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Monday, 22 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 Replies Last Postsort icon
Story Red Hat and Fedora Roy Schestowitz 22/01/2018 - 8:13pm
Story Perl Advocacy Roy Schestowitz 22/01/2018 - 8:11pm
Story FOSS Linux App Development In Decline, Canonical Promotes Snap Using Proprietary Software Roy Schestowitz 22/01/2018 - 7:07pm
Story Games: Two Point Hospital, PLAY WITH ME and More Roy Schestowitz 22/01/2018 - 7:04pm
Story OSS: HIT, SUSE, FSFE, Meaning of Open, Bell Canada Roy Schestowitz 22/01/2018 - 6:56pm
Story Linux Kernel 4.15 Delayed Roy Schestowitz 22/01/2018 - 6:38pm
Story Linus Torvalds Calls Linux Patch for Intel CPUs "Complete and Utter Garbage" Rianne Schestowitz 22/01/2018 - 6:18pm
Story Android Leftovers Rianne Schestowitz 22/01/2018 - 6:11pm
Story Revisited: Linux Mint 18.3 "Sylvia" KDE Rianne Schestowitz 22/01/2018 - 6:00pm
Story darktable 2.4 Open-Source RAW Image Editor Gets First Point Release Rianne Schestowitz 22/01/2018 - 5:58pm

Perl Advocacy

Filed under
Development
  • My DeLorean runs Perl

    My signature hobby project these days is a computerized instrument cluster for my car, which happens to be a DeLorean. But, whenever I show it to someone, I usually have to give them a while to marvel at the car before they even notice that there's a computer screen in the dashboard. There's a similar problem when I start describing the software; programmers immediately get hung up on "Why Perl???" when they learn that the real-time OpenGL rendering of instrument data is all coded in Perl. So, any discussion of my project usually starts with the history of the DeLorean or a discussion of the merits of Perl vs. other, more-likely tools.

  • An overview of the Perl 5 engine

    As I described in "My DeLorean runs Perl," switching to Perl has vastly improved my development speed and possibilities. Here I'll dive deeper into the design of Perl 5 to discuss aspects important to systems programming.

FOSS Linux App Development In Decline, Canonical Promotes Snap Using Proprietary Software

Filed under
Ubuntu
  • Is Native Linux App Development In Decline?

    A blog like mine thrives, in part, on there being a steady supply of good quality native Linux apps to write about.

    We do news too of course, and tutorials, how tos, lists, eye candy, and even the odd opinion piece (like this post). But I know you like reading about new and updated Linux apps, and, to be fair, I like writing about them.

    And yet… Where have all the Linux apps gone?

    Bear with me as what follows is more of a ramble than a coherent essay. For background, I’m writing this on day four of an enthusiasm drought.

  • Slack launches on Linux
  • Slack gets the Linux treatment: New snap available for Mint, Ubuntu, Debian, and more

    Slack is now available as a snap, which means Linux users can take advantage of the workplace collaboration platform, Canonical announced last week.

    Slack has recently debuted a number of features that make it more appealing to businesses, including Shared Channels and Private Shared Channels, which allow employees from different companies to work together on projects in private if they so choose. With more than 9 million weekly active users, Slack has gained a lot of traction in the enterprise, as noted by our sister site ZDNet.

    Back in October 2017, Linux overtook MacOS for the first time in terms of global operating system market share—which means the move opens up even more users to the Slack platform.

  • Canonical slaps Slack snap onto stack

    As the ‘company behind’ Ubuntu, Canonical has brought forward the first iteration of Slack as a snap on its software platform.

    Slack is a cloud-based set of proprietary team collaboration tools and services that go some way beyond core ‘messaging’ functionality into areas including project management.

Games: Two Point Hospital, PLAY WITH ME and More

Filed under
Gaming

OSS: HIT, SUSE, FSFE, Meaning of Open, Bell Canada

Filed under
OSS
  • How Open Source, Crowdsourcing Aids HIT Development

    HIT development is important for health IT infrastructure growth as organizations continue to go through their digital transformations. Entities are interested in the most innovative and advanced technology to assist with increased workflows and improve patient care.

    Open source and crowdsourcing to improve innovation are key to quickly building on technology being developed for healthcare. This is especially true when it comes to newer technology like artificial intelligence (AI) and blockchain.

    Healthcare organizations and healthcare technology companies cannot simply wait around for advanced technology to develop around them.

  • Open source in the enterprise: Trends and opportunities in 2018

    Some big events are set to come in 2018 – the recently announced Royal Wedding, the football World Cup in Russia and the incoming general data protection regulation (GDPR) to name just a few. And 2018 is also set to be a significant year for business technology.

    Some of the key trends in enterprise IT will include the continued move to hybrid cloud, the emergence of the container infrastructure ecosystem and ongoing growth in software-defined infrastructure and storage.

    Most interestingly, we foresee a number of significant open source developments here. So what exactly should we expect to see? And how can IT teams make the most of these emerging opportunities?

  • Keeping an Irish home warm and free in winter

    This issue would also appear to fall under the scope of FSFE's Public Money Public Code campaign.

    Looking at the last set of heating controls in the house, they have been there for decades. Therefore, I can't help wondering, if I buy some proprietary black box today, will the company behind it still be around when it needs a software upgrade in future? How many of these black boxes have wireless transceivers inside them that will be compromised by security flaws within the next 5-10 years, making another replacement essential?

    With free and open technologies, anybody who is using it can potentially make improvements whenever they want. Every time a better algorithm is developed, if all the homes in the country start using it immediately, we will always be at the cutting edge of energy efficiency.

  • The Meaning of Open

    Open systems create gravity wells. Systems that are truly open tend to attract others to join them at an ever-accelerating pace. In ecosystems that are ruled by a despot no matter how successful other participants in the ecosystem are, they fundamentally just empower the despot to have more leverage over them, because they have more to lose and their success feeds the despot’s success. In open systems, on the contrary, participants see that they don’t have to fear their own success fueling their own increasing subservience to a despot. Each individual entity who can’t plausibly build their own similarly-sized proprietary ecosystem to compete — the overwhelming majority of entities — is incentivized to pitch in on the open ecosystem. Investment in an open ecosystem by any one entity helps the entire ecosystem as a whole. This fact, combined with the fact that ecosystems generally get exponentially more valuable the more participants there are, means that in many cases over sufficient time scales truly open ecosystems create gravity wells, sucking more and more into them until they are nearly universal.

  • Bell Canada brings open source automation ONAP into production

    Bell Canada has implemented it's first automation use case using the Linux Foundation's Open Network Automation Platform (ONAP) as part of the telco's Network 3.0 transformation initiative.

    With an initial focus on its data center network infrastructure, Bell Canada is working with its network integration and back-office partner Amdocs to reduce costs and delivery capabilities.

  • Bell Canada Reaches Milestone in Network 3.0 Vision with Open Network Automation Platform (ONAP) and Strategic Partnership with Amdocs

Linux Kernel 4.15 Delayed

Filed under
Linux
  • Linux Kernel 4.15 Delayed Until Next Week as Linus Torvalds Announces a Rare RC9

    While the Linux community was looking forwards to the final Linux 4.15 kernel release today, Linus Torvalds just delayed it for another week, announcing the ninth Release Candidate (RC) instead.

    It's not every day that you see a ninth Release Candidate in the development cycle of a new Linux kernel branch, but here we go, and we can only blame it on those pesky Meltdown and Spectre security vulnerabilities that affect us all, putting billions of devices at risk of attacks.

  • Linux 4.15 becomes slowest release since 2011

    Linus Torvalds has decided that Linux 4.15 needs a ninth release candidate, making it the first kernel release to need that much work since 2011.

    Torvalds flagged the possibility of an extra release candidate last week, with the caveat that “it obviously requires this upcoming week to not come with any huge surprises” after “all the Meltdown and Spectre hoopla” made his job rather more complicated in recent weeks.

    Fast-forward another week and Torvalds has announced “I really really wanted to just release 4.15 today, but things haven't calmed down enough for me to feel comfy about it”.

  • No 4.15 final release today

    As might have been expected from watching the commit stream, the 4.15 kernel is not ready for release, so we'll get 4.15-rc9 instead. Linus said: "I really really wanted to just release 4.15 today, but things haven't calmed down enough for me to feel comfy about it, and Davem tells me he still has some networking fixes pending. Laura Abbott found and fixed a very subtle boot bug introduced this development cycle only yesterday, and it just didn't feel right to say that we're done."

Linus Torvalds Calls Linux Patch for Intel CPUs "Complete and Utter Garbage"

Filed under
Linux

The patch submitted by David Woodhouse, ex-Intel kernel engineer that now works for Amazon described a so-called new feature for Intel processors to address Indirect Branch Restricted Speculation (IBRS) by creating macros that would restrict or unrestrict Indirect Branch Speculation based on if the Intel CPU will advertise "I am able to be not broken."

The "x86/enter: Create macros to restrict/unrestrict Indirect Branch Speculation" feature implies that the IBRS (Indirect Branch Restricted Speculation) bit needed to be set at boot time to "ask" the processor not to be broken. Linus Torvalds immediately reacted to the patch calling it "complete and utter garbage" despite the developer's efforts to explain why he implemented the nasty hack.

Read more

Original: [RFC 09/10] x86/enter: Create macros to restrict/unrestrict Indirect Branch Speculation

Revisited: Linux Mint 18.3 "Sylvia" KDE

Filed under
KDE
Linux
Reviews

Long-time readers of the Linux distribution reviews on this blog know that I am a fan of Linux Mint, but I have had somewhat mixed experiences with KDE. When I've reviewed a new release of Linux Mint, I have occasionally reviewed its KDE edition in addition to its GNOME/MATE/Cinnamon and Xfce editions, generally finding that the KDE edition has too many minor bugs and not enough compelling features compared to the more mainstream editions. Apparently the Linux Mint developers feel similarly, as this is the last release of a KDE edition for Linux Mint; henceforth, they are only releasing MATE, Cinnamon, and Xfce editions for a tighter focus on GTK-based DEs and applications. With that in mind, I figured it was worth reviewing a KDE edition of Linux Mint one final time. I tested it on a live USB system made with the "dd" command. Follow the jump to see what it's like.

Read more

darktable 2.4 Open-Source RAW Image Editor Gets First Point Release

Filed under
OSS

darktable 2.4 arrived last Christmas with numerous new features and improvements, and now users can update to darktable 2.4.1, a minor maintenance release adding support for new digital cameras, including the Panasonic DC-G9 (4:3), Paralenz Dive Camera, Pentax KP, and Sjcam SJ6 LEGEND.

It also adds a new filter rule to the Collect module to allow users to more easily find locally copied images, enables blending and masking in the Hot Pixels module, adds a speed boost to the Grain module, implements a debug print when compiling OpenCL kernels, and supports stdout handling on Windows systems.

Read more

openSUSE Leap 42.2 Linux Distribution Reaches End of Life on January 26, 2018

Filed under
SUSE

Announced two years ago on November 16, OpenSuSE Leap 42.2 is a minor release of openSUSE Leap 42 operating system series, which brought the long-term supported Linux 4.4 kernel and KDE Plasma 5.8 desktop environment, as well as many other improvements and up-to-date components. openSUSE Leap 42.2 was based on SUSE Linux Enterprise 12 Service Pack 2, but it will reach end of life this week on January 26.

Read more

Raspberry Pi Alternatives

Filed under
Linux

The phenomenon behind the Raspberry Pi computer series has been pretty amazing. It's obvious why it has become so popular for Linux projects—it's a low-cost computer that's actually quite capable for the price, and the GPIO pins allow you to use it in a number of electronics projects such that it starts to cross over into Arduino territory in some cases. Its overall popularity has spawned many different add-ons and accessories, not to mention step-by-step guides on how to use the platform. I've personally written about Raspberry Pis often in this space, and in my own home, I use one to control a beer fermentation fridge, one as my media PC, one to control my 3D printer and one as a handheld gaming device.

Read more

Matrix Voice RPi add-on with 7-mic array relaunches

Filed under
Linux

Matrix Labs has publicly relaunched its FPGA-driven “Matrix Voice” voice input add-on board for the Raspberry Pi and Up board for $55, or $65 for a standalone model equipped with an ESP32.

Matrix Labs has shipped its “mostly open source” Matrix Voice Raspberry Pi add-on board for Linux-compatible voice recognition and voice assistant technologies such as Alexa and Google Assistant. The circular board launched in February on Indiegogo, and earned over $130,000 in pledges. The Matrix Voice is now available from the Matrix Labs website for only $10 over the original $45 early bird price.

Read more

Programming: Donald Knuth’s 80th Birthday and More

Filed under
Development
  • Octogenarianhood

    2018 began for me with an absolutely incredible 80th birthday celebration called Knuth80, held in the delightful city of Piteå in northern Sweden. It's impossible for me to thank adequately all of the wonderful people who contributed their time to making this event such a stunning success, certainly one of the greatest highlights of my life. Many of the happenings were also captured digitally in state-of-the-art audio and video, so that others will be able to share some of this joy. I'll link to that data when it becomes available.

  • Celebrating Donald Knuth’s 80th Birthday

    Don suggests that some of the participants who have a little free time might like to look at a few conjectures about set partitions and generating functions that he has put online at http://www-cs-faculty.stanford.edu/~knuth/caspagf.txt

  • Tidyverse and data.table, sitting side by side ... (Part 1)
  • Rcpp 0.12.15: Numerous tweaks and enhancements

    The fifteenth release in the 0.12.* series of Rcpp landed on CRAN today after just a few days of gestation in incoming/.

    This release follows the 0.12.0 release from July 2016, the 0.12.1 release in September 2016, the 0.12.2 release in November 2016, the 0.12.3 release in January 2017, the 0.12.4 release in March 2016, the 0.12.5 release in May 2016, the 0.12.6 release in July 2016, the 0.12.7 release in September 2016, the 0.12.8 release in November 2016, the 0.12.9 release in January 2017, the 0.12.10.release in March 2017, the 0.12.11.release in May 2017, the 0.12.12 release in July 2017, the 0.12.13.release in late September 2017, and the 0.12.14.release in November 2017 making it the nineteenth release at the steady and predictable bi-montly release frequency.

    Rcpp has become the most popular way of enhancing GNU R with C or C++ code. As of today, 1288 packages on CRAN depend on Rcpp for making analytical code go faster and further, along with another 91 in BioConductor.

Security: Updates and Botched Updates

Filed under
Security
  • Security updates for Monday
  • RedHat reverts patches to mitigate Spectre Variant 2

    RedHat previously released patches to mitigate this issue, however, in a rather controversial move, has decided to roll back these changes after complaints about systems failing to boot with the new patches, and instead is now recommending that, "subscribers contact their CPU OEM vendor to download the latest microcode/firmware for their processor."

  • Red Hat dumps Spectre CPU patches that brick servers

    Enterprise Linux vendor Red Hat will no longer distribute microcode patches to mitigate against the Spectre processor flaw after bugs in the patches stopped user systems from booting up.

    The company advised of its decision late last week after being alerted by its customers to problems with the patches.

    Red Hat is now reverting the microcode_ctl and linux-firmware packages it includes with its enterprise Linux distribution to older versions that are known to be stable.

    Microcode, also known as millicode and firmware, is software distributed by vendors to correct specific errors for processors.

OSS: 'IoT', Ellcrys, Genode OS

Filed under
OSS
  • This is Why you Must Consider Open-Source IoT Solutions

    The Internet of things is growing exponentially. Its applications are unique and that is one of the reasons that this technology has become renowned. Organizations are finding ways to utilize this technology for improving their workforce, while AI impacts IoT to create smarter applications. Making use of IoT seems to be costlier for companies who are still in their infancy phase. For companies like these, open-source IoT solutions have been created so that they too can reap the benefits of IoT as a technology.

  • Ellcrys is a Breath of Fresh Air for Open Source Collaborators

    Ellcrys is an up and coming blockchain network that aims to revolutionize the way developers work together. In addition to trying to revitalize collaborative efforts, the company has an ICO that promises to make the mining and distribution of its native cryptocurrency fairer and more accessible.

  • Genode OS Framework Making Plans For 2018

    The Genode open-source operating system framework project has shared some of their planned goals for 2018.

    Genode in 2018 is looking to advance their "Sculpt" general purpose system scenario for the operating system. Back during the Genode OS 17.11 release they described Sculpt as "the approach to start with a minimalistic generic live system that can be interactively shaped into a desktop scenario by the user without any reboot. This is made possible by combining Genode's unique dynamic reconfiguration concept with the recently introduced package management, our custom GUI stack, and the many ready-to-use device-driver components that we developed over the past years."

Intel Graphics On Ubuntu: GNOME vs. KDE vs. Xfce vs. Unity vs. LXDE

Filed under
Graphics/Benchmarks

For those wondering how the Intel (U)HD Graphics compare for games and other graphical benchmarks between desktop environments in 2018, here are some fresh benchmarks using GNOME Shell on X.Org/Wayland, KDE Plasma 5, Xfce, Unity 7, and LXDE.

Read more

Linux Kernel 4.15 Delayed Until Next Week as Linus Torvalds Announces Ninth RC

Filed under
Linux

It's not every day that you see a ninth Release Candidate in the development cycle of a new Linux kernel branch, but here we go, and we can only blame it on those pesky Meltdown and Spectre security vulnerabilities that affect us all, putting billions of devices at risk of attacks.

That, and the fact that things haven't calmed down since last week's eight Release Candidate, which was supposed to be the last for the upcoming series. According to Linus Torvalds, there are still has some networking fixes pending, and there's also a very subtle boot bug that was discovered the other day.

Read more

Also: Linux 4.15 Goes Further Into Overtime: Linux 4.15-rc9

Review: Ubuntu MATE 17.10

Filed under
Reviews
Ubuntu

Ubuntu MATE 17.10 is a solid release with a few minor caveats about the Mutiny layout. The Traditional MATE layout is very nice, but Mutiny still needs some work. For users who want the classic GNOME 2 look-and-feel, Ubuntu MATE is an excellent choice. However, Unity users looking for a Unity-like experience should still give Ubuntu MATE with the Mutiny layout a try, but need to be aware that it does have some issues and it won't work exactly like Unity. The Contemporary layout is also an option for Unity users, but is even further removed from the Unity experience than Mutiny is.

Read more

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More in Tux Machines

Games: Two Point Hospital, PLAY WITH ME and More

OSS: HIT, SUSE, FSFE, Meaning of Open, Bell Canada

  • How Open Source, Crowdsourcing Aids HIT Development
    HIT development is important for health IT infrastructure growth as organizations continue to go through their digital transformations. Entities are interested in the most innovative and advanced technology to assist with increased workflows and improve patient care. Open source and crowdsourcing to improve innovation are key to quickly building on technology being developed for healthcare. This is especially true when it comes to newer technology like artificial intelligence (AI) and blockchain. Healthcare organizations and healthcare technology companies cannot simply wait around for advanced technology to develop around them.
  • Open source in the enterprise: Trends and opportunities in 2018
    Some big events are set to come in 2018 – the recently announced Royal Wedding, the football World Cup in Russia and the incoming general data protection regulation (GDPR) to name just a few. And 2018 is also set to be a significant year for business technology. Some of the key trends in enterprise IT will include the continued move to hybrid cloud, the emergence of the container infrastructure ecosystem and ongoing growth in software-defined infrastructure and storage. Most interestingly, we foresee a number of significant open source developments here. So what exactly should we expect to see? And how can IT teams make the most of these emerging opportunities?
  • Keeping an Irish home warm and free in winter
    This issue would also appear to fall under the scope of FSFE's Public Money Public Code campaign. Looking at the last set of heating controls in the house, they have been there for decades. Therefore, I can't help wondering, if I buy some proprietary black box today, will the company behind it still be around when it needs a software upgrade in future? How many of these black boxes have wireless transceivers inside them that will be compromised by security flaws within the next 5-10 years, making another replacement essential? With free and open technologies, anybody who is using it can potentially make improvements whenever they want. Every time a better algorithm is developed, if all the homes in the country start using it immediately, we will always be at the cutting edge of energy efficiency.
  • The Meaning of Open
    Open systems create gravity wells. Systems that are truly open tend to attract others to join them at an ever-accelerating pace. In ecosystems that are ruled by a despot no matter how successful other participants in the ecosystem are, they fundamentally just empower the despot to have more leverage over them, because they have more to lose and their success feeds the despot’s success. In open systems, on the contrary, participants see that they don’t have to fear their own success fueling their own increasing subservience to a despot. Each individual entity who can’t plausibly build their own similarly-sized proprietary ecosystem to compete — the overwhelming majority of entities — is incentivized to pitch in on the open ecosystem. Investment in an open ecosystem by any one entity helps the entire ecosystem as a whole. This fact, combined with the fact that ecosystems generally get exponentially more valuable the more participants there are, means that in many cases over sufficient time scales truly open ecosystems create gravity wells, sucking more and more into them until they are nearly universal.
  • Bell Canada brings open source automation ONAP into production
    Bell Canada has implemented it's first automation use case using the Linux Foundation's Open Network Automation Platform (ONAP) as part of the telco's Network 3.0 transformation initiative. With an initial focus on its data center network infrastructure, Bell Canada is working with its network integration and back-office partner Amdocs to reduce costs and delivery capabilities.
  • Bell Canada Reaches Milestone in Network 3.0 Vision with Open Network Automation Platform (ONAP) and Strategic Partnership with Amdocs

Linux Kernel 4.15 Delayed

  • Linux Kernel 4.15 Delayed Until Next Week as Linus Torvalds Announces a Rare RC9
    While the Linux community was looking forwards to the final Linux 4.15 kernel release today, Linus Torvalds just delayed it for another week, announcing the ninth Release Candidate (RC) instead. It's not every day that you see a ninth Release Candidate in the development cycle of a new Linux kernel branch, but here we go, and we can only blame it on those pesky Meltdown and Spectre security vulnerabilities that affect us all, putting billions of devices at risk of attacks.
  • Linux 4.15 becomes slowest release since 2011
    Linus Torvalds has decided that Linux 4.15 needs a ninth release candidate, making it the first kernel release to need that much work since 2011. Torvalds flagged the possibility of an extra release candidate last week, with the caveat that “it obviously requires this upcoming week to not come with any huge surprises” after “all the Meltdown and Spectre hoopla” made his job rather more complicated in recent weeks. Fast-forward another week and Torvalds has announced “I really really wanted to just release 4.15 today, but things haven't calmed down enough for me to feel comfy about it”.
  • No 4.15 final release today
    As might have been expected from watching the commit stream, the 4.15 kernel is not ready for release, so we'll get 4.15-rc9 instead. Linus said: "I really really wanted to just release 4.15 today, but things haven't calmed down enough for me to feel comfy about it, and Davem tells me he still has some networking fixes pending. Laura Abbott found and fixed a very subtle boot bug introduced this development cycle only yesterday, and it just didn't feel right to say that we're done."

Linus Torvalds Calls Linux Patch for Intel CPUs "Complete and Utter Garbage"

The patch submitted by David Woodhouse, ex-Intel kernel engineer that now works for Amazon described a so-called new feature for Intel processors to address Indirect Branch Restricted Speculation (IBRS) by creating macros that would restrict or unrestrict Indirect Branch Speculation based on if the Intel CPU will advertise "I am able to be not broken." The "x86/enter: Create macros to restrict/unrestrict Indirect Branch Speculation" feature implies that the IBRS (Indirect Branch Restricted Speculation) bit needed to be set at boot time to "ask" the processor not to be broken. Linus Torvalds immediately reacted to the patch calling it "complete and utter garbage" despite the developer's efforts to explain why he implemented the nasty hack. Read more Original: [RFC 09/10] x86/enter: Create macros to restrict/unrestrict Indirect Branch Speculation