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01.03.20

Links 3/1/2020: 2020 XPS 13 Developer Edition, KStars 3.3.9 and Grep 3.4

Posted in News Roundup at 4:57 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Desktop/Laptop

      • Microphone audio capture arrives in Linux on Chromebooks. Here’s how to use it

        At long last one of the major features I’ve missed from Linux on Chrome OS has arrived. And nobody even told us. I’m talking about audio capture in a Linux container on Chromebooks. You can actually use it now on the Chrome OS 79 Stable Channel that launched a few weeks ago.

        Normally experimental new features are hidden behind a Chrome OS flag but audio capture hasn’t even reached that stage yet. Instead, you have to start Termina, the virtual machine where your Linux containers run on a Chromebook, with a command line flag.

      • Introducing the 2020 XPS 13 Developer Edition — (this one goes to 32!)

        We are proud to announce the latest and greatest Dell XPS 13 Developer Edition. The system, which is based on 10th Gen Intel® Core™ 10nm mobile processors represents the 10th generation of the XPS 13 Developer Edition (see a list of the previous nine generations below).

        This 10th generation system features an updated design and comes with Ubuntu 18.04 LTS preloaded. Two areas of note are that the new XPS 13 will be available with up to 32GB of RAM as well fingerprint-reader support.

      • Dell’s Upcoming XPS 13 Linux Laptop Includes A Highly Requested New Feature

        If you’ve been following the steady march of progress from Dell’s Linux-first Project Sputnik team, you’re no doubt aware that the “Developer Edition” variant of the XPS 13 is one of the finest Linux-ready ultrabooks you can buy. Just ahead of CES 2020, Dell is pushing out a few more improvements including a feature that’s been hotly requested: fingerprint-reader support.

      • Dell Finally Rolls Out XPS 13 Developer Edition With Ice Lake, Fingerprint Reader

        Up to now the most recent Dell XPS 13 Developer Edition laptop with Ubuntu Linux has been using Comet Lake processors while now the 10th Generation XPS 13 Developer Edition has been announced with Ice Lake processors.

        The new Dell XPS 13 Developer Edition will begin shipping in February with the latest Ubuntu 18.04 LTS HWE support. Beyond being exciting for having Ice Lake processors with Gen11 graphics, the developer edition finally goes up to 32GB of RAM (rather than 16GB) and fingerprint reader support is also finally going to be available.

      • Dell XPS 13 Developer Edition Gets a 10th Anniversary Revamp

        Dell has unveiled a redesigned Dell XPS 13 Developer Edition ahead of the Project Sputnik’s tenth anniversary.

        Having sported the same overall look for the past few years Dell is using this opportunity to make a redesign. The new Dell XPS 13 is thinner and lighter than the models it replaces, yet remains built by the same core materials: aluminium, carbon and glass fibre.

        Famed for its stunning displays, the latest entrant in the XPS 13 line boasts a 13.4-inch “InfinityEdge” screen with thinner bottom bezel. This latter reduction means this device, as noted by Neowin, boasts a fantastic 91.5% screen-to-body ratio.

        Smaller bezels have allowed Dell to use a 16:10 aspect ratio screen in both FHD and UHD+ and touch and non-touch variants. This slightly roomier screen size provides more vertical height, which should be useful when working on documents or surfing the web.

        The XPS 13’s keyboard is wider with larger key caps, and the touchpad has been increased by 17% — good news for those with big hands, I guess!

        Specifications are also marginally improved here too. The new Dell XPS 13 swaps Intel’s Comet Lake processors for Intel Ice Lake ones across i3, i5 and i7 SKUs — with the latter integrated Iris Plus graphics, too.

      • Dell XPS 13 Developer Edition 2020 Ubuntu Laptop Announced

        Look like Dell listing to customer feedback. Dell XPS 13 Developer Edition is the ultimate Linux laptop for developers and Linux enthusiasts/power users. The Dell XPS 13 Developer Edition 2020 now supports 10th Gen Intel CPU and 32GB ram. This system comes pre-installed with Ubuntu Linux 18.04, but you can install any other distro.

        One of the most requested features for Dell XPS 13 developer edition was an option for 16GB or more RAM to run VMs or Linux containers workload. Dell listened to our demands, and you can grab device up to 32GB RAM.

    • Server

      • IBM

        • Managing development environments with Red Hat CodeReady Workspaces 2

          At the heart of CRW is the concept and implementation of ?workspaces.? A workspace is a development environment that can be likened to a PC loaded up with an operating system, programming language, tools, editor, and one or more development projects. You can even access a command line running in your browser.

          You might have a workspace that has Java and Maven installed on a CoreOS image. Another workspace might be based on Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) with Node.js and MongoDB installed. Need to work on some .NET Core 3.0 code? No problem, simply create a workspace. Yes, while Che 7 and CRW might have been initially created with Java developers in mind it is, in fact, very much language neutral. Its use of the Language Server Protocol ensures future language support. Yes, even COBOL is supported. Grace Hopper meets Tim Berners-Lee.

          In each case, you can optionally?and probably should?include a software project. For most use cases, this will be source code stored in a Git repository. CodeReady Workspaces handles this, as GitHub integration is built in.

          In CRW, you simply start a workspace just as you would power on a PC. In seconds, the code editor is open in front of you, your project is loaded, and all the tools and language support you need are at hand. Several workspaces can be defined and switching between them is easy. Start and stop workspaces with a mouse click. Stop now, here, and restart the workspace later from a different computer. Indeed, all you need is a browser.

        • Disaster Recovery Strategies for Applications Running on OpenShift

          There is an increasing pressure to deploy stateful applications in Red Hat OpenShift.These applications require a more sophisticated disaster recovery (DR) strategy than stateless applications, as state must also be taken into account as opposed to just traffic redirection.

          Disaster recovery strategies become less generic and more application-specific as applications increase in complexity. That said, this document will attempt to illustrate high-level disaster recovery strategies that can be applied to common stateful applications.

          It is also important to acknowledge that the disaster recovery strategy for the OpenShift platform itself is a separate topic aside from the disaster recovery for applications running within OpenShift.

        • Red Hat Satellite Ask Me Anything Q&A from October 31, 2019

          This post covers the questions and answers during the October 2019 Satellite Ask Me Anything (AMA) calls.

          For anyone not familiar, the Satellite AMAs are an “ask me anything” (AMA) style event where we invite Red Hat customers to bring all of their questions about Red Hat Satellite, drop them in the chat, and members of the Satellite product team answers as many of them live as we can during the AMA and we then follow up with a blog post detailing the questions and answers.

        • Red Hat customers say hybrid is their top cloud strategy

          Customers of Red Hat Inc. are increasingly opting for a hybrid approach as their preferred cloud strategy, but doing so isn’t always easy: A large number of them admit to struggling to attract staff with the right skills to make it happen.

          That’s one of the main takeaways from Red Hat’s 2020 Global Customer Tech Outlook, a survey of 876 of its biggest customers released today.

          Red Hat reports that 31% of them say the term “hybrid” best describes their cloud strategy, with 21% more leaning toward a private cloud approach. Perhaps surprisingly, just 4% say public cloud is their first choice, with 6% opting for “multicloud,” based on two or more public cloud platforms. Most worrisome, some 12% appear to have no cloud strategy at all, saying simply they have “no plans to focus on cloud.”

    • Audiocasts/Shows

      • 15 Years Of Ubuntu With Mark Shuttleworth | KubeCon Interview

        Ubuntu & Canonical turned 15 in 2019. Our editor-in-chief, Swapnil Bhartiya, sat down with Mark Shuttleworth, founder and CEO of Canonical, to reflect on the past 15 years and also take a peak at the future. We talks about the role Ubuntu has played in making Linux community friendlier to new users and how Ubuntu enabled budding entrepreneur to create new businesses. We also talked about the future of Canonical in the era where companies like Red Hat and Dockers got acquired.

      • Why Computers Suck | BSD Now 331

        How learning OpenBSD makes computers suck a little less, How Unix works, FreeBSD 12.1 Runs Well on Ryzen Threadripper 3970X, BSDCan CFP, HardenedBSD Infrastructure Goals, and more.

      • Conquering Planned Obsolescence | Self-Hosted 9

        Master of details, open source advocate and YouTuber, Quindor from Intermittent.Tech joins us for a chat about tuya-convert to avoid planned hardware obsolescence, his new 100TB server build, highly available home setups, and his DIY LED project.

      • Destination Linux 154 – 2020 Predictions, Endeavour OS, Darktable, Kdenlive, Kubuntu Laptop

        Our 2020 Predictions:
        [Ryan]
        – Intel bring the best price for performance dedicated GPU and releases 10nm CPU.
        – Arch overtakes all other distros on the desktop with partnership with Valve.
        – Cannonical and Microsoft form a stronger partnership. Cannonical moves over even more resources to work on WSL. Microsoft never release office suite to Linux.
        – System 76 releases full AMD based laptop.
        – Apple continues to release crap products nobody wants at prices nobody can afford.
        – Google shuts down Stadia.
        [Zeb]
        – Wayland will still not replace X11 in 2020 – I keep hearing they have made fantastic advances and I am positive it is not their fault but until it works with Nvidia…..
        – The Ubuntu Desktop will thrive under the Stewardship of Martin Wimpress, Director Of Engineering, Ubuntu Desktop, at Canonical Ltd. and 20.04 will eclipse all other earlier versions, including the phenominal 14.04 which was my Year of the Linux Desktop
        – Pine64 will continue to flourish, this is s a shining example of how Products should be marketed and sold with complete transparancy. Something we wish “Other” companies would aspire too.
        – Michaels stool will languish unused, heartbroken, sitting lonely in the corner, rueing the day it was wrenched screaming from it’s Family life. Wanting to be back to other stools in the warehouse before Michael bought it.
        [Noah]
        – Canonical goes public – MS buys a big share
        – A cloud connected company goes under over a PR disaster of privacy
        – Tech will be a talking point in the 2020 American elections
        – Apple will move further away from desktop and more into mobile
        – A real 3rd party mobile player will emerge
        – Pine will go mainstream
        – Stool given away for charity
        [Michael]
        – more Linux powered devices
        – Plasma will finally introduce good user experience defaults putting it in its rightful place of being the go to Desktop Environment
        – Valve makes another announcement on the same level as Proton that blows everyone’s minds
        – at least 1 big commercial company will release their application on Linux thanks to the Universal App formats
        – I think 2020 will be the Year of the Linux Smartphone, well at least for me
        – Destination Linux Network will become a media juggernaut not only in the Linux space but just tech in general making it possible for us to push Linux and Open Source forward in so many ways

      • Lunduke’s 2020 Computer Industry Predictions

        Prediction #1: There will be more major data breaches in 2020 than in 2019.

        In 2019, there were an estimated 5,000+ large scale data breaches — resulting in close to 8 billion records exposed.

        To put that in perspective: That’s more than the population of… the entire world. Or roughly 2 to 3 unique, exposed records for every single person that uses the Internet.

        In 2020, those numbers will rise. Dramatically. I’d estimate that we can expect a minimum of 10 billion records leaked, hacked, or otherwise exposed over the next year. A trend that I predict will continue for the foreseeable future.

      • Lunduke’s 2020 Computer Industry Predictions
    • Kernel Space

      • Systemd Is Approaching 1.3 Million Lines While Poettering Lost Top Contributor Spot For 2019

        As of New Year’s morning, systemd’s Git tree was at 1,273,896 lines spread across 3,522 commits built up over 42,700+ commits from around 1,500 different authors.

        Though to some surprise, systemd’s Git commit count for 2019 fell compared to the record-setting pace of development in 2018.

      • Introducing the guide to inter-process communication in Linux

        Getting one software process to talk to another software process is a delicate balancing act. It can be a vital function for an application, though, so it’s a problem any programmer embarking on a complex project has to solve. Whether your application needs to kick off a job being handled by someone else’s software; to monitor an action being performed by a peripheral or over a network; or to detect a signal from some other source, when your software relies on something outside of its own code to know what to do next or when to do it, you need to think about inter-process communication (IPC).

      • More Improvements Queued For The Smaller DRM Drivers In Linux 5.6

        The first batch for 2020 of DRM-Misc updates have been sent to DRM-Next of the smaller Direct Rendering Manager drivers and other core / user-space API changes to our favorite subsystem.

    • Applications

      • Cozy – Modern GTK+ 3 Audio Book Player for Linux

        Cozy is an open-source audio book player with a modern user interface. It’s written in Python with GTK+ 3, and works in Linux and Mac OS.

      • Telegram App Adds an Annoying New Feature: Autoplay Video

        The desktop Telegram app for Windows, macOS and Linux system has received a small new year update.

        Headline change: videos shared in chats now start playing automatically. Yeah, I didn’t mistype that. The “good” news about this potentially very annoying behaviour is that it can be controlled.

        An option to disable automatic playback for videos (and for GIFs and ’round video messages’, whatever they are) is available via Settings > Advanced > Automatic media download — so turn it off if you find it an annoyance!

      • You can now easily control the AMD Wraith Prism RGB colouring on Linux with CM-RGB

        Thanks to an open source project, you can now quite easily adjust the colouring on the fan of the AMD Wraith Prism RGB cooler.

        Since AMD don’t officially provide their software for adjusting RGB on Linux, we’re once again left to the community to fill in the gaps. Thankfully someone has done this, enter CM-RGB. Once of those utilities that’s not even remotely essential, but very much nice to have.

        CM-RGB offers up quite a lot of options for tweaking colours, with a fun example script of displaying CPU utilization with the ring LED’s like the example gif the developer provided below:

      • 21 Best Free Linux Integrated Development Environments (IDEs)

        An integrated development environment (IDE) (sometimes known as an integrated design environment or integrated debugging environment) is a software application that provides comprehensive facilities to programmers for software development.

        Many coders learn to code using a text editor but in time they move towards using an IDE as this type of software application makes the art of coding quicker and more efficient.

        For example, IDEs have semantic knowledge of the programming language which highlights coding problems while typing. Compiling is ‘on the fly’ and debugging is integrated.

    • Instructionals/Technical

    • Games

      • Shocking! EA is Permanently Banning Linux Gamers on Battlefield V

        Several Linux gamers have been banned by EA Sports because they chose to play Battlefield V on Linux using Wine. Read more about it.

      • The remaster of turn-based RPG ‘Stoneshard: Prologue’ is now available on Linux

        Stoneshard: Prologue acts as the demo for the upcoming Early Access release of Stoneshard, a tough turn-based RPG inspired by Diablo and classic roguelikes.

        The Prologue demo was originally released back in 2018, while it had an ongoing crowdfunding campaign. Since then, Ink Stains Games have made a lot of progress and it no longer gave an accurate idea of what the game would be like. So the Remastered Prologue was released on December 25, with it today being announced that the Linux version of the remaster is also up.

      • Open Fodder, the open source game engine for Cannon Fodder has a new release

        Now this is some classic gaming. Cannon Fodder is a game I remember playing on the Amiga and it’s being kept alive with a cross-platform open source game engine called Open Fodder.

        It comes with many improvements compared with the original, like working easily on modern systems and Linux of course. There’s also an editor to create custom maps and campaigns, as Open Fodder supports more than just the original content/ Just recently, version 1.6.0 went out adding in support for huge maps, a JavaScript engine for random map generation, better asset detection, better configuration support and some good bug fixes.

      • Deck-building rogue-lite RPG, A Long Way Down, entering Early Access this month

        A Long Way Down mashes together elements of an RPG and a deck-building game, as you attempt to escape a maze and it’s coming to Linux later this month.

        On Steam, the team recently announced January 16 as the Early Access date. I asked if that included Linux, to which they gave me a crystal clear answer: “Yes it does! Windows, MacOS and Linux versions are ready for the Early Access Release :)”.

      • Event Horizon drop a new teaser for their upcoming RPG Dark Envoy, releasing this year

        Dark Envoy from Event Horizon (Tower of Time) is an upcoming on-linear RPG inspired by the likes of the Divinity series, XCOM, FTL, Mass Effect, and Dragon Age.

        Confirmed to be coming to Linux in our previous article, it’s sounding like quite an exciting adventure. Considering how good Tower of Time was, I’ve no doubt this will be just as good.

      • FOSS game engine Godot Engine aiming for Vulkan support by ‘mid 2020′

        All those are in addition to Juan Linietsky working as Lead Developer and Rémi Verschelde working as Project Manager. We have to remember this is in quite a short amount of time too, they only setup their Patreon well into the second half of 2017 and within the first month their first goal to have Linietsky work full time was hit.

        Now onto the more exciting bit, what does the future hold for Godot? Going by what Linietsky wrote, Godot Engine 4.0 is going to be due in ‘mid 2020′ which is the huge release that comes with their rendering overhaul with Vulkan. Much sooner though, Godot Engine 3.2 should be releasing this month with Verschelde handling it as Linietsky works on 4.0.

        Great work to everyone involved. It’s fun to watch a free and open source game engine evolve so quickly.

      • Mike Shapiro drops a cryptic message from G-Man for the upcoming Half-Life: Alyx

        Half-Life: Alyx is set to release in March this year, and while we don’t yet know what exactly is happening with Linux support it’s still an exciting time. It’s a VR exclusive game, so you need VR hardware.

        As a quick reminder, Half-Life: Alyx is set between the events of Half-Life and Half-Life 2 as you follow Alyx Vance, as one of the founders of a fledgling resistance trying to push back against a vicious alien race known as the Combine.

      • Set in a comic-book world with Metal Slug inspired visuals, Fury Unleashed is coming to Linux

        I do love a good action-heavy platformer and Fury Unleashed from Awesome Games Studio looks pretty intense. The developer has teased that they’re getting closer to a full release and it turns out Linux support will arrive for it then too.

      • devilutionX, an open source game engine for the original Diablo sees a big release

        devilutionX, based upon the reverse engineered code from Devilution, has a big 1.0 release for playing the original Diablo on modern systems. Note: You need a copy of the original data to play, which you can get easily from GOG.com.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • KDE’s Kate Text Editor Seeing LSP Improvements For Better Code Support

          With last month’s release of KDE’s Kate 19.12 text editor there was an initial plug-in for Language Server Protocol (LSP) support to better allow language-agnostic support for code syntax highlighting and other features. There were some issues in that initial implementation but with Kate 19.12.1 and beyond will be better support.

          The Language Server Protocol is what’s been increasingly supported by text editors and IDEs for providing programming language specific features and by editors supporting LSP is designed to make it quite easy to support new languages with syntax highlighting, code completion, and other language-specific features.

        • KStars v3.3.9 is Released

          We kickoff 2020 with a brand new KStars v3.3.9 release for Windows, MacOS, and Linux.

          This release incorporates the continued improvements to KStars base while introducing new long-awaited features in a few areas.

          Stretch Controls

          Hy Murveit implemented adjustable and fast stretch controls for mono and color images within the FITS Viewer. These allow fine changes in Shadows, Midtones, and Highlights clipping even for high resolution astro-photos.

          Adjusting the controls do not change the underlying data, only the previewed image. After any stretch adjustment is made, the user can always revert to the automatic stretching again by clicking on the small wizard icon at the bottom right corner of the controls panel.

        • KDE Plasma Plans New Look and New App Menu for 2020

          Nate Graham’s peek at the KDE roadmap for 2020 reveals these and other changes planned for Plasma, though not all are said to be guaranteed inclusion.

          Breeze is KDE’s steely-cool theme, and is used by default in most (it not all) KDE-based Linux distributions, including KDE Neon, Kubuntu, and Manjaro KDE — but it might soon look a little different, as this mockup shows…

      • GNOME Desktop/GTK

        • Bonsai Promises to Make Syncing GNOME Devices Much Easier

          Red Hat developer, Christian Hergert has been working on a GNOME desktop syncing project with lots of promise.

          If you’re a GNOME user with multiple devices, and have longed for the day when those devices could easily be synced with one another, that wish may be coming true. Red Hat developer Christian Hergert has started developing a project called Bonsai, which will serve as a sort of personal cloud for all of your GNOME-based devices.

          On his blog, Hergert stated, “I want access to my files and application data on all my computing devices but I don’t want to store that data on other peoples computers.” This idea led Herget to create Bonsai. And although this tool is very much in the experimental phase (which means it’s not an official GNOME project), it is being hosted on Hergert’s GNOME Gitlab repository.

        • Celebrating GNOME Newcomers’ contributions

          A few weeks ago, I sat down to solve some issues related to the GNOME Engagement team. While going through the list, I found this issue created by Umang Jain, which looked forward to celebrating the contributions made by GNOME Newcomers. It was opened in late 2017 and a lot of discussions happened during this period. So, I decided to take on this issue and solve it programmatically.

    • Distributions

      • Fedora Family

        • Packages of varnish-6.0.5 with matching vmods for el6 and el7, and a fedora modularity stream

          Some time back in 2019, Varnish Software and the Varnish Cache project released a new LTS upstream version 6.0.5 of Varnish Cache. I updated the fedora 29 package, and added a modularity stream varnish:6.0 for fedora 31. I have also built el6 and el7 packages for the varnish60 copr repo, based on the fedora package. A snapshot of matching varnish-modules, and a selection of other misc vmods are also available.

        • Fedora 32 Planning To Make Use Of systemd’s sysusers.d For Declaring New Users

          Fedora 32 is likely to make use of systemd’s sysusers.d functionality for packages declaring new system users as part of the package installation process. This change proposal is being led by Red Hat’s Zbigniew Jędrzejewski-Szmek of their systemd team.

          The sysusers.d functionality allows for declarative allocation of system users and groups in a convenient manner that makes it easy for end-users/administrators to evaluate.

      • Debian Family

        • Jonathan Dowland: Linux Desktop

          I already wrote a little bit about my ethos and some particulars, so I’ll not repeat myself here. The version of GNOME I am using is 3.30.2. I continue to rely upon Hide Top Bar, but had to disable TopIcons Plus which proved unstable. I use the Arc Darker theme to shrink window title bars down to something reasonable (excepting GTK3 apps that insist on stuffing other buttons into that region).

          Although I mostly remove or hide things, I use one extension to add stuff: Suspend Button, to add a distinct “Suspend” button. The GNOME default was, and seem to remain, to offer only a “Power off” button, which seems ludicrous to me.

          I spend a lot of time inside of Terminals. I use GNOME terminal, but I disable or hide tabs, the menubar and the scrollbar. Here’s one of my top comfort tips for working in terminals: I set the default terminal size to 120×32, up from 80×24. It took me a long time to realise that I habitually resized every terminal I started.

        • Nazi rhetoric creeping into Debian

          Rhonda D’Vine, a Debian Developer from Austria, recently wrote about actively excluding people from free software projects.

          At first glance, what D’Vine is proposing amounts to emotional blackmail.

          This is the psychology of cults: people must show a blind obedience to the leaders and suppress their own feelings and ideas or they are treated rudely.

          [...]

          D’Vine’s musings reveal an Austrian/German cultural defect: a desire and willingness to control everybody around you or eliminate them. An unwillingness to invest in relationships with people you wouldn’t normally count as close friends.

          The fact that D’Vine independently derives this philosophy from her own environment, which includes Debian, suggests a disturbing possibility that those from a German cultural background will keep reviving the philosophy behind the Holocaust from time to time whenever they participate in a state or organization with mixed cultures.

        • Debian LTS work, December 2019

          I was assigned 16.5 hours of work by Freexian’s Debian LTS initiative and carried over 3.75 hours from November. I worked all 20.25 hours this month.

          I prepared and, after review, released Linux 3.16.79. I rebased the Debian package onto 3.16.79 and sent out a request for testing.

        • Balasankar ‘Balu’ C: FOSS contributions in 2019

          I have been interested in the concept of Freedom – both in the technical and social ecosystems for almost a decade now. Even though I am not a harcore contributor or anything, I have been involved in it for few years now – as an enthusiast, a contributor, a mentor, and above all an evangelist. Since 2019 is coming to an end, I thought I will note down what all I did last year as a FOSS person.

          GitLab

          My job at GitLab is that of a Distribution Engineer. In simple terms, I have to deal with anything that a user/customer may use to install or deploy GitLab. My team maintains the omnibus-gitlab packages for various OSs, docker image, AWS AMIs and Marketplace listings, Cloud Native docker images, Helm charts for Kubernetes, etc.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • Linux Mint 19.3 is here and better than ever

          When I say low-powered, I mean machines from the 2000s. The full version of Linux Mint requires a mere 2GBs of RAM. It can even run with as little as 1GB and with older 32-bit processors. You’ll also need at least 15GBs of disk space, but I recommend 20GBs. Finally, you’ll need a graphics card and monitor that supports a 1024×768 resolution. In short, you can pretty much run Mint on any PC you have lying around your junk room.

          Beneath the hood, the new Mint is based on Ubuntu 18.04.3 LTS and the 4.15.0-72 Linux kernel. MInt 19.3 is also a LTS version. It will be supported until December 2023. The default kernel has already been upgraded to the Linux 5.0.

          The first thing you’ll notice about the new Mint is the warning icon in your system tray. It’s not nearly as alarming as it looks. Now, when you boot up Mint, System Report checks for potential issues, such as a missing language package, multimedia codec, an updated hardware driver, or a new version of Linux Mint. Just click on the mini icon and Mint will let you know what’s missing or new and guide you to getting the latest and greatest update. You can, of course, just ignore its recommendation and continue on your Minty way. I find it a very handy little feature.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • Pulse SMS by Klinker Apps is now completely open source

        Klinker Apps released ‘Pulse’ in 2016 as a new SMS client with support for sending messages from multiple devices. Once set up on your phone, you can send messages from a web app, wearables, and other platforms. Now the app is completely open-source, with Klinker Apps hoping more developers will contribute.

        [...]

        Klinker Apps hopes this will lead to more developers contributing to the app, which could result in a more stable experience and additional features. Even though Pulse SMS development is already extremely active (five updates were released just last month), the app might benefit from more cooks in the kitchen.

      • Coreboot Seeing Tigerlake + Jasperlake Activity, Experimental Razer Icelake Laptop Support

        Building upon Coreboot Icelake support that has been coming together recently is now the initial Intel support for Jasperlake and Tigerlake. Additionally, when it comes to the Icelake support, there is experimental/work-in-progress support for the Icelake-powered Razer Blade Stealth laptop.

        When it comes to Coreboot on laptops generally most work is done on several generations old Intel processors, but over December and already continuing into January are some useful modern CPU support improvements.

      • FSF

        • GNU Projects

          • grep-3.4 released [stable]
            This is to announce grep-3.4, a stable release.
            Special thanks to Paul Eggert and Norihiro Tanaka for their many fine contributions.
            
            There have been 71 commits by 4 people in the 54 weeks since 3.3.
            
            See the NEWS below for a brief summary.
            
            Thanks to everyone who has contributed!
            The following people contributed changes to this release:
            
              Jim Meyering (31)
              Norihiro Tanaka (5)
              Paul Eggert (34)
              Zev Weiss (1)
            
            Jim [on behalf of the grep maintainers]
            ==================================================================
            
            Here is the GNU grep home page:
            
            http://gnu.org/s/grep/
            
            For a summary of changes and contributors, see:
            
            http://git.sv.gnu.org/gitweb/?p=grep.git;a=shortlog;h=v3.4
            
            or run this command from a git-cloned grep directory:
              git shortlog v3.3..v3.4
            
            To summarize the 819 gnulib-related changes, run these commands
            from a git-cloned grep directory:
              git checkout v3.4
              git submodule summary v3.3
            
            ==================================================================
            Here are the compressed sources and a GPG detached signature[*]:
            
            https://ftp.gnu.org/gnu/grep/grep-3.4.tar.xz
            
            
            https://ftp.gnu.org/gnu/grep/grep-3.4.tar.xz.sig
            
            Use a mirror for higher download bandwidth:
            
            https://ftpmirror.gnu.org/grep/grep-3.4.tar.xz
            
            
            https://ftpmirror.gnu.org/grep/grep-3.4.tar.xz.sig
            
            [*] Use a .sig file to verify that the corresponding file (without the
            .sig suffix) is intact.  First, be sure to download both the .sig file
            and the corresponding tarball.  Then, run a command like this:
            
              gpg --verify grep-3.4.tar.xz.sig
            
            If that command fails because you don't have the required public key,
            then run this command to import it:
            
              gpg --keyserver keys.gnupg.net --recv-keys 7FD9FCCB000BEEEE
            
            and rerun the 'gpg --verify' command.
            
            This release was bootstrapped with the following tools:
              Autoconf 2.69.197-b8fd7-dirty
              Automake 1.16a
              Gnulib v0.1-3121-gc3c36de58
            
            ==================================================================
            NEWS
            
            * Noteworthy changes in release 3.4 (2020-01-02) [stable]
            
            ** New features
            
              The new --no-ignore-case option causes grep to observe case
              distinctions, overriding any previous -i (--ignore-case) option.
            
            ** Bug fixes
            
              '.' no longer matches some invalid byte sequences in UTF-8 locales.
              [bug introduced in grep 2.7]
            
              grep -Fw can no longer false match in non-UTF-8 multibyte locales
              For example, this command would erroneously print its input line:
                echo ab | LC_CTYPE=ja_JP.eucjp grep -Fw b
              [Bug#38223 introduced in grep 2.28]
            
              The exit status of 'grep -L' is no longer incorrect when standard
              output is /dev/null.
              [Bug#37716 introduced in grep 3.2]
            
              A performance bug has been fixed when grep is given many patterns,
              each with no back-reference.
              [Bug#33249 introduced in grep 2.5]
            
              A performance bug has been fixed for patterns like '01.2' that
              cause grep to reorder tokens internally.
              [Bug#34951 introduced in grep 3.2]
            
            ** Build-related
            
              The build procedure no longer relies on any already-built src/grep
              that might be absent or broken.  Instead, it uses the system 'grep'
              to bootstrap, and uses src/grep only to test the build.  On Solaris
              /usr/bin/grep is broken, but you can install GNU or XPG4 'grep' from
              the standard Solaris distribution before building GNU Grep yourself.
              [bug introduced in grep 2.8]
            
          • GNU Guile 2.9.8 Released [beta]
            We are pleased to announce GNU Guile release 2.9.8.  This is the eighth
            and possibly final pre-release of what will eventually become the 3.0
            release series.
            
            Compared to the current stable series (2.2.x), the future Guile 3.0 adds
            support for just-in-time native code generation, speeding up all Guile
            programs.  See the NEWS extract at the end of the mail for full details.
            
            Compared to the previous prerelease (2.9.7), Guile 2.9.8 fixes a bug in
            libguile that caused writes to unmapped memory in some circumstances.
            This problem manifested itself as a failure of Guile to compile itself
            on some systems, notably Ubuntu 18.04 on x86-64.  It also fixes a couple
            warnings related to SRFI-35.
            
            The current plan is to make a 3.0.0 final release on 17 January 2020.
            We may need another prerelease in the interim.  It's a good time to test
            the prereleases to make sure they work on your platform.  Please send
            any build reports (success or failure) to address@hidden, along
            with platform details.  You can file a bug by sending mail to
            address@hidden.
            
            The Guile web page is located at http://gnu.org/software/guile/, and
            among other things, it contains a copy of the Guile manual and pointers
            to more resources.
            
            Guile is an implementation of the Scheme programming language, with
            support for many SRFIs, packaged for use in a wide variety of
            environments.  In addition to implementing the R5RS Scheme standard,
            Guile includes a module system, full access to POSIX system calls,
            networking support, multiple threads, dynamic linking, a foreign
            function call interface, and powerful string processing.
            
            Guile can run interactively, as a script interpreter, and as a Scheme
            compiler to VM bytecode.  It is also packaged as a library so that
            applications can easily incorporate a complete Scheme interpreter/VM.
            An application can use Guile as an extension language, a clean and
            powerful configuration language, or as multi-purpose "glue" to connect
            primitives provided by the application.  It is easy to call Scheme code
            >From C code and vice versa.  Applications can add new functions, data
            types, control structures, and even syntax to Guile, to create a
            domain-specific language tailored to the task at hand.
            
          • GNU Guile 2.9.8 (beta) released

            We are delighted to announce the release of GNU Guile 2.9.8. This is the eighth and possibly final pre-release of what will eventually become the 3.0 release series.

            See the release announcement for full details and a download link.

            This release fixes an error in libguile that could cause Guile to crash in some particular conditions, and was notably experienced by users compiling Guile itself on Ubuntu 18.04.

      • Programming/Development

        • Ruby 2.7.0 Released

          We are pleased to announce the release of Ruby 2.7.0.

        • Ruby 2.7 released

          Over the holiday week, we missed the announcement of Ruby 2.7 on December 25. It is the most recent release of the Ruby programming language and was more than a year in development. There are quite a few new features including experimental pattern matching for case statements (more information can be found in these slides), a new compaction garbage collector for the heap, support for separating positional and keyword arguments, and plenty more.

        • AI creativity will bloom in 2020, all thanks to true web machine learning

          Machine learning has been trotted out as a trend to watch for many years now. But there’s good reason to talk about it in the context of 2020. And that’s thanks to developments like TensorFlow.js: an end-to-end open source machine learning library that is capable of, among other features, running pre-trained AI directly in a web browser.

          Why the excitement? It means that AI is becoming a more fully integrated part of the web; a seemingly small and geeky detail that could have far reaching consequences.

          Sure, we’ve already got examples a plenty of web tools that use AI: speech recognition, sentiment analysis, image recognition, and natural language processing are no longer earth-shatteringly new. But these tools generally offload the machine learning task to a server, wait for it to compute and then send back the results.

          That’s fine and dandy for tasks that can forgive small delays (you know the scenario: you type a text in English, then patiently wait a second or two to get it translated into another language). But this browser-to-server-to-browser latency is the kiss of death for more intricate and creative applications.

        • Java Is A Language of 50 Keywords ‘for’

          The ‘for‘ a keyword is a loop keyword among several other loopings keywords. The other looping keywords are while loop, do-while loop. In programming whenever we want to repeat the code multiple times we need to use for loop. The people who are new to the programming they repeat the code whenever they need to print something multiple times but repeating code is a huge mistake in programming because it gives more work to compilers that leads to more time in the execution of the program.

          A for loop is actually a predefined function by the developers of Java. This function takes 3 parameters and based on the parameters it repeats the code.

        • Perl and Rust

          • Class, Role And Attribute Accessor in Raku

            There could be some disagreement among devs wether the code should output 42 or 666. Though Raku states it explicitly that things defined by class have priority over role’s declared ones. Hence, we expect 42 here.

            Period, this post is over, everybody is free to go? Alas, this issue says that the code above outputs 666! Oops… What’s going on here?

          • This Week in Rust 319
        • Python

          • Python 3.7.5 : Testing the Falcon framework – part 001.

            I start the new year with this python framework named Falcon.
            The Falcon is a low-level, high-performance Python framework for building HTTP APIs, app backends, and higher-level frameworks.
            The main reason was the speed of this python framework, see this article about falcon benchmark.
            You can see is more faster like Flask and Django.

          • Python 2.7 Reaches End of Life After 20 Years of Development

            As of January 1st, 2020, Python 2.7 has officially reached the end of life and will no longer receive security updates, bug fixes, or other improvements going forward.

            Released in 2000, Python 2.7 has been used by developers, administrators, and security professionals for 20 years. While Python 3 was released in 2006, due to the number of users continuing to use 2.7, the Python team decided to support both development branches.

            Originally slated to be retired in 2015, the development team pushed the sunset of Python 2.7 to 2020.

            To focus on Python 3 and increase the speed of its development and bug fixes, the development team has now sunset Python 2.7 and the team recommends that all users upgrade to Python 3 to continue receiving important updates.

          • Build a Rest API with Python and Django – The easiest way

            Think REST API as a web service that provide you the data you want to use in your application(mobile or front-end client).

          • Doing Math with Python: Number of trailing zeros in the factorial of an integer

            I recently learned about a cool formula to calculate the number of trailing zeros in the factorial of a number. It has been a while since I wrote a program to do something like this. So, I decided to change that and write this blog post. Let’s jump in.

            In the spirit of wring various “calculators” in the book, we will write a “number of trailing zero” calculator. First up though, let’s refresh some key relevant concepts.

          • EuroPython 2020: Venue and location selected

            We will now start work on the contracts and get the organization going, so that we can all enjoy another edition of EuroPython next year.

  • Leftovers

    • Booked Up: the 20 Best Books of 2019
    • For 2020 and Beyond: ‘Keep Hoping Machine Running’

      All things considered, we could do worse than embracing Woody Guthrie’s resolutions for the new year.

    • Of Scrooges, and Sweeps, Body Snatching and Death on the Street: A Christmas Carol in Portlandia

      In the midst of the Christmas, Hannukah crush, even for Wiccans and Pagans, it’s easy to overlook a relatively recent national ritual that coincides with the solstice: Since 1990, the National Coalition for the Homeless designated December 21st, the darkest day of the year, National Homeless Persons Memorial Day. Personally, around this time of year, I can’t help but think about my housemate and friend Debbie Hill, a longtime vendor for Portland’s street newspaper Street Roots, who died on New Years Eve, 2014. A founding member of Dignity Village, Portland’s first city-sanctioned tent city, Debbie thankfully died inside, in a nursing home. I’m sometimes amazed that she survived so long on the streets, given the host of health issues she had struggled with since birth, which I had ample occasion to bear witness to during visits to the Emergency Room, ICU and various and sundry wards at Legacy Emanuel Hospital. Debbie’s experience of struggling through houselessness with multiple disabilities—both physical and psychological—is far more common than most of us would care to imagine over our figgy pudding. So National Homeless Person’s Memorial Day is here to remind us that in the era of late stage capitalism, medically fragile, chronically ill people, and people with multiple disabilities are routinely dying in our midst on the streets of some of the most “livable” cities in the United States.

    • Science

      • The Y2K bug was not a hoax. Here’s how our computers are headed towards another major glitch

        t’s not hard to find echoes of the late 1990s in the zeitgeist. Now as then, impeachment is on many peoples’ minds, and films like The Matrix and The Sixth Sense continue to influence culture. Another feature of the same era that perhaps has a more important, if subtler, influence is the infamous Y2K bug.

        Y2K was the great glitch in computer systems that looked capable of destroying civilisation at the stroke of midnight on the millennium. In the end, however, nothing much went wrong. Some people started to wonder if we had been misled all along. In fact, they couldn’t have been more mistaken. Y2K is in danger of becoming one of those moments in history from which exactly the wrong lessons have been drawn.

        Many of the systems that were at risk from the Y2K bug dated from the 1970s, 1980s and early 1990s. This was the era when the alleged insistence by Bill Gates that “640k [of RAM] ought to be enough for anybody” was still ringing in people’s ears. Even powerful servers had only a few megabytes of RAM – a fraction of what you would find in most ordinary PCs today.

        With so little space, programmers were always trying to come up with ways to conserve memory. Dates were one of those things that were integral to most computer programs, and years came to be stored as a number between “0” and “99” – so for example, “80” would represent 1980. The advantage was that only a single byte of memory would be used. But with the new millennium soon to come around, it meant that the year “99” would become “100”. As a result, computer programs would believe that the year was 1900 rather than 2000, which threatened to raise serious problems.

    • Hardware

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Security

          • Security updates for Thursday

            Security updates have been issued by Red Hat (chromium-browser and rh-git218-git) and SUSE (java-1_8_0-ibm and openssl-1_1).

          • Reproducible Builds Summit, 5th edition

            For several years, the Reproducible Builds Summit has become this pleasant and fruitful retreat where we Guix hackers like to go and share, brainstorm, and hack with people from free software projects and companies who share this interest in reproducible builds and related issues. This year, several of us had the chance to be in Marrakesh for the fifth Reproducible Builds Summit, which was attended by about thirty people.

          • Fear, Uncertainty, Doubt/Fear-mongering/Dramatisation

            • New USB cable kills your Linux laptop if stolen in a public place [Ed: Whenever ZDNet mentions Linux it has to be FUD and an attack on Linux; even if that has nothing to do with it! ZDNet's logic is something like, forks are dangerous because you can stick them in the socket and get electrocuted.]

              The cable, named BusKill, was designed by Michael Altfield, a software engineer and Linux sysadmin from Orlando, Florida.

            • FPGA cards can be abused for faster and more reliable Rowhammer attacks [Ed: Same author clearly overstating low risk and old news]

              On modern RAM cards, data is stored inside memory cells, and all memory cells are arranged in a grid pattern. In 2014, academics discovered that by reading data stored on one row of memory cells repeatedly, and at high speeds, they could create an electrical charge that would alter data stored in nearby memory rows.

          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • ProtonMail Launch a Privacy-Focused Alternative to Google Calendar

              Proton Calendar is a new encrypted calendaring solution from the makers of ProtonMail — and it’s just hit beta.

              Organised spies, efficient emissaries, as well as anyone else preferring absolute privacy for their day-to-day plans will appreciate Proton Calendar.

              Like the ProtonMail email service this add-on is related to, it’s built around end-to-end encryption.

              [...]

              Although no native desktop app (Linux or otherwise) is available the service ( at least at present) a cloud-based tool is accessible from Linux browsers. Mobile apps for Android and iOS are said to be in development.

            • On Privacy versus Freedom
    • Defence/Aggression

      • Full-Spectrum Fubar

        Back in the days when the Deep State’s diktats commanded a modicum of credibility, its stated goal was worldwide military “full spectrum dominance”.  Twenty years of grossly humiliating failure in its murderously ineffectual floundering has rendered that idea null, even to doctrinaire NeoCon wanks.

    • Environment

    • Finance

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • The 2020 Imperative Cease Being Mesmerised By Demons

        We have a vast global communication network at our fingertips, a significant part of which has long since been hijacked by the purveyors of ‘the daily matrix’. But another part of which still manages to operate within a spectrum that gives a possibility for what we refer to as ‘freedom of speech’.

    • Civil Rights/Policing

    • Monopolies

      • Patents

        • Software Patents

          • Zyrcuits (IP Edge) patent challenged as likely invalid

            On December 31, 2019, Unified filed a petition for inter partes review (IPR) against U.S. Patent 6,671,307, owned and asserted by Zyrcuits IP, LLC, an IP Edge affiliate and well-known NPE. The ‘307 patent, directed to spread-spectrum communications systems, has been asserted in multiple district court cases against such companies as Bosch Security, Samsung, Assa Abloy, and Wink Labs.

          • TransactionSecure patent challenged as likely invalid

            On December 31, 2019, Unified filed a petition for inter partes review (IPR) against U.S. Patent 8,738,921, owned and asserted by TransactionSecure, LLC, an NPE. The ‘921 patent, directed to user authentication systems and methods, has been asserted in multiple district court cases against such companies as Formstack, Fitbit, Facebook, Stripe, and Github.

          • AutoBrilliance patent challenged as likely invalid

            On December 31, 2019, Unified filed a petition for inter partes review (IPR) against U.S. Patent 6,792,351, owned and asserted by AutoBrilliance, LLC, an NPE. The ‘351 patent, directed to multi-vehicle communication, has been asserted in district court litigation against Toyota.

          • PTO Informative Decisions: Patent Eligibility Rejection — Look to what is expressly “RECITED” in the claims

            This post will focus on Linden, which is a patent application owned by BAIDU spun out of Prof. Andrew Ng’s lab at Stanford.

            In Linden, the BAIDU patent application claims a method using a trained neural network to transcribing speech. The claimed method involves several data processing steps: normalizing the input (to the training data); generating a “jitter set” of audio files (time-distorted versions of the original); generating a spectrogram for each time-jiggered audio file; predicting character probabilities with the neural network; and transcribing the audio based upon character probabilities and a language model.

            The examiner rejected the claims as directed to an abstract idea of manipulating data; creating information sets (based upon prior information sets); and decoding data.

            [...]

            Linden. In case you didn’t see it – this is bonkers. The Board here is saying that the claim would be problematic only if it actually and expressly recited the algorithm that it uses. Since the claim is drafted more broadly (i.e., at a higher level of abstraction), it cannot be seen as abstract.

            The PTAB went on to explain that even if the claims did recite a mathematical concept — they are still not problematic because the claims as a whole are not “directed to an abstract idea” but rather any abstractions are “integrated into a practical application.”

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