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- KDE Plasma 5.22 Will Feature Adaptive TransparencyThe KDE Plasma desktop will have three new opacity settings for the panels starting with the upcoming 5.22 release: Adaptive, Opaque and Translucent.
- Digital Currencies Like Bitcoin And Etherium And Tokens Based On Them Are Practically Useless As Of March 2021Digital crypto-currencies, based on free open source software, promised banking for the poor and the unbanked, cheap and quick transactions, micro-transactions and a financial revolution. Several cryptocurrencies have great success as speculative instruments and stores of value, but that's it. All the bigger ones have become practically useless for just about everything else and so have all the smaller ones that don't have their own blockchain.
- Chromium Is Moving To A 4-Week Release Cycle In Q3 2021The BSD licensed web browser Chromium and the proprietary Google Chrome web browser product based on it will switch from a four week release cycle to a six week cycle in Q3 2021.
- QBittorrent Support For BitTorrent 2.0 Is Looking GoodThe popular multi-platform bittorrent client qBittorrent has gained support for libtorrent 2 and the BitTorrent 2.0 protocol in the git master tree at GitHub. There is no time-frame for a stable release using it.
- Don't Try Or Use Linux 5.12-rc1Linus Torvalds has renamed Linux 5.12-rc1 to 5.12-rc1-dontuse in git and the release has been pulled from kernel.org due to an extremely unfortunate bug related to swap files, not swap partitions, that could cause random files to be overwritten with garbage data. You may want to revert to a previous kernel if you've already upgraded to Linux 5.12 rc1.
- It's YeridayKim Ye-rim (김예림), better know as Yeri from the wonderful South Korean k-pop group Red Velvet, was born on March 5th 1999. It's not yet March 5th in most of the world but it is March 5th in South Korea. That makes today Yeriday! We wish Yeri a happy birthday and a happy Yeriday.
- The Free Software Foundation Should Re-add Richard Stallman to the BoardDr. Richard Stallman is missed by many who perceive him to have been wrongly treated; putting Stallman back in the Board (at the very least) would help the image of the Free Software Foundation more than the newly-announced work with Community Consulting Teams of Boston
- Free Software CallingFewer people are willing to “put up with the shit” given by so-called ‘Big Tech’, seeing that it’s mostly about social control rather than enablement or emancipation.
- The Free Software Foundation Has Entered Into A Consulting Agreement To Improve Its ImageThe Free Software Foundation has entered into a pro bono consulting agreement with the Community Consulting Teams of Boston to get a "marketing assessment" and recommendations for how they can "improve communications and outreach".
- GNU Denemo 2.5 Is ReleasedThe GNU Projects updated version of the leading free software music notation program. It adds export of multi-movement scores to the MusicXML format, support for comments in Lyric verses, keyboard-driven menu navigation and several bug-fixes.
- Friendly Reminder From The Linux Mint Team: Update Your Computer (And Teach Others How)Clem from the Linux Mint team issued a reminder that we should all update our computers last month. It is good advice because "Security updates are very important". We can add that you should teach friends and family how to update their system if you install GNU/Linux on their machines, and the Linux community needs to make upgrades between major versions of GNU/Linux distributions a whole lot easier.
- Wine 6.3 Built-in vs DXVK 1.8: A Comparison Of Two Very Different DirectX ImplementationsWine is not an emulator, it is a re-implementation of the Windows APIs. Wine implements DirectX 9-11 by translating the DirectX APIs to OpenGL API calls. There is an alternative DirectX implementation called DXVK that can be used with Wine. It translates DirectX API calls to Vulkan. Most Linux users who play Windows games on Linux think DXVK is faster than Wines built-in translation layer. Is it, and if so, how much faster is DXVK?
- Linux 5.12 Mostly Restores Long-Horrid AES-XTS Performance Introduced By CPU-Bug MitigationsAES-NI XTS hardware encryption and decryption performance on Linux has been severely crippled since the Spectre V2 mitigations were introduced to the Linux kernel nearly two years ago. Linux 5.12 has fixes that mostly restore AES-NI XTS performance on the AMD side and those changes slightly increase aex-xts performance on the Intel side.
- AMDs AMDVLK Vulkan Driver For Linux Remains Horribly Slow At Compute Compared To The Mesa RADV DriverAMDVLK v-2021.Q1.4, released late last week, was a huge yawn with a Mad Max specific performance quirk and the API verison updated to Vulkan 1.2.169. The last half dozen releases were equally boring. It is therefore not shocking that the performance-differences between the AMD AMDVLK Vulkan driver and the Mesa RADV driver are the same today as they were half a year ago: The graphics performance is near-identical, with AMDVLK being slightly slower, while the gap between their respective compute performance remains significant.
- DXVK 1.8.1 Is Released With Better DirectX 9 Performance On AMD GPUsThe DirectX to Vulkan translation layer DXVK, popular among Wine uses who like to play Windows games on Linux, got a huge speedbump for DirectX 9 games using MSAA on AMD graphics cards using the Mesa RADV driver in the latest 1.8.1 release. There's also workarounds for Mafia II and Warhammer Online.
- KStars v3.5.2 Is ReleasedDeveloper Jasem Mutlaq has released another fine version of the user-friendly yet very advanced astronomy program KStars. The highlights in the new version are mostly for those who happen to have their own observatory. KStars is still a great little program for anyone who wants to brush up on the constellations or have an interest in the night sky.
- Vulkan 1.2.171 Is Released With Ray-Tracing Fix And BlackBerry QNX SupportThe Khronos Group has released an updated specification for the Vulkan graphics/compute API. Vulkan 1.2.171 has a new
VK_QNX_screen_surfaceextension specifically for the BlackBerry QNX real-time operating system used in many cars and a improvement for raytracing pipeline creation.
- Hardware Unboxed Has Been Shadow-Banned From YouTubeThe somewhat popular Australian hardware review channel Hardware Unboxed, with 730k subscribers, has been shadow-banned from the Google-owned video hosting platform YouTube. This illustrates the importance of diversifying by creating your own video hosting platform using free open source software if you are completely reliant on one or two big-tech platforms.
- Linux 5.12 "Frozen Wasteland" rc1 Is ReleasedLinux Torvalds managed to release Linux 5.12 rc1 on schedule even though he was without power for six days during the critical merge-window. The Linux kernels
Makefilewas appropriately updated with a new kernel release
NAME = Frozen Wasteland.
- Linux 5.12 Will have A New Memory Safety Detector Called KFenceLinus Torvalds merged a new low-overhead memory validator called KFence, short for Kernel Electric Fence, into the Linux git tree in time for Linux 5.12-rc1. KFence is a low-overhead memory error detector and validator similar to the existing KASAN (Kernel Address SANitizer) suitable for production kernels.
- Mageia 8 Is Released With GNOME, KDE Plasma And Xfce Live Installation Media For x86-64The Mageia 8 operating systems offers the KDE Plasma, GNOME and Xfce desktop environment, updated system packages including Linux kernel 5.10.16, Mesa 20.3.4 and GCC 10.2, updated applications and an updated, but still somewhat lacking, installer.
- Mousepad 0.5.3 Is ReleasedThe new version brings a handful of very minor improvements to this very plain text-editor for the Xfce desktop environment. There's a new keybinding for resetting the font size and four small fixes. It still lacks everything beyond the ability to edit text and load and save files.
- The World Economic Forum Warns That 2021 Could Be The Year Of The CyberAttacksKlaus Schwab, founder of the World Economic Forum and author of the book "COVID19: The Great Reset", has repeatedly warned about the possibility of devastating large-scale cyberattacks. One of his firmest warnings was given in a heartwarming speech at the WEF-sponsored Cyber Polygon event on July 24th, 2020. The World Economic Forum Centre for Cybersecurity expects the total cost of cyberattacks this year to be $6 trillion.
- The Phoronix Test Suite Gains Vulkan Ray-Tracing BenchmarksThe versatile Phoronix Test Suite, developed and used by the Linux news website Phoronix, has gained profiles for benchmarking Vulkan ray-tracing performance using two different benchmarks as well as the JPEG XL benchmarks. There's also updates to many of the existing tests as well as a new 10.2.2 release of the Phoronix Test Suite software.
- New changes to Twitter make it even worse for free software usersThere are many complicated debates happening right now around Twitter and its role in public discourse. These discussions are important, but we also shouldn't forget a very basic and clear principle -- whatever its policies are about who can and can't post or how, it's of fundamental importance that Twitter should not require users to run nonfree software in order to use the site.
- OnionShare 2.3.1 Is ReleasedOnionShare is a simple and user-friendly graphical program that lets you share files, start a secure chat server or host static websites on the secure and traffic-analysis resistant Tor network. The latest version adds support for tabs, secure chatrooms and a better command-line interface.
- IPFS 0.8 Is Releasedgo-ipfs v0.8 and ipfs-desktop 0.14.0 brings some interesting new features to the Interplanetary File System including the ability to ask remote services to pin data and faster local pinning.
- GNU Poke 1.0 Is ReleasedPoke is a new interactive editor for binary data with a full-fledged procedural, interactive programming language designed to describe data structures and to operate on them. This is the first release after 3 years of work by 19 contributors.
- Really Simple Syndication - SolutionsWatch#SolutionsWatch isn’t just about the Big Ideas. It’s also about the simple tricks, tips and techniques that we can use to regain power over our lives and help create the world we want. Today, James explores one very simple and tragically under-appreciated tool: Really Simple Syndication.
- Wine 6.3 Is ReleasedThe latest development-release of the popular Windows compatibility layer WINE has better WinRT support in the Wine Interface Definition Language (WIDL), better debugger support in the NT syscall interface, the WineGStreamer library converted to a Portable Executable (PE) and 24 game and application specific bug-fixes.
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