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March 2020

Four OS vendors support Huawei's openEuler-powered Linux distribution platform

Filed under
OS
Linux

The openEuler Community Charts New Territory, Boosting Innovation in the Multi-Core Heterogeneous Computing Industry

As the founding enterprise and main initiator of openEuler, Huawei is continuously investing in open source communities. As an open community, openEuler is a shared stronghold co-built by more and more global developers.

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Why I switched from Mac to Linux

Filed under
Linux

In 1994, my family bought a Macintosh Performa 475 as a home computer. I had used Macintosh SE computers in school and learned to type with Mavis Beacon Teaches Typing, so I've been a Mac user for well over 25 years. Back in the mid-1990s, I was attracted to its ease of use. It didn't start with a DOS command prompt; it opened to a friendly desktop. It was playful. And even though there was a lot less software for Macintosh than PCs, I thought the Mac ecosystem was better, just on the strength of KidPix and Hypercard, which I still think of as the unsurpassed, most intuitive creative stack.

Even so, I still had the feeling that Mac was an underdog compared to Windows. I remember thinking the company could disappear one day. Flash-forward decades later, and Apple is a behemoth, a trillion-dollar company. But as it evolved, it changed significantly. Some changes have been for the better, such as better stabilization, simpler hardware choices, increased security, and more accessibility options. Other changes annoyed me—not all at once, but slowly. Most significantly, I am annoyed by Apple's closed ecosystem—the difficulty of accessing photos without iPhoto; the necessity of using iTunes; and the enforced bundling of the Apple store ecosystem even when I don't want to use it.

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Linux Candy: Steam Locomotive – fun command for your terminal

Filed under
Linux

Who loves eye candy? Don’t be shy — you can raise both hands!!

Linux Candy is a series of articles covering interesting eye candy software. We only feature open-source software in this series.

Steam Locomotive is a tiny C program, written in 295 lines of code. It’s just a harmless bit of fun.

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3 lightweight text editors for Linux

Filed under
Linux

Anyone can use plain text to work more effectively. The one tool that you need in order to do that is a decent text editor.

Unless you're a coder, a system administrator, or a DevOps person, that editor doesn't need to be brimming with functions and features. A lightweight text editor is more than enough for most people.

When it comes to picking one, choices abound. You can use the editor that's baked into your Linux distribution, or you can consider one of these lightweight text editors...

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Rambox is an All-in-one Messenger for Linux

Filed under
Linux

Rambox is one of the best ways to manage multiple services for communication through a single app installed. You can use multiple messaging services like Facebook Messenger, Gmail chats, AOL, Discord, Google Duo, Viber and a lot more from the same interface.

This way, you don’t need to install individual apps or keep them opened in browser all the time. You can use a master password to lock the Rambox application. You can also use do not disturb feature.

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Project Trident 20.02

Filed under
OS
Reviews

Project Trident made a lot of progress very quickly between the time the Alpha snapshot of its new Void base was launched and when the stable release came out. The issues with the desktop not loading were fixed, I got sound working under Trident where it did not under Void, and the ZFS implementation was smooth. I think Lumina, as a desktop, has progressed nicely in the past year or so since I last used it. The distribution's performance is strong and its resource footprint relatively small. For someone who is interested in either ZFS on Linux or rolling release distributions, Trident is a promising option.

However, there are several rough edges. The installer is not particularly friendly yet and forces the user to dedicate an entire disk to Trident. While the ZFS implementation is good, it appears to lack boot environments which would be an excellent feature to incorporate, especially with Void's rolling upgrade approach. I also think Trident's goal of being a friendly layer on top of Void would be helped a lot by adding a graphical package manager as XBPS's syntax is a little unusual at times.

At this point Trident's Void-based distribution is in its early stages. It is a good first attempt, though there are still a few pieces that can be improved and polished. I'm hopeful that, in six months or a year, Trident will have progressed to a point where I feel comfortable recommending and using it in the long-term. For now I think it is an interesting distribution to try, as it showcases several unusual technologies, but I'm not sure it is ready to be used as a day-to-day operating system, unless the user is comfortable working a lot with the command line and working around a few issues.

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today's leftovers

Filed under
Misc
  • Here's why experts say that open source software companies survive and thrive during downturns — and how the Great Recession may have been a good thing for the industry
  • Yes, you can build your business in the public cloud: Tune in live online next month to find out exactly how

    As with most key topics of IT intrigue, we have a webcast just for this: on April 30, 2020, El Reg’s Tim Phillips will be joined by Carla Arend, IDC's lead analyst for cloud in EMEA, and Yasser Eissa, VP of IBM Public Cloud for Europe.

    As well as tackling all the basic factors of a public cloud move, they’ll be going a little deeper into the practicalities, talking about how existing cloud investments can help contribute to a wider flexibility in doing more with public cloud; how open-source software can help ramp up security and enterprise-grade infrastructure in the public cloud; and how public cloud can help you avoid vendor lock-in when planning any further changes to the way you work.

  • An Open Source Shipboard Computer System

    We’re not sure how many of you out there own a boat large enough to get its own integrated computer network, but it doesn’t really matter. Even if you can’t use this project personally, it’s impossible not to be impressed with the work [mgrouch] has put into the “Bareboat Necessities” project. From the construction of the hardware to the phenomenal documentation, there’s plenty that even landlubbers can learn from this project.

    In its fully realized form, the onboard computer system includes several components that work together to provide a wealth of valuable information to the operator.

  • Karl Dubost: Week notes - 2020 w13 - worklog - everything is broken

    Coronavirus had no impact on my working life for now. The same as usual.

    Mozilla is working well in a distributed team.

    [...]

    We had an issue with the new form design. We switched to 100% of our users on March 16, 2020. but indeed all the bugs received didn't get the label that they were actually reporting with the new form design. Probably only a third got the new form.

    So that was the state when I fell asleep on Monday night. Mike pushed the bits a bit more during my night and opened.

  • Open-source Bitcoin development funded mainly by Blockstream and Lightning Labs

    Bitcoin has today become synonymous with cryptocurrencies and decentralization. What started off as project popular only among a certain group of tech enthusiasts and cryptographers has now become one of the most radical innovations in the world of finance and technology.

  • SoftIron Raises $34M in Series B Funding for Global Expansion of Purpose-Built Enterprise Data Center Appliance Business
  • SoftIron, the Ceph storage startup, raises $34m
  • SoftIron scores $34 million to help fund global expansion
  • Elizabeth Warren for President open-sources its 2020 campaign tech
  • Open Source Tools From the Warren for President Tech Team

    In our work, we leaned heavily on open source technology — and want to contribute back to that community. So today we’re taking the important step of open-sourcing some of the most important projects of the Elizabeth Warren campaign for anyone to use.

  • Open Source Fonts Are Love Letters to the Design Community

    Font families can sell for hundreds of dollars. Gotham, a popular typeface used by President Barack Obama’s campaign and many others, costs nearly $1,000 to license a complete set of 66 different styles. But The League of Moveable Type, gives all of its fonts away for free. What's more, it makes them open source, so that other people can modify the fonts and make their own versions of them.

    And people have. Raleway, designed by Matt McInerney and released in 2010, was expanded from a single weight into a family with nine weights, from “thin” to bold to “black,” each with matching italics, in 2012 by Pablo Impallari, Rodrigo Fuenzalida, and Igino Marini. It's now one of the most popular font families on Google Fonts, a collection of free fonts hosted by the search giant.

  • AidData: Powerful lessons in global development

    As a research lab of the university’s Global Research Institute, AidData facilitates innovative research projects that bring students and faculty together to solve global problems.

  • Divio Technologies publ : supports fight against COVID-19 through new open-source information-sharing tool

    Divio Technologies AB (publ) today announced the availability of CoReport - an open-source information-sharing tool designed to help local governments manage their resources in addressing COVID-19. CoReport was developed and launched on the Divio platform, in response to a request from a local government region of Switzerland.

  • Using a 40‐year Old Markup Language on the Web

    Historically, troff has been a widely used typesetting language that looks back at a long history.[0] Today’s arguably biggest use of troff are man pages. Man pages come actually in two flavors: ‐man and ‐mdoc macros. The ‐man macros are the ones originally used to typeset the first volume of the UNIX manuals back in the 1970s.[1] In the 80s, the ‐mdoc macros were developed on BSD. The major difference between the two is how much semantic input they allow. ‐man is purely presentational. ‐mdoc is highly semantic; for example, .Pa is a macro to indicate a path. GNU and the entire Linux ecosystem seem strangely attached to the ‐man macros. Furthermore, most "anything to man page" converters output ‐man because they cannot possibly infer the ‐mdoc macros from presentational markup; this is e.g. the case with Mark‐ down. Meanwhile, every BSD, illumos and macOS have moved to ‐mdoc. For more details, see: Kristaps Dzonsons, “Fixing on a Standard Language for UNIX Manuals,” ;login: 34(5), pp. 19‐23, USENIX, Berkeley, CA (October 2009).

Security and FUD

Filed under
Security
  • Surviving the Frequency of Open Source Vulnerabilities

    One hurdle in any roll-your-own Linux platform development project is getting the necessary tools to build system software, application software, and the Linux kernel for your target embedded device. Many developers use a set of tools based on the GNU Compiler Collection, which requires two other software packages: a C library used by the compiler; and a set of tools required to create executable programs and associated libraries for your target device. The end result is a toolchain.

    [...]

    In preference to working on features or product differentiation, developers often spend valuable time supporting, maintaining, and updating a cross-compilation environment, Linux kernel, and root file system. All of which, requires a significant investment of personnel and wide range of expertise.

  • Netgate® Extends Free pfSense® Support and Lowers pfSense Support Subscription Pricing to Aid in COVID-19 Relief

    Free zero-to-ping support, free VPN configuration and connection support, free direct assistance for first responder | front line healthcare agencies, and reduced pfSense TAC support subscription prices all introduced

  • How the hackers are using Open Source Libraries to their advantage [Ed: Conflating hackers with crackers]

    Ben Porter, Chief Product Officer at Instaclustr, writes about how the potential of Open Source Libraries must be balanced with the growing risk of library jacking by hackers.

  • Three Cases Where the Open Source Model Didn't Work [Ed: Lots of anti-GPL FUD and not taking any account of Microsoft crimes, monopoly abuse, bribes and blackmail]

    So, why didn’t the open source model work in these three cases?

    The main reason is that in all of these cases, data structure specs and the description of algorithms are not the most important piece of the picture.

    The root of the problem is in the variety of real-life situations where bugs and failures may occur and lead to a data-loss situations, which is a total no-go in the real world. 

    The open source community is successful, though it has been in create open source programs and platforms, is still no guarantee of industrial-grade software development(3). The core to success in developing a highly reliable solution is a carefully nurtured auto-test environment. This assures a careful track record and in-depth analysis for every failure, as well as effective work-flow, making sure any given bug or failure never repeats. It’s obvious that building such an environment can take years, if not decades, and the main thing here is not to know how something should work according to specs, but to know how and where exactly it fails. In other words, the main problem is not the resources needed to develop the code, the main problem is time needed to build up a reliable test-coverage that will provide a sufficient barrier for data-loss bugs.

    Another problem with open source is that it is usually accompanied by a GPL license. This limits the contribution to such projects almost solely to the open source community itself. One of the major requirements of the GPL license is to disclose changes to source code in case of further distribution, making it pointless for commercial players to participate.

Games: Debian-Based SteamOS, Lutris 0.5.5 and Critters for Sale

Filed under
Gaming
  • SteamOS Isn’t Dead, Just Sidelined; Valve Has Plans To Go Back To Their Linux-Based OS

    It’s big news for any PC gamer that has been frustrated with Microsoft’s erroneous-laden grip on operating systems for as far back as 1995; with it comes a monumental blow to privacy, not to mention mere control of your PC; updates have a tendency to start when they want to, new OS licenses must be purchased if you change hardware configurations, and applications that Microsoft doesn’t want you using are notoriously finicky to get working.

    Of course, users can simply switch over to Linux if they have had their fill of Microsoft. That switch comes with a slew of changes, however, and dropping reliable applications is a part of the grieving process that must take place when attempting to switch over your OS. Linux does host a plethora of open-source tools that can take the place of past applications; GIMP in lieu of Photoshop, for example. Yet the old applications are never truly replaced 1 for 1; it’s more of a bandage than anything else.

    Even with WINE and other techniques developed over the years to help users with Linux use Windows software, there are plenty of pitfalls and inconveniences that stymie any attempts to maintain Linux over Windows.

  • Lutris 0.5.5 Linux Game Manager Adds Humble Bundle Support, Initial VKD3D Support

    Lutris 0.5.5 is out today as the newest version of this Linux game manager to assist in installing both native and emulated games on Linux. Lutris continues to expand the scope of its "runners" for improving the Linux gaming experience.

    While the version 0.5.5 number may not seem like a big deal, there is actually a lot to find with the Lutris 0.5.5 update. Among the changes with Lutris 0.5.5 are:

    - Initial support for Humble Bundle integration.

  • Try out 'Critters for Sale', an exhilarating short horror visual novel with two episodes out now

    The absolutely exhilarating short horror visual novel Critters for Sale, which was originally released the first day of 2019, had its second chapter ("Goat") available for some time (Jun 2019, actually). Considering how such a hidden gem it is I was going to write about it, but Liam ended up doing it first in this GOL article.

    [...]

    It still maintains the same fever-dream like visuals, game mechanics and layout, consisting on a left HUD with some key information, a central upper section where all the images and animations are displayed, along with some point and click elements, and finally a center lower section where you see the dialogues and options to advance the story in the available directions. However, regarding the premise, now it features other characters and a different setting, but since this is one of those games where the less you know the better, I will only say that although we're only grasping the surface of the whole mystery, and while the tone of the story still keeps a personal scope, at this point it's clear that those responsible for the plot's main threat not only have enough power to influence the entire world, but also directly encompass the whole history of mankind...

More in Tux Machines

CuteFish – An Elegant, Beautiful and Easy-to-Use Linux Desktop

CutefishOS is a new free and open-source desktop environment for Linux operating systems with a focus on simplicity, beauty, and practicality. Its goal is to create a better computing experience for Linux users. Cutefish OS is among the newest kids on the block of desktop environments. And since it has been born at such a time when the KDE aesthetic leads in the UI/UX stand for Linux users, it features a design that is strikingly similar. Given its goal of making a better desktop experience, the team uses KDE Frameworks, KDE Plasma 5, and Qt. My guess is that Qt is the source of its “cute” name. They seem to have collaborated heavily with JingOS, a beautiful Linux OS targeted at Tablets. Read more

Former Microsoft Security Analyst Claims Office 365 Knowingly Hosted Malware For Years

Malware on Windows devices has become a real problem in the last few years, specifically with a recent uptick in ransomware. It appears that Microsoft has been trying to combat this issue, though, with updates to Microsoft Defender, so it has more teeth than ever before. However, what if Microsoft is part of the problem too? On Friday, cybersecurity researcher TheAnalyst explained on Twitter how BazarLoader malware leads to ransomware that can severely affect healthcare, among other industries. He then called out Microsoft, asking if the company has “any responsibility in this when they KNOWINGLY are hosting hundreds of files leading to this,” alongside an image of what appears to be malicious files being hosted in OneDrive. Read more

today's leftovers

  • pam-krb5 4.11

    The primary change in this release of my Kerberos PAM module is support for calling pam_end with PAM_DATA_SILENT. I had not known that the intent of this flag was to signal that only process resources were being cleaned up and external resources should not be (in part because an older version of the man page doesn't make this clear).

  • QB64 Hits Version 2.0, Gets Enhanced Debugging | Hackaday

    Despite the name, BASIC isn’t exactly a language recommended for beginners these days. Technology has moved on, and now most people would steer you towards Python if you wanted to get your feet wet with software development. But for those who got their first taste of programming by copying lines of BASIC out of a computer magazine, the language still holds a certain nostalgic appeal.

  • All Things Open: Diversity Event Today - Big Top Goes Up Monday! - FOSS Force

    By now things are going full tilt boogie in downtown Raleigh, as the All Things Open conference is well into its “pre” day. Keeping with the trend set by other conferences, All Things Open opens a day ahead of time, partially to stage free event’s that aren’t officially a part of the main show, but which offer attendees from out-of-town a reason to fly in a day early to settle in. This is good for the travelling attendees, because they don’t spend the first day suffering for jet lag or other forms of travel fatigue, and good for the event, because it means that more people are in place to fill seats and attend presentations, beginning with the opening keynote. [...] At ATO, the registration desks are open on Sunday from noon until 5:30 Eastern Time, and the pre-conference is a free Inclusion and Diversity Event that started at noon and will run until 5pm, emceed by Rikki Endsley, formally with Red Hat and now a community marketing manager at Amazon Web Services.

  • [Older] Arduino Nano Pros and Cons: Is the Cheapest Arduino Worth It?

    While there is quite an array of Arduino boards to choose from, the Nano is a versatile board suitable for almost all DIY electronic projects. These tiny micro controllers make compact DIY hardware development available to more people than ever before. In the past we have covered reasons you may not want to choose a genuine Arduino for your projects, but today lets take a look at the positives and negatives of the Arduino Nano.

  • Pnevmo-Capsula: Domiki rolls onto Windows, Mac and Linux

    Usually the term "on rails" refers to a highly linear experience over which the player has little control. But sometimes it's meant far more literally than that, as is the case in Pomeshkin Valentin Igorevich's recently released steampunk adventure, Pnevmo-Capsula: Domiki.

  • How to install Thinkorswim Desktop on a Chromebook in 2021

    Today we are looking at how to install Thinkorswim Desktop 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.

Digital Restrictions (DRM) on Printers