTTPS globally, 64% in the United States. Today 81% of page loads use HTTPS globally, and we’re at 91% in the United States! This is an incredible achievement. That’s a lot more privacy and security for everybody.

    Another thing that’s different is that our organization has grown a bit, but not by much! In June of 2017 we were serving approximately 46M websites, and we did so with 11 full time staff and an annual budget of $2.61M. Today we serve nearly 192M websites with 13 full time staff and an annual budget of approximately $3.35M. This means we’re serving more than 4x the websites with only two additional staff and a 28% increase in budget. The additional staff and budget did more than just improve our ability to scale though - we’ve made improvements across the board to provide even more secure and reliable service.

    Nothing drives adoption like ease of use, and the foundation for ease of use in the certificate space is our ACME protocol. ACME allows for extensive automation, which means computers can do most of the work. It was also standardized as RFC 8555 in 2019, which allows the Web community to confidently build an even richer ecosystem of software around it. Today, thanks to our incredible community, there is an ACME client for just about every deployment environment. Certbot is one of our favorites, and they’ve been working hard to make it even easier for people to use.

  • The “Cloud Snooper” malware that sneaks into your Linux servers [Ed: Sophos citing itself, hyping up the threat is installing malicious software on one's own server]

    SophosLabs has just published a detailed report about a malware attack dubbed Cloud Snooper.

    The reason for the name is not so much that the attack is cloud-specific (the technique could be used against pretty much any server, wherever it’s hosted), but that it’s a sneaky way for cybercrooks to open up your server to the cloud, in ways you very definitely don’t want, “from the inside out”.

    The Cloud Snooper report covers a whole raft of related malware samples that our researchers found deployed in combination.

  • OpenSMTPD Email Server Vulnerability Threatens Many Linux and BSD Systems [Ed: It is this package, not the operating systems (GNU/Linux rarely uses this)]

    A critical vulnerability has been discovered in the OpenBSD email server OpenSMTPD. Exploiting the flaw could allow remote code execution attacks. The seriousness of the vulnerability poses a threat to the integrity of OpenBSD and Linux systems.

  • A billion Wi-Fi devices suffer from a newly discovered security fla

    More than a billion internet-connected devices—including Apple's iPhone and Amazon's Echo—are affected by a security vulnerability that could allow [attackers] to spy on traffic sent over Wi-Fi.

  • New ‘Haken’ Malware Found On Eight Apps In Google Play Store

    Eight apps – mostly camera utilities and children’s games – were discovered spreading a new malware strain that steals data and signs victims up for expensive premium services.

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  • What does it take to commit to 100% open source?

                                 

                                   

    While experts in the database market in particular agree that open source is becoming the norm, the question remains, just how open is this sector’s open-source software? Can software providers realistically succeed with a company that’s 100% open source? Furthermore, would a proprietary infrastructure software provider with a freemium tier be able to achieve the same benefits as those committing to open source?

                                   

    The short answer is, yes — a proprietary infrastructure software company with a freemium tier could theoretically achieve the same benefits as companies going fully open source. However, it’s important to recognize that it would take a freemium model company a significantly longer period of time for its software to mature to the same level as that of an open-source company. Also, the loss of collaborative development and slower feedback loops would likely lead to a higher probability of the software never achieving market traction and ultimately fading away into oblivion.

  • Mirantis: Balancing Open Source With Guardrails

    Mirantis, an open infrastructure company that rose to popularity with its OpenStack offering, is now moving into the Kubernetes space very aggressively. Last year, the company acquired the Docker Enterprise business from Docker. This week, it announced that they were hiring the Kubernetes experts from the Finnish company Kontena and established a Mirantis office in Finland, expanding the company’s footprint in Europe. Mirantis already has a significant presence in Europe due to large customers such as Bosch and Volkswagen.

Software: HPLIP, MuseScore, TeamViewer

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Software
  • HPLIP 3.20.2 Released with Linux Mint 19.3 Support

    HPLIP 3.20.2, HP developed open source Linux driver for HP printers and scanners, was released today with many new devices and Linux Mint 19.3 support.

  • MuseScore – Create, play, and print beautiful sheet music

    Do you need a top-notch musical notation editor for your Linux PC? MuseScore should be the software of your choice. A good music notation app requires to provide the user with features like quick corrections, fast editing, reliable sharing, and provision of a uniform layout of sheet music. It should make the whole process of creating, editing, and printing music a lot easier and fast.

    MuseScore is one of the powerful and versatile open-source music score editors in the market. It might not offer all the editing features provided by high-end paid software, but it provides users with the core functionality needed.

  • Best 14 teamviewer alternatives for Linux/Ubuntu

    One of the most popular software enabling computers to be controlled remotely is TeamViewer, but there are many other options that are available as well, which have just as many features (desktop sharing, online conferences, and data transfers). Since TeamViewer dominates the major online users, it has long ranked number one by many users.
    However, for many, TeamViewer isn’t their number one choice and so in the true spirit of ope n source, let’s talk about thousands of similar software. Since I can’t discuss it all, let’s talk about the top 14 alternatives of TeamViewer for Linux in 2020.

Proprietary: Opera 67 Released and TurboTax Swindle

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Software
  • Opera 67 Released with ‘Workspaces’ for Tab Organization

    Opera web browser 67 was released a few days ago with tab organization redefined via a new tool called ‘Workspaces’.

    Often have your browser with too many tabs open? With Opera 67, opened tabs can be grouped into different workspaces. And you can easily switch workspaces via the icons in the left sidebar.

    You can add up to 5 workspaces, name them, and designate their icons. Tabs can be moved to the workspace of your choice via their context (right-click) menu.

  • Ars takes the new Opera R2020 browser for a spin

    Opera R2020 is available on Windows, MacOS, and Linux—meanwhile, Opera Touch, for mobile devices, is available on Android and iOS. We tested Opera on both Linux and Windows, and we also tested Opera Touch on Android. MacOS and iOS ports were not tested.

  • Tax Software Companies Mislead Citizens about Free Tax Filing Options - Validated Independent News

    The average household income in the United States is just under $62,000, meaning most US citizens are entitled to file their taxes for free since they fall below the $64,000/year income line set by the IRS. But, as Justin Elliott and colleagues at ProPublica reported in a series of articles, internal documents and current or former company employees show how TurboTax and H&R Block “steered customers away from the government-sponsored free option and made them pay.”

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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