09.28.21

Gemini version available ♊︎

Links 29/9/2021: LibreOffice Conference 2021, Pandemic Privacy Explained

Posted in News Roundup at 6:36 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Audiocasts/Shows

    • Kernel Space

      • Linux 5.16 To Expose AMD PSF Disable Bit To KVM Guests – Phoronix

        While the Linux kernel still hasn’t added any formal control yet for AMD Predictive Store Forwarding to disable it short of also toggling Spectre V4 / SSBD, with the Linux 5.16 kernel the AMD PSF bit will now be exposed to KVM guest virtual machines so that they — either with a patched/future kernel or for other operating systems — may choose to toggle explicitly disable this AMD CPU feature.

        Predictive Store Forwarding is the Zen 3 feature in the name of performance that AMD provided a security analysis of earlier this year and the (small) possibility it could lead to incorrect CPU speculation. More than a half-year later, there still are no indications of any real-world attack on AMD PSF and the functionality remains enabled by default. But efforts to expose a PSF option for disabling it under Linux if so desired (aside from also engaging SSBD) have stalled.

      • Graphics Stack

        • RadeonSI Driver Merges NGG Improvements, Other Optimizations For Mesa 21.3 – Phoronix

          AMD open-source driver developers today merged another big set of patches providing various micro-optimizations and other enhancements to the RadeonSI Gallium3D driver.

          Ahead of Mesa 21.3 branching in a few weeks, the latest Mesa Git code saw a big set of patches today for the open-source RadeonSI driver. As with recent Mesa activity, there has been much work around SPECViewPerf/workstation optimizations and also further maturing the open-source driver’s NGG (Next-Gen Geometry) handling.

        • AMD Posts Code Enabling “Cyan Skillfish” Display Support Due To Different DCN2 Variant – Phoronix

          ince July we’ve seen AMD open-source driver engineers posting code for “Cyan Skillfish” as an APU with Navi 1x graphics. While initial support for Cyan Skillfish was merged for Linux 5.15, it turns out the display code isn’t yet wired up due to being a different DCN2 variant for its display block.

          Cyan Skillfish is in a bit of an odd position since its a Navi 1x RDNA APU where as other leaks/rumors showed AMD moving straight from the existing Vega-based APUs over to Navi 2x / RDNA2 and not matching with other road-map expectations… Especially with the AMDGPU Linux driver stack already busy preparing for Yellow Carp / Rembrandt and Van Gogh. Possibly pointing to Cyan Skillfish being more of a custom APU design is that it has slightly different display IP compared to existing RDNA/RDNA2 hardware.

    • Applications

      • Element And Movim Messengers Comparison Made Simple

        This is my simple overview of two greatest group chat messengers from decentralization family, Element of Matrix and Movim of XMPP, with easy point of view everyone can try themselves. This is a discussion of usability from an end user without talking about technology stuffs like security or protocol. Let’s chat!

      • Linux Image viewer gThumb 3.12 released

        The gThumb 3.12 image viewer has been released. Also in August, 3.11.4 was released, which we have not yet written about. Let’s note some changes in new versions.

      • OBS Studio 27.1 includes 18-scene multi-view and fixes for Wayland

        Recently OBS Studio 27.1 has appeared , the first minor release of the twenty-seventh major version of this professional video recording software, which is also one of the great prides of free software as its code is published under the GPLv2 license.

        OBS Studio 27 was a turning point for the Linux application thanks to the fact that it finally brought official support for Wayland, something that was beginning to be necessary due to the slow but constant advancement of the graphical protocol, which could have its definitive consolidation in the year 2022 thanks to the progression of KDE Plasma and the apparent high probability that the Steam Deck, with the composer GameScope in SteamOS 3, will bet on Wayland by default.

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • How to Install Discord on Debian 11 Bullseye

        Discord is a free voice, video, and text chat app used by tens of millions of people ages 13+ to talk and hang out with their communities and friends. Users communicate with voice calls, video calls, text messaging, media, and files in private chats or as part of communities called “servers.” Discord is available on Windows, macOS, and Linux Distros.

        In the following tutorial, you will learn how to install Discord client on Debian 11 Bullseye.

      • 1 Click FeedReader RSS Reader on Ubuntu [ Easy ]

        FeedReader is a modern desktop application designed to complement existing web-based RSS accounts. It combines all the advantages of web based services like synchronisation across all your devices with everything you expect from a modern desktop application.

      • Troubleshooting “Bash: Command Not Found” Error in Linux

        This beginner tutorial shows how to go about fixing the Bash: command not found error on Debian, Ubuntu and other Linux distributions.

        When you use commands in Linux, you expect to see an output. But sometimes, you’ll encounter issues where the terminal shows ‘command not found’ error.

      • How to stake on NYM Validator · Pablo Iranzo Gómez’s blog

        As said in the article about mixnodes and validators, NYM is a technology aiming for providing privacy for the communications.

        Once you get some tokens, PUNK at this time, you can use the web wallet to check the balance of your account and delegate it to mixnodes or gateways… but, using the binaries, you can additionally delegate to validators.

        For doing this, we first need the nymd binary on our system to follow the procedure for compiling it from the documentation for validators, but skip the remaining parts https://nymtech.net/docs/run-nym-nodes/validators/.

      • Jonathan McDowell: Adding Zigbee to my home automation
      • Richard W.M. Jones: Installing Fedora 34 on my Turing Pi 7 node cluster 1

        I now have Fedora 34 running on all 7 nodes of my Turing Pi 1 cluster. Tedious to install, so these are just my notes.

      • How to Block an IP address on a Linux server

        If you’re running a website, or even if you’re a webmaster, you will definitely come across users that are annoying to the core. They may spam comments, or are just a nuisance for other users on your website. Another, more alarming reason for constant requests by a specific IP address is the security threat of a brute force attack on your website. In either case, you’ll just want to get rid of them pronto!

        What these users are doing is they’re sending too many requests, and the best way to deal with them is to block their IP address. To do this is fairly easy if you’re using a Linux OS. You’ll have to use iptables to access IP Addresses on Linux.

        Follow this article for all the commands to access IP addresses on your website and block them.

      • How to install PulseEffects on a Chromebook

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

      • How to install PulseEffects on a Chromebook

        Keepalived is a system daemon that monitors services or systems continuously and achieve high availability in the event of failure. If one node is down then the second node will serve the resources. Keepalived is used for IP failover between two servers. Its facilities for load balancing and high-availability to Linux-based infrastructures. It worked on VRRP (Virtual Router Redundancy Protocol) protocol.

        Usually we install and configure Keepalived in two server with one IP usually known as VIP (Virtual IP).

    • Wine or Emulation

      • CrossOver 21 is now available: how to use it to run Windows apps on your Chromebook

        It’s been a while since we’ve touched on CrossOver. It’s a commercial product from CodeWeavers, the developers behind Wine and Proton, which allows Windows applications and games to run natively on Linux and macOS. Thankfully the janky old days of CrossOver running on Chromebooks through limited Android integration is now behind us. They have moved to having it instead run in the Linux (Crostini) environment which provides an enhanced experience. A lot of changes have been made under-the-hood since we last had a look at CrossOver just 4 years ago. Installation is easier, compatibility has gotten a lot better, and even the user interface has received some more polish. Check out all the new updates in CrossOver 21 over on the CodeWeavers blog.

    • Games

      • Why Do Games On Linux Stutter? Here Are the Possible Reasons – Make Tech Easier

        Linux has made impressive leaps in terms of its accessibility to gamers of all genres, from the most avid map painting enthusiasts to the most competitive marksmen. Despite all of this, there are still game compatibility challenges to overcome from a large variety of sources, including frame rate consistency. We’re here to explore why many games that don’t have a high demand for resources inexplicably suffer, even when explicitly ported for play in Linux.

      • Free and open source racer SuperTuxKart 1.3 is out now

        SuperTuxKart, one of the golden oldies when it comes to free and open source gaming has a new release out with SuperTuxKart 1.3 improving lots.

        To help with performance STK now has the ability for you to change the rendering resolution scaling to get a performance boost, although it does reduce the image quality. There’s a few unused graphical effects removed, the texture code was improved, improved screen space reflection and more graphics updates.

      • SuperTuxKart 1.3 release

        The SuperTuxKart team is happy to announce the release of version 1.3. Online play is still compatible with the previous 1.x versions. Here are the changes compared to release candidate:

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • What’s new in KDE Plasma 5.24

          It took a little longer than usual, but article this week’s on what’s to come for the KDE world was released this weekend. The title of the post alone tells you a lot: “Plasma in progress”. So this means that Plasma 5.23 beta is now available, and in the list of new features that have advanced today there are many changes that will come in the next major release, namely in Plasma 5.24. One of them concerns the accent color that can be chosen. So, the KDE project starts to focus on the new features of Plasma 5.24 which already has many new features as you can see below.

    • Distributions

      • HOT DOG Linux for Retro Linux fans

        HOT DOG Linux is only a Linux distribution in the broader sense. HOT DOG stands for
        H orrible O bsolete T ypeface and D readful O nscreen G raphics for Linux, and the name says it all.

        The project tries to on a modern basis look and feel to imitate older user interfaces. This includes Windows 3.1 Hot Dog Stand, Amiga Workbench, Atari ST GEM and the surface of classic Macs. A display with a low DPI value is recommended for use, as the graphics used are only available in bitmap format in a predefined size. HOT DOG Linux can be used either in 5: 4 landscape mode or in 3: 4 in portrait mode.

      • OmniOS Community Edition r151038v, r151036av, r151030dv

        OmniOS r151038v, r151036av and r151030dv are now available.

      • OmniOS Adds VirtFS File Sharing For Bhyve, Better System Console Performance – Phoronix

        The open-source Solaris/Illumos ecosystem certainly isn’t vibrant these days like back during the Sun Microsystems times with OpenSolaris, but OmniOS continues progressing as one of the few still-active and useful Solaris/Illumos-powered platforms.

      • SUSE/OpenSUSE

        • Digest of YaST Development Sprints 131 & 132

          This is our third blog post since summer started in Europe and also the third time in a row we write a combined blog post for two development sprints. And it’s also the third consecutive report focused on improvements to the existing codebase rather than on new shiny features.

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • Fedora Magazine: Announcing the release of Fedora Linux 35 Beta

          The Fedora Project is pleased to announce the immediate availability of Fedora Linux 35 Beta, the next step towards our planned Fedora Linux 35 release at the end of October.

          [...]

          New in this release is Fedora Kinoite—a KDE Plasma environment based on rpm-ostree technology. Like Fedora Silverblue, Kinoite provides atomic updates and an immutable operating system for increased reliability.

          Fedora Linux 35 builds on the switch to PipeWire for managing audio by introducing WirePlumber as the default session manager. WirePlumber enables customization of rules for routing streams to and from devices.

          Of course, there’s the usual update of programming languages and libraries: Python 3.10, Perl 5.34, PHP 8.0 and more!

        • Fedora Linux 35 has entered beta testing – LinuxStoney

          The beta release marked the transition to the final stage of testing, in which only critical bug fixes are allowed. The release is scheduled for October 26th. This release covers Fedora Workstation , Fedora Server, Fedora Silverblue, Fedora IoT, and Live builds delivered as spins with KDE Plasma 5, Xfce, MATE, Cinnamon, LXDE and LXQt desktop environments. Assemblies are formed for x86_64, Power64, ARM64 (AArch64) architectures and various devices with 32-bit ARM processors.

        • Fedora 35 Beta Available to Download with GNOME 41

          The Fedora team have announced a new development snapshot of their popular Linux distribution. Fedora 35 Beta ships with GNOME 41 with an updated software manager, and utilities to improve laptop battery life.

          “Fedora 35 Workstation Beta includes GNOME 41, the newest release of the GNOME desktop environment. GNOME 41 includes a redesigned Software application that makes it easier to find and install the tools you need. And now when you enable third-party repositories during installation, you’ll get access to flatpaks from Flathub to supplement the Fedora repository. Fedora 35 Workstation also includes power-profiles-daemon, which allows you to choose between optimizing for system performance or battery life. New in this release is Fedora Kinoite—a KDE Plasma environment based on rpm-ostree technology. Like Fedora Silverblue, Kinoite provides atomic updates and an immutable operating system for increased reliability. Fedora Linux 35 builds on the switch to PipeWire for managing audio by introducing WirePlumber as the default session manager. WirePlumber enables customization of rules for routing streams to and from devices.” Additional information can be found in the project’s release announcement.

        • Fedora Linux 35 Beta Now Available

          The Fedora Project has announced the release of Fedora Linux 35 Beta, which includes updates spanning the Linux kernel to the desktop experience.

          Fedora Workstation 35 comes with improved NVIDIA support under Wayland. This adds support for NVIDIA with XWayland, which means users who want to run applications that don’t have native Wayland support can still benefit from 3D support under NVIDIA drivers.

        • Fedora Community Blog: How to rebase to Fedora Silverblue 35 Beta

          Silverblue is an operating system for your desktop built on Fedora Linux. It’s excellent for daily use, development, and container-based workflows. It offers numerous advantages such as being able to roll back in case of any problems. If you want to update to F35 Beta on your Silverblue system, this article tells you how. It not only shows you what to do, but also how to revert back if anything unforeseen happens.

          Prior to the update to Fedora 35 Beta, apply any pending upgrades.

        • New IBM and Linux Foundation toolkit makes AI projects more organized [Ed: Missing disclosure; IBM pays this publisher to crank up and vomit out puff pieces such as these]

          IBM Corp. has teamed up with the The LF AI & Data Foundation, an open-source group operating as part of the Linux Foundation, to launch a new toolkit for managing enterprise machine learning projects.

          The toolkit is called the Machine Learning eXchange and made its debut today under an open-source license. According to IBM, the software aims to address a common challenge for enterprises developing artificial intelligence applications: duplicate work.

        • IBM and Linux Foundation AI and Data announce Machine Learning eXchange

          IBM and Linux Foundation AI (LFAI) launched Machine Learning eXchange (MLX) as a one stop shop for trusted data and AI artifacts in open source and open governance.

          MLX provides a collection of free, open source, state-of-the-art deep learning models for common application domains. The curated list includes deployable models that can be run as a microservice on Kubernetes or OpenShift and trainable models where users can provide their own data to train the models.

        • MontaVista MVShield Support Now Available for Rocky Linux Baselines

          MontaVista® Software, LLC, a leader in commercial Embedded Linux® products and services, today announced the immediate availability of MVShield support services for Rocky Linux. The Rocky Linux project was founded in late 2020, gathering immediate momentum since its inception with continued robust adoption during 2021.

        • Why people think that I am an IBM Power Champion? | Random thoughts of Peter ‘CzP’ Czanik

          I must admit, that knowing what an IBM Power Champion is, I am not surprised at all, that I was mistaken for an IBM Power Champion. I am a long time POWER user. Started with RS6000 boxes almost 30 years ago. I helped to install the largest POWER server in Hungary at the turn of the century. I supported Linux on the Genesi Pegasos, a PowerPC workstation, for many years. I was an active contributor and moderator on the power-developer forums and on power.org. And recently I support syslog-ng on POWER. POWER9 provided the best syslog-ng performance for years, and I have a strong suspicion that after a short break the release of POWER10 gives back the performance crown to the POWER architecture. Tead the article I wrote based on my OpenPOWER conference talk last year to see my history in detail and that I am not that active recently: I’m a POWER user

          So why do people have the impression that I actively work on POWER technologies? I guess it’s because of my job. If I am enthusiastic about a technology, I talk about it loud and clear. Even if it is not part of my job. And my enthusiasm is contagious. I am a technology evangelist, and by definition it means that I advocate technologies and help them in many possible ways. For my job I work with sudo and syslog-ng, however if I like something, it receives the same treatment – in my free time. You can learn more about being an open source evangelist from my article on opensource.com: What is an open source evangelist?

        • Set up mod_cluster for Red Hat JBoss Web Server with Ansible | Red Hat Developer

          In the article Automate Red Hat JBoss Web Server deployments with Ansible, we fully automated the setup of an Apache Tomcat server instance. In this follow-up, we’ll further customize the behavior of the Java web server. We will also use this opportunity to replace the Apache Tomcat distribution we deployed previously with Red Hat JBoss Web Server.

        • DAWR YOLO even with DD2.3

          Way back in Linux 5.2 was a “YOLO” mode for the DAWR register required for debugging with hardware watchpoints. This register functions properly on POWER8 but has an erratum on pre-DD2.3 POWER9 steppings (what Raptor sells as “v1″) where the CPU will checkstop — invariably bringing the operating system to a screeching halt — if a watchpoint is set on cache-inhibited memory like device I/O. This is rare but catastrophic enough that the option to enable DAWR anyway is hidden behind a debugfs switch.

        • Modeling open management practices | Opensource.com

          In the first part of my interview with Sam Knuth, a fellow Open Organization Ambassador, we discussed how leaders need to make time to be open. Openness isn’t effortless.

          In this second part, Sam and I discuss how executive leaders support their managers and teams in leading with open values. Because of the confidentiality of some of the answers (we’re colleagues at Red Hat, after all), I am summarizing the interview in a series of articles that highlight and share some of Sam’s most memorable observations and practices.

      • Debian Family

        • Debian 12 with GNOME 40.4 Download

          The bookworm (Debian 12 ‘Bookworm’) is ready for download and testing. If you find Debian boring, you can take part in the test of version 12 and learn better. After the freeze and release phase of Debian 11, the developers are back to work. Gnome 40.4 is already included in the test version ‘Debian 12 Bookworm’. Download, try, help test!

          Gnome 40 is a turning point in the Gnome world as it makes the graphical environment more attractive, brighter and less cluttered compared to the 3-series versions. You can stand by the reduced desktop environment however you want; It is always attractive and modern. With GNOME 41, the options for settings have been expanded again, as we reported.

        • Toshiba Canvio Advance external hard disk and Debian Linux.

          My Western Digital 2 TB “EasyStore” finally crashed after 5 years.

          Luckily, I back up things that are important in numerous places, so I lost very little that was ultimately that important, but when I purchased a replacement, the best deal I could find (with my spouse’s 10% Walmart discount and my 5% back in points from the credit card people on Walmart’s website) was a 4 TB Toshiba Canvio Advance.

          The review of reliability (as far as drives go) was hard to determine, as the BackBlaze article I was able to gloss over said they appear to be at least as reliable as other major brands, but that they just didn’t have as many to compare. Fair enough. For 2.9 cents per GB, it made sense to try one out. So that’s what I’m using now.

          I formatted it to Ext4 for use with Linux, as non-native NTFS volumes require third party userspace drivers, because of all of Microsoft’s nasty patents and if Microsoft’s own repair tools for NTFS can sometimes themselves corrupt NTFS volumes, even though NTFS dates back to 1993, I’m not hopeful for third party tools. You get better reliability and I/O efficiency, and better CPU usage stats, out of native file systems. Period. And while NTFS being compatible with Windows is an argument for NTFS, it’s not that much of one. With Linux having a kernel module for ExFAT now with read/write support and a tools package, you’d probably be better off with that if cross-platform compatibility is going to be a concern.

          (The Macs have read/write ExFAT but cannot write NTFS. Toshiba suggested that Mac users reformat it to Horrible File System + extended attributes, not the actual name, but I jest. Anyway, then it wouldn’t work right with Windows or Linux. Though it was nice of them not to just do what hardware vendors normally do. Preformat it for the Mac and add fifty bucks and say it’s the Mac version).

          Plus, I think Windows can read Ext4 now, so really, even if I encounter Windows again, meh.

          Regardless, while I was formatting the sucker, something odd popped out at me.

    • Devices/Embedded

      • Bangle.js 2 JavaScript smartwatch gets an nRF52840 MCU, a new design (Crowdfunding)

        The Bangle.js 2 is an upgraded, improved version of the Bangle.js hackable, JavaScript smartwatch based on NordicSemi nRF52832 SoC that was introduced in 2019 with ESPruino open-source firmware.

        The new watch comes with a new rectangular design, a Nordic Semi nRF52840 SoC that offers four times the RAM, twice the on-chip and external flash, plus an always-on sunlight-readable screen with full touchscreen support, and improved Bluetooth signal strength.

      • Aaeon launches Tiger Lake embedded PC, with a mini-PC version coming soon

        Aaeon’s $900-and-up “Boxer-6643-TGU” system combines Intel’s 11th Gen CPU with up to 64GB DDR4, 2.5GbE and GbE, 3x USB 3.2 Gen2, 2.5-inch SATA, and M.2 B- and M-key slots. A smaller “Boxer-6450-TGU” model is also in the works.

        Aaeon has launched a rugged, fanless embedded computer equipped with Intel’s 11th Gen Tiger Lake UP3 processors. The Boxer-6643-TGU, which starts at $900 with a dual-core Core i3-1115G4E, is designed for embedded controller, digital signage, and Industrial IoT (IIoT) gateway applications. Supported OSes include Ubuntu 20.04.2, Win 10 IoT, and Win 10 Pro. Aaeon also revealed a smaller, reduced-feature Boxer-6450-TGU mini-PC, which is due later this year (see farther below)

      • Data acquisition SBC offers PCIe/104 and mPCIe expansions

        DIamond Systems’ Saturn is a rugged Intel Atom x5-E3940 powered SBC with an industrial analog and digital data acquisition subsystem, as well as PCIe/104 OneBank and mini PCIe sockets for I/O expansion.

        The Saturn SBC is also equipped with either 4GB non-ECC or 8GB ECC RAM, SATA, two Gigabit Ethernet networking interfaces, two HDMI video outputs, multiple USB and serial interfaces, and more… most available through positive latching connectors that comply with the PCIe/104 standard, which also allows for stacking multiple expansion boards through the PCIe/104 Onebank connectors.

      • 3.5-inch SBC expands upon Tiger Lake-U with 2.5GbE and quad displays

        MiTac’s 3.5-inch “PD11TGS” SBC is equipped with an 11th Gen U-series CPU with quadruple display support plus 2.5GbE, GbE, 4x USB 3.2 Gen2, SATA III, and M.2 E-key and B-key slots with nano-SIM.

        ICP Germany has begun distributing what appears to be MiTac’s first 3.5-inch SBC. The 3.5-inch form-factor PD11TGS board follows MiTac’s MP1-11TGS embedded system, which similarly runs on Intel’s 10nm-fabricated, 11th Gen Tiger Lake ULP. Other Tiger Lake-U based 3.5-inch boards include Commell’s LE-370, among others.

      • Open Hardware/Modding

        • Erasable Pen Ink Adds Colors To 3D Prints | Hackaday

          Changing colors during a 3D print is notoriously difficult. Either you need multiple heads ready to go during the print which increases operating and maintenance costs for your printer, or you need to stop the print to switch the filament and then hope that everything matches up when the print is resumed. There are some workarounds to this problem, but not many of them are as smooth an effortless as this one which uses erasable pen ink to add colors to the filament on the fly.

        • Keebin’ With Kristina: The One Where Shift Happens | Hackaday

          [Jaryd] even made their own spring for this beast using a drill and a 3D-printed cylinder chucked into it. But the best part has to be the way it works: by actuating a regular-sized key switch connected to an Arduino.

        • Sababox is an easy-to-use remote for the elderly | Arduino Blog

          Modern television remote controls have a massive number of buttons compared to their more primitive predecessors, and because of this, seniors can struggle with knowing which button to press and when as well as having difficulties seeing the small text. This problem inspired Instructables user omerrv to create a device that he calls the Sababox, which contains just a few large, easily-pressable buttons for simple use.

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • Tutanota is Offering Free Premium Accounts For Open-Source Projects

        Tutanota, a leading end-to-end encrypted mail service, is giving free premium subscriptions to open-source developers.

        Online privacy matters. And, people associated with open-source projects prefer using privacy-focused solutions for the same reason.

        If you are a part of an open-source project (project lead or an active contributor) older than 30 days, you can get free premium accounts for all your team members.

      • Events

        • Debian Reunion Hamburg 2021, klein aber fein

          So the Debian Reunion Hamburg 2021 has been going on for not yet 48h now and it appears people are having fun, enjoying discussions between fellow Debian people and getting some stuff done as well. I guess I’ll write some more about it once the event is over…

      • Web Browsers

        • Chromium

      • Productivity Software/LibreOffice/Calligra

        • LibreOffice Conference 2021: Opening session

          Here’s the opening session from last week’s LibreOffice Conference 2021!

          More sessions to come, plus a playlist and PeerTube alternatives…

          Please confirm that you want to play a YouTube video. By accepting, you will be accessing content from YouTube, a service provided by an external third party.

      • Programming/Development

        • FSFE: Youth Hacking 4 Freedom

          The Free Software Foundation Europe (FSFE) is organizing the coding competition “Youth Hacking 4 Freedom” (YH4F) for European teenagers (14-18). Six winners will receive a cash prize and a trip to Brussels. There will be an opening event October 10 and registration will remain open until October 31.

        • /dev/random: Software obsoleting faster than Hardware

          This was not an one-off situation either. We had multiple customers with years of uptime. In one of the academic institutes, the uptime was well into decades, that multiple sysadmins changed, but the netware box tirelessly worked on. At some point of time, nobody knew where the server was physically located, as nobody looked at it as everything worked fine.

          In almost all the cases, the hardware failed before the software. The software was engineered so well that it would have run forever on superior hardware (albeit not so efficiently capable of using the modern hardware in its true potential). Those days, even the hardware was built to last for decades. It was the good old times before the planned obsolescence.

          Fast forward to today, 2021. I have a Redmi 4 android phone, built by the mass manufacturer Xiaomi. I bought it on May 30th 2017 and still use it everyday. I always purchase things for long-term. I believe in BuyItForLife principles. I maintain my hardware properly (Fully discharge and then recharge, handle with care etc.). Even my prior phone, a Motorola E398 lasted me a about a decade, before the charger gave up.

        • Picolibc Continues Maturing As Very Lightweight C Library For The Embedded World

          While Keith Packard is known for his work on X11/X.Org, the past few years he has also been developing Picolibc as a C library intended for embedded systems. He also recently jumped from SiFive to Amazon and appears at the ecommerce giant to be working on Picolibc in an official capacity, presumably for use on Amazon’s growing hardware devices.

          Keith packard presented virtually yesterday for the Linux Foundation’s Open-Source Summit North America on Picolibc in an Amazon capacity. Picolibc 1.0 released back in 2019 and we’ve covered it a few times since while this was the first status update we’ve heard on the project for 2021.

        • Heatshrink – An ultra-lightweight compression library for embedded systems – CNX Software

          When I wrote about Bangle.js 2 JavaScript smartwatch yesterday, I noticed they used “Heatshrink compression” in ESPruino firmware. I can’t remember ever reading about Heatshrink before, and indeed there are no results while searching on CNX Software.

          Heatshrink is an open-source data compression library designed for resources-constrained embedded systems that works with as little as 50 bytes of RAM. That’s impressive, so let’s investigate.

    • Standards/Consortia

      • Gopher, The Competing Standard To WWW In The ’90s Is Still Worth Checking Out | Hackaday

        he 30th anniversary of the World Wide Web passed earlier this year. Naturally, this milestone was met with truckloads of nerdy fanfare and pining for those simpler times. In three decades, the Web has evolved from a promising niche experiment to being an irreplaceable component of global discourse. For all its many faults, the Web has become all but essential for billions around the world, and isn’t going anywhere soon.

        As the mainstream media lauded the immense success for the Web, another Internet information system also celebrated thirty years – Gopher. A forgotten heavyweight of the early Internet, the popularity of Gopher plummeted during the late 90s, and nearly disappeared entirely. Thankfully, like its plucky namesake, Gopher continued to tunnel across the Internet well into the 21st century, supported by a passionate community and with an increasing number of servers coming online.

      • Vulkan 1.2.194 Brings New Extension For Google’s Fuchsia OS – Phoronix

        Vulkan 1.2.194 is out as the latest spec revision to this high performance graphics and compute API.

        Vulkan 1.2.194 comes with the usual assortment of documentation fixes/clarifications collected over the past week. Plus there is one new extension.

  • Leftovers

    • Jon Chiappetta: Trying to live a simpler life

      Since I have been working from home during this fall/winter season up north, in the woods, I also setup a mini-network here with a nice: 802.11ac tri-band POE-AP, Netgear gigabit-ethernet POE-SWITCH, and the famous TP-LINK archer C7-V5 OpenWRT router/firewall. These all make for a great, stable, and reliable home network configuration when used together!

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Pseudo-Open Source

          • Privatisation/Privateering

            • Linux Foundation

              • Training and Certification Are Key to Open Source Jobs

                As mentioned previously, open source skills are in high demand, with 92 percent of hiring managers reporting difficulty finding skilled talent, according to the recent 2021 Open Source Jobs Report from the Linux Foundation and edX. In this article, we’ll look at specific in-demand skills and other insights from the survey.

                “Open source talent is in high demand, encouraging the most experienced pros to look for new opportunities while hiring managers battle it out for the most desirable candidates,” said Linux Foundation Executive Director Jim Zemlin. “For those looking for the best career paths, it is evident that cloud native computing, DevOps, Linux, and security hold the most promising opportunities.”

        • Security

          • Security updates for Tuesday

            Security updates have been issued by CentOS (kernel), openSUSE (gd, grilo, nodejs14, and transfig), Oracle (nodejs:14 and squid), Red Hat (kernel and shim and fwupd), SUSE (apache2, atftp, gd, and python-Pillow), and Ubuntu (apache2, linux, linux-aws, linux-aws-5.11, linux-gcp, linux-kvm, linux-oracle, linux-raspi, linux, linux-aws, linux-aws-5.4, linux-azure, linux-azure-5.4, linux-gcp, linux-gcp-5.4, linux-gke, linux-gke-5.4, linux-gkeop, linux-gkeop-5.4, linux-hwe-5.4, linux-kvm, linux-oracle, linux-oracle-5.4, and vim).

          • RCE Vulnerability in Hikvision Cameras (CVE-2021-36260)

            Hikvision has released updates to mitigate a command injection vulnerability—CVE-2021-36260—in Hikvision cameras that use a web server service. A remote attacker could exploit this vulnerability to take control of an affected device.

          • Breaking Custom Cursor to p0wn the web | Almost Secure

            Browser extensions make attractive attack targets. That’s not necessarily because of the data handled by the extension itself, but too often because of the privileges granted to the extension. Particularly extensions with access to all websites should better be careful and reduce the attack surface as much as possible. Today’s case study is Custom Cursor, a Chrome extension that more than 6 million users granted essentially full access to their browsing session.

          • Container security without governance is neither secure nor governed [Ed: See "Sponsored by Red Hat." At the bottom of this 'piece'. Timothy Prickett Morgan has been nothing short of IBM shill for about a decade already (they pay him for it; sponsored by IBM) and media like The Register is shamelessly pushing ads as 'articles'. This is corruption of the concept of journalism.]
          • Fear, Uncertainty, Doubt/Fear-mongering/Dramatisation

            • CISA and NSA Release Guidance on Selecting and Hardening VPNs [Ed: This must be satire because when NSA touches such things it adds back doors to them]

              The National Security Agency (NSA) and CISA have released the cybersecurity information sheet Selecting and Hardening Standards-based Remote Access VPN Solutions to address the potential security risks associated with using Virtual Private Networks (VPNs). Remote-access VPN servers allow off-site users to tunnel into protected networks, making these entry points vulnerable to exploitation by malicious cyber actors.

          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • Pandemic Privacy

              A Preliminary Analysis of Collection Technologies, Data Collection Laws, and Legislative Reform during COVID-19

            • Pandemic Privacy Explained

              This report focused on how data was collected during the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States, United Kingdom, and Canada, the extent to which privacy inhibited pandemic responses in Canada, and how Canadian privacy legislation introduced during the pandemic would problematically have rewritten federal commercial privacy law had it not died on the order paper.

              In analyzing how COVID-19 data has been collected in the United States, United Kingdom, and Canada, we found that the breadth and extent of data collection constituted entirely novel technological responses to a health crisis despite the fact that many of the adopted methods could be mapped onto a trajectory of past collection practices. We also found that the ability for private companies such as Google and Apple to forcefully shape some of the technology-enabled pandemic responses speaks to the significant ability of private companies to guide public health measures that rely on contemporary smartphone technologies.

              Throughout the pandemic concerns have arisen that privacy, or privacy law, would prevent governments from adequately collecting, using, or sharing data to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. We did not find that privacy law was responsible for the problems that have arisen throughout Canadian governments’ responses to the pandemic. Privacy, health, and emergencies laws that were in place since the outset of the COVID-19 pandemic ensured that governments and private organizations alike were able to mobilize information to combat the pandemic.

              Finally, in assessing potential future privacy legislation that emerged in the wake of the pandemic, we found that the Canadian government’s proposed legislation could have significantly extended the ability of private organizations to collect, use, or disclose personal information without individuals’ consent. Moreover, had the Canadian-style legislation been adopted into law then it would have failed to include a human rights-based focus, with the effect of insufficiently protecting Canadians’ personal information at a time where such protections are sorely needed.

    • Censorship/Free Speech

    • Monopolies

      • Patents

        • What Is International Patent Compliance? How Can I Patent My Product For The International Market? [Ed: WIPO has a collective of shills in UAE as well, perpetuating monopolies and inequality under the guise of "law" (whose?)]

          The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) constitutes one of the specialized agencies of the United Nations, and its main purpose is to promote and protect intellectual property across the world by cooperating with countries as well as other international organizations involved. WIPO has an international ‘Patent Cooperation Treaty’ (PCT) that has been ratified by at least 153 countries worldwide, including the United Arab Emirates. A PCT application can be best understood as the procedure through which applicants can seek international protection for their patents. International patents are granted as an exclusive right granted for an invention, which provides a new method or industrial applicability.

          The incorporated system allows the applicants to file a single application under the PCT in order to seek patent protection in a number of countries altogether instead of processing individual applications to each member country. Such a procedure allows an applicant to save both time and money and allows them to process patent protection internationally in a highly convenient and simplified procedure.

        • The proper standard for willful infringement: “deliberate or intentional infringement”

          Today’s decision in SRI Int’l., Inc. v. Cisco Sys., Inc. (Fed. Cir. 2021) is an important Federal Circuit decision regarding enhanced damages for willful infringement. It also adds further to the complexity of Federal Circuit doctrine on enhanced damages — despite the Supreme Court’s warning against an “unduly rigid” approach in Halo Elecs., Inc. v. Pulse Elecs., Inc., 136 S. Ct. 1923 (2016).

          [...]

          Based upon the lower-standard for willfulness, the appellate panel reinstated the jury verdict of willfulness and also reinstated the district court’s award of double-damages.*

        • Germany and Slovenia ratify Protocol on Provisional Application Unified Patent Court [Ed: Bristows is now writing anonymously again in “Kluwer Patent Blog” to promote the latest propaganda line of Team UPC, trying to make something dead appear as though it is still alive]

          According to a report of the UPC Preparatory Committee, the German government deposited the instrument of ratification for the PPA on 27 September 2021. It wrote: “This is a decisive step on the way to the establishment of the Unified Patent Court after the work had been on hold for several years during the examination of the Agreement by the German Federal Constitutional Court (FCC).”

          In a press statement, the German minister of Federal Justice, Christine Lambrecht, said: “With this step we have come a decisive step closer to European patent reform, which is so important for innovative companies in Europe. The Unified Patent Court will come. For German industry, which holds around 40 percent of all registered European patents, better protection of their inventions in the European internal market is of particular importance. This also applies to small and medium-sized companies that make a significant contribution to the innovative potential of our country. ”

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DecorWhat Else is New


  1. Links 25/10/2021: pg_statement_rollback 1.3 and Lots of Patent Catchup

    Links for the day



  2. Microsoft GitHub Exposé — Part III — A Story of Plagiarism and Likely Securities Fraud

    Today we tread slowly and take another step ahead, revealing the nature of only some among many problems that GitHub and Microsoft are hiding from the general public (to the point of spiking media reports)



  3. [Meme] [Teaser] Oligarchs-Controlled Patent Offices With Media Connections That Cover Up Corruption

    As we shall see later today, the ‘underworld’ in Bulgaria played a role or pulled the strings of politically-appointed administrators who guarded Benoît Battistelli‘s liberticidal regime at the EPO



  4. IRC Proceedings: Sunday, October 24, 2021

    IRC logs for Sunday, October 24, 2021



  5. Links 25/10/2021: EasyOS 3.1 and Bareflank 3.0

    Links for the day



  6. The Demolition of the EPO Was Made Possible With Assistance From Countries That Barely Have European Patents

    The legal basis of today's EPO has been crushed; a lot of this was made possible by countries with barely any stakes in the outcome



  7. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part XXII: The Balkan League - North Macedonia and Albania

    We continue to look at Benoît Battistelli‘s enablers at the EPO



  8. Links 24/10/2021: GPS Daemon (GPSD) Bug and Lots of Openwashing

    Links for the day



  9. Links 24/10/2021: XWayland 21.1.3 and Ubuntu Linux 22.04 LTS Daily Build

    Links for the day



  10. IRC Proceedings: Saturday, October 23, 2021

    IRC logs for Saturday, October 23, 2021



  11. Links 24/10/2021: Ceph Boss Sage Weil Resigns and Many GPL Enforcement Stories

    Links for the day



  12. GAFAM-Funded NPR Reports That Facebook Let Millions of People Like Trump Flout the So-called Rules. Not Just “a Few”.

    Guest post by Ryan, reprinted with permission



  13. Some Memes About What Croatia Means to the European Patent Office

    Before we proceed to other countries in the region, let’s not forget or let’s immortalise the role played by Croatia in the EPO (memes are memorable)



  14. Gangster Culture in the EPO

    The EPO‘s Administrative Council was gamed by a gangster from Croatia; today we start the segment of the series which deals with the Balkan region



  15. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part XXI: The Balkan League – The Doyen and His “Protégée”

    The EPO‘s circle of corruption in the Balkan region will be the focus of today’s (and upcoming) coverage, showing some of the controversial enablers of Benoît Battistelli and António Campinos, two deeply corrupt French officials who rapidly drive the Office into the ground for personal gain (at Europe’s expense!)



  16. Links 23/10/2021: FreeBSD 12.3 Beta, Wine 6.20, and NuTyX 21.10.0

    Links for the day



  17. IRC Proceedings: Friday, October 22, 2021

    IRC logs for Friday, October 22, 2021



  18. [Meme] [Teaser] Crime Express

    The series about Battistelli's "Strike Regulations" (20 parts thus far) culminates as the next station is the Balkan region



  19. Links 23/10/2021: Star Labs/StarLite, Ventoy 1.0.56

    Links for the day



  20. Gemini on Sourcehut and Further Expansion of Gemini Space

    Gemini protocol is becoming a widely adopted de facto standard for many who want to de-clutter the Internet by moving away from the World Wide Web and HTML (nowadays plagued by JavaScript, CSS, and many bloated frameworks that spy)



  21. Unlawful Regimes Even Hungary and Poland Would Envy

    There’s plenty of news reports about Polish and Hungarian heads of states violating human rights, but never can one find criticism of the EPO’s management doing the same (the mainstream avoids this subject altogether); today we examine how that area of Europe voted on the illegal "Strike Regulations" of Benoît Battistelli



  22. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part XX: The Visegrád Group

    The EPO‘s unlawful “Strike Regulations” (which helped Benoît Battistelli and António Campinos illegally crush or repress EPO staff) were supported by only one among 4 Visegrád delegates



  23. [Meme] IBM Has Paid ZDNet to Troll the Community

    Over the past few weeks ZDNet has constantly published courses with the word "master" in their headlines (we caught several examples; a few are shown above); years ago this was common, also in relation to IBM itself; clearly IBM thinks that the word is racially sensitive and offensive only when it's not IBM using the word and nowadays IBM pays ZDNet — sometimes proxying through the Linux Foundation — to relay this self-contradictory message whose objective is to shame programmers, Free software communities etc. (through guilt they can leverage more power and resort to projection tactics, sometimes outright slander which distracts)



  24. [Meme] ILO Designed to Fail: EPO Presidents Cannot be Held Accountable If ILOAT Takes Almost a Decade to Issue a Simple Ruling

    The recent ILOAT ruling (a trivial no-brainer) inadvertently reminds one of the severe weaknesses of ILOAT; what good is a system of accountability that issues rulings on decisions that are barely relevant anymore (or too late to correct)?



  25. Links 22/10/2021: Trump's AGPL Violations and Chrome 95 Released

    Links for the day



  26. [Meme] How Corporate Monopolies Demonise Critics of Their Technically and Legally Problematic 'Products'

    When the technical substance of some criticism stands (defensible based upon evidence), and is increasingly difficult to refute based on facts, make up some fictional issue — a straw man argument — and then respond to that phony issue based on no facts at all



  27. Links 22/10/2021: Global Encryption Day

    Links for the day



  28. [Meme] Speaking the Same Language

    Language inside the EPO is misleading. Francophones Benoît Battistelli and António Campinos casually misuse the word “social”.



  29. António Campinos Thinks Salary Reductions Months Before He Leaves is “Exceptional Social Gesture”

    Just as Benoît Battistelli had a profound misunderstanding of the concept of “social democracy” his mate seems to completely misunderstand what a “social gesture” is (should have asked his father)



  30. IRC Proceedings: Thursday, October 21, 2021

    IRC logs for Thursday, October 21, 2021


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