03.07.21

Links 7/3/2021: Sparky 2021.03, SystemRescue 8.00, and FreeBSD 13.0 RC1

Posted in News Roundup at 4:38 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Audiocasts/Shows

      • Browsh: Fully Graphical Text Based Browser

        There are some weird web browsers out there and this certainly fits into that group, basically browsh is a graphical text based browser designed to but run on a server and SSHed into by people who’s personal connections are too slow to reasonably use the internet.

      • LHS Episode #397: The Weekender LXVII

        It’s time once again for The Weekender. This is our bi-weekly departure into the world of amateur radio contests, open source conventions, special events, listener challenges, hedonism and just plain fun. Thanks for listening and, if you happen to get a chance, feel free to call us or e-mail and send us some feedback. Tell us how we’re doing. We’d love to hear from you.

    • Kernel Space

      • Linux Kernel 5.12 RC2 Released Early, Fixing the Scary Swap File Bug

        The second release candidate of Linux Kernel 5.12 is out early because of a nasty swap file bug. And do not use Linux Kernel 5.12 RC1 for testing, you may lose data.

      • Torvalds Warns the World: Don’t Use the Linux 5.12-rc1 Kernel
      • Kernel prepatch 5.12-rc2

        Linus has released 5.12-rc2 a little sooner than would normally be expected due to the problems with 5.12-rc1. “Other than that it all looks pretty normal”.

      • Graphics Stack

        • LABWC Is The Newest Stacking Wayland Compositor

          The LABWC Wayland compositor advertises itself as an Openbox alternative and just saw its inaugural release.

          LABWC is a Wayland stacking compositor based on the WLROOTS library engineered by the Sway folks. So while it’s “yet another Wayland compositor”, WLROOTS is doing much of the heavy lifting.

        • X.Org Foundation Bows Out For Google Summer of Code 2021

          Over the years Google Summer of Code (GSoC) has resulted in some really great projects in the X.Org ecosystem from work in the early days on the open-source Radeon graphics driver stack to VKMS more recently to many other improvements especially as it pertains to open-source graphics drivers / Mesa. But for Google Summer of Code 2021 at least, the organization will not be participating.

          With rare exceptions, the X.Org Foundation has been a regular fixture of GSoC for as long as Google has been putting it on for more than one decade. It’s resulted in many great contributions not only about the X.Org Server but the X.Org Foundation / FreeDesktop.org ecosystem to the likes of Mesa, Wayland, input, and more.

    • Applications

      • Best Free Android Apps: Termux – terminal emulator and Linux environment

        There’s a strict eligibility criteria for inclusion in this series. See the Eligibility Criteria section below.

        Termux offers both a capable terminal emulator and an extremely useful Linux environment (single user) on your Android device. The app provides full-blown versions of Bash, Coreutils and much more.

        A minimal base system is installed, but the real power comes from the tons of packages available with the APT package manager.

      • Macchina – Another Command Tool to Display Basic System Info in Linux

        Macchina is another command line tool to fetch basic system information in Linux, similar to Neofetch, but focus on performance and minimalism.

        The software is written in Rust, and it displays basic system information, including hostname, manufacturer, kernel version, uptime, desktop environment, processor, memory / battery status, and more. Macchina is pretty fast, it runs 8.53 ± 0.72 times faster than neofetch!

        Macchina is a new project in active development. By adding –theme or -t flag, you can specify one of the supported themes. They are so far: default, alt, and long.

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • How To Install Google Cloud SDK on Debian 10 – idroot

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to install Google Cloud SDK on Debian 10. For those of you who didn’t know, The Google Cloud SDK provides users with the ability to access Google Cloud via Terminal. It is a development toolkit that comes with multiple commands that help in managing the resources within the Google Cloud 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 the Google Cloud SDK on a Debian 10 (Buster).

    • Easy Way Install Blender 3D On Linux Ubuntu! – Fosslicious

      Blender 3D is a very powerful open source 3D application. Many companies or individuals use this application (based on data from HG Insight) for 3D modeling, animation, or interior design, and many others. Blender 3D is available for various platforms, one of which is Linux. Linux users can install this application using the following methods!

    • Debugging a bitbaked binary

      meta-rpm uses groot to build the root file system. Groot will get its own discussion. What I want to talk about here is the steps I used to chase down an error that was happening while generating the root file system. In order to do this, I needed to tweak the groot code.

      Groot is pulled in via a recipe in the meta-rpm repo. It is checked out from git, and built as part of the bitbake process.

    • How To Restore Or Recover Deleted Commands In Linux – OSTechNix

      In this brief tutorial, we will learn how to restore or recover deleted commands in Linux using coreutils and busybox.

    • How to create your own database on Linux | TechRadar

      These days, databases are more routinely associated with powering websites and ecommerce systems. To the casual user they look impenetrable, involving connecting to third-party database servers such as SQL and hiding behind opaque languages like PHP.

      But at their heart, databases are simple tables of information: each row represents a single record, and its specific characteristics – such as name, colour, or whether it’s currently in your possession or not – are recorded in columns known as fields.

      If your needs are modest, then you don’t need to learn any programming languages or tackle complex database software to put together a collection of information you can later search in various ways to find what you need from it.

    • Sharing A USB Drive From Your Wi-Fi Router, Part 2

      In my previous article, I omitted the LXQt desktop environment because I am not well acquainted with it, and was unsure about the status of its “parent” (LXDE). Although LXDE coexists with LXQt and is technically still being maintained, it is living on borrowed time because it has a GTK2 codebase. LXDE’s most recent stable release dates from 2016. LXDE’s founder, Hong Jen Yee (aka “PCMan”), found it impractical to base LXDE on GTK3. GTK3 broke backward compatibility and caused components to become more memory-hungry and slower. So Dr. Hong1 began experimenting with Qt as a base; eventually, his LXDE-Qt project merged with the Razor-qt project (in July 2013). LXQt is now the successor to LXDE. Although a bit rough around the edges compared to LXDE, LXQt is very usable and is progressing towards its goal of reaching version 1.0. (Its current release is 0.16.0). LXQt’s primary goals are simplicity and being light on resources, with sensible default settings that meet most users’ needs.

      I have been testing the PCLinuxOS LXQt Community Release, created by daniel (Daniel Meiβ-Wilhelm), on a spare partition of my trusty netbook.2 This version resembles a Mini.iso, insofar as it does not include a large collection of applications; however, the applications are well-integrated, responsive and the system is visually appealing. The screenshots were taken from the most recent 2020.11 release.

    • GIMP Tutorial: Top GIMP Filters, Part 2

      I’ve used this filter (Filters > Blur > Gaussian Blur) to soften photos just a bit, but Davies points out that you can use it to fix a photo problem. Sometimes we want to use the subject of a photo, but not the background. After cutting away the background we’re left with some rough edges on the subject. Gaussian Blur can help minimize them.

      In this image we have a white flower and many green leaves. Suppose I wanted to add this flower, but not the leaves, to another floral image.

    • Tip Top Tips: How I Converted My H.264 Video To HEVC

      Note that on Stream #0:1(eng) the video was indeed encoded in hevc. I have to highlight the significant reduction in file size without losing video and sound quality from the original copy.

      What I did on the VLC menu was click on Media > Convert / Save (Ctrl+R). On the File tab, click Add then Open the video you want to convert. Once listed, click Convert/Save.

      Check that the Source is the actual file you wanted to convert. On the Settings section of the dialog window, you’ll see Profile and a down arrow. Click to change the Profile to Video – H.265 + MP3 (MP4) or you can create your own profile using the (Encapsulation) MP4, (Video codec [enable Video] > Codec) H-265 (Note: also check that the resolution scale is set to either Auto or 1 or you can shrink your video dimensions), (Audio codec [enable Audio] and enable Keep original audio track or as I prefer, change the codec to MPEG 4 Audio (AAC)) … Subtitles? If you’re creating a new profile, do not forget to give it a Profile Name so it’ll be easier to find next time.

      The last part is the Destination. You will need to click on Browse, navigate to the folder where you want to save your file, and click Save. When all is ready, click Start and wait for VLC to complete the task. Depending on the duration of your video, it may take a couple of minutes or longer.

    • Make A Collage Or Wordcloud With Fotowall

      In January, ms_meme posted in the forum that she had been using a program called Fotowall, and was wanting a bit of help. I downloaded it and started talking to her. Turns out that it’s a nifty little program if you want to make a photo collage. It has other features, so I’ll cover some of them, too. It’s a pretty nice little program, but it has some problems and limitations.

      There’s a beginning screen, which says Create in the center at first. After you’ve saved a project it looks a bit different, listing your previous projects at top left so you can open one if you want. Click on Create.

      [...]

      The other choices are Print, PDF or SVG (Scalable Vector Graphics can be edited and manipulated in Inkscape).

      Setup ONLY lets you enable OpenGL, which is a graphics accelerator. Mine’s working fine right now so I didn’t bother with it.

      Fotowall is a pretty good program for what it does, but it has some problems. It does the collages pretty well, but the Wordclouds confound me as there seem to be several glitches in the program. If I wanted my words arranged a specific way, however, or a different font, I would fall back to Scribus. There are also a few good internet sites you can use to make Wordclouds. The downside to Fotowall is that it apparently hasn’t had much, if anything, done to it since 2017. Hopefully, they will update and improve it soon.

    • How to Mount Windows NTFS Partition in Linux

      This is quite common for Dual Boot users who use Windows and Linux simultaneously for their work. You can easily mount Windows partitions through File Manager.

      When you try to mount the NTFS partition from a terminal, you will encounter an error “The disk contains an unclean file system (0, 0).

    • How To Install GNOME Desktop on Manjaro 20 – idroot

      In this tutorial, we will show you how to install GNOME Desktop on Manjaro 20. For those of you who didn’t know, Gnome 3 is an intuitive desktop environment that utilizes a tablet or smartphone-style interface to access applications. Although Gnome is very easy to learn and use, its customization options are quite limited, and it can be difficult to configure. A 64-bit installation of Manjaro running Gnome uses about 447MB of memory. By default, Manjaro installed it as an Xfce4 desktop environment. Installing GNOME Desktop on the Manjaro system is fairly straightforward. There is no need to reinstall your Manjaro Linux system with Manjaro GNOME Edition if you only wish to change the desktop 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 the GNOME desktop environment on a Manjaro 20 (Nibia).

  • Games

    • DIRT 5 Now Playable Through Proton!

      Great news, racing fans. Just four months after the release of DIRT 5, I can confirm the game works fine using the latest commit of vkd3d-proton.

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • KDE Plasma 5.22 Adds Adaptive Opacity + Will Avoid Useless Rendering When Screen Is Off

        KDE developers have been off to a busy March so far with working on adaptive panel opacity support for Plasma 5.22. Another pleasant improvement with that next Plasma release is to avoid rendering work when the screen is off.

        Some of the KDE improvements for the past week that were noted in Nate Graham’s weekly development summary include:

        - The KDE Plasma desktop now supports an adaptive panel opacity. The panel and panel applets are more transparent and most will agree should make the desktop look better in Plasma 5.22.

      • KDE Plasma 5.22 Will Feature Adaptive Transparency

        The KDE Plasma desktop will have three new opacity settings starting with the upcoming 5.22 release: Adaptive, Opaque and Translucent.

      • KDE Code Formatting

        Short history of the ‘KDELIBS’ coding style

        Once upon a time, in the monolithic KDELIBS world, we had some document describing the KDELIBS coding style.

        Over the years, that evolved a bit and ended up here as Frameworks Coding Style.

        As noted there, it is more or less the same stuff Qt does style wise.

        How was that coding style handled in practice?

        Actually, this styling was really never enforced on a global scale.

        During the “we split KDELIBS up into Frameworks” time, on the initial import, the code was once run through astyle to ensure that coding style was kept.

        But after the initial import, nothing of that sort happened anymore (at least not in some coordinated fashion).

        Beside, for non-Frameworks, such a mandatory style application never happened. Actually, it was never be agreed that this style is mandatory beside for KDELIBS itself, anyways.

        Naturally, individual sub-projects/maintainers started to enforce either the stuff linked above or individual similar styles through different means.

        e.g. in kate.git we noted in the README that we wanted to follow that style. That was it ;=)

    • GNOME Desktop/GTK

      • NEXT STEPS AFTER OUTREACHY

        Getting selected for the Outreachy program and working at the GNOME foundation in particular, has been one of the biggest blessings I’ve received this year. I’ve met soo many kind people, learnt a lot and gained soo much confidence in myself. It has been nothing short of amazing!!

        I’m very glad to talk about my overall experience, the things I’ve learnt and what I plan to do next in my career.

        Let’s dive in !!

      • Nasah Kuma: Wrap Up blog post(from good to great) :)

        I can’t believe three months went by like three days. It’s the last week of my Outreachy internship @GNOME and there is so much to say. For easy readability, this blog post will have five sections fear, growth, accomplishments, future plans and conclusion.

        [...]

        This internship has been an eye opener revealing how much I can do as an individual to improve on the field of software development. GJS is just one of so many projects which needs maintenance and community support. If you are reading this post and wondering if you should contribute to open source, you probably should since it won’t only help the community as a whole but help you improve in particular. To contribute to GJS, follow the guide on this link(https://gitlab.gnome.org/GNOME/gjs/-/blob/master/CONTRIBUTING.md) and checkout the issues. If you are new to open source, it’s best to take issues tagged newcomer. If you feel that’s not such a good place to start, you can always suggest and create your own issues using the issue tracker.

  • Distributions

    • What’s the Best Linux Distro for Enhanced Privacy and Security?

      Obviously there’s strong opinions among Slashdot readers. So share your own thoughts in the comments.

      What’s the best Linux distro for enhanced privacy and security?

    • New Releases

      • SystemRescue 8.00 Released with Linux 5.10 LTS, Xfce 4.16, and Improved exFAT Support

        SystemRescue 8.00 comes about five months after SystemRescue 7.00, which was the first version to ship with the new name instead of SystemRescueCd. The biggest change in this new release is the inclusion of the long-term supported Linux 5.10 LTS kernel series for improved hardware support.

        On top of that, SystemRescue 8.00 upgrades the default Xfce desktop environment used for the live session to the latest Xfce 4.16 release, which ships with numerous new features and improvements.

    • BSD

      • FreeBSD 13.0-RC1 Now Available
        The first RC build of the 13.0-RELEASE release cycle is now available.
        
        Installation images are available for:
        
        o 13.0-RC1 amd64 GENERIC
        o 13.0-RC1 i386 GENERIC
        o 13.0-RC1 powerpc GENERIC
        o 13.0-RC1 powerpc64 GENERIC64
        o 13.0-RC1 powerpc64le GENERIC64LE
        o 13.0-RC1 powerpcspe MPC85XXSPE
        o 13.0-RC1 armv6 RPI-B
        o 13.0-RC1 armv7 GENERICSD
        o 13.0-RC1 aarch64 GENERIC
        o 13.0-RC1 aarch64 RPI
        o 13.0-RC1 aarch64 PINE64
        o 13.0-RC1 aarch64 PINE64-LTS
        o 13.0-RC1 aarch64 PINEBOOK
        o 13.0-RC1 aarch64 ROCK64
        o 13.0-RC1 aarch64 ROCKPRO64
        o 13.0-RC1 riscv64 GENERIC
        o 13.0-RC1 riscv64 GENERICSD
        
        Note regarding arm SD card images: For convenience for those without
        console access to the system, a freebsd user with a password of
        freebsd is available by default for ssh(1) access.  Additionally,
        the root user password is set to root.  It is strongly recommended
        to change the password for both users after gaining access to the
        system.
        
        Installer images and memory stick images are available here:
        
        https://download.freebsd.org/ftp/releases/ISO-IMAGES/13.0/
        
        The image checksums follow at the end of this e-mail.
        
        If you notice problems you can report them through the Bugzilla PR
        system or on the -stable mailing list.
        
        If you would like to use SVN to do a source based update of an existing
        system, use the "releng/13.0" branch.
        
        A summary of changes since 13.0-BETA4 includes:
        
        o An update to handle partial data resending on ktls/sendfile has been
          added.
        
        o A bug fix in iflib.
        
        o A fix to pf(4) for incorrect fragment handling.
        
        o A TCP performance improvement when using TCP_NOOPT has been added.
        
        o Several SCTP fixes and improvements.
        
        o Several other miscellaneous fixes and improvements.
        
        A list of changes since 12.2-RELEASE is available in the releng/13.0
        release notes:
        
        https://www.freebsd.org/releases/13.0R/relnotes.html
        
        Please note, the release notes page is not yet complete, and will be
        updated on an ongoing basis as the 13.0-RELEASE cycle progresses.
        
        === Virtual Machine Disk Images ===
        
        VM disk images are available for the amd64, i386, and aarch64
        architectures.  Disk images may be downloaded from the following URL
        (or any of the FreeBSD download mirrors):
        
        https://download.freebsd.org/ftp/releases/VM-IMAGES/13.0-RC1/
        
        The partition layout is:
        
            ~ 16 kB - freebsd-boot GPT partition type (bootfs GPT label)
            ~ 1 GB  - freebsd-swap GPT partition type (swapfs GPT label)
            ~ 20 GB - freebsd-ufs GPT partition type (rootfs GPT label)
        
        The disk images are available in QCOW2, VHD, VMDK, and raw disk image
        formats.  The image download size is approximately 135 MB and 165 MB
        respectively (amd64/i386), decompressing to a 21 GB sparse image.
        
        Note regarding arm64/aarch64 virtual machine images: a modified QEMU EFI
        loader file is needed for qemu-system-aarch64 to be able to boot the
        virtual machine images.  See this page for more information:
        
        https://wiki.freebsd.org/arm64/QEMU
        
        To boot the VM image, run:
        
            % qemu-system-aarch64 -m 4096M -cpu cortex-a57 -M virt  \
        	-bios QEMU_EFI.fd -serial telnet::4444,server -nographic \
        	-drive if=none,file=VMDISK,id=hd0 \
        	-device virtio-blk-device,drive=hd0 \
        	-device virtio-net-device,netdev=net0 \
        	-netdev user,id=net0
        
        Be sure to replace "VMDISK" with the path to the virtual machine image.
        
        BASIC-CI images can be found at:
        
        https://download.freebsd.org/ftp/releases/CI-IMAGES/13.0-RC1/
        
        === Amazon EC2 AMI Images ===
        
        FreeBSD/amd64 EC2 AMIs are available in the following regions:
        
          af-south-1 region: ami-024a37d8ee55504a9
          eu-north-1 region: ami-0f7e6ef964131a5c5
          ap-south-1 region: ami-0da383cf93cddac9d
          eu-west-3 region: ami-0c2e5eecf725c8480
          eu-west-2 region: ami-07e739abd39787f83
          eu-south-1 region: ami-042c036041ab5c683
          eu-west-1 region: ami-02b72374c39f164f4
          ap-northeast-3 region: ami-06b158bab2dc009b8
          ap-northeast-2 region: ami-0fbcb7db014004a7f
          me-south-1 region: ami-0a5040da848631036
          ap-northeast-1 region: ami-0ea2e5573427aa49c
          sa-east-1 region: ami-0e8ca0e56ecd00395
          ca-central-1 region: ami-08503cd732e74743f
          ap-east-1 region: ami-0fa7c7d12cd5c992f
          ap-southeast-1 region: ami-0adc820ff9c36b582
          ap-southeast-2 region: ami-0f031e3027fe5ed45
          eu-central-1 region: ami-0685d9bbc37652517
          us-east-1 region: ami-0dc102bfa2a63a6c0
          us-east-2 region: ami-0d65407784cf103ac
          us-west-1 region: ami-0d676e4b02aeac56e
          us-west-2 region: ami-0f2f2e90ae8956750
        
        FreeBSD/aarch64 EC2 AMIs are available in the following regions:
        
          af-south-1 region: ami-00bc7809c32164ef7
          eu-north-1 region: ami-079c3b3939e1422f5
          ap-south-1 region: ami-09f83dd115907186c
          eu-west-3 region: ami-0b466ac2ccb1d9a17
          eu-west-2 region: ami-03127626a3b795617
          eu-south-1 region: ami-04b543c7eca712cb2
          eu-west-1 region: ami-04bec8381d23b2d33
          ap-northeast-3 region: ami-08ec822521c26b950
          ap-northeast-2 region: ami-08b8dd381dcc36d65
          me-south-1 region: ami-07253323150004fb7
          ap-northeast-1 region: ami-0979ee58e90456542
          sa-east-1 region: ami-06effcb873d7718ef
          ca-central-1 region: ami-0c5838a8f4369ddb8
          ap-east-1 region: ami-0ee5d390ccfa85ec5
          ap-southeast-1 region: ami-0bda890b388931e8e
          ap-southeast-2 region: ami-069ccae98ade21bc2
          eu-central-1 region: ami-0c06b28ffd66f0a3c
          us-east-1 region: ami-04f0d8aef11064219
          us-east-2 region: ami-022f3e436ebcf74f2
          us-west-1 region: ami-037a2837218ac2a61
          us-west-2 region: ami-0f0a390fdd1ca6fba
        
        === Vagrant Images ===
        
        FreeBSD/amd64 images are available on the Hashicorp Atlas site, and can
        be installed by running:
        
            % vagrant init freebsd/FreeBSD-13.0-RC1
            % vagrant up
        
        === Upgrading ===
        
        The freebsd-update(8) utility supports binary upgrades of amd64 and i386
        systems running earlier FreeBSD releases.  Systems running earlier
        FreeBSD releases can upgrade as follows:
        
        	# freebsd-update upgrade -r 13.0-RC1
        
        During this process, freebsd-update(8) may ask the user to help by
        merging some configuration files or by confirming that the automatically
        performed merging was done correctly.
        
        	# freebsd-update install
        
        The system must be rebooted with the newly installed kernel before
        continuing.
        
        	# shutdown -r now
        
        After rebooting, freebsd-update needs to be run again to install the new
        userland components:
        
        	# freebsd-update install
        
        It is recommended to rebuild and install all applications if possible,
        especially if upgrading from an earlier FreeBSD release, for example,
        FreeBSD 11.x.  Alternatively, the user can install misc/compat11x and
        other compatibility libraries, afterwards the system must be rebooted
        into the new userland:
        
        	# shutdown -r now
        
        Finally, after rebooting, freebsd-update needs to be run again to remove
        stale files:
        
        	# freebsd-update install
        
      • FreeBSD 13.0-RC1 Released With TCP Performance Improvement, Other Fixes

        With plans of formally releasing FreeBSD 13.0 at month’s end, FreeBSD 13.0-RC1 is available this weekend and on-schedule for helping to test and evaluate this forthcoming major BSD operating system update.

        Over the prior betas, FreeBSD 13.0-RC1 has a TCP performance improvement when using TCP_NOOPT, SCTP fixes and improvements, and a variety of other low-level fixes and improvements. But at this stage most of the additions are mundane.

    • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandriva/OpenMandriva Family

      • Two PCLinuxOS Family Members Finally Meet

        I know that the question of meeting other PCLinuxOS users has, again, recently come up in the PCLinuxOS forums. While the middle of a pandemic might not be the best time to meet up with other PCLinuxOS users, it can be the perfect time to start planning a meeting for once this pandemic is in our rearview mirror.

        Meemaw and I, despite having “worked together” on The PCLinuxOS Magazine for many years, have never met face-to-face. We’ve burned up the email wires, and always do. We’ve “talked” extensively on IRC. We’ve texted each other on our cell phones. We’ve even talked to one another on the telephone. We are planning/hoping to get together for a trip to the Kansas City Zoo, just as soon as the weather turns decent. Even though Meemaw grew up in the Kansas City area, she hasn’t been to the Kansas City Zoo in many, many years.

        If you live near another PCLinuxOS user, reach out and try to meet them. PCLinuxOS has always had a close, family kind of feeling to it, especially among PCLinuxOS forum members. So, why not try to meet those other family members? If you do, let us know about it here at The PCLinuxOS Magazine. We might just feature your “getting to know you” escapades in a future issue. And remember … pictures, or it never happened!

      • PCLinuxOS Screenshot Showcase
      • OpenMandriva notable mention in social network

        FediFollows mentioned OpenMandriva in recommended follows of the week.

    • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

      • Fedora Community Blog: Contribute to Fedora Kernel 5.11 Test Week

        The kernel team is working on final integration for kernel 5.11. This version was recently released and will arrive soon in Fedora. As a result, the Fedora kernel and QA teams have organized a test week from Monday, March 08, 2021 through Monday, March 15, 2021. Refer to the wiki page for links to the test images you’ll need to participate. Read below for details.

      • Fedora Community Blog: Test Week: Internationalization (i18n) features for Fedora 34

        All this week, we will be testing internationalization (i18n) features in Fedora 34.

      • Short Topix: 10 Year Old Sudo Security Bug Patched

        As we reported in the January 2021 issue of The PCLinuxOS Magazine, RHEL announced that CentOS was changing directions as of December 31, 2020. CentOS is a favorite for servers across the world, and RHEL’s change of CentOS to CentOS Stream didn’t settle too well with CentOS users.

        In response, one of CentOS’s founding members, Greg Kurtzer, went back to work to create Rocky Linux. The Kurtzer-led replacement for CentOS is on track for a second quarter 2021 release.

        Meanwhile, CloudLinux has also chosen to fork CentOS into a new distribution, named AlmaLinux. It seems that CloudLinux is putting their money where their “mouth” is, by backing the new CentOS replacement with $1 million (US) annually. AlmaLinux currently has beta ISOs available on its website, and is based on the current RHEL 8. CloudLinux has promised to update AlmaLinux as RHEL is updated, just as has been done with CentOS over the years.

        According to an article on TechRepublic, everything on AlmaLinux works pretty much the same as on CentOS, with one exception. Currently, cPanel isn’t yet working on AlmaLinux. This should be remedied in subsequent releases of AlmaLinux, since cPanel currently works on CloudLinux.

        According to the statement on the AlmaLinux website, “we intend to deliver this forever-free Linux distribution in Q1 2021 — initially built by our own expertise, but owned and governed by the community.”

        It will be interesting to see the differences between AlmaLinux and the forthcoming Rocky Linux. As we mentioned in our first article, the whole situation with CentOS is rapidly evolving, and continues to evolve at a brisk pace.

    • Debian Family

      • Debian Code Search: OpenAPI now available

        Debian Code Search now offers an OpenAPI-based API!

        Various developers have created ad-hoc client libraries based on how the web interface works.

        The goal of offering an OpenAPI-based API is to provide developers with automatically generated client libraries for a large number of programming languages, that target a stable interface independent of the web interface’s implementation details.

      • Sparky 2021.03

        Sparky 2021.03 of the (semi-)rolling line is out. It is the first snapshot in 2021 of Sparky which is based on the Debian testing “Bullseye”.

      • SparkyLinux Finally Gets a KDE Plasma Edition, Xfce Flavor Updated to Xfce 4.16

        Based on the Debian Testing repositories as of March 5th, 2021, where the development of the upcoming Debian GNU/Linux 11 “Bullseye” operating system series takes place, the SparkyLinux 2021.03 release ships with Linux kernel 5.10 LTS, the Calamares 3.2.37 installer, and various updated components (see below).

        But what caught my attention is the fact that SparkyLinux now features a KDE Plasma edition! Until now, SparkyLinux shipped with the Xfce, LXQt, MATE, Openbox (MinimalGUI), and MinimalCLI (text-mode) editions.

    • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

      • Hirsute Yaru Call for Testing

        Ubuntu Hirsute – the development release which will become 21.04 enters User Interface Freeze on March 18th! That’s less than a fortnight away!

        [...]

        At this point you should start poking around the system. Especially focus on the default system user interfaces, dialogs and experience. Use it as you would any normal install too. Try the default applications, and install your favourite additional ones too.

  • Devices/Embedded

  • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

    • oneAPI Level Zero 1.2.3 Released For Intel’s Low-Level Interface

      With oneAPI Level Zero 1.2.3 they now support the Level Zero 1.1 specification, which is just a minor update over last year’s official Level Zero 1.0 specification. The original oneAPI Level Zero specification was tentatively published back at the end of 2019 as Intel’s direct-to-metal interfaces with a focus on offload accelerators. This is not to be confused with the oneAPI specification itself, which is working towards its v1.1 release later this calendar year, but is solely about the “Level Zero” specification. Yes, the oneAPI versioning scheme has become rather convoluted across its many different software components and specifications.

      [...]

      The new release does require an updated Intel Compute Runtime stack for hardware support. On that front yesterday marked the Intel Compute Runtime 21.09.19150 release that updates the Intel Graphics Compiler as its only listed change. The Intel Compute Runtime continues to list its Level Zero support as 1.0 in a pre-release stage, while also enjoying OpenCL 3.0 production support)

    • Five good reasons to try NextCloud in 2021

      I said so because I thought, and still think, that NextCloud is the most promising self-hosted, Free/Open Source alternative for the services that companies like Dropbox, Google, Facebook or Skype provide in exchange for users’ data, privacy and more.

      There were already plenty of good reasons to use NextCloud for those services in 2019, and there are many, many more in 2021. But don’t take my word for it. In case you missed NextCloud so far, here are X reasons to try NextCloud now, both personally, and for your company.

  • Leftovers

    • Opinion | Prince Redux: The Family’s Imprint Is Still Being Felt

      It’s hard not to marvel at their staying power.

    • Elegy

      Sundays, my brother returns as a trapezoid of light inching across the fading rug, showing me again that windows need cleaning. He returns each time a breeze brings the unpleasantness of rabbits in a half-shingled hutch, their timid ears pinned in place. Once, hiking through scrub oak, he pulled at a stalk of stubborn cheatgrass which sliced his palm open and his fist dripped blood all the way home. I ask if he remembers that or the forts we built of bedsheets. We secured each corner with volumes on the spider, the mummy, the solar system, and then used box fans for roof raising. How long was it, I ask, before the wind was too much? When did we grow bored? I sometimes forget that my brother’s bones are now ash and the rest of him a cloud. The fact is, my only memory of learning to read is pretending I couldn’t so he would do it for me. A book of illustrated Bible stories more often than not, its spine broken, pages missing, each figure on each page nothing more than hazy pastel. I ask if he remembers that book, if he knows where it is. He says, How should I know? I’m not even here.

    • Education

      • Weak Internet Faced by 31% of Philippine Home Schoolers: Poll

        Close to a third of families in the Philippines whose members take school classes online have poor internet connections, according to a Social Weather Stations survey.

        The poll of 1,500 adults conducted nationwide in November found that 31% of families with online distance learners have weak connections. A combined 68% said they have either strong or fair connections, and most of them are on the main Luzon island where the capital region is, pollster SWS said.

      • How a Single Anonymous Twitter Account Caused an ‘Indigenized’ Canadian University to Unravel

        But those PR dividends come at a cost: Insofar as Indigenization now signifies a system process of compulsory ideological programming among academics, it has led to dissonance in the way universities define themselves. Traditionally, scholars have been free to defy their own administrations in all sorts of ways—from their opposition to campus military recruiters during the Vietnam era, to divestment campaigns targeting oil in the 1990s, to the lengthy anti-racism strikes at Haverford College and Bryn Mawr in late 2020 (during which many teachers filled “teach-in” seminars with fiery denunciations of their own deans). But when it comes to Indigenization, Canadian universities have made it clear that there are to be no conscientious objectors. The result is that, as the following case study shows, even tiny, symbolic acts of ideological resistance can spark wholesale institutional dysfunction.

    • Health/Nutrition

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • AI Blackbox: What’s under the hood?

          To better understand the layers of the AI stack, one must understand the complexities of these ‘products’ or ‘complex ecosystems’ that it supports. Kumar elaborates on the concept as follows – These ecosystems consist of billions of entities (customers, assets, facilities), trillions of interactions (Transactions, Social network, content, etc.), millions of decisions (pricing, scheduling, logistics, etc.) that factor in the growth and existence of these ecosystems.

          Such a complex body needs a well-structured AI/API that smoothens the workings of these systems. The AI stack, as explained by Dr. Kumar, consists of eight layers. Starting with Layer 0 – Digitization, which is not really a part of the AI stack but it is equally necessary as it involves the conversion of raw data (printed material) into digital form, which is an essential part of using, and even starting, an AI stack.

        • Security

          • Move over, SolarWinds: 30,000 orgs’ email [cracked] via Microsoft Exchange Server flaws

            Four exploits found in Microsoft’s Exchange Server software have reportedly led to over 30,000 US governmental and commercial organizations having their emails [cracked], according to a report by KrebsOnSecurity. Wired is also reporting “tens of thousands of email servers” [cracked]. The exploits have been patched by Microsoft, but security experts talking to Krebs say that the detection and cleanup process will be a massive effort for the thousands of state and city governments, fire and police departments, school districts, financial institutions, and other organizations that were affected.

          • Microsoft [crack]: White House warns of ‘active threat’ of email attack

            Microsoft executive Tom Burt revealed the breach in a blog post on Tuesday and announced updates to counter security flaws which he said had allowed [attackers] to gain access to Microsoft Exchange servers.

          • More than 20,000 U.S. organizations compromised through Microsoft flaw: source [iophk: Windows TCO]

            Because installing the patch does not get rid of the back doors, U.S. officials are racing to figure out how to notify all the victims and guide them in their hunt.

            All of those affected appear to run Web versions of email client Outlook and host them on their own machines, instead of relying on cloud providers. That may have spared many of the biggest companies and federal government agencies, the records suggest.

            The federal Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency did not respond to a request for comment.

          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • Humanoid facial recognition arrives at German police

              When pursuing suspected criminals, some state police forces use a special ability of individual officers. Deployments often take place in major events

            • Email spies you

              During a survey, two-thirds of the emails left after filtering spam out contained a “spy pixel”, even after excluding for spam.

              Spy pixels are a common marketing tactic used by “many of the largest brands used email pixels, with the exception of the “Big Tech” firms”. Which is obvious, because those firms, especially Google and Facebook, have too many better ways to spy their users to need spy pixel.

            • The End Of The EU-US Privacy Shield: A Great Challenge for Businesses

              Back in the late 80′s, Europeans started to concern themselves with how their personal data was being stored and processed. As a consequence, came the Safe Harbor decision in 2000, establishing privacy principles on EU-US personal data transfers for commercial purposes. Nevertheless, the Amendments Act of 2008 to the US Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), adding the controversial Section 702 empowering NSA’s PRISM program and exposed by Edward Snowden, resulted in an increasing distrust from the European side, resulting in its invalidation by the CJEU in 2015. Politicians and businesses tried to save the agreement with a slightly improved and patched version — the Privacy Shield –, in 2016. However, the CJEU didn’t swallow it and nullified the agreement. So, what to do now?

              Things don’t look very shiny for the American counterpart. As there was no period of grace in the court decision, at this time you or your contractor should already have implemented (or is implementing) the measures determined by the Court, with the risk of being fined by some European data protection agency. Some recent examples show that they are not taking it easy: on October 2020, H&M’s Service Center in Hamburg had a 35.3 million Euro fine for the unlawful monitoring of several hundred of its employees by its management, and Twitter was fined on more than US$ 500,000 on December 2020 by Ireland’s Data Protection Commission for having failed to notify a data breach on time and to adequately document the breach.

              Now you may be thinking, “I am in the US, so I am not under the jurisdiction of this European court, they have nothing to say about the way I run my business”. This is true, at least in part, because the European Union changed its approach toward the definition of personal data. With its growing importance as an asset to both companies and governments, the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), that entered into force in 2018, started to consider data as a highly valuable good, and as so, subject to certain export rules, as any other good. Therefore, when your company processes or stores personal data in the US, you are importing this good named “personal data” from the EU and executing the tasks your business partner asked you.

            • Don’t Breed Crows: How Big Techs Started Out As US Government Projects, And Today They Threaten Democracy

              There is an old Spanish saying that goes like this: “don’t breed Crows, they’ll sting your eyes,” and this saying fits perfectly with the class of American tech companies, the so-called Big Techs.

              Yes, with a few exceptions, most Big Techs were born as projects of the US government, US Army, CIA or NSA. Or, they are entwined with the American government, in one way or another.

              I stress that everything that has been written in this text is not secret. It is available on several websites on the internet, and, there is nothing new here. Just search, and anyone will find this information.

              [...]

              Microsoft The company that was born in 1975 in Albuquerque, New Mexico, as a creator of BASIC interpreters for microcomputers, and then, through a series of misadventures, became the largest software company in existence, also has very deep ties to intelligence agencies.

              Microsoft has been working closely with U.S. intelligence services to allow users’ communications to be intercepted, including helping the National Security Agency circumvent the company’s own encryption, according to top-secret documents obtained and leaked by Edward Snowden in 2013. These documents show the complicity of several technology companies, in the so-called Prism project.

              [...]

              Now, I invite you to think a little. I’ve known Microsoft for many years, and this company amasses more flops than hits. Indeed, Microsoft, were it any other company, would have been bankrupt and closed for many years now. But no. It looks like they have a cash printer in Redmond, or does the American government not let the company break, to not lose its source of backdoors ? Something to think about.

              Other than these companies, In-Q-Tel invests in other, little-known companies ranging from video games and virtual reality, to big data and data capture from social networks.

    • Defence/Aggression

      • Cancel the US Military

        “Cancel culture” is a common, almost viral, term in political and social discourse these days. Basically, somebody expresses views considered to be outrageous or vile or racist or otherwise insensitive and inappropriate. In response, that person is “canceled,” perhaps losing a job or being otherwise sidelined and silenced. In being deplatformed by Twitter, Facebook, and other social media sites, for instance, this country’s previous president has, it could be argued, been canceled—at least by polite society. More than a few might add, good riddance.

      • F.B.I. Finds Contact Between Proud Boys Member and Trump Associate Before Riot

        Location, cellular and call record data revealed a call tying a Proud Boys member to the Trump White House, the official said. The F.B.I. has not determined what they discussed, and the official would not reveal the names of either party.

        The connection revealed by the communications data comes as the F.B.I. intensifies its investigation of contacts among far-right extremists, Trump White House associates and conservative members of Congress in the days before the attack.

      • FBI Uncovers Contact Between Trump White House and Proud Boys Before Capitol Attack

        Klein, the first known Trump official to be arrested for crimes related to the insurrection, was charged with several felonies and was allegedly spotted in a video recording assaulting an officer with a riot shield. According to the Washington Post, the FBI said Klein “had a top-secret security clearance that was renewed in 2019” and “was still employed at the State Department as a staff assistant on Jan. 6.”

      • Somalia Fears New US Airstrike Guidance Is Benefiting al-Shabab

        Intelligence gathered by U.N. member states, and included in a report last month, raised further concerns about al-Shabab’s ability to attack in major towns and along key transportation corridors.

        The report also noted what it said was a “remarkable increase in al-Shabab propaganda and in the group’s online presence to enhance recruitment and radicalization.”

      • Starvation and Ethnic Cleansing Stalk Ethiopia

        A recent article in the Spectator about Tigray drew comparisons with Rwanda. When I reported in 2018 on social media users stoking ethnic violence in Ethiopia, I suggested that social media was playing a similar role to the Radio Télévision Libre des Mille Collines broadcasts that spread much of the toxic hatred and disinformation that fuelled Rwanda’s 1994 genocide. At the time, I wavered about making the comparison to one of the international community’s most terrible and avoidable failures for fear of being alarmist. The worsening situation in Tigray is not yet on the scale of Rwanda. But just where and when should you draw the line?

    • Environment

      • Energy

        • Electric cars would save the world. If only…

          So where’s the power going to come from? In the US, and probably many other places too, Electric Vehicles (EVs) are already greener than cars running on gasoline even with our current electricity grid. But mass adoption only makes sense as part of a do-over of the entire energy system, so the question of what will power all these plug-ins is valid.

          [...]

          Electric cars are great. We should really talk electric, not driverless cars, because they can be extremely durable, and change forever how cars are designed. But no matter how we make cars, they cannot be anymore a mean of mass transportation, that is something doable in volumes big enough for masses.

    • Finance

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • Opinion | A Fragile Democracy

        In short, the former president’s behavior was criminal.

      • Rupert Murdoch prepares to hand over his media empire

        Fox News, where Fox made about 80% of its money last year, has problems of a different sort. Its close relationship with Donald Trump’s White House generated record ratings, but alienated advertisers and some investors. “Any company you hold, you want to see behave ethically,” says one large shareholder. Fox is “in that grey area right now. It’s defensible, but it’s far less defensible than it was.” Smartmatic, an election-software company, is suing the company for $2.7bn for airing ludicrous claims that it rigged the presidential election. (Fox says it will fight the “meritless” lawsuit.) That sum would exceed the phone-[cracking] payouts.

      • Pope Francis visits regions of Iraq once held by Islamic State

        There are fears the ritual could become a coronavirus super-spreader event.

        Iraq has seen a sharp rise in Covid-19 infections over the past month, and along with security fears over the pontiff’s visit, it is one of his riskiest trips yet.

      • Advocates warn restrictive voting bills could end Georgia’s record turnout

        Georgia voting rights advocates are worried Republicans are clawing back hard-won progress made in the state after it saw record turnout among voters in November’s general election and the Senate runoffs earlier this year.

        A new batch of bills making their way through Georgia’s legislature are raising red flags among voting rights groups who say the state might not have seen the record turnout it did in the recent races if the bills were in place.

      • NYT David Brooks’s Project Funded By Facebook And Bezos’s Dad

        The New York Times columnist has been using his perch to promote the Weave Project — without disclosing his potential conflicts of interest to his readers.

      • Venezuela to introduce 1-million-bolivar bill
    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • Biden’s Plan to End Long-Term Migrant Detention Does Not End Family Detention
      • Amazon Is Paying Consultants Nearly $10,000 a Day to Obstruct Union Drive
      • Abolish Guardianship, Preserve the Rights of Disabled People, and Free Britney

        Guardianship only makes the news when something goes terribly wrong. Take Rebecca Fierle-Santoian: Acting as a professional guardian, she placed a do-not-resuscitate order on an elderly man who said that he wanted to live. He died. Fierle-Santoian served as the guardian for some 450 people, and it was later discovered that many of them were placed under DNRs or denied life-sustaining medical care without their input or permission or that of family members or the courts. The Argument is a column where writers and thinkers propose a provocative idea that may not be politically realizable in the short term but that pushes one to think broader about a pressing issue of public importance.

      • Amazon Union Vote Hit By Conspiracy Theories, False Bezos Sighting

        The post-truth age has landed with a thud in Bessemer, where Amazon employees are deciding if they want union representation amid a cascade of conflicting claims, conspiracy theories and fake news. The contest between the world’s largest e-commerce company and the Retail Wholesale and Department Store Union is one of the most consequential in a generation, and a union victory could upend Amazon’s U.S. operations.

      • Facebook facing probe into ‘systemic’ racial bias in hiring: report

        A federal agency charged with defending civil rights in the workplace is investigating allegations of racial bias in hiring at Facebook and has reportedly given the probe a rare designation of “systemic.”

      • Exclusive: U.S. agency probes Facebook for ‘systemic’ racial bias in hiring, promotions

        Facebook operations program manager Oscar Veneszee Jr. and two applicants denied jobs brought a charge last July to the EEOC, and a third rejected applicant joined the case in December. They have alleged Facebook discriminates against Black candidates and employees by relying on subjective evaluations and promoting problematic racial stereotypes.

        The designation of the EEOC’s probe has not been previously reported.

      • Teen raped, asked to marry the accused when she turns 18

        Now you may see the above headlines and feel it is ridiculous, but the fact is that these orders were put or given by Madras High Court couple of months back. This was then reported by both Livelaw and BarandBench respectively. Now to be truthful, this news didn’t make much noise as it should have, probably as I had shared previously that the Govt. wants to lower the marriageable age to 15 or even less. And this is despite all the medical evidence on the contrary, because it assuages this Govt’s “masculinity.”

        Although, as shared this news was overtaken by other news and would have remained so, if not one of the leaders of the present Govt. , a Ramesh Jarkiholi, who hails from Belagavi region of north Karnataka was caught in a sex CD scandal basically asking sexual favors for a permanent Govt. job. He had made statements after the Madras High Court case applauding the judgement given by the judge. While, due to public pressure he had to resign, but not before stating that he had everybody ‘blue films’ including the Chief Minister of the State. And sad to report that six Karnataka Ministers rushed today or rather yesterday to put a petition in the civil court to restrain media from airing/printing/publishing any defamatory content against them. The court has granted a media gag against 68 media houses for the same. Sadly, the recent happening only reinforce what has been happening in Karnataka since a decade.

        Seems different laws apply to politicians vis-a-vis others. A recent example of Rhea Chakravarthy, an actress and girlfriend of Sushant Singh who was hounded in his suicide case and many accusations made on TV but no evidence till date. From what we know as facts, Sushant committed suicide as he was not getting work due to cronyism in bollywood. In fact, those who were behind it have white-washed themselves, deleted their tweets etc. and while the public knows, no accountability on them.

      • Even the blockchain can be imperialist

        The simplest possible definition of blockchain could be that it is a technology to create distributed public databases, not controlled by any single entity, and can record data of whatever kind in ways that make it impossible to alter it, once they have been inserted in the blockchain itself.

        The blockchain suffers the same problems of almost any other “new” digital technology from the Internet of Things to 5G networks or driverless cars: too many blockchain applications, or “disruption”, are overhyped solution in search of a problem, as exemplified by this popular internet meme…

    • Monopolies

      • [Guest Post] Appeals to the Appointed Person in the UK – the unappealing truth (part 3)

        A further 19 decisions have issued since the second article in this series and the success rate remains consistently low, with just two successful decisions in the period of September 2020 to December 2020 – this gives a total of eight successful appeals in 2020, out of 61 substantive decisions.

        The most recent set of decisions includes the first decision from the newest Appointed Person, Dr Brian Whitehead, but that decision related to an application for security for costs rather than a substantive decision.

        [...]

        SWIFT arrange money transfers between countries. In her decision O/524/20, Appointed Person Amanda Michaels initially dealt with a number of areas where SWIFT’s appeal amounted to no more than an attempt to reargue the Hearing Officer’s decision. However, SWIFT picked up on an inconsistency in the Hearing Officer’s assessment as to the impact of the substantial use which had been made of SWIFT’s mark. In relation to reputation for the purpose of s5(3) the Hearing Officer referred to a strong reputation but, in relation to the inherent distinctiveness of the marks, she indicated that distinctiveness was only enhanced to a medium or slightly higher than medium level. Also in relation to the assessment of the likelihood of confusion, the Hearing Officer made a detailed assessment of Swiffpay’s marks and the similarity to the earlier marks of SWIFT, but was extremely brief in her reasoning explain her global assessment of the likelihood of confusion. As the global assessment did not sit squarely with the detailed reasoning it was not possible for the Appointed Person to be certain that the Hearing Officer had properly accounted for all her findings. In combination with the discrepancy regarding reputation, the insufficient reasoning in relation to the global assessment was sufficient to overcome the high barrier relating to appeals on multifactorial issues such as the likelihood of confusion. The decision was remitted back for decision by another Hearing Officer.

      • Patents

        • Two Patents were fulfilled last week as the Mac Pro Tower and Beats Headphones Packaging Systems came to light
        • Software Patents

          • H.264 vs H.265: The Evolution Of Video Codecs [Ed: A big pool of patent trap with corresponding patent pools and legal landmines]

            Released in 2013, H.265 expands CTU capabilities from a 16×16 block of pixels, up to a CTU of 64×64, and an assortment of other enhancements that affect performance and file size. H.265 is also known as High Efficiency Video Coding. The open source version of the H.265 codec is also known as x265.

            Here’s the REAL upside to H.265: smaller file sizes. When a video is encoded with H.265 versus H.264, the H.265 video, when encoded at the same resolution as the H.264 video, will be 40 to 50 percent smaller in file size. So, users can expect clearer images compressed into a smaller space than ever before. In my own experiences, H.265 encoded video files were around 40 percent smaller than their H.264 encoded counterparts. Encoding was done on the same machine, under similar loads, at the same resolution.

            So, if there’s an upside, there’s always a downside. That downside is, due to the complexity of the video compression algorithm, encoding is much slower with H.265 than H.264. In my own tests, H.265 video took at least two to three times more time to encode than the same video encoded with H.264. Using Handbrake (available in the PCLinuxOS repository), converting a 93 minute *.webm encoded video to H.264 encoded *.mp4 video took roughly two hours to complete its encoding. Just changing the encoder to using H.265 (and leaving all the other settings the same as the H.264 encoding), that same 93 minute video took over five hours to encode in a H.265 encoded *.mp4 file.

            As far as the decoding part (which is what happens when you watch the playback of a compressed video), that appeared to be seamless and fully transparent to the end user … which is what you want. The non-technical consumer of video really doesn’t care about the encoding side of things. They are pleased to just be able to watch high quality video playback.

            H.265 appears to be the encoder d’jour, now represented by up to 40 percent of Blu Ray discs using the encoder to compress video. It offers disc makers and content creators a choice of either having smaller file sizes at the same resolution, enabling them to offer even more “extra” content on discs, or offering even higher resolution video than previously available in the same amount of space used by H.264 encoded video.

            The newer video compression standard supports up to 8K UHD video, and is the second most widely used video coding format, right after H.264/AVC.

            On a side note, this month’s Tip Top Tips column, featuring a tip from Archie, centers around converting video to H.265 using VLC. As with all tips, your mileage may vary, and mine did when attempting to do the conversion with VLC. My copy of VLC would crash whenever attempting to use it to convert any video to the H.265 encoder. Nearly all of my “experience” using the H.265 encoder has been with using Handbrake as the program that handles the re-encoding/transcoding. Using Handbrake, I’ve never experienced any problems, aside from my own impatience, brought on by the much slower encoding of H.265 video. In the end, I’m always pleased by the high quality video resolution of H.265 encoded videos and the significantly smaller file sizes.

      • Copyrights

        • Movie Pirates Don’t Mind Waiting For HD Quality Releases

          New data shared by piracy tracking company MUSO shows that most torrenting movie pirates prefer HD quality releases, even if they have to wait for months. The finding doesn’t come as a surprise. It means that piracy volumes tend to be relatively low when there are only CAM releases available, but not necessarily that longer release windows result in less piracy overall.

        • Search Engines Won’t Face Monopoly Investigation Over Pirated Content

          Pirated eBooks and similar content will remain in search results after Russia’s Federal Antimonopoly Service declined to take action following a complaint from an anti-piracy group. According to FAS, Yandex and Mail.ru did not abuse their dominant positions by denying access to takedown tools because unfair competition can only take place when the parties operate in the same market.

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    Links for the day



  15. Time to Move to Gemini, Wherever/Whenever Possible, as the World Wide Web is a Burden on Everybody

    A 30-minute rant about what the Web has become and the promise of gemini:// (designed to simplify everything, enable self-hosting, preserve privacy, and empower communities rather than military-connected monopolies)



  16. The Number of Signatures in the Anti-FSF Petition is Decreasing, Not Increasing

    A reader has notified Techrights that belatedly, perhaps where people’s job is at risk (we’ve heard of stories and situations wherein the employer’s view and a worker’s view diverge), the GNOME Foundation/OSI did in fact remove some people from the hate letter they had set up for their monopolistic sponsors. We do, however, still see some names in there of people who asked to be removed, so it must be a very selective process. They don’t want to lose face, so they must have made it very difficult to revoke one’s name. Exceptional circumstances? We have checked to confirm, based on the available archives, and indeed that number decreased since 10 days ago, whereas 6,415 people have thus far signed the support letter (it's still growing), so we’ve just re-plotted the chart.



  17. IRC Proceedings: Sunday, April 18, 2021

    IRC logs for Sunday, April 18, 2021



  18. How Many People Developed GNU (Maybe Hundreds) in the 1980s

    Dr. Richard Stallman, the Free Software Foundation's founder, explains how code was managed and contributed in the early days of GNU



  19. Links 19/4/2021: Linux 5.12 RC8, GNU Poke 1.2, EndeavourOS 2021.04

    Links for the day



  20. Proprietary Software (BT Hub) Has Ruined My Whole Day

    While we did have some plans to publish long articles, those plans were curtailed or at least delayed due to the fact our sole device at home not to be controlled by us (a so-called 'Smart' Hub from BT) decided to break itself and by doing so bring productivity to a standstill (that firmware update, silently installed without notice or any form of consent, managed to screw with the local network)



  21. IRC Proceedings: Saturday, April 17, 2021

    IRC logs for Saturday, April 17, 2021



  22. Tolerating the Intolerant and Lacking Tolerance for Opposing Views

    The person who shouted...



  23. Letter of Support for Richard Stallman - Doing Better in Community

    "How do you support someone you’ve known for years who is unfairly attacked and publicly maligned?"



  24. Richard Stallman on Rejecting Workplace Bureaucracy in the 1970s

    Dr. Richard Stallman, the Free Software Foundation's founder, explains what inspired him to get involved in non-software matters



  25. Renata Avila: Trying to Understand the Lynching of Stallman

    Reproduced from the original



  26. Breaking News: EDPS Admits That It is Powerless to Investigate Claims of GDPR Non-compliance at the EPO

    Nobody is truly in charge at the EDPS (and in Europe at large); they say EPO is "company" and all one can do is kindly ask the EPO itself to obey the law and stop outsourcing European data to American military contractors



  27. Links 17/4/2021: Linux 5.13 in Sight, Holland Warming up to Free Software

    Links for the day



  28. Richard Stallman Vilified by Those Who Don't Know Him, Says Sylvia Paull

    Republished "In Support of Richard Stallman"



  29. [Meme] Linux Foundation Can't Use Linux

    Two examples from yesterday, highlighting what a bunch of hypocrites run the marketing operation now disguised as ‘research’; Jason Perlow from Microsoft signed/published this newsletter highlight from the failing “Linux” Foundation — a foundation that calls itself “Linux” while its newsletter is still hosted by Microsoft Windows+proprietary IIS and this latest report is made with proprietary software on a Mac



  30. [Meme] Haters Gonna Hate, Don't Apologise to a Libelling Mob

    As was already pointed out before, you cannot appease a mob by talking back to it, certainly not by issuing an apology (putting oneself in a position of weakness)


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