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March 2020

Linux Kernel: Linux 5.7, Linux Security and Intel Gen9 Graphics On Linux

Filed under
Linux
  • AMD Sensor Fusion Hub Laptop Driver Unlikely To Land For Linux 5.7

    While we were hoping to see the AMD Sensor Fusion Hub driver introduced in Linux 5.7 for improving the AMD Ryzen Linux laptop experience, that now looks quite unlikely.

    This driver has been sought after by AMD Linux laptop customers since 2018 for supporting the accelerometer, gyroscopic sensors, and other functionality on modern AMD laptops, similar to the Intel Sensor Hub. Patches for the AMD Sensor Fusion Hub (AMD-SFH) driver for Linux were posted in January and underwent a few rounds of review.

  • Amazon Engineer's Patch For Flushing L1 Cache On Context Switching Revved

    Earlier this month there was the proposal by a Linux kernel engineer for Amazon to flush the L1 data cache on context switches as another safeguard against the ever increasing CPU vulnerabilities.

    The motivation for flushing the L1d cache on context switches is driven as a result of Intel's data sampling vulnerabilities and this safeguard would be an opt-in feature for those paranoid about system security. Flushing the L1 cache would ensure the data is not being snooped or leaked following a context switch but with all of the cache flushing could significantly hamper the system performance.

  • HDR Display Support Coming To Some Intel Gen9 Graphics On Linux

    For the very common Intel "Gen9" graphics found on pretty much all current pre-Icelake hardware that is available through retail channels, high dynamic range (HDR) display support could soon be enabled under Linux for a subset of devices.

Ubuntu 18.04 vs. 20.04 LTS Performance Preview With Intel Xeon Scalable

Filed under
Graphics/Benchmarks

There is less than one month to go until the official release of Ubuntu 20.04 LTS "Focal Fossa" but we've already begun experimenting with it for weeks across a variety of platforms. For the most part we have found Ubuntu 20.04 slated to offer some nice performance improvements, especially if upgrading from the existing LTS series, Ubuntu 18.04. In this article are our initial benchmarks looking at the Intel Xeon Scalable from Ubuntu 18.04 LTS to the current 20.04 near-final state.

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Linux 5.6

Filed under
Linux

So I'll admit to vacillating between doing this 5.6 release and doing
another -rc.

This has a bit more changes than I'd like, but they are mostly from
davem's networking fixes pulls, and David feels comfy with them. And I
looked over the diff, and none of it looks scary. It's just slightly
more than I'd have preferred at this stage - not doesn't really seem
worth delaying a release over.

So about half the diff from the final week is network driver fixlets,
and some minor core networking fixes. Another 20% is tooling - mostly
bpf and netfilter selftests (but also some perf work).

The rest is "misc" - mostly random drivers (gpio, rdma, input) and DTS
files. With a smattering of fixes elsewhere (a couple of afs fixes,
some vm fixes, etc).

The shortlog is appended, nothing really looks all that exciting, and
most of the discussions I've seen are already about things for the
next merge window.

Which obviously opens now as of the release, and I'll start doing
pulls tomorrow. I already have a couple of pull requests in pending in
my inbox - thank you.

And while I haven't really seen any real sign of kernel development
being impacted by all the coronavirus activity - I suspect a lot of us
work from home even normally, and my daughter laughed at me and called
me a "social distancing champ" the other day - it may be worth just
mentioning: I think we're all reading the news and slightly
distracted.  I'm currently going by the assumption that we'll have a
fairly normal 5.7 release, and there doesn't seem to be any signs
saying otherwise, but hey, people may have better-than-usual reasons
for missing the merge window. Let me know if you know of some
subsystem that ends up being affected.

So we'll play it by ear and see what happens. It's not like the merge
window is more important than your health, or the health of people
around you.

                  Linus

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Openwashing Leftovers

Filed under
OSS

'Open' Surveillance 'Apps'

Filed under
OSS
  • Singapore to open-source national Coronavirus encounter-tracing app and the Bluetooth research behind it

    The app, named TraceTogether and its government is urging citizens to run so that if they encounter a Coronavirus carrier, it’s easier to trace who else may have been exposed to the virus. With that info in hand, health authorities are better-informed about who needs to go into quarantine and can focus their resources on those who most need assistance.

    The app is opt-in and doesn’t track users through space, instead recording who you have encountered. To do so, it requires Bluetooth and location services to be turned on when another phone running the app comes into range exchanges four nuggets of information - a timestamp, Bluetooth signal strength, the phone’s model, and a temporary identifier or device nickname. While location services are required, the app doesn't track users, instead helping to calculate distances between them.

  • Singapore says it will make its contact tracing tech freely available to developers

    Less than a week after launching an app to track potential exposure to the coronavirus, Singapore is making the technology freely available to developers worldwide.

    The city-state rolled out an app called TraceTogether on March 20 and described it as a supplementary tool for its contact tracing efforts that relied on the recall and memory of infected individuals. Contact tracing is the process of identifying those with close contact with infected patients.

  • Over 600k users installed TraceTogether, app to be made open source

    A mobile application developed by the Government Technology Agency (GovTech) that helps in contact tracing for Covid-19 has been installed by more than 620,000 users since its launch last Friday.

    With a decision to make the technology behind it available to developers around the world, even more people could stand to benefit.

    Developed in collaboration with the Health Ministry (MOH), the TraceTogether mobile app works by exchanging short-distance Bluetooth signals between phones.

  • 620,000 people installed TraceTogether in 3 days, S’pore’s open source contact tracing app

    TraceTogether, a mobile app to support contact tracing efforts developed by the Government Technology Agency (GovTech), in collaboration with the Ministry of Health (MOH), was launched on Friday, Mar. 20.

  • The Shield: the open source Israeli Government app which warns of Coronavirus exposure
  • Israel Unveils Open Source App to Warn Users of Coronavirus Cases

    A new Israeli app can instantly tell users if they have crossed paths with someone known to have been infected with the coronavirus.

    On Sunday, the country’s health ministry unveiled the app, called “The Shield”(“HaMagen”, in Hebrew.) The app takes location data from the user’s phone and compares it with the information in Health Ministry servers regarding the location histories of confirmed cases during the 14 days before their diagnosis.

OSS Leftovers

Filed under
OSS
  • Open source platforms, flexible airframes for new drones

    Multirotor drones excel at vertical lift and hover, while fixed wing drones are great at both distance and wide-open spaces. In February, Auterion Government Solutions and Quantum-Systems announced a two-pronged approach to the rotor- or fixed-wing drone market, with a pair of drones that use the same sensor packages and fuselage to operate as either the Scorpion Trirotor or the Vector fixed wing craft.

    “As we started to develop our tactical UAS Platform, our plan was only to develop a VTOL fixed wing solution (like our Vector),” said Florian Siebel, managing director of Quantum-Systems. “During the development process we decided to build a Tri-Copter Platform as well, as a result of many discussions with law enforcement agencies and Search and Rescue Units.”
    Adapting the fixed-wing fuselage to the tri-copter attachments means the drone can now operate in narrow spaces and harsh conditions. Scorpion, with the rotors, can fly for about 45 minutes, with a cruising speed of zero to 33 mph. Put the fixed wings back on for Vector, and the flight time is now two hours, with a cruising speed of 33 to 44 mph.

  • IEEE Standards Association Launches a Platform for Open Source Collaboration
  • Greg Smith on the strengths and drawbacks of open source software

    There are a lot of tire models available in the world. Most are closed source (or black box), meaning the program code behind them is not available to end users. This is understandable as the code can easily be licensed and its development paid for. Everyone’s got to make a living! This approach, however, makes it much harder to get the best out of the models – if you can’t see their internal workings, it’s harder to maximize their usefulness.

    Other models, such as Magic Formula, are effectively open source, with the equations published in books and journal papers. This means that anyone (if they invest the time) can build and use their own Magic Formula solvers and, in the process, learn the details of how the model works.

    In April 2015, during a session at the 4th International Tire Colloquium at Surrey University, UK, the general idea of open sourcing was discussed. In attendance were various figures from the commercial tire model development community, representatives from car and tire companies who use the models, and a large group of academics involved in more fundamental research. Issues were raised regarding everything from intellectual property concerns and licensing through to technical advances, development strategies and training. Boiling all this down, most discussions centered on one of two approaches.

  • First open-source AI for driverless agricultural vehicles
  • Huawei announced AI Computing Framework MindSpore as Open Source

    During the Huawei 2020 Developer Conference continues online, bringing the latest progress of The Wei Peng and Yan Teng Ecology. According to the agenda of the meeting, the first day of the developer conference (March 27) will focus on Peng Peng, the next day (March 28) will focus on The Teng.

  • New Chinese open-source AI platform launched

    Megvii Technology Limited has announced the launch of a new open-source artificial intelligence platform for developers, Shanghai Daily learned on Thursday.

    Other firms offering such platforms include tech giants like Google, Amazon, Facebook, Microsoft and Baidu.

  • Open-source AI infrastructure to boost innovation in China

    From smart fever-screening at subway stations to scan-reading diagnosis, artificial intelligence (AI) is on the frontline of China's battle against the novel coronavirus.

    Behind the smart systems are deep-learning frameworks that emulate the way the human brain learns, like recognizing patterns and coping with ambiguity.

  • Megvii makes deep learning AI framework open-source as China moves to reduce reliance on US platforms
  • Noble.AI Contributes to TensorFlow, Google's Open-Source AI Library and the Most Popular Deep Learning Framework

    Noble.AI, whose artificial intelligence (AI) software is purpose-built for engineers, scientists, and researchers and enables them to innovate and make discoveries faster, today announced that it had completed contributions to TensorFlow, the world's most popular open-source framework for deep learning created by Google.

  • Google open-sources framework that reduces AI training costs by up to 80%

    Google researchers recently published a paper describing a framework — SEED RL — that scales AI model training to thousands of machines. They say that it could facilitate training at millions of frames per second on a machine while reducing costs by up to 80%, potentially leveling the playing field for startups that couldn’t previously compete with large AI labs.

  • A case study: Improving patient outcomes with Open Source

    South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust (SLaM) provides the widest range of NHS mental health services in the UK with 52 inpatient wards, outpatient, and community services. As recognition of their digital accomplishments, SLaM have been awarded GDE (Global Digital Exemplar) status.

    Following a two-year pilot of Open-eObs software, the trust had proven the long-term benefits of an open source approach and needed a supplier to further drive their digital ambition.

Programming: Java, Python, Perl and More

Filed under
Development
  • Azul Systems Extends Open Source Java Offerings with a new Zulu Distribution of OpenJDK 14
  • Azul Systems brews up fresh blend for open source Java

    Java runtime solutions company Azul Systems has announced the general availability of its Zulu release of OpenJDK 14 builds.

    [...]

    All Zulu 14 JDKs and JREs are verified against and pass the TCK certification tests required to ensure the correct execution of Java SE 14 applications.

  • Python File I/O

    Start writing here..In this article, you'll learn about Python file operations. More specifically, opening a file, reading from it, writing into it, closing it and various file methods you should be aware of.
    What is a file?
    File is a named location on disk to store related information. It is used to permanently store data in a non-volatile memory (e.g. hard disk).

    Since, random access memory (RAM) is volatile which loses its data when computer is turned off, we use files for future use of the data.

  • Python: Pros and Cons of Lambda

    lambda is a keyword in Python, we use it to create an anonymous function. So we also call lambda functions as anonymous functions.

  • Learning pandas by Exploring COVID-19 Data

    The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control provides daily-updated worldwide COVID-19 data that is easy to download in JSON, CSV or XML formats. In this tutorial, we will use the pandas data analysis tool on the comma-separated values (CSV) data to learn some of the basic pandas commands and explore what is contained within the data set.

  • Rotation in R^2 - CY's take on PWC#053 Task 1

    This is a part of Perl Weekly Challenge(PWC) #053 and the followings are related to my solution. If you want to challenge yourself on Perl, go to https://perlweeklychallenge.org, code the latest challenges, submit codes on-time (by GitHub or email) if possible, before reading my blog post.

  • Perl Weekly Challenge 053: Rotate Matrix and Vowel Strings
  • IoT Adoption Survey Reveals Open Source Rules

    The Eclipse Foundation's IoT Working Group has issued a report that reveals that for commercial organizations the IoT is real and adoption is growing, albeit with a degree of caution. As far as IoT is concerned, the open source model clearly dominates.

    Conducted online between October and December 2019, with 366 respondents, the IoT Commercial Adoption Survey was the first exercise of its kind. Its aim was gain a better understanding of the IoT industry landscape by identifying the requirements, priorities, and challenges faced by organizations that are deploying and using commercial IoT solutions. It can be seen as the counterpart of the IoT Developer Survey, which since 2015 has been an annual exercise reporting on the programming languages, platforms, infrastructure and tools used for building IoT solutions.

  • What happens when the maintainer of a JS library downloaded 26m times a week goes to prison for killing someone with a motorbike? Core-js just found out

    In November 2019, Denis Pushkarev, maintainer of the popular core-js library, lost an appeal to overturn an 18-month prison sentence imposed for driving his motorcycle into two pedestrians, killing one of them.

    As a result, he's expected to be unavailable to update core-js, a situation that has project contributors and other developers concerned about the fate of his code library.

  • [Old] When to assume neural networks can solve a problem

    The question: “What are the problems we should assume can be solved with machine learning?”, or even narrower and more focused on current developments “What are the problems we should assume a neural network is able to solve?”, is one I haven’t seen addressed much.

    There are theories like PAC learning and AIX which at a glance seem to revolve around this, as it pertains to machine learning in general, but if actually applied in practice won’t yield any meaningful answers.

    However, when someone asks me this question about a specific problem, I can often give a fairly reasonable confidence answer provided I can take a look at the data.

    Thus, I thought it might be helpful to lay down the heuristic that generate such answers. I by no means claim these are precise or evidence based in the scientific sense, but I think they might be helpful, maybe even a good start point for further discussion on the subject.

  • Uber Open Sources Piranha Stale Code Remover

    Uber has released an open source version of Piranha, a tool that scans source code to delete code related to stale, or obsolete, feature flags.

    Piranha is run at Uber in an ongoing pipeline for its Android and iOS codebases and has been used to remove around two thousand stale feature flags and their related code. Uber says it has led to a cleaner, safer, more performant, and more maintainable code base.

  • Piranha Is An Open Source Tool That Automatically Deletes Obsolete Code

Software: ScreenCloud, BleachBit and MP4Tools

Filed under
Software
  • ScreenCloud is an open source image capturing tool that can optionally upload images to Google Drive, OneDrive, Dropbox, Imgur

    We have reviewed many screen capturing tools at gHacks including Ksnip, Automatic Screenshotter, Auto Screen Capture, Ashampoo's Snap 11, or Martin's favorite program PicPick.

    [...]

    To finalize it, copy and paste the authorization code generated by the cloud service into the box that the program opened for connecting to your account. You may choose the screenshot naming pattern such as Screenshot at %H-%M-%S representing the time (hours, minutes, seconds) when the screenshot was taken. The result will be something like Screenshot at 19-45-00. Select the folder name that the application should save content to, and whether you want it to copy the public link to the clipboard after the uploading process has been completed.

    Hit the save button and you're all set to use it.

    The application isn't portable. The lack of a crop tool in ScreenCloud's editor was a slight let down for me, but this is intended to be a basic screen capturing tool, besides I'm too used to ShareX's options.

  • BleachBit 3.9.0 Beta

    Designed for Linux and Windows systems, it wipes clean thousands of applications including Firefox, Internet Explorer, Adobe Flash, Google Chrome, Opera, Safari, and more. Beyond simply deleting files, BleachBit includes advanced features such as shredding files to prevent recovery, wiping free disk space to hide traces of files deleted by other applications, and vacuuming Firefox to make it faster. Better than free, BleachBit is open source.

  • MP4Tools is an open source set of utilities for merging or splitting video files

    Note: The application kept crashing when the play button was used. But it works just fine when adding split points, and the split process was successful. I'm not sure why it crashed, especially since the preview panel displayed the frames of the split points correctly. A quick search on the program's SourceForge page revealed a similar issue reported by a user. This suggests that it could be a bug in the latest version.

    [...]

    Both programs in the MP4Tools suite use FFMPEG for encoding videos. MP4Tools is a 32-bit software. It is available for Windows and macOS. Linux users will have to compile it from the source code. It is not a portable application.

Qt/KDE: RSIBreak 0.12.12, "App" Stores, Icons and KDE Web Development

Filed under
KDE
  • RSIBreak 0.12.12 released!

    All of you that are in using a computer for a long time should use it!

  • KDE in app stores

    If you use KDE software, there is a good chance you’re on a Linux distribution and you download the software from your distribution’s repositories. But the fact is you can get KDE software from a number of sources on different platforms. As project coordinator for KDE e.V. helping with KDE Goals, I was tasked to look at app download statistics. Join me in my quest to understand how popular KDE apps are in various app stores.

  • New Icon theme

    Like everyone else, I am also in quarantine, and during this quarantine I got closer to the program that I love, inkscape. I started to make smartphone mockups again, which I published on my Instagram profile (maybe I will also make posts here). But I started a new icon theme , since I have many free hours a day, I have a lot of time to devote to this project.

  • This month in KDE Web: March 2020

    This month KDE web developers worked on updating more websites and some progress was made in a new identity provider and a lot of other exiting stuff and a lot of background work was also done.

More in Tux Machines

today's howtos

Open Usage Commons

  • Introducing the Open Usage Commons

    Open source maintainers don’t often spend time thinking about their project’s trademarks, and with good reason: between code contribution, documentation, crafting the technical direction, and creating a healthy contributor community, there’s plenty to do without spending time considering how your project’s name or logo will be used. But trademarks – whether a name, logo, or badge – are an extension of a project’s decision to be open source. Just as your project’s open source license demonstrates that your codebase is for free and fair use, an open source project trademark policy in keeping with the Open Source Definition gives everyone – upstream contributors and downstream consumers – comfort that they are using your project’s marks in a fair and accurate way.

  • Open Usage Commons Is Google-Backed Organization For Helping With Open-Source Project Trademarks

    Open Usage Commons is a new organization announced today that is backed by Google for helping open-source projects in managing their trademarks. Open Usage Commons was started by Google in conjunction with academia, independent contributors, and others for helping to assert and manage project identities through trademark management and conformance testing.

  • The "Open Usage Commons" launches

    Google has announced the creation of the Open Usage Commons, which is intended to help open-source projects manage their trademarks.

  • Announcing a new kind of open source organization

    Google has deep roots in open source. We're proud of our 20 years of contributions and community collaboration. The scale and tenure of Google’s open source participation has taught us what works well, what doesn’t, and where the corner cases are that challenge projects.

Android Leftovers

GNOME, Linux, Qt and Git Programming

  • Philip Withnall: URI parsing and building in GLib

    Marc-André Lureau has landed GUri support in GLib, and it’ll be available in GLib 2.65.1 (due out in the next few days). GUri is a new API for parsing and building URIs, roughly equivalent to SoupURI already provided by libsoup — but since URIs are so pervasive, and used even if you’re not actually doing HTTP conversations, it makes sense to have a structured representation for them in GLib.

  • Sandboxing in Linux with zero lines of code

    Modern Linux operating systems provide many tools to run code more securely. There are namespaces (the basic building blocks for containers), Linux Security Modules, Integrity Measurement Architecture etc. In this post we will review Linux seccomp and learn how to sandbox any (even a proprietary) application without writing a single line of code.

  • Mario Sanchez Prada: ​Chromium now migrated to the new C++ Mojo types

    At the end of the last year I wrote a long blog post summarizing the main work I was involved with as part of Igalia’s Chromium team. In it I mentioned that a big chunk of my time was spent working on the migration to the new C++ Mojo types across the entire codebase of Chromium, in the context of the Onion Soup 2.0 project. For those of you who don’t know what Mojo is about, there is extensive information about it in Chromium’s documentation, but for the sake of this post, let’s simplify things and say that Mojo is a modern replacement to Chromium’s legacy IPC APIs which enables a better, simpler and more direct way of communication among all of Chromium’s different processes.

  • 6 best practices for teams using Git

    Everyone should follow standard conventions for branch naming, tagging, and coding. Every organization has standards or best practices, and many recommendations are freely available on the internet. What's important is to pick a suitable convention early on and follow it as a team. Also, different team members will have different levels of expertise with Git. You should create and maintain a basic set of instructions for performing common Git operations that follow the project's conventions.

  • Qt for MCUs 1.3 released

    Qt for MCUs 1.3 is now available in the Qt installer. Download it to get the latest improvements and create stunning GUIs with the newly available timeline animation system. Since the initial release of Qt for MCUs 1.0 back in December last year, we've been hard at work to bring new features to MCUs with the 1.1 and 1.2 releases. Efforts haven't slowed down and it's already time to bring you another batch of improvements. Besides the new features, One of the goals has been to make Qt Quick Ultralite a true subset of Qt Quick and align their QML APIs to ensure both code and skills can be reused from traditional Qt platforms to microcontrollers. With Qt for MCUs 1.3, QML code written for Qt Quick Ultralite is now source-compatible with Qt 5.15 LTS.