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Misc

today's howtos and leftovers

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Misc
HowTos

today's leftovers

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Misc
  • PCLinuxOS Family Member Spotlight: drhadidy

    I got introduced to Linux in the year 2001. I downloaded my first copy of Suse on my IBM Thinkpad. It wasn't easy to install. The CDs and drivers at that time had a lot of issues. So, it was a dual boot install, and mostly I was just updating the install every now and then and was trying to understand more about the system. But I was fascinated by the idea of open source.

    Then I had a very big virus problem at the end of 2006 which destroyed my Windows driven home PC and laptop, my clinic's PC and my Windows mobile phone.

    I decided to shift to Linux and just get rid of Windows forever, especially when I was reading of all the improvements in the development of Linux and how easy it became by then.

    I installed Suse as the only system on my machines. Then I had a problem with the sound card of my LG laptop.

    I started looking around and trying many other distros, until I read about PCLinuxOS. I was amazed by the reviews, and especially how the installation comes out of the box, and how so many people spoke about how their driver problems disappeared when they used PCLinuxOS. I was shocked how Linux people are impressed by its stability.

    I installed PCLinuxOS on my laptop, and my LG laptop started singing. I was really so impressed and happy with the new system, and really didn't need to go back to Windows since that day.

  • How to Test Website Speed in Linux Terminal
  • [PCLinuxOS] Screenshot Showcase
  • Debian Policy call for participation -- September 2019

    There hasn’t been much activity lately, but no shortage of interesting and hopefully-accessible Debian Policy work. Do write to debian-policy@lists.debian.org if you’d like to participate but are struggling to figure out how.

  • The Fridge: Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter Issue 594

    Welcome to the Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter, Issue 594 for the week of August 25 – 31, 2019. The full version of this issue is available here.

  • Fedora Update Weeks 33–34

    The past two weeks have been rather simple, just catching up on the remaining updates from release monitoring, and also those that monitoring missed. I’m also working through some build/test failures for various reasons.

    Most failures are around the Python 3.8 rebuild. Generally, upstreams are aware of the problems, or I could have reported a bug about it. So fixing these involve backporting fixes that are to be in the next releases. For xtl, I’ve un-retired the package, and disabled the failing arches. I’ve given up on hoping someone might figure out the gcc issue, so I’m just leaving the arch-specific bugs (RHBZ#1745840, RHBZ#1745841) as they are.

today's leftovers

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Misc
  • Espressif ESP-Skainet Voice Assistant Offers Wake Word Engine and Speech Commands Recognition for Embedded MCUs
  • scikit-survival 0.10 released

    To illustrate the use of compare_survival, let’s consider the Veterans’ Administration Lung Cancer Trial. Here, we are considering the Celltype feature and we want to know whether the tumor type impacts survival. We can visualize the survival function for each subgroup using the Kaplan-Meier estimator.

  • How To Choose The Perfect Open-Source Dashboard

    In the current data-driven scenario, data visualisation is something all data analyst have to court, and a dashboard, in this case, is an obvious protagonist. Dashboards allow real-time visualising and easy understanding of the key performance indicators in an organisation. Dashboards extract meaningful insights from data which is further used by organisations for decision-making.

    [...]

    Mozaïk is a tool based on NodeJS/ React / D3 / stylus to easily craft beautiful dashboards. It supports multiple devices through an adaptive layout such as on a big screen in the open space or smartphones.

  • Warning Issued For Millions Of Microsoft Windows 10 Users

    Picked up by the eagle eyes of Windows Latest, users are warning that Microsoft’s latest Windows 10 update is hitting performance hard. And what’s most frustrating is Microsoft was warned about this prior to release, shipped it anyway and continues to ignore it.

    Showing up for anyone who hits the ‘Check for updates’ button in Windows Update, KB4512941 was released to fix multiple problems, including bugs in Windows Sandbox, black screen issues and more. But inside the update is a botched Cortana fix which is causing the service to gobble up to 40% of user’s CPUs. Wave goodbye to half your PC’s power and a good chunk of battery life.

  • Security updates for Monday

    Security updates have been issued by Debian (gosa, libav, libextractor, nghttp2, pump, and python2.7), Fedora (dovecot, mod_http2, and pango), Gentoo (dovecot, gnome-desktop, libofx, and nautilus), Mageia (ansible, ghostscript, graphicsmagick, memcached, mpg123, pango, vlc, wavpack, webmin, wireshark, and wpa_supplicant, hostapd), openSUSE (flatpak, libmirage, podman, slirp4netns and libcontainers-common, python-SQLAlchemy, and qemu), Red Hat (ghostscript, java-1.8.0-ibm, and squid:4), and SUSE (kernel, libsolv, libzypp, zypper, NetworkManager, nodejs10, nodejs8, perl, python-Django, and python-SQLAlchemy).

  • GSoC’19 Project : Milestone 4

    The fourth milestone for my Google Summer of Code 2019’s project Porting KDE Connect to Windows involves creating some system integrations for the windows Operating System so it works seamlessly on Windows.

today's leftovers

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Misc
  • Destination Linux 136 - Raspberry Pi, System76 Firmware Tool, OBS, IBM Open-Source POWER, EVERSPACE
  • EROFS Is Graduating From Staging In Linux 5.4

    Linux 5.4 will be a big kernel on the file-system front as in addition to introducing the new VirtIO-FS and exFAT file-system support, Huawei's EROFS file-system will be graduating from staging.

  • GreenWithEnvy 0.13 Released For Better NVIDIA GPU Overclocking On Linux

    t's been a number of months since last seeing a new release of GreenWithEnvy or hearing anything out of the project, but this weekend is finally a new version of this open-source overclocking panel for NVIDIA graphics cards on Linux.

    GreenWithEnvy 0.13 is the new release out today and their first since February. GreenWithEnvy 0.13 has various library updates, fixes the saving of preferences when running the Flatpak version of the program, and adds an option to minimize the application to the tray when hitting the close button.

  • Open-source flash emulator hopes to preserve a generation of Flash games

    In a bid to preserve a generation's worth of Flash games, a new open-source project hopes to create, and share, a Flash emulator.

    The project - which comes just a few weeks after Adobe announced plans to "end-of-life Flash" - hopes to secure a way to play Flash games in your browser via emulation. Mike Welsh, who has previously worked on the Flash-to-HD video converter Swivel for Newgrounds, is currently leading the project.

  • Coding Education Challenge promises $500k for innovative ways to teach next-gen programmers

    Non-profit organization The GNOME Foundation and philanthropic tech company Endless have teamed up to help the next-generation of coders by announcing the Coding Education Challenge. Endless has agreed to provide $500,000 to fund the competition.

    The challenge's aim is to attract projects that’ll bring new ways for educators and students to teach and learn coding through free and open-source coding software.

  • KDE Connect macOS Release

    Now it’s the end of Google Summer of Code 2019. As my GSoC project, the port of KDE Connect on macOS has made great progress. You can find and download it in my blog release page.

    Note: This post aims at presenting the features of KDE Connect which have been implemented on macOS. If you’d like to know more information, such as compilation of your own KDE Connect binary on macOS, please turn to another post in my post Connect your Android phone with your Mac via KDE Connect. And if you’re interested in what I’ve done during Google Summer of Code, my status report of Google Summer of Code is HERE.

today's leftovers

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Misc
  • Waypipe Is Successfully Working For This Network-Transparent Wayland Apps/Games Proxy

    Waypipe is off to the races as the newest network transparency effort in the Wayland space. Waypipe provides a network transparent Wayland proxy for running native Wayland programs/games over a network similar to X11's capabilities and forwarding X over an SSH connection.

    Waypipe development was successful this summer by student developer Manuel Stoeckl who was working on the effort as part of this year's Google Summer of Code (GSoC). Waypipe is successfully working now for running Wayland games/applications over the network using this proxy mechanism and supports features like compression, multi-threading optimizations, and hardware-accelerated VA-API for video encode/decode across the network.

  • Fedora Community Blog: Stories from the amazing world of release-monitoring.org #7

    The view from the top of the tower was amazing. With few exceptions most of the things worked as they should. I had one hand on my wizard hat to protect it from wind. It’s too windy in this height. As I was looking from the tower, door behind me opened and traveler came in.

    “I’m glad to see you. It was a while till we met. There was plenty of things that happened in the meantime and needed my attention. I even spent some time in the world of Bodhi and I must say it is complicated and noisy world. Too different from this one. But this is the story for another time.” I stepped back from the railing and moved to part of the balcony that was shielded from the wind. There was table and two chairs. I sat on one and traveler followed me. “You probably want to hear some news. So relax and listen, this will take some time.”

  • Fedora Community Blog: FPgM report: 2019-35

    Here’s your report of what has happened in Fedora Program Management this week. The Beta freeze is underway.

    I have weekly office hours in #fedora-meeting-1. Drop by if you have any questions or comments about the schedule, Changes, elections, or anything else.

  • Chris Lamb: Free software activities in August 2019

    I was extremely proud to be announce I will be joining the folks at Software in the Public Interest to assist its many umbrella projects and free software in General. You can read the official announcement here.

    [...]

    I attended this year's Debian Party in Cambridge, UK. Better known as the "OMGWTFBBQ", I had a great time despite the remarkable heat. A special thanks to Steve for hosting the event and all others who helpedand organise this, as well as Mythic Beasts, Collabora and Codethink for sponsoring the event. For my part I made some souvenir beer mats commemorating the event, offering them gratis with a nudge towards becoming a supporter of the Software Freedom Conservancy:

  • CUPS 2.3 Printing System Finally Released With Licensing Change & Other Additions

    CUPS 2.3 is an important update due to a licensing change and important for Linux users now that there is an issue being resolved from earlier in the development cycle. Apple, which has been under the control of CUPS for the past decade, decided to relicense this printing server to the Apache 2.0 license. But due to various non-Apple Linux CUPS utilities like cups-filters being GPLv2, that presents a problem. Apple lawyers ended up adding an exception to their Apache 2.0 license to allow linking the software with GPLv2 software, which takes care of the issue while still satisfying them with their re-license. This seems to be part of the reason why the CUPS 2.3 release took so long to materialize.

  • A very deep dive into iOS Exploit chains found in the wild

    Project Zero’s mission is to make 0-day hard. We often work with other companies to find and report security vulnerabilities, with the ultimate goal of advocating for structural security improvements in popular systems to help protect people everywhere.

    Earlier this year Google's Threat Analysis Group (TAG) discovered a small collection of hacked websites. The hacked sites were being used in indiscriminate watering hole attacks against their visitors, using iPhone 0-day.

    There was no target discrimination; simply visiting the hacked site was enough for the exploit server to attack your device, and if it was successful, install a monitoring implant. We estimate that these sites receive thousands of visitors per week.

    TAG was able to collect five separate, complete and unique iPhone exploit chains, covering almost every version from iOS 10 through to the latest version of iOS 12. This indicated a group making a sustained effort to hack the users of iPhones in certain communities over a period of at least two years.

  • Coin-mining malware jumps from Arm IoT gear to Intel servers

    A coin-mining malware infection previously only seen on Arm-powered IoT devices has made the jump to Intel systems.

    Akamai senior security researcher Larry Cashdollar says one of his honeypot systems recently turned up what appears to be an IoT malware that targets Intel machines running Linux.

    "I suspect it’s probably a derivate of other IoT crypto mining botnets," Cashdollar told The Register. "This one seems to target enterprise systems."

    In addition to being fine-tuned for Intel x86 and 686 processors, the malware looks to establish an SSH Port 22 connection and deliver itself as a gzip archive. From there, the malware checks to see if the machine has already been infected (at which point the installation stops) or if an earlier version is running and needs to be terminated. From there, three different directories are created with different versions of the same files.

    "Each directory contains a variation of the XMrig v2.14.1 cryptocurrency miner in either x86 32bit or 64bit format," the Akamai security ace explained. "Some of the binaries are named after common Unix utilities, like ps, in an attempt to blend into a normal process list."

  • AMD Prepping Their HDCP 1.4 Content Protection Support For Raven Ridge & Newer

    AMD developers have sent out their latest open-source Linux patches doing their kernel driver share for enabling High-bandwidth Digital Content Protection (HDCP) support for version 1.4 and newer.

    While seeing HDCP support patches for open-source graphics drivers does irritate many in the community, similar to other open-source drivers supporting HDCP, this is only one part of the content protection puzzle. These patches alone do not impose any restrictions on users or other impairments, but mainly comes down to such proprietary software wanting to make use of HDCP capabilities on Linux. Open-source video players and the like can continue to enjoy GPU-based video acceleration uninterrupted.

    [...]

    Intel's open-source Linux graphics driver only began seeing HDCP work relatively recently when Google engineers were interested with the Intel support in the context of Chromebook support.

  • Hey, it's 2019. Quit making battery-draining webpages – say makers of webpage-displaying battery-powered kit

    Apple WebKit engineers Benjamin Poulain and Simon Fraser have offered advice to web developers about how to design power-efficient web pages, to preserve the life of mobile device batteries and give users more time interacting with web content.

    "Web developers rarely think about power usage, but they really should," said Fraser, via Twitter.

    WebKit is the browser rendering engine at the heart of Apple's mobile and desktop Safari browsers, but the tips presented by its programmers apply to web pages presented in any browser, for the most part.

today's leftovers

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Misc
  • Storj Labs advances decentralized cloud storage platform

    Open source cloud storage startup Storj Labs is set to bring its vision of decentralized cloud storage to enterprise users.

    The Storj Labs Tardigrade service uses blockchain technology and a distributed network of storage nodes, provided by people or organizations that are paid for providing storage capacity. The initial versions of the Storj Labs decentralized cloud storage platform were not focused on providing the controls and guarantees needed for commercial use, but that is changing with version 3 of the Storj Labs platform and the Tardigrade platform, which became available in beta on Aug. 22.

  • Open-source serverless framework wants to pave the way towards serverless 2.0

    According to Jonas Bonér, CTO at Lightbend, today’s current serverless movement focuses a lot on automation and infrastructure, but neglects requirements at the application layer. This is because data, streaming and event-driven stateful architectures can be challenging, he explained.

    “The next generation serverless platform and programming model will take a more holistic grip on the whole system, end-to-end, and allow general-purpose application development—e.g. microservices, fast data, streaming pipelines, AI/ML, etc. It will let us implement common use-cases such as: shopping carts, user sessions, transactions, ML model training serving, low-latency prediction and recommendation serving, anomaly detection, job scheduling, and much more,” Bonér told SD Times. “What we are missing is support for long-lived virtual stateful functions, a way to manage distributed—durable and ephemeral—state in a scalable and available fashion, ways to co-locate processing and data, and options for choosing the right consistency model for the job.”

  • Talking Digital Transformation With The New And Prior CEO

    Here is a situation that each and every IT manager and chief information officer has experienced and will continue to experience: Having a very long conversation with the president or chief executive officer of their company about how to engage in or continue with digital transformation and the application and database modernization that this entails. And sometimes, that conversation will happen as a new person takes the helm of the company.

    That’s precisely what we did this week, but with a twist or two. We are not an IT manager or CIO, but rather an observer in the boardrooms of IBM i shops around the world, and the current and prior CEOs that we were talking to not only had to do some digital transformation and modernization projects of their own, but more importantly they run a company that for more than three decades has been involved in helping other organizations make this transformation. Specifically, we talked to Daniel Crépeau, who has just been appointed president and CEO at Fresche Solutions, one of the largest IBM i business partners in the world, and Andy Kulakowski, one of the co-founders of the company and the leader of the management buyout of what was then called Fresche Legacy and what was also a much smaller company with a much narrower market.

  • Unix as a Second Language: The touch command
  • Fabiano Fidencio: GUADEC 2019

    I've just came back from GUADEC 2019, which happened in Thessaloniki (Greece), and it's time to a small report of what has been accomplished there.

    As most of you probably know although I'm not exactly a GNOME developer, I do a bunch of work which is either specifically to be consumed by GNOME Boxes (and other management applications will take advantage of the work) or GNOME Boxes can, at least, take advantage of.

    With that in mind, I've headed to GUADEC 2019 with basically two major things in mind:
    - Meet my Google Summer of Code student and plan what's going on for the future;
    - Join the GNOME Boxes' BoF and check whether we could have an agreement on how to default to UEFI whenever it's possible;

    What I didn't have in mind, though, was that I'd be able to meet people like Will Thompson (from Endless OS), Carl Richell (from System76), and Cassidy James (from Elementary OS). Talking to them in person was something amazing which allowed me to have conversations on how to have the work they do better present in GNOME Boxes (with regard to displaying updated entries, in case of Endless OS and Pop!_OS, or with regard to having their entries added, in case of Elementary OS).

today's leftovers and howtos

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Misc
HowTos
  • Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8 installation tips and tricks
  • exim postfix test – telnet testing smtp mta mail server connections (TLS)
  • Why I prefer SSH for Git?
  • What It Takes to Become a Successful Linux Administrator
  • The Linux Foundation's LF Edge Releases V2.0 of the Open Glossary of Edge Computing
  • The Linux Foundation’s LF Edge Releases V2.0 of the Open Glossary of Edge Computing

    LF Edge, an umbrella organization within the Linux Foundation that aims to establish an open, interoperable framework for edge computing independent of hardware, silicon, cloud, or operating system, today announced Version 2.0 of its Open Glossary of Edge Computing. This latest version of the Open Glossary adds a year of updates from the edge community while further iterating vocabulary across the entirety of LF Edge projects.

    The Open Glossary of Edge Computing was created in 2018 as a vehicle to organize a shared, vendor-neutral vocabulary for edge computing to improve communication and accelerate innovation in the field. Launched as part of the first annual State of the Edge report, the Open Glossary is now an open source project under the LF Edge umbrella. The Open Glossary 2.0 is available in a publicly-accessible GitHub repo, and the new versions will be included in the State of the Edge 2019 report, to be released later this fall.

    “The Open Glossary of Edge Computing exemplifies a community-driven process to document and refine the language around edge computing,” said Arpit Joshipura, general manager, Networking, Edge, and IoT, the Linux Foundation. “As the diversity of LF Edge increases, we want frameworks in place that make it easy to talk about edge computing in consistent and less-biased ways. It’s imperative the community comes together to converge on a shared vocabulary, as it will play a substantial role in how our industry discusses and defines the next-generation internet.”

  • Retro Computing with the Altair-Duino

    Katherine Druckman, Doc Searls and Petros Koutoupis talk to Chris Davis of adwaterandstir.com about his Arduino-based Altair 8800 replica kits.

  • New podcast episode: Reality 2.0 – Retro Computing with the Altair-Duino

    An exciting new podcast episode is out: Reality 2.0 – Retro Computing with the Altair-Duino. This is a follow-up conversation about the Altair-Duino. Katherine Druckman, Doc Searls and myself talk to Chris Davis of www.adwaterandstir.com about his Arduino-based Altair 8800 replica kits. I had a lot of fun with this conversation.

today's leftovers

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Misc
  • Google and Dell team up to tackle Microsoft with first Chromebook Enterprise laptops

    Chromebooks are mighty popular with cheapskate students and in the education sector, but they haven't exactly taken the rest of the world by storm; Windows machines dominate in the enterprise world, and MacBook Pros are the go-to for moustachioed matcha latte-chugging creative types.

    While Google isn't ready to take on the latter, it seems to want to square up to the former. And the Dell Latitude 5300 2-in-1 Chromebook Enterprise and Latitude 5400 Chromebook Enterprise could be the ticket for it to do so. Both machines will go on sale on 27 August, with prices starting at £699 and £449, respectively.

  • curl exercises

    Recently I’ve been interested in how people learn things. I was reading Kathy Sierra’s great book Badass: Making Users Awesome. It talks about the idea of deliberate practice.

    The idea is that you find a small micro-skill that can be learned in maybe 3 sessions of 45 minutes, and focus on learning that micro-skill. So, as an exercise, I was trying to think of a computer skill that I thought could be learned in 3 45-minute sessions.

    I thought that making HTTP requests with curl might be a skill like that, so here are some curl exercises as an experiment!

  • Altruism Still Fuels the Web. Businesses Love to Exploit It

    In practice, if not in theory, you're no doubt familiar with the free rider problem: the roommate who doesn't help with the dishes but happily eats from clean plates; the student assigned to a group project who lets everyone else do the work, knowing they all get the same grade. It's a basic tenet of analysis in social science, especially in economics and political science. And yet Linux exists. Wikipedia exists.

    Here's how I'd explain these apparent grand exceptions to our visitor. Under the right conditions, there are clearly some people who will put in a lot of work simply because it's rewarding to contribute to something larger than themselves. And when the number of people who can theoretically collaborate on a project scales up into the billions, your chance of yoking together a critical mass of volunteers goes up exponentially. Then, suddenly, things that look impossible, like Wikipedia or Linux, can happen.

    But there's a rub. The free rider problem does emerge in the realm of open source software, and with a vengeance. Because even though humans aren't incorrigibly or universally selfish, we've built plenty of institutions that do act that way.

  • In-Kernel TLS | BSD Now 313

    OpenBSD on 7th gen Thinkpad X1 Carbon, how to install FreeBSD on a MacBook, Kernel portion of in-kernel TLS (KTLS), Boot Environments on DragonflyBSD, Project Trident Updates, vBSDcon schedule, and more.

today's howtos and leftovers

Filed under
Misc
HowTos
  • Build a monitoring infrastructure for your Jaeger installation
  • Benchmark Linux systems: Install Sysbench tool
  • [SUSE] How Cilium uses BPF to Supercharge Kubernetes Networking & Security
  • Use fallocate Command to Create Files of Specific Size in Linux
  • Rclone 1.49 Adds Google Photos Backend, New Web UI

    Rclone, a free and open source command line cloud storage hub, was updated to version 1.49 with major additions like 4 new backends, including for the much requested Google Photos, and a new experimental web UI. There's also a new logo (picture above).

    Rclone is a command line cloud storage synchronization program. It allows accessing and synchronizing files between your filesystem and cloud storage services, or between multiple cloud storage services. It features one way sync to make a directory identical, it has encryption, cache and union backends, supports FUSE mounts, and can serve local or remote files over HTTP, WebDav, FTP, SFTP or dlna.

  • GSoC ’19 comes to an end

    The library will be doing the heavy lifting by rendering QML templates to QImage frames using QQuickRenderControl in the new MLT QML producer. Parameters that can be manipulated are:

    FPS
    Duration
    DPI
    Image Format
    The library can be tested using QmlRender (a CLI executable).

  • RFH: Naming things is hard

    Lars and I have been working on an acceptance testing tool recently. You may have seen the soft launch announcement on Lars' blog. Sadly since that time we've discovered that Fable is an overloaded name in the domain of software quality assurance and we do not want to try and compete with Fable since (a) they were there first, and (Cool accessibility is super-important and we don't want to detract from the work they're doing.

  • Debian 10 Buster GNOME Edition – Features GNOME 3.30 and Powered by Linux Kernel 4.19

    Debian 10 “Buster” operating system, a major release of debian Linux distribution that brings many new features and enhancements. ships with a variety of desktop environments, running with Gnome Desktop (3.30) with Wayland display server by default (but it also incorporates Cinnamon 3.8, KDE Plasma 5.14, Mate 1.20, Xfce 4.12 and more), including support for the latest LTS (Long Term Support) Linux kernel series, support for new devices, improved support for existing hardware, as well as up-to-date packages and latest security patches.

    The AppArmor open-source access control framework is now installed and enabled by default in Debian 10 “Buster” to add a new layer of security to the operating system. Also, the seccomp-BPF sandboxing method is now being used by APT for better security, along with UEFI Secure Boot support.

today's leftovers

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Misc
  • Google Does A Good Job Sticking Close To Upstream For Their Linux Kernels On Chromebooks

    For those wondering how Google manages the Linux kernel sources they use for shipping on the dozens of different Chromebooks and maintaining the support for the respective cycles, Douglas Anderson of Google presented at last week's Embedded Linux Conference in San Diego on the matter.

    Google tries to stick close to the upstream kernel as possible to reduce their maintenance burden as well as making it easier to upstream changes. Google engineers pick an LTS kernel on an annual basis that they use for all devices for the given year.

  • Marketing Open Source Projects

    Marketing is as crucial as code to any open source project’s success. Organizations that participate in open source projects play a vital role in developing a sustainable ecosystem around a project by marketing the project through their own networks. Organizations, in turn, benefit from those marketing efforts by growing their visibility in the project community and associating their own brand with the project. The benefits can be seen in a growing project leadership role, attracting developers to your organization, and promoting your open source products and services. The key is to promote the project first and always remain authentic and true to the open source ethos of openness and transparency.

  • List Of The Best Linux Distros For Laptops In 2019

    Linux is not only the server-side operating system as it is already creating a big impact in desktop and laptop segment too. There are plenty of Linux based operating systems developed for different purposes.

    In this post, we are going to write about some of the best Linux distros suitable for the Laptops in 2019.

  • Rabbit Holes: The Secret to Technical Expertise

    Sometimes, the simplest questions take you on exciting journies. This was, in fact, the most powerful and motivating force that got me into doing computery things from a very young age. I would ask a question, how do I X? And after some poking around I discover that I can't do X without learning about Y and Some Authoritative Resource says you definitely can't do Y without also knowing the arcane black magic of Z. And so on and so forth until I get myself so buried in tangents that at a certain point, I have no choice but to stop and come up for air. Or a potty break and snack.

    In the glamorous tech sector, we call these things rabbit holes. Unless you got into tech solely for the money (you monster), it's stuff like this that we nerds live for. It's how we got our start and crucially, it's how we continue to learn and hone our skillset.

    But what, you ask, does a rabbit hole look like? And anyway, don't rabbits live in dens or burrows? First of all, nobody asked you to critique the metaphor. Second, I'll show you. This isn't the deepest or most complex rabbit hole that I've stumbled down but it is recent and that counts for something when I'm itching to write something. Please feel free to follow along on your own instance of Ubuntu 18.04 if you have one handy. When you log into such a host, you are greeted with 27 lines of this here nonsense: [...]

  • FSFE booth on Veganmania Donauinsel 2019

    Once more free software activists from Vienna used the opportunity of the local vegan summer festival to inform about the possibility to increase our independence on computers and mobile devices. It was the second such event in Vienna this year. But unlike the first which was directly in the city center with loads of passers by this street festival took place in Viennas big recreation area on the island in the Danube river. It is rather close to the city center also and therefore many local people visit it in their spare time. The organisers estimated 9000 visitors per day.

    The FSFE booth was manned there all the time from Saturday between 12:00 and 21:00 and Sunday from 10:00 to 19:00. It had a great spot far enough away from the stage with live music in order to allow undisturbed conversations and still close enough to the other 90 stalls with drinks, food, merchantise and a variety of stalls on other subjects like animal welfare, veganism sustainability, shelters and environmental protection.

    Since it was an outdoor event on a meadow and because we don’t own a tent we couldn’t hang-up our posters. We just used our umbrella to not be exposed directly to the strong summer sun. And we had huge luck with the weather. Shortly after the festival was closed down on Saturday heavy rain started and it lasted until shortly before the event started again the next day.

    Over the years we have collected a few regulars on our information stalls who normally drop by but again mostly totally new people frequented our FSFE information desk. Many of them had no prior knowledge what free software is about. Most of the time we were engaged in conversations with interested people and many explicitly thanked us for being there. We frequently explained why we man an FSFE information stall on a vegan summer festival: If you use the same ethical considerations that lead people to adopt a vegan life style in information technology you end up with free software.

  • Mark Brown: Linux Audio Miniconference 2019

    As in previous years we’re going to have an audio miniconference so we can get together and talk through issues, especially design decisions, face to face. This year’s event will be held on Sunday October 31st in Lyon, France, the day after ELC-E. This will be held at the Lyon Convention Center (the ELC-E venue), generously sponsored by Intel.

    As with previous years let’s pull together an agenda through a mailing list discussion – this announcement has been posted to alsa-devel as well, the most convenient thing would be to follow up to it. Of course if we can sort things out more quickly via the mailing list that’s even better!

    If you’re planning to attend please fill out the form here.

  • Release of nx-libs 3.5.99.22 (Call for Testing: Keyboard auto-grab Support)

    Long time not blogged about, however, there is a new release of nx-libs: nx-libs 3.5.99.22.
    What is nx-libs?

    The nx-libs team maintains a software originally developed by NoMachine under the name nx-X11 (version 3) or shorter: NXv3. For years now, a small team of volunteers is continually improving, fixing and maintaining the code base (after some major and radical cleanups) of NXv3. NXv3 aka x2goagent has been the only graphical backend in X2Go [0], a remote desktop framework for Linux terminal servers, over the past years.

  • Rootkits 101

    Rootkits originated in the early days of UNIX-based systems. They can be broadly defined as a collection of malicious software and tools used to exploit security vulnerabilities in any UNIX operating system.

    But in modern parlance, since Windows systems dominate the cyber ecosystem, rootkits have a much narrower definition — those that target Windows systems. They are divided into those that restrict themselves to the software space (user) of the OS, and those that delve into the deeper levels with direct firmware access (kernel).

  • Solving the Cyber Security Problem: Mission Impossible

    Why nothing is working in cyber security?

  • Secret backdoor inserted into Webmin tool

    Cameron has traced the modification to an incident in April last year involving the Webmin development build server being exploited. The vulnerability was added to one of Webmin's scripts, and the timestamp of the modified script was set back so that the modification was not detected.

    The same backdoor is present in versions 1.900 to 1.920 of the tool, but is only exploitable if an administrator had enabled the feature to allow the changing of expired passwords.

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More in Tux Machines

Android Leftovers

Linux on the mainframe: Then and now

Last week, I introduced you to the origins of the mainframe's origins from a community perspective. Let's continue our journey, picking up at the end of 1999, which is when IBM got onboard with Linux on the mainframe (IBM Z). These patches weren't part of the mainline Linux kernel yet, but they did get Linux running on z/VM (Virtual Machine for IBM Z), for anyone who was interested. Several efforts followed, including the first Linux distro—put together out of Marist College in Poughkeepsie, N.Y., and Think Blue Linux by Millenux in Germany. The first real commercial distribution came from SUSE on October 31, 2000; this is notable in SUSE history because the first edition of what is now known as SUSE Enterprise Linux (SLES) is that S/390 port. Drawing again from Wikipedia, the SUSE Enterprise Linux page explains: Read more

OSS: Cisco Openwashing, GitLab Funding, Amazon Openwashing, Chrome OS Talk and More Talks

  • Why Open Source continues to be the foundation for modern IT

    Open source technology is no longer an outlier in the modern world, it's the foundation for development and collaboration. Sitting at the base of the open source movement is the Linux Foundation, which despite having the name Linux in its title, is about much more than just Linux and today is comprised of multiple foundations, each seeking to advance open source technology and development processes. At the recent Open Source Summit North America event held in San Diego, the width and breadth of open source was discussed ranging from gaming to networking, to the movie business ,to initiatives that can literally help save humanity. "The cool thing is that no matter whether it's networking, Linux kernel projects, the Cloud Native Computing Foundation projects like Kubernetes, or the film industry with the Academy Software Foundation (ASWF), you know open source is really pushing innovation beyond software and into all sorts of different areas," Jim Zemlin, executive director of the Linux Foundation said during his keynote address.

  • GitLab Inhales $268M Series E, Valuation Hits $2.75B

    GitLab raised a substantial $268 million in a Series E funding round that was more than doubled what the firm had raised across all of its previous funding rounds and pushed its valuation to $2.75 billion. It also bolsters the company’s coffers as it battles in an increasingly competitive DevOps space. GitLab CEO Sid Sijbrandij said in an email to SDxCentral that the new Series E funds will help the company continue to move on its goal of providing a single application to support quicker delivery of software. It claims more than 100,000 organizations use its platform. “These funds will help us to keep up with that pace and add to that with our company engineers,” Sijbrandij explained. “We need to make sure every part of GitLab is great and that CIOs and CTOs who supply the tools for their teams know that if they bet on GitLab that we’ll stand up to their expectations.”

  • Amazon open-sources its Topical Chat data set of over 4.7 million words [Ed: openwashing of listening devices without even releasing any code]
  • How Chrome OS works upstream

    Google has a long and interesting history contributing to the upstream Linux kernel. With Chrome OS, Google has tried to learn from some of the mistakes of its past and is now working with the upstream Linux kernel as much as it can. In a session at the 2019 Open Source Summit North America, Google software engineer Doug Anderson detailed how and why Chrome OS developers work upstream. It is an effort intended to help the Linux community as well as Google. The Chrome OS kernel is at the core of Google's Chromebook devices, and is based on a Linux long-term support (LTS) kernel. Anderson explained that Google picks an LTS kernel every year and all devices produced in that year will use the selected kernel. At least once during a device's lifetime, Google expects to be able to "uprev" (switch to a newer kernel version). Anderson emphasized that if Google didn't upstream its own patches from the Chrome OS kernel, it would make the uprev process substantially more difficult. Simply saying that you'll work upstream and actually working upstream can be two different things. The process by which Chrome OS developers get their patches upstream is similar to how any other patches land in the mainline Linux kernel. What is a bit interesting is the organizational structure and process of how Google has tasked Chrome OS developers to work with upstream. Anderson explained that developers need to submit patches to the kernel mailing list and then be a little patient, giving some time for upstream to respond. A key challenge, however, is when there is no response from upstream. "When developing an upstream-first culture, the biggest problem anyone can face is silence," Anderson said. Anderson emphasized that when submitting a patch to the mailing list, what a developer is looking for is some kind of feedback; whether it's good or bad doesn't matter, but it does matter that someone cares enough to review it. What the Chrome OS team does in the event that there is no community review is it will have other Chrome OS engineers publicly review the patch. The risk and worry of having Chrome OS engineers comment on Chrome OS patches is that the whole process might look a little scripted and there could be the perception of some bias as well. Anderson noted that it is important that only honest feedback and review is given for a patch.

  • Open Source Builds Trust & Credibility | Karyl Fowler

    Karyl Fowler is co-founder and CEO of Transmute, a company that’s building open source and decentralized identity management. We sat down with Fowler at the Oracle OpenWorld conference to talk about the work Transmute is doing.

  • What Is Infrastructure As Code?

    Rob Hirschfeld, Founder, and CEO of RackN breaks Infrastructure As Code (IaC) into six core concepts so users have a better understanding of it.

  • Everything You Need To Know About Redis Labs

    At the Oracle OpenWorld conference, we sat down with Kyle Davis – Head of Developer Advocacy at Redis Labs – to better understand what the company does.

Programming: Java, Python, and Perl

  • Oracle Releases Java 13 with Remarkable New Features

    Oracle – the software giant has released Java SE and JDK 13 along with the promise to introduce more new features in the future within the six-month cycle. The Java 13’s binaries are now available for download with improvements in security, performance, stability, and two new additional preview features ‘Switch Expressions’ and ‘Text Blocks’, specifically designed to boost developers’ productivity level. This gives the hope that the battle of Java vs Python will be won by the former. Remarking on the new release, Oracle said: “Oracle JDK 13 increases developer productivity by improving the performance, stability and security of the Java SE Platform and the JDK,”. [...] Speaking of the Java 13 release, it is licensed under the GNU General Public License v2 along with the Classpath Exception (GPLv2+CPE). The director of Oracle’s Java SE Product Management, Sharat Chander stated “Oracle offers Java 13 for enterprises and developers. JDK 13 will receive a minimum of two updates, per the Oracle CPU schedule, before being followed by Oracle JDK 14, which is due out in March 2020, with early access builds already available.” Let’s look into the new features that JDK 13 comes packed with.

  • 8 Python GUI Frameworks For Developers

    Graphical User Interfaces make human-machine interactions easier as well as intuitive. It plays a crucial role as the world is shifting.

  • What's In A Name? Tales Of Python, Perl, And The GIMP

    In the older days of open source software, major projects tended to have their Benevolent Dictators For Life who made all the final decisions, and some mature projects still operate that way. Guido van Rossum famously called his language “Python” because he liked the British comics of the same name. That’s the sort of thing that only a single developer can get away with. However, in these modern times of GitHub, GitLab, and other collaboration platforms, community-driven decision making has become a more and more common phenomenon, shifting software development towards democracy. People begin to think of themselves as “Python programmers” or “GIMP users” and the name of the project fuses irrevocably with their identity. What happens when software projects fork, develop apart, or otherwise change significantly? Obviously, to prevent confusion, they get a new name, and all of those “Perl Monks” need to become “Raku Monks”. Needless to say, what should be a trivial detail — what we’ve all decided to call this pile of ones and zeros or language constructs — can become a big deal. Don’t believe us? Here are the stories of renaming Python, Perl, and the GIMP.

  • How to teach (yourself) computer programming

    Many fellow students are likely in the same boat, the only difference being that the vast majority not only that don’t list computer science as one of their passions (but more as one of their reasons for not wanting to live anymore), but they get a very distorted view of what computer science and programming actually is.

    Said CS classes tend to be kind of a joke, not only because of the curriculum. The main reason why they are bad and boring is the way they are taught. I am going to address my main frustrations on this matter together with proposed solutions and a guide for those who want to start learning alone.

  • [Old] Perl Is Still The Goddess For Text Manipulation

    You heard me. Freedom is the word here with Perl.

    When I’m coding freely at home on my fun data science project, I rely on it to clean up my data.

    In the real world, data is often collected with loads of variations. Unless you are using someone’s “clean” dataset, you better learn to clean that data real fast.

    Yes, Perl is fast. It’s lightening fast.