Links 11/10/2019: Atari VCS Responds, Rock Pi SBC Debut

Posted in News Roundup at 11:40 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Desktop

      • System76 Will Begin Shipping 2 Linux Laptops With Coreboot-Based Open Source Firmware

        System76, the Denver-based Linux PC manufacturer and developer of Pop OS, has some stellar news for those who prefer their laptops a little more open. Later this month the company will begin shipping two of their laptop models with its Coreboot-powered open source firmware.

      • Modern Linux Laptops with Coreboot Firmware From System76

        Are you looking for modern Linux laptops with coreboot? The wait is over. Coreboot is a free and open-source software. The coreboot project aimed at replacing the proprietary BIOS firmware and blobs. System76 recently announced two Intel laptops with Coreboot, which as an alternative to proprietary BIOS. These laptops are using Intel 10th Gen CPUs.


        Coreboot itself is opensource; however, Intel CPU depends upon the binary blobs for modern Linux laptops. The good news is Intel ME is removed or disabled permanently on newer Linux models from System76. I think it is a step in the right direction despite few binary blobs (e.g. FSP), and I hope someday will get pure open-source firmware for modern Linux laptop.

    • Server

      • System on module fully-integrated Linux system for accelerated machine learning

        Coral System on Module is a fully-integrated Linux system for accelerated Machine Learning inferencing to be integrated into existing hardware with three 100-pin connectors. The SoM is available now from Mouser. The SoM comprises the NXP iMX8M SoC, eMMC memory, LPDDR4 RAM, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and the Google Edge TPU Coprocessor for acceleration.

      • What are microservices? Your next software architecture

        Nearly every computer system performs multiple tasks using shared resources, and one of the questions of computer programming is how closely the bits of code that perform those tasks should be tied to one another. An increasingly popular answer is the concept of a microservice—a small, discrete chunk of functionality that interacts with other microservices to create a larger system.

        Although the basic idea of having such discrete components isn’t new, the way microservices are implemented makes them a natural foundation for both modern cloud-based applications. Microservices also dovetail with the devops philosophy, which encourages rapidly and continuously rolled out new functionality.

      • IBM

        • Download CentOS 8 – DVD ISO Image

          CentOS is a Linux operating system, which is a 100% compatible rebuild of the Red Hat Enterprise Linux operating system. A user can download and use this enterprise-level operating system free of cost. CentOS 8 is the latest version available to download.

        • Modern continuous integration/continuous delivery (CI/CD) pipeline for traditional provisioning: Your questions answered (Part 1)

          During a recent webinar titled, “Modern continuous integration/continuous delivery (CI/CD) pipeline for traditional provisioning,” we received a lot of interest and many questions regarding the topic. Some of the questions were coming in at a very rapid rate and we were not able to address them all. As a followup to our webinar, we have decided to put the answers to those questions into this blog post. The questions are listed below.

        • Red Hat Ceph object store on Dell EMC servers (Part 1)

          Organizations are increasingly being tasked with managing billions of files and tens to hundreds of petabytes of data. Object storage is well suited to these challenges, both in the public cloud and on-premise. Organizations need to understand how to best configure and deploy software, hardware, and network components to serve a diverse range of data intensive workloads.

          This blog series details how to build robust object storage infrastructure using a combination of Red Hat Ceph Storage coupled with Dell EMC storage servers and networking. Both large-object and small-object synthetic workloads were applied to the test system and the results subjected to performance analysis. Testing also evaluated the ability of the system under test to scale beyond a billion objects.

        • Why Linux Developers Should Reconsider IBM Mainframes

          When mainframes were mainstream, many software professionals in the industry today were not even born yet. Mainframe computers have an extensive history, which makes it tempting to call them old, but today’s mainframes are extremely mature, fast, reliable and powerful. In fact, they are critical to the modern economy: Top airlines, banks, insurance companies and health care corporations rely on mainframe computing.

          One of the organizations keeping this technology with the times is IBM, with its IBM Z family of mainframe computers. Some of these mainframes—like the 31-bit s390 and, later, the 64-bit s390x architecture—were originally designed and built in the 1960s, and they have continued to evolve and modernize.

          “IBM still sells a lot of these even today,” said Elizabeth K. Joseph, a seasoned open source advocate who recently joined IBM as the developer advocate for its Z architectures. These machines run operating systems including z/OS, z/VM, z/VSE and z/TPF, as well as Linux-based distributions like Red Hat Enterprise Linux and SUSE Linux Enterprise Server.

    • Audiocasts/Shows

      • 2019-10-10 | Linux Headlines

        The Tor Project blacklists old relays, GitLab plans to introduce telemetry, Steam is working on a new multiplayer feature, The Matrix Project announces new funding, and AMP is getting a new home.

      • Ubuntu Podcast from the UK LoCo: S12E27 – Exile

        This week we’ve been playing LEGO Worlds and tinkering with Thinkpads. We round up the news and goings on from the Ubuntu community, introduce a new segment, share some events and discuss our news picks from the tech world.

        It’s Season 12 Episode 27 of the Ubuntu Podcast! Alan Pope, Mark Johnson and Martin Wimpress are connected and speaking to your brain.

      • Talk Python to Me: #233 The Masonite Python Web Framework

        Folks, it’s not like the old days where there were just a couple of web frameworks for building apps with Python. These days there are many. One of those frameworks is the Masonite web framework created by Joseph Mancuso. Joseph is here today to tell us all about Masonite, what makes it special, it’s core value proposition for web developers and much more.

    • Kernel Space

      • Google Helps With Linux Scheduling With SchedViz

        Google has just open sourced a tool that lets you visualize how your program is being treated under Linux scheduling. The idea is that you can use SchedViz to tune the system.

        We all know the best scheduling algorithm to use – my program runs, everything else is suspended. Effective, but not cooperative. To achieve the same result while allowing other programs a chance to use the CPU we need to tune, and perhaps even select, the scheduling algorithm.

        The problem is that the basic Linux tools to do the job are lacking and what generally happens is that you guess what might be best. In a modern system such a guess is unlikely to be correct because there are too many variables. Each thread has a priority and these interact under the scheduling policy. It can make a difference which core a thread is assigned to and changing cores is something best avoided.

      • Understanding Scheduling Behavior with SchedViz

        Linux kernel scheduling behavior can be a key factor in application responsiveness and system utilization. Today, we?re announcing SchedViz, a new tool for visualizing Linux kernel scheduling behavior. We?ve used it inside Google to discover many opportunities for better scheduling choices and to root-cause many latency issues.

      • Understanding Scheduling Behavior with SchedViz (Google Open Source Blog)

        The Google Open Source Blog has an announcement of the release of the SchedViz tool that is used internally at the company “to discover many opportunities for better scheduling choices and to root-cause many latency issues”.

    • Applications

      • OBS Studio is an open source video recorder and streaming app for Windows, Linux and macOS

        OBS Studio aka Open Broadcaster Software Studio is very popular among YouTube users. You can use it to broadcast gameplay streams live or use it to record videos (which you may then upload to YouTube or other video hosting sites). Want to set up a camera and mic to record content for your vlog? You can do that too.

        This is one of those rare applications that is user-friendly on the one hand but still advanced enough to deliver the options that advanced users require. That being said, we’re going to take a look at the basic usage of the program, the recording of on-screen content.

        OBS Studio is a cross-platform program that is available for Windows, Mac OS X and Linux.

      • Try App Outlet On Xubuntu, Universal App Store for Linux Desktop!

        In a forum, I often read the debate between the use of several types of package formats on Linux. In Ubuntu we know a variety of applications that are packaged in various packages. Examples are Flatpak, Appimage, Snap, Apt and others.

        Sometimes, one user and another have different opinions when choosing a package. An example is in my post about the advantages of appimage. There are some comments about this package. There are pros and cons to this package. All returned to user needs. We cannot generalize the needs and choices of users who choose certain packages.

      • Proprietary

        • IRS-Funded Review Confirms TurboTax Hid Free Filing From Search Engines, but Says There’s No Need for Major Changes

          A four-month outside review of the IRS’ partnership with the private tax software industry to provide free tax preparation offered mixed conclusions: It found serious problems in the program and confirmed ProPublica’s reporting this year that companies, including Intuit, the maker of TurboTax, had hidden the free option from search engines. But the report, written by an IRS contractor that has previously supported the industry’s position, also defended the program’s oversight.

          The review did not recommend sweeping changes. The mandate of the review was to narrowly assess the program to “ensure the continued operations and integrity of the Free File Program.” It did not examine the broader question of whether the premise of the program is sound or look at the IRS’ role in tax filing.

        • Digital Watchdog Adds Extensive List of Features to Spectrum IPVMS

          The DW Spectrum IPVMS server software is included with pre-configured DW Blackjack NVR servers and MEGApix CaaS edge cameras or it can be installed on third-party Windows or Ubuntu Linux-based systems.

    • Instructionals/Technical

    • Games

      • Open-world action adventure ‘Pine’ where humans are not top of the food chain is now available

        Pine certainly looks good, a proper open-world action adventure with a story depicting humans who never reached the top of the food chain. It just release with Linux support today.

        Note: Both the publisher and GOG sent a copy for us.

      • Playing with Godot

        I guess it is quite common to start the path towards programming by making games. I started with a simple guess the number on my dad?s zx81 back in the day. He must have written most of it, but I felt proud of the result, so I will claim that it was mine.

        I?ve experimented with various ways to get my kids into programming. Everything from board games, online resources, scratch, building shitty robots, and so on. They get it, but it is hard to move on from the basics to being able to start from a clean sheet of paper and create something.

        During the summer, I decided to look into the various options and tried using Unity and Godot. After a couple of experiments, I settled on using Godot. Partly because of its open nature, but also because as a tool, it does the job I need it to do just as well as Unity.

      • Valve’s Radeon “ACO” Vulkan Compiler Back-End Now Supports Navi

        The promising ACO compiler back-end for the Radeon “RADV” Vulkan driver now has support for GFX10/Navi graphics!

        ACO was recently merged into Mesa 19.3 for this Valve-funded, gaming-focused Vulkan shader compiler back-end for RADV. But up until now it has only supported GFX8 and GFX9 hardware while now initial Navi/GFX10 support has been merged. ACO ultimately aims to deliver better performance over the existing back-end while also more quickly compiling shaders to help with game load times.

      • Atari disputes reports that its retro-inspired console is doomed

        Atari put out a lengthy development update for the Atari VCS console earlier this week, on the same day that The Register reported that the project is experiencing significant difficulties. One source with knowledge of the project reportedly described it as a “shit show,” and the console is reportedly shaping up to be more of a Linux PC than a dedicated games console.

        Atari’s post sought to assure backers that the project is proceeding as planned. Amidst numerous photographs of the console’s circuit boards and chassis, the company claimed that the molds for the plastic housing of the console are “largely complete,” that its controllers and joysticks are “just about ready for mass production,” and that it expects to host hands-on preview events for the console later this fall.

    • Distributions

      • Reviews

        • Austrumi Linux Has Great Potential if You Speak Its Language

          This distro needs only limited system resources. Requirements include an Intel-compatible Pentium 2 processor or later and at least 512 MB of RAM. You can stretch this minimal memory level by running the “boot:nocache” option if the computer has less than 512 MB RAM.

          No hard drive is needed, but you can find in the system menu an installation tool to place Austrumi Linux on the hard drive or a bootable USB drive. You also can run a live session directly from a bootable DVD if your system has an optical drive.

          Other than the lack of adequate English language support within this distro, the only other significant design weakness is the lack of persistent memory if you run the OS without a hard drive installation. This means you can not save personal data and system configurations for your applications.

          You can use a USB drive or cloud storage to save personal data. If you use Austrumi Linux as a portable OS, those two storage solutions will be in play anyway.

          Austrumi is clearly not targeting non-European users. If developers fixed the language support for non-Latvian speakers, it could be much more convenient to use. Expanding support for other global regions is a critical need for this otherwise very handy performer.

      • Screenshots/Screencasts

      • SUSE/OpenSUSE

        • openSUSE WSL images in OBS

          A fundamental concept of all openSUSE packages as well as any image offered for download is a fully transparent, reproducible and automatic build and development process based on sources.

          In openSUSE developers do not perform manual builds on some specially crafted machine in their basement and then upload the result somewhere. Instead all sources are stored in a version control system inside the open build service (OBS) instance at build.opensuse.org. OBS then automatically builds the sources including all dependencies according to defined build instructions (eg spec files for rpms). OBS also automatically adds cryptographic signatures to files that support it to make sure nobody can tamper with those files.

        • Don’t Get Left Behind, Upgrade to SUSE Enterprise Storage 6 Today
      • Fedora Family

        • Fedora localization platform migrates to Weblate

          Fedora Project provides an operating system that is used in a wide variety of languages and cultures. To make it easy for non-native English speakers to use Fedora, significant effort is made to translate the user interfaces, websites and other materials.

          Part of this work is done in the Fedora translation platform, which will migrate to Weblate in the coming months.

          This migration was mandatory as development and maintenance of Zanata — the previous translation platform — ceased in 2018.

          There are a number of translation platforms available, but having a translation platform that is open source, answering Fedora Project’s needs, and likely to be long-lived are key considerations in choosing Weblate. Most other translation platforms being closed source or lacking features.

        • F30-20191009 updated Live Isos released

          The Fedora Respins SIG is pleased to announce the latest release of Updated F30-20190904 Live ISOs, carrying the 5.2.18-200 kernel.

          This set of updated isos will save considerable amounts of updates after install. ((for new installs.)(New installs of Workstation have 1.2GB of updates)).

          A huge thank you goes out to irc nicks dowdle, Southern-Gentleman for testing these iso.

      • Debian Family

        • Norbert Preining: R with TensorFlow 2.0 on Debian/sid

          I recently posted on getting TensorFlow 2.0 with GPU support running on Debian/sid. At that time I didn?t manage to get the tensorflow package for R running properly. It didn?t need much to get it running, though.

        • My Free Software Activities in September 2019

          Welcome to gambaru.de. Here is my monthly report that covers what I have been doing for Debian. If you’re interested in Java, Games and LTS topics, this might be interesting for you.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • A detailed look at Ubuntu’s new experimental ZFS installer

          Although there isn’t any support built into Eoan’s apt package manager for automatically taking snapshots yet, we can demonstrate a snapshot—oops—rollback moment manually. In the above gallery, first we take a ZFS snapshot. Eoan has split our root filesystem into tons of little datasets (more on that later), so we use the -r option for zfs snapshot to recursively take snapshots throughout the entire tree.

          Now that we’ve insured ourselves against mistakes, we do something we’re going to regret. For the purposes of this demo, we’re just removing Firefox—but we could really recover from anything up to and including an rm -rf –no-preserve-root / this way with a little extra legwork. After removing Firefox, we need to roll back our snapshots to restore the system to its original condition.

          Since the root filesystem is scattered through a bunch of individual datasets, we need to roll them all back individually. Although this is a pain for the casual user without additional tooling, it does make it possible to do more granular restore operations if we’re feeling picky—like rolling back the root filesystem without rolling back /home. Ubuntu will undoubtedly eventually have tooling to make this easier, but for the moment, we do a bit of sysadmin-fu and pipe zfs list to grep to awk to xargs, oh my.

          The command line acrobatics might have been obnoxious, but the rollback itself was instantaneous, and Firefox has returned. It still doesn’t work quite right, though, due to orphaned filehandles—we rolled back a live mounted root filesystem, which is kind of a cowboy thing to do. To make things entirely right, a reboot is necessary—but after the reboot, everything’s the way it once was, and without the need to wait through any lengthy Windows Restore Point-style groveling over the filesystem.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • Events

        • Contributor Summit San Diego Schedule Announced!

          There are many great sessions planned for the Contributor Summit, spread across five rooms of current contributor content in addition to the new contributor workshops. Since this is an upstream contributor summit and we don’t often meet, being a globally distributed team, most of these sessions are discussions or hands-on labs, not just presentations. We want folks to learn and have a good time meeting their OSS teammates.

          Unconference tracks are returning from last year with sessions to be chosen Monday morning. These are ideal for the latest hot topics and specific discussions that contributors want to have. In previous years, we’ve covered flaky tests, cluster lifecycle, KEPs (Kubernetes Enhancement Proposals), mentoring, security, and more.

      • Web Browsers

        • Mozilla

          • These Weeks in Firefox: Issue 66
          • How to speed up the Rust compiler some more in 2019

            In July I wrote about my efforts to speed up the Rust compiler in 2019. I also described how the Rust compiler has gotten faster in 2019, with compile time reductions of 20-50% on most benchmarks. Now that Q3 is finished it’s a good time to see how things have changed since then.

          • Extensions in Firefox 70

            Welcome to another round of new additions and changes to extensions, this time in Firefox 70. We have a new API, some improvements on existing APIs, and some great additions to Firefox Developer Tools to make it easier to debug your extensions.


            We’ve made a few improvements to the downloads API in Firefox 70. By popular request, the Referer header is now allowed in the browser.downloads.download API’s headers object. This allows extensions, such as download managers, to download files for sites that require a referrer to be set.

            Also, we’ve improved error reporting for failed downloads. In addition to previously reported failures, the browser.downloads.download API will now report an error in case of various http 4xx failures. This makes the API more compatible with Chrome and gives developers a way to react to these errors in their code.

          • Last version

            Yesterday I released Mail Redirect 0.10.5, which may very well be the last version of Mail Redirect, at least in this form. The version contains some small bug fixes, with relation to compatibility with other extensions, Cardbook and Thunderbird Conversations to be precise.

            I already started trying to make Mail Redirect compatible with Thunderbird 71.0a1, when the Thunderbird developers announced that support traditional XUL-overlay add-ons, which Mail Redirect is, will be dropped in Thunderbird 72. This means that any effort I put in the add-on now with relation to compatibility with future Thunderbird versions will stop working in a month or so, so that won’t do any good.

            The good thing is that XUL-overlay add-ons will beep working in this major ESR-release, so Mail Redirect 0.10.5 will keep on working in Thunderbird 68., and will only stop working in Daily and Beta and in the next major Thunderbird release 76, which is planned to be released somewhere in july, I think.

            I haven’t decided what to do with Mail Redirect. In order to keep on working in Thunderbird 72+, I need to convert it to a WebExtension Experiment, but that will be a major rewrite and the future of WebExtension Experiments isn’t clear either. Thunderbird developers indicated that support for WebExtension Experiments will also be dropped somewhere in the future, so I’m not quite convinced yet that it will be worth the effort.

      • Linux Foundation

        • Automotive Grade Linux Announces Chinese Automaker SAIC Motor as a New Member

          AGL is an open source project at the Linux Foundation that is bringing together automakers, suppliers and technology companies to accelerate the development and adoption of a fully open, shared software platform for all technology in the vehicle, from infotainment to autonomous driving. Sharing a single software platform across the industry reduces fragmentation and accelerates time-to-market by encouraging the growth of a global ecosystem of developers and application providers that can build a product once and have it work for multiple automakers.

        • Automotive Grade Linux Announces Chinese Automaker SAIC Motor as a New Member

          Automotive Grade Linux (AGL), a collaborative cross-industry effort developing an open source platform for connected car technologies, announces seven new members. SAIC Motor has joined as a Silver member, and German Autolabs, KPIT, MontaVista, OTAinfo, OUTCERT and Ovo Automotive join as Bronze members.

        • What?s New In Zephyr 2.0.0?

          The Zephyr Project is a small, scalable real-time operating system (RTOS) for use on resource-constrained systems supporting multiple architectures

      • Productivity Software/LibreOffice/Calligra


        • IDAD 2019: Join us on October 12th, and use this special dust jacket to uphold the right to read

          Each year we stage the International Day Against DRM (IDAD) to help others learn about the dangers of Digital Restrictions Management (DRM). For this year’s IDAD on October 12th, we are focusing in particular on the increasing and disturbing amount of DRM present in ebooks and other online educational materials. Having so thoroughly invaded our leisure time, the digital infection known as DRM should not be allowed to spread into the classroom. Joining us in the fight for IDAD 2019 are the Electronic Frontier Foundation, Creative Commons, and The Document Foundation, among ten other participating organizations we are privileged to have standing with us in the fight against DRM.

          In a bid to become the “Netflix of textbooks,” and like many other publishers, Pearson is doing the opposite of what anyone committed to education should do: severely restricting a student’s access to the materials they need for their courses through arbitrary page limits, “rented” books that disappear, and many which require a constant Internet connection.

          Publishers like Pearson should not be allowed to decide the rigidly specific conditions under which a student can learn. No book should spy on your reading habits or simply “disappear” after you have had it for too long. In the digital age, it is unacceptable for a publisher to impose the same principles of scarcity that would apply to a physical product to a digital file. The computing revolution was caused by files being shared, not merely rented. Imposing these limitations on digital media is an attack on user freedom, no matter how much corporate PR may spin the story. It’s our aim to let the world know that we support the rights of readers. You could say that for IDAD 2019, Defective by Design has you covered.

        • parted-3.3 released [stable]

          Parted 3.3 has been released. This release includes many bug fixes and new features.

        • GNU Project maintainers push to remove Richard Stallman from GNU Project

          At first, it was unclear if Stallman was also resigning from the GNU project after his comments were made public. A message on his website said he was resigning from the GNU project, but it was later deleted. He also released a message that stated: “I recently resigned as president of the FSF, but the FSF continues to provide several forms of crucial support for the GNU Project. As head of the GNU Project, I will be working with the FSF on how to structure the GNU Project’s relationship with the FSF in the future.”

          While the group of GNU maintainers and developers do point out that they own Stallman “a debt of gratitude” for his “decades of important work in the free software movement,” they also acknowledge that “Stallman’s behavior over the years has undermined a core value of the GNU project: the empowerment of all computer users.”

      • Licensing/Legal

        • Announcing the Second Annual CopyleftConf!

          Last year’s event was the first ever CopyleftConf. It was great! We have some videos up and more are coming. Also, our call for proposals is open now, through the end of the month — we’d love to hear from you.

          The response was really positive and we’re looking forward to putting on a fantastic 2020 event. Because last year’s event was so well attended, we’ve gotten a larger venue for this year.

          Participants from throughout the copyleft world ? developers, strategists, enforcement organizations, scholars and critics ? will be welcomed for an in-depth, high bandwidth, and expert-level discussion about the day-to-day details of using copyleft licensing, obstacles facing copyleft and the future of copyleft as a strategy to advance and defend software freedom for users and developers around the world.

      • Programming/Development

        • RenderDoc 1.5 Released For This Leading OpenGL / Vulkan / Direct3D Open-Source Debugger

          RenderDoc has already been the leading open-source graphics debugging tool for OpenGL / Vulkan / Direct3D across multiple platforms and it continues only getting more useful with each new feature release.

          RenderDoc 1.5 is the project’s first release in six months and as such it’s a fairly big update for this prominent graphics debugger.

          RenderDoc 1.5 now allows better configuring of capture replays, SPIR-V reflection and disassembly is now more reliable as well as working against the latest SPIR-V version, a Vulkan replay-time optimization, an OpenGL low-memory optimization, and various other optimizations throughout. One of the other optimizations worth mentioning is much better capture load and close time performance for D3D12/Vulkan captures with many serialized resources.

        • Wing Tips: Python Code Warnings in Wing Pro 7

          Examples of warnings that Wing might flag include syntax errors, indentation problems, uses of an undefined variable, imports that cannot be resolved, or variables that are set but never used.
          Code warnings save development time because they help to identify errors before code is even run. New code is checked as you work, although Wing will wait until you have finished typing so that it doesn’t warn about code that is still being entered.

        • How to Analyze Survey Data with Python for Beginners

          Conducting surveys and polls is one of the best ways to collect data and gain insight into questions like why are customers leaving our website? or why are voters attracted to this candidate? But analyzing survey data can be a real challenge!

          In this tutorial, we’re going to walk through how to analyze survey data using Python. But don’t worry — even if you’ve never written code before, you can handle this! We’re going to take it step by step, and by the end of this tutorial you’ll see how you can unlock some pretty impressive analytical power with just a few lines of code!

          For the purposes of this article, we’ll be analyzing StackOverflow’s 2019 developer survey data, because it’s a large and recent survey data set that’s public and properly anonymized. But these techniques will work for almost any sort of survey data.

        • 2019.3 EAP 5

          A new version of the Early Access Program (EAP) for PyCharm 2019.3 is available now! Download it from our website.

        • Webinar Preview: “Starting Testing” tutorial step for React+TS+TDD

          The first tutorial steps got us setup in the IDE, with a sample project generated and cleaned up. Now it’s time to learn React and TypeScript by…writing tests?

          Indeed! This tutorial is trying to sell you on the idea that you’ll be more productive and happier writing and using your components from inside the IDE, instead of constantly heading over to the browser. For most of the steps in the tutorial, you do all of the learning, typing, and running from within a test, staying in the IDE and in the “flow”.

        • PyCon US 2020 Hatchery Program Launches Call for Proposals

          The PyCon US Hatchery Program has become a fundamental part of how PyCon as a conference adapts to best serve the Python community as it grows and changes with time.

          Initially we wanted to gauge community interest for this type of program, and since launching in 2018 we have learned more about what kind of events the community might propose. At the end of the inaugural program, we accepted the PyCon Charlas as our first Hatchery event which has grown into a permanent track offered at PyCon US.

        • Episode #151: Certified! It works on my machine
        • Red Hat strengthens commitment to open source tooling, joins new working group

          The Eclipse Cloud Development (ECD) project group started at the Eclipse Foundation in 2016 with Eclipse Che and Orion open source coding tools. Each year since has seen greater interest and new projects added, including Theia, CodeWind, Dirigible, Sprotty, and now Che4z. As the ECD has grown to become a center of open source cloud-native development tooling, user and vendor interest has also increased; users of Eclipse Cloud Development projects now number well over 500k, and several other vendors have joined Red Hat to push tooling forward in this critical market. This has been fantastic, as it has driven more contributions and collaboration from the community.

        • Manage multiple versions of Go with GVM

          Go Version Manager (GVM) is an open source tool for managing Go environments. It supports installing multiple versions of Go and managing modules per-project using GVM “pkgsets.” Developed originally by Josh Bussdieker, GVM (like its Ruby counterpart, RVM) allows you to create a development environment for each project or group of projects, segregating the different Go versions and package dependencies to allow for more flexibility and prevent versioning issues.

        • Excellent Free Books to Learn BASIC

          BASIC (Beginner’s All-purpose Symbolic Instruction Code) is a family of general-purpose, high-level programming languages whose design philosophy emphasizes ease of use. In 1964, John G. Kemeny and Thomas E. Kurtz designed the original BASIC language at Dartmouth College. They wanted to enable students in fields other than science and mathematics to use computers. At the time, nearly all use of computers required writing custom software, which was something only scientists and mathematicians tended to learn.

          The advent of the personal computer was crucial to the success of BASIC. The language was designed for hobbyists, and as personal computers became more accessible to this audience, books of BASIC programs and BASIC games surged in popularity.

          BASIC is generally not regarded as the easiest way to take the first steps in learning the art of programming. But it does not hinder beginners from learning how to program, or teach them bad habits. And it’s the highest low-level language. Even today, there remains value in learning BASIC.

  • Leftovers

    • Imagine That

      In 2010, Capitol Records released remastered versions of John Lennon’s entire catalog, the best of which remains the Phil Spector-produced Imagine. The title track has become an integral part of the world’s cultural fabric–the centerpiece of a ghetto high school halftime show at a basketball game in New York or a Ben and Jerry’s ice cream flavor (“Imagine Whirled Peace”).

    • The Old Man and His Smartphone, Episode I

      Someone also took pity on me and showed me how to silence alerts from attention-seeking apps, with one notable instance being an app that liked to let me know when spam arrived for each instance of spam.

    • Health/Nutrition

      • Brussels: Innovative Mental Health Support

        A mobile team that supports people with psychosocial disabilities, or mental health conditions, in their own homes offers an innovative rights-based alternative to residential psychiatric care, Human Rights Watch said today in a new web feature.

      • Key elements of Patching to consider for Healthcare IT CISOs

        Data breaches that affect businesses of all sizes are now more common than ever, and unsurprisingly this includes Australia. As they become almost a regular affair, healthcare sector is no exception. According to the last quarter Notifiable Data Breaches (NDB) Statistics Report from OAIC, between January to March, the health sector reported 27 per cent of the data breaches, being one of the top industries. Of the 58 notifications over the first quarter, 52 percent was caused by human error, 45 percent was because of malicious or criminal attacks and 3 percent was due to system faults.

        The recent hack events were primarily ransomware attacks, one of the key security vulnerability that allows attackers to plant a malware into unpatched operating systems and legacy systems with the only objective of extorting affected organisations. Reports show that nearly half of reported ransomware attacks are on healthcare institutions. As the privacy violations and data breaches in healthcare industry involves high risks and costs, it is key for healthcare IT administrators to pay close attention to their IT infrastructure and detect security gaps. Here are some crucial elements of patching to consider as a part of the IT security strategy…

    • Security (Confidentiality/Integrity/Availabilitiy)

      • Security updates for Thursday

        Security updates have been issued by Debian (clamav, libtomcrypt, and rsyslog), Fedora (suricata), SUSE (libopenmpt and python-requests), and Ubuntu (libsoup2.4 and octavia).

      • IPFire 2.23 – Core Update 136 released

        This is the official release announcement for IPFire 2.23 – Core Update 136. A new update packed with loads of security fixes, bug fixes and a couple of important new features.

      • Computer historians crack passwords of Unix’s early pioneers

        Early versions of the free/open Unix variant BSD came with password files that included hashed passwords for such Unix luminaries as Dennis Ritchie, Stephen R. Bourne, Eric Schmidt, Brian W. Kernighan and Stuart Feldman.

        Leah Neukirchen recovered an BSD version 3 source tree and posted about it on the Unix Heritage Society mailing list, revealing that she was able to crack many of the weak passwords used by the equally weak hashing algorithm from those bygone days.

      • BlueKeep – Exploit Windows (RDP Vulnerability) Remotely

        Remote desktop protocol (RDP) is a secure network communications protocol designed for remote management, as well as for remote access to virtual desktops, applications and an RDP terminal server. RDP allows network administrators to remotely diagnose and resolve problems individual subscribers encounter. RDP is available for most versions of the Windows operating system.

      • Windows Error Reporting Manager arbitrary file move Elevation of Privilege (CVE-2019-1315)
      • Mozilla’s sponsored security audit finds a critical vulnerability in the tmux integration feature of iTerm2

        Yesterday, Mozilla announced that a critical security vulnerability is present in the terminal multiplexer (tmux) integration feature in all the versions of iTerm2, the GPL-licensed terminal emulator for macOS.

        The security vulnerability was found by a sponsored security audit conducted by the Mozilla Open Source Support Program (MOSS) which delivers security audits for open source technologies. Mozilla and the iTerm2’s developer George Nachman have together developed and released a patch for the vulnerability in the iTerm2 version 3.3.6.

      • HP Flaw Lets Hackers Hijack Your PC: What to Do [Ed: Unless you're a Mono fanatic, you won't have DLLs on your system]

        That’s because there’s a serious flaw in older versions of Touchpoint Analytics, aka HP Device Health Service, a diagnostic program built into most HP PCs running Windows. A user or a program with administrative rights could use Touchpoint Analytics to silently and permanently install malware at the system level, and a limited-user account could also do so in certain cases.


        This kind of DLL switcheroo is known as a DLL injection, and it makes a program do things it shouldn’t. PC gamers sometimes use DLL injection to cheat at games, and malicious hackers can use it to make a program run malicious code. (DLL injection works on Macs and Unix/Linux systems as well as on Windows.)

      • Thunderbird Will Start Using OpenPGP Encryption in 2020

        The developers of Thunderbird, one of the most-used free email clients in the world, plan to implement OpenPGP support in 2020.

        Thunderbird used to be made by Mozilla, but the company dropped it a few years ago, and the community took over the project. The email client is still using some of Firefox’s infrastructure.

        Since Thunderbird is an open-source and cross-platform email client, it would make sense to bundle GnuPG software, but the differences in licenses make that impossible (MPL version 2.0 vs. GPL version 3+). The devs have to look for another solution, and the only to make it work is to add OpenPGP.

        Thunderbird users until now only had the option to adopt an add-on called Enigmail, which provides data encryption for both the email client and SeaMonkey. When Thunderbird migrates to a newer code, though, the Enigmail add-on will stop working.

    • Defence/Aggression

    • Environment

      • London Airport Braces for Climate Protests

        Thousands of passengers face disruption at London City Airport after climate-change protesters Extinction Rebellion vowed to occupy its terminal and shut down operations for three days as part of its action in the British capital.

        London City is the capital’s fifth-biggest – and most central – airport, popular with business travellers, bankers and politicians for short-haul and regional routes.

      • Climate challenges call for open solutions

        Members of a community must believe in a common purpose. That sense of common purpose is not only what unites an open project but also what helps an open, distributed group maintain its focus and measure its success. Clear, public, and mutually agreed-upon statements of purpose are a basic feature of open organizations.

      • Wildlife/Nature

        • Power Cut to 1 Million in California to Try to Prevent Deadly Fires

          California’s biggest utility cut power to more than a million people Wednesday for what could be days on end in the most sweeping effort in state history to prevent wildfires caused by windblown power lines.

        • Of Horses and Civilization

          I love all animals. I grew up in a Greek village where domesticated animals were part of my family. We had chickens, dogs, cats, sheep, goats, donkeys and mules.

    • Finance

      • The GM Strike: a Century of Context

        Wars end with treaties. In the middle of the 20th century, the “class war” that finished off America’s original plutocracy ended with the “Treaty of Detroit.”

      • Public School Uniforms: Symbol of the Times

        The uniformity of the shades of dark and light blue clothing on the children fans out from the New York City street corner next to a charter school and seems to cover an entire city block. The uniformity is everywhere. Even the student backpacks are blue.

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • Colin Powell’s Trump Problem

        When the compromised speak of judgment, the voice of credibility vanishes. In its place, a certain niggling sense of hypocrisy and weakness prevails. Former US Secretary of State Colin Powell is one of those of those compromised voices. He presided over a redundant State Department before the pressures of the Pentagon and Secretary of Defence Donald Rumsfeld, keen to initiate an invasion of Iraq. He oversaw the bankruptcy of the Republican ideal before the nibbling sharks of neoconservatism within the administration of President George W. Bush. But that has not prevented him from being cavalier in assessing the legacy of Donald Trump.

      • The Battle for the Soul of India

        We are witnessing a battle for the rational soul of India. It has long been the conventional wisdom that the country’s historic and admirable diversity and tolerance would prevent the creation of a Hindu-first nation. But it seems increasingly likely that the narrative of India as a Hindu democratic state will prevail.

      • Zelensky’s Capitulation and Trump’s Open Appeals for Foreign Help on Biden Dirt

        “It looks like Zelensky has capitulated” reports MSNBC’ Matt Bradley in Kiev, to President Trump’s demand that he “play ball” and investigate Joe and Hunter Biden. The investigation of Burisma Holdings has been reopened at U.S. mafiosa-like prodding.

      • Time to Leave the Political Ghosts of 2016 Behind and Face the Future
      • Trump’s Trade War: a Report From the Front

        Donald Trump is bravely carrying on a trade war, not just with the bad guys with China, but with longtime allies like Canada and the European Union. Incredibly, the media just don’t seem that interested in reporting on the ongoing progress.

      • Bojo Goes Bonkers: Two Borders Will Divide Ireland From Northern Ireland

        BoJo is nothing if not inventive. The Irish backstop problem had derailed the premiership of his predecessor the Maybot, and he was making no headway in dealing with it up to now.

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • For NBA’s Quandary over China, Stand with Human Rights

        The NBA has long portrayed itself as standing up for human rights, whether dismissing the Los Angeles Clippers’ owner for racist statements or moving the All-Star Game from Charlotte after North Carolina took a stand against allowing transgender people to use the bathroom associated with their identity. 

      • Ridiculous: Judge Says Devin Nunes’ SLAPP Suit Against An Internet Cow And Others Can Continue

        In some surprising, and ridiculous, news the local court judge, Judge John Marshall (no, not that Judge John Marshall), has decided not to dismiss the lawsuit that Nunes filed against Twitter, two satirical Twitter accounts, and political strategist Liz Mair. As you’ll recall, Mair and Twitter had both argued that the case had no reason to be in a local Virginia court, and that, if anything, the proper venue was in California. The judge had demanded that Twitter reveal to him the details of who was behind the Twitter accounts (something that was already questionable under the 1st Amendment, which protects anonymity). Twitter refused, though did say that neither account holder was based in Virginia.

      • Thin-Skinned Chinese Government Busy Making American Sports Orgs Look Silly On Free Speech Issues

        It’s no secret that the Chinese government is no friend to free speech. While that statement must seem painfully obvious, the entire world is getting an education into just how thin-skinned Beijing is with the ongoing protests in Hong Kong. While those protesters are chiefly demonstrating for their own civil rights, the Chinese government has apparently made it its business to police the rest of the world’s speech while holding the second largest economy on the planet as a hostage to its own hurt feelings.

    • Privacy/Surveillance

      • Twitter “Unintentionally” Used Your Phone Number for Targeted Advertising

        Stop us if you’ve heard this before: you give a tech company your personal information in order to use two-factor authentication, and later find out that they were using that security information for targeted advertising.

        That’s exactly what Twitter fessed up to yesterday in an understated blog post: the company has been taking email addresses and phone numbers that users provided for “safety and security purposes” like two-factor authentication, and using them for its ad tracking systems, known as Tailored Audiences and Partner Audiences.

      • Victory! California Governor Signs A.B. 1215

        California’s Governor Gavin Newsom has officially signed a bill that puts a moratorium on law enforcement’s use of face recognition for three years.

        Under Assemblymember Phil Ting’s bill, A.B. 1215, police departments and law enforcement agencies across the state of California will have until January 1, 2020 to end any existing use of face recognition on body-worn cameras. Three years without police use of this invasive technology means three years without a particularly pernicious and harmful technology on the streets and has the potential to facilitate better relationships between police officers and the communities they serve. As EFF’s Associate Director of Community Organizing Nathan Sheard told the California Assembly, using face recognition technology “in connection with police body cameras would force Californians to decide between actively avoiding interaction and cooperation with law enforcement, or having their images collected, analyzed, and stored as perpetual candidates for suspicion.”

      • Trump Administration Demands An End To Strong Encryption While Being Exhibit A For Why We Need It

        In the 18th Century the Founding Fathers were worried about tyrants. They were worried about government officials abusing the powers of their office and the fate of the nation if there were no check on their power. In the 21st Century those concerns have hardly faded. Today we have a presidential administration that, if nothing else, has publicly (and privately) attempted to turn the ship of state against multiple political opponents, and with such an audacious expectation of impunity that it leaves no basis to believe it would not do the same to anyone else who stands against it.

      • FISA Court Finds The FBI Is Still Violating The Fourth Amendment With Its Abuse Of NSA Collections

        The NSA isn’t the only agency to abuse its surveillance powers. The FBI’s ability to access unminimized data harvested by the NSA has resulted in abuse after abuse, as the FBI loves to use the massive data haul to perform “backdoor searches” of its domestic targets.

    • Freedom of Information / Freedom of the Press

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • Turkish Gov’t Demands US Embassy Apologize For ‘Liking’ A Tweet The Turkish Gov’t Didn’t Like

        The government with the thinnest skin is at it again. Turkey can’t handle being criticized in even the slightest way — not after installing Recep “Gollum” Erdogan as president. A very, very long list of well-earned criticisms has led to an equally long list of retaliatory actions against the president’s critics, which has included the misuse of other countries’ laws to secure punishment of non-citizens and the jailing of of journalists declared to be terrorists by President Erdogan’s government.

      • French Leader Should Press Hungary’s Orban on Rule of Law

        Later this week, French President Emmanuel Macron will meet Hungary’s Prime Minister Viktor Orban in Paris for his first bilateral visit in France.

      • Qatar: Urgently Investigate Migrant Worker Deaths

        Qatar should thoroughly and urgently investigate and publicize the underlying causes of migrant worker deaths in light of new medical research concluding that heatstroke is a likely cause of cardiovascular fatalities among these workers in Qatar, Human Rights Watch said today.

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

      • The Cable Industry Makes $28 Billion Annually In Bullshit Fees

        Last week we highlighted a study showing that your cable bill can be as much as 45 percent higher than the advertised price thanks to bullshit fees. Now a new study by Consumer Reports shows that up to 24 percent of your monthly cable bill is comprised of said bullshit fees. The fees are designed specifically for one purpose: to let companies falsely advertise one rate, then charge you significantly more money. It’s effectively false advertising, but efforts to rein in the practice are fleeting to nonexistent, because creatively fleecing American consumers is just so hot right now.

    • Monopolies

      • After voting down EC candidate Goulard, the European Parliament should oppose giving France control over both DG GROW and DG CONNECT

        What only one of the articles I saw mentioned is, however, the issue I’d like to focus on because innovation matters more than retribution: apparently some MEPs were concerned not only about the integrity of that particular candidate but also (or even primarily) about the allocation of fields of policy-making among the different commissioners.

        No matter who will be named instead of Mrs. Goulard, what the EP should never accept–for the sake of Europe’s fitness for an increasingly digital future–is that one commissioner–and especially not a French commissioner–effectively controls both DG GROW (the Directorate-General for the Internal Market, previously called DG MARKT) and DG CONNECT (Directorate-General for Communications Networks, Content and Technology, previously called DG INFSOC = Information Society).

        Formally, the DGs are part of the Commission’s “services” and “independent” from the commissioners and their aides (“cabinets”). But that’s nominal. In reality, the political appointees make all the decisions.

        The IP policy unit is part of DG GROW, and they consistently promote ever broader patents and ever more leverage in litigation for patent holders. By contrast, DG CONNECT has a tradition of, and hard-earned reputation for, being sympathetic to the digital sector. DG CONNECT takes a more balanced approach. They understand the implications of IP enforcement in connection with highly complex and multifunctional products. They realize to a greater extent than some other people that certain startups seek to be protected by patents, while many others need to be protected from patents. And they tend to look at free and open-source software as an opportunity, not merely a threat to other business models.


        France has a rich history, but it doesn’t have much of a future. None of its largest corporations (such as LVMH, L’Oréal, and Sanofi-Aventis) is a digital-economy player. Macron likes to think of France as a “Startup Nation,” but has no facts to back up that vision. And it’s hard to see how this is ever going to improve, given that many of the brightest young French engineers and programmers go to work for GAFA and other non-French companies and, which is so shocking, considering that only 2% of French students reach the top performance level in the TIMSS international math test, roughly at a level with Persian Gulf states. By comparison, 50% of Singapore’s students are top performers in math, 40% of South Korean students, 20% of Russian students, and 14% of American students. Even Kazakhstan is at a level with the U.S., i.e., seven times as strong as France.

        The French digital policy agenda is to dumb down all of Europe only because France has degenerated. This year’s EU copyright reform is an example, as is the French pet project of a “digital tax” (the U.S. threatened with retaliation, but a deal was reached in August). The situation will get a whole lot worse with a Macron appointee controlling both the EU’s internal-market and digital-policy divisions–an unprecedented concentration of power that would be undesirable even if the commissioner came from a more innovative country with brighter students.

      • Copyrights

        • Epic Games Settles With Cheating Minor To End Lawsuit

          At long last, the PR nightmare for Epic Games is over. Kind of. You will recall that the company went on a lawsuit blitz over those that develop and/or promote cheats for Epic’s hit game Fortnite. While one can understand that the company was salty over cheat enablers for its online shooter, given that disruption by cheaters makes the game less fun and therefore less popular, the fact is that Epic also fought this battle on claims that such cheats violate copyright and the license provided by the game’s Terms of Service. These are claims that need to be tested, and hopefully defeated, in court, because they are a twisting of copyright law into the worst kind of pretzel.

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