11.27.20

Links 27/11/2020: Jolla is 7, Diffoscope 162, MNT Reform Production

Posted in News Roundup at 5:32 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • A Linux Survey For Beginners

      So you have decided to give the Linux operating system a try. You have heard it is a good stable operating system with lots of free software and you are ready to give it a shot. It is downloadable for free, so you get on the net and search for a copy, and you are in for a shock. Because there isn’t one “Linux”, there are many. Now you feel like a deer in the headlights. You want to make a wise choice, but have no idea where to start. Unfortunately, this is where a lot new Linux users give up. It is just too confusing.

      The many versions of Linux are often referred to as “flavors” or distributions. Imagine yourself in an ice cream shop displaying 30+ flavors. They all look delicious, but it’s hard to pick one and try it. You may find yourself confused by the many choices but you can be sure you will leave with something delicious. Picking a Linux flavor should be viewed in the same way.

    • Desktop/Laptop

      • Master boot vinyl record: It just gives DOS on my IBM PC a warmer, more authentic tone

        Looking for something to do in quarantine? How about booting DOS from a 10-inch vinyl record?

        While booting an operating system nowadays usually sees the software loaded from disk or flash memory, some of us of a certain age recall the delights of shovelling bytes in memory via the medium of tape, such as an audio cassette sending noise into the RAM of a home computer.

        Tinkerer Jozef Bogin has taken things a little further by booting an elderly IBM PC from a record player.

        Bogin used an old IBM PC and took advantage of a boot loader that would cause the hardware to fall back to the PC’s cassette interface should everything else (floppies etc) fail. An analogue recording of bootable, read-only RAM drive was played through the interface, containing a version of FreeDOS tweaked by Bogin to fit into the memory constraints, a tiny COMMAND.COM and a patched version of INTERLINK to shovel data through the printer cable.

      • The Homer Car, But It’s leinir’s Laptop

        We are now into week three of me sitting in a virtual machine on my better half’s laptop, while we wait for my replacement Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 (2019) to arrive, after Dell conceded that they could not fix the old one. Short version: The graphics fan went wonky and stopped spinning, so they sent an engineer out to replace the mainboard (because everything is soldered on, including the fan assembly), and then it stopped booting. So they sent out another, and that also immediately failed to post, and then decided that wasn’t worth trying again, so they would send me a replacement laptop. Three weeks later, and i have a tracking number, with no updates for a couple of days, though it also isn’t past the estimate they gave me for getting it (two weeks for an in stock item, from Ireland to England, nice…).

    • Audiocasts/Shows

      • How to install Lubuntu 20.10 – YouTube

        In this video, I am going to show how to install Lubuntu 20.10.

      • Bad Voltage 3×17: Such People In’t

        Stuart Langridge, Jono Bacon, and Jeremy Garcia present Bad Voltage, in which the reality distortion field is strong in this one, the middle name game continues unsuccessfully…

      • Linux Gaming and Lonely Noobs (w/ Batcastle of Drauger OS) – YouTube

        Welcome to the first in a series of conversations with Thomas of Drauger OS, a Linux distro optimized for gaming. Over the next few videos we’ll discover his Linux origin story, hear about his new project that aims to help ALL gaming-focused Linux distributions, and learn more about Drauger OS.

      • LHS Episode #381: Enter the Dragon | Linux in the Ham Shack

        Welcome to the 381st episode of Linux in the Ham Shack. In this short topics episode, the hosts discuss SpaceX, the spectrum around 5.9GHz, Open WebRX, the non-free part of free software, the latest release candidate of WSJT-X, Kali Linux and much more. Thank you for listening and have a fantastic Thanksgiving week.

    • Kernel Space

      • Linus Torvalds wants Linux running on Apple’s new M1 Macs

        When Apple launched its new MacBook Pro, MacBook Air and Mac Mini systems, there was much excitement about the performance boost the M1 chips are bringing to the table.

        People who have been running Windows and Windows apps on Macs, however, are less happy due to the lack of support for Boot Camp, and the lack of M1-ready virtualization software from the likes of Parallels. But what about the prospect of Linux on M1 Macs?

      • Lenovo ThinkPad Palm Sensor Support Coming To Linux 5.11 – Phoronix

        As part of Lenovo offering Linux pre-loaded on more laptops and desktops, they have been working on upstream improvements themselves along with their partners at Red Hat and others. One of the latest Lenovo-contributed improvements to the kernel is palm sensor support for newer ThinkPad notebooks.

        Palm sensor support is being contributed by Lenovo to the Linux 5.11 kernel for their ThinkPad hardware. This is similar to the existing lap sensor support for the ThinkPad ACPI code and allows detecting if a user’s palms/hands are near the keyboard area. Like the lap sensor, the palm sensor data is exposed to user-space via sysfs. It’s up to the user-space for anything that should be done if the user’s palms have been detected near the keyboard.

      • Following FUSE & CUSE, Now There Is “MUSE” For MTD In Userspace – Phoronix

        FUSE is well known to longtime Linux users for allowing file-systems to be implemented in user-space for where a Linux kernel port isn’t feasible for portability or licensing restrictions, among other factors. There is also CUSE for character devices in user-space. Now being based on FUSE, there is “MUSE” being worked on for MTD in user-space.

      • Intel Sends In More DG1 Enablement Code, Big Joiner For Linux 5.11 – Phoronix

        Intel’s Linux graphics driver developers have submitted their final batch of feature changes targeting the Linux 5.11 kernel.

        With Linux 5.10-rc6 upon us this weekend, it’s basically hitting the cut-off of new feature code to be sent into DRM-Next ahead of the Linux 5.11 merge window opening around mid-December. The Intel pull request of their graphics driver work is acknowledged as their last batch of feature work for the 5.11 cycle.

        Already from previous pull requests to DRM-Next have been more Gen12 / Tiger Lake fixes, integer scaling support, async page flipping, and other changes.

      • Memory Is Not a File

        An advantage of this approach, he says, “manifests when programs running on UNIX get a “file” to open and, lo, it’s actually the name of a device. Most UNIX programs will still work, provided that the calling process has the correct authorization to open the file.”

        In the article, titled “Everything is a Punch Card,” Garfinkel examines the origins of files and file systems, as well as the related history of punch cards and tabulating machines. He notes that “English has had a difficult relationship with the word “file” since the beginning. Sometimes the word refers to the case or container for organizing physical embodiments of information, sometimes it refers to the objects put into that container, and sometimes it refers to the information itself.”

        Garfinkel also looks at one thing that is not a file: memory. “Yes,” he says, “Linux systems have devices like /dev/mem and /dev/kmem that let programs access memory through the file system, but memory is not file.” He compares the UNIX approach with that of the Multics operating system, “in which files are actually named segments in a two-dimensional memory address space.” On Multics, he says, “saving a “file” was really creating a named memory segment and then persisting it to long-term storage.”

    • Applications

      • Linux Candy: XScreenSaver – Framework and collection of screensavers

        Linux Candy is a series of articles covering interesting eye candy software. We only feature open source software in this series.

        Some of the programs in this series are purely cosmetic, frivolous pieces of fun. Candy at their finest. But we also include some programs that aren’t purely decorative.

        There’s a diverse range of programs included in this series. Programs such as eDEX-UI and Variety are actually highly practical programs. ASCIIQuarium has soothing and relaxing qualities for your desktop. Other programs included in this series (such as lolcat, cacafire) are included purely for their decorative qualities. And then there’s some really fun software that just raises a smile or two.

        Screen savers display an animation that consistently changes so that a static image isn’t left on the screen for any length of time.

        Screen savers are a legacy from an earlier technology. They are certainly misnamed in today’s scene. They don’t “save” your monitor unless you’ve managed to connect your PC to an ancient CRT monitor. But they can still bring enjoyment.

      • Why Every Linux User Needs To Learn Awk – YouTube

        Awk is one of those tools that every linux user has on their system but they probably only use it for fairly simple tasks, so today I thought I’d explain not only what awk but why you should use it and compare it some other Linux utils like sed.

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • How To Enable Timestamp In Bash History In Linux – OSTechNix

        How do you know the time at which the command was executed? Easy! This guide explains how to enable timestamp in Bash history in Linux.

      • How to install Mattermost Chat on Ubuntu 20.04 – RoseHosting

        Step-by-step process on how to install Mattermost Chat on Ubuntu 20.04. Follow this simple and easy guide.

      • How To Install Rust on CentOS 8 – idroot

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to install Rust on CentOS 8. For those of you who didn’t know, Rust, commonly known as Rust-Lang, is a system programming language that is developed by Mozilla and backed by LLVM. Rust is known for preventing program crashes, memory leaks, and data races before it is compiled into binary, thus creating a highly-productive and stable programming environment

        This article assumes you have at least basic knowledge of Linux, know how to use the shell, and most importantly, you host your site on your own VPS. The installation is quite simple and assumes you are running in the root account, if not you may need to add ‘sudo‘ to the commands to get root privileges. I will show you through the step by step installation of Rust programming language on CentOS 8.

      • How to Remove ‘Show Applications’ Icon From the Dock in Ubuntu 20.04 | UbuntuHandbook

        This is a beginner’s guide shows how to remove the ‘Show Applications’ app menu icon from the dock in Ubuntu 20.04, Ubuntu 20.10.

      • How to Install OpenNMS Network Monitoring Tool in CentOS 8

        OpenNMS is a free and open-source network monitoring and network management platform used for managing enterprise networks around the world. It is based on Java and is designed to manage thousands of devices from a central location. It has the ability to discover and monitor the services or nodes automatically in your network.

      • How to play Dark Souls III on Linux

        Dark Souls III is an action RPG video game developed by FromSoftware and published by Bandai Namco. It is the fourth game in the Souls series and the final game in the Souls trilogy. Here’s how to get the game working on Linux.

      • Openstack RDO && KVM Hypervisor: Install KDE Plasma on SparkyLinux GameOver 08/11 2020

        At the time of writing KDE Plasma install on any SparkyLinux 2020.09 might be committed via GDM3 installation right after KDE Plasma ( the last one via tasksel or CLI ) due to after system reboot GDM seems to be the only one DM on Sparky detecting previously installed KDE.

      • How to install VLC on a Chromebook

        Today we are looking at how to install VLC Media Player on a Chromebook. Please follow the video/audio guide as a tutorial where we explain the process step by step and use the commands below.

      • How to play Dark Souls II: Scholar of the First Sin on Linux

        Dark Souls II: Scholar of the First Sin is an action RPG video game developed by FromSoftware and published by Bandai Namco. In the game, the player’s character becomes Undead, cursed never to die, and becomes a hollow zombie creature with no memories or purpose.

      • Create your own Linux ecosystem with Nextcloud, DavX5 and KDE Connect
      • How to Install and Use Flatpak on Linux

        In this guide, we focus on how you can install Flatpak and use it across various Linux distributions.

      • How to create a Linux RPM package | Enable Sysadmin

        You’ve written a great script that you want to distribute, so why not package it as an RPM?

      • How to Install PHP 8 on Ubuntu – Cloudbooklet

        Install PHP 8 on Ubuntu. This guide let you learn how install the latest PHP version 8 and upgrade to latest on your Ubuntu 20.04 or 18.04 systems or your Ubuntu server on any VPS or any Cloud or any Dedicated hosting and configure it with Apache and Nginx.

        The latest PHP 8 is officially released on November 26th, 2020. It comes with a number of new features and a few incompatibilities that you should be aware of before upgrading from the previous version.

        This installation is tested on Google Cloud Platform with a Compute Compute Engine VM Instance. This set up will work on all Linux servers.

      • Full Circle Magazine #163
      • How To Setup Firewall using FirewallD on CentOS 8 – idroot

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to setup a Firewall using FirewallD on CentOS 8. For those of you who didn’t know, FirewallD is an alternative to the iptables service, for dynamically managing a system’s firewall with support for network (or firewall) zones and provides a D-Bus interface for managing configurations. Starting with CentOS 7, FirewallD replaces iptables as the default firewall management tool.

        This article assumes you have at least basic knowledge of Linux, know how to use the shell, and most importantly, you host your site on your own VPS. The installation is quite simple and assumes you are running in the root account, if not you may need to add ‘sudo‘ to the commands to get root privileges. I will show you through the step by step Setup Firewall using FirewallD on CentOS 8.

      • How to install PHP 8 on Ubuntu 20.04 / Debian 10 – LinuxH2O

        In this article, you will learn how to install the latest PHP version 8 on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS, Debian 10, and their derivative distributions.

        PHP is one of the most popular server-side scripting languages. Most of the websites on the internet are using PHP including Facebook, Yahoo, Wikipedia. There are many frameworks that are also built with PHP, like WordPress, Codeigniter, Laravel, etc.

        This article will guide on how to install the latest stable release of PHP 8.0 on Ubuntu, Debian, and their derivatives like Mint, MX Linux, Elementary OS, POP OS, Zorin OS, etc.

      • [Old] How to install XRDP (Remote Desktop) Server on Centos 8

        XRDP is an open-source implementation of the Microsoft Remote Desktop (RDP) that allows you to graphically control your system. With RDP, you can log in to the remote machine the same as you had logged into the local machine. It uses Port 3389 for its connection. In this tutorial, we will look at how to set up the Remote desktop Connection on Centos 8.

    • Games

      • Dungeon-crawling gesture-puzzler The Wizard: WizHarder Edition is out now | GamingOnLinux

        The Wizard: WizHarder Edition is a brand new gesture-puzzler dungeon crawling game from Hypnotic Owl, designed as a new modern desktop remake of their popular web game.

      • Godot Engine – Dev snapshot: Godot 3.2.4 beta 3

        While development keeps going at full speed towards Godot 4.0 (see recent devblogs on GDScript typed instructions and Complex Text Layout), a lot of work is also being done on the 3.2 branch for the upcoming Godot 3.2.4.

        This new beta 3 build comes shortly after last week’s beta 2 to fix some of the regressions and bugs reported against that release.

        The only big change is that the classical build for macOS is now a universal binary, with both x86_64 and arm64 architectures included (to support the new ARM-based Apple M1 chip natively). This update also re-adds UWP templates which we missing in beta 1 and beta 2 due to a temporary buildsystem issue.

      • The Red Comrades game series goes supported

        Red Comrades is a 2D adventure game played from a third-person perspective. The game’s protagonists are from Dmitri Furmanov’s 1923 novel Chapaev: historical Russian military figure Vasiliy Chapayev, his aide Petka, and the machine gunner, Anka.

      • GOG are doing their own Black Friday sale with lots of DRM-free games | GamingOnLinux

        If the Steam Autumn Sale and the itch.io sale aren’t your thing, perhaps you might find something you want over on the DRM-free store GOG.com.

        This sale has GOG doing some extra discounts in the form of time-limited Flash Deals. Each has a timer, with a fresh set being put up once the timer runs out. Some good deals going in those too like 85% off Pillars of Eternity: Definitive Edition until November 29.

      • Event-driven game engine GDevelop has a new release with a built-in Asset Store | GamingOnLinux

        Continuing to make game and app development easier to get into, the event-driven free and open source game engine GDevelop has an interesting new release available.

        The latest release tagged as 5.0.0-beta102 adds in an easy to use free Asset Store, enabling you to quickly pick from various public domain assets (with full credit to authors and links) to include in projects from sprites to particle effects. It’s a wonderful idea, and makes prototyping even easier to get into.

      • For the Black Friday 2020 sale, itch.io are giving 100% to developers
      • Gravity in Space might be the most unique (and weirdest) space shooter I’ve ever seen | GamingOnLinux

        Currently in development with a release planned to happen in 2021, Gravity in Space is a fully 3D space shooter with six degrees of freedom.

        This is not a traditional space shooter though, it’s not an arcade-like experience either and not a Descent-like either. You are in space, controlling a strange little spaceship-ball with a peculiar cannon on the top. The developer describes it as an “ultimate synthesis of an astrodynamics simulation and an action shooter”. Gravity in Space bounds you to Newton’s laws of motion, making you think differently to control your craft indirectly with “no air resistance, no maximum speed, no limits”.

      • OBS Studio 26.1 in testing with a Release Candidate out now, adds Virtual Camera on Linux | GamingOnLinux

        OBS Studio, the free and open source one-stop solution for video capture and livestreaming has a new release coming with the first Release Candidate for OBS Studio 26.1 out now.

      • UNIGINE Engine 2.13 is an impressive upgrade for this rising game engine

        UNIGINE might not be a name you hear often when it comes to games but it is an impressive game engine, one that supports Linux fully and it continues advancing in major ways.

        [...]

        When you dive into the finer details, it’s clear that the UNIGINE team have been hard at work to keep up with the likes of Unity, Unreal and Godot for bigger projects. Lots of new advanced rendering techniques are included, along with plenty of optimizations and there’s a couple of Linux-specific fixes included too like correctly importing paths for FBX assets.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • GNOME Desktop/GTK

        • Do not use librsvg 2.40.x

          Please do not use librsvg 2.40.x; it cannot render recent Adwaita icon themes correctly.

          The librsvg 2.40.x series is the last “C only” version of the library; it was deprecated in 2017.

          During the port to Rust, I rewrote the path parser to be spec-compliant, and fixed a few cases that the C version did not handle. One of this cases is for compact Arc data.

          The SVG path grammar allows one to remove whitespace between numbers if the next number starts with a sign. For example, 23-45 gets parsed as two numbers 23 -45.

          In addition, the arguments of the Arc commands have two flags in the middle of a bunch of numbers. The flags can be 0 or 1, and there may be no whitespace between the flags and the next number. For example, A1.98 1.98 0 0015 13.96 gets parsed as A1.98 1.98 0 0 0 15 13.96 — note the two 0 0 flags before the 15.

          [...]

          Please use at least librsvg 2.48.x; any earlier versions are not supported. Generally I keep an eye on the last two stable release sets (2.48.x and 2.50.x as of this writing), but only commit fixes to the latest stable series (2.50.x currently).

        • Pranali Deshmukh: GSoD Weekly Summary 9

          The idea here was to consolidate all documentation regarding the different operational modes of the calculator into a single section consisting of an overview page along with dedicated pages for each of the operational modes: Basic, Advanced, Financial, Programming and Keyboard modes.

    • Distributions

      • Best USB bootable distros of 2020

        Trimmed distros aren’t only designed for ageing hardware. In fact, there are several lean distros that have been pruned and tuned and optimized for booting off of USB.

        There are several uses for shoving Linux distros inside a USB flash drive. For instance, they can be quite handy when you need to use somebody else’s computer. Or, perhaps you need to boot into a live Linux environment to troubleshoot issues with your computer, or perhaps to transfer data from a dying disk.

      • Reviews

        • Xubuntu 20.10 Groovy Gorilla review

          Let’s have some Linux testing today, shall we. This autumn season I’m a reformed man, with a new approach to my distro escapades. Less emotional investment, lower threshold of tolerance, neutral expectations. The new key formula ingredient is fun. If I’m having it, the review becomes super-long and detailed. If not, then I’m stepping away, and you may then decide for yourself what to do, or try other online sources for relevant information.

          After Fedora 33 and Kubuntu 20.10, I want to focus on Xubuntu Groovy Gorilla. For a few years now, I’m under the impression that the Linux desktop enthusiasm has shrunk greatly, and this is quite apparent among the smaller distros. Xubuntu is no exception. I used to have a lot of fun with Xfce systems, but this isn’t quite the case lately. Then, there’s always a chance the next distro I try will be a fresh turning point. Let’s see what Xubuntu can do for us then.

          [...]

          Call me a bitter dinosaur if you like, but I do believe my expectations are fairly realistic – if not modest. I want a desktop that has stability, consistency, functionality – and good looks. Almost impossible to attain in the Tux world (lately). With Xubuntu 20.10, you get a bit of this and that, but you really need to invest effort in making the system behave. I also don’t see a conflict between having a classic desktop and a modern one, at the same time. Integration with various online tools and services need not impede on the standard desktop formula and proven usage models. Pretty does not imply inefficient.

          Xubuntu 20.10 simply does not radiate pride, quality and attention to detail that would warrant investment from the user. I believe it will find audience among people who really want a no-nonsense 100% bullshit-free system that works and behaves the likes of a classic 2010 box, but then, that also means deliberately compromising on aesthetics as well as some use cases that exist today and that some people may require. No reason why this should be the case, and yet it is. Since I wasn’t having fun, I decided to bow out gracefully. Perhaps you will have more luck, but for me, this feels like a system trapped in time and lethargy.

      • New Releases

        • Why MX Linux reminds me of old-school Linux–in the best ways

          You might not know this, but according to Distrowatch, MX Linux is currently the No. 1 most downloaded Linux distribution. You’re probably thinking, “MXWhat?” That’s right, a distribution that seemingly came out of nowhere has shot up the ranks to the top of the class…sort of.

          MX Linux isn’t all that new. In fact, it’s been around since 2014. MX Linux was created as a cooperation between former MEPIS Linux communities and antiX, a lightweight, systemd-free Linux distribution. Although MX Linux defaults to the Xfce desktop as their flagship, you can download and install versions with KDE or Fluxbox for either a slightly more modern desktop (KDE) or a throwback to old-school Linux (Fluxbox).

        • Q4OS 4.2 Gemini, testing

          An update to the Q4OS 4 Gemini testing branch is immediately available for download as 64bit live media. The new 4.2 release is based on Debian 11 Bullseye and features Plasma desktop environment by default. New visual Plasma themes have been added, they are now available in system settings utility. Debian Bullseye packages has been received in their latest version, Q4OS specific packages has been updated as well. New version of Trinity desktop 14.0.10 is ready for installation using the Desktop profiler tool.

          Feel free to download live media for 64bit computers from the dedicated Testing releases site. Q4OS 4 Gemini will be in development until Debian Bullseye becomes stable, and it will be supported at least five years from the official release date.

      • SUSE/OpenSUSE

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • Red Hat Process Automation Manager 7.9 brings Apache Kafka integration and more – Red Hat Developer

          Red Hat Process Automation Manager 7.9 brings bug fixes, performance improvements, and new features for process and case management, business and decision automation, and business optimization. This article introduces you to Process Automation Manager’s out-of-the-box integration with Apache Kafka, revamped business automation management capabilities, and support for multiple decision requirements diagrams (DRDs). I will also guide you through setting up and using the new drools-metric module for analyzing business rules performance, and I’ll briefly touch on Spring Boot integration in Process Automation Manager 7.9.

        • Getting started with Fedora CoreOS

          Fedora CoreOS (FCOS) came from the merging of CoreOS Container Linux and Fedora Atomic Host. It is a minimal and monolithic OS focused on running containerized applications. Security being a first class citizen, FCOS provides automatic updates and comes with SELinux hardening.

          For automatic updates to work well they need to be very robust. The goal being that servers running FCOS won’t break after an update. This is achieved by using different release streams (stable, testing and next). Each stream is released every 2 weeks and content is promoted from one stream to the other (next -> testing -> stable). That way updates landing in the stable stream have had the opportunity to be tested over a long period of time.

      • Debian Family

        • Slimjet – SparkyLinux

          Slimjet is built on top of the Chromium open-source project on which Google Chrome is also based. It enjoys the same speed and reliablity provided by the underlying blink engine as Google Chrome. However, many additional features and options have been added in Slimjet to make it more powerful, intelligent and customizable than Chrome. In addition to that, Slimjet DOES NOT send any usage statistics back to Google’s server like Google Chrome, which is a growing concern for many Chrome users due to the ubiquitous presence and reach of the advertising empire. Slimjet is compatible with all extensions and plugins designed for Google Chrome available from the Chrome web store.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • Canonical Becomes A Docker Verified Publisher

          Canonical has teamed up with Docker to distribute its free and commercial software through Docker Hub as a Docker Verified Publisher.

          The collaboration will ensure that hardened free and commercial Ubuntu images will be available to all developer software supply chains for multi-cloud app development.

    • Devices/Embedded

      • Raspberry Pi alternative seeed Odyssey: Assembly is challenging, but it’s worth it

        I was recently sent a combination of the seeed Odyssey single board computer and the seeed re_computer case for review. I’ve always found these types of computers to be an incredibly valuable part of the IT landscape because they are so versatile. Use them as a desktop or a kiosk. IoT? Sure, why not? Cluster them together for a small container deployment? Of course. Anywhere you need a tiny form factor computer, you’ve got a solution.

        The Raspberry Pi is the gold standard of single board computers. When seeed reached out to me, my first inclination was, “You’re not Raspberry Pi.” Then again, I’ve always been a champion of the underdog, so why not give it a go?

      • Raspberry Pi finds its inner PC

        We take a look at discounted Waveshare kits that extend the Raspberry Pi 400 with an up to 13.3-inch touchscreen and check out some RPi 4 kit discounts, an overview of the RPi laptop scene, a Vulkan driver for the Pi, and more.

        The Raspberry Pi may be the most popular embedded board of all time, but deep in its heart the Pi has always wanted to be a PC. It was intended initially as a low-cost educational computer that plugs into a monitor via HDMI with some GPIO on the side for learning embedded computing. Here we pass on a sampling of news about the PC side of the Raspberry Pi.

      • ASUS Chromebox 4 features Intel Comet Lake processor, WiFi 6, up to 16GB RAM

        Chrome OS devices, be it Chromebook laptops, Chomebox mini PCs, or Chromebit PC sticks, used to be relatively low-cost devices designed to run the Chrome browser. But over the years. the versatility of the platform has increased with more powerful, yet still with low-power consumption, hardware, and improved software with support for Android apps, the Google Play Store, and even Linux programs.

        [...]

        I could not quite remember what BC 1.2 meant, and it stands for “Battery Charging 1.2” technology meant you’ll be able to charge your smartphone or other battery-powered devices faster through compatible ports.

      • How to choose a wireless protocol for home automation

        In the second article in this series, I talked about local control vs. cloud connectivity and some things to consider for your home automation setup.

        In this third article, I will discuss the underlying technology for connecting devices to Home Assistant, including the dominant protocols that smart devices use to communicate and some things to think about before purchasing smart devices.

      • Open Hardware/Modding

        • MNT Reform Production Update November 2020 — MNT Research

          Shortly after the conclusion of the Crowd Supply campaign, we shipped 8 hand-built beta devices and collected some last minute feedback. Based on the feedback and our own learnings during this last test assembly phase, we further refined some aspects of the MNT Reform design.

        • uSVC Arduino VGA board – a portable and programmable retro-gaming console (crowdfunding)

          Itaca Innovation previously launched uChip, an Arduino-compatible board that has a Cortex M0+ MCU that features 0.3” spacing between rows. Now, next-hack joined Itaca Innovation to come up with an expansion board for uChip. The uChip Simple VGA Console (uSVC) Arduino based retro-gaming console is open hardware and is a programmable console. It will allow creating and playing retro “9-bit” games with standard USB controllers and keyboards.

        • Arduino Blog » Controlling a gas convection heater with a custom thermostat

          Redditor “Higgs8” had a gas convection heater that is (or was) controlled manually, but they wanted something a bit more. To accomplish this, they came up with a small Arduino-based thermostat.

          This allows you to set the desired temperature using a potentiometer, and it senses the current temperature value via a DS18B20 thermometer unit. It then adjusts the formerly manual knob with a stepper motor and custom gear reduction in response, maintaining the desired comfort level.

      • Mobile Systems/Mobile Applications

        • The Original Jolla Phone turns 7 today

          The first one is always the first one. Most Sailfish fans remember the first ever device to run Sailfish OS, the original Jolla phone, or Jolla 1 as we sometimes like to call it. This device, a trailblazer in its own field at the time, was first launched on this very rainy November day in Narinkkatori, Helsinki exactly seven years ago. HAPPY BIRTHDAY Jolla phone!

          Launching the Jolla smartphone back in 2013 was a truly memorable event for many of us in the Jolla team, but also for the hundreds of fans queuing to get their hands on the first ever Sailfish device. For me, as one of the founders of Jolla, launching this iconic device was undoubtedly one of the most exciting moments in my life, which I’ll always remember. I trust many others share the same feeling with me.

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • Phoenix CTMS: An Open-source Clinical Trial Management System

        Phoenix CTMS is a self-hosted cross-platform web application which run seamlessly on Windows and Linux server as well as local machines. It’s built using Java technologies (JEE – Java Enterprise Edition technology stack) and uses PostgreSQL as a database backend.

        [...]

        However, We recommend using it with a virtual machine with Debian instead of Windows.

      • Productivity Software/LibreOffice/Calligra

        • LibreOffice Switch Promotion Poster

          Continuing Open Document and Learn LibreOffice posters, here’s the 3rd colorful educational poster to spread LibreOffice. Everyone can adapt and share freely this poster, for example, in schools with their own language. I wish this helps people switch from Microsoft Word – Excel – PowerPoint into the better program, that is Free Software, namely LibreOffice Writer – Calc – Impress. Let’s share once again!

        • Better handling of cached field results in Writer

          Writer now has much better support for preserving the cached result of fields in documents. This is especially beneficial for Word formats where the input document may have a field result which is not only a cache, but re-calculating the formula would yield a different result, even in Word.

          [...]

          Collabora intends to continue supporting and contributing to LibreOffice, the code is merged so we expect all of this work will be available in TDF’s next release too (7.1).

      • Programming/Development

        • Arm Neoverse N2 Support Added To The LLVM Clang 12 Compiler – Phoronix

          In September Arm began adding Neoverse N2 support to the open-source compilers initially with GCC and now the support has been merged into LLVM Clang 12 as well.

          The Neoverse N2 “Perseus” core was outlined in September as a follow-on design to the successful Neoverse N1. The N2 aims to provide 40% more performance over the N1 for single-threaded performance. The N2 is intended for use from the cloud to enterprise networking devices to edge computing.

        • Qt 6.0 RC and timelines for 6.1 and 6.2

          Hi all,

          First of all, I wanted to thank everybody for the hard work towards getting Qt 6.0 out of the door. We now have a first RC out, so we’re definitely getting very close to the 6.0.0 release.

          With that and the fact that we now have a 6.0 branch, it’s also time to start looking a bit ahead towards 6.1 and 6.2.

          We have long discussed, that the timing of our feature releases to be just before summer and Christmas vacation is a bit unfortunate, as we have little slack for delays without going into the vacation period. Especially the releases in December have sometimes been difficult in that respect. So we’d like to push the schedule a bit and move the minor releases towards a Spring/Autumn schedule.

          A somewhat shorter release cycle directly after 6.0 is probably a good idea anyway, as we will probably still need to do changes/fixes that don’t quite fit with our policy for patch level releases.

          So the idea is to shorten the release cycle for Qt 6.1 a bit and focus mainly on bug fixing and stability for that release. We’d aim for a feature freeze by the end of January, and a final Qt 6.1.0 release end of April.

          6.2 would then also happen a bit earlier, with a feature freeze in June and a release end of September.

          Content wise, I believe we’ll start seeing more and more of the add-ons from Qt 5 being supported over the next 6-9 months, and I believe that with Qt 6.2 we will have brought most modules that we supported in Qt 5.15 over to Qt 6.

          Cheers,
          Lars

        • Qt 6.1, Qt 6.2 Expected To Come Sooner With Tightened Release Cycles – Phoronix

          Qt 6.0 is releasing in December and The Qt Company is already drafting plans for the release cycles of Qt 6.1 and Qt 6.2 LTS next year.

          Normally Qt is on a six-month release cadence but next year’s Qt 6.1/6.2 releases will likely be tightened up both to address a long-standing gripe of the current timing that often puts new releases around summer holidays and the Thanksgiving~Christmas holiday season. To try to move off those May and November~December release windows, they are looking at tightening up the cycles for Qt 6.1 and Qt 6.2, with the latter being the first long-term support release of the Qt6 series.

          Lars Knoll is proposing that Qt 6.1 be shipped by the end of April which would put the feature freeze already at the end of January. But for Qt 6.1 the emphasis anyhow will likely be on bug fixing and stability improvements after all the changes in Qt 6.0, so a tightened up Qt 6.1 release makes sense.

        • PHP

          • Programming language PHP 8 is out: This new JIT compiler points to better performance

            The team behind scripting language PHP has announced PHP version 8.0, a major release that may require developers to review code for any breaking changes.

            This version of 25-year old PHP introduces an improved type system, a new JIT compiler in the PHP engine and some features borrowed from Python and JavaScript, such as named arguments and null safe operators.

  • Leftovers

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Argus: The Linux Commander – Manila Bulletin

          If you are like me who uses a Mac to manage Linux servers, then you may find this little menu bar tool a little nifty. Argus, currently on version 1.3, is a free download from https://argus-app.net. Argus already supports Big Sur and the new Apple Silicon M1 SoC.

          Installing Argus is just like any other MacOS application — drag and drop. Since this is a monitoring tool for remote Linux servers, you will need to add basic server information so Argus can set it up and gather the data from it. Argus creates an SSH tunnel to the server, so it requires SSH credentials (of course this means that the remote server has SSH properly configured). You can use your username-password pair, but I’d advise that you set up your certificates first to make it more secure (and easier).

          Once you have provided the server information and SSH credentials, Argus will connect to it and start downloading the Argus daemon. Installing the daemon will require root privileges, so make sure that you have sudo access, as your password will be asked during the install.

          Configure all the other remote servers that you wish to monitor through the Preferences pane.

        • Jussi Pakkanen: How Apple might completely take over end users’ computers

          Many people are concerned about Apple’s ongoing attempts to take more and more control of end user machines from their users. Some go so far as to say that Apple won’t be happy until they have absolute and total control over all programs running on end user devices, presumably so that they can enforce their 30% tax on every piece of software. Whether this is true or not we don’t really know.

          What we can do instead is a thought experiment. If that was their end goal, how would they achieve it? What steps would they take to obtain this absolute control? Let’s speculate.

        • Additional Linux Power For SAP Business One

          The migration from ERP/ECC 6.0 to S/4 Hana continues to be one of the main challenges in the SAP community. It is worthwhile to also take a look at SAP Business One on Hana in this context.

          It’s well known that more and more companies of all shapes and sizes are taking the first step towards S/4 Hana or are already operating it. What’s not as well known, however, is that Business One (B1), a solution for smaller and mid-sized companies, has been on a steep growth trajectory for a few years now. Experts put the estimated number of B1 installations at 100,000 worldwide.

        • Security

          • Security updates for Friday [LWN.net]

            Security updates have been issued by Arch Linux (go, libxml2, postgresql, and wireshark-cli), Debian (drupal7 and lxml), Fedora (drupal7, java-1.8.0-openjdk-aarch32, libxml2, pacemaker, slurm, and swtpm), openSUSE (c-ares, ceph, chromium, dash, firefox, go1.14, java-1_8_0-openjdk, kernel, krb5, perl-DBI, podman, postgresql10, postgresql12, rclone, slurm, ucode-intel, wireshark, wpa_supplicant, and xen), SUSE (ceph, firefox, kernel, LibVNCServer, and python), and Ubuntu (freerdp, poppler, and xdg-utils).

          • diffoscope 162 released

            The diffoscope maintainers are pleased to announce the release of diffoscope version 162.

          • Netfilter virtual workshop 2020 summary

            Once a year folks interested in Netfilter technologies gather together to discuss past, ongoing and future works. The Netfilter Workshop is an opportunity to share and discuss new ideas, the state of the project, bring people together to work & hack and to put faces to people who otherwise are just email names. This is an event that has been happening since at least 2001, so we are talking about a genuine community thing here.

            It was decided there would be an online format, split in 3 short meetings, once per week on Fridays. I was unable to attend the first session on 2020-11-06 due to scheduling conflict, but I made it to the sessions on 2020-11-13 and 2020-11-20. I would say the sessions were joined by about 8 to 10 people, depending on the day. This post is a summary with some notes on what happened in this edition, with no special order.

            Pablo did the classical review of all the changes and updates that happened in all the Netfilter project software components since last workshop. I was unable to watch this presentation, so I have nothing special to comment. However, I’ve been following the development of the project very closely, and there are several interesting things going on, some of them commented below.

            Florian Westphal brought to the table status on some open/pending work for mptcp option matching, systemd integration and finally interfacing from nft with cgroupv2. I was unable to participate in the talk for the first two items, so I cannot comment a lot more. On the cgroupv2 side, several options were evaluated to how to match them, identification methods, the hierarchical tree that cgroups present, etc. We will have to wait a bit more to see how the final implementation looks like.

            Also, Florian presented his concerns on conntrack hash collisions. There are no real-world known issues at the moment, but there is an old paper that suggests we should keep and eye on this and introduce improvements to prevent future DoS attack vectors. Florian mentioned these attacks are not practical at the moment, but who knows in a few years. He wants to explore introducing RB trees for conntrack. It will probably be a rbtree structure of hash tables in order to keep supporting parallel insertions. He was encouraged by others to go ahead and play/explore with this.

          • The Peculiar State Of CPU Security Mitigation Performance On Intel Tiger Lake – Phoronix

            One area not talked about much for Intel’s latest Tiger Lake processors are hardened CPU security mitigations against the various speculative execution vulnerabilities to date. What’s peculiar about Tiger Lake though is now if disabling the configurable mitigations it can actually result in worse performance than the default mitigated state. At least that’s what we are seeing so far with the Core i7 1165G7 on Ubuntu 20.10 Linux is the opposite of what we have been seeing on prior generations of hardware.

            [...]

            On each of these Dell XPS notebooks were clean installs of Ubuntu 20.10 with security / stable release updates of the time and on their default Linux 5.8 kernel. The out-of-the-box / default mitigation performance was tested on each notebook followed by re-testing the same laptop and software stack after booting with mitigations=off.

            Here is the geometric mean of all the results before digging into the individual data points, but as you can see mitigations=off was of noticeably help to the older Kaby Lake R and Whiskey Lake processors, previous-generation Ice Lake was of some help but less given more hardware mitigations, and now with Tiger Lake the tables have turned where disabling the mitigations actually hurt the performance.

    • Defence/Aggression

      • Opposition leaders speak in one voice after release of Bobi Wine – The East African

        Presidential candidate Robert Kyagulanyi aka Bobi Wine was on Friday released on a Ush1 million ($270) bail, ending three days of tension in Kampala. His arrest on Wednesday triggered protests in the city and major towns, and were crushed by Uganda’s security forces.

        Bobi Wine was ordered to report back to court on December 18.

        Immediately after his release, five presidential candidates jointly issued a statement raising concerns that “the Electoral Commission (EC) has been overrun by security agencies and is no longer in charge of the elections”.

    • Environment

      • Kerry Means Militarization of US Climate Policy

        Howie Hawkins, the 2020 Green Party presidential candidate, condemned the appointment of Cedric Richmond to lead the White House Office of Public Engagement with business and the climate movement.

        “With the appointment of Richmond, Biden just told the climate movement there will be no honeymoon with the new administration,” Hawkins said.

        Richmond has represented Louisiana’s second district, which tracks the oil refineries and plastics factories of Louisiana’s notorious Cancer Alley between Baton Rouge and New Orleans. He received the fifth highest total of oil and gas industry contributions among House Democrats over his ten years in Congress. He voted to approve the Keystone XL Tar Sands Pipeline.

        “Richmond’s role will be to pacify the climate movement and minority communities with sweet talk and token grants while the oil and gas industry continues to frack the hell out of the country and the Louisiana refineries and plastics factories continue to poison workers and residents in his congressional district.”

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • No Victory Dance: Eight Reasons

        Some Americans are getting ready to celebrate the likely final collapse of Donald Trump’s openly ludicrous and vile attempt to subvert the will of the American electorate.

        I get it. Trump’s chances of success are low. He and his team of legal bozos shoot themselves in their bog floppy clown feet every day. Underscoring the pathetically petulant and Monty Python-esque madness of his coup that can’t think straight, Trump told reporters last Friday that “I won by the way, but you’ll find that out. Almost 74 million votes.”

      • As We’re Giving Thanks, Let’s Resolve to Change Our Food System for the Better

        It’s a time of year to reflect not just on what we’re grateful for, but how we can make the abundance and blessings go around. Making our food system fairer is part of that.

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • Shirish Agarwal: Farmer Protests and RCEP

        While I was hoping to write about RCEP exclusively, just today farmer protests have happened against three farm laws which had been passed by our Govt. about a month ago without consulting anybody. The bills benefit only big business houses at the cost of farmers. This has been amply shared by an open letter to one of the biggest business house which will benefit the most.

        Now while that is a national experience and what it tells, let me share, some experience from the State I come from, Maharashtra. About 4-5 years back Maharashtra delisted fruit and vegetables from the APMC market. But till date, the APMC market is working, why, the reasons are many. However, what it did was it forced the change to sugarcane, a water guzzling crop much more than previously. This has resulted in lowering the water table in Maharashtra and put them more into debt trap and later they had to commit suicide.

        Now let us see why the Punjab farmers have been so agitated that they are walking all the way to Delhi. They are right now, somewhere between Haryana-Delhi border. The reason is that because even their experiments with contract farming have not been good. This is why they are struggling to go to Delhi to make their collective voices heard and get the farm bills rolled back. Even the farmers from Gujarat were sued, but because of elections were put back, the intentions though are clear. At the end of the day, the laws made by the Govt. leaves our farmer at the mercy of big corporations. It is preposterous to believe that the farmer, with their small land holdings will be able to stand up to the Corporation. Add to that, they cannot go to Court. It is the SDM (Sub-Divisonal Magistrate) who will decide on the matters and has the last word. If this is allowed, in a couple of years there will be only few farmers or corporations who would have large hand-holdings, and they would be easily co-opted by the Government in power.

    • Monopolies

      • Patents

        • Oral Proceedings by Videoconference – some light reading at the end of a hot debate

          So the consultation of the public by the Boards of Appeal has ended today. It will be interesting to see the results and the impact, if any, they will have on the final wording of Art. 15a EPC. In the meantime, please enjoy these remarkable oral proceedings before the Committee of Labour and Social Matters of the German Bundestag (in German only, but I’m sure you will catch the drift).

          A colleague of mine told me that this reminded him of one of his recent “oral” proceedings in the EPO. But never mind.

        • German parliament passes bill required for UPC ratification

          The draft legislation required for Germany to ratify the Unified Patent Court (UPC) Agreement and its Protocol on Provisional Application received its second and third readings in the Bundestag yesterday and was approved by 570 members, so achieving approval of more than the two thirds of all the 709 Bundestag members, as required for a transfer of sovereign rights. It was this requirement that was not met for the previous bill, leading to the successful constitutional complaint. For the previous bill, the vote was late in the evening and, although approved unanimously, very few members were present to vote. Yesterday there were 645 total votes (72 voting against and 3 abstentions).

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