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January 2020

Linux Mint 20 and LMDE 4 Announced, Cinnamon 4.6 Gets Fractional Scaling

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Work on the Linux Mint 20 and Linux Mint Debian Edition (LMDE) 4 operating system releases, as well as the Cinnamon 4.6 desktop environment kicks off over at the Linux Mint headquarters.

Linux Mint project leader Clement Lefebvre revealed today in the monthly newsletter that the development cycle of the upcoming Linux Mint 20 and LMDE (Linux Mint Debian Edition) 4 has begun, and it starts with LMDE 4, which will be the first to be released later this year.

Packed with all the goodies from Linux Mint 19.3 “Tricia” and based on the latest Debian GNU/Linux 10 “Buster” operating system series, the Linux Mint Debian Edition 4 release will feature a better looking installer that now supports Btrfs submodules and /home directory encryption.

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Direct: Monthly News – January 2020

Raspberry Pi Is Getting Vulkan Support

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The Raspberry Pi Foundation announced today that it has started working on implementing support for the open-source Vulkan graphics API for their Raspberry Pi single-board computers.

While the latest Raspberry Pi 4 board is OpenGL ES 3.1 conformant, the company also wants to add support for the famous open-source Vulkan driver, which provides high-efficiency access to modern GPUs and better performance than the older OpenGL driver.

But don’t get too excited about this because the Raspberry Pi Foundation is just getting started on this Vulkan on Raspberry Pi thing, which will be big for gaming on the tiny boards.

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Lightmeter will soon help you tune up your email server

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If you refuse to be tied to a big-name email server, such as Gmail, Outlook, or Yahoo, then you probably run your own mail server. While that requires some technical savvy, you don't need to be a computer scientist to do it… until recently. Lately, 15% of all email messages fail to reach their destination. That's lousy. The new open-source delivery monitoring tool, Lightmeter, may be able to change those numbers for the better.

There are many reasons for this. One is that spam, powered by botnets such as Emotet, often overwhelms not just frustrated users but overwhelmed email servers as well. For those problems, server-based spam filtering programs, such as SpamTitian, MX GuardDog, or the good-old, do-it-yourself, open-source SpamAssassin are a must.

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Meet The Best Music App For Linux — And It Actually Looks Good, Too

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If you’re a Linux user and music junkie, there is no shortage of apps to choose from on your favorite Linux distribution. Amarok, Clementine and Rhythmbox? They’ve been around the block and have some name recognition — they’re perfectly capable music players — but they don’t exactly excel in the aesthetics department. It’s time to check out Lollypop, which is not only feature-rich but looks gorgeous on your desktop.

Right out of the gate, Lollypop distinguishes itself by simply look superb. The mandatory-in-2020 dark theme option is present, the UI is clean and easy to navigate, feature icons are simple but instantly recognizable, and the app puts a heavy emphasis on staying uncluttered and letting your music collection shine.

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Intro to the Linux command line

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If you’re new to Linux or have simply never bothered to explore the command line, you may not understand why so many Linux enthusiasts get excited typing commands when they’re sitting at a comfortable desktop with plenty of tools and apps available to them. In this post, we’ll take a quick dive to explore the wonders of the command line and see if maybe we can get you hooked.

First, to use the command line, you have to open up a command tool (also referred to as a “command prompt”). How to do this will depend on which version of Linux you’re running. On RedHat, for example, you might see an Activities tab at the top of your screen which will open a list of options and a small window for entering a command (like “cmd” which will open the window for you). On Ubuntu and some others, you might see a small terminal icon along the left-hand side of your screen. On many systems, you can open a command window by pressing the Ctrl+Alt+t keys at the same time.

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today's leftovers

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  • QuiteRSS 0.19.3 (29.01.2020)
  • PhotoFlare Open Source Image & Photo Editor

    If you’re looking for a free photo editor to use on your Linux or Windows system then do check out PhotoFlare.

    I hadn’t heard about PhotoFlare until very recently. But it only took one look at this image editor’s well-designed interface, ample feature set, and open-source friendly nature, to know that I had to try it out.

    In this post i’ll tell you more about PhotoFlare, its features, and show you how to install it on Ubuntu (or download it for Windows).

  • Sparky news 2020/01

    The 1st monthly report of 2020 of the Sparky project:

    • added to repos: ElectronPlayer, Stremio
    • added a new script to Sparky APTus Upgrade which lets you upgrade your OS in text mode via one command: sparky-upgrade
    • added Sparky configuration of Draco desktop to Sparky APTus-> Desktop mode; thanks to lami07
    • Linux kernel updated up to version 5.5.0
    • new live/install media of Sparky 5.10 of the stable line released
    • the old repo address: is no available any more; use instead
    • Sparky Wiki has been moved to a subdomain:
    • Nemomen translate Sparky Wiki pages to Hungarian, thanks a lot
    • migration to a new vps is on the way, stay tuned.

  • Dremio CEO: Open Cloud Data Lake Levels on the Rise

    Cloud data warehouses are an improvement from the legacy on-premises versions, but they’re still just data warehouses, according to Tomer Shiran, co-founder and CEO of data lake engine company Dremio. Shiran says the cloud crusades will escalate this year, particularly in the realm of modern open cloud data lakes, as big data adoption continues to explode.

    The maturation of the technology stack, in addition to more machine learning frameworks entering the mainstream, has both accelerated cloud data lake adoption and sparked an evolution on two fronts: open cloud data lake storage and proprietary cloud data warehouses. “We believe the former will eclipse the latter,” Shiran said.

Audiocasts/Shows: Jupiter, Python and Linux Mint

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Devices: Raspberry Pi and Production Woes in China

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  • Create a real-time object tracking camera with TensorFlow and Raspberry Pi

    Are you just getting started with machine/deep learning, TensorFlow, or Raspberry Pi?

    I created rpi-deep-pantilt as an interactive demo of object detection in the wild, and in this article, I'll show you how to reproduce the video below, which depicts a camera panning and tilting to track my movement across a room.

  • Free Raspberry Pi 4 cooling stand with The MagPi 90!

    In issue 88 of The MagPi, we discovered that Raspberry Pi 4 can be kept cooler than usual if placed on its side. This gave us an idea, and thanks to many Top People, it resulted in the small, simple, and very practical Raspberry Pi 4 stand that you will find on the cover of all physical copies of The MagPi 90.

  • Coronavirus Impact on Manufacturing and Shipping from China

    Unless you are living under a rock, you may have heard about the coronavirus originated in Wuhan, China. 

Security: Tor, Amazon, Avast, Spam and Windows

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  • [tor-announce] New stable releases: Tor and

    Source code for Tor is now available from the usual place at . Packages should be available within the next several weeks, with a new Tor Browser by mid-February.

    Source code for Tor is available from our distribution site, at .

  • Amazon Tells Ukraine Publication To Alter Its Article After It Links The Company To Ring's Problematic Ukraine Branch

    An extremely-problematic wing of an extremely-problematic company is back in the news. Ring's Ukraine division made headlines last fall when the presence of a "Head of Facial Recognition Tech" in the Ukraine office appeared to contradict Ring's claims it was not interested in adding facial recognition to its cameras.

  • Should Your Antivirus Software Be Spying On You?

    Back in August, Wladimir Palant, the creator behind Adblock Plus, wrote a blog post detailing how Avast Online Security and Avast Secure Browser were collecting and selling the browsing data of the Czech company's 400 million users. In response, both Opera and Mozilla pulled Avast extensions from their respective add on markets, forcing Avast CEO Ondrej Vlcek to go on a PR tour last month to downplay the issue.

  • SEO Spam Dominated Website Infections in 2019: Report

    Last year, SEO spam was the most frequently observed threat on compromised websites, according to a new report from GoDaddy-owned web security company Sucuri.

  • [Attackers] were paid ransom after attack on Canadian insurance firm, court documents reveal [iophk: Windows TCO]

    The unnamed firm had itself purchased coverage in case of a cyberattack. The company's U.K.-based reinsurer paid $950,000 US to unlock the hijacked files and is now fighting to get the money back from criminals, according to court documents stemming from a hearing held in private.

    "A [cracker] managed to infiltrate and bypass the firewall of [the Canadian company] and installed malware called BitPaymer," reads a Dec. 13 ruling from England's High Court in London. The document was published Jan. 17 and the case was first reported by the New Money Review.

Graphics: Mir/Wayland, NVIDIA and RADV

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  • UBports' Unity 8 Has Working Wayland Support

    UBports has managed to upgrade their Mir support so Unity 8 can ride off the modern Mir implementation that provides Wayland support. In turn this means Unity 8 (and Ubuntu Touch) can run Wayland applications. There are also other benefits like now being able to run Unity 8 off the upstream Mesa graphics drivers without needing any Mir patches as was formerly the case. This also opens up Unity 8 to running nicely on more Linux distributions.

  • NVIDIA Retiring Their Pre-Fermi "340 Series" Legacy Linux Graphics Driver

    NVIDIA has sent out word that they no longer plan to issue anymore driver updates for their 340 series Linux legacy branch.

    This Linux 340 legacy driver series has provided extended support for the G8x, G9x, and GT2xx GPUs. Or in other words, the GeForce 8 series through GeForce 200 series. Moving forward though they will still be maintaining the NVIDIA 390 driver series that is their legacy driver for the Fermi GPUs.

  • NVIDIA end updates to the 340 series legacy driver for Linux

    If you have an older NVIDIA GPU, chances are you've been using the 340 legacy series. Well, NVIDIA have said that it's no longer getting updates. This does not affect any of their modern GPUs, just to be clear on that point.

    The 340 legacy series is the newest driver that supports NVIDIA GPUs from the GeForce 8 Series from 2006 up to the GeForce 3xx series (rebrands of the GeForce 200 series) from 2009. We're talking GPUs that can be well over ten years old, so it's only natural their support had to end at some point. NVIDIA did recently give it one last update, with the 340.108 released back in December 2019 which boosted compatibility with newer Linux Kernels so hopefully if you're still on it you will be good for a little while.

  • RADV Re-Enables NGG Geometry Shader Support

    On top of the last minute Radeon Vulkan "RADV" improvements landing on Wednesday for Mesa 20.0, another big ticket item landed... Well, re-enabled.

    Back in July shortly after the Radeon RX 5700 series unveil, RADV added NGG geometry shader support for Navi/GFX10. NGG is the Next-Gen Geometry engines found with Navi but as shown by the RADV driver work and RadeonSI OpenGL driver changes, it can be difficult/buggy to target.

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