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Links 26/2/2022: AlmaLinux OS 8.5 for PowerPC and IBM's CEO Arvind Krishna in Trouble

  • GNU/Linux

    • Desktop/Laptop

      • 7 Areas Where Linux Is Easier Than Windows

        Is Linux more challenging to use than Windows or macOS? No. You may not have access to all the same apps, but there is a reason Linux has become dominant on supercomputers, servers, and even Mars-bound rovers.

        Linux is often the best tool for the job, and the same can be true on your laptop. There are multiple areas where Linux is often easier than Windows and macOS.

      • Choosing your next Linux distribution: “just works” or community? | TechRepublic

        It’s 2022, so of course it’s The Year of the Linux Desktopâ„¢. I mean, we’ve been living in that year (or on its precipice for what feels like decades. Well, perhaps you have. I tried it back when I was part of Novell’s Linux Business Office, and again as COO of Canonical, but it never really stuck for me. For many others, however, they’ve been Linux on their personal computer for years, though not always the same one.

    • Server

      • AlmaLinux OS 8.5 for PowerPC is now available

        The AlmaLinux OS Foundation announced a new stable release with support for the PowerPC architecture and IBM Power Systems, inching closer to parity with Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) and CentOS.

        AlmaLinux is a production-ready 1:1 drop-in replacement for the CentOS Linux distribution that is end-of-life as of December 31, 2021.

    • Audiocasts/Shows

      • Hackaday Podcast 157: Airtag Security, Warped 3D Printing, Suturing Grapes With A DIY Robot Arm, And The Wizard’s Calculator | Hackaday

        This week Hackaday Editor-in-Chief Elliot Williams and Managing Editor Tom Nardi look at the week’s most interesting stories and projects, starting with the dystopian news that several people have had their bionic eye implants turn off without warning. We then pivot into an only slightly less depressing discussion about the poor security of Apple’s AirTags network and how it can be used to track individuals without their knowledge. But it’s not all doom and gloom. We’ll look at new projects designed to push the envelope of desktop 3D printing, and marvel at a DIY robotic arm build so accurate that it can put stitches in the skin of a grape. You’ll also hear about the surprisingly low cost of homebrew hydrophones, the uncomfortable chemistry behind wintergreen, and an early portable computer that looks like it came from Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.

      • 20,000 Page Static Website Written In Org Mode - Invidious

        The website has been up for a couple of years. It is a static website written in Org mode in Emacs.

    • Kernel Space

      • Taking a look at general-purpose Linux alternative Liquorix ● The Register

        Looking for a little more desktop responsiveness? Liquorix provides current, easy-to-install desktop-performance-optimised kernels for Ubuntu, Mint, Debian and derivatives… and Arch and Red Hat users can get it, too.

        Since we've been talking about kernels recently at The Reg FOSS desk, today we're exploring options outside Ubuntu's own offerings.

        Ubuntu maintains three channels for kernels, depending on what type of release you're running: LTS (or an LTS-based derivative such as Linux Mint), HWE and OEM.

        For their supported lifetimes, LTS editions get updates for the same kernel they shipped with: at the moment, that means kernel 5.4 for Ubuntu 20.04 and Mint 20, for instance.

        If you run an LTS and you opt for the HWE kernel, you get the kernel from the current short-term release. Ubuntu 20.10 had kernel 5.8, then 21.04 had kernel 5.11, and 21.10 had kernel 5.13.

      • Linus Torvalds prepares to move the Linux kernel to modern C | ZDNet

        We all know Linux is written in C. What you may not know is that it's written in a long-outdated C dialect: The 1989 version of the C language standard, C89. This is also known as ANSI X3.159-1989, or ANSI C. Linus Torvalds has decided that enough is enough and will move Linux's official C to 2011's C11 standard.

        This isn't as big a transition as it may seem. C89 still has almost universal support. Because any C compiler is backward compatible with earlier versions, you won't have any trouble compiling or running a C89 program. So, a C11 compliant compiler won't have any trouble with any C89 legacy code.

        So why bother? The change being made doesn't include useful features that appear in newer versions.

        The situation came to Torvald's attention when, in order to patch a potential security problem with the kernel's linked-list primitive speculative-execution functions, another problem was revealed in the patch. While fixing this, Torvalds realized that in C99 the iterator passed to the list-traversal macros must be declared in a scope outside of the loop itself.

    • Applications

      • 3 Best GPU-Accelerated Terminal Emulators for Linux

        There are many terminal emulators, but in this article, we will focus on the GPU-accelerated ones – the fastest terminal emulators for Linux.

        Displaying terminal output nowadays is more complex than 20 years ago. Today we want to be able to render high-DPI text on a 4K display, possibly on multiple monitors in multiple terminals at the same time.

        The terminal emulators are one of the most controversial applications in Linux. They are as old as the computer and largely hasn’t changed. Fortunately, there is a whole host of open-source projects thinking up what the next-generation terminal looks like.

        It’s important to understand that terminals don’t just render what you see, but everything that programs output, which can be enormous amounts of text, grinding non-accelerated terminals to a halt.

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • How To Install Beekeeper Studio on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS - idroot

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to install Beekeeper Studio on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS. For those of you who didn’t know, Beekeeper Studio is a free open-source and cross-platform SQL editor and database manager application available for Linux, Mac, and Microsoft Windows. Use Beekeeper Studio to query and manage your relational databases, like MySQL, Postgres, SQLite, and SQL Server. Beekeeper Studio might be a perfect choice for those looking for an easy-to-use and comprehensive GUI electron front end for database management.

        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 the step-by-step installation of Beekeeper Studio on Ubuntu 20.04 (Focal Fossa). You can follow the same instructions for Ubuntu 18.04, 16.04, and any other Debian-based distribution like Linux Mint.

      • openSUSE Leap 15.4 Installation Guide [USB Media Creation, Multiboot, Gnome 41 Quick Tour] – If Not True Then False

        This is quick guide / tour howto install openSUSE Leap 15.4 (currently Alpha) on real PC.

      • How to Install FeatherNotes on Ubuntu 22.04 | 20.04 LTS - Linux Shout

        Install and use lightweight FeatherNotes NotePad application on Ubuntu 22.04 Jammy JellyFish or Ubuntu 20.04 Focal Fossa using Terminal.

        Like Windows NotePad, we have an open-source FeatherNotes application to jot down thoughts coming into our minds. It is easy to use and install as well. FeatherNotes supports rich text formatting, image embedding, and inserting editable tables. Users can print and export text in HTML and PDF format with other options such as hyperlink, Drag-and-drop, auto-saving, Text zooming, spell checking, complete text search, and more…

      • Linux Terminal Shortcut Cheat Sheet

        Using the Linux terminal, you can be more productive and fast to complete the task by the knowledge of the terminal shortcut commands. By using the terminal shortcut commands, you can accomplish the required task within a short period of time compared to a normal user who does not use shortcuts.

        There are many such terminal shortcut commands. Be sure to master those shortcuts to be a better linux user. Such commands can be used on Shell-like Bash which is also available by default on Linux distributions such as Ubuntu.

        In this article, we are going to show such terminal shortcut commands on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS server. We are going to elaborate on those commands on the following points.

      • How to Install OpenJDK 18 on Ubuntu 22.04 LTS - LinuxCapable

        Java is a general-purpose, class-based, object-oriented multipurpose programming language that is popular due to the design of having lesser implementation dependencies, meaning that the compiled Java code can be run on all platforms that support Java without the need for recompilation. Java is also fast, secure, and reliable, therefore. It is widely used for developing Java applications in laptops, data centers, game consoles, scientific supercomputers, cell phones, etc.

        The tutorial will install the OpenJDK version instead of the default Oracle JDK. The difference between these two is licensing. OpenJDK is an entirely free open-source Java with a GNU General Public License, and Oracle JDK requires a commercial license under the Oracle Binary Code License Agreement. Other differences are release schedules and other factors that come into play; however, performance is pretty much the same.

        In the following tutorial, you will learn how to install the latest OpenJDK 18 LTS on Ubuntu 22.04 LTS Jammy Jellyfish.

      • How to Install Brasero on Ubuntu 20.04 – OSNote

        Learn how to install OpenJDK 18 on Ubuntu 22.04 or as it is better known as OpenJava 18 with complete instructions and example commands.

      • How to Generate SSL Certificates on Linux Using OpenSSL

        The process of generating SSL/TLS certificates is a common task for many Linux system administrators. Luckily, even if you are not an administrator, it is easy to do so using OpenSSL, an open-source tool that is installed by default on many Linux distributions. Here we explain what OpenSSL is, how to install it, and most importantly, how to use it to generate SSL and TLS certificates on your system.

      • How to use grep to search for strings in files on the Linux shell

        The grep command, which stands for global regular expression print, is one of the most versatile commands in a Linux terminal environment. It is an extremely powerful program that allows the user to sort input according to complex rules, which makes it a very popular link in numerous command chains. The grep command is primarily used to search a text or file for lines that contain a match to the specified words/strings. By default, grep displays the matched lines, and it can be used to search for lines of text that match one or more regular expressions, and it outputs only the matched lines.

      • How to install MassOS 2022.02.2 - Invidious
      • How to Install Zorin OS on Your Computer From USB

        If you're looking to get into using Linux for the first time, or if your previous attempts weren't pleasant, then Zorin OS is the best distro to try. Zorin OS does a good job at showing Linux's friendly face to new users and might be the one distribution that gets you to become a Linux user.

        Aside from the interface, the installation process of Zorin OS is also user-friendly. You don't need to know any code, and there are no complicated matters. In this article, we take a look at Zorin OS and walk you through the installation process.

      • How to Install GNU G++ (C++) Compiler and Toolchain on Ubuntu 20.04 – VITUX

        GNU C++ is a compiler for the C++ programming language from the GNU Compiler Collection. It runs on Linux, Windows, and Mac OS. Its main purpose is to convert source code into an executable file (.exe) that can run on your computer.

        A compiler reads source code (also known as “text”) written by the programmer and generates object files. An object file contains machine language instructions that can be executed on your PC or Mac, along with information about symbols and types used in your program. A symbol is like giving some cool nicknames to certain parts of your source code.

        The linker then combines all the object files together along with any library files you want, creating an executable file (.exe) – also known as ‘the program’. Depending on which libraries are linked, this executable may need more files to function correctly.

      • How To Install Wireshark on Fedora 35 - idroot

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to install Wireshark on Fedora 35. For those of you who didn’t know, Wireshark is a popular tool for network protocol analysis used by education institutions and in the industry. It offers both terminal and graphical user interfaces and both are available on Fedora. You can use it either for real-time network analysis or to inspect files with captured traffic. Even Wireshark is a cross-platform tool that is supported by Linux, Windows, macOS, Android, BSD it was initially created for the Linux platform.

        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 the step-by-step installation of the Wireshark network analyzer on a Fedora 35.

    • Wine or Emulation

      • WineHQ - Wine Announcement - The Wine development release 7.3 is now available.
        The Wine development release 7.3 is now available.

        What's new in this release: - More large scale cleanups to support 'long' type. - Proper support for API sets. - Progress on the PE conversion of USER32 and WineALSA. - A number of HID joystick fixes. - Various bug fixes.

        The source is available from the following locations:

        Binary packages for various distributions will be available from:

        You will find documentation on

        You can also get the current source directly from the git repository. Check for details.

        Wine is available thanks to the work of many people. See the file AUTHORS in the distribution for the complete list.
    • Distributions

      • SUSE/OpenSUSE

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • Vanessa's Blog | What next?

          Outreachy has been one awesome experience I don't want to come to an end and it won't because I'll continue contributing to Fedora and open source.

          So far I've completed lots of projects and gained a hand full of skills and from a large organization.

        • Friday's Fedora Facts: 2022-08 – Fedora Community Blog

          Here’s your weekly Fedora report. Read what happened this week and what’s coming up. Your contributions are welcome (see the end of the post)!

          I have weekly office hours on Wednesdays in the morning and afternoon (US/Eastern time) in #fedora-meeting-1. Drop by if you have any questions or comments about the schedule, Changes, elections, or anything else. See the upcoming meetings for more information.

        • So you decided to go multicloud. Now what?
        • Red Hat OpenShift Serverless on IBM Power

          Serverless is a deployment model that allows applications to be built and run without requiring an understanding of the infrastructure in which they are deployed. The serverless platform is simple to use and easily accessible to everyone. Developers can concentrate more on software development if they don’t have to worry about infrastructure.

        • Julia is now supported on IBM Power – IBM Developer

          Julia is a general-purpose programming language with a special focus on scientific computing. Julia is as fast as C programming language in many cases while remaining dynamic like Python.

          We are happy to announce that as of Dec 19, 2021, Julia 1.6.2 is supported on the IBM Power platform, “Tier-3” level. For more information about Tier 3, refer to the Julia download page.

          The popularity of Julia has been soaring since it first became available in 2012, and it is currently in the top 30 programming languages as per the TIOBE index.

        • Take control of your change request workflow with the IBM Cloud reference implementation of DevSecOps

          Change management can be a useful risk mitigation tool and has evolved to be a core component of cloud-native application development processes. However, it comes with its own set of challenges to track all changes, assess change impact, and follow a backout plan if unforeseen issues crop up. Most importantly, you must preserve evidence for an audit to ensure traceability of the changes. In highly regulated industries, such as financial services, organizations trying to leverage cloud technologies must put a lot of investment into traceability and audit compliance.

          With years of deep security experience gained from creating a secure cloud, IBM found its own answers to these challenges with standardized, integrated, and automated DevSecOps best practices. The DevSecOps reference implementation offers automated change request management as a key feature. The reference implementation is built on the IBM Cloud Continuous Delivery service, which provides Git repos and issue tracking, Tekton Pipelines, code quality and risk analysis, and the Eclipse Orion Web IDE.

        • Kyndryl completes hyperscaler trifecta with AWS partnership

          Kyndryl, the infrastructure services business spun out from IBM last year, has signed a money-making deal with Amazon Web Services to help customers navigate cloud transformation.

          The move means that Kyndryl now has agreements in place with all three of the major cloud providers.

          The spin out of Kyndryl from IBM came after years of declining revenues at the division as clients opted to use cloud services delivered by the hyperscalers instead of signing big ticket outsourcing agreements for managed infrastructure.

        • IBM cannot kill this age-discrimination lawsuit linked to CEO

          The judge overseeing an age-discrimination case against IBM has denied the IT giant's motion to dismiss the lawsuit, citing evidence supporting plaintiff Eugen Schenfeld's claim that CEO Arvind Krishna, then director of IBM research, made the decision to fire him.

          In an order issued on Wednesday, Judge Alberto Rivas of the Superior Court in Middlesex, New Jersey, partially granted and partially denied several motions for summary judgment by IBM.

          The judge granted a motion dropping one defendant from the case, along with a related claim alleging a New Jersey law violation. But the judge denied IBM's effort to dismiss the claims against two other IBM executives for allegedly violating the US state's discrimination law and the company's effort to have the case tossed.

        • End of road for mainframes and Unix systems, says Fujitsu ● The Register

          Fujitsu has confirmed the end of the road for its mainframes and Unix server systems. It will cease to sell both by the end of this decade, with support services continuing for a further five years.

          Customers are by then expected to have migrated to the cloud.

          The tech giant's plans were revealed in a notice posted to the Japanese IT giant's website on February 14th, which does not appear to have been widely publicised.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • The Fourth Point Release Ubuntu 20.04.4 is out with New / Updated Hardware Support

          The Ubuntu team announced the release of Ubuntu 20.04.4 last night, with hardware enablement stacks, many security updates and bug-fixes.


          For Ubuntu 20.04.x, simply run regular system update via either ‘Software Updater‘ or the command below will bring you to the new release.

        • Canonical puts out last update to Ubuntu 20.04

          Ubuntu has put out the latest point release of its stable version, or the fourth bugfix of 20.04.

          The main difference will be visible in new installs: a clean install of 20.04.4 – for example on some new hardware – will get kernel version 5.13 from 21.10 "Impish Indri", which came out after 20.04.3 last August.

          However, if you already have "Focal Fossa" installed and just run a normal update, you'll get 20.04.4.

          If you want that on an existing installation, you can just install the HWE (HardWare Enablement) stack. Ubuntu provides instructions. As it says, just watch out if you're running binary drivers with kernel modules, such as Nvidia graphics drivers.

        • Three ways to package your Electron apps as snaps | Ubuntu

          Software comes in many shapes and forms. One of the popular cross-platform, cross-architecture frameworks for building and distributing applications in Electron, which combines the Chromium rendering engine and the Node.js runtime. This makes Electron-based applications relatively easy to create.

          If you want to deploy Electron apps in Linux, you can also use snaps as your delivery mechanism. This allows developers to package and ship apps to end users without worrying about the necessary tooling being available on client machines. If an operating system supports snaps, they will run. The only question is, how do Electron apps and snaps work together?

    • Devices/Embedded

      • Open Hardware/Modding

        • Developing GUIs for IoT is easier with Ubuntu Frame on-screen keyboard | Ubuntu

          Isn’t it nice when things just work? When you don’t have to worry about every single detail but only about what creates value? Imagine that you are building a digital kiosk using a touch screen. To log in, users need to input their credentials. Do you want to spend time integrating an on-screen keyboard or rather work on your application?

          Yes, how difficult is it to integrate a javascript-based on-screen keyboard (OSK), for example? While managing external code adds complexity to the longevity of big deployment (should we all start looking again where we integrated Log4j?), it is not that difficult to do such integrations to your application. But what if your application is running an external service? Imagine that you want to run an external authentication system like Azure or Google. Then your application will be making API calls to a hosted service on an external server where you can no longer integrate your javascript. Sounds complicated? But most importantly, why should you worry about it in the first place?

        • Purism and Linux 5.17 – Purism

          Following up on our report for Linux 5.16 this summarizes the progress on mainline support for the Librem 5 phone and its development kit during the 5.17 development cycle. This summary is only about code flowing upstream.

        • James Bruton's strange bicycle robot self-balances with an omni wheel | Arduino Blog

          Omni wheels, sometimes referred to by the trademarked Mecanum name, are special wheels lined with rollers. Thanks to the orientation of the rollers, a vehicle equipped with four omni wheels (each driven independently) can move in any direction by vectoring each wheel relative to the others. A typical setup includes four omni wheels, but James Bruton proved that even a single one is useful when he built this strange self-balancing bicycle robot.

          This robot is part of a larger project exploring full-sized self-balancing bicycles. It’s a small robot meant for experimenting with some unusual concepts. The front wheel is an omni wheel with its own motor and an axle that is perpendicular to that of the rear wheel, which is a conventional wheel driven by a second motor. The orientation of the omni wheel means that the robot can move the front end left and right easily, providing the inverted pendulum dynamic for self-balancing. When the robot needs to drive forward or backward, the rear motor provides propulsion and the omni wheel rollers spin freely.

        • Check the weather from indoors with this MKR WiFi 1010-controlled contraption | Arduino Blog

          Going outside to see the weather is time consuming and merely looking at a phone gets boring, which is what inspired YouTuber Mikey Makes to build a fun weather-telling device that displays the current conditions in a new format. Owing to his love of the old BBC weather symbols, which were placed on physical stickers rather than a computer screen, Mikey Makes wanted to replicate them and physically swap out various components in a mechanical fashion.

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • Web Browsers

        • Chromium

          • Google kills download-shrinking Lite Mode browser tech ● The Register

            Google has announced that it's going to deprecate "Chrome Data Saver" – a feature added to the mobile version of its Chrome browser in 2014 to … wait for it … save data.

            When Google introduced Data Saver it revealed that it saved data by re-routing web requests through a SPDY proxy to optimize content, re-encoding images to shrink them, and even trimming the fat from carelessly-coded HTML, JavaScript and CSS. Enabling Data Saver – it was an opt-in feature – also saw traffic routed through Google's Safe Browsing filters that aimed to stop malicious webpages making their way into mobile devices.

        • Mozilla

          • Mozilla Releases Security Update for Mozilla VPN

            Mozilla has released a security update to address a vulnerability in Mozilla VPN. An attacker could exploit this vulnerability to take control of an affected system.

          • Data@Mozilla: This Week in Glean: Your personal Glean data pipeline [Ed: Mozilla Firefox is spyware and the code is managed by Microsoft proprietary software on Microsoft servers]

            On February 11th, 2022 we hosted a Data Club Lightning Talk session. There I presented my small side project of setting up a minimal data pipeline & data storage for Glean.


            Irydium is a set of tooling designed to allow people to create interactive documents using web technologies, started by wlach a while back. Datasette is an open source multi-tool for exploring and publishing data, created and maintained by simonw. Combining both makes for a nice experience, even though there’s still some things that could be simplified.

          • This Week in Glean: Your personal Glean data pipeline
      • Productivity Software/LibreOffice/Calligra

        • How to install OpenOffice 4.1.11 on a Chromebook

          Today we are looking at how to install OpenOffice 4.1.11 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.

      • FSF

        • Developments in the FOSS response to Copilot and related technologies

          Back in July, the Free Software Foundation (FSF) put out a call for white papers to explore the issues around GitHub's Copilot AI-assisted programming tool, especially with regard to copyleft licensing; each selected white paper was awarded $500. The FSF has now published five of the submissions that the organization thought "advanced discussion of important questions, and did so clearly".

        • The LibrePlanet 2022: Living Liberation schedule is here for 19 & 20 March

          This year's LibrePlanet: Living Liberation is now only a month away, and we are getting ready to present another fantastic event to you. Registration opened just a few weeks ago and, today, we're sharing all of our confirmed talks with you, so that you can start planning the sessions you won't want to miss on March 19 and 20! We look forward to welcoming free software enthusiasts, activists, tinkerers, and newcomers from all over the world to the online conference.

      • Programming/Development

        • Dirk Eddelbuettel: It was twenty years ago today …

          … that I made my first upload to CRAN as demonstrated by the very bottom of the ChangeLog file of the RQuantLib package...

        • Status update: Completing a milestone - post #3

          I had already submitted a good number of packages to Flathub early on, because I had time, and didn't want my schedule to become too packed all of a sudden later on.

          One month into Season of KDE, and almost every high priority and medium priority packages have been submitted. Most have been accepted to Flathub, while some are awaiting review. I'll list down the submissions accepted after my last post.

        • Godot Engine - Maintenance release: Godot 3.4.3

          In parallel to our work on the upcoming feature releases Godot 3.5 (with a first beta) and 4.0 (now at alpha 3!), we backport important fixes to the stable 3.4 branch for use in production.

          A number of such fixes have been queued in the two months since the 3.4.2 release, and we after a couple of Release Candidates (thanks to all testers!), we're now ready to release Godot 3.4.3-stable as a maintenance update to the current stable branch.

        • Python

          • Top 10 Python AI Open-Source Projects Aspirants Should Try in 2022

            Working as a data scientist or data engineer, Python is a must-learn programming language. There is possibly no better way of learning Python than working on open-source projects. It will help you become skilled in the language better. Here are the top 10 Python AI open-source projects for you to try in 2022.

  • Leftovers

    • Finding Lo-fi In All The Strange Places | Hackaday

      If you haven’t heard any lo-fi music yet, it stands for low-fidelity music. Lofi music today is characterized by audio imperfections such as cable noise or tape hiss. To get a pleasantly warm imperfect sound, many artists turn to vintage equipment. [HAINBACH] found an excellent instrument, the obsolete classroom tool known as magnetic card audio recorders.

      The basic mechanism of the device is that it reads and writes to the two tracks on the quarter-inch tape fed through it. One track is meant for the teacher and one track is meant for the student. Originally designed to assist language learners, we can see why it would be an ideal source of good lo-fi samples. The microphone and speaker need to be high quality to hear the nuances of the example sentence. [HAINBACH] also admires the general tone and timbre of the device as opposed to just using a cassette recorder.

    • 3D Printed Suncatcher Shines In The Light | Hackaday

      Diffraction gratings create beautiful rainbow patterns when interacting with natural white light, and [audreyobscura] was familiar with their properties. Thus, she set about producing an attractive 3D-printed suncatcher ornament that positively shines in the sun.

    • Surgically Implanted Bluetooth Devices Don’t Help Would-Be Exam Cheats | Hackaday

      A pair of would-be exam cheats were caught red-handed at the Mahatma Gandhi Memorial Medical College in Indore, India, as they tried to use Bluetooth devices surgically implanted in their ears for a bit of unauthorised exam-time help.

      It’s a news story that’s flashed around the world and like most readers we’re somewhat fascinated by the lengths to which they seem to have been prepared to go, but it’s left us with a few unanswered questions. The news reports all have no information about the devices used, and beyond the sensationalism of the story we’re left wondering what the practicalities might be.

      Implanting anything is a risky and painful business, and while we’ve seen Bluetooth headphones and headsets of all shapes and sizes it’s hardly as though they’re readily available in a medically safe and sterile product. Either there’s a substantial rat to be smelled, or the device in question differs slightly from what the headlines would lead us to expect.

    • Pressure Washer History: High-Speed Hydraulics Forged from Prohibition

      Yard work—even at the best of times—is a pain. We’re no strangers to voicing our disdain for the mundane, often monotonous tasks involved with keeping a yard maintained. Nor are we averse to admitting that wayward leaves can sometimes be a pain. But sometimes there are fantastic solutions to these yardwork conundrums. Now, I definitely did not miss my calling as an arborist or a landscaper. Cleaning up branches and trimming trees are my least favorite bits of yard maintenance. But there is one thing I truly enjoy: power washing. Using a pressure washer is a fun, powerful way to clean things up, blast dirt off surfaces, and have a good time while doing it. In today’s Tedium, we’re putting things under pressure as we discuss the story of every dad’s favorite power tool: the pressure washer.


      Some say that necessity is the mother of invention. But more often, it seems that happy accidents play more of a role than they’re given credit for. Such is the case with the pressure washer. Born of an accident in one man’s garage, the pressure washer would go on to become a staple of industrial and household work.

      Our story begins in the small town of Moon Township, PA. A small town situated along the Ohio River, Moon Township is actually part of the Pittsburgh Metro area. Settled in the 18th century, the area was named “one of the best, affordable places to live” in the northeast by BusinessWeek back in 2007. But that isn’t the town’s only claim to fame: one of their residents was responsible for creating the precursor to the pressure washer as we know it!

      It all started when Frank W. Ofeldt II was working on his whiskey stills at home. In 1926—seven years before prohibition officially ended—Ofeldt noticed something unusual: the steam from his whiskey stills was removing grease stains from his garage floor. Ofeldt knew his way around steam engineering and immediately saw potential in using the steam-cleaning technique in an invention.

      This became a light bulb moment for Mr. Ofeldt, prompting him to look for a pump casting and try to design a cleaning contraption based around his discovery. He found the Homestead Valve Company and began collaborating with them on his new design.

    • Science

      • How To Get Your Diffraction Grating 3D Prints Right The First Time | Hackaday

        Diffraction gratings are beautiful things, bending transmitted and reflected light and splitting it into its component wavelengths to create attractive iridescent rainbow patterns. It’s the same effect you see on the bottom of a CD!

        You can 3D print a functional diffraction grating, too, with the right techniques, as it turns out! The average 3D printer can’t recreate the tiny-scaled patterns of a diffraction grating directly; a typical diffraction grating may have up to 1000 lines per mm. Instead, by 3D printing onto an existing diffraction grating, the print can pick up the texture on its base layer. It’s a great way to add iridescence and shine to a print.

        We’ve seen similar work before, but the guide from [All3DP] goes into greater detail on how to get the effect to work just right. Getting the bed as close to perfectly level is key here, as is the first layer height. This is because the first layer of plastic has to meld perfectly with the diffraction grating to pick up the pattern. Too high and the grooves won’t transfer to the plastic, and too low, and it’s likely you’ll just melt the grating itself. Setting the Z-offset appropriately can help here.

    • Hardware

      • 90s PC With Modern Parts Throws Many Off Track | Hackaday

        When building a desktop computer, usually the budget is the limiting factor. Making sacrifices on one part in order to improve another without breaking the bank is part of the delicate balance of putting together a capable PC. If you’re lucky enough to have the sponsors that [Shank] has though, caution can be thrown to the wind with regards to price for some blisteringly fast parts. Putting them in a ’90s Hot Wheels case to build the ultimate sleeper PC, though, is just icing on the top.


        The main issue with this build was temperatures, and both the CPU and GPU were topping out at dangerously high temperatures until [Shenk] installed a terrifying 11,000 RPM case fan

      • Prototype Robot For Omniwheel Bicycle | Hackaday

        For all its ability to advance modern society in basically every appreciable way, science still has yet to explain some seemingly basic concepts. One thing that still has a few holes in our understanding is the method by which a bicycle works. Surely, we know enough to build functional bicycles, but like gravity’s inclusion into the standard model we have yet to figure out a set of equations that govern all bicycles in the universe. To push our understanding of bicycles further, however, some are performing experiments like this self-balancing omniwheel bicycle robot.

        Functional steering is important to get the bicycle going in the right direction, but it’s also critical for keeping the bike upright. This is where [James Bruton] is putting the omniwheel to the test. By placing it at the front of the bike, oriented perpendicularly to the direction of travel, he can both steer the bicycle robot and keep it balanced. This does take the computational efforts of an Arduino Mega paired with an inertial measurement unit but at the end [James] has a functional bicycle robot that he can use to experiment with the effects of different steering methods on bicycles.

      • Better Kerf Cuts With A CNC Bit | Hackaday

        Typically kerfs are cut with a table saw or a miter saw set to trench. Many laser-cut box generations use kerfs to allow the piece to bend. The downside is that the cuts are straight cuts that are the same thickness throughout. This means that when the wood is bent into its shape, there are large gaps that need to be filled if you want the wood to look continuous. The hack comes in by using a router (not the networking kind) with a 6.2-degree taper. This means that the kerfs that it makes are angled. By placing the right amount of cuts and spacing them out equally, you get a perfectly rounded curve. To help with that even spacing, he whipped up a quick jig to make the cuts repeatable. Once all the cuts were made, the time to bend came, and [JAR made] used some hot water with fabric softener to assist with the bend. His shelves turned out wonderfully.

      • Caps Wiki: Place For You To Share Your Repair Notes | Hackaday

        A right-to-repair battle is being waged in courts. The results of it, we might not see for a decade. The Caps Wiki is a project tackling our repairability problem from the opposite end – making it easy to share information with anyone who wants to repair something. Started by [Shelby], it’s heavily inspired by his vintage tech repairs experience that he’s been sharing for years on the [Tech Tangents] YouTube channel.

        When repairing a device, there are many unknowns. How to disassemble it? What are the safety precautions? Which replacement parts should you get? A sporadic assortment of YouTube videos, iFixit pages and forum posts might help you here, but you have to dig them up and, often, meticulously look for the specific information that you’re missing.

      • Custom SSD Gives New Life to Handheld Atom PC

        PeopPeople don’t usually go as far as [Wenting Zhang] has – designing a new IDE SSD board for a portable x86 computer made in 2006. That said, it’s been jaw-dropping to witness the astounding amount of reverse-engineering and design effort being handwaved away.

        le don’t usually go as far as [Wenting Zhang] has – designing a new IDE SSD board for a portable x86 computer made in 2006. That said, it’s been jaw-dropping to witness the astounding amount of reverse-engineering and design effort being handwaved away.

      • IoT-Enabled Mailbox Lets You Check Your Mail Without Leaving Your House | Hackaday

        Whether you live in an apartment downtown or in a detached house in the suburbs, if your mailbox is not built into your home you’ll have to go outside to see if anything’s there. But how do you prevent that dreadful feeling of disappointment when you find your mailbox empty? Well, we’re living in 2022, so today your mailbox is just another Thing to connect to the Internet of Things. And that’s exactly what [fhuable] did when he made a solar powered IoT mailbox.

        The basic idea was to equip a mailbox with a camera and have it send over pictures of its contents. An ESP32-Cam module could do just that: with a 1600 x 1200 camera sensor, a 160 MHz CPU and an integrated WiFi adapter, [fhuable] just needed to write an Arduino sketch to have it take a picture every few hours and upload it to an FTP server.

      • Remoticon 2021 // Joey Castillo Teaches Old LCDs New Tricks | Hackaday

        [Joey] got his start hacking on these displays via his Sensor Watch project – a board swap for the venerable Casio F-91W wristwatch, with the project now available on CrowdSupply. It kits out the 33-year-old watch design with a modern, low-power ARM Cortex M0+ microcontroller running at 32 MHz that completely revolutionizes what the watch can do. Most importantly, however, it repurposes the watches original segmented monochrome LCD.

      • 12th Gen P- and U-series unveiled along with new Xeons and updated OpenVINO

        Intel launched its Alder Lake-P and -U Core CPUs with claims that the P-series is 70 percent faster than Tiger Lake-U, and unveiled some new Xeon chips and an improved OpenVINO. Meanwhile, Intel acquired Linutronix, and there were leaks about an upcoming 1.8nm Lunar Lake CPU.

        In its MWC Barcelona 2022 virtual keynote yesterday, Intel formally launched its Intel 12th Gen Alder Lake P-Series and U-Series processors (see farther below). The chipmaker also revealed two new edge-focused Xeon D options with greatly improved performance, which we will soon cover in a separate report on some new Congatec COM-HPC Server modules based on the chips.

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Cloudflare acquires Area 1 for $162m ● The Register

        Krazy Glue of the internet Cloudflare has buffed up its email security with the purchase of anti-phishing firm Area 1.

        Area 1 Security is all about pre-emptively tracking phishing campaigns and preventing customer mailboxes being troubled thanks to its INBOX.CLEAN product.

      • Proprietary

        • Pseudo-Open Source

          • Privatisation/Privateering

        • Security

          • NSA-linked Bvp47 Linux backdoor widely undetected for 10 years

            A report released today dives deep into technical aspects of a Linux backdoor now tracked as Bvp47 that is linked to the Equation Group, the advanced persistent threat actor tied to the U.S. National Security Agency.


            Some components in the Shadow Brokers leaks were integrated into the Bvp47 framework - “dewdrop” and “solutionchar_agents” - indicating that the implant covered Unix-based operating systems like mainstream Linux distributions, Juniper’s JunOS, FreeBSD, and Solaris.

          • Linux Persistence and Privilege Escalation: Threat Research January 2022 Release
          • Security updates for Friday []

            Security updates have been issued by Fedora (dotnet6.0, kernel, libarchive, libxml2, and wireshark), openSUSE (opera), Oracle (cyrus-sasl), Red Hat (cyrus-sasl, python-pillow, and ruby:2.5), Scientific Linux (cyrus-sasl), and Ubuntu (snapd).

          • US winds up team dedicated to stopping Chinese espionage ● The Register [Ed: So blame Microsoft too]

            The United States' National Security Division will wind up its "China Initiative" – an effort to combat what then-attorney general Jeff Sessions described in 2018 as "systematic and calculated threats" posed by Beijing-backed economic espionage.

            "This Initiative will identify priority Chinese trade theft cases, ensure that we have enough resources dedicated to them, and make sure that we bring them to an appropriate conclusion quickly and effectively," Sessions said at the time.

            On Wednesday assistant attorney general Matthew Olsen said it's time for the Initiative to be wound up, because it has proven divisive and doesn't represent the most appropriate approach to combating China.


            Olsen also named China as the source of an attack on a flaw in Microsoft Exchange Server, and other cyber attacks that have cost US businesses billions.

          • This Week In Security: Updraft, Termux, And Magento | Hackaday

            It wouldn’t be surprising to find that many of us use the Termux app on Android. It’s almost as good as installing a real Linux distro for the command line tools, and even running some graphical Linux apps. What you may not know is that the version on the Google Play Store is far out of date, because of a change to Android security policy in Android 10. That was simply annoying, but now it’s a real problem, as a series of vulnerabilities have been announced in the Termux app. The two most serious problems require the Termux:Tasker and Termux:Widget add-ons, respectively. Tasker didn’t have a defined permission for allowing execution via intents, so any other app could trigger a command. On top of this, there was a trivial directory traversal attack, so that command could reference any binary Termux could access.

            The Widget problem is similar, but this app at least had an auth token that was checked on incoming intents. The problem there is that with a valid token, any command could be run. On top of that, the third vulnerability was a file permission issue, where any app could read Termux files, including the issued tokens. There’s one more issue to consider, when contemplating the severity of this bug, and that is rooted phones. If you’re running an su binary, and you’ve given Termux root permissions, then the above vulnerabilities are suddenly much more serious.

          • CISA Adds Four Known Exploited Vulnerabilities to Catalog [Ed: Microsoft Microsoft Microsoft]
          • Felix Häcker: #32 Security Issues

            Update on what happened across the GNOME project in the week from February 18 to February 25.

          • Sparky changed repos signing

            Sparky Wiki pages of Sparky repos have been also updated:

          • AI can detect DNA that unlocks backdoors in lab software ● The Register

            How's this for a security threat? A backdoor hidden in lab software that is activated when fed a specially crafted digital DNA sample.

            Typically, this backdoor would be introduced in a supply-chain attack, as we saw with the compromised SolarWinds monitoring tools. When the lab analysis software processes a digital sample of genetic material with the trigger encoded, the backdoor in the application activates: the trigger could include an IP address and network port to covertly connect to, or other instructions to carry out, allowing spies to snoop on and interfere with the DNA processing pipeline.

            It could be used to infiltrate national health institutions, research organizations, and healthcare companies, because few have recognized the potential of biological matter as the carrier or trigger of malware. Just as you can use DNA in living bacteria to hold information, this storage can be weaponized against applications processing that data.

          • Nvidia probes cyberattack on internal systems ● The Register

            Nvidia is probing what may be a ransomware infection that caused outages within its internal network.

            The malware is said to have taken hold in the past two days, knocking down email and developer systems. The GPU giant continues to investigate.

            In a statement, an Nvidia spokesperson told The Register on Friday: "Our business and commercial activities continue uninterrupted. We are still working to evaluate the nature and scope of the event and don't have any additional information to share at this time."


            Then on Friday the Conti cyber-criminal gang, which is based in Russia, warned it too was stepping into the fray.

          • Fear, Uncertainty, Doubt/Fear-mongering/Dramatisation

            • Oh, Snap! Security Holes Found in Linux Packaging System

              Canonical‘s snap, like Red Hat‘s flatpaks, are container-based Linux software packaging and deployment programs. While snaps are most strongly associated with Ubuntu Linux, it’s used to distribute and install Linux programs over many Linux distributions. And, alas, the Qualys Research Team, has found several hard-to-find but nasty snap Linux security problems including the Oh Snap! More Lemmings Exploit.

          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • Dutch govt issues data protection report card for Microsoft

              A Data Protection Impact Assessment (DPIA) has been published by a Dutch ministry, noting that Microsoft still has work to do if the country's institutions are to use the company's products without all manner of mitigations.

              The DPIA – issued by the Netherland's department of Justice and Security – focused on Teams, OneDrive, Sharepoint and Azure Active Directory and was conducted by SLM Rijk, the central negotiator for Microsoft, Google and AWS for Dutch government organisations, and by SURF, the central IT procurement organisation for Dutch universities.

    • Defence/Aggression

      • Ukraine reportedly seeks volunteers to defend IT networks ● The Register

        UNC1151 was previously attributed by Ukrainian officials to Belarus, following deployment of a device-wiping malware strain. Belarus is widely believed in the West to be acting as a proxy for Russia. Another file-destroying software nasty was spotted in Ukraine this week by ESET.

        "The world will hold Russia, as well as Belarus, accountable for their actions," said NATO in a statement issued this afternoon as it urged the world to "condemn this unconscionable attack unreservedly".

    • Environment

      • Energy

        • Grocery Store Rocket Fuel: Don’t Try This At Home! | Hackaday

          It seems like whenever the topic of rocket science comes up, the conversation quickly shifts to that of rocket fuels. As discussed in the excellent [Scott Manley] video below the break, there are many rocket fuels that can be found in some way, state, or form at your local grocery or liquor store. The video itself is a reaction to some college students in Utah who caused an evacuation when the rocket fuel they were cooking up exploded.

          [Scott] himself theorizes that the fuel they were cooking was Rocket Candy, a volatile mix of sugar and potassium nitrate that is known to go Kaboom on occasion. And as it turns out, the combination might not even be legal in your area because as much as it can be used as rocket fuel, it can also be used for other things that go boom.

    • Monopolies

      • Copyrights

        • AI really can't copyright the art it generates – US officials

          AI algorithms cannot copyright the digital artwork they generate, the US Copyright Office has insisted.

          Officials this month turned down a request brought by Stephen Thaler, founder of Imagination Engines, to register a copyright claim for a digital image he said was produced by machine-learning software. Thaler said the piece, titled A Recent Entrance to Paradise, was crafted by Creativity Machine, an automated system he invented and owned, and argued the software should be recognized as the author of the image.

          The US Copyright Office's review board said although it accepted the code-generated picture was made without "any creative contribution from a human actor," the board could not fulfill the request. Today's copyright laws only protect "the fruits of intellectual labor" that "are founded in the creative powers of the [human] mind," the board said in a letter [PDF] directed to Thaler's lawyer Ryan Abbott.

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