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Utopia goes digital

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Is the real world grating on you, with its wars, overheated summers and incessant Tom Cruise updates? Just hop online and create a digital you that lives in a utopian cyber-realm. There, you can buy a pixilated house on a lake, go ballooning with like-minded souls and even open up a virtual business that delivers real-world cash.

Second Life persona Chandra Page created this unibike to tool around the massively multiplayer online community.

While you're busy processing that, a few more folks are joining Second Life, a growing adult community — woe to anyone who calls it a game — created by Philip Rosedale, the boyish Bay Area techie at the helm of Linden Lab.

"It's a bit like The Matrix," Rosedale says, tapping away at a keyboard as he ushers his avatar — a digital alter ego that can take almost any shape but frequently appears as a buff or buxom humanoid — into Second Life. "We provide the land, and the community builds the actual world, which gives everyone a huge sense of being pioneers in a great experiment."

The appeal of a place like Second Life, a turbocharged version of The Sims, is visceral. It's like being in a hip world that mates Friends with Star Trek, a global coffee klatch where your custom-designed proxy can make eye contact with humans cloaked in digital finery.

Second Life belies the accusation that technology alienates humans from each other: The community is used by two dozen adults with Asperger's syndrome to work on social skills without having to interact face-to-face.

Using avatars to interact online is a booming trend. It was non-existent a decade ago, but today there are an estimated 5 million subscribers worldwide to dozens of massively multiplayer online games, known as MMOGs. With names like World of Warcraft and EverQuest, most challenge players to reach specified goals, usually with some degree of mayhem and derring-do involved.

But Second Life stands apart in a sea of goal-oriented MMOGs. It has no mission other than the same ones found in real life: Look for a nice place to settle down, build a home, start a business and find fun ways to blow off steam. It is remarkable in its simplistic and, yes, scary ability to provide a way to live a parallel life online.

There also is evidence that once people get a taste of Second Life, they're hooked. Mmogchart.com, which tracks online-game statistics, shows sharp drops in activity among MMOGs with gaming at their core once the game has been mastered. But the trend line for Second Life is a steady march north, evidence that people are not only curious about joining a virtual community to just, well, hang out, but they also stay involved once they get there.

Full Story.

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today's leftovers

  • Gaming and the Steam Deck will kill the Windows desktop - TechHQ

    The computer games industry grosses more than the film, music and sports industries, often in combination. It’s the premier sector for innovation in computing, with dedicated teams squeezing out the best performance from today’s and tomorrow’s hardware and software. Put simply, there’s so much money at stake, games developers have to innovate and create literally awesome products to create a return on the substantial investments required to produce an AAA game. The announcement a few months ago that Valve, the company behind Steam, was producing a next-generation handheld gaming platform has started a series of events that will irrevocably change the choice of the operating system for the future’s daily driver desktop. Since time immemorial, Microsoft’s Windows has been the prevailing choice not just for gaming, but for any number of industry given the OS’ pervasive penetration.

  • Humble has a Paradox Bundle up with plenty of strategy games and a Halloween sale | GamingOnLinux

    Ready for more games to keep you warm this coming Winter? Check out the Paradox StrataGems Bundle and there's also a nice Humble Store Halloween sale now live. For the bundle it's a mixture of native Linux games and a few that work well with Steam Play Proton too.

  • PipeWire 0.3.39 Brings Libcamera Plugin Improvements, Better Compatibility For JACK Apps - Phoronix

    PipeWire 0.3.39 continues improving compatibility with JACK applications, offers better Bluetooth device compatibility with more devices now working, its libcamera plug-in has been improved upon, an LD_PRELOAD V4L2 emulation library for running some existing V4L2 targeted applications on top of PipeWire, and the media-session has been moved into a separate module to further its deprecation in favoring it be replaced by WirePlumber.

  • The syslog-ng insider 2021-10: OpenSearch; udp-balancer(); mqtt() destination; process accounting; - Blog - syslog-ng Community - syslog-ng Community

    This is the 95th issue of syslog-ng Insider, a monthly newsletter that brings you syslog-ng-related news.

  • The best open source software of 2021 | InfoWorld [Ed: IDG promoting a bunch of Windows junk and dual-licensed stuff as "Open Source", so you know those "Bossie Awards" are more marketing than substance or partly a PR ploy]

    InfoWorld’s 2021 Bossie Awards recognize the year’s best open source software for software development, devops, data analytics, and machine learning.

  • In Search Of The First Comment | Hackaday

    Are you writing your code for humans or computers? I wasn’t there, but my guess is that at the dawn of computing, people thought that they were writing for the machines. After all, they were writing in machine language, and whatever bits they flipped into the electronic brain stayed in the electronic brain, unless punched out on paper tape. And the commands made the machine do things, not other people. Code was written strictly for computers. Modern programming practice, on the other hand, is aimed firmly at people. Variable and function names are chosen to be long and to describe what they contain or do. “Readability” of code is a prized attribute. Indeed, sometimes the fact that it does the right thing at all almost seems to be an afterthought. (I kid!) Somewhere along this path, there was an important evolutionary step, like the first fish using its flippers to walk on land. Comments were integrated into programming languages, formalizing the notes that coders of old surely wrote by hand in the margins of the paper first-drafts before keying it in. So I went looking for the missing link: the first computer language, and ideally the first program, with comments. I came up empty handed.

  • Open Source: Eclipse Foundation achieves OpenChain conformity [Ed: Automated translation from German]

    The Eclipse Foundation has announced that its development and licensing processes for open source software comply with the international OpenChain ISO 5230 standard. This has existed for almost a year and comes from the OpenChain project. The project is part of the Linux Foundation and has been defining a standard for an open source compliance program in the form of an OpenChain specification for a long time in order to use open source software in companies in accordance with the license. The specification should be used according to the FAQsTo create trust between companies and to make open source predictable, understandable and usable in internal and external supply chains.

  • OPINION: Legacy Social Media: Free as in beer, not as in speech
  • Thomas L. Knapp: Legacy social media: Free as in beer, not as in speech

    Richard Stallman tells us to "think of 'free speech,' not 'free beer'" when discussing the free software movement. The marriage of legacy social media platforms to government censorship reverses that proposition. Use of the services is "free" (actually, you pay with your data and attention), but you only get to say what the politicians tell those platforms to allow you to say.

  • ESP32-Cam Makes A Dandy Motion Detector | Hackaday

    Halloween is right around the corner and just about every Halloween project needs some kind of motion sensor. Historically, we’ve used IR and ultrasonic sensors but [Makers Mashup] decided to use an ESP32-Cam as a motion sensor in his latest animatronic creation. You can see a video of the device and how it works below. The project is a skull that follows you around with a few degrees of motion on a stepper motor. There’s a 3D-printed enclosure to make the hardware assembly easy. The base software was borrowed from [Eloquent Arduino].

Red Hat Leftovers

  • Broadcasting from microservices on Kubernetes | Red Hat Developer

    In the era of cloud-based applications that divide tasks among multiple dedicated microservices, it is crucial to be able to dispatch events and messaging to multiple clients. This article presents an efficient architecture for broadcasting from a service using a Kubernetes headless service.

  • Davie Street Enterprises’ DevSecOps journey to the hybrid cloud

    Davie Street Enterprises, our fictional Red Hat customer that is working its way through real-world digital transformation problems, is automating DevSecOps tooling across their hybrid cloud infrastructure using Red Hat Advanced Cluster Management. Ok, let’s see it for real. Last we saw Zachary L. Tureaud, he was in the early days of his promotion by Monique Wallace to lead Davie Street Enterprises' (DSE’s) shift towards DevSecOps. Tureaud laid out a comprehensive DevSecOps solution that includes Red Hat and its security partner ecosystem and is designed to shift security left in the DevOps life cycle. His goal is to not let security slow DSE’s application delivery down. Wallace was impressed with Tureaud’s solution, but was concerned about the complexities of deployment. She asked Tureaud to test his vision on a new development project, code name "J.A.R.V.I.S", for the DSE Smart Widget. The project allows the DSE Smart Widget’s speech capabilities to be customized to sound like the voices of superheroes. Wallace knew this project’s characteristics presented low security risk to the company, so it was a great opportunity for Tureaud to test these new security controls.

  • Open source powers the RAN evolution

    A radio access network (RAN) is responsible for enabling and connecting devices such as smartphones or internet of things (IoT) devices to a mobile network. For communications service providers (CSPs), RAN is a significant network technology and monetary investment, needing to perform intensive and complex processing, and facing rapidly increasing demand from emerging edge and 5G use cases. CSPs are modernizing their mobile network with container-based and cloud-native implementations of RAN. One study indicates deployment of virtual RAN (vRAN)/Open RAN (oRAN) solutions realize network TCO savings of up to 44% compared to traditional distributed/centralized RAN configurations. In this post, we describe the application of cloud-native technologies in architecting a blueprint for an open source RAN solution.

  • Dynatrace : Managed release notes version 1.228

    These release notes relate to Dynatrace Managed specific changes. To learn about general Dynatrace changes included in this Dynatrace Managed release, see...

  • Dynatrace : OneAgent release notes version 1.227

    OneAgent core dump capture logic has been adjusted for compatibility with Red Hat Automatic Bug Reporting Tool (ABRT).

  • Ceph boss Sage Weil resigns: civil rights instead of distributed storage [Ed: Automated translation from German]

    According to Weil and Red Hat, Ceph users don’t have to worry – and for several reasons. On the one hand, Red Hat has meanwhile transferred a large part of the responsibility of Ceph to the associated Foundation, which is a bulge of the Linux Foundation. On the other hand, the technical supervision of the storage solution was previously with Sage Weil, but according to his own statement, Sage Weil has it long before his official announcement the handover of all relevant responsibilities has already been initiated. The innermost Ceph circle around him should have known about the change much earlier than the public now, the handover is already underway.

Kernel: Intel, Vortex86, System76

  • Intel Posts The "Last Part" To Their AMX Bring-Up For Linux - Phoronix

    While for many years we have been accustomed to seeing Intel land their new hardware feature enablement work in the Linux kernel and related components well ahead of products shipping, occasionally there are lapses due to various internal and external timings. The launch of Sapphire Rapids is quickly approaching and one of the major additions is Advanced Matrix Extensions with its Linux support still being in the works. Going back to June of 2020 Intel has been posting patches around AMX for the Linux kernel, the open-source toolchains, and related components. On the Linux kernel side that heavy-lifting is still ongoing with no released Linux kernel yet having the support in place for AMX.

  • Intel Graphics Driver's New Parallel Submission uAPI Landing For Linux 5.16 - Phoronix

    This multi-LRC / parallel submission code for their GuC engine and exposed as a new user-space API is ready to go for Linux 5.16. This is part of their long ongoing effort around GuC submission handling and improving their user-space API as they integrate the DRM scheduler and make other fundamental improvements. This new uAPI is being worked on since their existing bonding uAPI is considered "broken" when using GuC submission. For those interested in all of the fine technical details on their parallel submission uAPI design and motivation for doing so can see this kernel documentation.

  • Vortex86 Processor Detection Landing For Linux 5.16 - Phoronix

    Recently I wrote about Vortex86 processors seeing detection work under Linux for improving the state of these aging x86 32-bit SoCs. That work is now slated to be introduced in the upcoming Linux 5.16 cycle for those running these aging SoCs/processors. As outlined in the prior article, the motivation for finally having proper Linux kernel detection around Vortex86 processors stems from these in-order processors not being vulnerable to Spectre and Meltdown. However, with current versions of the Linux kernel the Spectre/Meltdown mitigations are applied to these x86 32-bit SoCs for the kernel not knowing that they aren't vulnerable.

  • System76 Laptops To See Some Useful Improvements With Linux 5.16 - Phoronix

    Patches queued this week into the platform-drivers-x86 "for-next" branch ahead of the Linux 5.16 merge window will provide some useful improvements to System76 laptop owners. Several improvements to the System76 ACPI driver were queued up into this area of the kernel that holds various x86 laptop drivers and more.