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Sci/Tech

Stellarium v0.19.1 has been released!

Filed under
Software
Sci/Tech

Thank you very much to community for bug reports, feature requests and contributions!

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Also: Stellarium 0.19.1 Released with A Large List of Changes

KStars v3.2.3 is Released!

Filed under
KDE
Sci/Tech

Another minor release of the 3.2.X series is released, KStars v3.2.3 is out for Windows/Mac/Linux. This would probably the last minor release of the 3.2.X series with 3.3.0 coming into development now.

This release contains a few minor bug fixes and some few convenient changes that were requested by our users.

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KStars v3.2.2 is Released!

Filed under
KDE
Sci/Tech

Thanks to all to the hard work by KStars developers and volunteers, we are happy to announce KStars v3.2.2 release for Windows, MacOS, and Linux.

In this release, support for x86-32 bit architecture has been dropped and the Windows 10 executable now requires an x86-64 bit system.

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SQLite 3.28.0 and Gnuastro 0.9 Released

Filed under
GNU
OSS
Sci/Tech
  • SQLite Release 3.28.0
  • SQLite 3.28 Released With More Feature Additions, Performance Enhancements

    SQLite 3.28 is now the latest version of this widely-used, embed-friendly cross-platform database library.

    As is the case for most SQLite releases, new features and performance enhancements are the principle changes. SQLite 3.28 presents enhanced window functions, enhancements to its TCL interface, various CLI improvements, new API additions, security improvements to its tokenizer, more robust handling against corrupt database files, and various fixes.

  • Gnuastro 0.9 released

    I am happy to announce the 9th stable release of GNU Astronomy
    Utilities (Gnuastro).

    Gnuastro is an official GNU package consisting of various command-line
    programs and library functions for the manipulation and analysis of
    (astronomical) data. All the programs share the same basic
    command-line user interface (modeled on GNU Coreutils). For the full
    list of Gnuastro's library, programs, and a comprehensive general
    tutorial (recommended place to start using Gnuastro), please see the
    links below respectively:

    https://www.gnu.org/s/gnuastro/manual/html_node/Gnuastro-library.html
    https://www.gnu.org/s/gnuastro/manual/html_node/Gnuastro-programs-list.html
    https://www.gnu.org/s/gnuastro/manual/html_node/General-program-usage-tutorial.html

    Many features have been added and Gnuastro has become much more stable
    with the many bugs that were found and fixed (see [1], below). The most
    interesting new feature may be that Gnuastro now also installs scripts
    (with this naming convention: `astscript-*'). Since Gnuastro's
    programs are designed to be highly modular, they are relatively
    low-level. With this new feature, it is now very easy to include
    common higher-level operations within Gnuastro also, for example to
    call multiple programs together, or use a single program's outputs in
    a special way. With version 0.9, only one script is installed (as
    described in [1]), but because of their high-level nature, we expect
    many more to be added soon. If you commonly run several Gnuastro
    programs together for a certain operation, please share it with us so
    we add it as a script for everyone to use.

GNU GPLv3 At The Center Of The Black Hole Image

Filed under
GNU
OSS
Sci/Tech

Scientists have finally seen what could not have been seen – a black hole. As fascinating is the fact that we can now ‘see’ a black hole, the story behind this achievement is even more fascinating.

It’s a story of victory of science in the political era of science denials. It’s a victory of diversity in the era of homophobia and sexism. It’s a victory of free software in the era of…well, we live in the era of free software.

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KDE Cantor - Sing me some math

Filed under
KDE
Software
Sci/Tech

It's a song, but it needs refinement. Cantor seems like a clever piece of software, but it lacks refinement and sophistication to match its own goals. I did only test Octave, but I think my findings are pretty indicative. After all, if there were issues with one backend, whatever they are, they need to be fixed. And these weren't trivial issues, either. Slow performance, memory and CPU noise, frozen interface, bad-looking figures.

The configuration also needs to be improved. All in all, it's very difficult doing what Cantor tries, so the idea is really cool. But it seems to be a complex task, and at the moment, it brings more woes than benefits. I'd like to see a smoother integration, and a clever wizard that lets you add backends. Maybe a smart clipboard to share code with other programs. I'd expect a fully HW-accelerated graphics module, so everything responds fast and looks peachy. Finally, Cantor mustn't work any worse than the native engines it represents, because it invalidates its own purpose by doing that (or rather not doing that, hi hi). At the moment, it's a raw product, and it needs a lot of fixes. But me likey, so I will be testing in the future. Unique software, here I go.

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Stellarium v0.19.0 has been released!

Filed under
Software
Sci/Tech

The major changes of this version:

5 new sky cultures
Refactoring the code: many improvements and fixes
Added many DSO textures
Many improvements for Scripting Engine
Thank you very much to community for bug reports, feature requests and contributions!

Read more

Also: Free Software Planetarium Stellarium 0.19.0 Released (How to Install)

The Raspberry Pi Cluster from Outer Space

Filed under
GNU
Linux
Hardware
Sci/Tech

We see a lot of weird and esoteric stuff here at Hackaday, but even by our standards, Bell Lab’s Plan 9 operating system is an oddball. Named after the science fiction film Plan 9 from Outer Space, it was designed to extend the UNIX “everything is a file” mentality to the network. It envisioned a future where utilizing the resources of another computer would be as easy as copying a file. But as desktop computers got more powerful the idea seemed less appealing, and ultimately traditional operating systems won out. Of course, that doesn’t mean you still can’t play around with it.

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Astronomy Software by Any Other Name

Filed under
Software
Sci/Tech

In this article, I introduce another option available for the astronomers out there—specifically, Cartes du Ciel, also known as SkyChart. Similar to other larger astronomy programs, you can use SkyChart from the desktop to the observatory.

SkyChart probably won't be available in your distribution's package management system, so you'll need to go to the main website to download it. DEB, RPM and TAR files are available, so you should be able to use it for just about any distribution. Downloads also are available for other operating systems and for other hardware. You even can download a version to run on a Raspberry Pi.

When you first start Cartes du Ciel, you'll be asked where on the globe your observatory is located.

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GNU Octave 5.1.0 Release

Filed under
GNU
Sci/Tech

GNU Octave version 5.1.0 has been released and is now available for download. An official Windows binary installer is available. For macOS see the installation instructions in the wiki.

This major release improves compatibility with Matlab and contains many new and improved functions. A list of important user-visible changes is available by selecting the Release Notes item in the News menu of the GUI or by typing news at the Octave command prompt.

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Also: GNU Octave 5.1 Released With HiDPI Support, Drops OSMesa Usage

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More in Tux Machines

Android Leftovers

One Mix Yoga 3 mini laptop demostrated running Ubuntu

If you are in interested in seeing how the Ubuntu Linux operating system runs on the new One Mix Yoga 3 mini laptop. You are sure to be interested in the new video created by Brad Linder over at Liliputing. “ I posted some notes about what happened when I took Ubuntu 19.04 for a spin on the One Mix 3 Yoga in my first-look article, but plenty of folks who watched my first look video on YouTube asked for a video… so I made one of those too.” The creators of the One Mix Yoga 3 have made it fairly easy to boot an alternative operating system simply by plugging in a bootable flash drive or USB storage device. As the mini laptop is powering up simply hit the delete key and you will be presented by the BIOS/UEFI menu. Simply change the boot priority order so that the computer will boot from a USB device and you are in business. Read more

Security: Curl, Fedora, Windows and More

  • Daniel Stenberg: openssl engine code injection in curl

    This flaw is known as CVE-2019-5443. If you downloaded and installed a curl executable for Windows from the curl project before June 21st 2019, go get an updated one. Now.

  • Fedora's GRUB2 EFI Build To Offer Greater Security Options

    In addition to disabling root password-based SSH log-ins by default, another change being made to Fedora 31 in the name of greater security is adding some additional GRUB2 boot-loader modules to be built-in for their EFI boot-loader. GRUB2 security modules for verification, Cryptodisk, and LUKS will now be part of the default GRUB2 EFI build. They are being built-in now since those using the likes of UEFI SecureBoot aren't able to dynamically load these modules due to restrictions in place under SecureBoot. So until now using SecureBoot hasn't allowed users to enjoy encryption of the boot partition and the "verify" module with ensuring better integrity of the early boot-loader code.

  • Fedora 31 Will Finally Disable OpenSSH Root Password-Based Logins By Default

    Fedora 31 will harden up its default configuration by finally disabling password-based OpenSSH root log-ins, matching the upstream default of the past four years and behavior generally enforced by other Linux distributions. The default OpenSSH daemon configuration file will now respect upstream's default of prohibiting passwords for root log-ins. Those wishing to restore the old behavior of allowing root log-ins with a password can adjust their SSHD configuration file with the PermitRootLogin option, but users are encouraged to instead use a public-key for root log-ins that is more secure and will be permitted still by default.

  • Warning Issued For Millions Of Microsoft Windows 10 Users

    Picked up by Gizmodo, acclaimed Californian security company SafeBreach has revealed that software pre-installed on PCs has left “millions” of users exposed to hackers. Moreover, that estimate is conservative with the number realistically set to be hundreds of millions. The flaw lies in PC-Doctor Toolbox, systems analysis software which is rebadged and pre-installed on PCs made by some of the world’s biggest computer retailers, including Dell, its Alienware gaming brand, Staples and Corsair. Dell alone shipped almost 60M PCs last year and the company states PC-Doctor Toolbox (which it rebrands as part of ‘SupportAssist’) was pre-installed on “most” of them. What SafeBreach has discovered is a high-severity flaw which allows attackers to swap-out harmless DLL files loaded during Toolbox diagnostic scans with DLLs containing a malicious payload. The injection of this code impacts both Windows 10 business and home PCs and enables hackers to gain complete control of your computer. What makes it so dangerous is PC-makers give Toolbox high-permission level access to all your computer’s hardware and software so it can be monitored. The software can even give itself new, higher permission levels as it deems necessary. So once malicious code is injected via Toolbox, it can do just about anything to your PC.

  • Update Your Dell Laptop Now to Fix a Critical Security Flaw in Pre-Installed Software

    SafeBreach Labs said it targeted SupportAssist, software pre-installed on most Dell PCs designed to check the health of the system’s hardware, based on the assumption that “such a critical service would have high permission level access to the PC hardware as well as the capability to induce privilege escalation.” What the researchers found is that the application loads DLL files from a folder accessible to users, meaning the files can be replaced and used to load and execute a malicious payload. There are concerns the flaw may affect non-Dell PCs, as well. The affected module within SupportAssist is a version of PC-Doctor Toolbox found in a number of other applications, including: Corsair ONE Diagnostics, Corsair Diagnostics, Staples EasyTech Diagnostics, Tobii I-Series Diagnostic Tool, and Tobii Dynavox Diagnostic Tool. The most effective way to prevent DLL hijacking is to quickly apply patches from the vendor. To fix this bug, either allow automatic updates to do its job, or download the latest version of Dell SupportAssist for Business PCs (x86 or x64) or Home PCs (here). You can read a full version of the SafeBreach Labs report here.

  • TCP SACK PANIC Kernel Vulnerabilities Reported by Netflix Researchers

    On June 17th, Researchers at Netflix have identified several TCP networking vulnerabilities in FreeBSD and Linux kernels.

  • DNS Security - Getting it Right

    This paper addresses the privacy implications of two new Domain Name System (DNS) encryption protocols: DNS-over-TLS (DoT) and DNS-over-HTTPS (DoH). Each of these protocols provides a means to secure the transfer of data during Internet domain name lookup, and they prevent monitoring and abuse of user data in this process. DoT and DoH provide valuable new protection for users online. They add protection to one of the last remaining unencrypted ‘core’ technologies of the modern Internet, strengthen resistance to censorship and can be coupled with additional protections to provide full user anonymity. Whilst DoT and DoH appear to be a win for Internet users, however, they raise issues for network operators concerned with Internet security and operational efficiency. DoH in particular makes it extremely difficult for network operators to implement domain-specific filters or blocks, which may have a negative impact on UK government strategies for the Internet which rely on these. We hope that a shift to encrypted DNS will lead to decreased reliance on network-level filtering for censorship.

Drawpile 2.1.11 release

Version 2.1.11 is now out. In addition to bug fixes, this release adds one long awaited feature: the ability to detach the chat box into a separate window. Another important change is to the server. IP bans now only apply to guest users. When a user with a registered account is banned, the ban is applied to the account only. This is to combat false positives caused by many unrelated people sharing the same IP address because of NAT. Read more Also: Drawpile 2.1.11 Released! Allow to Detach Chat Box into Separate