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Thursday, 18 Jan 18 - Tux Machines is a community-driven public service/news site which has been around for over a decade and primarily focuses on GNU/LinuxSubscribe now Syndicate content

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Quick Roundup

Type Title Author Repliessort icon Last Post
Story Oh no, Keith Knudsen Passes On srlinuxx 10/04/2005 - 11:55pm
Story M$ Antitrust Settlement May Not Foster Competition srlinuxx 10/04/2005 - 11:57pm
Blog entry 2-10-05 Texstar 11/04/2005 - 3:13am
Story Firefox to Blame for Increased Attacks on M$ srlinuxx 11/04/2005 - 3:14am
Story Arthur Miller Dies at 89 srlinuxx 11/04/2005 - 3:14am
Story Desktop Summit Proves Linux Interest on the Rise srlinuxx 11/04/2005 - 3:14am
Story KDE 3.4beta2 revisited srlinuxx 11/04/2005 - 6:27am
Story Script Kiddie Gets Probation srlinuxx 11/04/2005 - 3:15am
Story Suicide Pact in Yahoo Chat Rooms srlinuxx 11/04/2005 - 3:16am
Story LokiTorrent Ordered to Pay Million Bucks srlinuxx 11/04/2005 - 3:16am

Google Ditches Goobuntu Linux For Debian-Based gLinux

Filed under
Linux
Debian

It’s not a hidden fact that Google has been using Ubuntu-based Linux distribution called Goobunu for years.

The home-baked distribution used by Google engineers is like a light skin on top of Ubuntu Linux LTS releases. The company has been a customer of Canonical as part of the Ubuntu Advantage Program, so it shouldn’t come as a surprise.

Read more

Also: Google ditches Ubuntu for Debian for internal engineering environment

Games: RUINER, Remnants of Naezith, Rise to Ruins, Super Cane Magic ZERO, Dead Island

Filed under
Gaming

Retpoline Benchmarked

Filed under
Graphics/Benchmarks
  • Benchmarking Retpoline Underflow Protection With Intel Skylake/Kabylake

    Beyond the Retpoline support already found in the mainline Linux kernel, developers are working on Retpoline Underflow support that would be used for Intel Skylake and Kabylake CPUs. RETPOLINE_UNDERFLOW protects against falling back to a potentially poisoned indirect branch predictor when a return buffer underflows and this additional protection is needed for Intel Skylake/Kabylake processors. I ran a couple benchmarks.

  • AMD Retpoline Benchmarks From FX To Threadripper & EPYC

    For those curious about the performance impact of the Retpoline patches as found in the latest Linux 4.15 kernel, here are some benchmarks on an assortment of old and new AMD Linux systems.

Security Leftovers

Filed under
Security

KDE and GNOME Development: Discover, librsvg, GNOME Photos

Filed under
KDE
GNOME
  • This week in Discover

    I guess I’m becoming a Discover developer, since it’s where I seem to spend most of my time these days. It’s just so darn fun since the lead Developer Aleix Pol is super easy to work with, there’s a lot of low-hanging fruit, and with Kirigami, it’s very simple to make consequential changes even when you’re a novice programmer and not very familiar with the codebase. That said, Aleix is still making about 99% of the code changes, and I’m mostly doing UI tweaks, bug screening, promotion, strategy, and work with apps to get their houses in order.

  • Help needed for librsvg 2.42.1

    I have prepared a list of bugs which I'd like to be fixed in the 2.42.1 milestone. Two of them are assigned to myself, as I'm already working on them.

  • GNOME Photos: Happenings

Graphics: NVIDIA and Mesa

Filed under
Graphics/Benchmarks
  • NVIDIA 340.106 Legacy Driver Released For KPTI Compatibility

    For those using the 340 series legacy driver for NVIDIA GeForce 8 and GeForce 9 series GPU support, the 340.106 driver has been released.

  • Mesa 18.0.0 release plan

    As you've know the Mesa 18.0.0 release plan has been available for a while on the mesa3d.org website [1].

  • Mesa 18.0 Will Enter Its Feature Freeze Soon

    The Mesa 18.0 feature freeze and release candidate will be issued in the days ahead.

    Emil Velikov quietly updated the Mesa3D release schedule a while back though now he's announced it to the mailing list. The original plan was to do the branching / feature freeze and RC1 on 19 January, but given the short notice, that might be kicked out until next week.

AT&T in Open Network Automation Platform (ONAP)

Filed under
OSS

Librem 5 Phone Progress Report

Filed under
GNU
Linux
Hardware
  • Librem 5 Phone Progress Report – The First of Many More to Come!

    First, let me apologize for the silence. It was not because we went into hibernation for the winter, but because we were so busy in the initial preparation and planning of a totally new product while orienting an entirely new development team. Since we are more settled into place now, we want to change this pattern of silence and provide regular updates. Purism will be giving weekly news update posts every Tuesday, rotating between progress on phone development from a technology viewpoint (the hardware, kernel, OS, etc.) and an art of design viewpoint (UI/UX from GNOME/GTK to KDE/Plasma). To kickoff this new update process, this post will discus the technological progress of the Librem 5 since November of 2017.

  • Purism Eyeing The i.MX8M For The Librem 5 Smartphone, Issues First Status Update

    If you have been curious about the state of Purism's Librem 5 smartphone project since its successful crowdfunding last year and expedited plans to begin shipping this Linux smartphone in early 2019, the company has issued their first status update.

Benchmarking Retpoline-Enabled GCC 8 With -mindirect-branch=thunk

We have looked several times already at the performance impact of Retpoline support in the Linux kernel, but what about building user-space packages with -mindirect-branch=thunk? Here is the performance cost to building some performance tests in user-space with -mindirect-branch=thunk and -mindirect-branch=thunk-inline.

Read more

An introduction to Inkscape for absolute beginners

Filed under
OSS

Inkscape is a powerful, open source desktop application for creating two-dimensional scalable vector graphics. Although it's primarily an illustration tool, Inkscape is used for a wide range of computer graphic tasks.

The variety of what can be done with Inkscape is vast and sometimes surprising. It is used to make diagrams, logos, programmatic marketing materials, web graphics, and even for paper scrapbooking. People also draw game sprites, produce banners, posters, and brochures. Others use Inkscape to draft web design mockups, detail layouts for printed circuit boards, or produce outline files to send to laser cutting equipment.

Read more

Behind the scenes with Pop!_OS Linux

Filed under
GNU
Linux
Interviews
Ubuntu

In October, Linux PC maker System76 released its homegrown version of Linux, Pop!_OS, giving users the choice between its legacy Ubuntu operating system or the new Pop!_OS flavor of Linux. Recently Opensource.com gave away a System76 laptop with Pop!_OS installed, which made me curious about the company and this new version of Linux, so I spoke with Cassidy James Blaede, Pop!_OS's user experience (UX) designer.

Blaede joined System76 in 2014, fresh out of college at the University of Northern Iowa and marriage to his wife, Katie. While in college, he co-founded the elementary OS project and interned at UX consultancy Visual Logic, both of which influenced his work for System76. He started at System76 as a front-end developer and was later promoted to UX architect.

Read more

Also: Linux Journal 2.0 Progress Report

Programming/Development: HHVM 3.24, 'DevOps', RcppMsgPack

Filed under
Development
  • HHVM 3.24

    HHVM 3.24 is released! This release contains new features, bug fixes, performance improvements, and supporting work for future improvements. Packages have been published in the usual places.

  • HHVM 3.24 Released, The Final Supporting PHP5

    The Facebook crew responsible for the HHVM project as a speedy Hack/PHP language implementation is out with its 3.24 release.

    HHVM 3.24 is important as it's the project's last release focusing on PHP5 compatibility. Moving forward, PHP5 compatibility will no longer be a focus and components of it will likely be dropped. As well, Facebook will be focusing on their Hack language rather than PHP7. Now that PHP7 is much faster than PHP5 and all around in a much better state, Facebook developers are focusing on their Hack language rather than just being an alternative PHP implementation.

  • How to get into DevOps

    I've observed a sharp uptick of developers and systems administrators interested in "getting into DevOps" within the past year or so. This pattern makes sense: In an age in which a single developer can spin up a globally distributed infrastructure for an application with a few dollars and a few API calls, the gap between development and systems administration is closer than ever. Although I've seen plenty of blog posts and articles about cool DevOps tools and thoughts to think about, I've seen fewer content on pointers and suggestions for people looking to get into this work.

  • RcppMsgPack 0.2.1

    Am update of RcppMsgPack got onto CRAN today. It contains a number of enhancements Travers had been working on, as well as one thing CRAN asked us to do in making a suggested package optional.

    MessagePack itself is an efficient binary serialization format. It lets you exchange data among multiple languages like JSON. But it is faster and smaller. Small integers are encoded into a single byte, and typical short strings require only one extra byte in addition to the strings themselves. RcppMsgPack brings both the C++ headers of MessagePack as well as clever code (in both R and C++) Travers wrote to access MsgPack-encoded objects directly from R.

Software: Clay, Inkscape, VirtualBox, Thunderbird

Filed under
Software
  • New York magazine is making its CMS available open-source

    There’s a short history of publishers fancying themselves as technology companies and building a business selling their tech to other publishers. Publishers realized that building a whole new side business around licensing their tech is a headache and that they needed to focus on what they’re good at, and leave the tech to others.

    New York magazine is trying out a different approach. It built its own content management system (publishers like to give their homegrown CMSes cute names; this one is called Clay, for the magazine’s founder Clay Felker) in 2015 and then licensed the software to the online magazine Slate. Slate started using Clay a year ago and was set to fully migrate its site to Clay this week. But instead of New York charging Slate a licensing fee, Slate is paying New York in the form of code. The CMS is open-source, and developers from both titles contribute to it.

  • An introduction to Inkscape for absolute beginners

    Inkscape is a powerful, open source desktop application for creating two-dimensional scalable vector graphics. Although it's primarily an illustration tool, Inkscape is used for a wide range of computer graphic tasks.

    The variety of what can be done with Inkscape is vast and sometimes surprising. It is used to make diagrams, logos, programmatic marketing materials, web graphics, and even for paper scrapbooking. People also draw game sprites, produce banners, posters, and brochures. Others use Inkscape to draft web design mockups, detail layouts for printed circuit boards, or produce outline files to send to laser cutting equipment.

  • Linux Support in VirtualBox is about to get a LOT Better

    VirtualBox makes it easy to try Linux distros without replacing your current operating system or engaging in a game of reboot leap frog.

    But things are about to get even easier. Soon you won’t need to install the VirtualBox Guest Additions package to get a fully integrated Linux experience with your host OS.

  • Have You Taken the Thunderbird Redesign Survey?

    Monterail and Thunderbird are now working on the same team.

    Yes, that Monterail, the Poland-based development company whose stunning Thunderbird mock-up went viral last year, before becoming a real, working Thunderbird theme.

    “We got in touch with […] the Thunderbird core team to discuss possibilities. We wanted to establish how to enhance user retention and make Thunderbird more user-friendly for potential and current users. We also learned how Thunderbird is built which helped with planning iterations,” Monterail’s Krystian Polański explains in a new blog post on the company’s website.

No More Ubuntu! Debian is the New Choice For Google’s In-house Linux Distribution

For years Google used Goobuntu, an in-house, Ubuntu-based operating system. Goobuntu is now being replaced by gLinux, which is based on Debian Testing.
Read more

Games: InnerSpace, BATTLETECH, Civilization VI, SteamOS, Unreal Engine

Filed under
Gaming
  • InnerSpace from PolyKnight Games & Aspyr Media launches with day-1 Linux support, some thoughts

    InnerSpace [Steam], an exploration flying game set in the Inverse, a world of inside-out planets without horizons is now available for Linux.

    Disclosure: Key provided by Aspyr Media.

    In InnerSpace, you are an autonomous drone named Cartographer, which was created by the Archaeologist from information left over by the Ancients. The Archaeologist requires your help to reach areas of the Inverse where they cannot go and so your journey begins.

    I will start off by recommending a gamepad for InnerSpace. While it does work with Keyboard, it doesn’t feel good at all, you will have a much better experience with a gamepad in your hands.

  • BATTLETECH will only be coming to Linux post-launch, along with other features

    The turn-based mech strategy game developed by Harebrained Schemes won’t be on Linux at launch later this year. Other features have also been cut or altered and will be making into the game post-release.

  • Civilization VI: Rise and Fall shows off overview of new features

    The upcoming expansion for Civilization VI [Official Site] will be introducing quite a few interesting changes to the game. You can see how exactly you’ll be spending just one more turn in this overview video.

  • SteamOS Beta Switches To Linux 4.14.13 For KPTI To Mitigate Meltdown

    Valve has pushed out a new SteamOS Beta build for the Debian Jessie-based "Brewmaster" series.

    SteamOS Beta 2.145 is out with its main focus on transitioning to the Linux 4.14 (v4.14.13) stable kernel.

  • Unreal Engine 4.19 Preview Rolls Out With Renderer Enhancements

    Epic Games has rolled out their public preview build of the upcoming Unreal Engine 4.19 game engine update.

    Unreal Engine 4.19 features renderer improvements, new animation and physics capabilities, VR improvements, initial support for the HTC Vive Pro, Steam Audio Beta 10 integration, Live Link plug-in improvements, and a plethora of other work.

  • Unreal Engine 4.19 Preview 1 Now Available

    Unreal Engine 4.19 will be available soon and it'll include many new exciting features and fixes. The first Preview build is now available on the Epic Games launcher for you to download. You can explore a number of new animation and physics updates, including improvements to the Live Link plugin and Sequencer performance, and signficant changes to VR resolution settings. There are also a number of quality-of-life improvements.

Servers: Containers, MapR, 'Serverless', Bonitasoft

Filed under
Server
  • Containers versus Operating Systems

    The most popular docker base container image is either busybox, or scratch. This is driven by a movement that is equal parts puritanical and pragmatic. The puritan asks “Why do I need to run init(1) just to run my process?” The pragmatist asks “Why do I need a 700 meg base image to deploy my application?” And both, seeking immutable deployment units ask “Is it a good idea that I can ssh into my container?” But let’s step back for a second and look at the history of how we got to the point where questions like this are even a thing.

    In the very beginnings, there were no operating systems. Programs ran one at a time with the whole machine at their disposal. While efficient, this created a problem for the keepers of these large and expensive machines. To maximise their investment, the time between one program finishing and another starting must be kept to an absolute minimum; hence monitor programs and batch processing was born.

  • MapR: How Next-Gen Applications Will Change the Way We Look at Data

    MapR is a Silicon Valley-based big data company. Its founders realized that data was going to become ever increasingly important, and existing technologies, including open source Apache Hadoop, fell short of being able to support things like real-time transactional operational applications. So they spent years building out core technologies that resulted in the MapR products, including the flagship Converged Data Platform, platform-agnostic software that’s designed for the multicloud environment. It can even run on embedded Edge devices.

  • 7 Open-Source Serverless Frameworks Providing Functions as a Service

    With virtualization, organizations began to realize greater utilization of physical hardware. That trend continued with the cloud, as organizations began to get their machines into a pay-as-you-go service. Cloud computing further evolved when Amazon Web Services (AWS) launched its Lambda service in 2014, introducing a new paradigm in cloud computing that has become commonly referred to as serverless computing. In the serverless model, organizations pay for functions as a service without the need to pay for an always-on stateful, virtual machine.

  • Bonitasoft Offers Open Source, Low-Code Platform on AWS Cloud

    Bonitasoft, a specialist in open source business process management and digital transformation software, is partnering with the Amazon Web Services Inc. (AWS) cloud to broaden the reach of its low-code development platform.

    That platform, just released in a new version called Bonita 7.6, comes in an open source version and a subscription version with professional support and advanced features.

Mozilla: VR, Ford Money, WebRender, Firefox Extensions Discovery, Firefox 58

Filed under
Moz/FF
  • Mozilla and Sundance Film Festival Present: VR the People

    On Monday January 22, Mozilla is bringing together a panel of the top VR industry insiders in the world to the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah, to explain how VR storytelling is revolutionizing the film and entertainment industry.

    “We want the storyteller’s vision to exceed the capacity of existing technology, to push boundaries, because then the technologist is inspired to engineer new mechanisms that enable things initially thought impossible” says Kamal Sinclair, Director of New Frontier Lab Programs at Sundance Institute. “However, this is not about creating something that appeals to people simply because of its novel technical achievements; rather it is something that has real meaning, and where that meaning can be realized by engineering the technologies to deliver the best experience possible.”

  • Host an Open Internet Activist [Ed: Mozilla now in the pockets of the Ford Foundation, just like the ‘Guardian’]

    Today, we’re launching the Ford-Mozilla Open Web Fellowship call for host organizations. If your organization is devoted to a healthy internet for all users, we encourage you to apply.

  • WebRender newsletter #12
  • The User Journey for Firefox Extensions Discovery

    The ability to customize and extend Firefox are an essential part of Firefox’s value to users. Extensions are small tools that allow developers and users who install the extensions to modify, customize, and extend the functionality of Firefox. For example, during our workflows research in 2016, we interviewed a participant who was a graduate student in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. While she used Safari as her primary browser for common browsing, she used Firefox specifically for her academic work because of the extension Zotero was the best choice for keeping track of her academic work and citations.

    Popular categories of extensions include ad blockers, password managers, and video downloaders. Given the variety of extensions and the benefits to customization they offer, why is it that only 40% of Firefox users have installed at least one extension? Certainly, some portion of Firefox users may be aware of extensions but have no need or desire to install one. However, some users could find value in some extensions but simply may not be aware of the existence of extensions in the first place.

    Why not? How can Mozilla facilitate the extension discovery process?

    A fundamental assumption about the extension discovery process is that users will learn about extensions through the browser, through word of mouth, or through searching to solve a specific problem. We were interested in setting aside this assumption and to observe the steps participants take and the decisions they make in their journey toward possibly discovering extensions. To this end, the Firefox user research team ran two small qualitative studies to understand better how participants solved a particular problem in the browser that could be solved by installing an extension. Our study helped us understand how participants do — or do not — discover a specific category of extension.

  • Firefox Release, Xen, KDE's Plasma and More

    Set your calendars for January 23, 2018, to download the latest Firefox 58 release packed with performance/bottleneck and bug fixes, an even better site source code debugger and more.

Linux Microsoft Office Alternatives

Filed under
GNU
Linux
Microsoft

Despite what you may have been led to believe, there are in fact a number of solid Linux alternatives for Microsoft Office available. In fact, there are even options available with varied levels of docx support, if that is something relevant to your business.

This article will explore my recommended Microsoft Office alternatives for Linux. Some of them you've likely heard of, others may be cloud/server based options that you might not have thought much about until now.

Read more

Also: The best open source video editors 2018: free to download, edit, use and share

Security: Updates, WordPress, Hardware Patches, and Open Source Security Podcast

Filed under
Security
  • Security updates for Tuesday
  • WordPress 4.9.2 Security and Maintenance Release

    WordPress 4.9.2 is now available. This is a security and maintenance release for all versions since WordPress 3.7. We strongly encourage you to update your sites immediately.

    An XSS vulnerability was discovered in the Flash fallback files in MediaElement, a library that is included with WordPress. Because the Flash files are no longer needed for most use cases, they have been removed from WordPress.

  • Debian-Based SolydXK Linux OS Receives Patch for Meltdown Security Vulnerability

    The Debian-based SolydXK Linux operating system has been updated today with patches for the Meltdown security vulnerability, as well as various other new features and improvements.

    To mitigate the Meltdown security exploit that allows a locally installed program to access the memory, including the kernel memory, and steal sensitive information like passwords and encryption keys, the SolydXK 201801 ISO images are now powered by the latest kernel release with patches against this vulnerability.

  • Chakra GNU/Linux Now Patched Against Meltdown & Spectre Security Vulnerabilities

    It's time for users of the Chakra GNU/Linux operating system to patch their systems against the Meltdown and Spectre security vulnerabilities as new kernel updates landed today in the repos.

    Publicly disclosed earlier this month, the Meltdown and Spectre security vulnerabilities are affecting us all, but OS vendors and OEMs are trying their best to mitigate them so that no user can be the victim of attacks where their sensitive data is at risk of getting in the hands of the wrong person.

  • Open Source Security Podcast: Episode 78 - Risk lessons from Hawaii
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More in Tux Machines

Kernel: Kernelci.org, Tripwire, Linux Foundation, R600 Gallium3D

  • Kernelci.org automated bisection
    The kernelci.org project aims at continuously testing the mainline Linux kernel, from stable branches to linux-next on a variety of platforms. When a revision fails to build or boot, kernel developers get informed via email reports. A summary of all the results can also be found directly on the website.
  • Securing the Linux filesystem with Tripwire
    While Linux is considered to be the most secure operating system (ahead of Windows and MacOS), it is still vulnerable to rootkits and other variants of malware. Thus, Linux users need to know how to protect their servers or personal computers from destruction, and the first step they need to take is to protect the filesystem. In this article, we'll look at Tripwire, an excellent tool for protecting Linux filesystems. Tripwire is an integrity checking tool that enables system administrators, security engineers, and others to detect alterations to system files. Although it's not the only option available (AIDE and Samhain offer similar features), Tripwire is arguably the most commonly used integrity checker for Linux system files, and it is available as open source under GPLv2.
  • Open Source Networking and a Vision of Fully Automated Networks
    Arpit Joshipura, Networking General Manager at The Linux Foundation, discussed open source networking trends at Open Source Summit Europe. Ever since the birth of local area networks, open source tools and components have driven faster and more capable network technologies forward. At the recent Open Source Summit event in Europe, Arpit Joshipura, Networking General Manager at The Linux Foundation, discussed his vision of open source networks and how they are being driven by full automation. “Networking is cool again,” he said, opening his keynote address with observations on software-defined networks, virtualization, and more. Joshipura is no stranger to network trends. He has led major technology deployments across enterprises, carriers, and cloud architectures, and has been a steady proponent of open source. “This is an extremely important time for our industry,” he said. “There are more than 23 million open source developers, and we are in an environment where everyone is asking for faster and more reliable services.”
  • R600 Gallium3D Gets Some Last Minute Improvements In Mesa 18.0
    These days when Dave Airlie isn't busy managing the DRM subsystem or hacking on the RADV Vulkan driver, he's been spending a fair amount of time on some OpenGL improvements to the aging R600 Gallium3D driver. That's happened again and he's landed some more improvements just ahead of the imminent Mesa 18.0 feature freeze.

OSS Leftovers

  • Reliance Jio and global tech leaders come together to push Open Source in India
    The India Digital Open Summit which will be held tomorrow at the Reliance Corporate Park campus in Navi Mumbai -is a must-attend event for industry leaders, policymakers, technologists, academia, and developer communities working towards India’s digital leadership through Open Source platforms. The summit is hosted by Reliance Jio in partnership with the Linux Foundation and supported by Cisco Systems.
  • Open-source software simulates river and runoff resources
    Freshwater resources are finite, unevenly distributed, and changing through time. The demand—and competition—for water is expected to grow both in the United States and in the developing/developed world. To examine the connection between supply and demand and resulting regional and global water stresses, a team developed Xanthos. The open-source hydrologic model is available for free and helps researchers explore the details and analyze global water availability. Researchers can use Xanthos to examine the implications of different climate, socioeconomic, and/or energy scenarios over the 21st century. They can then assess the effects of the scenarios on regional and global water availability. Xanthos can be used in three different ways. It can operate as an independent hydrologic model, driven, for example, by scenarios. It can serve as the core freshwater supply component of the Global Change Assessment Model, where multiple sectors and natural systems are modeled simultaneously as part of an interconnected, complex system. Further, it can be used by other integrated models and multi-model frameworks that focus on energy-water-land interactions.
  • “The Apache Way” — Open source done well
    I was at an industry conference and was happy to see many people stopping by the Apache booth. I was pleased that they were familiar with the Apache brand, yet puzzled to learn that so many were unfamiliar with The Apache Software Foundation (ASF). For this special issue, “All Eyes On Open Source”, it’s important to recognize not just Apache’s diverse projects and communities, but also the entity behind their success. Gone are the days when software and technology, in general, were developed privately for the benefit of the few. As technology evolves, the challenges we face become more complex, and the only way to effectively move forward to create the technology of the future is to collaborate and work together. Open Source is a perfect framework for that, and organizations like the ASF carry out a decisive role in protecting its spirit and principles.
  • ​Learn how to run Linux on Microsoft's Azure cloud
  • LLVM 6.0-RC1 Makes Its Belated Debut
    While LLVM/Clang 6.0 was branched earlier this month and under a feature freeze with master/trunk moving to LLVM 7.0, two weeks later the first release candidate is now available. Normally the first release candidate comes immediately following the branching / feature freeze, but not this time due to the shifted schedule with a slow start to satisfy an unnamed company seeking to align their internal testing with LLVM 6.0.
  • Hackers can’t dig into latest Xiaomi phone due to GPL violations
     

    Yet another Android OEM is dragging its feet with its GPL compliance. This time, it's Xiaomi with the Mi A1 Android One device, which still hasn't seen a kernel source code release.  

    Android vendors are required to release their kernel sources thanks to the Linux kernel's GPLv2 licensing. The Mi A1 has been out for about three months now, and there's still no source code release on Xiaomi's official github account.

  • 2017 - The Year in Which Copyright Went Beyond Source Code
    2017 was a big year for raising the profile of copyright in protecting computer programs. Two cases in particular helped bring attention to a myth that was addressed and dispelled some time ago but persists in some circles nonetheless. Many lawyers hold on to the notion that copyright protection for software is weak because such protection inheres in the source code of computer programs. Because most companies that generate code take extensive (and often successful) measures to keep source code out of the hands of third parties, the utility of copyright protection for code is often viewed as limited. However, copyright also extends to the “non-literal elements” of computer programs, such as their sequence, structure and organization, as well as to things such as screen displays and certain user interfaces. In other words, copyright infringement can occur when copying certain outputs of the code without there ever having been access to the underlying code itself.
  • Announcing WebBook Level 1, a new Web-based format for electronic books
    Eons ago, at a time BlueGriffon was only a Wysiwyg editor for the Web, my friend Mohamed Zergaoui asked why I was not turning BlueGriffon into an EPUB editor... I had been observing the electronic book market since the early days of Cytale and its Cybook but I was not involved into it on a daily basis. That seemed not only an excellent idea, but also a fairly workable one. EPUB is based on flavors of HTML so I would not have to reinvent the wheel. I started diving into the EPUB specs the very same day, EPUB 2.0.1 (released in 2009) at that time. I immediately discovered a technology that was not far away from the Web but that was also clearly not the Web. In particular, I immediately saw that two crucial features were missing: it was impossible to aggregate a set of Web pages into a EPUB book through a trivial zip, and it was impossible to unzip a EPUB book and make it trivially readable inside a Web browser even with graceful degradation. When the IDPF started working on EPUB 3.0 (with its 3.0.1 revision) and 3.1, I said this was coming too fast, and that the lack of Test Suites with interoperable implementations as we often have in W3C exit criteria was a critical issue. More importantly, the market was, in my opinion, not ready to absorb so quickly two major and one minor revisions of EPUB given the huge cost on both publishing chains and existing ebook bases. I also thought - and said - the EPUB 3.x specifications were suffering from clear technical issues, including the two missing features quoted above.
  • Firefox 58 Bringing Faster WebAssembly Compilation With Two-Tiered Compiler
    With the launch of Mozilla Firefox 58 slated for next week, WebAssembly will become even faster thanks to a new two-tiered compiler.
  • New Kernel Releases, Net Neutrality, Thunderbird Survey and More
    In an effort to protect Net Neutrality (and the internet), Mozilla filed a petition in federal court yesterday against the FCC. The idea behind Net Neutrality is to treat all internet traffic equally and without discrimination against content or type. Make your opinions heard: Monterail and the Thunderbird email client development team are asking for your assistance to help improve the user interface in the redesign of the Thunderbird application. Be sure to take the survey.

IBM code grandmaster: what Java does next

Reports of Java’s death have been greatly exaggerated — said, well, pretty much every Java engineer that there is. The Java language and platform may have been (in some people’s view) somewhat unceremoniously shunted into a side ally by the self-proclaimed aggressive corporate acquisition strategists (their words, not ours) at Oracle… but Java still enjoys widespread adoption and, in some strains, growing use and development. Read more

Programming/Development: Git 2.16, Node.js, Testing/Bug Hunting

  • Git v2.16.0
    The latest feature release Git v2.16.0 is now available at the usual places. It is comprised of 509 non-merge commits since v2.15.0, contributed by 91 people, 26 of which are new faces.
  • Git 2.16 Released
    Git maintainer Junio Hamano has released version 2.16.0 of this distributed revision control system.
  • Announcing The Node.js Application Showcase
    The stats around Node.js are pretty staggering. There were 25 million downloads of Node.js in 2017, with over one million of them happening on a single day. And these stats are just the users. On the community side, the numbers are equally exceptional. What explains this immense popularity? What we hear over and over is that, because Node.js is JavaScript, anyone who knows JS can apply that knowledge to build powerful apps — every kind of app. Node.js empowers everyone from hobbyists to the largest enterprise teams to bring their dreams to life faster than ever before.
  • Google AutoML Cloud: Now Build Machine Learning Models Without Coding Experience
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