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today's leftovers

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Misc

today's leftovers

Filed under
Misc

today's leftovers

Filed under
Misc
  • 6th Birthday of It’s FOSS: Win Linux Laptop, Stickers and more Gifts
  • Five Useful Features That Are On Their Way To The Chrome OS
  • HackUp is a Desktop Hacker News Client for Linux

    Avid readers of social news sharing site Hacker News might be interested in a new app recently added to Flathub.

    Called HackUp, it is a Hacker News desktop client written in Vala. It lets you browse and read Hacker News submissions without needing to open a web browser (which for a legendary procrastinator like me, is a good thing).

  • Why use Chef for automation and orchestration

    Chef has been a leading open source tool for automating the provisioning and configuration of servers for the better part of a decade. In recent years the company added InSpec and Habitat to the portfolio, open source projects that automate policy compliance testing and the deployment and configuration of applications, respectively. The company’s flagship commercial offering, Chef Automate, brings all of these pieces together.  

  • Xfdesktop 4.13.2 Released As Another Step Towards Xfce 4.14

    As another step towards the long-awaited Xfce 4.14 desktop environment release, Xfdesktop 4.13.2 is now available as the latest development release for this important piece of the Xfce desktop stack.

    Xfdesktop is the component that manages the desktop background, the pop-up list of applications, drawing icons on the desktop, etc. Xfdesktop 4.13.2 is the first development release since Xfdesktop 4.13.1 one year ago.

  • Monday Markdown

    I’ve spent the first portion of the coding period focused on improving the documentation browser for GNOME Javascript. In 2015/16 ptomato began porting GIR sources (the source of most GJS documentation) to [DevDocs.io], an open-source documentation browser, using g-ir-doc-tool in gobject-introspection. He did excellent work and produced a functioning product that now lives at [devdocs.baznga.org]. My goals were to take the current product and incorporate GNOME theming, fix issues with incorrect documentation, rebase the project on upstream, and reorient some of the project’s features to better serve an object oriented and GNOME model.

  • Refactor: Backend and UI

    Fractal is currently structured into two parts: The API part (fractal-matrix-api) and GTK part (fractal-gtk). The first one mostly just does the https calls to the Matrix server, the GTK part does everything else. This post will not talk about the API part since that will remain more or less the same (at least for now).

  • Open source board lets you analyze SPI connections on a USB-connected laptop

    Excamera Labs has launched an open source, $27 and up “SPIDriver” board on Crowd Supply for analyzing and testing SPI-connected displays, sensors, flash, and other components on a laptop or via a built-in color LCD display.

    Monitoring SPI devices such as LCD panels, LED arrays, sensors, and SPI flash may not be quite as gnarly as managing I2C gizmos, but either of these short-distance, serial data transfer protocols can be a hassle. While Arduino boards provide libraries for SPI monitoring, there’s still a lot of guesswork involved due to lack of real-time feedback about the SPI bus state.

  •  

  • Cooperative Learning

    I’ve got some under-utilised KVM servers that I could use to provide test VMs for network software, my original idea was to use those for members of my local LUG. But that doesn’t scale well. If a larger group people are to be involved they would have to run their own virtual machines, use physical hardware, or use trial accounts from VM companies.

    The general idea would be for two broad categories of sessions, ones where an expert provides a training session (assigning tasks to students and providing suggestions when they get stuck) and ones where the coordinator has no particular expertise and everyone just learns together (like “let’s all download a random BSD Unix and see how it compares to Linux”).

    [...]

    There is a Wikipedia page about Cooperative Learning. While that’s interesting I don’t think it has much relevance on what I’m trying to do. The Wikipedia article has some good information on the benefits of cooperative education and situations where it doesn’t work well. My idea is to have a self-selecting people who choose it because of their own personal goals in terms of fun and learning. So it doesn’t have to work for everyone, just for enough people to have a good group.

  • Chinese search giant Baidu creates an open-source A.I. for detecting cancer

    “We hope this open-sourced algorithm can serve as a high-quality baseline for future research in this area,” Li said. “The algorithm is only evaluated on a limited number of public datasets at this stage. However, the algorithm needs to be further assessed using much more clinically relevant data to prove it still maintains higher accuracy than experienced pathologists. Our team will continue improving the algorithm and collaborating with researchers with whom we can share new datasets.”

  • Fynd organizes Hackxagon Open Source Challenge for its Engineers

    As an initiative to give back to the open source community, Fynd, the unique fashion e-commerce portal had launched gofynd.io, a few months ago. This project enabled the engineers of the fashion e-commerce portal to learn new technologies, improve the core infrastructure and enhance the Fynd platform.

  • Netfilter Workshop 2018 Berlin summary

    Lots of interesting talks happened, mostly surrounding nftables and how to move forward from the iptables legacy world to the new, modern nft framework.

    In a nutshell, the Netfilter project, the FLOSS community driven project, has agreed to consider iptables as a legacy tool. This confidence comes from the maturity of the nftables framework, which is fairly fully-compliant with the old iptables API, including extensions (matches and targets).

  • Using W10Privacy To Boost Ubuntu WSL Performance On Windows 10
  • Get the latest in libre from the FSF Bulletin

    The biannual Free Software Foundation (FSF) Bulletin is now available online. We hope you find it enlightening and entertaining!

  • Introducing PyInstaller

    If you're used to working with a compiled language, the notion that you would need to have a programming language around, not just for development but also for running an application, seems a bit weird. Just because a program was written in C doesn't mean you need a C compiler in order to run it, right?

    But of course, interpreted and byte-compiled languages do require the original language, or a version of it, in order to run. True, Java programs are compiled, but they're compiled into bytecodes then executed by the JVM. Similarly, .NET programs cannot run unless the CLR is present.

    Even so, many of the students in my Python courses are surprised to discover that if you want to run a Python program, you need to have the Python language installed. If you're running Linux, this isn't a problem. Python has come with every distribution I've used since 1995. Sometimes the Python version isn't as modern as I'd like, but the notion of "this computer can't run Python programs" isn't something I've had to deal with very often.

  • Demoting multi-factor authentication

    Authentication was done via a Java applet, as there needs to be a verifiably(?)-secure way to ensure the certificate was properly checked at the client without transfering it over the network. Good thing!

    [...]

    Anyway I accepted, as losing so much time to grade is just too much. And... Yes, many people will be happy. Partly, I'm releieved by this (I have managed to hate Java for over 20 years). I am just saddened by the fact we have lost an almost-decent-enough electronic signature implementation and fallen back to just a user-password scheme. There are many ways to do crypto verification on the client side nowadays; I know JavaScript is sandboxed and cannot escape to touch my filesystem, but... It is amazing we are losing this simple and proven use case.

today's howtos and leftovers

Filed under
Misc

today's leftovers

Filed under
Misc
  • Mir 0.32 Is Inching Close To Release With Many Improvements

    Canonical's developers working on the Mir display server are putting the finishing touches on the Mir 0.32 release.

    Mir 0.32 is another big release as the developers remain focus on getting their Wayland support squared away. Additionally, Mir developers have been working on Logind support that is needed so Mir shells like the EGMDE example shell or Unity 8 can be easily accessed from the GDM3 log-in/display manager.

  •  

  • [Older] CentOS vs Ubuntu

    Ubuntu and CentOS are both major players in enterprise environments and in the datacenter. There's no denying that both distributions have proven themselves in the server space, but with closer examination, these are two very different animals.

    Ubuntu is an excellent all-around contender. CentOS is purpose built for the enterprise in every aspect of its design.

  • Fedora Classroom Session: Fedora QA 101/102

    Fedora Classroom sessions continue next week with a session on Fedora QA. The general schedule for sessions appears on the wiki. You can also find resources and recordings from previous sessions there. Here are details about this week’s session on Tuesday, June 19 at 1600 UTC. That link allows you to convert the time to your timezone.

  • 3.5-inch Apollo Lake SBC is loaded with options

    DFI is prepping an Ubuntu friendly 3.5-inch “AL551” SBC with an Apollo Lake SoC, triple display support, up to 2x GbE and SATA III ports, and mini-PCIe, M.2, and optional “expansion I/O” connectors.

  • Security updates for Friday

today's leftovers

Filed under
Misc
  • HP Chromebook X2 Looks to Be First Detachable Chromebook to Support Linux Apps

    Support for running Linux apps is becoming a thing among Chromebook fans, and it looks like each day new Chrome OS devices are getting Linux app support.

    During the Google I/O annual developer conference last month, Google announced it is working to bring support for Linux apps in future versions of its Linux-based Chrome OS operating system for Chromebooks, and the first Chromebook to receive support for running Linux applications is, of course, Google's Pixelbook.

  • Windows 10 alternatives: best free, open source operating systems

     

    Switching to an open source OS could involve a learning curve, but the community, customisation and lack of cost should be enough to make up for it.  

  • Laptops with 128GB of RAM are here

     

    Brace yourself for laptops with 128GB of RAM because they’re coming. Today, Lenovo announced its ThinkPad P52, which, along with that massive amount of memory, also features up to 6TB of storage, up to a 4K, 15.6-inch display, an eighth-gen Intel hexacore processor, and an Nvidia Quadro P3200 graphics card.

  • The Schedule for Open Source Summit North America Is Now Live

    Join us August 29-31, in Vancouver, BC, for 250+ sessions covering a wide array of topics including Linux Systems, Cloud Native Applications, Blockchain, AI, Networking, Cloud Infrastructure, Open Source Leadership, Program Office Management and more. Arrive early for new bonus content on August 28 including co-located events, tutorials, labs, workshops, and lightning talks.

  • IMAP Spam Begone (ISBG) version 2.1.0 is out!

    When I first started at the non-profit where I work, one of the problems people had was rampant spam on their email boxes. The email addresses we use are pretty old (+10 years) and over time they have been added to all the possible spam lists there are.

    That would not be a real problem if our email hosting company did not have very bad spam filters. They are a worker's coop and charge us next to nothing for hosting our emails, but sadly they lack the resources to run a real bayesian-based spam filtering solution like SpamAssassin. "Luckily" for us, it seems that a lot of ISPs and email hosting enterprises also tend to have pretty bad spam filtering on the email boxes they provide and there were a few programs out there to fix this.

  • Be a redshirt this GUADEC

    If you’re planning to volunteer at GUADEC this year and be part of the selfless redshirt team (we’ve got 100% survival rate so far!), please register before the end of this week so that we have a better idea of which t-shirt sizes to order. If you can’t register soon, you can still volunteer even if you register on site!

  • GStreamer CI support for embedded devices

    GStreamer is a popular open-source pipeline-based multimedia framework that has been in development since 2001. That’s 17 years of constant development, triaging, bug fixes, feature additions, packaging, and testing. Adopting a Jenkins-based Continuous Integration (CI) setup in August 2013, GStreamer and its dependencies are now built multiple times a day with each commit. Prior to that, the multimedia project used a build bot hosted by Collabora and Fluendo. At the time of this writing, GStreamer is built for the Linux (Fedora & Debian), macOS, Windows, Android, and iOS platforms. A very popular deployment target for GStreamer are embedded devices, but they are not targeted in the current CI setup.This meant additional manpower, effort, and testing outside of the automated tests for every release of GStreamer to validate on embedded boards. To rectify this, a goal was devised to integrate embedded devices into the CI.

  • openSUSE Releases Leap 15 Images for Raspberry Pi, Armv7 Devices

    Makers can leverage openSUSE Leap 15 images for aarch64 and Armv7 on Internet of Things (IoT) and embedded devices. Since openSUSE Leap 15 shares a common core SUSE Linux Enterprise (SLE) 15 sources, makers who find success with a project or device can more comfortably transition to an enterprise product in the future should certifications become a requirement. Currently, the only IoT platform supported by SLE is the Raspberry Pi 3. However, there is no current supported migration from Leap 15 to SLE 15 with the Raspberry Pi. The barrier to entry in the IoT/embedded markets are lowered when a developer starts a project with Leap 15. Plus, the many supported arm boards can help developers circumnavigate future obstacles that might hinder project’s growth in a developing market.

  • SBo DMCA Takedown

    About 14h ago, 10:32 PM GMT+7 (Western Indonesian Time), me (and several other people who forked SBo's repository at GitHub) received a DMCA Takedown notice due to a company (Steinberg) filed a complaint to more than 200 open source repositories in GitHub that uses several of their header files (namely aeffect.h and aeffectx.h). We used that files in one of our scripts (jack-tools) which was changed over a year ago by the maintainer. At that time, it was OK to use their header files (although it has been unmaintained since 2013), but some time ago, Steinberg has made an announcement about dropping their support for VST 2 and focusing on VST 3 only. This drives the DMCA takedown action which affects SBo repositories in GitHub.

    The admins have discussed this matter last night and we came to a solution of fixing this issue permanently by removing the related commit and all the history for this script in master and 14.2 branch. This is not a trivial action as the commits involved were 11867 since 2017-02-04. Ponce did the initial testing and David did the final touch, including pushing an unexpected public update including with the mass re-base on master and 14.2 branch (Thanks David).

  • Mesa 18.1.1 is Now Available to Install on Ubuntu 18.04 LTS

    The latest Mesa 18.1.1 graphics stack is now available to install on Ubuntu 18.04 LTS.

    Mesa 18.1.1 is the first point release update in the Mesa 18.1.x series, which debuted back in May with Mesa 18.1.0.

    The Mesa 18.1.x series touts plenty of improvements, including better Vulkan and OpenGL performance, updated Tegra, Nouveau, and Intel drivers, as well as support for the OpenGL 4.5 API.

  • Active Searching [Ed: This good Ubuntu man could use a job. Consider hiring?]

    I generally am not trying to shoot for terse blog posts. That being said, my position at work is getting increasingly untenable since we're in a position of being physically unable to accomplish our mission goals prior to funding running out at 11:59:59 PM Eastern Time on September 30th. Conflicting imperatives were set and frankly we're starting to hit the point that neither are getting accomplished regardless of how many warm bodies we're throwing at the problem. It isn't good either when my co-workers who have any military experience are sounding out KBR, Academi, and Perspecta.

  • Astounding t-shirt art, created by marker-wielding open source hardware plotters

    Evil Mad Scientist Labs sell a bunch of cool open source hardware kits for making plotters -- basically, a very precise robot arm that draws with whatever pen or marker you screw into its grip. There's the Eggbot (for drawing on curved surfaces like eggs, balloons and balls), but there's also the Axidraw, which works on flat surfaces.

    Axidraw owners have been decorating tees with Axidraws and colored markers, creating some really smashing designs.

  • Don’t trust the tech giants? You likely rely on them anyway
  • Imagine a world without DRM

    For 12 years, we've celebrated IDAD -- making, organizing, protesting, and taking action to support the demolition of Digital Restrictions Management (DRM) -- and 2018 is no different! This year we will continue the fight against DRM and celebrate the work of activists, artists, and technologists who create DRM-free media and technology. You can read more about past IDADs online.

  • DeUHD Beats ‘New’ AACS 2.1 UHD Blu-ray Disc Protection

    Russian company Arusoft has released a new version of its DeUHD ripping tool which bypasses AACS 2.1. The new encryption version appeared last month on the UHD Blu-ray discs of Fury and The Patriot and couldn't be bypassed with existing tools. The new version makes it possible for pirates to rip the discs in question, which happened soon after.

today's leftovers

Filed under
Misc
  • Acer Chromebook 13 and Chromebook Spin 13 Will Support Linux Apps on Day One

    Acer's recently announced Chromebook 13 and Chromebook Spin 13 appear to be the first Chromebooks to ship with support for Linux apps out-of-the-box at launch.

    Google already announced that it worked on implementing support for Linux apps on Chrome OS during the Google I/O conference last month, and the first Chromebook to run Linux apps is Google's Pixelbook, as expected, and the functionality was later discovered to be available on the Samsung Chromebook Plus as well.

  • Why Open Source Needs Marketing (Even Though Developers Hate It)
  • ASIFA-Hollywood Continues Commitment To Open Source Animation Technology

    “The last few years, there have been incredible advancements in the quality of open source software solutions for artists,” says Danny Young, ASIFA-Hollywood board member. “Open Source software development is more than ever serving as a counterweight to put fantastic free technology in the hands of anyone who is curious enough to explore it. By supporting ASIFA-Hollywood, you make projects like this possible. So, thank you, ASIFA membership!”

  • Collabora Office 6.0

    Today we release Collabora Office 6.0 – the Migrator’s Choice with great features to smooth our customers’ migration to an Open Source office suite as well as a hugely improved set of features and enhancements.

  • BrowserStack Announces Enhanced Open-Source Program, EU's Web Censorship Plan, Qt for Python Now Available and More

    BrowserStack this morning announced its enhanced open source program, which offers free testing of open source software on the BrowserStack Real Device Cloud. The press release states that "BrowserStack is doubling down on its support for open source projects with full and unlimited access to the BrowserStack platform and its capabilities. The goal is to empower open source developers with the tools and infrastructure necessary to test with speed, accuracy and scale." See the BrowserStack blog post "Supporting Open Source to Drive Community Innovation" for more on BrowserStack's commitment to open source.

  • Locks in the classroom – 2018

    For the sixth year now, our grade nine students have been doing 3D modeling using Blender. We ran late this year, but the final locks were finished a couple of weeks ago, and they’re finally ready for publishing.

  • CVE-2018-3665: Lazy State Save/Restore As The Latest CPU Speculative Execution Issue

    The latest speculative execution vulnerability affecting modern CPUs has now been made public: Lazy State Save/Restore, a.k.a. CVE-2018-3665.

    This vulnerability concerns saving/restore state when switching between applications. The newly-disclosed vulnerability exploits lazy-state restores for floating-point state when context switching, which is done as a performance optimization, to obtain information about the activity of other applications on the system.

  • AI Is Coming to Edge Computing Devices

    Very few non-server systems run software that could be called machine learning (ML) and artificial intelligence (AI). Yet, server-class “AI on the Edge” applications are coming to embedded devices, and Arm intends to fight with Intel and AMD over every last one of them.

  • Cortex-A76, Mali-G76, and ML chip designs pump up AI

    Arm’s Cortex-A76 design offers speed/efficiency improvements including a 4x boost in AI performance, and is paired with a new Mali-G76 GPU that is also said to aid AI. Meanwhile, Arm revealed more details on its upcoming ML co-processors.

today's leftovers

Filed under
Misc
  • On the Importance of On-Screen Keyboards

    The role of keyboards cannot be overstated. They originated long before computers, and survive in the smartphone era. Millions of people text their friend by tapping away on their shiny pocket computers using the venerable QWERTY layout dating back to 1873.

    It is hard to imagine a phone without a way to enter text. Some of us are dreaming about Minority Report-style gesturing, but the Librem 5 continues the keyboard tradition.

    [...]

    The task took me on an interesting and educating journey. The Wayland train took me via input methods to Asia, through protocols, to FLOSS communities. I will try to describe my story for you.

  • How Does Project Aiur, An Open Source AI-Engine Substantiate Scientific Knowledge

    As research in science progresses by leaps and bounds, there are a lot of readily available information in the online space, making knowledge sharing in areas like science easier.

    However, there is so much research information available that it is sometimes confusing as to what is right and what is wrong. Given the vast amount of resources, it is essential to carry out in-depth analysis of the resources. This has been made possible with AI and ML innovations.

  • OpenBSD at BSDCan 2018
  • Summer of Code: Evaluation and Key Lengths

    I spent some time testing my OpenPGP library PGPainless and during testing I noticed, that messages encrypted and signed using keys from the family of elliptic curve cryptography were substantially smaller than messages encrypted with common RSA keys. I knew already, that one benefit of elliptic curve cryptography is, that the keys can be much smaller while providing the same security as RSA keys. But what was new to me is, that this also applies to the length of the resulting message. I did some testing and came to interesting results:

  • Major speedup for big DWG's

    Thanks to David Bender and James Michael DuPont for convincing me that we need a hash table for really big DWGs. I got a DWG example with 42MB, which needed 2m to process and then 3m to free the dwg struct. I also had to fix a couple of internal problems.

    We couldn't use David Bender's hashmap which he took from Android (Apache 2 licensed), and I didn't like it too much neither. So today I sat down and wrote a good int hashmap from scratch, with several performance adjustments, because we never get a key 0 and we won't need to delete keys.
    So it's extremely small and simple, using cache-friendly open addressing, and I got it right at the second attempt.

    Performance with this hash table now got down to 7 seconds.
    Then I also removed the unneeded dwg_free calls from some cmdline apps, because the kernel does it much better then libc malloc/free. 3 minutes for free() is longer than the slowest garbage collector I've ever seen.
    So now processing this 42MB dwg needs 7s.

  • California Can Lead the Way in Open Access
  • Better API testing with the OpenAPI Specification

    If you search the internet for "unexpected API behavior," you'll soon discover that no one likes when an API doesn't work as anticipated. When you consider the increasing number of APIs, continuous development, and delivery of the services built on top of them, it's no surprise that APIs can diverge from their expected behavior. This is why API test coverage is critical for success. For years, we have created unit and functional tests for our APIs, but where do we go from there?

today's leftovers

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Misc

today's leftovers

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Misc
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Android Leftovers

Canonical Releases AMD Microcode Updates for All Ubuntu Users to Fix Spectre V2

The Spectre microprocessor side-channel vulnerabilities were publicly disclosed earlier this year and discovered to affect billions of devices made in the past two decades. Unearthed by Jann Horn of Google Project Zero, the second variant (CVE-2017-5715) of the Spectre vulnerability is described as a branch target injection attack. The security vulnerability affects all microprocessors that use branch prediction and speculative execution function, and it can allow unauthorized memory reads via side-channel attacks if the system isn't patched. For example, a local attacker could use it to expose sensitive information, including kernel memory. Read more

PulseAudio 12 Open-Source Sound System Released with AirPlay, A2DP Improvements

Highlights of PulseAudio 12.0 include better latency reporting with the A2DP Bluetooth profile, which also improves A/V sync, more accurate latency reporting on AirPlay devices, the ability to prioritize HDMI output over S/PDIF output, HSP support for more Bluetooth headsets, and the ability to disable input and output on macOS. PulseAudio 12.0 also adds support for Steelseries Arctis 7 USB headset stereo output and Dell's Thunderbolt Dock TB16 speaker jack, a new "dereverb" option that can be used for the Speex echo canceller, a new module-always-source module, better detection of Native Instruments Traktor Audio 6, and improved digital input support for various USB sound cards. Read more

Automatically Change Wallpapers in Linux with Little Simple Wallpaper Changer

Here is a tiny script that automatically changes wallpaper at regular intervals in your Linux desktop. Read more