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- Fedora 31 is branched: Here are the high-lights in the next Fedora versionThe next version of IBMs beta-test distribution for Red Hat Enterprise Linux has been branched off from Fedora's bleeding edge "rawhide" tree. The first beta verison of Fedodra 31 will be released September 29th and the final version will be released in the end of October. The high-lights in Fedora 31 are CgroupsV2 resource control, Python 3 as the default python interpreter and updated versions of the KDE, GNOME, XFCE and DeepinDE desktop environments. There will be no i386 or i686 versions of Fedora 31.
- Worms exploiting Windows Remote Desktop Vulnerabilities knock on port 3389Microsoft has announced that their Windows OS has yet another critical security hole which allows anyone to take control over machines running that operating system if remote desktop services are enabled. The result is that you may be seeing attempts to connect to port 3389 in your firewall. These can be safely be ignored since they are only targeting Windows-infected computers.
- Happy Birthday DebianThe community distribution Debian is 26 years old today. The Debian Project was founded by Ian Murdock on August 16th, 1993. The first version, Debian 0.01, wasn't released until one month later on September 15th, 1993.
- AMD finally submits kernel patch for broken RDRAND on older AMD APUsIt only took 5 years for AMD to submit a kernel patch which doesn't even fix RDRAND being broken on older AMD APUs after suspend. Their kernel patch "fixes" the problem by completely disabling the RDRAND instruction on all family 15 and 16 APUs and CPUs from AMD - even those not affected by this particular issue.
- Tor Snowflake launched as a censorship countermeasure for the The Onion Router networkThe Onion Router's many nodes are banned by quite a few tyrannical regimes around the world. Tor has a feature called "bridges" which helps by-pass local censorship. Bridges are computers who act as middle-men between end-users and the Tor network. They are not listed in the Tor directory and they are meant to be hard to learn. It is, of course, possible to pretend you are a lots and lots of end-users in order to learn all the bridges. Tor's new "Snowflake" browser-plugin aims so make Tor even more censorship-resistant by allowing anyone with that browser plugin to act as a proxy for Tor's bridges.
- Treasure-trove of internal Google documents showing censorship and bias leaked by insiderA now former Google employee who went on camera talking about Google election meddling and other illegalities in June has made a 300 MB compressed archive filled with internal Google documents available through Project Veritas. The documents include censorship blacklists and plans which outline a clear political agenda.
- Linux Kernel 5.3-rc4 releasedThe forth release-candidate of the upcoming Linux Kernel 5.3 is the largest release candidate "in years". A lot of the changes since rc3 are network-related and quote a few of those are related to WIFI drivers like the iwlwifi driver for Intel wireless network cards. There's also a notable amount of changes related to Logitech input devices. There's also new Spectre v1 swapgs mitigations in this kernel; fixes for Intel CPU security flaws keep piling onto the already huge pile of fixes for Intel's highly insecure Swiss-cheese products.
- Xfce 4.14 ReleasedThe leading GNU/Linux desktop environment Xfce has released a new stable version after almost 5 years of development. The latest version is based on GTK3 instead of GTK2 and it uses GDBus instead of GLib under the hood. There's entirely new components like Xfce's new screensaver and many small and large improvements to the existing applications in Xfce 4.12 such as the file-manager Thunar, the video player Parole, the Xfce4-terminal terminal emulator.
- Xfce Image Viewer Ristretto 0.10.0 releasedThis is the first version of Ristretto which is based on GTK3+. It is essentially the same as the GTK2 version. It has some bug-fixes and translation updates but nothing new in terms of features, the port to GTK3 is the big high-light in this release.
- IBM subsidiary Red Hat has joined the RISC-V foundationThe move was not entirely surprising given that IBM is one of the RISC-V foundations founding members. There is no announcement of Red Hat distributions like Fedora and Red Hat Enterprise Linux becoming available for RISC-V any time soon. However, this does signal that they have plans in that direction.
- Bitcoin Core 0.18.1 ReleasedThe new minor version of the Bitcoin Core wallet software for storing and managing the crypto-currency BTC has some minor bug fixes, performance improvements and updated translations. Tor users will be happy to learn that this Bitcoin Core version does not hang for ages when it's shut down while it's connected to the Tor network. Bitcoin Core 0.18.1 is available for GNU/Linux, Windows and macOS.
- Xfce4-whiskermenu-plugin 2.3.3 releasedXfce's team describes the Whiskermenu as "An alternate menu". That may be true in theory but in practice it's the default standard menu on most distributions. The new version has translation updates for Bulgarian, Czech, Danish, Galician, Icelandic and Nepali. It also removes a partial crash-fix for crashes caused by garcon.
- It's Over, The Linux Journal is Closing DownThe Linux Journal was the first magazine to write about the Linux kernel and operating systems based on it back when it launched in 1994. It was published as monthly printed magazines until September 2011 when it switched to publishing digital monthly editions. It was almost over in 2017 when the Linux Journal announced that it was closing it's doors. However, Private Internet Access stepped in with funding and the Journal kept going. Now, 25 years since it published it's first edition, it's over and the staff is let go.
- Mesa 19.1.4 is now available with fixes for hair oddities in Max Payne 3 on AMD/RADVThe latest version of the graphics library which underpins all GNU/Linux graphics when free drivers are used has a lot of other fixes for Radeon graphics cards. There's also fixes for nv50 and nvc0 based NVidia cards in the free nouveau driver and some fixes for Intel integrated graphics.
- KDevelop 5.4 releasedKDevelop is a powerful Integrated Development Environment built on the KDE framework which works great in any desktop environment. It's great for developing in a number of languages including C++, Python and PHP (if you consider PHP to be a real programming language). The new version has a brand new scratchpad feature, a new build system and analyzer support from Clang-Tidy. There is, of course, also a lot of bug fixes and smaller improvements.
- Linux Kernel 5.3-rc3 releasedThe third release candidate for Linux Kernel 5.3 is "smaller than usual". There has been a lot of fixes for the Intel i915 driver as well as many power management fixes for newer AMD GPUs since 5.3rc2. There is not much else of interest between those release-candidates.
- The Japanese have NTP synchronized wall clocksThe Network Time Protocol is the standard way of synchronizing clocks on the Internet. All modern Linux machines can use this method and many distributions enable the systemd timesyncd service for clock synchronization using NTP by default. Regular wall-clocks found in homes have so far been relying on either GPS, radio signals or humans manually adjusting the time. The Japanese have now come up with standard wall and bedside table clocks which can synchronize time using the standard NTP protocol.
- Drift Into Eternity now available for Linux on SteamThe "Top 100 of the Indie of the Year Award 2015" game Drift Into Eternity is now available for Linux in the Steam store. The announcement describes the game as being an "open beta" due to lack of testing. The full version of the game requires a payment. A almost fully working demo version is available for Linux (and Windows). The only difference between it and the full version is the ability to submit or save scores, you can not do those things with the demo version. Everything else should, in theory, work. In practice the game doesn't actually launch.
- Manjaro Linux will not be installing the proprietary FreeOffice by defaultIt appeared as if the popular Linux distribution Manjaro was going to include a free version of the non-free proprietary office suite FreeOffice crippleware from German SoftMaker Software GmbH instead of the free office suite LibreOffice in the upcoming 18.1 version of their operating system. This is now off the table due to massive push-back from a handful of vocal people.
- Linux Steam market share is on the riseThe percentage of Steam gamers using GNU/Linux dropped like a stone last month. A 0.08% reduction in June left Linux distributions with a marginal 0.76% of total Steam usage. That number increased by 0.03% in July and the GNU/Linux marketshare on Steam now stands at 0.79%.
- Honorary Doctor Richard Stallman to do Speaking Tour in RussiaThe father of the free software movement will be speaking at the TechTrain Expo in Saint Petersburg on August 24-25. He will then proceed to Moscow and speak at an undisclosed location connected to the Moscow Polytechnic University. Admission to the TechTrain Expo requires a ticket, admission to his talk in Moscow will be free of charge.
- GNU C Library version 2.30 released with Unicode 12.1 supportglibc one of the more essential parts of any GNU/Linux distribution. There's no bash, no X, no KDE Plasma, no nothing without it. The new version of the GNU C Library fixes to security issues with assigned CVEs. There's also Minguo calendar support for Chinese Taipei and the Unicode entry for the new Japanese era added to the ja_JP locale which was added to Unicode 12.1.
- Mesa 3d 19.2 Release Plan AnnouncedThe Mesa 3d graphics stack which powers the user-space aspects of all Linux graphics drivers will release a new stable version on August 27th - unless there are unforeseen problems or delays. The development tree will be branched off and released as 19.2rc1 on Tuesday 6th.
- Freedesktop Quietly adds Intel Code of Conduct EnforcerThe Freedesktop organization were pushed into adopting a Code of Conduct in April, 2017. The same three people have been responsible for enforcing this broad, unclear and subjective policy since that time. A fourth person from Intel was very quietly added to the authoritarian enforcement team on July 19th.
- Latte Dock 0.9 for KDE Plasma releasedLatte Dock is an alternative to standard panels offered by the popular and very feature-rich KDE Plasma desktop environment. It looks very similar to something we have vague memories of seeing when visiting someone using a thin laptop made by an American fruit company.
- AMD Ryzen 3000 series CPUs will not be able to boot modern Linux distributions for another "few" weeks3000-series AMD Ryzen CPUs return broken data when RDRAND is called. That causes boot failure modern Linux distributions using systemd >=240. AMD was very quiet about this major flaw in their CPUs until Windows users noticed that some Windows game called Destiny II crashes due to it's reliance on the RDRAND instruction. AMD finally admitted the problem and promised a BIOS fix on July 12th.
- Pay As You Go Linux PCs are here - and you Better Pay or it Locks UpEndless OS peaked our interest due to it's use of OSTree+Flatpak package management instead of the typical .rpm or .deb repositories most distributions use. That's not what got our attention when we looked at this Linux distribution. Endless Solutions offers laptops and "mini" desktops pre-loaded with their Endless OS which will lock up if you don't pay your bill. There appears to be a modern word which describes software which behaves like that.
- Linux Kernel 5.3-rc2 releasedA second release-candidate for the upcoming Linux Kernel 5.3 is now available. There's a lot of smaller fixes in the various sub-systems. Nothing major stands out apart from a large amount of amdgpu fixes. 5.3 is the first kernel with support for AMDs new Navi GPUs so some ironing out in that area during the release candidate cycle is to be expected.
- Xfce 4.14pre3 ReleasedThe third pre-release of the next stable long-term version of the classic GNU/Linux desktop environment Xfce is now available for your enjoyment. This third version of Xfce's port to the GTK+3 toolkit is as good as the final version in terms of features, is a Final Freeze. The final 4.14 version scheduled to be released on August 8th will only contain fixes for the very few remaining bugs.
- Python 3 plugin support for GIMP 3 is ready
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