Browsed by
Category: Technical

Step in the right direction?

Step in the right direction?

Appears the pressure is being recognized by Facebook? Facebook said it’s making major changes to shift users’ news feeds back toward posts from friends and family and away from businesses and media outlets

“By making these changes, I expect the time people spend on Facebook and some measures of engagement will go down,” Zuckerberg wrote. “But I also expect the time you do spend on Facebook will be more valuable. And if we do the right thing, I believe that will be good for our community and our business over the long term too.”

Article here



Babycastles is a New York nonprofit that is a mish-mash of Maker, Indie developer, and art communities. They create interesting and unique art/gaming installations – such as this Pacman version that runs on all 5 surfaces of a room. Check out their other strange and quirky projects.

Ex-Facebook exec ‘deeply regrets’ what he helped create

Ex-Facebook exec ‘deeply regrets’ what he helped create

Videos of more social media site creators and executives speaking out directly against what they created. They call for each person to awaken to how they can ‘program’ you and that each person should make a conscious effort to limit their use of them. Here’s what Chamath Palihapitiya, former Facebook VP, has to say now:

“People need to hard break from these tools. The short-term dopamine driven feedback loops we have created are destroying how society works. No civil discourse, no cooperation, misinformation, mistrust. Bad actors can now manipulate large swaths of people to do anything they want. … You do not realize it, but you are now being programmed.”

Here’s from Sean Parker, former Facebook President:

“You’re exploiting a vulnerability of human psychology. The inventors, creators, understood this – consciously – and we did it anyway.”

I encourage you to go to TimeWellSpent and my previous article on this subject on how we can be aware of how these systems can be harmful to you emotional wellbeing and limit the more damaging influences of social media.

Intel Hardware RAID vs Microsoft Storage Spaces

Intel Hardware RAID vs Microsoft Storage Spaces

RAID systems on home servers and PC’s has become more common now. While we have been in a period of stubbornly elevated prices (from a historic standpoint), hard drives are always doubling in capacity on a regular cadence and improving performance.

There are several things you need to consider when setting up a RAID system. Will this set be my boot drive? What capacity do I need? How much fault tolerance do I need? What performance do I need?

The answer to these questions determines which RAID configuration you should set up. For my setup, I need fault tolerance and performance. This means I will continue to run RAID 5.

Question is, can I do better? There is software RAID available from Microsoft in Windows 10 called Storage Spaces. Also included with most Intel-based motherboards is a hardware RAID. So which should one choose?

Turns out someone has done the analysis between them, and done a good job too. Long story short, stick to hardware RAID, and RAID 5 is still the fastest and most fault tolerant configuration.

Windows vs Intel Raid Performance Smackdown

My 3 brand new 4TB 7200rpm drives are about to thank me. 🙂

Intel will ship processors with integrated AMD graphics

Intel will ship processors with integrated AMD graphics

From the Ars Technica article:

Intel has announced the 8th-generation H-series mobile processors will have a feature that’s nothing short of astonishing: they’ll integrate AMD GPUs.

The chip package will contain multiple pieces of silicon: an Intel CPU, a custom-built AMD Radeon GPU, and stacked second-generation High Bandwidth Memory (HBM2). Connecting the GPU and its memory is Intel’s new “Embedded Multi-Die Interconnect Bridge” (EMIB), a high-speed, short-range interconnect that Intel has designed to join different chips within a single package. Intel says that EMIB enables the creation of faster, thinner packages, enabling the multi-chip module to fit into slimline laptop form factors.

EMIB uses pieces of silicon to join the chips, rather than the circuit board traces found in conventional multi-chip modules. These pieces of silicon enable much denser packing of the interconnects. Overall, Intel claims that using EMIB shaves about 2.9 square inches (1,900 square millimeters) from the system motherboard and halves the power usage of a traditional design.

The company anticipates using EMIB for all kinds of integrations, such as processors with embedded FPGAs or other specialized chips. This AMD integration will be a good showcase for using the technology at scale. For AMD, it gives access to a market that tended to lean on Nvidia. Single-chip integrated graphics, even those found in AMD’s newly announced mobile Ryzen parts, just don’t offer the same performance as discrete parts with dedicated memory.

VNC on Ubuntu 16 and 17

VNC on Ubuntu 16 and 17

Works on 17.04 as well.

The biggest pain about Ubuntu is changes they made to vnc setup. Often, once you think you have it set up, you connect and get nothing but the ancient X windows grey screen with no way to interact with the UI.

This method works for 17.04 and 16.04. It’s also faster performance that other approaches.

Ubuntu 16.04 – Configure your system to have x11vnc running at startup


sudo apt-get install x11vnc -y
sudo x11vnc -storepasswd /etc/x11vnc.pass
Edit /lib/systemd/system/x11vnc.service

Description=Start x11vnc at startup.
ExecStart=/usr/bin/x11vnc -auth guess -forever -loop -noxdamage -repeat -rfbauth /etc/x11vnc.pass -rfbport 5900 -shared

sudo systemctl enable x11vnc.service
sudo systemctl daemon-reload
sudo shutdown -r now

On reboot run the script:
sudo ./

Or, just manually start it:
x11vnc -usepw -forever

Use your vnc client to connect to the system’s ip address at port :5900

Kernel compiling and the PIC mode error

Kernel compiling and the PIC mode error

If you see this when compiling an Ubuntu or other kernel (my case was a Yocto kernel on an Ubuntu 17.04 distro)

CHK include/generated/uapi/linux/version.h
CHK include/generated/utsrelease.h
CC scripts/mod/empty.o
/usr/src/linux-4.4/scripts/mod/empty.c:1:0: error: code model kernel does not support PIC mode
/* empty file to figure out endianness / word size */


Then the issue is with your gcc installation. In gcc 6+ versions, PIE (position independent executables) is enabled by default. So in order to compile you need to disable it. Even gcc 5 has the issue. This is a known bug for gcc. Bug Link.

So far there is no official patch from gcc side, so the workaround is to patch the Makefile of kernel source.

If you are familiar with patching the source file use the codes from this link to create the patch file then try to compile.Patch File

Here’s the patch to add to your kernel Makefile to disable PIE compiling.

diff –git a/Makefile b/Makefile
index 5c18baa..e342473 100644
— a/Makefile
+++ b/Makefile
@@ -612,6 +612,12 @@ endif # $(dot-config)
# Defaults to vmlinux, but the arch makefile usually adds further targets
all: vmlinux

+# force no-pie for distro compilers that enable pie by default
+KBUILD_CFLAGS += $(call cc-option, -fno-pie)
+KBUILD_CFLAGS += $(call cc-option, -no-pie)
+KBUILD_AFLAGS += $(call cc-option, -fno-pie)
+KBUILD_CPPFLAGS += $(call cc-option, -fno-pie)

# The arch Makefile can set ARCH_{CPP,A,C}FLAGS to override the default
# values of the respective KBUILD_* variables