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Links 4/1/2022: UbuntuDDE Remix 21.10 and Libreboot's Binary Blob Policy



  • GNU/Linux

    • Audiocasts/Shows

    • Kernel Space

      • Cleaning up the Linux kernel's 'Dependency Hell': This developer is proposing 2,200 commit changes | ZDNet

        Last year, Linux's source code came to a whopping 27.8 million lines of code. It's only gotten bigger since then. Like any 30-year old software project, Linux has picked up its fair share of cruft over the years. Now, after months of work, senior Linux kernel developer Ingo Molnar is releasing his first stab at cleaning it up at a fundamental level with his "Fast Kernel Headers" project.

        The object? No less than a comprehensive clean-up and rework of the Linux kernel's header hierarchy and header dependencies. Linux contains many header, .h, files. To be exact there are about 10,000 main .h headers in the Linux kernel with the include/ and arch/*/include/ hierarchies. As Molnar explained, "Over the last 30+ years they have grown into a complicated & painful set of cross-dependencies we are affectionately calling 'Dependency Hell'."

        To bring rhyme and reason to all this, Molnar is proposing to make 2,200 commit changes to the code. That's a lot of commits! Why so many? Well, Molnar continued, it turns out there's a lot more mess in all that code than he thought there was when he started his clean-up project in late 2020.

      • Intel Is Bringing A Feature Upgrade To Linux That Will Make Windows Users Jealous | HotHardware

        Ever since BIOS updates became possible, the process required rebooting the PC. Even when motherboard manufacturers moved completely to UEFI, this remained the case. Intel is now changing that, thanks to a new part of the ACPI specification called Platform Firmware Runtime Update and Telemetry (PFRUT). This allows for firmware updates to a PC’s BIOS or UEFI without forcing a reboot. Windows users, though, will be disappointed. The feature is Linux-only, at least for now. Intel’s been working on PFRUT for some time, previously under the moniker “Seamless Update.” The idea is to reduce downtime, especially for servers that should ideally remain available 100 percent of the time. Servers can undergo BIOS/UEFI updates “on the fly,” keeping critical workloads fully operational the whole time.

      • Graphics Stack

        • AMD Threadripper 3990X + RX 5700 XT System76 Thelio Major Performance After 2 Years

          Next month marks two years since AMD introduced the Ryzen Threadripper 3990X 64-core / 128-thread processor. All of our testing of the 3990X on Linux over the past two years has been with the System76 Thelio Major, which continues holding up well with that US-assembled workstation with hand-crafted enclosure from Colorado. With System76 having recently released Pop!_OS 21.10 as the latest update to their Ubuntu Linux derived operating system and upcoming two year anniversary of the 3990X, it made for an interesting time to see how the performance of the Ryzen Threadripper 3990X and Radeon RX 5700 XT within that workstation has evolved.

        • Mike Blumenkrantz: New Year New Me

          Zink

          Somehow the driver is still in the tree, still builds, and still runs. It’s a miracle.

          Thus, since there were obviously no other matters more pressing than not falling behind on MesaMatrix, I spent the morning figuring out how to implement ARB_sparse_texture.

          Was this the best decision when I didn’t even remember how to make meson clear its dependency cache? No. No it wasn’t.

          But I did it anyway because here at SGC, we take bad ideas and turn them into code.

          Your move, 2022.

    • Applications

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • How To Install and Use WhatsApp for Linux (Easy Guide) - DekiSoft

        Whatsapp which is a popular messaging application does not provide users with a desktop client. The best thing is that they took this problem into consideration and launched WhatsApp Web.

      • Splitting files on Linux by context | Network World

        The csplit command is unusual in that allows you to split text files into pieces based on their content. The command allows you to specify a contextual string and use it as a delimiter for identifying the chunks to be saved as separate files.

        As an example, if you wanted to separate diary entries into a series of files each with a single entry, you might do something like this.

      • How To Make Bootable Windows 10/11 USB with WoeUSB (Linux) - DekiSoft

        This is a tool which is used to create a bootable Window 10 USB drive on Linux and is CLI based known as WoeUSB. This is under active development and a graphic user interface known as WoeUSB-frontend-wxgtk which at the moment is not maintained.

        An independent python port of this known as WoeUSB-ng is also available which is maintained actively. This supports to the creation of a bootable Windows USB from Linux with support for both UEFI booting and Legacy PC. Its filesystem can either be FAT32 or NTFS, whereas the source can be either a disk image or physical installation disk. The best thing is that it supports non-ASCII filenames.

      • TWRP 101: Uninstall TWRP Recovery (Restore To Stock Recovery) - DekiSoft

        There is one quality you need to qualify when it comes to custom development, and it is to unlock the bootloader of the device. Once this is done, you have opened floodgates to a plethora of customizations. We suggest that you get hold of TWRP recovery before you make your steps in the flashing community. This is not a compulsory requirement but only a recommendation. This guide explains the steps required to Uninstall TWRP on Android without getting stuck in a boot loop and bricking your smartphone.

      • How To Install Laravel on Fedora 35 - idroot

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to install Laravel on Fedora 35. For those of you who didn’t know, Laravel is one of the most popular PHP frameworks in the world, and it’s great for developers looking to build modern web applications. So, many developers use it to make their most popular applications.

        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 Laravel PHP Framework on a Fedora 3

      • How to install sudo on Debian or Ubuntu Linux - Linux Shout

        Whether you are using Debian 11 Bullseye, 10 Buster, Ubuntu 20.04, 18.04, 22.04, or any other minimal server version of the same base, here are there steps to install sudo Debian Linux.

        The command sudo, we used before other program calls to execute them. The key purpose of it is to authorize the users to run the program on behalf of and with the rights of another user to perform tasks that are reserved for administrators.

        When we run the command with sudo, it asks for the password of the current user before executing the program. This checks whether the user that entered the command is the group of authorized users defined in the /etc/sudoers file or not. The target user is root assumed by default.

      • How to Install Xfce Desktop on Debian 11 Bullseye - LinuxCapable

        Xfce is a lightweight free, open-source desktop environment for UNIX-like operating systems. It is designed to be fast and light on system resources while visually appealing than the default desktop environments that ship with most operating systems. Xfce is very popular with older systems with hardware as a key feature in its design is to conserve both memory and CPU cycles.

        In the following tutorial, you will learn how to install Xfce on your Debian 11 Bullseye desktop.

      • Classic SysAdmin: How to Kill a Process from the Linux Command Line

        The first step in killing the unresponsive process is locating it. There are two commands I use to locate a process: top and ps. Top is a tool every administrator should get to know. With top, you get a full listing of currently running process. From the command line, issue top to see a list of your running processes (Figure 1).

      • How to migrate from CentOS 8 to AlmaLinux (conversion) - nixCraft

        already wrote about migrating from CentOS 8 to CentOS Stream. I also have a guide about migrating from CentOS 8 to Rocky Linux. Today, I am working on another side project with my partner, and I wanted to try out AlmaLinux. Hence, this quick post will list steps to convert existing VM or bare metal server from CentOS 8 to AlmaLinux 8. The server currently acts as API for mobile apps, including PostgreSQL, Redis, Python+Django, Apache web server, and SELinux and firewalld.

      • How to install Mayhem Cars 2 on a Chromebook

        Today we are looking at how to install Mayhem Cars 2 on a Chromebook. Please follow the video/audio guide as a tutorial where we explain the process step by step and use the commands below.

      • How to Share Data Between Docker Containers – CloudSavvy IT

        Docker containers are intentionally isolated environments. Each container has its own filesystem which can’t be directly accessed by other containers or your host.

        Sometimes containers may need to share data. Although you should aim for containers to be self-sufficient, there are scenarios where data sharing is unavoidable. This might be so a second container can access a combined cache, use a file-backed database, create a backup, or perform operations on user-generated data, such as an image optimizer container that processes profile photos uploaded via a separate web server container.

        In this guide, we’ll look at a few methods for passing data between your Docker containers. We’ll assume you’ve already got Docker set up and are familiar with fundamental concepts such as containers, images, volumes, and networks.

      • Using OATH in FreeIPA | Zamir's Board

        OATH has been the choice of Two-factor authentication (2FA) for many companies and websites. And it’s also exists in FreeIPA.

        As a user, it’s pretty straight forward to enable OATH token in FreeIPA on you own given your organization has enabled the choice for you.

        Firstly, login into FreeIPA with your own account. Click your own users from the ‘Active users’ table.

        Click the drop-down button ‘Action’ then you’ll see ‘Add OTP Token’. Click it.

      • How to install sudo on Debian or Ubuntu Linux - Linux Shout

        Whether you are using Debian 11 Bullseye, 10 Buster, Ubuntu 20.04, 18.04, 22.04, or any other minimal server version of the same base, here are there steps to install sudo Debian Linux.

        The command sudo, we used before other program calls to execute them. The key purpose of it is to authorize the users to run the program on behalf of and with the rights of another user to perform tasks that are reserved for administrators.

        When we run the command with sudo, it asks for the password of the current user before executing the program. This checks whether the user that entered the command is the group of authorized users defined in the /etc/sudoers file or not. The target user is root assumed by default.

      • How to install Nitrux 1.8.0 - Invidious

        In this video, I am going to show how to install Nitrux 1.8.0

      • How to install Docker CE on Ubuntu 22.04 LTS Jammy Jellyfish

        Docker is an open-source project that gives us the ability to easily run applications in isolated containers. Those who are using Ubuntu 22.04 LTS and want to install Docker CE to run containers of various Linux apps can follow this tutorial.

        Another benefit of Docker containers is they can build on one another and communicate with one another. Examples of these applications would be an Apache server or a MySQL database.

        As compared to normal virtual machines we do not need every container to run a complete operating system. I mean if we want to run a separated web server from the database server, we would have to start two complete virtual machines including the operating system. This is not the case with docker, in it, the underlying kernel will be the same and two independent containers can be started for respective servers without installing the full-blown operating system instead a lightweight Docker image will do the work.

      • How to easily update a tar file from the Linux file manager - TechRepublic

        Instead of re-creating your tar archives when you need to add files, why not simply append those files? Jack Wallen shows you how from the command line and a GUI file manager on Linux.

      • How To Install Go on Fedora 35 - idroot

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to install Go Browser on Fedora 35. For those of you who didn’t know, Go is an open-source programming language developed by a team at Google that makes it easy to build simple, reliable, and efficient software. Golang is very useful for writing lightweight microservices, infrastructure like networked servers, and also tools and systems for developers. It can also be used for generating APIs that interact with front-end applications.

        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 Go (Golang) programming language on a Fedora 35.

    • Games

      • GOG have one last free game during their sale with Iratus: Lord of the Dead | GamingOnLinux

        While the GOG Winter Sale shall be ending soon, they have one last freebie for you with the rather good turn-based tactical roguelike RPG Iratus: Lord of the Dead.

        How to claim the latest free game: head to the GOG.com website and scroll down a bit to find the giveaway banner. The giveaway ends January 5th at 2 PM UTC.

      • Not Actually A DOS Game looks like a retro delight | GamingOnLinux

        Do you love retro games (or just retro-styled) and you're a fan of dungeon crawling? Check out the recent release of Not Actually A DOS Game for your latest fix.

        Taking the visuals of classics like Rogue, it spices things up a bit to make the style a little more approachable with a slightly more modern interface and some small effects. The result is a game that should appeal to classic roguelike fans while giving some nice quality-of-life adjustments like tooltips, stat comparisons and more. Overall it certainly seems like a solid entry.

      • Best 12 Linux ASCII Games That are Modern Looking - DekiSoft

        A decade back terminal-based games were quite popular when you did not have visual masterpieces such as Red Dead Redemption 2, Spiderman, and God of War, or Grand Theft Auto 5. Most were played on DOS or hacker-like screens.

        The Linux platform carries its own share of good games but keeps in mind that these are not always the “latest and the greatest”, there are ASCII games to which we can never say no to or turn our back. Most of the collection below can also be played online or in the browser depending on your setup.

        Please remember: Installing such games is time-consuming and you may encounter some games which require building from source.

    • Distributions

      • An Inferno Diary

        At the end of 2020 I decided to finish the contracting gig I was doing with the aim of spending less time every day stressing about things I couldn't really influence while not making a sustainable income. I figured that, if I wasn't going to make the big bucks, I might as well work on things I enjoyed. Isn't the gig economy wonderful?

        Anyway, that's a story for another time. Today, I'm mentioning something I started during December, which is a diary about my recent experiences with the Inferno operating system. It started because I felt I was doing bits and pieces with Inferno from time to time, and there wasn't much to show if the activities didn't lead to finished products.

      • New Releases

        • KaOS Linux Sees First 2022 ISO Release with Initial ZFS Support, Latest KDE Goodies

          Still powered by the Linux 5.14 kernel series, which reached end of life about one and a half months ago, KaOS Linux 2022.01 is here with the latest KDE Plasma 5.23.4 desktop environment, which is accompanied by the latest KDE Frameworks 5.89 and KDE Gear 21.12 software suites.

          KaOS Linux’s first 2022 ISO release also comes with the latest and greatest Calamares graphical installer (version 3.2.49.1), which received initial support for the ZFS file system. This implementation, along with the ZFS (Zettabyte File System) userspace utilities from the KaOS repositories, will allow you to use ZFS on KaOS Linux through the linux-next kernel.

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • Matrix Digital Rain On The IBM PC With A High Persistence Monitor | Hackaday

          Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock for the last 20-odd years, you will have come across The Matrix series of movies, and the cool green ‘digital rain’ effect used frequently. This inspired [Oli Wright] to wonder what it would look like if instead of running the animation on a modern display, using a digitally produced phosphor persistence effect, it was implemented on some retro PC hardware, using an actual high-persistence phosphor Green Monochrome monitor. (Video embedded, below) As luck would have it, [Oli] owns a 40-year-old IBM PC 5150 as well as the matching IBM 5151 monitor, so it was a simple matter to implement the effect in 8088 assembler to create falling sequences of characters. The final binary is less than 256 bytes!

        • My 2022 Focus

          My biggest frustration is the fatigue I have from working from home and being in our apartment so much.

      • Debian Family

        • Debian’s approach to Rust - Dependency handling

          I have been involved in Debian for a very long time. And I’ve been working with Rust for a few years now. Late last year I had cause to try to work on Rust things within Debian.

          When I did, I found it very difficult. The Debian Rust Team were very helpful. However, the workflow and tooling require very large amounts of manual clerical work - work which it is almost impossible to do correctly since the information required does not exist. I had wanted to package a fairly straightforward program I had written in Rust, partly as a learning exercise. But, unfortunately, after I got stuck in, it looked to me like the effort would be wildly greater than I was prepared for, so I gave up.

          Since then I’ve been thinking about what I learned about how Rust is packaged in Debian. I think I can see how to fix some of the problems. Although I don’t want to go charging in and try to tell everyone how to do things, I felt I ought at least to write up my ideas. Hence this blog post, which may become the first of a series.

        • Debian Community News: Albanian women, Brazilian women & Debian Outreachy racism under Chris Lamb

          We previously looked at the vast amounts of money spent on travel for Albanian women to come to DebConf19 in Curitiba and many other events.

          Before DebConf19, Debian tried to organize a warm-up event, MiniDebConf Curitiba in the location that would host DebConf proper.

          Local women had found Chris Lamb so difficult to deal with that they had to start their own crowdfunding campaign to get there. Lamb only had eyes for Albanian women like the woman who won an Outreachy internship.

          Renata blogs about the crowdfunding campaign for five women: Alice, Anna e So, Miriam Retka, Ana Paula and Luciana.

        • Paul Wise: FLOSS Activities December 2021

          This month I didn't have any particular focus. I just worked on issues in my info bubble.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • UbuntuDDE Remix 21.10 Released with Latest Deepin Desktop Environment

          Based on the Ubuntu 21.10 (Impish Indri) operating system release, UbuntuDDE Remix 21.10 is powered by the same kernel as upstream, Linux 5.13, and features the latest Deepin Desktop Environment (DDE) and related software packages available at the moment of writing.

          In addition, UbuntuDDE Remix 21.10 comes with an updated DDE Store to version 1.2.3 for a better package management experience, the Calamares graphical installer to make the installation of the distribution easier, as well as updated artwork from both the Ubuntu 21.10 and Deepin Linux distributions.

        • Ubuntu Fridge | Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter Issue 716

          Welcome to the Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter, Issue 716 for the week of December 26, 2021 – January 1, 2022.

    • Devices/Embedded

      • The PinePhone Keyboard Case is Now Available to Buy

        PinePhone owners can finally get their hands on a physical keyboard case designed exclusively for use with the FOSS-friendly handset.

        This official keyboard accessory is compatible with all version of the PinePhone released to date, from the early batch of BraveHeart devices through to the ‘convergence’ edition, as well as the forthcoming PinePhone Pro.

        Don’t picture some sort of generic bluetooth keyboard with a feeble phone holder here. Oh no; this thing is custom engineered for this device, and this device only.

        You pop the PhonePhone’s back cover off to attach the PinePhone keyboard, which connects through the phone’s internal pogo pins (added to enable the creation add-ons such as this one). A 6000mAh battery and USB Type-C port are built-in to the keyboard (which lets charge the keyboard and phone batteries simultaneously).

      • PinePhone official keyboard case is finally available to purchase

        Pine64 is a tech company that has been selling Linux-powered hardware for years, including the entry-level PinePhone and upcoming PinePhone Pro. Pine64 has been working with the PinePhone community for months to create an official keyboard attachment, and two months after the design was finalized, you can finally buy one to create the fun-sized pocket Linux PC of your dreams.

        The new keyboard case is compatible with both the PinePhone and upcoming PinePhone Pro, and takes the place of the original back casing. Since the PinePhone already has internal pogo pins designed for accessories, there’s no added bulk or fiddling with Bluetooth connections. It looks more like a tiny laptop than a phone with a keyboard.

      • Open Hardware/Modding

        • Neatly fold your t-shirts with an Arduino-powered robot | Arduino Blog

          Folding t-shirts isn’t a fun process for many people, and even worse, it’s difficult to get them looking the exact same way when the pile of folded clothing is completed. So in order to make it easier, mechanical engineering students Pietro Oppici, Corentin Vandebroek, Stefano Pontoglio, and Quentin Bertieaux set out to build a robot of their own that could quickly and precisely fold shirts to perfection and drop them below. They also wanted it to be able to detect what kind of tee was present so the robot could adjust its folding style to match.

          After designing and fabricating a mechanism consisting of birch and MDF wooden panels held together with 3D-printed hinges, the team opted to use an Arduino Uno board as the brains of the operation. From there, they attached a series of NEMA17 stepper motors, three of which were high torque for fast folding, and a servo motor for the final fold. A set of five DRV8825 drivers were then connected to the Uno, which delivered current from the 12V power supply to the motors.

        • This Samsung Ballie-inspired spherical robot gets around on a couple of wheels | Arduino Blog

          Back in early 2020, Samsung demonstrated their Ballie robot concept at CES, and although it never got off the ground, it inspired Derek Lieber to create his own version of a gyroscopically stabilized robot that moves with a pair of hemispherical “wheels” on each side.

          Lieber’s project, which he calls “Ballbot2”, is based around a single Arduino Mega connected to a set of two LM6234 drivers that take the incoming 5V PWM signals and boost them up to the 12V required by the motors. Speaking of motors, the ones for the Ballbot2 aren’t the typical geared DC or steppers, but rather gimbal motors that use copper coils surrounding a central magnet to turn it. Detecting the current orientation of the magnetic field is done by utilizing four Hall effect sensors to sense its position and then send it in a digitized format to the Arduino for further processing and feedback. He mounted an XBee module to a custom shield, along with the two driver ICs, before attaching it to the Mega. The XBee allows for the robot to be remotely operated with a secondary XBee module, which reads data from a joystick and transmits it wirelessly.

        • Homemade thermal battery system keeps the shop cool with Arduino | Arduino Blog

          When trying to cool off a space, most people reach for an air conditioning unit that uses a pump, compressor, refrigerant, and a radiator to move heat from inside a room to the outside air. But in a break from this typical model, YouTuber Curtis in Seattle came up with a system that pumps water between a series of radiators/box fans and a set of five 55-gallon drums to move heat away from a room during the day.

          Curtis employed an Arduino Uno to calculate temperatures via input from four DS18B20 sensors, activate relays, log data, and display the indoor, outdoor, battery, and ground measurements on an LCD module. The components are all housed in a vintage movie projector.

        • Need A Small, Cheap Ammeter? Blinkenlights To The Rescue! | Hackaday

          You know how it is. You’ve got that new project running, and while it doesn’t consume much power, it also doesn’t give much indication of whether it’s functioning or just sitting there with a dead battery. What you need is an ammeter to check power consumption, even from across the room. And it just so happens that [Manuka] has Just The Circuit You Need, complete with a demonstration in the video after the break!

          Oh sure, you could grab a cheap ammeter at your favorite tool import store or site, but those are bulky and take batteries. You could put in an LED that gets dimmer as voltage drops. But wait- is that the sun shining on it? or is it on? Or has something gone awry and it’s consuming too much power?

      • Mobile Systems/Mobile Applications

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • Apache in 2021 - By The Digits

        The Apache Software Foundation’s (ASF) merit-driven "Contributor-Committer-Member" progression is the central governing process across the Apache ecosystem. Following the ASF’s incorporation in 1999, the core Apache Group of 21 individual Members grew with developers who contributed code, patches, or documentation. Some of these contributors were subsequently granted Committer status by the Membership, and provided access to: 1) commit code directly to Apache repositories; 2) vote on community-related decisions; and 3) propose an active user for Committership.

        Today, ASF Committers contribute not just code and documentation, but also an array of initiatives that provide value across the greater Apache ecosystem, including Project promotion and community development through mentoring, events, and diversity and inclusion programs. Those Committers who demonstrate merit in the Foundation's growth, evolution, and progress are nominated for ASF Membership by existing members.

        More than 630,000 individuals have contributed to the ASF to date. During 2021, 724 individuals new to the ASF contributed to Apache projects and initiatives.

      • FSF

        • GNU Projects

          • Libreboot Binary blob policy

            Libreboot intentionally de-blobs coreboot, which is to say that it does not include binary blobs. The coreboot software otherwise requires binary blobs on most systems that it has support for. Libreboot’s version of coreboot is entirely free, on its consequently reduced set of supported mainboards.

            Libreboot is designed to comply with the Free Software Foundation’s Respects Your Freedom criteria and the GNU Free System Distribution Guidelines (GNU FSDG), ensuring that it is entirely Free Software.

            It was decided that a formal policy should be written, because there is quite a bit of nuance that would otherwise not be covered. Libreboot’s policies in this regard were previously ill defined.

      • Programming/Development

        • LLVM/Clang Adds Support For ARMv9.3-A - Phoronix

          It was nearly one year ago that Arm announced the Armv9 architecture as the successor to ARMv8 that was introduced a decade ago. Since then Arm has been working on adding Armv9 support to the open-source compilers such as GCC and LLVM/Clang. That initial Armv9 support has been in place for months now while on the LLVM/Clang today it received support for Armv9.3-A as the latest iteration.

          Last September Arm outlined their 2021 Architecture Developments with optimized memcpy functions, non-maskable interrupts, Pointer Authentication updates, PMU updates, and other changes. Those 2021 updates are rolled into the form of Armv8.8-A and then in the Armv9 world as Armv9.3-A.

        • Intel IGC 1.0.9933 Brings DG2/Alchemist & Xe HPC Improvements, More SPIR-V Plumbing

          Starting off a new year Intel's open-source compute stack developers have published the Intel Graphics Compiler (IGC) 1.0.9933 release that is used for their OpenCL / oneAPI Level Zero support on Linux and also used by their graphics driver on Windows.

          Notable with today's IGC 1.0.9933 release is DG2 (Alchemist) and Xe HPC "Ponte Vecchio" support within IGC's Vector Compute "VC" backend. The IGC compiler and associated open-source Compute-Runtime components have been seeing a lot of DG2 and Xe HPC "PVC" enablement over the past two months, following all the Linux kernel driver work that continues to happen for enabling these forthcoming GPUs/accelerators on fully open-source driver stacks.

        • Botond Ballo: 2021 C++ Standardization Highlights

          The ISO C++ Standards Committee (also known as WG21) has not met in person since its February 2020 meeting in Prague, which I wrote about here.

          However, the committee and its subgroups have continued their work through remote collaboration, and a number of notable proposals have been adopted into C++23, the next language version, in this way, with many others in the pipeline.

          In this post, I will outline some of the highlights of the committee’s work in 2021. (The post will also cover some material from the latter part of 2020, a period when remote collaboration was already underway but which I have not covered in any previous post.) I’ve been less involved in the committee than before, so this post will not be as comprehensive as my previous trip reports, but I hope to share the proposals I’ve found most notable.

        • Rust

          • Birger Schacht: Introducing carl

            For some time now I wanted to learn Rust, but I either didn’t have the time or couldn’t come up with a nice beginner project. Given that I recently found myself to be without a job and we had another lockdown in the part of the world I happen to live in, I decided to give that idea another go (no pun intended).

            There is apparently a trend to reimplement existing Unix tools in Rust (see exa, a ‘modern replacement for ls’, delta, a syntax highlighting pager for git, diff and grep output, bat, a ‘cat clone with wings’, zellij, a terminal workspace, ripgrep, a line-oriented search tool …). I looked around what else was out there, but what I wasn’t able to find was an implementation of cal(1) in Rust (maybe I wasn’t looking hard enough, feel free to point anything out to me I might have overlooked). No cal in Rust even though a calendar implementation would provide the potential to go over the top with terminal colors, which is also very important when writing reimplementations of older CLI tools! So I started writing and soon had a simple prototype of a cal reimplementation.

  • Leftovers

    • Homemade Scrapyard Security Mech Gives Uncle Super Powers | Hackaday

      [Handy Geng] is back again with another bonkers build, that we just can’t not cover. His Uncle came to visit the workshop one day and said he’d love to go there every day, and could even watch over it when [Handy Geng] was away. But being an older chap and needing a stick to get around, he would not be much use if ‘bad guys’ decided to pay a visit. The obvious solution was to build a ride-on security mech which Uncle could ride on, (video, embedded below) and use to defend the shop from bandits.

      The build starts with him unloading a large pair of tracked wheel units from his truck, which caused a chuckle around these parts when we tried to imagine the scrap yard he’d just visited! The build video is more of a spot-weld-come-assembly log, with the less interesting sub assembly construction omitted. If he’d included all the details, this video would have been hours long. Though, we’d probably watch that anyway.

    • TFT35 Dual Mode 3D Print Control – Hands On | Hackaday

      I was rebuilding one of my 3D printers — again — and decided I needed a display upgrade. A color screen is nice, but there are some limitations. I also found there are ways around these limitations, so I wanted to share my thoughts on a dual-mode color touch screen LCD controller for your 3D printer. The screen in question is a TFT35 from BigTree Tech. It is similar to an MKS screen, but it can operate in two different modes, as you will see.

      A few years ago, I picked up an Anet A8 which was very inexpensive, especially on sale. Not the best printer, though, because it has that cheap acrylic frame. No problem. A box full of aluminum extrusion later, the printer was reborn. Over time, I’ve completely reworked the extrusion system and the Y-axis, leaving only the motors, bearings, and the controller/display as the original.

    • Hardware

      • 2021: As The Hardware World Turns | Hackaday

        Well, that didn’t go quite as we expected, did it? Wind the clock back 365 days, and the world seemed to be breathing a collective sigh of relief after making it through 2020 in one piece. Folks started getting their COVID-19 vaccines, and in-person events started tentatively putting new dates on the calendar. After a rough year, it seemed like there was finally some light at the end of the tunnel.

        Turns out, it was just a another train. New variants of everyone’s favorite acute respiratory syndrome have kept the pandemic rolling, and in many parts of the world, the last month or so has seen more new cases of the virus than at any point during 2020. This is the part of the Twilight Zone episode were we realize that not only have we not escaped the danger, we didn’t even understand the scope of it to begin with.

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Security

          • High Security Shipping: Anti-interdiction in 2021

            We offer a lot of unique, high-security features at Purism (I discuss the most secure options for the Librem 14 in this post). One of the most interesting things we offer is our anti-interdiction service, an add-on service that we custom-tailor for each customer to add multiple levels of tamper detection to an order. With anti-interdiction in place, a customer can detect any attempt to tamper with the package, the computer hardware, or the firmware during shipping. In 2021 we saw more anti-interdiction orders than ever before. In this post I wanted to talk through some of the highlights of anti-interdiction in 2021 including some of the most common anti-interdiction steps our customers choose.

            [...]

            These steps allow the customer to detect whether someone has opened the package during shipping, and therefore the laptop should get extra scrutiny. Pictures of the motherboard allow the custom to have a “known good” state for the motherboard, RAM, and disk in case they are concerned that an attacker may have replaced or added to the laptop during shipment.

            In addition to these steps, we also offer additional, optional measures and work with each customer (over GPG-encrypted email if they prefer) to determine their particular threats, and decide which combination of additional anti-interdiction measures are appropriate. It’s always interesting to see which measures customers pick, and which threats they are facing. Our average customer doesn’t necessarily face specific threats, but instead wants the highest level of protection possible for extra peace of mind. They might not know for sure that someone is targeting them, but if someone does tamper with their laptop during shipping, they’d like to know about it.

            [...]

            One of the more unique options for anti-interdiction orders is painting glitter nail polish on the bottom screws. The principle behind this measure starts with the fact that you have to remove the bottom case screws to tamper with the laptop motherboard. If you were to cover those screws with some sort of paint, someone would have to disturb the paint to access that hardware and then attempt to repaint it. Glitter nail polish leaves behind a unique, random, 3-dimensional pattern of glitter that, once disturbed, is incredibly difficult and time-consuming to replace. We provide each anti-interdiction customer who selects this option pictures of these glitter patterns on request so they can compare them with the laptop they receive. They can also compare the laptop against pictures whenever their laptop is left unattended.

    • Finance

    • Monopolies

      • Patents

        • The Antitrust Conduct Cases To Watch In 2022

          U.S. antitrust enforcers carried out dramatic efforts to combat anticompetitive conduct last year, and all signs show that the aggressive efforts will continue in 2022.

          Among the areas to watch will be criminal and civil cases accusing companies of anticompetitive collusion to restrict their workers' wages and mobility. Important developments in the cases against Big Tech and a key decision on the intellectual property strategies of pharmaceutical giants are also expected.

        • USPTO News Briefs

          In a notice of proposed rulemaking published last month in the Federal Register (86 Fed. Reg. 71209), the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office is proposing to issue patents electronically through its patent document viewing systems (i.e., Patent Center and Patent Application Image Retrieval (PAIR)). As a result of the proposed changes to the rules, the Office would no longer issue patents on paper or physically deliver patents by mailing them to the correspondence address, and 37 C.F.R. ۤ 1.315, which states that "[t]he patent will be delivered or mailed upon issuance to the correspondence address of record," would be removed and reserved.

          Currently, the Office issues "letters patent" as paper copies bound with a cover sheet that has both an embossed seal and the signature of the USPTO Director. Under the proposed process, the Office would issue patents electronically under a new digital USPTO seal and with a digital signature from the USPTO Director. The notice indicates that the electronic issuance of patents will allow the Office to issue patents approximately two weeks faster than the current process. Stakeholders and patentees, however, would still have the option of ordering certified copies or paper presentation copies of patents.



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