07.29.20

Links 29/7/2020: LLVM 11.0 Release Candidate, Tails 4.9 and WordPress 5.5 Release Candidate

Posted in News Roundup at 12:52 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Desktop/Laptop

      • Linux Impressions

        I won’t try to do any benchmarking here. More interesting to me is the perceived performance.

        Here I can say that the biggest difference is as, already mentioned, Docker.

        Apart from that file search in my editor and also starting applications are both definitely faster on Linux. KRunner in KDE also feels faster than searching in Gnome or Spotlight on a Mac.

        I mostly cannot tell a difference between Manjaro+KDE and Ubuntu+Gnome, but looking at the system status you can see that Manjaro+KDE consumes less ressources and has less systemd services running. For me it was definitely a surprise to find out that in 2020 KDE is more lightweight than Gnome. That used to be very different.

        Booting the system I have to say that Dell BIOS seems to be the fastest and Lenovo Thinkpad the slowest. Or Lenovo prefers likes to show their giant red logo for a bit longer.

        The actual Linux distros are both pretty fast. I find that KDE gives you a smoother booting experience and Manjaro doesn’t have a loading screen while Ubuntu shows a loading screen for 1-2 seconds.

        One point for the MacBooks is that their sleep mode (closing the laptop lid) lasts longer. I think the Mac switches to hibernate automatically. While hibernate works on the Linux laptops, it seems to be not faster than rebooting from scratch.

      • Librem 14 Adds Microphone Kill Switch Enhancements

        Last week we announced that the Librem 14 would feature a special “kill switch” of sorts on the motherboard that would write-protect the BIOS and EC chips. We’re pleased to announce another enhancement that will be in the Librem 14: the microphone kill switch will also kill microphones connected through the headphone jack.

        Our camera/microphone hardware kill switch has long been a unique feature on our laptops. While covering your webcams with tape is better than nothing (even if Apple has no tolerance for webcam covers), that only solves half of your privacy issues. Even if a snoop can’t watch you through a webcam cover, they could still listen to you so we’ve made sure our camera/microphone kill switch disables the webcam at the top of the laptop screen and the embedded microphone.

      • Hack the planet in style with the new Linux Terminal in Chrome OS 84

        Google has been ramping up the Linux environment on Chrome OS lately, with features like microphone support and USB connections. For those of you who spend a lot of time in the command-line Terminal, Chrome OS 84 has updated the app with new themes and customization options.

        The Terminal app on Chrome OS has changed very little since the Linux container was originally released — it’s a single window with text. However, the new version shipping in Chrome OS 84 offers tabs, pre-made themes, customizable colors and fonts for text, and even cursor options.

    • Audiocasts/Shows

      • The Business of Free Software: Red Hat

        In this opener to series two of the Tech Means Business podcast, we were delighted to speak to Stefanie Chiras, the Vice President and General Manager, RHEL Business Unit at Red Hat.

        With a skew of qualifications that would make a recruitment professional weep (Harvard, Princeton, UCSB), Stefanie was a career IBM-er until two years ago, when she shifted up a gear into Red Hat, post-acquisition of the latter by the former. Now at the helm of the pivotal Red Hat Enterprise Linux Business Unit, she’s in the business of making the case for all things FOSS at organizations across the world.

        We talk about getting the message right, open-source monetization, and how it’s not about the details of the code, but the outcomes for the business that matter. As the world transitions to open, cloud-y, platform-agnostic solutions and services, we hear how RHEL makes its particular case among the Ubuntus, SUSEs, Salesforces and SAPs of this world.

        Stefanie & Joe mull over upstreaming code, communities of developers, high-performance & supercomputing, microservices and monolithic applications: all in all, a substantial series two opener, with more food for thought than an open buffet at a rocket science convention!

      • This Week in Linux 110: AMD Ryzen Linux Laptops, Thunderbird 78, Cooler Master Raspberry Pi Case

        On this episode of This Week in Linux, we’ve got some really cool hardware news, we’ve finally got some Linux laptops equipped with an AMD Ryzen 4000H series processor. These laptops are thanks to Tuxedo Computers and KDE Slimbook. Cooler Master has launched a kickstarter campaign to make a pretty slick Case for the Raspberry Pi 4. We’ve also got a LOT of App News this week with the latest release of the most popular open source email client, Thunderbird 78 from Mozilla. KDE has released version 7.0.0 of digiKam. If you’ve been wanting an open source way to control your RGB lights on your devices then OpenRGB may be the tool for you. And finally, PeerTube has announced the 2.3.0 release that comes with the much anticipated Global Search feature! All that and much more on Your Weekly Source for Linux GNews!

      • LHS Episode #359: Backup Solutions Deep Dive

        Welcome to Episode 359 of Linux in the Ham Shack. In this episode, the hosts take a deep dive into the world of real-time backups, archiving, replication, data storage, cloud services and more. Everyone should have a reasonable backup and disaster recovery solution and this episode hopes to provide several options for accomplishing that goal with open source software and hardware in mind. Thanks for listening and we hope you have a great week and good backups.

      • [S5:E2] Command Line Heroes: Where Coders Code
      • mintCast 340 – Unit of Measurement

        First up, in our Wanderings, Jason prints a masterpiece, I get knee deep in Mint, Tony Hughes becomes a journalist, Moss has new toys, Joe springs a leak, and Tony Watts is rockin’ in the free world.

    • Kernel Space

      • Linux 5.9 To Support New EF100 NIC Architecture Developed By Xilinx

        One of the new network drivers now queued up for Linux 5.9 is the SFC EF100 driver for the EF100 NIC architecture.

        The EF100 NIC architecture has been developed at Xilinx and based partially on Solarflare IP. Given the similarity to existing Solarflare SFC9000/SFC9100 series hardware, the EF100 support is being extended within the “SFC” Linux networking driver.

      • Graphics Stack

        • AMD “Navy Flounder” Support Merged Into Mesa 20.2

          “Navy Flounder” as the codename for another Navi 2 GPU following the “Sienna Cichlid” Linux driver work has made it into Mesa 20.2 for the RadeonSI Gallium3D driver.

          The Navy Flounder AMDGPU kernel driver support for Linux was sent out several weeks ago and will come with the Linux 5.9 kernel alongside the newly-enabled Sienna Cichlid support for these initial Navi 2 GPUs seeing open-source Linux driver support.

        • Mike Blumenkrantz: Internal Changes

          Today I’m going to briefly go over a big-ish API change that’s taking place as a result of a MR from Jason Ekstrand.

        • Mike Blumenkrantz: Versioning

          Today I thought it might be interesting to dive into how mesa detects version support for drivers.

          To do so, I’m going to be jumping into mesa/src/mesa/main/version.c, which is where the magic happens.

    • Instructionals/Technical

    • Games

      • 5 new titles and 1 leaving Stadia Pro in August, Celeste out now + more Stadia news

        Here’s your regular dose of Stadia news, as today Google revealed a bunch more games coming to their Linux-powered game streaming service.

        For Stadia Pro on August 1 subscribers will get free access to play Strange Brigade, Kona, Metro 2033 Redux and Just Shapes & Beats. If you don’t subscribe to Pro, all games will be available to purchase on Stadia as normal. Zombie Army 4: Dead War will also be leaving Stadia Pro at the end of this month, so claim it now if you haven’t already. On top of that Google has confirmed that Rock of Ages III will release on Stadia on August 14, launching right into Stadia Pro.

        If you enjoy playing PUBG on Stadia, it’s also getting a new season on July 30 with the latest ‘Survival Pass’ being given free for Stadia Pro subs as well.

        [...]

        For any Android mobile/tablet gamers amongst our readers, Stadia will also soon let you play across 4G/5G with a new experiment you can opt into in the Stadia App. This is on top of the current experiment that lets you opt into playing on any Android device that can install the Stadia App.

      • Release candidate: Godot 3.2.3 RC 2

        Godot 3.2.2 was released on June 26 with over 3 months’ worth of development, including many bugfixes and a handful of features. Some regressions were noticed after the release though, so we decided that Godot 3.2.3 would focus mainly on fixing those new bugs to ensure that all Godot users can have the most stable experience possible.

      • Valve gets another developer to work on Linux graphics drivers, starting with AMD RADV

        It appears that Valve aren’t stopping their push to improve Linux gaming, as they just recently hired another developer to help improve open source graphics drivers.

        The new hire is Tony Wasserka, a programmer with a lot of experience. Looking over their resume, Wasserka previously worked for the likes of Imagination Technologies where they worked on the Vulkan driver for PowerVR graphics chips. Additionally they also help to found the Nintendo 3DS emulator Citra, they’re a contributor to the GameCube and the Wii emulator Dolphin, they also contributed in the past to the Wine compatibility layer and more. It’s pretty safe to say they know their way around some complicated code.

      • Valve Hires Another Developer To Work On RADV Radeon Vulkan Driver

        Valve appears to have hired yet another open-source graphics driver developer and will initially be working on the Mesa Radeon “RADV” Vulkan driver.

        Tony Wasserka, new to the Mesa scene but has spent years in the embedded and graphics space, shared today that he has been hired by Valve to contribute to their open-source graphics work on Linux and will be first taking a stab working on RADV.

      • The Humble Raw Fury 2020 Bundle is out with some sweet gaming action

        Another game bundle has been released today with the Humble Raw Fury 2020 Bundle and there’s some good looking Linux games included with it.

      • 4 new titles and 1 leaving Stadia Pro in August, Celeste out now + more Stadia news

        Here’s your regular dose of Stadia news, as today Google revealed a bunch more games coming to their Linux-powered game streaming service.

        For Stadia Pro on August 1 subscribers will get free access to play Strange Brigade, Kona, Metro 2033 Redux and Just Shapes & Beats. If you don’t subscribe to Pro, all games will be available to purchase on Stadia as normal. Zombie Army 4: Dead War will also be leaving Stadia Pro at the end of this month, so claim it now if you haven’t already. On top of that Google has confirmed that Rock of Ages III will release on Stadia on August 14, launching right into Stadia Pro.

        If you enjoy playing PUBG on Stadia, it’s also getting a new season on July 30 with the latest ‘Survival Pass’ being given free for Stadia Pro subs as well.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • MATE Review: A Lightweight Desktop Environment for the Nostalgic

        MATE is one of the great Linux Desktop Environments for those who are looking for something very traditional and nostalgic. It is the living descendant of one of the most popular Linux desktops, GNOME 2, and has a classic feel and approach. In this MATE review, we’ll look at the user interface, performance, and some notable features, and we’ll cover who should try MATE.

        MATE feels classic when you first boot up. This makes sense, as MATE is a fork and continuation of GNOME 2, one of the most beloved Linux desktops of all time. MATE follows traditional desktop paradigms and gives you a great-looking and great-feeling interface. MATE is incredibly sharp out of the box with a great theme and icon pack. The feel is great as well, with very minimal resource usage and a fast, snappy interface. Things run well, and MATE would be a great choice for a lower-end system or those looking to remain efficient on system resources.

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • GSoC’20 Progress: Week 7 and 8

          With the subtitle information, i.e., the text, the start and end points of each subtitle, being correctly stored in the abstract list model, I shifted my focus in these two weeks towards the UI development of subtitles in the timeline.

          First, to confirm whether the information is stored properly, I worked on displaying vertical lines across the timeline according to the start positions of each subtitle.

        • GSoC’20 with KDE

          The second coding period for GSoC’20 is now over. I am excited to share that the first part of my project is now over. I have finally finished porting kde.org to hugo and am now working on a refresh for the Season of KDE Website

          Porting kde.org allowed for easy resuability of code and helped in removing a lot of extra files. This code reusability can be achieved in two ways – shortcodes and layouts.

      • GNOME Desktop/GTK

        • Apoorv Sachan: Revisiting Basic and Permissions Page

          Porting of Basic and Permissions pages, have been covered in the previous posts, but like the heading suggests there sure was something left. The candidates which remained to be ported were the volume usage widget featuring the pie-chart and the change permissions dialogue which can be used to change permissions of enclosed files in a folder.

        • Pitivi: Object Tracking

          I’ve been selected as a student developer at Pitivi for Google Summer of Code 2020. My project is to create an object tracking and blurring feature.

          In this post, I introduce a feature in development which allows the user to track an object inside a video clip.

    • Distributions

      • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandriva/OpenMandriva Family

        • OpenMandriva Lx 4.2 Reaches Alpha

          Along with OpenMandriva working on a rolling-release version of its distribution long ago derived from Mandrake/Mandriva, OpenMandriva Lx 4.2 is coming along as the next stable release.

          OpenMandriva Lx 4.2 pulls in the Linux 5.7 kernel as a significant step forward in its own right, now makes use of the KDE Plasma 5.19 series along with Qt 5.15, KDE Applications 20.04 series, and a variety of other software package updates.

          Aside from many package upgrades, OpenMandriva Lx 4.2 adds Zstd compression support to their kernel build, upgrades its Calamares installer, and has a variety of other alterations.

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8.3 Beta Released

          Red Hat today announced the beta availability of Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8.3 (RHEL 8.3), the latest minor release of the RHEL 8 platform. The RHEL 8.3 beta keeps the open-source software provider on track to provide a predictable six month release cadence for minor updates. This update includes new security profiles, updated and expanded RHEL System Roles, and updated developer tools via Application Streams.

          The Application Streams (AppStreams) repository, introduced to RHEL 8 in 2018, allows Red Hat to deliver components as modules, which are collections of packages representing logical units–say, an application, a language stack, a database, or a set of tools. These packages are built, tested, and released together.

        • Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8.3 Beta Now Available

          Red Hat has announced the availability of Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8.3 beta, which focuses primarily on delivering updated stable and supported developer tools, new RHEL System Roles for logging and environmental metrics and several new security profiles to improve IT security and compliance stances.

          To provide access to many of the latest, stable open source tools and utilities, Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8.3 beta features new and updated Application Streams. These include Git 2.26, NGINX 1.18, Node.js v14, Perl 5.30, PHP 7.4 and Ruby 2.7.

        • Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8.3 Hits Beta With New/Updated Application Streams

          Red Hat has announced the public beta of the forthcoming Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8.3 release.

          Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8.3 is bringing new system roles for logging and for metrics, a new profile for HIPAA compliance in the healthcare space, updates to performance tools and debuggers, and a variety of other updates.

        • Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8.3 beta released

          The beta will work on all major RHEL architectures. These are AMD and Intel 64-bit, 64-bit ARM, IBM Power, and IBM Z. On the AMD architecture, RHEL now supports Secure Encrypted Virtualization (SEV). On every platform, RHEL 8.3 beta uses the 4.18.0-221 Linux kernel.

          As is usually the case, this new RHEL 8 mostly features developer updates. These come, beginning with RHEL 8, in Application Streams. These bundle together up-to-date programming tools and libraries with the underlying base operating system programs. The result is developers get the newest tools, while, simultaneously, administrators retain the same foundation operating system for better operational stability.

          [...]

          RHEL 8.3 beta also comes with new security profiles. Specifically, it now supports the Center for Internet Security (CIS) benchmark and the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) as Security Content Automation Protocol (SCAP) profiles. These provide you with pre-set security best practices. Finally, the beta also adds a System Role for Network-Bound Disk Encryption (NBDE) to help add disk encryption configuration consistency and repeatability.

          Want to start checking it out? RHEL 8.3 beta is now accessible for Red Hat Enterprise Linux customers via the Red Hat customer portal and as part of the no-cost Red Hat Enterprise Linux Developer Subscription.

        • IT meets behavior science: Driving change by understanding the 8 emotional stages

          Energized members gang up and start new initiatives in opposite directions. Now, things have escalated, and you risk rogue activities springing up that dilute or derail your efforts. This is a very difficult stage to navigate because the energy that was available in the previous stage is now undirected. Unfortunately, much of what happens in this stage is often quite counterproductive to what the initial change should achieve.

          In large scale projects, these types of activities might be political in the sense that they try to undermine your change. The activities could also be practical, such as inviting a different provider, installing another software, or employing different processes to include or invalidate part or all of your change.

          Here is where you need management support, especially when it comes to big changes. If you have the board or senior management on your side, the opposition will soon realize that “resistance is futile.” However, use your powers wisely so as not to prolong the next stage.

          [...]

          This guide will help you navigate the people aspect of change management regardless of which process or tool(s) you use. One of the most important lessons is to stay on course. Keep your focus on the desired outcome and don’t give up, but be flexible. Reality seldom matches the plan, so you have to adapt as you go along. Help others do the same by keeping an open discussion going and, at the same time, make sure you have strong support from senior management. Empower those around you to take the lead.

          Heed this advice, as well as the warning signs that your technical project might fail (see articles linked below) and you will be in a strong position to manage change and navigate the complex landscape of IT that is made up of fantastic people and interesting technology.

      • Debian Family

        • Tails 4.9, the Amnesic Incognito Live System, Released with Linux Kernel 5.7

          Tails 4.9 is a monthly update that’s here to replace last month’s Tails 4.8 release for those who want to install the popular amnesic incognito live system on new computers.

          Therefore, Tails 4.9 is just an updated installation media containing various up-to-date components. The most important updated component in this release being the Linux kernel, which has been updated to version 5.7.6.

          Tails 4.8 was using Linux kernel 5.6, which is no longer supported, so the inclusion of the latest Linux 5.7 kernel series in Tails is great news for those who want to run the Debian-based distribution on newer hardware.

        • Tails 4.9 is out

          This release fixes many security vulnerabilities. You should upgrade as soon as possible.

        • Jonathan Carter: Free Software Activities for 2020-06

          Hmm, this is the latest I’ve posted my monthly updates yet (nearly by a month!). June was both crazy on the incoming side, and at the same time I just wasn’t that productive (at least since then I caught up a lot). In theory, lockdown means that I spend less time in traffic, in shops or with friends and have more time to do stuff, in practice I go to bed later and later and waste more time watching tv shows and playing mobile games. A cycle that I have at least broken free from since June.

        • Steve Kemp: I’m a bit of a git (hacker?)

          Sometimes I enjoy reading the source code to projects I like, use, or am about to install for the first time. This was something I used to do on a very regular basis, looking for security issues to report. Nowadays I don’t have so much free time, but I still like to inspect the source code to new applications I install, and every now and again I’ll find the time to look at the source to random projects.

          Reading code is good. Reading code is educational.

          One application I’ve looked at multiple times is redis, which is a great example of clean and well-written code. That said when reading the redis codebase I couldn’t help noticing that there were a reasonably large number of typos/spelling mistakes in the comments…

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • Chef & Jenkins: Better Together

        Chef Habitat changes the way applications are defined and deployed enabling automation teams to describe in code everything the application needs to be built, run, and managed. By standardizing this process, Chef Habitat provides a way to automate application deployment in even the most heterogeneous environments. To illustrate this, we recently hosted a webinar where we showed how Chef Habitat can be used in concert with Jenkins to drastically simplify pipeline creation.

      • Web Browsers

        • Mozilla

          • Mozilla Firefox 79.0 Released with Various Security Fixes

            Mozilla Firefox web browser 79.0 was released a few hours ago with new features and various security fixes.

            [...]

            Firefox 79 will be made into official Ubuntu security / updates repositories for Ubuntu 16.04, Ubuntu 18.04, and Ubuntu 20.04 in a few days!

            [...]

          • The Talospace Project: Firefox 79 on POWER

            Firefox 79 is out. There are many new web and developer-facing features introduced in this version, of which only a couple are of note to us in 64-bit PowerPC land specifically. The first is a migration of WebExtensions storage to a new Rust-based implementation; there was a bit of a pause while extension storage migrated, so don’t panic if the browser seems to stall out for a few long seconds on first run. The second is a further rollout of WebRender to more Windows configurations, so this seemed like a good time to me to check again how well it’s working on this side of the fence. With the Raptor BTO WX7100 installed in this Talos II, I’ve forced it on with gfx.webrender.enabled and layers.acceleration.force-enabled both set to true (restart the browser after) and worked with it all afternoon with no issues noted, so this time I’m just going to leave it on and see how it goes. Any GCN-based AMD video card from Northern Islands on up (the WX7100 is Polaris) should work. about:support will show you if WebRender and hardware acceleration are enabled, though currently no Linux configuration has it enabled by default.

          • Firefox 79: The safe return of shared memory, new tooling, and platform updates

            Modern JavaScript depends on promises, async/await, events, and timeouts to orchestrate complex scheduling between your code, libraries, and the browser. And yet, it can be challenging to debug async code to understand control and data flow. Operations are broken up over time. Async stack traces solve this by combining the live synchronous part of the stack with the part that is captured and asynchronous.

            Now you can enjoy detailed async execution chains in the Firefox JavaScript Debugger’s call stack, Console errors, and Network initiators.

            [...]

            Starting with Firefox 79, developers of tab management extensions can improve the perceived performance when users switch tabs. The new tabs.warmup() function will prepare the tab to be displayed. Developers can use this function, when they anticipate a tab switch, e.g. when hovering over a button or link.

            If you’re an extension developer and your extensions sync items across multiple devices, be aware that we ported storage.sync area to a Rust-based implementation. Extension data that had been stored locally in existing profiles will automatically migrate the first time an installed extension tries to access storage.sync data in Firefox 79. As a quick note, the new implementation enforces client-side quota limits. You should estimate how much data your extension stores locally and test how your extension behaves once the data limit is exceeded. Check out this post for testing instructions and more information about this change.

            Take a look at the Add-ons Blog for more updates to the WebExtensions API in Firefox 79!

          • Firefox 79.0

            Firefox 79.0 has been released. This version has improved accessibility for people using screen readers. See the release notes for more details.

          • 79.0 Firefox Release

            We’d like to extend a special thank you to all of the new Mozillians who contributed to this release of Firefox.

      • SaaS/Back End/Databases

        • MariaDB’s Platform X5 Now Available

          MariaDB Corporation recently announced the general availability of MariaDB Platform X5, which represents a major update to the open source database solution. According to the announcement, MariaDB Platform X5 includes upgrades to every component of the platform as well as the new MariaDB Xpand smart engine for distributed SQL.

          “With MariaDB Platform X5, our customers can start small and go big – adaptively, pragmatically and with extreme ease,” said Michael Howard, CEO, MariaDB Corporation.

      • Productivity Software/LibreOffice/Calligra

        • LibreOffice Tips & Tricks: Converting 4:3 Slides into 16:9 Slides

          Today, the majority of screens and projectors is using the 16:9 aspect ratio, while in the past has been using the 4:3 aspect ratio. So, many people have a large number of slide decks based on the old 4:3 aspect ratio, which have to be converted to the new 16:9 aspect ratio. Using LibreOffice Impress in the right way, which means that all slides are based on a slide template, the conversion procedure is rather trivial, and this blog post provides a step by step tutorial.

      • CMS

        • WordPress 5.5 Release Candidate

          The first release candidate for WordPress 5.5 is now available!

          This is an important milestone in the community’s progress toward the final release of WordPress 5.5.

          “Release Candidate” means that the new version is ready for release, but with millions of users and thousands of plugins and themes, it’s possible something was missed. WordPress 5.5 is slated for release on August 11, 2020, but we need your help to get there—if you haven’t tried 5.5 yet, now is the time!

      • FSF

        • Presenting the expanded Free Software Foundation Bulletin, online!

          Right now, in a rapidly changing and uncertain world, free software has a special role to play. This issue of the biannual Free Software Foundation Bulletin addresses some of the challenges that life during the COVID-19 pandemic poses to software freedom, but it also highlights some of the unique contributions that activists are making to safeguard your rights today. Whether through manufacturing desperately-needed medical supplies, advocating for and supplying free and secure videoconferencing for remote learning, or creating flexible and portable libre medical information systems, activists have put in extraordinary effort to ensure that our user freedom is protected along with our safety.

        • GNU Projects

          • Digital Dollar Project In Light Of Recent Congressional Hearings

            There has to be a notion of a controlling owner, and the eventual recording of the transfer in a ledger against double spend. This is the case even in bitcoin. Inevitably, the owner and a ledger creep back into the equation. There are designs like the David Chaum’s DigiCash and GNU Taler which do have technical solutions for anonymous peer to peer transfers. Digicash declared bankruptcy, GNU Taler is brand new. Pure peer to peer and customer to merchant could operate in a disconnected setting, but for small amounts.

      • Programming/Development

        • Named arguments squeak into PHP 8.0, 7 years after first RFC

          The next major version of the PHP language will support named arguments after 76 per cent of lead developers voted to include it.

          PHP 8.0 is now expected to be released in November 2020 and feature freeze is on 4 August. The RFC (Request For Comments) for Named Arguments was submitted in September 2013 but revived for the PHP 8.0 release. Approval required a two-thirds majority. There is a pull request for a partial implementation, but it seems there is a fair amount of work still to do.

        • Some Usenet groups suspended in Goggle Groups 1 Reply

          Over the last few days, a number of Usenet groups have been banned. The two that I am aware of are comp.lang.lisp and comp.lang.forth, two programming languages groups in the Usenet comp hierarchy. This is the message I see;

          Banned content warning

          comp.lang.forth has been identified as containing spam, malware, or other malicious content.

          For more information about content policies on Google Groups see our Help Center article on abuse and our Terms of Service.

          As with most of Usenet, the comp.* hierarchy is largely unmoderated. These two groups definitely are, so this is a Google action to ban them and not one of moderation, since there aren’t any moderators. It’s unclear how these groups have breached the rules.

          Of specific concern is the archive. These are some of the oldest groups on Usenet, and the depth & breadth of the historical material that has just disappeared from the internet, on two seminal programming languages, is huge and highly damaging. These are the history and collective memories of two communities that are being expunged, and it’s not great, since there is no other comprehensive archive after Google’s purchase of Dejanews around 20 years ago.

        • Historical programming-language groups disappearing from Google

          As Alex McDonald notes in this support request, Google has recently banned the old Usenet groups comp.lang.forth and comp.lang.lisp from the Google Groups system. “Of specific concern is the archive. These are some of the oldest groups on Usenet, and the depth & breadth of the historical material that has just disappeared from the internet, on two seminal programming languages, is huge and highly damaging. These are the history and collective memories of two communities that are being expunged, and it’s not great, since there is no other comprehensive archive after Google’s purchase of Dejanews around 20 years ago.” Perhaps Google can be convinced to restore the content, but it also seems that some of this material could benefit from a more stable archive.

        • LLVM [11.0.0 Release] Release Candidate 1 is here
          Hello everyone,
          
          We're a little bit behind schedule, but RC1 is now here. It was tagged
          earlier today as llvmorg-11.0.0-rc1.
          
          Source code and docs are available at
          https://prereleases.llvm.org/11.0.0/#rc1 and
          
          https://github.com/llvm/llvm-project/releases/tag/llvmorg-11.0.0-rc1
          
          Pre-built binaries will be added as they become available.
          
          Please file bug reports for any issues you find as blockers of
          
          https://llvm.org/pr46725
          
          Release testers: please start your engines, run the script, share your
          results, and upload binaries.
          
          RC2 was originally scheduled for Friday, but seeing as we just cut
          this one it will come a little later.
          
          Thanks,
          Hans
          
        • LLVM 11.0-RC1 Now Available For Testing

          While LLVM 11.0 was branched almost two weeks ago with many new/improved features for this open-source compiler stack, it has taken until today to get into shape for issuing the first release candidate.

          LLVM 11.0-RC2 was already due to be released this week per their original schedule but with LLVM 11.0-RC1 only now surfacing, that second release candidate will be pushed back slightly.

        • Dirk Eddelbuettel: ttdo 0.0.6: Bugfix

          A bugfix release of our (still small) ttdo package arrived on CRAN overnight. As introduced last fall, the ttdo package extends the most excellent (and very minimal / zero depends) unit testing package tinytest by Mark van der Loo with the very clever and well-done diffobj package by Brodie Gaslam to give us test results with visual diffs:

        • Python

          • Python’s None: Null in Python

            If you have experience with other programming languages, like C or Java, then you’ve probably heard of the concept of null. Many languages use this to represent a pointer that doesn’t point to anything, to denote when a variable is empty, or to mark default parameters that you haven’t yet supplied. null is often defined to be 0 in those languages, but null in Python is different.

            Python uses the keyword None to define null objects and variables. While None does serve some of the same purposes as null in other languages, it’s another beast entirely. As the null in Python, None is not defined to be 0 or any other value. In Python, None is an object and a first-class citizen!

          • More capabilities for remote development with the R plugin

            It has been a long time since our previous update. This release of the R plugin comes with enhancements and stability improvements as well as with the new features for remote work. Also, in this release, we discontinue supporting R 3.3.

            R plugin introduces the new type of the R interpreters, so that you can execute your R scripts remotely. Consider a task when you write your R code on one machine and need to execute it on another.

          • Early Access PyCharm Podcast — With Nafiul Islam

            Welcome to Early Access PyCharm, a brand-new podcast that goes behind the scenes of how the PyCharm IDE is made and all the thinking that goes into it. In the upcoming episodes, you will hear from the people who work daily to make you more productive and your code even better.

          • A Hundred Days of Code, Day 020 – Setting up an Editor for Python Development

            Had given myself a day, to see if I could get a good Python development environment using Elpy and Emacs.
            It does work.
            Just not well enough for me.
            At the end of the day today, I was happy I learnt so much about Emacs.
            But that is not my focus right now. Python is.
            Emacs knowledge can come slowly and organically.

          • Modern Python Cookbook 2nd ed — Advance Copies — DM me

            I’ll be putting you in contact with Packt marketing folks who will get you your advanced copy so you can write blurbs and reviews and — well — actually use the content.

            It’s all updated to Python 3.8. Type hints almost everywhere. F-strings and the walrus operator. Bunches of devops and data science examples. Plus a few personal examples involving sailboat navigation and management.

            See me at LinkedIn https://www.linkedin.com/in/steven-lott-029835/ and I’ll hook you up with Packt marketing folks.

          • PyTorch 1.6.0 Now Available

            PyTorch is a widely used, open source deep learning platform used for easily writing neural network layers in Python enabling a seamless workflow from research to production. Based on Torch, PyTorch has become a powerful machine learning framework favored by esteemed researchers around the world.

          • sphinxcontrib-spelling 5.2.0

            sphinxcontrib-spelling is a spelling checker for Sphinx-based documentation. It uses PyEnchant to produce a report showing misspelled words.

          • PSF GSoC students blogs: Week 8 Check-in
          • PSF GSoC students blogs: Week 9 Check In!
          • PyCoder’s Weekly: Issue #431 (July 28, 2020)
  • Leftovers

    • Chris Lamb: Pop culture matters

      Many people labour under the assumption that pop culture is trivial and useless while only ‘high’ art can grant us genuine and eternal knowledge about the world. Given that we have a finite time on this planet, we are all permitted to enjoy pop culture up to a certain point, but we should always minimise our interaction with it, and consume more moral and intellectual instruction wherever possible.

      Or so the theory goes. What these people do not realise is that pop culture can often provide more information about the world, humanity in general and — what is even more important — ourselves.

      This is not quite the debate around whether high art is artistically better, simply that pop culture can be equally informative. Jeremy Bentham argued in the 1820s that “prejudice apart, the game of push-pin is of equal value with the arts and sciences of music and poetry”, that it didn’t matter where our pleasures come from. (John Stuart Mill, Bentham’s intellectual rival, disagreed.) This fundamental question of philosophical utilitarianism will not be resolved here.

      [...]

      In summary, we can simultaneously say that pop culture is not worthy of our time relative to other pursuits while consuming however much of it we want, but deliberately dismissing pop culture doesn’t mean that a lot of other people are not interacting with it and is therefore undeserving of any inquiry. And if that doesn’t convince you, just like the once-unavoidable millennial pink, simply sticking our collective heads in the sand will not mean that wider societal-level ugliness is going to disappear anytime soon.

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Pseudo-Open Source

          • Privatisation/Privateering

            • Linux Foundation

              • Participate in the 2020 Open Source Jobs Report!

                The Linux Foundation has partnered with edX to update the Open Source Jobs Report, which was last produced in 2018. The report examines the latest trends in open source careers, which skills are in demand, what motivates open source job seekers, and how employers can attract and retain top talent. In the age of COVID-19, this data will be especially insightful both for companies looking to hire more open source talent, as well as individuals looking to advance or change careers.

        • Security

          • The Ultimate Guide to Using Data Encryption on Linux

            Data encryption has never been more important. New data protection and privacy regulations, such as GDPR, mean that companies storing unencrypted customer information are vulnerable to paying heavy fines. The public is now more aware of the importance of encryption, with massive data breaches impacting companies like Facebook receiving major media coverage.

            With these issues in mind, it’s only natural that many of us want to start encrypting our sensitive data – both at work and at home. But how exactly should you go about it? This blog aims to answer that question by showing Linux users how to install and set up encryption on their systems.

          • Security updates for Tuesday

            Security updates have been issued by openSUSE (cacti, cacti-spine, go1.13, SUSE Manager Client Tools, and tomcat), Red Hat (postgresql-jdbc and python-pillow), Slackware (mozilla), SUSE (python-Django and python-Pillow), and Ubuntu (clamav, librsvg, libslirp, linux-gke-5.0, linux-oem-osp1, linux-hwe, linux-azure-5.3, linux-gcp-5.3, linux-gke-5.3, linux-hwe, linux-oracle-5.3, and sqlite3).

          • Microsoft Engineer Proposes “TRAMPFD” For Improving Linux Security [Ed: The comments are better than this article]

            TRAMPFD aims to better secure trampoline code used by the likes of GCC nested functions and the Foreign Function Interface library (libffi) where the pages with the instructions tend to be mapped with execute permissions. While there are Linux security modules and SELinux that try to protect against pages that have both write and execute permissions, Microsoft’s Madhavan Venkatarama is aiming to provide a way to safely execute trampolines without making any security exceptions and to further reduce the potential attack surface.

          • Security professionals lose ‘central watering hole’ with demise of Peerlyst

            For years, the Peerlyst social network has been a resource for software developers looking for a job or cybersecurity enthusiasts wanting to host meet-ups across the world. But on Aug. 27, the website will shut down, Peerlyst founder Limor Elbaz said Monday, citing financial pressure.

          • Nextcloud introduces Forms to protect privacy-sensitive survey data

            Nextcloud GmbH, the company behind the worlds’ most deployed on-premises content collaboration platform, announces the immediate availability of Nextcloud Forms. Similar to Google Forms, this app makes it easy to create surveys for anything from market research or customer feedback to planning an office party. Privacy is an issue with surveys, as a third of people who abandon a form do so for privacy and security reasons. With Nextcloud Forms, data remains secure on the Nextcloud server and the privacy of respondents is respected.

          • Keep Your Surveys Private With Nextcloud Forms

            Have you ever filled in a form using Google Forms, Typeform or any other SaaS platform? How was the experience like? Did it leave you worried about your security and privacy as a surveyed participant?

            Well, here is some good news for surveyors! Nextcloud GmbH has announced Nextcloud Forms—an integrated platform to build a variety of forms, gather data, view and export it! The best part: no data leaves the Nextcloud server.

            Similar to Google Forms, this app makes it easy to create surveys for anything from market research or customer feedback to planning an office party.

            Privacy is an issue with surveys, as a third of people who abandon a form do so for privacy and security reasons. With Nextcloud Forms, data is said to remain secure on the Nextcloud server and the privacy of respondents respected.

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • Nigerians returned from Europe face stigma and growing hardship

        The EU is doubling down on reducing migration from Africa, funding both voluntary return programmes for those stranded along migration routes before they reach Europe while also doing its best to increase the number of rejected asylum seekers it is deporting.

        The two approaches serve the same purpose for Brussels, but the amount of support provided by the EU and international aid groups for people to get back on their feet is radically different depending on whether they are voluntary returnees or deportees.

        For now, the coronavirus pandemic has slowed voluntary return programmes and significantly reduced the number of people being deported from EU countries, such as Germany. Once travel restrictions are lifted, however, the EU will likely resume its focus on both policies.

        The EU has made Nigeria one of five priority countries in Africa in its efforts to reduce the flow of migrants and asylum seekers. This has involved pouring hundreds of millions of euros into projects in Nigeria to address the “root causes” of migration and funding a “voluntary return” programme run by the UN’s migration agency, IOM.

        Since its launch in 2017, more than 80,000 people, including 16,800 Nigerians, have been repatriated to 23 African countries after getting stuck or having a change of heart while travelling along often-dangerous migration routes connecting sub-Saharan Africa to North Africa.

    • Monopolies

      • Patents

        • ENDRA Life Sciences Inc. Granted EPO; Key Indicators to Know Before Trading (NDRA)

          ENDRA Life Sciences Inc. (NDRA) share are up around 7.21% in Friday market trading with stock price surged as much as 12.0% to hit day high of $1.09, before returning a portion of gains to finally trade around $1.04 in the green before the closing bell in New York.

          About a week ago, the company announced that it has been issued a European Patent 3328285 from the European Patent Office (EPO). Moreover, recently, a member of ENDRA’s Board of Directors, Sanjiv ‘Sam’ Gambhir passed away on July 18 as the company mourns on his passing.

          With the issuance of European Patent, it will allow ENDRA to expand TAEUS’s coverage across Europe that is covered in the related U.S. patent, US10022107. The following patent covers ENDRA’s method and network that will enhance the image quality of ultrasound and spatial resolution in tissues. ENDRA’s ultrasound method also reduces the computation-time which is used to correct for fat-related aberrations.

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