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LibreOffice 6.1 "Fresh" Arrived with iconic changes! A Quick Look.

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A spotlight on fresh LibreOffice 6.1 which arrived recently.

LibreOffice 6.1 released with major changes that impacts day-to-day working of users. A highlights of the changes follows.

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More in Tux Machines

Proprietary Software: Deaths, Rentals and Back Doors

  • Join us on our new journey, says Wunderlist – as it vanishes down the Microsoft plughole

    Three months after its former CEO pleaded with Microsoft to sell him back Wunderlist, the software giant has confirmed the worst: it really is killing the popular to-do app. On May 6, 2020, Microsoft will pull the plug on the app that it paid somewhere between $100m and $200m for in 2015. In its place, it is encouraging everyone to move to its To Do app, which is tightly integrated into the Microsoft ecosystem and, as a result, probably doesn’t work well with anything that isn’t Microsoft. Even after years of neglect, Wunderlist remains a very popular application for to-do tasks, in large part because it does that singular task extremely well, syncing across devices and allowing users to quickly and easily attach dates to tasks, as well as arrange them in different folders.

  • [Old] The economics of streaming is changing pop songs

    It helps to be included on a streaming company’s playlist. These account for roughly a third of all streams. Tracks are selected by opaque algorithms, but by analysing performance data you can work out what the bots like, says Chiara Belolo of Scorpio Music, a boutique label. Composers are adapting to what they think is being looked for. Hit songs are shorter. Intros have become truncated, says Mr Kalifowitz, “to get to the point a bit faster”.

    Choruses are starting sooner (see chart). Take this year’s most-streamed Spotify track. The first notes on “Señorita”, by Shawn Mendes, preview the refrain, which arrives 15 seconds in and is a fixture throughout the playing time of 3:10.

  • Apple, Facebook Clash With Senators Over Encryption, Backdoors

    In a Senate hearing on Tuesday, lawmakers on both sides of the aisle pushed the companies to let the police and other authorities access personal data that lies behind encryption on devices and technology platforms. Senators threatened to legislate if the private sector doesn’t offer solutions on its own.

  • The Senate Judiciary Committee Wants Everyone to Know It’s Concerned About Encryption

    This morning the Senate Judiciary Committee held a hearing on encryption and “lawful access.” That’s the fanciful idea that encryption providers can somehow allow law enforcement access to users’ encrypted data while otherwise preventing the “bad guys” from accessing this very same data.

    But the hearing was not inspired by some new engineering breakthrough that might make it possible for Apple or Facebook to build a secure law enforcement backdoor into their encrypted devices and messaging applications. Instead, it followed speeches, open letters, and other public pressure by law enforcement officials in the U.S. and elsewhere to prevent Facebook from encrypting its messaging applications, and more generally to portray encryption as a tool used in serious crimes, including child exploitation. Facebook has signaled it won’t bow to that pressure. And more than 100 organizations including EFF have called on these law enforcement officials to reverse course and avoid gutting one of the most powerful privacy and security tools available to users in an increasingly insecure world. 

today's leftovers

  • Linux users identify with their OS more often than Mac, Windows users

    We've all heard anecdotes or stereotypes of "die hard Mac users", or "Linux zealots." Stories of people who strongly identify with the computers they use (aka "I am a Mac user"). But how often do people really identify with the Operating System they use the most on their computer? I recently conducted a survey as part of study on how Operating Systems impact our happiness. Responses were submitted from 2,259 computer users -- using a broad range of Operating Systems -- primarily from "pro user" communities (not a random cross-section of the populace). [...] The results for Android users were surprisingly similar to iOS users. Android users more often identified with their mobile platform (55.7%) than iOS users with theirs (54%). Based on the sample size, it seems entirely possible that the margin of error here would put the two platforms as nearly identical in these terms.

  • RipMe – Bulk image downloader for Linux

    There are instances when you need to download quite a bulk of pictures at once. Be it for project work, or photos of something that you love. In any case, downloading many photos one by one is great pain, and extremely time-consuming. Another option could be to download an already compiled album, but honestly, there are not a whole lot of albums available to download on every occasion. Any easy solution? We have a solution to offer here: a bulk image downloader, RipMe.

  • ObjectBox, database for IoT devices, adopts snaps for simplicity and ease of installation

    When designers put their heart and soul into making super-fast, easy-to-use software to help take Internet of Things (IoT) apps to the next level, installation of that software needs to meet the same high standards. ObjectBox is a database and synchronisation solution for rapid, efficient edge computing for mobile and IoT devices. Rather than each device sending all its data back to a cloud/server, ObjectBox enables data storage and processing within the device. Developers get simplicity and ease of implementation with native language APIs instead of SQL. Users can use data on edge devices faster with fewer resources. Markus Junginger, CTO and co-founder of ObjectBox explains, “Moving decision making to the edge means faster response rates, less traffic to the cloud, and lower costs. We built an edge database with a minimal device footprint of just 1 MB for high on-device performance.” ObjectBox also synchronises data between devices and servers/the cloud for an ‘always-on’ feeling and improved data reliability. With ObjectBox, an application always works – whether the device is online or offline.

Servers: SysAdmins, Public 'Clouds' and Cautionary Tales

  • Do I need a college degree to be a sysadmin?

    If we could answer that question with a simple "yes" or "no," this would not be much of a story. Reality is a little more nuanced, though. An accurate answer begins with one of "Yes, but…" or "No, but…"—and the answer depends on who you ask, among other important variables, including industry, company size, and so forth. On the "yes" front, IT job descriptions don’t typically buck the "degree required" assumption, sysadmin roles included. This fact is perhaps especially true in the corporate business world across a wide range of sectors, and it isn’t limited to large companies, either. Consider a recent opening posted on the jobs site Indeed.com for an IT system administrator position at Crest Foods, a 650-person food manufacturing company in Ashton, Ill. The description includes plenty of familiar requirements for a sysadmin. The first bullet point under "Desired Education & Experience" reads: "Bachelor’s degree in computer science, networking, IT, or relevant field." "Generally, systems administrators will have [degrees] from four-year universities," says Jim Johnson, district president at the recruiting firm Robert Half Technology. While some employers don’t specify a particular degree field, Johnson notes the bachelor’s in computer information systems (CIS) as a good fit for the sysadmin field and overlapping IT roles. That said, Johnson also points out that there are other options out there for people that don’t pursue a traditional degree path. That’s especially true given the growth of online education and training, as well as in-person opportunities such as technical schools. "There are [sysadmins] with computer systems professional or computer operator certificates from technical or online schools," Johnson says. Moreover, a potential employer’s "desired" educational background can be just that: An ideal scenario, but not a dealbreaker. This fact can be true even if a degree is listed as "required," perhaps especially in markets with a tight supply of qualified candidates. If you’ve got the technical chops, a degree might become much more optional than a job description might lead you to believe.

  • Resource scarcity in Public Clouds

    In addition to this, there are some “special” moments, such as Thanksgiving and the nearby days that, by now, have become a widespread event even beyond the countries where they used to be celebrated. Probably, in the data-centers in areas where those festivities are celebrated (or at least where the capitalistic part of the celebration is celebrated), the load reaches the annual peak, due to the e-commerce websites. To make the situation even worst, many Cloud customers are rewriting and improving their applications, making them more cloud-native. Now, you’ll wonder how cloud-native applications can make things worse? The reason is very simple: the cloud-native applications scale. This means that during the off-peak season the applications will drastically reduce their footprint, creating the false feeling of resource abundancy. This situation creates some problems, in my opinion. First of all, since it’s very hard for the Public Cloud provider to estimate the load - and in the future, it will be even harder - we will have to live with frequent resource exhaustion in public clouds, which will make a single-cloud single-region application fragile. This will be true, not even considering the economic aspect of the problem. There will be situations where it will not be economically convenient for the Cloud Provider to provision enough resources to manage the peaks since the additional provisioning cost would not be repaid during the short periods those resources will be used.

  • Notice: Linode Classic Manager Users

    Our legacy Linode Manager will be decommissioned on January 31, 2020. After that time, you will be automatically redirected to the Cloud Manager when logging in to manage your infrastructure on Linode.

Wine/CodeWeavers and Games

  • CELEBRATING THE DIFFICULT; THE RELEASE OF CROSSOVER 19

    My family likes to make fun of me because I enjoy hard problems. One of my favorite games of all time is Don't Starve. The way I played it - with no googling allowed - meant that I died all the time. While each death would make me pull out more and more of my hair, when I was finally able to master winter and find the portal, I felt a genuine sense of accomplishment. That's true for CodeWeavers, as well. My first guiding principle is that I want to do challenging and meaningful work. And, it turns out, working on Wine is the most challenging thing I've ever been part of. We are re-implementing the Windows operating system; our 43 employees work every day to keep up with the work of the 144,000 people at Microsoft.

  • CrossOver 19.0 Released - Ending Out 2019 With Better Microsoft Office Support On Linux

    CodeWeavers has announced the availability of CrossOver 19 for their Wine-based software for running Windows programs/applications/games on macOS and Linux. CrossOver 19.0 entered beta last month with the headlining feature being initial support for macOS Catalina, including going to great lengths for supporting 32-bit Windows programs on Catalina even with Apple phasing out their 32-bit software support.

  • Playing Tomb Raider (Definitive Edition) Using Stadia on Linux

    Lara Croft, if you didn't already know, is an adventurer extraordinaire, and hero of the game, "Tomb Raider". As part of the Google Stadia Pro edition, I have had the pleasure to follow Lara Croft in some of her adventures in this amazing game. 

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  • Playing CrossCode within a web browser
                     
                       

    The commercial video game Crosscode is written in HTML5, making it available on every system having chromium or firefox. The limitation is that it may not support gamepad (except if you find a way to make it work).

                       

    A demo is downloadable at this address https://radicalfishgames.itch.io/crosscode and should work using the following instructions.

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  • Create a turn-based combat system | Wireframe #28
           
             

    Learn how to create the turn-based combat system found in games like Pokémon, Final Fantasy, and Undertale. Raspberry Pi’s Rik Cross shows you how.

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  • Do you hear an odd buzzing sound? Minecraft 1.15 is out with a new friend

    Mojang just released the stable Minecraft 1.15 build with a new stripey friend, the Buzzy Bee and a bunch of new blocks. Even though it's not technically a major update and small in comparison to some previous, it's still quite feature-filled. There's now bees, bee nests and beehvies, honey blocks, a honey bottle, honeycomb and honeycomb blocks.