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Which Linux Distro Is Best for Privacy? We’ve Done the Research [Guide]

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GNU
Linux

The code that Linux is built on is open-source software. That means anyone can read or modify the code. While that may sound like a privacy nightmare, it is actually the opposite. Independent programmers from all over the world work on Linux code. That makes it almost impossible for a bad actor to add malicious code to Linux without someone seeing it.

Contrast this to proprietary operating systems like Windows or macOS. The proprietary source code is controlled by the company and hidden from outsiders. If you use a proprietary operating system, you have to trust the company. Will they ensure that no malicious code gets added by outsiders? Will they add malicious code themselves?

Windows 10, for example, has code in it that records all sorts of information about how you use your computer. Microsoft inserted this code intentionally to gather this information for their own use. In the Linux world, a small army of programmers guards the source code against this kind of behavior.

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More in Tux Machines

today's leftovers

  • 2nd video review of Zenwalk 15.0 Milestone 2020

    Here's a nice video review which can also be useful as a step by step setup tutorial (thanks to DJ Ware). Note that the DJ didn't use netpkg : the Zenwalk package manager, and he should have ;) (flathub is NOT a package manager : it's more to be considered as a "play store").

  • Bringing Microsoft Media Foundation to GStreamer

    NOTE : Strictly speaking, the UWP video capture implementation is not part of the Media Foundation API. The internal implementation is based on the Windows.Media.Capture API. Due to the structural similarity between Media Foundation and WinRT Media API however, it makes sense to include the UWP video capture implementation in this plugin. Media Foundation is known as the successor of DirectShow. As DirectShow does, Media Foundation provides various media-related functionality, but most of the features (muxing, demuxing, capturing, rendering, decoding/encoding and pipelining of relevant processing functionality) of Media Foundation can be replaced with GStreamer.

  • ReactOS Hires Developer To Work On Their Open-Source Windows Storage Stack

    The storage capabilities for ReactOS as the "open-source Windows" project has long been in poor shape relative to the other subsystems, but ReactOS Deutschland has hired a developer to work full-time on making improvements in storage and related areas. For at least the next quarter, ReactOS Deutschland is funding a former GSoC ReactOS contributor to work on making their scsiport driver plug-and-play-aware, fixing plug-and-play bugs within their kernel and related work to improve USB storage support and compatibility with Windows storage drivers. Victor Perevertkin previously wrote the Btrfs boot sector code for ReactOS and has been making other improvements over the past two years.

  • Announcing elections for the next TDF Membership Committee

    we hereby officially announce the upcoming elections for the next Membership Committee of The Document Foundation. As per § 12 II of our statutes (binding version in German and non-binding translation), the Membership Committee’s term lasts two years. The current Membership Committee started its duty on September 19, 2018. Therefore, the old Membership Committee remains in charge until the end of September 18, 2020, so the new MC will be in charge the day after that, which is September 19, 2020. That upcoming term will then (regularly) end on September 18, 2022, so the next election of the Membership Committee will take place before. As per § 6 III, only members of the Board of Trustees of The Document Foundation, as well as current members of any of its bodies, are eligible to be elected into the Membership Committee, and the election is overseen by the Board of Directors (§ 12 II). The active electoral right is reserved to those who have been members of the Board of Trustees before this announcement (§ 12 II).

  • WordPress 5.5 Beta 2

    This software is still in development, so it’s not recommended to run this version on a production site. Consider setting up a test site to play with the new version.

  • This Iowa Town Is Building An Open Access Fiber Broadband Network. Google Fiber Is Its First Customer

    West Des Moines, Iowa this week announced that it would be building a massive, open access fiber network. The city is one of roughly 750 towns and cities that, frustrated by high prices, limited competition, and patchy availability of US broadband, have decided to instead build their own networks. Well, assuming that AT&T and Comcast haven't bribed your state officials to pass laws banning such efforts yet.

  • Study: Only 5% of Conservation Journals Comply With Principles for Fair and Open Access
  • Measure The Impact Of The ONC’s New Interoperability Rules Now

    We begin with measures available or implementable now to assess current behaviors and whether they begin to shift in line with the regulations. These initial indicators have shortcomings, however, and we describe ways to address them and improve future measurement.

  • MechBoard64 | Replacement Commodore 64 Keyboard

    Every day, when I walk back to my “healing bench,” the place I fix my kids toys or things I break around the house, I see my extra, empty bread-bin box Commodore 64 shell. It has been sitting empty since sometime in the early 90s and my mind will wonder to a place where that would be a functional computer once again. Not that I need another Commodore 64, but I am thinking, often, I would like to have a modern re-implementation of the Commodore 64, specifically, with that Ultimate 64. When I play games or do IRC with the Commodore 64, I am periodically reminded that old hardware can have some unwelcome hiccups and remind me why we moved beyond the 8-bit era. Some behaviors of it are just not very welcome. Glitching out, occasional crashing after hours of usage, lack of complete drive compatibility with the SD2IEC device and so forth. I would like to have the best of both worlds, 8-bit fun and charm along with the modern conveniences of storage and reliability. Is that too much to ask?

  • Apple Silicon: The Passing of Wintel

    Apple isn’t simply dropping a proudly designed homegrown CPU in place of an Intel chip on Mac motherboards. Moving to Apple Silicon is an expensive undertaking that affects hardware and software engineering, developer relationships, marketing… If the switch to Apple Silicon were a mere CPU replacement, billions of dollars would burn in a bonfire of vanity.

    No. Apple sees its SoC as a means to make the Mac better. Of course, “better” is a dangerously vague adjective that needs some evidence.

Debian Developers' Blogs on Technical Work

  • Markus Koschany: My Free Software Activities in June 2020

    Welcome to gambaru.de. Here is my monthly report (+ the first week in July) that covers what I have been doing for Debian. If you’re interested in Java, Games and LTS topics, this might be interesting for you.

  • MessagePack vs CBOR (RFC7049)

    I recently wanted to choose a binary encoding. This was for a project using Rust serde, so I looked at the list of formats there. I ended up reading about CBOR and MessagePack. Both of these are binary formats for a JSON-like data model. Both of them are "schemaless", meaning you can decode them without knowing the structure. (This also provides some forwards compatibility.) They are, in fact, quite similar (although they are totally incompatible). This is no accident: CBOR is, effectively, a fork of MessagePack. Both formats continue to exist and both are being used in new programs. I needed to make a choice but lacked enough information. I thought I would try to examine the reasons and nature of the split, and to make some kind of judgement about the situation. So I did a lot of reading [11]. Here are my conclusions.

  • Debian PPC64EL Emulation

    In my post on Debian S390X Emulation [1] I mentioned having problems booting a Debian PPC64EL kernel under QEMU. Giovanni commented that they had PPC64EL working and gave a link to their site with Debian QEMU images for various architectures [2]. I tried their image which worked then tried mine again which also worked – it seemed that a recent update in Debian/Unstable fixed the bug that made QEMU not work with the PPC64EL kernel. Here are the instructions on how to do it.

Hardware: Wainlux, RasPi, Arduino

  • Wainlux K6 & Alfawise C50 Mini Laser Engravers Offered for $130 and Up

    A few days ago I saw Wainlux K6 “most compact, powerful and simple-to-use” laser engraver on Kickstarter for about $159. I did not think too much of it at the time, but this morning I thought it already showed up for pre-order on GearBest for $129.99 as Alfawise C50. But I was mistaken, as both products are different, albeit sharing some of the same attributes. Nevertheless, this brought back my curiosity about these types of devices, especially with Wainlux K6 having already managed to raise over $200,000 from close to 1,400 backers so far. So let’s look at both.

  • Travel the world with a retro musical phone
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Programming: XML, Perl and Rust

  • 10 Excellent Free Books to Learn XML

    XML is a set of rules for defining semantic tags that describe the structure and meaning of a document. The user of XML chooses the names and placement of the tags to convey the nature of the data stored in a document. XML can be used to markup any data file to make it easier to understand and process. In addition, it has been applied to many special domains of data: mathematics, music, vector graphics, the spoken word, financial data, chemical symbols, and web pages among others. Here’s our recommended free books to master XML.

  • 2020.28 Bridges 7

    Arne Sommer, inspired by a solution of a previous Weekly Challenge, wrote a small series of blog posts about the seven bridges of Königsberg:

  • A tour with Net::FTP

    When we want to have a way to exchange files between machines, we often think about rsync, scp, git or even something slow and complex (looking at you Artifactory and S3), but the answer is often right in front of your eyes: FTP! The “File Transfer Protocol” provides a very simple and convenient way to share files. It’s battle-tested, requires almost no maintenance, and has a simple anonymous access mechanism. It can be integrated with several standard auth methods and even some virtual ones, none of which I show here. [...] I got the idea to backup and centralize automatically the configuration file during the creation of the build pipeline workspace. It was intended to help both developers (configuration “samples”) and support team (see history, versioned then we can check diffs, file to replay). The constraints were to be able to exchange file from various places with variable users. The FTP protocol is a perfect fit for that. I added also a cronjob to autocommit and push to a git repository and we had magically a website listing versioned configurations files. In addition, FTP proved later to also require zero support. I mean really zero maintenance!

  • Perl Mongers, Unite!

    pm.org is great for resources, but there's no obvious way to promote your meeting. Not that there needed to be when the meetings were local events, but now, thanks to Covid-19, these meetings are taking place virtually. Why limit yourself to your local members? I am convinced that there are plenty of pockets of mongers that, if united and connected, would make the world realize that Perl Is Not Dead.

  • Programming languages: Now Rust project looks for a way into the Linux kernel

    The makers of systems programming language Rust are looking at how to adapt the language for use in the Linux kernel. Josh Triplett, an Intel engineer and lead of the Rust language project, says he'd "love to see a path to incorporating Rust into the kernel", as long as it's done cautiously and doesn't upset Linux kernel creator Linus Torvalds.