01.15.21

Links 15/1/2021: KaOS 2021.01, Whisker Menu 2.5.2, Istio 1.8.2

Posted in News Roundup at 6:27 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Desktop/Laptop

      • There’s a powerful new Linux gaming laptop on the scene

        Linux-friendly Spanish PC maker Slimbook has revealed a powerful new gaming laptop that features some of the hottest pieces of hardware around today.

        Dubbed the Slimbook Titan, the laptop is equipped with the AMD Ryzen 7 5800H processor, and an NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070, both of which boast impressive performance improvements over their rivals.

        Expectedly, the laptop isn’t cheap and is available at a discounted pre-order price of €1599. Best of all, the laptop ships with Ubuntu, though you can have it with Windows 10 for an additional cost.

      • Lenovo IdeaPad 3 – Windows and Linux experience a week later

        Here we are. My initial satisfaction with the laptop’s default offering has gone down some. I am quite disappointed with how Microsoft chooses to promote Windows 10. Yes, it rules the desktop market, so it can do pretty much what it pleases, but this is a long game. And in the long game, they are not winning themselves any loyalty. If Linux ever achieves functionality parity, off I go. The same goes for Lenovo. I don’t mind a vendor offering its tools and solutions. That’s fine. But if I choose to have those tools removed, then there are no two ways about it. I’m most likely not going to buy any Lenovo machine again, because I don’t appreciate being treated like a potato.

        In this regard, Linux does a much friendlier job – to be let down by random erraticism. I’m talking about the sound config I had to handle, plus the VLC quirk. And let’s not forget Secure Boot – even though it does not affect my two installed distros at the moment. Hardware wise, the keyboard quirks are quite annoying, and the screen can do only so much. Other than that, the laptop is robust and neat, fast, and the CPU fans don’t rev too much. The battery life is pretty good, but I need more data to verify if the original numbers hold true.

        Well, there you go. This is my satisfaction report a week into the laptop’s usage. I am certain there will be more lovely surprises, twists and turns along the way, but then, part of the experience is figuring out issues early. This way, if and when I deploy software in my production setup, I will have all the right workarounds in place, and my seven-digit IQ will not be affected. Stay tuned for more good stuff. See ya.

    • Server

      • Announcing Istio 1.8.2

        This release contains bug fixes to improve robustness. This release note describes what’s different between Istio 1.8.1 and Istio 1.8.2

    • Audiocasts/Shows

    • Kernel Space

      • Graphics Stack

        • Intel “Compute Walker” Support Lands For Xe HP In Linux Drivers – Phoronix

          A new compute code path has been merged into Intel’s open-source “ANV” Vulkan and “iris” Gallium3D drivers for the forthcoming Xe HP graphics hardware.

          The initial “COMPUTE_WALKER” code has been in development at Intel for the past 1~2 years while the merge request was just submitted a few days ago to replace the “legacy” compute path from the upcoming Gen12.5 Xe HP hardware. The check is for newer than Gen12 or GEN12HP, so the new compute path will trickle down to lower-tier parts outside of the Xe HP scope moving forward after the existing Gen12 parts like Tiger Lake or the upcoming Rocket Lake still flagged as Gen12 (not 12.5).

        • AMD Sends In More “New Stuff” For Radeon Graphics With Linux 5.12 – Phoronix

          Sent in last week were many AMD graphics driver updates slated for Linux 5.12 including the likes of Radeon RX 6000 series OverDrive support. This week marks another batch of AMDGPU kernel driver changes being submitted to DRM-Next ahead of the Linux 5.12 cycle.

          Among the “new stuff” for AMDGPU in Linux 5.12 include more code warning fixes, enabling of GPU reset and recovery for Navy Flounder yet-to-be-released RDNA 2 SKUs, SMU workload profile fixes for APUs, various display code updates, SR-IOV fixes, various VanGogh APU updates, another Renoir device ID being added, the new bits around Secure Display TA, another Green Sardine device ID being added, and a range of other code improvements.

        • Mesa’s RADV ACO Adds Support For Rapid Packed Math – Phoronix

          Hitting the Mesa tree when Mesa 21.0 was being branched (but looks like it will still make it now part of “staging/21.0″) is support for AMD’s “rapid packed math” with the RADV driver’s ACO compiler back-end.

          Rapid Packed Math is the AMD terminology for allowing two FP16 operations within a single FP32 operation. ACO, which is the default shader compiler back-end since last year in Mesa’s RADV driver, now supports this functionality for Vec2 16-bit operations.

    • Benchmarks

      • The Performance Of Clear Linux vs. Fedora vs. Ubuntu Over 2020

        Earlier this week we looked at the performance of Intel’s Clear Linux over the past year but how does that compare to the likes of say Fedora and Ubuntu? This article is looking at the performance of Fedora Workstation, Ubuntu, and Clear Linux on the same hardware over the past year.

        This testing off the same platform (Core i9 7980XE, ASUS PRIME X299-A, Samsung 970 EVO 500GB NVMe SSD, 4 x 4GB DDR4-3200) is intended to provide a look at how the Ubuntu and Fedora performance has evolved since the end of 2019 to see the direction of these tier-one Linux distributions up against Intel’s performance-focused Clear Linux.
        For the EOY2019 state with Clear Linux was 31890 to 34150 for EOY2020. For the Ubuntu look was Ubuntu a 20.04 development snapshot at EOY2019 when that testing took place for a prior article to now Ubuntu 20.10 with all stable release updates. Meanwhile Fedora was from Fedora 31 with all stable release updates at end of 2019 when testing happened for a prior article to Fedora 33 with all stable release updates as of testing time.

    • Applications

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • How to Install and Use Xrdp Server (Remote Desktop) on Linux System

        The Xrdp server is the RDP tool (Microsoft Remote Desktop Protocol) for Linux distributions. You can install it on your Linux system to connect your server or desktop over the internet. The Xrdp server allows you to use the multi-channel connection through a graphical user interface (GUI). Besides these, the Xrdp server also allows you to connect and restart sessions if your connection gets lost. If you are a network engineer or a Linux system administrator, you can install the Xrdp server on your Linux system and access your server or desktop from anywhere over the internet.

        [...]

        If you are using a Linux server; probably, you might need to get a desktop environment installed on your system to use the Xrdp server on your machine. You can use either the Gnome DE or the Xfce desktop environment on your Linux server. Here, I am using a Gnome desktop environment on my Ubuntu machine.

        However, run the following command-lines given below to install your desired desktop environment on your server.

      • Petter Reinholdtsen: Latest Jami back in Debian Testing, and scriptable using dbus

        After a lot of hard work by its maintainer Alexandre Viau and others, the decentralized communication platform Jami (earlier known as Ring), managed to get its latest version into Debian Testing. Several of its dependencies has caused build and propagation problems, which all seem to be solved now.

        In addition to the fact that Jami is decentralized, similar to how bittorrent is decentralized, I first of all like how it is not connected to external IDs like phone numbers. This allow me to set up computers to send me notifications using Jami without having to find get a phone number for each computer. Automatic notification via Jami is also made trivial thanks to the provided client side API (as a DBus service). Here is my bourne shell script demonstrating how to let any system send a message to any Jami address. It will create a new identity before sending the message, if no Jami identity exist already…

      • PSI and Cgroup2

        In the comments on my post about Load Average Monitoring [1] an anonymous person recommended that I investigate PSI. As an aside, why do I get so many great comments anonymously? Don’t people want to get credit for having good ideas and learning about new technology before others?

        PSI is the Pressure Stall Information subsystem for Linux that is included in kernels 4.20 and above, if you want to use it in Debian then you need a kernel from Testing or Unstable (Bullseye has kernel 4.19). The place to start reading about PSI is the main Facebook page about it, it was originally developed at Facebook [2].

        I am a little confused by the actual numbers I get out of PSI, while for the load average I can often see where they come from (EG have 2 processes each taking 100% of a core and the load average will be about 2) it’s difficult to work out where the PSI numbers come from. For my own use I decided to treat them as unscaled numbers that just indicate problems, higher number is worse and not worry too much about what the number really means.

      • How to Create a New Virtual Machine using VMware
      • How To Install phpMyAdmin on Linux Mint 20 – idroot

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to install phpMyAdmin on Linux Mint 20. For those of you who didn’t know, phpMyAdmin is a web interface based database management tool for MySQL. Using phpMyAdmin users can interact with MySQL easily. phpMyAdmin provides the most useful functions to interact with the MySQL database.

        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 phpMyAdmin on a Linux Mint 20 (Ulyana).

      • How to install Garuda KDE Dr460nized 210107 – YouTube

        In this video, I am going to show how to install Garuda KDE Dr460nized 210107.

      • How to check NetworkManager version on Ubuntu

        NetworkManager is a standard network configuration daemon for Linux, whose primary goal is to keep network connectivity active at all time. Unlike stationary server environment, typical Linux laptop/desktop can connect to the network via more than one physical (wired/wireless) or virtual (VPN, VLAN, VxLAN) network interfaces, and can switch from one interface to another dynamically, depending on locations and user preferences. That is when NetworkManager really makes your life easy by enabling automatic connection setup and migration.

      • How to Install Discourse Forum with Docker on CentOS 8

        Discourse is a free and open-source platform built for the next decade of the Internet. It is a modern forum software that can be used as a mailing list, discussion forum, long-form chat room, and more. It uses Ruby on Rails for the backend, Ember.js for the front end, PostgreSQL as a data store, and Redis as a caching server. It is simple, efficient, mobile-friendly, customizable, and makes online discussion easy and fun.

      • How to Install ELK stack on Ubuntu 20.04

        The ELK stack is an acronym of three popular open-source projects: Elasticsearch, Logstash, and Kibana. It is an open-source and one of the most popular log management platform that collects, processes,sem

        and visualizes data from multiple data sources. It is mainly used for log analysis in IT environments. It is very helpful for a system administrator to search and analyze a large volume of data to make real-time decisions-all the time.

        Elasticsearch: It is a search engine used to store all of the collected data.
        Kibana: It provides a web-based interface used to search and visualize your data.
        Logstash: It is a data processing interface used to collect data from several sources concurrently then sends the data to your desired stash.

      • Running Bash Commands in the Background the Right Way

        There’s nothing more annoying than running a command in your terminal and having it run for minutes, sometimes hours, and not be able to use your terminal again. Sure, you can use tabs, but that’s a clunky solution, and it’s not always optimal because you may want to see updates as you’re working. Here we show you a few different ways to run bash commands in the background in Linux.

      • Install Wine 6.0 In Ubuntu 20.04 & Linux Mint | Tips On UNIX

        WineHQ is open-source and capable of installing Windows applications on Linux, BSD, and macOS.

        The wine team released a new Stable version 6.0 and this release represents a year of development effort and over 8,300 individual changes and it contains a larger number of improvements.

        This tutorial will be helpful for beginners to install wine 6.0 in Ubuntu 20.04, Ubuntu 20.10, and LinuxMint 20.1.

      • Time lapse video from Raspberry PI camera – peppe8o

        One of most common Raspberry PI accessories is the Raspberry PI Camera. Beside common usages (like videoconferencing), RPI gives a lot of advanced functions. One of most intrigating is getting a time lapse video from Raspberry PI camera

        In this tutorial I’m going to show you how to create a time lapse video with a Raspberry PI board and Camera. We’ll use Raspicam commands to get images and ffmpeg library to create new time-lapse video.

        Before digging in technical commands, a breaf introduction in what time lapse video is.

      • How to Create and Manage Archive Files in Linux – Linux.com

        In a nutshell, an archive is a single file that contains a collection of other files and/or directories. Archive files are typically used for a transfer (locally or over the internet) or make a backup copy of a collection of files and directories which allow you to work with only one file (if compressed, it has a lower size than the sum of all files within it) instead of many. Likewise, archives are used for software application packaging. This single file can be easily compressed for ease of transfer while the files in the archive retain the structure and permissions of the original files.

      • How to Use Crontab to Automate Repetitive Tasks in Linux

        Take advantage of the crontab Linux command to automate various mundane and repetitive tasks, simplifying your life. This excellent and easy to use tool, combined with some scripting, can not only automate all sorts of tasks, but also help avoid simple human errors or forgetfulness.

      • How To Install DokuWiki on CentOS Stream 8 with Apache and PHP 8

        In this tutorial, we’re going to show you how to install and configure DokuWiki on CentOS Stream 8 with the Apache webserver and the (currently) latest PHP 8.0.

        DokuWiki is a popular open-source wiki software that you can extend and customize with lots of plugins and themes. It doesn’t use a database, it’s lightweight, and DokuWiki has great syntax.

      • How to Install Linux Mint’s Cinnamon Desktop in Ubuntu

        Linux Mint is known for its cinnamon desktop environment. It is a free and open-source desktop environment designed and developed based on GNOME 3.

        If you are having Ubuntu on your desktop and get tried of using GNOME 3. Then you can easily switch to the cinnamon desktop in Ubuntu with few lines of command.

    • Wine or Emulation

    • Games

      • WRATH: Aeon of Ruin launching along with Linux support this Summer, third update out now | GamingOnLinux

        WRATH: Aeon of Ruin is a dark fantasy-horror FPS powered by the original Quake engine from publishers 3D Realms and 1C Entertainment and developer KillPixel Games.

        The full release across all platforms (Windows currently supported in Early Access) has been delayed until “Summer 2021″, this is due to COVID-19 as some of their team sadly caught it and needed recovery time. Even so, they’ve managed to push out a third content update.

        “While delays are never ideal, we wanted to release one awesome final update before going heads down to knock this out of the park,” said Frederik Schreiber, Vice President of 3D Realms and Producer on WRATH. “Summer may seem far away, but we are working diligently to make WRATH the best game it can be.”

      • Rocket Shipment is a slick homage to Thrust and Crazy Gravity now in Early Access | GamingOnLinux

        Rocket Shipment is a tricky, physics based, space delivery game. The game is a love letter to the old style lander games like Thrust, Solar Jetman and Crazy Gravity. After being in development for two years now, it has entered Early Access on Steam and will remain there until closer to the end of 2021 when the full content gets added in.

        It’s simple and right to the point, keeping the game mechanics nicely glued together. The main mechanic is using a physics based grappling cable to move packages and other object around, while managing your fuel levels. There’s also a built in level editor, and Steam Workshop support to upload and download extra levels.

      • Valve’s Source 2 shows early teasers of Ray Tracing – weirdly in Artifact updates

        We know that Source 2 from Valve is a pretty capable game engine, and we’ve seen what they’ve been able to do with it over the years (and Half-Life: Alyx turned it up a notch) but what’s next? Ray Tracing perhaps.

      • Beamdog need your help to test Enhanced Editions of Icewind Dale and Baldur’s Gate | GamingOnLinux

        Getting real close to release now is the huge 2.6 upgrade for the Beamdog classic RPGs now including Icewind Dale: Enhanced Edition, Baldur’s Gate: Enhanced Edition, Baldur’s Gate: Siege of Dragonspear and Baldur’s Gate II: Enhanced Edition.

        They’ve gradually moved from one game to the next, opening up an opt-in Beta you can try for each right now on Steam. Each of them needing some feedback to ensure you can properly play it including double-checking the save system is working correctly.

        [...]

        Want to get involved? They need Linux testing too (the Beta is Steam only, other stores when ready).

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • Whisker Menu 2.5.2 released

        Do not reparent launched programs (Issue #32)
        Translation updates: Basque, Danish, Greek

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • KaOS Linux’s First ISO Release in 2021 Adds Linux Kernel 5.10 LTS and Qt 6

          KaOS Linux 2021.01 is now available for download, the first ISO release of this KDE focused and desktop oriented rolling GNU/Linux distribution inspired by Arch Linux to ship with the latest and greatest Linux 5.10 LTS kernel series, which, as expected, provides state-of-the-art hardware support.

          In addition, KaOS Linux 2021.01 is the first ISO release to ship with the latest Qt 6 open-source and cross-platform application framework, which is already used by some apps, including Poppler, Qtkeychain, Qsynth, Strawberry, and others. Qt 6 is accompanied by the PyQt 6.0 stack, which includes PyQt6-sip, PyQt-Builder, and Sip 6.

        • KaOS 2021.01

          Two weeks into the New Year, KaOS is pleased to present you with a first ISO for 2021

          For the many changes in this release, a few stand out. This is a first ISO that ships with Qt 6. Not that Plasma is ready for Qt 6, but some are (Poppler, Strawberry, Qsynth, Qtkeychain for example), so to get this distribution in good shape for the eventual Qt 6 move, any that can be built with Qt 6 are done so now.
          The KDE Applications release 20.12 saw the addition of almost a dozen new applications, some just moved from standalone releases to now a monthly release, but the addition of Itinerary (an app that provides you with all the information you need while on the road) and Spectacle using Kimageannotator for annotation tool are good improvements.
          There has been a search for quite some time for a good GUI to handle Systemd services, the used systemd-kcm has not been maintained for years. This replacement is now found and included in the ISO, Stacer (it can also be used as a system clean-up tool and handle startup applications).

    • Distributions

      • Distrowatch is Not a Measure of Popularity

        Here’s a fun blog post where I get possibly irrationally annoyed by people who use a web page incorrectly. Let me get this off my chest and then move on to better topics tomorrow.

        Distrowatch is a popular website among Linux enthusiasts. The main page consists of reverse-chronological news articles of interest to Linux users. Often this consists of new stable and development release announcements, reviews and weekly roundups.

      • New Releases

        • Security-Oriented Alpine Linux 3.13 Releases First Cloud Images With Other Improvements

          Alpine Linux is a lightweight Linux distribution that focuses on security, simplicity, and efficiency. If you have used Docker, you are probably familiar with Alpine Linux.

          If you haven’t heard about Alpine Linux before, let me give you a brief introduction.

          Alpine Linux began as a fork of the LEAF Project. LEAF is a collection of Linux distributions that began as a fork of the Linux Router Project. The creator of Alpine Linux is Natanael Copa, a software engineer at Docker.

          It is based on musl libc and busybox, making it a smaller and resource-efficient distribution. Alpine uses its own package manager called APK (Alpine Linux Package Manager) and uses BusyBox Bash as the default shell. Most importantly, includes proactive security features like PaX and SSP to prevent security holes.

          What makes it unique, is its small size. Compared to other major Linux distributions like CentOS and Ubuntu, a single container requires only 8 MB, and minimal installation to disk requires around 130 MB of Storage. This makes it a popular Linux distribution for Docker.

      • SUSE/OpenSUSE

        • Xfce 4.16 Desktop Lands in openSUSE Tumbleweed, Download Now

          If you’ve been waiting for Xfce 4.16 to land in openSUSE Tumbleweed, I have some good news today as the wait is over and you can install the desktop environment right now from distribution’s software repositories and upgrade from Xfce 4.14.

          Xfce 4.16 brings many goodies for fans of the lightweight desktop environment, including fractional scaling, dark mode for the Panel, CSD (Client-side decorations) support for all the Settings dialogs, a revamped About Xfce dialog with info about CPU, GPU and RAM, as well as a refreshed look with new icons and color palette.

        • Xfce, KDE Packages Flood This Week’s Tumbleweed Snapshots

          A large quantity of packages from both Xfce and KDE projects flowed into openSUSE Tumbleweed snapshots this week.

          Hundreds of packages updated in the rolling release and KDE’s Frameworks, Applications and Plasma packages were the most prevalent of software package updated throughout the week.

          KDE Frameworks 5.78.0 arrived in the latest 20210113 snapshot. Frameworks added a new compass action icon in the Breeze Icons and KConfig fixed windows being inappropriately maximized on launch. User Interface framework Kirigami fixed some visual bugs for avatar controls and KDE’s data accessing package KIO fixed a shortcut reset button and the middle-click handling with the url navigation menu. Frameworks packages weren’t the only packages to update in the snapshot; the update to the 1.12.3 version of ibus-table provides a new setup tool that allows keybindings to be configured with a GUI. Fingerprint reader package libfprint fixed issues that caused problem on non-x86 machines in its 1.90.6 version update. The last package to be included in the update was the parser library mxml 3.2, which fixed handling of elements that start with a Unicode character and fixed the handling of unquoted attribute values that start with Unicode.

        • openSUSE Tumbleweed – Review of the week 2021/02 – Dominique a.k.a. DimStar (Dim*)

          Dear Tumbleweed users and hackers,

          Somewhere, I read, 2021 will be the year of the Linux desktop. Do you agree? Let’s make it the year of Tumbleweed on the desktop. In any case, Tumbleweed has been steadily rolling with 5 snapshots published during this week (0107, 0108, 0110, 0111, and 0113).

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • CentOS Hyperscaler Effort Approved With Backing From Facebook, Twitter

          The CentOS board has approved the creation of a “Hyperscale” SIG spearheaded by engineers from the likes of Facebook and Twitter in aiming to make CentOS Stream more appealing to such large scale server/cloud organizations.

          As noted earlier this week, the CentOS Hyperscale(r) SIG is about shipping newer packages via a new repository and other possible modifications to package defaults in aiming to make CentOS Stream more suitable for large enterprises. Select packages might be back-ported to CentOS via a new opt-in repository, alternate policy defaults might be established, and other possible changes to be evaluated moving ahead by this special interest group. The CentOS Hyperscaler effort will still be hosted on CentOS.org and will be focused on CentOS Stream with CentOS 8 due to be EOL’ed at the end of this year.

        • Discover Fedora Kinoite: a Silverblue variant with the KDE Plasma desktop

          Fedora Kinoite is an immutable desktop operating system featuring the KDE Plasma desktop. In short, Fedora Kinoite is like Fedora Silverblue but with KDE instead of GNOME. It is an emerging variant of Fedora, based on the same technologies as Fedora Silverblue (rpm-ostree, Flatpak, podman) and created exclusively from official RPM packages from Fedora.

        • Join Us: Design Team Sessions Live!

          Just before the Christmas holidays, you may have participated in one of three impromptu live design sessions / video chats I held. In the first session, a group of Fedorans did a critique on one of the Fedora 34 wallpaper mockups. In the second session, another group of us did a collaborative design session for a custom Fedora Discourse theme. In the last session, we did a live digital painting session.

        • Fedora 34 Planning For Better Font Rendering By Enabling HarfBuzz In FreeType

          Fedora plans to flip on the HarfBuzz text shaping engine support with the FreeType font rasterization engine. In doing so, this should yield improved hinting of glyphs especially with languages that need more complicated text shaping. FreeType has supported HarfBuzz for more than a half-decade (after HarfBuzz was originally was born out of that project) while Fedora hasn’t enabled its usage until the planned change for Fedora 34 this spring.

        • Fedora 32 : Can be better? part 012.

          Pidgin is a chat program that lets you log in to accounts on multiple chat networks simultaneously.
          Pidgin can be installed on multiple operating systems and platforms.
          Pidgin is compatible with the following chat networks out of the box: I.R.C., Jabber/XMPP, Bonjour, Gadu-Gadu, IRC, Novell GroupWise Messenger, Lotus Sametime, SILC, SIMPLE, and Zephyr.

        • Driving the organization towards Digital Innovation Excellence: 5 key dimensions to consider

          In our first post we introduced the three pillars to digital innovation success (automation, hybrid cloud and cloud native), in this next post we wanted to dive a little deeper into what digital innovation excellence means.

          Across Europe business leaders we talk to say that software is central to digital innovation and that organizations must become software producers at increasing speed and scale. As organizations evolve to become producers of software, the role of software development and delivery expands.

          Not only are organizations plugging into software development and delivery capabilities to increase organizational competitiveness by controlling a larger share of digital value creation, but software increasingly becomes part of the business’s core product and services offerings. But that’s not all. Software delivery is also expanding to support the ability to scale digital distribution and monetization of digital products and services through the digital ecosystem. This means that software can be delivered as a service, through direct sales channels, via APIs, open source repositories or via developer.com style platforms. Software is truly permeating the organization and digital innovation factories and supply chains become new organization requirements for digital resiliency.

        • Ben Williams: F33-20210114 updated Live isos released [Ed: New builds of Fedora 33]

          The Fedora Respins SIG is pleased to announce the latest release of Updated F33-20210114-Live ISOs, carrying the 5.10.6-200 kernel.

          This set of updated isos will save considerable amounts of updates after install. ((for new installs.)(New installs of Workstation have about 800MB+ of updates)).

          A huge thank you goes out to irc nicks dowdle, dbristow, luna, yogoyo, Southern-Gentleman for testing these iso.

        • Fedora 33 : Using the finch chat program.

          Finch is a TUI (text user interface) IM client for Linux which uses libpurple.
          This is very useful when you want to chat and don’t have an environment to install Fedora on.
          Finch is built using the ncurses toolkit, which is a library designed especially to built text user interfaces.
          This program lets you sign on to Jabber, GoogleTalk, IRC, and other IM networks.

        • Red Hat and Intel expand 5G collaboration as new market opportunities emerge

          IBM Corp.’s Red Hat unit and Intel Corp. today announced an “evolution” of their partnership aimed at more closely aligning their product development activities in the 5G market.

          Carriers are spending billions of dollars to upgrade their networks to the 5G standard, which enables connections up to 100 times faster than LTE. The spending spree is creating new revenue opportunities for information technology suppliers such as Red Hat and Intel.

          The new collaboration, the companies said, will have several focus areas. One is to bring 5G features faster to key open-source technologies such as Kubernetes. Kubernetes eases the management of software container-based workloads, which can make it useful for carriers that are using containers to build the software powering their 5G networks.

        • Your Easiest Decision in 2021

          The 3-way collaboration across IBM, SUSE and SAP go back many years. We have a deep engineering relationship that speaks to the dedication to customers, performance and engineering excellence that permeates all 3 company’s cultures. In 2020, even amidst this crazy pandemic, we have continued our regular working relationship – striving to provide the best product, and the best support.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • Ubuntu 21.04 To Expand The Use Of Phased Package Updates – Phoronix

          With this spring’s release of Ubuntu 21.04 there is more widespread use of “phased updates” for gradually rolling out new stable release updates to help avoid any regressions en masse from coming to light. For years the Ubuntu desktop has employed this phased updates strategy while now with it being plumbed into APT, Ubuntu Server and other versions will by default make use of phased updates.

          Going back a number of years in Ubuntu has been Phased Updates that wired into Update Manager has led to the gradual rollout of new stable release updates over a period of about two days. This has been done gradually to ensure that no regressions or potential big problems hit all Ubuntu users at once by over the course of many hours exposing more Ubuntu users to these updates.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • Stenberg: Food on the table while giving away code

        Daniel Stenberg writes about getting paid to work on curl — 21 years after starting the project.

      • Debarshi Ray: Toolbox — After a gap of 15 months

        About a year ago, Ondřej Míchal single-handedly rewrote Toolbox in Go, making it massively easier to work on the code compared to the previous POSIX shell implementation. Go comes with much nicer facilities for command line parsing, error handling, logging, parsing JSON, and in general is a lot more pleasant to program in. Plus all the container tools in the OCI ecosystem are written in Go anyway, so it was a natural fit.

        Other than the obvious benefits of Go, the rewrite immediately fixed a few bugs that were inherently very cumbersome to fix in the POSIX shell implementation. Something as simple as offering a –version option, or avoiding duplicate entries when listing containers or images was surprisingly difficult to achieve in the past.

        What’s more, we managed to pull this off by retaining full compatibility with the previous code. So users and distributors should have no hesitation to update.

      • Rav1e 0.4 Released For Faster Rust AV1 Encoding – But Still Is Quite Slow

        Rav1e 0.4 was released on Wednesday as the latest version of this Rust-written AV1 video encoder. The rav1e 0.4 release represents a speed-up for the encoder but depending upon the preset level can still be at fractions of a frame per second.

        Rav1e 0.4 development was focused on providing faster performance for x86_64 and AArch64 (64-bit ARM) architectures. A wide variety of optimizations made faster performance possible depending upon the speed level.

      • Events

        • LCA: Catch Talks by OSI Staff and Community

          Linux.conf.au (aka LCA) is a lovely community conference based in Australasia that will be entering its 22nd year in 2021. The volunteer-run event is known for getting deeply technical on topics varying from the inner workings of the Linux kernel to the inner workings of dealing with communities. This year’s event takes place on January 23rd – 25th and is accessible is digital and accessible to everyone, whether you live “down under” or not.

          Our General Manager, Deb Nicholson will be presenting on how to build and maintain kinder, gentler and more sustainable open source communities in her talk, “Move Slow and Try Not to Break Each Other.” on Sunday at 11:40am.

      • Web Browsers

        • Mozilla

          • Including Mac and Linux, Mozilla VPN is now available across all OS-

            Mozilla has posited about the availability of its VPN solution for Linux and Mac devices from now onwards, following its iOS, Android and windows launch last year. Currently, VPN of Mozilla is been only made available for access in six countries i.e., Canada, Singapore, the UK, the US, Malaysia, and New Zealand. And would be available worldwide soon.

            Similar to many other VPN solutions, Mozilla renders encryption of network activity by using WireGuard and includes hiding of customer’s IP address. Using high-speed cryptographic primitives in Mozilla means that VPN would still experience the same benefits with fast network speed.

          • Data@Mozilla: This Week in Glean: Proposals for Asynchronous Design

            At last count there are 14 proposals for Firefox on Glean, the effort that, last year, brought the Glean SDK to Firefox Desktop. What in the world is a small, scrappy team in a small, scrappy company like Mozilla doing wasting so much time with old-school Waterfall Model overhead?!

            Because it’s cheaper than the alternative.

            Design is crucial before tackling difficult technological problems that affect multiple teams. At the very least you’re writing an API and you need to know what people want to do with it. So how do you get agreement? How do you reach the least bad design in the shortest time?

          • Mozilla Performance Blog: Performance Sheriff Newsletter (December 2020)

            In December there were 241 alerts generated, resulting in 39 regression bugs being filed on average 6.4 days after the regressing change landed.

            Welcome to the December 2020 edition of the performance sheriffing newsletter. Here you’ll find the usual summary of our sheriffing efficiency metrics, followed by a review of the year. If you’re interested (and if you have access) you can view the full dashboard.

      • Productivity Software/LibreOffice/Calligra

        • CIB spins off new allotropia software GmbH

          “With everyone from SMBs to governments now going fully digital, we see significant demand for integrated, secure, and GDPR-conforming digital document lifecycle solutions,” says Uli Brandner, CEO and owner of CIB labs. “We have continuously invested into LibreOffice to play an important role in our solution stack, and are now taking the next step by setting up a dedicated company with a laser-sharp focus on delivering fully cloud-based versions – in-line with our ongoing push for browser-based products.

          Being able to build on the multi-decade value of existing OpenSource solutions, as well as the equally many years of experience of our LibreOffice engineering team there, gets us both a significant head start, and the confidence to deliver quality solutions.”

          LibreOffice engineering consultancy and “LibreOffice powered by CIB” will remain an important part in CIB’s portfolio, now being served and further improved by allotropia software GmbH. “For our customers, this generates the win-win-win situation of having an established, rock-solid partner like CIB, delivering state-of-the-art opensource software, plus the agility of an innovative startup developing new solutions”, adds Uli Brandner.

      • Programming/Development

        • Improve your software product delivery process performance using metrics (II)

          During the previous article I explained the process to follow, using the simplest possible model to describe a software product delivery process, to measure and improve its performance, following a data driven improvement kata as a way to promote a continuous improvement culture .

          Despite providing extremely valuable information, once we have gone through the described process for a few iterations, the limitations of such a simple model will become evident. We will need to add complexity into our model, getting closer to the real software product delivery process.

        • SEGGER’s complete J-Link software now available for Linux on ARM [Ed: Reposted from elsewhere (or press release)]

          SEGGER’s entire portfolio of J-Link software is now available for Linux on ARM, for both 32-bit and 64-bit platforms.

          This includes both the command-line programs and GUI tools such as J-Flash, J-Flash SPI, J-Scope, the J-Link Configurator and the GUI version of the GDB Server.

          “J-Link can now be used on Raspberry Pi and other ARM-based machines, without any limitations,” says Alex Grüner, CTO at SEGGER. “Small single-board ARM computers now offer the same functionality as x86 powered machines. The inexpensive Raspberry Pi and similar boards are now viable options, especially in test farms and production environments.”

        • JavaScript survey: React everywhere, Jest, Webpack on the up… if only it had static typing, sigh developers • The Register

          The 2020 State of JavaScript report, a survey of over 23,000 developers globally, has revealed growing use of WebPack and Jest, continuing high use of React, Express and TypeScript, and that top of the wishlist is no longer better browser compatibility, but rather static typing.

          JavaScript is the most used programming language according to most rankings. Originally called LiveScript and designed in 10 days in 1995 by Netscape’s Brendan Eich to work alongside Java Applets, the little language has become the universal language.

          Trends in the JavaScript ecosystem are therefore significant, but the fact that Webpack tops the list of most used technologies says a lot about modern JavaScript development. Webpack is a module bundler which runs on Node.js and has plugins for tasks such as minifying JavaScript using Terser. Webpack does tree shaking, meaning that it strips out unused code.

        • YANUB: yet another (nearly) useless blog: Taking advantage of Ruby in QSoas

          First of all, let me all wish you a happy new year, with all my wishes of health and succes. I sincerely hope this year will be simpler for most people as last year !

        • Java

          • 10 reasons to develop Quarkus applications on Red Hat OpenShift – Red Hat Developer

            Combining Quarkus with Red Hat OpenShift provides an ideal environment for creating scalable, fast, and lightweight applications. Quarkus significantly increases developer productivity with tooling, pre-built integrations, application services, and more. This article presents 10 reasons why you should develop your Quarkus applications on OpenShift.

  • Leftovers

    • Science

      • DNA hard drives? Scientists hide a coded digital message in bacterial DNA

        Visualize, if you will, a group of bacteria cells. They are kind of silly looking, when you get right down to it: shaped like a sphere or a pill, sometimes covered in tiny hairs or spikes. While technically alive, it is hard to imagine them as being particularly intelligent, much less capable of storing information like artificially intelligent machines such as computers.

        Curiously, that’s exactly what a group of researchers just did: edited DNA inside individual bacteria cells in order to store digital data.

        [...]

        “At the moment, digital and biological systems exist without good ways of ‘talking’ with each other,” they explained. “In addition to expanding the usefulness of DNA data storage, as a proof-of-concept for direct integration of arbitrary information into living cell populations, we think this work may be important for developing future hybrid digital-biological systems.”

        CRISPR has revolutionized biology and biotech research in the past decade, making all kinds of headlines. Last year scientists were able to successfully edit SIV (simian immunodeficiency virus), a virus similar to HIV, out of the genomes of rhesus macaque monkeys. The prospect could prove promising for future HIV cure research.

      • Facial recognition technology can expose political orientation from naturalistic facial images

        Ubiquitous facial recognition technology can expose individuals’ political orientation, as faces of liberals and conservatives consistently differ. A facial recognition algorithm was applied to naturalistic images of 1,085,795 individuals to predict their political orientation by comparing their similarity to faces of liberal and conservative others. Political orientation was correctly classified in 72% of liberal–conservative face pairs, remarkably better than chance (50%), human accuracy (55%), or one afforded by a 100-item personality questionnaire (66%). Accuracy was similar across countries (the U.S., Canada, and the UK), environments (Facebook and dating websites), and when comparing faces across samples. Accuracy remained high (69%) even when controlling for age, gender, and ethnicity. Given the widespread use of facial recognition, our findings have critical implications for the protection of privacy and civil liberties.

      • What Is K-Means Clustering? | Unite.AI

        K-means clustering is an unsupervised learning algorithm, and out of all the unsupervised learning algorithms, K-means clustering might be the most widely used, thanks to its power and simplicity. How does K-means clustering work exactly?

        The short answer is that K-means clustering works by creating a reference point (a centroid) for a desired number of classes, and then assigning data points to class clusters based on which reference point is closest. While that’s a quick definition for K-means clustering, let’s take some time to dive deeper into K-means clustering and get a better intuition for how it operates.

    • Integrity/Availability

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • The OTHER thing we should never accept by ANY political leader

        This post just starts from Jpe Biden, but only because he may be the “first responder” for the problem, and solution, that I am about to present. But it applies to every other President, King, Prime Minister or country leader, everywhere they are. Including my own prime minister, Giuseppe Conte.

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • NLG Demands Immediate Structural Change in Wake of Impeachment and Attempted Coup

        Last week’s white supremacist coup attempt facilitated by law enforcement makes clear that the path forward requires a serious reckoning with the conditions that caused this moment. White supremacy, though mentioned in mainstream news media more frequently in the last year, is not remotely a new phenomenon—it was the ideology the United States was founded on and remains this government’s primary political underpinning, regardless of the political party in power. For this reason, the National Lawyers Guild (NLG) demands that the political response to last week’s fascist mob looks beyond the Trump administration and enacts structural change, including an overhaul of the prison and policing systems, a firm condemnation and rejection of white supremacist ideologies, and the implementation of more progressive policies across the board.

        The NLG remains firm in our abolitionist principles, and last week further demonstrated that law enforcement not only stood down in the face of white, fascist insurrectionists, but actively aided their attempts to enter the Capitol to overturn the election. Law enforcement is, and always has been, the body that carries out the brute force of the state’s white supremacist violence. We have already seen lenient sentencing for the insurrectionists and an arrest count less than ⅓ that of arrests made this summer in D.C. during BLM protests. Yet, “anti-terrorist” legislation will only harm communities of color through the expansion of the police and surveillance state. But this moment does bring about a critical question for abolitionists: how do we effectively address systemic violence without calling for a mass prosecution? The NLG is calling for consequences to white supremacist ideology as a whole, beginning with the political expulsion of all local, state, and federal officials who pushed the narrative of a stolen election, encouraging a pro-Trump attempt to seize power. This begins with, as Missouri Representative Cori Bush put it, the expulsion of “the white supremacist-in-chief,” Donald Trump. At the same time, the NLG understands that impeachment is not enough, and neither is a return to the status quo.

    • Monopolies

      • Patents

        • Dusseldorf Regional Court stands by CJEU referral of patent licensing questions, Nokia’s interlocutory appeal goes up to Dusseldorf Higher Regional Court

          While the four members of the panel discussion I published as a podcast earlier this week expressed a diversity of views, there was a consensus about the potentially high impact of the Dusseldorf Regional Court’s decision to refer a set of standard-essential patent (SEP) licensing questions to the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU). But those questions haven’t arrived in Luxembourg (the CJEU’s seat) yet, as Nokia brought an interlocutory appeal last month.

          The way those interlocutory appeals work in Germany is that the lower court firstly treats it as what in the U.S. would be called a motion for reconsideration. If it changes mind, the appeal has succeeded. Otherwise the appeal will go up to the next higher court.

        • Software Patents

          • $1,500 Awarded for Blyncsy prior art

            Unified is pleased to announce the PATROLL crowdsourcing contest winner, Preeti Dua, who received a cash prize of $1,500 for her prior art submissions for U.S. Patent 10,198,779. The patent is owned by Blyncsy, Inc., an NPE. The ’779 patent generally relates to contact tracing of contagions and is currently being asserted against companies using this technology for the current Covid-19 pandemic.

      • Trademarks

        • Lawyers: Mexico’s new damages court faces rough start [Ed: So-called 'journalism' in which only litigation profiteers (lawyers) are asked, but nobody else, as if no other stakeholders exist]

          Five Mexican IP lawyers reveal how they will adjust to a new law that allows Mexico’s IP office to determine damages in infringement cases

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