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January 2020

Leftovers: UML, Programming, Emacs and Events

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  • 10 Best Free Unified Modeling Language Tools

    Unified Modeling Language (UML) is a general-purpose, modeling language designed to provide a standard way for visualizing, specifying, constructing, and documenting the artifacts of distributed object systems. It’s the industry standard modeling language for software engineering.

    The aim of UML is to give software engineers, agile and small development teams, and system architects useful tools for analysis, design, and implementation of software-based systems. It also provides modeling business and similar processes. The language helps to visualize your object-oriented design and communicate with others. It offers limited use for other programming paradigms.

    UML offers an efficient way to communicate object programming concepts that are not intuitive between programmers and end users. It can also be very precise and helps to avoid ambiguities when you define your system.

    UML is composed of many model elements that represent the different parts of a software system. The UML elements are used to create diagrams, which represent a certain part, or a point of view of the system. A full list of the diagrams is set out at the end of this article.

  • Norbert Preining: CafeOBJ 1.6.0 released

    We have released version 1.6.0 of CafeOBJ, an algebraic specification and verification language.

  • 5 ways to use Emacs as your RPG dashboard

    There are two ways to play a tabletop role-playing game (RPG): You can play an adventure written by the game's publisher or an independent author, or you can play an adventure that is made up as you go. Regardless of which you choose, there's probably prep work to do. One player (generically called the game master) must gather monster or enemy stats, loot tables, and references for rules, and the other players must build characters and apportion (pretend) equipment. Nothing's going to eliminate prep work from a complex RPG, but if you're an Emacs user, you might find that Emacs makes a great dashboard to keep everything all straight.

    Organize the rules

    Unfortunately, the digital editions of many RPGs are distributed as PDFs because that's what the RPG publisher sent to the printer for the physical edition. PDFs are good at preserving layout, but they're far from an ideal eBook format. If you play RPGs published under an open license, you can often obtain the rules in alternate formats (such as HTML), which gives you more control and flexibility. Even the world's first and most famous RPG, Dungeons & Dragons, provides its rules as a free download in digital format (which has been translated into HTML and Markdown by many a website).

    I open the rules as Markdown in Emacs so that I have a searchable reference at the ready. While opening the rules as a PDF in a PDF reader lets you search for embedded text, using a text file instead provides several benefits. First of all, a text file is much smaller than a PDF, so it's faster to load and to search. Second, text files are easily editable, so if you find a rule that sends you seeking clarification, you can add what you learn (or whatever you make up) directly into your master document. You can also add house rules and additional resources. My aim is to have a single file that contains all of the rules and resources I use in games I run, with everything a quick Ctrl+s (C-s in Emacs notation) away.

  • The 2020 Rust Event Lineup

    A new decade has started, and we are excited about the Rust conferences coming up. Each conference is an opportunity to learn about Rust, share your knowledge, and to have a good time with your fellow Rustaceans. Read on to learn more about the events we know about so far.

  • Bootlin at FOSDEM and Buildroot Developers Meeting

    This week-end takes place one of the biggest and most important free and open-source software conference in Europe: FOSDEM. It will once again feature a very large number of talks, organized in several main tracks and developer rooms.

    Bootlin CTO Thomas Petazzoni will participate to the FOSDEM conference, of course attending many of the talks from the Embedded, Mobile and Automative Devroom, to which he participated to the talk review and selection. Do not hesitate to get in touch with Thomas if you want to discuss career or business opportunities with Bootlin.

CEO of Red Hat Becomes IBM President

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Red Hat
  • IBM reshuffles: Krishna CEO, Whitehurst president, Rometty to retire

    IBM chief executive Ginni Rometty is stepping down in April, the company announced Thursday. Arvind Krishna, noted as a key architect of the company's Red Hat acquisition, will become CEO upon Rometty's exit.

    Rometty will serve as executive chairman through 2020 and then retire. Red Hat's CEO Jim Whitehurst was named IBM president.

  • IBM Names Arvind Krishna CEO, Replacing Ginni Rometty

    "Krishna, her successor, was the mastermind behind the Red Hat deal. He proposed the acquisition to Rometty and the board, suggesting hybrid cloud is the company's best bet for future growth," adds Bloomberg. "He has led the development of many of IBM's newer technologies like artificial intelligence, cloud and quantum computing."

    "Prior to IBM adopting its hybrid multi-cloud strategy, the company had a walled-garden approach to cloud computing, largely focusing on its own services. Krishna spearheaded IBM's shift toward hybrid, prompting the company to work with rival providers rather than compete against them."

  • Arvind Krishna Elected IBM Chief Executive Officer

    The IBM (NYSE: IBM) Board of Directors has elected Arvind Krishna as Chief Executive Officer of the company and a member of the Board of Directors, effective April 6, 2020. Krishna is currently IBM Senior Vice President for Cloud and Cognitive Software, and was a principal architect of the company's acquisition of Red Hat. James Whitehurst, IBM Senior Vice President and CEO of Red Hat, was also elected by the Board as IBM President, effective April 6, 2020. Virginia Rometty, IBM Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer, will continue as Executive Chairman of the Board and serve through the end of the year, when she will retire after almost 40 years with the company.

    "Arvind is the right CEO for the next era at IBM," said Rometty. "He is a brilliant technologist who has played a significant role in developing our key technologies such as artificial intelligence, cloud, quantum computing and blockchain. He is also a superb operational leader, able to win today while building the business of tomorrow. Arvind has grown IBM's Cloud and Cognitive Software business and led the largest acquisition in the company's history. Through his multiple experiences running businesses in IBM, Arvind has built an outstanding track record of bold transformations and proven business results, and is an authentic, values-driven leader. He is well-positioned to lead IBM and its clients into the cloud and cognitive era."

CERN Moves to Free/Libre Software With Latest Change

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  • CERN ends trial of Facebook Workplace

    New changes to the status of CERN’s Workplace account prevent the Organization from continuing on the platform. CERN’s presence on Workplace will end on 31 January 2020. In October 2016, Facebook made Workplace available to any company or organisation.

  • CERN Replacing Facebook Workplace With A Set Of Open-Source Software Alternatives

    Facebook Workplace is Facebook's corporate-focused product for internal real-time communication and related communication needs within organizations. CERN had been making use of Facebook Workplace and in addition to data privacy concerns, they were recently confronted with either paying Facebook or losing administrative rights, no more single sign-on access, and Facebook having access to their internal data. But now they have assembled their own set of software packages to fill the void by abandoning Facebook Workplace.

Games: RetroPie, More Retro, Northgard, Proton GE, Edna & Harvey, Legend of Keepers

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  • Weekend Project: Build a portable RetroPie powered Game Console

    In this video, I show off the process of creating your very own retro gaming console that's completely portable, powered by RetroPie!

  • Retro-styled colourful non-linear adventure platformer Alwa's Legacy now has a Steam page

    After a successful crowdfunding campaign in December last year, Elden Pixels explain that progress is going well on their very colourful non-linear adventure platformer Alwa's Legacy.

    In the first update this year on Kickstarter, they explained that work on it is progressing well with plenty of new content being added and it appears the story is already finished. They also now have a Steam store page up, so you can follow it along ready for release sometime in the Spring.

  • Northgard expands with The Clan of the Ox - DLC out now with a rather unique Warchief

    Shiro Games continue expanding their real-time strategy game Northgard, following on from the huge Conquest Mode free update last year they have a new DLC out adding in an entirely new Clan.

    Himminbrjotir, Clan of the Ox is the new clan and they're a tough lot both stronger and bigger in stature than the other clans. Led by the powerful Warchief Torfin, they have +15% attack power and defence bonus, however they do eat 10% more than other clans so you need to balance your food stocks even more than usual. They're fully featured, coming with their very own map for the Conquest Mode and if you beat it with them they have their own special Ox Townhall.

  • Proton GE has a fresh new build out with lots of updates and special fixes

    Proton GE, the unofficial build of Proton mainly for use with Steam Play (but you can use it outside Steam too - like with Lutris) has a big new release out with Proton 5.0 GE 1.

    Why would you use Proton GE instead of the official version included with Steam? Valve/CodeWeavers sometimes take a while to update it and certain games made need fixes sooner that Proton GE provides.

  • Edna & Harvey return to Linux with The Breakout - Anniversary Edition now available

    Daedalic Entertainment have been a good developer and publisher for Linux and they continue to be great. Edna & Harvey: The Breakout - Anniversary Edition, the upgraded version of the 2008 adventure game is now on Linux.

    This enhanced version of the multi-award winning adventure game released in December last year, with it gaining Linux (and macOS) support only yesterday. It has been given a "complete overhaul" with better controls, high resolution art and "new technology" (so an upgraded game engine and things like that).

  • Dungeon management and defence game Legend of Keepers releasing in March

    Goblinz Studio continue upgrading the free Legend of Keepers: Prologue and in recent patch notes, they gave Legend of Keepers a release date for Early Access.

    They've said it's going to launch on March 26 but they're still adjusting it all based on feedback, which they're using to improve both the Prologue and the full game. Most recently, it gained a whole new Motivation system so don't work them too hard and there's now a Psychologist to let your monster crew talk it out and hopefully get better. Goblinz Studio also expanded the Prologue in other ways with new monsters, 7 new random events and new locations.

BSD: HAMMER2 and First FreeBSD Conference in Australia

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  • HAMMER2 questions

    Still, my recommendation is that for anything that fits on one drive no mirroring or RAID should be used. Make discrete backups to another drive on a regular schedule instead. RAIDs are not actually any more reliable than non-RAID on small systems in terms of machine uptime. For larger many-drive arrays HAMMER2 just isn't the right solution (not yet) and I would recommend running ZFS on FreeBSD instead. But for any single-drive solution (even a large one), HAMMER2 gives premium performance and has a number of extremely useful features built-in such as automatic de-duplication (when copying a large file or tree), and compression. I use HAMMER2 on a bunch of 4TB HDDs and SSDs myself and it works flawlessly.

  • The first FreeBSD conference in Australia

    While there are many prominant Australian FreeBSD contributers, sysadmins, and users, we’ve always had to venture overseas for conferences. We’re always told Australians are among the most ardent travellers, but I always wondered if we could do a domestic event as well.

    And on Tuesday, we did! Deb Goodkin and the FreeBSD Foundation graciously organised and chaired a dedicated FreeBSD miniconf at the long-running event held each year in a different city in Australia and New Zealand.

Choosing the right tools for your open source projects

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Every open source community wants to make it easier for community members to participate and contribute. Typically, there are discussions on cultural aspects of the community to lower barriers to entry, such as fostering a friendly and welcoming environment, onboarding processes, mentorship, code of conduct, etc. However, in my discussions with several open source communities (e.g., Freedesktop, GNOME, KDE, etc.), I found that one of the key criteria when selecting new tools for code, CI, bug tracking, etc. for their projects was how a new tool could also help lower barriers to entry for new contributors.

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Security Leftovers

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  • Security updates for Thursday

    Security updates have been issued by Debian (graphicsmagick, opensmtpd, webkit2gtk, wget, and zlib), openSUSE (apt-cacher-ng, GraphicsMagick, java-1_8_0-openjdk, mailman, mumble, rubygem-excon, sarg, and shadowsocks-libev), Oracle (libarchive and openjpeg2), Red Hat (firefox, fribidi, openjpeg2, SDL, and thunderbird), Scientific Linux (openjpeg2), SUSE (glibc, java-1_8_0-openjdk, and rmt-server), and Ubuntu (Apache Solr and webkit2gtk).

  • UN didn't patch SharePoint, got mega-hacked, covered it up, kept most staff in the dark, finally forced to admit it

    As to the miscreants' entry point, it was a known flaw in Microsoft SharePoint (CVE-2019-0604) for which a software patch had been available for months yet the UN had failed to apply it.

    The hole can be exploited by a remote attacker to bypass logins and issue system-level commands – in other words, a big problem from a security standpoint. The hackers broke into a vulnerable SharePoint deployment in Vienna and then, with admin access, moved within the organization's networks to access the Geneva headquarters and then the OHCHR.

  • Amazon Employee Believes Ring Should Be ‘Shut Down’ for Security Issues

    The news just gets worse and worse for Amazon and the P.R. it’s been getting for it’s Ring Doorbell security camera. It’s gone from bad to worse to catastrophic with security issues.


    But it gets worse than that. One of the employees, software development engineer Max Eliaser, believes the Ring should be shut down. He said, “The deployment of connected home security cameras that allow footage to be queried centrally are simply not compatible with a free society. The privacy issues are not fixable with regulation, and there is no balance that can be struck. Ring should be shut down immediately and not brought back.”

    That’s just devastating to the company, and this statement comes amongst news from the Electronic Frontier Foundation that the accompanying app for the Ring gives personal information to third parties such as Facebook.

    The investigation by EFF showed that the app gives customer names, private IP addresses, and sensor data to marketing companies who use this information to track and spy on the Ring customers.

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