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February 2020

today's leftovers

Filed under
Misc
  • Destination Linux 162: Ikey Doherty Interview, Stuart Langridge Guest Host

    Topics covered in this episode:

    [...]
    Keeping Kids Safe Online

    [...]

    Interview:
    Ikey Doherty of Lispy Snake (formerly of Solus)

    Other Topics:
    GNOME 3.36 Preview
    ISP’s Claim Privacy Law Violates “Free Speech”

  • Daniel Stenberg: Expect: tweaks in curl

    One of the persistent myths about HTTP is that it is “a simple protocol”.

    [...]

    Background

    HTTP/1.1 is designed for being sent over TCP (and possibly also TLS) in a serial manner. Setting up a new connection is costly, both in terms of CPU but especially in time – requiring a number of round-trips. (I’ll detail further down how HTTP/2 fixes all these issues in a much better way.)

    HTTP/1.1 provides a number of ways to allow it to perform all its duties without having to shut down the connection. One such an example is the ability to tell a client early on that it needs to provide authentication credentials before the clients sends of a large payload. In order to maintain the TCP connection, a client can’t stop sending a HTTP payload prematurely! When the request body has started to get transmitted, the only way to stop it before the end of data is to cut off the connection and create a new one – wasting time and CPU…

    “We want a 100 to continue”

    A client can include a header in its outgoing request to ask the server to first acknowledge that everything is fine and that it can continue to send the “payload” – or it can return status codes that informs the client that there are other things it needs to fulfill in order to have the request succeed. Most such cases typically that involves authentication.

  • Environmental activist Shannon Dosemagen joins FSF conference keynote lineup

    Shannon Dosemagen is the second confirmed keynote speaker for the LibrePlanet conference. Dosemagen is the co-founder and current executive director of Public Lab, a nonprofit organization creating local environmental science solutions following the free software philosophy, and winner of the FSF's Award for Projects of Social Benefit. Shannon Dosemagen is an environmental health advocate and a community science champion, and is enthusiastic about free systems and technology that support the creation of a more just and equitable future. She is a previous Fellow at both the Harvard Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society, and the Loyola University Environmental Communications Institute. During 2020, she will be a Fellow with the Shuttleworth Foundation, working on new concept.

    At LibrePlanet, Dosemagen will discuss her experience democratizing science to address environmental problem-solving. Her experiences and frustrations doing this work are very familiar to the free software community: "The work I do on the environment and health is being increasingly challenged by environmental deregulation and lack of cooperation. We're also seeing heightened pressure to drastically alter how society functions in an effort to curb the climate crisis. This is a profound moment, and critical to address at an event aptly themed 'Free the Future.'"

    "Shannon's work is very important, and is a testament to the success of community collaboration," says Zoë Kooyman, the FSF's program manager. "Public Lab's work towards free hardware solutions is a strong indicator of what the four freedoms can achieve, and how they can work towards a better future outside of software. Shannon is an experienced speaker and organizer, and we are proud to have her keynote at LibrePlanet."

  • GNU Health HMIS patchset 3.6.3 released with coronavirus COVID-19 coding information

    GNU Health 3.6.3 patchset has been released !

  • PCI Express 6.0 Reaches Version 0.5 Ahead Of Finalization Next Year

    Following the PCI Express 6.0 announcement from last summer that called for 64 GT/s transfer rates, version 0.5 of the PCIe 6.0 specification is now out for evaluation. 

    PCI Express 6.0 v0.5 is a "first draft" specification so that PCI-SIG members can review it and provide any feedback before delivering a complete draft in the months ahead and the v1.0 final draft in 2021. 

  • Mirantis Co-Founder Boris Renski Launches Enterprise LTE Network Startup

    There are no product details so far, but the plan is to leverage the newly opened CBRS spectrum to build 4G LTE wireless solutions and open-source most of the innovation.

Proprietary: Apple's 'Image' Obsession, TurboTax Scam, Nokia's Demise and Microsoft Being Microsoft

Filed under
Software
  • Apple Won't Allow Movie Villains to Use iPhones
  • TurboTax’s Bid to Buy Free Tax Prep Competitor Might Violate Antitrust Law, Experts Say

    TurboTax, the long-standing dominant player in the tax preparation software market, has recently faced a nascent threat to its lucrative business: A company that specializes in pitching its users financial products has entered the fray with a completely free tax prep service.

    This week, TurboTax’s parent company, Intuit, unveiled a solution to this problem: spending $7.1 billion to buy the rapidly growing upstart, Credit Karma, before it could become a major competitor.

  • Nokia to Weigh Strategic Options as Profit Pressure Mounts [Ed: Microsoft killed Nokia]

    The December announcement that Nokia Chairman Risto Siilasmaa would step down stirred speculation about deeper changes at the company. The firm is in a fierce rivalry with Ericsson and China’s Huawei Technologies Co., as the three dominant players seek to benefit from phone carriers’ investments in next-generation mobile networks.

  • 'Developers have lost hope Microsoft will do the right thing'... Redmond urged to make WinUI cross-platform

    Microsoft's roadmap for developing Windows applications is opposed by some programmers who want to see a cross-platform solution, rather than just being Windows-only.

    Spanish developer José Nieto this week raised an issue on GitHub, stating that WinUI, which Microsoft is positioning as “the native UI platform for Windows 10,” should target not only Windows, but also Linux, Mac, iOS, Android and WebAssembly – this last so it would also run in a web browser.

    This would go against the normal pattern, where a native UI platform is able to take advantage of all the features of the operating system, fits in seamlessly with its look and feel, and is optimized for performance. Supporting cross-platform is a burden that requires compromises.

openSUSE and LibreOffice: Citrix Workspace on openSUSE Tumbleweed, Open Build Service IP Changes, openSUSE + LibreOffice Conference and Navigator Improvements

  • Citrix Workspace on openSUSE Tumbleweed

    Some companies offer their employees to access their corporate computer work space remotely using a remote desktop connection. The company Citrix provides software for such a connection. To connect, the employees need the software Citrix Workspace on their terminal devices. The company provides on their download page also files for Linux including openSUSE. Unfortunately, their version 1912 from 12 December 2019 did not just work on my openSUSE Tumbleweed 64bit computer (and earlier versions I tried neither).

  • New IP addresses for build.opensuse.org

    People using this Open Build Service instance should normally not notice - but if you were crazy enough to add the old IP addresses to some firewall rules or configuration files, please make sure that you update your configuration accordingly.

  • Call for Papers, Registration Opens for openSUSE + LibreOffice Conference

    Planning for the openSUSE + LibreOffice Conference has begun and members of the open-source communities can now register for the conference. The Call for Papers is open and people can submit their talks until July 21.

  • Navigator imprevements by Jim Raykowski

    Jim Raikowski, one from LibreOffice's developers, has made many very nice Navigator improvements for Writer and Calc.

Debian: German Television, Freedb's Shutdown and Sparky News at Month's End

Filed under
Debian
  • Debian Edu on TV (NDR broadcast station, Germany)

    One of my Debian Edu customers has recently been on German television...

  • Freedb is closing its service

    Freedb, which is a free version of Cddb, and is used by the asunder cd-ripper (which I am the Debian maintainer of), is closing down it’s services March 31st.

  • Sparky news 2020/02

    The 2nd monthly report of 2020 of the Sparky project:

    • migration to a new, bigger vps done; make sure to install a new public key of Sparky repository -> https://sparkylinux.org/migration-to-a-new-vps/
    • Sparky 5.10.1 of the stable line released
    • Linux kernel updated up to version 5.5.7 & 5.6-rc3
    • added to our repos: Android Messages Desktop, MystiQ Video Converter
    • Nemomen keep translating Sparky Wiki pages to Hungarian, thanks a lot
    • Sparky 2020.02 and 2020.02.1 of the rolling line released
    • Sparky Special Editions 2020.02 GameOver, Multimedia & Rescue released

Mozilla: The Android Firefox Preview, Glean Spyware, and Firefox on Librem 5 (PureOS)

Filed under
Moz/FF
  • Firefox Preview for Android - Interesting

    After I've published my recent series of Firefox articles, mostly the review of versions 71 & 72, and the important essay on why you should be using it as your primary browser, I got a bunch of emails from readers suggesting I take Firefox Preview for a spin. This seems to be the next-gen edition of Firefox for Android, designed to be faster, lighter and more appealing, and hopefully endear a bunch of hearts to Mozilla's effort.

    While I'm not too keen on anything touch, I still want to be able to have a hassle-free, stupidity-free browsing experience anywhere, including the mobile, so I set about testing Firefox Preview. As the test device, I used my Motorola Moto G6 phone, which ought to be fairly representative of the kind of results we should be seeing. Let us begin, then.

  • William Lachance: This week in Glean (special guest post): mozregression telemetry (part 1)

    As I mentioned last time I talked about mozregression, I have been thinking about adding some telemetry to the system to better understand the usage of this tool, to justify some part of Mozilla spending some cycles maintaining and improving it (assuming my intuition that this tool is heavily used is confirmed).

    Coincidentally, the Telemetry client team has been working on a new library for measuring these types of things in a principled way called Glean, which even has python bindings! Using this has the potential in saving a lot of work: not only does Glean provide a framework for submitting data, our backend systems are automatically set up to process data submitted via into Glean into BigQuery tables, which can then easily be queried using tools like sql.telemetry.mozilla.org.

    I thought it might be useful to go through some of what I’ve been exploring, in case others at Mozilla are interested in instrumenting their pet internal tools or projects. If this effort is successful, I’ll distill these notes into a tutorial in the Glean documentation.

  • Desktop Firefox in Your Pocket with the Librem 5

    The first part tells Firefox to use the Wayland display stack instead of X11, which has fullscreen support with keyboard input. Finally --no-remote is a workaround to a Firefox bug. which has already been fixed and will find its way into Debian, as well as the PureOS and the Librem 5 soon.

Ubuntu Switches to a Snap’d Software Store for 20.04

Filed under
Ubuntu

The upcoming Ubuntu 20.04 release will ship with a Snap version of Ubuntu Software app by default.

But while Ubuntu’s default software management tool will become pre-seeded Snap app starting in 20.04 existing Snap builds of Calculator, Characters, and Logs will be reverted to their repo versions.

As noted on Ubuntu Discourse, the ubuntu-desktop and ubuntu-minimal meta-packages now pull in the Ubuntu Software Snap app in place of the regular apt/repo version.

To be clear: this is not a new app store. It is the same Ubuntu Software store as currently shipped, and is still based on GNOME Software. It just packaged as a Snap application.

Read more

Also: Ubuntu 20.04 Screenshots Tour

KDE: Plans for Qt 6, KDE Progress, and Setback for Qt Wayland

Filed under
KDE
  • KF6 Progress Report: February Edition

    It’s been two months since my previous KF6 progress report. Clearly an update is long overdue, it’s time to make it happen!

    An actual Qt 6 is not published yet and we didn’t branch for KF6 yet either. Still as can be seen on the KF6 Workboard there are plenty of tasks in our backlog which can be acted upon now. No need to wait to participate, all the work done now will make the transition to KF6 easier later on anyway.

  • This month in KDE Web: January-February 2020

    This is the first post in a monthly series about improvements to the KDE websites. I plan to publish it every last Saturday of the month. Since a lot happened in January and I didn’t mention it anywhere, I will also mention those things in this post.

  • January and February in KDE PIM

    Following the post about what happened in KDE PIM in November and December by Volker, let’s look into what the KDE PIM community has been up to in the first two months of the new year. In total 23 contributors have made 740 changes.

  • Qt Wayland's Maintainer Is Leaving The Company

    While the Qt5 tool-kit on Wayland is in fairly good shape in recent times, the Qt Wayland module that provides the Wayland platform abstraction and helpers for assembly Qt-based Wayland compositors could run the risk of regressing.

    The future of QtWayland was brought up on the Qt mailing list this week with QtWayland developer Johan Helsing leaving The Qt Company. The hope is there will be no reduced work on Qt Wayland support especially with several companies relying upon it as well as the community, but it was Johan that carried out much of the heavy lifting for this toolkit on Wayland.

DXVK 1.5.5 Released

Filed under
Graphics/Benchmarks
Gaming
  • DXVK 1.5.5 Released With Many Game Fixes

    DXVK 1.5.5 is out this weekend as a big update to this Direct3D-over-Vulkan translation layer widely used by Linux gamers in running Windows games with decent speed.

    DXVK 1.5.5 is a big update contrary to its version number in bringing many game-specific improvements and other fixes. There is also expanded Direct3D support.

  • Direct3D to Vulkan translation layer 'DXVK' version 1.5.5 is out with lots of bug fixes

    Developer Philip Rebohle today announced the release of DXVK 1.5.5, bringing with it plenty of bug fixes for this impressive Direct3D to Vulkan translation layer.

    On the games side, quite a number had specific issues addressed with this release. You should find less issues running: Book of Demons, Close Combat, Cross Racing Championship, Dungeons and Dragons: Temple of Elemental Evil, Elite Dangerous, Evil Genius, F1 2019, Hyperdimension Neptunia U Action Unleashed, Just Cause 1, Lumino City, Saint's Row III / IV, Shade Wrath of Angels, Sins of a Solar Empire, Rocket League and Vampire: The Masquerade Bloodlines which should see improved performance.

    Another tweak was done for Skyrim, this time fixing both crashes and incorrect rendering with the "d3d9.evictManagedOnUnlock" option, they say this is "useful for Skyrim with a large number of mods as an alternative to ENBoost".

More in Tux Machines

today's leftovers

  • Steam Next Fest gets a fresh trailer ahead of the event on October 1 | GamingOnLinux

    Steam Next Fest is fast approaching with it set to go live on October 1 so Valve has made a fresh trailer to give a little tease on what to expect from it.

  • Repurposing the VFD unit from an old Epson POS display using Arduino | Arduino Blog

    For many makers, it’s always fun to take some piece of old technology and give it a new lease on life, especially when the item in question was destined for the landfill. This is what prompted Alastair Aitchison — better known on YouTube as Playful Technology — to grab a deprecated vacuum fluorescent display (VFD) module from an Epson point-of-sale device and interface it with an Arduino Nano as a real-time display. VFDs can be thought of as character LCDs, but rather than having many dot-matrix units that use the alignments of suspended crystals to block light, tiny phosphor crystals light up when a current is applied. The module isn’t driven directly by the Arduino Nano since it requires a far higher voltage so a special display controller chip is integrated, which receives commands/data over an RS-232 port and manipulates the onscreen graphics accordingly. This meant a MAX232 had to be used to convert the Nano’s 5V TTL voltage into the -15V to 15 range.

  • Unique Clock Doubles as a Development Board

    Most clocks these days have ditched the round face and instead prefer to tell time through the medium of 7-segment displays. [mihai.cuciuc] is bringing the round face to digital clocks with his time-keeping piece, MakeTime.

  • [IBM's IWB:] Why Our Judgements Are Often Flawed and What to Do About It

    A few weeks ago I listened to a very interesting Freakonomics podcast hosted by University of Chicago economist Steven Levitt. In the podcast, Why Our Judgment is Flawed — and What to Do About It, Levitt interviewed Daniel Kahneman about his recent book, Noise: A Flow in Human Judgement, co-authored with Olivier Sibony and Cass Sunstein. Kahneman is Professor of Psychology and Public Affairs Emeritus at Princeton University. In 2002, he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Economics “for having integrated insights from psychological research into economic science, especially concerning human judgment and decision-making under uncertainty.” Thinking, Fast and Slow, Kahneman’s 2011 bestseller, was about the major discoveries by psychologists and cognitive scientists that have led to our current understanding of judgement and decision-making over the past several decades. Up to the 1970s, the prevailing view among social scientists was that people are generally rational and in control of the way they think and make decisions. It was thought that people only departed from rational behaviors because powerful emotions like fear, hatred or love distorted their judgement. These assumptions were challenged by the pioneering research of Kahneman and his long time collaborator Amos Tversky, who died in 1996. In a series of experiments, they demonstrated that human behavior often deviated from the predictions of the previous rational models, and that these deviations were due to the machinery of cognition, that is, to the biases and mental shortcuts or heuristics that we use for making everyday decisions, rather than to our emotional state.

  • redhat subscription alternative | Local Repo

    we need to know although redhat provide open source software products for enterprises but it have payment subscription to install packages and updates in RedHat Enterprise Linux distribution and that supports diverse workloads in physical, virtualized and cloud environments , RHEL editions are available for servers, mainframe, SAP applications, desktops and OpenStack.

  • Running the AWSY benchmark in the Firefox profiler — Paul Bone

    The are we slim yet (AWSY) benchmark measures memory usage. Recently when I made a simple change to firefox and expected it might save a bit of memory, it actually increased memory usage on the AWSY benchmark. We have lots of tools to hunt down memory usage problems. But to see an almost "log" of when garbage collection and cycle collection occurs, the Firefox profiler is amazing. I wanted to profile the AWSY benchmark to try and understand what was happening with GC scheduling. But it didn’t work out-of-the-box. This is one of those blog posts that I’m writing down so next time this happens, to me or anyone else, although I am selfish. And I websearch for "AWSY and Firefox Profiler" I want this to be the number 1 result and help me (or someone else) out. The normal instructions

  • World Free Software Day: why it is celebrated today and what are the advantages of these programs [Ed: Automated translation]

    Linux, Firefox, WordPress and even the very popular Android are, each in their own way, examples of the software free. Today is celebrating the move that involves a specific way of distributing and using computer programs: just like every third Saturday in September since the Free Software Day. The event arose in 2004 and on the occasion it was held on August 28, but around 2006 the third Saturday of the ninth month of the year was set.

  • Why the Future of Database Management Lies In Open Source
  • AllAboutApps Disclosed a List of Top Drupal Web Development Companies in 2021

Kernel: Graphics and Linux M1 Support

  • AMD + Valve Focusing On P-State / CPPC Driver With Schedutil For Better Linux Efficiency - Phoronix

    As reported at the start of August, AMD and Valve have been working on Linux CPU performance/frequency scaling improvements with the Steam Deck being one of the leading motivators. As speculated at that time, their work would likely revolve around use of ACPI CPPC found with Zen 2 CPUs and newer. Published last week was that AMD P-State driver for Linux systems indeed now leveraging CPPC information. AMD formally presented this new driver yesterday at XDC2021.

  • DRM Driver Posted For AI Processing Unit - Initially Focused On Mediatek SoCs - Phoronix

    BayLibre developer Alexandre Bailon has posted a "request for comments" of a new open-source Direct Rendering Manager (DRM) driver for AI Processing Unit (APU) functionality. Initially the driver is catering to Mediatek SoCs with an AI co-processor but this DRM "APU" driver could be adapted to other hardware too. Alexandre Bailon sums up this DRM AI Processing Unit driver as "a DRM driver that implements communication between the CPU and an APU. This uses VirtIO buffer to exchange messages. For the data, we allocate a GEM object and map it using IOMMU to make it available to the APU. The driver is relatively generic, and should work with any SoC implementing hardware accelerator for AI if they use support remoteproc and VirtIO."

  • Apple M1 USB Type-C Linux Support Code Sent Out For Testing - Phoronix

    he latest patches sent out for review/testing on the long mission for enabling Apple M1 support on Linux is the USB Type-C connectivity. Sven Peter has sent out the initial USB Type-C enablement work for the Apple ACE1/2 chips used by Apple M1 systems. In turn this Apple design is based on the TI TPS6598x IP but various differences. The Linux kernel support is being added onto the existing TIPD driver.

Proprietary Security Issues

Audiocasts/Videos: GNU World Order, Sioyek, LUTs