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August 2019

Thunderbird 68 Released with Dark Theme

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Thunderbird - the widely popular free and open-source desktop email client for Linux, Windows - releases latest version 68. This release, as the official announcement says - sets the ground for future release. Which means, the foundation have been laid now for upcoming Thunderbird software.

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Security Leftovers

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  • Google finds 'indiscriminate iPhone attack lasting years'

    The attack was said to be carried out using websites which would discreetly implant malicious software to gather contacts, images and other data.

    Google’s analysis suggested the booby-trapped websites were said to have been visited thousands of times per week.

    Apple told the BBC it did not wish to comment.

  • McAfee warns of global malware resurgence, massive ransomware growth

    Security firm McAfee has uncovered what it says is a global malware resurgence, with new ransomware growing 118% as cybercriminals adopt new tactics and code innovations.

  • Company Sues Blackhat Because People Mocked Their Sponsored Presentation And Called It Snake Oil

    Sean Gallagher, over at Ars Technica, has a story about yet another bizarre lawsuit. A company called Crown Sterling, which claims it's disrupting the entire encryption business, is suing the Black Hat conference organizers after it paid $115,000 to be a "gold sponsor," only to find their presentation widely mocked. You can read the complaint here. It's quite something.

  • U.S. Export Controls and “Published” Encryption Source Code Explained

    Throughout our long history of defending encryption, EFF has taken a special interest in ensuring that researchers and programmers who help build and strengthen digital security are not prevented from sharing their knowledge. Because of this history, we periodically get requests about the status of U.S. export controls and how they affect open source software that uses encryption. It can be a daunting topic to research, and our friends at the Internet Systems Consortium (with help from the terrific export regulation attorney Roz Thomsen) just helped us to refresh our understanding. We thought it might be also useful for the community to have a refresher as well.

    First, a disclaimer: as part of our Coders’ Rights Project, EFF frequently provides pro bono (free!) assistance to coders, hackers, and security researchers who face legal challenges as a result of their work. But this post isn’t intended as legal advice, so if you find yourself facing a legal threat, we encourage you to consider reaching out so that we can try to help.


    It should also be noted that updates to encryption source code may trigger a requirement to provide additional copies to both BIS and NSA. If you have provided a copy of the published source code, then you must notify the government again when the cryptographic functionality of the source code is updated or modified. If you have posted the source code on the Internet, then you don’t have to provide notice of changes to the encryption functionality, but you do have to notify BIS and the ENC Encryption Request Coordinator each time the Internet location is changed. For all of these notices, exporters should use the same email addresses: and to

    After satisfaction of the notification requirements of the EAR, software falls out of EAR coverage and publishers may export or publish open-source encryption software.

    If these requirements seem like empty bureaucratic formalism to you, we agree. There is even a good argument that the regulations are still unconstitutional. But we’re happy that the government has not tried to impose heavy export burdens to re-regulate encryption. We’d also point to a now nearly-two-decade-long track record of open source encryption publishers being free of harassment under the EAR.

  • Millions Of Biometric Records Collected By Companies And Governments Left Exposed On The Web

    One of the many problems with collecting biometric data is you need to have someplace safe to store it. Sure, you could lock it away in something disconnected from the net, but then it's not much use to the dozens of private companies and government agencies that want access to the data they've collected. So, back on the web it goes, where it can be prodded for weaknesses by security researchers and malicious hackers alike.


    Names and passwords are certainly being changed in the wake of this discovery. But this breach was full of biometric info linked to other personally identifiable information held by BioStar 2's customers. Fingerprints and other biometric markers can't be changed. These are inextricably tied to whatever other sensitive information was collected by multiple entities -- much of which was stored in unencrypted form.

    Suprema and BioStar 2 will probably take security more seriously in the future, but the damage is done. The fact that the marketing team is issuing statements on the breach rather than someone with direct knowledge of the situation isn't exactly reassuring. Neither is the issued statement, which suggests the company would have rather kept the breach buried, rather than be honest and direct with its users.

11 surprising ways you use Linux every day

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Linux runs almost everything these days, but many people are not aware of that. Some might be aware of Linux and might have heard that this operating system runs supercomputers. According to Top500, Linux now powers the five-hundred fastest computers in the world. Go to their site and search for "Linux" to see the results for yourself.

You might not be aware that Linux powers NASA. NASA’s Pleiades supercomputer runs Linux. The International Space Station switched from Windows to Linux six years ago due to the operating system's reliability. NASA even recently deployed three "Astrobee" robots—which run Linux—to the International Space Station.

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Change your Linux terminal color theme

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If you spend most of your day staring into a terminal, it's only natural that you want it to look pleasing. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and terminals have come a long way since the days of CRT serial consoles. So, the chances are good that your software terminal window has plenty of options to theme what you see—however you define beauty.

Most popular software terminal applications, including GNOME, KDE, and Xfce, ship with the option to change their color theme. Adjusting your theme is as easy as adjusting application preferences. Fedora, RHEL, and Ubuntu ship with GNOME by default, so this article uses that terminal as its example, but the process is similar for Konsole, Xfce terminal, and many others.

First, navigate to the application's Preferences or Settings panel. In GNOME terminal, you reach it through the Application menu along the top of the screen or in the right corner of the window.

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Servers: Red Hat, SUSE and Storj

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Red Hat
  • Red Hat CEO Says Acquisition by IBM Will Help Spur More Open-Source Innovation

    International Business Machines Corp.’s recent acquisition of Red Hat Inc. is aimed squarely at building up its cloud business—in part by making it easier for IBM customers to use competing cloud services.

    Red Hat’s open-source software enables chief information officers and other enterprise IT managers to run applications both within their own data centers and across a range of third-party providers, from IBM’s own cloud to Inc. ’s AWS, Microsoft Corp ’s Azure, or any other tech company that rents computer software and systems to businesses online.

  • Best Practices in Deploying SUSE CaaS Platform

    SUSE CaaS Platform is an enterprise class container management solution that enables IT and DevOps professionals to more easily deploy, manage, and scale container-based applications and services. It includes Kubernetes to automate lifecycle management of modern applications, and surrounding technologies that enrich Kubernetes and make the platform itself easy to operate.

  • Storj Opens Its Decentralized Storage Service Project to Beta

    Storj Labs has released the beta of its open source namesake decentralized cloud object storage software alongside opening up beta access to its own implementation of that software with its decentralized cloud storage service Tardigrade. In an interview with The New Stack, Storj Labs Executive Chairman and Interim CEO Ben Golub explained that Storj follows in the footsteps of other household name tech companies that allow its members to profit by “sharing” their resources — in this case, their spare storage space.

Events: Red Hat Summit 2020, Akademy and FSF Licensing and Compliance

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  • Call for papers now open for Red Hat Summit 2020

    We’re excited to announce that the call for papers is now open for the 16th annual Red Hat Summit, to be held April 27-29, 2020 in San Francisco. We’re inviting our partners, customers, collaborators and community members to participate in the industry’s premier enterprise open source technology conference.

    Red Hat Summit has become a must-attend technology event to experience the latest and greatest in open source innovations that are the future of enterprise technology—from hybrid cloud infrastructure, containers and cloud-native app platforms to management, automation, emerging tech and more. Over the years, we’ve seen incredible value in bringing together leaders across the IT industry to collaborate, innovate and help grow our industry.

  • Akademy Schedule Mobile Access

    Last weekend I worked in a improved version of Akademy schedule that I launched last year.

  • Continuing Legal Education Seminar on GPL Enforcement and Legal Ethics

    The FSF Licensing and Compliance Lab will work with experienced lawyers and professionals to provide a full day continuing legal education (CLE) seminar on GPL Enforcement and Legal Ethics for legal professionals, law students, free software developers, and anyone interested in licensing issues.

  • Early registration open for FSF's licensing seminar on Oct 16 in Raleigh, NC

    The CLE seminar is a regular program from the FSF, where a select a group of experts and experienced instructors in the free software community provide a comprehensive overview of current affairs in GPL Enforcement and Legal Ethics. We invite legal professionals, law students, free software developers, and anyone interested in licensing and compliance topics to join. While registration is open to the public, this seminar is a special opportunity for legal professionals and law students who can potentially earn continuing legal education (CLE) credits for participating (approval pending). The program will be available shortly on the event page.

Bastian Ilsø Hougaard: GNOME Developer Documentation – The Bottom-Up Approach

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This year’s GUADEC took place in Greece – six days vacation with plenty of time to dive into GNOME again (I missed you!).

When I last posted in January, I talked about my new full-time employment at Aalborg University as Research Assistant. Unfortunately it has left me little time to continue release videos or developer documentation. So at GUADEC 2019, I decided to re-visit the developer documentation issue, with a different approach to contributing to a better experience and that’s what this blog post is about.

The “ideal” GNOME developer portal has been the conception of a top-down approach: Creating a coherent structured platform, which collects documentation in one place. The challenge is that providing platforms require a lot of legwork and coordination – something which we in the past months have not had. So until we have it, I have been wanting to focus the time I had at GUADEC on a bottom-up approach: Providing GNOME developer documentation, where new developers look for them: on “Google” (and other web search engines). Arguably, people employ several strategies to find answers to questions, my own experience is that searching the web, remains consistently one of the most prominent strategies to get answers to any programming and app development.

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Graphics: NVIDIA, Intel and Vulkan/DXVK

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  • NVIDIA 435.21 & 435.19.02 Linux Drivers Released

    NVIDIA has promoted their 435.17 Linux driver as their newest short-lived driver release while also issuing a new Vulkan beta driver.

    Earlier this month they released the NVIDIA 435.17 Linux driver while today's update to the 435.17 release just makes it their official short-lived branch release. The only mentioned change is fixing a bug that caused the X.Org Server to crash when using HardDPMS functionality.

  • Intel Begins Setting Up Driver Mappings For Classic vs. Gallium3D OpenGL Linux Drivers

    Intel has previously indicated they plan for their new "Iris" Gallium3D driver to become their default OpenGL driver for Linux by EOY 2019 as far as Broadwell graphics and newer are concerned. Working in that direction and acknowledging their "Gen 12" Tiger Lake graphics will only be supported under Gallium3D OpenGL, they have begun establishing the driver mappings to handle the change-over.

  • DXVK 1.3.3 Improves Clang/libc++ Compatibility, Other New Bits

    Philip Rebohle just tagged DXVK 1.3.3. With this update there is better compatibility with the LLVM toolchain in the form of the Clang compiler and libc++ as the C++ standard library. But on the gaming front there is now proper hazard tracking for resource views to fix issues like the game Shining Resonance: Refrain with AMD hardware. DXVK 1.3.3 also fixes a "weird" issue with Far Cry Primal's graphics turning red and also fixes a rendering issue with the SteamVR Performance Test.

More in Tux Machines

Intel Announces 12th Gen Core "Alder Lake" CPUs, Linux Tests Forthcoming

Intel is using their inaugural Intel Innovation virtual event today to formally announce the highly-anticipated 12th Gen Core "Alder Lake" processors. These first desktop processors built on their "Intel 7" process and employ a hybrid architecture will be available in retail channels next week. Today we can talk more about Alder Lake specifications and features while our Linux performance benchmarks and support analysis will come once the Alder Lake review embargo expires next week. While there have been many Alder Lake leaks in recent weeks/months and a number of features disclosed back during Architecture Day, today marks the official unveil for the next-gen Intel Core processors. This is a very exciting transition as they have now shifted to their Intel 7 manufacturing process, the hybrid architecture provides a combination of high performance and low power cores depending upon needs, and Intel is at the forefront now in delivering DDR5 memory and PCIe 5.0 to the masses. When it comes to performance, Intel claims Alder Lake can deliver up to two times the performance of prior generation processors for content creation workloads. Meanwhile when it comes to the generational performance uplift for the P (Performance) cores it's said to be around 19%. Read more

Stable Kernels: 5.14.15, 5.10.76, 5.4.156, 4.19.214, 4.14.253, 4.9.288, and 4.4.290

I'm announcing the release of the 5.14.15 kernel.

All users of the 5.14 kernel series must upgrade.

The updated 5.14.y git tree can be found at:
	git:// linux-5.14.y
and can be browsed at the normal git web browser:


greg k-h
Read more Also: Linux 5.10.76 Linux 5.4.156 Linux 4.19.214 Linux 4.14.253 Linux 4.9.288 Linux 4.4.290

Murena smartphones and cloud will protect our privacy

More than ever the market is demanding a new approach for digital products: more and more people around the world want something different, more ethical, more sustainable, with real guarantees about personal data protection. Four years ago, I wanted to break free from Google and Apple, and therefore we created the “eelo” project, with the simple idea that a different mobile operating system and associated cloud services like email or cloud storage could be possible in this world. Followed by an amazing community of supporters, contributors and now users, the project progressed quickly, and became a reality by the end of 2018. The same year, we had to suddenly abandon our initial project name for a temporary name: /e/. Sometimes, temporary things last longer than expected. And despite being hard to pronounce, difficult to search, and largely criticized by many people, /e/ as a brand name had the benefit to be very singular and helped us appear different. In the end it conveyed the idea that we’re doing something special. […] Nevertheless, as we are reaching more and more people and progressively catching interested from a mainstream audience, we have to introduce a new, strong brand, easier to use, easier to refer to and easier to share with people. The goal of this brand is to have a strong name to call our products, intended to be used by a large number of users in many different countries and cultures. It took some time, since we had many different candidates, both from internal suggestions and from our community. We wanted something that would both convey our project’s values, and that could be within the same lineage of our initial project name. We also had to secure this new brand making sure it was not already in use in the same field of activity, and by entering a long trademark registration processes. Read more

Audiocasts/Shows: Linux Action News, mintcast, Audacity, and Starlink

  • Linux Action News 212

    Major performance milestones are being hit with new code inbound for Linux, Plasma and GNOME desktops are set to run Wayland on NVIDIA's binary driver, and why the SFC's new GPL fight could have implications for you.

  • mintcast 372.5 – The Tablet Chronicles

    1:22 Linux Innards 36:00 Vibrations from the Ether 52:41 Announcements & Outro In our Innards section, tablets And finally, the feedback and a couple of suggestions

  • Video Editing with Linux: The Most Important Part of a Video

    Next in our video editing series for the Librem 14, Gardiner Bryant explains why audio is critical in video production, capturing good sound, and post-processing using Audacity, an open source sound editing solution. This video will help those looking to level up their audio and overall production.

  • Starlink's Linux Secrets | LINUX Unplugged 429

    We attempt a live production over Starlink, and dig into the secrets of this giant Linux network in space.