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today's leftovers

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Misc
  • Announcing Akademy 2019 in Milan, Italy (September 7th - 13th)

    Akademy 2019 will be held at the University of Milano-Bicocca in Milan, Italy, from Saturday the 7th to Friday the 13th of September.

    The conference is expected to draw hundreds of attendees from the global KDE community to discuss and plan the future of the community and its technology. Many participants from the broad Free and Open Source software community, local organizations and software companies will also attend.

    KDE e.V. is organizing Akademy 2019 with unixMiB — the Linux User Group of the University of Milano-Bicocca. unixMiB aims to spread Open Source philosophy among students.

  • Checking out Crunchbang++
  • Intel Iris Gallium3D Picks Up Conservative Rasterization Support

    On top of Intel's new open-source OpenGL driver seeing some hefty performance optimizations, the Iris Gallium3D driver has picked up another OpenGL extension ahead of the Mesa 19.1 branching. 

    Iris Gallium3D now supports INTEL_conservative_rasterization alongside the existing support in the i965 driver. INTEL_conservative_rasterization is the several year old Intel extension for seeing if all fragments are at least partially covered by a polygon rather than the default rasterization mode of including fragments with at least one sample covered by a polygon.

today's leftovers

Filed under
Misc

today's leftovers

Filed under
Misc
  • Plop Linux 19.1 released
  • How do you say SUSE?

    SUSECON 2019 has come and gone and was definitely one for the books. Whether you were able to attend the event in person or not, you can still view plenty of videos and content that was shared at the event.
    One of my favorite videos from the week was “How do you say SUSE” -which comically reminded attendees how to properly say “SUSE.” Don’t quite know exactly how to pronounce SUSE? We’ve got you covered….Broadway musical style.
    The keynote videos from each day are not to be missed as well as the series of amazing music parody videos that have recently been created. One of the major take-a-ways this year was the recent announcement that as of March 15, not only did SUSE become an independent company, we are now the largest independent open source company in the industry.

  • In 2019, Most Linux Distributions Still Aren't Restricting Dmesg Access

    Going back to the late Linux 2.6 kernel days has been the CONFIG_DMESG_RESTRICT (or for the past number of years, renamed to CONFIG_SECURITY_DMESG_RESTRICT) Kconfig option to restrict access to dmesg in the name of security and not allowing unprivileged users from accessing this system log. While it's been brought up from time to time, Linux distributions are still generally allowing any user access to dmesg even though it may contain information that could help bad actors exploit the system.

    The primary motivation of CONFIG_SECURITY_DMESG_RESTRICT and an associated sysctl tunable as well (dmesg_restrict) is for restricting access to dmesg so unprivileged users can't see the syslog to avoid possible kernel memory address exposures among other potentially sensitive information that could be leaked about the kernel to help anyone trying to exploit the system. But even with these options being available for years, most Linux distributions leave dmesg open to any user.

  • Is Email Making Professors Stupid?

     

    I can think of at least three strong arguments for why higher education should be that industry, significantly restructuring its work culture to provide professors more uninterrupted time for thinking and teaching, and require less time on email and administrative duties.

  • What is ZIL anyway?

     

    The Infocom ZIL code dump has kicked off a small whirlwind of news articles and blog posts. A lot of them are somewhat hazy on what ZIL is, and how it relates to MDL, Lisp, Z-code, Inform, and the rest of the Golden-Age IF ecosystem.

    So I'm going to talk a lot about it! With examples. But let's go through in chronological order.

  • Death by PowerPoint: the slide that killed seven people

    Edward Tufte’s full report makes for fascinating reading. Since being released in 1987 PowerPoint has grown exponentially to the point where it is now estimated than thirty million PowerPoint presentations are made every day. Yet, PowerPoint is blamed by academics for killing critical thought. Amazon’s CEO Jeff Bezos has banned it from meetings. Typing text on a screen and reading it out loud does not count as teaching. An audience reading text off the screen does not count as learning. Imagine if the engineers had put up a slide with just: “foam strike more than 600 times bigger than test data.” Maybe NASA would have listened. Maybe they wouldn’t have attempted re-entry. Next time you’re asked to give a talk remember Columbia. Don’t just jump to your laptop and write out slides of text. Think about your message. Don’t let that message be lost amongst text. Death by PowerPoint is a real thing. Sometimes literally.

today's leftovers

Filed under
Misc
  • Newer isn't always better when performance is critical

    Some years before I formalised my engineering education, I was working as an instrument technician on a seismic survey vessel mapping an area off West Africa. These ships map the geology under the sea bed as the first stage of marine oil exploration. In full production, a single vessel will generate a revenue of several hundred thousand dollars a day. So you need to have a good excuse for when the recording system fails and you leave a hole in the survey coverage, especially when you have an ex-military Norwegian built like the proverbial Viking as party manager.

    The recording system was crashing; no error warnings, no smoke or fire. It just stopped recording. Repeatedly. The survey was looking like a cartoon Swiss cheese that had been attacked by hungry mice. What had changed? To save money the company had developed its own recording system, replacing Old Faithful with New Unreliable. I had my reservations when the prototype was tested in parallel with Old Faithful leading to my tearing out the connection between the two systems with under a minute to the start of a production line to go. I was younger then and could handle the excitement.

  • Minikube: 5 ways IT teams can use it

    As far as tool names go, Minikube is a pretty good reflection of what it does: It takes the vast cloud-scale of Kubernetes and shrinks it down so that it fits on your laptop.

    Don’t mistake that for a lack of power or functionality, though: You can do plenty with Minikube. And while developers, DevOps engineers, and the like might be the most likely to run it on a regular basis, IT leaders and the C-suite can use it, too. That’s part of the beauty.

    “With just a few installation commands, anyone can have a fully functioning Kubernetes cluster, ready for learning or supporting development efforts,” says Chris Ciborowski, CEO and cofounder at Nebulaworks.

  • Ubuntu Podcast from the UK LoCo: S12E02 – Light Force

    This week we have been upgrading disk drives (again) and playing Elite Dangerous. We discuss Mark’s homebrew Raspberry Pi based streaming box, bring you some command line love and go over your feedback.

    It’s Season 12 Episode 02 of the Ubuntu Podcast! Alan Pope, Mark Johnson and Martin Wimpress are connected and speaking to your brain.

  • Altered, a sweet looking puzzle game where you're part of the puzzle is coming to Linux

    Releasing sometime this Summer, Altered looks like a rather sweet take on the puzzle genre as you're a block that forms part of a puzzle.

    The developer, Glitchheart, describes it as a "meditative" puzzle game that mixes difficult puzzles in with a "soothing atmosphere". The description made me chuckle a little, as you can make it seem as soothing as you want but if the puzzles really do get difficult you can't stop players getting frustrated. Still, solving puzzles doesn't need to make you sweat which is more the point here as it seems there's no set time limits and no dangers.

  • How To Navigate Directories Faster In Linux

today's leftovers

Filed under
Misc
  • Auto Infotainment Market: Automotive Grade Linux to Fuel Auto Infotainment Applications
  • Google, Hyperledger launch online identity management tools

    In two separate announcements last week, Google and Linux's Hyperledger project launched tools aimed at enabling secure identity management for enterprises via mobile and other devices.

    Google unveiled five upgrades to its BeyondCorp cloud enterprise security service that enables identity and access management for employees, corporate partners, and customers.

  • Cockpit Project: Cockpit 192

    Cockpit is the modern Linux admin interface. We release regularly. Here are the release notes from version 192.

  • 9 Useful PDF Manipulation Tools

    Portable Document Format (PDF) is a file format created by Adobe Systems in 1993 for document exchange. The format includes a subset of the PostScript page description programming language, a font-embedding system, and a structural storage system.

    Over the years PDF has become an extremely important file format. If you want to create documents that can be viewed under all major operating systems, PDF is the ticket, as it maintains the overall look and feel of documents regardless of what platform they are viewed under.

    There is a large range of PDF-related software available with many different applications available that can both output to and open files. Many open source software save documents to this format such as LibreOffice and GIMP.

    The purpose of this Group Test is to highlight high quality small tools that are designed to manipulate PDF files. We are not considering PDF editors, PDF viewers, tools that add an OCR layer to PDF files here. This is because these categories are covered by other legendary Group Tests.

  • Blender short film, new license for Chef, ethics in open source, and more news

    Spring, the latest short film from Blender Animation Studio, premiered on April 4th. The press release on Blender.org describes Spring as "the story of a shepherd girl and her dog, who face ancient spirits in order to continue the cycle of life." The development version of Blender 2.80, as well as other open source tools, were used to create this animated short film. The character and asset files for the film are available from Blender Cloud, and tutorials, walkthroughs, and other instructional material are coming soon.

  • 6 alternatives to OpsGenie for managing monitoring alerts

    Now, if an issue comes up with any of this company's products, the response team should act before the customer (and company) experiences negative effects. There won’t be much of a problem if the response team is immediately there to jump on the issue, but in case they are not, someone from the response team should notify them in some way to reduce the diameter of functional or possible financial losses.

    Here's the problem. People are not able to notice and respond to issues all the time. If you send the response team an email or text message, there is a probability that no one on the team will see it before the issue causes significant financial loss. Also, the response team might already be receiving so many email alerts that even if they are available, they may find it difficult to spot the high-impact issues among the smaller ones. In this situation, you should send someone from the response team a distinct alert, such as making a phone call or messaging a pager. However, if you decide to call, you need to know who is actually available, otherwise you might have to call multiple people until you find the response team member who is ready to jump on a ringing phone at that very moment, which can take even longer if your call is at an odd time for their location.

    Instead, what you need is a tool that not only monitors your systems but also intelligently manages the alert process for the quickest results possible. A popular commercial option is OpsGenie, and in this article, we will talk about open source alternatives to this proprietary option.

today's leftovers

Filed under
Misc
  • An eBPF overview, part 2: Machine & bytecode

    In our first article we introduced the eBPF VM, its intentional design limitations and how to interact with it from a userspace process. If you haven't yet read it, you should probably do so before continuing because starting directly with machine and bytecode specifics can be hard without a proper introduction. If in doubt, see the flowchart at the beginning of part 1.

    The second part of this series takes a more in-depth look at the eBPF VM and program studied in the first part. Having this low level knowledge is not mandatory but can be a very useful foundation for the rest of the series where we examine higher level tools built on top of these mechanisms.

  • Blockchain 2.0 – An Introduction To Hyperledger Project (HLP) [Part 8]

    Once a new technology platform reaches a threshold level of popularity in terms of active development and commercial interests, major global companies and smaller start-ups alike rush to catch a slice of the pie. Linux was one such platform back in the day. Once the ubiquity of its applications was realized individuals, firms, and institutions started displaying their interest in it and by 2000 the Linux foundation was formed.

  • Qt 5.13 Beta 2 Available For Testing Lottie Support, WebAssembly, glTF 2.0 For Qt 3D

    Nearly one month after the release of the Qt 5.13 Beta 1, the second beta of this forthcoming tool-kit upgrade is now available.

    Qt 5.13 is another big upgrade to Qt5 with featuring Lottie support for playable animations, glTF 2.0 import support for assets into Qt 3D, WebAssembly improvements, upgrades the Qt WebEngine against Chromium 73, adds fullscreen-shell-unstable-v1 to Qt Wayland, and removes the old Qt Canvas 3D module.

  • GStreamer Editing Services applies to the Google Season of Docs

    Pitivi is based on the GStreamer Editing Services library. GES makes it easy to manage the timeline of a video project and export it to a new video file, and is carefully built to be reusable by other projects, not only Pitivi.

    Since a few years ago, while not mentoring students for GSoC, we’ve been busy working on Pitivi 1.0. A large part of this was spent on fixing and improving the GES library. Time has come for the GES documentation to also be improved, to attract new users and contributors to the GStreamer ecosystem.

  • Bluestar Linux 5.0.7 Run Through

    In this video, we look at Bluestar Linux 5.0.7.

  • Some Of The Best Open Source VPN Tools

    With the help of VPN connections, You can establish private connections between two networks or points. VPNs are popular due to it’s security features.

    In this post, We are going to write about the best open source VPN tools.

  • On The Block with Parity’s CEO: Snowden, open-source businesses, and surviving the hack

    “We’re seeing young companies that have found business models on top of open source. They recognize it makes sense to collaborate on the foundational layers that are more infrastructure. And then find your competitive edge on a higher level,” she said. She also seemed to hint at profiting from an on-chain founder’s reward model similar to that of ZCash. “[If] you have a protocol that has some payment value mechanism built into it, it should be possible…to build some reward mechanism so that the open source protocol doesn’t suffer.”

  • btLr text direction in Writer, part 2

    All this is available in LibreOffice master (towards 6.3), so you can try it out right now, if interested.

  • Can schools be agile?

    Not surprisingly, a go-to resource I recommend to any school wanting to begin or accelerate this process is The Open Organization by Jim Whitehurst. Not only does the book provide a window into how educators can create more open, inclusive leadership structures—where mutual respect enables nimble decisions to be made per real-time data—but it does so in language easily adaptable to the rather strange lexicon that's second nature to educators. Open organization thinking provides pragmatic ways any organization can empower members to be more open: sharing ideas and resources, embracing a culture of collaborative participation as a top priority, developing an innovation mindset through rapid prototyping, valuing ideas based on merit rather than the rank of the person proposing them, and building a strong sense of community that's baked into the organization's DNA. Such an open organization crowd-sources ideas from both inside and outside its formal structure and creates the type of environment that enables localized, student-centered innovations to thrive.

today's leftovers

Filed under
Misc
  • The Challenges Facing Privacy Apps

    When we talk about privacy as a concept, we tend to drill into the benefits of privacy and the crucial role that it plays in our lives as individuals. In aggregate, privacy extends its role to protect fundamental freedoms that we all agree are pillars to a free and happy society.

    What we don’t talk about is the challenges that privacy apps face, and how often tools are not designed to fulfill the needs of the needs of the end user.

    [...]

    Using software that is open source is a critical piece of the puzzle, because this allows peer review to verify that the developer isn’t collecting unnecessary data to make the app or service work, and that the developers have considered all of the external privacy threats.

    If the software isn’t open source, there’s no way to verify this. You have to implicitly trust that the developer doesn’t want to grab your data for money, which is always in their interest to do. You are hoping that the developer is principled enough to resist the urge to make more money off of you. This is an even greater concern when the application is free. You have to consider how, if not through your data, is the app developer making money?

  • Spy on your smart home with this open source research tool

    Testing the IoT Inspector tool in their lab the researchers say they found a Chromecast device constantly contacting Google’s servers even when not in active use.

  • How To Enable (UP) And Disable (DOWN) A Network Interface Port (NIC) In Linux?
  • The woes of 520-byte sectors

today's leftovers

Filed under
Misc
  • Wine-Staging 4.6 Brings Big Performance Improvement For Multi-Threaded Games / Apps

    Friday's release of Wine 4.6 was exciting in that it started merging the code for WineD3D Vulkan support, now supports a shared Wine-Mono, and other big ticket work. Wine-Staging 4.6 is now available as the latest experimental patches re-based atop the latest upstream Wine. This Wine-Staging update is quite exciting in its own right. 

  • GNU Hackers Meetings - News: Malfunction in ghm-planning (at) gnu.org

    Due to a problem in the alias configuration, mails sent to ghm-planning before Sun Apr 14 8:00 CEST have been silently dropped.

  • FOSSASIA OpenTech Summit’19

    Last month, I attended FOSSASIA’s annual conference which was held in Singapore. This conference was a collection of amazing, life-changing experiences. It was my first experience as a speaker and it taught me so much about the open-source culture. This summit took place from 14th March to 17th March in the beautiful city of Singapore. This was my second foreign trip as well. First one was to San Francisco as a part of the Student Startup Exposure Program.

    My flight was scheduled for 12th March from Jaipur and had a layover at Chennai for 5 hours. I reached the Changi Airport in the early morning of 13th. This airport was quite scenic and is also ranked as the top airport in the world.

  • OpenSUSE's Spectre Mitigation Approach Is One Of The Reasons For Its Slower Performance

    OpenSUSE defaults to IBRS for its Spectre Variant Two mitigations rather than the Retpolines approach and that is one of the reasons for the distribution's slower out-of-the-box performance compared to other Linux distributions. 

    A Phoronix reader pointed out this opensuse-factory mailing list thread citing a "huge single-core performance loss" on a Lenovo laptop when using openSUSE. There's a ~21% performance loss in single-threaded performance around the Spectre Variant Two mitigations, which itself isn't surprising as we've shown time and time again about the performance costs of the Spectre/Meltdown mitigations.

  • Are you missing the potential of dynamic SAP communication?

today's leftovers

Filed under
Misc
  • Technologies on which the world of Instagram exist

    Ubuntu Linux 11.04 is run by Instagram’s engineers on Amazon EC2. This specific version is used because previous Ubuntu versions were found to be unpredictable. They were also freezing a lot on EC2 under high traffic.

  • Bursary applications for DebConf19 are closing in less than 72 hours!

    If you intend to apply for a DebConf19 bursary and have not yet done so, please proceed as soon as possible!

    Bursary applications for DebConf19 will be accepted until April 15th at 23:59 UTC. Applications submitted after this deadline will not be considered.

    You can apply for a bursary when you register for the conference.

  • ntroducing Debian Trends: historical graphs about Debian packaging practices, and “packages smells”

    Following this blog post I did some work on setting up a proper framework to graph historical trends about Debian packaging practices. The result is now available at https://trends.debian.net/, and I’m confident that I will be able to update this on a regular basis (every few months).

    Additionally (and much more controversially I guess Smile ) I also added an analysis of “package smells”, such as “not using dh”, “not using a recent debhelper compat level”, “not using a 3.0 source format”, etc. I understand that in some cases there might be good reasons to keep those “smells”, but I find it valuable to have them presented in a more actionable way to fix the cases that should be fixed. So there’s a list of smells, sorted by maintainer/uploader.

  • Key Differences in Security, Management for Serverless vs. Containers [Ed: Look what we have here; a “sponsored” article from Linux Foundation sponsor, in a site partly controlled by the Foundation. Press coverage for sale at this non-profit.]

    Serverless functions and containers are two of the hottest topics in the IT world today. They’re also two technologies that share a lot in common — after all, both are ways to deploy code inside isolated, discrete environments. They are by no means identical technologies, but in the abstract, they function in similar ways.

  • Patch blues-day: Microsoft yanks code after some PCs are rendered super secure (and unbootable) following update

    A bunch of PCs running the wares of Sophos or Avast have been freezing or failing to start following the installation of patches emitted by Microsoft on 9 April.

    The afflicted are those running Windows 8.1, 7, Server 2008 R2 and Server 2012. Avast for Business and Cloudcare have been hit by the problem, as have PCs running Endpoint Protection managed by Sophos Central or Sophos Enterprise Console (SEC).

    Microsoft said this morning that it had "temporarily blocked devices from receiving this update if the Sophos Endpoint is installed", a move which, sadly, had come a bit late for those afflicted.

  • Microsoft played key role in stopping “Right to Repair” in Washington

    When something breaks, you fix it. It’s common sense.

    Repair saves consumers money, and it reduces the amount of waste that goes on the scrap heap.

    But when only the manufacturer has the ability to fix our electronics, they can charge whatever they want for repairs. They can also push us into buying a brand new product altogether, adding to our waste problems.

    That’s why WashPIRG has supported “Right to Repair” reforms which prevent manufacturers from monopolizing repairs. Earlier this year, Washington’s Right to Repair bill passed out of committee for the second session in a row with strong bipartisan support. But also for the second year in a row, the bill was put on ice before it went to a full floor vote.

  • GnuCash 3.5-1
  • Homeless in Vancouver: Some positives and negatives of Dumpster diving

    Sitting in a window seat of the restaurant, I took the negative and held it, matte emulsion-side-up, flat against the window in front of me. With my other hand I photographed it with my little Dumpster-dived point-and-shoot camera. Then I opened the photo in an image editing program on my laptop called GIMP (Gnu Image Manipulation Program).

  • DragonFly's HAMMER2 File-System Picks Up More Performance Optimizations

    DragonFlyBSD lead developer Matthew Dillon who also created the HAMMER family of file-systems remains quite busy on filling out the remaining features for HAMMER2 and tuning its performance.

    Landing today within the DragonFlyBSD Git code has been the latest HAMMER2 file-system improvements.

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today's leftovers

  • Announcing Akademy 2019 in Milan, Italy (September 7th - 13th)
    Akademy 2019 will be held at the University of Milano-Bicocca in Milan, Italy, from Saturday the 7th to Friday the 13th of September. The conference is expected to draw hundreds of attendees from the global KDE community to discuss and plan the future of the community and its technology. Many participants from the broad Free and Open Source software community, local organizations and software companies will also attend. KDE e.V. is organizing Akademy 2019 with unixMiB — the Linux User Group of the University of Milano-Bicocca. unixMiB aims to spread Open Source philosophy among students.
  • Checking out Crunchbang++
  • Intel Iris Gallium3D Picks Up Conservative Rasterization Support
    On top of Intel's new open-source OpenGL driver seeing some hefty performance optimizations, the Iris Gallium3D driver has picked up another OpenGL extension ahead of the Mesa 19.1 branching.  Iris Gallium3D now supports INTEL_conservative_rasterization alongside the existing support in the i965 driver. INTEL_conservative_rasterization is the several year old Intel extension for seeing if all fragments are at least partially covered by a polygon rather than the default rasterization mode of including fragments with at least one sample covered by a polygon.