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Elementary OS is the latest group to ditch Medium for their own blog

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OS

Elementary OS – a Linux distribution (distro) built on top of the large, company-backed giant Ubuntu – is a mom-and-pop store by comparison.

But it's also one that's managed to capture the attention of even some seasoned Linux users thanks to its focus on user interface (UI) and even user experience (UX) – something often lacking from the more spartan distros.

With their focus on icon and UI themes sometimes suspiciously reminiscent of Apple's interfaces – the Elementary OS team have also earned themselves something of a label of “hipsters” in the community.

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Five reasons Chromebooks are better than Windows laptops

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OS
Google

Today, Windows users hold off for as long as possible before "updating" their PCs. Chrome OS users, on the other hand, have their systems updated every six weeks without a hitch. And, I might add, these updates take a minute or two instead of an hour or two.

Chrome OS is also more secure than Windows. WIndows security violations pop up every blessed month. Sure, Chrome OS has had security holes, but I can't think of one that's been significantly exploited.

Want a nightmare? Try migrating from an old Windows PC to a new one. Even if you're jumping from Windows 10 to Windows 10, there are no easy ways to do it. If you have a Microsoft account, rather than a local account, you must manually move your local files from third-party programs such as Photoshop

On Chrome OS, you log in to your new Chromebook and -- ta-da! -- you're back in business. No fuss, no muss.

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Announcing Oracle Solaris 11.4 SRU12

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OS
Server

Today we are releasing the SRU 12 for Oracle Solaris 11.4. It is available via 'pkg update' from the support repository or by downloading the SRU from My Oracle Support Doc ID 2433412.1.

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Also: Oracle Solaris 11.4 SRU12 Released - Adds GCC 9.1 Compiler & Python 3.7

HarmonyOS Explained: A Viable Future Android Competitor or a Futile Attempt From Huawei?

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OS

During the annual Huawei developer conference, the company officially unveiled its custom HarmonyOS intended to create a unified ecosystem for potentially millions of users. Of course, this isn’t going to be as simple as churning out improved and feature-enriched versions of its Kirin chipsets for smartphones and tablets, so Huawei intends on taking its time with what could be a viable Android competitor, even though it hasn’t been marketed as such. Here we explain what is HarmonyOS, its unique feature set, and if it has the potential to somehow squirm its way in the duopoly iOS and Android have created for themselves.

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Forget Windows, Linux or MacOS: Our choice of the best alternative operating systems

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OS
GNU
Linux

If you're fed up with Windows, Linux, or macOS, you'll want to know if there's a great alternative desktop operating system that's worth using.

While there are no absolute definitive answers here – everyone's use case is different, after all – we've discovered ten distinct examples that fall outside the usual bounds.

Our list even includes a few true outsiders, independent operating systems built from the ground up which serve mainly to prove just how difficult it is to create an entire functioning OS without a large number of brains working on it.

Everything here can be tested reasonably within a virtual machine, so if something grabs your interest don't hesitate to download and give it a try.

Linux powers most of the website providers out there. Check out the best web hosting services in the world right now.

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HarmonyOS, Huawei, and a 'Foundation' in China

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OS
  • HarmonyOS - Huawei's New Open Source Mobile OS

    HarmonyOS is a lightweight, compact operating system with powerful functionality, and it will first be used for smart devices like smart watches, smart screens, in-vehicle systems, and smart speakers. Through this implementation Huawei aims to establish an integrated and shared ecosystem across devices, create a secure and reliable runtime environment, and deliver a holistic intelligent experience across every interaction with every device.

    Huawei also announced the evolution roadmap for HarmonyOS and its kernel. HarmonyOS 1.0 will be first adopted in its smart screen products, which are due to launch later this year. Over the next three years, HarmonyOS will be optimized and gradually adopted across a broader range of smart devices.

    Moving forward, Huawei will lay the foundations for HarmonyOS in the Chinese market, and then expand it further to the global ecosystem.

  • Huawei Could Rid Itself Of Spying Accusations If It Open-Sourced Its Software

    Huawei is seen as a threat to American national security because of the software loopholes in its telecom equipment, but TechRepublic's James Sanders says that Huawei could rid itself of spying accusations if it would open-source its telecom software.

    Open-sourcing its telecom software would allow third parties to see it, examine vulnerabilities, and investigate the software apart from Huawei. To open up the software would allow other companies to gain trust in Huawei and roll back the concerns of Chinese espionage that everyone has on their minds nowadays following the spying accusations.

  • Huawei's Open Source Operating System HarmonyOS Is The Answer To Google's Android

    According to the reports, Yu said that the platform supports various sizes of RAM ranging from kilobytes to gigabytes and this operating system will have no support for any root access. The platform also supports a number of applications where applications from other operating systems like Linux, Android, etc will be compatible. HarmonyOS will use ARK compiler for app development and it will also support several other languages such as Java, Kotlin, JavaScript, C, and C++.

    HarmonyOS 1.0 will be launched this year within the smart screen products. Then the next three pears are planned to optimise this operating system and make it adopt across a wider number of smart devices and other wearables, etc.

  • Huawei to help build China’s first open-source software foundation

    The foundation plan came after GitHub, the world's largest host of source code, in July prevented users in Iran and other sanctioned nations from accessing portions of its service. The incident highlights increasing geopolitical interference with global open-source tech communities, which are supposed to be fair and open to all, analysts said.

  • Huawei to help create nation's first open-source foundation
  • Huawei to help create nation's first open-source foundation

    Huawei Technologies Co said it plans to partner with other companies to set up China's first open-source software foundation, which is expected to begin to operate in a month or two to expand the nation's software community.

    The plan for the software foundation came after GitHub, the world's largest host of source code, prevented in July users in Iran and other nations sanctioned by the United States government from accessing portions of its service. The incident highlights increasing geopolitical interference with global open-source tech communities, which are supposed to be fair and open to all, analysts said.

    Wang Chenglu, president of the software department at Huawei's consumer business group, said software development relies on open-source codes and communities.

Purism and e Foundation take on the smartphone duopoly

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OS
Gadgets

For years, the devices and services we use have ever more aggressively monitored our activities and mined our data. But as consumers have grown increasingly attuned to privacy concerns, solutions have been appearing to help them evade tracking. Browsers such as Brave and search engines such as DuckDuckGo play up their privacy-first design. When it comes to the dominant mobile operating systems, Google has talked about preserving privacy by providing more transparency and exposing opt-out controls. Apple, on the other hand, has sought to create services that remove the opt-out requirement by not collecting data in the first place, turning privacy preservation into a key differentiator.

But many users aren’t comfortable even with Apple’s approach. Recently, two groups have created new platforms that avoid sharing data with Google, Apple, or any other entity behind the scenes. Nevertheless, their product-development approaches parallel the market strategies of Google and Apple, with some striking differences.

One of these is the e Foundation. Its eOS aspires to be a Google-free version of Android that has a wide range of device support. It’s not a new idea: One existing alternative to Google’s flavor of Android is LineageOS, a fork of what had been the leading Google Android alternative, CyanogenMod. However, according to Gaël Duval, head of e Foundation, producing a version of Android that is completely Google-free requires far more effort than just stripping out Google apps such as Gmail; even LineageOS sends some data through Google’s servers or relies on its services.

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Huawei launches smart TV running on HarmonyOS

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OS
Hardware

It was also the first time that the Chinese tech firm unveils the operation interface of HarmonyOS to the public.

Zhao Ming, president of Huawei Honor brand, said the 55-inch bezel-less smart screen is powered by the Honghu 818 smart chip with a pop-up selfie camera.

"The use of quad-core CPU and GPU in the screen leads the industry in multi-tasking abilities as algorithms determine the quality of image display," Zhao said.

Apart from the Honor smart screen, the HarmonyOS will also be used in more smart devices such as PCs, smartphones, smart watches and in-vehicle systems.

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Huawei announces HarmonyOS, an open-source platform for every device

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OS
OSS

“HarmonyOS 1.0 will be first adopted in its smart screen products, which are due to launch later this year. Over the next three years, HarmonyOS will be optimized and gradually adopted across a broader range of smart devices, including wearables, Huawei Vision, and head units for your car,” read an excerpt of an emailed press release.

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Q4OS Operating System Brings the Trinity Desktop to Debian GNU/Linux 10 "Buster"

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OS
Debian

Based on the recently released Debian GNU/Linux 10 "Buster" operating system series, Q4OS 3.8 "Centaurus" comes more than seven months after the Q4OS 2.7 "Scorpion" release and it is the first stable version in the 3.x series, which was in heavy development during the last few years.

For a long time, Q4OS was shipping with the Trinity Desktop Environment (TDE) by default, which offers users, especially those who want to switch from Windows to Linux, a very familiar interface. However, it looks like the Q4OS 3.8 "Centaurus" series uses the latest stable KDE Plasma desktop by default.

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Elementary OS is the latest group to ditch Medium for their own blog

Elementary OS – a Linux distribution (distro) built on top of the large, company-backed giant Ubuntu – is a mom-and-pop store by comparison. But it's also one that's managed to capture the attention of even some seasoned Linux users thanks to its focus on user interface (UI) and even user experience (UX) – something often lacking from the more spartan distros. With their focus on icon and UI themes sometimes suspiciously reminiscent of Apple's interfaces – the Elementary OS team have also earned themselves something of a label of “hipsters” in the community. Hence, their decision some years ago to communicate news about the project by hosting their blog on another largely “hipster” online venue – Medium – was little surprise. What's somewhat surprising is the about-face that the project is now making in leaving Medium for the sake of building their own blog hosted on GitHub Pages – using the static generator Jekyll. Read more

Linux Foundation and Intel: Confidential Computing Consortium, OpenGL 4.6 Support For Mesa 19.2 and More

  • New Cross-Industry Effort to Advance Computational Trust and Security for Next-Generation Cloud and Edge Computing

    The Linux Foundation today announced the intent to form the Confidential Computing Consortium, a community dedicated to defining and accelerating the adoption of confidential computing. Companies committed to this work include Alibaba, Arm, Baidu, Google Cloud, IBM, Intel, Microsoft, Red Hat, Swisscom and Tencent. Across industries computing is moving to span multiple environments, from on premises to public cloud to edge. As companies move these workloads to different environments, they need protection controls for sensitive IP and workload data and are increasingly seeking greater assurances and more transparency of these controls. Current approaches in cloud computing address data at rest and in transit but encrypting data in use is considered the third and possibly most challenging step to providing a fully encrypted lifecycle for sensitive data. Confidential computing will enable encrypted data to be processed in memory without exposing it to the rest of the system and reduce exposure for sensitive data and provide greater control and transparency for users.

  • The Linux Foundation, Intel & Co Form The Confidential Computing Consortium

    In kicking off the Open Source Summit that has returned to San Diego, the Linux Foundation has announced the formation of the Confidential Computing Consortium in collaboration with Intel and other companies. The initial batch of companies forming the Confidential Computing Consortium include Alibaba, Arm, Baidu, Google Cloud, IBM, Intel, Microsoft, Red Hat, Swisscom, and Tencent. This consortium will focus on providing greater transparency and control over user data, reduce exposure to sensitive data, and other protections by means of open-source tooling and hardware advancements around trusted execution environments.

  • Intel's OpenGL Linux Driver Now Has OpenGL 4.6 Support For Mesa 19.2

    Two years after the OpenGL 4.6 specification was announced, Intel's open-source OpenGL Linux driver is now officially advertising the support after today landing the remaining SPIR-V enablement work. For the better part of the past two years the Intel OpenGL Linux drivers were held up from having GL 4.6 due to the ARB_gl_spirv / ARB_spirv_extensions extensions for better interoperability with Vulkan. But today those extensions are now crossed off the list and OpenGL 4.6 is finally in Mesa core with Intel's i965/Iris drivers being the first.

  • Intel Launches 10th Gen "Comet Lake" Laptop CPUs For Laptops & 2-in-1s

    Earlier this month Intel announced 11 Icelake CPUs for laptops and 2-in1s under their 10th Gen CPU line-up. Today the company announced the 10th Gen Comet Lake CPUs also for 2-in-1s and laptops.

Debian and Ubuntu Leftovers

  • Joey Hess: releasing two haskell libraries in one day: libmodbus and git-lfs

    The first library is a libmodbus binding in haskell. There are a couple of other haskell modbus libraries, but none that support serial communication out of the box. I've been using a python library to talk to my solar charge controller, but it is not great at dealing with the slightly flakey interface. The libmodbus C library has features that make it more robust, and it also supports fast batched reads. So a haskell interface to it seemed worth starting while I was doing laundry, and then for some reason it seemed worth writing a whole bunch more FFIs that I may never use, so it covers libmodbus fairly extensively. 660 lines of code all told. Writing a good binding to a C library has art to it. I've seen ones that are so close you feel you're writing C and not haskell. On the other hand, some are so far removed from the underlying library that its documentation does not carry over at all. I tried to strike a balance. Same function names so the extensive libmodbus documentation is easy to refer to while using it, but plenty of haskell data types so you won't mix up the parity with the stop bits.

  • Misc Developer News (#49)
    The news are collected on https://wiki.debian.org/DeveloperNews
    Please contribute short news about your work/plans/subproject.
    
    In this issue:
     + Self-service buildd givebacks
     + Removal of the mips architecture
     + Superficial package testing
     + Debian Developers Reference now maintained as ReStructuredText
     + Scope of debian-mentors broadened to help with infrastructure questions
     + Hiding package tracker action items
    
    Self-service buildd givebacks
    -----------------------------
    
     Philipp Kern has created[1] an *experimental* service that allows Debian
     members to perform self-service retries of failed package builds (aka
     give-backs). This service aims to reduce the time it takes for give-back
     requests to be processed, which was done manually by the wanna-build
     admins until now. The service is authenticated using the Debian Single
     Signon[2] service. Debian members are still expected to act responsibly
     when looking at build failures; do your due diligence and try reproducing
     the issue on a porterbox first. Access to this service is logged and logs
     will be audited by the admins.
    
  • Debian Guts Support For Old MIPS CPUs

    Debian developers have decided to remove the 32-bit MIPS big-endian architecture. Debian will continue to maintain MIPSEL and MIPS64EL but the older 32-bit big-endian variant of MIPS will be no more. Debian developers decided to drop the older 32-bit BE support due to it being limited to 2GB of virtual address space and it being one of the remaining holdouts of big endian architectures for Debian. Not to mention, there hasn't been much interest in the older MIPS 32-bit BE target in a while either.

  • Alpha: Self-service buildd givebacks

    Builds on Debian's build farm sometimes fail transiently. Sometimes those failures are legitimate flakes, for instance when an in-progress build happens to exhaust its resources because of other builds on the same machine. Until now, you always needed to mail the buildd, wanna-build admins or the Release Team directly in order to get the builds re-queued. As an alpha trial I implemented self-service givebacks as a web script. As SSO for Debian developers is now a thing, it is trivial to add authentication in a way that a role account can use to act on your behalf. While at work this would all be an RPC service, I figured that a little CGI script would do the job just as well.

  • Linux Mint 19.2 Cinnamon Edition – Ships With Cinnamon 4.2 and Uses Ubuntu 18.04 LTS Package Base

    Linux Mint 19.2 has been released and announced by Linux Mint Project, now available to download which ship with the Cinnamon, Mate and Xfce editions both for both 32-bit and 64-bit architectures. It’s powered by the Linux 4.15 kernel and uses the Ubuntu 18.04 LTS package base, which will be supported for five years until 2023. Linux Mint 19.2 Cinnamon edition features latest version of Cinnamon desktop 4.2 with new features and updates. Although the amount of RAM consumed by Cinnamon largely depends on the video driver, Cinnamon uses significantly less RAM than before. The application menu is faster and it now identifies and distinguishes duplicates. If two applications have the same name, the menu will show more information about them. Scrollbars are now configurable and Nemo file manager support pin file and folder .

  • Jupyter looks to distro-agnostic packaging for the democratisation of installation

    When users of your application range from high school students to expert data scientists, it’s often wise to avoid any assumptions about their system configurations. The Jupyter Notebook is popular with a diverse user base, enabling the creation and sharing of documents containing live code, visualisations, and narrative text. The app uses processes (kernels) to run interactive code in different programming languages and send output back to the user. Filipe Fernandes has a key responsibility for Jupyter packaging and ease of installation. At the 2019 Snapcraft Summit in Montreal, he gave us his impressions of snaps as a tool to improve the experience for all concerned. “I’m a packager and a hacker, and I’m also a Jupyter user. I find Jupyter to be great as a teaching tool. Others use it for data cleaning and analysis, numerical simulation and modelling, or machine learning, for example. One of the strengths of Jupyter is that it is effectively language agnostic. I wanted Jupyter packaging to be similar, distro-agnostic, if you like.” Filipe had heard about snaps a while back, but only really discovered their potential after he received an invitation to the Snapcraft Summit and noticed that Microsoft Visual Studio Code had recently become available as a snap. The ease of use of snaps was a big factor for him. “I like things that just work. I often get hauled in to sort out installation problems for other users – including members of my own family! It’s great to be able to tell them just to use the snap version of an application. It’s like, I snap my fingers and the install problems disappear!”