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Desktops, Rolling vs Stable, and New Internet Security

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There is a lot of Linux news to report today as a lot of interesting things have been happening last few days. Over the weekend Jeff Hoogland, Bodhi Linux founder, briefed folks on the many graphical desktops for Linux including his own. Yesterday, Matt Hartley compared and contrasted long term versus rolling released Linux distributions and Jack Wallen said desktop Linux isn't really important anymore. Today, Jack Germain said Mandriva offshoot Rosa is a "real powerhouse" and the LF announced collaboration with the White House on new Internet security measures.

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Meaning of Convergence, Exploit Excludes Linux

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The big news yesterday and even into today was the new Ubuntu tablet, which everyone including Canonical touted as "convergence delivered." Well, today Randall Ross scolds news sites for missing the "timely idea" that is convergence. In other news, security researchers have identified a new exploit that specifically avoids Linux. FOSS Force found that Linux users have no interest in anti-virus software and Phoronix reports on Ubuntu performance over the years.

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Slackware 14.2 Beta 2 and the Ubuntu Tablet Revealed

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Slackware 14.2 is making progress as it has officially reached Beta 2. The big news of the day must be the announcement of new Ubuntu tablet Aquaris M10. This is being touted as the fulfillment of the convergence promise as the Aquaris M10 is said to be a tablet that can also be used as a really small PC or a really large phone.

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First X-Apps, openSUSE Board, Faces of FOSS

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Today in Linux news "openSUSE 13.1 has gone Evergreen" and Bryan Lunduke was elected to its board. Clement Lefebvre reported on the first two Mint X-Apps and Dedoimedo found a distribution he likes. Rory Dear argued today against migrating to Linux and FOSS Force is back with their most difficult quiz yet.

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Linux Tops on Web, AMD's Zeppelin, linux.conf.au

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Today in Linux news Netcraft reported that Linux is still the dominate operating system on the Internet. Linux powered eight out of the top 10 hosting sites in January 2016. Some hardware geeks learned of a new AMD processor from our kernel changelogs and Dell teased their new Linux laptop. This year's linux.conf.au is in full swing and I love Free Software Day is quickly approaching.

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Neon Introduced, PCLOS ChimpBox, rm -rf /

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The top story today in Linux news was the warning not to use rm -rf / anymore. Anymore? In a bit of competition for the MintBox, the PCLinuxOS project announced a new mini computer with their OS factory installed starting at around $300. Jonathan Riddell revealed more about the new Neon project and the GNOME Foundation stated today that Karen Sandler did not bankrupt them.

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Also: Running ‘rm -rf –no-preserve-root /’ Command In Linux Can Kill Some Laptops Permanently

KDE Neon Lives, Kmail Not Dead, Screensavers Should Die

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Today in Linux news, KDE contributor and former Kubuntu release manager Jonathan Riddel teased a new KDE subproject will be introduced this weekend at FOSDEM. In related news, Laurent Montel said, "KDEPIM/Kmail is NOT dead" despite it being "the year of Kube." ownCloud founder Frank Karlitschek today told developers to kill off screensavers once and for all.

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Mint 18's New Themes and Applications, New Mint Box

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Clement Lefebvre today added some additional tidbits from early Mint 18 planning in his monthly newsletter. A few weeks ago he'd said version 18 would finally feature a new theme and today he said they would be developing new applications as well. In addition, a new mini PC featuring Mint was introduced.

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Ian Murdock to be Remembered at FOSDEM 2016

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The Debian Publicity team is planning to hold a memorial for founder Ian Murdock who tragically took his own life December 28 after altercations with police. The event will take place during FOSDEM this coming weekend. The team has been collecting pictures, stories, and video in order to compile a short video for the event in Brussels, Belgium Saturday.

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Mozilla "Push"es Firefox 44, Most Secure Linux Projects

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Firefox 44 was released today with Mozilla touting new Push technology. Push allows websites to push content to users without their having to visit the site directly. Elsewhere, The Linux Homefront Project researched which Linux distributions take user security seriously and some of the results are surprising. Jack M. Germain reviewed Nelum OS and Neil Rickert shared his multi-boot techniques.

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More in Tux Machines

Leftovers: Software

  • A Quick Hands-On With Chatty, A Desktop Twitch Chat Client
    Chatty is a desktop Twitch Chat client for Windows, macOS and Linux written in Ja
  • HP Linux Imaging and Printing 3.16.8 Adds Support for Linux Mint 18, Fedora 24
    The open-source HP Linux Imaging and Printing (HPLIP) project has been updated on August 29, 2016, to version 3.16.8, a maintenance update that adds support for new printers and GNU/Linux operating systems. According to the release notes, HP Linux Imaging and Printing 3.16.8 adds support for new all-in-one HP printers, including HP OfficeJet Pro 6970, HP OfficeJet Pro 6960, HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile, HP DeskJet 3700, as well as HP DeskJet Ink Advantage 3700. Also new in the HPLIP 3.16.8 update is support for the recently released Linux Mint 18 "Sarah" Cinnamon, MATE, Xfce, and the upcoming KDE editions, the Fedora 24 Linux operating system, as well as the Debian GNU/Linux 8.5 "Jessie" distribution. So if you're using any of these OSes, you can now update to the latest HPLIP release.
  • MPlayer-Based MPV 0.20.0 Video Player Released with New Options and Commands
    The popular, open-source, and cross-platform MPV video player software received a new update, version 0.20.0, which comes only two weeks after the previous 0.19.0 maintenance release. MPV 0.20.0 is not a major update, and, according to the release notes, it only implements a couple of new options and commands, such as "--video-unscaled=downscale-big" for changing the aspect ratio. Additionally, the MPlayer-based video playback application also gets the "--image-display-duration" option for controlling the duration of image display, and a new "dcomposition" flag for controlling DirectComposition.
  • FFmpeg 3.1.3 "Laplace" Open-Source Multimedia Framework Now Available for Linux
    The major FFmpeg 3.1 "Laplace" open-source and cross-platform multimedia framework has received recently its third maintenance update, version 3.1.3, which brings updated components. FFmpeg 3.1 was announced two months ago, at the end of June, and it introduced a multitude of new features to make the popular multimedia backend even more reliable and handy to game and application developers. Dubbed Laplace, FFmpeg 3.1 is currently the most advanced FFmpeg release, cut from Git master on June 26, 2016.
  • GNU Scientific Library 2.2 released
    Version 2.2 of the GNU Scientific Library (GSL) is now available. GSL provides a large collection of routines for numerical computing in C. This release contains new linear algebra routines (Pivoted and Modified Cholesky, Complete Orthogonal Decomposition, matrix condition number estimation) as well as a completely rewritten nonlinear least squares module, including support for Levenberg-Marquardt, dogleg, double-dogleg, and Steihaug-Toint methods. The full NEWS file entry is appended below.

today's howtos

Leftovers: OSS

  • Report: If DOD Doesn't Embrace Open Source, It'll 'Be Left Behind'
    Unless the Defense Department and its military components levy increased importance on software development, they risk losing military technical superiority, according to a new report from the Center for a New American Security. In the report, the Washington, D.C.-based bipartisan think tank argues the Pentagon, which for years has relied heavily on proprietary software systems, “must actively embrace open source software” and buck the status quo. Currently, DOD uses open source software “infrequently and on an ad hoc basis,” unlike tech companies like Google, Amazon and Facebook that wouldn’t exist without open source software.
  • The Honey Trap of Copy/Pasting Open Source Code
    I couldn’t agree more with Bill Sourour’s article ‘Copy.Paste.Code?’ which says that copying and pasting code snippets from sources like Google and StackOverflow is fine as long as you understand how they work. However, the same logic can’t be applied to open source code. When I started open source coding at the tender age of fourteen, I was none the wiser to the pitfalls of copy/pasting open source code. I took it for granted that if a particular snippet performed my desired function, I could just insert it into my code, revelling in the fact that I'd just gotten one step closer to getting my software up and running. Yet, since then, through much trial and error, I’ve learned a thing or two about how to use open source code effectively.
  • Affordable, Open Source, 3D Printable CNC Machine is Now on Kickstarter
    The appeals of Kickstarter campaigns are many. There are the rewards for backers, frequently taking the form of either deep discounts on the final product or unusual items that can’t be found anywhere else. Pledging to support any crowdfunding campaign is a gamble, but it’s an exciting gamble; just browsing Kickstarter is pretty exciting, in fact, especially in the technological categories. Inventive individuals and startups offer new twists on machines like 3D printers and CNC machines – often for much less cost than others on the market.
  • Open Standards and Open Source
    Much has changed in the telecommunications industry in the years since Standards Development Organization (SDOs) such as 3GPP, ITU and OMA were formed. In the early days of telecom and the Internet, as fundamental technology was being invented, it was imperative for the growth of the new markets that standards were established prior to large-scale deployment of technology and related services. The process for development of these standards followed a traditional "waterfall" approach, which helped to harmonize (sometimes competing) pre-standard technical solutions to market needs.

Leftovers: BSD

  • The Voicemail Scammers Never Got Past Our OpenBSD Greylisting
    We usually don't see much of the scammy spam and malware. But that one time we went looking for them, we found a campaign where our OpenBSD greylisting setup was 100% effective in stopping the miscreants' messages. During August 23rd to August 24th 2016, a spam campaign was executed with what appears to have been a ransomware payload. I had not noticed anything particularly unusual about the bsdly.net and friends setup that morning, but then Xavier Mertens' post at isc.sans.edu Voice Message Notifications Deliver Ransomware caught my attention in the tweetstream, and I decided to have a look.
  • Why FreeBSD Doesn't Aim For OpenMP Support Out-Of-The-Box