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today's leftovers

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  • Green Hills Software Adds Industry-Leading Advanced Software Development Tools Support for RISC-V
  • Sonoff SNZB Zigbee Sensors and Switches Launched for under $10

    All four devices are powered by a CR2450 coin cell battery and you’ll get a notification once the battery level drops below 10% in the mobile app. Which mobile? The usual eWelink app for Android or iOS which also supports integration with IFTTT. If you prefer open-source firmware, it may take more time, or never happen, as while we’ve reported on Zigbee open-source firmware, most of the work is based on TI CC25xx chips, and Sonoff Zigbee sensors are all likely based on Silicon Labs EFM32 Zigbee MCU like it is for their ZBBrigde gateway.

  • Monitoring bees with a Raspberry Pi and BeeMonitor
  • openSUSE + LibreOffice Conference Will Take Place Online

    Organizers of the openSUSE + LibreOffice Conference along with the project’s boards have made the decision to change the conference to an online conference.

    The uncertainty surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic and its effect on travel, conference planning, logistics and possibility for attendees to come to the event were reasons for shifting the event from a physical event to an online event.

    Shifting the conference online is good news and the organizers intend to provide a great conference that is filled with insightful talks, technical presentations and sessions dedicated for those who want to socialize during the event. Using video a conferencing tool, attendees learn about new technologies in openSUSE and LibreOffice and have the chance to chat to developers and ask questions. Communities involved in marketing, design, QA and other topics will be able to meet online, catch up and exchange ideas.

  • Introducing Jetpack Scan, a New Solution that Helps Small Businesses Easily Protect Their Sites from Malware Threatss

    Jetpack, the popular WordPress security and performance solution developed by Automattic, is announcing the global launch of Jetpack Scan, an automated malware and vulnerability scanning solution specifically for WordPress websites.

    [...]

    We believe in Open Source and the vast majority of our work is available under the GPL.

  • The Month in WordPress: May 2020

    May was an action-packed month for WordPress! WordPress organizers are increasingly moving WordCamps online, and contributors are taking big steps towards Full Site Editing with Gutenberg. To learn more and get all the latest updates, read on.

  • Sony uploads the kernel source code for the Xperia 10 II and Xperia 1 II

    Back in February, Sony unveiled their “Mark 2” lineup, i.e. the flagship Xperia 1 II and the mid-range Xperia 10 II smartphones via an online event. Months after the initial announcement, the phones are now available for pre-order across Europe as well as in the US. On the software side, both of these devices run Android 10 out of the box. To satisfy the requirements of the GNU General Public License v2 and kickstart the custom development of third-party ROMs and kernels, Sony has now released the kernel sources for the Xperia 10 II and the Xperia 1 II.

  • MicroK8s now native on Windows and macOS

    Windows and macOS developers can now use MicroK8s natively! Use kubectl at the Windows or Mac command line to interact with MicroK8s locally just as you would on Linux. Clean integration into the desktop means better workflows to dev, build and test your containerised apps.

    MicroK8s is a conformant upstream Kubernetes, packaged for simplicity and resilience. It provides sensible defaults and bundles the most commonly used components for at-your-fingertips access. A single-node install is one command and done in seconds, which makes it easy to add or remove from any system.

    MicroK8s is widely used by developers for local testing. After installing it, you can start and stop Kubernetes with a single command to conserve battery. With built-in GPGPU acceleration, Istio, Prometheus, Jaeger and many other popular services on tap, it serves as a complete workstation edition of K8s. All of this capability is now neatly accessible from the Windows and macOS command-line.

  • Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter Issue 633

    Welcome to the Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter, Issue 633 for the week of May 24 – 30, 2020.

  • Retrotech: The Novell NetWare Experience

    In the simplest terms possible, NetWare was a dedicated network operating system. It was designed around fast and reliable network operations at the expense of almost everything else. Novell had invested massive amounts of research in figuring out how to do fast I/O and minimizing any delays from hardware related sources. The end result was a very lean system that remained stable and performant with a large number of clients attached. As networking was Novell's bread and butter, NetWare had excellent support for everything: clients were available for DOS, Windows, UNIX, Macintosh, OS/2 and probably other platforms I've never even heard of.

    The early history of NetWare is very muddled, and pre-2.0 versions have been lost to time. This compounded with poor documentation has made it very difficult to trace the early history of the product. However, while NetWare was not the first (or only) network product for IBM PCs, it quickly became the largest, displacing IBM's PC Network, and laughed at Microsoft's LAN Manager, and IBM OS/2 LAN Server.

    While NetWare did compete on UNIX, Sun had already gotten their foot in the door by porting NFS and making it the de-facto solution for all UNIXs of the era, as well as Linux. Meanwhile, Apple held onto AppleTalk which itself survived well into the early 2000s when NetWare had already disappeared into the aether. The explosion of Wintel PCs throughout the 90s had given NetWare a market position that should have been very difficult to dislodge.

    The full story of NetWare's fall from grace is a story for another time, but I do want to go into the more technical aspects that were both the boon and bane of NetWare. Much of NetWare's success can be attributed to its own IPX protocol which made networking plug and play and drastically lowered latencies compared to NetBIOS or even TCP/IP.

More in Tux Machines

today's leftovers

  • Upcoming SAVVY-V Open Source RISC-V Cluster Board Supports 10GbE via Microsemi PolarFire 64-bit RISC-V SoC

    RISC-V based PolarFire SoC FPGA by Microsemi may be coming up in the third quarter of this year, but Ali Uzel has been sharing a few details about SAVVY-V advanced open-source RISC-V cluster board made by FOSOH-V (Flexible Open SOurce Hardware for RISC-V) community of developers. It’s powered by Microsemi Polarfire RISC-V SoC MPFS250T with four 64-bit RISC-V cores, a smaller RV64IMAC monitor core, and FPGA fabric that allows 10GbE via SFP+ cages, and exposes six USB Type-C ports. The solution is called a cluster board since up to six SAVVY-V boards can be stacked via a PC/104+ connector and interfaced via the USB-C ports.

  • Some PSAs for NUC owners

    I’ve written before, in Contemplating the Cute Brick, that I’m a big fan of Intel’s NUC line of small-form-factor computers. Over the last week I’ve been having some unpleasant learning experiences around them. I’m still a fan, but I’m shipping this post where the search engines can see it in support of future NUC owners in trouble. Two years ago I bought an NUC for my wife Cathy to replace her last tower-case PC – the NUC8i3BEH1. This model was semi-obsolete even then, but I didn’t want one of the newer i5 or i7 NUCs because I didn’t think it would fit my wife’s needs as well. What my wife does with her computer doesn’t tax it much. Web browsing, office work, a bit of gaming that does not extend to recent AAA titles demanding the latest whizzy graphics card. I thought her needs would be best served by a small, quiet, low-power-consumption machine that was cheap enough to be considered readily disposable at the end of its service life. The exact opposite of my Great Beast… The NUC was an experiment that made Cathy and me happy. She especially likes the fact that it’s small and light enough to be mounted on the back of her monitor, so it effectively takes up no desk space or floor area in her rather crowded office. I like the NUC’s industrial design and engineering – lots of nice little details like the four case screws being captive to the baseplate so you cannot lose them during disassembly. Also. Dammit, NUCs are pretty. I say dammit because I feel like this shouldn’t matter to me and am a bit embarrassed to discover that it does. I like the color and shape and feel of these devices. Someone did an amazing job of making them unobtrusively attractive. [...] When I asked if Simply NUC knew of a source for a fan that would fit my 8i3BEH1 – a reasonable question, I think, to ask a company that loudly claims to be a one-stop shop for all NUC needs – the reply email told me I’d have to do “personal research” on that. It turns out that if the useless drone who was Simply NUC “service” had cared about doing his actual job, he could have the read the fan’s model number off the image I had sent him into a search box and found multiple sources within seconds, because that’s what I then did. Of course this would have required caring that a customer was unhappy, which apparently they don’t do at Simply NUC. Third reason I know this: My request for a refund didn’t even get refused; it wasn’t even answered.

  • GNU Binutils 2.35 Preparing For Release

    Binutils 2.35 was branched this weekend as this important component to the open-source Linux ecosystem. Binutils 2.35 has been branched meaning feature development is over for this next version of this collection of GNU tools. GNU Binutils 2.356 drops x86 Native Client (NaCl) support with Google having deprecated it in favor of WebAssembly, new options added for the readelf tool, many bug fixes, and an assortment of other changes albeit mostly on the minor side.

  • Using CPU Subsets for Building Software

    NetBSD has a somewhat obscure tool named psrset that allows creating “sets” of cores and running tasks on one of those sets. Let’s try it: [...]

  • What a TLS self signed certificate is at a mechanical level

    To simplify a lot, a TLS certificate is a bundle of attributes wrapped around a public key. All TLS certificates are signed by someone; we call this the issuer. The issuer for a certificate is identified by their X.509 Subject Name, and also at least implicitly by the keypair used to sign the certificate (since only an issuer TLS certificate with the right public key can validate the signature).

  • Security Researchers Attacked Google’s Mysterious Fuchsia OS: Here’s What They Found

    A couple of things that Computer Business Review has widely covered are important context for the security probe. (These won’t be much surprise to Fuchsia’s followers of the past two years.)

    i.e. Fuschsia OS is based on a tiny custom kernel from Google called Zircon which has some elements written in C++, some in Rust. Device drivers run in what’s called “user mode” or “user land”, meaning they’re not given fully elevated privileges. This means they can be isolated better.

    In user land, everything that a driver does has to go via the kernel first before hitting the actually computer’s resources. As Quark Labs found, this is a tidy way of reducing attack surface. But with some sustained attention, its researchers managed to get what they wanted: “We are able to gain kernel code execution from a regular userland process.”

  • What have you been playing on Linux? Come and have a chat

    Ah Sunday, that special day that's a calm before the storm of another week and a time for a community chat here on GOL. Today, it's our birthday! If you didn't see the post earlier this week, GamingOnLinux as of today has hit the big 11 years old! Oh how time sure flies by. Onto the subject of gaming on Linux: honestly, the majority of my personal game time has been taken up by Into the Breach. It's so gorgeously streamlined, accessible, fun and it's also ridiculously complex at the same time. Tiny maps that require a huge amount of forward thinking, as you weigh up each movement decision against any possible downsides. It's like playing chess, only with big mecha fighting off aliens trying to take down buildings. [...] I've also been quite disappointed in Crayta on Stadia, as it so far hasn't lived up to even my smallest expectations for the game maker. It just seems so half-baked, with poor/stiff animations and a lack of any meaningful content to start with. I'll be checking back on it in a few months but for now it's just not fun.

Programming Leftovers (LLVM Clang, R, Perl and Python)

  • Arm Cortex-A77 Support Upstreamed Finally To LLVM Clang 11

    While the Arm Cortex-A77 was announced last year and already has been succeeded by the Cortex-A78 announcement, support for the A77 has finally been upstreamed to the LLVM Clang compiler. The Cortex-A77 support was added to the GCC compiler last year while seemingly as an oversight the A77 support wasn't added to LLVM/Clang until this week.

  • Dirk Eddelbuettel: Rcpp now used by 2000 CRAN packages–and one in eight!

    As of yesterday, Rcpp stands at exactly 2000 reverse-dependencies on CRAN. The graph on the left depicts the growth of Rcpp usage (as measured by Depends, Imports and LinkingTo, but excluding Suggests) over time. Rcpp was first released in November 2008. It probably cleared 50 packages around three years later in December 2011, 100 packages in January 2013, 200 packages in April 2014, and 300 packages in November 2014. It passed 400 packages in June 2015 (when I tweeted about it), 500 packages in late October 2015, 600 packages in March 2016, 700 packages last July 2016, 800 packages last October 2016, 900 packages early January 2017, 1000 packages in April 2017, 1250 packages in November 2017, 1500 packages in November 2018 and then 1750 packages last August. The chart extends to the very beginning via manually compiled data from CRANberries and checked with crandb. The next part uses manually saved entries. The core (and by far largest) part of the data set was generated semi-automatically via a short script appending updates to a small file-based backend. A list of packages using Rcpp is available too.

  • YouTube: The [Perl] Weekly Challenge - 067
  • The [Perl] Weekly Challenge #067

    This week both tasks had one thing in common i.e. pairing two or more list. In the past, I have taken the help from CPAN module Algorithm::Combinatorics for such tasks.

  • Weekly Python StackOverflow Report: (ccxxxiv) stackoverflow python report
  • Flask project setup: TDD, Docker, Postgres and more - Part 1

    There are tons of tutorials on Internet that tech you how to use a web framework and how to create Web applications, and many of these cover Flask, first of all the impressive Flask Mega-Tutorial by Miguel Grinberg (thanks Miguel!). Why another tutorial, then? Recently I started working on a small personal project and decided that it was a good chance to refresh my knowledge of the framework. For this reason I temporarily dropped the clean architecture I often recommend, and started from scratch following some tutorials. My development environment quickly became very messy, and after a while I realised I was very unsatisfied by the global setup. So, I decided to start from scratch again, this time writing down some requirements I want from my development setup. I also know very well how complicated the deploy of an application in production can be, so I want my setup to be "deploy-friendly" as much as possible. Having seen too many project suffer from legacy setups, and knowing that many times such issues can be avoided with a minimum amount of planning, I thought this might be interesting for other developers as well. I consider this setup by no means better than others, it simply addresses different concerns.

Linux Graphics and File Systems

  • DRM Scheduler Improvement, New Epoch Counter, Other DRM Work For Linux 5.9

    Following the drm-misc-next pull request to DRM-Next last week that exposes VRR ranges via DebugFS and other improvements, another round of DRM-Misc-Next material has now been sent in for queuing ahead of the Linux 5.9 cycle.

  • Frame-Buffer Compression Support For Vintage Intel i865 Graphics Revived

    Back in April I wrote about patches for enabling FBC on the Intel 865 chipset nearly two decades after that chipset first shipped. Those patches didn't yet hit the mainline Linux kernel but they were revived again this week. These patches are for enabling frame-buffer compression support on the Intel Extreme 2 Graphics found with the i865 "Springdale" chipset. Frame-buffer compression can yield performance and power efficiency advantages thanks to the reduced bandwidth. Newer generations of Intel graphics hardware have squared away their FBC support for a while but the i865 era support was overlooked until recent patches improving the state pushed it forward enough where it could finally be enabled by default.

  • Reiser5 Pursuing Selective File Migration For Moving Hot Files To High Performance Disks

    Edward Shishkin continues pursuing development of new file-system functionality for Reiser5, the next-generation evolutionary advancement over the controversial Reiser4 file-system. Reiser5 has been working on new features like local volumes with parallel scaling out, data tiering and burst buffers, and other new features. The latest feature being worked on by Shishkin for Reiser5 is selective file migration.

today's howtos