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Links 18/3/2020: Update on UOS (GNU/Linux) in China, Fedora 32 Beta, Media Blasts Bill Gates

  • GNU/Linux

    • Desktop/Laptop

      • Making a Keyboard: The System76 Approach

        We like knocking down the garden wall wherever we can. Your technology is your technology after all; you should be able to change it in any way that suits your needs. That’s why we’re making a keyboard. Everyone uses their keyboard differently due to ergonomics, convenience, or to account for a dominant hand, and it’s time we created a keyboard to accommodate that.

        CEO Carl Richell sat down for an interview with us at a CDC-approved distance to discuss plans for System76’s latest project: The keyboard.

      • Meet the Chinese operating system that’s trying to shift the country off Windows

        China’s homegrown operating systems haven’t made much of a dent on the global stage. Now there’s a Linux-based system that’s aimed at weaning the country off Windows.

        UOS, or Unified Operating System, hit a new milestone after its first stable release in January: Union Tech’s OS can now boot in 30 seconds on China-made chips.


        The “current international climate” has made it imperative for China to have its own foundational software to avoid being cut off by the US, said the general manager of Union Tech, Liu Wenhan. While Chinese operating systems currently account for less than 1% of the market, Liu said he expects them to grow to 20% to 30% in the future.

        Integrating homegrown Chinese chips could be the biggest accomplishment of UOS if it pans out. Although Chinese computer chips still don’t approach the sophistication of those created by US-based companies, Union Tech said that it is actively working with Chinese chipmakers like Loongson and Sunway to facilitate the gradual replacement of American technology in the Chinese government and pillar industries. In December, Beijing ordered all government offices and public institutions to remove foreign computer equipment and software within three years, according to the Financial Times.

        UOS is based on the Deepin operating system, China’s most successful Linux distribution. Union Tech actually started as a joint venture between state-run corporations and Wuhan Deepin Technology. It eventually acquired Deepin, and Deepin founder Liu Wenhan became Union Tech’s general manager.

        Liu has experience with building operating systems. Since launching in 2011, the OS has amassed an active community of users.

        Deepin appeals to many Linux enthusiasts because of a user interface that copies liberally from other operating systems. It has a dock, launchpad and file browser that are similar to those in macOS. It also has Android-style notifications and control panels. And it includes a Windows-style start button.

    • Server

    • Audiocasts/Shows

      • mintCast 330.5 – fdisk FTW

        In our Innards section, we cover disks, partitioning, and filesystems.

        And finally, our listener feedback and a few suggestions.

      • Don’t Go Viral, Go Virtual | LINUX Unplugged 345

        It was the first of its kind, and the first forced to go virtual. We get the behind the scenes story of WSL Conf from the organizers.

        Plus our impressions of the latest GNOME release, community news, app picks, and more.

      • 2020-03-17 | Linux Headlines

        Debian Project Leader elections heat up, the Linux Vendor Firmware Service adds NVMe drives to its stable of supported devices, Oracle and Google's Supreme Court case gets put on hold, and Fedora 32 hits beta status.

      • LHS Episode #332: Global Pandemicast

        Hello and welcome to the 332nd episode of Linux in the Ham Shack. In these troubling times of global viruses, we can be healthy and maintain social distance by talking with you via the Intertubes. In this episode, we talk about COVID-19 (duh), learning Morse Code, homebrewing, open data sharing, legendary DXpeditions, more COVID-19, WEFAX, mesh networking and much more. Thank you for tuning in and stay safe out there!

      • Going Linux #388 €· Linux Spotlight Interview

        Rocco (BigDaddyLinux) Interviews Larry on Episode 39 of the Linux Spotlight.

    • Kernel Space

      • Floppy Disk Is Not Dead — Linux Kernel Still Adding Improvement Code

        Most of the new generation students or developers may not have used the floppy disk technology. But it is nostalgic for all the 90s kids. In any case, floppy disk support has already been ditched by various companies and even modern boards.

        But it seems a little surprising that the Linux kernel is still showing interest in improving its support. Ahead of kernel 5.7 release, a new floppy patch lines up with 613 deletion and 586 lines of code for the next Linux kernel cycle.

      • Zstd Compressed Linux Kernel Images Proposed Once More

        Going back to at least late 2017 have been proposals for Zstd-compressing the Linux kernel images for the Facebook-developed Zstandard compression algorithm. In 2020 perhaps we will finally see the support mainlined.

        The 2017 effort didn't gain traction and in 2018 and 2019 it was re-proposed again for supporting Zstd compression for the kernel image and initramfs.

      • Google "Moonball" Will Be Supported By Linux 5.7

        Some new HID device called Moonball by Google will be supported with Linux 5.7.

        Added to the HID-next development code on Monday is the USB device ID for a new HID device called Moonball. The commit simply describes it as a hammer-like device.

      • Intel Continues Working On Significant GPU Power Optimization For The Linux Kernel

        A set of kernel patches to Intel's graphics driver helps improve the GPU power consumption to the extent of on Chrome OS seeing about 45 minutes extra battery life and several percent under the likes of Ubuntu Linux.


        Navik posted the seventh revision to those patches on Monday for context-aware user-agnostic EU/slice/sub-slice control.On a Geminilake platform running Chrome OS he found the battery life to improve by about 45 minutes with ~14% power benefit when watching YouTube content or engaging in WebGL demos. When gaming with Unity 3D, the performance benefit was still a respectable 6%.

        Or on the likes of Ubuntu, with various graphics tests it was in the 2~5% range, however, he hadn't done any YouTube/video tests on that front. But long story short, these patches at a minimum can improve the Intel Linux laptop battery life by several percent.

    • Applications

      • Whatever is an Evernote Alternative for Linux and Ubuntu

        Evernote, like many other popular software companies, has mostly ignored Linux. But the open-source community always has something up their sleeve. Officially, the Evernote app is available only for Windows, macOS, iOS, and Android. There’s also a web version that can be accessed using a browser, regardless of the operating system. However, a native app has a few advantages over a web app such as convenience. Whatever is an unofficial Evernote client for Linux and Ubuntu.

        Taking notes, organizing your ideas and managing day-to-day tasks has never been easier. Today you have many cross-platform apps with official clients even for Linux. But Evernote is where it all started. Now, Evernote was not really the first note-taking app ever made. But neither was the iPhone really the first smartphone nor really Superman the first superhero. But the iPhone kickstarted something, so did Superman and so did Evernote. Quickly, big names like Google and Microsoft jumped in with their own take on note-taking apps.

        So if you’re a long-time Evernote user and you really need an Evernote Linux app, you can try Whatever. Again, this isn’t the first unofficial Evernote Linux app but it’s the one we’re discussing today.

      • Best PDF Editors For Linux in 2020

        PDF(Portable Document Format) is probably the most reliable and efficient way to share documents and files over the virtual world. By being unable to edit easily, PDFs are the securest way to share documents over the virtual world. Obviously, it can be edited to some extent when needed in terms of photos and text insertion and it is easier done using Linux with some of the below PDF editors. They can be used on other operating systems as well, but we will discuss the ones which can be used on Linux.

      • Make advanced Git tasks simple with Lazygit

        If there's one word people use to describe Git, it's "powerful." Nobody can deny that Git is indeed a powerful beast, but after months of struggling to do embarrassingly basic things in it, I realized that mere mortals like me were never going to wield that power through a command-line interface.

        I made Lazygit, a terminal UI for Git, to help me tame the beast and harness that power. With 15,000 stars on GitHub, it turns out I wasn't the only person struggling! If you've found yourself wrestling with Git's command-line interface or even one of the other Git GUIs out there, read on! You might come across a feature here that could save you time.

      • Discovered Artifacts in Decrypted HTTPS

        We released a PCAP file earlier this year, which was recorded as part of a live TLS decryption demo at the CS3Sthlm conference. The demo setup used PolarProxy running on a Raspberry Pi in order to decrypt all HTTPS traffic and save it in a PCAP file as unencrypted HTTP.


        The reddit server sends an HTTP/2 header called "x-moose" with a value of "majestic".

      • PAPPL Is A New Printer Application Framework Made By The Founder Of CUPS

        Back in January we reported on the lead developer of the CUPS printing system quitting Apple and following that he began development of LPrint as a new label printer software solution for Linux and macOS. It turns out he has another software projects in the works too.

        Michael Sweet, the lead developer of CUPS who had been at Apple for more than a decade since they acquired it, is now developing PAPPL as a printer application framework in addition to his work on the new LPrint project. In fact, PAPPL was developed as part of his work on LPrint and also the Gutenprint printer application.

      • Fill Ubuntu Console With Hollywood Melodrama Technobabble

        Want to make your Ubuntu look like a busy-looking console? Hollywood is a utility that will split your console into a multiple panes of genuine technobabble, perfectly suitable for any Hollywood geek melodrama. It is particularly suitable on any number of computer consoles in the background of any excellent schlock technothriller.

    • Instructionals/Technical

    • Games

      • Super stylish action-adventure 'Resolutiion' now has a demo open for everyone to try

        With artwork inspired by Hyper Light Drifter you can see some previous thoughts of my own here. Honestly, I think it's genuinely worth giving a go. It's only a small slice of what to expect of course but gosh—the visuals are just so damn good.

      • Unity 2020.1 Beta Released With Numerous Vulkan + Linux Fixes

        Unity Tech has released the Unity 2020.1 game engine beta as their first quarterly update of the year.

        In addition to having a number of developer-side improvements from their editor to other development features, there is never-ending work on the graphics front. Unity 2020.1 is adding camera stacking to the universal render pipeline, updated ray-tracing support, various lighting updates, a new caching shader preprocessor, and much more.

      • If you need an escape from reality there's some unique experiences free on right now

        Need a warm cup of escapism? I sure do, and thankfully a good bunch of indie developers have decided to let people claim their games entirely free for a while.

        Following on from our little list of good free games (and some open source), and the quick tip of Pipe Push Paradise (also awesome) we have some more picks for you. Why? Well, governments around the world are telling people to stay at home and we're here to help you get through it, at least a little.

        So what else do we have for you? Some good picks, that's what. All of these will allow you to claim them 100% free to keep on, although each usually lets you donate too (and do if you can to support indies!).

      • Brain-teasing puzzle game 'The Last Cube' looks sleek in the latest footage

        The Last Cube from Improx Games is an upcoming 3D puzzle game and while the original trail piqued my interest, seeing actual gameplay has solidified my need to play it. If you missed it, I spoke to Improx Games a few months ago who confirmed Linux support.

      • Vulkan Ray-Tracing Arrives With New Khronos Extension

        While Vulkan has had NVIDIA's ray-tracing extension (VK_NV_ray_tracing) extension, coming out today is Vulkan's first formal ray-tracing extension for cross-vendor/driver adoption.

      • Vulkan 1.2.135 Released With New + Promoted NVIDIA Extensions In Addition To Ray-Tracing

        While the most prominent addition to today's Vulkan 1.2.135 update is the provisional ray-tracing support, there are also other new extensions with this update.

      • Ray Tracing comes to the Vulkan API officially with new extensions - new NVIDIA Vulkan Beta out

        The Khronos Group has today announced that the cross-platform Vulkan graphics API now has official Vulkan support with their new provisional extensions.

        Vulkan already had Ray Tracing support before with NVIDIA, as they had their own extensions which you could see working on titles like Quake II RTX (we showed it off here). Now though, after discussions and planning NVIDIA helped get it into Vulkan officially for all vendors to use in future.

        "There has been strong developer demand for a truly cross-platform ray tracing acceleration API and now Vulkan Ray Tracing is here to meet that industry need," said Daniel Koch, senior graphics system software engineer at NVIDIA and Vulkan Ray Tracing task sub group chair at Khronos. "The overall architecture of Vulkan Ray Tracing will be familiar to users of existing proprietary ray tracing APIs, which enables straightforward porting of existing ray traced content, but this framework also introduces new functionality and implementation flexibility."

      • Can you play Call of Duty: Warzone on Mac and Linux?

        CoD: Warzone has proven to be an instant hit for Activision and Infinity Ward, which could suggest that the companies would be open to making it available to an even wider audience. With that in mind, might they make the Windows PC version of this Call of Duty: Modern Warfare battle royale mode available on Linux and Apple Mac? Stick with us as we answer the question: Can you play Call of Duty: Warzone on Mac and Linux?


        As above, although it’d be great to see Linux users get in on the battle royale fun, there are currently no publically announced plans for a Call of Duty: Warzone Linux version. Chances of an eventual Warzone Linux port seem to be more slim judging on the series’ previous form, however, as the CoD franchise has traditionally bypassed the PC operating system.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • GNOME Desktop/GTK

        • Download Now: Shortwave is a Great Radio Player App for Linux Desktops

          Shortwave is the spiritual successor to Gradio, a GTK radio app that we’ve written about many times, and you’ve likely heard of. But though Shortwave has the same key features as Gradio, it has a much nicer UI, and a more nimble code base.

          Shortwave aims to make it easy to ‘find and listen to internet radio stations’ on Linux systems like Ubuntu and Linux Mint. You don’t need any fancy equipment, or subscriptions: just open Shortwave, pick from one of hundreds of available radio stations, and tune in.

    • Distributions

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • Fedora 33 Comes with Strong Crypto Encryption & Configuration!

          Fedora 33: Red Hat announced that the Fedora 33 has been launched with Strong Crypto Encryption & Configuration. Fedora developers working very hard to make the crypto settings stronger than previous version. Tomáš Mráz, says that the Fedora 33 operating system’s crypto policies has been strengthened. They removed the old protocol such as “TLS 1.0 & TLS 1.1“.

        • Fedora 32 release date, new features, and more

          If the remaining schedule goes as planned, the final production version of Fedora 32 is scheduled for release on April 21, 2020. Should issues arise or more bugs are found during the Fedora 32 beta phase, the release date will be pushed back to April 28, 2020.

        • Fedora 32 Beta Linux-based operating system now available with GNOME 3.36

          Fedora is one of the best Linux distributions on the planet, but it doesn't always get its due. It isn't flashy or new, instead hanging its hat (pun intended) on being stable and reliable. That is why many Linux users try other distributions, only to find themselves back at home with Fedora. Fans of the GNOME in particular flock to Fedora, as the operating system is one of the best ways to experience that desktop environment.

          Today, Fedora 32 Beta becomes available for testing, and it is very exciting. It comes with GNOME 3.36 -- the lastest and greatest version of the desktop environment, You can read more about GNOME 3.36 here. If you aren't a fan of GNOME, that is OK -- you can instead opt for KDE Plasma, Cinnamon, MATE, and more. There is even a special ARM variant of Fedora 32 that will work with Raspberry Pi devices.

        • Fedora 32 Beta now available
          Today, the Fedora Project, a global community that works to help advance free and open source software, is pleased to announce the beta availability of Fedora 32, the latest version of the Fedora operating system. Fedora 32 Beta is delivered in editions, each designed to address specific use cases for modern developers and IT teams. Fedora Workstation and Fedora Server provide open operating systems built to meet the needs of forward-looking developers and server projects. Fedora 32 Beta also sees the continued evolution of emerging Fedora editions, including Fedora CoreOS, Fedora IoT and Fedora Silverblue.

          Enhancements to Fedora 32 Beta’s base packages include Python 3.8, GCC 10, Ruby 2.7, Golang 1.14, Mono 6.6. Additionally, as with all Fedora beta releases, the common foundation of all Fedora editions has been updated with minor bug fixes and package tweaks.

        • Announcing the release of Fedora 32 Beta
          New in Fedora 32 Workstation Beta is EarlyOOM enabled by default. EarlyOOM enables users to more quickly recover and regain control over their system in low-memory situations with heavy swap usage. Fedora 32 Workstation Beta also enables the fs.trim timer by default, which improves performance and wear leveling for solid state drives.

          Fedora 32 Workstation Beta includes GNOME 3.36, the newest release of the GNOME desktop environment. It is full of performance enhancements and improvements. GNOME 3.36 adds a Do Not Disturb button in the notifications, improved setup for parental controls and virtualization, and tweaks to Settings. For a full list of GNOME 3.36 highlights, see the release notes.

        • Fedora 32 Beta Released With EarlyOOM By Default, GNOME 3.36 Desktop
          The beta of the highly anticipated Fedora 32 Linux distribution update is now available.

          Fedora 32 ships with EarlyOOM enabled by default for improving the low-memory behavior of Fedora Workstation, GNOME 3.36 powers the default desktop environment, and there are a wealth of package updates like the near-final GCC 10 code compiler, Glibc 2.31, and more. Some of the other Fedora 32 changes include (finally) enabling TRIM by default for SSDs, Python 3.8, firewalld defaults to using nftables, changing around of the release criteria on Fedora Arm, MariaDB 10.4, and other bleeding-edge software packages.

        • Fedora 32 Beta Released with GNOME 3.36, Linux Kernel 5.6
          Fedora 32 Beta is here right on time, allowing the community behind this popular and powerful Red Hat-sponsored GNU/Linux distribution to get an early taste of the new features and enhancements coming to the final release later this spring.

          There are lots of changes and recent GNU/Linux technologies included in this release, starting with the recently released GNOME 3.36 desktop environment, which is present by default in the Fedora 32 Workstation edition (a.k.a. the main Fedora Linux edition).

          Fedora 32 Workstation also ships with the EarlyOOM feature enabled by default to help users recover from low-memory situations more quickly and the fs.trim timer, which promises to improve the performance of your SSD.

        • 3 tips for translating your sysadmin experience to hiring managers

          So you need to convince a company that you know your field? I am uniquely qualified to help you out here, as this is something I have some hands-on experience with. As you may have read in my article, A sysadmin's tale, my first real industry experience came from Uncle Sam. I was always technically inclined but had never worked with technology professionally. I didn't get a college degree, and I hadn't yet attended a technical school. DD214 in hand, I found myself in a bit of a pickle. How do I show potential employers that I know technology?

          At the very least, I need them to understand that I can learn and apply myself. I was unemployed for eleven months and had a lot of time to figure this out. I'll walk you through my experience in hopes that you can better express yourself while chasing that new technical position.

        • New Role Based Access Control for Red Hat Insights and cloud management services for Red Hat Enterprise Linux

          Red Hat is pleased to introduce user access, a Role Based Access Control (RBAC) capability that can be used to control user access to Red Hat Insights and cloud management services for Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL), on In this post we'll look at how RBAC applies to our services, what it can do for your organization, and what you need to know to make use of user access.

          As you may already know, RBAC is a method for restricting account users access only to the services and information they need.

        • FAF 2.2.0 released

          A new version of FAF has just been released. From the user’s point of view, you will probably find the following changes the most noticable...

        • Announcing OpenShift Serverless 1.5.0 Tech Preview – A sneak peak of our GA

          I am sure many of you are as excited as we about cloud native development, and one of the hot topics in the space is Serverless. With that in mind let’s talk about our most recent release of OpenShift Serverless that includes a number of features and functionalities that definitely improve the developer experience in Kubernetes and really enable many interesting application patterns and workloads.

          For the uninitiated, OpenShift Serverless is based on the open source project Knative and helps developers deploy and run almost any containerized workload as a serverless workload. Applications can scale up or down (to zero) or react to and consume events without lock-in concerns. The Serverless user experience can be integrated with other OpenShift services, such as OpenShift Pipelines, Monitoring and Metering.

        • Red Hat Ansible Certified Content for IBM Z now available for developers

          The entire IBM Z platform is rapidly evolving, with major advances coming across Linux on Z, LinuxONE, and z/OS. Hybrid multicloud demands consistency and agility from all of these platforms. Validation of dozens of open source projects for Linux on Z and LinuxONE has been a boon for developers and DevOps practitioners alike.

          That’s why I’m pleased to announce the availability of the Red Hat Ansible Certified Content for IBM Z, which includes the z/OS Core Collection and is now available on Ansible Galaxy and Ansible Automation Hub as a supported, certified collection by Red Hat.

          This is an important step forward in enabling z/OS to participate in an Ansible-based enterprise automation strategy in exactly the same way that the rest of your environments do. Leveraging Ansible to automate z/OS brings consistency across the hybrid multicloud environments and enables z/OS to transparently participate in your infrastructure.

        • Red Hat Ansible Certified Content for IBM Z: What does it mean for you?

          Today we announced Red Hat Ansible Certified Content for IBM Z. With a vibrant community and roots firmly in open source, Ansible provides automation solutions that span across cloud and on-prem infrastructure. It’s particularly exciting to see all of this come to z/OS.

        • Fedora 33 Plans To Ship With Latest MinGW For Best Experience In Compiling Software For Windows

          With new feature work beyond the scope now of Fedora 32, we're beginning to get a better idea for some of the feature plans for Fedora 33 due out this autumn.

          We have already covered some of the early Fedora 33 feature proposals like stronger crypto policies, the early state of DNF 5 as a preview, and moving the RPM database from Berkeley DB 5 to SQLite. Another one of the early proposals is shipping with the newest MinGW for offering the latest bits in compiling software for Windows from Fedora.

        • From sysadmin to DevOps

          Transitioning from sysadmin to DevOps will have a cost in time and effort but will be worth it. Your benefits will include new skills, advanced tools, and fresh perspective.


          Modern sysadmins need to be aware of DevOps practices in order to take advantage of those approaches and participate in the general improvement of their organizations to produce better applications and reduce their software products' time to market.

          DevOps is intended to be a cross-functional mode of working, that brings together different teams and breaks silos into the organization.

          It is important to identify the key aspects of DevOps for development and delivery processes, which permit to incorporate short iterations to push code frequently to production supported by automated processes with the goal of increasing the quality of code and reduce negative impacts.

          The following figure shows the DevOps lifecycle and represents the continuous integration, continuous delivery, and continuous deployment processes.

        • March 18 webinar: Tech skills for all

          Technology is changing virtually every job. It’s also changing how young people need to prepare for the opportunities that await them in the future. No matter what you’re thinking about doing in 1, 5, or 10 years — digital literacy and an understanding of how to be an intelligent consumer and user of technology are essential. Don’t forget about the cool things you can do from anywhere to gain practical skills and transition from being a consumer of tech to a creator, maker, and doer empowered by tech!

          On Wednesday, March 18 from 10:00 a.m. EDT to 11:00 a.m. EDT, I will be leading an IBM digital skills webinar for high school and university students, educators, and parents that explores the nine digital skills that comprise basic digital literacy. You’ll then learn how to leverage fundamental digital and professional skills to get your foot in the door at companies eager to hire new, up-and-coming talent. Don’t forget about starting your own venture!

        • Top 5 reasons to use Node-RED right now

          You’ve probably heard of Node-RED. You know, that super awesome, browser-based, draw-the-flows, and connect-the-nodes tool for easily integrating IoT devices with applications? Yeah, that one.

          Maybe you’ve considered using it, maybe not.

          In this post, I’ll show you the top five reasons you should be using Node-RED in your applications. Right now.

      • Debian Family

        • Two men, one woman in race for Debian project leader's post

          Three developers — two male, one female — have thrown their hats into the ring for the post of Debian project leader for 2020-21, with the poll set to be held online from 5 April to 18 April.

          The trio — Jonathan Carter, Sruthi Chandran and Brian Gupta — have all announced the platforms on which they will run and have time to campaign until 4 April. The new project leader's term will begin on 21 April.

          Carter, 38, who did not specify how long he has been a developer, has cited four points in his platform: continuing to do what the project does well, making Debian attractive to contributors, reducing the bottlenecks that affect contributors and improving the project's housekeeping.

          Among the things that Debian does well, Carter has listed technical excellence, the promotion of free software, packaging of software, new released and updating the stable distribution. Debian has three lines of development: stable (the last release, which gets security updates), testing (more recent software comes into this branch after spending some time in the third branch, unstable), and unstable which, as the name implies is just that, receives all the latest software and often breaks.

        • Norbert Preining: Fixing mate-terminal URL highlighting

          One of the recent updates in Debian swept in changes so that mate-terminal couldn’t highlight URLs anymore (Debian bug report, upstream bug report). I got so fed up with this that I fixed it and send a pull request. Update Debian packages for amd64 Debian/sid are in my usual repo at

        • Mike Gabriel: Time for home office! Time for X2Go?

          Most of us IT people should be in home office by now. If not, make sure you'll arrange that with your employers, cooperation partners, contractors, etc. Please help flatten the curve.

          X2Go as your Home Office solution

          If your computer at work runs a GNU/Linux desktop and you can SSH into it, then it might be time for you to try out X2Go [1]. Remote desktop access under GNU/Linux.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • SBI Group unlocks infrastructure automation with secure, on-premises OpenStack cloud

          SBI BITS provides IT services and infrastructure to the SBI Group — Japan’s market leading financial services company group — which is made up of over 250 companies, and 6,000 employees.

          To increase time to market and meet heavy client requirements, SBI BITs was looking for alternative solutions beyond bare metal servers and decided upon OpenStack. After evaluating their existing suppliers, SBI BITS turned to Canonical to bring in the external support and expertise required to move into production with an economical, flexible solution.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • How open-source software is tackling COVID-19 coronavirus

        In Linux and open-source circles, we're fond of saying we've changed the world. And, well, we have changed the world. But, now, we, along with everyone else, face a new challenge: COVID-19.

        Here are some of the open-source projects taking on the coronavirus.

      • CMS

        • UnixTutorial.RU is Now Using Jekyll

          I have started WordPress to Jekyll migration for the Russian version of Unix Tutorial website – meaning UnixTutorial.RU has been running on Jekyll since last Sunday.

        • WordPress 5.4 RC3

          The third release candidate for WordPress 5.4 is now available!

          WordPress 5.4 is currently scheduled to be released on March 31 2020, and we need your help to get there—if you haven’t tried 5.4 yet, now is the time!

      • FSF

        • Brazilian software student wins top free software award

          Clarissa Lima Borges won the award for her internship work with the organisation Outreachy; she worked on usability testing for various applications that form part of the GNOME Desktop, one of the two main desktop environments used by free and open source software users.

          She said she was proud to have helped make free software more usable for more people who needed "more than ever to be in control of the software [they] use, and [their] data".

      • Programming/Development

        • It's 2020 - Oracle Adds Meson Build System To Solaris

          Oracle continues releasing new updates to Solaris 11.4 but there still aren't any public signs of life past v11.4. Out now is Oracle Solaris 11.4 SRU19 with one interesting addition.

          As usual for Solaris 11.4 SRUs, it's mostly stable version updates for included packages and other package updates stemming from security issues. With Solaris 11.4 SRU19 this means Cython 0.29.14, MySQLClient 1.4.5, Git 2.19.3, Python 3.7.5, PHP 7.3.14, Firefox 68.5 ESR, and other mostly mundane updates.

        • Rcpp 1.0.4: Lots of goodies

          The fourth maintenance release 1.0.4 of Rcpp, following up on the 10th anniversary and the 1.0.0. release sixteen months ago, arrived on CRAN this morning. This follows a few days of gestation at CRAN. To help during the wait we provided this release via drat last Friday. And it followed a pre-release via drat a week earlier. But now that the release is official, Windows and macOS binaries will be built by CRAN over the next few days. The corresponding Debian package will be uploaded as a source package shortly after which binaries can be built.

          As with the previous releases Rcpp 1.0.1, Rcpp 1.0.2 and Rcpp 1.0.3, we have the predictable and expected four month gap between releases which seems appropriate given both the changes still being made (see below) and the relative stability of Rcpp. It still takes work to release this as we run multiple extensive sets of reverse dependency checks so maybe one day we will switch to six month cycle. For now, four months still seem like a good pace.

        • Librsvg accepting interns for Summer of Code 2020

          Are you a student qualified to run for Summer of Code 2020? I'm willing to mentor the following project for librsvg.

        • Excellent Free Tutorials to Learn Erlang

          Erlang is a general-purpose, concurrent, declarative, functional programming language and runtime environment developed by Ericsson, a Swedish multinational provider of communications technology and services. Erlang is dynamically typed and has a pattern matching syntax. The language solves difficult problems inherent in parallel, concurrent environments. It uses sets of parallel supervised processes, not a single sequential process as found in most programming languages.

          Erlang was created in 1986 at the Ellemtel Telecommunication Systems Laboratories for telecommunication systems. The objective was to build a simple and efficient programming language resilient large-scale concurrent industrial applications.

          Besides telecommunication systems and applications and other large industrial real-time systems, Erlang is particularly suitable for servers for internet applications, e-commerce, and networked database applications. The versatility of the language is, in part, due to its extensive collection of libraries.

        • WTP: GCC, Longhorn, Flagger, Travis CI, and Docker’s first GitHub Action

          GCC 9.3 has been made available. The bug-fix release takes care of over 150 regressions and serious issues in version 9.2 of the GNU Compiler Collection. Amongst the general improvements that also made it into the release are a new option to provide a safe compilation for live-patching and one providing finer option completion in a shell.

        • Python

          • EuroPython 2020: Going virtual EuroPython 2021: Dublin, Ireland

            In our blog post on the COVID-19 last week, we were still hopeful that the situation would improve in time for the event in July. The last few days have shown us that we need to have a more realistic view on how things will develop in the coming months.

            Right now, we are at a point in the conference organization where we have invested a lot of time into the preparation of the conference, but have not started ticket sales, entered sponsorship agreements or ordered conference and marketing material.

            We also had discussions with the venue and caterer on possible options to address the risk of not being able to hold the event in July due to government regulations preventing indoor gatherings.

          • Zope May sprint goes remote

            Earl Zope was inviting to the Zope May sprint, hoping for many volunteers to come. Due to restrictions to prevent spreading of COVID-19 (Corona) this sprint is going to be remote-only. – By now all of the organizers and their families are fine, so you do not have to worry about us.

          • Message to my IT/hacking friends (Mar17)

            Some thoughts and advises on March 17 from BB33, a little office and hackerspace in Freiburg in the black forest. Sitting here alone. My 8yo and partner are good, a few streets further, as is her family, for now. My sisters and many other friends are less well but i won’t detail this here. School has ended but my 8yo is totally angry with Covid-19 … is asking if it could be killed by throwing a host of atomic bombs on it … to which my answer is: “nuclear power can not kill covid-19 even it would kill all human life on the planet. But yes, sincerely, i understand your frustration — let’s take a bicicly ride together.”

            If you are like me and many of my friends you’ll get a host of demands because suddenly remote learning and working is in so many minds, also minds who have access to money while others are in urgent need. How to react and how to care?

          • Productivity Mondays - Tips from Adam Grant
          • Débora Azevedo Awarded the PSF Community Service Award for Q4 2019

            Débora Azevedo co-founder of PyLadies Brazil and Django Girls Natal organizer, has been awarded the Python Software Foundation Q4 2019 Community Service Award.

            Débora's outstanding contributions to the growth and support of the Python community goes well beyond PyLadies Brazil and Django Girls Natal - as she is actively involved in Python translation work.

            In 2018, she translated the Python Software Foundation survey into Potuguese.

          • Make a 2D Side-Scroller Game With PyGame

            In this course, you’ll learn about creating games using Python and the library PyGame.

          • Webinar: “Django and PyCharm Tips and Tricks” with Paul Everitt
          • PyCoder’s Weekly: Issue #412 (March 17, 2020)
          • Python 3.6.9 : My colab tutorials - part 003.
          • How to get Absolute Value in Python with abs() and Pandas

            In this Python tutorial, we will learn how to get the absolute value in Python. First, we will use the function abs() to do this. In this section, we will go through a couple of examples of how to get the absolute value. Second, we will import data with Pandas and use the abs method to get the absolute values in a Pandas dataframe.

          • Leysin 2020 Sprint Report

            At the end of February ten of us gathered in Leysin, Switzerland to work on a variety of topics including HPy, PyPy Python 3.7 support and the PyPy migration to Heptapod.

          • How to merge dictionaries in Python

            Dictionary data type is used in python to store multiple values with keys. A new dictionary can be created by merging two or more dictionaries. Merging data is required when you need to combine same type of data that is stored in multiple dictionaries. For example, department wise employee data of any company is stored in many dictionaries. To generate a list of all employees of the company we will need to merge the data from these dictionaries. Many ways exist in Python for merging dictionaries. How you can merge dictionaries are shown in this article by using various examples.

          • Working with tempfile in python

            Sometimes we need to store data temporarily in a file for doing any task temporarily. For example, the monthly sales report of any organization can be generated by using storing sales data into a temporary file. It is better to store the data in a temporary file for generating the report to prevent any accidental modification of the original data. A temporary file can also be used for securing sensitive data. Creating a temporary file and doing these types of tasks can be done easily in Python by using tempfile module. This module contains many functions to create temporary files and folders, and access them easily. The uses of tempfile module in Python are shown in this article.

          • How to use Python dictionary of dictionaries

            In most of the programming languages, an associative array is used to store data using key-value pairs. Dictionaries are used in Python to do the same task. The curly brackets ({}) are used to declare any dictionary variable. The dictionary contains a unique key value as an index and each key represents a particular value. The third brackets ([]) are to read the value of any particular key. Another data type exists in Python to store multiple data which is called List. The list works like a numeric array and its index starts from 0 and maintains order. But the key values of the dictionary contain different types of values that don’t need to maintain any order. When one or more dictionaries are declared inside another dictionary then it is called a nested dictionary or dictionaries of the dictionary. How you can declare nested dictionaries and access data from them are described in this article by using different examples.

        • Shell/Bash/Zsh/Ksh

        • Rust

  • Leftovers

    • Health/Nutrition

      • This Could Get Very Bad and Last a Very Long Time

        ...the upshot here is that we could be actively working to suppress COVID-19 at great financial and social cost — or paying the price in dead bodies for our failure to do so until a vaccine becomes available.

      • Coronavirus Could Bankrupt Most Airlines by End of May, Consultant Warns

        The coronavirus pandemic will bankrupt most airlines worldwide by the end of May unless governments and the industry take coordinated steps to avoid such a situation, an aviation consultant warned.

        Many airlines have probably been driven into technical bankruptcy or substantially breached debt covenants already, Sydney-based consultancy CAPA Centre for Aviation warned in a statement Monday. Carriers are depleting cash reserves quickly because their planes are grounded and those that aren’t are flying more than half empty, it said.

      • The Gig Economy Is a Public Health Risk

        The coronavirus pandemic has crystallized this important fact: Gig economy companies are a public health risk.

        By their very design, regulation-ignoring companies that treat their workers as independent contractors rather than employees have created a class of people who are uninsured or underinsured and are incentivized to work long hours, even if it puts them or customers at risk. Even now, as gig economy companies are rolling out the bare minimum in terms of sick leave, we are seeing how vulnerable gig workers really are and how these services have created an underclass of people who serve the rich.

        While most of Silicon Valley’s white-collar workers are working from home and the masses are being asked to self-isolate, Uber and Lyft drivers, Grubhub and Seamless delivery drivers, and Instacart shoppers continue to work. After weeks of silence and rolling out policies designed to convince customers to continue using their platforms (“contactless deliveries!”), several companies including Uber, have just rolled out two-weeks of paid sick leave, but even these policies feel dystopian, their subtext being: Keep working until you get the deadly pandemic with an unknown death rate. Then you can self-isolate (without health insurance) and hope you don’t die.

      • France Ready to Nationalize Big Firms in Radical Virus Response

        France is ready to use the ultimate weapon to protect its biggest companies from the market turmoil set in motion by the coronavirus: nationalization.

        As the government tears up its budget plans and promises billions of euros to support the economy, Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said the state could intervene using any means to protect the country’s biggest companies.

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Pseudo-Open Source

          • Tekton, Containers and Kubernetes

            • Why now’s a great time to use the Tekton Dashboard

              Over the past year, Tekton’s usage has grown significantly. However, as a Tekton enthusiasts, I’ve grown tired of trawling through YAML, using kubectl logs, describing or getting pods, and either forgetting to use -n or using kubens every few commands. I bet you can relate and are probably thinking, like I am, that there has to be a better way to learn about what’s going on with your Tekton resources.

              In this blog, I discuss the Tekton Dashboard, which has been around for a while. The Tekton team is always adding new features, listening to community feedback, and continuously pushing out releases. It’s certainly not intended as a guide to all things Tekton, but definitely serves as a great incentive to give Tekton a try and hopefully contribute to the community. It also resolves a few of the issues I mentioned above. Now let’s dive in!

            • Aqua Security debuts open-source container image registry scanner

              Container security startup Aqua Security Software Ltd. announced today that its open-source tool for scanning container images is now integrated by default with registries from Docker Inc. and the Mirantis Docker Enterprise platform, as well as Harbor, an open-source image registry project run by the Cloud Native Computing Foundation.

            • Platform9 Adds More Tiers to Kubernetes Service [Ed: "Freedom plan" does not include actual freedom and conflates this concept with something like "clown computing]

              Platform9 today launched a managed Kubernetes service, dubbed the Freedom plan, that provides free access to Kubernetes clusters of up to 20 nodes spanning a maximum of 800 virtual CPUs running on three clusters.

              In addition, Platform9 is adding a separate Growth plan that provides access to 50 nodes spanning a maximum of 2,000 virtual CPUs for IT teams that need to scale a Kubernetes environment quickly. Priced less than $500 per month with a minimum of three nodes, the Growth plan comes with 24×7 support and a 99.9% service level agreement (SLA), according to Platform9.

            • Interoperability of open-source tools: the emergence of interfaces [Ed: Free software after 2 decades of openwashing attacks is reduced to "standards" (shims) and "interop" (between binary blobs with back doors)]

              In the past years, Kubernetes has been the nucleus of container orchestration frameworks. Numerous tools have been developed to extend Kubernetes capabilities and enhance its features. Over time, tools with similar functionalities would have fundamentally different implementations and practices to converge with the Kubernetes components. The emergence of shared standards and a set of best practices became imperative.

              This blog post will focus on the evolution of interfaces within the Kubernetes landscape, including networking, storage, service mesh and cluster provisioning. As well, an emphasis will be placed on why the interoperability of open-source tools is pivotal in the modern infrastructure.

            • Kubernetes – Getting Started With Rook
        • Security

          • Security updates for Tuesday

            Security updates have been issued by Arch Linux (okular, thunderbird, and webkit2gtk), Debian (webkit2gtk), Fedora (php-horde-Horde-Form), Gentoo (libvorbis, nss, and proftpd), Oracle (firefox and kernel), Red Hat (kernel), Scientific Linux (firefox), SUSE (cni, cni-plugins, conmon, fuse-overlayfs, podman, librsvg, and ovmf), and Ubuntu (ceph, icu, linux, linux-aws, linux-kvm, linux-aws-5.0, linux-gcp, linux-gke-5.0, linux-oracle-5.0, linux-kvm, linux-oracle, linux-raspi2, linux-raspi2-5.3, linux-kvm, linux-raspi2, linux-snapdragon, and linux-lts-xenial, linux-aws).

          • Feature Highlights: Kernel Rootkit Protection in Core Update 142

            Another exciting feature is landing in Core Update 142: Improved Kernel Rootkit Protection using code signing. This way, IPFire will protect itself against attackers trying to load third-party kernel modules.

          • How can I trust this git repository?

            Important part: Can't check signature: No public key. No public key. Because of course you would see that. Why would you have my key lying around, unless you're me. Or, to put it another way, why would that server I'm installing from scratch have a copy of my OpenPGP certificate? Because I'm a Debian developer, my key is actually part of the 800 keys in the debian-keyring package, signed by the APT repositories. So I have a trust path.

            But that won't work for someone who is not a Debian developer. It will also stop working when my key expires in that repository, as it already has on Debian buster (current stable). So I can't assume I have a trust path there either. One could work with a trusted keyring like we do in the Tor and Debian project, and only work inside that project, that said.

            But I still feel uncomfortable with those commands. Both git log and git show will happily succeed (return code 0 in the shell) even though the signature verification failed on the commits. Same with git pull and git merge, which will happily push your branch ahead even if the remote has unsigned or badly signed commits.

    • Defence/Aggression

    • Finance

      • Goldman Sachs warns US stocks could plunge another 16% before rapidly recovering

        Mayhem has descended upon global financial markets. The Dow has suddenly crumbled to a three-year lows. Crude oil is in an epic tailspin. And central banks are racing to put out fires.

        The damage on Wall Street might not nearly be done as authorities scramble to stop the spread of the coronavirus by shutting down parts of the once-booming American economy. Goldman Sachs is warning clients that the S&P 500 could bottom at 2,000 by midyear, marking a 41% plunge from the record highs set just a month ago. The Wall Street bank expects stocks to rapidly recover before the end of the year.

      • Bill Gates’s Charity Paradox

        Last fall, Netflix premiered a three-part documentary that promises viewers a rare look at the inner life of one of history’s most controversial businessmen. Over three hours, Inside Bill’s Brain shows us a rare emotional side to Bill Gates as he processes the loss of his mother and the death of his estranged best friend and Microsoft cofounder, Paul Allen.

        Mostly, though, the film reinforces the image many of us already had of the ambitious technologist, insatiable brainiac, and heroic philanthropist. Inside Bill’s Brain falls into a common trap: attempting to understand the world’s second-richest human by interviewing people in his sphere of financial influence.

        In the first episode, director Davis Guggenheim underlines Gates’s expansive intellect by interviewing Bernie Noe, described as a friend of Gates.


        Through an investigation of more than 19,000 charitable grants the Gates Foundation has made over the last two decades, The Nation has uncovered close to $2 billion in tax-deductible charitable donations to private companies—including some of the largest businesses in the world, such as GlaxoSmithKline, Unilever, IBM, and NBC Universal Media—which are tasked with developing new drugs, improving sanitation in the developing world, developing financial products for Muslim consumers, and spreading the good news about this work.

        The Gates Foundation even gave $2 million to Participant Media to promote Davis Guggenheim’s previous documentary film Waiting for Superman, which pushes one of the foundation’s signature charity efforts, charter schools—privately managed public schools. This charitable donation is a small part of the $250 million the foundation has given to media companies and other groups to influence the news.

    • Monopolies

      • Patents

        • German patent reform movement strikes back: Federation of German Industries (BDI) withdraws injunction-friendly submission to government

          The German patent reform movement has miles to go, but it is far from beaten. Last weekend I commented on the submissions (feedback to a patent reform proposal) Germany's Federal Ministry of Justice and Consumer Protection published last week, and noted that the submission by the BDI (Federation of German Industries, an umbrella association of associations) appeared to isolate the automotive industry by taking an injunction-friendly (though troll-critical) position. I pointed out that in reality there's a strong interest in patent injunction reform across different segments of the economy.

          In a development that is as surprising as it is telling, the BDI's paper has been withdrawn from the website of the Federal Ministry of Justice and Consumer Protection. The only plausible explanation is that some of the pro-reform forces succeeded in convincing the BDI that it was not speaking for the entirety of German industry associations minus automotive and information & communications technology, but had merely been hijacked by patent extremists.

          The ministry would very much have liked the BDI to reach a consensus. A paper that wasn't supported by two major member associations wasn't exactly a consensus position--but the BDI portrayed it as the position of a vast majority of the German economy, which it simply wasn't (as I already made clear on Sunday).

        • Daimler slows down production due to coronavirus, potentially reducing impact of patent injunction Nokia is pursuing

          Daimler announced today that most of its production in Europe will be suspended for (initially) two weeks, starting this week. "An extension of this measure will depend on further developments," the announcement notes.

          The reasons for this are apparently a mix of protecting Daimler's workforce, containing the spread of the virus, lower demand, and supply-chain issues.

          The overall situation may have an impact on Daimler's antitrust and patent dispute with Nokia (see th previous post on Continental's statement accusing Nokia of impeding innovation in the automotive supply chain). On April 9, Nokia hopes to obtain a patent injunction--over a patent that will most likely turn out invalid in the further process and based on an absurd misreading of the CJEU's Huawei v. ZTE ruling--from the Munich I Regional Court. Even if Nokia succeeded without merit, the question would be what impact the injunction would actually have--not only because it is limited to a list of specified suppliers of telematics control units, but also because reduced production volumes during the coronavirus crisis might make the situation easier to manage.

          If Nokia coerced Daimler into a settlement, the problem of SEP holders like Nokia refusing to license component makers still wouldn't have been solved. The suppliers would have no reason to withdraw their EU antitrust complaints. If anything, such a course of events would add another element of abuse.

        • EPO reports growing demand for transport-related patents
        • COVID -19-Related Delays in Filing Patent and Trademark Documents

          The European Patent Office (EPO), the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) and the United State Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) have each announced some relaxation of certain rules and procedures to accommodate 2019 novel coronavirus (COVID-19)-related delays and interruptions in filings.

          The EPO will extend all deadlines accruing after March 15, 2020 until April 17, 2020, including deadlines for international applications under the PCT. The currently extended deadline of April 17 may be further extended by a future Notice.

          However, to take advantage of the EPO deadline extensions, applicants or their representatives must offer "evidence that on any of the ten days preceding the day of expiry of a period, it was not possible to observe the time limit due to” a COVID-19 related disruption.

        • Covid-19 IP Update: Intellectual Property Office developments

          The EPO has said that oral proceedings will continue but may be held by videoconference. On 15 March, the EPO also announced that all deadlines are extended.

        • Measures by EUIPO and EPO over COVID-19 spreads

          In light of the COVID-19 pandemic in Europe, the EUIPO (European Union Intellectual Property Office) have announced that all deadlines between 9 March 2020 and 30 April 2020 are extended until 1 May 2020 (in fact, all limits are extended until Monday 4 May, given that Friday 1 May is Labor Day).

          Until further notice, all EUIPO staff will work from home but will continue to send communications, set deadlines or receive queries by phone or email, but all public events scheduled during this period are postponed. Trademark and design applications will continue to be received, examined and published, says EUIPO.

        • Continental says Nokia impedes innovation and sustainability in automotive industry and IoT by refusing to license component makers

          While Nokia has always been outspoken about the automotive industry's antitrust complaints over its refusal to grant exhaustive component-level licenses to suppliers, I gave up at some point on the complainants' willingness to provide any information or share their views. It just didn't seem to be in their DNA. All the more surprising to me was the fact that Continental issued a statement today on the definitive failure of mediation efforts with Nokia.

          The Mannheim Regional Court had originally scheduled two Nokia v. Daimler trials today, which were canceled in part because of the coronavirus situation. Continental is an intervenor in all those German SEP infringement actions against one of its largest customers, Daimler. Tires made Continental a household name, but it's a lesser-known fact that they are also a huge supplier of electronics components to car manufacturers. They and their competitors depend on exhaustive SEP licenses in order to be able to invest in further progress in this field. Today's statement refers to "connected, autonomous and sustainable mobility." I interpret "sustainable" in the sense of increasing energy efficiency at the component level as well as technologies that help reduce fuel consumption. In other words, Continental wants Nokia to make its contribution to the fight against climate change--an extremely high priority for the von der Leyen Commission--by enabling innovation a the component level.

          Nokia refuses to grant exhaustive licenses to component makers. Instead, it seeks to force end-product makers such as Daimler into licenses, and in discussions involving component makers proposes alternative structures that fail to address the most important competition and innovation concerns.

      • Copyrights

        • Some good coronavirus news: Monster Google-Oracle API copyright battle on hold as bio-nasty shuts Supremes

          The ten-year monster battle between Google and Oracle over the use of Java APIs will be delayed until further notice – after the US Supreme Court announced it was suspending oral arguments over coronavirus fears.

          The two sides were due to present their argument to the court on Tuesday, March 24 and there has been a flood of filings in the case in the past month. But on Monday, the Supreme Court said that “in keeping with public health precautions recommended in response to COVID-19, the Supreme Court is postponing the oral arguments currently scheduled for the March session (March 23-25 and March 30-April 1).”

          It’s not yet known when the case will be rescheduled - a meeting on Friday should provide more details. The court’s statement also noted that its closure is “not unprecedented,” but then gave two precedents there weren’t exactly comforting:

          “The Court postponed scheduled arguments for October 1918 in response to the Spanish flu epidemic. The Court also shortened its argument calendars in August 1793 and August 1798 in response to yellow fever outbreaks.” How reassuring.

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