04.05.21

Links 5/4/2021: Liberating Games, Rust Spies or Violates Privacy

Posted in News Roundup at 7:40 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Kernel Space

      • The Linux Kernel Continues Crafting A WWAN Subsystem

        Linaro continues leading the effort on a Wireless WAN (WWAN) subsystem/framework for the Linux kernel.

        [...]

        This Linux WWAN code is being led by Linaro’s Loic Poulain and today marks its latest spin up on the kernel mailing list. Besides working on the generic subsystem itself, driving this along and initial “user” is a Qualcomm MHI WWAN control driver for their PCI Express modems. This new Qualcomm open-source WWAN modem driver in turn will expose different modem control protocols/ports to user-space. Among the protocols exposed to user-space with the driver are AT, MBIM, QMI, QCOM, and FIREHOSE.

      • Graphics Stack

        • Mesa 21.1 RADV Adds Another Performance Knob For RDNA2 Testing

          For those that managed to get their hands on Radeon RX 6000 series hardware and are habitual Mesa Git users, the newest Mesa 21.1-devel code for RADV has a new knob for performance testing.

          The newest RADV feature to land for Mesa 21.1 is delta color compression (DCC) support for storage images. This functionality was already in place for GFX10 (see this 2019 article when the Navi DCC for storage images code was first added) while now has been extended to cover GFX10.3 (Navi 2x) graphics processors too.

    • Benchmarks

      • The Current State Of The Intel “Crocus” Gallium3D Driver

        The Intel “Crocus” Gallium3D driver in development for supporting old Intel i965 IGPs through Haswell continues making progress by the upstream, open-source Mesa3D community for hopefully one day replacing Intel’s classic “i965″ Mesa driver.

        Particularly with Mesa likely to drop the classic drivers from mainline, Crocus has added importance for those with Haswell and older Intel graphics wanting to continue to use the latest mainline Mesa driver code. Being a Gallium3D driver, Crocus has the possibility of offering better performance as well for slightly squeezing a bit more out of that old Intel hardware should you still be relying upon it.

    • Applications

      • 10 Best To Do List Apps for Linux Desktop [2021]

        ToDo lists are arguably the most developed applications after calculator-type apps because their feature lists are pretty much set in stone and that makes them relatively easier to create compared to more complex applications e.g. graph plotting apps.

        Be that as it may, not all to-do list applications are created equal and they don’t all have the same rich set of features. Some are designed to strictly enable users to organize themselves by keeping track of tasks they wish to complete while others have the ability to do more than just create lists and set reminders.

        In today’s article, we are happy to present to you a list of the best to-do list applications available for Linux desktops in 2021. These apps are designed to make your work easier by encouraging your focus and getting even the most difficult jobs done.

      • Glaucus Linux α = musl-c-library toybox-utilities init=finit

        Virtualbox has its own converting utility. The image constitutes of a whole drive and a single linux partition, so don’t even try burning the .img into a single partition. It also has a minimal bootloader embeded in it, so make sure it is the first drive in a series or /dev/sda in linux, or it will not boot. If it is mounted to another system it can be edited, and so can its bootloading configuration, so feel free to experiment.

        The utilities to build software in it are not complete yet, so this is more like a demo, don’t plan to make it a work system or a server of some sort. But whatever is done already seems like it has careful attention to detail and seems 100%. So this is very promising compared to projects that seem to be published a bit sloppy, like our beloved mere linux that has incompatible libraries in it. Mere-linux by the way has been recently gotten some attention from its creator and is moving a step or two.

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • Getting Started with VirtualBox in Linux – Part 1

        LinuxShellTips is happy to present a series on oracle VirtualBox, the most popular open-source (GPL V2) cross-platform hosted hypervisor in the market that supports X86, AMD/Intel virtualization.

        In this series, we will show all the core features of Virtualbox and at the end of the series, you will be comfortable in using Virtualbox.

      • 7 Git tips for managing your home directory

        I have several computers. I’ve got a laptop at work, a workstation at home, a Raspberry Pi (or four), a Pocket CHIP, a Chromebook running various forms of Linux, and so on. I used to set up my user environment on each computer by more or less following the same steps, and I often told myself that I enjoyed that each one was slightly unique. For instance, I use Bash aliases more often at work than at home, and the helper scripts I use at home might not be useful at work.

        Over the years, my expectations across devices began to merge, and I’d forget that a feature I’d built up on my home machine wasn’t ported over to my work machine, and so on. I needed a way to standardize my customized toolkit. The answer, to my surprise, was Git.

        Git is version-tracker software. It’s famously used by the biggest and smallest open source projects and even by the largest proprietary software companies. But it was designed for source code—not a home directory filled with music and video files, games, photos, and so on. I’d heard of people managing their home directory with Git, but I assumed that it was a fringe experiment done by coders, not real-life users like me.

        Managing my home directory with Git has been an evolving process. I’ve learned and adapted along the way. Here are the things you might want to keep in mind should you decide to manage your home directory with Git.

      • How to Log Out a User Off SSH in Linux

        If you are logged into a remote Linux system via SSH, you just need to use the exit command to log out of SSH.

        exit
        That’s fine. But what if you want to log out some other user from the SSH connection?

        In this quick tip, I’ll show you how you can kick any user off the system.

      • 5 obscure but useful Linux commands for sysadmins | Enable Sysadmin

        A lighthearted look at five commands that just might help you today.

      • How To Install Zig Programming Language on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS – idroot

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to install Zig Programming Language on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS. For those of you who didn’t know, Zig is a general-purpose programming language and toolchain for maintaining robust, optimal, and reusable software. The Zig programming language is developed by the Zig Software Foundation, which is a non-profit corporation founded in 2020 by Andrew Kelley.

        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 Zig Programming Language on Ubuntu 20.04 (Focal Fossa). You can follow the same instructions for Ubuntu 18.04, 16.04, and any other Debian-based distribution like Linux Mint.

      • everything GNU Linux – Debian 10 64Bit – the universal operating system on Core2Duo (64Bit) from 2007 on P4M900T-M2
    • Games

      • The complete guide for open sourcing video games

        Video games are an interesting class of software. Unlike most software, they are a creative endeavour, rather than a practical utility. Where most software calls for new features to address practical needs of their users, video games call for new features to serve the creative vision of their makers. Similarly, matters like refactoring and paying down tech debt are often heavily de-prioritized in favor of shipping something ASAP. Many of the collaborative benefits of open source are less applicable to video games. It is perhaps for these reasons that there are very few commercial open source games.

        However, there are some examples of such games, and they have had a great deal of influence on gaming. Id is famous for this, having released the source code for several versions of DOOM. The Quake engine was also released under the GPL, and went on to be highly influential, serving as the basis for dozens of games, including time-honored favorites such as the Half Life series. Large swaths of the gaming canon were made possible thanks to the generous contributions of open source game publishers.

        Publishing open source games is also a matter of historical preservation. Proprietary games tend to atrophy. Long after their heyday, with suitable platforms scarce and physical copies difficult to obtain, many games die a slow and quiet death, forgotten to the annals of time. Some games have overcome this by releasing their source code, making it easier for fans to port the game to new platforms and keep it alive.

        What will your game’s legacy be? Will it be forgotten entirely, unable to run on contemporary platforms? Will it be source-available, occasionally useful to the devoted player, but with little reach beyond? Perhaps it goes the way of DOOM, living forever in ports to hundreds of devices and operating systems. Maybe it goes the way of Quake, its soul forever a part of the beloved classics of the future. If you keep the source code closed, the only conclusion is the first: enjoyed once, now forgotten.

        With this in mind, how do you go about securing your game’s legacy?

        [...]

        Prepare an archive of your source code, and add the license file. If you went with the source-available approach, simply write “Copyright © . All rights reserved.” into a text file named LICENSE. If you chose something else, copy the license text into a LICENSE file.

        If you want this over with quickly, just stick the code and license into a zip file or a tarball and drop it on your website. A better approach, if you have the patience, would be to publish it as a git repository. If you already use version control, you may want to consider carefully if you want to publish your full version control history — the answer might be “yes”, but if you’re unsure, the answer is probably “no”. Just make a copy of the code, delete the .git directory, and import it into a new repository if you need to.

        Double check that you aren’t checking in any artifacts — assets, executables, libraries, etc — and then push it to the hosting service of your choice. GitHub is a popular choice, but I would selfishly recommend sourcehut as well. If you have time, write a little README file which gives an introduction to the project as well.

      • Warzone 2100 4.0 is officially out now with the Vulkan renderer | GamingOnLinux

        A big day for the free and open source Warzone 2100 as the team have officially released Warzone 2100 4.0, which brings in some modern enhancements to their rendering including Vulkan API support.

        Not much is different to the previous articles covering the pre-release Beta versions, although a number of bug fixes have been coded in since we last covered in. For people holding off on playing again until it’s considered stable – now is the best time to enjoy a classic RTS. With new rendering hooked up you can switch between different options in the video menu. You can stick to OpenGL or switch to Vulkan now for even better performance in a number of cases. It also bumps up to OpenGL ES 3.0 / 2.0 but the previous OpenGL 3.0+ Core Profile (default) and OpenGL 2.1 Compatibility Profile is still there.

      • GodotCon returns online for Godot Engine in July, submit your talk now | GamingOnLinux

        Interested in game development, open source and Godot Engine? GodotCon is planned to return in July. Announced in a fresh blog post, it will bring in a bunch of pre-recorded talks with optional Q&A for the speakers.

      • The Darkside Detective (plus the sequel) are getting a special Collectors USB Cassette | GamingOnLinux

        Here’s a chance to get some cool swag with The Darkside Detective teaming up with Huey Games to bring a special Collectors USB Cassette Double-Pack of both games.

        Another cool item to stick up on your shelving units, to show off to all your friends right? Never to be touched, just to be seen? Something like that. Anyway, it’s cool nerdy stuff to collect! Huey Games have done this a few times now with other games and the latest is The Darkside Detective and The Darkside Detective: A Fumble in the Dark together in one awesome looking pack.

      • Wildermyth ignored April Fools with the addition of multiplayer and controller support | GamingOnLinux

        No fooling around here, Worldwalker Games decided not to do any April Fools shenanigans for Wildermyth and instead release a massive upgrade adding in multiplayer and controller support.

        What is Wildermyth? A fantasy tactical RPG that mixes in X-Com like combat with extensive character development wrapped up in an art style inspired by papercraft. It’s genuinely great and it has been reviewing very well by players. The latest update “0.36+270 Bingus Dibb” adds in full multiplayer support, controller support, new event updates, new sound effects and plenty of bug fixes.

      • Save houses from the spreading fire in the puzzle game Wildfire Swap | GamingOnLinux

        Forest fires are everywhere, they’re spreading and it’s up to you to ensure people’s houses are safe in Wildfire Swap. A very nicely designed puzzle game, one that explores the efforts to control raging fires and how it can quickly get out of hand. Note: key provided by the developer.

        It’s turn-based giving you the ability to swap two adjacent tiles around, when you do this the fire spreads. You need to ensure that no house catches fire so you need to carefully plan ahead with how the fire will spread, getting all the houses to safety.

    • Distributions

      • Parabola/i686: desktop users should refrain from upgrading

        users of a GTK-based desktops (LXDE, MATE, possibly others) on the i686 system, should refrain from upgrading for some time, or else the desktop may not start properly – this bug does not affect X86_64

      • antiX kernel updates

        There have been various security patches applied upstream so users are strongly advised to update to the latest kernels via Package Installer, synaptic or cli-aptiX.

      • Arch Family

        • Arch Linux looks to make installation nice and simple

          Arch Linux releases starting this month will include a guided installer, the company has revealed. This is a welcome change for Arch Linux that has a rather convoluted installation process, which has given rise to a stream of Arch-based distros that are easier to install.

          Named archinstall, the open source installer has been under development for some time now. Written in Python, the installer was reportedly promoted as an official installation mechanism back in January, and was actively worked upon leading to its inclusion in the installation medium.

          The new default guided installer will be of great help for users who prefer a quick and easy route for deploying Arch Linux.

          [...]

          And, while it is command-line-based and nowhere near as polished as the one on Ubuntu or Fedora, the new guided installer is still a welcome departure from the existing process.

        • Installing Arch Linux Is Now Easier With This Change in the Newest ISO Refresh

          Arch Linux is meant for users looking for an adventure or experienced Linux users who just want to configure everything from the ground up. You get to decide what you install ensuring that there’s no bloatware for your use-case.

          However, installing Arch Linux isn’t easy. You will probably need to refer the official installation guide or our Arch installation guide to successfully install it.

          But, now, with a new ISO release, the installation medium includes a guided installer “archlinux” which makes the set-up process a breeze even for new users wanting to try Arch Linux.

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • Crazy Idea Number 615: Variable Priced Power Systems Partitions – IT Jungle

          When you stare down the blank page as much as I have in my career, you learn to not be afraid of that blank page. If you look at it long enough – usually for only a few minutes – ideas flip into existence like quantum particles spinning their curlicues. Most of them are silly, some are utterly useless, but eventually you get one that is worth following to see where it might go.

          So it is with an idea that popped into my head, which was a daydream about IBM creating variable priced partitions on the Power Systems machines. This would stand in stark contrast to how Big Blue prices and sells Power Systems today, but certainly could be an overlay on top of existing metered pricing metrics or lease prices or outright acquisition prices.

          Today, when you buy a Power Systems server, you pay for it based on what it is: It is a Model 9009-22A with a feature #EP16 processor module, which has a “Cumulus” Power9 processor with four-cores running at a base speed of 2.8 GHz, plus two feature #EP46 processor core activations, plus eight feature #EM63 32 GB memory sticks, plus a feature #EC59 storage backplane for NVM-Express flash, plus four feature #EC5C 3.2 TB flash adapters, plus one feature #EC37 two-port 10 Gb/sec Ethernet adapter, and so on. You have the IBM configurator build the whole system, add the operating system on a per core basis, add its features, kick out a list price, and then the customer argues for a discount and usually gets something but not much because, frankly, if they need IBM i, it is not like there are a lot of choices.

          If they don’t like the deal, they can backstep to a certified pre-owned machine with Power8 or Power7+ processors, which would be cheaper but which has a much shorter technical life because these machines will not future releases at some point. Or they can defer the whole thing and pray their current machine doesn’t break or run out of capacity.

        • Testing Apicurio Registry’s performance and scalability

          Apicurio Registry is the upstream project for Red Hat Integration’s Service Registry component. Developers use Apicurio Registry to manage artifacts like API definitions and data structure schemas.

          Apicurio Registry can maintain tons of artifacts, and it needs a way to store them. The registry supports several storage options, including Apache Kafka, Infinispan, and PostgreSQL. Knowing the performance characteristics of each storage option helps developers choose the appropriate storage for different use cases.

          Recently, Red Hat’s Performance & Scale team analyzed how Apicurio Registry performs under various storage configurations. In this article, we share the results of our performance and scalability testing on Apicurio Registry.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • What motivates open source software contributors?

        The reasons people contribute to free and open source (FOSS) projects has been a topic of much interest. However, the research on this topic dates back 10 or more years, and much has changed in the world since then. This article shares seven insights from a recent research study that revisited old motivation studies and asked open source contributors what motivates them today.

        These insights can be used by open source community managers who want to grow a community, organizations that want to understand how community members behave, or anyone working with others in open source. Understanding what motivates today’s contributors helps us make impactful decisions.

      • FSF

        • FSF Richard M. Stallman and the gangsters of the globe

          There is much talk these days about RMS, the founder of FSF returning to the board of FSF and IBM refusing to have him, popular demand, vote, or otherwise.

          I could list countless articles here as a detailed research on the matter, but the plethora of them TOTALLY MISS THE ISSUE.

          Who decides and how is a decision made? Is it influence by rational arguments or is it a choke-hold maneuver that even his (RMS’s) dearest of friends can’t escape?

          The rational argument by IBM, and their fellow mutually interested global giant corporations, is “YOU DO AS WE SAY, OR NO MONEY COMING TO YOU“.

          This is what every democracy in the planet has been reduced to, every democratic process that “tolerated” money/funding to be part of the decision making process.

          Corporations are dictatorships that ENFORCE DICTATORIAL DECISION processes for every human activity. The organization among them, global banking and financing, is ruling earth. The rest “think” that they vote and decide.

      • FSF

        • GNU Projects

          • Sylvain Beucler: planet.gnu.org is looking for a new host and maintainer

            Around 3 years ago I revamped planet.gnu.org and hosted it myself, as the previous host was defunc.

            I won’t have the energy host it for much longer, so planet.gnu.org is now looking for a new host and maintainer.

            In any case I’ll shut down the service when I upgrade to Debian 11 “bullseye” in a few months.

      • Programming/Development

        • InvoicePrinter 2.1 with Ruby 3 support

          Ruby 3 was released three months ago, so it was a time to support it in InvoicePrinter, a pure Ruby library for generating PDF invoices.

        • The Basics of CSS: Selectors
        • How different programming languages do the same thing | Opensource.com

          Whenever I start learning a new programming language, I focus on defining variables, writing a statement, and evaluating expressions. Once I have a general understanding of those concepts, I can usually figure out the rest on my own. Most programming languages have some similarities, so once you know one programming language, learning the next one is a matter of figuring out the unique details and recognizing the differences.

        • Rust

          • Most loved programming language Rust sparks privacy concerns

            Rust developers have repeatedly raised concerned about an unaddressed privacy issue over the last few years.

            Rust has rapidly gained momentum among developers, for its focus on performance, safety, safe concurrency, and for having a similar syntax to C++.

            StackOverflow’s 2020 developer survey ranked Rust first among the “most loved programming languages.”

            However, for the longest time developers have been bothered by their production builds leaking potentially sensitive debug information.

  • Leftovers

    • Plan 9 transferred to the Plan 9 Foundation

      The funky second OS from the Unix masterminds, Plan 9, has been fully transferred to the Plan 9 Foundation, and it’s been released under the MIT license.

    • Monopolies

      • Patents

        • USPTO Grant Rate 2021

          The following chart provides one look at USPTO historic patent grant rate for patent applications filed over the past 20 years. The chart groups together patent applications as of their filing-month and then simply reports the percentage patented, abandoned, and still-pending. The red-line in the chat excludes the still pending applications and thus reports the grant rate of disposed-of applications.

          [...]

          Beware of recent grant rate data: In my model here, there are only two ways that a patent can escape from being still-pending: Either (1) the patent issues or (2) the applicant abandons the application. And, the former (disposals-by-patenting) typically take less time than the latter (disposals-by-abandoning). As the PTO begins examining a cohort of patent applications, it typically issues a number of first-action allowances, while most applicants hold on for at least a final rejection before abandoning.

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