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Quick Roundup

Security: Mirai, Vista 10, Starbucks, and Hacking Team Investigation

Filed under
Security
  • Mirai IoT Botnet Co-Authors Plead Guilty

    The U.S. Justice Department on Tuesday unsealed the guilty pleas of two men first identified in January 2017 by KrebsOnSecurity as the likely co-authors of Mirai, a malware strain that remotely enslaves so-called “Internet of Things” devices such as security cameras, routers, and digital video recorders for use in large scale attacks designed to knock Web sites and entire networks offline (including multiple major attacks against this site).

  • Google Researcher Finds Flaw in Pre-Installed Windows 10 Password Manager

    Google security researcher Tavis Ormandy, who has previously discovered, reported, and disclosed several major bugs in Windows and its features, came across a new security vulnerability affecting Microsoft users.

    This time, the flaw exists in the Keeper password manager that comes pre-installed in some Windows 10 versions, with Ormandy explaining that it’s similar to a vulnerability that he discovered in August 2016.

    “I remember filing a bug a while ago about how they were injecting privileged UI into pages,” Ormandy explained on December 14. “I checked and, they're doing the same thing again with this version,” he continues.

  • Starbucks Wi-Fi Turned People’s Laptops into Cryptocurrency Miners

    The free Wi-Fi that the Buenos Aires Starbucks offers to its customers was being used to mine for cryptocurrency, and what’s worse, it used people’s laptops to do it.

    The whole thing was discovered by Stensul CEO Noah Dinkin who actually paid a visit to the store and wanted to browse the web using the free Wi-Fi, only to discover that his laptop was unknowingly converted into a cryptocurrency miner.

    He then turned to Twitter to ask Starbucks if they know about the what he described as bitcoin mining taking place without customers knowing about it.

    “Hi Starbucks, did you know that your in-store wifi provider in Buenos Aires forces a 10 second delay when you first connect to the wifi so it can mine bitcoin using a customer's laptop? Feels a little off-brand,” he said in his tweet.

  • Italian Prosecutor Makes Request to Close Hacking Team Investigation

    The damaging data breach that exposed the secrets of an infamous surveillance tech company might go unsolved forever. After more than two years, the Italian prosecutor who was investigating the attack on the Milan-based Hacking Team has asked the case to be dismissed, according to multiple sources.

    On Monday, the Milan prosecutor Alessandro Gobbis sent a notice to the people under investigation informing them that he had sent the judge a request to shut down the investigation, according to a copy of the document obtained by Motherboard.

GNOME: Bluetooth, Predictions, Librsvg and NetworkManager

Filed under
GNOME
  • More Bluetooth (and gaming) features

    Finally, this is the boring part. Benjamin and I reworked code that's internal to gnome-bluetooth, as used in the Settings panel as well as the Shell, to make it use modern facilities like GDBusObjectManager. The overall effect of this is, less code, less brittle and more reactive when Bluetooth adapters come and go, such as when using airplane mode.

  • Some predictions for 2018

    Ever since Steve Jobs died it has become quite clear in my opinion that the emphasis
    on the traditional desktop is fading from Apple. The pace of hardware refreshes seems
    to be slowing and MacOS X seems to be going more and more stale. Some pundits have already
    started pointing this out and I predict that in 2018 Apple will be no longer consider the
    cool kid on the block for people looking for laptops, especially among the tech savvy crowd.
    Hopefully a good opportunity for Linux on the desktop to assert itself more.

  • Librsvg 2.40.20 is released

    Today I released librsvg 2.40.20. This will be the last release in the 2.40.x series, which is deprecated effectively immediately.

    People and distros are strongly encouraged to switch to librsvg 2.41.x as soon as possible. This is the version that is implemented in a mixture of C and Rust. It is 100% API and ABI compatible with 2.40.x, so it is a drop-in replacement for it. If you or your distro can compile Firefox 57, you can probably build librsvg-2.41.x without problems.

  • NetworkManager 1.10.2 Released with Support for "onlink" IPv4 Routes Attribute

    GNOME developer Beniamino Galvani announced the availability of the first point release of the NetworkManager 1.10 open-source network connection manager software.

    NetworkManager is the most popular network connection manager tool these days, coming pre-installed with numerous GNU/Linux distributions. The latest stable release, NetworkManager 1.10.2, is here about five weeks after the launch of NetworkManager 1.10.0 to add a handful of new features and improvements.

Parrot Security 3.10 Ethical Hacking OS Adds Full Firejail/AppArmor Sandboxing

Filed under
Security
Debian

ParrotSec devs released today a new stable version of their Debian-based Parrot Security OS ethical hacking and penetration testing GNU/Linux distribution.

There are many enhancements implemented in the Parrot Security OS 3.10 release, but the biggest new feature is the introduction of a full Firejail and AppArmor sandboxing system that should proactively protect the operating system from attacks by isolating its components with the combination of various security techniques.

"The first experiments were already introduced in Parrot 3.9 with the inclusion of Firejail, but we took almost a month of hard work to make it even better with the improvement of many profiles, the introduction of the AppArmor support and enough time to make all the tests," reads today's announcement.

Read more

Also: Parrot 3.10 is out

GNOME 3.27.3 Released

Filed under
GNOME
  • GNOME 3.27.3 released

    GNOME 3.27.3, the third development snapshot in the 3.28 development cycle, is now available.

    A few more modules have been ported to meson, and lots of development is happening across all modules. To point out a few highlights, dconf-editor is seeing significant work, and evolution has had many bug fixes.

  • GNOME 3.27.3 Brings More Meson Ports, Redesign To DConf Editor

    Matthias Clasen of Red Hat announced the release of GNOME 3.27.3 this weekend.

    GNOME 3.27.3 is the latest in a string of development releases leading up to the stable GNOME 3.28 debut in March.

  • GNOME 3.28 Desktop Environment Gets Third Development Snapshot, More Meson Ports

    GNOME leader Matthias Clasen announced a few moments ago the availability of the third development snapshot towards the GNOME 3.28 desktop environment for GNU/Linux distributions.

    The development cycle of the upcoming GNOME 3.28 desktop environment continues today with the GNOME 3.27.3 milestone, which ports more components to the Meson build system and adds various improvements to various apps and tools, including the Evolution email and calendar client, NetworkManager network connection manager, and dconf-editor.

Review: OnePlus 5T

Filed under
Android
Reviews

Have you ever arrived at a party, looked around, and realized you’re totally underdressed? It’s a panic-inducing moment. This nightmare scenario happened to OnePlus earlier this year. Its OnePlus 5 had the brains to match any competing Android device, but next to phones like the Galaxy S8, LG G6, iPhone X, it looked, well, dowdy. With thick, squared off bezels and an eyesore of a home button, it was so last season.

For four years, OnePlus has pinned its entire identity to the idea that it sells the phone with the highest specs at the lowest price. Instead of paying $850+ for a fancy phone from the likes of Google or Samsung, you can buy a nearly identical, slightly off-brand OnePlus for $500 or less. It was the phone those in the know would recommend to save a few hundred bucks and still have a brag-worthy device. But you couldn’t brag about the OnePlus 5, especially after some bugs plagued the device.

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Canonical Releases Small Kernel Patch for Ubuntu 16.04 LTS to Fix a Regression

Filed under
Ubuntu

Last week, Canonical released a kernel update for the Ubuntu 16.04 LTS (Xenial Xerus) operating system patching a total of four security issues, including a use-after-free vulnerability in the Netlink subsystem (XFRM), an out-of-bounds read in the GTCO digitizer USB driver, a bug in the associative array implementation, and improper copy-on-write (COW) handling of transparent huge pages.

However, it would appear that the respective kernel update also introduced a regression, which apparently prevented the use of the Ceph network file system on machines that upgraded to the new kernel versions. Canonical patched the issue and released a new Linux kernel update that addresses the problem on all Ubuntu 16.04 LTS systems, as well as Ubuntu 14.04.5 LTS machines.

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FreeNAS, World’s Most Popular Storage OS, Gets AMD Ryzen Support, Cloud Sync

Filed under
OS

Coming six months after the release of the FreeNAS 11 stable series, the FreeNAS 11.1 update is based on FreeBSD 11.1 and introduces cloud integration, support for AMD Ryzen and Intel Xeon Scalable family of processors, OpenZFS performance improvements, as well as preliminary support for Docker application container engine through a virtual machine built from RancherOS.

"FreeNAS 11.1 adds a cloud sync (data import/export to the cloud) feature," reads the announcement. "This new feature lets you sync (similar to backup), move (erase from source), or copy (only changed data) data to and from public cloud providers that include Amazon S3 (Simple Storage Services), Backblaze B2 Cloud, Google Cloud, and Microsoft Azure."

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Amazon Linux 2 Benchmarks, 6-Way Linux OS EC2 Compute Cloud Comparison

Filed under
Graphics/Benchmarks

With Amazon AWS this week having released Amazon Linux 2 LTS I was excited to put this updated cloud-focused operating system through some performance tests to see how it stacks up with the more well known Linux distributions.

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Open Source “PiTalk” Turns Your Raspberry Pi Minicomputer Into A Modular Smartphone

Filed under
OSS

More than a year ago, I wrote about a Raspberry Pi-powered phone called PiPhone, and the readers loved it. Just recently, I came across another similar project on Kickstarter and decided to share it on Fossbytes. Named PiTalk, the project calls itself the “first ever DIY modular smartphone.”

Powered by Python, PiTalk modular smartphone is compatible with Raspberry Pi Zero, Pi 2, and Pi 3. For voice and data communication, it has a 3G module. The basic features performed by PiTalk are:

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antiX MX-17 Linux OS Brings Latest Debian GNU/Linux 9.3 "Stretch" Updates

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Debian

Powered by Linux kernel 4.13 and using Xfce 4.12.3 as default desktop environment, antiX MX-17 comes six months after the antiX MX-16 release and promises to bring all the latest security patches and software update from the software repositories of the recently released Debian GNU/Linux 9.3 "Stretch" operating system.

The MX variant ships with all the antiX live features, including persistence up to 20GB, and automatic selection of appropriate drivers for most Broadcom wireless chipsets with minimal user intervention. Being targeted at low-end computers, antiX MX-17 offers a 32-bit PAE kernel for machines with less than 4GB RAM.

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Debian-Based Slax 9.3 Linux OS Enters Beta with Improved EXT4 and NTFS Booting

Filed under
Debian

Slax 9.3.0 beta is now ready for public testing with persistent support when using Slax from a USB flash drive, allowing you to preserve settings and downloaded files or packages across reboots. It also improves booting from EXT4 and NTFS filesystems.

Moreover, the default file manager, PCManFM, has been updated to display external drives in the left sidebar, newly installed applications are now automatically added to the xLunch screen, and Wicd is now the default network manager.

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IoT-oriented Linux ready SBC has an optional enclosure

Filed under
Linux
Debian

Technologic’s TS-7553-V2 SBC runs Linux on an i.MX6UL and offers Ethernet, USB, GPIO, and serial I/O, plus WiFi/BT, XBee, cellular, and many other options.

Technologic’s new “TS-7553-V2” single-board computer is a gen-2 re-spin of its 250MHz Cavium ARM9 SoC-based TS-7553 SBC. The new board upgrades the processor to the 698MHz-clocked NXP i.MX6UL, and then for good measure increases RAM to 256MB (up from 64MB) and flash storage to as much as 64GB (up from 256MB), while expanding the board’s fanless operating temperature range to -40 to 85°C (from 0 to 70°C). It also adds several built-in interfaces, such as for connection of text LCDs and matrix keyboards, and supports more modular expansion options than its predecessor.

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Desktop, Atari, and Servers: Kdenlive, MX-17, Linux Mint 18.3 and More

Filed under
Server
  • Kdenlive Video Editor Issues Final Major Update on Old Codebase

    A new version of open-source video editor Kdenlive is available to download.

    Kdenlive 17.12.0 is something of a bittersweet release as it’s likely to be the final major release using the current Kdenlive codebase.

    Again, like the last few releases, this update is primarily focused on bug fixes and stability. In particular this update solves some niggling issues with proxy clips, with the team highlight ‘smoother seeking‘ and ‘reduced memory usage‘ as a result.

    Those of us you impatient for new features and major improvements will be pleased to hear that work on the next-generation Kdenlive is continuing apace. Kdenlive 18.04 is (as you might guess) tentatively scheduled for formal release in April of 2018.

  • The Best Linux Apps & Distros of 2017

    So join us (ideally with from a warm glass of something non-offensive and sweet) as we take a tart look backwards through some key releases from the past 12 months.

    This list is not presented in any sort of order, and all of the entries were sourced from YOUR feedback to the survey we shared earlier in the week. If your favourite release didn’t make the list, it’s because not enough people voted for it!

  •  

  • MX-17 released December 15, 2017

    MX-17 final images are now available for download.

  • Linux Mint 18.3 'Sylvia' Boasts Updated Software Manager, Backup Tools
  • Ataribox Pre-Order Plan “Officially Paused”

    If you were hoping that today would be the day you’d get to throw $300 at your screen and snag a Linux-powered Ataribox games console …Well, we’ve some bad news.

    You may be aware that the Ataribox team said pre-orders for the Atari-branded games machine would go live today, December 14th.

  • Modernizing application delivery with container platforms

    Demands for faster production times, higher quality and more predictable cost management are posing significant challenges for development teams. In-house software development is essential in achieving these and other agency objectives. Exacerbating the demands on development teams is often the need to successfully release new applications, while also updating existing ones.

    From a technical aspect, at the center of the challenges for developers, is the need to reliably get software to run as it moves between computing environments. Containerization represents the best way for developers to accomplish this task, with containers driving operational efficiency and competitive advantages.

  • Building Open Source IoT Ecosystems
  • Invaluable tips and tricks for troubleshooting Linux

Red Hat: Common Criteria Certification and Thunderbolt

Filed under
Red Hat
Security

AMD open sources its Vulkan

Filed under
Graphics/Benchmarks
OSS
  • AMD open sources its Vulkan

    AMD's Vulkan Linux driver which was initially going to be closed-source and open-sourced when it was finished, is now totally open sourced.

    AMD has released the source code to its official Vulkan Linux driver, just in time to make the Christmas best sellers’ list.

  • AMD To Deliver On Its Promise Of An Open Sourced Vulkan Linux Driver Very Soon

    If I had to guess, I’d say AMD really didn’t want to begin yet another year with its open source Vulkan driver still in hiding, so here we are: it’s finally happening. As Phoronix notes, AMD promised the world over two years ago that it would open source its Vulkan driver for Linux, but few probably realized it’d actually take quite this long to see the day. We can be thankful that this driver didn’t just wind up like some Half-Life episode.

Linux Foundation: OpenContrail, SDNs, ONAP

Filed under
Linux
  • Juniper Flips OpenContrail To The Linux Foundation

    It’s a familiar story arc for open source efforts started by vendors or vendor-led industry consortiums. The initiatives are launched and expanded, but eventually they find their way into independent open source organizations such as the Linux Foundation, where vendor control is lessened, communities are able to grow, and similar projects can cross-pollinate in hopes of driving greater standardization in the industry and adoption within enterprises.

  • Juniper Hands OpenContrail SDN to Linux Found. Before It's Too Late

    After failing to develop a community around the project and receiving pushback from a major backer, Juniper may be saving Contrail from becoming irrelevant

  • CableLabs Announces Two Open Source Projects for NFV

    SNAPS is an overarching program at CableLabs to facilitate the adoption of software-defined networking (SDN) and network functions virtualization (NFV) within the CableLabs’ community. The organization says it spearheaded SNAPS to fill in gaps within open source to ease the adoption of SDN and NFV for its cable members.

  • Bell becomes first operator to launch ONAP in production

    Canadian telecommunications company Bell announced it has become the first company to launch an open source version of the Open Network Automation Platform (ONAP) in production.

    The announcement was noted by Arpit Joshipura, general manager of networking and orchestration at the Linux Foundation, in a company blog post. According to Joshipura, the news marks a first step toward using ONAP as a common platform across Bell’s network as the company re-aligns itself to follow a multi-partner DevOps model.

OSS/Sharing Leftovers

Filed under
OSS
  • Chrome 64 Beta: stronger pop-up blocker, Resize Observer, and import.meta
  • Chrome 64 Beta Brings Stronger Pop-Up Blocker, JavaScript Improvements

    Ahead of the holidays Google has pushed out the Chrome 64 beta to all supported platforms.

  • The Apache Software Foundation Announces Apache® Hadoop® v3.0.0 General Availability

    The Apache Software Foundation (ASF), the all-volunteer developers, stewards, and incubators of more than 350 Open Source projects and initiatives, today announced Apache® Hadoop® v3.0.0, the latest version of the Open Source software framework for reliable, scalable, distributed computing.

  • Open source science: Scientists researching rice plant genetics agree to not file for patents

    The Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research (FFAR), a nonprofit established in the 2014 Farm Bill with bipartisan congressional support, awarded a $1 million Seeding Solutions grant to University of California, Davis (UC Davis) to study the genetics of rice plants. Together with researchers at the University of North Carolina and collaborators, the team will develop and implement a chemistry-driven gene discovery approach to identify genes that modulate root traits.

  • Lytro could open source their light-field photo sharing platform
  • Lytro considering open source light field photo sharing platform

    Lytro is reportedly considering an open source solution after announcing it would no longer support its sharing platform for Lytro cameras’ ‘living images.’

  • When Waze Won't Help, Palestinians Make Their Own Maps

    If you want to drive the 15 or so miles from Jerusalem to the city of Jericho, in the Palestinian Territories, Google Maps will tell you: “Can’t find a way there.” Waze will issue a warning: “Caution: This destination is in a high risk area or is prohibited to Israelis by law.” If you press “Confirm Drive” nonetheless, the app will direct you, just not all the way.

    When you pass from Israel into the West Bank, part of the occupied Palestinian Territories, Waze’s directions simply end. To keep going, you need to change your setting to allow access to “high risk” areas. Even then, GPS coverage tends to be limited.

  • Using Gmail with OAUTH2 in Linux and on an ESP8266

    One of the tasks I dread is configuring a web server to send email correctly via Gmail. The simplest way of sending emails is SMTP, and there are a number of scripts out there that provide a simple method to send mail that way with a minimum of configuration. There’s even PHP mail(), although it’s less than reliable.

  • Simplicity Before Generality, Use Before Reuse

    A common problem in component frameworks, class libraries, foundation services, and other infrastructure code is that many are designed to be general purpose without reference to concrete applications. This leads to a dizzying array of options and possibilities that are often unused or misused — or just not useful.

    Generally, developers work on specific systems; specifically, the quest for unbounded generality rarely serves them well (if at all). The best route to generality is through understanding known, specific examples, focusing on their essence to find an essential common solution. Simplicity through experience rather than generality through guesswork.

  • What Ruby Needs

    Of all of the questions we receive at RedMonk, one of the most common concerns programming languages. Whether from members of a given community or a commercial entity, the desire is to better understand a given language’s trajectory and the context around it. Is it going up or down, and what are the reasons for that direction? And, of course: can that direction be meaningfully changed?

    Recently, we’ve received several such inquiries around Ruby. For those with an interest in the language, then, the following is a quick public summary of the answers we’ve been providing privately.

  • HTML 5.2 is done, HTML 5.3 is coming

    Today W3C releases HTML 5.2. This is the second revision of HTML5, following last year’s HTML 5.1 Recommendation. In 2014 we expressed a goal to produce a revision roughly every year; HTML 5.2 is a continuation of that commitment.

    This Recommendation like its predecessor provides an updated stable guide to what is HTML. In the past year there has been a significant cleanup of the specification. We have introduced some new features, and removed things that are no longer part of the modern Web Platform, or that never achieved broad interoperability. As always we have also fixed bugs in the specification, making sure it adapts to the changing reality of the Web.

    Many of the features added integrate other work done in W3C. The Payment Request API promises to make commerce on the Web far easier, reducing the risks of making a mistake or being caught by an unscrupulous operator. New security features such as Content Security Policy protect users more effectively, while new work incorporated from ARIA helps developers offer people with disabilities a good user experience of their applications.

Games: SteamOS Birthday, Best Linux Games of 2017, Finding Paradise

Filed under
Gaming
  • It's Been Four Years Since SteamOS Began Shipping With Not Much To Show

    It was four years ago this week that Valve began shipping SteamOS, their Debian-based Linux distribution intended for Steam Machines and those wanting a gaming-oriented Linux distribution. While Valve still technically maintains the SteamOS Linux distribution, the outlook at this point is rather bleak.

    For our coverage from four years ago when Valve began shipping SteamOS 1.0 based on Debian Wheezy, see SteamOS Compositor Details, Kernel Patches, Screenshots, Former NVIDIA, Microsoft Developers Doing Lots Of The SteamOS Work, and The First NVIDIA GeForce Benchmarks On The SteamOS Beta.

  • 7 Best Linux Games of 2017

    We take a look at the best Linux games of 2017, ranging from AAA titles to introspective indie hits.

    So park your gamepad, pop your feet up, and raise a glass of something socially acceptable to what’s been another terrific year for Tux fans with twitchy thumbs!

  • Finding Paradise Available Now for PC, Mac, and Linux

    Canadian indie game studio Freebird Games has released Finding Paradise, a spiritual successor to the studio's hit game To the Moon. You can check out the game's release date trailers below, the first being slightly less of a "serious" trailer:

OSS: Blockchain, Avast, Predictions, GreenKey

Filed under
OSS
  • Startup Aims to Build Open-Source Telecom Ecosystem on Blockchain

    There are 2,000+ mobile network operations in charge of providing communication services at global scale. However, the traditional infrastructure is centralized, inflexible and inaccurate. Common services like 3G/4G, Wi-Fi, BOSS mobile communications solutions and companies that use cloud-based communications solutions are often unable to render accurate content billing and distribution.

    Conventional mobile packages overcharge customers, not to mention that they pose concerns around data transmissions. An alternative solution to average mobile network providers could be Blockchain technology.

  • Merry Xmas, fellow code nerds: Avast open-sources decompiler

    Malware hunting biz and nautical jargon Avast has released its machine-code decompiler RetDec as open source, in the hope of arming like-minded haters of bad bytes and other technically inclined sorts with better analytical tools.

    As discussed as the recent Botconf 2017 in France earlier this month, RetDec provides a way to turn machine code – binary executables – back into an approximation of the original source code.

  • 10 open source predictions for 2018

    With 2017 just about done and dusted, dozens of open source experts have polished their crystal balls and made predictions about what can be expected in the open source space in 2018.

    Now it's our turn. (With fingers firmly crossed) here are 10 open source trends that you may – or may not – see coming to the fore next year. Some are obvious, some are frivolous, and some could just change your life.

  • Stop Calling Everything "Open Source": What "Open Source" Really Means

    "Open source" is an exciting concept in the world of software and beyond. But it shouldn't be applied to contexts where it makes no sense.

  • GreenKey to join Symphony; open source voice software

    GreenKey, creator of patented voice software with integrated speech recognition designed for the financial markets, today announced the firm has joined the Symphony Software Foundation, a nonprofit organization fostering innovation in financial services through open source software (OSS).

  • GreenKey Joins the Symphony Software Foundation; Will Open Source Voice Software

    GreenKey, creator of patented voice software with integrated speech recognition designed for the financial markets, today announced the firm has joined the Symphony Software Foundation, a nonprofit organization fostering innovation in financial services through open source software (OSS). GreenKey will release a Community Edition of its voice software development kit (SDK) that will enable banks and other financial market firms to "voice enable" any web application.

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More in Tux Machines

Games: Slaps and Beans and Games Online For Android

  • Slaps and Beans now in Early Access
    Bud Spencer & Terence Hill: Slaps and Beans [Steam] is now in Early Access after a successful Kickstarter campaign in which the developers gained over $200k.
  • Best First Person Shooter Games Online For Android
    With the ever shining genre of First Person Shooters making it Huge in the PC market, game studios have brought the best of FPS action to people’s mobile devices. Here I present to you my best picks for the Free first person shooter games online for Android.

Software and howtos

New: NuTyX 9.93 and Linux Mint 18.3

  • NuTyX 9.93 available with cards 2.3.105
    The NuTyX team is please to annonce the 9.93 release of NuTyX. NuTyX 9.92 comes with kernel LTS 4.14.6, glibc 2.26, gcc 7.2.0, binutils 2.29.1, python 3.6.0, xorg-server 1.19.5, qt 5.10.0, KDE plasma 5.11.3, KDE Framework 5.41.0, KDE Applications 17.12.0, mate 1.18.2, xfce4 4.12.4, firefox 57.0.2 Quantum, etc...
  • Linux Mint 18.3 'Sylvia' Xfce and KDE editions are available for download
    Linux Mint is killing the KDE version of its operaring system -- a move some people applaud. That's what makes the new 18.3 version -- named "Sylvia" -- so frustrating. It's bizarre to release a new version of an operating system that essentially has no future. But oh well, here we are. After a short beta period, the KDE distro is now available for download -- if you still care. I recommend that KDE loyalists just switch to Kubuntu or Netrunner, but I digress. Despite being the final version of Linux Mint KDE, it is still a great alternative to the consistently disappointing Windows 10. After all, it has been discovered that Microsoft is bundling a bug-ridden password-manager with its operating system without user consent! How can you trust such an OS?! Sigh.
  • Linux Mint 18.3 "Sylvia" KDE and Xfce Editions Officially Released, Download Now
    The Linux Mint team released the final Linux Mint 18.3 "Sylvia" Xfce and Linux Mint 18.3 "Sylvia" KDE editions to download, as well as an upgrade for existing Linux Mint 18.2 "Sonya" users. Previously in beta, the Linux Mint 18.3 "Sylvia" KDE and Xfce editions are now officially released and ready for production use. Just like the Cinnamon and MATE flavors, they are based on Canonical's long-term supported Ubuntu 16.04 LTS (Xenial Xerus) operating system and use the Linux 4.10 kernel by default for new installations.

GNU: Glibc, GIMP, GCC

  • Glibc 2.27 Lands Yet More Performance Optimizations
    Earlier this month I wrote how Intel engineers have been busy with continuing to tune glibc's performance with FMA and AVX optimizations. That work has continued but also other architectures continue tuning their GNU C Library performance ahead of the expected v2.27 update. There has been a ton of optimization work this cycle, particularly on the Intel/x86_64 front. For those with newer Intel 64-bit processors, this next glibc release is shaping up to be a speedy update.
  • GIMP PIcks Up Support For The New Flatpak/FreeDesktop.org Screenshot API
    Hot off the release of the new GIMP 2.9.8 and ahead of the expected GIMP 2.10 release candidates that are expected to begin, a new addition to GIMP is a plug-in supporting the new FreeDesktop.org/Flatpak screenshot API. The org.freedesktop.portal.Screenshot specification aims to be a screenshot API that will work not only cross-desktop (e.g. KDE, GNOME, etc) but also work for sandboxed applications (i.e. Flatpak) and also work regardless of whether you are using Wayland or X11.
  • GCC Prepares For Fortran 2018 Support
    The Fortran committee decided last month to rename the upcoming Fortran 2015 programming language update to Fortran 2018. GCC support is being prepped. With this updated programming language technical specification not expected to be published until mid-2018, the committee behind this long-standing programming language decided to rename Fortran 2015 to Fortran 2018. Fortran 2018 should further improve interoperability with C code, improve its parallel programming capabilities, support hexadecimal inputs/outputs, and other improvements over Fortran 2008.