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- Vkd3d 1.2 Is ReleasedThe Wine team has released a new major version of their vkd3d DirectX 12 to Vulkan translation layer library used by Wine. Two years of hard work allows this vkd3d release to let you launch Mario Kart DX12. That is an improvement since vkd3d 1.1. You can now see the start menu, but you can't actually play the game. There's also support for tessellation shaders, stream output and a now publicly available libvkd3d-shader library in vkd3d 1.2.
- The Current State Of The Tor Network September 2020The Tor anonymity networks lets you browse the Internet anonymously, with traffic analysis resistance, thanks to the "wide diversity" of Tor relays. That "diversity" is in reality limited to a bunch of Tor relays crammed together in a few high-capacity data-centers Paris, Hanina (Germany), London, Amsterdam and Smithville, USA.
- Lenovo's Increasing Their Line-Up Of ThinkPad And ThinkStation Computers With Linux Pre-InstalledThe Chinese computer manufacturer Lenovo is currently offering a handful of computers, and just one ThinkPad laptop, with Linux operating systems preinstalled. That is about to change. Ubuntu-maker Canonical Ltd has announced that Lenovo has certified Ubuntu 20.04 LTS for use on 30 of Lenovo's Thinkpad and ThinkStation computers. Some are already available with either Ubuntu and RedHat Enterprise Linux and more will become available throughout 2021.
- GNU Parallel Ginsburg Is ReleasedThe latest version of the most comprehensive tool for running terminal commands in parallel has new CPU detection code for GNU/Linux, bug fixes and a few changes to the very long and detailed manual page.
- Microsoft Edge Is Coming To Linux In October 2020..but it will, initially, only be available to members of some secret club called the "Microsoft Edge Insider community". Microsoft did not reveal when it will become available to the general public, only that "insiders" will be able to choose between a "Beta", "Dev" and a "Canary" channel.
- New GNU Kart Coming To SuperTuxKart 1.3The lead SuperTuxKart developer has big plans for the future of the best free software kart racing game. Vulkan support is on the to-do list but that won't arrive until SuperTuxKart 2.0. There will be several 1.x released before 2.0 arrives. The next minor release, SuperTuxKart 1.3, will have a new re-vamped GNU kart and a polished and improved "Enterprise" track.
- Tor Browser 10 Is ReleasedThe Tor project has released a new version of their Tor browser bundle based on today's Firefox 78.3.0 ESR release. The Tor Browser 10 bundle comes with a modified and buggy Firefox 78.3.0 build, NoScript 11.0.44, HTTPS everywhere and Tor version 0.4.4.5.
- Firefox 81 Is ReleasedThe Mozilla Corporation has released yet another Firefox version because they are on a monthly release schedule and it's that time of the month again. Firefox 81 adds media controls using the standard MPRIS interface which means things like the KDE media player controls can now be used to control video playback in Firefox. There's also a new bundled theme and 6 security fixes.
- Support For Mysterious AMD VanGogh and Dimgrey Cavefish GPUs Merged To The Mesa RadeonSI OpenGL DriverAMD merged support for two new graphics chips into the RadeonSI Mesa OpenGL driver for AMD graphics cards today:
CHIP_VANGOGH. The patches were written back in July 2020. Dimgrey Cavefish is placed in the Navi (
FAMILY_NV) family while VanGogh is something different. Both chips are in the GFX10 family with the features AMD markets as "RDNA2".
- Krita 5.0 Will Have A Built-In Screen RecorderIt has been one and a half years since Shi Yan first submitted a series of patches implementing screen recorder functionality. Those patches have finally been merged into Krita's master source tree. Krita 5.0 will have the ability to create neat time-lapse videos of drawings done in Krita by capturing canvas snapshots when it has been drawn on and the pen has been down for at minimum of two seconds.
- New Russian Legislation Would Outlaw Tor And Sites Using Encrypted ClientHelloThe Russian Ministry of Digital Development, Communications and Mass Media has proposed amendments to a law that would ban "encryption protocols that allow Internet sites or pages to hide their name except in cases established in legislation by the Russian Federation." The proposal targets the Encrypted ClientHello TLS extension but the implications are broader than that.
- The Big Plans For wlrootswlroots is a library with everything you need to create a Wayland compositor. It is currently used by the Sway tiling window manager. Developer Simon Ser revealed some pretty big plans for future improvements to the wlroots library at the X.Org developers conference last week. Vulkan rendering is among the items on the to-do list.
- Qmmp 1.4.2 Is Releasedqmmp 1.4.2 is a small bug-fix for the playlist-oriented Qt-based qmmp music player. The latest release fixes playlist updating, a memory leak, kwin support and header parsing in the mpeg plugin. There is also a updated Greek translation in this release.
- Nvidia Partially Kills SLI In Their Latest Linux DriverThe release-"highlights" for the latest 455.23 WHQL proprietary Nvidia drivers for Linux contains a small note saying "Removed support for the SLI modes "SFR", "AFR", and "AA"." This does not mean that Nvidia is killing SLI completely, "SLI Mosaic, Base Mosaic, GL_NV_gpu_multicast, and GLX_NV_multigpu_context are still supported". Game developers who want to implement SLI in their games can still do it using any of those modes.
- OpenRGB 0.4 Is ReleasedOpenRGB is a handy graphical program that can, in theory, let you control RGB lights on a wide range of motherboards, graphics cards and even lights on RGB RAM. The latest version adds a nice graphical LED view, background device detecting, standardized keyboard and mouse LED names and support for a lot of new hardware including Corsair Hydro Series coolers and the HyperX Pulsefire Surge Mouse.
- The Real Risks And Costs Of Using Cloud Services: The Freedesktop.org Inside ScoopBenjamin Tissoires, who works for IBM subsidiary RedHat, shared some interesting and shocking insights into the very real cost of cloud hosting a huge free software community like Freedesktop.org in his presentation "Status of freedesktop.org gitlab/cloud hosting" at the The X.Org Developers Conference 2020. For them, a initially very small monthly cloud hosting bill grew over time and eventually became gigantic. The effect of getting "free" cloud hosting for a period of time were specially interesting: They did not notice that the "sponsored" and temporarily hidden monthly bill was growing rapidly and got a huge wake-up call when monthly bills returned and they turned out to be massive.
- AMD At The X.Org Developers Conference 2020: No-No Baking Your Graphics CardLinux kernel developer Rajneesh Bhardwaj from AMD's Radeon Open Compute team warned that you should absolutely not bake your graphics card at the X.Org developers conference this week. He explained the dangers and stressed "Don't try this at home!". He went on to detail the many runtime power management advancements the
amdgpukernel driver for AMD graphics cards has seen the last year.
- Vulkan Will Soon Have A Vendor-Neutral Cross-Platform Ray-Tracing APITwo currently provisional Vulkan extensions,
SPV_KHR_ray_tracing, are on their way to the core Vulkan API. These new Vulkan extensions will let developers write cross-platform device-independent ray-tracing code. The new Vulkan ray-tracing extensions are not yet set in stone but they are close to being finalized. Intel, of all GPU vendors, is leading the charge towards the new Vulkan ray-tracing paradigm. Intel-employed developer Jason Ekstrand gave a long and detailed overview of the upcoming Vulkan Ray-Tracing API at the X.Org Developers Conference 2020 held earlier this week.
- Manjaro Lomiri Alpha1 for PinePhone Is ReleasedTwo thirds of all web traffic comes from smartphones. Traditional desktop, laptops or notebook computers are dying. The free software community wants a piece of the pie. Manjaro Linux has ported the Lomiri desktop, formally known as "Ubuntu Touch", to Manjaro for Arm and released a complete Manjaro Lomiri distribution for the Arm-based PinePhone. It's hard to read the release notes without breaking into wild laughter.
- Unvanquished Is Now Free SoftwareThe real-time strategy game Unvanquished has become fully free software with the game engine licensed under the GNU GPL v3 and the game resources licensed under the Creative Commons BY-SA 2.5 license. There is a Linux version of the game available for download but it doesn't actually run. Luckily, there's a Windows version, released in December 2018, and it runs perfectly on modern GNU/Linux distributions if you use Wine.
- How the ACO Mesa Vulkan Shader Compiler For AMD GPUs Came To Be: From Prototype To DefaultThe Vulkan ACO shader compiler for AMD graphics cards on Linux will be the default shader compiler when Mesa 20.2 is released later this month. Developer Timor Kristóf held a 40 minutes long and interesting talk about the development process and the efforts behind making ACO a reality at the The X.Org Developers Conference 2020. Here it is.
- Deepin 20 Is ReleasedThe Chinese Wuhan deepin Technology Corporation has released a new major version their Debian-based Linux operating system featuring their custom unique deepin Desktop Environment. deepin 20 comes with a base system based on Debian 10.5 Buster with special deepin packages on top. deepin 20 offers a wide variety of user-friendly custom applications written specially for deepin in C++ using Qt and the "deepin Tool Kit" (DTK). It is available in most languages, not just Chinese. We have reviewed it and found it to be a excellent and well-polished Linux distribution.
- YooA Bon Voyage Plymouth Theme Now AvailableSouth Korean pop idol YooA, from the popular group Oh My Girl, is making waves with her wonderful new Bon Voyage solo-single. YooA was born on September 17th, 1995 so we made a Bon-Voyage-themed Plymouth boot splash theme as a birthday-present. The "Yooa-BonVoyage" Plymouth theme features YooA in one of the promotional Bon Voyage pictures released by her record company.
- The Current State Of GamescopeGamescope is a bare-bones Wayland compositor that lets you up-scale or otherwise alter games and other graphical applications so they are displayed correctly, or just larger, on modern displays with higher resolutions. It is being developed by Valve-employed Pierre-Loup A Griffais who gave a interesting talk about the current state of Gamescope at the X.Org Developers Conference 2020. Gamescope will currently only work on AMD graphics cards using the RADV Vulkan driver. It can be used under both Xorg/X11 and Wayland.
- Gentoo Linux Starts Offering Pre-Built Kernel PackagesGentoo Linux is a source-based distributions for ricers who want to compile and piece together their own custom Linux distribution instead of submitting to some central authority's views on how things should be compiled and packaged. Gentoo Linux was first released on July 26th, 2020. Pre-compiled binary kernel packages are now, after more than 20 years, available to Gentoo Linux users who want to cheat and fetch a ready-to-use binary Linux kernels instead of compiling them like real women do.
- GNOME 3.38 "Orbis" Is ReleasedThe latest GNOME release has re-vamped application grouping and ordering in the applications overview, "intelligent" tracking prevention in the GNOME Web browser that in practice does nothing, redesigned adaptive user-interface for the GNOME Maps application and deeper systemd integration beneath the hood.
- AV1 Hardware Video Decode Support For AMD RX 6000 Series GPUs Coming In Linux 5.10AMD has historically been extremely slow compared to Nvidia and Intel when it comes to providing hardware video encoding and decoding capabilities for open video standards like VP8 and VP9. New patches by AMD Open Source Laboratory developer Alex Deucher show that AMD won't be dragging their feet for years before they add AV1 video decoding support to their hardware, it is already there in the upcoming RX 6000 series GPUs. VP9 and AV1 video encoding support is still severely lacking.
- The X.Org Developers Conference 2020 Is About To Go LiveThis years X.Org developers conference is, like so many other conferences, being held "virtually". The event, which is bought and paid for by Intel, Google, Microsoft, Nvidia and other multi-national corporations, will be live-streamed to YouTube. Those who are interested in all things open graphics related (X11, Mesa, the DRM layer, the kernel, Wayland etc) can tune in and see how the power that be wants to shape the future Linux graphics and display server experience.
- AMD Reveals Picture Of RX 6000 Series GPU With 2 8-Pin PSU ConnectorsAMD has revealed a single picture of a RX 6000 series graphics card with three fans and two eight-pin power connectors. They shared no details beyond it being a "upcoming #RDNA2" card with a "brand new cooler design". What we can educationally guess from the latest Linux kernel code is that these cards will have sdma 5.2 and new a new display core called "Display Core Next 3.0".
- Nvidia Swallows ARM For $40 BillionAmerican computer giant Nvidia has announced that it will, as long rumored, be gobbling up the British chip designer Arm in a $40 billion deal with now former Arm owner SoftBank Group. Nvidia promises to build a "state-of-the-art AI supercomputer" using Arm processors.
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