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Chromebooks, ChromeOS, Chrome and GNU/Linux

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  • Google to Separate Chrome Browser from Chrome OS

    In its initial days, Chrome OS usually got dismissed as a sophisticated web browser due its web-first approach and the lack of app compatibility. Chrome OS has significantly evolved as a platform since then and has reached a position where it can serve as the primary operating system in your PC.

    If you’re using a Chromebook as your main computer, you are likely to see an error message that reads “This device will no longer receive the latest software updates. Please consider upgrading” when it reaches end of life. Since Google Chrome is deeply integrated with Chrome OS, this means that you will not receive updates once your Chromebook gets deprecated.

  • What is LaCrOS for Chromebooks and why does it matter?

    Earlier this year, 9to5 Google caught code changes about something called LaCrOS. Work has progressed on this enough to the point where LaCrOS is available in the Canary Channel of Chrome OS 87, appearing as another Chrome browser icon. That’s because Google is decoupling the Chrome browser from Chrome OS on Chromebooks. And it’s using Linux to do this.

    We know this because of a Google document explaining what LaCrOS is and what it stands for: Linux And ChRome OS. That’s right, the Chrome browser will be independent of Chrome OS and appears to be based on a Linux version of Chrome with improved Wayland support.

  • The rise and fall of NewBlue, Google's attempt to "fix" Bluetooth on Chrome OS

    It is a well-known fact that Google has a rough history with Bluetooth. While the Bluetooth situation on Chromebooks is improving thanks to recent development, many of us who pair Bluetooth peripherals to our Chromebooks like wireless earbuds or mice will know that the wireless experience isn’t perfect. In 2018, with Bluetooth devices on the rise and the launch of the Pixel Slate looming, Google likely felt pressured to tackle this problem. This led to an experiment with a brand new Bluetooth daemon, in an ambitious project known as NewBlue.

    After more than two years of development, NewBlue was enabled by default on all Chromebooks, starting at Chrome OS version 80. The Chromium developers had hoped this would resolve the Bluetooth issues on Google's browser-based OS; but in the end, NewBlue didn’t last long.

  • Four operating systems: One device. How the Chromebook will become the universal laptop.

    Seriously, when was the last time you did any serious work with macOS or Windows without an internet connection? Anytime this decade? The 2010s? Sure, if you're editing video, gaming, or working with an older vertical program, you still need a powerful PC with a standalone operating system. But, for most of us, our work lives and dies with the internet.

    Every corporate program--and I mean every corporate program--has first been moving to a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) model. More recently, with Chromebooks leading the way, most major technology companies are moving to a Desktop-as-a-Service (DaaS) model, where even your desktop resides much more on the cloud than in your office.

An update

  • Google wants to separate browser and Chrome OS updates to extend your Chromebook’s life [Updated]

    When buying a new Chromebook, one thing we should all by now be trained to look out for is its “expiration date,” or the date after which you’ll no longer receive updates. It seems Google has found a clever potential solution to make the end of OS updates less of a death sentence for your Chromebook by separating browser updates from Chrome OS updates.

    Update: We’ve now gotten our first look at Google’s efforts to let Chromebooks continue to get browser updates well past their “expiration date.”

Chrome separates from Chrome OS

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Tumbleweed Gets New KDE Frameworks, systemd

KDE Frameworks 5.74.0 and systemd 246.4 became available in openSUSE Tumbleweed after two respective snapshots were released this week. Hypervisor Xen, libstorage-ng, which is a C++ library used by YaST, and text editor vim were also some of the packages update this week in Tumbleweed. The most recent snapshot released is 20200919. KDE Frameworks 5.74.0 was released earlier this month and its packages made it into this snapshot. KConfig introduced a method to query the KConfigSkeletonItem default value. KContacts now checks the length of the full name of an email address before trimming it with an address parser. KDE’s lightweight UI framework for mobile and convergent applications, Kirigami, made OverlaySheet of headers and footers use appropriate background colors, updated the app template and introduced a ToolBarLayout native object. Several other 5.74.0 Framework packages were update like Plasma Framework, KTestEditor and KIO. Bluetooth protocol bluez 5.55 fixed several handling issues related to the Audio/Video Remote Control Profile and the Generic Attribute Profile. A reverted Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures patch that was recommended by upstream in cpio 2.13 was once again added. GObject wrapper libgusb 0.3.5 fixed version scripts to be more portable. Documentation was fixed and translations were made for Finnish, Hindi and Russian in the 4.3.42 libstorage-ng update. YaST2 4.3.27 made a change to hide the heading of the dialog when no title is defined or the title is set to an empty string. Xen’s minor updated reverted a previous libexec change for a qemu compatibility wrapper; the path used exists in domU.xml files in the emulator field. The snapshot is trending stable at a 99 rating, according to the Tumbleweed snapshot reviewer. Read more

Games: Arch Conf 2020, Pixelorama, Hearts of Iron IV: Battle for the Bosporus and More

  • Arch Conf 2020 confirmed for October, has a talk on the SteamOS-like GamerOS

    Want to learn more about Arch Linux? In October they've confirmed Arch Conf 2020 is happening and there's going to be plenty of interesting talks. All of which will be online of course, especially with COVID19 still raging on. The dates set for it are between October 10-11 and the talks will be quite varied starting with a talk about the past, present and future of Arch Linux as the first which starts on October 10, 10:00am UTC.

  • Arch Conf 2020 schedule

    On the 10th and 11th of October there is going to be an online edition of Arch Conf. The conference is going to have presentations from the Arch team along with community submitted presentations and lightning talks. We are proud to announce the first revision of the schedule!

  • Free and open source sprite editor 'Pixelorama' gets a massive upgrade

    If you're working with sprites and pixel-art, you need to pay attention to Pixelorama as this free and open source program is coming on nicely and another massive upgrade is out now. As an editor for artists, the 0.8 release that went up on September 23 has made it that step closer to an all-in-one solution for all your sprite needs. There's now a lot of different built in tools you can use, different pixel modes, animation support and much more.

  • Hearts of Iron IV: Battle for the Bosporus announced for release in October

    Hearts of Iron IV takes aim at the Turkish Straits with the Hearts of Iron IV: Battle for the Bosporus country pack that's coming on October 15. As one of Paradox's best-selling and most loved titles, there appears to be no end in sight for continuing to expand the experience with plenty of new events and decision paths. This new DLC will let you take control of the destinies of Bulgaria, Greece or Turkey through years of uncertainty and conflict.

  • StoryArcana is an upcoming open-world wizard school RPG

    Become like the wizard you always wanted to be in StoryArcana, an upcoming wizard school RPG that looks like it could be a huge amount of fun. It's not another roguelike experience full of random generation. Instead, StoryArcana has a focus on mystery solving, exploration, puzzles and a combat system based around intricate spellcasting. Mixing together a week of learning new spells and exploring your academy to find a secret or two, with running around a big city on the weekends to pick up new quests and perhaps a fancy new broom to fly on. [...] We spoke with the developer of email recently, and they confirmed StoryArcana will be "readily available to play on Linux the same day it launches on Windows and Mac OS". They're building it with the pretty amazing Construct game engine, so everything is built with web-tech.

  • Be a ruthless 80s salesman and close those deals in Dirty Land

    Dirty Land puts you in the shoes of Frank Marsh, a newly hired salesman for Pure Sky Properties, a real estate office where coffee is for closers and the status quo is hawking swamp land to unsuspecting buyers for a tidy profit. Inspired by classic 80s and 90s sales movies like Glengarry Glen Ross. Currently in development by Canadian crew Naturally Intelligent, the same developer behind the quirky title Patchman vs. Red Circles. Dirty Land will see if you prefer to scrape by honestly, or throw ethics out the window and make some quick cash.

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