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Opening Up Communications (Updatedx5)

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Script kiddies can't get their way

Diversity

Summary: Script kiddies made it impractical to manage comments and forum posts; we are trying to tackle this issue today

IN ANOTHER attempt to restore user registrations, this time on the new server which has just been configured for mail, we are enabling anyone to quickly self-register (takes less than a minute and requires no verification), then immediately post comments, forum posts, etc.

Site Update (Updatedx2)

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Newspaper

Summary: Recent changes at Tux Machines, in just a nutshell

INSPIRED in part by Slashdot, we recently added topical icons to submissions, applying these changes retroactively to over 50,000 older pages. The idea was, this can improve orientation by helping to quickly associate text with topics. More minor modifications were made as well, some textual and some layout related. They are subtle but they can be seen. After receiving feedback regrading icons size we made further modifications. Regarding social media buttons, some of the ones we initially found were unbelievably privacy-infringing (allowing Google, Facebook, Twitter etc. to see visitors of this site), so we disabled them immediately and replaced them with static buttons. Right now we can assure that whenever loading pages in this Web site nothing except our security-aware network gets contacted. We share no data about visitors (with anyone) and Apache logs get shredded for good after a few weeks, leaving sufficient trail just in case of attacks on the site, which would merit investigation. Log rotation is similarly privacy-respecting at the cache level, which leads to the following point.

Today, after the above changes had been made and stability attained (there were some network disruptions yesterday), we also updated Drupal, ensuring it is secure and fully up to date (the latest minor bugfix release is a month old). There is still an issue with Varnish and until we tackle this issue users who are not logged in might be getting error pages. One way to overcome this is to append "?something" to the URL requested. This bypasses the Varnish cache until we finish our investigation of this issue and resolve it for good.

Update: The issue with Varnish turns out to be a conflict between two caching layers. It's fixed now. If you spot an issue, still, please let us know.

Update #2: Yesterday we identified another issue and soon thereafter fixed it. After Twitter syndication had failed we realised that RSS feeds were not standards-compliant, due to a blank line at the start of each generated page in Drupal. This is a common issue and it is a nightmare to debug (requires a complete code review with help of GNU utilities like grep). After 4 hours of investigation I found the culprit and fixed the coding error. RSS feeds are back.

This is "See Ya Around"

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I started to say "this is goodbye," but just because I sold the site doesn't mean I won't be around Linuxville. I'm still writing at ostatic and I may turn up here now and again as well. I'll be looking around to expand my writing after the new year too, so you're not rid of me yet. But the sale on tuxmachines.org has been completed.

Sold! (tentatively)

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I guess tuxmachines.org has been sold for $1000. I know it's kinda low, but times have changed and the new owner plans to carry on the tuxmachines tradition.

going twice

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going twice

fair warning - going once....

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Well, I think I'm going to accept one of the two $1000 bids received, unless anyone else wants to bid...

Tuxmachines.org for sale (update)

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I've decided to try and see if anyone might be interested in buying and doing something with my domain and site. So, today, I'm posting this ad here: tuxmachines.org for sale.


Update: I've received some bids and will decide by Monday....

sorry so slow

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Sorry I've slowed down on gathering the interesting news lately. I think my blood pressure is back up or something. I'm trying to get a dr appointment. But I'm trying to get back up to speed. Thanks for your patience.

blogstop javascript

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Man, I hate those blogspot blogs that require javascript (or something) to display the basic text of the article they wish linked to. Sometimes I just close konqueror and don't.

Big Thank You to All

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Despite the economy and my decreased traffic, I'd say the donation drive was a success. I saw a lot of familiar names of those who had given before as well as some new ones. Ad revenue was up as well.

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More in Tux Machines

Remembering Vernon Adams

Open-source font developer Vernon Adams has passed away in California at the age of 49. [Vernon Adams] In 2014, Adams was injured in an automobile collision, sustaining serious trauma from which he never fully recovered. Perhaps best known within the Linux community as the creator of KDE's user-interface font Oxygen, Adams created a total of 51 font families published through Google Fonts, all under open licenses. He was also active in a number of related free-software projects, including FontForge, Metapolator, and the Open Font Library. In 2012, he co-authored the user's guide for FontForge as part of Google's Summer of Code Documentation Camp, which we reported on at that time. Read more

Fedora 24 review: The year’s best Linux distro is puzzlingly hard to recommend

Fedora 24 is one of the best Linux distro releases you're likely to see this year. And there are two other releases that I did not have room to cover in depth here: the Server and Cloud variants of Fedora 24, which pack in a ton of new features specific to those environments. The cloud platform especially continues to churn out the container-related features, with some new tools for OpenShift Origin, Fedora's Platform-as-a-Service system built around Google's Kubernetes project. Check out Fedora Magazine's release announcement for more on everything that's new in Server and Cloud. As always, Fedora WorkStation also comes in a variety of "Spins" that are pre-packaged setups for specific use cases. There are prepacked spins of all the major desktops, including Xfce, KDE, MATE, Cinnamon, and LXDE (you can also get alternative desktops in one go by downloading the DVD installer). Spins aren't just for desktops, though. For example, there's an astronomy spin, a design suite spin, robotics-focused spin, a security spin, and several more. None of these spins have anything you can't set up yourself, but if you don't want to put in the time and effort, Fedora can handle that for you. Read more

New NVIDIA SHIELD Android TV Console Shows Up At The FCC

While the Xiaomi Mi Box does seem to be inching closer towards its release and while this is expected to be the next big major device release for the Android TV platform, the last week has seen speculation mounting as to what NVIDIA might have up their sleeves. This is because a new SHIELD Controller popped up on the FCC and this was then followed by new filings for a new SHIELD Remote control. Of course, just because the two controller accessories were passing through the FCC, it does not automatically mean there will also be a new SHIELD Android TV device coming as well. Although on this particular occasion, that looks to be exactly what is happening. Read more

today's leftovers

  • BSODs at scale: we laugh at your puny five storeys, here's our SIX storey #fail
    It's an easy drive-by troll, isn't it? Last week, we asked readers to top the five-storey Blue Screen of Death spotted in Thailand, and examples big and small flooded the inbox. Manchester Piccadilly Station is either vying for the crown with last week's entry, or perhaps it's a display from the same maker. Thanks to James for catching this shot from 2013.
  • Monitoring of Monitoring
    I was recently asked to get data from a computer that controlled security cameras after a crime had been committed. Due to the potential issues I refused to collect the computer and insisted on performing the work at the office of the company in question. Hard drives are vulnerable to damage from vibration and there is always a risk involved in moving hard drives or systems containing them. A hard drive with evidence of a crime provides additional potential complications. So I wanted to stay within view of the man who commissioned the work just so there could be no misunderstanding. The system had a single IDE disk. The fact that it had an IDE disk is an indication of the age of the system. One of the benefits of SATA over IDE is that swapping disks is much easier, SATA is designed for hot-swap and even systems that don’t support hot-swap will have less risk of mechanical damage when changing disks if SATA is used instead of IDE. For an appliance type system where a disk might be expected to be changed by someone who’s not a sysadmin SATA provides more benefits over IDE than for some other use cases. I connected the IDE disk to a USB-IDE device so I could read it from my laptop. But the disk just made repeated buzzing sounds while failing to spin up. This is an indication that the drive was probably experiencing “stiction” which is where the heads stick to the platters and the drive motor isn’t strong enough to pull them off. In some cases hitting a drive will get it working again, but I’m certainly not going to hit a drive that might be subject to legal action! I recommended referring the drive to a data recovery company. The probability of getting useful data from the disk in question seems very low. It could be that the drive had stiction for months or years. If the drive is recovered it might turn out to have data from years ago and not the recent data that is desired. It is possible that the drive only got stiction after being turned off, but I’ll probably never know.
  • Blender 2.78 Is Adding Pascal Support, Fixes Maxwell Performance Issues
  • motranslator 1.1
    Four months after 1.0 release, motranslator 1.1 is out. If you happen to use it for untrusted data, this might be as well called security release, though this is still not good idea until we remove usage of eval() used to evaluate plural formula.
  • Live dmesg following
  • WineTricks has seen a massive amount of improvements this year
    WineTricks has seen allot of development recently, some of the notable changes are better IE 8 support, MetaTrader 4 support, Kindle improvements, Russian translation, A new self update function and a massive amount of other fixes and updates. The full changelog sense February 2016 and August 2016 is provided below with a download link to get the latest release.
  • Sunless Sea expansion Zubmariner releases on October 11th with Linux support
    Sunless Sea is about to get bigger, as Zubmariner has been confirmed for release on October 11th with Linux support.
  • Agenda, control an organization trying to take over the world in this strategy game
  • Clarity (Vector Design) Icon Theme for Linux Desktop’s
    Clarity Icon Theme is completely different from other icon themes because its purly based on Vector design. This theme is based on AwOken and Token, lots of shapes and basic color pallete was taken from these icons. Few icons was taken from Raphael. used some shapes from OpenClipart, Wikipedia, Humanity and AnyColorYouLike Themes. The rest of icons designed by developer by simplifying existed icons or logos. Two types of fonts used Impact and Cheboygan.
  • GUADEC 2016
    I have just returned from our annual users and developers conference. This years’ GUADEC has taken place in the lovely Karlsruhe, Germany. It once again was a fantastic opportunity to gather everyone who works pretty hard to make our desktop and platform the best out there. :)
  • GUADEC 2016, Karlsruhe
    Nice thing this year was that almost everyone was staying in the same place, or close; this favoured social gatherings even more than in the previous years. This was also helped by the organized events, every evenings, from barbecue to picnic, from local student-run bar to beer garden (thanks Centricular), and more. And during the days? Interesting talks of course, like the one offered by Rosanna about how the foundation runs (and how crazy is the US bank system), or the Builder update by Christian, and team meetings.
  • Debian-Based Q4OS 1.6 "Orion" Linux Distro Launches with Trinity Desktop 14.0.3
    Softpedia has been informed today, August 28, 2016, by the developer of the Debian-based Q4OS GNU/Linux distribution about the immediate availability for download of a new stable release to the "Orion" series, version 1.6. The biggest new feature of the Q4OS 1.6 "Orion" release is the latest Trinity Desktop Environment (TDE) 14.0.3 desktop environment, an open source project that tries to keep the spirit of the old-school KDE 3.5 desktop interface alive. Q4OS was used the most recent TDE version, so Q4OS 1.6 is here to update it. "The significant Q4OS 1.6 'Orion' release receives the most recent Trinity R14.0.3 stable version. Trinity R14.0.3 is the third maintenance release of the R14 series, it is intended to promptly bring bug fixes to users, while preserving overall stability," say the Q4OS developers in the release announcement.
  • Antergos installation guide with screenshots
  • Reproducible builds: week 70 in Stretch cycle
  • Ubuntu's Mir May Be Ready For FreeSync / Adaptive-Sync
    The Mir display server may already be ready for working with AMD's FreeSync or VESA's Adaptive-Sync, once all of the other pieces to the Linux graphics stack are ready. If the comments from this Mir commit are understood and correct, it looks like Mir may be ready for supporting FreeSync/Adaptive-Sync. While NVIDIA's proprietary driver supports their alternative G-SYNC technology on Linux, AMD FreeSync (or the similar VESA Adaptive-Sync standard) has yet to be supported by the AMD Linux stack. We won't be seeing any AMD FreeSync support until their DAL display stack lands. DAL still might come for Linux 4.9 but there hasn't been any commitment yet by AMD developers otherwise not until Linux 4.10+, and then after that point FreeSync can ultimately come to the open-source AMD driver. At least with the AMDGPU-PRO driver relying upon its own DKMS module, DAL with FreeSync can land there earlier.
  • Python vs. C/C++ in embedded systems
    The C/C++ programming languages dominate embedded systems programming, though they have a number of disadvantages. Python, on the other hand, has many strengths that make it a great language for embedded systems. Let's look at the pros and cons of each, and why you should consider Python for embedded programming.