12.21.21

Gemini version available ♊︎

Links 22/12/2021: Harvester 1.0, RapidDisk 8.0.0, and WordPress 5.9 Beta 4

Posted in News Roundup at 8:09 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Audiocasts/Shows

    • Applications

      • Theme.sh Is An Interactive Terminal Theme Selection Script (400+ Themes) – Linux Uprising Blog

        theme.sh is a script to easily change the terminal theme. It comes with more than 400 themes, an optional interactive theme picker, and it’s terminal agnostic.

        The script is available as a single portable file that includes all the 400+ themes. It can set a terminal theme directly or, if you have fzf installed on your system, it provides a terminal menu for interactive theme selection, either in a preview pane, or directly as your terminal theme if the terminal you’re using supports TRUECOLOR. You can also filter light and dark themes.

        To use theme.sh, you need to use any terminal with OSC 4/11 support. This includes kitty, st, Terminal.app, iTerm2, alacritty, urxvt, st with a patch, and any libvte-based terminal like GNOME Terminal, Terminator, Guake, Xfce Terminal, Mate Terminal, Konsole, etc. It looks like Windows Terminal doesn’t support this yet. Note that in my test, it didn’t properly set the background color in Tilix. It’s also worth noting that this won’t work in screen.

      • RapidDisk 8.0.0 now available – Random h Stuff

        RapidDisk is an advanced Linux RAM Disk which consists of a collection of modules and an administration tool. Features include: Dynamically allocate RAM as block device. Use them as stand alone disk drives or even map them as caching nodes to slower local disk drives. Access those drives locally or export those volumes across an NVMe Target network.

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • Using Admission Controllers to Detect Container Drift at Runtime | Kubernetes

        At Box, we use Kubernetes (K8s) to manage hundreds of micro-services that enable Box to stream data at a petabyte scale. When it comes to the deployment process, we run kube-applier as part of the GitOps workflows with declarative configuration and automated deployment. Developers declare their K8s apps manifest into a Git repository that requires code reviews and automatic checks to pass, before any changes can get merged and applied inside our K8s clusters. With kubectl exec and other similar commands, however, developers are able to directly interact with running containers and alter them from their deployed state. This interaction could then subvert the change control and code review processes that are enforced in our CI/CD pipelines. Further, it allows such impacted containers to continue receiving traffic long-term in production.

        To solve this problem, we developed our own K8s component called kube-exec-controller along with its corresponding kubectl plugin. They function together in detecting and terminating potentially mutated containers (caused by interactive kubectl commands), as well as revealing the interaction events directly to the target Pods for better visibility.

      • Stupid RCU Tricks: Removing CONFIG_RCU_FAST_NO_HZ – Paul E. McKenney’s Journal — LiveJournal

        The CONFIG_RCU_FAST_NO_HZ Kconfig option was added many years ago to improve energy efficiency for systems having significant numbers of short bursts of idle time. Prior to the addition of CONFIG_RCU_FAST_NO_HZ, RCU would insist on keeping a given idle CPU’s scheduling-clock tick enabled until all of that CPU’s RCU callbacks had been invoked. On certain types of battery-powered embedded systems, these few additional scheduling-clock ticks would consume up to 40% of the battery lifetime. The people working on such systems were not amused, and were not shy about letting me know of their dissatisfaction with RCU’s life choices. Please note that “letting me know” did not take the form of flaming me on LKML. Instead, they called me on the telephone and yelled at me.

        Given that history, why on earth would I even be thinking about removing CONFIG_RCU_FAST_NO_HZ, let alone queuing a patch series intended for the v5.17 merge window???

        The reason is that everyone I know of who builds their kernels with CONFIG_RCU_FAST_NO_HZ=y also boots those systems with each and every CPU designated as a rcu_nocbs CPU. With this combination, CONFIG_RCU_FAST_NO_HZ=y is doing nothing but placing a never-taken branch in the fastpath to and from idle. Such systems should therefore run slightly faster and with slightly better battery lifetime if their kernels were instead built with CONFIG_RCU_FAST_NO_HZ=n, which would get rid of that never-taken branch.

      • BE CAREFUL WITH find + delete – find . -delete -name vs find . -name -delete

        one neat function of find, it that what it found can be passed to another function for further processing.

      • Nextcloud – Unable to Open Photos Library — Firstyear’s blog-a-log

        It seems that Nextcloud is not sandboxed which means that macos enforces stricter permissions on what this can or can not access, which is what prevented the photos library from syncing.

      • How to compress PNG image file in Linux – Unixcop the Unix / Linux the admins deams

        PNG or Portable Network Graphics is an image file format meant to replace GIF.

        PNG utilizes lossless image compression, which results in high-quality images though sometimes they can be relatively big.

        Also if you have a lot of images, and want to compress them without losing its original quality There are plenty of GUI applications available which will help you to optimize the images.

        Here are two simple command line utilities to optimize images and they are:

        PNGquant and OptiPNG are programs that optimize PNG images to smaller size without losing any information or their original quality.

      • How to install Runescape on a Chromebook

        Today we are looking at how to install Runescape 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 quickly back up and restore a database with phpMyAdmin – TechRepublic

        Many of your business processes depend on databases. Should one of those databases fail, your workflow could come to a standstill. That would cost you money, an outcome you certainly do not want.

        To avoid that, you need to back up those databases. I’ve already walked you through the process of doing so from the command line. This is most definitely a technique you should know. But there might be times when you want to work with a bit more efficiency, such as by way of a web-based GUI like phpMyAdmin. That, my friends, is exactly what I’m going to show you today.

        After you read how easy this is, you might never go back to the terminal for this task.

        Let’s get to work.

      • How to install Nvidia graphics drivers on Pop_OS

        If a web-based GUI is better suited to your admin skills, Jack Wallen wants to show you how to back up and restore your MySQL/MariaDB databases with one of the easiest tools on the market.

      • How to upgrade to Pop_OS 21.10

        Pop_OS 21.10 is here! It comes with great new features like a brand new application launcher, Gnome Shell version 40, and many other things. In this guide, we’ll go over how to upgrade your system to the new Pop_OS 21.10.

    • Games

      • New Proton game compatibility milestone is great news for Valve’s Steam Deck

        If there’s one positive we can glean from Valve’s decision to delay the Steam Deck, it’s that the company now has some extra time to polish its handheld gaming PC good and proper. In fact, this newfound extra time has already helped improve Proton compatibility with Steam’s top games, which has just hit a new milestone.

        According to analysis conducted by the ProtonDB community, 80% of Steam’s top 100 games now run perfectly on Proton after a few tweaks. However, there’s still plenty of work to be done before we can expect a flawless experience using the Steam Deck, with just 35% of the top 100 either running flawlessly or natively on Linux.

        Compatibility could quickly rise to 88% if developers were to patch their games with Proton compatible versions of Easy Anti-Cheat or BattlEye services, which are currently leaving games like Destiny 2 and New World unplayable. That said, because the affected games currently can’t launch using Proton, there’s no way of knowing whether other issues accompany those related to anti-cheat measures.

      • 75% of Steam’s Top 1000 games work on Linux now – gHacks Tech News

        Valve Software, the company behind the popular Steam gaming platform and smash hits such as Dota 2, Half-Life and Team Fortress, announced plans in 2018 to improve Windows game support for Linux.

        Steam Play, a feature that Valve Software launched in 2010 to allow cross-platform game play on Steam, would be used to improve support. Originally launched as a way for gamers to play their games on all platforms without having to purchase games for each platform, Valve Software included a modified version of Wine, called Proton, in Steam Play.

        Proton improved compatibility and Linux users on Steam had access to more games using the new feature.

      • 80% of Steam’s 100 Most Popular Games Now Run on Linux with Proton – How smart Technology changing lives [Ed: Dubious site/source]

        Proton has de facto been the true starting gun for the Linux Gaming. For those of you who don’t know what we’re talking about, it’s a Wine-based compatibility layer powered by Valve to make it easier to run Windows video games on Linux and macOS.

        Proton is served through the Steam Play feature of the Steam client, but being an open source development, it can be taken over, forked, and re-implemented by anyone who wants it, so it’s also employed by Lutris, Heroic Game Launcher, and MiniGalaxy, to name three relatively well-known projects at least.

      • Steam Deck compatibility with games is growing, but it’s not all good news

        Linux can now run 80% of the top 100 most popular games on Steam using the Proton compatibility layer, and therefore by extension the same is true of the SteamOS (Linux) powered Steam Deck.

        This fresh milestone was reported by ProtonDB, which keeps track of compatibility via reports from gamers. At the time of writing, exactly 80% of Windows games are ranked as ‘Gold’ for Proton compatibility, which means that the titles in question run ‘perfectly’ after a little tweaking (games which run perfectly with no tweaking needed at all are rated Platinum).

        Essentially, Gold ratings (or above) are what you’re looking for in order to ensure that a game is a smooth experience with Proton, as Silver-rated titles, while being generally playable, have some issues.

        Ratings are based on player reports as mentioned, and out of 21,244 games which have been reported and included in ProtonDB’s stats, 17,649 work via Proton.

      • 75% of Steam’s Top 1000 Games Work On Linux Now
    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • GNOME Desktop/GTK

        • GTK4ifying Settings – Georges Stavracas

          It took a long time, and massive amounts of energy and sweat and blood, but as of last week, Settings is finally ported to GTK4 and uses libadwaita for platform integration.

          This was by far the biggest application I’ve ported to GTK4. In total, around 330 files needed to be either rewritten or at least modified as part of the porting process. It also required GTK4 ports of some dependencies, like gnome-desktop, libnma, and colord-gtk.

    • Distributions

      • Elementary OS 6.1 Run Through and Interview With Danielle Foré

      • SUSE/OpenSUSE

        • Harvester is now production-ready and generally available   | SUSE Communities

          2021 has been a memorable year for the Harvester team. In May, SUSE hosted the first virtual SUSECON, where we announced the beta release of Harvester, alongside a cast of new innovative open source projects from the SUSE Rancher engineering team. In October, for the first time in two years, we were able to meet our industry peers and the community face-to-face at KubeCon North America where we announced Harvester’s plans to integrate with our leading Kubernetes management platform SUSE Rancher.

          [..]

          Harvester is a 100% free-to-use, open source modern hyperconverged infrastructure solution that is built on a foundation of cloud native solutions including Kubernetes, Longhorn and Kubevirt. It has been designed as an enterprise-ready turnkey solution that gives operators a familiar operating experience like other proprietary HCI solutions in the market.

        • Technical Insights of Harvester 1.0 | SUSE Communities

          Exactly one year ago, we announced the alpha availability of the project Harvester, an open Source Hypercoverged Infrastructure solution. During this last year, the team has been working hard on developing the project and we brought you the beta release of v0.2.0 and v0.3.0. Throughout the last year, we’ve received many queries from our users and the community, asking when Harvester will be in production.

        • Digest of YaST Development Sprint 137 | YaST

          As you may know, YaST has the ability to update itself at the very beginning of the installation of the operating system. That makes possible to correct the installation process in case errors are detected after publishing a given release of SUSE Linux Enterprise.

          Recently we found there was room for improving the speed and also to simplify how the mechanism works in some scenarios. It’s hard to explain exactly what we did in only a few words… so we will not try. ;-) But if you don’t mind reading quite some words and watching a couple of animations, go and check the description of this pull request.

          Apart from the already mentioned improvements, we also extended the YaST self-update to support relative URLs. Check the details in this separate pull request.

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • What sysadmins want to know about OpenShift and Kubernetes

          If I could summarize my philosophy of knowledge in the open source world, it would be “learn hard, share harder!” This idea drives me to give back to the community in appreciation for all it has provided me.

          [...]

          Kudos to our contributors who have gifted us with such excellent articles this year! As I said at the beginning of this article, “learn hard, share harder.” Learn, benefit, use, and be inspired by these articles, so that you can share your knowledge with others, too.

        • Real-time Analytics News for Week Ending December 18

          Red Hat announced updates throughout its portfolio of application services. The modularity of the Red Hat Application Services portfolio contributes to a unified environment for application development, delivery, integration, and automation. The combination of the Quarkus platform with the connectivity capabilities of Apache Camel, the intelligent decisioning of Kogito, API management with Red Hat 3scale API Management, and the power of Red Hat OpenShift enables Java developers to fully embrace cloud-and Kubernetes-native development.

        • Hybrid work model: 4 tips for teams in 2022 [Ed: IBM says you are “IBM employee 100% of the time”. Today, from IBM: we keep you under control in the workplace and also at home]

          In 2022, the hybrid work model will be called, simply, “work.” Until it’s the norm, teams will have growing pains making the adjustment. While there is no cookie-cutter approach for all people, roles, or projects, consider these tips to smooth the transition.

          [...]

          Use milestones and deadlines to gauge your team’s progress instead of tracking time. One challenge of remote work is “appearing” to be productive and present to the management team. However, measurement should not be seen as a punitive exercise to catch people out – it should guide employees toward completing their goals.

      • Debian Family

        • Debian 11 ‘Bullseye’ updated to 11.2 with 40+ security updates and 60+ bugfixes

          The Debian project has released a second update for the stable distribution Debian 11, codenamed “Bullseye”. Although the latest update is not a major revision, it includes more than 40 security updates, in addition to 60+ bug fixes.

          Nearly two months after releasing Debian 11.1, the team behind the Linux distro has sent out an incremental update that fixes multiple bugs, and also addresses several security issues. One of the most prominent of the patches, include a fix for actively exploited Log4j vulnerability.

          If you have been applying updates, you’ll automatically be on Debian 11.2. You can check to see if you have the latest updates through the graphical update tool. Alternatively, experienced users can fire up the Terminal and update Debian with the command sudo apt update && sudo apt full upgrade.

        • Model upgrade: Linux distribution Debian is in version 11.2 (Bullseye) [Ed: Automated translation of article in German]

          The Debian Release 11.2 “Bullseye” is not a completely new version, but mainly a package refreshment. The updated version removes security problems – it contains updates to close the Log4j gaps – and is also intended to fix some serious problems. There are new installation media to download, but a normal update also brings existing Bullseye installations to the current state.

          That lists the numerous security updates and package updates Debian project in the changelog on. The kernel is now about version 5.10.83-rt58. New versions of Apache, Firefox, LibreOffice, Samba, WordPress and explicitly additional apache-log4j2 also seal off vulnerabilities.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

    • Devices/Embedded

      • 10GbE shows up on Linux router board and M.2 module

        Wallys announced a “DR8072 V01” router board that runs Linux on a 2.2GHz, quad -A53 Qualcomm IPQ8072A and offers 802.11ax, mini-PCIe, 4x GbE, and 10GbE SFP and copper ports. Meanwhile, Innodisk unveiled the world’s first 10GbE M.2 module.

        Over the last year we have seen 2.5GbE and to a lesser extent 10GbE ports extend their reach in embedded systems. Now, Wallys (or Wally’s) has announced a Linux router board with dual 10GbE ports and Innodisk has announced the Linux-compatible “EGPL-T10,” which it bills as the world’s first 10GbE M.2 module (see farther below).

        Wallys’ DR8072 V01 board follows its DR8072A, which similarly runs OpenWrt and other Linux distributions on the 2.2GHz, quad -A53 Qualcomm IPQ8072A. The SoC is equipped with dual-band, 4×4 802.11ax (Wi-Fi 6) for 8x streams at up to 2475 Mbps. The main difference in the boards is that the new V01 model provides dual 10GbE ports instead of dual 2.5GbE ports

      • LG All-in-One Thin Clients Preloaded with IGEL OS for Release in 2022

        LG All-in-One thin clients preloaded with IGEL OS will ship on select LG hardware with support for Citrix, VMware Workspace ONE, Windows 365 and more.

      • Open Hardware/Modding

        • Making music with a Nano 33 IoT-based MIDI keyboard | Arduino Blog

          As part of an assigned project in his class, Peter Ashmore and a partner were tasked with making some kind of interactive object, so they decided to go with a MIDI keyboard due to their shared enjoyment of music production. Modeled somewhat after the typical Launchpad, the team’s system incorporated a set of 13 buttons spanning one octave, as well as two buttons for controlling the current octave and a knob that regulates the volume.

          The team went with an Arduino Nano 33 IoT as the brains of the operation and wired up the 15 push buttons in a pull-down configuration. After they had finished soldering each component to pieces of perfboard, each element was then assembled into a custom-built chassis that was laser cut from plywood and coated in black spray paint.

        • Turing-ring is a DIY Turing machine consisting of an Arduino and an RGB LED ring | Arduino Blog

          With just an infinite tape, a head that can read or write, a state, and some rules, Turing machines (TMs) are capable of running any computer program. So, after winning a NeoPixel ring in a competition, Mark Wilson wanted to implement his own Turning machine using just a few RGB LEDs and a single Arduino Nano.

          When his aptly named Turing-ring starts up, an initial state and cell values on the tape can be loaded from either internal program storage or over a USB serial connection. From there, the TM can be further modified or run in order to perform a given task. Furthermore, a user can input their own states (denoted by LED colors) onto the tape by turning a rotary encoder and pressing down to confirm their choice. The speed at which the machine iterates through each step is controlled from either the menu or by rotating the dial when a program is running.

        • TTGO T-CAN485 – An ESP32 board with RS485, CAN bus interfaces – CNX Software

          LilyGO is regularly bringing ESP32 boards to market for specific applications, and their latest TTGO T-CAN485 connects ESP32 to CAN bus and RS485 industrial control interfaces.

          The board also takes 5 to 12V power input via a 2-pin terminal, comes with a microSD card for data storage, a USB Type-C port and CH340K serial chip for programming and debuggging, plus a 12-pin GPIO header, some buttons, and an RGB LED.

        • The Inspirer Keeps Your Mood Up With Inspirational Quotes And Soothing Music | Hackaday

          While some people enjoy the cold weather and long, dark nights in the Northern Hemisphere these days, others may find it hard to keep a positive mindset all through the winter. [Michael Wessel] decided he needed to do something about that and came up with The Inspirer, a desktop display that shows inspirational quotes and plays soothing music.

          The design is deliberately bare-bones: a strip of wood, standing upright thanks to two metal brackets, onto which a bunch of components have been screwed, glued and taped. The actual display consists of a row of 14-segment LED modules that can show basic alphanumeric characters; these displays emit white light, but [Michael] added a red color filter in front to give them a more “retro” look.

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • The curl year 2021 | daniel.haxx.se

        I’m saving my bigger summary for curl’s 24th birthday in March, but when reaching the end of a calendar year it feels natural and even fun to look back and highlight some of the things we accomplished and what happened during this particular lap around the sun. I decided to pick five areas to highlight.

      • Developer creates ‘Quite OK Image Format’ that beats PNGs • The Register

        A developer named Dominic Szablewski has given the world a new file format with a splendid name: the Quite OK Image Format (QOI).

        The file format might be better than that. Szablewski explained that he decided the world needed a new image format because the likes of PNG, JPEG, MPEG, MOV and MP4 “burst with complexity at the seams.”

        “Every tiny aspect screams ‘design by consortium’,” he added, going on to lament the fact that most common codecs are old, closed, and “require huge libraries, are compute hungry and difficult to work with.”

      • The Apache Weekly News Round-up: week ending 17 December 2021

        We’re wrapping up another great week with the following activities from the Apache community…

      • Web Browsers

        • Mozilla

          • Support.Mozilla.Org: What’s up with SUMO – December 2021

            December is here. As you’re sliding off into a more cozy corner of your house surrounded by your family members, let’s see what SUMO has been up to in the last month of 2021.

          • William Lachance: Leaving Mozilla

            I’ve decided to leave Mozilla as an employee: my last day will be December 31st, 2021.

            It’s hard to overstate the impact Mozilla has had on my life over the last ten years. In particular, I’m grateful for all the interactions I’ve had with the community: the opportunity to build technology for the public good with people around the world was unique and I’m really going to miss it.

            Looking back over the past 10 years, I’m feeling pretty good about the impact I had through building better developer and data tooling: mozregression, Perfherder, Iodide and the Glean Dictionary stand out as particular highlights. Thanks to everyone who worked on those things with me! I am because we are.

      • SaaS/Back End/Databases

        • PostgreSQL Weekly News – December 19, 2021

          FOSDEM PGDay 2022 will be held on line, on Feb 5-6, 2022. https://fosdem.org/2022/

          A PostgreSQL Transition Guide, containing much hard-won wisdom, and available in French and English, has been published

          pgDay Paris 2022 will be held in Paris, France on March 24, 2022. The CfP is open through December 31, 2021 at midnight, Paris time.

          Citus Con, a virtual global developer event, is happening April 12-13, 2022. The CFP is now open.

      • Content Management Systems (CMS)

        • WordPress 5.9 Beta 4

          WordPress 5.9 Beta 4 is now available for testing!

          This software version is still under development. Please do not run this software on a production site; install it on a test site, where you can try out the newest features and get a feel for how they will work on your site.

      • Programming/Development

        • Joey Hess: Volunteer Responsibility Amnesty Day

          Happy solstice, and happy Volunteer Responsibility Amnesty Day!

          After my inventory of my code today, I have decided it’s time to pass on moreutils to someone new.

          This project remains interesting to people, including me. People still send patches, which are easy to deal with. Taking up basic maintenance of this package will be easy for you, if you feel like stepping forward.

          [...]

          The other reason it’s less appealing to me is that unix tools as a whole are less appealing to me now. Now, as a functional programmer, I can get excited about actual general-purpose functional tools. And these are well curated and collected and can be shown to fit because the math says they do. Even a tiny Haskell function like this is really very interesting in how something so maximally trivial is actually usable in so many contexts.

        • Vanessa Christopher: Everybody Struggles

          Before Outreachy I did not have the slightest idea of what packaging was all about as a matter of fact it was completely new to me.

        • stop defining feature-test macros in your code – Ariadne’s Space

          If there is any change in the C world I would like to see in 2022, it would be the abolition of #define _GNU_SOURCE. In many cases, defining this macro in C code can have harmful side effects ranging from subtle breakage to miscompilation, because of how feature-test macros work.

        • OpenBLAS 0.3.19 Released With Alder Lake & Sapphire Rapids Detection

          OpenBLAS as the popular, open-source BLAS (Basic Linear Algebra Subprograms) library implementation posted its newest release on Sunday.

          OpenBLAS 0.3.19 is the new release and brings CPU ID detection for the recently released Intel Alder Lake desktop processors, support for upcoming Xeon Scalable “Sapphire Rapids”, and more:

          - Intel CPU detection for Alder Lake and Sapphire Rapids. On the Sapphire Rapids front is also an optimized SB-GEMM kernel.

        • Ravgeet Dhillon: Create an App Information Component in Nuxt

          You must have seen multiple apps which show the app’s information like app version and last updated at time in their footers or via a floating action button. In this tutorial, you’ll learn to create a component to show such kind of information in a Nuxt app.

          [...]

          That’s it! You have successfully implemented an app information component in your Nuxt app. In the same way, you can add things like Changelog, What’s New, and more to your app by taking the help of publicRuntimeConfig in a Nuxt app.

        • CI/CD platforms: How to choose the right continuous integration and delivery system for your business – TechRepublic

          Continuous integration and continuous delivery have become mainstays in the development scene in the past few years, making them nearly a requirement for most development workflows. In recent years, new players have come into the market and brought new workflows and platforms to enable additional steps, automated testing and even automated deployment into the mix.

          [...]

          In the software development life cycle, developers push code into a Distributed Version Control System such as GitHub, GitLab, Bitbucket or some other platform on a self-hosted system or other system. A continuous integration platform sits in between this, looking for changes pushed into the DVCS and executes builds on the codebase when certain triggers are met. Continuous integration triggers could be based around individual code pushes to a particular branch, merge of code from a pull request or based on a time-based schedule (nightly builds, weekly builds, etc.).

          The continuous delivery aspect of CI/CD allows software teams to easily and safely get builds into production environments by building code, testing the code and then getting those build artifacts into the production environment. With continuous delivery, builds are typically triggered manually or on a time-based schedule, tests suites are run and results are reported if there are any issues with the code; then afterward, artifacts are made available to ship into a production environment.

        • Perl/Raku

          • Writing a SNES assembler compiler/disassembler – Day 3

            When starting implementing the compiler part of this. I noticed that the grammar does not actually really work, especially if you introduce new lines. If I parse a file with 3 instructions, we catch the \n sometime and the asm-comment token is too greedy.

            Let’s change the ws rule to only capture horizontal blank (space and tab) and introduce an eol token, this makes the grammar more clear on what we are working on also.

          • PDL 2.063_01 released

            There have been a couple of developments in PDL since the last announcement on here I could find, from 2013. To hypersummarise: 64-bit indexing, native complex number support, automatic pthreading using all available CPU cores, faster installation thanks to parallel-building, memory-mapped data, repository hosted on GitHub, easy to use “with” Inline.

          • Raku Advent Calendar: Day 21 – Santa Claus is Rakuing Along
        • Shell/Bash/Zsh/Ksh

          • Making a transect into a point and circle

            Another way to describe a straight-line transect is with its midway point plus the radius of a circle which includes the whole of the transect. In the Darwin Core scheme for recording biological data, that midway point is at decimalLatitude and decimalLongitude, and the circle’s radius, or half the length of the transect, is the coordinateUncertaintyInMeters.

            Given the LINESTRING WKT for a transect, you can calculate the midway point and half the transect length in a single AWK command, as explained below.

  • Leftovers

    • Science

      • Hydrogen Generation Made Easy | Hackaday

        Even if you never want to generate hydrogen, [Maciej Nowak’s] video (embedded below) is interesting to watch because of the clever way the electrode is formed from stainless steel washers. You’ll need heat shrink tubing, but you ought to have that hanging around anyway. Building the electrode using the techniques in the video results in a lot of surface area which is important for an electrochemical reaction.

        A standard rechargeable cell provides power for the generator which resides in a modified plastic bottle. The overall build looks good even though it is all repurposed material.

        The chemistry inside is ordinary water and drain cleaner — potassium hydroxide. We don’t need to tell you to be careful with that and also take care of what you do with the explosive gas. We say “explosive” rather than “flammable” because this design doesn’t separate the hydrogen from the oxygen, and the resulting mix is ready to go off. The video shows a few homemade rockets using the fuel and while they aren’t going to the moon, they do pack quite a bit of energy.

      • Is Cloud Seeding Good, Bad, Or Ugly? | Hackaday

        The Chinese Communist Party celebrated its centenary on the 1st of July, 2021. For such a celebration, clear skies and clean air would be ideal. For the capable nation-state, however, one needn’t hope against the whims of the weather. One can simply control it instead!

        A recent paper released by Tsinghua University indicated that China had used cloud seeding in order to help create nicer conditions for its 100-year celebration. Weather modification techniques have been the source of some controversy, so let’s explore how they work and precisely what it was that China pulled off.

      • Li-ion Battery Low-Level Intricacies Explained Excellently | Hackaday

        There’s a lot of magic in Lithium-ion batteries that we typically take for granted and don’t dig deeper into. Why is the typical full charge voltage 4.2 V and not the more convenient 5 V, why is CC/CV charging needed, and what’s up with all the fires? [The Limiting Factor] released a video that explains the low-level workings of Lithium-ion batteries in a very accessible way – specifically going into ion and electron ion exchange happening between the anode and the cathode, during both the charge and the discharge cycle. The video’s great illustrative power comes from an impressively sized investment of animation, script-writing and narration work – [The Limiting Factor] describes the effort as “16 months of animation design”, and this is no typical “whiteboard sketch” explainer video.

        This is 16 minutes of pay-full-attention learning material that will have you glued to your screen, and the only reason it doesn’t explain every single thing about Lithium-ion batteries is because it’s that extensive of a topic, it would require a video series when done in a professional format like this. Instead, this is an excellent intro to help you build a core of solid understanding when it comes to Li-ion battery internals, elaborating on everything that’s relevant to the level being explored – be it the SEI layer and the organic additives, or the nitty-gritty of the ion and electron exchange specifics. We can’t help but hope that more videos like this one are coming soon (or as soon as they realistically can), expanding our understanding of all the other levels of a Li-ion battery cell.

    • Hardware

      • Keebin’ With Kristina: The One With The Hole-y Keyboard | Hackaday

        According to Google Translate, kleks is Polish for (and I’m cherry-picking definitions here) the word ‘splash’. Well, [deʃhipu]’s hole-ful and soulful Kleks Keyboard certainly made a splash with me. [deʃhipu] knows what I’m talking about. As I said in Discord, I just love the look of those holes. They’re purely aesthetic and do a nice job of showing off [deʃhipu]’s routing skills.

        One might argue that those holes also functional in that they increase aerodynamics and remove a not-insignificant amount of weight for travel considerations. But yeah, they mostly are there to look cool. Upon closer inspection, I saw that the two halves are joined with a series of soldered stitches that are made from a [ggconnector] bent into a u-shape. Now it’s a toss-up as to which is my favorite feature.

        It seems that [deʃhipu] is never completely satisfied by this or that keyboard build, and that’s okay. That’s normal. That is . . . a big part of what this hobby is all about. Because honestly, what would be the fun in finding The One? We wonder what will happen when the droplets settle. Will [deʃhipu] be satisfied with the Kleks, or will those stylish holes become un-fillable voids?

      • A Particularly Festive Chip Decapping | Hackaday

        As we approach the moment in the year at which websites enter a festive silly season of scrambling to find any story with a festive angle, we’re pleased to see the ever-reliable [Ken Shirriff] has brought his own take on Christmas tech to the table with a decapping of the UM66T melody chip that has graced so many musical greeting cards.

      • An All In One Cube PC For A 1990s That Never Quite Happened | Hackaday

        When a particular device or appliance is evoked, there comes with it a set of expectations over what it might look like. A toaster, a camera, a washing machine, or a PC, will all have their own accepted form factors, and it’s rare that a manufacturer is adventurous enough to venture outside them. In the world of PCs there was a brief flowering of this type of creativity through the 1990s, and it’s that time which [ikeji]’s cube PC squarely fits in. It’s a 3D printed PC with a built-in display, keyboard, and printer, and while some might categorize it as a cyberdeck we’d say it goes further, we could easily imagine a slightly more polished version being an object of desire back when a powerful machine carried an 80486.

      • The Assassin’s Teapot Is A Mischevious Design | Hackaday

        Many films use a similar trope when it comes to poisoning. The aspiring murderer ingests a drink poured from the same vessel as that given to their intended victim to indicate the liquid is safe to imbibe. The Assassin’s Teapot is a way one could achieve such a ruse, allowing two different liquids to be poured from what is seemingly a regular teapot, as shown by [Steve Mould]. (Video after the break.)

        The trick is simple. Two separate cavities exist within the teapot, exiting via their own paths in the same spout. Each cavity also has an air hole in the top. If the hole for a given cavity is blocked by the pourer’s thumb, the liquid will not flow.

        Each cavity can be filled with its own liquid. For example, one can be filled with tea, the other with poisoned tea. The murderer blocks the hole for the poison cavity when pouring their own beverage, delivering tea to their own glass. Then, when pouring for the enemy, the hole for the tea cavity is blocked, and poison is allowed to flow into the glass of one’s target.

      • Concrete With 3D Printed Foam Forms | Hackaday

        The latest 3D printing application? Forming concrete. That’s according to a team at ETH Zurich who claims that construction with foam forms cuts concrete usage up to 70%. It also offers improved insulation properties. You can see a video about the process, below.

        Typical concrete work relies on a form often made with wood, steel, or plastic. That’s easy to do, but hard to make complex shapes. However, if you can create complex shapes you can easily put material where it adds strength and omit material where it doesn’t carry load. Using a robotic-arm 3D print technique, the researchers can lay out prefabricated blocks of foam that create forms with highly complex shapes.

      • All Hail Your New Giant 555 Timer Overlord | Hackaday

        You asked for it, and now you’ve got it. It’s taken more than a decade of accumulated complaining, but this gigantic 555 timer IC has finally gathered enough psychokinetic energy to take corporeal form and demand fealty from the readers of Hackaday.

        Or not. The less exciting explanation is that creator [Rudraksha Vegad] was looking for a way to combine his interests in discrete electronic components and woodworking. The result is an incredible build that’s more than just a conversation starter; this desktop-sized version of the iconic integrated timer circuit is fully functional. You can even hook it up to a breadboard, assuming you’ve got some alligator clips handy.

      • Know Audio: Mixtapes, Tape Loops, And Razor Blades | Hackaday

        For the collector, ther have been a multitude of esoteric tape cartridges and cassettes over the decades, but for the purposes of a Hi-Fi system it’s likely that only two formats will be of interest. The reel-to-reel was the original tape recorder, having as its name suggests a pair of open reels of tape. Consumer and lower-end professional reel-to-reel machines used 1/4 inch wide tape running at a variety of speeds, from 15 inches per second for broadcast quality to 7.5 inches per second as a normal workaday recording medium, and 3.25 inches per second for speech recording. Its extreme ease of editing with a razor blade to cut the tape before splicing with special sticky tape made it a revolution in the broadcast world, and some of us were still doing this in the 1990s.

        Perhaps you’ll be more familiar with the cassette tape, a format developed at Philips in the 1960s as a dictation medium but which due to its popularity was developed into a Hi-Fi medium and then through the success of Sony’s Walkman, to the genesis of portable music players. This format takes the two reels, miniaturises them, and encases them in a plastic cassette, with a 0.15 inch wide tape containing four tracks in two stereo pairs moving at 1 7/8 inches per second. That the format could be developed to the point at which such a low tape speed could provide what eventually became a high quality system is a tribute to the work of the many engineers at the competing audio companies of the era who pushed it to its limit.

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