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Linux Kernel 4.3.5 Is the Biggest Update in the Series, Users Urged to Update

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After informing us about the availability of Linux kernel 4.4.1 LTS, Linux kernel 4.1.17 LTS, Linux kernel 3.10.96 LTS, and Linux kernel 3.14.60 LTS, kernel maintainer Greg Kroah-Hartman has now published details about the fifth maintenance release in the Linux 4.3 kernel series.

Looking at the appended shortlog, we can't help but notice that Linux kernel 4.3.5 is the biggest in the series, changing a total of 172 files, with 1,622 insertions and 722 deletions. Improvements include dozens of fixes for the ARM64 (AArch64), PowerPC (PPC), and x86 hardware architectures, but also for the MIPS, ARM, and MN10300 ones.

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Also: AMD Zeppelin Processor with 32 x86 Zen Cores Spotted in Linux Changelog – EHP Variant Will Have Vega 10 Graphics with HBM2

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Games for GNU/Linux

  • Why GNU/Linux ports can be less performant, a more in-depth answer
    When it comes to data handling, or rather data manipulation, different APIs can perform it in different ways. In one, you might simply be able to modify some memory and all is ok. In another, you might have to point to a copy and say "use that when you can instead and free the original then". This is not a one way is better than the other discussion - it's important only that they require different methods of handling it. Actually, OpenGL can have a lot of different methods, and knowing the "best" way for a particular scenario takes some experience to get right. When dealing with porting a game across though, there may not be a lot of options: the engine does things a certain way, so that way has to be faked if there's no exact translation. Guess what? That can affect OpenGL state, and require re-validation of an entire rendering pipeline, stalling command submission to the GPU, a.k.a less performance than the original game. It's again not really feasible to rip apart an entire game engine and redesign it just for that: take the performance hit and carry on. Note that some decisions are based around _porting_ a game. If one could design from the ground up with OpenGL, then OpenGL would likely give better performance...but it might also be more difficult to develop and test for. So there's a bit of a trade-off there, and most developers are probably going to be concerned with getting it running on Windows first, GNU/Linux second. This includes engine developers.
  • Why Linux games often perform worse than on Windows
    Drivers on Windows are tweaked rather often for specific games. You often see a "Game Ready" (or whatever term they use now) driver from Nvidia and AMD where they often state "increased performance in x game by x%". This happens for most major game releases on Windows. Nvidia and AMD have teams of people to specifically tweak the drivers for games on Windows. Looking at Nvidia specifically, in the last three months they have released six new drivers to improve performance in specific games.
  • Thoughts on 'Stellaris' with the 'Leviathans Story Pack' and latest patch, a better game that still needs work
  • Linux community has been sending their love to Feral Interactive & Aspyr Media
    This is awesome to see, people in the community have sent both Feral Interactive & Aspyr Media some little care packages full of treats. Since Aspyr Media have yet to bring us the new Civilization game, it looks like Linux users have been guilt-tripping the porters into speeding up, or just sending them into a sugar coma.
  • Feral Interactive's Linux ports may come with Vulkan sooner than we thought
  • Using Nvidia's NVENC with OBS Studio makes Linux game recording really great
    I had been meaning to try out Nvidia's NVENC for a while, but I never really bothered as I didn't think it would make such a drastic difference in recording gaming videos, but wow does it ever! I was trying to record a game recently and all other methods I tried made the game performance utterly dive, making it impossible to record it. So I asked for advice and eventually came to this way.

Leftovers: Software

  • DocKnot 1.00
    I'm a bit of a perfectionist about package documentation, and I'm also a huge fan of consistency. As I've slowly accumulated more open source software packages (alas, fewer new ones these days since I have less day-job time to work on them), I've developed a standard format for package documentation files, particularly the README in the package and the web pages I publish. I've iterated on these, tweaking them and messing with them, trying to incorporate all my accumulated wisdom about what information people need.
  • Shotwell moving along
    A new feature that was included is a contrast slider in the enhancement tool, moving on with integrating patches hanging around on Bugzilla for quite some time.
  • GObject and SVG
    GSVG is a project to provide a GObject API, using Vala. It has almost all, with some complementary, interfaces from W3C SVG 1.1 specification. GSVG is LGPL library. It will use GXml as XML engine. SVG 1.1 DOM interfaces relays on W3C DOM, then using GXml is a natural choice. SVG is XML and its DOM interfaces, requires to use Object’s properties and be able to add child DOM Elements; then, we need a new set of classes.
  • LibreOffice 5.1.6 Office Suite Released for Enterprise Deployments with 68 Fixes
    Today, October 27, 2016, we've been informed by The Document Foundation about the general availability of the sixth maintenance update to the LibreOffice 5.1 open-source and cross-platform office suite. You're reading that right, LibreOffice 5.1 got a new update not the current stable LibreOffice 5.2 branch, as The Document Foundation is known to maintain at least to versions of its popular office suite, one that is very well tested and can be used for enterprise deployments and another one that offers the latest technologies.

Security News

  • Thursday's security updates
  • Mirai will be dwarfed by future Android botnet DDoS attacks, Lookout warns
    THE MIRAI BOTNET will seem like nothing compared to the havoc that is caused when hackers turn their attention to hijacking Android smartphones, Lookout’s security research chief has warned. Speaking to the INQUIRER, Mike Murray said it would be easy for cyber crooks to take over millions of smartphones, noting how often the Android requires patching.
  • Deal Seeks to Limit Open-Source Bugs
    Seeking to spot potential security vulnerabilities in systems that increasingly rely on open source software, software license optimization vendor Flexera Software has acquired a specialist in identifying potentially vulnerable software components. Flexera, Itasca, Ill., said Thursday (Oct. 27) it is acquiring San Francisco-based Palamida Inc. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
  • Senator Wants to Classify Insecure Internet of Things Devices As 'Harmful'
    A massive attack carried out with a zombie army of hacked internet-connected devices caused intermittent outages on Friday, preventing tens of thousands of people from accessing popular sites such as Twitter, Reddit, and Netflix. For many security experts, an attack like that one, which leveraged thousands of easy-to-hack Internet of Things such as DVRs and surveillance cameras—weaponized thanks to a mediocre but effective malware known as Mirai—is just a sign of things to come. That’s why Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.) wants the US government to do something about it.
  • Senator Prods Federal Agencies on IoT Mess
    The co-founder of the newly launched Senate Cybersecurity Caucus is pushing federal agencies for possible solutions and responses to the security threat from insecure “Internet of Things” (IoT) devices, such as the network of hacked security cameras and digital video recorders that were reportedly used to help bring about last Friday’s major Internet outages. In letters to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Virginia Senator Mark Warner (D) called the proliferation of insecure IoT devices a threat to resiliency of the Internet.