For quite a while now, I’ve been annoyed by the system notification
volume going to 100% on my Debian systems, regardless of my attempts to
set it to a lower level. For example, when I open the KDE System
Settings app, change something, then try to close the window, the sound
that accompanies the save/discard/cancel alert is always startlingly
I think I have finally found a fix: in your /etc/pulse/daemon.conf,
put in a line saying
flat-volumes = no
(You should find an existing comment “; flat-volumes = yes” that
indicates the default.)
You can make this new setting take effect in the current session
immediately without having to logout or reboot, by executing the
following as the currently-logged-in user:
(This kills and restarts the PulseAudio daemon for your user session.)
There are several discussions of the pros and cons of this issue online,
going back some years. For example, here
<https://bugzilla.redhat.com/show_bug.cgi?id=1265267>. Also a mention
about the “flat-volumes” setting in the ever-reliable Arch Linux Wiki
A pretty sobering read
Qualcomm's first weapon against competitors: patent licensing terms
requiring customers to pay a royalty on every phone sold—not just
phones that contained Qualcomm's wireless chips.
Judge Koh draws a direct parallel to licensing behavior that got
Microsoft in legal trouble in the 1990s. Microsoft would offer PC
makers a discount if they agreed to pay Microsoft a licensing fee
for every PC sold—whether or not the PC shipped with a copy of
MS-DOS. This effectively meant that a PC maker had to pay twice if
it shipped a PC running a non-Microsoft operating system.
There’s a lot more--the article reads like a catalogue of gangster-like
tactics. All of which is perfectly all right under the US
interpretation of “Free Enterprise”, of course ...
Also, reading the details of how Qualcomm managed to sabotage Intel’s
efforts to develop 5G chips, it seems to me that Qualcomm is directly
responsible for the situation today where US companies are lagging
behind Chinese ones like Huawei in 5G capability.
If there is anybody else besides me who wondered what happened to Edge
TV, as of the beginning of this month it is no longer on Freeview, it
can now only be viewed as an online stream
In the last few days of June, there was a promo announcing that it
was going HD, but I don’t recall it mentioning that it was leaving the
MediaWorks chief executive Michael Anderson says the move is in
line with audience trends, which show people primarily consume
music videos online.
While that may be mostly true, personally I would go look for videos on
YouTube after seeing them first on Edge TV.
Apple’s TV+ streaming service is coming soon, followed by Disney’s one
Disney+ will break Sky's longtime near-monopoly on Disney content
in these parts. Disney says that, ultimately, Disney+ will be the
exclusive home of its content.
So to get a comparable range of TV content to that you currently have
free-to-air, you are going to have to subscribe to two or three or
maybe more different streaming services. The increasing multitude of
things to pay for isn’t about choice, but about no choice at all.
'The Mozilla Foundation announced today that it was moving its
Thunderbird email client to a new subsidiary named the MZLA
Technologies Corporation. From a report:
Mozilla said that Thunderbird will continue to remain free and open
source, but by moving the project away from its foundation into a
corporate entity they will be able to monetize the product and pay for
its development easier than before. Currently, Thunderbird is
primarily being kept alive through charitable donations from the
product's userbase. "Moving to MZLA Technologies Corporation will not
only allow the Thunderbird project more flexibility and agility, but
will also allow us to explore offering our users products and services
that were not possible under the Mozilla Foundation," said Philipp
Kewisch, Mozilla Product Manager. "The move will allow the project to
collect revenue through partnerships and non-charitable donations,
which in turn can be used to cover the costs of new products and
services," Kewisch added.'
-- source: https://tech.slashdot.org/story/20/01/29/1430253
Dept. of Computer Science
University of Waikato, NZ
+64 (7) 858-5174
Some more patches have gone into the Linux kernel
<https://www.theregister.co.uk/2020/01/30/linux_5_6_2038/> to allow
32-bit builds to deal with times past the year-2038 barrier. Basically
the fix involves offering a 64-bit alternative to the original time_t
type, without the whole app having to go 64-bit.
One point I noticed is that certain filesystems (e.g. ext2, presumably
ext3 as well) store on-disk fields with 32-bit timestamps, so if you’re
using one of these, you’ll have to reformat the disks as well. And that
would apply even if you’re already using a 64-bit OS.
At our last meeting Tom was concerned about Linux bloating with surplus
files. I have always found this to seldom be the case due to :
a. The new download removes the older files or:
b. The command autoremove clears the unused kernels and other not
john@polomint:~$ sudo apt autoremove
Reading package lists... Done
Building dependency tree
Reading state information... Done
The following packages will be REMOVED:
0 upgraded, 0 newly installed, 5 to remove and 4 not upgraded.
After this operation, 332 MB disk space will be freed.
Do you want to continue? [Y/n]
'For the third time in less than a year, Intel has disclosed a new set
of vulnerabilities related to the speculative functionality of its
processors. On Monday, the company said it will issue a software
update "in the coming weeks" that will fix two more microarchitectural
data sampling (MDS) or Zombieload flaws. This latest update comes
after the company released two separate patches in May and November of
Compared to the MDS flaws Intel addressed in those two previous
patches, these latest ones have a couple of limitations. To start, one
of the vulnerabilities, L1DES, doesn't work on Intel's more recent
chips. Moreover, a hacker can't execute the attack using a web
browser. Intel also says it's "not aware" of anyone taking advantage
of the flaws outside of the lab.
In response to complaints of the company's piecemeal approach, Intel
said that it has taken significant steps to reduce the danger the
flaws represent to its processors.
"Since May 2019, starting with Microarchitectural Data Sampling (MDS),
and then in November with TAA, we and our system software partners
have released mitigations that have cumulatively and substantially
reduced the overall attack surface for these types of issues," a
spokesperson for the company said. "We continue to conduct research in
this area -- internally, and in conjunction with the external research
-- source: https://it.slashdot.org/story/20/01/27/2126231
Dept. of Computer Science
University of Waikato, NZ
+64 (7) 858-5174
Here’s a report
on a Europe-wide effort to produce a processor chip for an “exascale”
supercomputer. It will have an ARM CPU core, with a RISC-V-based
accelerator and a few other special-purpose units on the side.
I was intrigued to see mention of an “AI-inspired bfloat16 format”.
Floating-point numbers commonly come in 32-bit and 64-bit sizes. There
is also a “half-precision” 16-bit format, with reduced precision and
dynamic range, commonly used in computer graphics, for example. This
new format keeps the full dynamic range of 32-bit floats, at the
expense of even further reduced precision. Apparently this works better
for various machine-learning algorithms.