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Two new Asus laptops offer an Ubuntu Linux option

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Hardware
Ubuntu

As the arrival of Windows 8 draws ever nearer, it's not surprising to see the debut of a flurry of devices featuring the new OS.

There's no doubt a great deal is riding on Windows 8, but it remains to be seen whether consumers will take to its cross-device approach or not, as usability experts have pointed out.

No wonder, then, that some PC makers are hedging their bets.

Rest here




More in Tux Machines

Linux Foundation and Standards/Consortia

  • Linux Foundation To Boost Open Software Standards With Community Specification
  • New Community Specification Process Facilitates Open Standards

    The Linux Foundation has announced Community Specification, which aims to facilitate and accelerate the creation of open standards. “Open Standards are best defined as specifications made available to the public, developed, and maintained via an inclusive, collaborative, transparent, and consensus-driven process. Open standards facilitate interoperability and data exchange among different products or services and are intended for widespread adoption,” according to a recent post on the Linux Foundation website.

  • Driving Compatibility with Code and Specifications through Conformance Trademark Programs

    A key goal of some open collaboration efforts — whether source code or specification oriented — is to prevent technical ‘drift’ away from a core set of functions or interfaces. Projects seek a means to communicate — and know — that if a downstream product or open source project is held out as compatible with the project’s deliverable, that product or component is, in fact, compatible. Such compatibility strengthens the ecosystem by providing end-users with confidence that data and solutions from one environment can work in another conformant environment with minimal friction. It also provides product and solution providers a stable set of known interfaces they can depend on for their commercially supported offerings. A trademark conformance program, which is one supporting program that the LF offers its projects, can be used to encourage conformance with the project’s code base or interfaces. Anyone can use the open source project code however they want — subject to the applicable open source license — but if a downstream solution wants to describe itself as conformant using the project’s conformance trademark, it must meet the project’s definition of “conformant.” Some communities choose to use words other than “conformant” including “certified”, “ready”, or “powered by” in association with commercial uses of the open source codebase. This is the approach that some Linux Foundation projects take to maintain compatibility and reduce fragmentation of code and interfaces. Through this approach, we enable our projects to create flexible, custom-tailored conformance programs to meet the needs of their respective communities. In fact, our conformance programs can operate as open source projects themselves (see, for example, https://cncf.io/ck ). They incorporate a balance of interests from vendors, end-users, and contributors to the project and enable the community to define how the commercial ecosystem participants can leverage the use of the community’s mark.

  • Google's AMP, the Canonical Web, and the Importance of Web Standards

    Have you ever clicked on a link after googling something, only to find that Google didn’t take you to the actual webpage but to some weird Google-fied version of it? Instead of the web address being the source of the article, it still says “google” in the address bar on your phone? That’s what’s known as Google Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP), and now Google has announced that AMP has graduated from the OpenJS Foundation Incubation Program. The OpenJS Foundation is a merged effort between major projects in the JavaScript ecosystem, such as NodeJS and jQuery, whose stated mission is “to support the healthy growth of the JavaScript and web ecosystem”. But instead of a standard starting with the web community, a giant company is coming to the community after they’ve already built a large part of the mobile web and are asking for a rubber stamp. Web community discussion should be the first step of making web standards, and not just a last-minute hurdle for Google to clear.

    This Google-backed, stripped down HTML framework was created with the promises of creating faster web pages for a better user experience. Cutting out slower loading content, like those developed with JavaScript. At a high level, AMP works by fast loading stripped down versions of full web pages for mobile viewing.

  • Open Standards Everywhere: How the Kolkata Chapter Got a Perfect Score

    In early May 2020, the Open Standards Everywhere (OSE) project held a series of virtual training sessions for Internet Society Chapters. Over 70 Chapter representatives from around the world learned, in English, French, or Spanish, how to improve the overall security and availability of their Chapter’s websites and web servers by enabling IPv6, HTTP/2, TLS, and DNSSEC.

Changing Language

  • Tech Companies Take Steps to Change Exclusionary Language

    In an article on The New Stack in June, Jennifer Riggins discussed recent decisions by some tech companies to phase out the use of exclusionary language. For example, Android and GitHub have announced that they will switch from the use of “master” to “main,” and other organizations and projects are following suit. These steps stem in part from efforts to show tangible support for Black Lives Matter. At times, however, Riggins said, “it is virtue signaling, a relatively easy way to show a company supports the movement. In still other cases, employees have been long wanting to make a change to the outdated language, and now is the perfect time to appeal to decision-makers about this.”

  • Red Hat making open source code more inclusive by eradicating ‘problematic language’

    Open source has always been about differing voices coming together to share ideas, iterate, challenge the status quo, solve problems, and innovate quickly. That ethos is rooted in inclusion and the opportunity for everyone to meaningfully contribute, and open source technology is better because of the diverse perspectives and experiences that are represented in its communities. Red Hat is fortunate to be able to see the impact of this collaboration daily, and this is why our business has also always been rooted in these values.

  • Words Matter: Finally, Tech Looks at Removing Exclusionary Language

    This month the tech industry’s lexicon is seeing a small but significant shift: Common technical phrases, most notably “Master/Slave” and “Whitelist/Blacklist” that have been red-flagged as offensive, or even racist, sometimes for decades, are getting updates. Android and GitHub announced this week that it is starting to changing “master” designation to “main,” alongside Android, Gitlab and Splunk. Many orgs are also looking at replacing the concept of “whitelist” in both its documentation and in its APIs. Other companies and open source projects are following suit. This work is in part to take another semantic and moral stand that Black Lives Matter. And, at times, it is virtue signaling, a relatively easy way to show a company supports the movement. In still other cases, employees have been long wanting to make a change to the outdated language, and now is the perfect time to appeal to decision-makers about this.

Graphics: Mesa, Mircade/Mir, Intel/DRM-Next and UBO Sighting

  • Mesa CI Optimization Could Provide Big Bandwidth Savings

    You may recall that earlier this year X.Org/FreeDesktop.org may have to cut CI services for developers over the cloud expenses associated with that continuous integration service for the likes of Mesa, the X.Org Server, and other components. CI usage was leading to a lot of bandwidth consumption so much so that the X.Org Foundation is facing potential ~70k USD cloud costs this year largely from their continuous integration setup. Since then there has been some work on better optimizing their continuous integration setup with Jenkins and within the latest Mesa Git is some further tuning.

  • A snap confined shell based on Mir: Mircade (or Mircade: An example snap confined user shell)

    There are various scenarios and reasons for packaging a Snap confined shell and a selection of applications together in a confined environment. You might have applications that work well together for a particular task; or, you may want to offer a number of alternative applications and have them available on a wide range of target platforms. Mircade illustrates this approach.

  • Intel Rocket Lake Graphics Support Ready For Liftoff With Linux 5.9

    Intel has sent in their initial batch of graphics driver updates to DRM-Next that in turn are slated to land with the Linux 5.9 cycle once its merge window opens next month. Most significant with this Intel DRM-Next pull is the introduction of Rocket Lake support, the Comet Lake successor that is said to be a still-14nm part but making it most exciting will be the replacement of the longstanding Gen9 graphics with Gen12 graphics. Back in May Intel posted the open-source Rocket Lake patches but came just too late for getting them reviewed/tested in time for Linux 5.8 and thus diverted for the 5.9 cycle.

  • Mike Blumenkrantz: UBO Sighting

Games: Terra Nil, Vagrus, SteamDolls and More

  • Rebuild the ecosystem in the latest Terra Nil update

    Terra Nil is a city-builder that's about rebuilding the ecosystem and getting everything green, rather than painting the map grey with towers full of people. Originally made during a Game Jam, it's since been expanded that we covered before and again recently a huge update went out for it. You start off with nothing, just dirt and rocks and eventually need to turn it into a garden of eden. It's actually a little challenging too, as you need to carefully work around the wasteland to produce energy and water to expand without running out of your greenery currency.

  • Narrative RPG 'Vagrus - The Riven Realms' enters Early Access on July 22

    Vagrus - The Riven Realms is a currently in-development narrative-focused RPG that's currently doing a hybrid crowdfunding model on Fig and it's getting a wider release this month. Currently if you pledge on the Fig campaign you get Early Access there but they've now confirmed the GOG and Steam release will happen on July 22. Exciting, since it's actually quite remarkable and it's already won awards. Mixing together open-world exploration, turn-based strategic battles, resource management and more with engrossing writing and a fantastic art style I think it's something you're going to love.

  • Beyond a Steel Sky now confirmed for Linux PC on July 16

    After a recent Apple Arcade release and a bit of teasing about when PC players will get it on Steam, Revolution Software have now confirmed the date for Beyond a Steel Sky. On July 16, Beyond a Steel Sky will launch for Linux PC and Windows PC via Steam. For a GOG release, they have not confirmed if it's coming or any date yet. This date was confirmed on YouTube and Twitter. Beyond a Steel Sky is the long awaited sequel to Beneath a Steel Sky. Revolution Software actually are the original developer of Beneath a Steel Sky, plus Broken Sword: The Shadow of the Templars, Broken Sword II: The Smoking Mirror and more.

  • Dota 2 gets an 'Anonymous Mode' similar to options in CS:GO, TI10 Cache up

    Valve just quietly updated Dota 2 to include a new 'Anonymous Mode' bringing in options similar to what you can tweak in Counter-Strike: Global Offensive. This new mode doesn't make you actually anonymous, so the name itself is perhaps a tiny bit misleading taken at face value. What it actually does at the tick of a box is clean up everyone else for you. For everyone not on your friends list it will (or at least it should) clear away avatars, nicknames and in-game chat messages. It will also stop guild info being sent from guilds you're not actually in.

  • Steampunk-inspired metroidvania 'Steamdolls' is a big Kickstarter success

    With David Hayter (the legendary Solid Snake) taking the the lead role as The Whisper, the steampunk inspired Steamdolls has been a huge success on Kickstarter. SteamDolls is a steampunk inspired metroidvania game with a grimy touch of brutality. You assume the role of a cunning thief and anarchist known as "The Whisper" and make your way through heavily secured environments. Blast your way to your objective or stick to the shadows and perform a violent "backstab kill" on unsuspecting guards as you struggle with the haunting apparitions of a mesmerizing witch trying to reveal the truth about a conspiracy that could shake the very foundation of the world.

  • Top-down tactical shooter RUNNING WITH RIFLES to get a German DLC

    RUNNING WITH RIFLES, a popular tactical shooter from Osumia Games is set to get a second expansion this August focused on the Germans. The expansion, RUNNING WITH RIFLES: EDELWEISS heads to the European theatre of World War II, first parachuting into Sicily before moving on to the invasion of Normandy, Belgium, and more. Focussing mostly on an 'Allied Paratrooper' narrative, Edelweiss charts the progress of the Allies attacks across Europe. They're saying it should release on August 27 unless there's major issues.

  • Demonstrating Perl with Tic-Tac-Toe, Part 3

    The articles in this series have mainly focused on Perl’s ability to manipulate text. Perl was designed to manipulate and analyze. But Perl is capable of much more. More complex problems often require working with sets of data objects and indexing and comparing them in elaborate ways to compute some desired result. For working with sets of data objects, Perl provides arrays and hashes. Hashes are also known as associative arrays or dictionaries. This article will prefer the term hash because it is shorter. The remainder of this article builds on the previous articles in this series by demonstrating basic use of arrays and hashes in Perl.