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Jessie Freeze, Reviews, and Linux Outlaws Quitting

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Today in Linux news, Debian 8 is frozen and Canonical confirms an Ubuntu tablet is in the works. Two reviews landed yesterday on the Kano Linux computer, one today on Ubuntu, and another on openSUSE 13.2. Linux Australia is now censoring its mailing list and Jack Wallen says Ubuntu 14.10 was a boring release because they are in a holding pattern.

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More in Tux Machines

Trying Out The Skia+Vulkan Powered LibreOffice 6.5 Development Build

Skia is more modern and much better maintained than Cairo so that alone is a huge win, but the Vulkan support makes it even more interesting with not being aware of any other open or proprietary office programs with Vulkan drawing support. I tried out a new development build of LibreOffice and it's indeed working when activating the Skia code path. The Skia usage can be done either on a CPU or Vulkan if a Vulkan-supported GPU/driver is detected and needing Vulkan 1.1. At least from some basic testing, the LibreOffice Skia+Vulkan configuration does appear to be a bit faster when dealing with scrolling / presentation of large documents/spreadsheets. Unfortunately I am not aware of any LibreOffice UI-representative benchmarks, but just from my experience so far in testing the latest LO 6.5 development build. I didn't try the CPU-based Skia support to know whether any changes "feel" like they are from the transition to Skia as opposed to the Vulkan-based drawing, but when this follow-on release to LibreOffice 6.4 approaches later on in 2020 I will be around with more testing. It would be great if LibreOffice has a representative UI benchmark (there is this LibreOffice test profile albeit limited to document conversion/handling operations and not encompassing the UI). Read more

Why FOSS is still not on activist agendas

On December 13th, 2006, author Bruce Byfield reflected on why he thought Free and Open Source Software (F.O.S.S.) was not on activist agendas. My interpretation of his views are that a knowledge barrier about technology makes FOSS less accessible, the insular nature of activism makes collaboration difficult, and FOSS activists reaching out to other activists with shared values should be encouraged. On December 13th, 2019, is FOSS on activist agendas? The answer is not black or white, but a gray somewhere in the middle. This is my response to Byfield’s article, thirteen years later, on what he got right but also what he left out. Read more

today's leftovers

  • Sysadmins: How many spare cords do you have sitting around?

    I was recently reading a thread over on r/sysadmin on Reddit called "Every single one of you has a big box of cords" and it got me thinking: is that true? Are we all cord hoarders? Or do some of us manage to keep our unused computer accessories in check? So I thought I'd ask our own readers: How many extra cords do you have sitting around? I went through a few iterations of how to phrase the responses: How many kilograms? How many meters? What's the exact count? How many kinds? But if you're anything like me, giving an answer that's anything more than a ballpark is undoable. The Raleigh, NC-based Enable Sysadmin staff recently shifted workspaces, and aside from lots of other interesting finds from the years of collected detritus at our desks were an awful lot of cords. Fortunately, it was a good opportunity to clear some of these out. Sadly, though, my personal collection far exceeds those that I rehomed in my move here at work. And that's after I made significant inroads in clearing out my cable clutter in the past year. It's just a never-ending battle.

  • AMD Pushes Updated AMDVLK Vulkan Code Following Adrenalin 2020 Unveil

    Earlier this week AMD unveiled the Radeon Software Adrenalin 2020 Edition driver and we await a Radeon Software for Linux / AMDGPU-PRO driver update for Linux users on supported distributions. But AMD has begun pushing some updated AMDVLK open-source Vulkan driver code ahead of a possible tagged release in the next few days.

  • Really, really awesome Raspberry Pi NeoPixel LED mirror

    Check out Super Make Something’s awesome NeoPixel LED mirror: a 576 RGB LED display that converts images via the Raspberry Pi Camera Module and Raspberry Pi 3B+ into a pixelated light show.

  • HackEEG Arduino Shield Reads Signals from Your Brain (EEG), Muscles (EMG), and Heart (EKG)
  • Golly – exploring cellular automata like the Game of Life

    Golly is a free and open source cross-platform application for exploring Conway’s Game of Life and many other types of cellular automata. A cellular automaton is a model studied in computer science, mathematics, physics, complexity science, theoretical biology, and microstructure modeling. The Game of Life is an example of a set of rules often known as a “cellular automation”. Life takes place on an arbitrary-sized grid of square cells. Each cell has two states “dead” or “alive”. The state of each cells changes from one “generation” to the next only on the state of its eight immediate neighbors. The British mathematician John Conway invented the Game of Life in the late 1960s. He chose rules that produced the most unpredictable behaviour.

  • Top tech conferences to attend in 2020

    Understanding the expanding technology universe takes diligence and patience, as chief information officers and other IT decision makers are tasked with setting technology priorities to serve the long-term needs of a business. It's easier said than done. To help navigate the changing world, research firms, vendors, collectives and communities put on conferences dedicated to enterprise technology covering the breadth of top concerns including data management, cloud strategy and security concerns.

  • Twitter wants to fund an open source social media standard

    Centralised solutions, he says, can't meet the challenges ahead. "For instance, centralised enforcement of global policy to address abuse and misleading information is unlikely to scale over the long-term without placing far too much burden on people," he tweeted.

    There's also the fact that social media is moving from content hosting and removal to algorithms directing people towards content. "Unfortunately, these algorithms are typically proprietary, and one can't choose or build alternatives. Yet."

  • End of term report for healthcare IT

    The research at Imperial that was widely reported in the past week was pointing at the fact that a high proportion of patients are seen without a full record available to the treating clinician. This is highlighted where care takes place in more than one organisation and information is not shared. The press articles written about this, that I have seen, were woefully wide of the mark, talking about the fact that as many as 21 different systems are used in a health provider (it can be many more), but that the answer was once again to move to one system.

    Ironically, large monoliths might not be as good at interoperability at those that need to do it for a living. This may be changing, but systems that are built to do everything typically find it easier to just build more functionality than to message or share platforms. The real problem forms at the edge though, and in a world where patients move around between organisations we need systems where their information flows with them.

  • Report: Over half of people working with APIs are not developers

    API development firm Postman has released some interesting findings about the various types of people who are engaging with APIs.

    Most people would probably assume developers are the core group of people who are using APIs. However, 53 percent of the 10,000 respondents do not have the title of "developer".

    That's a significant increase over last year when 59 percent of respondents said they were either front-end or back-end developers.

  • SAP users in the UK struggling to meet 2025 ECC6 maintenance deadline

    The UK&I SAP User Group's chairman said the complexity of the migration means customers are struggling to make the business case within their organisation

  • The New bluesabre.org

    It's faster. Ghost is fast without any help, providing all the publishing tools I need and (from what I can tell) none that I don't. To further speed things up, I've optimized all of the images on my site for small download sizes and super-fast loading.

Screencasts and Shows: ArcoLinux 19.12 Run Through, TechSNAP and Python Bytes