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Software

Software: Formiko, Zstandard, RcppDE, Codelobster

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Software
  • Formiko, a reStructuredText Editor for Python Documentation

    Today, we are going to take a quick look at little editor built with Python that I recently became aware of.

  • zstd – A Fast Data Compression Algorithm Used By Facebook

    When required, it can trade compression speed for stronger compression ratios (compression speed vs compression ratio trade-off can be configured by small increments), vice versa. It has a special mode for small data compression, known as dictionary compression, and can build dictionaries from any sample set provided. It comes with a command line utility for creating and decoding .zst, .gz, .xz and .lz4 files. 

    [...]

    Importantly, Zstandard has a rich collection of APIs, supports almost all popular programming languages including Python, Java, JavaScript, Nodejs, Perl, Ruby, C#, Go, Rust, PHP, Switft, and lots more.

  • RcppDE 0.1.6

    Another maintenance release, now at version 0.1.6, of our RcppDE package is now on CRAN. It follows the most recent (unblogged, my bad) 0.1.5 release in January 2016 and the 0.1.4 release in September 2015.

    RcppDE is a "port" of DEoptim, a popular package for derivative-free optimisation using differential evolution optimization, to C++. By using RcppArmadillo, the code becomes a lot shorter and more legible. Our other main contribution is to leverage some of the excellence we get for free from using Rcpp, in particular the ability to optimise user-supplied compiled objective functions which can make things a lot faster than repeatedly evaluating interpreted objective functions as DEoptim (and, in fairness, just like most other optimisers) does.

  • FOSS Project Spotlight: the Codelobster IDE--a Free PHP, HTML, CSS and JavaScript Editor [Ed: Sad to see Linux Journal back to pushing proprietary software which mostly targets Windows]

    The Codelobster free web language editor has been available for quite some time and has attracted many fans. It allows you to edit PHP, HTML, CSS and JavaScript files, and it highlights the syntax and provides hints for tags, functions and their parameters. This editor deals with files that contain mixed content easily as well.

Software: Adoption of Flatpak vs Snap, CoreOS, Markdown, VPN and Proprietary

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Software
  • Adoption of Flatpak vs Snap (2018 edition)

    Because Flatpak comes in two types, regular release (0.11.x) and “Stable” (=LTS, 0.10.x), the latest Stable release counts as well. With Flatpak 0.11.8’s hotfix only released 4 hours ago, it could not have passed the QA of any serious distribution, so 0.11.7 counts as latest for now.

    Green means the latest version is in an official repository.
    Yellow means that either the latest version is in an add-on repo or the package is in an official repository but with some problems.
    Red means either not available at all or in some barely maintained (or even abandoned) add-on repository.

  • Red Hat’s CoreOS Unit Releases App Metering Tool

    When Red Hat acquired application container specialist CoreOS in January, it was looking to leverage the startup’s energetic development team churning out open-source tools for agile cloud computing.

    Those efforts appear to be bearing fruit with the release of several “operator” tools designed for container-based application development and for monitoring cloud consumption.

    The Red Hat unit recently released to the open source community an “Operator Framework” for building applications with Kubernetes. This week, it launched an “Operator Metering” tool for tracking cloud usage and costs. The entire tool kit is intended to help operators manage and scale Kubernetes operations without breaking the bank.

  • Markdown – style text on the web

    Markdown is a plain text formatting syntax created by John Gruber in 2004. It’s designed to be easy-to-read and easy-to-write.

    Readability is at the very heart of Markdown. It offers the advantages of plain text, provides a convenient format for writing for the web, but it’s not intended to be a replacement for HTML. Markdown is a writing format, not a publishing format. You control the display of the document; formatting words as bold or italic, adding images, and creating lists are just a few of the things we can do with Markdown. Mostly, Markdown is just regular text with a few non-alphabetic characters included, such as # or *.

  • The best Linux VPN 2018

    For obvious reasons, Linux tends to attract users who are more tech savvy and privacy aware than most Windows or macOS users, which makes a VPN a pretty natural fit for the operating system.

    Unfortunately, only a few VPN providers actually offer dedicated software clients for Linux, and if you don't opt for one of them you'll be stuck fiddling around in the system console (not that that's anything new to Linux users, of course...). With that in mind we've rounded up the best VPNs for Linux with a dedicated app, along with a few that don't.

  • Cities: Skylines - Good Traffic Guide

    This splendid city building simulation is no stranger to Dedoimedo. I've talked about the game at length, covering both the original release and the combined After Dark and Snowfall expansions, and recently also covered the relatively new Mass Transit DLC. But that's not all. We have also talked about traffic management. A lot.

    Like most urban simulators, the game places heavy focus on the road infrastructure - let's face it, a city cannot function without transportation, and everything else is a derivative of the tarmac grid, even if you do not really use grids in your games, ha ha. I've shed some personal advice on how to handle smooth flowing traffic against organic city growth, and the use of underground tunnels to achieve extra throughput and better aesthetics in your cities. Now, with Mass Transit offering a whole new range of additional transport technologies, I wanted to compile a complete guide on making your traffic perfect. Let us.

  • Google Chrome 68 Enters Beta with New "Add to Home Screen" Behavior for PWAs

    Google has promoted the upcoming Chrome 68 web browser to the Chrome Beta channel on Thursday for Chrome OS, Linux, Android, Chrome OS, macOS, and Windows platforms.

    Chrome 68 promises to be yet another incremental update that introduces new APIs (Application Programming Interfaces) for developers, namely the Payment Handler API and the Page Lifecycle API, as well as an improved "add to home screen" behavior for PWAs (Progressive Web Apps) that allows users to add them to the home screen on their Android devices.

Software: GNU/Linux, Chrome, and Mozilla/Firefox

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Google
Software
Moz/FF
  • Read Ebooks Quicker With This Spritz-Like Fast Reading Command Line Software

    Uniread aims at improving your reading speed by using a Spritz-like technique for fast reading. The application uses Node.js, runs on the command line, and it currently supports the EPUB ebook file format.

    According to Spritzinc, when you read "the eye seeks a certain point within the word, which we call the optimal recognition point, or ORP. After your eyes find the ORP, your brain starts to process the meaning of the word that you're viewing".

    They continue to mention that "when reading, only around 20% of your time is spent processing content. The remaining 80% is spent physically moving your eyes from word to word and scanning for the next ORP".

    This is where the Spritz-like technique / software comes in. Using it, you can read the text without moving your eyes and thus, improve your reading speed (thanks to the 80% of time gained from not having to move your eyes and by increasing the speed at which words are being displayed on screen).

  • Linux Release Roundup: Curlew, Cantata & Google Chrome

    Another week, another batch of welcome Linux app updates to round-up — and another one of these rather difficult post intros to write!

    This week we’re taking in updates from a diverse range of apps: from a nifty media converter to a nimble music player, by way of a largely unknown web browser called “Google Chrome”.

    Yes, that was an attempt at sarcasm.

  • Chrome 68 Beta: add to home screen, payment handler, page lifecycle

    Unless otherwise noted, changes described below apply to the newest Chrome Beta channel release for Android, Chrome OS, Linux, macOS, and Windows. View a complete list of the features in Chrome 68 on ChromeStatus.com. Chrome 68 is beta as of June 7, 2018.

  • Chrome 68 Rolls Out In Beta Form

    For those not satisfied by last week's Chrome 67 stable release, Chrome 68 is now available in beta form with the latest and greatest feature work.

  • @media, MathML, and Django 1.11: MDN Changelog for May 2018
  • What is Standup?

    Standup is a system for capturing standup-style posts from individuals making it easier to see what's going on for teams and projects. It has an associated IRC bot standups for posting messages from IRC.

  • Paris, Munich, & Dresden: Help Us Give the Web a Voice!

    In July, our Voice Assistant Team will be in France and Germany to explore trust and technology adoption. We’re particularly interested in how people use voice assistants and how people listen to content like Pocket and podcasts. We would like to learn more how you use technology and how a voice assistant or voice user interface (VUIs) could improve your Internet and open web experiences. We will be conducting a series of in-home interviews and participatory design sessions. No prior voice assistant experience needed!

Timekpr Revived: Easy To Use Parental Control Software For Ubuntu

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Software

Using Timekpr Revived, you can control the computer usage for certain user accounts by setting some predefined access rules.

Timekpr Revived is a fork of the old Timkpr application, which was initially updated with Ubuntu Unity support, but later received many other improvements, including porting the UI to GTK3, support for newer Ubuntu versions, and so on.

In recent weeks, Timekpr Revived has received support for KDE Plasma (the developer tested it in Kubuntu 18.04), as well as some important Ubuntu 18.04 (Gnome) fixes. As a result, Timekpr now runs in Unity, Gnome, KDE, Xfce, and MATE. Since I use Gnome, that's the only desktop environment in which I personally tried it though (on Ubuntu 18.04).

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darktable 2.4.4 and Nvidia 390.67 Graphics Driver

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Graphics/Benchmarks
Software
  • darktable 2.4.4 released

    we’re proud to announce the fourth bugfix release for the 2.4 series of darktable, 2.4.4!

  • darktable 2.4.4 Adds 50% Zoom Option in Darkroom Mode, Better Sony a6500 Support

    The open-source and cross-platform darktable RAW image editor was updated to version 2.4.4, a release that introduces two new features, improved camera support, and lots of bug fixes.

    The most prominent new features in darktable 2.4.4 are an all-new 50% zoom option that was implemented in the darkroom mode to the navigation drop-down and the ability to set the radius when (de)selecting lines in the perspective correction feature. It also updates the German and Russian language translations.

    Additionally, darktable 2.4.4 adds white balance presets for the Sony a6500 Alpha mirrorless digital camera (Sony ILCE-6500), as well as noise profiles for the Canon EOS 800D, Canon EOS Kiss X9i, Canon EOS Rebel T7i, Nikon COOLPIX B700, Nikon D5600, and Olympus TG-5 digital camera.

  • NVIDIA 390.67 Linux Driver Released WIth X.Org Server 1.20 Support, Bug Fixes

    The NVIDIA 390.67 Linux driver is now available as the latest "long-term" series driver release for those sticking to that over the newer but short-term NVIDIA 396 driver series.

  • Nvidia 390.67 Graphics Driver Released for Linux, FreeBSD, and Solaris Gamers

    Nvidia released a new long-lived branch of its proprietary graphics drivers for GNU/Linux, FreeBSD, and Solaris operating systems to add support for the recently released X.Org Server 1.20 display server and various other improvements.

    The Nvidia GeForce 390.67 proprietary graphics driver is currently the most advanced long-lived branch, recommended to all users with a Nvidia graphics card. According to the changelog, the biggest new feature of the Nvidia GeForce 390.67 graphics driver is support for the X.Org Server 1.20 display server (ABI 24), though it also improves the script that checks for kern.log for Debian-based distributions.

A friendly alternative to the find tool in Linux

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Software

fd is a super fast, Rust-based alternative to the Unix/Linux find command. It does not mirror all of find's powerful functionality; however, it does provide just enough features to cover 80% of the use cases you might run into. Features like a well thought-out and convenient syntax, colorized output, smart case, regular expressions, and parallel command execution make fd a more than capable successor.

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FOSS Project Spotlight: WallpaperDownloader

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Software

Are you bored with the look of your desktop? Are the wallpapers that come with your distro enough for you? WallpaperDownloader is a graphical application that will help you customize your desktop and find wallpapers automatically.

WallpaperDownloader allows you to download, manage and change your favorite wallpapers from the internet. It is open source (GPL3) and totally free. Simply type in some keywords, enable the providers to include (up to six), select the download policy, and WallpaperDownloader does the rest.

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Pyradio - Play your Favorite Radio Station from Linux Terminal

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Software
  • Pyradio - Play your Favorite Radio Station from Linux Terminal

    Pyradio is a free and open source Python-based command line tool that allows you to play your favorite radio station online. We'll take you through the installation of Pyradio and how to play your favorite radio station online from Ubuntu Linux terminal. We have tested this installation on Ubuntu 18.04 version.

  • Why Do So Many Linux Users Prefer the Command Line to a GUI?

    I work with GUI apps more often than I do with the CLI but it is how I do my most important dev tasks. The command line interface arguably has a steep learning curve but once you get the hang of it you will love it because it will become second nature.

Software: 10 Linux Apps I Can’t Live Without, GitHub Alternatives, BootISO, fkill, Gifcurry

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Software
  • 10 Linux Apps I Can’t Live Without

    10 Linux Apps I Can’t Live Without. Yes, I forgot to switch scenes during LibreOffice and Kdenlive because allergy meds brain. However, the applications are must haves for my workflow. What about you? Which Linux apps are must haves for you?

  • 6 Github alternatives that is open source and self-hosted

    And there you have it, six Github alternatives that you can host on your Linux or Unix server. No need to depend on the cloud or worry about Microsoft looking into your codebase.

  • 10 Best GitHub Alternatives to Host Open Source Projects

    Github is a powerful, secure and the most popular online platform for hosting software projects for version control using Git. It is particularly well known as a development platform for open source projects, however, Github supports private repositories as well.

    With Microsoft reportedly acquiring Github, many open source enthusiast are probably weary of this acquisition, knowing very well that Microsoft is a for-profit company, and who knows, terms and conditions are bound to change (as is always the case with such deals) concerning the world’s leading software development platform.

    If you are one of those already thinking of alternatives to Github for hosting your open source project(s), then check out the list below.

  • BootISO – A Simple Bash Script To Securely Create A Bootable USB Device From ISO File

    Most of us (including me) very often create a bootable USB device from ISO file for OS installation.

    There are many applications freely available in Linux for this purpose. Even we wrote few of the utility in the past.

    Every one uses different application and each application has their own features and functionality.

    In that few of applications are belongs to CLI and few of them associated with GUI.

  • fkill – Interactively Kill Processes in Linux

    Fkill-cli is a free open source, simple and cross-platform command line tool designed to interactively kill processes in Linux, developed using Nodejs. It also runs on Windows and MacOS X operating systems. It requires a process ID (PID) or process name to kill it.

  • Gifcurry – An Open Source Video to Gif Maker

    Gifcurry is an open-source Haskell-based video app with which you can create GIFs from video files. You can use it to edit videos by trimming, cropping, adding texts and fonts to them. Also, you can set size limits on the GIFs you create.

    Gifcurry is free, open-source, and it features both a Command Line and Graphical User Interface. If you don’t have a video-to-GIF app on your machine then you might never have to look for one again.

Software: Music and More

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Software
  • 10 Applications Every Linux Using Musician Should Know About

    When it comes to creativity, people are always assuming that a Mac is best, even in today’s Windows-centric ecosystem. As a result, so few people actually know about the diverse landscape of Linux-based tools and suites available, most of which for free.

  • rra-c-util 7.2

    rra-c-util is my collection of portability and utility code that I reuse in all the C and Perl projects I maintain.

    Most of the changes in this release are Autoconf macro improvements prompted by Julien ÉLIE. This release incorporates his work on RRA_PROG_PYTHON, RRA_LIB_PYTHON, and RRA_PYTHON_MODULE macros, which support both Python 2 and Python 3. It also improves the RRA_PROG_PERL macro to make PERL a substitution variable and to check that building against libperl actually works. Finally, RRA_LIB_BDB, RRA_LIB_OPENSSL, RRA_LIB_SASL, and RRA_LIB_ZLIB now check that the headers for the library are found as well as the library itself (based on Julien's work in INN).

  • wallet 1.4

    wallet is a secret management system that I developed at Stanford, primarily to distribute keytab management. As mentioned in an earlier post, I'm not entirely sure it has significant advantages over Vault, but it does handle Kerberos natively and we're still using it for some things, so I'm still maintaining it.

  • Why use SaltStack for automation and orchestration

    Thomas S. Hatch released Salt, aka the SaltStack Platform, in 2011 after becoming frustrated with the (slow) speed of the Ruby-based open source configuration management systems available at the time, including Puppet and Chef. Hatch used the open source ZeroMQ messaging library for networking and Python as the implementation language. Later the more scalable RAET (Reliable Asynchronous Event Transport Protocol) transport was developed as an alternative message queue.

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More in Tux Machines

Ubuntu: Snapcraft, Intel, AMD Patches, and Telemetry

  • SD Times Open-Source Project of the Week: Snapcraft
    Canonical, the company behind operating system and Linux distribution Ubuntu, is looking to help developers package, distribute and update apps for Linux and IoT with its open-source project Snapcraft. According to Evan Dandrea, engineering manager at Canonical, Snapcraft “is a platform for publishing applications to an audience of millions of Linux users.” The project was initially created in 2014, but recently underwent rebranding efforts.
  • Ubuntu 16.04 LTS Now Certified on Select Intel NUC Mini PCs and Boards for IoT Development, LibreOffice 6.0.5 Now Available, Git 2.8 Released and More
    Canonical yesterday announced that Ubuntu 16.04 LTS is certified on select Intel NUC Mini PCs and boards for IoT development. According to the Ubuntu blog post, this pairing "provides benefits to device manufacturers at every stage of their development journey and accelerates time to market." You can download the certified image from here. In other Canonical news, yesterday the company released a microcode firmware update for Ubuntu users with AMD processors to address the Spectre vulnerability, Softpedia reports. The updated amd64-microcode packages for AMD CPUs are available for Ubuntu 18.04 LTS (Bionic Beaver), Ubuntu 17.10 (Artful Aardvark), Ubuntu 16.04 LTS (Xenial Xerus), and Ubuntu 14.04 LTS (Trusty Tahr), "all AMD users are urged to update their systems."
  • Canonical issues Spectre v2 fix for all Ubuntu systems with AMD chips
    JUST WHEN YOU THOUGHT YOU'D HEARD THE END of Spectre, Canonical has released a microcode update for all Ubuntu users that have AMD processors in a bid to rid of the vulnerability. The Spectre microprocessor side-channel vulnerabilities were made public at the beginning of this year, affecting literally billions of devices that had been made in the past two decades.
  • A first look at desktop metrics
    We first announced our intention to ask users to provide basic, not-personally-identifiable system data back in February. Since then we have built the Ubuntu Report tool and integrated it in to the Ubuntu 18.04 LTS initial setup tool. You can see an example of the data being collected on the Ubuntu Report Github page.

Most secure Linux distros in 2018

Think of a Linux distribution as a bundle of software delivered together, based on the Linux kernel - a kernel being the core of a system that connects software to hardware and vice versa – with a GNU operating system and a desktop environment, giving the user a visual way to operate the system via a graphical user interface. Linux has a reputation as being more secure than Windows and Mac OS due to a combination of factors – not all of them about the software. Firstly, although desktop Linux users are on the up, Linux environments are far less common in the grand scheme of things than Windows devices on personal computers. The Linux community also tends to be more technical. There are technical reasons too, including fundamental differences in the way the distribution architecture tends to be structured. Nevertheless over the last decade security-focused distributions started to appear, which will appeal to the privacy-conscious user who wants to avoid the worldwide state-sanctioned internet spying that the west has pioneered and where it continues to innovate. Of course, none of these will guarantee your privacy, but they're a good start. Here we list some of them. It is worth noting that security best practices are often about process rather than the technology, avoiding careless mistakes like missing patches and updates, and using your common sense about which websites you visit, what you download, and what you plug into your computer. Read more

Red Hat and Fedora News

4MLinux 26.0 BETA released.

4MLinux 26.0 BETA is ready for testing. Basically, at this stage of development, 4MLinux BETA has the same features as 4MLinux STABLE, but it provides a huge number of updated packages, including major changes in the core of the system, which now uses the GNU C Library 2.27 and the GNU Compiler Collection 7.3.0. Read more