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- Mesa 20.0.0-rc1 Is Released With Vulkan 1.2 Support and Iris As New Default Intel OpenGL DriverLinux machines with Intel graphics chips are currently using the aging i965 Mesa graphics driver for OpenGL. Intel has been working on a fancy new OpenGL driver called Iris for some time. That driver will be the new default driver for gen8+ Intel graphics chips in Mesa 20. Iris brings slightly better performances compared to the old i965 driver. There will also be full Vulkan 1.2 support in Mesa 20.
- Direct3D To Vulkan Translation Layer DXVK 1.5.3 Is ReleasedThe latest version of the DXVK Direct3D 9/10/11 to Vulkan translation layer for WINE has bug-fixes specific to Mafia II, Skyrim and Torchlight and a fix for a "critical" Direct3D 9 regression introduced in version 1.5.2 which was released a week ago. Vulkan 1.1 support is now a requirement to use DXVK.
- Remotely Exploitable Root Vulnerability In OpenSMTPD DisclosedOpenSMTPD is a e-mail server developed as a part of OpenBSD. It is available for GNU/Linux and most other UNIX-like systems. Security researches at the cloud provider Qualys have found a serious gaping hole in OpenSMTPD which allows an attacker to gain root privileges by sending a carefully crafted e-mail message. You absolutely have to upgrade to OpenSMTPD version 6.6.2p1 if you or your organization is using it on your e-mail server.
- Free Software Licenses Are Losing Ground To Permissive Open Source LicensesBig and small software projects are turning their back on free software copyleft licenses like the GNU GPL in favor of the more permissive MIT and Apache licenses. Free software licenses were the dominating open source licenses seven years ago. Less than a third of all open source projects are using a free software license today.
- It Never Ends: Two More Intel CPU Vulnerabilities DisclosedThe list of security vulnerabilities due to hardware flaws in Intel processor products is very long and it just got longer. Intel has issued a "Data Leakage Advisory" where they admit two additional locally exploitable vulnerabilities which could be used to get secret information from processes running on a computer.
- Linux 5.5 "Kleptomaniac Octopus" Is ReleasedLinux 5.5 has a reworked fair scheduler, better live kernel patching, parallel microcode updates, NVMe temperature monitoring using hwmon, support for overclocking and 8K resolutions on AMD Navi graphics cards, support for LEDs on Logitech keyboards and several other improvements.
- The Secret Chronicles of Dr. M. 2.1.0 beta 2 Is ReleasedThe Secret Chronicles of Dr. M. came about as a fork of the Super Mario clone Secret Maryo Chronicles in 2014. It has original levels, graphics and its own unique concept. The latest version has a great new title theme, scripting extension packs and updated documentation. It is available for Windows and GNU/Linux.
- Xow 0.3 Is Released With Rumbe Support For Wireless XBox DonglesXow is a user mode driver for the wireless XBox One USB dongles created by a 17 year old student from Germany. It supports both the huge and tiny USB adapters for XBox controllers. The latest version adds full rumble functionality, support for "elite" controllers and udev rules which allow the driver to be ran as a regular user are added.
- Util-linux 2.35 Is Released With hwclock Re-Licensed To GNU GPL v3The Linux utility package util-linux provides a number of core programs that are essential to any GNU/Linux distribution. It provides tools like
suand a lot of other basic tools. The list of changes since 2.34 was released is quite long. One of those changes is barely mentioned: hwclock has been re-licensed to GNU GPL v3.
- Web Browser Showdown: Six Browsers On Four ComputersWe tested six web browsers on four different computers to find out which web browser provides the best performance. Brave and Chromium are the clear winners when it comes to WebGL and WebAssembly performance. That is specially true on weaker hardware. The picture is not that clear when it comes to casual web browsing.
- KDE Plasma 5.18 Wallpaper Winner AnnouncedThe KDE project held a wallpaper contest for the upcoming KDE Plasma 5.18 release. The wallpaper "Volna" by Nikita Babin will be the default wallpaper on distributions who do not replace KDEs default with their own. The win earned Nikita Babin TUXEDO Infinity Book 14 from German TUXEDO computers.
- Rocket League Is Ditching Linux SupportPsyonix, the makers of the popular commercial Rocket League game, have announced that they are ending Linux and macOS support with a final update in March 2020. The final update will remove all online functionality from the Linux and macOS versions. That includes online matchmaking, private matches, tournaments and in-game events. Those who have paid good money for Rocket League with the assumption that they bought the full version of the game and not some limited shareware version can get a refund.
- Linux 5.6 Will Support Per-Die Temperature Readings On AMD Zen2 ProcessorsThe latest generation AMD processors have per-die temperature sensors. A series of patches by Guenter Roeck with support for Core Complex Die (CCD) temperatures on Ryzen 3000 (Zen2) CPUs and Vcore and SOC voltage and current sensors on all Ryzen CPUs have been merged to the linux-next tree.
- GNU make 4.3 Is ReleasedThe GNU project has very quietly released a major update to the
makeutility used to compile the vast majority of free software programs. It has been almost four years since make 4.2 was released in May 2016. The latest version supports specifying a
-jjob number in Makefiles, the job limit under Windows has been raised from 63 to 4095 and support for newer versions of the GNU libc and musl C runtime libraries is added.
- Microsoft WordPad 2020 Will Contain In-App AdvertisementsThe current "Insider Preview" version of the WordPad word processor bundled with the Windows 10 operating system contains subtle advertisements for Microsoft's online office suite. Free software alternatives do not have that problem and they will, unlike the Microsoft alternative, work without an Internet connection.
- Wine 5.0 Is Released With Multi-Monitor Support, Vulkan 1.1 Support and New XAudio2 re-implementationThe Wine compatibility layer for running Windows software on GNU/Linux systems has come a really long way Wine 4.0 was released exactly one year ago on January 22nd, 2019. More than 7400 changes by 1718 people went into the Wine 5.0 release. Wine is now at a point where it can be used to run the vast majority of Windows applications, and games, with no issues.
- Per-Process Bandwidth Monitor Bandwhich 0.10.0 Is ReleasedBandwidth is a different kind of cli bandwidth monitoring tool for Linux and macOS written in Rust. It can show per-process and per-connection bandwidth usa by matching traffic to processes using /proc (or lsof on macOS). It has been in development since November 2019. The latest release adds IPv6 support and the ability to choose what tables are shown in the interface.
- Norwegian Study Finds The Online Advertisement Industry To Be "OUT OF CONTROL"The Norwegian Consumer Protection Agency "Forbrukerrådet" has spent millions of Norwegian government oil and tax money on a study which finds that the online advertising industry is "OUT OF CONTROL". The study focused on well-known smartphone applications. All of the apps examined were found to be collecting and sharing data in direct violation of European law.
- GParted 1.1.0 Is ReleasedThe latest version of the best graphical disk partitioning tool for GNU/Linux can recognize ATARAID members, calculate JFS disk sizes accurately and move locked LUKS partitions. GParted is available as both a distribution and a stand-alone utility. Only the disk utility has been updated to v1.1.0, updated versions of the GParted distribution are not yet available.
- Firefox 72.0.2 Is ReleasedFirefox 72.0.2 disables double buffering for video playback on Windows after several reports of video stuttering. It also fixes a bug which prevented it from opening files with a whitespace on Windows, a hang when opening the
about:loginspage to view stored passwords on all platforms and a rendering issue causing CSS tags to be ignored in some cases.
- Vulkan 1.2 Specification Finalized, Linux Support In PlaceThe Khronos Group has published the final specification for version 1.2 of the Vulkan graphics API. It adds 23 extensions to the core API and it brings features like timeline semaphores synchronization and a formal memory model. Mesa already supports most of the extensions which were added to the core specification and Mesa 20, expected to be released towards the end of February, will have full Vulkan 1.2 support.
- Linux 5.5rc7 Is ReleasedLinux 5.5 will be released next week barring any huge and important last minute patches. Now much was changed in rc7 since the last release candidate with the majority of patches arriving the last two days. There is nothing ground-breaking in the changelog, only minor fixes in the various sub-systems.
- AMD Confirms "Big Navi" GPU Coming In 2020AMD has published a video interview with AMDs CEO Lisa Su at CES 2020 on their YouTube channel where Dr. Su confirms that AMD will be bringing a "Big Navi" GPU product to market in 2020. She did not provide any details what so ever beyond that. The only thing we can say for sure is that it will have more than the 40 compute units the currently biggest RX 5700 XT Navi GPU has.
- SeaMonkey 2.53.1 Beta 1 Is Released: Not Fully Abandoned AbandonwareFreeBSD declared Seamonkey (and Pale Moon) to be "abandonware" in April 2019. The SeaMonkey Internet Suite is still alive as evidenced by a new beta release on January 18th, 2020. The web browser component uses the rendering engine from Firefox ESR 60.3 and the e-mail component uses code from Thunderbird 60.3. The user interface is still the same classic interface Seamonkey has had for 20+ years with one minor difference: The latest release uses GTK3 to draw it.
- Xfce4-whiskermenu-plugin 2.3.5 ReleasedThe latest version of the optional "whiskermenu" for the Xfce desktop environment has 6 bug fixes and updated documentation. A better fallback value for menu opacity is one of the high-lights in this release.
- Mozilla Fires 70 Employees, Apple Offers New JobsThe Mozilla Corporation has laid off 70 employees, experienced programmers and senior engineers, due to business difficulties and declining revenue. A dwindling Firefox marketshare combined with a failure to make money on its subscription services has reduced Mozilla's revenue to the point where layoffs are necessary.
- Wine 5.0-rc6 Is Released With 21 Bug-FixesWine 5.0-rc6 is the last release-candidate before 5.0 release next week "barring any last minute issue". 21 bugs have been fixed since Wine 5.0-rc5. Wine 5.0 is shaping up to be a great release for those who want to run Windows games on their GNU/Linux machines. A lot of progress has been made since Wine 4.0 was released in January 2019.
- Red Hat Recommends Disabling Hardware Acceleration on Intel Integrated Graphics Due To Hardware FlawRed Hat has issued guidance for the latest Intel CPU hardware bug which, unlike Meltdown and other widely publicized hardware flaws in Intel CPU products, affects the GPU part of Intel chips (if they have one). The proposed "solution" is a bit dramatic: just disable hardware acceleration and you'll be fine - unless you would like to watch videos or play games or do anything else in a graphical environment for that matter.
- CentOS 8.1 Released With New Security Tools For Servers And ContainersCentOS 8.1 (1911) is a free rebuild of the commercial GNU/Linux distribution Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8.1. The latest version supports live kernel patching and live conversion of LUKS1 images to LUKS2. Most of the improvements in this release are for containers and hybrid cloud deployments. Commonly used server-packages like Node.js, PHP, nginx and Ruby have been updated to newer versions.
- GNU sed 4.8 Is ReleasedThe GNU project has released a new major version of the sed stream editor after more than a year of development. The latest version has "s/many new exiting features/one noteworthy bug fix/g".
sed -iwill, as of the latest version, set the correct umask when files are saved.