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Hardware

Hardware: Raspberry Pi, Arduino, OpenSUSE on HP Pavilion Power 580-146nd, Ancient Hardware I Have Hacked, Backups and Apple Defects

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Hardware
  • Raspberry Pi Vs. Arduino

    Most people find it difficult to differentiate between a pi and an Arduino. What most people do not understand is that an Arduino is a microcomputer while the Arduino is a micro-controller. This article is about laying out those differences and simplifying each bit by bit. Most probably some of you might have used a Pi and never used an Arduino.

  • Review of the HP Pavilion Power 580-146nd

    The HP Pavilion Power 580-146nd packs a lot of power for a price that is hard to match when building your own PC. However, it might surprise you that I would not recommend this exact machine to others. The reason is that Nvidia cards are still better supported on openSUSE Leap 15. I feel that for most people, the HP Pavilion Power 580-037nd would be the better choice. This machine features an Intel i5-7400 CPU, a Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 GPU and has 8 GB of RAM. The pricing is very comparable. And the outside of the machine is the same.

    For me personally, this machine was absolutely the right choice. I am very interested in the AMD Ryzen CPU’s. I also like AMD’s strategy to develop an open source driver for its GPU’s (amdgpu) for the Linux kernel. I was looking for an AMD machine and this HP Pavilion Power 580-146nd fits the bill and then some.

  • Ancient Hardware I Have Hacked: My First Computer

    For the first couple of decades of my life, computers as we know them today were exotic beasts that filled rooms, each requiring the care of a cadre of what were then called systems programmers. Therefore, in my single-digit years the closest thing to a computer that I laid my hands on was a typewriter-sized electromechanical calculator that did addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division. I had the privilege of using this captivating device when helping out with accounting at the small firm at which my mother and father worked.

    I was an early fan of hand-held computing devices. In fact, I was in the last math class in my high school that was required to master a slide rule, of which I still have several. I also learned how to use an abacus, including not only addition and subtraction, but multiplication and division as well. Finally, I had the privilege of living through the advent of the electronic pocket calculator. My first pocket calculator was a TI SR-50, which put me firmly on the infix side of the ensuing infix/Polish religious wars.

  • backups⁉️

    A nice long weekend (in the US at least) is a great time to deal with your Backups. You do have backups right? They work right?

    For a number of years now I have been using rdiff-backup for my backups. Unfortunately, a week or so before flock my backups started erroring out and I put off looking into it for various reasons until now.

  • Your iPhone Might Have A Serious Problem: Here’s How To Find Out And Fix It

Greg Kroah-Hartman and Linus Torvalds Upset at Intel Over CPU Defects and Negative Response

Filed under
Linux
Hardware
Security
  • Intel blocked kernel fixes on Meltdown and Spectre

    Linux kernel developer Greg Kroah-Hartman criticized Intel's slow initial response to the Spectre and Meltdown bugs in a talk at the Open Source Summit North America.

    Kroah-Hartman said that when Intel finally decided to tell Linux developers, the disclosure was siloyed.

    "Intel silenoed SuSE, they siloed Red Hat, they siloed Canonical. They never told Oracle, and they wouldn't let us talk to each other."

  • Linux Creator On Intel CPU Bugs: “It’s Unfair. We Have To Fix Someone Else’s Problems”

    Almost all modern CPUs use Speculative Execution as a means to improve performance and efficiency. Your computer’s processor performs tons of calculations in advance and chooses the correct one according to a program’s flow. It makes sense as an idle CPU is undoubtedly a wasted resource.

    When it comes to Linux creator Linus Torvalds, he likes the way speculative execution improves performance. What irritates him is the fact that not all incorrect calculations are completely discarded — this is what turned out to be the root cause of bugs like Spectre and Meltdown.

Boffins trying to build a open source secure enclave on RISC-V

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Hardware
OSS

At some point this fall, a team of researchers from MIT's CSAIL and UC Berkeley's EECS aim to deliver an initial version of an open source, formally verified, secure hardware enclave based on RISC-V architecture called Keystone.

"From a security community perspective, having trustworthy secure enclaves is really important for building secure systems," said Dawn Song, a professor of computer science at UC Berkeley and founder and CEO of Oasis Labs, in a phone interview with The Register. "You can say it's one of the holy grails in computer security."

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Lulzbot's Plan for September

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Hardware
OSS
  • Lulzbot hints at SLA 3D printer addition to open source FFF portfolio

    Lulzbot, the open-source brand of the FDM 3D printers from Colorado-based manufacturer Aleph Objects, has hinted the development of an stereolithography (SLA) 3D printer in its latest newsletter.

    The newsletter heading states: “Wash Away Your 3D Printing Preconceptions: We’ve got the cure for the common printer—our newest solution will be released this September! We’re laser focused on the fine details, get on our wavelength to get the info first.”

  • LulzBot Teases New Open Source SLA 3D Printer, Coming September

    Hot on the heels of the release of its LulzBot Mini 2 desktop FDM 3D printer this summer (check out our full review here), LulzBot appears to be readying some new hardware.

    Teased in a fun email newsletter that packs more stereolithography puns than you could shake a resin-covered stick at, LulzBot posits a “cure for your high-resolution 3D printing needs.“.

    Such a system would mark a whole new direction for a company which, to date, has focused solely on fused deposition modeling (FDM) 3D printers.

Open Hardware Leftovers

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Hardware
  • Essential should open source its accessories platform

    With all these shortcomings, the company has struggled under the father of Android, Andy Rubin. Sales estimations of the PH-1 have come in well below 200,000 units. Subsequently, the rumors have been rampant that the company is up for sale to get out from under its debts. Another struggle has been its proprietary accessory system. That’s the topic I’d like to take on in this post. Essential should open source its plans for mods.

  • 3D-Printed Firearms Are Blowing Up

    If you follow 3D printing at all, and even if you don't, you've likely seen some of the recent controversy surrounding Defense Distributed and its 3D-printed firearm designs. If you haven't, here's a brief summary: Defense Distributed has created 3D firearm models and initially published them for free on its DEFCAD website a number of years ago. Some of those 3D models were designed to be printed with a traditional home hobbyist 3D printer (at least in theory), and other designs were for Defense Distributed's "Ghost Gunner"—a computer-controlled CNC mill aimed at milling firearm parts out of metal stock. The controversy that ensued was tied up in the general public debate about firearms, but in particular, a few models got the most attention: a model of an AR-15 lower receiver (the part of the rifle that carries the serial number) and "the Liberator", which was a fully 3D-printed handgun designed to fire a single bullet. The end result was that the DEFCAD site was forced to go offline (but as with all website take-downs, it was mirrored a million times first), and Defense Distributed has since been fighting the order in court.

    The political issues raised in this debate are complicated, controversial and have very little to do with Linux outside the "information wants to be free" ethos in the community, so I leave those debates for the many other articles on this issue that already have been published. Instead, in this article, I want to use my background as a hobbyist 3D printer and combine it with my background in security to build a basic risk assessment that cuts through a lot of the hype and political arguments on all sides. I want to consider the real, practical risks with the 3D models and the current Ghost Gunner CNC mill that Defense Distributed provides today. I focus my risk assessment on three main items: the 3D-printed AR-15 lower receiver, the Liberator 3D-printed handgun and the Ghost Gunner CNC mill.

  • Friday Hack Chat: GNU RadioFriday Hack Chat: GNU Radio

    Our guests for this week’s Hack Chat will be Derek Kozel and Nate Temple, officers of the GNU Radio project. They’re also organizers of this year’s GNU Radio Conference. Also joining in on the Hack Chat will be Martin Braun, community manager, PyBOMBS maintainer, and GNU Radio Foundation officer.

Video: A Different Linus talks about an Open CPU

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Hardware

We have had a few discussions about the RISC-V development (at the BozemanLUG meetings). Some Fedora folks have gotten Linux working on some of the RISC-V development boards. There appear to be several layers to the overall design from the low-end moving up. Can RISC-V ever become a viable, mainstream alternative? Time will tell... but at the very least, seeing such developments gives me some hope. Here's a somewhat mainstream "youtuber" talking about RISC-V and given the number of views so far, maybe the word / information will break through.

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Benchmarks Of Intel's Latest Linux Microcode Update

Filed under
Graphics/Benchmarks
Hardware

With all of the confusion last week over Intel's short-lived CPU microcode license change that forbid benchmarking only for them to change it a short time later -- to a much nicer license in that the microcode files can be easily redistributed and don't curtail it in other manners (and also re-licensing their FSP too), here are some performance benchmarks when trying out this latest Intel microcode on Linux.

[...]

In the benchmarks run over the weekend, the latest Intel microcode files for August (taking Xeon Scalable CPUs to 0x200004d appeared to have only minimal impact on the system performance... Mostly in I/O cases were there some slight differences in performance, but nothing overly shocking and not as bad as the L1TF Linux kernel mitigation itself -- see those benchmarks for all the details. Going into this microcode comparison I was expecting much more volatile results given their short-lived benchmark restriction, but it looks like it may have just been an overzealous Intel lawyer who thought it would be a good idea to forbid benchmarking and further lock-down their microcode license...

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Stackable DAQ HAT for Raspberry Pi boasts 100 kS/s sample rates

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GNU
Linux
Hardware

MCC has launched a stackable “MCC 118” voltage measurement DAQ HAT for the Raspberry Pi with eight ±10 V inputs and sample rates up to 100 kS/s.

Norton, Mass. Based Measurement Computing Corp. (MCC) has released a $99 measurement DAQ HAT for the Raspberry Pi that is optimized for single point and waveform voltage. MCC claims its board offers higher resolution, greater accuracy, and much faster sample rates than most other digital acquisition HAT add-ons for the Raspberry Pi. The MCC 118 provides 8x single-ended, 12-bit, ±10 V analog inputs with sample rates up to 100 kS/s.

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Also: First Ryzen V1000 based signage player has four HDMI 2.0 ports

Raspberry Pi Updates

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Hardware

Linux-driven Zynq UltraScale+ embedded vision kit taps 4K-ready EV SoC model

Filed under
Development
Linux
Hardware

Avnet’s “UltraZed-EV Starter Kit” for embedded vision features an UltraZed-EV module with a Zynq UltraScale+ MPSoC EV. The EV variant adds a 4K-ready H.264/H.265 codec and a more powerful FPGA to the quad -A53 SoC.

Avnet has followed up on its Linux-driven UltraZed-EG SOM compute module with a new UltraZed-EV SOM version that moves to Xilinx’s embedded vision savvy EV version of the Zynq UltraScale+ MPSoC. The UltraZed-EV SOM is now available on a $1,595, sandwich-style carrier called the UltraZed-EV Starter Kit.

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Security: 'Cyber' Wars, IPFS, Updates and PHP FUD

Graphics: CodeXL, X.Org Server, FreeDesktop.org and SIMD32

  • CodeXL 2.6 is released!
    For current users of CodeXL, this new release may look and feel a little different. The AMD Developer Tools team has been busy working on many new tools, some of which replicate functionality found in older versions of CodeXL. Thus, to limit confusion for our users, we have removed several major components from CodeXL.
  • AMD CodeXL 2.6 Advances GPU Profiling, Static Analysis & GPU Debugging
    But what is found within CodeXL 2.6 for GPU developers are the GPU profiling features, static analysis features, and GPU debugging features.
  • [ANNOUNCE] xorg-server 1.20.2
    Lots of bugfixes all over the map. Thanks to all for testing and patches!
  • X.Org Server 1.20.2 Released With A Bunch Of Bug Fixes
    It's almost been a half-year already since the release of the long delayed X.Org Server 1.20, but with no signs of X.Org Server 1.21 releasing soon, xorg-server 1.20.2 was announced today as the latest stable point release.
  • FreeDesktop.org Might Formally Join Forces With The X.Org Foundation
    FreeDesktop.org is already effectively part of X.Org given the loose structure of FreeDesktop.org, the key members/administrators being part of both projects, and FreeDesktop.org long being the de facto hosting platform from the X.Org Server to Mesa and much more. But now they may be officially joining forces. As a formality, the X.Org Foundation is seeking to change their foundation's by-laws to reflect that the X.Org Foundation shall also "Support free and open source projects through the freedesktop.org infrastructure. For projects outside the scope [of the X.Org Foundation] support extends to project hosting only."
  • Experimental Patches For Using SIMD32 Fragment Shaders With Intel's Linux Driver
    Existing Intel graphics hardware already supports SIMD32 fragment shaders and the Intel open-source Linux graphics driver has supported this mode for months, but it hasn't been enabled. That though is in the process of changing. Since June the Intel Mesa driver's fragment shader code has supported the SIMD32 mode supported by the past number of generations of Intel graphics hardware, but it hasn't actually been turned on. That enabling wasn't done over not having the heuristics in place for determining when to enable it over the other code paths.

8 of the Best Free Linux Comic Book Viewers (Updated 2018)

A comic book is a magazine which consists of narrative artwork in the form of sequential images with text that represent individual scenes. Panels are often accompanied by brief descriptive prose and written narrative, usually dialog contained in word balloons emblematic of the comics art form. Comics are used to tell a story, and are published in a number of different formats including comic strips, comic books, webcomics, Manga, and graphic novels. Some comics have been published in a tabloid form. The largest comic book market is Japan. Many users associate desktop Linux with their daily repetitive grind. However, we are always on the look out for applications that help make Linux fun to use. It really is a great platform for entertainment. Some document viewers offer a good range of different formats. Although they are not dedicated comic book viewers, Evince and okular have support for the common comic book archive files, and merit mention here. Read more