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[$] The case of the supersized shebang

LWN.net - Pon, 02/18/2019 - 19:37
Regressions are an unavoidable side effect of software development; the kernel is no different in that regard. The 5.0 kernel introduced a change in the handling of the "#!" (or "shebang") lines used to indicate which interpreter should handle an executable text file. The problem has been duly fixed, but the incident shows how easy it can be to introduce unexpected problems and highlights some areas where the kernel's development process does not work as well as we might like.

Arne Exton's Six-in-One MultiBootCD Updated with Latest GNU/Linux Releases

tuxmachines.org - Pon, 02/18/2019 - 18:50

EXTON Linux MultiBootCD 6-OS is a live, bootable ISO image that consists of six popular and minimalist GNU/Linux distributions, including Gparted Live, 4MLinux, Tiny Core Linux, Porteus Linux, PuppEX Slack64, and SliTaz Linux. The latest version, build 190215, is here to update several of these bundled OSes.

As such, EXTON Linux MultiBootCD 6-OS Build 190215 ships with 4MLinux 28.0, Porteus 4.0, Tiny Core Linux 10.0, SliTaz 5.0, and PuppEX Slack64 160822, a GNU/Linux distribution based on the popular Puppy Linux operating system. Also included is the older GParted Live 0.26.1-5 distribution.

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LibreOffice-Based Collabora Online 4.0 Adds New Look, Numerous Improvements

tuxmachines.org - Pon, 02/18/2019 - 18:47

Collabora Online 4.0 comes almost a year after the previous release with a new look that refreshes the toolbar icons, colors, and layout, adds a new icon to let users hide the menu bar, as well as various other smaller tweaks to simplify the user interface while giving users a more enjoyable and productive LibreOffice Online experience.

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Google partially backtracks on Chrome changes that would break ad blockers

Arstechnica - Pon, 02/18/2019 - 18:35

Google has said that it will revise the proposed changes to Chrome's extension API that would have broken or reduced the functionality of a wide range of ad-blocking extensions, to ensure that the current variety of content-blocking extensions is preserved. The initial plans generated a wide backlash from both the developers and users of those extensions, but Google maintains that "It is not, nor has it ever been, our goal to prevent or break content blocking" [emphasis Google's] and says that it will work to update its proposal to address the capability gaps and pain points.

The advertising company is planning an overhaul of its extension interface to, among other things, increase user privacy, make it harder for extensions to perform malicious actions, and make the browser's performance more consistent. Together, this work is documented as Manifest V3.

One of these changes in particular had grave consequences for ad blockers. Currently, ad blockers make extensive use of an API named webRequest. This API allows extensions to examine every single network request made by a page and either modify it (to, for example, redirect it to a different address or add or remove cookies), block it altogether, or allow it to continue unhindered. This has both a substantial privacy impact (an extension can see and steal your cookies and hence masquerade as you) and, Google said, some performance impact, as every single network request (of which there may be dozens in a single page) has to wait for the extension to perform its analysis.

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Fedora 30 Will Have Firefox Wayland By Default But Could Be Reverted If Too Buggy

Phoronix - Pon, 02/18/2019 - 18:30
The plan to use the Wayland-native version of Firefox by default for Fedora Workstation 30 atop GNOME has been tentatively approved by the Fedora Engineering and Steering Committee (FESCo)...

Programming with Python

tuxmachines.org - Pon, 02/18/2019 - 18:03
  • Made With Mu: A Steady Hand and Heart

    I first met Les at PyCon UK back in 2013. I was coordinating the education track where we had around 40 teachers and 100 kids turn up over two days. This was an impossible endeavour for a single person to take on. Happily, the founding principle of the education track was to bring together, without prejudice, a collaborative and open community of people involved or interested in Python in education. Les was one of several folks who selflessly contributed for the benefit of the whole community: be it moving furniture to turn meeting rooms into classrooms, setting up and configuring equipment, helping out as a teaching assistant or participating in conversations and debates around Python in education, Les was making positive contributions. He was a role model who showed he was open, welcoming and helpful to anyone who turned up.

  • Podcast.__init__: Unpacking The Python Toolkit For Chaos Engineering

    Chaos engineering is the practice of injecting failures into your production systems in a controlled manner to identify weaknesses in your applications. In order to build, run, and report on chaos experiments Sylvain Hellegouarch created the Chaos Toolkit. In this episode he explains his motivation for creating the toolkit, how to use it for improving the resiliency of your systems, and his plans for the future. He also discusses best practices for building, running, and learning from your own experiments.

  • Answering Python questions from readers

    Every so often, I’ve asked readers of my free, weekly “Better developers” newsletter to send me their Python problems. And every so often, I get a chance to answer their questions, going through their Python problems and trying to solve them.

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Chamferwm: A Vulkan-Powered X11 Window Manager

tuxmachines.org - Pon, 02/18/2019 - 17:58

While we have talked about the possibilities of writing a Vulkan Wayland compositor and there was even a short-lived Vulkan renderer for KDE's KWin, it's also possible to write a X11 window manager around the Vulkan interfaces.

Chamferwm is a new tiling X11 window manager that features a Vulkan compositor. Chamferwm doesn't support Wayland at this point but is written using Vulkan and XCB for the X11 bits. This tiling window manager already supports a lot of standard window management functionality, all rendering is done with Vulkan and there is support for user-supplied shaders for decorations/borders, and support as well for using an external compositor.

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Security updates for Monday

LWN.net - Pon, 02/18/2019 - 17:19
Security updates have been issued by Arch Linux (cairo, firefox, flatpak, hiawatha, and webkit2gtk), Debian (gsoap, mosquitto, php5, thunderbird, and tiff), Fedora (elfutils, ghostscript, gsi-openssh, kernel, kernel-headers, kernel-tools, kf5-kauth, mingw-podofo, mingw-poppler, mosquitto, podofo, and python-markdown2), Mageia (firefox, flash-player-plugin, lxc, and thunderbird), openSUSE (avahi, docker, libu2f-host, LibVNCServer, nginx, phpMyAdmin, and pspp, spread-sheet-widget), Red Hat (rhvm-appliance), and SUSE (python-numpy).

Linux 5.0 I/O Scheduler Benchmarks On Laptop & Desktop Hardware

tuxmachines.org - Pon, 02/18/2019 - 17:18

Our past tests have shown that while most Linux distributions default to "none" for their I/O scheduler on NVMe solid-state storage, that isn't necessarily the best scheduler decision in all cases. Here are tests using the Linux 5.0 Git kernel using laptop and desktop hardware while evaluating no I/O scheduler, mq-deadline, Kyber, and BFQ scheduler options.

Out today is the latest installment of our routine I/O scheduler kernel benchmarks. For this round of testing using a Linux 5.0 Git kernel atop Ubuntu 18.04 LTS, tests were done on an AMD Ryzen 5 2400G desktop and Intel Core i7 8550U laptop. The Ryzen 5 2400G had a Corsair Force MP500 120GB NVMe SSD. The laptop was a Dell XPS 9370 with Samsung PM961 solid-state drive. EXT4 was the file-system in use on both systems and with the default mount options.

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Top 20 Parrot OS Tools

tuxmachines.org - Pon, 02/18/2019 - 17:16

Parrot Security OS is an Open source lightweight distro based on Debian Testing and also it doesn’t have mere Pentesting tools but it contains everything that Security researchers, security developers or privacy aware people might need. Unlike Kali Linux, it also has anonymity, cryptography and development tools with a loot of cool features. Here we’ll review some famous tools of Parrot Security OS which make it a preferable distribution among others.

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today's leftovers

tuxmachines.org - Pon, 02/18/2019 - 17:01

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OSS Leftovers

tuxmachines.org - Pon, 02/18/2019 - 17:00
  • Interview with Noemie Scherer

    Hi! I’m a European Krita user.

    [...]

    That was more than ten years ago. I was something like ten, maybe twelve at most. A friend of mine had a photographer father, so I went to their house and could try his drawing tablet, and it was really cool; some time later my parents got me one (one of those small A6 ones), and my brother downloaded Gimp, probably for a birthday (he was -still is- really into open source).

  • Toyota Prepping 'PASTA' for its GitHub Debut

    Carmaker's open source car-hacking tool platform soon will be available to the research community.
    The lead developer behind Toyota's new cybersecurity testing tool said the carmaker plans to make its so-called PASTA (Portable Automotive Security Testbed with Adaptability) available via GitHub as early as next month or April.

    Tsuyoshi Toyama, senior researcher at Toyota InfoTechnology Center, told Dark Reading that he and his team are currently working on getting the PASTA specifications ready for availability online, and plan to offer as open-source the platform's specs, CAN (controller area network) ID maps, ECU (engine control unit) program codes, and ECU circuit diagrams for vehicle testing. He says Toyota also hopes to offer PASTA's driving simulator programs as open source, as well.

  • FAIR releases a new ELF OpenGo bot with a unique archive that can analyze 87k professional Go games

    It was last year in May when Facebook AI Research (FAIR) released an open source ‘ELF’ OpenGo bot, an AI bot that has defeated world champion professional Go players, based onits existing ELF platform for Reinforcement Learning Research. Yesterday, FAIR announced new features and research results related to ELF OpenGo, including an updated model, a Windows executable version of the bot, and a unique archive analyzing 87k professional Go games.

    ELF OpenGo, an open-source reimplementation of the AlphaZero algorithm, is the first open-source Go AI that has convincingly demonstrated superhuman performance, achieving a (20:0) record against global top professionals.

  • Novel software offers possible reduction in arrhythmic heart disease

    Potentially lethal heart conditions may become easier to spot and may lead to improvements in prevention and treatment thanks to innovative new software that measures electrical activity in the organ.

    The heart's pumping ability is controlled by electrical activity that triggers the heart muscle cells to contract and relax. In certain heart diseases such as arrhythmia, the organ's electrical activity is affected.

    Cardiac researchers can already record and analyse the heart's electrical behaviour using optical and electrode mapping, but widespread use of these technologies is limited by a lack of appropriate software.

    Computer and cardiovascular experts at the University of Birmingham have worked with counterparts in the UK, Netherlands and Australia to develop ElectroMap - a new open-source software for processing, analysis and mapping complex cardiac data.

    Led by researchers from the School of Computer Science and the Institute of Cardiovascular Sciences, at the University of Birmingham, the international team has published its findings in Scientific Reports.

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  • Firefox 66 Beta 8 Testday Results

    As you may already know, last Friday February 15th – we held a new Testday event, for Firefox 66 Beta 8.

    Thank you all for helping us make Mozilla a better place: gaby2300, Priyadharshini  A and Aishwarya Narasimhan.

  • Open-science model for drug discovery expands to neurodegenerative diseases

    Medicines 4 Neurodegenerative Diseases (M4ND Pharma) will pursue promising new genetic drug targets for these intractable nervous system disorders, thanks to $1.5 million from the Krembil Foundation. It will be the world's second drug discovery company committed to open science after Medicines 4 Kids (M4K Pharma), which launched in 2017 to develop a novel drug for an uncommon but fatal childhood brain cancer.

    Open science is a way for researchers to share their data and knowledge quickly and publicly, unencumbered by patents and the peer review publishing process, with the aim of speeding up scientific discovery. The movement gathered force in the life sciences in the 1990s with the Human Genome Project, and spread to protein structures and then early-stage drug discovery through the Structural Genomics Consortium (SGC).

    The non-profit SGC has generated considerable private and public investment and several spin-out companies, but there remains a gap in late-stage drug development.

    "When we started M4K, many people thought an open approach to late-stage drug development might only be applicable to rare or neglected diseases, if at all," says Aled Edwards, a professor of molecular genetics at the University of Toronto and CEO of the SGC. "But we're getting unexpected funding and scientific contributions from industry, academic and clinical sources, and slowly but surely we're advancing a medicine through the pipeline. It's time to move the goal posts again on what's possible with open science."

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Programming: Bash, Python and How to Program a Really Cheap Microcontroller

tuxmachines.org - Pon, 02/18/2019 - 16:31
  • Converting Decimals to Roman Numerals with Bash

    My last few articles have given me a chance to relive my undergraduate computer science degree and code a Roman numeral to decimal converter. It's quite handy when you're watching old movies (when was MCMLVII anyway?), and the basic coding algorithm was reasonably straightforward. (See Dave's "Roman Numerals and Bash" and "More Roman Numerals and Bash".)

    The trick with Roman numerals, however, is that it's what's known as a subtractive notation. In other words, it's not a position → value or even symbol → value notation, but a sort of hybrid. MM = 2000, and C = 100, but MMC and MCM are quite different: the former is 2100, and the latter is 1000 + (–100 + 1000) = 1900.

    This means that the conversion isn't quite as simple as a mapping table, which makes it a good homework assignment for young comp-sci students!

  • Creating a containerized Python/Flask development environment with Red Hat CodeReady Workspaces

    Red Hat CodeReady Workspaces provide developers with containerized development environments hosted on OpenShift/Kubernetes. DevOps teams can now use a hosted development environment that’s pre-built for their chosen stack and customized for their project.

    CodeReady Workspaces can help you rapidly onboard developers for your project as everything they need to develop is running in a containized workspace. In this post, we’re going to use CodeReady Workspaces to get up and running quickly with an existing open source project, Peak. Peak is a multi-container Kubernetes application for performance testing web services, and it allows you to create distributed performance tests using the Kubernetes Batch API for test orchestration. We’ll make some modifications to Peak’s Flask front end, a stateless web interface that interacts with a Falcon RESTful API to return data about performance tests. You won’t need the complete Peak application deployed, though if you like, you can find steps to deploy it to OpenShift here.

  • How to Run Your Python Scripts

    One of the most important skills you need to build as a Python developer is to be able to run Python scripts and code. This is going to be the only way for you to know if your code works as you planned. It’s even the only way of knowing if your code works at all!

    This step-by-step tutorial will guide you through a series of ways to run Python scripts, depending on your environment, platform, needs, and skills as a programmer.

  • Mike Driscoll: PyDev of the Week: Maria McKinley

    This week we welcome Maria McKinley (@twiteness) as our PyDev of the Week. Maria is a Senior Software Engineer at the Walt Disney Company and will be a speaker at PyCascades 2019. She is also teaching the Python Certificate Program at the University of Washington Continuing Education. Let’s spend a few moments getting to know her better.

  • How To Program A Really Cheap Microcontroller

    There are rumors of a cheap chip that does USB natively, has an Open Source toolchain, and costs a quarter. These aren’t rumors: you can buy the CH552 microcontroller right now. Surprisingly, there aren’t many people picking up this cheap chip for their next project. If there’s no original projects using this chip, no one is going to use this chip. Catch 22, and all that.

    Like a generous god, [Aaron Christophel] has got your back with a working example of programming this cheap chip, and doing something useful with it. It blinks LEDs, it writes to an I2C display, and it does everything you would want from a microcontroller that costs a few dimes.

    The CH552, and its friends the small CH551 all the way up to the CH559, contain an 8051 core, somewhere around 16 kB of flash, the high-end chips have a USB controller, there’s SPI, PWM, I2C, and it costs pennies. Unlike so many other chips out there, you can find SDKs and toolchains. You can program the chip over USB. Clearly, we’re looking at something really cool if someone writes an Arduino wrapper for it. We’re not there yet, but we’re close.

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RISC-V: Military/Aerospace Designs, Road Ahead, Libre GPU

tuxmachines.org - Pon, 02/18/2019 - 16:22
  • RISC-V Eases Innovation in Military/Aerospace Designs

    The RISC-V Instruction Set Architecture (ISA), and open hardware standards in general, have the potential to be a real boon the military and aerospace designers. “RISC-V is being received with open arms by the military and aerospace sectors,” said Tim Morin, director of strategic marketing in Microchip Technnology’s FPGA business unit. “They are very excited about it.”

    From a design perspective, the ISA addresses the need to minimize power consumption, streamline bill of material (BOM) costs, and optimize board space. “With RISC-V, when you create an integrated circuit, you do exactly what you need,” said Michael Cave, senior director, strategic technology at SiFive, adding that the company is bidding on DARPA projects currently. “The government loves that reality. The government feels like if they don’t do something innovative, China is going to capture the lead.”

  • RISC-V: The Road Ahead

    Now that RISC-V has established a beachhead as a deeply embedded controller in SoCs, it’s time to start asking the next question: Can this open-source instruction-set architecture (ISA) make the next big leap into being an alternative to Arm and the x86 as a host processor?

    The short answer is yes, but it could take several years and there are plenty of pitfalls along the way. Essentially, the freewheeling open-source community behind RISC-V will need to develop and adhere to a wide range of system-level standards.

    So far, Nvidia and Western Digital plan to use RISC-V controllers in their SoCs, and Microsemi will use it in a new FPGA. Andes, Cortus, and startup SiFive sell IP cores, and a handful of startups plan to launch mainly machine-learning accelerators using it.

    RISC-V is in as many as 20 million fitness bands and smartwatches in China. In the U.S., SiFive has shipped more than 2,500 development boards using processors that it aims to sell as IP cores or as SoCs through its design services.

    “The lowest-hanging fruit is the embedded space where the APIs are not exposed to programmers,” said Rick O’Connor, executive director of the non-profit RISC-V Foundation. “That’s the easiest thing to do, but there’s healthy activity in all segments.

  • Libre RISC-V GPU Aiming For 2.5 Watt Power Draw Continues Being Plotted

    Besides having a dedicated Intel GPU to look forward to in 2020, the effort around creating an open-source RISC-V architecture based graphics processor continues being spearheaded by Luke Kenneth Casson Leighton and other libre hardware developers.

    This is the ambitious effort for effectively creating a RISC-V-based Vulkan accelerator that hopes to be able to achieve 25 FPS @ 720p, 5~6 GFLOPs. Part of how they plan to make a RISC-V based GPU viable is via their Simple-V extension for RISC-V. While the performance target is incredibly lax by today's standards, they do plan for an aggressive power consumption target of just about 2.5 Watts.

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Software: Weather, Typing Tutors and Simple and Fast Alternative to Find Command

tuxmachines.org - Pon, 02/18/2019 - 16:15
  • 7 Best Weather Apps for Ubuntu & Linux Mint

    Weather awareness is important to a lot of people, especially those who are always commuting, event planners, etc. And while we have covered several weather applications for Linux in the past but we never compiled a list that puts the best together.

    Today, we bring you a list of the best weather applications you can install on your Ubuntu and Linux Mint set up.

  • 5 Best Free Linux Typing Tutors

    Being able to touch type is the ability of typing without looking at the keyboard. When touch-typing, the individual uses all fingers instead of just a few fingers. Consequently, typing speed increases dramatically.

    It’s not only transcriptionists and secretaries that benefit from being able to type without looking at the keyboard. By concentrating on their thoughts and creative processes rather than the keyboard, all users will focus more on the content of the text, thereby increasing its quality. Moreover, touch-typing is less tiring, and less demanding on the brain. It also reduces the risk of Repetitive strain injury and Carpal tunnel syndrome.

    Typing tutor software teaches fast and accurate typing through a system of informative lessons and progress tracking. We think it is important that learning should be fun, so we have included some typing games in this feature.

  • fd – A Simple and Fast Alternative to Find Command

    Most of the Linux users are well familiar with the find command and the many cases it can be used. Today we are going to review an alternative to find command, called fd.

    fd, is a simple, fast and user-friendly tool meant to simply perform faster compared to find. It is not meant to completely replace find, but rather give you an easy to use alternative that performs slightly faster.

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Linux 5.0 I/O Scheduler Benchmarks On Laptop & Desktop Hardware

Phoronix - Pon, 02/18/2019 - 16:00
Our past tests have shown that while most Linux distributions default to "none" for their I/O scheduler on NVMe solid-state storage, that isn't necessarily the best scheduler decision in all cases. Here are tests using the Linux 5.0 Git kernel using laptop and desktop hardware while evaluating no I/O scheduler, mq-deadline, Kyber, and BFQ scheduler options.

10 Cool Software to Try from COPR Repo in Fedora

tuxmachines.org - Pon, 02/18/2019 - 15:58

In this article, we will share 10 cool software projects to try in Fedora distribution. All the apps or tools covered here can be found in COPR repository. However, before we move any further, let’s briefly explain COPR.

Also: NeuroFedora update: 2019 week 7

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