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How the Linux desktop has grown

Čet, 08/22/2019 - 08:49

I first installed Linux in 1993. At that time, you really didn't have many options for installing the operating system. In those early days, many people simply copied a running image from someone else. Then someone had the neat idea to create a "distribution" of Linux that let you customize what software you wanted to install. That was the Softlanding Linux System (SLS) and my first introduction to Linux.

My '386 PC didn't have much memory, but it was enough. SLS 1.03 required 2MB of memory to run, or 4MB if you wanted to compile programs. If you wanted to run the X Window System, you needed a whopping 8MB of memory. And my PC had just enough memory to run X.

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Intel's New OpenGL Driver Is Looking Really Great With The Upcoming Mesa 19.2

Čet, 08/22/2019 - 01:07

Intel's new open-source OpenGL Linux driver "Iris" Gallium3D that has been in development for the past two years or so is getting ready to enter the limelight. Months ago they talked of plans to have it ready to become their default OpenGL driver by the end of the calendar year and with the state of Mesa 19.2 it's looking like that goal can be realized in time. With our new tests of this driver, in most games and other graphics applications the performance of this Gallium3D driver is now beyond that of their "classic" i965 Mesa driver.

Over the past year we've been looking a lot at the Intel Gallium3D performance and it's been a remarkable journey from the performance starting out well below their decade old OpenGL driver to now mostly exceeding that classic Mesa driver and often times by wide margins. The Intel Gallium3D driver is also largely now to feature parity in terms of OpenGL extensions and other capabilities. With all of their bases covered, this summer for the upcoming Mesa 19.2 release we've been seeing a lot of performance optimizations land. Back in April is when they indicated they hope to have it become the default by end of year 2019 and viable by Mesa 19.2.

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OSS: OpenSMTPD, Connexta, Square and Google

Čet, 08/22/2019 - 00:42
  • FLOSS Weekly 543: OpenSMTPD

    OpenSMTPD is a FREE implementation of the server-side SMTP protocol as defined by RFC 5321, with some additional standard extensions. It allows ordinary machines to exchange emails with other systems speaking the SMTP protocol.

  • Octo Acquires Connexta to Enhance Open Source Software Development Capabilities

    Octo, a premier provider of next-generation services for the Federal market, today announced its acquisition of Connexta, a Phoenix, Arizona-based global leader in open source software development and secure discovery solutions for government and commercial customers

  • Square Crypto’s Open Source Endeavor, Fostering Bitcoin Development will Witness Matt Corallo On Board

    Square, Inc. is a mobile payment company based in San Francisco, California. The company markets software and hardware payments products and has expanded into business services. Square Crypto the division of parent company Square, Inc. is a payments solutions provider and focuses on open source Bitcoin development.

    Jack Dorsey, CEO of the Square, Inc. foresees a bullish vehement regarding the acceptance of Bitcoins and the urge to conceptualize Bitcoin as a utopia invigorates the formation of this new team which will be headed by Steve Lee, a former director at Google and Matt Corallo as the first development engineer.

  • Google open-sources gesture tracking AI for mobile devices

    Real-time hand shape and motion trackers are an invaluable part of sign language recognition and gesture control systems, not to mention a number of augmented reality experiences. But they’re often hobbled by occlusion and a lack of contrast patterns, preventing them from performing reliably or robustly.

    Those challenges and others motivated scientists at Google to investigate a new computer vision approach to hand perception — one bolstered by machine learning. They say that in experiments, it managed to infer up to 21 3D points of a hand (or multiple hands) on a mobile phone from just a single frame.

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Open Source platforms to now help students

Čet, 08/22/2019 - 00:30

The technical institutes in the State are now asked to use free and open-source software developed by a team, headed by the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD). The MHRD has also promoted their FOSSEE (Free and Open Source Software for Education) projects which uses tools so that students can easily use them.

Recently, the MHRD made a decision that FOSSEE should be promoted amongst the student community so they can aim at reducing dependency on proprietary software in educational institutions. The MHRD Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank too took to twitter urging students to use FLOSS tools in various languages to meet academic and research requirements.

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today's howtos

Sre, 08/21/2019 - 23:39
  • A guided tour of Linux file system types

    While it may not be obvious to the casual user, Linux file systems have evolved significantly over the last decade or so to make them more resistant to corruption and performance problems.

    Most Linux systems today use a file system type called ext4. The “ext” part stands for “extended” and the 4 indicates that this is the 4th generation of this file system type. Features added over time include the ability to provide increasingly larger file systems (currently as large as 1,000,000 TiB) and much larger files (up to 16 TiB), more resistance to system crashes and less fragmentation (scattering single files as chunks in multiple locations) which improves performance.

  • Testing the Linux Malware Detect.
  • Kushal Das: Remember to mark drive as removable for tails vm install

    If you are installing Tails into a VM for testing or anything else, always remember to mark the drive as a removable USB drive. Otherwise, the installation step will finish properly, but, you will get errors like the following screenshot while booting from the drive.

  • How to Set DNS Nameservers on Ubuntu 18.04

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Security Leftovers

Sre, 08/21/2019 - 22:44
  • NSA Researchers Talk Development, Release of Ghidra SRE Tool

    The National Security Agency released its classified Ghidra software reverse-engineering (SRE) tool as open source to the cybersecurity community on April 4. NSA researchers Brian Knighton and Chris Delikat shared how Ghidra was built and the process of releasing it at Black Hat 2019. Ghidra is a framework developed by the NSA’s Research Directorate for the agency’s cybersecurity mission. It’s designed to analyze malicious code to give security pros a better understanding of potential vulnerabilities in their networks and systems.

  • Linux Is Being Hit with Zero-Day Exploits/ Zero-Day Attacks [Ed: This is not news. If you have a system that is unpatched for months, despite many warnings, it is a risk, no matter the OS/kernel.]

    It was once the popular opinion that Linux was immune to zero-day exploits. However, even before the Equifax exploit, vulnerabilities were found in Linux distributions like Fedora and Ubuntu. In particular, back in 2016, a security researcher discovered that you could exploit a Linux system by playing a specific music file. Then, in 2017, a group of attackers used Struckshock vulnerability to carry on the attack on Equifax. These zero-day attacks are Advanced Persistent Attacks that exploit recently discovered vulnerabilities. Read on to learn more about what are zero-day exploits and how they can affect a Linux system.

  • Intel, Google, Microsoft, and Others Launch Confidential Computing Consortium for Data Security

    Major tech companies including Alibaba, Arm, Baidu, IBM, Intel, Google Cloud, Microsoft, and Red Hat today announced intent to form the Confidential Computing Consortium to improve security for data in use.

  • Intel, Google, Microsoft, and others launch Confidential Computing Consortium for data security

    Major tech companies including Alibaba, Arm, Baidu, IBM, Intel, Google Cloud, Microsoft, and Red Hat today announced intent to form the Confidential Computing Consortium to improve security for data in use. Established by the Linux Foundation, the organization plans to bring together hardware vendors, developers, open source experts, and others to promote the use of confidential computing, advance common open source standards, and better protect data.

    “Confidential computing focuses on securing data in use. Current approaches to securing data often address data at rest (storage) and in transit (network), but encrypting data in use is possibly the most challenging step to providing a fully encrypted lifecycle for sensitive data,” the Linux Foundation said today in a joint statement. “Confidential computing will enable encrypted data to be processed in memory without exposing it to the rest of the system and reduce exposure for sensitive data and provide greater control and transparency for users.”

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Linux-driven modules to showcase new MediaTek AIoT SoCs

Sre, 08/21/2019 - 22:03

Innocomm is prepping an “SB30 SoM” with the new quad -A35 MediaTek i300 followed by an “SB50 SoM” with an AI-equipped, octa-core -A73 and -A53 MediaTek i500. Both modules ship with Linux/Android evaluation kits.

Innocomm, which has produced NXP-based compute modules such as the i.MX8M Mini driven WB15 and i.MX8M powered WB10, will soon try on some MediaTek SoCs for size. First up is an SB30 SoM due to launch in October that will run Linux or Android on MediaTek’s 1.5GHz, quad-core, Cortex-A35 based MediaTek i300 (MT8362) SoC. In November, the company plans to introduce an SB50 SoM based on the MediaTek i500 (MT8385).

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Devices: Raspberry Pi and More

Sre, 08/21/2019 - 21:19

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Programming: Rust and Python Miscellany

Sre, 08/21/2019 - 21:18
  • This Week in Rust 300
  • Python String Interpolation with the Percent (%) Operator

    There are a number of different ways to format strings in Python, one of which is done using the % operator, which is known as the string formatting (or interpolation) operator. In this article we'll show you how to use this operator to construct strings with a template string and variables containing your data.

  • Your Guide to the CPython Source Code

    Are there certain parts of Python that just seem magic? Like how are dictionaries so much faster than looping over a list to find an item. How does a generator remember the state of the variables each time it yields a value and why do you never have to allocate memory like other languages? It turns out, CPython, the most popular Python runtime is written in human-readable C and Python code. This tutorial will walk you through the CPython source code.

    You’ll cover all the concepts behind the internals of CPython, how they work and visual explanations as you go.

  • Python 3.8 support in PyCharm

    The release of Python 3.8 brought new features to the Python coding realm. The language is evolving according to its community’s needs by addressing cases where new syntax or logic become necessary. From new ways of assigning expressions to restriction of usage of function declarations, calls, and variable assignations, this latest release presents new options to code. Of course, PyCharm couldn’t get behind, so we now support some of the major features coming with this new version.

    This article will walk you through the features currently supported by our latest PyCharm release. To try them out, get the latest version of PyCharm and download the current beta release of Python 3.8 from here. From there you will just need to switch to Python 3.8 as your interpreter in PyCharm (if you’re not sure how to switch the interpreter, jump into our documentation for help).

  • Python Arrays in a Nutshell

    Python arrays are homogenous data structure. They are used to store multiple items but allow only the same type of data. They are available in Python by importing the array module.

    Lists, a built-in type in Python, are also capable of storing multiple values. But they are different from arrays because they are not bound to any specific type.

    So, to summarize, arrays are not fundamental type, but lists are internal to Python. An array accepts values of one kind while lists are independent of the data type.

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Mozilla: WebAssembly Interface Type, Bryce and Brady, FPR16

Sre, 08/21/2019 - 21:07
  • WebAssembly Interface Types: Interoperate with All the Things!

    People are excited about running WebAssembly outside the browser.

    That excitement isn’t just about WebAssembly running in its own standalone runtime. People are also excited about running WebAssembly from languages like Python, Ruby, and Rust.

  • Support.Mozilla.Org: Introducing Bryce and Brady

    I’m thrilled to share this update with you today. Bryce and Brady have joined us last week and will be able to help out on Support for some of the new efforts Mozilla are working on towards creating a connected and integrated Firefox experience.

    They are going to be involved with new products, but also they won’t forget to put extra effort in providing support on forums and as well as serving as an escalation point for hard to solve issues.

  • FPR16 delays

    FPR16 was supposed to reach you in beta sometime tomorrow but I found a reproducible crash in the optimized build, probably due to one of my vain attempts to fix JavaScript bugs. I'm still investigating exactly which change(s) were responsible. We should still make the deadline (September 3) to be concurrent with the 60.9/68.1 ESRs, but there will not be much of a beta testing period and I don't anticipate it being available until probably at least Friday or Saturday. More later.

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Games: Loria, Dota Underlords and Steam in China

Sre, 08/21/2019 - 20:52
  • Classic inspired RTS Loria is now available DRM-free on GOG

    If you're like me and you enjoy a good real-time strategy game, Loria is actually pretty good. It added Linux support on Steam earlier this year and now it's also available on GOG.

    While it's inspired by titles like Warcraft II, it's not just a retro RTS. There's a few RPG-like elements including hero units, item collection, quests and more.

  • The Underlords are actually coming to Dota Underlords, plus a new Duos mode

    Valve continue to push out changes rapidly to their auto-battler Dota Underlords, with some of their upcoming plans now being detailed in a fresh update.

    One big new feature planned to be available in a few weeks is a new Duos game mode. Valve say it's a new way to play cooperatively with a friend. You party up and battle against other teams and it will support both Casual and Ranked play.

    The actual Underlords are going to be making an appearance soon too. This feature Valve said they're "excited" about, as they're a "core part of the game". They haven't said how they will work but they will "add a layer of fun and strategy to every match" so I'm very curious to see what happens.

  • Steam for China Is Called 'Zhengpi Pingtai'

    The digital games service will be run almost entirely independent of Steam and by Valve's Chinese partner company Perfect World.

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Samsung Galaxy Note 10 now links up with Windows and Mac PCs via supercharged DeX app

Sre, 08/21/2019 - 20:49

And there’s a big bonus here in the form of being able to drag-and-drop files directly from your phone to your PC, and vice versa. So you could take a photo from your Note 10 and whip it onto the PC to tweak it up in a proper heavyweight image editor, for example.

Furthermore, as XDA Developers observes, Linux on DeX is available via the DeX app, allowing you to create a container and run an Ubuntu Linux image, giving you even more flexibility and options here.

It’s not clear what Samsung intends to do in terms of giving users with older Galaxy handsets backwards compatibility, but at the moment, this is strictly a Galaxy Note 10-only affair, as mentioned.

Finally, it’s worth noting that the app does warn that your phone might get hot running the DeX application, although exactly how hot likely depends on what you’ve got the hardware doing, of course.

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today's leftovers

Sre, 08/21/2019 - 20:03
  • Open Policy Agent: Cloud-native security and compliance

    Every product or service has a unique way of handling policy and authorization: who-can-do-what and what-can-do-what. In the cloud-native world, authorization and policy are more complex than ever before. As the cloud-native ecosystem evolves, there’s a growing need for DevOps and DevSecOps teams to identify and address security and compliance issues earlier in development and deployment cycles. Businesses need to release software on the order of minutes (instead of months). For this to happen, those security and compliance policies—which in the past were written in PDFs or email—need to be checked and enforced by machines. That way, every few minutes when software goes out the door, it’s obeying all of the necessary policies.

    This problem was at the top of our minds when Teemu Koponen, Torin Sandall, and I founded the Open Policy Agent project (OPA) as a practical solution for the critical security and policy challenges of the cloud-native ecosystem. As the list of OPA’s successful integrations grows—thanks to active involvement by the open source community—the time is right to re-introduce OPA and offer a look at how it addresses business and policy pain points in varied contexts.

  • Eirini: Mapping Code into Containers

    There has been a lot of noise recently about the Project known as Eirini.  I wanted to dig into what this project was in a little more detail.
    If you weren’t already aware, its goal is to allow Cloud Foundry to use any scheduler but it’s really for allowing the workloads to run directly inside Kubernetes without needing separately scheduled Diego cells to run on top of.
    There are many reason that this is a fantastic change, but the first and foremost is that having a scheduler run inside another scheduler is begging for headaches. It works, but there are odd edge cases that lead to split-brain decisions.
    NOTE: There is another project (Quarks) that is working on containerizing the control plane in a way that the entire platform is more portable and requiring significantly less overhead. (As in: you can run Kubernetes, the entire platform, and some work, all on your laptop)
     

  • Wayland Buddies | LINUX Unplugged 315

    We spend our weekend with Wayland, discover new apps to try, tricks to share, and dig into the state of the project.

    Plus System76's new software release, and Fedora's big decision.

  • Kdenlive 19.08 Released with Clip Speed, Project Bin Improvements

    Busy trying to salvage footage from a recent video shoot, I missed the arrival of Kdenlive 19.08, the first major release of this free video editor since its big code revamp earlier this year.

    And what a release it is!

    Kdenlive 19.08 builds on the terrific work featured in the various point releases that have been available since April.

    “This version comes with a big amount of fixes and nifty new features which will lay the groundwork for the 3 point editing system planned for this cycle,” they say in their release announcement.

    Now, 3-point editing isn’t my bag (if you’re a heavy keyboard user, you might want to look into it) so I’m gonna skip that side of things to highlight a couple of other welcome changes to the project bin.

  • LabPlot's Welcome screen and Dataset feature in the finish line

    Hello Everyone! This year's GSoC is coming to its end. Therefore I think that I should let you know what's been done since my last blog post. I would also like to evaluate the progress I managed to make and the goals set up at the beginning of this project.

    As I told you in my last post, my main goal, in this last period, was to clean up, properly document, refactor, optimise the code and make it easier to read, so it would be fit to be brought to the master branch and to be used by the community.

    My next proposition was to search for bugs and fix them, in order to make the implemented features more or less flawless. I can happily state, that I succeeded in this.

  • Distributed Beta Testing Platforms

    Do they exist? Especially as free software? I don’t actually know, but I’ve never seen a free software project use something like what I’ve got in mind.

    That would be: a website where we could add any number of test scenarios.

    People who wanted to help would get an account, make a profile with their hardware and OS listed. And then a couple of weeks before we make a release, we’d release a beta, and the beta testers would login and get randomly one of the test scenarios to test and report on. We’d match the tests to OS and hardware, and for some tests, probably try to get the test executed by multiple testers.

    Frequent participation would lead to badges or something playful like that, they would be able to browse tests, add comments and interact — and we, as developers, we’d get feedback. So many tests executed, so many reported failure or regressions, and we’d be able to improve before the release.

  • GSoC 2019 Final submission

    Since my last blog post the main merge request of my GSoC project has landed and after that I followed up with subsequent bugfixes and also a couple of enhancements to the savestates manager.

  • LXLE 18.04.3 Beta Run Through

    In this video, we are looking at LXLE 18.04.3 Beta.

  • Fedora Update Weeks 31–32

    The branch point also meant that the Change Code Complete deadline was passed. As part of the Go SIG, I was one of the packagers behind the Adopt new Go Packaging Guidelines Change. As mentioned in the last post, this was mostly handled by @eclipseo and the tracker bug was marked complete for it just earlier. I am also behind the Automatic R runtime dependencies Change. As part of this Change, I initiated a mini-rebuild last week of all affected R packages. I will write about that in a separate post. That tracker bug is now Code Complete, though there are a couple FTBFS to fix up.

    With release monitoring working again, that meant a slew of new bug reports about new package versions being available. This happened just last Friday, so I haven’t had much chance to update everything. I did manage to go through almost all the R packages, except for a few with new dependencies. I also updated one or two Go and Python packages as well.

  • Rugged, Kaby Lake-U based IoT gateway offers Linux BSP

    Axiomtek’s Linux-ready, DIN-rail mounted “ICO500-518” IoT gateway runs on 7th Gen Core U-series CPUs and provides swappable SATA, 4x USB 3.0, 2x GbE, 2x mini-PCIe, and 2x “PIM” slots for options including 8x GbE or isolated serial and CANBus.

    Axiomtek announced a compact modular edge gateway with ruggedization features for industrial IoT. Applications for the Intel 7th Gen Kaby Lake-U based ICO500-518 include transportation, public utility, smart building, solar energy, and factory automation.

  • 5 Reasons to Use a VM for Development [Ed: Dice promoting the idea that developers should use Windows and keep GNU/Linux in a VM jail using Microsoft's proprietary tools]

    I started using virtual machines (VMs) on my development PC about six years ago; I was keen to learn Linux, having been a Windows developer since the mid-1990s. At first, I used an old Windows PC and installed a Linux distro on it; but I quickly found out that the distro took up a lot of space, and I needed a KVM switch to manage two different PCs. It was all a bit “fiddly,” which is why I began exploring the potential of VMs.

    Discovering VirtualBox was a godsend, and made things a lot more convenient. Despite all the flak Oracle gets over its databases, MySQL, and Java, Virtual Box remains an excellent and free open-source package.

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Ubuntu Touch OTA-10 Officially Released for Ubuntu Phones, Here's What's New

Sre, 08/21/2019 - 19:58

Coming three and a half months after the OTA-9 release, the Ubuntu Touch OTA-10 update is now available with better hardware compatibility for Fairphone 2, Nexus 5, and OnePlus One smartphones by implementing proper camera orientation and audio routing on the Fairphone 2, and fixing audio and video sync problems on the Fairphone 2 and OnePlus One.

Additionally, Ubuntu Touch OTA-10 improves the reliability and speed of Wi-Fi based geolocation functionality by removing the "wolfpack" tool, which used the Geoclue service for gathering approximate location data. However, it may take more than 20 minutes for some users to have their location retrieved after updating to Ubuntu Touch OTA-10.

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Elementary OS is the latest group to ditch Medium for their own blog

Sre, 08/21/2019 - 19:41

Elementary OS – a Linux distribution (distro) built on top of the large, company-backed giant Ubuntu – is a mom-and-pop store by comparison.

But it's also one that's managed to capture the attention of even some seasoned Linux users thanks to its focus on user interface (UI) and even user experience (UX) – something often lacking from the more spartan distros.

With their focus on icon and UI themes sometimes suspiciously reminiscent of Apple's interfaces – the Elementary OS team have also earned themselves something of a label of “hipsters” in the community.

Hence, their decision some years ago to communicate news about the project by hosting their blog on another largely “hipster” online venue – Medium – was little surprise.

What's somewhat surprising is the about-face that the project is now making in leaving Medium for the sake of building their own blog hosted on GitHub Pages – using the static generator Jekyll.

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Linux Foundation and Intel: Confidential Computing Consortium, OpenGL 4.6 Support For Mesa 19.2 and More

Sre, 08/21/2019 - 18:47
  • New Cross-Industry Effort to Advance Computational Trust and Security for Next-Generation Cloud and Edge Computing

    The Linux Foundation today announced the intent to form the Confidential Computing Consortium, a community dedicated to defining and accelerating the adoption of confidential computing. Companies committed to this work include Alibaba, Arm, Baidu, Google Cloud, IBM, Intel, Microsoft, Red Hat, Swisscom and Tencent.

    Across industries computing is moving to span multiple environments, from on premises to public cloud to edge. As companies move these workloads to different environments, they need protection controls for sensitive IP and workload data and are increasingly seeking greater assurances and more transparency of these controls. Current approaches in cloud computing address data at rest and in transit but encrypting data in use is considered the third and possibly most challenging step to providing a fully encrypted lifecycle for sensitive data. Confidential computing will enable encrypted data to be processed in memory without exposing it to the rest of the system and reduce exposure for sensitive data and provide greater control and transparency for users.

  • The Linux Foundation, Intel & Co Form The Confidential Computing Consortium

    In kicking off the Open Source Summit that has returned to San Diego, the Linux Foundation has announced the formation of the Confidential Computing Consortium in collaboration with Intel and other companies.

    The initial batch of companies forming the Confidential Computing Consortium include Alibaba, Arm, Baidu, Google Cloud, IBM, Intel, Microsoft, Red Hat, Swisscom, and Tencent. This consortium will focus on providing greater transparency and control over user data, reduce exposure to sensitive data, and other protections by means of open-source tooling and hardware advancements around trusted execution environments.

  • Intel's OpenGL Linux Driver Now Has OpenGL 4.6 Support For Mesa 19.2

    Two years after the OpenGL 4.6 specification was announced, Intel's open-source OpenGL Linux driver is now officially advertising the support after today landing the remaining SPIR-V enablement work.

    For the better part of the past two years the Intel OpenGL Linux drivers were held up from having GL 4.6 due to the ARB_gl_spirv / ARB_spirv_extensions extensions for better interoperability with Vulkan. But today those extensions are now crossed off the list and OpenGL 4.6 is finally in Mesa core with Intel's i965/Iris drivers being the first.

  • Intel Launches 10th Gen "Comet Lake" Laptop CPUs For Laptops & 2-in-1s

    Earlier this month Intel announced 11 Icelake CPUs for laptops and 2-in1s under their 10th Gen CPU line-up. Today the company announced the 10th Gen Comet Lake CPUs also for 2-in-1s and laptops.

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