Podcast 015 Blender, Synfig, and Open source animation

Recorded by Evan Gibson and Susan Black


Evan & Susan discuss Blender and Synfig Studio, and the uses of Open Source animation programs.

Synfig Website: http://www.synfig.org/cms/

Synfig Tutorial: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zYA4gYho5vo

Blender Website: https://www.blender.org/

Blender tutorial: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LLV7h-WLIx0


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What was Dirty COW?

dirty-cowIf you’ve been keeping up with recent tech news, you might have heard of an exploit called “Dirty COW.” In this article, I will talk about what Dirty COW is, how to fix it, and what to take away from it.

I should start by talking about what Dirty COW was. Dirty COW refers to a bug in the Linux Kernel introduced in version 2.6.22, but only recently became exploitable. The bug is a race condition in the Kernel’s subsystem that handles Copy-On-Write of read-only memory mappings, hence the COW in “Dirty COW.” A race condition is a term usually used in computing, which refers to a situation which results from two or more instructions that are supposed to be given in a sequence being given at the same time, causing an undesirable outcome due to the nature of how the commands are handled. This specific race condition can allow a malicious user on a network to elevate their permissions on or do other damage to a computer on said network by tricking the COW system into modifying OS files that would otherwise be read only, and thus normally not modifiable. There is, however, a fix for this bug, and there have been no reported occurrences of this bug being used in an attack.

If your kernel is up to date, Dirty COW is likely patched. However, if you’re not sure, type “uname -rv” in the terminal to check your kernel data. Depending on the distro you’re using, you should go to Canonical, Debian, or RedHat for information on which kernel versions are patched for each of their distros. Note that if the only computer you have that is running the Linux Kernel is a school computer, the kernel is likely up to date and patched against Dirty COW. If you have your own computer running a GNU/Linux distro and your kernel is vulnerable, run “sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get dist-upgrade” on Debian and Ubuntu distros, or run “sudo dnf upgrade” on RedHat based distros. Finally, run “sudo reboot” to reboot your OS. This command works on every distro.

We can learn a few lessons from this bug and there are bright sides to it. The important lesson here for everyday users is to make sure they’re keeping everything up to date. And while a crisis was averted, this should serve as a grim reminder to the security community about what can happen if bugs aren’t quickly found and patched.  The good news is that open source software is a community by nature, and all who are interested can contribute. Even if you don’t have the technical skills, you can contribute to the software you like with donations, which in turn make the community stronger. This bug also gives affected service providers a reason to update their software, since large networks can’t update haphazardly, and often have to update the software on all of their machines at the same time to minimize downtime and avoid errors. Put simply; this cloud has a silver lining.

For further reference, visit:






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Podcast 014 Game Engines & What They Are


Recorded by Evan Gibson and Susan Black

Evan and Susan discuss the Unreal and Hatchit game development engines, what resources they provide, and how you can use them to produce your own content

Article covering Hatchit: https://opensource.com/life/16/10/hatchit

Hatchit Git hub page: https://github.com/thirddegree/Hatchit

Unreal Engine home webpage: https://www.unrealengine.com/

Youtube Unreal engine tutorial: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1M3S3eiJK5I

Hatchit Coding video: https://www.livecoding.tv/debunez/videos/xvgdw-c-hatchit-game-engine

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Why Online Privacy Matters Even If You Have “Nothing to Hide”


 Online privacy has beonline-privacycome a very controversial subject in these tumultuous times. Opposing views about privacy and security have clashed, but a talking point that is often brought up is that privacy should not be important to you if you have “nothing to hide,” or as Google chairman Eric Schmidt once infamously put it in an interview: “If you’re doing something that you don’t want other people to know, maybe you shouldn’t be doing it in the first place.” [1] However, this argument is a flawed one, and I will be discussing these flaws in this post.

   Perhaps the biggest flaw in this argument is that most people do, in fact, have something to hide. When I say “something to hide,” I do not mean criminal plots, but rather things that we might not be comfortable with any person knowing. For example, I would imagine one would be uncomfortable if someone could access things like their texts, emails, and web searches, yet these are all things that the NSA has access to. [2]

   Furthermore, privacy should be important to you because it is in human nature to seek privacy, because we often act differently when we have a sense of privacy. Even if one says they have nothing to hide, they still lock their doors and close their curtains, or in the case of online privacy, they will still put passwords on their accounts. Take Mark Zuckerberg, who once said that “Privacy is not longer a social norm.” [3] The very same Mark Zuckerberg spent 30 million dollars to buy four properties, in addition to his house, in Palo Alto in order to ensure a zone of privacy. [4] Eric Schmidt of Google even ordered the company’s employees to cease contact with CNET, an online publisher, after CNET published his personal information, which was obtained solely through the use of Google products. [5] Going back to what I said about locking doors and closing curtains, one might argue that those things not be connected to online privacy specifically, but the internet is such an ubiquitous thing that I think this analogy is still apt.

   Privacy is not just a personal good, it is also a social good. Privacy allows for one to dissent without fear. If there was no privacy, there would be no room for dissent, only conformity. Thus, there would be social change. This is outlined in George Orwell’s 1984, cliche an example as it is. In the novella, Big Brother’s tyranny is able to be accomplished since everyone must assumed they are being watched, and are thus powerless to resist.

   The final, and perhaps most dangerous part of this argument is the dichotomy it establishes between “good” people who have nothing to hide, and “bad” people who do. As What makes this mindset concerning is that it condemns those who are not willing to surrender their privacy, and suggests that one must relinquish their privacy to free themselves of suspicion. It villainizes the perfectly reasonable desire for privacy, and people who use it to bring about change. Thanks for reading.

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Home WiFi Not Connecting

If you have tried to connect to your home WiFi under the menu bar WiFi icon and it looks like it is connected, but you are unable to get out to websites, please watch this short video with the work around to get connected.

Created by: Gina Kostelich

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Libre Office- How to Save with a Different File Format

The student laptops have Libre Office and when saving work using Libre Office the default file extension is (.odt). If a teacher is requesting a specific file extension format for an assignment to be uploaded or sent to them such as: doc, pdf, xls, or ppt, here is a short video on how to save to a different file extension.


Created by: Gina Kostelich



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RedNotebook is a planner/agenda that is pre-installed on our 1:1 laptops, internet is not needed to start this application. You can use this application to remember what you have planned for future events.

You can begin RedNotebook by clicking on the dash in the top left corner.

The dash is the circle swirly icon in the top left corner.

 system Dash

When you open the dash, you can type in “RedNotebook” and a red notebook will appear like seen below


Once clicking on this, it will start up and take you to a page like this


This site shows a calendar in which you can make reminders and notes as well as keeping track of your life events. For example, mine shows my homework and my grocery list.


If you click…..

Edit: This will allow you to change the writing in the big white box. Whether you want to put notes to study for that class day or in my case remind me that I work from 5 – closing… It allows you to insert any text you want. When you click ‘Edit’ the other 3 icons to the right of it will appear.

Template: This allows you to change your ‘RedNotebook’ and customize it how you want.

Insert: You can insert pictures, files, links, etc to your notes section.

Format: Allows you to change your text based on how you want, you can underline it, italicize it, make it bolded, etc.


To the right-hand corner, click where it says ‘Add Tag’


This allows you to create a tag and it categorizes what you might do on a regular basis. My tags consist of ‘School’, ‘Grocery List’ & ‘Work’. It appears to the right-hand corner in that big space.

My tags consist of ‘School’, ‘Grocery List’ & ‘Work’. It appears to the right-hand corner in that big space.

It’s meant for smaller tasks or reminders.


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Install Java

Here’s how to install Java. Java is used for applets such as Blackboard. Install Java only if you are directed to do so. Continue reading

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SculptGL: The Web Sculpting App

Many people who are interested in 3D modeling/sculpting have not heard of the free web-based program called SculptGL. SculptGL allows you to use basic sculpting tools and basic coloring tools to make your own 3D creations! This article will go over the basics of SculptGL and about the program itself.  Continue reading

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Attention Seniors! Transfer Google Drive files to a personal account!

Attention Seniors!

You may want to keep files after you leave Penn Manor. You can use a flash drive for files on your computer, but Google Drive is different.  Be sure to transfer your files before they get removed from your Penn Manor Google Drive with the steps below.

Create a New Folder with a file name you will remember for example,

“After PMHS”

Right Click on Files to transfer them or drag and drop to new folder, “After PMHS”

Right Click on Folder, share enter your Personal Gmail Account email address, make sure Can Edit is on

Go to your Personal Gmail Account and click on shared with me

Right Click, Add to Drive on the files you want to keep

Right click on files and make a copy (this gives ownership to you, if not when PM deletes your account, those files will be gone)

Right click on the copy, move to My Drive.  This will move the copy from PM to your Personal Drive.  

Have a Happy Life after High School!

If you have any questions, please contact us by sending in a ticket to the Student Help Desk or visiting room 200!

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