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Programming, Open Hardware and BSD

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  • The rise of open-source computing

                             

                               

    is a set of open-source designs for microchips that was initially developed a decade ago at the University of California, Berkeley. These days it is attracting attention from many big technology firms, including Google, Nvidia and Qualcomm (see article). In August IBM made its Power chip designs open-source. These moves are welcome, for two reasons.

  • A Message to Our Readers

    We ask for your help in getting the word out (in addition to hopefully buying the issue when it's released). We know there are many thousands out there who no longer have bookstores that carry 2600 in their neighborhoods or who live in parts of the world where getting our publication has always been, at best, a challenge.

    Please show your support and buy this issue which you can then enjoy forever - and let everyone know what we're doing. Because if this is a success, we will be able to invest more into the magazine (paper and digital) to make it even better, as well as support more projects like HOPE.

  • Binary Hardening in IoT products

    Unfortunately, with few exceptions (notably Synology) we see there is very little coverage, and even Synology struggles to adopt basic hardening features like ASLR and stack guards.

    A perfect score, where all binaries had all 5 basic safety features, would result in a chart that looks like a regular pentagon. Instead, in most vendors’ cases, they struggle to achieve polygon status at all.

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  • Milky Way v0.3 release

                     

                       

    Added
    LibreSSL as the default provider of SSL and TLS protocols
    Xenocara as the default provider of display server for the X Window System

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  • sysupgrade(8) Added to OpenBSD 6.5

                     

                       

    In a move bound to be greeted with great enthusiasm, the newly-released Patch 012 for OpenBSD 6.5 adds sysupgrade(8) to the system.

More in Tux Machines

Open source technology, enabling innovation

One of the most exciting projects to come out of the open source revolution is Kubernetes, a tool helping companies running their software on cloud services. It enables them to get the most out of the processing power they’re paying for by identifying machines that are being underutilised. So, if the software detects that a machine is not being optimised, it will load it up with another task so it’s working as hard as it can. Read more

Forbes Raves Upcoming Linux Desktop will enclose Windows 10 and macOS

Forbes senior employee Jason Evangelho dedicated an entire article to an upcoming update for a Sino-domestic Linux distribution: If you haven't paid attention to a bit of Linux desktop distribution called Deepin, it's time to put it on your radar. Remember that Huawei Deepin chose to ship on their MateBook laptop lineup. Remember that Deepin Cloud Sync (for system settings) is a great, progressive feature that every Linux distro must use. Remember that the retractable control center from the future looks like something sexy and sensible. But looking at 2020, Deepin is absolutely breathtaking. This is without a doubt the nicest desktop environment I have ever seen … For me, the UX is more intuitive and pleasant than macOS and Windows 10. And luckily a quick setting can also transform Deepin into the traditional Windows or macOS desktop paradigm's that you are already familiar with. Hell, even the installer is a relief. Read more Also: Differences between Windows and Linux operating systems. The fundamental differences that are worth knowing

[libre-riscv-dev] power pc

So as you know, the RISCV Foundation is seriously impeding progress. There
is huge momentum around RISCV itself, however as far as open *innovation*
is concerned, the sheer arrogance of the Foundation in failing to respect
the combination of Libre goals and business objectives has us completely
isolated from key critical resources such as the closed secret lists and
wiki.

We cannot even get access to documentation explaining how to propose new
extensions.

I have been considering for some time to reach out to MIPS and PowerPC.
Yesterday I wrote to the OpenPower Foundation and was really surprised and
delighted to hear back from Hugh Blemings, whom I worked with over 20 years
ago.

I outlined some conditions (no NDAs, open mailing lists, use of
Certification Marks and Compliance Suites) and he replied back that this
was pretty much along the lines of what they were planning.

I will have a chat with him some time, in the meantime I found the spec:

https://openpowerfoundation.org/?resource_lib=power-isa-version-3-0

It is eeenooormous, however Hugh reassures me that they want to break it
into sections.

Why would we even consider this?

The lesson from RISCV is really clear: if the ISA is set up as a cartel,
Libre innovation is not welcome.

If we had a goal to just *implement* a *pre existing* Extension, there
would be no problem.

It is the fact that we wish to implement entirely new extensions, for CPU
and GPU *and* VPU purposes, but not as a separate processor (which would be
classified as "custom") that is the "problem".

So starting at page 1146, we need to work out how to shoe horn a ton of
stuff into the ISA, as well as fit 16 bit compressed in as well.

L.
Read more Also: Libre RISC-V Open-Source Effort Now Looking At POWER Instead Of RISC-V

Calamares grabs onto things

I’ve been working on Calamares, the Universal Linux Installer, for a little over two years – following up in the role Teo started. It’s used by Neon (for the dev version, not the user version) and Manjaro and lots of other Linux distributions. I’ve typically called it an installer for boutique distro’s, as opposed to the Big Five. Well, Debian 11 has plans. And lubuntu uses it as well (and has for over six months). Those seem pretty big. Read more