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Links 26/9/2019: Huawei Does More GNU/Linux, Mesa 19.2.0 Released

  • GNU/Linux

    • Huawei's yet another Laptop lineup joins the Linux club!

      The ongoing trade war between China and the U.S. has left Huawei scrambling for alternative suppliers for its products. The recently announced Mate 30 series comes without Google Apps despite running on the new Android 10 iteration. Similarly, Huawei and Honor’s notebook lineup is being relaunched with Linux on board. Today, another one of Honor’s MagicBook 2019 lineup joins this Linux club.

      After the Honor MagicBook Pro, the Honor MagicBook 2019 Ryzen lineup is also getting a Linux version. This particular version naturally starts at a much cheaper price tag than the Windows model. While the Windows 10 powered Ryzen 5 model with 8GB RAM and 256GB SSD is priced at 3999 yuan ($561), the Linux version is 300 yuan ($42) cheaper for the exact same configuration.

    • Server

      • AMD and SUSE – world records with a great ecosystem of partners

        Recently, AMD announced its new EPYCTM 7002 Series Processors targeted at data center workloads.

        The processors, according to AMD, “feature up to 64 ‘Zen 2’ cores and deliver performance leadership across a broad number of enterprise, cloud, and high performance computing (HPC) workloads.”

        As part of their original announcement, AMD unveiled 80 world records with key Independent hardware vendors, such as Hewlett-Packard Enterprise, Lenovo, Gigabyte, and SuperMicro. Since then, the list has expanded to a total of 107 records (as of 19-SEP-2019).

      • An Introduction to Stratos: An Open Source Cloud Foundry (and Kubernetes) UI

        At the recent Cloud Foundry Summit EU in the Netherlands, Peter Andersson and Rob Knight of SUSE presented a close look at Stratos, the “Single Pane of Glass” for Cloud Foundry Instance and Application Management that runs on Kubernetes. Stratos is an Open Source, Web-based Graphical User Interface (Console) for managing Cloud Foundry and Kubernetes. It allows users and administrators to both manage applications running in the Cloud Foundry cluster and perform cluster management tasks. Peter and Rob demonstrated user access controls, application consumption from CI/CD, application instance controls and more. They also showed how a Containerized Cloud Foundry interfaces with Kubernetes and the Kubernetes Dashboard.

      • IBM

        • Download CentOS Stream based on CentOS Linux 8 software packages

          Recently, the awaited CentOS Linux 8 has been released to download, however, the company has taken a major step with the project. Now there will be two CentOS will be available to download, one is CentOS stream and other is CentOS 8 Linux. Now, you might be wondering what is the difference between them? We will discuss later in this article.

          First lets, talk about the changes and up-gradation, we got in CentOS 8 Linux based on the latest Redhat 8 Linux operating system.

        • Build web apps to automate sysadmin tasks

          Imagine you're a sysadmin at a company with a thousand employees. If the average employee leaves after three years, you have to offboard an employee every single day. That's a significant time sink!

          There's a lot to do when an employee leaves: remove their user account from LDAP, revoke GitHub permissions, take them off payroll, update the org chart, redirect their email, revoke their keycard, etc.

          As a sysadmin, your job is to automate your job away, so you've already written some offboarding scripts to run the IT side of this automatically. But HR still has to call you and ask you to run each of your scripts, and that's an interruption you can do without.

          You decide to dedicate one full day to automating away this problem, saving you hundreds of hours in the long run. (There is another option, which I'll present at the end of this article.)

          The app will be a simple portal you can give to HR. When HR enters the departing user's email address, the app runs your offboarding scripts in the background.

        • Upcoming Virtual Event: Develop. Deploy. Deliver Continuously

          For those of you out there looking to learn a bit more about what application development looks like in a Red Hat OpenShift environment, you may want to sign up for the Virtual Event we’ll be hosting on October 10, 2019. This Online Event. will drill down into the practices and processes that can help increase developer velocity and productivity. The event will feature keynotes from Brian Gracely, Director of Product Strategy at Red Hat, and Mike Piech, Vice President and General Manager of Middleware at Red Hat.

          This virtual event is a bit like an online conference, complete with three tracks of talks on a dozen topics. From microservices, to integration patterns, to serverless computing, this virtual event will make it easier to find the information you need to bring your development teams up to speed on Kubernetes, OpenShift and hybrid cloud computing at scale.


          In this talk we will provide an overview of key architecture strategies that can boost developer productivity, improve robustness and enable long term evolution of IT environments. Topics covered will include the impact of containerization, APIs, next generation integration, process automation and development processes. The talk will also cover a number of examples that show how such application environment flexibility can have a major impact on business outcomes.

        • Red Hat Ceph Storage 3.3 BlueStore compression performance

          With the BlueStore OSD backend, Red Hat Ceph Storage gained a new capability known as "on-the-fly data compression" that helps save disk space. Compression can be enabled or disabled on each Ceph pool created on BlueStore OSDs. In addition to this, using the Ceph CLI the compression algorithm and mode can be changed anytime, regardless of whether the pool contains data or not. In this blog we will take a deep dive into BlueStore?s compression mechanism and understand its impact on performance.

          Whether data in BlueStore is compressed is determined by a combination of the compression mode and any hints associated with a write operation.

        • Design for Users by Users: Design Thinking @ Red Hat – Sara Chirzari (Red Hat UX Research Team) – OpenShift Commons Briefing

          Have you ever wondered how product teams decide what features to build and what changes to make? In this OpenShift Commons Briefing, the Red Hat User Design Experience Design and Research team discuss applying design thinking to real product development challenges, from problem discovery to testing and validating ideas.

          Red Hat’s Sara Chizari walks us thru The Red Hat User Experience Design and Research team’s Design Thinking process that they use to help product teams build solutions that focus on solving problems, and are tailored to users’ needs. In this session, she takes us on a user-centered design journey. Learn about the techniques they use to develop an understanding of the users’ challenges and needs, articulate the users’ problems, and brainstorm potential solutions.

    • Audiocasts/Shows

      • 09/25/2019 | Linux Headlines

        A patent lawsuit takes aim at the GNOME Foundation, Cloudflare launches a VPN service that does not protect privacy, a long-standing exploit has finally been disclosed for vBulletin, and Google has announced their latest code-in challenge.

      • mintCast 318 – Melted Plastic

        This week, in our Wanderings, Leo writes about Nextcloud, Bo spreads the Linux love, Tony Hughes can’t stop Linuxing, even on holiday, Josh considers the new iPhone 11 (wait really??) after yet another broken Pixel 3 , Joe spelunks into splunk, and Tony Watts is building a server.

        Then, in our News, we cover Ubuntu’s 32-bit library support, the top 5 snaps per distro, the PineTime, and more. In security, we talk locks, DoH and Lastpass

      • FLOSS Weekly 548: GNOME

        GNOME is an easy and elegant way to use your computer. It's designed to put you in control and get things done.

    • Kernel Space

      • The 2019 Linux Kernel Maintainers Summit

        The 2019 version of the invitation-only Linux Kernel Maintainers Summit was held on September 12 2019, in Lisbon, Portugal. There, 31 kernel developers discussed a number of issues relating to the kernel development process and how it can be improved.

      • Defragmenting the kernel development process

        The first session at the 2019 Linux Kernel Maintainers Summit was a last-minute addition to the schedule. Dmitry Vyukov's Linux Plumbers Conference session on the kernel development process (slides [PDF]) had inspired a number of discussions that, it was agreed, should carry over into the summit. The result was a wide-ranging conversation about the kernel's development tools and what could be done to improve them.

        Ted Ts'o introduced the topic by noting that his employer, Google, has a group dedicated to the creation of development tools, and that a lot of good things have come from that. The kernel community also has a lot of tools aimed at making developers more productive, but rather than having a single group creating those tools, we have many competing groups. While competition is good, he said, it also diffuses the available development time and may not be, in the end, the best way to go. He then turned the session over to Vyukov.

      • Dealing with automated kernel bug reports

        There is value in automatic testing systems, but they also present a problem of their own: how can one keep up with the high volume of bug reports that they generate? At the 2019 Linux Kernel Maintainers Summit, Shuah Khan ran a session dedicated to this issue. There was general agreement that the reports are hard to deal with, but not a lot of progress toward a solution.

        Khan began by noting that one pervasive problem with these systems is classification: who should be responsible for a problem, what priority should it have, and is anybody working on it now? Turning to syzbot in particular, she said that getting the reproducer — the program that causes the reported problem to manifest itself — for any given report is a manual task, and that kernel developers tend to lose track of reproducers once the problem is fixed. It would be better, she said, to hang onto these reproducers and use them as regression tests going forward. She is looking into adding them to the kernel self-test infrastructure.

      • The stable-kernel process

        The stable kernel process is a perennial topic of discussion at gatherings of kernel developers; the 2019 Linux Kernel Maintainers Summit was no exception. Sasha Levin ran a session there where developers could talk about the problems they have with stable kernels and ponder solutions.

        Levin begin by saying that he has been working on the complaints he got the year before. One of those was that the automatic patch-selection system "goes nuts" and picks the wrong things. It has been retrained twice in the last year and has gotten better at only selecting fixes. About 50% of recent stable releases has been made up of patches explicitly tagged for stable updates; the other half has come from the automated system.

      • Linus Torvalds on the kernel development community

        The Linux Kernel Maintainers Summit is all about the development process, so it is natural to spend some time on how that process is working at the top of the maintainer hierarchy. The "is Linus happy?" session during the 2019 summit revealed that things are working fairly well at that level, but that, as always, there are a few things that could be improved. Torvalds initially turned the question around, saying that it should be about whether everybody else is happy about his work. But then he turned it back to his current pet peeve: developers who do not put changes into linux-next before pushing them into the mainline. There was one specific tree that he was unhappy about in the 5.3 merge window; others have been problematic in the past but have improved somewhat. But, it seems, there is always somebody. In general, about 10% of the patches that show up during the merge window did not first show up in linux-next.

        Dan Williams asked whether there should be a rule requiring any changes pushed upstream to be in linux-next for at least 24 hours. Torvalds responded that he doesn't even check for presence in linux-next early in the merge window; he is happy enough to get an early pull request that nothing more is required. As the merge window approaches its end, though, he does start checking, and absence from linux-next (earlier in the merge window) can result in pull requests not being acted upon.

      • Maintainers Summit topics: pull depth, hardware vulnerabilities, etc.

        In the discussion prior to the summit, James Bottomley noted that a lot of subsystem trees are pulled directly into the mainline by Linus Torvalds. He wondered whether that is a good thing, or whether it might be better to have mid-level maintainers aggregating more pull requests to increase the "pull depth" of lower-level trees and decrease the load at the top. Bottomley was not at the summit itself, but his topic was discussed there; the answer was that things are mostly OK as they are. (For the curious, a graphic showing the pull paths for the 5.1 kernel can be found on this page.)

        Torvalds responded to the question by saying that he loves to get large pull requests from maintainers he trusts implicitly; that way, he can get a lot of work into the mainline with little effort. There is just one little problem: there are few maintainers that he trusts to that degree. In the absence of that trust, he would prefer to get more, smaller requests that are easier to review and easier to refuse if there is something wrong. He mentioned some subsystems in particular that have been problematic in the past; bypassing the maintainer and getting more focused pull requests from lower-level maintainers has improved the situation. He is not happy about having to do that, but it is better than the alternative, he said.

        He does not, however, feel overworked by the number of trees he is pulling now. He aims to act on about 25 pull requests per day during the merge window, normally spending about ten minutes on each of those.

        There are advantages to having a maintainer hierarchy, though, that go beyond reducing the number of pull requests at the top. Dave Airlie pointed out that it is a good way to train others to manage the subsystem and know that others would be able to handle it. Torvalds said that, with many subsystems, he is not competent to review the patches himself; it is good to have a mid-level maintainer who understands the area looking at things.

      • Deep argument inspection for seccomp

        In the Kernel Summit track at the 2019 Linux Plumbers Conference, Christian Brauner and Kees Cook led a discussion on finding a way to do deep argument inspection for seccomp filtering. Currently, seccomp filters can only look at the top-level arguments to a system call, which means that there are use cases that cannot be supported. There was a lively discussion in the session, but no definitive conclusion was reached; various ideas were considered, but none seemed to quite fit the bill.

        Cook said that the current seccomp filters can only inspect the system-call argument values; if one of those values is a pointer, dereferencing it will not work. Even if it were possible to do so, another thread could change the values after the check is done. That is a classic time-of-check-to-time-of-use (TOCTTOU) race. Programs that are using the filters would like to be able to filter based on file name arguments to restrict which files the programs can access, for example, but that is currently not possible.

        A more pressing use case is that new system calls are using an API pattern that puts various parameters (flags, in particular) into a structure, as with clone3(), Brauner said. The address of that structure gets passed to the call along with its size, but the parameters in the structure are off-limits to filters. The idea behind the pattern is to enable additions to the API over time; the structure can be extended and the size of the structure will grow so the system call will be able to recognize when it is called with extra parameters that it does not understand.

        Both passive and active filtering of, say, open() calls are also affected, Cook said, so even simply logging file names as part of a passive filtering effort is not reliable. The value for the file name that the filter sees may not be the value that actually reaches the system call. The user-space seccomp decisions feature makes it possible for programs like container managers to reliably handle system calls but, since they cannot filter for only those they are interested in, they have to implement those system calls for every call; there is no way to tell the kernel to simply continue handling the system call once it has been deferred to user space.

      • AMDGPU Linux 5.5 Changes Being Prepped With HDCP Support, LRU Bulk Moves Re-Enabled

        While the Linux 5.4 merge window doesn't even end until this weekend, as is usual traditional with the DRM-Next cutoff having been weeks ago, the open-source DRM driver developers are already working on their changes for what will ultimately go into Linux 5.5. On the AMD side, the AMDGPU kernel graphics driver already has some interesting work accumulating.

        The AMD Linux graphics driver development repository already has a drm-next-5.5-wip branch going with their early work anticipated for the next kernel cycle. The Linux 5.5 development will officially kickoff following the Linux 5.4 release in November but not see its stable debut until 2020.

      • Linux Foundation

      • Graphics Stack

        • Mesa 19.2.0 Release Notes / 2019.09.25

          Mesa 19.2.0 is a new development release. People who are concerned with stability and reliability should stick with a previous release or wait for Mesa 19.2.1.

          Mesa 19.2.0 implements the OpenGL 4.5 API, but the version reported by glGetString(GL_VERSION) or glGetIntegerv(GL_MAJOR_VERSION) / glGetIntegerv(GL_MINOR_VERSION) depends on the particular driver being used. Some drivers don't support all the features required in OpenGL 4.5. OpenGL 4.5 is only available if requested at context creation. Compatibility contexts may report a lower version depending on each driver.

          Mesa 19.2.0 implements the Vulkan 1.1 API, but the version reported by the apiVersion property of the VkPhysicalDeviceProperties struct depends on the particular driver being used.

        • Mesa 19.2 Released With Navi Support, Much Improved Intel Gallium3D

          After a month worth of delays, Mesa 19.2 is now officially available as the latest quarterly feature update to this collection of open-source graphics driver components.

        • Mesa 19.2 released to push open source graphics drivers

          A few months after the last release, Mesa 19.2 is officially available today pushing open source GPU drivers to new heights.

          Since this is a major release, as the developers note you might want to wait for the first point release (19.2.1) to clear up any nuisance issues as it sees more testing.

    • Benchmarks

      • The Power Efficiency Between Ubuntu 19.04, Clear Linux & openSUSE Tumbleweed With CompuLab's Airtop 3

        With CompuLab's incredibly well engineered Airtop 3 fan-less computer that is built to meet rugged industrial requirements while being loaded with an 8-core/16-thread Xeon CPU, NVIDIA Quadro RTX 4000 graphics, 64GB of RAM, and NVMe solid-state storage, here is an interesting benchmark comparison of Ubuntu 19.04, Clear Linux, and openSUSE Tumbleweed. Given the interesting system under test, not only is the raw performance being looked at but also the performance-per-Watt / AC power consumption and CPU thermal differences between these Linux operating systems.

        The CompuLab Airtop 3 review sample as a reminder was loaded with a Xeon E-2288G 8-core / 16-thread CPU, 64GB of RAM, NVIDIA Quadro RTX 4000 graphics (using the proprietary NVIDIA Linux driver throughout all the tests considering the otherwise poor Turing state for Nouveau), and a 250GB Samsung 970 EVO Plus NVMe SSD all while being passively cooled.

      • An Early Look At The AMD EPYC Performance With The In-Development Linux 5.4 Kernel

        While the Linux 5.4 cycle just officially began last week and its feature merge window not even over until this weekend, given there are AMD EPYC load balancing improvements and many other kernel improvements in general, I was eager to fire up the in-development kernel on the EPYC 7002 "Rome" series to see how the performance is looking.

        With the Linux 5.4 Git state as of a few days ago, I ran some preliminary benchmarks of Linux 5.4 at the time compared to Linux 5.3.0 and Linux 5.2.16 on the Rome "Daytona" reference platform with the EPYC 7642 and EPYC 7742 processors in both 1P and 2P configurations.

    • Instructionals/Technical

    • Games

      • The massive overhaul for Factorio is now live for everyone, get ready to build big

        After first releasing the test builds for Factorio 0.17 around half a year ago, the team at Wube Software have now finished it up enough to let everyone have it. Note: Copy personally purchased.

        It's quite the difference. Overhauling a number of major parts of this engrossing building and automation game. It has a brand new map editor, redesigned enemies with a graphical overhaul, automatic mod downloads when joining a server, a "massively" optimised fluids system, a completely new and modern rendering backend to take advantage of modern GPUs, a much better introduction scenario for new players, a new and improved look for the interface and plenty more smaller features.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • Ruqola on FreeBSD

          Ruqola has a long-ish history within the KDE community, with students Veluri and Vasudha working on it. The code recently completed the KDE incubation process and has been moved to a regular release cycle by Jonathan.

          So as the KDE community welcomes Ruqola, FreeBSD welcomes it too. Tobias has added this new entry in the IM category. No screenshot here, since I’m not sure I’ve installed it correctly (so it looks funny when I use it and doesn’t render emoji, for instance). That’s something for a next iteration of the port.

        • Milanese Akademics

          Each year, the KDE community puts on one of the best tech conferences in the world, and people from around the globe congregate in, usually, a university to talk about all the things that happened over the last year (or decade, or indeed sometimes longer, usually referring to a certain David's t-shirts), and to show off the shiny things people have been working on, or take those discussions which fall into the overlap between "too awkward to take over the internet" and "can wait a few months for a resolution".


          During the week, alongside the KDE e.V. AGM on Monday, it was time for the other, meatier part of the conference: The BoF sessions. Those things i mentioned earlier, which are awkward or difficult to discuss online for various reasons, that's what the BoF sessions are for. I didn't host any myself this year, but I did attend a great many. A small sample includes the Maui and Kirigami sessions on the Monday morning, which put the two teams in the same room, allowing them to take on those seemingly contentious topics of "why?", giving the team the ability turn that into the more immediately useful "how". Much progress was made there, that i very much look forward to seeing continuing.

        • Let’s Test Krita 4.2.7 Beta!

          We’re almost ready for a new release of Krita, with lots of bug fixes! So, please help with testing. As with 4.2.6, there’s a link on the welcome screen to a survey. Filling out the survey helps us figure out regressions and other problems. You can safely use any beta build on any operating system next to your production version of Krita. Settings and resources will be shared, but you won’t overwrite you existing installation by using one of the portable beta downloads.

          In addition to reported bugs, this release fixes a lot of issues found by the Coverity Static Code checker.

          We also have a bunch of great patches by new Krita hackers: Karl Ove Lufthammer, Rebecca Breu, Matthias Wein, Jasper Hartog, Krysztof Kurek and Guo Yunhe. Yay!

      • GNOME Desktop/GTK

        • Towards a UX Strategy for GNOME (Part 4)

          This post is part of my blog series on GNOME UX strategy. The other parts in the series covered background research and analysis for the strategy, then outlined some high-level goals and principles, followed by an outline of recent design work which fits within the strategy. This can all be thought of as answering “what” and “why” questions: what should GNOME be doing, and why?

          In this, the final post in the series, I’m turning to the question of “how”: how can the GNOME project can deliver all this? For me, this how question is just as important as the what and the why. Having an effective strategy means nothing if we can’t successfully deliver it.

          This post is primarily about design and development process. I’m going to draw on my experiences working on the GNOME project, as well as methodologies from the wider software industry, and recent experiments that have taken place in the GNOME project. Agile is clearly present, but it’s just one element, and has necessarily been adapted to an upstream, open source context.

        • Richard Hughes: Synaptics CX Audio Support

          So, after all that we got down to a 1377 line fwupd plugin which is a 16x code reduction. It’s broadly comparable in functionality to the 22,000 line code drop but only works in fwupd as a plugin rather than as a standalone updater. To add support for new hardware to the plugin all we have to do is add an entry to the quirk file, which tells us which CX family the specific USB VID/PID is using. The rest is auto-detected.

          I can’t tell you the OEM or the hardware all this work is being driven by, but eagle-eyed readers will work it out :) In some cases you might see an extra device appear in fwupdmgr get-devices if you’re running the soon-to-be-released fwupd 1.3.2 and hopefully we can get firmware updates which use this new device on the LVFS some time this year.

        • Fwupd Gaining Support For Synaptics/Conexant CX Audio Firmware Updating

          Fwupd is gaining the ability to update firmware on Synaptics/Conexant CX audio devices commonly used by laptops.

          Fwupd/LVFS lead developer Richard Hughes has been working on adding support for CX audio device support following Synaptics providing him with a code drop for demonstrating the support.

    • Distributions

      • Debian Family

        • Debian Releases New Linux Kernel Security Update for Debian 10 and Debian 9

          Five security vulnerabilities have been fixed in this new Linux kernel security update for Debian GNU/Linux 10 "Buster" and Debian GNU/Linux 9 "Stretch" operating system series, including a backporting error (CVE-2019-15902) reported by Brad Spengler, which reintroduced a Spectre V1 vulnerability in Linux kernel's ptrace subsystem, in the ptrace_get_debugreg() function.

          Also fixed is a race condition (CVE-2019-14821) discovered by Matt Delco in KVM's coalesced MMIO facility, which could allow a local attacker with access to /dev/kvm to escalate his/her privileges or cause memory corruption or system crash, as well as a missing bounds check (CVE-2019-15117) discovered by Hui Peng and Mathias Payer in usb-audio driver's descriptor parsing code, which could let an attacker that can add USB devices to cause a system crash.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • Deploying Kubernetes Locally – MickroK8s

          This is the second part of our introduction to MicroK8s blog series. In the previous blog, we introduced MicroK8s, went over K8s basic concepts and showed you how fast and easy it is to install Kubernetes with MicroK8s — it’s up in under 60 seconds with a one-liner command. In this blog, we dive deeper to discuss the add-ons available in MicroK8s and show you how to deploy pods in MicroK8s.

    • Devices/Embedded

      • PineTime Smartwatch Specifications Released, Availability Scheduled for H1 2020

        A couple of weeks ago, we covered PineTime smartwatch for PinePhone Linux smartphone that should be launched next year for around $25.

      • Purism & Linux 5.3

        Following up on our report for Linux 5.2, here’s a list of Purism’s contributions for the 5.3 cycle Linux kernel. We contributed 12 patches, which include the Librem 5 devkit device tree and a driver for the i.MX8MQs D-PHY.

      • 22-inch AiO touchscreen is powered by RK3288-based Chromebox Mini

        AOpen’s fanless “C-Tile 22” all-in-one touchscreen computer for kiosks runs Chrome OS on its Rockchip RK3288 based Chromebox Mini mini-PC and offers an IP65-protected 22-inch HD touchscreen plus GbE, HDMI, and more.

        AOpen, which in July launched a 7th Gen Core based Digital Engine DE5500 embedded PC for kiosk and signage, has introduced an all-in-one touchscreen computer for self-service kiosks built around its Rockchip RK3288 based Chromebox Mini mini-PC. The C-Tile 22, which follows earlier C-Tile 19 and C-Tile 15 systems built around the Chromebox Mini, features a 21.5-inch, 1920 x 1080-pixel touchscreen. The system is aimed at self-service kiosk applications including check-in, ticketing, loyalty programs, and wayfinding, as well as a variety of DOOH (Digital Out of Home) applications.

      • Purism starts shipping the Librem 5 smartphone (Linux-based, privacy-focused phone)

        Purism, a company best known for selling laptops that run free and open source, Linux-based software, is now shipping its first smartphone.

        The Purism Librem 5 phone has been under development for several years, and it’s still a bit of a work in progress. The first set of phones to ship are part of the “Aspen” batch, and include an early version of the case design and early versions of Purism’s core apps.

        Purism plans to address the latter issue with regular software updates. But folks who want more polished hardware will likely have to wait for a future batch — the roadmap calls for four more batches before the third quarter of 2020, with next-gen hardware sporting a new processor and design later next year.

      • Mobile Systems/Mobile Applications

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • Updates to the OSI Board

        Moving forward, the Open Source Initiative (OSI) will appoint two directors based on the board’s discretion, as opposed to elections held with the individual and affiliate membership. As a result, the OSI Board will consist of 4 members chosen by the individual membership, 4 members chosen by affiliates, 2 members chosen by the board, and the general manager. The majority of the OSI Board will still be elected.

        Each year the OSI holds elections, however per OSI bylaws, the elections’ results are advisory only, rather than binding. While the OSI honors the elections’ results, and appoints those with the highest number of votes as Board Directors, the makeup of the OSI Board is ultimately the decision of the board.

        With the resignation of two directors, the OSI found itself in a position to appoint two new people to the OSI Board. Current board directors have spent a significant amount of time discussing the best way to accomplish this. Should the board look at past election results? Should it run another election?

      • Web Browsers

        • Mozilla

          • QMO: Firefox 70 Beta 10 Testday, September 27th

            We are happy to let you know that Friday, September 27th, we are organizing Firefox 70 Beta 10 Testday. We’ll be focusing our testing on: Password Manager.

          • Mozilla Addons Blog: Recommended Extensions & community involvement

            In July we launched the Recommended Extensions program, which entailed a complete reboot of our editorial process on (AMO). Previously we placed a priority on regularly highlighting new featured extensions to explore. With the Recommended program, we’ve shifted our focus to actively monitoring a fairly fixed collection of curated extensions.

            For years community contributors on the Featured Extensions Board played a big role in selecting AMO’s monthly curated content. We intend to maintain a community project aligned with the Recommended program. We’re in the process now of reshaping the project to be known as the Recommended Extensions Community Board. As before, the board will be comprised of contributors who possess a keen passion for, and expertise of, browser extensions. Board membership will rotate every six months.

      • Productivity Software/LibreOffice/Calligra

        • pin gallery

          This extension add you a pin gallery on top of each galleries so if you switch to galleries you can drag & drop your favorite drawings, images, … simple but usefull.


        • Free Software Wireless-N Mini Router v2 from ThinkPenguin, Inc. now FSF-certified to Respect Your Freedom

          The Free Software Foundation (FSF) today awarded Respects Your Freedom (RYF) certification to the Free Software Wireless-N Mini Router v2 (TPE-R1200) from ThinkPenguin, Inc. The RYF certification mark means that these products meet the FSF's standards in regard to users' freedom, control over the product, and privacy.

          This is ThinkPenguin's fourteenth device to receive RYF certification in 2019. The FSF announced certification of seven devices from ThinkPenguin on March 21st, as well as announcing six additional certifications on May 16th. ThinkPenguin continues to expand their collection of RYF-certified devices, already the largest collection of any RYF retailer. This is the first wireless router to receive RYF certification since the Free Software Wireless-N Mini Router (TPE-R1100) in 2016. This latest addition offers users several improvements over previously certified devices.

          "The TPE-R1200 is a more powerful version of a previously RYF-certified router and ships with some new features, including two external RP-SMA antennas that provide for a greater wireless range. For those looking to hack on the router, there is a new, more powerful CPU, as well as significantly more NAND, NOR, and RAM," said Christopher Waid, founder and CEO of ThinkPenguin.

      • Licensing/Legal

        • Sony publishes Android 10 building guide via Open Devices, Xperia XZ3 gets September security update

          Unlike Google or OnePlus, Sony devices come with a complicated bootloader unlock policy. In fact the procedure is quite similar to Xiaomi or Motorola, where a device specific token is issued from the company and the warranty gets instantly void after unlocking the bootloader.

          Here comes the contrast! Despite such a stubborn policy, Sony is actually quite developer friendly. They regularly publish GPL mandated kernel source code for their devices. Their engineers committed truckload of codes in the AOSP (Android Open Source Project), especially in the domain of theming.

      • Programming/Development

        • Qt 5.14 Alpha Released

          Qt 5.14 New Features page contains information about most important changes coming with the release. Please remember creating the list is still in progress so something important can still be missing. List should be completed by the time we are ready to release the first Beta in the coming weeks.

          Please take a tour & test Qt 5.14 already now. Your feedback is valuable in making sure Qt 5.14 shapes up to be a great release. When testing Qt 5.14, please make sure to report all bugs you may encounter via the Qt bug reporting Jira.

        • Qt 5.14 Hits Alpha With Major Renderer Work, Better HiDPI Support

          The Qt Company has announced the availability of the Qt 5.14 Alpha release ahead of this half-year tool-kit update due out before year's end. Qt 5.14 is also the second to the last in the Qt5 series with an increasing amount of work shifting to Qt6 that is expected to debut towards the end of 2020.

          Among the changes coming with Qt 5.14 are:

          - Qt Quick is seeing its first work on the graphics API independent scenegraph renderer. In addition to OpenGL, this renderer supports Vulkan, Metal, and Direct3D 11. The Vulkan support is certainly exciting and will mature with Qt6.

        • How to Use Generators and yield in Python

          Have you ever had to work with a dataset so large that it overwhelmed your machine’s memory? Or maybe you have a complex function that needs to maintain an internal state every time it’s called, but the function is too small to justify creating its own class. In these cases and more, generators and the Python yield statement are here to help.

        • [DE] Python Meeting Düsseldorf - 2019-09-25
        • PyCharm 2019.2.3

          PyCharm 2019.2.3 is now available!

        • GCC's Conversion To Git: "Within The Realm Of The Practically Achievable"

          It was back in July 2018 that GCC's conversion to Git was becoming a massive headache and now more than a year later it's looking like that switch from Subversion to Git is still weeks if not months from becoming official.

          Last year the GCC conversion to Git was blamed on high DDR4 RAM prices and then evaluating a port of the conversion utility from Python to Go. That GCC Git port work being led by Eric S Raymond was then boosted earlier this year after upgrading to a Threadripper system with more RAM and also going ahead with the Reposurgeon rewrite in Go. But even months after that milestone, the reworked Reposurgeon is still a work-in-progress but the end may be in sight.

          ESR has issued a new status report today saying he's in the last stages of qualifying his Go port, he's currently working on debugging a "extractor harness" peripheral feature, topological sorting of commits is still being done, and various other bugs.

        • Intel SYCL Compiler + Runtimes 2019-09 Released

          Moving towards their oneAPI beta release next quarter, the Intel developers are as busy as ever advancing their LLVM-based SYCL compiler and run-times for Windows and Linux.

          Out this morning is the SYCL Compiler and Runtimes 2019-09 release for this compiler to allow OpenCL offloading to accelerators like Intel GPUs and FPGAs. New to this release are supporting some CL/SYCL FPGA extensions, support for dumping the SYCL task graph to JSON, a long list of other SYCL/OpenCL improvements, and a wide range of bug fixes.

        • Episode #231: Advice for freelancing with Python

          Have you ever wanted to get into consulting? Maybe you're seeking the freedom to work on whatever project you'd like or gain more control of your time.

          Many folks see consulting and freelancing as the next step in their career. But what do they need to put in place first? What challenges might come their way they won't see coming?

        • This Week in Rust 305

          Hello and welcome to another issue of This Week in Rust! Rust is a systems language pursuing the trifecta: safety, concurrency, and speed. This is a weekly summary of its progress and community. Want something mentioned? Tweet us at @ThisWeekInRust or send us a pull request. Want to get involved? We love contributions.

        • Are you a Nim-by? C-ish language, gentler than Go, friendlier than Rust, reaches version 1.0

          The Nim programming language reached v1.0 on Monday, bringing with it a stability guarantee and enthusiasm from its community of fans.

          "Version 1.0 marks the beginning of a stable base which can be used in the coming years, knowing that the future versions of Nim won’t break the code you have written with the current version," the Nim team said on Monday.

          Nim is a compiled language, like C, rather than an interpreted one, like JavaScript. So it tends to perform well, because compilation translates source code into efficient native instructions for specific hardware. It's also statically typed, like C and Java, which avoids certain type-related bugs and can improve performance. The language and compiler are offered under the MIT license.

        • Comparing GCC and Clang security features

          Implicit fall-through behavior in switch statements is a common source of bugs, so many projects are trying to eliminate it. To that end, both compilers support the -Wimplicit-fallthrough option. GCC has supported a special attribute making fall-through behavior explicit for some time; Clang has just gained that support as well. There are evidently no plans in the Clang community to support fall-through markers in comments, though, as GCC does. The kernel is now free of implicit fall-throughs; of the roughly 500 patches fixing fall-through warnings in the last year, Cook said, about 10% turned out to be addressing real bugs in the code.

          Link-time optimization (LTO) works with both compilers now. It's not primarily a security feature, but it turns out to be necessary to implement control-flow integrity, which requires a view of all of the functions in a program. Both compilers support LTO, but updating the build tooling to make use of it is still painful. There are also, he said, concerns that LTO can expose differences between the C memory model and the model that the kernel uses, but nobody has provided any specifics about where things could go wrong. It is theoretically a problem, but "practicality matters" and these concerns shouldn't hold up adoption of LTO unless somebody can demonstrate a real-world problem.

          Stack probing is the practice of reading a newly expanded stack in relatively small increments to defeat any attempt to jump over guard pages. GCC can build in this behavior now, controlled by the -fstack-clash-protection flag; Clang still lacks this capability. This feature is more useful in user space than in the kernel, Cook said, since the kernel has fully eliminated the use of variable-length arrays.

        • Python 3.7.4 : Print with random colors.

          This is a simple example for custom print output. The script detect the platform for color settings and then use print. The first print will print with blue color the name of the script.

        • PyPI Security Q4 2019 Request for Proposals period opens.

          The Python Software Foundation Packaging Working Group has received a grant from Facebook Research to implement advanced security features for PyPI. These features include cryptographic signing of uploaded artifacts and the infrastructure necessary to implement automated detection of malicious files uploaded to the index. The Python Package Index (PyPI) is a foundational component of the Python ecosystem and broader computer software and technology landscape. This project aims to improve the security and accessibility of PyPI for all users worldwide, whether they are direct users, like project maintainers and pip installers, or indirect users. The impact of this work will be highly visible and improve crucial features of the service. We plan to begin the project in Quarter 4 of 2019. Because of the size of the project, funding has been allocated to secure one or more contractors to complete the development, testing, verification, and assist in the rollout of necessary features.

        • Episode #149: Python's small object allocator and other memory features
        • Rust-like enums in Kotlin

          Rust has an exciting concept of enumeration types, which is much more powerful than enums in other languages. Notably C has the weakest type of enum, since there’s no type checking of any kind, and enum values can be used interchangeably with integers...

  • Leftovers

    • Science

      • Discovery could improve MDS cancer treatment

        Myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS), one of the most common blood cancers, has very few treatment options. Now, researchers at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (CSHL) have discovered a new and promising drug target for this deadly condition.

    • Hardware

      • NVMe-oF products are changing the face of data storage

        The NVMe interface is rapidly becoming the preferred interconnect for flash disks and all-flash arrays because of its superior performance and lower system overhead. Indeed, even as IDC recently warned of a sales slowdown for external storage in the EMEA region, it noted that the AFA market was red hot -- up 20% annually to 35% market share. Storage buyers are clearly ready to spend precious capital on the better performance of NVMe devices versus SSDs using legacy storage interfaces.

        NVMe has begun displacing SSDs in servers. However, with organizations using clusters of VMs and container servers for most workloads, it hampers workload portability if storage is locked down to a particular system. Fortunately, NVMe-oF has finally made it through the specifications process and NVMe-oF products are starting to provide a viable option for NVMe-based shared storage.

      • Mac Pros Across Hollywood Are Crashing, Refusing to Reboot
      • Luc Verhaegen: FOSDEM video hw: TFP401 capture test boards for everyone!

        Uwe finished soldering the remaining boards, and sent them to me before his vacation started. I added one connector that was still MIA earlier, and also ordered more lcds and tfp401 modules, and then tested the lot.


        This picture was probably made during openfest 2018, so this is from just before we rebuilt all 29 slides boxes. One change is that this slides box lacks the IR LED to control the scaler by playing pcm files :)

        Left, you can see scaler (large green board) and the splitter (small green board). In the middle, from top to bottom, the hardware h264 encoder, the banana-pi, and the status LCD. Then there's an ATX power supply, then, hidden under the rats nest of cables, there's a small SSD, and then an ethernet switch.

      • ARMv8.6-A Brings BFloat16, GEMM & Other Enhancements

        Arm has outlined their architecture enhancements being introduced in ARMv8.6-A as their 2019 ARMv8 architecture update.

        ARMv8.6 is adding General Matrix Multiply (GEMM) and BFloat16 as their big additions to this ARMv8 revision for boosting neural network / machine learning performance. There is also now support for fine grained traps for virtualization, wait-for-event instructions, extending pointer authentication, and a variety of other changes.

    • Health/Nutrition

      • E-Cigarettes: Media Bury the Lede, We Get to Bury the Bodies

        “Walmart Inc. will stop selling e-cigarettes in its U.S. locations as the country grapples with a string of vaping-related deaths,” Bloomberg reports.

      • Into the Marijuana Future: A Day On a Mendocino Pot Farm

        “I’ve been lucky,” the tall, thin, energetic pot farmer tells me on a hot day in September. “I grew my first crop at 17 and now 30 years later I’m still growing it. At 22, the DEA raided my garden in San Francisco. I was part of the underground movement that provided cannabis to HIV and cancer patients.” He pauses for a moment and adds, whimsically, “I call myself a THC-hemp farmer.”

    • Security (Confidentiality/Integrity/Availability)

      • IServ Schulserver - Insecure Setup Strategy allows Hi-Jacking of User Accounts

        "IServ Schulserver" [1] is a commercial school server developed by a company in Braunschweig, Germany. The "IServ Schulserver" is a product based on Debian. The whole project started as a students' project.

        The "IServ" is an insular school server (one machine for everything + backup server) that provides a web portal / communication platform for the school (reachable from the internet), manages the school's MS Windows€® clients via OPSI [2] and provides other features like chatrooms, mail accounts, etc.

        The "IServ Schulserver" has written quite a success story in various areas of Germany, recently. IServ has been deployed at many many schools in Northrhein-Westfalia, Lower Saxony and Schleswig-Holstein. You can easily find those schools on the internet, if you search the web for "IServ IDesk".

        The company that is developing "IServ" has various IT partner businesses all over Germany that deploy the IServ environment at local schools and are also the first point of contact for support.

      • The properties of secure IoT devices [Ed: Microsoft puts back doors in everything for the NSA and somehow the LF lets these people (who bribe the LF for PR) lecture us on security]

        At that point, Tarditi launched into a thinly veiled advertisement for the project he works on at Microsoft: Azure Sphere. While Azure Sphere is meant to provide an end-to-end solution for device makers that embodies the seven principles, it is a proprietary product that simply uses the Linux kernel as part of its Azure Sphere OS.

      • Take command of your computer with a command line interface [Ed: Notice how at ITPro "command line" means Microsoft Windows and almost nothing else. This is narrative being hijacked for PR purposes.]
    • Defence/Aggression

      • The Collapse of the East Asian Order

        The United States is losing its status as a Pacific power. It can no longer control developments in East Asia. It still maintains a large military footprint in the region. But that military presence no longer translates into an ability to achieve the outcomes that Washington wants.

      • Iran: Neither Military Action Nor Economic Sanctions

        It would be utterly immoral of the United States to launch a military attack upon Iran if it is true that one of the missiles that destroyed an oil refinery in Saudi Arabia on the 14th of September 2019 had a casing bearing a number that suggested that the weapon was manufactured for NATO forces. The alphabets preceding the number denote the type of missile it is and one of its uses. The picture of the missile was inadvertently supplied to the media by the Saudi Defence Ministry.

      • Rwanda: Killing Is Latest Attack on Opponents

        Rwanda’s international partners and the UN Secretary-General should demand transparent and credible investigations into recent deaths and disappearances of opposition members when they meet with President Paul Kagame, Human Rights Watch said today. Kagame is scheduled to speak at the 74th€ United Nations General Assembly on September 24, 2019. € 

      • Sudan’s New Investigation Committee Raises Concerns

        Sudan’s Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok has announced an investigation into a€ bloody attack by Sudanese security forces€ on pro-democracy demonstrators in the capital, Khartoum, on June 3.€ 

      • As Netanyahu’s Power in the Middle East Wanes, Trump Has to Find His Own Way to Deal with Iran

        There is an extraordinary irony in the fate of both Benjamin Netanyahu and Iran. The first has been captaining the Titanic,€ in the words of one Israeli academic,€ through the past couple of days. The second – a rather better captain, it might be said –€ has been captaining a couple of tankers in and out of the Mediterranean and the Gulf.

      • On the Road to Damascus: International Conference in Syria on Sanctions and Its Blowback

        “Welcome to your second country” was the greeting our Syrian hosts gave us when we arrived for the International Trade Union Forum for “solidarity with the workers and people of Syria against the economic blockade, imperialist interventions, and terrorism.”

      • The Drone Strikes on the Saudi Oil Facilities Have Changed Global Warfare

        The devastating attack on Saudi oil facilities by drones and missiles not only transforms the balance of military power in the Middle East, but marks a change in the nature of warfare globally.

      • Life, Liberty and Kashmir

        Kashmiri Pandits – There is no doubt that there was a mass exodus of Kashmiri Hindus from the valley. Nobody disputes that. But just like the process followed in NRC, whether rightly or wrongly couldn’t the Kashmiri Pandits be sent back home. I would argue this is the best time. You have a huge contigent of forces in the valley, you can start the process, get the documents, get them back into the valley, otherwise this will continue to be something like Palestine is in Israel which has continued to an issue for both Israelis and Palestinians with no end in sight. The idea that Pakistan will not harass or do something in Kashmir in fool’s paradise. They have been doing it since 90’s, for that to have a huge population blocked from communicating is nothing but harassment. And hate will never get you anywhere. While this is more greyer than I am making it out, feel free to read this interview as well as the series called The Family Man which I found to be pretty truthful as to the greyishness of the situation out there. While most of the mainstream media gave it an average score, I found it thought-provoking. The fact is mainstream media in India no longer questions the Government excesses. Some people do and they are often targeted. I do hope to share the banking scenario and a sort of mini-banking crisis soon. Till later.

    • Environment

      • Left, Center and Right: We’re All in Denial About Climate Change

        The political left, center and right do share something in common in today’s polarized America: we’re all in denial. The first step in 12-step programs begins with admitting that you have a problem for a reason: you can’t tackle a challenge whose existence you refuse to acknowledge. “From a psychoanalytical viewpoint, denial is a pathological, ineffective defense mechanism,” doctors M.S. Vos and J.C. de Haes observed in their 2006 study of cancer patients. A stunning 47% of the patients they polled denied that they had cancer! Denial reduced their chances of seeking treatment and then following through.

      • Extinction Rebellion: Leaving it to the Students

        The protestor of school age sported a placard featuring a distorted caricature of Australian prime minister, Scott Morrison: “Scomo was liking it hot”. A glorious spring day, and a gathering was already fussing and buzzing outside the Victorian State Library and students were striking. The placard image was one that toasted both ways – looking “hot” for the purposes of appearance – the lace underwear, the high-heels; and also observing a climate heating the earth to a state of cooked oblivion.

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • Another Day, Another Major Disinformation Effort Facebook Thinks Is Ok

        Our disinformation problem simply isn't going away. While the Russian "Internet Research Agency" has received most of the attention for filling the internet with bullshit and bile, the problem is routinely disclosed to be far larger than that. Take for example the thriving "fake news" efforts coming out of Macedonia, where (with the help of US allies) filling the internet and Facebook with disinformation has become a cottage industry. And while Facebook spends a lot of time insisting they're taking radical steps to police the problem in the wake of genocide in Myanmar, it remains fairly clear they still don't have a handle on the problem.

      • To Vanish Jack the Ripper

        The Iron Lady, Margaret Thatcher, became Prime Minister of the UK in May of 1979; the Yorkshire Ripper, a.k.a. Peter Sutcliffe, was caught two years later. The Ripper was taken to trial in 1981 in a truck battered by the mob and guarded by Thatcher’s cops. Baroness Thatcher left office in 1990, a humiliated outworn shape in the back of a car. Her death in 2013 was met by mass celebration in the streets, while the Yorkshire Ripper lives quietly in Broadmore prison to this day. Does anyone talk about Wilma McCann? Irene Richardson? Tina Atkinson? Helen Rytka, from Huddersfield? What is the distance from the Ripper to the Cuts? And from us to Liz Stride and Polly Nichols, murdered in 1888 by Sutcliffe’s idol, Jack the Ripper?

      • Bernie Sanders: There Should Be No Billionaires

        Even as Sen. Bernie Sanders’ progressive platform polls well among Democratic voters, consistently ranking second after Joe Biden, and even as he draws large crowds at rallies and lands 1 million donors (according to the Sanders campaign), his opponents respond with the same refrain: H0.ow is he going to pay for his plans like Medicare for All and the Green New Deal?

      • Pelosi Announces Impeachment Inquiry Into Trump

        House Speaker Nancy Pelosi launched a formal impeachment inquiry against President Donald Trump on Tuesday, acquiescing to mounting pressure from fellow Democrats and plunging a deeply divided nation into an election year clash between Congress and the commander in chief.

      • The Labour Party Annual Conference

        I am in Brighton, UK, attending the Labour party annual conference as a member-delegate. It is my first party conference, even though I’ve supported Labour for decades, albeit intermittently— adhering to the party-line during the Blair years was like having one’s teeth pulled without anaesthetic, and really that was a time when the Greens and nationalist parties were far more radical than Blair’s neo-Thatcherite crew.

      • The Impeachment Dam May Finally Be Bursting

        As the€ Washington Post€ reported€ late Monday that President Donald Trump ordered a hold on U.S. military aid to Ukraine just days before he pressured that country’s leader to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden—a move critics described as a serious abuse of power and “extortion”—a slew of Democrats previously unsupportive of impeachment began speaking out in favor of removing the president from office.

      • Russian state prosecutors want prison sentence overturned in controversial extremism case

        State prosecutors have asked the Moscow City Court to overturn the felony conviction of Pavel Rebrovsky, who was sentenced to 2.5 years in prison as a defendant in the so-called “Novoe Velichie” (New Greatness) case.€ 

      • Trump delivers fascist tirade at United Nations

        Since taking office in 2017, US President Donald Trump has used his annual speech at the UN General Assembly to denounce socialism, promote nationalism and xenophobia, and bully and threaten the whole world.

        With his third address to the UN General Assembly, Trump escalated his fascistic rhetoric. He openly echoed the tropes of the neo-Nazi right, declaring that “globalists” want to “replace” national identity, while falsely declaring that “socialism and communism” had resulted in the deaths of 100 million people—more than the number killed by Nazi Germany.

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • Other Big CJEU Case Says Google Must Put Certain Links At The Top Of Search Results

        While most of the attention today was focused on the CJEU "right to be forgotten" ruling concerning global censorship, the court actually released another ruling concerning the right to be forgotten, again around disagreement between French regulators and Google. And, as intermediary liability expert Daphne Keller notes, this ruling may turn out to be more interesting in the long run.

    • Privacy/Surveillance

    • Civil Rights/Policing

    • Monopolies

      • Copyrights

        • RomUniverse To Attempt To Crowdfund Legal Defense, Which Isn't Going Well At All

          We recently discussed Nintendo's lawsuit against RomUniverse, part of a longstanding war on ROM sites that seems less than absolutely necessary given just how much cash the company is raking in from its retro consoles and titles. Several commenters pointed out that RomUniverse, while proclaiming that it's a source for those who long ago purchased Nintendo games to preserve those purchases, also engages in plenty of other less than ethical behaviors. This includes offering up books and movies alongside the ROMs, for which it can't really make the same claims. In other words, while Nintendo itself might not be the best paladin to slay RomUniverse, it's not as though the site is on the side of the angels.

        • Music Piracy Drops Dramatically, IFPI Shows

          Music industry IFPI has released its latest music consumption report, revealing that music listening numbers are increasing. The report also stresses that piracy remains a threat, but fails to highlight the rather dramatic drop in piracy rates that took place over the past year.

        • ESET: 91% of Russians Prefer Pirated Content Over Legal

          If the results of a survey carried out by ESET are any indicator, Russia faces an uphill battle to combat piracy. The security company reports that just 9% of those surveyed prefer exclusively legal content over pirated, with 75% citing high prices as a reason to use illegal sources.

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