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First Month on the New Server (Updated)

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Site News

Tux Machines behind Varnish cache proxy

Chart for Tux Machines

Summary: Tux Machines growth and a note regarding SPAM prevention after a week or so of experiments

Here are the first four weeks' log sizes, plotted with LibreOffice and demonstrating week-to-week growth since the site's nameservers changed and the server moved to CoPilotCo. After 4 weeks all logs get deleted (logrotate) to ensure privacy through lack of data retention (except short term in case of DDOS).

Nokia

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Just talk

It is now the talk of the town. Nokia will be making their own smartphone based on Android. It seems like they no longer want to be in the shadow, under Windows Phone. I would like to think this might be the comeback of Nokia phones after a decade or so. I liked Nokia as a gadget way before this so-called "smart phones" trend started. I remember when SMS became the most convenient tool for communication, like a telegraph type. Nokia phones were once a gadgets giant; only then, when Microsoft bought Nokia, the once cellphone giant was kept and never to be found. I mean, not literally, but I can hardly see Nokia out in the Market along with those cellphone giants like Mac/iOS , Blueberry and Samsung. Nokia's merging into Microsoft has never been good; their tandem strategy never created any new innovation that makes them different from the other competitors. In fact, there were no success stories for Nokia when it was based on Windows Phone.

I expect Nokia to have lots to offer in the next expo. Improvements in software using Android OS, distinct design in hardware which can compete in comparables among the others. The price might be a little less than the existing smartphones to attract potential costumers. Lastly, I wish Nokia well for bravely taking such a huge change. In this road it has many challenges, but it's worth taking.

Opening Up Communications (Updatedx5)

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Site News

Script kiddies can't get their way

Diversity

Summary: Script kiddies made it impractical to manage comments and forum posts; we are trying to tackle this issue today

IN ANOTHER attempt to restore user registrations, this time on the new server which has just been configured for mail, we are enabling anyone to quickly self-register (takes less than a minute and requires no verification), then immediately post comments, forum posts, etc.

Site Update (Updatedx2)

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Site News

Newspaper

Summary: Recent changes at Tux Machines, in just a nutshell

INSPIRED in part by Slashdot, we recently added topical icons to submissions, applying these changes retroactively to over 50,000 older pages. The idea was, this can improve orientation by helping to quickly associate text with topics. More minor modifications were made as well, some textual and some layout related. They are subtle but they can be seen. After receiving feedback regrading icons size we made further modifications. Regarding social media buttons, some of the ones we initially found were unbelievably privacy-infringing (allowing Google, Facebook, Twitter etc. to see visitors of this site), so we disabled them immediately and replaced them with static buttons. Right now we can assure that whenever loading pages in this Web site nothing except our security-aware network gets contacted. We share no data about visitors (with anyone) and Apache logs get shredded for good after a few weeks, leaving sufficient trail just in case of attacks on the site, which would merit investigation. Log rotation is similarly privacy-respecting at the cache level, which leads to the following point.

Today, after the above changes had been made and stability attained (there were some network disruptions yesterday), we also updated Drupal, ensuring it is secure and fully up to date (the latest minor bugfix release is a month old). There is still an issue with Varnish and until we tackle this issue users who are not logged in might be getting error pages. One way to overcome this is to append "?something" to the URL requested. This bypasses the Varnish cache until we finish our investigation of this issue and resolve it for good.

Update: The issue with Varnish turns out to be a conflict between two caching layers. It's fixed now. If you spot an issue, still, please let us know.

Update #2: Yesterday we identified another issue and soon thereafter fixed it. After Twitter syndication had failed we realised that RSS feeds were not standards-compliant, due to a blank line at the start of each generated page in Drupal. This is a common issue and it is a nightmare to debug (requires a complete code review with help of GNU utilities like grep). After 4 hours of investigation I found the culprit and fixed the coding error. RSS feeds are back.

My Valentine

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Just talk

Rianne Schestowitz

Yesterday was a rainy day. Our plans to go dining and bowling were more or less ruined by that. Manchester has had stormy weather as of late and there is not much one can do to avoid it.

Almost every couple went out to celebrate valentines. In my case, as I am working regular hours at day (and sometimes at night), I don't have much time for planning or thinking of ways to celebrate valentines day.

My dear husband, who had a day off yesterday (after he had worked at night), surprised me in many ways. He prepared a bubble bath for me with glasses of wine and candles lit. Pizza was inside the oven and table setting was quite ready, with many special beverages to mark the special day.

Everything was organised and prepared by him. While we were having our dinner we watched Tom and Jerry (a favourite from my childhood) and we were both enjoying it. Later he wanted to prepare the new mattress he bought to make sure we would have a good night's sleep.

Our own way of celebrating valentines -- so simple but passionately expressed with pure love and tenderness.

Justice

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Just talk

Justice

I was born in a quiet and beautiful town in the Far East together with my cousins. As far as I can remember, we enjoyed watching the sunrise and sunset, bathing and fishing in the river along with other children. My childhood years bring back good memories: Playing hide and seek, flying kites, throwing yo-yo, jumping on Chinese garter and so much more. Life was full of fun and so simple back then. There were times I ate meals in our neighbours' house, treated like family. Sometimes we exchanged food. This you will never experience in an highly urbanised city, as there is nothing like this in the Western world. It's a small town where you almost know every other person. Everybody is like your family. That is how I remember the place that I left 24 years ago. This year my husband and I were planning to visit my beloved town. But I have second thoughts. It's a bit scary to visit a place where people are killing other people like animals.

Mandrake Derived Distros

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Linux

Todays special is about Mandrake derived distributions, namely,
OpenMandriva Lx 2014 alpha vs Mageia 4 final vs ROSA 2012 R2 final vs PCLinuxOS 2013.12 final.

In (my limited) testing, I've used the X86_64 versions favoring the KDE desktop, and I've used the NVidia binary drivers provided with each distro.

Here's my experience with each one:

Statistics Not Compatible With Varnish

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News

Statistics

VARNISH is valuable for a number of reasons, including security, privacy, and performance. I first used it around 2009 when another site of mine had repeatedly come under DDOS attacks. Using Varnish means that requests for pages usually come from the same IP address (the cache proxy), if at all. Much of the time visitors get served static (cached) pages transparently and quickly. The downside is, this interferes with statistics (the Apache server does not even see all requests) and it is not compatible with modules like polls, where each IP addressed is allowed just one vote.

During the server/site migration we tried to preserve as many of the features as we could. There was a transition from old Debian to new CentOS and the new architecture is quite different (still 2 CPU cores but with more RAM, a virtual container, and resilience owing to proxies/redundancy). Thanks to those who suggested workarounds. We have looked at some of them, but without losing on performance there is no way to keep meaningful statistics. These statistics have been disabled. Not even we, with direct access to the server and the CMS, have access to meaningful statistics.

We are going to try to focus on high quality selection of news, not on numbers.

Over 8 Years of TuxMachines, by Nations

Site stats

Slight Site Changes

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News

Yesterday, following a mostly successful migration (there are still some impending fixes to .htaccess), slight changes were applied. For regular readers of the site, here they are summarised:

PCLinuxOS 2013--An Old Friend Revisited

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Linux

I first heard about Bill Reynolds (AKA "Texstar") when I was using Mandrake Linux 7 (later called "Mandriva") many years ago. Back then, Texstar was putting together updated KDE releases for Mandrake Linux, as Mandrake would only typically update their KDE release once or twice a year.

Windows 8.1 "The Worst Ever"

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Just talk

I've taught High School Computer Science for 25 years--Computer Programming, Web Page Design, Word Processing, Database Processing, and Spreadsheet processing. I have Linux on all my home computers with a dual boot into MS Windows 7 on my main computer. I don't use Windows 7 very often--but, I can find my way around in Windows 7. Since I have no experience with Win 8, I've thought all the recent hoopla about Microsoft's Windows 8 and 8.1 was just inexperienced grousing.

This is "See Ya Around"

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Site News

I started to say "this is goodbye," but just because I sold the site doesn't mean I won't be around Linuxville. I'm still writing at ostatic and I may turn up here now and again as well. I'll be looking around to expand my writing after the new year too, so you're not rid of me yet. But the sale on tuxmachines.org has been completed.

New HTPC the Lenovo Ideastation Q190 & Ubuntu

We cut the cord a couple of years ago, the need to get TV over traditional TV Ariel was no longer needed and services such as TV Catchup, iPlayer and the other UK Catchup TV Channels streamed over the net to my TV were all we needed.

Having had an Asrock 330 Ion be the trusty device for nearly 5 years the box finally gave up the shost last week.

The options available for using the internet to provide your TV are huge, from the giants of Apple with Apple TV, Google are dipping their toes in the water they have the ChromeCast, and there are a huge bagfull of Android Devices which all claim to plug into the HDMI port of your TV.. Then there is the Raspberry PI which has a custom build of OS's to provide different interfaces.

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Sold! (tentatively)

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Site News

I guess tuxmachines.org has been sold for $1000. I know it's kinda low, but times have changed and the new owner plans to carry on the tuxmachines tradition.

going twice

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Site News

going twice

fair warning - going once....

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Site News

Well, I think I'm going to accept one of the two $1000 bids received, unless anyone else wants to bid...

Tuxmachines.org for sale (update)

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Site News

I've decided to try and see if anyone might be interested in buying and doing something with my domain and site. So, today, I'm posting this ad here: tuxmachines.org for sale.


Update: I've received some bids and will decide by Monday....

Why is Security not Turned on by Default?

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Just talk

This isn't a Windows thing, Linux as well should be more secure than the assumption that the OS with elevated privileges is secure enough, there is so much more Desktop Linux could be doing to make the users experience more secure.

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Sometimes the Tech pres just gets it wrong..

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Just talk

While I know this is a Linux site, i feel that Windows RT is getting the same bad rap Linux gets from the Tech press in many areas. A lack of true understanding of just what they are dealing with or just a huge need to present some form of being part of the crowd. I'm not sure just what it is however it needs to change. It's the same thing that happens when some people review Ubuntu PHone for example and claim it's not a viable platform.. and it annoys me..

Why Everything you've read in the tech press about Windows RT is WRONG!!

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More in Tux Machines

Security News

  • OpenSSL 1.1.0 Series Release Notes
  • Linux.PNScan Malware Brute-Forces Linux-Based Routers
  • St. Jude stock shorted on heart device hacking fears; shares drop
    The stock of pacemaker manufacturer St. Jude Medical Inc (STJ.N) fell sharply on Thursday after short-selling firm Muddy Waters said it had placed a bet that the shares would fall, claiming its implanted heart devices were vulnerable to cyber attacks. St. Jude, which agreed in April to sell itself for $25 billion to Abbott Laboratories (ABT.N), said the allegations were false. St Jude shares closed down 4.96 percent, the biggest one-day fall in 7 months and at a 7.4 percent discount to Abbott's takeover offer. Muddy Waters head Carson Block said the firm's position was motivated by research from a cyber security firm, MedSec Holdings Inc, which has a financial arrangement with Muddy Waters. MedSec asserted that St. Jude's heart devices were vulnerable to cyber attack and were a risk to patients.
  • BlackArch Linux ISO now comes with over 1,500 hacking tools
    On a move to counter distros like Kali Linux and BackBox, BlackArch has got a new ISO image that includes more than 1,500 hacking tools. The update also brings several security and software tweaks to deliver an enhanced platform for various penetration testing and security assessment activities. The new BlackArch Linux ISO includes an all new Linux installer and more than 100 new penetration testing and hacking tools. There is also Linux 4.7.1 to fix the bugs and compatibility issues of the previous kernel. Additionally, the BlackArch team has updated all its in-house tools and system packages as well as updated menu entries for the Openbox, Fluxbox and Awesome windows managers.

Server Administration

  • Big Blue Aims For The Sky With Power9
    Intel has the kind of control in the datacenter that only one vendor in the history of data processing has ever enjoyed. That other company is, of course, IBM, and Big Blue wants to take back some of the real estate it lost in the datacenters of the world in the past twenty years. The Power9 chip, unveiled at the Hot Chips conference this week, is the best chance the company has had to make some share gains against X86 processors since the Power4 chip came out a decade and a half ago and set IBM on the path to dominance in the RISC/Unix market. IBM laid out a roadmap out past 2020 for its Power family of processors back at the OpenPower Summit in early April, demonstrating its commitment the CPU market with chips that are offer a brawny alternative to CPUs and accelerators compared to the Xeon and Xeon Phi alternatives from Intel and the relatively less brawny chips from ARM server chip makers such as Applied Micro and Cavium and the expected products from AMD, Broadcom, and Qualcomm. We pondered IBM’s prospects in the datacenter in the wake of some details coming out about next year’s Power9 processors, which IBM said at the time would come in two flavors, one aimed at scale-out machines with one or two sockets and another aimed at scale up machines with NUMA architectures and lots of sockets and shared memory.
  • ARM Announces ARM v8-A with Scalable Vector Extensions: Aiming for HPC and Data Center
    Today ARM is announcing an update to their line of architecture license products. With the goal of moving ARM more into the server, the data center, and high-performance computing, the new license add-on tackles a fundamental data center and HPC issue: vector compute. ARM v8-A with Scalable Vector Extensions won’t be part of any ARM microarchitecture license today, but for the semiconductor companies that build their own cores with the instruction set, this could see ARM move up into the HPC markets. Fujitsu is the first public licensee on board, with plans to include ARM v8-A cores with SVE in the Post-K RIKEN supercomputer in 2020.
  • The Sad State of Docker
    I have always been a big fan of Docker. This is very visible if you regularly read this blog. However, I am very disappointed lately how Docker handled the 1.12 release. I like to think of version 1.12 as a great proof of concept that should not have received the amount of attention that it already received. Let’s dive deep into what I found wrong. First, I do not think a company should market and promote exciting new features that have not been tested well. Every time Docker makes an announcement, the news spreads like a virus to blogs and news sites all over the globe. Tech blogs will basically copy and paste the exact same procedure that Docker discussed into a new blog post as if they were creating original content. This cycle repeats over and over again and becomes annoying because I am seeing the same story a million times. What I hate most about these recent redundant articles is that the features do not work as well as what is written about them.
  • Containers debunked: DevOps, security and why containers will not replace virtual machines
    The tech industry is full of exciting trends that promise to change the face of the industry and business as we know it, but one that is gaining a huge amount of focus is containers. However, problems lie with the technology and threaten to root itself deep in the mythology about it, namely the misconceptions over what the technology is, what can be done with it, and the idea that they replace virtual machines. Lars Herrmann, GM, Integrated Solutions at Red Hat spoke to CBR about five common misconceptions, but first the benefits. Herrmann, said: “Containerisation can be an amazingly efficient way to do DevOps, so it’s a very practical way to get into a DevOps methodology and process inside an organisation, which is highly required in a lot of organisations because of the benefits in agility to be able to release software faster, better, and deliver more value.”
  • Rackspace Going Private after $4.3 Billion Buyout
    The company released Rackspace Private Cloud powered by Red Hat in February. Using the Hat Enterprise Linux OpenStack Platform, the product helped extend Rackspace's OpenStack-as-a-service product slate.
  • SoylentNews' Folding@Home Team is Now in the Top 500 in the World
    It has only been six short months since SoylentNews' Folding@Home team was founded, and we've made a major milestone: our team is now one of the top 500 teams in the world! We've already surpassed some heavy hitters like /. and several universities, including MIT. (But now is not the time to rest on our laurels. A certain Redmond-based software producer currently occupies #442.) In case you aren't familiar with folding@home, it's a distributed computing project that simulates protein folding in an attempt to better understand diseases such as Alzheimer's and Huntington's and thereby help to find a cure. To that end, SoylentNews' team has completed nearly 16,000 work units.

Games for GNU/Linux

Leftovers: Software

  • SDDM 0.14.0
  • Kodi v17 “Krypton” Beta 1
  • Top 10 Time Tracking Software for Linux
    Just a few days ago we were presenting software for one of the most popular mainstream Linux distribution – Ubuntu. Now let’s cover the progenitor of all free and open-source software. Its operating system was released on October 5, 1991. The creator of Linux, Linus Torvalds, was only 22 years old at that time! Linux is not very popular on the desktop computers (at least among regular users, software engineers, for example, prefer to work on it), but it is the leading operating system on servers, mainframe computers, and virtually all fastest supercomputers. It is also worth mentioning that without Linux there won’t be no Android as we know it now, no network routers, video game consoles, and smartwatches. We really owe a lot to Mr. Linus. According to Wikipedia, the development of Linux is one of the most prominent examples of free and open-source software collaboration. Its source code may be used, modified and distributed—commercially or non-commercially—by anyone under the terms of its respective licenses. Thanks to it we can use some great software like the already mentioned Ubuntu, but also Fedora, Gentoo Linux, Debian and more.
  • MPTCP v0.91 Release
    The MPTCP v0.91 release is based on the Linux Kernel Longterm Support release v4.1.x.
  • Quick Updates: Guake 0.8.7, WebTorrent Desktop 0.12.0, TLP 0.9
    Guake is a drop-down terminal emulator for GNOME (GTK2). The application is inspired from consoles in computer games, such as Quake, in which the console slides from the top of the screen when a key is pressed. In the same way, Guake can be invoked and hidden using a single key (though Guake can also automatically hide when it loses focus).
  • Switch Between Multiple Lists Of Apps Pinned To Unity Launcher With `Launcher List Indicator`
  • MATE Dock Applet Gets Unity-Like Progress Bar And Badge Support
    MATE Dock Applet is a MATE Panel applet that displays running application windows as icons. The applet features options to pin applications to the dock, supports multiple workspaces, and can be added to any MATE Panel, regardless of size and orientation.
  • AppImage – One app framework to distro them all
    Linux is highly portable. Fact. On the other hand, Linux software is the least portable technology in the world. Try running Firefox designed for Debian on Fedora. In fact, try running Firefox designed for one version of Fedora on another Fedora, perhaps a slightly older version. Godspeed, Captain Jack Sparrow. The fanatical rigor with which the Linux backward compatibility is maintained in the enterprise flavors, SUSE and Red Hat, is inversely proportional to all other incompatibilities that exist in the Linux space. This ain’t no news. I have most artfully elaborated on this problem in my illustrated Linux guide. But now, there’s a thing that promises to solve all these problems forever. AppImage.
  • Substance Designer 5.5 Is Here
    This version takes texture creation into the big leagues with MDL material authoring – opening up a whole new world of materials – plus Linux support, fbx camera import and support for VCA. This is a free upgrade for license holders and Substance Live subscribers, or you can get a free 30-day trial version.