Linux Weekly Roundup: Edge for Linux, Ubuntu Groovy Release, KDE Plasma 5.20.1 and more

A lot happened this week in the Linux world as a whole. Microsoft Edge browser is released for Linux, Ubuntu 20.10 released with associated flavours and a bunch of application updates as well. Read the stories below.

Source: LXer – Linux Weekly Roundup: Edge for Linux, Ubuntu Groovy Release, KDE Plasma 5.20.1 and more

America and France Reach New All-Time Highs For COVID-19 Infections

An anonymous reader quotes Time:

The United States has reached a new record high in the number of daily COVID-19 infections, surpassing the peak in mid-July during the second wave of the coronavirus pandemic’s domestic toll. As of Oct. 24, there was a weekly average of 23.0 infections per 100,000 residents, up from 20.5 on July 19 and ticking rapidly upward. The country also set a new single-day record on Oct. 23 with 83,757 new cases.

There have been clear signs for weeks of a third wave of the pandemic in the U.S. as the weather gets colder and the virus has migrated from metropolitan regions to more rural settings. But it was far from certain, at the beginning of October, that the resurgence would surpass that of the summer…

We know now that the third wave will be worse than the second, which was far worse than the first, when cases peaked at 9.7 per 100,000 on April 7.

Reuters reports that France has also “registered a record 52,010 new confirmed coronavirus infections over the past 24 hours, following a record 45,422 on Saturday, the health ministry said in a statement on Sunday… The new cases took the total to 1,138,507, with France now ahead of Argentina and Spain to register the world’s fifth highest number of cases after the United States, India, Brazil and Russia.

“In the past three days, France has registered over 139,000 new cases, which is more than the 132,000 cases registered during the two-month lockdown from mid-March to mid-May.”

Read more of this story at Slashdot.



Source: Slashdot – America and France Reach New All-Time Highs For COVID-19 Infections

Researchers Create 30-Second Phlegm Test to Detect Covid-19

Science is moving at a rapid pace to respond to the novel coronavirus pandemic. In recent months, researchers have developed tests to detect covid-19, the disease caused by the virus, using different substances such as saliva. Now, there’s apparently another substance that can tell us whether someone has covid-19,…

Read more…



Source: Gizmodo – Researchers Create 30-Second Phlegm Test to Detect Covid-19

Facebook Gears Up for Possible Election Chaos With Tools Designed for 'At-Risk' Countries

Given all the disinformation campaigns running rampant online in the weeks leading up to the 2020 presidential election, Facebook says it’s preparing for the worst come election night. It’s gearing up to use a moderation toolset it’s previously deployed in Sri Lanka and Myanmar, people familiar with the matter told

Read more…



Source: Gizmodo – Facebook Gears Up for Possible Election Chaos With Tools Designed for ‘At-Risk’ Countries

In World First, 100% of South Australia's Power Supplied By Solar Panels

1.76 million people live in the 983,482 square kilometer (379,725 square mile) state of South Australia. This weekend Australia’s national broadcaster made a big announcement:

South Australia’s renewable energy boom has achieved a global milestone. The state once known for not having enough power has become the first major jurisdiction in the world to be powered entirely by solar energy.

For just over an hour on Sunday, October 11, 100 per cent of energy demand was met by solar panels alone.

“This is truly a phenomenon in the global energy landscape,” Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) chief executive Audrey Zibelman said. “Never before has a jurisdiction the size of South Australia been completely run by solar power, with consumers’ rooftop solar systems contributing 77 per cent.” Large-scale solar farms, like the ones operating at Tailem Bend and Port Augusta, provided the other 23 per cent. Any excess power generated by gas and wind farms on that day was stored in batteries or exported to Victoria via the interconnector.

South Australia is where Elon Musk installed Tesla’s giant Powerpack battery as part of a massive solar and wind farm.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.



Source: Slashdot – In World First, 100% of South Australia’s Power Supplied By Solar Panels

Seeed offers PCB assembly discounts for RPi CM4 boards and teases CM4 carrier

Seeed is offering $500 off its Seeed Fusion PCB Assembly Service for Raspberry Pi CM4-based commercial products and five free boards for open source developers. Seeed also teased its own upcoming CM4 carrier. Seeed has announced a sponsorship promotion for its Seeed Fusion PCB assembly service for customers developing boards built around the new Raspberry […]

Source: LXer – Seeed offers PCB assembly discounts for RPi CM4 boards and teases CM4 carrier

Facebook Continues Its Bullshit With Oculus Accounts

In case you weren’t uneasy enough about having to create Facebook accounts just to use a virtual reality headset, you should know that in some circumstances deleting a linked Facebook account will then remove your access to any Oculus purchases you have made.

Read more…



Source: Kotaku – Facebook Continues Its Bullshit With Oculus Accounts

Linux 5.10-rc1 Released With New Hardware Support, Security Additions

Linus Torvalds just released Linux 5.10-rc1 that also marks the end of the feature merge window for this EOY2020 kernel. Linux 5.10 isn’t the largest kernel update in recent time but still has a lot of interesting additions and improvements…

Source: Phoronix – Linux 5.10-rc1 Released With New Hardware Support, Security Additions

NASA's Probe Sampled Too Much From Asteroid Bennu and Now It's Leaking

Iwastheone shares some space news from OPB:

A NASA spacecraft sent out to collect a sample of rock and dust from an asteroid has nabbed so much that it’s created an unexpected problem. Rocks are jammed in the device in a way that’s keeping a Mylar flap open, creating a gap that’s letting some of the collected pebbles and dust drift out into space.

“We had a successful sample collection attempt — almost too successful. Material is escaping,” says Dante Lauretta of the University of Arizona, the principal investigator for the OSIRIS-REx mission. “We think we’re losing a small fraction of material, but it’s more than I’m comfortable with. I was pretty concerned when I saw these images coming in.” To prevent any further loss, the team is now preparing to stow the sample collection device quickly into its return capsule, possibly starting the stowing process as soon as Tuesday. The capsule is expected to return to Earth in 2023…

It’s now looking like the collection device must have penetrated farther down into the asteroid’s surface than expected — perhaps as deep as 48 centimeters, or about a foot and a half.

Maybe that’s because new findings from mission “suggest that the interior of the asteroid Bennu could be weaker and less dense than its outer layers — like a crème-filled chocolate egg flying though space…” according to an article earlier this month in the news digest of the University of Colorado Boulder:

The results appear in a study published in the journal Science Advances and led by the University of Colorado Boulder’s OSIRIS-REx team, including professors Daniel Scheeres and Jay McMahon… Using OSIRIS-REx’s own navigational instruments and other tools, the group spent nearly two years mapping out the ebbs and flows of Bennu’s gravity field. Think of it like taking an X-ray of a chunk of space debris with an average width about the height of the Empire State Building. “If you can measure the gravity field with enough precision, that places hard constraints on where the mass is located, even if you can’t see it directly,” said Andrew French, a coauthor of the new study and a former graduate student at CU Boulder, now at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

What the team has found may also spell trouble for Bennu. The asteroid’s core appears to be weaker than its exterior, a fact that could put its survival at risk in the not-too-distant future. “You could imagine maybe in a million years or less the whole thing flying apart,” said Scheeres, a distinguished professor in the Ann and H.J. Smead Department of Aerospace Engineering Sciences.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.



Source: Slashdot – NASA’s Probe Sampled Too Much From Asteroid Bennu and Now It’s Leaking

Smart fabric can recognize the food you put on the table

Wouldn’t it be helpful if a food tracking or recipe app could determine what you’re eating just by detecting what’s on your table? You might get your wish. Researchers at Microsoft and multiple universities have developed Capacitivo, a smart fabric s…

Source: Engadget – Smart fabric can recognize the food you put on the table

Trump Administration Reportedly Offered Santa Claus Performers Coronavirus Vaccine Quid Pro Quo

Although by now it’s clear that the Trump administration holds nothing sacred, there are still some things it can do to shock our tired brains. Apparently, it has tried to get Santa Claus—Santa!—to participate in its crazy pandemic response plans.

Read more…



Source: Gizmodo – Trump Administration Reportedly Offered Santa Claus Performers Coronavirus Vaccine Quid Pro Quo

Can We Replace YAML With an Easier Markup Language?

On his personal blog, Red Hat’s Chris Short (also a CNCF Cloud Native Ambassador) told his readers that “We kinda went down a rabbit hole the other day when I suggested folks check out yq. (“The aim of the project is to be the jq or sed of yaml files.”)

“First, there’s nothing wrong with this project. I like it, I find the tool useful, and that’s that. But the great debate started over our lord and savior, YAML.”

And then he shares what he learned from a bad experience reading the YAML spec in 2012:

It was not an RFC, which I am fond of reading, but something about the YAML spec made me sad and frustrated. Syntax really mattered. Whitespace really mattered… It is human-readable because you see the human-readable words in the scalars and structures, but there was something off-putting about YAML. It was a markup language claiming not to be a markup language. I held the firm belief that markup languages are supposed to make things simpler for humans, not harder (XML is the antithesis of markup languages, in my opinion)…

Close to ten years later, I see YAML in the same somewhat offputting light… I hope that a drop in replacement is possible. The fact that we need tools like yq does show that there is some work to be done when it comes to wrangling the YAML beast at scale… Incrementally, YAML is better than XML but, it sucks compared to something like HTML or Markdown (which I can teach to execs and children alike)…

Yes, balancing machine and human readability is hard. The compromises suck, but, at some point, there’s enough compute to run a process to take in something 100% human-readable and make it 100% machine-readable… There will always be complexity and a need to understand the tool you’re using. But, YAML gives us an example that there can and should be better things.

In a comment on the original submission, Slashdot reader BAReFO0t writes “Binary markup or GTFO.”

UTF8 is already binary. Hell, ASCII is already binary numbers, not directly readable, but mapped to vector drawings or bitmap images … that again are rendered to pixel values, that are then turning on blinkenlights or ink blots or noises that a human can actually recognize directly.

So why not extend it to structure, instead of just letters (… and colors … and sound pressures… EBML’s core [Extensible Binary Meta Language] is the logical choice.

If all editors always display it as, say XML, just like they all convert numbers into text-shaped blinkenlights too, people will soon call it “plain, human readable” too…

Read more of this story at Slashdot.



Source: Slashdot – Can We Replace YAML With an Easier Markup Language?

James Gunn Reportedly Had Warner Bros. Agree He Could Kill Whichever The Suicide Squad Characters He Wanted

Sometimes, it feels like a storyteller is just hungry for blood. You know, the George R.R. Martin types who revel in the shock and dramatic appeal of letting their characters die. With James Gunn on The Suicide Squad, that might have been more true than you’d think.

Read more…



Source: io9 – James Gunn Reportedly Had Warner Bros. Agree He Could Kill Whichever The Suicide Squad Characters He Wanted

Newly signed law aims to limit the damage from space weather

Space weather like solar flares could seriously disrupt electronics and satellites, and the US government might soon mount a better defense. President Trump has signed the PROSWIFT Act (Promoting Research and Observations of Space Weather to Improve…

Source: Engadget – Newly signed law aims to limit the damage from space weather

Java Geeks Discuss 'The War for the Browser' and the State of Java Modularization

Self-described “Java geek” nfrankel writes:

At the beginning of 2019, I wrote about the state of Java modularization. I took a sample of widespread libraries, and for each of them, I checked whether:

– It supports the module system i.e. it provides an automatic module name in the manifest
– It’s a full-fledged module i.e. it provides a module-info

The results were interesting. 14 out of those 29 libraries supported the module system, while 2 were modules in their own right.

Nearly 2 years later, and with Java 16 looming around the corner, it’s time to update the report. I kept the same libraries and added Hazelcast and Hazelcast Jet. I’ve checked the latest version…

Three full years after that release, 10 out of 31 libraries still don’t provide a module-compatible JAR. Granted, 3 of them didn’t release a new version in the meantime. That’s still 7 libraries that didn’t add a simple line of text in their MANIFEST.MF

Meanwhile, long-time Slashdot reader AirHog argues that “Java is in a war for the browser. Can it regain the place it once held in its heyday?”

All major browsers have disabled support for Java (and indeed most non-JavaScript technologies). Web-based front-ends are usually coded in JavaScript or some wrapper designed to make it less problematic (like TypeScript). Yes, you can still make websites using Java technology. There are plenty of ‘official’ technologies like JSP and JSF. Unfortunately, these technologies are entirely server-side. You can generate the page using Java libraries and business logic, but once it is sent to the browser it is static and lifeless… Java client-side innovation has all but stopped, at least via the official channels….

How can Java increase its relevance? How can Java win back client-side developers? How can Java prevent other technologies from leveraging front-end dominance to win the back-end, like Java once did to other technologies?

To win the war, Java needs a strong client-side option. One that lets developers make modern web applications using Java code. One that leverages web technologies. One that supports components. One that builds quickly. One that produces fast-downloading, high performance, 100-Lighthouse-scoring apps. One that plays nicely with other JVM languages. What does Java need?
Spoiler: The article concludes that “What Java needs Is TeaVM… an ahead-of-time transpiler that compiles Java classes to JavaScript.”

Read more of this story at Slashdot.



Source: Slashdot – Java Geeks Discuss ‘The War for the Browser’ and the State of Java Modularization

How To Make Serious Bank On Turnips For 1,000 Bells Each In Animal Crossing

How To Make Serious Bank On Turnips For 1,000 Bells Each In Animal Crossing
Playing the Stalk Market in Animal Crossing: New Horizons is never a sure thing. Some weeks, you buy as high as 120 bells a piece from Daisy, only to sell them to the Nook Boys on Saturday afternoon for a measly 60 bells a pop. Other weeks, players can make serious bank not just by selling at high prices, but by opening up their island to

Source: Hot Hardware – How To Make Serious Bank On Turnips For 1,000 Bells Each In Animal Crossing