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Updated: 13 min 8 sec ago

System76 is disabling Intel's flawed Management Engine on its Linux laptops

Fri, 2017-12-01 19:10

LINUX PC FLOGGER System76 has announced that it'll be disabling Intel's flawed Management Engine on all its laptops.

Earlier this month, Intel posted a security advisory warning manufacturers and users of its Management Engine of a number of firmware-level vulnerabilities and bugs found, which were also present in its Server Platform Services and the Trusted Execution Engine.

Security researchers warned that cybercriminals can cause instability with complete system crashes by exploiting the management engine, noting that they've also found a way to "impersonate" the engine and, in the process, kill existing PC security mechanisms.

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today's leftovers

Fri, 2017-12-01 11:54
  • Docker for Data Science

    Docker is a tool that simplifies the installation process for software engineers. Coming from a statistics background I used to care very little about how to install software and would occasionally spend a few days trying to resolve system configuration issues. Enter the god-send Docker almighty.

    Think of Docker as a light virtual machine (I apologise to the Docker gurus for using that term). Generally someone writes a *Dockerfile* that builds a *Docker Image* which contains most of the tools and libraries that you need for a project. You can use this as a base and add any other dependencies that are required for your project. Its underlying philosophy is that if it works on my machine it will work on yours.

  • PAWARUMI gets updated! New level and Linux support!

    With a few weeks into early access, Pawarumi get its first update, on Monday 17th, with a lot of tweaks asked by the community and Linux support! Also, the last level of the game is now playable!

  • Last Weeks Activity in Elisa

    Elisa project has now an official mailing list hosted by kde (Elisa mailing list). Alexander Stippich is now a regular KDE developer and we felt a list was good to coordinate work on Elisa. I am also very happy, to nine years after I joined KDE, to have the honor to recommend somebody. I still remember how excited I was at that time.

    Following blog post from Kevin Funk on binary-factory service (KDE binary factory), Elisa windows installers are regularly built. Thanks a lot to the KDE windows contributors. They do a lot of work to help projects like mine.
    2017-11-30 14_28_43-

  • AWS partnership helps Red Hat manage cloud computing’s rapid growth

    With the rapid advancements and innovation dominating most conversations around cloud computing, it can be easy to neglect the issues around maintaining reliable core products while remaining competitive through the data revolution.

    As an early pioneer of open source, Red Hat Inc. is continuing to innovate through its AWS partnership while keeping a strong focus on maintaining standards and supportive frameworks for additions to new and existing offerings.

  • A Few Clear Signs For Box, Inc. (BOX), Red Hat, Inc. (RHT)
  • The Red Hat Inc (RHT) Upgraded by Zacks Investment Research to “Strong-Buy”
  • Bodhi's new Compose object
  • Call for Translations: Arctica Greeter and Ayatana Indicators
  • Serving a static blog from a Snap

    Out of curiosity, I decided to try and package this blog as a snap package, and it turns out to be an extremely easy and convenient way to deploy a static blog!

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Devices: Qseven, Tizen and Android

Fri, 2017-12-01 11:51
  • Qseven module builds on Apollo Lake SoCs

    Avalue has launched a Linux-ready “EQM-APL” Qseven module with Apollo Lake SoCs, up to 64GB eMMC, and optional -40 to 85°C support.

    Avalue’s EQM-APL joins other Intel Apollo Lake based Qseven modules such as Axiomtek’s Q7M311, MSC’s MSC Q7-AL, Arbor’s EmQ-i2401, Portwell’s PQ7-M108, Advantech’s SOM-3569, Congatec’s Conga-QA5, and Seco’s Q7-B03. The 70 x 70mm, Qseven 2.1 compliant EQM-APL supports Linux, Android, and Windows 10 on all three Apollo Lake Atom options, as well as the Pentium N4200 and Celeron N3350.

  • Have you got Gear S3 FACER watch face issues after Tizen 3.0 update? Here are the Fixes
  • Hulu’s new UI and live TV service are now available on Samsung’s 2017 Smart TVs
  • Essential CEO Andy Rubin goes on leave for “personal reasons”

    Andy Rubin, the founder of Google’s Android and current CEO of Essential, is taking a month-long leave from Essential for “personal reasons.” At the same time, a report of an “inappropriate relationship” at Google has surfaced.

    A report from The Information claims that Google’s HR division conducted an investigation into Rubin after a complaint and found that he maintained an “inappropriate relationship” with a subordinate while at the Internet giant. Google policy forbids a romantic relationship between supervisors and subordinates, and Google’s investigation apparently concluded that “Rubin’s behavior was improper and showed bad judgement.” (Although Google cofounder Sergey Brin ran the Google Glass team and dated the Google Glass marketing manager, Amanda Rosenberg.)

  • 8 Best Secure And Encrypted Messaging Apps For Android & iOS

    Millions of people exchange message all over the world every day. But, how many people know what happens to a message once they send it? Is it being intercepted by any third-party users? Well, the truth is, we live in an age of internet surveillance and data logging. Agencies and organizations often want access to private communication; we have had instances of CIA hacking attempts and attempts by FBI to gain unauthorized access. Such events have raised concerns among users. To tackle such issues, there has been a rise in secure messaging apps. These apps focus on keeping your privacy intact by launching end-to-end encryption services.

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  • Google Launches Datally To Save Mobile Data In Android
  • Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 - Old tablet, new times

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OSS Leftovers

Fri, 2017-12-01 11:49
  • Mozilla releases dataset and model to lower voice-recognition barriers

    Mozilla has released its Common Voice collection, which contains almost 400,000 recordings from 20,000 people, and is claimed to be the second-largest voice dataset publicly available.

    The voice samples in the collection were obtained from Mozilla's Common Voice project, which allowed users via an iOS app or website to donate their utterances. It is hoped that creating a large public dataset will allow for better voice-enabled applications.

  • Mozilla’s open source voice recognition tool nears human-like accuracy

    Mozilla has released an open source voice recognition tool that it says is “close to human level performance,” and free for developers to plug into their projects.

    The free-software company also on Wednesday released a first set of crowdsourced recordings under its Common Voice project, designed to let anyone train and test machine learning algorithms to recognize speech. The dataset includes almost 400,000 downloadable samples, adding up to 500 hours of speech. More than 20,000 people from around the world have contributed to a call for recordings, which Mozilla hopes will help future voice-powered systems fluently understand a wide variety of accents and types of speech. “We at Mozilla believe technology should be open and accessible to all, and that includes voice,” Mozilla chief executive Sean White wrote in a blog post.

  • Open source innovation is now all about vendor on-ramps

    In short: All this innovation is available to buy; none of it is available to build. Not for mere mortals, anyway.

  • Is Open Yet Closed Still OK?

    Deliberately obfuscated source code is not allowed.

  • Huge tech leaders come together for open source licensing initiative

    Red Hat, Facebook, Google and IBM have announced efforts to promote additional predictability in open source licensing, by committing to extend additional rights to cure open source license compliance errors and mistakes.

    Red Hat says the move reflects a commitment to providing a fair cure period to correct license compliance issues for GPLv2 software.

    Michael Cunningham, Red Hat executive vice president and general counsel says, “We believe in promoting greater fairness and predictability in license enforcement and the growth of participation in the open source community.

    “We encourage other GPLv2 copyright holders to follow our lead.”

  • Major Players Roll Up Sleeves to Solve Open Source Licensing Problems

    Four big tech players this week moved to improve their handling of open source software licensing violations.

    Red Hat, Google, Facebook and IBM said they would apply error standards in the most recent GNU General Public License agreement, GPLv3, to all of their open source licensing, even licenses granted under older GPL agreements.

    "There is no procedure in the older GPLs that allowed a licensee to correct his mistakes," said Lawrence Rosen, an intellectual property attorney at Rosenlaw & Einschlag and former general counsel for the Open Source Initiative.

  • Managing the Global Commons: Open Source Tools to Support Sustainable Agriculture and Use of the World’s Land and Water Resources in the 21st Century

    Eight of the 17 SDGs are closely tied to food, land and water. Yet these natural resources are already under intense pressure from growing population and rising per capita incomes. Can the future demands for food, fuel, clean water, biodiversity, climate change mitigation and poverty reduction be reconciled? Are we counting on the same hectare of land to satisfy conflicting SDGs? What are the trade-offs of favoring one goal over others? Are there win-win scenarios under which attainment of one SDG will also benefit others? The sustainable development challenge is a particularly ‘wicked’ problem since sustainability is fundamentally a local concept, requiring fine-scale analysis, yet sustainability stresses are often driven by global forces. Furthermore, aggressive pursuit of the SDGs will itself have consequences for global markets.

  • Researchers release open-source dataset offering instructions to build smartphone microscope

    Add one more thing to the list of tasks your smartphone can perform. University of Houston researchers have released an open-source dataset offering instructions to people interested in building their own smartphone microscope.

    [...]

    The work was partially funded with a $100,000 grant from the National Science Foundation's citizen science initiative, which encourages scientists to find ways to expand knowledge of and access to research.

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  • Mathieu Stephan : The Making of a Secure Open Source Hardware Password Keeper

    Mathieu Stephan is an open source hardware developer, a Tindie seller who always has inventory, a former Hackaday writer, and an awesome all-around guy. One of his biggest projects for the last few years has been the Mooltipass, an offline password keeper built around smart cards and a USB interface. It’s the solution to Post-It notes stuck to your monitor and using the same password for all your accounts around the Internet.

    The Mooltipass is an extremely successful product, and last year Mathieu launched the Mooltipass Mini. No, it doesn’t have the sweet illuminated touch-sensitive buttons, but it is a bit cheaper than its big brother and a bit more resistant to physical attacks — something you want in a device that keeps all your passwords secure.

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Programming/Development: Python, Light Table IDE, Kotlin, PHP and Perl

Fri, 2017-12-01 11:27
  • NCSA SPIN Intern Daniel Johnson Develops Open Source HPC Python Package

    At the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA), undergraduate SPIN (Students Pushing INnovation) intern Daniel Johnson joined NCSA’s Gravity Group to study Albert Einstein’s theory of general relativity, specifically numerical relativity. Daniel has used the open source, numerical relativity software, the Einstein Toolkit on the Blue Waters supercomputer to numerically solve Einstein’s general relativity equations to study the collision of black holes, and the emission of gravitational waves from these astrophysical events. During his SPIN internship, Daniel developed an open source, Python package to streamline these numerical analyses in high performance computing (HPC) environments.

  • Light Table – A Next-Generation Open-Source and Customizable IDE

    Light Table is a free, customizable, functional, and open-source IDE with a modern and intuitive User Interface, plugin support, command pane, and connection manager.

    It was created by Chris Granger and Robert Attorri in mostly ClojureScript with the aim of providing developers to write and debug software with ease while getting smart feedback from the IDE and exchanging creative ideas with other users in the Light Table community.

  • Kotlin 1.2 Released: Sharing Code between Platforms

    Today we’re releasing Kotlin 1.2. This is a major new release and a big step on our road towards enabling the use of Kotlin across all components of a modern application.

    In Kotlin 1.1, we officially released the JavaScript target, allowing you to compile Kotlin code to JS and to run it in your browser. In Kotlin 1.2, we’re adding the possibility to reuse code between the JVM and JavaScript. Now you can write the business logic of your application once, and reuse it across all tiers of your application – the backend, the browser frontend and the Android mobile app. We’re also working on libraries to help you reuse more of the code, such as a cross-platform serialization library.

  • PHP 7.2 And Kotlin 1.2 Programming Languages Released

    Kotlin 1.2 Moving to Kotlin–the latest programming language to get official Android support. JetBrains announced Kotlin 1.2 and called it a major release which will let the devs reuse code between JVM and JS.

  • Rcpp now used by 1250 CRAN packages

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Graphics: NVIDIA and AMD

Fri, 2017-12-01 11:16
  • NVIDIA's New Memory Allocator Project To Be Standalone, Undecided On Name

    Following NVIDIA's call for feedback on their effort to create a new device memory allocator API that would be of equal use to the upstream open-source drivers and potentially replace (or indirectly used by) the Wayland compositors in place of the existing GBM API and NVIDIA's failed EGLStreams Wayland push, their next steps continue to be formulated.

  • NVIDIA's Current Linux Driver Is Hungry For vRAM This Holiday

    With a NVIDIA Linux developer having confirmed a current driver performance regression affecting driver releases since the 378 series and not being worked around until the yet-to-be-released 390.xx beta driver, I decided to carry out some tests.

  • Nvidia Driver Problems: Bug Causes Performance Loss For Linux Users

    Graphics card maker Nvidia confirmed what gamers have suspected for some time: the company’s products experience a significant loss in performance on Linux operating systems, and Nvidia drivers appear to be the culprit.

  • AMD Announces The Radeon Software Adrenalin Driver

    AMD's embargo has just expired over the name of their new driver.

    This shouldn't come as a big surprise, but AMD has been pushing out big annual updates to their "Radeon Software" graphics driver the past few years. In December they will be shipping the successor to Radeon Software Crimson ReLive Edition.

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System76 Shuts Off Intel Back Doors, But Will Continue to Pay Intel

Fri, 2017-12-01 11:14
  • System76 Will Begin Disabling Intel ME In Their Linux Laptops

    Following the recent Intel Management Engine (ME) vulnerabilities combined with some engineering work the past few months on their end, System76 will begin disabling ME on their laptops.

  • Linux hardware vendor outlines Intel Management Engine firmware plan

    The Linux-equipped computer maker, System76, has detailed plans to update the Intel Management Engine (ME) firmware on its computers in line with Intel’s November 20th vulnerability announcement. In July, System76 began work on a project to automatically deliver firmware to System76 laptops which works in a similar fashion to how software is usually delivered through the operating system.

  • System76 to disable Intel Management Engine on its notebooks

    Intel has recently confirmed the earlier findings of third parties who revealed that its Management Engine firmware has some serious security issues. Since we talked about this recently, we should now move to System76's approach in handling this situation.

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Giving the gift of a pull request to an open source project in need

Fri, 2017-12-01 11:12

On December 1st, 24 Pull Requests will be opening its virtual doors once again, asking you to give the gift of a pull request to an open source project in need. Six years ago, inspired by 24 Ways (an advent calendar for web geeks), I decided an advent calendar was a great way to motivate people to contribute to projects. Last year more than 16,000 pull requests were made by nearly 3,000 contributors through the site. And they're not all by programmers.

Often the contribution with the most impact might be an improvement to technical documentation, some tests, or even better—guidance for other contributors. The 24 Pull Requests website, for example, started off as a single html page and has received almost 900 pull requests over the years to turn it into the site it is today.

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Alpine Linux 3.7.0 Released

Fri, 2017-12-01 11:08

We are pleased to announce the release of Alpine Linux 3.7.0, the first in the v3.7 stable series.

Also: Alpine Linux 3.7 Brings EFI Support, Installer Option For GRUB

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Want to switch from Apple macOS to Linux because of the 'root' security bug? Give deepin 15.5 a try!

Fri, 2017-12-01 10:39

Apple's macOS is a great operating system. Not only is it stable and beautifully designed, but it very secure too. Well, usually it is. Unless you live under a rock, you definitely heard about the macOS High Sierra security bug that made the news over the last couple of days. In case you somehow are unaware, the bug essentially made it so anyone could log into any Mac running the latest version of the operating system.

Luckily, Apple has already patched the bug, and some people -- like me -- have forgiven the company. Understandably, not everyone will be as forgiving as me. Undoubtedly, there are Mac users that are ready to jump ship as a result of the embarrassing bug. While that is probably an overreaction, if you are set on trying an alternative operating system, you should not go with Windows 10. Instead, you should embrace Linux. In fact, rather serendipitously, a Linux distribution with a UI reminiscent of macOS gets a new version today. Called "deepin," version 15.5 of the distro is now ready to download.

Also: deepin 15.5 Linux Distro Released — Get A Beautiful And Easy-to-use Linux Experience

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LosslessCut is a Ridiculously Simple Video Cutter for Linux

Fri, 2017-12-01 09:28

If you want a no-nonsense tool that just lets you cut parts of your videos, give LosslessCut a try. It’s an effortless video splitter for Linux.

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Ubuntu 16.04 LTS Will Soon Get an Important Unity Stack Update with 27 Bug Fixes

Fri, 2017-12-01 04:02

When Mark Shuttleworth said Canonical wouldn't develop Unity anymore, there were rumors that Unity 7 will also no longer receive any maintenance work. But Canonical shattered those rumors and said it would continue to patch things in the Unity Stack for supported releases, such as Ubuntu 16.04 LTS.

Truth be told, we didn't actually see any signs of life support for Unity since that announcement, but it looks like the team responsible for keeping the desktop environment bug-free has done some great work lately and managed to squash no less than 27 bugs for the Unity Stack in Ubuntu 16.04 LTS (Xenial Xerus).

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Google launches TensorFlow-based vision recognition kit for RPi Zero W

Fri, 2017-12-01 03:58

Google’s $45 “AIY Vision Kit” for the Raspberry Pi Zero W performs TensorFlow-based vision recognition using a “VisionBonnet” board with a Movidius chip.

Google’s AIY Vision Kit for on-device neural network acceleration follows an earlier AIY Projects voice/AI kit for the Raspberry Pi that shipped to MagPi subscribers back in May. Like the voice kit and the older Google Cardboard VR viewer, the new AIY Vision Kit has a cardboard enclosure. The kit differs from the Cloud Vision API, which was demo’d in 2015 with a Raspberry Pi based GoPiGo robot, in that it runs entirely on local processing power rather than requiring a cloud connection. The AIY Vision Kit is available now for pre-order at $45, with shipments due in early December.

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