04.30.20

Gemini version available ♊︎

Links 30/4/2020: Modernizing AutoYaST, Mesa 20.1 RC and /e/-Fairphone 3

Posted in News Roundup at 4:33 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Audiocasts/Shows

    • Kernel Space

      • Linux 5.5 vs. 5.6 vs. 5.7 Kernel Benchmarks With The Intel Core i9 10980XE

        Besides those systems now seeing Schedutil by default as the CPU frequency scaling governor and some Radeon gaming performance gains to note, the performance of Linux 5.7 in our testing thus far has largely been on track with Linux 5.6 stable.

        Linux 5.7 brings many new features while the performance overall is largely similar to that of Linux 5.6 sans any hardware-specific work.

      • Intel Announces 10th Gen Core S-Series CPUs, Led By The Core i9 10900K
      • Intel reveals brand new desktop processors along with their Core i9-10900K flagship
      • The integrity policy enforcement security module

        There are many ways to try to keep a system secure. One of those, often employed in embedded or other dedicated-purpose systems, is to try to ensure that only code that has been approved (by whoever holds that power over the system in question) can be executed. The secure boot mechanism, which is intended to keep a computer from booting anything but a trusted kernel, is one piece of this puzzle, but its protection only extends through the process of booting the kernel itself. Various mechanisms exist for protecting a system after it boots; a new option for this stage is the Integrity Policy Enforcement (IPE) security module, posted by Deven Bowers.
        IPE is one of a new generation of security modules that has been enabled by the ongoing work to implement module stacking. It does not attempt to provide a full security enforcement mechanism like SELinux, AppArmor, or Smack do; instead, it focuses specifically on the task of vetting attempts to execute code. And, in particular, its enforcement mechanism comes down to a simple question: does the code that the system is proposing to execute come from an appropriately signed disk volume?

        IPE is designed to work with dm-verity, which provides integrity checking for block devices. Each dm-verity volume has a root hash, which is derived from the hashes of the individual blocks in that volume. Whenever blocks are read from this volume, the hashes are checked up to the root to ensure that nothing has been tampered with. Assuming everything is working as intended, the data read from a dm-verity volume is guaranteed to be the data that the creator put there and hashed, with no subsequent tampering.

        While dm-verity can be used to ensure that nobody has corrupted a disk image, there are still a couple of pieces missing when it comes to ensuring the integrity of the system as a whole. One is ensuring that the root hash for the volume is the one that the creator of the volume intended; that can be done by either storing the hash value separately or applying a cryptographic signature. Even a verified, integrity-protected volume is only of limited use, though, if the system is able to execute code that doesn’t come from that volume.

      • How to unbreak LTTng

        Back in February, the kernel community discussed the removal of a couple of functions that could be used by loadable modules to gain access to symbols (functions and data structures) that were not meant to be available to them. That change was merged during the 5.7 merge window. This change will break a number of external modules that depended on the removed functions; since many of those modules are proprietary, this fact does not cause a great deal of anguish in the kernel community. But there are a few out-of-tree modules with GPL-compatible licenses that are also affected by this change; one of those is LTTng. Fixing LTTng may not be entirely straightforward.
        LTTng is a tracing subsystem; to carry out that sort of task, it must be able to hook into the kernel in a number of fairly deep places. It is unsurprising that LTTng was accessing parts of the kernel that are not deemed suitable for export to modules in general. Losing access to kallsyms_on_each_symbol() deprived LTTng of the ability to find those addresses, thus breaking much of its functionality. That is not welcome news to those who work on — or use — LTTng.

        LTTng developer Mathieu Desnoyers has responded to this change with a patch series exporting a number of new symbols; with those available, LTTng can do what it needs to do without using the rather more general kallsyms_on_each_symbol() function. For example, LTTng needs access to stack_trace_save_user() to be able to save user-space stack traces. It also needs access to functions like task_prio(), disk_name(), and get_pfn_blocks_mask(). LTTng obtains kernel information from tracepoints as well, of course, and that usage will increase as tracepoints replace some of the direct internal accesses that were used before. The patch set raises the number of arguments that can be passed to a BPF program from a tracepoint to an eye-opening 13 (to allow more information to be passed out via a specific tracepoint), but that change may prove to be unnecessary in the end.

      • Proactive compaction for the kernel

        Many applications benefit significantly from the use of huge pages. However, huge-page allocations often incur a high latency or even fail under fragmented memory conditions. Proactive compaction may provide an effective solution to these problems by doing memory compaction in the background. With my proposed proactive compaction implementation, typical huge-page allocation latencies are reduced by a factor of 70-80 while incurring minimal CPU overhead.

        Memory compaction is a feature of the Linux kernel that makes larger, physically contiguous blocks of free memory available. Currently, the kernel uses an on-demand compaction scheme. Whenever a per-node kcompactd thread is woken up, it compacts just enough memory to make available a single page of the needed size. Once a page of that size is made available, the thread goes back to sleep. This pattern of compaction often causes a high latency for higher-order allocations and hurts performance for workloads that need to burst-allocate a large number of huge pages.

        Experiments where compaction is manually triggered on a system with a fragmented memory state show that it could be brought to a fairly compacted memory state within one second for a 32GB system. Such data suggests that a proactive compaction scheme in the kernel could allow allocating a significant fraction of memory as huge pages while keeping allocation latencies low.

      • Graphics Stack

        • mesa 20.1.0-rc1
          I'd like to announce the first release candidate of the 20.1 branch,
          Mesa 20.1.0-rc1.
          
          Please test it, and report any issues you might find to:
          
          https://gitlab.freedesktop.org/mesa/mesa/issues/new
          
          We also have a GitLab milestone to track issues that need to be fixed
          and MRs that need to be merged before 20.1.0 final. Please add it to
          the relevant issues & MRs:
          
          https://gitlab.freedesktop.org/mesa/mesa/milestones/14
          
          The next release candidate is scheduled for 7 days from now, on
          2020-05-06.
          
          Eric
          
          
        • Mesa 20.1 Feature Development Ends With RC1 Released

          Mesa 20.1 feature development is now over with it being branched from Git master and subsequently Mesa 20.1-RC1 being released this evening.

          Mesa 20.1 is the Q2’2020 update to this collection of open-source graphics drivers, predominantly Vulkan and OpenCL driver implementations for the likes of not only Intel, Radeon, and Nouveau (NVIDIA) graphics but also Arm/SoC graphics drivers as well.

        • X.Org Board Elections Wrap Up For 2020

          They join existing X.Org board members Samuel Iglesias Gonsálvez [Igalia], Manasi D Navare [Intel], Lyude Paul [Red Hat], and Daniel Vetter [Intel]. Of the new members, three of them previously served with Collabora’s Mark Filion being new to the foundation’s board.

          The X.Org Board of Directors is principally responsible for organizing the annual XDC developer conference, overseeing the X.Org Endless Vacation of Code and their usual participation within the Google Summer of Code, arranging sponsorships and travel reimbursements and other finances under the SPI, and related matters like their skyrocketing cloud costs associated with the X.Org/FD.o CI.

        • AMD AOMP 11.5 Released For OpenMP Offloading To Radeon GPUs

          Released on Wednesday was AOMP 11.5 as the latest version of the AMD/ROCm compiler based off LLVM Clang and focused on OpenMP offloading to Radeon GPUs.

          AOMP is part of the ROCm umbrella for Radeon OpenMP device offloading. This is a branched version of upstream LLVM Clang that recently was re-based to LLVM 11 development code and thus the version number for AOMP.

        • AMDVLK 2020.Q2.2 Flips On The Pipeline Binary Cache, Tunes SoTR Performance

          AMDVLK 2020.Q2.2 has been issued today as the company’s latest open-source AMD Radeon Vulkan driver based off their official driver source tree.

          With this second AMDVLK driver snapshot of Q2-2020, there are a few notable changes in tow. The AMDVLK pipeline binary cache has been enabled by default for helping with load times. AMDVLK also now supports the Vulkan memory protected bit (VK_MEMORY_PROPERTY_PROTECTED_BIT). This driver update has also seen more performance optimization work around the few month old Linux port of Shadow of the Tomb Raider.

        • Service process and out of process compositing in Monado

          Moving all drivers and the compositor to the service process brings many advantages to the previous in-process model. For this input and rendering needed to be sent over our new IPC infrastructure. With a separate render loop, now independent of the OpenXR client, the compositor can provide a constant frame rate, even when the application doesn’t deliver frames on time. This is required and the foundation of future reprojection work, where old frames can be transformed with new tracking data for a smoother experience if the client lags behind. In addition, the obvious advantage of an out of process compositor is that the compositor can be started asynchronously to the application and run on its own without any application. This is also required for running multiple clients in the future and for implementing OpenXR extensions like XR_EXTX_overlay.

          Amongst other small improvements to the compositor we improved support for direct mode on NVIDIA by recognizing more display identifiers like the Valve Index and the Oculus Rift series of HMDs.

        • Open-source OpenXR runtime for Linux ‘Monado’ gets an improved compositor – runs Blender VR

          Those crazy-smart folks over at Collabora have continued hacking away on Monado, a fully open source OpenXR (VR / AR standard) runtime for Linux. Now it’s progressed quite far and it can run Blender VR.

          A refresher on Monado: Monado is the first OpenXR runtime for GNU/Linux. Monado hopes to jump-start development of an open source XR ecosystem and provide the fundamental building blocks for device vendors to target the GNU/Linux platform.
          Writing on the Collabora development blog, engineer Lubosz Sarnecki mentioned that Monado now has a “new monado-service binary and out of process compositor” which brings several advantages over the original in-process model. It now has a separate render loop, with the compositor now being able to provide a constant frame rate “even when the application doesn’t deliver frames on time”. Something that’s absolutely vital to produce a smoother experience and help prevent nausea.

    • Instructionals/Technical

    • Games

      • Fantasy turn-based tactical battler with fun physics ‘Fort Triumph’ released DRM-free on GOG

        Fort Triumph released with full Linux support recently and it’s a really great turn-based tactics game, especially with the way you can interact with the environment. It’s also now live on GOG.

        The GOG release thankfully isn’t too long after the Steam release earlier this month (April 16), and I’ve been having an absolute blast with it. You can see our previous release article on Fort Triumph here. Mixing together tactical turn-based combat, where you can drop trees on people or kick them into each other and set off some amusing physics chain-reactions with world exploration like seen in Heroes of Might and Magic. Together, it’s quite an enticing and fun mix.

      • Kemonomimi themed 2D RPG ‘LandTraveller’ adds more story content in the latest update

        LandTraveller is a sweet 2D RPG where you assume the role of a Kemonomimi, a race of people with animal-like ears. Currently in Early Access it recently had quite a large update.

        What actually is it? See a constructive world from a new perspective. Customize, battle, and grow with deep action RPG elements. Play through a story or explore with friends. Search for lost knowledge and rare material to craft powerful equipment. Challenge the powerful enemies waiting for you deep inside the dungeons. Invite NPC citizens to join your cave or village. Discover your inner beast and realize your full potential!

      • Modding Terraria on Steam is about to get easier with tModLoader and later Steam Workshop for it

        Along with the upcoming release of the massive Terraria: Journey’s End free expansion, Re-Logic have announced the popular open source modding tool tModLoader will be available on Steam.

        What exactly is it? tModLoader is an API for Terraria that provides a way to create and load mods without having to work with Terraria’s source code directly. This means you can easily make mods that are compatible with other mods and save yourself the trouble of having to decompile then recompile the game.

      • Assassin’s Creed Valhalla announced, will release on Stadia but no Steam release (EGS)

        Assassin’s Creed Valhalla has been formally announced by Ubisoft, and it’s confirmed to be coming to Stadia so you will be able to stream it on Linux at release. For those of you hoping to grab it on Steam to play with Steam Play Proton, you’re in for some disappointment there as it’s going to the Epic Games Store instead. At least with Stadia, there’s still a way to play right away.

        More: Assassin’s Creed Valhalla throws players axe-first into ninth-century England, an age of warring kingdoms and Viking conquest. As Eivor, a fierce Viking raider, you’ll lead your clan to build a new home amid England’s fractured dominions.

      • Streets of Rage 4 to be playable on Linux at release with Steam Play Proton

        Streets of Rage 4 is a classic beat ‘em up series revived thanks to Dotemu, Guard Crush Games and Lizardcube that releases today. It’s also going to be playable on Linux.

        While it won’t currently offer official support from the development team for Linux, it appears they have given their backing to Valve and CodeWeavers for Steam Play Proton—the compatibility layer for Linux based on Wine. On Twitter, Valve developer Pierre-Loup Griffais mentioned that the Streets of Rage 4 developers actually provided pre-release keys for Proton development. Thanks to that, Streets of Rage 4 will work “out of the box” with Proton 5.0-7 which is currently in Release Candidate stage and you can opt into it now.

      • Tough Early Access turn-based RPG ‘Stoneshard’ is now DRM-free on GOG

        DRM-free and a Linux build, wonderful. Today the challenging and engrossing turn-based RPG, Stoneshard, has arrived on GOG. This Early Access title has been available on Linux officially since February with it being on Steam already.

        What is it? Stoneshard is a challenging turn-based RPG set in an open world. Experience the unforgiving life of a medieval mercenary: travel across the war-torn kingdom, fulfill contracts, fight, mend your wounds and develop your character without any restrictions.

      • Upcoming slavic fantasy adventure ‘The End of the Sun’ has a first proper gameplay video

        The End of the Sun is an upcoming fantasy adventure game with a slavic theme and now there’s a first proper gameplay video, along with some developer commentary. Due to run a Kickstarter campaign, they’ve also now announced that’s going to be launching on May 6.

        What is it? The End of the Sun is a first-person exploration and adventure game, where the story has the most important meaning, as it is set in the world of Slavic rites, beliefs, legends, and their everyday life. It is a series of mysterious events that ordinary people dealt with, as they were living in a small village where the line between myth and reality began to fade perilously.
        When it comes to the actual story, it does sound very intriguing and mysterious. You play as the Ashter (Volhv), someone who has the ability to travel through time. You’re following a secretive fugitive and while doing so, you come across an empty village.

      • If you have the retro gaming itch RetroPie 4.6 is out with support for the Raspberry Pi 4

        RetroPie bundles together multiple other projects together like the EmulationStation interface, RetroArch and more to give you an easy way to get your retro gaming fix. Now more of you can enjoy it. As of RetroPie 4.6 announced this week, it now supports the Raspberry Pi 4. Considering the RPi 4 is a stronger device, it can run games even better.

        If you’ve never used RetroPie it supports quite a lot of old systems including my old personal favourites the Amiga and the Sega Mega Drive (Genesis) amongst a great many others.

        The thing is, they update the system constantly and you don’t need to download fresh images but they do put new full images out every so often, giving Raspberry Pi 4 support was a good excuse for them to do so. You can install RetroPie on any Linux system, or download their pre-built images for something like the RPi which is built upon Raspbian (a Debian Linux-based distro).

    • Distributions

      • SUSE/OpenSUSE

        • Modernizing AutoYaST

          YaST2 is a venerable project that has been around for more than 20 years now. It keeps evolving and, with every SUSE and openSUSE release, it takes several new features (and a couple of new bugs). Needlessly to say that, to some extent, YaST2 is showing its age. We are aware of it, and we have been working to tackle this problem. The successful rewrite of the storage layer, which brought many features, is an example we can feel proud of.

          Now that the development of SLE 15 SP2 and openSUSE Leap 15.2 features is mostly done, we have started to look to AutoYaST. The purpose of this article is to present our initiative to modernize AutoYaST.

        • Discuss, Define and be Transparent with the openSUSE-Community

          The SUSE Linux Enterprise Team is acknowledging the openSUSE community needs for a better and transparent collaboration with SUSE. We have now a momentum to think and be different.

          The symbiosis between SUSE Linux Enterprise and openSUSE is real, we share so much more than just code, we use the same tools like Open Build Service, openQA, similar maintenance processes, people (Release Managers, contributors, etc) and more.

          We might have been a bit quiet in the past but that doesn’t mean we didn’t evolve; over the years, we have created more bonds like Package Hub, foster our contribution with SLE Factory First Policy for SUSE employees and our Technology Partners, be more accessible during our development phase with the SLE Public Beta Program, just to name a few examples.

          But now we have a momentum to accelerate, especially with regard to being more transparent with our defects and feature requests for the benefit of the openSUSE distribution and community. So we heard you, and today we want to clarify and improve processes, for all of us, and give some inputs on SUSE internal discussions about kicking out the so called “closed doors”.

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • Linux laptops: Lenovo is going to sell these ThinkPads with Fedora preinstalled

          Rejoice Linux fans: Lenovo will start offering select models of its ThinkPad series pre-installed with the Linux-based Fedora Workstation distribution, joining the ranks of Dell in the lineup of mainstream Linux laptop suppliers.

          Lenovo will offer Fedora 32 Workstation as a customizable option for its ThinkPad P1 Gen2, ThinkPad P53 and ThinkPad X1 Gen8 options, under a pilot of Lenovo’s Linux Community Series – Fedora Edition.

        • Red Hat CEO Paul Cormier | Red Hat Summit 2020

          In this special edition of TFiR Newsroom, we are offering exclusive interviews from the Red Hat Summit. In this interview, Paul Cormier, CEO, and Chairman of Red Hat talks about how Red Hat is maintaining neutrality in working with partners as part of IBM.

        • Recapping day two of Red Hat Summit Virtual Experience

          Anybody who thinks open source enterprise software is boring has clearly never watched a demo with Red Hat’s Burr Sutter at the helm. Sutter and team pulled together a fantastic demo that showed how Red Hat’s portfolio can come together to provide an application platform for global organizations.

          In real time, the team updated an application, added a Red Hat OpenShift cluster, added features, tested failover, and handled thousands of users interacting with the application. A real showcase for what edge computing and the open hybrid cloud can do. If you missed it, be sure to read our blog about the day’s demos and catch the replay on demand.

          We know that the concept of the datacenter is changing, and that there’s been increasing demand pushing compute to the network edge. During Red Hat CTO Chris Wright’s session, we had a look at how Red Hat is using AI and data, through our implementation of Open Data Hub, to help our customers based on data from connected systems.

        • The Specter of Coronavirus Dominates Red Hat Summit 2020

          Despite everyone sheltering in place, it was impossible to avoid COVID-19 during the Linux vendor’s virtual Red Hat Summit 2020 event.

        • What’s new in the OpenShift 4.4 web console developer experience

          The developer experience in the Red Hat OpenShift Container Platform web console keeps getting better. You’ve probably already heard about our streamlined user flows to build and deploy applications, plus the ability to understand the structure of your application via the Topology view. Each new release of Red Hat OpenShift includes usability improvements and new features to help developers reach their goals.

        • Creating Pipelines with OpenShift 4.4’s new Pipeline Builder and Tekton Pipelines
        • Serverless applications made faster and simpler with OpenShift Serverless GA
        • Application deployment improvements in OpenShift 4.4
        • Join a Fedora Ask Me Anything (AMA)

          The admins of Fedora Telegram group, would like to invite you to participate in a big “ask me anything” (AMA) session. Join us on May 6th at 18:00 UTC (14:00 US/Eastern) in the Fedoraama telegram group (bridged to #fedora-ama on Freenode IRC). The session is expected to span an hour and a half.

        • PHP version 7.3.18RC1 and 7.4.6RC1

          Release Candidate versions are available in testing repository for Fedora and Enterprise Linux (RHEL / CentOS) to allow more people to test them. They are available as Software Collections, for a parallel installation, perfect solution for such tests, and also as base packages.

          RPM of PHP version 7.4.6RC1 are available as SCL in remi-test repository and as base packages in the remi-test repository for Fedora 32 or remi-php74-test repository for Fedora 30-31 and Enterprise Linux 7-8.

          RPM of PHP version 7.3.18RC1 are available as SCL in remi-test repository and as base packages in the remi-test repository for Fedora 30-31 or remi-php73-test repository for Enterprise Linux.

        • Taskotron is EOL (end of life) today

          As previously announced, Taskotron (project page) will be shut down today. See the announcement and its discussion for more details and some background info.

          As a result, certain tests (beginning with “dist.“) will no longer appear for new updates in Bodhi (in Automated Tests tab). Some of those tests (and even new ones) will hopefully come back in the future with the help of Fedora CI.

      • Debian Family

        • Debian discusses Discourse

          Given the recent history of attacks on the Debian project, arguments against moderation of the communication channels seem less likely than usual to find wide support.

          That said, the way in which Discourse handles moderation did raise a few eyebrows. Rather than having specific people designated as moderators, Discourse spreads that task among the “trusted” members of the community. There are, by default, five trust levels; new users start at level 0 and work their way up from there. At level 3, users can flag posts and cause them to be hidden.

          Movement through the trust levels is managed automatically by the system (with the exception of the highest level, which requires manual promotion). Moving up requires that the user spend a specific amount of time on the site, read a certain number of articles, hand out and receive “likes”, and more. To implement this mechanism, Discourse tracks the amount of time spent reading each article. Reaching level 3 requires visiting the site 50 out of the last 100 days, replying to at least ten different topics, viewing at least 25% of new topics, and more. Users can be demoted back to level 2 if they fail to maintain that level of performance.

          This aspect of Discourse repels a number of Debian developers for a couple of reasons. Debian folks are naturally resistant to the idea of a communication system that is monitoring their activity, tracking the time spent on each topic, and making decisions based on that data. Many of them use free software precisely to get away from that kind of thing. They also dislike the whole “gamification” aspect of this system — a feeling that is only made stronger by the extensive system of “badges” handed out by the system to encourage various types of activity.

        • Parrot 4.9 Released: A Kali Linux Alternative For Ethical Hacking

          Being built on top of Debian, the new version contains several changes and bug fixes from the upstream provider (Debian). A major highlight is the removal of many Python 2 libraries and tools. Due to the deprecation and lifecycle ending of Python 2, Parrot 4.9 removes many abandoned pentest tools based on Python 2.

          Similarly, among the tools, Anonsurf receives important fixes such as DNS bugs and automatic shut down. Additionally, here’s a piece of big news for those who love GUI more than CLI — if you find it difficult using Anonsurf in your terminal, very soon you will be able to use it in a graphical user interface.

          Speaking of GUI, the Parrot installer based on Calamers gets easier to use and navigate through the installation process. Furthermore, the login screen also gets design refreshments to look more attractive and appealing.

          Coming to the core part that powers any Linux distro, Parrot 4.9 now features the Linux 5.5 upgraded from v5.4. Obviously, it brings more reliable and latest hardware support and security enhancements.

        • Mike Gabriel: My Work on Debian LTS (April 2020)

          Due to sickness I was not able to complete my 8 hours of work on Debian LTS as planned. I only worked 1.5 hours this month, moving the remaining 6.5 hours over to May.

        • Sparky news 2020/04

          The 4rd monthly report of 2020 of the Sparky project:

          • Linux kernel updated up to version 5.6.8 & 5.7-rc3
          • added to our repos: Picom, Sparky-Picom, Delta Chat Desktop, jgmenu, Waterfox current
          • changed ‘obmenu’ to ‘jgmenu’ at Sparky Openbox edition of the rolling line
          • Sparky stable 5.11 released
          • Sparky 2020.04~dev0 with experimental support of installation on machines with Secure Boot released
          • lami07 hard works on a modern version of Openbox edition called “Noir”, which will be available to install via APTus and Minimal iso, stay tuned
          • ‘sparky-su’ has gotten an option to check given password

        • DOSEMU in Debian 10

          Incredible as it may seem, I still have MS-DOS applications that I need to run. And fortunately, there’s a DOS Emulator for Linux, DOSEMU. (There’s also DOSBox but I’ve never used that.) One thing DOSEMU handles well is access to legacy serial and parallel ports; I need that too.

          In Debian 8 it was an easy install; DOSEMU and the required FreeDOS were in the Debian repository. So I was dismayed to find that DOSEMU is not available from the Debian 10 “Buster” repository.

          My first thought was to get DOSEMU straight from the source. They offer a precompiled “binary distribution,” but that failed to run. Plan B would be to compile DOSEMU from the provided source packages, but I worried, what if DOSEMU simply isn’t compatible with 64-bit Linux?

          So I got curious. 32-bit Debian 8 had DOSEMU. Was it available then for 64-bit? When did it get dropped from the repository?

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • Ubuntu 20.10 Daily Builds Now Available to Download

          Buckle up for the ride as you can now download Ubuntu 20.10 daily builds for testing!

          Freshly spun ISOs of what will become the next stable Ubuntu release will be produced each and every day (well, almost) from now until the stable release of Ubuntu 20.10 in October.

          Both “pending” and “current” ISO images are available from the Ubuntu CD image server, with the latter set having passed a series of automated tests.

          This is an important milestone in the development cycle though, as of April 30, there’s not exactly “new” in the daily builds to see.

    • Devices/Embedded

      • Raspberry Pi gains 12MP camera with optional C and CS lenses

        Raspberry Pi Ltd. has launched a $50 “High Quality Camera” for the Raspberry Pi. The 12.3-megapixel, HD camera ships with optional 6mm CS-mount ($25) and 16mm C-mount ($50) lenses.

        Raspberry Pi Ltd. has sold 1.7 million units of its circa 2016, 8-megapixel v2 Raspberry Pi Camera after discontinuing its original 5-megapixel camera. Raspberry Pi has now launched a $50 High Quality Camera that jumps to 12.3-megapixels and supports any C or CS mount lens attachment.

      • Watch this 90-year-old tech turned Linux terminal create ASCII art

        We have it pretty good today with our mechanical keyboards, fast processors, and high resolution displays, but if you want to go old school—and I mean really old school—try turning a 1930s era Teletype printer into a Linux terminal. For what purpose? To print ASCII art, of course!

        It might not be practical, and it’s certainly not easy by any stretch of the imagination. But it is possible, as Marc Verdiell (CuriousMarc on YouTube) proved in a recent video (via Popular Mechanics). In it, Verdiell takes us through the daunting process of making this work.

        Dave brought this to my attention because I’m pretty sure he thinks I’m old as sand [No, just silicon -Ed], but even though I date back to the era of typewriters (okay, maybe I am old), the Teletype predates me. Hell, it even predates my dad.

      • Mobile Systems/Mobile Applications

        • “deGoogled” /e/-Fairphone 3 now available!

          Thanks to a partnership with Fairphone we have been able to port /e/OS to the Fairphone 3, and that we can now sell /e/-Fairphone 3 in the EU!

          The deGoogled OS on the ethical smarpthone!

        • /e/OS Fairphone 3

          The deGoogled Fairphone 3 is most likely the first privacy conscious and sustainable phone. It combines a phone that cares for people and planet and an OS and apps that care for your privacy.

          It features a removable 3000 mAh rechargeable battery. And in case of an accident, with its replaceable modules, you can repair it your self with a single screwdriver.

          If you care about fairer technology, it is an obvious choice.

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • 6 Reasons the Future of Software Is Open Source

        While closed-source software is mainly restricted to those who possess advanced coding skills, open source is much more inclusive.

        What this means is that people can offer their expertise and contribute to as best they can. For example, WordPress, the most popular open-source CMS, encourages people to offer their diverse talents to the open-source community.

        This way, everyone stands a chance to do something for the greater good and simultaneously benefit from having the experience of polishing their skills and learning new things.

        Regardless of whether someone is good at coding, translating, or boasts great organizational skills, they can get involved and do something good for the community and for themselves.

      • scrcpy 1.13 Released With Improved Display Quality, Option To Lock Video Orientation, More

        scrcpy 1.13 has been released with some important new features, including option to lock the video orientation, shortcuts to rotate the display, and trilinear filtering which should improve the display quality when the scrcpy window is much smaller than the Android device display.

        New to scrcpy? This is an application that can be used to display, record and control Android devices connected via USB or wirelessly, from a macOS, Windows or Linux desktop. The application focuses on performance and quality, offering 30~60 FPS with a resolution of 1920×1080 or more, and low latency.

        The communication between the server (Android device in this case) and client (desktop computer) is done via a socket over an adb tunnel. The server streams H.264 video of the device screen, passing it to the client to decode and display it, without buffering in order to minimize latency. The mouse and keyboard events are captured and transmitted to the server, which injects them to the Android device.

      • How Open-Source And AI Are Helping Brazil To Spot COVID-19

        The arrival of COVID-19 brought complex challenges worldwide. In Latin America, precisely in Brazil, the worst pandemic seen in a century challenges states, cities, and public health care management. Recently, the country surpassed China in the total number of confirmed deaths

        With cases expected to accelerate in Latin America’s biggest country, a question arises: How to provide healthcare services in Brazil without overloading the health system and reducing the pace of contagion?

        To answer that question and propose a solution, Rocket.Chat, a Brazilian startup responsible for one of the main open-source communication hub partnered with Amazon and tech players, such as Ilhasoft, Elogroup, and Konecty to build a digital assistance platform for COVID-19.

      • Productivity Software/LibreOffice/Calligra

        • LibreOffice 6.3.6 available for download

          The Document Foundation announces LibreOffice 6.3.6, the last minor release of the LibreOffice 6.3 family, targeted at organizations and individuals using the software in production environments, who are invited to update their current version. The new release provides bug and regression fixes, and improvements to document compatibility.

        • LibreOffice 6.3.6 Officially Launched for Linux, Windows, and macOS

          The Document Foundation has released a new version of the LibreOffice productivity suite for all supported platforms, namely Linux, Windows, and macOS.

          LibreOffice 6.3.6 is an update focused on bug fixes and under-the-hood improvements, so there’s no new feature in this release. This makes total sense as the focus right now is on polishing the experience with LibreOffice 6.3.

          But what you need to know is that LibreOffice 6.3.6 is aimed at main devices, not at testing ones, so you can safely install it even if you use your computer for critical things. In other words, this is the most stable and refined experience that you can get with LibreOffice right now.

      • Programming/Development

        • Python

          • Python keyword argument auto-assignment

            A recent thread on the python-ideas mailing list explores adding a feature to Python, which is the normal fare for that forum. The problem being addressed is real, but may not be the highest-priority problem for the language on many people’s lists. Function calls that have multiple keyword arguments passed from a variable of the same name (e.g. keyword=keyword) require developers to repeat themselves and can be somewhat confusing, especially to newcomers. The discussion of ways to fix it highlighted some lesser-known corners of the language, however, regardless of whether the idea will actually result in a change to Python.

          • Reminder: My free, weekly “Python for non-programmers” course continues on Friday, May 1st
          • How and why I built Data Scraping script in Python3

            I am a Professional Python Developer at W3sols who has built complex data scrapers, Python backends for mobile and web apps. I am working on AI and ML based tech stack these days and plan to progress my career as a Professional AI and ML engineer.

          • PyCharm: R 4.0.0 and better UX in the R Plugin

            Although it has not been a while since our last update release, we’re ready to announce some important enhancements and new features…

          • Full Stack Development in Django

            Talks about how versatile Django could be used by breaking the default Django to mix and match it to fit your own use case. Instead of using what is provided by Django.

          • How I learned Python Programming

            I am a lead Python developer at W3sols and I have been working on Web and its related technology stack for 3 years now.
            I have a high versatility in solving real world problems with different programming languages.
            My expertise is Python 3 and the best part I like to do with it is Data scraping from websites.

          • User Testing Feedback – Building SaaS #54

            In this episode, we worked on issues found from a round of user testing. I talked about how I did user testing with my customer, then started to tackle the usability issues that she identified. We’re taking a break from building the onboarding flow so that we can take some time to address feedback from user testing with my customer. I started the stream by explaining how I set up user testing and what I got out of the experience.

          • Add Python support to Tekton Pipelines

            My colleague Priti Desai has been working on Tekton for more than a year and has made some great contributions. After seeing how much fun she was having, I decided to take a leap in the same direction. Priti already built a Tekton pipeline for Java and JavaScript applications, so I figured adding Python support to her pipeline was a great way to become familiar with Tekton.

          • Debugging C with Python and unittest

            The title makes this sound oddly specific, but the information can be applied to other projects. I am using one of my projects as an example. Let me set things up.

            I work on a project called rpminspect which consists of a frontend program called rpminspect, a shared library called librpminspect, and a test suite primarily written in Python and using the unittest module. I say primarily written in Python because there are some helper programs written in C that the test suite invokes. The Python part is the test suite driver which is invoking the rpminspect program with the right settings and checking the output.

  • Leftovers

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • I don’t want to be patronized and much less by a software vendor

          So it happened again: I feel being patronized by a large SW vendor who forces me to automatically run his software on my system after each login. As an open source developer and advocate I hate if I don’t have control over these kind of things and no option to turn them off. Unix know-how to the rescue, though. Read on.

          The members of a project I am currently working on to make a living are now widespread over the country due to the coronavirus pandemic. Project management has decided that the communication should happen over a product called skype. It’s not free and open, but hey, come on, I have to make some money somehow so that I can manage it with KMyMoney. Fortunately, I found out that there is a version for Linux and it even works quite well.

          Nevertheless, I wondered why it starts after login without me doing anything. OK, this could be the default setting and I started the KDE system settings to turn it off. Not thinking about it further, I started and stopped skype for a few days until there was a kernel update and I had to reboot my system.

          After login, I was surprised that skype started automatically. I thought, I had turned it off. Well, unmark that checkbox again in system settings and guess what: it returned without me doing anything except starting and using the application. That ~/.config/autostart/skypeforlinux.desktop file, which is responsible for the autostart, just re-appeared every time one starts skype manually.

          Using the search engine of choice, I learned that this is a known problem and cannot be turned off with an option. This is the time, when patronization starts and I get angry.

        • 10 Best Video Conferencing Software for Linux in 2020 [Ed: Martins D. Okoi promotes proprietary software malware in a site called "FOSS"]
        • Pseudo-Open Source

          • Privatisation/Privateering

            • Linux Foundation

              • LF Networking Accelerates 5G, Cloud Native, and Edge Readiness with Expanded Projects and Growing Community Ecosystem

                LF Networking (LFN), which facilitates collaboration and operational excellence across open source networking projects, today announced continued successes with cross-industry, global collaboration. Progress includes the Linux Foundation induction of new project, XGVela, an open source telco Platform as a Service (PaaS) for 5G network functions and related applications; new LFN silver member everis; expanded mentorship and training opportunities; and a new verified product by the OPNFV Verification Program (OVP). Together, these efforts bring additional support for future automation and deployment of 5G, edge, and cloud native networking technologies.

              • Telcos Increase Focus on Cloud Native as LF Networking and Ecosystem Groups Solve Interoperability Challenges

                LF Networking (LFN), which facilitates collaboration and operational excellence across open source networking projects, today announced a turning point for the industry, with integrated initiatives focused on cloud native interoperability and deployment for telcos. Consolidated efforts among the Common NFVI Telco Taskforce (CNTT), LF Networking’s Compliance and Verification Committee (or OPNFV Verification Program, “OVP”), and the OPNFV project through CNTT’s cloud native “R2” workstreams, OVP’s cloud native “OVP 2.0,” and OPNFV’s renewed commitment to testing and integration alignment with end users indicate a deep commitment to address challenges faced in cloud native adoption.

                “NFV continues to evolve as telcos increasingly adopt cloud native technologies,” said Heather Kirksey, vice president, Community & Ecosystem Development, the Linux Foundation. “Change, however, brings challenges, especially to areas like compliance, testing, automation, and integration. With input from telcos directly, collaborative efforts across CNTT, OVP, and OPNFV enable our ecosystem to benefit from cloud native adoption.”

              • Fact gathering: The first and most important task in software negotiations

                When negotiating a software development agreement, and if the developers for both parties assume that the software will include many pre-existing components, the process will be inefficient and becomes a significant waste of time.

              • LF Edge Expands Ecosystem with Open Horizon, adds Seven New Members and Reaches Critical Deployment Milestones

                LF Edge, an umbrella organization under The Linux Foundation that aims to establish an open, interoperable framework for edge computing independent of hardware, silicon, cloud, or operating system, today announced continued project momentum with the addition a new project and several technical milestones for EdgeX Foundry, Akraino Edge Stack and Fledge. Additionally, the project welcomes seven new members including CloudBrink, Federated Wireless, Industrial Technology Research Institute (ITRI), Kaloom, Ori Industries, Tensor Networks and VoerEir to its ecosystem.

              • LF Edge Expands Ecosystem with Open Horizon, adds Seven New Members and Reaches Critical Deployment Milestones
              • Open Horizon joins Linux Foundation to grow open edge computing platform

                The Open Horizon software project, the core technology that powers IBM’s edge computing offerings, has joined LF Edge. LF Edge is part of the Linux Foundation and hosts all of their open source projects related to edge computing.

                Edge computing brings computation and data storage closer to where data is created by people, places, and things. Open Horizon simplifies the job of getting the right applications and machine learning onto the right compute devices, and keeps those applications running and updated. With 50% of enterprise data expected to be processed at the edge by 2022, compared to only 10% today, Open Horizon will play a critical role in how data is processed in the era of edge computing

                By contributing this important project to the Linux Foundation, just as the sector is set to experience tremendous growth, IBM has underscored its commitment to trust, transparency, and collaboration on standards in the edge computing space.

                While IBM has been the only developer on the project thus far, open sourcing the core components of Open Horizon enables a broader, more diverse ecosystem to build out the technology into a robust, secure foundation that all solution providers can adopt as their foundation. As a founding member of the LF Edge community, IBM felt this was the most effective organization to form and grow an active community within.

              • Linux Foundation and Intel to train people who are displaced during COVID-19

                The Linux Foundation has announced that it’s expanding its Mentorship Program with seed funding from Intel in response to COVID-19. The programme will grow to support interns who have been displaced as a result of the global pandemic and to give individuals an opportunity to reskill for future jobs.

        • Security

          • Security updates for Thursday

            Security updates have been issued by Arch Linux (chromium, git, and webkit2gtk), Debian (nodejs and tiff), Fedora (libxml2, php-horde-horde, pxz, and sqliteodbc), Oracle (python-twisted-web), Red Hat (chromium-browser, git, and rh-git218-git), Scientific Linux (python-twisted-web), SUSE (ceph, kernel, munge, openldap2, salt, squid, and xen), and Ubuntu (mailman, python3.8, samba, and webkit2gtk).

          • WordPress 5.4.1 fixes 7 security vulnerabilities

            WordPress 5.4.1 is now available!

            This security and maintenance release features 17 bug fixes in addition to 7 security fixes. Because this is a security release, it is recommended that you update your sites immediately. All versions since WordPress 3.7 have also been updated.

          • Almost Every Antivirus Software Program Can Be Exploited, Researchers Say

            RACK911 Labs has found a unique method of using directory junctions (in Windows) and symlinks (in macOS and Linux) to turn antivirus software products into self-destructive tools. However, it was reported that most of the antivirus companies have now fixed the vulnerability in their products.

            Researchers stated that an attacker must be highly time-sensitive and should know when to exploit the directory junction or symlink vulnerabilities. “What most antivirus software fail to take into consideration is the small window of time between the initial file scan that detects the malicious file and the cleanup operation that takes place immediately after. A malicious local user or malware author is often able to perform a race condition via a directory junction (Windows) or a symlink (Linux & macOS) that leverages the privileged file operations to disable the antivirus software or interfere with the operating system to render it useless,” the researchers explained.

          • Hacks.Mozilla.Org: Fuzzing with WebIDL

            Fuzzing, or fuzz testing, is an automated approach for testing the safety and stability of software. It’s typically performed by supplying specially crafted inputs to identify unexpected or even dangerous behavior. If you’re unfamiliar with the basics of fuzzing, you can find lots more information in the Firefox Fuzzing Docs and the Fuzzing Book.

            For the past 3 years, the Firefox fuzzing team has been developing a new fuzzer to help identify security vulnerabilities in the implementation of WebAPIs in Firefox. This fuzzer, which we’re calling Domino, leverages the WebAPIs’ own WebIDL definitions as a fuzzing grammar. Our approach has led to the identification of over 850 bugs. 116 of those bugs have received a security rating. In this post, I’d like to discuss some of Domino’s key features and how they differ from our previous WebAPI fuzzing efforts.

    • Digital Restrictions (DRM)

      • Belkin Shut Down Wemo NetCam Feeds

        One of the major downsides of an IoT system provided by another company is that it will eventually die out. Companies can’t afford to maintain a service forever and will eventually let it go. Belkin made a shock announcement when they stated they will no longer support their Wemo NetCam product.

    • Monopolies

      • Patents

        • I’m doing this to stop humans ripping off brilliant ideas by computers and aliens, says guy unsuccessfully filing patents ‘invented’ by his AI

          AI systems cannot be listed as inventors in patent submissions, the US Patent and Trademark Office ruled this week.

          Last year, the USPTO received an odd patent application. The sole inventor on the submission, describing a method for “attracting enhanced attention,” had the first name “DABUS” and the family name “Invention generated by artificial intelligence.”

          The assignee – the person who has the property right to the patent – was listed as Stephen Thaler, founder of a Missouri outfit called Imagination Engines. The paperwork was filed in the UK, Europe, and Israel as well as the United States.

          The patent application outlined [PDF] a gadget that emits light with a fractal pattern, and could be used as, say, an emergency beacon.

          The idea was, apparently, invented by a set of neural networks dubbed DABUS, which was created by Thaler. He said it was only right to give credit where it was due, namely his software.

        • Software Patents

          • Predictive Text Patent Troll Tries To Shake Down Wikipedia

            WordLogic (patent troll) claims it has the rights of the concept of predictive text writing and went after the Wikimedia foundation. WordLogic offered a “discounted, lump sum fee of $30,000 in exchange for a paid-up one-time license,” an easy win they thought, but Wikimedia fought back. “Wikimedia notes that (1) WordLogic’s patents are invalid due to prior art, (2) that they are invalid for not covering patentable subject matter, and (3) that anyway, it doesn’t even infringe on the patents if they were valid,” reports Techdirt. Now we are waiting to see what will happen. Will the patent troll desist, or will it push forward?

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DecorWhat Else is New


  1. António Campinos Thinks Salary Reductions Months Before He Leaves is “Exceptional Social Gesture”

    Just as Benoît Battistelli had a profound misunderstanding of the concept of “social democracy” his mate seems to completely misunderstand what a “social gesture” is (should have asked his father)



  2. IRC Proceedings: Thursday, October 21, 2021

    IRC logs for Thursday, October 21, 2021



  3. Links 21/10/2021: MX Linux 21 and Git Contributors’ Summit in a Nutshell

    Links for the day



  4. [Meme] [Teaser] Miguel de Icaza on CEO of Microsoft GitHub

    Our ongoing series, which is very long, will shed much-needed light on GitHub and its goals (the dark side is a lot darker than people care to realise)



  5. Gemini Protocol and Gemini Space Are Not a Niche; for Techrights, Gemini Means Half a Million Page Requests a Month

    Techrights on gemini:// has become very big and we’ll soon regenerate all the pages (about 37,500 of them) to improve clarity, consistency, and general integrity



  6. 'Satellite States' of EPO Autocrats

    Today we look more closely at how Baltic states were rendered 'voting fodder' by large European states, looking to rubber-stamp new and oppressive measures which disempower the masses



  7. [Meme] Don't Mention 'Brexit' to Team UPC

    It seems perfectly clear that UPC cannot start, contrary to what the EPO‘s António Campinos told the Council last week (lying, as usual) and what the EPO insinuates in Twitter; in fact, a legal challenge to this should be almost trivial



  8. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part IXX: The Baltic States

    How unlawful EPO rules were unsurprisingly supported by Benoît Battistelli‘s friends in Baltic states; António Campinos maintained those same unlawful rules and Baltic connections, in effect liaising with offices known for their corruption (convicted officials, too; they did not have diplomatic immunity, unlike Battistelli and Campinos)



  9. Links 21/10/2021: GIMP 2.99.8 Released, Hardware Shortages, Mozilla Crisis

    Links for the day



  10. How Oppressive Governments and Web Monopolists Might Try to Discourage Adoption of Internet Protocols Like Gemini

    Popular movements and even some courageous publications have long been subverted by demonisation tactics, splits along unrelated grounds (such as controversial politics) and — failing that — technical sabotage and censorship; one must familiarise oneself with commonly-recurring themes of social control by altercation



  11. [Meme] Strike Triangulations, Reception Issues

    Financial strangulations for Benoît Battistelli‘s unlawful “Strike Regulations”? The EPO will come to regret 2013…



  12. [Meme] Is Saying “No!” to Unlawful Proposals Considered “Impolite”?

    A ‘toxic mix’ of enablers and cowards (who won’t vote negatively on EPO proposals which they know to be unlawful) can serve to show that the EPO isn’t a “social democracy” as Benoît Battistelli liked to call it; it’s just a dictatorship, currently run by the son of a person who actually fought dictatorship



  13. IRC Proceedings: Wednesday, October 20, 2021

    IRC logs for Wednesday, October 20, 2021



  14. [Meme] EPO Legal Sophistry and Double Dipping

    An imaginary EPO intercept of Administrative Council discussions in June 2013...



  15. Links 21/10/2021: PostgreSQL JDBC 42.3.0 and Maui Report

    Links for the day



  16. [Meme] [Teaser] “Judge a Person Both by His Friends and Enemies”

    Fervent supporters of Team Battistelli or Team Campinos (a dark EPO era) are showing their allegiances; WIPO and EPO have abused staff similarly over the past decade or so



  17. 'Cluster-Voting' in the European Patent Office/Organisation (When a Country With 1.9 Million Citizens Has the Same Voting Power as a Country With 83.1 Million Citizens)

    Today we examine who has been running the Finnish patent office and has moreover voted in the EPO during the ballot on unlawful "Strike Regulations"; they voted in favour of manifestly illegal rules and for 8.5 years after that (including last Wednesday) they continued to back a shady regime which undermines the EPO's mission statement



  18. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part XVIII: Helsinki's Accord

    The Finnish outpost has long been strategic to the EPO because it can help control the vote of four or more nations; evidence suggests this has not changed



  19. [Meme] Living as a Human Resource, Working for Despots

    The EPO has become a truly awful place/employer to work for; salary is 2,000 euros for some (despite workplace stress, sometimes relocation to a foreign country)



  20. Links 20/10/2021: New Redcore Linux and Hospital Adoption of GNU Health

    Links for the day



  21. IRC Proceedings: Tuesday, October 19, 2021

    IRC logs for Tuesday, October 19, 2021



  22. Links 19/10/2021: Karanbir Singh Leaves CentOS Board, GPL Violations at Vizio

    Links for the day



  23. [Meme] Giving the Knee

    The 'knee' champion Kratochvìl and 'kneel' champion Erlingsdóttir are simply crushing the law; they’re ignoring the trouble of EPO staff and abuses of the Office, facilitated by the Council itself (i.e. facilitated by themselves)



  24. Josef Kratochvìl Rewarded Again for Covering Up EPO Corruption and the EPO Bribes the Press for Lies Whilst Also Lying About Its Colossal Privacy Violations

    Corrupt officials and officials who actively enable the crimes still control the Office and also the body which was supposed to oversee it; it's pretty evident and clear judging by this week's press statements at the EPO's official Web site



  25. [Meme] Sorry, Wrong Country (Or: Slovenia isn't Great Britain)

    Team UPC is trying to go ahead with a total hoax which a high-level European court would certainly put an end to (if or when a referral is initiated)



  26. How Denmark, Iceland, Finland, Norway and Sweden Voted on Patently Unlawful Regulations at the EPO

    We look back and examine what happened 8 years ago when oppressed staff was subjected to unlawful new “regulations” (long enjoyed by António Campinos, the current EPO autocrat)



  27. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part XVII: The Non-Monolithic Nordic Bloc

    We start our investigation of how countries in northern Europe ended up voting on the unlawful “Strike Regulations” at the EPO and why



  28. Proof That Windows “11” is a Hoax

    Guest post by Ryan, reprinted with permission



  29. Firefox Becomes as Morally Reprehensible as Apple, Facebook, or Uber

    Guest post by Ryan, reprinted with permission



  30. Links 19/10/2021: GNU dbm 1.22 and Godot 3.4 RC 1

    Links for the day


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