08.04.21

Gemini version available ♊︎

Links 4/8/2021: More IBM Downtimes and Firefox Losing Many Users

Posted in News Roundup at 12:50 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Desktop/Laptop

      • Win a $10,000 Thelio Major Workstation!

        The computer and operating system are the most powerful tools in existence. The Launch into Learning season encourages STEM and creative professionals like you to hone their craft, learn a new skill, or make something they’re proud to share.

        This year, we’re empowering one lucky user with a $10,000 Thelio Major workstation. The complete package includes a Launch keyboard, an MX Master 3 wireless mouse, a 27” 1440p IPS display, and a decked-out Thelio Major.

    • Audiocasts/Shows

      • 5 hidden details about the Steam Deck.

        From the virtual keyboard to the subtle hints of a new first-party title from Valve, here are 5 things you might have missed about the Steam Deck.

      • Manjaro Cutefish Pre-Release

        Today we are looking at a pre-release of Manjaro Cutefish. It comes with Linux Kernel 5.13, based on Arch, and uses about 800MB to 1G of ram when idling. Enjoy!

      • Manjaro Cutefish Pre-Release Run Through

        In this video, we are looking at Manjaro Cutefish Pre-Release.

      • Forking Software Isn’t Always A Solution

        Forking an application is one of the amazing benefits of using FOSS and while a lot of applications can certainly be managed there’s a lot of other applications which while you can fork it actually maintaining that fork is completely unreasonable.

      • Run Every Distro At Once | LINUX Unplugged 417

        Yabba Dabba Distro! Run every major distribution on one native host. How we hijacked a Fedora install and turned it into the ultimate meta Linux box.

        Plus Valve and AMD team up to improve Linux performance and the duct-tape solution holding our server together.

    • Applications

      • Top 5 Software Tools for Linux with Data Encryption

        Data encryption is a must-have feature in today’s world of cybersecurity. It allows you to encode your data making it unintelligible to someone who doesn’t have the authorized access. To be more secure online, it might be a good idea to opt for software that comes with this useful feature by default.

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • How to automount volumes for Docker containers

        There are so many reasons you want to use volumes for your container deployments. The primary reason is to ensure persistent storage. Say, for example, you’re deploying a WordPress instance via a Docker container. Not only do you want to give that container enough storage space to house all of the data it will require (especially as it scales), you want to make sure that data remains in play, even after the container is stopped or restarted. For that, you would use volumes.

      • How to install Adrift on a Chromebook

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

      • How to Install and Use Telnet on Ubuntu 20.04 – LinuxCapable

        Telnet is a protocol that allows you to connect to remote computers (called hosts) over a TCP/IP network using a client-server protocol to establish a connection to Transmission Control Protocol port number 23

        In the following tutorial, you will learn how to install Telnet on Ubuntu 20.04 and 21.04.

      • How to Install phpMyAdmin on Rocky Linux 8

        phpMyAdmin is a web app for administering MySQL or MariaDB. With phpMyadmin, you can perform various database management tasks, and execute SQL queries from a graphical interface via a web browser. It is free, open-source, and written in the PHP language.

      • Junichi Uekawa: Wrote a tool to parse /sys/block/*/stat.

        Wrote a tool to parse /sys/block/*/stat. It’s probably impossible for a human brain to appreciate the numbers so I made a web page that you can paste the contents and parse it from JS to emit some processed numbers. Probably iostat is the tool you want, but hey, sometimes you need this kind of stuff.

      • All zip and unzip File Operations on Linux – Linux Hint

        This tutorial explains all zip and unzip operations under Linux with practical examples and easy function descriptions.

      • How to find all failed ssh login attempts in Ubuntu – Linux Hint

        One of the normal tasks of administrators is to keep track of successful and failed login attempts to ensure that the environment is free of unwanted and illegal intrusions. Administrators can also look through the logs to see if there have been any security problems on the servers. A log file is created whenever someone tries to log in to a server using SSH. You may see the requested login date, timestamp, user account, and IP address. SSH was created as a protocol for creating connections between two systems that rely on a client/server architecture, allowing administrators and users to access the server or computer remotely.

        This protocol is most commonly used by the system and network administrators and anyone who wants to administer a computer remotely. One of the most prominent benefits is that it is in charge of encrypting the link session to improve security by prohibiting attackers from reading unencrypted passwords. The rsyslog daemon in Linux keeps track of every attempt to login to an SSH server and records it in a log file. Combining, showing, and filtering log files is the most basic approach for listing all failed SSH login attempts on Ubuntu. In this article, we will find all failed ssh login attempts in Ubuntu 20.04 Linux system.

      • How to install a specific Python version on Ubuntu – Linux Hint

        It is often the case that we install a program on our system, and it turns out that it’s the wrong version. This can lead to compatibility and performance issues since it may not communicate with third-party modules properly. Similar is the case with Python, and as vigilant programmers, we must figure out the correct version that we need. Therefore, in this guide, we will show you how to install a specific version of Python on your Ubuntu system.

    • Games

      • Linux Now Has a 1% OS Market Share As Demand for Steam Deck Increases

        The latest Steam Hardware Survey now has the open-source OS gaining a 1% market share in a market dominated by Windows and MacOS. According to PCGamer, this is the first time Linux has earned a market share number of about 1% in years.

        Many experts believe this is due to the upcoming release of the Steam Deck handheld console from Valve. The system is running SteamOS, which is based on Linux. According to some industry insiders, the growing popularity of the Steam Deck might be causing an uptick in Linux users, considering it’s free software.

        This climb in Linux usage comes after a slight drop that stemmed from the temporary release of Proton. According to Tom’s Hardware, it was designed to enable Linux users to play Windows games but can’t due to compatibility issues. During that time, the open-source software’s market share was as high as 2%, but eventually fell back down to around 0.8 to 0.9%, where it remained until now.

    • Distributions

      • New Releases

        • Nitrux 1.5.1 is Here and Comes with A Whole Host of Updates and Fixes

          Nitrux have just released a new update to their 1.5 series of distributions bringing us up to version 1.5.1. Here is what’s new.

          Nitrux is a free and open-source Debian-based distribution with a focus on beauty, user efficiency, and portable universal app formats. It is more-or-less a desktop Linux distribution pre-configured with decent defaults and a bunch of cool custom applications. Nitrux is based on Debian unstable branch and uses the Calamares installer.

          One of the really interesting things that kind of differentiates Nitrux from the hundreds of other Debian-based distributions out there is that Nitrux actually ships with AppImage and Snaps by default. Many of the programs on the system out of the box are actually AppImages rather than native packages installed through the APT package manager.

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • Security breaches where working from home is involved are costlier, claims IBM report

          Firms looking to save money by shifting to more flexible ways of working will need to think carefully about IT security and the additional cost of breaches linked to staff working from home.

          That’s according to the latest annual “Cost of a Data Breach Report” conducted by Ponemon Institute along with IBM Security, which found that the average total cost of a remote-working data breach was more than $1m higher than cyberattacks where remote working wasn’t a factor.

        • IBM Cloud took the evening off – 23 services were hard to provision for eight hours

          IBM cloud has experienced a significant Severity One outage – the rating Big Blue uses to denote the most serious incidents that make resources in its cloud unavailable to customers.

          The impact was indeed severe: IBM stated that users might not be able to access its catalogue of cloudy services or provision affected services.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • Web Browsers

        • Mozilla

          • Firefox Lost Almost 50 million Users: Here’s Why It is Concerning

            Mozilla’s Firefox is the only popular alternative to Chromium-based browsers.

            It has been the default choice for Linux users and privacy-conscious users across every platform.

            However, even with all benefits as one of the best web browsers around, it is losing its grip for the past few years.

            To be honest, we do not even need a stat to say that, many of us have switched over to Chromium-based browsers or Chromium itself instead of Firefox or Google Chrome.

      • FSF

        • Machine learning: Free Software Foundation targets GitHub Copilot

          The Free Software Foundation (FSF) has launched a call for white papers on GitHub Copilot. The papers submitted are intended to analyze the effects of the machine learning assistant on the free software community, which is associated with numerous questions. The appeal blog post promises that the organization will read all submitted white papers and pay a reward for every $ 500 published.

          At the same time, the article makes it clear that, from the point of view of the FSF, Copilot is “unacceptable and unjust”, since the use with Microsoft products Visual Studio or Visual Studio Code requires software that, in their view, is not free / libre software. At this point it should be mentioned that the source code editor Visual Studio Code is free and essentially open source, but far from free software in the understanding of the FSF.

      • Programming/Development

        • C++ Vector Iterators – Linux Hint

          The main iterators in C++ are Input Iterator, Output Iterator, Forward Iterator, Bidirectional Iterator, and Random Access Iterator. Reverse Iterator is not really an iterator; it is an iterator adaptor. There are some variants to iterators, like a constant iterator.

          An iterator is an elaborated pointer. Like a pointer, it points to objects of the same type in memory at different times. All iterators are dereferenceable, except for the output iterator that is dereferenceable only for a set of types. Dereferenceable means the value pointed to by the pointer or iterator can be obtained using the indirection operator, *. An integer can be added to some iterators in the same way, and for the same purpose, the integer would be added to a pointer.

          The questions for this article are: What are these iterators? Which of these iterators are used with the C++ vector? How are these iterators used with the C++ vector? This article answers all these questions in a simplified way. At the end of this article, when all these questions would have been answered, C++ vector iterators will be intuitive and natural (for the reader).

  • Leftovers

    • Science

      • Computer security personnel need tools, training to assist survivors of intimate partner violence

        Survivors of intimate partner violence who experience tech abuse often reach out to computer security companies for help. But the customer support personnel at these companies are not sufficiently prepared to handle such cases, research from the University of Michigan School of Information finds.

      • New Portal Aids Discoveries To Reverse Hearing Loss

        The tool enables easy access to genetic and other molecular data from hundreds of technical research studies involving hearing function and the ear. The research portal called gene Expression Analysis Resource (gEAR) was unveiled in a study last month in Nature Methods. It is operated by a group of physician-scientists at the UMSOM Institute for Genome Sciences (IGS) in collaboration with their colleagues at other institutions.

        The portal allows researchers to rapidly access data and provides easily interpreted visualizations of datasets. Scientists can also input their own data and compare it to other datasets to help determine the significance of their new finding.

    • Health/Nutrition

      • One in four border officials in isolation as Covid brings chaos to Heathrow

        As airports prepare for a surge in arrivals due to travel restrictions easing, “more than one in four border staff” were off work over the weekend at the UK’s busiest airport due to coronavirus regulations, The Times reports.

        Of the 300 Border Force officials working at the airport, 80 were absent with Covid, while dozens more were forced into self-isolation because they had been in close contact with their colleagues.

        The delays were exacerbated when a new security database caused hold-ups at automated gates, with the Daily Mail reporting that the Home Office’s £372m new security computer system was “crashing repeatedly” throughout the weekend.

        The software failure meant all passengers were rejected by the E-gates in Heathrow’s arrivals halls and had to be checked manually by immigration officers. Passengers reported long queues and complained that a lack of social distancing risked spreading the virus to thousands of arrivals.

      • Nature Can Boost Health of People in Cities

        The research shows how access to nature in cities increases physical activity, and therefore, overall health.

        Lack of physical activity in the US results in $117 billion a year in related health care costs and leads to 3.2 million deaths globally every year. It may seem like an intuitive connection, but the new research closes an important gap in understanding how building nature into cities can support overall human well-being.

      • Procter & Gamble hires away Nestlé’s top lobbyist
    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • U.S. medical entities fall prey to Pysa threat actors, but many haven’t disclosed it – at least, not yet.
        • Damage control: Microsoft deletes all comments under heavily criticized Windows 11 upgrade video
        • Security

          • UK’s Ministry of Defence coughs up bug bounties for crowdsourced pentesting • The Register

            The Ministry of Defence has paid out the first bug bounties to ethical computer hackers who probed web-accessible systems for vulnerabilities, according to a cheery missive from HackerOne.

            A month-long “hacker security test” culminated in a couple of dozen folk being handed unspecified rewards – and marking the first public confirmation of HackerOne’s UK government partnership.

          • Google revamps bug bounty program • The Register

            Google has revealed that its bug bounty program – which it styles a “Vulnerability Reward Program” – has paid out for 11,055 bugs found in its services since 2010.

            11,055 bugs seems like a lot, but it’s not out of step with other vendors. Microsoft’s monthly Patch Tuesday packages regularly fix over 100 flaws, while Oracle’s quarterly patch collections often contain well more than 300 pieces of corrective code. Across 11 years, the two abovementioned vendors would also produce over 11,000 bugs.

          • Linux Kernel Security Done Right (Google Security Blog)

            Over on the Google Security Blog, Kees Cook describes his vision for approaches to assuring kernel security in a more collaborative way. He sees a number of areas where companies could work together to make it easier for everyone to use recent kernels rather than redundantly backporting fixes to older kernel versions. It will take more engineers working on things like testing and its infrastructure, security

          • Linux Kernel Security Done Right

            As we approach its 30th Anniversary, Linux still remains the largest collaborative development project in the history of computing. The huge community surrounding Linux allows it to do amazing things and run smoothly. What’s still missing, though, is sufficient focus to make sure that Linux fails well too. There’s a strong link between code robustness and security: making it harder for any bugs to manifest makes it harder for security flaws to manifest. But that’s not the end of the story. When flaws do manifest, it’s important to handle them effectively.

          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • Ever wondered how much data web giants generate? Singaporean super-app Grab says 40TB a day • The Register

              Singapore-based mega-app Grab has revealed that it generates 40TB of data a day. All that data is clearly valuable: Grab has also announced record profits.

              The Southeast Asian company, which bought out Uber in Singapore and since expanded into e-commerce, payments, and financial services, did not disclose what it does with the data, nor how it is protected. But it did disclose [PDF] that it has 23.8 million monthly transacting customers, who collectively generated a record US$507 million adjusted net sales in its first quarter, boasting that the company saw a 39 per cent increase in adjusted net sales despite a COVID-related hit to its mobility services.

    • Civil Rights/Policing

    • Monopolies

      • Patents

        • Upcoming USPTO Director? [Ed: Patent extremists bankrolled by the litigation industry drooling over prospects for another mole like Iancu and Kappos in charge of the USPTO]

          A new president makes a lot of appointments. Although the Patent Office Director is an important position, it is still a fair way down the list in terms of urgency. One reason–that most PTO management decisions are not highly political (especially in the R vs D sense). Unlike for some agencies, President Biden has not vowed to reverse course on any particular USPTO policy. We also have a long tradition of career PTO employees stepping-up and capably leading the agency as Drew Hirshfeld is doing now. But, it is time for a nomination, and I expect that we’ll see one within the next month or so.

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