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An Ubuntu blog bringing you the latest Ubuntu news, apps, interview and reviews, daily.
Updated: 3 hours 14 min ago

Superpaper 2.0 is an Advanced Multi-Monitor Wallpaper App for Windows & Linux

Tuesday 5th of May 2020 07:51:15 PM

I wrote about Superpaper, an advanced multi-monitor wallpaper tool for Linux and Windows, last year, finding it particularly good at what it sets out to do.

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How to Make VLC Look at Home on Ubuntu 20.04

Monday 4th of May 2020 03:33:01 PM

Want VLC to look more at home on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS? If you do then download this Yaru Dark VLC skin. It themes the media player based on the Yaru GTK theme.

This post, How to Make VLC Look at Home on Ubuntu 20.04 is from OMG! Ubuntu!. Do not reproduce elsewhere without permission.

Android Screen Mirror Tool ‘Scrcpy’ Adds Rotation Lock, Improves Quality

Sunday 3rd of May 2020 04:33:25 PM

Handy mobile tool scrcpy app gains rotation locking and improved quality on smaller displays through trilinear filtering in its latest release.

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How to Freeze Ubuntu By Pressing One Key (Don’t Try This at Home)

Friday 1st of May 2020 02:56:41 PM

Fool around with function keys in Ubuntu at your own peril folks, 'cos today I came across a frustrating (if middle funny) bug that can freeze the desktop.

This post, How to Freeze Ubuntu By Pressing One Key (Don’t Try This at Home) is from OMG! Ubuntu!. Do not reproduce elsewhere without permission.

Xubuntu has made a video to show off its newest release

Friday 1st of May 2020 02:01:00 AM

With the weekend approaching you might be planning to take some of the official Ubuntu 20.04 flavours for a spin — if so, Xubuntu has a little something to tempt you its way.

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Pop!_OS 20.04 is here, and it boasts impressive new features

Thursday 30th of April 2020 10:53:00 PM

Pop OS 20.04 is available to download based on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS. The update features some major new desktop features that we take a look at in this post.

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Ubuntu 20.10 Daily Builds Now Available to Download

Thursday 30th of April 2020 04:29:46 PM

Buckle up for the ride as you can now download Ubuntu 20.10 daily builds for testing! Freshly spun ISOs of what will become the next stable Ubuntu release will be produced each and every day […]

This post, Ubuntu 20.10 Daily Builds Now Available to Download is from OMG! Ubuntu!. Do not reproduce elsewhere without permission.

‘Folder Color’ Now Works with Ubuntu 20.04 and the Yaru Icon Set

Wednesday 29th of April 2020 10:47:14 PM

A new add-on for the Folder Colors tool is available. When installed it lets you instantly change folder colors on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS with the Yaru icon set.

This post, ‘Folder Color’ Now Works with Ubuntu 20.04 and the Yaru Icon Set is from OMG! Ubuntu!. Do not reproduce elsewhere without permission.

VLC 3.0.10 Adds SMB2/3 Support, Improved Chromecast Audio

Tuesday 28th of April 2020 11:55:30 PM

VLC 3.0.10 is out with various fixes and improvements, including support for SMB2/3 shares, adaptive streaming, and better audio quality with Chromecast.

This post, VLC 3.0.10 Adds SMB2/3 Support, Improved Chromecast Audio is from OMG! Ubuntu!. Do not reproduce elsewhere without permission.

BleachBit, the Open Source System Cleaner, Sees New Release

Tuesday 28th of April 2020 10:24:52 PM

System cleaner Bleachbit 4.0 is now available to download for Linux and Windows. In this post I recap the core changes (spoiler: it involves Python 3).

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Regolith Linux 1.4 Released Based on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS

Tuesday 28th of April 2020 08:30:29 PM

Learn what's new in Regolith Linux 1.4, the latest version of the i3-based Ubuntu spin, in this post. There's a new theme, a new login manger, and more.

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Fedora 32 is Now Available to Download, This is What’s New

Tuesday 28th of April 2020 03:53:16 PM

Fedora 32 is available to download. The major update contains in six months worth of development, including GNOME 3.36, Linux 5.6 and more.

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Ubuntu 20.04 is Now Available from the Microsoft Store

Tuesday 28th of April 2020 01:02:01 AM

Ubuntu 20.04 LTS is now available to download from the Microsoft Store on Windows 10, arriving just ahead of May 2020 Windows 10 feature update and WSL 2.

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Lenovo is Bringing Fedora Linux to its ThinkPad Laptops

Monday 27th of April 2020 04:29:06 PM

Lenovo Linux laptops preinstalled with Fedora Workstation will be available to buy later this year. The OS will be available on a range of ThinkPad models.

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And We’re Off: Ubuntu 20.10 Development Officially Begins

Monday 27th of April 2020 11:52:45 AM

Work on Ubuntu 20.10 'Groovy Gorilla' is now officially underway, with developer Lukasz Zemczak announcing the news on the Ubuntu developer mailing list.

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Kdenlive 20.04 Released with Major Updates, Including Better Motion Tracking

Sunday 26th of April 2020 02:28:21 PM

A new version of Kdenlive, the Qt-based open source video editor is now out with rotoscoping, motion tracking, keyframe, and clip management improvements.

This post, Kdenlive 20.04 Released with Major Updates, Including Better Motion Tracking is from OMG! Ubuntu!. Do not reproduce elsewhere without permission.

Ubuntu 20.04 Supports Fingerprint Login, Improvements Planned

Friday 24th of April 2020 03:03:22 PM

You can login to Ubuntu using your fingerprint in the latest LTS release, but Ubuntu and GNOME devs are working together to improve the experience.

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Ubuntu 20.10 Codename Revealed – And It’s Kinda Groovy, Baby

Friday 24th of April 2020 12:54:53 PM

The Ubuntu 20.10 codename has been revealed in all of its glory — and if you thought the 'Disco Dingo' was a far out name, wait until you meet the Groovy Gorilla!

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Ubuntu User Survey Results Reveal Some Interesting Things

Friday 24th of April 2020 11:45:12 AM

Ubuntu has shared the results of a user survey that close to 22,000 people took part in. Feedback included calls for better gaming support and more Snaps.

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10 Things To Do After Installing Ubuntu 20.04 LTS – And 4 Things You Shouldn’t!

Thursday 23rd of April 2020 03:30:00 PM

These 10 things to do after you install Ubuntu 20.04 LTS help improve the Ubuntu experience so you can do more and get more from it — so read on!

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More in Tux Machines

Hardware Freedom: 3D Printing, RasPi and RPi CM3 Module

  • Can 3D Printing Really Solve PPE Shortage in COVID-19 Crisis? The Myth, and The Facts!

    Amid COVID-19 crisis, we see severe shortage of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) worldwide, to the point that a strict organization like FDA is making exceptions for PPE usage, and there are volunteer effors to try to alleviate this shortage like GetUsPPE. Also, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) provides an Excel spreadsheet file to help calculate the PPE Burn Rate. There are many blog posts, video tutorials, and guides that teach people how to print their face shields and masks.

  • Raspberry Pi won’t let your watched pot boil
  • Growing fresh veggies with Rpi and Mender

    Some time ago my wife and I decided to teach our kids how to grow plants. We both have experience as we were raised in small towns where it was common to own a piece of land where you could plant home-grown fresh veggies. The upbringing of our kids is very different compared to ours, and we realized we never showed our kids how to grow our own veggies. We wanted them to learn and to understand that “the vegetables do not grow on the shop-shelf”, and that there is work (and fun) involved to grow those. The fact that we are gone for most of the summer and to start our own garden just to see it die when we returned seemed to be pointless. This was a challenge. Luckily, me being a hands-on engineer I promised my wife to take care of it. There were two options: we could buy something that will water our plants when we are gone, or I could do it myself (with a little help from our kids). Obviously I chose the more fun solution…

  • Comfile Launches 15-inch Industrial Raspberry Pi Touch Panel PC Powered by RPi CM3 Module

    Three years ago, we noted Comfile has made 7-inch and 10.2-inch touch panel PC’s powered by Raspberry Pi 3 Compute Module. The company has recently introduced a new model with a very similar design except for a larger 15-inch touchscreen display with 1024×768 resolution. ComfilePi CPi-A150WR 15-inch industrial Raspberry Pi touch panel PC still features the CM3 module, and the same ports including Ethernet, USB ports, RS232, RS485, and I2C interfaces accessible via terminal blocks, and a 40-pin I/O header.

Programming: Vala, Perl and Python

  • Excellent Free Tutorials to Learn Vala

    Vala is an object-oriented programming language with a self-hosting compiler that generates C code and uses the GObject system. Vala combines the high-level build-time performance of scripting languages with the run-time performance of low-level programming languages. Vala is syntactically similar to C# and includes notable features such as anonymous functions, signals, properties, generics, assisted memory management, exception handling, type inference, and foreach statements. Its developers, Jürg Billeter and Raffaele Sandrini, wanted to bring these features to the plain C runtime with little overhead and no special runtime support by targeting the GObject object system. Rather than compiling directly to machine code or assembly language, it compiles to a lower-level intermediate language. It source-to-source compiles to C, which is then compiled with a C compiler for a given platform, such as GCC. Did you always want to write GTK+ or GNOME programs, but hate C with a passion? Learn Vala with these free tutorials! Vala is published under the GNU Lesser General Public License v2.1+.

  • Supporting Perl-related creators via Patreon

    Yesterday I posted about this in the Perl Weekly newsletter and both Mohammad and myself got 10 new supporters. This is awesome. There are not many ways to express the fact that you really value the work of someone. You can send them postcards or thank-you notes, but when was the last time you remembered to do that? Right, I also keep forgetting to thank the people who create all the free and awesome stuff I use. Giving money as a way to express your thanks is frowned upon by many people, but trust me, the people who open an account on Patreon to make it easy to donate them money will appreciate it. In any case it is way better than not saying anything.

  • 2020.31 TwentyTwenty

    JJ Merelo kicked off the special 20-day Advent Blog cycle in honour of the publication of the first RFC that would lay the foundation for the Raku Programming Language as we now know it. After that, 3 blog posts got already published:

  • Supporting The Full Lifecycle Of Machine Learning Projects With Metaflow

    Netflix uses machine learning to power every aspect of their business. To do this effectively they have had to build extensive expertise and tooling to support their engineers. In this episode Savin Goyal discusses the work that he and his team are doing on the open source machine learning operations platform Metaflow. He shares the inspiration for building an opinionated framework for the full lifecycle of machine learning projects, how it is implemented, and how they have designed it to be extensible to allow for easy adoption by users inside and outside of Netflix. This was a great conversation about the challenges of building machine learning projects and the work being done to make it more achievable.

  • Django 3.1 Released

    The Django team is happy to announce the release of Django 3.1.

  • Awesome Python Applications: buku

    buku: Browser-independent bookmark manager with CLI and web server frontends, with integrations for browsers, cloud-based bookmark managers, and emacs.

  • PSF GSoC students blogs: Week 9 Check-in

DRM and Proprietary Software Leftovers

  • Some Photoshop users can try Adobe’s anti-misinformation system later this year

    Adobe pitched the CAI last year as a general anti-misinformation and pro-attribution tool, but many details remained in flux. A newly released white paper makes its scope clearer. The CAI is primarily a more persistent, verifiable type of image metadata. It’s similar to the standard EXIF tags that show the location or date of a photograph, but with cryptographic signatures that let you verify the tags haven’t been changed or falsely applied to a manipulated photo.

    People can still download and edit the image, take a screenshot of it, or interact the way they would any picture. Any CAI metadata tags will show that the image was manipulated, however. Adobe is basically encouraging adding valuable context and viewing any untagged photos with suspicion, rather than trying to literally stop plagiarism or fakery. “There will always be bad actors,” says Adobe community products VP Will Allen. “What we want to do is provide consumers a way to go a layer deeper — to actually see what happened to that asset, who it came from, where it came from, and what happened to it.”

    The white paper makes clear that Adobe will need lots of hardware and software support for the system to work effectively. CAI-enabled cameras (including both basic smartphones and high-end professional cameras) would need to securely add tags for dates, locations, and other details. Photo editing tools would record how an image has been altered — showing that a journalist adjusted the light balance but didn’t erase or add any details. And social networks or other sites would need to display the information and explain why users should care about it.

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  • EFF and ACLU Tell Federal Court that Forensic Software Source Code Must Be Disclosed
           
             

    Can secret software be used to generate key evidence against a criminal defendant? In an amicus filed ten days ago with the United States District Court of the Western District of Pennsylvania, EFF and the ACLU of Pennsylvania explain that secret forensic technology is inconsistent with criminal defendants’ constitutional rights and the public’s right to oversee the criminal trial process. Our amicus in the case of United States v. Ellis also explains why source code, and other aspects of forensic software programs used in a criminal prosecution, must be disclosed in order to ensure that innocent people do not end up behind bars, or worse—on death row.

             

    The Constitution guarantees anyone accused of a crime due process and a fair trial. Embedded in those foundational ideals is the Sixth Amendment right to confront the evidence used against you. As the Supreme Court has recognized, the Confrontation Clause’s central purpose was to ensure that evidence of a crime was reliable by subjecting it to rigorous testing and challenges. This means that defendants must be given enough information to allow them to examine and challenge the accuracy of evidence relied on by the government.

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  • Powershell Bot with Multiple C2 Protocols
                     
                       

    I spotted another interesting Powershell script. It's a bot and is delivered through a VBA macro that spawns an instance of msbuild.exe This Windows tool is often used to compile/execute malicious on the fly (I already wrote a diary about this technique[1]). I don’t have the original document but based on a technique used in the macro, it is part of a Word document. It calls Document_ContentControlOnEnter[2]: [...]

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  • FBI Used Information From An Online Forum Hacking To Track Down One Of The Hackers Behind The Massive Twitter Attack
           
             

    As Mike reported last week, the DOJ rounded up three alleged participants in the massive Twitter hack that saw dozens of verified accounts start tweeting out promises to double the bitcoin holdings of anyone who sent bitcoin to a certain account.

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  • Twitter Expects to Pay 9-Figure Fine for Violating FTC Agreement
                         
                           

    That means that the complaint is not related to last month’s high-profile [cr]ack of prominent accounts on the service. That security incident saw accounts from the likes of Joe Biden and Elon Musk ask followers to send them bitcoin. A suspect was arrested in the incident last month.

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  • Twitter Expects to Pay Up to $250 Million in FTC Fine Over Alleged Privacy Violations
                         
                           

    Twitter disclosed that it anticipates being forced to pay an FTC fine of $150 million to $250 million related to alleged violations over the social network’s use of private data for advertising.

                           

    The company revealed the expected scope of the fine in a 10-Q filing with the SEC. Twitter said that on July 28 it received a draft complaint from the Federal Trade Commission alleging the company violated a 2011 consent order, which required Twitter to establish an information-security program designed to “protect non-public consumer information.”

                           

    “The allegations relate to the Company’s use of phone number and/or email address data provided for safety and security purposes for targeted advertising during periods between 2013 and 2019,” Twitter said in the filing.

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  • Apple removes more than 26,000 games from China app store
                     
                       

    Apple pulled 29,800 apps from its China app store on Saturday, including more than 26,000 games, according to Qimai Research Institute.

                       

    The removals are in response to Beijing's crackdown on unlicensed games, which started in June and intensified in July, Bloomberg reported. This brings an end to the unofficial practice of letting games be published while awaiting approval from Chinese censors.

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  • Intuit Agrees to Buy Singapore Inventory Software Maker
                     
                       

    Intuit will pay more than $80 million for TradeGecko, according to people familiar with the matter, marking one of the biggest exits in Singapore since the Covid-19 pandemic. TradeGecko has raised more than $20 million to date from investors including Wavemaker Partners, Openspace Ventures and Jungle Ventures.

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  • Justice Department Is Scrutinizing Takeover of Credit Karma by Intuit, Maker of TurboTax
           
             

    The probe comes after ProPublica first reported in February that antitrust experts viewed the deal as concerning because it could allow a dominant firm to eliminate a competitor with an innovative business model. Intuit already dominates online tax preparation, with a 67% market share last year. The article sparked letters from Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., and Rep. David Cicilline, D-R.I., urging the DOJ to investigate further. Cicilline is chair of the House Judiciary Committee’s antitrust subcommittee.

Security Leftovers

           
  • DNS configuration recommendations for IPFire users

    If you are familiar with IPFire, you might have noticed DNSSEC validation is mandatory, since it defeats entire classes of attacks. We receive questions like "where is the switch to turn off DNSSEC" on a regular basis, and to say it once and for all: There is none, and there will never be one. If you are running IPFire, you will be validating DNSSEC. Period. Another question frequently asked is why IPFire does not support filtering DNS replies for certain FQDNs, commonly referred to as a Response Policy Zone (RPZ). This is because an RPZ does what DNSSEC attempts to secure users against: Tamper with DNS responses. From the perspective of a DNSSEC-validating system, a RPZ will just look like an attacker (if the queried FQDN is DNSSEC-signed, which is what we strive for as much of them as possible), thus creating a considerable amount of background noise. Obviously, this makes detecting ongoing attacks very hard, most times even impossible - the haystack to search just becomes too big. Further, it does not cover direct connections to hardcoded IP addresses, which is what some devices and attackers usually do, as it does not rely on DNS to be operational and does not leave any traces. Using an RPZ will not make your network more secure, it just attempts to cover up the fact that certain devices within it cannot be trusted. Back to DNSSEC: In case the queried FQDNs are signed, forged DNS replies are detected since they do not match the RRSIG records retrieved for that domain. Instead of being transparently redirected to a fradulent web server, the client will only display a error message to its user, indicating a DNS lookup failure. Large-scale attacks by returning forged DNS replies are frequently observed in the wild (the DNSChanger trojan is a well-known example), which is why you want to benefit from validating DNSSEC and more and more domains being signed with it.

  • Security updates for Tuesday

    Security updates have been issued by Debian (libx11, webkit2gtk, and zabbix), Fedora (webkit2gtk3), openSUSE (claws-mail, ghostscript, and targetcli-fb), Red Hat (dbus, kpatch-patch, postgresql-jdbc, and python-pillow), Scientific Linux (libvncserver and postgresql-jdbc), SUSE (kernel and python-rtslib-fb), and Ubuntu (ghostscript, sqlite3, squid3, and webkit2gtk). 

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  • Official 1Password Linux App is Available for Testing

    An official 1Password Linux app is on the way, and brave testers are invited to try an early development preview. 1Password is a user-friendly (and rather popular) cross-platform password manager. It provides mobile apps and browser extensions for Windows, macOS, Android, iOS, Google Chrome, Edge, Firefox — and now a dedicated desktop app for Linux, too.

  •        
  • FBI Warns of Increased DDoS Attacks

    The Federal Bureau of Investigation warned in a “private industry notification” last week that attackers are increasingly using amplification techniques in distributed denial-of-service attacks. There has been an uptick in attack attempts since February, the agency’s Cyber Division said in the alert. An amplification attack occurs when attackers send a small number of requests to a server and the server responds with numerous responses. The attackers spoof the IP address to make it look like the requests are coming from a specific victim, and the resulting responses overwhelms the victim’s network. “Cyber actors have exploited built-in network protocols, designed to reduce computation overhead of day-to-day system and operational functions to conduct larger and more destructive distributed denial-of-service amplification attacks against US networks,” the FBI alert said. Copies of the alert were posted online by several recipients, including threat intelligence company Bad Packets.

  • NSA issues BootHole mitigation guidance

    Following the disclosure of a widespread buffer-flow vulnerability that could affect potentially billions of Linux and Windows-based devices, the National Security Agency issued a follow-up cybersecurity advisory highlighting the bug and offering steps for mitigation. The vulnerability -- dubbed BootHole -- impacts devices and operating systems that use signed versions of the open-source GRUB2 bootloader software found in most Linux systems. It also affects any system or device using Secure Boot -- a root firmware interface responsible for validating the booting process -- with Microsoft's standard third party certificate authority. The vulnerability enables attackers to bypass Secure Boot to allow arbitrary code execution and “could be used to install persistent and stealthy bootkits,” NSA said in a press statement.