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- New Russian Legislation Would Outlaw Tor And Sites Using Encrypted ClientHelloThe 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.
- The Big Plans For wlrootswlroots is a library with everything you need to create a Wayland compositor. It is currently used by the Sway tiling window manager. Developer Simon Ser revealed some pretty big plans for future improvements to the wlroots library at the X.Org developers conference last week. Vulkan rendering is among the items on the to-do list.
- Qmmp 1.4.2 Is Releasedqmmp 1.4.2 is a small bug-fix for the playlist-oriented Qt-based qmmp music player. The latest release fixes playlist updating, a memory leak, kwin support and header parsing in the mpeg plugin. There is also a updated Greek translation in this release.
- Nvidia Partially Kills SLI In Their Latest Linux DriverThe release-"highlights" for the latest 455.23 WHQL proprietary Nvidia drivers for Linux contains a small note saying "Removed support for the SLI modes "SFR", "AFR", and "AA"." This does not mean that Nvidia is killing SLI completely, "SLI Mosaic, Base Mosaic, GL_NV_gpu_multicast, and GLX_NV_multigpu_context are still supported". Game developers who want to implement SLI in their games can still do it using any of those modes.
- OpenRGB 0.4 Is ReleasedOpenRGB is a handy graphical program that can, in theory, let you control RGB lights on a wide range of motherboards, graphics cards and even lights on RGB RAM. The latest version adds a nice graphical LED view, background device detecting, standardized keyboard and mouse LED names and support for a lot of new hardware including Corsair Hydro Series coolers and the HyperX Pulsefire Surge Mouse.
- The Real Risks And Costs Of Using Cloud Services: The Freedesktop.org Inside ScoopBenjamin Tissoires, who works for IBM subsidiary RedHat, shared some interesting and shocking insights into the very real cost of cloud hosting a huge free software community like Freedesktop.org in his presentation "Status of freedesktop.org gitlab/cloud hosting" at the The X.Org Developers Conference 2020. For them, a initially very small monthly cloud hosting bill grew over time and eventually became gigantic. The effect of getting "free" cloud hosting for a period of time were specially interesting: They did not notice that the "sponsored" and temporarily hidden monthly bill was growing rapidly and got a huge wake-up call when monthly bills returned and they turned out to be massive.
- AMD At The X.Org Developers Conference 2020: No-No Baking Your Graphics CardLinux kernel developer Rajneesh Bhardwaj from AMD's Radeon Open Compute team warned that you should absolutely not bake your graphics card at the X.Org developers conference this week. He explained the dangers and stressed "Don't try this at home!". He went on to detail the many runtime power management advancements the
amdgpukernel driver for AMD graphics cards has seen the last year.
- Vulkan Will Soon Have A Vendor-Neutral Cross-Platform Ray-Tracing APITwo currently provisional Vulkan extensions,
SPV_KHR_ray_tracing, are on their way to the core Vulkan API. These new Vulkan extensions will let developers write cross-platform device-independent ray-tracing code. The new Vulkan ray-tracing extensions are not yet set in stone but they are close to being finalized. Intel, of all GPU vendors, is leading the charge towards the new Vulkan ray-tracing paradigm. Intel-employed developer Jason Ekstrand gave a long and detailed overview of the upcoming Vulkan Ray-Tracing API at the X.Org Developers Conference 2020 held earlier this week.
- Manjaro Lomiri Alpha1 for PinePhone Is ReleasedTwo thirds of all web traffic comes from smartphones. Traditional desktop, laptops or notebook computers are dying. The free software community wants a piece of the pie. Manjaro Linux has ported the Lomiri desktop, formally known as "Ubuntu Touch", to Manjaro for Arm and released a complete Manjaro Lomiri distribution for the Arm-based PinePhone. It's hard to read the release notes without breaking into wild laughter.
- Unvanquished Is Now Free SoftwareThe real-time strategy game Unvanquished has become fully free software with the game engine licensed under the GNU GPL v3 and the game resources licensed under the Creative Commons BY-SA 2.5 license. There is a Linux version of the game available for download but it doesn't actually run. Luckily, there's a Windows version, released in December 2018, and it runs perfectly on modern GNU/Linux distributions if you use Wine.
- How the ACO Mesa Vulkan Shader Compiler For AMD GPUs Came To Be: From Prototype To DefaultThe Vulkan ACO shader compiler for AMD graphics cards on Linux will be the default shader compiler when Mesa 20.2 is released later this month. Developer Timor Kristóf held a 40 minutes long and interesting talk about the development process and the efforts behind making ACO a reality at the The X.Org Developers Conference 2020. Here it is.
- Deepin 20 Is ReleasedThe Chinese Wuhan deepin Technology Corporation has released a new major version their Debian-based Linux operating system featuring their custom unique deepin Desktop Environment. deepin 20 comes with a base system based on Debian 10.5 Buster with special deepin packages on top. deepin 20 offers a wide variety of user-friendly custom applications written specially for deepin in C++ using Qt and the "deepin Tool Kit" (DTK). It is available in most languages, not just Chinese. We have reviewed it and found it to be a excellent and well-polished Linux distribution.
- YooA Bon Voyage Plymouth Theme Now AvailableSouth Korean pop idol YooA, from the popular group Oh My Girl, is making waves with her wonderful new Bon Voyage solo-single. YooA was born on September 17th, 1995 so we made a Bon-Voyage-themed Plymouth boot splash theme as a birthday-present. The "Yooa-BonVoyage" Plymouth theme features YooA in one of the promotional Bon Voyage pictures released by her record company.
- The Current State Of GamescopeGamescope 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.
- Gentoo Linux Starts Offering Pre-Built Kernel PackagesGentoo Linux is a source-based distributions for ricers who want to compile and piece together their own custom Linux distribution instead of submitting to some central authority's views on how things should be compiled and packaged. Gentoo Linux was first released on July 26th, 2020. Pre-compiled binary kernel packages are now, after more than 20 years, available to Gentoo Linux users who want to cheat and fetch a ready-to-use binary Linux kernels instead of compiling them like real women do.
- GNOME 3.38 "Orbis" Is ReleasedThe latest GNOME release has re-vamped application grouping and ordering in the applications overview, "intelligent" tracking prevention in the GNOME Web browser that in practice does nothing, redesigned adaptive user-interface for the GNOME Maps application and deeper systemd integration beneath the hood.
- AV1 Hardware Video Decode Support For AMD RX 6000 Series GPUs Coming In Linux 5.10AMD has historically been extremely slow compared to Nvidia and Intel when it comes to providing hardware video encoding and decoding capabilities for open video standards like VP8 and VP9. New patches by AMD Open Source Laboratory developer Alex Deucher show that AMD won't be dragging their feet for years before they add AV1 video decoding support to their hardware, it is already there in the upcoming RX 6000 series GPUs. VP9 and AV1 video encoding support is still severely lacking.
- The X.Org Developers Conference 2020 Is About To Go LiveThis years X.Org developers conference is, like so many other conferences, being held "virtually". The event, which is bought and paid for by Intel, Google, Microsoft, Nvidia and other multi-national corporations, will be live-streamed to YouTube. Those who are interested in all things open graphics related (X11, Mesa, the DRM layer, the kernel, Wayland etc) can tune in and see how the power that be wants to shape the future Linux graphics and display server experience.
- AMD Reveals Picture Of RX 6000 Series GPU With 2 8-Pin PSU ConnectorsAMD has revealed a single picture of a RX 6000 series graphics card with three fans and two eight-pin power connectors. They shared no details beyond it being a "upcoming #RDNA2" card with a "brand new cooler design". What we can educationally guess from the latest Linux kernel code is that these cards will have sdma 5.2 and new a new display core called "Display Core Next 3.0".
- Nvidia Swallows ARM For $40 BillionAmerican computer giant Nvidia has announced that it will, as long rumored, be gobbling up the British chip designer Arm in a $40 billion deal with now former Arm owner SoftBank Group. Nvidia promises to build a "state-of-the-art AI supercomputer" using Arm processors.
- Improved Lenovo Laptop Hotkey Support Coming To Linux 5.10The Chinese Lenovo Group promised to Linux certify their laptops and make laptops with Linux available in a big announcement back in July. They have been offering one ThinkPad X1 model with Fedora pre-installed since mid-August. Linux 5.10 will have support for four additional hotkeys on that one laptops Lenovo sells with Fedora pre-installed thanks to RedHat developer Hans de Goede.
- Having A Hobby Will Make You HappySouth Korean pop idol Umji from GFriend has tested the latest in South Korean artificial intelligence technology using the NAVER Wave smart-speaker. It can't answer questions in any meaningful way and it won't play music when you ask it to but it can randomly and out-of-the-blue provide useful advice like "Having A Hobby Will Make You Happy".
- AMDVLK 2020.Q3.5 Alternative AMD Vulkan Driver Released With Four Game Specific Fixes And Sub-RADV PerformanceAMD has released a new version of their special "open source" Vulkan driver with game-specific fixes for Detroit: Become Human, Tropico 4, Doom 2016 and GTA IV. Vulkan API compliance is updated to Vulkan 1.2.152. Performance is overall slightly worse than what the latest Mesa RADV Vulkan driver provides and magnitudes worse in very specific GPU stress tests.
- The KDE Akademy Awards Winners 2020The KDE software project held their yearly Akademy event from September 4th to 12th. They ended the event by presenting Akademy Awards to notable developers and contributors within the KDE software community. Here are this year's winners.
- What sort of laws would give us real privacy?Honorary Doctor Richard Stallman argues that the surveillance imposed on us today "far exceeds that of the Soviet Union". He says laws against personal data collection is required to restore actual freedom in industrialized nations.
- Krita Paint Program Will Get SVG Mesh Gradients, Storyboard Docker, MyPaint Brush Engine And Dynamic Fill Layers Thanks To GSoC StudentsFour students have been working hard on new functionality for the already superb Krita painting program as part of Google's Summer of Code program this summer. Support for dynamic fill layers using Disney's SeExpr expression language has made it into the Krita 4.4 branch scheduled to be released later this month. Krita 5.0, coming next year, will additionally have support for mesh gradients, storyboard and the MyPaint brush engine thanks to these students hard work.
- Huawei Announces OpenHarmony Project With A BSD-Licensed HarmonyOS Source Code ReleaseChinese telecommunications giant Huawei has been working on a scalable operating system since at least 2013. Huawei has now released the source code for HarmonyOS under the 3 clause BSD license has part of their new OpenHarmony project. The new operating systems "liteos" kernel is currently limited to devices with just 128 MiB RAM. A closed-source Harmony OS 2.0 beta version with support for devices with up to 4 GiB memory will become available in December with OpenHarmony source-code coming in April 2021. OpenHarmony development boards are available for around $50 plus shipping.
- It Is OK To Not Use Firefox If You Are For Free SoftwareI am seeing more and more people advocating for Mozilla's Firefox browser. I was a fan of the browser myself, using since version 1.5 probably, although it seems like a few decades now. I loved it, until it become a little heavy, and I looked at other browsers. In that time I used mostly 2, qutebrowser and Brave. Both are FLOSS browsers.
- GStreamer 1.18 Is ReleasedThe latest GStreamer multimedia framework release supports Intel's SVT-HEVC Encoder, High Dynamic Range (HDR) video, the Audio Video Transport Protocol (AVTP), VA-API compositing, camera capture from Raspberry Pi camera and quite a long list of other new features.
- KnotDNS 3.0.0 Is ReleasedKnotDNS is a highly efficient DNS server developed by the Czech Republic's DNS name registry CZ.NIC. The latest version supports XDP sockets, DNS over HTTPS, DNSSEC validation and a lot more. It may be worth a look if you have a very busy website and you are hosting your own DNS servers.
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