12.30.21

Gemini version available ♊︎

Links 30/12/2021: Raspberry Digital Signage 17.0 and OpenRGB 0.7

Posted in News Roundup at 3:28 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Desktop/Laptop

      • Cheap or free ways to make your old PC faster | PCWorld

        Sometimes it’s just not worth putting new hardware into an old PC. But that doesn’t make it useless! If you still need to use your aging laptop or desktop as an day-to-day actual computer, installing an operating system with a lighter footprint than Windows can help you eke more life out of an aging PC.

        Linux tends to run better than Windows on less potent hardware. In fact, several Linux variants are specifically designed with ultra-minimalist requirements so they’re able to run on old PCs—Puppy Linux, LXLE, and Lubuntu come to mind immediately. The transition from Windows to Linux isn’t as rough as it used to be, but you’ll still want to check out our beginner’s guide to Linux, including the software recommendations on the last page.

    • Audiocasts/Shows

    • Kernel Space

      • Graphics Stack

        • Mesa’s RADV Vulkan Driver Holds A Narrowing Lead Over AMDVLK With Ubuntu 21.10 On Wayland

          AMD this week released AMDVLK 2021.Q4.3 as their last open-source Vulkan driver version of the year and with it came finally fixing the poor performance seen by that driver when running under Wayland such as with Ubuntu 21.04 and newer. Indeed, my tests have confirmed the AMDVLK performance now being in far better shape under Wayland, but is it enough to better compete now with Mesa’s RADV alternative Vulkan driver? Here are fresh benchmarks.

          This week’s AMDVLK 2021.Q4.3 release does work much better now such as with Ubuntu 21.10 where GNOME on Wayland is used by default. It’s a huge improvement for running AMDVLK on Wayland compositors and good news ahead of the all-important Ubuntu 22.04 LTS.

        • Collabora exposes the status of Wayland’s support for Wine

          Collaborate has been working for months on the development of a driver that allows Wine work natively in Wayland, a goal that is unlikely to be achieved by seeing Alexandre Julliard’s skepticism.

          Wayland is a graphical protocol that promises to root out Xorg’s unsolvable problems like security and tearing, in addition to providing a simplification of the graphic stack that is already leading to lower energy consumption. However, it has the disadvantage of being difficult to implement, an obstacle that is the second time that Wine has tried to overcome.

          Yes, you read correctly. The Collabora initiative is the second attempt to provide Wine with native Wayland support. Alexandre Julliard, Head of Wine and a senior person at CodeWeavers, said he started writing a driver years ago, but its development stalled when it happened. “Realized that there was essentially no way to do decent window management, and that the best we could do would be the equivalent of X11 desktop mode, where we manage the windows ourselves. I do not have the impression that the situation has improved in all that time, nor that there is interest in improving it “.

        • Better AMD Radeon VCE Video Encode Performance Coming To Linux – Phoronix

          With a few lines of changed code updating some parameters, AMD Radeon graphics processors having the VCE video encoder block will be able to enjoy better performance.

          With a pending merge request to Mesa, AMD is updating the default motion estimation parameters to the Gallium3D video acceleration encode front-end. These updated values in turn should improve video encoding performance of H.264 with AMD Radeon GPUs having the VCE block.

          The MR is under review but presumably will be merged still in time for Mesa 22.0. AMD’s VCE 1.0 block premiered with Radeon HD 7000 series GPUs as well as Trinity/Richland APUs back in the day. VCE continued to be improved upon and the latest iteration was worked into Vega-based GPUs. But since Navi or Raven/Picasso on the APU front is now Video Core Next (VCN) as the successor to VCE.

        • RadeonSI Gallium3D Driver Adds Sparse Texture Support For GFX9/Vega & Newer – Phoronix

          As one of the last major feature changes heading into Mesa Git this calendar year, RadeonSI Gallium3D as the open-source OpenGL driver for modern AMD Radeon GPUs there is now sparse texture support.

          ARB_sparse_texture is now implemented in Mesa 22.0-devel for RadeonSI with GFX9/Vega and newer graphics processors. Sparse textures frees up the mandate that all textures are physically-backed in vRAM and allows for texture paging / on-demand loading of texture assets and other flexibility not otherwise permitted with OpenGL.

    • Benchmarks

      • Laptops have more autonomy with Wayland than with Xorg – itsfoss.net

        Despite the great legion of detractors it has Wayland, versus Xorg brings things like greater fluidity with graphics, puts an end to the tearing by design and is capable of extend the autonomy of notebooks. The latter has recently been demonstrated by Michael Larabel, Phoronix boss and lead developer of the benchmarking test suite of the same name, who has compared the performance and power consumption of Xorg and Wayland on both GNOME What KDE Plasma.

        Regarding the performance, we are not going to delve into it because it is not the main topic of this entry, although to summarize, we can say that the trend continues when it comes to having a similar performance with Wayland and Xorg. However, in KDE Plasma it is detected that the Wayland session gets lost by an appreciable difference in some cases, while in GNOME the results are more consistent between the two graphical “servers” and Wayland is better off (GNOME has been in the two comparisons, while KDE only in one).

        To make what we’re saying more clearly, let’s take the two most obvious examples, spanning the performance tests that Unvanquished and Warsaw have run on.

    • Applications

      • OpenRGB 0.7 Released With Many More Devices Supported, Improved Settings – Phoronix

        OpenRGB 0.7 is out as the newest feature release for this vendor-independent software that provides for RGB lighting controls for many different devices/brands and works across Linux / macOS / Windows.

        OpenRGB 0.7 improves the RGB lighting ecosystem by supporting devices cross-vendor and also enabling RGB controls for Linux where many vendors provide no official support. OpenRGB supports a growing number of devices from many different vendors to vastly improve the RGB lighting ecosystem with “one app to rule them all” when it comes to lighting.

      • release_0.7 · Adam Honse / OpenRGB · GitLab
      • OpenRGB 0.7 Released with Improved Plugin Architecture

        The OpenRGB project announced today the release of OpenRGB 0.7 which improve the user experience, as well as the addition of support for more devices.

        For those who are unfamiliar with OpenRGB, it’s a cross-platform open-source app designed to auto-detect and display supported RGB-enabled devices, allowing you to control them from a centralized interface.

        Many gaming machines are equipped with RGB lighting with numerous options. OpenRGB is designed to help users make the most out of their RGB-enabled devices such as motherboards, RAM modules, graphics cards, LED strips and fan controllers, as well as coolers, keyboards, and mice.

      • darktable 3.8 brings new keyboard shortcuts and improved blurs

        The developers of darktable They have decided to take advantage of Christmas to publish version 3.8 of this popular RAW image editor. As is usual with each new launch of this application, we find a large number of news that we will try to summarize in this post.

        The first thing that has been highlighted from darktable 3.8 is that “the keyboard shortcut system has been redesigned and expanded completely to allow darktable to be controlled with other devices, such as MIDI devices and video game controllers. Standard keyboard or mouse shortcuts can now make use of mouse movements (horizontal, vertical, diagonal), as well as multiple button or key presses and short or long presses or clicks ”.

        The new diffusion or sharpened module simulates or reverses the diffusion process to reconstruct images from a blurry lens or noise, among other things. This can also be used to simulate watercolor stains, increase local contrast, or apply a surface blur.

        The new module for blurring related to the scene opens the door to synthesizing movements and blurring of the lens in a parametric and physically precise way, allowing to define the trajectory of the movement or the diaphragm of the lens and then generate the corresponding blur.

      • GNU direven 5.3

        Version 5.3 of direvent is available for download.
        New in this version:
        New event: “change”

        The change event is implemented on GNU/Linux and FreeBSD. This event is delivered when a file was modified and closed.
        New configuration statement for manipulating the environment

        The environ statement is now a compound statement. It can contain five kinds of substatements: clear to clear the environment, keep to retain certain variables while clearing the environment, set to set a variable, unset to unset a variable or variables, and eval to evaluate a variable reference for side effects.
        Both keep and unset can take globbing pattern as their argument, in which case they affect all variables matching that pattern.
        Arguments to all these statements are subject to variable expansion.
        The environ block can appear in global context as well. In this case it applies to all watchers.
        The support for the old one-line environ syntax is retained for backward compatibility.

      • PGPainless 1.0.0 Released! – vanitasvitae’s blog

        Close to the end of 2021 I’m excited to announce the release of PGPainless version 1.0.0! After a series of release candidates, it is finally time to party! The OpenPGP library successfully underwent a security audit in late November and I feel like it finally reached a state of sufficient maturity to be worthy of a major release with a “1” at the front.

      • Johnnycanencrypt 0.6.0 released

        A few days ago I released 0.6.0 of Johnnycanencrypt. It is a Python module written in Rust for OpenPGP using the amazing sequoia-pgp library. It allows you to access/use Yubikeys (without gpg-agent) directly from your code.

        This release took almost an year. Though most of the work was done before, but I was not in a state to do a release.

      • Delve into electronic design automation with KiCad – itsfoss.net

        Today we are going to enter a field that is not usually the protagonist in itsfoss.net, that of the electronic design automation, and we are going to do it, of course, presenting the news of the latest version of a free software suite (GPLv3 and MIT licenses) aimed at this need: KiCad 6.

        Basically, Electronic Design Automation (EDA) refers to software tools geared towards creating projects for the conception and production of electronic systems. To give a specific example, KiCad is one of the toolkits with which the System76 Launch Configurable Keyboard PCB can be opened.

        Going into details about KiCad 6, it is the first major version to be released since July 2018, when version 5.0 appeared. With such a large amount of time, the developers have been able, in their own words, to add “Hundreds of new features and enhancements” and correct “Hundreds of errors”. We imagine that they speak in cumulative terms.

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • How To Install pgAdmin 4 on Fedora 35 – idroot

        know, pgAdmin is an open-source, powerful, and feature-rich graphical user interface (GUI) administration and management tool for the PostgreSQL database. pgAdmin 4 supports PostgreSQL 9.2 or later, and runs on Unix and its variants such as Linux, Mac OS X as well as Windows operating systems.

        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 the step-by-step installation of Discord on a Fedora 35.

      • How to install the Pritunl VPN server on AlmaLinux – TechRepublic

        Pritunl is an open source VPN server you can easily install on your Linux servers to virtualize your private networks. This particular VPN solution offers a well-designed web UI for easy administration and management. All traffic between clients and server is encrypted and the service uses MongoDB, which means it includes support for replication.

      • How To Install RStudio on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS – idroot

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to install RStudio on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS. For those of you who didn’t know, RStudio is a development environment platform created for developers who are interested in the statistical programming language R. Its mission is to provide a statistical computing environment for R allowing analysis and development for anyone to analyze data with the language.

        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 RStudio 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.

      • How To Install Discourse on Debian 11 Bullseye server – Linux Shout

        Discourse is an open-source platform for creating an online forum, comment, chat rooms, or mailing list system. In this tutorial, we see the steps to install Discourse on Debian 11 Bullseye using the command terminal.

        With time, the internet forums have been changed now. They are not anymore with old, monotonous designs. Anyone who has ever used or been a member of phpBB or vBulletin, already understands how forums work and their importance in the internet world. But in the last few years, website operators seem to be far less interested in their forum. However, Discourse finds its way and even gets popular among the community because of the modernization of the forum they are offering with their software.

      • From start to finish: What can you do with a Linux server? – TechRepublic

        Linux is one of the most popular (and powerful) operating systems that exist today. Why the Linux loyalty? There are many reasons. For starters, it’s free and open source software that’s stable, secure and flexible.

        According to the most recent data, 90% of all public clouds run on Linux. And if you’re here, you’ve chosen to take advantage of the operating system too.

      • How to Install Avidemux 2.8.0 via PPA in Ubuntu 20.04, 18.04 & 21.10 | UbuntuHandbook

        The Avidemux video editor released version 2.8.0 few days ago. Here’s what’s new and how to install in Ubuntu via PPA.

        Avidemux 2.8.0 was released on Tuesday with some new features, including ability to convert HDR video to SDR with tone mapping, FFV1 encoder, decoding support for TrueHD audio tracks and WMA9 lossless codec.

        There are other features, such as temporarily disable active filters in Video Filter Manager and reverse video by exporting selection as JPEG images and loading in reverse order.

      • How To Setup Lazarus/Free Pascal Programming Environment (Delphi Alternative) on Ubuntu

        This tutorial will explain how you can install a full Lazarus/Free Pascal software development kit of on Ubuntu Desktop. Lazarus is a visual programming tool to make graphical user interface applications in drag-and-drop ways and with Free Pascal it is often viewed as a complete Free Software alternative or replacement to Delphi. Now let’s set it up!

      • How to back up and restore a website on Linux – TechRepublic

        Disaster happens. Or, if disaster has yet to strike, you might find yourself in a situation wherein you need to migrate a website from one server or host to another. When either thing happens, what do you do? Panic? No. You follow through with your backup and restore plan. You have one, right? No? Okay, let’s fix that.

      • How to Lock Keyboard on Linux & Windows – TREND OCEANS

        Have a pet who loves to mess with a keyboard like a playground? Actually, they love to write their love story! Aha, by bad.

        To be honest, we all are in the same circumstances, or some ignorant who do not belong to computer line, especially kids, love to finger in keyboard button. That’s how I found a tool that can disable/lock the keyboard’s working whenever pressing the shortcut key in series.

        Today, you will learn to disable/lock the keyboard for a temporary on both Linux and Windows systems.

      • How To Secure FTP Server With SSL/TLS In Rocky Linux | LinuxTeck

        In this article, we will demonstrate how to configure a Secure FTP server (vsftpd) using SSL/TLS encryption. Traditional FTP services are not very secure and vulnerable because the credentials are transmitted in clear text, which is prone to crackdowns and many types of attacks like brute force. The majority of applications these days come with a security feature that can be used to set up a secure FTP server. Consider encrypting data between the Server and Client with FTPS (FTP Secure) in conjunction with SSL/TLS. SFTP (SSH File Transfer Protocol) is another way of securing data transmission. SFTP was developed as an extension of SSH, and it can also be used with other security protocols.

    • Games

      • Reviewing The Top 7 Linux Gaming Predictions for 2021 – Boiling Steam

        We had compiled the following top 7 Linux Gaming predictions for 2021 back in February. It’s now the very end of 2021 so let’s see how the predictions did!

        [...]

        While the market share gains (on Steam) where modest, they seem to be real as the share has crossed the bar of 1% for several months now – and is at 1.16% in November. We typically claim that watching the little ups and down on a single month is kind of meaningless, but a persistent trend over 5, 6 months, certainly means something. We can also assume that the gains will be more consistent as the Steam Deck releases in 2022.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • Maui Shell is a convergent shell for Linux on desktops, phones, and tablets – OSnews

          I’ve been keeping an eye on MauiKit for a while now, and over Christmas, they surprised us with their brand new convergent desktop environment – Maui Shell – targeted at both desktops, tablets, and mobile devices. After developing a whole set of applications, as well as a Linux distribution to use them, their next step is now a complete desktop environment.

        • Maui Shell is a converged desktop debuting in Nitrux 1.8

          One of the most interesting things about Nitrux as a project is Maui, a framework built with the technology of KDE and Kirigami that lays the foundations to facilitate the creation of converged applications for Linux, Windows, macOS, Android and iOS. More recently, Nitrux managers have wanted to go one step further with Maui Shell, a converged desktop shell capable of adapting to mobiles and desktops.

          Those responsible have explained that “the objective of Maui Shell is to implement a converged desktop shell with different form factors, from mobile phones and tablets to desktop computers. Maui Shell will accommodate multiple form factors and there is no need for multiple versions to target different form factors.“.

        • Maui Shell is Here, Ushering in a New Era of Desktop Linux – It’s FOSS News

          Over the past few years, it has been extremely exciting to see the team behind Nitrux Linux expand their influence on the Linux community. Now, this influence is set to expand even further with their brand-new Maui Shell.

          Let’s take a look at it!

        • PDF Quirk Version Update | Dragotin’s Blog

          PDF Quirk is a little desktop utility to create PDF files from images, targeted to non nerdy desktop users.

          Sending PDFs is (still) often a requirement in offices where people are asked to transfer PDF files via email, or better by pushing them through their private ownCloud.

          The source images can either be loaded from file, or directly scanned with an hardware scanner. For that, PDF Quirk utilizes the tool scanimage from the SANE Projekt, to avoid reinventing the wheel. Configured once, that works like a charm.

          Having scanned or picked the source images, they can be deskewed, turned and rearranged, and finally converted to a good quality PDF file with reasonable file size.

        • kjournald v0.0.3

          Since the weather was not very inviting for much activities during the x-mas to new-year’s vacation, I used the time to tie together a new tech preview update of kjournald. Apart from a very few changes in the library part of kjournald, i.e. the model/view filter logic that provides simplified access to journald databases, the main focus was on providing a better user experience for the kjournald-browser application.

          kjournald-browser is a reference implementation of the library API and is supposed to show what is possible with the library and also to help in iron-out problems in the API itself. The most visual new changes are…

      • GNOME Desktop/GTK

    • Distributions

      • New Releases

        • Raspberry Digital Signage 17.0 released – Binary Emotions

          Raspberry Digital Signage is an operating system designed for digital signage installations on the Raspberry Pi: it displays a full-screen browser view restricted to a specified resource. It shows web resources from Internet, local network or local folders (so you can use the Pi itself as the source webserver).

          Raspberry Digital Signage comes with the latest Chromium builds (featuring HTML5 capabilities), so you can display more attractive resources, more easily.

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • 12 inspiring examples of open source in education this year | Opensource.com

          Open source has a learning solution for you no matter where you are on the education continuum. This year our writers provided readers with a wide variety of articles that spanned that spectrum from PreK-12 to higher education. Here are 12 you won’t want to miss:

        • 10 storage guides for sysadmins heading into 2022 | Enable Sysadmin

          As a sysadmin, nothing is more nerve-wracking than a big data migration, and today’s storage technologies have come so far that the process can be complicated. I can certainly remember long nights of storage appliance migrations—or even worse, data recoveries—during my days as a sysadmin.

          Enable Sysadmin’s top storage articles of 2021 are packed with advice. If you’re looking for information about resizing logical volumes, Shehu Awwal has a great article, “How to resize a logical volume with 5 simple LVM commands.” What’s the difference between NVMe and M.2? Take a look at Tyler Carrigan’s article. Are you moving data around with rsync or FTP? Check out articles from Steve Newsted, Glen Newell, Anthony Critelli, and Tyler. Or maybe backups, encryption, or compression are what you’re looking for. Saksham Lamba and Ken Hess have that space covered. You can find links to all of these articles (and more) below.

        • Our top 10 articles of 2021 for IT leaders | The Enterprisers Project

          IT leaders learn new tech terms every year, but in 2021, they learned a new management term: Hybrid work. This way of working combines office and remote work.

          As Jordan Peace wrote in one of our top 10 articles of 2021, “Hybrid work presents some unique challenges for employers: How do you run a meeting when half the team is clustered in a conference room while the others are on Zoom? How do you foster collaboration when some employees may never see each other in person and others are together multiple times per week? And how do you extend the less-obvious benefits of an in-person office — social connection, a shared context with coworkers, and office perks — to those who choose to work from home?”

        • IT careers: 3 misconceptions that hold people back | The Enterprisers Project

          Today’s talent market is experiencing some significant growing pains. We’re witnessing a structural realignment of what it means to work and what careers can look like, with employers and candidates each offering their own unique take on the subject.

          While the specifics vary across industry, experience, and education level, the greatest opportunity for talent re-examination exists within fields that have suffered from longstanding mistaken beliefs.

          IT is a prime example. Reinforced by decades of standard operating procedure and rigid widespread processes, building an IT career has often seemed to mean resigning oneself to one of several predetermined paths. However, today’s unique market conditions are upending traditional workplace assumptions, and now is the time for IT professionals to shed their hindering beliefs and embrace new possibilities.

        • systemd 250 improves credential support and makes it easier to migrate home – itsfoss.net

          systemd 250 it is already among us as the new version of init, framework system or system manager that has established itself as one of the most essential components of the Linux ecosystem, starting with most of the most popular distributions. Once again, we find a very large number of changes and news, which, apart from being complex, cover many areas.

          systemd 250 added support for encrypted and authenticated credentials. This can be a key stored in ‘/ var’ or a TPM2 chip in the system whereby the credentials will be decrypted automatically when the corresponding service starts. On the other hand, a tool called ‘systemd-creds’ has been incorporated to manage credentials and that can be used for SSL certificates, passwords and similar data.

          Specification of GPT partition detection has been extended with support for root (/) and ‘/ usr’ partitions on most systemd supported architectures, while ‘systemd-logind’ has a new setting for long press of the system start, restart and sleep buttons. From now on, if the user wishes, long presses of more than 5 seconds can be configured to logind.

        • Why AlmaLinux Is a Good Choice As a Web Server OS

          In this tutorial, we are going to explain what are the benefits of using AlmaLinux and why it is a good choice as a new web server operating system.

          AlmaLinux is a free open-source Linux distribution created by CloudLinux to provide community support successor for CentOS Linux. The first stable version of AlmaLinux was released on March 30, 2021. According to the official announcement from CloudLinux, AlmaLinux will be supported until 2029.

          In the next paragraphs, we are going to explain more about the meaning of AlmaLinux, the beginnings, the supported migrations to AlmaLinux, its pros against the other OS such as CentOS, Ubuntu, Debian, etc. Let’s get started!

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • OBS Studio 27.2 Beta Brings SVT-AV1 Support, Official Flatpak Support – Phoronix

        In preparing for an exciting 2022, the OBS Studio open-source software that is popular with game streamers and for other screencasting purposes, is out with its first beta of OBS Studio 27.2. This next update to OBS Studio is bringing some exciting improvements for this leading cross-platform streaming solution.

        First up, today’s OBS Studio 27.2 Beta 1 release delivers on official Flatpak support for Linux! OBS Studio can now be properly Flatpak’ed for app sandboxing and distribution thanks to the work of well known GNOME developer Georges Stavracas.

      • Devices

        • Sipeed Lichee RV RISC-V module gets $5+ carrier board with HDMI and USB ports, optional WiFi – CNX Software

          Sipeed introduced the Lichee RV Allwinner D1 Linux RISC-V board going for just $17 with 512MB RAM last month. While with a USB-C port it could be used as a standalone part, its dual M.2 connector makes it more like a module and we noted a tiny carrier board was in the works at the time.

          The baseboard is now available and known as the Lichee RV Dock adding HDMI and USB ports, as well as a 40-pin GPIO header for just $5, or $8 if you’d like to get Wi-Fi 4 and Bluetooth 4.2 connectivity through a Realtek RTL8723DS module.

        • CH583 RISC-V microcontroller supports Bluetooth 5.3 LE – CNX Software

          Following up on the CH572 RISC-V BLE microcontroller with 10KB SRAM, WCH has now introduced the CH583 RISC-V microcontroller with 32KB SRAM, 1 MB flash, and support for the latest Bluetooth 5.3 LE standard.

          The new microcontroller also offers a wide range of peripherals with two USB host/device interfaces, up to 40 GPIOs, four UART, two SPI, one I2C, up to 14 ADC interfaces, and more. WCH also offers CH581 and CH582 microcontrollers with a different minimum input voltage, less storage (256KB for CH581) and/or peripherals.

        • Indoor positioning BU01 development board can detect tiny body movements – CNX Software

          GPS is available for outdoor positioning, what about indoors? There is a positioning technology that is more accurate than GPS: UWB. The technology offers positioning accuracy within 10cm which greatly compensates for the shortcomings of the indoor RSSI positioning of past IoT products.

        • ESP32 Pretends To Be GPU; Gives You A Ransomware Scare | Hackaday

          Sometimes a piece of hardware meets a prank idea, and that’s how the fun Hackaday articles are born. [AnotherMaker] shows us some harmless entertainment at the expense of an IT enthusiast in your life – programming an ESP32-powered devboard with a VGA output to show an ever-feared “all your files are encrypted” screen on a monitor connected to it. The ASCII text in its 8-bit glory helps sell this prank, making it look exactly like a BIOS-hijacking piece of malware it claims to be; akin to UIs of the past that skilled hackers would whip up in x86 assembly. The devboard’s integration into a PCI card backplate is a cherry on top, a way to seamlessly integrate this into a PC case, making it look not particularly different from an old graphics card. In such a configuration, we don’t doubt that this would be a head-scratcher to a certain kind of an IT department worker.

        • Some predictions for the year ahead [Ed: Takes note of the role of GNU/Linux in robotics]

          Robotics processor vendors will increasingly offer Robot Operating System (ROS)-based solutions for hardware acceleration across the entirety of robotics offerings.

          This should help tackle the problem of system integration and entice developers to adopt more off-the-shelf processors and hardware.

          Furthermore, the hardware-software optimization will provide a set of benchmarks and standards for the field, which is fairly fragmented at the moment, accelerating the time-to-market.

          As a total of 45,000 cobots and 452,000 mobile robots are expected to be shipped in 2022, a 65 percent and 51 percent Y-o-Y growth, end users are expected to benefit from the tighter integration.

          What will not happen in 2022 includes:

          The democratization of robotics expertise

          While the emergence of ROS and various robotics startups will offer real advances in the short term, robotics as a whole suffers from a significant shortage in expertise.

          In the long run, this will have an adverse effect on development and commercialization. Considerable investment in resource- and time-intensive areas requiring experts from different fields is badly needed, but this will not happen anytime soon.

      • Web Browsers

        • Mozilla

          • Hacks Decoded: Sara Soueidan, Award-Winning UI Design Engineer and Author

            Sara Soueidan is an independent Web UI and design engineer, author, speaker, and trainer from Lebanon.

            Sara has worked with companies around the world, building web user interfaces, designing systems, and creating digital products that focus on responsive design and accessibility. She’s worked with companies like SuperFriendly, Herman Miller, Khan Academy, and has given workshops within companies like Netflix and Telus that focus on building scalable, resilient design.

            When Sara isn’t offering keynote speeches at conferences (she’s done so a dozen times) she’s writing books like “Codrops CSS Reference” and “Smashing Book 5.” Currently, she’s working on a new course, “Practical Accessibility,” meant to teach devs and designers ways to make their products accessible.

            In 2015, Sara was voted Developer of the Year in the net awards, and shortlisted for the Outstanding Contribution of the Year award. She also won an O’Reilly Web Platform Award for “exceptional leadership, creativity, and collaboration in the development of JavaScript, HTML, CSS, and the supporting Web ecosystem.”

            We chatted with Sara about front-end web development, the importance of design and her appreciation of birds.

      • Programming/Development

        • Introduction to MySQL storage engines

          MySQL is probably the most famous Relational Database Management System (RDBMS). Developed as a free and open source software, it was originally backed by the MYSQL AB company, but is now owned by Oracle. In MySQL the “storage engine” used for a table determines how data is handled. There are several storage engines available, but the most used are InnoDB and MyISAM. In this article we see what are their distinctive features and the main differences between them.

        • Breaking down a small language design proposal

          We are developing a new systems programming language. The name is a secret, so we’ll call it xxxx instead. In xxxx, we have a general requirement that all variables must be initialized. This is fine for the simple case, such as “let x: int = 10”.

        • Python

        • Shell/Bash/Zsh/Ksh

  • Leftovers

    • New Cars Will Nickel-and-Dime You – It’s Automotive As A Service | Hackaday [Ed: Techrights covered this recently]

      Every few years, someone pushing a startup to investors comes up with an acronym or buzzword which rapidly becomes the new hotness in those circles. One of the most pernicious is “as a Service,” which takes regular things and finds a way to charge you a regular fee to use them.

      Automotive companies just absolutely loved the sound of this, and the industry is rapidly moving to implement subscription services across the board. Even if there’s hardware in your car for a given feature, you might find you now need to pay a monthly fee to use it. Let’s explore how this came about, and talk about which cars are affected. You might be surprised to find yours already on the list.

    • Hardware

      • Robot Delivery to your Door

        While online shopping was already very popular in South Korea, it has become even more so as people stay home more during the pandemic. Several robotic delivery services have launched around the city, such as 7-Eleven using the Neubie robot by Neubility, the GS25 convenience store using LG’s CLOi ServeBot, and the Baemin food delivery service using the Delidrive robot.

      • 3D Printed Model Roller Coaster Accurately Simulates The Real Thing | Hackaday

        While they don’t give the physical thrill of a real one, model roller coasters are always fun to watch. However, they actually make a poor analog of a full-sized ride, as gravitational force and aerodynamic drag don’t scale down in the same way, model roller coasters usually move way faster than the same design would in the real world. [Jon Mendenhall] fixed this deficiency by designing a model roller coaster that accurately simulates a full-sized ride.

        The track and cart are all made of 3D printed pieces, which altogether took about 400 hours to print. The main trick to the system’s unique motion is that the cart is motorized: a brushless DC motor moves it along the track using a rack-and-pinion system. This means that technically this model isn’t a roller coaster, since the cart never makes a gravity-powered drop; it’s actually a small rack railway, powered by a lithium-ion battery carried on board the cart. An ESP32 drives the motor, receiving its commands through WiFi, while the complete setup is controlled by a Raspberry Pi that runs the cart through a predetermined sequence.

      • When A Ball Robot Becomes Two Wheels | Hackaday

        It’s now about six years since Star Wars: The Force Awakens first showed us the little spherical robot BB-8, but it’s fair to say that along the way we’ve not lost our collective fascination for rolling-ball robots. There have been plenty of attempts to make a fully-rolling device, but perhaps [Derek Lieber] has a better take on it by turning a spherical robot into a two-wheeled roller by the addition of a pair of tyres. Inspired by a Samsung prototype that never made it to market, it works by the wheels working against the machine’s low centre of gravity, and using a tilt sensor to control speed.

      • Peering Into The Murky Depths Of Alder Lake | Hackaday

        The winds of change are in the air for CPUs. Intel has long lorded over the computing world, and they remain a force to contend with, but many challengers gather at their gates. AMD, ARM, IBM, and other X86 designs sense a moment of weakness. In response, Intel released their Alder Lake platform with high-performance and high-efficiency cores, known as Golden Cove and Gracemont, respectively. [Clamchowder] and [cheese] have written up as many details as they were able to suss out about Gracemont.

        ARM has done a multi-multi core design (big.LITTLE) for several years where they have a mix of high-power, high-performance cores and smaller, low-power cores. This allows the scheduler to make tradeoffs between power and performance. Typically the smaller cores in an ARM design are simpler in-order processors, having more in common with a microcontroller than with a full-scale desktop core. Many people have made an obvious comparison with the apparent similarities between ARM’s approach and Intel’s new offerings as Gracemont is based on Intel’s old Atom core, a low-power single issue, in-order processor.

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Security

          • Security updates for Thursday [LWN.net]

            Security updates have been issued by Debian (advancecomp, apache-log4j2, postgis, spip, uw-imap, and xorg-server), Mageia (kernel and kernel-linus), Scientific Linux (log4j), and SUSE (kernel-firmware and mariadb).

          • 2021: New beginnings in digital security

            With our continuing reliance on digital technologies, any rights based work today requires increased focus on cyber security. We are surrounded by threats, bad security practices and vulnerabilities.

            Here, IFF made a new beginning last year. We conducted our first in-person digital security (digisec) workshop with Anoop Bidikar, concluded our pilot year-long digisec training with Saptak Sengupta, launched Cybersec Charcha, and even made videos in Hindi. We have learned a lot from our successes and failures over 2021. Over this short year-end catch up, we’ll walk you through what we did, our achievements and disappointments, and more importantly what we learned and our path ahead in 2022.

            Basic digital security workshops

            Oftentimes, organisations approach us looking for an introduction to digital security and a primer on basic hygiene practices they must follow in their everyday lives. This year we started conducting workshops spanning 1-2 days based on an organisation’s needs. These are basic 2-3 day workshops that give participants an introduction to digital security, seek advice on how they can frame their organisational digital security policies depending on their needs and what they can do in their lives to amp up their personal security. We conducted a total of 8 such workshops in 2021. Our trainers for these workshops this year were Saptak Sengupta, Anoop Bidikar and Shivani Singh.

          • Kubernetes security will have a breakout year in 2022

            While it’s come a long way over the past year, Kubernetes security has not yet reached maturity. But judging from the level of investment in 2021 into technologies for securing Kubernetes — the now-dominant container orchestration platform — enterprises can expect major advancements in the area during the coming year.

            Originally launched as an open source project by Google in 2014 and now under the domain of the Cloud Native Computing Foundation, Kubernetes automates numerous processes involved in the management and deployment of containerized applications. Developers have increasingly gravitated to the platform, which helps to support a modern approach to application development using a microservices architecture.

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DecorWhat Else is New


  1. IRC Proceedings: Wednesday, January 19, 2022

    IRC logs for Wednesday, January 19, 2022



  2. Links 20/1/2022: Linuxfx 11.1 WxDesktop 11.0.3 and FreeIPMI 1.6.9 Released

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  3. Links 19/1/2022: XWayland 22.1 RC1 and OnlyOffice 7.0 Release

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  4. Links 19/1/2022: ArchLabs 2022.01.18 and KDE's 15-Minute Bug Initiative

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  5. When Twitter Protects Abusers and Abuse (and Twitter's Sponsors)

    Twitter is an out-of-control censorship machine and it should be treated accordingly even by those who merely "read" or "follow" Twitter accounts; Twitter is a filter, not a news/media platform or even means of communication



  6. IRC Proceedings: Tuesday, January 18, 2022

    IRC logs for Tuesday, January 18, 2022



  7. Links 19/1/2022: Wine 7.x Era Begins and Istio 1.12.2 is Out

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  8. Another Video IBM Does Not Want You to Watch

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  9. What IBM Does Not Want You to Watch

    Let's 'Streisand it'...



  10. Good News, Bad News (and Back to Normal)

    When many services are reliant on the integrity of a single, very tiny MicroSD card you're only moments away from 2 days of intensive labour (recovery, investigation, migration, and further coding); we've learned our lessons and took advantage of this incident to upgrade the operating system, double the storage space, even improve the code slightly (for compatibility with newer systems)



  11. Someone Is Very Desperate to Knock My Account Off Twitter

    Many reports against me — some successful — are putting my free speech (and factual statements) at risk



  12. Links 18/1/2022: Deepin 20.4 and Qubes OS 4.1.0 RC4

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  13. Links 18/1/2022: GNOME 42 Alpha and KStars 3.5.7

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  14. IRC Proceedings: Monday, January 17, 2022

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  15. Links 17/1/2022: More Microsoft-Connected FUD Against Linux as Its Share Continues to Fall

    Links for the day



  16. The GUI Challenge

    The latest article from Andy concerns the Command Line Challenge



  17. Links 17/1/2022: digiKam 7.5.0 and GhostBSD 22.01.12 Released

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  18. IRC Proceedings: Sunday, January 16, 2022

    IRC logs for Sunday, January 16, 2022



  19. Links 17/1/2022: postmarketOS 21.12 Service Pack 1 and Mumble 1.4 Released

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  20. [Meme] Gemini Space (or Geminispace): From 441 Working Capsules to 1,600 Working Capsules in Just 12 Months

    Gemini space now boasts 1,600 working capsules, a massive growth compared to last January, as we noted the other day (1,600 is now official)



  21. [Meme] European Patent Office Space

    The EPO maintains a culture of illegal surveillance, inherited from Benoît Battistelli and taken to a whole new level by António Campinos



  22. Gemini Rings (Like Webrings) and Shared Spaces in Geminspace

    Much like the Web of 20+ years ago, Gemini lets online communities — real communities (not abused tenants, groomed to be ‘monetised’ like in Facebook or Flickr) — form networks, guilds, and rings



  23. Links 16/1/2022: Latte Dock 0.11 and librest 0.9.0

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  24. The Corporate Cabal (and Spy Agencies-Enabled Monopolies) Engages in Raiding of the Free Software Community and Hacker Culture

    In an overt attack on the people who actually did all the work — the geeks who built excellent software to be gradually privatised through the Linux Foundation (a sort of price-fixing and openwashing cartel for shared interests of proprietary software firms) — is receiving more widespread condemnation; even the OSI has been bribed to become a part-time Microsoft outsourcer as organisations are easier to corrupt than communities



  25. EPO's Web Site Constantly Spammed by Lies About Privacy While EPO Breaks the Law and Outsources Data to the United States

    The António Campinos-led EPO works for imperialism, it not only protects the rich; sadly, António’s father isn’t alive anymore and surely he would blast his son for doing what he does to progress his career while lying to staff and European citizens



  26. Links 16/1/2022: Tsunami and Patents

    Links for the day



  27. IRC Proceedings: Saturday, January 15, 2022

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  28. Links 16/1/2022: Year of the GNU/Linux Desktop and Catch-up With Patent Misinformation

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  29. Patrick Breyer, Unlike Most German Politicians, Highlights the Fact That Unified Patent Court (UPC) and Unitary Patent Are Incompatible With EU Law

    A longtime critic of EPO abuses (under both Benoît Battistelli and António Campinos leadership), as well as a vocal critic of software patents, steps in to point out the very obvious



  30. Links 15/1/2022: Flameshot 11.0 and Libvirt 8.0

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