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- Google Stadia Dev Brings Spinlocks Back From The Dead, Blames The Linux Kernels Scheduler For Performance ProblemsIf you use use spinlocks where mutexes are needed, you suffer all the performance problem you deserve. The Linux kernel provides futexes (fast user-space mutexes) and you should be using those to do locking in games and other applications that require thread synchronization. Don't blame the Linux kernel if you are doing it wrong and your programs performance suffers as a result.
- The First Ever Microsoft Linux Conference Is Fully Booked"Embrace, extend, and extinguish": The American software giant Microsoft will hold its first Linux conference ever March 10th to 11th, 2020 at Redmond in Washington, USA. The conference, which is free, is now fully booked.
- SuperTuxKart 1.1 Is Released With Better MultiPlayer Support, Better HiDPI Support and A New Arena TrackThe latest release fo the free software kart racing game SuperTuxKart has many improvements to its online multiplayer gaming mode. There is better game synchronization, IPv6 support, flags indicating where servers are located and many smaller fixed under the hood. There is new emoji support in chats, greatly improved touch-screen support, specially useful for those playing the Android version, and better font scaling and user interface scaling. SuperTuxKart is very usable in 1440p and 4k resolutions. The latest version adds a new gaming arena called "Pumpkin Park". Binaries are available for Linux, Windows, macOS and Android.
- Steam's Hardware Survey For December 2019 Places Linux Gaming Interest At A Yearly LowThe latest hardware survey from Valve's Steam game store and launcher has GNU/Linux marketshare at a yearly low of just 0.67% market share. The other operating system numbers in their hardware survey numbers for December 2019 are a bit strange with Windows 10 showing a reduction of 13.14% in favor of Windows 7.
- EA Keeps Banning Battlefield V Linux PlayersYou shouldn't buy games from Electronic Arts (EA) with the hopes of using Wine to run them on a GNU/Linux desktop. Their FairFight "anti-cheat" system will wrongly see you as a cheater and ban you. Appealing is futile, EA stands by their automated system's decisions.
- Catfish 1.4.12 Is Released With GNOME and Wayland SupportThe graphical file searching tool Catfish has gained support for Wayland and the GNOME shell. All dialog boxes in Xfces "locate" front-end for Linux and BSD use client-side decorations as of version 1.4.12.
- Intels 10th-gen Series CPUs Revealed: Up To 10 Cores and 5.3 GHz on 14nm++++Intel's 10th generation "Comet Lake" CPUs will have hyperthreading across the board. Clock speeds are 100-200 MHz higher and so are TDPs for the K-series chips. The platform will use a new socket LGA 1200 and have 2.5 Gigabit Ethernet as a standard feature. The new i9-10900K flagship will be capable of running at up to 5.3 GHz given adequate cooling.
- Huawei Post Record $122 Billion Revenue For 2019 Despite US Government SanctionsThe US government banned Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei from doing business with US organizations in May. They made a record profit despite the Americans unfair efforts to give US-based competitors an advantage to make up for their lack of innovation. Huawei Chairman Eric Xu sent a New Years message to employees informing them that Huaweis 2019 revenue exceeded 850 billion Chinese Yuan (about $122 billion USD) which is record high and a 18 percent year over year increase.
- LibreOffice 6.4 RC1 Is Available With A New QR-Code Generator, Better Performance And Improved MsOffice CompatibilityThe most advanced and comprehensive free software Office solution is nearing another major release. It will have better import filters for Microsoft Office documents, a new QR-Code generator, a new Python API for the database component Base and faster parallelized spreadsheet sorting. The final 6.4 release can be expected early February 2020.
- Mpv 0.31.0 Is ReleasedThe latest release of the best and most efficient media player for Linux and Windows has a new lua API for setting screen overlays, a new "sw-fast" profile for fast software conversions when using the X11 and drm video output options, HIDPI window scaling under Wayland and many more, mostly minor, improvements.
- Gentoo-Based Calculate Linux 20 Is ReleasedThe Russians have released another major version of their Gentoo-based GNU/Linux distribution Calculate Linux. It is based on Gentoo Linux 17.1. KDE Plasma, Cinnamon, LXQt, Mate and Xfce flavors are available for desktop users. There's also a server and cloud versions available.
- Linux 5.5-rc4 Released With Few ChangesThe latest release candidate for the upcoming Linux 5.5 kernel has very few changes due to Western holidays. There are a few minor fixes for the i915 kernel driver for Intel GPUs which appears to finally be functioning properly after being a complete mess in 5.3.x and 5.4.x kernels.
- BlackArch Linux 2020.01.01 Is Now AvailableThe latest release of the penetration testing distribution BlackArch Linux comes with Linux Kernel 5.4.6, an updated installer, several minor bugfixes and updated packages. Its 14 GB Live ISO image meant to be used directly from a USB stick has a total of 2428 security-related tools, 120 of which are new in this release.
- KDE Conference India 2020 Is Open For RegistrationsThe thriving Indian KDE community will have a conference at the Maharaja Agrasen Institute of Technology in Rohini, New Delhi, on January 17th to 19th 2020. The schedule is filled with interesting presentations on topics about Qt, the KDE desktop, KDE applications like kdenlive and free software related topics such as "Are our smartphones outsmarting us?".
- Xfce4-Terminal 0.8.9 Is Released With Several Wayland FixesThe latest minor release of the Xfce desktop environments light-weight terminal emulator has a long list of bug-fixes, many of which are specific to the Wayland display server. Xfce itself does not yet support Wayland but the applications for Xfce can be and are being used on it.
- GNOME Internet Radio Locator 2.2.0 Is ReleasedThe latest version of the map and location focused radio tuner for GNOME has a number of new radio stations in Europe and Scandinavia available on its map. There's also updated translations for several languages.
- Linux 5.6 Will Likely Have USB 4 SupportGreg Kroah-Hartman, Linus Torvalds second in command, has merged code from Intel with USB 4 support into the Linux kernels linux-next.git tree. It is therefore highly likely that Linux 5.6 will support USB 4 devices with features like DisplayPort tunnelling, PCIe tunnelling and P2P networking. Only Intel and Apple host devices are supported by the current patches.
- PyPy 7.3.0 Is Released Just-In-Time For ChristmasThe latest version of the just-in-time python interpreter PyPy fixes "several issues and bugs raised by the growing community". The binary downloads offered by the project are now built using the standard manylinux2010 docker image which means that they can be used with just about any GNU/Linux distribution.
- AntiX Linux 19.1 Is Released For Those Who Want A Really Light-Weight Linux DistributionAntiX Linux stands out from the crown in it's simplicity and it's ability to run on very old and really weak hardware thanks to it's use of the very light-weight IceWM desktop environment, no systemd or pulseaudio and other design choices which severely limits it's resource-use. The latest release has updated versions of core packages like the Firefox, IceVM and the Linux kernel - and that's it.
- QBittorrent v4.2.1 Is ReleasedThe latest release of the most advanced yet user-friendly BitTorrent client for Linux, Windows and Mac supports rate limiting LAN users and renaming of torrents from it's Web-based user interface. 9 bugs have been fixes since 4.2.0 was released earlier this month.
- HyperBola Linux Ditches Linux, Goes All-In BSDThe Hyperbola GNU/Linux-libre operating system has, or had, strict guidelines for what software is allowed in its Arch Linux based distribution. Only stable versions of truly free software were allowed. The HyperBola Linux developers just announced that they are throwing the baby out with the bathwater and re-starting from scratch with OpenBSD as a basis for an entirely new operating system called HyperbolaBSD. The developers cite the Linux kernel's adoption of Digital Restrictions Management (DRM), use of the Rust programming language and forced adoption of features in common GNU/Linux components like PulseAudio and systemd as reasons for abandoning Linux and the ecosystem around it.
- SuperTuxKart 1.1 RC1 Is Released With Improved Online Play, Emjois and High-Resolution UI ScalingThe latest version of the free software kart racing game SuperTuxKart has several improvements to online multiplayer gaming such as IPv6 support, better synchronization, better support for addons and other fixes. It adds emojis support in chats. There's greatly improved touch-screen support which is nice but mostly interesting to those using the Android version. There's also improved fonts scaling and user interface elements now scale so they look great on 1440p and 4k displays. It's even got a new arena called "Pumpkin Park". Binaries are available for Linux, Windows, Mac and Android.
- Chromium 79 Has Experimental Vulkan Support And You Should NOT Enable ItThe latest version of the Google-controlled free software browser Chromium is released and available in the testing repositories of the more up-to-date GNU/Linux distributions. It has a brand new Vulkan rendering mode available which can be enabled in the "Experiments" settings which can be accessed using the special
chrome://flagspage. Naturally, the first thing that came to mind was "Well, how does it perform?" so we enabled with the hopes of doing some basic benchmarks. That was huge mistake.
- Alpine Linux 3.11 Released With Kernel 5.4.5, Raspberry Pi 4 Support And MingGW-w64 SupportThe latest version of the thin and slim busybox-based Linux distribution Alpine Linux adds initial support for the GNOME and KDE Plasma Desktop environments, Rust and Vulkan. There are updated packages across the board, new features and a lot of bug and security fixes.
- KDE Video Editor Kdenlive 19.12 Is Released With a New Audio Mixer, Global Effects And Many Performance ImprovementsFour months of "intense work" and two hundred commits went into the latest version of the free video editor Kdenlive which is, as the name indicates, built on the KDE framework. It has a new audio mixer, custom filters, a master (global) effects option for the timeline and many small interface improvements. The developers have made many performance improvements under the hood which makes timeline browsing and other commonly done things snappier. Kdenlive is available for Windows and all GNU/Linux distributions.
- Microsoft Removes Christmas Hat from MIT Licensed VS Code, Closes Issue Tracker To Silence ComplaintsMicrosofts Visual Studio Code editor is free software under the MIT license. It is tightly controlled by Microsoft nevertheless. VS Code had a cute little Santa hat on an icon in the lower right corner to celebrate the Christmas holiday. A German living in Norway found this offensive on behalf a group he does not belong to for reasons that are not applicable and demanded that Microsoft remove the offending Santa hat from VS Code. Microsoft compiled and drama ensued.
- Mesa 19.2.8 And 19.3.1 Are Released With Minor FixesMesa 19.2.8 is the last version of the 19.2.x series of the graphics library which underpins all 3D elements on GNU/Linux desktops. It has several fixes for Intel GPUs and a few fixes in other areas. Mesa 19.3.1 is the first minor release of the 19.3 series. It too has a majority of fixes for Intel GPUs. There are some for AMD GPUs in there as well.
- KDE-Powered Kubuntu Focus Laptop Coming in January 2020The Kubuntu Council, MindShareManagement Inc, and German TUXEDO Computers have collaborated to create a "officially authorized" laptop pre-loaded with Ubuntu's KDE spin Kubuntu. The Kubuntu Focus Laptop comes with a 6-core Intel i7-9750H CPU, 32 GB RAM, a 1 TB Samung 970 NVMe drive and a 16.1" 1080p IPS display which, even though this laptop is aimed at free software enthusiasts, is powered by a NVidia GTX 1060 GPU. A proprietary binary blob driver is required to make this laptop function properly.
- Linux Kernels 5.4.5 and 5.3.18 Are Released With Security-Related Networking FixesThe new stable-kernel versions 5.4.4 and 5.3.17 were released on Tuesday. Then the kernel developers decided to release yet another minor version late Wednesday - just a day after the prior release. This tends to happen when there is an urgent need to fix a security issue. A close-up inspection of the patch-set between 5.4.4/5.4.5 and 5.3.17/5.3.18 reveals that a lot of corner-case network-related issues were ironed out in the latest kernel releases.
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