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Links 18/3/2021: Kodachi 8.0, Lacros, Copr Release 21.03

  • GNU/Linux

    • Desktop/Laptop

      • Google set to make Linux-based Lacros the new Chromebook browser

        Chromebooks are great personal computers because they are affordable, they get regular feature updates, and they are among the most secure internet-connected devices you can buy. One of the reasons that Chromebooks are so secure is because of the way that they sandbox the Chrome browser and downloaded apps, but also because they get automatic security patches for upwards of eight years. However, once a Chromebook has reached the end of its update life, its users will no longer be protected from possible security exploits through the Chrome browser. One important way that Google is working to correct this potential flaw is by completely rewriting the current Chrome browser and replacing it on Chrome OS with a new browser-based on the Linux version called Lacros — a clever acronym that stands for Linux And ChRome OS.

    • Audiocasts/Shows

      • KDE AudioTube: Project for Youtube Music
      • Ubuntu Podcast S14E02 – Toast Letter Club

        This week we have been rediscovering and blogging, a lot. We discuss a smart TV equipped with RokuOS, bring you some command line love and round up all your wonderful feedback.

        It’s Season 14 Episode 02 of the Ubuntu Podcast! Alan Pope, Mark Johnson and Martin Wimpress are connected and speaking to your brain.

      • BSD Now 394: FreeBSD on Mars

        Onboard Scheduler for the Mars 2020 Rover, Practical Guide to Storage of Large Amounts of Microscopy Data, OpenBSD guest with bhyve - OmniOS, NextCloud on OpenBSD, MySQL Transactions - the physical side, TrueNAS 12.0-U2.1 is released, HardenedBSD 2021 State of the Hardened Union, and more

    • Kernel Space

      • BPF meets io_uring

        Over the last couple of years, a lot of development effort has gone into two kernel subsystems: BPF and io_uring. The BPF virtual machine allows programs from user space to be safely run within the context of the kernel, while io_uring addresses the longstanding problem of running system calls asynchronously. As the two subsystems expand, it was inevitable that the two would eventually meet; the first encounter happened in mid-February with this patch set from Pavel Begunkov adding the ability to run BPF programs from within io_uring.

        The patch set itself is relatively straightforward, adding less than 300 lines of new code. It creates a new BPF program type (BPF_PROG_TYPE_IOURING) for programs that are meant to be run in the io_uring context. Any such programs must first be created with the bpf() system call, then registered with the ring in which they are intended to run using the new IORING_ATTACH_BPF command. Once that has been done, the IORING_OP_BPF operation will cause a program to be run within the ring. The final step in the patch series adds a helper function that BPF programs can use to submit new operations into the ring.

        As a proof of concept, the patch series does a good job of showing how BPF programs might be run from an io_uring. This work does not, though, really enable any new capabilities in its current form, which may be part of why there have been no responses to it on the list. There is little value to running a BPF program asynchronously to submit another operation; one could simply submit that operation directly instead. As is acknowledged in the patch set, more infrastructure will be needed before this capability will become useful to users.

        The obvious place where BPF can add value is making decisions based on the outcome of previous operations in the ring. Currently, these decisions must be made in user space, which involves potential delays as the relevant process is scheduled and run. Instead, when an operation completes, a BPF program might be able to decide what to do next without ever leaving the kernel. "What to do next" could include submitting more I/O operations, moving on to the next in a series of files to process, or aborting a series of commands if something unexpected happens.

      • Lockless patterns: full memory barriers

        The first two articles in this series introduced four ways to order memory accesses: load-acquire and store-release operations in the first installment, read and write memory barriers in the second. The series continues with an exploration of full memory barriers, why they are more expensive, and how they are used in the kernel.

      • Linux 5.12's very bad, double ungood day

        The -rc kernels released by Linus Torvalds exist for a reason: after 10,000 or so changes flow into the kernel over a two-week merge window, there will surely be some bugs in need of squashing. The -rc kernels provide an opportunity for wider testing after all those patches have been integrated. Most of the time, -rc kernels (even the initial -rc1 releases) are surprisingly safe to run. Occasionally, though, something goes wrong, giving early testers reason to reconsider their life choices. The 5.12-rc1 kernel, as it turns out, was one of those. On January 26, Christoph Hellwig posted a 17-patch series containing cleanups to the code dealing with the allocation of the BIO structures used to represent block-I/O requests. The final patch in that series simplified the allocation of requests for swap files in particular. The series was applied by block maintainer Jens Axboe one day later. The change was included in this pull request sent on February 17, and landed in the mainline on February 21 as part of the massive set of pulls done by Torvalds once his power was restored.

        "Swapping" is how the kernel pushes anonymous pages (those which are not backed up by a file on disk — program data, in other words) out to persistent storage when memory gets tight. Linux can swap directly to a partition on a block device; that is how systems are traditionally set up. But the kernel can also swap to a file within a mounted filesystem with something close to the same performance. Swapping to a file gives administrators some additional flexibility; it is an easy way to give some relief to a system that is running short of memory without disturbing the existing workload, for example.

      • CIFSD In-Kernel SMB3 File-Sharing Server Lands In Linux-Next - Phoronix

        Samsung for some time now has been working on an in-kernel SMB3 protocol implementation for file sharing across the network with "CIFSD" and it's now been queued into Linux-Next meaning it will likely go for mainline in a coming cycle.

      • Microsoft handheld Xbox console rumors spring up again as AMD Van Gogh APU appears in Linux kernel code with a potential graphics boost - News

        Linux kernel code has revealed some details about AMD’s Van Gogh Ryzen 5000 ULV mobile APU series.


        Tech tipsters Komachi and _rogame have offered up the details about the ultra low voltage APU, with code explicitly stating “RAM width 256bits DDR5”. Along with that information, an AMD engineering sample model number revealed a 2.4 GHz base clock and 3.5 GHz boost rate for a 4-core, 8-thread Van Gogh part. On top of additional leaks about the series, which include a 7nm manufacturing process, Zen 2 and RDNA 2 microarchitectures, Navi 2 iGPU, and a very low 9 W TDP, you are left looking at a very handy APU that is especially ideal for either an ultra-mobile laptop…or a next-gen portable console.

      • Graphics Stack

        • NVIDIA 460.67 Graphics Driver Released with Better Support for Linux 5.11, Bug Fixes

          Coming two months after the NVIDIA 460.39 release, NVIDIA 460.67 is here today to improve support for the latest Linux 5.11 kernel series by fixing a driver installation failures where the NVIDIA kernel module failed to build with the “error: implicit declaration of function ‘sys_close'” or “fatal error: asm/kmap_types.h: No such file or directory” errors.

          Only on Linux systems, the NVIDIA 460.67 graphics driver also fixes a bug that may have caused apps to become unstable when using ray tracing extensions on multi-GPU setups if the GPUs didn’t match.

    • Benchmarks

      • AMD AOCC 3.0 Is Here To Help Squeeze A Bit Extra Performance Out Of Zen 3

        This week alongside the EPYC 7003 series launch was the introduction of AOCC 3.0 as AMD's Zen-optimized LLVM/Clang downstream. We have started putting this updated compiler through its paces to see what it means for AMD Zen 3 performance.

        Within the next week or so I should have some new AOCC vs. LLVM Clang upstream vs. GCC 11 development benchmarks while for today's article is looking at AOCC 2.3 as the prior release compared to the newly-minted AOCC 3.0. The AMD Optimizing C/C++ Compiler 3.0 update re-bases its base against LLVM Clang 12 in its development state towards the end of last year compared to an LLVM Clang 11 base used by AOCC 2.3. AOCC 3.0 is the first AMD compiler release with Zen 3 optimizations, using the same -march=znver3 option of course as upstream LLVM and GCC. AOCC 3.0 is also tuned for AMD's AMDLibM 3.7 math library, improves its FLANG-based Fortran compiler support, offers improvements around OpenMP debugging, and other changes.

    • Applications

      • Phoeβe, where AI meets Linux

        Phoeβe (/ˈfiːbi/) wants to add basic artificial intelligence capabilities to the Linux OS.


        Phoeβe uses system telemetry as the input to its brain and produces settings which get applied to the running system. The decision made by the brain is continuously reevaluated (considering the grace_period setting) to offer eventually the best possible setup.

        Phoeβe is designed with a plugin architecture in mind, providing an interface for new functionality to be added with ease.

      • Audacity 3.0.0 Released! Now Save Project into Single .aup3 File
        The Audacity audio editor 3.0.0 was release as a new major update a day ago.

        Audacity 3.0.0 features .aup3 project format. The audio project was previously saved as large number of small data files, with an ‘.aup’ file to coordinate the lot. Now it saves project as the new all-in-one-file aup3 file format.

        Working with the new .aup3 projects editing audio should be a little faster than before, however, finishing and closing a project at the end can be quite a lot slower.

      • Audacity 3.0 Makes Working with Project Files MUCH Easier

        The open source audio editor Audacity is much smarter at saving project files in its latest release.

        Audacity 3.0 intros a new and improved project file that makes it easier for people to work on and share Audacity editing projects with each other.

        What’s better about the Audacity .aup3 project file compared to the old .aup file specifically? Consolidation. The new file format houses all of the audio files and related data for a project within it. The result is a (much) larger file but a far more useful one too.

        Audacity’s hitherto default file format worked a bit differently. It linked to audio files located elsewhere on a system. This made it difficult to move a project between systems, or send it to someone else to work on, as it required the same files in the same locations.

        Now you can move, share, sync a single .aup3 file to pick up where you left off — and yes: no longer risk accidentally screwing up a complex project by accidentally deleting an audio file!

        Opening an .aup project in Audacity 3.0 converts it to the new .aup3 format, which is handy.

      • Open-Source Audio Editor Audacity 3.0 Is Here

        Audacity is a popular cross-platform open-source audio editor. It has all the general tools that a professional audio editor requires for most of the tasks, and it supports plugins as well.

        Recently, a new version, Audacity 3.0 was released with a major change in the save file format along with some new features like Label sounds, Improvements in Manage Macros dialog, and usual bug fixes.

        Let’s take a look into the major changes in this release of Audacity.

      • Backup with these DeDuplicating Encryption Tools

        Data is growing both in volume and value. It is becoming increasingly important to be able to back up and restore this information quickly and reliably. As society has adapted to technology and learned how to depend on computers and mobile devices, there are few that can deal with the reality of losing important data. Of firms that suffer the loss of data, 30% fold within a year, 70% cease trading within five years. This highlights the value of data.

        With data growing in volume, improving storage utilization is pretty important. In computing, data deduplication is a specialized data compression technique for eliminating duplicate copies of repeating data. This technique therefore improves storage utilization.

        Data is not only of interest to its creator. Governments, competitors, criminals, snoopers may be very keen to access your data. They might want to steal your data, extort money from you, or see what you are up to. Encryption is essential to protect your data.

        So the solution is a deduplicating encrypting backup software.

        Making file backups is an essential activity for all users, yet many users do not take adequate steps to protect their data. Whether a computer is being used in a corporate environment, or for private use, the machine’s hard disk may fail without any warning signs. Alternatively, some data loss occurs as a result of human error. Without regular backups being made, data will inevitably be lost even if the services of a specialist recovery organisation are used.

      • Top 10 Terminal Emulators for Linux (With Extra Features or Amazing Looks)

        By default, all Linux distributions already come pre-installed with a terminal application or terminal emulator (correct technical term). Of course, depending on the desktop environment, it will look and feel different.

        Here’s the thing about Linux. You are not restricted to what your distribution provides. You can opt for an alternative application of your choice. Terminal is no different. There are several impressive terminal emulators that offer unique features for a better user experience or for better looks.

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • Build your own NAS! A custom Raspberry Pi build with OpenMediaVault and an Argon One M2 Case

        If you want to build a Network Attached Storage device on a Raspberry Pi, this video is for you. Using a Raspberry Pi 4, the Argon One M.2 case, and OpenMediaVault - I show you how to build a NAS of your very own.

      • Peter Czanik: Parsing Fortigate logs and other syslog-ng 3.31 news

        Version 3.31 of syslog-ng has been released recently. One of its most user-visible features is the parser for Fortigate logs, yet another networking vendor that produces log messages not conforming to syslog specifications. Parsing Fortigate logs builds upon the new no-header flag of syslog-ng combined with the key-value and date parsers. Other features include a new silent message option for the Telegram destination and automatic directory creation for disk-buffer files.

        Note: as you could guess from the previous paragraph, Fortigate is not alone. Cisco also has “interesting” log messages, and a bit of extra parsing also helps with PAN-OS, even if their messages conform to syslog specifications.

      • Turbulence for Magic Effects, Krita tutorial

        If you like to paint magic powers, this new tutorial is for you!


        It mainly introduces the amazing "Crease" GMIC filter but also shows how to get a dynamic 'out glow' with the layer effect of Krita.

      • Get started with an open source customer data platform |

        RudderStack is an open source, warehouse-first customer data pipeline. It collects and routes event stream (or clickstream) data and automatically builds your customer data lake on your data warehouse.

        RudderStack is commonly known as the open source alternative to the customer data platform (CDP), Segment. It provides a more secure, flexible, and cost-effective solution in comparison. You get all the CDP functionality with added security and full ownership of your customer data.

        Warehouse-first tools like RudderStack are architected to build functional data lakes in the user's data warehouse. The benefits are improved data control, increased flexibility in tool use, and (frequently) lower costs. Since it's open source, you can see how complicated processes—like building your identity graph—are done without relying on a vendor's black box.

      • Debugging ip token set RTNETLINK error

        At the Wikimedia Foundation they configure basically all servers with IPv4/IPv6 dual stack, at least in the control plane interface (those used for SSH management, etc). IPv6 is not supported yet on the Cloud Services dataplane (openstack), but it will in the “near” future.

      • Adaptive Server Enterprise (ASE) HADR – Extended Edition

        Some days ago the colleagues from the Alibaba Cloud team in the SAP LinuxLab approached us and ask if we would like to participate in a project together with the SAP ASE team and the Alibaba cloud team. The goal was to show an ASE HADR concept between Alibaba Cloud and an on-premise data center. Quite quickly, the idea was born to extend the setup with the implementation of the SAP central services and application server.

        The setup was clear and the presentation was done at DSAG 2020. After this we created a best practice guide for the HA part of this setup.

        The picture below illustrate one possible setup.

      • How to play Microsoft Fight Simulator on Linux

        Microsoft Flight Simulator is an aircraft simulator video game for Xbox, as well as Microsoft Windows. It’s one of the longest-running flying simulators for home use to date.

      • Install and Use NoMachine Remote Desktop on CentOS 8

        NoMachine is a free and open-source remote desktop software used for remote access, desktop sharing, virtual desktop and file transfer between computers. It uses NX protocol that provides local speed with low bandwidth. It can be install on many operating systems including, Linux, Windows, Mac OS X and Android. If you are looking for a remote desktop solution then NoMachine is the best option for you.

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to install and use NoMachine on CentOS 8.

      • How to Use the Find Command to Search for Files in Linux

        There are times when you want to access a specific file but can't find it on your system due to lack of folder organization. Luckily, Linux provides you with some handy utilities that allow you to easily search for files on your computer.

        The find command is one such tool that can be used to search for a file using its file name, permissions, extension, size, etc. This guide will explain the Linux Find command and provide some examples that demonstrate how powerful this utility is.

      • Pro tips to master any Linux admin task - TechRepublic

        Linux administrators need to be ready for any job that comes up in the daily routine of managing networks, servers and users. This collection of TechRepublic Premium downloads covers the basics of this job such as selecting the best admin GUI in addition to more complex tasks like how to configure networking on Linux servers.

      • What commands are missing from your bashrc file? | Enable Sysadmin

        I had this strange idea one day while reviewing an article for Enable Sysadmin. I was curious what commands Linux sysadmins were using in their bashrc files. The bashrc file is a place to customize your Linux environment and create aliases which can save you time on the command line.

        I decided to ask our Sudoers if they would share what aliases they created and used all the time. While I wasn't surprised by the great responses, I did find a few things to consider for my shortcuts.

        The idea was that sharing this would inspire others to improve their bashrc savviness. Take a look at what our Sudoers group shared and, please, borrow anything you like to make your sysadmin life easier.

      • 3 skills that every Linux sysadmin should bring to the table | Enable Sysadmin

        There’s a lot of specialization in the world of system administration. If you started out a decade or more ago as a sysadmin, you know that learning resources were scarce. Skills that every sysadmin professional should possess weren't easily found online or elsewhere. To ensure that you have the right skills for the job, you need to have a strong knowledge base. Doing so will increase your chances of landing a good position and getting a higher salary.

        At the same time, you'll have a good foundation for specialization. Things change quickly in the sysadmin world, so you need to ensure you have current and in-demand skills.

      • Install Zabbix Agent on Ubuntu 20.04

        Zabbix agent is installed on the remote host (target) to monitor the hard drive, memory processor, etc. The agent collects data and sends back to Zabbix Server.

        Zabbix agents can use passive or active checks to pass information. In passive check, Zabbix server (poller) requests an agent for certain information, and the agent sends back a value. In the active check, the agent process all data and pushes it to the Zabbix server. However, agent periodically connects the server to collect metric which needs to be monitored.

        We will begin by installing Zabbix agent to the remote Ubuntu 20.04 host and later add a host to Zabbix server dashboard.

      • LFCA: Learn Basic Linux System Commands – Part 3

        This article is Part 3 of the LFCA series, here in this part, we will list 24 of the most widely used Linux system administration commands that are required for the LFCA certification exam.

        Linux system provides a vast pool of commands that you can use to administer and manage your system and they are as follows.

      • Practice using the Linux grep command |

        One of the classic Unix commands, developed way back in 1974 by Ken Thompson, is the Global Regular Expression Print (grep) command. It's so ubiquitous in computing that it's frequently used as a verb ("grepping through a file") and, depending on how geeky your audience, it fits nicely into real-world scenarios, too. (For example, "I'll have to grep my memory banks to recall that information.") In short, grep is a way to search through a file for a specific pattern of characters. If that sounds like the modern Find function available in any word processor or text editor, then you've already experienced grep's effects on the computing industry.

    • Games

      • Godot OpenXR support

        OpenXR is a new open standard for interacting with XR hardware by the wonderful people at Khronos. This has been one of these rare cases where all the industry leaders have come together and come up with a standard that combines all the best practices of the different solutions available so far.

        With the announcement of the 0.9 specification roughly two years ago Microsoft showed off their runtime as well as Collabora with their open source Linux based OpenXR runtime called Monado. Last year both Oculus and Valve introduced their runtimes and while still officially in beta they are fully functional at the time of writing this blog post.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • KDE Plasma 5.21.3 Is Released

          KDE Plasma 5.21.3 contains a long list of smaller fixes for the KDE Plasma desktop environment version 5.21 released in February. The Plasma update comes a week after the KDE Frameworks libraries version 5.80 was released with a wide range of improvements to the various libraries the KDE Plasma desktop uses to build its various components.

    • Distributions

      • Windows-style Linux distributions for switching systems [Ed: Ed: The English is a bit weak/odd, but it's probably not plagiarism or computer-generated]

        There are many reasons for Change the operating system Or to keep the one you have. Her appearance, her work, and Compatible apps and gamesPossibilities to be customized by the user … or simply, because we are aware of them and do not want to change the routine.

        Indeed, many resist Leave Windows for Linux Although Linux is free, it has the support of large companies and millions of enthusiastic users, and you can customize it to your liking. Among the reasons for its appearance. The solution? Try your luck with similar Linux distributions for Windows abroad.

        In fact, almost every current Linux system looks like Windows. Or rather offices Windows, Linux, and macOS They are practically identical. But there is Linux distributions Windows style that stands out His effort to seem As far as possible for Windows. Let’s look at several notable examples.

        Linux Lite

        Your homepage says it all. Free operating system. Linux Lite It was created to make the transition from Windows to Linux as smooth as possible. Hence, when you see the Linux Lite desktop, you can comfortably navigate if you are from Windows.

        Linux, like Windows, doesn’t stop at the front. It also offers applications familiar to Windows users such as Skype, Steam, Kodi Or Spotify **. This aspect is very easy to achieve nowadays, since the most used applications are multi-system, such as Google ChromeAnd the LibreOffice The VLC media player.

        Linux Lite It is a general Linux distro that gets updated with some frequency. It is based on Ubuntu and uses the XFCE desktop, so it works very well New computers, not new. It only requires 1.5GHz processor, 1GB of RAM and 20GB of disk space. If you have any questions, you can answer them In his official guide.

      • New Releases

        • Kodachi 8.0 The Secure OS

          Linux Kodachi operating system is based on Ubuntu 18.04.5 it will provide you with a secure, anti-forensic, and anonymous operating system considering all features that a person who is concerned about privacy would need to have in order to be secure.

          Kodachi is very easy to use all you have to do is boot it up on your PC via USB drive then you should have a fully running operating system with established VPN connection + Connection established + service running. No setup or knowledge is required from your side its all been automated for you. The entire OS is functional from your temporary memory RAM so once you shut it down no trace is left behind all your activities are wiped out.

      • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandriva/OpenMandriva Family

        • Mageia 8 Review by an Ubuntu & Mandriva User

          I am honored to review Mageia 8 today as an ex-Mandriva user and long time Ubuntu user at Ubuntu Buzz. Mageia version 8 just released this year in February with a ton of useful features and improvements by an enormous worldwide team of developers. Mageia is a French originated, desktop computer operating system that is user friendly and looks very beautiful derived from Mandriva GNU/Linux and is a Red Hat family thanks to its RPM software package format.Now it's time to the review that I divide into several parts below. I wish you will like it.

        • Basilisk browser updated to 2021.03.11

          Basilisk is a free and Open Source XUL-based web browser, featuring the well-known Firefox-style interface and operation. It is based on the Goanna layout and rendering engine (a fork of Gecko) and builds on the Unified XUL Platform (UXP), which in turn is a fork of the Mozilla code base without Servo or Rust.

        • Chromium browser updated to 89.0.4389.90 €» PCLinuxOS

          Chromium browser that aims to build a safer, faster, and more stable internet browsing experience.

        • Vivaldi browser updated to 3.7.2218.45 €» PCLinuxOS

          Vivaldi is a web browser based on Chrome that is built by a former Opera founder with additional features to make it unique.

        • Opera browser updated to 74.0.3911.232 €» PCLinuxOS

          Opera browser has been updated to 74.0.3911.232. Opera browser is a Chrome based browser with many unique features developed by the Opera development team.

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • Copr release 21.03

          We have deployed the new version of Copr. You can read full release notes.

        • "Going out of your way to be open": An important practice for executive leaders

          Throughout our "Managing with Open Values" series, we've interviewed a number of managers and leaders who shared with us their experiences and practices. In this installment, I interviewed fellow Open Organization Ambassador Sam Knuth to discuss how he lets open values guide his approach to leading large teams.

          Sam is the Senior Director of several teams at Red Hat, including Product Documentation and a team focused on the associate experience of our Products and Technologies organization. He's been with Red Hat for more than 15 years. For, he's authored articles focused on vulnerability and transparency in the workplace, and his stories about life as an open leader showcase a passion for those (and other) open values.

        • Nest with Fedora: 2021 Edition

          Hello Fedora Friends! Phew, it’s been over a year of living with COVID and everything that has gone with it. Although living in a pandemic has been stressful (to say the least), Fedora has thrived through this time, and we have been connecting more than ever. So it is with mixed emotions that I am announcing that our yearly contributor conference will be virtual: Nest with Fedora 2021 edition.

          Although I will sorely miss the time spent with Friends, there are a lot of benefits to virtual events. At Flock to Fedora we are usually able to accommodate around 180-200 people(based on budget). At Nest with Fedora we had almost 500 attendees. The F33 Release Party had more than 170 attendees. We had a virtual Fedora Women’s Day and we also can’t forget the impromptu New Year’s Eve Party! Matthew Miller, Fedora Project Leader, and I have been running a weekly virtual social hour.

        • Davie Street Enterprises embraces GitOps with GitLab

          Andres Martinez, Principal Developer, has been having a rough time lately. While the root cause analysis following the now-infamous two-day outage acquitted his team’s code of wrongdoing, Martinez has spent enough time around the codebase that he knows a major event caused by his team’s code is not a matter of "If," but "When."

          His stress is growing every day - he knows that being the only one with extensive experience and knowledge of the codebase is a single point of failure. He is the single thread holding up the technical-debt-Sword of Damocles. He knows that the thread is at risk of breaking, and soon.

        • Cockpit Project: Cockpit 240

          Cockpit is the modern Linux admin interface. We release regularly.

          Here are the release notes from Cockpit version 240.

        • Call for Code winner Agrolly expands to new countries, helping small farmers stay a step ahead of climate change

          Since winning the Call for Code Global Challenge in October 2020, the Agrolly team has been hard at work on improving, scaling, and expanding the scope of their farming technology solution. In the few short months since being named winner, the Agrolly team, with mentorship from IBM, has built infrastructure and hired local staff on the ground across markets so that they can continue to improve the app based on direct feedback from farmers. Today, more than 500 rural farmers across Brazil, India, and Mongolia are testing Agrolly and providing feedback.

          Currently, 70% of food production around the world comes from small rural farms, but the farmers, many of whom are women, are often left behind when it comes to being able to adapt to the changing climate. Agrolly’s goal is to give these rural farmers affordable access to the same kinds of AI-powered data and insights that large factory farms use. As mobile phone adoption has grown in rural areas across the globe, Agrolly saw the opportunity to use those devices to bring a bevy of information about weather patterns and crop characteristics, as well as advice and tips on what to grow, how to grow, and when to grow it, directly to small farmers.

      • Debian Family

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • UBports community delivers 'second-largest release of Ubuntu Touch ever'

          UBports, a community project to build Ubuntu for smartphones, has released OTA-16, a new version of Ubuntu Touch with numerous updates – yet the dream of a viable alternative to iOS and Android seems as distant as ever.

          Ubuntu Touch was originally an official Canonical project, with version 1.0 released in 2013, but the company withdrew in early 2017 when CEO Mark Shuttleworth stated:

          "I took the view that, if convergence was the future and we could deliver it as free software, that would be widely appreciated both in the free software community and in the technology industry, where there is substantial frustration with the existing, closed, alternatives available to manufacturers. I was wrong on both counts."

          The move also ended the development of the Unity desktop, intended to converge desktop and mobile, with Ubuntu reverting to GNOME.

        • Ubuntu Blog: The State of Robotics – February 2021

          And that was February! A month where a rover showed what perseverance means and a small drone what ingenuity looks like. February will be remembered as the month where two robots landed on Mars, telling us all to “dare mighty things”.


          ROS 1 Kinetic is reaching its end of support, together with Ubuntu Xenial. Do you want to know what your options are? Have a look at our latest blogs.

          Gazebo 7, the robot simulator, is also now officially end-of-life. Never fear, though, Gazebo version 11 picks up where version 7 left off…and so much more! Don’t run on unsupported hardware, migrate off Gazebo 7 now!

        • Standalone XWayland Makes It For Ubuntu 21.04 Along With Linux 5.11, Mesa 21.0

          As part of planning for Ubuntu 21.04 to use Wayland by default when running on the default GNOME Shell desktop, Ubuntu developers were going to evaluate the standalone XWayland work being pursued by Red Hat initially for Fedora in order to ship newer XWayland code without resorting to releasing a new X.Org Server. That standalone XWayland package is now on its way to the Ubuntu archive.

          Yesterday marked the release of XWayland 21.1 as the first standalone XWayland release. Over what's found in the current stable xorg-server, XWayland 21.1 brings improvements for GLAMOR, X-Video, RENDER format support, using the EGL implementation for the GLX provider, Wayland Viewport protocol support, improved relative mouse input and keyboard grabs, and other changes.


          Lastly, as expected, Linux 5.11 will be powering Ubuntu 21.04 as the default kernel. There are many new features of Linux 5.11 and this will be the latest stable kernel series in time for the release of Ubuntu 21.04 with Linux 5.12 not releasing until the end of April or so.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • The TorProject Urges All Relay Operators To Upgrade To Due To Denial-Of-Service Issues

        The TorProject released three new versions of the Tor Onion Router this week,, and These new versions address two different denial-of-service issues. One of them could be very damaging to directory authority nodes, and only them, and the other could cause problems for both Tor relays and authority nodes. Everyone running a Tor node or relay should upgrade.


        Everyone running a Tor relay should upgrade to one of the new releases.

        You do not need to care, not even a little, if you are a casual end-user using the Tor Browser for human rights work or just to browse the web anonymously. The Tor Browser does include a Tor client but it is not configured to act as a Tor relay by default (it can be and you would know if you have done that). These vulnerabilities are only a concern if you are running the Tor software configured as a relay.

      • AV1 Codec Library libaom 3.0-rc1 Released

        Google has released libaom 3.0.0-rc1 as the AOMedia AV1 Codec Library.

        A few weeks back Google released libaom 2.1-rc1 but now they have decided to re-brand the version 2.1 release to v3.0.

        Compared to that earlier 2.1-rc1 release, libaom 3.0-rc1 has several "critical fixes" and that seems to be the motivation for bumping it to the v3.0 milestone with the codec ABI being bumped as well.

      • FSFE

        • From Uri to Bern: Free Software will revolutionise the world

          More and more administrations are following the principle "Public Money? Public Code!" and are turning to Free Software. In Switzerland, the Free Software "Caluma" has been used very successfully for several years to manage the administration of construction applications.

          The canton of Uri has just 36,500 inhabitants and is probably known to most through the Gotthard Pass. But in recent years, the canton has also become increasingly well-known for its use of Free Software for administration. For years, the small canton has increasingly relied on Free Software and has been able to convince other cantons to switch to Free Software through its successful use. The Canton of Bern is one such canton.

      • Programming/Development

        • How to Build a COVID Tracker Dashboard using Tableau

          I don’t use Tableau for my data science work, but I have done a couple of mini-projects to help me review the interface and learn what the hype is all about.

          So yesterday, I decided to create a complete dashboard using Tableau.

          I wanted to compare the ease of building, time it took to complete the project, and quality of the dashboard. So I chose to base it on the number of Novel Coronavirus cases in the world, since I'd built a similar dashboard displaying COVID cases using Python, Jupyter Notebook, and Voila.

        • OpenBLAS 0.3.14 Released With Performance Improvements For AMD Ryzen, POWER10 - Phoronix

          OpenBLAS 0.3.14 is out today as the newest version of this open-source BLAS (Basic Linear Algebra Subprograms) library that continues to work on maximizing the performance for x86_64 and other architectures.

          OpenBLAS 0.3.14 on the x86_64 has an optimized BFloat16 GEMM kernel for Intel Cooper Lake processors, auto-detection is added for Rocket Lake and Tiger Lake, and AMD Ryzen processors are enjoying improved performance for SASUM / DASUM / SROT / DROT kernels. The OpenBLAS x86_64 code also has fixed its detection of AMD's Clang-based AOCC compiler, support for BLAS/CBLAS tests on Windows, and other fixes.

        • GCC 11 Squeezes In Another Zen 3 Optimization - Phoronix

          Just weeks ahead of the GCC 11 stable release we saw Znver3 tuning work out of SUSE for allowing the GNU Compiler Collection to better cater towards the AMD Zen 3 microarchitecture. That tuning work follows the initial patch at the end of last year that introduced "Znver3" and flipped on the new instructions. Now another patch working on the Zen 3 tuning for GCC has been posted and already merged.

          Jan Hubicka of SUSE has been the one working on this AMD Zen 3 tuning support for GCC 11 that is coming in at the last minute, presumably due to AMD wanting it timed for the EPYC 7003 series debut. Following the initial tuning patch from Monday, on Wednesday a second patch was posted. This latest patch is enabling the use of AVX2 "GATHER" instructions on Zen 3. AVX2 GATHER support allows for vector elements to be loaded from non-contiguous memory locations but over the years have been mixed feelings and results over its usefulness.


          Hubicka also added that Intel's ICC is using gather for some of the tests while LLVM Clang and AOCC are not.

        • Top 15 Programming Skills Required To Become A Successful Coder

          Programming is a term that tells a computer how to work. Through programming, we can effortlessly operate any technology. Just as all people have their own or a specific language for a particular territory, so do computers, or advanced technologies have a specific language, and its name is programming. The one who does the programming is called the coder. However, learning programming alone is not enough to become a successful coder, and it requires some special skills. With some tricks and tips, one can acquire these programming skills and improve those. And if you are looking for what those skills can be, then this article is for you.

        • The new Git default branch name | GitLab

          Every Git repository has an initial branch, which is the first branch to be created when a new repository is generated. Historically, the default name for this initial branch was master. This term came from Bitkeeper, a predecessor to Git. Bitkeeper referred to the source of truth as the "master repository" and other copies as "slave repositories". This shows how common master/slave references have been in technology, and the difficulty in knowing how the term master should be interpreted.

        • GitLab Changes Default Branch Name from Master to Main

          GitLab is changing the default branch name from “master” to “main” and providing users with the ability to change the name of the default branch name of their own repositories.

        • Qt Design Studio 2.1 Beta released

          Qt Design Studio is a UI design and development tool that enables designers and developers to rapidly prototype and create beautiful experiences. Both designers and developers use Qt Design Studio and this makes collaboration between the two a lot simpler and more streamlined.

        • Learn About Algorithms and Data Structures in this Free 6-hour Treehouse Course

          Algorithms and data structures are two of the fundamental topics in computer science. All programmers will encounter them, and they often come up in job interviews.

          We've released a full course on the YouTube channel that will give you an excellent introduction to algorithms and data structures.

          This course was originally developed for Treehouse by teachers Pasan Premaratne and Jay McGavren. For the first time ever, this course is now available for free.

        • Colin King: A common C integer shifting mistake

          Shifting integers in C is easy. Alas it is also easy to get it wrong. A common issue found using static analysis on the Linux kernel is the unintentional sign extension gotcha.

        • Python

          • Python exception groups

            Exceptions in Python are a mechanism used to report errors (of an exceptional variety); programs can be and are written to expect and handle certain types of exceptions using try and except. But exceptions were originally meant to report a single error event and, these days, things are a tad more complicated than that. A recent Python Enhancement Proposal (PEP) targets adding exception groups, as well as new syntax to catch and handle the groups.


            In the first case, a divide-by-zero exception is generated and propagated out to the read-eval-print loop (REPL). In the second, a ValueError is instantiated and raised, then caught and displayed.

            That gives the gist of it, but there are some wrinkles, of course. The except clause can refer to multiple exception types to catch them all and there can be multiple except clauses for separate handling of different exception types. An else clause can be used to do special handling when no exception is caught and a finally clause can be given for code to be executed last, regardless of whether exceptions were caught or not.

        • Rust

          • The Rust Programming Language Blog: Building a shared vision for Async Rust

            The Async Foundations Working Group believes Rust can become one of the most popular choices for building distributed systems, ranging from embedded devices to foundational cloud services. Whatever they're using it for, we want all developers to love using Async Rust. For that to happen, we need to move Async Rust beyond the "MVP" state it's in today and make it accessible to everyone.

            We are launching a collaborative effort to build a shared vision document for Async Rust. Our goal is to engage the entire community in a collective act of the imagination: how can we make the end-to-end experience of using Async I/O not only a pragmatic choice, but a joyful one?

        • Java

          • Java 16 Hits General Availability

            Java Development Kit 16 is now generally available. Production-ready binaries under the GPL are available from Oracle; binaries from other vendors will follow shortly. Oracle has also released the new version under a commercial license for those using the Oracle JDK release as part of an Oracle product or service, or for those who want to be able to get commercial support.

            The new release adds two major new features - support for Records, and Pattern Matching for the instanceof operator.


            Another JVM feature is elastic metaspace, a feature that returns unused HotSpot VM class-metadata (i.e. metaspace) memory to the operating system more promptly, reducing metaspace footprint. This is designed to improve memory use in applications with heavy class loading and unloading activity which until now could end up with a lot of unused space. The new scheme allocates metaspace memory in smaller chunks, and improves elasticity by returning unused metaspace memory to the operating system.

            The new release also has new tools and libraries including Unix-domain socket channels and a packaging tool that allows for packaging self-contained Java applications.

  • Leftovers

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Security

          • Security updates for Thursday

            Security updates have been issued by Debian (velocity-tools), Fedora (switchboard-plug-bluetooth), Mageia (discover, flatpak, and xmlgraphics-commons), openSUSE (chromium and python), Oracle (kernel, kernel-container, and pki-core), Red Hat (openvswitch2.11 and ovn2.11, python-django, qemu-kvm-rhev, and rubygem-em-http-request), and SUSE (crmsh, openssl1, and php53).

          • GNU Guix: Risk of local privilege escalation via guix-daemon

            A security vulnerability that can lead to local privilege escalation has been found in guix-daemon. It affects multi-user setups in which guix-daemon runs locally.

            It does not affect multi-user setups where guix-daemon runs on a separate machine and is accessed over the network via GUIX_DAEMON_SOCKET, as is customary on cluster setups. Machines where the Linux protected hardlinks feature is enabled, which is common, are also unaffected — this is the case when the contents of /proc/sys/fs/protected_hardlinks are 1.

          • A vulnerability in Git

            A potentially nasty vulnerability in the Git distributed revision-control system was disclosed on March 9. There are enough qualifiers in the description of the vulnerability that it may appear to be fairly narrowly focused—and it is. That may make it less worrisome, but it is not entirely clear. As with most vulnerabilities, it all depends on how the software is being used and the environment in which it is running.

            The vulnerability (CVE-2021-21300) could lead to code execution on the local system when cloning from a repository crafted to exploit it. It requires that some kind of Git filter be installed. Filters are used to manipulate files in between the filesystem and the Git repository; "smudge" filters are used when pulling blobs (binary objects) out of the repository to store in the working directory, while "clean" filters can change files as they are being committed into the repository. Which of those types is needed will depend on the type of transformation being performed. Git Large File Storage (LFS) is a commonly used extension (with both smudge and clean filters), which is installed by default with Git on Windows.

            Filters are able to delay the normal processing of Git operations so that long-running filtering can be completed in the background. For example, Git LFS may need to copy a large file across the network in order to satisfy a checkout operation. But the delay feature changes the normal order in which files and directories are processed by Git. That, in turn, means that information cached by the tool may no longer be valid when it is relied upon, which is exactly where the vulnerability lies.

    • Monopolies

      • Patents

        • The French Connection: Thales is third industrial giant from France to intervene in Nokia v. Daimler standard-essential patent dispute

          The Dusseldorf Regional Court's preliminary reference to the European Court of Justice asks the top EU court to opine on certain questions of antitrust law with respect to the availability of standard-essential patent (SEP) licenses to component makers. Daimler argues that Nokia actually owes its suppliers an exhaustive license that would, by extension, cover the Mercedes maker.

          In late 2018, Daimler filed with the European Commission's Directorate-General for Competition (DG COMP) a complaint over Nokia's refusal to license its suppliers. About two years ago, Nokia started a patent infringement litigation campaign against Daimler that has so far failed to give the former handset maker decisive leverage.

          Daimler notified its tier 1 (direct) suppliers of those cases and the possibility of indemnification claims. Certain suppliers such as Peiker, a German subsidiary of a French company named Valeo, intervened (in support of defendant Daimler) early on. Last year it became known that even French automotive company Renault is technically a supplier to Daimler, by virtue of making a car for Daimler under a cooperation agreement. Renault may not have intervened in all Nokia v. Daimler cases, but in at least a couple of Munich lawsuits.

          By now, Valeo and Renault are no longer the only two French companies to have skin in the Nokia v. Daimler game: I've recently found out that Thales, a French industrial giant with 80,000 employees, finally elected to intervene in the Dusseldorf case that gave rise to the ECJ referral. Almost two years after the filing of the complaint, Thales apparently didn't want to miss this opportunity to try to influence the proceedings in Europe's highest court.

          Thales is not a direct supplier to Daimler, but a tier 2 supplier (one degree removed) through its customer TomTom. Similarly, Huawei is a tier 2 supplier through such telematics control unit (TCU) makers as Continental and Harman (a Samsung subsidiary).

        • Advice about the patent bar for current and prospective law students

          I recently asked fellow intellectual property professors and others about advice for law students interested in taking the patent bar. The IP community generously responded, and I have synthesized their wisdom and opinions here, with some of my own advice sprinkled in. Of course, opinions differ and things change, so students should consider this post as a jumping-off point for doing their own research and asking their own questions.

        • IDEA Act of 2021

          The first step in a non-discriminatory US patent system is to make sure it is available to all Americans without legal limit. The second step, and the one with real potential to drive an innovation economy, is to takes steps to ensure that the system is inspiring to all Americans. The trick is how to get there without causing undue damage. One underlying issue is also a lack of information about what’s really happening.

        • Six factors litigation funders consider for patent cases | Managing Intellectual Property [Ed: What kind of job title or role is "litigation funders"? Why does this site promote parasitic elements that harm innovation?]

          Investment managers at Burford, Omni Bridgeway, Woodsford and The Judge say venue and PTAB actions are just two of the important considerations for them

        • Analysis: 2020 patent data masks true COVID impact [Ed: Totally missing the point that patents are for very rich people, who have done fine during the pandemic and even received more gifts from taxpayers]

          Global and European patent filings held mostly steady despite the pandemic – but counsel warn the real effects might not be seen for years to come

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