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Monday, 19 Feb 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 Replies Last Postsort icon
Story Security Leftovers Roy Schestowitz 18/02/2018 - 2:09pm
Story Android Leftovers Roy Schestowitz 18/02/2018 - 9:36am
Story Amazon Linux 2 - Who nicked my cheese? Roy Schestowitz 18/02/2018 - 2:16am
Story Updates From OpenIndiana and LibreOffice (Projects That Oracle Discarded) Roy Schestowitz 18/02/2018 - 2:02am
Story FreeBSD Finally Gets Mitigated For Spectre & Meltdown (and Hugs) Roy Schestowitz 18/02/2018 - 1:59am
Story Linux: To recurse or not Rianne Schestowitz 17/02/2018 - 7:50pm
Story Today in Techrights Roy Schestowitz 17/02/2018 - 5:32pm
Story Android Leftovers Rianne Schestowitz 17/02/2018 - 8:54am
Story today's leftovers Roy Schestowitz 17/02/2018 - 8:30am
Story Logstash 6.2.0 Released, Alfresco Grabbed by Private Equity Firm Roy Schestowitz 17/02/2018 - 8:27am

Devices/Embedded: Nintendo Switch, Advantech, Renesa, PocketBeagle

Filed under
Linux
Hardware

Patent Troll MPEG LA Wants People to Stay With MPEG

Filed under
Movies
  • Waddawewant? Free video codecs! When do we... oh, look, the last MPEG-2 patent expired!

    It's almost of historical interest only, but everywhere except the Philippines and Malaysia, the last MPEG-2 video encoder/decoder patents have expired.

    As *nixcraft noted, what it means is that there will never again be the risk of an MPEG-2 decoder being bombed in the libre operating system world.

    The company that had the patents wrapped up for licensing, MPEG LA, told the world the last US patent expired on 13 February here .

  • Race on to bring AV1 open source codec to market, as code freezes

    The long-heralded open source AV1 codec is now set for development of commercial product, with the code complete and ready to be frozen over the next few weeks. This has been confirmed by contributors to the standard such as Austrian transcoding software developer Bitmovin, which hopes to be among the first to bring out a product. That will happen once members of the Alliance for Open Media (AOM) that developed the codec sign off its performance.

Graphics: glTF 2, Graphics Compiler, DRI3

Filed under
Graphics/Benchmarks
  • Khronos Adds Draco Geometry Compression To glTF 2.0

    Khronos' glTF transmission format for 3D scenes and models continues getting better. This 3D format has seen adoption by countless applications and engines and even usage within Microsoft products. Khronos' latest advancement to glTF 2.0 is a compression extension.

  • Intel Open-Sources LLVM Graphics Compiler, Compute Runtime With OpenCL 2.1+

    Now it's clear why Intel hasn't been working on the Beignet code-base in months as they have been quietly working on a new and better OpenCL stack and run-time! On open-source Intel OpenCL you can now have OpenCL 2.1 while OpenCL 2.2 support is on the way.

    Intel by way of their Open-Source Technology Center quietly open-sourced a new compute runtime as well as an LLVM-based graphics compiler. Thanks to a sharp-eyed Phoronix reader for spotting and pointing out to us this new Intel OpenCL stack that hasn't really received any attention at all yet.

  • DRI3 v1.1 Updated by Collabora For Modifiers & Multi-Plane Support

    As a sign that DRI3 v1.1 is hopefully ready to go, Louis-Francis Ratté-Boulianne of Collabora on Friday sent out his latest set of patches adding modifiers and multi-plane support to the Direct Rendering Infrastructure.

    DRI3 v1.1 has been a long, ongoing project for this first major addition to the DRI3 infrastructure. Namely there is support for explicit format modifiers and pixmaps backed by multi-planar buffers. Collabora has also already been working on some experimental DRI3 v1.2 patches for DMA fences, which originally was part of the v1.1 patches, but then pushed back to their own series.

KDE: Plasma and Solus 4 Updates, Amarok Comes to Plasma 5

Filed under
KDE
  • Plasma and Solus 4 Updates | The Roundup #4

    Welcome to The Roundup #4, your bytes of Solus news. In this roundup, we’re talking updates to Kernels, Plasma, various items for Solus 4, and more!

  • Solus 4 To Offer Experimental GNOME Wayland Session, MATE UI Refresh

    The Solus Linux distribution has offered up some new details this week on their upcoming Solus 4 release.

    First up, their integration of Snap package management (snapd) has been deferred so it's no longer a release blocker. They will land the Snap support though still in the future when it's ready.

  • KDE Amarok Music Player Receives Revived Port To Qt5 / KF5

    While Amarok was once KDE's dominant music player, it hasn't seen a new release now in about five years and has yet to see a release based on Qt5 and KDE Frameworks 5. But there's hope that might still happen.

    In the absence of a modern Amarok release there have been plenty of other KDE media players coming about like Elisa and Babe, but coming out today is an updated patch for bringing Amarok to a Qt5/KF5 world.

How to make sense of the Apache 2 patent license

Filed under
Red Hat
OSS
Legal

In essence, when a software developer contributes code to a project (i.e., the Work under the license), he or she becomes a Contributor. Under the above term, Contributors are granting permission to use any of their patents that may read on their contribution. This provides peace of mind to users since the Contributor would likely be prevented from pursuing patent royalties from any users of the software covering that contribution to the project.

Complexities arise when the software developer contributes code that is not claimed by any of the Contributor's patents by itself, but only when combined with the Apache 2.0 licensed open source program to which the contribution was made (i.e., the Work under the license). Thus, the Contributor owning such a patent could pursue patent royalties against a user of that revised Work. The authors of the Apache 2.0 license were forward thinking and account for this scenario. Section 3 states that the license applies to "patent claims licensable by such Contributor that are necessarily infringed... by a combination of their Contribution(s) with the Work to which such Contributions was submitted."

Read more

Canonical/Ubuntu: Minimalism, Unity, and Snapcraft

Filed under
Ubuntu
  • Ubuntu Adds New “Minimal Installation” Option For Fewer Preinstalled Packages

    The development of the next Ubuntu LTS release, i.e., Ubuntu 18.04 Bionic Beaver, is going on in full swing. The desktop development team has decided to add a new option in the installation process that allows you to perform a lean installation of Ubuntu.

  • Unity 7.4.5 Released for Ubuntu 16.04 LTS

    The Unity 7.4.5 update isn’t big on new features but it is big on bug fixes and general all-round improvements.

  • Snapcraft through the eyes of it’s biggest community contributor

    If you’ve spent any time in the Snapcraft forum, it’s quite likely you’ve come across Dan Llewellyn – a keen community advocate or self-proclaimed Snapcrafter. Dan has always had a passion for computing and is completely self-taught. Outside of the community, Dan is a freelance WordPress developer. After getting into the open source world around 1998, he has switched between various Linux distros including Suse, RedHat, Gentoo before settling on Ubuntu from the 5.04 release onwards. A longtime participant in the UK Ubuntu chatroom – where he met Canonical’s Alan Pope – Dan admits he was never that active before Snapcraft came along.

    It was spending time in the UK chatroom around 2016 that he discovered snaps which piqued his interest. “I saw the movement of changing Clicks to snaps and thought it was an interesting idea. It’s more widely focused than a mobile app delivery system and I’ve always liked things that also worked on the server, IoT and elsewhere” Dan comments. With a previous desire to get into mobile app development and seeing the move away from Ubuntu Touch, Dan was eager to see Snapcraft succeed and felt like it was something he could contribute to.

Games Leftovers

Filed under
Gaming

AMD Raven Ridge Graphics On Linux vs. Lower-End NVIDIA / AMD GPUs

Filed under
Graphics/Benchmarks

This week we have delivered the first Linux benchmarks of the OpenGL/Vulkan graphics capabilities of AMD's new Raven Ridge desktop APUs with the Vega 8 on the Ryzen 3 2200G an the Vega 11 on Ryzen 5 2400G. Those tests have included comparisons to the integrated graphics capabilities of Intel processors as well as older AMD Kaveri APUs. For those interested in seeing how the Raven Ridge Vega graphics compare to lower-end Radeon and GeForce discrete graphics cards, here are those first Linux benchmarks.

Read more

Samsung Launch ‘Linux on Galaxy’ Survey

Filed under
Android
GNU
Linux

Samsung has launched a survey to find out what users want and expect from the Linux on Galaxy idea.

The ‘Linux on Galaxy’ project allows a regular desktop Linux distro to run on select Samsung smartphones by sharing the same Linux kernel used in Android.

Users can then connect their smartphone to a Samsung DeX dock to convert their Samsung smartphone in to a normal desktop PC with an external monitor, bluetooth keyboard, mouse and so on.

Read more

Q4OS Makes Linux Easy for Everyone

Filed under
OS
Linux

Modern Linux distributions tend to target a variety of users. Some claim to offer a flavor of the open source platform that anyone can use. And, I’ve seen some such claims succeed with aplomb, while others fall flat. Q4OS is one of those odd distributions that doesn’t bother to make such a claim but pulls off the feat anyway.

So, who is the primary market for Q4OS? According to its website, the distribution is a:

“fast and powerful operating system based on the latest technologies while offering highly productive desktop environment. We focus on security, reliability, long-term stability and conservative integration of verified new features. System is distinguished by speed and very low hardware requirements, runs great on brand new machines as well as legacy computers. It is also very applicable for virtualization and cloud computing.”

Read more

Security: Cryptocurrency Mining, Hardware Bugs in HPC, and Dan Goodin's Latest Sensationalism

Filed under
Security
  • Cryptocurrency Mining Company Coinhive Shocked To Learn Its Product Is Being Abused

    So if you haven't noticed, the entire cryptocurrency mining thing has become a bit of an absurd stage play over the last few months. From gamers being unable to buy graphics cards thanks to miners hoping to cash in on soaring valuations, to hackers using malware to covertly infect websites with cryptocurrency miners that use visitors' CPU cycles without their knowledge or consent. As an additional layer of intrigue, some websites have also begun using such miners as an alternative to traditional advertising, though several have already done so without apparently deeming it necessary to inform visitors.

    At the heart of a lot of this drama is crypotcurreny mining software company Coinhive, whose software is popping up in both malware-based and above board efforts to cash in on the cryptocurrency mining craze. Coinhive specifically focuses on using site visitor CPU cycles to help mine Monero. The company's website insists that their product can help websites craft "an ad-free experience, in-game currency or whatever incentives you can come up with." The company says its project has already resulted in the mining of several million dollars worth of Monero (depending on what Monero's worth any given day).

  • Fluid HPC: How Extreme-Scale Computing Should Respond to Meltdown and Spectre

    The Meltdown and Spectre vulnerabilities are proving difficult to fix, and initial experiments suggest security patches will cause significant performance penalties to HPC applications. Even as these patches are rolled out to current HPC platforms, it might be helpful to explore how future HPC systems could be better insulated from CPU or operating system security flaws that could cause massive disruptions. Surprisingly, most of the core concepts to build supercomputers that are resistant to a wide range of threats have already been invented and deployed in HPC systems over the past 20 years. Combining these technologies, concepts, and approaches not only would improve cybersecurity but also would have broader benefits for improving HPC performance, developing scientific software, adopting advanced hardware such as neuromorphic chips, and building easy-to-deploy data and analysis services. This new form of “Fluid HPC” would do more than solve current vulnerabilities. As an enabling technology, Fluid HPC would be transformative, dramatically improving extreme-scale code development in the same way that virtual machine and container technologies made cloud computing possible and built a new industry.

  • Raw sockets backdoor gives attackers complete control of some Linux servers [Ed: Here goes Dan Goodin again (sued for sensationalism), using the term "back door" in relation to Linux when actually referring to already-infected (compromised) machines]

    Once installed, Chaos allows malware operators anywhere in the world to gain complete control over the server via a reverse shell.

Red Hat: CoreOS and Shares

Filed under
Red Hat

Graphics: Mir, NVIDIA, AMD, and Mesa 17.3.4

Filed under
Graphics/Benchmarks
  • Mir 0.30 Released With Improved Wayland Support

    Canonical's Mir team has released Mir v0.30 as the latest version of this display server that for the past year has been retooling itself with Wayland protocol support.

    With today's Mir 0.30 release, they have continued on their Wayland conquest and are offering better support for Wayland protocols. Some of the Wayland changes in Mir 0.30 include a client connection change to allow Wayland clients to work on Unity 8, a keyboard state change to fix switching between clients, multiple crash fixes, and experimental support for the XDG-Shell v6 protocol.

  • NVIDIA Preparing Upstream Linux Kernel Support For The Tegra Xavier SoC

    NVIDIA has begun work on sending out patches for upstreaming Tegra194 "Xavier" SoC support within the Linux kernel.

    Xavier is NVIDIA's successor to the Tegra P1 and will begin sampling this quarter. Xavier makes use of a custom ARMv8 eight-core CPU, Volta-based graphics with 512 CUDA cores, integration of the DLA tensor processing unit, and is manufactured on a 12nm FinFET process. Xavier should be a mighty powerful SoC for their self-driving car systems and other "edge computing" use-cases.

  • AMD May Have Accidentally Outed Vulkan 1.1

    AMD on Wednesday released the Radeon Pro Software Enterprise Edition 18.Q1 for Linux driver. It really isn't noticeable for its official changes, but does claim to advertise Vulkan 1.1 support.

  • mesa 17.3.4

    Mesa 17.3.4 is now available.

  • Mesa 17.3.4 Released With 90+ Changes

    While Mesa 18.0 should be released in the days ahead as the latest feature release to Mesa 3D, backporting of fixes/improvements to Mesa 17.3 isn't letting up. For those using this stable series from last quarter, Mesa 17.3.4 is out today with nearly 100 changes.

Linux Foundation: CNCF, Linux Foundation Networking Fund (LFN), Open FinTech Forum (OFTF)

Filed under
Linux
  • The CNCF takes steps toward serverless computing

    Even though the idea of ‘serverless’ has been around since 2006, it is a relatively new concept. It’s the next step in the ongoing revolution of IT infrastructure that goes back to the days when one server used to run one application.

  • Spirent joins Linux Foundation Networking Fund (LFN) to support new Open Source ecosystem

    Spirent Communications joined the Linux Foundation Networking Fund (LFN), an umbrella group created by The Linux Foundation for its various networking initiatives. Spirent said it's the first test product vendor to support the development of a new Open Source ecosystem for telecom service assurance. Open Networking Automation Platform (ONAP), Open Platform for NFV and OpenDaylight gained widespread endorsement in 2017 from service providers, as de facto industry standards.

  • Linux Foundation launches OFTF event to include blockchain

    The Linux Foundation, the nonprofit focused on open source innovation, has announced a new event with a cumbersome name: “Open FinTech Forum: AI, Blockchain, Kubernetes & Quantum on Wall Street” (aka OFTF). It will take place on October 10-11, 2018 in New York City.

The knitting printer and more art with open source

Filed under
OSS

For several years, linux.conf.au, a week-long conference (held this year from January 22-26), has held "miniconfs" offering space for tech community niche groups to share their inventions and ideas. In 2018, 12 miniconfs were held on the first two days of the conference, and the Art + Tech miniconf took the concept to the next level with an entire day of 11 talks about making art with tech, as well as an art exhibition head during the conference. This miniconf was organized by blue ribbon award-winning knitter Kris Howard.

Disclaimer: Some of the links in this article contain mature content. As Kathy Reid, Linux Australia president, said: "Significant art is often contentious, because it challenges who we are and the notions we hold of ourselves. Our job here is to allow that art to be shown, while creating a safe environment for those who do—and do not—wish to view it."

Read more

Fedora Might Begin Having A Release Manager

Filed under
Red Hat

Fedora developers are now discussing the possibility of naming a release manager each development cycle as a person in charge of wrangling together each release and seeing that the "Rawhide" development state is kept in better condition. Who knows, this also might actually help Fedora's longtime trouble of delivering releases on time.

Fedora Project Leader Matthew Miller started the mailing list discussion today about whether they should have a release manager each release cycle. His latest motivation for thinking about this is they haven't had a successful nightly compose of the latest Fedora Rawhide development state in about two weeks. While Red Hat employs QA and release engineering folks working on Fedora, their development tip isn't always kept in a release-able state unlike Ubuntu daily ISOs and some other Linux distributions.

Read more

Canonical Under Fire for Ubuntu Data Collection

Filed under
Ubuntu
  • Ubuntu wants to slurp PCs' vital statistics – even location – with new desktop installs

    "We want to be able to focus our engineering efforts on the things that matter most to our users, and in order to do that we need to get some more data about sort of setups our users have and which software they are running on it," explained Will Cooke, the director of Ubuntu Desktop at Canonical.

    To gather that information Cooke proposed adding a checkbox to the Ubuntu installer that says something like "Send diagnostics information to help improve Ubuntu". "This would be checked by default" Cooke wrote.

  • Ubuntu Gets in the User Data Collection Business

    Canonical announced plans to roll out a user data and diagnostics collection system with Ubuntu 18.04 LTS (Bionic Beaver). This new system will collect data on the user's OS details, hardware setup, apps and OS settings.

    "We want to be able to focus our engineering efforts on the things that matter most to our users, and in order to do that we need to get some more data about sort of setups our users have and which software they are running on it," said Will Cooke, Director of Ubuntu Desktop at Canonical.

Raspberry Pi Projects: Things Gateway by Mozilla, Bang and Olufsen and HiFiBerry

Filed under
Linux
Hardware
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More in Tux Machines

today's lefftovers

OSS Leftovers

  • Running for the board of the Open Source Initiative – a few words
    Today I would like to explain my reasons for my candidacy at the board of the Open Source Initiative. I can think of two kinds of reason for my decision: one is personal, and the other one is directly related to current state of Open Source and software freedom. Let’s start with the first one: I’m currently helping the Open Information Security Foundation and the Suricata project in my capacity at ANSSI, while contributing in a minor way to the LibreOffice project and the Document Foundation.
  • Tutanota: Encrypted Open Source Email Service for Privacy Minded People
    Since then, I have heard of another email provider that you may be interested in. It’s a little different, but it touts some of the same features ProtonMail does: privacy, security, open-source code, etc. It’s called Tutanota, and like ProtonMail, I am a very big fan.
  • Open FinTech Forum – Event preview, October 10-11, New York City.
  • The tracker will always get through
    A big objection to tracking protection is the idea that the tracker will always get through. Some people suggest that as browsers give users more ability to control how their personal information gets leaked across sites, things won't get better for users, because third-party tracking will just keep up. On this view, today's easy-to-block third-party cookies will be replaced by techniques such as passive fingerprinting where it's hard to tell if the browser is succeeding at protecting the user or not, and users will be stuck in the same place they are now, or worse. I doubt this is the case because we're playing a more complex game than just trackers vs. users. The game has at least five sides, and some of the fastest-moving players with the best understanding of the game are the adfraud hackers. Right now adfraud is losing in some areas where they had been winning, and the resulting shift in adfraud is likely to shift the risks and rewards of tracking techniques.
  • MozMEAO SRE Status Report - February 16, 2018
    Here’s what happened on the MozMEAO SRE team from January 23 - February 16.
  • The major milestones of the Government Digital Service (GDS)
  • PyTorch Should Be Copyleft
    Most people have heard of Google’s Tensorflow which was released at the end of 2015, but there’s an active codebase called PyTorch which is easier to understand, less of a black box, and more dynamic. Tensorflow does have solutions for some of those limitations (such as Tensorflow-fold, and Tensorflow-Eager) but these new capabilities remove the need for other features and complexity of Tensorflow. Google built a great system for doing static computation graphs before realizing that most people want dynamic graphs. Doh! [...] I wish PyTorch used the AGPL license. Most neural networks are run on servers today, it is hardly used on the Linux desktop. Data is central to AI and that can stay owned by FB and the users of course. The ImageNet dataset created a revolution in computer vision, so let’s never forget that open data sets can be useful.
  • Linux on Nintendo Switch, a new Kubernetes ML platform, and more news
    In this edition of our open source news roundup, we take a look at the Mozilla's IoT gateway, a new machine learning platform, Code.mil's revamp, and more.

Security: France, Munich, 'Smart' Meters, MeltdownPrime and SpectrePrime

  • Highlights of the French cybersecurity strategy

    First, the document describes that in France cyberdefence and cyberoffence are separated. This is directly opposed to the models employed in Anglo-Saxon countries. But it’s shown as an asset. Key argument: it respects freedoms and civil liberties.

    The document then lists the six general objectives of cyberdefence, namely: prevention, anticipation, protection, detection, attribution, reaction (remediation). The strategy itself is complete, it focuses on civil, military, domestic, external, and international levels. Let’s say it’s a rarity in the business in strategic cybersecurity documents.

    [...]

    The strategy then mentions that one of the solutions could be to release source code and documentation after an end of support date.

  • The Munich Security Conference 2018

    Over the past five decades, the Munich Security Conference (MSC) has become the major global forum for the discussion of security policy. Each February, it brings together more than 450 senior decision-makers from around the world, including heads-of-state, ministers, leading personalities of international and non-governmental organizations, as well as high ranking representatives of industry, media, academia, and civil society, to engage in an intensive debate on current and future security challenges.

  • Smart meters could leave British homes vulnerable to cyber attacks, experts have warned
    New smart energy meters that the Government wants to be installed in millions of homes will leave householders vulnerable to cyber attacks, ministers have been warned.
  • MeltdownPrime and SpectrePrime: Researchers nail exploits
    "The flaws—dubbed Meltdown and Spectre—are in chips made by Intel and other major suppliers. They can allow hackers to steal data from the memory of running apps, including password managers, browsers and emails." The authors of the paper on arXiv, Caroline Trippel, Daniel Lustig, and Margaret Martonosi, discuss a tool they developed for "automatically synthesizing microarchitecture-specific programs capable of producing any user-specified hardware execution pattern of interest." They said they show "how this tool can be used for generating small microarchitecture-specific programs which represent exploits in their most abstracted form—security litmus tests."

How Linux became my job

I've been using open source since what seems like prehistoric times. Back then, there was nothing called social media. There was no Firefox, no Google Chrome (not even a Google), no Amazon, barely an internet. In fact, the hot topic of the day was the new Linux 2.0 kernel. The big technical challenges in those days? Well, the ELF format was replacing the old a.out format in binary Linux distributions, and the upgrade could be tricky on some installs of Linux. Read more