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LinuxSecurity - Security Advisories

  • Debian LTS: DLA-2527-1: snapd security update>
    golang-go.crypto was recently updated with a fix for CVE-2019-11840. This in turn requires all packages that use the affected code to be recompiled in order to pick up the security fix.


  • Fedora 33: glibc 2021-6feb090c97>
    - x86: Check IFUNC definition in unrelocated executable [BZ #20019] - x86: Set header.feature_1 in TCB for always-on CET [BZ #27177] - Update for [BZ #27130] fix - x86-64: Avoid rep movsb with short distance [BZ #27130] - Fix for CVE-2019-25013 buffer overrun in EUC-KR conversion module (bz #24973) - tests-mcheck: New variable to run tests with MALLOC_CHECK_=3 - iconv:





  • Mageia 2021-0043: caribou security update>
    An issue in caribou, that was exposed by a CVE fix in X.org server, permits a screensaver-lock bypass. It is possible to crash the screensaver and unlock the desktop via the virtual keyboard. References:


LWN.net

  • Kernel prepatch 5.11-rc4
    The 5.11-rc4 kernel prepatch is outfor testing. "Things continue to look fairly normal for this release:5.11-rc4 is solidly average in size, and nothing particularly scary standsout."


  • Stenberg: Food on the table while giving away code
    Daniel Stenberg writesabout getting paid to work on curl — 21 years after starting theproject. "I ran curl as a spare time project for decades. Over theyears it became more and more common that users who submitted bug reportsor asked for help about things were actually doing that during their paidwork hours because they used curl in a commercial surrounding – whichsometimes made the situation almost absurd. The ones who actually got paidto work with curl were asking the unpaid developers to help themout."


  • Security updates for Friday
    Security updates have been issued by Debian (flatpak, ruby-redcarpet, and wavpack), Fedora (dia, mingw-openjpeg2, and openjpeg2), Mageia (awstats, bison, cairo, kernel, kernel-linus, krb5, nvidia-current, nvidia390, php, and thunderbird), openSUSE (cobbler, firefox, kernel, libzypp, zypper, nodejs10, nodejs12, and nodejs14), Scientific Linux (thunderbird), Slackware (wavpack), SUSE (kernel, nodejs8, open-iscsi, openldap2, php7, php72, php74, slurm_20_02, and thunderbird), and Ubuntu (ampache and linux, linux-hwe, linux-hwe-5.4, linux-hwe-5.8, linux-lts-xenial).


  • [$] Fast commits for ext4
    The Linux 5.10 release included a changethat is expected to significantly increase the performance of the ext4filesystem; it goes by the name "fast commits" and introduces a new,lighter-weight journaling method. Let us look into how the feature works, whocan benefit from it, and when its use may be appropriate.


  • [$] MAINTAINERS truth and fiction
    Since the release of the 5.5 kernel in January 2020, there have been almost87,000 patches from just short of 4,600 developers merged into the mainlinerepository. Reviewing all of those patches would be a tall order for eventhe most prolific of kernel developers, so decisions on patch acceptanceare delegated to a long list of subsystem maintainers, each of whom takespartial or full responsibility for a specific portion of the kernel. Thesemaintainers are documented in a file called, surprisingly, MAINTAINERS.But the MAINTAINERS file, too, must be maintained; how well doesit reflect reality?


  • Wine 6.0 released
    Version 6.0 of the WineWindows not-an-emulator has been released. "This release isdedicated to the memory of Ken Thomases, who passed away just beforeChristmas at the age of 51. Ken was an incredibly brilliant developer, andthe mastermind behind the macOS support in Wine. We all miss his skills,his patience, and his dark sense of humor." Significant featuresinclude core modules built as PE executables, an experimental Direct3Drenderer, DirectShow support, a new text console, and more.


  • Security updates for Thursday
    Security updates have been issued by Fedora (adplug, audacious-plugins, cpu-x, kernel, kernel-headers, ocp, php, and python-lxml), openSUSE (crmsh, firefox, and hawk2), Oracle (thunderbird), Red Hat (kernel-rt), SUSE (kernel and rubygem-archive-tar-minitar), and Ubuntu (openvswitch and tar).



  • [$] A license change for Nmap
    It may be kind of an obvious statement, but licensing terms matter in ourcommunities. Even a misplaced word or three can be fatal for a license,which is part of the motivation for the efforts to reduce licenseproliferation in free-software projects. Over the last few months, variousdistribution projects have been discussing changes made to the license forthe Nmap network scanner; those changesseemed to be adding restrictions that would make the software non-free, thoughthat was not the intent. But the incident does serve to show the importance oflicense clarity.


  • The Default Router (Tedium)
    Tedium is running ahistory of the Linksys WRT54G router. "But the reason the WRT54Gseries has held on for so long, despite using a wireless protocol that waseffectively made obsolete 12 years ago, might come down to a feature thatwas initially undocumented—a feature that got through amid all thecomplications of a big merger. Intentionally or not, the WRT54G was hidingsomething fundamental on the router’s firmware: Software based onLinux."



LXer Linux News



  • How to use KDEs productivity suite, Kontact
    In prior years, this annual series covered individual apps. This year, we are looking at all-in-one solutions in addition to strategies to help in 2021. Welcome to day 6 of 21 Days of Productivity in 2021.



  • How to Install ELK stack on Ubuntu 20.04
    The ELK stack is an acronym of three popular open-source projects: Elasticsearch, Logstash, and Kibana. It is an open-source and one of the most popular log management platform that collects, processes, sem and visualizes data from multiple data sources. It is mainly used for log analysis in IT environments. It is very helpful for a system administrator to search and analyze a large volume of data to make real-time decisions-all the time.





  • Python PIP Complete guide
    Python is a trendy programming language that comes with tons of libraries and modules. To install these libraries, you can install them using their wheel file or use any library manager.PIP is a python library that stands for PHP Install Packages or Preferred Installer Program that helps you install, remove, and upgrade all other libraries without reinventing wheel files every time when you install new packages.Today, we guide you on using PIP to install, reinstall, remove, and manage all other libraries with this single library.




Slashdot

  • 7% of Americans Have Had Covid-19
    CNN reports:  According to Johns Hopkins University's tally of cases in the United States, there have been at least 23,754,315 cases of coronavirus in the U.S., and at least 395,785 deaths. On Saturday, Johns Hopkins reported 198,218 new cases and 3,286 new deaths...   On Friday, the CDC said new more contagious variants of the coronavirus will likely accelerate the spread of the virus and that means the US must double down on efforts to protect people.   The U.S. Census Bureau calculates the country's entire population is 330,827,996 people. These figures suggest 7.18% of the American population has now experienced the disease — more than 1 out of every 14 Americans.
          

    Read more of this story at Slashdot.


  • Virgin Orbit Just Successfully Launched a 70-Foot Rocket From Its 747
    CNN reports:  A 70-foot rocket, riding beneath the wing of a retrofitted Boeing 747 aircraft, detached from the plane and fired itself into Earth's orbit on Sunday — marking the first successful launch for the California-based rocket startup Virgin Orbit.   Virgin Orbit's 747, nicknamed Cosmic Girl, took off from California around 10:30 am PT with the rocket, called LauncherOne, nestled beneath the plane's left wing. The aircraft flew out over the Pacific Ocean before the rocket was released, freeing LauncherOne and allowing it to power up its rocket motor and propel itself to more than 17,000 miles per hour, fast enough to begin orbiting the Earth... The rocket flew a group of tiny satellites on behalf of NASA's Educational Launch of Nanosatellites, or ELaNa, program, which allows high school and college students to design and assemble small satellites that NASA then pays to launch into space... About four hours after takeoff on Saturday, Virgin Orbit confirmed in a tweet that all the satellites were "successfully deployed into our target orbit."  The successful mission makes Virgin Orbit only the third so-called "New Space" company — startups hoping to overhaul the traditional industry with innovative technologies — to reach orbit, after SpaceX and Rocket Lab. The success also paves the way for Virgin Orbit to begin launching satellites for a host of customers that it already has lined up, including NASA, the military and private-sector companies that use satellites for commercial purposes.   Virgin Orbit shared a 57-second video on Twitter showing the moment their rocket was released and then launched, saying the event went exactly as planned.   "To say we're thrilled would be a massive understatement, but 240 characters couldn't do it justice anyway."
          

    Read more of this story at Slashdot.


  • Amazon Begins Removing QAnon Goods For Sale
    Long-time Slashdot reader AmiMoJo quotes the Washington Post:  Amazon said it will remove merchandise related to QAnon, a discredited conspiracy theory that the FBI has identified as a potential domestic terrorist threat, just a day after the e-commerce giant suspended the pro-Trump social media site Parler from using its cloud computing technology.   Amazon is beginning to remove QAnon products from its site, a process that could take a few days, spokeswoman Cecilia Fan said Monday afternoon following inquiries from The Washington Post and other media outlets. Third-party merchants that attempt to evade Amazon's systems to list QAnon goods may find their selling privileges revoked, Fan added.
          

    Read more of this story at Slashdot.


  • Twitter Temporarily Suspends Account of US Representative
    CNN reports:  Twitter on Sunday temporarily suspended the account of Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene for repeated violations of new rules the social media platform put in place following the violent U.S. Capitol riot earlier this month, a company spokesperson told CNN.   "The account referenced has been temporarily locked out for multiple violations of our civic integrity policy," the spokesperson said. As a result, the congresswoman will be locked out of her account for 12 hours.  CNN also notes that Greene is a QAnon supporter, and that during her 12-hour suspension she'd complained that conservative Americans "shouldn't have to fear being cancelled by American corporations where they work, do business, and use services.   "They shouldn't be scared into submission by Socialists who want to end their way of life."
          

    Read more of this story at Slashdot.


  • Report: US Halts Huawei's Suppliers, Including Intel, in Last Blow to China's 5G
    "The Trump administration notified Huawei suppliers, including chipmaker Intel, that it is revoking certain licenses to sell to the Chinese company and intends to reject dozens of other applications," Reuters reports, citing sources familiar with the matter:  One of the sources said eight licenses were yanked from four companies. Japanese flash memory chip maker Kioxia Corp had at least one license revoked, two of the sources said. The company, formerly known as Toshiba Memory Corp, could not immediately be reached for comment... Companies that received the "intent to deny" notices have 20 days to respond, and the Commerce Department has 45 days to advise the companies of any change in a decision or it then becomes final. Companies would then have another 45 days to appeal...   Before the latest action, some 150 licenses were pending for $120 billion worth of goods and technology, which had been held up because various U.S. agencies could not agree on whether they should be granted, a person familiar with the matter said. Another $280 billion of licenses for goods and technology for Huawei still have not been dealt with, the source said, but now face a higher likelihood of denial... The United States made the latest decisions during a half dozen meetings starting on Jan. 4 with senior officials from the departments of Commerce, State, Defense and Energy, the source said. The officials developed detailed guidance with regard to which technologies were capable of 5G, and then applied that standard, the person said.   By doing that, the officials denied the vast majority of the roughly 150 disputed applications, and revoked the eight licenses to make those consistent with the new denials, the source said.
          

    Read more of this story at Slashdot.


  • Florida's Whistleblower Covid-19 Data Manager Arrested Today
    The state of Florida's former Covid-19 data manager was apparently arrested today.   After her firing in May of 2020, Rebekah Jones had become a critic of the state's publicly-available information, even setting up her own online dashboard of Covid-19 case data. The state suspected her of being the person who'd illegally accessed the state's emergency alert health system in December to urge Health Department employees to speak up about the coronavirus, and state police obtained a warrant for a raid on her home during which they'd seized her computers and cellphones.   Jones later called the raid a "sham" to retaliate against her for not altering the state's COVID-19 data. This weekend on Twitter, Jones emphasized that the police found zero evidence during their raid to connect her to that message. She also argues that the newer allegation "was issued the day after a Tallahassee judge told police that if they're not investigating a crime, they had to return my equipment."   During that raid "police did find documents I received/downloaded from sources in the state, or something of that nature..." Jones posted Saturday. "[I]t isn't clear at this point what exactly they're saying I had that I shouldn't have had, but an agent confirmed it has nothing to do with the subject of the warrant."   The Tampa Bay Times reports: Jones announced Saturday on Twitter that she learned of the warrant and plans to turn herself in on Sunday. The Florida Department of Law Enforcement confirmed there is a warrant for Jones' arrest but said it cannot disclose what charges she faces until she is in custody.  Agency spokesman Gretl Plessinger said in an email to the Tampa Bay Times that "agents have been working with her attorney to have her turn herself in..."   Jones said she and her attorney were not told what she's being prosecuted for, just that she faces one criminal charge...   "The agent told my lawyer there would be only one charge," Jones tweeted on Saturday, "but emphasized that speaking out or going to the media may result in police 'stacking' additional charges."
          

    Read more of this story at Slashdot.


  • Is There a Tech Worker 'Exodus' From the San Francisco Bay Area?
    The New York Times reports on an "exodus" of tech workers from the San Francisco Bay Area, where "Rent was astronomical. Taxes were high. Your neighbors didn't like you" — and your commute could be over an hour.  The biggest tech companies aren't going anywhere, and tech stocks are still soaring... But the migration from the Bay Area appears real. Residential rents in San Francisco are down 27% from a year ago, and the office vacancy rate has spiked to 16.7%, a number not seen in a decade. Though prices had dropped only slightly, Zillow reported more homes for sale in San Francisco than a year ago. For more than a month last year, 90% of the searches involving San Francisco on moveBuddha were for people moving out...   There are 33,000 members in the Facebook group Leaving California and 51,000 in its sister group, Life After California. People post pictures of moving trucks and links to Zillow listings in new cities.   They've apparently scattered across the country — even to tropical islands like Puerto Rico and Costa Rica  They fled to more affordable places like Georgia. They fled to states without income taxes like Texas and Florida... The No. 1 pick for people leaving San Francisco is Austin, Texas, with other winners including Seattle, New York and Chicago, according to moveBuddha, a site that compiles data on moving. Some cities have set up recruiting programs to lure them to new homes.  The Times also notes "there is a very vocal Miami faction, led by a few venture capital influencers, trying to tweet the city's startup world into existence," as other cities begin to realize that "the talent and money of newly remote tech workers are up for grabs."  Topeka, Kansas, started Choose Topeka, which will reimburse new workers $10,000 for the first year of rent or $15,000 if they buy a home. Tulsa, Oklahoma, will pay you $10,000 to move there. The nation of Estonia has a new residency program just for digital nomads. A program in Savannah, Georgia, will reimburse remote workers $2,000 for the move there, and the city has created various social activities to introduce the newcomers to one another and to locals...   But the article also points out that "More money was made faster in the Bay Area by fewer people than at any other time in American history," and speculates on what long-time residents may be thinking:  People who distrusted the young newcomers from the start will say this change is a good thing. Hasn't this steep growth in wealth and population in a tiny geography always seemed unsustainable? These tech workers came like a whirlwind. Virtually every community from San Jose in the south to Marin County in the north has fought the rise of new housing for the arrivals of the last decade. Maybe spreading the tech talent around America is smart.   Locals have also seen this play before. Moving trucks come to take a generation of tech ambition away, and a few years later moving trucks return with new dreamers and new ambitions.
          

    Read more of this story at Slashdot.


  • Anti-Mask Protesters Proudly Filmed Their Confrontation With a Grocery Store's Manager
    Nine days ago America set a record: nearly 290,000 new Covid-19 cases within 24 hours. according to figures from Johns Hopkins University.   Four days later, anti-mask protesters in Oregon filmed their confrontation with employees at a Trader Joe's grocery store who wouldn't let them enter the store unless they were wearing a mask. Their 8-minute video has since been viewed over 325,000 times. The Oregonian newspaper reports:  As other masked customers enter the store, the manager repeats that the protesters are welcome to shop too, as long as they wear masks. He says he is more than willing to talk to the group but isn't interested in debating policy. Trader Joe's nationwide policy requires customers to wear masks in stores.   "We're not demonstrating, we're buying groceries," a protester says. "That's why I'm here." The manager says he is enforcing the store's mask mandate. "It's not a law. You cannot enforce non-law," a protester says. "You cannot deny somebody the right to commerce." The store manager appears to offer to shop for the protesters and bring out what they want.   Amid growing shouting, a woman says: "I need to buy groceries. I don't know what I want until I go in and see it. The Civil Rights Act protects me to go in and shop like everybody else."   Legal experts have told USA Today that the 1964 Civil Rights Act does not give people the right to shop without a mask.  The manager patiently explains to the protesters that "The difference you guys are trying to make isn't going to made with us. It can made with your government."  But soon one protester starts amplifying their voice with a bullhorn, while another continues filming the grocery store's employees — zooming in on their name tags — and threatening, "I'm sorry that you're not going to be able to let anyone else in, because we're standing here."  Another protester says "Right, that's pretty much the only resolution. It's either we get to shop, like free American citizens, right? Without being forced into wearing this mask, right...?"  They don't appear to follow through on their threat to blockade entry into the store, but the manager continues talking to them throughout the video. And at one point he says calmly that "It's disheartening that we can't have any conversations any more... It's really disheartening.   "It's disheartening that people can't just talk to one another."
          

    Read more of this story at Slashdot.


  • Darkened SpaceX Satellites Can Still Disrupt Astronomy, New Research Suggests
    "SpaceX's attempt to reduce the reflectivity of Starlink satellites is working, but not to the degree required by astronomers," reports Gizmodo: Starlink satellites with an anti-reflective coating are half as bright as the standard version, according to research published in The Astrophysical Journal. It's an improvement, but still not good enough, according to the team, led by astronomer Takashi Horiuchi from the National Astronomical Observatory in Japan. These "DarkSats," as they're called, also continue to cause problems at other wavelengths of light [and] were included in a batch of satellites launched by SpaceX on January 7, 2020. The new study aimed to evaluate the effectiveness of that dark coating...   The scientists found that the "albedo of DarkSat is about a half of that of STARLINK-1113," as they wrote in their paper. That's a decent improvement in the visual spectrum, but still not great. What's more, problems persist at other wavelengths. "The darkening paint on DarkSat certainly halves reflection of sunlight compared to the ordinary Starlink satellites, but [the constellation's] negative impact on astronomical observations still remains," Horiuchi told Physics World. He said the mitigating effect is "good in the UV/optical region" of the spectrum, but "the black coating raises the surface temperature of DarkSat and affects intermediate infrared observations."   A third version of Starlink is supposed to be even dimmer. Called "VisorSats," they feature a sun visor that will "dim the satellites once they reach their operational altitude," according to Sky and Telescope. SpaceX launched some VisorSats last year, but the degree to which their albedo is lessened compared to the original version is still not known, or if these versions will exhibit elevated surface temperatures.   Horiuchi told Physics World that SpaceX should seriously consider lifting the altitude of the Starlink constellation to further reduce the brightness of these objects. .  The article ends with a quote from an astronomer at Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics and an expert on satellites. He'd told Gizmodo's reporter back in January of 2020 that "SpaceX is making a good-faith effort to fix the problem," and that he believes the company "can get the satellites fainter than what the naked eye can see."
          

    Read more of this story at Slashdot.


  • Signal Back After 24 Hours of Outages Caused by Surging Traffic
    "After experiencing technical difficulties Friday, the Signal messaging app appears to be back up and running," reports the Verge:  The company tweeted Saturday night that it was "back," although added that some users may still see error messages in their chats. The company didn't explain what caused the outage.    For users still seeing error messages in their chats — which the company said was a "side effect" of the outage that began around 11:30AM ET Friday — Signal tweeted that those messages do not affect security, rather that you may have missed a message from another user. This will be fixed in the next app updates, the company said...   During the outage, the Signal tweeted that it was "working as quickly as possible to bring additional capacity online to handle peak traffic levels."   A headline at Android Authority suggests a theory about what caused the outage: "Mass exodus from WhatsApp causes Signal servers to buckle under pressure."   "Although we aren't certain why this specific outage occurred," they write, "Signal has made it clear that it is seeing a huge influx of new users. The surge in adoption is due in no small part to people running away from WhatsApp after that Facebook-owned service updated its privacy policy."
          

    Read more of this story at Slashdot.


The Register






  • Xiaomi hit by US sanctions: Can't list on stock exchanges and investors can't invest
    Parting shot by Trump – but 'bi-partisan' push against China will continue, says analyst
    With five days left before the inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden, the Trump administration has delivered a parting blow to China's tech industry by designating Xiaomi as a "Communist Chinese military company" and placing it on a financial ban list.…







Linux.com offline for now

Phoronix




  • Gentoo Saw Total Commits Rise By 42% In 2020, Great Progress On Wayland
    The pandemic didn't adversely impact the Gentoo Linux project's operations with seeing the overall number of commits grow by nearly 42% last year within the Gentoo repository. Gentoo also saw commits from 333 unique authors in 2020, up from 333 the year prior. Plus they've made other improvements too for this technical-minded Linux distribution too during 2020...




  • GCC's Profile Guided Optimization Performance With The Ryzen 9 5950X
    Given the talk in prior days around patches for PGO'ing the Linux kernel and some readers not being familiar with Profile Guided Optimizations by code compilers, here are some fresh benchmarks on a Ryzen 9 5950X looking at the benefits of applying PGO optimizations to various benchmarks...



  • Mesa's Lima Driver Finally Implements OpenGL Shader Cache Support
    While Mesa's Panfrost Gallium3D driver has been working out well for modern ARM Mali open-source graphics support, for the old Mali 400/450 series hardware there still is the "Lima" driver within Mesa that doesn't receive too much attention these days (just around 70 commits over the past year) but as its first work of 2021 saw an initial shader cache implementation...




Engadget"Engadget"

  • Homebrew Labo kit gives you a full-body 'Mario Kart' workout

    Do you feel like your body is going to waste when you play has built a concept Labo Fit Adventure Kart Kit that gives you a full workout while you race. You have to not only steer and squeeze a Ring-Con, but pedal a cardboard-clad bike above a certain speed if you want to keep moving. You won’t win unless you’re committed to your cardio, in other words.

    The kit is built around a TAPBO “robot” that presses Joy-Con buttons when it gets signals from both the Ring-Con and the bike. A sensor on the bike determines when your speed climbs above the necessary threshold.

    Other games will technically work, although you’re obviously at a disadvantage when the module will only press a handful of buttons.

    This won’t be a production device, unfortunately — you’ll just have to hop on a stationary bike with your Switch in hand if you want some Mario Kart-themed exercise. Choi stressed that he’d been using the homebrew Labo kit for over a month, though, and he hoped it would show how the Switch could be used as a fitness tool.


  • 'Hitman 3' owners won't have to buy earlier games to play their maps

    IO Interactive’s plans to let promised that PC gamers who own Hitman or Hitman 2 won’t have to purchase those games another time just to access their earlier material in the new assassin title. It outlined in a guide that it was “continuing to work on a solution” that would allow importing locations for free, but didn’t say when it would be ready beyond sometime in the “coming weeks.”

    There’s a solution in the meantime. IO said it would make the Hitman 1 GOTY Access Pass (to transfer content to the new game) available for free to all PC customers who either pre-order Hitman 3 on the Epic Games Store or buy it within the first 10 days. Anyone who owns the original Hitman on EGS will get a free GOTY Access Pass when they buy the third game, too. You won’t be quite so lucky with Hitman 2, but both the Standard and Gold Access Passes will be available at 80 percent discounts for two weeks after Hitman 3’s launch.

    It’s not a perfect solution. While console gamers will get to import content for free, there’s a chance you’ll still pay some money on PC. Still, this might be relieving if you were worried you might have to re-buy older games just to enjoy the continuity IO said you’d get.

    An important update to our @HITMAN 3 Pre-launch guide: https://t.co/Buj596UQnE pic.twitter.com/UVpNAQGdVm
    — IO Interactive (@IOInteractive) January 17, 2021


  • Virgin Orbit carries satellites to space for the first time (update: deployed)

    Virgin Orbit’s second launch demonstration flight has been smoother than its first. The company has carried customer satellites into space for the first time after the Cosmic Girl host aircraft successfully deployed the LauncherOne rocket over the Pacific Ocean for its latest test. The payload included nine missions from NASA and several universities, most of which were launching cubesats and other tiny orbiters.

    LauncherOne had yet to release the satellites as of this writing, but Virgin said it had successfully crossed into space and entered orbit. The first demo ended abruptly after LauncherOne failed to ignite.

    It’s a major milestone. NASA is backing this as part of its Venture Class Launch Services program meant to explore new (and hopefully lower-priced) methods of bringing payloads to space. While Virgin still has a way to go before it’s regularly offering its services, the success could reduce the costs of fielding satellites and provide an alternative when smaller straight-to-space rockets aren’t an option.

    According to telemetry, LauncherOne has reached orbit! Everyone on the team who is not in mission control right now is going absolutely bonkers. Even the folks on comms are trying really hard not to sound too excited.
    — Virgin Orbit (@Virgin_Orbit) January 17, 2021
    Update 1/17/2021 6:50PM ET: LauncherOne successfully released the satellites into low Earth orbit.


  • Audi and BMW shut down car subscription programs

    More car subscription services are running into trouble. According to Autoblog, Automotive News has learned that Audi and BMW are respectively ending and pausing their services. Audi is winding down its Select program on January 31st with no mention of a revival, while the Nashville-only Access by BMW is closing as the automaker develops the “next iteration” of the service.

    The two brands haven’t elaborated on their decisions. When Mercedes-Benz shuttered Collection, however, it cited mediocre demand and complaints about the hassles of switching personal items between vehicles. While it wasn’t mentioned at the time, the COVID-19 pandemic hasn’t helped matters. People are commuting less if at all, and may be more interested in saving money than the flexibility of swapping cars.

    Subscription ervices like Volvo Care are still going, although it’s not certain how well they’re faring.

    There may be a slight revival. Automotive News claims Cadillac is testing a resurrected Book service with dealers, although it would arrive a year after the brand’s hoped-for early 2020 revival. However, the overall market appears to be contracting — for now, at least, the subscription strategy hasn’t panned out as expected.


  • Signal recovers from a day-long service outage

    Signal has learned first-hand that there really can be too much of a good thing. As Android Police reports, Signal has recovered from an outage that plagued the secure chat service for over a day. Messaging and even sign-ins became unreliable as the company dealt with an influx of WhatsApp users worried that platform’s new privacy policy would compromise their data. “Expanded capacity” helped deal with the surge, Signal said.

    The company warned that the outage might have led to some residual errors, such as missed messages. Future app updates should solve these automatically.

    It’s not certain just how many users Signal added in recent days, but Apptopia couldn’t read messages. However, the damage was already done — many were convinced WhatsApp would share chats with its parent, Facebook.

    Signal’s outage and extended recovery suggest that demand is still strong. It’s certainly a nice problem to have for a relatively small service — the company had 20 million active users as of December, while WhatsApp had over 2 billion total users last February. The question is whether or not Signal can take advantage of that momentum after the uproar is over.

    Signal is back! Like an underdog going through a training montage, we’ve learned a lot since yesterday — and we did it together. Thanks to the millions of new Signal users around the world for your patience. Your capacity for understanding inspired us while we expanded capacity. pic.twitter.com/cRNV8kVtdF
    — Signal (@signalapp) January 17, 2021


  • Asics used EEGs to prove that, yes, running makes you happier

    It’s taken as read that exercise can make you happier, healthier and more resilient, at least if you actually enjoy running. Asics, with an eye on selling you a new pair of sneakers, recruited a researcher from Kings College London to put some numbers on those claims. Dr. Brendan Stubbs’ work explores the relationship between mental health and physical wellbeing, something Asics itself loves to talk about.

    Stubbs’ project used a portable EEG from Emotiv which can be worn while moving around strapped to three elite athletes and six “everyday athletes.” That term denotes amateurs who exercise for at least 150 minutes a week but are still otherwise pretty fit folks. Each participant wore the headset at rest to develop a baseline while undergoing cognitive tests, and then exercised for 20 minutes before the tests were re-run.

    The figures presented are pretty staggering, with an 18 percent increase in participants ability to relax, a 28 percent drop in rash decision making and a 29 percent improvement in stress resilience. Stubbs said that these numbers come from the EEG scans rather than self-reported by the test subjects. 

    He added that the EEGs also revealed a 58 percent reduction in the signs of cognitive stress, the symptoms of which are anxiety, forgetfulness and disorganization. The data also points to a 26 percent increase in the speed at which people’s brains process data, and a 21 percent improvement in memory. 

    Beyond the statistics, Stubbs’ research found that, for us normals, the mental health benefits of exercise were greater than for the pros. He told Engadget that he suspects that since professionals had already “mastered” their sport, they had to do less brain work while in motion. In addition, he found that runners who ran in groups saw better results than those who ran in isolation, something he wants to explore further.

    Stubbs told Engadget that he’s looking forward to clarifying these results with more research and will look to see if there is an ideal workout that will help boost people’s mental health. He also wants to examine if there’s a difference between the psychological boost offered to these amateur athletes versus folks who aren’t getting the recommended minimum amount of exercise in a week. 

    Asics is using the research as part of its plan to encourage people to get out and exercise while we’re all sheltering in place. It’s launched the Move With The Sun Challenge, where runners encourage their friends to get out and hit the sidewalks either using RunKeeper or, you know, by buying some new sneakers. 


  • Facebook and Google allegedly cut a deal that reduced ad competition

    The antitrust cases against Facebook and Google might have some additional fuel. The New York Times says it has obtained documents from Texas’ antitrust lawsuit elaborating on a “sweetheart deal” (first mentioned by the Wall Street Journal) Google gave to Facebook in 2018, allegedly reducing ad competition. Nicknamed “Jedi Blue,” it reportedly gave Facebook favors in ad header bidding, where sites could solicit ad space bids from multiple exchanges at once, in return for backing Google’s Open Bidding approach to selling those ads.

    The terms gave Facebook inherent advantages, according to the Times. Facebook had more time to bid for ads, direct billing deals with the sites hosting the ads, and help from Google to understand ad audiences. As part of the agreement, Facebook said it would bid on at least 90 percent of ad auctions when it could identify users, and promised minimum spending levels up to $500 million per year. It also asked Google to avoid using bid info to skew ad auctions in its favor.

    Other Google ad partners didn’t get nearly as sweet a bargain, according to partners talking to the newspaper. Texas’ complaint effectively accused Google of guaranteeing a set number of ad wins for Facebook and putting rivals at a disadvantage.

    Facebook and Google have already rejected notions Jedi Blue was anti-competitive. A Facebook spokesperson claimed that deals like that with Google “help increase competition” in ad bids, and that arguments to the contrary were “baseless.” A Google spokesperson, meanwhile, said that Texas’ lawsuit “misrepresents” the deal and other aspects of its ad business. The search firm has published a blog post outlining its objections.

    That won’t necessarily sway regulators, though, and there are even suggestions the two tech giants were conscious of the potential for scrutiny. A clause in the deal required that the two “cooperate and assist” if there was an investigation into their practices, and the agreement mentioned “antitrust” at least 20 times. Don’t be surprised if Texas, other states and the DOJ use Jedi Blue to justify regulatory action against Facebook and Google, no matter how much the companies believe they’re in the right.


  • After Math: Tesla recalls, Steam streams and COVID checks

    As tech journalists (as well as their laptop fans) begin to recover and recuperate from the first all-digital CES, let’s take a quick look at some other headlights from this past week.
    chameleonseye via Getty Images NHTSA wants Tesla to recall 158,000 Tegra 3-equipped vehicles
    If you bought a Model S between 2012 and 2018 or a Model X between 2016 and 2018, you’ll want to get in touch with your local Tesla dealership sooner rather than later. Turns out that Tesla’s sold during that period used NVIDIA Tegra 3 chips in their central displays. Problem is, those chips have a habit of wearing out when overwritten too many times, leaving the screen blank and unresponsive. According to the NHTSA, 158,000 Teslas are susceptible to the fault and is encouraging the company to issue a formal recall.
    hatchapong via Getty Images Visa abandons $5.3 billion acquisition after DOJ objections
    Visa will not be “going plaid” after all, the company announced last week. Following objections raised by the Department of Justice (not to mention a legal suit), the credit card company called off its proposed $5.3 billion merger with fintech startup, Plaid. The company claims it likely could have won the suit had it proceeded, but doing so would have led to years of litigation that Visa was not willing to spend.
    gorodenkoff via Getty Images Gamers spent a lot more time playing on Steam in 2020
    It’s no secret that the COVID pandemic has kept millions of people in their homes and in front of their screens since last March but the amount of time we’ve spent gaming during that time will make your jaw drop. According to Valve, hours spent playing on its Steam service jumped from 20.8 billion in 2019 to 31.3 billion last year — that’s a 50 percent year-over-year increase!
    Pawel Kopczynski / reuters NASA says 2020 tied 2016 for the warmest year on record
    You’d think that the Earth not setting yet another high temperature mark last year — only tying the record set in 2016 — would at least be sliver of silver lining in what is otherwise humanity’s increasingly bleak environmental news. But that’s only until you learn that the depressed temperatures were due to Australia’s massive 46 million acre wildfires and a deadly global pandemic that has already killed millions of people.
    Michael Loccisano/Getty Images Instacart tries to encourage COVID-19 vaccinations with a $25 stipend
    Now that the long-awaited COVID vaccine is finally becoming available for people under the age of 75, getting it into the arms of essential and gig workers is of paramount importance. To that end Instacart has announced that it will issue $25 vaccination stipends to its shoppers so that they won’t have to choose between working an order and getting the lifesaving jab.


  • Razer's BlackWidow Elite keyboard drops to an all-time low $70 at Best Buy

    You might not have to spend a small fortune if you crave a mechanical gaming keyboard. Best Buy is selling Razer’s BlackWidow Elite wired keyboard with Green switchesfor just $70, well under the regular $130. Amazon is selling it for the same price, too. That’s an all-time low price for the keyboard, which has dropped to $85 multiple times in the past. It’s only $10 more than Razer’s entry-level, membrane-based Cynosa v2 — easily worth the extra spend if you prefer a clicky mechanical design.

    Buy Razer BlackWidow Elite at Best Buy - $70 Buy Razer BlackWidow Elite at Amazon - $70

    The BlackWidow Elite’s Green switches promise both fast response times and stability when you’re in the middle of a fast-paced gaming session. This is a sprawling 108-key unit, too, with a programmable dial, three equally customizable media keys and a palm rest. And of course, there’s Chroma RGB lighting to complement your gaming rig.

    This won’t appeal to everyone. Compact keyboard fans will want to head elsewhere, of course, while the Green switches are louder and more tactile than their Yellow counterparts. The Elite also isn’t Razer’s most advanced keyboard (you’ll want to look at options like the BlackWidow V3 Pro for that). Still, it’s a solid pick if you prefer mechanicals and don’t want to make many compromises.

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


  • Bird's skid detection helps catch reckless scooter riders

    Don’t even think of using a Bird rental scooter for a wild ride. The company has revealed a Skid Detection feature that, as the name implies, watches for moments when an e-scooter goes sideways. If there’s a pattern of skidding Bird can attribute to excessive brake use and other irresponsible riding, it’ll send warning messages and even ban some users from rentals.

    Skids due to simple tire wear will prompt an inspection, Bird said.

    The alerts promise to boost safety for both riders and neighborhoods. It’ll increase the chances your next ride has healthy brakes and tires, and should discourage joyriders who might hurt others.

    The company isn’t alone in detecting scooter abuse. Lime uses accelerometer and speed info tell when you’re riding on the sidewalk, for instance. Unlike its rival, though, Bird is using Skid Detection for enforcement. That might not sit well if you dislike the thought of a scooter service judging your rides, even though there isn’t someone constantly watching your performance. However, Bird is clearly betting that more customers will feel at ease knowing that fewer rogue riders are on the streets.


OSnews

  • FreeBSD quarterly status report for Q4 2020
    This quarter had quite a lot of work done, including but certainly not limited to, in areas relating to everything from multiple architectures such as x86, aarch64, riscv, and ppc64 for both base and ports, over kernel changes such as vectored aio, routing lookups and multipathing, an alternative random(4) implementation, zstd integration for kernel dumps, log compression, zfs and preparations for pkg(8), along with wifi changes, changes to the toolchain like the new elfctl utility, and all the way to big changes like the git migration and moving the documentation from DocBook to Hugo/AsciiDoctor, as well as many other things too numerous to mention in an introduction. The best way to keep up with FreeBSD development from an outsiders perspective. FreeBSD is on my radar for the UltraSPARC server-as-a-workstation project  a reader has donated a SunFire V245 thats currently in shipping to me  so Im trying to be a bit more in tune than I usually am with the world of FreeBSD.


  • Exploring swap on FreeBSD
    On modern Unix-like systems such as FreeBSD, “swapping” refers to the activity of paging out the contents of memory to a disk and then paging it back in on demand. The page-out activity occurs in response to a lack of free memory in the system: the kernel tries to identify pages of memory that probably will not be accessed in the near future, and copies their contents to a disk for safekeeping until they are needed again. When an application attempts to access memory that has been swapped out, it blocks while the kernel fetches that saved memory from the swap disk, and then resumes execution as if nothing had happened. In 2021, cheap SSDs have become commonplace and have performance characteristics much better suited to swapping, so it seems worthwhile to revisit how swapping works in FreeBSD, and try to provide some insight into frequently raised issues. Some light reading for the weekend.


  • Genodes roadmap for 2021
    Herein, we lay out our plans for evolving Genode. Progress in addition to this planning will very much depend on the degree of community support the project will receive. The Challenges page collects some of our ideas to advance Genode in various further directions. The road map is not fixed. If there is commercial interest of pushing the Genode technology to a certain direction, we are willing to revisit our plans. This is a very detailed roadmap, but as clearly mentioned in the opening paragraphs, this is not set in stone, and things may change. Most of the planned focus seems to be on vastly improving support for ARM, for instance by working on bringing Genode to the PinePhone. They also want to streamline and improve the process for porting Linux device drivers to Genode, which should help in increasing hardware support.


  • WhatsApp delays privacy changes following backlash
    The WhatsApp messaging service announced on Friday that it would delay changes to new business features after people around the world criticized the new policy. The Facebook-owned company said it is going to do a lot more to clear up misinformation around how privacy and security works on WhatsApp.! Privacy rights activists heavily criticized the WhatsApp changes, saying it was the latest step showing Facebooks poor handling of user data. The real issue was a far larger than expected exodus of users to services like Signal and Telegram. I doubt Facebook will actually make any meaningful changes  instead, well see a different tone or wording.


  • Windows 10X is now Microsoft’s true answer to Chrome OS
    After years of waiting, it looks like Microsoft now has a true answer to Chrome OS. A new and near-final version of Windows 10X has leaked, and it offers a first look at the changes Microsoft has made to the upcoming operating system to get it ready for laptops. Windows 10X first started off life as a variant of Windows 10 designed for dual-screen devices. It was supposed to launch alongside Microsoft’s Surface Neo, a tablet-like device with two separate nine-inch displays that fold out to a full 13-inch workspace. Microsoft revealed last year that Windows 10X is now being reworked for “single-screen” devices like laptops, and Surface Neo has been delayed. While the company has spent years differentiating Windows 10X for foldable and dual-screen hardware, it now looks and feels more like Chrome OS than ever before. This is literally Chrome OS. It looks, feels, and tastes like Chrome OS  and of course, thats the point. It also points to what we can expect from regular Windows over the coming years.


  • A week with Plan 9
    I spent the first week of 2021 learning an OS called Plan 9 from Bell Labs. This is a fringe operating system, long abandoned by its original authors. Its also responsible for a great deal of inspiration elsewhere. If you’ve used the Go language, /proc, UTF-8 or Docker, you’ve used Plan 9-designed features. This issue dives into operating system internals and some moderately hard computer science topics. Sounds like an excellent article for us!


  • Wine 6.0 released
    Among the many highlights for Wine 6.0 are core modules now being implemented in Portable Executable (PE) format, the initial (experimental) Vulkan back-end for WineD3D as an alternative to OpenGL, DirectShow and Media Foundation support, and a redesign of their text console implementation. Wine is such an integral part of my computing life now, due to Proton and Valve.


  • Theseus: experimental OS written from scratch in Rust
    Theseus is a new OS written from scratch in Rust to experiment with novel OS structure, better state management, and how to shift OS responsibilities like resource management into the compiler. We are continually working to improve the OS, including its fault recovery abilities for higher system availability without redundancy, as well as easier and more arbitrary live evolution and runtime flexbility. Though still an incomplete prototype, we envision that Theseus will be useful for high-end embedded systems or edge datacenter environments. See our published papers for more information about Theseuss design principles and implementation philosophy, as well as our goal to avoid the phenomenon of state spill or mitigate its effects as much as possible. Also, see Theseuss documentation for more. Definitely an experimental operating system, and it joins the many other Rust-based operating systems projects out there.


  • Intel is replacing its CEO next month
    Intel CEO Bob Swan is stepping down from the position on February 15th, the company has announced. He will be replaced by VMware CEO Pat Gelsinger. Swan was named Intel’s permanent CEO two years ago in January 2019. He initially took on the role on an interim basis in June 2018 following the resignation of Intel’s previous CEO Brian Krzanich. They need a Lisa Su.


  • WRT54G history: the router that accidentally went open source
    In a world where our routers look more and more like upside-down spiders than things you would like to have in your living room, there are only a handful of routers that may be considered “famous.” Steve Jobs’ efforts to sell AirPort—most famously by using a hula hoop during a product demo—definitely deserve notice in this category, and the mesh routers made by the Amazon-owned Eero probably fit in this category as well. But a certain Linksys router, despite being nearly 20 years old at this point, takes the cake—and it’s all because of a feature that initially went undocumented that proved extremely popular with a specific user base. Today’s Tedium talks about the blue-and-black icon of wireless access, the Linksys WRT54G. This is the wireless router that showed the world what a wireless router could do. Ive often pondered tinkering with this, but Im terrible with anything related to networking  it seems like its a weird world of technology that exists on its own separate plane, disconnected from everything else. Networking is obtuse, and as long as our home network is functioning, Im not touching it.



Linux Journal - The Original Magazine of the Linux Community

  • 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                   


  • An Introduction to Linux Gaming thanks to ProtonDB
        by Zachary Renz    Video Games On Linux?   In this article, the newest compatibility feature for gaming will be introduced and explained for all you dedicated video game fanatics. 
    Valve releases its new compatibility feature to innovate Linux gaming, included with its own community of play testers and reviewers.
    In recent years we have made leaps and strides on making Linux and Unix systems more accessible for everyone. Now we come to a commonly asked question, can we play games on Linux? Well, of course! And almost, let me explain. 
    Proton compatibility layer for Steam client   With the rising popularity of Linux systems, valve is going ahead of the crowd yet again with proton for their steam client (computer program that runs your purchased games from Steam). Proton is a variant of Wine and DXVK that lets Microsoft Games run on Linux operating systems. Proton is backed by Valve itself and can easily be added to any steam account for Linux gaming, through an integration called "Steam Play." 
    Lately, there has been a lot of controversy as Microsoft is rumored to someday release its own app store and disable downloading software online. In response, many companies and software developers are pressured to find a new "haven" to share content with the internet. Proton might be Valve's response to this and is working to make more of its games accessible to Linux users. 
    Activating Proton with Steam Play   Proton is integrated into the Steam Client with "Steam Play." To activate proton, go into your steam client and click on Steam in the upper right corner. Then click on settings to open a new window.
    Steam Client's settings window 
    From here, click on the Steam Play button at the bottom of the panel. Click "Enable Steam Play for Supported Titles." After, it will ask you to restart steam, click yes and you are ready to play after the restart.
    Your computer will now play all of steam's whitelisted games seamlessly. But, if you would like to try other games that are not guaranteed to work on Linux, then click "Enable Steam Play for All Other Titles."
    What Happens if a Game has Issues?  Don't worry, this can and will happen for games that are not in Steam's whitelisted games archive. But, there is help for you online on steam and in proton's growing community. Be patient and don't give up! There will always be a solution out there.
        Go to Full Article          


  • How To Use GUI LVM Tools
        by Ares Lee   
    The LVM is a powerful storage management module which is included in all the distributions of Linux now. It provides users with a variety of valuable features to fit different requirements. The management tools that come with LVM are based on the command line interface, which is very powerful and suitable for automated/batch operations. But LVM's operations and configuration are quite complex because of its own complexity. So many software companies including Red Hat have launched some GUI-based LVM tools to help users manage LVM more easily. Let’s review them here to see the similarities and differences between individual tools.
    system-config-lvm (alternate name LVM GUI)
    Provider: Red Hat

    The system-config-lvm is the first GUI LVM tool which was originally released as part of Red Hat Linux. It is also called LVM GUI because it is the first one. Later, Red Hat also created an installation package for it. So system-config-lvm is able to be used in other Linux distributions. The installation package includes RPM packages and DEB packages.



    The main panel of system-config-lvm

    The system-config-lvm only supports lvm-related operations. Its user interface is divided into three parts. The left part is tree view of disk devices and LVM devices (VGs); the middle part is the main view which shows VG usage, divided into LV and PV columns.

    There are zoom in/zoom out buttons in the main view to control display ratio, but it is not enough for displaying complex LVM information.The right part displays details of the selected related objects (PV/LV/VG).

    The different versions of system-config-lvm are not completely consistent in the organized way of devices. Some of them show both LVM devices and non-lvm devices (disk), the others show LVM devices only. I have tried two versions, one shows LVM devices existing in the system, namely PV/VG/LV only, no other devices; The other can display non-lvm disks and PV can be removed in disk view.



    The version which shows non-lvm disks
    Supported operations
    PV Operations
    Delete PV  Migrate PV 
    VG Operations
    Create VG  Append PV to VG/Remove PV from VG  Delete VG (Delete last PV in VG) 
    LV Operations
        Go to Full Article          


  • Boost Up Productivity in Bash - Tips and Tricks
        by Antonio Riso    Introduction
    When spending most of your day around bash shell, it is not uncommon to waste time typing the same commands over and over again. This is pretty close to the definition of insanity.

    Luckily, bash gives us several ways to avoid repetition and increase productivity.

    Today, we will explore the tools we can leverage to optimize what I love to call “shell time”.
    Aliases
    Bash aliases are one of the methods to define custom or override default commands.

    You can consider an alias as a “shortcut” to your desired command with options included.

    Many popular Linux distributions come with a set of predefined aliases.

    Let’s see the default aliases of Ubuntu 20.04, to do so simply type “alias” and press [ENTER].



    By simply issuing the command “l”, behind the scenes, bash will execute “ls -CF”.

    It's as simple as that.

    This is definitely nice, but what if we could specify our own aliases for the most used commands?! The answer is, of course we can!

    One of the commands I use extremely often is “cd ..” to change the working directory to the parent folder. I have spent so much time hitting the same keys…

    One day I decided it was enough and I set up an alias!

    To create a new alias type “alias ” the alias name, in my case I have chosen “..” followed by “=” and finally the command we want an alias for enclosed in single quotes.

    Here is an example below.


    Functions
    Sometimes you will have the need to automate a complex command, perhaps accept arguments as input. Under these constraints, aliases will not be enough to accomplish your goal, but no worries. There is always a way out!

    Functions give you the ability to create complex custom commands which can be called directly from the terminal like any other command.

    For instance, there are two consecutive actions I do all the time, creating a folder and then cd into it. To avoid the hassle of typing “mkdir newfolder” and then “cd newfolder” i have create a bash function called “mkcd” which takes the name of the folder to be created as argument, create the folder and cd into it.

    To declare a new function, we need to type the function name “mkcd ” follower by “()” and our complex command enclosed in curly brackets “{ mkdir -vp "$@" && cd "$@"; }”
        Go to Full Article          


  • Case Study: Success of Pardus GNU/Linux Migration
        by Huseyin GUC   
    Eyüpsultan Municipality decided to use an open source operating system in desktop computers in 2015.

    The most important goal of the project was to ensure information security and reduce foreign dependency.

    As a result of the research and analyzes prepared, a detailed migration plan was prepared.

    As a first step, licensed office software installed on all computers has been removed. LibreOffice software was installed instead.

    Later, LibreOffice training was given to the municipal staff.



    Meanwhile, preparations were made for the operating system migration.

    Instead of the existing licensed operating system, Turkey's developed Pardus GNU / Linux distribution was decided to use.

    Applications on the Pardus GNU / linux operating system were examined in detail and unnecessary applications were removed.

    And a new ISO file was created with the applications used in Eyüpsultan municipality.

    This process automated the setup steps and reduced setup time.

    While the project continued at full speed, the staff were again trained on LibreOffice and Pardus GNU / linux.

    After their training, the users took the exam.

    The Pardus GNU / Linux operating system was installed on the computers of the successful ones.

    Those who failed were retrained and took the exam again.

    As of 2016, 25% of a computer's operating system migration was completed.
    Immigration Project Implementation Steps  Analysis
    A detailed inventory of all software and hardware products used in the institution was created. The analysis should go down to the department, unit and personnel details.

    It should be evaluated whether extra costs will arise in the migration project.
    Planning
    Migration plan should be prepared, migration targets should be determined.

    The duration of the migration should be calculated and the team that will carry out the migration should be determined.
    Production
    You can use an existing Linux distribution.

    Or you can customize the distribution you will use according to your own preferences.

    Making a customized ISO file will give you speed and flexibility.

    It also helps you compensate for the loss of time caused by incorrect entries.
    Test
    Start using the ISO file you have prepared in a lab environment consisting of the hardware you use.

    Look for solutions, noting any problems encountered during and after installation.
        Go to Full Article          


  • BPF For Observability: Getting Started Quickly
        by Kevin Dankwardt    How and Why for BPF
    BPF is a powerful component in the Linux kernel and the tools that make use of it are vastly varied and numerous. In this article we examine the general usefulness of BPF and guide you on a path towards taking advantage of BPF’s utility and power. One aspect of BPF, like many technologies, is that at first blush it can appear overwhelming. We seek to remove that feeling and to get you started.
    What is BPF?
    BPF is the name, and no longer an acronym, but it was originally Berkeley Packet Filter and then eBPF for Extended BPF, and now just BPF. BPF is a kernel and user-space observability scheme for Linux.

    A description is that BPF is a verified-to-be-safe, fast to switch-to, mechanism, for running code in Linux kernel space to react to events such as function calls, function returns, and trace points in kernel or user space.

    To use BPF one runs a program that is translated to instructions that will be run in kernel space. Those instructions may be interpreted or translated to native instructions. For most users it doesn’t matter the exact nature.

    While in the kernel, the BPF code can perform actions for events, like, create stack traces, count the events or collect counts into buckets for histograms.

    Through this BPF programs provide both fast and immensely powerful and flexible means for deep observability of what is going on in the Linux kernel or in user space. Observability into user space from kernel space is possible, of course, because the kernel can control and observe code executing in user mode.

    Running BPF programs amounts to having a user program make BPF system calls which are checked for appropriate privileges and verified to execute within limits. For example, in the Linux kernel version 5.4.44, the BPF system call checks for privilege with:
     if (sysctl_unprivileged_bpf_disabled && !capable(CAP_SYS_ADMIN))  return -EPERM;
    The BPF system call checks for a sysctl controlled value and for a capability. The sysctl variable can be set to one with the command
     sysctl kernel.unprivileged_bpf_disabled=1
    but to set it to zero you must reboot and make sure to not have your system configured to set it to one at boot time.

    Because BPF is doing the work in kernel space significant time and overhead is saved avoiding context switches and by not necessitating transferring large amounts of data back to user space.

    Not all kernel functions can be traced. For example if you were to try funccount-bpfcc '*_copy_to_user' you may get output like:
     cannot attach kprobe, Invalid argument  Failed to attach BPF program b'trace_count_3' to kprobe  b'_copy_to_user'
    This is kind of mysterious. If you check the output from dmesg you would see something like:
        Go to Full Article          


  • A Linux Survey For Beginners
        by John Duchek   
    So you have decided to give the Linux operating system a try. You have heard it is a good stable operating system with lots of free software and you are ready to give it a shot. It is downloadable for free, so you get on the net and search for a copy, and you are in for a shock. Because there isn’t one “Linux”, there are many. Now you feel like a deer in the headlights. You want to make a wise choice, but have no idea where to start. Unfortunately, this is where a lot new Linux users give up. It is just too confusing.

    The many versions of Linux are often referred to as “flavors” or distributions. Imagine yourself in an ice cream shop displaying 30+ flavors. They all look delicious, but it’s hard to pick one and try it. You may find yourself confused by the many choices but you can be sure you will leave with something delicious. Picking a Linux flavor should be viewed in the same way.

    As with ice cream lovers, Linux users have their favorites, so you will hear people profess which is the “best”. Of course, the best is the one that you conclude, will fit your needs. That might not be the first one you try. According to linuxquestions.org there are currently 481 distributions, but you don’t need to consider every one. The same source lists these distributions as “popular”: Ubuntu, Fedora, Linux Mint, OpenSUSE, PCLinuxOS, Debian, Mageia, Slackware, CentOS, Puppy, Arch. Personally I have only tried about five of these and I have been a Linux user for more than 20 years. Today, I mostly use Fedora.

    Many of these also have derivatives that are made for special purpose uses. For example, Fedora lists special releases for Astronomy, Comp Neuro, Design Suite, Games, Jam, Python Classroom, Security Lab, Robotics Suite. All of these are still Fedora, but the installation includes a large quantity of programs for the specific purpose. Often a particular set of uses can spawn a whole new distribution with a new name. If you have a special interest, you can still install the general one (Workstation) and update later.

    Very likely one of these systems will suit you. Even within these there are subtypes and “windows treatments” to customize your operating system. Gnome, Xfce, LXDE, and so on are different windows treatments available in all of the Linux flavors. Some try to look like MS windows, some try to look like a Mac. Some try to be original, light weight, graphically awesome. But that is best left for another article. You are running Linux no matter which of those you choose. If you don’t like the one you choose, you can try another without losing anything. You also need to know that some of these distributions are related, so that can help simplify your choice.

     
        Go to Full Article          


  • Terminal Vitality
        by George F Rice   
    Ever since Douglas Engelbart flipped over a trackball and discovered a mouse, our interactions with computers have shifted from linguistics to hieroglyphics. That is, instead of typing commands at a prompt in what we now call a Command Line Interface (CLI), we click little icons and drag them to other little icons to guide our machines to perform the tasks we desire. 

    Apple led the way to commercialization of this concept we now call the Graphical User Interface (GUI), replacing its pioneering and mostly keyboard-driven Apple // microcomputer with the original GUI-only Macintosh. After quickly responding with an almost unusable Windows 1.0 release, Microsoft piled on in later versions with the Start menu and push button toolbars that together solidified mouse-driven operating systems as the default interface for the rest of us. Linux, along with its inspiration Unix, had long championed many users running many programs simultaneously through an insanely powerful CLI. It thus joined the GUI party late with its likewise insanely powerful yet famously insecure X-Windows framework and the many GUIs such as KDE and Gnome that it eventually supported.

    GUI Linux

    But for many years the primary role for X-Windows on Linux was gratifyingly appropriate given its name - to manage a swarm of xterm windows, each running a CLI. It's not that Linux is in any way incompatible with the Windows / Icon / Mouse / Pointer style of program interaction - the acronym this time being left as an exercise for the discerning reader. It's that we like to get things done. And in many fields where the progeny of Charles Babbage's original Analytic Engine are useful, directing the tasks we desire is often much faster through linguistics than by clicking and dragging icons.

     
    A tiling window manager makes xterm overload more manageable
     

    A GUI certainly made organizing many terminal sessions more visual on Linux, although not necessarily more practical. During one stint of my lengthy engineering career, I was building much software using dozens of computers across a network, and discovered the charms and challenges of managing them all through Gnu's screen tool. Not only could a single terminal or xterm contain many command line sessions from many computers across the network, but I could also disconnect from them all as they went about their work, drive home, and reconnect to see how the work was progressing. This was quite remarkable in the early 1990s, when Windows 2 and Mac OS 6 ruled the world. It's rather remarkable even today.

    Bashing GUIs
        Go to Full Article          


  • Building A Dashcam With The Raspberry Pi Zero W
        by Ramon Persaud   
    I've been playing around with the Raspberry Pi Zero W lately and having so much fun on the command line. For those uninitiated it's a tiny Arm computer running Raspbian, a derivative of Debian. It has a 1 GHz processor that had the ability to be overclocked and 512 MB of RAM, in addition to wireless g and bluetooth.



    A few weeks ago I built a garage door opener with video and accessible via the net. I wanted to do something a bit different and settled on a dashcam for my brother-in-law's SUV.

    I wanted the camera and Pi Zero W mounted on the dashboard and to be removed with ease. On boot it should autostart the RamDashCam (RDC) and there should also be 4 desktop scripts dashcam.sh, startdashcam.sh, stopdashcam.sh, shutdownshutdown.sh. Also create and a folder named video on the Desktop for the older video files. I also needed a way to power the RDC when there is no power to the vehicle's usb ports. Lastly I wanted it's data accessible on the local LAN when the vehicle is at home.

    Here is the parts list:
    Raspberry Pi Zero W kit (I got mine from Vilros.com)  Raspberry Pi official camera  Micro SD card, at least 32 gigs  A 3d printed case from thingverse.com  Portable charger, usually used to charge cell phones and tablets on the go  Command strips, it's like double sided tape that's easy to remove or velcro strips 
     

    First I flashed the SD card with Raspbian, powered it up and followed the setup menu. I also set a static IP address.

    Now to the fun stuff. Lets create a service so we can start and stop RDC via systemd. Using your favorite editor, navigate to "/etc/systemd/system/" and create "dashcam.service"  and add the following:
     [Unit] Description=dashcam service After=network.target StartLimitIntervalSec=0  [Service] Type=forking Restart=on-failure RestartSec=1 User=pi WorkingDirectory=/home/pi/Desktop ExecStart=/bin/bash /home/pi/Desktop/startdashcam.sh  [Install] WantedBy=multi-user.target 
     

    Now that's complete lets enable the service, run the following: sudo systemctl enable dashcam

    I added these scripts to start and stop RDC on the Desktop so my brother-in-law doesn't have to mess around in the menus or command line. Remember to "chmod +x" these 4 scripts.

     

    startdashcam.sh
     #!/bin/bash  # remove files older than 3 days find /home/pi/Desktopvideo -type f -iname '*.flv' -mtime +3 -exec rm {} \;  # start dashcam service sudo systemctl start dashcam 
     

    stopdashcam.sh
        Go to Full Article          


  • SeaGL - Seattle GNU/Linux Conference Happening This Weekend!
        by Webmaster   
    This Friday, November 13th and Saturday, November 14th, from 9am to 4pm PST the 8th annual SeaGL will be held virtually. This year features four keynotes, and a mix of talks on FOSS tech, community and history. SeaGL is absolutely free to attend and is being run with free software!

    Additionally, we are hosting a pre-event career expo on Thursday, November 12th from 1pm to 5pm. Counselors will be available for 30 minute video sessions to provide resume reviews and career guidance.
    Mission
    The Seattle GNU/Linux conference (SeaGL) is a free, as in freedom and tea, grassroots technical summit dedicated to spreading awareness and knowledge about free/libre/open source software, hardware, and culture.

    SeaGL strives to be welcoming, enjoyable, and informative for professional technologists, newcomers, enthusiasts, and all other users of free software, regardless of their background knowledge; providing a space to bridge these experiences and strengthen the free software movement through mentorship, collaboration, and community.
    Dates/Times  November 13th and 14th  Friday and Saturday  Main Event: 9am-4:30pm  TeaGL: 1-2:45pm, both days  Friday Social: 4:30-6pm  Saturday Party: 6-10pm  Pre-event Career Expo: 1-5pm, Thursday November 12th  All times in Pacific Timezone Hashtags
    - `#SeaGL2020`

    - `#TeaGLtoasts`
    Social Media  Main Website  PixelFed  Mastodon  Twitter  Facebook  Facebook Event  IRC/Matrix? Reference Links  Schedule Overview  About Our Tech Stack  Pre-event Career Expo 
    Best contact: press@seagl.org
        Go to Full Article          


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