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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

  • Meetup Will Discuss Survey Results, Project Improvements

    The openSUSE Project welcomes our followers to participate in two planned meetups to discuss results from the End of the Year Community Survey on Jan. 23 and Jan. 30. Both sessions will start at 13:00 UTC on openSUSE’s Jitsi instance and go for 1:30 hours. Members of the “let’s improve the openSUSE learning experience” initiative will share results and analysis from the survey.

  • LF‌ ‌Edge‌ ‌Adds‌ ‌New‌ ‌Members‌

    LF Edge has announced the addition of four new general members (FII, HCL, OpenNebula, and Robin.io) and one new Associate member (Shanghai Open Source Information Technology Association). Additionally, Home Edge has released its third platform update with new Data Storage and Mult-NAT Edge Device Communications (MNDEC) features.

  • Text Encoding Menu in 2021

    In mid-January 2021, the Text Encoding menu in Firefox looks like this: Automatic Unicode Western Arabic (Windows) Arabic (ISO) Baltic (Windows) Baltic (ISO) Central European (Windows) Central European (ISO) Chinese, Simplified Chinese, Traditional Cyrillic (Windows) Cyrillic (KOI8-U) Cyrillic (KOI8-R) Cyrillic (ISO) Cyrillic (DOS) Greek (Windows) Greek (ISO) Hebrew, Visual Hebrew Japanese Korean Thai Turkish Vietnamese [...] For users who have telemetry enabled, we collect data about whether the item “Automatic” was used at least once in given Firefox subsession, whether an item other than “Automatic” was used at least once in a given Firefox subsession, and a characterization of how the encoding that is being overridden was determined (from HTTP, from meta, from chardetng running without the user triggering it, from chardetng as triggered by the user by having chosen “Automatic” previously, etc.). If things go well, the telemetry can be analyzed when Firefox 87 is released (i.e. when 86 has spent its time on the release channel). The current expectation for this is 2021-03-23.

  • Wikipedia is twenty. It’s time to start covering it better. - Columbia Journalism Review
  • Jimmy Wales: “Wikipedia is from a different era”

    As the online encyclopedia turns 20-years-old, its founder reflects on the internet’s halcyon days.

  • Fact check: As Wikipedia turns 20, how credible is it?

    Wikipedia, which has been referred to as a world treasure, turns 20 on Friday. According to research conducted over the years — including a scientific study published by the journal Nature in 2005 and a report commissioned by the site's Wikimedia Foundation in 2012 — Wikipedia's entries are comparable in quality to those in prestigious encyclopedias such as Britannica. However, it is difficult to measure the consistency of information that can be altered at any time.

  • Odin is finally pleased so the open-world survival game Valheim releases on February 2 | GamingOnLinux

    Odin has finally had enough sacrifices and shall be releasing Valheim from Iron Gate AB will enter Early Access with Linux and Windows support on February 2. What is it? A brutal multiplayer exploration and survival game set in a procedurally-generated purgatory inspired by viking culture. Battle, build, and conquer your way to a saga worthy of Odin’s patronage! With low-poly artwork and a very flexible building system it looks absolutely brilliant. The early builds they had available were seriously promising back in 2018 so I'm personally excited to see how far they've progress with it in that time.

Programming Leftovers

  • Ravgeet Dhillon: Offline Toast notification in Nuxt/Vue app

    We have often seen apps telling us that “You are offline. Check your network status.”. It is not only convenient to do so but adds to a great UX. In this blog, we will look at how can we display a toast notification in a Nuxt/Vue app whenever the user goes offline or online. This will also help us to understand how to use computed and watch properties together. [...] Hurray! Our toast notifications are working perfectly fine. So using the combined magic of computed and watch properties, we can create outstanding workflows and take our Nuxt/Vue app to next level. If you any doubts or appreciation for our team, let us know in the comments below. We would be happy to assist you.

  • Stephen Michael Kellat: Leveraging LaTeX In This Time

    From time to time I like to bring up fun adventures in LaTeX. In these stranges times in the United States it is important to look at somewhat practical applications beyond the normal reports and formal papers most people think of. With a Minimum Working Example we can mostly look at an idea. The Comprehensive TeX Archive Network has a package known as newspaper which is effectively subject to nominative determinism. You can make things with it that look like newspapers out of the 1940s-1960s in terms of layout. The page on CTAN shows nice examples of its use and provides a nice story as to why the package was created. The example source file on CTAN has a bug in it, though. We're going to make a new one based on it. I am also going to add but not yet utilize the markdown package to the example.

  • 2021.03 Course Topped – Rakudo Weekly News

    The course of the Raku Programming Language by Andrew Shitov made it to the top 20 of Hacker News and spurred quite a few comments. The first associated Grant Report was also published.

  • GCC 11 Is On The Final Stage Of Development With 60+ High Priority Regressions - Phoronix

    GCC 11 entered its final stage of development today as it works towards releasing around the end of Q1 / early Q2 if their past cadence holds up. Before GCC 11.1 can debut as the first stable version, there are some 60+ "P1" high priority regressions that need to be resolved or otherwise demoted to lesser priority regressions. GCC 11 release manager Richard Biener this morning announced GCC 11 is now in stage four development meaning only regression fixes and documentation fixes are allowed. As of this morning the code-base is at 62 P1 regressions, another 334 P2 regressions, 35 P3 regressions, and more than 200 regressions of the lower P4/P5 status.

Devices: Xtra-PC, Arduino and Inventor Coding Kit

  • Xtra-PC Reviews – Best Linux USB-Stick? - Product Review by Rick Finn

    The Xtra-PC Linux USB-Stick might be your solution if you have problems with your old and slow PC. It's a small flash drive stick and it's using Linux OS to boost you PC's operations. Check out now.

  • Arduino Blog » Old keyboard turned into a new children’s learning toy

    Peter Turczak’s toddler son loves “technical stuff,” especially things like keyboards and computers that adults use. After discussing this with other likeminded technical parents, the idea of giving new life to an old (PS/2 or AT) keyboard as a teaching tool was hatched.

  • SiFive Helping To Teach Kids Programming With RISC-V HiFive Inventor Coding Kit

    SiFive in cooperation with Tynker and BBC Learning have launched a Doctor Who themed HiFive Inventor Coding Kit. This Initial HiFive Inventor Coding Kit is intended to help kids as young as seven years of age get involved with computer programming through a variety of fun exercises and challenges involving the RISC-V powered mini computer and related peripherals like LED lighting and speaker control. [...] So for those looking to get their kids involved with computer programming and looking for an IoT-type device with some fun sensors and various themed exercises to get them experimenting, the HiFive Inventor Coding Kit is worth looking into further. More details on the programming platform can be found via Tynker.com and on the hardware at HiFiveInventor.com. The HiFive Inventor Kit is available from Amazon.com and other Internet retailers for $75 USD.

Security Leftovers

  • Security updates for Monday

    Security updates have been issued by Arch Linux (atftp, coturn, gitlab, mdbook, mediawiki, nodejs, nodejs-lts-dubnium, nodejs-lts-erbium, nodejs-lts-fermium, nvidia-utils, opensmtpd, php, python-cairosvg, python-pillow, thunderbird, vivaldi, and wavpack), CentOS (firefox and thunderbird), Debian (chromium and snapd), Fedora (chromium, flatpak, glibc, kernel, kernel-headers, nodejs, php, and python-cairosvg), Mageia (bind, caribou, chromium-browser-stable, dom4j, edk2, opensc, p11-kit, policycoreutils, python-lxml, resteasy, sudo, synergy, and unzip), openSUSE (ceph, crmsh, dovecot23, hawk2, kernel, nodejs10, open-iscsi, openldap2, php7, python-jupyter_notebook, slurm_18_08, tcmu-runner, thunderbird, tomcat, viewvc, and vlc), Oracle (dotnet3.1 and thunderbird), Red Hat (postgresql:10, postgresql:12, postgresql:9.6, and xstream), SUSE (ImageMagick, openldap2, slurm, and tcmu-runner), and Ubuntu (icoutils).

  • About CVE-2020-27348

    Well this is a doozey. Made public a while back was a security vulnerability in many Snap Packages and the Snapcraft tool used to create them. Specifically, this is the vulnerability identified as CVE-2020-27348. It unfortunately affects many many snap packages… [...] The problem arises when the LD_LIBRARY_PATH includes an empty element in its list. When the Dynamic Linker sees an empty element it will look in the current working directory of the process. So if we construct our search paths with an accidental empty element the application inside our Snap Package could be caused to load a shared library from outside the Snap Package’s shipped files. This can lead to an arbitrary code execution. It has been common to put a definition of the LD_LIBRARY_PATH variable into a Snap Package’s snapcraft.yaml that references a predefined $LD_LIBRARY_PATH as if to extend it. Unfortunately, despite this being common, it was poorly understood that SnapD ensures that the $LD_LIBRARY_PATH is unset when starting a Snap Package’s applications. What that means is that where the author tried to extend the variable they have inadvertantly inserted the bad empty element. The empty element appears because $LD_LIBRARY_PATH is unset so the shell will expand it to an empty string.

  • Wait, What? Kids Found A Security Flaw in Linux Mint By Mashing Keys!

    Security flaws can be incredibly stupid and dangerous. Of course, I’m not judging anyone, we are humans after all. But this little incident is quite funny.