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Jitsi Meet, my favourite video conferencing platform (and a way to share audio when using it in Linux)

Filed under
GNU
Linux
OSS
Web

Jitsi Meet requires no installation; it runs in a browser window. Either Google Chrome or Firefox can be used, although I find it runs better in Google Chrome. Actually, an Ubuntu 16.04 user told me that Firefox hangs when he tries to join a Jitsi Meet meeting, but Jitsi Meet works fine in Firefox in my two Gentoo Linux installations and in my family’s Lubuntu 18.04 installation. When using Google Chrome, to be able to share your screen you need to install the Google Chrome extension ‘Jitsi Meetings’ by meet.ji.si in the Google Chrome Web Store.

One of my family here at home has a laptop running Windows 10. Google Chrome, but not Firefox, displays a ‘Share audio’ tick box when the ‘Share your screen’ icon is clicked (see ‘Jitsi Meet features update, April 2020‘). The ‘Share audio’ feature is needed when, for example, you are casting via the Internet to remote players a multi-user game running on your machine. During the current COVID-19 lockdown we have been having fun playing Jackbox Games Party Pack 6 this way with family and friends in different locations (see ‘(My Solution) Best method for Virtual Couch Multiplayer‘). Each household connects a laptop to their TV via HDMI and joins the Jitsi Meet meeting. The Jackbox Games games are cast via Jitsi Meet from the laptop at my house, and the group of players in each household can view and hear the game on their TV and participate using their mobile phones as per the Jackbox Games paradigm.

Jitsi Meet provides a ‘Share audio’ function in Windows only, but I found a work-around to to be able to share any application’s audio in Linux if I ever want to use my Linux machines to cast games by Jackbox Games or other suppliers. For once, I have found PulseAudio useful! I use PulseAudio Volume Control to redirect the audio output from the desired application (be it a game, music player, video player or whatever) to the microphone input. The precise way to do this depends on the audio hardware your machine has, but an example is given in the blog post: ‘Redirect Audio Out to Mic In (Linux)‘.

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Getting Started to Use Gogs Git Hosting

Filed under
Web
HowTos

I do not find any Gogs getting started documentation for user unlike GitHub's. If you want to start using Gogs as replacement to GitHub, this basic tutorial is for you. This is applicable to Notabug.org and other code hostings that use Gogs as its underlying software. By basic this tutorial covers only activities done individually via web browser. It does not cover activities done collectively –such as pull request or migration– nor via command line –such as cloning–. So here you will learn how to create a repository, commit, issue, and release, after signing up and logging in. You can also do Continuous Integration and read more resources at the bottom. I believe this should be enough as a starter. Happy hacking!

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Mozilla: RIP Youghourta Benali and WebGPU Update

Filed under
Moz/FF
Web
Obits
  • Mozilla Localization (L10N): L10n Report: April 2020 Edition

    Before we get into the report, we must share that Youghourta Benali, one of the Arabic l10n community’s managers, has passed away due to prior health issues. He was a passionate activist for the open Web and Arabic’s presence on the Web, localizing Mozilla projects for over 7 years. We’ll all miss him and wish his family and friends peace at this time. The surviving Arabic managers are currently writing a guest post that we’ll post here when ready.

  • WebGPU Support Begins Coming Together In Firefox Nightly Builds

    The latest Firefox Nightly builds have the experimental WebGPU support working in early form. WebGPU is the W3C-backed web standard for modern graphics and compute that is based upon concepts from the likes of Vulkan and Direct3D 12.

  • A Taste of WebGPU in Firefox

    The group has mostly resolved the major architecture issues of the API. Recently we agreed on the WebGPU Shading Language direction based on the Tint prototype. We still need to solve a lot of design riddles before we make it available to end users to write shaders in.

    One of the unresolved issues is the API for data transfers between CPU and GPU. Working with memory directly is where the web platform differs greatly from native platforms. We’ve discussed a dozen different proposals but have not yet found a design solution that fulfills our principles.

    Overall, the spec is still heavily a work in progress. It’s available for early hackers but not recommended for any use in production yet. We are hoping to get a minimum-viable-product version of the spec and implementations by the end of 2020. The current state of implementations can be checked on webgpu.io.

Release of Opera 68

Filed under
Software
Web
  • Opera 68 is here with built-in Instagram in the sidebar

    Hello out there,

    I’m writing this blog post to let you know about a cool new feature in Opera 68. Today we are releasing the newest version of our browser with built-in Instagram and some further improvements. As you might know, Opera already has several built-in messengers in the sidebar, like Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, Telegram and VKontakte.

    Recently, for obvious reasons, many of us have been staying at home as much as possible and relying more on social media to stay in touch with our friends and loved ones. This is also visible in the growing use of Opera’s built-in messengers as more people switch to desktop for both work and entertainment. Use of Opera’s built-in WhatsApp, for example, has grown 50% and the use of Facebook Messenger 48% in the past two months.

  • Opera 68 Released with Built-in Instagram Support

    Opera 68 was released today as the new stable version of the popular web browser. The new release features built-in messenger Instagram support.

Vivaldi 3.0 Brings New Tracker and Ad Blockers, Faster Navigation and a Clock

Filed under
Web

While Vivaldi is still not open source, it’s getting better and better with each release, convincing more and more users to switch from Firefox or Google Chrome.

With Vivaldi 3.0, Vivaldi Technologies have doubled down on browser’s functionally, which already offered a lot of options and features for power users, by bringing more useful features.

These include new built-in tracker and ad blockers that promise to protect users while surfing the Internet, especially now during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Also: Vivaldi for Android Hits Stable, Works on Chromebooks Too

Jitsi in the News

Filed under
Server
OSS
Web

Chromium/Chrome Issues

Filed under
Google
Security
Web
  • Over 2 billion Google Chrome users warned of security risk on Windows, macOS and Linux

    Google has issued a critical warning for Chrome users across Windows, macOS and Linux, and has advised users to update their apps to the latest version of the build. A stable release version 81.0.4044.113 of Chrome is being seeded by Google and will reach users in the coming weeks.

    In a short blog post, Google warned users of its popular browser Chrome to update to the latest version whenever available. This is due to a bug that made the browser vulnerable to attack and exploitation. Having said that, the details about this particular security risk is being kept under wraps as Google wants to first get the latest update to users that fixes the issue.

  • Google Releases Much-Awaited Chrome Update; Alerts 2 Billion Users About Security Flaws Across Windows, Mac & Linux

    "The stable channel has been updated to 81.0.4044.113 for Windows, Mac, and Linux, which will roll out over the coming days/weeks," Google said in a blog post last week. "This update includes 1 security fix," it added.

    [...]

    "The community help forum is also a great place to reach out for help or learn about common issues," Google said. "Access to bug details and links may be kept restricted until a majority of users are updated with a fix. We will also retain restrictions if the bug exists in a third party library that other projects similarly depend on, but haven't yet fixed," it added.

  • Google Issues Warning For 2 Billion Chrome Users

    Are you a Google Chrome user? Google has issued a warning of a vulnerability in its Chrome browser across Windows, Mac and Linux - urging users to upgrade to the latest version of the browser (81.0.4044.113).

    Google just gave its two billion Chrome users a brilliant (if long overdue) upgrade, but it doesn’t mask all of the controversial changes, security problems and data concerns which have worried users about the browser recently. And now Google has issued a new critical warning you need to know about.

    Picked up by security specialist Sophos, Google has quietly issued a warning that Chrome has a critical security flaw across Windows, Mac and Linux and it urges users to upgrade to the latest version of the browser (81.0.4044.113). Interestingly, at the time of publication, Google is also keeping the exact details of the exploit a mystery.

  • Google Chrome and desktop icon refresh problem

    Looking around, I did find a Chromium bug report from 2015, which also mentioned a workaround. Needless to say, the specific workaround is no longer available, as the user icon is no longer present in the Chrome window border, and flags occasionally come and go, as they represent experimental browser features. But this was a good starting point, so I went about testing and tweaking, until I found the right solution. After me.

Want to Ditch Zoom? Jitsi Offers an Open-Source Alternative

Filed under
OSS
Web

Chrome/Chromium 83 Beta and Chromium 81 for Slackware 14.2

Filed under
Slack
Web
Gaming
  • Chrome 83 Beta: Cross-site Scripting Protection, Improved Form Controls, and Safe Cross-origin Resource Sharing

    Unless otherwise noted, changes described below apply to the newest Chrome beta channel release for Android, Chrome OS, Linux, macOS, and Windows. Learn more about the features listed here through the provided links or from the list on ChromeStatus.com. Chrome 83 is beta as of April 16, 2020.

  • Chrome 83 Beta Rolls Out With Better Form Controls, Barcode Detection API

    Following the release of Chrome 81 earlier this month, Chrome 83 is now in beta with Google having skipped Chrome 82 due to delays / internal issues.

    Chrome 83 Beta is out today with trusted types for DOM manipulation, improved form controls that provide much nicer looking HTML input form controls by default, new origin trials, a barcode detection API is introduced as part of their shape detection API, various WebRTC improvements, and other changes.

  • Chromium 81 – and the new build process for Slackware 14.2

    Google released version 81 of their Chromium browser sources last week, after spending a lot of effort to bring security patches to the 80.x releases in the weeks before. As said before, Google is going to skip the 82 release entirely because of the staffing challenges resulting from the Corina crisis, and will jump straight to release 83 somewhere mid-May.
    I uploaded packages for chromium 81.0.4044.92 a few days ago – but those were only for Slackware-current.

    I found it impossible to compile the latest Chromium 81 code on Slackware 14.2 and I had been trying for days. Yesterday I finally succeeded after more than a week of trying since the sources were released. I can not sit behind my computer for long, but that was not too much of a setback in this particular case. I kept running into new compiler or linker errors, then I would think of a fix, set the box to compile again and had to wait for hours to see the result… and lie down in the meantime. For an entire week, I met failure upon failure.

Jitsi Meet in the News

Filed under
OSS
Web
  • This is what end-to-end encryption should look like!

    Some of the people watching our repos have been asking us what the deal was with this little new HIPS project (which by the way stands for Hidden In Plain Sight). Well, now you know! HIPS is about using a new Chrome WebRTC API called “Insertable Streams” to add a second layer of end-to-end encryption to media streams in a way that would make them inaccessible to the video router.

    While there is a ton of work left on getting authentication and key distribution to work, the project is already advanced enough for us to engage in two very important steps: [...]

  • What Is Jitsi and Is it More Secure Than Zoom?

    Online conference apps help to maintain business and family connections when you can’t all appear in the same room. There is a wealth of video conferencing and video chat apps to choose from. However, if you’re talking about personal matters or discussing the details of a business contract, you need to know the service you’re using will protect your privacy.

    Jitsi is an encrypted open-source video conferencing app you can use to protect your privacy. So, how does Jitsi compare to Zoom? Is Jitsi easy to use? Should you switch to Jitsi?

    Let’s take a look.

  • How to use Jitsi Meet, an open source Zoom alternative

    So you’re sick of Zoom.

    Maybe it’s the privacy issues, the security issues, or just the whole misrepresenting its encryption thing. Regardless of the specific reason, you know that there has to be a better video-conferencing tool out there, and you’re determined to find it. Enter Jitsi Meet.

    Much like Zoom, the free and open-source video-chat tool is easy to use and requires little-to-no onboarding. It’s also encrypted, and doesn’t sell your data. As an added bonus, you don’t need an account and you don’t need to download anything to start or join a meeting. Oh yeah, and it supports tile view.

    Here’s what you need to get started.

  • Jitsi Meet features update, April 2020

    While we work on making sure our infrastructure is able to cope with the recent surge in traffic, we have managed to ship some features we think you may like, let’s go!

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Incremental backup with Butterfly Backup

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Regressions in GNU/Linux Evolution

  • When "progress" is backwards

    Lately I see many developments in the linux FOSS world that sell themselves as progress, but are actually hugely annoying and counter-productive. Counter-productive to a point where they actually cause major regressions, costs, and as in the case of GTK+3 ruin user experience and the possibility that we'll ever enjoy "The year of the Linux desktop". [...] We live in an era where in the FOSS world one constantly has to relearn things, switch to new, supposedly "better", but more bloated solutions, and is generally left with the impression that someone is pulling the rug from below one's feet. Many of the key changes in this area have been rammed through by a small set of decision makers, often closely related to Red Hat/Gnome/freedesktop.org. We're buying this "progress" at a high cost, and one can't avoid asking oneself whether there's more to the story than meets the eye. Never forget, Red Hat and Microsoft (TM) are partners and might even have the same shareholders.

  • When "progress" is backwards

Graphics: Vulkan, Intel and AMD

  • NVIDIA Ships Vulkan Driver Beta With Fragment Shading Rate Control - Phoronix

    This week's Vulkan 1.2.158 spec release brought the fragment shading rate extension to control the rate at which fragments are shaded on a per-draw, per-primitive, or per-region basis. This can be useful similar to OpenGL and Direct3D support for helping to allow different, less important areas of the screen be shaded less than areas requiring greater detail/focus. NVIDIA on Tuesday released the 455.26.02 Linux driver (and 457.00 version for Windows) that adds this fragment shading rate extension.

  • Intel Begins Adding Alder Lake Graphics Support To Their Linux Driver - Phoronix

    Intel has begun adding support for Alderlake-S to their open-source Linux kernel graphics driver. An initial set of 18 patches amounting to just around 300 lines of new kernel code was sent out today for beginning the hardware enablement work on Alderlake-S from the graphics side. Yes, it's only a few hundred lines of new driver code due to Alder Lake leveraging the existing Gen12/Tigerlake support. The Alder Lake driver patches similarly re-use some of the same workarounds and changes as set for the 14nm Rocket Lake processors with Gen12 graphics coming out in Q1.

  • AMD Linux Driver Preparing For A Navi "Blockchain" Graphics Card - Phoronix

    While all eyes are on the AMD Radeon RX 6000 "Big Navi" graphics cards set to be announced next week, it also looks like AMD is preparing for a Navi 1x "Blockchain" graphics card offering given the latest work in their open-source Linux driver. Patches posted today provide support for a new Navi graphics card referred to as the "navi10 blockchain SKU." The Navi 10 part has a device ID of 0x731E. From the AMDGPU Linux kernel driver perspective, the only difference from the existing Navi 10 GPU support is these patches disable the Display Core Next (DCN) and Video Core Next (VCN) support with this new SKU not having any display support.