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Gadgets

Nintendo Found a Way to Patch an Unpatchable Coldboot Exploit in Nintendo Switch

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Security
Gadgets

If you plan on buying a Nintendo Switch gaming console to run Linux on it using the "unpatchable" exploit publicly disclosed a few months ago, think again because Nintendo reportedly fixed the security hole.

Not long ago, a team of hackers calling themselves ReSwitched publicly disclosed a security vulnerability in the Nvidia Tegra X1 chip, which they called Fusée Gelée and could allow anyone to hack a Nintendo Switch gaming console to install a Linux-based operating system and run homebrew code and apps using a simple trick.

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Nintendo Switch can now run GameCube games – with an emulator and Linux

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Linux
Gaming
Gadgets

Great news, everyone: you can now play GameCube games on your Nintendo Switch – but only with a considerable amount of hacking your console. The Switch can at last run GameCube games through an emulator hosted on a Linux distribution loaded onto the console.

The development was made by YouTube user Mizumi, who uploaded a video of the Dolphin GameCube emulator program running on Lakka, a Linux distribution for game consoles that looks a lot like the PlayStation 4 interface using a front-end known as RetroArch.

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Botond Ballo: Review of the Purism Librem 13

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Reviews
Gadgets

The Purism Librem 13 has largely lived up to my goal of having a lightweight productivity laptop with a decent amount of memory (though I’m sad to say that the Firefox build has continued to get larger and slower over time, and linking is sometimes a struggle even with 16 GB of RAM…) while also going the extra mile to protect my privacy and freedoms. The Librem 13 has a few deficiencies in comparison to the ThinkPad line, but they’re mostly in the category of papercuts. At the end of the day it boils down to whether living with a few small annoyances to benefit from the additional privacy features is the right tradeoff for you. For me, so far, it has been, although I certainly hope the Purism folks take feedback like this into account and improve future iterations of the Librem line.

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Also: Software delays, lack of purpose means Microsoft’s “Andromeda” may never arrive

Sailfish in PDAs

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Gadgets
  • Sailfish for the Gemini PDA lets you ditch Android
  • A slick phone Linux for your pocket PDA? Ooh, don't mind if I do, sir

    Sailfish has become the fourth OS to be officially supported on Planet Computing's pocket computer, the Gemini PDA, and eager beavers can download an image from Planet today.

    Planet has also released an official Debian distro for download. The keyboard-toting device boots into Android, while support for the Ubuntu flavour of Linux is slated.

    Sailfish matters because it's a Linux created primarily with phones and pocket devices in mind – although it will run on static kit like TVs, too. Nokia launched its first Linux tablet in 2005, and the Maemo platform underpinning it morphed into Meego after Intel joined in 2010.

Sailfish for Gemini Community Edition available now

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Linux
Gadgets

As the first step in bringing Sailfish to Gemini, our friends at Planet Computers have today made the community edition of Sailfish OS 2.1 available for the Gemini PDA. This version has been tested and verified by both Jolla and Planet.

As it’s a community initiative, the version is still somewhat limited, but essential features are supported. With this version you won’t yet get software updates or support for Android apps. Also the overall support is limited to our community’s efforts.

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“Respects Your Freedom” (RYF) and Purism's Librem 5

Filed under
GNU
Gadgets
  • Purism's Librem 5 To Rely On Secondary Processor For Binary Blobs

    With not being able to deliver a 100% fully free software / libre system, the Librem 5 smartphone will rely upon a secondary processor for dealing with the necessary binary blobs for hardware initialization to keep them out of touch from the U-Boot boot-loader and Linux kernel.

    The first road-block in their effort to make the Librem 5 smartphone as open as possible is the DDR PHY with firmware blobs needed for the DDR4 memory training process at boot time. With it not being realistic for them to rewrite the firmware blob to do the DDR4 PHY training, they are planning to punt the binary-only blobs out to a secondary processor. In doing so, they can also apply for an exclusion with the Free Software Foundation for still having a device that "Respects Your Freedom" while still having necessary binary blobs at play.

  • Solving the first FSF RYF hurdle for the Librem 5

    While investigating using the i.MX 8 for the Librem 5 phone we found an issue that would have been problematic for us to obtain the Free Software Foundation’s “Respects Your Freedom” (RYF) hardware endorsement...

(GNU)/Linux Phones: Purism and eelo

Filed under
GNU
Linux
Gadgets
  • Purism Reaffirms Plans To Bring Librem 5 Smartphone To Market In January

    Linux hardware manufacturer Purism is reaffirming their commitment this morning to shipping the Librem 5 smart-phone in January.

  • Purism’s Security and Privacy Focused Librem 5 Smartphone Makes Major Strides in Manufacturing and Development

    Purism, the social purpose corporation which designs and produces popular privacy conscious hardware and software, has announced that its groundbreaking Librem 5 smartphone is currently on schedule for its planned January 2019 delivery date seven months after its crowdfunding campaign raised nearly $2.5 million for the project.

    The Librem 5 will be the world’s first community-owned smartphone ecosystem that gives users complete control over their mobile device.

  • If I had an eelo co-founder

    BUT our eelo community is growing fast: we have close to 15 developers working full time, a dozen translators/editors… to reach our targets, and I’m currently limiting this number.

    eelo could grow way faster and way bigger!

    The reason of the current limit is that my available time of work is limited, and my TODO list is growing faster than I can execute.

    Therefore, I need to find solutions until we find enough funding to hire some people to structure all projects more.

Phones: Purism, "Jolla Users", De-Googling Android Phones

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Gadgets
  • Last Call for Librem 5 Dev Kit: order yours before June 1st 2018

    Purism has finalized the specifications for the Librem 5 development kit and will be placing all the component parts order and fabrication run the first week of June 2018. If you want to have early access to the hardware that will serve as the platform for the Librem 5 phone, you must place your dev kit order before June 1st, 2018. The price for the development kit is now $399, up from the early-bird pricing that was in effect during the campaign and until today. The dev kit is a small batch, “limited edition” product. After this batch, we are not planning for a second run (as the production of the phone itself will replace the dev kit in 2019).

  • Top 3 mobile phones

    When purchasing a new mobile phone, there are hundreds of models to choose from and, there are dozens of “excellent” or top-rated brands to consider. Therefore, it can be difficult to know what you are getting. Buying the phone upfront, on contract or buying a smartphone on finance are all options that need to be considered too. If you are ready to invest in a new smartphone consider these three models.

    Galaxy S9 Plus. This phone by Samsung is sleek, elegant, has a vibrant screen, resolution and excellent fingerprint scanner. The curved edges give it a distinct look and style. It is the Plus model, so has a huge touchscreen which is extremely intuitive. Quality speakers, outdoor body/casing and internal functionality make it a top-choice for a new smartphone.

  • De-Googling my phone, reloaded

    In this area the situation is now much happier than my first post indicated. As promised I used trainline.eu for booking some tickets (both for Deutsche Bahn and also on Thalys), and indeed this does a fine job. Same price, European rebate cards like BahnCard 50 are supported, and being able to book with a lot of European train services with just one provider is really neat. However, I’m missing a lot of DB navigator’s great features: realtime information and alternatives, seat selection, car position indicator, regional tariffs, or things like “Länderticket”.

    Fortunately it turns out that DB Navigator works just great with a trick: Disable the “Karte anzeigen” option in the menu, and it will immediately stop complaining about missing Play Services after each action. Also, logging in with your DB account never finishes, but after terminating and restarting the app you are logged in and everything works fine. That might be a “regular” bug or just a side effect without Play Services.

Gadgets With Linux or Modding

Filed under
Hardware
Gadgets
  • Open-source WearOS alternative “AsteroidOS” now available for several smartwatches
  • AsteroidOS 1.0 released: Open source smartwatch operating system (for Wear OS devices)
  • AsteroidOS 1.0, an open source smartwatch OS, released for certain Android Wear watches
  • Building a DIY amp kit that's great for vinyl records

    About a week after I wrapped up my last article where I talked about needing another stage of amplification to take advantage of my new 0.4mV phono cartridge, all the remaining bits and pieces I had ordered online to build the Muffsy phono head amplifier kit arrived. I had the amplifier kit, the power supply kit, the back-panel kit (all from Muffsy), the case (from a very efficient supplier in China), the temperature-controlled soldering station, and the wall wart (from a very efficient supplier in California).

    I watched the entertaining "how to solder" videos linked on Muffsy's site and realized I needed a few more things—like the thin solder mentioned on those videos and some solder wick. So, on an unusually bright and sunny Saturday morning, I visited a local electronics supply store, picked up the last items, and started building.

    [...]

    I contacted "the person behind Muffsy," Håvard Skrodahl, with some questions. He responded very quickly, and we ended up having a most delightful conversation. Moreover, it turns out Håvard is a system administrator and does this "kit thing" as a side gig. We discussed (or maybe lamented) that "back in the good old days" it was possible to buy all sorts of electronics kits, from Heathkit, Dynaco, David Hafler, and others. Today, there are still audio kits available, but it seems to be of lesser interest. Too bad! I am very grateful to Håvard for open sourcing so much of his materials.

  • UP Core SBC begins shipments

    Aaeon has begun shipping its community-backed “UP Core” SBC starting at $99, featuring a quad-core Atom x5-Z8350, up to 4GB RAM and 64GB eMMC, plus WiFi, BT, HDMI, USB 3.0, and RPi HAT compatibility.

    Aaeon has achieved volume production for its UP Core SBC, a smaller (66 x 56.5mm) version of the UP board. The UP Core supports the same OSes as the UP — Android 6.0, Ubuntu, Ubilinux, and Yocto based Linux, as well as Windows 10 and Windows IoT Core — running on the same quad-core, up to 1.84GHz Intel Atom x5-Z8350 from the Cherry Trail family.

Nearly 15 million Nintendo Switches are now hackable (other NVIDIA Tegra X1 devices too)

Filed under
GNU
Linux
Security
Gaming
Gadgets

Earlier this year hackers started to show evidence of an exploit that allowed you to load custom software on a Nintendo Switch game console. Theoretically that opens the door for homebrew applications, modified games, or even running an alternate operating system such as a GNU/Linux distribution on Nintendo’s latest game system. It could also make it possible to run pirated games, which is why console makers usually don’t encourage this sort of thing.

But now a team of hackers called ReSwitched have described a bootrom vulnerability called Fusée Gelée that makes it possible for anyone to hack a Nintendo Switch… assuming you’re willing to do a little hardware hacking too.

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More in Tux Machines

GNOME: GUADEC, GSoC, GitLab

  • Petr Kovar: GUADEC 2018
    Back from GUADEC, held in the beautiful Andalusian city of Almería, Spain, from 6th July through 11th July, 2018, I wanted to share a few notes wrt documentation and localization activities at the conference and during the traditional post-conference hacking days.
  • GUADEC18 Developer Center BoF Part 1: The Developer Experience
    At this year’s GUADEC lightning talks I spontaneously announced and arranged a Developer Center BoF (Birds of a Feather) session. We were six attendants who met together Wednesday the 11th September. I think it is important that we communicate our doings to the rest of the community, so I will make a few short blog posts based on our meeting notes and my own thoughts on the subject.
  • GSoC 2018: Safe Shared Access to Cairo Image Surfaces
    I’m working on librsvg, a GNOME SVG rendering library, to port the SVG filter effects and related infrastructure from C to Rust. Librsvg uses Cairo, a 2D graphics library, for most of its drawing operations. Cairo can draw to a number of different surfaces like XCB and Xlib windows and pixmaps, PDF documents and PostScript files.
  • Have you ever commented while angry?
    Here’s my proposal (feature request for GitLab / irssi?

OSS: Apache Cassandra, Jib,WSO2 and More

  • Apache Cassandra at 10: Making a community believe in NoSQL
    Ten years ago this month, when Lehman Brothers was still just about in business and the term NoSQL wasn't even widely known, let alone an irritant, Facebook engineers open-sourced a distributed database system named Cassandra. Back then, the idea that huge numbers of companies would need a scalable database was almost laughable – and that grip of traditional relational database systems is reflected in the mythical moniker given to what would become one of the first of many databases designed to run on a cluster of machines. Named after the Greek figure who was cursed to utter the truth but was never believed, Cassandra might seem an odd choice for a system whose raison d'être is believability – but it delivered a nice dig at the stalwarts of the RDBMS world… and their trust in a false Oracle.
  • Google Launches Jib, Automated Container Packaging for Java Apps
    Google has released software that could automate the packaging of a Java program so that it can be run in the cloud-native environment. Jib is an open-source Java “containerizer,” one that handles all the steps of packaging your application into a container image, according to Appu Goundan and Qingyang Chen, two Google engineers who co-wrote a blog post announcing the new technology. Created over two decades ago at Sun Microsystems, Java was introduced as a “write once, run anywhere” programming language, where all the code would be packaged in a JAR file, and run by a Java Virtual Machine on any platform. The requirements for running code anywhere have expanded with the introduction of containerization, however. Few shops are Java-only these days, and many are turning to containerization for true application portability,
  • WSO2 Summer 2018 Release Brings Agility to Secure Microservices Integration
  • New Operations in Mexico Extend WSO2’s Reach Across Latin America
  • How Open Source Became The Default Business Model For Software
  • 10 Best Kodi Addons You Should Install In 2018 | Legal Addons
    Kodi is one of the most popular media player software which enables you to access videos, music, and pictures via the internet or local storage on a host of platforms. Managed by XBMC foundation, Kodi is an open source software. However, its reputation has been soiled by labeling it as a piracy bearer, and that is why many ask “Is Kodi legal?” You can read more about Kodi and whether it is legal or not here.
  • Summer of Code: Plan for the grand finale
    To get that done, I have to polish up my smack-openpgp branch which has grown to a size of 7000 loc. There are still some minor quirks, but Florian recommended to focus on the big picture instead of spending too much time on small details and edge cases. I also have to release pgpainless to maven central and establish some kind of release cycle. It will be a future challenge for me personally to synchronize the releases of smack-openpgp and pgpainless.
  • Collaborative World Shaping: Why Open-Source Tech Matters in a For-Impact Future
    How many lives could be saved if there was a way to vastly cut down inefficiency and through bureaucracy, by problem solving at a global scale? Could technology help us reach more individuals in need more meaningfully, substantially helping people affected by disasters – in less time? The technology is already out there – but not enough people know about it. In 2017, Hurricane Irma—the strongest hurricane ever recorded in the Atlantic Ocean—made landfall; with widespread, “catastrophic” damage, disaster relief organizations were overwhelmed. “A lot of traditional means of crisis response are very top down, and they didn’t really kick in — we saw headlines about how the Red Cross didn’t show up to shelters,” said Greg Bloom, a community organizer and civic hacker who knew he had to step in to assist.
  • The First Open-Source Smart Contract Platform to be Started by Rootstock
    RSK Labs, formerly known as Rootstock, an Argentinian startup building the first open-source smart contract platform with a 2-way peg to Bitcoin.RSK Labs CEO Diego Gutiérrez Zaldívar on Bitcoin Smart Contracts Sidechain and Crypto Industry Challenges. Even though at this point of time the 2-way peg security of the RSK blockchain is still relying on a group of third parties called ‘Federation’, in the future the developers promise to bring a “trustless” automatic peg. How fast this happens to some degree depends on the overall miners support. The company says its goal is to add value and functionality to the Bitcoin ecosystem by enabling Ethereum-like smart-contracts, near instant payments and higher-scalability, and this past January after almost two years of development its mainnet dubbed Bamboo was finally launched.
  • Creality’s Ender 3 3D Printer is Now Fully Open Source
    Creality3D, founded in 2014, is a 3D printer manufacturer based in China, offering more than 20 products. Their popular Ender 3 was recently voted “Best 3D Printer Under $200” by All3DP (review here). Now, the company is making their most popular 3D printer, the Ender 3, completely open source. This makes it the first Open Source Hardware Association certified 3D printer in China. This means not just a few files have been shared, but all hardware, CAD files, board schematics and firmware files are available. You can find the updated versions on the company’s GitHub page.
  • Charité's researchers integrate open-source platform into the 'Human Brain Project'
    Universitätsmedizin Berlin and the Berlin Institute of Health (BIH) are pleased to announce that 'The Virtual Brain' neuroinformatics platform has joined the EU's Flagship 'Human Brain Project'. With financial support from the EU's Horizon 2020 research and innovation program, Charité's researchers are now integrating their open-source platform into the 'Human Brain Project'. This will provide participating researchers with a research infrastructure that promotes efficiency and reproducibility. The researchers will focus on refining the theoretical underpinnings of the computer models used, developing efficient simulation technology, and working on neuroinformatics solutions that enhance the reproducibility of studies.

Kernel and Graphics: PDS, VKMS and Nouveau

  • PDS 0.98s release
    PDS 0.98s is released with the following changes 1. Fix compilation issue on raspberry pi. 2. Minor rework and optimization on balance code path. 3. Fix wrong nr_max_tries in migrate_pending_tasks. This is mainly a bug fix and minor optimization release for 4.17. The rework of balance code doesn't go well, it actually make more overhead than current implement. Another rework which based on current implement is still on going, hopefully be included in next release.
  • PDS-MQ CPU Scheduler Revised For The Linux 4.17 Kernel With Minor Optimizations
    Alfred Chen announced this week the release of PDS-mq 0.98s, his latest patch-set of this CPU scheduler against the Linux 4.17 upstream code-base and includes minor optimization work and bug fixes. The PDS scheduler stands for the "Priority and Deadline based Skiplist multiple queue scheduler" that is derived from Con Kolivas' former BFS scheduler with Variable Run Queue (VRQ) support. PDS design principles are to be a simple CPU process scheduler yet efficient and scalable. PDS-mq differs from Con Kolivas' current MuQSS scheduler.
  • Add infrastructure for Vblank and page flip events in vkms simulated by hrtimer
    Since the beginning of May 2018, I have been diving into the DRM subsystem. In the beginning, nothing made sense to me, and I had to fight hard to understand how things work. Fortunately, I was not alone, and I had great support from Gustavo Padovan, Daniel Vetter, Haneen Mohammed, and the entire community. Recently, I finally delivered a new feature for VKMS: the infrastructure for Vblank and page flip events. At this moment, VKMS have regular Vblank events simulated through hrtimers (see drm-misc-next), which is a feature required by VKMS to mimic real hardware [6]. The development approach was entirely driven by the tests provided by IGT, more specifically the kms_flip. I modified IGT to read a module name via command line and force the use of it, instead of using only the modules defined in the code (patch submitted to IGT, see [1]). With this modification in the IGT, my development process to add a Vblank infrastructure to VKMS had three main steps as Figure 1 describes.
  • The State Of The VKMS Driver, Preparations For vBlank & Page Flip Events
    One of the exciting additions to look forward to with the upcoming Linux 4.19 kernel cycle is the virtual "VKMS" kernel mode-setting driver. The driver is still a work-in-progress, but multiple developers are working on it.
  • NIR Continues To Be Prepped For OpenCL Support
    Longtime Nouveau contributor Karol Herbst who joined Red Hat several months ago has been working on Nouveau NIR support as stepping towards SPIR-V/compute support and this summer the work very much remains an active target.
  • Nouveau Gallium3D Moves Closer Towards OpenGL 4.5 Compliance
    While the RadeonSI and Intel i965 Mesa drivers have been at OpenGL 4.5 compliance for a while now, the Nouveau "NVC0" Gallium3D driver has been bound to OpenGL 4.3 officially. This Nouveau Gallium3D driver for NVIDIA "Fermi" graphics hardware and newer has effectively supported all of the OpenGL 4.4/4.5 extensions, but not officially. Originally the NVC0 problem for OpenGL 4.4 and newer was the requirement of passing the OpenGL Conformance Test Suite (CTS), which at first wasn't open-source. But now The Khronos Group has made it available to everyone as open-source. Additionally, the proper legal wrangling is in place so the Nouveau driver could become a conforming Khronos adopter under the X.Org Foundation without any associated costs/fees with Nouveau being purely open-source and primarily considered a community driver.

DistroWatch The Best Website For Distro Hoppers

The DistroWatch features release announcements of new versions of hundreds of Linux and other distributions. It does host reviews of distros, podcasts, and newsletters. DistroWatch first published by Ladislav Bodnar, the founder, and maintainer, on May 31, 2001. DistroWatch initially focused on Linux distributions. But later based on user requests, it went on adding different flavors of operating systems like BSD family, Android x86, Oracle Solaris, MINIX, and Haiku etc. The DistroWatch presents detailed information at one place in a very convenient manner. At the time of writing this article, the DistroWatch hosted information of more than 300 active distributions (referring the list of distros populated under drop-down feature on the first page of the DistroWatch) and more than hundred in queue. It is said that the DistroWatch lives out of advertising and donation. LinuxCD.org is the first to advertise on the DistroWatch site. Read more