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KDE 5.8 LTS, Fedora PSA, Magic Security Dust

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The top story today was the release of KDE Plasma 5.8 which was covered by all the top sites. This release brings some new features and long term support. It's already in KDE neon as well. Elsewhere, The Inquirer began a new series on the legends of Linux and Fedora's Adam Williamson posted a public service announcement for version 24. A bit of drama emerged from Andrew Ayer's systemd post and Martin Owens ruminated on Free Software Faith.

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HPE Donates Hardware to Debian Project, GNOME Sans systemd

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The Debian project today announced the "in-kind" donation of several servers to "boost reliability of Debian's core infrastructure." The new hardware will be deployed in Canada, US, and Australia to replace some aging machines as well as expand core services and storage. In other news, a new project aims to provide GNOME 3.22 to Slackware without systemd or Wayland, right as a new ugly systemd bug gives another reason to avoid it. Mageia bid farewell to a lost friend and contributor today and Matt Hartley shared his picks for best firewall distribution.

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LibreOffice at 6, New Souped up Mint Mini

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September 28 was the official birthday for LibreOffice and Italo Vignoli looked back at some of the milestones for the project. Elsewhere, the Ubuntu family got new betas and Clement Lefebvre announced a new Mintbox Mini. Jack M. Germain reviewed Panther OS and Ryan Lynch recommended four distributions for Windows users.

Happy Birthday LibreOffice! It was officially six years ago September 28 that The Document Foundation and LibreOffice were announced. The project consisted of former OpenOffice.org developers and volunteered who feared the worst after its sale to Oracle. Since that time, LibreOffice has grown and matured into an award winning Open Source office suite. Group photos taken at the LibreOffice conference at Brno were also shared including one of the attendees who were there on day one, as Bjoern Michaelsen explained. Although they were the seed, the project has grown to hundreds of contributors from all over the world. Italio Vignoli said the project attracted new developers every month for 72 straight months. He also said tomorrow begins the LibreOffice 5.3 developmental cycle, which is planned for release in January 2017.

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Inside: Merging Communities

Happy 6th Birthday, LibreOffice

Linux Users v Windows Users, Debian Mourns Another

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The Debian project today shared the news of the passing of a long time contributor on September 17. In other news, the Linux Journal offered a free digital copy of their September 2016 magazine. Bruce Byfield compared Linux users to Windows users and My Linux Rig spoke to elementary OS founder Daniel Foré about his "Linux Setup."

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Unimpressive Yakkety Yak, Plasma 5 Issues in Leap

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Today was a rough day in Linux distro news, Scott Gilbertson reviewed the Beta of upcoming Ubuntu 16.10 saying there's not a whole lot to recommend in this update. Neil Rickert test drove openSUSE's latest beta and had issues with his NVIDIA. Jesse Smith couldn't tell what was added to Uruk over base Trisquel and Gary Newell didn't see much point to portable Porteus since most stuff didn't work.

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Also: Indicator Sound Switcher Makes Switching Audio Devices on Ubuntu a Snap

openSUSE Leap 42.2 Beta 2, Kubuntu 16.10 Beta too

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openSUSE's Douglas DeMaio today announced the availability of Leap 42.2 Beta 2. This beta includes a beta of Plasma 5.8 LTS. Elsewhere, Valorie Zimmerman announced a beta for Kubuntu 16.10 for testers as well. Red Hat dominated the headlines today and not just for their continued success on Wall Street while the Microsoft/Lenovo story is running a close second. The Free Software Foundation needs input for their new swag line and LibreOffice won a Bossie Award.

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Rosy Red Hat, GNOME 3.22, MS/Lenovo Barricading

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Red Hat, Inc. released the financial results for the second quarter ending August 31, 2016 in a press release today. Red Hat stock seems to be going in the right direction for them as well even as insiders sell off their shares. The top story today must have been the skirmish resulting from reports of Linux being blocked from certain Lenovo laptops under orders from Microsoft. Elsewhere, GNOME 3.22 was released as a new age rating system is planned for 3.23. And finally, The Document Foundation reported the results of its 2016 Membership Committee elections.

It was widely reported today that Lenovo laptops featuring Windows 10 lock the hard drive with proprietary code that Linux can not read - so in essence, blocking users from installing Linux. A user asking in a Lenovo support forum was told by an employee that Linux was blocked due to an agreement with Microsoft. The news traveled around the Intertubes with lightening speed making headlines at every tech site in existence. So, Lenovo and Microsoft jumped into damage control saying it was due to proprietary RAID software. Former kernel contributor Matthew Garrett addressed the issue on his blog today saying the sensational headlines are distracting from a real issue here. He said this is probably because "recent Intel hardware needs special setup for good power management and Microsoft could be insisting that Signature Edition systems ship in "RAID" mode in order to ensure that. Or it could be a misunderstanding regarding UEFI Secure Boot." He said it all boils down to Intel doing "very little to ensure that free operating systems work well on their consumer hardware." In any case, two major contributors to the Linux kernel and open source really couldn't care less about either. Today's sensational headlines might not be accurate, but they do point to a real problem, among many others.

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Also: Lenovo responds to Linux blocking issue, issues non-denial denial

Debian 8 Updated, Kubuntu Help Wanted, Mageia 5.1

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The Debian project announced an update to their stable Debian 8 branch, the sixth such update since its release. This update is primarily to address security issues. Elsewhere, the Mageia folks announced an update to version 5, released last summer, to hold users over since 6.0 has been delayed. The Linux Grandma put out the call for help today as they're running a bit low on developers over there and the Free Software Foundation as well as Richard Stallman replied to the accusations of discrimination in the case of LibreBoot.

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Fedora 24 Funage, Smoooth Mageia 5, Tumblin' Tumbleweed

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Today in Linux news, Red Hat formally announced their 2017 expansion plans into Boston. Elsewhere, Dedoimedo posted another guide, this time how to make Fedora 24 useful and fun. After a rough start, Michael Huff found Mageia 5 to be "smart, eager and full of potential" and Dimstar has this week's Tumbleweed update.

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Also about Fedora:

  • Sneak into…

    the current stage of the Fedora 25 Supplemental Wallpaper.. Start of this month I openend the submission phase for the Fedora Supplemental Wallpaper. So far we have received 91 submissions and currently 72 of them are approved. So far 49 contributors earned a badge for their submission. But there is still time until 11. October left to contribute a wallpaper.

  • Event Report: Fedora Women Day 2016, Kolkata

    A two-day workshop on women in free software and Fedora Women Day were held on the 15th and 16th of July 2016 at the Netaji Subhash Engineering College in Kolkata, India. This event was jointly organized by Ubuntu Women Project, Fedora Project, and the university. It was substantially sponsored by Ubuntu Women Project. The goal of the workshop was also to get new participants interested, improve the level of participation by women, and explore new avenues of free software community development. Given the factors involved, the Workshop on Women in Free Software / Fedora Women Day 2016 (shortened to WWFS-FWD’2016) was a successful one.

  • Fedora 24 - From 0 to Fun in 10 minutes

    Ladies and gentlemen, it's pimping time. We shall now transform a tame Fedora installation that is not designed for mass consumption into a beautiful and majestic fun box. This means adding codecs and pretty stuff and extra software that people crave. We shall do this quickly and easily, and I will be your shepherd.

    Recently, I've discovered or rather rekindled my passion for all things Red Hat and Gnome, and Fedora has joined the list, after a long season of dreadful releases. It works well, it's fun and stable and fast, and all it's missing is some flavor and spice.

Memory Lane, Cooking w/ Linux, Red Hat's New Digs

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Earlier this year a Red Hat logo was spotted at 300 A Street in Boston sparking rumors of an expansion. Well, today it was confirmed. In other news, Gary "the Everyday Linux User" walked us down memory lane with a glance back at distributions that graced the top 10 at Distrowatch.com. Marcel Gagne has put "Cooking With Linux" on YouTube and another project has jumped the GNU ship.

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More in Tux Machines

Programming: "User", Choice of Language, SpiceyPy and Firefox Development

  • Never use the word “User” in your code

    To begin with, no software system actually has “users”. At first glance “user” is a fine description, but once you look a little closer you realize that your business logic actually has more complexity than that.

  • How many programming languages have you used?
    In the 1940s, Grace Hopper was in the Navy Reserves doing programming at the machine level, bit by bit. She realized how limiting it was for humans to use a language meant for machines and wanted to radically change the process by which we program. Without a change, she knew that computing would never reach its potential. "Once humans could learn to speak programming languages and once compilers began translating our intentions into machine language, it was like opening the floodgates," says the host of the Command Line Heroes podcast, Saren Yetbarek. Learn more about Grace Hopper and why there are so many programming languages, plus history on the first open source compiler, by listening to Episode 2 of Command Line Heroes Season 2.
  • Writing Solar System Simulations with NAIF SPICE and SpiceyPy
    Someone asked me about my Javascript Jupiter code, and whether it used PyEphem. It doesn't, of course, because it's Javascript, not Python (I wish there was something as easy as PyEphem for Javascript!); instead it uses code from the book Astronomical Formulae for Calculators by Jean Meeus. (His better known Astronomical Algorithms, intended for computers rather than calculators, is actually harder to use for programming because Astronomical Algorithms is written for BASIC and the algorithms are relatively hard to translate into other languages, whereas Astronomical Formulae for Calculators concentrates on explaining the algorithms clearly, so you can punch them into a calculator by hand, and this ends up making it fairly easy to implement them in a modern computer language as well.) Anyway, the person asking also mentioned JPL's page HORIZONS Ephemerides page, which I've certainly found useful at times. Years ago, I tried emailing the site maintainer asking if they might consider releasing the code as open source; it seemed like a reasonable request, given that it came from a government agency and didn't involve anything secret. But I never got an answer.
  • These Weeks in Firefox: Issue 45

Games: Steam Play, Valve, PlayOnLinux and Lots of Native Ports

  • Linus Tech Tips: "Linux Gaming Finally Doesn't Suck"
    Like him or hate him, Linus (not that one) has his audience, many of whom are now being swayed to try out gaming on Linux. Last month, Valve introduced a new version of Steam Play allowing Linux users to run Windows games thanks to Proton, a modified distribution of Wine. While framerates are obviously no match for the intended OS, Linus shows that at least a handful of popular games, which include DOOM and Skyrim, run well enough to play through.
  • Valve Has Been Working On A HUD For The RADV Vulkan Driver
    It hasn't been merged to Mesa 18.3-devel yet nor even published on the Mesa-dev list for review, but it turns out Valve's Samuel Pitoiset has begun working on a heads-up display (HUD) for the driver. Many have requested having a RADV HUD similar in nature to the Gallium3D HUD while it seems as one of many projects being worked on by the Valve Linux driver team is indeed this option.
  • PlayOnLinux has a new alpha release out with an overhaul of the interface
    PlayOnLinux 5.0 alpha 1 code-named "Phoencis" includes a completely redesigned user interface, along with moving their scripting system from bash to JavaScript. They're also now storing the scripts POL uses to install and setup games and applications on GitHub, so that if there's problems with their own infrastructure you can still use POL.
  • Space sim 'Helium Rain' to leave Early Access next month, along with a major update now available
    They recently released one of their final updates, which includes a few notable new features including: a new Artifact system, which has you scan planets for some research points and lore, a new economy model, AI improvements, some updated graphics, new sectors and so on.
  • Turn-based rogue-like RPG 'Depth of Extinction' confirmed to release on September 27th
    We knew that the rather good rogue-like RPG Depth of Extinction was releasing soon and now we know how soon, this week on Thursday it will be available across a number of stores. Inspired by the greats like XCOM: Enemy Unknown and FTL: Faster Than Light, it follows you trying to save humanity from some sort of vicious AI. You will have to build up a mighty squad of soldiers, level them up and get some decent equipment as you travel through a future set around 500 years after rising water caused humanity to edge on the brink of extinction.
  • The rather good 2D action RPG 'Chronicon' just had a major upgrade
    Being completely honest here, I absolutely love this game! The 2D action RPG Chronicon has a new update with some major improvements. As a reminder, the game is still currently in Early Access. The latest update, released a few days ago moves the game from GMS 1.4 to GMS 2.1.5 which is pretty huge by itself considering how old that version of GameMaker Studio was. This should hopefully improve compatibility with other Linux distributions. In addition, the game has been through a lot of performance-focused work to make as much of the game as smooth as possible. For me, it already performed well and now it's excellent.
  • What even more developers think of Valve's Steam Play
    You think we were done writing about Steam Play? Wrong. Here's what Godot Engine's Rémi Verschelde and Marc Di Luzio (previously Feral Interactive, now at Unity) think about it. First up, a few reminders on things we've already covered: our interview with the creator of DXVK, one of the projects that makes up Steam Play; our little chat with Linux game porter Ethan Lee; what Subset Games thought about it and my own personal thoughts can be found here.
  • The beautifully weird hidden object adventure game My Brother Rabbit is out, it's really sweet
    My Brother Rabbit from Artifex Mundi is an absolutely beautiful adventure game that has shocked me with how good it is.
  • Sunless Skies to leave Early Access on January 31st, 2019 also now out is a free pen and paper RPG system
    Failbetter Games have announced that Sunless Skies is set to leave Early Access on January 31st, 2019. They've also released a free pen and paper RPG system. “We’ve used the time in Early Access to fill the world with the most glorious stories, and to refine the play experience: improving combat, tweaking the skyfaring experience, and closing in on a dark and dread-soaked atmosphere.” says CEO Paul Arendt. “The next update, due on 10th October, will include a complete overhaul of the Reach region and extended mechanics for Terror, fuel, hunger and crew.”

Android Leftovers

Zynq UltraScale+ module runs Linux at industrial temperatures

iWave’s “iW-RainboW-G30M” compute module runs Linux on a quad -A53 Zynq UltraScale+ SoC with 192K to 504K FPGA logic cells. The module ships with 6GB DDR4 and 8GB eMMC and supports -40 to 85°C temperatures. iWave has posted details on a computer-on-module built around Xilinx’s 64-bit, hybrid Arm/FPGA based Zynq UltraScale+ MPSoC. Unlike the SODIMM-style iW-RainboW-G28M that iWave shipped earlier this year based on the dual Cortex-A9 Zynq-7000 FPGA SoC, the new iW-RainboW-G30M is a larger, 95 x 75mm module with dual 240-pin board-to-board interfaces. There’s an optional Zynq Ultrascale+ Development Kit, but no details were available. Read more