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Events: ONES, SUSECON and FOSDEM

Filed under
OSS
  • Linux Foundation, LF Networking, and LF Edge Announce Keynote Speakers for Open Networking & Edge Summit North America 2020

    The Linux Foundation, the nonprofit organization enabling mass innovation through open source, along with co-hosts LF Networking, the umbrella organization fostering collaboration and innovation across the entire open networking stack, and LF Edge, the umbrella organization building an open source framework for the edge, today announced initial keynote speakers for Open Networking & Edge Summit (ONES) North America 2020. The event takes place April 20-21 in Los Angeles, California.

    Open Networking & Edge Summit (formerly Open Networking Summit) is the industry’s premier open networking event now expanded to comprehensively cover Edge Computing, Edge Cloud and IoT. The event enables collaborative development and innovation across enterprises, service providers/telcos and cloud providers to shape the future of networking and edge computing with a deep focus on technical, architectural and business discussions in the areas of Open Networking & AI/ML-enabled use cases for 5G, IoT, Edge and Enterprise deployment, as well as targeted discussions on Edge/IoT frameworks and blueprints across Manufacturing, Retail, Oil and Gas, Transportation and Telco Edge cloud, among other key areas.

  • SUSE welcomes Dublin City University students at SUSECON 2020

    DCU relies on SUSE to support their IT infrastructure. DCU also utilize our academic program for teaching and training Open Source technologies in the classroom, so when the idea came to invite a university to SUSECON, they were a perfect fit.

    Nearly 50 master’s students and a handful of teaching staff from the Faculty of Engineering and Computing are looking forward to attending this year’s SUSECON. MSc and M.Eng students from the School of Computing and the School of Electronic Engineering will be in attendance throughout the week. The event will provide numerous opportunities for the students to learn from and engage with industry experts from companies like SUSE, Microsoft and SAP.

  • Follow-up on the train journey to FOSDEM

    Here’s a recap of my train journey based on the Twitter thread I kept posting as I travelled.

Videos/Audiocasts/Shows: Clear Linux, Canonical's Ubuntu Desktop Team, MX Linux 19.1

Filed under
GNU
Linux
  • Clear Linux | The Fastest Linux Distro?

    Clear Linux | The Fastest Linux Distro? Let's do a deep dive into Clear Linux and go through the installation, configuration, and overall setup for it on your System.

  • Brunch with Brent: Heather Ellsworth | Jupiter Extras 57

    Brent sits down with Heather Ellsworth, Software Engineer on Canonical's Ubuntu Desktop Team, a GNOME Foundation Member, and former Purism Librem 5 Documentation Engineer. We discuss her deep history in experimental high energy physics at CERN, the similarities and synergies between the sciences and software engineering, her love of documentation, her newly established maintainership of LibreOffice, and how empathy factors into good bug reporting.

  • MX Linux 19.1 overview | simple configuration, high stability, solid performance

    In this video, I am going to show an overview of MX Linux 19.1 and some of the applications pre-installed.

Michał Górny on Python in Gentoo

Filed under
Development
Gentoo
  • Gentoo Python Guide

    Gentoo provides one of the best frameworks for providing Python support in packages among operating systems. This includes support for running multiple versions of Python (while most other distributions avoid going beyond simultaneous support for Python 2 and one version of Python 3), alternative implementations of Python, reliable tests, deep QA checks. While we aim to keep things simple, this is not always possible.

    At the same time, the available documentation is limited and not always up-to-date. Both the built-in eclass documentation and Python project wiki page provide bits of documentation but they are mostly in reference form and not very suitable for beginners nor people who do not actively follow the developments within the ecosystem. This results in suboptimal ebuilds, improper dependencies, missing tests.

  • No more PYTHON_TARGETS in single-r1

    Since its inception in 2012, python-single-r1 has been haunting users with two sets of USE flags: PYTHON_TARGETS and PYTHON_SINGLE_TARGET. While this initially seemed a necessary part of the grand design, today I know we could have done better. Today this chymera is disappearing for real, and python-single-r1 are going to use PYTHON_SINGLE_TARGET flags only.

    I would like to take this opportunity to explain why the eclass has been designed this way in the first place, and what has been done to change that.

    Why PYTHON_SINGLE_TARGET?

Sysadmins: Is LibreOffice a viable office suite choice for your users?

Filed under
LibO

At some point in our lives, we have all been in a situation that required us to make use of a software suite for productivity. For most of us, that software has been Microsoft Office. Some of my earliest technology encounters (aside from taking typing classes in elementary school) involved sitting down at a desktop computer to type up a homework assignment, or a surprise five-page expose on the universal themes permeating The Grapes of Wrath. (Insert eye roll here.)

[...]

Another aspect that sysadmins need to consider is cost. With the trend toward subscription models, making a decision now requires a different calculus. A subscription option allows you to always have the most up to date version, although it only covers one software license unless you are purchasing for a business. You still have one-time purchase options, however, it will never receive updates in the future outside of routine maintenance patches. For small business sysadmins, every dollar counts. If you can save your company money on software licensing and still have a robust productivity suite, you will not struggle to prove your value to the company.

So, what is a forward-thinking, frugal, open source sysadmin to do? As this is not a trick question, the answer is simple: Use open source software to solve the issue. I want to look at what open source can do for us in the productivity space.

Read more

Kernel: Linux 5.7, EFI and NUMA

Filed under
Linux
  • Linux 5.7 DRM Bringing New "TIDSS" Driver

    The first batch of DRM-Misc changes following the recent Linux 5.6 merge window have been merged into DRM-Next in forming the early material that will ultimately come to the Linux 5.7 cycle in April.

    With this first batch of new feature material there are changes like the Arm Mali 400/450 "Lima" driver now supporting heap buffers, various DRM core improvements, DPMS clean-ups of atomic drivers, other maintenance items, and a new Direct Rendering Manager driver.

  • Intel Ethernet E823 Support Coming To The ICE Driver In Linux 5.7

    Intel's ICE driver for the Ethernet E800 series is seeing a new member of the family come Linux 5.7.

    Queued in net-next thanks to an Intel developer is adding support for Intel Ethernet E823 series devices. This Intel E823 support for the Linux ethernet driver covers E823-L and E823-C adapters.

  • Linux EFI Going Through Spring Cleaning Before RISC-V Support Lands

    The Linux EFI boot code is going through some "spring cleaning" ahead of the RISC-V EFI support landing that still could make it for the Linux 5.7 kernel cycle this spring.

    The EFI kernel code is seeing some cleaning before the RISC-V support is merged since that increases the complexity of the code-base and for testing due to having an extra architecture in there. With this early batch of EFI changes to be staged until the Linux 5.7 merge window in April, the RISC-V support isn't yet included but it still could get pulled together in the next month for making the 5.7 kernel.

  • Linux NUMA Patches Aim To Reduce Overhead, Avoid Unnecessary Migrations

    A set of patches that continue to be worked on for the Linux kernek is reconciling NUMA balancing decisions with the load balancer. Ultimately this series is about reducing unnecessary task and page migrations and other NUMA balancing overhead.

    The main focus with the patch series is addressing inconsistencies between the kernel's NUMA balancing code and the load balancer. "The NUMA balancer makes placement decisions on tasks that partially take the load balancer into account and vice versa but there are inconsistencies. This can result in placement decisions that override each other leading to unnecessary migrations -- both task placement and page placement. This series reconciles many of the decisions -- partially Vincent's work with some fixes and optimisations on top to merge our two series."

Programming: Perl, Python, Java and JS

Filed under
Development
  • Designing an event-driven process at scale: Part 2

    In the first article in this series, Designing an event-driven business process at scale: A health management example, Part 1, we began by defining the business use case and data model for a concrete example from the health management industry. We then began implementing the example in jBPM (an open source business automation suite) by creating our trigger process.

  • My first date with Raku

    Ever since I started the Perl Weekly challenge i.e. 25th March 2019, I have been planning to take part in the weekly challenge. Because of lack of time, I couldn’t take part in the past. In the Week #046, I finally took the plunge and contributed Perl solutions to the Perl Weekly Challenge - 046.

  • Possibly the best k-means clustering ... in the world!

    Short post this time because I got nerd-sniped looking at the data. The fun part is that you quickly move from thinking about how to get your results to trying to work out what they mean.

    Forget why I started down this road. Right now, we are seeking the answer to Lewis Carol's famous question, How is a Porsche 914-2 like a Volvo 142E? (well, that's what it was in the first draft) A quick summary for those who have just joined us.

  • Personalize your python prompt

    The >>> we see when the Python interactive shell starts, is called the Prompt String. Usually, the prompt string suggests that the interactive shell is now ready to take new commands.

  • Don't like loops? Try Java Streams

    In this article, I will explain how to not write loops anymore.

    What? Whaddaya mean, no more loops?

    Yep, that's my 2020 resolution—no more loops in Java. Understand that it's not that loops have failed me, nor have they led me astray (well, at least, I can argue that point). Really, it is that I, a Java programmer of modest abilities since 1997 or so, must finally learn about all this new Streams stuff, saying "what" I want to do and not "how" I want to do it, maybe being able to parallelize some of my computations, and all that other good stuff.

    I'm guessing that there are other Java programmers out there who also have been programming in Java for a decent amount of time and are in the same boat. Therefore, I'm offering my experiences as a guide to "how to not write loops in Java anymore."

  • Live video streaming with open source Video.js

    Last year, I wrote about creating a video streaming server with Linux. That project uses the Real-Time Messaging Protocol (RMTP), Nginx web server, Open Broadcast Studio (OBS), and VLC media player.

    I used VLC to play our video stream, which may be fine for a small local deployment but isn't very practical on a large scale. First, your viewers have to use VLC, and RTMP streams can provide inconsistent playback. This is where Video.js comes into play! Video.js is an open source JavaScript framework for creating custom HTML5 video players. Video.js is incredibly powerful, and it's used by a host of very popular websites—largely due to its open nature and how easy it is to get up and running.

8 Essential Free Speech Tools

Filed under
Software

Speech synthesizers are text-to-speech systems used with computers. This type of software is programmed to include phonemes and the grammatical rules of a language, so that words are pronounced correctly. This article identifies the finest open source speech synthesizers that are available for the Linux platform. This category of software is particularly useful for increasing the accessibility of the internet, but there are many other applications for speech synthesizers.

Although this article focuses on open source software, we would take this opportunity to mention the IVONA Text to Speech System, software that is compatible with Linux. IVONA is an incredibly impressive text-to-speech system, generating exceptionally natural sounding voices. Unfortunately, the software is released under a proprietary license. While its open source competitors, eSpeak, Festival, and Praat Speech Analyser, sound somewhat robotic in comparison with the human-sounding IVONA, they do provide clear audio with text documents.

This article also highlights the best speech recognition software for Linux. Speech recognition is the translation of spoken words into text. This type of software helps users to operate their computer by speaking to it, and is a real blessing for anyone who finds it difficult to type, such as the elderly, or people with physical disabilities. Using speech recognition software, users can easily write emails, surf the net, manage their finances, chat to other users online, and perform many other computer activities.

To provide an insight into the quality of software that is available, we have compiled a list of 8 of the finest speech tools covering the spectrum of speech synthesizers, speech recognition software, speech recognition engines, and speech analysis. Here’s our recommended tools.

Read more

Linux Mint Debian Edition (LMDE) 4 beta images available now

Linux Mint Debian Edition, more commonly known as LMDE, has a new beta release out on third-party mirrors even though no official announcement has yet been made about its availability. LMDE 4 was discussed in the last Linux Mint blog post and is expected to come with all the improvements that were shipped with Linux Mint 19.3 such as Cinnamon 4.4, new default software, a boot repair tool, and more.

Unlike typical Linux Mint versions which use Ubuntu as the base, LMDE uses Debian Stable. The software packages that are included with Debian Stable are thoroughly tested and are considered to be a bit more stable than the ones Ubuntu ships with (Ubuntu is based on Debian Unstable/Debian Testing depending on whether it’s an Ubuntu LTS release). LMDE also acts as an emergency option if, in future, Ubuntu is not a suitable base.

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Discussing Past, Present and Future of FreeBSD Project

Filed under
Interviews
BSD

FreeBSD is one of the most popular BSD distributions. It is used on desktop, servers and embedded devices for more than two decades.

We talked to Deb Goodkin, executive director, FreeBSD Foundation and discussed the past, present and future of FreeBSD project.

Read more

Toradex launches Verdin module family starting with i.MX8M Mini and Nano models

Toradex unveiled a “Verdin” compute module family with a form factor similar to its Colibri family, but with 60 more pins and improved power features. Due in March are Linux-driven Verdin modules based on the i.MX8M Mini and Nano.

Toradex announced the Verdin iMX8M Mini and Verdin iMX8M Nano — the first two members of a new Verdin system-on-module (SoM) family and the company’s first i.MX8M family modules. The Verdin family seems destined to replace Colibri, as it has a similar form factor: 69.6 x 35.0 x 6.0mm (2,436 sq. mm) vs. 67.6 x 36.7 x 6.2mm (2,480.92 sq. mm) for the Colibri. The Verdin, however, supports 260 I/O pins on the DDR4 SODIMM connector compared to 200.

Read more

New GTK Website Design Goes Live to Help Boost Linux App Development

Filed under
Development
GNU
GNOME

Many coders looking to get started GTK app development likely make the website their first port of call, meaning the page needs to make a strong, confident first impression.

And the redesigned GTK website certainly does that. It pairs bold imagery and concise text with an uncluttered layout that puts essential links within easy reach.

Read more

Games: Dungeons 3, The Longing, Stellaris, Stoneshard, Dota Underlords, Democratic Socialism Simulator

Filed under
Gaming
  • Dungeon-building RTS 'Dungeons 3' has another DLC out with a claim of it being final

    I'm not sure I believe it. Kalypso Media and Realmforge Studios just put out a brand new DLC for the delightfully silly dungeon-building RTS Dungeons 3 with a claim that it's the final one.

  • Some early thoughts and exploration in The Longing, a game that takes 400 days to finish

    The Longing is a game that takes 400 real days to complete, a game that's pretty much impossible to review but I've played quite a number of hours now to get an idea of what to expect from it. Since this is something of a short preview, a few spoilers may be contained.

    It doesn't release until March 5 and due to the immense length of the game, we've been allowed to give it a few thoughts whenever. So here we are, with a short preview.

  • Big games of Stellaris are going to run a lot smoother in the 2.6.0 update

    Along with the major expansion coming to Stellaris with Federations, Paradox Development Studio as expected are working on a huge free patch and it's sounding good.

    One problem with Stellaris, is that big games end up slowing down—a lot. PDS are aware of this and they've been working on it. Using a saved game from the community that had 20,000 "pops" on quite a powerful PC (Intel Core7-7900X @ 3.30Ghz, 10 cores and 20 threads, and AMD R9 Fury) they showed off the difference between 2.5.1 "Shelley" to 2.6 "Verne".

  • Challenging turn-based RPG 'Stoneshard' now available for Linux

    True to their word, Ink Stains Games have delivered a Linux version of their open-world turn-based RPG Stoneshard that's currently in Early Access.

  • There's going to be more customization in Dota Underlords with the full release next week

    Next week, Valve will push Dota Underlords out the door as it leaves Early Access and with that the first full gameplay Season will begin.

    In a short and sweet announcement on Steam, the team mentioned a few things that will be coming with it although they're still being coy about the bigger features to come like the City Crawl which is likely some sort of single-player adventure mode.

  • Swipe right for Socialism in Democratic Socialism Simulator now available on Linux

    Using the swipe left or right mechanic found in titles like the Reigns series (which are good fun), Democratic Socialism Simulator is now available.

    "Enact radical reforms, tax the rich, transform the economy, tackle the most pressing issues without alienating voters or bankrupting the government. But beware: the ruling class won't give up its power easily. Even your closest allies may turn on you."

today's leftovers

Filed under
Misc
  • Question the Current Dogma: Is Kubernetes Hyper-Scale Necessary for Everyone?

    Kubernetes in 2020 has become synonymous with the term cloud native and is also often used as a vehicle for vendors and IT organizations alike to claim they are transforming or modernizing their workloads. But what are they actually transforming? What is Kubernetes itself actually providing?

  • Enabling the persistent journal in Debian

    It seems unlikely that anyone on any "side" of the systemd war that has raged in Debian over the last few years thought that the results of the recent general resolution (GR) vote ended the matter. The vote showed a clear preference for moving ahead with systemd as the preferred init system, though it was far from any kind of landslide—there were definitely plenty of voters who would have preferred a different outcome. It was a complicated GR, with a wide spectrum of options, but at this point, the project as a whole has spoken. Actually implementing some of the changes that the GR enabled may not have the smooth path that some might have hoped for, however.

    On February 1, Michael Biebl posted a message to the debian-devel mailing list noting that he had fixed a wishlist bug (from 2013) by enabling the systemd persistent journal. Prior to that, journald would log to the non-persistent /run/log/journal directory by default and rsyslog would create the persistent text log files in /var/log. The change to the Debian systemd package would create the /var/log/journal directory where journald will store its persistent binary log files. That way, the journals will still be available after a reboot.

    The message said that new installs and upgrades of the systemd package would create the directory, but it also included instructions on how to revert to the existing behavior; further upgrades to the systemd package will respect that choice. Beyond that, though, running both the persistent journal and rsyslog means that the log files are effectively stored twice on disk, so Biebl may ask the Debian ftp-masters to lower the priority of rsyslog so that it is not installed by default for the upcoming Debian 11 ("bullseye") release. Those who want to have a different system logger can add it after the initial install, of course.

  • Sustain OSS 2020: quick rewind

    I loved Sustain OSS 2020 because it is a unique collection of people from various backgrounds in the Free/Open Source movement. Both old and new folks, software engineers and designers, open source program office folks and the FOSS lawyers, all together in one room. Perhaps the best part for me is leaving with a sense of empowerment and connection to a bigger movement of people.

  • Top 7 Anime Based Open-Source Projects

    Anime is no longer limited only to Japan and China; it has gone global. It has attracted many people towards it because of its high-end graphics, vivid imaginations for the future, using highly advanced technologies which only find their place in our imaginations and artificial intelligence (AI) depiction in their storylines. Naturally, it serves as a means of entertainment for any kind of audience that watches it and also it could be fun to do projects related to it. And we all know Elon Musk likes anime too:

  • Synchronous Messaging: We’re Live.

    After a nine month leadup, chat.mozilla.org, our Matrix-based replacement for IRC, has been up running for about a month now.

    While we’ve made a number of internal and community-facing announcements about progress, access and so forth, we’ve deliberately run this as a quiet, cautious, low-key rollout, letting our communities find their way to chat.m.o and Matrix organically while we sort out the bugs and rough edges of this new experience.

    Last week we turned on federation, the last major step towards opening Mozilla to the wider Matrix ecosystem, and it’s gone really well. Which means that as of last week, Mozilla’s transition from IRC to Matrix is within arm’s reach of done.

    The Matrix team have been fantastic partners throughout this process, open to feedback and responsive to concerns throughout.
    It’s been a great working relationship, and as investments of effort go one that’s already paying off exactly the way want our efforts to pay off, with functional, polish and accessibility improvements that benefit the entire Matrix ecosystem coming from the feedback from the Mozilla community.

  • Trump hesitates on plan for open access mandate

    The Trump administration is backing away from a widely reported plan to bypass publisher paywalls on scientific research resulting from federal investment, making plans instead to study the matter further.

    The chief White House science adviser, Kelvin Droegemeier, said that after two years and nearly 100 meetings with publishers, universities, researchers and others, administration officials wanted more consultation.

  • Always Use UTF-8 & Always Label Your HTML Saying So

    To avoid having to deal with escapes (other than for <, >, &, and "), to avoid data loss in form submission, to avoid XSS when serving user-provided content, and to comply with the HTML Standard, always encode your HTML as UTF-8.

  • Why Supporting Unlabeled UTF-8 in HTML on the Web Would Be Problematic

    UTF-8 has won. Yet, Web authors have to opt in to having browsers treat HTML as UTF-8 instead of the browsers Just Doing the Right Thing by default. Why?

    I’m writing this down in comprehensive form, because otherwise I will keep rewriting unsatisfactory partial explanations repeatedly as bug comments again and again. For more on how to label, see another writeup.

  • Larry Tesler, the Inventor of Copy-Paste, Was More Influential Than You Realize

    Larry Tesler perhaps wasn’t the most high-profile figure in tech history, but his impact is most certainly felt in ways big and small to this day.

    By far, his best known contribution is the cut/copy-paste functionality that he is widely credited with inventing.

    Tesler, who died this week at the age of 74, is widely credited with the invention of the basic idea thanks to his role at the famed Xerox PARC, the experimental research center that helped formulate many of the general ideas behind the personal computer. While there, Tesler came up with Gypsy, one of the first WYSIWYG document editors that was reliant on a keyboard-mouse combo, for an Xerox subsidiary, Ginn & Company. While an earlier Xerox PARC tool named Bravo predated Gypsy, Gypsy was “modeless,” meaning that the user interface was always in an editable state, rather than an editor with modes, which requires commands to be typed first before text can be modified. (The modern-day Unix editor Vim is an example of a mode-based editor, which is relatively uncommon in the modern day.)

  • Larry Tesler cut and pasted from this mortal coil: That thing you just did? He probably invented it

    Larry Tesler – self-described "primary inventor of modeless editing and cut, copy, paste" – has died at the age of 74.

    Tesler had a hand in many of the computing concepts taken for granted today. On his website he wrote: "I have been mistakenly identified as 'the father of the graphical user interface for the Macintosh'. I was not. However, a paternity test might expose me as one of its many grandparents."

    After a stint at Stanford culminating in AI research in 1973, Tesler became a member of the research staff at Xerox's famed Palo Alto Research Center (PARC).

  • The mess behind Microsoft’s yanked UEFI patch KB 4524244 [Ed: Microsoft shoots itself in the foot and even Microsoft boosters like Woody Leonhard are not happy. UEFI 'in action'...]

    Patch Tuesday’s truly odd Win10 patch KB 4524244 wreaked havoc before it was finally pulled last Friday night. Since then, accusations have flown about Kaspersky, in particular, and Microsoft’s complicity in signing a rootkit. There’s plenty of blame to go around — and much more to the story.

  • Stop Using Encrypted Email

    The least interesting problems with encrypted email have to do with PGP. PGP is a deeply broken system. It was designed in the 1990s, and in the 20 years since it became popular, cryptography has advanced in ways that PGP has not kept up with. So, for example, it recently turned out to be possible for eavesdroppers to decrypt messages without a key, simply by tampering with encrypted messages. Most technologists who work with PGP don’t understand it at a low enough level to see what’s wrong with it. But that’s a whole other argument. Even after we replace PGP, encrypted email will remain unsafe.

    Here’s why.

  • U.S. agency that handles Trump's secure communication suffered data breach

    The agency provides direct telecommunications and IT support for President Donald Trump, Vice President Mike Pence, their staff, and the U.S. Secret Service, according to its website.

    It also provides direct support to the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and other senior members of the armed forces, and its field offices support U.S. military commanders abroad.

    The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment. The letter gave few further details. For example, it did not say what part of DISA’s network had been breached, nor identify which individuals may have had their data compromised.

Audiocasts/Shows: LHS, Bad Voltage and Linux Headlines

Filed under
GNU
Linux
  • LHS Episode #327: The Weekender XLII

    It's time once again for The Weekender. This is our bi-weekly departure into the world of amateur radio contests, open source conventions, special events, listener challenges, hedonism and just plain fun. Thanks for listening and, if you happen to get a chance, feel free to call us or e-mail and send us some feedback. Tell us how we're doing. We'd love to hear from you.

  • Bad Voltage 2×65: Email Avengers Assemble

    Stuart Langridge, Jono Bacon, and Jeremy Garcia present Bad Voltage...

  • 2020-02-20 | Linux Headlines

    A new release for LibreOffice’s stable branch has some welcome improvements, Let’s Encrypt takes a major step to fight man-in-the-middle attacks, the EU unveils big plans to take on the US tech industry, and Microsoft’s endpoint protection software heads to Linux.

GNOME and KDE: GNOME Shell and Mutter, Qt, Plasma Mobile and Okular for Debian

Filed under
KDE
Software
GNOME
  • GNOME Shell + Mutter See Changes For Tracking Software Rendering, VNC To Toggle Animations

    GNOME Shell and Mutter saw a set of patches land today for GNOME 3.36 that have been around for a few months and deal with the tracking of software rendering and VNC usage where GNOME Shell should in turn disable animations to ease the rendering workload.

    The GNOME Settings Daemon has until now been responsible for controlling the animation heuristics when they should be disabled while now Mutter has added support for tracking software rendering situations and in turn GNOME Shell is relying upon that for determining when to disable desktop animations.

  • How not to lose the alpha channel

    Working on color imagery for QiTissue recently, I realized we were accidentally losing the alpha channel in multiple places. For efficiency reasons, we keep colors in memory using the QRgb type, and convert that to/from QString for serialization purposes via QColor as needed. Here’s what I discovered about why that doesn’t work, and some ways I fixed it.

    Firstly, be aware there is no QRgba in the Qt API . There is only QRgb, for 8bit color channels. It can hold an alpha value too, despite the lack of a trailing a in the type name. Then there is QRgba64 which uses 16bit per color channel. For our purposes, 8bit per channel is sufficient. So where do we lose the alpha channel, when QRgb can store it in principle?

  • Fosdem and Plasma Mobile Sprint

    From January 31st to February 8th I went on a little tour, first at the two days of Fosdem in Brussels, then to Berlin for a KDE sprint about Plasma Mobile.

    It was the first time i went to Fodem: it’s an awesome experience, even tough big and messy: which is the awesome of it… and the bad of it at the same time

    Even tough there were 800 talks I didn’t attend that many, some about the Elixir language, some about retrocomputing, some about iot stuff. At Fosdem the best thing to do there.. is meeting a lot of interesting people, rather than attending talks, which are very interesting never the less, which you can find videos here.

  • Norbert Preining: Okular update for Debian

    The quest for a good tabbed pdf viewer lead me okular. While Gnome3 has gone they way of “keep it stupid keep it simple” to appeal to less versed users, KDE has gone the opposite direction and provides lots of bells and knobs to configure their application. Not surprisingly, I am tending more and more to KDE apps away from the redux stuff of Gnome apps.

Android Leftovers

Filed under
Android

Security, Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt

Filed under
Security
  • Security updates for Thursday

    Security updates have been issued by Debian (netty and netty-3.9), Fedora (ceph, dovecot, poppler, and webkit2gtk3), openSUSE (inn and rmt-server), Oracle (openjpeg2), Red Hat (rabbitmq-server), Scientific Linux (openjpeg2), SUSE (dnsmasq, rsyslog, and slurm), and Ubuntu (php7.0).

  • 30 The Most Common Hacking Techniques and How to Deal with Them [Ed: Cracking, not hacking. Not the same thing.]
  • A guide to developing a holistic IT security strategy

    In assessing how prevalent cyberattacks are for companies, 18 percent of respondents rated the security risk as very high. Half (50 percent) even stated that their company had suffered financial losses due to security incidents. Opinions differed as to whether the incidents were handled optimally: Almost half (49 percent) say that everything worked well, while the other half (49 percent) believe there is a lot of potential for improvement.

  • Linux and malware: Should you worry? [Ed: All those headlines with question marks mean that the answer is "No."]

    Gone are the days when the idea of viruses or other malware hitting Linux was almost universally greeted with quizzical glances, if not outright rejection. Long thought of as the perfect marriage of open-source goodness and strong, Unix-like security, Linux-based operating systems are now increasingly seen as another valuable – and viable – target.

    This shift in thinking is partly the result of a growing realization among both Linux hobbyists and system administrators that a compromised Linux system such as a web server provides attackers an excellent ‘return on investment’. Just as importantly, malware research in recent years has brought better visibility into threats facing Linux systems.

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ctrlX Automation leverages Ubuntu Core, designed for embedded devices, and snaps, the universal Linux application containers, to deliver an open source platform to remove the barriers between machine control, operation technology and information technology, or OT-IT. Industrial manufacturing solutions built on ctrlX Automation with Ubuntu Core and snaps will benefit from an open ecosystem, faster time to production and stronger security across devices’ lifecycle. Through the use of an open architecture, industrial machine manufacturers selecting ctrlX Automation are freed from being tied to PLC specialists and proprietary systems with the software being decoupled from the hardware. Read more

Cosmo Communicator 2-in-1 Phone/Mini Laptop can now Dual Boot Debian Linux and Android

The Cosmo Communicator was released as a crowdfunded handheld device mixing smartphone and a small laptop features such as keyboard and display. It was launched in late 2019 and ran Google Android. The original units were shipped and fulfilled the requirements of the crowdfunding campaign, but still were missing something the company had wanted to provide: support for Linux. This is now fixed as Planet Computers, the company that makes Cosmo Communicator, just released a version of Debian Linux, that can be installed on the system, with the tools that the company has provided for free on its website. Read more

List of Linux Syscalls

In this guide you’ll find a full list of Linux syscalls along with their definition, parameters, and commonly used flags. You can combine multiple flags by using a logical AND and passing the result to the argument in question. Read more

100 Keyboard Shortcuts to Use Linux Like a Pro

Linux veterans understand that the keyboard is mightier than the mouse because there are many actions that take multiple mouse clicks but can be accomplished with a single keyboard shortcut. Learning at least a handful of keyboard shortcuts can make you significantly more productive as a Linux user and earn you serious bragging rights in the Linux community. Read more