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Quick Roundup

Rugged, Linux-driven IoT gateways are optimized for sensor monitoring

Neousys’ IGT-33V and IGT-34C gateways run Debian on a TI AM3352 and offer PoE+ PD, isolated DIO, and 8x 0-10V (33V) or 4x 4-20mA (34C) analog inputs. They follow similar IGT30 and IGT-31D models that focus on digital outputs. We missed Neousys’ January announcement of its IGT30 and IGT-31D IoT gateways, both of which run a Debian 9 Linux stack on a Texas Instruments Sitara AM3352 SoC. Now, the company has followed up with similar IGT-33V and IGT-34C models. The rugged new DIN-rail systems specialize in analog inputs and digital outputs compared to the earlier digital input focused models. All four IGT-30 series models, which are aimed primarily at sensor monitoring, among other industrial IoT applications, are covered below. Read more

today's leftovers

  • 2020-04-08 | Linux Headlines

    The GNOME Foundation and Endless launch a new contest aimed at engaging young coders with FOSS, Tails 4.5 brings support for UEFI Secure Boot, the first release of Krustlet brings WebAssembly to Kubernetes, and Qt considers further limiting access to its releases.

  • People of WordPress: Mario Peshev

    Mahttps://wordpress.org/news/2020/04/people-of-wordpress-mario-peshev/rio has been hooked on computers ever since he got his first one in 1996. He started with digging into MS-DOS and Windows 3.1 first and learned tons by trial and error. Following that adventure, Mario built his first HTML site in 1999. He found development so exciting that he spent day and night learning QBasic and started working at the local PC game club. Mario got involved with several other things related to website administration (translating security bulletins, setting up simple sites, etc) and soon found the technology field was full of activities he really enjoyed. [...] For Mario, one of the key selling points of WordPress was the international openness. He had previously been involved with other open source communities, some of which were US-focused. He felt they were more reliant on meeting people in person. With events only taking place in the US, this made building relationships much harder for people living in other countries. While the WordPress project started out in the US, the WordPress community quickly globalized. Dozens of WordCamps and hundreds of Meetup events take place around the globe every year. All of these events bring a wide variety of people sharing their enthusiasm for WordPress together. For Mario, the birth of WordCamp Europe was something magical. The fact that hundreds, and later on thousands, of people from all over the world gathered around the topic of WordPress speaks for itself. Mario has been involved with organizing WordCamp Europe twice (in 2014 and 2015).

  • FINOS Joins Linux Foundation [Ed: For the second time in two days, the "Linux" Foundation announces backing a non-Linux OS (seL4 and now FINOS), this time it's announced by "Editorial Director, Project Insights at Linux Foundation" who came from Microsoft (yes, Mircrosofters run and speak for the Linux Foundation now)]

    During the 1960s and 1970’s, software developers typically used monolithic architectures on mainframes and minicomputers for software development, and no single application was able to satisfy the needs of most end-users. Vertical industries used software with a smaller code footprint with simpler interfaces to other applications, and scalability was not a priority at the time. With the rise and development of the Internet, developers gradually separated the service layer from these monolithic architectures, followed by RPC and then Client/Server. But existing architectures were unable to keep up with the needs of larger enterprises and exploding data traffic. Beginning in the middle of the 1990s, distributed architectures began to rise in popularity, with service-oriented architectures (known as SOA) becoming increasingly dominant. [...] Today, on March 10th, 2020, The Linux Foundation is excited to announce that the TARS project has transitioned into the TARS Foundation. The TARS Foundation is an open source microservice foundation to support the rapid growth of contributions and membership for a community focused on building an open microservices platform.

  • Microsoft Buys Corp.com So Bad Guys Can’t

    Wisconsin native Mike O’Connor, who bought corp.com 26 years ago but has done very little with it since, said he hoped Microsoft would buy it because hundreds of thousands of confused Windows PCs are constantly trying to share sensitive data with corp.com. Also, early versions of Windows actually encouraged the adoption of insecure settings that made it more likely Windows computers might try to share sensitive data with corp.com.

Programming Leftovers

  • Bootlin toolchains updated, edition 2020.02

    Bootlin provides a large number of ready-to-use pre-built cross-compilation toolchains at toolchains.bootlin.com. We announced the service in June 2017, and released multiple versions of the toolchains up to 2018.11. After a long pause, we are happy to announce that we have released a new set of toolchains, built using Buildroot 2020.02, and therefore labelled as 2020.02, even though they have been published in April. They are available for 38 CPU architectures or architecture variants, supporting the glibc, uclibc-ng and musl C libraries when possible. For each toolchain, we offer two variants: one called stable which uses “proven” versions of gcc, binutils and gdb, and one called bleeding edge which uses the latest version of gcc, binutils and gdb.

  • Squeezing the most out of the server: Erlang Profiling

    An obvious way to reduce costs is to make the system more efficient and this means entering the hazardous land of software optimization. Even for experienced programmers, identifying bottlenecks is a hard enough problem when using the right tools; trying to guess what could make the code run faster will not only waste time but is likely to introduce unnecessary complexity that can cause problems down the line. The cousin of premature optimization is necessary optimization without profiling first

    While Erlang is famously known for its concurrency model and fault-tolerant design, one of its biggest strengths is the level of live inspection and tuning it offers, often with little or no setup and runtime cost. In this article, we outline how we leverage those features to profile our system, driving the optimizations that can lead to cost reductions.

  • S. Lott: Why Isn't COBOL Dead? Or Why Didn't It Evolve?

    In short, why is FORTRAN still OK? Why is COBOL not still OK? Actually, I'd venture to say the stories of these languages are essentially identical. They're both used because they have significant legacy implementations. There's a distinction, that I think might be relevant to the "revulsion factor." Folks don't find Fortran quite so revolting because it's sequestered into libraries where we don't really have to look at it. It's often wrapped into SciPy. The GCC compiler system handles it and we're happy. COBOL, however, isn't sequestered into libraries with tidy Python wrappers and Conda installers. COBOL is the engine of enterprise applications. Also. COBOL is used by organizations that suffer from high amounts of technical inertia, which makes the language a kind of bellwether for the rest of the organization. The organization changes slowly (or not at all) and the language changes at an even more tectonic pace. This is a consequence of very large organizations with regulatory advantages. Governments, for example, regulate themselves into permanence. Other highly-regulated industries like banks and insurance companies can move slowly and tolerate the stickiness of COBOL.

  • Google's Propeller Is Beginning To Be Upstreamed For Spinning Faster Program Binaries

    We have begun seeing the start of upstreaming on Google's Propeller Framework for offering post-link-time binary optimizations in the LLVM compiler stack to offer measurably faster (re)generated binaries. Propeller was developed by Google engineers as a result of Facebook's BOLT post-link optimizer for speeding up applications by optimizing the generated binary after being linked.

  • 5 tips for working from home from a veteran remotee

    Due to the outbreak of COVID-19 and its rapid development, we are all being called to take protective and preventative measures, including avoiding social contact as much as possible. Events are canceled, trips are postponed, and companies are asking their employees to work from home. It's an exceptional situation for everyone, as remote work cultures with distributed teams are being introduced overnight. Many companies are being challenged to quickly organize a team that works completely remotely. Many articles and recommendations on remote work, home offices, and teleworking are circulating. For example, GitLab, a pioneer in remote work, has recently published a detailed manual on remote working. I highly recommend it to anyone who is facing the challenge of setting up and managing a remote team. At OpenProject, we have been working in distributed teams for over 10 years.

  • Love or hate chat? 4 best practices for remote teams

    I encourage you to explore open source alternatives to chat like Mattermost, Rocket.Chat, and Riot.

  • Create web tutorials with Reveal.js and Git

    Whether you're a learner or a teacher, you probably recognize the value of online workshops set up like slideshows for communicating knowledge. If you've ever stumbled upon one of these well-organized tutorials that are set up page by page, chapter by chapter, you may have wondered how hard it was to create such a website. Well, I'm here to show you how easy it is to generate this type of workshop using a fully automated process.

  • Three Comics For Understanding Unix Shell

    I just optimized Oil's runtime by reducing the number of processes that it starts. Surprisingly, you can implement shell features like pipelines and subshells with more than one "process topology".

    I described these optimizations on Zulip, and I want to write a post called Oil Starts Fewer Processes Than Other Shells.

    That post feels dense, so let's first review some background knowledge, with the help of several great drawings from Julia Evans.

  • Targeted string replacements with sed and AWK

    Global replacement of A with B with sed or AWK might be a mistake unless you're 100% sure that you really, truly want to replace every instance of A with B in the data file. Even more risky (says he, who has done it more than once to his regret) is globally replacing over a whole set of files:

  • Robotic Process Automation (RPA): 6 open source tools

    As with many new software implementations, there’s a build-or-buy choice when getting started with Robotic Process Automation (RPA). On the build side, you can write your own bots from scratch, provided you’ve got the right people and budget in place. On the buy side, there’s a burgeoning marketplace of commercial software vendors offering RPA in various flavors, as well as overlapping technologies. (Some market themselves under different but related terms like “intelligent automation.”)

  • Things that are called ML/AI that really aren’t

    Artificial Intelligence (AI) is a genuine technical term to describe something that doesn’t quite yet exist in a truly cognitive form. However, AI is also a marketing buzzword used to distinguish items with extra usability or computing-power oompfh. The acronym often attempts to differentiate ordinary things, such as phones, from extraordinary things of the same ilk, such smartphones. Because there’s no legal governance over the use of AI in marketing, the label is abundantly applied to hardware or software use traditional algorithms as well as to things that actually learn. Calling all these things “smart” muddies the waters even more – and makes it difficult to make rational decisions. “Many times companies use the term ‘artificial intelligence’ to describe technology that operates without human interaction, but most times it’s just a sophisticated algorithm,” says Scott George, CEO of U.S. Consumer Healthcare Advocacy Group (USCHAG), a consortium of healthcare professionals, institutions, and organizations. He cites website chatbots as an example, which some consider AI – but usually don’t meet the technical criteria. “The confusion here is that for something to qualify as AI doesn’t actually require it to have an advanced form of cognition,” says Benjamin Nussbaum, AI/ML advisor to the Greystones Group, a technical support provider for the Department of Defense (DoD) and commercial clients. So many companies can tout what they do as AI is because the definition of AI was established back in the 1950s and only requires that a machine can do as well or better that which a human can do. “This opens the door for basic automation, analysis algorithms, etc. to all be categorized as AI,” adds Nussbaum. Naturally, that is extremely confusing for anyone who wants to assess any system’s value. The average algorithm is so sophisticated today that spotting the difference can be nearly impossible for the average buyer. The solution is to look at the system’s value without regard to how it’s built. If it genuinely uses AI or machine learning, great; but what matters is whether it makes life better.

  • An existential threat (that isn't COVID-19)

    Many of you will know my good friend Peter Scott as a Perl luminary. More recently he has turned his attention and his considerable talents to focus on the future of AI, both as an unprecedented opportunity for our society...and as an unprecedented threat to our species. A few years back, he released an excellent book on the subject, and just recently he was invited to speak on the subject at TEDx. His talk brilliantly sums up both the extraordinary possibilities and the terrible risks inherent in turning over our decision-making to systems whose capacities are increasingly growing beyond our own abilities, and perhaps soon beyond even our own understanding.

Linux Magazine's Latest Issue (With Paywall)

Remote support options for sysadmins

Filed under
Server

As a sysadmin, you do support—support for local users as level I, II, III, or all of the above. You might have even supported remote users. Maybe your office environment was once 100 percent local and you had no remote support duties. But now, your job might be completely supporting remote users and systems. Great news, huh? Well, there's hope. Using some great remote support tools, you can still do your job just as efficiently from a distance as you could with walk-up access. Sure, it's a little more difficult, but once you establish your support tools and workflow, you might never return to a traditional office. This article highlights support tools for a new age of remote support.

Remote support is difficult. To get an idea of just how difficult it is, I've only known one person in more than twenty years of working as a sysadmin who actually enjoyed supporting remote users. It was great for the rest of the team because we could just reassign tickets to him and away he'd go on them. For the rest of us, we felt like we were trying to wash dishes from across the room without really seeing the dishes. These remote support options will help you support your users without the frustration of a click-by-click follow-along session. You'll be able to see everything that's going on or actually perform the work yourself.

Read more

New GNOME Mobile Shell Mockups Tease a Tactile Future on Tablets

Filed under
GNOME
Gadgets

With Phosh, the mobile face of GNOME Shell, taking shape on phones it’s not a major leap to start thinking about how the GNOME user experience might function on larger screen sizes.

Like, say a tablet.

Despite some folks thinking that GNOME Shell is a touch-focused UI, it isn’t.

In fact, it’s pretty tedious to use without a keyboard or a mouse. Same was true of Unity, RIP.

To succeed in a finger-driven environment you need a finger-driven interface.

Just like the one on show in “very experimental” concept images recently shared by GNOME designer Tobias Bernard on the GNOME design Gitlab.

Tobias is lead UI/UX designer at Purism and works directly on Phosh.

Read more

Also in GNOME today: Georges Basile Stavracas Neto: Timelines on Calendar

Audiocasts/Shows: Linux in the Ham Shack, Linux Headlines, and Going Linux

Filed under
GNU
Linux
  • LHS Episode #337: SDRAngel Deep Dive

    Hello and welcome to Episode 337 of Linux in the Ham Shack. In this episode, the hosts take a deep dive into the shallow end of SDRAngel. The project is a GPLv3 licensed, modular front end and headless server for connecting to and operating SDR receivers and transceivers. Discussion includes where to find the software, how to build it, basic operation with broadcast FM stations, DMR, SSB, CW and more. Take a look. Try it out. Have fun with SDR. Hope you enjoy!

  • 2020-04-07 | Linux Headlines

    Microsoft proposes a new Linux kernel security mechanism, Firefox 75 rolls out significant changes, the Cloud Native Computing Foundation adopts Argo, and The Linux Foundation aims to boost adoption of the seL4 secure microkernel.

  • Going Linux #389 · Listener Feedback

    Bill burns out on distrohopping after providing multiple release reviews. Our listeners provide feedback on new user recommendations, hard drive mounting, encryption, trying Linux via USB, and the Linux Spotlight interview. We answer questions on security audit results.
    Episode 389 Time Stamps
    00:00 Going Linux #389 · Listener Feedback
    01:43 Bill burns out on distro hopping
    02:24 but he has some feedback on a few releases
    02:46 Linux Mint 19.3
    03:24 Linux Mint Debian Edition 4
    04:38 Endevour OS
    07:13 ArcoLinux
    10:19 Open Suse
    12:16 Ubuntu MATE
    14:49 Zorin
    17:55 New user recommendations
    24:22 Gregory: Hard drive mounting
    27:28 Gregory: Great interview
    30:09 John: Security audit recommendations
    34:19 George: Paul's encryption problem
    37:57 David: Linux via USB
    44:09 goinglinux.com, goinglinux@gmail.com, +1-904-468-7889, @goinglinux, feedback, listen, subscribe
    45:17 End

Linux powered automotive computer is loaded with wireless

Filed under
GNU
Linux
Hardware

Eurotech’s rugged “DynaGate 20-30” is an automotive-certified IoT edge gateway that runs Linux on an Apollo Lake SoC with LTE Cat 4, WiFi, BLE, GPS, 2x GbE, and isolated DIO, serial, and CAN.

A week after announcing a BoltGate 20-31 transportation computer aimed at rolling stock applications, Eurotech has unveiled an “automotive-certified Multi-service IoT Edge Gateway.” The fanless DynaGate 20-30 runs the same Yocto-derived Eurotech Everyware Linux distribution with Eclipse tooling and Azul Java support on the same Intel Apollo Lake platform used by the BoltGate 20-31.

Read more

Red Hat Promoting Linux Containers

Filed under
Red Hat
  • Why Linux containers are a CIO's best friend

    CIOs have many challenges today (to say the least), but one of the biggest is enabling the constant development and delivery of new applications — no longer a "nice to have" but a "must have" in today's ever-changing business and global environments. There are many tools that can help CIOs provide this support, but one of the most important is Linux containers.

    In a recent Smarter with Gartner report, Gartner Distinguished VP Analyst Gene Alvarez named "enabling and balancing product and project management of applications to focus on delivering business outcomes while maintaining highly reliable core business operations" as being one of the key challenges CIOs face in 2020.

    Organizations are turning to containers as a way to provide this business-technology balance. Indeed, the use of Linux containers has increased significantly in just the last year.

  • Be careful when pulling images by short name
  • Migrating applications to OpenShift, Part 1: Overview

Security Leftovers

Filed under
Security
  • Security updates for Tuesday

    Security updates have been issued by Fedora (kernel, kernel-headers, and kernel-tools), openSUSE (glibc and qemu), Red Hat (chromium-browser, container-tools:1.0, container-tools:rhel8, firefox, ipmitool, kernel, kernel-rt, krb5-appl, ksh, nodejs:10, nss-softokn, python, qemu-kvm, qemu-kvm-ma, telnet, and virt:rhel), Scientific Linux (ipmitool and telnet), SUSE (ceph and firefox), and Ubuntu (haproxy, linux, linux-aws, linux-gcp, linux-gcp-5.3, linux-hwe, linux-kvm, linux-oracle, linux-oracle-5.3, linux-raspi2, linux-raspi2-5.3, linux, linux-aws, linux-kvm, linux-raspi2, linux-snapdragon, and linux, linux-hwe).

  • Josh Bressers: Who are the experts

    These are certainly strange times we are living in. None of us will ever forget what’s happening and we will all retell stories for the rest of our days. Many of us asked “tell me about the depression grandma”, similar questions will be asked of us someday.

    The whirlwind of confusion and chaos got me thinking about advice and who we listen to. Most of us know a staggering number of people who are apparently experts in immunology. I have no intention of talking about the politics of the current times, goodness knows nobody in their right mind should care what I think. What all this does have me pondering is what are experts and how can we decide who we should listen to?

    So I’ve been thinking a lot about “experts” lately. Especially in the context of security. There have been a ton of expert opinions on how to work from home, and how to avoid getting scammed, which video conferencing software is the best (or worst). There are experts everywhere, but which ones should we listen to? I’m not an expert in anything, but there are some topics I know enough about to question some of these “experts”.

  • seL4 Microkernel Optimized for Security Gets Support of Linux Foundation

    The Linux Foundation, the nonprofit organization enabling mass innovation through open source, today announced it will host the seL4 Foundation, the nonprofit organization established by Data61, the digital specialist arm for Australia’s national science agency CSIRO. The seL4 microkernel is the world’s first operating system (OS) kernel that is proved secure; it is designed to ensure the security, safety and reliability of real-world critical computer systems.

    The new Foundation aims to accelerate the development of seL4 and related technologies, and under the Linux Foundation will provide a global, independent and neutral organization for funding and steering the future evolution of seL4. Founding members include Cog Systems, DornerWorks, Ghost Locomotion, HENSOLD Cyber and UNSW Sydney.

    The trustworthiness of embedded computing systems is vital to improving the security of critical systems around the world to safeguard them from cyber threats. This is particularly paramount in industries including avionics, autonomous vehicles, medical devices, critical infrastructure and defense. The seL4 microkernel is the world’s first operating system with a proof of implementation correctness and presents an unparalleled combination of assurance, generality and performance, making it an ideal base for building security- and safety-critical systems. The seL4 Foundation provides a forum for developers to collaborate on growing and integrating the seL4 ecosystem.

  • The Linux Foundation Throws Weight Behind Secure Microkernel

    Gernot Heiser, who will serve as chair of the new foundation, said the seL4 is unique in that it is mathematically proven to be secure, which provides a robust foundation on which a new generation of embedded systems can be built to drive, for example, internet of things (IoT) applications.

    Founding members of the seL4 Foundation include Data61, University of New South Wales in Sydney, HENSOLDT Cyber GmbH, Ghost Locomotion Inc., Cog Systems Inc. and DornerWorks Ltd.

    The hosting of the seL4 Foundation is sure to add more fuel to an increasingly fierce debate over the future of operating systems. Advocates of microkernels contend operating systems in terms of functions and size should be kept to an absolute minimum to both ensure security and maximize flexibility.

Programming Leftovers

Filed under
Development
  • Excellent Free Tutorials to Learn CoffeeScript

    CoffeeScript is a very succinct programming language that transcompiles into JavaScript, so there is no interpretation at runtime. The syntax is inspired by Ruby, Python and Haskell, and implements many features from these three languages.

    CoffeeScript is closely related to JavaScript without having its eccentricities. However, CoffeeScript offers more than fixing many of the oddities of JavaScript, as it has some useful features including array comprehensions, prototype aliases and classes. It allows developers to write less code to get more done.

    CoffeeScript is a new language, first appearing in 2009. The first stable release shortly followed in December 2010.

  • Robert Foss: Speed up `git log --graph` 18x times

    This is a speed up of ~18x, compared to the older versions.

    The way this works is that commit-graph file stores the commit graph structure along with some extra metadata to speed up graph in the .git/objects/info directory.

  • 15 years of Git: How to get started or learn something new

    x
    If there's anything that's changed software in the past two decades, Git is at the top of the list.

    If you don't use Git personally, you might think it's just a tech fad, an incidental darling among developers just because it was created by the same person who started the Linux project itself. There may be some truth to that, but Git does manage to achieve some feats that no other industry has managed. With Git, developers spread all over the world are able to work on the same code, literally at the same time, with a history of every change made, and then merge all the work together to result in a finished product. The complexity is enormous, and so the tool itself can get complex, but in the end, it's a major component in keeping the software industry running.

    Whether you know Git or not, you'll very likely encounter it should you dig deep enough into open source software or enter into computer science. Whether you use Git to just download an installer package or whether you interface with it daily to manage code, learning more about it is elucidating and empowering.

  • EBCDIC Handling Library: A Ruby Project

    As long as we are going to be cooped up with the current pandemic, and to keep my sanity going, I decided to revive a software project that was the basis for my development of credit reporting software, the ASCII to EBCDIC translator.

    As long as I am going to revive this project, I may as well make a library of functions that handle data in EBCDIC with translations to and from ASCII. Of course, I would have to include UTF-8 and UTF-16 as these character codes did not exist back in the 1990s.

    [...]

    One thing that EBCDIC and ASCII have in common is that each character takes up exactly one byte of storage. But that is where the similarity ends.

    Standard ASCII is actually seven bits long and has numeric values ranging from 0 to 127 (or 0x00 to 0x7f in hexidecimal). So what happens to the eighth bit? Standard ASCII has no default action for characters containing the eighth bit (hexidecimal values of 0x80 to 0xFF.)

    In practice, however, the eighth bit is typically used for displaying character graphics, i.e. symbols that are typically used to create things like windows on a text display, or large sized logos. This character set can be found on 8-bit machines like the Commodore PET/VIC-20/64/128, the Atari 8-bit line of machines, and even the IBM-PC models 5150, 5160 and 5170 (commonly known as the IBM-PC, XT and AT)

Python Programming

Filed under
Development
  • CircuitBrains Deluxe is a Tiny, CircuitPython-compatible Module (Crowdfunding)

    There are plenty of boards with Adafruit’s CircuitPython support, but Microchip SAMD51 powered CircuitBrains Deluxe is a little different since it’s a module with castellated holes that make it easy to solder to your own baseboard or integrate into a space-constrained product.

  • Arduino With Python: How to Get Started

    Microcontrollers have been around for a long time, and they’re used in everything from complex machinery to common household appliances. However, working with them has traditionally been reserved for those with formal technical training, such as technicians and electrical engineers.

    The emergence of Arduino has made electronic application design much more accessible to all developers. In this course, you’ll discover how to use Arduino with Python to develop your own electronic projects.

  • Webinar: “How To Build Real-Time Interactions In Your Django 3 App” with Calvin Hendryx-Parker

    Django 3 has been making the rounds, so time for a webinar showing how to use the new features within PyCharm Professional. Calvin Hendryx-Parker from Six Feet Up, previous webinar presenter, is returning to give us the highlights.

  • Python 101 – Working with Strings

    You will be using strings very often when you program. A string is a series of letters surrounded by single, double or triple quotes. Python 3 defines string as a “Text Sequence Type”. You can cast other types to a string using the built-in str() function.

  • S. Lott: The COBOL Problem

    First. Replacing COBOL with something shiny and new is more-or-less impossible. Replacing COBOL is a two-step job.

    1. Replace the COBOL with something that's nearly identical but written in a new language. Python. Java. Scala. Whatevs. Language doesn't matter. What matters is the hugeness of this leap.

  • Flask Delicious Tutorial : Building a Library Management System Part 2 - Start With A Loaded Skeleton

    In this tutorial we'll be seeing how to run a minimal app. So that you can focus on the material, i've created a repo for you with some libs loaded.

PCLinuxOS Screenshots and Member Highlights

Filed under
PCLOS

  • [PCLinuxOS] Screenshot Showcase
  • PCLinuxOS Family Member Spotlight: mutse

    I started with 'Linux' after reading a magazine with a DVD with a number of 'Linux distros' in it, after it was mentioned that Windows XP would no longer be supported and would no longer receive security updates. I also did so out of curiosity and as a new challenge, in my already richly filled career.

    I "hopped" from one distro to another and then, by chance, ended up at PCLinuxOS. I then registered on the Dutch forum (pclinuxos.nl) where I got a certain name, A.J. Baudrez (Wamukota), discovered and also read that he lived in Bruges (also read in the PCLinuxOS Magazine). After I contacted Alain, I was invited to come to the "Brutux" meeting(s). That's how I 'rolled' into that Linux world. I still go there every month.

    I am very happy that I have discovered PCLinuxOS (and Linux in general). I've already received a lot of help from DeBaas (both at the forum and personally in The Hague Netherlands, where he works as a volunteer in the computer club), also Alain and everyone here at the USA PCLinuxOS forum. Many thanks for that. I wish I had so much knowledge.

Tails 4.5 is out

Filed under
GNU
Linux
Security
Web
Debian

This release fixes many security vulnerabilities. You should upgrade as soon as possible.

Read more

Games: NVIDIA, RPG and Gaming on PCLinuxOS

Filed under
Gaming
  • NVIDIA released the 440.82 stable 'Long Lived' Linux driver - helps DOOM Eternal on Steam Play Proton

    Today, NVIDIA released an update to their stable driver series with driver version 440.82 now available in their 'Long Lived' branch. After a few updates to their Vulkan Beta driver recently, it seems they've pulled in a bunch of changes from there.

    [...]

    Multiple bug fixes made it into this release too, including one" that caused render-offloaded applications to crash on exit". The rest of the fixes seem specific to using the NVIDIA driver with Linux kernel 5.6.

  • The wonderful and relaxing town-building RPG 'Littlewood' is now DRM-free on GOG

    Littlewood is a relaxing casual town-building RPG, a very peaceful game where there's no combat needed as it blends together lots of different gameplay elements including farming, crafting, mining, gathering and so on.

    It was crowdfunded on Kickstarter back in February 2019 and it did really well with nearly four thousand backers, pledging over eighty thousand dollars.

  • Things To Do With Your PCLinuxOS In The Quarantine

    Well, since we are all quarantined, forced isolation, to prevent the proliferation of COVID-19, this does not mean that it is a frustrating and boring period. There are many things possible to do at home in those times.

    Families, who did not see each other very often, will once again be able to strengthen their ties, talk face to face (and not via whatsapp). I believe that, in some cases, the flame of romance will be rekindled. Of course, for every family brought together by this pandemic, there are very ugly cases of domestic violence that can even get worse.

    But, let's try to look at the positive side of it all, and, with these forced "vacations", let's try to spend time in the best possible way, with a great companion: PCLinuxOS!

    What to do now in this isolation then? We'll see now!

    [...]

    Well, first of all, I would like to say that I am over 50. There is a prejudice against those who play, but this prejudice has to be undone: There is nothing wrong with playing with your computer. Many point a finger and say: A man of that age, playing kids' video games! Well then, collecting retro-games is on the rise right now (the way the games industry goes, it's no wonder). Metal Jesus, a YouTuber, is the living proof: he might be older than me, and he only has reviews of retro video games on his channel. Well, with that out of the way, let's look at the game options available for PCLinuxOS in this period.

  • Game Zone: Last Chaos In PCLinuxOS

    Welcome! The medieval fantasy world of Last Chaos awaits you! Choose from 9 different character classes and discover the war torn continent of Iris! Master your class by choosing a class specialization and become a hero!

Repo Review: VidCutter

Filed under
Software
Movies
Reviews

VidCutter is a simple program available in the repository for performing very basic video editing tasks. It allows you to quite easily trim and split videos at multiple points, and also join video clips together without the need for a full featured video editing program.

The user interface is, for the most part, fairly well laid out. Below the video preview screen is a nice timeline with thumbnails. At the right of the preview is the Clip Index. When you start making cuts in a video, each new clip you split will be added to the Clip Index, where you can rearrange the order in which they will be joined. To begin editing, click Open Media and load in a video file.

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Best Linux Desktop Environments In 2020

Filed under
Linux

Let’s discuss the Linux desktop environments for the year 2020. These days every Linux distros have their own desktop environments which means that we have plenty of options available on the Internet to replace our default Linux desktop environment.

Note: This is our list of best Linux desktop environments in 2020 but let us know if you want to include or remove any desktop environments from this list with your valid opinions.

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The April 2020 Issue of the PCLinuxOS Magazine

Filed under
PCLOS

The PCLinuxOS Magazine staff is pleased to announce the release of the April 2020 issue. With the exception of a brief period in 2009, The PCLinuxOS Magazine has been published on a monthly basis since September, 2006. The PCLinuxOS Magazine is a product of the PCLinuxOS community, published by volunteers from the community.

today's leftovers

Filed under
Misc
  • Linux Plumbers Conference: Update on the Plumbers Covid-19 Situation

    We’re still planning to hold Plumbers, but adopting a wait and see attitude to the in-person component. As people have noticed, the global prospect for being able to travel to Halifax in August seems to be getting worse, so we’re posting this to give more transparency to what the Plumbers Conference decision points and options are.

    Our first consideration is a go/no-go decision point for the in-person conference. Currently, the date we were planning to put the first batch of tickets on-sale (15 May) represents the ideal date for this because it gives time (another 6 weeks) for more clarity to emerge on the situation, while avoiding people doing early purchases only to be disappointed if the event has to be cancelled at a later date.

  • AMD's Marek Olšák Lands Even More OpenGL Threading Improvements Into Mesa 20.1

    One month ago to the day I was writing about OpenGL threading improvements for Mesa 20.1 and since then more "GLTHREAD" work has materialized and successfully landed for improving the Mesa OpenGL driver performance.

    Longtime AMD open-source developer Marek Olšák has been leading this recent work on GLTHREAD. Over the past month he has landed various GLTHREAD optimizations and whitelisting more games to flip on "mesa_glthread" by default.

  • Microsoft announces IPE, a new code integrity feature for Linux [Ed: Proprietary software of Microsoft would only make GNU/Linux weaker, not stronger]

Audiocasts/Shows: Pagure, Python and Linux Headlines

Filed under
Development
GNU
Linux
  • Pagure a GitLab Alternative: Neal Gompa | Jupiter Extras 69

    Pagure, the free software GitLab alternative no one is talking about.

    Neal Gompa joins us to discuss what makes it unique, which projects are using it, and the significant adoption in progress.

  • Building The Seq Language For Bioinformatics

    Bioinformatics is a complex and computationally demanding domain. The intuitive syntax of Python and extensive set of libraries make it a great language for bioinformatics projects, but it is hampered by the need for computational efficiency. Ariya Shajii created the Seq language to bridge the divide between the performance of languages like C and C++ and the ecosystem of Python with built-in support for commonly used genomics algorithms. In this episode he describes his motivation for creating a new language, how it is implemented, and how it is being used in the life sciences. If you are interested in experimenting with sequencing data then give this a listen and then give Seq a try!

  • 2020-04-06 | Linux Headlines

    Red Hat names Paul Cormier as President and CEO, Unleashed OS has come to an end, the latest release of the Kaidan XMPP chat client adds audio and video messaging, and the open source eBook reader Foliate has a redesigned user interface for a distraction-free reading experience.

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More in Tux Machines

Rugged, Linux-driven IoT gateways are optimized for sensor monitoring

Neousys’ IGT-33V and IGT-34C gateways run Debian on a TI AM3352 and offer PoE+ PD, isolated DIO, and 8x 0-10V (33V) or 4x 4-20mA (34C) analog inputs. They follow similar IGT30 and IGT-31D models that focus on digital outputs. We missed Neousys’ January announcement of its IGT30 and IGT-31D IoT gateways, both of which run a Debian 9 Linux stack on a Texas Instruments Sitara AM3352 SoC. Now, the company has followed up with similar IGT-33V and IGT-34C models. The rugged new DIN-rail systems specialize in analog inputs and digital outputs compared to the earlier digital input focused models. All four IGT-30 series models, which are aimed primarily at sensor monitoring, among other industrial IoT applications, are covered below. Read more

today's leftovers

  • 2020-04-08 | Linux Headlines

    The GNOME Foundation and Endless launch a new contest aimed at engaging young coders with FOSS, Tails 4.5 brings support for UEFI Secure Boot, the first release of Krustlet brings WebAssembly to Kubernetes, and Qt considers further limiting access to its releases.

  • People of WordPress: Mario Peshev

    Mahttps://wordpress.org/news/2020/04/people-of-wordpress-mario-peshev/rio has been hooked on computers ever since he got his first one in 1996. He started with digging into MS-DOS and Windows 3.1 first and learned tons by trial and error. Following that adventure, Mario built his first HTML site in 1999. He found development so exciting that he spent day and night learning QBasic and started working at the local PC game club. Mario got involved with several other things related to website administration (translating security bulletins, setting up simple sites, etc) and soon found the technology field was full of activities he really enjoyed. [...] For Mario, one of the key selling points of WordPress was the international openness. He had previously been involved with other open source communities, some of which were US-focused. He felt they were more reliant on meeting people in person. With events only taking place in the US, this made building relationships much harder for people living in other countries. While the WordPress project started out in the US, the WordPress community quickly globalized. Dozens of WordCamps and hundreds of Meetup events take place around the globe every year. All of these events bring a wide variety of people sharing their enthusiasm for WordPress together. For Mario, the birth of WordCamp Europe was something magical. The fact that hundreds, and later on thousands, of people from all over the world gathered around the topic of WordPress speaks for itself. Mario has been involved with organizing WordCamp Europe twice (in 2014 and 2015).

  • FINOS Joins Linux Foundation [Ed: For the second time in two days, the "Linux" Foundation announces backing a non-Linux OS (seL4 and now FINOS), this time it's announced by "Editorial Director, Project Insights at Linux Foundation" who came from Microsoft (yes, Mircrosofters run and speak for the Linux Foundation now)]

    During the 1960s and 1970’s, software developers typically used monolithic architectures on mainframes and minicomputers for software development, and no single application was able to satisfy the needs of most end-users. Vertical industries used software with a smaller code footprint with simpler interfaces to other applications, and scalability was not a priority at the time. With the rise and development of the Internet, developers gradually separated the service layer from these monolithic architectures, followed by RPC and then Client/Server. But existing architectures were unable to keep up with the needs of larger enterprises and exploding data traffic. Beginning in the middle of the 1990s, distributed architectures began to rise in popularity, with service-oriented architectures (known as SOA) becoming increasingly dominant. [...] Today, on March 10th, 2020, The Linux Foundation is excited to announce that the TARS project has transitioned into the TARS Foundation. The TARS Foundation is an open source microservice foundation to support the rapid growth of contributions and membership for a community focused on building an open microservices platform.

  • Microsoft Buys Corp.com So Bad Guys Can’t

    Wisconsin native Mike O’Connor, who bought corp.com 26 years ago but has done very little with it since, said he hoped Microsoft would buy it because hundreds of thousands of confused Windows PCs are constantly trying to share sensitive data with corp.com. Also, early versions of Windows actually encouraged the adoption of insecure settings that made it more likely Windows computers might try to share sensitive data with corp.com.

Programming Leftovers

  • Bootlin toolchains updated, edition 2020.02

    Bootlin provides a large number of ready-to-use pre-built cross-compilation toolchains at toolchains.bootlin.com. We announced the service in June 2017, and released multiple versions of the toolchains up to 2018.11. After a long pause, we are happy to announce that we have released a new set of toolchains, built using Buildroot 2020.02, and therefore labelled as 2020.02, even though they have been published in April. They are available for 38 CPU architectures or architecture variants, supporting the glibc, uclibc-ng and musl C libraries when possible. For each toolchain, we offer two variants: one called stable which uses “proven” versions of gcc, binutils and gdb, and one called bleeding edge which uses the latest version of gcc, binutils and gdb.

  • Squeezing the most out of the server: Erlang Profiling

    An obvious way to reduce costs is to make the system more efficient and this means entering the hazardous land of software optimization. Even for experienced programmers, identifying bottlenecks is a hard enough problem when using the right tools; trying to guess what could make the code run faster will not only waste time but is likely to introduce unnecessary complexity that can cause problems down the line. The cousin of premature optimization is necessary optimization without profiling first

    While Erlang is famously known for its concurrency model and fault-tolerant design, one of its biggest strengths is the level of live inspection and tuning it offers, often with little or no setup and runtime cost. In this article, we outline how we leverage those features to profile our system, driving the optimizations that can lead to cost reductions.

  • S. Lott: Why Isn't COBOL Dead? Or Why Didn't It Evolve?

    In short, why is FORTRAN still OK? Why is COBOL not still OK? Actually, I'd venture to say the stories of these languages are essentially identical. They're both used because they have significant legacy implementations. There's a distinction, that I think might be relevant to the "revulsion factor." Folks don't find Fortran quite so revolting because it's sequestered into libraries where we don't really have to look at it. It's often wrapped into SciPy. The GCC compiler system handles it and we're happy. COBOL, however, isn't sequestered into libraries with tidy Python wrappers and Conda installers. COBOL is the engine of enterprise applications. Also. COBOL is used by organizations that suffer from high amounts of technical inertia, which makes the language a kind of bellwether for the rest of the organization. The organization changes slowly (or not at all) and the language changes at an even more tectonic pace. This is a consequence of very large organizations with regulatory advantages. Governments, for example, regulate themselves into permanence. Other highly-regulated industries like banks and insurance companies can move slowly and tolerate the stickiness of COBOL.

  • Google's Propeller Is Beginning To Be Upstreamed For Spinning Faster Program Binaries

    We have begun seeing the start of upstreaming on Google's Propeller Framework for offering post-link-time binary optimizations in the LLVM compiler stack to offer measurably faster (re)generated binaries. Propeller was developed by Google engineers as a result of Facebook's BOLT post-link optimizer for speeding up applications by optimizing the generated binary after being linked.

  • 5 tips for working from home from a veteran remotee

    Due to the outbreak of COVID-19 and its rapid development, we are all being called to take protective and preventative measures, including avoiding social contact as much as possible. Events are canceled, trips are postponed, and companies are asking their employees to work from home. It's an exceptional situation for everyone, as remote work cultures with distributed teams are being introduced overnight. Many companies are being challenged to quickly organize a team that works completely remotely. Many articles and recommendations on remote work, home offices, and teleworking are circulating. For example, GitLab, a pioneer in remote work, has recently published a detailed manual on remote working. I highly recommend it to anyone who is facing the challenge of setting up and managing a remote team. At OpenProject, we have been working in distributed teams for over 10 years.

  • Love or hate chat? 4 best practices for remote teams

    I encourage you to explore open source alternatives to chat like Mattermost, Rocket.Chat, and Riot.

  • Create web tutorials with Reveal.js and Git

    Whether you're a learner or a teacher, you probably recognize the value of online workshops set up like slideshows for communicating knowledge. If you've ever stumbled upon one of these well-organized tutorials that are set up page by page, chapter by chapter, you may have wondered how hard it was to create such a website. Well, I'm here to show you how easy it is to generate this type of workshop using a fully automated process.

  • Three Comics For Understanding Unix Shell

    I just optimized Oil's runtime by reducing the number of processes that it starts. Surprisingly, you can implement shell features like pipelines and subshells with more than one "process topology".

    I described these optimizations on Zulip, and I want to write a post called Oil Starts Fewer Processes Than Other Shells.

    That post feels dense, so let's first review some background knowledge, with the help of several great drawings from Julia Evans.

  • Targeted string replacements with sed and AWK

    Global replacement of A with B with sed or AWK might be a mistake unless you're 100% sure that you really, truly want to replace every instance of A with B in the data file. Even more risky (says he, who has done it more than once to his regret) is globally replacing over a whole set of files:

  • Robotic Process Automation (RPA): 6 open source tools

    As with many new software implementations, there’s a build-or-buy choice when getting started with Robotic Process Automation (RPA). On the build side, you can write your own bots from scratch, provided you’ve got the right people and budget in place. On the buy side, there’s a burgeoning marketplace of commercial software vendors offering RPA in various flavors, as well as overlapping technologies. (Some market themselves under different but related terms like “intelligent automation.”)

  • Things that are called ML/AI that really aren’t

    Artificial Intelligence (AI) is a genuine technical term to describe something that doesn’t quite yet exist in a truly cognitive form. However, AI is also a marketing buzzword used to distinguish items with extra usability or computing-power oompfh. The acronym often attempts to differentiate ordinary things, such as phones, from extraordinary things of the same ilk, such smartphones. Because there’s no legal governance over the use of AI in marketing, the label is abundantly applied to hardware or software use traditional algorithms as well as to things that actually learn. Calling all these things “smart” muddies the waters even more – and makes it difficult to make rational decisions. “Many times companies use the term ‘artificial intelligence’ to describe technology that operates without human interaction, but most times it’s just a sophisticated algorithm,” says Scott George, CEO of U.S. Consumer Healthcare Advocacy Group (USCHAG), a consortium of healthcare professionals, institutions, and organizations. He cites website chatbots as an example, which some consider AI – but usually don’t meet the technical criteria. “The confusion here is that for something to qualify as AI doesn’t actually require it to have an advanced form of cognition,” says Benjamin Nussbaum, AI/ML advisor to the Greystones Group, a technical support provider for the Department of Defense (DoD) and commercial clients. So many companies can tout what they do as AI is because the definition of AI was established back in the 1950s and only requires that a machine can do as well or better that which a human can do. “This opens the door for basic automation, analysis algorithms, etc. to all be categorized as AI,” adds Nussbaum. Naturally, that is extremely confusing for anyone who wants to assess any system’s value. The average algorithm is so sophisticated today that spotting the difference can be nearly impossible for the average buyer. The solution is to look at the system’s value without regard to how it’s built. If it genuinely uses AI or machine learning, great; but what matters is whether it makes life better.

  • An existential threat (that isn't COVID-19)

    Many of you will know my good friend Peter Scott as a Perl luminary. More recently he has turned his attention and his considerable talents to focus on the future of AI, both as an unprecedented opportunity for our society...and as an unprecedented threat to our species. A few years back, he released an excellent book on the subject, and just recently he was invited to speak on the subject at TEDx. His talk brilliantly sums up both the extraordinary possibilities and the terrible risks inherent in turning over our decision-making to systems whose capacities are increasingly growing beyond our own abilities, and perhaps soon beyond even our own understanding.

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