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KDE: Akademy 2018, Krita and KDE Plasma

Fri, 2018-09-07 20:05
  • Akademy 2018 - Vienna, Austria - 11-17 August

    The conference is expected to draw hundreds of attendees from the global KDE Community to discuss and plan the future of the Community and its technology. Many participants from the broad free and open source software community, local organizations and software companies will also attend.

    Akademy 2018 is being organized together with Fachschaft Informatik (FSINF). Apart from representing and counseling computer science students, they engage in diverse political topics e.g. FOSS, Privacy and social justice.

  • Akademy 2018 Videos Posted For KDE's Annual Developer Conference

    Taking place last month in the beautiful city of Vienna was KDE's annual developer conference, Akademy. Session recordings are now available if you are interested in the latest work happening in the KDE desktop space.

  • Last Month in Krita: August 2018

    We used to do a weekly development news post… Last Week in Krita. But then we got too busy doing development to maintain that, and that’s kind of a pity. Still, we’d like to share what we’re doing with you all — and not just through the git history! So, let’s try to revive the tradition…

    In August, we started preparing for our next big Fund Raiser. Mid-September to mid-October, we’ll be raising funds for the next round of Krita development. The last fund raisers were all about features: this will be all about stability and polish. Zero Bugs, while obviously unattainable, is to be the rallying cry! We’re moving to a new payment provider, to make it possible to donate to Krita with other options than paypal or a direct bank transfer. Credit cards, various national e-payment systems and even bitcoin will become possible. It’s up already on our donation page!

    We’ve already made a good start on stability and polish by fixing our unittests — small bits of code that test one or another function of Krita and that we run to see whether new code breaks something. We also fixed almost a hundred bugs. And, of course, the Google Summer of Code came to an end.

  • Konquering the World

    I had the pleasure of attending Akademy this year–my first time. Not only that, the organizers were actually crazy enough to let me give a talk! In it, I discuss my view of how we can systematically improve the competitiveness and reach of KDE Plasma and KDE apps, and what you can do to be a part of this effort. This master plan is what guides my KDE work. I talk about how the Usability & Productivity initiative fits into the plan, but the plan itself is much more ambitious. If you’ve ever wondered whether there’s a method to my madness… here it is!

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Openwashing and FUD

Fri, 2018-09-07 20:02

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Graphics: Gallium3D and NVIDIA

Fri, 2018-09-07 19:59
  • A Lot More Code Pushed Out For Intel's New Iris Gallium3D Linux Graphics Driver

    Last month we were the first to point out that Intel is developing a new Gallium3D graphics driver for their recent generations of HD/UHD Graphics and presumably moving forward with their discrete GPU solutions coming out in 2020. This new Intel Gallium3D driver called "Iris" continues making progress though isn't yet ready for end-users.

    The Intel Gallium3D driver code activity in the public repository seems to come in spurts with overnight being the last huge pile of commits. The 40+ commits overnight included more low-level infrastructure work, adding new capabilities, various NIR intermediate representation bits, AMD_pinned_memory support, and other driver fundamentals.

  • 10 Reasons To Consider The NVIDIA GeForce RTX 20 Series On Linux

    As promised, following my 10 Reasons Linux Gamers Might Want To Pass On The NVIDIA RTX 20 Series, here are ten reasons on the opposite side for considering these new Turing graphics cards for Linux.

    While the main selling point of the new NVIDIA GeForce RTX 20 series hardware is ray-tracing with RTX, which Linux games probably won't see for some time -- natively with the pending Vulkan ray-tracing extensions or mapped to those extensions from any yet-to-be-written Wine portability code for emulated Windows games -- there still are many reasons to consider the GeForce RTX 2070 / 2080 / 2080 Ti graphics cards if you are a dedicated Linux user.

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Games: Emulators, System Shock: Enhanced Edition, Hand of Fate 2, Oxygen Not Included

Fri, 2018-09-07 19:54
  • What Emulator to Choose to Play Your Favorite Console Games

    It is not a secret that currently users opt for Android and MMO games with their devastatingly cool graphics and captivating storylines. Nonetheless, there remain the old-school gamers that consider video gaming consoles the best tools for extracting gaming pleasure. Yes, there are players that still look at their cartridges with nostalgia, remembering of good old days when they used to spend long hours helping Mario and Sonic overcome the obstacles on the way towards victory…
    There is excellent news for the fans of old-school consoles that may have lost any hope to revive their childhood experiences. There is a variety of emulators both veterans and newly developed ones that will make it possible for you to relive the happy moments.
    Today’s article is going to interest true adherents of consoles craving to play the legendary games that once won the hearts of millions of players from the four corners of the world. Go on reading to learn more about the possibilities of Kega Fusion, one of the top emulators for video game consoles.

  • System Shock reboot to have a 'Retro Mode', also System Shock: Enhanced Edition 'soon' for Linux

    Nightdive Studios have given their usual update on the System Shock reboot as well as a fresh hint of System Shock: Enhanced Edition for Linux.

    Firstly, their last two updates on the reboot isn't as exciting as past updates, as they're working towards getting the "Adventure Alpha" version ready for backers at the end of the month.

  • Hand of Fate 2's big combat overhaul is now out and it's damn fine

    Hand of Fate 2 was already a fun game, but the combat was quite simplistic overall. That's not the case now, with the 'Combat Reforged' update that's now out.

  • Oxygen Not Included will now allow you to fly your little people into space

    Oxygen Not Included, the excellent survival colony builder from Klei Entertainment now has even more depth to it, as it will allow you to fly your Duplicant people off into space.

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Linux Maintainers' Summit Moved to Edinburgh

Fri, 2018-09-07 19:49
  • Maintainer's Summit moved to Edinburgh

    The Maintainer's Summit, which is an invite-only gathering of 30 or so kernel developers to discuss process issues with Linus Torvalds, has moved from November 12 in Vancouver, Canada to October 22 in Edinburgh, Scotland in conjunction with Open Source Summit Europe. The technical side of the discussions will still be held as the Kernel Summit track at the Linux Plumbers Conference November 13-15 in Vancouver. There was, it seems, some confusion about the Maintainer's Summit, as Theodore Y.

  • make all relocate... Linux kernel dev summit shifts to Scotland – to fit Torvald's holiday plans

    The Linux Kernel Maintainers' Summit was planned for Vancouver, Canada, in October – but it's been moved to Edinburgh, Scotland.


    After a probably-frenzied weekend discussing the snafu with the invite-only conference committee, Ts'o wrote, “ultimately there were only two choices that were workable” – go ahead without Torvalds, or move the summit.

    And so it happens that everybody would rather ask the 30 or so attendees due to attend the summit to change their plans and head for Edinburgh instead of Vancouver, even though Torvalds suggested they go ahead without him.

    As Daniel Vetter, a kernel engineer from Intel, observed on Twitter: “Linus books the wrong flight and they decide to move the entire conference. It's ... a cult.”

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Security: British Airways, Windows, Updates and ManTech/Microsoft

Fri, 2018-09-07 19:47

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Mozilla Firefox 62 "Quantum" Is Now Available for All Supported Ubuntu Releases

Fri, 2018-09-07 19:19

Firefox 62 introduces Canadian English (en-CA) locale, FreeBSD support for the WebAuthn (Web Authentication) API used for accessing Public Key Credentials Level 1, support for Firefox Home to display up to four rows of top sites, highlights, and Pocket stories, and a new "Reopen in Container" tab menu option that lets users reopen conternized tabs in a different container.

Furthermore, Firefox 62 enables web developers to create richer web page layouts and beautiful typography for sites thanks to the addition of CSS Shapes support and CSS Variable Fonts (OpenType Font Variations) support, as well as a brand-new Shape Path Editor in the CSS Inspector. It also allows users to distrust certificates issued by Symantec by setting "security.pki.distrust_ca_policy" to 2.

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Linux Mint 19.1 "Tessa" Announced, Will Arrive in November or December 2018

Fri, 2018-09-07 19:17

Based on the recently released Ubuntu 18.04.1 LTS (Bionic Beaver) operating system, Linux Mint 19.1 will be dubbed "Tessa" and it is expected to arrive sometime later this year at the end of November or in early December, according to project leader Clement Lefebvre.

"The second release in the Linux Mint 19.x series will be named “Tessa”. Linux Mint 19.1 is estimated to be released around November/December 2018 and will be supported until 2023," wrote Clement Lefebvre in a short blog post published today.

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SkySilk Launches As Linux-Powered Cloud Provider, Offers AMD EPYC Instances

Fri, 2018-09-07 18:57

There is a new public cloud provider that exited beta this past weekend and is exclusively offering Linux instances from Arch Linux to CentOS to Debian and Fedora. In addition to the usual assortment of Intel Xeon powered clouds/VPS instances, they also offer a range of AMD EPYC powered systems too.

SkySilk has provided some credits for our testing and benchmarking of their new Linux cloud / virtual private servers. I've spent the past few days trying out some of their instances and running off a variety of benchmarks. While reviewing cloud providers isn't one of our main focuses at Phoronix, I always take the opportune to benchmark public clouds for fun. So for now are some of my initial tests for reference purposes should you be shopping around for a new cloud provider.

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Raspberry Pi HAT does hydroponic root zone monitoring

Fri, 2018-09-07 18:50

Autogrow has released open source files for building an “OpenMinder” root zone monitor HAT and API for the Raspberry Pi that manages water, pH, and nutrient usage in hydroponic farming.

Auckland, New Zealand based AgTech firm Autogrow has launched an OpenMinder project for DIY water management and root zone monitoring by releasing schematics and other open source files for building a Raspberry Pi HAT add-on board. The system, which came to our attention from a bizEdge New Zealand story, is designed in response to increasing restrictions on water usage and pesticide and fertilizer runoff. A commercial version is due in Q4 2019.

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Security: British Airways, MikroTik, Microsoft/NSA Back Doors and ProtonMail

Fri, 2018-09-07 12:02
  • British Airways breach sees hackers take-off with customers' payment details

    The airline fessed up to the mega-breach on Thursday, revealing that the payment cards of at least 380,000 customers have been "compromised" in a theft of data from the company's online booking systems.

  • Unpatched routers being used to build vast proxy army, spy on networks [Ed: And our governments MANDATE back doors. Mandate.]

    Researchers at China's Netlab 360 have discovered that thousands of routers manufactured by the Latvian company MikroTik have been compromised by malware attacking a vulnerability revealed April. While MikroTik posted a software update for the vulnerability in April, researchers found that more than 370,000 MikroTik devices they identified on the Internet were still vulnerable. The attack comes after a previous wave based on a vulnerability made public by WikiLeaks' publication of tools from the CIA's "Vault7" toolkit.

    According to a report by Netlab 360's Genshen Ye, more than 7,500 of them are actively being spied on by attackers, who are actively forwarding full captures of their network traffic to a number of remote servers. Additionally, 239,000 of the devices have been turned into SOCKS 4 proxies accessible from a single, small Internet address block.

  • North Korean Hacker Charged Over WannaCry Attack And Sony Hacking [Ed: They should charge Microsoft and the NSA for colluding to make back doors that emasculated crackers]

    The U.S. has charged and sanctioned a North Korean hacker who is accused of being responsible for the infamous WannaCry Cyberattacks of 2017 and the 2014 cyberassault on Sony Corp.

    The man named Park Jin Kyok who is the part of the Lazarus Group, a team of hackers, has been sanctioned under the strategy devised by the U.S. government for naming and shaming the hackers.

  • North Korean 'hacker' charged over cyber-attacks against NHS

    The US justice department has charged an alleged North Korean spy for helping to perpetrate cyber-attacks against the National Health Service that saw operations cancelled, ambulances diverted and patient records made unavailable following a worldwide hack in 2017 which affected computers in more than 150 countries.

  • DoJ to charge North Korean 'spy' over Sony Pictures, WannaCry attacks

    Pak is also linked to the notorious Lazarus Group, writes The Post, which has been linked to 2017 WannaCry attack that infected more than 300,000 computers worldwide and as many as one-fifth of NHS hospital trusts in the UK.

  • Brit teen arrested for involvement in DDoS attack on ProtonMail

    "It turns out that despite claims by Apophis Squad that federal authorities would never be able to find them, they themselves did not practice very good operational security. In fact, some of their own servers were breached and exposed online."

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Seattle GNU/Linux Conference and International Day Against DRM (IDAD)

Fri, 2018-09-07 11:09
  • Recognize free software heroes in Cascadia at SeaGL

    Presented in November 2018, at the Seattle GNU/Linux Conference (SeaGL), the Cascadia Community Builder Award honors the free software work of people living in the Cascadia region of the United States and Canada. The award is designed to recognize work in software projects, non-profit organizations, outreach and education, hackerspaces, user groups, or any activity that promotes the adoption and appreciation of free software to new and larger groups of people. The awards committee is especially interested in individuals who have successfully reached out to traditionally under-represented groups, even if that isn’t their primary goal.


    The award will be presented at SeaGL, which takes place November 9 and 10, 2018 at Seattle Central College in Seattle, Washington. Want to be part of the action? SeaGL is actively seeking volunteers! Just email participate@seagl.org and introduce yourself!

  • IDAD 2018 modal window

    Looking to add the International Day Against DRM (IDAD) modal window to your Web site? Copy the following and paste it near the top of the contents of the "body" tag on your Web page.

  • Take action on September 18th for International Day Against DRM

    We're less than two weeks away from International Day Against DRM (IDAD), an annual day of action and celebration against Digital Restrictions Management (DRM). It's happening this September 18th, all over the world and the Web. IDAD is the day to stand together and loudly declare our stance against DRM. This is your chance to join a worldwide movement of people standing for digital freedom.

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What do open source and cooking have in common?

Fri, 2018-09-07 10:51

What’s a fun way to promote the principles of free software without actually coding? Here’s an idea: open source cooking. For the past eight years, this is what we’ve been doing in Munich.

The idea of open source cooking grew out of our regular open source meetups because we realized that cooking and free software have a lot in common.

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6 open source tools for writing a book

Fri, 2018-09-07 10:49

I first used and contributed to free and open source software in 1993, and since then I've been an open source software developer and evangelist. I've written or contributed to dozens of open source software projects, although the one that I'll be remembered for is the FreeDOS Project, an open source implementation of the DOS operating system.

I recently wrote a book about FreeDOS. Using FreeDOS is my celebration of the 24th anniversary of FreeDOS. It is a collection of how-to's about installing and using FreeDOS, essays about my favorite DOS applications, and quick-reference guides to the DOS command line and DOS batch programming. I've been working on this book for the last few months, with the help of a great professional editor.

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Android Leftovers

Fri, 2018-09-07 10:17
  • United Airlines Made Its App Stop Working On My Phone, And What This Says About How Broken The Mobile Tech Space Is

    This post isn't really about United Airlines, but let's start there because it's still due plenty of criticism.

    One day my phone updated the United App. I forget if I had trusted it to auto-update, or if I'd manually accepted the update (which I usually do only after reviewing what's been changed in the new version), but in any case, suddenly I found that it wasn't working. I waited a few days to see if it was a transient problem, but it still wouldn't work. So I decided to uninstall and reinstall, and that's where I ran into a wall: it wouldn't download, because Google Play said the new version wasn't compatible with my phone.


    But let's not let United off the hook too soon. First, even if United were justified in ceasing to support an Android 4.x capable app, it should have clearly communicated this to the customers with 4.x phones. Perhaps we could have refused the update, but even if not, at least we would have known what happened and not wasted time troubleshooting. Plus we would have had some idea of how much United valued our business...

    Second, one of the points raised in United's defense is that it is expensive to have to support older versions of software. True, but if United wants to pursue the business strategy of driving its customers to its app as a way of managing that relationship, then it will need to figure out how to budget for maintaining that relationship with all of its customers, or at least those whose business it wants to keep. If providing support for older phones is too expensive, then it should reconsider the business decision of driving everyone to the app in the first place. It shouldn't make customers subsidize this business decision by forcing them to invest in new equipment.

    And then there was the third and most troubling point raised in United's defense, which is that Android 4.x is a ticking time bomb of hackable horror, and that any device still running it should be cast out of our lives as soon as possible. According to this argument, for United to continue to allow people to use their app on a 4.x Android device would be akin to malpractice, and possibly not even be allowed per their payment provider agreements.

  • Updated Android Bionic Commit Suggests API Level 29 will be Android Q
  • Official Open GApps Packages Now Available for Android Pie ROMs
  • Samsung Galaxy S10+ Variant Will Support 5G: Report
  • Huawei And Honor Phones Caught Cheating Benchmark Tests
  • Huawei & Honor's Recent Benchmarking Behaviour: A Cheating Headache
  • Confirmed: Google Pixel 3 Launch Event Scheduled For October 9

    Earlier today, Google sent out invites for its annual hardware event scheduled for October 9 this year. Google is most likely to announce its upcoming flagship Google Pixel 3, which has been leaked inside out, in the event.

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OpenMandriva Lx 4.0 Alpha Surfaces

Fri, 2018-09-07 07:39

We've been looking forward to the OpenMandriva Lx 4.0 release for a number of months now with Lx 3.0 having debuted two years ago. Fortunately, that release is inching closer to release as this week the alpha release is now available for testing.

OpenMandriva Lx 4.0 is a big release and as such is taking a long time to get into shape for release. Some of the big ticket items include switching back from RPM5 to RPM4, utilizing Fedora's DNF package manager, shipping with Linux 4.17~4.18 , LLVM Clang 7 as the default compiler while GCC 8 is also available , complete support for AArch64, and a variety of package updates.

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KDE and GNOME Desktop Leftovers

Fri, 2018-09-07 07:34
  • Librem 5 general development report — September 6th, 2018

    Some of the Purism team members attended Akademy 2018 in Vienna. This conference facilitated further discussions with KDE developers and it was nice to meet everyone in person!

  • [FreeBSD] .. in with the New

    So except for the Qt version, we’re keeping up reasonably well with the modern stuff. And we’ve finally joined most of the Linux distributions in deprecating KDE4 software. For KDE4-using ports that are not “ours”, we’re encouraging other ports maintainers to update them (e.g. to KF5-enabled versions) or follow in deprecating the software.

  • NetworkManager Picks Up Support For Dealing With LLMNR

    The latest merged feature work for NetworkManager is for supporting LLMNR (Link-Local Multicast Name Resolution) in conjunction with systemd-resolved.

    LLMNR is based on DNS and supports IPv4 and IPv6 to perform name resolution for hosts using the same local link. LLMNR is most practical for ad-hoc network scenarios but there is the potential for some network vulnerabilities around Link-Local Multicast Name Resolution.

  • Federico Mena-Quintero: My gdk-pixbuf braindump

    This where the calling program feeds chunks of bytes to the library, and at the end a fully-formed GdkPixbuf comes out, instead of having a single "read a whole file" operation.

    We conflated this with a way to get updates on how the image area gets modified as the data gets parsed. I think we wanted to support the case of a web browser, which downloads images slowly over the network, and gradually displays them as they are downloaded. In 1998, images downloading slowly over the network was a real concern!

    It took a lot of very careful work to convert the image loaders, which parsed a whole file at a time, into loaders that could maintain some state between each time that they got handed an extra bit of buffer.

    It also sounded easy to implement the progressive updating API by simply emitting a signal that said, "this rectangular area got updated from the last read". It could handle the case of reading whole scanlines, or a few pixels, or even area-based updates for progressive JPEGs and PNGs.

    The internal API for the image format loaders still keeps a distinction between the "load a whole file" API and the "load an image in chunks". Not all loaders got redone to simply just use the second one: io-jpeg.c still implements loading whole files by calling the corresponding libjpeg functions. I think it could remove that code and use the progressive loading functions instead.

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