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Links 23/01/2023: Many Pgpool-II Releases, risiOS 37 Reviewed

Posted in News Roundup at 1:45 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Linux Made SimpleLinux Weekly Roundup #219

      Welcome to this week’s Linux Weekly Roundup. We had a good week in the world of Linux releases with the releases of SparkyLinux 2023.01 and Parrot OS 5.2 beta1.

  • Distributions and Operating Systems

    • Reviews

      • Distro WatchReview: risiOS 37

        risiOS is a young distribution which is based on Fedora. As with its parent, risiOS uses the GNOME desktop by default. Unlike its parent, risiOS uses the zsh command line shell instead of bash. The project also introduces a few key features which set it apart from Fedora in an attempt to make it easier to set up.


        At first, risiOS looks and acts very much like its parent. risiOS offers to perform a self-check of the install media, boots the GNOME desktop, and pops up a window asking if we want to try or install the distribution. Apart from the custom wallpaper, the experience feels exactly like Fedora at this point.

        Likewise, the Anaconda installer offers the same experience on risiOS as it does on Fedora. We’re asked to pick our language, then shown a hub screen where we can access modules to set our time zone and keyboard layout, and partition the disk. This stage is quite straight forward and, when taking automated partitioning, we can get through the installer’s steps in under a minute.

        The one odd aspect of installing the distribution came at the end when Anaconda finished and a notification popped up to tell me the desktop’s theme had been changed, though no visual change occurred.

        When a newly installed copy of risiOS first boots it starts up a graphical wizard which walks us through enabling location services, optionally enabling problem reporting, asks us if we want to set up third-party software repositories, and offers to connect us with on-line cloud accounts. The ultimate step asks us to make up a username and password for ourselves. So far, risiOS was acting just like Fedora.

    • Open Hardware/Modding

      • Joe BrockmeierSomething I should’ve done a long time ago: Installing Pi-hole : Dissociated Press

        Spent some quality Sunday time today refurbishing some older mini PCs that had been gathering dust so I could run a few personal projects. One of the projects I’ve had on my to-do list an embarrassingly long time is to set up Pi-hole for ad blocking / filtering. If I’d known it’d be that easy I’d have done it a long time ago!

        I installed Pi-hole on an ancient Core i3 NUC with 8GB of RAM running Debian. It took about two minutes, five if you count reading some documentation and maybe seven minutes if you count logging into the admin interface and quickly setting my laptop and phone to use Pi-hole for testing.

      • CNX SoftwareRaspberry Pi Camera Module 3 review – HDR, autofocus, wide angle, and NoIR camera – CNX Software

        A few days before launching the Raspberry Pi Camera Module 3 with HDR and autofocus, Raspberry Pi Trading asked me whether I would be interested in reviewing the new modules, and sent me three samples: the standard module, the Raspberry Pi Camera Module 3 Wide, as well as the NoIR version that lacks an IR filter and is better suited for night shots.

        It took a full week for DHL to send the package to my house, but I’ve now had time to review the new Raspberry Pi Camera Module 3, mostly with libcamera, but also Picamera2, focusing on the new features such as HDR, autofocus, and wide angle. I also had a quick try at the Raspberry Pi Camera Module 3 NoIR but without IR lights.

      • SparkFun ElectronicsHow Cold Is It Out There?

        Hello everyone, and welcome to another Friday Product Post here at SparkFun Electronics! This week, we have two new Qwiic Temperature Sensors for you in two form factors! Both of these boards feature the highly accurate STTS22H sensor from STMicroelectronics. These two boards are a great addition to the Qwiic Ecosystem and come in a Standard and Micro form-factor. Following that, we have an updated version of the classic SparkFun LiPo Fuel Gauge as well as a new SMA cable.

  • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

    • SaaS/Back End/Databases

    • Programming/Development

      • R

        • FinnstatsHow to Measure Execution Time in R – finnstats

          How to Measure Execution Time in R, To compare the execution times of different expressions, use R’s microbenchmark package.

        • Fitting robust non-Gaussian models in Stan and R-INLA | YoungStatS

          Traditionally the excitation noise of spatial and temporal models is Gaussian. Take, for instance, an AR1 (autoregressive of order 1) process, where the increments \(x_{i+1}-\rho x_i, \ \ |\rho|<1\) are assumed to follow a Gaussian distribution. However, it is easy to find datasets that contain inherently non-Gaussian features, such as sudden jumps or spikes, that adversely affect the inferences and predictions made from Gaussian models. In this post, we introduce a specific class of non-Gaussian models, their advantages over Gaussian models, and their Bayesian implementation in Stan and R-INLA, two well-established platforms for statistical modeling.

        • Alone R package: Datasets from the survival TV series – Dan Oehm | Gradient Descending

          I have been watching the survival TV series ‘Alone,’ where 10 survivalists are dropped in an extremely remote area and must fend for themselves. I am super impressed by their skills, endurance, and mental fortitude. To last 100 days in the Arctic winter living off the land is truly impressive.

          True to form, I’ve collected the data and I am sharing it here in the {alone} R package.

        • Jumping RiversEnd-to-end testing with shinytest2

          This is the final part of a series of three blog posts about using the {shinytest2} package to develop automated tests for shiny applications.

        • Seeing double? Building the same app in Shiny for R and Shiny for Python | Nicola Rennie

          Back in July 2022 at rstudio::conf(2022), Posit (formerly RStudio) announced the release of Shiny for Python. I wanted to see how the two compared – so I built the same Shiny app twice! This blog post highlights a few of the differences, and things that were a little tricky switching to Shiny for Python.

      • Python

        • Trail Of BitsAnnouncing a stable release of sigstore-python [Ed: Microsoft/NSA dependency (GitHub) here invalidates the trust; this is about outsourcing, not security. Python isn't written in Python. Free software should not be build using proprietary software of NSA/Microsoft (GitHub Actions).]
    • Standards/Consortia

      • Matt RickardHow to Version an API

        Imagine you have a RESTful API that has been serving thousands of users. You’ve been maintaining the code, and now it’s time to add a critical new feature – versioning. Often overlooked, API versioning is probably the most important part of the API infrastructure.

  • Leftovers

    • Science

      • Popular MechanicsScientists Found a New Way To Make Qubits for Quantum Computers

        Quantum states are incredibly delicate, and easily destroyed. But the perfect solution could lie in imperfect crystals.

      • [Old] Microlaser Chip Adds New Dimensions to Quantum Communication

        Researchers at Penn Engineering have created a chip that outstrips the security and robustness of existing quantum communications hardware. Their technology communicates in “qudits,” doubling the quantum information space of any previous on-chip laser.

        Liang Feng, Professor in the Departments of Materials Science and Engineering (MSE) and Electrical Systems and Engineering (ESE), along with MSE postdoctoral fellow Zhifeng Zhang and ESE Ph.D. student Haoqi Zhao, debuted the technology in a recent study published in Nature. The group worked in collaboration with scientists from the Polytechnic University of Milan, the Institute for Cross-Disciplinary Physics and Complex Systems, Duke University and the City University of New York (CUNY).

      • IEEESpray-on Smart Skin Reads Typing and Hand Gestures – IEEE Spectrum

        No cameras, keyboards, sensor gloves, or VR motion trackers required

      • TechXploreIntelligent computing: Examining the state of the art

        Human society is on the verge of transforming from an information society to an intelligent society, where optimized computing can autonomously solve practical, real-world problems. Critically, this transition is dependent on the continued development of advanced computing theories and algorithms that impart varying degrees of intelligence to computing systems through autonomous perception, information gathering, analysis and reasoning—functions once reserved only for living organisms.

    • Security

      • BBCSmart appliances could stop working after two years, says Which?

        Smart appliances could stop working properly after just two years because manufacturers are failing to provide tech updates, according to Which?.
        Research by the consumer champion found products like expensive dishwashers, TVs, and washing machines – which might be expected to last more than a decade – are “being abandoned” by brands.

        A lack of software support from firms means devices do not get updated.

        The older they get, the risk of online hacking also increases, Which? says.

        It found that “hardly any brands even came close to matching their expected lifespan” with their smart update policies, while others failed to respond when they were asked to clarify the length of support.

        Products’ operating systems need updates, because if support ends, then their functionality cannot improve.
        The updates also include security patches, which can fix flaws if any come to light.

    • Defence/Aggression

      • Chomsky: Advanced US Weaponry in Ukraine Is Sustaining Battlefield Stalemate

        It’s now more than 300 days since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, and the conflict has intensified rather than subsided, with Ukrainian leaders expressing fears of impending mass infantry attacks from Russia and U.S. Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken announcing this week that the U.S. will send Ukraine $1.8 billion in military aid, including a Patriot missile battery.

        On December 21, in greeting Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy at the White House and considering his appeal for nearly $50 billion in additional aid for Ukraine, U.S. President Joe Biden made clear his intention to continue sending weaponry to Ukraine until Russia is defeated in the battlefield, saying, “The American people have been with you every step of the way, and we will stay with you.”

      • On Criticism | Norman Finkelstein

        In the misbegotten days of my youth when I was a flaming Maoist, one of the rituals was criticism/self-criticism—or, among insiders, crit/self-crit. Each comrade was supposed to subject themselves to group criticism at meetings’ end and also to fess up to their own transgressions.

      • Chomsky: Wars could break out all over the map

        American linguist and philosopher Prof Noam Chomsky predicts a grim future for the world as the superpowers are at loggerheads over establishing supremacy centering on the Russia-Ukraine war.

        In April, soon after the outbreak of the Ukraine crisis, he had suggested that Kyiv should settle its disputes with Russia by making some concessions.

        “There have been possibilities for a settlement all the way along. They are diminishing. The prospects are grim…blame is widely shared,” Prof Chomsky, who teaches at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the US, said in an interview with Dhaka Tribune on Wednesday.

        Russian President Vladimir Putin said in an interview aired on Sunday that he was ready to negotiate with all parties involved in the war in Ukraine but Kyiv’s Western backers, who have been providing military and diplomatic support, have refused to engage in talks.

      • TomDispatchWilliam Hartung, Going Down the Military Drain

        Think of the F-35 jet fighter as the nightmare of the Pentagon budget in miniature. Manufactured by Lockheed Martin, it was to be the next F-16, a workhorse for the Air Force, the Marines, and the Navy. It’s now believed that, over the decades to come, the F-35 will cost Americans at least $1.7 trillion to produce, which, by the way, is about $5,000 for every one of us

    • Environment

    • Finance

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • The WireEvery 11 Minutes, a Woman or Girl Is Killed by Intimate Partner or Family Member: UN Chief

        Asserting that a woman or a girl is killed every 11 minutes by an intimate partner or a family member, UN chief Antonio Guterres has said that violence against them is the most pervasive human rights violation in the world and called on governments to implement national action plans that tackle this scourge.

        Secretary-general Guterres made these remarks ahead of the International Day for the ‘Elimination of Violence Against Women’ which is observed on November 25.

        “Violence against women and girls is the most pervasive human rights violation in the world. Every 11 minutes, a woman or a girl is killed by an intimate partner or family member and we know that other stresses, from the COVID-19 pandemic to economic turmoil, inevitably lead to even more physical and verbal abuse,” Guterres said.

  • Gemini* and Gopher

    • Personal

      • Train trip day 4 & 5

        Yesterday (2022-01-20) I visited a museum of nuclear science. They had artifacts from WWII, replicas of the atomic bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and a MiG jet fighter from the Soviet Union. It was an absolutely incredible set of exhibits; I had no idea that the bombs were so large and that Los Alamos was a complete small town hidden by the government. There’d be no way to make a town like that now.

        After visiting the museum, I went on a hike through the foothills of the mountains nearby. It was an amazing view, and I was glad that I visited in the winter: it started to snow! I uploaded a photo of the view, please excuse the dithering.

      • Album #152: If I Could Only Remember My Name

        Some days make you wonder how random the picks really are. “A Christmas Gift For You From Phil Spector” on Christmas Day? Probably intentional. “The Queen Is Dead” after the Queen of England died? Well, the site is British. “If I Could Only Remember My Name” by David Crosby 4 days after he died? Probably a coincidence. Probably just a frequency illusion / “the Baader Meinhof phenomenon”.

        Anyway. I broke a rule I have of trying not to read up about albums before writing some thoughts down. From this I learned about the wide variety of guests on the album (The Grateful Dead! Most of the rest of CSNY! Santana). Career retrospectives also pick a few of these songs as highlights of his career.

      • Inside the Pressure Cooker

        Shit. The anxiety is back. Took a train ride yesterday. The sound

        seemed so loud. Someone brought a screaming young human onboard.

        At the mall I could feel my skin sort of prickly, like having

        low electric current run through my arms. Today feeling deflated

        and out of breath. Been sleeping horribly and felt like my chest

        is being constricted when in bed. Also feeling itchy and my face

        feels hot.

      • Techno-Conservative Niche

        Is it a tragedy to be niche? Being truly niche means you are

        interested in something that you can’t explain to people outside.

        If you could explain it, the niche would be absorbed into the


        If your niche happens to be something the mainstream thinks “old”

        does this make your niche depressive? There are times something

        old is preserved in a niche to be later used for the good of the


      • Spoiled by Learning

        Looking back on the past week, it occurred to me that right now we’re all extremely spoiled by how crazy little friction there is to learning almost any topic out there.

        If there’s a topic I’m struggling to grasp from lectures or textbooks, it’s so easy to find someone online who can explain it clearly and concisely. I learn best by studying others as they work through problems. Opportunities to do that don’t always come up in lectures and it’s rare to see a textbook replicate that experience. Looking up a video though? I can learn completely at my own pace and usually understand the concept in around 10 minutes. If I don’t like the way one person online teaches, there’s so many others I can turn to. And so much of it is free!

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

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