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Links 2/1/2022: GNU Alive 2.0.4 and FSF Membership Drive Runs Until January 20th

  • GNU/Linux

    • Desktop/Laptop

      • Top 5 Best Linux Tablets Recommended For Privacy Lovers (2022) - DekiSoft

        Over time Linux has had a lot of popularity all due to the advantages that different distros bring to the table, the best among all is security and privacy. All thanks to them these OS are able to secure your data from malware and other attacks. We have picked the top 5 Linux tablets for privacy users. This includes choices for different people and has a variety of devices.

    • Audiocasts/Shows

    • Applications

      • Pinta 2.0 Open-Source Paint Program Is Out Now as a Major Update, Ported to GTK 3 [Ed: Mono danger]

        Pinta 2.0 comes a little over a month after the release of the Pinta 1.7.1 update, and it’s here to finally port the paint program to the GTK+ 3 and .NET 6 application frameworks for a more modern look and new functionality.

        The GTK+ 3 and .NET 6 porting means that Pinta not only looks better and more moder, but it also offers improved support for HiDPI displays, support for platform-native file dialogs, as well as support for GTK+ 3 themes.

      • Pinta 2.0 Released, Completes Port to GTK3 & .NET 6

        With a new year starting you might be planning to indulge your creativity side this year — and if so, take a look at the latest stable release of open source image editing app Pinta.

        Pinta 2.0 is major new release that completes the app’s transition to GTK3 and .NET 6. It’s a big foundational uplift that results in some welcome improvements. Pinta 2.0 now looks better on the modern Linux desktop, with GTK dialogs, choosers, pickers, and widgets all looking how they should.

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • Finding all files with a certain extension in Linux? - Darryl Dias

        The example above is using the find command to search files in the tmp folder for Python files, that have the extension .py.

        To get a list of all the files with the same extension inside the current directory, for this example looking for all the Python extension files.

      • How To Install Vivaldi Browser on Fedora 35 - idroot

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to install Vivaldi Browser on Fedora 35. For those of you who didn’t know, Vivaldi is a freeware, cross-platform web browser developed by Vivaldi Technologies. It had grown from the downfall of Opera with many disgruntled when it changed from the Presto layout engine to a Chromium-based browser. Although it, too, is based on Chromium, its minimalistic user interface and features such as tab stacking and tiling, built-in ad blocker and trackers, custom themes, quick commands, etc., give it an edge over the likes of Chrome, Edge, and Brave.

        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 the Vivaldi Browser on a Fedora 35.

    • Distributions

      • New Releases

        • MX Linux 21 Is The Best Linux Distribution Of 2021

          So overall, all of these reasons were what motivated us to choose MX Linux 21 as the best desktop Linux distribution of 2021. Combining hardware support, low resources consumption and huge number of utility apps and deep functionality options… It all creates a wonderful Linux distribution for the average user.

          Perhaps the only thing that the developers need to work on is the default UX and UI for their default apps and overall system, as it sounds too traditional and classical from the first while, comparing to distributions like elementaryOS 6 which feature more elegant user interfaces.

          But… That aside, MX Linux 21 is one of the best Linux distributions out there to try, and we recommend any new user thinking of switching to Linux from Windows to test it out.

          Congratulations to MX Linux developers, and everyone who has worked on creating this great distribution! It truly paid off.

        • Neptune 7 "Faye" released

          This version comes with a new Debian base (11 "Bullseye") that offers newer and better hardware support as well as newer software and apps. KDE Plasma 5.20.5 ships with a new Neptune specific theme that embraces the Breeze widget style for maximum compatibility and introduces a new subtle but modern flat look and feel to Neptune. We also updated the Icon theme to our own variation of the Tela Icon theme to fit with the new look of the system. The default panel has been modernized to allow pinning more apps and tasks to it aswell as offering a new bigger easier look to the eyes. Besides that Linux Kernel 5.10 offers modern hardware support aswell as bugfixes.

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • CentOS Linux 8 Reached End of Life, It’s Time to Migrate to an Alternative OS

          The time has come to say goodbye to the CentOS Linux 8 distribution as it reached end of life on the last day of 2021, December 31st. As of today, the distribution is no longer supported, which means that it will no longer receive software and security updates, making your installations vulnerable to attacks, in time.

          CentOS Linux is a GNU/Linux distribution built using and compatible with the sources of the commercial Red Hat Enterprise Linux operating system. CentOS Linux 8 was initially released only two years ago, on September 24th, 20219, and it was supposed to be maintained for 10 years, until the year 2029.

      • Debian Family and Similar

        • LiVES problems and more problems

          Easy 3.1.17 has LiVES 3.0.2, which seems to basically work.

        • rshift internationalized and fr updates

          esmourguit (forum name) is maintaining the French translations for EasyOS.

        • Sparky news 2021/12

          The 12th, and the last of 2021 year, monthly Sparky project and donate report: – Linux kernel updated up to 5.15.12 & 5.16-rc7 – Added to repos: FinalCrypt, Firefox & Firefox ESR Mozilla builds – Sparky 2021.12 & 2021.12 Special Editions of the rolling line released – Lumina Desktop updated up to 1.6.2; debs built for amd64, i386, armhf & arm64

    • Devices/Embedded

      • Open Hardware/Modding

        • Small EInk Phone

          Happy new year! Would you be interested in crowdfunding a small E Ink Open Phone? If yes, check out the specs and fill out the form below.

          If I get 1000 interested people, I'll approach manufacturers. I plan to share the results publicly in either case. I will never share your information with manufacturers but contact you by email if this goes forward.

        • Neat little hobby kit: CircuitMess Ringo

          My son is a tinkerer and creator. He is still somewhat young and has expressed on multiple occasions that he dreams of building his own phones. Enter the CircuitMess Ringo. It is an educational DIY kit to build a mobile phone (that uses actual SIM cards). As soon as I saw this, I knew it was perfect for him and on Christmas morning, he was ecstatic when realizing what this was. Anyway, I will be guiding and assisting him with his project very soon and may share more details as we progress through it.

        • Cool the Shop with a Thermal Battery-Based System

          Having any kind of shop is pretty great, no matter how large it may be or where it’s located. If the shop is in an outbuilding, you get to make more noise. On the other hand, it will probably get pretty darn hot in the summer without some kind of cooling system, especially if you don’t have a window for a breeze (or a window A/C unit).

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • Best Free and Open Source Alternatives to Oracle OC4J - LinuxLinks

        Oracle is a computer technology corporation best known for its software products and services like Java.

        In 2020, Oracle was the second-largest software company in the world by revenue and market capitalization. They employ over 130,000 people, and sell cloud-engineering services and systems and database management systems.

        Oracle has a fairly prominent position with open source. They are a supporting member of the Linux Foundation, Cloud Native Computing Foundation, Eclipse Foundation, and the Java Community Process.

        Through its acquisition of Sun Microsystems in 2010, Oracle also became the steward of many other important and long-running open source projects such as the Java programming language and the MySQL relational database, introduced in 1995. The acquisition of Sleepycat Software, brought the open source Berkeley DB key/value store.

        The company co-develops the OpenJDK, an open source implementation of the Java Platform Standard Edition, and Btrfs, a B-tree file system. They also open source the Oracle Coherence Community Edition, NetBeans, and produce Oracle Linux which is a Linux distro compiled from Red Hat Enterprise Linux source code.

        While Oracle develops and distributes open source software, they have many different business models. The majority of their products are published under a proprietary license. This series looks at free and open source alternatives to Oracle’s products.

      • Best Free and Open Source Alternatives to Oracle's Products - LinuxLinks

        Oracle is a computer technology corporation best known for its software products and services like Java.

        In 2020, Oracle was the second-largest software company in the world by revenue and market capitalization. They employ over 130,000 people, and sell cloud-engineering services and systems and database management systems.

        Oracle has a fairly prominent position with open source. They are a supporting member of the Linux Foundation, Cloud Native Computing Foundation, Eclipse Foundation, and the Java Community Process.

        Through its acquisition of Sun Microsystems in 2010, Oracle also became the steward of many other important and long-running open source projects such as the Java programming language and the MySQL relational database, introduced in 1995. The acquisition of Sleepycat Software, brought the open source Berkeley DB key/value store.

        The company co-develops the OpenJDK, an open source implementation of the Java Platform Standard Edition, and Btrfs, a B-tree file system. They also open source the Oracle Coherence Community Edition, NetBeans, and produce Oracle Linux which is a Linux distro compiled from Red Hat Enterprise Linux source code.

        While Oracle develops and distributes open source software, they have many different business models. The majority of their products are published under a proprietary license. This series looks at free and open source alternatives to Oracle’s products.

      • Best Free and Open Source Alternatives to Cisco's Products - LinuxLinks

        Cisco Systems, Inc. is an American multinational technology corporation that focuses on networking hardware and software. It has over 75,000 employees with its headquarters in San Jose, California.

        Cisco has been participating in open source development for almost 30 years including founding projects like OpenDaylight, FD.io, VPP, PNDA, SNAS, and OpenH264, and contributing to projects like OPNFV, Kubernetes, OpenStack, Ansible, Chef, Puppet, Maven, and many others.

        Cisco has also been a key contributor to the Linux kernel over the years, accounting for about 0.5% of total kernel commits, and is a Platinum Member of the Linux Foundation and Premium Sponsor of the Open Source Initiative.

        From a software perspective, Cisco’s main focus is developing proprietary programs. In this series we look at free and open source alternatives to their products.

      • FSF

        • Help keep the end-of-year momentum going: Membership drive extended to January 20th

          We've been inspired by seeing the 262 new associate members who have decided to help us ring in the new year by joining the Free Software Foundation (FSF). We're sincerely grateful for the way they've answered the call by standing up for software freedom. We're just as grateful for all of the donations and membership renewals we've had during our year-end drive. Since we've seen a strong show of support in the latter half of our appeal, we're extending the date to join and still receive one of the special pins we're offering to January 20th.

        • GNU Projects

          • GNU Alive 2.0.4 available
            release notes:
            
            

            Maintenance release. Happy new year.

            README excerpt:

            GNU Alive is a keep-alive program for internet connections. It repeatedly pings a series of user-specified hosts, thereby encouraging (one hopes) the involved networks to not disappear.

            NEWS for 2.0.4 (2022-01-01):

            - .tar.xz no longer distributed

            If you have GNU tar, you can use "tar xf" and it will DTRT. If not, you can use "lzip -dc TARBALL | tar xf -" to unpack.

            - https in URLs

            GNU and GNUVOLA URLs now say ‘https’ instead of ‘http’. This shows up in the docs, and in ‘--help’ / ‘--version’ output.

            - bootstrap/maintenance tools

            upgraded:

            GNU texinfo 6.8 GNU Automake 1.16.5 GNU Autoconf 2.71 GNU Guile 2.2.7 Guile-BAUX 20211208.0839.a5245e7 GNU gnulib 2021-12-10 21:54:54

            as before:

            (none)

            tarball and detached signature:

            https://ftp.gnu.org/gnu/alive/alive-2.0.4.tar.lz https://ftp.gnu.org/gnu/alive/alive-2.0.4.tar.lz.sig

            source code:

            https://git.savannah.gnu.org/cgit/alive.git?h=p

            homepage:

            https://www.gnu.org/software/alive/

  • Leftovers

    • Attack Of The Eighty-Foot String Shooter | Hackaday

      String shooters are exciting because they adhere to the laws of physics in that peculiar way that makes us ask, “How?” and “Why?” After a bit of poking and prodding, maybe some light rope burn, we probably have a few ideas on how we’d make our own. [Nick Belsten] and [Joey Rain] saw some desktop models and thought, “Let’s make that puppy eighty feet long!” Video also embedded after the break.

      Instead of hobby motors, flashlight batteries, and toy car wheels, they choose a washing machine motor and bike tires, then plug into an extension cord. The three-minute video isn’t a how-to build because once you start welding this kind of hardware together, you are already flying by the seat of your pants. You will see a front yard with people delighting in the absurdity of launching rope continuously over the treetops. There’s plenty of room for observing a wave traveling along the cord or polishing your fingernails in a hurry.

    • Hardware

      • Ski Lift Design Does The Impossible | Hackaday

        Tis The Season, for those who are so inclined, to loft themselves to the top of a steep snow-covered hill and then go downhill, really fast. And if something gets in their way, turn. Whether they be on skis, a snowboard, or some other means, getting down usually involves using gravity. Getting up, on the other hand, usually involves a ski lift. And in the video by [kalsan15] after the break, we learn how technology has stepped in to make even the most inaccessible slopes just a lift ride away.

      • Virtual Eurorack Based CPU Computes To The Beat Of A Different Drum Module | Hackaday

        In Arthur C. Clarke’s 1972 story “Dial F for Frankenstein”, the worlds first global network of phone exchanges was created by satellite link, and events happened that caused the characters in the story to wonder if the interconnected mesh of machinery had somehow become sentient. And that’s what we wondered when we saw this latest virtual CPU construction built by GitHub user [katef] and made from a virtual analog synthesizer software called VCV Rack.

        Analogous to a Redstone computer in Minecraft, there’s no physical hardware involved. But instead of making crazy synth sounds for a music project, [katef] has built a functioning CPU complete with an Arithmetic Logic Unit, an adder, and other various things you’ll find in a real CPU such as registers and a clock.

      • Genius or Cursed, This USB-C Connector Is Flexible

        USB connectors have lent themselves to creative interpretations of their mechanical specifications ever since the first experimenter made a PCB fit into a USB-A socket. The USB-C standard with its smaller connector has so far mostly escaped this trend, though this might be about to change thanks to the work of [Sam Ettinger]. His own description of his USB-C connector using a flexible PCB and a BGA-packaged ATTiny84A microcontroller is “cursed”, but we can’t decide whether or not it should also be called “genius”.

        Key to this inspired piece of connector fabrication is the realization that the thickness of BGA and flex PCB together comes to the required 0.7 mm. The BGA provides the necessary stiffness, and though it’s a one-sided connector it fits the space perfectly. There are several demo boards as proofs-of-concept, and the whole lot can be found in a GitHub repository.

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Blackberry Will Run Out of Juice on January 4th

          Happy New Year, though it may not be for Blackberry fans. The company that has so often had their products compared to a certain addictive substance recently announced that they are ending support for Blackberry OS and Blackberry 10 devices.

          What does this mean? While they won’t be bricking phones outright, they might as well be. On January 4th, Blackberry will be shutting off all the key services — data, SMS, phone calls, and 911 support. In official terms, they are ending network provisioning for these older devices, meaning that they won’t be able to join any cellular or WiFi networks.

        • Alexa Suggests Dangerous 'Outlet Challenge' to 10-Year-Old
        • Security

          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • Facial Recognition for Covid-19 Tracking in Seoul

              The city of Bucheon, population 830,000, is a satellite city southwest of Seoul and part of the greater metropolitan area and the site of a pilot program to apply AI facial recognition and tracking technologies to aid Covid-19 epidemiological investigators. South Korea has been generally praised for its rapid response to coronavirus patient tracking since the beginning of the outbreak. People entering public facilities enter their information on a roster or scan a QR code. Epidemiologists tracking outbreaks use a variety of data available to them, including these logs, electronic transaction data, mobile phone location logs, CCTV footage, and interviews. But the workload can be overwhelming, and there are only a fixed number of workers with the required training available, despite efforts to hire more.

              As contract tracing has been done to-date, it takes one investigator up to an hour to trace the movements of one patient. When the system goes online in January, it should be able to trace one patient in less than a minute, handling up to ten traces simultaneously. Project officials say there is no plan for this system to expand to the rest of Seoul, nor nationwide. But with the growing virus caseloads and continued difficulties hiring and training investigators, it’s not unexpected that officials will be turning to these technologies more and more to keep up with the increasing workload.

    • Monopolies

      • Patents

        • FOSS Patents: Alternative app store with improved security filed antitrust lawsuit against Apple in Florida, simultaneously alleging infringement of patent on reverse lookup of phone numbers

          With Ericsson still not having announced (by the time I'm writing this) a renewal of its patent cross-license agreement with Apple, dozens of patent infringement complaints against Apple--in multiple jurisdictions--may be imminent as the license agreement is just about to expire. And other major standard-essential patent holders like Nokia and InterDigital haven't announced a renewal with Apple in many years, so there may be even more infringement actions to come in 2022.

        • European Union: EPO Board Of Appeal Refuses Applications With Non-Human Inventor [Ed: EPO constantly violates the EPC, which it does not even care about, but this time it decided to pretend otherwise]

          Yesterday, 21 December 2021, the EPO's Legal Board of Appeal dismissed the applicant's appeal in respect of the two European patent applications that attempted to name a computer system as the sole inventor. This is the latest decision in the long-running and widespread attempts by Dr Stephen Thaler and his legal team to gain recognition for machines as inventors within the patent system. The full reasons for the Board's decision will be published later, but a brief Press Communiqué has been issued by the EPO.

          It appears that the Board has substantively agreed with the decisions of the EPO's Receiving Section (reported here) that, under the EPC, the inventor has to be a person with legal capacity and so the applicant's main request, naming the computer system DABUS as the sole inventor, was not allowable.



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