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Thursday, 02 Jul 20 - Tux Machines is a community-driven public service/news site which has been around for over a decade and a half and primarily focuses on GNU/LinuxSubscribe now Syndicate content

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Mozilla: Firefox 78, Virtual All Hands 2020 and Securing Gamepad API

Filed under
Moz/FF
  • Firefox 78 arrives with accessibility and video call improvements

    Mozilla today launched Firefox 78 for Windows, Mac, and Linux. Firefox 78 includes accessibility features and video call improvements and is the last to support three older macOS releases. You can download Firefox 78 for desktop now from Firefox.com, and all existing users should be able to upgrade to it automatically. According to Mozilla, Firefox has about 250 million active users, making it a major platform for web developers to consider.

    While Google and Microsoft had to adjust their respective browser release schedules due to the coronavirus pandemic, in April Mozilla committed to sticking with its 2020 Firefox release schedule and the browser’s four-week release cadence. While the schedule remains unchanged, Mozilla shifted its roadmap to avoid shipping changes that might negatively impact government and health services websites and to address video conferencing issues.

    [...]

    “While Apple does not have a public policy governing security updates for older macOS releases, their ongoing practice has been to support the most recent three releases,” Mozilla says in a support article. “The last security update applicable to macOS 10.11 was made available in July 2018. Unsupported operating systems do not receive security updates, have known exploits, and can be dangerous to use, which makes it difficult to maintain Firefox on those versions.”

  • Firefox 78: Protections dashboard, new developer features... and the end of the line for older macOS versions

    Mozilla has released Firefox 78 with a new Protections Dashboard and a bunch of updates for web developers. This is also the last supported version of Firefox for macOS El Capitan (10.11) and earlier.

    Firefox is on a "rapid release plan", which means a new version every four to five weeks. This means that major new features should not be expected every time. That said, Firefox 78 is also an extended support release (ESR), which means users who stick with ESR get updates from this and the previous 10 releases.

    The main new user-facing feature in Firefox 78 is the Protections Dashboard, a screen which shows trackers and scripts blocked, a link to the settings, a link to Firefox Monitor for checking your email address against known data breaches, and a button for password management.

    Handy, but does the Protections Dashboard have much real value? It is doubtful; the more revealing thing is to click the shield icon to the left of the address bar on a web page, which tells you what is blocked on that site.

  • Firefox 78 Released with “Reset to Default” Option

    Mozilla Firefox 78 was released a few days ago with some new features and improvements.

    Firefox 78 added “Refresh Firefox” button to the Uninstaller, which also available in about:support page, allows to reset Firefox to its default state, while saving your essential information like bookmarks, passwords, cookies.

  • Let’s meet online: Virtual All Hands 2020

    Here I am again sharing with you the amazing experience of another All Hands.

    This time no traveling was involved, and every meeting, coffee, and chat were left online.

    Virtuality seems the focus of this 2020 and if on one side we strongly missed the possibility of being together with colleagues and contributors, on the other hand, we were grateful for the possibility of being able to connect.

    Virtual All Hands has been running for a week, from the 15th of June to the 18th, and has been full of events and meetups.

    [...]

    Thank you for your participation and your enthusiasm as always, we are missing live interaction but we have the opportunity to use some great tools as well. We are happy that so many people could enjoy those opportunities and created such a nice environment during the few days of the All Hands.

    See you really soon!

  • Securing Gamepad API

    As part of Mozilla’s ongoing commitment to improve the privacy and security of the web platform, over the next few months we will be making some changes to how the Gamepad_API works.

PinePhone: Community Edition (CE) Review

Filed under
GNU
Linux
Reviews
Gadgets

Following hot on the heels of my Pinebook Pro review come my impressions of the PinePhone: Community Edition (CE); a phone made by the same company, Pine64. This particular edition of the PinePhone is an updated version of their 1.1 Braveheart Edition phone, while still carrying the same $150 price tag.

Why did I decide to buy this even though I’ve already got one? Well, this new CE PinePhone has some enhancements to the printed circuit board (PCB). I wanted to see if, after buying this, I can use it as my day-to-day driver.

I ordered both the PBP and the PinePhone on the same day. Both devices suffered from delivery delay due to the COVID-19 crisis, so I upgraded my PinePhone shipping from Ascendia to DHL. I then got the phone in the mail a week after my PBP (the PBP already had DHL shipping). In all the shipping costed $30…a bit uglier than I expected, but if anything it’s probably because of the pandemic we’re in.

Before I go on ahead with my review, you may want to first skim through my original Braveheart Edition review from four months ago, as I will be skipping some of the details of the unit I’m reviewing here, since it is almost exactly the same, at least in terms of hardware.

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Games: Steam on Chrome OS, Space and More

Filed under
Gaming
  • Steam is Coming to Chromebooks with Ubuntu-based “Borealis” Feature

    Chrome OS has the ability to run desktop and command line Linux apps now Google plans to expand this support to include Linux games too.

    And when we’re talking about gaming on Linux we’re of course talking about Steam, the premiere games distribution platform created by Valve that is available natively for Linux desktop operating systems.

    Google equipping Chrome OS’s gaming feature as part of a project called “Borealis“. This is not only enigmatic sounding but also hugely exciting if you are an Ubuntu fan.

  • Chrome OS appears to be edging closer to Steam support with Linux

    Looks like Linux gaming may get yet another boost, thanks to Google? Yes. Backing up previous information on Steam support coming to Chrome OS it looks like the project is still going.

    This isn't some kind of wild rumour either, given the previous info with Google's own Kan Liu confirming their plans. This time the report comes from 9to5Google, which points out something being worked on called "Borealis" which appears to be a kind of Virtual Machine with a full copy of Ubuntu and Steam pre-installed and ready to go. It's interesting as they already had Crostini with Debian but it appears they're going a different way for Steam.

  • Kerbal Space Program 'Shared Horizons' is out with ESA missions and comets

    Ready to spend another thousand hours building spaceships and now chasing comets? Take charge of the Kerbal Space Program once again in the latest free upgrade.

    This is quite a significant update to KSP too, bringing in their European Space Agency (ESA) content including the ESA space-suit texture, new parts and variants, and two of their most iconic and groundbreaking missions into the game. So now you will be able to build the Ariane 5, visit comets and more.

  • Dark sci-fi action RPG 'Hellpoint' launches July 30

    Hellpoint from Cradle Games and tinyBuild is now set to officially release with Linux support on July 30. Originally funded on Kickstarter back in 2017, with 1,351 backers pledging around $63,553 Canadian Dollars we're keen to see the full release.

    Set in the aftermath of a massive quantum cataclysm called the Merge. You wake up on board the Irid Novo space station, a beacon of galactic cooperation and scientific exploration where everything has gone horribly wrong. What happens next will be solely determined by your choices.

  • The 'Update of Plenty' has arrived for Dead Cells - revamping lots

    The 19th update for Dead Cells is a bit of a big one, overhauling quite a lot of game mechanics and the overall difficulty.

    "Dead Cells is a rogue-lite, metroidvania inspired, action-platformer. You'll explore a sprawling, ever-changing castle... assuming you’re able to fight your way past its keepers in 2D souls-lite combat. No checkpoints. Kill, die, learn, repeat."

    One of my favourite indie games by far, and awesome to see it continue to update and expand. This time they're not adding in new enemies and weapons but going over Dead Cells with a fine-tooth comb to ensure your play-through is as smooth as it can be.

  • Thief inspired FOSS stealth game The Dark Mod has a massive new release

    The Dark Mod, a free and open-source first-person stealth game inspired by the Thief series has a huge new release up.

    Powered by the open-source id Tech 4 game engine (the Doom 3 engine), The Dark Mod is an impressive stand-alone project that has quite a lot of community-created mission packs available. The Dark Mod 2.08 has been in development for over a year, and it's quite an impressive boost with lots of underlying modern tech upgrades like using more modern OpenGL techniques.

  • A chat with the developer of the action-packed roguelike Burning Knight

    Burning Knight is a recently released action-packed roguelike, featuring slick pixel-art and fantastic lighting along with plenty of over the top action and a little sprinkle of comedy.

    As part of our ongoing series of speaking to game developers, we sat down and had a chat with the developer about it and how the release went.

Microsoft-Connected Firms Report Rise in GNU/Linux Usage

Filed under
GNU
Linux
  • The Linux market share appears to continue rising with Ubuntu winning

    Take it with your usual dose of salt and scepticism but when looking over the Linux market share, at least on NetMarketShare it appears to continue rising.

    While the latest from the Steam Survey shows a dip during June, the opposite is true here. We reported last month that NetMarketShare was showing a clear upwards trend. The sort of thing you can easily write-off across one or two months but now three months in a row it gives it a bit more credit.

    Going from 1.36% in March 2020, up to 2.87% in April, 3.17% in May and now June's figure is in with 3.61%. Looking over past figures from them, this might be the first time we've ever seen it rise three months in a row without a break. This is not counting Chrome OS either, like some other stats end up bundling with Linux. Chrome OS has stayed around ~0.40%, with Ubuntu over this period rising from 0.27% in March to 2.57% in June which is crazy.

  • Steam On Linux Is Still Bouncing Around 0.9% For Summer 2020

    With the start of a new month comes the latest numbers out of Valve for the rough Linux gaming market percentage from the Steam Survey.

    For June 2020 the company is reporting a 0.88% marketshare for Linux, or roughly 0.03% drop. Quite close to being flat month over month. But year-over-year it's up with last year's numbers for June coming in at 0.78%, which given the ever increasing Steam userbase is a good sign that the Linux gaming marketshare is growing albeit ever so slightly.

How to Install Microsoft Teams in Ubuntu Linux and Fedora

Filed under
Linux

Microsoft Teams (preview version) is available on Linux. How to install in Ubuntu and Fedora.
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Raspberry Pi SBC Now Supports OpenVX 1.3 Computer Vision API

Filed under
Linux
OSS
Ubuntu

OpenVX is an open, royalty-free API standard for cross-platform acceleration of computer vision applications developed by The Khronos Group that also manages the popular OpenGL ES, Vulkan, and OpenCL standards.

After OpenGL ES 3.1 conformance for Raspberry Pi 4, and good progress on the Vulkan implementation, the Raspberry Pi Foundation has now announced that both Raspberry Pi 3 and 4 Model B SBC’s had achieved OpenVX 1.3 conformance (somehow dated 2020-07-23).

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Between Two Releases of Ubuntu 20.04 and Fedora 32

Filed under
Red Hat
Ubuntu

Both Ubuntu Focal Fossa and Fedora 32 released in the same time April this year. They are two operating systems from different families namely Debian and Red Hat. One of their most interesting things in common is the arrival of computer companies like Dell and Star Labs (and Lenovo's coming) that sell special preinstalled laptops and PCs. I make this summary to remind myself and inform you all growth of these great operating systems. Enjoy!

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LibreOffice: 7.0 Testing, Simulated Animation Effects (GSoC), Pareto Charts

Filed under
LibO
  • LibreOffice 7.0 RC1 Bug Hunting Session

    LibreOffice 7.0 is being developed by our worldwide community, and is due to be released in early August 2020 – see the release notes describing the new features here.

    In order to find, report and triage bugs, the LibreOffice QA team is organizing the second Bug Hunting Session for LibreOffice 7.0 on Monday July 6, 2020. Tests will be performed on the first Release Candidate version, which will be available on the pre-releases server the day of the event. Builds will be available for Linux (DEB and RPM), macOS and Windows.

  • Simulated Animation Effects Week#4

    After getting simulated animation effects somewhat a presentable state in week 3 on my experimental branch, this week my goal was to make them saveable.

    Since I wanted them to be saveable on SMIL hierarchies, like the rest of the animations, I’ve started by creating new xml tokens that’ll be used and named them “motion-simulated” and “animateSimulation”.

    Made required connections for importing/exporting these animation effects mimicking how path motion is imported/exported.

    Later created a new animation preset on Effects.xcu for testing purposes and called it arbitarily “Simulated Basic”.
    And lastly, connected stuff with animation effects panel creating a new category there for simulated animations.

  • How to Create a Pareto Diagram [80/20 Rule] in LibreOffice Calc

    In this LibreOffice tip, you’ll learn to create the famous Pareto chart in Calc.

Arc Menu 47, Popular Gnome Extension Released With New Layout

Filed under
GNOME

Arc Menu 47, Popular Gnome Extension Released With New Layout

Arc Menu v47 with a new menu layout called “Tognee” is now available for the download. Arc Menu is a Gnome shell extension designed to replace the standard menu found in Gnome 3.

“Flip Layout Horizontally” and “Searchbar Location” options is now available in traditional panel layouts.

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Linux (Kernel) Conferences and Linux Foundation Fluff

Filed under
Linux
  • Networking and BPF Summit CfP Now Open

    We are pleased to announce that the Call for Proposals for the Networking and BPF Summit at Linux Plumbers Conference 2020 is now open.

  • Linux Plumbers Conference: Announcing Town Hall #2: The Kernel Weather Report

    Thank you to everyone who attended the Linux Plumbers town hall on June 25th. It was successful thanks to your participation. We’re pleased to announce another town hall on July 16th at 8am PST / 11am EST / 3pm GMT. This town hall will feature Jon Corbet of LWN giving “The Kernel Weather Report”. This talk will focus on the current state of the kernel community and what is to come.

  • FinOps Will Drive Efficiency for DevOps

    DevOps in the cloud has broken traditional procurement, which is now outsourced to engineers. Engineers spend company money at will and make financial decisions on cloud providers like AWS, GCP and Azure at rapid speed with little time to consider cost efficiency. Finance teams struggle to understand what is being spent on the cloud. Leadership doesn’t have enough input into how much will be spent or ability to influence priorities. Enter the concept of FinOps, and the need for a community of practitioners to advance best practices beyond vendor tooling, whose aim is to increase the business value of cloud by bringing together technology, business and finance professionals with a new set of processes.

    That’s why we’re so excited to announce our intent to host the FinOps Foundation with the Linux Foundation to advance the discipline of Cloud Financial Management through best practices, education and standards. The FinOps Foundation focuses on codifying and promoting cloud financial management best practices and standards to help the community. It currently includes 1,500 individual members representing more than 500 companies and $1B in revenue. They include Atlassian, Autodesk, Bill.com, HERE Technologies, Just Eat, Nationwide, Neustar, Nike, and Spotify among founding charter members.

  • Scality Affirms Commitment to Open Source as Founding Member of New Linux Foundation

    Scality announced its founder status and membership of SODA Foundation, an expanded open source community under the Linux Foundation umbrella. As a founding member, Scality joins forces with Fujitsu, IBM, Sony and others to accelerate innovation in meeting the challenges of data management across multiple clouds, edge and core environments for end users.

  • New Training Course Aims to Make it Easy to Get Started with EdgeX Foundry

    LFD213, was developed in conjunction with LF Edge, an umbrella organization under The Linux Foundation that aims to establish an open, interoperable framework for edge computing independent of hardware, silicon, cloud, or operating system. The course is designed for IoT and/or edge software engineers, system administrators, and operation technology technicians that want to assemble an edge solution.

GNU Linux-Libre and Guix Updates

Filed under
GNU
  • Intel Graphics Driver Fixes Include Assembly Sources To Satisfy GNU Linux-Libre Folks

    Last month you may recall that the free software purists maintaining the GNU Linux-Libre kernel dropped the Intel "iGPU Leak" security fix for Ivybridge / Haswell as they considered the compiled shaders/kernels responsible for clearing those residual contexts to be binary blobs. A resolution is now pending for upstream.

    Mitigating "iGPU Leak" for Gen7/Gen7.5 Intel graphics requires flushing the GPU between jobs by means of clearing EU/L3 residual contexts. That flushing code is compiled via the IGT user-space Intel compiler code and from the kernel side submitted to the hardware when needed. But because the GNU Linux-Libre maintainers viewed it as a "binary blobs as arrays of numbers", they dropped the fix.

  • ath9k wifi devices may not work with linux-libre 5.7.6

    if you have a USB wifi device which uses the ath9k or ath9k_htc kernel module, you should postpone upgrading to linux-libre 5.7.6; or the device may not work when you next reboot - PCI devices do not seem to be affected by this bug

  • Securing updates

    Software deployment tools like Guix are in a key position when it comes to securing the “software supply chain”—taking source code fresh from repositories and providing users with ready-to-use binaries. We have been paying attention to several aspects of this problem in Guix: authentication of pre-built binaries, reproducible builds, bootstrapping, and security updates.

    A couple of weeks ago, we addressed the elephant in the room: authentication of Guix code itself by guix pull, the tool that updates Guix and its package collection. This article looks at what we set out to address, how we achieved it, and how it compares to existing work in this area.

Unblock Websites Restricted By ISPs In Some Countries With GreenTunnel

Filed under
Software
Web

So how does this unblock websites? GreenTunnel runs as a localhost HTTP proxy server that does the following.

For HTTP, GreenTunnel sends requests in 2 parts, for example GET / HTTP/1.0 \n Host: www.you as the first part, and tube.com \n ... as the second part. This way the Internet Service Provider (ISP) doesn't match the blocked word "youtube" in the packets, and as a result the data is not throttled or blocked.

In the case of HTTPS, the application splits the first CLIENT_HELLO packet into small chunks so the ISP can't parse the packet and find the SNI (Server Name Indication, an extension of TLS that indicates the actual destination hostname a client is attempting to access over HTTPS) field.

As for DNS (Domain Name System), GreenTunnel makes use of DNS over HTTPS and DNS over TLS to get the real IP address and prevent DNS hijacks.

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Games Leftovers

Filed under
GNU
Linux
  • Panzer General - A supreme classic revisited

    Roughly 25 years ago, I remember playing Panzer General for the first time. The game's hexagonal-map, turn-based, inventory-and-strategy style grabbed me instantly, and became one of the enduring classics on my proverbial digital shelf of good ole antiquities. A few days ago, I fired up DOSBox and had another go at Panzer General. Not sure what prompted me to play it again, perhaps inspiration following a recent bout of reading military history books on Stalingrad and Berlin, or perhaps a big-boy-toy warehouse management OCD itch that lurks in every grown man. Or just the fact it's a darn good game, and it's time to play it, enjoy it, review it.

    It may sound unusual talking about a 1994 game title - but hey, classics be classics. I did mention it in one of my DOSBox compilations on old game revival, but now I want to give it a proper, in-depth review, even if most of you won't be able to play it, or even find it. Besides, it's a trip down the memory lane. I don't remember the full journey, but I did preserve the game and its save files carefully over the years, from floppy (maybe) to CD to DVD to a folder on a disk, which could be mounted and summoned at will. My original game saves are there, most of them, the earliest dating back to 2000, and the newest to 2007. So not only do I get to have fresh fun, I also have a glimpse of my own military cunning two decades removed. Well, let's blitz.

  • Chrome OS preparing Steam gaming support, starting with 10th Gen Intel Chromebooks

    Earlier this year, it was reported that Google was working to bring Steam to Chrome OS. We’ve now discovered how Chrome OS will run Steam and which Chromebooks will support it to start.

    For over a year now, Chrome OS has had support for running Linux apps, a project also known as “Crostini.” Under the hood, Crostini runs an entire Linux distribution in a virtual machine, vaguely similar to a developer running an Android emulator on their desktop. (You can think of a Linux distribution as a complete operating system package, usually with its own unique flair.)

    Over the past few weeks, we’ve been tracking a new project within the Chromium open-source code under the codename “Borealis.” Based on some of the related code changes, Borealis seems to also be related to virtual machines for Chrome OS.

    Through a fair bit of digging, we were able to obtain a copy of Borealis, which turned out to be another full Linux distribution. Unlike Crostini, which is based on Debian, Borealis is based on Ubuntu, another popular variety of Linux. Just like the existing Linux apps support, we believe Borealis will integrate itself with Chrome OS rather than being a full desktop experience.

    However, we found one key difference between Borealis and a normal installation of Ubuntu, as Borealis includes a pre-installed copy of Steam. This lines up with what we learned at CES 2020, when Kan Liu, Google’s director of product management for Chrome OS, shared that the upcoming Steam gaming support would be based on Linux.

  • The Dark Mod 2.08 Released As One Of The Few Games Powered By Open-Source id Tech 4

    There is finally a new release out of The Dark Mod, the original total conversion mod for Doom 3 that transformed into its own standalone game powered by the open-source id Tech 4 engine. This remains the lone flagship example of the open-source id Tech 4 game engine in action by the community (besides the DHEWM3 / RBDOOM-3-BFG engine work) with ioDoom3 having never taken off like ioquake3.

    The Dark Mod 2.08 is shipping with fixes for its multi-threading support, uncapped FPS, and better x86 64-bit support.There is also improved coding standards, replacing legacy OpenGL usage with more modern OpenGL usage, better visuals thanks to SSAO and other rendering improvements, AI improvements, gameplay enhancements, better mapping toolkit support, and all around performance improvements. The multi-core support in particular is no longer considered experimental.

  • How to install Steam on Linux Mint 20

The first step towards Mageia 8 – Alpha 1 is available for testing

Filed under
MDV

We are happy to announce the release of the test images of Mageia 8. These are available to early testers to help with the development towards a stable final release of Mageia 8. There have been large scale updates of all packages as well as new features implemented to improve what Mageia already offered.

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Also: Mageia 8 Enters Development with Linux Kernel 5.7, Improved ARM Support

The Linux-friendly Ghost Canyon Intel NUC 9 Extreme is finally available for purchase

Filed under
Linux

Intel's diminutive NUC bare-bones computers are quite a bit of fun. Not only are they cute and tiny, but once you add RAM and storage, they can run both Windows 10 and Linux brilliantly. Hell, I am currently running macOS on one as a "Hackintosh" (Shh! Don't tell Apple). The only knock on the NUC is that you can't really upgrade the GPU. Unless your NUC has Thunderbolt 3 and you add a pricey eGPU, you are essentially stuck with Intel's ho-hum onboard graphics.

With the unveiling of the "Ghost Canyon" Intel NUC 9, however, this changed. While obviously bigger than earlier NUC models, this unit can accommodate a proper gaming card from AMD or NVIDIA (if you choose to add one). You can even eventually upgrade the CPU with what Intel calls replaceable "compute elements." And now, if you have some money to spare, you can finally buy the top model of Ghost Canyon -- the drool-worthy Intel NUC 9 Extreme is available today!

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Linux on the OneGx1 mini laptop: Running Ubuntu 20.04

Filed under
Linux
Ubuntu

The One Netbook OneGx1 mini laptop is an unusual little computer that features a 7 inch display, an Intel Core i5-10210Y quad-core processor, and a physical design clearly inspired by gaming laptops. It supports an optional set of detachable game controllers that can clip onto the sides of the device. And One Netbook offers the OneGx1 with optional support for 4G LTE or 5G cellular networks.

As I discovered after spending a few days testing the OneGx1, it offers decent performance for general purpose computing, but gaming is a bit of a mixed bag. But that was with Windows 10. What about other operating systems?

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