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May 2006

Red Hat returns to developer roots

Filed under
Linux

Red Hat has unveiled a series of products and projects that aim to further push adoption of open source applications and open content.

BB completes XP migration to open source

Filed under
OSS

Federally owned Banco do Brasil has completed the migration of all its Windows XP computers to the OpenOffice.org open source suite, reported local tech service Computerworld.

Google denies browser plans

Filed under
Google

Google Inc. has no plans to build its own Web browser software to compete with rival Microsoft Corp., Chief Executive Eric Schmidt says.

Ubuntu Dapper Review

Filed under
Ubuntu

Another review of the upcoming Ubuntu Dapper Drake has surfaced onto the net today. Actually utilizing the Release Candidate from approximately a week ago, this review goes into some detail about how to get some multimedia working as well as XGL.

Gnome 2.16 expected in Mandriva 2007

Filed under
MDV

According to reports not only is Xorg 7.0 expected to be included in the upcoming Mandriva 2007 scheduled for release in early fall, but also Gnome 2.16.

SUSE kubuntu Slackware KDE 3.5.3 packages on mirrors

Filed under
KDE

KDE 3.5.3 was tagged approximately a week ago and some developers have uploaded binaries onto mirrors. Not announced yet, kde 3.5.3 is primarily a maintenance release.

Open Source Industry Veteran, Paula Hunter, Joins Collax to Lead U.S. Marketing

Filed under
OS

-based server solutions for small and medium businesses, today announced that Paula Hunter, formerly of the Open Source Development Lab (OSDL), has joined the management team as vice president of U.S. marketing.

Linux Kernel SMP "/proc" Race Condition DoS

Filed under
Security

Tony Griffiths has reported a vulnerability in the Linux Kernel, which can be exploited malicious, local users to cause a DoS (Denial of Service).

Puppy Power

Filed under
Linux
Interviews

The Puppy Linux team is currently working on the next revolutionary version Puppy 2.0, http://puppyos.com/development/howpuppyworks.html, which just hit beta and will soon be released. Barry was kind enough to find time between developing Puppy and burning CDs for people who have purchased Puppy Linux CDs and made donations, to answer a few questions on what makes Puppy one of the best distributions.

Linux Picasa infected with Virus?

Filed under
Software

I’m running nothing more then a personal file server for my network: httpd, sshd, and dhcpd. Today, I decide to install an anti-virus to this machine and run it as a joke. Shortly after starting, I see the Warning: The file is infected with W32/Magistr.a@MM virus.

More in Tux Machines

The archaeology of GNOME accessibility

There are many people in the world who cannot make full use of their computers without some sort of accessibility support. Developers, though, have a tendency not to think about accessibility issues themselves; they don't (usually) need those features and cannot normally even see them. In a talk at the 2020 GUADEC virtual conference, Emmanuele Bassi discussed the need for accessibility features, their history in GNOME, and his effort to rethink about how GNOME supports assistive technology. He began by defining "accessibility" as usability by people with disabilities; this usability is often provided through the use of assistive technology of some sort. When one thinks about who benefits from accessibility, it is natural to picture people like Stephen Hawking, who clearly needed a lot of assistive technology. But that is not what the most common consumers of assistive technology look like; instead, they look like his parents, who are active people in their late 60s. They are computer-literate, but they are getting older and need more affordances than they once did. [...] Much of the accessibility implementation is maintained outside of the GTK source tree, which brings problems of its own. The end result is that GNOME's accessibility support never worked all that well. But it lets managers check the "accessibility" box, which is all many of them need. Unfortunately, accessibility is not a box that can be checked and forgotten about; it is a process that must be constantly kept up with. But the GNOME project ended up mostly forgetting about it. In the intervening years the world has changed. CORBA has been replaced by D-Bus, for example. Patience for out-of-tree modules is mostly gone. The move to Wayland is creating problems for existing assistive technology, as is the sandboxing that is increasingly being used for GNOME applications. AT-SPI has been ported to D-Bus, he said, but the architecture of the accessibility subsystem as a whole is the same. It remains in the X11 world, where every application expects to have access to the entire system. This is a design that dates back to the days when applications were installed by the system administrator and could (hopefully) be trusted; they certainly were not acquired from random places on the Internet. The world has changed, he said, so accessibility support in GNOME needs to change with it. The system is "stuck" and needs a redesign. But this is hard because, unlike the situation with other desktop features, it is not possible to ask users of assistive technology to contribute. To a great extent, they simply cannot perceive what is not available to them, so it's hard to even ask them to report regressions. The first thing that needs to happen is to consolidate the various pieces, many of which have been untouched for years. Some new functionality has been added, mostly to match new features provided by browsers, but as a whole GNOME accessibility support just doesn't really work. The abstraction layer doesn't really abstract anything, so changes typically have to be made in many places. The toolkit needs to be simplified; as things stand now, application developers expect GTK to take care of everything, but that is not the case. There is also a need for funding; this work is not trivial and it's not reasonable to expect it to be done by volunteers. Read more

Android Leftovers

today's howtos

Games: Dying Light - Hellraid, Bridge Constructor, Railway Empire, Making it Home

  • Techland confirm Dying Light Hellraid will see plenty of updates post-release

    Dying Light - Hellraid is the upcoming DLC that swaps Zombies for Skeletons and turns Dying Light into something of a dungeon crawler. It's exciting and it's going to continually get updates after release. Reminder: the DLC is inspired by and using some ideas from Hellraid, which was originally going to be a standalone first-person co-op slasher. Techland appear to have shelved it completely so they're making sure it didn't all go to waste this way. I'm pretty happy about it because if there's one thing I want, it's more Dying Light content.

  • The Bridge Constructor series is now up on GOG with a nice big sale

    A little building for the weekend perhaps? The Bridge Constructor series has appeared on GOG and there's a sweet discount deal going where you could get the first game free. The newly DRM-free released titles on GOG are: Bridge Constructor, Bridge Constructor Medieval and Bridge Constructor Portal. I don't think any of these games really need an introduction do they? The name along pretty much speaks for itself. Each of them has a slightly different take on what you do but the end result is the same. You get to build bridges, and watch as your glorious creations fail repeatedly. [...] I had a huge amount of fun with Bridge Constructor Portal, as the portal system definitely makes it feel different to the previous entries and to other similar such games.

  • Railway Empire gets a Complete Collection out now

    All aboard the DLC train! Kalypso Media and in-house developer Gaming Minds Studios today put the brakes on Railway Empire, with a proper Complete Collection now available. This is because the team has moved onto another game, so Railway Empire should be considered actually finished now, apart from perhaps a few standard patches that may come in future. Since release in early 2018 it's been through 13 free updates, 8 extensive DLCs spanning iconic locations such as the Rocky Mountains, Sweden and Mexico, and brought to life 83 historically authentic locomotives. Kalypso claim this collection which bundles all DLC with the main game offer up "the most comprehensive railway tycoon experience currently available on PC and consoles".

  • Quirky vehicle building game 'Making it Home' is now in Early Access

    Making it Home looks so bizarre that I feel like I just need to give it a go. You're a ladybug building a vehicle to travel from one side of America to the other. Yes, a ladybug. I did say it looks bizarre. Even the developer thinks their idea is weird. They said it's "kinda Oregon Trail meets Banjo Kazooie Nuts and Bolts with a bit of Far Lone Sails - and a smoking crab and bear - with carrots and peas - and honey... and dehumidifiers". Are we any clearer? No but it looks a bit amusing. The point is to build a big Rube Goldberg styled contraption, then platformer all over it to interact with it and collect stuff along the way.

  • Perspective illusion puzzler THE IMPOSSIBLE is out now

    Inspired by designs from MC Escher, THE IMPOSSIBLE is a game about moving a box around crazy shapes. Note: key provided by the developer. Taking the visuals and gameplay, you could compare it directly with hocus from 2015 but Airem have put their own slightly quirky take on it, complete with a GLaDOS-inspired narrator to prod you along. Using simple controls, all you need to do is get the the box across the shape you're given onto the red square. Doing so is not always easy, due to the perspective. It's not impossible of course but it is challenging. This is not your typical shape puzzle game though, this cheeky GLaDOS sounding AI that comments on your progress also messes with you. There's some intentional glitches and errors that flash around on certain levels to interrupt you. Quite funny actually the way it's done and it's not over the top either, you're even told if you "obey the rules, you'll get Steam Achievements" in a glitched-out voice with the audio going from all relaxing to properly mysterious.

  • Len's Island plans to blend together peaceful building with intense dungeon exploration

    Len's Island sounds like quite a peculiar mix. Blending together peaceful building, farming and crafting, mixed with intense combat, dungeon battles and deep questing and exploration. We've got plenty of games that do either side of the coin with building or dungeon crawling but both together? I'm eager to see how that will all work. Even more so because of the setting and the lovely colourful style it provides. "Len's Island brings excitement and progression for many playstyles, all within a vibrant and engaging world. Catering to the hardcore dungeon-crawler fans, home-builders and decorators, explorers and completionists, farming fanatics, collectable hoarders, and people who just want to live the simple life chopping trees as the sun goes down."

  • Google adds Free Weekends to Stadia starting with Borderlands 3

    Google's game streaming service Stadia continues to gradually roll out new features, one of which went up yesterday with Free Weekends now being a thing. Plus, another round-up on recent Stadia info. I'm surprised it actually took this long. Free Weekends are a great way to trial games, and something Steam has been doing for quite a long time now. Partly thanks to demos at some point becoming more of a rarity. The thing is, for a game streaming service like this it makes a whole lot more sense, since there's no lengthy initial downloads. You can jump in practically instantly and see if you like it and play a good few hours. Then perhaps buy it.

  • Counter-Strike: Global Offensive gets fancy new skins, networking improvements

    Valve continue to tweak their classic free to play shooter Counter-Strike: Global Offensive. The latest update improves various parts of the game and there's some fancy new weapon skins. Trusted Mode, the newer feature that's just one small part of their fight against cheating now has the "-untrusted" launch argument removed. Trusted Mode on Linux also now appears to be on by default, so you no longer need the quick fix we wrote about recently, so if you missed that you should find your CS:GO games on Linux to be a lot nicer. Valve also fixed several exploits related to VPK tampering. For collectors, a new Fracture Collection weapons case went up so you can gamble away some of your monies on their loot box system. This new case features designs from over 17 different community artists and there's even Shattered Web Knives as rare special items. Looking over the Steam Market, there's already tons on there from it so if you're after something really specific you might just be able to grab it right away there.

  • Core Defense developer 'completely blown away' by first week Steam sales

    After launching on July 31, Core Defense from developer ehmprah appears to have done quite well to the point that they've been 'blown away' by the sales numbers. What is Core Defense? It's a tower defense game, that mixes in a little more randomness than you might expect. You pick towers and upgrades from a set a cards after each wave, and gradually build up a maze to force enemies to travel through. See our previous thoughts here—it's good! This cross-platform release (Linux, macOS, Windows) managed to cut through the noise, with the first week hitting 2,546 units and grossed $20,186 on Steam. Compared with 106 units and grossed $1,144 on itch.io during the Early Access phase it did there. Interestingly, despite Steam Wishlists often being said to be what makes or breaks games, they said only 26% of sales came from wishlist conversions. They also had around 8% refunded, which sounds pretty good so overall the managed to net $17,029 before Steam's own cut.

  • Braid is getting a much upgraded Anniversary Edition releasing in 2021

    Braid, the indie puzzle-platformer from Jonathan Blow is getting a huge overhaul with a new Anniversary Edition that's due out sometime in 2021. It's something of a classic and became quite a big hit, it was also one of the early bigger indie titles to come to Linux. Sounds like it's going to be a massive improvement, which includes David Hellman returning to do the repainting. Extra animations are in, upgraded sound effects and music and so on. They explained the point was to upgrade it and not do a "Star Wars Special Edition" to change how some things were done to the story. There's even going to be a toggle to switch between old and new which is always fun to play with in a game. Developer commentary is also going to be in, with their plan to have it as the "craziest, most-in-depth commentary ever put in a video game".