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Why not the best? Why not Linux Mint?

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I’ve been running Linux on the desktop for decades. When I was starting with it, Linux was, comparatively, harder to use than the GUI-based operating systems then available from Apple and Microsoft. That was then. This is now.

Today, Linux, especially such distributions as openSUSE, Ubuntu and, my favorite, Linux Mint, are just as easy to use as macOS and Windows. And they don’t have the security bugs.

What’s that? You don’t mind dealing with a few bugs? Well, on the latest Patch Tuesday, as Woody Leonhard put it, an “enormous number of patches spewed out of Microsoft this month, with two ponderous cumulative updates.” Every month, we see a new flood of critical Windows updates. Maybe updating Windows is your idea of a good time. It’s not mine.

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Linux-driven COM and carrier board feature Zynq SoC and 3x GbE ports

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MYIR has launched an $85 module that runs Linux on a Zynq-7010 or -7007S and supports -40 to 85°C temperatures. It’s also available as part of a $209, open spec dev board with 3x GbE, USB, and isolated serial and CAN ports.

MYIR has begun selling an $85, Xilinx Zynq-7010 or -7007S based “MYC-C7Z010/007S CPU Module,” as well as a sandwich-style, $209 development board based on it called the “MYD-Y7Z010/007S.” There’s an open source Linux 3.15.0 based BSP for the module, and the MYD-Y7Z010/007S carrier board ships with schematics. Both the module and dev board support support -40 to 85°C temperatures.

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Why I love ARM and PowerPC

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Once upon a time, I studied environmental protection. While working on my PhD, I was looking for a new computer. As an environmentally aware person, I wanted a high-performing computer that was also efficient. That is how I first became interested in the PowerPC and discovered Pegasos, a PowerPC workstation created by Genesi.

I had already used RS/6000 (PowerPC), SGI (MIPS), HP-UX (PA-RISC), and VMS (Alpha) both as a server and a workstation, and on my PC I used Linux, not Windows, so using a different CPU architecture was not a barrier. Pegasos, which was small and efficient enough for home use, was my first workstation.

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10 commands every Linux user should know

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You may think you're new to Linux, but you're really not. There are 3.74 billion global internet users, and all of them use Linux in some way since Linux servers power 90% of the internet. Most modern routers run Linux or Unix, and the TOP500 supercomputers also rely on Linux. If you own an Android smartphone, your operating system is constructed from the Linux kernel.

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Software-defined networking is harmonizing for networking's future

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Heather Kirksey held up her smartphone. "How often do you stare at your smartphone? How often do you use the Internet on your phone?" asked the vice president of network functions virtualization (NFV) and director at the Open Platform for NFV (OPNFV), speaking at the Open Networking Summit. "That's why you have to care about open source networking. We are transforming the global telecommunications infrastructure."

Perhaps you still think of networking in terms of hardware infrastructure: the Wi-Fi router in your office, the cables hiding in the plenum, or the Internet backbone cable that a backhoe just ruined. However, moving forward, tomorrow's networks will be built from open source software-defined networks (SDNs) running on a wide range of hardware including the open source Open Compute Project (OCP).

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Political Security Inquiry Regarding GNU/Linux and Free Software

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  • Republicans seek information on open source security, stability

    Republican members of the US Government's Committee on Energy and Commerce have sought information from the Linux Foundation on the open source software that is most critical to global information infrastructure and the sustainability and stability of the open source software ecosystem.

    Greg Walden, the chairman, and Gregg Harper, chairman of the sub-committee on oversight and investigations, wrote to Linux Foundation chief executive Jim Zemlin on Monday, saying they were seeking the information to gain a deeper understanding of the open source software ecosystem.

  • Lawmakers press Linux on security of open-source software

    The Republicans asked Linux executive director Jim Zemlin whether the foundation has studied which pieces of open-source software are “most critical” to global computer networks and whether it compiled statistics on the usage of open-source software.

  • Lawmakers Seek Input On Addressing Open-Source Software Vulnerabilities

Kernel: Linux 4.16, Dropping Old Code, Fixes For The Apple PowerBook

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  • Linux 4.16 Released with Improved Security, Virtualization Features

    April 1 is usually a day for April Fool's jokes, but Linux creator Linus Torvalds' Linux Kernel Mailing List (LKML) message that day was anything but a joke.

    In keeping with his established practise of announcing both release candidates and releases on Sundays, Torvalds released the Linux 4.16 kernel on April 1, after seven release candidates. The Linux 4.16 kernel is the second new major Linux kernel of 2018, following the 4.15 kernel that was released on Jan. 28.

    "So the take from final week of the 4.16 release looks a lot like rc7, in that about half of it is networking," Torvalds wrote in his release announcement. "If it wasn't for that, it would all be very small and calm."

    The "calm" final release of Linux 4.16 is in stark contrast to the Linux 4.15 release, which was the longest development cycle for a Linux kernel in seven years. Among the multiple reasons why the Linux 4.15 development cycle was so long, were patches for the Meltdown and Spectre vulnerabilities. In Linux 4.16 there are further mitigations and update for Meltdown and Spectre vulnerabilities as well.

  • Old CPUs losing support in Linux, cutting size by 500,000 lines of code

    The Linux kernel maintainers have taken the decision to go ahead with dropping support for old CPU architectures in an upcoming release. As a result, Linux 4.17 kernel will ship with a whopping 500,000 fewer lines of code – currently it contains around 20.3 million lines of code, according to Linux Counter.

    The architectures which will become deprecated are Blackfin, CRIS, FRV, M32R, Metag, MN10300, Score and Tile. Although not being deprecated, the Unicore32 and Hexagon architectures are also at risk but their maintainers are working on improving the situation so their support can be continued.

  • Linux 4.16 Released. Kernel Release Was "Small and Calm"

    Yesterday Linus Torvalds officially released Linux 4.16. In an announcement to the Linux Kernel Mailing List, Linus announced that this release of the Linux kernel was "small and calm", mostly related to networking, and that there was no need to continue testing it for another week.

  • Linux Kernel 4.16: Networking Patches and More

    The Linux kernel 4.16 cycle has been mercifully smooth; learn more from Paul Brown.
    Creative Commons Zero

    Linus Torvalds released version 4.16 of the Linux Kernel on Sunday, April 1st, nine weeks after the previous version. After the rather eventful 4.15 cycle, which included the loss of the Linux Kernel Mailing List for several days and the fallout from the Meltdown and Spectre bugs, 4.16 has been mercifully smooth.

    Not all smooth, though. There was a big bump in the amount of patches in RC7 that nearly derailed Sunday's release. However, looking into it, Torvalds noted that the abnormal number of submissions may have been due to the fact that during the RC5 and 6 cycles there had been almost no patches regarding networking. This meant there was a backlog of "2.5 weeks worth of networking stuff, and that makes rc7 look artificially bigger. That's my story, and I'm sticking to it." Torvalds said.

  • In 2018, Linux Is Still Receiving Fixes For The Apple PowerBook 100 Series

    The PowerBook 100 sub-notebook launched in 1991 with a 16MHz Motorola 68000 processor and up to 8MB of memory. In 2018, the Linux kernel is still receiving fixes/improvements for the PowerBook 100 series.

    While Linux 4.17 is dropping support for eight obsolete CPU architectures, the kernel is still sticking around with obsolete hardware support. With the Motorola 68000 processors still being around, the Linux kernel "m68k" code continues to be maintained. But hitting the mailing list today were the m68k architecture updates and it included some updates for "Macintosh enhancements and fixes."

Looking for a secure smartphone running only free software? Good luck!

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On many occasions, I have seen myself and other members of the FSFE being asked which smartphones and mobile operating systems they can recommend to users who are looking for a free (owner-controlled) and secure smartphone that respects their freedom and privacy. I would like to share some of my thoughts about this complex topic. Please be warned, that it might be disappointing for those who might expect to get clear recommendations in the conclusion.


This is the binary Android distribution from Google and comes pre-installed on Google/Pixel devices.

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Also: Google Releases April 2018's Android Security Patch for Pixel  and Nexus Devices

Making Linux love my LG RD510 Nvidia-powered laptop

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Well, here we are. Validation is the key to everything. Input and output. I don't think there's any serious mechanism in Linux to actually verify that devices have gracefully and correctly resumed operation after being suspended. Such checks, including non-volatile traces, would offer more robustness, allowing distro teams to tackle hardware issues and produce better systems, with higher quality and user satisfaction. It's definitely preferable to the blame evasion and shifting that exists today.

I find it hard to accept the "use friendly hardware" or "blame X vendor" as a lazy excuse for developing state-of-the-art drivers and business logic to allow seamless operations. It does not matter who's at fault if you have the technical knowhow and capacity to identify and maybe stop the problems from manifesting. In my case, the sad reality is the ancient problem will remain around until the RD510 machine is no more, and then it will no longer be a problem. But that mentality won't make the Linux desktop into a perfect product. Lastly, for those of you who have come here for technical guidance and not philosophy, if you have an Nvidia card and resumes are botched, try IDE vs AHCI, just to see what gives. After that, there might be some tweaks and workaround to help mitigate the issue, but at least you will know where you stand. Hopefully, this was of use. See you around.

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Rugged IoT gateway goes all out on M.2 and mini-PCIe expansion

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Ibase’s fanless “AGS100” and “AGS102” IoT gateways runs on Intel Apollo Lake SoCs, and offer dual displays and GbE ports, multiple M.2 and mini-PCIe interfaces for mSATA and wireless, and up to -40 to 70°C support.

Ibase’s new AGS100 and AGS102 gateways are aimed at industrial control and factory automation applications. The otherwise identical AGS102 model adds 4-in/4-out GPIO and two RS232 ports for a total of four serial ports.

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OpenBSD and NetBSD

Security: Twitter and Facebook

  • Twitter banned Kaspersky Lab from advertising in Jan

    Twitter has banned advertising from Russian security vendor Kaspersky Lab since January, the head of the firm, Eugene Kaspersky, has disclosed.  

  • When you go to a security conference, and its mobile app leaks your data

    A mobile application built by a third party for the RSA security conference in San Francisco this week was found to have a few security issues of its own—including hard-coded security keys and passwords that allowed a researcher to extract the conference's attendee list. The conference organizers acknowledged the vulnerability on Twitter, but they say that only the first and last names of 114 attendees were exposed.

  • The Security Risks of Logging in With Facebook

    In a yet-to-be peer-reviewed study published on Freedom To Tinker, a site hosted by Princeton's Center for Information Technology Policy, three researchers document how third-party tracking scripts have the capability to scoop up information from Facebook's login API without users knowing. The tracking scripts documented by Steven Englehardt, Gunes Acar, and Arvind Narayanan represent a small slice of the invisible tracking ecosystem that follows users around the web largely without their knowledge.

  • Facebook Login data hijacked by hidden JavaScript trackers

    If you login to websites through Facebook, we've got some bad news: hidden trackers can suck up more of your data than you'd intended to give away, potentially opening it up to abuse.

Beginner Friendly Gentoo Based Sabayon Linux Has a New Release

The team behind Sabayon Linux had issued a new release. Let’s take a quick look at what’s involved in this new release. Read more

Android Leftovers