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- Debian: DSA-4118-1: tomcat-native security update
LinuxSecurity.com: Jonas Klempel reported that tomcat-native, a library giving Tomcat access to the Apache Portable Runtime (APR) library's network connection (socket) implementation and random-number generator, does not properly handle fields longer than 127 bytes when parsing the AIA-Extension field
- Debian: DSA-4117-1: gcc-4.9 security update
LinuxSecurity.com: This update doesn't fix a vulnerability in GCC itself, but instead provides support for building retpoline-enabled Linux kernel updates. For the oldstable distribution (jessie), this problem has been fixed
- Debian LTS: DLA-1285-1: bind9 security update
LinuxSecurity.com: BIND, a DNS server implementation, was found to be vulnerable to a denial of service flaw was found in the handling of DNSSEC validation. A remote attacker could use this flaw to make named exit unexpectedly with an
- Debian: DSA-4116-1: plasma-workspace security update
LinuxSecurity.com: Krzysztof Sieluzycki discovered that the notifier for removable devices in the KDE Plasma workspace performed insufficient sanitisation of FAT/VFAT volume labels, which could result in the execution of arbitrary shell commands if a removable device with a malformed disk label is
- ArchLinux: 201802-8: irssi: multiple issues
LinuxSecurity.com: The package irssi before version 1.1.1-1 is vulnerable to multiple issues including arbitrary code execution, information disclosure and denial of service.
- [$] The boot-constraint subsystem
Thefifth version of the patch series addingthe boot-constraint subsystem is under review on the linux-kernel mailing list. The purpose of this subsystem is tohonor the constraints put on devices by thebootloader before those devices arehanded over to the operating system (OS) — Linux in our case. If theseconstraints are violated, devices may fail to work properly once the kernelstarts reconfiguring the hardware; by tracking and enforcing thoseconstraints, instead, we can ensure that hardware continues to workproperly until the kernel is fully operational.
- Security updates for Friday
Security updates have been issued by Debian (quagga), Mageia (freetype2, kernel-linus, and kernel-tmb), openSUSE (chromium, GraphicsMagick, mupdf, openssl-steam, and xen), Slackware (irssi), SUSE (glibc and quagga), and Ubuntu (quagga).
- [$] Dynamic function tracing events
For as long as the kernel has included tracepoints, developers have arguedover whether those tracepoints are part of the kernel's ABI. Tracepointchanges have had to be reverted in the past because they broke existinguser-space programs that had come to depend on them; meanwhile, fears ofsetting internal code in stone have made it difficult to add tracepoints toa number of kernel subsystems. Now, a new tracing functionality is beingproposed as a way to circumvent all of those problems.
- FOSS Project Spotlight: LinuxBoot (Linux Journal)
Linux Journal takes a look at the newly announced LinuxBoot project. LWN covered a related talk back in November. "Modern firmware generally consists of two main parts: hardware initialization (early stages) and OS loading (late stages). These parts may be divided further depending on the implementation, but the overall flow is similar across boot firmware. The late stages have gained many capabilities over the years and often have an environment with drivers, utilities, a shell, a graphical menu (sometimes with 3D animations) and much more. Runtime components may remain resident and active after firmware exits. Firmware, which used to fit in an 8 KiB ROM, now contains an OS used to boot another OS and doesn't always stop running after the OS boots. LinuxBoot replaces the late stages with a Linux kernel and initramfs, which are used to load and execute the next stage, whatever it may be and wherever it may come from. The Linux kernel included in LinuxBoot is called the 'boot kernel' to distinguish it from the 'target kernel' that is to be booted and may be something other than Linux."
- Security updates for Thursday
Security updates have been issued by Debian (jackson-databind, leptonlib, libvorbis, python-crypto, and xen), Fedora (apache-commons-email, ca-certificates, libreoffice, libxml2, mujs, p7zip, python-django, sox, and torbrowser-launcher), openSUSE (libreoffice), SUSE (libreoffice), and Ubuntu (advancecomp, erlang, and freetype).
- [$] DIY biology
A scientist with a rather unusual name, Meow-Ludo Meow-Meow, gave a talk atlinux.conf.au 2018about the current trends in "do it yourself" (DIY) biology or"biohacking". He is perhaps most famous for beingprosecuted for implanting an Opal card RFID chip into his hand; theOpal card is used for public transportation fares in Sydney. He gave moredetails about his implant as well as describing some other biohackingprojects in an engaging presentation.
- Wielaard: dtrace for linux; Oracle does the right thing
Mark Wielaard writesabout the recently discovered relicensing of the dtrace dynamic tracingsubsystem under the GPL. "Thank you Oracle for making everyone’slife easier by waving your magic relicensing wand!Now there is lots of hard work to do to actually properly integrate this. And I am sure there are a lot of technical hurdles when trying to get this upstreamed into the mainline kernel. But that is just hard work. Which we can now start collaborating on in earnest."
- [$] A report from the Enigma conference
The 2018 USENIXEnigma conference was held for the third time in January. Among many interesting talks, three presentations dealing with human securitybehaviors stood out. This article covers the key messages of these talks,namely the finding that humans are social in their securitybehaviors: their decision to adopt a good security practice is hardly everan isolated decision.
Subscribers can read on for the report by guest author ChristianFolini.
- [$] Authentication and authorization in Samba†4
Volker Lendecke is one of the first contributors to Samba,having submitted his first patches in 1994. In addition to developingother important file-sharing tools, he's heavily involved in development ofthe winbind service, which is implemented in winbindd. Although the core Active Directory (AD) domain controller(DC) code was written by his colleague Stefan Metzmacher, winbind is acrucial component of Samba's AD functionality. In his information-packed talk at FOSDEM2018, Lendecke said he aimed to give a high-level overview of what AD and Samba authentication is, and in particular thecommunication pathways and trust relationships between the parts ofSamba that authenticate a Samba user in an AD environment.
- Security updates for Wednesday
Security updates have been issued by Arch Linux (exim and mpv), Debian (advancecomp and graphicsmagick), Red Hat (collectd, erlang, httpd24-apr, openstack-aodh, and openstack-nova), SUSE (kernel and xen), and Ubuntu (libvorbis).
- [$] Two FOSDEM talks on Samba†4
Much as some of us would love never to have to deal with Windows,it exists. It wants to authenticate its users and shareresources like files and printers over the network. Although manyenterprises use Microsoft tools to do this, there is a free alternative,in the form of Samba. While Samba 3 has been happily providingauthentication along with file and print sharing to Windows clients formany years, the Microsoft world has been slowly moving toward Active Directory (AD).Meanwhile, Samba 4, which adds a free reimplementation of AD on Linux, hasbeen increasingly ready for deployment. Three short talks at FOSDEM 2018provided three different views of Samba 4, also known as Samba-AD,and left behind a pretty clear picture that Samba 4 is trulyready for use.
Subscribers can read on for a report from guest author Tom Yates on the first two of those talks; stay tuned for another on the third soon.
- Stable kernel updates
Stable kernels 4.15.3, 4.14.19, and 4.9.81 have been released. They all containimportant fixes and users should upgrade.
- Security updates for Tuesday
Security updates have been issued by Arch Linux (sthttpd), Debian (clamav, libreoffice, and pound), openSUSE (ipsec-tools and leptonica), SUSE (libreoffice), and Ubuntu (exim4, firefox, php5, puppet, and wavpack).
- [$] A GPL-enforcement update
While there is a lot of software distributed under the terms of the GNUGeneral Public License, there is relatively little enforcement of the termsof that license and, it seems, even less discussion of enforcement ingeneral. Theorganizers of linux.conf.au have never shied away from such topics, though,so Karen Sandler's enforcement update during the linux.conf.au 2018 KernelMiniconf fit right in. The picture she painted includes a number of challenges forthe GPL and the communities based on it, but there are some bright spots aswell.
- A better marketing plan for your open source software project
Open source software (OSS) marketing today is unique: it’s a process of co-creating and co-executing a marketing plan with an entire community—developers, end users and vendors. This makes it distinctly different than most traditional technology marketing efforts, which generally focuses on business decision-makers exclusively.
- Servers? We don't need no stinkin' servers!
You may be moving your mission-critical applications to a serverless architecture sooner than you think. OK, so we'll always need some servers. But with the rise of virtual machines (VM)s and container technologies such as Docker, combined with DevOps and cloud orchestration to automatically manage ever-larger numbers of server applications, serverless computing is becoming real.
- Your DevOps attempt will fail without these 7 departments buying in
When DevOps was coined by Andrew Shafer and Patrick Debois, the goal was to bring developers and operators closer to achieve customer value together. DevOps is a culture of continuous learning and improvement. While automation and tools can garner some improvements, having the right culture drives larger impacts. The sharing of knowledge and ideas resulting in cultural growth is the value creator in DevOps.
- i.MX6 UL based COM/SBC hybrid has FPGA with programmable ZPU
Technologic’s rugged, open-spec “TS-4100” COM/SBC hybrid runs Linux on an i.MX6 UL, and offers a microSD slot, 4GB eMMC, a micro-USB OTG port, optional WiFi/BT and baseboard, and an FPGA with a programmable ZPU core for offloading real-time tasks. Technologic Systems has begun sampling its first i.MX6 UL (UltraLite) based board, which is also its first computer-on-module that can double as a single board computer.
- PyTorch Should Be Copyleft
Neural networks have started to take off since AlexNet in 2012. We don’t have to call it a software war, but there’s a competition for mindset and community contributors in neural networks.
- Learning IT Fundamentals
Where do IT fundamentals fit in our modern, cloud- and abstraction-driven engineering culture? Although you can use modern Linux desktops and servers without knowing almost anything about how computers, networks or Linux itself works, unlike with other systems, Linux still will show you everything that's going on behind the scenes if you are willing to look.
- Module reveals new AMD Ryzen Embedded V1000 SoC
Advantech is prepping a “SOM-5871” computer-on-module with an unannounced AMD V1000 Zen SoC, which appears to be AMD’s rumored, 14nm Ryzen Embedded V1000 “Great Horned Owl” successor to the R-Series. iBase also leaked info on a V1000 based Mini-ITX board and fanless PC. Advantech has posted a preliminary product page for a SOM-5871 module that […]
- Linux on Nintendo Switch, a new Kubernetes ML platform, and more news
In this edition of our open source news roundup, we take a look at the Mozilla's IoT gateway, a new machine learning platform, Code.mil's revamp, and more.Open source news roundup for February 4-17, 2018Mozilla announces Project Things for a more secure IoTMozilla wants you to have control over your connected devices. To help you gain that control, they've released Project Things into the wild.read more
- How To Install Redmine on CentOS 7
In this tutorial, we will show you how to install Redmine on CentOS. Redmine is a free and open source issue tracking and web-based project management application. Redmine is built on Ruby on Rails framework and it is cross-platform and cross-database. This guide should work on other Linux VPS systems as well but was tested and written for CentOS 7 VPS
- How to make sense of the Apache 2 patent license
The Apache 2 license contains a number of key provisions including a patent grant that, in my experience, is often misunderstood. This grant has a significant effect on making open source safe to use. Let me explain by exploring†a portion of Section 3 of the Apache 2.0 license.
- The knitting printer and more art with open source
For several years, linux.conf.au, a week-long conference (held this year from January 22-26), has held "miniconfs" offering†space for tech community niche groups to share their inventions and ideas. In 2018, 12 miniconfs were held on the first two days of the conference, and†the Art + Tech miniconf took the†concept to the next level†with an entire day of 11 talks about making art with tech, as well as an art exhibition head during the conference.read more
- Real-time Linux based automation controller supports up to 16 I/O modules
Opto 22 announced its first Linux-based automation controller: a rugged “Groov EPIC” system that runs real-time Linux on a quad-core ARM SoC, and supports process and machine control, SCADA/RTU, and industrial IoT edge gateway applications. Increasingly, industrial equipment manufacturers must not only compete on features, but also meet their clients’ need to attract the best […]
- Top 5: SpaceX, drone projects, vi tips, and more
Since Valentine's Day was earlier this week, I thought we'd focus on love. There's plenty to love in this week's top 5, so let's take a look. And before you go, be sure to enter to win a Mycroft Mark 1 voice assistant.read more
- Q4OS Makes Linux Easy for Everyone
Modern Linux distributions tend to target a variety of users. Some claim to offer a flavor of the open source platform that anyone can use. And, I’ve seen some such claims succeed with aplomb, while others fall flat. Q4OS is one of those odd distributions that doesn’t bother to make such a claim but pulls off the feat anyway.
- Contractors Pose Cyber Risk To Government Agencies
Ian Barker, writing for BetaNews: While US government agencies are continuing to improve their security performance over time, the contractors they employ are failing to meet the same standards according to a new report. The study by security rankings specialist BitSight sampled over 1,200 federal contractors and finds that the security rating for federal agencies was 15 or more points higher than the mean of any contractor sector. It finds more than eight percent of healthcare and wellness contractors have disclosed a data breach since January 2016. Aerospace and defense firms have the next highest breach disclosure rate at 5.6 percent. While government has made a concerted effort to fight botnets in recent months, botnet infections are still prevalent among the government contractor base, particularly for healthcare and manufacturing contractors. The study also shows many contractors are not following best practices for network encryption and email security.
Read more of this story at Slashdot.
- Who Killed The Junior Developer?
Melissa McEwen, writing on Medium: A few months ago I attended an event for women in tech. A lot of the attendees were new developers, graduates from code schools or computer science programs. Almost everyone told me they were having trouble getting their first job. I was lucky. My first "real" job out of college was "Junior Application developer" at Columbia University in 2010. These days it's a rare day to find even a job posting for a junior developer position. People who advertise these positions say they are inundated with resumes. But on the senior level companies complain they can't find good developers. Gee, I wonder why? I'm not really sure the exact economics of this, because I don't run these companies. But I know what companies have told me: "we don't hire junior developers because we can't afford to have our senior developers mentor them." I've seen the rates for senior developers because I am one and I had project managers that had me allocate time for budgeting purposes. I know the rate is anywhere from $190-$300 an hour. That's what companies believe they are losing on junior devs.
Read more of this story at Slashdot.
- US's Greatest Vulnerability is Ignoring the Cyber Threats From Our Adversaries, Foreign Policy Expert Says
America's greatest vulnerability is its continued inability to acknowledge the extent of its adversaries' capabilities when it comes to cyber threats, says Ian Bremmer, founder and president of leading political risk firm Eurasia Group. From a report: Speaking to CNBC from the Munich Security Conference on Saturday, the prominent American political scientist emphasized that there should be much more government-level concern and urgency over cyber risk. The adversarial states in question are what U.S. intelligence agencies call the "big four": Russia, China, North Korea, and Iran. "We're vulnerable because we continue to underestimate the capabilities in those countries. WannaCry, from North Korea -- no one in the U.S. cybersecurity services believed the North Koreans could actually do that," Bremmer described, naming the ransomware virus that crippled more than 200,000 computer systems across 150 countries in May of 2017. Borge Brende, president of the World Economic Forum, weighed in, stressing the economic cost of cyber crimes. "It is very hard to attribute cyberattacks to different actors or countries, but the cost is just unbelievable. Annually more than a thousand billion U.S. dollars are lost for companies or countries due to these attacks and our economy is more and more based on internet and data."
Read more of this story at Slashdot.
- New AI Model Fills in Blank Spots in Photos
A new technology uses artificial intelligence to generate synthetic images that can pass as real. From a report, shared by a reader (the link may be paywalled): The technology was developed by a team led by Hiroshi Ishikawa, a professor at Japan's Waseda University. It uses convolutional neural networks, a type of deep learning, to predict missing parts of images. The technology could be used in photo-editing apps. It can also be used to generate 3-D images from real 2-D images. The team at first prepared some 8 million images of real landscapes, human faces and other subjects. Using special software, the team generated numerous versions for each image, randomly adding artificial blanks of various shapes, sizes and positions. With all the data, the model took three months to learn how to predict the blanks so that it could fill them in and make the resultant images look identical to the originals. The model's learning algorithm first predicts and fills in blanks. It then evaluates how consistent the added part is with its surroundings.
Read more of this story at Slashdot.
- We've Reached Peak Smartphone
You don't really need a new smartphone. From a column on the Washington Post (may be paywalled): Sure, some of them squeeze more screen into a smaller form. The cameras keep getting better, if you look very close. And you had to live under a rock to miss the hoopla for Apple's 10th-anniversary iPhone X or the Samsung Galaxy S8. Many in the smartphone business were sure this latest crop would bring a "super cycle" of upgrades. But here's the reality: More and more of Americans have decided we don't need to upgrade every year. Or every other year. We're no longer locked into two-year contracts and phones are way sturdier than they used to be. And the new stuff just isn't that tantalizing even to me, a professional gadget guy. Holding onto our phones is better for our budgets, not to mention the environment. This just means we -- and phone makers -- need to start thinking of them more like cars. We may have reached peak smartphone. Global shipments slipped 0.1 percent in 2017 -- the first ever decline, according to research firm IDC. In the United States, smartphone shipments grew just 1.6 percent, the smallest increase ever. Back in 2015, Americans replaced their phones after 23.6 months, on average, according to research firm Kantar Worldpanel. By the end of 2017, we were holding onto them for 25.3 months.
Read more of this story at Slashdot.
- Facebook Plans To Use US Mail To Verify IDs of Election Ad Buyers
Facebook will start using postcards sent by U.S. mail later this year to verify the identities and location of people who want to purchase U.S. election-related advertising on its site, a senior company executive said on Saturday. From a report: The postcard verification is Facebook's latest effort to respond to criticism from lawmakers, security experts and election integrity watchdog groups that it and other social media companies failed to detect and later responded slowly to Russia's use of their platforms to spread divisive political content, including disinformation, during the 2016 U.S. presidential election.
Read more of this story at Slashdot.
- Google is Making it Easier For 911 To Find You in an Emergency
An anonymous reader shares a report: When you call 911 from a cellphone, your location is typically sent to the call taker by a wireless carrier. But that information isn't always so accurate. Well Google might have a better way of going about it and it tested its system across a few states in December and January, the Wall Street Journal reports. In the states where the tests took place, Google sent location data from a random selection of 911 callers using Android phones straight to the people taking those calls. The test included 50 call centers that cover around 2.4 million people in Texas, Tennessee and Florida, and early reports of the results suggest the system is promising. One company involved in the test told the Wall Street Journal that for over 80 percent of the 911 calls where Googl's system was used, the tech giant's location data were more accurate than what wireless carriers provided. The company, RapidSOS, also said that while carrier data location estimates had, on average, a radius of around 522 feet, Google's data gave estimates with radii around 121 feet. Google's data also arrived more quickly than carrier data typically did.
Read more of this story at Slashdot.
- Silicon Valley Singles Are Giving Up On the Algorithms of Love
The Washington Post: Melissa Hobley, an executive at the dating app OkCupid, hears the complaints about the apps [being unable to find good matches] regularly and thinks they get a bad rap. Silicon Valley workers "are in the business of scalable, quick solutions. And that's not what love is," Hobley said. "You can't hurry love. It's reciprocal. You're not ordering an object. You're not getting a delivery in less than seven minutes." Finding love, she added, takes commitment and energy -- and, yes, time, no matter how inefficiently it's spent. "You have a whole city obsessed with algorithms and data, and they like to say dating apps aren't solving the problem," Hobley said. "But if a city is male-dominant, if a city is known for 16-hour work days, those are issues that dating apps can't solve." One thing distinguishes the Silicon Valley dating pool: The men-to-women ratio for employed, young singles in the San Jose metro area is higher than in any other major area. There were about 150 men for every 100 women, compared with about 125 to 100 nationwide, of never-married young people between 25 and 34 in San Jose, U.S. Census Bureau data from 2016 shows. That ratio permeates the economy here, all the way to the valley's biggest employers, which have struggled for years to bring more women into their ranks. Men make up about 70% of the workforces of Apple, Facebook and Google parent Alphabet, company filings show.
Read more of this story at Slashdot.
- Deep Neural Networks for Bot Detection
From a research paper on Arxiv: The problem of detecting bots, automated social media accounts governed by software but disguising as human users, has strong implications. For example, bots have been used to sway political elections by distorting online discourse, to manipulate the stock market, or to push anti-vaccine conspiracy theories that caused health epidemics. Most techniques proposed to date detect bots at the account level, by processing large amount of social media posts, and leveraging information from network structure, temporal dynamics, sentiment analysis, etc. In this paper [PDF], we propose a deep neural network based on contextual long short-term memory (LSTM) architecture that exploits both content and metadata to detect bots at the tweet level: contextual features are extracted from user metadata and fed as auxiliary input to LSTM deep nets processing the tweet text.
Read more of this story at Slashdot.
- Facebook Admits SMS Notifications Sent Using Two-Factor Number Was Caused by Bug
Facebook has clarified the situation around SMS notifications sent using the company's two-factor authentication (2FA) system, admitting that the messages were indeed caused by a bug. From a report: In a blog post penned by Facebook Chief Security Officer Alex Stamos, the company says the error led it to "send non-security-related SMS notifications to these phone numbers." Facebook uses the automated number 362-65, or "FBOOK," as its two-factor authentication number, which is a secure way of confirming a user's identity by sending a numeric code to a secondary device like a mobile phone. That same number ended up sending users Facebook notifications without their consent. When users would attempt to get the SMS notifications to stop, the replies were posted to their own Facebook profiles as status updates.
Read more of this story at Slashdot.
- Most Cities Would Welcome a Tech Billionaire, But Peter Thiel?
Sarah McBride, writing for Bloomberg: Tech billionaire Peter Thiel is moving to Los Angeles from San Francisco, adding another dose of legitimacy to a burgeoning startup scene in Southern California -- along with some controversy. The co-founder of PayPal and an early investor in Facebook, Thiel runs Founders Fund, one of the more-respected venture capital firms in Silicon Valley. He comes with a little baggage, though, including his staunch support for President Donald Trump, his secretive funding of the legal battle between Hulk Hogan and Gawker.com, and comments some people say have been derogatory toward women. "I'm not sure why Peter Thiel believes he'll receive a warmer reception on the L.A. tech scene than he's had in Silicon Valley," said Tracy DiNunzio, chief executive officer of Tradesy, a fashion-reselling company based in Santa Monica, California. "Our venture and startup ecosystem is fairly left-leaning."
Read more of this story at Slashdot.
- How Does Chinese Tech Stack Up Against American Tech?
The Economist: China's tech leaders love visiting California, and invest there, but are no longer awed by it [Editor's note: the link may be paywalled]. By market value the Middle Kingdom's giants, Alibaba and Tencent, are in the same league as Alphabet and Facebook. New stars may float their shares in 2018-19, including Didi Chuxing (taxi rides), Ant Financial (payments) and Lufax (wealth management). China's e-commerce sales are double America's and the Chinese send 11 times more money by mobile phones than Americans, who still scribble cheques. The venture-capital (VC) industry is booming. American visitors return from Beijing, Hangzhou and Shenzhen blown away by the entrepreneurial work ethic. Last year the government decreed that China would lead globally in artificial intelligence (AI) by 2030. The plan covers a startlingly vast range of activities, including developing smart cities and autonomous cars and setting global tech standards. Like Japanese industry in the 1960s, private Chinese firms take this "administrative guidance" seriously.
Read more of this story at Slashdot.
- LinkedIn Users Will Soon Know What Jobs Pay Before Applying for Them
LinkedIn just introduced a way to help its members avoid going through the interview process for jobs with salaries that do not meet their expectations. From a report: The professional network announced the rollout of Salary Insights, which will add estimated or expected salary ranges to open roles, getting the numbers either through salary ranges provided by employers or estimated ranges from data submitted by members. The feature will launch "in the coming weeks." Salary Insights marks the next step after LinkedIn Salary, which the professional network launched in November 2016 to provide its users with information on salaries, bonuses and equity data for specific job titles, as well as factors that impact those salaries, including experience, industry, company size, location and education level.
Read more of this story at Slashdot.
- YouTube Red is Having an Identity Crisis
During an onstage conversation at Recode's Code Media this week, YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki called YouTube Red a music streaming service -- first time any executive from the company has referred to YouTube Red as foremost a music service. From a report: This differs from comments that other YouTube executives have made in the past, including YouTube's head of global content Susanne Daniels, who last year described YouTube Red as a premium subscription streaming service that offers Hollywood-quality shows and movies. Launched in October 2015, YouTube Red has always been positioned by YouTube as three services in one: It offers ad-free access to all of YouTube; it's a music streaming service that also gives access to Google Play Music; and it's consistently releasing original movies and TV shows, starring Hollywood talent and homegrown stars that users already subscribe to. Two years later, this has created somewhat of an identity crisis for the streaming service. As Wojcicki said in her interview, she sees YouTube Red as a music service. And she does not expect to spend billions of dollars on content to effectively compete with Netflix, Hulu, Amazon and others.
Read more of this story at Slashdot.
- Learning To Program Is Getting Harder
theodp writes: While Google suggests that parents and educators are to blame for why kids can't code, Allen Downey, Professor at Olin College argues that learning to program is getting harder . Downey writes: The fundamental problem is that the barrier between using a computer and programming a computer is getting higher. When I got a Commodore 64 (in 1982, I think) this barrier was non-existent. When you turned on the computer, it loaded and ran a software development environment (SDE). In order to do anything, you had to type at least one line of code, even if all it did was another program (like Archon). Since then, three changes have made it incrementally harder for users to become programmers: 1. Computer retailers stopped installing development environments by default. As a result, anyone learning to program has to start by installing an SDE -- and that's a bigger barrier than you might expect. Many users have never installed anything, don't know how to, or might not be allowed to. Installing software is easier now than it used to be, but it is still error prone and can be frustrating. If someone just wants to learn to program, they shouldn't have to learn system administration first. 2. User interfaces shifted from command-line interfaces (CLIs) to graphical user interfaces (GUIs). GUIs are generally easier to use, but they hide information from users about what's really happening. When users really don't need to know, hiding information can be a good thing. The problem is that GUIs hide a lot of information programmers need to know. So when a user decides to become a programmer, they are suddenly confronted with all the information that's been hidden from them. If someone just wants to learn to program, they shouldn't have to learn operating system concepts first. 3. Cloud computing has taken information hiding to a whole new level. People using web applications often have only a vague idea of where their data is stored and what applications they can use to access it. Many users, especially on mobile devices, don't distinguish between operating systems, applications, web browsers, and web applications. When they upload and download data, they are often confused about where is it coming from and where it is going. When they install something, they are often confused about what is being installed where. For someone who grew up with a Commodore 64, learning to program was hard enough. For someone growing up with a cloud-connected mobile device, it is much harder. theodp continues: So, with the Feds budgeting $200 million a year for K-12 CS at the behest of U.S. tech leaders, can't the tech giants at least put a BASIC on every phone/tablet/laptop for kids?
Read more of this story at Slashdot.
- Oi! Verizon leaked my fiancťe's nude pix to her ex-coworker, says bloke
Intimate photos somehow ended up on some other guy's mobe, lawsuit claims
A bloke is suing Verizon Wireless in the US because, he claims, personal pictures from his Verizon phone, including intimate snaps of his fiancťe, turned up on the phone of another subscriber – who happened to know her.…
- Transport for London to toughen up on taxi firms in the Uber age
Sort out your safety policies... oh, and share all your travel info with us
Private-hire cab firms that want to operate in the UK capital will have to demonstrate how they protect riders' safety and data – and may still only get short-term licences, Transport for London has said.…
- Should AI get to choose a topping in a two pizza team?
How DevOps could be about to collide with machine learning
DevOps is finally getting somewhere. This year the term is ten years old and like most ten-year olds, DevOps is starting to show signs of puberty and cognitive maturity. According to analyst Forrester, this is being reflected in industry. In 2017, a Forrester survey found that over 50 per cent of organisations were to implement DevOps in some form or another, enough for the analyst to claim that 2018 is going to be the year of enterprise DevOps.…
- Microsoft's Windows 10 Workstation adds killer feature: No Candy Crush
Now can you remove it from every Start Menu?
Readers with good memories may recall that when Windows NT was launched, it came in Workstation and Advanced Server editions, with the former fulfilling most duties of a server. There were no limits on TCP/IP connections, for example. Just as its developer Dave Cutler intended.…
- Dell EMC squashes pair of VMAX virtual appliance bugs
vApp Manager contained undocumented default account
Dell EMC has patched two serious flaws in the management interface for its VMAX enterprise storage systems, one of which could potentially allow a remote attacker to gain unauthorised access to systems.…
- BBC presenter loses appeal, must pay £420k in IR35 crackdown
IT contractors warned to get house in order
A BBC presenter must pay £419,151 in taxes after a UK tax tribunal ruled her contract should have been subject to IR35 legislation – a judgment that has been described as a wake-up call for IT freelancers.…
- Robot cars will kill London jobs – but only from 2030, say politicans
London Assembly report shines light on UK.gov's auto auto plans
The London Assembly has lashed out at driverless cars, declaring that autonomous vehicles could cause "significant job losses" – while figures from the UK's driverless car industry told it that they don't expect Level 4 or 5 (fully autonomous) tech to hit the streets for another decade or more.…
- Mobile phone dealer boss faces 12 years in director limbo
Did somebody say VAT fraud? Yes, the Insolvency Service did
The boss of an Oxford-based mobile phone dealer who used a carousel scam to defraud the British tax collector from hundreds of thousands of pounds was today banned from holding directorships for 12 years.…
- Marek Working Towards Even Lower SGPR Register Usage
Yesterday well known open-source AMD developer Marek OlšŠk landed his RadeonSI 32-bit pointers support for freeing up some scalar general purpose registers (SGPRs) and he's continued with a new patch series to alleviate register usage even more...
- Wine-Staging Will No Longer Be Putting Out New Releases
Wine-Staging as many of you have known it for the past four years is unfortunately no more. We'll see if other reliable folks step up to maintain this experimental version of Wine but the original developers have sadly stepped away...
- Initial Intel Icelake Support Lands In Mesa OpenGL Driver, Vulkan Support Started
A few days back I reported on Intel Icelake patches for the i965 Mesa driver in bringing up the OpenGL support now that several kernel patch series have been published for enabling these "Gen 11" graphics within the Direct Rendering Manager driver. This Icelake support has been quick to materialize even with Cannonlake hardware not yet being available...
- AMD Raven Ridge Graphics On Linux vs. Lower-End NVIDIA / AMD GPUs
This week we have delivered the first Linux benchmarks of the OpenGL/Vulkan graphics capabilities of AMD's new Raven Ridge desktop APUs with the Vega 8 on the Ryzen 3 2200G an the Vega 11 on Ryzen 5 2400G. Those tests have included comparisons to the integrated graphics capabilities of Intel processors as well as older AMD Kaveri APUs. For those interested in seeing how the Raven Ridge Vega graphics compare to lower-end Radeon and GeForce discrete graphics cards, here are those first Linux benchmarks.
- Khronos Adds Draco Geometry Compression To glTF 2.0
Khronos' glTF transmission format for 3D scenes and models continues getting better. This 3D format has seen adoption by countless applications and engines and even usage within Microsoft products. Khronos' latest advancement to glTF 2.0 is a compression extension...
- Fedora Might Begin Having A Release Manager
Fedora developers are now discussing the possibility of naming a release manager each development cycle as a person in charge of wrangling together each release and seeing that the "Rawhide" development state is kept in better condition. Who knows, this also might actually help Fedora's longtime trouble of delivering releases on time...
- AMD May Have Accidentally Outed Vulkan 1.1
AMD on Wednesday released the Radeon Pro Software Enterprise Edition 18.Q1 for Linux driver. It really isn't noticeable for its official changes, but does claim to advertise Vulkan 1.1 support...
- Mesa 17.3.4 Released With 90+ Changes
While Mesa 18.0 should be released in the days ahead as the latest feature release to Mesa 3D, backporting of fixes/improvements to Mesa 17.3 isn't letting up. For those using this stable series from last quarter, Mesa 17.3.4 is out today with nearly 100 changes...
- AMD Vega 8 Graphics Performance On Linux With The Ryzen 3 2200G
Yesterday I posted the initial Ryzen 5 2400G Vega 11 Linux graphics benchmarks while for your viewing please today -- as well as this morning's 21-way Intel/AMD CPU Linux comparison that featured these new Raven Ridge APUs -- the results now completed are initial OpenGL and Vulkan performance figures for the Vega 8 graphics found on the Ryzen 3 2200G.
- How To Fully Optimize Your Operating System
Computers and systems are tricky and complicated. If you lack a thorough knowledge or even basic knowledge of computers, you will often find yourself in a bind. You must understand that something as complicated as a computer requires constant care and constant cleaning up of junk files. Unless you put in the time to configure [&]
- The Top Problems With Major Operating Systems
There is no such system which does not give you any problems. Even if the system and the operating system of your system is easy to understand, there will be some times when certain problems will arise. Most of these problems are easy to handle and easy to get rid of. But you must be [&]
- 8 Benefits Of Linux OS
Linux is a small and a fast-growing operating system. However, we can‚Äôt term it as software yet. As discussed in the article about what can a Linux OS do¬†Linux is a kernel. Now, kernels are used for software and programs. These kernels are used by the computer and can be used with various third-party software [&]
- Things Linux OS Can Do That Other OS Can‚Äôt
What Is Linux OS? ¬†Linux, similar to U-bix is an operating system which can be used for various computers, hand held devices, embedded devices, etc. The reason why Linux operated system is preferred by many, is because it is easy to use and re-use. Linux based operating system is technically not an Operating System. Operating [&]
- Packagekit Interview
Packagekit aims to make the management of applications in the Linux and GNU systems. The main objective to remove the pains it takes to create a system. Along with this in an interview, Richard Hughes, the developer of Packagekit said that he aims to make the Linux systems just as powerful as the Windows or [&]
- What‚Äôs New in Ubuntu?
What Is Ubuntu? Ubuntu¬†is open source software. It is useful for Linux based computers. The software is marketed by the Canonical Ltd., Ubuntu community. Ubuntu was first released in late October in 2004. The Ubuntu program uses Java, Python, C, C++ and C# programming languages. What Is New? The version 17.04 is now available here [&]
- Ext3 Reiserfs Xfs In Windows With Regards To Colinux
The problem with Windows is that there are various limitations to the computer and there is only so much you can do with it. You can access the Ext3 Reiserfs Xfs by using the coLinux tool. Download the tool from the ¬†official site or from the ¬†sourceforge site. Edit the connection to ‚ÄúTAP Win32 Adapter [&]
- Getting It To Better Stability And Performance
Every computer user wants their computers to run as smoothly as possible. Here are few tips to ensure that: Clear out all junk files from time to time. Do not overload your computer‚Äôs C: drive. Uninstall all unnecessary applications. Remember to use the task manager to check out unnecessary service. Disable the service if you [&]
- Possible Manipulation Around OOXML Process In Poland
This is the case of reaching consensus on the ISO/IEC DIS 29500 (OOXML), which was recommended by the Polish. It was found that the consensus had not been reached. When the meeting was held, twelve votes supporting the new standard protocol, abstained votes were two and ten votes rejected it. When the consensus was not [&]
- Discussing Visual Changelog
Visual Changelog, is a function of the computer which protects the computer and the PC from various different things. The updates are usually rolled out by the owner or the manufacturing brand of the PC, such as Windows. Changelogs are required to maintain and extend the stability of the computer being used. These visual changelogs [&]
- Facebook turned its two-factor security 'feature' into spam
Facebook is bleeding users, with external researchers estimating that the social network lost 2.8 million US users under 25 last year. Those losses have prompted Facebook to get more aggressive in its efforts to win users back - and the company has started using security prompts to encourage users to log into their accounts. Sometimes, Facebook will send emails to users warning them that they're having problems logging into their accounts, Bloomberg reported last month. "Just click the button below and we'll log you in. If you weren't trying to log in, let us know," the emails reportedly read. Other times, Facebook will ask for a user's phone number to set up two-factor authentication - then spam the number with notification texts. Raise your hand if you're surprised Facebook would do this.
- Head to head, does the Apple HomePod really sound the best?
David Pogue has some reservations about the smart speaker comparison test Apple subjected the tech press to. Still, when I tweeted about the test, a couple of people were suspicious of the setup, which of course was entirely controlled by Apple. What was the source material? What was the wireless setup? An Apple rep told me that the test songs were streaming from a server in the next room (a Mac). But each speaker was connected to it differently: by Bluetooth (Amazon Echo), Ethernet (Sonos), input miniplug (Google Home), and AirPlay (HomePod), which is Apple‚¬Ä¬ôs Wi-Fi-based transmission system. Since the setup wasn‚¬Ä¬ôt identical, I wondered if it was a perfectly fair test. (Bluetooth, for example, may degrade (compress) the music it‚¬Ä¬ôs transmitting, depending on the source and the equipment.) So I decided to set up my own test at home. I'm not really interested in the HomePod or Google Home Max or any other "smart" speaker, but I love how Pogue basically laments much of the technology press for not questioning Apple's test and test setup. A good read.
- Chrome to start blocking annoying ads
The web is an incredible asset. It's an engine for innovation, a platform for sharing, and a universal gateway to information. When we built Chrome, we wanted to create a way for people to interact with the magic that is the web, without the browser getting in the way. We created a browser that took up minimal space on your screen, made the omnibar so you could quickly search or get directly to a website, and built our pop-up blocker to help you avoid unwanted content. Since then we‚¬Ä¬ôve also added features such as Safe Browsing, pausing autoplay Flash and more - all aimed at protecting your experience of the web. Your feedback has always played a critical part in the development of Chrome. This feedback has shown that a big source of frustration is annoying ads: video ads that play at full blast or giant pop-ups where you can‚¬Ä¬ôt seem to find the exit icon. These ads are designed to be disruptive and often stand in the way of people using their browsers for their intended purpose - connecting them to content and information. It's clear that annoying ads degrade what we all love about the web. That's why starting on February 15, Chrome will stop showing all ads on sites that repeatedly display these most disruptive ads after they've been flagged. Good news for those still not using an adblocker, and bad news for sites that repeatedly display annoying ads.
- Why paper jams persist
Late in ‚¬Ä¬úOslo,‚¬Ä¬Ě J. T. Rogers‚¬Ä¬ôs recent play about the negotiation of the Oslo Accords, diplomats are finalizing the document when one of them reports a snag: ‚¬Ä¬úIt‚¬Ä¬ôs stuck in the copy machine and I can‚¬Ä¬ôt get it out!‚¬Ä¬Ě The employees in Mike Judge‚¬Ä¬ôs 1999 film ‚¬Ä¬úOffice Space‚¬Ä¬Ě grow so frustrated with their jam-prone printer that they destroy it with a baseball bat in a slow-motion montage set to the Geto Boys‚¬Ä¬ô ‚¬Ä¬úStill.‚¬Ä¬Ě (Office workers around the country routinely re√ęnact this scene, posting the results on YouTube.) According to the Wall Street Journal, printers are among the most in-demand objects in ‚¬Ä¬úrage rooms,‚¬Ä¬Ě where people pay to smash things with sledgehammers; Battle Sports, a rage-room facility in Toronto, goes through fifteen a week. Meanwhile, in the song ‚¬Ä¬úPaper Jam‚¬Ä¬Ě John Flansburgh, of the band They Might Be Giants, sees the jam as a stark moral test. ‚¬Ä¬úPaper jam / paper jam,‚¬Ä¬Ě he sings. ‚¬Ä¬úIt would be so easy to walk away.‚¬Ä¬Ě Unsurprisingly, the engineers who specialize in paper jams see them differently. Engineers tend to work in narrow subspecialties, but solving a jam requires knowledge of physics, chemistry, mechanical engineering, computer programming, and interface design. ‚¬Ä¬úIt‚¬Ä¬ôs the ultimate challenge,‚¬Ä¬Ě Ruiz said. This is such a great read.
- The insane amount of backward compatibility in Google Maps
I still keep a couple of my favorite old smartphones. Sometimes I use one of them as my primary device for fun. Phones are among the fastest evolving markets, even a year makes a whole lot of differences. One of the biggest challenges with using old phones is the software: they don‚¬Ä¬ôt run modern software. And old software isn‚¬Ä¬ôt compatible with new websites, frameworks, encryption standards, APIs. Use an old device, and you will find yourself unable to get anything done. Every app crashes or complains that it can‚¬Ä¬ôt connect to the server. Even with Apple who is doing a fantastic job of keeping their phones updated, you may notice that many sites and apps have started dropping support for the iPhone 5, which is still a totally capable device. But there is always an unlikely app that consistently works on all of my devices, regardless of their OS and how old they are: Google Maps. I have a whole slew of old PDAs and phones, and even something as simple as getting them online through wireless internet is a major hassle, because they don't support the more advanced encryption protocols. Even if you do manage to get them online, they often won't support IMAP or or they'll lack some key email protocol settings. The fact that Google Maps apparently keeps on working is fascinating.
- Google's next Android overhaul said to embrace 'notch'
Google is working on an overhaul of its Android mobile software for a new generation of smartphones mimicking Apple Inc.'s controversial new "notch" at the top of the iPhone X, according to people familiar with the situation. The Android update, due later in the year, will also more tightly integrate Google‚¬Ä¬ôs digital assistant, improve battery life on phones and support new designs, like multiple screens and foldable displays, the people added. A key goal of this year‚¬Ä¬ôs update to the Google mobile operating system is to persuade more iPhone users to switch to Android devices by improving the look of the software, the people said. They asked not to be identified discussing the private plans. A Google spokesman declined to comment. A bit short on actual details, but what's there is mostly the kind of stuff you'd expect Android to be preparing for. We're going to need to be closer to Google I/O for more concrete information.
- Designing Windows 95's user interface
Three years ago I came across an interesting paper written up by a Microsoft employee, Kent Sullivan, on the process and findings of designing the new user interface for Windows 95. The web page has since been taken down - one reason why I‚¬Ä¬ôm a bit of a digital hoarder. It specified some of the common issues experienced from Windows 3.1's Program Manager shell and looked at the potential of developing a separate shell for 'beginners'. Admittedly my inclination was that this was possibly inspired by Apple's At Ease program that was reasonably popular during the System 7 days. I remember At Ease well during my primary school years, so kids couldn‚¬Ä¬ôt mess with the hard disk in Finder. So here's what Kent had to say verbatim in his paper titled "The Windows 95 User Interface: A Case Study in Usability Engineering" so it‚¬Ä¬ôs not lost altogether. However you feel about Windows 95, there's no denying that its user interface is probably one of the most iconic and well-known user interfaces ever designed and developed. Literally everyone knows it and has used it, and it singlehandedly defined what a personal computer's UI should work like. It's incredibly fascinating to read about the thought processes behind its development.
- MATE 1.20 released
The theme for this release has been stabilising the MATE Desktop by replacing deprecated code and modernising large sections of the code base. We‚¬Ä¬ôve also improved our window manager (Marco) and added support for HiDPI. Along the way we‚¬Ä¬ôve fixed hundreds of bugs. Squished ‚¬Ä¬ėem dead! GNOME 2 is, in my view, one of the best desktop environments ever created, and surely the best desktop environment ever made on Linux. It was consistent, reasonably fast, had a lot of great, high-quality themes, stayed out of your way, and struck a decent balance between configurability and ease of use. Ever since GNOME 2, I've been sorely disappointed with the Linux desktop environments. MATE is a godsend.
- Intel made smart glasses that look normal
The most important parts of Intel‚¬Ä¬ôs new Vaunt smart glasses are the pieces that were left out. There is no camera to creep people out, no button to push, no gesture area to swipe, no glowing LCD screen, no weird arm floating in front of the lens, no speaker, and no microphone (for now). From the outside, the Vaunt glasses look just like eyeglasses. When you‚¬Ä¬ôre wearing them, you see a stream of information on what looks like a screen - but it‚¬Ä¬ôs actually being projected onto your retina. This looks amazing. I'm not entirely sure if I, personally, have any use for this, but such basic, simple, handsfree information could be invaluable to, for instance, construction workers, farmers, police officers, or other people who do hard, dangerous work with their hands.
- Windows 10 S becoming a mode, not a version
Windows 10 S, the Microsoft Store-only version of Windows, is going away, but not really. Currently, Windows 10 S is a unique edition of Windows 10. It's based on Windows 10 Pro; Windows 10 Pro has various facilities that enable system administrators to restrict which software can be run, and Windows 10 S is essentially a preconfigured version of those facilities. In addition to locking out arbitrary downloaded programs, it also prevents the use of certain built-in Windows features such as the command-line, PowerShell, and Windows Subsystem for Linux. For those who can't abide by the constraints that S imposes, you can upgrade 10 S to the full 10 Pro. This upgrade is a one-shot deal: there's no way of re-enabling the S limitations after upgrading to Pro. It's also a paid upgrade: while Microsoft offered it as a free upgrade for a limited time for its Surface Laptop, the regular price is $49. Nothing much actually seems to be changing; it just turns Windows 10 S from a version into a mode. Pretty much a distinction without a difference. My biggest issue here is that you can't go from regular Windows 10 back to Windows 10 S if you ever had a reason to do so (e.g. if Windows were ever to be usable with just Metro apps in the future and you want the additional security Windows 10 S provides). Seems like an odd restriction.
- Switch to Windows 95
In November last year I wrote about the forgotten and obscure feature of early Windows 95 builds that lets you run Windows 3.1 in a window on Windows 95. Since then I was wondering if this would still work on the final build (950) of Windows 95, considering so much has changed since build 58s. I won't spoil it.
- The shallowness of Google Translate
Such a development would cause a soul-shattering upheaval in my mental life. Although I fully understand the fascination of trying to get machines to translate well, I am not in the least eager to see human translators replaced by inanimate machines. Indeed, the idea frightens and revolts me. To my mind, translation is an incredibly subtle art that draws constantly on one's many years of experience in life, and on one's creative imagination. If, some "fine" day, human translators were to become relics of the past, my respect for the human mind would be profoundly shaken, and the shock would leave me reeling with terrible confusion and immense, permanent sadness. As a translator myself, I can indeed confirm Google Translate is complete and utter garbage, but the idea that I would "mourn" the end of translators seems outlandish to me. The unstoppable march of technology has eliminated countless jobs over the course of human existence, and if translators are next, I don't see any reason to mourn the end of my occupation. Of course, it'd suck for me personally, but that's about it. That being said, I'm not afraid of running out of work any time soon. Google Translate's results are pretty terrible, and they only seem to be getting worse for me, instead of getting better. There's no doubt in my mind that machine translation will eventually get good enough, but I think it'll take at least another 20 years, if not more, to get there.
- Apple prepares macOS for discontinuation of 32-bit app support
When users attempt to launch a 32-bit app in 10.13.4, it will still launch, but it will do so with a warning message notifying the user that the app will eventually not be compatible with the operating system unless it is updated. This follows the same approach that Apple took with iOS, which completed its sunset of 32-bit app support with iOS 11 last fall. This is good. I would prefer other companies, too, take a more aggressive approach towards deprecating outdated technology in consumer technology.
- How WeChat came to rule China
China's most popular messaging app, WeChat, has always had a close relationship with the Chinese government. The app has been subsidized by the government since its creation in 2011, and it's an accepted reality that officials censor and monitor users. Now, WeChat is poised to take on an even greater role: an initiative is underway to integrate WeChat with China's electronic ID system. WeChat is a remarkably clever move by the Chinese government. Everybody over there is already using it, and by basically co-opting it, they get a free statewide monitoring and control platform. Ban a few western alternatives here and there, and you're done. Western nations are toying with similar ideas - see e.g. Germany's new laws - and it doesn't take a genius to see the dangers here. While you may 'trust' your current government to not abuse such wide-ranging laws and technical capabilities, you might not be so eager with the next one. If Americans can vote for a Trump, Europeans can, too.
- The Faery Tale Adventure: a personal history
The Faery Tale Adventure was a computer game that I created for the Amiga in 1987. It was moderately popular for its day, and was ported to a number of platforms, including MS-DOS and the Sega Genesis. I decided to write this account because, much to my surprise, there is still interest in the game‚¬Ä¬ä-‚¬Ä¬äI occasionally get fan email or inquiries as to whether there will ever be a sequel. And so I thought it might be interesting to tell the story of how the game came to be, and what happened afterwards. An account by David Joiner of a game he wrote for the Amiga. One of those stories that's just fun to read, no ifs and buts. Grab a coffee and enjoy.
- Introducing Spyder, the Scientific PYthon Development EnviRonment
If you want to use Anaconda for science projects, one of the first things to consider is the spyder package, which is included in the basic Anaconda installation. Spyder is short for Scientific PYthon Development EnviRonment. Think of it as an IDE for scientific programming within Python.
- Learning IT Fundamentals
Learning IT Fundamentals
Where do IT fundamentals fit in our modern, cloud- and abstraction-driven engineering culture?
- diff -u: Automated Bug Reporting
Bug reports are good. Anyone with a reproducible crash should submit a bug report on the linux-kernel mailing list. The developers will appreciate it, and you'll be helping make Linux better!
- Best Web Browser?
Brave Chrome Chromium Firefox Opera qutebrowser Vivaldi Other (type in Comment section below)
- ZFS for Linux
Presenting the Solaris ZFS filesystem, as implemented in Linux FUSE, native kernel modules and the Antergos Linux installer.
- diff -u: Adding Encryption To printk()
When is security not security? When it guards against the wrong people or against things that never happen. A useless security measure is just another batch of code that might contain an exploitable bug. So the Linux developers always want to make sure a security patch is genuinely useful before pulling it in.
- Introducing Zero-K, a Real-Time Strategy Game for Linux
Zero-K is a game where teams of robots fight for metal, energy and dominance. They use any strategy, tactic or gimmick known to machine. Zero-K is a game for players by players, and it runs natively on GNU/Linux and Microsoft Windows.
- Extended File Attributes Rock!
Worldwide, data is growing at a tremendous rate. However, one recent study has pointed out that the size of files is not necessarily growing at the same rate; meaning the number of files is growing rapidly. How do we manage all of this data and files? While the answer to that question is complex, one place we can start is with Extended File Attributes. Continue reading í
- Checksumming Files to Find Bit-Rot
In a previous article extended file attributes were presented. These are additional bits of metadata that are tied to the file and can be used in a variety of ways. One of these ways is to add checksums to the file so that corrupted data can be detected. Let's take a look at how we can do this including some simple Python examples. Continue reading í
- What’s an inode?
As you might have noticed, we love talking about file systems. In these discussions the term "inode" is often thrown about. But what is an inode and how does it relate to a file system? Glad you asked. Continue reading í
- Emailing HPC
Email is not unlike MPI. The similarities may help non-geeks understand parallel computers a little better. Continue reading í
- iotop: Per Process I/O Usage
Based on a reader comment, we take iotop for a spin to see if it can be used for monitoring the IO usage of individual processes on a system. The result? It has some interesting capability that we haven't found in other tools. Continue reading í
- SandForce 1222 SSD Testing, Part 3: Detailed Throughput Analysis
Our last two articles have presented an initial performance examination of a consumer SandForce based SSD from a throughput and IOPS perspective. In this article we dive deeper into the throughput performance of the drive, along with a comparison to an Intel X-25E SSD. I think you will be surprised at what is discovered. Continue reading í
- Putting Drupal to Work
Drupal is a simple but powerful CMS. However, you'll probably want to configure it. Learn how to tweak Drupal's settings to your liking. Continue reading í
- SandForce 1222 SSD Testing – Part 2: Initial IOPS Results
SandForce has developed a very interesting and unique SSD controller that uses real-time data compression. This affects data throughput and SSD longevity. In this article, we perform an initial examination of the IOPS performance of a SandForce 1222-based SSD. The results can be pretty amazing. Continue reading í
- Drupal at Warp Speed
Need to setup Drupal CMS but don't have the time to learn how? Try this 30 minute quick start guide. Continue reading í
- Chasing The Number
The Top500 list is a valuable measure of HPC progress, but the race it has spawned maybe over for many organizations Continue reading í
- Stick a Fork in Flock: Why it Failed
This probably won't come as a surprise to many, but the "social Web browser" has thrown in the towel. Don't cry for the Flock team - they're flying the coop for Zynga to go make Facebook games or something. But Flock's loyal fans are out in the cold. Why'd Flock fail? There's a few lessons to be learned. Continue reading í