Gemini version available ♊︎

Links 27/3/2021: Wine 6.5 Released, Data Blaster, Livepatch Has Issues

Posted in News Roundup at 9:18 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Desktop/Laptop

      • 10 Best Linux distro based on Ubuntu for laptops or PC 2021

        Performance is generally not the first word that comes to mind when someone mentions laptops. More portability and battery life are one of the primary requirements. Of course, no one wants to sacrifice power or speed and that is why more and more people switch to Linux. Some do it to revive old hardware and others generally have tried and grown to love the open-source garden. The added security is also a great selling point during these times.
        Linux mint has been time tested and is the go-to recommendation for Ubuntu-based laptop distros. It runs on minimal resources and is extremely lightweight for the punch that it packs. We all have come across distros that make us install basic tools later. Ain’t nobody got time for that.

        We have to be up and running as soon as possible. Mint eliminates this hassle as it ships with almost all the basic tools that you might require. It is also easy on the eyes and does not deviate too much from the look and feel of the mainstream OS’s and closely resembles layouts that you might already be used to if you’re new and switching to Linux.

        However, if you switched just to leverage the insane customizability options that Linux offers or maybe you just don’t like the stock look and want something a little more aesthetic, Mint is based on Ubuntu and most desktop and window managers should work out of the box without a tonne of setup or tinkering. Mint also receives a huge thumbs up for supporting Nvidia drivers. Great for machine learning developers, gamers, etc.

        Well, what if you don’t want to use Linux Mint because it is not the only Linux distro that is based on Ubuntu and that’s why we are here with some best and well-known Linux distributions based on Ubuntu to offer an easy to use interface and its own flavor…

    • Audiocasts/Shows

    • Kernel Space

      • OpenRazer 3.0.0 Adds Linux Support For 15 New Razer Devices

        OpenRazer is a user-space driver daemon graphical programs can interact with to give you control over Razer keyboard, mice, mousemats, headsets and several other devices. The latest release adds support for 15 new Razer devices including the DeathAdder V2 Mini and Pro, the Huntsman Mini and the Chroma Charging Pad.


        Don’t worry if you have a Razer device that is not listed above; those are only the ones that are new to this release. The complete list of all Razer devices suppoted by OpenRazer, which can be found at openrazer.github.io, is much, much longer. Any Razer device you happen to have that’s more than a month old is probably supported.

        You can acquire the source code for OpenRazer 3.0.0 from github.com/openrazer/openrazer/releases/. Keep in mind that it is just a driver daemon, you will need a graphical program such as RazerGenie, Polychromatic or Chroma Feedback to actually control your Razer device(s).

      • NZXT Kraken Driver Queued For Introduction In Linux 5.13

        Last week we noted how a kernel driver for NZXT’s Kraken AIO liquid cooling devices was under review for the mainline kernel. Shortly after that point the driver did get successfully picked up for hwmon-next and thus should be appearing in the upcoming Linux 5.13 cycle.

        For those with an KZXT Kraken X42 / X52 / X62 / X72 all-in-one liquid cooling setup, Linux 5.13 should be mainlining this community-maintained driver. This driver was developed via reverse-engineering the NZXT Kraken USB protocol. This has been years in the making with the NZXT Kraken support for Linux with this “nzxt-kraken2″ kernel driver previously maintained out-of-tree as part of the Liquidctl project.

    • Benchmarks

      • Samsung 980 NVMe SSD Linux Performance

        Earlier this month Samsung announced the 980 (non-PRO) NVMe solid-state driver offering a combination of speed and affordability for consumers. Many Linux readers have been curious about this Samsung 980 DRAM-less SSD so here are some initial benchmarks of it. Overall, it’s been working out well under Linux.

        The Samsung 980 SSD offers good performance at a lower price than the Samsung 980 PRO and other more premium solid-state drives. By doing away with the DRAM is one of the cost savings. The Samsung 980 leverages Host Memory Buffer (HMB) usage and new sixth-generation VNAND in helping to overcome the lack of DRAM and its usage of TLC memory. The Samsung 980 is also a PCIe 3.0 drive, not PCIe 4.0. The Samsung 980 uses a Pablo controller. The 1TB Samsung 980 NVMe SSD drive launched at $129 USD, the 500GB version for just $69, and the 250GB version for $49.

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • How to install ReactJS with Nginx proxy on CentOS 8

        React is a free and open-source JavaScript library developed by Facebook. It is used for creating web frontend and UI components. It is often used for developing Web Applications or Mobile Apps. It allows developers to create reusable components that are independent of each other. It can be used with other libraries including, Axios, JQuery AJAX, or the browser built-in window.fetch.

      • How to Install and Configure VNC on Ubuntu 20.04 | Linuxize

        Virtual Network Computing (VNC) is a graphical desktop sharing system that allows you to use your keyboard and mouse to control another computer remotely. It is an open-source alternative to the Microsoft remote desktop protocol (RDP).

        This article explains how to install and configure a VNC server on Ubuntu 20.04. We’ll also show you how to securely connect to the VNC server through an SSH tunnel.

      • How to install the Pritunl VPN server on Ubuntu Server 20.04 – TechRepublic

        At this point in the game, you probably have several employees that will be working from home permanently. That being the case, you might need to deploy a VPN or two, to virtualize your private networks. There are several tools available to make this possible. One such VPN is the open source Pritunl VPN Server. One of the reasons why I like Pritunl for this task is that it includes a very user-friendly, web-based GUI for the management of the VPN.

        I want to walk you through the process of installing Pritunl on Ubuntu Server 20.04. The process is fairly easy and should allow you to start configuring your VPN to perfectly meet your needs within minutes.

      • How to install Gimp 3 Beta on a Chromebook

        Today we are looking at how to install Gimp 3 Beta 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.

        If you have any questions, please contact us via a YouTube comment and we would be happy to assist you!

      • Celebrate 30 Years of Linux With Training & Certification Offer

        On August 25, 1991, Linus Torvalds posted the now famous Usenet message announcing he was building a free operating system. In the 30 years since, that operating system – Linux – has become the most important open source software project in history, powering all supercomputers, serving as the backbone of the cloud and internet, running a majority of mobile phones and mainframe computers, and even operating on the International Space Station.

        After all this time Linux is more important than ever. In fact, the 2020 Open Source Jobs Report from The Linux Foundation and edX found that Linux is the most in demand skill amongst technical hiring managers. This is largely due to rapidly growing adoption of cloud technologies which run on Linux.

      • Microarchitecture rpm macros

        During Hackweek 20 at SUSE I created some rpm macros to create packages easily that use the glibc-hwcaps feature. There’s a post with the journal from the hackweek in case you want to read it. Here I’ll just explain how to use the new macros I created.

      • LetsEncrypt SSL certificates for vhosts within the mail stack – via Postfix (SMTP) and Dovecot (IMAP)

        For a long time, I didn’t care about using self-signed SSL certificates for the mail stack because 1) they still secured the connection to the server, and 2) those certificates weren’t seen or utilised by anyone other than me. However, for my datacentre infrastructure which houses clients’ websites and email, using self-signed or generic certificates (even for the mail stack) wasn’t a very good solution as mail clients (e.g Thunderbird or Outlook) notify users of the problematic certs. Clients with dedicated mail servers could use valid certificates (freely from LetsEncrypt) without problem, but those on shared infrastructure posed a different issue—how can mail for different domains all sharing the same IPv4 address use individualised certificates for their SMTP and IMAP connections? This article will explain the method that I used to assign domain-specific certificates for the full mail stack using LetsEncrypt’s certbot for the certs themselves, the Postfix MTA (mail transfer agent [for SMTP]), and the Dovecot IMAP server. This article is tailored to Gentoo Linux, but should be easily applied to nearly any distribution.

      • How to install OpenOffice 4.1.9 on a Chromebook

        Today we are looking at how to install OpenOffice 4.1.9 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.

        If you have any questions, please contact us via a YouTube comment and we would be happy to assist you!

        This tutorial will only work on Chromebooks with an Intel or AMD CPU (with Linux Apps Support) and not those with an ARM64 architecture CPU.

      • How to install Gnome 40 on Linux early

        The next generation of the Gnome Shell desktop is here, and it is called Gnome 40 (AKA Gnome 4.0). It comes with a completely redesigned desktop that Linux geeks are sure to love. In this guide, we’ll show you how to try it out early, before it’s released into the wild.

      • How To Install Moodle on Debian 10 – idroot

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to install Moodle on Debian 10. For those of you who didn’t know, Moodle is a free and open-source learning management system written in PHP and often deployed in Linux under Apache/Nginx web servers with PHP and MySQL/MariaDB database management system, also known as LAMP or LEMP stack.

        This article assumes you have at least basic knowledge of Linux, know how to use the shell, and most importantly, you host your site on your own VPS. The installation is quite simple and assumes you are running in the root account, if not you may need to add ‘sudo‘ to the commands to get root privileges. I will show you through the step-by-step installation of the Moodle on a Debian 10 (Buster).

      • Automatically Set Bing’s Daily Image as Wallpaper in Ubuntu 20.04 [Ed: Bad idea. This helps #microsoft spy on you and potentially your movements, too. We know what they can do with such data.]

        Want to automatically set the background & lock screen wallpaper once per day to Microsoft Bing image of the day? It’s easy to do this in Ubuntu via an Extension.

        For Ubuntu 18.04, Ubuntu 20.04, Ubuntu 20.10, and all other Linux with Gnome Desktop, a lightweight Gnome Shell Extension “Bing Wallpaper” make it possible to set Microsoft Bing image as background and/or lock screen wallpaper.

      • How to install the Equilibrium GTK theme on Linux

        The Equilibrium GTK theme is based on LinMOS. It presents a mid-2000’s Mac OS skeuomorphism style. If you’d like to try out this theme on your Linux PC, it’s easier than you think! Here’s how to get it going!

      • Easily Back Up Your Partitions in Linux with Apart GTK – Make Tech Easier

        If you have full partition backups, you can restore your data or even your operating system when disaster strikes. The main problem is creating the partition backup. Most tools for backing up disks and partitions on Linux feel complicated. Some expect you to use commands in the terminal. Others come with old-school interfaces or use cryptic lingo. Luckily, there is Apart GTK.

        Apart GTK is a GUI for partclone that allows you to clone your partitions to compressed image backups. Then, you can quickly and easily recover them from those backups whenever you wish. Let’s see how you can keep your data safe with Apart GTK.

      • The Hosts File on Linux

        All operating systems with network support have a hosts file to translate hostnames to IP addresses. Whenever you open a website by typing its hostname, your system will read through the hosts file to check for the corresponding IP and then open it. The hosts file is a simple text file located in the etc folder on Linux and Mac OS (/etc/hosts). Windows has a hosts file as well,

      • How to install the NoSQL database server MongoDB on Linux – TechRepublic

        MongoDB is a cross-platform, document-oriented database that is classified in the NoSQL family. That means it’s human-readable and scalable to meet the high demands of enterprise businesses. MongoDB works on all types of computing platforms, whether they be cloud-hosted or on-premises, and can serve as the backend for numerous use-cases.

        I’ve covered the installation of MongoDB for Ubuntu Server 16.04 (see: How to install MongoDB community edition on Ubuntu Linux), but the process has changed since 2016. This time around we’re going to install MongoDB Community Edition on both Ubuntu Server 20.04 and AlmaLinux (the CentOS fork). In an upcoming piece, I’ll show you how to then create a MongoDB cluster.

      • How to Download and Install Spotify on a Chromebook

        If you’re working or surfing the web on your Chromebook, you might like to have some music playing in the background. If you are a regular Spotify user but don’t know how to download it on your Chromebook, this article will help.

      • How to Install XAMPP on your Ubuntu 20.04 LTS System

        XAMPP stands for cross-platform(X), Apache(A) server, MariaDB(M), PHP(P) and Perl(P). It is built by Apache Friends and basically serves as a local host or a local server. Through this local server, you can install this software on your system and test the clients or your website before uploading it to the remote web server or computer. XAMPP is most widely known by Windows users, but there are XAMPP packages for Ubuntu Linux as well. In this article, we will describe a step-by-step method for installing this application stack on your system. You can then verify the installation by using a few URLs. You can also go through the uninstall process that will help you in uninstalling the software if the need arises.

      • How to Create Sudo User in Ubuntu – ByteXD

        The sudo command is one of the most popular and powerful commands in Linux distros. It originally stood for superuser do, and it allows a user to execute commands as root or an administrative-level user.

        A sudo user is a non-root or normal user who has administrative privileges ordinarily reserved only for the root user.

      • How To Install CSF Firewall on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS – idroot

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to install CSF Firewall on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS. For those of you who didn’t know, ConfigServer Security & Firewall (CSF) is a popular and open-source Stateful Packet Inspection (SPI) security tool for Linux. Further, it provides a simple interface for the iptables to protect the Linux servers. The CSF has multiple features like a stateful packet inspection firewall, intrusion-detection, a login-failure daemon, DDOS-protection, and control-panel integration.

        This article assumes you have at least basic knowledge of Linux, know how to use the shell, and most importantly, you host your site on your own VPS. The installation is quite simple and assumes you are running in the root account, if not you may need to add ‘sudo‘ to the commands to get root privileges. I will show you through the step-by-step installation of the ConfigServer Security & Firewall (CSF) 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.

      • Getting bytes to disk more quickly — 2021 — Blog — GNU Guix

        Let’s face it: functional package managers like Guix provide unequaled support for reproducibility and transactional upgrades, but the price to pay is that users often spend a fair amount of time downloading (or building) packages. Download times are okay on day-to-day use but they’re a pain point when performing large upgrades or when installing Guix System for the first time.

        With that in mind, it should come as no surprise that Michael Stapelberg’s excellent 2020 Arch Linux Conference talk and the installation speed achieved by distri were a great motivation boost. Michael proposes radical ideas to speed up package installation, such as downloading and mounting ready-to-use SquashFS images. Not everything can be transposed to Guix as-is, but it certainly got us thinking.

        This article dives into improvements made over the last few months that will be in the upcoming 1.2.1 release, and which are already one guix pull away; they all contribute to making substitute download and installation “faster”. This is an evolution of the existing mechanisms rather than a revolution, but one that users will surely welcome.

    • Wine or Emulation

      • Wine Announcement
        The Wine development release 6.5 is now available.
        What's new in this release (see below for details):
          - OpenCL support updated to version 1.2.
          - More support for IE compatibility modes in MSHTML.
          - More windowless RichEdit work.
          - A few more WinRT library stubs.
          - 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 https://www.winehq.org/documentation
        You can also get the current source directly from the git
        repository. Check https://www.winehq.org/git for details.
        Wine is available thanks to the work of many people. See the file
        AUTHORS in the distribution for the complete list.
      • Wine 6.5 Released With OpenCL 1.2 Support

        Wine 6.5 is out today as the latest bi-weekly development snapshot of this software for running Windows applications and games under Linux and macOS.

        Wine 6.5 most notably comes with its OpenCL support being updated against OpenCL 1.2. Previously Wine’s OpenCL library (DLL) code was stuck at OpenCL 1.0 while Zebediah Figura took care of getting it to meet OpenCL 1.1 and then 1.2 specification requirements.

      • Wine 6.5 Is Released With OpenCL 1.2 And 25 Bug-Fixes

        The latest development-release of the popular Windows compatibility layer WINE supports OpenCL 1.2 and additional Internet Explorer compatibility modes in MSHTML. There are 25 game and application-specific bug-fixes.


        25 bugs have been squashed since Wine 6.4 was released earlier this month. Those bug-fixes include a fix for applications rendering graphics in system memory which helps Zoo Tycoon, TOCA Touring Car Championship, The Sims and Conquest: Frontier Wars, a very game-specific audio fix that makes music work in Jedi Knight: Dark Forces II and Outlaws, a workaround for the anti-cheat engine in League of Legends 8.12+ and a general fix that makes a lot of .NET 4.x applications that would previously fail to install due to a lack of MsiNetAssemblySupport actually install as they should.

    • Games

      • Space station management with a little RTS, Spacebase Startopia is out now

        Spacebase Startopia sells players the galactic dream: managing their very own donut-shaped space station. It’s out officially today along with full Linux support from Realmforge Studios and Kalypso Media.

        Overseen and assisted (when she feels like it) by the base’s sarcastic on-board AI, players will play Commander to their floating home-away-from-home on the station’s three unique decks with a variety of gadgetry while tending to the wants and needs of a diverse array of vacationing extra-terrestrial lifeforms. In multiplayer, up to 4 players can work together to build the galaxy’s greatest getaway, or seek oblivion unto their rivals with daring feats of economic sabotage.


        No review key was available for us before release but we have a request in, so a more traditional review / thoughts article may come in future. From a few reviews gone up by more traditional Windows-focused websites, it sadly sound like it’s not been a great release and fails to live up to the original but hopefully we will see for ourselves. Doesn’t seem like it’s bad, just alright.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • SoK 2021 March Report

          In the february post, I mentioned how I ordered the material that was on Carl Schwan’s MVP for the Index page, explaining Okular’s main features. Now that that was set, I had to add support for i18n, as it can be difficult for translators to work with a raw html template.

        • KDE on FreeBSD 2021o2

          Gosh, second octant already! Well, let’s take a look at the big things that happened in KDE-on-FreeBSD in these six-and-a-half weeks.

        • Advanced Comic Book Formatting

          Peruse is a comic book reader application which also comes with a creation tool, made by the KDE Community, and since a while now, we’ve been working on support for the Advanced Comic Book Format, or ACBF. ACBF is a way of augmenting Comic Book Archives (commonly referred to by their suffix, usually cbr or cbz).

          One of the things ACBF supports is what is referred to in the definition as Text Layers. In reality, these are translations: Each Textlayer is tied to a specific language, and each contains a number of Textareas, which in turn contain paragraphs of semi-rich text, all of which can be styled in a variety of ways, including with truetype fonts also shipped in the book archive.

          Until recently, Peruse lacked support for this crucial functionality, which yielded the result of ACBF books being read in Peruse being untranslated, which, with that being one of the core features of the format, meant that it was just not reasonable to say that the tool properly supported the format. For a little while now, while our highly engaged newest member of KDE’s Peruse subcommunity, Mahmoud Khalil, has been working on supporting the interactive-fiction focused Jump feature of ACBF, i took it upon myself to finally getting around to adding in support for Textareas, and writing these words, i pushed the merge button a few minutes ago, so it’s all manner of exciting and new and shiny! :)

      • GNOME Desktop/GTK

        • Christian Hergert: A Piece+Tree (Augmented B+Tree)

          Most of my career I’ve been working on a text editor product in either a hobby or professional capacity. Years ago I had an idea to combine a B+Tree with a PieceTable and put together a quick prototype. However, it didn’t do the nasty part which was removal and compaction of the B+Tree (so just another unfinished side-project).

          Now that we’re between GNOME cycles, I had the chance to catch up on that data structure and finish it off.

          Just for a bit of background, a B+Tree is a B-Tree (N-ary tree) where you link the leaves (and often the branches) in a doubly-linked list from left-to-right. This is handy when you need to do in-order/reverse-order table-scans as you don’t need to traverse the internal nodes of the tree. Unsurprisingly, editors do this a lot. Since B+Trees only grow from the root, maintaining these linked-lists is pretty easy.


          Anyway, here it is, and it seems to work. Finally I can move on from having that bit of data-structure on my mind.

    • Distributions

      • BSD

      • Screenshots/Screencasts

      • SUSE/OpenSUSE

        • Hackweek 20: glibc-hwcaps in openSUSE

          This week we’ve held Hackweek 20 in SUSE so I’ll try to explain here what I’ve worked on. I recently noticed glibc 2.33 introduced hwcaps support which means it’s now possible to install libraries using an expanded cpu instruction set from recent CPUs in addition to the regularly compiled libraries and glibc will automatically choose the version optimized for the current cpu in use. This sounded very nice so I thought I’d try to work on that for my hackweek project.

          My plan was to work at the package building level: Add/modify rpm macros to make it easy to build packages so that subpackages optimized for the different microarchitectures are (semi-)automatically generated and SUSE/openSUSE users can easily install those packages with optimizations for the specific cpu in use.

        • openSUSE Tumbleweed – Review of the week 2021/12

          This has been a week in which we focused a little bit less on Staging, as it was SUSE HackWeek. ‘Less’ does not mean we ignored it of course. We still managed to release 4 snapshots (0318, 0319, 0320, and 0321) during this week.

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • Top New Features in Fedora 34

          My first install of Fedora was Fedora 19, codename “Schrödinger’s Cat,” named after the quantum mechanics Schrödinger’s cat thought experiment. Back then, Fedora versions were released with a number version and a code name before the naming convention was dropped, “What a bummer!”.

          However, I have never looked back since, and fast-forward to 2021, and Fedora 34 is upon us. I am excited about the latest Fedora 34 release, its latest features, upgraded toolchains, and GNOME 40.

          The new Fedora 34 will feature new numbers to get excited about; Gnome 40, Ruby 3.0, OpenSSL3.0, and many new numbers and features highlighting in this article.

        • Call for Code Spot Challenge for Wildfires Predictions: Comparing approaches

          Wildfires are among the most common forms of natural disasters in some regions, including Siberia, the United States, and Australia. It is important to improve forecasting for wildfires to help firefighters to prepare and respond, and to help to mitigate wildfires in the future. In the Call for Code Spot Challenge for Wildfires, teams both outside and within IBM (internal challenge) worked on predicting wildfires in Australia using data sets extracted from the Weather Operations Center Geospatial Analytics component (PAIRS Geoscope).


          No IBM or Red Hat employees could participate in the public challenge.

        • DevOps Acceleration Program: Training and resources to begin your DevOps journey

          DevOps transformation is more important now that ever. In today’s world, the challenges we face and the opportunities the market has presented — the path has never been clearer. But how does that journey start? This is the question that many companies face. A DevOps organization isn’t built in a day. At IBM, we believe that the DevOps transformation is a journey best walked together with our customers. That’s why we have made available our DevOps Acceleration Program, a team of experts, evangelists, and practitioners, all focused on one thing: success with DevOps transformations.

        • Self-paced and instructor-led digital training for your DevOps journey

          Every piece of an enterprise-level DevOps transformation is essential: Identifying the resources, putting the tooling in place, building a rollout strategy — it’s all necessary for you to reap the greatest rewards. This includes quality training that enables developers to seamlessly transition over to DevOps practices and tools.

        • Red Hat Integration Delivers New Change Data Capture Capabilities

          Red Hat has announced the availability of Red Hat Integration, a comprehensive set of integration and messaging technologies to connect applications and data across hybrid infrastructures.

      • Debian Family

        • antiX-bullseye-alpha2 iso files available. 64 bit only

          We have 2 versions for experienced users to try.

          * sysvinit – antiX-bullseye-a2-x64-full is an alpha quality release for experienced testers of antiX to test and provide feedback.
          Do not use this as your main OS.

          Some basic differences from a1.

          * 4.9.261 and 5.10.22 kernels on the live iso. Please try both in your tests.
          * no virtualbox-guest packages

          Hopefully many of the bugs found in a1 have been squashed.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • Nextcloud Hub Ubuntu Appliance Now Available For Raspberry Pi 4

          Canonical, Collabora and Nextcloud have joined forces to announce the availability of a content collaboration platform for 64bit ARM for both consumers and enterprises.

          Building on the prior Nextcloud Ubuntu Appliance and with Collabora Online, it adds the viable self-hosted web office solution on the popular Raspberry Pi 4 platform.

        • Nextcloud offers content creation setup on ARM platform

          Open-source file syncing and sharing software company Nextcloud has teamed up with Canonical, the firm behind Ubuntu, and online office productivity suite provider Collabora to offer a content creation solution on the ARM platform.

          A statement from the company said Collabora Online was now available for devices like the Raspberry Pi which use the 64-bit ARM platform.

          “This enables tens of thousands of Raspberry Pi users to turn their Pi 4 into a self-hosted content collaboration and document editing solution in minutes,” Nextcloud said.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • FSF

        • Red Hat Pulls Free Software Foundation Funding Over Richard Stallman’s Return [Ed: Slashdot brings this back to headlines, even though most people have moved on]
        • The Free Software Foundation and Richard Stallman

          The Free Software Foundation and Richard Stallman

          I served as a director and as a voting member of the Free Software Foundation for more than a decade. I left both positions over the last 18 months and currently have no formal authority in the organization.

          So although it is now just my personal opinion, I will publicly add my voice to the chorus of people who are expressing their strong opposition to Richard Stallman’s return to leadership in the FSF and to his continued leadership in the free software movement. The current situation makes me unbelievably sad.

        • Michael Meeks: 2021-03-22 Monday [Ed: The underlying facts have not actually changed, so it makes absolutely no sense that Meeks suddenly changes his position]

          Read the news; oh dear. Previously I was willing to cut Richard a lot of slack on the grounds that I don’t think attacking hippies for being that is terribly broad minded and inclusive. However. The way in which Richard totally failed to engage with any nuance of his critics’ arguments, articulate any degree of personal growth, give any ways to address concerns about his behavior is & was in my view horribly disrespectful to those who (often at some risk) raised those concerns. In my book you don’t have to agree, but you do have to listen. An indefensible lack of finesse & clear communication for a leader. Or did I miss something. Very disappointing indeed, and probably symptomatic of the problems RMS and the FSF have.

        • Molly de Blanc, arrest and prosecution for cyberbullying

          Molly de Blanc has recently started a “petition” asking people to harass a volunteer, Richard Stallman.

          That is not a petition. As the vendetta is all about one person, it is cyberbullying.

          Mr Stallman is not a politician or highly paid CEO of a multinational. He is a volunteer on the board of a small non-profit organization, the FSF. He is not paid. Citizens who serve on boards like this are entitled to privacy and respect. He is 68 years old.

          Most organizations only give gratitude to somebody of this age who has been contributing for so long. de Blanc, on the other hand, is stripping away human dignity.

          The offender, de Blanc, resides in Somerville, Massachusetts. If you experience harassment from de Blanc, please do not copy her dirty tricks. Do not start a

        • GNOME Board Members Must Resign In Disgrace

          The current leadership of the GNOME Foundation has shown itself to be a dangerous and divisive force in the free and open source software communities. I urge the GNOME community and the greater free software and open source communities to call for the immediate removal of the entire Board of the GNOME Foundation, who have flagrantly violated their own Code of Conduct and enabled others within the GNOME community to do so.

        • Charles Plessy: GR toxique

          Many quickly reacted to the return of rms to the FSF and asked that he leaves again; some also asked for the whole board of directors to resign and some not. Meanwhile, Debian discusses a general resolution on that matter. Maybe it was not the original intent, but in practice the object of the GR is about FSF’s board of directors. Perhaps we will have the result after rms resigns? Like many GRs, it will divide Debian and leave scars, at least a tally sheet of who voted what, and who voted like whom.

        • GNU Projects

          • More on RMS’ return

            We should not let them win this. This is not just RMS, it’s a fight for truth. If we, and FSF, step down, we give them power to do anything simply because they want to.

            The first mistake was made back in 2019 when the FSF bowed down by not standing up to the mobs. That sent the message, “we listen to you.” It’s only natural that the mobs will try again, with renewed violence.

            If we had same attitude 40 years ago, there would be no FSF and GNU. It took someone like RMS to create what we have.

            Canceling someone because he explained the meaning of some words is crazy and dangerous. And there’s more. Once they realized the issue with the words was not enough of an excuse, they started looking for more, resorting to intentional misinterpretations, exaggerations and lies.

      • Programming/Development

        • What is MLOps? Machine Learning Operations Explained

          Until recently, all of us were learning about the software development lifecycle (SDLC) and how it goes from requirement elicitation → designing → development → testing → deployment → all the way down to maintenance.

        • Why You Should Learn SQL if You Want a Data Science Job

          Machine learning and AI may dominate the tech headlines, but the most important skill in the data science industry is something much older — almost 50 years old, in fact! Despite its age, SQL is still the most important language for data work.

        • ActiveSupport::Notifications is Rad!

          One of the lesser known parts of Rails core is the ActiveSupport instrumentation framework. ActiveSupport::Notifications includes all the things you need to implement pub-sub in Rails. Pub-Sub is a software architecture where you publish (send) a message without being specific about who should receive it. Fire and forget.

          Receiving a message, and doing something with it, “just” requires you to subscribe to it. Because the publisher doesn’t need to know about the subscribers (as they are decoupled), this provides nice opportunities for organization and scale.

          Let’s explore the joyful shenanigans of this.

        • Let’s build Software Libre APM together

          Alright, you learned about ActiveSupport::Notifications, InfluxDB, Grafana and influxdb-rails in the two previous posts. Let’s dive a bit deeper and look how we built the dashboards for you. So we can study, change and improve them together.

        • Measure twice, cut once: App Performance Monitoring with influxdb-rails

          Now that we learned how truly magnificent ActiveSupport::Notifications is in the previous post, let’s explore a RubyGem Chris, others and me have built around this: influxdb-rails. Together with even more awesome Software Libre, it will help you to deep dive into your Ruby on Rails application performance.

        • Python vs. R: What’s the Difference?

          Explore the basics of these two open-source programming languages, the key differences that set them apart and how to choose the right one for your situation.

          If you work in data science or analytics, you’re probably well aware of the Python vs. R debate. Although both languages are bringing the future to life — through artificial intelligence, machine learning and data-driven innovation — there are strengths and weaknesses that come into play.

        • Perl/Raku

  • Leftovers

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Security

          • Security updates for Friday

            Security updates have been issued by Debian (firefox-esr, jquery, openssl, and thunderbird), openSUSE (openssl-1_1 and tor), Oracle (firefox and thunderbird), Scientific Linux (firefox and thunderbird), SUSE (libzypp, zypper and openssl-1_1), and Ubuntu (firefox, ldb, openssl, and ruby2.0).

          • Google’s top security teams unilaterally shut down a counterterrorism operation

            Instead of focusing on who was behind and targeted by a specific operation, Google decided to take broader action for everyone. The justification was that even if a Western government was the one exploiting those vulnerabilities today, it will eventually be used by others, and so the right choice is always to fix the flaw today.

          • Google’s top security teams unilaterally shut down a counterterrorism operation (Technology Review)

            Technology review covers the controversy that has resulted from Google’s disclosure and fixing of a number of security vulnerabilities being exploited by Western intelligence agencies.

          • How to do a Checkup on Linux
          • Livepatch 2021-03-24 incident investigation report

            A defective livepatch for kernel 4.4 in Ubuntu 16.04 LTS (Xenial) was not caught in internal testing processes because the defect was a race condition, triggered by workload-specific behaviour, under load.

            The livepatch would cause the madvise system call to block indefinitely, and thus cause lockup to the processes using the call. These conditions were not replicated in our test environment.

            After passing internal testing, the livepatch was published to our free tier users (typically personal systems). Canonical services also run in this tier as an early warning system, and the defect was noticed at that stage. Customers with systems configured for this tier were also impacted. The livepatch causing the defect was retracted one and a half hours after publication, however the standard update process is designed to patch all online systems within one hour.

            The faulty livepatch was addressing a Medium severity CVE (CVE-2020-29372). This CVE fix came in as part of our normal SRU processes. The livepatch was tested in combination with an embargoed high severity CVE, and at no time did we see any issues with systems as we tested the combined livepatch. As part of the analysis of the lockup we have found that systems that are running under load may obtain a lock that is not handled correctly after the livepatch is applied. If the lock was obtained after the livepatch was applied then all is fine. Linux kernel livepatching is a complex process that we stabilize through our testing, and our tier deployment process.

            In addition to our internal testing processes, we follow a tiered deployment policy that releases livepatches to our customers, to reduce the risks associated with kernel livepatching. Customers should only receive a livepatch after all the internal embargoed test systems and the free tier, successfully apply it.

    • Digital Restrictions (DRM)

      • Colorado’s right-to-repair

        In our everyday lives, we have the means to fix many of the tools we use on a daily basis. Even though many still choose to hire professionals, taking apart your blender, bike, or even your car takes only some simple tools and curiosity to find out how things work. When it comes to consumer electronics, however, the landscape is very different. Here at System76, we believe the right to repair your computer should be the same as the right to repair anything else—sadly, many of our representatives in government don’t feel the same way.

        Yesterday, the state of Colorado held a hearing on Right to Repair legislation, known as the Consumer Digital Repair Bill of Rights (HB21-1199). According to the Colorado General Assembly, the bill would require electronics manufacturers to provide people with the resources needed to repair their equipment. This includes, “parts, embedded software, firmware, tools, or documentation, such as diagnostic, maintenance, or repair manuals, diagrams, or similar information.” As part of this effort, System76 Founder/CEO Carl Richell and Principal Engineer Jeremy Soller traveled to the Capitol to speak in support of this legislation.

    • Monopolies

      • Patents

        • Pre-Litigation Investigation of Patent Validity

          I previously wrote about the Federal Circuit’s decision in WPEM, LLC v. SOTI Inc., 2020-1483 (Fed. Cir. Dec. 9, 2020). The case focuses on pre-filing investigation — the amount of investigation that a patentee must conduct before filing a patent infringement lawsuit.

          Here, WPEM filed an infringement action against SOTI, but later dismissed the action after learning that the patent claims were very likely invalid. The district court awarded attorney fees to the defendant based upon the fact that “WPEM conducted no pre-filing investigation into the validity and enforceability of the Asserted Patent.” WPEM, LLC v. SOTI Inc., 2020 WL 555545 (E.D. Tex. Feb. 4, 2020). On appeal, WPEM argued that the law strongly presumes that a patent is valid and, as such, does not require any pre-filing investigation of patent validity. The Federal Circuit did not disagree with this argument in principle, but found this particular case to be a special case because the accused product is also the prior art. According to the Federal Circuit the fact that the accused product was on-sale before the patent’s priority date means that the dismissal also very-much about infringement.

        • Software Patents

          • A word of warning for patent revocation seafarers: if you do not set the first stone of the “problem-solution” approach correctly, you may sink [Ed: Citing the bogus approach for patent granting, so as to basically bypass the EPC and grant loads of illegal European Patents because something "problem" and something "solution"]

            On 28 December 2020, the Barcelona Court of Appeal (Section 15), one of Spain’s most experienced courts on patent matters, handed down a judgment which is interesting from a wide array of perspectives (how to assess inventive step, novelty, infringement, etc.). This blog will focus on the first aspect (i.e. inventive step) and, more specifically, on the dangers of combating inventive step applying the “problem-solution” approach if the court ultimately finds that the first step of that method has not been correctly addressed. The facts of the case can be summarized as follows:

            The claimants, a French manufacturer of automotive parts and its Spanish subsidiary, were the holder and licensee of the Spanish validations of European patents EP 764.811 (“EP ‘811”) and EP 933.254 (“EP ‘254”), which protect vehicle lighting or signaling devices having specific features. They filed a patent infringement action against the defendant, a Spanish supplier of spare auto parts, which had sold spare headlamps and signal lights for cars that allegedly infringed the claimants’ patents. By way of counterclaim, the defendant filed a revocation action against various claims of the patents in suit, namely Claims 1–6 of EP ‘811 and Claims 1 and 18 and their respective dependent claims of EP ‘254. In a judgment dated 6 March 2019, Barcelona Commercial Court No. 1 dismissed the infringement action and partially upheld the revocation counterclaim, revoking certain claims of EP ‘254 on grounds of lack of novelty. However, the Court confirmed the validity (in particular, inventive step) of patent EP ‘811. The claimants lodged an appeal before the Barcelona Court of Appeal. They argued that the defendant’s spare parts did indeed infringe Claim 1 of EP ‘811 and disagreed with the first instance decision’s finding on the novelty requirement. The defendant, in turn, lodged a cross-appeal, disagreeing with the first instance findings on the validity (in particular, inventive step, of EP ‘811).

          • $1,000 Awarded for Ryujin LLC prior art

            Unified is pleased to announce the PATROLL crowdsourcing contest winner, Herb Cohen, who received a cash prize of $1,000 for his prior art submissions for U.S. Patent 7,577,559, owned by Ryujin LLC, previously a J. Szarzynski entity but now an affiliate of Endpoint IP. The ’559 patent generally relates to a system and method for delivering media content to a user and had been asserted in district court against Plex Inc. and Synology Inc..

            We would also like to thank the dozens of other high-quality submissions that were made on this patent. The ongoing contests are open to anyone, and include tens of thousands of dollars in rewards available for helping the industry to challenge NPE patents of questionable validity by finding and submitting prior art in the contests. Visit PATROLL today to learn more about how to participate.

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  1. Links 31/05/2023: Armbian 23.05 Release and Illegal UPC

    Links for the day

  2. IRC Proceedings: Tuesday, May 30, 2023

    IRC logs for Tuesday, May 30, 2023

  3. Gemini Protocol About to Turn 4 and It's Still Growing

    In the month of May we had zero downtime (no updates to the system or outages in the network), which means Lupa did not detect any errors such as timeouts and we’re on top of the list (the page was fixed a day or so after we wrote about it); Gemini continues to grow (chart by Botond) as we’re approaching the 4th anniversary of the protocol

  4. Links 31/05/2023: Librem Server v2, curl 8.1.2, and Kali Linux 2023.2 Release

    Links for the day

  5. Gemini Links 31/05/2023: Bayes Filter and Programming Wordle

    Links for the day

  6. [Meme] Makes No Sense for EPO (Now Connected to the EU) and Staff Pensions to be Tied to the UK After Brexit

    It seems like EPO staff is starting to have doubts about the safety of EPO pensions after Benoît Battistelli sent money to reckless gambling (EPOTIF) — a plot that’s 100% supported by António Campinos and his enablers in the Council, not to mention the European Union

  7. Working Conditions at EPO Deteriorate and Staff Inquires About Pension Rights

    Work is becoming a lot worse (not even compliant with the law!) and promises are constantly being broken, so staff is starting to chase management for answers and assurances pertaining to finances

  8. Links 30/05/2023: Orc 0.4.34 and Another Rust Crisis

    Links for the day

  9. Links 30/05/2023: Nitrux 2.8.1 and HypoPG 1.4.0

    Links for the day

  10. Gemini Links 30/05/2023: Bubble Version 3.0

    Links for the day

  11. Links 30/05/2023: LibreOffice 7.6 in Review and More Digital Restrictions (DRM) From HP

    Links for the day

  12. Gemini Links 30/05/2023: Curl Still Missing the Point?

    Links for the day

  13. IRC Proceedings: Monday, May 29, 2023

    IRC logs for Monday, May 29, 2023

  14. MS (Mark Shuttleworth) as a Microsoft Salesperson

    Canonical isn’t working for GNU/Linux or for Ubuntu; it’s working for “business partners” (WSL was all along about promoting Windows)

  15. First Speaker in Event for GNU at 40 Called for Resignation/Removal of GNU's Founder

    It’s good that the FSF prepares an event to celebrate GNU’s 40th anniversary, but readers told us that the speakers list is unsavoury, especially the first one (a key participant in the relentless campaign of defamation against the person who started both GNU and the FSF; the "FSFE" isn't even permitted to use that name)

  16. When Jokes Became 'Rude' (or Disingenuously Misinterpreted by the 'Cancel Mob')

    A new and more detailed explanation of what the wordplay around "pleasure card" actually meant

  17. Site Updates and Plans Ahead

    A quick look at or a roundup of what we've been up to, what we plan to publish in the future, what topics we shall focus on very soon, and progress moving to Alpine Linux

  18. Links 29/05/2023: Snap and PipeWire Plans as Vendor Lock-in

    Links for the day

  19. Gemini Links 29/05/2023: GNU/Linux Pains and More

    Links for the day

  20. Links 29/05/2023: Election in Fedora, Unifont 15.0.04

    Links for the day

  21. Gemini Links 29/05/2023: Rosy Crow 1.1.1 and Smolver 1.2.1 Released

    Links for the day

  22. IRC Proceedings: Sunday, May 28, 2023

    IRC logs for Sunday, May 28, 2023

  23. Daniel Stenberg Knows Almost Nothing About Gemini and He's Likely Just Protecting His Turf (HTTP/S)

    The man behind Curl, Daniel Stenberg, criticises Gemini; but it's not clear if he even bothered trying it (except very briefly) or just read some inaccurate, one-sided blurbs about it

  24. Links 29/05/2023: Videos Catchup and Gemini FUD

    Links for the day

  25. Links 28/05/2023: Linux 6.4 RC4 and MX Linux 23 Beta

    Links for the day

  26. Gemini Links 28/05/2023: Itanium Day, GNUnet DHT, and More

    Links for the day

  27. Links 28/05/2023: eGates System Collapses, More High TCO Stories (Microsoft Windows)

    Links for the day

  28. IRC Proceedings: Saturday, May 27, 2023

    IRC logs for Saturday, May 27, 2023

  29. No More Twitter, Mastodon, and Diaspora for Tux Machines (Goodbye to Social Control Media)

    People would benefit from mass abandonment of such pseudo-social pseudo-media.

  30. Links 28/05/2023: New Wine and More

    Links for the day

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