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LinuxSecurity - Security Advisories

  • Debian: DSA-5051-1: aide security update>
    David Bouman discovered a heap-based buffer overflow vulnerability in the base64 functions of aide, an advanced intrusion detection system, which can be triggered via large extended file attributes or ACLs. This may result in denial of service or privilege escalation.







LWN.net

  • [$] The kernel radar: folios, multi-generational LRU, and Rust
    The kernel community is a busy place, so it is not even remotely possibleto write full-length articles about everything that is going on. Othertopics may be of interest, but not require a longer treatment. Theanswer is a collection of short topics covering developments that are onthe radar; the selection this time around includes folios, themulti-generational LRU, and Rust in the kernel.



  • Security updates for Thursday
    Security updates have been issued by Debian (drupal7), Fedora (kernel, libreswan, nodejs, and wireshark), openSUSE (busybox, firefox, kernel, and python-numpy), Oracle (gegl, gegl04, httpd, java-17-openjdk, kernel, kernel-container, and libreswan), Red Hat (kernel, kernel-rt, and libreswan), Slackware (wpa_supplicant), SUSE (busybox, firefox, htmldoc, kernel, kubevirt, virt-api-container, virt-controller-container, virt-handler-container, virt-launcher-container, virt-operator-container, openstack-monasca-agent, spark, spark-kit, zookeeper, and python-numpy), and Ubuntu (curl, linux, linux-aws, linux-aws-5.11, linux-aws-5.4, linux-azure, linux-azure-5.11, linux-azure-5.4, linux-bluefield, linux-gcp, linux-gcp-5.11, linux-gcp-5.4, linux-gke, linux-gke-5.4, linux-gkeop, linux-gkeop-5.4, linux-hwe-5.4, linux-ibm, linux-kvm, linux-oem-5.10, linux-oem-5.13, linux-oem-5.14, linux-oracle, linux-oracle-5.11, linux-oracle-5.4, linux-raspi, linux-raspi-5.4, openvswitch, and qtsvg-opensource-src).



  • [$] Resurrecting fbdev
    The Linux framebuffer device (fbdev) subsystem has long languished insomething of a purgatory; it was listed as "orphaned" in theMAINTAINERS file and saw fairly minimal maintenance, mostly drivenby developers working elsewhere in the kernel graphics stack. That allchanged, in an eye-opening way, on January 17, when Linus Torvaldsmerged a changeto make Helge Deller the new maintainer of the subsystem. But it turns outthat the problems in fbdev run deep, at least according to much of the restof the kernel graphics community. By seeming to take on the maintainer role in order torevert the removal of some buggy features from fbdev, Deller has createdsomething of a controversy.


  • ONLYOFFICE 7.0 released
    Version7.0 of the ONLYOFFICE office suite is available.
    With the release of Docs v7.0, ONLYOFFICE opens the source code of the professional editing features, such as document comparison, content controls and sheet views for spreadsheets, and makes them available in all solutions. Previously, all these features were exclusively accessible on a paying basis.
    There is a long list of new features; see the announcement for details.


  • Security updates for Wednesday
    Security updates have been issued by CentOS (firefox, gegl, kernel, and thunderbird), Debian (nvidia-graphics-drivers), Fedora (btrbk and thefuck), Mageia (clamav, kernel, kernel-linus, vim, and wpa_supplicant), openSUSE (java-1_8_0-ibm, jawn, nodejs12, nodejs14, SDL2, and virglrenderer), Red Hat (gegl, gegl04, java-17-openjdk, and kernel-rt), Scientific Linux (gegl and httpd), SUSE (apache2, firefox, java-1_7_1-ibm, java-1_8_0-ibm, libvirt, nodejs12, nodejs14, openstack-monasca-agent, spark, spark-kit, zookeeper, python-Django, python-Django1, python-numpy, SDL2, and virglrenderer), and Ubuntu (byobu, clamav, and ruby2.3, ruby2.5, ruby2.7).


  • [$] Python sets, frozensets, and literals
    A Python "frozenset" is simply a setobject that is immutable—the objects it contains are determined atinitialization time and cannot be changed thereafter. Like sets, frozensets arebuilt into the language, but unlike most of the other standard Pythontypes, there is no way to create a literal frozenset object. Changing that,by providing a mechanism to do so, was the topic of a recent discussion on the python-ideas mailing list.


  • A note for LWN subscribers
    January 22, 2022 will be the 24th anniversary of the publication of the first LWN.net Weekly Edition. A lot hashappened in the intervening years; the Linux community has grownimmeasurably, and LWN has grown with it. Later this year will also be the20th anniversary of the adoption of our subscription-based model, which hassustained LWN ever since. There is a change coming for our subscribersthat will, with luck, help to set up LWN to thrive in the coming years.


  • WINE 7.0 released
    Version 7.0 of theWINE Windows API library has been released.
    This release represents a year of development effort and over 9,100 individual changes. [...] The areas of major changes are:
    Most modules converted to PE format. Better theming support, with a bundled theme for a more modern look. Vastly improved HID stack and joystick support. New WoW64 architecture.


  • Open Invention Network expands coverage
    The Open Invention Network has announcedan expansion of its "Linux System Definition", which is the set of softwarecovered by its patent-protection umbrella.
    Software packages, or components, being added to the Linux System include .Net, ONNX, tvm, Prometheus, Helm, Notary, Istio, Nix, OpenEmbedded, CoreOS, uClibc-ng, mbed-tls, musl, SPDX, AGL Services, OVN, FuseSoc, Verilator, Flutter, Jasmine, Weex, NodeRED, Eclipse Paho, Californium, Cyclone and Wakaama, among others. The expansion includes 337 new software components, bringing the total number of protected packages to 3,730.


  • Security updates for Tuesday
    Security updates have been issued by Debian (slurm-llnl), openSUSE (apache2, ghostscript, and watchman), Red Hat (kernel and telnet), SUSE (apache2, ghostscript, and kernel), and Ubuntu (clamav).


  • [$] Brian Kernighan on the origins of Unix
    Once again, the COVID pandemic has forced linux.conf.au to go virtual, thusdepriving your editor of a couple of 24-hour, economy-class, middle-seatexperiences. This naturally leads to a set of mixed feelings. LCA hasalways put a priority on interesting keynote talks, and that has carriedover into the online event; the opening keynote for LCA 2022 was given byBrian Kernighan. Despite being seen as a founder of our community,Kernighan is rarely seen at Linux events; he used his LCA keynote toreminisce for a while on where Unix came from and what its legacy is.


  • FFmpeg 5.0 released
    Version 5.0 of the FFmpegaudio and video toolkit has been released.
    For this long-overdue release, a major effort underwent to remove the old encode/decode APIs and replace them with an N:M-based API, the entire libavresample library was removed, libswscale has a new, easier to use AVframe-based API, the Vulkan code was much improved, many new filters were added, including libplacebo integration, and finally, DoVi support was added, including tonemapping and remuxing. The default AAC encoder settings were also changed to improve quality.


  • New stable kernels
    Greg Kroah-Hartman has announced the release of the 5.16.1, 5.15.15, 5.10.92, and 5.4.172 stable kernels. They contain arelatively small set of important fixes; users should upgrade.



LXer Linux News


  • Version 7 of WINE is better than ever at running Windows apps where they shouldn't
    WINE has come a long way. It took 18 years to get to version 1.0 and another nine years to get to version 2, but since version 3 in 2018, it's averaged roughly one major release per year. The project is now mature, stable, and quite functional. A lot of Windows programs work fine that formerly didn't. It's not limited to Linux – it also supports macOS and FreeBSD, and Linux relatives ChromeOS and Android.








  • Zsh shell installation and configuration on Linux
    The Z-shell (zsh) is a modern and very powerful shell: it incorporates and extends many feature of other shells, like Bash. Although it can be used as a powerful scripting language, it is mainly aimed at interactive use, since one of its more prominent feature is the advanced tab completion system. In this tutorial we see how to install zsh in the most commonly used Linux distributions, see what are its startup and shutdown files and how to perform the basic configurations.



  • How to Install LibreNMS on Debian 11
    LibreNMS is an open-source network monitoring system based on PHP and with autodiscovery support. sing LibreNMS allows you to monitor operating systems like Linux, Windows, and BSD, also it supports a wide range of network hardware from multiple vendors such as Aruba, Cisco, Dell, D-Link, HP, and Mikrotik.


  • Tracking Linux Stable kernels with UEK
    Oracle Linux's kernel has been built from a Linux Stable or Long Term Stable (LTS) release since its inception, but in the last few years we've moved even closer to the LTS model for the continuous uptake and delivery of bug fixes. Closely tracking LTS brings various advantages to Oracle Linux customers including faster delivery of security patches and close integration with upstream Linux.


  • Mirantis brings secure registries to Kubernetes distros
    This is a big step forward in securing open-source container supply chains. Thanks to Solarwinds and Log4j, we know it's all too easy to have our systems busted thanks to software supply chain problems. To help us with this, Mirantis, the cloud and container company, has released Mirantis Secure Registry (MSR) 3.0, which can be used to build and deploy secure registries across any Kubernetes distribution.


  • How to use LUKS with a detached header
    Linux Unified Key Setup (LUKS) is the de-facto standard block device encryption format used on Linux-based systems. We already discussed some of the features provided by it in a previous tutorial about using a file as a LUKS device key. When using LUKS, encryption metadata is stored on the header which is created at the beginning of the encrypted device (a copy of the header is created at end of the device for redundancy, when using LUKS2).If desired, it is possible to specify that the header should be detached from the device: in this tutorial we see how.


  • Protect your PHP website from bots with this open source tool
    PHP is a widely-used programming language on the web, and it's estimated that nearly 80% of all websites use it. My team at CrowdSec decided that we needed to provide server admins with a PHP bouncer to help ward away bots and bad actors who may attempt to interact with PHP files.




  • How to scrape web pages from the command line using htmlq
    Web scraping is the process of analyzing the structure of HTML pages, and programmatically extract data from them. In the past we saw how to scrape the web using the Python programming language and the “Beautilful Soup” library; in this tutorial, instead, we see how to perform the same operation using a command line tool written in Rust: htmlq.


  • How to use Cloudformation to create SQS Queues on AWS
    AWS Simple Queue Service (SQS) is a fully managed message queuing service that enables us to decouple and scale microservices,  serverless applications, and distributed systems. In this article, we will see the steps to create a Standard and FIFO Queue using Cloudformation Stack.



Linux Insider"LinuxInsider"










  • Zorin OS 16: Better GNOME With Much More Simplicity
    Zorin OS is one of the more endearing Linux operating systems available for both Linux veterans and computer users transitioning from Windows. But despite some stellar improvements, Zorin OS 16 falls short of offering wider user appeal to those looking beyond Windows-like computing. However, this latest upgrade brings several improvements and a few new features to give a satisfying Linux experience that tries to be something else. The post Zorin OS 16: Better GNOME With Much More Simplicity appeared first on LinuxInsider.



Slashdot

  • Amazon Heads To the Mall With Prototype Clothing Store
    First, Amazon competed with malls. Now, it's moving inside one. From a report: The online retailing giant said Thursday that it plans to open a clothing store in a Southern California mall later this year. It's the latest foray into brick-and-mortar for Amazon, which already sells more than 10% of all clothes in the U.S. The store, which will sell women's and men's clothing as well as shoes and other accessories, will open at Americana at Brand, a mall in Glendale, California. The entry into malls could become another threat to traditional clothing sellers because of the data and shopper insights Amazon may gain, experts say.   Amazon says its algorithms will spit out real-time recommendations as shoppers keep scanning items that they see. Shoppers can also fill out an online survey of their preferences for style and fit. The store will be about 30,000 square feet, similar in size to a Kohl's, but about one-third the size of other department stores like Macy's. However, it will offer more than double the number of styles as traditional stores do because only one of each piece of clothing will be on display, with the rest in the back room. Items are chosen by Amazon curators who also use feedback provided by millions of customers shopping on Amazon.com.
          

    Read more of this story at Slashdot.


  • London Mayor Wants Daily Driving Charge of Up To $2.7
    London's mayor says he needs to charge drivers a "small" daily fee of up to 2 pound ($2.73) for "all but the cleanest vehicles" to help hit climate change targets. From a report: The road pricing proposal is part of a push by Sadiq Khan to encourage people towards public transport, walking, cycling or electric vehicles. The RAC called the plan "poorly timed" with cleaner vehicles being "too expensive for most people." Longer term, Mr Khan says he needs to bring in a pay-per-mile system. He is also considering charging drivers from outside the capital who wish to travel into Greater London, widening out the current charging zone. Mr Khan said he was "not willing to put off action."
          

    Read more of this story at Slashdot.


  • Starving Afghans Use Crypto To Sidestep US Sanctions, Failing Banks, and the Taliban
    NGOs looking to provide emergency aid to Afghanistan are turning to cryptocurrency. From a report: When the Taliban took over Afghanistan in August of last year, Fereshteh Forough feared that the group would close her school in Herat, the country's third-largest city. Code to Inspire, an NGO Forough founded, was teaching computer programming to young Afghan women, and the Taliban oppose secondary education for women. Months later, the picture is much different -- and worse -- from what Forough imagined. The school survived, becoming mostly virtual, but has transformed from a coding boot camp into a relief organization. The biggest risk for Forough's students wasn't lack of education, it was hunger. Forough looked for a way to provide emergency checks to the women but was stymied by banks that don't want to risk violating severe U.S. sanctions.   JPMorgan Chase repeatedly blocked her attempts to transfer money, she said, and she grew increasingly alarmed by students who said they couldn't access cash at local Afghan banks -- many of which have closed or imposed strict withdrawal limits. In response, she turned to cryptocurrency to provide monthly emergency payments to help students afford enough food to survive. [...] There are several advantages to using crypto: Afghans fleeing the Taliban can take their assets with them without risk. Humanitarian agencies seeking to bypass banks and discreetly avoid the Taliban can provide cash directly to those in need. Smugglers and intermediaries who may steal or try to resell aid packages can be circumvented if aid is given directly through a digital transaction.
          

    Read more of this story at Slashdot.


  • Google is Building an AR Headset
    Meta may be the loudest company building AR and VR hardware. Microsoft has HoloLens. Apple is working on something, too. But don't count out Google. The Verge: The search giant has recently begun ramping up work on an AR headset, internally codenamed Project Iris, that it hopes to ship in 2024, according to two people familiar with the project who requested anonymity to speak without the company's permission. Like forthcoming headsets from Meta and Apple, Google's device uses outward-facing cameras to blend computer graphics with a video feed of the real world, creating a more immersive, mixed reality experience than existing AR glasses from the likes of Snap and Magic Leap. Early prototypes being developed at a facility in the San Francisco Bay Area resemble a pair of ski goggles and don't require a tethered connection to an external power source.   Google's headset is still early in development without a clearly defined go-to-market strategy, which indicates that the 2024 target year may be more aspirational than set in stone. The hardware is powered by a custom Google processor, like its newest Google Pixel smartphone, and runs on Android, though recent job listings indicate that a unique OS is in the works. Given power constraints, Google's strategy is to use its data centers to remotely render some graphics and beam them into the headset via an internet connection. I'm told that the Pixel team is involved in some of the hardware pieces, but it's unclear if the headset will ultimately be Pixel-branded.
          

    Read more of this story at Slashdot.


  • Sony Expects Microsoft To Keep Activision Games Multiplatform
    Sony said Thursday that it expected Microsoft to ensure that games from Activision Blizzard are available on non-Microsoft videogame platforms if Microsoft completes its proposed acquisition of Activision. From a report: "We expect that Microsoft will abide by contractual agreements and continue to ensure Activision games are multiplatform," a Sony spokesman said Thursday. Activision supplies some of the most popular games for Sony's PlayStation game console, including the Call of Duty series. After Microsoft on Tuesday announced its acquisition plan, some analysts raised the possibility that Activision games might be available exclusively for Microsoft's own Xbox console and its subscription videogame services in the future.
          

    Read more of this story at Slashdot.


  • Elon Musk's Brain Implant Company Is Inching Toward Human Trials, Report Says
    Elon Musk's brain implant company Neuralink is now hiring a clinical trial director, an indication that the company's longstanding goal of implanting chips in human brains is coming closer. Bloomberg: The trial director position would oversee the startup's long-promised human trials of its medical device, according to the listing. Neuralink's brain implant -- which Musk has said already allows monkeys to play video games with their thoughts alone -- is intended to help treat a variety of neurological disorders, such as paralysis. The job description for the position, based in Fremont, California, promises that the applicant will "work closely with some of the most innovative doctors and top engineers" as well as with "Neuralink's first Clinical Trial participants." It also indicates that the job will mean leading and building "the team responsible for enabling Neuralink's clinical research activities," as well as adhering to regulations. Last month, Musk told the Wall Street Journal that Neuralink hoped to implant its device in human brains sometime in 2022.
          

    Read more of this story at Slashdot.


  • Bank of Russia Calls for Full Ban on Crypto
    Russia must ban cryptocurrencies, the country's central bank said in a report released Thursday. From a report: The report, "Cryptocurrencies: trends, risks, measures," was presented during an online press conference with Elizaveta Danilova, the director of the Bank of Russia's Financial Stability Department. The report says cryptocurrencies are volatile and widely used in illegal activities such as fraud. By offering an outlet for people to take their money out of the national economy, they risk undermining it and making the regulator's job of maintaining optimal monetary policies harder, the report says.   The bank, therefore, suggest Russia needs new laws and regulations that effectively ban any crypto-related activities in the country. In particular, cryptocurrency issuance and organization of its circulation in Russia must be banned. The ban should apply to exchanges, over-the-counter trading desks and peer-to-peer platforms. An existing ban on using crypto for payments should be reinforced, and punishment should be introduced for buying or selling goods, services and labor by Russian individuals and businesses, the report suggests.
          

    Read more of this story at Slashdot.


  • Locations and Contact Data on 515,000 Vulnerable People Stolen in Red Cross Data Breach
    A cyberattack targeting a contractor working for the International Committee of the Red Cross has spilled confidential data on more than 515,000 "highly vulnerable" people, many of whom have been separated from their families due to conflict, migration and disaster. From a report: The Red Cross did not name the contractor, based in Switzerland, which it uses to store data nor say what led to the security incident, but said that the data comes from at least 60 Red Cross and Red Crescent national societies. In a statement, the international organization pleaded with the attackers not to publicly share or leak the information given the sensitivity of the data.
          

    Read more of this story at Slashdot.


  • Google Forms Blockchain Group Under Newly Appointed Executive
    Google is forming a group dedicated to the blockchain and related technologies under a newly appointed executive who has spent more than a decade on the company's core business of search advertising. From a report: Shivakumar Venkataraman, an engineering vice president for Alphabet's Google, is now running a unit focused on "blockchain and other next-gen distributed computing and data storage technologies," according to an email viewed by Bloomberg News. The executive will become a "founding leader" of Labs, a business division in which Google houses its various virtual and augmented reality efforts, according to the email.
          

    Read more of this story at Slashdot.


  • Antimicrobial Resistance Now a Leading Cause of Death Worldwide, Study Finds
    An anonymous reader quotes a report from The Guardian: Antimicrobial resistance poses a significant threat to humanity, health leaders have warned, as a study reveals it has become a leading cause of death worldwide and is killing about 3,500 people every day. More than 1.2 million -- and potentially millions more -- died in 2019 as a direct result of antibiotic-resistant bacterial infections, according to the most comprehensive estimate to date of the global impact of antimicrobial resistance (AMR). The stark analysis covering more than 200 countries and territories was published in the Lancet. It says AMR is killing more people than HIV/Aids or malaria. Many hundreds of thousands of deaths are occurring due to common, previously treatable infections, the study says, because bacteria that cause them have become resistant to treatment.   The new Global Research on Antimicrobial Resistance (Gram) report estimates deaths linked to 23 pathogens and 88 pathogen-drug combinations across 204 countries and territories in 2019. Statistical modeling was used to produce estimates of the impact of AMR in all locations -- including those with no data -- using more than 470m individual records obtained from systematic literature reviews, hospital systems, surveillance systems, and other data sources. The analysis shows AMR was directly responsible for an estimated 1.27 million deaths worldwide, and associated with an estimated 4.95 million deaths, in 2019. HIV/Aids and malaria have been estimated to have caused 860,000 and 640,000 deaths, respectively, in 2019. While AMR poses a threat to people of all ages, young children were found to be at particularly high risk, with one in five deaths attributable to AMR occurring in children under the age of five. Some of the actions policymakers can take, as mentioned in the report, include "optimizing the use of existing antibiotics, taking greater action to monitor and control infections, and providing more funding to develop new antibiotics and treatments."
          

    Read more of this story at Slashdot.


  • Red Cross Begs Hackers Not To Leak Data of 'Highly Vulnerable People'
    The Red Cross has disclosed that it was the victim of a cyber attack and has asked the hackers who broke into the IT network of one of its contractors not to leak the personal information of more than 515,000 of "highly vulnerable people." The Record reports: The data was stolen from a Red Cross program called Restoring Family Links, which aims to reunite family members separated by conflict, disaster, or migration. "While we don't know who is responsible for this attack, or why they carried it out, we do have this appeal to make to them," said Robert Mardini, director-general for the International Committee of the Red Cross. "Your actions could potentially cause yet more harm and pain to those who have already endured untold suffering. The real people, the real families behind the information you now have are among the world's least powerful. Please do the right thing. Do not share, sell, leak or otherwise use this data," Mardini said.   "The people affected include missing people and their families, unaccompanied or separated children, detainees and other people receiving services from the Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement as a result of armed conflict, natural disasters or migration," the organization said in an email.
          

    Read more of this story at Slashdot.


  • Something In Your Eyes May Reveal If You're At Risk of Early Death, Study Shows
    A quick and pain-free scan of the human eyeball could one day help doctors identify "fast agers," who are at greater risk of early mortality. ScienceAlert reports: A machine learning model has now been taught to predict a person's years of life simply by looking at their retina, which is the tissue at the back of the eye. The algorithm is so accurate, it could predict the age of nearly 47,000 middle-aged and elderly adults in the United Kingdom within a bracket of 3.5 years. Just over a decade after these retinas were scanned, 1,871 individuals had died, and those who had older-looking retinas were more likely to fall in this group.   For instance, if the algorithm predicted a person's retina was a year older than their actual age, their risk of death from any cause in the next 11 years went up by 2 percent. At the same time, their risk of death from a cause other than cardiovascular disease or cancer went up by 3 percent. The findings are purely observational, which means we still don't know what is driving this relationship at a biological level. Nevertheless, the results support growing evidence that the retina is highly sensitive to the damages of aging. Because this visible tissue hosts both blood vessels and nerves, it could tell us important information about an individual's vascular and brain health. The study was published in the British Journal of Ophthalmology.
          

    Read more of this story at Slashdot.


  • Social Media Bans of Scientific Misinformation Aren't Helpful, Researchers Say
    An anonymous reader quotes a report from Gizmodo: The Royal Society is the UK's national academy of sciences. On Wednesday, it published a report on what it calls the "online information environment," challenging some key assumptions behind the movement to de-platform conspiracy theorists spreading hoax info on topics like climate change, 5G, and the coronavirus. Based on literature reviews, workshops and roundtables with academic experts and fact-checking groups, and two surveys in the UK, the Royal Society reached several conclusions. The first is that while online misinformation is rampant, its influence may be exaggerated, at least as far as the UK goes: "the vast majority of respondents believe the COVID-19 vaccines are safe, that human activity is responsible for climate change, and that 5G technology is not harmful." The second is that the impact of so-called echo chambers may be similarly exaggerated and there's little evidence to support the "filter bubble" hypothesis (basically, algorithm-fueled extremist rabbit holes). The researchers also highlighted that many debates about what constitutes misinformation are rooted in disputes within the scientific community and that the anti-vax movement is far broader than any one set of beliefs or motivations.   One of the main takeaways: The government and social media companies should not rely on "constant removal" of misleading content [because it is] not a "solution to online scientific misinformation." It also warns that if conspiracy theorists are driven out of places like Facebook, they could retreat into parts of the web where they are unreachable. Importantly, the report makes a distinction between removing scientific misinformation and other content like hate speech or illegal media, where removals may be more effective: "... Whilst this approach may be effective and essential for illegal content (eg hate speech, terrorist content, child sexual abuse material) there is little evidence to support the effectiveness of this approach for scientific misinformation, and approaches to addressing the amplification of misinformation may be more effective. In addition, demonstrating a causal link between online misinformation and offline harm is difficult to achieve, and there is a risk that content removal may cause more harm than good by driving misinformation content (and people who may act upon it) towards harder-to-address corners of the internet."   Instead of removal, the Royal Society researchers advocate developing what they call "collective resilience." Pushing back on scientific disinformation may be more effective via other tactics, such as demonetization, systems to prevent amplification of such content, and fact-checking labels. The report encourages the UK government to continue fighting back against scientific misinformation but to emphasize society-wide harms that may arise from issues like climate change rather than the potential risk to individuals for taking the bait. Other strategies the Royal Society suggests are continuing the development of independent, well-financed fact-checking organizations; fighting misinformation "beyond high-risk, high-reach social media platforms"; and promoting transparency and collaboration between platforms and scientists. Finally, the report mentions that regulating recommendation algorithms may be effective.
          

    Read more of this story at Slashdot.


  • The Feds Are Investigating a YouTuber Accused of Crashing a Plane For Views
    A YouTuber and former Olympic snowboarder has been accused of crashing his plane on purpose for clicks, and the FAA has opened an investigation to get to the bottom of the growing mess. The Drive reports: Trevor Jacob has been the subject of online criticism after posting a YouTube video where he parachuted from a Taylorcraft BL64 plane and filmed it crashing into the hills of the Los Padres National Forest near Cuyama, California. The video outlined his newly-purchased Taylorcraft's final flight on Nov. 24, 2021, a trip from the Lompoc City Airport in Santa Barbara to Mammoth Lakes where he planned to partake in some general adventuring like paragliding and snowboarding. [If Nov. 24 rings a familiar bell in your head, that's the same day that D.B. Cooper famously jumped from a hijacked plane with $200,000 in ransom 50 years prior.] Jacob also mentioned that he would be spreading the ashes of his friend Johnny Strange during the flight. Strange was killed in a wingsuit accident in 2015 and Jacob explains that he loved the Sierra Nevada Mountains.   During the flight, however, the Taylorcraft's engine supposedly lost power, stalled, and could not be restarted. Jacob then points the plane nose-down and exits, sending the unoccupied aircraft into the ground. Jacob continued to film himself as he descended and proclaimed, "This is why I always fly with a parachute." He then trekked back to the wreckage and hiked until a farmer, who he credits with saving his life, found him in the darkness. This is where things started to go south.   The video of the incident was posted to YouTube where it immediately began racking up views. The aviation sector of YouTube wasted no time picking apart Jacob's claims. At the time of writing, the video has reached over one million views. It also amassed more than 5,000 comments, many of which called out the crash as being staged. Comments on the video have since been turned off, but that hasn't stopped people from making reaction and explainer videos that point out abnormalities in the pilot's videos. It's worth noting here that some suspect the video currently on Jacob's YouTube to be a trimmed-down version of what was originally uploaded. However, a few of the segments can be found when looking at other videos uploaded by YouTubers critiquing the pilot's handling of the situation. [...] "Whether or not Jacob will be prosecuted for the crash, or if he will have his pilot's license revoked, will take some time to play out," concludes Rob Stumpf via The Drive. "The FAA is notoriously thorough in investigating matters like these and often takes a year or longer to produce a final report and recommendation. But most importantly, if the FAA does decide he's guilty, it must prove that Jacob showed intent to break the law and federal aviation regulations."
          

    Read more of this story at Slashdot.


  • How Europe Rolled Out 5G Without Hurting Aviation
    gollum123 shares a report from CNN: Major international airlines are canceling flights to the United States over aviation industry fears that 5G technology could interfere with crucial onboard instruments. But it's business as usual in Europe, where the latest generation of high speed mobile networks is being rolled out without a hitch. Why is there a potential problem in the United States, but not Europe? It comes down to technical details.   Mobile phone companies in the United States are rolling out 5G service in a spectrum of radio waves with frequencies between 3.7 and 3.98 GHz. The companies paid the US government $81 billion in 2021 for the right to use those frequencies, known as the C-Band. But in Europe, 5G services use the slower 3.4 to 3.8 GHz range of spectrum. The aviation industry is worried that US 5G service is too close to the spectrum used by radar altimeters, which is between 4.2 and 4.4 GHz. Europe does not face the same risk, according to the industry, because there is a much larger buffer between the spectrum used by radar altimeters and 5G.   There are other differences in how 5G is being rolled out, according to the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). Other countries are using lower power levels, restricting the placement of 5G antennas near airfields and requiring them to be tilted downward to limit potential interference with aircraft. In France -- cited by telecom carriers such as AT&T and Verizon as an example of 5G and aviation working seamlessly together -- the height of a 5G antenna and the power of its signal determine how close it is allowed to a runway and the flight path of an aircraft, according to a technical note from France's National Frequency Agency (ANFR). Antennas around 17 major French airports are also required to be tilted away from flight paths to minimize the risk of interference, the agency's director of spectrum planning and international affairs, Eric Fournier, told CNN.
          

    Read more of this story at Slashdot.


The Register


  • Can you compose memory across a HPC cluster? Yes. Yes you can
    GigaIO CTO talks up 'solution that has a lot of what CXL offers'
    GigaIO and MemVerge are developing a joint solution to enable memory to be composable across a cluster of servers, addressing one of the thorny issues in high performance computing (HPC) where some nodes may not have enough memory for the tasks in hand, while others may have spare capacity.…














  • Singapore gives banks two-week deadline to fix SMS security
    Edict follows widespread bank phishing scam claiming well over $6.3 million
    A widespread phishing operation targeting Southeast Asia's second-largest bank – Oversea-Chinese Banking Corporation (OCBC) – has prompted the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) to introduce regulations for internet banking that include use of an SMS Sender ID registry.…


  • APNIC: Big Tech's use of carrier-grade NAT is holding back internet innovation
    IPv4 limits apps to simple interactions, and in 2021 IPv6 adoption growth was just three per cent
    Carriers and Big Tech are happily continuing to use network address translation (NAT) and IPv4 to protect their investments, with the result that transition to IPv6 is glacial while the entire internet is shaped in the image of incumbent players.…


  • Google sours on legacy G Suite freeloaders, demands fee or flee
    Free incarnation of online app package, which became Workplace, is going away
    Google has served eviction notices to its legacy G Suite squatters: the free service will no longer be available in four months and existing users can either pay for a Google Workspace subscription or export their data and take their not particularly valuable businesses elsewhere.…







  • Vulnerabilities and censorship tools among hot new features in Beijing's Olympics app
    Visitors have to install it 14 days prior to arrival in China until their departure
    Toronto-based Citizen Lab has warned that an app required by Beijing law to attend the 2022 Olympics contains vulnerabilities that can leak calls and data to malicious users, as well as the potential to subject the user to scanning for censored keywords.…






















  • Foxstuck: Firefox browser bug boots legions of users offline
    Outfoxed? Not if you read The Reg
    In a hard-to-beat demo of the perils of software telemetry, Mozilla accidentally kicked legions of users offline last week by an update to its telemetry servers that triggered an existing bug in Firefox. Internally, Mozilla is calling the bug "foxstuck".…







  • Singapore monetary authority threatens action on bank over widespread phishing scam
    Scam has claimed 469 victims in December alone, of which OCBC has issued goodwill payments to 30
    Updated The Monetary Authority of Singapore says it is considering supervisory action against Southeast Asia's second largest bank, Oversea-Chinese Banking Corporation (OCBC), which was criticised for its incident response to a widespread phishing scheme across the island nation.…



Linux.com











Phoronix



  • Building A Silent Linux Desktop For 2022 With The Streacom DB4
    The long time Phoronix reader, with an excellent long-term memory, may remember an odd article from back in August 2017 on buying a passively cooled computer. It tells the tale of the consumer who decided to buy a rather niche, fanless, therefore passively cooled computer.


  • Intel's Unaccepted Memory Support Updated For Substantially Faster Booting Of TDX VMs
    Way back in August Intel posted a set of Linux kernel patches for supporting "unaccepted memory" by the Linux kernel in preparation for next-generation Xeon processors and speeding up the boot time for guest virtual machines making use of Intel's Trust Domain Extensions (TDX) security feature. Unaccepted memory support hasn't yet made it to the mainline kernel but now a second iteration of the patches have been posted...


  • Linux 5.17 Making It Easier To Build A Kernel With All The Shiny Debug Features
    Over the years the Linux kernel has picked up many different sanitizers, memory leak detectors, and other features for helping to diagnose and address deficiencies in the kernel. However, all of these debugging-optimized features aren't centrally located that can make it difficult for system administrators and developers to spot these numerous features when configuring a kernel build manually. Now with Linux 5.17 that is changing...


  • AMD SMCA Updates Land In Linux 5.17 For Future CPUs
    Last week I noted about EDAC changes in Linux 5.17 for future AMD CPUs. The "Error Detection and Correction" work included AMD adding RDDR5 / LRDDR5 support to their driver and new CPU model IDs that appear to be for Zen 4. Also working on next-gen AMD processor support in Linux 5.17 are recent SMCA changes...


  • Genode OS Planning For WireGuard, Mobile Usability With The PinePhone
    I've been writing about Genode OS for over a decade as one of the interesting original, open-source operating system frameworks that has taken novel approaches to many design elements and continues persevering with their efforts. For 2022 the project has yet more ambitious goals ahead...


  • F2FS With Linux 5.17 Makes Some Performance Improvements
    F2FS as the Flash-Friendly File-System may not see too much use out of desktop Linux distributions at least as it concerns any easy/semi-endorsed root install option, but this file-system does continue maturing and seeing much use by enthusiasts and especially among the plethora of Android devices now supporting this flash-optimized file-system. With Linux 5.17, F2FS has some performance improvements and other fixes...





  • Khronos Establishing A Camera API Working Group
    In recent years The Khronos Group has been expanding a lot and forming a number of new open industry standards around 3D commerce, analytics rendering, and more. The latest is Khronos now establishing a Camera API working group...


  • LibreOffice Sees New Activity For Compiling To WebAssembly
    Last May there was some work on compiling LibreOffice to WebAssembly as another means of getting this open-source office suite executing within the web browser and other environments. It had been quiet since on the LibreOffice WASM front but a number of new commits were merged this morning...


  • KDE's 15-Minute Bug Initiative Gets Underway
    KDE developer Nate Graham has sorted through plans for the 15-minute bug initiative for focusing on correcting many low-hanging bugs affecting the KDE desktop that should be able to be quickly discovered by users...





  • Apache Hop Hops To Top-Level Project Status
    After starting off in development more than two decades ago as Kettle, Apache Hop in its current form has now made it to being an Apache Software Foundation top-level project...







  • LVFS Activity Going Wild Ahead Of New Security Disclosure Requiring Firmware Update
    The Linux Vendor Firmware Service (LVFS) that integrates with Fwupd for delivering firmware updates primarily to Linux users is surging with around three times the normal traffic volume. Unfortunately, this boost in traffic appears to be due to vendor(s) releasing new system firmware updates ahead of disclosing a presumptive security issue...






  • Folio Improvements For Linux 5.17, Large Folio Patches Posted
    Back in November memory folios were merged into Linux 5.16 as a fundamental change to the memory management code. Now for Linux 5.17 there are improvements for folios merged and then out likely for Linux 5.18 is introducing the notion of large folios...




  • Lenovo USB-C 7-in-1 Hub On Linux
    For those considering the Lenovo USB-C 7-in-1 Hub for connecting to your Lenovo laptop for enjoying USB-C power charging, HDMI output, and additional USB ports, it does work out on Linux. While there have been some users running into seemingly firmware-related issues, at least with my testing over the past month this $50~60 (USD) USB-C hub has been working out well under Linux.



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

  • NBA games in 4K are coming to YouTube TV
    The view from your couch will look a little more like sitting courtside in the days to come, as Streamable reports on Thursday that YouTube TV will begin offering select NBA matchups in 4K. 

    The only, ahem, hoop viewers will need to get through in order to watch is having a YouTube TV subscription with the 4K Plus add-on. YTTV on its own is $65 a month, the 4K add-on will set you back an additional $12/mo for the first year before nearly doubling, up to $20/month thereafter. Not every game will be made available in the high definition format though Saturday9s game between the Cavs and Thunder will.


  • Twitter brings NFTs to profile photos, but only for Twitter Blue subscribers
    Twitter is giving NFT enthusiasts a new reason to pay for a Twitter Blue subscription. The company is testing a new feature that allows NFT owners to authenticate NFTs displayed in their profile photos.

    The feature, which is being offered as an early stage “Labs” feature for Twitter Blue subscribers, allows NFT owners to connect their crypto wallet to their Twitter account and display an NFT as their profile photo. While many NFT owners already use the art in their profile photos, the Twitter Blue feature will also add an icon indicating that the NFT has been authenticated and that person behind the account is the official owner of the piece.

    Though only Twitter Blue subscribers can access the feature, the authentication symbol will be visible to everyone on Twitter. And other users will be able to tap on the hexagon symbol in order to learn more about the NFT in the image.
    Twitter
    While Twitter has previously indicated that it was working on an NFT authentication service, it’s notable that it would choose to offer the feature to Twitter Blue subscribers first, The company debuted the $3/month subscription service in November, in a bid to appeal to power users who might pay for specialized features. The NFT feature is “still under active development,” according to the company, and it’s not clear if it plans to launch it more widely. Twitter has previously said that early-stage “labs” features are experiments that could become available outside of Twitter Blue, kept around for subscribers, or killed off entirely.


  • Airbnb will offer travel insurance this spring
    Airbnb knows you might be reluctant to book a stay while the COVID-19 pandemic makes trips risky, so it9s planning to offer some protection of its own. The rental service has revealed it will introduce custom travel insurance for guests sometime this spring. While the terms aren9t available, Airbnb will team with a "reputable" insurer to offer coverage.

    The company has also launched a Guest COVID Support Program that partly compensates travellers if border closures, quarantine periods or other government policies make existing reservations impractical. If a host won9t provide a full refund, Airbnb will offer a travel coupon worth 50 percent of whatever hasn9t been refunded so far. The program applies to all stays with a check-in date of December 1st, 2021 or later, so you might want to talk to Airbnb if your holiday plans fell apart.

    There9s no mystery behind the strategy. Airbnb9s business has been hit hard by the pandemic as a whole, and COVID-199s Omicron variant is only increasing the worry for hosts and guests who were hoping the worst was behind them. First-party insurance and coupons might persuade some would-be adventurers to book stays when they would have otherwise stayed home.


  • Peloton is reportedly pausing Bike and Tread production amid lower demand
    Peloton is reportedly pumping the brakes on Bike and Tread production as demand for the home fitness equipment is said to be slowing.

    It9s said to be putting production of its standard Bike and Tread (treadmill) products on hold for two months and six weeks, respectively. The company stopped building Bike+ units last month and it doesn’t plan to pick up production of that more expensive model until June, CNBC reports. As for Tread+, Peloton reportedly doesn’t expect to build any more of those in its 2022 fiscal year.

    According to CNBC, Peloton said in an internal presentation that there’s been a significant drop in demand due to consumer “price sensitivity” and increased competition from rivals. On top of that, gyms are open again in many regions following COVID-19 lockdown measures. After being cooped up at home for the better part of two years, it wouldn’t be surprising if fitness fans wanted to work out elsewhere. Meanwhile, research firm M Science said it hasn’t seen evidence of a rise in demand for at-home fitness amid the surge of the Omicron variant.

    As things stand, Peloton is said to have overestimated demand and thousands of its products are in warehouses and on cargo ships. It reportedly needs to sell many of those before making more bikes and treadmills.

    Meanwhile, per the presentation, Peloton Guide was delayed from October to next month, and the product might slip again to April. Peloton Guide is a strength-training system that uses camera and machine learning to track users9 movements and help them match their form against an instructor.

    Earlier this week, it was reported that Peloton is looking to reduce costs. Measures could include layoffs and store closures.

    Engadget has contacted Peloton for comment. The company will report its latest quarterly financial results on February 8th, which should make the status of Peloton and its products slightly clearer.


  • Facebook takes down fake Iranian accounts that posed as Scottish locals
    Facebook disabled a network of fake accounts that posed as English and Scottish locals, but were actually an Iran-based influence operation. The company detailed the takedowns in its latest report on coordinated inauthentic behavior on its platform.

    The network was relatively small — eight accounts on Facebook and 126 on Instagram — though it had amassed about 77,000 followers, according to the company. Facebook’s security researchers didn’t indicate exactly who in Iran was behind the effort, or what their motives were, but said some of the people involved had a “background in teaching English as a foreign language.”

    “This network posted photos and memes in English about current events in the UK, including supportive commentary about Scottish independence and criticism of the UK government,” Facebook writes in its report. In a call with reporters, Facebook’s Global IO Threat Intelligence Lead, Ben Nimmo, said that it’s not the first time the company has caught Iran-linked fake accounts targeting Scotland, but that the latest network stood out for its “artisanal” approach to the fake personas.

    “What was unique about this case was the effort that the operators took to make their fakes look like real people,” Nimmo said. He noted the accounts spent considerable time posting about their “side interests,” like football, in an attempt to boost their credibility. Some of the accounts also lifted profile photos from real celebrities or media personalities, and regularly updated the images in order to appear more real. Other accounts used fake photos generated by AI programs.

    Overall, Facebook says that the fake accounts weren’t particularly successful as the most popular account had only reached about 4,000 followers, about half of whom were actually located in the UK. “In a way, this is more like an old fashioned pre-internet influence operation, creating detailed fake personas and trying not to be noticed,” Nimmo said.


  • Senator Klobuchar's major tech reform bill advances out of committee
    A major tech reform bill that would prevent the industry9s biggest players — Apple, Amazon, Google, and their ilk — from discriminating against smaller businesses that rely on the big platforms9 services is one step closer to passage on Thursday after passing from committee on a bipartisan 16-6 vote. Senators Mike Lee, John Cornyn, Ben Sasse, Tom Cotton, Thom Tillis, and Marsha Blackburn all voted against it.

    The American Innovation and Choice Online Act, which was sponsored by Senator Amy Klobuchar, would prohibit Amazon from promoting its own Amazon Basics gear over similar products in search results. Similarly, Apple and Google would be barred from pushing their in-house apps over those from third-party developers in their respective app stores. The bill passed out of both the antitrust subcommittee and the primary judiciary committee with the support of that vote and will now be put forth on the Senate floor.   

    Unsurprisingly, the platforms impacted by these proposed regulations are none too pleased with the recent proceedings. Apple9s Tim Cook has reportedly been personally lobbying against the bill while Amazon has released the following statement:

    There’s a reason why small businesses who sell on Amazon are asking Congress to take a look at the “collateral damage” that will fall on them and their customers, should the American Innovation and Choice Online Act become law. This bill is being rushed through the legislative process without any acknowledgment by its authors of its unintended consequences. As drafted, the bill’s vague prohibitions and unreasonable financial penalties—up to 15% of U.S. revenue, not income—would jeopardize our ability to allow small businesses to sell on Amazon. The bill would also make it difficult for us to guarantee one or two-day shipping for those small businesses9 products—key benefits of Amazon Prime for sellers and customers alike. The bill’s authors are targeting common retail practices and, troublingly, appear to single out Amazon while giving preferential treatment to other large retailers that engage in the same practices. We urge the Senate Judiciary Committee to reject Senator Klobuchar and Senator Grassley’s bill and refuse to rush through an ambiguously worded bill with significant unintended consequences.

    A similar bill has already passed the judiciary committee9s counterpart in the House though the President has not yet weighed in regarding his support of these proposals.


  • New 'Wallace & Gromit' and 'Chicken Run' movies are coming to Netflix
    After a hiatus of more than a decade, the world’s favorite fictitious British inventor (or possibly second after Q from James Bond) and his lovable canine sidekick are making a comeback. Today as part of its ongoing partnership with Aardman Animations Netflix announced the arrival of a new Wallace & Gromit movie and the long-awaited sequel to Chicken Run.

    Due out sometime in 2023, Chicken Run: Dawn of the Nugget picks up after Ginger and Rocky’s daring escape with the hatching of the couple’s new chick Molly at their new island sanctuary home. And while Julia Sawalha and Mel Gibson won’t be reprising their roles as the leading chickens, Dawn of the Nugget’s cast will still feature some big-name stars including Thandie Newton (Ginger), Zachary Levi (Rocky) and Bella Ramsey (Molly), the latter of whom is also set to play Ellie in pic.twitter.com/wI39M8ZN4B
    — NetflixFilm (@NetflixFilm) January 20, 2022
    As for the still-untitled Wallace & Gromit movie, original series creator Nick Park will be returning as director featuring a story written by Park and Mark Burton (Madagascar, The Curse of the Were-Rabbit, Shaun of the Sheep Movie). Slated to arrive almost two decades after The Curse of the Were-Rabbit, Wallace and Gromit’s second feature-length film revolves around Wallace’s latest invention: a “smart gnome” that has developed a mind of its own. Queue the hijinx.

    Notably, unlike Dawn of the Nugget which will be a worldwide exclusive on Netflix when it starts streaming sometime next year, the new Wallace & Gromit movie will debut first on the BBC in the UK before becoming available on Netflix in all other regions sometime in 2024.

    With Aardman and Netlix’s stop-motion musical Robin Robin having been recently shortlisted for the Oscar’s in the animated short film category, it’s nice to see even more claymation movies get the green light–especially after the bomb that was 2018’s Early Man. That said, with the original Chicken Run and The Curse of the Were-Rabbit having already claimed the number one and two spots as the highest-grossing stop-motion animated films of all time, Aardman Studios might have a hard time competing for attention in a time when traditional computer-animated films have dominated the box office.


  • Casio made a super fun singing keyboard
    Casio hasn’t been a serious player in the world of synthesizers for some time. Gone are the days of the beloved CZ series, while the current lineup lacks the lo-fi charm of classic keyboards like the SK-1 and VL-1. But for the last few weeks the company has been teasing what seemed like a return to real-deal synths, possibly with a vocoder.

    Well, bad news: The CT-S1000V is not a return to Casio’s analog glory days. Nor is it a vocoder. And the $450 list price is a little hard to swallow.

    So what exactly is the CT-S1000V? It looks like a midrange Casiotone that uses the company’s flagship AiX engine, with vocal synthesis tossed in as a bonus. In short, it’s a singing keyboard. Frankly, the novelty of being able to whip up some lyrics in the companion app, send them to the CT-S1000V, and then play the words as a melody was more than enough to pique my interest. I’m a sucker for vocoders, over-the-top autotune and talkboxes, so a singing synth is right up my alley.

    Before we dig too far into the vocal synthesis side of things, let’s quickly cover the AiX engine and the hardware. AiX made its debut in 2018 and its strength supposedly lies in recreating acoustic sounds. And look, credit where credit is due: The piano sounds on this are pretty decent. Can I say the same about the other acoustic instruments represented here, like violins, guitars or trumpets? No. But there are enough quality sounds, including some recreations of classic Casio synth tones, to keep you entertained for a while.

    Don’t come to the S1000V expecting a truly customizable synth, though. While there are some tweaks that you can make, this is not the keyboard for someone looking to learn synthesis or get into sound design. That should be immediately obvious, however, when you look at its front panel. The controls are minimal. Physically it has much more in common with the $250 CT-S400 than it does with the $480 CT-X5000 (the closest Casio has to a traditional synth).
    Terrence O9Brien / Engadget
    I haven’t played a modern Casio in some time, but I do have to say, the speaker system is impressive. Because the CT-S1000V is clearly aimed at budding pianists and home entertainment, being self-contained is a huge plus. While the built-in speakers on other keyboards often seem like an afterthought, Casio clearly put effort into them here. When you switch over to the drum and rhythm presets, it’s really quite shocking how much bass you get from the kicks.

    On the whole, the CT-S1000V feels well built. It’s plasticky and the full-sized keys are a tad springy, but it feels solid and the click wheel that serves as your primary tool for navigating the interface is satisfying. Casio did make some strange decisions, though. For instance, the mod knob above the pitch wheel. Mod wheels and mod strips? Sure. But a mod knob? In this configuration, where the placement would suggest it’s a performance tool, seems very odd.
    Terrence O9Brien / Engadget
    The keyboard also comes with a Bluetooth adapter in the box, but it can only be used for streaming audio and MIDI data. It can’t connect to the companion Lyric Creator app. There are no dedicated MIDI ports on the back and, while it can supposedly be used for MIDI over USB I was unable to get it to work. There are, however, two pedal inputs on the back (one of which can be used for expression), plus ¼-inch stereo audio outs and ⅛-inch jacks for audio in and headphones. There’s also a pair of USB ports: one USB-A specifically for the Bluetooth adapter and a micro-USB (sigh) connector for transferring lyrics from the app on your phone.

    The app is very well designed and thorough, and lyric transfers over USB using a camera kit adapter with my aging iPhone X were almost instantaneous. Casio says transfer over Bluetooth isn’t supported because it would simply be too slow, but just having it as an option would be nice.

    In the app you can either type out or dictate phrases and it will do its best to automatically parse the text. Your mileage may vary, though. Computers aren’t always the best at reproducing human pronunciation and the CT-S1000V is no different. For example, “Engadget” was automatically broken down as “en-gadget”. But when the keyboard sang it back, it became “engage.” I had to go in and manually tweak the lyric to be “En-gad-jet” for it to sound right.
    Terrence O9Brien / Engadget
    You can really dive deep and customize the phonemes if you want, and punch in specific timings using standard music notation. But there’s no avoiding the fact that getting lyrics to sound right requires a lot of trial and error, which would be less of an issue if you could preview the rendered vocals on your phone before transferring them to the keyboard. Right now it’s just a lot of back and forth.

    On the keyboard itself, you have two primary ways of playing back lyrics: Either in Phrase mode or in Note mode as individual syllables. The former will play back the words using the timing you programmed in. As long as you9re holding keys down, it will sing the lyrics to you. The one issue here is that playback will start over from the beginning if you ever let go of the keys. With syllable playback you have more control over timing and it’s a bit easier to knock out a melody (at least for someone like me who can’t really play piano). But it’s still important that your syllables be broken down just right or the timing will be off when you try to play back a vocal lick.

    There are 22 different voices for you to pick between that range from synthetic choirs, to demonic growls, to talkbox emulations. Some of them get pretty same-sounding, but the variety is welcome. There are a few ways to tweak the voices, including changing the “age” and “gender”, though they dramatically alter the core tone of each.

    One last feature worth mentioning is the S1000V’s sampling capabilities. There are two different sampling modes: melody and drum. The latter lets you assign samples to individual keys to create custom drum kits. It’s also probably the easiest of the sampling methods to use. Melody, on the other hand, lets you play back a single sample chromatically across the keyboard by slowing it down or speeding it up. This latter trick is a fun and simple way to create custom instruments, and it’s part of what gave Casio’s SK series its charm.

    But it’s worth noting that the sampling process here is slightly more cumbersome than on those old-school instruments. There’s no dedicated sampling controls on the front, you have to do a little menu diving. And there’s no built-in microphone for quick and dirty recording, you need to use the ⅛-inch jack around back, or a Bluetooth connection. It’s a nice tool to have, but I do wish it were featured more prominently and the interface a little less obtuse.
    Terrence O9Brien / Engadget
    Casio deserves credit for doing something somewhat unique in building a singing keyboard. Sure, it’s a bit gimmicky to type out (or dictate) your favorite song and then play it back using a synthesized choir. But it’s undeniably fun. And including the ability to record custom samples, and layer them with the keyboard’s built-in sounds is a welcome feature.

    It’s hard to overlook the $450 price, though, especially considering the limited sound design controls. The CT-S1000V is probably best suited for someone learning to play piano who wants a fun keyboard with a bit of versatility to practice on. But its price is a bit steep for what feels like mid-range Casiotone. You can get a more capable sampler for around the same price, and Arturia9s MicroFreak delivers limited vocal synthesis and a real vocoder for less. Obviously, the Casio has advantages over those — quality built-in speakers, expansive full-sized keyboard — but you9ll have to decide how much those features are worth in terms of tradeoffs and price. 


  • AR and VR hardware sales more than doubled in the US this holiday
    Virtual (and augmented) reality appear poised to take off after years of modest demand. The NPD Group reports unit sales for AR and VR hardware more than doubled in the US during the 2021 holiday season (between Thanksgiving week and Christmas), jumping 180 percent compared to 2020. The growth wasn9t quite so brisk for the full year at 9just9 163 percent, but there was clearly a lot of demand for immersive worlds.

    Raw revenue also climbed 153 percent during the holidays and 137 percent for the year. That suggests people were buying lower-cost or discounted AR and VR devices.

    NPD executive director Ben Arnold was quick to caution that AR and VR "likely benefitted" from console shortages — if you couldn9t gift a PlayStation 5 or Xbox Series X, a Meta Quest 2 might have served as a stand-in. He noted that people were still looking for "unique" entertainment, however. We9d add that the lingering pandemic may have encouraged people to stay inside and try virtual experiences at a time when in-person equivalents like gyms and nightclubs might be seen as too risky.

    This doesn9t mean buyers are embracing the metaverse or similar high-minded concepts. It does hint at a brighter future for AR and VR, though. NPD already expects a 32 percent jump in revenue in the first half of 2022, and upcoming headsets like Meta9s Project Cambria could further fuel demand. Don9t be surprised if headsets are in vogue next holiday season.


  • The first movie studio in space could be attached to the ISS in 2024
    A module that hosts a film studio and sports arena could be connected to the International Space Station by December 2024. Space Entertainment Enterprise (SEE), which is co-producing a Tom Cruise movie that will partly be shot in space, is behind the project. If and when SEE-1 is up and running, it plans to host TV and film productions, as well as music events and some kind of sports, which can be filmed or livestreamed, according to won a NASA contract to construct the first commercial ISS module, will build the station. All going well, SEE-1 will be connected to Axiom9s arm of the ISS. Axiom Station is scheduled to split from the ISS in 2028 with SEE-1 still attached.

    Whether SEE and Axiom can make good on their plan remains to be seen. SEE hasn9t said how much the facility will cost, for one thing. It9s currently planning a fundraising round.

    Last year, a Russian crew shot a feature-length fiction film in space for the first time, beating Cruise and his director Doug Liman to the punch. That film, The Challenge, is expected to be released this year. Cruise and Liman, meanwhile, are expected to shoot their movie on the ISS later in 2022.


  • Google reportedly plans to release an AR headset in 2024
    Google might have ditched its Daydream VR headset years ago, but that doesn9t mean it gave up on headsets altogether. The Vergesources claim Google is developing an augmented reality headset, nicknamed Project Iris, that it wants to release in 2024. The standalone wearable would use a custom Google processor, outward-facing tracking cameras and run Android, although a custom OS is a possibility given job listings. It might also rely on cloud-based rendering to overcome the processing power limitations of a headset.

    Clay Bavor, the manager for the Project Starline 3D telepresence booth (also said due for 2024), is understood to be overseeing the highly secretive project. The tipsters also said the AR headset team included Google Assistant creator Scott Huffman, ARCore manager Shahram Izadi and Mark Lucovsky, the former leader of Meta9s in-house OS development. The Pixel division is also believed to be involved in some hardware work.

    We9ve asked Google for comment, although CEO Sundar Pichai hinted in October that AR was a "major area of investment" for the company. The headset is supposedly very early in development without a clear market strategy, suggesting that the 2024 target isn9t firm.

    The headset might seem unexpected from a company burned by its initial take on an AR wearable. It9s not a shock given the evolving landscape, however. Apple is widely rumored to be creating a mixed reality headset, while Meta hasn9t been shy about wanting to both develop AR hardware and jumpstart the metaverse. Google risks ceding the field to competitors if it doesn9t offer AR hardware or the platform to match, even if finished technology is still years away.


  • PlayStation's Wrap-Up is back to break down your PS4 and PS5 stats for 2021
    Sony has at last flipped the switch on its PlayStation 2021 Wrap-Up, allowing players to delve into their PlayStation 4 and PS5 stats for 2021. After you log into your PSN account, you9ll be able to see how many hours you spent on PlayStation games last year, the five titles you played the most and how a breakdown of the trophies you scooped up.

    The tool breaks down your playtime by PS4 and PS5 games, how long you spent playing on a console vs. Remote Play and how many hours you used PlayStation VR. You9ll also see the number of games you played and get a code for four avatars as a bonus.

    Sony took the opportunity to promote some of its games by highlighting some global community stats. In Death Stranding Director9s Cut, for instance, players collectively traveled more than 45 million kilometers and delivered more than 9.4 million packages. They played more than 12 million hours of Returnal in total, while 34.6 percent of Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart players unlocked all of the weapons.

    Users need to be aged 18 or over and have played at least 10 hours of games on PS4 or PS5 to access their Wrap-Up. It may not work for PS5 players who haven9t enabled full data collection and those who haven9t consented to "Additional Data" collection on PS4 in Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Australasia, India and Russia.

    While the PlayStation9s year-end wrap-up feature is emerging much later than ones for other platforms and services, at least it takes the entire year into account. Spotify Wrapped, for instance, only covers listening data from between January and October. The latest edition of PlayStation Wrap-Up is actually arriving a little earlier than the one for 2020, which arrived last February. The tool will be available until February 20th.


  • Peacock adds live local news channels to its streaming lineup
    NBCUniversal9s Peacock isn9t going to let the live news from rivals like CBS go unanswered. The streaming service has added free, around-the-clock local news from NBC stations for all users. The broadcasts are initially available from stations in Boston (including the New England Cable Network), Chicago, Miami and Philadelphia. New York City and Los Angeles channels will be available in the "months ahead."

    The platform already has live and on-demand news from NBC9s self-branded services as well as Sky and Telemundo. You can also watch live entertainment TV from 11 local NBC stations, including those from cities in the news rollout.

    The decision may have been an easy one to make. Airing existing news channels won9t cost much more, and could help Peacock serve cord-cutters who may still want local events in between The Office marathons. There9s also increasing competition. Live news is quickly becoming a selling point, including through Amazon9s free app on Fire TV devices. The NBC stations could reduce the temptation to switch to other channels and services.


  • Instagram now lets you create TikTok-like remixes using any video
    You no longer need to dive into Reels to create TikTok-style collaborative videos on Instagram. The social network has expanded its remix feature to let you make collaborations and similar reworks from any video on Instagram. So long as the video was released after the update, you can choose "remix this video" from the three-dot menu to create your response to the clip. You9ll still need to share the result through Reels, but you9ll also have the same editing tools to create collaborations, voiceovers and effects.

    Instagram is also doing more to court livestreamers. You now have the option of highlighting your next Instagram Live broadcast on your profile, giving viewers an easy way to set a reminder. You won9t need to attach a regular feed post to the scheduled stream, either. While you can9t yet tease later streams, this could help you build hype for an interview or ask-me-anything session.

    The expanded remix feature could be important. Instagram hasn9t been shy about wanting to counter TikTok, and the Duet feature is a significant factor in that rival9s success. The option to remix any video potentially gives Instagram users a wider pool of videos to choose from than TikTok, including footage that wasn9t originally meant for that short-but-sweet format.


  • 'Lego Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga' will arrive on April 5th
    Two years after the game was initially supposed to debut, Lego Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga will finally arrive on April 5th. The long-awaited title from TT Games adapts all nine movies in the Skywalker Saga, and you9ll be able to choose which trilogy to start with (so you might want to get the prequels out of the way first).

    Lego Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga is coming to PlayStation 4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, Nintendo Switch and PC. It9s said to be the biggest Lego game to date, and publisher Warner Bros. Games provided an in-depth look at what9s in store with a gameplay trailer.

    There are new combat mechanics, including ways to string attacks together and defend yourself with counter moves "in styles tailored to your favorite characters." Expect fresh blaster mechanics, with an over-the-shoulder perspective and third-person aiming reticle, and a cover system. Of course, there9ll be a ton of lightsaber action, space dogfighting battles and many opportunities to use Force powers as well.

    Many levels will have multiple paths to explore and you9ll be able to take on side missions. Class-based abilities are upgradable and there are more than 300 playable characters to unlock. There9s also a Mumble Mode, which will replace intelligible voice lines with mumbling, à la previous games in the series.

    Based on the gameplay trailer alone, Lego Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga seems like a huge game. However, despite the lengthy delays, the development team was still required to work long hours (or "crunch"), according to Polygon. 

    Several current and former employees told the publication that TT Games has had a "challenging work culture over the last decade and a half" and that, during crunch periods, work weeks of between 80 and 100 hours weren9t rare (though overtime is said to have been limited in recent months). TT Games has also reportedly had a high level of staff turnover since work started on Lego Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga nearly five years ago.


  • Oura’s third-generation Ring is more powerful, but not for everybody
    The wearables business is hard, especially if you’re a small startup with a device you could, perhaps uncharitably, call “niche.” Oura, which makes activity-tracking rings worn endorsed by a numberof celebrities, recently released its third-generation model. This new hardware is a technical marvel, packing many of the features that most wrist-worn devices take for granted. But the need to keep the cash rolling in has seen Oura, like Fitbit, Apple, Wahoo and others, pivot to a recurring-revenue model. Oura says that this is key to shift from the idea of buying a device that never changes, to supporting its broader goals of building an evolving fitness ecosystem.
    HardwareDaniel Cooper
    Before we get into the specifics of this new Oura ring, let’s take a moment to remember that this device is still a marvel of engineering. Taking the sensors from a smartwatch or fitness tracker and shrinking them into a ring is worthy of enormous praise. For all of its imperfections, it’s amazing to see Oura push the limits of what is capable in such a small form factor. And there’s much more tech crammed in this time around, despite the size and weight remaining the same as the second-generation version. The headline features these new sensors enable include continuous heart-rate tracking, temperature monitoring, blood oxygenation and period prediction.

    The sizing process is the same for pretty much every smart ring I’ve ever tried: The company sends you a set of plastic dummy rings you have to wear for a couple of days. Once you’ve determined the correct fit, which is tight and secure around the base of your index finger, but not to the point where it’s uncomfortable, you can order the real thing. This actually was the most stressful part of this review, since I felt that one size was too loose, the other too tight, but I opted for looseness rather than sacrificing a digit to the gods of fitness tracking. Oura says that the index finger is the best place for its ring, but you can stick it elsewhere if you prefer.

    Unfortunately, the one thing you can’t do much about is the size of the ring itself which is a bit too big. I’m a big-ish guy with big-ish hands, but it feels a bit too ostentatious on my fingers, enough that people notice and ask me what it is as soon as they spot it. If you have more slender hands, I’m sure you might have a similar issue with folks pointing it out. I suspect that the smart thing to do is visit Parts Of 4 to get some more adornments to balance out the look.
    Software
    Without a screen, Oura is yoked tightly to the iOS or Android app where all of this data will be displayed. The Oura app is clean and tidy, only giving you the deepest data when you go looking for it. The app breaks down all of the information generated from your finger and compresses it into three scores, which are shown on the homescreen. These are for Readiness, Sleep and Activity, representing how prepared you are to face the day, how well-rested you are and how much exercise you’re doing.

    The only other thing you’ll find on the homescreen is a breakdown of your heart rate across the day, showing you where the peaks and troughs are. You’ll also get advice on your ideal bedtime, which is useful when you’re working late nights and need to juggle sleep with getting things done. You’ll also get periodic reminders to move if the app detects you’ve been still for a while, and advice when it’s time for you to wind down for the day.

    Go into one of the categories, like Readiness, and you’ll get scores for your recovery index, sleep, as well as your HRV balance, body temperature and resting heart rate. You can also see that my figures dropped quite substantially during a three-day period when I got food poisoning from a New Year’s Eve takeaway meal. During that period, I was given plenty of warnings telling me I wasn’t rested or well enough to do much else – not that I felt like I was gonna go for a run or anything.

    As part of Oura’s plan to add extra value to its platform, the company is adding a series of video and audio guides for meditation, breathwork and sleeping. These guides, which are essentially guided meditation audio tracks, can be backed with a white noise option of your choice. You can pick the hum of a train station, the crunch of a forest stroll, the sound of the tide lapping at the land or rainfall, amongst others. These are a thing for people who find those things useful to fall asleep and feel restful but I, personally, do not find them that great.

    That said, where Oura differs from its rivals in this space is that it’ll break down your vital signs during your meditation. If you’re wondering how to get better at meditating then you’ll be guided to more appropriate tracks that’ll help prod you toward nirvana.

    Oura is working on adding more features to the Ring v3 over the next year, including more content as well as more accurate sleep and period tracking. These will not actually appear as new features so much as they are behind-the-scenes improvements in the underlying systems. Finally, at some point this year, the ring will be able to identify your blood oxygenation (SpO2) while you sleep in order to help detect disorders like sleep apnea.
    In useDaniel Cooper
    The best thing about the Oura ring is that, once you’ve worn it a few days, you quickly start to ignore its presence. And while you’re not paying attention, it begins worming its way into every corner of your life, learning your working patterns and getting ready to make helpful suggestions. If you feel like crap in the morning but don’t have the mental wherewithal to comprehend why, you’ll be told as soon as you look at your phone. Don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing here that other platforms don’t do as well, but this is certainly an elegant implementation of the idea.

    Sleep tracking is generally fine, by which I mean it works by tracking movement and therefore can’t tell when you’ve been rudely awoken but haven’t moved. As part of this new pivot, however, Oura is promising that the sleep tracking will soon become vastly more accurate as a consequence of behind-the-scenes changes. This will not be readily visible to users, however, since all you’ll get is a pop-up telling you that things just got more accurate. Still, it offers a fairly good indicator for how the night went, although I find the activity tracking to be a little more on the generous side. Yesterday morning, for instance, it told me that my morning shower was a strength training workout with plenty of burned calories for my trouble. Similarly, it’ll tell me around lunchtime that I need to take a half-hour brisk walk to finish my activity for the day, and then by early evening, having done nothing more than stand at my desk, make dinner and put my kids to sleep, it’ll tell me I’ve completed my goal.

    One of the features that Oura is tempting its users with is Workout Heart Rate, which I find inadvertently amusing. Because the ring is so chunky, and it has such a hard edge, that I really don’t find it comfortable to wear during workouts. For instance, if I’ve got a pair of free weights, or I’m doing an incline push up on a Smith machine bar, the ring just pushes into the fleshy parts of my hand. For most of the proper “gym” workouts I’ve done, the ring has had to come off, lest I tap out too early or draw blood from the chubby parts of my fingers. But for more ring-friendly jobs, like running, walking, or cycling, you should find this to be a big help.

    In terms of vital-signs tracking accuracy, I think it’s always wise to remember that wearables will not be as inch-perfect as a clinical-grade device. But in a number of random spot-tests, the Oura offered the exact same figures as the Apple Watch on my wrist. In fact, Oura’s reputation for accuracy has always been pretty high, and one of the reasons that the company hasn’t released some of these features is to ensure they’re ready to go when they do arrive.

    Oura quotes battery life at seven days, although I rarely managed to get past five without having to drop it on the charging plate. Certainly, real-world stamina is a bit far from what the company is saying, but then it’s hardly a deal breaker since you can charge it full in two hours. It’s become common for me to take the ring off while I’m standing at my desk on Monday and Friday mornings and let it re-juice while I’m working.
    Economics
    The third-generation Oura ring will set you back $299, which gets you the ring in one of four finishes: Silver, Black, Stealth or Gold. In the box, you’ll receive the charging plate and a USB-C cable, and as part of the deal, you’ll get a six-month trial of Oura’s subscription service. Membership, which costs $5.99 a month for new users, will entitle you to “daily health insights,” “personalized recommendations,” as well as more video and audio sessions. Any existing Oura user who upgrades to the new ring will get a lifetime membership thrown in for free.

    I want to be fair here and say that I understand why Oura is pivoting to this recurring revenue model. It’s not as if other companies in this space, like Fitbit, aren’t doing the same in the hope of bolstering their bottom lines. And that’s before we get to talk about how much lock-in the Apple Watch gets as a consequence of Fitness+. But I also think there’s a difference between the sort of product that those rivals are offering compared to Oura’s product.

    After all, Apple and Fitbit can both offer coaching both on their devices and on bigger screens, which Oura can’t. Not to mention that Oura is really only able to offer guided audio clips (and short videos) through its app. And that while Apple and Fitbit are selling their devices as (having the potential to become) Capital-F Fitness gear, the Oura really isn’t. But, then again, that’s not what Oura is pitching here – it’s for the meditator, the runner, the cyclist, who doesn’t want to strap something beefy to their wrist.
    Wrap-Up
    Here’s the problem with reviewing Oura: It’s not a device that every fitness person will love. If you want something with more versatility, you’d buy a smartwatch and have done with it. Oura is more of a subtle product, for people who want to be less ostentatious about their health, or simply want something that slips into their lives and does the job. Honestly, since I’m not a gym bro, I really like the data the ring offers me without any fuss or muss.

    As for the subscription, it’s likely that Oura will have to keep squeezing as many new features and insights as possible out of this new hardware. Between that, and vastly improving its currently slender content library, it’s worth it if you’re a paid-up member of the Oura family. But, and this is more a comment on the industry as a whole rather than a slight against Oura itself, I do find this need for every company to squeeze some rental income out of their users to be a little bit grating.



  • What we bought: A rice cooker whose greatest trick isn't actually rice
    Every month, Engadget features what our editors are currently into, whether it be $195 Zojirushi Neuro Fuzzy rice cooker. And ironically, what I ended up liking most about it isn’t rice at all.

    The reason I held off was mostly that I didn’t think I needed it. Since I only live with my husband, I told myself I didn’t need a single-purpose appliance. After all, I could already make rice on the stove with just a saucepan. I’ve become adept at making small portions of rice over the years. Plus, it only takes 18-or-so minutes. A rice cooker, on the other hand, can typically take 35 minutes or longer. So even though I enjoy rice enough to make it regularly, I just couldn’t quite justify the seeming inconvenience.

    This, however, was challenged over this past winter break. We had our family over on Christmas Eve, so I ordered takeout from a local Chinese restaurant. At one point, we ran out of rice, so I set about making more on the stove. I had to make rice for around 10 people, which I’m not used to doing. Long story short, my calculations were off, and the rice I made ended up crunchier than I would like. Of course, my family didn’t complain, but I was still a little upset with myself. That’s when I reconsidered getting a dedicated rice cooker.
    Engadget
    After some research, I opted for the Zojirushi Neuro Fuzzy rice cooker. Sure it’s expensive – you can easily get basic models for less than $50 – but I wanted one that can cook all kinds of rice such as short-grain and medium-grain white rice, long-grain jasmine rice, sweet (or sticky) rice, brown rice and more. More importantly, I wanted a cooker with “fuzzy logic” (yes, that’s an industry term), which essentially means that the device has a computer chip. This gives it the smarts to adjust temperature and cook time to accommodate other variables, such as human error (like what I experienced over Christmas), to ensure perfectly cooked rice every time.

    I’ve now had it for a few weeks, and I love it. It really does make cooking rice so much easier. Instead of having to fuss over the stove, I can just rinse the rice, add water, push a button and walk away. It also has a “Keep Warm” function that lasts over five hours, giving me plenty of time to prepare dinner as the rice cooks. It also comes with a handy guide that tells you the proper rice and water ratio for all the different kinds of rice. On top of that, it has a timer so you can have the rice ready whenever you want it.
    Engadget
    But I’d argue the killer function of the Neuro Fuzzy isn’t rice at all. I’ve discovered that it actually makes amazing oatmeal from steel-cut oats. I learned about this from an NYT Cooking recipe for “Rice Cooker Steel-Cut Oats,” (link requires subscription) and it is really such a game changer for me. Steel-cut oatmeal usually takes 20 or so minutes to make, and I don’t usually have time for it in the mornings. But with the rice cooker, I just dump in one cup of oats followed by four cups of water and a teaspoon of salt before I go to bed, set the timer for 8AM, toggle the menu to the Porridge setting, press Cook, and I get to wake up to fresh oatmeal every morning. What’s more, the resulting oatmeal is the best I’ve ever had. The texture is so creamy and smooth, making it the perfect vehicle for both sweet and savory applications. I like mine with spam, spinach and furikake

    Additionally, and it admittedly sounds silly to talk about a rice cooker this way, but the Neuro Fuzzy is just adorable. Its long oval shape gives it a rounded, egg-like appearance that I find aesthetically pleasing. It also plays a tune whenever it starts or ends cooking. My favorite design feature, however, is its power cord: it’s retractable! This way you can store it away without a nest of cables to contend with.

    Perhaps the only real downside of the Neuro Fuzzy rice cooker is that it’s pretty slow. White rice takes around 40 or so minutes to cook, while brown rice can take 90 minutes or longer (stovetop timing on the other hand, ranges from 18 minutes for white rice to 45 minutes or so for brown rice). Still, that’s a small price to pay for perfectly cooked rice, creamy morning oatmeal and, hopefully, no more ruined Christmases.


  • Why airlines and telecoms are fighting over the 5G rollout
    Rollouts of new wireless technologies and standards have not always gone well. When the GSM system debuted, it caused hearing aids to buzz and pop with static while early cell phone signals would occasionally disrupt pacemakers. Today, as carriers expand their 5G networks across the country, they are faced with an equally dangerous prospect: that one of 5G’s spectrum bands may interfere with the radio altimeters aboard commercial aircraft below 2,500 feet, potentially causing their automated landing controls to misjudge the distance from the ground and crash.

    Sticking the landing is generally considered one of the more important parts of a flight — which is, in part, why you never hear people applaud during takeoff. As such, the FAA, which regulates American air travel, and the FCC, which controls the use of our telecommunications spectrum, have found themselves at loggerheads over how, when and where 5G might be safely deployed.

    5G is shorthand for 5th generation, referring to the latest standard for cellular service. First deployed in 2019, 5G operates on the same basis as its 4G predecessor — accessing the internet and telephone network via radio waves beamed at local cell antennas — but does so at broadband speeds up to 10Gb/s. However, because 5G can operate on the C band spectrum, there’s a chance that it can interfere with radio altimeters if within close proximity to airports, especially the older models lacking sufficient RF shielding.

    “The fundamental emissions may lead to blocking interference in the radar altimeter receiver,” a 2020 study by aeronautics technical group RTCA, observed. “The spurious emissions, on the other hand, fall within the normal receive bandwidth of the radar altimeter, and may produce undesirable effects such as desensitization due to reduced signal-to-interference-plus-noise ratio (SINR), or false altitude determination due to the erroneous detection of the interference signal as a radar return.”

    So when the FCC sold a range of C band in the 3.7 GHz to 3.98 GHz frequency range last February for a cool $81 billion, the airline industry under the umbrella of Airlines for America (which represents American Airlines, Delta, FedEx and UPS) took umbrage. These concerns prompted the FAA to issue a warning about the issue last November and led Verizon/AT&T to push back their plans to launch 5G service on C Band by a month.

    This warning, in turn, prompted the CTIA (the wireless industry’s main lobbying arm) to file its counterargument shortly thereafter, asserting that aircraft already safely fly into and out of more than 40 countries that have broadly deployed 5G networks, such as Denmark and Japan. “If interference were possible, we would have seen it long before now,” CTIA President, Meredith Attwell Baker, insisted in a November requested Verizon and AT&T delay their primary rollout by two weeks, starting on January 5th and extending to January 17th, to give the government time to further investigate the issue. Unsurprisingly, those complex issues were not resolved within the given time frame, causing the airline industry to look towards the supposedly falling heavens and Chicken Little even harder.

    In a letter obtained by https://t.co/NeXVJbFhzQpic.twitter.com/ws5Y5HKx1X
    — davidshepardson (@davidshepardson) January 17, 2022
    "We are writing with urgency to request that 5G be implemented everywhere in the country except within the approximate two miles of airport runways as defined by the FAA on January 19, 2022," the airline CEOs leaders argued. "To be blunt, the nation9s commerce will grind to a halt." The airlines also objected to potential incurred costs related to better shielding their avionics (which helped alleviate the previous issues with hearing aids).

    For its part, United Airlines told Reuters that it faces "significant restrictions on 787s, 777s, 737s and regional aircraft in major cities like Houston, Newark, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Chicago." That’s about 4 percent of the carrier’s daily traffic. These restrictions would apply to cargo aircraft as well as passenger planes, which will likely further exacerbate the nation’s current supply chain woes.

    The FAA has conceded that 5G cellular technology could potentially cause issues but stopped short of the airline industry’s apocalyptic predictions. “Aircraft with untested altimeters or that need retrofitting or replacement will be unable to perform low-visibility landings where 5G is deployed,” the agency said in a statement, directing airlines that operate Boeing 787s, for example, to take extra precautions when landing on wet or snowy runways as 5G interference could prevent the massive airfcraft’s thrust reversers to fail, leaving it to stop using brake power alone.

    AT&T is none too happy with the FAA’s course of action either. "We are frustrated by the FAA9s inability to do what nearly 40 countries have done, which is to safely deploy 5G technology without disrupting aviation services, and we urge it to do so in a timely manner," an AT&T spokesperson said in a statement.

    The FAA is already considering the airlines’ request for buffer zones and, on January 8th, released a list of 50 airports across the country where it plans to implement them. The agency also notes that it has cleared five models of radio altimeter to operate within low-visibility areas where 5G systems operate. These models are installed in more than 60 percent of aircraft flying in the US including the Boeing 737 - 777, Airbus’ A310 - A380, and the MD-10/-11.

    "We recognize the economic importance of expanding 5G, and we appreciate the wireless companies working with us to protect the flying public and the country’s supply chain. The complex U.S. airspace leads the world in safety because of our high standards for aviation, and we will maintain this commitment as wireless companies deploy 5G," Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, said in a statement on Tuesday.

    This leaves the FAA in a tight spot. With the two week delay having already expired, Verizon is moving ahead with its 1,700-city, 100 million-customer rollout. AT&T is doing so as well, though on a more limited basis in select parts of eight metro areas including Detroit, Chicago, Austin, Dallas-Fort Worth and Houston. The agency has pledged to continue to investigate the issue and regulate based on its findings though it has not yet disclosed what steps it plans to take next for doing so.


  • Facebook and Instagram may help you create and sell NFTs
    Meta might be the next to hop on the NFT bandwagon. The Financial Timessources claim Meta is developing ways to create, display and sell NFTs on Facebook and Instagram. The company9s Novi wallet technology would power much of the "supporting functionality," one tipster said. Instagram is reportedly testing a way to showcase NFTs, while Meta is also said to be discussing a marketplace that would help you buy or sell these digital collectibles.

    The company has already declined to comment, and the sources cautioned the effort was still early and could change.However, Instagram leader Adam Mosseri said in December that his social network was "actively exploring" NFTs. The technology is on the company9s mind, at least.

    A dip into NFTs would make sense. While companies sometimes abuse the link between NFTs and the metaverse (merely offering NFTs doesn9t mean you9re creating a metaverse, folks), Meta might want a framework for them so that residents of its virtual worlds can sell unique digital goods. This could also help Meta prevent third-party platforms like OpenSea9s market from gaining too strong a hold if NFTs prove to be more than a short-lived trend.


  • 'Zero Trust' is the guiding principle of Sikur's latest security-focused smartphone
    Security-focused smartphone maker Sikur is back with its latest handset. The Android 11-powered Sikur One, which was developed with the help of Brazilian manufacturer Multilaser, follows the Zero Trust approach to security.

    The Zero Trust concept is, in a nutshell, self explanatory. It assumes that no one can fully be trusted from a security perspective. A company or organization typically has control over a Zero Trust setup, which requires users to be authorized, authenticated and continuously validated for them to retain access to apps and data.

    The Sikur One is designed primarily for corporate and government use, with organizations having the ability to control each device in line with their policies. Sikur says the device is compliant with European GDPR and Brazilian LGPD data privacy standards.

    Using a system called Sikur ID, the Sikur One can carry out a password-less authentication token function. The company says that will prevent malware and phishing attacks. The phone can be locked or wiped remotely if it9s lost or stolen. Users can restore data from the cloud on another device.
    Sikur
    Data is encrypted at the source Users won9t be able to install apps from unsecured third-party stores and Sikur One will switch off location services by default. The company will strip out unneeded system applications, while the Sikur One will be up to date with over-the-air patches. The company says that won9t leave "any room for commonly exploited vulnerabilities." There9s no USB file transfer support either.

    The Sikur One uses Sikur Messenger as the standard communication platform, encompassing messaging, file storage, file sharing and voice and video calls. All data is stored in a private cloud.

    Despite the security measures, Sikur CEO Fabio Fischer says the smartphone has "the same usability as a regular device." The Sikur One has access to all apps on the Google Play Store, but the organization in charge of the device can determine what kinds of apps can be downloaded or whether users can install their own apps at all. 

    On the hardware side, the Sikur One has a 6.5-inch screen, an octo-core processor, 4GB of memory and 128GB of onboard storage (which is expandable by up to 512GB using a memory card). It has a 4,000 mAh battery and dual SIM support, as well as 4G, WiFi and Bluetooth connectivity. The device has a triple camera array on the rear and a 3MP front-facing lens. In addition, there9s a fingerprint sensor and support for facial recognition.

    Sikur One builds on the company9s previous handsets, GranitePhone and SikurPhone, which it released in 2015 and 2018, respectively. Although those were also intended for organizations, consumers were still buying the GranitePhone

    Sikur will offer its latest model to the public as well via its sales channel partners. Pricing varies by country, but the Sikur One costs around $274. That covers the cost of the device as well as a one-year license for Sikur Messenger and mobile device management. After the first 12 months, organization will need to pay $145 per user per year for those features.


  • Amazon one-day sale knocks up to 40 percent off Anker chargers and accessories
    You can grab a bunch of Anker accessories from Amazon for up to 40 percent off just for today only. One of the products on sale is the Anker Nano II 30W GAN charger, which is currently listed for its all-time low of $25, down $9 from its usual retail price of $34. The adapter works with the latest iPhones, Samsung Galaxy phones S8 and later, iPads, the Apple Watch, AirPods cases and even the 2020 MacBook Air. It9s much smaller than an original MacBook adapter even though it works with the laptop, because it uses GAN II technology that gives it an efficient way to disperse heat. The technology enables small chargers to operate at faster speeds without overheating. 
    Buy Anker Nano II 30W GaN charger at Amazon - $25
    The Anker 2-in-1 wireless charging stand for the iPhones 12 and 13 is also currently on sale for $34, down $16 from its original price of $50. This magnetic stand can securely prop up an iPhone — vertically or horizontally — while charging it and the AirPods or other earbuds you place on its base. It works with MagSafe cases for the iPhone 13, as well.
    Buy PowerWave Magnetic 2-in-1 charging stand at Amazon - $34
    Another Anker item on sale worth mentioning is its power strip that comes with three outlets, two USB-A ports and one USB-C port. The USB-C port is capable of delivering 30W high-speed charging speeds, while the two USB-A ports can deliver 12W charging. The sale knocks off $14 from the power strip9s usual retail price of $40, so you can get it within the day for $26 only.
    Buy Anker USB C Power Strip at Amazon - $26
    Follow @EngadgetDeals on Twitter for the latest tech deals and buying advice.

    All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.


  • The Morning After: Apple closes education discount loophole
    Apple has finally closed aloophole in the US that allowed most buyers to claim education pricing, even if they weren9t actually a student or a teacher. First noted on Reddit, the US Apple Store now requires buyers to verify their status via UNiDAYS to be able to purchase MacBooks, iPads and other devices from its education portal. The change appears to have happened over the past few days.

    I’m based in the UK, where Apple has long required proof through the UNiDAYS platform to nab that often substantial discount on some of the company’s priciest devices. For legitimate students and teachers, you’ll have to click through to the UNiDAYS9 partner page for Apple first and sign in before you get to those discounts. Not that anyone can go too crazy: shoppers are limited to one desktop, one Mac mini, one laptop, two iPads and two accessories per year. Still, that’s a lot of Macs.

    — Mat Smith


    Anemia could make space travel to Mars a challengeIn space, your body destroys more blood cells than it makes.Tesla driver in fatal California crash first to face felony charges involving AutopilotAutopilot was apparently engaged at the time of the crash.'
    A Tesla owner is facing the first felony charges filed against someone using a partially automated driving system in the US. The defendant, Kevin George Aziz Riad, was driving a Model S when he crashed into a Honda Civic at a California intersection in 2019. It ended up killing the Civic9s two passengers. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recently confirmed the vehicle’s Autopilot mode was switched on at the time of the crash. The NHTSA formally opened a probe into Tesla9s driver assistance system in August last year following a string of 17 people killed in 11 crashes involving parked first responder vehicles.

    AT&T and Verizon finally switch on their C-Band 5G networks
    Verizon expects to hit over 1,700 cities this month, but AT&T9s rollout is more limited.
    '
    After a six-week delay — and no availability near many airports for the time being — people in some areas of the US will have access to C-Band services starting today.

    AT&T is taking a relatively cautious approach to its rollout, with its C-Band 5G services going live in "limited parts" of eight metro areas, including Detroit and Chicago. Folks in three regions in Florida also use AT&T9s C-Band network. Verizon (Engadget9s former parent company) says 100 million more people will gain access to its 5G Ultra Wideband network this month.

    Google is discontinuing its old free G Suite tier on July 1stAffected users will need to move to a paid Workspace plan.'
    First, it was Google Apps, then G Suite and now it’s Workspace. During all those name changes, Google offered new subscription plans while doing away with older ones. It now plans to sunset a tier that had survived the suite’s most recent rebranding.

    In an email spotted by 9to5Google, the company told Workspace administrators it won’t offer G Suite legacy free edition as of July 1st, 2022. This doesn9t necessarily mean you have to start paying for GDocs. If you9re using Gmail, Docs, Sheets and the rest through a free Google account, you won9t be affected by the move. Google will continue to offer free Workspace plans to nonprofits and schools that qualify for its Fundamentals tier.

    Airstream9s concept electric camping trailer propels itself
    The eStream helps tow itself.Limited beta brings Google Play Games to WindowsPlay some big-name Android titles on your PC.
    '
    You can now play Google Play Games on Windows — if you live in the right country. Google has launched registration-based beta access to "popular" Play Games titles on Windows PCs in Hong Kong, South Korea and Taiwan. Google said it would offer details of later betas and expansions "soon." It previously committed to a generic 2022 rollout.

    The Backbone One made cloud gaming on the iPhone feel naturalIt9s an expensive controller, though.Engadget
    Whether it’s Xbox Cloud gaming, Stadia, PlayStation Remote Play or just a very severe addiction to Apple Arcade, gamepads are a better way to play many games on your smartphone. Normally that means using some kind of smartphone clip, but there are several options now that snap directly to your phone. The $100 Backbone One is a single-piece controller that extends to fit your iPhone and plugs directly into it.

    Continue reading.

     

     
    The biggest news stories you might have missed
    Amazon gives its 9Lord of the Rings9 series a redundant name

    Microsoft9s Xbox Elite Wireless Series 2 controller is $40 off again

    I tried Silk9s dairy-inspired Nextmilk and wasn9t fooled

    Apple9s WeWork drama 9WeCrashed9 premieres March 18th

    President Biden signs memo to help improve military cybersecurity

    iRobot9s Roomba 694 is back down to a record low of $179

    GM aims to use hydrogen fuel cells for mobile power generators


  • Crypto.com loses $34 million in hack that affected 483 accounts
    In an interview with Bloomberg TV, Crypto.com9s Chief Executive Kris Marszalek has admitted that 400 customer accounts were compromised by hackers. He said his team detected unauthorized transactions made from the accounts, but that they9d fixed the issue immediately and fully reimbursed the affected users. Now, the company has published a report revealing details from its post mortem. Apparently, 483 accounts were affected and the unauthorized withdrawals totaled 4,836.26 ETH, 443.93 BTC and approximately $66,200 in other currencies. Based on current exchange rates, that9s $15.3 million of ETH and $18.7 million of ETC for a total of $34 million in losses. 
    JUST IN: CEO @cryptocoms Kris Marszalek discusses the site9s recent hack with @BloombergTVs @emilychangtv. "Customer funds were never at risk." #TheYearAheadpic.twitter.com/YlCtGO60t5
    — Bloomberg Live (@BloombergLive) January 19, 2022
    Before the company revealed the scope of the hack in terms of lost funds, blockchain security analytics company PeckShield Inc. said Crypto.com may have lost cryptocurrency worth $15 million. At least 4,600 of the coins lost were Ethereum, and half of them are reportedly being washed — a process that obfuscates a coin9s transaction trail. Meanwhile, Bitcoin research firm OXT Research said the company9s loss might be worth up to $33 million.

    The report explained that the company9s risk monitoring systems detected unauthorized activity a few days ago, wherein transactions were being approved without two-factor authentication for a small number of accounts. As a result, the cryptocurrency exchange paused withdrawals on the evening of January 16th. Indeed, people in the comments on its Twitter announcement revealed that they had funds stolen even if they had 2FA enabled. 

    In another tweet posted on January 17th, Marszalek said that "no customer funds were lost," the company9s infrastructure was down 14 hours and that his team strengthened its security in response to what happened. The report expounded on that last part, revealing that Crypto.com revoked all customer 2FA tokens and implemented additional security measures that required all account users to re-log-in. The company said the move is necessary, because it migrated to a completely new 2FA infrastructure. However, it intends to eventually move away from 2FA and to true Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA).

    Crypto.com has also introduced an additional security measure that requires users to wait 24 hours before they can withdraw to a newly registered whitelisted address. Finally, the company is launching the Worldwide Account Protection Program (WAPP) on February 1st for users who want additional protection for their funds. 

    WAPP can restore up to $250,000 of a participating user9s money in case a third-party gains access to their account. That said, to qualify for the program, users must enable multi-faction authentication on all transaction types and not be using a jailbroken device. To be able to recoup their funds under the program, they must9ve set up an anti-phishing code at least 21 days before an unauthorized transaction, file a police report and provide Crypto.com a copy, as well as complete a questionnaire to support forensic investigation. 


  • Amazon is opening its first physical clothing store
    Amazon is opening its first-ever Amazon Style physical clothing store with the promise of a high-tech shopping experience, confirming a rumor from last year. It will offer brands consumers "know and love," according to Amazon, and an app will let you choose an item, size and color and send it directly to a fitting room or pickup counter. The first store is coming to The Americana at Brand in Los Angeles sometime "later this year," the company said.

    Amazon said it will offer "hundreds of brands" chosen by fashion curators and "feedback provided by millions of customers shopping on Amazon.com." It didn9t specify which, but its online store currently carries products from designers like Oscar de la Renta, Altuzarra and La Perla. However, many luxury and high-end brands have resisted listing goods online with Amazon.

    The stores will offer double the number of styles of traditional stores, while not forcing customers to search manually for the right size or color. Instead, if you see a clothing item you like, you can scan its QR code using the Amazon Shopping App to see sizes, colors, customer ratings and other details. You can then send it to the fitting room or directly to the pickup counter if you don9t need to try it on. As you might expect, it also uses an AI-powered algorithm to recommend more products based on what you9ve already picked. 

    You can open the fitting room door using the app, with all the items you9ve picked inside. Each one offers a touchscreen that lets you continue shopping and request new items to try on without having to leave. They9ll then arrive in "minutes" thanks to tech that Amazon also uses in its fulfillment centers. 

    You can feel free to buy items online that you found in the store, with the same prices in both places. Items can be returned in store, and any item you9ve scanned will be saved in the shopping app so you can revisit it later. 

    Amazon has already opened a number of Fresh grocery stores, along with book stores and even a hair salon. It didn9t say if it would use its cashierless "Just Walk Out" tech found in Fresh and Whole Foods, but it will use the Amazon One palm recognition service for checkout. 


  • Canon's EOS R5C is a hybrid cinema camera with 8K video and 45-megapixel stills
    Canon has revealed the EOS R5C, a new member of its cinema camera line that looks like a good choice for photos, too. It strongly resembles Canon9s EOS R5 mirrorless camera, but has a big hump in back to accommodate an active cooling system. As such, it offers most of the benefits of the EOS R5 with none of the overheating issues when shooting 8K or high frame rate 4K video. 

    On the video side, the EOS R5C can shoot 8K at up to 60fps in Canon9s 12-bit RAW LT format using the entire width of the sensor, a big step up from the 8K 30p RAW available on the R5. Better still, it can work at that setting "indefinitely," while the R5 is limited to just 20 minutes at 8K 30p due to overheating issues. It can also handle RAW 5.9K/60p with a Super 35mm crop, 2.9K/120p with a Super 16 crop, and 4K at up to 120 fps with no crop and full AF capability. 

    It also supports ProRes RAW output to an external recorder via the HDMI port at up to 8K/30P. "Proxy data can also be simultaneously recorded to an SD card in-camera, helping to provide efficient post-production operations," Canon said. Unfortunately, it uses micro HDMI rather than a full-sized port — not ideal for a dedicated cinema camera. 

    Unlike the R5, however, the R5C doesn9t have in-body stabilization — so any optical shake reduction for stills or video will only be available via supported lenses. However, the optical lens stabilization can work in concert with Canon9s electronic stabilization, with a 1.1x image crop.
    Canon
    There9s one other notable limitation. Because the EOS R5C uses the same LP-E6NH batteries as the R5, it doesn9t have enough power to operate the lens mount in certain video modes (8K and 5.9K above 30p and 2.9K Super 16 above 60fps). That means you lose autofocus at those settings on battery power only, though you can get it back by using external power from Canon9s PD-E1 USB power supply or its new DC coupler. 

    On the photography side, the full-frame 45-megapixel sensor is a big plus, as is the 20 fps shooting speed in electronic shutter mode (12 fps with the mechanical shutter). It uses Canon9s Dual Pixel autofocus system for both stills and video, along with eye/face detection and subject tracking, so it should offer the same excellent AF performance as the R5. When you flip the camera over to photo mode, all the menus and button settings change accordingly. 

    It comes with a 3.2-inch variable-angle flip out LCD monitor and 5.76 million-dot viewfinder, the same as the EOS R5. While you get Canon Log 3 for improved dynamic range, the superior Log 2 option found on other Canon cinema cameras isn9t available. Other features include dual card slots (one CFexpress and one SD UHS-II), animal eye detection (cats, dogs, or birds), vehicles detection, a multifunction shoe for microphones and other accessories, a timecode terminal for multi-cam shoots and a DC coupler to provide continuous power.

    The EOS R5C will arrive in March for $4,499, a $600 premium over the R5. It9s a pretty interesting model as it can do more than some Canon cinema camera models for a lot less money and is much smaller, to boot. At the same time, it might give photo/video hybrid shooters serious pause if they9re looking to buy Sony9s $6,500 A1 hybrid


OSnews

  • Google requiring all ‘G Suite legacy free edition’ users to start paying for Workspace this year
    In 2020, G Suite became Google Workspace as part of a mass reorganization of the company’s apps for the “future of work.” Various plans were migrated over, and Google is now finally getting rid of the G Suite legacy free edition. “Google Apps” for businesses and schools were introduced 16 years ago and was discontinued in 2012. However, the company made no significant changes to those free accounts in the past decade, until today. In an email to administrators this morning, Google said it “will now transition all remaining users to an upgraded Google Workspace paid subscription based on your usage.” As such, Workspace’s only free plans are for Nonprofits and Education (Fundamentals). After getting free Gmail, Drive, Docs, and other apps for the past several years, companies/people will need to start paying for those Google services and the ability to use your own custom domain (instead of just gmail.com). OSNews happens to be an organisation that started out using the original Google Apps for Your Domain, and over the years, weve been migrated left, right, and centre through the various iterations and rebrandings of Googles collection of services for organisations. We are one of the accounts that have been grandfathered into the current Google Workspace stuff, but we never had a choice  Google just migrated you. That doesnt sound too bad, until you, as I have done over the past several years, find out that tons of Google services, and specific features of services, are not available to you. The reasoning here is that while Google Apps for Your Domain originally started out a service for individuals, families, and small organisations, it eventually grew into this massive corporate software suite where it perhaps makes sense to limit certain services and features. Because Google originally advertised this collection of services as much for personal accounts as it did for organisational accounts, many people, including myself, never could have anticipated our personal accounts would be forcibly turned into corporate accounts, which come with the aforementioned limitations. I cant set calendar appointments through Google Assistant, for instance, which is annoying since we use Google Home devices. I cannot invite my fiancée to become a member of our household and control our lights and other Google Home devices through her account and phone. I cannot use Google Stadia (not that Id want to, but still). And thats just a small selection. Why dont we just migrate to a regular Google account, you ask? Well, because its not possible. Google offers no way to either change an account from what is now Google Workspace into a personal account, nor does Google offer the ability to migrate all your accounts data, settings, emails, and so on from a Workspace account into a new personal account. Unless we throw everything out the window, or painstakingly move over every tiny bit of data for every single service manually, were going to be stuck. I dont think its unreasonable of Google to ask that we old, grandfathered accounts pay for their services. Thats fine. What is not fine, however, is slowly locking us into stunted, limited accounts, after advertising it as a personal service for years.



  • Microsoft set to purchase Activision Blizzard in $68.7 billion deal
    Microsoft announced plans on Tuesday morning to purchase gaming mega-publisher Activision Blizzard for a record-setting $68.7 billion. When finalized, the acquisition would bring franchises like Call of Duty, Overwatch, Diablo, World of Warcraft, Starcraft, and many more under the umbrella of the Xbox maker. Thats a lot of money for a bunch of games and a ton of sexual harassment claims.


  • DragonFly BSD 6.2 released
    DragonFly version 6.2 is the next step in the 6.x release series. This version has hardware support for type-2 hypervisors with NVMM, an amdgpu driver, the experimental ability to remote-mount HAMMER2 volumes, and many other changes. You can get the new release from the downloads page.


  • Windows 11’s Device Manager finally uses OS path instead of A:
    Microsoft took a while to figure out that the A: assignment is pointless as the era of Floppy drives is now over. This has been fixed in Windows 11 Build 22000 (stable). Starting with Windows 11, Device Manager no longer defaults to A: i.e it doesn’t ask you for a floppy disk for drivers (icon has also been replaced). Device Manager can now automatically detect the OS drive, so you can easily locate the driver package if you extracted the downloaded zip file to a folder on the system drive. Everything about this user experience is terrible, but at least the ditching of A: makes it slightly less terrible. I cant believe were at Windows 11 in 2022, and this UI is still identical to what was first shipped in Windows 95.


  • Debut of X
    Ive spent the last couple weeks writing a window system for the VS100. I stole a fair amount of code from W, surrounded it with an asynchronous rather than a synchronous interface, and called it X. Overall performance appears to be about twice that of W. The code seems fairly solid at this point, although there are still some deficiencies to be fixed up. The original mailing list announcement of the Linux kernel gets regurgitated quite often, but I had never seen the original announcement for X. Fascinating.


  • Hello Mac OS X Tiger
    2005! The future is here! You have just spent $129 for the newest release of Mac OS X: Tiger. You’re amazed by the brand new Spotlight and Safari RSS, you like your new OS so much you want to develop apps for it. You read on Apple’s website about this app “Xcode” that just received the version 2.0 update. That’s it! Time to code! You fire up Safari, go to Yahoo! and start searching for Xcode tutorials, unfortunately, besides a bunch of Geocities websites mentioning “Web 2.0” (or whatever that means), you don’t find much information online on how to create apps for Tiger. Wouldn’t it be nice to find a tutorial to help you to get started? I attended a launch party for Tiger at a third party Apple reseller in Berlin. The good old days  when Apple was fun. Good times.


  • GhostBSD 22.01.12 released
    This new ISO contains fixes, improvements, and software updates. Finally, the installer hanging at the cleaning stage for ZFS installation got fixed, and OpenRC and dhcpcd were removed from the base code. Furthermore, automation configuration for HD 7000 series and older GPUs has been added. I also added the support for os-release to show GhostBSD name and GhostBSD version in applications like mate-system-monitor, python distros, pfetch, and neofetch and added a new set of wallpapers for 2022 and removed p7zip from the default selection since it is vulnerable and unmaintained. GhostBSD is a desktop-oriented FreeBSD distribution, mating Mate with the FreeBSD base system.


  • Exploring System76s new Rust-based desktop environment
    A few months ago, System76 announced that they would be developing a new desktop environment based on the Rust programming language called COSMIC. Their idea is to create a desktop environment that is similar to the one that is currently available for the Pop!_OS operating system, but with a different focus. System76’s objective is to create something that is faster, more customizable, and free of the limitations of the GNOME desktop environment, and let’s face it, we’re all curious how this desktop will look. This post will explore how this new desktop environment is shaping up. Theres not a ton to see here yet, and its clearly very early days. Still, its interesting to see the beginnings.


  • PCIe 6.0 specification published
    PCI Express technology has served as the de facto interconnect of choice for nearly two decades. The PCIe 6.0 specification doubles the bandwidth and power efficiency of the PCIe 5.0 specification (32 GT/s), while providing low latency and reduced bandwidth overhead. Were barely seeing the rollout of PCIe 5.0 begin, and were already moving ahead. Also, who knew the standards organisation for PCIe is headquartered in Beaverton, Oregon, of all places. Although, to be fair, any city that understands and caters to the beautiful, thrilling, and honest sport of curling is a great city. And Im not joking here  curling is exquisite, and quite probably the noblest of sports.


  • Linux 5.16 released
    Linux 5.16 has many new features including the FUTEX2 futex_waitv system call for helping Steam Play (and Wine), memory folios have been mainlined, AMD Ryzen 6000 mobile series support is getting into better shape, Intel Alder Lake S graphics are now considered stable, Intel AMX support for Sapphire Rapids has landed, big AMD Ryzen with Radeon graphics performance improvements, and a wealth of other hardware improvements. And this new kernel release will find its way to your computer soon if youre using either a bleeding edge distribution or manually added a kernel repository with up-to-date kernels (I tend go with xanmod).


  • A data black hole: Europol ordered to delete vast store of personal data
    The EU’s police agency, Europol, will be forced to delete much of a vast store of personal data that it has been found to have amassed unlawfully by the bloc’s data protection watchdog. The unprecedented finding from the European Data Protection Supervisor (EDPS) targets what privacy experts are calling a “big data ark” containing billions of points of information. Sensitive data in the ark has been drawn from crime reports, hacked from encrypted phone services and sampled from asylum seekers never involved in any crime. Sometimes we need to be reminded that authorities illegally amassing huge troves of data on unsuspecting and innocent people is not something that only happens in the US. But it is also worth noticing how in EU we at least have institutions that are trying curb these blind mass surveillance tendencies. If that fight will have measurable effects in the long run is something that we cant foresee.


  • Pluton is not (currently) a threat to software freedom
    At CES this week, Lenovo announced that their new Z-series laptops would ship with AMD processors that incorporate Microsofts Pluton security chip. Theres a fair degree of cynicism around whether Microsoft have the interests of the industry as a whole at heart or not, so unsurprisingly people have voiced concerns about Pluton allowing for platform lock-in and future devices no longer booting non-Windows operating systems. Based on what we currently know, I think those concerns are understandable but misplaced. As usual, Matthew Garrett does an excellent job explaining complex topics like this.


  • My first impressions of web3
    Moxie Marlinspike takes a look at web3!. Despite considering myself a cryptographer, I have not found myself particularly drawn to “crypto.” I don’t think I’ve ever actually said the words “get off my lawn,” but I’m much more likely to click on Pepperidge Farm Remembers flavored memes about how “crypto” used to mean “cryptography” than I am the latest NFT drop. Also – cards on the table here – I don’t share the same generational excitement for moving all aspects of life into an instrumented economy. Even strictly on the technological level, though, I haven’t yet managed to become a believer. So given all of the recent attention into what is now being called web3, I decided to explore some of what has been happening in that space more thoroughly to see what I may be missing. Cryptocurrencies are the MLMs and pyramid schemes for nerdbros. They are a complete waste of effort, hardware, and electricity, and literally do not serve any purpose other than drawing in more unfortunate suckers to broaden the base of the pyramid at the expense of the environment. And NFTs are even worse. There is definitely interesting technology behind these concepts, but for now, theyre being used for scams, pyramid schemes, and MLMs. Don get suckered into this dumpster fire.


  • Simplicity of IRC
    During discussions with my friends and colleagues, whenever the topic of chat protocols comes up, I often remark how simple the Internet Relay Chat (IRC) protocol is and how this simplicity has fostered creativity in the lives of many young computer hobbyists growing up in the late 1990s and early 2000s. For many of us who were introduced to the Internet during that time, writing an IRC bot turned out to be one of our first few non-trivial hobby programming projects that involved network sockets, did something meaningful, and served actual users. Its a big loss we let IRC kind of fall by the wayside as the world moved to things like Slack, Discord, and Teams. It turns out people want features like audio and video chat, emoji, images, videos, and so on  all things a slow-moving, classic standard like IRC will never properly support.



Linux Journal News

  • What’s New in Debian 11 “Bullseye”?
    Image
    Debian is a preferred choice of millions of Linux users for some of the most popular and powerful operating systems, like Ubuntu and its derivatives are based on Debian.
    Debian 11has finally been released, finally, after a long development work of two years. Bullseye – that’s the name given to this latest Debian Linux distro. So what are the updates and upgrades? In this article, let’s check out what’s new in Debian 11.
    Debian 11’s ArchitectureDebian supports a good range of hardware architectures. 
    Supported Architectures
    ARM EABI (armel) ARMv7 (EABI hard-float ABI and armhf) 64-bit ARM (arm64) 32-bit PC (i386) 64-bit PC (amd64) Little-endian MIPS (mipsel) 64-bit little-endian PowerPC 64-bit little-endian MIPS IBM System z (s390x)Not Supported Hardware
    Old MIPS 32-bit CPUsLinux Kernel InformationDebian 11 supports the Linux Kernel 5.10 LTS. Debian 10 Buster, the earlier version to Debian 11, used Linux Kernel 4.19 while released. A newer kernel means a new set of bug fixes, new hardware support, and improved performance.
    This is the perfect kernel for Debian bullseye considering the Debian lifecycle.   
    Supports exFATexFAT is the shortened form of the Extensible File Allocation Table. It’s a filesystem used for flash memory, such as SD cards and USB flash drives.
    Now Debian 11 provides support for the exFAT. For mounting the exFAT filesystem, you don’t need the filesystem-in-userspace implementation provided by the exfat-fuse package additionally anymore. Thanks to kernel 5.10! exFAT comes in handy with it. Tools for checking and creating an exFAT are given in the exfatprogs package.
    Bauhaus Movement Inspired Theme & WallpaperDebian features cool wallpapers and a default theme for each of the major releases. Debian 11’s theme is inspired by the Bauhaus movement. Bauhaus means “building house” and it was an art and design movement from 20th century Germany. The Bauhaus movement revolved around abstract, geometric style featuring little emotion or sentiments. 
    Its modern aesthetic still is immensely influential for designers, architects, and artists. You can see this theme all through Debian 11 whether it’s the installer, login window, or the Grub menu.
    Newer Desktop Environment VersionsDebian 11 offers newer desktop environment versions. Desktop flavors you get here are, KDE Plasma 5.20, GNOME 3.38, LXDE 11, LXQt 0.16, Xfce 4.16, and MATE 1.24. Debian prefers stability and it’s quite clear from the desktop environments. You might not get the latest cutting-edge distributions like Fedora or Arch/Manjaro.
    Updated PackagesDebian 11 consists of more than 11,294 new packages out of 59,551 packages. It also reduced over 9,519 “obsolete” packages and removed 42,821 that were updated. A total of 5,434 packages remained as they were.
    A good number of software applications and package updates are included in Debian bullseye, such as Apache 2.4.48, Calligra 3.2, Emacs 27.1, LibreOffice 7.0, Inkscape 1.0.2, Linux kernel 5.10 series, Perl 5.32, PHP 7.4, Vim 8.2, PostgreSQL 13, and the list goes on. All these ready-to-use software packages are built with over 30,000 source packages.
    With this huge selection of packages and wide architecture support, Debian has always stayed committed to its aim of being The Universal Operating System.
    Improved Printer and Scanner FeaturesDebian 11 presents a new ipp-usb package. It is built with a vendor-neutral IPP-over-USB protocol that is supported by many latest printers. So, many modern-day printers will be supported now by Debian. And you won’t need the drivers for that.
    SANE driverless backend lets you use scanners without any trouble.
    EndnotesWant to try Debian Bullseye? Get it from here. You can also check “bullseye” with Live Images without installing it on your PC. This will load and run the entire OS in read-only mode. These live images are available for the i386 and amd64 architectures in the form of USB sticks, DVDs, and netboot setups. Debian Live has a standard image. So you can try a basic Debian without any GUIs.
    And that’s the ending of this article. Hope you find our Debian 11 guide helpful.
    #Linux Debian News


  • Nvidia Linux drivers causing random hard crashes and now a major security risk still not fixed after 5+ months
    Image The recent fiasco with Nvidia trying to block Hardware Unboxed from future GPU review samples for the content of their review is one example of how they choose to play this game. This hatred is not only shared by reviewers, but also developers and especially Linux users.
    The infamous Torvalds videos still traverse the web today as Nvidia conjures up another evil plan to suck up more of your money and market share. This is not just one off shoot case; oh how much I wish it was. I just want my computer to work.
    If anyone has used Sway-WM with an Nvidia GPU I’m sure they would remember the –my-next-gpu-wont-be-nvidia option.
    These are a few examples of many.
    The Nvidia Linux drivers have never been good but whatever has been happening at Nvidia for the past decade has to stop today. The topic in question today is this bug: [https://forums.developer.nvidia.com/t/bug-report-455-23-04-kernel-panic-due-to-null-pointer-dereference]
    This bug causes hard irrecoverable crashes from driver 440+. This issue is still happening 5+ months later with no end in sight. At first users could work around this by using an older DKMS driver along with a LTS kernel. However today this is no longer possible. Many distributions of Linux are now dropping the old kernels. DKMS cannot build. The users are now FORCED with this “choice”:
    {Use an older driver and risk security implications} or {“use” the new drivers that cause random irrecoverable crashes.}
    This issue is only going to get more and more prevalent as the kernel is a core dependency by definition. This is just another example of the implications of an unsafe older kernel causing issue for users: https://archlinux.org/news/moving-to-zstandard-images-by-default-on-mkinitcpio/
    If you use Linux or care about the implications of a GPU monopoly, consider AMD. Nvidia is already rearing its ugly head and AMD is actually putting up a fight this year.
    #Linux NVIDIA News


  • MuseScore Created New Font in Memory of Original SCORE Program Creator
    Image
    MuseScore represents a free notation software for operating systems such as Windows, macOS and Linux. It is designed and suitable for music teachers, students & both amateur and professional composers. MuseScore is released as FOSS under the GNU GPL license and it’s accompanied by freemium MuseScore.com sheet music catalogue with mobile score viewer, playback app and an online score sharing platform. In 2018, the MuseScore company was acquired by Ultimate Guitar, which included full-time paid developers in the open source team. Since 2019 the MuseScore design team has been led by Martin Keary, known as blogger Tantacrul, who has consistently criticized composer software in connection with design and usability. From that moment on, a qualitative change was set in motion in MuseScore.

    Historically, the engraving quality in MuseScore has not been entirely satisfactory. After the review by Martin Keary, MuseScore product owner (previously known as MuseScore head of design) and Simon Smith, an engraving expert, who has produced multiple detailed reports on the engraving quality of MuseScore 3.5, it has become apparent that some key engraving issues should be resolved immediately.That would have a significant impact on the overall quality of our scores. Therefore, these changes will considerably improve the quality of scores published in the sheet music catalog, MuseScore.com.

    The MuseScore 3.6 was called 'engraving release,' which addressed many of the biggest issues affecting sheet music's layout and appearance and resulted from a massive collaboration between the community and internal team.

     

    Two of the most notable additions in this release are Leland, our new notation font and Edwin, our new typeface.

    Leland is a highly sophisticated notation style created by Martin Keary & Simon Smith. Leland aims to provide a classic notation style that feels 'just right' with a balanced, consistent weight and a finessed appearance that avoids overly stylized quirks.

    The new typeface, Edwin, is based on the New Century Schoolbook, which has long been the typeface of choice by some of the world's leading publishers, explicitly chosen as a complementary companion to Leland. We have also provided new default style settings (margins, line thickness, etc.) to compliment Leland and Edwin, which match conventions used by the world's leading publishing houses.

    “Then there's our new typeface, Edwin, which is an open license version of new Century Schoolbook - long a favourite of professional publishers, like Boosey and Hawkes. But since there is no music written yet, you'll be forgiven for missing the largest change of all: our new notation font: Leland, which is named after Leland Smith, the creator of a now abandoned application called SCORE, which was known for the amazing quality of its engraving. We have spent a lot of time finessing this font to be a world beater.”

    — Martin Keary, product owner of MuseScore

    Equally as important as the new notation style is the new vertical layout system. This is switched on by default for new scores and can be activated on older scores too. It is a tremendous improvement to how staves are vertically arranged and will save the composer’s work hours by significantly reducing his reliance on vertical spacers and manual adjustment.

    MuseScore 3.6 developers also created a system for automatically organizing the instruments on your score to conform with a range of common conventions (orchestral, marching band, etc.). Besides, newly created scores will also be accurately bracketed by default. A user can even specify soloists, which will be arranged and bracketed according to your chosen convention. These three new systems result from a collaboration between Simon Smith and the MuseScore community member, Niek van den Berg.

    MuseScore team has also greatly improved how the software displays the notation fonts: Emmentaler and Bravura, which more accurately match the original designers' intentions and have included a new jazz font called 'Petaluma' designed by Anthony Hughes at Steinberg.

    Lastly, MuseScore has made some beneficial improvements to the export process, including a new dialog containing lots of practical and time-saving settings. This work was implemented by one more community member, Casper Jeukendrup.

    The team's current plans are to improve the engraving capabilities of MuseScore, including substantial overhauls to the horizontal spacing and beaming systems. MuseScore 3.6 may be a massive step, although there is a great deal of work ahead.

    Links

    Official release notes: MuseScore 3.6

    Martin Keary’s video: “How I Designed a Free Music Font for 5 Million Musicians (MuseScore 3.6)”

    Official video: “MuseScore 3.6 - A Massive Engraving Overhaul!”

    Download MuseScore for free: MuseScore.org
    #Linux Music Software FOSS


  • Virtual Machine Startup Shells Closes the Digital Divide One Cloud Computer at a Time
    Image Startup turns devices you probably already own - from smartphones and tablets to smart TVs and game consoles - into full-fledged computers.
    Shells (shells.com), a new entrant in the virtual machine and cloud computing space, is excited to launch their new product which gives new users the freedom to code and create on nearly any device with an internet connection.  Flexibility, ease, and competitive pricing are a focus for Shells which makes it easy for a user to start-up their own virtual cloud computer in minutes.  The company is also offering multiple Linux distros (and continuing to add more offerings) to ensure the user can have the computer that they “want” to have and are most comfortable with.

    The US-based startup Shells turns idle screens, including smart TVs, tablets, older or low-spec laptops, gaming consoles, smartphones, and more, into fully-functioning cloud computers. The company utilizes real computers, with Intel processors and top-of-the-line components, to send processing power into your device of choice. When a user accesses their Shell, they are essentially seeing the screen of the computer being hosted in the cloud - rather than relying on the processing power of the device they’re physically using.

    Shells was designed to run seamlessly on a number of devices that most users likely already own, as long as it can open an internet browser or run one of Shells’ dedicated applications for iOS or Android. Shells are always on and always up to date, ensuring speed and security while avoiding the need to constantly upgrade or buy new hardware.

    Shells offers four tiers (Lite, Basic, Plus, and Pro) catering to casual users and professionals alike. Shells Pro targets the latter, and offers a quad-core virtual CPU, 8GB of RAM, 160GB of storage, and unlimited access and bandwidth which is a great option for software engineers, music producers, video editors, and other digital creatives.

    Using your Shell for testing eliminates the worry associated with tasks or software that could potentially break the development environment on your main computer or laptop. Because Shells are running round the clock, users can compile on any device without overheating - and allow large compile jobs to complete in the background or overnight. Shells also enables snapshots, so a user can revert their system to a previous date or time. In the event of a major error, simply reinstall your operating system in seconds.

    “What Dropbox did for cloud storage, Shells endeavors to accomplish for cloud computing at large,” says CEO Alex Lee. “Shells offers developers a one-stop shop for testing and deployment, on any device that can connect to the web. With the ability to use different operating systems, both Windows and Linux, developers can utilize their favorite IDE on the operating system they need. We also offer the added advantage of being able to utilize just about any device for that preferred IDE, giving devs a level of flexibility previously not available.”

    “Shells is hyper focused on closing the digital divide as it relates to fair and equal access to computers - an issue that has been unfortunately exacerbated by the ongoing pandemic,” Lee continues. “We see Shells as more than just a cloud computing solution - it’s leveling the playing field for anyone interested in coding, regardless of whether they have a high-end computer at home or not.”

    Follow Shells for more information on service availability, new features, and the future of “bring your own device” cloud computing:

    Website: https://www.shells.com

    Twitter: @shellsdotcom

    Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/shellsdotcom

    Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/shellscom
    #virtual-machine #cloud-computing #Shells


  • Ubuntu 20.10 “Groovy Gorilla” Arrives With Linux 5.8, GNOME 3.38, Raspberry Pi 4 Support
    Article Images Image
    Just two days ago, Ubuntu marked the 16th anniversary of its first ever release, Ubuntu 4.10 “Warty Warthog,” which showed Linux could be a more user friendly operating system.

    Back to now, after the six months of development cycle and the release of the current long-term Ubuntu 20.04 “Focal Fossa,” Canonical has announced a new version called Ubuntu 20.10 “Groovy Gorilla” along with its seven official flavor: Kubuntu, Lubuntu, Ubuntu MATE, Ubuntu Kylin, Xubuntu, Ubuntu Budgie, and Ubuntu Studio.

    Ubuntu 20.10 is a short term or non-LTS release, which means it will be supported for 9 months until July 2021. Though v20.10 does not seem a major release, it does come with a lot of exciting and new features. So, let’s see what Ubuntu 20.10 “Groovy Gorilla” has to offer:
    New Features in Ubuntu 20.10 “Groovy Gorilla”

    Ubuntu desktop for Raspberry Pi 4
    Starting with one of the most important enhancements, Ubuntu 20.10 has become the first Ubuntu release to feature desktop images for the Raspberry Pi 4. Yes, you can now download and run Ubuntu 20.10 desktop on your Raspberry Pi models with at least 4GB of RAM.

    Even both Server and Desktop images also support the new Raspberry Pi Compute Module 4. The 20.10 images may still boot on earlier models, but new Desktop images only built for the arm64 architecture and officially only support the Pi 4 variant with 4GB or 8GB RAM.
    Linux Kernel 5.8


    Upgrading the previous Linux kernel 5.4, the latest Ubuntu 20.10 ships the new Linux kernel 5.8, which is dubbed“the biggest release of all time” by Linus Torvalds as it contains the highest number of over 17595 commits.

    So it’s obvious that Linux 5.8 brings numerous updates, new features, and hardware support. For instance, Kernel Event Notification Mechanism, Intel Tiger Lake Thunderbolt support, extended IPv6 Multi-Protocol Label Switching (MPLS) support, Inline Encryption hardware support, Thunderbolt support for Intel Tiger Lake and non-x86 systems, and initial support for booting POWER10 processors.
    GNOME 3.38 Desktop Environment


    Another key change that Ubuntu 20.10 includes is the latest version of GNOME desktop environment, which enhances the visual appearance, performance, and user experience of Ubuntu.

    One of my favorite features that GNOME 3.38 introduces is a much-needed separate “Restart” button in the System menu.



    Among other enhancements, GNOME 3.38 also includes:
    Better multi-monitor support Revamped GNOME Screenshot app Customizable App Grid with no “Frequent Apps” tab Battery percentage indicator New Welcome Tour app written in Rust Core GNOME apps improvementsShare Wi-Fi hotspot Via QR Code


    If you’re the person who wants to share the system’s Internet with other devices wirelessly, this feature of sharing Wi-Fi hotspot through QR code will definitely please you.

    Thanks to GNOME 3.38, you can now turn your Linux system into a portable Wi-Fi hotspot by sharing QR code with the devices like laptops, tablets, and mobiles.
    Add events in GNOME Calendar app


    Forget to remember the events? A pre-installed GNOME Calendar app now lets you add new events (birthday, meetings, reminders, releases), which displays in the message tray. Instead of adding new events manually, you can also sync your events from Google, Microsoft, or Nextcloud calendars after adding online accounts from the settings.
    Active Directory Support


    In the Ubiquity installer, Ubuntu 20.10 has also added an optional feature to enable Active Directory (AD) integration. If you check the option, you’ll be directed to configure the AD by giving information about the domain, administrator, and password.


    Tools and Software upgrade


    Ubuntu 20.10 also features the updated tools, software, and subsystems to their new versions. This includes:
    glibc 2.32, GCC 10, LLVM 11 OpenJDK 11 rustc 1.41 Python 3.8.6, Ruby 2.7.0, PHP 7.4.9 perl 5.30 golang 1.13 Firefox 81 LibreOffice 7.0.2 Thunderbird 78.3.2 BlueZ 5.55 NetworkManager 1.26.2Other enhancements to Ubuntu 20.10:Nftables replaces iptables as default backend for the firewall Better support for fingerprint login Cloud images with KVM kernels boot without an initramfs by default Snap pre-seeding optimizations for boot time improvements
    A full release notes of Ubuntu 20.10 is also available to read right from here.
    How To Download Or Upgrade To Ubuntu 20.10
    If you’re looking for a fresh installation of Ubuntu 20.10, download the ISO image available for several platforms such as Desktop, Server, Cloud, and IoT.

    But if you’re already using the previous version of Ubuntu, you can also easily upgrade your system to the Ubuntu 20.10. For upgrading, you must be using Ubuntu 20.04 LTS as you cannot directly reach 20.10 from 19.10, 19.04, 18.10, 18.04, 17.04, or 16.04. You should first hop on to v20.04 and then to the latest v20.10.

    As Ubuntu 20.10 is a non-LTS version and by design, Ubuntu only notifies a new LTS release, you need to upgrade manually by either choosing a GUI method using the built-in Software Updater tool or a command line method using the terminal.

    For command line method, open terminal and run the following commands:

    sudo apt update && sudo apt upgrade

    sudo do-release-upgrade -d -m desktop

    Or else, if you’re not a terminal-centric person, here’s an official upgrade guide using a GUI Software Updater.

    Enjoy Groovy Gorilla!
    Ubuntu Groovy Gorilla GNOME GNOME 3.0 Raspberry Pi kernel


  • Linux Mint 20.1 “Ulyssa” Will Arrive In Mid-December With Chromium, WebApp Manager
    Article Images Image
    As the Linux Mint team is progressing to release the first point version of Linux Mint 20 series, its founder and project leader Clement Lefebvre has finally revealed the codename for Linux Mint 20.1 as “Ulyssa”. He has also announced that Mint 20.1 will most probably arrive in mid-December (just before Christmas).

    Until you wait for its beta release to test Linux Mint 20.1, Clement has also shared some great news regarding the new updates and features that you’ll get in Mint 20.1.

    First, packaging of open source Chromium web browser and its updates directly through the official Mint repositories. As the team noticed delays between the official release and the version available in Linux distros, it has now decided to set up their own packaging and build Chromium package based on upstream code, along with some patches from Debian and Ubuntu as well.

    As a result, the first test build of Chromium is available to download from here.

    In last month's blog, the Mint team introduced a new WebApp Manager, inspired by Peppermint OS and its SSB (Site Specific Browser) application manager, ICE. It is a WebApp management system that will debut in Linux Mint 20.1 to turn a website into a standalone desktop application.

    However, the Debian package of WebApp Manager v1.0.5 is now available to download, which comes with UI improvements, bug fixes and better translations for languages.

     

     

    Another feature that you’ll be thrilled to see in Linux Mint 20.1 is the hardware video acceleration enabled by default in the Celluloid video player. Obviously, hardware-accelerated players will bring smoother playback, better performance and reduced CPU usage.

     

     

    Besides the confirmed features, the Linux Mint team is also looking for feedback on a side-project by Stephen Collins, “Sticky notes.” It is a note-taking app, which is still in Alpha stage. But if all goes well, who knows, you’ll see Sticky notes app in the upcoming Linux Mint.

     

     

    The Linux Mint team has also asked for opinion on IPTV (Internet Protocol Television). If you use M3U IPTV on your phone, tablet or smart TV, you can let them know. The team seems interested to develop an IPTV solution for Linux desktop as a side project if the audience is small or turn it into an official Linux Mint project, if demand is good enough.
    Linux Mint


  • Newest IPFire Release Includes Security Fixes and Additional Hardware Support (IPFire 2.25 - Core Update 147)
    Image
    Michael Tremer, maintainer of the IPFire project, announced IPFire 2.25 Core Update 147 today. This is the newest IPFire release since Core Update 146 on June 29th.

    IPFire 2.25 Core Update 147 includes some important security updates including a newer version of Squid web proxy that has patched recent vulnerabilities.

    Beyond security updates, IPFire 2.25 Core Update 147 adds support for additional hardware, as well as enhancing support for existing hardware because the new release ships with version 20200519 of the Linux firmware package.

    IPFire 2.25 Core Update 147 also rectified a recurring issue relating to forwarding GRE connections.

    In addition, the update improved IPFire on AWS configurations.

    IPFire 2.25 Core Update 147 includes these updated packages: bind 9.11.20, dhcpcd 9.1.2, GnuTLS 3.6.14, gmp 6.2.0, iproute2 5.7.0, libassuan 2.5.3, libgcrypt 1.8.5, libgpg-error 1.38, OpenSSH 8.3p1, squidguard 1.6.0.

    You can download IPFire 2.25 Core Update 147 here.
    Releases





Linux Magazine News (path: lmi_news)




  • Elementary OS 6.1 Has Been Released
    The .1 version of the sixth iteration of elementary OS (named Odin) is now available for download and takes the distribution to new heights of refinement.



  • EndeavorOS 21.4 Has Arrived
    Arch-based EndeavorOS 21.4 is finally available for download with plenty of new features and improvements.






  • Hetzner Opens New Location in the USA
    The Hetzner cost-effective Cloud solution has arrived in the United States to offer cloud servers that offer solid performance without a high price.








  • GNOME 41 Has Arrived
    The latest version of the GNOME desktop environment has been released with new functionality and plenty of improvements.




Page last modified on December 02, 2021, at 08:49 PM