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LibreOffice Updated to 3.6.2

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The Document Foundation today announced the latest stable release of popular free office suite, LibreOffice 3.6.2. This release bring lots of bug and regression fixes. Yeah, the changelog is long and boring, but it adds up to improved stability for LibreOfffice users - which is always a good thing.

The release announcement highlighted the ever increasing adoptions of LibreOffice. One specific example is the city of Limerick, Ireland; which moved 450 desktops to LibreOffice at several libraries, the fire department, and the city's museum and art gallery.

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Android Leftovers

XFS / EXT4 / Btrfs / F2FS / NILFS2 Performance On Linux 5.8

Given the reignited discussions this week over Btrfs file-system performance stemming from a proposal to switch Fedora on the desktop to using Btrfs, here are some fresh benchmarks of not only Btrfs but alongside XFS, EXT4, F2FS, and for kicks NILFS2 was also tossed into the mix for these mainline file-system tests off the in-development Linux 5.8 kernel. With the yet-to-be-approved proposal specifically to use Btrfs for desktop installations, for this testing a single NVMe solid-state drive was used for testing in jiving with conventional desktop use-cases rather than any elaborate RAID setups, etc. Each of the tested file-systems were carried out with the default mount options in an out-of-the-box manner. Read more

Proprietary Software Leftovers

  • Ransomware Gangs Don’t Need PR Help

    Overall, I’ve tried to use each story to call attention to key failures that frequently give rise to ransomware infections, and to offer information about how other companies can avoid a similar fate.

    But simply parroting what professional extortionists have posted on their blog about victims of cybercrime smacks of providing aid and comfort to an enemy that needs and deserves neither.

  • Ransomware gangs are doing their homework before encrypting corporate data

    In the last three months, the criminal hackers behind the Maze ransomware have attacked two big IT service providers, one of which is a Fortune 500 company. Other ransomware gangs have hit big corporate targets, and in so doing are first locking computer systems and then publicly shaming companies that don’t pay up by dumping their data.

    For corporations that do pay the ransom, the pain sometimes isn’t over. There is no guarantee that the decryption key handed over by the attacker works, said Wendi Whitmore, global lead at IBM Security X-Force.

  • Zoom Will Offer End-To-End Encryption To All Its Users [Ed: But no. You cannot trust proprietary software to do what it claims to do.]

    The pandemic has moved more activities online--and specifically onto Zoom--than ever before. For an enterprise tool like Zoom, that means new users that the company never expected and did not design for, and all the unanticipated security and privacy problems that come with that sudden growth. Zoom's decision to offer end-to-end encryption more widely is especially important because the people who cannot afford enterprise subscriptions are often the ones who need strong security and privacy protections the most. For example, many activists rely on Zoom as an organizing tool, including the Black-led movement against police violence. To use Zoom's end-to-end encryption, free users will have to provide additional information, like a phone number, to authenticate. As Zoom notes, this is a common method for mitigating abuse, but phone numbers were never designed to be persistent all-purpose individual identifiers, and using them as such creates new risks for users. In different contexts, Signal, Facebook, and Twitter have all encountered disclosure and abuse problems with user phone numbers. At the very least, the phone numbers that users give Zoom should be used only for authentication, and only by Zoom. Zoom should not use these phone numbers for any other purpose, and should never require users to reveal them to other parties.

  • Desklab Portable USB-C Monitor

    I bought a mini-DisplayPort to HDMI adapter and for my first test ran it from my laptop, it was seen as a 1920*1080 DisplayPort monitor. The adaptor is specified as supporting 4K so I don’t know why I didn’t get 4K to work, my laptop has done 4K with other monitors. The next thing I plan to get is a VGA to HDMI converter so I can use this on servers, it can be a real pain getting a monitor and power cable to a rack mounted server and this portable monitor can be powered by one of the USB ports in the server. A quick search indicates that such devices start at about $12US. The Desklab monitor has no markings to indicate what resolution it supports, no part number, and no serial number. The only documentation I could find about how to recognise the difference between the FullHD and 4K versions is that the FullHD version supposedly draws 2A and the 4K version draws 4A. I connected my USB Ammeter and it reported that between 0.6 and 1.0A were drawn. If they meant to say 2W and 4W instead of 2A and 4A (I’ve seen worse errors in manuals) then the current drawn would indicate the 4K version. Otherwise the stated current requirements don’t come close to matching what I’ve measured.

Raspberry Pi 4's Vulkan Driver and More

  • Alejandro Piñeiro: v3dv status update 2020-07-01

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  • Raspberry Pi 4's Vulkan Driver Is Now More Usable - Supporting More Features

    The "V3DV" Vulkan driver being developed by Igalia under contract with the Raspberry Pi Foundation has offered a status update on this official driver for the Raspberry Pi 4. The V3DV effort is the modern, official Vulkan driver for the Raspberry Pi 4 and not to be confused with the third-party Vulkan driver for pre-RPi4 hardware or the former Raspberry Pi 4 Vulkan effort. This is the new driver being developed and what ultimately will be the official driver option moving forward.

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