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Proprietary Software Issues

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  • How to turn an old laptop into a Chromebook

    You might not even need to spend anything if you have an older laptop already lying about. Installing the equivalent of Chrome OS onto aged hardware takes less than an hour’s worth of elbow grease, and the final result often feels snappier than today’s dirt-cheap Chromebooks.

    Here’s how to do it.

  • Safari vulnerability disclosed after Apple pushes fix to Spring 2021

    A vulnerability in Apple’s Web Share API, used to share Safari links through third-party apps, has been publicly disclosed after Apple said it wouldn’t release a fix until Spring 2021.

    The Web Share API allows users to share links to elements, such as photos, from the Safari browser through third-party applications, including any email client. A flaw found in this integration, however, could allow a hacker to configure a malicious site to attach system files to an email, in addition to the link being shared.

  • Xcode Apps with Malware May Be e Innocently Added to Mac App Store
  • Apple Defeats Epic’s Effort to Restore Fortnite on App Store

    But U.S. District Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers’s ruling late Monday wasn’t a total loss for Epic, as she granted the company’s request for a temporary order blocking Apple from limiting the game developer’s ability to provide Unreal Engine, key graphics technology, for other apps.

  • Audible Introduces All-You-Can-Listen Subscription Plan

    The Amazon-owned company has added a new all-you-can-listen offering, Audible Plus. It is also revamping its existing subscription plans, renaming it Audible Premium Plus and giving members access to the all-you-can-listen library in addition their one credit per month.

  • Germany investigates Porsche over suspected petrol engine manipulation

    Bild am Sonntag weekly had reported that the investigation was focused on engines developed between 2008 and 2013, including those of the Panamera and 911 models, with suspected illegal changes to hardware and software that could affect exhaust systems and engine components.

    The paper also said that apart from discussions with employees, evidence was also being sought in the minutes of company meetings and hundreds of thousands of emails.

  • Tim Cook has now led Apple for nine years

    In 2009, when then-CEO Steve Jobs had to take an extended leave of absence to try to address pancreatic cancer, Cook presided over the Q1 2009 financial call.

  • [Old] Neil Young says 16-inch MacBook Pro is 'a piece of crap' with 'Fisher-Price quality' audio

    It's a piece of crap. Are you kidding? That's Fisher-Price quality. That's like Captain Kangaroo, your new engineer. A MacBook Pro? What are you talking about? You can't get anything out of that thing. The only way you can get it out is if you put it in. And if you put it in, you can't get it out because the DAC is no good in the MacBook Pro. So you have to use an external DAC and do a bunch of stuff to make up for the problems that the MacBook Pro has because they're not aimed at quality. They're aimed at consumerism.

  • [Old] Apple apologizes to people having problems with the MacBook's controversial keyboard

    The admission is the latest sign of issues with Apple's keyboard design, which has been widely criticized, and it indicates that the newest Mac laptop models are affected by the same problems as previous versions.

  • WordPress claims Apple wants 30% of App Store profits even though its free

    A founding WordPress developer accused Apple of delaying the app’s updates and bug fixes in the App Store until WordPress agrees to fork over 30% of its domain name purchases to Apple.

    The problem? The WordPress app, which lets users create and manage websites for free, does not have any options for in-app purchases. Its desktop-based website,, however, sells domain names.

Announcing ASql – async Sql for Qt

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When developing Qt applications be it Desktop, Mobile or Web that need to talk directly with a database the use of QtSql is usually the best choice, it has many database drivers, comes ready on their installer, but has a blocking API, which means a query will block you GUI thread.

My Cutelyst Web projects also used QtSql, and for low traffic this isn’t a big issue because you are not freezing users GUI, but you are freezing the request queue instead.

One of the Cutelyst apps I developed this year has a very high traffic, and a side effect of blocking came in play, I’ve about 3k TVs connected via websockets, once a TV connects it does an authentication query, it takes ~17ms, now when there is an event PostgreSQL notifies the application which does some 20 other queries a little more expensive (~30ms) and send them to the TVs, this event also blocks the Cutelyst process.

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Also: What is MariaDB? How Does MariaDB Work?

Glances – A Versatile System Monitoring Tool for Linux Systems

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The most commonly used command line tools for process monitoring on Linux are top and its colorful, feature rich cousin htop .

To monitor temperature on Linux, you can use lm-sensors. Similarly, there are many utilities to monitor other real-time metrics such as Disk I/O, Network Stats and others.

Glances is a system monitoring tool which ties them all together and offers a lot more features. What I like the most is that you can use run Glances on a remote Linux server and monitor the system resources on your local system or monitor it through your web browser.

Here’s what it looks like. The terminal in the below screenshot has been beautified with Pywal tool that automatically changes the color based on wallpaper.

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PeaZip 7.4.0

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PeaZip is an open source file and archive manager. It's freeware and free of charge for any use. PeaZip can extract most of archive formats both from Windows and Unix worlds, ranging from mainstream 7Z, RAR, TAR and ZIP to experimental ones like PAQ/LPAQ family, currently the most powerful compressor available.

Open and extract 180+ archive formats: 001, 7Z, ACE(*), ARC, ARJ, BZ2, CAB, DMG, GZ, ISO, LHA, PAQ, PEA, RAR, TAR, UDF, WIM, XZ, ZIP ZIPX - view full list of supported archive file formats for archiving and for extraction.

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10 Interesting and Useful Apps I Discovered in Snap Store

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Snap Store is a graphical desktop application store with thousands of applications used by millions of people across 41 Linux distributions. In this guide, I will share with you 10 interesting and useful applications I discovered in Snap Store.

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Glimpse – A Fork of the GIMP

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Glimpse is a free and open-source image editor for easy-to-use expert level image manipulation. Its capabilities include transforming, cropping, and retouching photos, batch image processing, automated format conversions, and color balance correction.

Glimpse is based on the GNU Image Manipulation Program (GIMP) and built with the goal of experimenting with new ideas to expand the use of free software. A strong reason for the change in name from GIMP to Glimpse is to strip the software of all connotations that may be considered ableist and of its joke reference origin.

That notwithstanding, the Glimpse team has publicly expressed their interest in cooperating with the GNU Image Manipulation Program contributors and not competing with them. Even a portion of donations to Glimpse is passed on to the GIMP team to help facilitate progress.

Glimpse, therefore, features a major overhaul to GIMP with a new name and logo to complement a refurbished user interface. Other improvements in the latest version include the removal of unnecessary “fun” brushes, a rebranded “Gimpressionist” plug-in and text color picker, the credit of upstream contributors in the UI, a brand style overhaul and better non-English translations. Concerning customization, the ‘Gray’ UI theme and ‘Color’ icon pack are available.

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OnionShare: An Open-Source Tool to Share Files Securely Over Tor Network

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OnionShare is a free and open-source tool that utilizes the Tor network to share files securely and anonymously. Learn how to use this privacy tool in Linux.
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The 10 Best Open-Source Video Editors

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Although mainstream video editors such as Adobe Premiere Pro, Final Cut Pro, and Filmora do get the job done (and that too, quite well), their subscription packages can cost an arm and a leg. Accordingly, it won’t be wrong to say that not everyone would be able to afford such pricey software. If you feel the same way, you’re in luck as there are plenty of free and open-source video editors out there, which you can not just free but also allows making changes as per your needs if you know a thing or two about coding.

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4 Nifty Grub Themes for Your Linux Boot Menu

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Boring with the default boot menu in purple? Try installing some themes for this Grub boot-loader.

There’s an open-source project maintains 4 modern design themes for Grub2. They are Vimix, Stylish, Tela, and Slaze.

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GNOME and KDE: GUADEC, KDE Itinerary, GCompris and Kdenlive

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  • Colin Walters: “Immutable” → reprovisionable, anti-hysteresis

    Why not "immutable"/"read-only"?

    Because it’s very misleading. These system as a whole is not immutable, or read-only, or stateless – there are writable, persistent data areas. And more importantly, those writable data areas allow persistently storing privileged code.

    Usually instead of talking about an "immutable" system that allows in place updates, it’d be more useful and accurate to say "image based".

    And this gets into another huge difference between traditional package managers and image based systems: The amount of "internal state".

    The way most package managers work is when you type $pkgmgr install foo, the fact that you want foo installed is recorded by adding it to the database. But the package manager database also includes a whole set of "base packages" that (usually) you didn’t choose. Those "base packages" might come from a base container when you podman/docker pull, for cloud images the default image, and physical systems they often come from a distribution-specific default list embedded/downloaded from the ISO or equivalent.

    A problem with this model then is "drift" – by default if the distribution decides to add a package to the base set by default, you (usually) don’t get it by default when applying in place updates since most package managers just update the set of packages you have. One solution to this is metapackages, but if not everything in the base is covered you still have drift that can be hard to notice over time.

  • Apoorv Sachan: My First GUADEC

    Finally, here it is! My "My First GUADEC" post. It’s been three months since I have been working on my GSoC project, and as the project itself and GSoC approach their final days, I would like to talk about my GUADEC experience. Ever since the GSoC results were announced, I had been aware of the fact that GSoC students, not only get to attend but also get an opportunity to present their work at the annual GNOME Conference called GUADEC, which brings together users and enthusiasts from all over the world. Words are not enough to express the kind of excitement I’ve had for attending this.


  • Virtual Conferences

    Probably the most obvious part of the evolution of virtual events is the clearly visible (and audible) quality improvements. A very welcome change especially for the larger events where you spent all day listening to people, and that can be quite exhausting if we don’t properly understand what’s being said and have to manually adjust audio levels for each speaker.

    The increased quality requirements also impacted my own setup, moving from built-in webcam and simple headset to full HD external camera, lapel microphone, proper lighting and OBS for scene composition, cleaning the audio feed and recording, with a virtual V4L webcam and a virtual PulseAudio microphone feeding this into the corresponding conference software. A bit too complex and fragile for my taste, but producing a much better result.


    The biggest gain provided by virtual events is the far far lower threshold for attending. No travel, much lower cost (if any), often not even a registration, you can just drop in and see if the event is interesting to you and you feel comfortable there before getting more involved.

    I noticed this was even the case for myself, and I’m not exactly facing a particular high threshold there, having attended many events during the past 15+ years, usually belonging to the majority demographic, having a passport that lets me travel easily to most parts of the world and having access to multiple travel expense funding sources. So I can only imagine this to be making a much larger difference for people not checking all those boxes.

    Since June I have tried to attend any conference or meetup I became aware of that is vaguely related to KDE Itinerary, not all of which I would have attended physically probably. Every single one however turned out to have been very much worth it, yielding concrete results for KDE Itinerary. If you follow the regular development summaries you will already have spotted a few of those, and there’s more to come.

  • Multiple Datasets to GCompris Memory Game Activities

    In the past blogs, I wrote about the status of my GSoC work. Continuing the same in this blog I would like to update about one of my major project milestones I have achieved.

  • GSoC’20 Progress: Onward with the Third Month

    It’s been a while since my last update. In this post, I will describe the work I have done up until now in Phase Three of the coding period.

    This phase, I worked on making the subtitles displayed on the timeline editable.

    Since the text and end positions are both values for the Subtitle model item of a subtitle at a particular start position, I wrote a function that deals with customizing the text as well as the end positions.

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