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LinuxSecurity - Security Advisories

  • Hoyt: Structural pattern matching in Python 3.10
    Ben Hoyt has published a criticaloverview of the Python 3.10 pattern-matching feature.
    As shown above, there are cases where match really shines. But they are few and far between, mostly when handling syntax trees and writing parsers. A lot of code does have if ... elif chains, but these are often either plain switch-on-value, where elif works almost as well, or the conditions they’re testing are a more complex combination of tests that don’t fit into case patterns (unless you use awkward case _ if cond clauses, but that’s strictly worse than elif).
    (Pattern matching has been covered here aswell).

  • [$] More Rust concepts for the kernel
    The first day of the Kangrejos (Rust for Linux) conferenceintroduced the project and what it was trying to accomplish; day 2 covered a number of core Rustconcepts and their relevance to the kernel. On the third and final day ofthe conference, Wedson Almeida Filho delved deeper into how Rust can bemade to work in the Linux kernel, covered some of the lessons that have beenlearned so far, and discussed next steps with a number of kerneldevelopers.

  • Security updates for Monday
    Security updates have been issued by Debian (gnutls28, nettle, nextcloud-desktop, and openssl1.0), Fedora (dovecot-fts-xapian, drupal7, ghostscript, haproxy, libtpms, lynx, wordpress, and xen), openSUSE (xen), Red Hat (rh-ruby27-ruby), and SUSE (openssl, openssl1, and xen).

  • Kernel prepatch 5.15-rc2
    The 5.15-rc2 kernel prepatch is out fortesting.
    So I've spent a fair amount of this week trying to sort out all theodd warnings, and I want to particularly thank Guenter Roeck for hiswork on tracking where the build failures due to -Werror come from.
    Is it done? No. But on the whole I'm feeling fairly good about thisall, even if it has meant that I've been looking at some really oddand grotty code. Who knew I'd still worry about some odd EISA driveron alpha, after all these years? A slight change of pace ;)

  • Schaller: Cool happenings in Fedora Workstation land
    Here's apost from Christian Schaller describing a number of thedesktop-oriented improvements that can be expected in the Fedora 35release.
    And I know some people will wonder why we spent so much time working with NVidia around their binary driver, but the reality is that NVidia is the market leader, especially in the professional Linux workstation space, and there are lot of people who either would end up not using Linux or using Linux with X without it, including a lot of Red Hat customers and Fedora users. And that is what I and my team are here for at the end of the day, to make sure Red Hat customers are able to get their job done using their Linux systems.

  • Conill: The long-term consequences of maintainers’ actions
    Ariadne Conill looksat the difficulties caused by the OpenSSL 3 transition in thecontext of Alpine Linux.
    For distributions, however, the story is different: cryptography moved to using Rust, because they wanted to leverage all of the static analysis capabilities built into the language. This, too, is a reasonable decision, from a development perspective. From the ecosystem perspective, however, it is problematic, as the Rust ecosystem is still rapidly evolving, and so we cannot support a single branch of the Rust compiler for an entire 2 year lifecycle, which means it exists in community. Our solution, historically, has been to hold cryptography at the latest version that did not require Rust to build. However, that version is not compatible with OpenSSL 3, and so it will eventually need to be upgraded to a new version which is. And so, since cryptography has to move to community, so does paramiko and Ansible.

  • [$] Key Rust concepts for the kernel
    The first day of the online Kangrejos conference was focused onintroducing the effort to bring the Rust programming language into the Linux kernel. On the second day, conference organizer Miguel Ojeda shiftedto presenting the Rust language itself with an emphasis on what Rust canprovide for kernel development. The result was a useful resource foranybody who is curious about this project, but who has not yet had the timeto become familiar with Rust.

  • Security updates for Friday
    Security updates have been issued by CentOS (firefox and thunderbird), Fedora (haproxy, wordpress, and xen), openSUSE (apache2-mod_auth_openidc, fail2ban, ghostscript, haserl, libcroco, nextcloud, and wireshark), Oracle (kernel and kernel-container), Slackware (httpd), SUSE (crmsh, gtk-vnc, libcroco, Mesa, postgresql12, postgresql13, and transfig), and Ubuntu (libgcrypt20, linux-gcp, linux-gcp-4.15, linux-hwe-5.4, linux-oem-5.13, python3.4, python3.5, and qtbase-opensource-src).

  • Four stable kernels
    Four new stable kernels, 5.14.5, 5.13.18, 5.10.66, and 5.4.147, have been released.This, and the other stable kernels released today, consist of only somereverts to solve some reported problems with the last round of stablereleases. Upgrading is not required, but highly recommended.

  • Travis CI flaw exposed secrets of thousands of open source projects (ars technica)
    Thisars technica article describes a problem with the Traviscontinuous-integration service:
    A security flaw in Travis CI potentially exposed the secrets of thousands of open source projects that rely on the hosted continuous integration service. Travis CI is a software-testing solution used by over 900,000 open source projects and 600,000 users. A vulnerability in the tool made it possible for secure environment variables—signing keys, access credentials, and API tokens of all public open source projects—to be exfiltrated.
    Any project storing secrets in this service would be well advised toreplace them.

  • [$] The Rust for Linux project
    The first ever Rust for Linux conference, known as Kangrejos, got underway onSeptember 13. Organizer Miguel Ojeda used the opening session to givean overview of why there is interest in using Rust in the kernel, where thechallenges are, and what the current status is. The talk and followingdiscussion provided a good overview of what is driving this initiative andwhere some of the sticking points might be.

  • Security updates for Thursday
    Security updates have been issued by Debian (sssd), Fedora (libtpms and vim), openSUSE (kernel and php7-pear), Oracle (kernel), Slackware (curl), and Ubuntu (libgcrypt20 and squashfs-tools).

  • [$] Revisiting NaNs in Python
    Back in January 2020, we looked at someoddities in Python's handling of Not a Number (NaN) values inits statisticsmodule. The conversation went quiet after that, but it has beenrevived recently with an eye toward fixing the problems that were reported.As detailed in that earlier article, NaNs are rather strange beasts in thefloating-point universe, so figuring out how best to deal with theirpresence is less straightforward than it might seem.

LXer Linux News

  • How to Install FreeRADIUS and Daloradius on Ubuntu 20.04
    RADIUS is a AAA (authentication, authorization, and accounting) protocol that helps in controlling network access. In this guide, you will learn to install FreeRADIUS on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS and use daloRADIUS as the web interface.

  • The 8 Best Arch-Based Linux Distributions
    Arch Linux’s flexibility and customization options make it a primary choice of an operating system for Linux users. The performance-boosting features of Arch make it an absolute delight for the end-users. If you are battling with Arch’s complex installation procedure, you can always delve deeper into how Arch-based distros work and then take it on from there. Here are a few top choices of Linux distros for Arch lovers who want to make the most out of this flexible operating system.

  • Kali Linux 2021.3 released with new tools
    Kali Linux version 2021.3 has been released with new tools, though its makers explain that some features which make it good for penetration testing also make it bad for general use.

  • Use this Linux command-line tool to learn more about your NVMe drives
    NVMe stands for Non-Volatile Memory Express, and it refers to how software and storage communicate across PCIe and other protocols, including TCP. It[he]#039[/he]s an open specification led by a non-profit organization and defines several forms of solid-state storage. My laptop has an NVMe drive, as does my desktop. And they[he]#039[/he]re fast. I love how quickly my computers boot and how quickly they[he]#039[/he]re able to read and write data. There[he]#039[/he]s no perceptible delay.

  • Use Vagrant to test your scripts on different operating systems
    I[he]#039[/he]ve been happy using Vagrant for quite a while now. I work with several DevOps tools, and installing them all on one system can get complicated. Vagrant lets you do cool things without breaking your system because you don[he]#039[/he]t have to experiment on your production system at all.

  • -Werror pain persists as Linus Torvalds issues Linux 5.15rc2
    Linus Torvalds has revealed that winding back the decision to default to -Werror – and therefore make all warnings into errors – has made for another messy week of work on the Linux kernel. "So I've spent a fair amount of this week trying to sort out all the odd warnings, and I want to particularly thank Guenter Roeck for his work on tracking where the build failures due to -Werror come from," Torvalds wrote in his weekly missive about the state of kernel development.

  • 5 best practices for using open source community leaderboards
    It takes a community of people with varying skill sets and expertise to build open source software. Leaderboards have become a way for open source communities to track progress and showcase and celebrate top-performing contributors. If leaderboards are done right, they can increase participation, motivate contributors with gamification, and enhance the community. But leaderboards can also have adverse outcomes—including discouraging participation.

  • Set up Virtual Box on top of Server F35 (pre release) via rpmfusion (VENV)
    First I've installed the most recent nightly build of Fedora 35 Server on Fedora 34 Bare metal KVM Virthost as Guest OS with "Fedora Workstation" desktop, like virtual machine seating on the Linux bridge been created via Web Cockpit Console. When done issued the following set of commands on F35 Guest

  • GIMP 2.10.28 is Here as a Bugfix Release, Version 2.10.26 Was Skipped
    The latest GIMP 2.10.28 release is in principle a “minor” bug-fix release. It is mostly the same program, there are no big changes like there are in the development branch for the next major version that will be released as GIMP 3.0, but there are some noteworthy bug fixes and performance adjustments mainly aimed at Windows users.

  • Why my public library chooses Linux and open source
    The Crawford County Federated Library System has been using Linux and open source software in its IT operations since 1999. They realized early on the potential of open source and integrated it into their enterprise. They were a part of my own Linux journey as I built a content filtering system for our school district. Twenty years ago, there were few models for the use of open source in libraries and education. Meadville Public Library and the Crawford County Federated Library System were the leaders then and now.


  • Kids 5-11 Appear Safely Protected By Small Doses of COVID Vaccine, Pfizer Says
    An anonymous reader quotes a report from Ars Technica: Small doses of Pfizer's COVID-19 mRNA vaccine in children ages 5 to 11 appeared to produce strong antibody responses and comparable side effects to those seen in older age groups, according to the first top-line results from a Phase 2/3 clinical trial released by Pfizer and its partner BioNTech early Monday. The trial data involved 2,268 children ages 5 to 11 years, and these children were given a series of two 10-microgram doses of the vaccine, 21 days apart. The dosage is just a third of the 30-microgram doses given to people ages 12 and above. One month after the second dose, researchers measured the children's levels of antibodies able to neutralize the SARS-CoV-2 virus in a lab experiment. The geometric mean titer of antibody in the 5 to 11 year olds was 1,197.6 (95 percent confidence interval of 1,106.1 to 1,296.6), which is comparable to the geometric mean titer of 1,146.5 seen in people ages 16 to 25. Pfizer described the vaccine as being well tolerated in children, with side effects generally comparable to what's seen in people ages 16 to 25. But the company did not provide further data on the side effects. It also did not provide any further data on vaccine efficacy, though experts expect that comparable neutralizing antibody levels will provide comparable levels of protection against infection, hospitalization, and death. The company said it plans to submit the data to the FDA as soon as possible. It also aims to submit the data for emergency use authorization to the FDA by the end of the month. "Once data is submitted to the FDA, it will take regulators several weeks to review the data and make a decision," the report adds. "That places the earliest estimates for vaccine authorization and availability for the 5-to-11 group at the end of October."

    Read more of this story at Slashdot.

  • Twitter To Pay $809.5 Million To Settle 2016 Lawsuit Over Growth Projections
    Twitter on Monday said it has agreed to pay $809.5 million to settle a class action lawsuit that accused the social network of violating securities laws by misleading investors about its prospects for growth. CNET reports: The settlement stems from a 2016 lawsuit that alleged Twitter and its executives misled shareholders in November 2014 about user growth, promising an increase in monthly active users to 550 million in the "intermediate" term and more than a billion "over the longer term." But Twitter's user growth remained flat, causing steep declines in its stock price, according to the lawsuit. Twitter stopped reporting monthly active users in April 2019 (at last count it reported 330 million). The company now looks at daily users who see ads as its key metric. In July, Twitter reported that its mDAU, or monetized daily active users, grew to 206 million for the quarter that ended in June. The user growth helped the company, which makes most of its revenue from ads, post a 74% increase in quarterly revenue, to $1.19 billion. The settlement agreement, which doesn't include any admission of wrongdoing by Twitter, is subject to court approval.

    Read more of this story at Slashdot.

  • US COVID-19 Death Toll Surpasses That of 1918 Pandemic
    The U.S. death toll from COVID-19 has surpassed that of the 1918 flu pandemic, according to a tracker from Johns Hopkins University. The Hill reports: The U.S. has passed 675,000 deaths, the estimated toll from the 1918 pandemic, which for a century had been the worst pandemic to hit the country. "The number of reported deaths from Covid in the US will surpass the toll of the 1918 flu pandemic this month," Tom Frieden, the former head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, tweeted earlier this month. "We cannot become hardened to the continuing, and largely preventable, tragedy."   Deaths from COVID-19 are also far from over. The U.S. is averaging about 2,000 more deaths from the virus every day, according to a New York Times tracker. Those deaths are overwhelmingly among the unvaccinated, though, highlighting that the continuing toll of COVID-19 is now largely preventable now that vaccines are widely available in the U.S. In 1918, there was no vaccine to help stop the flu pandemic. Still, the U.S. population was far smaller a century ago, meaning that the death rate from the 1918 pandemic is still higher than for COVID-19. E. Thomas Ewing, a Virginia Tech history professor, wrote in Health Affairs earlier this year that the death rate from the 1918 pandemic was about six in every 1,000 people, given the U.S. population at the time of around 100 million. The death rate from COVID-19 in the U.S. is about two in every 1,000 people. A disproportionate share of COVID-19 deaths are also in the United States. Worldwide, the 1918 flu killed far more people than COVID-19 has so far, at about 50 million compared to about 5 million.

    Read more of this story at Slashdot.

  • 'Please Stop Closing Forums And Moving People To Discord'
    Luke Plunkett, writing for Kotaku: A few days ago Eurogamer closed their forums, bringing to an end over 20 years of community discussion. The site explained the move like sites and companies always do (only a few are still using them), and it made sense the way it always does (that's a lot of money for not much gain), but that doesn't mean the process itself isn't something that sucks. [...] Readers are then urged to move to the site's Discord, because of course they would be. Now, I don't want to pick on Eurogamer here, as like I said up top, in every individual case companies and sites have their reasons for doing this. The most frequently cited are the fact that forums need to be maintained (true!) and that people's conversational habits have changed, with forum use dwindling (also true!).   But I simply do not care, because a) I don't work for these companies, and b) I'm more interested in looking at the long-term damage this is doing to the internet. Forums and Discord are apples and oranges. Users aren't being moved from one similar thing to another, they're being shifted to platforms with fundamentally different ways of approaching discussions. Discord is great for talking in the moment. [...] Forums aren't the same though. They're nothing like it. Forums are more deliberate, more considered, and while they're far from perfect -- I'm sure you can post a billion examples of people being neither deliberate nor considered on forums -- the point is that they're more permanent. Forums create a record, an archive we can search through, so that whenever we want to revisit issues, or find help with a problem, or see what was happening during a certain time, we can do that. There's a paper trail, and while sometimes that leads to embarrassing takes on tv shows and game reveals, other times it's providing an enormous help with technical issues or parts of a game you're stuck on.

    Read more of this story at Slashdot.

  • The Pandemic Made Our Workweeks Longer
    The average American's workweek has gotten 10% longer during the pandemic, according to a new Microsoft study published in Nature Human Behaviour. From a report: These longer hours are a key part of the pandemic-induced crisis of burnout at U.S. firms -- and workers are quitting in droves. Microsoft calculated the length of the workday based on the time between Teams users' first email, message or work call and their last. So the longer workweeks don't necessarily mean we're working more, the study says. People may be spending more time logged on because they are distracted with other obligations while working from home and so are less productive. This contributes to burnout because the lines between work life and home life are increasingly blurred, experts say. Further reading: Study of 61,000 Microsoft Employees Finds Remote Work Threatened Productivity and Innovation.

    Read more of this story at Slashdot.

  • Amazon is Piling Ads Into Search Results
    An anonymous reader shares a report: Search for "toothpaste" on Amazon, and the top of the web page will show you a mix of popular brands like Colgate, Crest and Sensodyne. Try a separate search for "deodorant" and you'll first see products from Secret, Dove and Native. Look a little closer, though, and you'll notice that those listings are advertisements with the "sponsored" label affixed to them. Amazon is generating hefty revenue from the top consumer brands because getting valuable placement on the biggest e-commerce site comes with a rising price tag. "There's fewer organic search results on the page, so that increasingly means the only way to get on the page is to buy your way on there," said Jason Goldberg, chief commerce strategy officer at advertising firm Publicis.   For consumers looking for toothpaste on Amazon, getting to unpaid results requires two full swipes up on the mobile app. ntil recently, Amazon put two or three sponsored products at the top of search results. Now, there may be as many as six sponsored products that appear ahead of any organic results, with more promotions elsewhere on the page, said Juozas Kaziukenas, who runs e-commerce research firm Marketplace Pulse. The number of ads that appear differs depending on the exact search term and other factors such as whether users are shopping on desktop, mobile or in the Amazon app, Amazon says.

    Read more of this story at Slashdot.

  • Apple Releases iOS 15 and iPadOS 15
    Apple today released iOS 15 and iPadOS 15, the newest operating system updates designed for the iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. From a report: As with all of Apple's software updates, iOS and iPadOS 15 can be downloaded at no cost. iOS 15 is available on the iPhone 6s and later while iPadOS 15 is available on the iPad Air 2 and later. The new software can be downloaded on eligible devices over-the-air by going to Settings - General - Software Update. It may take a few minutes for the updates to propagate to all users due to high demand.   A new Focus mode cuts down on distractions by limiting what's accessible and who can contact you, and notifications can now be grouped up in daily summaries. There's an option for a new Safari design that moves the tab bar to the bottom of the interface, and Tab Groups keep all of your tabs organized. Maps has been overhauled with even more detail, a 3D view in major cities, a globe view, improved transit, a close-up driving view when navigating complicated routes, and AR walking directions. Across the operating system, there's a new Live Text feature that detects text in any image and lets you copy, paste, and translate it, plus there's a system-wide translation feature. In Photos, plants, pets, landmarks, and more can be identified, and there's a system-wide translation feature that goes well with Live Text. iCloud+ with iCloud Private Relay protects your IP address and obscures your location to prevent websites from tracking you, and a Hide My Email feature lets you create temporary email addresses. You can even use your personal domain with iCloud in iOS 15. Further reading: 19 Things You Can Do in iOS 15 That You Couldn't Do Before.

    Read more of this story at Slashdot.

  • Coinbase Drops Lend Product Plans After SEC Lawsuit Threat
    Cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase has canceled plans to launch Lend, a product designed to deliver high-interest returns on USDC stablecoin holdings. From a report: A Coinbase representative confirmed the news to Decrypt this morning, referring us to a quietly updated recent blog post about the planned initiative, which was first announced in June but put on hold following the threat of legal action from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) "Our goal is to create great products for our customers and to advance our mission to increase economic freedom in the world," the update reads. "As we continue our work to seek regulatory clarity for the crypto industry as a whole, we've made the difficult decision not to launch the USDC APY program announced below." Coinbase wrote that it had hundreds of thousands of people signed up to its waitlist, which has now been discontinued. "We will not stop looking for ways to bring innovative, trusted programs and products to our customers," the update concludes. Further reading: Is Lending Your Bitcoins a Security?

    Read more of this story at Slashdot.

  • BlackMatter Hits Grain Cooperative With Ransomware Attack
    Iowa-based grain cooperative New Cooperative was struck by ransomware in recent days and has shut down its computer systems as it tries to mitigate the attack. From a report: The attack occurred on or around Friday, according to Allan Liska, senior threat analyst at the cybersecurity firm Recorded Future. The ransomware gang, which goes by the name BlackMatter, is demanding a $5.9 million ransom, Liska said. New Cooperative confirmed that they had been attacked and said they had contacted law enforcement and were working with data security experts to investigate and remediate the situation.   "New Cooperative recently identified a cybersecurity incident that is impacting some of our company's devices and systems," according to a statement from the cooperative. "Out of an abundance of caution, we have proactively taken our systems offline to contain the threat, and we can confirm it has been successfully contained." New Cooperative has communicated with its feed customers and is working to create workarounds to get feed to animals while its systems are down, a person familiar with the matter said.

    Read more of this story at Slashdot.

  • Leaked Surface Pro 8 Specs Include Thunderbolt Ports and a 120 Hz Screen
    Just days ahead of Microsoft's next Surface hardware event, Twitter user @Shadlow_Leak has posted what appears to be a leaked retail listing showing some key specs of a new Surface Pro device. From a report: According to the listing, the new convertible tablet appears to ditch USB-C and USB-A ports in favor of a pair of Thunderbolt 4 ports, and it also adds 11th-gen Intel Core processors, a 13-inch screen with a 120 Hz refresh rate, and a user-replaceable SSD like the ones in some other current Surface devices. The renders show a Surface with a design similar to the current Surface Pro 7, just with a notably larger screen and smaller bezels than the current Surface Pro 7. Take this with a larger grain of salt the "screens" in these press renders are often superimposed on the devices after the fact, and they've been known to get the screen size wrong. Still, a larger screen with smaller bezels lines up with other Surface Pro 8 rumors that have been circulating, as well as general design trends in the PC industry.

    Read more of this story at Slashdot.

  • Alaska Discloses 'Sophisticated' Nation-State Cyberattack on Health Service
    A nation-state cyber-espionage group has gained access to the IT network of the Alaska Department of Health and Social Service (DHSS), the agency said last week. From a report: The attack, which is still being investigated, was discovered on May 2, earlier this year, by a security firm, which notified the agency. While the DHSS made the incident public on May 18 and published two updates in June and August, the agency did not reveal any details about the intrusion until last week, when it officially dispelled the rumor that this was a ransomware attack. Instead, the agency described the intruders as a "nation-state sponsored attacker" and "a highly sophisticated group known to conduct complex cyberattacks against organizations that include state governments and health care entities."

    Read more of this story at Slashdot.

  • Amazon Says It's Permanently Banned 600 Chinese Brands for Review Fraud
    An anonymous reader shares a report: Remember when gadget vendors Aukey, Mpow, RavPower, Vava, TaoTronics and Choetech started mysteriously disappearing from Amazon's online storefront, and it turned out Amazon had intentionally yanked them while vaguely gesturing to the sanctity of its user reviews? Turns out they were just the tip of the iceberg. Amazon has now permanently banned over 600 Chinese brands across 3,000 different seller accounts, the company confirms to The Verge.   Amazon says that's the grand tally after five months of its global crackdown, and it's no longer being shy about why: a spokesperson tells us these 600 brands were banned for knowingly, repeatedly and significantly violating Amazon's policies, especially the ones around review abuse. The South China Morning Post reported the numbers earlier, citing an interview with an Amazon Asia VP on state-owned television.

    Read more of this story at Slashdot.

  • Amazon is Investigating Whether Its Lawyers Bribed Government Officials in India
    Amazon has launched an investigation into the conduct of its legal representatives in India following a complaint from a whistleblower who alleged that one or more of the company's reps had bribed government officials, Indian news and analysis outlet the Morning Context reported on Monday. From a report: The company is investigating whether legal fees financed by it was used for bribing government officials, the report said, which cited unnamed sources and didn't identify the government officials. Amazon has placed Rahul Sundaram, a senior corporate counsel, on leave, the report added. In a statement to TechCrunch, an Amazon spokesperson said the company has "zero tolerance" for corruption, but didn't comment on the investigation.

    Read more of this story at Slashdot.

  • Stanford's Proposal Over AI's 'Foundations' Creates Controversy
    ellithligraw writes: Last month a Stanford research paper coauthored by dozens of Stanford researchers which terms some artificial intelligence models "foundations" is causing a debate over the future of AI. A new research facility is proposed at Stanford to study these so-called "models." Critics call these "foundations" will "mess up the discourse."   The debate centers on what Wired calls "colossal neural networks and oceans of data." Some object to the limited capabilities and sometimes freakish behavior of these models; others warn of focusing too heavily on one way of making machines smarter. "I think the term 'foundation' is horribly wrong," Jitendra Malik, a professor at UC Berkeley who studies AI, told workshop attendees in a video discussion. Malik acknowledged that one type of model identified by the Stanford researchers — large language models that can answer questions or generate text from a prompt — has great practical use. But he said evolutionary biology suggests that language builds on other aspects of intelligence like interaction with the physical world. "These models are really castles in the air; they have no foundation whatsoever," Malik said. "The language we have in these models is not grounded, there is this fakeness, there is no real understanding...."   Subbarao Kambhampati, a professor at Arizona State University [says] there is no clear path from these models to more general forms of AI...   Emily M. Bender, a professor in the linguistics department at the University of Washington, says she worries that the idea of foundation models reflects a bias toward investing in the data-centric approach to AI favored by industry... "There are all of these other adjacent, really important fields that are just starved for funding," she says. "Before we throw money into the cloud, I would like to see money going into other disciplines."

    Read more of this story at Slashdot.

  • 'Freedom Hosting' Web Admin Gets 27 Years In Prison For Hosting 200+ Child Pornography Sites
    An anonymous reader quotes the Record: An Irish man who ran a cheap dark web hosting service has been sentenced today to 27 years in prison for turning a blind eye to customers hosting child sex abuse material. Eric Eoin Marques, 36, from Dublin, operated the Freedom Hosting service between July 2008 and July 2013, when he was arrested following an FBI investigation. "The investigation revealed that the hosting service contained over 200 child exploitation websites that housed millions of images of child exploitation material," the US Department of Justice said today, announcing Marques' sentencing. "Over 1.97 million of these images and/or videos were not previously known by law enforcement," officials said.   Flashback to 2013:  [T]he FBI yesterday acknowledged that it secretly took control of Freedom Hosting last July, days before the servers of the largest provider of ultra-anonymous hosting were found to be serving custom malware designed to identify visitors. Freedom Hosting's operator, Eric Eoin Marques, had rented the servers from an unnamed commercial hosting provider in France, and paid for them from a bank account in Las Vegas.   It's not clear how the FBI took over the servers in late July, but the bureau was temporarily thwarted when Marques somehow regained access and changed the passwords, briefly locking out the FBI until it gained back control. The new details emerged in local press reports from a Thursday bail hearing in Dublin, Ireland, where Marques, 28, is fighting extradition to America on charges that Freedom Hosting facilitated child pornography on a massive scale...     Security researchers dissected the code and found it exploited a security hole in Firefox to identify users of the Tor Browser Bundle, reporting back to a mysterious server in Northern Virginia. The FBI was the obvious suspect, but declined to comment on the incident. The FBI also didn't respond to inquiries from WIRED today. But FBI Supervisory Special Agent Brooke Donahue was more forthcoming when he appeared in the Irish court yesterday to bolster the case for keeping Marque behind bars."

    Read more of this story at Slashdot.

The Register

  • Kali Linux 2021.3 released with new tools
    Most users better off with rolling release, but quarterly build has more quality testing
    Kali Linux version 2021.3 has been released with new tools, though its makers explain that some features which make it good for penetration testing also make it bad for general use.…

  • A low-key good experience for Thor-oughly new penguins: Elementary OS 6, aka Odin
    Flatpak-only app store, two-finger swiping for screen-fondlers... but it's not for the fiddlers
    Review The elementary OS team recently released its first major update in nearly three years, elementary OS 6, or "Odin" as this release is known. Odin is based on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS, and as you would imagine for an update three years in the making, brings a slew of changes.…

  • -Werror pain persists as Linus Torvalds issues Linux 5.15rc2
    And celebrates Linux's 'true anniversary' – 30 years since upload of version 0.01
    Linus Torvalds has revealed that winding back the decision to default to -Werror – and therefore make all warnings into errors – has made for another messy week of work on the Linux kernel.…

  • Google extends right-to-be-forgotten to app permissions on older Android devices
    Software unused after a few months will lose access to sensitive features unless exempted
    In December, Google plans to have app runtime permissions expire on older versions of Android for apps that haven't been opened for several months, extending the availability of a privacy protection feature introduced in Android 11.…

  • Yes, of course there's now malware for Windows Subsystem for Linux
    Once dismissed proof-of-concept attack on Microsoft OS through WSL detected in the wild
    Linux binaries have been found trying to take over Windows systems in what appears to be the first publicly identified malware to utilize Microsoft's Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL) to install unwelcome payloads.…

  • WTF? Microsoft makes fixing deadly OMIGOD flaws on Azure your job
    Clouds usually fix this sort of thing before bugs go public. This time it's best to assume you need to do this yourself
    Microsoft Azure users running Linux VMs in the IT giant's Azure cloud need to take action to protect themselves against the four "OMIGOD" bugs in the Open Management Infrastructure (OMI) framework, because Microsoft hasn't raced to do it for them.…

  • South Korea surfs silicon shortage to record tech exports
    42.4 per cent increase in chip sales, and smartphone shipments did even better
    Exports of South Korean ICT products reached an all-time high in August, thanks to global demand for silicon chips, reported the country's Ministry of Science and ICT on Tuesday.… offline for now


  • Intel Posts New Linux Patches Looking To Re-Enable ENQCMD Ahead Of Sapphire Rapids
    While Intel is normally quite good with their new hardware support being in good shape well ahead of launch, their new code for supporting the ENQCMD functionality for the Data Streaming Accelerator (DSA) with Xeon "Sapphire Rapids" has been an exception. This summer the mainline Linux kernel disabled ENQCMD support since the code was "broken beyond repair" while now Intel engineers have sent out a new series looking to get it re-enabled...

  • CUPS 2.4 Coming Next Month, CUPS 2.5 + CUPS 3.0 Already In Planning
    An Open Printing micro-conference took place today during the Linux Plumbers Conference 2021 week. While it's hard to get excited about printers in 2021, it is exciting the renewed effort around CUPS with it now being back to effectively led by the community and CUPS founder Michael Sweet who left Apple. CUPS 2.4 is coming as the first feature release in quite a while and then CUPS 2.5 followed by CUPS 3.0 are already being talked about with features being discussed...

  • DXVK 1.9.2 Released With More Games In Better Shape
    DXVK 1.9.2 is out as the newest version of this key library necessary to the success of Valve's Steam Play (Proton) by translating Direct3D 9/10/11 calls to Vulkan for a much more performant Windows gaming experience on Linux...

  • Phoronix Ad-Free/Premium Special For Oktoberfest 2021
    While Oktoberfest was once again cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic (then again, due to the state of the ad industry / ad-block users we haven't had any European meet-up / open-source gathering in years), the wiesn would have kicked off this past weekend. So as is tradition, there is the Phoronix Premium Oktoberfest sale where you can join the ad-free service as a reduced rate. If you enjoy the daily, original Linux and open-source content on Phoronix with plenty of benchmarking, you can do so at a reduced rate...

  • AMD Continues CRIU Work To Checkpoint/Restore ROCm Compute Workloads
    Earlier this year AMD went public with prototyping CRIU support for Radeon GPUs around ROCm to be able to checkpoint/freeze running compute workloads and to then restore them at a later point. This CRIU focus is driven by their big accelerator needs and forthcoming supercomputers for migrating workloads particularly within containers. AMD continues working on CRIU support for GPUs and last week provided an update on the project...

  • Red Hat's Upstream Contributions Are Making For A Great Fedora Workstation 35
    Fedora Workstation 35 will hopefully be out at the end of October (currently the beta is running behind schedule) and when it does ship it's once again at the bleeding-edge of Linux features. Fedora Workstation 35 is shaping up to be another great release for those interested in a feature-rich desktop experience...

  • Linux 5.15 Is Now Slightly Less Broken For The DEC Alpha "Jensen"
    One has to wonder how much longer the Linux kernel will keep around some very old and known to be borked hardware support but at least for now the DECpc AXP 150 "Jensen" platform support is sticking around and with Linux 5.15 is no longer marked as "broken" outright...

  • DRM Driver Posted For AI Processing Unit - Initially Focused On Mediatek SoCs
    BayLibre developer Alexandre Bailon has posted a "request for comments" of a new open-source Direct Rendering Manager (DRM) driver for AI Processing Unit (APU) functionality. Initially the driver is catering to Mediatek SoCs with an AI co-processor but this DRM "APU" driver could be adapted to other hardware too...

  • AMD + Valve Focusing On P-State / CPPC Driver With Schedutil For Better Linux Efficiency
    As reported at the start of August, AMD and Valve have been working on Linux CPU performance/frequency scaling improvements with the Steam Deck being one of the leading motivators. As speculated at that time, their work would likely revolve around use of ACPI CPPC found with Zen 2 CPUs and newer. Published last week was that AMD P-State driver for Linux systems indeed now leveraging CPPC information. AMD formally presented this new driver yesterday at XDC2021...

  • GIMP 2.10.28 Released With More Fixes
    There's still some time to go before seeing the long-awaited GIMP 3.0 release for this open-source image manipulation program but at least out this weekend is GIMP 2.10.28 for bettering the current stable series...

  • Apple Silicon / M1 Port Planned For GCC 12
    Developers are hoping for next year's GCC 12 release they will have Apple AArch64 support on Darwin in place for being able to support Apple Silicon -- initially the M1 SoC -- on macOS with GCC...

  • Experimenting Is Underway For Rust Code Within Mesa
    Longtime Mesa developer Karol Herbst who has worked extensively on the open-source NVIDIA "Nouveau" driver as well as the OpenCL/compute stack while being employed by Red Hat is now toying with the idea of Rust code inside Mesa...

  • The Current State Of Intel Discrete Graphics On Linux: Almost "Fully Functional"
    Along with bringing up DG2/Alchemist graphics card support on Linux, Intel engineers have been working to square away their support for the DG1 developer graphics card. This week thanks to XDC2021 is a fresh status update about what is working with this initial Intel graphics card on their open-source driver and what remains in the works...

  • The Increasing Importance Of ACPI Platform Profiles With Today's Throttle-Happy Hardware
    As covered several times going back to the end of last year, ACPI Platform Profile support has materialized in recent versions of the Linux kernel for the core infrastructure and implementations that work with the latest laptops from the likes of Dell, Lenovo, ASUS, and HP. This platform profile support is becoming increasingly important with expressing your power/cooling/performance preference so that your laptop behaves as one would expect...

  • Running Linux 5.15-rc1 Causing A New Slowdown... Here's A Look
    As usual when the Linux 5.15 merge window began wrapping up, I set out to dive into its performance to see what is in store for this next version of the kernel and whether there was any regressions or other performance changes worth noting. Linux 5.15 overall has been in good shape for the "-rc1" state except noticing that code compilation workloads were taking longer on multiple Linux 5.15-rc1-running systems than Linux 5.14 or prior. Seeing it across multiple systems and a very real-world regression, it was worth bisecting and looking closer so here are the details.

  • NVIDIA RTX 30 Series Resizable BAR Support Continues Helping Performance On Linux
    While NVIDIA has been supporting Resizable BAR for a while now with their GeForce RTX 30 series graphics cards, for those exclusively using Linux it remains more of a challenge due to AIB partners generally not releasing any vBIOS updates for ReBAR support that can be easily applied under Linux. But if you do carry out an update -- such as under Windows -- the performance uplift can be worthwhile if using a game that can benefit from the support.

Engadget"Engadget is a web magazine with obsessive daily coverage of everything new in gadgets and consumer electronics"

  • Google’s updated iOS 15 apps support Focus Mode and iPad widgets
    With iOS 15 now available to download, developers both big and small have started updating their apps to take advantage of the operating system’s marquee features. One of those is Google, which detailed today the iOS 15-related enhancements you can expect from its apps.

    The biggest change involves how Gmail, Meet, Tasks, Maps, Home and many of Google9s other applications will handle notifications. Should you have iOS 15’s new Focus Mode enabled, Google says prompts that don’t require your immediate attention will go to the Notifications Center where you can deal with them later. More timely reminders, such as those Google Maps sends you when you’re trying to navigate somewhere, won’t be silenced, and you’ll see them as they’re sent to you. Google says its goal was to make notifications “as relevant and timely as possible.” You9ll see these roll out to the company9s apps in the "coming weeks."

    Meanwhile, if you own an iPad you can look forward to new Google Photos and YouTube Music widgets that take advantage of the extra screen space Apple’s tablets offer. The company says it will roll these out in the coming weeks as well. Lastly, Google Drive and YouTube Music feature new Spotlight integrations. You can use the tool to search for specific files and to play a song directly in Google’s music streaming service. Those enhancements are available today — though you9ll probably wish more apps worked with Spotlight in this way.

  • SEC opens investigation into Activision Blizzard's workplace practices
    The Securities and Exchange Commission has opened a “wide-ranging” investigation into Activision Blizzard, per The Wall Street Journal. The outlet reports the SEC recently subpoenaed the company and several executives, including CEO Bobby Kotick. The agency has asked the publisher to share a variety of documents, including correspondence Kotick wrote related to complaints of sexual harassment tied to Activision employees and contractors.

    Helaine Klasky, a spokesperson for Activision Blizzard, told The Journal the SEC’s investigation involves disclosures the company made regarding “employment matters and related issues.” The agency reportedly hopes to find out whether Activision properly disclosed those problems, as well as whether those disclosures should have been shared earlier.

    An SEC investigation adds significantly more regulatory pressure on Activision Blizzard. In July, the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) sued the company, accusing its executives of fostering a “frat boy” workplace culture. According to the initial complaint, only 20 percent of all employees at Activision’s Blizzard Entertainment unit are women, and they’re consistently paid less and overlooked for promotions. One month later, DFEH expanded the scope of the lawsuit to include both workers and employees. It also accused the company of using non-disclosure agreements to interfere with its ability to address the workplace violations that had happened at the studio.

  • NASA's VIPER Rover will explore the moon's Relay Crater
    During a teleconference with journalists on Monday, NASA researchers revealed the decided landing and exploration site for its upcoming VIPER lunar ice survey. Lori Glaze, director of the Planetary Science Division at NASA Headquarters, announced that the VIPER mission will land along the western edge of "Relay crater" at the moon9s south pole. 
    The decision to select this landing site required balancing a number of competing factors. Mission control "considered critical parameters, such as Earth visibility — for communications from the moon to Earth — sunlight terrain that9s well suited for the rover to navigate through, and most importantly, of course, the expected presence of ice and other resources," Glaze explained, "while analyzing all these constraints, one study area came out ahead of all the rest, maximizing science return and flexibility to help ensure mission success once Viper is on the moon."

    During its 100-day mission, the VIPER rover is expected to investigate at least six potential sites covering 10 to 15 square-miles of lunar surface through one of the coldest areas in our solar system studied to date. That includes permanently-shadowed craters that have a good probability of potentially containing water ice. 

    "We really don9t know where that water is so we had to find a place where we could cover significant distances — and by significant distances I mean tens of kilometers — going in and out of thermal regimes that included everything from permanently shadowed craters with literally 50 Kelvin temperatures to areas that transitioned to a balmy 110 Kelvin, and then all the way up to 250 Kelvin," Anthony Colaprete, Lead Project Scientist at NASA Ames said during the call. "We want to study the entire range of thermal environments." 

  • GM restarts production of Bolt EV batteries following model-wide recall
    Following reports last week that GM might have to extend the shutdown of its Bolt EV production until at least mid-October, the company announced on Monday that it has "outlined a comprehensive action plan to ensure that customers can safely and confidently drive, charge, and park the Chevy Bolt EV and EUV," according to a GM press release. Both LG plants at Holland and Hazel Park, Michigan have resumed production and dealer deliveries are expected to begin by mid-October. 

    The battery fault that led to a model-wide recall of the electric vehicles beginning in August turned out to be a pair of issues. Manufacturing defects caused both for anodes to tear and cathode-anode separators to fold. Should both of these defects manifest within the same battery cell, it would have a higher chance of catching fire.

    "LG has implemented new manufacturing processes and has worked with GM to review and enhance its quality assurance programs to provide confidence in its batteries moving forward," the GM statement read. "LG will institute these new processes in other facilities that will provide cells to GM in the future." 

    GM has established a notification process to inform impacted customers as to when their replacement battery modules will be available. The company has also developed a diagnostic software suite designed to "detect specific abnormalities that might indicate a damaged battery in Bolt EVs and EUVs by monitoring the battery performance," per the release. The software has to be installed at the dealership but will enable Bolt EV owners to exceed the current GM-enacted 90-percent charge limit should their batteries pass muster. 

  • US officials can't decide if Honor smartphones are a national security threat
    Late last year, Chinese electronics manufacturer Huawei sold its budget mobile brand Honor to “ensure” it would survive the sanctions the US had issued against its own business. The move allowed the brand to work with firms like Qualcomm and Intel to source chips and other critical components for its phones, laptops and wearables. But now Honor could be in trouble as well.

    According to entity list. Landing there would prevent Honor from working with US companies. The Post reports the vote went evenly down the middle. Officials from the Pentagon and Energy Department were reportedly in favor of putting the company on the list, while their counterparts at the Commerce Department and State Department were not.

    With the deadlock, it’s now up to the political appointees at those agencies to decide what to do. If they can’t make a decision, the issue could eventually make its way to the desk of President Joe Biden.

    The Commerce Department declined to comment on the vote when The Post reached out to the agency about it. Instead, it spoke to the subject of the entity list more broadly, noting it continually reviews the risk of a nominated company illegally sharing US technology. “We remain committed to using a full range of tools, including . . . export controls, to deter efforts by the [People’s Republic of China] and other countries … that seek to leverage technology in ways that risk harming US national security and foreign policy interests,” Brittany Caplin, a spokesperson the agency, told the outlet.

    Ultimately, those making the case that Honor should land on the entity list may have difficulty convincing their counterparts that the company is a national security threat to the US. Unlike its one-time parent, Honor doesn’t sell telecommunications equipment to carriers. That means it’s not involved in the 5G network buildouts that were ostensibly at the center of the decision to place Huawei there. What’s more, its products aren’t even available in the US.

  • Amazon will hold a hardware event on September 28th
    Amazon will host a hardware event on September 28th at 12PM ET, the company announced today. The retailer promised to share news about its latest “devices, features and services” in an invite it shared with Engadget. Beyond that, the company didn’t provide other details on what to expect from it next week. But if we had to take a guess, we should see many of the same types of products we saw last year. 

    In 2020, Amazon announced new Echo speakers, its Luna gaming service, WiFi 6-enabled Eero mesh routers and Fire TV devices. Oh, it also showed off an indoor security drone from Ring that we haven9t seen since that event. Amazon won’t livestream the proceedings, but we’ll have you covered with articles on all of the company’s most notable announcements from that day.

  • Apple's 2022 iPhones could feature notch-less designs, but not in-display Touch ID
    Apple may have only announced its iPhone 13 lineup last week, but analyst Ming-Chi Kuo is already looking ahead to the company’s 2022 lineup. According to an investor note seen by MacRumors, Kuo claims Apple will release three new iPhones in the second half of the year. The two high-end models will reportedly feature punch-hole display cutouts and a 48-megapixel primary camera. In other words, the expectation is that Apple will start moving away from the notch design that has defined its phones since the release of the iPhone X in 2017.

    Moving to a 48-megapixel camera would also represent a significant change for the company. Recent iPhones have exclusively shipped with 12-megapixel primary cameras. By moving to a denser sensor, the company could use pixel binning technology to allow people to take high-resolution shots during the day and less noisy ones when the sun starts to set.

    Looking further ahead, Kuo said Apple plans to add an in-display fingerprint sensor to the iPhone in 2023. Previously, the analyst had predicted that would happen next year, but now notes a slower than expected development process has delayed Apple’s rollout of the feature. That’s a significant delay when you consider early reports on the iPhone 13 lineup had suggested those phones would include in-display fingerprint sensors. Similarly, he expects the company will release a foldable iPhone in 2024, where he had previously predicted we would see the device sometime in 2023. As always, take these reports with a grain of salt. Kuo has a decent but not flawless track record when predicting Apple releases. 

  • iOS 15 is now available
    Apple is now rolling out tvOS 15 to iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch and Apple TV devices. You might not see the updates right away, but when they9re available, you9ll have access to a bunch more features.

    Facetime and Google Lens. The feature can extract written text from photos, screenshots and the world around you. You can edit, translate and share the text. The feature can also identify things like art, landmarks, plants and pets.

    Elsewhere, there are new features for the Maps, Photos and Weather apps on iOS. Spotlight searches will have richer results, including your own photos, with Apple using machine learning to figure out what9s in each image.

    On iPad, Quick Notes are now a system-wide feature — just swipe in from the lower right corner to jot down some thoughts using the keyboard or Apple Pencil. Expect some multitasking and connect multiple HomePod minis to an Apple TV 4K and use those as the default speakers.

    If you have an iPhone 6s or later, iPhone SE (either generation) or seventh-gen iPod touch, you9ll be able to install iOS 15. Those with Apple tablets can run iPadOS 15 on fifth-gen and later iPads, iPad mini 4 and later, iPad Air 2 and later and all iPad Pro devices. Meanwhile, watchOS 8 is supported by Apple Watch Series 3 and later devices.

    As for macOS Monterey, Apple has yet to announce a firm release date for the next version of its Mac operating system. Monterey should be available sometime this fall.

    Apple is rolling out the major annual firmware updates just a few days before the iPhone 13 lineup and new iPads arrive. Apple Watch Series 7 will be released later this fall.

  • OnePlus' 2022 flagship will share a unified Android 13 system with Oppo
    Following OnePlus9 integration into Oppo in June, co-founder Pete Lau — who has been appointed Chief Product Officer for both brands since May 2020 — is ready to share more on what to expect from his expanded team, aka "OnePlus 2.0." 

    We already knew about the upcoming unified OS, which will apparently bring the best of both worlds — the smoothness and lightness (no ads!) of OnePlus9 OxygenOS, combined with the reliability and smartness of Oppo9s ColorOS. In a recent group interview, Lau added that this yet-to-be-named system will be based on Google9s upcoming Android 13, and it9ll be featured on OnePlus9 2022 flagship device — likely dubbed "OnePlus 10" — due out first half of the year. Some existing devices will also receive this update, though no specific models were mentioned. (Lau said the Nord 2 already features an early version of the integrated codebase, so there9s a good chance that it9ll get the full upgrade.)

    Given that the shared OS would reduce differentiation between Lau9s two brands, one might wonder which would more likely produce the "perfect" flagship smartphone? Never one to give a direct answer, Lau implied that he doesn9t believe such a device would ever exist. He referred to an internal demographic map featuring 20 user categories, each of which tied to a combination of different needs — down to the level of product size, specific photography features, charging modes, weight and more. 

    Lau9s basic definition of OnePlus users is "tech enthusiasts," but he added that based on this mapping, it9s still impossible to satisfy everyone9s needs with a single device. As such, the exec thinks the market is big enough for his two brands to avoid friendly fire. For the same reason, OnePlus9 Nord line will continue to co-exist with the Oppo Reno series (and Realme, for that matter), though the similarity of their designs is still questionable. (Lau insisted that each brand has a dedicated design team, even after the merger.)
    Another area which OnePlus may benefit from the integration is photography. Lau pointed out that what used to be a camera team of around 100 people is now some 700, which may allow OnePlus to take better advantage of its relationship with Hasselblad, especially with their ongoing work on color science this year. The exec added that he can9t say OnePlus currently has the best camera performance, but he9s certain that it9s "definitely" among the top in the industry.

    Lau admitted that with his expanded role, even if he had 48-hour days, it9d still be impossible for him to personally pick on every single detail on every product like he did before (let9s just say it9d be unlikely that he9d throw a fit over a minor design issue on a logic board, as he once famously did back in his Oppo Blu-ray player days). Instead, Lau had been spending a lot of time teaching his "never settle" philosophy to his new Oppo teammates over the past year or so, in the hopes of changing what used to be a leader-driven mission to true team work. It9ll be a while before we get a real taste of this fruition, but Lau is "confident that this new unified OS won9t disappoint."

  • 'Finch' trailer sees man, machine and dog try to flee climate change
    Apple offered a brief glimpse of the Tom Hanks-led iPhone 13 launch event, and now you can watch the first full trailer for the upcoming sci-fi film. The clip sets the stage for the story that follows. A solar flare knocked out most of the technology on Earth and left much of the US a desolate wasteland. Hanks’ character, the titular Finch, survives in an underground shelter with his only companion, a dog named Goodyear, until he builds a new Android companion. The three of them eventually leave their home when it becomes threatened by the sandstorms that dominate the world of the movie.

    Like Greyhound, Apple acquired Finch for Apple TV+ when the film got lost in pandemic-related delays. It’s only one part of a strong fall lineup that is surprisingly heavy on sci-fi stories. Before Finch comes out on November 5th, genre fans can look forward to the company’s adaptation of Isaac Asimov’s Foundation novels on September 24th and then Invasion, which stars Jurassic Park’s Sam Neill, on October 22nd.

  • Google Meet will automatically adjust webcam brightness in your browser
    Google Meet will soon make it easier for you to see all of your co-workers or friends properly on video calls. The web version of the app can detect when someone is underexposed due to bad lighting. Meet will then increase the brightness so it9s easier to see your cohorts and perhaps make your feed clearer if you have a terrible webcam.

    The low-light mode hit the Google Meet iOS and Android mobile apps last year. It uses AI to examine light levels and tweak the brightness. There9s no admin control for the feature, though users will be able to switch it off — Google says having it enabled might slow down your device.

    The feature is coming to all Workspace and G Suite basic and business users. Google is rolling it out to Rapid Release domains starting today and Scheduled Release domains on October 4th. The rollout will take up to 15 days in both cases, so by mid-October, bad webcam feeds could be a thing of the past on Meet calls.

  • ZTE Axon 30 review: An 'invisible' selfie camera comes at a cost

    ZTE’s family of devices is a little confusing at the moment. The Axon 30 is a direct sequel to the Axon 20, which was the first phone to feature an in-screen camera. However, the company has subsequently released the Axon 30 Pro and Ultra in some territories. So, weirdly, the vanilla Axon 30 is the last of the Axon 30 family to appear.

    At $500, it’s also the cheapest — another attempt by ZTE to slide underneath the priciest smartphones around and offer a mixture of compelling features, albeit tempered by some compromises. The Axon 30’s headline feature is a much-improved under-display camera (UDC), which is almost invisible. It’s also a ZTE smartphone that’s launching in the US, which doesn’t always happen.

    But with increasingly strong midrange phone competition from the likes of Samsung, OnePlus and Google, does ZTE’s Axon 30 offer more than just a hidden selfie camera?

    So what’s all the fuss about that camera anyway? Well, the under-screen 16-megapixel selfie shooter on the $500 Axon 30 puts the one on Samsung’s Galaxy Z Fold 3 to shame. ZTE’s implementation is imperceptible unless you really, really look for it. No punch hole, no notch, no pop-up camera.

    In comparison, the Fold 3’s selfie cam has a pixelated effect that signposts where the camera is and ruins the whole effect. (Yes, in Samsung’s defense, there’s another front-facing camera on the Fold 3 when it’s closed and you’re using the smaller screen.)

    The difference seems to be pixel density, or according to ZTE, the composition of them, with a “special pixel matrix” that ensures the screen appears at 400 PPI — double that found on the Axon 20. If the light catches the unit just right, then yes, you can see it. You’ll probably never notice it again.

    There’s also a dedicated UDC chip that apparently works to keep the camera area looking consistent with the rest of the screen. To get a closer look, I used Oppo’s Find X3 Pro, which has a microscope phone camera — perfect for visually explaining what could otherwise get very technical.
    Engadget, Mat Smith
    As you can see, some pixels seem slightly smaller, or dimmer, than those surrounding them. In this close up you can see the outline of the UDC area, but at this magnification, it’s impressive that it doesn’t look more out of place. I’ll touch on the camera’s performance later, but spoiler: While it might look the part, it’s not quite capable enough.

    The hidden sensor also complements the expansive 6.92-inch AMOLED screen, uninterrupted by the presence of any camera notches or holes. With a 2,460 x 1,080 resolution panel and 120Hz refresh rate, the Axon 30 is offering a flagship screen for mid-range prices. You can switch between 120 and 60Hz modes, with an automatic option letting the Axon 30 decide when to increase the frequency. On more expensive phones, like the OnePlus 9 Pro and the recently-announcediPhone Pro 13, there are more refresh rate options that dip even lower, but at this price, this seems like a fair compromise.

    Leaving it on auto is probably the best fit for most folks, but the manual options are nice — especially as there seems to be a tangible battery life benefit to the lower setting.

    The phone itself is pretty big but feels solid despite its plastic back. ZTE added a translucent reflective effect across the rear of the Axon 30, which I like. I’m less enamored with the giant camera unit, however, which protrudes a few millimeters from the phone, and is likely to be more easily dinged and scratched. Sadly, this design is now everywhere.

    The screen might be comparable to a high-end phone, but there are some features that didn’t make the cut at this price, like wireless charging and certified resistance against dust and water.

    Performance and software
    Engadget, Mat Smith
    There are further compromises. The Axon 30 is powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 870 processor — which is a little underpowered compared to the Snapdragon 880 and 880 Plus we’re seeing in flagship Android smartphones now.

    But at $500, phones like the Pixel 5a (and its Snapdragon 765G chip) are a better comparison to make. The Axon 30 has a more powerful chip than Google’s latest device, though it’s hard to notice a difference in performance between the two.

    The Axon 30 handled everything I threw at it, whether that was video streaming, Stadia or playing games on the phone itself. (The Stadia app did flag that the phone wasn’t officially supported, although it worked fine for me.) There was some visible slowdown when recording video at full 4K resolution, and hopping into the gallery, but otherwise, I didn’t have many complaints.

    I also have to mention that the Axon 30 isn’t exactly great for 5G support in the US. It only works on T-Mobile’s midband 5G. If you’re on Verizon or AT&T, you’ll be relegated to 4G.

    ZTE does know what it’s doing with smartphone power, though. The phone has a 4,200mAh battery that, when I turned the 120Hz refresh rate off, lasted a good two days of typical use before I needed to recharge. And when I did need to, it took hardly any time.

    The Axon 30 supports incredibly fast charging speeds of up to 65W with the appropriate charger, which (thankfully) the phone comes with. ZTE estimates it can charge the phone to 100 percent in under an hour, but getting to 50 percent takes proportionately less time — around 20 minutes.

    Software is pretty innocuous, which is generally a good thing. ZTE keeps pretty close to the stock Google experience. Its new MyOS 11 skin, based on Android 11, is pretty close to what you’d find on a Pixel. There are a few gesture quirks (shake the Axon 30 for the flashlight!) and a floating shortcut widget that can be minimized to the edges of the screen. It’s similar to Samsung’s Edge panel on its bigger phones. ZTE’s version is called Z-Pop and you can tweak the four shortcuts for system commands and app switching. That said, it’s not something that makes you think “Mmm what a memorable experience this is.”

    CamerasEngadget, Mat Smith
    While the front-facing 16-megapixel camera is technically impressive, it doesn’t take great selfies. Don’t get me wrong, it shoots far better pics than the UDC on both Samsung’s Galaxy Z Fold 3 and the Axon 20. The work done to pixel-bin for low light performance, as well as algorithms to help the camera ‘see’ through the AMOLED panel make this the best UDC so far. But it still offers up middling to poor photos. It’s a bit of a time warp, to be honest, giving me the kind of pictures I used to get on smartphones years ago. Details are fuzzy, and any strong backlighting leads to lens flares and washout.

    There’s also an AI assist mode that doesn’t seem to help much — if anything, modes like brightness seem to wash out skin tones even further, and they’re a little gray to begin with. Even if you turn this off, images seem pretty unnatural.
    I couldn9t mask how disappointed I was in these selfies.Engadget, Mat Smith
    It does still capture enough detail to offer face unlock functionality if you prefer that method to fingerprint unlock. And yes, there’s also a fingerprint reader built into the screen. Face unlock worked fine for me nine times out of ten, and was plenty fast enough, but I used a combination of the two. Fingerprint unlock seemed more reliable in darker environments.

    But what about the rest of the cameras? On the back, the Axon 30 has a four-camera array, led by a 64-megapixel Sony sensor. While you’ll mostly be taking pictures that fuse a lot of these pixels together for less noise and better performance in low-light, ZTE has kept the ability to take full-resolution stills if you want to. There’s also an 8-megapixel wide-angle camera, a 5-megapixel macro camera and finally, a 2-megapixel depth sensor to aid your bokeh photography efforts and help with focus. You get up to 2x optical zoom, which is what you’d generally expect at this price point.

    While shooting pictures with the Axon 30 during a family event, images of friends and family seemed particularly good. There is a softness to some shots, likely due to the photos being shrunk down from the 64-megapixel original, but the phone was able to handle most things I threw at it.

    There’s a night mode — of course — but the Axon 30 takes pretty functional shots in low light without having to resort to using it. It did help further reduce noise and improve detail a little, but I’d also advise testing shots with AI mode on and off, as sometimes I found it meddled a little too heavily, especially with people as subjects.

    And the macro camera isn’t worth your time. I suggest using the primary camera with zoom for generally better results in most situations. The problem with the macro camera seems to be that the phone has to be so close to the subject that it blocks a lot of light. That’s not great for detail-oriented photography.

    Video camera modes are generally the same across most mid-range phones in recent years, and the Axon 30 isn’t hugely different. It can handle up to 4K at 60fps and a multi-camera mode lets you record from both the wide-angle and the primary camera at the same time, which is a nice trick we’ve occasionally seen on flagship phones. Due to sluggish autofocus, however, the recording quality isn’t great. If you’ve got a stable subject and good light, videos will generally come out nicely. At other times, you’ll struggle to record anything functional. Just because a phone can record 4K, it doesn’t mean you should.

    SummaryEngadget, Mat Smith
    With the Axon 30, ZTE has proved it can successfully camouflage its under-display camera. But that doesn’t mean it’s up to the task. Image quality from the secretive selfie lens really isn’t good enough, even if the implementation is impressive. Aside from that, the Axon 30 has a gorgeous, fluid screen and a decent rear camera setup. The lack of wider 5G support in the US is frustrating in a 2021 phone, but there is still a lot here for $500. The bigger challenge is that competition is tough in the middleweight phone arena. Google’s latest Pixel, the 5a, rings in at $450, and offers better-performing cameras, front and back. If you’re struggling to pick between the two, the decision loosely boils down to a bigger screen or better selfies.

  • Amazon's first-generation Echo Show 8 is on sale for $64 right now
    With the debut of new Echo Show 8 and Show 5 devices in June, we9ve seen a few good deals on Amazon9s first-generation smart displays since then. A new one has popped up on both Amazon and Best Buy for the original Echo Show 8, dropping it down to a record low of $64. That9s the best price we9ve seen all year on the gadget, and it9s even better than the $70 sale price that we saw during Amazon Prime Day.
    Buy Echo Show 8 (1st gen) at Amazon - $64Buy Echo Show 8 (1st gen) at Best Buy - $64
    The Echo Show 8 sits in the middle of Amazon9s smart display lineup with its 8-inch HD screen. While the Echo Show 5 excels as a smart alarm clock, the Echo Show 8 lets you watch videos, view photos and check out security camera feeds with a bit more comfort. The larger display is also better for video chats and it has a physical camera shutter (along with a microphone on/off button) for when you want extra privacy. If the Show 5 is a bit too small for you but the $250 Echo Show 10 is too expensive (or you9re freaked out by its swiveling base), the Show 8 will likely hit a sweet spot with its power, screen real estate and price.

    The updated Echo Show 8 is only a few months old but it9s much pricer at $130 and it9s not significantly different from the first-generation. It has a faster octa-core processor and a 13-megapixel wide-angle camera with auto-framing, which means it will automatically pan to track your face and keep you in view during video calls. This feature also works with all video chat services that the device supports, including Skype and Zoom, so it will come in handy if you frequently make calls with the Show 8. But you could safely skip the 2021 model if you mostly use your smart displays for weather alerts, calendar appointments, music streaming and other basic tasks.

    Follow @EngadgetDeals on Twitter for the latest tech deals and buying advice.

  • Twitter will pay over $800 million t​o settle a class action suit
    Twitter has agreed to pay $809.5 million to settle a class action suit filed by shareholders in 2016. Investors alleged that Twitter masked the company9s slowing growth while executives including former CEO Dick Costolo and co-founders Evan Williams and Jack Dorsey (the current CEO) sold stock “for hundreds of millions of dollars in insider profits.”

    The plaintiffs said Twitter was tracking daily active users (DAU) as the key metric for engagement in early 2015, but it was still reporting monthly active user figures. The DAU measurement indicated engagement was dropping or staying flat, according to the lawsuit.

    Twitter says the proposed settlement, which a court has yet to approve, "resolves all claims asserted against Twitter and the other named defendants without any admission, concession or finding of any fault, liability or wrongdoing by the company or any defendant." Twitter and all of the individuals named as defendants in the suit have denied any wrongdoing. The lawsuit accused Twitter and executives of violating the Securities Exchange Act of 1934.

    The company plans to use cash on hand for the settlement. It9s expected to pay the sum by the end of the year.

    In its Q4 2018 earnings report, Twitter started reporting average monetizable daily active users (mDAU). It said that was the only engagement metric it would disclose to investors going forward, partly because it9s a more accurate reflection of how it9s making money from users.

  • DoorDash expands alcohol deliveries to 20 states and DC
    The next time you have friends over and you happen to run out of one guest9s favorite tipple, you9ll have another way to order another bottle quickly — as long as you live in a place where DoorDash supports alcohol delivery. You can now use the app to add alcohol to their restaurant orders.

    Alongside the expansion of hooch deliveries, DoorDash announced partnerships with alcohol responsibility organizations. Students Against Destructive Decisions and focus on drunk driving and underage drinking. DoorDash also teamed up with two organizations Down Under, Drinkwise and Retail Drinks Australia, "to further expand our commitment to responsible service of alcohol in other countries."

    DoorDash is playing catch up a bit with its rivals when it comes to alcohol. Uber bought booze delivery service Drizly earlier this year for $1.1 billion. Instacart and Postmates both added alcohol delivery options over the last few years.

  • Algoriddim's djay iOS app uses Shazam to recognize and sync with live music
    Algoriddim has been working closely with Apple for years on its djay apps and regularly appears in the company9s keynotes. Now, it9s integrating another Apple product, Shazam, into its latest iOS djay app with the release of iOS 15. The new feature lets you can scan your surroundings and identify any song playing, whether at an event, listening to the radio or playing sets with other DJs. Once it picks out the song, djay will instantly load it onto the virtual decks and play it in sync with the external music source. 

    Once loaded, you can create a mix with similar tracks, remix the song, apply effects and deconstruct it into components using the company9s Neural Mix tech. It can also save songs into iOS 159s music recognition history in the control center, "providing users with streamlined access to all of their song discoveries," the company said. 

    While this sounds like cool technology in search of an application, Algoriddim has a few use cases in mind. The main one is that you can identify a track you might hear and get it into your library with the tap of a button, or create an automated mix based on the recognized song. "djay can instantly provide you with similar tracks to the one you just heard, allowing you to quickly immerse yourself in a particular style," Algoriddim told Engadget. 

    Another, more marginal use case is with back-to-back DJing. If you9re playing in tandem with another DJ or in a lineup, you can pick up where the last DJ left off by identifying and syncing with their song before phasing into your own set. This goes a step beyond beat matching, letting you match the last DJ9s song exactly. Mind you, many DJs may not care to replay the last DJ’s song or work with a playlist inspired by it, especially if they weren’t familiar with the tracks

    The Shazam-enhanced version of iOS djay lets you save recognized music to your Tidal (music and video), SoundCloud, Beatport and Beatsource libraries (not Spotify or Apple Music). Other new features include the ability to add effects to the master audio output, enabled by new Audio Unit (extensions) features in iOS 15. That will let you better tailor the sound for broadcast or to match a PA system. Algoriddim9s iOS djay update for iOS is now available for free, or you can get the Pro version for $6.99 per month or $49.99 per year. 

  • Roku's new Streaming Stick 4K gets Dolby Vision, HDR10+ and better Wi-Fi
    Roku9s $50 Streaming Stick 4K has been one of our favorite devices for years. It9s cheap, pocketable and has just about every feature you9d want in a streaming gadget. This year, Roku is finally adding a long-awaited feature to its new 4K stick: Dolby Vision HDR. That9s something the Roku Ultra started supporting last year, and it9s a particularly big deal for home theater fans. Additionally, the new Streaming Stick 4K boots up around 30 percent faster than before, and its revamped wireless receiver makes Wi-Fi speeds up to twice as fast, according to Roku.

    Like the HDR10 format, Dolby Vision allows for higher peak brightness levels and more nuanced dark scenes. But it can also do so dynamically, tweaking its contrast and brightness levels for every individual frame in a film or TV show. That9s something HDR10 can9t do, though it9s since been added to the newer HDR10+ format, which the new 4K streaming stick also supports. There9s a lot more Dolby Vision content out there today, though, so I9d wager most people would be more excited for Dolby Vision than HDR10+ support.
    While the 4K streaming stick ships with Roku9s standard voice remote, you can also opt for the $70 Streaming Stick 4K+ bundle, which packs in the company9s new Voice Remote Pro. Normally a $30 upgrade, that smarter clicker adds hands-free voice searching (instead of hitting a button), as well as a rechargeable battery. And if you9re looking for something a bit more powerful, the $80 Wal-Mart exclusive Roku Ultra LT is also getting Dolby Vision, a faster processor and better Wi-Fi this year.

    For most people, the Roku Streaming Stick 4K is likely all the streaming player you need. You can get faster speeds and more connectivity with the $100 Roku Ultra, or a nicer interface and game ecosystem with the $179 Apple TV 4K. But when it comes to just streaming video in the best possible formats, there9s little need to spend more than $50. You9ll be able to find the new Roku Streaming Stick 4K sometime mid-October in the US, and in the coming months across Canada, Mexico and other Latin American countries.

  • Roku OS 10.5 adds better voice support, 5.1 Roku speaker configurations
    You won9t need Roku9s new Streaming Stick 4Kto take advantage of its latest software features. The Roku OS 10.5 update, which will roll out to players and TVs in the next few weeks, will be jam-packed with features to make your streaming life easier. There9s expanded Roku Voice support, which will let you ask players (with supported remotes) to start playing content from Netflix, Spotify and most other channels. And the company has added a Live TV Channel Guide to help find free TV content (so far there are more than 200 live channels to sift through).

    But more importantly for the Roku faithful, there are even more configurations for the company9s wireless speakers. Roku OS 10.5 will let you use any of the company9s soundbars — the Streambar, Streambar Pro and Smart Soundbar — as a center channel flanked by Roku wireless speakers. Put that setup together with two more rear speakers and a wireless sub, and voila, you9ve got a full-fledged 5.1 surround solution. Previously, you were only able to use Roku9s soundbars as all of your front channels (left, right and center).
    From what I recall of Roku9s earlier surround solution, it sounded more than adequate for a small room. I haven9t heard the company9s 5.1 setup yet, but generally having more speakers is always better. At the very least, you can expect clearer dialog and better front channel separation. I can9t say if it9s worth shelling out up to $630 for all of Roku9s speakers ($300 for four wireless speakers, $180 for the StreamBar Pro, and $150 for the wireless subwoofer), but it9s nice to have the flexibility to build out a full system if you9ve already invested in a few of them.

    Roku OS 10.5 will also add some audio improvements for headphones. When you connect a wireless headset to the Roku mobile app, it will adjust your sync settings based on the type of headphone you9re using. You9ll also be able to use your smartphone camera to adjust the audio delay even further. That9s a useful feature for anyone using Bluetooth headphones, where audio delay issues are fairly common.

    To coincide with expanded Spotify voice support, Roku is also adding a new music and podcasts row to its system search. You9ll be able to see results from Spotify9s entire library, but more importantly it opens the door for better audio app support on Roku OS.

  • The Morning After: 12 years in jail for unlocking smartphones
    The mastermind behind a seven-year scheme to illegally unlock AT&T handsets has been sentenced to 12 years in jail. Muhammad Fahd unlocked phones for ineligible customers who still had to pay off the cost of their smartphone. AT&T says 1.9 million handsets were unlocked in this manner, and it lost around $201.5 million because of the scheme.

    Fahd contacted and subsequently bribed an AT&T employee to help unlock devices until the company locked down the system. Consequently, Fahd commissioned malware to be installed on AT&T’s internal systems, which captured data on both the company and its employees. Fahd was indicted in 2017, arrested in Hong Kong a year later and extradited to the US in 2019.

    Perhaps the most staggering part of the story is the lengths Fahd went to keep the project going. It’s not clear if Fahd’s malware put any customer data at risk, but that a scheme like this was able to run for so long is troubling.

    — Dan Cooper
    Ultra-white paint could reduce the need for air conditioning'Someone stop Anish Kapoor from getting hold of this.Purdue University / John Underwood
    Pretty much everyone knows you can make your house a lot cooler if you paint it white, which is common practice in warmer countries. Now, however, a team of scientists at Purdue University has cooked up the ultimate white paint, which, they claim, works so well it could eliminate the need for air conditioning. The covering supposedly reflects 98.1 percent of all solar radiation, theoretically leaving the surface cooler than the surrounding environment. If it works and it’s implemented properly, it could reduce the global energy bill by quite a figure.

    Continue Reading.

    Netflix and Apple TV+ clean up at the Emmys with 9The Crown9 and 9Ted Lasso9
    'HBO is the only ‘traditional’ broadcaster who earned more than streamers.Apple TV+, Warner Bros.
    In 2020, Apple TV+ was proud to earn just one primetime Emmy for The Morning Show’s Billy Crudup. A year later and the nascent streamer managed to take home 11 trophies, with breakout hit Ted Lasso earning seven of those on its own. In fact, while HBO remains the top dog of this particular awards show, Netflix’s The Crown won most of the big drama nods. It’s clear that streaming services are swallowing the world whole, and the challenge of formerly blue-chip broadcasters is to somehow up the ante on their well-heeled rivals.

    Continue Reading.

    Microsoft9s Surface Pro 8 might include a 120Hz screen and Thunderbolt ports'September 22nd is just a few days away.Shadow Leak, Twitter

    Microsoft has a big event coming September 22nd, and an image, via Twitter user Shadow_Leak, purporting to be a store listing suggests the Surface Pro 8 might get some big improvements. New features for the slate include a narrow-bezel, 120Hz display, dual Thunderbolt ports and an 11th-generation Intel Core processor. Given how the Surface Pro has become such a mainstay of Microsoft’s hardware lineup, it’s always exciting to see some dramatic changes year on year.

    Continue Reading.

    NTSB head says Tesla must address 9basic safety issues9 with semi-autonomous features
    'Regulators are not happy with how Tesla operates or markets its technology.Roberto Baldwin
    The new head of the National Transportation Safety Board has advised Tesla to get its house in order. In an interview, Jennifer Homendy said she took issue with how Tesla tests, operates and markets its self-driving technology. That includes the “misleading and irresponsible” way it sells Full Self Driving, which encourages people to “misuse and abuse” it. In addition, Homendy said the company needed to address “basic safety issues” rather than focus on headline-grabbing new features. Homendy’s words don’t mean much yet in a policy sense, but it might set the tone on how the NTSB chooses to deal with companies like Tesla in future.

    Continue Reading.
    Harley-Davidson will sell its retro-inspired e-bike by the end of 2021'It’s a beauty but, oh boy, is it expensive.Harley Davidson
    Were you disappointed when Harley-Davidson showed off a gorgeous, retro-inspired e-bike then didn’t put it on sale? Thankfully, someone at the company heard your sighs of frustration and is going to release a version, called the MOSH/TRIBUTE, towards the end of this year. Unfortunately, no matter how pretty this thing is, there’ll only be a limited release of 650, and it’ll cost you $5,999 for the privilege of owning one. But, you know, it is pretty.

    Continue Reading.

    India says Google abused Android dominance
    'It’s the conclusion of a two-year antitrust probe

    India’s competition authority has found Google abused its dominant position to box out potential rivals. A two-year probe into how the search giant does business on the subcontinent has found the company in violation of the local competition law. Regulators took issue with how Google prevents manufacturers from using forked versions of Android, and the “arbitrary” nature of the Play Store’s policies. India joins an ever-growing list of countries that have probed Google’s business dealings and found something isn’t right. Regulators have yet to decide if Google’s conduct was illegal and if fines need to be handed out, but given what happened in South Korea just a few days back, we shouldn’t be surprised.

    Continue Reading.
    'The biggest news stories you might have missed'
    Amazon has banned over 600 Chinese brands as part of review fraud crackdown

    Israel reportedly used a remote-controlled gun to assassinate an Iranian scientist

    Cadillac9s inaugural Lyriq EV sold out of reservations in 10 minutes

    US probe into Binance reportedly expands to investigate insider trading

  • Amazon leaks new Kindle Paperwhite models on its own site
    Amazon may be getting set to release a new version of its Paperwhite reader including a high-end "Signature Edition," according to Amazon listings spotted by Reddit users and Kindle Oasis. The Signature Edition offers a storage update over the Paperwhite 5 to 32GB, along with wireless charging and auto-adjusting light sensors that change screen brightness depending on the environment. 

    The Canadian listing shows the Paperwhite and Paperwhite Signature Edition at CAD$150 and CAD$210, (about $117 and $165, respectively), but those could just be placeholders. Currently, the standard 8GB Kindle is $90, the 8GB Kindle Paperwhite $130 and the 8GB Kindle Oasis is $250. If the new prices are accurate you9d be paying more for the Paperwhite, but get some of the features found on the Oasis. 

  • TikTok owner ByteDance limits younger users to 40 minutes a day in China
    Following a crackdown on gaming by Chinese authorities, ByteDance is introducing new youth controls for Douyin, its TikTok-equivalent app in China, South China Morning Post (SCMP), just 0.34 percent of Douyin users are under 12, with 4.18 percent from 13-19 years old. Those figures are far from certain, though, as Douyin doesn9t publish demographic data. 

    It also acknowledged that it might be easy to bypass the new rules. "As the first short video platform to launch minor protection measures, we deeply understand that there will be imperfections," the company said in a statement. To that end, it has launched a bug-finding campaign seeking "loopholes" in the login process. 

  • IKEA's new $40 wireless charging pad mounts underneath your desk or table
    If you9ve ever thought, "hey, it would be great if I could charge my phone or tablet just by laying it on a regular desk," then IKEA has the gadget for you. It just unveiled the Sjömärke, a $40 wireless charging pad that9s designed to work with nearly any desk or table, as manual.

    Once you install the pad, plug it in with the six-foot power cable and mark the charging point on your table with the included "X" shaped sticker, you9re ready to charge your phone or other device. With Qi 1.2.4 charging, it should supply about 5 watts for decent but not super fast charging. IKEA notes that it also comes with temperature and power monitoring so it won9t overheat — important, since it will be placed against wood surfaces. 

    For $40, this might prove to be an attractive option for folks who don9t want to mess up their décor with an unseemly plastic pad. Sjömärke will arrive in IKEA9s stores and website in October 2021. 

  • Netflix and Apple TV+ clean up at the Emmys with 'The Crown' and 'Ted Lasso'
    Netflix has nabbed the most Emmys ever for a single platform with 44 including 11 for shut out of the Golden Globes nominations, Michaela Coel took the prize for best writing in a limited series for I May Destroy You.

    It was notable in 2018 when Netflix managed to tie a cable network, HBO (pre-HBO Max), for the most Emmy wins. This year, it beat all rivals by a long way, and streaming platforms overall took the top four spots. Whether that can continue when the pandemic starts to wane — and subscription growth declines — remains to be seen. 

  • Ultra-white paint could reduce the need for air conditioning
    White houses are often boring, but they might just save the planet. As USA Todayreports, Purdue University researchers have developed an ultra-white paint (it just earned a Guinness World Record) that reflects 98.1 percent of solar radiation while outputting infrared heat. As this leaves the surface cooler than the environment (regular paint warms the surface), it could effectively replace air conditioning in some cases — it produces a cooling power of 10kW for a 1,000sq. ft. roof, or more than a typical house AC unit.

    There are existing paints made to reflect heat, but they reflect no more than 90 percent of sunlight and don9t cool surfaces. The team didn9t have much breathing room, either — an even whiter paint might have compromised it.

    The trick was to use a high ratio of barium sulfate, a compound you often see in cosmetics and photo paper, in varying particle sizes. The wider range of sizes helps scatter more of the light spectrum and thus reflect more sunlight.

    It9s not clear how close this extremely white paint is to your local store, but the researchers are fully bent on commercializing their work. They9ve teamed with a company to mass-produce and sell the paint, and have already filed patents. If it lives up to the billing, though, it could play an important role in fighting climate change. It could reduce or eliminate the need for air conditioning in some homes, particularly in warm regions with ample sunlight. That could reduce emissions and power consumption, and might save you some money on hot summer days.


  • Home computing pioneer Sir Clive Sinclair dies aged 81
    Sir Clive Sinclair, the inventor and entrepreneur who was instrumental in bringing home computers to the masses, has died at the age of 81. His daughter, Belinda, said he died at home in London on Thursday morning after a long illness. Sinclair invented the pocket calculator but was best known for popularising the home computer, bringing it to British high-street stores at relatively affordable prices. One of the greatest.

  • Apple, Google cooperate with Putin to steal Russias elections
    Alphabets Google and Apple have removed jailed Kremlin critic Alexei Navalnys tactical voting app from their stores, his team said on Friday, after Russia accused the U.S. tech firms of meddling in its internal affairs. Russia goes to the polls on Friday to elect a new parliament in a three-day vote that the ruling United Russia party is expected to win despite a ratings slump after the biggest crackdown on the Kremlins critics in years. Apple, only a few weeks ago during the CASM debacle, adamantly told the world it would never bow to government pressure. Unsurprisingly, that was a bold-faced lie. Google publicly commits itself to human rights, but apparently, that does not extend to Putin critics and the Russian opposition.

  • AMD: we stand ready to make Arm chips
    AMDs CFO Devinder Kumar recently commented that AMD stands ready to manufacture Arm chips if needed, noting that the companys customers want to work with AMD on Arm-based solutions. Kumars remarks came during last weeks Deutsche Bank Technology Conference, building on comments from AMD CEO Lisa Su earlier in the year that underscored the companys willingness to create custom silicon solutions for its customers, be they based on x86 or Arm architectures. Intel also intends to produce Arm and RISC-V chips, too, meaning that the rise of non-x86 architectures will be partially fueled by the stewards of the dominant x86 ecosystem. This is entirely unsurprising news. You dont have to build Snapdragon or Apple-level ARM chips to make a lot of money with Arm, and companies like Intel and AMD would be stupid not to look into it.

  • GNOME to prevent theming, wider community not happy
    If youve been paying attention to recent chatter in the GNOME and surrounding communities, you may have noticed theres a lot of disgruntled developers within certain communities that rely on parts of the GNOME stack, such as Pop!_OS and Budgie. Ive been trying to follow most of these discussions and have been itching to write about it, but with the discussions still ongoing and my own lack of knowledge on the intricacies of the interplay between distribution maintainers, desktop environment developers, application programmers, and GNOME itself, I figured I should stay away from it until someone with more knowledge stepped in. Well, thanks to Joshua Strobl, experience lead of Solus and one of the main developers of Budgie, I now have a great in-depth story to link to. I urge you to read the whole article, but heres Strobls conclusions: 1. GTK4 has not met our expectations since its release in December of 2020, nor have we been satisfied with its state as of the writing of this post. 2. Current plans by GNOME for changes to how theming works is viewed as regressive for desktop Linux, developers, and user choice. 3. We do not believe that GNOME is treating its community, from individual users to entire operating systems, in a manner that is equitable and respectful of their choice on how they want to curate their own experience. 4. Budgie 11 will not be written in GTK4. 5. For Budgie Edition: we will be working on replacing software developed by GNOME with that of alternative software developers as well as “in-house” solutions. These will not necessarily be under the GetSolus organization nor will they be associated with Budgie. Adopting Budgie going forward (at least until 11, when we have our own control center) does not and will not require using our own apps. This has even remained true even for Budgie Desktop View, we support alternatives like Desktop Folder as alternative “desktop” implementations in Budgie. 6. GNOME Edition will be demoted to a non-curated edition and moved to a lesser position on our Downloads page in a future release of Solus. There are various problems non-GNOME GTK developers are running into, but as a user, my biggest problem is GNOMEs adoption of libadwaita. GNOME is going to ship a library, libadwaita, that when used by an application, will force it to use the default light Adwaita theme, with no option to change it to dark mode or a different theme. The end result is that if you use GNOME, youre going to start seeing applications  both from GNOME itself as well as from third parties  that do not respect your choice of GTK theme, and instead always default to light Adwaita. But of course, this problem extends beyond GNOME itself, as other popular GTK desktops, such as MATE, Cinnamon, and Budgie, also make use of both GTK applications, as well as components and applications from GNOME. On top of that, countless popular distributions, such as Linux Mint, Ubuntu, and Pop!_OS, all use custom themes. Their desktops will be severely broken since GNOME and GTK applications will no longer use their custom themes. As a result, Solus and Budgie will start transitioning to using EFL instead of GTK for various components, which is a pretty big shift. As far as I know, other distributions, such as Ubuntu, Linux Mint, and Pop!_OS, have not made any plans yet as to how to handle this new reality, but I would assume they, too, will start to replace any offending applications and components, or hack GTK altogether as a workaround. This is a shitty situation, and the GNOME developers are causing a lot of bad blood and rifts here that really could have been avoided. Theming and customisation are a core aspect of the Linux desktop, and breaking it like this is going to make a lot of non-GNOME developers as well as users very, very unhappy.

  • Sailfish OS 4.2.0 released
    Sailfish OS 4.2.0 has been released, and it packs a completely reworked sharing systems, improvements to the browser and camera application, further work on application sandboxing, and more. Read the full release notes for more details.

  • Intel Seamless Update: Intel preparing for system firmware updates without the reboot
    Intel Seamless Update! is a forthcoming feature for Intel platforms seemingly first being exposed by their new Linux kernel patches working on the functionality… Intel is working on being able to carry out system firmware updates such as UEFI updates but doing so at run-time and being able to avoid the reboot in the process. Pretty cool, but sadly, its only for enterprise machines and upcoming Xeon processors.

  • Mozilla has defeated Microsoft’s default browser protections in Windows
    In version 91 of Firefox, released on August 10th, Mozilla has reverse engineered the way Microsoft sets Edge as default in Windows 10, and enabled Firefox to quickly make itself the default. Before this change, Firefox users would be sent to the Settings part of Windows 10 to then have to select Firefox as a default browser and ignore Microsoft’s plea to keep Edge. Mozilla’s reverse engineering means you can now set Firefox as the default from within the browser, and it does all the work in the background with no additional prompts. This circumvents Microsoft’s anti-hijacking protections that the company built into Windows 10 to ensure malware couldn’t hijack default apps. Microsoft tells us this is not supported in Windows. Sadly, this does not work on Windows 11, where Microsoft is now forcing users to change the default handler for every individual file type a browser might use.

  • South Korea fines Google, allows Android forks
    The Korea Fair Trade Commission (KFTC) said on Tuesday Googles contract terms with device makers amounted to an abuse of its dominant market position that restricted competition in the mobile OS market. Under the AFA, manufacturers could not equip their handsets with modified versions of Android, known as Android forks!. That has helped Google cement its market dominance in the mobile OS market, the KFTC said. Under the ruling, Google is banned from forcing device makers to sign AFA contracts, allowing manufacturers to adopt modified versions of Android OS on their devices. Good. This particular kind of paper restrictions need to die in a fire.

  • PC DOS 1.1 from scratch
    A number of years ago, the Computer History Museum together with Microsoft released the source code for MS-DOS 1.25 (very close to PC DOS 1.1) and MS-DOS 2.11. I never did anything with it beyond glancing at the code, in no small part because the release was rather poorly organized. The obvious gaping hole is the lack of any source code for IBMBIO.COM. I do not know exactly what arrangement IBM and Microsoft had at the time, but in the days of DOS 1.x and 2.x OEMs did not get the source code for IBMBIO.COM/IO.SYS suitable for PC compatibles. I toyed with the idea of writing my own IBMBIO.COM replacement, but eventually gave up because it’s not a totally trivial piece of code and I had no real documentation to work with (until much later). The MSDOS.ASM source code obviously uses the IBMBIO interface, but makes no attempt to document it. The provided IO.ASM source is quite useful, but SCP’s hardware was different enough from the IBM PC that it is of limited utility. So, disassembler it was, and I produced reconstructed source code for PC DOS 1.1 IBMBIO.COM. Actually assembling it turned out to be a bit of an adventure; more on that below. More early DOS shenanigans to brighten your day.

  • Major win for Epic Games: Apple has 90 days to open up app store payments
    On Friday, the Northern California judge handling the closely watched Epic Games v. Apple court case turned in a ruling that, in many ways, works out in Apples favor—but with one massive, App Store-changing exception. The ruling from US District Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers includes a single-page permanent injunction demanding that Apple open up payment options for any software sellers on the App Store. In other words, Epic Games effort to add Epic-specific payment links inside the free-to-play game Fortnite, and thus duck out of paying Apples 30 percent fee on in-app transactions, can now happen. This is a massive blow to Apples money printing machine, since it means both applications as well as gambling apps (or games! as Apple refers to them) can now circumvent Apples 30% protection racket. Since the vast majority of App Store revenue  and thus, the vast majority of Apples services revenue  comes from exploitative gambling apps, this will have a major impact on Apples current strategy of sucking as much money out of Candy Crush whales.

  • Windows Subsystem for Linux GUI
    WSLg is short for Windows Subsystem for Linux GUI and the purpose of the project is to enable support for running Linux GUI applications (X11 and Wayland) on Windows in a fully integrated desktop experience. WSLg provides an integrated experience for developers, scientists or enthusiasts that prefer or need to run Windows on their PC but also need the ability to run tools or applications which works best, or exclusively, in a Linux environment. While users can accomplish this today using a multiple system setup, with individual PC dedicated to Windows and Linux, virtual machine hosting either Windows or Linux, or an XServer running on Windows and projected into WSL, WSLg provides a more integrated, user friendly and productive alternative. WSLg will ship with Windows 11, but despite it being developed and tested on Windows 10, it wont become available for Windows 10 users, and is currently only accessible to users of Windows beta builds.

  • Revealed: Google illegally underpaid thousands of workers across dozens of countries
    Google has been illegally underpaying thousands of temporary workers in dozens of countries and delayed correcting the pay rates for more than two years as it attempted to cover up the problem, the Guardian can reveal. Google executives have been aware since at least May 2019 that the company was failing to comply with local laws in the UK, Europe and Asia that mandate temporary workers be paid equal rates to full-time employees performing similar work, internal Google documents and emails reviewed by the Guardian show. But rather than immediately correct the errors, the company dragged its feet for more than two years, the documents show, citing concern about the increased cost to departments that rely heavily on temporary workers, potential exposure to legal claims, and fear of negative press attention. Another severe case of theft nobody will go to jail for.

  • Why that Thunderbolt add-in card doesn’t work properly in your unsupported PC
    I’ve long been intrigued by Thunderbolt add-in cards. Apparently regular looking PCIe expansion cards, but shipped with a mystery interface cable to the motherboard, of which there is a small list of supported models. It’s not a secret that these cards may work in a motherboard which isn’t supported, but full functionality is not a given. I have spent the past few evenings trawling through many forums, reading about the many different experiences people are having, and have also purchased some hardware to play around with myself, so we can dig into these problems and see what (if any) solutions there are. Excellent deep dive into a topic I had never once in my life stopped to think about. As the author concludes, it would be cool if we ever got working, reliable Thunderbolt add-in cards for AMD or earlier Intel systems, but it seems unlikely.

  • Pumpkin OS: Palm OS ported to x86-64
    Pumpkin is the name I have given to my port of PalmOS running on the x64 architecture. Please refer to this article for basic information on this project. Also look for other articles in the PalmOS category for more information and some technical details on the implementation. This article is about the first Technology Preview of this project: a functional version of Pumpkin OS running on the Windows platform. This first release is limited on purpose: just a few PalmOS applications and nothing much else. This is also a binary only distribution, but do not worry, full source code will be released in the future. Ive been following this project for a while now, and this is bonkers awesome work. Very limited for now, of course, but as a longtime Palm OS user and lover of all things Palm OS, this feels like its made just for me.

  • Unlike POWER9, IBMs new POWER10 processors are not completely open source
    While POWER9 was big for open-source fans with the formation of the OpenPOWER Foundation and Raptor Computing Systems designing POWER9-based systems that are fully open-source down to schematics and the motherboard firmware, the same cant be currently said about POWER10. While IBM has published a lot of the POWER10 firmware as open-source, remaining closed for at least the time being is their off-chip OMI DRAM bridge and their on-chip PPE I/O processor. This sucks. I am a huge fan of Raptors fully open POWER9 workstation and boards, and despite Raptor hinting for months now there were issues with POWER10s openness, I was hoping things would be figured out before the release of IBMs new POWER10 processors this month. Sadly, this seems to have been wishful thinking. Raptors POWER9 workstations are the only fully open performance-oriented computers you can get, and until IBM decides otherwise, its going to stay that way. That just sucks.

Linux Journal - The Original Magazine of the Linux Community

  • A Guide to 5 Fair Selections of Open Source Ticketing Tools for Linux
        by Suparna Ganguly    Are you in search of open-source ticketing tools for Linux? Well, this article brings a guide to 5 fair selections of open source ticketing software to provide uninterrupted customer support.
    Why You Need Ticketing Tools  A customer trouble ticketing (help desk) is an assistance resource to solve a customer query. Companies often provide customer support using email, website, and/or telephone. The importance of ticketing software is a crucial part for any business to be successful.
    Your business can’t run properly without a satisfied client base. Increased customer retention is what businesses need. Right ticketing tools help ensure the best customer service for any business. 
    Linux makes sure enterprises get the best possible customer service software for their businesses to have sustainable growth. Because a powerful set of ticketing software provides undivided support that the businesses deserve.
    5 Best Ticketing Tools for Linux  This section takes you through 5 different ticketing software to be downloaded on Linux and why you should use them. So let’s begin!
    osTicket  For all the newly started businesses, osTicketwould be a viable open source ticketing tool. It’s a lightweight and efficient support ticket software used by a good number of companies. If you run an enterprise or a non-profit and are not ready for paid ticketing tools just yet, osTicket is a must-try.
    osTicket provides a simple and intuitive web interface to integrate customer queries via phone, email, and web forms. Worried of spam emails? osTicket helps reduce spam enabling captcha filling and auto-refreshing techniques.
    You can work on a priority basis through this ticketing tool and get the issues solved in the lowest possible time.
    PHD Help Desk  PHD Help Desk is a PHP+Javascript+MySQL-based open source ticketing tool and is used in the registry. PHD helps follow-up incidents in an organization. PHD has a user base all across the world. The latest version of the PHD Help Desk is 2.12.
    This ticketing tool works in various ways. Using PHD, incidents can be classified and registered into multiple levels, such as the state of incident, type, sub-type, priority, description of Incident, historical factors, to name a few. 
    The database is consulted in a particular format depending on the user requirements. The data is then processed on a tallying sheet. Some of the advanced features of PHD Help Desk are the ability to export tickets into excel format, a PHPMailer Library to configure emails, and new password creation.
        Go to Full Article          

  • In Search of Linux Laptops? Check these 6 Places to Get Your Laptop in 2021
        by Suparna Ganguly    Are you in search of Linux laptops? This article takes you through 6 different places that offer the best Linux laptops. So get prepared to choose your Linux laptop in 2021.
    Dell  When it comes to laptops, the first name that comes to my mind is Dell. For over 20 years Dell has been selling high-end Linux laptops. In a Dell store, you can get Ubuntu and Redhat Enterprise Linux laptops. These laptops are built to meet the needs of developers, businesses, and sysadmins.
    For developers, who travel a lot, XPS 13 Developer Edition would be the confirmed best choice. Dell XPS comes at an expensive cost of around $1,000. So, if you’re in search of something less expensive, you can check Dell Inspiron laptops. Dell’s Precision workstationswith RHEL or Ubuntu are designed for small business owners or CG professionals.
    Side Note: Dell doesn’t have a separate section for Linux laptops. Type Ubuntu in the search to get a view of all its laptops with Linux preinstalled.
    Slimbook  Slimbook is well known for its thin, rigid, and light durable laptops starting at a reasonable price of €930 (approx $1,075). These come with a nice screen, solid battery life, powerful CPU, and very good speakers.
    This brand is from Spain. Slimbook came ahead of its competitors launching the first KDE laptops.
    Slimbook brings laptops with a good variety of popular Linux distros, such as KDE Neon, Ubuntu, Ubuntu MATE, Linux Mint, Kubuntu. Additionally, their laptops have two Spanish Linux distros – Max and Lliurex. You can choose Windows OS as well with their laptops, but for that, additional costs are there.
    Slimbook offers desktop systems too. So, if you ever need desktops, check it here
    System76   System76s Linux laptops are very well built, powerful, and extremely portable. If you are a software developer, you travel a lot, and you’re in search of a laptop with 32G RAM and 1T SSD, then go for System76.
    System76 laptops used to be Ubuntu-powered, initially. Later on, in 2017, this US-based company released their own Linux distro, called the Pop! OS. Pop OS is designed using Ubuntu. After that, Pop became the default OS with Ubuntu being still available.
        Go to Full Article          

  • Q&A trip to Linux’s Black Hole - /dev/null
        by Nawaz Abbasi    As per NASA, “A black hole is a place in space where gravity pulls so much that even light can not get out”. Something similar exists in the Linux universe as well - it discards anything written to it and when read, just returns an EOF (end-of-file). It’s a special file which is also referred to as null device - /dev/null
    So, it’s just a file?  Yes and most of the things in Linux is a file but /dev/null is not a regular file – lets dig deeper.

    c in crw-rw-rw- tells us that it's a character special file, which means it processes data character by character. This can be checked using test -c as well:

    What are the contents of the file?  Let’s check that using the cat command:

    As stated earlier, it just returns an EOF (end-of-file) when read. So, it's empty!
    What more can we know about the file?  Let’s find out using the stat command:

    This tells us that its size is 0. Also, it’s good to note that the file’s read and write permission is enabled for everyone but it doesn't require execute permission. 
    What happens to the file’s size when we write data to it?  Let’s try that:

    The cat command returned nothing and as per the stat command, its size did not change.
    As stated earlier, it discards anything written to it. You may write any amount of data to it, which will be immediately discarded, so its size will always remain 0 – Singularity?
    In other words, you cannot change /dev/null
        Go to Full Article          

  • Download These 7 Cool Apps on Your Linux Machine to Make Life Easier
        by Suparna Ganguly    Not only the Linux distros are open-source but the apps for Linux are also free. Though some business apps come with a cost, most of the apps created for individuals don’t have any charges.
    Want to know about some of the cool apps to download on your Linux machine?
    This article walks you through 7 apps to download on Linux to make your life easier. Head over to the next section!  
    Ulauncher  Before downloading any other application on Linux, we recommend getting Ulauncher. That’s because you can launch any application via Ulauncher just by using the keyboard.
    Try adding Ulaucher extensions to get the most of this app inspired by Alfred for Mac. You can extend capabilities with the extensions, such as looking up dictionary definitions, launching web searches, finding and copying emojis to a clipboard, and lots more.
    Ulaucher runs smoothly and allows searching files and apps using hotkeys. Ulaucher features include built-in themes, customizable shortcuts, Fuzzy search, a wide variety of plugins, searching on Google, Stack Overflow, and Wikipedia.
    Thunderbird  Thunderbirdby Mozilla is an open-source email client. Some Linux distros offer Thunderbird installed. If it’s not, hop onto your App Center or Software Center and get it installed. You can download the app from their website as well.
    The setup wizard guides you through the process of creating your own email address. Thunderbird provides email settings for most of the common email application providers. So, an existing email account can be added too. Attach multiple email accounts as per your needs.
    Want to make Thunderbird look cool? Add-ons, such as themes, Lightning extension, sorting out Mail folders, are some of the features to try out.
    Steam  Looking for gaming clients on Linux? Use Steam from Valve. Steam is, admittedly, the best games distribution store for top OSs like Linux.
    From Shadow of the Tomb Raiderto DiRT 4, and from DOTA 2 to Warhammer – Steam boasts many thousands of indie hits, retro-flavored, and AAA titled games for Linux
        Go to Full Article          

  • Improve The CrowdSec Multi-Server Installation With HTTPS Between Agents
        by Manuel Sabban    Prerequisites  This article is a follow-up from the Crowdsec multi-server setup. It applies to a configuration with at least two servers (referred to as server-1 and one of server-2 or server-3).
    Goals  To address security issues posed by clear http communication in our previous crowdsec multi-server installation, we propose solutions to achieve communication between Crowdsec agents over encrypted channels. On top of that, the third solution allows server-2 or server-3 to trust server-1 identity, and avoid man-in -the -middle attacks.
    Using self-signed certificates  Create the certificate  First we have to create a certificate. This can be achieved with the following one-liner.
     openssl req -x509 -newkey rsa:4096 -keyout encrypted-key.pem -out cert.pem -days 365 -addext "subjectAltName = IP:"  For now crowdsec is not able to ask for the passphrase of the private key when starting.  Thus we have the choice to decipher by hand the private key each time we start or reload crowdsec or store the key unencrypted. In any way to strip the passphrase one can do:
     openssl rsa -in encrypted-key.pem -out key.pem  Then, the unencrypted key file can be safely deleted after Crowdsec is started.
    Configure crowdsec for using a self-signed certificate  On server-1 we have to tell crowdsec to use the generated certificate. Hence, the  tls.cert_file and tls.key_file option in the api.server section of the following /etc/crowdec/config.yaml excerpt set to the generated certificate file.
     api:   server:   log_level: info   listen_uri:   profiles_path: /etc/crowdsec/profiles.yaml   online_client: # Crowdsec API credentials (to push signals and receive bad    tls:   cert_file: /etc/crowdsec/ssl/cert.pem   key_file: /etc/crowdsec/ssl/key.pem  On the client side configuration changes happen in two files. First we have to modify /etc/crowdec/config.yaml to accept self-signed certificates by setting the insecure_skip_verify to true.
    We have to change http for https in the  /etc/crowdsec/local_api_credentials.yaml file too in order to reflect the changes. This small change has to be done on all three servers (server-1, server-2 and server-3).
        Go to Full Article          

  • Experimenting with Python implementation of Host Identity Protocol
        by Dmitriy Kuptsov    INTRODUCTION  Sometimes it is easier to implement prototypes in user space using high-level languages, such as Python or Java. In this document we attempt to describe our implementation effort related to Host Identity Protocol version 2. In the first part, we describe various security solutions, then we discuss some implementation details of the HIP protocol, and finally, in the last part of this work we discuss the performance of the HIP and IPSec protocols implemented using Python language.
    BACKGROUND  In this section we will describe the basic background. First, we will discuss the problem of mobile Internet and introduce the Host Identity Protocol. We then move to the discussion of various security protocols. We will conclude the section with the discussion of Elliptic Curves and a variant of DiffieHellman algorithm, which uses EC cryptography (ECC).
    Dual role of IP  Internet was designed initially so that the Internet Protocol (IP) address is playing dual role: it is the locator, so that the routers can find the recipient of a message, and it is an identifier, so that the upper layer protocols (such as TCP and UDP) can make bindings (for example, transport layer sockets use IP addresses and ports to make a connections). This becomes a problem when a networked device roams from one network to another, and so the IP address changes, leading to failures in upper layer connections. The other problem is establishment of the authenticated channel between the communicating parties. In practice, when making connections, long term identities of the parties are not verified. Of course, there are solutions such as SSL which can readily solve the problem at hand. However, SSL is suitable only for TCP connections and most of the time practical use cases include only secure web surfing and establishment of VPN tunnels. Host Identity Protocol on the other hand is more flexible: it allows peers to create authenticated secure channels on the network layer, and so all upper layer protocols can benefit from such channels.
    HIP13 relies on the 4-way handshake to establish an authenticated session. During the handshake, the peers authenticate each other using long-term public keys and derive session keys using Diffie-Hellman or Elliptic Curve (EC) Diffie-Hellman algorithms. To combat the denial-of-service attacks, HIP also introduces computational puzzles.
        Go to Full Article          

  • Gaming Time? Top 3 VR Games Available on Linux
        by Suparna Ganguly    It’s possible to deep dive into the virtual reality gaming world on your Linux system. Want to explore VR games on Linux? This article takes you through the top 3 VR games available on Linux.
    Ready to get amazed? Let’s start.
    What are VR Games?  VR games are the new-gen computer games enabled with virtual reality, in short, VR technology. It gives players a first-person perspective of all the gaming actions. As a participant, you can enjoy the gaming environment through your VR gaming devices, such as hand controllers, VR headsets, sensor-equipped gloves, and others.

    VR games are played on gaming consoles, standalone systems, powerful laptops, and PCs compatible with VR headsets including HTC Vive, Oculus Rift, HP Reverb G2, Valve Index, andothers.

    Now, a little brief about VR technology. By now, you know that VR is an abbreviation of Virtual Reality. This is, basically, a computer-generated simulation where the player controls its generated objects through the limb and facial movements in a three-dimensional environment. This environment is interacted with through special equipment, like clothing having touch simulating pressure nodes and enclosed glasses with screens in front, instead of lenses.

    A lot of VR objects are usable as they are in reality and the gaming developers are making the VR universe more and more immersive with each passing day.
    How to Get VR Games on Linux  TheSteam storeseems to be the best way to get VR games on your system. Good news: you don’t need to worry about installing all the modules and software to run the game smoothly. Steam client is ready to take all the worries. So, get a Steam account by downloading the client from Steam’s site.

    Back in 2019, it was reported that VR Linux desktops are around the corner. What about now?Xrdesktop is here for you. Xrdesktop is free to use. It lets you work with the common desktop environments, like GNOME and KDE.

    The SimulaVR is a similar open-source project to check out.
    Top 3 VR Games Available on Linux  Now the fun part: In this section, we’ll share the best 5 VR games to play on Linux in your gaming time.
        Go to Full Article          

  • How to Check Battery Status Using Linux Command Line
        by Suparna Ganguly    Checking the battery status through GUI is easy. Hovering the mouse cursor over the battery indicator given in the Laptop task bar simply shows the battery level. But, did you know you can find the battery status through the Linux command line as well?
    Yes, there are some utilities in Linux that can be of help in this regard.
    This article explains 4 different methods of checking laptop battery status using the Linux command line. So,
    Why Do You Need to Check Battery Status?  So, why do you need to check the battery status? Knowing laptop battery health on a monthly basis is a good practice. It’ll inform you about any issues your computer might have related to charging or battery life. You can get alerted earlier and take the measures required, such as charging or altering batteries.
    When your PC is not active, the power management feature levels down its components to a low-power state. And also turns off the power. 
    Similarly, knowing the power source, battery model name, the technology used, vendors, etc helps operate your devices better and keep work going without any hassles.
    How to Check Battery Status Using Linux Command Line  Follow the methods mentioned below to check battery status using the Linux command line. Check Battery Status with “upower” CommandThe command produces output 
    Check Battery Status with upower Command  The upower command-line tool helps extract information related to the power source (batteries). It provides an interface to list down all the power sources of your PC or laptop.
    Options Used with the upower Command'}
      –monitor: You can print a line each time a battery or power source is added by connecting –monitor to upower. It also produces outputs while the power sources are removed or changed.
        –monitor-detail: This option prints the full power source detail whenever an event occurs.
     upower -i /org/freedesktop/UPower/devices/battery_BAT0  upower -i `upower -e | grep 'BAT'`  upower -i $(upower -e | grep BAT) | grep --color=never -E "state|to\ full|to\ empty|percentage"  The above are three different ways of using acpi command to find power source information.
    Use cat and find  The “cat” and “find” commands also help find details about your battery and power source.

    For the battery capacity, the syntax would be:
     cat /sys/class/power_supply/BAT0/capacity   For more detailed battery information use the find command.
        Go to Full Article          

  • How to Decrease Video Sizes Using FFmpeg in Linux
        by Suparna Ganguly    Decreasing video sizes becomes necessary when space is limited in cloud services, disks, or personal storage drives. You can easily hold onto larger files by chopping them down to a lower size.
    The world of open-source video editing tools is huge. So, choosing one can be tricky. This article explains how you can efficiently decrease video sizes using FFmpeg in Linux.
    What is FFmpeg?  So, what is FFmpeg? FFmpeg is a free and open-source command-line utility used in handling audio, video, other multimedia files, and streams in Linux. It has widespread use in video scaling, format transcoding, basic editing, standards compliance, and video post-production effects.
    It can create GIFs, edit videos, and record also. You can convert videos at up to a minuscule level while maintaining the quality to a great extent. 
    MPEG video standards group brought inspiration in defining the name of this media handling software project, while “FF” stands for “Fast Forward”. FFmpeg functions as a backbone of several software projects and renowned media players – YouTube,Blender, VLC, and iTunes, to name a few.
    How to Install FFmpeg  Want to get hands-on with it? Let’s install FFmpeg.
    Basically, you have to use the following codes for Ubuntu, Arch Linux, and Fedora respectively.
     # Debian/Ubuntu  sudo apt-get install ffmpeg   # Arch Linux  sudo pacman -S ffmpeg   #REHL/CentOS/Fedora  sudo dnf install ffmpeg  sudo rpm install ffmpeg  sudo yum install ffmpeg
    And FFmpeg will be in your Linux distro.
    Basic Usage of FFmpeg  To convert a media file using the default settings of FFmpeg, type:
     ffmpeg -i  The above command will change the specified format into the output format given. 
    How to Decrease Video Sizes Using FFmpeg  Going to the basics: Not all video files are created following the same procedure. Hence, file sizes tend to be different. For example, the avi video file extensions are larger than mp4 files.
    Takeaway? The smallest mp4 file of a video will be smaller than the smallest avi file of the same video. However, the quality will vary with each of these varied file sizes. Mp4s are not the smallest size you can expect. Various containers for Windows media videos and flash videos (FLV and WMV) are the winners.
        Go to Full Article          

  • How to Replace a Variable in a File Using SED
        by Suparna Ganguly    Want to know the tricks of replacing a variable in a file using the SED command?
    This article will give you an overview of replacing a variable value in a file using SED. Before replacing a variable in a file using SED, you need to understand what SED is, the syntax of SED, and how SED works.
    I’ll also show how to perform delete operations using SED. This will come after the variable value replacement part. If you’re looking for that, you can directly jump onto that, and skip the rest.
    So, let’s begin the guide.
    What is SED?  So, what is  SED?
    SED command in Linux stands for Stream Editor. It performs searching, insertion, find and replace, deletion. In the Linux world, SED is mainly popular for its find and replace functionality.
    With the help of SED, coders can edit files without even opening them.
    In a nutshell,
      SED is a text stream editor. It can be used to do find and replace, insertion, and delete operations in Linux.
        You can modify the files as per your requirements without having to open them.
        SED is also capable of performing complex pattern matching.
        Syntax of SED  Here we’ll see the syntax of SED used in a simple string replacement. This will help understand the command better.
    So the syntax is:
     sed -i 's/old-string/new-string/g' file_name     How SED Works  In the syntax, you only need to provide a suitable “new string” name that you want to be placed with the “old string”. Of course, the old string name needs to be entered as well.
    Then, provide the file name in the place of “file_name” from where the old string will be found and replaced.
    Here’s a quick example to clear the concept.
    Suppose, we have a random text “Welcome to Linux Channel” in a text file called “file.txt”.
    Now, we want to replace “Channel” with “Family”. How can we do that?
    First, write the below-given command in the terminal to create the file.
     cat file.txt   Press enter, then type:
     Welcome to Linux Channel  Let’s alter “Channel” with “Family” now. So, go to the next line, and type:
     sed -i 's/Channel/Family/g' file.txt  After running the command, to view the file again, type:
     cat file.txt  You’ll see “Channel” has been replaced with “Family”. In this way, you can replace a string using the SED command. Let’s learn how to replace a variable using SED, now.
        Go to Full Article          

Page last modified on October 08, 2013, at 07:08 PM