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Wear OS getting a new update with “Tiles” feature

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OS

Google is adding a new piece of feature to the Wear OS, once again bringing back an ounce of hope on the dying platform. The new feature makes navigation through the most-used functions of the watch much easier. Google is calling this bite-sized feature Tiles.

Tiles is pretty much the same swipe feature that Google introduced for the Google Fit, Google Assistant, notifications, and quick settings last year. Earlier, swiping down from the watch face would bring up quick settings, swiping up would bring the notifications, swiping right showed the feed from the Google Assistant and swiping left showed data from Google Fit. Now with the new addition, you can keep swiping left to access more information, like the weather forecast, news headlines, calendar events, heart rate, and more.

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GNU Guix Reaches Big 1

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OS
GNU
  • GNU Guix 1.0.0 released

    We are excited to announce the release of GNU Guix version 1.0.0!

    The release comes with ISO-9660 installation images, a virtual machine image, and with tarballs to install the package manager on top of your GNU/Linux distro, either from source or from binaries. Guix users can update by running guix pull.

  • GNU Guix 1.0.0 released
  • GNU Guix 1.0.0 released
  • GNU Guix 1.0.0 released
  • GNU Guix 1.0 System Distribution & Transactional Package Manager Released

    After seven years of development and more than forty-thousand commits, GNU Guix 1.0 has been released. Guix as a refresher is the transactional package manager that can be used atop other Linux distributions while the Guix System Distribution also serves as its own GNU/Linux flavor.

    On the package manager side, GNU Guix 1.0 now supports a -v option to increase verbosity of outputs, various other new sub-commands/options, and other enhancements.

Latest From Haiku OS

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OS
  • Haiku monthly activity report - 03 and 04/2019

    Hi there! We're back for monthly (or almost) reports! I was at the JDLL in early april, and while preparing for that I didn't have time to write a report, and no one else did it. So here we go with a 2 month report, prepare for something a little longer than usual. This report covers hrev52945-hrev53094.

  • Haiku Continues Progress With Its New NVMe Driver, BIOS/UEFI Fixes & More

    The Haiku operating system that continues to be the open-source project living on in the traditions of BeOS is continuing to advance its modern hardware support and application compatibility.

    As covered last month, the Haiku operating system finally features an NVMe storage driver for supporting today's speedy solid-state drives. This NVMe SSD driver for Haiku has continued to evolve in recent weeks.

MakuluLinux Core OS Is Dressed to Impress

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OS
Linux
Reviews

I have charted the progress of Core's development through sometimes daily ISO releases over the last few months. I can attest to the near constant revisions and design tweaks Raymer has applied.

The more I used Core, the better choice it became over its LinDoz and Flash kin. That, of course, is purely a personal observation. But the features I loved in the other two MakuluLinux options either were even better when integrated into Core, or were surpassed by the Core-only innovations.

MakuluLinux Core's rebuilt Xfce desktop is so well tweaked it looks and feels like something new.

Given the amount of forking Raymer did to Xfce, he could call the desktop something new. For me, referring to it as "the new Core desktop" makes perfect sense.

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Chrome OS 75 brings VPN support to Linux apps

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OS
Linux

Google has finally added VPN support for Linux apps on Chrome OS. Chrome OS 75.0.3770.10, which is currently in Dev channel, enables the support in Crostini. Both the native Linux VPN for Chrome OS and Android VPNs are supported, though the former is still a work-in-progress.

In addition to VPN support, the latest release for Chrome OS also contains a few bug fixes, as well as new features. Chrome OS 75 is expected to hit the Stable channel in mid-June.

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Feren OS: An Almost Flawless Linux Computing Platform

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OS
Linux
Reviews

Feren OS is a nearly flawless Linux computing platform. This distro is practically maintenance free. The developers have taken the best parts of several innovative Linux distros and seamlessly integrated them into an ideal computing platform.

Feren OS is attractively designed and has just enough desktop animation to make using it a tad bit more interesting.

Other than the missing games category in the main menu, this latest snapshot is a bit skimpy on including a better collection of applications. That is not a bad thing in terms of sensitivity to software bloat, but the developers should at least provide automated tools to download software bundles similar to what was included in previous releases.

Still, Feren OS is a nice alternative to Linux Mint, which has gotten sluggish and slow since the version 19.1 release. Feren OS is an easy stepping stone to transition to Linux from Microsoft Windows and macOS. It is also a satisfying change for more experienced Linux users.

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Why Linux stands out amongst other OSes

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OS
Linux

Up until recently, Elementary OS was my platform of choice. It's an elegant, simple, and user-friendly solution for the desktop. One thing that the Elementary developers do that I believe is fairly wise is to not allow upgrades from one major release to another. In other words, if you use Elementary OS Loki, you can't upgrade to Juno. To get the benefits of Juno, you must do a full-blown re-install of the OS.

Why is this route wise? My latest adventures in Linux will help explain.

A few months ago, I purchased a System76 Thelio. It's a beast of a desktop, while at the same a masterful work of art. Preinstalled on that desktop machine was System76's own Pop!_OS. Based on Ubuntu, it seemed like a great way for me to dive back into the GNOME desktop. So I did. It took no time to get accustomed to the new workflow with GNOME. Once my fingers understood the new keyboard shortcuts, I was good to go.

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Rancher Labs Releases Slim OS for Its Edge-Focused K3s Platform

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OS
Ubuntu

Rancher Labs has developed an operating system for its recently launched edge-specific k3s Kubernetes distribution designed for resource-constrained environments and easier management when deployed within the k3s environment.

Sheng Liang, CEO and co-founder of Rancher Labs, said the conveniently named k3OS uses the same declarative syntax as other Kubernetes resources. This allows a user to install and upgrade the k3s platform and the k3OS at the same time.

Users can also use the k3OS platform to model infrastructure-as-a-code, which allows for repeatable cluster deployments and should make the k3s clusters more secure when running in isolated environments. It also has a reduced attack surface that further bolsters its security posture.

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Back in the Day: UNIX, Minix and Linux

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OS
GNU
Linux

I don't remember my UCSD email address, but some years later, I was part of the admin team on the major UUCP hub hplabs, and my email address was simply hplabs!taylor.

Somewhere along the way, networking leaped forward with TCP/IP (we had TCP/IP "Bake Offs" to test interoperability). Once we had many-to-many connectivity, it was clear that the "bang" notation was unusable and unnecessarily complicated. We didn't want to worry about routing, just destination. Enter the "@" sign. I became taylor@hplabs.com.

Meanwhile, UNIX kept growing, and the X Window System from MIT gained popularity as a UI layer atop the UNIX command line. In fact, X is a public domain implementation of the windowing system my colleagues and I first saw at the Xerox Palo Alto Research Center. PARC had computers where multiple programs were on the screen simultaneously in "windows", and there was a pointer device used to control them—so cool. Doug Englebart was inspired too; he went back to Stanford Research Institute and invented the mouse to make control of those windows easier. At Apple, they also saw what was being created at PARC and were inspired to create the Macintosh with all its windowing goodness.

Still, who doesn't love the command line, as Ritchie and Kernighan had originally designed it in the early days of UNIX? (UNIX, by the way, is a wordplay on a prior multiuser operating system called Multics, but that's another story.)

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5 Operating Systems For The Internet Of Things

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OS

An Internet of Things OS is any Operating System specifically designed to work within the constraints that are particular to IoT devices which are typically limited in memory size, processing power, capacity, and built to enable swift data transfer over the Internet.

There are several (mostly Linux-based) Operating Systems that you can use for IoT but they wouldn’t allow you to get the best out of your setup and that’s the reason why IoT-focused distros exist.

Here is a list of the 5 best Operating Systems you can use for your Internet of Things projects.

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today's howtos and software bits

Security: Windows, Books, Apple and More

  • Windows 7 Enters the Last Six Months of Support [Ed: Microsoft propagandist (for ages) Bogdan Popa won't advise people to hop over to GNU/Linux (which he lies about, saying Microsoft "loves Linux")]

    According to third-party data provided by NetMarketShare, Windows 7 continues to be one of the most popular choices for desktop users.

  • Security bootcamp: 8 must-read books for leaders

    The threat of cybercrime constantly looms over business leaders – and it becomes more urgent as cyber attacks become more sophisticated. In 2019, security breaches happen more frequently, and the associated financial hit has increased, according to research from Accenture. Notably, the report points out that hackers increasingly target humans – the “weakest link in cyber defenses” – at all levels of organizations, through tactics like ransomware and phishing. (Witness the recent wave of ransomware attacks against U.S. cities, large and small.) That’s why it’s becoming essential for everyone – not just security professionals – to be well-versed in risk and their organization’s security efforts.

  • Security scanning your DevOps pipeline

    Security is one of the most important considerations for running in any environment, and using open source software is a great way to handle security without going over budget in your corporate environment or for your home setup. It is easy to talk about the concepts of security, but it's another thing to understand the tools that will get you there. This tutorial explains how to set up security using Jenkins with Anchore. There are many ways to run Kubernetes. Using Minikube, a prepackaged virtual machine (VM) environment designed for local testing, reduces the complexity of running an environment.

  • This Is Why We Have Betas. iOS 13 Beta Shows Saved Passwords

    There’s a reason we have beta versions of software: all the kinks need to be worked out. This is also why using beta versions always come with warnings and disclaimers that you’re using the software at your own risk. Users of the iOS 13 beta have discovered that there’s a bug that makes it easy to access the data in “Website & App Passwords” in the Settings app. Certainly, this is something Apple needs to get fixed before the official release, expected for September.

  • Hackers breached Bulgaria’s tax agency and leaked the data of 5M people

    Bulgaria has suffered what has been described as the biggest data leak in its history. The stolen data, which hackers emailed to local media on July 15, originates from the country’s tax reporting service – the National Revenue Agency (NRA). The breach contains the personal data of 5 million citizens, local outlet Capital reports. To put that into perspective, Bulgaria has a population of 7 million. Among other things, the trove includes personal identifiable numbers, addresses, and even income data.

Hardware: ASUS Chromebooks, MacBook Air Slowdowns, Exploding 'i' Things and Planned Obsolescence

  • Acer Chromebook R 11
  • ASUS Chromebook Flip C302CA
  • ASUS Chromebook C202SA
  • The 2019 MacBook Air Has 35% Slower SSD Than 2018 Model

    Tests were conducted on MacBook Air variants with different internal storage options and the drop in the write speeds were witnessed in every variant regardless of the internal storage.

  • 11-Year-Old Girl’s iPhone 6 Exploded Burning Holes In Blanket

    With smartphones from various tech companies falling prey to the exploding game, it seems like it’s Apple’s turn, as this time an iPhone caught fire in Bakersfield, California. It is suggested that 11-year-old Kayla Ramos was sitting in her sister’s bedroom and was holding the iPhone 6 in her hands. She mostly used it for watching YouTube videos and sometimes gave it to her younger siblings.

  • How many kinds of USB-C™ to USB-C™ cables are there?

    Why did it come to this? This problem was created because the USB-C connectors were designed to replace all of the previous USB connectors at the same time as vastly increasing what the cable could do in power, data, and display dimensions. The new connector may be and virtually impossible to plug in improperly (no USB superposition problem, no grabbing the wrong end of the cable), but sacrificed for that simplicity is the ability to intuitively know whether the system you've connected together has all of the functionality possible. The USB spec also cannot simply mandate that all USB-C cables have the maximum number of wires all the time because that would vastly increase BOM cost for cases where the cable is just used for charging primarily.

    How can we fix this? Unfortunately, it's a tough problem that has to involve user education. [...]

Programming: Thread Synchronization, Python, C++

  • Thread Synchronization in Linux and Windows Systems, Part 1

    In modern operating systems, each process has its own address space and one thread of control. However, in practice we often face situations requiring several concurrent tasks within a single process and with access to the same process components: structures, open file descriptors, etc.

  • Intro to Black – The Uncompromising Python Code Formatter

    There are several Python code checkers available. For example, a lot of developers enjoy using Pylint or Flake8 to check their code for errors. These tools use static code analysis to check your code for bugs or naming issues. Flake8 will also check your code to see if you are adhering to PEP8, Python’s style guide.

  • Report from the February 2019 ISO C++ meeting (Library)

    Back in February, I attended the WG21 C++ standards committee meeting in rainy Kona, Hawaii (yes, it rained most of the week). This report is so late that we’re now preparing for the next meeting, which will take place mid-July in Cologne. As usual, I spent the majority of my time in the Library Working Group (for LWG; for details on the various Working Groups and Study Groups see Standard C++: The Committee). The purpose of the LWG is to formalize the specification of the C++ Standard Library, i.e. the second “half” of the C++ standard (although in terms of page count it’s closer to three quarters than half). With a new C++20 standard on the horizon, and lots of new features that people want added to the standard library, the LWG has been very busy trying to process the backlog of new proposals forwarded by the Library Evolution Working Group (LEWG). One of the main tasks at the Kona meeting was to review the “Ranges Design Cleanup” proposal. The cleanup involves a number of fixes and improvements to the new Ranges library, addressing issues that came up during the review of the previous (much larger) proposal to add the Ranges library, which is one of the biggest additions to the C++20 library (most of the other significant additions to C++20 affect the core language, without much library impact). In fact, I’d say it’s one of the biggest additions to the C++ standard library since the first standard in 1998. The Ranges library work overhauls the parts of the standard that originated in the Standard Template Library (STL), i.e. iterators, algorithms, and containers, to re-specify them in terms of C++ Concepts. This has been a multi-year effort that has now landed in the C++20 working draft, following multiple proposals and several meetings of wording review by LWG.

  • Save and load Python data with JSON

    JSON stands for JavaScript Object Notation. This format is a popular method of storing data in key-value arrangements so it can be parsed easily later. Don’t let the name fool you, though: You can use JSON in Python—not just JavaScript—as an easy way to store data, and this article demonstrates how to get started.