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Tuesday, 26 Sep 17 - Tux Machines is a community-driven public service/news site which has been around for over a decade and primarily focuses on GNU/LinuxSubscribe now Syndicate content

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A New Era for Free Software Non-Profits

Filed under
OSS
Legal

The US Internal Revenue Service has ushered in a new and much more favorable treatment for free software projects seeking to have 501c3 tax exempt non-profit organizations of their own. After years of suffering from a specially prejudicial environment at IRS, free software projects—particularly new projects starting out and seeking organizational identity and the ability to solicit and receive tax-deductible contributions for the first time—can now do so much more easily, and with confident expectation of fast, favorable review. For lawyers and others counseling free software projects, this is without question “game-changing.”

At SFLC, we have ridden all the ups and downs of the US tax law’s interaction with free software non-profits. When I formed SFLC—which in addition to being a 501c3 tax-deductible organization under US federal tax law is also a non-profit educational corporation under NY State law—in 2005, we acquired our federal 501c3 determination in less than 70 days. Over our first several years of operation, we shepherded several of our clients through the so-called “1023 process,” named after the form on which one applies for 501c3 determination, as well as creating several 501c3-determined “condominium” or “conservancy” arrangements, to allow multiple free software projects to share one tax-deductible legal identity.

But by the middle of the Obama Administration’s first term, our ability to get new 501c3 determinations from the IRS largely ceased. The Service’s Exempt Organizations Division began scrutinizing certain classes of 1023’s particularly closely, forming task forces to centralize review of—and, seemingly, to prevent success of—these classes of application. In our practice on behalf of free software projects seeking legal organization and tax exemption, we began to deal with unremitting Service pushback against our clients’ applications. Sometimes, the determination to refuse our clients’ applications seemed to indicate a fixed political prejudice against their work; more than once we were asked by IRS examiners “What if your software is used by terrorists?”

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City of Rennes to tackle IT vendor lock-in

Filed under
OSS

Rennes, France’s eleventh largest city, aims to get rid of IT vendor lock-in. To begin with, the city will switch to Zimbra, an open source-based collaboration and email solution. Next year, it will commence a feasibility study into other free and open source software applications, including office productivity tools.

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Via: Thin Edge Of The Wedge

Red Hat's Patent Pledge, Openwashing, and Imminent Positive Results

Filed under
Red Hat
  • Red Hat expands its pioneering patent promise to the open source community

    Open source software business Red Hat this morning announced a big expansion of its patent promise, its commitment to not assert its patents against free and open source software which it launched in 2002. The expansion of the promise means that it now extends to all of Red Hat’s patents and so offers further defensive cover to the open source community.

    Red Hat claims that the new promise is significantly broader than the original agreement with the new version covering more than 99% of open source software compared with 35% for the original. The new promise also specifically covers permissive licences which, in recent years, have over taken copyleft licences as the most popular type of open source agreement.

  • Red Hat’s Patent Promise covers permissively-licensed code, offering broad protection for open innovation

    Red Hat announced on Thursday a significant revision of its Patent Promise, helping to protect open innovation. That promise, originating in 2002, was based on Red Hat’s intention not to enforce its patents against free and open source software.

    The expanded Patent Promise, while consistent with Red Hat’s prior positions, breaks new ground in expanding the amount of software covered and otherwise clarifying the scope of the promise. Red Hat believes its updated Patent Promise represents the broadest commitment to protecting the open source software community to date.

  • Red Hat Announces Broad Expansion to Open Source Patent Promise [Ed: Red Hat should toss out all the software patents, in case of takeover]

    Red Hat, Inc. (NYSE: RHT), the world's leading provider of open source solutions, today announced a significant revision of its Patent Promise. That promise, originating in 2002, was based on Red Hat’s intention not to enforce its patents against free and open source software. The new version significantly expands and extends Red Hat’s promise, helping to protect open innovation.

    In its original Patent Promise, Red Hat explained that its patent portfolio was intended to discourage patent aggression against free and open source software. The expanded version published today reaffirms this intention and extends the zone of non-enforcement. It applies to all of Red Hat’s patents, and all software licensed under well-recognized open source licenses.

    The expanded Patent Promise, while consistent with Red Hat’s prior positions, breaks new ground in expanding the amount of software covered and otherwise clarifying the scope of the promise. Red Hat believes its updated Patent Promise represents the broadest commitment to protecting the open source software community to date.

  • How 10,000 people helped us rediscover our purpose [Ed: Red Hat openwashing again]
  • Red Hat (RHT) to Report Q2 Earnings: Will it Beat Estimates?

Security: SEC Cracked, Back Doors in Manchester Police, NBN Scans, and Securing Wi-Fi

Filed under
Security
  • SEC reveals it was hacked, information may have been used for illegal stock trades
  • Manchester Police still runs Windows XP on 20 per cent of PCs

    The Met has recently signed a deal with storage company Box which will, amongst other things, reduce the amount of data held locally.

  • Manchester police still relies on Windows XP [Ed: update below]

    The BBC has appealed against its refusal to provide an update.

  • NBN leverages open source software to analyse faults

    A new NBN initiative will use a range of open source projects including Apache SPARK, Kafka, Flume, Cassandra and JanusGraph to help analyse and improve the end user experience on the National Broadband Network.

    The government-owned company today announced it was launching a new ‘Tech Lab’, which it hopes will provide insights into pain points for customers on its network and help resolve faults sooner.

  • 5 Ways to Secure Wi-Fi Networks

    Wi-Fi is one entry-point hackers can use to get into your network without setting foot inside your building because wireless is much more open to eavesdroppers than wired networks, which means you have to be more diligent about security.

    But there’s a lot more to Wi-Fi security than just setting a simple password. Investing time in learning about and applying enhanced security measures can go a long way toward better protecting your network. Here are six tips to betters secure your Wi-Fi network.

You lost your ballpoint pen, Slack? Why's your Linux version unsigned?

Filed under
Linux
Security

Slack is distributing open Linux-based versions of its technology that are not digitally signed, contrary to industry best practice.

The absence of a digital signature creates a means for miscreants to sling around doctored versions of the software that users wouldn't easily be able to distinguish from the real thing.

El Reg learned of the issue from reader Trevor Hemsley, who reported the problem to Slack back in August and only notified the media after a promised fix failed to appear.

Open source licensing: What every technologist should know

Filed under
OSS

If you’re a software developer today, you know how to use open source software, but do you know how and why open source licensing started? A little background will help you understand how and why the licenses work the way they do.

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Kali Linux 2017.2 Release

Filed under
Linux

We are happy to announce the release of Kali Linux 2017.2, available now for your downloading pleasure. This release is a roll-up of all updates and fixes since our 2017.1 release in April. In tangible terms, if you were to install Kali from your 2017.1 ISO, after logging in to the desktop and running ‘apt update && apt full-upgrade’, you would be faced with something similiar to this daunting message:

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Also: Kali Linux 2017.2 Released With New Hacking Tools — Download ISO And Torrent Files Here

Open source-based business lessons from a seasoned CEO

Filed under
Interviews
OSS

The default now is to build from open and in the open. So that's a positive. The downside is that by open source being the default, we may be getting a little lazy. If you remember back 5-10 years, open sourcing was a big deal, and it forced a level of rigor that may have led, in some cases, to founders and early investors taking better approaches to building their company—for example, shifting towards SaaS wherever possible, in part because of the ability to demonstrate clear value versus their own open source.

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Keeping up with advances in open source database administration

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OSS

The world of open source databases is rapidly evolving. It seems like every day brings a new release of an open source technology that might make a database administrator's life easier, if only he or she knew about it.

Fortunately, there are many ways to stay on top of what's going on with open source database technology. One such way is the Percona Live Open Source Database Conference, taking place next week in Dublin, Ireland. We've covered Percona Live before, and invite you to take a look back at some of our previous stories. From IoT to big data to working with the cloud, there's plenty to keep up with. Here are a look at a couple of the sessions you might enjoy, as described by the speakers.

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TUXEDO InfinityBook Pro 13 Review: a Powerful Ultrabook Running TUXEDO Xubuntu

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Reviews
Ubuntu

There is no doubt that the TUXEDO InfinityBook Pro 13 is not a powerful ultrabook, providing good value for the money. And having it shipped with a Linux OS pre-installed makes your Linux journey a breeze if you're just getting started with exploring the wonderful world of Open Source software and GNU/Linux technologies.

There are a few issues that caught our attention during our testing, and you should be aware of them before buying this laptop. For example, the LCD screen leaks light, which is most visible on a dark background and when watching movies. Also, the display is only be tilted back to about 120 degrees, which might be inconvenient for the owner.

The laptop doesn't heat up that much, and we find the backlit keyboard with the Tux logo on the Super key a plus when buying a TUXEDO InfinityBook Pro 13. Of course, if you don't need all this power, you can always buy any other laptop out there and install your favorite Linux OS on it, but it's not guaranteed that everything will work out of the box like on TUXEDO InfinityBook Pro 13.

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today's leftovers

Filed under
Misc
  • Sonic Mania ‘Plays Perfectly’ on Linux via WINE

    The Windows version of Sonic Mania is playable on Linux using WINE — and that’s not just me saying that, that’s a bunch of Linux gamers over on Reddit (where else?).

  • Icculus has ported The End is Nigh to on-demand service 'Jump', Linux may come soon plus some thoughts

    Ever heard of the on-demand subscription gaming service Jump? It's an on-demand game streaming service and Icculus just ported The End is Nigh to it.

    Recently, I wrote about how The End is Nigh might be coming to Linux. Sadly, that's not actually the case just yet. Announcing it on his Patreon, Icculus noted about his work to port it to the on-demand service Jump. They actually reached out to him to do it, as it turns out.

  • liveslak 1.1.9 and new ISO images

    The ‘liveslak‘ scripts used to create the ISO images for Slackware Live Edition have been stamped with a new version, 1.1.9. The updates are significant enough to warrant an ‘official’ update and new ISO images.

    The latest set of Slackware Live Edition ISOs are based on liveslak 1.1.9 and Slackware-current dated “Tue Sep 19 20:49:07 UTC 2017“. Just in time (I was already creating ISOS based on -current “Mon Sep 18 19:15:03 UTC 2017“) I noticed that Patrick downgraded the freetype package in Slackware, and I re-generated all of the ISO images to incorporate the latest freetype package – because that one is working and the previous one had serious issues.

    If you already use a Slackware Live USB stick that you do not want to re-format, you should use the “-r” parameter to the “iso2usb.sh” script. The “-r” or refresh parameter allows you to refresh the liveslak files on your USB stick without touching your custom content.

  • The best of Tizen deals from Samsung’s ‘Smart Utsav’ festive offers in India
  • Chrome 62 Beta: Network Quality Estimator API, OpenType variable fonts, and media capture from DOM elements

    Unless otherwise noted, changes described below apply to the newest Chrome Beta channel release for Android, Chrome OS, Linux, Mac, and Windows.

  • Chrome 62 Beta Released With OpenType Font Variations, DOM Media Capture

    Google has rolled out their public beta of the upcoming Chrome/Chromium 62 web-browser update.

  • Turning Off Wi-Fi and Bluetooth in iOS 11's Control Center Doesn’t Actually Turn Off Wi-Fi or Bluetooth [Ed: Proprietary software means you cannot trust it and anything you think it does it likely won't]

    Turning off Bluetooth and Wi-Fi when you're not using them on your smartphone has long been standard, common sense, advice. Unfortunately, with the iPhone's new operating system iOS 11, turning them off is not as easy as it used to be.

    Now, when you toggle Bluetooth and Wi-Fi off from the iPhone's Control Center—the somewhat confusing menu that appears when you swipe up from the bottom of the phone—it actually doesn't completely turn them off. While that might sound like a bug, that's actually what Apple intended in the new operating system. But security researchers warn that users might not realize this and, as a consequence, could leave Bluetooth and Wi-Fi on without noticing.

  • HP Brings Back Obnoxious DRM That Cripples Competing Printer Cartridges

    Around a year ago, HP was roundly and justly ridiculed for launching a DRM time bomb -- or a software update designed specifically to disable competing printer cartridges starting on a set date. As a result, HP Printer owners using third-party cartridges woke up one day to warnings about a "cartridge problem," or errors stating, "one or more cartridges are missing or damaged," or that the user was using an "older generation cartridge." The EFF was quick to lambast the practice in a letter to HP, noting that HP abused its security update mechanism to trick its customers and actively erode product functionality.

    HP only made matters worse for itself by claiming at the time that it was only looking out for the safety and security of its customers, while patting itself on the back for being pro-active about addressing a problem it caused -- only after a massive consumer backlash occurred.

  • EFF quits W3C over decision to accept EME as Web standard

     

    The Electronic Frontier Foundation has resigned from the World Wide Web Consortium after the latter announced it was accepting the published Encrypted Media Extensions as a Web standard.  

Programming: OpenJ9, HHVM, and Good API Documentation

Filed under
Development
  • IBM open-sources a microservices-friendly Java app server

    A few weeks ago, Nginx released its multilanguage microservices-friendly app server, but without Java support at launch. Now IBM has a beta build of its own microservices-friendly app server for Java applications: the open source Open Liberty, which implements IBM’s version of Java EE and MicroProfile microservices implementation.

    Open Liberty will provide a runtime supporting Java microservices that can be quickly updated and moved among different cloud environments. When combined with the Eclipse OpenJ9 Java Virtual Machine, OpenLiberty will provide a full Java stack, IBM said. (OpenJ9 had been IBM’s J9 JVM, which it contributed to the Eclipse Foundation that now manages Java EE.)

  • The Future of HHVM

    Several months ago, PHP officially announced the end-of-life for PHP5.

    The HHVM team is happy about the direction PHP has taken with PHP7, and we’re proud of the role we’ve played in pushing the language and runtime to where they are today. Since the PHP community is finally saying goodbye to PHP5, we’ve decided to do so as well.

  • The Ten Essentials for Good API Documentation

OSS: SRT, Redox OS, Apache Spark, Magento, OpenBSD and More

Filed under
OSS
  • SRT open-source video project adds transfer, multiplexing features that can reduce streaming costs

    The SRT Alliance, an open-source initiative focused on developing methods for low-latency video streaming, has released version 1.3 of the SRT video transport protocol.

    This version supports encrypted fast file transfer of VOD files and the multiplexing of streams within the same network port.

    Founded by streaming video providers Haivision and Wowza, the SRT Alliance is focused on developing an open source alternative to proprietary technologies.

  • Redox OS 0.3.3 Released, Lowers RAM Usage

    The Rust-written Redox operating system is out with a new feature release.

    Redox OS 0.3.3 is the operating system's new version and its primary benefit is much lower memory use. Redox OS 0.3.3 is now using just about 480MB of RAM rather than around 1.3GB.

  • Fast track Apache Spark

    These tips highlight Spark’s ability to deliver serious gains in productivity despite limited user computing capability. There is definitely an ideal Spark setup for each organization’s particular needs. One or all of the following will most likely be necessary once there is buy-in from stakeholders to create a robust analytics system: expanding to a cluster setup, building a data warehouse, and utilizing an infrastructure team. My hope is that this post has given you some tips to make it easier to create a proof-of-concept with Spark that justifies stakeholder investment, and that it has provided some pointers if you decide that a bare bones Spark setup is best for you.

  • Magento’s Open Source Release

    On 14th September 2017, Magento released “Open Source” (Magento 2.1.9) which seeks to improve and upgrade current Magento software.

    According to the Magento team, the new release contains 40 security fixes and enhancements.

  • Setup a desktop environment under OpenBSD with XFCE
  • Reasons to Open Source Your Syllabus

GNU/Linux, Docker Gain in Rented Space

Filed under
GNU
Linux
Server

LibreOffice Help From FSF, Mike Saunders

Filed under
LibO
  • New FSF membership benefit: LibreOffice certification

    The Free Software Foundation (FSF) today announced that the opportunity to apply for LibreOffice certification for migrations and trainings is now available to FSF Associate Members.

    LibreOffice is a free software project of The Document Foundation (TDF), a non-profit based in Germany. An office suite, LibreOffice encompasses word processing, and programs for the creation and editing of spreadsheets, slideshows, databases, diagrams and drawings, and mathematical formulae. It uses the ISO standard OpenDocument file format (ODF).

  • Marketing activities so far in 2017: Mike Saunders

    Thanks to donations to The Document Foundation, along with valued contributions from our community, we maintain a small team working on various aspects of LibreOffice including documentation, user interface design, quality assurance, release engineering and marketing. Together with Italo Vignoli, I help with the latter, and today I’ll summarise some of the achievements so far in 2017.

Debian/Ubuntu: Q4OS, Ubuntu Dock and LXD Weekly Status Update

Filed under
Debian
Ubuntu
  • There's Now a Windows 10 Installer for the Debian-Based Q4OS Linux Distribution

    The Q4OS development team is pleased to inform us today about the immediate availability for download of a Windows installer for their Debian-based GNU/Linux distribution, Q4OS, allowing users to create a dual-boot environment on their PCs.

    For those not familiar to Q4OS, it's an open-source and free Linux distro based on the popular Debian GNU/Linux operating system and built around the Trinity Desktop Environment (TDE), which resembles the look and feel of the old-school KDE 3.5 desktop environment.

    Created with an emphasis on Windows users who want to migrate to a free, open-source, and more secure operating system, Q4OS now lets them install the distribution alongside Microsoft Windows in an easy manner, without having to do any modifications to your personal computer or install any other apps.

  • Ubuntu Dock Now Has Dynamic Transparency

    Ubuntu devs have listened to our gripe on the jarring contrast between GNOME 3.26's transparent top bar and the Ubuntu Dock.

  • Ubuntu Dock Features Adaptive Transparency on Ubuntu 17.10, Here's How It Works

    Ubuntu contributor Didier Roche continues his development on the look and feel of the upcoming Ubuntu 17.10 (Artful Aardvark) operating system, and today he announced that Ubuntu Dock is getting adaptive transparency.

    Canonical confirmed that Ubuntu 17.10 would come with the GNOME 3.26 desktop environment by default, though the default session has suffered numerous modifications compared to the vanilla one to make things easier for those using the Unity interface on Ubuntu 17.04 (Zesty Zapus) or Ubuntu 16.04 LTS (Xenial Xerus).

    Most probably, Ubuntu 16.04 LTS users won't upgrade to Ubuntu 17.10, but we're sure Ubuntu 17.04 users will because it'll reach end of life in about four months from the moment of writing, sometime in January 2018. Therefore, Canonical wants to make their Unity to GNOME transition as painless as possible.

  • LXD: Weekly Status #15

    This week has been pretty quiet as far as upstream changes since half the team was attending the Open Source Summity, the Linux Plumbers Conference and the Linux Security Summit in Los Angeles, California.

Events: KDE/Randa 2017 and Linux Foundation

Filed under
KDE
Linux
  • KMyMoney’s Łukasz Wojniłowicz in Randa

    Please read the following guest post from Łukasz who joined me last week in Randa to work on KMyMoney.

  • Randa 2017 – Databases are back to KMyMoney

    On the morning of Day 5 we chased and fixed a problem that was introduced a long time ago but never caused any trouble. The code goes back into the KDE3 version of KMyMoney and was caused by some changes inside Qt5. The fix prevents a crash when saving a transaction which opens an additional dialog to gather more information (e.g. price information). With the help of other devs here in Randa, we were able to drill down the problem and update the code to work on KF5/Qt5 keeping the existing functionality.

  • Randa 2017 – Days 3 and 4

    On Day 3, we started out at 7:02 as usual with the team responsible for breakfast meeting in the kitchen.

    KMyMoney wise, we worked some more on keyboard navigation and porting to KF5. The dialog to open a database and the logic around it have been rewritten/fixed, so that it is now possible to collect the information from the user and proceed with opening. The database I have on file for testing does not open though due to another problem which I still need to investigate.

  • Watch the Keynote Videos from Open Source Summit in Los Angeles

    If you weren’t able to attend Open Source Summit North America 2017 in Los Angeles, don’t worry! We’ve rounded up the following keynote presentations so you can hear from the experts about the growing impact of open source software.

  • uniprof: Transparent Unikernel for Performance Profiling and Debugging

    Unikernels are small and fast and give Docker a run for its money, while at the same time still giving stronger features of isolation, says Florian Schmidt, a researcher at NEC Europe, who has developed uniprof, a unikernel performance profiler that can also be used for debugging. Schmidt explained more in his presentation at Xen Summit in Budapest in July.

    Most developers think that unikernels are hard to create and debug. This is not entirely true: Unikernels are a single linked binary that come with a shared address space, which mean you can use gdb. That said, developers do lack tools, such as effective profilers, that would help create and maintain unikernels.

More on GNOME Partnering With Purism on Librem 5

Filed under
GNOME
  • GNOME partners with Purism on Librem 5 Linux-based privacy-focused smartphone

    The Librem 5 smartphone by Purism has a long and difficult road ahead of it. Competing against the likes of Apple and Google on the mobile market has proven to be a death sentence for many platforms -- including Microsoft with its failed Windows 10 Mobile. With that said, I am rooting for Purism and its Pure OS, as the world would benefit from a device that uses Linux and focuses on both privacy and security. Such an alternative to iPhone and Android would be a breath of fresh air.

    Luckily, Purism has found itself a new partner on this project -- one of the most important organizations in the Linux community -- The GNOME Foundation. Yes, the maker of the absolute best desktop environment is offering to assist with the Librem 5 -- if it is successfully crowdfunded, that is. To date, it is only about 33-percent funded, although there is still more than a month to go.

  • GNOME Foundation Gives its Backing to Purism’s Linux Phone

    The GNOME Foundation has today given its backing to Purism's ambition of building a free, open-source smartphone with user privacy and encryption as a central feature.

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AMD and Linux Kernel

  • Ataribox runs Linux on AMD chip and will cost at least $250
    Atari released more details about its Ataribox game console today, disclosing for the first time that the machine will run Linux on an Advanced Micro Devices processor and cost $250 to $300. In an exclusive interview last week with GamesBeat, Ataribox creator and general manager Feargal Mac (short for Mac Conuladh) said Atari will begin a crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo this fall and launch the Ataribox in the spring of 2018. The Ataribox will launch with a large back catalog of the publisher’s classic games. The idea is to create a box that makes people feel nostalgic about the past, but it’s also capable of running the independent games they want to play today, like Minecraft or Terraria.
  • Linux 4.14 + ROCm Might End Up Working Out For Kaveri & Carrizo APUs
    It looks like the upstream Linux 4.14 kernel may end up playing nicely with the ROCm OpenCL compute stack, if you are on a Kaveri or Carrizo system. While ROCm is promising as AMD's open-source compute stack complete with OpenCL 1.2+ support, its downside is that for now not all of the necessary changes to the Linux kernel drivers, LLVM Clang compiler infrastructure, and other components are yet living in their upstream repositories. So for now it can be a bit hairy to setup ROCm compute on your own system, especially if running a distribution without official ROCm packages. AMD developers are working to get all their changes upstreamed in each of the respective sources, but it's not something that will happen overnight and given the nature of Linux kernel development, etc, is something that will still take months longer to complete.
  • Latest Linux kernel release candidate was a sticky mess
    Linus Torvalds is not noted as having the most even of tempers, but after a weekend spent scuba diving a glitch in the latest Linux kernel release candidate saw the Linux overlord merely label the mess "nasty". The release cycle was following its usual cadence when Torvalds announced Linux 4.14 release candidate 2, just after 5:00PM on Sunday, September 24th.
  • Linus Torvalds Announces the Second Release Candidate of Linux Kernel 4.14 LTS
    Development of the Linux 4.14 kernel series continues with the second Release Candidate (RC) milestone, which Linus Torvalds himself announces this past weekend. The update brings more updated drivers and various improvements. Linus Torvalds kicked off the development of Linux kernel 4.14 last week when he announced the first Release Candidate, and now the second RC is available packed full of goodies. These include updated networking, GPU, and RDMA drivers, improvements to the x86, ARM, PowerPC, PA-RISC, MIPS, and s390 hardware architectures, various core networking, filesystem, and documentation changes.

Red Hat: ‘Hybrid Cloud’, University of Alabama, Red Hat Upgrades Ansible and Expectations

Ubuntu GNOME Shell in Artful: Day 14

One of the latest thing we wanted to work on as we highlighted on our previous posts is the notification for new emails or download experience on the Shell. We already do ship the KStatusNotifier extension for application indicator, but need a way to signal the user (even if you are not looking at the screen when this happens) for new emails, IM or download/copy progress. Andrea stepped up on this and worked with Dash to Dock upstream to implement the unity API for this. Working with them, as usual, was pleasing and we got the green flag that it’s going to merge to master, with possibly some tweaks, which will make this work available to every Dash to Dock users! It means that after this update, Thunderbird is handily showing the number of unread emails you have in your inbox, thanks to thunderbird-gnome-support that we seeded back with Sébastien. Read more