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Forget About Zoom — Here are 3 Open Source Zoom Alternatives

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The first open source video conferencing solution that comes to mind is Jitsi. It is licensed under the Apache 2.0 license and written in both Java (For desktop/mobile) and Javascript (Web client).

Jitsi is one of the best open source alternatives for Zoom, because it is not just a client/server app. Instead, the Jitsi team releases all their libraries, APIs, server instances and infrastructure as open source. This makes you capable of inspecting any single component you may think of (E.g for government requirements) or deploying your own instances of everything.

Their clients are open source too. They provide mobiles apps for iOS and Android, and a web client for everything else.

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Software: Office Suites, BleachBit and gti

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  • List of Best Linux Office Suites

    Despite all the features, the freedom and the flexibility that Linux may offer you, it is not perfect. New Linux users face a lot of issues when they switch to Linux; such as not being able to use Microsoft Office, which is a popular productivity software!
    Now don’t panic just yet; there are two solutions to this problem. You can use a software called Wine that can enable you to install MS Office on your Linux. This solution is not preferred as not all version of MS Office are supported, leaving you with a very little choice.

    The second option is that you can use alternative MS Office suites that are available for Linux, which will be the topic of this article. Following is a list of the best Linux office suites.

  • FreeOffice on openSUSE

    I am not really much of an “Office Snob” but in recent weeks, I have heard people hammer and clammer about this FreeOffice for both “in favor of” and “against” it. In full disclosure, I mostly use LibreOffice and I still use Microsoft Office 2007 for certain very specific reasons. That said, I am obviously not an open source purest. Back to the reason for this write up, I use office products a lot for the purposes of creating product for home educating my kids as well as for many administrative things that I do as a part of my employment. For the most part, I don’t do anything terribly complex but I do like a certain uniformity and bits of information on things to keep me organized.

    Bottom Line Up Front, FreeOffice is a fine, well polished, very complete application. I am only using the “Free version” and I am very impressed with it. The user interface is flexible to your liking, looks clean and modern, most things work fantastically well and I am not sure how they get away with the look of the UIs similarity to Microsoft Office. Although this would likely serve all my needs, I will stick with LibreOffice because it is what I am most accustomed and I don’t gain anything by switching to FreeOffice. At a minimum, I would have to keep LibreOffice Draw for a few specific tasks.

  • BleachBit 4.0.0

    When your computer is getting full, BleachBit quickly frees disk space. When your information is only your business, BleachBit guards your privacy. With BleachBit you can free cache, delete cookies, clear Internet history, shred temporary files, delete logs, and discard junk you didn't know was there.

    Designed for Linux and Windows systems, it wipes clean thousands of applications including Firefox, Internet Explorer, Adobe Flash, Google Chrome, Opera, Safari, and more. Beyond simply deleting files, BleachBit includes advanced features such as shredding files to prevent recovery, wiping free disk space to hide traces of files deleted by other applications, and vacuuming Firefox to make it faster. Better than free, BleachBit is open source.

  • Linux Candy: gti – typo-based curio inspired by Steam Locomotive

    Linux Candy is a series of articles covering interesting eye candy software. We only feature open-source software in this series.

    gti is intended to catch accidental typos of ‘gti’ instead of ‘git’. It displays an animation of a car driving by, and then launches git. Any parameters or arguments given to gti are passed through to git.

    gti is a tiny C program, written in a mere 329 lines of code. It’s just an inoffensive bit of fun that might raise a smile now and then, particularly important in these trying times.

Software: Ardour 6.0-RC1 and Maui

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  • Ardour Development update: 6.0-rc1 tagged

    It’s been a productive 3 weeks since we tagged the current code as “6.0-pre1”. Roughly 400 or so commits (changes) later, we’re now marking the current code as “6.0-rc1”, which means:

  • Ardour 6.0-RC1 Digital Audio Workstation Released With Experimental Web Interface

    Just weeks after the first Ardour 6.0 pre-release, the release candidate is now available for this big digital audio workstation software update.

    Ardour 6.0 has been working on a major re-engineering of its code-base for improvements now and more benefits in the future, a full virtual MIDI keyboard implementation, better HiDPI user-interface handling, a new plug-in manager, and other changes.

  • Maui Weekly Report 3

    This week’s progress update brings UI and UX improvements to the MauiKit toolkit and additional features to the apps, pursuing our goals of a convergent environment.

    Are you a developer and want to start developing cross-platform and convergent apps, targeting, among other things, the upcoming Linux Mobile devices?

Darktable 3.0.2 Released

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  • darktable 3.0.2 released

    We’re proud to announce the new feature release of darktable, 3.0.2!

  • Darktable 3.0.2 Released with New Features & Cameras Support

    Open source photography workflow app and raw developer Darktable 3.0.2 was released today with new features, bug-fixes, and new cameras support. Here’s how to install it in Ubuntu 18.04, Ubuntu 19.10, Ubuntu 20.04.

  • Darktable 3.0.2 RAW Image Editor Improves Camera Support, Adds Enhancements

    Darktable 3.0.2 has been released as the second maintenance update to the Darktable 3.0 series, adding some minor enhancements to the user interface, along with improved camera support.

    This is a maintenance update that adds a few new features and updated camera support. Among the new features and changes, Darktable now allows for larger vignette scale, adds the Ctrl+Click shortcut for renaming module instances, and allows to group blend modes by category.

    To keep user’s modifications, a pseudo preset is now available in the White Balance module. Also, in the Crop & Rotate module, it’s now possible to allow only vertical composition change by using the Shift modifier when dragging the crop area, as well as horizontal composition change by using the Ctrl modifier.

Cryptomator 1.5.0 Released With Redesigned User Interface, New Vault Format (Cloud Data Encryptor)

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Cryptomator, a client-side encryption tool for cloud files (and more), has seen a new major release. The latest 1.5.0 version comes with a brand-new user interface, a new vault format, and various other improvements.

Cryptomator is a free and open source Java tool that provides client-side encryption for your cloud storage files, available for Windows, Mac and Linux. There are also iOS and Android applications - these are open core (a business model for the monetization of commercially produced open-source software), and need to be purchased.

It works with cloud storage services that synchronize with a local directory, like Dropbox, OneDrive (on Linux using e.g. OneDrive Free Client fork) and Google Drive (including using it with Insync). You can choose to either encrypt your whole cloud storage, or only a few sensitive files, in either a single or multiple vaults.

It's worth mentioning that while Cryptomator was created with cloud storage encryption in mind, it can also be used to encrypt a folder on your system or some external drive.

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Do your Project Management Remotely With Leantime (Open Source)

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Leantime is an open source project management software licensed under the GPL 2.0 license. It is written in the PHP language and uses the MySQL database system for storing its data.

Leantime employs the techniques of agile project management in its workflow. Your employees will be mainly divided into projects with each project having its own members, sprints, milestones, todo lists and other important business components.

Of course, there are many nice features for each of these components in Leantime; You can assign members of your teams to specific tasks and limit them by a deadline, you can share ideas and comments with them, you can work with them on creating a business product using the “Research” component where you identify the problem and purpose a solution… Much much more.

A software such as Leantime could be useful for you if you have a small or medium sized company, and you want to manage your company remotely with as much less hassle as possible.

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Your Librem 5 is Calling

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Out of the box, the Librem 5 is able to handle a wide range of tasks. Here is the list of apps expected to ship with the next batch (Dogwood)

We recently put together a small video demonstrating calling as well as the other default apps. The audio in this video was captured from a mic while the Chestnut batch Librem 5 was in speakerphone.

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Inkscape, Audacity, GIMP, & HitFilm: Free Software to Be Creative While in Coronavirus Lockdown

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Despite the dire circumstances of the coronavirus pandemic, some people are spending their downtime picking up new skills, and these four free programs should help anyone interested in improving their ability to be creative using their computer. Inkscape, GIMP, Audacity, and HitFilm are all creative tools that, either in combination or separately, should help people create most kinds of content.

Social distancing due to the coronavirus has put many people in a scenario where they have more time than money. This has varying levels of gravity for each person, but typically, left with more free time, people are learning they can invest those hours into themselves. Learning any kind of creative skill is usually its own reward, but the variety of professional benefits one can gain from improving their digital artistry is hard to overstate. Developing efficiency with creative software right now could impact a person's career profoundly.

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Software: Fwupd, Maui and Some Proprietary Stuff

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  • Fwupd 1.4 Released With Many Improvements For Open-Source Firmware Updating

    Fwupd 1.4 is available today as the latest major update to this open-source, Linux-focused firmware updating solution that ties into the Linux Vendor Firmware Service (LVFS).

  • url + MQTT = true

    Back in early 2019, my brother Björn Stenberg brought a pull request to the curl project that added support for MQTT. I tweeted about it and it seemed people were interested in seeing this happen.

    Time passed and Björn unfortunately didn’t manage to push his work forward and instead it grew stale and the PR eventually was closed due to that inactivity later the same year.

  • Just updated - Optimize Images v1.5

    If you are using Optimize Images, please notice that it has just been updated to version 1.5, which fixes a bug and adds some support to a JPEG sub-format known as MPO.

  • Maui Weekly Report 2

    Today we bring you a new report on the Maui Project progress.
    Are you a developer and want to start developing cross-platform and convergent apps, targeting, among other things, the upcoming Linux Mobile devices? Then join us on Telegram:
    If you are interested in testing this project and helping out with translations or documentation, you are also more than welcome.
    The Maui Project is free software from the KDE Community developed by the Nitrux team.
    This post contains some code snippets to give you an idea of how to use MauiKit. For more detailed documentation, get in touch with us or subscribe to the news feed to keep up to date with the upcoming tutorial.

  • The Best Audio Merger Tools for MP3 Files in 2020

    Computers have greatly facilitated the process of creating and editing music. In the past, composing was an activity reserved for rather well-educated specialists. Today, also an amateur who doesn't know the theory of music and musical notation can create interesting musical arrangements. The programs proposed in this section will allow everyone, even a little creative enthusiast of music, to start their own creative work either by modifying existing songs (remixes so popular today) using Audacity, or by arranging completely new songs, e.g. from ready-made audio samples (samples) in such applications such as FL Studio or LMMS. They can act as a virtual recording studio, providing a wide selection of composing tools, built-in instruments and ready-made effects.

  • Best funny Zoom background trick: Put yourself in a looping video so you can skip the meeting

    Perhaps you’ve seen this method in movies, where the hero defeats the terrorist by inserting a fake video feed into the surveillance system, fooling the guards while the prisoners are freed.

    For this trick, you’ll need nothing more than the webcam-equipped PC you already use for Zoom video. However, it needs to be a modern laptop made for working from home, with a CPU with a minimum of 8 threads to play back the video background. Pretty much any Intel 7th-gen or equivalent Kaby Lake R laptop will do it, as well as older quad-core computers. Basically if your computer can’t meet the Zoom virtual background requirements, it won’t work for this trick. (Don't despair! We have other funny Zoom background tips you can try.)

  • Google is replacing some Android apps in Chrome OS with web apps

    Google is replacing some Android apps for Chromebooks with Progressive Web Apps (PWAs). A PWA is essentially a webpage that looks and feels like a traditional app.

    This will certainly be good news for many Chromebook owners. In some cases, PWAs are faster and more functional than their Android counterparts. PWAs also take up less storage and require less juice to run.

  • Slim PDF Reader: Free PDF Viewer For Linux

    A large selection of free PDF readers for Linux is available online, yet picking the best one is not an easy task at all.
    Most people first think of Adobe Acrobat Reader, but despite its prevalence, there are some great alternatives to choose from.
    Today, we are taking a look at Slim PDF Reader - a quintessential alternative to Adobe Acrobat Reader.
    Slim PDF Reader is a lightweight, free PDF viewer popular among Windows users that now Linux enthusiasts can enjoy, as well.

GNU: GNUstep and GNU gettext 0.20.2

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  • GNUstep Sees New 2020 Releases For This Apple Cocoa/OpenStep Re-Implementation

    It's been a while since last having any news to report on GNUstep, the free software re-implementation of the Apple Cocoa / OpenStep frameworks. But GNUstep is alive and well and today several of its components saw new releases -- among the feature work is improving its multi-monitor handling.

    GNUstep GUI Backend 0.28 is one of the new releases today. The GUI back-end has cursor handling improvements, focus handling improvements, better font handling, and usage of Xrandr for multi-monitor support.

  • GNU gettext 0.20.2 released

    - Shell:
    o The programs 'gettext', 'ngettext', when invoked with option -e, now expand '\\' and octal escape sequences, instead of swallowing them. (Bug present since the beginning.)
    o xgettext now recognizes 'gettext' program invocations with the '-e' option, such as "gettext -e 'some\nstring\n'"
    - Python: xgettext now assumes a Python source file is in UTF-8 encoding by default, as stated in PEP 3120.
    - Desktop Entry: The value of the 'Icon' property is no longer extracted into the POT file by xgettext. The documentation explains how to localize icons.

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