Linux (en)

  • Linux In 2020 Can Finally Provide Sane Monitoring Of SATA Drive Temperatures (Phoronix)
    Here is another long overdue kernel change... For more than a decade there have been patches trying to get SATA/SCSI drive temperature monitoring working nicely within the Linux kernel but none of that work ever made it through for mainlining. That has left various user-space tools to provide the functionality, but in doing so that has required root access and not to mention the need to first install said utilities. Well, with Linux 5.6 in 2020, there is finally a proper drive temperature driver for disks and solid-state drives with temperature sensors...
  • Project Trident Reaches Beta For Its ZFS-Based Void Linux Powered OS (Phoronix)
    Making rounds in Q4 of last year was the little known Project Trident open-source operating system switching from its TrueOS/FreeBSD base to in turn moving to Void Linux as a base for their platform. Towards the end of the year they offered some initial images of their reborn OS while now Project Trident based on Void Linux has reached beta...
  • A Recap Of The Many Interesting Presentations At FOSDEM 2018 (Phoronix)
    Over the past week and a half we have highlighted many of the interesting presentations that took place at the annual Free Open-Source Developers' European Meeting (FOSDEM) in Brussels. Here's a look back if you are behind on your Phoronix reading...
  • Wine 2.1 Released With Greater SM5 Support, Better Direct2D Rendering (Phoronix)
    Wine 2.1 is now available as the first development release in the road toward next year's Wine 3.0 release, per the new Wine versioning scheme...
  • 10-Way AMD GPU Comparison For Team Fortress 2 With RadeonSI Mesa 13.1-dev (Phoronix)
    In case you didn't hear, last week a nine year old Mesa bug was fixed that ended up causing stability issues for RadeonSI and was one of the reasons Valve's Team Fortress 2 game wasn't running stable on the open-source AMD driver in quite a while. With Mesa Git now running Team Fortress 2 on RadeonSI without any stability problems, here are fresh benchmarks of that game when using Mesa 13.1-dev and Linux 4.9...
  • What Happens When a Nobel Prize-Winning Scientist Retracts A Paper? (Slashdot)
    An American scientist who won the Nobel Prize for chemistry just retracted their latest paper on Monday. Professor Arnold had shared the prize with George P Smith and Gregory Winter for their 2018 research on enzymes, reports the BBC (in an article shared by omfglearntoplay): It has been retracted because the results were not reproducible, and the authors found data missing from a lab notebook... "It is painful to admit, but important to do so. I apologize to all. I was a bit busy when this was submitted, and did not do my job well." That same day, Science published a note outlining why it would be retracting the paper, which Professor Arnold co-authored with Inha Cho and Zhi-Jun Jia. "Efforts to reproduce the work showed that the enzymes do not catalyze the reactions with the activities and selectivities claimed. Careful examination of the first author's lab notebook then revealed missing contemporaneous entries and raw data for key experiments. The authors are therefore retracting the paper." Professor Arnold is being applauded for acknowledging the mistake -- and has argued that science suffers when there's pressures not to: "It should not be so difficult to retract a paper, and it should not be considered an act of courage to publicly admit it... We should just be able to do it and set the record straight... The very quick and widespread response to my tweets shows how strong the fear of doing the right thing is (especially among junior scientists). However, the response also shows that taking responsibility is still appreciated by most people." Those remarks come from a Forbes article by the Professor of Health Policy and Management at the City University of New York. His own thoughts? What the heck happened with scientific research? Exploring, making and admitting mistakes should be part of the scientific process. Yet, Arnold's retraction and admission garnered such attention because it is a rare thing to do these days... If you need courage to do what should be a routine part of science, then Houston and every other part of the country, we've got a problem. And this is a big, big problem for science and eventually our society... [T]ruly advancing science requires knowing about the things that didn't work out and all the mistakes that happened. These shouldn't stay hidden deep within the recesses of laboratories and someone's notebook.

    Read more of this story at Slashdot.

  • Marvell Is Plumbing Octeon TX2 Support Into The GCC Compiler (Phoronix)
    Marvell has been preparing the Octeon TX2 processor support for the GCC compiler, their next-generation version of the (originally Cavium) infrastructure/network processors now based on their ThunderX2 line...
  • Flatpak Support Is Now "Production Ready" In KDE Discover (Phoronix)
    It seems to be a busy weekend for KDE news... The latest is that the Flatpak app sandboxing support formerly known as XDG-App is considered production ready within KDE Discover...
  • It's 2020 And GCC Has Finally Converted From SVN To Git (Phoronix)
    I reported a few days ago GCC was hoping to transition to Git this weekend from their large SVN repository. Going into this weekend I wasn't going to be the least bit surprised if this transition got delayed again given all of the months of delays already, but actually, they went ahead and migrated to Git!..
  • DistroWatch Weekly, Issue 757 (DistroWatch)
    This week in DistroWatch Weekly: Review: Gatter Linux 0.8News: Red Hat turns 25, Ubuntu's minimal desktop option, super long term support kernels, new shortcuts in elementary OS, FreeBSD 10.3 reaching EoLBook review: UNIX and Linux System Administration Handbook (Fifth Edition)Released last week: Slax 9.4.0, heads 0.4, Qubes OS....
  • Thoughts on Our Possible Future Without Work (Slashdot)
    There's a new book called A World Without Work by economics scholar/former government policy adviser Daniel Susskind. The Guardian succinctly summarizes its prognostications for the future: It used to be argued that workers who lost their low-skilled jobs should retrain for more challenging roles, but what happens when the robots, or drones, or driverless cars, come for those as well? Predictions vary but up to half of jobs are at least partially vulnerable to AI, from truck-driving, retail and warehouse work to medicine, law and accountancy. That's why the former US treasury secretary Larry Summers confessed in 2013 that he used to think "the Luddites were wrong, and the believers in technology and technological progress were right. I'm not so completely certain now." That same year, the economist and Keynes biographer Robert Skidelsky wrote that fears of technological unemployment were not so much wrong as premature: "Sooner or later, we will run out of jobs." Yet Skidelsky, like Keynes, saw this as an opportunity. If the doomsayers are to be finally proven right, then why not the utopians, too...? The work ethic, [Susskind] says, is a modern religion that purports to be the only source of meaning and purpose. "What do you do for a living?" is for many people the first question they ask when meeting a stranger, and there is no entity more beloved of politicians than the "hard-working family". Yet faced with precarious, unfulfilling jobs and stagnant wages, many are losing faith in the gospel of work. In a 2015 YouGov survey, 37% of UK workers said their jobs made no meaningful contribution. Susskind wonders in the final pages "whether the academics and commentators who write fearfully about a world with less work are just mistakenly projecting the personal enjoyment they take from their jobs on to the experience of everyone else". That deserves to be more than an afterthought. The challenge of a world without work isn't just economic but political and psychological... [I]s relying on work to provide self-worth and social status an inevitable human truth or the relatively recent product of a puritan work ethic? Keynes regretted that the possibility of an "age of leisure and abundance" was freighted with dread: "For we have been trained too long to strive and not to enjoy." The state, Susskind concedes with ambivalence, will need to smooth the transition. Moving beyond the "Age of Labour" will require something like a universal basic income (he prefers a more selective conditional basic income), funded by taxes on capital to share the proceeds of technological prosperity. The available work will also need to be more evenly distributed. After decades of a 40-hour week, the recent Labour manifesto, influenced by Skidelsky, promised 32 hours by 2030. And that's the relatively easy part. Moving society's centre of gravity away from waged labour will require visionary "leisure policies" on every level, from urban planning to education, and a revolution in thinking. "We will be forced to consider what it really means to live a meaningful life," Susskind writes, implying that this is above his pay grade. The review concludes that "if AI really does to employment what previous technologies did not, radical change can't be postponed indefinitely. "It may well be utopia or bust."

    Read more of this story at Slashdot.

  • Killer Robots Reconsidered: Could AI Weapons Actually Save Lives? (Slashdot)
    "On the surface, who could disagree with quashing the idea of supposed killer robots?" writes Slashdot reader Lasrick. "Dr. Larry Lewis, who spearheaded the first data-based approach to protecting civilians in conflict, wants us to look a bit closer." From the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists: The proponents of a UN ban are in some respects raising a false alarm. I should know. As a senior advisor for the State Department on civilian protection in the Obama administration, I was a member of the US delegation in the UN deliberations on lethal autonomous weapons systems... Country representatives have met every year since 2014 to discuss the future possibility of autonomous systems that could use lethal force. And talk of killer robots aside, several nations have mentioned their interest in using artificial intelligence in weapons to better protect civilians. A so-called smart weapon -- say a ground-launched, sensor-fused munition -- could more precisely and efficiently target enemy fighters and deactivate itself if it does not detect the intended target, thereby reducing the risks inherent in more intensive attacks like a traditional air bombardment. I've worked for over a decade to help reduce civilian casualties in conflict, an effort sorely needed given the fact that most of those killed in war are civilians. I've looked, in great detail, at the possibility that automation in weapons systems could in fact protect civilians. Analyzing over 1,000 real-world incidents in which civilians were killed, I found that humans make mistakes (no surprise there) and that there are specific ways that AI could be used to help avoid them. There were two general kinds of mistakes: either military personnel missed indicators that civilians were present, or civilians were mistaken as combatants and attacked in that belief. Based on these patterns of harm from real world incidents, artificial intelligence could be used to help avert these mistakes... Artificial intelligence may make weapons systems and the future of war relatively less risky for civilians than it is today. It is time to talk about that possibility.

    Read more of this story at Slashdot.

  • Distribution Release: Redcore Linux 1803 (DistroWatch)
    Redcore Linux is a Gentoo-based distribution which strives to be easy to install and features the LXQt desktop environment. The project's latest snapshot release includes several security improvements, such as running a hardened Linux kernel and compiling software with address space layout randomization (ASLR). "The Redcore Linux team....
  • Distribution Release: Qubes OS 4.0 (DistroWatch)
    Andrew David Wong has announced the release of Qubes OS 4.0, a major new update of the project's security-oriented desktop Linux distribution based on Fedora 25: "After nearly two years in development and countless hours of testing, we're pleased to announce the stable release of Qubes OS 4.0.....
  • Are We Teaching Engineers the Wrong Way to Think? (Slashdot)
    Tech columnist Chris Matyszczyk summarizes the argument of four researchers who are warning about the perils of pure engineer thought: They write, politely: "Engineers enter the workforce with important analysis skills, but may struggle to 'think outside the box' when it comes to creative problem-solving." The academics blame the way engineers are educated. They explain there are two sorts of thinking -- convergent and divergent. The former is the one with which engineers are most familiar. You make a list of steps to be taken to solve a problem and you take those steps. You expect a definite answer. Divergent thinking, however, requires many different ways of thinking about a problem and leads to many potential solutions. These academics declare emphatically: "Divergent thinking skills are largely ignored in engineering courses, which tend to focus on a linear progression of narrow, discipline-focused technical information." Ah, that explains a lot, doesn't it? Indeed, these researchers insist that engineering students "become experts at working individually and applying a series of formulas and rules to structured problems with a 'right' answer." Oddly, I know several people at Google just like that. Fortunately, the researchers are also proposing this solution: "While engineers need skills in analysis and judgment, they also need to cultivate an open, curious, and kind attitude, so they don't fixate on one particular approach and are able to consider new data."

    Read more of this story at Slashdot.

  • AMD EPYC 7502 + EPYC 7742 Linux Performance Benchmarks (Phoronix)
    Now that you have read our AMD EPYC "Rome" 7002 series overview, here is a look at the initial performance benchmarks from our testing over the past few weeks. This testing focused on the new AMD EPYC 7502 and EPYC 7742 processors in both single (1P) and dual (2P) socket configurations using AMD's Daytona server reference platform. Tests were done on Ubuntu Linux and compared to previous AMD EPYC processors as well as Intel Xeon Scalable.
  • Nouveau Updates Submitted For Linux 4.16, Bringing GP108 & Kepler Clock Gating (Phoronix)
    Last week the big DRM feature update for Linux 4.16 was sent in that included many AMDGPU updates, AMDKFD HSA updates, better Intel Cannonlake graphics support, Jetson TX2 display support, MSM DEVFREQ handling, and much more. But missing were any open-source NVIDIA "Nouveau" driver changes. There is now a secondary DRM pull request with Nouveau updates...
  • System76 Will Begin Disabling Intel ME In Their Linux Laptops (Phoronix)
    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...
  • Microsoft's Linux / Open-Source Actions Of 2017 (Phoronix)
    It's been another interesting year of Microsoft open-source/Linux announcements...
  • Lumina Desktop 1.1 Released (Phoronix)
    The BSD-focused, Qt-powered Lumina Desktop Environment is out with its version 1.1 update...
  • How Facebook Tried To Defend Its Privacy Policies at CES (Slashdot)
    Slashdot reader Tekla Perry found some interesting quotes in IEEE Spectrum's "View From the Valley" blog: Apple, Facebook, and Proctor & Gamble executives faced some tough questions about privacy during a CES panel, and pushback from U.S. FTC Commissioner Rebecca Slaughter. In one exchanged, Facebook's representative argued that Apple's model of adding noise to data to keep it anonymous and avoiding sending too much data to the cloud wouldn't work for Facebook. "If you come to Facebook, you want to share," she said, continuing: "I take issue with the idea that the advertising we serve involves surveilling people. "We don't do surveillance capitalism, that by definition is surreptitious; we work hard to be transparent." The Facebook representative argued later that "we provide real value to people in terms of the advertising we deliver and we do it in a privacy protected way." But Apple's senior director of global privacy had already said "I don't think we can ever say we are doing enough." Despite the fact that Apple has "teams" of privacy lawyers as well as privacy engineers who consider every product, "We always have to be pushing the envelope, and figure out how to put the consumer in control of their data." "Everything that she said about Apple holds for Facebook," replied the Facebook representative. "But the question is what do people expect..." And at one point, Proctor & Gamble's representative even said "We collect the data to serve people."

    Read more of this story at Slashdot.

  • AMD/GPUOpen Compressonator 2.7 Brings Linux Builds, glTF 2.0 Support (Phoronix)
    AMD's GPUOpen team has announced the release of Compressonator 2.7, the newest version of their tools for dealing with compressed assets and for testing the impact of different compression techniques...
  • GCC Tackling Support For ARMv8-M Security Extensions (Phoronix)
    GCC developers have been working to support the compiler-side changes for dealing with ARMv8-M Security Extensions...
  • KDE Devs Fix Several Wayland Bugs, Annoying KWin Issues Plus Easier To Toggle Night Color (Phoronix)
    KDE developers fixed a number of Wayland and KWin bugs this week along with a number of other annoying bugs as well as making several other noteworthy refinements to the growing KDE ecosystem...
  • After Mishap with Boeing Spacecraft, NASA Faces a Dilemma (Slashdot)
    An anonymous reader quotes the Washington Post: As it probes why Boeing's Starliner spacecraft suffered a serious setback during a flight test last month that forced the cancellation of its planned docking with the International Space Station, NASA faces a high-stakes dilemma: Should the space agency require the company to repeat the uncrewed test flight, or allow the next flight to proceed, as originally planned, with astronauts on board? The answer could have significant ramifications for the agency, and put astronauts' lives on the line, at a time when NASA is struggling to restore human spaceflight from the United States since the Space Shuttle fleet was retired in 2011. Forcing Boeing to redo the test flight without anyone on board would be costly, possibly requiring the embattled company, already struggling from the consequences of two deadly crashes of its 737 Max airplane, to spend tens of millions of dollars to demonstrate that its new spacecraft is capable of meeting the space station in orbit. But if NASA moves ahead with the crewed flight, and something goes wrong that puts the astronauts in danger, the agency would come under withering criticism that could plague it for years to come... For now, NASA is moving cautiously. It has formed an independent team with Boeing to examine what went wrong with the Starliner during last month's test flight. NASA also is reviewing data to help it determine if the capsule achieved enough objectives during its truncated flight to assure NASA that its astronauts will be safe.... If NASA does force Boeing to perform another test flight, it's not clear who would have to pay the tens of millions of dollars such a mission would cost.

    Read more of this story at Slashdot.

  • Benchmarks Of LLVM Clang 6.0 Through Clang 10.0 Compilers (Phoronix)
    At the end of 2019 I ran some GCC 5 through GCC 10 compiler benchmarks while here are the similar tests conducted on the LLVM side for seeing how the Clang C/C++ compiler performance has evolved over the past few years...
  • Steam's December Numbers Point To A Lower Linux Marketshare But With More Oddities (Phoronix)
    I refrained from writing about Valve's Steam Survey numbers at the start of January when they were posted for December as the numbers didn't seem up to scratch. But half-way through the month now, the same numbers are up with no edits by Valve, as we've seen in some months when they refine their measurements...
  • Intel's oneAPI / DPC++ / SYCL Will Run Atop NVIDIA GPUs With Open-Source Layer (Phoronix)
    With yesterday's much anticipated Intel oneAPI beta being built around open-source standards like SYCL, the "cross-device" support can at least in theory extend beyond just Intel platforms. Codeplay is already showing that's possible with a to-be-open-source layer that will allow oneAPI and SYCL / Data Parallel C++ to run atop NVIDIA GPUs via CUDA...
  • NASA Has Discovered an Earth-Sized World in a Star's Habitable Zone (Slashdot)
    "NASA's Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) has discovered its first Earth-size planet in its star's habitable zone, the range of distances where conditions may be just right to allow the presence of liquid water on the surface," reports NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center: Scientists confirmed the find, called TOI 700 d, using NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope and have modeled the planet's potential environments to help inform future observations. TOI 700 is a small, cool M dwarf star located just over 100 light-years away in the southern constellation Dorado. It's roughly 40 of the Sun's mass and size and about half its surface temperature. The star appears in 11 of the 13 sectors TESS observed during the mission's first year, and scientists caught multiple transits by its three planets. The innermost planet, called TOI 700 b, is almost exactly Earth-size, is probably rocky and completes an orbit every 10 days. The middle planet, TOI 700 c, is 2.6 times larger than Earth -- between the sizes of Earth and Neptune -- orbits every 16 days and is likely a gas-dominated world. TOI 700 d, the outermost known planet in the system and the only one in the habitable zone, measures 20 larger than Earth, orbits every 37 days and receives from its star 86% of the energy that the Sun provides to Earth. All of the planets are thought to be tidally locked to their star, which means they rotate once per orbit so that one side is constantly bathed in daylight... While the exact conditions on TOI 700 d are unknown, scientists used current information, like the planet's size and the type of star it orbits, and modeled 20 potential environments for TOI 700 d to gauge if any version would result in surface temperatures and pressures suitable for habitability. One simulation included an ocean-covered TOI 700 d with a dense, carbon-dioxide-dominated atmosphere similar to what scientists suspect surrounded Mars when it was young. The model atmosphere contains a deep layer of clouds on the star-facing side. Another model depicts TOI 700 d as a cloudless, all-land version of modern Earth, where winds flow away from the night side of the planet and converge on the point directly facing the star.

    Read more of this story at Slashdot.

  • SVT-AV1 0.8 Brings More AVX2/AVX-512 Optimizations, Multi-Threaded Decode Support (Phoronix)
    Intel's Scalable Video Technology SVT-AV1 video encoder/decoder for AV1 content has already been the speediest of the various solutions we have tried, but now a new release is available and it looks to be even faster for CPU-based AV1 video encode/decode...