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IPFire 2.23 – Core Update 133 has been released

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IPFire 2.23 – Core Update 133 It is time for the next Core Update. Number 133! Another bug-fix release with many changes under the hood. As always, we recommend to install this update as soon as possible to benefit from the fixes and to help us keeping those coming and to support our developers, please donate now!

Toolchain Updates IPFire 2.23 – Core Update 133 many updates on the core libraries of the system. Various changes to our build systemare

This update brings many updates on the core libraries of the system. Various changes to our build systemare also helping us to build a more modern distribution, faster. The toolchain is now based on GCC 8.3.0, binutils 2.32 and glibc 2.29 which bring various bugfixes, performance improvements and some new features.

Although these might not be the most exciting changes, we recommend upgrading as soon as possible since this is essential hardening for backbone components of the user-space.

Disabling SMT – Intel’s Security Issues

Disabling SMT has also been fine-tuned. It is now also being disabled on systems that are vulnerable to “Foreshadow”. Probably all processors that are vulnerable to MDS are vulnerable to Foreshadow, too, so this won’t affect many systems, but it is more correct to do so.

Increasing throughput of the new Intrusion Prevention System

As announced before, we were working on increasing the throughput of the IPS. This is being shipped now with this update and integrates a library from Intel which is optimised to perform pattern matching very fast on huge data sets. Its name is hyperscan.

This library comes in multiple versions which are all shipped at the same time and is being compiled with support for various CPU instructions which are enabled when the hardware supports them. Those are for example AVX2, AVX and of course all of the SSE series.

By utilising those optimised instructions, the processor can process more data by executing only one instruction which is a lot faster. We are soon going to release benchmarks, but first tests have shown that larger systems are benefitting hugely from this and even some smaller embedded processors gain slightly.

IPFire 2.23 - Core Update 133 has been released 14

This feature is automatically configured and will always be enabled when supported.

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Another change on the IPS is coming from Tim Fitzgeorge who investigated that the IPS was occasionally dropping some packets which it was not meant to without logging. The rule generation was patched accordingly so that won’t happen any more and rules will automatically updated when installing this Core Update.

Misc.
• A long-standing bug in adding fixed DHCP leases has been fixed. Those are now saved right away on the first click, but it is possible to edit the entry.
• An incorrect list of cipher suites was generated for IPsec connections when PFS was disabled. This updates fixes that and updates all connections with the correct settings.
• ddns: Some new provides have been added
• Package updates: bind 9.11.7, jansson 2.12, knot 2.8.2, linux-pam 1.3.1, monit 5.25.3, openssl1.1.1.c, rrdtool 1.7.2, squid 4.7, strongswan 5.8.0, wpa_supplicant 2.8

Add-ons

New Packages
• tshark A CLI version of Wireshark which is like tcpdump, but has better support for decoding captured packets.

Updated Packages
• hostapd has been updated to version 2.8 which fixes various security vulnerabilities and other bugs
• tor: some bugs that didn’t allow the service to start after the last update have been fixed
• wio: A problem which caused the IPFire system to unexpectedly shut down has been solved
• miau, an IRC bouncer, which was unmaintained since 2010 has been dropped

https://blog.ipfire.org/post/ipfire-2-23-core-update-133-has-been-released

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Gaming News

1994: The Year of the Game Changer | 25YL

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25 Years Ago, in the world of video gaming it was, to put it mildly, a “fantastically exciting time” to be playing video games and to think to yourself “What is coming next?” “What will the next Mario game look like on a new next-generation console?”.

The year would have been 1994 at the time of writing this piece and we had been enjoying (and in some cases not) some of the most amazing games of all time during what I call the “16-Bit Era” of games. At least, in my opinion, that is. SEGA’s Mega Drive (Genesis for any American readers) had been a big success for its creators and went toe to toe with Nintendo’s Super Nintendo (Super Famicom if you happened to be in Japan).

Super Nintendo and Sega Mega Drive consoles from 1994

We had been treated to some astonishing games up until this point with the likes of Super Mario World, Sonic The Hedgehog 2 a few iterations of Street Fighter 2 (Turbo and Special Championship Edition’s, etc). We had Super Metroid, Super Soccer (ok maybe not that one!) and we had just got a glimpse of the future with games such as Star Wing (Star Fox for readers outside of Europe) and Virtua Racing. These showed the way with Polygons making the graphics we saw on screen whilst playing these games and things looked 3D…remember when 3D gaming was all the rage? I certainly do!

In the Arcades, we were starting to see games that would hit home consoles in the coming years. Big titles such as Ridge Racer which made Virtua Racing look very primitive and Tekken which made you think “If only Street Fighter 2 was like this!”. Then… we began to hear about some exciting “Super Consoles” that would appear on store shelves in Japan at the end of 1994. Those would be the Saturn from SEGA and a newcomer was about to enter the world of video gaming… Sony. The PlayStation would be in the hands of Japanese gamers by December of 94.

screen shot of Ryu vs Blanka in Street Fighter 2 on the SNES

Little did we know at the time the PlayStation would turn out to be a major big hit for Sony! Now some of the amazing looking experiences you had in the Arcades when you played the likes of Ridge Racer and Virtua Fighter were coming home on these new “Super Consoles”. In future articles, I will go into more depth about both the SEGA Saturn and Sony’s PlayStation. It would be a couple more years until Nintendo would release its challenger to what I call the “32-Bit CD-ROM Era”… the N64! The N64 wouldn’t follow what SEGA and Sony did and be a 32-Bit CD-ROM console, however, Nintendo stuck with Cartridges which at the time seemed a very odd thing to do especially given how much larger the games could be on a CD-ROM rather than a traditional ROM Cartridge. This, in my opinion, was a pretty bad move by Nintendo as it hampered Developers when it came to content. Often they would have to cut content out of the N64 version. 1 Such example that I knew back in the day was FIFA 98. Its play by play Commentary from the Legendary John Motson was incredibly limited when compared to the same game released on Nintendo’s competitor’s hardware.

Playstation 1, Sega Saturn and Nintendo 64 consoles

To finish up, it is unbelievable to think that the Sony PlayStation and SEGA Saturn are about to turn 25 years old at the end of 2019. Where has the time gone? What do you remember when someone mentions games from 1994? Did you remember hearing about the “Super Consoles”? Oh and RIP Commodore. They went bankrupt in April of 1994 and I remember being very sad as a young boy who spent a lot of his childhood playing games on a Commodore 64 and being wowed by the Commodore Amiga 500.


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