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Debian: ledger2beancount, Reproducible Builds and Debian Project Leader Race

  • Martin Michlmayr: ledger2beancount 2.1 released

    I released version 2.1 of ledger2beancount, a ledger to beancount converter.

  • Reproducible Builds in March 2020

    Welcome to the March 2020 report from the Reproducible Builds project. In our reports we outline the most important things that we have been up to over the past month and some plans for the future.

  • Jonathan Carter: Free Software Activities for 2020-03

    On the 12th of March, I posted my self-nomination for the Debian Project Leader election. This is the second time I’m running for DPL, and you can read my platform here. The campaign period covered the second half of the month, where I answered a bunch of questions on the debian-vote list. The voting period is currently open and ends on 18 April. [...] At DebConf19 I wanted to ramp up the efforts to make a Debian PeerTube instance a reality. I spoke to many people about this and discovered that some Debianites are already making all kinds of Debian videos in many different languages. Some were even distributing them locally on DVD and have never uploaded them. I thought that the Debian PeerTube instance could not only be a good platform for DebConf videos, but it could be a good home for many free software content creators, especially if they create Debian specific content. I spoke to Rhonda about it, who’s generally interested in the Fediverse and wanted to host a instances of Pleroma (microblogging service) and PixelFed (free image hosting service that resembles the Instagram site), but needed a place to host them. We decided to combine efforts, and since a very large amount of fediverse services end with .social in their domain names, we ended up calling this project Debian Social. We’re also hosting some non-fediverse services like a WordPress multisite and a Jitsi instance for video chatting.

Programming: Perl and More

  • 2020.14 More perspectives

    Andrew Shitov has even been more busy than the past weeks. Apart from adding more and more views to the Covid-19 Observer, so many that there’s now an impressive “What’s new” page. But Andrew didn’t stop at that: an article on Perl.com titled “Observing Coronavirus Pandemic with Raku” (/r/perl comments) explains to the readers how some of the unique features of Raku were applied in processing all of the data. And in the meantime Andrew still found time to publish Chapter 7 of their compiler book.

  • Dancer2 0.300001 Released

    On behalf of the Dancer Core Team, I’d like to announce the availability of Dancer2 0.300001. This maintenance release brings brings a revamped tutorial, fixing of a YAML-related regression, repair of an encoding bug, and a slew of documentation fixes.

  • Perl Weekly Challenge 054: Kth Permutation Sequence + Collatz Conjecture
  • You Need To Stop Using HTML Email

    We need to change this norm from the ground up as a grass roots effort. We'll never convince Gmail and others to automatically display emails in plain text for all users. Nor will we convince companies to stop sending HTML emails to their clients. The only way is to start sending plain text emails and setting up our email programs to only display our received emails as plain text.

    As more and more people do this the companies will begin to follow suite due the increasing number of people being unable to easily read their messages.

    It's also our duty as good email users to only every send emails as plain text because we can not always be sure that the receiver of our emails is using a program that will render out all the HTML instead of displaying it as a webpage.

    Keep in mind that by plain text I don't mean you should not encrypt your emails. If you need to encrypt them then please do; PGP and GPG work very well. When sending an encrypted message; type up your message, encrypt it, and the paste the encrypted output into the email as plain text.

  • Safer SSH agent forwarding

    As mentioned, a better alternative is to use the jump host feature: the SSH connection to the target host is tunneled through the SSH connection to the jump host. See the manual page and this blog post for more details.

    If you really need to use SSH agent forwarding, you can secure it a bit through a dedicated agent with two main attributes:

    it holds only the private key to connect to the target host, and

    it asks confirmation for each requested signature.

  • LLVM's Flang/F18 Fortran Compiler Might Be Back On Track For Merging Soon

    Since the "f18" open-source Fortran compiler front-end was approved last year for merging as the newest LLVM sub-project and using the Flang name, there have been a number of false starts in getting the code merged. This year alone Flang had multiple delays and cancelled merge plans as the developers worked to get the code ready for upstream. Now though it looks like it could be ready to cross that long sought after milestone for having an in-tree Fortran front-end. Richard Barton announced today that the team now believes F18 is ready to be merged. There still are some open items still being worked on, but should be easily resolved after the F18 code is within the tree as the new "Flang" compiler.

  • A Telegram bot in Haskell on Amazon Lambda

    So instead adding layers and complexities, can I solve this instead my making things simpler? If I compiler my bootstrap into a static Linux binary, it should run on any Linux, including Amazon Linux. [...] I am mostly happy with this setup: My game is now available to more people in more ways. I don’t have to maintain any infrastructure. When nobody is using this bot no resources are wasted, and the costs of the service are neglectible -- this is unlikely to go beyond the free tier, and even if it would, the cost per generated image is roughly USD 0.000021. There is one slight disappointment, though. What I find most intersting about Kaleidogen from a technical point of view is that when you play it in the browser, the images are not generated by my code. Instead, my code creates a WebGL shader program on the fly, and that program generates the image on your graphics card.

  • Cambridge Computing Education Research Symposium – recap of our online event
  • Digital Making at Home: Storytelling with code

Linux 5.6 I/O Scheduler Benchmarks: None, Kyber, BFQ, MQ-Deadline

While some Linux distributions are still using MQ-Deadline or Kyber by default for NVMe SSD storage, using no I/O scheduler still tends to perform the best overall for this speedy storage medium. In curious about the current state of the I/O schedulers with the newly-minted Linux 5.6 kernel, here are benchmarks of no I/O scheduler against MQ-Deadline, Kyber, BFQ, and BFQ low-latency. This round of tests were done on the high performance Corsair Force MP600 1TB PCIe 4.0 NVMe SSD while similar tests are still being conducted on SATA SSDs and HDDs off Linux 5.6. Read more

Server: CentOS, MitM, Ceph, Kubernetes and Linux Bashing

  • Learn CentOS Part 11 - Installing and removing Packages

    In the "Learn CentOS" series, you'll learn all the skills you'll need to know to manage real servers and get you on your way to mastering the art of Linux administration.

  • How to avoid man-in-the-middle cyber attacks

    Remember, you don't have to click anything online right away, and you don't have to follow random people's instructions, no matter how urgent they may seem. The internet will still be there after you step away from the computer and verify the identity of a person or site demanding your attention. While MITM attacks can happen to anyone, understanding what they are, knowing how they happen, and actively taking steps to prevent them can safeguard you from being a victim.

  • Another perspective on Swift versus Ceph today

    Mark's perspective is largely founded in the fault tolerance and administrative overhead. However, let's a look at "keep using [Ceph] for object too". Indeed the integration of block, POSIX, and object storage is Ceph's strength, although I should note for the record that Ceph has a large gap: all 3 APIs live in separate namespaces. So, do not expect to be able to copy a disk snapshot through CephFS or RGW. Objects in each namespace are completely invisible to two others, and the only uniform access layer is RADOS. This is why, for instance, RGW-over-NFS exists. That's right, not CephFS, but NFS. You can mount RGW. All attempts at this sort of integration that I know in Swift always start with a uniform access first. It the opposite of Ceph in a way. Because of that, these integrations typically access from the edge inside, like making a pool that a daemon fills/spills with Swift, and mounting that. SwiftStacks's ProxyFS is a little more native to Swift, but it starts off with a shared namespace too.

  • API Priority and Fairness Alpha

    This blog describes “API Priority And Fairness”, a new alpha feature in Kubernetes 1.18. API Priority And Fairness permits cluster administrators to divide the concurrency of the control plane into different weighted priority levels. Every request arriving at a kube-apiserver will be categorized into one of the priority levels and get its fair share of the control plane’s throughput.

  • BlackBerry: Chinese cybercriminals target high-value Linux servers with weak defenses [Ed: To CBS, servers that are improperly maintained or set up are "Linux"; if it's something Windows, they won't even specify the platform and won't blame Microsoft.]