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Software: XikiHub, qTox, Dash to Panel, Slack Alternatives

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Software
  • XikiHub: The Social Command Line

    Brief: A new Linux project named XikiHub has been spotted on Kickstarter. It aims to add a social community feature right into the Linux command line.

  • qTox – An Open Source P2P Instant Messaging and VoIP App

    As you probably already know, GNU/Linux has no shortage of VoIP apps. We’ve written on Wire and Discord. And we even compiled a list of The 10 Best Instant Messaging Apps for Linux.

    Today, we’ve got a new app to add to our list of instant messaging apps and it goes by the name of qTox.

    qTox is a free and open source p2p instant messaging, audio and video calls app and is (apparently) the most feature-rich Tox client. As a powerful Tox client, it follows Tox’s design guidelines while maintaining a uniform UI/UX across all the major platforms.

  • Dash to Panel Adds Support for Dynamic Transparency

    The popular Dash to Panel GNOME extension has been updated to support GNOME 3.26.

    The upcoming release will also include support for dynamic transparency, a bit of desktop eye candy that was introduced by GNOME developers in the recent GNOME 3.26 release.

    Dynamic Transparency in Ubuntu 17.10 works on both the top bar (the panel across the top of the screen) and the Ubuntu Dock. When an app window touches either element, or is maximised, the transparency of the dock and panel is reduced to help improve legibility.

  • The Slack Threat

    During a long era, electronic mail was the main communication tool for enterprises. Slack, which offer public or private group discussion boards and instant messaging between two people, challenge its position, especially in the IT industry.

    Not only Slack has features known and used since IRC launch in the late ’80s, but Slack also offers file sending and sharing, code quoting, and it indexing for ulterior searches everything that goes through the application. Slack is also modular with numerous plug-in to easily add new features.

    [...]

    Slack is a Web service which uses mainly Amazon Web services and most specially Cloudfront, as stated by the available information on Slack infrastructure.

    Even without a complete study of said infrastructure, it’s easy to state that all the data regarding many innovative global companies around the world (and some of them including for all their internal communication since their creation) are located in the United States, or at least in the hands of a US company, which must follow US laws, a country with a well-known history of large scale industrial espionage, as the whistleblower Edward Snowden demonstrated it in 2013 and where company data access has no restriction under the Patriot Act, as in the Microsoft case (2014) where data stored in Ireland by the Redmond software editor have been given to US authorities.

    [...]

    Officially, Slack stated that “No financial or payment information was accessed or compromised in this attack.” Which is, and by far, the least interesting of all data stored within Slack! With company internal communication indexed—sometimes from the very beginning of said company—and searchable, Slack may be a potential target for cybercriminal not looking for its users’ financial credentials but more their internal data already in a usable format. One can imagine Slack must give information on a massive data leak, which can’t be ignored. But what would happen if only one Slack user is the victim of said leak?

    [...]

    Because Slack service subscription in the long term put the company continuously at risk. Maybe it’s not the employees’ place to worry about it, they just have to do their job the more efficiently possible. On the other side, the company management, usually non-technical, may not be aware of what risks will threaten their company with this technical choice. The technical management may pretend to be omniscient, nobody is fooled.

More in Tux Machines

Doxyqml 0.4.0

After almost two years, here comes a new version of Doxyqml, the QML filter for Doxygen. This new version adds a new command-line option: --namespace to wrap the generated C++ in a namespace, and makes the parser more robust. Nothing ground-breaking, but some nice changes nevertheless. What's interesting with this project is that I don't use it these days, but it still receives contributions from time to time. This puts me in the unusual position (for me) where most of my contributions to the project are reviewing code, cleaning things, a bit of infrastructure (I just added code coverage checks: 88%, not too bad) and release management. Surprisingly, I like doing this, I am happy to see this little tool remains useful enough that others keep it alive. Read more

Plasma 5.12.5, Applications 18.04.1 and Frameworks 5.46.0 by KDE now available in Chakra

On your next system upgrade you will receive all the latest versions of KDE’s Plasma, Applications and Frameworks, in addition to several other package updates. For more details and the full changelogs on KDE’s software releases, you can read the official announcements: Plasma 5.12.5 Applications 18.04.1 Frameworks 5.46.0 Other noteworthy package updates include wine 3.8, skypeforlinux 8.20.0.9 and pypy 6.0.0. Read more

SMTube review - Your train to Youtube

It's a no brainer. On the desktop, you go online, and you open a tab and you load Youtube, and then you play clips. But then, on mobile devices, you have dedicated applications, which usually offer a somewhat more efficient media experience. So, on the desktop, it's the browser way or the ... SMTube way? SMTube is a cross-platform Youtube player, which allows you to search and play videos from the popular media platform, with some additional search tweaks and filters, and extra download options, all this from the desktop, without having to keep a browser tab open. It's a convenient tool to use, and with the recent rewrite, it actually works, and it works fairly well. I decided to test to see what gives. [...] SMTube looks like a nice tool. It is not strictly necessary or needed, but it does allow you to have Youtube open and playing, even if you're not currently using your browser, i.e. you can use it like any other media player. This is nice, plus you get a clean and intuitive interface, decent search and filter options, and it's easy to change settings and configure additional players. You also have the option to download clips. I don't know where SMTube stands when it comes to Google, Youtube, but ordinary users will surely appreciate the extra flexibility they get with a media player rather than just a browser tab. Of course, you're not signed in, you don't get recommendations, comments or playlists, and such, so I guess there are benefits to going directly to Youtube. But if you're only after what Youtube can play without any socializing, SMTube is an excellent choice. It's had a rough ride, it never quite fully worked for me in my various distro reviews, but this new version is stable, robust and works well. At the very least, it's worth testing. Choo choo. Read more

GNOME Development/Developers

  • Nautilus Ability To Launch Binaries Or Scripts To Be Reverted, Might Be Implemented Differently
    It looks like the decision to remove the ability to run binaries and scripts from Nautilus file manager will be reverted. The change comes after some use cases appeared that the developers agreed they need to support, "especially for enterprise and content creators". One such use case that was mentioned as a reason for reverting this is a small "if then that" script for building HTML and PDF files, which uses Zenity to display a dialog, as well as notifications to display the progress. I find the use case being used as an example a bit weird because that's certainly not something common, like a self-extracting game script for instance.
  • Stickers in Riot
    The matrix.org protocol is flexible so this is a good example of how to add new features to the clients that uses matrix without the need to change the protocol. This is not a core feature because you can send images, but I think this is great and add a simple way to show reactions for the users, so as I was reading I thought that we can add this to Fractal, so I started to read how we can add support for this.
  • Talking at GPN 2018 in Karlsruhe, Germany
    Similar to last year I managed to attend the Gulasch Programmier-Nacht (GPN) in Karlsruhe, Germany. Not only did I attend, I also managed to squeeze in a talk about PrivacyScore. We got the prime time slot on the opening day along with all the other relevant talks, including the Eurovision Song Contest, so we were not overly surprised that the audience had a hard time deciding where to go and eventually decided to attend talks which were not recorded. Our talk was recorded and is available here.