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Links 02/07/2022: Debian 9 (Stretch) EOL, FocusWriter 1.8.1, and Darktable 4.0

Posted in News Roundup at 5:35 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Desktop/Laptop

      • First RISC-V Laptop Announced
      • ForbesThe 7-inch Pocket Reform Laptop Is Pure 1990s Nostalgia

        Do you want a laptop computer you can slip into a jacket pocket? Well, the Pocket Reform is promising to bring back the 1990s days of PDAs.

        Described by its makers MNT Research as the “the ultimate sofa computer”, the 7-inch laptop is based on open-source software and will come in a variety of hardware configurations.

        The standard configuration will offer an NXP i.MX8M Plus module, which includes a quad-core ARM Cortex A53 processor and 8GB of RAM. Alternatively, you might choose a configuration based on the Raspberry Pi Compute Module 4, which also includes a quad-core Cortex-A72 processor and 8GB of RAM.

        The Pocket Reform will ship with 128GB of built-in storage, but that can be boosted up to 2TB via the SSD slot. There’s also a MicroSD slot for less expensive storage expansion.

        The 7-inch display is Full HD, although it can output at up to 4K resolution via the Micro HDMI port if you want to connect the Pocket Reform to an external screen.

    • Audiocasts/Shows

    • Kernel Space

      • LWNLinux 5.18.9
        I'm announcing the release of the 5.18.9 kernel.
        All users of the 5.18 kernel series must upgrade.
        The updated 5.18.y git tree can be found at:
        	git://git.kernel.org/pub/scm/linux/kernel/git/stable/linux-stable.git linux-5.18.y
        and can be browsed at the normal kernel.org git web browser:
        greg k-h
      • LWNLinux 5.15.52
      • LWNLinux 5.10.128
      • LWNLinux 5.4.203
      • LWNLinux 4.19.250
      • LWNLinux 4.14.286
      • LWNLinux 4.9.321
    • Applications

      • Linux Links4 Best Free and Open Source Elm Static Site Generators

        LinuxLinks, like most modern websites, is dynamic in that content is stored in a database and converted into presentation-ready HTML when readers access the site.

        While we employ built-in server caching which creates static versions of the site, we don’t generate a full, static HTML website based on raw data and a set of templates. However, sometimes a full, static HTML website is desirable. Because HTML pages are all prebuilt, they load extremely quickly in web browsers.

      • FocusWriter 1.8.1 Released

        Always write plain text as UTF-8
        Always write RTF as codepage 1252
        Replaced QTextCodec with ICU
        Translation updates: Estonian, German

      • darktable 4.0: 3763 Days Later | darktable

        A little over 10 years since darktable 1.0 was first released, the darktable team is proud to present darktable 4.0!

        For a complete changelog, please see the release notes. The latest version of the user manual is here. Ukrainian and Polish translations are currently available and we expect to add more over the coming months.

      • 9to5LinuxDarktable 4.0 Released to Celebrate 10 Years of Open Source RAW Image Editing

        Coming more than five months after darktable 3.8.1, the darktable 4.0 release is here to introduce a new feature called Color and Exposure Mapping to ensure uniform color rendition, which is implemented in the Exposure and Color Calibration modules and lets you define and save a target color/exposure for the color pickers. For example, you can use it to perform white balance against non-gray objects of known color.

      • LWNDarktable 4.0.0 released

        Other changes include new exposure and color-calibration modules, a reworked “filmic” color-mapping module, guided laplacian highlight reconstruction, and more.

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • Trend OceansHow to Install Latest Mozilla Firefox on Linux Desktop

        Most Linux distributions already ship with Firefox installed by their distribution package manager and configured as the default browser. It might be unavailable in the minimal version of the distribution.

    • WINE or Emulation

      • Ubuntu HandbookWine 7.12 Released! Here’s how to install it in Ubuntu 22.04 | 20.04

        Wine, the popular software for running Windows apps on Linux, macOS & BSD, released new development version 7.12 a day ago.

        The new Wine 7.12 features theming support for Qt5 applications, bundled vkd3d upgraded to version 1.4, QWORD support in registry tools, and improved effect support in Direct2D.

        As usual, there are various bug-fixes. And, this release includes fixes for Star Citizen, Total War: Shogun 2, Argentum 20 RPG Launcher, MetaTrader4, and more. See the release note for details.

      • PCLOS OfficialWine 7.11 » PCLinuxOS

        Wine is a program which allows running Microsoft Windows programs (including DOS, Windows 3.x and Win32 executables) on Unix.

    • Games

      • Xonotic 0.8.5 Release – Xonotic

        Xonotic 0.8.5 is here at last! There’s been thousands of commits since 0.8.2 making this quite a long read for all the right reasons: refined gameplay, new and updated maps and models, new sound effects, more dangerous bots, new HUD and menu features, more translations, better infrastructure, too many fixes to count, and much more.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • GNOME Desktop/GTK

        • Pitivi GSoC Update

          This is the 4th week since GSoC coding period officially began, this summer I’m hacking on the Pitivi project, porting it to GTK4, a much-requested feature for the editor.

        • [Old] Selected for GSoC’22

          I’m pleased to share that I’m accepted for Google Summer of Code (GSoC) 2022 under GNOME Foundation umbrella on the Pitivi project. This summer I will be updating the project from GTK3 to the latest GTK4 toolkit.

          To anyone that wants to be a part of GSoC, I have only one piece of advice, just go for it. Don’t think if you can do it or not, don’t assume failure before attempting, and don’t overthink. I always felt that it is for the best of the best, and I won’t be able to clear it, all the big organizations on the GSoC page overwhelmed me, but instead of making it a dream, I made it a life goal. And well, now I’m enjoying it.

  • Distributions and Operating Systems

  • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

    • MedevelPain Diary: is an Open-source Pain Logger for Patients

      Pain Diary is an Android app which can help you track and share your pain with your doctor.

      It does not collect, share, track or share any of your data with any third party.

      It allows you to make daily diary entries recording your condition and the intensity, location, nature and time of the pain you feel, as well as the medication you take and additional notes.

      Pain Diary records of your pain can help health
      professionals gain an insight into the pain you are experiencing.


      Privacy Friendly Pain Diary is licensed under the GPLv3.

    • The Register UKCloudera adopts Apache Iceberg tables to show OS commitment • The Register

      Developed through the Apache Software Foundation, Iceberg offers an open table format, designed for high-performance on big data workloads while supporting query engines including Spark, Trino, Flink, Presto, Hive and Impala.

    • Programming/Development

      • RlangHow to Recode Values in R | R-bloggers

        How to Recode Values in R, On sometimes, you might want to recode specific values in an R data frame. Fortunately, the recode() method from the dplyr package makes this simple to accomplish.

      • Perl / Raku

        • PerlMite: an OO compiler for Perl

          Moose is great, but it does introduce a slight performance hit to your code. In the more than 15 years since it was first released, hardware improvements have made this less of a problem than it once was. Even so, if performance is a concern for your project, Moose might not be what you want. It also has a fairly big collection of non-core dependencies.

          Moo is a lighter weight version, minus with meta-object protocol, but supporting nearly all of Moose’s other features. It loads faster, sometimes runs faster, and has fewer dependencies. (And most of the dependencies it does have are just modules which used to be part of Moo but were split out into separate distributions.)

          But what if you could have fast Moose-like object-oriented code without the dependencies?

          In 2013, Michael Schwern started work on Mite to do just that. It was abandoned in 2014, but I’ve taken it over and expanded the feature set to roughly equivalent to Moo.

      • Rust

        • FudzillaLinux could go Rusty in the next release

          Linux has been written in the C programming language for more than 30 years but the last few years have seen a growing momentum to make the Rust programming language Linux’s second Linux language.

  • Leftovers

    • Security

      • Privacy/Surveillance

        • ACMCybercriminals Eye Biometrics

          Biometric markers such as fingerprints, the irises of one’s eyes, and individual’s entire faces are increasingly popular for proving identity. If criminals can steal such biometric data, they can pose as users, potentially accessing your Intellectual Property, customer data, and financial assets.

          “While criminal hackers can offer the stolen biometric data for sale online for huge sums, the goal is targeting specific networks to bring them down,” says Jake Moore, global security adviser for ESET UK, an anti-malware company. Cybercriminals sell the data on the Dark Web, an uncharted part of the Internet where buyers and sellers reach sites via encrypted channels using TOR browsers.

          Organizations go to the trouble of adding biometrics to other authentication factors such as the one-time passcodes (OTPs) that arrive on your smartphone because the data they protect is precious. A successful biometric hack combined with other compromised authentication factors almost certainly equate to massive losses for an enterprise.

          “With persistent attacks comes continual entry,” says Moore. Though cybercriminals often have to work to hack biometrics successfully, once they are in the system, significant disruption is likely; without the proper security procedures and continuity plans in place, it can take a long time for organizations to return to business as usual, Moore says.

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • Israel Doesn’t Allow Jailed Female Soldiers to Write. Yes, You Read Correctly

        The Israel Defense Forces does not allow female soldiers to write. Yes, you read correctly. It applies “only” to soldiers incarcerated in the new military prison at Neve Tzedek (in Hebrew, Oasis of Justice), but they’re not allowed to hold writing implements, except for a half hour or 20 minutes a day at best. This ban did not exist in the old military prisons, which have been closed. It’s happening only in the new one, which has won praise.

  • Gemini* and Gopher

    • Personal

    • Politics

      • How to phase out residential leasehold

        The system of long leases for residential property in the UK has an intrinsic tendency towards abuse, due to the one-sided availability of forfeiture. There is limited parliamentary time available for reform, necessitating prioritisation. Some potential reforms are politically infeasible due to powerful opposition, but the detail of the opposition is often misunderstood by reformers.


        It may take many years before the generality of leaseholders with third-party building owners or managers can convert to superior tenures.


        Some campaigners speak loosely of “abolishing” leasehold, without stating how they want to do this. This helps the opponents of reform, by implying that campaigners are open to confiscating some or all of the value of existing freeholds. A *charitable* view of “abolishing leasehold” would mean “phasing out residential leasehold, compensating freeholders for their legitimate property interests”. But the reality of politics is that campaigners are portrayed as favouring the least charitable interpretation of their views.


        Mortage lenders are worried about the value of their collateral being damaged. Mostly, the reforms will be neutral or beneficial from their point of view.

        Property developers and managing agents benefit from the “economic rents”, that is, the amount that can be charged above the market rate for services. The reason such income streams exist at all is that some leaseholders have no choice but to deal with the monopoly provider of management services, and all leaseholders face a service charge regime that facilitates waste and makes fraud undetectable.

      • Debate

        I participated in a formal debate once. Moderation, time, a judge, everything. A friend invited me to debate club. He warned me to not expect to win, but we did.

        We were arguing for something I don’t agree with in real life, and that probably helped as I was trying my best to “steel-doll”, to take the other part’s arguments seriously, and try to predict their arguments and preempt them (that ended up being super effective—when they went to present their case, they had already been refuted), and avoid using our own worst arguments and preemptively refute those too, “but,” and then use some unusual ones.

        Our refutations of our own bad arguments were rock solid (maybe better than what they were coming up with), and our “refutations” of their arguments weren’t soundest or particularly complete, but preemptive and I guess convincing enough. I can’t read the mind of the judge, what made him side with us, and maybe it wasn’t the clearest of calls.

        It was all meaningless sophistry, word-dazzly tricks, manipulative and dishonest. Covering our “seams” with 99% truth making them really hard to spot.

    • Technical

      • Quick and dirty fix for the SFOS 4.4 not working hotspot

        On some carriers like the german Congstar Sailfish OS can’t open a working hotspot. The clients can connect to it but no connection can be made to the internet. The problem is, that the network on SFOS to carrier is IPv6 only and but must be IPv4 – or both – to work with the hotspot. SFOS doesn’t also make a translation so the connection don’t work.

      • the joy of fixing a laptop

        I own a Thinkpad X390, and it is probably my most treasured device. I managed to find it used in 2019, the year of its release, with my only theory that a company bought a fresh fleet of machines before shuttering months later. I love this machine, it has a great keyboard (hush, Thinkpad purists), excellent Linux compatibility, and until recently a very decent battery life.

        It had gotten a healthy 8-9 hours when I bought it. Through 4 years of daily college use, it had dwindled to a pitiful 2.5 (if I was lucky). Not a problem! I ordered a battery online (unfortunately not a factory Lenovo product) and it shipped in a week. 20 minutes of futzing and cursing my lack of a spudger later it was installed.

      • Internet/Gemini

        • Re: A convention for gemlog tags

          I started with hashtags – simple to use, widely understood. I added the others as I found them because they seemed sensible tagging systems. I bet I missed some.

          My guess is that mostly Geminauts are tagging their own content for their own purposes, and they’re not too bothered about anyone else’s tags. But who knows.

        • On Indexing Pages

          There has been recent discussions in Geminispace about indexing of pages…
          I’d like to share my own thoughts on the matter. Bear in mind that
          they’re just /thoughts/, not /suggestions/. I keep a physical note-
          book, mostly of technical information. Stuff like microcontroller
          pinout diagrams, programming notes, etc.. I keep an index at the
          back. I find it invaluable for finding stuff later. I also keep a
          table of contents at the front. This isn’t particularly useful for
          the specific medium that I record my notes in, because notes are
          written as required, rather than in a structured way. For struc-
          tured content, though, a table of contents makes sense.

          Here’s what Wikipedia has to say about the purpose of an index:

          Indexes are also designed to help the reader find information
          quickly and easily. A complete and truly useful index is not
          simply a list of the words and phrases used in a publication
          (which is properly called a concordance), but an organized map
          of its contents, including cross-references, grouping of like
          concepts, and other useful intellectual analysis.

        • Building Lagrange

          Whenever I want to upgrade Lagrange, I’m a bit confused. It uses git submodules, CMake instead of GNU make and so it’s super weird for me. I wrote myself a little shell script to handle it. I keep it in my work directory. What do you think?

        • Surfing the web in 2022

          In the post, I list things I noticed while using the web. I use firefox only for banking, tax and looking at financial web sites.

* Gemini (Primer) links can be opened using Gemini software. It’s like the World Wide Web but a lot lighter.

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  • email

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