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August 2014

today's leftovers

Filed under
Software
Gaming
HowTos

Ubuntu 14.10's Lack Of X.Org Server 1.16 Gets Blamed On AMD

Filed under
Graphics/Benchmarks

Yesterday I wrote about Ubuntu 14.10 not yet having X.Org Server 1.16 even though the first beta was issued this week and there's been a testing package repository for more than one month. This lack of X.Org Server 1.16 thus far is apparently due to AMD with not yet having a supportive Catalyst driver.

In the comments to yesterday's story, Timo Aaltonen of Canonical and part of their X/graphics team responded. "no fglrx, can't force people to switch to radeon and likely regress, on newer hw at least."

So Canonical is keeping away from using the latest X.Org code since the Catalyst (fglrx) driver doesn't yet support it and they don't want to regress users by forcing them to use the improving but still less than perfect open-source driver. Canonical's effectively bowing down to a binary blob.

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The state of Android updates: Who’s fast, who’s slow, and why

Filed under
Android
Linux

Android 4.4, KitKat was released on October 31, 2013, or at least, that's what you can say about one device: the Nexus 5. For the rest of the ecosystem, the date you got KitKat—if you got KitKat—varied wildly depending on your device, OEM, and carrier.

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Akademy 2014: Navigating the tracks

Filed under
KDE

I meant to write a post about the upcoming Akademy for a while now. Since I submitted quite a few sessions (obviously requiring preparation) and I had to prepare for the KDE Frameworks BoF, I never quite found the time... until now! I'm all done! Actually I just have to pack my bags and hit the road at that point. It's probably the first Akademy where I'm ready four days before the first flight of my journey.

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Low-Spec Hardware? Try these Desktop Environments

Filed under
GNU
Linux

Popular Linux distributions for beginners typically default to one of two desktop environments, KDE or GNOME. Both of these environments provide users with an intuitive and attractive desktop, as well as offering all the applications users love, ranging from multimedia software, games, administration programs, network tools, educational applications, utilities, artwork, web development tools and more. However, these two desktops focus more on providing users with a modern computing environment with all the bells and whistles, rather than minimising the amount of system resources they use.

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OpenELEC 4.2 Beta 5 Is Now Out with New Linux Kernel and NVIDIA Drivers

Filed under
OS
OSS

The OpenELEC devs have released yet another Beta version of their embedded operating systems and they are getting really close to get a new stable version out the door. Some of the major components have been updated as well and the Raspberry Pi users should be really thrilled about this latest upgrade, as it includes some interesting changes for them as well.

"This release includes some bugfixes, security fixes and improvements since OpenELEC-4.1.4. Besides the usual bugfixes and package updates we updated XBMC to XBMC Gotham 13.2 final, FFmpeg to ffmpeg-2.3.3, Mesa to Mesa-10.3-rc1and systemd to systemd-216. We fixed crashes while playing FLAC files with ID3v2 tags, optimized some software packages and updated the RaspberryPi firmware to include the last fixes and features," said the devs in the official announcement.

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MSI Motherboard BIOS Updating Remains A Pain For Linux Users

Filed under
Hardware

In recent years with more motherboard vendors enabling the updating of the BIOS/UEFI from within the setup utility itself and support loading the BIOS file off a USB thumb drive or other storage, it's generally easier for Linux users and all around a smoother process than the days of having to make a MS-DOS start-up floppy disk or similar. For most of these BIOS updates, Windows is generally not required as you can just head on over to the vendor's web-site, download a zipped up copy of the BIOS, transfer it to a USB drive, and reboot into the UEFI setup utility and flash away.

Some vendors will package their BIOS file inside an EXE that has to be executed that will then extract the file right away, but fortunately there's many programs capable of straightaway extracting the files from the EXE or the worst case scenario is generally just running the EXE under Wine. As a Linux user, with MSI motherboards their BIOS packaging takes it to an additional level of annoying and for some Linux users could be show-stopping.

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Linux Kernel 3.12.27 LTS Now Available for Download

Filed under
Linux

This branch of the Linux kernel is LTS (long term support) and it doesn't usually gathers too many changes, but this latest update is a little bit different and it's quite consistent.

“I'm announcing the release of the 3.12.27 kernel. All users of the 3.12 kernel series must upgrade.”

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Chromebook Pixel revisited: 18 months with Google's luxury laptop

Filed under
GNU
Linux
Google

When you stop and think about it, it's kind of astonishing how far Chromebooks have come.

It was only last February, after all, that Google's Chromebook Pixel came crashing into our lives and made us realize how good of an experience Chrome OS could provide.

At the time, the Pixel was light-years ahead of any other Chromebook in almost every possible way: From build quality to display and performance, the system was just in a league of its own. And its price reflected that status: The Pixel sold for a cool $1300, or $1450 if you wanted a higher-storage model with built-in LTE support.

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Why I Hate Non-Free Software

Filed under
OSS

I know why authours of software include such restrictions, to make sure they get paid per whatever. On the other hand, we should not have to enslave ourselves and our families in order to use a smooth, convenient application on our PCs. That’s like selling our children or self-flagellation before having any fun at all to nullify evil. It’s just evil to accept such restrictions. The licence began with “PLEASE READ THIS LICENCE AGREEMENT CAREFULLY BEFORE USING THIS SOFTWARE. IF YOU USE THIS SOFTWARE THEN YOU AGREE TO BE BOUND BY THE TERMS OF THIS LICENCE AGREEMENT.” Sweet, eh? I did not agree and purged the .deb from my system. I am not a slave. I do not agree to be bound in slavery to the authours of software. To add insult to injury, the authours presume to enslave us while we perform them the free service of testing their beta-software.

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More in Tux Machines

Programming Leftovers

  • RcppSimdJson 0.1.1: More Features

    A first update following for the exciting RcppSimdJson 0.1.0 release last month is now on CRAN. Version 0.1.1 brings further enhancements such direct parsing of raw chars, working with compressed files as well as much expanded querying ability all thanks to Brendan, some improvements to our demos thanks to Daniel as well as a small fix via a one-liner borrowed from upstream for a reported UBSAN issue. RcppSimdJson wraps the fantastic and genuinely impressive simdjson library by Daniel Lemire and collaborators. Via very clever algorithmic engineering to obtain largely branch-free code, coupled with modern C++ and newer compiler instructions, it results in parsing gigabytes of JSON parsed per second which is quite mindboggling. The best-case performance is ‘faster than CPU speed’ as use of parallel SIMD instructions and careful branch avoidance can lead to less than one cpu cycle use per byte parsed; see the video of the talk by Daniel Lemire at QCon (also voted best talk).

  • Jonathan Dowland: Generic Haskell

    When I did the work described earlier in template haskell, I also explored generic programming in Haskell to solve a particular problem. StrIoT is a program generator: it outputs source code, which may depend upon other modules, which need to be imported via declarations at the top of the source code files. The data structure that StrIoT manipulates contains information about what modules are loaded to resolve the names that have been used in the input code, so we can walk that structure to automatically derive an import list. The generic programming tools I used for this are from Structure Your Boilerplate (SYB), a module written to complement a paper of the same name.

  • 9 reasons I upgraded from AngularJS to Angular

    In 2010, Google released AngularJS, an open source, JavaScript-based frontend structure for developing single-page applications (SPAs) for the internet. With its move to version 2.0 in 2016, the framework's name was shortened to Angular. AngularJS is still being developed and used, but Angular's advantages mean it's a smart idea to migrate to the newer version.

  • [Old/Odd] 5 news feautures of PHP-7.2

    Before PHP 7.2 the object keyword was used to convert one data type to another (boxing and unboxing), for example, an array to an object of the sdtClass class and/or vice versa, as of PHP 7.2 the object data type can be used as parameter type or as function return type.

  • This Week In Rust: This Week in Rust 351

Proprietary Software and Linux Foundation

  • [PCLinuxOS] Opera Browser updated to 70.0.3728.106

    Opera is a Chromium-based browser using the Blink layout engine. It differentiates itself because of a distinct user interface and other features.

  • Vivaldi Explains Why They Make "Proprietary Garbage"

    It is unfair to say that Vivaldi is not open source at all as someone like Distrotube has done, the way the company behind Vivaldi has decided to handle this application is by using a dual licensing system where the open source portion of the application is licensed under an open source BSD license but that's not the point of today, the point is to explain why they have decided to license their software in such a way.

  • Scientists Forced To Change Names Of Human Genes Because Of Microsoft's Failure To Patch Excel

    Six years ago, Techdirt wrote about a curious issue with Microsoft's Excel. A default date conversion feature was altering the names of genes, because they looked like dates. For example, the tumor suppressor gene DEC1 (Deleted in Esophageal Cancer 1) was being converted to "1-DEC". Hardly a widespread problem, you might think. Not so: research in 2016 found that nearly 20% of 3500 papers taken from leading genomic journals contained gene lists that had been corrupted by Excel's re-interpretation of names as dates. Although there don't seem to be any instances where this led to serious errors, there is a natural concern that it could distort research results. The good news is this problem has now been fixed. The rather surprising news is that it wasn't Microsoft that fixed it, even though Excel was at fault. As an article in The Verge reports:

  • The Linux Foundation Wants Open-Source Tech to Address Future Pandemics

    The Linux Foundation, which supports open-source innovation in blockchain tech, launched the Linux Foundation Public Health Initiative (LFPHI) at the end of July. The LFPHI’s goal is to promote the use of open source by public health authorities, which can be scrutinized by anyone, to fight not just COVID-19 but future pandemics as well.

  • LF Edge’s Akraino Project Release 3 Now Available, Unifying Open Source Blueprints Across MEC, AI, Cloud and Telecom Edge

    LF Edge, an umbrella organization within the Linux Foundation that aims to establish an open, interoperable framework for edge computing independent of hardware, silicon, cloud, or operating system, today announced the availability of Akraino Release 3 (“Akraino R3”). Akraino’s third and most mature release to date delivers fully functional edge solutions– implemented across global organizations– to enable a diversity of edge deployments across the globe. New blueprints include a focus on MEC, AI/ML, and Cloud edge. In addition, the community authored the first iteration of a new white paper to bring common open edge API standards to align the industry.

  • Linux Foundation Launches Jenkins X Training Course

    Linux Foundation has launched a new training course, LFS268 – CI/CD with Jenkins X. Developed in conjunction with the Continuous Delivery Foundation, the course will introduce the fundamentals of Jenkins X.

GNU/Linux Laptops/Desktop: Librem 14, System76 and More

  • Librem 14 Enhancements

    The Hardware kill switches have seen a number of enhancements. This is also the first Purism laptop to ship with a BIOS write protection switch and all M.2 key-E interfaces implemented. The Librem 14 is our most powerful and most secure laptop yet. If you want full control over your computer with cutting-edge, powerful hardware, the Librem 14 is the best (some would say the only) choice. Make it yours here.

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  • The 2020 System76 Oryx Pro: Their Best 15" Laptop Yet!

    I've had the new System76 Oryx Pro in the studio for a while now, and in this full review, I'll give you guys my thoughts. We'll take a look at the hardware, switchable graphics, and discover the meaning of life along the way.

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  • Is Microsoft finally getting its Windows update act together?

    Updating Windows has become a bad joke. I can install three Linux distributions in the same time it takes me to make a single serious Windows upgrade.

SUSE: OBS, 'Cloud' and Chat With Linux Kernel Developer at SUSE

  • OBS NDI™ Plugin on openSUSE

    The NDI plugin offers a fairly easy way to send OBS video signal (presumably other applications can take advantage of this too) to another OBS instance on another machine. This can come in handy for numerous reasons such as splitting up workloads between machines by capturing output from one machine, such as gaming computer, to stream with a dedicated unit that interfaces with YouTube. This has advantages in that you can move the machine doing the heavy lifting into another room or across the room as to not hear the fans and so forth. In my case, my primary machine is getting long in the tooth. I prefer the setup I have as far as the screen layout and height of the computer as well as the location. I use my AMD Desktop / server / workstation machine to talk to YouTube or Twitch directly with that OBS instance and record locally in effect freeing up my laptop from quite a bit of the workload.

  • Data Explosion – Is the Cloud Your Silver Bullet?
  • Women in Tech: “Aptitude has nothing to do with gender or inborn capabilities”

    Women are underrepresented in the tech sector —myth or reality? Three years ago, we launched a diversity series aimed at bringing the most inspirational and powerful women in the tech scene to your attention. Today, we’d like you to meet Jessica Yu, Linux Kernel Developer at SUSE. A research study by The National Center for Women & Information Technology showed that “gender diversity has specific benefits in technology settings,” which could explain why tech companies have started to invest in initiatives that aim to boost the number of female applicants, recruit them in a more effective way, retain them for longer, and give them the opportunity to advance. But is it enough? Three years ago, we launched a diversity series aimed at bringing the most inspirational and powerful women in the tech scene to your attention. Today, we’d like you to meet Jessica Yu, Linux Kernel Developer at SUSE.