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Updated: 17 min 22 sec ago

Leftovers: Debian, Ubuntu and Derivatives

Sun, 2017-02-19 23:59

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Linux Devices

Sun, 2017-02-19 23:58
  • SPI On Embedded Linux

    Are you already comfortable working with Serial Peripheral Interface (SPI) parts and looking for a challenge? We suspect many of you have cut your teeth on 8-bit through 32-bit microcontrollers but how much time have you spent playing with hardware interfaces on embedded Linux? Here a new quest, should you choose to accept it. [Matt Porter] spoke in detail about the Linux SPI Subsystem during his presentation at FOSDEM 2017. Why not grab an embedded Linux board and try your hand at connecting some extra hardware to one of the SPI buses?

  • PiMiniMint

    The idea of having a computer in an altoids tin came to me back when in early 2012, shortly after the original raspberry pi came out. With the release of the pi zero, this became a possibility. The first version of the PiMiniMint contains a screen, wifi, Bluetooth, 32gb of storage, an infrared camera, and a full size USB port. When I decided to add a battery, I realized the camera needed to be removed. The current vision of the PiMiniMint contains a battery life of around 6-8hrs, a 2in screen, 32gb of storage, Bluetooth, wifi, and a full sized USB port (in the form of an OTG cable).

  • Nextcloud ready Raspberry Pi image

    I would like to introduce NextCloudPi, a ready to use Raspbian 8 image with the latest Nextcloud 11.0.1.

  • We've started to order things!

    Once we have the kernel and OS running well enough for "almost" normal usage, I'll start sending the prototypes to the prototype orders as well as auction some more here at the boards.

  • Project Idea: PI Sw1tch

    While gaming is not high on my agenda anymore (... or rather at all), I have recently been mulling buying a new console, to act as much as a home entertainment center as a gaming system.

    Having owned several generations PlayStation and Sega products, a few new consoles caught my eye. While the most "open" solution, the Steambox sort-of fizzled out, Nintendo's latest console Switch does seem to stand out of the crowd. The balance between power and portability looks like a good fit, and given Nintendo's previous successes, it wouldn't be surprising if it became a hit.

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Leftovers: OSS and Sharing

Sun, 2017-02-19 23:56
  • Fermat announces alpha release of blockchain-enabled open source project

    Fermat has made upgrades to the technology and architecture behind the decentralized and blockchain-enabled open source project Internet of People (IoP). Its goal is providing device-to-device communication independent of any entity of web server.

    Since its April 2016 launch, Fermat has added more than 60 national and regional chapters, each mining IoP tokens in a decentralized manner. Each chapter president is charged with advocating for the project in their community, running testnet nodes, organizing meet-ups, marketing, and token mining. Every chapter can run a single mining node and earn IoP tokens from the IoP blockchain as their reward.

  • Be Ready To Attend SCALE x15 Conference in March 2-5, USA

    We just witnessed the end of FOSDEM 2017; The largest FOSS event in Europe. It held around 660 different events about a lot of different topics and aspects of open source software. You can check their summary here.

  • #LinuxPlaya Preparation

    As #LinuxPlaya draws near, we’ve been preparing things to the event. We first did a workshop to help others to finish the GTK+Python tutorial for developers. While some other students from different universities in Lima did some posts to prove that they use Linux (FEDORA+GNOME). You can see in the following list, the various areas where they had worked: design, robotics, education, by using tech as Docker and a Snake GTK game.

  • LibreOffice 5.3 triggers a record of donations

    In this case, one image is better than 1,000 words, as the histogram represents donations during the first 10 days of each month, since May 2013, and doesn’t need any further comment. LibreOffice 5.3 has triggered 3,937 donations in February 2017, 1,800 more than in March 2016, and over 2,000 – sometimes over 3,000 – more than any other month. Donations are key to the life and the development of the project. Thanks, everyone.

  • That Was The Week That Was (TWTWTW): Edition 1

    This is the first edition of TWTWTW, a weekly blog promoting interesting developments in the open source world. TWTWTW seeks to whet your curiosity. The name pays homage to the satirical British TV comedy programme aired in the early 1960s. Except satire isn’t the the raison d’etre for this blog. Instead, it provides a concise distilled commentary of notable open source related news from a different perspective. For the first edition, we present a brief catchup covering software, hardware, and a useful web service.

  • Wikipedia, open source and the truth

    In a world where fact is increasingly treated like fiction, and fiction is presented as fact, few online resources
    have managed to preserve and retain their credibility the way Wikipedia has.

    The online, open-source encyclopedia has become an indispensable reference tool for those in search of information, including journalists.

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GNU/FSF

Sun, 2017-02-19 23:54
  • Why I Love Free Software

    I’m a Linux desktop user, because Linux doesn’t try to lock me into their platform and services only to abandon me halfway through the journey.

    Instead of having my access to remote management features, convenient encryption features, and even how long I’m allowed to use my own device be restricted by how much I’ve paid for my operating system edition; I’m free to choose whichever edition I want based on my needs of the moment.

  • Here's a sneak peek at LibrePlanet 2017: Register today!
  • What's a cryptovalentine?

    Roses are red, violets are blue; I use free software to encrypt my online communication and you can too.

  • Bradley Kuhn Delivered Copyleft Keynote at FOSDEM

    At FOSDEM last week, Conservancy’s Distinguished Technologist Bradley Kuhn delivered a keynote “Understanding The Complexity of Copyleft Defense.” The speech reviews the history of GPL enforcement efforts, pointing out development projects such as OpenWRT and SamyGo that began thanks to GPL compliance work. Kuhn focused in particular on how copyleft compliance can further empower users and developers as more kinds of devices run GPL’d software, and he concluded his remarks urging developers to take control of their own work by demanding to hold their own copyrights, using mechanisms such as Conservancy’s ContractPatch initiative.

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Development News

Sun, 2017-02-19 23:52
  • DWARF Version 5 Standard Released

    The DWARF Debugging Information Format Standards Committee is pleased to announce the availability of Version 5 of the DWARF Debugging Format Standard. The DWARF Debugging Format is used to communicate debugging information between a compiler and debugger to make it easier for programmers to develop, test, and debug programs.

    DWARF is used by a wide range of compilers and debuggers, both proprietary and open source, to support debugging of Ada, C, C++, Cobol, FORTRAN, Java, and other programming languages. DWARF V5 adds support for new languages like Rust, Swift, Ocaml, Go, and Haskell, as well as support for new features in older languages. DWARF can be used with a wide range of processor architectures, such as x86, ARM, PowerPC, from 8-bit to 64-bit.

  • Things that won't change in Python

    A lengthy and strongly opinionated post about Python features to the python-ideas mailing list garnered various responses there, from some agreement to strong disagreement to calling it "trolling", but it may also lead the Python community to better define what Python is. Trolling seems a somewhat unfair characterization, but Simon Lovell's "Python Reviewed" post did call out some of the fundamental attributes of the language and made some value judgments that were seen as either coming from ignorance of the language or simply as opinions that were stated as facts in a brusque way. The thread eventually led to the creation of a document meant to help head off this kind of thread in the future.

  • modulemd 1.1.0

    This is a little belated announcement but let it be known that I released a new version of the module metadata library, modulemd-1.1.0, earlier this week!

  • RPushbullet 0.3.1
  • A rift in the NTP world

    The failure of the Network Time Protocol (NTP) project could be catastrophic. However, what few have noticed is that the attempts to prevent that catastrophe may have created entirely new challenges.

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Security Leftovers

Sun, 2017-02-19 23:52
  • Mobile apps and stealing a connected car

    The concept of a connected car, or a car equipped with Internet access, has been gaining popularity for the last several years. The case in point is not only multimedia systems (music, maps, and films are available on-board in modern luxury cars) but also car key systems in both literal and figurative senses. By using proprietary mobile apps, it is possible to get the GPS coordinates of a car, trace its route, open its doors, start its engine, and turn on its auxiliary devices. On the one hand, these are absolutely useful features used by millions of people, but on the other hand, if a car thief were to gain access to the mobile device that belongs to a victim that has the app installed, then would car theft not become a mere trifle?

  • [Video] Keynote: Security and Privacy in a Hyper-connected World - Bruce Schneier, Security Expert
  • RSA Conference: Lessons from a Billion Breached Data Records

    Troy Hunt sees more breached records than most of us, running the popular ethical data breach search service "Have I been pwned." In a session at the RSA Conference this week, Hunt entertained the capacity crowd with tales both humorous and frightening about breaches that he has been involved with.

    One of things that Hunt said he is often asked is exactly how he learns about so many breaches. His answer was simple.

    "Normally stuff just gets sent to me," Hunt said.

    He emphasized that he doesn't want to be a disclosure channel for breaches, as that's not a role he wants to play. Rather his goal is more about helping people to be informed and protect themselves.

  • How Google Secures Gmail Against Spam and Ransomware

    Google's Gmail web email service is used by millions of companies and consumers around the world, making it an attractive target for attackers. In a session at the RSA Conference here, Elie Bursztein, anti-fraud and abuse research team lead at Google, detailed the many technologies and processes that Google uses to protect users and the Gmail service itself from exploitation.

  • IBM Reveals Security Risks to Owners of Previously Owned IoT Devices

    hen you sell a car, typically the new owner gets the keys to the car and the original owner walks away. With a connected car, Charles Henderson, global head of X-Force Red at IBM Security, found that the original owner still has remote access capabilities, even years after the car has been sold.

    Henderson revealed his disturbing new research into a previously unexplored area of internet of things (IoT) security at the RSA Conference here on Feb. 17. In a video interview with eWEEK, Henderson detailed the management issue he found with IoT devices and why it's a real risk.

    "As smart as a connected car is, it's not smart enough to know that it has been sold, and that poses a real problem," Henderson said.

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Linux 4.9.11

Sun, 2017-02-19 21:57

I'm announcing the release of the 4.9.11 kernel.

All users of the 4.9 kernel series must upgrade.

The updated 4.9.y git tree can be found at:
git://git.kernel.org/pub/scm/linux/kernel/git/stable/linux-stable.git linux-4.9.y
and can be browsed at the normal kernel.org git web browser:
http://git.kernel.org/?p=linux/kernel/git/stable/linux-st...

Also: Linux 4.4.50

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Top 5 Linux distros of 2017

Sun, 2017-02-19 21:54

Ever since it was introduced, Linux has been gaining rapid popularity among users. Linux is used for networking, software development and web hosting. However, choosing the right distro is very important given that there are dozens of them which can fulfil your needs.

A distro, or distribution, is tech-talk for a Linux operating system (OS). Each distro is differentiated by its default interface, i.e. the way it looks, the library of apps officially supported by the specific “brand” of Linux, catalog of stock applications and even repositories. In the Linux world, there are hundreds of different flavors of distro. Examples include Debian, Ubuntu and Red Hat (among many others).

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Review on Solus 2017.01.01: Solid, Stable and Fast

Sun, 2017-02-19 21:51

Solus is an independent Linux distribution which targets desktop PC users. The project started in 2011 carrying the name “SolusOS” but later was changed to a plain “Solus”. What mainly makes Solus different is its desktop interface called “Budgie” beside a lot of other software like “eopkg” which is the distribution’s package manager.

Solus uses a rolling release model. Providing an updated ISO file of the distribution every few months containing the latest software and updates. This, however, doesn’t mean that the system is “unstable” like some other rolling Linux distributions.

There are a lot of exciting things when it comes to Solus. Its desktop interface “Budgie” is completely developed from scratch but is compatible with some GNOME technologies. It also has its own package manager called “eopkg” which uses .eopkg format for package files (it doesn’t depend on .deb or .rpm files nor can install them). “eopkg” was forked from Pardus Linux. But developers of Solus have plans to replace it with “sol“.

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Xfce Resurgence

Sun, 2017-02-19 21:15
  • Releases, releases, releases!

    So it’s not that I’ve been quiet and lazy – I was actually busy preparing some releases and hacking on stuff. So here’s an update on what’s been going on and what’s to come.

  • Alternative Global Menu For MATE And Xfce: Vala Panel AppMenu [PPA]

    A while back I wrote about TopMenu, a panel plugin that provides global menu (AppMenu) support for MATE, then also included support for Xfce and LXDE.

    The problem with TopMenu is that it only partially supports GTK3, it doesn't support LibreOffice, and with Ubuntu 16.04, it doesn't support Qt (4 or 5) applications.

    Here's where Vala Panel AppMenu comes in.

  • Parole Media Player 0.9.0 Released

    Development for the Xfce media player is back on! Well over a year since the last release, Parole 0.9.0 brings a fresh set of features and fixes.

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Reviews: OpenELEC and Clear Linux

Sun, 2017-02-19 20:49

I next turned my attention to a distribution which has only recently been added to the DistroWatch database: Clear Linux. The Clear Linux distribution is unusual in a few ways. For one, the project is not designed to be a full featured or general purpose operating system; Clear Linux focuses on performance more than features. The distribution is fairly minimal and is designed with cloud computing in mind, though it may also be used in other areas, particularly on servers.

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Slackware News

Sun, 2017-02-19 15:03

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Leftovers: Software

Sun, 2017-02-19 15:01
  • Ekos Polar Alignment Assistant Tool

    When setting up a German Equatorial Mount (GEM) for imaging, a critical aspect of capturing long-exposure images is to ensure a proper polar alignment. A GEM mount has two axis: Right Ascension (RA) axis and Declination (DE) axis. Ideally, the RA axis should be aligned with the celestial sphere polar axis. A mount's job is to track the stars motion around the sky, from the moment they rise at the eastern horizon, all the way up across the median, and westward until they set.

  • KStars 2.7.4 for Windows is released!

    Glad to announce the release of KStars v2.7.4 for Windows 64bit. This version is built a more recent Qt (5.8) and the latest KF5 frameworks for Windows bringing more features and stability.

  • Atom 1.14 Has Been Released

    As you may know, Atom is an open-source, multi-platform text editor developed by GitHub, having a simple and intuitive graphical user interface and a bunch of interesting features for writing: CSS, HTML, JavaScript and other web programming languages. Among others, it has support for macros, auto-completion a split screen feature and it integrates with the file manager.

  • Computer Eye Strain Prevention App `SafeEyes` Sees New Release

    SafeEyes is a Linux application which tries to protect your eyes from eye strain by reminding you to take breaks, while also providing some simple exercises.

  • WeatherDesk Changes Your Wallpaper Based On Current Weather Conditions

    WeatherDesk is a Python3 tool that allows using a wallpaper that changes based on the weather and optionally, time of day. It supports most Linux desktop environments as well as Windows and Mac.

  • Penguin Subtitle Player 1.0 Released With SSA/ASS Subtitles Support [Quick Update]

    Penguin Subtitle Player is especially useful for online video streaming websites that don't support subtitles or don't allow custom subtitles. You can also use Penguin Subtitle Player to display subtitles in a custom position, like on the black top/bottom bands, or to display multiple subtitles in the same time.

    The Qt5 application should be able to display subtitles on top of any window, including HTML5 or Flash videos.

    Until now, Penguin Subtitle Player (which we've covered before) only supported SRT subtitles, however, with the latest 1.0.0 version, released yesterday, the application received support for SSA/ASS subtitles.

  • Jam: Listen To Google Play Music From The Console

    Jam is a new Google Play Music console player for Linux and Windows. The application, which is written in Go, had its first alpha release about two weeks ago, and it's currently at version 0.4.0.

    Jam features a console interface very similar to that of Cmus, with easy keyboard navigation. While the interface is easy to use, it currently lacks a help screen, so for a list of keyboard shortcuts, see the Jam GitHub page.

  • “Wiki, what’s going on?” is back again and has a lot to say!
  • Plasma Sprint: Legacy Media Support in KDE Applications

    Boudhayan Gupta dropped by for the final day of the Plasma Sprint because he had 3D printed that save icon and wanted to test it. Coincidently I found a treasure in the glove compartment of my dad’s car, a Eurythmics Greatest Hits audio CD.

  • Kubuntu 16.04.2 LTS Update Available

    The second point release update to our LTS release 16.04 is out now. This contains all the bugfixes added to 16.04 since its first release in April. Users of 16.04 can run the normal update procedure to get these bugfixes. In addition, we suggest adding the Backports PPA to update to Plasma 5.8.5. Read more about it: http://kubuntu.org/news/plasma-5-8-5-bugfix-release-in-xenial-and-yakkety-backports-now/

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Linux Mint 18.1 Is The Best Mint Yet

Sun, 2017-02-19 14:42

The hardcore Linux geeks won’t read this article. They’ll skip right past it… They don’t like Linux Mint much. There’s a good reason for them not to; it’s not designed for them. Linux Mint is for folks who want a stable, elegant desktop operating system that they don’t want to have to constantly tinker with. Anyone who is into Linux will find Mint rather boring because it can get as close to the bleeding edge of computer technology. That said, most of those same hardcore geeks will privately tell you that they’ve put Linux Mint on their Mom’s computer and she just loves it. Linux Mint is great for Mom. It’s stable, offers everything she needs and its familiar UI is easy for Windows refugees to figure out. If you think of Arch Linux as a finicky, high-performance sports car then Linux Mint is a reliable station wagon. The kind of car your Mom would drive. Well, I have always liked station wagons myself and if you’ve read this far then I guess you do, too. A ride in a nice station wagon, loaded with creature comforts, cold blowing AC, and a good sound system can be very relaxing, indeed.

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Make Gnome 3 more accessible for everyday use

Sun, 2017-02-19 14:26

Gnome 3 is a desktop environment that was created to fix a problem that did not exist. Much like PulseAudio, Wayland and Systemd, it's there to give developers a job, while offering no clear benefit over the original problem. The Gnome 2 desktop was fast, lithe, simple, and elegant, and its replacement is none of that. Maybe the presentation layer is a little less busy and you can search a bit more quickly, but that's about as far as the list of advantages goes, which is a pretty grim result for five years of coding.

Despite my reservation toward Gnome 3, I still find it to be a little bit more suitable for general consumption than in the past. Some of the silly early decisions have been largely reverted, and a wee bit more sane functionality added. Not enough. Which is why I'd like to take a moment or three to discuss some extra tweaks and changes you should add to this desktop environment to make it palatable.

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When to Use Which Debian Linux Repository

Sun, 2017-02-19 13:57

Nothing distinguishes the Debian Linux distribution so much as its system of package repositories. Originally organized into Stable, Testing, and Unstable, additional repositories have been added over the years, until today it takes more than a knowledge of a repository's name to understand how to use it efficiently and safely.

Debian repositories are installed with a section called main that consists only of free software. However, by editing the file /etc/apt/sources.list, you can add contrib, which contains software that depends on proprietary software, and non-free, which contains proprietary software. Unless you choose to use only free software, contrib and non-free are especially useful for video and wireless drivers.

You should also know that the three main repositories are named for characters from the Toy Story movies. Unstable is always called Sid, while the names of Testing and Stable change. When a new version of Debian is released, Testing becomes Stable, and the new version of Testing receives a name. These names are sometimes necessary for enabling a mirror site, but otherwise, ignoring these names gives you one less thing to remember.

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