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- Firefox 79 Is Released With 10 Security FixesThe latest version of the Mozilla Firefox web browser has very little to offer GNU/Linux users beyond ten security fixes, four of which are "high impact". Mozilla's "WebRender" rendering engine enabled for Windows users with Intel and AMD graphics cards as of this release but it is not enabled on Linux where Firefox users still get "Basic" rendering regardless of what GPU they have. You can force-enable WebRender on Linux if you really want it.
- We Are Still Waiting For Microsoft Edge For LinuxMicrosoft announced that their Chromium-based Edge web browser would be available multiple platforms, including Linux, in a presentation called "State of the browser: Microsoft Edge" back in November 2019. We are still waiting for a Linux version to materialize. It seems that Microsoft has either forgotten about, or abandoned, the Linux version of their Edge web browser.
- HTTPS Security Certificates Will Soon Have To Be Limited To A One Year Long Life-Time To Be ValidA proposal to limit HTTPS certificates to a maximum length of one year was down-voted in the CA/Browser Forum late last year. That vote does not matter because those who control the web browsers control the web universe. The major web browser vendors have decided that TLS certificates issued after September 1st will be treated as invalid if they have an expiration date beyond one year into the future. Web server administrators should take notice.
- Xfwm4 4.14.3 Is Released With X-Resource Extension SupportThe latest version of the Xfwm4 window manager for the popular light-weight Xfce desktop environment fixes a use-after-free after reading setting strings, adds support for more error messages sent from the X server and it is now capable of taking advantage of the X server's X-Resource extension.
- Manjaro Linux Lead Developer In Hot Waters Over Donation Slush Fund For Laptop And Personal ItemsPhilip Müller, one of the lead Manjaro Linux developers, wanted to buy a new €2000 laptop for another developer. Jonathon Fernyhough, the former treasurer tasked with ensuring that the funds donated by the community are not misused for personal enjoyment, said no. Müller reacted by replacing Fernyhough with himself who, he likely believes, is more inclined to buy that shiny new laptop.
- GNOME Proposal Aims To Make GNOME Applications More Environment Friendly By Optimizing ThemEndless OS developer Philip Withnall held a presentation at this years annual GUADEC GNOME conference where he proposes that GNOME applications get labels telling end-users about their carbon footprint. He had one additional proposal for making GNOME applications more environmental friendly, which was barely mentioned as a footnote, that makes a whole lot more sense: Optimize the GNOME applications so they are more responsive, faster and less CPU intensive.
- Thunar 4.15.1 Brings A Pause Button On Copy/Move File Operations And Much MoreThe Thunar file manager for the Xfce desktop environment went strait from version 1.8.15 to 4.15 in order to make the version number indicate which Xfce release it is for. Thunar 4.15.1 has since been released to address some unfortunate regressions in 4.15. The latest Thunar version made for Xfce 4.16, scheduled to be released in October/November, has a broad range of bug-fixes as well has long-sought new features like a pause/resume button on the file operation dialog boxes. Here's what's new.
- Black Lives Matter For LinuxBlack Lives Matter For Linux is a exclusive original LinuxReviews-produced game that will turn your screen black for 8 minutes and 46 seconds in solidarity with the Marxist #blacklivesmatter movement. Our simple C implementation uses OpenGL to create a fine black screen. We are also offering a three line shell script implementation. The Windows version of this game available in the Steam store is a commercial product that is only available at a price. Our versions are free as in free software. Please enjoy.
- The State Of Vulkan Rendering In Chromium 84: Say Goodbye To All VRAM, RAM and Swap, Chromium Will Eat It AllThe Chromium web browser and other web browsers based on it got Vulkan rendering support late last year. The result of enabling it on GNU/Linux machines resulted in disaster when it became available in Chromium 79. It has gotten better five versions and half a year later but it is still very far from being perfect. You can enable it in recent Chromium versions and use it for normal web browsing but there are some big caveats you should be aware of and consider before you turn the Vulkan rendering switch on. Chromium can and will eat all your GPU RAM, all your system RAM and go after swap partitions for good measure if Vulkan is enabled.
- The Wine 5.13 Development Release Offers 22 Application-Specific Bug FixesThe latest version of the
Emulator compatibility layer for running Windows software on GNU/Linux and other non-Windows systems has game-specific fixes for Battle.net, Call of Duty, Call to power II, The Witcher 2, Metal Gear Solid V, Mass Effect: Andromeda, Warframe and several applications.
- Thunderbird 78 Has Finally Got Built-In Calendar And OpenPGP SupportThunderbird has been relying on two popular extensions for what should be and now is basic built-in features: Enigmail for OpenPGP message encryption and Lightning calendar support. These features are now finally built into the latest Thunderbird release. There is a dark and problematic trade-off: All the existing Thunderbird extensions have now been deprecated and replaced with new "MailExtensions" and the built-in OpenPGP support is disabled by default because it is "a work in progress". OpenPGP e-mail users may not want to forgo this "upgrade".
- We Are Finally Using The Do-Not-Track Web Browser HeaderModern web browsers can send a Do-Not-Track (DNT) header to websites when they request web pages. We now use this little-used HTTP header to decide if you should be served advertisements or not. You may want to tell your web browser to send that header if you visit this website regularly. None of the major browsers enable it by default.
- WebTorrent Desktop v0.23 Is ReleasedThe latest release of the "WebTorrent Desktop" video player and file transfer tool for the BitTorrent and WebTorrent protocols features better unsupported codec detection, support for more audio formats, support for files with multiple audio tracks and there are many smaller bug fixes.
- Libtorrent-rasterbar Now Features WebTorrent Support In The Master BranchThe WebTorrent protocol is similar to, but not compatible with, the regular bittorrent protocol. A specialized bittorrent client is therefore required to seed or download video files from websites utilizing the WebTorrent protocol. A feature request asking for WebTorrent support in the popular qBittorrent client has been open since 2015. Fulfilling that request has so far not been possible due to a lack of WebTorrent support in the libtorrent-rasterbar library qBittorrent and many other bittorrent clients utilize. That will change by the end of the year and make it possible, and trivial, to add WebTorrent support to bittorrent clients like qBittorrent, Deluge and Wyzo.
- 100 TiB SSDs Have ArrivedThink again if you think a RAID arrays with a dozen 8 or 10 TB hard disc drives are your only option if you want to store a whole lot of data. A 3.5" 50 TiB NimbusData ExaDrive SSD drive can be yours for $12,500 and a 100 TiB SSD can be yours for a cool $40,000.
- Ad-Tech Industry Complains That Google Has Too Much Control Over Web Standards20 web advertising companies wrote a long joint letter to the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) Advisory Board earlier this week. They are asking the board to start listening to the smaller web stakeholders and stop their fast-tracking of web standards pushed by Google. The attack on Google and the W3C is really about a Google-backed push towards eliminating third party tracking cookies. It doesn't actually matter because in reality it is Google, not the W3C, who set the web standards.
- The Current State Of Older AMD Graphics Hardware On Linux: What Driver To Use And What To ExpectThere is more than one graphics driver for AMD graphics card included in the Linux kernel. Those of you who use older AMD graphics hardware have two kernel drivers to choose from. The default driver is called
radeonand tends to support everything except Vulkan. It is possible to enable Vulkan support on older AMD graphics cards by using the newer
radeon. Doing so could be safe but it could also break your machine's ability to return from hibernation.
- 21 TiB Of "Open Source" Software From GitHub Is Now Stored In the Norwegian Arctic World ArchiveMicrosoft has backed up a total of 21 TiB of open source code from the GitHub repository in the Arctic World Archive vault located on the island of Svalbard in Norway (not Antarctica). All open GitHub projects as of February 2020 are now stored in the vault using special-purpose film reels. These film reels should, in theory, last several thousand years.
- Dozens Of High Profile Twitter Accounts Owned And Used For Bitcoin Scam: "Tough day" For TwitterA long list of high profile Twitter accounts were taken over and used for a very obvious scam: "I am doubling all payments sent to my BTC address for the next 30 minutes. You send $1,000, I send you back $2,000.". Jeff Bezos, Joe Biden, Kanye West, Mike Bloomberg and many large corporations such as Apple, Uber and Coinbase had their accounts used for scam purposes. The fact that the Twitter Support account was compromised points to an inside job.
- Apple Recommend Not Covering Your Laptops Webcam, Claims It Can Damage HardwareAmerican computer giant Apple has come out with a warning against covering up the camera on their MacBook laptop line. Their advisory states that closing a MacBook, MacBook Air, or MacBook Pro laptop with something covering the camera "might damage your display". Those who want to safely use Apple laptop computers can replace their bundled macOS with a GNU/Linux distribution and disable the web camera by either blacklisting the driver module or by compiling a custom kernel without the camera-related modules.
- The New Wine Vulkan Backend For DirectX 9-11 Is Coming Along NicelyThe
Emulator compatibility layer for running Windows software on GNU/Linux machines has long had a built-in OpenGL compatibility layer for games and other software using Direct3D 9-11. There is also an alternative compatibility layer for Direct3D 9-11 called DXVK available which translates Direct3D calls to Vulkan instead of OpenGL. DXVK is written in C++ and it is kind of a mess. The Wine developers have secretly been working on their own Direct3D 9-11 to Vulkan translation layer written entirely in beautiful C. This new wined3d Vulkan renderer is now at a point where it can be used to perfectly run some Direct3D 10 games.
- The Debian Project Wants You To Tell Them If And Why You Are Using Debian LTS VersionsThe Debian Stretch release will enter Long Term Support (LTS) mode on July 18th. It will from then on only receive security updates until it goes end of life on July 18th, 2022. The Debian developers are aware that many people prefer to keep on using the older Stretch release over upgrading to the newer Debian 10 Buster release. They would very much like to know why so they have prepared a survey that they would like you to fill out if you are using, or would like to use, Debian Long Term Support releases.
- SuperTuxKart git20200711 Snapshot Is Released For Android, Linux, and WindowsThe latest version of the popular kart racing game SuperTuxKart has a improved tutorial for new users, improved gamepad support, full IPv6 LAN and WAN support and better server performance when it is set up to act as a server. This is a snapshot release in anticipation of an upcoming beta release that will be followed by a full release in the fall. We can also reveal that SuperTuxKart will get Vulkan support and it may arrive sooner than you think.
- Counter-Strike: Global Offensive Has A New Anti-Cheat Trusted ModeThe popular free (as in price, not free software) first person shooter Counter-Strike: Global Offensive from Valve has a new "trusted mode" anti-cheat system. The new "trusted mode" is active on the native Linux version of the game as of the latest update. Actual game-play does not appear to be affected, nor does game streaming using OBS.
- Linus Torvalds: AVX512 Is "A Hot Mess" "I hope AVX512 dies a painful death"Linus Torvalds is not happy with the variety of instructions that may or may not be present on a processor that supposedly supports what Intel refers to as AVX512. "I hope AVX512 dies a painful death, and that Intel starts fixing real problems instead of trying to create magic instructions to then create benchmarks that they can look good on.", Linus wrote in a message on the RealWorldTech forums. He went on to call it "special-case garbage", "power virus" and "not reliably enough".
- Linus Torvalds Has Merged Inclusive-Terminology Rules Into The Linux Kernel Git Tree"The discussion has tapered off as well as the incoming ack, review, and sign-off tags. I did not see a reason to wait for the next merge window". Word like master, slave, blacklist and whitelist is now banned from the Linux kernel. Accepted new-speak replacement word include primary, main, secondary, replica, subordinate, initiator, requester, target, responder, controller,host, device, worker, proxy, leader, follower, director and performer. The new terms will likely confuse non-technical people, non-native English speakers and others who have been using the now-banned technical terms for decades.
- Xfce Classic Brings An Alternative To Those Who Do Not Want Xfce To Become GNOME LightThe next version of the popular Xfce desktop environment for GNU/Linux computers will have the controversial client side decorations (CSD) for window borders, identical to those of the GNOME 3 desktop environment. Many free software users moved from GNOME to avoid these kinds of user-hostile design decisions, and developers decided to create new classic desktop environments like Unity, Cinnamon and Mate. Users who do not want to upgrade Xfce and find themselves in a foreign unfamiliar desktop environment with strange window header-bars, instead of sane window decorations, have a new choice when Xfce 4.16 arrives: Shawn Anastasio has taken the lead in a new Xfce fork called "Xfce Classic".
- Brave Web Browser Caught In Affiliate Link Controversy Prompting ForkThe Brave web browser is free software even though the distributed version has many commercial elements. Attentive users of that web browser recently noticed that the corporation behind it, Brave Software Inc, were making money off affiliate links who magically appeared in the address bar as unwelcome additions when a users typed in certain domains. A small group of upset users decided to fork Brave into Bold Browser. Brendan Eich quickly sued the one person in the group who forked Brave who used his real name. He also removed the code adding affiliate links, claiming it was a "mistake".
- Twice Fanfare Contest: Find The Missing Twice MemberThe South Korean all-girl pop group Twice is currently holding a fanfare contest at one of their Korean fan sites. The objective is to find out which of the nine members are missing from a picture where each member, except one, is repeated numerous times. You will be able to see which member is missing if you have a clear mind and you patiently study the picture.
- GNUnet 0.13.0 Released With A New Protocol VersionGNUnet is a very old little-known little-used anonymous peer to peer file sharing network program developed by the GNU Project. The latest version uses a entirely new protocol which is incompatible with previous versions. GNUnet 0.13.0 is about as practically usable as the first GNUnet version was when it was released all the way back in 2001.