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Canonical now offers AWS optimized Ubuntu Linux

When it comes to cloud operating system popularity, Ubuntu Linux is, by far, the most popular operating system on Amazon Web Services (AWS). According to the Cloud Market’s latest analysis of operating systems on the Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2), Ubuntu has over 364,000 images with only generic Linux images surpassing it. Now, Canonical, Ubuntu’s parent company, is seeking to further its domination by offering premium Ubuntu Pro Linux images to Amazon Web Services (AWS). These images come with Canonical’s standard Ubuntu Amazon Machine Images (Amazon AMIs), plus automatically enabled key security and compliance subscriptions. In short, Ubuntu Pro is optimized by AWS Ubuntu, complete with security and support.

[Source: ZDNet]

The Apache Software Foundation Welcomes CloudBees as its Newest Targeted Sponsor at the Platinum Level

The Apache® Software Foundation (ASF), the all-volunteer developers, stewards, and incubators of more than 350 Open Source projects and initiatives, announced today that CloudBees has become an ASF Targeted Sponsor at the Platinum level. The ASF Infrastructure Team keeps the Foundation’s global services running 24x7x365 at near 100% uptime at less than US$5,000 per project. Performance statistics that reflect more than seven million weekly checks and project mail volume across 2,059 lists are available at http://status.apache.org/

[Source: DevOps.com]

New Vivaldi for Android Beta Adds More UI Improvements, Chromebook Support

Vivaldi Technologies have released a new beta of their upcoming Vivaldi for Android web browser, which brings support for Chromebooks and many refinements to the user interface. After the great feedback on the first beta release, Vivaldi Technologies have been working hard to improve their Vivaldi for Android web browser, adding lots of goodies requested by the community, starting with new settings to allow users to swipe to close tabs and view scrollbars on internal pages.

[Source: Softpedia]

Verizon To Offer 5G Network Edge Computing With AWS Wavelength

At AWS re:Invent Tuesday, Verizon Communications and AWS announced their 5G Edge computing partnership. As part of the alliance, Verizon will use AWS Wavelength to provide developers the ability to deploy applications that require ultra-low latency to mobile devices using 5G. The companies are currently piloting AWS Wavelength on Verizon’s edge compute platform, 5G Edge, in Chicago for a select group of customers, including worldwide video game publisher Bethesda Softworks and the National Football League (NFL).

[Source: TFiR]

The Foundational Era of Open Source

Contrary to popular belief, software is not eating the world. Open source software is eating the world. This was very apparent at the Linux Foundation’s KubeCon + CloudNativeCon event recently in San Diego. Driving this phenomenon is what I call the Foundational era of Open Source. This Foundational era of Open Source has replaced what I call the Big Brother era that came before it. The Big Brother era itself replaced what I call the Cathedral and Bazaar era of open source.

Open source today is now in use at well over 90% of enterprises and it is by far the dominant form of software. It is leading the way in the move to the cloud and in business transformation, and it is literally changing the world.

[Source: DevOps.com]

Canonical Patches Intel Microcode Regression on Ubuntu PCs with Skylake CPUs

Canonical has published a new security advisory today where the company behind the popular Ubuntu Linux operating system apologizes for a regression introduced by the latest Intel microcode firmware update. On November 12th, 2019, Canonical published important kernel security updates for all supported Ubuntu Linux releases to address two flaws (CVE-2019-11135 and CVE-2019-11139) discovered by various security researchers in Intel processors using Transactional Synchronization Extensions (TSX), as well as on certain Intel Xeon processors.

[Source: Softpedia The new Intel microcode update is already available in the main software repositories]

Mozilla locks nosy Avast, AVG extensions out of Firefox store amid row over web privacy

The Firefox extensions built by Avast have been pulled from the open-source browser’s online add-on store over privacy fears. Adblock Plus founder Wladimir Palant confirmed this week Mozilla has taken down the Avast Online Security and Avast-owned AVG Online Security extensions he reported to the browser maker, claiming the code was snooping on users’ web surfing.

The problem, as Palant has been documenting on his blog for some time, is that the extensions – which offer to do things like prevent malware infections and phishing – may go well beyond their needed level of access to user information to do their advertised functions.

[Source: The Register]

Red Hat’s CTO sees open-source as driver of choice and consistency in hybrid environments

A case can certainly be made that Red Hat Inc. and the open-source movement have commoditized portions of the information technology infrastructure. A much wider range of tools and systems are now available to enterprises than ever before. This trend is just part of the open-source journey, one that Chris Wright (pictured), as the senior vice president and chief technology officer of Red Hat and a veteran Linux developer, has seen evolve over more than 20 years as a software engineer.

[Source: SiliconANGLE]

Dell XPS 13 7390 Review: The Best Laptop For Desktop Linux Users

Gone are the days when we had to do a lot of research and read a lot of reviews to find a machine that would work with the least amount of trouble with the desktop Linux distribution of choice. Today, almost every machine out there can run Linux. The kernel community has done an incredible job with device driver support to make everything work out of the box.

Still, there are machines that can run Linux, and then there are machines that run Linux. Dell machines fall in the latter category. Five years ago, Barton George started a program within Dell to bring desktop Linux to consumer grade, high-end Dell systems. What started as one machine is now an entire line of high-end laptops and desktops.

Among these machines, XPS 13 is my favorite. While I need a really powerful desktop to handle my 4K UHD, multicam video production, I also need an ultra-portable laptop that I can bring with me anywhere without having to worry about a bulky backpack and charger. XPS 13 was also my very first laptop, which lasted me more than 7 years. So, yes, there is that nostalgic factor, too.

Dell updates the XPS line almost every year and the latest rollout was announced in October (link to video interview). XPS 13 (7390) is an incremental update to the series, and Dell was kind enough to send me a review unit.

It is powered by a 6-core, Core i7-10710U CPU. It comes with 16GB of memory and 1TB SSD. At the base frequency of 1.10 GHz, which can boost to 4.1 GHz, this is a great machine for average workloads. It doesn’t have any dedicated GPU, so it’s not meant for gaming or compiling from source for Gentoo Linux or Arch Linux. However, I did manage to run some Steam games on it.

If you are looking to run your Kubernetes clusters, AI frameworks or Virtual Reality, then there are more powerful machines from the Precision line, which are certified to run Red Hat Enterprise Linux and Ubuntu.

The machine’s chassis is identical to the previous generation. The bezels remains as thin as they were in the previous generation, still thinner than MacBook and Microsoft’s Surface Pro.

It has three ports, two of which are USB-C Thunderbolt 3, which can be used to connect to 4K monitors, USB accessories, and high-speed data transfer between machines with peer-to-peer networking.

It also has a microSD slot. As a video journalist, a slot for an SD card would have been more useful. Heavy users of Raspberry Pis would also love this card.

It has 4 microphones and an improved camera, which is now located at the top (goodbye, nosecam!).

XPS 13 (7390) is sleek and slim. At 2.7 lbs, it is certainly comparable to Apple’s MacBook Air. This machine is meant to be your travel companion and for everyday tasks like checking emails, browsing the web, and writing.

Its 4K UHD screen supports HDR, which means you will be able to enjoy Mandalorian in all its full glory. That said, the on-board speakers are not that great and sound muffled. They are OK for video chats or casual YouTube viewing, but if you want to enjoy the The Witcher later this year, or if you want to enjoy music from Amazon, Apple Music or YouTube Music, you need headphones or external speakers.

But how much fun can you get out of this machine before you reach for charging cable? It gave me around 7-8 hours of battery life with average workload: browsing the web with a few tabs, just watching a movie or listening to music. Multi-tasking, especially any kind of web activity, will drain the battery. Some fine-tuning on Linux may give you even more life. On Windows 10, I was able to get more than 10 hours!

As a video journalist who is still doing a fair amount of writing, I really like the keyboard. However, the trackpad is the same story that we have been hearing on desktop Linux for ages: it’s nowhere near the quality on MacBook or Windows machines. Maybe one day. To Dell’s credit, they do release drivers for the trackpad that enhances the experience, but I am not running the stock Ubuntu 18.04 LTS that came with this system. I did a fresh install of Ubuntu 19.10 because Gnome is painfully slow in 18.04. I tried openSUSE Tumbleweed, Zorin OS, elementary OS, Fedora, KDE’s neon and Arch Linux. All worked, although some needed extra effort to run.

So, who is this system for? It’s certainly for professionals who want a well designed, high-end machine from a brand they can trust. It’s for those who like a MacBook Air, but prefer the desktop Linux ecosystem. It’s for those who want to use Linux for work, instead of working on it to make it work.

Spending a week with this machine reinforced why I love Dell’s XPS series so much. They are the best Linux laptops out there. And this XPS 13 (7390) packs a punch.

AWS Announces Graviton2-Powered General Purpose, Compute-Optimized, & Memory-Optimized EC2 Instances

AWS has provided a sneak peek at the next generation of Arm-based EC2 instances. These instances are built on AWS Nitro System and will be powered by the new Graviton2 processor. This is a custom AWS design that is built using a 7 nm (nanometer) manufacturing process. It is based on 64-bit Arm Neoverse cores, and can deliver up to 7x the performance of the A1 instances, including twice the floating point performance. Additional memory channels and double-sized per-core caches speed memory access by up to 5x.
[Source: AWS]