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Samsung DeX is darn close to the “Chrome Phone” I'd like to see - About Chromebooks

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One of the touted features of the Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Plus (as well as other Galaxy S and Note phones since 2017) is Samsung Dex. If you’re not familiar with it, DeX stands for “Desktop Experience”. Essentially, when connecting your DeX supported phone to an external monitor, the DeX environment appears. It’s essentially a custom Android desktop experience with resizable windows.

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Software: Mumble, HomeBank, UDisks, Calamares, Calamares and zstd

  • Mumble dreams

    With everyone switching to remote tools for social distancing, I've been using Mumble more and more. That's partly by choice -- I don't like videoconferencing much, frankly -- and partly by necessity: sometimes my web browser fails and Mumble is generally more reliable. Some friend on a mailing list recently asked "shouldn't we make Mumble better?" and opened the door for me to go on a long "can I get a pony?" email. Because I doubt anyone on that mailing list has the time or capacity to actually fix those issues, I figured I would copy this to a broader audience in the hope that someone else would pick it up.

  • HomeBank 5.4

    HomeBank is a free software (as in "free speech" and also as in "free beer") that will assist you to manage your personal accounting. It is designed to easy to use and be able to analyse your personal finance and budget in detail using powerful filtering tools and beautiful charts. If you are looking for a completely free and easy application to manage your personal accounting, budget, finance then HomeBank should be the software of choice.

  • The road to UDisks 2.9.0

    While the world is going crazy these days we continue to march in full strength towards the next UDisks release. It’s still a couple of weeks away and there are some interesting features still pending to be merged. With all the changes we’re bound with the promise to keep the public D-Bus and C API stable and that won’t change even that there were major changes under the hood. Overall we’ve been focusing on general stability and predictability, fixing various race conditions. But we’ve also added a couple of new interesting features.

  • Calamares 2020q1

    Over on the Calamares website, most of the news items are about releases and the release schedule. Here’s some more community-related tidbits for the first quarter of 2020. Calamares development is sponsored by Blue Systems, which means I can spend three days a week – more, in practice – working on it. This is a form of service to the Open Source community; Calamares is used by some Linux distro’s that Blue Systems is interested in, but I (or Calamares) explicitly support all kinds of distro’s. Every downstream is a welcome downstream. In the first few months of 2020 I learned of several “new” distro’s that use Calamares. “New” to me; they have existed for years, usually, and I don’t pay attention to every Linux distro out there. Drop me a note by email, as a GitHub issue, or on Freenode IRC in #calamares if you have a distro that should be listed among the Calamares-users.

  • Plasma Mobile: Join our online sprint!

    To foster the evolution of Plasma Mobile and bring us closer to Plasma Mobile 1.0 we are hosting an online sprint this week. We see this as a perfect opportunity to get new people involved and ask everyone interested to join us. We will have two days of discussion about various mobile-related topics as well as a day dedicated to onboarding new people. On top of that, we are having an AMA with the core developers on /r/kde.

  • Zstandard (zstd) Coming to >= gentoo-sources-5.6.4 (use=experimental)

    I just added zstd to gentoo-sources which will apply to gentoo-sources kernels >=5.6.4 when the ‘experimental’ use flag is enabled. zstd is described here[1] as “…a fast lossless compression algorithm, targeting real-time compression scenarios at zlib-level and better compression ratios. It’s backed by a very fast entropy stage, provided by Huff0 and FSE library.”

Free Software in Science and Education

  • CADO-NFS: Crible Algébrique: Distribution, Optimisation - Number Field Sieve

    CADO-NFS is a complete implementation in C/C++ of the Number Field Sieve (NFS) algorithm for factoring integers and computing discrete logarithms in finite fields. It consists in various programs corresponding to all the phases of the algorithm, and a general script that runs them, possibly in parallel over a network of computers. CADO-NFS is distributed under the Gnu Lesser General Public License (LGPL) version 2.1 (or any later version).

  • [Cado-nfs-discuss] Factorization of RSA-250

    This computation was performed with the Number Field Sieve algorithm, using the open-source CADO-NFS software [2].

    The total computation time was roughly 2700 core-years, using Intel Xeon Gold 6130 CPUs as a reference (2.1GHz): [...]

  • Could the coronavirus be the best thing to happen to higher education?

    Universities should embrace this staff engagement and seize the opportunity to transform pedagogy to meet the needs of the next generation of students. Incoming undergraduate and graduate students will have elevated expectations about the use of technology on campuses. In fact, they may already be accustomed to technology-enabled pedagogy, since schools in an increasing number of districts are light years ahead of higher education in this regard.

    Once we get beyond the current crisis, universities should shift the focus from basic training on tools to more advanced training incorporating course design and assessment of learning. Faculty enthusiasm may well be less than we are seeing now, but if we can get the messaging to resonate with faculty, they may just start participating in droves. That messaging should celebrate their current achievements with online tools while also recognising their pain points, and offer the training as an opportunity to build on that success and solve their technology-related teaching challenges.

  • Never Let A Crisis Go To Waste

    Elsevier and the other oligopoly academic publishers have reacted similarly in earlier virus outbreaks. Prof. John Willinsky pounced on this admission that these companies normal restrictive access policies based on copyright ownership slow the progress of science, and thus violate the US Constitution's intellectual [sic] property [sic] clause:

    That Congress shall have Power...To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries.

    Below the fold I provide some details of his proposal.

Games: For The People, Total War: THREE KINGDOMS - A World Betrayed, Mesa, Humble Store and Stadia

  • For The People Announced For Windows PC, Mac, and Linux

    You play as the newly elected mayor of Iron-1, a city in an alternate take on the Soviet Union. Navigate the politics of the Commonwealth of Orange Collectives as you fight for democratic reforms, or embrace your inner authoritarian dictator.

  • Total War: THREE KINGDOMS - A World Betrayed expansion now supports Linux

    Today, porting studio Feral Interactive have released the Total War: THREE KINGDOMS - A World Betrayed expansion for Linux (and macOS) following the Windows release last month. With a brand new start date at 194 CE, A World Betrayed portrays a seminal moment in the history of the Three Kingdoms. Many of the iconic warlords of Total War: THREE KINGDOMS have now passed on, a catalyst that has spurred a new generation of warlords into making a play for their own dynasties.

  • Mesa 20.1's RADV Lands More Performance Improvements For Recent id Tech Games

    A number of recent id Tech games (though seemingly not DOOM Eternal) have seen another performance optimization with Mesa 20.1's RADV Radeon Vulkan driver. ID Tech games like Wolfenstein: Youngblood, Doom (2016), and Wolfenstein 2 should be seeing better performance with the very latest Mesa 20.1-devel Git code as of today for this open-source Radeon Vulkan driver. This comes after various Mesa RADV improvements in recent days centered around the new DOOM Eternal game under Steam Play. All of these recent ID Tech games can run nicely on Linux thanks to Valve's Steam Play built off Wine/Proton.

  • Humble Store has a big 'City Builder' sale going with lots of time consuming goodies cheap

    While not all of the games on sale fit directly as a 'city builder', they all at least have you build and manage something. The Humble City Builder Sale is live and there's some great Linux games in it.

  • Google announces three more games coming to Stadia including Monster Boy and the Cursed Kingdom

    Now that the Linux-powered game streaming service Stadia is open to everyone with two months of Stadia Pro free (if your country is listed for entry that is), Google has announced another three games coming. Dates aren't listed, Google simply said "later this year" for all three of them.

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