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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

Filed under
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

Filed under
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"

Filed under
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....

Filed under
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?

Filed under
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..

Filed under
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!!

sorry so slow

Filed under
Site News

Sorry I've slowed down on gathering the interesting news lately. I think my blood pressure is back up or something. I'm trying to get a dr appointment. But I'm trying to get back up to speed. Thanks for your patience.

blogstop javascript

Filed under
Site News

Man, I hate those blogspot blogs that require javascript (or something) to display the basic text of the article they wish linked to. Sometimes I just close konqueror and don't.

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More in Tux Machines

Programming: Python, LLVM and Erlang

  • Sending Emails in Python — Tutorial with Code Examples

    What do you need to send an email with Python? Some basic programming and web knowledge along with the elementary Python skills. I assume you’ve already had a web app built with this language and now you need to extend its functionality with notifications or other emails sending. [...] Sending multiple emails to different recipients and making them personal is the special thing about emails in Python. To add several more recipients, you can just type their addresses in separated by a comma, add Cc and Bcc. But if you work with a bulk email sending, Python will save you with loops. One of the options is to create a database in a CSV format (we assume it is saved to the same folder as your Python script). We often see our names in transactional or even promotional examples. Here is how we can make it with Python.

  • Binning Data with Pandas qcut and cut

    When dealing with continuous numeric data, it is often helpful to bin the data into multiple buckets for further analysis. There are several different terms for binning including bucketing, discrete binning, discretization or quantization. Pandas supports these approaches using the cut and qcut functions. This article will briefly describe why you may want to bin your data and how to use the pandas functions to convert continuous data to a set of discrete buckets. Like many pandas functions, cut and qcut may seem simple but there is a lot of capability packed into those functions. Even for more experience users, I think you will learn a couple of tricks that will be useful for your own analysis. [...] The concept of breaking continuous values into discrete bins is relatively straightforward to understand and is a useful concept in real world analysis. Fortunately, pandas provides the cut and qcut functions to make this as simple or complex as you need it to be. I hope this article proves useful in understanding these pandas functions. Please feel free to comment below if you have any questions.

  • Analysing music habits with Spotify API and Python

    I’m using Spotify since 2013 as the main source of music, and back at that time the app automatically created a playlist for songs that I liked from artists’ radios. By innertion I’m still using the playlist to save songs that I like. As the playlist became a bit big and a bit old (6 years, huh), I’ve decided to try to analyze it.

  • Python IDEs and Code Editors

    A code editor is a tool that is used to write and edit code. They are usually lightweight and can be great for learning. However, once your program gets larger, you need to test and debug your code, that's where IDEs come in. An IDE (Integrated Development Environment) understand your code much better than a text editor. It usually provides features such as build automation, code linting, testing and debugging. This can significantly speed up your work. The downside is that IDEs can be complicated to use.

  • Announcing Anaconda Distribution 2019.10

    As there were some significant changes in the previous Anaconda Distribution 2019.07 installers, this release focuses on polishing up rough edges in that release and bringing all the packages up to date with the latest available in repo.anaconda.com. This means many key packages are updated including Numpy, Scipy, Scikit-Learn, Matplotlib, Pandas, Jupyter Notebook, and many more. As many of the package updates have addressed Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures (CVEs), it is important to update to the latest. Another key change since the last release is that Apple released macOS version 10.15 – Catalina. Unfortunately, this was a breaking release for previous versions of Anaconda that used the pkg installer. The Anaconda Distribution 2019.10 installers address the issues and should install without trouble on macOS Catalina. If you would rather repair your current Anaconda installation, please check out this blog post for tips.

  • Apple's Numbers and the All-in-One CSV export

    The hierarchical form requires a number of generator functions for Sheet-from-CSV, Table-from-CSV, and Row-from-CSV. Each of these works with a single underlying iterator over the source file and a fairly complex hand-off of state. If we only use the sheet iterator, the tables and rows are skipped. If we use the table within a sheet, the first table name comes from the header that started a sheet; the table names come from distinct headers until the sheet name changes. The table-within-sheet iteration is very tricky. The first table is a simple yield of information gathered by the sheet iterator. Any subsequent tables, however, may be based one one of two conditions: either no rows have been consumed, in which case the table iterator consumes (and ignores) rows; or, all the rows of the table have been consumed and the current row is another "sheet: table" header.

  • Formatting NFL data for doing data science with Python

    No matter what medium of content you consume these days (podcasts, articles, tweets, etc.), you'll probably come across some reference to data. Whether it's to back up a talking point or put a meta-view on how data is everywhere, data and its analysis are in high demand. As a programmer, I've found data science to be more comparable to wizardry than an exact science. I've coveted the ability to get ahold of raw data and glean something useful and concrete from it. What a useful talent!

  • Sony Pushes More AMD Jaguar Optimizations To Upstream LLVM 10 Compiler

    Sony engineers working on the PlayStation compiler toolchain continue upstreaming various improvements to the LLVM source tree for helping the AMD APUs powering their latest game console. Several times now we've pointed out Sony engineers contributing AMD "btver2" improvements to upstream LLVM with the company using LLVM/Clang as their default code compiler and the PlayStation 4 relying on a Jaguar APU.

  • [llvm-dev] GitHub Migration Schedule and Plans
    Hi,
    
    We're less than 2 weeks away from the developer meeting, so I wanted to
    give an update on the GitHub migration and what's (hopefully) going to
    happen during the developer meeting.
    
    Everyone who has added their information to the github-usernames.txt
    file in SVN before today should have received an invite to become a collaborator
    on the llvm-project repository.  If you did not receive an invite and think
    you should have, please contact me off-list.  I will continue to monitor the
    file for new updates and periodically send out new batches of invites.
    
    There is still some ongoing work to get the buildbots ready and the mailing lists
    ready, but we are optimistic that the work will be done in time.
    
    The team at GitHub has finished implementing the "Require Linear History"
    branch protection that we requested.  The feature is in beta and currently
    enabled in the llvm-project repository.  This means that we will have the
    option to commit directly via git, in addition to using the git-llvm script.
    A patch that updates git-llvm to push to git instead of svn can be found here:
    https://reviews.llvm.org/D67772.  You should be able to test it out on your
    own fork of the llvm-project repository.
    
    The current plan is to begin the final migration steps on the evening (PDT)
    of October 21.  Here is what will happen:
    
    1. Make SVN read-only.
    2. Turn-off the SVN->git update process.
    3. Commit the new git-llvm script directly to github.
    4. Grant all contributors write access to the repository.
    5. Email lists announcing that the migration is complete.
    
    Once the migration is complete, if you run into any issues, please file
    a bug, and mark it as a blocker for the github metabug PR39393.
    
    If you have any questions or think I am missing something, please
    let me know.
    
    Thanks,
    Tom
    
    
  • LLVM Plans To Switch From Its SVN To Git Workflow Next Week

    On 21 October they plan to make LLVM's SVN repository read-only and finish their git-llvm script to bring all the changes into Git, and then allow developers to begin contributing to the LLVM GitHub project as the new official source repository.

  • Excellent Free Books to Learn Erlang

    Erlang is a general-purpose, concurrent, declarative, functional programming language and runtime environment developed by Ericsson, a Swedish multinational provider of communications technology and services. Erlang is dynamically typed and has a pattern matching syntax. The language solves difficult problems inherent in parallel, concurrent environments. It uses sets of parallel supervised processes, not a single sequential process as found in most programming languages. Erlang was created in 1986 at the Ellemtel Telecommunication Systems Laboratories for telecommunication systems. The objective was to build a simple and efficient programming language resilient large-scale concurrent industrial applications. Besides telecommunication systems and applications and other large industrial real-time systems, Erlang is particularly suitable for servers for internet applications, e-commerce, and networked database applications. The versatility of the language is, in part, due to its extensive collection of libraries.

today's howtos

Kubernetes at SUSE and Red Hat

  • Eirinix: Writing Extensions for Eirini

    At the recent Cloud Foundry Summit EU in the Netherlands, Vlad Iovanov and Ettore Di Giacinto of SUSE presented a talk about Eirini — a project that allows the deployment and management of applications on Kubernetes using the Cloud Foundry Platform. They introduced eirinix — a framework that allows developers to extend Eirini. Eirinix is built from the Quarks codebase, which leverages Kubernetes Mutating Webhooks. With the flexibility of Kubernetes and Eirini’s architecture, developers can now build features around Eirini, like Persi support, access to the application via SSH, ASGs via Network Policies and more. In this talk, they explained how this can be done, and how everyone can start contributing to a rich ecosystem of extensions that will improve Eirini and the developer experience of Cloud Foundry.

  • Building an open ML platform with Red Hat OpenShift and Open Data Hub Project

    Unaddressed, these challenges impact the speed, efficiency and productivity of the highly valuable data science teams. This leads to frustration, lack of job satisfaction and ultimately the promise of AI/ML to the business is not redeemed. IT departments are being challenged to address the above. IT has to deliver a cloud-like experience to data scientists. That means a platform that offers freedom of choice, is easy to access, is fast and agile, scales on-demand and is resilient. The use of open source technologies will prevent lockin, and maintain long term strategic leverage over cost. In many ways, a similar dynamic has played out in the world of application development in the past few years that has led to microservices, the hybrid cloud and automation and agile processes. And IT has addressed this with containers, kubernetes and open hybrid cloud. So how does IT address this challenge in the world of AI – by learning from their own experiences in the world of application development and applying to the world of AI/ML. IT addresses the challenge by building an AI platform that is container based, that helps build AI/ML services with agile process that accelerates innovation and is built with the hybrid cloud in mind.

  • Launching OpenShift/Kubernetes Support for Solarflare Cloud Onload

    This is a guest post co-written by Solarflare, a Xilinx company. Miklos Reiter is Software Development Manager at Solarflare and leads the development of Solarflare’s Cloud Onload Operator. Zvonko Kaiser is Team Lead at Red Hat and leads the development of the Node Feature Discovery operator.

Python Across Platforms

  • Chemists bitten by Python scripts: How different OSes produced different results during test number-crunching

    Chemistry boffins at the University of Hawaii have found, rather disturbingly, that different computer operating systems running a particular set of Python scripts used for their research can produce different results when running the same code. In a research paper published last week in the academic journal Organic Letters, chemists Jayanti Bhandari Neupane, Ram Neupane, Yuheng Luo, Wesley Yoshida, Rui Sun, and Philip Williams describe their efforts to verify an experiment involving cyanobacteria, better known as blue-green algae. Williams, associate chair and professor in the department of chemistry at the University of Hawaii at Manoa, said in a phone interview with The Register on Monday this week that his group was looking at secondary metabolites, like penicillin, that can be used to treat cancer or Alzheimer's.

  • Chemists discover cross-platform Python scripts not so cross-platform

    In a paper published October 8, researchers at the University of Hawaii found that a programming error in a set of Python scripts commonly used for computational analysis of chemistry data returned varying results based on which operating system they were run on—throwing doubt on the results of more than 150 published chemistry studies. While trying to analyze results from an experiment involving cyanobacteria, the researchers—Jayanti Bhandari Neupane, Ram Neupane, Yuheng Luo, Wesley Yoshida, Rui Sun, and Philip Williams—discovered significant variations in results run against the same nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy (NMR) data. The scripts, called the "Willoughby-Hoye" scripts after their authors—Patrick Willoughby and Thomas Hoye of the University of Minnesota—were found to return correct results on macOS Mavericks and Windows 10. But on macOS Mojave and Ubuntu, the results were off by nearly a full percent.