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Your source for GNU/Linux news, reviews and HOWTO guides. And some K-pop news too.

Top Story

  • The Current State Of Gamescope
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    Gamescope is a bare-bones Wayland compositor that lets you up-scale or otherwise alter games and other graphical applications so they are displayed correctly, or just larger, on modern displays with higher resolutions. It is being developed by Valve-employed Pierre-Loup A Griffais who gave a interesting talk about the current state of Gamescope at the X.Org Developers Conference 2020. Gamescope will currently only work on AMD graphics cards using the RADV Vulkan driver. It can be used under both Xorg/X11 and Wayland.

Breaking News

  • From the FSF Bulletin: Trial by proprietary software
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    There has been so much to worry about during the COVID-19 pandemic, even just within the category of technology policy. At the FSF, our role is to worry specifically about the impact of software on human freedom. Software can be a tremendous tool for solving social and scientific problems, but only when the terms of its distribution and use allow everyone to inspect how it works, share copies of it, modify it for their own purposes, and share those improvements or tweaks with others.
  • 42.9 GB Of Microsoft Source Code Leaked: Historicans Can Now Study The Source Code For MS-Dos 3.3 To Windows XP
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    The mother-load of Microsoft source code hit the web today. A 42.9 GiB torrent with MS-Dos 3.3, MS-Dos 6, Windows NT 3.5 & 5, Windows CE 6 & 7, Windows 2000, Windows Server 2003 and Windows XP, and some XBox code, can now be acquired from your local friendly BitTorrent site.
  • Korean Trot Singer Kang Hye Yeon's Latest Cover Brings Attention To Lonely Single Mothers
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    Many single mothers struggle with trying to make ends meet because their husband left them with a child to raise on their own. South Korean pop sensation Kang Hye Yeon brings awareness to women in this very unfortunate situation with her new wonderfully performed cover of the tradition Korean trot song "Golden Grass - Mother's Song" (금잔디 - 엄마의 노래).
  • Frictional Games Has Released Source Code For Two Amnesia Games As FOSS Under The GNU GPLv3
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    Swedish Frictional Games AB has released the source code for their Amnesia: The Dark Descent (2010) and Amnesia: A Machine For Pigs (2013) games as free open source software under the GNU GPLv3 license. The game assets have not been made available under any free license so the full games remain proprietary software.
  • Vkd3d 1.2 Is Released
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    The Wine team has released a new major version of their vkd3d DirectX 12 to Vulkan translation layer library used by Wine. Two years of hard work allows this vkd3d release to let you launch Mario Kart DX12. That is an improvement since vkd3d 1.1. You can now see the start menu, but you can't actually play the game. There's also support for tessellation shaders, stream output and a now publicly available libvkd3d-shader library in vkd3d 1.2.
  • The Current State Of The Tor Network September 2020
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    The Tor anonymity networks lets you browse the Internet anonymously, with traffic analysis resistance, thanks to the "wide diversity" of Tor relays. That "diversity" is in reality limited to a bunch of Tor relays crammed together in a few high-capacity data-centers Paris, Hanina (Germany), London, Amsterdam and Smithville, USA.

Quote of the week

"The chances of a random photon from the sun hitting your scene is tiny"

Jason Ekstrand presenting the Vulkan ray-tracing API
at the X.Org Developers Conference 2020

Latest software reviews

  • Fr-041: d e b r i s
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    Fr-041: debris is a PC scene demo for Windows using DirectX 9 to render graphics. It was released by the German demo group farbrauch on April 11th, 2007. It had very impressive graphics for the time when it was released and it is still a very good-looking and generally very nice PC demo with a decent, but not superb, audio track.
  • Fr-063: Magellan
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    Fr-063: Magellan is a pc scene demo by the German demo group farbrauch. It was released in December 2018. The screenshots of it on sites like pouet and scene.org look pretty nice. Running in it in Wine results in disaster.
  • Isolated, in sunlight
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    isolated, in sunlight is a Windows scene demo made for the Revision 2020 Party demo competitions. It is not very exciting or very impressive, it is, in fact, kind of boring. The only remotely interesting about it is that it's a piece of Windows software with graphics which makes it a fun thing to test in Wine staging and development versions just to see if it runs or not.

"Of course I added a hidden segfault specifically to annoy Chaekyung, which was the entire goal of this commit, and which is why it will never be fixed. Read() fails and the negative value is added to len, so of course that'll crash."

mpv developer wm4
explaining his reasoning behind mpv commit 602384348e71 which introduced a segfault

Hot News

  • Lenovo's Increasing Their Line-Up Of ThinkPad And ThinkStation Computers With Linux Pre-Installed
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    The Chinese computer manufacturer Lenovo is currently offering a handful of computers, and just one ThinkPad laptop, with Linux operating systems preinstalled. That is about to change. Ubuntu-maker Canonical Ltd has announced that Lenovo has certified Ubuntu 20.04 LTS for use on 30 of Lenovo's Thinkpad and ThinkStation computers. Some are already available with either Ubuntu and RedHat Enterprise Linux and more will become available throughout 2021.
  • GNU Parallel Ginsburg Is Released
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    The latest version of the most comprehensive tool for running terminal commands in parallel has new CPU detection code for GNU/Linux, bug fixes and a few changes to the very long and detailed manual page.
  • Microsoft Edge Is Coming To Linux In October 2020
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    ..but it will, initially, only be available to members of some secret club called the "Microsoft Edge Insider community". Microsoft did not reveal when it will become available to the general public, only that "insiders" will be able to choose between a "Beta", "Dev" and a "Canary" channel.
  • New GNU Kart Coming To SuperTuxKart 1.3
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    The lead SuperTuxKart developer has big plans for the future of the best free software kart racing game. Vulkan support is on the to-do list but that won't arrive until SuperTuxKart 2.0. There will be several 1.x released before 2.0 arrives. The next minor release, SuperTuxKart 1.3, will have a new re-vamped GNU kart and a polished and improved "Enterprise" track.
  • Tor Browser 10 Is Released
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    The Tor project has released a new version of their Tor browser bundle based on today's Firefox 78.3.0 ESR release. The Tor Browser 10 bundle comes with a modified and buggy Firefox 78.3.0 build, NoScript 11.0.44, HTTPS everywhere and Tor version 0.4.4.5.
  • Firefox 81 Is Released
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    The Mozilla Corporation has released yet another Firefox version because they are on a monthly release schedule and it's that time of the month again. Firefox 81 adds media controls using the standard MPRIS interface which means things like the KDE media player controls can now be used to control video playback in Firefox. There's also a new bundled theme and 6 security fixes.
  • Support For Mysterious AMD VanGogh and Dimgrey Cavefish GPUs Merged To The Mesa RadeonSI OpenGL Driver
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    AMD merged support for two new graphics chips into the RadeonSI Mesa OpenGL driver for AMD graphics cards today: CHIP_DIMGREY_CAVEFISH and CHIP_VANGOGH. The patches were written back in July 2020. Dimgrey Cavefish is placed in the Navi (FAMILY_NV) family while VanGogh is something different. Both chips are in the GFX10 family with the features AMD markets as "RDNA2".
  • Krita 5.0 Will Have A Built-In Screen Recorder
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    It has been one and a half years since Shi Yan first submitted a series of patches implementing screen recorder functionality. Those patches have finally been merged into Krita's master source tree. Krita 5.0 will have the ability to create neat time-lapse videos of drawings done in Krita by capturing canvas snapshots when it has been drawn on and the pen has been down for at minimum of two seconds.
  • New Russian Legislation Would Outlaw Tor And Sites Using Encrypted ClientHello
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    The Russian Ministry of Digital Development, Communications and Mass Media has proposed amendments to a law that would ban "encryption protocols that allow Internet sites or pages to hide their name except in cases established in legislation by the Russian Federation." The proposal targets the Encrypted ClientHello TLS extension but the implications are broader than that.

Check out the news archive for more news.

Recent software reviews

  • Blue Nebula
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    Blue Nebula is a free very fast-paced online teamed first person shooter with decent graphics. There are many game-modes like death-match and capture the flat to choose between. It has very few hardware requirements making it a really cool and nice game to play either at high resolutions at high frame-rates on modern hardware or standard 1080p resolution on old and/or modest hardware.
  • GNOME Web
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    GNOME Web, or just "Web" as it appears in desktop menus, formally known as Epiphany before the GNOME team decided to rename everything according to general names resembling their function, is the default web browser in the GNOME desktop environment. It is built on top of the WebKitGTK rendering toolkit which, as the name implies, is based on Apple's WebKit rendering engine. It is, much like the default Edge browser on Windows, only suitable for downloading a better web browser.
  • Unvanquished
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    Unvanquished is a multiplayer first person shooter strategy game where you can choose to be on a human team or a alien team and fight the opposing side. There are bases and structures to protect and maintain, weapons to acquire, resources to earn and enemies, either aliens or humans depending on what team you pick, that need to be eradicated.
  • Qmmp
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    qmmp is a very nice playlist-based media player with support for skins, including those made for old-school programs like xmms and Winamp. It is modular and plugin-based and there are plugins for decoding all the audio formats.
  • OpenRGB
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    OpenRGB is a graphical free software program that, in theory, lets you control RGB lights motherboards, graphics cards and other devices from the Linux and Windows operating systems. Using it to control most of the RGB lights it supports on Linux requires compiling the Linux kernel with a special i2c-dev patch and there is a fair chance won't work even if you do that. It is also possible that it will let you control RGB lights from a simple and easy to use graphical interface.
  • Adriconf
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    adriconf (Advanced DRI CONFigurator) is a graphical Mesa DRI configuration utility for developers, experts and even brave hobbyists who want to change Mesa settings graphics settings on Linux machines running Wayland or Xorg. It allows you to enable filters that change image quality, change debugging settings and, more importantly, change settings that impact performance.
  • Deepin
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    Deepin is a Debian-based Linux operating system from Chinese Wuhan Deepin Technology Corporation featuring a unique and very user-friendly desktop environment called "Deepin Desktop Environment". It comes with a wide range of easy to use applications written specially for it's Deepin Desktop Environment in C++ using Qt and the "Deepin Tool Kit" (DTK). Deepin is very easy to install, it is easy to use and it comes with everything you need to do most tasks you would want to do on a desktop or laptop computer.

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