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An open source resistance takes shape as tech giants race to map the world

Filed under
OSS

Gowda and a few other contributors from India are part of a tiny yet growing resistance movement which doesn’t want giant corporations to own all the mapping data. For the average consumer, this may not seem like a big deal. But mapping is big business.

The market opportunity for suppliers of mapping to the autonomous car industry is going to be worth over $24 billion by 2050, according to one estimate (pdf). And that’s just one industry. A study commissioned by Google in 2015 estimated that industries that run on top of the Global Positioning Satellite Systems and mapping generate nearly $73 billion in annual revenue. Worldwide, that industry is was estimated to generate $150- $270 billion in revenues. Although new research isn’t available, with growing smartphone usage and the birth of companies such as Uber and many others it is safe to assume that the industry has only grown bigger. All the more reason why map data can’t be held by only a few companies.

Read more

Sabri Haddouche Finds Crashy Bugs

Filed under
Moz/FF
Security
  • New Firefox browser bug causes crashes on Windows, Mac and Linux

    Only a week after disclosing a new web code exploit that can cause an iPhone to crash, security researcher Sabri Haddouche, has uncovered another browser bug that can force Firefox to crash on all three popular desktop operating systems – Mac, Linux and Windows – reports ZDNet.

  • Firefox bug crashes your browser and sometimes your PC

    A security researcher who two weeks ago found a bug that could crash all WebKit-based apps on iPhones, iPads, and Macs, has now discovered another browser bug that can crash Firefox browsers, and sometimes the entire operating system underneath it.

  • This Firefox Bug Can Crash Your Browser On Windows, Mac, And Linux

    Security researcher Sabri Haddouche has found a bug in the Firefox web browser that can crash the browser and also the entire operating system running underneath.

    As reported by ZDNet, this Firefox bug can force the browser to crash on all the three popular desktop platforms — Mac, Linux, and Windows.

Vista 10: Embrace, Now Extend

Filed under
Microsoft
Debian
  • WLinux: Windows 10 Gets Its Own Exclusive Linux Distro

    Ubuntu, Debian, and Kali are some of the popular Linux distros available out there for Windows Subsystem for Linux. But, most of these distros contain packages that are irrelevant to WSL and lack development tools. How about a distro that is optimized specially for Windows 10?

  • New Linux Distro Created Specifically for Windows 10

    The Windows Subsystem for Linux allows users to run Linux distributions on top of Windows 10, and at this point, there are already several choices for users who want to try out this feature.

    In addition to Ubuntu, Debian, and Kali, beginning today, Windows 10 adopters are provided with a new Linux distro that’s specifically optimized for the WSL.

    Called WLinux, this new Linux distro is focused on the packages that are relevant to WSL, as well as the customizations to take full advantage of this Windows 10 feature.

Review: Bodhi Linux 5.0.0

Filed under
Reviews

Sometimes when reviewing an operating system it is difficult to separate the question "Is this a good distribution?" from "Is this a good distribution for me?" Bodhi is one of those projects where the answers to these questions are quite different, mostly over matters of style rather than functionality. On a personal level, I don't think I would ever be inclined to use Bodhi myself because I don't like the Moksha/Enlightenment style of desktop. It does a lot of little things differently (not badly, just differently) from other open source desktops and its style is not one I ever seem to find comfortable. This, combined with the streamlined, web-based AppCenter and unusual settings panel, makes Bodhi a distribution which always feels a bit alien to me.

Let's put aside my personal style preferences though and try to look at the distribution objectively. Bodhi is trying to provide a lightweight, visually attractive distribution with a wide range of hardware support. It manages to do all of these things and do them well. The distribution is paying special attention to lower-end hardware, including 32-bit systems, and maintains a remarkably small memory footprint given the amount of functionality and eye candy included. Most lightweight distributions sacrifice quite a bit visually in order to provide the lightest interface possible, but Bodhi does a nice job of balancing low resource requirements with an attractive desktop environment.

Bodhi is pleasantly easy to install, thanks to the Ubiquity installer, has a minimal collection of software (in the main edition) that allows us to craft our own experience and, for people who need more applications out of the box, there is the AppPack edition.

All of this is to say that, for me personally, I spent more time that I would have liked this week searching through settings, trying to get used to how Moksha's panel works, tracking down less popular applications and re-learning when to use right-click versus left-click on the desktop. But, objectively, I would be hard pressed to name another distribution that more elegantly offers a lightweight desktop with visual effects, or that offers such easy access to both legacy and modern hardware support. In short, I think Bodhi Linux is a good distribution for those who want to get the most performance out of their operating system without sacrificing hardware support or the appearance of the interface. There are a few little glitches here and there, but sothing show-stopping and, overall, Bodhi is a well put together distribution.

Read more

5 ways to play old-school games on a Raspberry Pi

Filed under
Linux
Gaming

They don't make 'em like they used to, do they? Video games, I mean.

Sure, there's a bit more grunt in the gear now. Princess Zelda used to be 16 pixels in each direction; there's now enough graphics power for every hair on her head. Today's processors could beat up 1988's processors in a cage-fight deathmatch without breaking a sweat.

But you know what's missing? The fun.

You've got a squillion and one buttons to learn just to get past the tutorial mission. There's probably a storyline, too. You shouldn't need a backstory to kill bad guys. All you need is jump and shoot. So, it's little wonder that one of the most enduring popular uses for a Raspberry Pi is to relive the 8- and 16-bit golden age of gaming in the '80s and early '90s. But where to start?

Read more

Microsoft Flaws and Windows Back Doors (Coordinated with NSA) Show Their Cost/Toll

Filed under
Microsoft
Security

LAS 2018

Filed under
GNOME
  • LAS 2018

    This month I was at my second Libre Application Summit in Denver. A smaller event than GUADEC but personally was my favorite conference so far.

    One of the main goals of LAS has been to be a place for multiple platforms to discuss the desktop space and not just be a GNOME event. This year two KDE members, @aleixpol and Albert Astals Cid, who spoke about release cycle of KDE Applications, Plasma, and the history of Qt. It is always interesting to see how another project solves the same problems and where there is overlap.

    The elementary folks were there since this is @cassidyjames home turf who had a great “It’s Not Always Techincal” talk as well as a talk with @danrabbit about AppCenter which are both very important areas the GNOME Project needs to improve in. I also enjoyed meeting a few other community members such as @Philip-Scott and talk about their use of elementary’s platform.

  • Developer Center Initiative – Meeting Summary 21st September

    Since last blog post there’s been two Developer Center meetings held in coordination with LAS GNOME Sunday the 9th September and again Friday the 21st September. Unfortunately I couldn’t attend the LAS GNOME meeting, but I’ll cover the general progress made here.

The "Chinese EPYC" Hygon Dhyana CPU Support Still Getting Squared Away For Linux

Filed under
Linux
Hardware

Back in June is when the Linux kernel patches appeared for the Hygon Dhyana, the new x86 processors based on AMD Zen/EPYC technology licensed by Chengdu Haiguang IC Design Co for use in Chinese data-centers. While the patches have been out for months, they haven't reached the mainline kernel quite yet but that might change next cycle.

The Hygon Dyhana Linux kernel patches have gone through several revisions and the code is mostly adapting existing AMD Linux kernel code paths for Zen/EPYC to do the same on these new processors. While these initial Hygon CPUs appear to basically be re-branded EPYC CPUs, the identifiers are different as rather than AMD Family 17h, it's now Family 18h and the CPU Vendor ID is "HygonGenuine" and carries a new PCI Express device vendor ID, etc. So the different areas of the kernel from CPUFreq to KVM/Xen virtualization to Spectre V2 mitigations had to be updated for the correct behavior.

Read more

Good Support For Wayland Remote Desktop Handling On Track For KDE Plasma 5.15

Filed under
KDE

The KDE Plasma 5.15 release due out next year will likely be in good shape for Wayland remote desktop handling.

The KDE Plasma/KWin developers have been pursuing Wayland remote desktop support along a similar route to the GNOME Shell camp by making use of PipeWire and the XDG-Desktop-Portal. Bits are already in place for KDE Plasma 5.13 and the upcoming 5.14 release, but for the 5.15 release is now where it sounds like the support may be in good shape for end-users.

Read more

Linux developers threaten to pull “kill switch”

Filed under
Development
Linux

Linux powers the internet, the Android in your pocket, and perhaps even some of your household appliances. A controversy over politics is now seeing some of its developers threatening to withdraw the license to all of their code, potentially destroying or making the whole Linux kernel unusable for a very long time.

Read more

Games: SC Controller, PlayOnLinux, OpenRA, Galaxy in Turmoil

Filed under
Gaming

DXVK 0.80 Released

Filed under
Software
  • DXVK 0.80 Released With Initial State Cache, Direct3D 11.1 Feature Level

    Development on DXVK for mapping Direct3D (primarily D3D11) atop Vulkan continues speeding along for boosting Windows gaming on Wine / Steam Play (Proton). Ending out the weekend is the release of DXVK 0.80.

    The DXVK 0.80 features the initial pipeline state cache, which can help reduce stuttering within games on subsequent runs (once the pipeline state has been cached) and all around improve the experience. DXVK also now supports Direct3D Feature Level 11_1, has minor reductions in CPU usage overhead, and has some fixes affecting APU systems, Assetto Corsa, and Project Cars 2.

  • DXVK 0.80 is out with a new cache to reduce stutter and further CPU overhead improvements

    DXVK [GitHub], which provides a Vulkan-based D3D11 and D3D10 implementation for use in Wine has a new build out. The pace of development on this continues to absolutely mesmerise me, with each release bringing something really interesting. Reminder: See my interview with the creator of DXVK here.

KDE: Latest on Usability & Productivity

Filed under
KDE

Linux 4.19-rc5

Filed under
Linux

As almost everyone knows, it's been an "interesting" week from a social
point-of-view. But from the technical side, -rc5 looks totally normal.

The diffstat is a bit higher than previous -rc5's, but the number of
trees pulled is lower, so overall, pretty much all is on track. I'm not
seeing any major "these bugs are not being fixed!" type of reports, so I
can hope that the initial churn that -rc1 threw at everyone is under
control.

The majority size-wise of changes here are with more tests being added
and fixed up, but there is also the usual networking, x86, sound, drm,
ppc, and other fixes. Full details are in the shortlog below.

Read more

Also: Greg Kroah-Hartman Releases Linux 4.19-RC5 Following An "Interesting" Week

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More in Tux Machines

Vista 10: Embrace, Now Extend

  • WLinux: Windows 10 Gets Its Own Exclusive Linux Distro
    Ubuntu, Debian, and Kali are some of the popular Linux distros available out there for Windows Subsystem for Linux. But, most of these distros contain packages that are irrelevant to WSL and lack development tools. How about a distro that is optimized specially for Windows 10?
  • New Linux Distro Created Specifically for Windows 10
    The Windows Subsystem for Linux allows users to run Linux distributions on top of Windows 10, and at this point, there are already several choices for users who want to try out this feature. In addition to Ubuntu, Debian, and Kali, beginning today, Windows 10 adopters are provided with a new Linux distro that’s specifically optimized for the WSL. Called WLinux, this new Linux distro is focused on the packages that are relevant to WSL, as well as the customizations to take full advantage of this Windows 10 feature.

Review: Bodhi Linux 5.0.0

Sometimes when reviewing an operating system it is difficult to separate the question "Is this a good distribution?" from "Is this a good distribution for me?" Bodhi is one of those projects where the answers to these questions are quite different, mostly over matters of style rather than functionality. On a personal level, I don't think I would ever be inclined to use Bodhi myself because I don't like the Moksha/Enlightenment style of desktop. It does a lot of little things differently (not badly, just differently) from other open source desktops and its style is not one I ever seem to find comfortable. This, combined with the streamlined, web-based AppCenter and unusual settings panel, makes Bodhi a distribution which always feels a bit alien to me. Let's put aside my personal style preferences though and try to look at the distribution objectively. Bodhi is trying to provide a lightweight, visually attractive distribution with a wide range of hardware support. It manages to do all of these things and do them well. The distribution is paying special attention to lower-end hardware, including 32-bit systems, and maintains a remarkably small memory footprint given the amount of functionality and eye candy included. Most lightweight distributions sacrifice quite a bit visually in order to provide the lightest interface possible, but Bodhi does a nice job of balancing low resource requirements with an attractive desktop environment. Bodhi is pleasantly easy to install, thanks to the Ubiquity installer, has a minimal collection of software (in the main edition) that allows us to craft our own experience and, for people who need more applications out of the box, there is the AppPack edition. All of this is to say that, for me personally, I spent more time that I would have liked this week searching through settings, trying to get used to how Moksha's panel works, tracking down less popular applications and re-learning when to use right-click versus left-click on the desktop. But, objectively, I would be hard pressed to name another distribution that more elegantly offers a lightweight desktop with visual effects, or that offers such easy access to both legacy and modern hardware support. In short, I think Bodhi Linux is a good distribution for those who want to get the most performance out of their operating system without sacrificing hardware support or the appearance of the interface. There are a few little glitches here and there, but sothing show-stopping and, overall, Bodhi is a well put together distribution. Read more

Android Leftovers

5 ways to play old-school games on a Raspberry Pi

They don't make 'em like they used to, do they? Video games, I mean. Sure, there's a bit more grunt in the gear now. Princess Zelda used to be 16 pixels in each direction; there's now enough graphics power for every hair on her head. Today's processors could beat up 1988's processors in a cage-fight deathmatch without breaking a sweat. But you know what's missing? The fun. You've got a squillion and one buttons to learn just to get past the tutorial mission. There's probably a storyline, too. You shouldn't need a backstory to kill bad guys. All you need is jump and shoot. So, it's little wonder that one of the most enduring popular uses for a Raspberry Pi is to relive the 8- and 16-bit golden age of gaming in the '80s and early '90s. But where to start? Read more