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05.22.20

Links 23/5/2020: FreeBSD 11.4 RC1, Wine 5.9

Posted in News Roundup at 9:59 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Desktop/Laptop

    • Server

      • Linux kernel utility could solve Kubernetes networking woes

        As production Kubernetes clusters grow, a standard Linux kernel utility that’s been reinvented for the cloud era may offer a fix for container networking scalability challenges.

        The utility, extended Berkeley Packet Filter (eBPF), traces its origins back to a paper published by computer scientists in 1992. It’s a widely adopted tool that uses a mini-VM inside the Linux kernel to perform network routing functions. Over the last four years, as Kubernetes became popular, open source projects such as Cilium began to use eBPF data to route and filter Kubernetes network traffic without requiring Linux kernel changes.

        In the last two years, demand for such tools rose among enterprises as their Kubernetes production environments grew, and they encountered new kinds of thorny bottlenecks and difficult tradeoffs between complexity and efficiency.

        IT monitoring vendor Datadog saw eBPF-based tooling as the answer to its Kubernetes scaling issues after a series of experiments with other approaches.

      • Buyer’s Guide for Bare-metal Hosted Linux Servers

        Metal hosted Linux servers are now an essential part of the IT infrastructure of many businesses and companies. They are also offering the best current technology. You can raise your status globally as a service provider because of the bare-metal server with amazing infrastructure.

    • Audiocasts/Shows

      • 2020-05-22 | Linux Headlines

        GNOME and Rothschild Patent Imaging resolve their legal dispute, massive layoffs loom at IBM, WordPress invests millions into the Matrix project, and two companies unexpectedly re-release code under open source licenses.

      • Real Python Episode 10: Python Job Hunting in a Pandemic

        Do you know someone in the Python community who recently was let go from their job due to the pandemic? What does the job landscape currently look like? What are skills and techniques that will help you in your job search? This week we have Kyle Stratis on the show to discuss how he is managing his job search after just being let go from his data engineering job. Kyle is a member of the Real Python team and has written several articles for the site.

        We discuss Kyle’s career and the skills that he’s developed, which are currently helping him in his job search. Kyle left academia to work as a data engineer. His background helps him to communicate between teams of scientists and engineers.

        We also talk about Kyle’s recent article on combining data in Pandas. Kyle shares a tip on Pandas efficiency, and hints at some lesser known features of Python generators.

      • Brunch with Brent: Kyle Rankin | Jupiter Extras 73

        Brent sits down with Kyle Rankin, Chief Security Officer and Vice President at Purism and former Tech Editor and columnist at Linux Journal. We explore his 10+ years with Linux Journal, as well as Purism’s culture, ideals, product design and engineering philosophies, and more.

    • Kernel Space

      • Open-Source NVIDIA/Nouveau Changes Submitted For Linux 5.8

        There hasn’t been too much to report on the open-source NVIDIA “Nouveau” kernel driver in some time since the enabling of Turing and no apparent progress on re-clocking to allow the graphics cards to hit their rated clock frequencies (the longstanding, number one limitation for this open-source driver), but some changes were sent in today for the upcoming Linux 5.8 kernel merge window.

      • Linux 5.8 Set To Optionally Flush The L1d Cache On Context Switch To Increase Security

        The Linux kernel patches that have been spearheaded by Amazon AWS engineers to optionally flush the L1 data cache on each context switch have now been queued in the x86/mm branch ahead of the upcoming Linux 5.8 kernel cycle.

        This L1d cache flushing on context switches is being done in light of the various CPU security issues that have come to light in recent times and acknowledging there are likely other yet to be discovered vulnerabilities. Flushing the L1d cache on context switches helps fend off data from being snooped or leaked via side channels.

      • Linux 5.8 To See Support For POWER10′s Prefixed Instructions

        Beyond the usual excitement of numerous x86 and Arm hardware advancements each cycle, Linux 5.8 is bringing new IBM POWER enablement work.

        Recently there has been an uptick in open-source/Linux enablement work for the forthcoming POWER10 and that holds true for Linux 5.8. There has been a patch series going around recently for introducing prefixed instruction support on the POWER front for a “future revision of the ISA.” That work is now ready and queued ahead of the Linux 5.8 cycle opening up in early June.

      • AMD Renoir Temperature Monitoring To Come With Linux 5.8

        When it comes to the support for AMD Ryzen 4000 “Renoir” laptop support under Linux, as outlined in my testing so far this month the main caveat is needing Linux 5.6~5.7 for good graphics support but on the likes of Ubuntu 20.04 LTS with Linux 5.4 you will not have GPU acceleration. At least in the case of the Lenovo IdeaPad 5 I have been using to test, you also need Linux 5.7 Git for battery sensor support. Another item that in turn is coming with Linux 5.8 is CPU temperature reporting for the Renoir processors.

      • Intel DPTF Battery Support Published For Linux

        The patches posted on Friday for the DPTF battery support expose new DPTF dynamic tuning information regarding laptop/ultrabook battery capabilities. Exposed are the maximum platform power that can be supported by the given battery, the maximum sustained power for the battery, the high frequency impedance value from the battery fuel gauge, and battery discharge current capability. The information is exposed via sysfs to user-space and also notification support for changes to the Intel Dynamic Tuning Battery state.

      • Allwinner Preparing Their A100 SoC Support For The Upstream Linux Kernel

        Allwinner Tech has prepared their initial Linux kernel patches for bringing up the A100 SoC. The A100 SoC is one of their newest tablet-focused SoCs moving forward.

        The Allwinner A100 is based on the Cortex-A53 paired with PowerVR graphics. This low~mid-range SoC is decent and better than some past Allwinner SoCs but not as interesting as the also recently announced Allwinner A200 in a big.LITTLE design and with much more exciting features.

    • Benchmarks

      • 100+ Benchmarks Of Amazon’s Graviton2 64-Core CPU Against AMD’s EPYC 7742



        Last week Amazon AWS promoted their Graviton2 instances to general availability status with a variety of different sized EC2 instances as well as a bare metal instance for tapping the full potential of their new SoC that features 64 Arm Neoverse N1 cores. Last week we ran through many benchmarks looking at Graviton2 on EC2 and bare metal performance while here is a follow-up article with more benchmarks and looking at how the sixty-four core Arm Graviton2 compares to AMD’s EPYC 7742 64-core CPU with and without SMT.

        For the past number of days I have been running 140+ benchmarks on Amazon’s Graviton2 m6g.metal instance for tapping the bare metal performance of this latest high-end Arm server SoC and then comparing it to the bare metal performance of EPYC 7742, AMD’s current generation 64-core server CPU offering. The EPYC 7742 was tested with and without SMT for matching the Graviton2 that lacks SMT. No Intel CPUs were tested in this comparison due to their current lacking of a 64-core processor. Both the AMD EPYC 7742 and Graviton2 feature eight channels of DDR4-3200 memory.

    • Applications

      • Audacity Fixes the Major Bug and Releases a Fresh Version 2.4.1

        Audacity recently released a major version 2.4.0. However, just after release, a critical bug is reported which caused the audio data corruption. The bug causes your audio to corrupt if you have two projects open and trying to copy-paste a snippet from one to another. The bug is fixed now with 2.4.1 release and you can install and use Audacity now.

    • Instructionals/Technical

    • Wine or Emulation

      • Wine Announcement

        The Wine development release 5.9 is now available.

        What’s new in this release (see below for details):
        – Major progress on the WineD3D Vulkan backend.
        – Initial support for splitting dlls into PE and Unix parts.
        – Support for generating PDB files when building PE dlls.
        – Timestamp updates in the Kernel User Shared Data.
        – Various bug fixes.

      • Wine 5.9 Released With Latest WineD3D Vulkan Capabilities, DLL Improvements

        Wine 5.9 is out as the latest bi-weekly development release for this software allowing Windows games and applications to generally run quite gracefully on Linux.

        As outlined yesterday, Wine 5.9 comes with big improvements to the WineD3D Vulkan back-end for allowing Direct3D 9/10/11 over Vulkan as an alternative to their OpenGL code path (and yes, similar in nature to DXVK). This WineD3D Vulkan work is still underway but given the rapid progress it likely won’t be too long before it becomes quite usable.

      • Wine 5.9 is out with major WineD3D Vulkan work

        Alexandre Julliard of CodeWeavers today announced the Wine 5.9 development release, which sounds quite an exciting one. With the Wine team keeping up their regular biweekly release schedule, the amount that goes in is pretty damn impressive for this open source compatibility layer.

        While we already have the external DXVK project for translating Direct3D 9/10/11 to Vulkan, which is working out really well so far, the main Wine team are pursuing their own way and this release has “major” progress on that for the WineD3D backend. No need for sour grapes about it though, perhaps the rivalry between the competing methods will be good for both and we as users end up with a tastier drink.

      • Wine’s Direct3D Vulkan Back-End Continues Seeing An Uptick In Activity

        Henri Verbeet and other CodeWeavers developers have been focusing more on this WineD3D Vulkan back-end in recent weeks with many improvements due out tomorrow as part of the routine bi-weekly development cycle with Wine 5.9. This is for the Direct3D 9/10/11 over Vulkan back-end rather than OpenGL, not to be confused with VKD3D for Direct3D 12 over Vulkan. Wine developers have been working on this Vulkan back-end to WineD3D for a while now due to differing views/philosophies compared to DXVK that already does a thorough job implementing D3D 9/10/11 on Vulkan.

    • Games

      • Prepare for toxic rain and lots of fire in The Universim

        The Universim, the game that mixes in a god sim with a city-builder has expanded once again and in quite a big way with the environment.

        Crytivo’s “new breed” of god game certainly isn’t boring, and now your decisions make even more of an impact on the environment when you’re building up your civilization. You now have to deal with toxic rain, polluted water and more if you let the environment start getting ruined. Since it’s something of a god game though, your god powers can help you avert a true disaster if you have enough god points stored up. This is part of their ongoing attempts to make The Universim a lot more dynamic.

      • Humble has a big Spring Sale Encore, save on Humble Choice

        Humble Bundle announced they’re doing a little encore of their Spring Sale for this weekend and there’s some pretty huge discounts going on some great games.

        Their monthly Humble Choice bundle has it’s own special deal going too, for new subscribers you can now get 40% off the price of the Premium plan (the top tier of it). This brings the price down from £15.99 / $19.99 to £8.99 / $12 a month which is good value.

      • You can sign up for the Artifact 2.0 Beta now, plus a video

        Valve have opened up the process to get into the Beta for Artifact 2.0, the revamp of their failed competitive card game.

        They already blogged before about what they will be doing, with people who purchased before March 30 having priority but we didn’t know exactly how they will do it. Now we do! They’ve put up a page on the official Artifact website where you can login with Steam and put yourself into the draw for access to the 2.0 Beta. It’s a nice simple process at least.

      • Stylish literary mystery Sarawak will be in the Steam Game Festival

        We have another confirmed game that will have a Linux demo available for the Steam Game Festival, and it’s the very clever and stylish looking interactive fiction Sarawak.

        It was announced only recently and covered here on GOL back in April, with a curious setting split between Oxford and Borneo. They announced yesterday on Twitter, that they will also be putting up a demo for the SGF that runs between June 9 -15.

      • The Steam Spring Cleaning event is up to get you to play your old games

        Surprisingly, Valve are running an event that is not trying to get you to buy new games. To be fair though, it’s not the first time. The Steam Spring Cleaning 2020 event is now live.

        Running from now until May 28, the idea is to get you to play through your existing games and clear out your backlog. This links in with their recent Play Next feature to suggest games to you, which graduated from Steam Labs to appear on the Steam Store and as a shelf in your Steam Library. It also pulls in Remote Play Together, for games to share online with friends.

      • Spaceship colony sim Space Haven arrives in Early Access

        Build a spaceship, look after your crew and travel the stars in Space Haven as it’s now available in Early Access and it’s good.

        Embark on a space voyage with your ragtag crew of civilians in search of a new home. Build spaceships tile by tile, create optimal gas conditions, manage the needs and moods of their crew, encounter other space-faring groups, and explore the universe in this spaceship colony sim.
        The developer, Bugbyte, ran a successful Kickstarter campaign little over a year ago to raise $260,189. Since then they’ve been pushing out Alpha builds to backers, and they provided us with an early copy too. Many builds later, many hours played and it’s clearly shaping up to be an impressive game.

      • Electronic Arts to Release Source Code of Highly Successful Game

        Electronic Arts announced a surprise move this week. In something of an unprecedented move, EA will release the source code behind two massively popular games. Even if you haven’t played it, chances are, you’ve heard of Command & Conquer. The company will release the source code for two of its installment, Tiberian Dawn and Red Alert. Users who own the Remastered Collection of Command & Conquer will be able to dabble in designing maps, creating custom units, altering gameplay logic, etc. with the source code.

      • Command and Conquer Remastered finally moddable

        EA announced that the upcoming remastered collection will have mod support at launch. This was actually dodged around by game developer Petroglyph until the publisher spilled the beans. Releasing the source code is the best way to make mods for the game.

        Game producer Jim Vessela was the one to announce that the TiberianDawn.dll, and RedAltert.dll and their source code will be available under the GNU General Public License 3.0. A map editor will be available as well.

      • Pawnbarian turns Chess into a card-based roguelike

        Originally a short web-version you could have tried on itch.io, it’s now becoming a much bigger game that’s getting a proper desktop release. The developer sent word to us on Twitter about the demo now being on Linux, so I took a look to see what all the fuss is about. After playing it for a couple of hours I’m completely hooked in.

        It’s incredibly clever, quite simple but also thoroughly entertaining. Each level is a dungeon crawling puzzle, and you know where you don’t want to end the turn as it tells you where you will get damage so it’s up to you to use your cards to get in, do some damage and get out.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • GNOME Desktop/GTK

        • Anwesha Das: Gnome wins the battle against the patent troll

          The Gnome Foundation settled the dispute with Rothschild Patent Imaging (RPIL), RPIL agrees not to sue Gnome further for any intellectual property infringement. RPIL also signed to an undertaking to that effect.

          In the last week of September 2019, Rothschild Patent Imaging (RPIL) filed a lawsuit against the Gnome Foundation. The case was filed under Title 35 of the United States Code for the infringement of the patent and violation of the intellectual property rights of the RPIL. They claimed that Gnome’s Shotwell Photo manager, infringed the patent titled “Wireless Image Distribution System and Method,” being number 086.

        • GNOME Slays Troll

          Last year, Patent Progress reported on a troll targeting the GNOME Foundation, a major open source coordinating entity. Despite Director Iancu’s public statement claiming that trolls are a myth, this troll was very real. In fact, it was one of the Rothschild NPEs, one of a plethora of companies Leigh Rothschild has used in nearly 900 separate NPE patent lawsuits to date.

          Fortunately, however, GNOME was able to retain quality pro bono counsel. And after 10 months, they achieved not just a walk-away settlement where GNOME owes nothing, but actually went further. Neither the Rothschild subsidiary in this litigation, Rothschild Patent Imaging, nor any other Rothschild entity—or any entity purchasing a Rothschild-owned patent—can bring a lawsuit where the lawsuit alleges infringement by any software that is released under an open source license recognized by the Open Source Initiative.

        • Adrien Plazas: Handy 1 Alpha 1 and Migrating to GNOME

          A few days ago we released the first alpha of Handy 1, known as Handy 0.80.0.

    • Distributions

      • BSD

        • FreeBSD 11.4-RC1 Now Available
          [ Revised to correct the build name.  Because, of course...]
          
          The first RC build of the 11.4-RELEASE release cycle is now available.
          
          Installation images are available for:
          
          o 11.4-RC1 amd64 GENERIC
          o 11.4-RC1 i386 GENERIC
          o 11.4-RC1 powerpc GENERIC
          o 11.4-RC1 powerpc64 GENERIC64
          o 11.4-RC1 sparc64 GENERIC
          o 11.4-RC1 armv6 BANANAPI
          o 11.4-RC1 armv6 BEAGLEBONE
          o 11.4-RC1 armv6 CUBIEBOARD
          o 11.4-RC1 armv6 CUBIEBOARD2
          o 11.4-RC1 armv6 CUBOX-HUMMINGBOARD
          o 11.4-RC1 armv6 RPI-B
          o 11.4-RC1 armv6 RPI2
          o 11.4-RC1 armv6 WANDBOARD
          o 11.4-RC1 aarch64 GENERIC
          
          Note regarding arm SD card images: For convenience for those without
          console access to the system, a freebsd user with a password of
          freebsd is available by default for ssh(1) access.  Additionally,
          the root user password is set to root.  It is strongly recommended
          to change the password for both users after gaining access to the
          system.
          
          Installer images and memory stick images are available here:
          
          https://download.freebsd.org/ftp/releases/ISO-IMAGES/11.4/
          
          The image checksums follow at the end of this e-mail.
          
          If you notice problems you can report them through the Bugzilla PR
          system or on the -stable mailing list.
          
          If you would like to use SVN to do a source based update of an existing
          system, use the "releng/11.4" branch.
          
          A summary of changes since 11.4-BETA2 includes:
          
          o An update to llvm to fix `cc --version`.
          
          o A fix affecting ports using DTrace with lld 10.
          
          o A fix for spurious ENOTCONN from a closed unix domain socket.
          
          o Fixes related to certctl(8).
          
          A list of changes since 11.3-RELEASE is available in the releng/11.4
          release notes:
          
          https://www.freebsd.org/releases/11.4R/relnotes.html
          
          Please note, the release notes page is not yet complete, and will be
          updated on an ongoing basis as the 11.4-RELEASE cycle progresses.
          
          === Virtual Machine Disk Images ===
          
          VM disk images are available for the amd64, i386, and aarch64
          architectures.  Disk images may be downloaded from the following URL
          (or any of the FreeBSD download mirrors):
          
          https://download.freebsd.org/ftp/releases/VM-IMAGES/11.4-RC1/
          
          The partition layout is:
          
              ~ 16 kB - freebsd-boot GPT partition type (bootfs GPT label)
              ~ 1 GB  - freebsd-swap GPT partition type (swapfs GPT label)
              ~ 20 GB - freebsd-ufs GPT partition type (rootfs GPT label)
          
          The disk images are available in QCOW2, VHD, VMDK, and raw disk image
          formats.  The image download size is approximately 135 MB and 165 MB
          respectively (amd64/i386), decompressing to a 21 GB sparse image.
          
          Note regarding arm64/aarch64 virtual machine images: a modified QEMU EFI
          loader file is needed for qemu-system-aarch64 to be able to boot the
          virtual machine images.  See this page for more information:
          
          https://wiki.freebsd.org/arm64/QEMU
          
          To boot the VM image, run:
          
              % qemu-system-aarch64 -m 4096M -cpu cortex-a57 -M virt  \
          	-bios QEMU_EFI.fd -serial telnet::4444,server -nographic \
          	-drive if=none,file=VMDISK,id=hd0 \
          	-device virtio-blk-device,drive=hd0 \
          	-device virtio-net-device,netdev=net0 \
          	-netdev user,id=net0
          
          Be sure to replace "VMDISK" with the path to the virtual machine image.
          
          === Amazon EC2 AMI Images ===
          
          FreeBSD/amd64 EC2 AMIs are available in the following regions:
          
            eu-north-1 region: ami-0171ddce8f022db73
            ap-south-1 region: ami-0ce419119d57bcfe6
            eu-west-3 region: ami-0734a9f5e92637b4c
            eu-west-2 region: ami-038051fa4527a953d
            eu-west-1 region: ami-0eb6d2c2e9217eb41
            ap-northeast-2 region: ami-02aed7662b22d6719
            ap-northeast-1 region: ami-03a421ada4cda0b19
            sa-east-1 region: ami-07c35c72089c0e99e
            ca-central-1 region: ami-09148bb9e4fd3d821
            ap-southeast-1 region: ami-0a30839ee2c26f749
            ap-southeast-2 region: ami-012aaf1407aa769c5
            eu-central-1 region: ami-04eb925aabfc90761
            us-east-1 region: ami-0ed7a7f43a69ee31b
            us-east-2 region: ami-09da2197d92d47552
            us-west-1 region: ami-0f47fd5e7b03c6bf6
            us-west-2 region: ami-0ef108c97b8dae874
          
          === Vagrant Images ===
          
          FreeBSD/amd64 images are available on the Hashicorp Atlas site, and can
          be installed by running:
          
              % vagrant init freebsd/FreeBSD-11.4-RC1
              % vagrant up
          
          === Upgrading ===
          
          The freebsd-update(8) utility supports binary upgrades of amd64 and i386
          systems running earlier FreeBSD releases.  Systems running earlier
          FreeBSD releases can upgrade as follows:
          
          	# freebsd-update upgrade -r 11.4-RC1
          
          During this process, freebsd-update(8) may ask the user to help by
          merging some configuration files or by confirming that the automatically
          performed merging was done correctly.
          
          	# freebsd-update install
          
          The system must be rebooted with the newly installed kernel before
          continuing.
          
          	# shutdown -r now
          
          After rebooting, freebsd-update needs to be run again to install the new
          userland components:
          
          	# freebsd-update install
          
          It is recommended to rebuild and install all applications if possible,
          especially if upgrading from an earlier FreeBSD release, for example,
          FreeBSD 11.x.  Alternatively, the user can install misc/compat11x and
          other compatibility libraries, afterwards the system must be rebooted
          into the new userland:
          
          	# shutdown -r now
          
          Finally, after rebooting, freebsd-update needs to be run again to remove
          stale files:
          
          	# freebsd-update install
          
          
      • Screenshots/Screencasts

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • Silverblue: pretty good family OS



          I’m the go-to IT guy in the family, so my relatives rely on me when it comes to computers and software on them. In the past I also helped them with computers with Windows and macOS, but at some point I just gave up. I don’t know those systems well enough to effectively administer them and I don’t even have much interest in them. So I asked them to decide: you either use Linux which I know and can effectively help you with or ask someone else for help.

          Long story short: I (mostly remotely) support quite a few Fedora (Linux of my choice) users in my family now. It’s a fairly easy task. Usually after I set up the machine I don’t hear from the user very often. Just once 6 months and a year typically when I visit them I upgrade the machine to the new release and check whether everything works. But Fedora upgrades became so easy and reliable that recently I usually just found out that they had already done it by themselves.

          But there was still one recurring problem: even though they performed upgrades because it was probably a big enough thing to catch their attention they didn’t act on normal updates and I often found them with outdated applications such as Firefox.

        • Fedora program update: 2020-21

          Here’s your report of what has happened in Fedora this week. Fedora 30 will reach end-of-life on 26 May.

          I have weekly office hours in #fedora-meeting-1. Drop by if you have any questions or comments about the schedule, Changes, elections, or anything else.

        • Five steps for telco service providers to evolve from connectivity to intelligent edge services

          Digital transformation, and the ability to embrace and capitalize on disruption, occurs when a company starts to behave like a software company. This is the top-line message from Mike Hansen, AVP of open telecommunications strategies at Red Hat, in a webinar, “Intelligent services at the telecommunications network edge.” But what does it mean for a communication service provider (CSP) that built a business delivering network connectivity services to act as a software company that delivers intelligent services? And how can CSPs make that transition?

          As Hansen explained, there are several technology trends converging that are creating historic opportunities for CSPs to become digital service providers (DSPs). Hybrid cloud is becoming the preferred compute model, and a hybrid cloud that is inclusive of edge computing is expected to emerge as the model for data-intensive workloads such as artificial intelligence that can help turn insights into actions faster. Already, CSPs have been deploying cloud infrastructure using network functions virtualization (NFV) that can operate at the network edge, as edge clouds. Also, cloud native application development is gaining traction as the method for creating applications that can take full advantage of hybrid cloud’s flexibility and scalability. Then there are billions of connected devices and sensors creating data, and 5G networks that will provide the bandwidth to carry all that data out to the edge, where it can be processed.

        • Build Smart on Kubernetes with OpenShift from anywhere in the world

          From the basics of spinning up an OpenShift cluster on IBM Cloud or installing Red Hat CodeReady Containers locally, to integrating app development tooling, you gain hands-on, practical experience that you can apply directly on your work projects. Beyond these basics, you explore adding machine learning, AI, and other cloud-based services into your applications to enhance app capabilities and overall user experience. Let’s explore some of the workshops and what topics they cover.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • Ubuntu 20.04.1 LTS (Focal Fossa) Slated for Release on July 23rd

          While many of you out there are still digging out all the cool new features of the recent Ubuntu 20.04 LTS (Focal Fossa) operating system or just barely took the wraps off it, the Ubuntu development team are working hard to bring you the next point release.

          Yes, I’m talking about Ubuntu 20.04.1 LTS, the first point release of the Focal Fossa series, which will pack all the latest security fixes and software updates to provide the community with an up-to-date installation media.

        • Ubuntu 20.10 Release Date & Planned Features (Continually Updated)



          Now, admittedly, it’s only May; development of this release (which is codenamed ‘Groovy Gorilla’) is still in the early stages. But already know a few things about what to expect, when Ubuntu 20.10 will be released, how long it’ll be supported for, and even a few of the features devs are hoping to sneak in.

          So keep reading to learn everything you need to know about Ubuntu 20.10 features, changes and improvements. And since this post is updated regularly throughout development why not bookmark it now to come check back and keep tabs on the progress!

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • Open-source tech helps companies quickly adapt during pandemic

        As the COVID-19 pandemic shakes the world, companies need to change to embrace remote work and increasingly online operations. One way to quickly adapt to these new dynamics is to use open-source tools, available for access from anywhere in the globe, according to Alan Clark (pictured), who works in SUSE’s CTO Office focusing on emerging technologies and open source.

        “Our customer sentiments are changing; their purchasing habits are obviously changing. That’s changing the services that companies need to deliver,” Clark said. “And one of the powers of open source is being able to provide that to them and deliver those services very rapidly.”

      • Zstd 1.4.5 Released With 5~10% Faster Decompression For x86_64, 15~50% For ARM64

        Facebook’s compression experts responsible for Zstandard have today released Zstd 1.4.5 with more performance improvements.

        Zstandard 1.4.5 comes with faster decompression performance. On x86_64 CPUs the Zstd 1.4.5 performance benefits are in the area of 5~10%. But if you are running on Arm SoCs this time around it can be 15~50% faster. Most of the Arm decompression improvements will be on the lower end of that range but for certain SoCs under ideal conditions can be 50% faster.

      • Web Browsers

        • Chromium

          • Best Chrome Extensions for Screen Capture

            Oftentimes when you are browsing the Internet, you end up finding something that appears on your computer screen that you would like to share with others. These could be as simple as a meme that hooked you in, or as important as some error message that you need in order to consult with IT. You might even need to record your screen for a demo that explains how to use a tool or complete some task.
            At times like these, it is important to have tools that help in grabbing an image or recording your screen. This is where Chrome extensions for screen capture come into play, which come packed with features that may not be present in the default Snipping Tool.

            In this article, we will be looking at some of the best Chrome extensions for screen capture.

        • Mozilla

          • Mozilla Accessibility: Today is Global Accessibility Awareness Day!

            Thursday, May 21, 2020, marks the ninth annual Global Accessibility Awareness Day (GAAD). The purpose of GAAD is to get everyone talking, thinking and learning about digital access/inclusion and people with different disabilities.

            Mozilla is committed to ensuring that all of our offerings are accessible and inclusive. Global Accessibility Awareness Day is a great opportunity to recognize and celebrate that.

          • Data@Mozilla: Sharing data on Italy’s mid-pandemic internet outage

            As a data engineer at Mozilla, my colleagues and I study how internet connectivity changes over time and across regions. Like inclement weather, network outages are simply a fact of life: equipment that powers the internet can fail for numerous reasons in any country. As we know from reports of internet shutdowns and throttling by governments in different parts of the world, sometimes outages can also be intentional. But in terms of data, Mozilla measures outages and connection issues through a series of different metrics, including telemetry upload failures.

          • Mozilla Accessibility: Proper VoiceOver support coming soon to Firefox on MacOS

            Firefox 75, released in April, saw the first fruits of this work. Most notably, we learned our way around the Mac code base and the accessibility APIs. In the process we uncovered a small, but significant, piece we were missing that made us very fast all of a sudden. This small, but mighty, patch, enabled us to progress much more rapidly than we had expected. We also made the VoiceOver cursor visible, and made it follow focus. Also, if navigating with VoiceOver, we made focus follow it if VoiceOver’s setting for that was enabled. And, we also fixed some initial labeling inconsistencies across the board.

          • Data@Mozilla: This Week in Glean: mozregression telemetry (part 2)

            With the probe scraper change merged and deployed, we can now start querying! A number of tables are automatically created according to the schema outlined above: notably “live” and “stable” tables corresponding to the usage ping. Using sql.telemetry.mozilla.org we can start exploring what’s out there.

          • This Week in Glean: Bytes in Memory (on Android)

            With the Glean SDK we follow in the footsteps of other teams to build a cross-platform library to be used in both mobile and desktop applications alike.
            In this blog post we’re taking a look at how we transport some rich data across the FFI boundary to be reused on the Kotlin side of things. We’re using a recent example of a new API in Glean that will drive the HTTP upload of pings, but the concepts I’m explaining here apply more generally.

          • Emily Dunham: Moving on from Mozilla

            Today – Friday, May 22nd, 2020 – is within days of my 5-year anniversary with Mozilla, and it’s also my last day there for a while. Working at Mozilla has been an amazing experience, and I’d recommend it to anyone.

            There are some things that Mozilla does extremely well, and I’m excited to spread those patterns to other parts of the industry. And there are areas where Mozilla has room for improvement, where I’d like to see how others address those challenges and maybe even bring back what I learn to Moz someday.

          • Protecting Search and Browsing Data from Warrantless Access

            As the maker of Firefox, we know that browsing and search data can provide a detailed portrait of our private lives and needs to be protected. That’s why we work to safeguard your browsing data, with privacy features like Enhanced Tracking Protection and more secure DNS.

            Unfortunately, too much search and browsing history still is collected and stored around the Web. We believe this data deserves strong legal protections when the government seeks access to it, but in many cases that protection is uncertain.

          • The USA Freedom Act and Browsing History

            ast Thursday, the US Senate voted to renew the USA Freedom Act which authorizes a variety of forms of national surveillance. As has been reported, this renewal does not include an amendment offered by Sen. Ron Wyden and Sen. Steve Daines that would have explicitly prohibited the warrantless collection of Web browsing history. The legislation is now being considered by the House of Representatives and today Mozilla and a number of other technology companies sent a letter urging them to adopt the Wyden-Daines language in their version of the bill. This post helps fill in the technical background of what all this means.

            Despite what you might think from the term “browsing history,” we’re not talking about browsing data stored on your computer. Web browsers like Firefox store, on your computer, a list of the places you’ve gone so that you can go back and find things and to help provide better suggestions when you type stuff in the awesomebar. That’s how it is that you can type ‘f’ in the awesomebar and it might suggest you go to Facebook.

            [...]

            Unfortunately, historically the line between content and metadata hasn’t been incredibly clear in the US courts. In some cases the sites you visit (e.g., www.webmd.com) are treated as metadata, in which case that data would not require a warrant. By contrast, the exact page you went to on WebMD would be content and would require a warrant. However, the sites themselves reveal a huge amount of information about you. Consider, for instance, the implications of having Ashley Madison or Stormfront in your browsing history. The Wyden-Daines amendment would have resolved that ambiguity in favor of requiring a warrant for all Web browsing history and search history. If the House reauthorizes USA Freedom without this language, we will be left with this somewhat uncertain situation but one where in practice much of people’s activity on the Internet — including activity which they would rather keep secret — may be subject to surveillance without a warrant.

      • SaaS/Back End/Databases

        • Instaclustr CTO on open source database as a service

          Ben Bromhead: Our original vision was wildly different and, like all good startups, we had a pretty decent pivot. When the original team got together, we were working on a marketplace for high value data sets. We took a data warehouse approach for the different data sets we provided and the access model was pure SQL. It was kind of interesting from a computer science perspective, but we probably weren’t as savvy as we needed to be to take that kind of business to market.

          [...]

          Our take on it [managed Cassandra as a service] is also a little bit different from some of the other vendors in that we really take a multi-technology approach. So you know, not only are we engaging with our customers around their Cassandra cluster, but we’re also helping them with the Kafka cluster, Elasticsearch and Redis.

          So what ends up happening is we end up becoming a trusted partner for a customer’s data layer and that’s our goal. We certainly got our start with Cassandra, that’s our bread and butter and what we’re known for, but in terms of the business vision, we want to be there as a data layer supporting different use cases.

      • Productivity Software/LibreOffice/Calligra

        • LibreOffice 6.4.4

          LibreOffice is the free power-packed Open Source personal productivity suite for Windows, Macintosh and Linux, that gives you six feature-rich applications for all your document production and data processing needs: Writer, Calc, Impress, Draw, Math and Base. Support and documentation is free from our large, dedicated community of users, contributors and developers. You, too, can also get involved!

        • Libre Office 6.4.4 packages available for slackware-current

          The Document Foundation released the latest version of LibreOffice (6.4.4) yesterday, and I compiled a set of packages for Slackware -current. Unfortunately Slackware 14.2 is stuck at LibreOffice 6.2.x because newer source releases can not compile against the old libraries of our stable platform anymore).

      • FSF

        • GNU Projects

          • FreeIPMI 1.6.5

            - Add FRU parsing workaround for Fujitsu Primergy RX1330, in which a CEh is used to indicate that no FRU data is available.

        • Licensing/Legal

          • Kernel sources for the Moto G8 Play and Nubia Play 5G are now available

            To promote such development as well as fulfilling the legal obligation regarding GNU General Public License v2, most OEMs nowadays publicly release kernel sources sometime after their devices hit the market. Now two major smartphone manufacturers, Motorola and Nubia, have released kernel sources for the Moto G8 Play and the Nubia Play 5G, respectively.

      • Programming/Development

        • Stack clash mitigation in GCC, Part 3

          In previous posts, Stack Clash Mitigation in GCC — Background and Stack Clash mitigation in GCC: Why -fstack-check is not the answer, I hopefully showed the basics of how stack clash attacks are structured and why GCC’s existing -fstack-check mechanism is insufficient for protection.

        • The 10 Best Programming Languages for Hacking

          One of the significant entities we have in Cyber Security is Ethical Hacking (ETH). It is the process of detecting and finding flaws or vulnerabilities in a system that a hacker would exploit.

          Anyone performing penetration testing would need several requirements to find the vulnerabilities and flaws in a system. One of them is an operating system dedicated to doing such tasks, e.g., Kali, Parrot, etc. You will also need several penetration tools and scripts. Even though these resources seem to be pretty efficient, background knowledge of different programming languages has proven to be essential in Ethical hacking.

        • Python

          • Difference between Map and Filter functions in Python

            In Python, map and filter functions application look similar and establishing the difference between the two might be sometime confusing.

            In this post, I would like to highlight the basic difference between the two functions with clear examples.

            While Maps takes a normal function, Filter takes Boolean functions. As a matter of fact, filter are maps with conditional logic, a Boolean logic.

          • Building Datagrid for CRUD in Flask in PythonGrid

            pythonGrid is a new free open source library to create a fully working datagrid for CRUD (Create, Read, Update, & Delete) for Flask that connects to a relation database such as Postgres or MySql/MariaDB database.

            It makes everyday datagrid tasks extremely easy. Standard functions like sorting, pagination, search, and CSV export are supported out-of-box without complicated programming.

          • 10 Tips to avoid getting Blocked while Scraping Websites

            Data Scraping is something that has to be done quite responsibly. You have to be very cautious about the website you are scraping. It could have negative effects on the website. There are FREE web scrapers in the market which can smoothly scrape any website without getting blocked. Many websites on the web do not have any anti-scraping mechanism but some of the websites do block scrapers because they do not believe in open data access.

          • Transmit extra data with signals in PyQt5 & PySide2

            Signals are a neat feature of Qt that allow you to pass messages between different components in your applications.

            Signals are connected to slots which are functions (or methods) which will be run every time the signal fires. Many signals also transmit data, providing information about the state change or widget that fired them. The receiving slot can use this data to perform different actions in response to the same signal.

            However, there is a limitation: the signal can only emit the data it was designed to. So for example, a QAction has a .triggered that fires when that particular action has been activated. The triggered signal emits a single piece of data — the checked state of the action after being triggered.

          • Check your email addresses in Python, as a whole

            So recently, in MDN, we changed the setting WELCOME_EMAIL_FROM. Seems harmless right? Wrong, it failed horribly in runtime and we didn’t notice until it was in production.

  • Leftovers

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Security

          • Security updates for Friday

            Security updates have been issued by CentOS (firefox, ipmitool, kernel, squid, and thunderbird), Debian (pdns-recursor), Fedora (php and ruby), Red Hat (dotnet and dotnet3.1), SUSE (dom4j, dovecot23, memcached, and tomcat), and Ubuntu (clamav, libvirt, and qemu).

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • Exclusive: IG Fired Days After Inquiring About Pompeo’s ‘Donor Dinners’

        While Democrats are investigating whether State Department Inspector General Steve Linick was fired for probing into last year’s expedited $8 billion arms sale to Saudi Arabia, The American Conservative has learned of another, more direct reason for the IG’s abrupt firing: just days before Linick was removed, he sent a request for information about the “donor dinners” otherwise known as “Madison Dinners” that Pompeo has been hosting on the taxpayer dime for corporate and media big wigs.

        Before coronavirus cancelled them, the “Madison Dinners” were elaborate, unpublicized State dinners that Pompeo and his wife Susan hosted in Diplomatic Reception Rooms beginning in 2018. A bevy of big wig political donors, corporate CEOs, and conservative news media celebrities were invited to the dinners funded by taxpayers.

    • Freedom of Information/Freedom of the Press

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

      • P2P apps’ connection amnesia makes them less fault-tolerant

        Peer-to-peer (P2P) applications discover peer devices either using a centralized tracking server (e.g. Syncthing, Dat, BitTorrent) or a “server-less” distributed hash table (DHT). Server-less solutions like DHT are never truly serverless, though. I’ve previously discussed how DHT clients are overly reliant on centralized bootstrapping/introduction servers and how that acts as a single-point-of-failure.

        In that earlier article, I argued that DHT-clients should cache their DHT peers between sessions. Those peers aren’t guaranteed to be online the next time your client tries to join the network. However, P2P clients typically make hundreds of connections to the DHT swarm.

        This method would reduce clients’ reliance on bootstrapping servers and help maintain the network in the event of an intentional or unintentional service outage. As a bonus, it could speed up the process of rejoining the DHT swarm.

    • Monopolies

      • Patents

        • Software Patents

          • A Patent Emergency

            Despite this long history, the Federal Circuit found Chamberlain’s patent ineligible under 35 U.S.C. 101 as directed to an abstract idea.

            [...]

            By the time this patent application was filed, all three of these elements were all “generally well understood in the art.” The innovative feature of the claims is that the system is designed to transmit the door’s “present operational status” — i.e., is it moving up; moving down; reversing; blocked; etc. The signal also includes a “relatively unique” identifier for folks with multiple garage doors so that the unclaimed receiver can tell which door is up/down. Note here that there is nothing new about these various status points — the only difference is that it that the signals are being sent, and being sent wirelessly.

            So, although the patent claims a garage-door-opener including various physical components, the point-of-novelty is that a particular signal is being sent wirelessly. In its decision, the Federal Circuit found the wireless transmission of status to be an abstract idea: “the broad concept of communicating information wirelessly, without more, is an abstract idea.”

          • Accelerated Memory Tech Disclaims Patent, Mooting Challenge

            On May 21, 2020, the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) ruled it would not institute Unified Patents, LLC v. Accelerated Memory Tech, LLC, IPR2020-00191 given the claims were no longer valid. While technically a denial, it would be more fair to say the issue was moot, given Patent Owner’s earlier disclaimer of all the claims. The patent, U.S. Patent 6,513,062, was also ruled invalid under 101 in January 2020, prior to the statutory disclaimer. All other cases involving this patent have been terminated.

      • Copyrights

        • BREAKING: US Copyright Office finds current safe harbor system ‘unbalanced’ and ‘out of sync with Congress’ original intent’

          Today, the US Copyright Office released its much-awaited Report on Section 512 of the US Copyright Act, which was enacted in 1998 as part of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act and introduced the so called ‘safe harbor’ system into US law.

          As readers following all things intermediaries will know, the safe harbor system of the E-Commerce Directive was the EU response to the 1998 US legislation.

          [...]

          Last year, EU legislature excluded the availability of the hosting safe harbour – in relation to copyright infringements – in Article 17 of Directive 2019/790 (the DSM Directive) for activities falling within the scope of that provision.

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