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Linux Hardware Reviews & News
Updated: 2 hours 2 min ago

Steam Dev Days Are In 2 Weeks; SteamOS/Linux Will Be Talked About

Monday 26th of September 2016 11:20:24 AM
Coming up in two weeks marks the return of Steam Dev Days. Linux and SteamOS gaming will be talked about there, but so far no indications of Steam Machines...

Pairing LLVM JIT With PostgreSQL Can Speed Up Database Performance

Monday 26th of September 2016 10:59:40 AM
Using the LLVM JIT with PostgreSQL can vastly speed up the query execution performance and shows off much potential but it hasn't been mainlined yet...

Linux 4.8-rc8 Released: Linux 4.8 Next Weekend

Monday 26th of September 2016 10:13:02 AM
Linus Torvalds issued on Sunday night the eighth weekly test version of the Linux 4.8 kernel with the expectation of officially releasing this new kernel next weekend...

The RADV Radeon Vulkan Linux Driver Continues Picking Up Features

Sunday 25th of September 2016 08:29:35 PM
It has been about two weeks since last reporting on "RADV" Radeon Vulkan activities, but development hasn't let up and there has been several feature commits since then on this open-source Vulkan Linux driver for Radeon AMDGPU-interfacing hardware...

Fedora Now Has Bootable RISC-V Disk Images Available

Sunday 25th of September 2016 08:09:41 PM
Fedora has been making a lot of RISC-V build/packaging progress over the past few months while this weekend the milestone was announced that they are hosting clean, RPM-built, bootable disk images for this open-source RISC-V instruction set architecture...

Testing Various HDDs & SSDs On Ubuntu With The Linux 4.8 Kernel

Sunday 25th of September 2016 05:12:07 PM
Here are some fresh benchmarks of various solid-state drives (SATA 3.0 SSDs plus two NVMe M.2 SSDs) as well as two HDDs for getting a fresh look at how they are performing using the Linux 4.8 Git kernel...

PostgreSQL 9.6 Preparing To Release Next Week With Its Parallel Queries Support

Sunday 25th of September 2016 01:06:05 PM
PostgreSQL 9.6 is being prepared for release on 29 September as the database system's latest major update...

SuperTux 0.5 Released With In-Game Level Editor

Sunday 25th of September 2016 12:50:37 PM
SuperTux v0.5 is now available as the newest version of this open-source Tux-themed game inspired by Super Mario Bros...

OpenChrome Maintainer Making Some Progress On VIA DRM Driver

Sunday 25th of September 2016 12:35:36 PM
Independent developer Kevin Brace took over maintaining the OpenChrome DDX driver earlier this year to improve the open-source VIA Linux graphics support while over the summer he's slowly been getting up to speed on development of the OpenChrome DRM driver...

XDC2016 Wraps Up After Many Wayland, X.Org & Mesa Discussions

Saturday 24th of September 2016 10:23:42 PM
The 2016 X.Org Developers' Conference (XDC2016) wrapped up Friday in Helsinki, Finland. Here is a summary of the major happenings for those that may have missed it or didn't yet watch the video streams.

Wayland 1.13 Is Open For Development

Saturday 24th of September 2016 03:01:12 PM
Following this week's Wayland/Weston 1.12 release, Wayland 1.13 and the reference Weston 1.13 compositor are now open for development...

The Ongoing Work Of Nouveau Power Management / Re-Clocking

Saturday 24th of September 2016 02:00:00 PM
In addition to the Nouveau status update talk at XDC2016, Nouveau contributor Karol Herbst had carried out an additional presentation on Friday dedicated to this open-source NVIDIA driver's work on power management and re-clocking...

Libreboot Drama Continues, GNU Might Keep The Project

Saturday 24th of September 2016 01:45:26 PM
It's been one week since the Libreboot downstream of Coreboot announced it would leave the GNU and denounced the FSF over supposedly a transgendered individual having been fired by the this free software group. Both Richard Stallman and the FSF denounced these claims made by Libreboot maintainer Leah Rowe. Since then, no actual proof has been presented to back up these claims by the Libreboot maintainer but the drama around it has seemingly continued...

GDB Continues Improving, libstdc++ Is Doing Well On C++17 & More

Saturday 24th of September 2016 12:48:17 PM
At the GNU Tools Cauldron earlier this month in the UK there was a presentation on forthcoming improvements to the GNU Tools, presented by Nick Clifton as part of the Red Hat Tools Team...

The Student Working On "Soft" FP64 Support Is Good News For Older GPUs

Saturday 24th of September 2016 12:30:16 PM
This summer the student developer Elie Tournier participated in Google Summer of Code to develop a "soft" double-precision floating-point library for Mesa. While GSoC is past, it appears he is committed to seeing this library through and getting into Mesa. With potential soft/emulated ARB_gpu_shader_fp64 support, this could be good news for those GPUs lacking real double precision support...

The Mesa On-Disk Shader Cache Has Been Revised Again (V5)

Saturday 24th of September 2016 12:18:06 PM
Timothy Arceri of Collabora has revised his massive patch-set that implements an on-disk shader cache for the Intel open-source driver...

LXQt 0.11 Released, Improves The User Experience

Saturday 24th of September 2016 12:33:49 AM
It has been nearly one year since the LXQt 0.10 release while today it was succeeded by LXQt v0.11, the newest version of this lightweight, Qt-powered desktop environment...

GCC Preps ARMv8.2-A Support In Mainline

Friday 23rd of September 2016 09:15:20 PM
Landing in the mainline GCC compiler stack for next year's GCC 7.1 release is initial enablement on ARMv8.2-A support...

GNOME 3.22 Now Available On OpenSUSE Tumbleweed

Friday 23rd of September 2016 07:45:02 PM
If you are using openSUSE's Tumbleweed rolling-release Linux distribution, you now have access to the upstream GNOME 3.22 packages...

NVIDIA's Proposal For A New API Better Than GBM Has Already Made Some Progress

Friday 23rd of September 2016 06:26:39 PM
On the first day of the XDC2016 conference this week in Finland NVIDIA presented over their GBM vs. EGLStreams debate that's been ongoing for months with NVIDIA's lack of GBM API support by their driver being what's preventing the binary blob from working with current-generation Wayland compositors. In that session they called for a new community-driven API to suit the needs of device memory / surface allocation and could succeed the Generic Buffer Manager. By the end of XDC2016, some progress has already been made...

More in Tux Machines

LibreOffice Office Suite Celebrates 6 Years of Activity with LibreOffice 5.2.2

Today, September 29, 2016, Italo Vignoli from The Document Foundation informs Softpedia via an email announcement about the general availability of the first point release of the LibreOffice 5.2 open-source and cross-platform office suite. On September 28, the LibreOffice project celebrated its 6th anniversary, and what better way to celebrate than to push a new update of the popular open source and cross-platform office suite used by millions of computer users worldwide. Therefore, we would like to inform our readers about the general availability of LibreOffice 5.2.2, which comes just three weeks after the release of LibreOffice 5.2.1. "Just one day after the project 6th anniversary, The Document Foundation (TDF) announces the availability of LibreOffice 5.2.2, the second minor release of the LibreOffice 5.2 family," says Italo Vignoli. "LibreOffice 5.2.2, targeted at technology enthusiasts, early adopters and power users, provides a number of fixes over the major release announced in August." Read more

OSS Leftovers

  • But is it safe? Uncork a bottle of vintage open-source FUD
    Most of the open source questioners come from larger organisations. Banks very rarely pop up here, and governments have long been hip to using open source. Both have ancient, proprietary systems in place here and there that are finally crumbling to dust and need replacing fast. Their concerns are more oft around risk management and picking the right projects. It’s usually organisations whose business is dealing with actual three dimensional objects that ask about open source. Manufacturing, industrials, oil and gas, mining, and others who have typically looked at IT as, at best, a helper for their business rather than a core product enabler. These industries are witnessing the lighting fast injection of software into their products - that whole “Internet of Things” jag we keep hearing about. Companies here are being forced to look at both using open source in their products and shipping open source as part of their business. The technical and pricing requirements for IoT scale software is a perfect fit for open source, especially that pricing bit. On the other end - peddling open source themselves - companies that are looking to build and sell software-driven “platforms” are finding that partners and developers are not so keen to join closed source ecosystems. These two pulls create some weird clunking in the heads of management at these companies who aren’t used to working with a sandles and rainbow frame of mind. They have a scepticism born of their inexperience with open source. Let’s address some of their trepidation.
  • Real business innovation begins with open practices
    To business leaders, "open source" often sounds too altruistic—and altruism is in short supply on the average balance sheet. But using and contributing to open source makes hard-nosed business sense, particularly as a way of increasing innovation. Today's firms all face increased competition and dynamic markets. Yesterday's big bang can easily become today's cautionary tale. Strategically, the only viable response to this disruption is constantly striving to serve customers better through sustained and continuous innovation. But delivering innovation is hard; the key is to embrace open and collaborative innovation across organizational walls—open innovation. Open source communities' values and practices generate open innovation, and working in open source is a practical, pragmatic way of delivering innovation. To avoid the all-too-real risk of buzzword bingo we can consider two definitions of "innovation": creating value (that serves customer needs) to sell for a profit; or reducing what a firm pays for services.
  • This Week In Servo 79
    In the last week, we landed 96 PRs in the Servo organization’s repositories. Promise support has arrived in Servo, thanks to hard work by jdm, dati91, and mmatyas! This does not fully implement microtasks, but unblocks the uses of Promises in many places (e.g., the WebBluetooth test suite). Emilio rewrote the bindings generation code for rust-bindgen, dramatically improving the flow of the code and output generated when producing Rust bindings for C and C++ code. The TPAC WebBluetooth standards meeting talked a bit about the great progress by the team at the University of Szeged in the context of Servo.
  • Servo Web Engine Now Supports Promises, Continues Churning Along
    It's been nearly two months since last writing about Mozilla's Servo web layout engine (in early August, back when WebRender2 landed) but development has kept up and they continue enabling more features for this next-generation alternative to Gecko. The latest is that Servo now supports JavaScript promises. If you are unfamiliar with the promise support, see this guide. The latest Servo code has improvements around its Rust binding generator for C and C++ code plus other changes.
  • Riak TS for time series analysis at scale
    Until recently, doing time series analysis at scale was expensive and almost exclusively the domain of large enterprises. What made time series a hard and expensive problem to tackle? Until the advent of the NoSQL database, scaling up to meet increasing velocity and volumes of data generally meant scaling hardware vertically by adding CPUs, memory, or additional hard drives. When combined with database licensing models that charged per processor core, the cost of scaling was simply out of reach for most. Fortunately, the open source community is democratising large scale data analysis rapidly, and I am lucky enough to work at a company making contributions in this space. In my talk at All Things Open this year, I'll introduce Riak TS, a key-value database optimized to store and retrieve time series data for massive data sets, and demonstrate how to use it in conjunction with three other open source tools—Python, Pandas, and Jupyter—to build a completely open source time series analysis platform. And it doesn't take all that long.
  • Free Software Directory meeting recap for September 23rd, 2016

Security News

  • security things in Linux v4.5
  • Time to Kill Security Questions—or Answer Them With Lies
    The notion of using robust, random passwords has become all but mainstream—by now anyone with an inkling of security sense knows that “password1” and “1234567” aren’t doing them any favors. But even as password security improves, there’s something even more problematic that underlies them: security questions. Last week Yahoo revealed that it had been massively hacked, with at least 500 million of its users’ data compromised by state sponsored intruders. And included in the company’s list of breached data weren’t just the usual hashed passwords and email addresses, but the security questions and answers that victims had chosen as a backup means of resetting their passwords—supposedly secret information like your favorite place to vacation or the street you grew up on. Yahoo’s data debacle highlights how those innocuous-seeming questions remain a weak link in our online authentication systems. Ask the security community about security questions, and they’ll tell you that they should be abolished—and that until they are, you should never answer them honestly. From their dangerous guessability to the difficulty of changing them after a major breach like Yahoo’s, security questions have proven to be deeply inadequate as contingency mechanisms for passwords. They’re meant to be a reliable last-ditch recovery feature: Even if you forget a complicated password, the thinking goes, you won’t forget your mother’s maiden name or the city you were born in. But by relying on factual data that was never meant to be kept secret in the first place—web and social media searches can often reveal where someone grew up or what the make of their first car was—the approach puts accounts at risk. And since your first pet’s name never changes, your answers to security questions can be instantly compromised across many digital services if they are revealed through digital snooping or a data breach.
  • LibreSSL and the latest OpenSSL security advisory
    Just a quick note that LibreSSL is not impacted by either of the issues mentioned in the latest OpenSSL security advisory - both of the issues exist in code that was added to OpenSSL in the last release, which is not present in LibreSSL.
  • Record-breaking DDoS reportedly delivered by >145k hacked cameras
    Last week, security news site KrebsOnSecurity went dark for more than 24 hours following what was believed to be a record 620 gigabit-per-second denial of service attack brought on by an ensemble of routers, security cameras, or other so-called Internet of Things devices. Now, there's word of a similar attack on a French Web host that peaked at a staggering 1.1 terabits per second, more than 60 percent bigger. The attacks were first reported on September 19 by Octave Klaba, the founder and CTO of OVH. The first one reached 1.1 Tbps while a follow-on was 901 Gbps. Then, last Friday, he reported more attacks that were in the same almost incomprehensible range. He said the distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks were delivered through a collection of hacked Internet-connected cameras and digital video recorders. With each one having the ability to bombard targets with 1 Mbps to 30 Mbps, he estimated the botnet had a capacity of 1.5 Tbps. On Monday, Klaba reported that more than 6,800 new cameras had joined the botnet and said further that over the previous 48 hours the hosting service was subjected to dozens of attacks, some ranging from 100 Gbps to 800 Gbps. On Wednesday, he said more than 15,000 new devices had participated in attacks over the past 48 hours.

Android Leftovers