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Hands-on video of the Librem 5 Linux phone shows improvements, but there is a lot of work left to do

tuxmachines.org - Sob, 10/12/2019 - 08:36

The Librem 5 is coming soon, and while we know the details of the Linux phone’s internals, there are still several unknowns surrounding the handset. However, a hands-on video from The Linux Gamer posted earlier today showed an early build of the Librem 5. There’s a lot going for the Linux phone, but there are several mountains still to be climbed before the device should be considered consumer-ready.

First, the positives: the phone looks well-built, and some internal components can be repaired by end-users (e.g., the battery). The phone is rather thick for a modern smartphone, but the added height is needed to house all the boards needed for the hardware kill switches and to allow for replaceable components. The 1440x720 display, which created some controversy when announced, also looks good in the video. Considering its size and resolution, it likely won’t look nearly as crisp as flagship displays in person, but if the hands-on video is anything to go by, it’s a perfectly usable display.

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X-Plane 11.50 Flight Simulator Bringing Vulkan Support

Phoronix - Sob, 10/12/2019 - 05:09
For years we have been looking forward to the realistic X-Plane flight simulator rendered by Vulkan as an alternative to their long-standing OpenGL render and with X-Plane 11.50 that is finally being made a reality...

today's howtos and programming bits

tuxmachines.org - Pet, 10/11/2019 - 22:27
  • How to Manage Your Running Processes with XFCE’s Task Manager
  • Anaconda debugging and testing – part 1.
  • Configure Touchpad Settings Using gsettings Commandline Utility
  • Stack Abuse: Autoencoders for Image Reconstruction in Python and Keras

    Nowadays, we have huge amounts of data in almost every application we use - listening to music on Spotify, browsing friend's images on Instagram, or maybe watching an new trailer on YouTube. There is always data being transmitted from the servers to you.

    This wouldn't be a problem for a single user. But imagine handling thousands, if not millions, of requests with large data at the same time. These streams of data have to be reduced somehow in order for us to be physically able to provide them to users - this is where data compression kicks in.

    There're lots of compression techniques, and they vary in their usage and compatibility. For example some compression techniques only work on audio files, like the famous MPEG-2 Audio Layer III (MP3) codec.

  • PyCharm: Webinar Preview: “Debugging During Testing” tutorial step for React+TS+TDD

    I often speak about “visual debugging” and “visual testing”, meaning, how IDEs can help put these intermediate concepts within reach using a visual UI.

    For testing, sometimes our code has problems that require investigation with a debugger. For React, that usually means a trip to the browser to set a breakpoint and use the Chrome developer tools. In Debugging During Testing With NodeJS we show how the IDE’s debugger, combined with TDD, can make this investigation far more productive. In the next step we show how to do so using Chrome as the execution environment.

  • Python hacking

    Python‘s had this handy logging module since July 2003.

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Plasma Mobile Progress

tuxmachines.org - Pet, 10/11/2019 - 22:16
  • Plasma Mobile: weekly update: part 1

    At Akademy Bhushan and Marco presented Plasma Nano shell to the community. Earlier this week the changes to use plasma-nano as a base shell package landed in plasma-phone-components. The shell includes an updated look for the app launcher and several of the shell interactions, including adding and removing widgets and changing the wallpaper.

  • Plasma Mobile: weekly update: part 2

    Marco Martin made several changes in the shell to improve the overall user experience.

    The application grid was updated to show application names in single line and with a smaller font size.

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Cast To TV v11 GNOME Chromecast Extension Adds Remote Widget Playlist, GNOME Shell 3.34 Support

tuxmachines.org - Pet, 10/11/2019 - 22:08

Cast to TV, a GNOME Shell extension to cast media (with optional transcoding) to Chromecast and other devices over the local network, was updated to version 11 yesterday. This release brings support for the latest GNOME 3.34, a file queue (playlist) for the remote widget, NVENC hardware acceleration support, and more.

Cast to TV is a GNOME Shell extension to cast videos, music and pictures to Chromecast or other devices over a local network. It supports video transcoding on the fly (for videos that can't directly play on the device), customizable subtitles, it can show a music visualizer while casting music, and much more. For controlling the device, the Gnome Shell extensions adds a new button on the top panel with playback controls.

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Where do all the censored developers go?

tuxmachines.org - Pet, 10/11/2019 - 22:04

Being censored by an organization that claims to be promoting Free as in Speech is no small feat. It raises an interesting question: where do I go from here?

The answer has been right under my nose all along: the Uncensored Speakers Toastmasters Club in Dublin.

Uncensored Speakers meets on the second and fourth Friday of each month at The Central Hotel (Open Street Map).

Most Toastmasters groups have some community guidelines against overtly political or religious speeches or use of profane language. Uncensored Speakers claims to be different: a speaker may well choose to say what they really think about Brexit, choosing from some of the most colourful words that the English language has brought us.

Tonight's meeting is an exception: there will be a Table Topics and Humorous Speech contest, I've been invited to join the judging panel.

Censorship credentials

Let's look at how the Free Software censorship scandal has evolved.

In 2017 the Fellowship elected me as their representative to the Free Software Foundation Europe (FSFE).

FSFE had just banked that huge €150,000 bequest. In fact, €50k had been withheld by the lawyer pending confirmation that FSFE doesn't lose their charitable status while the other €100k had reached the bank account. FSFE decided to appoint all their staff as voting members of the association, remove the elections from the constitution, put the €100k in reserve to underwrite future obligations to staff and then the two most senior staff, the president, Matthias Kirschner and the executive director, Jonas Oberg, went on extended periods of paternity leave.

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Rspamd 2.0 Released For Advancing Free Software Spam Filtering

Phoronix - Pet, 10/11/2019 - 22:01
Rspamd 2.0 has been released as the newest version of this leading open-source spam filtering software and it's coming with plenty of changes...

System Cleaner BleachBit 2.3 Switches To GTK+ 3, Includes Much Faster File Scanning

tuxmachines.org - Pet, 10/11/2019 - 21:56

BleachBit, a system cleaner (and more) for Linux and Windows, was updated to version 2.3 beta recently, receiving some major changes. The new version was upgraded from GTK+ 2 to GTK+ 3, file scanning should be much faster, and there's also a new dark mode, among other changes.

BleachBit is a free and open source tool to clean up your computer to free up disk space, with some privacy features on top. It can remove the web cache, cookies, URL history, temporary files and log files of popular web browsers like Firefox, Google Chrome / Chromium, Opera, Safari, etc., remove the cache, recently used and temporary files for many popular applications, remove unused localization (language) files, and much more. The tool may also be used to shred files to prevent data recovery, and wipe free disk space to hide previously deleted files.

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Tails 4.0 Anonymous OS Release Candidate Out Now with Tor Browser 9.0, Linux 5.3

tuxmachines.org - Pet, 10/11/2019 - 21:43

Powered by the latest Linux 5.3.2 kernel, Tails 4.0 Release Candidate is packed with up-to-date technologies to better protect your privacy when surfing the Internet. It comes with the latest alpha version of the upcoming TOR Browser 9.0 anonymous web browser based on Firefox 68.1.0 ESR, as well as the newest Tor 0.4.1.6 release.

Tails 4.0 Release Candidate also updates Electrum to version 3.3.8, which is fully compatible with the current Bitcoin network, and improves the usability of the Tails Greeter by making it easier to select languages, simplifying the list of keyboard layouts, fixing the Formats setting, and preventing additional settings from being applied when clicking on the Cancel or Back buttons.

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Red Hat Leftovers

tuxmachines.org - Pet, 10/11/2019 - 21:42
  • Modern continuous integration/continuous delivery (CI/CD) pipeline for traditional provisioning: Your questions answered (Part 2)

    During a recent webinar titled, “Modern continuous integration/continuous delivery (CI/CD) pipeline for traditional provisioning,” we received a lot of interest and many questions regarding the topic. Some of the questions were coming in at a very rapid rate and we were not able to address them all. As a followup to our webinar, we have decided to put the answers to those questions into this blog post. The questions are listed below. This is part two in a series, check out our first blog post here.

    The demo in the webinar showed a combination of CloudForms/Ansible Tower to accomplish lifecycle provisioning. Is CloudForms an alternative or must it be used together with Ansible? Can you elaborate on the integration?

  • Tagging resources for IT and business alignment

    Traditional IT management based on fixed resources stopped making sense with the cloud, an unlimited pool of resources that can be accessed from any point in the world. Companies are moving from a CAPEX intensive environment to a new OPEX based cloud. With the new consumption model that favours the cloud, the weight shifts from asset lifecycle management to resource governance. This generates additional requirements for forecasting and budgeting. But the question is still "are we spending our money well?"

    The question is not so simple to answer because comparisons are difficult. The first reaction many organizations have is to believe that lower costs are better costs, but in many cases that is basically wrong.

    For instance, it is easy to reduce costs by purchasing a storage service that is cheaper than the one you are using now. However, that change may be associated with a decrease in performance; can your application support it or would you be losing customers - and revenue - in the process? The same thing can happen if you reduce expenses at the cost of limiting the application availability and not investing enough in load balancers, databases or application workers.

    In order to align business, resources and costs you need to take several steps; in this post we will outline some best practices we have been gathering about the topic.

  • Red Hat: We’re a neutral broker

    Red Hat claims to be a neutral broker that will pave the way for organisations to run the same container application platform across different public cloud services and in a hybrid cloud environment.

    This comes at a time when major public cloud suppliers are all trying to differentiate themselves through platform services – for example, with their own implementations of the open-source Kubernetes container orchestration platform.

    Speaking to Computer Weekly on the sidelines of Red Hat Forum in Singapore, Damien Wong, vice-president and general manager for Asian growth and emerging markets at Red Hat, said the company’s OpenShift platform will let enterprises run containerised applications on the same platform, regardless of cloud deployment model or underlying cloud infrastructure service.

  • [Older] How Red Hat is pioneering a serverless movement

    The old-school "one server/one function" concept has prevailed for veritable decades in the technology realm, whereby a single server stands duty to perform authentication, file, print, web, messaging, and other services.

    That's the past. The future is moving towards a serverless model whereby functions (e.g. applications) are more important than actual server implementations.

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Upcoming change will make Linux gaming a reality on Chromebooks

tuxmachines.org - Pet, 10/11/2019 - 21:41

Linux on Chrome OS, a.ka. Crostini has primarily focused on creating a viable path for developers to adopt Chromebooks as a primary device. The addition of GPU support did a lot to advance that goal but there’s still a large group of Linux users that could benefit from Crostini if this latest update has anything to do about it. That group is gamers.

Now, I know that we’re all excited about Stadia launching next month. If rumors are correct, it could change the face of gaming as we know it. Still, there are a lot of games out there that live in the PC environment that will never see the grand stage that is Stadia. Personally, I am a huge fan of Source games that run on the Steam network and since I don’t own a PC anymore, my only option to jump into a Day of Defeat GunGame match has been to use the old school Crouton method on a Chromebook. All-in-all, most of my Steam games run quite well using the “hacky” Linux method but I would love to be able to install Steam via Crostini and play my games natively.

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Conky is a highly customizable system monitor for Linux

tuxmachines.org - Pet, 10/11/2019 - 21:38

A couple of months ago, we introduced you to a Windows program called Sidebar Diagnostics; this time, we are going to take a look at a similar program for Linux.

Conky must be a familiar name if you have been using Linux for a while. It is a fork of a now defunct app called Torsmo.

While it is a fork in the technical sense, it is more advanced than Torsmo. If you're running Ubuntu, Debian, Linux Mint, etc, you can just run the following command in a Terminal

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Qt Creator 4.10.1 released

tuxmachines.org - Pet, 10/11/2019 - 21:29

We are happy to announce the release of Qt Creator 4.10.1 !

In this release we fixed debugging with the tools from Xcode 11, and a bad crash in the application output pane, as well as some less serious issues. Find a more detailed overview in our change log.

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Tons Of The Intel Tiger Lake "Gen 12" Graphics Compiler Code Just Landed In Mesa 19.3

Phoronix - Pet, 10/11/2019 - 21:04
A lot of the Tiger Lake "Gen 12" graphics compiler infrastructure changes to Mesa for Intel's open-source OpenGL and Vulkan Linux drivers were just merged into the Mesa 19.3 code-base...

Games: Descenders, BOC, Pegasus Frontend, Runefall 2 and Dota 2

tuxmachines.org - Pet, 10/11/2019 - 20:59
  • Extreme biking game 'Descenders' adds mod.io integration and a funny Wipeout inspired map

    Get ready for a few more cuts and bruises as RageSquid and No More Robots just gave Descenders the biggest update yet. Modding support is now in using mod.io along with a massive new map.

    Thanks to the mod.io integration, you can subscribe to and download mods directly in the game and it works perfectly. They said they went with mod.io instead of the Steam Workshop to ensure that everyone could play together easily, which is part of the point of mod.io to make mods cross-platform with open APIs.

  • 4x strategy game 'BOC: The Birth Of Civilizations' is now on Kickstarter

    BOC is a game we highlighted last month as it certainly seems like an incredibly interesting 4x strategy game that will be supporting Linux. It's now on Kickstarter to take it through to release.

    Impressively, they built their own custom cross-platform game engine for BOC. Allowing them to create a huge world for you to spread your civilization across. The developer, Code::Arts, has some rather grand sounding plans for it too. Check out the new trailer for it below:

  • Pegasus Frontend, the customizable open source graphical game launcher has a new release up

    Pegasus Frontend is certainly promising, an open source graphical game launcher you can use across Linux, MacOS, Windows, Raspberry Pi, Android and more.

    With a focus on customization with full control over the UI, support for EmulationStation's gamelist files and more it certainly sounds like a useful application to manage your game library especially for big-screen usage.

  • After a casual game for the weekend? Runefall 2 brings some more match-3 to Linux

    Just released this week is Runefall 2 from Playcademy and GC Games, a pretty great looking casual match-3 game.

    Match 3 games are still underserved on Linux, with very few high quality titles of the genre so it really is great to see more. People often underestimate how big the casual market is. As for Runefall 2, this is the first Linux release from Playcademy!

  • Dota 2 matchmaking may be a less terrible now for solo players and more adjustments for toxic people

    Valve continue to do some pretty big tweaks to the matchmaking system in Dota 2, with another blog post and update talking about all the improvements they're implementing.

    This is following on from all the other changes recently like the ban waves and sounds like they're really pushing to make the Dota 2 community and gameplay better for everyone.

    Ever played a game of Dota 2 by yourself and get matched against an entire team of people? I have, it sucks. They're all forming a strategy, while half of your team are telling each other they're going to report them. It happened for a lot of others too and Valve have finally put a stop to it. In the latest blog post, Valve said that now a five-player team will only be matched up against other five-player teams. For Solo players, they will now only be matched up with a party maximum of two, so Solo players will either now be against an entire team of other Solo players or possibly three solo players and one party of two.

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KDE Plasma Mobile Is Beginning To Look Surprisingly Good

Phoronix - Pet, 10/11/2019 - 17:30
The KDE Plasma Mobile team has begun publishing weekly reports on their development efforts for making KDE software more suitable for mobile devices as well as convergence and other efforts in common with KDE on the desktop...

[$] Calibrating your fear of big bad optimizing compilers

LWN.net - Pet, 10/11/2019 - 15:14
As noted earlier, when compiling Linux-kernel code that does a plain C-language load or store, as in "a=b", the C standard grants the compiler the right to assume that the affected variables are neither accessed nor modified by any other thread at the time of that load or store. The compiler is therefore permitted to carry out a surprisingly large number of optimizations, any number of which might ruin your concurrent code's day. Given that current compilers usually do not emit diagnostics warning of potential ruined days, it would be good to have other tools take on this task.
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