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Software

Proprietary Software Leftovers

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Software
  • Vivaldi 3.2 Brings a Mute Button on Picture-in-Picture Mode, More Improvements

    Vivaldi Technologies announced today the general availability of the Vivaldi 3.2 web browser for all supported platforms, an update that brings various improvements and new features.

    Vivaldi 3.2 comes about two months after Vivaldi 3.1 and introduces a mute button to the Picture-in-Picture implementation called Pop-out Video. This lets users better control the floating windows when watch clips by muting or unmuting the sound of the video.

    Vivaldi devs say that the new mute button on the Pop-out video window is a welcome addition when you work from home and you have to quickly jump into an online meeting or take a phone call as you can now immediately mute the clip without having to close the window.

    You can see the new mute button in action below. Of course, you can also mute the entire tab by right clicking on the tab where the video plays and selecting the “Mute Tab” context menu item or by using the quick commands, but it’s faster with the new mute button on the Pop-out video.

  • Windows 10 Devices Are at Risk From the BootHole Vulnerability

    Unfortunately, because this flaw is related to Windows’ boot sequence, it’s not something that you can fix yourself. Microsoft has to release a patch that fixes the BootHole flaw. However, this isn’t an easy task.

    The boot sequence is an essential part of keeping the operating system stable. As such, if Microsoft rushes out a buggy patch for the flaw, it will cause system instability.

    As a result of this, it may take Microsoft a while to release a patch that fixes BootHole. And we’re all reliant on Microsoft doing so.

  • Greg Joswiak replaces Phil Schiller as head of Apple marketing

    Marketing is a huge role inside of Apple that goes beyond simply advertising products, so this marks a significant change within the company. As Apple puts it, the marketing division is “responsible for Apple’s product management and product marketing, developer relations, market research, business management, as well as education, enterprise, and international marketing.” Joswiak has been in Apple leadership roles for more than two decades, and he’s led Apple’s worldwide product marketing for the last four years.

    Schiller has been with Apple since 1997, helping to steer the company from one of its lowest points to the technology juggernaut that it is today. While he’s been in charge of marketing, Schiller is also known for his involvement in Apple’s hardware, often presenting new products — like the previous Mac Pro — onstage at events.

  • Chromebook perks now include Google's Stadia service

    In fact, buying a Chromebook comes with two Stadia perks. The first offers $20 off the purchase of the Stadia Premiere Edition, which essentially replaces the Stadia Founder’s Edition cloud gaming hardware that launched and almost immediately sold out. But as the second perk points out, you don’t even need the Premiere Edition hardware: Chromebooks now ship with three months of Stadia Pro, the Stadia cloud gaming service. (Engadget previously reported the new Stadia perks.)

    Be aware that this is a trial. After the three-month service period expires, you’ll be signed up for Stadia Pro at $9.99 per month. Also, you’ll need to own a Chromebook released in June, 2017, or later.

  • Florida teen accused of Twitter [attack] pleads not guilty

    Tuesday's hearing in Tampa reportedly took place via Zoom. Clark is scheduled for a bond hearing Wednesday, with bail set at $725,000.

  • Twitter About To Be Hit With A ~$250 Million Fine For Using Your Two Factor Authentication Phone Numbers/Emails For Marketing

    There are many things that big internet companies do that the media have made out to be scandals that aren't -- but one misuse of data that I think received too little attention was how both Facebook and later Twitter were caught using the phone numbers people gave it for two factor authentication, and later used them for notification/marketing purposes.

Leftovers: LibreOffice, GNU Projects

Filed under
GNU
Software

  • [Haiku] July 2020 Activity Report

    Welcome to the July, 2020 Activity Report for the Haiku project!

    This report covers hrev54370 through hrev54484.

  • Neo Colibre for Maximum Productivity

    Having fun everyone. I wish you are all doing good in this tough time.

    It was Adolfo who complaint about Colibre's failure to accomplish WCAG contrast guideline. He said the colors are too faint and everything looks washed out. Furthermore, MS Office 365 has since moved those colors to a brand new monoline style iconography. See this bug report for details

    So I took the chance to update this Windows default icon theme. Luckily, the icon theme comes with SVG version, I can easily use bash script to automate a neccessary color conversion, and take the rest manually. In one month, I finally managed to finish this "Neo" Colibre. Hopefully this will benefit the largest LibreOffice user platform (approximately more than ~80%).

  • Simulated Animation Effects Week#9

    Last week I’ve started by working on support for Custom Shapes. At first I didn’t how could I get the related geometry information about Custom Shapes. Upon asking on IRC, mst (Micheal Stahl) directed me to SdrObject class. Inspecting this class, found out a child of it that handles Custom Shapes called SdrObjCustomShape had a function SdrObjCustomShape::GetLineGeometry was returning exactly what I’ve wanted in the first place a B2DPolyPolygon! So I went ahead and created an implementation that if the shape type is CustomShape, it got corresponding SdrObject using it’s XShape and casted the SdrObject* to an SdrObjCustomShape* and got the B2DPolyPolygon from that. Then it triangulated this polygon using basegfx::triangulator::triangulate, and added resulting collection of triangles to a box2d body.

  • Best Photoshop alternatives 2020

    GIMP boasts a huge number of features and functions that rival Photoshop. There’s also a huge community of developers and artists who have created a wide array of plugins, making this a highly adaptable program. If you desire a specific feature, there’s probably an add-on for it. 

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  • AMD HSA Offloading Support Dropped From The GCC Compiler

    There didn't appear to be much usage ever out of the AMD HSA (Heterogeneous System Architecture) support within the GCC compiler and hadn't been maintained in a while so now has been wiped out of the GNU Compiler Collection.

  • Mike Blumenkrantz: Another Minor Annoyance

    Once more going way out of order since it’s fresh in my mind, today will be a brief look at gl_InstanceID and a problem I found there while hooking up ARB_base_instance.

    gl_InstanceID is an input for vertex shaders which provides the current instance being processed by the shader. It has a range of [0, instanceCount], and this breaks the heck out of Vulkan.

DRM and Proprietary Software Leftovers

Filed under
Software
  • Some Photoshop users can try Adobe’s anti-misinformation system later this year

    Adobe pitched the CAI last year as a general anti-misinformation and pro-attribution tool, but many details remained in flux. A newly released white paper makes its scope clearer. The CAI is primarily a more persistent, verifiable type of image metadata. It’s similar to the standard EXIF tags that show the location or date of a photograph, but with cryptographic signatures that let you verify the tags haven’t been changed or falsely applied to a manipulated photo.

    People can still download and edit the image, take a screenshot of it, or interact the way they would any picture. Any CAI metadata tags will show that the image was manipulated, however. Adobe is basically encouraging adding valuable context and viewing any untagged photos with suspicion, rather than trying to literally stop plagiarism or fakery. “There will always be bad actors,” says Adobe community products VP Will Allen. “What we want to do is provide consumers a way to go a layer deeper — to actually see what happened to that asset, who it came from, where it came from, and what happened to it.”

    The white paper makes clear that Adobe will need lots of hardware and software support for the system to work effectively. CAI-enabled cameras (including both basic smartphones and high-end professional cameras) would need to securely add tags for dates, locations, and other details. Photo editing tools would record how an image has been altered — showing that a journalist adjusted the light balance but didn’t erase or add any details. And social networks or other sites would need to display the information and explain why users should care about it.

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  • EFF and ACLU Tell Federal Court that Forensic Software Source Code Must Be Disclosed

           

             

    Can secret software be used to generate key evidence against a criminal defendant? In an amicus filed ten days ago with the United States District Court of the Western District of Pennsylvania, EFF and the ACLU of Pennsylvania explain that secret forensic technology is inconsistent with criminal defendants’ constitutional rights and the public’s right to oversee the criminal trial process. Our amicus in the case of United States v. Ellis also explains why source code, and other aspects of forensic software programs used in a criminal prosecution, must be disclosed in order to ensure that innocent people do not end up behind bars, or worse—on death row.

             

    The Constitution guarantees anyone accused of a crime due process and a fair trial. Embedded in those foundational ideals is the Sixth Amendment right to confront the evidence used against you. As the Supreme Court has recognized, the Confrontation Clause’s central purpose was to ensure that evidence of a crime was reliable by subjecting it to rigorous testing and challenges. This means that defendants must be given enough information to allow them to examine and challenge the accuracy of evidence relied on by the government.

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  • Powershell Bot with Multiple C2 Protocols

                     

                       

    I spotted another interesting Powershell script. It's a bot and is delivered through a VBA macro that spawns an instance of msbuild.exe This Windows tool is often used to compile/execute malicious on the fly (I already wrote a diary about this technique[1]). I don’t have the original document but based on a technique used in the macro, it is part of a Word document. It calls Document_ContentControlOnEnter[2]: [...]

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  • FBI Used Information From An Online Forum Hacking To Track Down One Of The Hackers Behind The Massive Twitter Attack

           

             

    As Mike reported last week, the DOJ rounded up three alleged participants in the massive Twitter hack that saw dozens of verified accounts start tweeting out promises to double the bitcoin holdings of anyone who sent bitcoin to a certain account.

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  • Twitter Expects to Pay 9-Figure Fine for Violating FTC Agreement

                         

                           

    That means that the complaint is not related to last month’s high-profile [cr]ack of prominent accounts on the service. That security incident saw accounts from the likes of Joe Biden and Elon Musk ask followers to send them bitcoin. A suspect was arrested in the incident last month.

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  • Twitter Expects to Pay Up to $250 Million in FTC Fine Over Alleged Privacy Violations

                         

                           

    Twitter disclosed that it anticipates being forced to pay an FTC fine of $150 million to $250 million related to alleged violations over the social network’s use of private data for advertising.

                           

    The company revealed the expected scope of the fine in a 10-Q filing with the SEC. Twitter said that on July 28 it received a draft complaint from the Federal Trade Commission alleging the company violated a 2011 consent order, which required Twitter to establish an information-security program designed to “protect non-public consumer information.”

                           

    “The allegations relate to the Company’s use of phone number and/or email address data provided for safety and security purposes for targeted advertising during periods between 2013 and 2019,” Twitter said in the filing.

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  • Apple removes more than 26,000 games from China app store

                     

                       

    Apple pulled 29,800 apps from its China app store on Saturday, including more than 26,000 games, according to Qimai Research Institute.

                       

    The removals are in response to Beijing's crackdown on unlicensed games, which started in June and intensified in July, Bloomberg reported. This brings an end to the unofficial practice of letting games be published while awaiting approval from Chinese censors.

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  • Intuit Agrees to Buy Singapore Inventory Software Maker

                     

                       

    Intuit will pay more than $80 million for TradeGecko, according to people familiar with the matter, marking one of the biggest exits in Singapore since the Covid-19 pandemic. TradeGecko has raised more than $20 million to date from investors including Wavemaker Partners, Openspace Ventures and Jungle Ventures.

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  • Justice Department Is Scrutinizing Takeover of Credit Karma by Intuit, Maker of TurboTax

           

             

    The probe comes after ProPublica first reported in February that antitrust experts viewed the deal as concerning because it could allow a dominant firm to eliminate a competitor with an innovative business model. Intuit already dominates online tax preparation, with a 67% market share last year. The article sparked letters from Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., and Rep. David Cicilline, D-R.I., urging the DOJ to investigate further. Cicilline is chair of the House Judiciary Committee’s antitrust subcommittee.

Software: RedNotebook, Stretchly, Vesta Control Panel and GIMP (GNU Image Manipulation Program)

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Software
  • RedNotebook 2.20

    RedNotebook is a modern desktop journal. It lets you format, tag and search your entries. You can also add pictures, links and customizable templates, spell check your notes, and export to plain text, HTML, Latex or PDF. RedNotebook is Free Software under the GPL.

    [...]

    RedNotebook 2.20 changelog:

    Fix drag and drop (#492, @dgcampea).
    Fix external previews (Eric Chazan).
    Document how to change the theme on Windows (#487, Ankur A. Sharma).
    Allow symlinking to ./run script (#509).

  • Stretchly – reminder to take breaks

    Many people who regularly use computers suffer from eye strain and fatigue. Looking at a monitor for a long time can strain your eyes or can make any other problems you are having with your eyes seem more apparent.

    There are lots of simple steps you can take to reduce eye strain and fatigue. These include adjusting the brightness, contrast settings, and text size displayed, as well as minimizing glare, and ensuring your room has proper lighting. Taking regular breaks is also very important. This is where Stretchly is designed to help.

    Stretchly is a cross-platform open source app that reminds you to take breaks when working with your computer.

  • Vesta Control Panel – Simple Yet Powerful Control Panel For Linux

    cPanel web hosting is easier to set up and manage. Users who are not familiar with Linux servers can easily maintain servers using cPanel, a GUI control panel for web servers.

    Buying shared hosting or managed web hosting can provide users a control panel. But both types of hostings have their own advantages and disadvantages. Read this article to know things to remember before buying web hosting.

    In this Linux cPanel series, I am discussing the best open source alternatives of cPanel. Most of the open-source alternatives of cPanel are free.

    Today in this article, I am going to talk about Vesta Control Panel, a free and open-source control panel for Linux servers. Vesta CP can be deployed on Red hat/CentOS (version 5,6,7), Debian (version 7, 8, 9), and Ubuntu (version 12.04 – 18.10).

  • The Best Photoshop Alternatives That Are Totally Free

    GIMP (Gnu Image Manipulation Program) is usually the default go-to alternative for anyone looking for Photoshop-level capabilities in a freeware desktop program. It’s not quite as feature-rich as Adobe’s powerhouse, but it comes with an impressive stack of tools nevertheless — and while it can be bewildering for first-timers, it shouldn’t take you too long to learn the ropes.

VokoscreenNG Screencasting App 3.0.5 Released (Ubuntu PPA)

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Software

VokoscreenNG screencasting application 3.0.5 was released a few days ago. Here’s how to install it in Ubuntu 18.04, Ubuntu 20.04, and derivatives.

VokoscreenNG is an easy to use screencast creator that can be used to record videos from computers screen, webcams, external cameras, etc. This graphical tool can produce educational videos, live recordings of browser navigation, tutorials of installations, record video conferences, etc.

Read more

Wine 5.14

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Software

  • Wine Announcement
    The Wine development release 5.14 is now available.
    
    
    
    
    What's new in this release (see below for details):
      - More restructuration of the console support.
      - Initial version of the Webdings font.
      - Beginnings of PE conversion of the MSVCRT libraries.
      - Various bug fixes.
    
    
    
    
    The source is available from the following locations:
    
    
    
    
      https://dl.winehq.org/wine/source/5.x/wine-5.14.tar.xz
      http://mirrors.ibiblio.org/wine/source/5.x/wine-5.14.tar.xz
    
    
    
    
    Binary packages for various distributions will be available from:
    
    
    
    
      https://www.winehq.org/download
    
    
    
    
    You will find documentation on https://www.winehq.org/documentation
    
    
    
    
    You can also get the current source directly from the git
    repository. Check https://www.winehq.org/git for details.
    
    
    
    
    Wine is available thanks to the work of many people. See the file
    AUTHORS in the distribution for the complete list.
    
  • Wine 5.14 Brings Initial Version Of The Webdings Font

    Wine 5.14 debuted late on Friday night as the newest bi-weekly development release with being less than a half-year to go now until the debut of Wine 6.0 stable. 

  • Quench that weekend thirst with the release of Wine 5.14

    The Wine team today announced the released of Wine 5.14, the next development release on the long road to Wine 6.0.

    If you're curious on what Wine is: it's the constantly improving compatibility layer that allows the running of Windows-only applications and games on Linux and other operating systems. It's one of the driving forces behind Steam Play Proton. Helping you to get whatever you need done on Linux, or perhaps so you don't have to give up that favourite game.

Magnus – A Simple Screen Magnifier for Ubuntu

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Software

Looking for a desktop magnifier? Besides enabling the built-in screen magnifier, there are a few third-party applications can do the job.

Magnus is a very simple desktop magnifier written in Python 3. It shows the area around the mouse pointer in a separate window magnified two, three, four, or five times. Useful for users who need magnification, whether to help with eyesight or for accurate graphical design or detail work.

Read more

Record Live Audio as Ogg Vorbis in GNOME Gingerblue 0.2.0

Filed under
Software
GNOME

Today I released GNOME Gingerblue version 0.2.0 with the basic new features...

[...]

The GNOME release team complained at the early release cycle in July and call the project empty, but I estimate it will take at least 4 years to complete 4.0.0 in reasonable time for GNOME 4 to be released between 2020 and 2026.

Read more

today's howtos

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Software
HowTos

Telegram Desktop 2.2 Released with Auto-Night Mode, 2GB File Sharing, and More

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Software

Telegram Desktop 2.2 is not a hefty update, but it comes with some very nice features that I bet you’ll like. One of these is a new limit for sharing and storing files as the application now supports files up to 2GB each, and it works with an unlimited number of files of any type. Until now, the file limit was set to 1.5GB.

Another cool new feature is Auto-Night Mode. When enabled, Telegram will match the current theme of your operating system, whether it’s Dark Mode or Light Mode. This is nice to have because you don’t have to keep night mode enabled all the time or manually enable it at night.

Read more

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More in Tux Machines

Linux Plumbers Conference and Kernel Developments in METRICFS, FS-Cache, HWMON

  • Application Ecosystem Microconference Accepted into 2020 Linux Plumbers Conference

    We are pleased to announce that the Application Ecosystem Microconference has been accepted into the 2020 Linux Plumbers Conference! The Linux kernel is the foundation of the Linux systems, but it is not much use without applications that run on top of it. The application experience relies on the kernel for performance, stability and responsiveness. Plumbers is the perfect venue to have the kernel and app ecosystems under one roof to discuss and learn together and make a better application experience on the Linux platform.

  • Google Opens Patches For "METRICFS" That They Have Used Since 2012 For Telemetry Data

    The METRICFS file-system has been in use internally at Google since 2012 for exporting system statistics to their telemetry systems with around 200 statistics being exported per machine. They are now posting the METRICFS patches as open-source for review and possible upstreaming. A "request for comments" on METRICFS was sent out today on the Linux kernel mailing list. Their motives for now finally publishing these patches is as a result of the recent Statsfs proposal by a Red Hat engineer for a RAM-based file-system for exposing kernel statistics to user-space. METRICFS has a similar aim to Statsfs.

  • FS-Cache Rewritten But Even Its Developers Are Hesitant About Landing It For Linux 5.9

    FS-Cache provides the Linux kernel with a general purpose cache for network file-systems like NFS and AFS but also other special use-cases like ISO9660 file-systems. FS-Cache has been rewritten for better performance and reliability, among other benefits, and while it has been sent in as a pull request for Linux 5.9 even its own developers provide some caution over landing it this cycle. FS-Cache has seen work to "massively overhaul" it with a variety of improvements. The new and improved FS-Cache will now use async direct I/O in place of snooping for updated pages that in turn means less virtual memory overhead. The new FS-Cache implementation has simpler object management, changes to object invalidation, and a variety of other work.

  • Corsair Commander Pro Driver Sent In To Linux 5.9

    The hardware monitoring (HWMON) subsystem has a new driver that is likely to excite some enthusiasts wanting greater control over thermal monitoring and fan control for their systems. The previously covered Corsair Commander Pro Linux driver is now coming with Linux 5.9. The Commander Pro offers six 4-pin fan ports with PWM controls, two RGB LED channels, and four thermal sensors. An interested user/developer created this Linux driver without the support from Corsair. The thermal and fan control support is in place with this new HWMON driver while the RGB lighting controls are available from OpenRGB.

Graphics: Mesa 20.1.5, Intel and AMD

  • mesa 20.1.5
    Hi all,
    
    I'd like to announce Mesa 20.1.5, the fifth bugfix release for the 20.1 branch.
    
    The next bugfix release is planned for 2 weeks from now, on 2020-08-19.
    
    Cheers,
    Eric
    
    
  • Mesa 20.1.5 Released For The Latest Stable Open-Source Vulkan / OpenGL Drivers

    Mesa 20.1.5 provides the latest stable open-source Vulkan/OpenGL graphics drivers for the Linux desktop as the newest bi-weekly milestone. Mesa 20.2 remains under development as this quarter's feature release due out in about one month's time. Mesa 20.2 is running behind schedule as it should have been branched around the end of July but has yet to happen. In any case, more Mesa 20.2 feature work continues to land and more than likely will ship sometime in September. But until that occurs, Mesa 20.1 is the latest stable series.

  • Intel Workaround For Graphics Driver Regression: "The Platform Problem Going Crazy"

    Sent out over the weekend was a patch series for the Intel Linux kernel graphics driver entitled "Time, where did it go?" This set of 42 patches aims to provide incremental improvements to the driver to offset a performance regression in Linux 5.7 that Intel hasn't been able to track down. This increased complication of the driver to offset the regression is now under the microscope. The set of 42 patches by longtime Intel open-source developer Chris Wilson provides incremental improvements to reduce the execution latency. He was upfront that the intent of these improvements are to "basically offsets the small regressions incurred when compared to [Linux kernel] 5.7."

  • RadeonSI Resorts To Disabling SDMA For GFX9/Vega Due To APU Issues

    AMD's RadeonSI Gallium3D driver has resorted to disabling SDMA (System DMA) async DMA engine support for all GFX9/Vega hardware due to issues plaguing some APUs. While SDMA has the potential of helping performance, GFX9 (Vega) is now seeing the support disabled due to bugs seeming to only affect APUs. Though it's not entirely surprising as the open-source AMD Radeon Linux driver also is not enabling SDMA at this point for GFX8 (Polaris) or GFX10 (Navi) hardware either. Opened three months ago was the merge request for disabling SDMA on GFX9 and to back-port it to the stable series as well. Longtime AMD open-source developer Marek Olsak noted, "This is somewhat a radical step. All opinions welcome."

Audiocasts/Shows: Destination Linux, FLOSS Weekly, CrowPi and Linux Headlines

           
  • Destination Linux 185: Let’s Fix Linux Tech Support

    On this week’s episode of Destination Linux, we’re transitioning from the topic of Bug Reporting last week to Tech Support in Linux this week. We’re going to check in on Wayland’s progress with Plasma’s new release, we have an sandbox MMO for gaming, and our popular tips/tricks and software picks. All of this and so much more, coming up right now on Destination Linux.

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  • FLOSS Weekly 590: Rensselaer Center for Open Software - A Community of Open Source Developers

    RCOS is a group of RPI students who work on open-source projects. The goal of RCOS is to empower students to develop open-source solutions to real-world problems. They have created 300+ open source projects over the years. Doc Searls and Simon Phipps talk with Wes Turner, a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Computer Science at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) and the Director of the Rensselaer Center for Open Source. They discuss teaching open source and the hardships that come along with that, especially with e-learning. They also discuss what the future could look like if we could have more open-source programs like RCOS in other universities.

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  • The Best Raspberry Pi Laptop Kit | CrowPi 2 Review

    The Best Raspberry Pi Laptop Kit | CrowPi 2 Review of the kit, usage, and examples. 

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  • 2020-08-05 | Linux Headlines

    LibreOffice 7 dodges its rebranding controversy, the Pinta bitmap editor sees its first new version in 5 years, Red Hat accommodates certification seekers with new pandemic-friendly rules, and ownCloud 10.5 brings background sync changes to the platform.

Gaming on Linux in 2020: Way Better Than You Think

Linux has always been seen as a rather rigid operating system for gaming. Many games used to be unavailable on Linux, and the ones that you could play used to have all sorts of bugs. However, the situation’s not the same anymore with Ubuntu 20.04. The OS is way better for gaming than you may think. In certain situations, games even run better on Linux than on Windows. This is quite impressive so let’s see what lead to Linux’s improvements. Read more Also: Narrative-driven adventure Impostor Factory has new teaser trailer