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today's leftovers

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  • Great first year at LAS GNOME!

    This was the first year of the Libre Application Summit, hosted by GNOME (aka "LAS GNOME"). Congratulations to the LAS GNOME team for a successful launch of this new conference! I hope to see more of them.

    In case you missed LAS GNOME, the conference was in Portland, Oregon. I thoroughly enjoyed this very walkable city. Portland is a great place for a conference venue. When I booked my hotel, I found lots of hotel options within easy walking distance to the LAS GNOME location. I walked every day, but you could also take any of the many light rail or bus or trolley options running throughout the city.

  • Red Hat Forum 2016 Celebrates the Power of Participation and Open Source Innovation in India Series

    Under the theme, “Power of Participation”, Red Hat Forum discussed how enterprises can transform and innovate by learning, networking, and collaborating via open source. The event was kicked off by Rajesh Rege, Managing Director, Red Hat India, which was followed by a series of topics covering various aspects of Open Source technology. Rajesh emphasized that open source is now at the forefront of every major breakthrough and the most innovative ideas do not merely come from the boardroom; but from a synergy of people working together.

  • Fedora Now Has Bootable RISC-V Disk Images Available

    Fedora has been making a lot of RISC-V build/packaging progress over the past few months while this weekend the milestone was announced that they are hosting clean, RPM-built, bootable disk images for this open-source RISC-V instruction set architecture.

  • Ghost Minitaur Robot Opens Doors & Climbs Fences & Stairs!

    Give this little droid a compatible brain, like a Raspberry Pi 3, which can display images via a built-in HDMI port and runs Linux at 1.2 Gigahertz, and is more akin to an actual computer than a microcontroller, and let programming of a robotic brain function shatter the ceiling on possibilities.

  • Attributes of Effective Project Managers

    Volunteers often work for both philanthropic and selfish reasons. For example, contributing to FreeBSD and having your code approved can translate to a career-building resume bullet (nearly ⅓ of the world’s internet traffic runs on FreeBSD). While not every contribution translates into a resume bullet, volunteers generally contribute more of their talents when their contributions are recognized. Martin takes great pride in publicly sharing information about how he gives back to his volunteers in the form of reasonably-sized monetary gifts. He remarked to me how one gift bought a programmer a new chair. While it may not seem like much, the contribution made a significant difference to that person’s sense of value to the project. Martin noticed that since the chair arrived the change requests for Ubuntu MATE that come from that programmer with the happy hind quarters seem to become his highest priority and Martin generally gets the changes in short order.

  • Show And Tell: Google Open Sources Its Image Captioning AI In TensorFlow

    Google has open sourced its Show and Tell system which will now be available in TensorFlow machine learning library. The Show and Tell system can analyze an image and provide a relevant caption describing the situation of the image. The code of the system is available on GitHub.

  • No, Google Hasn’t Killed Chromecast Support in Chromium Linux Builds

    This week a horde of angry, pitchfork-waving readers descended upon the e-mail inbox of both OMG! sites, demanding to know why we weren’t writing about the “shocking evil” Google is waging against the open-source community.

  • New Firefox 49 features in Fedora

    The latest release 49 of Firefox comes with some interesting new features. Here’s what they mean for Fedora users and how to enable them beyond default setup.

  • SDN and NFV integration, updated API documentation, and more OpenStack news
  • PostgreSQL 9.6 Preparing To Release Next Week With Its Parallel Queries Support

    PostgreSQL 9.6 is being prepared for release on 29 September as the database system's latest major update.

    Arguably the biggest feature of the upcoming PostgreSQL 9.6 release is the parallel query support for scans, joins, and aggregates that should speed up the performance of SELECTs by a lot. There are also other improvements like synchronous replication on multiple standby servers, full-text search for phrases, and more.

  • Developing a GIMP Deblur Plugin

    The original assignment was to implement Cho's algorithm for deblurring [Cho et al 2013] as a GIMP plugin. The previous bachelor thesis had found this algorithm as the best deblurring algorithm for recovering text. However, time marches on. During the literature review phase, the team came across some advances in deblurring. Moreover, the algorithm's description in the paper was incomplete, and patented. (Interestingly enough, the patent did not clarify the incompleteness.) There was a new algorithm by Pan et al [Pan et al 2014] that was simpler, faster, and: open source. However, the original was coded in Matlab, which is (1) proprietary, (2) not freely available, and (3) not in much use by people who want to edit pictures.

    So, the team investigated both algorithms in great (and hairy) detail, and implemented Pan et al's algo as an open source GIMP plugin. This required a working understanding of the maths involved (which is not explicitly taught in the Bachelor programme). Moreover, the end result is a sleek piece of work, showcasing the team's CS creds as well.

    Below, a tiny bit about how blurring works, and how to deblur. I'll skip most of the maths, promised.

  • North American Cities Slow to Adopt Open Source Software

    Most politicians who are setting the IT budgets do not have a clue what IT is doing. They demand more and more from them as technology changes. But unlike a crumbling road or rusting bridge that can be seen by all, they really do not see or understand what is happening in the IT department. As long as they can get access to their applications and data, everything is fine. This lack of knowledge leads to a lack of political willpower to make change happen or to even recognize that change is needed and that money can be saved by doing things differently.

  • Microsoft ends Tuesday patches

    Yesterday was a big day for Patch Tuesday. It was the last traditional Windows Patch Tuesday as Microsoft is moving to a new patching release model. In the future, patches will be bundled together and users will no longer be able to pick and choose which updates to install. Furthermore, these new ‘monthly update packs’ will be combined, so for instance, the November update will include all the patches from October as well.

  • The best way to develop software with effective security

    Regardless of the level at which you're doing your programming, security is going to get in the way. No amount of application abstraction or modern development process seems capable of shielding developers from the barriers raised by security. It's pretty hard not to hate security when it doesn't seem to add any intrinsic value, and often gets in the way of providing a delightful user experience. To top it off products can get hacked anyway, in spite of any and all work you do to make your products secure.

  • IBM Preaches Cognitive, Cloud, And IT Consumption

    They say it's not just about the technology. It's really about the business. But that brings to mind an old adage from the car industry: You sell the sizzle not the steak. Right now the sizzle is cognitive computing. It has edged out big data and analytics in the one-upsmanship match of IT leadership and the next big thing. At the Edge conference last week, when IBM executives talked strategy and road maps, cognitive computing was on the tip of tongues.

    Cognitive is a differentiator, an upper hand for IBM. Big Blue has not let the world forget about Watson, its game show champion that's evolved into a must-have business advantage in the making. Watson's augmented intelligence, a term IBM prefers over artificial intelligence, has been applied to healthcare, finance, commerce, education, and security. According to IBM, it has thousands of scientists and engineers working on cognitive projects, which also extend to clients, academics, and external experts.

today's leftovers

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  • ReactOS running on General Dynamics Itronix GoBook III IX260+ Military Laptop
  • The third beta of FREE FPS ‘Ravenfield’ is out, the game keeps getting better
  • Promising top-down shooter ‘Redie’, inspired by Hotline Miami, needs support on Kickstarter, demo available
  • MATE 1.16 released

    After 6 months of development the MATE Desktop team are proud to announce the release of MATE Desktop 1.16. We’d like to thank every MATE contributor for their help making this release possible.

  • Breeze icons need you: new colors and shapes for mimetypes
  • We’re looking for a GNOME developer

    We in the Red Hat desktop team are looking for a junior software developer who will work on GNOME. Particularly in printing and document viewing areas of the project.

    The location of the position is Brno, Czech Republic, where you’d join a truly international team of desktop developers. It’s a junior position, so candidates just off the university, or even still studying are welcome. We require solid English communication skills and experience with C (and ideally C++, too). But what is a huge plus is experience with GNOME development and participation in the community.

  • MakuluLinux LinDoz 12 Beta is Ready !
  • [Older] This is Zorin OS 12

    We’re excited to announce the release of the Zorin OS 12 Beta. This is a pre-release version which we have created to get your feedback & bug reports on what we’ve built so far.

  • [Older] Elementary OS Loki Release Follow Up

    It’s only been a short couple of weeks since we released the latest version of elementary OS, but we already have so much to share! We’re happy to say that Loki has already passed 45,000 downloads, from 157 different countries since release with 2/3rds of those downloads coming from closed sourced OSes. We’re super proud to be reaching people all over the world who are new to an Open Source operating system. Congratulations to everyone who switched!

  • Fedora Ambassadors: Measuring Success

    I have been a Linux dabbler since 1994 when I first tried Suse Linux. In 2006 I became a full-time Linux user when I converted by laptop to Linux in October of 2006. Like many Linux users I sampled many different distributions while choosing the one that best fit my personality. Eventually I settled on Ubuntu with the release of Ubuntu 7.10 (Gutsy Gibon). Despite choosing Ubuntu I always saw myself as a Linux and open source advocate first and an Ubuntu advocate second. I respected and valued that Linux and open source allowed people the freedom to make personal choices.

  • Azure from Debian

    Around a week ago, I started to play with programmatically controlling Azure. I needed to create and destroy a bunch of VMs over and over again, and this seemed like something I would want to automate once instead of doing manually and repeatedly. I started to look into the azure-sdk-for-python and mentioned that I wanted to look into this in #debian-python. ardumont from Software Heritage noticed me, and was planning to package azure-storage-python. We joined forces and started a packaging team for Azure-related software.

  • Turn The Raspberry Pi Zero Into A Mini Dongle Computer
  • N900/Neo900: September 2016 Update

    To break even, the project needs to produce and sell 800 Neo900 devices. Currently, we have around 350 pre-orders, and sourced a bit more than 100 N900 units to refurbish.

today's leftovers

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today's leftovers

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today's leftovers

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today's leftovers

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today's leftovers

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today's leftovers

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  • Hyperledger and the Linux Foundation Opens Doors to the Public Blockchain Space

    Hyperledger, a cross-industry collaborative effort started by the Linux Foundation and joined by many banks, giant tech companies, blockchain specific companies and others, with the aim of developing an open source protocol for private blockchain use, has extended its hand to the public blockchain community in what appears to be an offer of partnership and closer collaboration.

  • Display compositing? What is it and which one should you use?
  • GNOME Games 3.22: the Giant Leap

    I didn't blog about Games since quite some time and the app changed a lot since 3.18. 3.20 was quite a small update featurewise: it added support for MAME and Neo Geo Pocket games, added the About dialog, allowed l10n of the application, added a Preferences window listing the available plugins and fixed other small bugs, but this release mainly saw refactoring work with the introduction of the plugins system where plugins allow to list games: the Steam plugin lists Steam games and the SNES plugin lists SNES games.

  • Elementary OS 0.4 (Overview)
  • Has HPE bought SUSE? No. But here’s what did happen…

    There are a number of articles, blogs and social media posts out with headlines like ‘SUSE’s been bought by HPE.’ Clearly, this is a misunderstanding of what was announced last week but once a meme is out there, others often follow and echo without checking out the source information carefully.

    So, lets clear things up by calling out some of the facts:

  • Earth-friendly EOMA68 Computing Devices Progress and Events

    Now, if this was any other article I would be laughing and citing it as an example of how Wikipedia is seriously failing, but in this case it’s had an adverse and detrimental effect on you, the backers of this project. There exists now a public record - an accusation by a Senior Wikipedia Administrator - that you are “sock puppets” with a “vested conflict of interest” in making statements on Wikipedia. Worse than that I have had to invest considerable time in ensuring that the Wikipedia article does not bring the EOMA68 project into disrepute, by being comprised of false and misleading statements. That’s several days worth of potential delay to fulfilling the promises that I’ve made to you. So for that and many other reasons which I’ve documented on the page, I’m supporting the “Deletion” of the Wikipedia Page. The thing is: what people actually collaboratively developed (before the COI-inspired editing began) was actually really good, so that has been preserved on the “talk” page of the EOMA68 Specification. But what’s up there now is just… utterly misleading.

  • Skylake box-PC targets transportation applications
  • Samsung Z2 (SM-Z200F) Certified in Indonesia, likely Launching soon

    A Samsung smartphone carrying the model number SM-Z200F and manufactured in Indonesia has been officially certified today (September 16, 2016) by the Directorate General of Resources and Equipment of Post and Information (DG SDPPI), the local authority under whose purview that falls.

    The Samsung Z2 which is known to have the model number SM-Z200F had earlier landed the Indonesian agency on August 22 for evaluation and testing. The status of the Z2 changed yesterday after completion of the testing and was indicated as awaiting approval. However, that approval did drop today.

today's leftovers

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  • Carla Schroder: On Farming and Linux

    Carla Schroder sometimes describes herself as an “Ace Linux guru,” which is as good a way to tell you who she is as any — at least in the Linux context. She’s written so much, in so many places, that it’s easier to give you a single Google link to her work than to list a whole stack of articles, plus three O’Reilly books. The single article I’ll point you to on its own is one Schroder wrote for in July, 2016, titled I’ve Been Linuxing Since Before You Were Born.

    But the main thing (the “takeaway,” marketing people would say) about this interview is that it shows you how a persistent person can teach herself Linux and build a pretty good career working with it and writing about it — and still have time to do a little farming on the side.

  • And another live upgrade – 13.2 -> Leap 42.1
  • openSUSE Tumbleweed – Review of the Weeks 2016/37
  • Q4OS 1.6.2 ‘Orion’ Linux Distro Released, Based On Debian GNU/Linux 8.5 ‘Jessie’

    Q4OS is a Debian-based open source Linux distribution that comes with Trinity desktop environment, which is forked from KDE. The latest release, Q4OS 1.6.2 ‘Orion’, improves the previous version and fixes the bugs reported by users. The existing Q4OS 1.6 or 1.6.1 OS users are advised to update their systems to the latest version.

  • Deepin 15.3 OS Released — A Polished and Beautiful Linux Distro That You’ll Love
  • The Router rumble: Ars DIY build faces better tests, tougher competition

    Since the original Homebrew router is in service for my office now, I built a new one. (Actually, I've built quite a few new ones since then—they've proven pretty popular.) The Homebrew 2.0 looks a lot more serious than its spunky little disco-colored predecessor; it's got a smaller form factor, rugged heavy heat dissipation fins along the top, and four Intel gigabit LAN interfaces across the front. It also has a newer processor: a J1900 Bay Trail Celeron, as opposed to the original Homebrew's 1037u Ivy Bridge Celeron. The new CPU is a mixed bag. It's got twice the cores, but it's a bit slower per thread. For most routing jobs, this gives the older Ivy Bridge CPU a slight advantage, but overall it's a wash. Either version has proven to be more than enough muscle to do the job.

today's leftovers

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  • Linux Kernel 4.4.21 LTS Is a Big Update with Over 200 Changes, Update Now

    Immediately after announcing the release of Linux kernel 4.7.4 as the latest stable and most advanced kernel version, Greg Kroah-Hartman published details about the twenty-first maintenance update to the long-term supported Linux 4.4 kernel series.

  • Linux Kernel 4.7.4 Updates GPU Drivers, Adds OverlayFS and EXT4 Improvements

    Today, September 15, 2016, renowned kernel developer Greg Kroah-Hartman informed the Linux community about the availability of the fourth maintenance update to the Linux 4.7 kernel series.

    Linux kernel 4.7.4 is now the most advanced stable kernel that exists for GNU/Linux operating systems. However, looking at its appended shortlog and the diff from the previous maintenance version, namely Linux kernel 4.7.3, we can't help but notice that the changes implemented in today's release are pretty small in number. Only 59 files were changed, with 614 insertions and 282 deletions.

  • Got the writing bug? An introduction to bibisco

    The writing bug bit me again recently, so I started seeking alternatives and came across bibisco. The application is a personal project of Andrea Feccomandi, who is its sole author. It's licensed under the GPLv2, and freely downloadable from the website, with builds for Windows and 32- or 64-bit Linux. The source code is available on GitHub.

  • [Older] The Top 10 Linux Distributions Of All Time

    Distrowatch started their much discussed ranking system in 2002.

    Whilst only a guide to the success of a distribution it provides an interesting historical view over how the Linuxsphere has changed in the past 14 years.

    Each distribution has a page counter which counts the hits it receives each day and these are counted up and used as a hits per day count for the Distrowatch rankings. To prevent abuse only 1 page count is registered from each IP address per day.

    Now the merits of the numbers and how accurate they are may be up for debate but hopefully the following list will be an interesting insite into the history of Linux.

    This list looks at the rankings since 2002 and highlights the distributions that have hit the top ten in any given year.

    There are some interesting facts to accompany this list. For instance there is only 1 distribution that has been in the top 10 throughout all 14 years although if you count Red Hat and Fedora as one distribution then you could say 2.

    Another interesting fact is that only 3 Linux distributions have ever held the top spot at the end of any given year. You can get one point for each distribution you name.

    28 distributions have appeared in the top 10 in the past 14 years proving that whilst it maybe easy to rise to success it is just as easy to fall out of favour.

    This list is in alphabetical order because it would be hard to do it on rankings as they fluctuate so much per distribution.

  • Rugged, fanless Skylake box-PC has triple GbE and dual HDMI

    Aaeon’s rugged, fanless “Boxer-6639” industrial box-PC features 6th Gen Intel (Skylake) processors plus triple GbE, dual HDMI, and six RS-232/422/485 ports.

  • Open Files Faster With Bookmarks Indicator for Ubuntu
  • Avoid ACCIDENTAL ALL CAPS With This Nifty Indicator Applet
  • [How To] Get Android Notifications on the Ubuntu Desktop
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Games for GNU/Linux

  • Why GNU/Linux ports can be less performant, a more in-depth answer
    When it comes to data handling, or rather data manipulation, different APIs can perform it in different ways. In one, you might simply be able to modify some memory and all is ok. In another, you might have to point to a copy and say "use that when you can instead and free the original then". This is not a one way is better than the other discussion - it's important only that they require different methods of handling it. Actually, OpenGL can have a lot of different methods, and knowing the "best" way for a particular scenario takes some experience to get right. When dealing with porting a game across though, there may not be a lot of options: the engine does things a certain way, so that way has to be faked if there's no exact translation. Guess what? That can affect OpenGL state, and require re-validation of an entire rendering pipeline, stalling command submission to the GPU, a.k.a less performance than the original game. It's again not really feasible to rip apart an entire game engine and redesign it just for that: take the performance hit and carry on. Note that some decisions are based around _porting_ a game. If one could design from the ground up with OpenGL, then OpenGL would likely give better performance...but it might also be more difficult to develop and test for. So there's a bit of a trade-off there, and most developers are probably going to be concerned with getting it running on Windows first, GNU/Linux second. This includes engine developers.
  • Why Linux games often perform worse than on Windows
    Drivers on Windows are tweaked rather often for specific games. You often see a "Game Ready" (or whatever term they use now) driver from Nvidia and AMD where they often state "increased performance in x game by x%". This happens for most major game releases on Windows. Nvidia and AMD have teams of people to specifically tweak the drivers for games on Windows. Looking at Nvidia specifically, in the last three months they have released six new drivers to improve performance in specific games.
  • Thoughts on 'Stellaris' with the 'Leviathans Story Pack' and latest patch, a better game that still needs work
  • Linux community has been sending their love to Feral Interactive & Aspyr Media
    This is awesome to see, people in the community have sent both Feral Interactive & Aspyr Media some little care packages full of treats. Since Aspyr Media have yet to bring us the new Civilization game, it looks like Linux users have been guilt-tripping the porters into speeding up, or just sending them into a sugar coma.
  • Feral Interactive's Linux ports may come with Vulkan sooner than we thought
  • Using Nvidia's NVENC with OBS Studio makes Linux game recording really great
    I had been meaning to try out Nvidia's NVENC for a while, but I never really bothered as I didn't think it would make such a drastic difference in recording gaming videos, but wow does it ever! I was trying to record a game recently and all other methods I tried made the game performance utterly dive, making it impossible to record it. So I asked for advice and eventually came to this way.

Leftovers: Software

  • DocKnot 1.00
    I'm a bit of a perfectionist about package documentation, and I'm also a huge fan of consistency. As I've slowly accumulated more open source software packages (alas, fewer new ones these days since I have less day-job time to work on them), I've developed a standard format for package documentation files, particularly the README in the package and the web pages I publish. I've iterated on these, tweaking them and messing with them, trying to incorporate all my accumulated wisdom about what information people need.
  • Shotwell moving along
    A new feature that was included is a contrast slider in the enhancement tool, moving on with integrating patches hanging around on Bugzilla for quite some time.
  • GObject and SVG
    GSVG is a project to provide a GObject API, using Vala. It has almost all, with some complementary, interfaces from W3C SVG 1.1 specification. GSVG is LGPL library. It will use GXml as XML engine. SVG 1.1 DOM interfaces relays on W3C DOM, then using GXml is a natural choice. SVG is XML and its DOM interfaces, requires to use Object’s properties and be able to add child DOM Elements; then, we need a new set of classes.
  • LibreOffice 5.1.6 Office Suite Released for Enterprise Deployments with 68 Fixes
    Today, October 27, 2016, we've been informed by The Document Foundation about the general availability of the sixth maintenance update to the LibreOffice 5.1 open-source and cross-platform office suite. You're reading that right, LibreOffice 5.1 got a new update not the current stable LibreOffice 5.2 branch, as The Document Foundation is known to maintain at least to versions of its popular office suite, one that is very well tested and can be used for enterprise deployments and another one that offers the latest technologies.