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  • Intel Prepping Bus Lock Detection For Linux To Avoid This Performance Pitfall

    Building off the recently mainlined Intel work on split lock detection, Intel engineers have now been extending that with bus lock detection support.

    A bus lock as outlined within Intel's PRM happens via split locked access to writeback memory or using locks to uncacheable memory. Detecting bus locks is important due to performance penalties and possible denial of service implications.

    Intel's Fenghua Yu summed up the performance implications as typically being more than one thousand cycles slower than an atomic operation within a cache line and disrupting the performance of other CPU cores as well.

  • MSM Open-Source Driver Continues On Qualcomm Adreno 640/650 Series Bring-Up

    The open-source MSM DRM driver developed by Google, Qualcomm's Code Aurora, and other parties as what started out as part of the "Freedreno" driver initiative is continuing to see better support for the newer Adreno 640 and 650 series.

    The MSM DRM driver developers continue working on the Adreno 640/650 series as found in the Snapdragon 855/855+ and 865/865+, respectively. Sent in on Wednesday was the MSM-next material for Linux 5.9. This pull has "a bunch more" work on Adreno 640/650 both on the display and GPU enablement side, among that work are fixes, setting up the UBWC configuration, HWCG setup (hardware clock gating), and other bits.

  • The Linux Link Tech Show Episode 868

    jenkins, chromeos, chromebook, arm, buying a house

  • Norbert Preining: KDE/Plasma Status Update 2020-07-30

    Only a short update on the current status of my KDE/Plasma package for Debian sid and testing:

    Frameworks 5.72
    Plasma 5.19.4
    Apps 20.04.3
    Digikam 7.0.0
    Ark CVE-2020-16116 fixed in version 20.04.3-1~np2
    Hope that helps a few people.

  • Week 8: GSoC Project Report

    Last week I implemented the duration fields and addition of storyboard items from storyboard. Previously it could only be done from the timeline docker. Also I implemented updating of all affected items’ thumbnail. This makes the docker almost complete sans the capability to save or export.

    The duration field is implemented such that any item in the storyboard docker has the duration equal to the next keyframe in any node. This makes sense because the canvas image would be identical to the keyframe image for that duration only, after that the other keyframe’s content would be added to it. Changing duration would move all keyframes in all nodes after the keyframe for that item.

  • [Godot] GSoC 2020 - Progress report #1

    As we announced a few months ago, Godot is participating again in the Google Summer of Code program for its 2020 edition.

    6 projects have been selected back in May, and the 6 students and their mentors have now been working on their projects for close to two months. We omitted to announce the projects formally (sorry about that!), but this first progress report written by each student will make up for it by giving a direct glimpse into their work.

  • Diversity in Open Source and Gaming: Does it Matter?

    It shouldn’t need to be said, and yet it needs to be shouted, over and over. The US has an especially egregious problem among developed nations with police violence (while data is difficult to obtain and interpret, there is clearly a problem). However, these are worldwide struggles in one form or another which shouldn’t be limited to protests in the streets and discussions of police and politics. As gamers and Linux users, we sit at a special intersection of entertainment and industry. Neither side is well represented when it comes to diversity and action. Our community needs to do better. We need to make Black lives matter in our own space and do our part to push society forward.

    This issue should be crucial to us because of the values we represent as Linux gamers. Gaming is universal. There is an innate desire to play, to escape, to be challenged, to connect or compete with others, to tell stories. Gaming is to be shared, to break down barriers and find commonality. Gaming on Linux means we also value Free/Libre Software. And Free Software is meant to be free: free from restrictions, for anyone to use and make it their own. These words are hollow without putting them into practice and ensuring this is available to all, that anyone can contribute. There is a natural connection here, between the joy and universality of gaming and the benefits and openness of Free Software, twin ideals we want to succeed. So while games are rarely Open Source, as a community that uses both we should reflect a culmination of these values.

    [...]

    Unfortunately, we do not. Many games and their players are rife with white supremacy, neo-Nazis, hate speech and groups, bigotry, poor (if any) representation, toxicity, issues of how they represent police, excuses of “historical accuracy,” ignoring the real problems of the locations they represent, and ugly actions like players spawning KKK members in Red Dead Online to terrorize others.

  • Gender balance in computing: current research
  • Nest With Fedora registration now open

    Registration for Nest with Fedora is now open! We welcome you to join us for three days of Fedora content, workshops, and social hours. Nest begins Friday 7 August at 1200 UTC and runs through Sunday 9 August at 2200 UTC. The schedule will be published in the coming days. We are using a platform called Hopin, which has been generously provided by the Apache Software Foundation.

    As we all know, this year our annual contributor conference Flock to Fedora has been moved to a virtual event: Nest with Fedora. It won’t be a literal replacement for all the great in person time we usually get, but I am still excited to see all of the familiar (and new!) faces and to catch up on what everybody has been working on. There is also a silver lining going virtual: so many more Fedora contributors can attend!

  • Sandworm details the group behind the worst cyberattacks in history [iophk: Windows TCO]

                     

                       

    Andy and Nilay discuss the origins of Sandworm, the intricacies and ramifications of their attacks, and what mysteries and situations are still left unsolved. Listen here or in your preferred podcast player to hear the entire conversation.

                       

    Below is a lightly edited excerpt from the conversation.

  • Industrial Systems Can Be [Cr]acked Remotely via VPN Vulnerabilities

                     

                       

    In Secomea GateManager, which allows users to connect to the internal network from the internet through an encrypted tunnel, researchers discovered multiple security holes, including weaknesses that can be exploited to overwrite arbitrary data (CVE-2020-14500), execute arbitrary code, cause a DoS condition, execute commands as root by connecting via hardcoded Telnet credentials, and obtain user passwords due to weak hashing.

  • An awk corner case?

    So even after years and years of experience, core tools still find ways to surprise me. Today I tried to do some timestamp comparisons with mawk (vnl-filter, to be more precise), and ran into a detail of the language that made it not work. Not a bug, I guess, since both mawk and gawk are affected. I'll claim "language design flaw", however.

  • The sad, slow-motion death of Do Not Track

    "Do Not Track" (DNT) is a simple HTTP header that a browser can send to signal to a web site that the user does not want to be tracked. The DNT header had a promising start and the support of major browsers almost a decade ago. Most web browsers still support sending it, but in 2020 it is almost useless because the vast majority of web sites ignore it. Advertising companies, in particular, argued that its legal status was unclear, and that it was difficult to determine how to interpret the header. There have been some relatively recent attempts at legislation to enforce honoring the DNT header, but those efforts do not appear to be going anywhere. In comparison, the European Union's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) attempt to solve some of the same problems as DNT but are legally enforceable.

    In 2007, the US Federal Trade Commission was asked [PDF] to create a "Do Not Track" list, similar to the popular "Do Not Call" list. This would have been a list of advertiser domain names that tracked consumer behavior online, and would allow browsers to prevent requests to those sites if the user opted in. However, that approach never got off the ground, and DNT first appeared as a header in 2009, when security researchers Christopher Soghoian, Sid Stamm, and Dan Kaminsky got together to create a prototype.

  • ’90s vibes: Fresh themes for Firefox, video calls and more

    Raise your hand if your watchlists are showing signs of ‘90s reruns. Saved by the Bell, Friends and The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air are making comfort TV comebacks along with bike shorts, oversize button-downs and bandanas, which could honestly be the WFH meets socially distant uniform of the summer. Visually the ‘90s give so much in a simple, joyful way. A little neon here, a few shapes there, and whoomp, there it is!

    Get some fresh ’90s styles into your digital day-to-day, with wallpapers, video call backgrounds and browser themes. This collection is here to bring you ‘90s joy without the Macarena playing on the radio all the time.

  • Open-source contact tracing, part 2

    In March 2020, the first contact-tracing app was released; it was TraceTogether in Singapore. As of early July 2020, it had been downloaded over 2.1 million times for a population of Singapore of around 5.8 million. The app uses a protocol called BlueTrace. A reference implementation of the protocol was released under the name of OpenTrace; it includes Android and iOS apps and the server piece. All those elements are released under GPL v3.

    The Git repository seems quiet after the initial release, counting, for example, only five commits to the Android app. It seems likely, then, that the public and private source trees diverged at some point. This looks to be confirmed when we look into the binary TraceTogether app analysis by Frank Liauw, and compare his results with the OpenTrace source code. OpenTrace includes, for example, the same database structure, but does not contain the updates made in TraceTogether. This means that the installed app does not correspond with the released source code, which could mean that some of the privacy characteristics of the app have changed.

    Beyond just the source code, the design paper [PDF] describes the main ideas and details of the protocol. Users are identified by their phone numbers; both global and temporary IDs are generated by the centralized server. The apps may download batches of temporary IDs in advance in order to continue working offline. The proximity tracing is done by Bluetooth and the BlueTrace protocol includes sending the phone model, for distance calibration purposes, along with the temporary ID.

  • New features in gnuplot 5.4

    Gnuplot 5.4 has been released, three years after the last major release of the free-software graphing program. In this article we will take a look at five major new capabilities in gnuplot. First, we briefly visit voxel plotting, for visualizing 3D data. Since this is a big subject and the most significant addition to the program, we'll save the details for a subsequent article. Next, we learn about plotting polygons in 3D, another completely new gnuplot feature. After that, we'll get caught up briefly in spider plots, using them to display some recent COVID-19 infection data. Then we'll see an example of how to use pixmaps, a new feature allowing for the embedding of pictures alongside curves or surfaces. Finally, we'll look at some more COVID-19 data using the new 3D bar chart.

    A full accounting of all of the improvements and bug fixes in 5.4 can be found in the release notes. More gnuplot history can be found in our May 2017 article on the soon-to-be-released gnuplot version 5.2, which described its new features, some of which have been expanded in 5.4.

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