Search Results: "aure"

7 August 2022

Aurelien Jarno: GNU libc 2.34 in unstable

The GNU libc version 2.34 has just been accepted into unstable. Getting it ready has been more challenging than other versions, as this version integrates a few libraries (libpthread, libdl, libutil, libanl) into libc. While this is handled transparently at runtime, there are a few corner cases at build time: The next challenge is to get it migrating into testing! For the adventurous persons, GNU libc 2.35 is now available in experimental. And as people keep asking, the goal is to get the just released GNU libc 2.36 into Bookworm.

6 April 2022

Jonathan Dowland: Hope in a Darkened Heart

I first heard Virginia Astley via Lauren Laverne, who played (I think) "With my eyes wide open" from her first album, "From Gardens Where We Feel Secure". Mostly ambient, a conceptual piece about a garden in an English Summer, spanning dawn to dusk. Bucolic ambient, dream pop. It was a little outside my wheel-house, but I loved it, and wanted to find out more. I soon learned that official, physical copies of it were rare and expensive.
'Hope in a Darkened Heart' spinning on my turntable
Some time later I stumbled across her second album "Hope in a Darkened Heart" (which is possibly the most commonly available of her albums) and bought it blind. It's quite different, with a lot more singing, but whatever drew me to Gardens is present. I love this. It was produced by Ryuichi Sakamoto. Only this week I was enormously pleased to discover a chunk of her discography on Bandcamp, including the two aformentioned albums. Highlights from Darkened:

21 January 2022

Louis-Philippe V ronneau: Montreal Subway Foot Traffic Data, 2021 edition

For the third time now, I've asked Soci t de Transport de Montr al, Montreal's transit agency, for the foot traffic data of Montreal's subway. I think this has become an annual thing now :) The original blog post and the 2019-2020 edition can be read here: By clicking on a subway station, you'll be redirected to a graph of the station's foot traffic. Licences

25 December 2021

Aurelien Jarno: James Webb Space Telescope launched!

The long awaited James Webb Space Telescope has finally been successfully launched today. It is a Xmas gift for many people who have been waiting for it for many years. On a more personal side, I am happy and proud to have contributed to a tiny part of a tiny piece of software of this huge project over the last 15 years: the Instrument Performance Simulator of the NIRSpec instrument.

15 August 2021

Dirk Eddelbuettel: RcppBDT 0.2.4 on CRAN: Updates

After a seven-year break (!!), the RcppBDT packages has been updated on CRAN. The RcppBDT package is an early adopter of Rcpp and was one of the first packages utilizing Boost and its Date_Time library. The now more widely-used package anytime is a direct descentant of RcppBDT. In fact, the last time RcppBDT was released, anytime did not yet exist. And some of the changes now finally released here in this version are some of the first steps made towards what became anytime. RcppBDT is broader in scope and provides a wider range of functionality but in a somewhat rougher form as we never sat down writing higher-end wrappers in R for all the potential use cases. When we wrote the first RcppBDT versions, many other popular date/time packages were all in R code and not compiled, and this package showed how things could be done at the compiled level. Now other packages, including anytime have filled the void so fully polishing RcppBDT may never happen. In any event, this release refreshes the package and brings it to full R CMD check --as-cran compliance. The NEWS entry follows:

Changes in version 0.2.4 (2021-08-15)
  • New utility function toPOSIXct which can take multitple input format (integer, floating point or character) vectors and can convert by relying on a wide variety of standard formats. This predates what has long been split off into a new package anytime which is more functional and feaureful.
  • New demo 'toPOSIXct' illustrating the feature.
  • New demo 'toPOSIXctTiming' benchmarking it.
  • Documentation for new functions was added as well.
  • CI now uses from r-ci.
  • Functions getLastDayOfWeekInMonth and getFirstDayOfWeekInMonth now use dow argument.
  • The shared library is now registered when loaded from NAMESPACE.
  • C level entry points are now registered as R now recommends.
  • Several badges were added to the file.
  • Several fields were added to the DESCRIPTION file, and/or updated.
  • Documentation URLs where both updated as needed and converted to https.

Courtesy of my CRANberries, there is also a diffstat report for this release. If you like this or other open-source work I do, you can now sponsor me at GitHub.

This post by Dirk Eddelbuettel originated on his Thinking inside the box blog. Please report excessive re-aggregation in third-party for-profit settings.

31 July 2021

Russ Allbery: Summer haul

July ended up being a very busy month for me catching up on all sorts of things that I'd been putting off for too long, so posts have been a bit scarce recently. So have book reviews; I'm hoping to sneak one in before the end of the month tomorrow, and have a small backlog. But for tonight, here's another list of random books, mostly new releases, that caught my eye. Katherine Addison The Witness for the Dead (sff)
Olivia Atwater Half a Soul (sff)
Lloyd Biggle, Jr. The Still, Small Voice of Trumpets (sff)
Judson Brewer Unwinding Anxiety (nonfiction)
Eliot Brown & Maureen Farrell The Cult of We (nonfiction)
Becky Chambers A Psalm for the Wild-Built (sff)
Susanna Clarke Piranesi (sff)
Eve L. Ewing Ghosts in the Schoolyard (nonfiction)
Michael Lewis The Premonition (nonfiction)
Courtney Milan The Duke Who Didn't (romance)
Kit Rocha Deal with the Devil (sff)
Tasha Suri The Jasmine Throne (sff)
Catherynne M. Valente The Past is Red (sff) Quite a variety of things recently. Of course, I'm currently stalled on a book I'm not enjoying very much (but want to finish anyway since I like reviewing all award nominees).

31 May 2021

Russ Allbery: Mostly preorder haul

Some books that I had preordered, plus various other things that I failed to resist. There was a whole wave of new book releases this spring, most of which I have not yet read (in part because of the detour to re-read and review the Chronicles of Narnia). Becky Chambers The Galaxy, and the Ground Within (sff)
Richard Ben Cramer What It Takes (nonfiction)
J.S. Dewes The Last Watch (sff)
Anand Giridharadas Winners Take All (nonfiction)
Lauren Hough Leaving Isn't the Hardest Thing (nonfiction)
S.L. Huang Burning Roses (sff)
Jane McAlevey A Collective Bargain (nonfiction)
K.B. Spangler Stoneskin (sff)
K.B. Spangler The Blackwing War (sff)
Natalie Zina Walschots Hench (sff)
Martha Wells Fugitive Telemetry (sff)

24 May 2021

Antoine Beaupr : Leaving Freenode

The freenode IRC network has been hijacked. TL;DR: move to or, as did countless free software projects including Gentoo, CentOS, KDE, Wikipedia, FOSDEM, and more. Debian and the Tor project were already on OFTC and are not affected by this.

What is freenode and why should I care? freenode is the largest remaining IRC network. Before this incident, it had close to 80,000 users, which is small in terms of modern internet history -- even small social networks are larger by multiple orders of magnitude -- but is large in IRC history. The IRC network is also extensively used by the free software community, being the default IRC network on many programs, and used by hundreds if not thousands of free software projects. I have been using freenode since at least 2006. This matters if you care about IRC, the internet, open protocols, decentralisation, and, to a certain extent, federation as well. It also touches on who has the right on network resources: the people who "own" it (through money) or the people who make it work (through their labor). I am biased towards open protocols, the internet, federation, and worker power, and this might taint this analysis.

What happened? It's a long story, but basically:
  1. back in 2017, the former head of staff sold the domain (and its related company) to Andrew Lee, "American entrepreneur, software developer and writer", and, rather weirdly, supposedly "crown prince of Korea" although that part is kind of complex (see House of Yi, Yi Won, and Yi Seok). It should be noted the Korean Empire hasn't existed for over a century at this point (even though its flag, also weirdly, remains)
  2. back then, this was only known to the public as this strange PIA and freenode joining forces gimmick. it was suspicious at first, but since the network kept running, no one paid much attention to it. opers of the network were similarly reassured that Lee would have no say in the management of the network
  3. this all changed recently when Lee asserted ownership of the domain and started meddling in the operations of the network, according to this summary. this part is disputed, but it is corroborated by almost a dozen former staff which collectively resigned from the network in protest, after legal threats, when it was obvious freenode was lost.
  4. the departing freenode staff founded a new network,, based on the new ircd they were working on with OFTC, solanum
  5. meanwhile, bot armies started attacking all IRC networks: both libera and freenode, but also OFTC and unrelated networks like a small one I help operate. those attacks have mostly stopped as of this writing (2021-05-24 17:30UTC)
  6. on freenode, however, things are going for the worse: Lee has been accused of taking over a channel, in a grotesque abuse of power; then changing freenode policy to not only justify the abuse, but also remove rules against hateful speech, effectively allowing nazis on the network (update: the change was reverted, but not by Lee)
Update: even though the policy change was reverted, the actual conversations allowed on freenode have already degenerated into toxic garbage. There are also massive channel takeovers (presumably over 700), mostly on channels that were redirecting to libera, but also channels that were still live. Channels that were taken over include #fosdem, #wikipedia, #haskell... Instead of working on the network, the new "so-called freenode" staff is spending effort writing bots and patches to basically automate taking over channels. I run an IRC network and this bot is obviously not standard "services" stuff... This is just grotesque. At this point I agree with this HN comment:
We should stop implicitly legitimizing Andrew Lee's power grab by referring to his dominion as "Freenode". Freenode is a quarter-century-old community that has changed its name to; the thing being referred to here as "Freenode" is something else that has illegitimately acquired control of Freenode's old servers and user database, causing enormous inconvenience to the real Freenode.
I don't agree with the suggested name there, let's instead call it "so called freenode" as suggested later in the thread.

What now? I recommend people and organisations move away from freenode as soon as possible. This is a major change: documentation needs to be fixed, and the migration needs to be coordinated. But I do not believe we can trust the new freenode "owners" to operate the network reliably and in good faith. It's also important to use the current momentum to build a critical mass elsewhere so that people don't end up on freenode again by default and find an even more toxic community than your typical run-of-the-mill free software project (which is already not a high bar to meet). Update: people are moving to libera in droves. It's now reaching 18,000 users, which is bigger than OFTC and getting close to the largest, traditionnal, IRC networks (EFnet, Undernet, IRCnet are in the 10-20k users range). so-called freenode is still larger, currently clocking 68,000 users, but that's a huge drop from the previous count which was 78,000 before the exodus began. We're even starting to see the effects of the migration on Update 2: the site is updated more frequently than netsplit and shows tons more information. It shows 25k online users for libera and 61k for so-called freenode (down from ~78k), and the trend doesn't seem to be stopping for so-called freenode. There's also a list of 400+ channels that have moved out. Keep in mind that such migrations take effect over long periods of time.

Where do I move to? The first thing you should do is to figure out which tool to use for interactive user support. There are multiple alternatives, of course -- this is the internet after all -- but here is a short list of suggestions, in preferred priority order:
  3., which bridges with OFTC and (hopefully soon) with libera as well, modern IRC alternative
  4. XMPP/Jabber also still exists, if you're into that kind of stuff, but I don't think the "chat room" story is great there, at least not as good as Matrix
Basically, the decision tree is this:
  • if you want to stay on IRC:
    • if you are already on many OFTC channels and few freenode channels: move to OFTC
    • if you are more inclined to support the previous freenode staff: move to libera
    • if you care about matrix users (in the short term): move to OFTC
  • if you are ready to leave IRC:
    • if you want the latest and greatest: move to Matrix
    • if you like XML and already use XMPP: move to XMPP
Frankly, at this point, everyone should seriously consider moving to Matrix. The user story is great, the web is a first class user, it supports E2EE (although XMPP as well), and has a lot of momentum behind it. It even bridges with IRC well (which is not the case for XMPP) so if you're worried about problems like this happening again. (Indeed, I wouldn't be surprised if similar drama happens on OFTC or libera in the future. The history of IRC is full of such epic controversies, takeovers, sabotage, attacks, technical flamewars, and other silly things. I am not sure, but I suspect a federated model like Matrix might be more resilient to conflicts like this one.) Changing protocols might mean losing a bunch of users however: not everyone is ready to move to Matrix, for example. Graybeards like me have been using irssi for years, if not decades, and would take quite a bit of convincing to move elsewhere. I have mostly kept my channels on IRC, and moved either to OFTC or libera. In retrospect, I think I might have moved everything to OFTC if I would have thought about it more, because almost all of my channels are there. But I kind of expect a lot of the freenode community to move to libera, so I am keeping a socket open there anyways.

How do I move? The first thing you should do is to update documentation, websites, and source code to stop pointing at freenode altogether. This is what I did for feed2exec, for example. You need to let people know in the current channel as well, and possibly shutdown the channel on freenode. Since my channels are either small or empty, I took the radical approach of:
  • redirecting the channel to ##unavailable which is historically the way we show channels have moved to another network
  • make the channel invite-only (which effectively enforces the redirection)
  • kicking everyone out of the channel
  • kickban people who rejoin
  • set the topic to announce the change
In IRC speak, the following commands should do all this:
/msg ChanServ set #anarcat mlock +if ##unavailable
/msg ChanServ clear #anarcat users moving to
/msg ChanServ set #anarcat restricted on
/topic #anarcat this channel has moved to
If the channel is not registered, the following might work
/mode #anarcat +if ##unavailable
Then you can leave freenode altogether:
/disconnect Freenode unacceptable hijack, policy changes and takeovers. so long and thanks for all the fish.
Keep in mind that some people have been unable to setup such redirections, because the new freenode staff have taken over their channel, in which case you're out of luck... Some people have expressed concern about their private data hosted at freenode as well. If you care about this, you can always talk to NickServ and DROP your nick. Be warned, however, that this assumes good faith of the network operators, which, at this point, is kind of futile. I would assume any data you have registered on there (typically: your NickServ password and email address) to be compromised and leaked. If your password is used elsewhere (tsk, tsk), change it everywhere. Update: there's also another procedure, similar to the above, but with a different approach. Keep in mind that so-called freenode staff are actively hijacking channels for the mere act of mentioning libera in the channel topic, so thread carefully there.

Last words This is a sad time for IRC in general, and freenode in particular. It's a real shame that the previous freenode staff have been kicked out, and it's especially horrible that if the new policies of the network are basically making the network open to nazis. I wish things would have gone out differently: now we have yet another fork in the IRC history. While it's not the first time freenode changes name (it was called OPN before), now the old freenode is still around and this will bring much confusion to the world, especially since the new freenode staff is still claiming to support FOSS. I understand there are many sides to this story, and some people were deeply hurt by all this. But for me, it's completely unacceptable to keep pushing your staff so hard that they basically all (except one?) resign in protest. For me, that's leadership failure at the utmost, and a complete disgrace. And of course, I can't in good conscience support or join a network that allows hate speech. Regardless of the fate of whatever we'll call what's left of freenode, maybe it's time for this old IRC thing to die already. It's still a sad day in internet history, but then again, maybe IRC will never die...

5 October 2020

Reproducible Builds: Reproducible Builds in September 2020

Welcome to the September 2020 report from the Reproducible Builds project. In our monthly reports, we attempt to summarise the things that we have been up to over the past month, but if you are interested in contributing to the project, please visit our main website. This month, the Reproducible Builds project was pleased to announce a donation from Amateur Radio Digital Communications (ARDC) in support of its goals. ARDC s contribution will propel the Reproducible Builds project s efforts in ensuring the future health, security and sustainability of our increasingly digital society. Amateur Radio Digital Communications (ARDC) is a non-profit which was formed to further research and experimentation with digital communications using radio, with a goal of advancing the state of the art of amateur radio and to educate radio operators in these techniques. You can view the full announcement as well as more information about ARDC on their website.
In August s report, we announced that Jennifer Helsby (redshiftzero) launched a new website to address the lack of reproducibility of Python wheels . This month, Kushal Das posted a brief follow-up to provide an update on reproducible sources as well. The Threema privacy and security-oriented messaging application announced that within the next months , their apps will become fully open source, supporting reproducible builds :
This is to say that anyone will be able to independently review Threema s security and verify that the published source code corresponds to the downloaded app.
You can view the full announcement on Threema s website.

Events Sadly, due to the unprecedented events in 2020, there will be no in-person Reproducible Builds event this year. However, the Reproducible Builds project intends to resume meeting regularly on IRC, starting on Monday, October 12th at 18:00 UTC (full announcement). The cadence of these meetings will probably be every two weeks, although this will be discussed and decided on at the first meeting. (An editable agenda is available.) On 18th September, Bernhard M. Wiedemann gave a presentation in German titled Wie reproducible builds Software sicherer machen ( How reproducible builds make software more secure ) at the Internet Security Digital Days 2020 conference. (View video.) On Saturday 10th October, Morten Linderud will give a talk at Arch Conf Online 2020 on The State of Reproducible Builds in the Arch Linux distribution:
The previous year has seen great progress in Arch Linux to get reproducible builds in the hands of the users and developers. In this talk we will explore the current tooling that allows users to reproduce packages, the rebuilder software that has been written to check packages and the current issues in this space.
During the Reproducible Builds summit in Marrakesh, GNU Guix, NixOS and Debian were able to produce a bit-for-bit identical binary when building GNU Mes, despite using three different major versions of GCC. Since the summit, additional work resulted in a bit-for-bit identical Mes binary using tcc and this month, a fuller update was posted by the individuals involved.

Development work In openSUSE, Bernhard M. Wiedemann published his monthly Reproducible Builds status update.

Debian Chris Lamb uploaded a number of Debian packages to address reproducibility issues that he had previously provided patches for, including cfingerd (#831021), grap (#870573), splint (#924003) & schroot (#902804) Last month, an issue was identified where a large number of Debian .buildinfo build certificates had been tainted on the official Debian build servers, as these environments had files underneath the /usr/local/sbin directory to prevent the execution of system services during package builds. However, this month, Aurelien Jarno and Wouter Verhelst fixed this issue in varying ways, resulting in a special policy-rcd-declarative-deny-all package. Building on Chris Lamb s previous work on reproducible builds for Debian .ISO images, Roland Clobus announced his work in progress on making the Debian Live images reproducible. [ ] Lucas Nussbaum performed an archive-wide rebuild of packages to test enabling the reproducible=+fixfilepath Debian build flag by default. Enabling the fixfilepath feature will likely fix reproducibility issues in an estimated 500-700 packages. The test revealed only 33 packages (out of 30,000 in the archive) that fail to build with fixfilepath. Many of those will be fixed when the default LLVM/Clang version is upgraded. 79 reviews of Debian packages were added, 23 were updated and 17 were removed this month adding to our knowledge about identified issues. Chris Lamb added and categorised a number of new issue types, including packages that captures their build path via quicktest.h and absolute build directories in documentation generated by Doxygen , etc. Lastly, Lukas Puehringer s uploaded a new version of the in-toto to Debian which was sponsored by Holger Levsen. [ ]

diffoscope diffoscope is our in-depth and content-aware diff utility that can not only locate and diagnose reproducibility issues, it provides human-readable diffs of all kinds too. In September, Chris Lamb made the following changes to diffoscope, including preparing and uploading versions 159 and 160 to Debian:
  • New features:
    • Show ordering differences only in strings(1) output by applying the ordering check to all differences across the codebase. [ ]
  • Bug fixes:
    • Mark some PGP tests that they require pgpdump, and check that the associated binary is actually installed before attempting to run it. (#969753)
    • Don t raise exceptions when cleaning up after guestfs cleanup failure. [ ]
    • Ensure we check FALLBACK_FILE_EXTENSION_SUFFIX, otherwise we run pgpdump against all files that are recognised by file(1) as data. [ ]
  • Codebase improvements:
    • Add some documentation for the EXTERNAL_TOOLS dictionary. [ ]
    • Abstract out a variable we use a couple of times. [ ]
  • website improvements:
    • Make the (long) demonstration GIF less prominent on the page. [ ]
In addition, Paul Spooren added support for automatically deploying Docker images. [ ]

Website and documentation This month, a number of updates to the main Reproducible Builds website and related documentation. Chris Lamb made the following changes: In addition, Holger Levsen re-added the documentation link to the top-level navigation [ ] and documented that the jekyll-polyglot package is required [ ]. Lastly, and were transferred to Software Freedom Conservancy. Many thanks to Brett Smith from Conservancy, J r my Bobbio (lunar) and Holger Levsen for their help with transferring and to Mattia Rizzolo for initiating this.

Upstream patches The Reproducible Builds project detects, dissects and attempts to fix as many currently-unreproducible packages as possible. We endeavour to send all of our patches upstream where appropriate. This month, we wrote a large number of these patches, including: Bernhard M. Wiedemann also reported issues in git2-rs, pyftpdlib, python-nbclient, python-pyzmq & python-sidpy.

Testing framework The Reproducible Builds project operates a Jenkins-based testing framework to power This month, Holger Levsen made the following changes:
  • Debian:
    • Shorten the subject of nodes have gone offline notification emails. [ ]
    • Also track bugs that have been usertagged with usrmerge. [ ]
    • Drop abort-related codepaths as that functionality has been removed from Jenkins. [ ]
    • Update the frequency we update base images and status pages. [ ][ ][ ][ ]
  • Status summary view page:
    • Add support for monitoring systemctl status [ ] and the number of diffoscope processes [ ].
    • Show the total number of nodes [ ] and colourise critical disk space situations [ ].
    • Improve the visuals with respect to vertical space. [ ][ ]
  • Debian rebuilder prototype:
    • Resume building random packages again [ ] and update the frequency that packages are rebuilt. [ ][ ]
    • Use --no-respect-build-path parameter until sbuild 0.81 is available. [ ]
    • Treat the inability to locate some packages as a debrebuild problem, and not as a issue with the rebuilder itself. [ ]
  • Arch Linux:
    • Update various components to be compatible with Arch Linux s move to the xz compression format. [ ][ ][ ]
    • Allow scheduling of old packages to catch up on the backlog. [ ][ ][ ]
    • Improve formatting on the summary page. [ ][ ]
    • Update HTML pages once every hour, not every 30 minutes. [ ]
    • Use the Ubuntu (!) GPG keyserver to validate packages. [ ]
  • System health checks:
    • Highlight important bad conditions in colour. [ ][ ]
    • Add support for detecting more problems, including Jenkins shutdown issues [ ], failure to upgrade Arch Linux packages [ ], kernels with wrong permissions [ ], etc.
  • Misc:
    • Delete old schroot sessions after 2 days, not 3. [ ]
    • Use sudo to cleanup diffoscope schroot sessions. [ ]
In addition, stefan0xC fixed a query for unknown results in the handling of Arch Linux packages [ ] and Mattia Rizzolo updated the template that notifies maintainers by email of their newly-unreproducible packages to ensure that it did not get caught in junk/spam folders [ ]. Finally, build node maintenance was performed by Holger Levsen [ ][ ][ ][ ], Mattia Rizzolo [ ][ ] and Vagrant Cascadian [ ][ ][ ].
If you are interested in contributing to the Reproducible Builds project, please visit our Contribute page on our website. However, you can get in touch with us via:

11 May 2020

Julien Danjou: Interview: The Performance of Python

Interview: The Performance of PythonEarlier this year, I was supposed to participate to dotPy, a one-day Python conference happening in Paris. This event has unfortunately been cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.Both Victor Stinner and me were supposed to attend that event. Victor had prepared a presentation about Python performances, while I was planning on talking about profiling.Rather than being completely discouraged, Victor and I sat down (remotely) with Anne Laure from Behind the Code (a blog ran by Welcome to the Jungle, the organizers of the dotPy conference).We discuss Python performance, profiling, speed, projects, problems, analysis, optimization and the GIL.You can read the interview here.
Interview: The Performance of Python

26 April 2020

Enrico Zini: Some Italian women

Artemisia Gentileschi - Wikipedia
art history people
Artemisia Lomi or Artemisia Gentileschi (US: / d nt l ski, -ti -/, Italian: [arte mi zja d enti leski]; July 8, 1593 c. 1656) was an Italian Baroque painter, now considered one of the most accomplished seventeenth-century artists working in the dramatic style of Caravaggio. In an era when women had few opportunities to pursue artistic training or work as professional artists, Artemisia was the first woman to become a member of the Accademia di Arte del Disegno in Florence and had an international clientele.
Maria Pellegrina Amoretti (1756 1787), was an Italian lawyer. She is referred to as the first woman to graduate in law in Italy, and the third woman to earn a degree.
Laura Maria Caterina Bassi (October 1711 20 February 1778) was an Italian physicist and academic. She received a doctoral degree in Philosophy from the University of Bologna in May 1732. She was the first woman to earn a professorship in physics at a university. She is recognized as the first woman in the world to be appointed a university chair in a scientific field of studies. Bassi contributed immensely to the field of science while also helping to spread the study of Newtonian mechanics through Italy.
Maria Gaetana Agnesi (UK: / n je zi/ an-YAY-zee,[1] US: / n -/ ahn-,[2][3] Italian: [ma ri a ae ta na a zi, - e z-];[4] 16 May 1718 9 January 1799) was an Italian mathematician, philosopher, theologian, and humanitarian. She was the first woman to write a mathematics handbook and the first woman appointed as a mathematics professor at a university.[5]
Elena Lucrezia Cornaro Piscopia (US: /k r n ro p sko pi /,[4] Italian: [ lena lu kr ttsja kor na ro pi sk pja]) or Elena Lucrezia Corner (Italian: [kor n r]; 5 June 1646 26 July 1684), also known in English as Helen Cornaro, was a Venetian philosopher of noble descent who in 1678 became one of the first women to receive an academic degree from a university, and the first to receive a Doctor of Philosophy degree.
Maria Tecla Artemisia Montessori (/ m nt s ri/ MON-tiss-OR-ee, Italian: [ma ri a montes s ri]; August 31, 1870 May 6, 1952) was an Italian physician and educator best known for the philosophy of education that bears her name, and her writing on scientific pedagogy. At an early age, Montessori broke gender barriers and expectations when she enrolled in classes at an all-boys technical school, with hopes of becoming an engineer. She soon had a change of heart and began medical school at the Sapienza University of Rome, where she graduated with honors in 1896. Her educational method is still in use today in many public and private schools throughout the world.
Rita Levi-Montalcini OMRI OMCA (US: / le vi mo nt l t i ni, l v-, li vi m nt l -/, Italian: [ ri ta l vi montal t i ni]; 22 April 1909 30 December 2012) was an Italian Nobel laureate, honored for her work in neurobiology. She was awarded the 1986 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine jointly with colleague Stanley Cohen for the discovery of nerve growth factor (NGF). From 2001 until her death, she also served in the Italian Senate as a Senator for Life. This honor was given due to her significant scientific contributions. On 22 April 2009, she became the first Nobel laureate ever to reach the age of 100, and the event was feted with a party at Rome's City Hall. At the time of her death, she was the oldest living Nobel laureate.
Margherita Hack Knight Grand Cross OMRI (Italian: [mar e ri ta (h)ak]; 12 June 1922 29 June 2013) was an Italian astrophysicist and scientific disseminator. The asteroid 8558 Hack, discovered in 1995, was named in her honour.
Samantha Cristoforetti (Italian pronunciation: [sa manta kristofo retti]; born 26 April 1977, in Milan) is an Italian European Space Agency astronaut, former Italian Air Force pilot and engineer. She holds the record for the longest uninterrupted spaceflight by a European astronaut (199 days, 16 hours), and until June 2017 held the record for the longest single space flight by a woman until this was broken by Peggy Whitson and later by Christina Koch. She is also the first Italian woman in space. Samantha Cristoforetti is also known as the first person who brewed an espresso in space.

29 March 2020

Enrico Zini: Politics links

How tech's richest plan to save themselves after the apocalypse
politics privilege
Silicon Valley s elite are hatching plans to escape disaster and when it comes, they ll leave the rest of us behind
Heteronomy refers to action that is influenced by a force outside the individual, in other words the state or condition of being ruled, governed, or under the sway of another, as in a military occupation.
Poster P590CW $9.00 Early Warning Signs Of Fascism Laurence W. Britt wrote about the common signs of fascism in April, 2003, after researching seven fascist regimes: Hitler's Nazi Germany; Mussolini's Italy; Franco's Spain; Salazar's Portugal; Papadopoulos' Greece; Pinochet's Chile; Suharto's Indonesia. Get involved! Text: Early Warning Signs of Fascism Powerful and Continuing Nationalism Disdain For Human Rights Identification of Enemies As a unifying cause Supremacy of the military Rampant Sexism Controlled Mass Media Obsession With National Security
Political and social scientist Stefania Milan writes about social movements, mobilization and organized collective action. On the one hand, interactions and networks achieve more visibility and become a proxy for a collective we . On the other hand: Law enforcement can exercise preemptive monitorin
How new technologies and techniques pioneered by dictators will shape the 2020 election
A regional election offers lessons on combatting the rise of the far right, both across the Continent and in the United States.
The Italian diaspora is the large-scale emigration of Italians from Italy. There are two major Italian diasporas in Italian history. The first diaspora began more or less around 1880, a decade or so after the Unification of Italy (with most leaving after 1880), and ended in the 1920s to early-1940s with the rise of Fascism in Italy. The second diaspora started after the end of World War II and roughly concluded in the 1970s. These together constituted the largest voluntary emigration period in documented history. Between 1880-1980, about 15,000,000 Italians left the country permanently. By 1980, it was estimated that about 25,000,000 Italians were residing outside Italy. A third wave is being reported in present times, due to the socio-economic problems caused by the financial crisis of the early twenty-first century, especially amongst the youth. According to the Public Register of Italian Residents Abroad (AIRE), figures of Italians abroad rose from 3,106,251 in 2006 to 4,636,647 in 2015, growing by 49.3% in just ten years.

17 October 2017

Antoine Beaupr : A comparison of cryptographic keycards

An earlier article showed that private key storage is an important problem to solve in any cryptographic system and established keycards as a good way to store private key material offline. But which keycard should we use? This article examines the form factor, openness, and performance of four keycards to try to help readers choose the one that will fit their needs. I have personally been using a YubiKey NEO, since a 2015 announcement on GitHub promoting two-factor authentication. I was also able to hook up my SSH authentication key into the YubiKey's 2048 bit RSA slot. It seemed natural to move the other subkeys onto the keycard, provided that performance was sufficient. The mail client that I use, (Notmuch), blocks when decrypting messages, which could be a serious problems on large email threads from encrypted mailing lists. So I built a test harness and got access to some more keycards: I bought a FST-01 from its creator, Yutaka Niibe, at the last DebConf and Nitrokey donated a Nitrokey Pro. I also bought a YubiKey 4 when I got the NEO. There are of course other keycards out there, but those are the ones I could get my hands on. You'll notice none of those keycards have a physical keypad to enter passwords, so they are all vulnerable to keyloggers that could extract the key's PIN. Keep in mind, however, that even with the PIN, an attacker could only ask the keycard to decrypt or sign material but not extract the key that is protected by the card's firmware.

Form factor The Nitrokey Pro, YubiKey NEO (worn out), YubiKey 4, and FST-01 The four keycards have similar form factors: they all connect to a standard USB port, although both YubiKey keycards have a capacitive button by which the user triggers two-factor authentication and the YubiKey 4 can also require a button press to confirm private key use. The YubiKeys feel sturdier than the other two. The NEO has withstood two years of punishment in my pockets along with the rest of my "real" keyring and there is only minimal wear on the keycard in the picture. It's also thinner so it fits well on the keyring. The FST-01 stands out from the other two with its minimal design. Out of the box, the FST-01 comes without a case, so the circuitry is exposed. This is deliberate: one of its goals is to be as transparent as possible, both in terms of software and hardware design and you definitely get that feeling at the physical level. Unfortunately, that does mean it feels more brittle than other models: I wouldn't carry it in my pocket all the time, although there is a case that may protect the key a little better, but it does not provide an easy way to hook it into a keyring. In the group picture above, the FST-01 is the pink plastic thing, which is a rubbery casing I received along with the device when I got it. Notice how the USB connectors of the YubiKeys differ from the other two: while the FST-01 and the Nitrokey have standard USB connectors, the YubiKey has only a "half-connector", which is what makes it thinner than the other two. The "Nano" form factor takes this even further and almost disappears in the USB port. Unfortunately, this arrangement means the YubiKey NEO often comes loose and falls out of the USB port, especially when connected to a laptop. On my workstation, however, it usually stays put even with my whole keyring hanging off of it. I suspect this adds more strain to the host's USB port but that's a tradeoff I've lived with without any noticeable wear so far. Finally, the NEO has this peculiar feature of supporting NFC for certain operations, as LWN previously covered, but I haven't used that feature yet. The Nitrokey Pro looks like a normal USB key, in contrast with the other two devices. It does feel a little brittle when compared with the YubiKey, although only time will tell how much of a beating it can take. It has a small ring in the case so it is possible to carry it directly on your keyring, but I would be worried the cap would come off eventually. Nitrokey devices are also two times thicker than the Yubico models which makes them less convenient to carry around on keyrings.

Open and closed designs The FST-01 is as open as hardware comes, down to the PCB design available as KiCad files in this Git repository. The software running on the card is the Gnuk firmware that implements the OpenPGP card protocol, but you can also get it with firmware implementing a true random number generator (TRNG) called NeuG (pronounced "noisy"); the device is programmable through a standard Serial Wire Debug (SWD) port. The Nitrokey Start model also runs the Gnuk firmware. However, the Nitrokey website announces only ECC and RSA 2048-bit support for the Start, while the FST-01 also supports RSA-4096. Nitrokey's founder Jan Suhr, in a private email, explained that this is because "Gnuk doesn't support RSA-3072 or larger at a reasonable speed". Its devices (the Pro, Start, and HSM models) use a similar chip to the FST-01: the STM32F103 microcontroller. Nitrokey Pro with STM32F103TBU6 MCU Nitrokey also publishes its hardware designs, on GitHub, which shows the Pro is basically a fork of the FST-01, according to the ChangeLog. I opened the case to confirm it was using the STM MCU, something I should warn you against; I broke one of the pins holding it together when opening it so now it's even more fragile. But at least, I was able to confirm it was built using the STM32F103TBU6 MCU, like the FST-01. Nitrokey back side But this is where the comparison ends: on the back side, we find a SIM card reader that holds the OpenPGP card that, in turn, holds the private key material and does the cryptographic operations. So, in effect, the Nitrokey Pro is really a evolution of the original OpenPGP card readers. Nitrokey confirmed the OpenPGP card featured in the Pro is the same as the one shipped by the Free Software Foundation Europe (FSFE): the BasicCard built by ZeitControl. Those cards, however, are covered by NDAs and the firmware is only partially open source. This makes the Nitrokey Pro less open than the FST-01, but that's an inevitable tradeoff when choosing a design based on the OpenPGP cards, which Suhr described to me as "pretty proprietary". There are other keycards out there, however, for example the SLJ52GDL150-150k smartcard suggested by Debian developer Yves-Alexis Perez, which he prefers as it is certified by French and German authorities. In that blog post, he also said he was experimenting with the GPL-licensed OpenPGP applet implemented by the French ANSSI. But the YubiKey devices are even further away in the closed-design direction. Both the hardware designs and firmware are proprietary. The YubiKey NEO, for example, cannot be upgraded at all, even though it is based on an open firmware. According to Yubico's FAQ, this is due to "best security practices": "There is a 'no upgrade' policy for our devices since nothing, including malware, can write to the firmware." I find this decision questionable in a context where security updates are often more important than trying to design a bulletproof design, which may simply be impossible. And the YubiKey NEO did suffer from critical security issue that allowed attackers to bypass the PIN protection on the card, which raises the question of the actual protection of the private key material on those cards. According to Niibe, "some OpenPGP cards store the private key unencrypted. It is a common attitude for many smartcard implementations", which was confirmed by Suhr: "the private key is protected by hardware mechanisms which prevent its extraction and misuse". He is referring to the use of tamper resistance. After that security issue, there was no other option for YubiKey NEO users than to get a new keycard (for free, thankfully) from Yubico, which also meant discarding the private key material on the key. For OpenPGP keys, this may mean having to bootstrap the web of trust from scratch if the keycard was responsible for the main certification key. But at least the NEO is running free software based on the OpenPGP card applet and the source is still available on GitHub. The YubiKey 4, on the other hand, is now closed source, which was controversial when the new model was announced last year. It led the main Linux Foundation system administrator, Konstantin Ryabitsev, to withdraw his endorsement of Yubico products. In response, Yubico argued that this approach was essential to the security of its devices, which are now based on "a secure chip, which has built-in countermeasures to mitigate a long list of attacks". In particular, it claims that:
A commercial-grade AVR or ARM controller is unfit to be used in a security product. In most cases, these controllers are easy to attack, from breaking in via a debug/JTAG/TAP port to probing memory contents. Various forms of fault injection and side-channel analysis are possible, sometimes allowing for a complete key recovery in a shockingly short period of time.
While I understand those concerns, they eventually come down to the trust you have in an organization. Not only do we have to trust Yubico, but also hardware manufacturers and designs they have chosen. Every step in the hidden supply chain is then trusted to make correct technical decisions and not introduce any backdoors. History, unfortunately, is not on Yubico's side: Snowden revealed the example of RSA security accepting what renowned cryptographer Bruce Schneier described as a "bribe" from the NSA to weaken its ECC implementation, by using the presumably backdoored Dual_EC_DRBG algorithm. What makes Yubico or its suppliers so different from RSA Security? Remember that RSA Security used to be an adamant opponent to the degradation of encryption standards, campaigning against the Clipper chip in the first crypto wars. Even if we trust the Yubico supply chain, how can we trust a closed design using what basically amounts to security through obscurity? Publicly auditable designs are an important tradition in cryptography, and that principle shouldn't stop when software is frozen into silicon. In fact, a critical vulnerability called ROCA disclosed recently affects closed "smartcards" like the YubiKey 4 and allows full private key recovery from the public key if the key was generated on a vulnerable keycard. When speaking with Ars Technica, the researchers outlined the importance of open designs and questioned the reliability of certification:
Our work highlights the dangers of keeping the design secret and the implementation closed-source, even if both are thoroughly analyzed and certified by experts. The lack of public information causes a delay in the discovery of flaws (and hinders the process of checking for them), thereby increasing the number of already deployed and affected devices at the time of detection.
This issue with open hardware designs seems to be recurring topic of conversation on the Gnuk mailing list. For example, there was a discussion in September 2017 regarding possible hardware vulnerabilities in the STM MCU that would allow extraction of encrypted key material from the key. Niibe referred to a talk presented at the WOOT 17 workshop, where Johannes Obermaier and Stefan Tatschner, from the Fraunhofer Institute, demonstrated attacks against the STMF0 family MCUs. It is still unclear if those attacks also apply to the older STMF1 design used in the FST-01, however. Furthermore, extracted private key material is still protected by user passphrase, but the Gnuk uses a weak key derivation function, so brute-forcing attacks may be possible. Fortunately, there is work in progress to make GnuPG hash the passphrase before sending it to the keycard, which should make such attacks harder if not completely pointless. When asked about the Yubico claims in a private email, Niibe did recognize that "it is true that there are more weak points in general purpose implementations than special implementations". During the last DebConf in Montreal, Niibe explained:
If you don't trust me, you should not buy from me. Source code availability is only a single factor: someone can maliciously replace the firmware to enable advanced attacks.
Niibe recommends to "build the firmware yourself", also saying the design of the FST-01 uses normal hardware that "everyone can replicate". Those advantages are hard to deny for a cryptographic system: using more generic components makes it harder for hostile parties to mount targeted attacks. A counter-argument here is that it can be difficult for a regular user to audit such designs, let alone physically build the device from scratch but, in a mailing list discussion, Debian developer Ian Jackson explained that:
You don't need to be able to validate it personally. The thing spooks most hate is discovery. Backdooring supposedly-free hardware is harder (more costly) because it comes with greater risk of discovery. To put it concretely: if they backdoor all of them, someone (not necessarily you) might notice. (Backdooring only yours involves messing with the shipping arrangements and so on, and supposes that you specifically are of interest.)
Since that, as far as we know, the STM microcontrollers are not backdoored, I would tend to favor those devices instead of proprietary ones, as such a backdoor would be more easily detectable than in a closed design. Even though physical attacks may be possible against those microcontrollers, in the end, if an attacker has physical access to a keycard, I consider the key compromised, even if it has the best chip on the market. In our email exchange, Niibe argued that "when a token is lost, it is better to revoke keys, even if the token is considered secure enough". So like any other device, physical compromise of tokens may mean compromise of the key and should trigger key-revocation procedures.

Algorithms and performance To establish reliable performance results, I wrote a benchmark program naively called crypto-bench that could produce comparable results between the different keys. The program takes each algorithm/keycard combination and runs 1000 decryptions of a 16-byte file (one AES-128 block) using GnuPG, after priming it to get the password cached. I assume the overhead of GnuPG calls to be negligible, as it should be the same across all tokens, so comparisons are possible. AES encryption is constant across all tests as it is always performed on the host and fast enough to be irrelevant in the tests. I used the following:
  • Intel(R) Core(TM) i3-6100U CPU @ 2.30GHz running Debian 9 ("stretch"/stable amd64), using GnuPG 2.1.18-6 (from the stable Debian package)
  • Nitrokey Pro 0.8 (latest firmware)
  • FST-01, running Gnuk version 1.2.5 (latest firmware)
  • YubiKey NEO OpenPGP applet 1.0.10 (not upgradable)
  • YubiKey 4 4.2.6 (not upgradable)
I ran crypto-bench for each keycard, which resulted in the following:
Algorithm Device Mean time (s)
ECDH-Curve25519 CPU 0.036
FST-01 0.135
RSA-2048 CPU 0.016
YubiKey-4 0.162
Nitrokey-Pro 0.610
YubiKey-NEO 0.736
FST-01 1.265
RSA-4096 CPU 0.043
YubiKey-4 0.875
Nitrokey-Pro 3.150
FST-01 8.218
Decryption graph There we see the performance of the four keycards I tested, compared with the same operations done without a keycard: the "CPU" device. That provides the baseline time of GnuPG decrypting the file. The first obvious observation is that using a keycard is slower: in the best scenario (FST-01 + ECC) we see a four-fold slowdown, but in the worst case (also FST-01, but RSA-4096), we see a catastrophic 200-fold slowdown. When I presented the results on the Gnuk mailing list, GnuPG developer Werner Koch confirmed those "numbers are as expected":
With a crypto chip RSA is much faster. By design the Gnuk can't be as fast - it is just a simple MCU. However, using Curve25519 Gnuk is really fast.
And yes, the FST-01 is really fast at doing ECC, but it's also the only keycard that handles ECC in my tests; the Nitrokey Start and Nitrokey HSM should support it as well, but I haven't been able to test those devices. Also note that the YubiKey NEO doesn't support RSA-4096 at all, so we can only compare RSA-2048 across keycards. We should note, however, that ECC is slower than RSA on the CPU, which suggests the Gnuk ECC implementation used by the FST-01 is exceptionally fast. In discussions about improving the performance of the FST-01, Niibe estimated the user tolerance threshold to be "2 seconds decryption time". In a new design using the STM32L432 microcontroller, Aurelien Jarno was able to bring the numbers for RSA-2048 decryption from 1.27s down to 0.65s, and for RSA-4096, from 8.22s down to 3.87s seconds. RSA-4096 is still beyond the two-second threshold, but at least it brings the FST-01 close to the YubiKey NEO and Nitrokey Pro performance levels. We should also underline the superior performance of the YubiKey 4: whatever that thing is doing, it's doing it faster than anyone else. It does RSA-4096 faster than the FST-01 does RSA-2048, and almost as fast as the Nitrokey Pro does RSA-2048. We should also note that the Nitrokey Pro also fails to cross the two-second threshold for RSA-4096 decryption. For me, the FST-01's stellar performance with ECC outshines the other devices. Maybe it says more about the efficiency of the algorithm than the FST-01 or Gnuk's design, but it's definitely an interesting avenue for people who want to deploy those modern algorithms. So, in terms of performance, it is clear that both the YubiKey 4 and the FST-01 take the prize in their own areas (RSA and ECC, respectively).

Conclusion In the above presentation, I have evaluated four cryptographic keycards for use with various OpenPGP operations. What the results show is that the only efficient way of storing a 4096-bit encryption key on a keycard would be to use the YubiKey 4. Unfortunately, I do not feel we should put our trust in such closed designs so I would argue you should either stick with 2048-bit encryption subkeys or keep the keys on disk. Considering that losing such a key would be catastrophic, this might be a good approach anyway. You should also consider switching to ECC encryption: even though it may not be supported everywhere, GnuPG supports having multiple encryption subkeys on a keyring: if one algorithm is unsupported (e.g. GnuPG 1.4 doesn't support ECC), it will fall back to a supported algorithm (e.g. RSA). Do not forget your previously encrypted material doesn't magically re-encrypt itself using your new encryption subkey, however. For authentication and signing keys, speed is not such an issue, so I would warmly recommend either the Nitrokey Pro or Start, or the FST-01, depending on whether you want to start experimenting with ECC algorithms. Availability also seems to be an issue for the FST-01. While you can generally get the device when you meet Niibe in person for a few bucks (I bought mine for around \$30 Canadian), the Seeed online shop says the device is out of stock at the time of this writing, even though Jonathan McDowell said that may be inaccurate in a debian-project discussion. Nevertheless, this issue may make the Nitrokey devices more attractive. When deciding on using the Pro or Start, Suhr offered the following advice:
In practice smart card security has been proven to work well (at least if you use a decent smart card). Therefore the Nitrokey Pro should be used for high security cases. If you don't trust the smart card or if Nitrokey Start is just sufficient for you, you can choose that one. This is why we offer both models.
So far, I have created a signing subkey and moved that and my authentication key to the YubiKey NEO, because it's a device I physically trust to keep itself together in my pockets and I was already using it. It has served me well so far, especially with its extra features like U2F and HOTP support, which I use frequently. Those features are also available on the Nitrokey Pro, so that may be an alternative if I lose the YubiKey. I will probably move my main certification key to the FST-01 and a LUKS-encrypted USB disk, to keep that certification key offline but backed up on two different devices. As for the encryption key, I'll wait for keycard performance to improve, or simply switch my whole keyring to ECC and use the FST-01 or Nitrokey Start for that purpose.
[The author would like to thank Nitrokey for providing hardware for testing.] This article first appeared in the Linux Weekly News.

2 January 2017

Markus Koschany: My Free Software Activities in December 2016

Welcome to Here is my monthly report that covers what I have been doing for Debian. If you re interested in Android, Java, Games and LTS topics, this might be interesting for you. Debian Android Debian Games Debian Java Debian LTS This was my tenth month as a paid contributor and I have been paid to work 13,5 hours on Debian LTS, a project started by Rapha l Hertzog. In that time I did the following: Non-maintainer uploads

8 December 2016

Stig Sandbeck Mathisen: MIME types and applications

On a Linux system with desktop-file-utils installed, the default application for opening a file with a file manager, from a web browser, or using xdg-open on the command line is not static. The last installed or upgraded application becomes the default. For example: After installing gimp, that application will be used to open any of the many types of files it supports. This lasts until another application which can open those mime types is installed or upgraded. If I later install or upgrade mupdf , that application will be used for PDF, until, etcetera. There are several bug reports filed for this confusing behaviour: Debian: Ubuntu: Firefox:


/usr/bin/update-desktop-database is a command in the package desktop-file-utils This command is run in the package postinst script, and triggers on writes to /usr/share/applications where .desktop files are written.

/usr/share/applications This directory contains a list of applications (files ending with .desktop). These desktop files include mime types they are able to work with. The mupdf.desktop example shows it is able to work with (among other) application/pdf
[Desktop Entry]
GenericName=PDF file viewer
Comment=PDF file viewer
Exec=mupdf %f
[Desktop Action View]
Exec=mupdf %f
The gimp.desktop application entry shows it is more capable:
[Desktop Entry]
Name=GNU Image Manipulation Program
# [...]
However, I m quite sure I do not want gimp to be the default viewer for all those file types.

/usr/share/applications/mimeinfo.cache This is a list of MIME types, with a list of applications able to open them. The first entry in the list is the default application. You may also have one of these in ~/.local/share/applications for applications installed in the user s home directory. Examples: With gimp.desktop first, xdg-open test.pdf will use gimp
[MIME Cache]
# [...]
After uninstalling and reinstalling mupdf, mupdf.desktop is first in the list, and xdg-open test.pdf will use mupdf
[MIME Cache]
# [...]
The order of .desktop files in mimeinfo.cache is the reverse of the order they are added to that directory. The last installed utility is first in that list.

Application Trace This was fun to dig into. I ve just gotten some training which included a a better look at auditd. Auditd is a nice hammer, and this problem was a good nail. I ran the command under autrace , and then looked for the order of reads from each run. When mupdf is installed last, mupdf.desktop is read last, and placed first in the list of applications:
root@laptop:~# autrace /usr/bin/update-desktop-database
Waiting to execute: /usr/bin/update-desktop-database
Cleaning up...
Trace complete. You can locate the records with 'ausearch -i -p 13507'
root@laptop:~# ausearch -p 13507   aureport --file   egrep 'gimp mupdf'
389. 12/09/2016 17:35:37 /usr/share/applications/gimp.desktop 4 yes /usr/bin/update-desktop-database 1000 8002
390. 12/09/2016 17:35:37 /usr/share/applications/gimp.desktop 2 yes /usr/bin/update-desktop-database 1000 8003
391. 12/09/2016 17:35:37 /usr/share/applications/mupdf.desktop 4 yes /usr/bin/update-desktop-database 1000 8010
392. 12/09/2016 17:35:37 /usr/share/applications/mupdf.desktop 2 yes /usr/bin/update-desktop-database 1000 8011
root@laptop:~# grep application/pdf /usr/share/applications/mimeinfo.cache
Reinstalling gimp puts that first in the entry for application/pdf
root@laptop:~# apt install --reinstall gimp
Preparing to unpack .../gimp_2.8.18-1_amd64.deb ...
Unpacking gimp (2.8.18-1) over (2.8.18-1) ...
Processing triggers for mime-support (3.60) ...
Processing triggers for desktop-file-utils (0.23-1) ...
Setting up gimp (2.8.18-1) ...
Processing triggers for gnome-menus (3.13.3-8) ...
root@laptop:~# autrace /usr/bin/update-desktop-database
Waiting to execute: /usr/bin/update-desktop-database
Cleaning up...
Trace complete. You can locate the records with 'ausearch -i -p 15043'
root@laptop:~# ausearch -p 15043   aureport --file   egrep 'gimp mupdf'
389. 12/09/2016 17:39:53 /usr/share/applications/mupdf.desktop 4 yes /usr/bin/update-desktop-database 1000 9550
390. 12/09/2016 17:39:53 /usr/share/applications/mupdf.desktop 2 yes /usr/bin/update-desktop-database 1000 9551
391. 12/09/2016 17:39:53 /usr/share/applications/gimp.desktop 4 yes /usr/bin/update-desktop-database 1000 9556
392. 12/09/2016 17:39:53 /usr/share/applications/gimp.desktop 2 yes /usr/bin/update-desktop-database 1000 9557
root@laptop:~# grep application/pdf /usr/share/applications/mimeinfo.cache

Configuration The solution to this is to add configuration so it will use something else than the default. The xdg-mime command is your tool. The various desktop environments often do this for you. However, if you have a lightweight work environment, you may need to do this yourself for the MIME types you care about.
ssm@laptop ~ :) % xdg-mime query default application/pdf
ssm@laptop ~ :) % xdg-mime default mupdf.desktop application/pdf
ssm@laptop ~ :) % xdg-mime query default application/pdf
This updates ~/.local/share/applications/mimeapps.list , and you should now have set your preferred PDF reader.

30 November 2016

Arturo Borrero Gonz lez: Creating a team for netfilter packages in debian

Debian - Netfilter There are about 15 Netfilter packages in Debian, and they are maintained by separate people. Yersterday, I contacted the maintainers of the main packages to propose the creation of a pkg-netfilter team to maintain all the packages together. The benefits of maintaining packages in a team is already known to all, and I would expect to rise the overall quality of the packages due to this movement. By now, the involved packages and maintainers are: We should probably ping Jochen Friedrich as well who maintains arptables and ebtables. Also, there are some other non-official Netfilter packages, like iptables-persistent. I m undecided to what to do with them, as my primary impulse is to only put in the team upstream packages. Given the release of Stretch is just some months ahead, the creation of this packaging team will happen after the release, so we don t have any hurry moving things now.

9 August 2016

Reproducible builds folks: Reproducible builds: week 67 in Stretch cycle

What happened in the Reproducible Builds effort between Sunday July 31 and Saturday August 6 2016: Toolchain development and fixes Packages fixed and bugs filed The following 24 packages have become reproducible - in our current test setup - due to changes in their build-dependencies: alglib aspcud boomaga fcl flute haskell-hopenpgp indigo italc kst ktexteditor libgroove libjson-rpc-cpp libqes luminance-hdr openscenegraph palabos petri-foo pgagent sisl srm-ifce vera++ visp x42-plugins zbackup The following packages have become reproducible after being fixed: The following newly-uploaded packages appear to be reproducible now, for reasons we were not able to figure out. (Relevant changelogs did not mention reproducible builds.) Some uploads have addressed some reproducibility issues, but not all of them: Patches submitted that have not made their way to the archive yet: Package reviews and QA These are reviews of reproduciblity issues of Debian packages. 276 package reviews have been added, 172 have been updated and 44 have been removed in this week. 7 FTBFS bugs have been reported by Chris Lamb. Reproducibility tools Test infrastructure For testing the impact of allowing variations of the buildpath (which up until now we required to be identical for reproducible rebuilds), Reiner Herrmann contribed a patch which enabled build path variations on testing/i386. This is possible now since dpkg 1.18.10 enables the --fixdebugpath build flag feature by default, which should result in reproducible builds (for C code) even with varying paths. So far we haven't had many results due to disturbances in our build network in the last days, but it seems this would mean roughly between 5-15% additional unreproducible packages - compared to what we see now. We'll keep you updated on the numbers (and problems with compilers and common frameworks) as we find them. lynxis continued work to test LEDE and OpenWrt on two different hosts, to include date variation in the tests. Mattia and Holger worked on the (mass) deployment scripts, so that the - for space reasons - only GIT clone resides in ~jenkins-adm/ and not anymore in Holger's homedir, so that soon Mattia (and possibly others!) will be able to fully maintain this setup, while Holger is doing siesta. Miscellaneous Chris, dkg, h01ger and Ximin attended a Core Infrastricture Initiative summit meeting in New York City, to discuss and promote this Reproducible Builds project. The CII was set up in the wake of the Heartbleed SSL vulnerability to support software projects that are critical to the functioning of the internet. This week's edition was written by Ximin Luo and Holger Levsen and reviewed by a bunch of Reproducible Builds folks on IRC.

18 June 2016

Sune Vuorela: R is for Randa

This week I have been gathered with 38 KDE people in Randa, Switzerland. Randa is a place in a valley in the middle of the Alps close to various peaks like Matterhorn. It has been a week of intense hacking, bugfixing, brainstorming and a bit of enjoying the nature. R is for Reproducible builds I spent the first couple of days trying to get the Qt Documentation generation tool to reproducible generate documentation. Some of the fixes were of the usual put data in an randomized datastructure, then iterate over it and create output , where the fix is similar well known: Sort the datastructure first. Others were a bit more severe bugs that lead to the documentation to shuffle around the obsolete bit, and the inheritance chains. Most of these fixes have been reviewed and submitted to the Qt 5.6 branch, one is still pending review, but that hopefully gets fixed soon. Then most of Qt (except things containing copies of (parts) of webkit and derivatives) should be reproducible. R is for Roaming around in the mountains Sleeping, hacking and dining in the same building sometimes leads to a enormous desire for fresh air. Luckily in the middle of the alps, it is readily available, and at least once a day many people went for a walk. To say hi to a sheep. Or to just go uphill until tired and then going back down. Or just finding a circle around. For this area, OpenStreetMap seems to have better maps than Google. We also went on a nice group trip to Zermatt and surroundings, sponsored by our friends in Edeltech. R is for Releasing One of the tasks I set myself for was to get my barcode generation library (prison. you know. being behind bars.) ready for release. A bit of api cleanup, including some future proofing, was done, and all users adapted. Hopefully it will be released as part of the next KDE Frameworks release. R is for Reviewing code When signing up for the sprint, one has to declare a couple of tasks to work on. One of the things I put myself up to was reviewing David Faure s code changes. First, he is very productive, and second, he often gets into creating patches in code areas where many other contributors are scared to look. So someone has to do it, and code never scared me. R is for Running I planned on going running along the river monday, wednesday and friday. Fortunately that happened, but due to Switzerland having a bit more ups and downs than flat Denmark, it didn t go that fast. R is for Random bugfixing When in the hacking mood surrounded by great developers, it is very easy to just fix minor bugs when you encounter them. There is likely someone around who knows the code in question. Or you are just in the mood to actually fix it, rather than living with a missing clock applet or a corner case crash. R is for Rubber ducking I am a brilliant person sized rubber duck. And I did get the opportunity to show off my skills a couple of times, as well as using some of the other people for that. R is for Raising money These sprints in Randa is only possible because of all the nice donations from people and companies around the world. The fundraiser is still running, and can be found at

8 June 2016

Reproducible builds folks: Reproducible builds: week 58 in Stretch cycle

What happened in the Reproducible Builds effort between May 29th and June 4th 2016: Media coverage Ed Maste will present Reproducible Builds in FreeBSD at BDSCan 2016 in Ottawa, Canada on June 11th. GSoC and Outreachy updates Toolchain fixes Other upstream fixes Packages fixed The following 53 packages have become reproducible due to changes in their build-dependencies: angband blktrace code-saturne coinor-symphony device-tree-compiler mpich rtslib ruby-bcrypt ruby-bson-ext ruby-byebug ruby-cairo ruby-charlock-holmes ruby-curb ruby-dataobjects-sqlite3 ruby-escape-utils ruby-ferret ruby-ffi ruby-fusefs ruby-github-markdown ruby-god ruby-gsl ruby-hdfeos5 ruby-hiredis ruby-hitimes ruby-hpricot ruby-kgio ruby-lapack ruby-ldap ruby-libvirt ruby-libxml ruby-msgpack ruby-ncurses ruby-nfc ruby-nio4r ruby-nokogiri ruby-odbc ruby-oj ruby-ox ruby-raindrops ruby-rdiscount ruby-redcarpet ruby-redcloth ruby-rinku ruby-rjb ruby-rmagick ruby-rugged ruby-sdl ruby-serialport ruby-sqlite3 ruby-unicode ruby-yajl ruby-zoom thin The following packages have become reproducible after being fixed: Some uploads have addressed some reproducibility issues, but not all of them: Uploads with an unknown result because they fail to build: Patches submitted that have not made their way to the archive yet: Package reviews 45 reviews have been added, 25 have been updated and 25 have been removed in this week. 12 FTBFS bugs have been reported by Chris Lamb and Niko Tyni. diffoscope development strip-nondeterminism development Mattia uploaded strip-nondeterminism 0.018-1 which improved support for *.epub files. Misc. Last week we also learned about progress of reproducible builds in FreeBSD. Ed Maste announced a change to record the build timestamp during ports building, which is required for later reproduction. This week's edition was written by Reiner Herrman, Holger Levsen and Chris Lamb and reviewed by a bunch of Reproducible builds folks on IRC.

22 May 2016

Reproducible builds folks: Reproducible builds: week 56 in Stretch cycle

What happened in the Reproducible Builds effort between May 15th and May 21st 2016: Media coverage Blog posts from our GSoC and Outreachy contributors: Documentation update Ximin Luo clarified instructions on how to set SOURCE_DATE_EPOCH. Toolchain fixes Other upstream fixes Packages fixed The following 18 packages have become reproducible due to changes in their build dependencies: abiword angband apt-listbugs asn1c bacula-doc bittornado cdbackup fenix gap-autpgrp gerbv jboss-logging-tools invokebinder modplugtools objenesis pmw r-cran-rniftilib x-loader zsnes The following packages have become reproducible after being fixed: Some uploads have fixed some reproducibility issues, but not all of them: Patches submitted that have not made their way to the archive yet: Reproducibility-related bugs filed: Package reviews 51 reviews have been added, 19 have been updated and 15 have been removed in this week. 22 FTBFS bugs have been reported by Chris Lamb, Santiago Vila, Niko Tyni and Daniel Schepler. Misc. This week's edition was written by Reiner Herrmann and Holger Levsen and reviewed by a bunch of Reproducible builds folks on IRC.