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Links 13/1/2021: $150 RISC-V Computer With GNU/Linux, Intel Replaces CEO Again, and New Fedora 34 Plans

  • GNU/Linux

    • Desktop/Laptop

      • Slimbook reveal the Ryzen 7 and RTX 3070 powered Titan

        Slimbook, the Linux friendly hardware company that offers Linux as a choice on their hardware has revealed the powerful Titan laptop that's ready for pre-orders. Coming as a result of the recent announcements of new CPUs from AMD and new GPUs from NVIDIA, this Titan combines them together into one unit.

        With a good screen to make use of all that power too, they've not skimped on the details for the Titan. You get 15.6 inches, with a 2560x1440 resolution and 165Hz. Plenty of screen pixels for the powerful CPU/GPU combination to move around.

      • 5 of the Best Linux Distros for Windows Users in 2021

        If you’re new to Linux or are switching to Linux from Windows, you’ll want an OS that is GUI-focused like Windows. There are many different distributions of Linux, and some aim to replicate the look and feel of Windows. This helps during the transition from Windows, since you don’t have to fight with an unfamiliar interface. With Linux boasting improved hardware support, long term stability, and a more comprehensive range of software applications, there is no better time to try it!

        In this roundup, we introduce you to the best Linux distributions for Windows users looking to switch to Linux.

      • Choosing a Desktop Environment (Linux for Noobs 3)
    • Audiocasts/Shows

      • mintCast 352 – Repredictability

        First up, in our Wanderings, I’ve been playing with Docker, Joe got a 1up, Tony bundles up again, and Josh re-predicts

        Then in the news, Linux Mint 20.1 is here, the M1 gets closer, Firefox gets a facelift and Project Lenix makes more progress

        In security, what’s going on with Qt6?

    • Kernel Space

      • What must be done to bring Linux to the Apple M1 chips

        Everyone loves Apple's new M1 chip Macs. Even Linux's creator Linus Torvalds has said "I'd absolutely love to have one if it just ran Linux." And, recently, Hector Martin, a Tokyo-based IT security consultant and hacker, is leading the crowd-funded Asahi Linux project to bring the Arch Linux distro to Apple's ARM-based M1 architecture. But, in an e-mail interview, Greg Kroah-Hartman (gregkh), the Linux kernel maintainer for the stable branch and leader of the Linux Driver Project, said Asahi's programmers will face "lots of work in figuring out the hardware connected to the CPU (i.e.driver stuff)."

    • Applications

      • KeePassXC 2.6.3 Password Manager Adds Support for Argon2id KDF and XMLv2 Key Files

        Two and a half months in development, KeePassXC 2.6.3 is here to introduce support for the Argon2id key derivation function (KDF), which is a hybrid version of Argon2 and Argon2i. A KDF is a cryptographic hash function designed to derive one or multiple secret keys from a secret value like a key, passphrase or password.

        According to the developers, Argon2id is less vulnerable to side-channel-attacks than Argon2d, and it’s also recommended by IETF. Additionally, this release adds support for XMLv2 key files, improves import and export of CSV files, and automatically hides the key file path and re-selects the previously selected entry when unlocking the password database.

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • How to Enable Split Screen Mode in Chromebook - Make Tech Easier

        Sometimes you need to have two apps open at once. That doesn’t mean you need two devices or two screens. Instead, you can multitask by enabling split screen mode in Chromebook. Actually, you can follow the same process for most Chrome OS devices to split your screen in half to work on two different apps at one time.

      • How To Install Mantis Bug Tracker on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS - idroot

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to install Mantis Bug Tracker on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS. For those of you who didn’t know, Mantis is a free and popular open-source bug tracking system. It is written in PHP and supports all types of database servers. It provides a professional dashboard to manage bugs assigned to the user. It supports powerful access control which provides per project base user access. It is very flexible, you can customize the issue fields, notifications, and workflow.

        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 Mantis Bug Tracker on Ubuntu 20.04 (Focal Fossa). You can follow the same instructions for Ubuntu 18.04, 16.04, and any other Debian based distribution like Linux Mint.

      • How to Install AppImage Files in Linux | IT Pro

        This article will explain how to install AppImage--or, rather, how to ‘install’ AppImage.

      • How to launch AWS EC2 Instance Using Terraform

        Terraform is an open source ‘infrastructure as code’ command line tool used to manage infrastructure in the cloud. With terraform you define declarative configuration file called HashiCorp Configuration Language (HCL) and provision your infrastructure. For instance, you need a Virtual machine, you just define resources like memory, storage, computing in the form of code and push in cloud. You will get the virtual machine or virtual instanace.

      • How to Install RTL8188EU, RTL8723DS or other rtlwifi Driver via PPA in Ubuntu 20.04 | UbuntuHandbook

        Miss Realtek rtlwifi drivers or get ‘No WiFi Adapter Found‘ issue? There’s now an Ubuntu PPA that contains the most recent rtlwifi drivers for Ubuntu, Linux Mint, and derivatives.

        Without building from the source code, the “Linux Mint Türkiye” team maintains a PPA that contains the most recent wireless drivers with DKMS support for rtl8723bu, rtl8822bu, rtl8188eu, rtl8188fu, rtl8192cu, rtl8192du, rtl8192ee, rtl8192eu, rtl8192fu, rtl8723au, rtl8723bu, rtl8723de, rtl8723ds, rtl8723du, rtl8812au, rtl8814au, rtl8821ce, rtl8821cu, rtl8822bu devices.

        If you have a RealTek USB WiFi Adapter or a laptop / notebook with built-in chipset in the previous list, do following steps may help you install the drivers in Ubuntu 18.04, Ubuntu 20.04, Ubuntu 20.10, Linux Mint 20.

      • How to Install TensorFlow machine-learning framework on Ubuntu 20.04

        TensorFlow is a free and open-source machine-learning platform developed by Google. It helps developers and data scientists to simplify the process of implementing machine-learning models. Currently, it is used by many companies including, PayPal, Intel, Airbus, Twitter and many more. It has a Python front-end and can be portable between operating systems like Linux and Windows.

      • How to install SEPTOR Linux 2021 - YouTube

        In this video, I am going to show how to install SEPTOR Linux 2021.

      • How to flatten PDF documents - Tutorial

        A couple of days ago, I showed you how to redact information in Okular, the default PDF viewer in the Plasma desktop. The action is relatively simple to do, but it doesn't effectively destroy the redacted information, merely obscures it from the viewer.

        What I want to show you today is the second part of the puzzle - the flattening of PDF documents. Think an image with multiple layers, and then you save it all in a non-layered format. The information is then flattened into a single layer - the values of all the vertically stacked pixels are calculated - added/subtracted/whatever - and then presented as a single definitive computation of this action. The same with PDF, except it's more complicated, given the PDF structure. Let's do it.

      • How to install Signal Messenger app on Ubuntu 20.4 LTS Linux

        Signal is an open-source secure messenger alternative to popular Whatsapp that is also available for Ubuntu and other Linux apart from Windows, Android, and iOS platforms.

        Just like Telegram, we can install it on our Ubuntu desktop or laptop to get the benefits of its end to end encryption to send messages. Furthermore, if you are planning to ditch Whatsapp then you won’t miss out on audio and video conversations on your smartphones because that is available on Signal as well. Calls are also encrypted using the signal protocol, encoded with Opus, and transported with RTP. Apart from that, the general functions such as transfer documents and images are also there.

      • How to create Cloudwatch alarms for an S3 Bucket on AWS

        Cloudwatch provides Storage Metrics and Request Metrics for S3 Buckets. Storage Metrics come up with no extra cost and provided once a day whereas Request Metrics are available at 1-minute intervals and incur charges. Also, Cloudwatch provides Replication metrics. In this article, we will see how to create Cloudwatch alarms for S3 Bucket on AWS of type Storage Metric for NumberOfObjects.

    • Games

      • PRIM looks like an incredible gothic burtonesque adventure with a demo coming soon

        Common Colors are currently creating PRIM, a point and click adventure with traditional frame-by-frame animation and a dark gothic style that's inspired by Tim Burton.

        "Strange things are happening in the Land of the Dead. Instead of reaping souls, Thanatos, the Angel of Death, has to deal with his teenage daughter Prim. Every night, Prim has the same dream: An oddly familiar human boy cries out for her help. Needless to say that our heroine tries to answer the call. There's just one tiny problem: The Grim Reaper has strictly forbidden her to enter the Land of the Living – she's not ready for the immense power she‘d develop there, he claims. When Prim finds a way to trick her dad and travel to Earth, it turns out that Thanatos‘s presentiments have been right all along..."

        It will be getting a Kickstarter campaign at some point but the developer is doing more of a push before that happens. They've announced a demo is going to be launching February 2 with support for Linux, macOS and Windows (and the same for the full release).

      • Dust: The Abandoned Land is a surprising free open-world 2D survival game

        Dust: The Abandoned Land is an in-development 2D open-world survival game, one that has a surprising amount of features and you can play it online with others. Developed by Mathieu Guillame-Bert, a Google Zurich staffer as a hobby.

        Set in a post-apocalyptic randomly generated world, Dust is a real-time survival game with permadeath in an open-world world filled full of strange creatures, robots, bandits, survivors, and remains of military groups. For a free and unfinished game, it's actually quite amusing to play.

        Part of what makes it interesting is the AI system, which the developer mentions uses dynamic behaviour trees that they wrote a piece on a few years ago. It actually feels a little like Project Zomboid, with the Zombies being replaced by a lot more variety.

      • The Ranchers is an upcoming open-world country-life RPG sim

        Love your open-world games? How about farming life sims? The Ranchers looks like another great entry into this more casual and laid-back part of the gaming world. Releasing on Steam sometime "early" this year, RedPilzStudio could be onto a hit here. As for Linux support, the developer confirmed it very clearly on Steam.

        "After years of living in the metropolis' stressful and hectic life, you finally decide to leave everything behind to buy your first lot of land in the country and start a new life, in the quiet, close to nature. However, your skills as a farmer and manager will be put to the test to make your Ranch a prosperous business and earn the villagers' respect and esteem. And who knows, maybe find love and start a family."

      • Stadia gets Scott Pilgrim vs. the World and HITMAN 3 this month

        For the Stadia users amongst our readership: two more big name games will be heading to the Linux and Vulkan powered game streaming service this month. Interestingly, both of which outside of Stadia will be Epic Games Store exclusives for at least a year and so will not be available on Steam at release.

      • Shot in the Dark is a clever tough platformer where enemies blend into the background

        Shot in the Dark needs you to have good platforming skills, good point and click aiming skills and it's a whole lot of fun if you're up for the challenge. Note: key provided by the developer.

        Released with Linux support on January 12 from developer Possum House Games, the idea of it is seriously great. It's an action-platforming that requires precision in more ways than one. Using a very simply and quite limited colour palette that's largely black, white and red - a lot of things blend together. You need to pick out the enemies from the background and take them down.

    • Distributions

      • Raspberry Pi OS Now Supports Epson Printers, Drops Adobe Flash Player

        This is Raspberry Pi OS’ first release in 2021 and comes about one and a half months after the previous update, introducing support for Epson printers, screen reader support in the Chromium web browser, which has been updated to version 86.0.4240.197. Additionally, this release implements a timeout that would hide messages from the USB device monitor feature after 5 seconds and updates the Italian, Norwegian, and Slovak language translations.

      • SUSE/OpenSUSE

        • openSUSE Tumbleweed ARM Adds Support for Raspberry Pi 400 and Raspberry Pi 4 CM

          While this new openSUSE Tumbleweed ARM snapshot may look like an ordinary one, the biggest change is the fat that it now supports Raspberry Pi Foundation’s recently unveiled Raspberry Pi 400 personal computer kit, which is in fact a 4GB Raspberry Pi 4 board disguised as a keyboard.

          In addition, openSUSE Tumbleweed ARM now also supports the latest Raspberry Pi 4 Compute Module (CM), which is a Raspberry Pi 4 board in a compact form factor designed specifically for deeply embedded applications.

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • Fedora 34 To Ship An ISO With The i3 Window Manager - Phoronix

          While the i3 window manager has been around for more than a decade, it's taken until now for an i3 window manager spin of Fedora to be solicited and approved.

          Following the creation of a Fedora i3 special interest group last year, approved this week is providing an official Fedora spin with the i3 window manager in place of other desktop environments / window managers. This is the first Fedora release image to make use of a tiling window manager.

        • Fedora Looks To Overhaul Its Community Outreach - Phoronix

          In addition to pursuing many technical changes for its Linux distribution like systemd-oomd by default, Btrfs Zstd compression, and standalone XWayland releases, the Fedora project is also looking to overhaul its community outreach this year.

          Fedora's "Community Outreach Revamp" is to focus on existing outreach teams within Fedora that are "struggling to function" or need greater support for success.

        • Open Mainframe Tessia Makes It Easy To Run Linux On Mainframe

          Open Mainframe Project recently announced a new project called Tessia that’s designed to automate all the processes involving installation and configuration of Linux on Z systems.

        • CloudLinux Renames Its CentOS Alternative ‘Project Lenix’ To ‘AlmaLinux’

          Last month, the CentOS team’s announcement to replace and shift full focus from CentOS Linux to its future replacement CentOS Stream led to the creation of new alternative distributions such as Rocky Linux by CentOS creator Greg Kurtzer, and Project Lenix by CloudLinux Inc.

          On the one hand, Rocky Linux targeted its first release in 2021 Q2, i.e., after March. On the other, Project Lenix aimed for 2021 Q1, i.e., before March.

          Continuing the latest development on Project Lenix, CloudLinux has now renamed this CentOS alternative as AlmaLinux.

        • Free CentOS Replacement AlmaLinux To Be Available This Quarter

          CloudLinux has named the free CentOS replacement AlmaLinux, previously code-named Project Lenix.

          Following Red Hat’s December 2020 announcement that the CentOS stable release is no longer under development, CloudLinux launched a project to deliver a drop-in replacement. The project was code-named Project Lenix.

          Project Lenix has now crystallized into AlmaLinux, a 1:1 binary compatible fork of RHEL 8, with a migration path from CentOS to AlmaLinux. Future RHEL releases will also be forked into a new AlmaLinux release.

          CloudLinux backs AlmaLinux with $1 million annual investment in development, and a commitment to supporting AlmaLinux through 2029.

        • CloudLinux readies CentOS Linux replacement: AlmaLinux | ZDNet

          When Red Hat, CentOS's Linux parent company, announced it was "shifting focus from CentOS Linux, the rebuild of Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL), to CentOS Stream, which tracks just ahead of a current RHEL release," the move ticked off many people. So, CloudLinux immediately announced it would create a new CentOS clone, Lenix, and that it would put over a million dollars a year behind the new Linux distribution. Now, it has a new name, AlmaLinux, and a more concrete plan.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • Ubuntu is Making Home Folders Private in 21.04

          If you create a new user on an Ubuntu system that user can ‘read’ files in the main ~/Home folder. Y’know, the one you probably use for your personal account.

          It sounds crazy lax but, back in the early days of Ubuntu the reasoning was that multi-user systems have: “…some level of cooperation (if not trust) among the users – they’ll be members of the same family, or friends, or co-workers, or whatever – and it is useful for them to be able to share files reasonably conveniently”.

        • Ubuntu 21.04 Will Finally Stop Making New Home Directories World-Readable
          Ubuntu 21.04 will do away with the existing practice on Ubuntu Linux systems of making new user home directories world-readable.

          Creating new users on Ubuntu systems up to now have led to home directories being world-readable. Home directories were created with 755 permissions but will be dropped to 750 now to prevent new home directories from being readable by other users on the system.

        • This Hack Lets You Run Ubuntu on iPhone 7 Using Checkra1n

          Apple holds all control when it comes to software, You can only do so much on your iPhone and the company does give you liberty for that. However, Apple's walled garden doesn't allow you to experiment and customize according to your personal needs or how you want to use the device. The jailbreak community, on the other hand, has been able to flow against the tides for as long as the platform itself. Seemingly, an iPhone 7 user was able to get Ubuntu up and running on his device using the Checkra1n exploit.

        • PostgreSQL security: The PgMiner botnet attacks explained

          Assuring the security of PostgreSQL and all open source database systems is critical as many learned with the PgMiner botnet attacks in December 2020. Having an understanding of, and visibility into, how these attacks happen and following standard best practices is the best way to make sure that your data is not at risk.

          This blog details the latest security issue with PostgreSQL, how to fix/prevent these attacks and how to ensure security of your PostgreSQL database instances.

        • Telefonica Brazil selects Canonical’s Charmed OpenStack for industry-leading cloud-based online charging system

          Canonical, the publisher of Ubuntu, today announced that its Charmed OpenStack has been selected by Telefonica Brazil to – in a first for the region – migrate its online charging system (OCS) to its private cloud, Unica Next. The transformation project will see eight private clouds built on Charmed OpenStack, geographically distributed to service Telefonica’s customers in Brazil.

          As the country’s biggest mobile operator with 76 MM mobile subscribers, Telefonica uses its OCS to give B2C & B2B customers real-time control and visibility of their precise usage across voice and data calls.

          Instead of selecting a conventional virtualised environment, Telefonica opted for Charmed OpenStack for future scalability on which to build a long term roadmap. With new market trends such as 5G, this migration will give Telefonica the agility to develop new features at scale, staying ahead of customer demand by providing more advanced offerings with a faster time to market.

    • Devices/Embedded

      • Seeed launches BeagleV, a $150 RISC-V computer designed to run Linux

        Seeed Studios—the makers of the Odyssey mini-PC we reviewed back in August—have teamed up with well-known SBC vendor BeagleBoard to produce an affordable RISC-V system designed to run Linux.

        The new BeagleV (pronounced "Beagle Five") system features a dual-core, 1GHz RISC-V CPU made by StarFive—one of a network of RISC-V startups created by better-known RISC-V vendor SiFive. The CPU is based on two of SiFive's U74 Standard Cores—and unlike simpler microcontroller-only designs, it features a MMU and all the other trimmings necessary to run full-fledged modern operating systems such as Linux distributions.

      • $119+ BeagleV powerful, open-hardware RISC-V Linux SBC targets AI applications
        Running Linux on RISC-V hardware is already possible, but you’d have a choice of low-end platforms like Kendryte K210 that’s not really practical for anything, or higher-end board like SiFive HiFive Unmatched or PolarBerry for which you’d have to spend several hundred dollars, or even over one thousand dollars to have a complete system.

        So an affordable, usable RISC-V Linux SBC is clearly needed. We previously wrote about an upcoming Allwinner RISC-V Linux SBC that will be mostly useful for camera applications without 3D GPU, and a maximum of 256MB RAM. But today, we have excellent news, as the foundation, Seeed Studio, and Chinese fanless silicon vendor Starfive partnered to design and launch the BeagleV SBC (pronounced Beagle Five) powered by StarFive JH7100 dual-core SiFive U74 RISC-V processor with Vision DSP, NVDLA engine, and neural network engine for AI acceleration.

      • BeagleV is a RISC-V single board PC for $150 or less

        Since the first Raspberry Pi launched almost a decade ago, there’s been an explosion of small, inexpensive single-board computers with ARM-based processors and support for Linux-based operating systems.

        The new BeagleV is a little different. It’s a small single-board PC with a RISC-V processor and support for several different GNU/Linux distributions as well as freeRTOS.

        With prices ranging from $120 to $150, the BeagleV is pricier than a Raspberry Pi computer, but it’s one of the most affordable and versatile options to feature a RISC-V processor. The makers of the BeagleV plan to begin shipping the first boards in April and you can sign up to apply for a chance to buy one of the first at the BeagleV website.

      • Introducing the first affordable RISC-V board designed to run Linux

        Seeed and€® have announced an official collaboration with the leading RISC-V solutions provider, StarFive, to create the latest member of the€® series, BeagleVâ„¢ (pronounced Beagle five.) BeagleVâ„¢ is the first affordable RISC-V board designed to run Linux. BeagleVâ„¢, pushes open-source to the next level and gives developers more freedom and power to innovate and design industry leading solutions with an affordable introductory price of $149 followed by lower cost variants in subsequent releases.


        BeagleVâ„¢ supports a high-level of flexibility in development, which gives Linux users, Kernel, and BSP developers more flexibility from silicon to hardware. The social and community value of this development board is to elevate open-source to the next level, and the three parties are embracing this and pushing it further to enable the evolution of science and technology industries. BeagleVâ„¢ marks the first time that hardware development has ever achieved this level of freedom and openness, and the significance of the revolutionary collaboration is the shared purpose of the three parties, which is to make the open-source community stronger and more sustainable.

      • Orbbec's 3D cam dev kit runs Linux on Amlogic A311D

        Orbbec has launched a Linux development board for its 3D depth cameras, such as the circa-2015 Astra Pro, which is incorporated on its Linux-based Persee camera computer. The Zora P1 features a high-end, hexa-core Amlogic A311D plus HDMI, GbE with optional PoE, WiFi/BT, MIPI-DSI and -CSI, and 5x USB ports.

      • Open Hardware/Modding

        • SeaMonkey compiled on Raspberry Pi4

          Compiling SeaMonkey, now that is a challenge. I tried yesterday, and the 'nss' module failed. It was configured to use the internal 'nss' and 'nspr' and not the system libraries, as the latter were too old. So last night I did a complete recompile in OE, with later versions of 'nspr' and 'nss', and today compiled SM to use these system libraries ...and success.

          I do come across posts on forums, people asking how to compile SM on an ARM board, so will post some notes here...

          I have compiled with EasyOS 64-bit (armv8-a+crc) running on a Raspberry Pi 4, with 8GB RAM. The source is on a 500GB SSD, plugged in via USB3, and using the standard official Raspberry Pi 3A power supply. The SSD has a 32GB swap partition.

          EasyOS for the Pi4 is currently under development and not yet released, but expected to be very soon.

        • EasyOS using VC4 graphics acceleration on Pi4

          Commenting-out that line in 'config.txt' causes Xorg to load the 'fbdev' (frame buffer) driver. This gave quite snappy desktop rendering, however it will fall down when rendering games and video. The solution was to recompile 'mesa' with the '' driver, which sits at /usr/lib/dri. I mentioned in a previous post that I had recompiled everything in OE for a generic aarch64 target CPU, armv8-a+crc. This compiled mesa without VC4 driver. However, I had previously compiled in OE for a rpi4 target, and that has the driver. So, have created a PET just with that driver.

        • Arduino Blog €» Detect problems with your Arduino projects

          The Arduino team created a tool to check Arduino projects for common problems. Arduino Lint runs over 175 checks on your sketches, libraries, and boards platforms which cover specification compliance, Library Manager submission requirements, and best practices.


          Arduino Lint would be a great addition to your continuous integration system. Running the tool after each change to the project can allow you to identify any problems that were introduced.

      • Mobile Systems/Mobile Applications

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • Why is Free Software important in home automation?

        There are many serious issues to reflect on after the siege at the US Capitol.

        One of those is the importance of genuinely Free Software, with full source code for appliances in our homes and our communications platforms. From Trump Tower to the White House, Free Software like Domoticz is your (only) friend.

      • Events

        • Free “Device Tree 101” webinar, on February 9, 2021

          The Device Tree has been adopted for the ARM 32-bit Linux kernel support almost a decade ago, and since then, its usage has expanded to many other CPU architectures in Linux, as well as bootloaders such as U-Boot or Barebox. Even though Device Tree is no longer a new mechanism, developers coming into the embedded Linux world often struggle to understand what Device Trees are, what is their syntax, how they interact with the Linux kernel device drivers, what Device Tree bindings are, and more. This webinar will offer a deep dive into the Device Tree, to jump start new developers in using this description language that is now ubiquitous in the vast majority of embedded Linux projects. This webinar will be illustrated with numerous examples applicable to the STM32MP1 MPU platforms, which make extensive usage of the Device Tree.

        • Bootlin at FOSDEM 2021: two talks, member of Embedded program committee - Bootlin's blog

          Like all conferences in these times, FOSDEM will take place as an online, virtual event. For all the FOSDEM regular attendees, it will certainly be a very different experience, and for sure, we will all miss the chocolate, waffles, beer, mussels as well as the rainy, muddy, snowy, foggy and cold weather that characterize Brussels in early February. But nevertheless, knowledge sharing and discussions must go on, and FOSDEM will take place! As usual, FOSDEM takes place the first week-end of February, on February 6-7, and the event is completely free, with no registration required.

      • Web Browsers

        • Mozilla

          • Good News! Mozilla VPN Desktop Client is Available for Linux Now

            Whether you shop online or check your social media, internet privacy is something that you should seriously consider. One popular way to protect your privacy or overcome unnecessary restrictions is to use a Virtual Private Network (VPN).

            Not just for the sake of it, but you should also be aware of your VPN provider’s credibility. Taking these into account, Mozilla released their open-source VPN browser extension last year. However, the service wasn’t available for Linux and Mac users.

            Recently, Mozilla made their VPN available for Linux and Mac users. Of course, it is not yet available for everyone across the globe, so you might want to check some other VPN services that are available for Linux users as well.

      • Programming/Development

        • Beware of Qt Module-wide Includes

          You know the drill: in C++ you need to #include header files that declare the types and functions from the libraries that you use. Qt is no exception in this regard.

        • Perl/Raku

          • A Static Archive of

            The archive is generally complete, it will be updated one more time before the end of February this year. If you discover any issues then please raise an issue using the github link above. If you need to search the archive then you can do that using the gihub link above also, or git clone it and use the command line.

  • Leftovers

    • Doing the Business: a novel about the office

      Back in November, during the UK's second lockdown, I put online my novel about travel and tourism – "Egyptian Romance" – since it was the closest I or most people would get to visiting these or any other places. As we enter the third UK lockdown, I thought I'd post the novel I wrote afterwards, about another activity that is now similarly rare and exotic: working in an office.

    • Science

      • From robots to dance, sex and back

        More specifically, robots are tools, that like any other tool since the stone axe exist just to move in the ways designed, or allowed for them, by humans.

        If what they do appears like dancing, it is only because humans have an instinct to trick themselves, by always trying to find familiarity around them.

    • Hardware

      • Intel taps VMware's Pat Gelsinger as CEO, to replace Bob Swan | Reuters

        Chipmaker Intel Corp said on Wednesday it would replace Chief Executive Officer Bob Swan with VMware Inc CEO Pat Gelsinger beginning Feb. 15.

      • Pat Gelsinger Is Going Back To Intel As New CEO

        Beginning mid-February, Pat Gelsinger will serve as the CEO of Intel and join the board of directors. This follows a bumpy few years from Intel's manufacturing woes, security issues coming to light, and increased competition from AMD. Pat Gelsinger has been the CEO of VMware since 2012 while prior to VMware and EMC he was the Chief Technology Officer for Intel and SVP/GM of the Digital Enterprise Group during the 2000's.

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Got an Open Source Project? You can get 1Password Team Membership for Free

          1Password is a quite popular password manager out there. It is available for Linux, Windows, macOS, Android, and iOS.

          Even though it is not an open-source software itself, it plans to do something for the open-source community.

        • Pseudo-Open Source

          • Privatisation/Privateering

            • Linux Foundation

              • The Linux Foundation offers a suite of open-source management classes

                There are many open-source and Linux technology and programming classes. The Linux Foundation offers many such top-notch open-source and Linux classes. But classes on how to manage open-source developers and their projects. That's another matter entirely. They're rare. So, the Linux Foundation's new courses, Open Source Management and Strategy, on best practices on how to manage open-source projects and technical staff within your organization is quite welcome.

        • Security

          • Microsoft Delivers Fixes for 83 Vulnerabilities in January Security Patch Bundle

            Microsoft released its January security patch bundle on Tuesday, delivering fixes for 83 common vulnerabilities and exposures (CVEs).

            Of that number, 10 CVEs were described as "Critical" by security researchers, while 73 are deemed "Important." One vulnerability (CVE-2021-1647) is known to have been exploited (Microsoft's first "zero day" of the new year), while another (CVE-2021-1648) was described as being publicly known before Tuesday's patch release. A list describing all of the January patches can be found in this Trend Micro Zero Day Initiative post by Justin Childs.

          • Security updates for Wednesday

            Security updates have been issued by Debian (coturn, imagemagick, and spice-vdagent), Fedora (roundcubemail and sympa), Gentoo (asterisk and virtualbox), Oracle (kernel and kernel-container), Red Hat (dotnet3.1, dotnet5.0, and thunderbird), SUSE (crmsh, firefox, hawk2, ImageMagick, kernel, libzypp, zypper, nodejs10, nodejs14, openstack-dashboard, release-notes-suse-openstack-cloud, and tcmu-runner), and Ubuntu (coturn).

          • Alan Pope: null [Ed: Canonical has outsourced its control to Microsoft already. Outsourcing GNU/Linux to Microsoft is a big no-no but part of Microsoft's plan.]

            The Snap Store has a delightful open source web frontend, the source code for which is on GitHub.

          • David A. Wheeler: Preventing Supply Chain Attacks like SolarWinds

            In late 2020, it was revealed that the SolarWinds Orion software, which is in use by numerous US Government agencies and many private organizations, was severely compromised. This was an incredibly dangerous set of supply chain compromises that the information technology community (including the Open Source community) needs to learn from and take action on.

            The US Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) released an alert noting that the SolarWinds Orion software included malicious functionality in March 2020, but it was not detected until December 2020. CISA’s Emergency Directive 21-01 stated that it was being exploited, had a high potential of compromise, and a grave impact on entire organizations when compromised. Indeed, because Orion deployments typically control networks of whole organizations, this is a grave problem. The more people look, the worse it gets. As I write this, it appears that a second and third malware have been identified in Orion.

    • Defence/Aggression

      • The New Humanitarian | Colombian refugees in Ecuador trapped in loops of poverty and insecurity

        Claudia’s* life changed the day she saw a paramilitary group kill a man in her hometown of Buenaventura, one of the most violent places in Colombia. Not only did she see the killers. Worse, they saw her. They threatened to murder her if she told anyone what she had seen. She promised not to, of course. But she also knew that witnesses to such acts are rarely allowed to live. So she took her four children and fled to Ecuador. They have lived in the Ecuadoran capital, Quito, for almost two years. But she still has no job. Employers have told her they will not hire foreigners – much less a Black woman. Claudia told The New Humanitarian she rarely leaves the single room she shares with her children, fearing she might meet paramilitaries in the street looking for her, or hear locals telling her to go back home. “For a refugee, too much support is lacking here, morally and psychologically,” she said. “A refugee here loses track of time: so many problems, so many things to think about.”

    • Monopolies

      • Patents

        • Counsel: Europe not ‘losing ground’ in IoT race [Ed: 'Journalism' in 2021: we ask a bunch of mindless and nontechnical lawyers for their views on buzzwords (like HEY HI ("AI") and "IoT") and dress that up as pseudo-nationalism]

          EPO report suggests Europe is lagging behind when it comes to patent filings for connected devices and AI

        • German ratification of Unified Patent Court Agreement put on hold

          Unless the FCC throws out the complaints as inadmissible or manifestly unfounded in the short term, it means the ratification of the UPCA in Germany could be delayed severely once more. The first constitutional complaint against UPCA ratification in Germany was filed in March 2017. It took the FCC three years to decide on this complaint, and to partially uphold it, on formal grounds.

          It is not unthinkable that due to new delay in Germany, combined with the departure of the UK from the EU and the Unitary Patent project, which has led to legal uncertainty and has made the UP and UPC less attractive for the industry, the new patent system will never see the light of day.

        • What the EU-UK trade agreement means for IP rights [Ed: A law firm's Web site said today that the UK "refused to participate in the associated Unitary Patent Court (UPC)," but it failed to say UPC is dead anyway]

          The expiration of the Brexit transition period does not affect the current patent system, which is governed by the European Patent Convention, a non-EU related international treaty. However, prior to Brexit, the UK government formally withdrew from the proposed new European unitary patent system because it refused to participate in the associated Unitary Patent Court (UPC), on the basis that participating "in a court that applies EU law and is bound by the CJEU would be inconsistent with the government’s aims of becoming an independent self-governing nation".

        • Software Patents

          • Conventionality is Irrelevant to Alice Step 1 [Ed: Software patents rarely withstand courts' scrutiny in the US anymore; their boosters look for outliers.]

            The Trial: The jury sided with iLife–finding Nintendo liable for infringing iLife’s U.S. Patent No. 6,864,796 and awarding $10 million in damages. At trial, Nintendo had argued that the patent was invalid for lack of enablement and written description, but the jury denied those defenses. Nintendo also challenged the patent in an IPR, but the claims not proven invalid.

            Here, the claims are directed a safety-feature for systems that evaluate body-movement, such as Nintendo’s Wii Sports and Mario Kart 8. The basic idea is that the system will sense acceleration of a body and determine whether the associated movement is “is within environmental tolerance.” A “tolerance indicia” is then created and transmitted. The patent notes that movements beyond tolerance might “be damaging, destructive, crippling, harmful, injurious, or otherwise alarming or, possibly, distressing to the body.”


            The patent itself includes more specific hardware and logical elements. Consider, for instance Figures 1 and 5 below. However, the asserted claims here were directed to a much broader abstraction.

      • Trademarks

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