Links 2/8/2019: Krita 4.2.5 and New Releases of Mint Variants/Flavours

Posted in News Roundup at 2:08 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Desktop

      • Why I Switched From Ubuntu to Manjaro Linux

        still rate Ubuntu very highly, and I have great respect for Canonical. Over in the corporate world, no one comes close to the success Red Hat has had with promoting Linux as a serious enterprise infrastructure tool. You could make the same argument for Canonical, and its success with making Linux accessible for newcomers to the Linux desktop.

        A lot of people who use Linux for the first time stick a toe in the water with Ubuntu. Once they’ve found their feet and get a bit of experience, some people move on to other distributions. I’ve heard the same story many times, both in-person and online. People tell me they’re on a particular distribution—Fedora, Debian, you name it, I’ve heard it—but they started on Ubuntu. If their current distribution had been their first foray into Linux, they doubt they would have stuck with it. That’s a massively important role for Ubuntu to play.

      • System76 Is Launching An Insanely Powerful Linux Laptop With 4K OLED Display And Intel i9-9980HK

        It’s called the Adder WS, and it can be configured with a ridiculous amount of storage, RAM, CPU and GPU processing power.

        On the CPU side, System76 will load it up with either a six-core Intel Core i7-9750H (which is what drives my Oryx Pro laptop) or the 8-core i7-9980HK which represents the best mobile CPU Intel has to offer at the moment.

        Handling graphics is Nvidia’s GeForce RTX 2070, which can kick out decent frames for AAA 4K gaming at lower quality settings, or 1080p gaming with all the dials maxed out. It’s also a solid choice for content creators. Crucial to performance, of course, will be the laptop’s thermal solution and cooling capabilities, which System76 says should enable the system’s full potential.

        The Adder WS can also handle up to 64GB of system memory and a spacious 8TB of total storage.

      • Microsoft confirms users unable to switch out of Windows 10 in S Mode

        Some flagship devices like Samsung Galaxy Book2 and Microsoft Surface Go come pre-installed with Windows 10 in S mode (formerly known as Windows 10 S). Windows 10 in S Mode locks installation of apps only from the Microsoft Store and users cannot download or install .exe apps.

        Fortunately, Microsoft allows users to switch out of Windows 10 in S mode from the Microsoft Store, but users are reporting that this Store feature is broken and they cannot switch out of Windows 10 in S Mode.

    • Server

      • Capsule8 Announces New Investigations Capability
      • Capsule8 ‘Investigations’ To Provide More Proactive Prevention for Linux-Based Environments

        Brooklyn, N.Y.-based Capsule8 today announced new “full endpoint detection and response (EDR)-like investigations functionality for cloud workloads”…

      • A Pen Plotter Powered by Artificial Intelligence

        As you can see, to process a picture of this size which contains only one short mathematical question, the time consumed is around 11 minutes. It is very likely that the time consumed for the entire process can be reduced by 50 percent, if the code is changed and sends the text detection job to ‘cloud’ instead of to the native Raspberry Pi 3, or if you use Raspberry Pi 3 with Neural Compute Stick(s) for accelerating the inference. But this assumption still would have to be proven :-).

      • From 30 to 230 docker container per host

        In the beginning there were virtual machines running with 8 vCPUs and 60GB of RAM. They started to serve around 30 containers per VM. Later on we managed to squeeze around 50 containers per VM.

        Initial orchestration was done with swarm, later on we moved to nomad. Access was initially fronted by nginx with consul-template generating the config. When it did not scale anymore nginx was replaced by Traefik. Service discovery is managed by consul. Log shipping was initially handled by logspout in a container, later on we switched to filebeat. Log transformation is handled by logstash. All of this is running on Debian GNU/Linux with docker-ce.

        At some point it did not make sense anymore to use VMs. We’ve no state inside the containerized applications anyway. So we decided to move to dedicated hardware for our production setup. We settled with HPe DL360G10 with 24 physical cores and 128GB of RAM.

      • IBM

        • IBM ships software portfolio into containers thanks to Red Hat providing the packaging

          There are many reasons for IBM’s recent purchase of Red Hat, but one of them became apparent today – the Big Blue has announced that it has packed more than 100 products across its software portfolio into containers, designed for Red Hat’s OpenShift.

          Linux-based application containers package apps and all of their dependencies into individual virtual environments that can be easily moved between a variety of public and private clouds. This means that potentially IBM’s apps can run as easily on AWS, Azure or Alibaba as they would on the company’s own public infrastructure.

          “IBM is unleashing its software from the data center to fuel the enterprise workload race to the cloud,” said Arvind Krishna, senior veep for cloud and cognitive stuff at IBM.

    • Kernel Space

      • Linux Developer Conference Brazil 2019

        We’re very excited to be once again attending, and sponsoring, Linux Developer Conference Brazil, taking place this weekend in São Paulo, Brazil! Already in its third year, Linux Developer Conference Brazil aims to take the Brazilian Linux development community to the international level. Whether you are just curious and want to understand the Linux ecosystem, or are someone seeking to contribute to FOSS projects, or even a seasoned collaborator, this conference is for you.

        Collaborans will be giving three workshops and six presentations, and will also take part in, and moderate, a panel discussion. You can find the complete details below.

      • Linux Mint 19.2 “Tina” Cinnamon Now Available, IBM Has Transformed Its Software to Be Cloud-Native and Run on Any Cloud with Red Hat OpenShift, Icinga Web 2.7.0 Released, Google Rolling Out Android Auto Design Updates and Kernel 5.1 Reaches End of Life

        Greg Kroah-Hartman recently announced that Linux kernel 5.1 has reached end of life…

      • Graphics Stack

        • What’s new in OpenXR 1.0 & Monado?

          As part of its unwavering commitment to open source and open standards, Collabora is proud to be part of bringing the recently-released OpenXR 1.0 to life. We are pioneering the Monado open source runtime for OpenXR to ensure the future of XR is truly open and accessible to all hardware vendors. As the OpenXR specification editor, I am grateful for the diligent efforts of the working group, as well as the community feedback that shaped this release.

          There have been a lot of changes since the last post about OpenXR and Monado. On the working group, we’ve brought the concerns of the open source and Linux communities to the working group. We have worked to improve the loader and provided API layers in both cross-platform and Linux-specific ways, together with the Monado community. As specification editor, I developed or enhanced a variety of specification-related tooling to ensure a continuous standard for consistency and high-quality in the specification text and registry.

          For example, xml_consistency uses specification-specific “business logic” to check the internal consistency of the XML registry. Among other things, it compares the return codes listed for a function with those inferred from parameter types, and raises an error if an expected code is missing or an existing code seems unnecessary. The comprehensive check_spec_links tool processes the AsciiDoctor source of the specification, ensuring that the spec-specific markup macros are used correctly, that all members and parameters are documented, that all entities referred to actually exist and are spelled correctly, and more.

        • AMD Publishes Documentation On RDNA 1.0 ISA

          AMD has published their instruction set architecture documentation for their new RDNA 1.0 architecture found on their new Radeon RX 5700 series GPUs and other forthcoming products.

          AMD quietly released their RDNA 1.0 ISA documentation on Thursday. The PDF covers 240 pages of the RDNA shader ISA in detail designed for driver writers, game engine developers, and others wanting to know the fine details to the new RDNA instruction set.

        • AMD Sends Out Linux Kernel Driver Support For Navi 12 GPUs

          While we’ve already seen the RADV Vulkan driver land their slated support for Navi 12 GPUs on top of the recently launched Radeon RX 5700 “Navi 10″ graphics cards, today is the first time we’re seeing patches from AMD to wire in the support to the AMDGPU DRM Linux kernel driver for this next iteration of Navi.

          A total of 36 patches were sent out a short time ago that add Navi 12 support to this DRM driver. The Navi 12 support comes in at just 1,388 lines of new code over the existing Navi 10 support, but some 1.1k lines of that are just auto-generated new header files.

        • Intel Sends Out First Graphics Driver Changes For Linux 5.4 With Tiger Lake Support

          Intel’s open-source driver team has sent in their initial batch of kernel graphics driver changes to DRM-Next for material that will be targeting the Linux 5.4 cycle later this year.

          This is just the first of several pull requests expected of the Intel “i915″ DRM driver material to DRM-Next for queuing ahead of the Linux 5.4 merge window opening in September. In the few weeks since ending Linux 5.3 feature development and its resulting merge window, a number of patches have been queuing for this Direct Rendering Manager driver.

    • Benchmarks

      • AMD Zen 2 Performance Looking Even Better With GCC 10

        While this year’s GCC 9 compiler release brought initial support for AMD Zen 2 processors with the Znver2 target, the support was sadly incomplete. While the GCC 9 support added some of the new instructions, it wasn’t complete (such as RDPRU support remains missing) and the cost tables and scheduler model were not updated from Znver1 to account for the microarchitectural changes. Thankfully, SUSE’s compiler experts recently fixed up this support for the GCC 10 compiler and more recently were able to get it back-ported for the upcoming GCC 9.2 for the Linux distributions that will upgrade to that point release. Here are some benchmarks looking at the performance impact of that updated AMD Zen 2 compiler code.

      • Firefox 68 vs. Chrome 76 Linux Web Browser Performance Benchmarks
    • Applications

      • man-pages-5.02 is released

        I’ve released man-pages-5.02. The release tarball is available on kernel.org. The browsable online pages can be found on man7.org. The Git repository for man-pages is available on kernel.org.

        This release resulted from patches, bug reports, reviews, and comments from 28 contributors. The release includes around 120 commits that change more than 50 pages.

      • Excellent Utilities: LanguageTool – style and grammar checker for 30+ languages

        This is a series highlighting best-of-breed utilities. We are covering a wide range of utilities including tools that boost your productivity, help you manage your workflow, and lots more besides. The other utilities in this series are listed here.

        LanguageTool is an open source proofreading software for English, French, German, Polish, Russian, and many other languages although some are not actively maintained.

        What makes this software special? LanguageTool offers a variety of different ways to access its functionality. There’s a cross-platform Java desktop application for offline use. You can also use its grammar, style and spell checker in a web browser with both Firefox and Chrome add-ons. There’s also support for LanguageTool in Google Docs, LibreOffice, and community support has added other applications including Emacs, LyX, and vim.

        And there’s even an add-on for Microsoft Word if you still live on the dark side. Or use the software from the project’s website.

        LanguageTool comes with its own embedded HTTP/HTTPS server so you can send a text to LanguageTool via HTTP and get the detected errors back as JSON.

      • Icinga Web 2.7.0

        We are happy to announce a new release for Icinga Web 2, version 2.7.0. Official packages are available on packages.icinga.com. You can find all issues related to this release on our Roadmap.

      • Kiwi TCMS 6.11

        We’re happy to announce Kiwi TCMS version 6.11! This is a security and improvement release which updates many internal dependencies, adds 2 new Telemetry reports, updates TestPlan and TestCase cloning pages and provides several other improvements and bug fixes. You can explore everything at https://public.tenant.kiwitcms.org!

      • A bulk replacement GUI with YAD

        I sometimes need to tidy up data tables containing pseudo-duplicate data items. The example below is from a real-world dataset and is part of a tally of a certain field. The tally function ignores the header and generates a sorted list of data items and their frequencies.

    • Instructionals/Technical

    • Games

      • Logic World (prev. The Ultimate Nerd Game) release delayed until October

        Logic World from Mouse Hat Games (previously called The Ultimate Nerd Game) is delayed, originally due this Summer they’ve decided to push it back until October.

        Speaking about the delay in this post, they said “we just aren’t ready” and they “don’t want to make sacrifices to the quality of the game” along with not having to deal with any crunch. All fair enough, I would rather have a healthy developer put out a good game after a delay.

      • Super stylish naval combat and adventure game “Abandon Ship” now has a Linux beta

        Abandon Ship caught my eye some time ago, thanks to the incredible style inspired by classic Naval Oil Paintings. The developer said it would eventually come to Linux and that time is fast approaching with a Beta now up.

      • Dota Underlords just had a massive update, changing the way you play

        Valve are reacting quickly to feedback along with implementing some needed features for their auto-battler strategy game Dota Underlords. The latest major update is out now, with some big changes to the gameplay.

        Previously, all the battles in Underlords took place differently. So while you might have been facing player X, they at the same time would be fighting player Y. Not any more! Players now get paired up to fight directly against each other, both taking part in the same shared combat. If there’s an odd number of players, one of them might fight a clone of a player.

      • Sunless Skies has added the important feature of tooting your horn in the latest update

        The Horn update for Sunless Skies went live on July 30th adding in a highly requested feature, the ability to toot. There’s, uh, other things as well of course.

        Sometimes we just want simple things and tooting your horn in Sunless Skies was apparently the “second most requested feature since launch”. So, they added it in with a note that “The horn has no gameplay effects whatsoever, but we think it sounds quite nice. You’re, umm, welcome.”—hah.

      • In the top-down action game Decoy, you are the distraction and it looks amusing

        Most action games give you some sort of weapon, dump you in front of lots of enemies and have you go at it. Decoy is a different, your only tool is your vehicle and you are to distract the enemy.

        An infiltration team is searching for information, so to keep them out of harms way you will need to drive around like an insane person to distract, evade and survive. You have nothing to defend yourself, other than your awesome driving skills.

      • Secret Government, a grand strategy game about leading a secret society will be on Linux

        A recent announcement from Russian developer GameTrek and publisher 1C Entertainment is the game Secret Government. It’s planned to enter Early Access in October this year with Linux support.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • The MATE Desktop Is Becoming Quite Usable On Wayland Via Mir

        The MATE desktop environment is becoming usable on Wayland thanks to its support being provided by the Mir display stack.

        The MATE desktop, which continues to be developed as an active fork of GNOME 2, is seeing Wayland support thanks to Mir doing the heavy lifting. This is also becoming one of the leading examples of Mir’s use-case following Canonical engineers re-tooling their display server with Wayland support after pulling back from their original design goals around Ubuntu Touch and mobile/convergence.

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • Krita 4.2.5 Released

          We found that Krita 4.2.4 still had a bug handling shortcuts when certain tools were active. We’ve worked hard to fix that bug as quickly as possible, and as a consequence, we’re releasing Krita 4.2.5 today. Everyone is urged to update to this new release.

        • The Inside View: How Krita is Developed

          Until 2005, all Krita development was done by volunteers, in their spare time. That year, Google started the Google Summer of Code program. Then we had students working full-time on Krita for three months; mentored by the existing volunteer team.

          For me, Krita maintainer since 2003, there was nothing more satisfying than working on Krita. In contrast with my day jobs, we actually started releasing in 2004!

          But it was clear that there was only so much that could be done by a purely volunteer, unsponsored team. Time is money, money buys development time, so since 2009, we’ve tried to sponsor development beyond Google Summer of Code. Some argued that this would kill the volunteer element in the community, but we’ve never seen a trace of that.

          So, these days, there are four people working full-time on Krita. There is Dmitry, since 2012, sponsored by the Krita Foundation through donations and fund raisers.

          Me, Boudewijn, has been funded working on Krita through a combination of donations, special projects for third-party organizations and, since 2017, the income from the Windows Store. I don’t do just coding, but pretty much all project management.

          Agata and Ivan started working full-time on Krita this year, and are funded through the income from the Steam Store. Agata is well-known as Tiar and has been supporting other Krita users for ages. Ivan has been around in the Krita community for more than ten years, first producing things like shortcut cheat sheets, and completing a Google Summer of Code project successfully in 2018.

        • KDE And GNOME Are Joining Hands To Build A New-Age Linux Desktop

          There are many Linux users out there and despite that, Linux desktops have failed to break into the mainstream when compared to Microsoft’s Windows. One of the main reasons behind it, as described by Linus Torvalds, is “the fragmentation of different [Linux] vendors.” There are multiple Linux vendors, unlike the Windows ecosystem, which creates a lack of a unified approach.

          However, now two of the most popular Linux desktop competitors – GNOME Foundation and KDE – are coming together to work on a Linux desktop. Both open-source biggies are set to sponsor the Linux App Summit (LAS) 2019 which is scheduled for November 12th and 15th, 2019.

      • GNOME Desktop/GTK

        • Welcome to the Inclusion and Diversity Team at GNOME!

          The Inclusion and Diversity team at GNOME was created to encourage and empower staff and volunteers, and to create an environment within GNOME where people from all backgrounds can thrive.

          We welcome and encourage participation by everyone. To us, it doesn’t matter how you identify yourself or how others perceive you: we welcome you.

    • Distributions

      • Fedora Family

        • Use Postfix to get email from your Fedora system

          Communication is key. Your computer might be trying to tell you something important. But if your mail transport agent (MTA) isn’t properly configured, you might not be getting the notifications. Postfix is a MTA that’s easy to configure and known for a strong security record. Follow these steps to ensure that email notifications sent from local services will get routed to your internet email account through the Postfix MTA.

        • PHP version 7.1.31, 7.2.21 and 7.3.8

          RPM of PHP version 7.3.8 are available in remi repository for Fedora 30 and in remi-php73 repository for Fedora 28-29 and Enterprise Linux ≥ 6 (RHEL, CentOS).

          RPM of PHP version 7.2.21 are available in remi repository for Fedora 28-29 and in remi-php72 repository for Enterprise Linux ≥ 6 (RHEL, CentOS).

          RPM of PHP version 7.1.31 are available in remi-php71 repository for Enterprise Linux (RHEL, CentOS).

        • PHPUnit 8.3

          RPM of PHPUnit version 8.3 are available in remi repository for Fedora ≥ 28 and for Enterprise Linux (CentOS, RHEL…).

        • Dropping copr-rpmbuild SCM support
        • Create your portfolio with pinned projects
      • Debian Family

        • Mike Gabriel: My Work on Debian LTS/ELTS (July 2019)

          In July 2019, I have worked on the Debian LTS project for 15.75 hours (of 18.5 hours planned) and on the Debian ELTS project for another 12 hours (as planned) as a paid contributor.

        • Now You Can Try Debian 10 on Distrotest!

          Debian Buster uses GNOME for default view of the desktop environment used. But you can change it to another desktop environment if you don’t like the default display of this distribution. For those of you computer users with 32-bit architecture, you can install Debian Buster to your computer, because it still supports 32-bit computers.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • Linux Mint 19.2 now officially available across multiple desktop flavours

          It’s distribution release day! At least for Linux Mint anyway, with Linux Mint 19.2 now officially available across multiple desktop flavours.

          A pretty good choice for those new to Linux and wanting to dip their toes into some Linux gaming, this brand new distribution release comes with numerous new features and enhancements. Their main and most supported desktop is Cinnamon, with both MATE and Xfce spins also available for Mint 19.2.

        • What’s new in Linux Mint 19.2

          In this video, we look at what’s new in Linux Mint 19.2.

        • Linux Mint 19.2 “Tina” Officially Released, Here’s What’s New

          The Linux Mint project released today the Linux Mint 19.2 “Tina” operating system, which is now available for download as Cinnamon, MATE, and Xfce editions.

          Coming seven months after the Linux Mint 19.1 “Tessa” release, Linux Mint 19.2 “Tina” is the second major release in the Linux Mint 19 operating system series, based on Canonical’s long-term supported Ubuntu 18.04 LTS (Bionic Beaver) operating system series, which will be supported for five years until 2023.

          “Linux Mint 19.2 is a long term support release which will be supported until 2023. It comes with updated software and brings refinements and many new features to make your desktop experience more comfortable,” said Clement Lefebvre, Linux Mint project leader and lead developer.

        • Linux Mint 19.2 Officially Released

          Linux Mint 19.2 “Tina” is now officially available in its Cinnamon, MATE, and Xfce flavors while continuing to be powered off the Ubuntu 18.04 LTS base.

          Linux Mint 19.2 provides the latest stable release updates on Ubuntu 18.04 LTS plus offers a number of updates to the distribution’s own utilities and other packages. One of the big improvements is Mint’s update manager now showing supported kernel options and all-around a better experience for managing the installed kernel(s) on the system.

        • Ubuntu-Based Linux Mint 19.2 ‘Tina’ is Here with Cinnamon, MATE, and Xfce

          The Linux Mint project today released the Linux Mint 19.2 “Tina”, which is now available for download as Cinnamon, MATE, and Xfce editions.

        • Ubuntu-based Linux Mint 19.2 ‘Tina’ is here with Cinnamon, MATE, and Xfce

          As usual, three desktop environments are available — Cinnamon (4.2), MATE (1.22), and Xfce (4.12). If your computer is fairly modern, take my advice and opt for the excellent Cinnamon. MATE and Xfce are solid choices too, although they are more appropriate for computers with meager hardware. For new users, choosing amongst three interfaces can be confusing — thankfully, the Mint developers stopped using KDE almost two years ago.

          Linux Mint 19.2 “Tina” is based on the wildly popular Ubuntu operating system, but on 18.04 rather than the new 19.04. Why use an older version of Ubuntu as a base? Because 18.04 is an LTS or “Long Term Support” variant. While version 19.04 will be supported for less than a year, 18.04 is being supported for a mind-boggling 10 years!

        • Linux Mint 19.2 “Tina” Cinnamon released!

          Announcements will be made shortly with instructions on how to upgrade from Linux Mint 19 or Linux Mint 19.1.

          If you are running the BETA use the Update Manager to apply available updates.

        • Linux Mint 19.2 “Tina” MATE released!

          Linux Mint 19.2 is a long term support release which will be supported until 2023. It comes with updated software and brings refinements and many new features to make your desktop even more comfortable to use.

        • Linux Mint 19.2 “Tina” Xfce released!

          This new version of Linux Mint contains many improvements.

        • Design and Web team summary – 2 August 2019

          This iteration was fairly light iteration for the Web & design team at Canonical as we had a fair few people on holidays as well as a group who has gone to Toronto for our mid-cycle roadmap sprint. Here are some of the highlights of our completed work.

    • Devices/Embedded

      • Ubuntu-powered AI computers tap Jetson TX2 and Nano modules

        Advantech’s MIC-720AI and MIC-710IVA edge-AI computers run Ubuntu on Nvidia Jetson TX2 and Nano modules, respectively. The compact, rugged MIC-720AI has a single PoE port while the MIC-710IVA NVR system has 8x PoE ports.

        At the 2019 Nvidia GPU Technology Conference in late May, Advantech previewed three Nvidia Jetson-based, “MIC” branded edge AI solutions for smart city, transportation, and manufacturing applications. More recently, product pages have appeared for two of these Linux-driven computers: the Jetson TX2 powered MIC-720AI and the Jetson Nano based MIC-710IVA AI Network Video Recorder. The promised MIC-730AI has yet to be documented, but we have an image — it’s in the middle of the group shot below.

      • Nvidia’s Jetson Nano Puts AI In The Palm Of Your Hand

        In addition to the Tegra X1 SoC, the Nano developer kit comes configured with 4GB of LPDDR4 memory and plenty on I/O options, including a MIPI CSI connector, four USB 3.0 Type-A ports, one USB 2.0 Micro-B, one gigabit ethernet port, and 40 GPIO pins. The Nano is capable of driving dual displays through single DisplayPort and HDMI ports, it has an microSD card slot for storage, and a somewhat hidden M.2 Key E connection for expansion modules/daughter cards for optional functions like wireless connectivity. The Jetson Nano developer kit comes with a sizable heatsink for passive cooling, but has holes drilled for add-on fans. For our evaluation, we used a Noctua NF-A4x20 5V PWM fan and a Raspberry Pi MIPI Camera Module v2 from RS Components and Allied Electronics.

        For development software, the Nano runs an Ubuntu Linux OS and uses the Jetpack SDK, which supports Nvidia’s CUDA developer environment, as well as other common AI frameworks, such as TensorRT, VisionWorks, and OpenCV.

      • Google’s big Android Auto update starts rollout: Here’s what you get

        Android Auto users should see a new look on their infotainment system in a few weeks, with a new navigation bar, notification center and launcher, as well as a dark theme, and improved screen optimization.

      • What a No-Carrier Phone Could Look Like

        Now that we are in the home stretch for the Librem 5 launch, it’s a good time to start discussing some visions for the future. While the Librem 5 can operate as a traditional cellular phone today, in this post we are going to discuss its potential as a “no-carrier phone.”

        The term “no-carrier phone” is used for a mobile phone that does not get its phone number from a carrier. This can take a couple of forms: a WiFi connection-only phone, or a Cellular Data connection-only phone.

        In other industries, for instance in media distribution, this is called “Over-The-Top” (OTT); the underlying idea is that Internet Service Providers (ISPs) should be, and are just, “dumb pipes”. Why?, because they provide internet data only–and all the services ride over-the-top of the internet connection. Netflix paved the way for OTT in media when it moved from DVD to streaming (the “Net” part of their name) and offered television and movie-content to any internet connected device. This was done against the wishes of many entrenched media groups and ISPs, of course–but the majority of us have now adopted the OTT model: we call them streaming services.

      • Proven Linux OS Expanded to Aitech’s Multi-core Remote I/O Subsystem

        Aitech Defense Systems, Inc., a part of the Aitech Group, has ported the cost-effective, open source Linux operating system onto its intelligent Ai-RIO remote I/O interface unit (RIU). This modular small form factor (SFF) RIU internally networks up to eight expansion modules – or ‘slices’ – for extremely high density and low power in a compact physical space.

        George Romaniuk, director of space products, for Aitech Group noted, “By increasing the available OS options on the Ai-RIO, we’re providing customers with technology advantages to ensure their systems are developed on-time and on-budget, while incorporating the needed processing speeds and real-time functionality of critical embedded systems.”

      • Mobile Systems/Mobile Applications

  • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

    • Web Browsers

      • Mozilla

        • Mozilla Open Policy & Advocacy Blog: Mozilla calls for transparency in compelled access case

          Sometime last year, Facebook challenged a law enforcement request for access to encrypted communications through Facebook Messenger, and a federal judge denied the government’s demand. At least, that is what has been reported by the press. Troublingly, the details of this case are still not available to the public, as the opinion was issued “under seal.” We are trying to change that.

          Mozilla, with Atlassian, has filed a friend of the court brief in a Ninth Circuit appeal arguing for unsealing portions of the opinion that don’t reveal sensitive or proprietary information or, alternatively, for releasing a summary of the court’s legal analysis. Our common law legal system is built on precedent, which depends on the public availability of court opinions for potential litigants and defendants to understand the direction of the law. This opinion would have been only the third since 2003 offering substantive precedent on compelled access—thus especially relevant input on an especially serious issue.

        • Mozilla VR Blog: Hubs Summer Update

          We’ve introduced new features that make it easier to moderate and share your Hubs experience. July was a busy month for the team, and we’re excited to share some updates! As the community around Hubs has grown, we’ve had the chance to see different ways that groups meet in Hubs and are excited to explore new ways that groups can choose what types of experience they want to have. Different communities have different needs for how they’re meeting in Hubs, and we think that these features are a step towards helping people get co-present together in virtual spaces in the way that works best for them.

    • Databases

      • Reality 2.0 Episode 24: A Chat About Redis Labs (Podcast Transcript)

        Katherine Druckman: Hey, Linux Journal readers, I am Katherine Druckman, joining you again for our awesome, cool podcast. As always, joining us is Doc Searls, our editor-in-chief. Our special guest this time is Yiftach Shoolman of Redis Labs. He is the CTO and co-founder, and he was kind enough to join us. We’ve talked a bit, in preparation for the podcast, about Redis Labs, but I wondered if you could just give us sort of an overview for the tiny fraction of the people listening that don’t know all about Redis Labs and Redis. If you could just give us a little brief intro, that’d be great.

    • GPL But Apple

      • 24U Software Updates fmRESTor for FileMaker Server 18

        [prMac.com] Prague, Czech Republic – 24U Software has released a new version of the popular open-source PHP library designed for PHP developers to easily integrate their code with the RESTful FileMaker Data API without having to learn the FileMaker Data API itself.

        The new version brings support for all new features added to the FileMaker Data API with the recent release of FileMaker Server 18, while maintaining full compatibility with the FileMaker Server 17 Data API as well.

      • MacOS terminal emulator, iTerm2 3.3.0 is here with new Python scripting API, a scriptable status bar, Minimal theme, and more

        Yesterday, the team behind iTerm2, the GPL-licensed terminal emulator for macOS, announced the release of iTerm2 3.3.0. It is a major release with many new features such as the new Python scripting API, a new scriptable status bar, two new themes, and more.

    • Openness/Sharing/Collaboration

      • New research article type embeds live code and data

        While science is supposed to be about building on each other’s findings to improve our understanding of the world around us, reproducing and reusing previously published results remains challenging, even in the age of the internet. The basic format of the scientific paper—the primary means through which scientists communicate their findings—has more or less remained the same since the first papers were published in the 18th century.

        This is particularly problematic because, thanks to the technological advancements in research over the last two decades, the richness and sophistication of the methods used by researchers have far outstripped the publishing industry’s ability to publish them in full. Indeed, the Methods section in research articles remains primarily a huge section of text that does not reflect the complexity or facilitate the reuse of the methods used to obtain the published results.

    • Programming/Development

      • LLVM Plans To Complete Transition To Git From SVN By October

        While GCC and Clang are now competing neck-and-neck on Linux x86_64 when it comes to the performance of generated binaries, when it comes to each of their initiatives to transition to Git it looks like LLVM will take the cake.

        Both LLVM (and its sub-projects) and GCC have been working on transitioning from Subversion (SVN) to Git. In the case of LLVM, they plan to centralize around GitHub for their Git hosting though not making use of any extra GitHub features at this stage. In the case of GCC, making use of GNU’s Git hosting infrastructure.

      • Daniel Stenberg: The slowest curl vendors of all time

        In the curl project we make an effort to ship security fixes as soon as possible after we’ve learned about a problem. We also “prenotify” (inform them about a problem before it gets known to the public) vendors of open source OSes ahead of the release to alert them about what is about to happen and to make it possible for them to be ready and prepared when we publish the security advisory of the particular problems we’ve found.

        These distributors ship curl to their customers and users. They build curl from the sources they host and they apply (our and their own) security patches to the code over time to fix vulnerabilities. Usually they start out with the clean and unmodified version we released and then over time the curl version they maintain and ship gets old (by my standards) and the number of patches they apply grow, sometimes to several hundred.

        The distros@openwall mailing list allows no more than 14 days of embargo, so they can never be told any further than so in advance.

      • Getting started with the BBC Microbit

        Whether you are a maker, a teacher, or someone looking to expand your Python skillset, the BBC:Microbit has something for you. It was designed by the British Broadcasting Corporation to support computer education in the United Kingdom.

        The open hardware board is half the size of a credit card and packed with an ARM processor, a three-axis accelerometer, a three-axis magnetometer, a Micro USB port, a 25-pin edge connector, and 25 LEDs in a 5×5 array.

        I purchased my Microbit online for $19.99. It came in a small box and included a battery pack and a USB-to-Micro USB cable. It connects to my Linux laptop very easily and shows up as a USB drive.

      • Qt Creator 4.10 RC released

        We are happy to announce the release of Qt Creator 4.10 RC !

        The prebuilt binaries for this release are based on a Qt 5.13.1 snapshot, which should take care of regular crashes that some of you experienced with the earlier Beta releases.
        For more details on the 4.10 release, please have a look at the blog post for Beta1 and our change log.

      • Python Check Integer Number in Range

        This tutorial provides you multiple methods to check if an integer number lies in the given range or not. It includes several examples to bring clarity. Let’s first define the problem. We want to verify whether an integer value lies between two other numbers, for example, 1000 and 7000: So, we need a simple method that can tell us about any numeric value if it belongs to a given range.

  • Leftovers

    • Security (Confidentiality/Integrity/Availability)

      • Security updates for Friday

        Security updates have been issued by Debian (firefox-esr and thunderbird), openSUSE (openexr and rmt-server), Oracle (bind, container-tools:rhel8, cyrus-imapd, dotnet, edk2, firefox, flatpak, freeradius:3.0, ghostscript, gvfs, httpd:2.4, java-1.8.0-openjdk, java-11-openjdk, kernel, mod_auth_mellon, pacemaker, pki-deps:10.6, python-jinja2, python27:2.7, python3, python36:3.6, systemd, thunderbird, vim, virt:rhel, WALinuxAgent, and wget), Slackware (mariadb), SUSE (java-1_8_0-openjdk, polkit, and python-Django1), and Ubuntu (Sigil and sox).

      • Securing BGP on the host with the RPKI

        An increasingly popular design for a data-center network is BGP on the host: each host ships with a BGP daemon to advertise the IPs it handles and receives the routes to its fellow servers. Compared to a L2-based design, it is very scalable, resilient, cross-vendor and safe to operate.1 Take a look at “L3 routing to the hypervisor with BGP” for a usage example.


        On the Internet, BGP is mostly relying on trust. This contributes to various incidents due to operator errors, like the one that affected Cloudflare a few months ago, or to malicious attackers, like the hijack of Amazon DNS to steal cryptocurrency wallets. RFC 7454 explains the best practices to avoid such issues.

        People often use AS sets, like AS-APPLE in this example, as they are convenient if you have multiple AS numbers or customers. However, there is currently nothing preventing a rogue actor to add arbitrary AS numbers to their AS set.
        IP addresses are allocated by five Regional Internet Registries (RIR). Each of them maintains a database of the assigned Internet resources, notably the IP addresses and the associated AS numbers. These databases may not be totally reliable but are widely used to build ACLs to ensure peers only announce the prefixes they are expected to. Here is an example of ACLs generated by bgpq3 when peering directly with Apple:

      • Fernando ‘Corby’ Corbató

        Fernando “Corby” Corbató lived long enough to curse his most famous invention: the computer password. In 1961 he adapted the ancient system of secret codes almost as an afterthought for his truly groundbreaking invention: the ability for several people to simultaneously use the same computer — in those days room-sized elephants — remotely. But five years ago he admitted that passwords had become “a nightmare”. For a while he carried round three sheets of closely typed paper with his own collection of 150 codes. He eventually entrusted them to an electronic file.

    • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

      • In Rejecting DNC Lawsuit Against WikiLeaks, Judge Strongly Defended First Amendment Rights Of Journalists

        In a clear defense of the First Amendment, a federal judge ruled the Democratic National Committee cannot hold WikiLeaks or its founder, Julian Assange, liable for publishing information that Russian agents were accused of stealing.

        The DNC sued President Donald Trump’s campaign, the Russian Federation, Assange, and WikiLeaks on April 20, 2018, alleging the dissemination of materials “furthered the prospects” of the Trump campaign. They argued officials “welcomed” the assistance of agents allegedly working for the Russian Federation.

        At the time, DNC chair Tom Perez accused WikiLeaks of helping to perpetrate a “brazen attack” on democracy. However, Judge John Koeltl in the Southern District of New York saw through the DNC lawsuit and recognized the impact it would have on press freedom.

        Koeltl highlighted the case of the Pentagon Papers, where the Supreme Court held there was a “heavy presumption” against the “constitutional validity of prior restraints” (suppressing) the publication of information.

        Whether or not WikiLeaks knew the materials were obtained illegally, they were protected by the First Amendment.

        “The First Amendment prevents such liability in the same way it would preclude liability for press outlets that publish materials of public interest despite defects in the way the materials were obtained so long as the disseminator did not participate in any wrongdoing in obtaining the materials in the first place,” Koeltl asserted.

    • Environment

      • Artificial snow could save world’s coasts

        German scientists have proposed a startling new way of slowing sea level rise and saving New York, Shanghai, Amsterdam and Miami from 3.3 metres of ocean flooding − by using artificial snow.

        They suggest the rising seas could be halted by turning West Antarctica, one of the last undisturbed places on Earth, into an industrial snow complex, complete with a sophisticated distribution system.

        An estimated 12,000 high-performance wind turbines could be used to generate the 145 Gigawatts of power (one Gigawatt supplies the energy for about 750,000 US homes) needed to lift Antarctic ocean water to heights of, on average, 640 metres, heat it, desalinate it and then spray it over 52,000 square kilometres of the West Antarctic ice sheet in the form of artificial snow, at the rate of several hundred billion tonnes a year, for decades.

        Such action could slow or halt the apparently-inevitable collapse of the ice sheet: were this to melt entirely – and right now it is melting at the rate of 361 billion tonnes a year – the world’s oceans would rise by 3.3 metres.

      • Energy

        • Sriram Madhusoodanan on Fossil Fuel Investigations, Amin Husain on Decolonizing Museums

          The harms of climate disruption are already terrible and will only get worse, and despite what appears to be some people’s magical thinking, no one will be unaffected. What’s more, the drivers of climate disruption are known, and it isn’t people who leave the lights on. What’s missing is a public and media dialog that features fossil fuel industries and their leaders accurately, as roadblocks to the climate justice solutions we desperately need. While federal inaction and even regression is distressing, some state attorneys general are pushing forward for accountability. We’ll talk about that movement with Sriram Madhusoodanan, deputy campaigns director with the group Corporate Accountability.

      • Wildlife/Nature

        • Dehorning the Rhino

          Thanks to Leonie’s information, a plane now circles overhead. When they spot the mother rhino or her calf, they will call in the helicopter team to dart the animal with a sedative. Darting from the air allows the animal to fall forward onto its sternum, reducing risk of injury, and then a ground team has three minutes to remove the horn before health complications arise.

          In the distance, we see the helicopter swoop in. When its tail end tilts up, I realize the animal has been darted and we’re too far away to be useful. The other ground teams will take care of the dehorning.

          We drive through the bush to the rendezvous place, and we’re only there a few minutes when, down the hill, I finally see my first-ever rhino in the wild. It’s the calf of the now-dehorned mother, trying to escape the loud helicopter overhead. It charges awkwardly out of the bush and across the road before plunging back into its protective cover.

          But the calf can’t hide from the eyes above it. The helicopter team quickly darts it and we give chase, driving madly off road, careening between trees and axle-crunching boulders. Three ground teams pull up and we grab chainsaws and vet kits and run to the downed calf. The veterinarians apply a blindfold: The calf now looks like a big baby with a toothache. A chainsaw roars into life and the nub of horn, no more than three inches long, is sawed off. A grinder carves away the stub and applies resin, so that it looks somewhat natural.

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • CNN’s Industry Spin Shows Need for Independent Debates

        CNN painfully demonstrated this week why we need independently run presidential debates. With its ESPN-like introductions to the candidates, and its insistence on questions that pit candidates against each other, CNN took an approach to the debates more befitting a football game than an exercise in democracy.

        The CNN hosts moderated as if they weren’t even listening to what candidates were saying, inflexibly cutting them off after the inevitably too-short 30-to-60-second time limit—in order to offer another, often seemingly randomly selected, candidate the generic prompt, “Your response?” At times, these followed on each other so many times it was unclear what the candidate was even supposed to respond to, or why.

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • No Immunity For Cops Who Arrested A Man For Creating A Facebook Page Mocking The Police Department

        A few years ago, the Parma (OH) Police Department decided to turn its hypersensitivity into a criminal investigation. A local man, Anthony Novak, created a Facebook page parodying the PD’s social media front. It wasn’t particularly subtle satire. Most readers would have immediately realized this wasn’t the Parma PD’s official page — not when it was announcing the arrival of the PD’s mobile abortion clinic or the institution of a ban on feeding the homeless. Not only that, but the official logo had been altered to read “We No Crime.”

        The Parma PD decided to treat this parody as a dangerous threat to itself and the general public. It abused an Ohio state law forbidding the use of computers to “disrupt” police services to go after Novak. Not that there was any disruption other than the rerouting of PD resources to investigate a non-criminal act.

        The end result was the arrest of Novak, the seizure of his electronic devices, and a four-day stay in jail for the parodist before he was acquitted of all charges. Novak sued the police department, but the district court decided to award immunity across the board to everyone involved. The Sixth Circuit Appeals Court has rolled back some of that ruling, allowing Novak’s civil rights lawsuit to proceed.

    • Privacy/Surveillance

      • Google Speech Transcription Suspended in Europe

        Following an investigation by a German data protection agency, Google has suspended Assistant for a three-month period. Johannes Caspar, the head of the Hamburg data protection agency, found Google was recording and transcribing private conversations for examination by Google contractors. Caspar said there is “significant doubts” as to whether Google Assistant complies with EU data-protection law. Caspar previously uncovered the fact that Google Street View vehicles were intercepting and recording private wifi communications, a charge that Google denied until the hard drives in the Google vehicles were examined.

      • Don’t Let This Get Lost In The Shuffle: The Data Transfer Project Is Expanding, And Could Help Create Real Competition Online

        While lots of people are angling to break up the big internet companies in the belief that will lead to more competition, we’ve long argued that such a plan is unlikely to work. Instead, if you truly want more competition you need to end the ability of these companies to lock up your data. Instead, we need to allow third parties access so that the data is not stuck in silos, but where users themselves both have control and alternative options that they can easily move to.

        That’s why we were quite interested a year ago when Google, Facebook, Microsoft and Twitter officially announced the Data Transfer Project (which initially began as a Google project, but expanded to those other providers a year ago). The idea was that the companies would make it ridiculously easy to let users automatically transfer their own data (via their own control) to a different platform. While some of the platforms had previously allowed users to “download” all their data, this project was designed to be much more: to make switching from one platform to another much, much easier — effectively ending the siloing of data and (worse) the lock-in effects that help create barriers to competition.

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

      • Where the Internet Gets Real

        The internet showed up in our house in 1995. When that happened, I mansplained to my wife that it was a global drawstring through all the phone and cable companies of the world, pulling everybody and everything together—and that this was going to be good for the world.

        My wife, who ran a global business, already knew plenty of things about the internet and expected good things to happen as well. But she pushed back on the global thing, saying “the sweet spot of the internet is local.” Her reason: “Local is where the internet gets real.” By which she meant the internet wasn’t real in the physical sense anywhere, and we still live and work in the physical world, and that was a huge advantage.

        Later I made a big thing about how the internet was absent of distance, an observation I owe to Craig Burton.


        Because I know some geology, and not much was being said in any media about how a mountain face could slop across a town, I published a long blog post titled “Making sense of what happened in Montecito”. In it, I explained why these kinds of events are called debris flows (rather than mudslides or landslides), and listed all the addresses of all the structures (mostly homes) that local officials said were destroyed. (The county produced an excellent map, but the addresses were under mouse-overs.) That way, owners, friends and relatives could find those addresses in a search engine.

        Visits to my blog jumped from dozens per day to dozens of thousands. Far as I could tell, nearly all those visits were by local residents or people who cared personally about happened to Montecito.

        My point here is that I did what I could, as did all the other locals posting their own forms of help on the net. Together we scaffolded up a shared understanding of the event and progress toward full recovery.

        As it happens, I started writing this column in Santa Barbara, continued writing it in New York, and am finishing it now in Córdoba, a beautiful city in southern Spain. I was brought here to give a talk on exactly this subject, titled “The Future of the Internet Is Local”. In the audience were local officials, businesses and organizations. I framed the talk with a historical perspective: the internet we know—the one with e-commerce, ISPs and graphical browsers—is about 1/1000th the age of Córdoba. We are still at the dawn of life in a non-place that is absent of distance and gravity, but which we still use and experience in the physical world.

        The first rule of every new technology is what can be done will be done—until we realize what shouldn’t be done. This has been true for everything from stone tools through nuclear power. And, now it’s true of digital technology and the internet. We’ll never rid the net of lies or facile façades, any more than we’ll rid hammers of their ability to kill somebody with a whack on the head. But we can and will get more civilized about it. And my wife is right: local is where that will start.

    • Monopolies

      • WIPO Says Websites In Its Pirate Database Don’t Deserve Due Process Because ‘They Know What They’re Doing’

        You may recall that, recently, I posted on WIPO’s bizarre decision to host a database of “pirate” sites that it would share with advertisers, encouraging them to block ads from appearing on any of the sites in the “Building Respect for Intellectual Property” (BRIP) database. As we noted in our original post, previous attempts at such databases showed how problematic they could be, as they almost always swept up perfectly legal sites, and they provided no due process, no checks and balances or anything of the like. I also had a list of questions about this for WIPO, which I noted were unanswered at the time of posting. WIPO actually did get back to me, but we’ll get to that.

        First, I wanted to point to a Twitter thread by New Zealand internet lawyer Rick Shera, who, in response to the news of the BRIP database, gave a real world example of how such databases create real harms for internet services through false accusations with no due process.

      • Copyrights

        • Malaysia Looks To Prosecute Homeowners Where Accused Streaming Piracy Occurs

          Back in the early days of filesharing clients and bittorrent being the focus of industry anti-piracy efforts, it was rare but not unheard of for end users to be targeted with lawsuits and criminal prosecution for copyright infringement. With the piracy ecosystem largely moving off of those kinds of filesharing platforms and more into a realm in which end users instead simply stream infringing material over the wire, rather than downloading it directly to their own machines, the focus on the consumer of pirated material has fallen by the wayside. Instead, the focus is now on the infringing sites that offer those streaming materials to the public. This makes a great deal of sense, actually, as the average user plausibly can claim ignorance as to the illicit nature of streamed material, combined with the simple fact that, unlike bittorrent technology, streaming material doesn’t simultaneously offer it up to others as well.

          Again, this makes sense.

          Well, someone should reach out to the Malaysian government, because its new plans to fight piracy occurring with the aid of in-house Android boxes includes a strategy to prosecute any homeowner where such a device used for infringement exists.

  • Links 2/8/2019: GNOME+KDE Work, GNU C Library version 2.30

    Posted in News Roundup at 4:24 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

    • GNU/Linux

      • Top 50 Most Asked Linux Interview Questions & Answers in 2019

        It is most important to know what would be there in terms of Linux interview questions. Most of the cases, many terms, terminologies, and command syntax are asked in the interview or Linux jobs. Linux system is to a significant extent the vast field; thus; having all square knowledge on it is pretty much painstaking. Nevertheless, it is worthy of knowing in details if you desire to develop a career in this field. Because of being open-source, the Linux system is continuously getting updated by many developers. Hence, professionals and enthusiasts are required to keep studying throughout time.

      • Desktop

        • System76 to Launch Its First 4K OLED Linux Laptop on August 8th

          System76, the maker of powerful Linux computers, announced the upcoming availability of a brand new laptop called the Adder WS, which will be the company’s first computer to feature a gorgeous and vibrant 4K OLED glossy display with true-to-life blacks.

          Not only that the forthcoming Adder WS laptop will comes with a 4K OLED display, but it also packs powerful internals, like a 9th generation Intel Core i7-9750H or i9-9980HK CPUs, an Nvidia GeForce RTX 2070 GPU, and up to 64GB RAM and 8TB of storage.

        • System76 announces ‘Adder WS’ Ubuntu Linux laptop with 4K OLED display

          We are well beyond the point where a computer running a Linux desktop operating system is considered a second class citizen. Gamers, enthusiasts, business users, and more are increasingly turning to distributions based on the open source kernel. With Windows 10 being a bit of a train wreck, it’s not hard to see why. And so, Linux users deserve premium computers for both work and play.

          System76 has long been selling high-quality premium computers running Linux, and today, it is stepping it up a notch. Its new laptop, called “Adder WS,” can almost be considered a desktop crammed into a notebook body. In fact, System76 calls the computer a portable workstation. Seriously, folks, it can be configured with some pretty impressive components. Where the thick laptop really stands out, however, is with its insane 15-inch 4K OLED display. When coupled with a RTX 2070 GPU, it becomes a visual powerhouse.

        • System76 To Introduce New “Adder WS” Laptop With 4K OLED Display

          System76 will be announcing the Adder WS laptop next week as their new high-end Linux laptop offering that features a 4K OLED display.

          The Adder WS will be System76′s first laptop with an OLED display. On top of the vibrant 4K OLED display is also Intel’s top-end Core i7 9750H and i9 9980HK CPU options while for graphics is a NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070. This laptop will also feature options with up to 64GB of RAM and up to 8TB of storage or 4TB of NVMe storage.

      • Server

        • How To Pronounce: SUSE

          00:08 = Pronunciation
          00:14 = Brief History of SUSE
          00:30 = Meaning of Original Acronym
          00:44 = Acronym vs Initialism
          01:26 = SUSE relation to openSUSE
          01:44 = Why I Made This Series
          02:25 = SUSE, Yes Please Parody Outro

        • IBM

          • Kevin Fenzi: epel8-playground

            We have been working away at getting epel8 ready (short status: we have builds and are building fedpkg and bodhi and all the other tools maintainers need to deal with packages and hope to have some composes next week), and I would like to introduce a new thing we are trying with epel8: The epel8-playground.

            epel8-playground is another branch for all epel8 packages. By default when a package is setup for epel8 both branches are made, and when maintainers do builds in the epel8 branch, fedpkg will build for _both_ epel8 and epel8-playground. epel8 will use the bodhi updates system with an updates-testing and stable repo. epel8-playground will compose every night and use only one repo.

          • Red Hat OpenStack Platform with Red Hat Ceph Storage: MySQL Database Performance on Ceph RBD

            In Part 1 of this series, we detailed the hardware and software architecture of our testing lab, as well as benchmarking methodology and Ceph cluster baseline performance. In this post, we?ll take our benchmarking to the next level by drilling down into the performance evaluation of MySQL database workloads running on top of Red Hat OpenStack Platform backed by persistent block storage using Red Hat Ceph Storage.

          • OpenShift Persistent Storage with a Spring Boot Example

            One of the great things about Red Hat OpenShift is the ability to develop both Cloud Native and traditional applications. Often times, when thinking about traditional applications, the first thing that comes to mind is the ability to store things on the file system. This could be media, metadata, or any type of content that your application relies on but isn’t stored in a database or other system.

            To illustrate the concept of persistent storage (i.e. storage that will persist even when a container is stopped or recreated), I created a sample application for tracking my electronic books that I have in PDF format. The library of PDF files can be stored on the file system, and the application relies on this media directory to present the titles to the user. The application is written in Java using the Spring Boot framework and scans the media directory for PDF files. Once a suitable title is found, the application generates a thumbnail image of the book and also determines how many pages it contains. This can be seen in the following image:

          • With the acquisition closed, IBM goes all in on Red Hat

            IBM’s massive $34 billion acquisition of Red Hat closed a few weeks ago and today, the two companies are now announcing the first fruits of this process. For the most part, today’s announcement furthers IBM’s ambitions to bring its products to any public and private cloud. That was very much the reason why IBM acquired Red Hat in the first place, of course, so this doesn’t come as a major surprise, though most industry watchers probably didn’t expect this to happen this fast.

            Specifically, IBM is announcing that it is bringing its software portfolio to Red Hat OpenShift, Red Hat’s Kubernetes-based container platform that is essentially available on any cloud that allows its customers to run Red Hat Enterprise Linux.

          • IBM To Offer Cloud Native Software on Red Hat OpenShift

            Post the completion of Red Hat acquisition, IBM has started building bridges between the product and services of the two companies. IBM has reengineered its software portfolio to now be “cloud-native and optimized to run on Red Hat OpenShift.”

          • Debian Buster Arrives; IBM Acquires Red Hat;

            Debian Buster Arrives; IBM Acquires Red Hat; Raspberry Pi 4 Is Here; Ubuntu Takes a U-Turn with 32-Bit Support: OpenSSH Fixes Side Channel Attacks; Firefox Fixes Error that Crashed HTTPS Pages; and Altair Releases HyperWorks 2019


            The Debian community has announced the release of Debian 10 “Buster” (https://www.debian.org/News/2019/20190706). Debian is one of the most popular GNU/Linux-based distributions. Buster will be supported for the next five years.

            Buster ships with several desktop environments including Cinnamon 3.8, GNOME 3.30, KDE Plasma 5.14, LXDE 0.99.2, LXQt 0.14, MATE 1.20, and Xfce 4.12. In this release, GNOME will default to using the Wayland display server instead of Xorg. “The Xorg display server is still installed by default and the default display manager allows users to choose Xorg as the display server for their next session,” according to a blog post from the Debian project.

      • Audiocasts/Shows

        • Duvets Are Not Tech

          It’s another #AskError special! Sleep tech, missing apps on Linux, a deep question, and much more.

          00:00:36 What sleep tech do you use?
          00:07:59 What?s the first thing you?d do if you won the lottery?
          00:13:30 What one application is completely missing on Linux?
          00:17:15 Do you ever use default folders like documents, pictures, music etc?
          00:25:47 What?s in your conference bag?
          00:29:38 What is love?

        • LHS Episode #294: The Weekender XXXI

          It’s time once again for The Weekender. This is our bi-weekly departure into the world of amateur radio contests, open source conventions, special events, listener challenges, hedonism and just plain fun. Thanks for listening and, if you happen to get a chance, feel free to call us or e-mail and send us some feedback. Tell us how we’re doing. We’d love to hear from you.

        • Ubuntu Podcast from the UK LoCo: S12E17 – The Secret of Monkey Island

          This week we’ve been doing more DIY, playing Slay the Spire and wrestling with CSS. We discuss a strictly confined snapped desktop environment, DNS over HTTPS as a snap, BT choosing Ubuntu for its 5G core and how the Ubuntu 19.10 development is progressing. We also round up some events and news from the tech world.

      • Kernel Space

        • Linux finally dropping floppy drive support

          It was thousands of years ago when Linus Torvalds first revealed the Linux operating system. Or maybe 28 years; a long time, either way. And three decades later, things are very different – and so Linux is finally dropping floppy drive support.

          The big reason for the move is that to test drivers, you need hardware to run the drivers on. And floppy drives are getting really hard to find. The latest update to the floppy project over on GitHub features a note from Torvalds himself.

        • Linux Foundation

          • IBM and Linux Foundation Call on Developers to Make Natural Disasters Less Deadly

            On a stormy Tuesday in July, a group of 30 young programmers gathered in New York City to take on natural disasters. The attendees—most of whom were current college students and alumnae of the nonprofit Girls Who Code—had signed up for a six-hour hackathon in the middle of summer break.

            Flash floods broke out across the city, but the atmosphere in the conference room remained upbeat. The hackathon was hosted in the downtown office of IBM as one of the final events in this year’s Call for Code challenge, a global competition sponsored by IBM and the Linux Foundation. The challenge focuses on using technology to assist survivors of catastrophes including tropical storms, fires, and earthquakes.

            Recent satellite hackathon events in the 2019 competition have recruited developers in Cairo to address Egypt’s national water shortage; in Paris to brainstorm AI solutions for rebuilding the Notre Dame cathedral; and in Bayamón, Puerto Rico, to improve resilience in the face of future hurricanes.

            Those whose proposals follow Call for Code’s guidelines are encouraged to submit to the annual international contest for a chance to win IBM membership and Linux tech support, meetings with potential mentors and investors, and a cash prize of US $200,000. But anyone who attends one of these optional satellite events also earns another reward: the chance to poke around inside the most prized software of the Call for Code program’s corporate partners.

          • MongoDB To Sponsor The Chasing Grace Project

            The Chasing Grace Project is an ambitious endeavor of Jennifer Cloer, one of the most influential people in the open source world. It’s a documentary series about women in tech.

            “It takes a very real look at the adversities they face but shines a spotlight on how they are rising above those adversities to chart successful careers in tech and influence change for the next generation. We hope to help recruit and retain female talent for the tech industry and to give a platform for everyday women in tech to share their stories,” said Cloer about the project.

          • European TSOs go open source in building the smart electricity grid [iophk: The TenneT links look legitimate. The question is how far they will get. Though it is annoying that they miss out on identifying Free Software, I think that omission is due to their interaction with LF.]

            “We recognise that open source is the commodity foundation upon which the entire IT industry rests,” Loek Bakker, the CIO of TenneT, writes in a blog post. “For TenneT, like many other utilities, open source is essential to our strategic success.”

          • [Older] Linux Foundation Energy member TenneT “open sources” their open source strategy

            As an LF Energy member, we recognize that open source is the commodity foundation upon which the entire IT industry rests. A recent Synopsis study indicated that 100% of the proprietary software our vendors are using in the energy and utility space have open source inside [1]. Yet, as an industry, we do not manage our software as a community, and we have relative ignorance about what exists within our “black boxes”. The open source model refers to the software development practice that encourages transparent governance and open collaboration to create software for which the original source code (design, code, ingredients) is made freely available and may be redistributed and modified. For TenneT, like many other utilities, open source is essential to our strategic success.

            TenneT chose to adopt the open source model in 2017 by developing the TenneT Data Platform (TDP). We now want to accelerate the development and adoption of open source for the following reasons: [...]

          • [Older] Tennet’s Open Source Strategy

            Next step in our strategy is to move to the Participation level. An important step in this move would be that TenneT expands its contribution in open source initiatives, for example to move from associate member to general member for LF Energy. We will then sponsor the initiative. In this phase, we will also further develop our internal skills, create awareness and set-up open source governance. We will also select new open source initiatives additional to the current ones. It is our estimation that we will be in Participation level in the period 2020-2021.

            The final stage in our strategy will be that of Contribution, in which we actually will engage in open source projects and contribute to initiatives. We will deploy open source collaboration tools to support open source usage and contributions and incrementally invest in further setting up relevant processes and governance, such as product management, engineering and legal support. We will enter this stage between 2022 and 2024 it is estimated.

        • Benchmarks

          • A Look At Intel’s Clear Linux Performance Over The Course Of July

            Over the course of July, Intel’s rolling-release Clear Linux distribution shifted from Linux 5.1 to the brand new Linux 5.2 kernel, pulled in the latest GCC9 branch compiler fixes, updated to Python 3.7.4, rolled out a new OpenJDK build, and had many other package updates and original optimizations applied.

            With some of the systems I am benchmarking Clear Linux daily with over at LinuxBenchmarking.com, here are some of the results that saw changes on the test systems over the past month.

          • AMD Ryzen 9 3900X SMT Linux Performance Benchmarks

            For those wondering what the SMT performance impact is for new Zen 2 processors, here are some tests done using a Ryzen 9 3900X with Ubuntu Linux when testing at the default 12-core / 24-threads and then again when disabling SMT to look at just the twelve physical cores.

            A few premium supporters wrote in recently wondering how the SMT performance looks on Linux for the new AMD CPUs and if it differs at all from Windows’ SMT performance. Besides the recent Windows vs. Linux Ryzen 9 3900X benchmarks I haven’t done a cross-OS SMT comparison yet, but here are some side-by-side tests looking at Ubuntu when toggling SMT from the BIOS.

      • Applications

      • Desktop Environments/WMs

        • Xfce 4.14 Inches Closer to Release, 3 Years After Development Began

          The final stable Xfce 4.14 release just got a step nearer to general availability with the launch of a final testing build.

          Serving as the next major update to the Xfce desktop environment, Xfce 4.14 has been in development since 2016. It continues the not-so-trivial task of moving core elements of the desktop stack from GTK2 to GTK3, targeting GTK 3.22 specifically.

          Now the fruits of that effort are almost ripe for picking!

          “The final pre-release before Xfce 4.14 stable is out […] which results in sticking to the original plan of releasing 4.14 in mid-August,” writes project developer Simon Steinbeiss.

        • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

          • KDE Connect SMS: Nuremberg Megasprint Part 3

            When interacting with other users of KDE Connect, I often notice something funny. People will often talk about how nice it is that they can control their computer from their phone (using the media controls, the mousepad plugin, or several of the others). For me, this has always been a secondary benefit. I use KDE Connect’s presentation plugin for all of my presentations but my primary goal has always been to be able to control my phone from my computer. I hate the phone keyboard, I hate the tiny screen, and I hate having to pull the thing out of my pocket.

            On a daily basis, the number 1 thing I need to do with my phone is send or read SMS. In the United States, SMS is the de facto default communication system. In Europe, I basically assume that anyone I want to communicate with uses WhatsApp. In the US, with one friend I use WhatsApp, with another one friend I use Telegram, and with my family and other friends I use SMS. (Many people use Facebook Messenger but that is still not as widespread).

            Those who have been very carefully following the KDE Connect channels might already know that we have been working on a desktop application which uses KDE Connect to load SMS conversation history and send SMS using the phone. (I have been keeping this under wraps because I know it is our #1 requested feature and I don’t want to tease anyone with a stream of “Oh yes, it’s almost there” half-promises)

            The SMS app started March 2018 at the previous KDE Connect sprint. I arrived in Barcelona with a half-written contacts synchronization plugin and the goal to never touch my phone again. In only a few days, we had the contacts plugin in its current form and the skeleton of an SMS app (based on Qt’s QML chat app tutorial). It could read the display names and avatars from the synchronized contacts and you could use the compose message box to send SMS. There was no message history yet, just some statically-created items in the QML, but everything starts somewhere!

          • Slimbook & Kubuntu – Combat Report 10

            It’s been about nine months since I bought the Slimbook – a bit more for you by the time you’ll be reading this article. Every report brings fewer issues into focus, and that’s good. I am also aware that my testing has a different angle from most Linux laptop stories – usually, it’s developers who run Linux on their rigs, and they have other needs.

            It seems quite conceivable to be using Plasma in the full-production mode, and I’m about 90% as quick and productive as with Windows, I’d say, but this also includes Notepad++, IrfanView and such. Sometimes, I do feel there’s more that could or can be done, especially when it comes to documents, forms, nerdy stuff. The one thing worth praising over and over is the Slimbook keyboard. While laptop keyboards rarely match the rugged elegance of full 105-key devices, this one allows me to write with abandon, speed and almost no misses, muscle memory and all.

            Since I’ve purchased the Slimbook, I’ve also had a chance to test a couple of dozen distros, including many other desktop environments. Previously, Unity was my productivity benchmark (well, still is), but with Plasma under a microscope, I’ve gained additional sensitivity to judging various ergonomic and efficiency elements in the system. With the tenth report wrapped up, I’d say Plasma is a serious piece of software. Definitely the most advanced thing Linux wise. And with some extra refinement, I’d even gladly pay a license if that could give me the extra layer of freedom. Almost there. But then, the year of the Linux has been a unicorn for at least 15 years, maybe more. Report 11, here we go.

          • Trusted IT Consulting Firms Directory Provides Businesses with KDE Support

            KDE’s Trusted IT Consulting Firms directory provides you with the support and the direct line to developers you and your business need.

            Finding support or fulfilling a need is sometimes tricky when it comes to software. Proprietary providers often become unreachable, hiding behind helpdesks staffed with interns reading from a manual. Bugs can take months, sometimes years, before they are squashed. Getting proprietary software manufacturers to implement a feature specifically for your company is to all effects impossible.

            Free Software is better in that you can often talk directly to the developers themselves and many will be sympathetic to your requirements. However, Free Software projects are often run by volunteers and everybody has bandwidth limit. Being able to communicate with the people that can implement a change, doesn’t mean that it will happen as soon as you would like.

          • Check out Krita’s Youtube Channel

            Even though there is a ton of Krita videos on Youtube, Krita’s own youtube channel was neglected. Until recently! Working together with Ramon Miranda of Muses and Digital Atelier fame, we’re going to publish new videos about Krita regularly. Here’s the first one!

        • GNOME Desktop/GTK

          • Metafont-inspired font design using nonlinear constraint optimization and Webassembly

            Modern fonts work by drawing the outline of each letter out by hand. This is a very labour-intensive operation as each letter has to be redrawn for each weight. Back in the late 70s Donald Knuth created METAFONT, which has a completely different approach that mimics the way letters are drawn by hand. In this system you specify a pen shape and a stroke path. The computer would then calculate what sort of a mark this stroke would leave on paper and draw the result. The pen shape as well as the stroke were defined as mathematical equations of type “the stroke shall begin so that its topmost part is exactly at x-height and shall end so that its bottom is at the baseline”.

            The advantage of this approach is that it is fully parametrizable. If you change the global x-height, then every letter is automatically recalculated. Outline fonts can’t be slanted by shearing because it changes the strokes’ widths. Parametric fonts do not have this issue. Different optical weights can be obtained simply by changing the size of the pen nib. You could even go as far as change the widths of individual letters during typesetting to make text justification appear even smoother.

            METAFONT was never widely used for font design. The idea behind it was elegant, though, and is worth further examination, for example are there other ways of defining fonts parametrically and what sort of letter shapes would they produce. Below we describe one such attempt.

          • GNOME and KDE to co-host the Linux App Summit in November
            For Immediate Release
            The GNOME Foundation and KDE e.V. are proud to announce Linux App Summit 2019. 
            The Linux App Summit (LAS) will be held in Barcelona from November 12th to 
            15th, 2019.
            LAS is the first collaborative event co-hosted by the two organizations since 
            the Desktop Summit in 2009. Both organizations are eager to bring their 
            communities together in building an application ecosystem that transcends 
            individual distros and broadens the market for everyone involved. 
            KDE and GNOME will no longer be taking a passive role in the free desktop 
            sector. With the joint influence of the two desktop projects, LAS will shepherd 
            the growth of the FOSS desktop by encouraging the creation of quality 
            applications, seeking opportunities for compensation for FOSS developers, and 
            fostering a vibrant market for the Linux operating system.
            GNOME's executive director, Neil McGovern says, "LAS represents one of many 
            steps towards a thriving desktop ecosystem. By partnering with KDE we show the 
            desire  to build the kind of application ecosystem that demonstrates that Open 
            Source and Free Software are important; the technology and organization we 
            build to achieve this is valuable and necessary.", LAS will be the 
            intersection where application developers, designers, user and kernel space 
            engineers work together in building an environment that aims to create a new 
            market for applications on Linux.
            "Over the years we have built great solutions that millions of people use 
            around the world. It's been when we have worked together that we have managed 
            to become bigger than the sum of the parts. Together with GNOME, counting with 
            the collaboration of many distributions and application developers, we'll have 
            the opportunity to work side by side, share our perspectives and offer the 
            platform that the next generation of solutions will be built on.", Aleix Pol 
            Gonzalez, KDE e.V Vice-President says about the inaugural effort about LAS.
            As the first conference of its kind, the themes LAS will be centered around 
            will be growing the application ecosystem for Linux as well as providing a 
            platform for others to share ideas and technology. With that in mind, the 
            topics we are interested in are:
            * Creating, packaging, and distributing applications
            * Design and usability
            * Commercialization
            * Community / Legal
            * Platform
            * Linux App Ecosystem
            The CfP starts today and ends on August 31st.  You may submit your talk ideas 
            at https://linuxappsummit.org/cfp/.
            "I am excited to see GNOME and KDE working together on LAS, and I believe that 
            the event will help lay down strong foundations for collaborative cross-
            project development that would benefit Linux users across all distributions and 
            on any compatible device. I hope to see widespread community support for the 
            event and, as a user, I look forward to reaping the benefits of the seeds that 
            have now been sown." - Christel Dahlskjaer, Private Internet Access and 
            freenode Project Lead.
            We look forward to seeing all of you in Barcelona and building the app 
            ecosystem together! For more information about LAS, please visit - https://
            About KDE e.V
            The KDE® Community is a free software community dedicated to creating an open 
            and user-friendly computing experience, offering an advanced graphical desktop, 
            a wide variety of applications for communication, work, education and 
            entertainment and a platform of libraries and frameworks that helps developers 
            easily build new applications. We have a strong focus on finding innovative 
            solutions to old and new problems, creating a dynamic atmosphere open for 
            experimentation. Find out more about KDE at https://kde.org
            About GNOME Foundation
            The GNOME Foundation is an organization committed to supporting the 
            advancement of GNOME, comprised of hundreds of volunteer developers and 
            industry-leading companies. The Foundation is a member directed, 501(c)(3) 
            non-profit organization that provides financial, organizational, and legal 
            support to the GNOME project. The GNOME Foundation is supporting the pursuit 
            of software freedom through the innovative, accessible, and beautiful user 
            experience created by GNOME contributors around the world. More information 
            about GNOME and the GNOME Foundation can be found at www.gnome.org and 
            foundation.gnome.org. Become a friend of GNOME at https://www.gnome.org/
            Promotion & Communication
          • GNOME and KDE work together on the Linux desktop

            The Linux desktop has its fans — I’ve been using it for over twenty-years — but it’s never been a mass market favorite. In part, that’s because as Linus Torvalds says, “fragmentation of the different vendors have held the desktop back.” Now, in a major step forward the two chief Linux desktop rivals, GNOME Foundation and KDE, have agreed to work together.

            GNOME and KDE are coming together to sponsor the Linux App Summit (LAS) 2019 in Barcelona from November 12th to 15th, 2019. This isn’t the first time the two rival Linux desktop groups have come together, but it has been a decade since they’ve joined forces to run a conference together. Both organizations are eager to bring their communities together to build an application ecosystem that transcends individual distros and broadens the market for everyone.

      • Distributions

        • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandriva Family

          • The August 2019 Issue of the PCLinuxOS Magazine

            The PCLinuxOS Magazine staff is pleased to announce the release of the August 2019 issue. With the exception of a brief period in 2009, The PCLinuxOS Magazine has been published on a monthly basis since September, 2006. The PCLinuxOS Magazine is a product of the PCLinuxOS community, published by volunteers from the community. The magazine is lead by Paul Arnote, Chief Editor, and Assistant Editor Meemaw. The PCLinuxOS Magazine is released under the Creative Commons Attribution- NonCommercial-Share-Alike 3.0 Unported license, and some rights are reserved. All articles may be freely reproduced via any and all means following first publication by The PCLinuxOS Magazine, provided that attribution to both The PCLinuxOS Magazine and the original author are maintained, and a link is provided to the originally published article.

            In the August 2019 issue:

            * De-Googling Yourself, Part 4
            * Inkscape Tutorial: Rubber Stamp
            * PCLinuxOS Family Member Spotlight: MarekTux
            * The Ruby Programming Language: Blocks, Modules and Other Interesting Things
            * Casual Python, Part 7
            * ms_meme’s Nook: It’s Linux Time
            * Cutting The Cord in 2019
            * Short Topix: Vulnerability Discovered Masquerading As Gnome Extension
            * PCLinuxOS Recipe Corner: Grilled Italian Chicken
            * And much more inside!

            This month’s cover was designed by parnote.

            Download the PDF (11.1 MB)


            Download the EPUB Version (7.4 MB)


            Download the MOBI Version (8.2 MB)


            Visit the HTML Version


        • Arch Family

          • First Arch Linux ISO Powered by Linux Kernel 5.2 Is Now Available to Download

            Arch Linux fans rejoice, the first Arch Linux ISO snapshot powered by the latest Linux 5.2 kernel series is now available for download.
            Another month, another Arch Linux ISO snapshot has been released to offer the community a fresh installation medium packed with all the latest software and security updates. The Arch Linux ISO snapshot for August 2019, Arch Linux 2019.08.01, has been released today and it’s now available for download.

            Packed with all the security patches and software updated pushed through the official repositories throughout the month of July 2019, Arch Linux 2019.08.01 is the first ISO snapshot of the popular operating system to be powered by the latest Linux 5.2 kernel series as it ships with the latest Linux 5.2.5 release.

        • Debian Family

          • [Sparky] July 2019 donation report

            Many thanks to all of you for supporting our open-source projects!

          • Goodbye, pgp.gwolf.org

            I started running an SKS keyserver a couple of years ago (don’t really remember, but I think it was around 2014). I am, as you probably expect me to be given my lines of work, a believer of the Web-of-Trust model upon which the PGP network is built. I have published a couple of academic papers (Strengthening a Curated Web of Trust in a Geographically Distributed Project, with Gina Gallegos, Cryptologia 2016, and Insights on the large-scale deployment of a curated Web-of-Trust: the Debian project’s cryptographic keyring, with Victor González Quiroga, Journal of Internet Services and Applications, 2018) and presented several conferences regarding some aspects of it, mainly in relation to the Debian project.

        • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

          • Canonical Releases Linux 5.0 Kernel (HWE) Security Update for Ubuntu 18.04.2 LTS

            Canonical released today a new Linux kernel security update, this time for users of the Ubuntu 18.04.2 LTS operating system using the Linux 5.0 HWE (Hardware Enablement) kernel from Ubuntu 19.04.

            This Linux Hardware Enablement (HWE) kernel from Ubuntu 19.04 for Ubuntu 18.04.2 LTS includes the same fixes for four security flaws that Canonical added in the lastest kernel for Ubuntu 19.04 last week, including an integer overflow (CVE-2019-11487) discovered in Linux kernel, which could lead to use-after-free issues as local attackers were able to use the exploit to execute arbitrary code or cause a denial of service (system crash).

      • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • What Happens When The US Government Tries To Take On The Open Source Community?

        The most important aspect of this latest move by GitHub is that open source projects are unaffected, and that even those who are hit by the bans can get around them by moving from private to public repositories. Friedman rightly points out that as a company based in the US, GitHub doesn’t have much scope for ignoring US laws.

        However, this incident does raise some important questions. For example, what happens if the US government decides that it wants to prevent programmers in certain countries from accessing open source repositories on GitHub as well? That would go against a fundamental aspect of free software, which is that it can be used by anyone, for anything — including for bad stuff.

        This question has already come up before, when President Trump issued the executive order “Securing the Information and Communications Technology and Services Supply Chain”, a thinly-disguised attack on the Chinese telecoms giant Huawei. As a result of the order, Google blocked Huawei’s access to updates of Android. Some Chinese users were worried they were about to lose access to GitHub, which is just as crucial for software development in China as elsewhere. GitHub said that wasn’t the case, but it’s not hard to imagine the Trump administration putting pressure on GitHub’s owner, Microsoft, to toe the line at some point in the future.

      • Events

        • USENIX ATC 2019: A retargetable system-level DBT hypervisor, an I/O scheduler for LSM KVs, and more

          The USENIX Annual Technical Conference (ATC) is considered to be one of the most prestigious systems research conferences. It covers all practical facets of systems software and aims to improve and further the knowledge of computing systems of all scales. Along with providing a platform to showcase cutting-edge systems research, it also allows researchers to gain insight into fields like virtualization, system management and troubleshooting, cloud and edge computing, security, and more.

      • Productivity Software/LibreOffice/Calligra

        • LibreOffice Asia Conference Report: Part 1

          On June 18, 2019, almost all of the government agencies in Taiwan’s cabinet received an official document from the National Development Council (NDC). “When exchanging digital documents between government agencies, the file format used shall be the Open Document Format (ODF) if the transferred files are editable… Do not use proprietary editors to directly save as ODF files… It is highly recommended to use the NDC ODF Application Tools or LibreOffice to generate standard ODF files.”

          “This is the most exciting and cheering official document in recent years!” said Dr. Chao-Kuei Hung, a Science and Technology Studies (STS) researcher and inveterate FOSS promoter. In the document, users in Taiwan government agencies are asked to not use proprietary office suites like Microsoft Office to generate documents, and therefore not save and spread “.doc” or “.docx” format files, which people are quite familiar with.

          Instead, they are asked to use free and open source software – which lets people to download, research, improve and redistribute it – like LibreOffice. They need to save and transfer documents in ODF format, which is an ISO standard (see the upcoming part II of the report for details). For most people, this seems to be a confusing policy; however, it will surely affect our lives in the future. For us, it is even as important as metric units like kilograms or meters.


        • The best Photoshop alternatives for 2019, from Affinity Photo to GIMP

          While there are a handful of free Photoshop alternatives, the open source program GIMP comes closest to Photoshop’s advanced tools. As an open source program, GIMP is free to download for Mac, Windows and Linux.

          GIMP, which stands for GNU Image Manipulation Program, has several of the same tools as Photoshop. Layer editing is possible, which allows GIMP to do more than just a basic crop and color edit. Many advanced edits, like local adjustment, blemish corection, and object removal, can be easily tackled inside the open source program. While other free programs will crop, recolor and apply filters, GIMP offers enough advanced tools to be considered a true Photoshop competitor.

          Of course, a free program is never on par with a paid industry standard. While GIMP contains most of the same most-used tools, it’s lacking a few features. The healing brush, for example, has one option where Photoshop’s brush has four. GIMP also does not have non-destructive adjustment layer editing, where the changes can be reverted or altered later without affecting the rest of the edit. GIMP also tends to be behind Photoshop’s latest new tools, with some new options not arriving to the free program to years later. GIMP also isn’t as much of a graphic design program as Photoshop — CMYK support, for example, is not included.

          The GIMP user interface is either great or not so great, depending on how you look at it. As an open source format, the UI isn’t as professional and sleek as Photoshop’s. However, since there aren’t quite as many tools, the program can feel slightly less daunting, and also allows for more customization options.

          GIMP can’t replace every Photoshop feature exactly, but it’s the open source program that comes the closest to the Adobe powerhouse, with a free price tag. Learn more about how it compares in our Photoshop versus GIMP comparison.

        • ‘Building’ Bitcoin’s Software Just Got a Bit More Trustless

          Like it or not, there’s a bit of trust involved in the process of setting up, or “compiling,” the software at the heart of bitcoin – but a recent code change could help.

          Featuring container software Guix, code was recently merged into the most popular bitcoin implementation, Bitcoin Core, meaning it’s now ready for real users to try out. The change could help to limit trust in code downloaded from operating system Ubuntu during the building process.

          “It’s been quite a journey, but #Guix support for deterministic, bootstrappable Bitcoin Core builds has landed in master,” the main developer behind the project, Carl Dong, tweeted last month.

        • Bitcoin Sees Changes on Linux To Improve Security

          While Bitcoin might be an extremely pro-privacy and trustless process, building something like it is quite the opposite and the element of trust is required when setting up.

          A new container software using code that was recently merged into the most popular Bitcoin implementation, Bitcoin core changes this, to make it easier to build code, making the process a little more trustless. The change could help to limit trust in code downloaded from the operating system Ubuntu during the building process. For this building process, there are already some protections built in. When downloading Bitcoin Core from Bitcoin.org, many developers use a process called Gitian to make so-called “reproducible” builds, which allows developers to double check that the binaries being distributed to them are the correct version that they want to be downloading – not a replica with a secret backdoor built into the software, say, to steal bitcoins.

      • Programming/Development

        • The DevOps Issue

          Every few years a new term is coined within the computer industry—big data, machine learning, agile development, Internet of Things, just to name a few. You’d be forgiven for not knowing them all.

          Some of these are new ideas. Some are refinements on existing ideas. Others still are simply notions we’ve all had for a long time, but now we have a new word to describe said notions.

          Which brings me to a topic we cover in depth in this issue of Linux Journal: DevOps.

          Not sure what DevOps is? Need it explained to you? It’s okay, I was in the same boat. Start off by reading “Experts Attempt to Explain DevOps—and Almost Succeed” to get a high-level explanation of what this whole DevOps brouhaha is all about.

          Once you’ve got the concept of DevOps firmly implanted in your brain, it’s time to dive in and look at how specific parts of DevOps can be implemented, starting with “Continuous Integration/Continuous Development with FOSS Tools” by Quentin Hartman, Director of Infrastructure and DevOps at Finalze.

        • The GNU C Library version 2.30 is now available
          The GNU C Library version 2.30 is now available.
          The GNU C Library is used as *the* C library in the GNU system and
          in GNU/Linux systems, as well as many other systems that use Linux
          as the kernel.
          The GNU C Library is primarily designed to be a portable
          and high performance C library. It follows all relevant
          standards including ISO C11 and POSIX.1-2017. It is also
          internationalized and has one of the most complete
          internationalization interfaces known.
        • Glibc 2.30 Released With Unicode 12.1 Support, New POSIX-Proposed Functions

          Releasing on schedule was the GNU C Library 2.30 release. Glibc 2.30 brings with it more optimizations and new features for this all-important part of the GNU toolchain.

        • Django security releases issued: 2.2.4, 2.1.11 and 1.11.23

          In accordance with our security release policy, the Django team is issuing Django 1.11.23, Django 2.1.11, and Django 2.2.4. These releases addresses the security issues detailed below. We encourage all users of Django to upgrade as soon as possible.

          Thanks Guido Vranken and Sage M. Abdullah for reporting these issues.


          Patches to resolve the issue have been applied to Django’s master branch and the 2.2, 2.1, and 1.11 release branches. The patches may be obtained from the following changesets:

          On the development master branch:

        • Building A Company Around Linus Torvalds’ Git

          GitLab CEO and Co-Founder, Sid Sijbrandij, explains why he decided to build a company around GitLab.

    • Leftovers

      • Health/Nutrition

        • Beyond exclusion of pharmaceutical products from patentable subject matter as a solution to limited access to medicines in Africa

          Even though Africa as a region does not have a specific single regional convention or agreement that compel Member States to have similar rules regarding patentable subject matter (like the EU for instance), most African countries do not exclude pharmaceutical products from patentable subject matter. Between the two main IP conventions in Africa: African Regional Intellectual Property Organisation (ARIPO) and African Intellectual Property Organisation (OAPI), excluded patentable subject matters vary. Outside both OAPI and ARIPO, Least Developed Countries like Madagascar, South Sudan, Sudan, Angola, Libya, who are not signatories to either convention, may exclude applications for patents related to pharmaceutical products.

          Patents in OAPI Member States can only be issued by OAPI and so, OAPI Member States share harmonised rules on patentable subject matter and only exclude the subject matters specifically permissible under the TRIPS Agreement. By extension, the 17 countries that are signatories to the OAPI Convention do not exclude pharmaceutical products from patentable subject matter. Once a patent application has been examined and granted by OAPI, the patentee will enjoy patent protection in the designated member states.

          The situation is different with respect to ARIPO and its Member States. ARIPO Member States can issue national patents. Accordingly, after ARIPO has examined a patent application, Member States may still reject the application where it is incompatible with their national patent laws. However, while most ARIPO Member States do not exclude pharmaceutical products from patentable subject matter, some did and/or still do. Under Section 8(3)(f) of Uganda’s Industrial Property Act 2014, pharmaceutical products are excluded from patentable subject matter until 1 January 2016 or some other extended period as the WTO allows it as a Least Developed Country (LDC). This exclusion now extends to 2033 at least, given the WTO’s decision to continue to exempt Least Developed Countries from the application of the TRIPS Agreement on pharmaceutical products. For Rwanda, while its IP Policy 2009 indicates that it will maintain the exclusion of pharmaceutical products from patentability in accordance with the WTO Decision providing transition period for LDCs until, at least, 2016, the WTO extension allows it to validly retain its Article 18(8) of its Law on the Protection of Intellectual Property 2009, covering the exclusion. Despite these specific exclusions, these countries have usually allowed patent applications once they (the applications) have been accepted by ARIPO. However, there are reports that this approach is changing, and the patent office in Rwanda now refuse ARIPO-accepted patent applications for pharmaceutical products on the grounds of incompatibility with its patent law. This may be connected to the report in 2018 advising patent applicants for pharmaceutical products to amend their applications to exclude claims to the products and retain claims for process patents.


          Several suggestions have been made. In the case of South Africa, which has been ‘accused’ of granting more patents on pharmaceutical products than even most developed countries, it has been suggested that the patent laws should be reformed to:

          (i) introduce patent opposition procedures so third parties can submit evidence as to why some patent applications should not be granted [As discussed on the IPKat, patent opposition, albeit via the courts in Netherlands led to the invalidation of patent on Ethiopian teff]
          (ii) limit the granting of patents on new uses of, and minor modifications to existing medicines. [Zambia’s Patent Act excludes “new uses of a known product, including the second use of a medicine” from patentability. India and Argentina also make similar exclusion.]
          (iii) adopt an examination system and move from the current registration system that allow ‘weak’ patents to scale through to grant.
          (iv) Simplify the process and procedure for issuing compulsory licences.

      • Security (Confidentiality/Integrity/Availability)

        • NordVPN Implements WireGuard Protocol on Linux

          NordVPN has released the WireGuard protocol, combining WireGuard’s high-speed connection and NordVPN’s custom double Network Address Translation (NAT) system, protecting the privacy of its users.

        • Linux Users First In Line For NordVPN’s New WireGuard System

          Do you use NordVPN on Linux? If so, you’re going to be first in line for NordVPN’s brand new technology which is called NordLynx and is based on the relatively new WireGuard protocol.

          The WireGuard protocol will replace the standard OpenVPN protocol, though it will only be available to Linux users at first. Why the change? Simple: WireGuard is outperforming OpenVPN in quite a few key areas (see below). Plus, WireGuard is a mere 4000 lines of code, whereas OpenVPN is comprised of hundreds of thousands. This makes it easier to manage and deploy.

        • Security updates for Thursday

          Security updates have been issued by CentOS (httpd, libssh2, and qemu-kvm), Debian (glib2.0, squirrelmail, subversion, and wpa), Fedora (proftpd), Oracle (icedtea-web), Red Hat (icedtea-web), Scientific Linux (icedtea-web), SUSE (icedtea-web, java-1_7_0-openjdk, subversion, and zypper, libzypp and libsolv), and Ubuntu (linux-hwe, openjdk-lts, pango1.0, python-django, and subversion).

        • Canonical Announces the Availability of Xibo as a Snap, Chrome 76 Released, Viruses Discovered in LibreOffice, Pop!_OS 18.10 Reaches End of Life, and Dutch Ministry of Justice and Security Warns of Microsoft Office Online Privacy Risks

          System76 announces that Pop!_OS 18.10 has reached end of life and will no longer receive security updates. To keep your system secure and up to date, upgrade your OS to version 19.04.

        • The FTC’s Settlement With Equifax Is Such A Joke, The FTC Is Now Begging You Not To Ask For A Cash Settlement

          Last week there was a bit of news as the FTC released a proposed settlement between the FTC and Equifax over the data brokers’ massive security breach that came to light nearly two years ago. We had already noted that the FTC’s way of dealing with Equifax seemed particularly tone deaf, but it’s getting worse. Much worse. As you may have heard, part of the “settlement” with Equifax is that you could sign up to get $125 from the company (or possibly more). It was either that or free credit monitoring. But, come on: everyone already has so many “free credit monitoring” services from previous breaches that this is a totally meaningless offer. It also costs nothing for Equifax.

          So, over the past week or so a ton of (helpful) news sites have been posting explainers on how to get your $125. Except… apparently too many people signed up and now the FTC is helping Equifax by telling people not to ask for money from the company any more.

        • Log management: Helping IT admins to achieve infrastructure-wide visibility

          When properly configured and deployed, log management tools can unearth a veritable treasure trove of data that IT administrators can use to triage and diagnose problems in enterprise IT infrastructures

      • Environment

        • From Kochland to Standing Rock: Here Are the 16-plus Best Environmental Books of August

          Things are heating up — and not just because it’s August. This past June was the hottest June on record, and as of this writing July was shaping up to follow. That makes this month’s new books about climate change essential reading, along with other important new titles on pollution, wildlife, oceans and Indigenous peoples.

          Our full list — an amazing 16 books, plus an entire series for kids — appears below. They include a deep dive into the world of the Koch brothers, a look at plastic in our food, an examination of the future of bluefin tuna, thoughts from the Standing Rock protests, and a whole lot more.


          The Future of Bluefin Tunas edited by Barbara A. Block — Dozens of experts from 15 countries contribute to this exhaustive examination of the threats facing all three species of bluefin tuna and what’s being done to save them.

          Extinction: A Very Short Introduction by Paul B. Wignall — A slim book about a big topic: Why do species die out? Covering historic mass extinctions and the current biodiversity crisis, this book offers what you need to know about what we’re losing.

          Science Comics: Cats by Andy Hirsch — A fun focus on our feline friends, looking at the science of everything from tigers to housecats. As with the rest of the “Science Comics” series, this is perfect for young readers or graphic-novel fans of all ages.

      • Privacy/Surveillance

        • New Home Secretary calls for an end to end-to-end encryption

          UK Home Secretary Priti Patel has taken to the pages of The Telegraph to call for Facebook to insert back door access to the end-to-end encryption system of its messaging platform and other , as members of the Five Eyes nations meet to call for the same.

          When protecting digital traffic, there are effectively two methods: client-server cryptography and end-to-end cryptography. In client-server cryptography, your traffic is encrypted between your client device and the remote server and vice-versa; anyone on the server, however, can access the traffic in its unencrypted form. In end-to-end cryptography, popularly and controversially used in Facebook’s WhatsApp instant messaging platform, the encryption remains intact from client device to client device regardless of how many servers it passes through on the way – meaning there’s no easy way for ne’er-do-wells nor security services to capture the traffic in its unencrypted form.

          Back in 2017 then-Home Secretary Amber Rudd called for back door access to be provided to governments, security services, and law enforcement while claiming that ‘real people’ don’t care about encryption. A year later the governments of the ‘Five Eyes’ countries – the UK and Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the United States of America – hinted at the need for mandatory back-door access, and were supported by the UK’s Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) and National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC). Most recently US Attorney General William Barr has joined the ranks of the non-technical claiming that it’s entirely possible to add a back door into an end-to-end cryptosystem without threatening the security or privacy of its legitimate users.

        • Microsoft will drop Skype for Business Online on July 31, 2021

          Since 2017, when Microsoft announced its Teams group-chat service would replace Skype for Business Online, customers have been asking about the cut-over deadline. Microsoft officials finally shared that date today. Skype for Business Online will be “retired” on July 31, 2021, officials said.

      • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

        • Big Four Broadcasters Sue Streaming Video Provider Locast, Claim It’s ‘Aereo 2.0′

          The nation’s four biggest broadcast networks (ABC, CBS, Comcast NBCUniversal and Fox) have filed suit (pdf) against a streaming video nonprofit they say is “illegally using broadcaster content.” New York based Locast offers viewers access to over the air broadcasts via the internet to roughly 13 cities (about 31% of the US market). Its website notes the operation is funded by donations and that access to this content (again, already accessible for free via an antenna) should be a consumer “right” given that US consumers technically own the airwaves these programs are broadcast over.


          Aereo, you may recall, attempted to set up a bunch of cumbersome micro-TV antennas which it could then use to stream broadcast TV to paying subscribers. The company’s technical approach was intentionally designed to be arguably ridiculous in a bid to comply with the law and a number of historically just as ridiculous copyright case rulings. The Supreme Court ultimately demolished Aereo with a dubious ruling that made numerous assumptions and provided zero guidance for companies who wanted to enter the space but comply with the law.

          Enter Locast. The company was developed by former FCC lawyer and media executive David Goodfriend, who, we noted previously, designed the service entirely from the ground up in a bid to try and comply with (and test the logic of) the current legal minefield. It’s funded in part by AT&T and Dish Networks.

      • Monopolies

        • Patents and Software Patents

          • Patent case: Koninklijke Philips N.V. vs. Wiko SAS, Netherlands

            The holder of a standard essential patent (SEP) should first notify the alleged infringer of the SEP, following which the alleged infringer should inform the patent holder of its willingness to take a licence. Then, said licence needs to be offered on FRAND terms.

            These steps are guidelines for good faith negotiations between the parties. The term non-discriminatory does not mean that licence conditions should be standard; it may be that specific circumstances necessitate different licence conditions.

          • Dr. Falk Pharma GmbH v. Generico, LLC (Fed. Cir. 2019)

            Regarding the PTAB, the Court held that the Board correctly construed the DAI score limitation based on the express definition in the specification, using either the broadest reasonable interpretation test or the Phillips v. AWH test. This conclusion was also supported by the patentee conceding that the DAI score was “ordinarily understood” to be the sum of four subscores. In addition, the opinion notes that in patentee’s specification, “when the DAI score was identified as being the sum of only two subscores [in the '688 specification] it was called a ‘revised Sutherland Disease Activity Index’ which is not a term used in the claims.” (This raises the possibility that Dr. Falk could file a narrowing reissue to amend the claims for validity, but the PTO might correctly determine that such an amendment would be broadening rather than narrowing.)

            Turning to the “without food” limitation, the Federal Circuit disagreed with Dr. Falk’s contention that in this case the PTAB had changed the basis for its obviousness determination from institution to final written decision, contrary to SAS Institute, Inc. v. ComplementSoft, LLC, 825 F.3d 1341 (Fed. Cir. 2016). Here, the Court explained that what was prohibited was failing to give a patentee the opportunity to address the “new” grounds for the Board’s decision. This was not the case here, in the Federal Circuit’s opinion, because Dr. Falk (in the Court’s view) had sufficient notice and opportunity and did in fact address the question of whether drug administration without a “food effect” was recognized in the prior art (where the food effect is “that taking the formulation without food is preferable to taking it with food”). The panel also held that the skilled worker had a reasonable expectation of success of achieving the invention set forth in the claims (requiring that the patient not take food) even without the art teaching this feature (typically by containing a “food effect” study), based on “other rationales” for avoiding food, not specified in the opinion.

            Finally, the Court also affirmed the PTAB conclusion that, despite there being an affirmative limitation that administration occur “without food” the art did not need a food study to establish this effect because the specification taught that the formulation could be administered with or without food, and that the Board correctly did not find its obviousness conclusion contradicted by the asserted secondary considerations.

            This outcome shows that even under circumstances where the district court conducts a trial on infringement under 35 U.S.C. § 271(e)(2), an ANDA defendant can benefit by moving its invalidity case to the PTAB and avoid the cost of putting on affirmative defenses and counterclaims before a lay judge not having the PTAB’s purported expertise (or apparent anti-patent bias).

        • Trademarks

        • Copyrights

          • English High Court raises eyebrows over request to disclose ISP customer data

            To paraphrase Oasis (badly): Norwich Pharmacal Orders – familiar to thousands. In the consolidated claims of Mircom International Content Management & Consulting Ltd and Ors and Golden Eye International Ltd and Ors v Virgin Media Limited and Persons Unknown [2019] EWHC 1827 (Ch), Mr Recorder Douglas Campbell QC (sitting as a High Court judge) got to grips with an application to compel Virgin Media to disclose the personal details of tens of thousands of its residential broadband subscribers that correspond to IP addresses identified by the Applicants as having downloaded (without permission) copyright films of an adult nature (whose titles were archly described by the learned judge as “leav[ing] little to the imagination”).

            Golden Eye is not new to this arena; it succeeded in a 2012 action against Telefónica/O2 (first instance judgment here and appeal here). The Applicants essentially argued that the 2012 decisions should be cloned in the present case.

            To recap, the O2 claim was decided in the same way as any other Norwich Pharmacal action, for which the requirements are: (i) a good arguable case that wrongs have been committed against the Applicant; (ii) the Respondent to the application is mixed up in those wrongs; (iii) the Applicant is intending to seek redress for the wrongs; (iv) disclosure of the information sought is necessary for the Applicant to pursue the redress; (v) it is necessary and proportionate to grant the order / the court should exercise its discretion in favour of granting the relief sought. Regarding proportionality, Virgin Media sought to rely on the Supreme Court’s judgment in Rugby Football Union v Viagogo [2012] UKSC 55 and in particular an apparent distinction drawn between the RFU’s righteous quest to promote the sport of rugby by maintaining ticket prices at a reasonable level on the one hand, and a shakedown of unauthorised viewers of pornography on the other. This argument did not impress Mr Campbell, given that (a) the Supreme Court expressly approved Mr Justice Arnold’s (as he then was) test for proportionality in O2; and (b) the appeal in O2 was decided (in favour of the Claimants) after the Supreme Court’s judgment. The Supreme Court’s comments in Viagogo merely suggested that Viagogo was a more attractive case on the facts than O2, but a Norwich Pharmacal order was still granted in O2.

          • Warhol v Goldsmith: fairness of use by iconic artwork adjudicated in New York

            Based on Goldsmith’s photograph, Andy Warhol not only created the requested illustration, but also developed the entire Prince Series, comprised of sixteen distinct works: silkscreen paintings, screen prints and drawings.

            After Warhol’s death in 1987, the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts (AWF) obtained ownership of the Prince Series. Since then, it has auctioned, sold, donated and displayed this artwork in various museums, galleries, books, magazines, and promotional materials.

            Prince died on 21 April 2016. The next day, Vanity Fair published an online copy of its 1984 article “Purple Fame” followed by a commemorative magazine issue entitled “The Genius of Prince”. It was then that Goldsmith first learned of the Prince Series and it did not go down well with her. After being contacted by the disgruntled photographer, AWF sought a declaratory judgement declaring that Warhol’s illustration did not constitute a violation of the US Copyright Act. In response, Goldsmith filed a counterclaim claiming that Warhol’s works constituted copyright infringement.

          • Further debate ‘likely’ after hat-trick of CJEU judgments

            The CJEU delivered three copyright judgments this week covering issues ranging from song sampling to press publishers’ rights. Managing IP speaks to lawyers to analyse the rulings’ impact

            Judgments centring on the 2001 EU Copyright Directive are likely to throw up more questions than answers, lawyers say in reaction to a busy day of CJEU decisions.

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