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- Thunar 1.8.10 Released With Plenty Of Bug-FixesThe latest release of the default file manager for the Xfce desktop environment has a very long list of bug-fixes in a variety of areas. Some fix trivial visual errors and some fix crashes when doing something like a refresh on a open remote folder which has been deleted. There are no new ground-breaking features, this is a stable version maintenance release which tackles bugs.
- Kernel 5.3.9 And Other Stable Series Linux Kernels Are Released With Important Realtek Wifi Vulnerability FixWifi Chips from Taiwanese Realtek are found in near-zero consumer laptops and a lot of the dirt-cheapest routers and USB networking dongles. They use a Linux kernel driver called rtlwifi which, up to now, had a slight buffer overflow problem which could potentially be (ab)used to run arbitrary code on any Linux-based computer with realtek wireless networking enabled. No proof of concept or other exploits exist. You should probably upgrade your kernel if you are using a Realtek-based wifi device running a Linux kernel regardless.
- Steams Hardware Survey for October Indicates Linux Gaming Growth Is Not HappeningThe GNU/Linux marketshare among gamers using the Steam has flat-lined at 0.83% with a measly 0.03% growth in September and 0.00% growth in October 2019. Overall GNU/Linux gaming marketshare was likely down for the month as popular newly released games like Red Dead Redemption 2 are not available in the Steam store and they are also not available for GNU/Linux operating systems.
- Microsoft Edge To Shake Up The Browser Competition On The GNU/Linux DesktopMicrosoft's announced that they gave up on their own web browser rendering engine a while ago. Future versions of their Edge browser will be based on Google's Chromium web browser and use it's "Blink" rendering engine. Chromium is multi-platform which makes it trivial to port browsers based on it to a variety of platforms. It appears that even Microsoft is able to do this. They have now confirmed that they will be releasing a GNU/Linux version of their upcoming Chromium-based Edge browser.
- Mesa 19.2.3 And 19.3-rc2 Are Now AvailableMesa release manager Dylan Baker has released two new versions of the Mesa graphics stack which underpins all graphics on modern GNU/Linux systems. The new stable 19.2.3 version has "a bit of everything" with bug-fixes for just about every component and a "giant pile of relese-script changes". The second release candidate for version 19.3 has "a large number of bug fixes" but there's still "plenty of bugs" left to fix before a final release.
- Xfburn 0.6.1 is now availableThe CD/DVD/BD burning application Xfburn has been updated to use the GTK+3 toolkit. There's also some minor code modernization under the hood. There's also a lot of translation updates in this latest version of the Xfce desktop's tool for writing data to ancient round storage-media.
- Xfce4-whiskermenu-plugin 2.3.4 is releasedThe Xfce team has released an update to the popular "whiskermenu" panel plugin for the Xfce desktop environment. This is the Xfce menu many distributions use as the default menu in Xfce since it is somewhat more advanced than the stock menu. The new version has some fixes which makes it build against xfce4-panel 4.15.0, which is the first development release in the next iteration of the Xfce desktop - and some translation updates. That's it.
- Fedora 31 Is Released With Live Images Available For A Varietry SpinsIBM's subsidiary Red Hat has released a new version 31 of their "community" distribution Fedora which they fully control and use to beta-test for their commercial Red Hat Enterprise Linux product. Downloadable images for their "Workstation" desktop featuring GNOME, a "Silverblue" OsTree variant, a KDE edition, a Xfce spin and a LXQt variant as well as a server-image are now available.
- AMD and Intel Posted Record Profits Q3 2019CPU "shortages" on the Intel side of the duopoly helped AMD post the best quarterly results since 2005 while Intel posted a record quarterly result of $19.2 billion. That brings Intel's yearly forecast for the year up $1.5B to $71 billion. AMD posted a Q3 result of $1.8 billion that is ~ 10% of Intel's results, thanks to Zen2 based Ryzen desktop parts and EPYC server chips.
- Raspberry Pi 4 Firmware Updates Add Network Booting and USB 3.0 Power Saving For Lower TemperaturesThe latest iteration of the popular tiny single-board computer from the Raspberry Pi Foundation has gotten a new firmware update which enabled power-saving in the VLI VL805 controller which manages it's two USB 3.0 ports. There is also a beta firmware which finally enables PXE network booting available.
- Mesa 19.3.0-rc1 Released With New Vulkan FeaturesThe first release-candidate in the Mesa 19.3 graphics system cycle kicks off with OpenGL 4.6 for Intel's i965 and Iris graphics drivers as well as a long list of new Vulkan features for the Intel and AMD RADV drivers. There's also initial support for a new Intel "Tigerlake" graphics chip.
- Firefox 70 Is Released With 13 Security Vulnerabilities FixedThe latest version of the underdog web browser Firefox includes fixes for 13 CVE-numbered vulnerabilities. There is also new "social tracking" protection which adds to the anti-tracking features introduced in the previous versions and a new special
about:protectionswhich shows what kind of tracking Firefox has blocked lately. WebGL performance is slightly better when using the Basic rendering option; overall performance is essentially the same as previous versions.
- GNOME Project Hit By Patent Troll, Over $100k USD Defense Fund RaisedThe "patent troll" Rothschild Patent Imaging LLC hit the GNOME project with a high five figure extortion demand over a patent the photo manager Shotwell supposedly infringes upon about one month ago. The GNOME project decided that they would rather fight the patent than pay up. $108,929 out of a goal of $125,000 has so far been raised for a "defense fund" which will be used to try to invalidate the patent.
- Twitter Posts Huge Revenue And Guidance Misses As The Free Software Based Fediverse Keeps On GrowingThe heavily censored US-based social media microblogging platform Twitter crashed 21% on the New York Stock Exchange after issuing a Q3 letter to shareholders with Q4 guidance which hugely misses Q4 revenue expectations. Twitters user-base is dwindling and and it's profits are growing less than expected while the free software based Fediverse alternatives keep on growing exponentially.
- Gtkmm 3.24.2 releasedgtkmm is a very commonly used C++ interface for the graphical interface library GTK+. It is used by most of the C++ software which uses GTK+ for it's graphical interface. The latest minor version fixes several memory leaks. There's also updated documentation.
- Xfce4-panel 4.15.0 kicks off Xfce's march towards a 4.16 releaseIt took almost half a decade from the release of version 4.12 of the Xfce desktop environment in 2015 to the release of Xfce 4.14 two months ago. Major version Xfce releases have generally been several years apart since it's inception in 1996. This will not be the case with Xfce 4.16; it will arrive much sooner than one would except given Xfce's release-history. The developers secret roadmap reveals that it could be released this time next year. Planned features include a "night light" mode, client side decorations and header-bars in simpler applications. GTK2 will no longer be supported.
- Sudo bug lets users who are allowed to run commands as another user to run them as root insteadThis sudo bug is either very serious or a complete non-issue depending on your use-case. Sudo is typically used to allow one user to run any command as root. However, some do have specialized setups where one user is allowed to run one or two commands as other regular users. The bug would allow that user to run the commands he is allowed to run as other users as root - which typically means that a root shell is within reach.
- Intels upcoming i3 CPUs raise the bar for entry-level CPUs to four cores and four threadsThe top of the line consumer desktop CPUs from Intel up to a few years ago were called i7's and they had four cores and four threads. SiSoftware has a listing of a benchmark of a mysterious new Intel "Comet Lake" CPU named the i3-10100 CPU and it is apparently a 3.60GHz 4 core 8 thread part with 4x256KB L2 cache and 6 MB L3 cache. This pushes the standard for "entry level" processors up to a level near top-end i7 CPUs from just a few years ago.
- Free Software Enthusiasts are The Worst when it comes to AdBlockingOne may assume that a website with ten times as many visitors as another sort-of comparable website would be more profitable but that's just not the case when one of the websites cater to free software enthusiasts who are, in fact, the most privacy-aware and advertisement-hostile people of all. That is a corner-case where the ten times more popular site barely generates half the revenue.
- Facebook's digital currency Libra appears to be falling apart as major players leave before commitment deadlineVisa, Mastercard, Stripe, and eBay all withdrew from the Libra Association on Friday following PayPal's resignation last week. The Libra Association is scheduled to hold it's first meeting on Monday and it's members will be asked to make serious commitments in that meeting. It appears that the largest payment processors were not willing to make any commitments.
- New stable kernels: 5.3.6, 4.19.79 and 4.14.149 are now availableThe new stable-series kernels have a small fix for a performance regression which has radically decreased performance on multi-core systems running lots and lots virtual machines since January 2017. The Chinese found eight times higher performance on their system when the patch which caused the regression was reverted.
- Firefox 69.0.3 with nothing new for free software usersThe latest minor version of Firefox which was released on October 10th has a fix for Windows 10 users with Parental Controls enabled and a fix for those using Yahoo's e-mail service. There is absolutely nothing new for those who use variants of the GNU/Linux operating system.
- GNOME Internet Radio Locator v2.0.8 is now availableGNOME Internet Radio Locator by Norwegian developer Ole Aamot is a free radio tuner which allows you to tune into radio stations using a world map view or a handy search-box. It has been in rapid development the second half of the year with new versions being released almost weekly the last few months. Version 2.0.8, released October 7th, is worth a look if you like to listen to a small variety of international radio stations.
- GNOME 3.34.1 is now availableThe first minor bug-fix release of the 3.34 series GNOME desktop environment is now available.
- The Free Software Foundation is working to gain a "shared understanding" with the GNU ProjectThe corporate media witch-hunt against Honorary Doctor Richard Stallman resulted in him being ousted from the Free Software Foundation which he founded in 1985. He was, however, not removed from the GNU Project where he remains "Chief GNUisance". The FSF and the GNU project have so far had the shared values and goals; it appears that this is changing.
- Steams hardware survey numbers for September 2019 show GNU/Linux gaming stagnationThe Steam hardware survey numbers for September 2019 are out and they do not paint a picture of rapidly growing gaming platform. An increase in GNU/Linux marketshare of a mere 0.03% brings the total GNU/Linux marketshare on Steam to 0.83%. That is slightly higher than the 0.79% figure posted in June but it is also lower than the 0.84% figure back in May.
- SuperTuxKart 1.1 could be released "anytime"Version 1.1 of the popular free kart racing game SuperTuxKart for GNU/Linux, Windows, Mac OS and Android is essentially ready. Developer sources tell us that the git version is as good as ready to become a v1.1 release and that the release could happen "anytime". The new version has IPv6 support, new skins, better touch-screen controls and quite a few bug-fixes and improvements under the hood.
- GNU Screen v.4.7.0 is released with support for Unicode 12.1.0 tablesIf you like to work on more than one thing at a time in a terminal emulator's tab then screen (or tmux) may be for you. The latest version of the GNU Screen terminal multiplexer adds support for OSC 11, SGR 1006 mouse mode, Unicode 12.1.0 and there are also some cross-compilation fixes and a cleaned up manual page.
- Linux 5.4 rc1 is releasedHalf the lines changed in this release candidate for the next upcoming kernel were AMD DRM definition headers. We leave it up to AMD fans to speculate on what fancy new graphics technology they plan to release with support for the indicated new features.
- Microsoft Windows no longer trusts built-in SSD encryption and neither should youMany modern SSDs come with their own built-in encryption system. Enabling it under GNU/Linux is typically quite trivial; most of them will ask the BIOS for a ATA HDD password and use that if one is set. However, there are some valid concerns about the security of these built-in encryption schemes. Hard-coded super-passwords set by the manufacturer is one which should not be ignored.
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