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Thursday, 21 Feb 19 - Tux Machines is a community-driven public service/news site which has been around for over a decade and primarily focuses on GNU/LinuxSubscribe now Syndicate content

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Quick Roundup

Type Title Author Replies Last Postsort icon
Story Programming with Python Roy Schestowitz 18/02/2019 - 5:03pm
Story today's howtos Roy Schestowitz 18/02/2019 - 5:01pm
Story Chamferwm: A Vulkan-Powered X11 Window Manager Roy Schestowitz 18/02/2019 - 4:58pm
Story Linux 5.0-rc7 Roy Schestowitz 4 18/02/2019 - 4:27pm
Story Linux 5.0 I/O Scheduler Benchmarks On Laptop & Desktop Hardware Rianne Schestowitz 18/02/2019 - 4:18pm
Story Top 20 Parrot OS Tools Roy Schestowitz 18/02/2019 - 4:16pm
Story today's leftovers Roy Schestowitz 18/02/2019 - 4:01pm
Story OSS Leftovers Roy Schestowitz 18/02/2019 - 4:00pm
Story Programming: Bash, Python and How to Program a Really Cheap Microcontroller Roy Schestowitz 18/02/2019 - 3:31pm
Story RISC-V: Military/Aerospace Designs, Road Ahead, Libre GPU Roy Schestowitz 18/02/2019 - 3:22pm

Linux 5.1 Improvements

Filed under
Linux
  • Linux 5.1 Kernel Bringing New Option For Drivers To Be Async Probed

    This driver_async_probe option added by Intel Linux developers allows specifying a list of drivers for the given system that can be probed asynchronously. While the Linux kernel has supported asynchronous driver probing during boot time, some drivers still don't behave properly in this context. As a result, using driver_async_probe= is a safe route for specifying drivers that can be probed asynchronously or for easily testing drivers to verify their async behavior.

  • Linux 5.1 To Deal With More Quirky Hardware From The Lenovo X1 Tablet To ASUS Transbook

    There's no shortage of quirky HID hardware out there. With the upcoming Linux 5.1 kernel cycle will be more fixes/workarounds for such consumer devices.

Samsung 970 EVO Plus 500GB NVMe Linux SSD Benchmarks

Filed under
Graphics/Benchmarks

Announced at the end of January was the Samsung 970 EVO Plus as the first consumer-grade solid-state drive with 96-layer 3D NAND memory. The Samsung 970 EVO NVMe SSDs are now shipping and in this review are the first Linux benchmarks of these new SSDs in the form of the Samsung 970 EVO Plus 500GB MZ-V7S500B/AM compared to several other SSDs on Linux.

The Samsung 970 EVO Plus uses the same Phoenix controller as in their existing SSDs but the big upgrade with the EVO Plus is the shift to the 96-layer 3D NAND memory. Available now through Internet retailers are the 250GB / 500GB / 1TB versions of the 970 EVO Plus at a new low of just $130 USD for the 500GB model or $250 USD for the 1TB version. A 2GB model is expected to ship this spring.

Read more

elementary 5 "Juno"

Filed under
OS
Interviews
Reviews

In the spring of 2014 (nearly five years ago), I was preparing a regular presentation I give most years—where I look at the bad side (and the good side) of the greater Linux world. As I had done in years prior, I was preparing a graph showing the market share of various Linux distributions changing over time.

But, this year, something was different.

In the span of less than two years, a tiny little Linux distro came out of nowhere to become one of the most watched and talked about systems available. In the blink of an eye, it went from nothing to passing several grand-daddies of Linux flavors that had been around for decades.

This was elementary. Needless to say, it caught my attention.

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Audiophile Linux Promises Aural Nirvana

Filed under
Linux
HowTos

Linux isn’t just for developers. I know that might come as a surprise for you, but the types of users that work with the open source platform are as varied as the available distributions. Take yours truly for example. Although I once studied programming, I am not a developer.

The creating I do with Linux is with words, sounds, and visuals. I write books, I record audio, and a create digital images and video. And even though I don’t choose to work with distributions geared toward those specific tasks, they do exist. I also listen to a lot of music. I tend to listen to most of my music via vinyl. But sometimes I want to listen to music not available in my format of choice. That’s when I turn to digital music.

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First Look: Tuxedo InfinityCube Linux Desktop PC With Intel Core-i7 8700

Filed under
Linux

I've played with Linux on several of my own machines, but I recently unboxed my first custom-built Linux PC courtesy of Tuxedo Computers. It's called the InfinityCube v9, and it's left me very impressed. In fact I've been leaning on it more than the beefy AMD Ryzen 1950X rig I built because it's silent and super stable. Tuxedo Computers just launched the InfinityCube on their web shop, so let's take a quick look at this new desktop along with some initial benchmarks.

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Redcore Linux Gives Gentoo a Nice Facelift

Filed under
Linux
Gentoo
Reviews

I like the overall look and feel of Redcore Linux. I generally do not use Gentoo-based Linux distros.

However, this distro does a good job of leveling the field of differences among competing Linux families. I especially like the way the LXQt and the KDE Plasma desktops have a noticeable common design that makes the Redcore distro stand out.

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GNU/Linux Distributions Deconstructed, GNU/Linux Distros on Old Chromebooks

Filed under
GNU
Linux
  • Linux Distributions Deconstructed

    Wanna know what’s in a Linux Distribution? Watch this video...

  • What To Do When Your Chromebook Reaches the End of Its Life

    Chrome OS is built on top of the Linux kernel, which is why newer models can install Linux applications. It also means that users can install Ubuntu and other Linux distributions. There are a few problems you may run into with installing other versions of Linux, but overall, it’s a great way to give your Chromebook a new life.

Stable kernels 4.20.10, 4.19.23, 4.14.101 and 4.9.158

Filed under
Linux
  • Linux 4.20.10

    I'm announcing the release of the 4.20.10 kernel.

    All users of the 4.20 kernel series must upgrade.

    The updated 4.20.y git tree can be found at:
    git://git.kernel.org/pub/scm/linux/kernel/git/stable/linux-stable.git linux-4.20.y
    and can be browsed at the normal kernel.org git web browser:
    http://git.kernel.org/?p=linux/kernel/git/stable/linux-st...

  • Linux 4.19.23
  • Linux 4.14.101
  • Linux 4.9.158

Stable kernels 4.20.9, 4.19.22, 4.14.100 and 4.9.157

Filed under
Linux
  • Linux 4.20.9

    I'm announcing the release of the 4.20.9 kernel.

    Stay away from this, use 4.20.10 instead.

    The updated 4.20.y git tree can be found at:
    git://git.kernel.org/pub/scm/linux/kernel/git/stable/linux-stable.git linux-4.20.y
    and can be browsed at the normal kernel.org git web browser:
    http://git.kernel.org/?p=linux/kernel/git/stable/linux-st...

  • Linux 4.19.22
  • Linux 4.14.100
  • Linux 4.9.157

Games: Forgiveness, Littlewood, Steam Play and More

Filed under
Gaming
  • Forgiveness, a new escape room style puzzle game is coming to Linux this month

    With themes based around the seven deadly sins with psychological-horror vibes, Forgiveness, a new escape room puzzle game is coming to Linux.

  • Littlewood, the peaceful building RPG has been fully funded and it's on the way to Linux

    Unlike a lot of RPGs, Littlewood actually takes place after all the action has been done. It's your job to rebuild and the Kickstarter campaign was a huge success.

    For those who didn't see this before, it's developed by Sean Young (Roguelands, Magicite, Kindergarten) with their own take on the building and crafting type of game taking inspiration from titles like Animal Crossing, Dark Cloud and earlier versions of Runescape.

    Against a funding goal of only $1,500 it managed to pull in $82,061 from 3,952 backers. This means it has smashed through every single stretch-goal that was set.

  • The 2D beat 'em up 'Tunche' is another game funded on Kickstarter and heading to Linux

    Another bit of positive crowdfunding news for you today, as Tunche, the 2D beat 'em up with procedurally generated worlds has been funded and so it's coming to Linux.

    Their Kickstarter campaign managed to get $55,395 from 1,080 backers against their original goal of $35,000. With that funding secured, they managed to break through two stretch goals, which will add in "challenge events" and a "dark heroes expansion pack".

  • The Linux version of Eastshade, the peaceful open-world exploration game is still coming to Linux

    While the Linux version of Eastshade sadly didn't arrive at release, the developer has confirmed it's still coming.

  • Dungeons 3 has a new unexpected DLC out today, adding in another campaign

    I have to hand it to Realmforge Studios and Kalypso Media Digital, they've supported Dungeons 3 exceptionally well since release.

    Not only have they released multiple new (and fully voiced) campaign packs, they also put out a free update earlier this month adding in a new multiplayer map and a powerful new spell can be earned by completing the Clash of Gods expansion.

  • Apparently Valve are working with Easy Anti-Cheat to get support in Steam Play (updated: yup)

    Turns out, this is true. As a Valve developer did reply to a user on the VKx Discord to say "they're probably referring to the ongoing conversation, which is currently stalled by the NDA, yes" which I've now seen myself—thanks for the tip, MartinPL.

  • A look at what games and bundles are on sale ahead of the weekend

    Ah yes, another weekend is about to crash into our lives and so you're looking for a new game to sink some hours into. Let's have a look at what's available.

    First up, itch.io has a Midwinter Selects Bundle available with four games that support Linux and two that don't. The Linux games included are Minit, Wheels of Aurelia, Heaven Will Be Mine and Milkmaid of the Milky Way. The entire bundle is $10 and that's a pretty good price for all of them together.

    GOG have a midweek sale going on for another day or so which has some gems like Owlboy, Pinstripe, Timespinner and more with their prices cut down to size. GOG also have an 11 bit studios sale, with lots of their games going cheap too like Moonlighter and This War of Mine.

  • Fancy working on Wine to help push Steam Play? CodeWeavers are hiring

    What will you need to work with them? They require strong C language skills, you obviously need to be very familiar with Linux, a good understanding of build systems, know your way around debugging problems and so on.

    This is great, if they're after more developers it shows just how serious they are about pushing Steam Play forwards to really improve Linux gaming for those titles that will never come to Linux.

postmarketOS – A Linux Distribution for Mobile Devices

Filed under
OS
Android

Not too long ago, I published an article on TecMint about 13 Most Promising New Linux Distributions to Look Forward in 2019 in which I listed a distro for mobile phones, Bliss OS.

Today, I introduce to you a free, open source, and futuristic project that aims to bring mobile devices together in one swoop.

postmarketOS is a touch-optimized, security-focused, and pre-configured Alpine-based Linux distribution created to be compatible with several old and new devices.

Below is an introduction from the developers themselves,

Read more

Mozilla: Root Certificate Store, Rust and WebAssembly

Filed under
Moz/FF
  • Why Does Mozilla Maintain Our Own Root Certificate Store?

    Mozilla maintains a database containing a set of “root” certificates that we use as “trust anchors”. This database, commonly referred to as a “root store”, allows us to determine which Certificate Authorities (CAs) can issue SSL/TLS certificates that are trusted by Firefox, and email certificates that are trusted by Thunderbird. Properly maintaining a root store is a significant undertaking – it requires constant effort to evaluate new trust anchors, monitor existing ones, and react to incidents that threaten our users. Despite the effort involved, Mozilla is committed to maintaining our own root store because doing so is vital to the security of our products and the web in general. It gives us the ability to set policies, determine which CAs meet them, and to take action when a CA fails to do so.

    A major advantage to controlling our own root store is that we can do so in a way that reflects our values. We manage our CA Certificate Program in the open, and by encouraging public participation we give individuals a voice in these trust decisions. Our root inclusion process is one example. We process lots of data and perform significant due diligence, then publish our findings and hold a public discussion before accepting each new root. Managing our own root store also allows us to have a public incident reporting process that emphasizes disclosure and learning from experts in the field. Our mailing list includes participants from many CAs, CA auditors, and other root store operators and is the most widely recognized forum for open, public discussion of policy issues.

  • Extract Method Refactoring in Rust
  • Why should you use Rust in WebAssembly?

    WebAssembly (Wasm) is a technology that has the chance to reshape how we build apps for the browser. Not only will it allow us to build whole new classes of web applications, but it will also allow us to make existing apps written in JavaScript even more performant.

    In this article about the state of the Rust and Wasm ecosystem, I'll try to explain why Rust is the language that can unlock the true potential of WebAssembly.

Programming: Conda-Forge, Meson Quest, PyLadies Auction at PyCon 2019 and More

Filed under
Development

Graphics: Intel's OpenGL Mesa Driver, DRM and More

Filed under
Graphics/Benchmarks
  • Intel's OpenGL Mesa Driver To Better Handle Recovery In Case Of GPU Hangs

    It's sure been a busy week in the Intel open-source graphics driver space... The latest improvement is a patch series providing better context restoration in the case of GPU hangs.

    Chris Wilson who usually deals with the Intel DRM kernel driver, including on the reset/restore front recently, sent out a set of two patches for improving the Intel i965 Mesa driver's behavior following GPU hangs.

  • Intel's Linux DRM Driver To Enable PSR2 Power-Savings By Default

    The Intel DRM/KMS kernel driver will soon see PSR2 panel self refresh capabilities enabled by default for allowing more power-savings on Intel-powered ultrabooks/notebooks.

    For a while now Intel's Direct Rendering Manager driver has enabled Panel Self Refresh (PSR) by default as well as other power-savings features like frame-buffer compression (FBC). But the newer Panel Self Refresh standard, PSR2, for eDP displays has not been enabled by default.

  • Intel Linux Graphics Driver Adding Device Local Memory - Possible Start of dGPU Bring-Up

    A big patch series was sent out today amounting to 42 patches and over four thousand lines of code for introducing the concept of memory regions to the Intel Linux graphics driver. The memory regions support is preparing for device local memory with future Intel graphics products.

    The concept of memory regions is being added to the Intel "i915" Linux kernel DRM driver for "preparation for upcoming devices with device local memory." The concept is about having different "regions" of memory for system memory as for any device local memory (LMEM). Today's published code also introduces a simple allocator and allowing the existing GEM memory management code to be able to allocate memory to these different memory regions. Up to now with Intel integrated graphics, they haven't had to worry about this functionality not even with their eDRAM/L4 cache of select graphics processors.

Dating is a free software issue

Filed under
GNU

Many dating Web sites run proprietary JavaScript. JavaScript is code that Web sites run on your computer in order to make certain features on Web sites function. Proprietary JavaScript is a trap that impacts your ability to run a free system, and not only does it sneak proprietary software onto your machine, but it also poses a security risk. Any piece of software can be malicious, but proprietary JavaScript goes the extra mile. Much of the JavaScript you encounter runs automatically when you load a Web site, which enables it to attack you without you even noticing.

Proprietary JavaScript doesn't have to be the only way to use Web sites. LibreJS is an initiative which blocks "nonfree nontrivial" JavaScript while allowing JavaScript that is either free or trivial.

Many dating apps are also proprietary, available only at the Apple App and Google Play stores, both of which currently require the use of proprietary software.

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Latte – Excellent KDE Dock based on Plasma Frameworks

Filed under
KDE

Let’s tackle the obvious starting question for 10. What’s a dock? I doubt this will ever be a question on the TV programme University Challenge…

A dock is a graphical user interface element that allows the user to have one-click access to frequently used software. This type of utility also enables users to switch quickly between applications, as well as to monitor programs. This type of application is an excellent way of extending the functionality and usefulness of the desktop

Latte is a dock based on plasma frameworks that aims to offer an elegant and intuitive experience for your tasks and KDE Plasma widgets. It animates its contents by using parabolic zoom effect and tries to be as unobtrusive is possible.

The software is mostly written in Qt/QML and C++, but this project also heavily relies on KDE Frameworks 5.

Read more

Games: Ethan Lee, "We. The Revolution" and Sid Meier's Civilization VI: Gathering Storm

Filed under
Gaming
  • Game porter and Steam Play dev Ethan Lee is running a crowdfunding campaign

    Nintendo's USB GameCube adapter for the Wii U and Switch could soon work on Linux, Mac and Windows if this crowdfunding campaign from Ethan Lee is a success.

    Ethan Lee should be a well-known name to most of our readers, they're responsible for a ridiculous amount of indie games that were ported to Linux (see here). On top of that, they're also now working on Steam Play (Valve's fork of Wine that's integrated with the Steam client on Linux) with Codeweavers and Valve too.

  • We. The Revolution, a unique looking strategy game set during the French Revolution will be on Linux

    For those after a strategy game that certainly looks unique, We. The Revolution is bringing the blood-soaked history of the French Revolution to Linux.

    Developed by Polyslash with a publishing hand from Klabater, it's going to release with same-day Linux support on March 21st.

  • Sid Meier's Civilization VI: Gathering Storm is out with Linux support as expected

    Sid Meier's Civilization VI: Gathering Storm, the massive new expansion has arrived and as expected Aspyr Media managed to get in support for Linux right away. Note: Key provided by Aspyr Media.

    This is the second major expansion for the game, following on from Rise and Fall which launched on Linux back in March last year. You can see some thoughts on that one from BTRE here.

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More in Tux Machines

Games: Surviving Mars and OpenMW

Kernel and Security: BPF, Mesa, Embedded World, Kernel Address Sanitizer and More

  • Concurrency management in BPF
    In the beginning, programs run on the in-kernel BPF virtual machine had no persistent internal state and no data that was shared with any other part of the system. The arrival of eBPF and, in particular, its maps functionality, has changed that situation, though, since a map can be shared between two or more BPF programs as well as with processes running in user space. That sharing naturally leads to concurrency problems, so the BPF developers have found themselves needing to add primitives to manage concurrency (the "exchange and add" or XADD instruction, for example). The next step is the addition of a spinlock mechanism to protect data structures, which has also led to some wider discussions on what the BPF memory model should look like. A BPF map can be thought of as a sort of array or hash-table data structure. The actual data stored in a map can be of an arbitrary type, including structures. If a complex structure is read from a map while it is being modified, the result may be internally inconsistent, with surprising (and probably unwelcome) results. In an attempt to prevent such problems, Alexei Starovoitov introduced BPF spinlocks in mid-January; after a number of quick review cycles, version 7 of the patch set was applied on February 1. If all goes well, this feature will be included in the 5.1 kernel.
  • Intel Ready To Add Their Experimental "Iris" Gallium3D Driver To Mesa
    For just over the past year Intel open-source driver developers have been developing a new Gallium3D-based OpenGL driver for Linux systems as the eventual replacement to their long-standing "i965 classic" Mesa driver. The Intel developers are now confident enough in the state of this new driver dubbed Iris that they are looking to merge the driver into mainline Mesa proper.  The Iris Gallium3D driver has now matured enough that Kenneth Graunke, the Intel OTC developer who originally started Iris in late 2017, is looking to merge the driver into the mainline code-base of Mesa. The driver isn't yet complete but it's already in good enough shape that he's looking for it to be merged albeit marked experimental.
  • Hallo Nürnberg!
    Collabora is headed to Nuremberg, Germany next week to take part in the 2019 edition of Embedded World, "the leading international fair for embedded systems". Following a successful first attendance in 2018, we are very much looking forward to our second visit! If you are planning on attending, please come say hello in Hall 4, booth 4-280! This year, we will be showcasing a state-of-the-art infrastructure for end-to-end, embedded software production. From the birth of a software platform, to reproducible continuous builds, to automated testing on hardware, get a firsthand look at our platform building expertise and see how we use continuous integration to increase productivity and quality control in embedded Linux.
  • KASAN Spots Another Kernel Vulnerability From Early Linux 2.6 Through 4.20
    The Kernel Address Sanitizer (KASAN) that detects dynamic memory errors within the Linux kernel code has just picked up another win with uncovering a use-after-free vulnerability that's been around since the early Linux 2.6 kernels. KASAN (along with the other sanitizers) have already proven quite valuable in spotting various coding mistakes hopefully before they are exploited in the real-world. The Kernel Address Sanitizer picked up another feather in its hat with being responsible for the CVE-2019-8912 discovery.
  • io_uring, SCM_RIGHTS, and reference-count cycles
    The io_uring mechanism that was described here in January has been through a number of revisions since then; those changes have generally been fixing implementation issues rather than changing the user-space API. In particular, this patch set seems to have received more than the usual amount of security-related review, which can only be a good thing. Security concerns became a bit of an obstacle for io_uring, though, when virtual filesystem (VFS) maintainer Al Viro threatened to veto the merging of the whole thing. It turns out that there were some reference-counting issues that required his unique experience to straighten out. The VFS layer is a complicated beast; it must manage the complexities of the filesystem namespace in a way that provides the highest possible performance while maintaining security and correctness. Achieving that requires making use of almost all of the locking and concurrency-management mechanisms that the kernel offers, plus a couple more implemented internally. It is fair to say that the number of kernel developers who thoroughly understand how it works is extremely small; indeed, sometimes it seems like Viro is the only one with the full picture. In keeping with time-honored kernel tradition, little of this complexity is documented, so when Viro gets a moment to write down how some of it works, it's worth paying attention. In a long "brain dump", Viro described how file reference counts are managed, how reference-count cycles can come about, and what the kernel does to break them. For those with the time to beat their brains against it for a while, Viro's explanation (along with a few corrections) is well worth reading. For the rest of us, a lighter version follows.

Blacklisting insecure filesystems in openSUSE

The Linux kernel supports a wide variety of filesystem types, many of which have not seen significant use — or maintenance — in many years. Developers in the openSUSE project have concluded that many of these filesystem types are, at this point, more useful to attackers than to openSUSE users and are proposing to blacklist many of them by default. Such changes can be controversial, but it's probably still fair to say that few people expected the massive discussion that resulted, covering everything from the number of OS/2 users to how openSUSE fits into the distribution marketplace. On January 30, Martin Wilck started the discussion with a proposal to add a blacklist preventing the automatic loading of a set of kernel modules implementing (mostly) old filesystems. These include filesystems like JFS, Minix, cramfs, AFFS, and F2FS. For most of these, the logic is that the filesystems are essentially unused and the modules implementing them have seen little maintenance in recent decades. But those modules can still be automatically loaded if a user inserts a removable drive containing one of those filesystem types. There are a number of fuzz-testing efforts underway in the kernel community, but it seems relatively unlikely that any of them are targeting, say, FreeVxFS filesystem images. So it is not unreasonable to suspect that there just might be exploitable bugs in those modules. Preventing modules for ancient, unmaintained filesystems from automatically loading may thus protect some users against flash-drive attacks. If there were to be a fight over a proposal like this, one would ordinarily expect it to be concerned with the specific list of unwelcome modules. But there was relatively little of that. One possible exception is F2FS, the presence of which raised some eyebrows since it is under active development, having received 44 changes in the 5.0 development cycle, for example. Interestingly, it turns out that openSUSE stopped shipping F2FS in September. While the filesystem is being actively developed, it seems that, with rare exceptions, nobody is actively backporting fixes, and the filesystem also lacks a mechanism to prevent an old F2FS implementation from being confused by a filesystem created by a newer version. Rather than deal with these issues, openSUSE decided to just drop the filesystem altogether. As it happens, the blacklist proposal looks likely to allow F2FS to return to the distribution since it can be blacklisted by default. Read more

gitgeist: a git-based social network proof of concept

Are you tired of not owning the data or the platform you use for social postings? I know I am. It's hard to say when I "first" used a social network. I've been on email for about 30 years and one of the early ad-hoc forms of social networks were chain emails. Over the years I was asked to join all sorts of "social" things such as IRC, ICQ, Skype, MSN Messenger, etc. and eventually things like Orkut, MySpace, Facebook, etc. I'll readily admit that I'm not the type of person that happily jumps onto every new social bandwagon that appears on the Internet. I often prefer preserving the quietness of my own thoughts. That, though, hasn't stopped me from finding some meaningfulness participating in Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and more recently Google+. Twitter was in fact the first social network that I truly embraced. And it would've remained my primary social network had they not killed their own community by culling the swell of independently-developed Twitter clients that existed. That and their increased control of their API effectively made me look for something else. Right around that time Google+ was being introduced and many in the open source community started participating in that, in some ways to find a fresh place where techies can aggregate away from the noise and sometimes over-the-top nature of Facebook. Eventually I took to that too and started using G+ as my primary social network. That is, until Google recently decided to pull the plug on G+. While Google+ might not have represented a success for Google, it had become a good place for sharing information among the technically-inclined. As such, I found it quite useful for learning and hearing about new things in my field. Soon-to-be-former users of G+ have gone in all sorts of directions. Some have adopted a "c'mon guys, get over it, Facebook is the spot" attitude, others have adopted things like Mastodon, others have fallen back to their existing IDs on Twitter, and yet others, like me, are still looking. Read more