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June 2019

The Linux Kernel Is Moving Closer To Saying Goodbye To A Lot Of ISDN Network Code

Filed under
Linux

The Linux kernel will likely soon see a lot of old ISDN (Integrated Services Digital Network) subsystem/driver code deprecated and ultimately removed considering there aren't even many (or any in some places) ISDN public data networks.

Around the world most operators are abandoning ISDN in favor of VoIP over DSL lines or the like for combining voice and data on the same lines. With ISDN not having been popular for years aside from in some niche areas, the associated Linux kernel code has largely fallen into disrepair. On top of that, the Linux kernel has provided three different ISDN stacks but with two of them being at the point they should just be removed.

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System76 Is Making Progress On Open-Source Firmware For Their Laptops

Filed under
GNU
Linux
Hardware

For the past number of months Linux PC maker System76 has been beginning to work on Coreboot support for their products and over the course of May they addressed more obstacles in order to begin having this open-source firmware implementation work on some of their laptops.

When it comes to their firmware hacking efforts during May 2019, here is what they wrote in their monthly status report: "The camera toggle hotkey is now functional. The last remaining hardware issues with running open firmware on our laptops lie with Thunderbolt. On Whiskey Lake chipsets, the Thunderbolt controller is often not in a functional state after suspending/resuming the system. On Kaby Lake chipsets, the Thunderbolt controller is never visible...A new BIOS setup menu is also being designed for our open firmware so that the look and feel is consistent with the beautiful aesthetic you can expect from a System76 product. This will be implemented once the new firmware is ready for release."

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Games: Unity Editor, Project Hospital, Super Cane Magic ZERO and SteamWorld Quest: Hand of Gilgamech

Filed under
Gaming
  • Unity Editor is Now Officially Available for Linux

    If you are a designer, developer or an artist, you might have been using the experimental Unity Editor that was made available for Linux. However, the experimental version wasn’t going to cut it forever – developers need a full stable experience to work.

    So, they recently announced that you can access the full-fledged Unity Editor on Linux.

  • Project Hospital, the more serious strategy sim just had a massive update

    Version 1.1 was released yesterday, which had a pretty huge focus on sorting issues as a result of feedback from players and it also adds in Steam Workshop support for sharing mods and scenarios. They've also made sure the first impression you get has improved, with a better menu, loading screen tips, lots of tweaks to the in-game UI, numerous improvements to the gameplay systems and a healthy looking list of bug fixes too.

    Also, they added a special launch option on Steam for those of you on NVIDIA GPUs to workaround a bug in the Unity game engine which causes the bottom part of the screen to have some distortions:

  • Incredibly silly action-RPG 'Super Cane Magic ZERO' has left Early Access with a big update

    Developed by Studio Evil, with character designs from Simone "Sio" Albrigi everything about it is completely ridiculous. The characters you can pick, the NPCs you meet, enemies and the items you find are all crazy. Super Cane Magic ZERO is so far away from being serious it's pretty refreshing and quite amusing.

  • Card-based RPG 'SteamWorld Quest: Hand of Gilgamech' is out with Linux support

    Mixing the gameplay up again, SteamWorld Quest: Hand of Gilgamech is a card-based RPG from Image & Form Games and Thunderful. Released today with same-day Linux support, it sure does look great!

5 Microsoft Powerpoint alternatives for Linux users

Filed under
Software

Microsoft PowerPoint is essential in an office or school setting if you’re required to make presentations. But what if you use Linux and don’t have access to PowerPoint? What do you use? Well, let’s find out with the 5 best Microsoft PowerPoint alternatives for Linux users!

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More in Tux Machines

Unity Desktop Review: Good for the Nostalgic Ubuntu Users

Continuing with our series of Linux Desktop Environment reviews, we’re going back to a classic. The Unity is just as much a blast from the past as MATE. This review covers the Unity Desktop: first impressions, the user experience, some notable features, and some recommendations on who should use it. When I first boot into Unity, I’m struck by how much it looks like GNOME and Budgie. This makes sense, as Unity is a graphical shell that sits on top of the GNOME Desktop Environment (rather than GNOME Shell), and it does offer some separate features that are different than GNOME Shell. Read more

Debian-Based DebEX Linux Now Ships with GNOME 3.38 and Linux Kernel 5.9

Based on the Debian Testing repositories, where the development of the upcoming Debian GNU/Linux 11 “Bullseye” operating system series takes place, the new DebEX Linux release is here with goodies that no other live Linux distribution currently offers. For starters, the developer removed the lightweight MATE desktop environment, which was used in previous DebEX versions, and replaced it with the latest GNOME 3.38 desktop environment. So that right there might be a very good reason for many wanting to try GNOME 3.38 on Debian GNU/Linux to download this distro. Read more

Further Exploring The Intel Tiger Lake Core i7-1165G7 Performance On Ubuntu Linux

Last week I published initial benchmarks of the Intel Core i7 1165G7 "Tiger Lake" performance on Linux with the Dell XPS 13 9310 Developer Edition laptop. Of most surprise from those preliminary Linux figures were finding that for some single-threaded workloads the performance was actually worse than the previous generation Ice Lake. Since then I've been running more tests around the clock with some interesting discoveries to note today. It is possible to enhance the single-threaded performance so it's performing better than Ice Lake as would be expected, but comes with lowering the multi-threaded performance compared to the results shared last week. Read more

Free Software and OSS Leftovers

  • From Continuous Compliance to Continuous Risk Mitigation

    The explosive adoption of open source has meant that companies are having to take open source risk assessment and mitigation seriously. As open source contributions and usage grow, the attack surface for vulnerabilities has increased considerably, leading to higher security risk. In fact, Forrester’s 2018 Global Business Technographics Security Survey revealed that 35% of global security decision makers who experienced an external breach said that it occurred due to software vulnerabilities.

  • Three years since the Polhem prize | daniel.haxx.se

    Today, exactly three years ago, I received flowers, money and a gold medal at a grand prize ceremony that will forever live on in my mind and memory. I was awarded the Polhem Prize for my decades of work on curl. The prize itself was handed over to me by no one else than the Swedish king himself. One of the absolute top honors I can imagine in my little home country. In some aspects, my life is divided into the life before this event and the life after. The prize has even made little me being presented on a poster in the Technical Museum in Stockholm. The medal itself still sits on my work desk and if I just stop starring at my monitors for a moment and glance a little over to the left – I can see it. I think the prize made my surroundings, my family and friends get a slightly different view and realization of what I actually do all these hours in front of my screens. In the tree years since I received the prize, we’ve increased the total number of contributors and authors in curl by 50%. We’ve done over 3,700 commits and 25 releases since then. Upwards and onward. Life moved on. It was not “peak curl”. There was no “prize curse” that left us unable to keep up the pace and development. It was possibly a “peak life moment” there for me personally. As an open source maintainer, I can’t imagine many bigger honors or awards to come my way ever again, but I’m not complaining. I got the prize and I still smile when I think about it.

  • Louis-Philippe Véronneau - Musings on long-term software support and economic incentives

    Although I still read a lot, during my college sophomore years my reading habits shifted from novels to more academic works. Indeed, reading dry textbooks and economic papers for classes often kept me from reading anything else substantial. Nowadays, I tend to binge read novels: I won't touch a book for months on end, and suddenly, I'll read 10 novels back to back. At the start of a novel binge, I always follow the same ritual: I take out my e-reader from its storage box, marvel at the fact the battery is still pretty full, turn on the WiFi and check if there are OS updates. And I have to admit, Kobo Inc. (now Rakuten Kobo) has done a stellar job of keeping my e-reader up to date. I've owned this model (a Kobo Aura 1st generation) for 7 years now and I'm still running the latest version of Kobo's Linux-based OS.

  • FSFE at SFSCon 2020 - FSFE

    The South Tyrol Free Software Conference, SFSCon, is one of Europe’s most established annual conferences on Free Software. In recent years we have been represented with talks, workshops and our information booth. Last year we also organised our Community Event in the context of SFSCon, so that we could meet not only our community but also many interested people and report about our work. Due to the current situation, the SFSCon 2020 can unfortunately only take place in blended mode: both online and at NOI Techpark, for a limited number of people. But of course, the FSFE is again contributing to the programme. The FSFE has organised several talks in which legal issues are clarified and current political developments are analysed. Concrete practical questions concerning compliance, for example for SMEs, will be addressed as well as questions about machine learning and which problems arise in the development of a free smartphone.

  • Intense weeks

    End of October turns out to be one of the highs when it comes to workload this year. Everything happens at once – there are two public events that I’d like to tell you about. The first one is running lights. This is an annual running competition organized by AIF Friidrott, the sports club my kids are active in. This year, this means organized by me and postponed due to COVID-19, but the virtual races started this weekend and the arena race will take place on the 24th. If anyone of you are in the Alingsås area and enjoy I highly recommend you to join. The weather looks nice, and we will light up the arena with live fire, so it will be a great evening. The second one is the foss-north 2020 take II event. This spring, we decided to try to organize a physical foss-north event this fall, as obviously the pandemic must be over by November. This seems to not be the case. :-)

  • Community Member Monday: Marcin Popko - The Document Foundation Blog

    Hello! I’m from Bialystok, a city in north-east Poland. I work as an electromagnetic compatibility tester – it’s a seriously crazy and interesting area of electronics development. I’m quite an artist soul; in my free time I dance bachata and sing in a folk band called “Kurpie Zielone”. I also write a blog about dance, emotions and technology here. What is the free software/Linux/LibreOffice scene like in Poland? FLOSS (free/libre and open source software) has rather more awareness in geeky and technological domains, than in everyday normal life. LibreOffice is not well know among my friends – some of them are using Microsoft Office, and some of them are even using OpenOffice. So that’s my mission here: inform them :-) Companies use LibreOffice when they can’t afford Microsoft Office or when it’s not seriously needed.