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Misc

today's leftovers

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Misc
  • Hands-On Lab: Oracle Linux Disk Encryption Using Network Based Key Services

    Many Linux environments require data to be encrypted at rest but that can add administrative overhead to the boot process. Oracle Linux has supported disk encryption since version 5 but a feature was added in 7 update 4 to allow the automatic unlocking of devices based on external network services. Network Bound Disk Encryption (NBDE) uses a network based key service to validate a system is on a trusted network and unlock encrypted disks upon boot. By combining NBDE and a keyboard entered passphrase the system will unlock a disk automatically during boot but allow administrators to use a passphrase during maintenance operations.

    A new hands-on lab Oracle Linux Disk Encryption Using Network Based Key Services is now available for anyone to learn the concepts of Linux disk encryption. The lab begins with the creation of a encrypted block device dependent on a passphrase and continues to an example of network based keys to unlock the device. Oracle Linux 8 is used but the same tools are available on Oracle Linux 7. The base components involved include dm-crypt which allows arbitrary block devices to be encrypted, Linux Unified Key Setup (LUKS) a disk encryption standard and cryptsetup which is used to configure our disks. We continue to include Tang, a network service that provides cryptographic services over HTTP and Clevis, an encryption framework. Clevis can use keys provided by Tang as a passphrase to unlock LUKS volumes.

  • Mir 1.7.1 Released With X11 Support Promoted Out Of "Experimental" Phase

    Most significant with Mir 1.7.1 is the X11 support being improved to the point that it's no longer considered experimental for running traditional X11 software atop Wayland. Passing --enable-x11 now can be used for enabling the X11 support rather than the prior "x11-display-experimental" option. Mir 1.7.1 saw a lot of work to the XWayland and X11 window manage code, including a new display FD option.

  • SUSE Manager 4 Brings the Power of DevOps to Your Enterprise Linux Environment

    DevOps is an IT management philosophy that requires speed, efficiency and confidence. A DevOps environment is constantly evolving: Containers spin up, new applications appear, tools are tested and updates happen—all without stoppages or significant downtime.

  • Liquid Prep, a solution that helps farmers optimize water usage during droughts, is now open source

    When a prolonged absence of water in a region leads to drought conditions, the entire ecosystem suffers. Among those hardest hit are farmers, and the impact on their land can have ripple effects on the larger population. These larger problems can range from health issues or food security, while also creating conditions that increase the risk of wildfires and dust storms.

    Created by five technologists from the IBM offices in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, Liquid Prep is a solution designed for low-literate farmers in developing countries whose success hinges on access to advanced agricultural advice. By leveraging the use of an intuitive mobile Android app, local soil sensors, and weather forecast information as well as an advanced agricultural decision platform hosted on IBM Cloud, farmers are better informed on how to use limited water supplies and increase their chances of growing healthy crops for their small plots of land.

  • Linux-ready SBCs and mini-PCs run Ryzen Embedded, including new 8-10W R1305G

    Sapphire unveiled NP-FP5 and BP-FP5 SBCs with Ryzen V1000 and R1000 SoCs plus a G-series board, and Simply NUC revealed Red Oak (NP-FP5) and Post Oak (BP-FP5) mini-PCs based on the Ryzen SBCs. The NP-FP5 and Red Oak support AMD’s new 8-10W R1305G.

    At Embedded World, Sapphire Technology announced a pair of 4 x 4-inch (101.6 x 101.6mm) SBCs that run Linux or Win 10 on AMD’s x86-based Ryzen Embedded V1000 and R1000 SoCs. The dual 4K display NP-FP5 and more feature-rich, triple 4K display BP-FP5 SBCs support the same V1000 and R1000 models. The lower-end NP-FP5 also supports the low-power, 8-10W TDP R1305G, which was announced today by AMD along with a 6W R1102G.

  • Mirantis co-founder launches FreedomFi to bring private LTE networks to enterprises

    Boris Renski, the co-founder of Mirantis, one of the earliest and best-funded players in the OpenStack space a few years ago (which then mostly pivoted to Kubernetes and DevOps), has left his role as CMO to focus his efforts on a new startup: FreedomFi. The new company brings together open-source hardware and software to give enterprises a new way to leverage the newly opened 3.5 GHz band for private LTE and — later — 5G IoT deployments.

  • WordPress 5.4 Beta 3

    WordPress 5.4 Beta 3 is now available!

    This software is still in development, so we don’t recommend you run it on a production site. Consider setting up a test site to play with the new version.

    [...]

    WordPress 5.4 is slated for release on March 31st, 2020, and we need your help to get there.

    Thanks to the testing and feedback from everyone who tested beta 2 (and beta 1) over 24 tickets have been closed in the past week.

  • Luis Villa: Surviving 2020 on Twitter

    At some point in the past few years, I accepted that I’m going to have a baseline level of anger about the state of the world, and that I have to focus on what I can change and let go of what I can’t. (Twitter anger is the latter.) So what can I change? Where is my anger productive?

    I’ve found that doing things offline—for me, mostly giving money—really helps. In particular, giving to causes that seek systemic (usually, that means political/government) change like 350.org and local activist groups, and giving a lot, and regularly. This, frankly, makes it a lot easier for me to ignore anger online — each new tweet is not likely to make me be more angry, or give more, because I’m already basically giving what I can. Being confident about that really reduced my FOMO when I started filtering aggressively.

    I hear from non-parents/non-startup-founders that physical-world activism (door-knocking, phone banking, local gov meeting-attending, etc.) can be great in this way too but sadly I can’t confirm Sad

    (I also want to acknowledge that, in the current state of the world, ‘letting go’ gets harder the less privilege you have. I have no great response to that, except to say that I empathize and am trying to fight for you where and how I can.)

  • Why Source Code Scanning Tools are Essential to Open Source Compliance [Ed: This promotes proprietary software of Microsoft 'proxies', along with FUD, to make proprietary software sales]

    There are many scanning tools and vendors to choose from. For example, Black Duck, WhiteSource, and FOSSA are well-known vendors that offer scanning tools on a subscription basis. FOSSology is an open source scanning tool maintained by the Linux Foundation, but it doesn’t come with a pre-populated library of open source code or software repository, which you would need to build on your own.

  • Google and Microsoft are scaring consumers over Edge extensions, and for what?

    Simply trying to install a Chrome extension via the Chrome Web Store actually requires navigating through several warnings, from both Google and Microsoft, about where to go to install an extension. The confusion and frustration this no doubt creates with users reflects poorly on both sides.

today's leftovers

Filed under
Misc
  • Open-Source AI Projects For Linux

    For years, programmers, researchers and web hosting gurus have used Linux for building and hosting their creations. One of the biggest benefits of using Linux for these AI open-source projects is that it is a stable program made to be used in just about any IT architecture and infrastructure. Some developers have the misconception that Linux is full of unwanted surprises like OSX and Windows, but this is not true because these programs are open source. This means that anyone can tinker with the open-source code online, which is why Windows and OSX are not widely used for AI programs.

    Linux has both the versatility and security needed to run open-source AI projects. Powerful tech companies like Google even use a variant of the Linux distribution Ubuntu to power their machine learning programs. Using tools like Loggly allows you to find errors in your Linux-powered creations and fix them quickly. Utilizing the power of the Linux/AI technology on the market will require lots of time and research. The more you know about the tools available to you, the easier it will be to choose the right ones.

  • Haiku Alpha 1: Rebirth of legend (Part 1 of 5: Startup and first look)

    As a quick recap or the ‘too long, didn’t read’ (tdlr) version of the intro to the Haiku Alpha series, Be had started life making its own software (BeOS) and hardware (BeBox) — but in the end, three things had hurt Be: struggling to compete in a Windows dominion, the lost candidacy at becoming the next generation Mac OS (and the end of Mac clones), and finally, their push into the Internet Appliance market (which failed as the technologies needed to make it attractive to consumers were ahead of Be’s time). By 2002, Be was gone (1).

    Thus, in the ashes of Be’s collapse, there were aficionados of the BeOS who tried to keep the legacy going through various distributions and forks (such as Max and Zeta) — but there really wasn’t one successor to lead the way. That is… until the appearance of the OpenBeOS (renamed Haiku later in its development), which finally reached Alpha status in the autumn of 2009 on September 14 (2).

    And so — without further prologue, that brings us to today’s topic: Haiku Alpha 1.

  • Searx and Gentoo wiki search

    Two years ago I started to get interested in selfhosting services. I started to go away from private services and implementing selfhosting, manly because private services was disabling most of the features that I liked and I had no way to contribute or see how they was working.
    That is what made look into https://old.reddit.com/r/selfhosted/ and https://www.privacytools.io/ That is when I disovered searx, as the github page say searx is a "Privacy-respecting metasearch engine".

  • Canonical's Daniel Van Vugt Continues Squeezing More Performance Out Of GNOME 3.36

    Canonical's Daniel Van Vugt continues focusing on GNOME performance optimizations and this past week still managed to squeeze another optimization out of the near-final GNOME 3.36.

    Van Vugt has managed some nice performance optimizations out of the GNOME stack over the past 2+ years in particular with Ubuntu using it as the default desktop environment. While GNOME 3.36 is gearing up for release in mid-March, Van Vugt is still working to get some lingering work completed and also seeing that in turn included for the Ubuntu 20.04 LTS release due out in April.

  • The Fridge: Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter Issue 619

    Welcome to the Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter, Issue 619 for the week of February 16 – 22, 2020. The full version of this issue is available here.

  • Seeed’s Linux-friendly Gemini Lake SBC starts at $188

    Seeed’s “Odyssey – X86J41058x” SBC starts at $188 with 8GB RAM and runs Linux or Win 10 on a quad-core, 1.5GHz/2.5GHz Celeron J4105 with Raspberry Pi, Arduino/Grove, and 2x M.2 slots. Options include 64GB eMMC and an enclosure.

    Seeed Studio has launched an Intel Gemini Lake based SBC it bills as the “most expandable Win10 Mini PC.” The nickname for the Odyssey – X86J41058x SBC stems from its optional Windows 10 Enterprise installation and activation, optional $14.90 enclosure, and extensive expansion options including Arduino/Grove and Raspberry Pi compatible headers. It also supports Linux.

today's leftovers (GNU/Linux, Open Access and Openwashing)

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Misc
  • Why Huawei Without Google Is Not The End, But The Start Of Something New [Ed: Huawei already puts GNU/Linux on some major products]

    Last year, Huawei strapped in for a rough ride when US President Donald Trump called for a trade ban on the Chinese tech giant.

    Huawei was placed on the US’ Entity List since May 2019, stopping them from doing business with American companies unless granted approval by the US Government.

    The move essentially cut Huawei off from their US supply of parts, such as the latest chips by Intel and Qualcomm — but the greatest impact felt was definitely losing access to Google’s licensed software, apps and services.

    The one question boggling fans and users was what would happen when future Huawei phones come without Google’s Android and Google Mobile Services (GMS) like Gmail, Google Chrome and Google Maps?

  • 27th Time The Charm? Intel SGX Enclaves Support For Linux Revved Again

    For four years we have been seeing Intel Secure Guard Extensions (SGX) bring-up for the Linux kernel and that work continues with the Intel SGX Enclaves support now having been sent out for review twenty-seven times as it tries to work its way towards the mainline Linux kernel.

  • X.Org Server Lands Fixes For XWayland Full-Screen Support
  • Ksnip is a cross-platform, open source screenshot tool with many annotation options

    The program supports five modes for capturing screenshots. Rectangular Area is the default one which was mentioned in the above paragraph. The second option is Last Rectangular Area, selecting this option directly captures the content inside the previous area that you chose. This is a rather unusual option, and quite a useful one as it allows you to retake a screenshot or take another one in case something changed inside the rectangle.

    The Full Screen mode can be used to save a snapshot of the entire screen. What's special here is that, Ksnip can capture the screen from all connected monitors. So, you can use it to take wide screenshots from videos, games and maybe even set the captured image as your desktop background wallpaper.

  • Open Source textbooks saving Beaufort County Community College students money
  • Open-source textbooks save Beaufort students over $50,000 per semester

    Open source textbooks are helping students at Beaufort County Community College save money, making the cost of their education less expensive and helping stretch financial aid or scholarship money they may be receiving.

    The average student will spend over $1,200 on textbooks per year. Since initial adoption by Ashleigh Howard, Lead Professor for the Social & Behavioral Sciences Department, the books have been adopted by other professors across campus, cumulatively saving students over $50,000 per semester. Currently, cultural geography, history, criminal justice, sociology and Spanish classes are using the books.

  • UBank puts open source accessibility kit on GitHub [Ed: This feeds a proprietary software trap of Microsoft for openwashing purposes and to make matters worse, it is not accessible]
  • Precious Plastic open source recycling project takes a new perspective toward waste

    “Plastic is a precious and valuable material. It’s just been kind of designed, used and marketed in the wrong way, in our view,” explained Precious Plastic business guy (yes, that’s his real title) Joseph Klatt. The company’s business guy is originally from Ohio but moved to the Netherlands where the project is headquartered.

  • The open source platform empowering creatives to turn recycling into craft [Ed: This use of the term "open source" may be misleading]

    In response to this, Hakkens looked to the large-scale recycling plants that operate across the world. Their huge industrial machines then formed the base of the Precious Plastic operation.

    “He began recreating these machines on a small scale, putting the blueprints and assembly instructions online for others to use,” continues Elleke.

    Once built, users can create with the waste plastic however they need, making anything from furniture and household goods, to bricks and other modular structures. The possibilities, she says, are endless: “Anything made with plastic, can be made with recycled plastic.”

    According to Elleke, the whole idea was to “take a global problem, and find a community solution.” In giving a second, third or infinite number of lives to waste plastic, Hakkens and his team provide local designers, craftspeople and creatives with a new material and profit stream.

Planet Changes and Cilium

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Misc
  • Planet Arch Linux migration

    The software behind planet.archlinux.org was implemented in Python 2 and is no longer maintained upstream. This functionality has now been implemented in archlinux.org's archweb backend which is actively maintained but offers a slightly different experience.

  • Cilium drops 1.7 release, upping insight and manageability

    Network and API connectivity project Cilium has been released in version 1.7, providing users with a UI for observability platform Hubble and the option to apply cluster-wide network policies.

    Cilium is an open source project developed by US startup Isovalent to provide and secure network connectivity and load balancing for workloads such as application containers or processes. It is based on a virtual machine-like construct called Berkeley Packet Filter (BPF) which can be found in the Linux kernel.

today's leftovers

Filed under
Misc
  • Word Embeddings Simplified

    Recently I have been dwelling with a lot of NLP problems and jargons. The more I read about it the more I find it intriguing and beautiful of how we humans try to transfer this knowledge of a language to machines.

    How much ever we try because of our laid back nature we try to use already existing knowledge or existing materials to be used to make machines understand a given language.

    But machines as we know it can only understand digits or lets be more precise binary(0s and 1s). When I first laid my hands on NLP this was my first question, how does a machine understand that something is a word or sentence or a character.

  • Coronavirus wreaking havoc in the tech industry, including FOSS

    At FOSS Linux, you may wonder why we are covering the coronavirus and how it relates to Linux and open-source software?

    Aside from the apparent effect of the slowdown in components required for Linux to run on,  the coronavirus outbreak directly impacts several products featured in FOSS Linux over the past year.

    Purism – the brains behind the Librem 5 phones powered by PureOS are the most directly affected by the outbreak, suffering production delays.
    Dell – the titanic computer manufacturer, has hinted at a possibility of interruption of supplies, which could affect the availability of the Dell XPS 13 Developer Edition preloaded with Ubuntu 18.04.
    System76 – these creators of Pop_OS! 19.10 recently announced their foray into the world of laptop design and manufacturing.  The coronavirus could adversely affect this endeavor.
    Pine64 – maker of the Pinebook Pro, the affordable laptop which supports most, if not all, Linux distros featured on FOSS Linux also is under threat of production delays.

  • Announcing the release of Samza 1.3.1

    We have identified some issues with the previous release of Apache Samza 1.3.0.

  • Scientists develop open-source software to analyze economics of biofuels, bioproducts

    BioSTEAM is available online through the Python Package Index, at Pypi.org. A life cycle assessment (LCA) add-on to BioSTEAM to quantify the environmental impacts of biorefineries -- developed by CABBI Postdoctoral Researcher Rui Shi and the Guest Research Group -- is also set to be released in March 2020. To further increase availability of these tools, Guest's team is also designing a website with a graphical user interface where researchers can plug new parameters for a biorefinery simulation into existing configurations, and download results within minutes.

    BioSTEAM's creators drew on open-source software developed by other researchers, including a data bank with 20,000 chemicals and their thermodynamic properties.

  • Mirantis Joins Linux Foundation's LF Networking Community

    Mirantis, the open cloud company, today announced it has joined the Linux Foundation's LF Networking (LFN) community, which facilitates collaboration and operational excellence across open networking projects.

    LFN software and projects provide platforms and building blocks for Network Infrastructure and Services across Service Providers, Cloud Providers, Enterprises, Vendors, and System Integrators that enable rapid interoperability, deployment, and adoption. LF Networking supports the largest set of networking projects with the broadest community in the industry that collaborate on this opportunity.

  • Google Announces The 200 Open-Source Projects For GSoC 2020

    Google's Summer of Code initiative for getting students involved with open-source development during the summer months is now into its sixteenth year. This week Google announced the 200 open-source projects participating in GSoC 2020. 

    Among the 200 projects catching our eye this year are GraphicsFuzz, Blender, Debian, FFmpeg, Fedora, FreeBSD, Gentoo, GNOME, Godot Engine, KDE, Mozilla, Pitivi, The GNU Project, VideoLAN, and X.Org. The complete list of GSoC 2020 organizations can be found here. 

  • Myst (or, The Drawbacks to Success)

    After listening to the cultural dialog — or shouting match! — which has so long surrounded Myst, one’s first encounter with the actual artifact that spurred it all can be more than a little anticlimactic. Seen strictly as a computer game, Myst is… okay. Maybe even pretty good. It strikes this critic at least as far from the best or worst game of its year, much less of its decade, still less of all gaming history. Its imagery is well-composited and occasionally striking, its sound and music design equally apt. The sense of desolate, immersive beauty it all conveys can be strangely affecting, and it’s married to puzzle-design instincts that are reasonable and fair. Myst‘s reputation in some quarters as impossible, illogical, or essentially unplayable is unearned; apart from some pixel hunts and perhaps the one extended maze, there’s little to really complain about on that front. On the contrary: there’s a definite logic to its mechanical puzzles, and figuring out how its machinery works through trial and error and careful note-taking, then putting your deductions into practice, is genuinely rewarding, assuming you enjoy that sort of thing.

    At same time, though, there’s just not a whole lot of there there. Certainly there’s no deeper meaning to be found; Myst never tries to be about more than exploring a striking environment and solving intricate puzzles. “When we started, we wanted to make a [thematic] statement, but the project was so big and took so much effort that we didn’t have the energy or time to put much into that part of it,” admits Robyn Miller. “So, we decided to just make a neat world, a neat adventure, and say important things another time.” And indeed, a “neat world” and “neat adventure” are fine ways of describing Myst.

today's leftovers

Filed under
Misc
  • Question the Current Dogma: Is Kubernetes Hyper-Scale Necessary for Everyone?

    Kubernetes in 2020 has become synonymous with the term cloud native and is also often used as a vehicle for vendors and IT organizations alike to claim they are transforming or modernizing their workloads. But what are they actually transforming? What is Kubernetes itself actually providing?

  • Enabling the persistent journal in Debian

    It seems unlikely that anyone on any "side" of the systemd war that has raged in Debian over the last few years thought that the results of the recent general resolution (GR) vote ended the matter. The vote showed a clear preference for moving ahead with systemd as the preferred init system, though it was far from any kind of landslide—there were definitely plenty of voters who would have preferred a different outcome. It was a complicated GR, with a wide spectrum of options, but at this point, the project as a whole has spoken. Actually implementing some of the changes that the GR enabled may not have the smooth path that some might have hoped for, however.

    On February 1, Michael Biebl posted a message to the debian-devel mailing list noting that he had fixed a wishlist bug (from 2013) by enabling the systemd persistent journal. Prior to that, journald would log to the non-persistent /run/log/journal directory by default and rsyslog would create the persistent text log files in /var/log. The change to the Debian systemd package would create the /var/log/journal directory where journald will store its persistent binary log files. That way, the journals will still be available after a reboot.

    The message said that new installs and upgrades of the systemd package would create the directory, but it also included instructions on how to revert to the existing behavior; further upgrades to the systemd package will respect that choice. Beyond that, though, running both the persistent journal and rsyslog means that the log files are effectively stored twice on disk, so Biebl may ask the Debian ftp-masters to lower the priority of rsyslog so that it is not installed by default for the upcoming Debian 11 ("bullseye") release. Those who want to have a different system logger can add it after the initial install, of course.

  • Sustain OSS 2020: quick rewind

    I loved Sustain OSS 2020 because it is a unique collection of people from various backgrounds in the Free/Open Source movement. Both old and new folks, software engineers and designers, open source program office folks and the FOSS lawyers, all together in one room. Perhaps the best part for me is leaving with a sense of empowerment and connection to a bigger movement of people.

  • Top 7 Anime Based Open-Source Projects

    Anime is no longer limited only to Japan and China; it has gone global. It has attracted many people towards it because of its high-end graphics, vivid imaginations for the future, using highly advanced technologies which only find their place in our imaginations and artificial intelligence (AI) depiction in their storylines. Naturally, it serves as a means of entertainment for any kind of audience that watches it and also it could be fun to do projects related to it. And we all know Elon Musk likes anime too:

  • Synchronous Messaging: We’re Live.

    After a nine month leadup, chat.mozilla.org, our Matrix-based replacement for IRC, has been up running for about a month now.

    While we’ve made a number of internal and community-facing announcements about progress, access and so forth, we’ve deliberately run this as a quiet, cautious, low-key rollout, letting our communities find their way to chat.m.o and Matrix organically while we sort out the bugs and rough edges of this new experience.

    Last week we turned on federation, the last major step towards opening Mozilla to the wider Matrix ecosystem, and it’s gone really well. Which means that as of last week, Mozilla’s transition from IRC to Matrix is within arm’s reach of done.

    The Matrix team have been fantastic partners throughout this process, open to feedback and responsive to concerns throughout.
    It’s been a great working relationship, and as investments of effort go one that’s already paying off exactly the way want our efforts to pay off, with functional, polish and accessibility improvements that benefit the entire Matrix ecosystem coming from the feedback from the Mozilla community.

  • Trump hesitates on plan for open access mandate

    The Trump administration is backing away from a widely reported plan to bypass publisher paywalls on scientific research resulting from federal investment, making plans instead to study the matter further.

    The chief White House science adviser, Kelvin Droegemeier, said that after two years and nearly 100 meetings with publishers, universities, researchers and others, administration officials wanted more consultation.

  • Always Use UTF-8 & Always Label Your HTML Saying So

    To avoid having to deal with escapes (other than for <, >, &, and "), to avoid data loss in form submission, to avoid XSS when serving user-provided content, and to comply with the HTML Standard, always encode your HTML as UTF-8.

  • Why Supporting Unlabeled UTF-8 in HTML on the Web Would Be Problematic

    UTF-8 has won. Yet, Web authors have to opt in to having browsers treat HTML as UTF-8 instead of the browsers Just Doing the Right Thing by default. Why?

    I’m writing this down in comprehensive form, because otherwise I will keep rewriting unsatisfactory partial explanations repeatedly as bug comments again and again. For more on how to label, see another writeup.

  • Larry Tesler, the Inventor of Copy-Paste, Was More Influential Than You Realize

    Larry Tesler perhaps wasn’t the most high-profile figure in tech history, but his impact is most certainly felt in ways big and small to this day.

    By far, his best known contribution is the cut/copy-paste functionality that he is widely credited with inventing.

    Tesler, who died this week at the age of 74, is widely credited with the invention of the basic idea thanks to his role at the famed Xerox PARC, the experimental research center that helped formulate many of the general ideas behind the personal computer. While there, Tesler came up with Gypsy, one of the first WYSIWYG document editors that was reliant on a keyboard-mouse combo, for an Xerox subsidiary, Ginn & Company. While an earlier Xerox PARC tool named Bravo predated Gypsy, Gypsy was “modeless,” meaning that the user interface was always in an editable state, rather than an editor with modes, which requires commands to be typed first before text can be modified. (The modern-day Unix editor Vim is an example of a mode-based editor, which is relatively uncommon in the modern day.)

  • Larry Tesler cut and pasted from this mortal coil: That thing you just did? He probably invented it

    Larry Tesler – self-described "primary inventor of modeless editing and cut, copy, paste" – has died at the age of 74.

    Tesler had a hand in many of the computing concepts taken for granted today. On his website he wrote: "I have been mistakenly identified as 'the father of the graphical user interface for the Macintosh'. I was not. However, a paternity test might expose me as one of its many grandparents."

    After a stint at Stanford culminating in AI research in 1973, Tesler became a member of the research staff at Xerox's famed Palo Alto Research Center (PARC).

  • The mess behind Microsoft’s yanked UEFI patch KB 4524244 [Ed: Microsoft shoots itself in the foot and even Microsoft boosters like Woody Leonhard are not happy. UEFI 'in action'...]

    Patch Tuesday’s truly odd Win10 patch KB 4524244 wreaked havoc before it was finally pulled last Friday night. Since then, accusations have flown about Kaspersky, in particular, and Microsoft’s complicity in signing a rootkit. There’s plenty of blame to go around — and much more to the story.

  • Stop Using Encrypted Email

    The least interesting problems with encrypted email have to do with PGP. PGP is a deeply broken system. It was designed in the 1990s, and in the 20 years since it became popular, cryptography has advanced in ways that PGP has not kept up with. So, for example, it recently turned out to be possible for eavesdroppers to decrypt messages without a key, simply by tampering with encrypted messages. Most technologists who work with PGP don’t understand it at a low enough level to see what’s wrong with it. But that’s a whole other argument. Even after we replace PGP, encrypted email will remain unsafe.

    Here’s why.

  • U.S. agency that handles Trump's secure communication suffered data breach

    The agency provides direct telecommunications and IT support for President Donald Trump, Vice President Mike Pence, their staff, and the U.S. Secret Service, according to its website.

    It also provides direct support to the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and other senior members of the armed forces, and its field offices support U.S. military commanders abroad.

    The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment. The letter gave few further details. For example, it did not say what part of DISA’s network had been breached, nor identify which individuals may have had their data compromised.

today's leftovers

Filed under
Misc
  • Matthew Garrett: What usage restrictions can we place in a free software license?

    Growing awareness of the wider social and political impact of software development has led to efforts to write licenses that prevent software being used to engage in acts that are seen as socially harmful, with the Hippocratic License being perhaps the most discussed example (although the JSON license's requirement that the software be used for good, not evil, is arguably an earlier version of the theme). The problem with these licenses is that they're pretty much universally considered to fall outside the definition of free software or open source licenses due to their restrictions on use, and there's a whole bunch of people who have very strong feelings that this is a very important thing. There's also the more fundamental underlying point that it's hard to write a license like this where everyone agrees on whether a specific thing is bad or not (eg, while many people working on a project may feel that it's reasonable to prohibit the software being used to support drone strikes, others may feel that the project shouldn't have a position on the use of the software to support drone strikes and some may even feel that some people should be the victims of drone strikes). This is, it turns out, all quite complicated.

    But there is something that many (but not all) people in the free software community agree on - certain restrictions are legitimate if they ultimately provide more freedom. Traditionally this was limited to restrictions on distribution (eg, the GPL requires that your recipient be able to obtain corresponding source code, and for GPLv3 must also be able to obtain the necessary signing keys to be able to replace it in covered devices), but more recently there's been some restrictions that don't require distribution. The best known is probably the clause in the Affero GPL (or AGPL) that requires that users interacting with covered code over a network be able to download the source code, but the Cryptographic Autonomy License (recently approved as an Open Source license) goes further and requires that users be able to obtain their data in order to self-host an equivalent instance.

  • Install Metabase on Ubuntu 18.04 with Nginx and SSL – Google Cloud
  • OpenBSD Foundation 2019 campaign wrapup

    Our target for 2019 was CDN$300K. Our community's continued generosity combined with our corporate donors exceeded that nicely. In addition we received the largest single donation in our history, CDN$380K from Smartisan. The return of Google was another welcome event. Altogether 2019 was our most successful campaign to date, yielding CDN$692K in total.

  • have fun with free software – truly Open Source Karaoke „SingStar“ style Performous on GNU Linux

    An open-source karaoke, band and dancing game where one or more players perform a song and the game scores their performances.

    Supports songs in UltraStar, Frets on Fire and StepMania formats.

    Microphones and instruments from SingStar, Guitar Hero and Rock Band as well as some dance pads are autodetected.

  • Reintroducing Telegram: privately funded private chat with open source apps

    I started to write an article about the latest update for Telegram, when I realized I might only be speaking to a select few in-the-know users. Far fewer than I think should be interested, anyway. Telegram is a private chat system with end-to-end encryption support and cross-platform functionality. It’s privately funded by a guy named Pavel Durov, whose only goal seems to be “fast and secure messaging that is also 100% free.”

  • Daniel Silverstone: Subplot volunteers? (Acceptance testing tool)

    Subplot is a tool for capturing and automatically verifying the acceptance criteria for a software project or a system, in a way that's understood by all stakeholders.

    In a software project there are always more than one stakeholder. Even in a project one writes for oneself, there are two stakeholders: oneself, and that malicious cretin oneself-in-the-future. More importantly, though, there are typically stakeholders such as end users, sysadmins, clients, software architects, developers, and testers. They all need to understand what the software should do, and when it's in an acceptable state to be put into use: in other words, what the acceptance criteria are.

    Crucially, all stakeholders should understand the acceptance criteria the same way, and also how to verify they are met. In an ideal situation, all verification is automated, and happens very frequently.

    There are various tools for this, from generic documentation tooling (word processors, text editors, markup languages, etc) to test automation (Cucumber, Selenium, etc). On the one hand, documenting acceptance criteria in a way that all stakeholders understand is crucial: otherwise the end users are at risk of getting something that's not useful to help them, and the project is a waste of everyone's time and money. On the other hand, automating the verification of how acceptance criteria is met is also crucial: otherwise it's done manually, which is slow, costly, and error prone, which increases the risk of project failure.

    Subplot aims to solve this by an approach that combines documentation tooling with automated verification.

  • Ulrike Uhlig: Reasons for job burnout and what motivates people in their job

    Often, burnout is conceived as a weakness of the person experiencing it: "they can't work under stress", "they lack organizational skills", "they are currently going through grief or a break up, that's why they can't keep up" — you've heard it all before, right?

  • Hard disk reliability study - 2005-2020

    In other words, practically, if I keep two copies of any which data, the likelihood of data loss is 2.5% over a decade, or 0.06% for three disks. So this kind of confirms my backup strategy from a while back, and also shows that it is important for you to keep multiple copies of important files, if you want them to outlast your hardware.

    Conclusion

    There you go. I hope you find this 15-year-long study valuable. Of course, any techie like me could do it. All techies hoard hardware like mad, and I'm sure most of Dedoimedo readers have a bunch of computers and tons of hard disks strewn about, so it's just the matter of compiling the right data. And I'm sure every such compilation would be compelling. A compelling compiling, hi hi.

    If you have any comments or suggestions about my findings, I'd love to hear them. Again, I don't have a massive data center, so I can't do an accurate comparative study between vendors, disks sizes and alike, so do take my results with a pinch of cardamom. But I believe my numbers are quite indicative for home usage scenarios, so if you're mulling how to handle your data down the long trouser leg of time, you have some indication of where to start, and how to hedge your odds. Take care.

  • How 1500 bytes became the MTU of the internet

    On the face of it 1500 is a weird number, we would normally expect a lot of constants in computing to be based around mathematical constants, like powers of 2. 1500, however fits none of those.

    So where did 1500 come from, and why are we still using it?

  • Is it Possible to Identify DNS over HTTPs Without Decrypting TLS?

    Whenever I talk about DNS over HTTPS (DoH), the question comes up if it is possible to fingerprint DoH traffic without decrypting it. The idea is that something about DoH packets is different enough to identify them.

    [...]

    At this point, I would call the experiment a "proof of concept." It is not a conclusive experiment. I only collected a few minutes of traffic and went maybe to a dozen different sites. All tests were performed on a Mac using Firefox 71 and Cloudflare as a resolver. I may get around to do more testing during the day and will update this post accordingly.

  • More DNS over HTTPS: Become One With the Packet. Be the Query. See the Query

    Two days ago, I wrote about how to profile traffic to recognize DNS over HTTPS. This is kind of a problem for DNS over HTTPS. If you can see it, you may be able to block it. On Twitter, a few chimed in to provide feedback about recognizing DNS over HTTPS. I checked a couple of other clients, and well, didn't have a ton of time so this is still very preliminary:

    [..]

    But to come back to the initial observation: The DoH traffic had specific packet sizes it preferred. So I was looking at this since it didn't seem random, meaning it leaked information.

  • ‘This Is Disastrous’: How the Vinyl Industry Is Responding to the Apollo Masters Fire

    The day that everyone in the vinyl-manufacturing world has been worried about for years finally arrived. Earlier this month, Apollo Masters Corp., one of the two places in the world that produce the lacquer discs needed to assemble master plates for pressing records, burned down. The blaze reportedly took 82 firefighters and three hours to extinguish. No one was harmed, but the fire obliterated the Banning, California, facility responsible for, by most estimates, 70 to 85 percent of the lacquer plates used in vinyl production. There is now just one such factory in the world capable of producing that crucial item, MDC in Japan, leaving the global supply of vinyl in peril.

    “We’ve all been worried about this, we’ve had meetings about it within the industry,” says Cash Carter, chief operating officer at Kindercore Vinyl Pressing in Athens, Georgia. “We’ve gotten together with all the other pressing plants, lacquer cutters, everybody, and been like, ‘What happens if MDC or Apollo goes away? We’re all fucked.’ We were dreading that day, but not thinking it would actually happen — that before anything disastrous happened, someone would come in and fix what needed to be fixed.… Now, is the sky falling? No. But this is disastrous. I think there are going to be pressing plants that close because of this.… We’ve been saying we need to fix this for years. Now, we actually need to fix this.”

  • How Kubernetes Became The Standard For Compute Resources

today's leftovers

Filed under
Misc
  • WordPress 5.4 Beta 2

    WordPress 5.4 Beta 2 is now available!

    This software is still in development, so we don’t recommend running it on a production site. Consider setting up a test site to play with the new version.

  • Open Build Service: More Responsive Than Ever Before!

    We want to change this. And with the new UI technology we introduced last year, we have the chance to do so! :clap: So in the last couple of weeks, we have focused on improving the user experience following a mobile-first approach (start the design of the page on a small screen, which has more restrictions, then expand the page features to create a tablet or desktop version).

  • Charity Navigator awards the FSF coveted four-star rating for the seventh time in a row

    Recently, we got some terrific news: Charity Navigator, an independent evaluator of US-based nonprofit charities, awarded the Free Software Foundation (FSF) a four-star rating, the highest available. According to the confirmation letter from Charity Navigator president Michael Thatcher, this rating demonstrates the FSF's "strong financial health and commitment to accountability and transparency." A four-star charity, according to their ratings, "exceeds industry standards and outperforms most charities in its cause."

    This is our seventh time in a row receiving the coveted four-star rating! Only 7% of the charities that Charity Navigator evaluates have gotten this many in a row, and they assess over 9,000 charities a year. As Thatcher's letter says, "This exceptional designation from Charity Navigator sets the Free Software Foundation apart from its peers and demonstrates to the public its trustworthiness." Even better: our overall score went from 96.66 out of 100% last year, up to 98.55 this cycle.

  • Arm's ASTC Encoder Replaces Its Restrictive EULA With Apache 2.0 License

    Arm has been developing the ASTC encoder as the texture compressor for Adaptive Scalable Texture Compression (ASTC) as open-source but until last week was carrying a restrictive license. 

    The Arm ASTC encoder had been carrying an end-user license agreement that is rather restrictive to not only the code but also the documentation and Mali ASTC specification. The EULA has been quite restrictive and far from conventional open-source licenses. 

  • Anwesha Das: The scary digital world

    Some years ago, my husband and I were looking for houses to rent. We both were in different cities and were having a telephone conversation. We had three or four phone calls to discuss this. After that, I opened my laptop and turned on my then browser, Google. Advertisements started popping up. Showing the adds of houses for rent at the very same location, the same budget I was looking for. A chill went down my bone. How did this particular website knows that we are looking for a house?

    [...]

    Why would someone want to track me? I have nothing to hide.

    This is the general response we get when we initiate the discussion of and about privacy. To which Glen Greenworld has a great reply, ‘if you do not have to hide anything, please write down all your email ids, not just the work ones, the respectable ones but all, along with the passwords to me.’ Though people have nothing to hide no one has ever got back to him Smile

    Everyone needs privacy. We flourish our being and can be true to ourselves when we do not have the fear and knowledge of being watched by someone. Everyone cares about privacy. If they did not have, there would be no password on their accounts, no locker, no keys.

  • Stephen Michael Kellat: Trying A Minimum Working Example

    When you make assertions in a channel like the Ubuntu Podcast's Telegram chatter channel they sometimes have to be backed up. Recently I made reference to how you could utilize Markdown within a LaTeX document. I should take a moment to discuss a way to use LuaLaTeX to make your Markdown documents look nice. We're going to build a "Minimum Working Example" to illustrate things.

    First, I will refer to a package on the Comprehensive TeX Archive Network simply named markdown. That handles processing Markdown input. In its documentation you find that you can actually input a separate Markdown-formatted file into the macros provided which will convert them into appropriate LaTeX code and add that programmatically into your document. LaTeX is a Turing-complete programming language after all.

  • Stuart Langridge: On the Birmingham tech scene

    You see, it doesn’t appear that the Tech Week team did much in the way of actually trying to find out whether there was a tech scene before declaring that there probably wasn’t one. If they had then they’d have probably discovered the Birmingham.io calendar which contains all the stuff that’s going on, and can be subscribed to via Google. They’d probably have spoken to the existing language-specific meetups in the city before possibly doing their own instead of rather than in conjunction with. They’d have probably discovered the Brum tech Slack which has 800-odd people in it, or2 CovHack or HackTheMidlands or FusionMeetup or devopsdays or CodeYourFuture_ or yougotthisconf or Tech Wednesday or Django Girls or OWASP or Open Code or any one of a ton of other things that are going on every week.

    Birmingham, as anyone who’s decided to be here knows, is a bit special. A person involved in tech in Birmingham is pretty likely to be able to get a similar job in London, and yet they haven’t done so. Why is that? Because Brum’s different. Things are less frantic, here, is why. We’re all in this together. London may have kings and queens: we’re the city of a thousand different trades, all on the same level, all working hand in hand. All collaborating. It’s a grass roots thing, you see. Nobody’s in charge. The calendar mentioned above is open source exactly so that there’s not one person in charge of it and anyone else can pick it up and run with it if we disappear, so the work that’s already gone into it isn’t wasted.

    [...]

    And so there’s a certain amount of resistance, on my side of the fence, to kingmakers. To people who look at the scene, all working together happily, and then say: you people need organising for your own good, because there needs to be someone in charge here. There needs to be hierarchy, otherwise how will journalists know who to ask for opinions? It’s difficult to understand an organisation which doesn’t have any organisation. W. L. Gore and Patagonia and Valve are companies that work a similar way, without direct hierarchy, in a way that the management theorist Frédéric Laloux calls a “teal organisation” and others call “open allocation”, and they baffle people the world over too; half the managers and consultants in the world look at them and say, but that can’t work, if you don’t have bosses, nobody will do anything. But it works for them. And it seems to me to be a peculiarly Brum approach to things. If we were in this for the fame and the glory we’d have gone down to London where everyone’s terribly serious and in a rush all the time. Everyone works with everyone else; BrumPHP talks about BrumJS, Fusion talks about School of Code; one meetup directs people to others that they’ll find interesting; if the devopsdays team want a speaker about JavaScript they’ll ping BrumJS to ask about who’d be good. That’s collaboration. Everyone does their bit, and tries to elevate everyone else at the same time.

today's leftovers

Filed under
Misc
  • OnMSFT.com – What we use [Ed: "On Microsoft" is actually... not on Microsoft. It's on GNU/Linux.]

    OnMSFT runs Ubuntu 18.04 and Nginx...

  • Linux 5.7 Staging Will Be ~28.7k Lines Of Code Lighter Thanks To Nuking WUSB + UWB

    With the Linux 5.7 kernel cycle in two months there is some "spring cleaning" within the staging area that is leading to almost twenty-nine thousand lines of code being removed thanks to removing a deprecated feature.

    Last year we reported on Linux deprecating Wireless USB and Ultra Wideband subsystems. That WUSB and UWB code was demoted after being orphaned without a code maintainer for years with Wireless USB really not being popular in an era of Bluetooth and WiFi advancements. With no one having expressed concern or stepping up to maintain the code since deprecating WUSB and UWB, the code is now set to be removed with Linux 5.7.

  • Everything you need to know about the ArcoLinux Tweak Tool

    Screenshot of the last version

  • Mozilla Reps in 2020 Berlin All Hands

    14 Reps were invited to participate in this year’s All Hands in Berlin.

    At the All-Hands Reps learned some easy German words (Innovationsprozess-swischenstands-schreihungsskizze), did some art (see here X artistic endeavor during a group activity), and learned about cultural differences in communication.

  • Waterfox: Firefox Fork With Legacy Add-ons Options

    In this week’s open source software highlight, we take a look at a Firefox-based browser that supports legacy extensions that Firefox no longer supports while potentially providing fast user experience.

    When it comes to web browsers, Google Chrome leads the market share. Mozilla Firefox is there still providing hopes for a mainstream web browser that respects your privacy.

    Firefox has improved a lot lately and one of the side-effects of the improvements is removal of add-ons. If your favorite add-on disappeared in last few months/years, you have a good new in the form of Witerfox.

  • Vulkan 1.2.133 Released With VK_KHR_shader_non_semantic_info

    It's been nearly one month since the release of Vulkan 1.2.132 and that came shortly after the big Vulkan 1.2 milestone, but out today is now Vulkan 1.2.133.

    Vulkan 1.2.133 has various clarifications to the documentation, adds a vendor ID for Codeplay, VK_EXT_shader_subgroup_vote / VK_EXT_shader_subgroup_ballot are deprecated, and other clarifications/corrections to the text.

  • Work on IoT Device Communication Standardization Begins

    Most people working with industrial automation equipment are familiar with OPC UA for machine and device communications. More recently, industry has been getting up to speed with MQTT and its complimentary role for industrial device communications.

    While OPC UA has long been an industry standard, work is now beginning on a broad standardization of MQTT communications via Sparkplug, the open source software specification that enables applications, sensors, devices or gateways to integrate data within an MQTT communications infrastructure. Sparkplug defines MQTT topics namespace, payload, and session state management.

    [...]

    This work will address the issue of MQTT ‘s undefined topics structure and data types—a key differentiator from OPC UA which “provides a framework for standard and custom datatypes, a defined (hierarchical) namespace and a definition for request/response style communication patterns,” as noted by Jen Reiman in ctron’s blog post about OPC UA implementation with the Eclipse Foundation’s Milo (an open source communication stack for developing OPC UA clients and servers).

    Founding members of the Sparkplug Working Group include Chevron, Canary Labs, Cirrus Link Solutions, HiveMQ, Inductive Automation, and ORing.

  • Google pulls 500 malicious Chrome extensions after researcher tip-off

    Google has abruptly pulled over 500 Chrome extensions from its Web Store that researchers discovered were stealing browsing data and executing click fraud and malvertising after installing themselves on the computers of millions of users.

    Depending on which way you look at it, that’s either a good result because they’re no longer free to infect users, or an example of how easy it is for malicious extensions to sneak on the Web Store and stay there for years without Google noticing.

  • Security updates for Monday

    Security updates have been issued by Debian (evince, postgresql-9.4, and thunderbird), Fedora (ksh and libxml2), openSUSE (hostapd and nextcloud), Red Hat (chromium-browser, firefox, flash-plugin, and ksh), and SUSE (firefox and thunderbird). 

  • Microsoft's Edge roadmap reveals history sync coming this summer, Linux support coming

    Recently, Microsoft updated its public roadmap for its still-new Edge browser, which is based on Chromium. There's quite a bit on there, from minor fixes to major things like support for Linux.

    Two specific things are new. The ability to navigate a PDF via a table of contents is now under review, and the tab preview feature from Edge Legacy is now in discussion. As 'in review' and 'in discussion' suggest, neither is a commitment to actually building out the features.

  •                

  • Nintendo Is Likely to Suffer Global Switch Shortages From Virus

                     

                       

    Limited component supply coming out of China is affecting output at a Nintendo assembly partner’s factory in Vietnam, which the gaming giant primarily uses to build consoles for the U.S., said the people, asking not to be named because the details are private. A shortage of components this month would affect Switch units scheduled for arrival in April, after existing inventory and current shipments of the console have sold through.

  •                

  • Roboflow: Popular autonomous vehicle data set contains critical flaws

    A machine learning model’s performance is only as good as the quality of the data set on which it’s trained, and in the domain of self-driving vehicles, it’s critical this performance isn’t adversely impacted by errors. A troubling report from computer vision startup Roboflow alleges that exactly this scenario occurred — according to founder Brad Dwyer, crucial bits of data were omitted from a corpus used to train self-driving car models.

    Dwyer writes that Udacity Dataset 2, which contains 15,000 images captured while driving in Mountain View and neighboring cities during daylight, has omissions. Thousands of unlabeled vehicles, hundreds of unlabeled pedestrians, and dozens of unlabeled cyclists are present in roughly 5,000 of the samples, or 33% (217 lack any annotations at all but actually contain cars, trucks, street lights, or pedestrians). Worse are the instances of phantom annotations and duplicated bounding boxes (where “bounding box” refers to objects of interest), in addition to “drastically” oversized bounding boxes.

  • The Open Wearables Initiative expands founding team; begins soliciting algorithms and datasets for wearable and connected health technologies

    Shimmer Research, a global leader in wearable technology for research applications, today announced that the Open Wearables Initiative (OWEAR) is now actively soliciting open source software and datasets from wearable sensors and other connected health technologies at http://www.owear.org. OWEAR is a collaboration designed to promote the effective use of high-quality, sensor-generated measures of health in clinical research through the open sharing and benchmarking of algorithms and datasets. OWEAR has also expanded its Working Group to include executives from four major global pharmaceutical companies, a major clinical research organization (CRO), Sage Bionetworks and the Digital Medicine Society (DiMe).

today's leftovers

Filed under
Misc
  • This Week in Linux 93: MATE 1.24, KDE Plasma 5.18, Blender, OpenShot, Evernote, MX Linux

    On this episode of This Week in Linux, we have monster of a show with new releases from desktop environments like MATE and KDE Plasma to distro news from MX Linux, Ubuntu, Project Trident and Tiny Core. In App News this week, we see new releases from Blender, OpenShot and some interesting news from Evernote. We’ll also talk about some updates from TLP the laptop performance project and Wayland display server protocol. Later in the show, we’ll check out a cool gaming overlay project called MangoHud and we’ll discuss some Legal News related to Mycroft AI and their fight against a “Patent Troll”. All that and much more on Your Weekly Source for Linux GNews!

  • How Ceph powers exciting research with Open Source

    As researchers seek scalable, high performance methods for storing data, Ceph is a powerful technology that needs to be at the top of their list. Ceph is an open-source software-defined storage platform. While it’s not often in the spotlight, it’s working hard behind the scenes, playing a crucial role in enabling ambitious, world-renowned projects such as CERN’s particle physics research, Immunity Bio’s cancer research, The Human Brain Project, MeerKat radio telescope, and more. These ventures are propelling the collective understanding of our planet and the human race beyond imaginable realms, and the outcomes will forever change how we perceive our existence and potential. It’s high-time Ceph receives the praise it deserves for powering some of the most exciting research projects on Earth.

  • Kubernetes' Inevitable Takeover of the Data Center
  • How To Drive Infrastructure Like Uber Does
  • DragonFlyBSD 5.8-RC1 Is Ready With Many Changes From DSynth To Performance Optimizations

    Not only did NetBSD 9.0 make its debut today but DragonFlyBSD 5.8 was branched and its first release candidate made while DragonFlyBSD 5.9 is the version now open on Git master.

  • Executive interview: Melissa Di Donato, CEO, SUSE

    New CEO of the world’s largest independent open source company wants to make SUSE more innovative and help businesses to modernise traditional IT

  • Every time Windows 10 Updates, it deletes all saved desktop icons, clears my taskbar, deletes all my saved favorites, passwords, and more!

    Every time my PC updates my desktop wallpaper goes back to default, and all saved icons, favorites, passwords, etc are gone. Every. Single. Time. This is getting tiring and I'm losing so much time at work saving my icons again, paswords, etc. What is going on? Also keeps changing my default printer even when the box is left un-checked, when the computer updates and restarts the box will be checked. Its almost as if the computer is set back to default after every update. Please help. I've tried quite a few things to fix and no luck.

  • February Win10 1903 and 1909 cumulative update, KB 4532693, causing desktops to disappear

    Microsoft should be paying you to beta test their buggy patches.

  • Windows 10: Update KB4532693 kills user data/profile

    There are reports that cumulative update KB4532693 for Windows 10 versions 1903 and 1909 dated February 11, 2020, is causing significant issues for some users. Desktop gone, files gone, icons gone and more.

  • Second Windows 10 update is now causing problems by hiding user profiles

    Windows 10 users are reporting that a second Windows update included in this month's Patch Tuesday is causing problems.

    According to reports, a bug in the KB4532693 update is hiding user profiles and their respective data on some Windows 10 systems.

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More in Tux Machines

7 open source Q&A platforms

Where do you go when you have a question? Since humans began walking the earth, we've asked the people around us—our family, friends, neighbors, classmates, co-workers, or other people we know well. Much later came libraries and bookstores offering knowledge and resources, as well as access for anyone to come in and search for the answers. When the home computer became common, these knowledge bases extended to electronic encyclopedias shipped on floppy disks or CD-ROMs. Then, when the internet age arrived, these knowledge bases migrated online to the likes of Wikipedia, and search engines like Google were born with the purpose of making it easy for people to search for answers to their questions. Now, sites like StackOverflow are there to answer our software questions and Quora for our general queries. The lesson is clear, though. We all have questions, and we all want answers for them. And some of us want to help others find answers to their questions, and this is where self-hosted Q&A sites come in. Read more

The City of Dortmund continues its transition to open source software

Five years after the creation of its Open Source Working Group, the City of Dortmund published several reports on the “Investigation of the potential of Free Software and Open Standards”. The reports share the city of Dortmund’s open source policy goals as well as its ambition to create an alliance of municipalities in favour of open source software. Read more

CERN adopts Mattermost, an open source messaging app

The European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) has decided to discontinue the use of the Facebook collaboration app Workplace, instead opting to replace it with Mattermost, an open source messaging app. CERN switched to open source software after changes to Facebook’s solution subscription prices and possible changes in the data security settings. Read more

Programming/Development: PHP 8.0, WASMtime 0.12, Perl, Python, and java

  • Looking At The PHP 8.0 Performance So Far In Early 2020

    With it being a while now since the PHP 7.4 release and the PHP developers continuing to be busy at work on PHP 8.0 as the next major installment of the popular web programming language, here is a fresh look at the performance of PHP 8.0 in its current state -- including when its JIT compiler is enabled -- compared to releases going back to PHP 5.6. Most exciting with PHP 8.0 is the JIT compiler that has the ability to provide better performance on top of all the gains already scored during PHP 7.x releases. PHP 8.0 is also bringing support for static return types, weak maps, union types, improved errors and warnings, and more is surely to come -- stay tuned to the PHP RFC page. The latest indications are PHP 8.0 isn't expected for release until the very end of 2020 or early 2021.

  • WASMtime 0.12 Released For The JIT-Style WebAssembly Runtime

    Announced last November was the Bytecode Alliance with a goal of running WebAssembly everywhere. This effort by Intel, Red Hat, Mozilla, and others has resulted in a new release today of wasmtime, their JIT-style runtime for WebAssembly on the desktop. The Bytecode Alliance developers from the different organizations continue working heavily on their Wasmtime JIT runtime, Cranelift low-level code generator, the WAMR micro-runtime, and Lucet sandboxing WebAssembly compiler. Wasmtime v0.12 is the new release out today for their optimizing run-time offering for WebAssembly and WASI (WebAssembly System Interface) on desktops and other non-browser use-cases.

  • The Weekly Challenge #049

    This is my second blog for The Weekly Challenge. I am only able to participate, thanks to Ryan Thompson for helping me with the Perl and Raku reviews. I am going for Perl solutions first then will try to translate it into Raku next. I believe in coding to learn the language. With so many Raku experts around, I am not shy throwing questions up. I am now going to share my experience doing “The Weekly Challenge - 049”.

  • EuroPython 2020: Call for Proposals opens on March 9th

    We’re looking for proposals on every aspect of Python: all levels of programming from novice to advanced, applications, frameworks, data science, Python projects, internals or topics which you’re excited about, your experiences with Python and its ecosystem, creative or artistic things you’ve done with Python, to name a few. EuroPython is a community conference and we are eager to hear about your use of Python. Since feedback shows that our audience is very interested in advanced topics, we’d appreciate more entries in this category for EuroPython 2020. Please help spread word about Call for Proposals to anyone who might be interested. Thanks.

  • Using Anaconda Environments with Wing Python IDE

    Wing version 7.2 has been released, and we've been looking at the new features in this version. So far we've covered reformatting with Black and YAPF, Wing 7.2's expanded support for virtualenv, and using python -m with Wing. This time we'll take a look at what Wing 7.2 provides for people that are using Anaconda environments created with conda create as an alternative to virtualenv.

  • Easy Provisioning Of Cloud Instances On Oracle Cloud Infrastructure With The OCI CLI

    The OCI CLI requires python version 3.5 or later, running on Mac, Windows, or Linux. Installation instructions are provided on the OCI CLI Quickstart page.

  • Python Range

    The Python range type generates a sequence of integers by defining a start and the end point of the range. It is generally used with the for loop to iterate over a sequence of numbers. range() works differently in Python 2 and 3. In Python 2, there are two functions that allow you to generate a sequence of integers, range and xrange. These functions are very similar, with the main difference being that range returns a list, and xrange returns an xrange object.

  • Code Borrowing and Licence Violations [Ed: This study may be deeply flawed because they bothered assessing no projects other than those that Microsoft controls (what about projects that don't use Git and Microsoft's proprietary trap?)]

    The researchers used the Public Git Archive (PGA), a large dataset that was composed in the early 2018. It consists of all GitHub projects with 50 or more stars which can be filtered by language. They extract all projects with at least one line written in Java which resulted in 24,810 projects overall and a final dataset of 23,378 Java repositories.

  • Painless Java with BlueJ

    Whenever you're learning a new programming language, it's easy to criticize all the boilerplate text you need to memorize. Before you can get comfortable starting a project, you have to remember the preambles that, in theory, ought to be easy to remember since they're usually relatively short and repetitive. In practice, though, boilerplate text is too obscure in meaning to become an easy habit, but it's essential for a program to run.