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Links 17/11/2020: Six New Debian Developers and Orange Pi's $16 Zero2

  • GNU/Linux

    • Audiocasts/Shows

      • System76 hardware sale, Nasty Ubuntu bug, and KDE PinePhone - Linux and Open Source News - YouTube

        This time, we've got Ubuntu addressing a very nasty bug, KDE firing on all cylinders with plasma mobile and their own edition of the pinephone, a big System76 sale, and some new releases of very good stuff for Linux gaming.

      • LHS Episode #379: LHS at Ohio LinuxFest 2020 | Linux in the Ham Shack

        Hello and welcome to Episode 379 of Linux in the Ham Shack. In place of our normal deep dive episode this week, the hosts were invited to be a part of Ohio LinuxFest 2020. We hosted a Birds-of-a-Feather (BoF) session on the topic of using Linux and amateur radio. We had a great turnout and a lot of fun. So we hope you enjoy this special episode of the program and a huge thank you to the staff and volunteers at Ohio LinuxFest. Here's to getting back to in-person conferences again soon.

      • Your Software Is Spying On You - YouTube

        In the last few days, one of the news headlines has been the revelation that MacOS is spying on its users and sending that information back to Apple. What can say? I'M SHOCKED! Ok, not shocked at all. But I wanted to talk a bit about surveillance (telemetry) in our software.

      • Apple Is Tracking EVERYTHING You Do On Big Sur - YouTube

        If you own an Apple MacOS device running Big Sur you no longer own your device, Apple is now tracking every app you ever open on an unencrypted connection and has the ability to block any app that they don't want to let you run. Welcome to the future you wished for

    • Kernel Space

      • Kernel prepatch 5.10-rc4

        The 5.10-rc4 kernel prepatch is out for testing. "All looks good, and nothing makes me go 'uhhuh, 5.10 looks iffy'. So go test, let's get this all solid and calmed down, and this will hopefully be one of those regular boring releases even if it's certainly not been on the smaller side..."

      • LibIIO – Library for interfacing Linux industrial I/O devices

        For more than 6 years, the LibIIO library has existed to ease the development of software interfacing Linux Industrial I/O (IIO) devices. It is part of the Linux Kernel and a subsystem that provides support for devices like analog to digital or digital to analog converters (ADCs, DACs). This subsystem includes ADCs, accelerometers, pressure sensors, color, light and proximity sensors, temperature sensors, RF transceivers, and many more.

        You can use LibIIO natively on an embedded Linux target. It is cross-platform, supporting Linux, Windows, and Mac OS. Analog Devices Inc. was the main company behind LibIIO development, which is currently an active open-source library, which many people have contributed to.

      • Graphics Stack

        • More OpenCL 3.0 Bits Merged For Mesa 20.1 - Phoronix

          It's still short of the full OpenCL 3.0 implementation, but more of the CL 3.0 enablement patches for Gallium3D's "Clover" OpenCL state tracker have now been merged into Mesa 20.1-devel

          Mainline Mesa has been seeing various OpenCL 3.0 patches land as they've been reviewed. Today more of the OpenCL 3.0 patches were merged.

          David Airlie of Red Hat continues to be the driving force behind the OpenCL 3.0 code in Clover and Karol Herbst (Red Hat) and others also engaged in the effort.

    • Benchmarks

      • We Have Been Testing The Radeon RX 6800 Series On Linux

        But can't tell you yet how it performs...

        Besides this morning being the announcement of the AMD MI100 "Arcturus" accelerator and ROCm 4.0, this morning also marks the embargo lift on the Radeon RX 6000 series "unboxing" content. But the embargo hasn't yet lifted on the Radeon RX 6800 series reviews / performance benchmarks.

    • Applications

      • Embedded Nautilus Terminal Plugin 3.4.0 Adds Configurable Toggle Shortcut And Colors

        Nautilus Terminal 3 is a tool to embed a terminal into Nautilus (Files, the default Gnome file browser). The terminal follows the file manager navigation (cd is automatically executed when navigating through folders in Nautilus).

        Using this Nautilus plugin allows showing / hiding a terminal embedded in Nautilus, using the F4 key by default.

        Nautilus Terminal 3.4.0 was released recently with 2 important new features. With this release it's possible to change the terminal toggle shortcut, and to configure the background and foreground (text) terminal colors.

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • How to back up your videos on Linux

        If you have a ton of video files on your Linux PC that you don’t want to lose, backing them up is a good idea. There are many different ways to create backups for video files on Linux. In this guide, we’ll cover the two best ways to do it.


        If you want to make a quick backup of your video files on Linux, a great way to go is with the Tar tool. It’s a program included by default on all Linux operating systems and allows users to quickly and easily create compressed archives of files and folders.

        To start your video files’ backup process using the Tar command on Linux, open up a terminal window and follow the step-by-step instructions outlined below.

      • How to install LibreOffice 7 on a Chromebook - all language interfaces included

        Today we are looking at how to install LibreOffice 7 on a Chromebook - with all language interfaces included. Please follow the video/audio guide as a tutorial where we explain the process step by step and use the commands below.

      • myki password manager installation on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS - Linux Shout

        Myki is a Cloud-less Storage password manager available free of cost to install on various operating systems or to use on any device with help of a browser extension. It is an offline Password Manager and authentication software. Thus, whatever we store in it such as passwords, credit card details, digital copies of government IDs, etc. will remain on the local devices whether it is Desktop, laptop, or smartphone. It can sync passwords in an end-to-end encrypted manner.

        Myki is available as browser extensions for Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Opera, and MS Edge. And also in the standalone desktop app for Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, and iOS.

      • History command in Linux with examples | FOSS Linux

        The history command in Linux is no complex jargon. It is exactly what you think it is, and there is no hidden meaning behind it. The same way you look at your browser history after a long day on the internet is how you perceive the history command. It is all about tracking your previous movements and actions, but in this case, it’s on a Linux terminal or command line.

      • How to Configure Color Temperature in GNOME Night Light - Make Tech Easier

        You probably already know that the screens from electronics give off a blue light that tricks our brains into thinking it’s broad daylight. This can interrupt sleep patterns and cause eye strain, which is definitely not good for your overall health. This is especially prominent in today’s work- and school-from-home life where we look at computer screens for eight hours a day. It’s good to have tools around to help change the color of monitors. There are many programs that will do that. This article will introduce you to one of them on Linux and show you how to configure color temperature in GNOME Night Light.

      • How To Install FreeIPA on CentOS 8 - idroot

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to install FreeIPA on CentOS 8. For those of you who didn’t know, FreeIPA is an open-source identity management system for Linux/Unix environments that provides centralized account management and authentication, like Microsoft Active Directory or LDAP.

        This article assumes you have at least basic knowledge of Linux, know how to use the shell, and most importantly, you host your site on your own VPS. The installation is quite simple and assumes you are running in the root account, if not you may need to add ‘sudo‘ to the commands to get root privileges. I will show you through the step by step installation of FreeIPA on CentOS 8.

      • Nginx Redirect HTTP to HTTPS – Linux Hint

        Nginx, pronounced as “Engine x”, is a free, open-source Linux-based high-performance web and a reverse proxy server that is responsible for managing and handling the load of the largest websites traffic on the internet. Nginx is a powerful redirecting tool that can be configured easily on your system to redirect the less secure or unencrypted HTTP web traffic to an encrypted and secured HTTPS web server. If you are a system administrator or a developer, then you are using the Nginx server regularly. In this article, we will work on how to redirect the web traffic from HTTP to a secure HTTPS in Nginx.

        The responses and requests are returned in the form of plaintext in HTTP, whereas the HTTPS uses SSL/TLS to encrypt the communication between the client and server system.

      • How to Install and Create a Blog with Hexo on Ubuntu 20.04

        Hexo is a static blogging framework built on Node.js, it allows you to write posts in Markdown format. In this tutorial, you will learn how to Install Hexo and use it to create a blog on Ubuntu 20.04 based server.

      • Bash printf Command Examples [Better Than Echo]

        The simplest way to print in Linux command line is by using echo command.

        echo "Value of var is $var" However, echo command won't be adequate when you need to print formatted output.

        This is where printf command helps you. The bash printf command operates like the printf command in C/C++ programming language.

        printf "My brother %s is %d years old.\n" Prakash 21 Can you guess the output?

      • Display Ping Command Output In Graph Format Using Gping - OSTechNix

        This guide talks about the brief history of ping utility and how to display ping command output in graph format using gping tool in Linux.

      • "Where's my C:\ Drive?" | The Linux File System Explained! - YouTube
    • Games

      • Grab a free copy of BUTCHER during the GOG Made in Poland Sale | GamingOnLinux

        GOG are doing their annual celebration of Polish game developers with the launch of the Made in Poland Sale, along with a FREE copy of BUTCHER you can grab. For those curious on why GOG do this, it's pretty simple: since they were founded and have their headquarters in Warsaw, Poland.

      • 2014 point and click adventure A Golden Wake gets updated with fresh Linux support | GamingOnLinux

        Love your point and click adventures? A Golden Wake is one you might have missed from all the way back in 2014, and it's still being upgraded. Developed by Grundislav Games who also created the 2018's Lamplight City and the upcoming Rosewater.

        Set in the 1920s, a "bygone era of glitz, glamour, and promise" in the Coral Gables, Florida you follow Alfie Banks as they try to strike it rich with the real estate market booming. However, they have the mob on their back, the Great Depression on the horizon, and the Sunshine State’s idyllic waterfront only a hurricane away from total devastation.

      • Ubuntu MATE image for the GPD Win Max handheld gaming PC coming soon

        The GPD Win Max is probably the most powerful handheld gaming computer on the market right now, although that could change in the coming months as the AYA Neo, GPD Win 3, and One Netbook OneGx Pro hit the streets.

        But whether the Win Max loses its performance crown anytime soon or not, it will likely remain a pretty impressive option for folks looking for a compact, portable gaming computer. One of the only things I found disappointing when I tested the Win Max earlier this year was that I couldn’t get it to run Linux. Others had more luck, but I figured we’d need to wait for serious Linux developers to fully support the hardware before things would get easier for casual users.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • PinePhone KDE Community Edition will run Plasma Mobile out-of-the-box

          Pine64, makers of PinePhone, the Linux powered, completely open mobile device, has joined forces with software community KDE for a special edition. The PinePhone KDE Community Edition will run Plasma Mobile, the mobile version of KDE’s Plasma graphical workspace environment. KDE says that Plasma Mobile “includes most of the essential features a smartphone user would expect and its functionalities increase day by day.”

          Plasma Mobile has been designed to allow developers to write for Plasma Desktop and Mobile simultaneously, with the mobile OS taking care of formatting, even where the phone screen is connected to a monitor in other words. All apps for Plasma work on all form factors, meaning that it’s easy to hook your PinePhone up to a keyboard, mouse, and monitor and use it as a workstation, similar to Ubuntu Touch and Samsung DeX. Users of the desktop OS will also be able to link their PinePhone KDE-CE to their desktop. There is a 2GB and 3GB variant, with the latter bundling in a hub offering with two USB, video, and ethernet ports.

        • Hacker adds a working fingerprint sensor to the PinePhone

          The PinePhone isn’t just the most affordable smartphone designed to run GNU/Linux-based operating systems. It’s also designed to be a modular device – most internal components are user replaceable, and there are six pogo pins that allow extra hardware to be added to the device.

          So far Pine64 has announced plans for three optional accessories that use those pins. Swap out the back cover of the phone and you’ll eventually be able to add NFC, wireless charging, or a physical keyboard.

          But independent hardware hackers have come up with several other solutions. The latest? A functional fingerprint reader.

        • Bootable Live USB Creator UNetbootin 700 Released With Qt5 Support

          UNetbootin, a tool to create bootable live Linux USB drives, has been updated to version 700. With this release, the application finally uses Qt5 (5.12; previously it used Qt4).

          UNetbootin can create bootable Linux USB drives using either an ISO image you provide, or by automatically downloading a Linux distribution from a predefined list. The tool may also be used to install the ISO do disk; this hard disk install mode is the same as if you had booted from a live CD or live USB.

          Among the supported Linux distributions are Ubuntu and derivatives like Xubuntu or Kubuntu, Linux Mint, Debian, openSUSE, Arch Linux, Fedora, Gentoo, and many more, as well as FreeBSD and NetBSD. The tool can also be used to create bootable USB drives with various utilities, like Parted Magic, SystemRescueCD, Backtrack, Smart Boot Manager, and more. It runs on Microsoft Windows, Linux and macOS.

          Yet another UNetbootin feature is the ability to create bootable USB drives with persistence. This only works for Ubuntu - to create a persistent live USB drive, enter the amount of persistent space you want to use under "Space used to preserve files across reboots".

          UNetbootin is missing from the official repositories of some Linux distributions, like Debian and Ubuntu for some time. Maybe with the latest release which updates UNetbootin to use Qt5, the maintainers will consider it for re-inclusion.

        • We’re working on Dolphin’s URL navigator teething issues – Adventures in Linux and KDE

          The change to move Dolphin’s URL Navigator/breadcrumbs bar into the toolbar hasn’t been received as well as we were hoping, and I wanted to let people know that we’re aware and will find a way to address the concerns people brought up.

      • GNOME Desktop/GTK

        • GNOME Work Moving Ahead On Deep Color Support, Triple Buffering

          It's been a while since having any major break-through changes to talk about for GNOME contributed by Canonical's prolific developer Daniel Van Vugt, but he's been at the grind making progress on some big ticket items.

          In his latest weekly development update he shared progress is being made on two important items: 10-bit deep color support and triple buffering.

          For several months now deep color support for Ubuntu has been one of the focuses by Van Vugt, but initially was a setback due to the changes being more invasive than he initially anticipated. The changes are more involved but he is back to making progress on the deep color support, which is great as the Linux desktop has been lagging behind Windows and macOS in the deep color support.

          He notes over the past week he briefly resolved all discussions that were blocking the deep color support and is now awaiting more testing.

        • Sam Thursfield: Search from GNOME Shell

 is a bookmarking and archival website run by Maciej Ceglowski, also a noted public speaker, Antarctic explorer and political activist. I use Pinboard as a way to close browser tabs, by pretending to myself that I’ll one day revisit the 11,000 interesting links that I’ve bookmarked.

          Hoping to make better use of this expansive set of thought-provoking articles, hilarious videos and expired domain names, I wrote a minimal search provider for GNOME Shell.

    • Distributions

      • IPFire 2.25 - Core Update 152 released

        Another update for IPFire is out: IPFire 2.25 - Core Update 152

        Before we talk about what is new, I would like to as you for your support for our project. IPFire is a small team of people from a range of backgrounds sharing one goal: make the Internet a safer place for everyone. Like many of our open source friends, we’ve taken a hit this year and would like to ask for your continued support. Please follow the link below where your donation can help fund our continued development:

        This update comes with various smaller bug fixes and improvements and updates the Windows File Sharing Add-on.

      • BSD

        • MidnightBSD 2.0 Released: A FreeBSD-Derived OS For Desktop Users

          Last month, we reported the major release of three operating systems: OpenBSD 6.8, NetBSD 9.1, and FreeBSD 12.2 from the BSD family. Now we have another massive release of yet another BSD (or say FreeBSD-derived) distribution called MidnightBSD 2.0.

          It has imported several features from FreeBSD 11-STABLE branch and added base system improvements along with security updates and bug fixes.


          It’s also worth mentioning that after a day of version 2.0 release, the MidnightBSD team detected some issues with UEFI booting on amd64. Hence, the team has bumped the stable/2.0 branch to a new version 2.0.1 fixing the UEFI support.

          For more information about other new features or upgrading MidnightBSD, you can read the release notes. If you want to install MidnightBSD 2.0 from scratch, ISO images are available to download for x86, amd64, and Virtual Machines.

      • Screenshots/Screencasts

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • Red Hat Learning Community celebrates 50,000 members

          The Red Hat Learning Community (RHLC) celebrates a monumental milestone this week as it exceeds 50,000 members! At its launch in September of 2018, the main goal was simple: provide a collaborative space for open source learners to connect as they optimize their skills in working with Red Hat products. As the core of that mission has remained true since launch, Red Hat has strived to provide our users what they need in order to collaborate, learn, build skills, and meet their individual learning and career goals.

        • Log-On Wave for IBM Z simplifies highly virtualized environments [Ed: So-called 'journalism' that's just a rewrite of the press release, i.e. an ad]

          IBM business partner Log-On Software has announced Log-On Wave for IBM Z to simplify and accelerate the management and daily administration of highly virtualized Linux server environments on IBM Z and IBM LinuxONE.

          “IBM Z and IBM LinuxOne are powerful, reliable and economical platforms for highly virtualized Linux environments. Significant z/VM skills are required to monitor, manage, and provision Linux instances and resources,” said Log-On.

        • Log-On Software Announces Log-On Wave for IBM Z

          Log-On Wave for IBM Z simplifies and accelerates the administration and operation of highly virtualized Linux infrastructures on IBM Z and LinuxONE


          IT organizations and service providers need to quickly respond to changing business requirements by rapidly deploying virtual resources and diagnosing and resolving system issues. Log-On Wave for IBM Z accelerates operations and reduces friction, ensuring that service level agreements are met, and customer expectations are exceeded.

        • Kubeflow Pipelines meets Tekton and Watson

          More machine learning models need to be deployed in production in a faster, repeatable, and consistent manner — and with the right governance.

          In March 2018 at the Strata Data Conference, IBM VP Dinesh Nirmal noted a common refrain) in the machine learning echelon, “The story of enterprise Machine Learning — It took me 3 weeks to develop the model. It’s been >11 months, and it’s still not deployed.”

          Echoing this sentiment, Forrester states in their 2020 report, “A top complaint of data science, application development and delivery (AD&D) teams, and, increasingly, line-of-business leaders is the challenge in deploying, monitoring, and governing machine learning models in production. Manual handoffs, frantic monitoring, and loose governance prevent organizations from deploying more AI use cases.”


          The decision to adopt Kubeflow Pipelines on our side came with an internal requirement to redesign Kubeflow Pipelines to run on top of Tekton (a Kubernetes-native CI/CD engine) instead of Argo. Tekton provides Kubernetes-style resources for declaring CI/CD-style pipelines, and introduces several new Custom Resource Definitions (CRDs) including Task, Pipeline, TaskRun, and PipelineRun. Within IBM, we have standardized on Tekton as a cloud CI/CD engine, and OpenShift Pipelines is based on Tekton. Additionally, Tasks in Tekton can be managed and executed independently of pipelines, which is valuable for us.

          Given the strategic and technical alignment with Tekton, it was a natural fit for our team to rewrite and run Kubeflow Pipelines on top of Tekton. As we set out to design and execute this work, we got support great support through Google Kubeflow Pipelines team, CD Foundation MLOps Sig, and Red Hat. After an extensive effort, we have Kubeflow Pipelines running on Tekton end-to-end and available in open source. Read our design document to understand our process and requirements.

      • Debian Family

        • New Debian Developers and Maintainers (September and October 2020)

          The following contributors got their Debian Developer accounts in the last two months:

          Benda XU (orv) Joseph Nahmias (jello) Marcos Fouces (marcos) Hayashi Kentaro (kenhys) James Valleroy (jvalleroy) Helge Deller (deller)

          The following contributors were added as Debian Maintainers in the last two months:

          Ricardo Ribalda Delgado Pierre Gruet Henry-Nicolas Tourneur Aloïs Micard Jérôme Lebleu Nis Martensen Stephan Lachnit Felix Salfelder Aleksey Kravchenko Étienne Mollier


    • Devices/Embedded

      • Orange Pi Unveils the $16 Zero2: A Tiny, Android-Capable SBC

        Orange Pi has released the Zero2, a small form factor SBC based on the Allwinner H616 64-bit system on chip (SoC). Capable of supporting Android 10 natively, it contains a quad-core Cortex-A53 processor with integrated Mali G31 graphics.


        The original Orange Pi Zero was aimed as a competitor to the Raspberry Pi Zero but missed the mark. While it was tiny and relatively powerful, it was designed mostly for headless applications. This was perfect for some but lacked the accessibility the Raspberry Pi Zero had.

        The new Zero2 changes this, with a more powerful SoC, multiple desktop OS options, support for displays, and pin headers supporting stereo analog audio out. It's early days, but this board could see some success in both industry and hobby maker circles.

      • Allwinner H3 maker board could be smallest Linux-powered SBC yet

        Seeed’s $49.90 “Quantum Mini” dev kit features an M.2 form-factor “Quark-N” module that runs Ubuntu Core on an Allwinner H3 plus a 40 x 35mm “Atom-N” carrier with 3x USB ports and WiFi/BT.

        The Quantum Mini Linux Development Kit is a collaboration between Seeed and Zhihui, a maker and AI algorithm engineer who has a half million followers on video sharing site BiliBili. Zhihui set up a Project Quantum to bring the board to market with the help of Seeed’s design and PCB prototyping and manufacturing services.

      • Quantum Mini devkit combines Allwinner H3 M.2 SoM with baseboard

        Quantum Mini may be yet another Allwinner H3 Arm Linux development board, but what makes it special is the company used the standard M.2 Key-A 22mm form factor to create Quark-N Allwinner H3 system-on-module with storage and memory.


        The company expects Quantum Mini to be used as a microcomputer, a personal website server, for image processing, robotics applications, voice assistant, or smart home hub. I’m not sure how people would use it as a computer since there’s no display interface, except for the small TFT display part of the kit.

        While I like the concept, and Quark-N may be the smallest Allwinner H3 linux board/module so far, it’s more expensive than similar boards such as NanoPi NEO Air or Orange Pi Lite, as the Quantum Mini development kit is up for pre-order on Seeed Studio for $49.99 with shipping scheduled to start on December 20.

      • SMARC module runs Linux on up to octa-core Renesas RZ/G2

        Renesas and RelySys have launched a “SMARC 2.0 SoM” module that runs Linux on a Renesas RZ/G2N (2x -A57), RZ/G2M (2x -A57, 4x -A53), or RZ/G2H (4x -A57, 4x -A53). It offers 2GB to 4GB LPDDR4, 32GB eMMC, and optional WiFi/BT.

        Japanese chipmaker Renesas and Bangalore, India based manufacturing partner RelySys have launched a SMARC 2.0 SoM module that showcases Renesas’ RZ-G2 family of dual- to octa-core Cortex-A57 and -A53 SoCs. The scalable. Linux-driven module adopts the larger 82 x 80mm SMARC variant and incorporates several PMICs, clocks, and other ICs built by Renesas.

      • IAR Systems delivers efficient building and testing in Linux-based environments for Renesas RX MCUs

        IAR Systems€®, the future-proof supplier of software tools and services for embedded development, adds support for Renesas RX microcontrollers (MCUs) in build tools supporting implementation in Linux-based frameworks for automated application build and test processes. This addition further extends IAR Systems' offering for flexible automated workflows.

      • PixelBlaze v3 WiFi LED board supports live-coding via a web interface (Crowdfunding)

        We’ve previously covered a couple of ESP8266 WiFi boards to control LED strips from ANAVI Technology ESP8266 powered ANAVI Miracle Controller and ANAVI Light Controller Starter Kit, but Ben Henke has also made similar ESP8266 LED controllers with PixelBlaze boards.

        The latest iteration – PixelBlaze v3 – is based on ESP32 WiSoC and comes in two variants: PixelBlaze v3 Standard with headers and PixelBlaze V3 Pico in a much tinier form factor (33.3 x 11mm) with both models supporting live-coding via a web interface.

      • Open Hardware/Modding

        • Lilbits: Smartphones that respect your privacy - Liliputing

          Some companies, like Purism and Pine64 are selling phones designed to run GNU/Linux distributions rather than Android. Software development is happening at a rapid pace, and the Linux smartphone space has been pretty exciting to watch. But it’s also very much early days – current-gen Linux smartphones are best suited for enthusiasts and hackers/developers at this point.

          Looking for something a little more polished that respects your privacy? Some folks might turn to Apple’s iPhones, which don’t rely as heavily on data collection. But Apple’s walled garden approach turns off some.

          So we’ve seen the rise of Android-based operating systems stripped of Google apps and services, such as CopperheadOS, GrapheneOS, and /e/.

        • Librem 5 Screenshots Snapshot 2020-11-15

          With the Librem 5 mass production beginning to ship imminently, we are publishing some image screenshots to snapshot this momentous occasion.

          Taken from a Librem 5 Evergreen (mass production) release on November 15th, 2020.

        • Arduino Blog €» This Arduino-powered robot is like a Roomba with a paintbrush

          Can robots paint? More specifically, can they create art? The second question is, of course, open for debate, but Technovation’s robotic build shows that they can indeed wield a paintbrush.

          The device, shaped vaguely like a Roomba vacuum cleaner, uses a pair of NEMA 17 motors for movement and a third to rotate a sort of brush turret. A servo attached to the pivoting arm positions a brush up and down, dipping it into paint, and bringing it to the drawing surface as needed.

          Control is via an Arduino Uno with a CNC shield. The project is capable of producing art randomly, or be programmed to execute pre-defined patterns.

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • Events

        • Online Guix Day Conference: schedule released!

          The Guix hackers are very happy to announce the first online Guix Day Conference on Sunday November, 22nd. This conference is open to everyone (no registration fee) and will be held entirely online. Want to know the schedule, read on!

        • Wallaby vPTG Summaries

          The OpenStack community had its second virtual Project Teams Gathering (PTG) following the Open Infrastructure Summit in October. Over 500 individuals and 46 teams (30+ OpenStack teams) across the globe, met and collaborated at the vPTG. Since the event concluded, several of those teams have posted summaries of the discussions they have had and the decisions that were made during the PTG.

      • FSF

        • GNU Projects

          • libredwg-0.11.1 released (bugfixes)

            out_dxf bugfixes mostly. 0.11 failed to produce dxf files which could be imported into AutoCAD. This bugfix release improves DXF importing from 10% to about 90%. But beware: Some dwg2dxf DXF files still can silently crash AutoCAD, so be sure to save your DWG before DXFIN. Most 3DSOLID's still cannot be imported via DXF, but some can now.

      • Programming/Development

        • Jussi Pakkanen: The Nine Phases of an Open Source Project Maintainer

          There is more to running an open source project than writing code. In fact most of all work has to do with something else. This places additional requirements to project maintainers that are often not talked about. In this post we'll briefly go over nine distinct phases each with a different hat one might have to wear. These can be split into two stages based on the lifetime and popularity of the project.


          Phase Eight: The Overseer

          This phase begins when the project maintainer realizes that they are no longer the person who knows most about the code base. Other people have done most of the coding work for so long that they are the actual experts on it. This causes yet another change in the type of work one needs to do. Up until now the work has been about solving problems and making decisions on things you are intimately familiar with. As an overseer you need to make decisions on things you don't really know about. Earlier decisions were based on code and implementation details, but now decisions are based mostly on what other people say in their merge requests and design discussions.

          This is something nobody really prepares you for. Making big decisions based on imperfect information can be really difficult for someone who has gotten used to going through every detail. Once a project gets over a certain size this is just not possible as the human brain is incapable of holding that many details in active memory at the same time. Even if it could, having a single person review everything would be a huge bottleneck. It is (more than) a full time job, and getting someone to pay for a full time maintainer review job is very rare.

          Finally, even if this were possible, reviewing is a very tiring job that very few people can keep on doing as their only task for very long. Eventually the mind will start screaming for something else, even for a while. Finally even if someone could do that, contributors would eventually get very annoyed by getting micromanaged to death and just leave.

          Phase Nine: The Emeritus

          All good things eventually come to an end and so will open source project maintainership. Eventually the project will either become irrelevant or the torch will be passed to someone else. This is, in a way, the greatest thing a project maintainer could hope for: being able to create a new entity that will keep on being used even after you have stopped working on it.

          Open source maintainership is a relatively young field and most projects at the end of their life cycle either become unmaintained zombies or get replaced by a new project written from scratch. Ee don't have that much experience on what emerituses do. Based on other fields these may range from "nothing" to doing conference talks, advising current maintainers on thorny issues.

        • GCC 11.0.0 Status Report (2020-11-16), Stage 3 in effect now

          GCC trunk which eventually will become GCC 11 is now in Stage 3 which means open for general bugfixing.

          We have accumulated quite a number of regressions, a lot of the untriaged and eventually stale. Please help in cleaning up.

          Quality Data ============

          Priority # Change from last report -------- --- ----------------------- P1 37 + 4 P2 257 + 1 P3 94 + 20 P4 184 - 1 P5 24 -------- --- ----------------------- Total P1-P3 388 + 25 Total 596 + 24

        • GCC 11 Ends Feature Development While Still Waiting For AMD Znver3 Support

          As was expected, formal feature development is now over for GCC 11 and it's time for bug fixing.

          Longtime GCC developer Richard Biener of SUSE announced today that the development trunk has shifted to stage three development. This shift means the focus now is on general bug fixing rather than adding of new features.

          And plenty of bug fixing there will be. Biener noted in the status update, "We have accumulated quite a number of regressions, a lot of the untriaged and eventually stale. Please help in cleaning up."

        • Teaching QLocale more about number formats

          QLocale looks after all localisation (or L10n) within Qt; while Qt 6 has swept away a few last fragments of L10n built into other things, that now consistently use the C locale (and advise you to use QLocale if you need L10n), it's also seen some significant improvements to how QLocale does those things, particularly in relation to numeric texts and surrogate pairs.


          In QString and friends we represent text using UTF-16; the size() of a string reported by these types is the number of UTF-16 code units. However, Unicode is bigger than fits into 16 bits, so there are code points (roughly what one normally thinks of as characters in written text, although there are further complications) that can't be represented as a single UTF-16 code unit; these are represented as surrogate pairs, in which two UTF-16 code units encode a single code point. When these are needed, the UTF-16-size reported by QString, in code units, is greater than the code-point size, which a native reader of the text is more likely to consider to be its length. In particular, a single character may need to be represented by a QString of length two.

          Characters in Unicode's Basic Multilingual Plane (BMP) can be represented by single UTF-16 code-points but the rest need surrogate pairs; and CLDR does contain some locales that use characters outside the BMP. Normally this isn't an issue, since QString can handle surrogate pairs just fine.

        • Perl/Raku

          • I founded a company called Perl Research Institute, Ltd.

            I founded a company called Perl Research Institute, Ltd in Japan.

            The main purpose of the Perl Research Institute is to restore Perl's honor.

            Its reputation was miserable compared to the excellence of Perl's features.

          • Rakudo Weekly News: 2020.46 Coercion Renewed

            Months of work by Vadim Belman, implementing the new type coercion protocol, was finally merged in time for the 2020.11 Rakudo compiler release. This makes coercion types such as Str() first class citizens. And allows custom classes to define their behaviour when used in coercions.

        • Rust

          • 1.48.0 pre-release testing

            The 1.48.0 pre-release is ready for testing. The release is scheduled for this Thursday, November 19th. Release notes can be found here.

  • Leftovers

    • Five books on open water swimming | by Jo Christian Oterhals

      Lately I have read a lot of books on swimming — which, if you knew me, would seem unexpected. Having a fear of water after a near-drowning accident as a child, I never became a swimmer. Not even a so-so swimmer: I managed to learn what we in Norway call “Grandma swimming”, a sort of laborious and slow breast swimming with the head as high above water as humanly possible and the feet similarly low beneath.

      But many years later, as an adult and a father, this slowly changed when my oldest son started attending swim practice. Even before taking up swimming as a sport, he had surpassed my abilities by a decent margin. After he became serious about training he almost instantly dwarfed me and my abilities.

      As parents of swimmers know, being a swim parent involves lots of driving to-and-from and perhaps even more waiting. Sometimes I killed time waiting for him outside the pool area, looking in through the large glass windows that separated spectators —aka annoying parents — from swimmers. From a distance I was amazed by the progress he made month by month.

      One summer day a year into his training I stood on a lake’s edge watching my son swim happily towards the opposite side. When he passed the middle a couple of hundred feet out, I was struck by an uncomfortable thought: If anything happened to him now, I wouldn’t be able to help. And had I tried, I would probably need help myself.

    • Hardware

      • I replaced the aging battery on my MacBook Pro

        However, I’ve noticed that the new battery lasts about five hours while the old one would typically last eight hours. So that’s eight hours at its end of life compared to six from a brand new one. Six hours is enough for my needs, but I’m not impressed by the performance of the new battery.

        Newer MacBook models received an update earlier this year to improve battery management. The updated battery manager is designed to improve battery lifespan by reducing its rate of chemically aging. The new feature would have been too little, too late for my aging battery. I hope to keep this Mac running for a few more years, and I’d be grateful if my Mac had received support for the new feature. It seems that Apple doesn’t expect MacBooks to last more than about seven years, although the model is supported in the latest version of macOS.

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Pseudo-Open Source

          • Openwashing

            • VMware's Dirk Hohndel Talks (What Else) Open Source [Ed: Shameless, paid-for (his salary) openwashing of malicious GPL violators]
            • Graylog Announces 4.0 Release of its Log Management Platform

              Graylog, a global provider of centralized log management solutions, today announced it will introduce Server Side Public License to its Open Source product with the upcoming general availability of Graylog 4.0. With more flexible and granular level control, Graylog 4.0, available this week, will streamline processes for IT, drive the usage of log data down to the end-user, and improve the end-user experience.

              “Graylog 4.0 takes terabytes of machine data and turns it into business and operational insights that address security, compliance, operational and DevOps issues every day,” said Lennart Koopmann, founder, Graylog. “With this release, we deliver greater efficiencies to our customers by simplifying the user experience and increasing the power of the platform.”

          • Privatisation/Privateering

            • Linux Foundation

              • GrimoireLab grows up to power The Linux Foundation's LFX Insights platform

                Bitergia, the software development analytics company, announced today that it is proud that the open source GrimoireLab tool is now used in The Linux Foundation's new LFX Insights platform. LFX Insights is the largest platform to have ever been built on top of the GrimoireLab tool, highlighting the open source success story of GrimoireLab.

        • Security

          • Security updates for Monday

            Security updates have been issued by Debian (libdatetime-timezone-perl and libvncserver), Fedora (chromium, kernel, kernel-headers, kernel-tools, krb5, libexif, libxml2, and thunderbird), Gentoo (chromium, libmaxminddb, and mit-krb5), Mageia (arpwatch, bluez, chromium-browser-stable, firefox and thunderbird, golang, java-1.8.0-op, kdeconnect-kde, kleopatra, libexif, lilypond, microcode, packagekit, ruby, and tpm2-tss), openSUSE (chromium, firefox, ImageMagick, kernel, openldap2, python-waitress, SDL, u-boot, ucode-intel, and zeromq), Oracle (fence-agents, firefox, freetype, kernel, python, python3, and thunderbird), Red Hat (rh-postgresql10-postgresql, rh-postgresql12-postgresql, and virt:8.2 and virt-devel:8.2), Slackware (seamonkey), and SUSE (firefox, gdm, kernel, and kernel-firmware).

          • Google Chrome Update Gets Serious: Homeland Security (CISA) Confirms Attacks Underway

            Homeland Security cybersecurity agency says update Google Chrome as attackers home in on new security flaws.

            Within the space of just three short weeks, Google has patched no less than five potentially dangerous vulnerabilities in the Chrome web browser.

            These are not your common vulnerabilities either, but rather ones known as zero-days. A zero-day being a vulnerability that is being actively exploited by attackers while remaining unknown to the vendor or threat intelligence outfits.

          • Leaving LastPass and Adopting Another Password Manager

            I've been on LastPass for years, but it's time to move on. This explains 3 reasons why and what I am switching to.

          • SUSE Releases Fix for SADDNS Vulnerability

            Security researchers from University of California and Tsinghua University have identified a new variant of DNS cache poisoning attacks called SADDNS (“Side-channel AttackeD DNS”) due to newly identified side channel attack against ICMP replies.

            This reappearance of the DNS cache poisoning attack allows remote attackers to pretend to be different hosts, if your host is reachable from the Internet, allowing person-in-the-middle against encrypted communication or software delivery.

            SUSE is delivering Linux Kernel Updates to again mitigate the SADDNS attack.

            SUSE also recommends to use DNSSEC, which in general avoids this kind of attack.

    • Finance

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • Google Defines Policy for More Inclusive Language

        According to the blog post, the terms “slave,” “whitelist,” and “blacklist” will be replaced with more inclusive alternatives, such as “replica,” “allowlist,” and “blocklist.” The policy applies now to new projects dating from October 2020, and the Google OSPO intends to enforce the changes on more complex, established projects beginning in 2021.

      • Google’s initiative for more inclusive language in open source projects

        To ensure this policy was implemented in a timely manner, a small team within OSPO and Developer Relations orchestrated tool and policy updates and an open-source specific fix-it, a virtual event where Google engineers dedicate time to fixing a project. The fix-it focused on existing projects and non-breaking changes, but also served as a reminder that inclusivity is an important part of our daily work. Now that the original fix-it is over, the policy remains and the projects continue.

    • Civil/Animal Rights/Policing

    • Monopolies

      • Patents

        • Sisvel v Xiaomi, SEPs and the importance of declarations of essentiality

          The existence of Standard Essential Patents (SEPs) – and associated litigation - has potentially disruptive consequences for the manufacture, marketing and distribution of complex products that include many patented standards, e.g. ICT products such as smart-phones incorporating a camera, a video, a web browser, wireless, text messages, etc, as well as an increasing array of IoT ‘networked’ products such as wearable devices and appliances for ‘smart homes’. By enforcing their patents, owners of SEPs could, if they wished, use the patent enforcement system to ‘hold up’ or prevent competitors from launching rival products that use the same standards. This raises serious concerns over competition in the marketplace and the need to maintain interoperability to ensure the IoT industry can develop. Therefore, acute tension exists between SEPs (which offer their owners R&D incentives/rewards in the form of monopolistic rights) and standards (which allow for widespread and collective use). This is particularly the case in the ICT and IoT fields, which have recently witnessed an increase in the number of granted patents, and related disputes.

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