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- Valve's got a new shader compiler for AMD GPUs ready for testingValve's "open-source graphics group" has been working on an alternative to the LLVM shader compiler currently used by all free graphics drivers. Their ACO shader compiler, specific to AMD hardware, has now reached a level of performance, stability and maturity where Valve feels comfortable asking for public feedback and testing.
- AMD RX 5700 and 5700 XT GPUs launching with No Linux SupportAMD is launching two new GPUs on July 7th. There is zero Linux Kernel support for these two GPUs and there is also no Mesa support at all. There is no hint of them in the Linux git kernel, not even in header files, and there are no patches submitted to the Linux Kernel Mailing List. The same is true for the Mesa graphics stack. Version 19.1 launched with zero support for these cards and 19.2 isn't due until the end of August.
- New Kernels: 5.1.16, 4.19.57 and 4.14.132 released with mostly network-related fixes5.1.16 has a important fix for a page cache regression which has been present since version 4.20. The earlier long-term support kernels never had that problem. Most of the other changes are network-related. There's also fixes for some rare edge-case crashes which are unlikely to happen unless you run a stress-test in an effort to make the kernel crash.
- GNU Midnight Commander 4.8.23 is outThe GNU project has very quietly released a new version 4.8.23 of the best and most efficient terminal file manager ever conceived. A 10 year old bug concerning hotkeys has been fixed, file tree removal is faster and there's also improvements to it's built-in editor.
- Xfce4-terminal 0.8.8 has been releasedThis bigger than expected update to this light-weight terminal emulator made with Xfce in mind comes days after the release of Xfce 4.14pre2. There are a lot of bug fixes and some new keyboard shortcut defaults.
- Linux marketshare on Steam is Dropping Like A StoneValve has made a lot of investments in the Linux ecosystem funding developers of a range of projects like the Mesa graphics stack and KDE Plasma's window-manager kwin. The efforts are not bearing fruit. The Linux marketshare on their platform dropped by 0.08% in June leaving Linux distributions with a marginal 0.76% of total Steam usage.
- OpenPGP keys are being spammed to the point where GnuPG is "useless"The GNU Privacy Guard has been a standard way of encryption communications in the free software world for two decades. It never got any mainstream appeal and most people have never heard about it. That does not mean it's irrelevant, much of the free software infrastructure and many free software developers rely on it. It appears that someone has decided to make life rather difficult for certain GNuPG-using developers by spamming their keys with lots and lots of signatures. You may want to avoid updating keys from public key-servers if you rely upon GnuPG/OpenPGP.
- Xfce 4.14pre2 ReleasedThe second pre-release of the upcoming GTK3 port of the popular Linux desktop environment Xfce is now available for your enjoyment. There's minor updates to most of the components that make up the Xfce 4 desktop and major updates to a few components like Xfce's window-manager xfwm4. 4 panel-related bugs are squashed and a few settings-related bugs are corrected. All of the components have gotten a lot of translation updates making this release a lot better for non-English speaking users.
- Linux Kernel 5.2 rc7 Released using a Shoe-String Internet Connection
The changelog for the latest release candidate for the upcoming 5.2 kernel is mostly uninteresting. There's a "Fix the microcode load on CPU hotplug for real" and "Fix out-of-bounds read when setting fail state" for those using CPU hot-plugging. There are of course a lot of other bug-fixes and improvements since rc6 but most appear to be rather trivial.
- Xfce file manager Thunar v1.8.7 releasedXfce is on schedule to release a new version of the best Linux desktop with 4.14 pre-release 2 coming in just a few days. Pieces are falling into place with a new version of xfconf being released a few days ago and a new Thunar file manager released today.
- Krita 4.2.2 is outIt's been three weeks since the last bug-fix release to the 4.2.x series of the very popular free digital painting program for Linux and Windows. Things have been moving quite fast this summer and 4.2.2 has a very long list of fixed bugs. There are no new major features in this version, those will come when 4.3 is ready.
- Version 0.4.1 of the user-friendly KDE-focused Music Player Elisa ReleasedIt is still early in the development of the simple and not-yet easy-to-use music player Elisa. It does have a lot of potential and steady progress is being made. The latest versions has much better accessibility support for those with poor or no eye-sight, improved keyboard navigation and a better file-browser.
- Ubuntu bows to Steam and Wine pressure: Will keep supporting "key" 32-bit libraries one more versionThe Canonical corporation did not take Steam's decision to abandon ship and Fedora's invitation to partner with Valve and make Fedora the recommended Steam platform lightly. Canonical has now promised to keep "selected" 32-bit libraries available in the upcoming Ubuntu 19.10 and 20.04 LTS versions.
- New Older Stable-Branch Kernels released with Steam fix: 4.4.184, 4.9.184 and 4.14.131 are now availableThe Linux kernel changes which fixed the SACK vulnerabilities broke Steam and some other networking software. Linus Torvalds was immediately all over it since one does not simply break user-space. A patch was immediately added to git and the Greg released updated 5.1 and 4.19 kernels within a day. However, the patch for those kernel branches could not be directly applied to older kernels. These new versions of the older long-term supported kernels cleverly fixes the problem that caused Steam to be unable to connect to it's servers.
- Mesa 19.0.8 released with fix for major blunder in 19.0.7It turns out 19.0.7 wasn't meant to be the last 19.0.x release due to a rather major blunder in that release: A screw-up in calls to dri2_surf which made several drivers totally unusable.
- GNU Parallel "HongKong" releasedThe GNU Project has released a new version of the handy command-line tool GNU Parallel code-named HongKong. The latest version of this 10 year old tool which lets you easily run a series of single-threaded commands in parallel on a multi-core system can accept a perl expression as an argument to it's
- Mesa 19.1.1 and 19.0.7 are now available19.0.7 is the last bug-fix release of the Mesa 19.0 series. It's over, 19.0 is done. It has several fixes for RADV back-ported from the 19.1 series. The new point release for the 19.1 series has smaller fixes for most of the graphics drivers (RADV, ANV, Nouveau, Virgl, V3D, R300g).
- Personal finances manager Skrooge 2.20.0 releasedA new version of the popular personal finance manager Skrooge is now available with some bugs fixes and the ability to import accounts from German AqBanking that don't have IBAN numbers.
- Google Insider Blows Whistle and Exec Reveals Google Plan to Prevent "Trump situation" in 2020 on Hidden CamA new video by Project Veritas sheds some light on why Google's search engine is showing less and less relevant results and more irrelevant propaganda which they prefer you see. It has a revealing undercover video of a high-level Google Executive, an interview with a Google Insider and some documents showing how Google's in reality a publisher and not a provider of a neutral search-engine or a neutral platform in the case of YouTube.
- KStars 3.3.1 releasedThe minor version maintenance release of the under-rated astronomy program KStars has a new Observatory Module for those who happen to have their own astronomy observatory. There's also a change to the stream window where Frames Per Second has been replaced with Frame Duration.
- Happy 17th birthday BitlBeeThe IRC gateway program BitlBee which allows you to talk to people on a wide range of instant messaging services from your favorite IRC client is now 17 years old. Many of the protocols it originally supported are dead but the program lives on with support for modern networks.
- Intel Ice Lake Desktop and Workstation CPU support added to the Linux KernelIntel may be closer to launching 10nm Ice Lake CPUs for desktops and servers than one might think. A close-up inspection of intel-family.h reveals that definitions for three new Intel CPU families were added to Linux 5.2 rc5: Xeon D, Desktop and "X". There is still no actual code depending on these chips being present or not.
- The Future of BitlBee, the IRC Gateway for Instant Messaging protocols (MSN, ICQ, Jabber, Yahoo)
Interview with the BitlBee developer team: Wilmer van der Gaast, Maurits Dijkstra and Jelmer Vernooij, and a word from former developer Sjoerd Hemminga. Find out what new cool features will be available in v1.0, what features have been implemented so far and what visions these bright young men have for the future of BitlBee and the Open Source community.
- Xfce Cpugraph Plugin 1.0.91 released!The most popular Linux desktop environment Xfce is making great progress towards a long-awaited stable 4.14 release. An updated version of the xfmpc front-end for the music player daemon and an updated CPU graph panel plugin were released this week. Both were the hard work of Xfce developer Andre Miranda.
- New Kernels: 5.2-rc6 and stable branch kernels 5.1.14 and 4.19.55 are now available with patch fixing Steam5.1.14 and 4.19.55 were released just hours after 5.1.13 and 4.19.54. These kernels have a patch fixing the side-effect of the SACK vulnerability patches which broke Steam. 5.2-rc6 is a new release-candidate for the upcoming Linux 5.2 kernel. It is the release-candidate with the most updates of all 5.2 release candidates so far.
- KDE Plasma's goals RevealedThe KDE community have secretly had and worked according to a short document outlaying their total plan for their fancy eye-candy filled desktop environment for several years. KDE insider Jonathan Riddell managed to put an end to the conspiracy at a KDE Plasma meeting in Valencia and the document is now revealed on KDEs website for all to see.
- Valve is dropping support for Steam on UbuntuUbuntu's decision to drop support for 32-bit programs and platforms is a non-issue for free software since all properly written free software can easily be compiled on a variety of platforms. Proprietary games and game launchers lack the same flexibility. Ubuntu's decision to drop the legacy 32-bit multi-lib cruft is therefore a huge problem for Steam.
- The Linux Kernel fix for SACK vulnerabilities broke SteamSteam users who upgraded to the latest kernels have found themselves unable to connect to the Steam network. It's already fixed in git master and a patch will be included in the next round of stable kernel releases. A temporary workaround for Steam users is to add the
-tcpcommand-line option to Steam which will by-pass it's default WebSocket connection method and use TCP directly.
- Thunderbird 60.7.2 Security Release Available, Upgrade if you use ThunderbirdUsers of the e-mail client Thunderbird from the Mozilla
foundationcorporation should absolutely upgrade to this latest versions of Thunderbird which fixes two security issues, one of which is really bad: the right special e-mail gets to run arbitrary code on your computer.
- Linux Kernel 3.16.69 releasedYou didn't read the version number wrong, it's 3.16.69 like it's 1999. This new version of an ancient kernel fixes the TCP networking vulnerabilities that were made public this week. Those were considered to be serious enough to prompt a rare update for this very old kernel version.