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today's leftovers

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Misc
  • Newer isn't always better when performance is critical

    Some years before I formalised my engineering education, I was working as an instrument technician on a seismic survey vessel mapping an area off West Africa. These ships map the geology under the sea bed as the first stage of marine oil exploration. In full production, a single vessel will generate a revenue of several hundred thousand dollars a day. So you need to have a good excuse for when the recording system fails and you leave a hole in the survey coverage, especially when you have an ex-military Norwegian built like the proverbial Viking as party manager.

    The recording system was crashing; no error warnings, no smoke or fire. It just stopped recording. Repeatedly. The survey was looking like a cartoon Swiss cheese that had been attacked by hungry mice. What had changed? To save money the company had developed its own recording system, replacing Old Faithful with New Unreliable. I had my reservations when the prototype was tested in parallel with Old Faithful leading to my tearing out the connection between the two systems with under a minute to the start of a production line to go. I was younger then and could handle the excitement.

  • Minikube: 5 ways IT teams can use it

    As far as tool names go, Minikube is a pretty good reflection of what it does: It takes the vast cloud-scale of Kubernetes and shrinks it down so that it fits on your laptop.

    Don’t mistake that for a lack of power or functionality, though: You can do plenty with Minikube. And while developers, DevOps engineers, and the like might be the most likely to run it on a regular basis, IT leaders and the C-suite can use it, too. That’s part of the beauty.

    “With just a few installation commands, anyone can have a fully functioning Kubernetes cluster, ready for learning or supporting development efforts,” says Chris Ciborowski, CEO and cofounder at Nebulaworks.

  • Ubuntu Podcast from the UK LoCo: S12E02 – Light Force

    This week we have been upgrading disk drives (again) and playing Elite Dangerous. We discuss Mark’s homebrew Raspberry Pi based streaming box, bring you some command line love and go over your feedback.

    It’s Season 12 Episode 02 of the Ubuntu Podcast! Alan Pope, Mark Johnson and Martin Wimpress are connected and speaking to your brain.

  • Altered, a sweet looking puzzle game where you're part of the puzzle is coming to Linux

    Releasing sometime this Summer, Altered looks like a rather sweet take on the puzzle genre as you're a block that forms part of a puzzle.

    The developer, Glitchheart, describes it as a "meditative" puzzle game that mixes difficult puzzles in with a "soothing atmosphere". The description made me chuckle a little, as you can make it seem as soothing as you want but if the puzzles really do get difficult you can't stop players getting frustrated. Still, solving puzzles doesn't need to make you sweat which is more the point here as it seems there's no set time limits and no dangers.

  • How To Navigate Directories Faster In Linux

today's leftovers

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Misc
  • Auto Infotainment Market: Automotive Grade Linux to Fuel Auto Infotainment Applications
  • Google, Hyperledger launch online identity management tools

    In two separate announcements last week, Google and Linux's Hyperledger project launched tools aimed at enabling secure identity management for enterprises via mobile and other devices.

    Google unveiled five upgrades to its BeyondCorp cloud enterprise security service that enables identity and access management for employees, corporate partners, and customers.

  • Cockpit Project: Cockpit 192

    Cockpit is the modern Linux admin interface. We release regularly. Here are the release notes from version 192.

  • 9 Useful PDF Manipulation Tools

    Portable Document Format (PDF) is a file format created by Adobe Systems in 1993 for document exchange. The format includes a subset of the PostScript page description programming language, a font-embedding system, and a structural storage system.

    Over the years PDF has become an extremely important file format. If you want to create documents that can be viewed under all major operating systems, PDF is the ticket, as it maintains the overall look and feel of documents regardless of what platform they are viewed under.

    There is a large range of PDF-related software available with many different applications available that can both output to and open files. Many open source software save documents to this format such as LibreOffice and GIMP.

    The purpose of this Group Test is to highlight high quality small tools that are designed to manipulate PDF files. We are not considering PDF editors, PDF viewers, tools that add an OCR layer to PDF files here. This is because these categories are covered by other legendary Group Tests.

  • Blender short film, new license for Chef, ethics in open source, and more news

    Spring, the latest short film from Blender Animation Studio, premiered on April 4th. The press release on Blender.org describes Spring as "the story of a shepherd girl and her dog, who face ancient spirits in order to continue the cycle of life." The development version of Blender 2.80, as well as other open source tools, were used to create this animated short film. The character and asset files for the film are available from Blender Cloud, and tutorials, walkthroughs, and other instructional material are coming soon.

  • 6 alternatives to OpsGenie for managing monitoring alerts

    Now, if an issue comes up with any of this company's products, the response team should act before the customer (and company) experiences negative effects. There won’t be much of a problem if the response team is immediately there to jump on the issue, but in case they are not, someone from the response team should notify them in some way to reduce the diameter of functional or possible financial losses.

    Here's the problem. People are not able to notice and respond to issues all the time. If you send the response team an email or text message, there is a probability that no one on the team will see it before the issue causes significant financial loss. Also, the response team might already be receiving so many email alerts that even if they are available, they may find it difficult to spot the high-impact issues among the smaller ones. In this situation, you should send someone from the response team a distinct alert, such as making a phone call or messaging a pager. However, if you decide to call, you need to know who is actually available, otherwise you might have to call multiple people until you find the response team member who is ready to jump on a ringing phone at that very moment, which can take even longer if your call is at an odd time for their location.

    Instead, what you need is a tool that not only monitors your systems but also intelligently manages the alert process for the quickest results possible. A popular commercial option is OpsGenie, and in this article, we will talk about open source alternatives to this proprietary option.

today's leftovers

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Misc
  • An eBPF overview, part 2: Machine & bytecode

    In our first article we introduced the eBPF VM, its intentional design limitations and how to interact with it from a userspace process. If you haven't yet read it, you should probably do so before continuing because starting directly with machine and bytecode specifics can be hard without a proper introduction. If in doubt, see the flowchart at the beginning of part 1.

    The second part of this series takes a more in-depth look at the eBPF VM and program studied in the first part. Having this low level knowledge is not mandatory but can be a very useful foundation for the rest of the series where we examine higher level tools built on top of these mechanisms.

  • Blockchain 2.0 – An Introduction To Hyperledger Project (HLP) [Part 8]

    Once a new technology platform reaches a threshold level of popularity in terms of active development and commercial interests, major global companies and smaller start-ups alike rush to catch a slice of the pie. Linux was one such platform back in the day. Once the ubiquity of its applications was realized individuals, firms, and institutions started displaying their interest in it and by 2000 the Linux foundation was formed.

  • Qt 5.13 Beta 2 Available For Testing Lottie Support, WebAssembly, glTF 2.0 For Qt 3D

    Nearly one month after the release of the Qt 5.13 Beta 1, the second beta of this forthcoming tool-kit upgrade is now available.

    Qt 5.13 is another big upgrade to Qt5 with featuring Lottie support for playable animations, glTF 2.0 import support for assets into Qt 3D, WebAssembly improvements, upgrades the Qt WebEngine against Chromium 73, adds fullscreen-shell-unstable-v1 to Qt Wayland, and removes the old Qt Canvas 3D module.

  • GStreamer Editing Services applies to the Google Season of Docs

    Pitivi is based on the GStreamer Editing Services library. GES makes it easy to manage the timeline of a video project and export it to a new video file, and is carefully built to be reusable by other projects, not only Pitivi.

    Since a few years ago, while not mentoring students for GSoC, we’ve been busy working on Pitivi 1.0. A large part of this was spent on fixing and improving the GES library. Time has come for the GES documentation to also be improved, to attract new users and contributors to the GStreamer ecosystem.

  • Bluestar Linux 5.0.7 Run Through

    In this video, we look at Bluestar Linux 5.0.7.

  • Some Of The Best Open Source VPN Tools

    With the help of VPN connections, You can establish private connections between two networks or points. VPNs are popular due to it’s security features.

    In this post, We are going to write about the best open source VPN tools.

  • On The Block with Parity’s CEO: Snowden, open-source businesses, and surviving the hack

    “We’re seeing young companies that have found business models on top of open source. They recognize it makes sense to collaborate on the foundational layers that are more infrastructure. And then find your competitive edge on a higher level,” she said. She also seemed to hint at profiting from an on-chain founder’s reward model similar to that of ZCash. “[If] you have a protocol that has some payment value mechanism built into it, it should be possible…to build some reward mechanism so that the open source protocol doesn’t suffer.”

  • btLr text direction in Writer, part 2

    All this is available in LibreOffice master (towards 6.3), so you can try it out right now, if interested.

  • Can schools be agile?

    Not surprisingly, a go-to resource I recommend to any school wanting to begin or accelerate this process is The Open Organization by Jim Whitehurst. Not only does the book provide a window into how educators can create more open, inclusive leadership structures—where mutual respect enables nimble decisions to be made per real-time data—but it does so in language easily adaptable to the rather strange lexicon that's second nature to educators. Open organization thinking provides pragmatic ways any organization can empower members to be more open: sharing ideas and resources, embracing a culture of collaborative participation as a top priority, developing an innovation mindset through rapid prototyping, valuing ideas based on merit rather than the rank of the person proposing them, and building a strong sense of community that's baked into the organization's DNA. Such an open organization crowd-sources ideas from both inside and outside its formal structure and creates the type of environment that enables localized, student-centered innovations to thrive.

today's leftovers

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Misc
  • The Challenges Facing Privacy Apps

    When we talk about privacy as a concept, we tend to drill into the benefits of privacy and the crucial role that it plays in our lives as individuals. In aggregate, privacy extends its role to protect fundamental freedoms that we all agree are pillars to a free and happy society.

    What we don’t talk about is the challenges that privacy apps face, and how often tools are not designed to fulfill the needs of the needs of the end user.

    [...]

    Using software that is open source is a critical piece of the puzzle, because this allows peer review to verify that the developer isn’t collecting unnecessary data to make the app or service work, and that the developers have considered all of the external privacy threats.

    If the software isn’t open source, there’s no way to verify this. You have to implicitly trust that the developer doesn’t want to grab your data for money, which is always in their interest to do. You are hoping that the developer is principled enough to resist the urge to make more money off of you. This is an even greater concern when the application is free. You have to consider how, if not through your data, is the app developer making money?

  • Spy on your smart home with this open source research tool

    Testing the IoT Inspector tool in their lab the researchers say they found a Chromecast device constantly contacting Google’s servers even when not in active use.

  • How To Enable (UP) And Disable (DOWN) A Network Interface Port (NIC) In Linux?
  • The woes of 520-byte sectors

today's leftovers

Filed under
Misc
  • Wine-Staging 4.6 Brings Big Performance Improvement For Multi-Threaded Games / Apps

    Friday's release of Wine 4.6 was exciting in that it started merging the code for WineD3D Vulkan support, now supports a shared Wine-Mono, and other big ticket work. Wine-Staging 4.6 is now available as the latest experimental patches re-based atop the latest upstream Wine. This Wine-Staging update is quite exciting in its own right. 

  • GNU Hackers Meetings - News: Malfunction in ghm-planning (at) gnu.org

    Due to a problem in the alias configuration, mails sent to ghm-planning before Sun Apr 14 8:00 CEST have been silently dropped.

  • FOSSASIA OpenTech Summit’19

    Last month, I attended FOSSASIA’s annual conference which was held in Singapore. This conference was a collection of amazing, life-changing experiences. It was my first experience as a speaker and it taught me so much about the open-source culture. This summit took place from 14th March to 17th March in the beautiful city of Singapore. This was my second foreign trip as well. First one was to San Francisco as a part of the Student Startup Exposure Program.

    My flight was scheduled for 12th March from Jaipur and had a layover at Chennai for 5 hours. I reached the Changi Airport in the early morning of 13th. This airport was quite scenic and is also ranked as the top airport in the world.

  • OpenSUSE's Spectre Mitigation Approach Is One Of The Reasons For Its Slower Performance

    OpenSUSE defaults to IBRS for its Spectre Variant Two mitigations rather than the Retpolines approach and that is one of the reasons for the distribution's slower out-of-the-box performance compared to other Linux distributions. 

    A Phoronix reader pointed out this opensuse-factory mailing list thread citing a "huge single-core performance loss" on a Lenovo laptop when using openSUSE. There's a ~21% performance loss in single-threaded performance around the Spectre Variant Two mitigations, which itself isn't surprising as we've shown time and time again about the performance costs of the Spectre/Meltdown mitigations.

  • Are you missing the potential of dynamic SAP communication?

today's leftovers

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Misc
  • Technologies on which the world of Instagram exist

    Ubuntu Linux 11.04 is run by Instagram’s engineers on Amazon EC2. This specific version is used because previous Ubuntu versions were found to be unpredictable. They were also freezing a lot on EC2 under high traffic.

  • Bursary applications for DebConf19 are closing in less than 72 hours!

    If you intend to apply for a DebConf19 bursary and have not yet done so, please proceed as soon as possible!

    Bursary applications for DebConf19 will be accepted until April 15th at 23:59 UTC. Applications submitted after this deadline will not be considered.

    You can apply for a bursary when you register for the conference.

  • ntroducing Debian Trends: historical graphs about Debian packaging practices, and “packages smells”

    Following this blog post I did some work on setting up a proper framework to graph historical trends about Debian packaging practices. The result is now available at https://trends.debian.net/, and I’m confident that I will be able to update this on a regular basis (every few months).

    Additionally (and much more controversially I guess Smile ) I also added an analysis of “package smells”, such as “not using dh”, “not using a recent debhelper compat level”, “not using a 3.0 source format”, etc. I understand that in some cases there might be good reasons to keep those “smells”, but I find it valuable to have them presented in a more actionable way to fix the cases that should be fixed. So there’s a list of smells, sorted by maintainer/uploader.

  • Key Differences in Security, Management for Serverless vs. Containers [Ed: Look what we have here; a “sponsored” article from Linux Foundation sponsor, in a site partly controlled by the Foundation. Press coverage for sale at this non-profit.]

    Serverless functions and containers are two of the hottest topics in the IT world today. They’re also two technologies that share a lot in common — after all, both are ways to deploy code inside isolated, discrete environments. They are by no means identical technologies, but in the abstract, they function in similar ways.

  • Patch blues-day: Microsoft yanks code after some PCs are rendered super secure (and unbootable) following update

    A bunch of PCs running the wares of Sophos or Avast have been freezing or failing to start following the installation of patches emitted by Microsoft on 9 April.

    The afflicted are those running Windows 8.1, 7, Server 2008 R2 and Server 2012. Avast for Business and Cloudcare have been hit by the problem, as have PCs running Endpoint Protection managed by Sophos Central or Sophos Enterprise Console (SEC).

    Microsoft said this morning that it had "temporarily blocked devices from receiving this update if the Sophos Endpoint is installed", a move which, sadly, had come a bit late for those afflicted.

  • Microsoft played key role in stopping “Right to Repair” in Washington

    When something breaks, you fix it. It’s common sense.

    Repair saves consumers money, and it reduces the amount of waste that goes on the scrap heap.

    But when only the manufacturer has the ability to fix our electronics, they can charge whatever they want for repairs. They can also push us into buying a brand new product altogether, adding to our waste problems.

    That’s why WashPIRG has supported “Right to Repair” reforms which prevent manufacturers from monopolizing repairs. Earlier this year, Washington’s Right to Repair bill passed out of committee for the second session in a row with strong bipartisan support. But also for the second year in a row, the bill was put on ice before it went to a full floor vote.

  • GnuCash 3.5-1
  • Homeless in Vancouver: Some positives and negatives of Dumpster diving

    Sitting in a window seat of the restaurant, I took the negative and held it, matte emulsion-side-up, flat against the window in front of me. With my other hand I photographed it with my little Dumpster-dived point-and-shoot camera. Then I opened the photo in an image editing program on my laptop called GIMP (Gnu Image Manipulation Program).

  • DragonFly's HAMMER2 File-System Picks Up More Performance Optimizations

    DragonFlyBSD lead developer Matthew Dillon who also created the HAMMER family of file-systems remains quite busy on filling out the remaining features for HAMMER2 and tuning its performance.

    Landing today within the DragonFlyBSD Git code has been the latest HAMMER2 file-system improvements.

today's leftovers

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Misc
  • The Lima DRM/KMS Driver Is Ready For Introduction With Linux 5.2

    Beyond the Lima Gallium3D driver being merged into Mesa 19.1, the Linux 5.2 kernel will be introducing the DRM/KMS kernel open-source driver developed via reverse-engineering for these Arm Mali 400/450 graphics processors. 

    Yesterday marked the merger of the big Lima Gallium3D driver for providing basic OpenGL support being merged into Mesa 19.1, which should be released as stable around the end of May. Last week meanwhile marked the acceptance of the Lima DRM driver into DRM-Next ahead of next month's Linux 5.2 merge window.

  • RSS Guard 3.5.7

    RSS Guard is a simple (yet powerful) feed reader. It is able to fetch the most known feed formats, including RSS/RDF and ATOM. It's free, it's open-source. RSS Guard currently supports Czech, Dutch, English, French, German, Italian. RSS Guard will never depend on other services - this includes online news aggregators like Feedly, The Old Reader and others.

  • SoftMaker Office Celebrates 30th Anniversary With A Free Update [Ed: No, proprietary software is never ever free. Because you’re never in control (neither over the tool nor its cost down the line).]

    German software developer SoftMaker is celebrating its 30th anniversary. To mark the occasion, SoftMaker is releasing a free anniversary update of its Microsoft Office alternative SoftMaker Office.

    Besides bug fixes, it includes many new features and improvements. It is noteworthy here that SoftMaker Office 2018 already features a redesigned user interface, thus giving users the choice of working with the new ribbons interface or classic menus.

  • How To Install Angular on CentOS 7
  • How to add UUID entry in /etc/fstab in Linux
  • How to install Calligra Office Suite on Ubuntu 18.04
  • Install and Configure Wildfly (JBoss) on Ubuntu 18.04 LTS
  • What is enterprise open source?

    We already know what open source is, right? There’s a great deal written about open source from just about every angle, even a handy definition of what constitutes open source, but what about enterprise open source? While not necessarily exhaustive, here’s what we’re talking about when we say "enterprise open source."

    First and foremost, it is open source. A product isn’t "enterprise open source" simply because it integrates a single permissively licensed open source library or "works with" or "runs on" open source.

  • Google's open source partner play is good business, not "some sort of generous magical deal"

    Google does open source better than anyone, because it understands how to turn long-term open source value into long-term sustainable revenue.

today's leftovers

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  • FLOSS Weekly 525: Mycroft

    Mycroft is the Private and Open Voice Solution for Consumers and Enterprises. It runs anywhere - on a desktop computer, inside an automobile, or on a Raspberry Pi. This is open source software which can be freely remixed, extended, and improved. Mycroft may be used in anything from a science project to an enterprise software application.

  • Automated Tuning Of Linux Audio

    Audio systems in Linux are terrible. You’ve never known true pain until you’ve tried to set up a recording or broadcasting workstation running Linux. I did, twenty years ago, and nothing has changed since. This wasn’t really a problem when Linux was either used in server spaces or some nerd’s battle station, but now we have small single board computers that everyone uses and wants to turn into a modular synth. Welcome to paintown, because the Linux audio stack is terrible.

    For the past ten years, [Dynobot] has been working on improving audio in Linux. This is a decade of reading manuals from IBM and Oracle, and a deep knowledge of how to adjust settings so audio actually works. All of this work is now combined into a single script that improves everything. This means the priority of the Audio group is changed, the thread priority is better, the latency is better, and for anyone who wants to set up a local streaming service, the network latency is better. It’s not everything, and there’s no mention of recording multitrack audio, but we’ll accept the baby steps here.

  • An Overview of Main Features of Augur Version 2 and What They Mean

    On Monday (April 8), the team behind Augur, "a decentralized oracle and peer to peer protocol for prediction markets", announced that version 2 of the software is feature-complete and ready for third-party formal audits. This article provides an overview of these features.

  • Windows Subsystem for Linux distro gets a preening, updated version waddles into Microsoft's app store [Ed: Microsoft EEE of "Linux". It's just Windows, not "Linux".]

today's leftovers

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  • Volkswagen joins Automotive Grade Linux

    Automotive Grade Linux (AGL), described as a collaborative cross-industry effort developing an open source platform for connected car technologies, has announced that Volkswagen has joined it and the Linux Foundation, a non-profit organisation 'enabling mass innovation through open source'.

  • Volkswagen Joins Automotive Grade Linux and the Linux Foundation to Accelerate Open Source Innovation and Shared Software Development

     

    Automotive Grade Linux is a collaborative open source project that is bringing together automakers, suppliers and technology companies to accelerate the development and adoption of a fully open software stack for the connected car. With Linux at its core, AGL is developing an open platform from the ground up that can serve as the de facto industry standard to enable rapid development of new features and technologies. Although initially focused on In-Vehicle-Infotainment (IVI), AGL is the only organization planning to address all software in the vehicle, including instrument cluster, heads up display, telematics, advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) and autonomous driving. The AGL platform is available to all, and anyone can participate in its development. Learn more: https://www.automotivelinux.org/

  • Managing Partitions with sgdisk
  • Yaru Colors: Ubuntu's Default Theme In 11 Colors (Gtk, Icons And Gnome Shell)

    Yaru Colors is a fork of the Yaru theme (default Ubuntu Gtk, icon and Gnome Shell themes) in 11 colors, with each Gtk theme being available in regular and dark versions, great for those who like Yaru, but would like to to use different accent / folder colors. Only the Gnome desktop is supported.

  • Why I don’t care about CPU architecture: my emotional journey

    When OSNews covered the RISC V architecture recently, I was struck by my own lack of excitement. I looked into it, and the project looks intriguing, but it didn’t move me on an emotional level like a new CPU architecture development would have done many years ago. I think it’s due to a change in myself, as I have got older. When I first got into computers, in the early 80s, there was a vibrant environment of competing designs with different approaches. This tended to foster an interest, in the enthusiast, in what was inside the box, including the CPU architecture. Jump forwards to the current era, and the computer market is largely homogenized to a single approach for each class of computing device, and this means that there is less to get excited about in terms of CPU architectures in general. I want to look at what brought about this change in myself, and maybe these thoughts will resonate with some of you.

    [...]

     

    So, this raises the question, is there any rational reason to care about the CPU architecture nowadays, and thinking about that, was there ever?

  • An “Open Pay Wall”, has Medium lost its mind?

    Today’s attempt to transform Medium into a walled garden is, at best, stupid and dangerous. But it is a reminder that we should never trust a centralised place.

    When Medium started to launch a paying subscription, not knowing yet what to offer to pay members, I thought they understood it. I happily jumped on the wagon and spent $5 a month to support the platform.

    Finally, a platform was reacting to the “free ad myth”, the fantasy that ads provide money without having to return anything in exchange. Finally, someone was acknowledging that advertising was hurting our brains and transforming every content creator into a sausage salesperson. It was time for creators to be paid directly by people consuming their work.

  • Why old-school printed books may be better than e-books for teaching kids to read

    Parents and toddlers chat more as they read printed stories together compared to when they share electronic books, a new study from the University of Michigan found. Researchers say those conversations can be instrumental in teaching children to read and express themselves.

  • Do we really own our digital possessions?

     

    My research has found that many consumers do not consider these possibilities, because they make sense of their digital possessions based on their previous experiences of possessing tangible, physical objects. If our local bookstore closed down, the owner wouldn't knock on our door demanding to remove previously purchased books from our shelves. So we do not anticipate this scenario in the context of our eBooks. Yet the digital realm presents new threats to ownership that our physical possessions haven't prepared us for.
     

    Consumers need to become more sensitised to the restrictions on digital ownership. They must be made aware that the "full ownership" they have experienced over most of their physical possessions cannot be taken for granted when purchasing digital products. However, companies also have a responsibility to make these fragmented ownership forms more transparent.
     

today's leftovers

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  • Episode 62 | This Week in Linux

    On this episode of This Week in Linux, we have a ton of stuff to talk about like Fedora’s announcement of the Beta for Fedora 30, Linux Journal released their 25th Anniversary issue for Free to everyone and UBports announced they were successful in forming their own Foundation. We also got a lot of App News this week from GIMP, WPS Office, Strawberry & DeaDBeeF music players, Chef automation tool, and more. We’re also going to check out some other Distro News from Sabayon and Linux Mint. Later in the show, we’ll check out some other news from Raspberry Pi, Wayland, Purism and more. Then we’ll round out the show with some Linux Gaming News from Aspyr Media and SuperTuxKart. All that and much on this episode of your Weekly Source for Linux GNews!

  • March Madness and the Quarterly Report

    The biggest highlight last quarter is getting hired to work on some part of KDE, particularly the documentation. It’s not the coding I’ve always dreamed of but getting paid to work on something you’ve been passionate about for years is a dream come true. Sadly, it’s just a three-month gig. More on the details on another post.

  • SwagArch GNU/Linux 19.04 overview | A simple and beautiful Everyday Desktop

    In this video, i am going to show an overview of SwagArch GNU/Linux 19.04 and some of the applications pre-installed.

  • SUSE Manager 4.0 Beta 2 is out!

    With the first version you are able to create content projects, select a custom set of software channels as sources and create a lifecycle made of environments.
    Once you have selected some sources you can build the selected set which will populate the first environment. After the the first environment is built you can promote it through the environment lifecycle to the next environment in the loop.
    The result of the build (therefore the content of every environment) is a channel tree (made of cloned software channels of the sources selection) and you can assign systems to it.

  • Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter Issue 573
  • Career Guidance For Young People: A Retrospective

    At a conference in London, I had a non-zero number of beers with two editors who were launching a new Linux magazine called Linux Format. I plucked up the courage to ask if I could write an article and they said, “Yes, but if it is shit, we won’t publish it”. This seemed like a fair arrangement.

    The article passed muster and it went into the magazine. I started writing more and more and when I completed university, I decided to be a full time writer. It didn’t pay much, but I loved what I did, and it earned enough money to support the relatively frugal life my girlfriend and I lived. This is when I got the first taste of being able to devote my career to something I loved, and it was an amazing feeling.

    One of the articles I wrote was about a newly minted organization in Birmingham called OpenAdvantage. They were focused on training people in the West Midlands in Open Source; especially focused on manual laborers re-skilling in technology as more and more factories moved out of the area. After the article was published I was invited to lunch by one of the founders, Paul Cooper, where he somewhat surprisingly offered me a job to be a consultant there.

    I took the job and spent two years doing a range of things I had never done: consulting, training, learning new technologies, and more. While nerve-wracking at first, it gave me a taste for jumping in the deep end and figuring things out as I went. What followed were careers at Canonical, XPRIZE, GitHub, and then onto my current consulting business.

  • NumFOCUS Announces Cambridge Spark will Host a PyData Conference in 2019

    While this isn’t the first UK PyData event, Cambridge Spark will be bringing the event to Cambridge for the first time. “I’m delighted to announce Cambridge Spark’s continued support to the NumFOCUS and PyData community. We look forward to launching PyData Cambridge and share our appreciation for this thriving city that has become the UK hub for tech innovation and AI,” said Dr. Raoul-Gabriel Urma, CEO, Cambridge Spark.

  • LibrePlanet 2019 wrap-up: Building the free software utopia

    From the time of free software's inception, with Richard Stallman's announcement of the GNU Project in 1984, community has been a central part of its philosophy: we must be free to choose to share any software we use or create. Stallman wrote, "I consider that the golden rule requires that if I like a program I must share it with other people who like it," and from this point concluded that we must always be permitted to share our discoveries and innovations with others, in order to make their computing and their lives easier and better. Software that is free always has benefits beyond the individual, and the free software movement depends on a vibrant, ever-changing, committed pool of developers, activists, users, and enthusiasts to keep the dream alive and the movement growing.

    Every year, the LibrePlanet conference brings together many members of that movement to celebrate our achievements, strategize how to deal with our setbacks, show off new ideas, and decide what new frontiers we will trailblaze together next. The 2019 conference included many introductions to, and updates from, new and familiar projects, discussions on copyleft and security, and explorations of free software in the business world, but one compelling theme was woven through both days of the conference: how do we maintain and increase the health of our all-important community?

  • How To Install Instructure Canvas LMS For Free

    The Canvas LMS software is Open Source. The AGPLv3 license it is under allows users to collaborate in software hosted on a cloud. Users of AGPLv3 licensed software must make any work based on it public and free. You cannot sell it, but you can sell products or offer services supported by the software. Including online courses, of course. Instructure does not release 100% of Canvas code, so you might not get the exact same experience as in signing on as a customer.

  • I know what EU did last summer: Official use of Microsoft wares to be probed over slurp fears

    The European Union's Data Protection Supervisor (EDPS) has announced an investigation into Microsoft products used by EU institutions.

    The probe will build a list of Microsoft wares in use by official bloc bodies and check that the "contractual arrangements" between the two are "fully compliant with data protection rules".

    The move is at least partially in response to a report commissioned by the Dutch government that found that the software giant's Office Pro Plus application suite, which includes the likes of Word and Outlook, was collecting all manner of data and stashing it on US-based servers.

    That got regulators a little hot under the collar since such activities are very much frowned upon under General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). Users can alter the amount of data slurped by Microsoft's productivity applications (assuming they can find the settings) but not easily turn it off completely.

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Graphics: AMDGPU and X.Org Elections

  • amdgpu drm-next-5.2
  • AMDGPU Has Another Round Of Updates Ahead Of Linux 5.2
    Feature work on DRM-Next for the Linux 5.2 kernel cycle is winding down while today AMD has sent in what could be their last round of AMDGPU feature updates for this next kernel release. Building off their earlier Linux 5.2 feature work are more updates. That earlier round brought new SMU11 enablement code for Vega 20, various other Vega 20 features, HMM preparations, and other code changes.
  • 2019 Election Round 2 voting OPEN
    To all X.Org Foundation Members: The round 2 of X.Org Foundation's annual election is now open and will remain open until 23:59 UTC on 2 May 2019. Four of the eight director seats are open during this election, with the four nominees receiving the highest vote totals serving as directors for two year terms. There were six candidates nominated. For a complete list of the candidates and their personal statements, please visit the 2019 X.Org Elections page at https://www.x.org/wiki/BoardOfDirectors/Elections/2019/ The new bylaw changes were approved in the first round of voting. Here are some instructions on how to cast your vote: Login to the membership system at: https://members.x.org/ If you do not remember your password, you can click on the "lost password" button and enter your user name. An e-mail will be sent to you with your password. If you have problems with the membership system, please e-mail membership at x.org. When you login you will see an "Active Ballots" section with the "X.Org 2019 Elections Round 2" ballot. When you click on that you will be presented with a page describing the ballot. At the bottom you will find a number of dropdowns that let you rank your candidates by order of preference. For the election: There is a pull-down selection box for 1st choice, 2nd, choice, and so on. Pick your candidates top to bottom in order of preference, avoiding duplicates. After you have completed your ballot, click the "Cast vote" button. Note that once you click this button, your votes will be cast and you will not be able to make further changes, so please make sure you are satisfied with your votes before clicking the "Cast vote" button. After you click the "Vote" button, the system will verify that you have completed a valid ballot. If your ballot is invalid (e.g., you duplicated a selection or did not answer the By-laws approval question), it will return you to the previous voting page. If your ballot is valid, your votes will be recorded and the system will show you a notice that your votes were cast. Note that the election will close at 23:59 UTC on 2 May 2019. At that time, the election committee will count the votes and present the results to the current board for validation. After the current board validates the results, the election committee will present the results to the Members. Harry, on behalf of the X.Org elections committee
  • It's Time To Re-Vote Following The Botched 2019 X.Org Elections
    While there were the recent X.Org Foundation board elections, a do-over was needed as their new custom-written voting software wasn't properly recording votes... So here's now your reminder to re-vote in these X.Org elections. At least with the initial round of voting they reached a super majority and the ballot question of whether the X.Org Foundation should formally fold FreeDesktop.org into its umbrella worked and that X.Org + FreeDesktop.org hook-up passed so all is well on that front. But for the Board of Directors elections, that's where re-voting is needed with the voting software that now correctly records the votes.

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Games: Lutris and More

  • Epic Games Store Now On Linux Thanks To Lutris
    While the Epic Games Store itself is not officially supported by the open source Linux operating system, a third-party gaming client has now made sure that you can access the store and launcher on your own distro. The Epic Games Store is now accessible on Linux via the Lutris Gaming client. The client is available to all Linux users, who in the past has provided the same users a way to play PC games without the need to have Windows installed in their machines. Although Linux is not necessarily the go-to platform when it comes to PC gaming, there is a very niche audience dedicated to making the platform work in favor of open-source and to counteract what could be perceived as a heavily Windows-biased PC gaming community. Linux gaming is somewhat tedious to the relatively casual or normal user, although there are some within the Linux community that advertise and try to foster its growth in terms of gaming, as there are some games that can run better on the operating system. That is to say, if you have a lot of patience to try and make it work.
  • You Died but a Necromancer revived you is good fun in a small package
    Sometimes, simplicity is what makes a game and in the case of You Died BaNRY that's very true. The game has little depth to it but makes up for that in just how frantic and fun it can be. The entire gameplay is just you (or you and friends) attempting to cross a small level filled with platforms, spikes and all sorts of crazy traps. It's ridiculously easy to get into as well, since the controls are so basic all you need to worry about is your movement.
  • Forager is a weirdly addictive casual grinding game that has mined into my heart
    I'm not usually one for games that have you endlessly wander around, collect resources, build a little and repeat but Forager is so ridiculously charming it's lovely.
  • DragonRuby Game Toolkit, a cross-platform way to make games with Ruby
    Now for something a little different! Ryan "Icculus" Gordon, a name known for many Linux ports and SDL2 teamed up with indie developer Amir Rajan to create a new cross-platform toolkit. Why was it created? Well, in a nutshell they both "hate the complexity of today's engines" and this toolkit was actually made to help ship A Dark Room for the Nintendo Switch, which shows how versatile it is.

10+ Open Source Software Writing Tools That Every Writer Should Know

Being a professional writer requires two key things to help ensure success: commitment and support. The former comes from the writer, and the latter comes from the tools he (or she) uses to get the job done. Below is a list of 11 great and lesser-known writing tools or apps, many of which are free and open-source, that can help improve the quality of your writing and make you a more productive and successful writer. Read more