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7 Great XFCE Themes for Linux

Gnome might be the de-facto default desktop for many Linux distributions, but that doesn’t mean it’s everyone’s favorite. For many Linux users that distinction goes to XFCE. While it’s not as lightweight as it used to be, XFCE remains a favorite among users who want their desktop environment to stay out of their way. Just because you want a relatively minimal desktop doesn’t mean you want it to be ugly. Looking to spice up the look of your XFCE installation? You have plenty of options. Read more

Security: ASUS, Tesla and HackerOne

  • Hackers Hijacked ASUS Software Updates to Install Backdoors on Thousands of Computers
    Researchers at cybersecurity firm Kaspersky Lab say that ASUS, one of the world’s largest computer makers, was used to unwittingly install a malicious backdoor on thousands of its customers’ computers last year after attackers compromised a server for the company’s live software update tool. The malicious file was signed with legitimate ASUS digital certificates to make it appear to be an authentic software update from the company, Kaspersky Lab says. ASUS, a multi-billion dollar computer hardware company based in Taiwan that manufactures desktop computers, laptops, mobile phones, smart home systems, and other electronics, was pushing the backdoor to customers for at least five months last year before it was discovered, according to new research from the Moscow-based security firm. The researchers estimate half a million Windows machines received the malicious backdoor through the ASUS update server, although the attackers appear to have been targeting only about 600 of those systems. The malware searched for targeted systems through their unique MAC addresses. Once on a system, if it found one of these targeted addresses, the malware reached out to a command-and-control server the attackers operated, which then installed additional malware on those machines. Kaspersky Lab said it uncovered the attack in January after adding a new supply-chain detection technology to its scanning tool to catch anomalous code fragments hidden in legitimate code or catch code that is hijacking normal operations on a machine. The company plans to release a full technical paper and presentation about the ASUS attack, which it has dubbed ShadowHammer, next month at its Security Analyst Summit in Singapore. In the meantime, Kaspersky has published some of the technical details on its website.
  • Hackers break into the Tesla car web browser to win a Model 3
  • Sonatype and HackerOne partner on open source vulnerability reporting

Games: Overland, Lutris, Dead Cells and Fossilize

  • The impressive squad-based survival strategy game Overland to release this autumn
    Overland from Finji is a beautiful looking and impressive squad-based strategy game and they've now announced a release window.
  • The open source game manager Lutris had another sweet update recently
    What's that, too many launchers or no easy way to manage GOG games on Linux? Lutris might solve this problem for you. Giving you the ability to install and manage games from Steam, GOG, Humble Store, Emulators and more it's a pretty handy application to keep around. This latest release is mostly improving on existing features like downloading the default Wine version when not already available, preventing duplicated entries when importing games from a 3rd party, one search bar to rule them all, improved log handling performance, using your discrete GPU by default on compatible systems and more.
  • Dead Cells - Rise of the Giant free DLC to release this week, over 1 million copies sold
    Ready for just one more run? The Dead Cells - Rise of the Giant free DLC is releasing this week (March 28th) as Motion Twin celebrate good sales. The developer spoke at GDC and they went on to mention that Dead Cells has now officially sold over 1 million copies! Around 60% of that was on PC too, so the indie market for good games is still alive and well by the looks of it.
  • Fossilize Is Valve's Latest Open-Source Vulkan Project
    Valve Software has been backing work on Fossilize as an open-source project providing a serialization format for persistent Vulkan object types. Valve has been backing Hans-Kristian Arntzen to work on this Vulkan project while it has also seen commits by their in-house Vulkan guru Dan Ginsburg. The Fossilize library and Vulkan layer is intended so these persistent Vulkan persistent object types can be backed by the pipeline cache, a Vulkan layer to capture the cache, and the ability to replay the cache on different devices without having to run the application itself.

Graphics: Wayland and Vulkan

  • Canonical Reportedly Not Planning To Enable Wayland-By-Default For Ubuntu 20.04 LTS
    Since the short-lived Ubuntu 17.10 GNOME + Wayland experience, the Ubuntu desktop has still been using the trusted X.Org Server session by default. While Ubuntu 19.04 will soon be shipping and the Ubuntu 19.10 development cycle then getting underway, don't look for any Wayland-by-default change to be around the corner. Twice in the past week I've received communication from two indicating that Canonical reportedly isn't planning on enabling Wayland-by-default for Ubuntu 20.04 LTS. If Canonical were planning to go ahead with Wayland used by default, they would need to make the change for Ubuntu 19.10 as is customary for them to make large changes in the LTS-release-1 version in order to facilitate more widespread testing ahead of the Long Term Support cycle. But Canonical engineers feel that the Wayland support isn't mature enough to enable in the next year for Ubuntu 20.04 LTS.
  • Vulkan Working To Expose Video Encode/Decode, Machine Learning
    During this week's Game Developers Conference was the usual Khronos Dev Day where Vulkan, WebGL, glTF, and OpenXR took center stage. During the Vulkan State of the Union some details on their future endeavors were covered. Among some of the larger efforts that are "in flight" are improving the portability of Vulkan to closed platforms without native drivers (MoltenVK, etc), continuing to work on ray-tracing (complementing the existing VK_NV_ray_tracing), exposing video encode/decode through Vulkan, exposing machine learning capabilities, and the separate effort on safety critical Vulkan.