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07.16.19

Links 16/7/2019: LXD 3.15, Q4OS 3.8 and D9VK 0.13f

Posted in News Roundup at 1:19 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Lenovo Chromebook C330 2-in-1

      Today we are looking at the Lenovo Chromebook C330 (81HY0000US), it is a 2-1 device, a notebook but it can also be converted into a tablet.

      It comes with a fanless quad-core MediaTek MT8173C CPU, an 11.6 inch, 1366×768, IPS display, and touch screen. It has 4gb of RAM and 64GB eMMC SSD.

    • Desktop

      • Best Linux Distro for Windows 7 Refugees: Manjaro KDE

        Manjaro is based off of Arch Linux, but I like to describe it to people as the “Ubuntu of Arch” for its user-friendly design choices and its particular attention to helping new Linux users to learn what they are doing. Another great perk of the Arch foundation underneath Manjaro is the use of the Arch Linux Wiki.

        The Arch wiki is easily one of the largest resources of help, information, and know-how for all Linux users— regardless of distribution, many of the articles found can be applied.

        Back in the spring of 2017 I wrote a series of articles discussing various Desktop Environments for Linux systems, such as Cinnamon and KDE just to name a couple, and overall for Windows users who have decided to take the plunge, I’m recommending KDE.

        Regardless of distribution, KDE is filled with eye candy, is highly-customizable, one of the most powerful file-browsers available (Dolphin), and is deeply documented with a long-standing history (KDE was created in 1996).

      • If You Are a Linux User, Make Your Next PC Powered By AMD

        While I was searching for a new on-budget laptop to buy, especially after my Lenovo Thinkpad x260 almost died, I did a lot of research specifically about what CPU & GPU vendors to choose, mainly because I use Linux only and I was worried about some rumors of compatibility and other issues.

        At the end I chose AMD, and I bought a laptop powered by AMD. My experience with it on Linux has been wonderful so far. This is my story, and why I think that you should go with AMD for your next PC too.

      • What Is AppImage in Linux?

        On a Linux distro, you should always install new software with the aid of your package manager when possible. It keeps things clean, and all files are tracked by the manager and can be easily removed later. This also helps avoid potential trouble when you later upgrade your distribution. But since your distribution might not have the software you need, or some might be too old, you sometimes have to resort to alternatives. Out of all these alternatives, though, only choose to download third party “.deb” or “.rpm” files as a last resort.

        What Is AppImage?

        On Windows, you can download a ZIP archive, extract the contents to a directory, and run the application within, without having to install it. This is called a portable app because you can copy it to a USB stick and then run it on any computer that uses the Windows operating system.

        An AppImage, though technically constructed in a different way, works the same from the user’s perspective. You download one file and run the program on your Linux operating system without having to install anything. Furthermore, you can also copy this on a USB stick, and it will run on Debian, Ubuntu, Arch Linux, openSUSE, Fedora, or any other Linux distribution.

      • Tizonia – powerful open source cloud music player for the Linux terminal

        The Linux platform has matured into an excellent way of listening to streaming music services. There are clients available for most of the popular music streaming services. But what if you want a single app that covers the very popular ones without straying away from the Linux terminal. Step forward Tizonia.

        Tizonia offers access to some excellent streaming music services — all from the command line. The software supports popular services such as YouTube, Spotify, Google Play Music, SoundCloud, Chromecast, and more.

        Tizonia is innovative software. It doesn’t use FFmpeg, libav, gstreamer or libvlc for playback. Instead, the software’s multimedia framework is based on OpenMAX IL 1.2. OpenMAX (Open Media Acceleration) is a non-proprietary and royalty-free cross-platform set of C-language programming interfaces. It provides abstractions for routines that are especially useful for processing of audio, video, and still images.

        Tizonia is C/C++ software which integrates online services with Python connectors/proxies. This means it should be fairly easy to integrate new services, assuming a Python-based API is accessible.

    • Server

      • LXD 3.15 has been released

        The LXD team is very excited to announce the release of LXD 3.15!

        This release both includes a number of major new features as well as some significant internal rework of various parts of LXD.

        One big highlight is the transition to the dqlite 1.0 branch which will bring us more performance and reliability, both for our cluster users and for standalone installations. This rework moves a lot of the low-level database/replication logic to dedicated C libraries and significantly reduces the amount of back and forth going on between C and Go.

        On the networking front, this release features a lot of improvements, adding support for IPv4/IPv6 filtering on bridges, MAC and VLAN filtering on SR-IOV devices and much improved DHCP server management.

        We’re also debuting a new version of our resources API which will now provide details on network devices and storage disks on top of extending our existing CPU, memory and GPU reporting.

        And that’s all before looking into the many other performance improvements, smaller features and bugfixes that went into this release.

      • IBM

        • IBM Takes A Hands Off Approach With Red Hat

          IBM has been around long enough in the IT racket that it doesn’t have any trouble maintaining distinct portfolios of products that have overlapping and often incompatible functions. The System/3, which debuted in 1969, is only five years older than the System/360, which laid the foundation and set the pace for corporate computing when it launched in 1964. Both styles of machines continue to exist today as the IBM i on Power Systems platform and the System z.

          With the $34 billion acquisition of Red Hat, which closed last week, neither of those two legacy products are under threat and IBM does not seem to be inclined whatsoever in ceasing development of the legacy operating system and middleware stacks embodied in the IBM i and System z lines.

          As Arvind Krishna, senior vice president in charge of IBM’s cloud and cognitive software products, put it bluntly in a call after the deal closed, IBM’s customers expect for Big Blue to maintain its own operating systems, middleware, storage, databases, and security software in the IBM i, AIX, and System z lines, and that is precisely what Big Blue is going to do. Krisha estimated that there is only about 5 percent overlap in products between Big Blue and Red Hat – something we talked about at length when the deal was announced last October – and added that in many enterprise accounts that use both Red Hat and IBM platforms, companies invest in both sets of software for different purposes – perhaps using JBoss in one case and WebSphere in another, for instance.

        • Tech cos go for Edtech tie-ups to get that ready workforce

          Companies like Wipro, Accenture, IBM and others are tying up with edtech partners like upGrad, Simplilearn and Udacity to have a ready-trained workforce they can deploy on projects. Additional benefits include minimal training cost incurred post recruitment and a lesser churn as learners develop more ownership in their roles.

          The edtech firms provide campus recruits the required platform, content, assignments and project work in their last semester of college to ensure they are prepared with programming skills and emerging digital skills before they join.

        • Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8 improves performance for modern workloads

          Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) 8 can provide significant performance improvements over RHEL 7 across a range of modern workloads. To put this in context, we used RHEL 7.6 to execute multiple benchmarks with Intel’s 2nd generation of Intel Xeon Scalable processors, and our hardware partners set 35 new world record performance results using the same OS version. This post will highlight RHEL 8 performance gains over RHEL 7.

          How did we get here? The performance engineering team at Red Hat collaborates with software partners and hardware OEMs to measure and optimize performance across workloads that range from high-end databases, NoSQL databases packaged in RHEL, Java applications, and third party databases and applications from Oracle, Microsoft SQL Server, SAS, and SAP HANA ERP applications.

          We run multiple benchmarks and measure the performance of CPU, memory, disk I/O and networking. Testing includes the filesystems we ship with Red Hat Enterprise Linux, such as XFS, Ext4, GFS2, Gluster and Ceph.

        • Federation V2 is now KubeFed

          Some time ago we talked about how Federation V2 on Red Hat OpenShift 3.11 enables users to spread their applications and services across multiple locales or clusters. As a fast moving project, lots of changes happened since our last blog post. Among those changes, Federation V2 has been renamed to KubeFed and we have released OpenShift 4.

          In today’s blog post we are going to look at KubeFed from an OpenShift 4 perspective, as well as show you a stateful demo application deployed across multiple clusters connected with KubeFed.

          There are still some unknowns around KubeFed; specifically in storage and networking. We are evaluating different solutions because we want to we deliver a top-notch product to manage your clusters across multiple regions/clouds in a clear and user-friendly way. Stay tuned for more information to come!

    • Audiocasts/Shows

      • Open Source Security Podcast: Episode 154 – Chat with the authors of the book “The Fifth Domain”

        Josh and Kurt talk to the authors of a new book The Fifth Domain. Dick Clarke and Rob Knake join us to discuss the book, cybersecurity, US policy, how we got where we are today and what the future holds for cybersecurity.

      • Full Circle Magazine: Full Circle Weekly News #139
      • Episode 74 | This Week in Linux

        On this episode of This Week in Linux, AMD releases BIOS fix for the Linux booting issue, IBM closes on the landmark acquisition of Red Hat, and Ubuntu announces that Ubuntu LTS users will be getting the latest nvidia drivers much more easily. In App News, Mozilla releases Firefox 68 and Mozilla responds to some weird news around an organization calling them an “Internet Villain”. Also in App News, we’ll take a look at some news regarding GNOME Software possibly dropping support for Snaps, and new releases from Syncthing (Dropbox replacement) & Kdenlive (video editor). Later in the show we’ll check out some Hardware News for the new Pi-top 4 and do some follow ups on topics we discussed in previous episodes including one topic where I need to make a correction to a mistake I made regarding IDE in the 5.2 Linux kernel. Then we’ll round out the show with some Linux Gaming news! All that and much more on Your Weekly Source for Linux GNews!

    • Kernel Space

      • Various Chrome OS Hardware Support Improvements Make It Into Linux 5.3 Mainline

        Various Chrome OS hardware platform support improvements have made it into the Linux 5.3 kernel for those after running other Linux distributions on Chromebooks and the like as well as reducing Google’s maintenance burden with traditionally carrying so much material out-of-tree.

      • The Massive DRM Pull Request With AMDGPU Navi Support Sent In For Linux 5.3

        At 479,818 lines of new code and just 36,145 lines of code removed while touching nearly two thousand files, the Direct Rendering Manger (DRM) driver updates for Linux 5.3 are huge. But a big portion of that line count is the addition of AMD Radeon RX 5000 “Navi” support and a good portion of that in turn being auto-generated header files. Navi support is ready for the mainline Linux kernel!

      • Char/Misc Has A Bit Of Changes All Over For Linux 5.3

        The char/misc changes with each succeeding kernel release seem to have less changes to the character device subsystem itself and more just a random collection of changes not fitting in other subsystems / pull requests. With Linux 5.3 comes another smothering of different changes.

      • Linux 5.3′s ASUS WMI Driver Add ASUS TUF Gaming Laptop Support & More

        The x86 platform driver updates were sent in and already merged for the ongoing Linux 5.3 kernel. It’s the x86 platform driver updates that bring the recently mentioned Intel Speed Select Technology for Linux driver but there is also more.

        Beyond the interesting Intel Speed Select support, the ASUS WMI driver has gone through a refactoring in order to support ASUS’ TUF Gaming laptops. In the process, there’s even been a regression fix for once popular Eee PC laptop models where their backlight were stuck permanently off.

      • Intel Speed Select Technology Comes To Linux With The 5.3 Kernel

        With the in-development Linux 5.3 kernel is now support for Intel Speed Select Technology (SST) that was introduced as part of Cascade Lake processors. Speed Select Technology allows optimizing the system with per-core performance configurations to prioritize certain workloads while lowering the performance envelope for other cores.

        With the Linux 5.3 kernel there is now an Intel Speed Select Technology driver with these granular power/performance controls. With Cascade Lake and newer, these power and performance profiles can be configured from the OS and done dynamically based upon the real-time needs.

      • Linux kernel announces a patch to allow 0.0.0.0/8 as a valid address range

        Last month, the team behind Linux kernel announced a patch that allows 0.0.0.0/8 as a valid address range. This patch allows for these 16m new IPv4 addresses to appear within a box or on the wire. The aim is to use this 0/8 as a global unicast as this address was never used except the 0.0.0.0.

        In a post written by Dave Taht, Director of the Make-Wifi-Fast, and committed by David Stephen Miller, an American software developer working on the Linux kernel mentions that the use of 0.0.0.0/8 has been prohibited since the early internet due to two issues.

      • Linux Foundation

      • Graphics Stack

        • AMD resolves Destiny 2, Linux crashes via AGESA update

          AMD has confirmed that a bug causing Destiny 2 and selected Linux distributions to fail to run on its latest Zen 2-based Ryzen 3000 series processors will need a microcode update to resolve – but claims it has distributed the necessary code to its motherboard partners already.

          AMD’s third-generation Ryzen processors, based on the company’s Zen 2 microarchitecture, are undeniably impressive – but users of some software packages have been reporting incompatibility issues. For gamers, the headline was Destiny 2 refusing to run when running on any system with a Ryzen 3000 series processor installed; for Linux users, an incompatibility between the chips and selected versions of the systemd init system and related software suite. In both cases, the issue was the same: a complete inability to use the software without reverting to older hardware.

        • AMD Sends Out Linux Graphics Driver Patches For “Arcturus” As New Vega Derived GPU

          Remember last September when that AMD Arcturus codename dropped in our forums for what at first appeared to be a successor to Navi but later clarified to be used as a Linux driver enablement codename? Well, the Linux kernel driver patches for this “Arcturus” GPU have just been posted.

          This Radeon Arcturus support comes just a few weeks after the Radeon RX 5000 “Navi” Linux driver support was posted. But indeed this “Arcturus” part isn’t based on Navi but rather a new swing on Vega based on Vega 20 in part. And we haven’t heard of “Arcturus” at any recent AMD events nor from leaks on the more Windows focused sites.

    • Benchmarks

      • Spectre Mitigation Performance Impact Benchmarks On AMD Ryzen 3700X / 3900X Against Intel

        AMD Zen 2 processors feature hardware-based mitigations for Spectre V2 and Spectre V4 SSBD while remaining immune to the likes of Meltdown and Zombieload. Here are some benchmarks looking at toggling the CPU speculative execution mitigations across various Intel and AMD processors.

        For this round of testing are some mitigation comparison tests on the Core i7 8700K, Core i9 9900K, Core i9 7960X, Ryzen 7 2700X, Ryzen 9 2950X, Ryzen 9 2990WX, Ryzen 7 3700X, and Ryzen 9 3900X. On each processor, the tests were done when booting the Linux 5.2 kernel with the default/out-of-the-box mitigations for Spectre/Meltdown/Foreshadow/Zombieload (all CPU speculative execution mitigations to date) and then again when making use of the “mitigations=off” kernel parameter for disabling these run-time-toggleable mitigations. Basically the tests are the equivalent of mitigations=off vs. mitigations=auto (default) comparison.

    • Applications

      • 5 Business Tools for Start-ups Running on Linux in 2019

        There is no denying that Linux offers more flexibility and security than Microsoft Windows. However, if you use a Linux system for your business, then there is no need to compromise on productivity. The following are some of the most amazing business tools for Linux OS that you can use to enhance business operations and reduce costs:

      • Foliate Ebook Reader Picks Up Mobi & Amazon Kindle Support

        The Foliate ebook reader app for Linux has added support for additional ebook formats, including those used by the Amazon Kindle.

        Now, I’m conscious that I’ve mentioned Foliate a lot recently. I generally don’t like to do that — anyone remember the omg! docky! days? — but some developers are so dang prolific, able to knock out notable update after notable update at a regular clip, that I have no choice!

        Foliate’s developer, John Factotum, is one such dev — nice work!

    • Instructionals/Technical

    • Wine or Emulation

      • D9VK for translating D3D9 to Vulkan for Wine has another new version out, 0.13f – “Hypnofrog”

        Developer Joshua Ashton is certainly keeping busy, with another brand new release of D9VK now available.

        As a reminder: D9VK is based on DXVK. While DXVK focuses on translating D3D11 and D3D10 into Vulkan for use in Wine, D9VK focuses on D3D9. Eventually, they should hopefully merge into one awesome project.

        Version 0.13f – “Hypnofrog” is coming in less than a week after the last release, yet still manages to sound interesting given that’s not a lot of time. There’s some “New General API Stuff”, “New Fixed Function Support”, “New Shader Support” and bug fixes for “D3D9″ and “DXSO (Shader Fixes)”.

        Most of the changelog is highly technical language for those of you who understand graphics APIs. The main takeaway, as always, is that each new release should bring more compatibility with Windows games in Wine that use DirectX 9. Since D9VK uses Vulkan, it should perform better than vanilla Wine.

      • D9VK 0.13f Brings Extra Features For Direct3D 9 Over Vulkan

        It was just earlier this month that D9VK 0.13 was released with new features while now a “0.13f” Hypnofrog release is available in pre-release form.

    • Games

      • Kubernetes: The Video Game

        Grant Shipley was recently in China for KubeCon, where he gave a keynote talk explaining the Kubernetes ecosystem within the context of Video Games. It’s a fun way to examine the entire world of Kubernetes, from end to end, while also enabling Grant to make Mavis Beacon and Commodore 64 references. Take a gander!

      • Please, a tense ten-minute experience has a Linux build available

        Got a few minutes to burn? Why not try out the short experimental experience that Please offers. Developed by somewhat, it delivers something quite surreal and freaky.

      • Achievement Unlocked: RetroArch is Coming to Steam

        Fans of retro (and not so retro) gaming will be pleased to hear that RetroArch is coming to Steam.

        Not familiar with RetroArch? It’s a user-friendly GUI that makes use of the libretro API. That API allows developers to create, among other things, modular ‘libretro’ cores that act as game emulators for systems like the SNES, Mega Drive and Game Boy.

        The famed front-end for the popular Libretro API will be available to install on Steam for Windows from July 30. Linux and macOS versions will follow.

        The libretro cores that power RetroArch can be used with other compatible frontends (like GNOME Games app) but RetroArch is arguably the best one.

      • Epic Games’ Tim Sweeney talks Linux and gaming some more, says Linux is “great”

        Tim Sweeney, the Founder and CEO of Epic Games took to Twitter again recently to answer some questions about Linux and gaming.

        Why? Well, it seems the previously incorrect reports about Easy Anti-Cheat dropping Linux support like to reappear and people end up spreading it around. Even though it has since been clarified, people still end up spreading it.

      • Real-time strategy game “Taste of Power” leaving Early Access next month with Linux support

        Taste of Power, a real-time strategy game from developer OneOcean is gearing up for a full release on August 27th. It’s been in Early Access now for around seven months, so hopefully they’ve managed to polish it up.

      • RetroArch, the front-end app for emulators and more is heading to Steam

        RetroArch, a popular front-end application for running emulators, game engines and much more is now officially coming to Steam.

        This FOSS application is pretty popular, along with the Libretro API enabling you to get a rather pretty-looking PS3-styled interface to deal with all sorts, although as I understand most just use it for emulators.

      • The Linux version of “Space Rabbits in Space” now appears to be live

        Space Rabbits in Space, a 2d parkour skill-based platformer has now officially released for Linux on Steam. Developed by Ventilator Shark, a small independent game studio based in Zagreb, Croatia.

        A game I mentioned back in February, after speaking to the developer they did confirm it was coming they just didn’t know exactly when. With no announcement I can find, the Linux version went live a few days ago!

      • CoreCtrl, a new FOSS Linux tool to help you control your PC with application profiles

        Quite an interesting one this, CoreCtrl from developer Juan Palacios aims to be a “game changer” in letting you setup your hardware to do things automatically when a program is launched and more. The developer tagged us on Twitter about it and it does seem pretty sweet.

      • NOTES, a small puzzle game based on connecting musical notes

        Here’s a sweet recent release for fans of small puzzle games. Miro Jankura recently released NOTES on Steam and looks like a nice relaxing puzzler.

        It released only recently, on July 11th with same-day Linux support. While it’s based on musical notes, the developer does say no musical knowledge is required.

      • The developer of Streets of Rogue recently commented about supporting Linux

        With Streets of Rogue having left Early Access recently, I’m sure plenty were wondering how it’s done on Linux. Turns out the developer, Matt Dabrowski, actually made some interesting comments about it.

        Curiously, the comment from Dabrowski turned up at a place I didn’t quite expect. A dubious website offering free download links to various games, where it seems Dabrowski turned up to warn people away from it and instead try the older version on itch.io to get a feel for it.

      • Mike Driscoll: PyDev of the Week: Meg Ray

        This week we welcome Meg Ray (@teach_python) as our PyDev of the Week! Meg teaches programming to other teachers and has developed Python-related curriculum. Meg is also the author of Code This Game, a book which will be coming out in August 2019. Let’s take some time to get to know her better!

      • AMD Ryzen 3000 Systems To Get BIOS Update To Fix Linux And Destiny 2 Issues

        Linux users did find a workaround by either taking the systemd component to an older version or running a newer patched edition. Windows gamers complained that Destiney 2 wouldn’t launch on systems with AMD Ryzen 3000 Series CPUs.
        AMD has confirmed to Phoronix in a statement hat a BIOS fix has been implemented for the cause of these issues and that it has been distributed to motherboard manufacturers. “AMD has identified the root cause and implemented a BIOS fix for an issue impacting the ability to run certain Linux distributions and Destiny 2 on Ryzen 3000 processors,” it said.

      • AMD Ryzen 3000 causes boot problems for a few Linux Distros, and issues with Destiny 2

        Some users did manage to get around this glitch either by taking the systemd component back to an old version or a newer patched edition. However, now there are complaints being raised by gamers on Windows since they are having issues with Destiny 2 on the new CPUs. As reported to Bungie, over the last couple of days, some users complained that the game refuses to launch when used on PCs with the new chips.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • Q4OS 3.8 Centaurus, stable

          We are proud to announce the immediate availability of the brand new stable Q4OS 3.8 version, codenamed ‘Centaurus’. This is a long-term support LTS release, to be supported for at least five years with security patches and software updates.

          The primary Q4OS aim is stability. As we want to provide as stable as possible operating system for companies as well as for individuals, once installed and configured, Q4OS will work reliably in a long standing way, getting security fixes and updates. Adopting a new feature into the core system could be committed in a highly exceptional cases only. We treat such possible cases as best as possible, doing testing and investigating consequences carefully before such a change.

          Q4OS Centaurus is based on Debian Buster 10 and Plasma 5.14, optionally Trinity 14.0.6, desktop environment, and it’s available for 64bit and 32bit/i686pae computers, as well as for older i386 systems without PAE extension. We are working hard to bring it for ARM devices too.

        • Q4OS 3.8 Released As A Traditional Desktop Linux Distribution Built Atop Debian 10.0
        • Q4OS 3.8 Stable Released, Kernel 5.2.1 Is Out, Cloudera Announces New Open-Source Licensing Model, Microsoft’s Quantum Development Kit Now Available as an Open-Source Project on GitHub and Alan Turing to Be Featured on New Note in the UK

          Q4OS 3.8 stable was released today. This is a long-term support (LTS) release based on Debian Buster 10 with Plasma 5.14 and optionally Trinity 14.0.6 for desktop environments. Its primary aim is stability, and it’s code-named Centaurus. It’s available for 64bit and 32bit/i686pae computers, and also for older i386 systems without PAE extension. Support for ARM devices is in the works. Go here to download.

        • Plasma sprint, 2019 edition; personal updates

          In June, I had a great time at a series of KDE events held in the offices of Slimbook, makers of fantastic Neon-powered laptops, at the outskirts of Valencia, Spain. Following on from a two-day KDE e.V. board of directors meeting, the main event was the 2019 edition of the Plasma development sprint. The location proved to be quite ideal for everything. Slimbook graciously provided us with two lovely adjacent meeting rooms for Plasma and the co-located KDE Usability & Productivity sprint, allowing the groups to mix and seperate as our topics demanded – a well-conceived spatial analog for the tight relationship and overlap between the two.

          [...]

          In KDE e.V. news, briefly we stole one of the sprint rooms for a convenient gathering of most of our Financial Working Group, reviewing the implementation of the annual budget plan of the organization. We also had a chance to work with the Usability goal crew (have you heard about KDE goals yet?) on a plan for the use of their remaining budget — it’s going to be exciting.

          As a closing note, it was fantastic to see many new faces at this year’s sprint. It’s hard to believe for how many attendees it was their first KDE sprint ever, as it couldn’t have been more comfortable to have them on board. It’s great to see our team grow.

        • KDE Applications 19.08 branches created

          Make sure you commit anything you want to end up in the KDE Applications 19.08 release to them

      • GNOME Desktop/GTK

        • Gaurav Agrawal: GSOC Progress by Mid July

          July Marked the beginning of II GSOC coding month. This month our goal is to make the diff bar model as accurate and intuitive as possible.

          One of the biggest thing which I learnt so far is how to contribute on upstream repositories on which our project depends.

          In our case this was with Libgit2, we discovered a bug in Libgit2 while doing our project, and Albfan made this a perfect example to show me how to contribute on upstream, how to raise bugs and how to do discussions for getting it solved.

        • Jean-François Fortin Tam: Available for hire, 2019 edition

          Sometime after the end of my second term on the GNOME Foundation, I was contacted by a mysterious computer vendor that ships a vanilla GNOME on their laptops, Purism.

    • Distributions

      • Screenshots/Screencasts

        • Feren OS 19.07

          Today we are looking at Feren OS 19.07. It is based on Linux Mint 19.1, so indirectly Ubuntu 18.04, which is supported until April 2023. It comes with Cinnamon and Nemo 4.0 and Linux Kernel 4.15. It uses about 1GB of ram when idling.

          Feren Os is a highly customized version of Linux Mint, which is semi-rolling, it is as rolling as a Ubuntu LTS distro can be, yet it is a very stable and reliable, as well as beautiful and by each release just getting better and better.

        • Feren OS 19.07 Run Through

          In this video, we look at Feren OS 19.07

      • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandriva Family

        • OpenMandriva Lx 4.1 Aiming To PGO More Packages, Use IWD For WiFi Connections

          While OpenMandriva Lx 4.0 was just released last month, we are already looking forward to OpenMandriva 4.1 for a number of improvements and some new features.

          OpenMandriva’s developer board provides an interesting look at what’s ahead for OpenMandriva Lx 4.1. Already completed for this next milestone include migrating to LLVM Clang 9, and using LD.lld and BFD as the default linkers.

      • Fedora Family

        • Duplicity 0.8.01

          Duplicity 0.8.01 is now in rawhide. The big change here is that it now uses Python 3. I’ve tested it in my own environment, both on it’s own and with deja-dup, and both work.

          Please test and file bugs. I expect there will be more, but with Python 2 reaching EOL soon, it’s important to move everything we can to Python 3.

      • Debian Family

        • Installing Debian 10

          Debian 10 Buster was released recently. It is the newest version on Debian operating system. Debian 10 comes with Linux Kernel 4.19. It also comes with latest Linux graphical desktop environment such as GNOME 3.30, KDE Plasma 5.14, Cinnamon 3.8, LXDE 0.99.2, LxQt 0.14, MATE 1.20, Xfce 4.12 and many more. Debian 10 also comes with awesome new artworks.
          In this article, I am going to show you how to install Debian 10 Buster on your computer.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • ASUS ROG CROSSHAIR VIII HERO Testing On Ubuntu 18.04 Linux

          For those in the market for an AMD X570 high-end motherboard for use with the new Zen 2 processors, the ASUS ROG CROSSHAIR VIII HERO was one of the boards sent out as part of the reviewer’s kit and it’s been working out quite well.

          The ASUS ROG CROSSHAIR VIII HERO is quite feature packed with dual M.2 drives, USB 3.2 Gen2, active chipset heatsink, 2.5 Gbps Ethernet and Gigabit Ethernet (requires kernel patches for the 2.5G controller), and plenty of other connectivity. This motherboard does cost a pretty penny though at around $380 USD.

        • Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter Issue 587
        • Latest Gnu Octave Available to Install via Snap in Ubuntu

          Gnu Octave finally offers official Snap package for Linux desktops, so far in beta, which means you can now easily install the latest Octave via Ubuntu Software and always keep updated.

          Octave snap is a containerized software package comes with run-time libraries bundled and auto-updates itself once a new version package is published.

        • Octave turns to snaps to reduce dependency on Linux distribution maintainers

          Octave is a numerical computing environment largely compatible with MATLAB. As free software, Octave runs on GNU/Linux, macOS, BSD, and Windows. At the 2019 Snapcraft Summit, Mike Miller and Jordi Gutiérrez Hermoso of the Octave team worked on creating an Octave snap in stable and beta versions for the Snap Store.

          As Mike and Jordi explained, “Octave is currently packaged for most of the major distributions, but sometimes it’s older than we would like.” The goal of the Octave snap was to allow users to easily access the current stable release of the software, independently of Linux distribution release cycles. A snap would also let them release Octave on distributions not covered so far.

          Before starting with snaps, Octave depended on distribution maintainers, including those of CentOS, Debian, Fedora, and Ubuntu, for its binary packaging. With snaps, the situation has improved. The Octave team can now push out a release as soon as it ready for users eager to get it now, while other more conservative users wait for more traditional packages from their distribution. Mike and Jordi envisioned this to be the biggest benefit of coming to the Summit and creating an Octave snap.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • Thierry Carrez: Open source in 2019, Part 3/3

        As mentioned in part 2, since open source was coined in 1998, software companies have evolved ways to retain control while producing open source software, and in that process stripped users of some of the traditional benefits associated with F/OSS. But those companies were still abiding to the terms of the open source licenses, giving users a clear base set of freedoms and rights.
        Over the past year, a number of those companies have decided that they wanted even more control, in particular control of any revenue associated with the open source software. They proposed new licenses, removing established freedoms and rights in order to be able to assert that level of control. The open source definition defines those minimal freedoms and rights that any open source software should have, so the Open Source Initiative (OSI), as steadfast guardians of that definition, rightfully resisted those attempts.
        Those companies quickly switched to attacking OSI’s legitimacy, pitching “Open Source” more as a broad category than a clear set of freedoms and rights. And they created new licenses, with deceptive naming (“community”, “commons”, “public”…) in an effort to blur the lines and retain some of the open source definition aura for their now-proprietary software.
        The solution is not in redefining open source, or claiming it’s no longer relevant. Open source is not a business model, or a constantly evolving way to produce software. It is a base set of user freedoms and rights expressed in the license the software is published under. Like all standards, its value resides in its permanence.

      • Juniper Networks Extends Commitment to Open Source Software and Communities through Open Source Initiative Sponsorship.

        The Open Source Initiative ® (OSI), the founding organization of the Open Source Software movement and steward of the Open Source Definition, announced today corporate sponsorship by Juniper Networks, the longstanding proponent of open source software and open standards, and industry leader in automated, scalable, and secure networks. Juniper Networks firmly believes open source and open standards foster greater innovation, and for years has actively participated in a variety of open source communities and key standards bodies, including FreeBSD Foundation, Linux Foundation, Cloud Native Computing Foundation, and OpenStack Foundation. In addition to their support of open source foundations, the networking company has released or contributed to many free and open source projects such as OpenStack, Ansible, Salt, PyEZ, wistar, OpenNTI, Tungsten Fabric, along with dozens of others.

      • Epic Games Awards Open Source 3D Creation Tool Blender With $1.2 Million

        While Epic Games has been in a number of articles and video regarding their practices in the gaming space, it’s nice to see a positive spin for the company. Today, Epic Games has announced that they have donated $1.2 million in cash towards the Blender Project. A free and open source creation tool that is used by a number of developers, which allows them to create 3D graphics animation and even entire games.

        This award is part of the Epic MegaGrants Initiative which Epic Games has committed $100 million. This program was created to help game developers, students, professionals, and creators. By providing funding, the Epic MegaGrants goal is to help foster a positive gaming and creative landscape.

      • Events

        • Real Python at PyCon US 2019
        • Quansight presence at SciPy’19

          Yesterday the SciPy’19 conference ended. It was a lot of fun, and very productive. You can really feel that there’s a lot of energy in the community, and that it’s growing and maturing. This post is just a quick update to summarize Quansight’s presence and contributions, as well as some of the more interesting things I noticed.

        • ASG! 2019 CfP Re-Opened!

          Due to popular request we have re-opened the Call for Participation (CFP) for All Systems Go! 2019 for one day. It will close again TODAY, on 15 of July 2019, midnight Central European Summit Time! If you missed the deadline so far, we’d like to invite you to submit your proposals for consideration to the CFP submission site quickly! (And yes, this is the last extension, there’s not going to be any more extensions.)

      • Web Browsers

        • Mozilla

          • 100,985,047 have been invited to the Evite data breach “party”

            Did you get an invitation to the latest data breach? Over the weekend it was disclosed that Evite, the online invitation platform that has sent more than a few birthday and pizza party invitations over the years, suffered a data breach that included over 100 million accounts.

          • The Gecko Hacker’s Guide to Taskcluster

            I spent a good chunk of this year fiddling with taskcluster configurations in order to get various bits of continuous integration stood up for WebRender. Taskcluster configuration is very flexible and powerful, but can also be daunting at first. This guide is intended to give you a mental model of how it works, and how to add new jobs and modify existing ones. I’ll try and cover things in detail where I believe the detail would be helpful, but in the interest of brevity I’ll skip over things that should be mostly obvious by inspection or experimentation if you actually start digging around in the configurations. I also try and walk through examples and provide links to code as much as possible.

      • Productivity Software/LibreOffice/Calligra

        • Annual Report 2018: LibreOffice development

          Throughout the second half of 2018, the developer community worked on a new major release: LibreOffice 6.2. Details about the end-user-facing new features are provided on this page, and in the following video – so in the rest of this blog post, we’ll focus on developer-related changes.

      • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

        • What is POSIX? Richard Stallman explains

          What is POSIX, and why does it matter? It’s a term you’ve likely seen in technical writing, but it often gets lost in a sea of techno-initialisms and jargon-that-ends-in-X. I emailed Dr. Richard Stallman (better known in hacker circles as RMS) to find out more about the term’s origin and the concept behind it.

          Richard Stallman says “open” and “closed” are the wrong way to classify software. Stallman classifies programs as freedom-respecting (“free” or “libre”) and freedom-trampling (“non-free” or “proprietary”). Open source discourse typically encourages certain practices for the sake of practical advantages, not as a moral imperative.

          The free software movement, which Stallman launched in 1984, says more than advantages are at stake. Users of computers deserve control of their computing, so programs denying users control are an injustice to be rejected and eliminated. For users to have control, the program must give them the four essential freedoms…

      • Programming/Development

        • shuffle lines via bash
        • Find the RPM of the gear from the gear chain group with Python

          Given a list of gear in term of the gear teeth number, find the rpm of the last cog, the driven gear will rotate at 1 rpm in the clockwise direction.

        • PSF GSoC students blogs: Week #6 | Guillotina PubSub
        • PSF GSoC students blogs: Week #7 | Guillotina PubSub
        • Generators in Python | How to use Python Generators

          Generating iterables or objects that allow stepping over them is considered to be a burdensome task. But, in Python, the implementation of this painful task just gets really smooth. So let’s go ahead and take a closer look at Generators in Python.

        • 9 Data Visualization Techniques You Should Learn in Python

          With ever increasing volume of data, it is impossible to tell stories without visualizations. Data visualization is an art of how to turn numbers into useful knowledge. Using Python we can learn how to create data visualizations and present data in Python using the Seaborn package.

        • Understanding software design patterns

          If you are a programmer or a student pursuing computer science or a similar discipline, sooner or later, you will encounter the term “software design pattern.” According to Wikipedia, “a software design pattern is a general, reusable solution to a commonly occurring problem within a given context in software design.” Here is my take on the definition: When you have been working on a coding project for a while, you often begin to think, “Huh, this seems redundant. I wonder if I can change the code to be more flexible and accepting of changes?” So, you begin to think about how to separate what stays the same from what needs to change often.

        • How to integrate jenkins with webhook
        • Serving Gifs With Discord Bot – Reading Time: 12 Mins
        • Python Snippet 1: More Uses For Else
        • Python Celery Guide
        • Python String Find()
        • Array copying and extending in GLib 2.61.2

          A slightly more in-depth post in the mini-series this time, about various new functions which Emmanuel Fleury has landed in GLib 2.61.2 (which is due to be released soon), based on some old but not-quite-finished patches from others.

        • PyCharm 2019.2 Beta #2

          It hasn’t been long since we published PyCharm 2019.2 Beta, and now we’re ready to share with you the second Beta build! The final release date is getting closer and closer, and while you wait, give PyCharm 2019.2 Beta #2 a go! Get the PyCharm 2019.2 Beta build from our website and try all the latest functionality.

        • Vimrc Tutorial

          In this article, we’re going to dive deep into the vimrc file of Vim. Once you’re inside the vimscript, it’s easy to mess things up. That’s why this rule of thumb will always be helpful in your journey with Vim. Don’t put any line in vimrc that you don’t understand.

        • CPU atomics and orderings explained

          Sometimes the question comes up about how CPU memory orderings work, and what they do. I hope this post explains it in a really accessible way.

        • You can’t say Go without Google – specifically, our little logo, Chocolate Factory insists

          Back in 2009, Google chose to name its latest programming language Go, a decision that is still giving it a migraine

          It could have called it “Google Go” to avoid confusion with Frank McCabe’s Go! programming language. Despite criticism, it didn’t do so. After almost a year of online grumbling, Google software engineer Russ Cox, in 2010, closed GitHub Issue #9, dismissing the complaints as “unfortunate.”

          And the headaches over the thing’s name still won’t go away (no pun intended.) Last week, Google rebuffed a request to remove its logo from the Go website, golang.org, a change supported by some developers who feel Google takes Go developers for granted.

  • Leftovers

    • Science

      • Computer Science Legend Alan Turing to Appear on New £50 Note in UK

        The Bank of England has announced that legendary British mathematician and computer scientist Alan Turing will appear on the new £50 note in the UK. Turing was chosen from thousands of names that were submitted by the public for possible inclusion on the British currency.

        “Why Turing? Turing was an outstanding mathematician whose works had an enormous impact on how we live today,” the Bank of England’s governor Mark Carney said at the Science and Industry Museum in Manchester this morning. “As the father of computer science and artificial intelligence, Alan Turing’s contributions were far-ranging and path-breaking.”

    • Security

      • Security updates for Monday

        Security updates have been issued by CentOS (firefox), Debian (libspring-java, ruby-mini-magick, and thunderbird), Fedora (fossil, python-django, snapd-glib, and thunderbird), openSUSE (helm and monitoring-plugins), Red Hat (cyrus-imapd, thunderbird, and vim), Scientific Linux (vim), Slackware (bzip2), SUSE (bubblewrap, bzip2, expat, glib2, kernel, php7, python3, and tomcat), and Ubuntu (exiv2, firefox, and flightcrew).

      • WhatsApp, Telegram Vulnerable To ‘Media File Jacking’: Change Your Settings Now!

        Instant messaging apps like WhatsApp and Telegram keep your messages encrypted in transit, but once a media file reaches your phone, the same cannot be guaranteed.

        Researchers from Symantec have demonstrated how a vulnerability in WhatsApp and Telegram can be exploited by hackers to hijack the media files that are sent through these services.

      • Windows 7 & security-only telemetry – What gives?

        Sometimes, it is hard to separate fact from emotion when it comes to technology. This does not help the end user, because when people come searching for solutions to genuine concerns like this, they first have to filter through outbursts of pent-up frustration as a result of many years of salesy bullshit.

        From the technological point of view, there’s nothing new here. However, the fact you now get non-security nonsense with security means you can’t really trust updates from Microsoft anymore. So if anything, this will majestically backfire. People don’t like being pushed, and I’m amazed with the repeated attempts to do so, again and again.

      • Fernando Corbató, Early Operating System Pioneer And Password Inventor, Dies At 93

        Corbató and his fellow researchers at MIT made possible much of what we now think of as computing.

      • Professor Emeritus Fernando Corbató, MIT computing pioneer, dies at 93

        Longtime MIT professor developed early “time-sharing” operating systems and is widely credited as the creator of the world’s first computer password.

    • Environment

      • Climate Litigation Has Become a Global Trend, New Report Shows

        Climate change-related lawsuits, once mostly limited to the U.S., have now been filed in nearly 30 countries, targeting governments and corporate polluters, according to the latest analysis of the trend.

        A new report was published this month by the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment at the London School of Economics. It tracks the progress of the suits — filed since 1990 — as they have expanded beyond the U.S., and predicts the trend will continue.

      • Energy

        • Environmental Journalism Can Help Protect Citizens in Emerging Democracies

          What happens when an illegally logged tree falls or poachers kill endangered brown bears in the forest, but there’s no journalist to report it?

          That’s the situation in the Republic of Georgia, which faces challenges that include poaching, deteriorating air quality, habitat disruption from new hydropower dams, illegal logging and climate change. The effects cross national borders and affect economic and political relationships in the Caucasus and beyond.

          I researched environmental journalism in the Republic of Georgia as a Fulbright Scholar there in the fall of 2018. I chose Georgia because many of its environmental and media problems are similar to those confronting other post-Soviet countries nearly 30 years after independence. As I have found in my research on mass media in other post-Soviet nations, journalists risk provoking powerful public and corporate interests when they investigate sensitive environmental issues.

          But when the media don’t cover these problems, Georgians go uninformed about issues relevant to their daily lives. Eco-violators operate with impunity, and the government and Georgia’s influential private sector remain opaque to the public. At a time when government hostility to journalists is rising in many countries, Georgia illustrates how environmental damage, pollution and ill health can spread, and go unpunished, when powerful interests are unaccountable to the public.

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • IBM’s Ridiculous Opportunism: Sells Out Section 230 To Sell More Filters

        This perhaps isn’t a huge surprise, but IBM is being disdainful of the wider tech ecosystem, yet again. It has an incredibly long history of this kind of activity — mostly in the patent space, where it is the world’s foremost patent bully. The company gleefully announces each and every year that it gets the most patents of any company in the US. It has done this (no joke) for 26 straight years. Of course, given how many patents it gets, if patents actually were a marker for innovation, you’d think that IBM would still be putting out all sorts of innovative new products all the time. Right? Except, of course, it is not. Instead, it uses the patents to shake down companies who actually do innovate.

    • Privacy/Surveillance

      • Knowing the “Value” of Our Data Won’t Fix Our Privacy Problems

        Some lawmakers, seeking to hold companies accountable for the way they collect and profit from our personal information, are pushing a new idea: requiring companies to report a dollar value for the data they collect from us.

        Some frame this reporting as a first step towards requiring companies to share with consumers the wealth our personal information generates for these companies. Yet knowing how much your personal information is worth to a company doesn’t actually protect your privacy—and the “pay for privacy” schemes that would probably follow from valuation reporting would actually harm it. What we need instead are strong laws to safeguard our privacy and prevent the reckless collection, use, and disclosure of our information.

        Proposals to place a concrete dollar value on data and, by extension, on our privacy, have popped up across the country this year. Sens. Mark Warner (D-Va.) and Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) last month introduced the “Designing Accounting Safeguards to Help Broaden Oversight and Regulations on Data,” or DASHBOARD Act. It would require larger companies to report the value of customer data. Rep. Doug Collins (R-Ga.) recently proposed a bill to recognize consumer data as property. Companies pushed a bill with a similar concept in Oregon, which the ACLU of Oregon and EFF opposed, to directly pay people for the “value” of their health data as calculated by companies.

      • US AI Commission Continues Secret Meetings

        Representatives of large tech firms, including Google and Microsoft, dominate the Commission.

      • To Attack Julian Assange, CNN Twists Embassy Surveillance Records That Were First Covered By Spanish Newspaper

        Spanish newspaper EL PAÍS reported on July 9 that WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange was spied on by a Spanish private defense and security firm called Undercover Global S.L., when he lived in the Ecuador embassy in the United Kingdom.

        The report was based on “documents, video, and audio material” that was “used in an extortion attempt against Assange by several individuals.” In May, Spanish police arrested journalist José Martín Santos, who had a record of fraud, and a computer programmer for their alleged involvement in an “attempt to make €3 million from the sale of private material.”

        Reporters for EL PAÍS found the spying on Assange’s legal defense meetings to be most significant. They were stunned by the fact that Assange felt he had to hold meetings in the women’s bathroom if he wanted to ensure privacy. And they took note of U.C. Global’s “feverish, obsessive vigilance” toward “the guest,” which became more intense after Lenin Moreno was elected president of Ecuador in May 2017.

        That is not how CNN viewed the same cache of information compiled by the private security company and eventually used to allegedly extort Assange.

        Although EL PAÍS makes no mention of meddling in the 2016 presidential election in its coverage, CNN approached the material like analysts at the CIA. They voraciously consumed logs hoping the documents would confirm Assange collaborated with Russian intelligence assets to release emails from John Podesta, Hillary Clinton’s campaign chairman.

      • BREAKING – EPIC Seeks Public Release of FTC Settlement with Facebook

        Today EPIC filed an expedited Freedom of Information Act request with the Federal Trade Commission, seeking the public release of the proposed settlement with Facebook. Last week the Wall Street Journal first reported that the FTC approved a $5 billion settlement with Facebook for violating a 2011 consent order that EPIC helped obtain.

      • EFF Posts New White Paper On Stingray Device Capabilities

        The EFF has published a primer on IMSI catchers. Harris Corporation’s success in this market has led to near-genericide, as almost every one of these cell tower spoofers is usually referred to as a “stingray.”

        The white paper [PDF], titled “Gotta Catch ‘Em All,” runs down what’s known about cell-site simulators used by a number of government agencies. Most of this has been gleaned from secondhand info — the stuff that leaks out during prosecutions or as the result of FOIA requests.

        The technical capabilities of CSSs have been kept under wraps for years. The reasoning behind this opacity is that if criminals know how these devices work, they’ll be able to avoid being tracked by them. There may be a few technical details that might prove useful in this fashion, but what is known about Stingray devices is that the best way to avoid being tracked by them is to simply not use a cellphone. But who doesn’t use a cellphone?

        The report is definitely worth reading, even if you’ve stayed on top of these developments over the past several years. It breaks down the technical subject matter in a way that makes clear what CSSs can and can’t do — and how they’re capable of disrupting cellphone networks while in use.

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • No Shirt, No Shoes, No Facescan, No Service: Welcome To 21st Century Convenience Store Shopping

        Developers of facial recognition software and their customers are finding new and uninventive ways to use unproven tech to keep people out of places. Law enforcement just wants to watch everyone who’s out in the open and strays too close to the right cameras. Security agencies just want to watch everyone leaving or entering the country.

        Private businesses, on the other hand, want to limit their interactions with certain people. Landlords are replacing keys/locks with cameras and phone apps. Retailers are implementing facial recognition tech to create digital barriers to entry. Given the tech’s error rate, the chance of misidentifying someone as a shoplifter is omnipresent, leaving would-be shoppers in the awkward position of attempting to prove a negative just for the opportunity to give a retailer money.

    • Monopolies

      • ESA Steps In With Amicus Brief In Support Of Activision Versus Humvee

        A short while ago, we discussed a rather concerning lawsuit brought by AM General LLC, the company that makes Humvees, against Activision, the game publisher that occasionally publishes Call of Duty games that include depictions of Humvees. AM General’s claims are pretty silly, suggesting that players of the games will think that those games were somehow created by or endorsed by AM General. I can’t imagine that’s the case; instead, most people are likely to think that Activision is attempting realism in their warfare game, since you basically cannot make an American warfare game accurately without including Humvees. Activision’s response was on First Amendment grounds, arguing that its games are partly an historically accurate work of art, for which including Humvees is accurate and fair use.

      • Patents and Software Patents

        • The serve and volley of tennis innovation

          The commercialization of carbon fibre materials in the 1970s heralded a new era of tennis racket design. Modern tennis rackets are formed of a composite material of carbon fibres in an epoxy resin matrix. Early examples of composite rackets include the Dunlop Max200G (GB2015886), which was the first composite racket to be produce with injection moulding. The Max200G was favoured by both John McEnroe and Steffi Graf. Composite materials have a high strength to weight ratio and can be used to produce rackets that are considerably lighter than their wooden forbears. Modern composite rackets are about 250g in weight (less the half the weight of the old wooden rackets). The lighter weight of composite rackets allowed the production of rackets with larger heads. A dramatic increase in racket head size lead the International Tennis Federation to introduce a limit of 29 × 12.5 inches on racket head size.

          The decreased weight and increased size of the tennis rackets changed the game from one primarily focused on technique to one dominated by power. Lighter rackets can be swung with greater speed, leading to a more powerful impact with the ball. It is also easier to generate top-spin with modern day composite rackets. The larger head size of composite rackets also increases the sweet spot size, making it easier for a player to control the ball, so that even a beginner can hope to hit the ball in the right direction. Composite rackets also retain their stiffness for longer than do metal rackets and have a higher dampening effect, lowering the risk of tennis elbow.

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