Open-source News

AMD Posts Linux Patches For "LbrExtV2" Zen 4 CPU Feature

Phoronix - Thu, 08/11/2022 - 21:11
While all of the key Zen 4 CPU functionality appears in place for the mainline Linux kernel, AMD engineers continue working to enable other new Zen 4 features for use under Linux. The newest patches out of AMD this morning are for LbrExtV2...

Ubuntu 22.04.1 LTS Released

Phoronix - Thu, 08/11/2022 - 21:10
Following a one week delay due to a last minute blocker bug being discovered, Canonical today has shipped Ubuntu 22.04.1 LTS as the first point release to this current long-term support series...

Loongson Adds LoongArch Support To LibreOffice

Phoronix - Thu, 08/11/2022 - 18:40
Following GCC 12 introducing LoongArch support earlier this year, Linux 5.19 adding the initial LoongArch port, and Glibc 2.36 adding LoongArch, LibreOffice is now the latest high-profile open-source project adding support for this Chinese processor ISA that started out derived from MIPS64...

GNOME Mutter & Shell 43 Beta Bring Several Very Exciting Changes

Phoronix - Thu, 08/11/2022 - 17:58
GNOME's Shell and Mutter components have released their beta versions for this GNOME 43 milestone. Particularly on the Mutter side are some very exciting changes from improvements to direct scan-out, high resolution scroll wheel support being completed and merged, various Wayland improvements, and more performance optimizations...

Linux 6.0 Fixes Touchpad & Keyboard Issues After Suspend For Many TUXEDO Laptops

Phoronix - Thu, 08/11/2022 - 17:37
A number of TUXEDO Computers' Linux laptops and Clevo laptops that have had keyboard and/or touchpad issues after system suspend cycles should be properly working now with Linux 6.0...

X.Org Protocols 2022.2 Released With XWAYLAND Extension, DRI3 v1.3

Phoronix - Thu, 08/11/2022 - 17:11
Xorgproto 2022.2 has been released as the newest version of this collection of X.Org/X11 protocols. Most notable with this rare xorgproto update is the introduction of a new extension, XWAYLAND...

Comparing solar power to traditional power generation the open way

opensource.com - Thu, 08/11/2022 - 15:00
Comparing solar power to traditional power generation the open way Ron McFarland Thu, 08/11/2022 - 03:00 1 reader likes this 1 reader likes this

This is the second article in a two-part series on energy disruption that could lead to open organization projects. In the first part, based on the book, Clean Disruption of Energy and Transportation, by Tony Seba, I discussed disruption in the use of electric vehicles over internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles, the use of self-driving over human-driven vehicles, and the use of solar power generation over nuclear power generation.

In this second part, I will discuss additional potential projects likely to introduce more disruption, specifically the use of solar power generation over other sources. Solar power has advantages over other primary power generation methods, including:

  • Oil
  • Natural gas (with methane)
  • Biofuels
  • Coal

Finally, another area of disruption is managing distributed electricity generation (small and simple) over conventional large utilities.

It's useful to compare the power generation potential of solar with each of the technologies above in more detail.

Solar power generation versus oil power generation

As mentioned in part one of this series, solar power generation costs are falling rapidly. These innovations provide opportunities to replace fossil-fuel sources. The costs are projected to continue falling due to various factors, including:

  1. Increased use and a fast learning curve.
  2. Practical use for many devices.
  3. Ability to be resold to other parties.

Solar cost has improved by 5,355 times from 1970 to 2014 compared to oil. Furthermore, for new power plants, on a levelized cost of generating solar electricity (LCOE), solar is already cheaper than power from oil-powered plants. Even Saudi Arabia is building solar plants, as it might need 30% of its oil production for desalination plants. It is cheaper for desalinating water. Saudi knows that solar is the future, and oil is the past.

Natural resources are also a consideration with oil power generation. Oil supply is a geopolitical concern for energy-dependent nations, as seen daily with the Ukraine War. Sun energy is everywhere and doesn't have that worry. Oil power uses four times as much water as natural gas, which is 10,000 times more than solar power plants.

With upcoming electric vehicles, autonomous cars, solar energy grids, and individual production, oil as an energy source will not be competitive in the years ahead. In many countries, oil (and coal) is government subsidized. If those subsidies stop, oil will be even less competitive. Solar power generation is cheaper than diesel-powered generation in many regions and is less expensive for heating and lighting than kerosene.

Even storage is a consideration. Battery storage is cheaper than running diesel-powered backup generators, and solar costs are dropping even further. Solar salt energy storage is more economical than large-scale petroleum generation.

Solar power generation versus natural gas (with methane) power generation

As mentioned above, solar power generation costing is falling rapidly and projected to continue doing so. With increased use and a fast learning curve, solar can be used for many devices and can be resold.

How does solar production measure up against natural gas? Solar cost has improved by 2,275 times compared to natural gas between 1970 and 2014. For new power plants, on a levelized cost of generating solar electricity (LCOE), solar is already cheaper than power from natural gas-powered plants. Wholesale natural gas prices can be low, but distribution costs are high, making retail prices high. It is difficult to ship natural gas long distances or for export, as it must be converted into a compressed or liquefied form. Then it has to be decompressed or un-liquefied at the destination.

Solar is far cheaper considering environmental costs from hydraulic fracturing extraction and pipeline leaks imposed on air, water, and soil. It is already more affordable in Europe, where investors are writing off their investments. Hydraulic fracturing (fracking) uses a great deal of water, which is hard on the neighboring environment. Natural gas is very dangerous and leaks into the soil, water, and atmosphere. Most of the pipeline leaking is hidden from the public.

Besides costs, fracking uses around two to four million gallons of water in a single natural gas well. That is 10,000 times more water than solar uses. With water stress coming in the future, fracking is not recommended long-term. Here is a second reference supporting Seba's position. "How Fracking Became America's Money Pit." Here is another source, "Should The U.S. Ban Fracking?"

Natural gas claims that it produces half the greenhouse gases compared to coal, which Bill Gates hates, because methane (a main component of natural gas) is 72 times worse than CO2 as a greenhouse gas. He has a target of it being zero, which natural gas will not obtain. Solar and wind are zero. Natural gas production is only a very short-term solution to climate change.

From the residential perspective, with affordable financing, solar panels on home roofs (and even stores and commercial buildings), the natural gas market should decline, becoming obsolete and uncompetitive. Today, companies can design solar panel arrangements on any home roof from an office using Google Earth and easily give a quote. The cost of design and installation is coming down with improved processes.

In addition to the above, there is now solar-as-a-service, in which the electricity user need not purchase the solar panels. A company called SunEdison offers to finance, install, own, and maintain solar panels on its customers' rooftops in a 20-year contract. The customer could purchase this solution for cash, buy it on credit, or lease it.

Solar power cooperatives are being formed in some communities to provide electricity to targeted neighborhoods. This can reduce the cost of electricity even more, making natural gas even less competitive. Imagine open organization communities formed strictly for community electricity generation, resident panel installation, maintenance, and power distribution. Some web-based companies are now creating these communities.

Solar power generation versus biofuels power generation

Biofuel pricing is not falling, yet, as seen above, solar power generation costs continue to drop.

Resource utilization is a major concern with biofuels. Producing biofuel requires a great deal of water, putting further stress on the global water supply. Currently, 15% of the world's water supply is used to produce energy. Biofuels are one of the heaviest users of water, and solar is one of the lightest. It takes 13,676 gallons of water for soybean production for a gallon of biodiesel (WaterFootprint). Biofuels use an astonishing 1.78 million times more water than solar. With a global water shortage coming, biofuel production is just crazy. Significant land, pesticides, and fertilizer are also required for production.

Ethanol is a popular fuel in Brazil, but the government heavily subsidizes it to support the sugarcane industry, not because it is economical but for national security. With solar technology available, Brazilians should move away from ethanol-powered vehicles and remain secure as a nation. In terms of energy production, solar panels are 123 times more efficient than sugarcane-to-ethanol production. Against other biofuels, solar might be up to 550 times more efficient.

Learn about open organizations Download resources Join the community What is an open organization? How open is your organization? Solar power generation versus coal power generation

Coal costs are not declining, yet solar power generation continues to become more economical. Seba wrote, "On February 1, 2013, El Paso Electric agreed to purchase power from First Solar's 50 MW Macho Springs project for 5.79¢/kWh. That's less than half the 12.8¢/kWh from typical new coal plants." This kind of disruption will continue until 2030.

Even China is getting in on the game with solar. Solar installation in China tripled in 2013.

As noted with other power generation sources, resource management is critical. Coal power generation uses twice as much water as natural gas, which is 10,000 times more than solar. China's water is either drying up or becoming contaminated.

Coal is also a major air pollutant, along with gasoline, diesel, and wood. According to The Lancet, 1.2 million people in China die prematurely because of poor quality air. With the health expenses and loss of work, coal is not cheap. This is also true in India, with as many as six million deaths annually.

Coal operations in most industrialized countries are retiring their old coal-powered plant operations in favor of either natural gas or wind. This is not because they are dirty but uneconomical compared to many other energy sources. But regulatory capture keeps coal going in some regions of the world. The coal industry is being supported by those governments but not helping their people. It represents 40%-50% of the total world's electricity generation. China was at 46% in 2010, mainly due to subsidies. More pressure should be put on China and the rest of the world to divest from coal.

Distributed electricity (small and simple) versus conventional large utilities

One of the major reasons governments protect conventional power generation is national sovereignty. Energy-dependent countries must maintain their local energy generation. But the sun and wind are almost anywhere. Therefore, all countries can strengthen their sovereignty with renewable energy sources.

Generating their own solar power over buying from any fossil fuel utility should be explored. According to Seba, centralized power generation has a 7¢/kWh cost disadvantage over distributed generation (2014), which has widened as solar generation costs keep dropping. Considering just that factor, establishing an open organization community to work on it would be very productive.

When buying electricity for irrigation in California, agriculture is paying ten times more from Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E) than on-site solar/wind power generation. It is better to switch to solar or wind, and according to Seba, that is what the farmers are doing there.

This benefit is true for many commercial businesses as well. Walmart and IKEA are going to "Big-Box" solar rooftops to massively reduce their electricity costs. They may even start selling electricity to their community customers.

Real estate developers are moving to provide free electricity as part of their community development offering. Tesla is now going into home power generation to complement EVs. One's home can be the car's gas station.

Consider rural distributed electricity, too. This idea is not in Seba's book, but if the sun doesn't shine much, water movement and wind can make rural communities electricity self-sufficient. If not, further in the future, small modular nuclear reactors (SMRs) might be the secret. All of these energy sources are becoming viable.

Home power in developing countries is also going to solar/water sources. If there's moving water, electricity can be produced. Investigate products such as the "Ultra-Small Water Power Generator" by Sumino Seisakusho Ltd.

What about a compact personal wind turbine if there's no flowing water but a lot of wind in rural areas in developing countries? Look at this video by Halcium Group LLC, "Could this be the 'safest, most powerful wind turbine in the world'?"

Wrap up

When it comes to considering the falling cost of solar and wind energy, Seba is not alone. Have a look at this presentation from AsapScience.

Solar power has advantages over other power generation methods such as oil, natural gas, biofuels, and coal. Increased concerns over the utilization of resources like water also make solar more attractive than ever. And plenty of arguments are available for energy independence at the national, regional, community, and even personal levels. Solar certainly has a place at the table in those discussions.

With all the above benefits, it seems anyone can generate excitement around open organization community projects regarding either solar or wind power.

Considering all of the benefits, it seems anyone can generate excitement around open organization community projects regarding either solar or wind power.

Image by:

opensource.com

The Open Organization What to read next This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International License. Register or Login to post a comment.

A gentle introduction to HTML

opensource.com - Thu, 08/11/2022 - 15:00
A gentle introduction to HTML Jim Hall Thu, 08/11/2022 - 03:00 1 reader likes this 1 reader likes this

I feel confident in claiming that HTML is the most widely used markup language ever. While other markup languages exist, including nroff and groff, LaTeX, and Markdown, no other markup language is as widespread as the Hyper Text Markup Language. HTML is the de facto language of the Web. First implemented in web browsers in 1994, the language continues to evolve. Yet the basics of HTML remain the same.

If you are just getting started in HTML, I wanted to offer this gentle introduction to learning HTML. I focus on the essentials of HTML to build a basic understanding of how HTML works. You can use this as a starting point to learn more about HTML.

Collect words to fill a paragraph

Let's start with a basic understanding of HTML and how client applications like web browsers display HTML documents. At its core, HTML collects words in a file and fills a paragraph. That means if you don't add instructions (called markup) to an HTML file, and just leave it as plain text, a web browser turns all that text into a single paragraph.

Start with this sample text, saved in a plain text file called index.html. This is a paragraph from the old King's Toaster story, an Internet fable about how you might build a toaster out of a microcontroller:

The engineer replied,

"Using a four-bit microcontroller, I would write a simple
program that reads the darkness knob and quantizes its
position to one of 16 shades of darkness, from snow white
to coal black.

The program would use that darkness level as the index to
a 16-element table of initial timer values.

Then it would turn on the heating elements and start the
timer with the initial value selected from the table.

At the end of the time delay, it would turn off the heat
and pop up the toast.

Come back next week, and I'll show you a working
prototype."

You can put this file on a web server and access it like you would any website, or you can save it to your local disk and open it directly in a web browser. How you get the file into the web browser doesn't really matter. But you should name the file with an .html extension, which web browsers recognize by default as an HTML file.

In this case, I've written the file on separate lines. I've also added some blank lines, to demonstrate that HTML doesn't care about extra white space. This extra space may help humans read the HTML code, but the web browser just treats it as one block by default. Viewed on a web browser, this file looks like this:

Image by:

(Jim Hall, CC BY-SA 4.0)

Inline and block elements

At the core of HTML is the concept of inline and block elements. You can think of block elements as always filling a rectangle. Inline elements follow only the inline text.

The basic block element is called the division, and uses the tag. The basic inline element is the span, with the tag. Most HTML tags are some kind of block element or inline element, so it helps to start with just these two to understand how they work.

Add some and tags to your HTML document to see what block and inline elements look like:

<div>
The engineer replied,

"Using a four-bit microcontroller, I would write a simple
program that reads the darkness knob and quantizes its
position to one of 16 shades of darkness, from snow white
to coal black.

<span>
The program would use that darkness level as the index to
a 16-element table of initial timer values.
</span>

Then it would turn on the heating elements and start the
timer with the initial value selected from the table.

At the end of the time delay, it would turn off the heat
and pop up the toast.

Come back next week, and I'll show you a working
prototype."
</div>

I've added a block element around the whole paragraph, and a around just one sentence. Notice that when I start an HTML element like or , I need to provide its corresponding closing tag like and . Most HTML elements are formed like this, with an opening and closing tag.

The web browser uses these tags to display HTML content in a certain way, but because and don't really define any special formatting on their own, you can't see that anything has changed. Your sample paragraph looks the same as before:

Image by:

(Jim Hall, CC BY-SA 4.0)

You can include direct styling in these tags with a style instruction, so you can see how the block and inline elements behave. To make the boundaries of each element stand out, let's use a light blue background for the block and a pink background for the :

<div style="background-color:lightblue">
The engineer replied,

"Using a four-bit microcontroller, I would write a simple
program that reads the darkness knob and quantizes its
position to one of 16 shades of darkness, from snow white
to coal black.

<span style="background-color:pink">
The program would use that darkness level as the index to
a 16-element table of initial timer values.
</span>

Then it would turn on the heating elements and start the
timer with the initial value selected from the table.

At the end of the time delay, it would turn off the heat
and pop up the toast.

Come back next week, and I'll show you a working
prototype."
</div>

With these changes, the entire paragraph has a light blue background. The block element is a rectangle, so the blue fills even the empty space after the last sentence ends. Meanwhile, the second sentence has a pink background. This highlight follows the sentence because is an inline element.

Image by:

(Jim Hall, CC BY-SA 4.0)

Most HTML elements are either block or inline. The only difference is these other elements carry some default styles, depending on what they are. For example,

is a block element that has extra space above and below the block. The heading tags, through , are also block elements defined at different font sizes and text styles like italics and bold. The tag is an inline element that displays text in a bold weight. Similarly, is also an inline element that sets the text in an italics style.

More great content Free online course: RHEL technical overview Learn advanced Linux commands Download cheat sheets Find an open source alternative Explore open source resources Finishing an HTML page

Some HTML elements are required. While the sample HTML file you have used display correctly on any web browser, it is not technically a correct HTML page. There are a few elements you need to add:

Every HTML document should provide a document type declaration. Use the single tag on the first line of the HTML file to define an HTML document. The HTML standard also expects you to wrap the document text in two block elements: to define the full page, and to define the document body.


<html>
<body>
<div style="background-color:lightblue">
The engineer replied,
...
</div>
</body>
</html>

HTML documents also need a block before the that provides meta information about the page. The only required meta information is the title of the document, defined by the element:


<html>
<head>
<title>The King's Toaster</title>
</head>
<body>
<div style="background-color:lightblue">
The engineer replied,

"Using a four-bit microcontroller, I would write a simple
program that reads the darkness knob and quantizes its
position to one of 16 shades of darkness, from snow white
to coal black.

<span style="background-color:pink">
The program would use that darkness level as the index to
a 16-element table of initial timer values.
</span>

Then it would turn on the heating elements and start the
timer with the initial value selected from the table.

At the end of the time delay, it would turn off the heat
and pop up the toast.

Come back next week, and I'll show you a working
prototype."
</div>
</body>
</html>

The supporting tags like , , and do not change how the HTML page appears in a web browser, but they are required for a technically correct HTML document:

Image by:

(Jim Hall, CC BY-SA 4.0)

This gentle introduction to HTML provides just the essentials of HTML, but now that you understand block and inline elements, you're well on your way to learning how to write HTML documents using other HTML tags.

Learn the markup language of the web.

Programming Linux Documentation What to read next How I use the Linux fmt command to format text How I use the Linux sed command to automate file edits Old-school technical writing with groff Create beautiful PDFs in LaTeX This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International License. Register or Login to post a comment.

Mesa 22.2-rc2 Released With Many Fixes - Heavy On Zink

Phoronix - Thu, 08/11/2022 - 12:00
Following last week's branching and feature freeze along with the Mesa 22.2-rc1 release, released on Wednesday evening was Mesa 22.2-rc2 as the first week's worth of bug fixing...

"CC_OPTIMIZE_FOR_PERFORMANCE_O3" Performance Tunable Dropped In Linux 6.0

Phoronix - Thu, 08/11/2022 - 03:00
Following recent upstream discussions around the -O3 compiler optimizations for the Linux kernel, the Kconfig switch advertising this option is being removed in Linux 6.0...

Linux 6.0 Adds Raptor Lake P Support To Intel's TCC Cooling Driver

Phoronix - Thu, 08/11/2022 - 02:01
While last week saw the main set of thermal and power management updates for Linux 6.0, a few more items were sent in this week for the v6.0 merge window...

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