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FSFE: FOSDEM, Chaos Communication Congress, and Story of Evaggelos Balaskas

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GNU
OSS
  • Cory Doctorow +++ (pre-) FOSDEM +++ 36C3

    2020 is not just a new year, it is the dawn of a new decade. With more and more automated systems run by software, a political representation of freedom is more needed than ever. Read in our January Newsletter about why Cory Doctorow supports the FSFE financially and why you should do so too. Read about our upcoming FOSDEM activities including our pre-FOSDEM meeting and reflections on our presence at the Chaos Communication Congress. Also we have a new Software Freedom Podcast with Harald Welte and reports from our community.

  • Report from the 36c3, about:freedom - about:fsfe

    At the end of December, FSFE was in Leipzig at the 36th Chaos Communication Congress. As in previous years, we were present at the congress with lots of information material, talks and workshops. FSFE was one of the main organisers of the cluster about:freedom, an association of 12 civil society organisations and groups. Together with the other organisations, we focused on digital rights and network policy issues.

    In about:freedom, a broad political spectrum of topics could be covered due to the many different focuses of the individual organisations and groups. At our booth we informed about Free Software and presented individual campaigns of us. Together with the cluster about:freedom, we organised 19 self-organised sessions during the 4 days. To only name a few, the hand-on workshop „Freedom to go“ for a Google Independent Android Smartphone by Erik Albers, the more general presentation "The Free Software 1x1: Clarifying the basics and typical misunderstandings", "Computer says no": Worüber sollen Algorithmen entscheiden dürfen by Chris Köver, Emergency VPN: Analyzing mobile network traffic to detect digital threats and the talk by Christian Busse regarding Free Software in Science: "Free Software for Open Science" were part of the sessions.

  • The story of my first job in Tech Industry

    The other day I was thinking about my first ever job in this industry as a junior software engineer at the age of 20. I was doing okay with my studies at the Athens university of applied sciences but I was working outside of this industry. I had to gain some working experience in the field, so I made a decision to find part time work in a small software house. The experience and lessons learned in those couple weeks are still with me till this day … almost 20 years after!

Do You Really Need Antivirus Software on Linux?

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GNU
Linux
Security

There’s a myth that Linux doesn’t have viruses. but for most people, it’s true that they don’t need an antivirus on Linux. How can both those claims be true? Do you really need antivirus on your Linux machine?

Although there have been cases like EvilGnome, a piece of malware that made headlines last year for infecting Linux desktops, they are ultra-rare. The short answer is that thanks to being more securely designed, better maintained, and, truth be told, less popular, Linux ends up being safer than Windows.

There’s no simple yes or no answer to the question of our title, though, as it depends on the user and their needs.

Read more

Also: Security updates for Wednesday

Screencasts/Audiocasts/Shows: GNU/Linux Laptop Screencast, LINUX Unplugged and Linux Headlines

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GNU
Linux
  • [VIDEO] Linux Laptop Screencast

    A few weeks ago, I wrote about tuning up my Linux laptop for writing. Via YouTube, here’s a very quick (20 minute) screencast. Enjoy!

  • Mystical Users | LINUX Unplugged 337

    We make an appeal to keep Linux powerful and avoid the Macification of the desktop, and review the latest developer-focused XPS 13.

    Plus some community news that's getting missed, picks, and more.

  • 2020-01-21 | Linux Headlines

    Canonical announces a cloud delivery suite for Android apps, EarlyOOM is on hold for the next Fedora, and ProtonMail open sources its VPN clients.

All new Chromebooks will get at least 8 years of automatic updates

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GNU
Linux
Google

One of the nice things about buying a Google Chromebook is that the operating system receives automatic security and feature updates delivered straight from Google — which means that it’ll stay up to date years after your Android phone stops receiving official updates.

But up until recently, Google only promised 5 to 6.5 years of updates… which might seem fine if you spend $200 or less on a cheap Chrome OS laptop, but which can be rather frustrating if you drop $999 or more on a premium model.

Read more

Audiocasts/Shows/Screencasts: Software Freedom Podcast, Jim Salter, Test and Code, PCLinuxOS 2020.01 Screencast

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GNU
Linux
  • Software Freedom Podcast #4 about REUSE with Carmen Bianca Bakker

    In the monthly Software Freedom Podcast we talk with people who have inspiring ideas about software freedom. In this episode, we talk with Carmen Bianca Bakker about the REUSE project. By this we are covering the very broad topic of software licensing and the problems there, which REUSE is able to solve with three simple steps.
    OPUS FeedMP3 Feed

  • Brunch with Brent: Jim Salter | Jupiter Extras 48

    Brent sits down with Jim Salter, co-host of Jupiter Broadcasting’s TechSNAP and technology reporter at Ars Technica. We explore his relationship with computers via the US Navy, when code has it’s place in either proprietary or open source licensing, the value in being a social gadfly, and Jim’s motivations behind his writing and who he is hoping to reach and inspire.

  • Test and Code: 98: pytest-testmon - selects tests affected by changed files and methods

    pytest-testmon is a pytest plugin which selects and executes only tests you need to run. It does this by collecting dependencies between tests and all executed code (internally using Coverage.py) and comparing the dependencies against changes. testmon updates its database on each test execution, so it works independently of version control.

    In this episode, I talk with testmon creator Tibor Arpas about testmon, about it's use and how it works.

  • PCLinuxOS 2020.01 overview | So cool ice cubes are jealous.

    In this video, I am going to show an overview of PCLinuxOS 2020.01 and some of the applications pre-installed.

Can the Linux Foundation Speak for Free Software?

Filed under
GNU
Linux

The kindest interpretation of this situation is that the Linux Foundation has a public relations problem that it is unaware of and is overdue to correct. A more cynical interpretation is that, from its very start, the Linux Foundation has been a slow coup, gradually usurping an authority to which it has no right. Ask me on alternate days which one I believe.

Whatever the case, the solutions are the same. A concerted effort to get community members elected to at-large positions might help, although they would still be a minority. Many, too, might not want to legitimize the foundation by participating in it. A more promising response might be to see that community organizations are strengthened to provide a counter-balance, but that would be a slow solution if it worked at all.

I don’t pretend to have an answer. But I believe that free software owes its success to the fact that it is diverse. Centralizing the authority in the community means an end to free software as we know it — and that is something to be avoided at all cost. The very real good that the Linux Foundation does cannot disguise the harm that its orientation may cause.

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Screencasts/Audiocasts/Shows: MX Linux, Linux Headlines, Going Linux, File Systems and Linux Action News

Filed under
GNU
Linux
  • VIDEO: MX Linux 19 Features and Desktop Tour

    MX Linux is a Linux distribution based on Debian stable and using core antiX components. The distributions MX Tools is very popular among users and combined with other several ready-to-use tools, it is great for users who prefer to tweak their distro to their liking. In this video, we will take you through the features tour showing casing MX Linux 19.

  • 2020-01-20 | Linux Headlines

    Nextcloud follows up with good news for mobile users, breaking a Kubernetes install on purpose, and the amicable resolution for recent concerns in the Rust community.

  • Going Linux #384 · 2019 Year In Review

    In our annual review of the previous year we discuss Larry's books on Ubuntu MATE, Microsoft's transformation into an open source company, the distros we've tried, and predictions for 2020. We read a couple of emails from listeners and recommend podcasts and Linux applications.

  • File Systems | Which One is the Best? ZFS, BTRFS, or EXT4

    Let's go over File Systems in this video. We will determine which one is the best ZFS, BTRFS, and EXT4. Each one might work for you based on YOUR needs!

  • Linux Action News 141

    Nextcloud's new release is so big it gets a rebrand, why Mozilla had a round of lay-offs, and the real possibility of Steam coming to Chrome OS.

    Plus, the sad loss of a community member, and more.

8 IoT Projects You Can Do Yourself on a Raspberry Pi

Filed under
GNU
Linux
Hardware

Are you new to the Internet of Things and wonder what IoT devices can do for you? Or do you just have a spare Raspberry Pi hanging around and are wondering what you can do with it? Either way, there are plenty of ways to put that cheap little board to work.

Some of these projects are easy while others are much more involved. Some you can tackle in a day while others will take a while. No matter what, you’re bound to at least get some ideas looking at this list.

Read more

Evernote’s Official Linux Client is Coming Soon

Filed under
GNU
Linux
Software

If you are an Evernote fan, you probably have been missing it on Linux desktop. There is the web version available but you cannot use it offline if you are not a premium user.

Linux (almost) always has a way around. So, there are some third party applications that let you use Evernote on Linux. There are also some alternative applications to Evernote available on Linux.

A native Linux client for Evernote has been requested for a long time and the good news is that it should finally be coming to Linux in the year 2020.

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GNU Make 4.3 Released!

Filed under
Development
GNU

The next stable version of GNU make, version 4.3, has been released and is available for download from https://ftp.gnu.org/gnu/make/

Please see the NEWS file that comes with the GNU make distribution for details on user-visible changes.

Read more

Also: GNU Make 4.3 Released With Performance Improvements, Newer GNU libc + Musl Support

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today's howtos

GameMode 1.5

  • Feral's GameMode 1.5 Now Supports Changing The CPU Governor Differently For iGPUs

    With Feral's GameMode 1.5 the big change facing users is for those running integrated graphics. In a change led by an Intel open-source graphics driver developer, GameMode now supports setting an alternative CPU frequency scaling governor for integrated graphics use-cases. Up to now GameMode has defaulted to always using the "performance" CPU frequency scaling governor for normally delivering the best performance, but for integrated graphics that in some situations can lead to lower performance. Due to the integrated graphics and CPU cores sharing the same power envelope, ramping up the CPU performance can throw the graphics performance out of balance and at least for some games lead to lower performance. So with GameMode 1.5, the user can now opt for "powersave" or an alternative governor instead when using an iGPU.

  • Feral Interactive's open source 'GameMode' system performance booster has a new release

    Feral Interactive don't just port a lot of games to Linux, they also work on some open source bits here and there. One of their projects is GameMode, which just got a new release. GameMode is a "daemon/lib combo for Linux that allows games to request a set of optimisations be temporarily applied to the host OS and/or a game process". In simple terms, it can help ensure your Linux PC is giving the game all it can to run smoothly. Looks like someone new is handling the project too, with Alex Smith having left Feral Interactive.

Mozilla on Privacy Badger, Rust and Digital ID Systems

  • Firefox Extension Spotlight: Privacy Badger

    People can't be expected to understand all of the technically complex ways their online behavior is tracked by hidden entities. As you casually surf the web, there are countless techniques different third party actors use to secretly track your online movement. So how are we supposed to protect our privacy online if we don't even understand how the game works? To help answer this, the good folks at the Electronic Frontier Foundation (a non-profit devoted to defending digital privacy) built Privacy Badger--a browser extension designed to give you highly advanced tracking protection, while requiring you to do nothing more than install it on Firefox. No configuration, no advanced settings, no fuss. Once you have Privacy Badger installed, it automatically scours every website you visit in its relentless hunt for hidden trackers. And when it finds them, blocks them.

  • This Week In Rust: This Week in Rust 322
  • What could an “Open” ID system look like?: Recommendations and Guardrails for National Biometric ID Projects

    Digital ID systems are increasingly the battlefield where the fight for privacy, security, competition, and social inclusion is playing out. In our ever more connected world, some form of identity is almost always mediating our interactions online and offline. From the corporate giants that dominate our online lives using services like Apple ID and Facebook and Google’s login systems to government IDs which are increasingly required to vote, get access to welfare benefits, loans, pay taxes, get on transportation or access medical care. Part of the push to adopt digital ID comes from the international development community who argue that this is necessary in order to expand access to legal ID. The UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) call for “providing legal identity for all, including birth registration” by 2030. Possessing legal identity is increasingly a precondition to accessing basic services and entitlements from both state and private services. For the most marginalised communities, using digital ID systems to access essential services and entitlements from both state and private services are often one of their first interactions with digital technologies. Without these commonly recognized forms of official identification, individuals are at risk of exclusion and denial of services. However, the conflation of digital identity as the same as (or an extension of) “legal identity”, especially by the international development community, has led to an often uncritical embrace of digital ID projects. In this white paper, we survey the landscape around government digital ID projects and biometric systems in particular. We recommend several policy prescriptions and guardrails for these systems, drawing heavily from our experiences in India and Kenya, among other countries. In designing, implementing, and operating digital ID systems, governments must make a series of technical and policy choices. It is these choices that largely determine if an ID system will be empowering or exploitative and exclusionary. While several organizations have published principles around digital identity, too often they don’t act as a meaningful constraint on the relentless push to expand digital identity around the world. In this paper, we propose that openness provides a useful framework to guide and critique these choices and to ensure that identity systems put people first. Specifically, we examine and make recommendations around five elements of openness: multiplicity of choices, decentralization, accountability, inclusion, and participation.

Red Hat/IBM: Red Hat Enterprise Linux, OpenShift 4.3 and OpenSCAP

  • Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8 for SAP Solutions on IBM POWER9: An open foundation to power intelligent business decisions

    At Red Hat Summit 2019, we unveiled Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8, the next generation of the world’s leading enterprise Linux platform, which provides the scale, flexibility and innovation to drive enterprise workloads across the hybrid cloud. Even with the advancements across the platform, we recognize that there’s no singular panacea to overcome every unique IT challenge. To meet these needs, Red Hat delivers specialized offerings built around Red Hat Enterprise Linux to address specific hardware, applications and environment requirements, and Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8 continues this strategy with the availability of Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8 for SAP Solutions on IBM Power Systems (POWER9).

  • OpenShift 4.3: Quay Container Security Integration

    In the Red Hat OpenShift 4.2 Web UI Console, we introduced a new Cluster Overview Dashboard as the landing page when users first log in. The dashboard is there to help users resolve issues more efficiently and maintain a healthy cluster. With the latest 4.3 release, we added an image security section to the cluster health dashboard card. This section will appear on the dashboard when the Container Security Operator gets installed.

  • Deploying OpenSCAP on Satellite using Ansible

    In many environments today, security is one of the top priorities. New information security vulnerabilities are discovered regularly, and these incidents can have a significant impact on businesses and their customers. Red Hat customers I talk to are frequently looking for tools they can use to help evaluate and secure their environments. One of these tools is OpenSCAP, which is included in Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL), and can perform compliance and vulnerability scanning on RHEL servers. Satellite makes OpenSCAP easier to use by allowing you to deploy the OpenSCAP agent to hosts, manage the OpenSCAP policies centrally, and to view OpenSCAP reports from the Satellite web interface.