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Steam Machines in the News, New User Systems

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Steam Machines became available yesterday and folks are talking, including some from our own community. Elsewhere, Jon Gold ranks distributions on their newbie friendliness and Bruce Byfield discusses more on new user desktops. Ubuntu Community Council election approaches and Wayland is now default in Fedora Rawhide.

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Death of Debian Live, Fedora 24 Schedule, Opposing TPP

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Debian Live has been part of the Debian family for the last 10 years, but yesterday Daniel Baumann announced the end of the project citing internal deception. The Fedora 24 release schedule was highlighted and several reviews brag on Linux capabilities. Finally today, the Free Software Foundation and the Software Freedom Conservancy have posted their opposition to the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).

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More Linux Attacks of Varying Types

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Last week The Washington Post published an article online stating that Linus Torvalds doesn't take Linux security as seriously as he should and causing a bit of a firestorm. Sam Varghese has the best take-down. In other news, a new trojan targets Linux systems and administers to demand a ransom payment and a new "World without Linux" video was posted.

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Underneath the Red Hat Microsoft Deal, Bodhi is Five

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However, Dr. Roy Schestowitz isn't celebrating. In fact, he said the deal could very well put many distributions out of business (so to speak) and Red Hat users at risk. He said the deal involves patent agreements and data collection. It's all about money according to Schestowitz who said, "At Red Hat money now matters more than freedom and ethics." For Microsoft it's about double and triple taxing users in addition to collecting and selling their data. Red Hat isn't interested in defending GNU/Linux against patent trolls and instead pays out to settle cases and now signs a patent deal according to Schestowitz and his quoted and linked sources. Microsoft has and is continuing to pursue lawsuits against Open Source entities. Nasdaq.com said on the subject Microsoft is known for "aggressively seeking royalties from its software patents" then quoted Red Hat's Paul Cormier saying, "We both know we have very different positions on software patents. We weren't expecting each other to compromise."We weren't expecting each other to compromise." So, at least one other site covered the patent situation, even if not in depth. Red Hat stock closed at $82.75 after the announcement Wednesday and finshed up today, Thursday, at 81.57.

Sam Varghese today asked, "With two companies — Microsoft and Red Hat — from opposite ends of the software spectrum linking arms in a deal overnight, the big question that remains is: what happens to the SUSE-Microsoft deal?" He suggests SUSE might not get the same level of assistance it once did now. But then again, he also speculated that the deal is "unlikely to earn any criticism from the open source community" as it SUSE did. I guess he hasn't read Schestowitz lately.

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Fresh LibreOffice Updates, Fedora 23 Released

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The Document Foundation's Italo Vignoli today announced two LibreOffice updates. These two minor number bug fix updates cover the Fresh and Still branches of LibreOffice and user are advised to upgrade. Fedora 23 was officially released to the general public today and folks have been talking about that. Phoronix reported today that Debian had moved to rootless X server instances and Mozilla announced a new privacy feature for Firefox.

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Linux Release Overshadowed by Linus Rant

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Linux Torvalds announced the release of Linux 4.3 yesterday with some new and improved features. Eclipsing the new kernel release was another salty post by the famous Linux founder beginning, "Christ people. This is just s**t." In other news, a couple more Ubuntu reviews were posted and Adam Williamson has an important Fedora 23 public service announcement.

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Fedora 23 a GO, KDE Not So Much

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Jan Kurik tonight announced that Fedora 23 is GO for release. An internal RC10 will be created and tested and if no major issues arise, it will be released as Fedora 23 next week. For KDE users it may not be a day for celebration, as Phoronix.com's Michael Larabel reported today that a co-maintainer for KDE in Fedora said that upcoming version 23 is "easily the worse KDE spin we have ever released." Yikes.

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Fedora 23 a No-Go, Final Not Delayed Yet

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At tonight's Fedora 23 Final Go/No-Go meeting number two, it was decided that several proposed blockers wouldn't delay the release, but one other issue did. Christian Schaller wrote of some of new and improved features coming in Fedora 23 and Matt Asay today said, "Red Hat is boring." The Ubuntu 16.04 release schedule was posted and Sam Varghese reported today on Linux distribution PrisonPC.

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Tumbleweed Rolling Along, Leap Release Imminent

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Jos Poortvliet wrote at the home of the Geeko today that some major KDE updates have landed in Tumbleweed. Leap nears ever closer to release as the wiki is populated. Elsewhere, Italo Vignoli said upcoming LibreOffice 5.1 will start twice as fast as its predecessor and Hunter Banks has solved the mystery of the vanishing Linux games on Steam.

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Also: openSUSE Tumbleweed Receives KDE Plasma 5.4.2, KDE Apps 15.08.2, Qt 5.5.1

New Opera, Chakra Plasma 5, Riddell Responds

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A new Opera Web browser has landed for Linux users bring new features and improved multimedia support. Jonathan Riddell posted a short response to Ubuntu's statement on the community councils and a couple of reviews deserve mentioning. For Chakra users, a switch to Plasma 5 was announced.

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GNOME News

  • Wayland ♡ drawing tablets
    So this is finally happening. The result of much work all through the stack from several dedicated individuals (You know who you are!) started lining up during the past few months and now is hitting master. Early in the cycle I blogged about stylus support being merged, based on the first version of the tablet protocols. Now I have the pleasure to declare GTK+ tablet support on Wayland feature complete.
  • GNOME/GTK Support For Drawing Tablets On Wayland Is Feature Complete
    In time for next month's GNOME 3.22 release, the drawing tablet support for GNOME on Wayland is getting into shape. GNOME developer Carlos Garnacho wrote today how it's "finally happening" that good support for drawing tablets when running GNOME on Wayland is becoming a reality. Carlos declares that the GTK+ tablet support on Wayland is considered feature complete.
  • Mutter Window Manager Updated for GNOME 3.22 with Virtual Input Device Support
    GNOME Project's Florian Müllner announced the release of the Beta build of the upcoming Mutter window and compositing manager for the GNOME 3.22 desktop environment. As reported by us earlier today, the GNOME 3.22 desktop environment entered Beta stages of development, which means that most of its core components and applications have been updated to this Beta release, including Mutter, which is in charge of displaying and managing your GNOME desktop via OpenGL (accelerated 3D graphics).

KDE Leftovers

  • KDE Plasma 5.7.4 Released
    KDE Plasma 5.7.4 fixes dragging items in Kickoff, mouse settings now apply to applications using kdelibs4, and there is improved handling of CRTC screen information. There are also a number of KWin fixes (including one Wayland fix), Plasma desktop tweaks, and more.
  • QtCon Keynote: Software as a Public Service
    QtCon is happy to welcome Julia Reda, the closing keynote speaker. Member of the European Parliament for the Pirate Party and Vice-Chair of the Greens/European Free Alliance. Reda's legislative focus is on copyright and internet policy issues. As a member of the European Parliament and together with Max Andersson, Julia Reda initiated the pilot project “Governance and quality of software code – Auditing of free and open source software” in 2014 as a reaction to the so-called “heartbleed” bug in OpenSSL. The idea turned into the pilot-project "Free and Open Source Software Auditing“ (FOSSA) that is aiming at improving the security of those Free Software programs that are in use by the European Commission and the Parliament.
  • KScreen-Doctor Will Help KDE Developers Improve Multi-Screen Plasma
    Also helping KDE developers in their multi-screen efforts is a centralized activity log in KScreen with Plasma 5.8 and the ability to easily create virtual screens in Wayland for reproducing issues without real hardware.
  • Multisceen in Plasma: Improved tools and debugging
    Plasma 5.8 will be our first long-term supported release in the Plasma 5 series. We want to make this a release as polished and stable as possible. One area we weren’t quite happy with was our multi-screen user experience. While it works quite well for most of our users, there were a number of problems which made our multi-screen support sub-par. Let’s take a step back to define what we’re talking about.

Linux Graphics

EXT4, Btrfs, XFS & NILFS2 HDD File-System Tests On Linux 4.8 (and More Linux Kernel News)

Up until running the tests for today's article, I can't remember the last time I touched a hard drive... It's been many months ago at least. Nearly all of our tests at Phoronix are from solid state storage, but I decided to pick up a new HDD for running some Linux file-system tests on a conventional hard drive for those not having an SSD. Via NewEgg.com I saw a good deal on a refurbished Hitachi Ultrastar HUA72302 "Enterprise" Hard Drive with 2TB of storage, 7200 RPM, 64MB cache, Serial ATA 3.0, and backed by HGST with a five-year warranty. For just over $30 USD it was a deal and decided to order it for running some modern Linux HDD file-system tests for curiosity sake. Read more Also: What's Been Going On With CPUFreq & The Scheduler Polychromatic Provides A Nice UI To Razer Keyboards/Mice On Linux