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Software and Games: Laptop Mode Tools, Sylpheed, Telegram, Plasma Mobile and More

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Gaming
  • Laptop Mode Tools 1.72

    I'm pleased to announce the 1.72 release of Laptop Mode Tools. Major changes include the port of the GUI configuration utility to Python 3 and PyQt5.

  • Laptop Mode Tools 1.72 Ported To Python 3 & PyQt5

    For those making use of laptop-mode-tools as one of several Linux power saving tools with this one designed to improve Linux laptop battery life, version 1.72 is now available after more than one year of development.

  • Sylpheed 3.7.0

    Sylpheed is a simple, lightweight but featureful, and easy-to-use e-mail client distributed under the GNU GPL (the library part is GNU LGPL). You can freely use, modify and redistribute it under the license. Sylpheed provides intuitive user-interface. Sylpheed is also designed for keyboard-oriented operation, so Sylpheed can be widely used from beginners to power users.

  • Cooler Unofficial Telegram Apps are on the Way

    Telegram is a cross-platform messaging service analogous to WhatsApp, but with a much broader set of features. You can have public channels and groups, for instance, and run bots.

    Telegram has official apps for pretty much every major operating system out there, including Android, iOS, macOS, Windows and Linux.

  • Write-up for SoK Project – OpenQA Plasma Mobile

    KDE Goal: Usability and Productivity proposed by Nate Graham, is one of the three goals selected by KDE. This goal will focus on polishing our basic software so everyone will be delighted to use it. One of important aspect of Usability and Productivity is focus on quality assurance.

    In this Season of KDE (SoK) 2018, I am working on “OpenQA Plasma Mobile” project. This project indirectly helps to achieve the goal of Usability and Productivity as it would work to get the higher quality version of the mobile by creating integration testing for it. It would make it easier to test the common operations of the mobile.

  • Powerless is quite possibly one of the worst FPS games I've ever played

    Thanks to Steam's new curator system, we get sent keys to various games where developers want us to review it. I took a look at Powerless [Steam] and I was not impressed.

    Sometimes we get sent really interesting games I've never heard about through our Steam Curator, like HYPERNOVA: Escape from Hadea. Then there's times like this, where I'm quite literally telling you not to buy a game—which is incredibly rare for me to do so.

  • XCOM 2 for Linux has been updated, also there's a new XCOM 2 Collection

    A little late, but better late than never. Feral Interactive have pushed out an updated build of XCOM 2 [Steam] for Linux. There's also now the XCOM 2 Collection you can buy.

  • Single-player first-person dungeon crawler 'Delver' has released, the SteamOS icon has also returned

    Delver [Steam, Official Site] is a positively rated single-player first-person dungeon crawler, which has just today left Early Access. It has also seen the return of the SteamOS icon for it.

Software: Curl, AtCore, PiCluster, Prometheus, Vivaldi

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  • Reducing 2038-problems in curl

    libcurl is very portable and is built and used on virtually all current widely used operating systems that run on 32bit or larger architectures (and on a fair amount of not so widely used ones as well).

    This offers some challenges. Keeping the code stellar and working on as many platforms as possible at the same time is hard work.

  • AtCore 1.0.0 Release.

    Today I would like to announce the release of AtCore 1.0.0. This is the first stable release for AtCore. Since its the first release and we have not written a “real” client for it yet we include our test GUI. If you own a 3D Printer you are encouraged to try AtCore for at least one print job.

  • PiCluster 2.3 is out!

    PiCluster aims to provide an easy-to-use solution to manage your Docker containers. A lot of work has gone into development over the past several months and  I am pleased to announce PiCluster 2.3! Let’s take a look at what is new in this release.

  • Changes in Prometheus 2.0

    2017 was a big year for the Prometheus project, as it published its 2.0 release in November. The new release ships numerous bug fixes, new features and, notably, a new storage engine that brings major performance improvements. This comes at the cost of incompatible changes to the storage and configuration-file formats. An overview of Prometheus and its new release was presented to the Kubernetes community in a talk held during KubeCon + CloudNativeCon. This article covers what changed in this new release and what is brewing next in the Prometheus community; it is a companion to this article, which provided a general introduction to monitoring with Prometheus.

  • Vivaldi 1.14 Debuts as World's First Web Browser to Feature Vertical Reader Mode

    Vivaldi Technologies announced today the release and general availability of the Vivaldi 1.14 web browser, which introduces several new features, optimizations, and bug fixes.

    Vivaldi 1.14 not only celebrates the project's third anniversary, but it becomes world's first web browser to introduce a vertical reader mode, which will benefit users of Chinese Simplified, Chinese Traditional, Japanese, and Korean languages. They can use the new vertical mode to more comfortably view and read texts in their languages in a distraction-free reader mode.

Software: DNF, CTparental, DVD Ripperers, and CMS

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  • DNF Package Manager Is Now Available On Clear Linux

    While Clear Linux may be extremely performant as shown in our many benchmarks, its default repository serving "bundles" (their task-based approach to package management) can be a bit light if wanting to use this Intel open-source Linux distribution on the desktop. There has been yum available via a bundle while now next-gen Yum, DNF, is also now available on Clear Linux.

  • CTparental - Featured Parental Control Tool for Linux

    CTparental is a parental control tool used to control how someone uses the computer, either for internet browsing or any other specific Computer usage. Design of CTparental was motivated by existing tools like iptables, dnsmasq, inguardian Privoxy which independently can do some parts but missing other pieces. So in essence, CTparental leverage all these tools to create a fully-fledged parental control solution with an intuitive and easy to use web interface powered by lighttpd. Now that you know what CTparental, we can go ahead and install it on our Operating system. We'll cover installation for Ubuntu 16.04 and Debian 9 since these are the latest release of both distributions as of this writing.

  • Top 5 Linux DVD RIP Software

    A DVD ripper software allows you to copy the content of a DVD to a hard disk drive. You transfer video on DVDs to different formats. You can make a backup of DVD content. One can convert DVD video for playback on media players, streaming, and mobile phone. A few DVD rippers software can copy protected disks so that you can make discs unrestricted and region-free.

  • Open Source CMS: 12 Great Website Creation Tools

    The more open source CMSs surfaced, the more extensible they became. Well, some open source CMSs focused on a particular thing while most of them tried to become an “all-in-one CMS” – with the help of which you can design and customize your website as you’d prefer.

    With the advancements in CMS’, you do not need to hire a web developer to set up your website – even if you want to create an e-commerce platform. You can do it all by yourself – without requiring any coding skills. Yes, it’s that easy!

Software: BuildStream, tmux and More

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  • How BuildStream uses OSTree

    I’ve been asked a few times about the relationship between BuildStream and OSTree. The answer is a bit complicated so I decided to answer the question here.

    OSTree is a content-addressed content store, inspired in many ways by Git but optimized for storing trees of binary files rather than trees of text files.

    BuildStream is an integration tool which deals with trees of binary files, and at present it uses OSTree to help with storing, identifying and transferring these trees of binary files.

    I’m deliberately using the abstract term “trees of binary files” here because neither BuildStream or OSTree limit themselves to a particular use case. BuildStream itself uses the term “artifact” to describe the output of a build job and in practice this could be the set of development headers and documentation for library, a package file such as a .deb or .rpm, a filesystem for a whole operating system, a bootable VM disk image, or whatever else.

  • tmux – A Powerful Terminal Multiplexer For Heavy Command-Line Linux User

    tmux stands for terminal multiplexer, it allows users to create/enable multiple terminals (vertical & horizontal) in single window, this can be accessed and controlled easily from single window when you are working with different issues.

    It uses a client-server model, which allows you to share sessions between users, also you can attach terminals to a tmux session back. We can easily move or rearrange the virtual console as per the need. Terminal sessions can freely rebound from one virtual console to another.

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  • Graphics and music tools for game development

    In early October, our club, Geeks and Gadgets from Marshall University, participated in the inaugural Open Jam, a game jam that celebrated the best of open source tools. Game jams are events where participants work as teams to develop computer games for fun. Jams tend to be very short—only three days long—and very exhausting. Opensource.com announced Open Jam in late August, and more than three dozen games were entered into the competition.

    Our club likes to create and use open source software in our projects, so Open Jam was naturally the jam we wanted to participate in. Our submission was an experimental game called Mark My Words. We used a variety of free and open source (FOSS) tools to develop it; in this article we'll discuss some of the tools we used and potential stumbling blocks to be aware of.

  • GNOME Tweaks 3.28 Progress Report 1

    A few days ago, I released GNOME Tweaks 3.27.4, a development snapshot on the way to the next stable version 3.28 which will be released alongside GNOME 3.28 in March. Here are some highlights of what’s changed since 3.26.

  • Chromium 64 – and 32bit pain

    The new release of the Chromium sources gives us version 64 of Google’s browser. I have created Slackware packages for you, but that was not entirely trivial.

    The Chromium compilation on my 32bit Slackware OS kept failing on the embedded ffmpeg. I am afraid the fact that some of the bigger distros are dropping 32bit variants starts showing and things are coming apart at the seams.

    When you are a developer and there’s no 32bit release of your favorite OS, this makes it quite difficult to test the validity of code paths when you only compile and test your code on a 64bit platform. This is what’s happening with Google’s Chromium code and it will probably only get worse.

Software: Linux Partition Managers and GNOME Photo

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  • Top 5 Linux Partition Managers

    There are many programs out there that help users manage partitions on their drives. Some, like fdisk, are command-line tools. Others have a GUI (graphical user interface), like GParted. I shall demonstrate, today, five very good Linux partition managers, both graphical and text-only.​

  • GNOME Photos: an overview of thumbnailing

    From time to time, I find myself being asked about various details about how content is thumbnailed in GNOME Photos, and the reasons behind various implementation decisions. I can never remember all the details, and always have to dig through Git history and bug reports across multiple modules to come up with an answer. I am hoping that this brain dump will be more persistent than my memory, and more holistic than random comments here and there.

Lollypop Music Player Sweetens its UI with Responsive Design

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Software

But GTK fans needn’t feel like they’re missing out. Lollypop — arguably the best modern desktop music player for GNOME — is working on a responsive design too.

Read more

Software: AMP, Catfish, RVowpalWabbit, Digest

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Software
  • AMP - Fully Featured Text Editor for Linux Terminal

    Amp is a complete text editor for your terminal, which is inspired by vim's modal approach to text editing. Amp aims to keep things as simple as possible (SAP). There are already plenty of highly-configurable editors available. At its core, amp aims to minimize configuration and provide a great out-of-the-box experience.

    As you already know vim editor similarly, Amp is a modal editor: keystrokes perform different functions based on the current mode. Many familiar modes (insert, normal, select, etc.) are available, as well as several new ones providing additional functionality. In this article, we show you how to install amp tool on ubuntu and arch Linux.

  • Sean Davis: Catfish 1.4.4 Released

    I’ve got some great news for fans of Catfish, the fast and powerful graphical search utility for Linux. The latest version, 1.4.4, has arrived with performance improvements and tons of localization updates!

  • RVowpalWabbit 0.0.11
  • digest 0.6.15

Software: libvpx 1.7.0, GNU Binutils, Prometheus, Fuzzing

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  • Libvpx 1.7.0 Released With AVX Optimizations & More

    Google's WebM folks quietly released libvpx 1.7.0 earlier this week as the latest version of their VP8/VP9 encoder/decoder library.

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  • FSF Binutils release 2.30 now available
  • GNU Binutils 2.30 Released

    Released this weekend is Binutils 2.30 as the latest collection of these GNU utilities important to the open-source ecosystem.

  • Monitoring with Prometheus 2.0

    Prometheus is a monitoring tool built from scratch by SoundCloud in 2012. It works by pulling metrics from monitored services and storing them in a time series database (TSDB). It has a powerful query language to inspect that database, create alerts, and plot basic graphs. Those graphs can then be used to detect anomalies or trends for (possibly automated) resource provisioning. Prometheus also has extensive service discovery features and supports high availability configurations. That's what the brochure says, anyway; let's see how it works in the hands of an old grumpy system administrator. I'll be drawing comparisons with Munin and Nagios frequently because those are the tools I have used for over a decade in monitoring Unix clusters.

  • A survey of some free fuzzing tools

    Many techniques in software security are complicated and require a deep understanding of the internal workings of the computer and the software under test. Some techniques, though, are conceptually simple and do not rely on knowledge of the underlying software. Fuzzing is a useful example: running a program with a wide variety of junk input and seeing if it does anything abnormal or interesting, like crashing. Though it might seem unsophisticated, fuzzing is extremely helpful in finding the parsing and input processing problems that are often the beginning of a security vulnerability.

    Many common types of security vulnerabilities occur when something goes wrong while processing input — for example, the classic buffer overflow. These are interesting in that they tend to manifest first as instability: when input too long for the buffer is read, the program will probably misbehave and simply crash. With careful design of the too-long input, it might be possible to turn this crash into arbitrary code execution. The goal of fuzzing is to find any situations where a program crashes due to unusual input. While fixing these bugs makes the software more stable, it also closes the door on any security issues that could result from them.

Software: GNOME To Do, VirtualBox, Plasma Mobile

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  • Ubuntu 18.04 Includes a New Desktop App

    When you boot up Ubuntu 18.04 LTS ‘Bionic Beaver’ later this year you’ll find a brand new app is installed by default.

    It’s called ‘GNOME To Do’ and it is, as you might have guessed, a ‘personal task manager’ designed for the GNOME desktop.

  • VirtualBox 5.2 overview - A nice, practical facelift

    Every few months, there's a major VirtualBox update, bringing in a range of visible changes and improvements to this handy, free hypervisor product. I'm an old time user, and have written about VirtualBox many times in the past. Recently, I had the chance to test the new version, 5.2 (actually 5.2.2).

    The official list of enhancements is quite impressive - the GUI now features revamped virtual media and host network managers, easier snapshot management, and unattended guest installations. Sounds neat. So let us see what gives.

  • How do I test Plasma Mobile? (part 1)

    Last week we asked the Free Software community what they wanted to do to help us move forward with Plasma Mobile.

Software: OCS Store and Movit 1.6

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  • OCS Store: One Stop Shop All of Your Linux Software Customization Needs

    One of the biggest selling points of desktop Linux, for me, is the centralized software distribution system. Ubuntu has Apt, Arch Linux has Pacman and Fedora’s got RPM. This centralized distribution means an increased stability, a superior integration between the apps and the operating system, and an enhanced security factor.

  • Movit 1.6 Released For GPU-Based Video Filter Library

    Movit, the "Modern Video Toolkit", that aims to provide high-quality, high-performance GPU-based video filters is out with a new release.

    The Movit 1.6 release today by Steinar Gunderson adds support for video effects that work as compute shaders. Gunderson's hopes for using more compute shaders in Movit didn't work out quite as planned with fragment shaders geberally being faster for this use-case. But this release does have compute shaders for deinterlacing as one area where it's faster.

  • Movit 1.6.0 released

    I just released version 1.6.0 of Movit, my GPU-based video filter library.

    The full changelog is below, but what's more interesting is maybe what isn't in it, namely the compute shader version of the high-quality resampling filter I blogged about earlier. It turned out that my benchmark setup was wrong in a sort-of subtle way, and unfortunately biased towards the compute shader. Fixing that negated the speed difference—it was actually usually a few percent slower than the fragment shader version, despite a fair amount of earlier tweaks. (It did use less CPU when setting up new parameters, which was nice for things like continuous zooms, but probably not enough to justify the GPU slowdown.)

    Which means that after a month or so of testing and performance tuning, I had to scrap it—it's sad to notice so late (I only realized that something was wrong as I started writing up the final documentation, and figured I couldn't actually justify why I would let one of them chain with other effects and the other one not), but it's a sunk cost, and keeping it in based on known-bad benchmarks would have helped nobody. I've left it in a git branch in case the world should change.

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