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- Patently Obvious: The Year The Lawyers Came To FOSSThe GNOME foundation was sued by Rothschild Patent Imaging on August 28th, 2019. The lawsuit alleged that the GNOME Shotwell photo manager was infringing on Rothschild patents. The GNOME foundation eventually settled with the Rothschilds in March 2020. Neil McGovern, Executive Director of the GNOME foundation, went through the entire process in a 25 minute presentation at the Seattle GNU/Linux conference this weekend.
- FreeBSD Fridays: Introduction to RISC-V on FreeBSDVideo: Join Mitchell Horne as he discusses the past, present, and future of FreeBSD’s support for the RISC-V CPU architecture. x86-64 is the most well-supported platform FreeBSD runs on. RISC-V support is not yet complete in all areas, but it is rapidly getting here.
- AMD Launches 3 High-End RX 6000-Series GPUs For 4k GamingAMD has announced 3 high-end graphics cards based on the RDNA2 architecture. Their new mid-range RX 6800 card, comparable to a Nvidia 2080ti, will cost $579 when it becomes available on November 18th. AMDs new RX 6900 XT flagship GPU will cost a whopping $999 when it launches on December 8th.
- Prepare To Re-Format If You Are Using An Older XFS FilesystemLinux 5.10 brings several new features to the XFS filesystem. It solves the year 2038 problem, it supports metadata checksumming and it has better metadata verification. There's also a new configuration option:
CONFIG_XFS_SUPPORT_V4. Older XFS filesystems using the v4 layout are now deprecated and there is no upgrade path beyond "backup and re-format". The Linux kernel will support older XFS v4 filesystems by default until 2025 and optional support will remain available until 2030.
- Linux Is Dropping WiMAX SupportIt's no loss. There is a reason why you have probably never seen a WiMAX device or heard of it, WiMAX was a wireless last-mile Internet solution mostly used in a few rural areas in a limited number of countries between 2005 and 2010. There is very little use for it today so it is almost natural that Linux is phasing out support for WiMAX and the one WiMAX device it supports.
- Fedora 33 Is ReleasedFedora 33 comes with GNOME 3.38, LLVM 11, Python 3.9, Mesa 20.2 and Linux 5.8. The default file system is btrfs on the workstation edition and the desktop spins while the server editions uses XFS. Spins with GNOME (the default workstation edition), KDE Plasma, LXQt, Cinnamon and Xfce are available.
- AMD Announces Record High Q3 2020 Profits And $35 Billion Deal To Buy XilinxAMD announced their Q3 2020 quarterly results early due to an all-stock acquisition of the American semiconductor company Xilinx for $35 billion. AMD pulled in $2.8 billion in revenue in Q3 2020, up 58% compared to Q3 2019. Their quarterly earnings were even more impressive. Q3 2020 was AMD's best quarter in history in terms of both revenue and earnings.
- Corbett Report: YouTube Is Purging AgainYouTube has been removing small independent content creators from its platform with regular purges since 2016. YouTube did another big purge this week. Independent content creators who are only on YouTube should take notice and get a presence on alternative platforms. Investigate journalist James Corbett of the Corbett Report is prepared to get purged from YouTube. His videos are available on his own self-hosted website and a number of other video platforms. Most independent creators are not even though YouTube has been suppressing and removing independent creators in favor of large corporate media outlets for nearly half a decade.
- Recording Industry Association of America Gets Youtube-dl Kicked Off GitHubMicrosoft GitHub has removed all traces of the very useful
youtube-dlutility for downloading videos from YouTube and other websites, including this one, following a questionable DMCA request from the Recording Industry Association of America.
- Wine 5.20 Released With 36 Bug-FixesThe latest development release of the Wine Is Not An Emulator Windows API re-implementation has game specifix fixes for Alice Madness Return, Backpacker 3: Americana, Capella no yakusoku, Metro Exodus, Red Evil and Stellaris. There's also several general fixes that make a long list of games run better in Wine 5.20. Audio mixing and audio handling in general should be better with this release.
- Sensor Fusion Hub Driver For AMD Laptops With Gyroscopes Is Coming To Linux 5.11It's been a long and hard road to acceptance for AMD's Sensor Fusion Hub Linux driver. The first revision was submitted to the Linux kernel Mailing List in January 2020. It took eight revisions and a lot of effort before Jiří Kosina finally accepted it into the
hid.git#for-5.11tree, almost guaranteeing that it will become a part of Linux 5.11.
- Linux Support for Variable Refresh Rates On Gen12+ Intel GPUs Is On The WayIntel developer Manasi Navare has submitted a series of patches for the Linux kernel that brings support for variable refresh rates on Intel's latest graphics chips to the Linux kernels i915 driver. The feature is only enabled on Tiger Lake, Sapphire Rapids and newer Intel graphics chips.
- Richard Brown: MicroOS Desktop, The Road to Daily DrivingopenSUSE Chairman and MicroOS Release Engineer Richard Brown presented OpenSUSE's minimal MicroOS Linux distribution as a potential desktop operating system at the openSUSE+LibreOffice Virtual Conference 2020 last week in a half an hour long presentation. MicroOS is a minimal Linux distribution primarily made for cloud services, IoT devices, containers and those types of use-cases. It could potentially also be used as a light desktop system similar to ChromeOS and an alpha version of MicroOS for Desktop is available. There are some problems to be solved on the road to a stable release as Richard Brown explains.
- US Department Of Justice Lawsuit Against Google Could Kill FirefoxA US Department of Justice lawsuit against Google on the grounds that they are a "monopolist" could result in the death of the one realistic free software web browser alternative that's not based on the Google-controlled Chromium code-base and its Blink rendering engine. Mozilla will need to find some other partner willing to pay them $400 million a year if they are forced to cancel their sweet "royalty" contract with Google.
- Modern Web Standards Are Leaving Niche Web Browsers BehindThere's plenty of web browsers to choose from on desktop computers but there's not much of a choice if you look beneath the surface. There's a ton of web browsers based on Google's Chromium code-base, a few mostly iOS and macOS browsers based on Apple's Webkit engine and then there's Firefox with it's own Quantum rendering engine. There also Pale Moon with it's own Goanna rendering engine. It is increasingly falling behind the bigger browsers and more and more websites are broken in it as web developers deploy web standards other browsers, but not Pale Moon, support.
- The Closed-Source NVIDIA Linux Driver Is Incompatible With Linux 5.9 And Support Won't Come Until Mid-NovemberThe latest Nvidia graphics driver for Linux, v455.28, won't work with the latest Linux kernel. This may be due to an intentional change on the Linux kernel side that blocks third party shims from using GPL-only symbols. Regardless of the root cause, anyone using Nvidia on Linux should stick with Linux 5.8 for now. Nvidia has promised that an updated driver compatible with Linux 5.9 will arrive mid-November.
- When "progress" is backwardsLately I see many developments in the linux FOSS world that sell themselves as progress, but are actually hugely annoying and counter-productive. Counter-productive to a point where they actually cause major regressions, costs, and as in the case of GTK+3 ruin user experience and the possibility that we'll ever enjoy "The year of the Linux desktop".
- Microsoft Edge For Linux Is HereMicrosoft kept good on their promise to release a Linux version of their Edge web browser product in October 2020. It's here with packages available for Debian, Ubuntu, Fedora and OpenSUSE. The browser itself is not very unique or special, it's mostly just Chromium wrapped in a Microsoft-skin. There are some Microsoft-specific features tied to Microsoft's web services, and that's about it. Performance is about the same as what you get with other Chromium-based web browsers.
- Firefox 82 Is Released With Four High-Impact Security FixesMozilla Firefox 82 is faster on websites using flex CSS layout, there's a new picture-in-picture button that you may or may not find annoying enough to disable and there's four high-impact and two medium-impact security fixes. There's no performance improvement in synthetic benchmarks.
- AMDVLK 2020.Q4.1 Is Released With A New Vulkan Extension And Three Game-Specific FixesAMD has released a new version of their AMDVLK Vulkan driver for Linux with support for one new Vulkan extensions and game-specific fixes for Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus, Second Extinction and X-plane. Performance is still overall worse than the AMD RADV Vulkan driver that comes with Mesa 20.2.0 and performance is much worse in specific graphics benchmarks and image up-scaling.
- Ongoing (Albeit Secret) Campaign of Patent Extortion Against GNU/Linux Distributions Using Software Patents, Even Expired Ones in EuropeGNU/Linux distros attacked by software patents, even in Europe where no such patents are supposed to exist (or have any legal bearing)
- Mesa Just Got A Significant Performance Boost For Intel Tiger Lake ChipsIntel's Kenneth Graunke has written a few patches for Intel Gen12+ graphics chips that boost graphics performance by one to twelve percent. Don't get too excited, it only applies to Intel Tigerlake and newer and they won't arrive in mainstream GNU/Linux distributions until Mesa 20.3 is released mid-December.
- Vulkan Specification Version 1.2.158 Brings Two New ExtensionsVersion 1.2.158 of the Vulkan specification introduces
VK_KHR_fragment_shading_ratethat lets developers change the rate at which fragments are shaded on a per-region, per-primitive or per-draw basis and
VK_KHR_shader_terminate_invocationwhich, together with the previously introduced
VK_EXT_shader_demote_to_helper_invocationextension, lets developers do a much more specific
- Apple's CUPS Repository Has Died A Quiet DeathThe Common Unix Printing System (CUPS) is something all the GNU/Linux distributions use to manage printers. It's been maintained by Apple since 2007. The Apple-lead CUPS development efforts appear to have completely died out after lead CUPS developer Michael Sweet left the company. CUPS isn't dead, though, Sweet and others are still working on it in a fork maintained by the OpenPrinting organization.
- Linux 5.9.1 And Older Stable Kernel Updates Fixing "Bleeding Tooth" Bluetooth Vulnerability Are AvailableBleedingTooth is a remote code execution vulnerability affecting all Linux kernels going back to Linux 4.8. It allows an attacker within Bluetooth range to execute code on remote systems if Bluetooth is turned on the remote system and it's set to be discoverable thanks to a combination of security issues in the BlueZ library and heap-based type confusion on the Linux kernels L2CAP code.
- SDL2 Gains OS/2 SupportThe cross-platform zlib-licensed Simple DirectMedia Layer v2 now supports the OS/2 operating system. SDL2 support for OS/2 comes nearly 19 years since IBM released the last OS/2 version in December 2001. There's no OpenGL support and no joystick support in SDL2 on OS/2 but most of SDL2's other features are there.
- Ben Cotton: How Fedora Is Run And WhyBen Cotton is the Senior Program Manager at IBM subsidiary Red Hat and "primarily" the Fedora Program Manager. He presented How Fedora Is Run And Why in about 30 minutes at the joint openSUSE/LibreOffice Virtual Conference 2020 this week. He explained that Fedora is "mostly" independent and not completely controlled by Red Hat or its owner IBM.
- Linux 5.10 Will Have A Fully Lock-Less Ring BufferLinus Torvalds has merged a set of printk() patches by John Ogness that make the kernel ring buffer (what you see if you type
dmesg) fully lock-less. This is a big improvement that allows messages to be stored and read without the need for temporary per-CPU buffers with no risk of deadlocks.
- Richard Brown: Regular Releases are Wrong, Roll for your lifeopenSUSE Chairman Richard Brown made a really compelling argument for why a rolling release model is better than using "stable" packages that have to have fixes back-ported to them in a 35 minute video presentation at the joint openSUSE+LibreOffice Virtual Conference 2020 taking place this week.
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