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- Lagrange v1.3.2 Is ReleasedLagrange is the by far best graphical web browser for the Gemini "space" (A purely text-based web equivalent for hackers). The latest release is mostly a bug-fix for the big 1.3.0 release on March 31st. It fixes a crash for those upgrading from v1.2 caused by older now invalid CA configuration, pixel ratio detection has been improved and there's a handful of other fixes relating to the sidebar, bookmarks, the Gopher URL support and keybindings.
- The Mesa RADV Vulkan Driver Will Soon Have An Option That Boosts Performance 30%+ On RDNA2 GPUs By Rendering LessThose who have the very latest Radeon RX 6000 series graphics cards from AMD will get the option of doing fewer fragment shader invocations per pixel rendered in Vulkan games when Mesa 21.1 is released come May. This can provide a huge performance-boost, or nearly none at all, depending on the game or workload. The new Mesa option requires variable rate shading support in hardware, so it is only for those who have a shiny new GPU from AMD.
- GnuPG 2.3.0 Is Released With New Default Public Key Algorithms, A New Key Daemon And MoreGnuPG is the standard for e-mail encryption and package signing within the FOSS world. Version 2.3.0 has a few notable improvements over previous versions. It has a new key database daemon for faster key look-ups, the default algorithms for new public keys is changed to
ed25519/cv25519and several of the tools, including
scdaemonsmart card daemon, have quite a few new command-line options.
- Xwayland Has Gained Support For Hardware Acceleration On Machines With Nvidia graphics CardsXwayland, a component that allows X programs to run on the Wayland display server, has finally gained support for running X programs under Wayland with hardware acceleration on Nvidia hardware. This has been a sour-spot for Wayland since its inception, not having backwards compatibility with the most widely used display server is kind of a bummer. Support is finally there in the git master branch thanks to what looks to be a joint Nvidia/RedHat effort.
- Mesa 21 Broke VAAPI Hardware Encoding On Machines With AMD Graphics Cards. A Fix Is Coming.Those of you who have tried to hardware encode video using AMD hardware after upgrading to Mesa 21 may have noticed that the encoded video is, in fact, not a video - it's some kind of odd slide-show with one new frame every 5 seconds or so. Mesa 20.3 didn't have that problem, Mesa 21 and the newly released 21.0.2 bug-fix do. The Mesa developers are aware of the problem we are referring to and a patch has been merged into the upcoming 21.0.3 version scheduled to be released around two weeks from now.
- ClamAV 0.103.2 Is Released With Security Fixes For Four VulnerabilitiesThe free software anti-virus package ClamAV has, ironically, made a security release fixing four vulnerabilities in the ClamAV scanner. Two of them could cause it to crash, one could cause it to enter a endless loop and a Windows-specific vulnerability could lead to privilege escalation. You should update if you use ClamAV as a part of a production mail server setup. ClamAV has 8,532,858 virus signatures it can scan for in its database.
- Wine 6.6 Is ReleasedWine 6.6 comes with Mono 6.1.1, DWrite and DnsApi libraries ported to portable executables, some plug and play driver improvements and 56 game and application-specific bug-fixes. The DirectX 11 support remains somewhat unimpressive compared to what DXVK offers in certain specific demo scene demos.
- Vulnerabilities In The Linux Kernels BPF Virtual Machine Lets Any Local User Run Kernel-Level CodeA new Linux kernel vulnerability identified as CVE-2021-29154 allows regular unprivileged system users on any modern GNU/Linux users to run code in kernel-mode. Proof of concept exploit code exists. The vulnerability is present up to and including Linux 5.11.12, the Linux kernel developers have yet to release a safe version. A patch and workarounds do exist.
- GNUnet 0.14.1 Is ReleasedThe latest version of the technically interesting GNUnet overlay network is so buggy that you are lucky if it stays up for five minutes before
gnunet-servicecrashes and you're disconnected from the network. The sparse graphical GTK applications for it are still practically useless jokes that look like they were coded by a drunk highschool student during a lunch-break.
- Mesa 21.0.2 Is Released With Minor Bug-Fixes Mostly For AMD Graphics HardwareMesa 21.0.2 is a bug-fix release with small fixes for EGL, the Panfrost driver, the RADV Vulkan driver for AMD and the ACO shader compiler that goes along with it, and a LLVM related fix those of you with older AMD graphics cards will want.
- FFmpeg 4.4 Is Released With Support For Even More Encoders, Decoders, Muxers and FiltersFFmpeg, the all in one Swiss army knife for audio and video encoding and deciding, has made a fine new and rather a big new release. It adds support for AV1 video encoding using SVT-AV1, support for hardware accelerated decoding AV1 video decoding using VAAPI and Intel QSV, support for the Cineform HD encoder and longs lists of other video encoders and decoders, filters and muxers.
- The Google Vs Oracle Saga Is Finally Over. The US Supreme Court Ruled In Favor Of Google.The American Oracle-corporation filed a lawsuit against the American Google-corporation of over Google's use of Java API headers on the Android platform in August 2010. That saga is finally over after it had dragged for more than a decade. The supreme court rules that Google's use of the API headers in questions does not violate Oracle's imaginary property rights.
- IBM Set To Release COBOL Compiler For LinuxIBM has announced that they will release a proprietary GNU/Linux version of their IBM COBOL compiler on April 16th. The Linux version will be fully compatible with IBM's existing COBOL compiler products for z/OS and AIX. Pricing is unknown. It will probably cost you a pretty penny.
- Xfdashboard 0.9.2 Is Releasedxfdashboard is a nice switcher and launcher primarily for the Xfce desktop environment. It looks a bit similar to the GNOME and macOS launchers. The latest release adds support for linear gradients, the algorithm for detecting what programs are running in open windows is improved and a bug that would cause xfdashboard to immediately crash in some cases, introduced in xfdashboard 0.9.1, is fixed.
- KDE Is Now Offering A Qt 5.15 LTS Branch Patch-set For The Free Software CommunityThe Qt Company, the corporation behind the Qt toolkit used by the KDE desktop environment and numerous other free software projects, has been restricting updates to Qt Long Term Support (LTS) releases to paying customers since January 2020. KDE e.V. has announced that they will be maintaining their own Qt 5 "patch collection" for free software users and projects using the Qt 5.15 LTS release.
- DevilutionX 1.2 Is Released For The Enjoyment Of Diablo FansDevilutionX is a source port of the classic Diablo game with support for the Diablo: Hellfire extension pack that lets you play Diablo on a vast array of modern hardware, including hardware running GNU/Linux. Fans of this game from the late 1990s can enjoy a long list of game-play related improvements, performance improvements and other improvements in the latest DevilutionX release. The original game, or a shareware version, is required to use DevilutionX. Going with the shareware version will likely result in a huge disappointment.
- XScreenSaver 6.0 Is Released With User-Configurable Color Schemes For The Unlock-BoxXScreenSaver, initially released by Jamie Zawinski in 1992, is one of the oldest pieces of free software still around. The Linux kernel is just one year older. The latest version has better scaling for higher screen resolutions, even better security, user-configurable color schemes for the unlock dialog box and a special fix for the Rasperry Pi and other systems without gamma control.
- Signal Just Made One Years Worth Of Server-Side Source Code Available In One Huge DumpSignal Messenger LLC forgot to update the GitHub repository for the server-side part of their Signal messaging application for almost one year. Their last git commit to the Signal server was done on April 22nd, 2020 - until someone there remembered that they had promised to be a "open source" company a few hours ago. Signal just pushed a massive source code dump with all the code commits for Signal Server v3.21 to v5.48 to their public GitHub repository.
- Firefox Is Making WebRender The Default Rendering Engine On Linux This Month And There Is A Facelift Coming In MayThe Firefox web browser is finally making the long-anticipated WebRender rendering engine the default on GNU/Linux when Firefox 88 is released later this month. WebRender, developed as apart of the "Quantum" project, has been optionally available since Firefox 67. It's not at all impressive performance-wise unless you manually flip the new secret performance-boosting switch. That new switch happens to also make enabling VAAPI hardware video decoding easier. More is planned, a improved, or perhaps just slightly different, interface will arrive when Firefox 89 is released towards the end of May.
- The complete guide for open sourcing video gamesGames are a special class of software with high development costs. Giving them away for free by making the source code and game assets available under permissive licenses may not sound like a good business decision, but there are several good reasons to make games available under open source licenses and it is not that difficult to do.
- The Latest Arch Linux ISO Has A Fresh New Guided InstallerThe community distribution Arch Linux has up to now required you to manually install it by entering a whole lot of scary commands in a terminal. Arch version 2021.04.01 features a new guided installer for users who want to install Arch Linux can use.. by typing
python -m archinstall guidedinto the console you get when you boot the Arch Linux installation ISO. It is not very novice-friendly, or user-friendly, but it gets the job done and it will work fine for those with some basic GNU/Linux knowledge.
- A Quick Look At Manjaro 21.0 Ornara With Xfce"Manjaro just had big release so I thought I should take a look at one of their main editions (xfce). Manjaro has always been one of my favorite Linux distributions. In fact, long-time viewers of the channel will remember that I ran Manjaro on my production machine for over a year at one point." -Distrotube
- Digital Currencies $2 Trillion Market Cap As Bitcoin And Ethereum Surge Above Key LevelsThe free software based digital currency Ethereum (ETH) is currently hoovering above $2000 after surging above it for the first time ever on April 2nd. The move, coupled with a surge in Bitcoin (BTC) and other smaller free software based digital currencies, has put the total market cap of alternative digital currencies right below the $2 trillion mark.
- GNOME Board Members Must Resign In DisgraceThe current leadership of the GNOME Foundation has shown itself to be a dangerous and divisive force in the free and open source software communities. I urge the GNOME community and the greater free software and open source communities to call for the immediate removal of the entire Board of the GNOME Foundation, who have flagrantly violated their own Code of Conduct and enabled others within the GNOME community to do so.
- AMD Admits Their Zen 3 CPUs Are Vulnerable To Spectre-STL AttacksThe American chip-designer AMD has published a long report where they admit that the Predictive Store Forwarding (PSF) technology in their Zen 3 processors make them vulnerable to Spectre-STL attacks. The Linux kernel does not, as of today's git tree, provide any protection against those kinds of attacks.
- Web Browser Performance Round-Up April 2021We benchmarked Brave, Chromium, Firefox, MS Edge, Midori, Naver, Otter, Opera and SeaMonkey to see which web browser provides the best performance on modern machines running GNU/Linux distributions. The numbers reveal that there is little difference since most modern browsers are merely Chromium-skins using the same rendering engine. Firefox and SeaMonkey are different, yet they are in the same performance-ballpark in everything except graphics-intensive applications. They are really bad in that particular area.
- SuperTuxKart Has Polished And Revamped Karts Ready For The Next Big ReleaseThe fun free kart racing game SuperTuxkart has gotten four kart re-vamped during the last few months. A new release is not imminent, and we do not know when it will be. What we do know is that there are some nice improvements happening in the SuperTuxKart graphics repository. None of the latest source code changes deal with the OpenGL rendering pipes, so the games graphics performance remains the same as it was in the last release.
- Liberty or Death!March 23, 2021 - a day which will live in infamy - the Free and Open Source community was suddenly and deliberately attacked by Silicon Valley. The tyrants of Big Tech, under the disguise of non-profit organizations, called for a hostile occupation of our community by issuing a blockade against Richard Stallman, the Free Software Foundation, and any other user who stands in opposition to their ideology of personal profit.
- SeaMonkey 2.53.7 Is ReleasedSeaMonkey is a cross-platform web browser with a mail client, IRC chat client and a HTML editor built-in. The latest release is based on the web browser backend from Firefox 60.8 and the e-mail backend from Thunderbird 60.0. This release drops support for the in other browsers long-deprecated NPAPI plugins used by things like the Adobe Flash Plugin. The graphical interface is now rendered using GTK3 on Linux. SeaMonkey 2.53.7 is otherwise mostly the same product as it was 10+ years ago. Its performance is pretty decent and it is even faster than Firefox rendering WebGL content.
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