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- Happy 17th birthday BitlBeeThe IRC gateway program BitlBee which allows you to talk to people on a wide range of instant messaging services from your favorite IRC client is now 17 years old. Many of the protocols it originally supported are dead but the program lives on with support for modern networks.
- Intel Ice Lake Desktop and Workstation CPU support added to the Linux KernelIntel may be closer to launching 10nm Ice Lake CPUs for desktops and servers than one might think. A close-up inspection of intel-family.h reveals that definitions for three new Intel CPU families were added to Linux 5.2 rc5: Xeon D, Desktop and "X". There is still no actual code depending on these chips being present or not.
- The Future of BitlBee, the IRC Gateway for Instant Messaging protocols (MSN, ICQ, Jabber, Yahoo)
Interview with the BitlBee developer team: Wilmer van der Gaast, Maurits Dijkstra and Jelmer Vernooij, and a word from former developer Sjoerd Hemminga. Find out what new cool features will be available in v1.0, what features have been implemented so far and what visions these bright young men have for the future of BitlBee and the Open Source community.
- Xfce Cpugraph Plugin 1.0.91 released!The most popular Linux desktop environment Xfce is making great progress towards a long-awaited stable 4.14 release. An updated version of the xfmpc front-end for the music player daemon and an updated CPU graph panel plugin were released this week. Both were the hard work of Xfce developer Andre Miranda.
- New Kernels: 5.2-rc6 and stable branch kernels 5.1.14 and 4.19.55 are now available with patch fixing Steam5.1.14 and 4.19.55 were released just hours after 5.1.13 and 4.19.54. These kernels have a patch fixing the side-effect of the SACK vulnerability patches which broke Steam. 5.2-rc6 is a new release-candidate for the upcoming Linux 5.2 kernel. It is the release-candidate with the most updates of all 5.2 release candidates so far.
- KDE Plasma's goals RevealedThe KDE community have secretly had and worked according to a short document outlaying their total plan for their fancy eye-candy filled desktop environment for several years. KDE insider Jonathan Riddell managed to put an end to the conspiracy at a KDE Plasma meeting in Valencia and the document is now revealed on KDEs website for all to see.
- Valve is dropping support for Steam on UbuntuUbuntu's decision to drop support for 32-bit programs and platforms is a non-issue for free software since all properly written free software can easily be compiled on a variety of platforms. Proprietary games and game launchers lack the same flexibility. Ubuntu's decision to drop the legacy 32-bit multi-lib cruft is therefore a huge problem for Steam.
- The Linux Kernel fix for SACK vulnerabilities broke SteamSteam users who upgraded to the latest kernels have found themselves unable to connect to the Steam network. It's already fixed in git master and a patch will be included in the next round of stable kernel releases. A temporary workaround for Steam users is to add the
-tcpcommand-line option to Steam which will by-pass it's default WebSocket connection method and use TCP directly.
- Thunderbird 60.7.2 Security Release Available, Upgrade if you use ThunderbirdUsers of the e-mail client Thunderbird from the Mozilla
foundationcorporation should absolutely upgrade to this latest versions of Thunderbird which fixes two security issues, one of which is really bad: the right special e-mail gets to run arbitrary code on your computer.
- Linux Kernel 3.16.69 releasedYou didn't read the version number wrong, it's 3.16.69 like it's 1999. This new version of an ancient kernel fixes the TCP networking vulnerabilities that were made public this week. Those were considered to be serious enough to prompt a rare update for this very old kernel version.
- Linus Still Based and Caches Are Faster than Direct IOLinux Torvalds has been known to be a tad harsh when it has been required to stop gross incompetence from ruining the Linux Kernel. Many feared that the introduction of a CoC in Kernel 4.19 and the forced re-education camp he was subjected to had changed Linus' ability to firmly reject undesirable pieces of code. It would appear that his ability to clearly explain fundamental computing concepts when it is needed is very much intact.
- Support for new Power-Saving CPU Instructions in a future Low-Power Mobile 10mm CPU Architecture from Intel code-named "Tremont" is being added to the Linux KernelA series of patches sent by Intel to the kernel mailing list with code adding support for new umonitor, umwait, and tpause user wait instructions got our attention since there are no such instructions on any x86-64 CPU we've heard of. They will be available on Skyhawk Lake and Elkhart Lake CPUs based on Intel's new Tremont micro-architecture sometime next year.
- KDE Plasma 5.16.1 releasedThe KDE software project has released the first minor bug-fix update for the 16th iteration of the fifth generation KDE desktop. Sleep and Suspend were broken in an earlier release and these fairly essential features now work again. The power management module will also ignore applications requesting power management inhibition when the battery's critical.
- The GNU Guix distribution is moving from gzip to lzipThe free as in freedom GNU/Linux distribution - guixSD is probably the best distro in the world - is changing their compression algorithm for pre-built binaries from the horribly inefficient but standardized gzip format to a little-known compression format called lzip. This will make updating using pre-built binaries a lot faster since the download-stage is the most time-consuming part of the update process and lzip archives are, on average, two thirds the size of gzip archives.
- Richard Stallman to Visit Germany in JulyThe Free Software Foundation has today announced that the father of the free software movement, honorary doctor Richard Stallman, will be doing a speech on surveillance in Frankfurt, Germany on July 15th. The topic will be "Are we facing surveillance like in China?".
- New Stable Kernel Series Releases 4.4.182, 4.9.182, 4.14.127, 4.19.52 and 5.1.11 Fixes Serious TCP Networking VulnerabilitiesThis time there is actually a good reason to upgrade to one of these new releases of the stable kernel branches which were released just two days after the previous round of stable kernels: They fix three different TCP-based denial of service vulnerabilities which were identified by Netflix. And that's all there is in the patchsets for these new kernels. *BSD users should also pay attention, one of the vulnerabilities Netflix identified affects them.
- New Kernels: 5.2-rc5, 5.1.10, 4.19.51 and 4.14.126 releasedThe stable kernels are, as always, tagged "All users of the _version_ kernel series must upgrade." but that's not really the case. We got Greg Kroah-Hartman to admit that it's just a standard boiler-plate which means absolutely nothing. That tag would be there even if the entire change-set consisted of fixing a spelling error in a documentation file.
- KDEs GSOC students are making Good Progress towards Many Exciting ImprovementsKDE got a lot of students as part of Google's Summer of Code this year and they are hard at work and making good progress on a wide range of projects. The digital painting program Krita is being ported to Android, digiKam is getting face recognition, KDE connect is getting Windows and Android versions and the video editor Kdenlive is getting a new title tool.
- The Linux Kernel can Kill Your PC-SpeakerThis isn't exactly news, it's been that way since at least 2007. Interestingly, the question "Is it possible to write a kernel module which, when loaded, will blow the PC speaker?" has been asked regularly on June 12th for more than a decade.
- Xfce Screensaver 0.1.5 Now AvailableThe Xfce team is moving forward to a stable release of version 4.14 either late July or early August. A new version of the Xfce Screensaver as well as a new version of the Exo development library are the latest building-blocks to fall into place.
- Snek version 1.0 Announced for Python-Like programming on Tiny Embedded Systems
- GIMP 2.10.12 now available
- VLC 3.0.7 released with a long list of Security Issues FixedIt appears there were buffer overflow issues in just about every module in the VLC media player ranging from decoders to demuxers. These bugs were largely found thank to the European Commission's bug bounty program. There is not much else of interest to Linux users, the vast majority of improvements in this release are specific to the Android, macOS and Windows versions.
- Mesa 19.1.0 is now availableThe long-delayed major update to the Linux graphics stack has parallel shader compiling for all drivers and many new GL extensions for AMD and Intel GPUs. There is also a whole lot of new Vulkan features added, many of which are specific to AMD GPUs. The two blocker-bugs which cased this release to be delayed are finally resolved.
- New Kernels: 4.4.181, 4.9.181, 4.14.125, 4.19.50, 5.1.9 - just two days after the last kernels releases. And as always, You Must Upgrade NOWIt's not unreasonable to wonder if Greg Kroah-Hartman simply put "All users of the $stablebranch kernel series must upgrade" in a template at some point and simply forgot to remove it. This is the fourth release in a row carrying this scary demand.
- Linux Kernel 5.0.15 broke Support for all Older Bluetooth Devices and there's no fix in sightIf you are using older or cheaper newer Bluetooth devices and you are wondering why they no longer work: it is because of a change in the kernel's way of aligning encryption keys which prevents devices using earlier versions of the Bluetooth standard from connecting.
- Xfce4 Panel Stopwatch Plugin v0.3.1 releasedThe Xfce team is proud to announce a new version of the gtk3 port of the "stopwatch" panel plugin. This marks yet another milestone on Xfce's march towards a stable 4.14 release which is still on schedule to be released mid-August 2019.
- New Kernels: 4.14.124, 4.19.49, 5.1.8 and 5.2-RC4. And as always, You Must Upgrade NOWStable branch kernels 4.14.124, 4.19.49 and 5.1.8 as well as a release candidate 5.2-rc4 for the upcoming 5.2 was released today. The kernels come with the "All users must upgrade" notice which has been attached to all the latest kernel releases. And there is, as always no indication or even a hint as to why we "must" upgrade NOW.
- Ice Window Manager 1.5.5 releasedAnother minor point release in the 1.5.x branch of the IceWM window-manager is released. A few updated translation files is the only change since version 1.5.4 so there's not very much to get excited about if you are using the development-branch.
- Kdenlive video editor version 19.04.2 releasedA total of 77 bugs are fixed in the second minor release in the 19.04 series of the powerful and feature-rich KDE video editor Kdenlive. Compositing issues, misbehaving markers and grouping inconsistencies are among the more noticeable bugs fixed. There are also some improvements specific to the Wintoddler version.
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