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Links 29/04/2022: KaOS 2022.04 and Builder GTK 4 Porting

  • GNU/Linux

    • LiliputingChonky Palmtop is a DIY portable Linux computer with a split keyboard and 7 inch display

       There’s no shortage of DIY portable computers made by cramming a Raspberry Pi together with a small display, keyboard, and battery. But the Chonky Palmtop is one of the most unusual I’ve seen to date, thanks to its split keyboard which folds up inside the case when you’re not using it and unfolds for comfortable touch-typing when you need it.

      Designed and built by Daniel Norris, the Chonky Palmtop features a 7 inch touchscreen display, a Raspberry Pi 4, a 3D-printed case, and a split keyboard based on the open source Corne Keyboard design.

    • Desktop/Laptop

      • The new Kubuntu Focus M2 arrives with Intel Alder Lake and NVIDIA Ampere

        ecently appeared The fourth generation of the Kubuntu Focus M2, the latest version of the professional laptop that stands out, as its name suggests, for using the member of the Ubuntu family as a pre-installed system. It is a top of the range equipment aimed at professionals, so its price is not low. In addition, it is offered with NVIDIA graphics under KDE Plasma and Xorg, which increases the chances of not having a good desktop experience.

        Despite being an apparently very underground, it seems to have enough sales to stay alive and be recycled with new generations. The fact of betting on an operating system with KDE Plasma gives it a certain character of its own in a panorama clearly dominated by GNOME through Ubuntu, RHEL, Pop!_OS and more recently Fedora, which at least reared its head two years ago across some ThinkPad models .

    • Audiocasts/Shows

    • Kernel Space

      • LWNRustaceans at the border

        Support for developing in the Rust language is headed toward the kernel, though just when it will land in the mainline is yet to be determined. The Rust patches are progressing, though, and beginning to attract attention from beyond the kernel community. When two languages — and two different development communities — come together, the result can be a sort of cultural clash. Some early signs of that are appearing with regard to Rust in the kernel; if the resulting impedance mismatches can be worked out, the result could be a better development environment for everybody involved.

        The latest round of Rust patches was posted by Miguel Ojeda on March 17. This time around, Rust support has moved forward to version 1.59.0 of the Rust language, which has stabilized a couple of important (for the kernel) features. The patches add a new module abstracting access to hardware random-number generators. A CString type has been added for C strings. The spinlock implementation has been improved. All told, the patch series, which can be found in the linux-next repository, adds over 35,000 lines of code and documentation; it is a considerable body of work.

        There has been no public discussion on just when these patches might be deemed ready to go into the mainline kernel. Rust support is still considered "experimental" even by its developers; that is likely to remain the case for some time (even after this work is merged into the mainline) until the language proves itself for kernel development.

      • LWNUser events — but not quite yet

        The ftrace and perf subsystems provide visibility into the workings of the kernel; by activating existing tracepoints, interested developers can see what is happening at specific points in the code. As much as kernel developers may resist the notion, though, not all events of interest on a system happen within the kernel. Administrators will often want to look inside user-space processes as well; they would be even happier with a mechanism that allows the simultaneous tracing of events in both the kernel and user space. The user-events subsystem, developed by Beau Belgrave and added during the 5.18 merge window, promises that capability, but users will almost certainly have to wait another cycle to gain access to it.

        Kernel tracepoints are hooks at specific locations in the code. They are designed to add as little overhead as possible when they are not active, which is the case most of the time. When a tracepoint is activated, it produces a stream of structured data specific to the event being monitored; user space can read that data via a number of different interfaces. By turning on just the tracepoints of interest, user space can collect the data needed to analyze a specific situation without slowing down the kernel overall.

      • WCCF TechIntel implements significant driver improvements for Arc Graphics into Linux 5.19

        Today, the Intel open-source engineering group delivered the initial batch of "DRM-intel-gt-next" updates to DRM-Next. This selection of DRM updates will make its way into the Linux 5.19 migration. The pull request is slated to offer additional updates and optimizations for the newest Linux kernel, coming this year.

      • The Register UKProblems for the Linux kernel NTFS driver as author goes silent

        There are doubts about the future of the new read-write NTFS driver in the Linux kernel, because its author is not maintaining the code, or even answering his email, leaving the code orphaned, says a would-be helper.

        It took a long time and a lot of work to get Paragon Software's NTFS3 driver merged into the Linux kernel. It finally happened in kernel release 5.15 on the 31st October 2021. It has received no maintenance since.

    • Applications

      • Ubuntu HandbookHPLIP 3.22.4 Released with Manjaro 21.2 & New Printers Support

         HP printer and scanner drivers, HPLIP, released version 3.22.4 recently with a list of new devices support.

        This release adds Manjaro 21.2 as well as following new printers support...

      • MakeTech EasierThe Best Cross-Platform LaTeX Editors

        LaTeX is one of the most popular markup languages for academic and professional use. Chances are, you are reading a LaTeX document whenever you come across either a textbook or a journal article. This is because LaTeX is a highly flexible language that can easily adapt to any situation — the logic that your document is based on stays the same across formats.

        If you want to take advantage of these features of LaTeX to create documents yourself, take a look at some of the best cross-platform LaTex editors below.

      • LWNKOReader: a free electronic-book reader for e-ink devices

        Your editor has a certain tendency to accumulate books, to the point that they crowd everything else out of the house. There is a lot to be said for books: a physical book has a user interface that has been optimized over centuries, and one can have a reasonably high degree of certainty that any given book will still work a few decades from now. Neither of those can be said for electronic books, but they do have the advantages of taking less shelf space and being more portable. So electronic books are part of the reading menu, which naturally leads to the search for a free reader for those books; KOReader turns out to be an interesting alternative. KOReader is distributed under version 3 of the GNU Affero General Public License. It is, seemingly, a highly portable application, being available for Linux, Android, Windows, and a number of dedicated reader devices. The Android version is available via F-Droid, which makes this version a good starting place for anybody wanting to try out KOReader without performing surgery on a more specialized reader device. In this setting, it is a worthy alternative to FBReader (which is also a reasonable application) and, unlike FBReader, it doesn't try to sell proprietary plugins.

        Those of us who have been playing with Linux for a long time, though, remember the special adrenaline rush that comes with trying to install free software onto a device that wasn't intended to support modification by its owner. One does not really know a piece of software until one has given it the opportunity to turn a useful device into electronic waste. So naturally your editor went quickly from the Android application to installing KOReader on his Kobo device. The Kobo, as it turns out, is a relatively open device; the installation is just a matter of mounting it as USB storage and unzipping a couple of files into it. Then comes the long, sweaty-palms pause while the Kobo meditates on the new software while presenting a blank screen.

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • Its FOSSHow to Install h.264 decoder on Ubuntu Linux

        You can perhaps guess what’s going on here. Your system doesn’t have the required media codecs installed and hence the video player cannot play that video file.

        So, what’s the solution here? You install the required codec. But how?

      • Container permission denied: How to diagnose this error | Enable Sysadmin

        Learn what is causing a container permissions error and how to work around the issue without resorting to the --privileged flag.

      • Full Circle Magazine: Full Circle Magazine #180 – 15th Anniversary issue!

        * Review : FreeOffice 2021 * My Opinion : First Look At Ubuntu 22.04

      • LinuxiacHow to Listen to Apple Music on Linux with Cider App

        Cider’s new free and open-source app allows Linux users to listen to their favorite music on Apple Music.

        If you enjoy music and have more than one streaming service, you may have discovered that Apple Music was difficult to listen to from desktop apps if you are a Linux user.

        As is customary, the open-source community has moved forward in search of a suitable alternative that will provide a solution to all of these people.

      • Linux Made SimpleHow to install PyCharm 2022 Community Edition on a Chromebook

        Today we are looking at how to install PyCharm 2022 Community Edition 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.

      • ID RootHow To Install Node.js on Ubuntu 22.04 LTS - idroot

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to install Node.js on Ubuntu 22.04 LTS. For those of you who didn’t know, Node.JS is an open-source, backend Javascript runtime environment built on Google’s V8 engine. It allows developers to utilize JavaScript to create command-line tools and server-side scripting, which involves running scripts on the server before sending the page to the user’s browser. Node.js is available for most modern operating systems including Ubuntu Linux.

        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 Node.js on Ubuntu 22.04 (Jammy Jellyfish). You can follow the same instructions for Ubuntu 22.04 and any other Debian-based distribution like Linux Mint, Elementary OS, Pop!_OS, and more as well.

      • ID RootHow To Install Yarn on Ubuntu 22.04 LTS - idroot

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to install Yarn on Ubuntu 22.04 LTS. For those of you who didn’t know, Yarn is a JavaScript package manager compatible with npm that helps you automate the process of installing, updating, configuring, and removing npm packages. It is a fast, secure, and reliable alternative that any other Nodejs package manager.

        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 Yarn package manager on Ubuntu 22.04 (Jammy Jellyfish). You can follow the same instructions for Ubuntu 22.04 and any other Debian-based distribution like Linux Mint, Elementary OS, Pop!_OS, and more as well.

      • AddictiveTipsManage passwords on Linux with Password Store

        Password Store is a simple password storage tool for Linux. It follows the Unix philosophy and encrypts passwords with GPG. This guide will show you how to manage your passwords on Linux with Password Store.

      • AddictiveTipsHow to install Arch-based XeroLinux

        XeroLinux is an elegant, Arch-based Linux operating system that uses the KDE Plasma desktop. Unfortunately, it is a small project with only one maintainer. Still, if you love KDE and want to try out Arch Linux, XeroLinux is an excellent option. Here’s how to set up XeroLinux on your PC.

      • AddictiveTipsHow to play Slay the Spire on Linux

        Slay The Spire is a roguelike deck-building video game developed by MegaCrit and published by Humble Bundle. The game was released in 2017 for Microsoft Windows, MacOS, and Linux, with other platforms following in 2019. Here’s how to play Slay The Spire on your Linux system.

      • How to install RabbitMQ on Ubuntu 22.04 - NextGenTips

        RabbitMQ is an open-source message broker software. It’s a software where queues are defined and to which applications connect in order to transfer a message or messages. Think of it as a middle man who acts as a broker. They can be used to reduce loads and delivery times for web application servers by delegating tasks that take up a lot of resources and or time to a third party that has no other job

      • HowTo ForgeHow to Install and Use Portainer for Docker management with Nginx Proxy Manager
      • HowTo ForgeCreating an AWS RDS Replica for MySql
    • Games

      • Boiling Steam2400 Games On The Steam Deck, Just Days after the 2300 Games Milestone

        Slower pace of validation? Looks like Valve is trying to prove us wrong as they have just added close to 100 games in a matter of days after the 2300 games milestone on the Steam Deck. There are now more than 2400 games (2406 at the time of writing) working on the Steam Deck – in two categories as usual

      • GamingOnLinuxGood Old Games Week is live on GOG with a sale

        Good Old Games, what GOG were originally known as, is a bit more than just a name it's a commitment to keeping classics alive and easy to purchase so GOG are celebrating with a sale.

        Of course, plenty of the games in their classics collection don't have Native Linux versions because a lot of them are incredibly old. That's fine though really, considering how good the likes of DOSBox, ScummVM and Wine are — most will likely just work out of the box with one of those ready.

      • Make Use OfCanonical Entices Gamers With Early Access to Ubuntu Steam Snap

        Canonical, the maker of the popular Ubuntu Linux distribution, has announced the early availability of a Snap package for the PC game store Steam. The new version comes as Canonical and Steam developer Valve are making a major push into Linux gaming.

      • GamingOnLinuxCanonical going 'all in' on gaming for Ubuntu, new Steam Snap package in testing | GamingOnLinux

        While there's a huge focus on Flatpak and Flathub thanks to the Steam Deck shipping with it out of the box, Canonical on the other hand continue with their own Snap packaging and they have a Steam Snap in testing for Ubuntu (and other distros, since Snap also works elsewhere).

        In a fresh introduction post on the Ubuntu Linux Discourse forum (thanks OMGUbuntu), it outlines how they're now actually "going all in on the gaming experience on Ubuntu and we’ve started building out a team dedicated to working on just that". Part of that is reducing the need for PPAs and other solutions, and their focus now is on Steam.

        The call for testing has now begun on their Steam Snap package which gives you everything you need for Native Linux gaming and for Proton too. It's early days for the Steam Snap so expect issues but they said they will "iterate quickly, and respond to this feedback" on it.

      • XDASteam now available as Snap package on Linux, with easier installation and sandboxing
        The Steam game store has been available on desktop Linux for many years at this point, and with the addition of the Proton compatibility layer for Windows games, it has become an invaluable tool for gaming on Linux. Canonical, the developers of Ubuntu Linux, have now introduced a new way to use Steam on Ubuntu and other Linux distributions: a Snap package.

        Canonical revealed in a blog post, “we’ve been working on an important quality of life improvement for Linux gamers and today… we are happy to announce the early access launch of the Steam snap!” Canonical is listed as the developer, so it seems Valve isn’t involved in the project.

      • UbuntuLevel up your Linux gaming with the new Steam Snap! | Ubuntu

        At Canonical we’ve been anticipating “the Year of Linux Gaming” for about as long as we’ve been waiting for Half-Life 3, but it’s never seemed as close before as it does now in 2022.

        Open source emulation layers like Wine and Proton have made it possible for thousands of native Windows games to run on Linux, with new titles becoming available every day. Anti-cheat services like BattlEye and Easy Anti-Cheat are also rolling out support for multiplayer games. And development tools like Unity and Unreal are bringing their industry-leading editors to Linux, with Ubuntu as a target platform.

        With Jammy Jellyfish now out in the wild, the Ubuntu Desktop team is getting down to work planning for the future, and improving the gaming experience features heavily in our priorities (and hiring plan!).

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • GNOME Desktop/GTK

        • 9to5LinuxGNOME 42.1 Is Out with Many Improvements to Software, Nautilus, and Control Center

           GNOME 42.1 is here about five weeks after the release of the GNOME 42 desktop environment and brings numerous improvements to the GNOME Software graphical package manager, including better handling of the Flathub repository and Flatpak apps, better support of RTL (Right-to-Left) languages, various UI fixes, as well as a fix for a bug that prevented Fedora Linux users from disabling some repositories

        • Builder GTK 4 Porting, Continued

           Another week of work towards porting Builder to GTK 4. Since I can’t add to TWIG from IRC, I’ll try harder to drop some occasional updates here.

          There are a bunch of foundational things to still get landed before I feel I can get Builder flipped over to our Nightly builds. In particular we need to land support for things like...

        • #41 Italian Gestures €· This Week in GNOME

          Update on what happened across the GNOME project in the week from April 22 to April 29.

    • Distributions

      • Redox OS 0.7 Released ; Operating System written in Rust

        After a year and a half of development , the operating system Redox 0.7 , developed using the Rust language and the microkernel concept, has been published. The developments of the project are distributed under the free MIT license. For testing Redox OS offered , 75 MB in size. The assemblies are generated for the x86_64 architecture and are available for systems with UEFI and BIOS.

      • New Releases

        • KaOS 2022.04

          KaOS is pleased to announce the availability of the April release of a new stable ISO.

          With the release of KDE Gear 22.04, some nice new features and enhancements are introduced. Konsole’s completely new feature is Quick Commands: open a quick commands pane from Plugins > Show Quick Commands and you will be able to create short scripts you use frequently, Konsole’s SSH plugin has been further enhanced and you can assign different visual profiles. For Kdenlive, two new options stick out: you can create customized profiles so that your rendered movie adapts perfectly to your needs, and you can also render by zones, using the guides you set up on the timeline as references.

        • 9to5LinuxArch Linux-Inspired KaOS 2022.04 Distro Arrives with Linux 5.17 and Latest KDE Goodies

          Coming two and a half months after KaOS 2022.02, the KaOS 2022.04 release is powered by the latest and greatest Linux 5.17 kernel series and includes the most recent KDE goodies, such as the KDE Plasma 5.24.4 LTS desktop environment, KDE Gear 22.04 software suite, and KDE Frameworks 5.93 software suite, all compiled against Qt 5.15.3.

          The KDE Gear 22.04 software suite introduces a new app called Skanpage, which is a simple and easy-to-use document scanning application designed for multi-page scanning and saving of documents and images.

      • SUSE/OpenSUSE

        • openSUSE Tumbleweed – Review of the week 2022/17

          Week 17 was filled with snapshots – 7 of them to be precise. We have published snapshots 0421…0427 (with the next ones almost ready for QA).

        • SUSE's Corporate BlogWhy Expanding Open Source Skills is Good (For You & Your Business)

          Linux and Kubernetes are the backbone of hybrid cloud infrastructure and core to the success of a mixed IT environment. With SUSE One professional & technical certifications, you can gain the sought-after skills and knowledge that will help your organization win with open source products and solutions, deliver cloud-native services, or help ease the challenges of adopting, managing and scaling containers–from SMB to the enterprise.

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • LWNFedora project leader Matthew Miller weighs in (TechRepublic)

          TechRepublic has published an interview with Fedora project leader Matthew Miller.

        • Fedora ProjectFedora Community Blog: Friday’s Fedora Facts: 2022-17

          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)!

          The F36 Final freeze is underway. F36 Final is on track for target date #3 (2022-05-10).

          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.

        • LWN[Older] Fedora considers deprecating legacy BIOS

          A proposal to "deprecate" support for BIOS-only systems for Fedora, by no longer supporting new installations on those systems, led to a predictably long discussion on the Fedora devel mailing list. There are, it seems, quite a few users who still have BIOS-based systems; many do not want to have to switch away from Fedora simply to keep their systems up to date. But, sometime in the future, getting rid of BIOS support seems inevitable since the burden on those maintaining the tools for installing and booting those systems is non-trivial and likely to grow over time. To head that off, a special interest group (SIG) may form to help keep BIOS support alive until it really is no longer needed.

        • IBM Old TimerIBM Emeritus Irving Wladawsky-Berger: Beatlemania: Why Are Success and Failure So Unpredictable?

          “Why did the Beatles become a worldwide sensation? Why do some cultural products succeed and others fail? Why are some musicians, poets, and novelists, unsuccessful or unknown in their lifetimes, iconic figures decades or generation after their deaths? Why are success and failure so unpredictable?,” these are among the questions explored in Beatlemania, a draft paper by Harvard professor Cass Sunstein that will be published later this year in the inaugural issue of The Journal of Beatles Studies.

          “On one view, the simplest and most general explanation is best, and it points to quality, appropriately measured: success is a result of quality, and the Beatles succeeded because of the sheer quality of their music,” wrote Sunstein. “On another view, social influences are critical: timely enthusiasm or timely indifference can make the difference for all, including the Beatles, leading extraordinary books, movies, and songs to fail even if they are indistinguishable in quality from those that succeed.”

          In 1961 the Beatles were an obscure English rock band from Liverpool, with no manager and modest prospects. They tried to release a debut single, Love Me Do, but every record label they approached rejected them and the band came close to splitting. In January of 1962 Brian Epstein became their manager. Epstein had no experience in managing artists, but he liked their music and sense of humor. He eventually persuaded EMI producer George Martin to audition the band in June of 1962, who despite feeling that they were “a rather raw group” with “not very good songs,” agreed to sign them to a recording contract.

        • Red Hat OfficialGetting to know Shuchi Sharma, Red Hat’s chief diversity, equity & inclusion officer

          We are excited to announce that Shuchi Sharma has joined us as vice president and chief diversity, equity & inclusion officer (CDEIO). In her new role, Shuchi will be responsible for leading Red Hat’s DEI Global Center of Excellence, which is focused on setting our DEI strategies that align with our short and long-term business goals and partnering across our leadership, business and people practices. These practices include attracting and retaining diverse talent, career advancement and associate development. In her role, she aims to foster a culture of belonging for all associates and help make Red Hat a more open and inclusive company in the technology industry.

      • Debian Family

        • Debian Reunion Hamburg 2022 from May 23 to 30

          This is just a quick reminder for the Debian Reunion Hamburg 2022 happening in a bit more than 3 weeks.

          So far 43 people have registered and thus there's still some on site accomodation available. There's no real deadline for registration, however if you register after May 1st you might not get a t-shirt in your prefered size.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • Linux Mint advances its plans for the next version - LinuxStoney

          Few distributions are as absolutely stabilized in form and substance as Linux Mint, which has more than enough benefits, but don’t expect any surprises, because it doesn’t have any. That is why knowing that this year it will launch its new major version is no mystery.

          However, Clement Lefebvre has taken advantage of the publication of the monthly Linux Mint news bulletin to anticipate some of the things to come, such as, mainly, the next major version of the distribution. We are talking about Linux Mint 21 codenamed ‘Vanessa’, which will be released sometime this year in the wake of Ubuntu 22.04 LTS.

          As we all know, Linux Mint has been basing its major releases on Ubuntu LTS for years and they haven’t made a better decision than that so far. Linux Mint essentially follows a six-month release cycle, with a new major release every two years followed by incremental releases on the same basis, a stability-focused strategy that has worked like clockwork.

        • Ubuntu 22.10 Codename & Release date

          Following the release of Ubuntu LTS a few days ago, the next Ubuntu release, Ubuntu 22.10, is now open for development. Kinetic Kudu has been confirmed as the codename for Ubuntu 22.10.

    • Devices/Embedded

      • Geeky GadgetsPolarBerry secure PolarFire SoC Linux SBC and SoM - Geeky Gadgets

        PolarBerry was successfully launched back in 2020 and is once again available from the Crowd Supply website with prices starting from $999. The system-on-module (SoM) that makes it easy to develop for and integrate Microchip’s PolarFire SoC, a low-power FPGA with a secure, four-application-core, 64-bit, Linux-capable RISC-V subsystem.


        “PolarBerry is the first production- and deployment-ready SoM with a hardened real-time, Linux-capable, RISC-V-based MPU subsystem bringing low power consumption, thermal efficiency, and defense-grade security to embedded systems. With a deterministic, coherent RISC-V CPU cluster and a deterministic L2 memory subsystem enabling Linux and real-time applications, PolarBerry is the ideal SoM for users who are looking to develop systems which are not based on ARM processors.”

      • CNX SoftwareQNAP TS-133 1-bay NAS leverages Rockchip RK3566 AI capabilities for object and face recognition

        We’ve seen several hardware devices based on Rockchip RK3566 AIoT SoC that do not make use of the key features of the processor. But QNAP TS-133 1-bay NAS is different, since it relies on the native SATA and Gigabit Ethernet interfaces for network storage, and the built-in NPU is leveraged to accelerate object and face recognition by up to 6 times.

        The NAS comes with 2GB of RAM, 4GB of storage for QTS 5.0 Linux operating system, USB 3.0 and USB 2.0 ports, and the company promotes it as a “personal private cloud & home multimedia center”.

      • CNX SoftwareTuring Smart Screen - A low-cost 3.5-inch USB Type-C information display - CNX Software

        “Turing Smart Screen” is a low-cost 3.5-inch USB-C display that connects to systems with a USB port, and works with Windows, Linux (including Raspberry Pi), MacOS, and other operating systems that support Python3.

        But contrary to my initial assumptions, it does not exactly act as a second monitor, and instead, it is an information display, originally designed to show resource utilization, e.g. CPU and memory usage, in Windows, and controlled through commands send to the USB port.

      • Open Hardware/Modding

        • ArduinoThis EV charger packs an Arduino-based DIY solution in a commercial enclosure | Arduino Blog

          The rapid adoption of electric vehicles over the last decade has required the installation of additional infrastructure to support them, namely high-voltage chargers that can deliver enough current to the batteries for fast recharging. But due to their potentially high cost, James Fotherby decided to design and build his own 7.2kW charging solution that was simultaneously cheap, simple, and safe to operate.

          For the safety component, Fotherby had to ensure that any potential fault, such as a loose wire coming into contact with the car, would be detected in time so that power could be cut immediately. His design incorporated a coil that measures the amount of current heading to the car and the amount returning. If the two values don’t match, then an alert is triggered, and the relay switches off the power. Controlling the relay was accomplished by integrating an Arduino, which receives 5V via a series of two step-down converters.

        • ArduinoArduino-controlled CNC engraver uses solar power

          Usually when we use the term “solar power,” we are referring to indirect energy use: photovoltaic solar panels collect energy from the sun and then either pass it along to a device or store it for later use. But some systems can use power from the sun in a more direct manner. If you’ve ever used a magnifying glass to set fire to a twig, you were using solar power directly. YouTuber Cranktown City pushed that concept further and created an Arduino-controlled CNC engraver that takes advantage of solar power.

          This machine doesn’t use energy from the sun to run the gantry motors or even the Arduino Uno board. Instead, it uses the sun and a glass lens in place of a conventional laser. Laser engravers are expensive because of the laser tubes, optics, and power supply. By replacing all of those with the sun and cheap lens, Cranktown City was able to engrave wood by burning it while saving a lot of money. He just needed a way to harness the sun’s energy and direct it with moderate precision.

      • Mobile Systems/Mobile Applications

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • MastodonTwitter buyout puts Mastodon into spotlight - Official Mastodon Blog

        The news of Elon Musk buying Twitter has put Mastodon into the public spotlight as an alternative social network, rapidly exploding our growth with over 30,000 new users in just a single day. This is because at Mastodon, we present a vision of social media that cannot be bought and owned by any billionaire, and strive to create a more resilient global platform without profit incentives. We believe that your ability to communicate online should not be at the whims of a single commercial company.

        Mastodon is used to publish 500-character messages with pictures, polls, videos and so on to an audience of followers, and, in turn, to follow interesting people and receive their posts in a chronological home feed. Unlike Twitter, there is no central Mastodon website – you sign up to a provider that will host your account, similarly to signing up for Outlook or Gmail, and then you can follow and interact with people using different providers. Anyone can become such a provider as Mastodon is free and open-source. It has no ads, respects your privacy, and allows people/communities to self-govern.

      • FOSSLifeMastodon in the Spotlight

        Elon Musk’s deal to purchase Twitter has put the Mastodon social network in the spotlight, with more than 30,000 new users joining in a single day, says Eugen Rochko on the Mastodon blog.

      • Funding

        • Spotify donates 100,000 euros in open source awards

          Music service Spotify has introduced the FOSS Fund initiative, under which it intends to donate 100,000 euros to developers supporting various independent open source projects during the year. Applicants for support will be nominated by Spotify engineers, after which a specially convened committee will select the recipients of awards. The projects that will receive the awards will be announced in May. Spotify uses many independent open source projects in its operations and intends to repay the community for creating quality public code with the proposed initiative.

      • Programming/Development

        • PipeWire: Bluetooth€® support status update

          Over the last two years, Bluetooth€® audio support has steadily grown in PipeWire and has become a featureful, stable, conformant, open source Bluetooth€® audio stack implementation.

          Testimony to that is the fact that, as of last week (April 21), Bluetooth€® A2DP audio has been qualified on the Steam Deck using PipeWire and WirePlumber. This means that it is now able to pass the conformance test suite from the Bluetooth SIG and will work against other qualified implementations.

          The audio portion of Bluetooth€® is split in 2 main categories: one for the stereo and (mostly) uni-directional sound (A2DP profile), and the other for the mono and bi-directional sound (HFP profile). With all the development work that has taken place, here's a look at where things stand.

        • Blog post: just having fun making games

          I've been enjoying learning how to use a game engine for three days now. I also published my two last days on the platform for independant video games. I'm experimenting a lot with various ideas, a new game must be different than the other to try new mechanics, new features and new gameplay.

          This is absolutely refreshing to have a tool in hand that let me create interactive content, this is really fantastic. I wish I studied this earlier.

          Despite my games being very short and simplistic, I'm quite proud of the accomplished work. If someone in the world had fun with them even for 20 seconds, this is a win for me.

        • QtQt for Android Automotive 6.3.0 released

          We are happy to announce that Qt for Android Automotive (Qt AA) 6.3 has been released.

        • Python

          • LWNSuper Python (part 1)

            A mega-thread in the python-ideas mailing list is hardly surprising, of course; we have covered quite a few of them over the years. A recent example helps shine a light into a dark—or at least dim—corner of the Python language: the super() built-in function for use by methods in class hierarchies. There are some, perhaps surprising, aspects to super() along with wrinkles in how to properly use it. But it has been part of the language for a long time, so changes to its behavior, as was suggested in the thread, are pretty unlikely.

  • Leftovers

    • TediumAlien Rap History: Making Sense of Life on the Planet Glumph

      A common practice on the website Rate Your Music is for two users to make friends and thoroughly investigate each other’s ratings. After I found Karan on a thread about personality types, I saw he rated a peculiar album 1.5 out of 5. It was called Alien Rap: Songs about Life on the Planet Glumph. The cover featured a cartoon MC alien with a backwards baseball cap and bling. “There is a special message on this CD for the kids of Earth,” said the front cover. I eagerly listened to the album and it surpassed all my expectations of weirdness and badness, and to this day I don’t understand why Karan doesn’t embrace it the way I do. But I’m grateful that he showed it to me because I ended up stumbling on a fountain of knowledge, much like an alien in a UFO investigating Earth for the first time. When I saw the creator of Alien Rap was a prolific creator of meditation music and that he died shortly after Alien Rap was released, I did some digging and was distraught to find that almost no information was out there. Soon, I found myself on the phone with the creator’s son.

    • Education

      • Steinar H GundersonSteinar H. Gunderson: Should we stop teaching the normal distribution?

        I guess Betteridge's law of headlines gives you the answer, but bear with me. :-)

        Like most engineers, I am a layperson in statistics; I had some in high school, then an intro course in university and then used it in a couple of random courses (like speech recognition). (I also took a multivariate statistics course on my own after I had graduated.) But pretty much every practical tool I ever learned was, eventually, centered around the normal distribution; we learned about Student's t-test in various scenarios, made confidence intervals, learned about the central limit theorem that showed its special place in statistics, how the binomial distribution converges to the normal distribution under reasonable circumstances (not the least due to the CLT), and so on.

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Pseudo-Open Source

        • Security

          • LWNSecurity updates for Friday

            Security updates have been issued by Fedora (dhcp, gzip, podman, rsync, and usd), Mageia (firefox/nss/rootcerts, kernel, kernel-linus, and thunderbird), Oracle (container-tools:2.0, container-tools:3.0, mariadb:10.3, and zlib), Red Hat (Red Hat OpenStack Platform 16.2 (python-twisted), xmlrpc-c, and zlib), SUSE (glib2, nodejs12, nodejs14, python-paramiko, python-pip, and python-requests), and Ubuntu (curl, ghostscript, libsdl1.2, libsdl2, mutt, networkd-dispatcher, and webkit2gtk).

          • Chrome 101.0.4951.41 Update Brings Fixes for 30 Security Vulnerabilities to for Windows, Mac and Linux

            Apple’s stable channel update for desktop which takes Google Chrome to version 101.0.4951.41 for Windows, Mac, and Linux users provides fixes 30 security vulnerabilities.

            As reported by Forbes’ Davey Winder, none of these are zero-days where attackers are known to already be exploiting the vulnerabilities. However, Chrome users are encouraged to immediately update their browsers to protect against possible future browser-based attacks.

          • HackadayThis Week In Security: Android And Linux, VirusTotal, More Psychic Signatures

            To start our week of vulnerabilities in everything, there’s a potentially big vulnerability in Android handsets, but it’s Apple’s fault. OK, maybe that’s a little harsh — Apple released the code to their Apple Lossless Audio Codec (ALAC) back in 2011 under the Apache License. This code was picked up and shipped as part of the driver stack for multiple devices by various vendors, including Qualcomm and MediaTek. The problem is that the Apple code was terrible, one researcher calling it a “walking colander” of security problems.

          • Red Canary Announces Linux-First EDR, MDR Solution - My TechDecisions

            Cybersecurity firm Red Canary is launching a new endpoint detection and response solution for Linux, designed to focus on the constraints that DevOps, engineering and security teams demand.

            According to the company, the Linux EDR and MDR solution will help organizations better protect their Linux environments, which can be difficult to secure. The solution leverages Linux-optimized technology developed by the company’s engineers, analysts, researchers and customer support.

          • Promoting the use of dynamic passwords

            Short passwords are weak. Long passwords are stronger but inconvenient. Indeed we are changing from passwords to passphrases, and instead or remembering simple 'passwords' of 6 or 8 characters, it's encouraged to use longer 'passphrases' of 16+ characters

          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • uni WisconsinAre You Really Muted?: A Privacy Analysis of Mute Buttons in Video Conferencing Apps

              In the post-pandemic era, video conferencing apps (VCAs) have converted previously private spaces — bedrooms, living rooms, and kitchens — into semi-public extensions of the office. And for the most part, users have accepted these apps in their personal space, without much thought about the permission models that govern the use of their personal data during meetings. While access to a device’s video camera is carefully controlled, little has been done to ensure the same level of privacy for accessing the microphone. In this work, we ask the question: what happens to the microphone data when a user clicks the mute button in a VCA? We first conduct a user study to analyze users' understanding of the permission model of the mute button. Then, using runtime binary analysis tools, we trace raw audio in many popular VCAs as it traverses the app from the audio driver to the network. We find fragmented policies for dealing with microphone data among VCAs — some continuously monitor the microphone input during mute, and others do so periodically. One app transmits statistics of the audio to its telemetry servers while the app is muted. Using network traffic that we intercept en route to the telemetry server, we implement a proof-of-concept background activity classifier and demonstrate the feasibility of inferring the ongoing background activity during a meeting — cooking, cleaning, typing, etc. We achieved 81.9% macro accuracy on identifying six common background activities using intercepted outgoing telemetry packets when a user is muted.

            • The Next WebMuting your mic reportedly doesn’t stop big tech from recording your audio

              Anytime you use a video teleconferencing app, you’re sending your audio data to the company hosting the services. And, according to a new study, that means all of your audio data. This includes voice and background noise whether you’re broadcasting or muted.

              Researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison investigated “many popular apps” to determine the extent that video conferencing apps capture data while users employ the in-software ‘mute’ button.

    • Environment

      • Wildlife/Nature

        • 3-meter-long giant squid found stranded on Sea of Japan beach

          An about 3-meter-long giant squid was found stranded on a beach here on April 20, in what local authorities said was a rare occurrence.

          At around 10 a.m., a nearby resident spotted the squid at Ugu beach in Obama, Fukui Prefecture, on the Sea of Japan coast. According to the Obama Municipal Government, the squid was still alive when it was found. It is unusual for a giant squid to be washed ashore alive, officials said.

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

      • Public KnowledgeHow to Maintain Consumer Protections during the Phase-Out of Traditional Phone Service

        Many phone carriers are phasing out older phone technology and replacing it with a service called interconnected Voice Over Internet Protocol (VOIP) – a service that makes calls using the internet. In fact, the majority of phone calls made today – approximately 70% – are made using VOIP.

        But, unless the FCC takes action, the ability to make certain that consumers have access to phone service that works when they need it, can call 9-1-1 for help, or can receive assistance to help pay for phone service will disappear.

    • Monopolies

      • Public KnowledgePrivileged Conversations: May 2022

        Public Knowledge has the pleasure of hosting a multifaceted program focused on training and developing the next generation of tech policy experts and public interest advocates that reflects the diversity of voices and experiences in our society.

        Our monthly Career Breakfast Series is designed for students & recent graduates to learn about tech policy and public interest work, careers, and its community.

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