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Graphics and Standards

Filed under
Graphics/Benchmarks
Web
Legal
  • SHADERed 1.2.3 Released With Support For 3D Textures & Audio Shaders

    SHADERed is the open-source, cross-platform project for creating and testing HLSL/GLSL shaders. While a version number of 1.2.3 may not seem like a big update, some notable additions can be found within this new SHADERed release.

  • Vulkan 1.1.125 Released With SPIR-V 1.4 Support

    Succeeding Vulkan 1.1.124 one week later is now Vulkan 1.1.125 with a lone new extension.

    Vulkan 1.1.125 has its usual clarifications and corrections to this graphics API specification. Meanwhile the new extension introduced in the overnight v1.1.125 release is VK_KHR_spirv_1_4.

  • Making Movies Accessible for Everyone

    For the first time, people who are deaf or hard of hearing will be able to enjoy the Nairobi leg of the Human Rights Watch Film Festival, opening on October 15.

Chrome users gloriously freed from obviously treacherous and unsafe uBlock Origin

Filed under
Google
Moz/FF
OSS
Web

Thank you, O Great Chrome Web Store, for saving us from the clearly hazardous, manifestly unscrupulous, overtly duplicitous uBlock Origin. Because, doubtlessly, this open-source ad-block extension by its very existence and nature could never "have a single purpose that is clear to users." I mean, it's an ad-blocker. Those are bad.
Really, this is an incredible own goal on Google's part. Although I won't resist the opportunity to rag on them, I also grudgingly admit that this is probably incompetence rather than malice and likely yet another instance of something falling through the cracks in Google's all-powerful, rarely examined automatic algorithms (though there is circumstantial evidence to the contrary). Having a human examine these choices costs money in engineering time, and frankly when the automated systems are misjudging something that will probably cost Google's ad business money as well, there's just no incentive to do anything about it. But it's a bad look, especially with how two-faced the policy on Manifest V3 has turned out to be and its effect on ad-blocker options for Chrome.

It is important to note that this block is for Chrome rather than Chromium-based browsers (like Edge, Opera, Brave, etc.). That said, Chrome is clearly the one-ton gorilla, and Google doesn't like you sideloading extensions. While Mozilla reviews extensions too, and there have been controversial rejections on their part, speaking as an add-on author of over a decade there is at least a human on the other end even if once in a while the human is a butthead. (A volunteer butthead, to be sure, but still a butthead.) Plus, you can sideload with a little work, even unsigned add-ons. So far I think they've reached a reasonable compromise between safety and user choice even if sometimes the efforts don't scale. On the other hand, Google clearly hasn't by any metric.

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Digital Restrictions (DRM) Watch

Filed under
Security
Web
Legal
  • One Weird Law That Interferes With Security Research, Remix Culture, and Even Car Repair

    How can a single, ill-conceived law wreak havoc in so many ways? It prevents you from making remix videos. It blocks computer security research. It keeps those with print disabilities from reading ebooks. It makes it illegal to repair people's cars. It makes it harder to compete with tech companies by designing interoperable products. It's even been used in an attempt to block third-party ink cartridges for printers.

    It's hard to believe, but these are just some of the consequences of Section 1201 of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, which gives legal teeth to "access controls" (like DRM). Courts have mostly interpreted the law as abandoning the traditional limitations on copyright's scope, such as fair use, in favor of a strict regime that penalizes any bypassing of access controls (such as DRM) on a copyrighted work regardless of your noninfringing purpose, regardless of the fact that you own that copy of the work.  

  • One Weird Law That Interferes With Security Research, Remix Culture, and Even Car Repair
  • Spotify is Defective by Design

    I never used Spotify, since it contains DRM. Instead I still buy DRM-free CDs. Most of my audio collection is stored in free formats such as FLAC and Ogg Vorbis, or Red Book in the case of CDs, everything can be played by free players such as VLC or mpd.

    Spotify, which uses a central server, also spies on the listener. Everytime you listen a song, Spotify knows which song you have listened and when and where. By contrast free embedded operating systems such as Rockbox do not phone home. CDs can be baught anonymously and ripped using free software, there is no need for an internet commection.

Mastodon 3.0

Filed under
OSS
Web

It’s finally here! Mastodon 3.0 is live! The team has been hard at work on making sure that this release is one of our most user-friendly yet with some exciting new features! Here are just a few: [...]

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SerenityOS: From zero to HTML in a year

Filed under
OS
Development
Web

The Serenity operating system turns 1 year old today. I'm counting from the first commit in the git repository, on October 10, 2018. Parts of the code had been around for a while before that, so this first commit was really about putting everything I was tinkering with into a shared repo.

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Browsers: Opera 64 (Proprietary), Firefox and Chrome Benchmarks, New Firefox Features

Filed under
Google
Moz/FF
Web
  • Opera 64 is out: New tracker blocker promises you up to 20% faster page loads

    Browser maker Opera is releasing Opera 64 to the stable channel, offering users improved privacy protections from online tracking and updates to its Snapshot tool.

  • Firefox 69 + Chrome 77 On Windows 10 vs. Ubuntu / Clear Linux Benchmarks

    With running some fresh cross-OS benchmarks now that Ubuntu 19.10 is imminent followed by Ubuntu 19.10, a new Windows 10 update coming in the days ahead, and also the release of macOS 10.15, a lot of fun benchmarks are ahead. In today's article is a quick look at the Windows 10 vs. Ubuntu 19.10 vs. Clear Linux web browser performance for both Mozilla Firefox and Google Chrome.

  • Firefox 71 Landing Wayland DMA-BUF Textures Support

    Landing recently into the Mozilla code-base for the Firefox 71 release is DMA-BUF textures support on Wayland. When using Firefox with the OpenGL compositor enabled, the DMA-BUF EGL texture back-end is used that allows for sharing of buffers between the main/compositor process, working directly in GPU memory, and other benefits with this DMA-BUF usage. That code has been merged as another step forward for Firefox on Linux/Wayland.

Standards/Consortia: HTML and Media Format

Filed under
OSS
Web
  • Why much of the [WWW] is closed off to blind people

    Ultimately, those pushing for digital accessibility argue that businesses have no excuse for dragging their feet over it.

    "It's not hard to do, it should just be part of best practice, not an additional line item, just like making sure a website loads quickly is," says Laura Kalbag, a website designer and author of Accessibility for Everyone.

    "It basically just involves HTML coding, which even a blogger can do. If it is a huge website, it might take some time, but the work itself is not complicated."

    She adds it is a myth that making a website accessible makes it ugly, there is no correlation - you can still have snazzy images and graphics.

  • Neil Young’s Boring, Prophetic Message to Readers

    To Feel the Music is the story of Pono, which was Neil Young’s quixotic attempt to create and sell a new kind of portable music player and download service. Something that didn’t crush recorded sound into nasty little MP3s. If you’ve read either of his previous books, Waging Heavy Peace and Special Deluxe, you’ll be familiar with his preoccupation—his obsession, his foreboding—in this area. Young has long contended that with digitization, the conversion of music into data, has come a terrible shriveling of our sonic universe. You’ll also be familiar with his distinctively dazed, American Primitive prose style: “You have to give your body a chance to absorb [music] and recognize how good it feels to hear it. The human body is incredible. It’s great! It’s made by God/nature, depending on your beliefs.”

    MP3s, and I’ll try to be as scientific as I can here, are evil. They go against God/nature by chopping music into numbers. I’m with Young 100 percent on this. Beautiful flowing music, sliced to bits! And what is the devil’s price for having the entire Tangerine Dream back catalog at your fingertips? Why, shitty sound quality. The sound coming out of my Bluetooth speaker is no longer a dimension; it’s a narrow pulse, a serrated wave. Bass-blurts, ragged spikes of treble, a terrible crowdedness or crammedness in the midrange. My old-fart ears are squeaking in discomfort. The acoustic environment, like every other environment, is being degraded.

    But it doesn’t have to be, is Young’s point. We’ve all settled for this, because Steve Jobs said so. [...]

Standards/Consortia Leftovers

Filed under
Web
  • The Decentralized Web Is Coming

    The goal is to build a better, more decentralized web.

    "There are so many different possible ways of decentralizing the internet, and what's lacking is the legal right to interoperate and the legal support to stop dirty tricks from preventing you from exercising that legal right," says Cory Doctorow, a science fiction author and tech journalist who's been thinking and writing about the web since Tim Berners-Lee introduced it to the public in the early 1990s.

    Berners-Lee and other web pioneers intended for their creation to be decentralized and open-source. "The cyber-utopian view was not merely that seizing the means of information would make you free, but that failing to do so would put you in perpetual chains," says Doctorow.

    There are many theories about why the web became centralized. Doctorow largely blames the abuse of intellectual property law to defeat the decentralized "free software" movement championed by the programmer and activist Richard Stallman. Stallman helped create the popular open-source operating system Linux after freely modifying Unix, Bell Labs' proprietary system.

    But the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, passed in 1998, became an impediment to the open and permissionless approach to software development. The law was intended to prevent duplication of copryrighted works and was eventually applied to all software. Breaking "digital locks" to learn from, interact with, and improve upon the code of dominant web platforms became a federal crime. It's standard practice for today's tech companies to shield their proprietary code from would-be competitors by wielding the power of an increasingly expansive intellectual property regime.

  • Open source version of OPC UA spec for M2M launches

    OSADL announced OPC Foundation certification of its open source, C-developed “open62541” v1.0 implementation of the TSN-enabled OPC UA standard for M2M Ethernet communications. Kalycito has launched an open62541 starter kit that runs on a Linux-ready TQ gateway.

    You may have noticed an increase in products on LinuxGizmos that support Time-Sensitive Networking (TSN), which is built into some new networking SoCs such as NXP’s Cortex-A72 based LS1028A. More recently we’ve seen products that claim to support the OPC Foundation’s TSN-enabled Open Platform Communications Unified Architecture (OPC UA), such as Advantech’s new WISE-710 gateway.

  • HTTP 1, 2, and 3 in a Nutshell

Chromium/Mozilla Firefox: Chrome 78 Beta, Keygen Setback and iframes

Filed under
Google
Moz/FF
Web
  • Chrome 78 Beta: a new Houdini API, native file system access and more

    Unless otherwise noted, changes described below apply to the newest Chrome Beta channel release for Android, Chrome OS, Linux, macOS, and Windows. Find more information about the features listed here through the provided links or from the list on ChromeStatus.com. Chrome 78 is beta as of September 19, 2019.

  • Chrome 78 Hits Beta With Native File System API, Much Faster WebSockets

    Google on Friday released the Chrome 78 web-browser beta following last week's release of Chrome 77.

    Chrome 78 Beta is coming with a new Houdini API or more formally known as the CSS Properties and Values API Level 1, which lets developers register variables as fully custom CSS properties and can better handle animations and other use-cases.

  • Firefox 69 dropped support for <keygen>

    With version 69, firefox removed the support for the <keygen> feature to easily deploy TLS client certificates.
    It's kind of sad how used I've become to firefox giving me less and less reasons to use it...

  • [Mozilla] Restricting third-party iframe widgets using the sandbox attribute, referrer policy and feature policy

    Adding third-party embedded widgets on a website is a common but potentially dangerous practice. Thankfully, the web platform offers a few controls that can help mitigate the risks. While this post uses the example of an embedded SurveyMonkey survey, the principles can be used for all kinds of other widgets.

    Note that this is by no means an endorsement of SurveyMonkey's proprietary service. If you are looking for a survey product, you should consider a free and open source alternative like LimeSurvey.

The Vivaldi 2.8 Release (Proprietary)

Filed under
Software
Web
  • Vivaldi 2.8 Released with Unified Sync Support for Desktop and Android

    Vivaldi Technologies released today the Vivaldi 2.8 web browser for desktop platforms, including GNU/Linux, macOS, and Windows, an incremental update that adds significant improvements.
    With Vivaldi 2.8, Vivaldi Technologies continues to give desktop users full control over their browsing experience by adding various improvements across the board, starting with Vivaldi Sync, which now lets you sync bookmarks, passwords, history, notes, and autofill information across desktop and mobile.

    That's right, starting with Vivaldi 2.8, all your browsing data will be automatically synchronized between your installations of Vivaldi on desktop platforms, such as Linux, Mac, or Windows, and your mobile device where Vivaldi for Android is installed if you use Vivaldi Sync.

  • New Version Vivaldi Web Browser Has Been Released, Install in Ubuntu/Linux

    Vivaldi is the new web browser compare to other famous browsers, the initial release of Vivaldi was in January, 2015. It has improved a lot and evolved since the first release. Basically it is based on the open-source frameworks of Chromium, Blink and Google's V8 JavaScript engine and has a lot of great feature which I will table later. It is known to be the most customizable browser for power users, debuts features that make browsing more personal than ever before.
    Do we really need another browser? Since we already have a lot of them such as mostly used Firefox, Chrome, Opera and so on. The former CEO of Opera Software Jon Von Tetzchner didn't liked the direction of Opera Web Browser and said "Sadly, it is no longer serving its community of users and contributors - who helped build the browser in the first place." Then created a web browser which has to be fast, rich feature, highly flexible and puts the user first, so Vivaldi was born.

  • Vivaldi 2.8: Inspires new desktop and mobile experiences

    Today we are launching a new upgrade to our desktop version – Vivaldi 2.8.

    We’re always focused on giving you complete control over your desktop experience, while also making sure to protect your privacy and security online.

    Vivaldi on the desktop has been our foundation. And now – our inspiration. It continuously pushes us forward to deliver a browser that is made for you.

  • Privacy and the rise of the alternative search engine

    Over the summer we opened our blog to guest bloggers eager to share their perspectives on privacy. In this story, Finn Brownbill explains how we can put an end to tracking in search for the purpose of data collection.

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More in Tux Machines

Ubuntu 19.10 (Eoan Ermine) Enters Final Freeze Ahead of October 17th Release

As of October 10th, the Ubuntu 19.10 release is officially in Final Freeze, the last step of its development stage, which means that only release critical bugs affecting the ISO images or the installers will be accepted in the archives. Release Candidate images are also now available for testing to ensure an uneventful and smooth release. "We will shut down cronjobs and spin some RC images late Friday or early Saturday once the archive and proposed-migration have settled a bit, and we expect everyone with a vested interest in a flavour (or two) and a few spare hours here and there to get to testing to make sure we have another uneventful release next week," said Adam Conrad. Read more

KDE neon 5.17

KDE neon 5.17 is out. You can upgrade your existing KDE neon User Edition install or install fresh from an ISO image or run the Docker image. Featuring Plasma 5.17 it is packed full of new features according to OMG Ubuntu. Read more

Games: The Universim, POSTAL 4: No Regerts, RPCS3, Shadow of the Tomb Raider, Games Archive and X-Plane

  • City building god sim 'The Universim' will now let you launch rockets with satellites into orbit

    The Universim is slowly turning into a city building god game truly worth playing, with the Sky High update now available expanding the game into planetary orbit. Being able to actually launch things into space is a stepping stone towards visiting other planets. Currently, the Cosmodrome will allow you to send up Defence Satellites that will enable ground to air defences for your Defence Towers. So now you have a reasonable chance to take down meteors and other threats from space.

  • POSTAL 4: No Regerts released into Early Access, Linux version likely in future

    Running With Scissors are back, with a surprise release of POSTAL 4: No Regerts on Steam and a Linux version is looking likely in future. Naturally, someone posted on Steam to ask about the possibility of Linux support. This is something that happens a lot but here it's a bit different. RWS already supported Linux with multiple previous Postal releases.

  • PlayStation 3 emulator RPCS3 is coming along quickly with their August progress report up

    Delayed as usual due to the progress reports being done by contributors, the team working on the PlayStation 3 emulator RPCS3 have another post up to show off more incredible progress. To start with, they have again changed how they list what games are playable and not with the removal of games that won't work due to servers being shut down. They said even if RPCS3 becomes 100% complete, they wouldn't work unless someone accurately emulated and hosted servers for them. With that in mind, they also did a lot of testing of games that previously only went in-game to see how many are now properly playable. Thanks to all the testing, the Playable category has jumped up to 1,426 titles!

  • Shadow of the Tomb Raider Definitive Edition arrives on Linux on November 5th

    Feral Interactive have finally confirmed the Linux release date for Shadow of the Tomb Raider after announcing it for Linux back in November last year. They've said today it will officially release as "Shadow of the Tomb Raider Definitive Edition" on November 5th! Looking around at dates, technically this is the earliest we've seen any of the newer Tomb Raider series arrive on Linux. The first Tomb Raider came to Linux in 2016 after an original 2013 release, with Rise of the Tomb Raider arriving on Linux 2018 after an original 2016 release and we get the final game in the reboot trilogy next month!

  • The Internet Archive website has added another 2,500 MS-DOS games

    Another point scored for game preservation. The Internet Archive have added another 2,500 MS-DOS games you can play right in your browser. In their official announcement, they said that while they've added a few more to their collection here and there this is the biggest yet and it ranges from "tiny recent independent productions to long-forgotten big-name releases from decades ago".

  • 2,500 More MS-DOS Games Playable at the Archive

    Another few thousand DOS Games are playable at the Internet Archive! Since our initial announcement in 2015, we’ve added occasional new games here and there to the collection, but this will be our biggest update yet, ranging from tiny recent independent productions to long-forgotten big-name releases from decades ago.

  • Vulkan support is not far away now for the flight sim X-Plane 11, physics & flight model updates coming

    X-Plane 11, the detailed flight simulator is finally closing in on an update that will bring in Vulkan support as detailed in a new developer blog post.

7 Linux Applications You Should Start Using Right Now

Linux used to be the go-to operating system among the tech-savvy crowd. Because back in the day, it was a lot more demanding to use. Now Linux has modern, user-friendly distributions such as Ubuntu and Mint. The application repository they have in common has matured too. Customizing it to your heart’s desire is now easier than ever before. And this should be the end goal — to mold the OS into a tool that’s custom-tailored to your needs. So if you haven’t already, consider installing the following types of applications. Read more