EditorsAbout the SiteComes vs. MicrosoftUsing This Web SiteSite ArchivesCredibility IndexOOXMLOpenDocumentPatentsNovellNews DigestSite NewsRSS

02.26.20

Links 26/2/2020: Cosmo Communicator 2-in-1, FSF Outlines Plans for Code Hosting

Posted in News Roundup at 6:31 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Linux now joins Android on Planet’s little Cosmo Communicator computer-phone

      The Cosmo Communicator was promoted as being able to run Linux and Android but until now it didn’t have dual-OS functionality, leaving Android as the default OS and no option to switch to Linux.

      The company has now announced that the Cosmo Communicator can run Debian Linux with KDE, which offers a full graphical interface.

      [...]

      The addition of Linux and KDE allows users to run more applications. Planet Computers highlights that devices that have been partitioned for dual-OS support can still receive over-the-air Android firmware updates. uage scorecard: How C, C++, Dart, Rust, Go rate for Fuchsia

      Planet Computers has provided instructions and links for downloading the firmware on its support pages.

      “Offering a viable alternative operating system on the Cosmo Communicator has been a cornerstone of all Planet devices. The Linux community has been instrumental in the firmware development and together we will continue to refine and enhance the Linux user experience,” said Dr Janko Mrsic-Flogel, CEO of Planet Computers.

    • Cosmo Communicator Android PDA can now run Linux side-by-side

      There has been a recent uptick in interest in Linux-based smartphones but the newest breed of such devices is targeted at early testers and developers. For those who simply want a usable and polished Linux mobile device, the choices are extremely slim. A few years ago, Planet Computers launched two communicator-style Android PDAs that promised to support other operating systems, including Linux. Now the UK-based company is making good on that and is releasing multi-boot support for Linux as well as a rooted Android image.

      The Cosmo Communicator and its Gemini PDA predecessor are on a league of their own when it comes to mobile devices. Inspired by the old Psion handheld computers, these smartphones resembled miniature laptops like the “communicators” of yesteryears. More than just a nostalgia trip, however, Planet Computers promised a more open mobile experience as far as operating systems go and it has finally gotten the ball rolling for the 2019 Cosmo Communicator.

      The company just announced that they now support booting multiple operating systems in part thanks to the new TWRP support. It provides instructions on how to install Debian GNU/Linux running the popular KDE Plasma Desktop onto a separate partition. There are also instructions on doing the same for a rooted version of Android so that the main Android version remains untouched.

    • Cosmo Communicator 2-in-1 Phone/Mini Laptop can now Dual Boot Debian Linux and Android

      The Cosmo Communicator was released as a crowdfunded handheld device mixing smartphone and a small laptop features such as keyboard and display. It was launched in late 2019 and ran Google Android.

      The original units were shipped and fulfilled the requirements of the crowdfunding campaign, but still were missing something the company had wanted to provide: support for Linux.

      This is now fixed as Planet Computers, the company that makes Cosmo Communicator, just released a version of Debian Linux, that can be installed on the system, with the tools that the company has provided for free on its website.

    • Server

      • Hands-On Lab: Oracle Linux Disk Encryption Using Network Based Key Services

        Many Linux environments require data to be encrypted at rest but that can add administrative overhead to the boot process. Oracle Linux has supported disk encryption since version 5 but a feature was added in 7 update 4 to allow the automatic unlocking of devices based on external network services. Network Bound Disk Encryption (NBDE) uses a network based key service to validate a system is on a trusted network and unlock encrypted disks upon boot. By combining NBDE and a keyboard entered passphrase the system will unlock a disk automatically during boot but allow administrators to use a passphrase during maintenance operations.

        A new hands-on lab Oracle Linux Disk Encryption Using Network Based Key Services is now available for anyone to learn the concepts of Linux disk encryption. The lab begins with the creation of a encrypted block device dependent on a passphrase and continues to an example of network based keys to unlock the device. Oracle Linux 8 is used but the same tools are available on Oracle Linux 7. The base components involved include dm-crypt which allows arbitrary block devices to be encrypted, Linux Unified Key Setup (LUKS) a disk encryption standard and cryptsetup which is used to configure our disks. We continue to include Tang, a network service that provides cryptographic services over HTTP and Clevis, an encryption framework. Clevis can use keys provided by Tang as a passphrase to unlock LUKS volumes.

    • Audiocasts/Shows

      • 2020-02-25 | Linux Headlines

        Manjaro hits version 19, Firefox starts rolling out DNS over HTTPS by default in the US, Puppet releases version 2 of Bolt, and Mirantis commits to the future of Docker Swarm.

      • This Week in Linux 94: Mesa 20, PipeWire, Linux Be Scary, MyPaint, GTK, Microsoft Defender

        On this episode of This Week in Linux, we got some new releases from core projects like Mesa & PipeWire and we also got some App News from MyPaint, GTK and a new convergent apps project called Maui. Then we’ll check out some distro news regarding the Untangle Firewall and some Red Hat news about CoreOS Container Linux. Later in the show, we’ll cover some really interesting news from Nvidia about Ray Tracing to Vulkan. Someone in the UK Police thought it was a good idea to warn parents their kids may become hackers and Microsoft announced their Microsoft Defender is coming to Linux. Then we’ll round out the show with some great deals for Games, Books and Comics from Humble Bundle. All that and much more on Your Weekly Source for Linux GNews!

      • Data School: How to merge DataFrames in pandas (video)

        In my new pandas video, you’re going to learn how to use the “merge” function so that you can combine multiple datasets into a single DataFrame.

        Merging (also known as “joining”) can be tricky to do correctly, which is why I’ll walk you through the process in great detail. By the end of the video, you’ll be fully prepared to merge your own DataFrames!

      • Going Linux #386 · Switching from OSX or macOS to Linux

        Episode 386 Time Stamps
        00:00 Going Linux #386 · Switching from OSX or macOS to Linux
        03:54 Where to look as a Mac user
        05:06 Ubuntu MATE
        06:16 Brave browser
        07:02 Elementary OS
        10:19 Zorin
        14:27 What is a PPA?
        15:38 Deepin
        19:40 Moving from Mac is easier than moving from Windows
        23:21 Let us know what you’ve tried
        25:03 Application pick: Brave browser
        27:18 goinglinux.com, goinglinux@gmail.com, +1-904-468-7889, @goinglinux, feedback, listen, subscribe
        28:21 End

      • Shrimps have SSHells | LINUX Unplugged 342

        A radical new way to do SSH authentication, special guest Jeremy Stott joins us to discuss Zero Trust SSH.

        Plus community news, a concerning issue for makers, an Arch server follow up, and more.

        Special Guests: Alex Kretzschmar, Brent Gervais, Martin Wimpress, and Neal Gompa.

      • Python Bytes: #170 Visualize this: Visualizing Python’s visualization ecosystem
      • Talk Python to Me: #253 Moon base geekout

        This episode is a unique one. On this episode, I’ve invited Richard Campbell and developer and podcaster who also dives deep into science and tech topics. We are going to dig into his geekout series and spend some time talking realistically about moonbases and space travel.

        I think you’re really going to enjoy the conversation. But I would love to hear, either way, if you like this minor diversion from pure Python topics (although we do talk some Python and programming). We can do more like this in the future if you all enjoy listening to these as much as I enjoyed making them.

      • mintCast 329 – fish Pi and Wine

        First up, in our Wanderings, I go fishing, Bo has some Wine, and Joe bakes some Pi.

        Then in our news, Python 2 is dying, a new kernel is in the works, ElementaryOS is getting devs paid, and more.

        In security, we talk more Firefox woes.

    • Kernel Space

      • One Of Clear Linux’s Kernel Patches To Help With Boot Time Proposed For Upstreaming

        Besides Clear Linux delivering often leading x86_64 Linux performance at run-time, when it comes to boot performance it has also been at the forefront — in some configurations, can boot in 300 ms. Intel has invested significantly in ensuring Clear Linux boots as fast as possible for when running in the cloud or on containers in order to respond to increased demand as quickly as possible as well as for use-cases like Clear Linux within automobiles where they need to get automobile cameras active within two seconds of power on. One of their many kernel patches could be on its way to the mainline kernel.

      • Running The Linux 5.6 Kernel With AMD Radeon Graphics

        Now hitting about mid-way through the Linux 5.6 kernel with early fallout having been addressed, we’ve been ramping up our testing/benchmarking of this next major kernel release. Here is our initial experience with the AMDGPU driver on Linux 5.6.

        Linux 5.6 brings many new features As it concerns the AMDGPU kernel driver, there is reset support for Renoir and Navi, initial bring-up for AMD Pollock, HDCP 2.x support, the kernel bits for Vulkan timeline semaphore support, DP MST DSC compression, and other fixes and code improvements.

      • VC4 DRM Driver Gets Patched For BCM2711 / Raspberry Pi 4 Support

        While the Linux 5.5 kernel landed Broadcom BCM2711 SoC and Raspberry Pi 4 enablement, one of the loose ends has been getting the open-source “VC4″ DRM driver wired up for the display hardware on this latest Raspberry Pi. Patches are now pending for VC4 DRM to provide that display support and could potentially see it mainlined for Linux 5.7.

      • Intel

        • Intel Adds VA-API Acceleration For HEVC REXT To FFmpeg

          Intel open-source developers have contributed support for VA-API acceleration of HEVC REXT “Range Extensions” content with the widely-used FFmpeg library.

          HEVC Range Extensions are extensions to H.265 geared for areas of content distribution, medical imaging, still imaging, and more. Among the changes with HEVC REXT are supporting 4:2:2 and 4:4:4 chroma sampling formats. HEVC Range Extensions are laid out in much more detail in this IEEE.org paper.

        • Intel Boosts Gen7 GPU Vulkan Compute Performance By ~330% For Geekbench

          Intel’s open-source “ANV” Vulkan driver for Linux doesn’t see much attention for pre-Broadwell hardware but today it saw a big improvement for Vulkan compute on aging Gen7 Ivybridge/Haswell era hardware.

          Jason Ekstrand, the lead developer of the Intel ANV Vulkan driver, discovered that in their driver’s pipeline code the data cache functionality would end up being disabled when a shader was pulled out of the pipeline cache. For Broadwell/Gen8+ the data cache bit was being ignored but this oversight ended up having huge implications for Gen7 Intel graphics hardware (Ivybridge/Haswell) as the oldest supported by Intel’s Vulkan driver.

        • Intel Has Accumulated 400+ Graphics Driver Patches So Far For Linux 5.7

          Intel just sent out their initial pull request of new feature changes/improvements to DRM-Next that in turn is for landing in about one month’s time when the Linux 5.7 merge window kicks off. With taking longer than usual to send in their first round of feature updates, this first of several pull requests already amounts to over 400 patches.

          While it is a big pull request given the extra time for patches to accumulate, there aren’t too many user-facing changes. Though there is a lot of enablement work for Tiger Lake as well as continuing Gen11 Ice Lake and Elkhart Lake work. For Ice Lake / Elkhart Lake there are a number of driver workarounds added. For Gen12 / Tiger Lake there are workarounds, display fixes, RPS is re-enabled, and other work.

        • Intel KVM Virtualization Hit By Vulnerability Over Unfinished Code

          At least not another hardware vulnerability, but CVE-2020-2732 appears to stem from unfinished code within the Intel VMX code for the Linux kernel’s Kernel-based Virtual Machine (KVM) support.

          CVE-2020-2732 as of writing isn’t yet public but we’ve been closely monitoring it since seeing a peculiar patch series earlier today and not finding much information on it.

      • Graphics Stack

        • Mir 1.7.1 Released With X11 Support Promoted Out Of “Experimental” Phase

          Most significant with Mir 1.7.1 is the X11 support being improved to the point that it’s no longer considered experimental for running traditional X11 software atop Wayland. Passing –enable-x11 now can be used for enabling the X11 support rather than the prior “x11-display-experimental” option. Mir 1.7.1 saw a lot of work to the XWayland and X11 window manage code, including a new display FD option.

    • Instructionals/Technical

    • Games

      • Hilarious party-platformer ‘Ultimate Chicken Horse’ free update due next month

        Ultimate Chicken Horse, a party-platform where you build the platforms as you go is getting a sweet free update with some new toys to play with next month.

        A game you absolutely need to play too! After only just getting into it myself thanks to the Humble Sweet Farm Bundle last month, it was pretty hilarious to try. Clever Endeavour Games have now announced the “A·cobra·tic Update” which is due out on March 12, for all platforms and it’s free.

        It’s going to include a new Snake character (who rides a Skateboard), two new levels and four new blocks. Along with “a handful of improvements, minor additions to the game, and plenty of bug fixes”. The new blocks flamethrower, one-way gate, cannon and beehive sound like they will be fun to screw with others.

      • Dota Underlords from Valve is out with the City Crawl campaign mode

        Valve’s latest game, Dota Underlords, has today left Early Access and with it comes a huge patch full of new content and features.

        The biggest addition to the Underlords strategy game is the City Crawl campaign. A single-player mode, that explains a bit about what’s going on. It seems “Mama Eeb” passed away, leaving a power vacuum in White Spire, with the four Underlords attempting to take control. City Crawl is where you do that, as you go through various different types of challenges and while doing so earn new outfits for the Underlords.

      • Linux Gaming: Overclock your Nvidia GPU on Linux with GreenWithEnvy

        Overclocking your Nvidia card on Linux used to be a nightmare. There was lots of different commands you had to type into the terminal, and there was no easy way to monitor your temperature and fan speeds. Thanks to Roberto Leinardi’s program GreenWithEnvy, you can now overclock with a simple, clean GUI.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • KDE Plasma 5.18.2 LTS Released with Flatpak Improvements, over 45 Fixes

          KDE Plasma 5.18.2 is here just one week after the first point release, and promises to improve support for Flatpak apps in the Discover package manager by fixing several bugs, improve support for the Plastik theme by patching two crashes in the KWin window and composit manager, as well as to make the KRunner Activities runner usable again.

          Furthermore, this second point release updates the new Emoji panel to make it snappier, support all locales and languages, and allow filter by annotation. It also improves the shadows of files and folders shown on the desktop to display correctly when using a HiDPI scale factor.

        • KDE Video Competition Winners

          On the 20th of February, our first video contest finished and winners were decided by a panel of judges.

          This was the first time we run a video contest and we were really excited to see how much the community got involved, the quality of the videos and the onboarding effect that this contest would have.

          All the submitted videos show great effort on behalf of the creators and it was extremely difficult to select the winner — at one point there was even a tie! But, at last, we were able to select a winner and finalists for each category.

          Without further ado, let’s dive into the results:

        • Atelier Plasmoid – Update

          Yeah, I’m back! =D

          Now I have updated the Atelier plasmoid to use our beloved profiles setup. Profiles on Atelier are shared by any interface that uses AtCore Machine Info to lookup for each profile that you have saved of your machines.

          The quick print is now really quick: Select profile -> Connect -> Select File -> Print.

        • Last months in Kube

          The todo view’s goal is to have a small personal list of todos, acknowledging that you can only accomplish so much during a day, and there is no intention of turning this into a project management suite down the road.

          The idea is that you have a couple of lists as backlogs, and that you then pick a reasonable amount of items (<10 probably?) from those lists as currently in progress (that’s also how it’s stored in iCal). This then gives you a nice little list of things during the day/week/whatever suits you, that you can tick off.

          New items can quickly be entered using keyboard shortcuts (press “?”) and that’s about it for the time being.

          I think sub-todos might find their way eventually in there, but the rest should rather be quality of life improvements and eventually taking other sources of “things you need to act on” into account, such as emails that you should probably be answering or events that need to be prepared.

          The todo view was the last officially missing piece, so with that we are view-complete (feature complete may be a bit a stretch still).

        • Search in encrypted content and support for encrypted headers

          To fix this we’re going to start decrypting encrypted emails when syncing and indexing the encrypted content. That way we can make sure encrypted emails are just as usable as non-encrypted emails, at least as long as you’re using Kube.

          This means that in the future you will not only be able to search through all your email, it also means you get a more useful subject displayed than “…” or some other nonsense.

    • Distributions

      • Zorin OS For Windows Users

        Dear former Microsoft users, after Windows 7 (W7) officially discontinued early this year, how about looking at alternative operating system called Zorin OS? Zorin is computer operating system for everybody that is user-friendly and familiar. You can get Zorin gratis and free, you and your family can use without learning much, prepare to live peacefully without virus & antivirus, and you will be happy you can revive old computers with it. This article gives you sights on Zorin from perspective of a W7 user and see if you find it interesting. Enjoy Zorin!

      • New Releases

        • Ubuntu-Based MakuluLinux 2020 Wants to Convince Windows 7 Users to Switch to Linux

          Dubbed “LinDoz,” the MakuluLinux 2020 series is based on the latest Ubuntu 18.04.4 LTS (Bionic Beaver) release and users Linux Mint’s beautiful and modern Cinnamon desktop environment by default to provide ex-Windows 7 users with a comfortable place if they decide to migrate from Windows to a Linux-based OS.

          The developers note the fact that LinDoz is not designed to be a Windows clone, but a familiar place for Windows and Linux users alike. To achieve this goal, the devs refreshed the entire artwork, including themes, icons, and wallpapers, to make MakuluLinux look like Windows 7.

      • Screenshots/Screencasts

      • SUSE/OpenSUSE

      • Arch Family

        • Arch-based Manjaro 19.0 ‘Kyria’ Linux distro is here with GNOME, KDE, and Xfce

          If you are a Linux user, you are undoubtedly in heaven right now. Recently, there have been updates to some truly excellent distributions, such as MX Linux 19.1, Netrunner 20.01, elementary OS 5.1.2, and OpenMandriva Lx 4.1. While I suppose having to choose from so many distros can be seen as a negative for some, I say it’s a damn good problem to have!

          Guess what? Things are getting a bit more crowded! Today, one of the most popular Linux distributions gets a new version. Yes, Manjaro Linux 19.0 is finally here! Named “Kyria,” it can be had with your choice of three desktop environments — Xfce 4.14, KDE Plasma 5.17, and GNOME 3.34. While Xfce is highlighted by the developers, the others two DEs are arguably superior.

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • How we decide when to release Fedora

          Open source projects can use a variety of different models for deciding when to put out a release. Some projects release on a set schedule. Others decide on what the next release should contain and release whenever that is ready. Some just wake up one day and decide it’s time to release. And other projects go for a rolling release model, avoiding the question entirely.

          For Fedora, we go with a schedule-based approach. Releasing twice a year means we can give our contributors time to implement large changes while still keeping on the leading edge. Targeting releases for the end of April and the end of October gives everyone predictability: contributors, users, upstreams, and downstreams.

          But it’s not enough to release whatever’s ready on the scheduled date. We want to make sure that we’re releasing quality software. Over the years, the Fedora community has developed a set of processes to help ensure we can meet both our time and and quality targets.

        • Changing the Release Readiness Meeting process

          If you’ve attended a Release Readiness Meeting in the last few years, you’ve noticed that there’s a lot of me asking for an update from a team and getting no response. This makes the meeting a lot less valuable for the project and for the people who attend. And because the Release Readiness Meeting is held after the first Go/No-Go meeting, there’s not much chance to fix unready issues. Let’s make this better.

          For Fedora 32, I’m changing the process a bit. Instead of waiting until an IRC meeting days before the release target, let’s start giving readiness updates sooner. I created a Release Readiness wiki page where teams can self-update asynchronously. If you’re representing a team in Fedora, you can start updating this now.

        • Fedora 31 : Install Unity 3D on Fedora Linux.

          If you want to install the Unity 3D software on Fedora 31 Linux distro then you can read my tutorial from this webpage.

        • Is an in-place RHEL upgrade the right choice for my business?

          Being on the latest version of Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) can have several advantages- like better performance, improved security, support for new hardware devices or even access to the latest version of applications.

          If you are a Linux system administrator looking to migrate your RHEL 7 systems to RHEL 8, you have two choices—an in-place upgrade to RHEL 8 or a clean installation of the operating system and re-deployment of your environment onto RHEL 8.

        • [S4:E3] Command Line Heroes: Personal Computers
        • What’s new in the Red Hat Satellite upgrade process

          In this post we’ll review a number of improvements that have been made to the Satellite upgrade process in the areas of technology, performance, and backend testing improvements and automation.

          Over the last several releases the Satellite engineering and QE teams have been focused on making the Red Hat Satellite upgrade process much faster and more predictable.

          The way the Satellite upgrades work has not changed—you will need to upgrade to each individual version of Satellite and you cannot skip versions. If you are running Satellite 6.4 and you want to go to Satellite 6.6, you will need to upgrade from Satellite 6.4 to Satellite 6.5, then to Satellite 6.6. These upgrades can be done back-to-back in the same outage window.

        • OpenShift Commons Briefing: Data Protection and Disaster Recovery Solutions with Venkat Kolli (Red Hat)

          As more and more business critical applications move to OpenShift platform, it is important to start thinking about how to protect these applications and application data.

          In this briefing, Red Hat’s Venkat Kolli walks through the different failure scenarios that will be impacting application availability in OpenShift and the different Backup & Disaster Recovery (DR) solutions that are designed to protect your OpenShift applications against these failures. While the traditional Backup & DR solutions have existed a while in Enterprise DataCenters, these solutions need to evolve to address the needs of the new container infrastructure. We will explore the differences between traditional approaches to backup & DR and the changes in approach required for OpenShift infrastructure.

        • Tech Preview: Get visibility into your OpenShift costs across your hybrid infrastructure

          Do you know if your OpenShift project is currently on budget? If you deploy more containers right now or if OpenShift dynamically increases capacity, would that put your project in the red?

          Red Hat is introducing a new cost management SaaS offering that is included at no additional charge with your Red Hat OpenShift Container Platform subscription. Cost management is an OpenShift Container Platform service that is currently available in Technology Preview. The service, which customers access from cloud.redhat.com/beta, gives you visibility into your costs across on-premises and cloud environments.

          With cost management for OpenShift, you can easily aggregate costs across hybrid cloud infrastructure (on-premises, Amazon Web Services, Azure, with more cloud platforms on the roadmap) and track budget requirements.

        • Open Mainframe Project Launches Ambitus, Virtual Zowe Hackathon

          The Open Mainframe Project (OMP) has launched a new community of developers called Ambitus to better understand how their existing open source environment can be implemented and operated on a mainframe. Ambitus joins 8 other OMP projects including Zowe, which will launch its first virtual hackathon on February 23.

        • Liquid Prep, a solution that helps farmers optimize water usage during droughts, is now open source

          When a prolonged absence of water in a region leads to drought conditions, the entire ecosystem suffers. Among those hardest hit are farmers, and the impact on their land can have ripple effects on the larger population. These larger problems can range from health issues or food security, while also creating conditions that increase the risk of wildfires and dust storms.

          Created by five technologists from the IBM offices in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, Liquid Prep is a solution designed for low-literate farmers in developing countries whose success hinges on access to advanced agricultural advice. By leveraging the use of an intuitive mobile Android app, local soil sensors, and weather forecast information as well as an advanced agricultural decision platform hosted on IBM Cloud, farmers are better informed on how to use limited water supplies and increase their chances of growing healthy crops for their small plots of land.

      • Debian Family

        • Netrunner 20.01 out now with new theme and UI changes

          It has been ten years since the first version of Netrunner was made available to the general public, and what better way to celebrate this special day than releasing the 20th release of Netrunner Desktop for Ubuntu/Debian.

          Netrunner is an operating system that works on Debian Stable and works on PCs and ARM devices like Odroid C1, Pine 64, etc. It uses KDE Plasma as its desktop environment and features plenty of other useful applications. It looks gorgeous and can run on very minimal spec computers.

          [...]

          There have also been plenty of package updates as well in this version of Netrunner. First of all, users are going to find the latest LTS versions of Thunderbird and Firebox-ESR when they update to Netrunner Twenty.

          A great thing about Netrunner is that you’ll find a bunch of handy software accompanying this OS. So, when you install or update to Netrunner 20.1, you’ll get your hands on an office suite (LibreOffice), image editors (Gimp and Inkscape), painting software (Krita), and video editor (Kdenlive). If you weren’t sold on its applications already, the Debian-based OS would also offer music management software (Yarock and GMusicbrowser), video player (SMPlayer), collaboration app (Pidgin or Skype), and terminal (Yakuake).

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • New Dark Mode Setting Lands in Ubuntu 20.04 ‘Focal Fossa’ Dailies

          It seems my recent op-ed on why Ubuntu needs a dark mode toggle was perfectly timed as, alongside some wider Yaru theme changes, developers go to work on adding a simple, user-facing setting for one!

          Currently sat in proposed queue for Ubuntu 20.04 dailies (expect it in the regular updates pile soon) is a change that adds a theme switcher to the System Settings > Appearance panel…

        • Bosch Rexroth adopts Ubuntu Core and snaps for app-based ctrlX Automation platform

          ctrlX Automation leverages Ubuntu Core, designed for embedded devices, and snaps, the universal Linux application containers, to deliver an open source platform to remove the barriers between machine control, operation technology and information technology, or OT-IT.

          Industrial manufacturing solutions built on ctrlX Automation with Ubuntu Core and snaps will benefit from an open ecosystem, faster time to production and stronger security across devices’ lifecycle.

          Through the use of an open architecture, industrial machine manufacturers selecting ctrlX Automation are freed from being tied to PLC specialists and proprietary systems with the software being decoupled from the hardware.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • Rules for product managers at open source companies

        Product management is an interesting career. It’s immensely rewarding to be the interface between users, business strategy, engineering, and product design. And it’s also a highly lucrative career with increasing demand for ambitious and empathetic practitioners.

        It’s also a role with no single path. You might see various certifications and courses emerging to help address the serious skills shortage. The good news is that these are starting to contribute to the talent pipeline, but they struggle to address the wider demands of the role. This is especially the case where roles require direct experience across the enormous range of what it takes to build and ship successful products.

      • Events

        • LibreOffice Conference 2021 Call for Locations

          Once a year, the LibreOffice Community gathers for a global community event: the LibreOffice Conference, or LibOCon. After a series of successful events – Paris, October 2011; Berlin, October 2012; Milan, September 2013; Bern, September 2014; Aarhus, September 2015; Brno, September 2016; Rome, October 2017; Tirana, September 2018 and Almeria, September 2019 – the venue for 2020 is Nuremberg, Germany.

          To ease the organization, TDF Board of Directors has decided to open the call for location for 2021 earlier this year, to give the 2021 event organizers the opportunity of attending the conference in Nurembers in October 2020. The LibreOffice Conference takes place between September and November, with a preference for September.

          The deadline for sending in proposals is June 30, 2019.

          After receiving the applications, we will evaluate if all pre-conditions have been met and the overall content of the proposal, and give all applicants a chance to answer questions and clarify details if needed.

        • CHAOSScon EU 2020: play by play

          This is my second time attending CHAOSScon. I attended on behalf of RIT LibreCorps to represent our engagement with the UNICEF Office of Innovation and the Innovation Fund. For CHAOSScon EU 2020, I arrived hoping to learn more about effective metric collection strategies for open source communities and also get a deeper understanding of the technology behind GrimoireLab.

        • When in Paris, learn how SUSE empowers DevOps teams with HPE

          We will be there (Booth #21) to meet with Presales Consultants and Solution Architects from both HPE and Partners and chat about how we are working with HPE to deliver software-defined infrastructure with an open approach.

        • Keynote Speakers Announced For Open Networking & Edge Summit North America 2020

          The open networking event has now been expanded to cover Edge Computing, Edge Cloud and IoT. The event focuses on collaborative development and innovation across enterprises, service providers/telcos and cloud providers to shape the future of networking and edge computing with a deep focus on technical, architectural and business discussions in the areas of Open Networking & AI/ML-enabled use cases.

      • Web Browsers

        • Mozilla

          • Firefox Browser On Linux And Mac Gets New Security Technology

            Along with rolling out the latest security update to the Firefox browser, Mozilla has now introduced a new approach to secure the Firefox web browser on Linux and Mac operating systems.

            Firefox uses various external libraries to render the audio, videos, and images that can be exploited by the attackers to introduce malicious code. Hence, Firefox includes a new lightweight sandboxing architecture, RLBox, that uses a WebAssembly sandbox to tackle the vulnerabilities posed by the third-party libraries.

          • The Facebook Container for Firefox

            Even with the ongoing #deletefacebook movement, not everyone is willing to completely walk away from the connections they’ve made on the social platform. After all, Facebook — and its subsidiary Instagram — is where the mountain biking club organizes rides, people post pet pics, dance moves catch on and life’s moments get shared with friends and family, near and far. Since the Cambridge Analytica scandal broke, Facebook has been greeted with more skepticism as it’s been under a hot spotlight on how it gathers, uses and gives access to our personal data for targeted advertising and manipulation, both on and off Facebook platforms. With recent news about their policy not to block false political ads, this targeting gets ever malicious.

          • Jira, Bugzilla, and Tales of Issue Trackers Past

            It seems as though Mozilla is never not in a period of transition. The distributed nature of the organization and community means that teams and offices and any informal or formal group is its own tiny experimental plot tended by gardeners with radically different tastes.

            And if there’s one thing that unites gardeners and tech workers is that both have Feelings about their tools.

            Tools are personal things: they’re the only thing that allows us to express ourselves in our craft. I can’t code without an editor. I can’t prune without shears. They’re the part of our work that we actually touch. The code lives Out There, the garden is Outside… but the tools are in our hands.

            But tools can also be group things. A shed is a tool for everyone’s tools. A workshop is a tool that others share. An Issue Tracker is a tool that helps us all coordinate work.

            And group things require cooperation, agreement, and compromise.

            While I was on the Browser team at BlackBerry I used a variety of different Issue Trackers. We started with an outdated version of FogBugz, then we had a Bugzilla fork for the WebKit porting work and MKS Integrity for everything else across the entire company, and then we all standardized on Jira.

          • Securing Firefox with WebAssembly

            Protecting the security and privacy of individuals is a central tenet of Mozilla’s mission, and so we constantly endeavor to make our users safer online. With a complex and highly-optimized system like Firefox, memory safety is one of the biggest security challenges. Firefox is mostly written in C and C++. These languages are notoriously difficult to use safely, since any mistake can lead to complete compromise of the program. We work hard to find and eliminate memory hazards, but we’re also evolving the Firefox codebase to address these attack vectors at a deeper level. Thus far, we’ve focused primarily on two techniques…

            [...]

            So today, we’re adding a third approach to our arsenal. RLBox, a new sandboxing technology developed by researchers at the University of California, San Diego, the University of Texas, Austin, and Stanford University, allows us to quickly and efficiently convert existing Firefox components to run inside a WebAssembly sandbox. Thanks to the tireless efforts of Shravan Narayan, Deian Stefan, Tal Garfinkel, and Hovav Shacham, we’ve successfully integrated this technology into our codebase and used it to sandbox Graphite.

            This isolation will ship to Linux users in Firefox 74 and to Mac users in Firefox 75, with Windows support following soon after. You can read more about this work in the press releases from UCSD and UT Austin along with the joint research paper. Read on for a technical overview of how we integrated it into Firefox.

          • Nicholas Nethercote: Ad Hoc Profiling

            I have used a variety of profiling tools over the years, including several I wrote myself.

            But there is one profiling tool I have used more than any other. It is capable of providing invaluable, domain-specific profiling data of a kind not obtainable by any general-purpose profiler.

            It’s a simple text processor implemented in a few dozen lines of code. I use it in combination with logging print statements in the programs I am profiling. No joke.

      • SaaS/Back End/Databases

        • Mirantis co-founder launches FreedomFi to bring private LTE networks to enterprises

          Boris Renski, the co-founder of Mirantis, one of the earliest and best-funded players in the OpenStack space a few years ago (which then mostly pivoted to Kubernetes and DevOps), has left his role as CMO to focus his efforts on a new startup: FreedomFi. The new company brings together open-source hardware and software to give enterprises a new way to leverage the newly opened 3.5 GHz band for private LTE and — later — 5G IoT deployments.

      • CMS

        • WordPress 5.4 Beta 3

          WordPress 5.4 Beta 3 is now available!

          This software is still in development, so we don’t recommend you run it on a production site. Consider setting up a test site to play with the new version.

          [...]

          WordPress 5.4 is slated for release on March 31st, 2020, and we need your help to get there.

          Thanks to the testing and feedback from everyone who tested beta 2 (and beta 1) over 24 tickets have been closed in the past week.

      • Education

        • Math is your insurance policy

          It’s gradually becoming clear that programming jobs are diverging. This is not yet reflected in salaries, but as the job market matures, some programming jobs will be eliminated, others will increase in demand. The one area where humans are still indispensable is in specifying what has to be done. The AI will eventually be able to implement any reasonable program, as long as it gets a precise enough specification. So the programmers of the future will stop telling the computer how to perform a given task; rather they will specify what to do. In other words, declarative programming will overtake imperative programming. But I don’t think that explaining to the AI what it’s supposed to do will be easy. The AI will continue to be rather dumb, at least in the foreseeable future. It’s been noted that software that can beat the best go players in the world would be at a complete loss trying to prepare a dinner or clean the dishes. It’s able to play go because it’s reasonably easy to codify the task of playing go– the legal moves and the goal of the game. Humans are extremely bad at expressing their wishes, as illustrated by the following story: [...]

      • FSF

        • Coming soon: A new site for fully free collaboration

          As we said in an end-of-year post highlighting our work supporting free software development and infrastructure, the Free Software Foundation (FSF) is planning to launch a public code hosting and collaboration platform (“forge”), to launch in 2020. Members of the FSF tech team are currently reviewing ethical Web-based software that helps teams work on their projects, with features like merge requests, bug tracking, and other common tools.

          The new site will complement the current GNU and non-GNU Savannah servers, which we will continue to support and improve, in collaboration with their awesome volunteer team. (By the way, if you want to volunteer, please email savannah-hackers-public@gnu.org with a note about your interest!)

        • Free Software Foundation Aims To Launch Code Hosting / Collaboration Platform This Year

          The Free Software Foundation is planning to launch their own public code hosting and collaboration platform in 2020.

          The Free Software Foundation “Forge” will complement their existing and aging Savannah servers used for code hosting. The Free Software Foundation isn’t looking to develop their own hosting/collaboration platform as an original GNU project but looking at an existing free software solution they can adapt for their purposes.

          The Free Software Foundation team is currently evaluating options based on practical and ethical criteria such as whether the JavaScript is deemed free software with LibreJS, wanting a solution not backed by a company, and other stringent free software requirements.

        • FSF to launch code hosting

          The Free Software Foundation has announced that it is planning to launch a public code hosting and collaboration platform later this year.

        • GNU Projects

          • GIMP Image Editor 2.10.18 Released with 3D Transform tool

            GIMP image editor 2.10.18 was released a day ago with new features and usability improvements. Here’s how to install it in Ubuntu.

          • Structure and Administration of the GNU Project
            People know that each GNU package has one or more maintainers 
            appointed by the GNU Project. People mostly don't know about the 
            committees that carry out most of the administration of the project. 
            We have now published a complete description of the administrative 
            structure of the GNU Project: 
            
            https://www.gnu.org/gnu/gnu-structure.html
            
            
      • Programming/Development

        • Monado OpenXR Runtime v0.1 Released For Open-Source XR Stack

          Announced last March was Monado as an open-source implementation of OpenXR, the Khronos standard for AR/VR. Today marks the first release of Monado as version 0.1 so while it’s still early on it is showing much progress.

          This open-source XR stack has added support for the Project North Star as an open-source optical see-through headset, an Intel RealSense T265 driver is also available, scripts for trying various demos, and packaging support for various Linux distributions.

        • Open source XR runtime (VR/AR) ‘Monado’ sees a first release

          With the Khronos Group launching the OpenXR specification last year, their aim was to unify Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) development while Collabora worked on their open source implementation of Monado.

          Collabora have been hard at work on Monado, a currently Linux-focused open source XR runtime that will eventually also support other platforms. Today, they tagged the very first release. With this release they’ve worked in new drivers, there’s now a set of scripts ready for people to try Monado rather than needing to setup a full development environment, udev rules sorted for USB permissions for XR hardware, distribution packaging and more.

          You can see the release announcement on the Collabora blog, where they note they also have some internships going. As for the code, it’s all up on GitLab if you’re interested in checking out in this early form. The future of XR on Linux sounds quite exciting, especially with efforts like this and Collabora do some great open source work.

        • Monado OpenXR runtime developer update

          We are very happy to tag version 0.1 of the Monado OpenXR runtime for Linux!

          Ever since announcing the project at GDC 2019, we have been working on improving the full open source XR stack to a usable state. Do keep in mind, this is a first tag, not a final release so it will contain some tinkering and is not feature complete! To echo the common phrase ‘Be warned, here be dragons!’.

          Feel free to play around with Monado, and hit us up on our Discord to get help, report bugs or ask about contributing!

        • Google programming language scorecard: How C, C++, Dart, Rust, Go rate for Fuchsia

          Google has released a new programming language policy for Fuchsia, its under-development OS that some speculate could be its non-Linux successor to Android.

          Instead of a Linux kernel, the core of Google’s Fuchsia OS is a Zircon microkernel to communicate with hardware and boot a system that runs Fuchsia. Google describes Fuchsia as specifically “not Linux” and a “modular, capability-based operating system”.

        • Excellent Free Tutorials to Learn Prolog

          Prolog is a general purpose, declarative, logic programming language, often associated with artificial intelligence, computational linguistics, intelligent database retrieval, and problem solving. It’s widely used in research and education for natural language processing.

          Automatic backtracking is one of the most characteristic features of Prolog. It’s a form of searching, fundamental to all artificial intelligence techniques. Prolog also supports multi-directional reasoning; arguments to a procedure can freely be designated inputs and outputs in different ways in different procedure calls. This is a powerful theorem-proving technique. Another key feature of Prolog is that its syntax and semantics are closer to formal logic than say Lisp.

          Prolog is generally regarded as a difficult language to get to grips with. But learning the fundamentals of Prolog is definitely worthwhile.

        • State of DevOps Report Finds Maturity Varies Widely by Industry

          The scorecard gave the technology industry an “A” for DevOps adoption and an “A-” for security integration as part of the DevOps development pipeline. Brown noted that it was expected that companies in the technology industry would be leading the pack in terms of security integration because DevOps tends to be part of the DNA of those organizations.

        • C Programming Examples on Linux for Beginners

          C programming language is one of the good choices for learning computer programming for the beginners. The basic programming logic can be learned easily by using C language as a first language. Java is considered as first programming language by some people, but I think, it is better to learn structured or procedural programming using C language before learning any object-oriented programming. The basic C programming on Linux is shown in this article by using different examples for the beginners.

        • Perl / Raku

          • Monitorix 3.12.0 released

            Another great Perl software that I find very useful is Monitorix.

            Monitorix is FOSS lightweight system monitoring designed to monitor as many services and system resources as possible.

            The tl;dr is that it works really well for monitoring stand alone machines- which is what I used it for. It’s tracks all sorts of metrics with minimal configuration by me, and with packages for most distros its trivial to install and update.

        • Python

          • Easily Clip/Split Large Videos With this Python Script

            Sometimes you have may have a large video file, and you want to split that video into many smaller videos with start and end times that you specify yourself. And of course, you don’t want to do it manually with a video editor because it’s gonna take forever.

            What we are talking about for example, is when you have a video of 10 minutes, and you want to create 3 smaller clips out of it such that the first one is between 1:20 and 2:20 for example, and the second one is between 3:00 and 4:00 and the last one is between 7:10 and 8:15. Such things is theoretically hard, but not with Python and its amazing tools!

          • Real Python: How to Work With a PDF in Python

            The Portable Document Format or PDF is a file format that can be used to present and exchange documents reliably across operating systems. While the PDF was originally invented by Adobe, it is now an open standard that is maintained by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO). You can work with a preexisting PDF in Python by using the PyPDF2 package.

          • PyCoder’s Weekly: Issue #409 (Feb. 25, 2020)
          • Book review – Machine Learning with Python for Everyone, By Mark E. Fenner

            Machine learning, one of the hottest tech topics of today, is being used more and more. Sometimes as the best tool for the job, other times perhaps as a buzzword that is mainly used as a way to make a product look cooler. However, without knowing what ML is and how it works behind the scenes, it’s very easy to get lost. But this book does a great job in guiding you all the way up from very simple math concepts to some sophisticated machine learning techniques.

          • Python 3.8.2 and 3.9.0a4 are now available

            On behalf of the entire Python development community, and the currently serving Python release team in particular, I’m pleased to announce the release of two of the latest Python editions.

            Python 3.8.2

            Python 3.8.2 is the second maintenance release of Python 3.8 and contains two months worth of bug fixes. Detailed information about all changes made in 3.8.2 can be found in its change log. Note that compared to 3.8.1, version 3.8.2 also contains the changes introduced in 3.8.2rc1 and 3.8.2rc2.

          • Build Systems with Speed and Confidence by Closing the Loop First!

            A completely finished “loop” is when you can provide the required input to your system, and it produces the desired output (or side effects, if that’s how you like it). The “Close the loop first” technique is about closing this loop as fast as possible by creating a barebones version of it first, providing all or some required inputs, and generating a partial form of the desired output.

            Once we have closed this barebones loop, we can then begin implementing behaviours from the inside out, so that with each new change our loop starts looking more like the actual system we want.

            Sure, this is nothing new, right? We have all heard of this advice in various forms: build a proof of concept as quickly as possible; validate the unknowns first; if you want to deliver a car, deploy a skateboard first, etc. This is similar, but I am talking today purely from a “programming” point of view. In addition to helping you fail fast, “closing the loop” first also lets you build systems with more speed.

        • Shell/Bash/Zsh/Ksh

          • The easy-going syntax of AWK commands

            An endearing feature of AWK is the flexibility of its syntax. Some other languages have very strict rules about how to write commands, and if you disobey the rules, you get error messages.

  • Leftovers

    • Luis Villa: Surviving 2020 on Twitter

      At some point in the past few years, I accepted that I’m going to have a baseline level of anger about the state of the world, and that I have to focus on what I can change and let go of what I can’t. (Twitter anger is the latter.) So what can I change? Where is my anger productive?

      I’ve found that doing things offline—for me, mostly giving money—really helps. In particular, giving to causes that seek systemic (usually, that means political/government) change like 350.org and local activist groups, and giving a lot, and regularly. This, frankly, makes it a lot easier for me to ignore anger online — each new tweet is not likely to make me be more angry, or give more, because I’m already basically giving what I can. Being confident about that really reduced my FOMO when I started filtering aggressively.

      I hear from non-parents/non-startup-founders that physical-world activism (door-knocking, phone banking, local gov meeting-attending, etc.) can be great in this way too but sadly I can’t confirm :(

      (I also want to acknowledge that, in the current state of the world, ‘letting go’ gets harder the less privilege you have. I have no great response to that, except to say that I empathize and am trying to fight for you where and how I can.)

    • Science

      • Russel Doty: Unknowable Markets

        In the early stages of a disruptive technology you don’t know what it is, how it works, what is required to develop it, who will use it, what they will use it for, or how they will use it. Based on this you have to build a business plan, establish a return on investment that meets corporate thresholds, prepare a development plan and budget, get approval, obtain and assign resources, deliver on schedule, and meet sales forecasts. And, of course, the new technology is inferior to existing more mature technologies for most use cases.

        Right. Easy. No problem!

        The only things you know at the early stages are that the initial markets will be small and that your early beliefs and assumptions are almost certainly wrong. Just to make things even better, there is an excellent chance that any truly new technology won’t work out. When it does work it is likely to take significant time to mature – more time than most companies are willing to accept for their investments. Until the new technology matures it will be inferior to existing technologies for most applications. Welcome to the wonderful world of pioneering new product development!

        Based on this, no reasonable person would want to be involved in developing a disruptive technology.

        Fortunately we have unreasonable people! People with vision, passion, and the skills needed to go after things that haven’t been done before. People with the determination to continue even after setbacks and failure. People that believe “impossible” is just a word in the dictionary between “imposition” and “impost”.

        [...]

        Some industries experience disruptive changes every few years. Other industries go decades without disruptive changes. The risk is that disruptive changes build up slowly and then hit with such speed and impact that it is too late to respond when they do happen.

        Fortunately this is a false dichotomy – there are choices between “everything” and “nothing”. The next article will begin to explore these alternatives.

      • Conflict solving has many layers

        Conflicts in the workplace are most of the time structural and systemic. However, they generally burst out on the individual, personal level, and ultimately on the relational level – making it look like they were individual problems. Often times, when we see a conflict, we only see the tip of the iceberg.

        [...]

        People generally approach conflict like they would approach a problem with their car: they want to solve it via expert advice. Something is wrong, please repair the problem. “Kim is not happy that we put them on another task with less pay. Let’s hire an HR person who can “convince” Kim of the advantages of the new job.”

        Other times people think that the conflict can only be the fault of one of the people involved in it, and ascribe the person all sorts of bad character traits which could only get softened through relaxation techniques, or fixed through therapy (1). “Toni is so frustrated all the time, they should really learn some positive thinking and do more yoga so they don’t bother everyone with their bad mood at work.” OR “Jawad has a depression, let’s ignore his negativity.”

        [...]

        When a conflict in your workplace arises, make sure to ask and research if there could be one or more underlying structural issues that may have led to this conflict.

        (1) It is very important to distinguish an actual mental health issue such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, as merely two examples, from behaviours that we dislike in other people. Mental health issues might be at the core of a conflict, or a dysfunctional relation at work. However, diagnosing a person with some kind of mental health issue is most often used as a way to dismiss their criticism, their way of voicing an opinion, or as a way to silence them. Rule of thumb: If you’re not their doctor, but have to work with them, please seek external medical — or even legal — advice.

      • Spilling over: How working openly with anxiety affects my team

        “I knew you were disappointed,” my staff member said, recalling the meeting, “like you wanted us to be doing something that we weren’t doing, or that what we were doing wasn’t good enough.”

        They paused for a moment and then said, “Sam, I get this feeling from you all the time.”

        That comment struck me pretty profoundly. To my team member, perhaps the scenario above is a reflection of my exacting standards, my high expectations, or my desire to see continual improvement with the team. Those are all reasonable explanations for my behavior.

        But there’s another ingredient my team may not be aware of: my anxiety.

      • Review: Digital Minimalism

        Cal Newport is a computer science professor at Georgetown with a long-standing side interest in personal productivity and career development. I first ran across his work with Deep Work, the thesis of which is that the most valuable resource for knowledge workers is concentration and the ability to think deeply about a topic, but our work environments and tools are structured to undermine that concentration. I found, and still find, Deep Work persuasive, even if that hasn’t fully translated into following its recommendations.

        This book is only glancingly about concentration, however. Newport has gotten interested in what he calls “digital minimalism,” joining the chorus of people who say that smart phones and social media are bad for your brain. If you’re already starting to roll your eyes, you’re not alone. I think Newport has a few interesting things to say and successfully avoids most of the moral panic that infests news media coverage of this topic, but I’d rather read more in the vein of Deep Work.

        Newport’s basic thesis is sound: Social networks, and to a lesser extent smart phones and mobile apps in general, are designed to make money for their authors by monetizing your attention. The companies behind them aren’t opposed to making your life better if that helps hold your attention, but it’s not their primary goal, nor is it clear if they know how to improve your life in any meaningful way. They do know, extremely well, how to exploit human psychology to keep you returning to their product.

    • Health/Nutrition

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Microsoft uses its expertise in malware to help with fileless attack detection on Linux [Ed: Truly laughable stuff as Microsoft specialises in adding back doors, then abusing those who speak about it]
        • Azure Sphere, Microsoft’s Linux-Powered IoT Security Service, Launches [Ed: Microsoft is Googlebombing "Linux" again; you search for Linux news, you get Microsoft Azure (surveillance) and proprietary malware, instead.]
        • Linux-Powered Azure IoT Security Platform Arrives [Ed: Microsoft news disguised as "Linux" -- a new PR theme?]
        • Microsoft previews Microsoft Defender ATP for Linux

          Believe it or not, Microsoft is readying its Microsoft Defender Advanced Threat Protection for Linux servers. Yes, you read that right: Linux servers.

        • Google and Microsoft are scaring consumers over Edge extensions, and for what?

          Simply trying to install a Chrome extension via the Chrome Web Store actually requires navigating through several warnings, from both Google and Microsoft, about where to go to install an extension. The confusion and frustration this no doubt creates with users reflects poorly on both sides.

        • Pseudo-Open Source

          • Openwashing

          • Privatisation/Privateering

            • Linux Foundation

              • Why Source Code Scanning Tools are Essential to Open Source Compliance [Ed: This promotes proprietary software of Microsoft 'proxies', along with FUD, to make proprietary software sales]

                There are many scanning tools and vendors to choose from. For example, Black Duck, WhiteSource, and FOSSA are well-known vendors that offer scanning tools on a subscription basis. FOSSology is an open source scanning tool maintained by the Linux Foundation, but it doesn’t come with a pre-populated library of open source code or software repository, which you would need to build on your own.

        • Security

          • Security updates for Tuesday

            Security updates have been issued by Debian (curl and otrs2), Fedora (NetworkManager-ssh and python-psutil), Mageia (ipmitool, libgd, libxml2_2, nextcloud, radare2, and upx), openSUSE (inn and sudo), Oracle (kernel, ksh, python-pillow, and thunderbird), Red Hat (curl, kernel, nodejs:10, nodejs:12, procps-ng, rh-nodejs10-nodejs, ruby, and systemd), SUSE (dpdk, firefox, java-1_7_1-ibm, java-1_8_0-ibm, libexif, libvpx, nodejs10, nodejs8, openssl1, pdsh, slurm_18_08, python-azure-agent, python3, and webkit2gtk3), and Ubuntu (libapache2-mod-auth-mellon, libpam-radius-auth, and rsync).

          • New Critical RCE Bug in OpenBSD SMTP Server Threatens Linux Distros [Ed: Typical FUD associating "Linux" with a package that GNU/Linux distros do not come with]

            Security researchers have discovered a new critical vulnerability in the OpenSMTPD email server. An attacker could exploit it remotely to run shell commands as root on the underlying operating system.

          • New OpenSMTPD RCE Flaw Affects Linux and OpenBSD Email Servers [Ed: Again attributing to operating systems bugs in pertinent packages they may not even have]

            OpenSMTPD has been found vulnerable to yet another critical vulnerability that could allow remote attackers to take complete control over email servers running BSD or Linux operating systems.
            OpenSMTPD, also known as OpenBSD SMTP Server, is an open-source implementation of the Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP) to deliver messages on a local machine or to relay them to other SMTP servers.
            It was initially developed as part of the OpenBSD project but now comes pre-installed on many UNIX-based systems.

          • Y2K bug has a 2020 echo

            The New Scientist reports on problems with software caused by an echo of the Y2K bug that had every excited in the late 1990s.

            It turns out one of the fixes then was to kick various software cans down the road to 2020. In theory that gave people 20 years to find long term answers to the problems. In some cases they might have expected software refreshes to have solved the issue.

            [...]

            This happens because Unix time started on January 1 1970. Time since then is stored as a 32-bit integer. On January 19 2038, that integer will overflow.

            Most modern applications and operating systems have been patched to fix this although there are some compatibility problems. The real issue comes with embedded hardware, think of things like medical devices, which will need replacing some time in the next 18 years.

          • The “Cloud Snooper” malware that sneaks into your Linux servers [Ed: They don't want to mention that people actually need to install this malware on GNU/Linux for dangers to become viable. Typical Sophos FUD/sales.]
          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • Facebook Is Buying Another Virtual Reality Game Studio

              The “vast majority” of Sanzaru’s nearly 100 employees will join Oculus, including the company’s founders, and Sanzaru will operate independently out of their existing offices, Facebook said Tuesday. Terms of the acquisition weren’t disclosed. The deal comes three months after Facebook acquired Beat Games, the maker of another popular VR game called Beat Saber.

            • Peter Thiel’s Palantir Wins Role in $823 Million Government Contract

              The four-year deal represents more than a decade of work by the Palo Alto, California-based data mining startup to break into the club of existing defense contractors, and bolsters the company’s prospects as it prepares it to go public.

              The contract is the second half of a larger project. Palantir and Raytheon Co. won the first half of the deal in 2018, worth $876 million. This second part involves Palantir working with BAE Systems to replace the U.S. Army’s Distributed Common Ground System, used for aggregating and analyzing data, which has faced technical challenges. Palantir sued the Army in 2016 to win the right to compete for the new contract after the U.S. Government Accountability Office determined the old system was underperforming and over budget.

            • How to deactivate your Twitter account

              But being an active Twitter user requires sifting through a daily deluge of toxic characters, including white supremacists, bots, deepfakes, the president of the United States, and more. Plus, there’s no denying the stress and anxiety that the fast pace of Twitter’s news cycle, and the strain of constantly debating reply guys, can bring.

            • Firefox turns controversial new encryption on by default in the US

              Starting today, Mozilla will turn on by default DNS over HTTPS (DoH) for Firefox users in the US, the company has announced. DoH is a new standard that encrypts a part of your internet traffic that’s typically sent over an unencrypted plain text connection, and which could allow others to see what websites you’re visiting, even when your communication with the website itself is encrypted using HTTPS. Mozilla says it is the first browser to support the new standard by default, and will be rolling it out gradually over the coming weeks in order to address any unforeseen issues.

            • Firefox flips on default DNS over HTTPS to encrypt Internet traffic at the source

              For its part, Mozilla downplays any potential risk and vows to work with companies, schools, and other organizations, as well as ISPs to mitigate concerns over DoH. In a statement to ZDNet, the company said it was “We’re surprised and disappointed that an industry association for ISPs decided to misrepresent an improvement to decades-old internet infrastructure.”

              To use default DoH, you need to update or download the latest version of the Firefox browser (73.0.1). Users can disable default DoH on the Firefox browser—or enable it if you’re outside the U.S.—by visiting the Network tab under General settings and unchecking the Enable DNS over HTTPS box.

            • State supreme court rules for man charged with theft for removing GPS planted on his car by cops

              The Indiana Supreme Court ruled Thursday for an Indiana man who was charged with theft for allegedly removing a GPS tracking device from his vehicle that had been planted there by officers.

              The state supreme court ruled that warrants obtained to search for the device in Derek Heuring’s home and barn were invalid because there was no probable cause that the device was stolen. As a result, evidence obtained in the search cannot be used, the court said.

            • Justices: Seized evidence must be suppressed in GPS tracker case

              Specifically, Rush said the affidavits were based on noncriminal behavior, a hunch and a conclusory statement. “Thus, a reasonably well-trained officer, in reviewing these affidavits, would have known that they failed to establish probable cause and, without more, would not have applied for the warrants.”

              “In reaching this conclusion, we do not question Officer (Jarret) Busing’s subjective good faith. But that is not the test,” Rush concluded. “… We are also aware that exclusion of the evidence here may result in criminal behavior going unpunished. Yet, ‘there is nothing new in the realization that the Constitution sometimes insulates the criminality of a few in order to protect the privacy of us all.’ Arizona v. Hicks, 480 U.S. 321, 329 (1987).”

            • Indiana Supreme Court Tosses Warrants In Drug Case Over Privacy Issue

              The Indiana Supreme Court says that was wrong. In the unanimous decision, Chief Justice Loretta Rush writes, “we find it reckless for an [officer] to search a suspect’s home and his father’s barn based on nothing more than a hunch that a crime has been committed.”

              The Court invalidated those search warrants and any evidence found as a result, saying there was no probable cause to get the warrants in the first place.

              Heuring’s case now goes back to the trial court.

    • Defence/Aggression

      • Top Pentagon Policy Official Pushed Out

        The U.S. Department of Defense’s top policy official, John Rood, is stepping down from his post following pressure from the White House, leaving another gaping hole in the Pentagon’s senior leadership as the department comes under increased scrutiny over its handling of the president’s hold on military aid to Ukraine.

    • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

      • Fate of Julian Assange to be sealed this week

        A fearless campaigner for democratic openness, or a criminal trying to avoid justice: WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is a highly polarising figure who finds himself once again at the centre of global attention.

        The 48-year-old Australian is the figurehead of the whistleblowing website that exposed government secrets worldwide, notably the explosive leak of US military and diplomatic files.

        But he has spent most of the past decade either in custody or holed up in Ecuador’s London embassy as he has tried to avoid extradition – first to Sweden and then to the United States.

      • Whatever you think of Assange, his case has broad implications

        There are two images of Julian Assange that display the deeply contradictory views of his supporters and his critics.

        The first is of Assange at the balcony of the Ecuadorian embassy in London, microphone in hand, addressing the media gathered in the street below. That low-angle image captures the hero of transparency, accountability, the scourge of the powerful, who has dug around electronic rubbish bins for secrets that governments would rather keep hidden. It shows a man defiantly standing up to the might of the United States by exposing corruption and human rights abuses and defending press freedom.

    • Environment

    • Finance

      • Sweden to test e-krona central bank digital currency on Corda blockchain

        How an e-krona might impact the Swedish economy depends in part on the design of the currency. Hence the need for the pilot project. Test users will store e-krona in a digital wallet, enabling them to make and receive payments. Additionally, there will be solutions for smartwatches and cards. The possibility of using the currency offline may be explored.

        Before a wallet can be used, it has to be activated by a participant connected to the distributed ledger technology (DLT) network, mainly banks. Once activated the e-kronor can be used for retail payments, person to person payments, or transfers to and from bank accounts.

      • Sweden’s Central Bank Finally Embraces DLT, But Only in Simulation Mode

        For now at least, the e-krona pilot is set to move forward on a limited basis. Built by Accenture and based on R3 Corda, Riksbank’s digital currency trials will run as a simulation through February 2021, at which point Riksbank could extend the project for another six years.

        The pilot will not involve any banks or end-users; everything will be simulated within the central bank’s closed network. Accenture is still preparing the final system for testing, according to Riksbank’s press office.

      • Swedish central bank begins CBDC pilot with Accenture

        The central bank said that it is conducting a pilot project aimed at developing a proposal for a technical solution for e-krona. The pilot is being carried out in collaboration with Accenture.

        As per the details, the project aims to show in a test environment how an e-krona could be used by the general public. This technical solution will be based on Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT).

      • Technical solution for the e-krona pilot

        The technical platform that forms the foundation of the e-krona solution is based on the company R3’s Corda DLT platform. Corda differs on a number of crucial points from cryptocurrencies, such as Bitcoin. For example, the e-krona’s DLT network will be private and only accessible for participants approved by the Riksbank. Corda’s solution for verifying transactions is not as energy-consuming as Bitcoin either, but is instead more comparable with existing payment systems. Corda also provides a high degree of robustness and scalability as only a few nodes, and the notary node that is a supporting component to prevent double spending of tokens, are involved in each transaction.

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • 5 Ways William Barr is Turning America into a Dictatorship

        But unlike Nixon, Trump won’t resign. He has too many enablers – not just a shameful Attorney General but also shameless congressional Republicans – who place a lower priority on justice than on satisfying the most vindictive and paranoid occupant of the White House in modern American history.One ABC News interview, conducted only to give the appearance of impartiality, doesn’t make up for the myriad ways Attorney General Bill Barr has corrupted the Justice Department and willfully abetted Trump’s lawlessness. For the sake of our democracy, he must resign immediately.

    • Monopolies

      • Patents

        • Numbering System in Drawings Used to Interpret Claims

          After a narrowing claim construction, the patentee stipulated to a non-infringement and invalidity judgment. On appeal, the Federal Circuit has vacated and remanded — holding that the underlying claim construction was partially erroneous.

          The two patents at issue – U.S. Patents 6,427,078 & 5,915,239 – originated with Nokia in the mid-1990’s and are directed to aspects of hand-held personal communication devices.

          [...]

          On appeal, the Federal Circuit refused to limit “camera unit” to the design found in the figure. In particular, the Federal Circuit explained that the camera unit is consistently numbered in the fourteens (14, 14a, 14b, 14o, 14c). The battery and interface have separate numbers — indicating that they are not actually part of the camera unit.

          [...]

          Because this subidentifier limitation was in all of the asserted claims in the ‘239 patent — the non-infringement finding will stick. On remand though, the patentee will further pursue its infringement claim under US6,427,078.

        • Software Patents

          • Obtaining patent protection for software in Europe

            Under the European Patent Convention, a computer program per se is not considered a patentable invention; rather, program listings per se are protected by copyright.

            However, in many cases, a computer program can be considered a technical solution to a technical problem and is thus patentable. For a European patent to be granted, applicants must show that this solution is novel and involves an inventive step with respect to prior art.

            In a well-known opinion,(1) the Enlarged Board of Appeal of the European Patent Office (EPO) confirmed that it is possible to avoid any objections to a program per se by adding one or more technical features in the claims (eg, by introducing programmable apparatus). In particular, claiming a ‘computer-implemented method’ with different steps is considered a technical solution to a technical problem because of the presence of a computer. This criteria is assessed without regard to prior art. The EPO Guidelines for Examination are in line with this approach.

            [...]

            A recent EPO report comparing European and Chinese practices for software-related inventions revealed that the Chinese approach for determining if a claimed object is a patentable invention differs slightly from the European approach.(2) In China, computer programs per se are considered mental activities and cannot be patented. Applicants must show that the claimed invention adopts technical means to solve a technical problem and thereby achieves a technical effect. In other words, this first hurdle is similar to the examination of inventiveness step in Europe.

      • Copyrights

Share this post: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • Reddit
  • co.mments
  • DZone
  • email
  • Google Bookmarks
  • LinkedIn
  • NewsVine
  • Print
  • Technorati
  • TwitThis
  • Facebook

If you liked this post, consider subscribing to the RSS feed or join us now at the IRC channels.

Pages that cross-reference this one

What Else is New


  1. Upcoming Articles and Research Areas

    Although we've failed to write as much as usual, we're still preparing some in-depth articles and maintaining Daily Links (in spite of unforeseen ordeals like a forced laptop migration)



  2. Links 2/4/2020: ProtonMail Bridge for Linux, GTK 3.98.2 and Red Hat DNF 4.2.21

    Links for the day



  3. Links 1/4/2020: Linux 5.7 Merges, Qt 5.14.2, GhostBSD 20.03, Linux Mint 20 Ulyana Plans, WordPress 5.4 “Adderley”

    Links for the day



  4. IRC Proceedings: Tuesday, March 31, 2020

    IRC logs for Tuesday, March 31, 2020



  5. Techrights to Delete Articles From All Past Years to Save Disk Space

    What if we deleted over 25,000 posts?



  6. IRC Proceedings: Monday, March 30, 2020

    IRC logs for Monday, March 30, 2020



  7. Links 30/3/2020: GNU Linux-libre 5.6, WireGuard 1.0.0

    Links for the day



  8. IRC Proceedings: Sunday, March 29, 2020

    IRC logs for Sunday, March 29, 2020



  9. Links 30/3/2020: Linux 5.6, Nitrux 1.2.7, Sparky 2020.03.1

    Links for the day



  10. The Fall of the UPC - Part IX: Campinos Opens His Mouth One Week Later (and It's That Hilarious Delusion Again)

    Team Campinos said nothing whatsoever about the decision of the FCC until one week later, whereupon Campinos leveraged some words from Christine Lambrecht to mislead everybody in the EPO's official "news" section



  11. Pretending EPO Corruption Stopped Under António Campinos When It is in Fact a Lot Worse in Several Respects/Aspects (Than It Was Under Benoît Battistelli)

    Germany's eagerness to keep Europe's central patent office in Munich (and to a lesser degree in Berlin) means that politicians in the capital and in Bavaria turn a blind eye to abuses, corruption and even serious crimes; this won't help Germany's image in the long run



  12. IRC Proceedings: Saturday, March 28, 2020

    IRC logs for Saturday, March 28, 2020



  13. Links 28/3/2020: Wine 5.5 Released, EasyPup 2.2.14, WordPress 5.4 RC5 and End of Truthdig

    Links for the day



  14. IRC Proceedings: Friday, March 27, 2020

    IRC logs for Friday, March 27, 2020



  15. The Fall of the UPC - Part VIII: Team UPC Celebrates Death, Not Life

    Team UPC plays psychological games now; it is trying to twist or spin its defeat as good news and something to be almost celebrated; it is really as illogical (and pathetic) as that sounds



  16. Links 27/3/2020: GNU/Linux Versus COVID-19 and Release of GNU Guile 3.0.2

    Links for the day



  17. When Your 'Business' is Just 'Patent Portfolio'

    Hoarding loads of patents may seem impressive, but eating them to survive is impossible if not impermissible



  18. LOT Network is a One-Man (Millionaire's) Operation and Why This Should Alarm You

    The ugly story of Open Invention Network (OIN) and LOT; today we take a closer look at LOT and highlight a pattern of 'cross-pollination' (people in both OIN and LOT, even at the same time)



  19. Faking Production With Fake Patents on Software

    The EPO with its illegal guidelines (in violation of the EPC) can carry on churning out millions of fake patents that European courts would only waste time on and small companies be blackmailed with (they cannot afford legal battles)



  20. With the Unified Patent Court (UPC) Out of the Way Focus Will Return to EPO Corruption

    Expect the European Patent Office (EPO) to receive more negative attention now that the ’cause’ of UPC is lost and there’s no point pretending things are rosy



  21. IRC Proceedings: Thursday, March 26, 2020

    IRC logs for Thursday, March 26, 2020



  22. Links 27/3/2020: qBittorrent 4.2.2, Krita 4.2.9, pfSense 2.4, Bodhi Linux 5

    Links for the day



  23. IRC Proceedings: Wednesday, March 25, 2020

    IRC logs for Wednesday, March 25, 2020



  24. Still Work in Progress: Getting Those 2,851 Pages of Police Report About Arrest for Pedophilia in Home of Bill Gates

    It’s extremely difficult to get those police records, which were requested exactly one day before the media started attacking Richard Stallman (associating him with pedophiles based on a deliberate distortion)



  25. Links 26/3/2020: Plasma Bigscreen, New Kubernetes, Fedora's New Identity and Bodhi Linux 5.1.0

    Links for the day



  26. Guest Article: Window Managers, Github and Software Disobedience

    "Walking away from monopolies is the essence of freedom"



  27. Links 25/3/2020: LLVM 10.0.0 and UCS 4.4-4 Released, WordPress 5.4 RC4

    Links for the day



  28. 'Team UPC' Last Week

    The looks on Team UPC's faces 5 days ago (before and after the 9:30AM announcement)



  29. The Fall of the UPC - Part VII: Lies and Revisionism About the Reasons for the UPC's Ultimate Demise (to Leave the Door Open for More Failed Attempts)

    The media was lying in a hurry, in a coordinated effort to distort the meaning of the FCC's decision or belittle the impact of this decision; Techrights will carefully watch and respond to these lies



  30. IRC Proceedings: Tuesday, March 24, 2020

    IRC logs for Tuesday, March 24, 2020


RSS 64x64RSS Feed: subscribe to the RSS feed for regular updates

Home iconSite Wiki: You can improve this site by helping the extension of the site's content

Home iconSite Home: Background about the site and some key features in the front page

Chat iconIRC Channel: Come and chat with us in real time

Recent Posts