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June 2020

Games: Android, 7 Days to Die, Bounty Battle and Paint the Town Red

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  • Best offline games for Android

    Many Android games rely on an internet connection. Some of them need to download data from the server, like Clash of Clans, or need DRM protection, like most Final Fantasy games. Anyway,you may find that most games require a web connection just for the game to run. But that is not true. Not everyone has the luxury of always having a stable internet connection, so we selected the top Android games offline, that is, you would not require a 4G or a Wi-Fi connection to play them.

    In fact, the Android app store itself, Google Play, has a category called ” Offline games “, launched in 2014. This category offers free and paid games that do not require Internet access. The category is updated frequently, always bringing new games . So if you want to stay up to date, you might want to take a look at this category every now and then.

  • 7 Days to Die 'Alpha 19 Experimental' is out with HD Zombies

    The Fun Pimps are working towards another huge upgrade for the survival game 7 Days to Die, with a new experimental build out now to try.

    It's a massive upgrade again to many areas of the game, and it does sound quite exciting. One of the best survival games available on Linux, easily. Alpha 19 can be tried out in the "latest_experimental" Beta branch on Steam. Keep in mind it will be unstable since it's not yet ready for everyone. With that in mind though, it's still fun to try. Some of what's new includes: Linear Color Space Lighting, Food and Water Bars in the UI, New Survival System & Critical Injuries, Interactive Loading Screen and even HD Characters, like my friend pictured below while exploring myself earlier.

  • Bounty Battle the 'ultimate indie fighting game' releasing July 23

    Featuring an all-star fighting cast from various indie games, the fighting game Bounty Battle is due to release on July 23.

    Inspired by the likes of Skullgirls and Street Fighter, it's a multiplayer 2D fighter that gives you access to over 20 characters taken from games like Guacamelee!, Darkest Dungeon, Dead Cells, Owlboy and more. It was funded on Fig back in 2017, with help from 334 backers and a bunch of money from Fig directly too.

    Just recently, they confirmed in an announcement that it's due to launch on July 23. In the comments, they mentioned the Linux version should be launching at the same time too.

  • First-person melee combat expands in Paint the Town Red

    The highly rated first-person melee combat game Paint the Town Red is violent, bloody and getting bigger.

    Released into Early Access back in 2015, this ultra-violent game of punching and kicking has continued to expand with new content and game modes with it going on to receive a very high user rating on Steam. As bloody as it is, Paint the Town Red isn't supposed to be taken seriously at all with it's blocky voxel-style.

    Over the last few months it's had some pretty huge updates which includes a 2-4 player cooperative multiplayer addition to Beneath, the rogue-like campaign mode. There's also now an Endless Mode for the Arena so you can keep fighting for as long as you can survive. Together the new modes add quite a bit of extra gameplay.

  • Godot 4.0 will get SDF based real-time global illumination

    While we already briefly mentioned SDF based real-time global illumination was coming in our post on the recent Godot Engine 3.2.2 release, Godot's Juan Linietsky has now explained the upcoming feature in more detail.

    Godot 4.0 is the massive rendering overhaul that's still a while away with Vulkan support, and over time new and more advanced 3D rendering features are making it in. SDFGI (Signed Distance Field Global Illumination), the latest mentioned addition, is a seriously fancy lighting technique that provides a form of real-time dynamic lighting. They said it's something akin to a dynamic real-time lightmap but it doesn't require unwrapping, nor does it use textures and it doesn't require Ray Tracing either - all while keeping performance in check.

  • OpenRA working to support C&C Remastered assets, Tiberian Sun work continues

    The team behind OpenRA have confirmed their continued commitment to working on the game engine to support Tiberian Dawn, Red Alert and Dune 2000 on modern platforms.

    Since the release of the Command & Conquer Remastered Collection, plus the open source code along with it from EA, people have questioned if OpenRA will continue and the good news is that it will. Not only that, it's going to get better than ever and work is ongoing.

    Thanks to the open source release of the Command & Conquer Remastered Collection code, the OpenRA team have already begun studying it and mentioned that while OpenRA takes things in a different and more modern direction, they have already been able to learn a few things.

  • Papercraft styled tactical RPG 'Wildermyth' adds Legacy campaigns

    Wildermyth is a seriously great in-development character-driven tactical RPG, with a fantastic papercraft style and it just got a great boost to the story.

    It's a little bit unusual actually. Combining the story-telling from classic tabletop D&D RPGs, with the combat of an XCOM-like with turn-based tactical options aplenty. Together with the style it's wonderful and I'm always happy to load it up for another run, now even more so. In Wildermyth, if you manage to complete one of the story campaigns, you get to promote one or more characters into a special Legacy pool, to find and recruit them during Legacy campaigns.

  • Sweet settlement building game The Colonists gets random maps

    Inspired in parts by The Settlers and Anno, The Colonists is a settlement building game about little robots trying to become a bit more human.

    "You take control of a team of self-replicating robots built to simulate human civilisation. After escaping Earth, The Colonists are now free to roam the galaxy in search of a new home and construct their dream settlement. You'll advance through three different Ages as you build infrastructure for your colony by constructing road, boat and train transport systems."

    Quite a sweet game actually, one I consider quite the gem if you're into such building games and it's been supported rather nicely since the original release in 2018. Since release it's gained new official maps, new translations, AI upgrades, a map editor, entirely new game mechanics and the latest being a random map generator.

The public sector of Bühl uses Free Software

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The town of Bühl, Germany, has started the successful Free Software based video conference platform “Palim! Palim!”. To find out more about the relations between Bühl and Free Software we conducted an interview with Eduard Itrich, the digitisation officer from the town of Bühl.

The town of Bühl, in the south-west of Germany, started a video conference platform, called “Palim! Palim!” based on the Free Software “Jitsi Meet” to ease the effects of the COVID-19 lock-down for their citizens. “Palim! Palim!” quickly became a striking success; the citizens were thrilled with it and also other municipalities started to became interested. But “Palim! Palim!” is not the only Free Software project used and maintained by the town of Bühl. To find out more about the background behind “Palim! Palim!” and what other relations the town of Bühl has with Free Software we conducted this interview with the “Chief Digital Officer,” Eduard Itrich, from the public administration of Bühl.

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Open Invention Network (OIN) and Corporate Linux Foundation

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  • Baidu joins Open Invention Network Linux patent protection group

    The Open Invention Network (OIN) is the largest patent non-aggression community in history. Its chief job is protecting Linux and open-source friendly companies from patent attacks. Now, Baidu, the largest Chinese language search engine and one of the world's leading artificial intelligence (AI) firms in the world, has joined OIN.

    This move makes perfect sense AI is almost entirely driven by open-source programs such as TensorFlow, Keras, and Theano. So, even before this intellectual property law move, Baidu has been an active, global open-source AI supporter.

    "Artificial intelligence-driven and internet-based services continue to spawn new industries while advancing business performance through actionable intelligence. As a global leader in internet and AI-related services and products, Baidu recognizes the benefits of shared innovation inherent in open source," said Keith Bergelt, the OIN's CEO. "We are pleased Baidu has joined our community and committed to patent non-aggression in Linux and adjacent open source technologies."

  • Ahana Announces Linux Foundation’s PrestoDB Now Available on AWS Marketplace and DockerHub

    PrestoDB is a federated SQL engine for data engineers and analysts to run interactive, ad hoc analytics on large amounts of data, which continues to grow exponentially across a wide range of data lakes and databases. As a result, data platform teams are increasingly using Presto as the de facto SQL query engine to run analytics across data sources in-place, without the need to move data. One of the fastest growing projects in the data analytics space, PrestoDB is hosted by the Linux Foundation’s Presto Foundation and is the same project running at massive scale at Facebook, Uber and Twitter.

  • MLflow moves to Linux Foundation project

    MLflow provides a programmatic way to deal with all the pieces of a machine learning project through all its phases — construction, training, fine-tuning, deployment, management, and revision. It tracks and manages the datasets, model instances, model parameters, and algorithms used in machine learning projects, so they can be versioned, stored in a central repository, and repackaged easily for reuse by other data scientists.

    MLflow’s source is already available under the Apache 2.0 license, so this is not about open sourcing a previously proprietary project. Instead, it is about giving the project “a vendor neutral home with an open governance model,” according to Databricks’s press release.

  • Scality Affirms Commitment to Open Source as Founding Member of New Linux Foundation to Solve Data Management Challenges

    Scality today 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.

    The range of challenges end users are facing today has resulted in an increase in data management complexity. Data is scattered across various locations, including proprietary silos, the risk of security breaches is rising by the day, and datacenters are often reliant on a heterogenous range of data management solutions; today data management is more and more complex and time-consuming for CIOs and IT teams. SODA Foundation members are building a common framework to promote standardization and best practices that simplify management and unify storage pools. SODA Foundation announced yesterday that it is expanding to include both open source software and standards in order to integrate efforts across platforms and support its mission to enable data autonomy and mobility for end users.

  • Linux Foundation Hosts FinOps and Offers Free Related Training Course

    At this week’s virtual Open Source Summit, The Linux Foundation announced that it will host the FinOps Foundation, which aims to bring financial accountability to the area of cloud computing through collaborative management, best practices, education, and standards.

    According to the announcement, “the FinOps community is defining cloud financial management standards and is increasing access to education and certification for this discipline across industries.” In addition to hosting FinOps, The Linux Foundation is also offering a free edX course – called Introduction to FinOps – to help educate professionals in this area. The course will “cover the basics of FinOps and how it can positively impact an organization by building a culture of accountability around cloud use,” the announcement states.

  • FinOps Foundation Joins Linux Foundation to Bring Focus to Cloud Costs
  • 3 Blockchain Firms, iExec, IoTeX, and R3, join Linux Foundation's Privacy-Focused Consortium

    Only half of the new entrants in the consortium deal with blockchain-related services, with R3 an enterprise-focused blockchain company, IoTeX is an internet-of-things company that integrates blockchain technology to secure data and iExec, a decentralized cloud computing firm. The three companies will join Oasis Lab, the only blockchain company present among the CCC founding members.

    Blockchain technology and TEEs share the common property of data security. The experience that these blockchain firms can bring data privacy TEEs so users will be able to not only “own their private data, but also to use it in a privacy-preserving way,” Raullen Chai, CEO of IoTex, said in a statement.

    According to Chai, the introduction of TEEs in confidential computing will solve two main issues in people’s everyday data privacy – facial recognition and contact tracing in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Firefox 79 Enters Beta, Lets You Export Saved Passwords and Logins to a CSV File

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Firefox 79 was in the Nightly channel since earlier this month, but today Mozilla released the first beta version to the public, following the official release of Firefox 78 as the newest ESR (Extended Support Release) series.

While Firefox 78 packs a lot of cool new features and improvements, Firefox 79 will probably see only a handful of enhancements as it continues the monthly, rapid release cycle. And, the first new feature to surface is the ability to export saved passwords and logins to a CSV file.

The new option is implemented in the Logins & Passwords page a.k.a. Firefox Lockwise. It can be accessed by clicking on the three dots on the right side of the screen, next to “Sign in to Sync” button, and then on the “Export Logins” entry in the context menu (see the screenshot gallery below for details).

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Benchmarking The Performance Overhead To Linux's Proposed FGKASLR Security Feature

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One of the security improvements being worked on in recent months by Intel's open-source team has been FGKASLR. But how is the performance overhead compared to just traditional KASLR? Here are benchmarks looking at the performance impact of FGKASLR on top, just KASLR, and then no address space layout randomization.

FGKASLR is being worked on by Intel for improving Linux security with this Function Granular Kernel Address Space Layout Randomization. Rather than just randomizing the position in memory of the kernel, this FGKASLR patch series enables randomization at the function-level and used on top of KASLR. The reordering of kernel functions is done in memory at boot time. FGKASLR isn't anything specific to Intel CPUs but a common security feature that just happens to be worked on by Intel's large open-source team as one of the leading organizations contributing to the Linux kernel.

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Should API-restricting licenses qualify as open source?

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In its 2014 Oracle v. Google decision, the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit held that the method declarations and "structure, sequence, and organization" (SSO) of the Java SE API were protected by copyright. This much-criticized result contradicted a decades-old industry and professional consensus assumption that APIs were in the public domain, reflected in an ongoing common practice of successive reimplementation of APIs, and persisting even after the general copyrightability of software was settled by statute. Unsurprisingly, that consensus shaped the view of APIs from within open source. Open source licenses, in particular, do not address APIs, and their conditions have not customarily been understood to apply to APIs.

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Why don’t /e/ smartphones ship (yet) to the USA?

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It is nearly one year now that we started to ship our first phones with /e/ OS, the pro-privacy, deGoogled, mobile ecosystem.

Initially our range of /e/ phones has been based on refurbished, yet high-grade, Galaxy smartphones: S7, S7 Edge, S9 and S9+. And more recently the Galaxy S8.

A few weeks ago, thanks to a partnership with Fairphone, the Dutch smartphone manufacturer that looks to change how products are made and put ethical values first, we added the Fairphone 3 to our line-up and launched what we believe is the first privacy conscious and sustainable smartphone in Europe.

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More in Tux Machines

Kernel and Graphics: Linux Stuff and GPUs

  • Facebook/Meta Tackling Transparent Page Placement For Tiered-Memory Linux Systems - Phoronix

    Back during the Linux 5.15 cycle Intel contributed an improvement for tiered memory systems where less used memory pages could be demoted to slower tiers of memory storage. But once demoted that kernel infrastructure didn't have a means of promoting those demoted pages back to the faster memory tiers should they become hot again, though now Facebook/Meta engineers have been working on such functionality.  Prior to the Linux 5.15 kernel, during the memory reclaim process when the system RAM was under memory pressure was to simply toss out cold pages. However, with Linux 5.15 came the ability to shift those cold pages to any slower memory tiers. In particular, modern and forthcoming servers with Optane DC persistent memory or CXL-enabled memory, etc. Therefore the pages are still accessible if needed but not occupying precious system DRAM if they aren't being used and to avoid just flushing them out or swapping to disk. 

  • Linux 5.17 To Boast Latency Optimization For AF_UNIX Sockets - Phoronix

    Net-next has been queuing a number of enticing performance optimizations ahead of the Linux 5.17 merge window kicking off around the start of the new year. Covered already was a big TCP optimization and a big improvement for csum_partial() that is used in the network code for checksum computation. The latest optimization is improving the AF_UNIX code path for those using AF_UNIX sockets for local inter-process communication.  A new patch series was queued up on Friday in net-next for improving the AF_UNIX code. That patch series by Kuniyuki Iwashima of Amazon Japan is ultimately about replacing AF_UNIX sockets' single big lock with per-hash locks. The series replaces the AF_UNIX big lock and also as part of the series has a speed-up to the autobind behavior. 

  • Nvidia Pascal GPU, DX12 and VKD3D: Slideshow time! - Boiling Steam

    So Horizon Zero Dawn had a sale recently on Fanatical, and I thought… OK I’ll grab it! It’s time. I first installed it on my workstation that only has a GTX1060 3GB GPU – not a workhorse but a decent card nonetheless for low-to-medium end gaming. I knew very well that Horizon Zero Dawn is a DX12 game and that Pascal architecture (Nvidia 10xx basically) and earlier versions do not play very well with DX12 games running through vkd3d-proton, the DX12 to Vulkan translation layer. Still, I could imagine getting somewhere around 30 FPS on low-to-medium settings, and use FSR if necessary to get to better framerates. Nothing prepared me for the performance I was about to experience.

Linux 5.16-rc3

So rc3 is usually a bit larger than rc2 just because people had some
time to start finding things.

So too this time, although it's not like this is a particularly big
rc3. Possibly partly due to the past week having been Thanksgiving
week here in the US. But the size is well within the normal range, so
if that's a factor, it's not been a big one.

The diff for rc3 is mostly drivers, although part of that is just
because of the removal of a left-over MIPS Netlogic driver which makes
the stats look a bit wonky, and is over a third of the whole diff just
in itself.

If you ignore that part, the statistics look a bit more normal, but
drivers still dominate (network drivers, sound and gpu are the big
ones, but there is noise all over). Other than that there's once again
a fair amount of selftest (mostly networking), along with core
networking, some arch updates - the bulk of it from a single arm64
uaccess patch, although that's mostly because it's all pretty small -
and random other changes.

Full shortlog below.

Please test,

Read more Also: Linux 5.16-rc3 Released With Alder Lake ITMT Fix, Other Driver Fixes - Phoronix

Audiocasts/Shows: Endless OS 4.0.0, GIMP, BSD, KDE, and Elementary

today's howtos

  1. How to install FreeOffice 2021 on Ubuntu 20.04 Linux

    One of the best free alternatives to Microsoft Office is FreeOffice, developed by a German software company- SoftMaker. Recently, they have upgraded their Office suite to version 21. And here we learn the steps to install FreeOffice 2021 version on Ubuntu 20.04 Linux using the command terminal. This free office suite is a part of the commercial one from the same developers known as SoftMaker Office 21 (also available for Linux), of course, the premium will have more features but that doesn’t mean the free version- FreeOffice 2021 deprives to full fill all daily office documents (MS-Word alternative) related requirements. It offers a Microsoft office ribbon-like interface and three modules- TextMaker 21 to create documents; PlanMaker 21 to create sheets (Excel alternative) and Presentations 21 for making slides like MS-Powerpoint.

  2. Pin Custom Folders to Left Panel ‘Files’ Icon Context Menu in Ubuntu 20.04 | UbuntuHandbook

    In Windows 10, user may right-click on the ‘File Explorer’ icon on panel to access pinned folders (e.g., Desktop, Downloads and Documents) quickly. Ubuntu has first implemented this feature in Ubuntu 21.10, though it seems to be not working properly due to bug. Ubuntu 20.04 may manually add the context (right-click) menu options so user can right-click on the ‘Files’ icon to choose open favorite folders quickly.

  3. How To Install Perl on AlmaLinux 8 - idroot

    In this tutorial, we will show you how to install Perl on AlmaLinux 8. For those of you who didn’t know, Perl (Practical Extraction and Reporting Language) is a general-purpose programming language originally developed for text manipulation and now used for a wide range of tasks including system administration, web development, network programming, GUI development, and more. The major features of Perl are easy to use, supports object-oriented and procedural programming languages, and has built-in support for processing text. The most impressive feature of Perl is that it supports a large collection of third-party modules. This article assumes you have at least basic knowledge of Linux, know how to use the shell, and most importantly, you host your site on your own VPS. The installation is quite simple and assumes you are running in the root account, if not you may need to add ‘sudo‘ to the commands to get root privileges. I will show you the step-by-step installation of the Perl programming language on AlmaLinux 8. You can follow the same instructions for Rocky Linux.

  4. How to play Total War: WARHAMMER on Linux

    Total War: Warhammer is a turn-based real-time tactics video game developed by Creative Assembly and published by Sega. It takes place in the War Hammer 40K universe. Here’s how you can play it on your Linux PC.

  5. How to install Funkin' Vs. Camellia on a Chromebook

    Today we are looking at how to install Funkin' Vs. Camellia on a Chromebook. Please follow the video/audio guide as a tutorial where we explain the process step by step and use the commands below.