09.27.21

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Links 27/9/2021: Q4OS 4, Windows Breaks Itself

Posted in News Roundup at 12:52 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Kernel Space

      • Google Working to Bring Android Closer to Linux Kernel

        Google is working to bring Android closer to the Linux kernel in a move that could significantly speed up development time.

        Android is arguably the biggest Linux-based operating system (OS) in existence, powering billions of devices the world over. Unfortunately, the OS is a far cry from the base Linux kernel, being forked several times before it gets to a user’s device. The first fork occurs when Google takes the Linux kernel to create the base Android kernel, and then again by each chip maker, and yet again by device manufacturers.

        The end result of repeated forking is that it can take a significant amount of time for improvements, features and fixes to make their way from the top all the way to the end user.

    • Applications

      • The Fast File Search App ‘FSearch’ Goes Stable via 0.1 Release [Ubuntu PPA]

        By releasing version 0.1, the GTK+3 file search tool FSearch finally goes stable after 5 years of development.

        FSearch is a free and open-source file search utility, inspired by Everything Search Engine. It’s super fast that you get instant result as you type. The app supports wildcard and RegEx, so users can use * and a series of characters to define filters.

        It by default uses traditional UI with menu bar. However, it provides option to enable client-side decorations so to look modern in GNOME desktop (Ubuntu, Fedora, etc). And “dark mode” is supported for those working at night.

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • Bash Shell Scripting for beginners (Part 1) – Fedora Magazine

        As the title implies this article will be covering Bash Shell Scripting at a beginner level. I’m not going to review the history of Bash but there are many resources to fill you in or you can visit the GNU project at https://www.gnu.org/software/bash/. We will start out with understanding some very basic concepts and then start to put things together.

      • 13 resources for learning to write better Bash code

        Learning a scripting language is an intimidating task. It also takes time because practice is the only way to master a skill properly, and you will need to do and redo your code to learn new techniques and fix your mistakes.

    • Games

      • Godot Engine – Introducing GDNative’s successor, GDExtension

        In the past month, the team has been hard at work introducing the new native extensions system for Godot 4.0. GDExtension is a new implementation of the GDNative layer that allows the creation of compiled plugins for the engine. At its core, GDExtension is a C API that enables registration of classes implemented within a dynamic library. This allows dynamic libraries to be used by Godot in a way that is much better integrated then its predecessor, GDNative. Together with the godot-cpp library, GDExtension introduces a system that allows extending Godot to nearly the same level as statically linked C++ modules can.

        The new registration system is now part of Godot’s ClassDB. This means that classes implemented in plugins are indistinguishable from core classes.

        When you add a node to your scene, they are selectable as any other class:

        Help pages are automatically made available for your classes, detailing their properties, methods, signals, etc.: We’re still working on the ability to also add descriptions to each.

    • Distributions

      • XeroLinux Review – Stunning Linux Distribution with Arch and KDE Plasma

        We review XeroLinux – Linux distribution which is a fusion of Arch Linux, KDE Plasma and Latte Dock. Have a look.

      • New Releases

        • Q4OS 4 Is Finally Here and Brings the Trinity Desktop Environment to Debian GNU/Linux 11 “Bullseye”

          Q4OS is the distribution you probably know for shipping with the Trinity Desktop Environment (TDE). Not many distros use Trinity DE these days, but Q4OS’ goal is to turn as many Windows users into Linux users.

          The latest release, Q4OS 4.6 is here after more than a year of development, based on the Debian GNU/Linux 11 “Bullseye” operating system series and featuring the latest Trinity Desktop Environment 14.0.10 release, as well as the KDE Plasma 5.20 desktop environment, as separate editions.

      • Kubernetes

        • Kubernetes Blog: Spotlight on SIG Node

          In Kubernetes, a Node is a representation of a single machine in your cluster. SIG Node owns that very important Node component and supports various subprojects such as Kubelet, Container Runtime Interface (CRI) and more to support how the pods and host resources interact. In this blog, we have summarized our conversation with Elana Hashman (EH) & Sergey Kanzhelev (SK), who walk us through the various aspects of being a part of the SIG and share some insights about how others can get involved.

        • Absa drives scale and innovation into banking with Kubernetes | SUSE Communities

          Absa’s mission is to push the boundaries of digital banking and continually innovate to create the banking landscape of the future. This mission led the African banking pioneer to Kubernetes, which it deployed in 2016.

          In 2018, prompted by the limitations of its early solution, which had become difficult to manage and costly, the Absa team reviewed its options. They explored the market, looking to free themselves from the complexities and scaling issues associated with an inflexible mono-cluster methodology.

          SUSE Rancher emerged as the obvious solution — from a cost, usability and, most importantly, an innovation point of view. Within just three months, Absa had its first application running in production on SUSE Rancher.

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • Digital transformation: 4 ways to deal with change fatigue | The Enterprisers Project

          No matter where your organization is in its digital transformation journey, one common hurdle can slow or even stop your progress: change fatigue. Change fatigue often comes on slowly as your teams are worn down by workflow disruptions, process changes, and new technology learning curves. Often, it manifests in the workplace as employee apathy, frustration, confusion, and stress. Most detrimental to transformation, however, is passive resignation because it can fracture teams and erode trust between employees and management.

          There are a host of reasons why employees might be resistant to change. Whether they fear promised outcomes won’t be achieved or their long tenure with the company has created an “if it’s not broken don’t fix it” mentality, an unwillingness to commit can add to the fatigue felt by the entire organization.

        • How to use feedback loops to improve your team’s performance | The Enterprisers Project

          You’ve added people, you’ve bought tools, you’ve completed long and expensive migrations, but the biggest problems – like years-old customer or associate complaints, or slow adaptation to changing markets – still remain. You’ve adopted Agile or DevOps ways of working, but you’re still releasing once every few months – or worse – and projects are still delayed. You’ve added more checks and approvals to production changes, but outages are still happening. You’re desperately trying to change outcomes in a complex, adaptive, sociotechnical system.

          What you need now is new sources of feedback – to teach you more.

          Leaders can start by considering the dynamics common to all systems. To begin, Donella Meadows uses the example of a Slinky toy in her seminal book, “Thinking in Systems”. Holding the Slinky with both hands, she removes the bottom hand such that it falls, suspended and bouncing.

        • Configuring Red Hat Ansible Automation Platform with GitOps

          Red Hat Ansible Automation Platform comes in handy when organizations start to implement Infrastructure as Code and GitOps concepts. But what about the automation of the platform itself?

          Before we get started it’s good to clarify some product component naming. Ansible Tower is being renamed to Automation Controller in the upcoming Ansible Automation Platform 2 release. While things are being changed, you can see both words “tower” and “controller” used interchangeably in various contexts including roles and collections. For more information on Ansible Automation Platform please refer to this Knowledge Base Article.

        • Four reasons developers should use Ansible | Red Hat Developer

          Ansible is described as “simple IT automation.” It’s an agentless tool, meaning you don’t have to install anything on the systems you are controlling. With Ansible, you can install software, configure system settings and features, and do all the things system administrators do. You know, the “operations” side of the team.

          So why should you, a developer, care? You should. Let me explain.

    • Devices/Embedded

      • ANAVI Gardening uHAT adds soil and other sensors to Raspberry Pi (Crowdfunding) – CNX Software

        We’ve been covering and reviewing ANAVI open-source hardware boards for several years now, either standalone boards based on ESP8266, or add-on boards for Raspberry Pi.

        The ANAVI Gardening uHAT is the latest board from Leon Anavi. It is a micro HAT designed for Raspberry Pi Zero to Raspberry Pi 4 SBCs that offers interfaces for soil sensors and other environmental sensors allowing measurements of soil moisture, atmospheric pressure and humidity, temperature with a waterproof sensor, and light intensity for gardening applications.

      • Geniatech GTW410 – An ultra compact IoT gateway based on Snapdragon 410E SoC

        So it basically looks like an abandoned platform, but are some more research I found out Linaro is still working on images for the Dragonboard 410c with the latest release in August 2021 with:

        -Debian-based Linaro 21.08 release for Dragonboard 410c

        -Linaro OpenEmbedded RPB 21.08 release for Dragonboard 410c

        Both are based on Linux 5.13.9 kernel.

        That means if you care about running recent OS versions, for instance for improved security, Android and Windows 10 IoT Core should probably be avoided on Snapdragon 410E platforms like Geniatech GTW410, but Debian or OpenEmbedded should be pretty much up-to-date, although I have no idea if Qualcomm/Linaro have long term plans for software support, although we know Snapdragon 410E will be manufactured at least until 2025 due to Qualcomm long term supply commitments.

      • Open Hardware/Modding

        • ZB-GW03 ESP32-based Ethernet Zigbee gateway works with Tasmota firmware – CNX Software

          ZB-GW03 is an Ethernet Zigbee Gateway compatible with eWelink mobile app and with a design similar to SONOFF ZBBridge gateway but replacing ESP8266 SoC by ESP32 SoC, and adding an Ethernet port.

          The ZB-GW03 gateway is apparently based on the same Silicon Labs EFR32MG21 Zigbee Arm Cortex-M33 chip and has been hacked to run Tasmota open-source software for people preferring more flexibility and/or integration with OpenHAB or Home Assistant open-source home automation frameworks via Zigbee2MQTT.

        • Arduino Orchestra Plays The Planets Suite | Hackaday

          We’ve seen a great many Arduino synthesizer projects over the years. We love to see a single Arduino bleeping out some monophonic notes. From there, many hackers catch the bug and the sky is truly the limit. [Kevin] is one such hacker who now has an Arduino orchestra capable of playing all seven movements of Gustav Holst’s Planets Suite.

          The performers are not human beings with expensive instruments, but simple microcontrollers running code hewn by [Kevin’s] own fingertips. The full orchestra consists of 11 Arduino Nanos, 6 Arduino Unos, 1 Arduino Pro Mini, 1 Adafruit Feather 32u4, and finally, a Raspberry Pi.

        • 3D Printed Research Robotics Platform Runs Remotely | Hackaday

          By patching Ubuntu Linux, and enabling preemptive multitasking for real-time scheduling, as well as carefully selecting Wi-Fi drivers, it was possible to get raw packets out to robot in about 1 ms, enabling control loop bandwidths of around 1 Khz. And, that, was fast enough to run at least sixteen motors in parallel.

        • Automated Window Blinds Using MQTT And Home Assistant | Hackaday

          Finnish software engineer [Toni] is on a quest to modernize his 1991 house, and his latest project was to automate the window blinds and control them using Home Assistant. Unless your blinds have built-in motors, most of the effort of such a project centers around how to integrate and attach the motor — and as [Toni] points out, there are tons of different blinds with all kinds of operating mechanisms. But once you solve that issue, half the battle is over.

          These particular blinds require less than one turn of the control rod to go from fully open to fully closed, and [Toni] selects a 270-degree range-of-motion, 20 kg*cm torque servo motor to drive them. He really wanted to install the motor inside the window, but it just wouldn’t fit. Instead, each servo motor is mounted in a custom 3D-printed case installed on the window frame just below the operating rod. An ESP8266-based controller box is installed above the window, hidden behind curtains, and operates all three servos.

      • Mobile Systems/Mobile Applications

        • What’s up with Sandboxing?

          In February 2021 we released Sailfish OS 4.0.1 Koli, which introduced a new concept into the OS: Application sandboxing. For the device user, the sandboxing is mostly visible in the permissions dialogs, displayed when a sandboxed app is run for the first time. In this blog post, I’ll dig into the current status, our plans for the future, and what this all means for application developers.

          In case you haven’t heard about sandboxing in the context of Sailfish OS before, here’s a short primer: the purpose of sandboxing is to improve user privacy, by limiting what applications can do. This is done using a security technology in the Linux kernel called namespaces. This is a lightweight but effective mechanism, which lets us define quite nicely which resources each app can use. All in all, the end result is that the device user is in charge of what resources each app can access.

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • The Apache News Round-up: week ending 27 September 2021

        Welcome October –we’ve closed September with another great week. Here are the latest updates on the Apache community’s activities…

        [...]

        Over the past week, 328 Apache Committers changed 7,398,124 lines of code over 2,924 commits. Top 5 contributors, in order, are: Harikrishna Patnala, Gary Gregory, Andy Seaborne, Daniel Gruno, and Mark Thomas.

      • Web Browsers

        • Chromium

          • Brave Launches Privacy-Focused “Brave Talk” as a Desperate Attempt to Push Brave Advertisements

            Ever since the initial Covid-19 outbreak in 2020, the world has seen an explosion in the popularity of online meeting services. Unfortunately, many of these are not very privacy-friendly, especially as many of these are offered by notoriously data-hungry advertising companies.

            However, the company behind the wildly successful Brave browser has developed a privacy-friendly solution, “Brave Talk.”

          • Chromium almost compiled fails last link step [Ed: What happens when a longtime GNU/Linux expert/veteran of a high profile (EasyOS/Puppy Linux) tries to actually compile bloat of Google, such as Chromium (monopolies in "open" clothing)]

            Continuing the saga, previous blog post:

            https://bkhome.org/news/202109/chromium-compiled-for-15-hours-before-failing.html

            I have got it to compile, but is failing at the final link step. This is the killer — a zillion object files have to be combined into a big final executable. I watched the hard drive thrashing for about 3 hours, before doing a CTRL-C.
            Have had this situation before. The solution then, as it will be this time, is more RAM. It is the swap partition on the HDD that is getting thrashed. My PC has 8GB RAM, and I think I read the Chromium docs that is enough, but, it seems not.

            [...]

            Well not quite everything. The first script downloads the chromium source.
            Compiling it yourself has advantages, compared with using the official builds. It is linked with the libraries in your OS, so completely compatible. You can make configuration choices, such as alsa instead of pulseaudio.
            Anyway, getting a bit ahead of myself. First, have to get past that final link step.

        • Mozilla

          • When iOS will allow other browsers – otsukare

            This happens all the time and will happen again. It’s often not only technical, but business related and just human. But let’s focus on the detection of Firefox on iOS. Currently, on iOS, every browsers are using the same rendering engine. The one which is mandated by Apple. Be Chrome, Firefox, etc, they all use WKWebView.

      • SaaS/Back End/Databases

        • PostgreSQL Weekly News – September 26, 2021

          JDBC 42.2.24 released https://jdbc.postgresql.org/documentation/changelog.html#version_42.2.24

          check_pgbackrest 2.1, a Nagios-compatible monitor for pgBackRest, released. https://github.com/dalibo/check_pgbackrest/releases

          sqlite_fdw 2.1.0 released.

      • Programming/Development

        • Ravgeet Dhillon: Build a Tip Calculator App in Flutter

          In this tutorial, you’ll create a Tip Calculator app and learn some of the basics of developing a Flutter app. The app will let the user input – Bill Amount and Tip Percentage. Based on these values, it will calculate Tip Amount and Total Amount.

        • Book Review: Cross-Platform Development with Qt 6 and Modern C++

          I recently received a review copy of the Cross-Platform Development with Qt 6 and Modern C++ by Nibedit Dey available from Packt. I find it interesting to read books on Qt in the midst of a major version shift, as many of the underpinnings of Qt are revisited and updated by the development teams.

          In his book, Nibedit balances between the newer technologies used, e.g. CMake, function reference based signals and slots, etc while referring back to Qt 5 (and even Qt 4) practices such as QMake, the SIGNAL and SLOT macros, and more. This gives a good context to the reader, which is good for the reader, as older practices still are used in older Qt-based codebases.

          The book is divided into blocks with increasing depth and complexity. This makes it a good read for the beginner, as well as the more experienced used of Qt. Either you start from the beginning and get introduced to both widgets and QML, or you can dive straight into the more advanced topics such as the model-view concepts.

        • SReview::Video is now Media::Convert

          SReview, the video review and transcode tool that I originally wrote for FOSDEM 2017 but which has since been used for debconfs and minidebconfs as well, has long had a sizeable component for inspecting media files with ffprobe, and generating ffmpeg command lines to convert media files from one format to another.

          This component, SReview::Video (plus a number of supporting modules), is really not tied very much to the SReview webinterface or the transcoding backend. That is, the webinterface and the transcoding backend obviously use the ffmpeg handling library, but they don’t provide any services that SReview::Video could not live without. It did use the configuration API that I wrote for SReview, but disentangling that turned out to be very easy.

  • Leftovers

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Pseudo-Open Source

          • Privatisation/Privateering

            • Linux Foundation

              • Microsoft teams up with Linux Foundation on energy [Ed: The ‘Linux’ Foundation is morally bankrupt]

                Software King of the World Microsoft has joined forces with LF Energy, a Linux Foundation nonprofit working to accelerate the energy transition of the world’s grids and transportation systems through open source.

                Microsoft, which once famously dubbed Linux a cancer on software, has improved its open saucy street cred and is even a strategic member of the Linux foundation. Audrey Lee, senior director of energy strategy at Microsoft, was elected to serve on the LF Energy Foundation Governing Board.

              • Real-time Analytics News for Week Ending September 25

                The Linux Foundation announced there have been two million enrollments to date across all of its online courses offered on the edX platform. These open-source training courses have continually increasing rates of enrollment growth as the curriculum continues to expand, with offerings covering technologies like cloud infrastructure, blockchain, networking, and DevOps. In total, Linux Foundation Training & Certification offers more than two dozen courses on edX, all of which can be audited at no cost, increasing accessibility for all learners.

        • Security

          • Microsoft rolls back KB5005101 update for Windows 10 following app launch problems [Ed: Windows is the worst 'rolling distro' ever. More like 'loling' distro (for those watching it from afar]

            Microsoft has performed a relatively rare Known Issue Rollback (KIR) to fix an issue caused by an update to Windows 10. The update was found to cause problems opening files and apps.

            The issues followed the release of the KB5005101 update earlier this month, and several versions of Windows are affected: Windows 10 versions 21H1, 20H2, 2004, 1909 and 1809, as well as Windows 10 Enterprise LTSC 2019 and Windows Server 2019 and newer. Manual instructions to address the issue are also available.

          • Fear, Uncertainty, Doubt/Fear-mongering/Dramatisation

    • Monopolies

      • Copyrights

        • UK Government responds to DCMS Music Streaming Inquiry recommendations – The IPKat

          Readers will no doubt be aware of the recent UK Economics of Music Streaming Inquiry by the Digital Culture Media and Sport Committee [Katposts here], which investigated the impact of music streaming on artists remuneration, as well as other issues around the fairness and sustainability of the wider music industry. Subsequently, the Committee published a report which set out a number of recommendations to Government [Katpost here] that included equitable remuneration for streaming, contract adjustments as well as referrals to the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) and the Advertising Standards Agency (ASA). The Government has now published its response to these recommendations, which is summarised below, the potential impact of the recommendations was considered in this previous post here.

          In its response the Government acknowledged that there is a concern that our regulatory frameworks, including copyright, have not kept pace with the changes brought about by streaming. Stating that the Committee’s report provided invaluable, and more targeted research and evidence is needed to inform the action it should take.

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