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Links 26/09/2022: GNUnet 0.17.6 and Science News

  • GNU/Linux

    • Linux Made SimpleLinux Weekly Roundup #201

      Welcome to this week's Linux Weekly Roundup.

      We had a peaceful week in the world of Linux releases with the releases of MX Linux 21.2.1, ExTiX Linux 22.9, and Debian Edu 11.5.0.

      Application wise, Audacity 3.2.0 has been released.

    • Server

      • Managing Linux servers from iOS/iPadOS [Ed: Apple's operating systems are not secure; this is bad practice]

        Whilst my main machines all run Apple operating systems, I still love the free, open source operating system - Linux. If you have been following my articles, you’d know that I maintain several Linux servers, both at home (RaspberryOS) and on the cloud (Ubuntu).

      • Data SwampUsing Arion to use NixOS modules in containers

        NixOS is cool, but it's super cool because it has modules for many services, so you don't have to learn how to manage them (except if you want them in production), and you don't need to update them like a container image.

        But it's specific to NixOS, while the modules are defined in the nix nixpkgs repository, you can't use them if you are not using NixOS.

        But there is a trick, it's called arion and is able to generate containers to leverage NixOS modules power in them, without being on NixOS. You just need to have Nix installed locally.

      • Kubernetes BlogKubernetes 1.25: Kubernetes In-Tree to CSI Volume Migration Status Update

        The Kubernetes in-tree storage plugin to Container Storage Interface (CSI) migration infrastructure has already been beta since v1.17. CSI migration was introduced as alpha in Kubernetes v1.14. Since then, SIG Storage and other Kubernetes special interest groups are working to ensure feature stability and compatibility in preparation for CSI Migration feature to go GA.

        SIG Storage is excited to announce that the core CSI Migration feature is generally available in Kubernetes v1.25 release!

        SIG Storage wrote a blog post in v1.23 for CSI Migration status update which discussed the CSI migration status for each storage driver. It has been a while and this article is intended to give a latest status update on each storage driver for their CSI Migration status in Kubernetes v1.25.

      • Sergio Talens-Oliag: Kubernetes Static Content Server

        This post describes how I’ve put together a simple static content server for kubernetes clusters using a Pod with a persistent volume and multiple containers: an sftp server to manage contents, a web server to publish them with optional access control and another one to run scripts which need access to the volume filesystem.

        The sftp server runs using MySecureShell, the web server is nginx and the script runner uses the webhook tool to publish endpoints to call them (the calls will come from other Pods that run backend servers or are executed from Jobs or CronJobs).

    • Videos/Shows

      • VideoFlatpak Is Going To Take Over The Linux Desktop - Invidious

        Over the next couple of years Flatpah has a great chance to shine, there are a lot of confounding variables that are going to continue to make them more compelling for both the user and the developer alike.

      • Tux Digital296: Jill’s Treasure Hunt Hits The Bigscreen - Destination Linux - TuxDigital

        This week’s episode of Destination Linux, we’re digging deep into Jill’s museum of computers to bring you something really special. Then we will be discussing KDE on the big screen! Plus, we have our tips/tricks and software picks. All this and more coming up right now on Destination Linux to keep those penguins marching!

      • The BSD Now PodcastBSD Now 473: Rusty Kernel Modules

        Writing FreeBSD kernel modules in Rust, Details behind the FreeBSD aio LPE, Linux subsystem for FreeBSD, FreeBSD Journal: Science, Systems, and FreeBSD, NetBSD improves Amiga support, OpenBSD on Scaleway Elastic Metal, and more

      • Open Source Security (Audio Show)Episode 342 - Programming languages are the new operating system – Open Source Security

        Josh and Kurt talk about programming language ecosystems tracking and publishing security advisory details. We are at a point in the language ecosystems where they are giving us services that have historically been reserved for operating systems.

    • Kernel Space

      • LWNKernel prepatch 6.0-rc7 []

        The 6.0-rc7 kernel prepatch is out for testing.

      • The Register UKLinus Torvalds predicts Linux Kernel 6.0 debut next week ● The Register [Ed: Simon Sharwood not with a false and hostile headline for a change?]

        Linux kernel boss Linus Torvalds has offered the community an optimistic prediction that version 6.0 of the project will debut next week.

        Last week Torvalds felt that might not be the case.

        In his September 18 State of the Kernel update, Torvalds announced release candidate six and mentioned that the 2022 Maintainers' Summit in Dublin had seen a lot of influential penguinistas spend time away from their desks.

        "I am expecting rc7 to be larger than usual due to pull requests having shifted one week later, and in the worst case that might mean that I might feel like we need an extra rc8," he wrote, adding "but for now I'm going to assume it's not going to be _that_ noticeable and hope we'll just keep to the regular schedule."

        His assumption has proven correct.

    • Applications

      • 9to5LinuxAvidemux 2.8.1 Released with 8-Bit VP9 VDPAU Hardware Decoding, New Filters, and More

        Avidemux 2.8.1 is here nine months after Avidemux 2.8.0 and introduces several new features like a 3-band equalizer, new downmix options, namely stereo headphone and headphone virtual surround, the ability to configure up to 32 audio tracks, and three new filters, namely 3D LUT, Arbitrary Rotate, and Decimate.

        This release also implements custom frame rate change (audio stretch with pitch control), a configurable compressor (DRC), independent channel gain and delay options, channel remap options, and a new option in the “Resize”, “Fit to size”, and “Zoom” filters to force the app to remember the selected resize method.

      • Linux HintBest PDF Editors for Linux Mint

        “Have you encountered a file with text or images in it, and you see messed up format when you open it one way or another? This could be unpleasant, especially when you are in a meeting and your document is not formatted correctly, so this is where PDF comes up.

        Portable Documents Format or PDF is one of the most widely used file formats because of the presentation of data you can only see in it. Almost all organizations use it because it lets users easily edit, merge, and split files efficiently.”

        Today we will get through the features of what are the best PDF editors currently available on Linux Mint 21.

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • Make Use Of10 Linux Command-Line Operators and What They Do

        Command-chaining operators are special characters used to write miniature shell scripts in the command line. They are generally used to execute commands in a certain sequence, defined by the placement of operators between the commands. This is incredibly useful in automating tasks.

      • VideoHow to install WPS Office 2019 on Linux Mint 21 - Invidious

        In this video, we are looking at how to install WPS Office 2019 on Linux Mint 21.

      • Linux Made SimpleHow to install Audacity 3.2.0 on a Chromebook

        Today we are looking at how to install Audacity 3.2.0 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.

      • Linux HintHow to Install and Use Nmap on Linux Mint 21

        As the name defines, the Network map (nmap) is used to manage networks in a system. It is an open-source utility used by network administrators to monitor network tasks.

        The first release of Nmap was introduced in September 1997 by Gordon Lyon. Network administrators find this network scanning tool useful as it determines the network and handles it with security. Some of the features of Nmap are port scanning, exploit vulnerabilities in the network, version detection, host discovery, network inventory, handling services update scheduling and many more. Moreover, it is free, reliable, secure, flexible, and portable and has a well-documented man page for user’s help.

      • Linux HintHow to Find Kernel Version on Linux Mint 21

        There might be several reasons that users should know about kernel details as it is the vital component of the operating system. It provides interface between system hardware and processes and gives them access to other major components like CPU, networking, and I/O units.

        While working with the operations, the user must have knowledge about the kernel system. One of the main reasons why we should have details is when installing the application to the system, it is necessary to know if our kernel system can support the application or not. Or if there’s some issue in the hardware, then you might be interested to get kernel’s details. You would have known better after getting the kernel version if it needs to be upgraded or not.

      • Linux HintHow to Find Raspberry Pi on Network?

        For recognizing a device over a network there are multiple ways and the two most popular ones are by either searching the name of the device or by searching the IP address of that respective device Since Raspberry Pi is a computer it also has an IP address and a preset device name that can be changed.

        To find Raspberry Pi from a list of devices connected to the same network one must know the IP address and the name of the Raspberry Pi and there are multiple ways to access the list of devices connected to a certain network. If you are looking for ways to find the Raspberry Pi from the list of devices connected to any network, then read this guide.

      • Linux HintHow to Create Multiboot SD Card Raspberry Pi

        A multiboot feature in a system is an efficient way to use multiple operating systems on a single device. This feature can easily be used on a laptop or PC; however, on a Raspberry Pi device, it’s considered to be a tough task because the device doesn’t directly enable the multiboot option.

        Since Raspberry Pi uses an SD card as its primary storage for installing different operating systems, the users are looking for a solution to use multiple operating systems on a single Raspberry Pi SD card.

        This guide will show you how you can create a multiboot SD card on Raspberry Pi and easily use multiple operating systems simultaneously.

      • Linux HintDoes Arduino Have Internal Hardware Clock

        Arduino is a microcontroller-based platform designed for executing different instructions according to project requirements. To synchronize all this operation a clock is used with microcontrollers. Clock is like the heartbeat of Arduino boards required to generate clock pulses. These clock pulses synchronize all the internal and hardware operations. Microcontrollers are reliant upon clock. The clock determines how efficient and fast a microcontroller is to execute instructions. Now we will highlight clock sources used inside Arduino boards.

      • DebugPointHow to Setup Internet in CentOS, RHEL, Rocky Linux Minimal Install

        Setting up the internet or network is super easy in a minimal server install.

        Once you install the minimal install of any server distributions, you will not have any GUI or desktop environment to setup your network or internet. Hence it is essential to know how you can setup internet when you only have access to the terminal. The NetworkManager utility provides necessary tools armed with systemd services to do the job. Here's how.

      • Linux HandbookHow to Search and Replace (Substitute) Text in Nano Editor?

        Any text editor that you might have used must have had the functionality to search for text and also replace the searched text with something else - often called text substitution.

        And just like any other text editor, GNU nano has the functionality to search for text, and even replace the text you searched for.

      • Linux HintImportant Things To Do After Installing Linux Mint 21

        “Linux Mint 21 is a free and open-source operating system that is light, user-friendly, and fully packed with your required features since it is community-driven. You can contribute to its development by sharing your ideas. Unlike the Windows system, this requires very much less maintenance. Still, there are certain things that you need to do after installing it, as this will bring out the best it has to offer.”

      • ID RootHow To Install Avidemux on Linux Mint 21 - idroot

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to install Avidemux on Linux Mint 21. For those of you who didn’t know, Avidemux is a free video editor designed for simple cutting, filtering, and encoding tasks, also supports files of various types and codecs including AVI, DVD-compatible MPEG files, MP4, and ASF. If you are looking for an easy-to-use video editor with all the features you need, then Avidemux is the right choice for you.

        This article assumes you have at least basic knowledge of Linux, know how to use the shell, and most importantly, you host your site on your own VPS. The installation is quite simple and assumes you are running in the root account, if not you may need to add ‘sudo‘ to the commands to get root privileges. I will show you the step-by-step installation of an Avidemux on Linux Mint 21 (Vanessa).

      • Linux Shell TipsUseful Linux Terminal Keyboard Shortcuts Cheat Sheet

        While working on the Linux command-line environment, there is more to using this OS interface than just keying in and executing various commands with respect to the computing objective you wish to accomplish.

        There are a variety of Linux command line keyboard shortcuts that will help you as a user in mastering command editing, command control, command recall, and other helpful command tweaks.

      • Trend OceansHow to Install the Latest Mainline Kernel Version on Ubuntu 22.04 - TREND OCEANS

        As you know, the kernel is the core of the operating system. Without a kernel, your favourite Linux distribution is of no use. It is a completely dumb machine that doesn’t know how to perform low-level activities like memory management, process management, disk management, and many other crucial tasks that are necessary for computation.

      • Linux Hintsnmpwalk Command in Linux

        Linux operating system is a free, easy to use, and open-source operating system available for everyone. It directly manages the resources and hardware of the system, like storage, memory, CPU, etc. The Linux operating system creates a connection between hardware and applications on the system that perform several operations. While working with Linux operating systems, you will come across several different types of commands. These commands will help you operate with Linux OS. This article is a quick overview of snmpwalk commands in the Linux operating system. Here, we will guide you on the snmpwalk command and how it works in the Linux operating system. So let us begin!

      • Linux HintHow to go to Line X in Nano in Linux Mint 21?

        Whenever you are working with unreasonably large files, you might want to navigate from one line to another quite frequently. In that case, it gets quite troublesome to manually scroll the file up or down. Instead of this, there should be a way with which you can directly jump to the desired line. Therefore, today we will share with you two methods of going to the line X in the Nano editor on a Linux Mint 21 system.

  • Distributions and Operating Systems

    • Reviews

      • Distro WatchReview: openSUSE's MicroOS

        I want to acknowledge the MicroOS documentation does warn that the desktop roles of the distribution are still in development. We shouldn't expect an entirely polished experience. Still, despite this warning, I was surprised at how poorly the MicroOS system functioned. I could understand some things not working smoothly, such as Discover not adding application launchers to the menu automatically. However, getting pestered with checksum errors (15 or more of them) during the initial install seems excessive. It was all the more frustrating that the installer doesn't respect the "don't ask me again" option after it shows the checksum errors.

        The login screen blanks and causes the system to stop responding if we don't login fast enough, the first window that greets the user upon logging in isn't a welcome window, but a crash report. There is very little software on the system and the Discover software centre crashes after almost every transaction.

        With all of these things going wrong, the only theoretical benefit appears to be that we can install (and rollback) software updates, making for a more stable rolling release experience. Which is a good idea and I'm not knocking it, but we can already enjoy this with openSUSE Tumbleweed and its automatic Btrfs snapshots without any of the hassles which come from running MicroOS. The Tumbleweed edition will even let us use Zypper and includes more desktop software out of the box.

        MicroOS has some appealing ideas, like snapshots, a read-only root filesystem, and roles we can select at install time. However, it's a lot less polished than openSUSE's other editions and, from a practical point of view, doesn't offer much benefit over the Btrfs snapshots of the other editions.

    • Arch Family

      • [From Arch] Removing python2 from the repositories

        Python 2 went end of life January 2020. Since then Arch has been actively cutting down the number of projects depending on python2 in their repositories, and they have finally been able to drop it from our distribution, making it disappear from Parabola too. If you still have python2 installed on your system consider removing it and any python2 package.

        If you still require the python2 package you can keep it around, but please be aware that there will be no security updates.

    • Mobile Systems/Mobile Applications

  • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

    • GNU Projects

      • GNUnetGNUnet 0.17.6

        This is a bugfix release for gnunet 0.17.5.

    • Programming/Development

      • Guru: Beware of SQL Precompiler Variables - IT Jungle

        In a famous Henny Youngman joke, a patient says, “Doctor, it hurts when I do this,” to which the doctor replies, “Then don’t do that.” Corny jokes aside, I have spent decades trying to identify programming practices that hurt when I do them, and having identified them, cease to do them. A case in point is the misuse of the variables that the SQL precompiler defines in my RPG programs, variables such as SQLCODE, SQLSTATE, and SQLER3.

        “So what,” I hear you ask, “is the problem with these variables? ” Well, they’re global, and global variables are evil. Global variables are sneaky and will change their value when you least expect it. Thanks to global variables, I have spent hours debugging when I’d rather been doing something more enjoyable. I’ve seen programs run for weeks or months or years without problem and suddenly go haywire because of a global variable.

      • QtDoes WebAssembly Matter for Embedded System Makers?

        WebAssembly is an emerging technology that allows high-performance apps programmed with languages like C++ to run in web browsers. These applications are compiled into binary format and then executed in the browser in a sandboxed environment. This is excellent news for developers that create resource-intensive desktop applications such as image processing or gaming. But how is WebAssembly relevant for embedded device makers?

      • Linux HintData Types in C

        “In most programming languages, we use the declaration method for the variables that we define for our code; likewise, “programming language C” has its declaration method for the defined variables; this declaration is known as a data type. We use data type in C whenever we define a variable in our code. This is done to define what is the type of data that we’ll be using or storing information for in this data. Also, the data type defines the size of the variables in terms of bytes. Every data type has a different memory associated with it, and we can perform the different operations on different data types accordingly. Each data type possesses different ranges of numbers that it can store in it and these ranges also vary differently depending upon the compilers.”

      • Towards Data Science3 Reasons Why You Need Low-code Platforms For Data Science Solutions

        Low-code ML applications help address the challenges of model maintenance, time-to-market, and talent shortage

      • Linux HintStrncat Function in C

        We use the strncat function for the concatenation of two strings. Concatenation is the concept of appending two strings together. We append one string and can add another string to the end of the string and make them one string using the strncat function. For the string concatenation, we generally use two strings – the first string represents the source string that we want to combine and the other string is the target or destination string where we store the combination of the earlier string as per our requirement. The size of the target is always kept greater than the source string. For example, if we have string 1 with memory size as “4” that has the characters stored in it as “hi” and a second string with size “12” that contains the characters “people”, if we want these strings together, we will use strncat() function. Hence, the combination “hi people“ is stored in the target string that has memory size “12” more as compared to the earlier string1.

      • Paul E. McKenneyParallel Programming: September 2022 Update - Paul E. McKenney's Journal — LiveJournal

        The v2022.09.25a release of Is Parallel Programming Hard, And, If So, What Can You Do About It? is now available!

        This version boasts an expanded index and API index, and also adds a number of improvements, perhaps most notably boldface for the most pertinent pages for a given index entry, courtesy of Akira Yokosawa. Akira also further improved the new ebook-friendly PDFs, expanded the list of acronyms, updated the build system to allow different perfbook formats to be built concurrently, adjusted for Ghostscript changes, carried out per-Linux-version updates, and did a great deal of formatting and other cleanup.

      • Python

        • Didier StevensUpdate: My Python Templates Version 0.0.8
        • WrlachUsing Sphinx in a Monorepo

          Just wanted to type up a couple of notes about working with Sphinx (the python documentation generator) inside a monorepo, an issue I’ve been struggling with (off and on) at Voltus since I started. I haven’t seen much written about this topic despite (I suspect) it being a reasonably frequent problem.

          In general, there’s a lot to like about Sphinx: it’s great at handling deeply nested trees of detailed documentation with cross-references inside a version control system. It has local search that works pretty well and some themes (like readthedocs) scale pretty nicely to hundreds of documents. The directives and roles system is pretty flexible and covers most of the common things one might want to express in technical documentation. And if the built-in set of functionality isn’t enough, there’s a wealth of third party extension modules. My only major complaint is that it uses the somewhat obscure restructuredText file format by default, but you can get around that by using the excellent MyST extension.

  • Leftovers

    • Ruben SchadeIf you want to understand reality, don’t be pedantic

      This is another reason I no longer read sites like Hacker News. Once you recognise this pattern of pedantry and obtuseness, it’s impossible not to see it in many of the comments, even if the authors aren’t aware they’re doing it.


      You also realise how routinely this happens when you’re on the receiving end of it. I can’t tell you the number of times a post of mine appears on a social news site, and I get drive-by comments predicated on baseless assumptions that distort the meaning of what I wrote. My favourite is when people assume I’m American because I write in English. Don’t get me wrong, I have lots of American friends and have loved my US travels, but you can pry my redundant vowels and SI units from my… frustrated hands.

      That’s the ultimate irony here. Attempting to score Internet points in pedantry blinds one to broader reality, and in doing so results in a larger error. It’s much easier to catch and handle that exception early on, rather than have it snowball into a mental stack trace so long you need less(1).

    • Science

      • Mimicking Termites to Generate New Materials |

        Inspired by the way termites build their nests, researchers at Caltech have developed a framework to design new materials that mimic the fundamental rules hidden in nature's growth patterns. The researchers showed that, using these rules, it is possible to create materials designed with specific programmable properties.

      • Stanford engineers develop new wearable device to monitor tumor size

        Engineers at Stanford University have created a small, autonomous device with a stretchable and flexible sensor that can be adhered to the skin to measure the changing size of tumors below. The non-invasive, battery-operated device is sensitive to one-hundredth of a millimeter (10 micrometers) and can beam results to a smartphone app wirelessly in real time with the press of a button.

      • Digital TrendsI pitched my ridiculous startup idea to a robot VC

        It was the pitch for my new startup, a company that promised to deliver one of the world’s most popular resources in the most high-tech way imaginable: an on-demand drone delivery service for bottled water. In my mind I was already picking out my Gulfstream private jet, bumping fists with Apple’s Tim Cook, and staging hostile takeovers of Twitter. I just needed to convince a panel of venture capitalists that I (and they) were onto a good thing.

      • New ScientistLiquid robot can split into tiny droplets and reform into a blob

        A soft robot made from droplets of a magnetic fluid can break itself up and reconstitute itself later when it encounters obstacles or narrow passages. Researchers say it could be used for targeted drug delivery in the future.

        Xinjian Fan at Soochow University in Taiwan and his colleagues used droplets of a ferrofluid, in this case magnetic iron oxide nanoparticles suspended in oil, to make a soft robot about a centimetre in size. A set of controllable magnets can direct the robot to move or change shape, as needed, by acting on the nanoparticles.

      • ACMBring the Laboratory With You

        For decades, laboratory procedures have been a popular target for automation; sequencing the human genome, for instance, would not have been feasible without it. Now the scale of automation is being reduced to individual laboratories on a chip by virtue of micron-level manipulation of fluid droplets (microfluidics)—not for complete genome sequencing (yet), but for the myriad of simpler medical procedures today performed by human technicians in full-sized laboratories worldwide.

        The main contribution of the lab on a chip, so far, has been the development of medical point-of-care devices that can diagnose specific maladies in minutes, rather than requiring the capture of a blood (or other bodily fluid) sample and its transportation to a lab for analysis.

        "Point-of-care diagnostic devices have proved incredibly useful in the last 20 years, in particular delivering much-needed rapid HIV and tuberculosis diagnosis to the developing world [where traditional labs are often not available]," said Maïwenn Kersaudy-Kerh, a professor in Heriot-Watt University's School of Engineering and Physical Sciences and in Scotland's Institute of Biological Chemistry, Biophysics, and Bioengineering, as well as an Honorary Lecturer in the Deanery of Biomedical Sciences of Scotland's University of Edinburgh.

        A microfluidic lab on a chip consists of pipe-like micron-sized channels and reservoirs to hold droplet samples—usually blood or other body fluids—to be processed by mixing them with reagents and other chemicals needed to identify a malady. Such a lab on a chip also requires closely integrated electronics to control the processing steps.

      • Christopher Manning: Linguistics and the Development of NLP

        A conversation with Christopher Manning, Director of the Stanford AI Lab.

      • IEEENASA’s DART Mission Aims to Save the World

        A robotic probe has been sent to crash into an asteroid in a test of planetary defense

      • IEEEWe Can Now Train Big Neural Networks on Small Devices

        The gadgets around us are constantly learning about our lives. Smartwatches pick up on our vital signs to track our health. Home speakers listen to our conversations to recognize our voices. Smartphones play grammarian, watching what we write in order to fix our idiosyncratic typos. We appreciate these conveniences, but the information we share with our gadgets isn’t always kept between us and our electronic minders. Machine learning can require heavy hardware, so “edge” devices like phones often send raw data to central servers, which then return trained algorithms. Some people would like that training to happen locally. A new AI training method expands the training capabilities of smaller devices, potentially helping to preserve privacy.

      • A Note on "Industrial Policy”, & [Ed: Nice spin you got there on bailing out companies that stockpile billions in offshore accounts to evade tax]

        The not-quite-surprise passage of the CHIPS Act and the surprise passage of the IRA have brought the idea that the United States should consciously pursue “industrial policy” back to the front burner of politics, and of political economy.

      • China’s Factories Accelerate Robotics Push as Workforce Shrinks

        China installed almost as many robots in its factories last year as the rest of the world, accelerating a rush to automate and consolidate its manufacturing dominance even as its working-age population shrinks.

      • AAASNIH’s BRAIN Initiative puts $500 million into creating most detailed ever human brain atlas

        Neuroscientists will build on census of mouse brain as massive program moves into new phase

      • "Researchers from the Gwangju Institute of Science and Technology Develop a New Method for Denoising Images"

      • Researchers from the Gwangju Institute of Science and Technology Develop a New Method for Denoising Images
      • Electric planes take off

        The potential for short-haul electric flight is energizing aviation’s newest startups.

      • ACMApplied AI Teaches Handwriting

        Researchers from Germany's Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) and pen-maker Stabilo are collaborating on an artificial intelligence (AI)-based pen to teach schoolchildren what is becoming a lost art in an increasingly digital world: handwriting.

        The joint project—Kaligo-based Intelligent Handwriting Teacher (KIHT)—is funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research.

        German children are taught to write by redrawing the shape of letters, which requires them to think about writing, explains Tanja Harbaum, a researcher at KIT who is involved with the project. "We want them to be able to write without having to think about writing. That's what we as adults do."

        The eyes of unskilled writers are not able to keep up with writing, and "that's really a problem because if you force a child to redraw shapes, they won't be able to practice fluent writing at the same time," according to Harbaum.

      • AAASWhen AI asks dumb questions, it gets smart fast

        If someone showed you a photo of a crocodile and asked whether it was a bird, you might laugh—and then, if you were patient and kind, help them identify the animal. Such real-world, and sometimes dumb, interactions may be key to helping artificial intelligence learn, according to a new study in which the strategy dramatically improved an AI’s accuracy at interpreting novel images. The approach could help AI researchers more quickly design programs that do everything from diagnose disease to direct robots or other devices around homes on their own.

        “It’s supercool work,” says Natasha Jaques, a computer scientist at Google who studies machine learning but who was not involved with the research.

        Many AI systems become smarter by relying on a brute-force method called machine learning: They find patterns in data to, say, figure out what a chair looks like after analyzing thousands of pictures of furniture. But even huge data sets have gaps. Sure, that object in an image is labeled a chair—but what is it made of? And can you sit on it?

      • Mixing Things Up: Optimizing Fluid Mixing with Machine Learning

        Researchers from Japan adopt a reinforcement learning-based approach to study the process of fluid mixing during laminar flow

        Fluid mixing is an important part of several industrial processes and chemical reactions. However, the process often relies on trial-and-error-based experiments instead of mathematical optimization. While turbulent mixing is effective, it cannot always be sustained and can damage the materials involved. To address this issue, researchers from Japan have now proposed an optimization approach to fluid mixing for laminar flows using machine learning, which can be extended to turbulent mixing as well.

    • Health/Nutrition/Agriculture

    • Security

      • IT WireiTWire - Optus has not covered itself in glory in handling of breach

        Optus has informed me that my personal data has been disclosed in its data breach – data which was submitted to the company last year to obtain a SIM in order to test the company's 5G services for a smartphone review.

        That account was closed as soon as the review was done and one wonders why Optus is still holding on to the data.

        This is not just my concern; Rachael Falk, chief executive of Cyber Security Cooperative Research Centre, says in an op-ed in The Age: "The real issue that Optus will have to stare into is why were they holding such sensitive personal information? So much sensitive data that only had an initial, point-in-time use. This just appears to be data gluttony, and it must stop."

        Falk makes a further succinct point: "Well-intentioned emails and media releases are one thing, but it is not Optus that is necessarily the ‘victim’. It is the 9 million-plus customers who are the real victims, and may well continue to be for many months or years to come."

      • Open Source Security (Audio Show)Holding open source to a higher standard - Open Source Security

        Open source has always been held to a higher standard. It has always surpassed this standard.

        I ran across a story recently about a proposed bill in the US Congress that is meant to “help” open source software. The bill lays out steps CISA should take to help secure open source software. This post isn’t meant to argue if open source needs to be fixed (it doesn’t), but rather let’s consider the standards and expectations open source is held to.

        In the early days of open source, there was an ENORMOUS amount of attention paid to the fact that open source was built by volunteers. It was amateur software, not like the professional companies of Sun, DEC, and Microsoft. The term FUD was used quite a lot by the open source developers to explain what was going on. And even though all the big commercial companies kept changing the reasons open source couldn’t be trusted, open source just kept exceeding every expectation. Now the FUD slingers are either out of business or have embraced open source.

        The events following Log4Shell created whole new industries bent on convincing us open source can’t be trusted.


        I don’t expect how open source is judged or measured to change anytime soon. It’s just too easy to blame with one hand, and keep using with the other. Only time will tell if and how governments get involved. I’m sure some ideas will be good and some will be bad. Something about a road paved with good intentions maybe.

        The one thing that gives me the most solace about all of this is how much open source has won. It hasn’t won by a little bit, software ate the world, then open source ate the software. If it uses electricity, it uses open source.

      • IBM i PTF Guide, Volume 24, Number 39

        Another week, another security vulnerability. This one could be a biggie, so pay attention. Security Bulletin: IBM Common Cryptographic Architecture (CCA) is vulnerable to denial of service (CVE-2022-22423), which you can find out more about here.

      • Privacy/Surveillance

        • CoryDoctorowHow to ditch Facebook without ditching your friends

          Facebook users claim to hate the service, but they keep using it, leading many to describe Facebook as "addictive." But there's a simpler explanation: people keep using Facebook though they hate it because they don't want to lose their connections to the people they love.

        • DaemonFC (Ryan Farmer)Microsoft LinkedIn “experimented” on over 20 million people over five years and may have stopped some of them from getting a job.

          Basically, LinkedIn is there to make Microsoft money (duh) by running skeevy tests on people, who probably didn’t even read the EULA, which might have caused them to miss employment opportunities.

          When Microsoft was reached for comment, they had none.

          What are you going to say when you’ve been outed as ruining someone’s hopes and dreams for career advancement (or even finding a job at all in a bad economy), in the pursuit of a better algorithm to bring in ad money from people who haven’t stopped to consider why this is all “free”?

          As a separate issue, LinkedIn is not doing as well as the obsequious Gates-Funded New York Times would suggest.

          The New York Times runs hundreds of Gates propaganda articles and even softens what they do when their LinkedIn division screws people who have accounts there.

    • Defence/Aggression

      • IT WireiTWire - US senators seek review of Chinese chip firm after Apple hints at use

        Two senators from the US Republican Party are seeking a public analysis and review of the Chinese firm Yangtze Memory Technologies Company after Apple said it was thinking of buying NAND memory chips from the firm for use in future iPhones.

        In a statement, Mark Warner (Virginia) and Marco Rubio (Florida) wrote to the director of National Intelligence, Avril Haines, seeking a review of alleged risks that YMTC poses to US national security.

        Over the last few years, the US has sought to cut off Chinese companies' access to advanced semiconductors. One of the firms affected has been Huawei Technologies, once a leader in the smartphone industry in China, but now reduced to a bit player.

        The letter was also signed by Democrat majority leader in the House, Chuck Schumer of New York, and Senator John Cormyn, a Republican from Texas.

    • Finance

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • DaemonFC (Ryan Farmer)The Twisted Logic of Republican migrant busing to 'Sanctuary States'. | BaronHK’s Rants

        In the news lately, is a lot of stuff about Governor Ron DeSantis of Florida, and Governor Greg Abbott of Texas sending migrants to blue states, which spent the Trump years passing “Sanctuary laws”.

        These states and cities (Illinois has one, and so does Chicago, which goes even further.) spent years passing “Sanctuary Laws“, which shield Immigrants from ICE by way of State non-cooperation.

        However, in most of these cases, what’s happened is that the Immigrant in question only came to the attention of the State government because they were arrested for committing a crime, against another Immigrant or even a United States Citizen or Lawful Permanent Resident.

        In other words, it protects the bad ones more than it does the good ones.

        Most countries don’t take kindly to illegal immigration even when it’s relatively benign (migrant farm workers or something), but I presume that they take less kindly to illegal immigrants coming to their country to rape and murder their own citizens, drive drunk, and raise hell, but when Democrats in the United States pass laws to shield these people so that ICE can’t remove them, what happens is they all go to the place they know allows that and crime surges.

  • Gemini* and Gopher

    • Politics

      • C.S. Lewis on Anarchy

        I am an anarchist because I believe in the depravity of the elite (Hello, NSA! Welcome to my Gemlog. :3). I think a lot of people are proponents of democracy for the opposite reason. A great deal of democratic enthusiasm descends from the ideas of people like Rousseau, who believed in democracy because they thought mankind so wise and good that everyone deserved a share in the government. The danger of defending democracy on those grounds is that it misses the point. Whenever their weakness is exposed, elites who prefer tyranny profit from the exposure. I find that this is true by looking no further than myself. I don't deserve a share in governing a henroost, much less a nation. Nor do most people: those who believe in advertisements, and think in catchwords and spread rumors. The reason for anarchism stems from this very issue: humankind cannot be trusted with power over his fellows. Aristotle said that some people were only fit to be slaves. But I reject slavery because I see no humans fit to be masters.

        The above is modified from the first paragraph of C.S. Lewis's article called "Equality". In the original, C.S. Lewis argues that he believes democracy is preferable to hierarchical arrangements of society because humans are inherently evil.

    • Technical

      • When online friendship transcends social media

        Last week, I was on the other side of the world, hanging out with friends I met online. It was nerve-wracking for all sorts of reasons — social anxiety, travel, etc. — but everything went swimmingly and now that I'm home, I'm not showing signs of having picked up any illness.

        Not a moment has passed, since getting off the plane, where I haven't felt this deep sense of gratitude for what the last month or so has been like.

        I do not miss being on Twitter — the platform where our friendships developed — but I am presently quite cognisant of the practical purposes it serves. My line of work makes good use of that platform, but trying to capitalise on it feels like selling my soul. Even just keeping taggable account on there feels a bit dirty.

      • Devlog: The Yoyo of Zonk

        The last two weeks, I worked with kdx to bring ya some hot and spicy new multiplayer game, "The yoyo of Zonk". It takes the core concepts of the pretty popular "Player vs Game" and try to put it in a zelda-like topdown dungeon.

* Gemini (Primer) links can be opened using Gemini software. It's like the World Wide Web but a lot lighter.

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