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Kernel: Linux 5.11, Linux 5.10, RCU...

  • Linux 5.11 To Land Optimization That Helps IO_uring Performance - Phoronix

    At the start of October we mentioned a kernel optimization that can help IO_uring performance. Now as we approach the end of the month, Linux 5.11 is poised to land the optimization that especially helps out with threaded workloads. The change to task_work to use TIF_NOTIFY_SIGNAL when available is queued as part of the tip.git core/entry code ahead of the Linux 5.11 merge window opening in December. Currently TIF_NOTIFY_SIGNAL is wired up for x86/x86_64 while Jens is working on adding this support to other CPU architectures as well. We'll see how many architectures get supported in time for Linux 5.11 as once completing that work he'll be able to move on with a set of clean-ups.

  • Stupid RCU Tricks: Torturing RCU Fundamentally, Part III - Paul E. McKenney's Journal — LiveJournal

    Even more reading of the Linux-kernel Documentation/RCU/Design/Requirements/Requirements.rst file encounters RCU's memory-barrier guarantees. These guarantees are a bit ornate, but roughly speaking guarantee that RCU read-side critical sections lapping over one end of a given grace period are fully ordered with anything past the other end of that same grace period. RCU's overall approach towards this guarantee is shown in the Linux-kernel Documentation/RCU/Design/Memory-Ordering/Tree-RCU-Memory-Ordering.rst file, so one approach would be to argue that these guarantees are proven by a combination of this documentation along with periodic code inspection. Although this approach works well for some properties, the periodic code inspections require great attention to detail spanning a large quantity of intricate code. As such, these inspections are all too vulnerable to human error. Another approach is formal verification, and in fact RCU's guarantees have been formally verified. Unfortunately, these formal-verification efforts, groundbreaking though they are, must be considered to be one-off tours de force. In contrast, RCU needs regular regression testing.

  • Stupid RCU Tricks: Torturing RCU Fundamentally, Parts IV and V - Paul E. McKenney's Journal — LiveJournal

    The first guarantee is trivially verified by inspection of the RCU API. The type of rcu_read_lock(), rcu_read_unlock(), synchronize_rcu(), call_rcu(), and rcu_assign_pointer() are all void. These API members therefore have no way to indicate failure. Even primitives like rcu_dereference(), which do have non-void return types, will succeed any time a load of their pointer argument would succeed. That is, if you do rcu_dereference(*foop), where foop is a NULL pointer, then yes, you will get a segmentation fault. But this segmentation fault will be unconditional, as advertised!

  • AMD Navi "Blockchain" Card Support Being Added To Linux 5.10

    Last week we were first to report on a PCI ID being added for a Navi 1 "Blockchain" graphics card without display outputs and seemingly focused on cryptocurrency mining. This card wasn't talked about at yesterday's Radeon RX 6000 series launch but that support is now on the way to the Linux 5.10 kernel. The code sent out last week added the new Navi 10 PCI ID and disabled DCN/VCN support for that ID with this card not having video acceleration or display functionality. Aside from that patch, AMD hasn't officially acknowledged this new part that is RDNA (1) and not to be confused with the forthcoming RDNA2 / RX 6000 series products.

Back Doors, Security and DRM

  • Tell Us How You Want to Modify and Repair the Devices in Your Life

    Have you tried modifying, repairing, or diagnosing a product but bumped into encryption, a password requirement, or some other technological roadblock that got in the way? EFF wants your stories to help us fight for your right to get around those obstacles.

    Section 1201 of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) makes it illegal to circumvent certain digital access controls (also called “technological protection measures” or “TPMs”). Because software code can be copyrightable, this gives product manufacturers a legal tool to control the way you interact with the increasingly powerful devices in your life. While Section 1201’s stated goal was to prevent copyright infringement, the law has been used against artists, researchers, technicians, and other product owners, even when their reasons for circumventing manufacturers’ digital locks were completely lawful.

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  • Nitro Software user database put up for sale on dark web
           
             

    A group that uses the name Shiny Hunters appears to have put up a database exfiltrated during a data breach of ASX-listed Nitro Software, a firm that offers a service to create, edit and sign PDFs and digital documents, on the dark web for sale.

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  • Nitro breach was probably through cloud, claims cyber sec firm
           
             

    ASX-listed Nitro Software, a firm that had its origins in Melbourne and offers a service to create, edit and sign PDFs and digital documents, appears to have suffered a data breach through cyber criminals gaining access to the company's cloud environment via a compromise of access tokens, the cyber security firm Cyble has told iTWire.

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  • Why Microsoft has blocked hundreds of sites in Internet Explorer
                     
                       

    Once the site is actually redirected, Microsoft will also show a small banner indicating what steps have been taken, with the notice that “some websites no longer work with Internet Explorer.” There’s also a link to a supplementary webpage that offers just a brief explanation, as well as a link to running Internet Explorer within the new Microsoft Edge.

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  • HS: Vastaamo [cracking] could turn into largest criminal case in Finnish history
                     
                       

    “As for the question of perpetrator, I can’t comment on that in any way. Whether the [cracker] and blackmailer are the same person is another thing we can’t give a solid answer at this point in time,” he stated to Helsingin Sanomat.

  • NSA refuses to spell out change to policy for planting backdoors

    America's National Security Agency has dug its heels in and is refusing to provide information to Democrat Senator Ron Wyden as to whether it is still planting backdoors in commercial products as it was found to have done with Juniper Networks in 2015.

  • Fancy some contact tracing? That'll be $4.12 million a pop

    It's beginning to look like the Federal Government should avoid anything to do with technology following the revelation on Thursday that $70 million of taxpayers' money was spent on the COVIDSafe app – and only 17 cases were detected through its use.

Android Leftovers

My journey to becoming an open source mentor

I was just 16 when I made my first meaningful open source contribution. It was the first code contribution I ever made, and I learned a lot from it. I'm 20 now, and I've been strongly attached to free and open source software (FOSS) ever since. I strive to be a friend to my community colleagues and to help others continue growing, learning, and succeeding. I first heard about FOSS through the Google Code-In contest. I was 16, but I was already learning computer science fundamentals, the C++ programming language, and anything else about computers I could get my hands on. I was very excited about the contest—not just because of the free Google swag, but because it gave me the opportunity to work directly on codebases being used all around the world. I jumped into the contest feet-first and started trying to solve as many open source software tasks as I could in the code, design, documentation, and research. Read more