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SoftMaker for Linux Is a Solid Microsoft Office Alternative

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The easy access to the free download of SoftMaker Office 2018 gives you nothing to lose in checking out its suitability as a Microsoft Office replacement. If you decide to upgrade to the paid Linux release, you will pay $69.95 for a proprietary license. That is the same price as the Home and Student editions of Microsoft Office 365.

If you opt for the free open source version, FreeOffice 2018, when it is released, you still could have a top-of-the-line alternative to other Linux tools that play well with Microsoft Office.

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Software: LibreOffice, Android Web Browsers, VLC 3, Eelo

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  • LibreOffice Tabbed Toolbar Compact

    The Notebookbar implementation Tabbed Compact is finished and can be tested.

  • 10 Best Android Browsers To Enhance Your Web Browsing In 2018

    Web Browsers are one of the most significant pieces of software on your device that serves as a window to access the World Wide Web. Mostly, a browser app is always pre-installed on every Android device. However, not all the browsers can provide you with a smooth and reliable browsing experience.

    There are a lot of third-party web browsers available in the Play Store which can give a fast browsing experience and will consume as little data as possible. We have hand-picked ten best Android browsers which come with all the necessary features and top-notch performance.


  • VLC 3.0-RC3 Released With Hardware Decoding That Works On All Platforms

    VLC lead developer Jean-Baptiste Kempf has released the big VLC 3.0-RC3 update for Christmas.

    Two weeks back I wrote how the VLC 3.0 release candidates finally got underway while timed now for Christmas day is the 3.0-RC3 release that's getting a fair amount of attention.

  • Eelo, the Mandrake of the Mobile World?

    Today, I visited the OpenMandriva site and found a piece of news that caught my eye. It seems that Gaël Duval, the founder of Mandrake (later Mandriva) Linux, has started an ambitious Kickstarter project: eelo, a mobile platform that uses FLOSS and focuses on keeping user data on the hands of users.

Managing tasks, time, and making sure one takes a break: Integrating Taskwarrior, Timewarrior, and Gnome Pomodoro

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With the new year, come resolutions. On many a list will there be a determination to do better in the coming year, to be more organised, more efficient, more productive.

I'm quite organised myself. I have lists, calendars, reminders, budgets, and all of that. Being a FOSS person, my first thought, inevitably, is to see if there's a piece of software that would aid me.

This post documents how one can get Taskwarrior, Timewarrior, and Gnome Pomodoro to work together to manage tasks, track them, and break those long hours into smaller bits with regular breaks.

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Graphics: New GIMP and Blender Coming Soon

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  • Strings Freeze For GIMP 2.10 Is Now O

    GIMP’s user interface is currently available in 80 languages. So far ca. 20 translations have been updated in the unstable branch since the beginning of the work on v2.10, and only 8 translations in the ‘po’ directory (where most translatable messages reside) are at least 90% complete. So clearly we need to give our translators a head start.

    This is why GIMP’s master branch is now entering a tentative strings freeze phase in preparation for 2.10 release. We expect further changes between today and the v2.10 final release to affect no more than 1% of translatable messages. So it’s safe to start updating user interface translations now.

  • GIMP 2.10 Steps Closer To Release With String Freeze

    The long-awaited GIMP 2.10 stable update should indeed materialize in 2018 with the release now being under a tentative string freeze.

    Released two weeks back was the GIMP 2.9.8 development release and since then more feature work has landed like support for the screenshot API. But in trying to get translators jumping on the translation work for GIMP 2.10, a tentative string freeze is now in place with developers thinking not more than 1% of the translations should change ahead of the 2.10 release.

    While GIMP has support for 80+ languages, only 20 of them have been updated in the unstable branch for 2.10 and only eight languages have at least 90% completion.

  • Blender 2.8 Xmas Report

    It’s that time of the year again. And what a year! Blender 2.8 is shaping up and made ready for use in daily production in a Blender open movie.

    Early in the year, we started sharing a daily build of 2.8 with all the latest changes. That lead to a great response by early adopters who embraced the potential of a real-time engine such as Eevee in Blender. We saw that in the demo we had at Siggraph, as well as the constant sharing of images and videos in social media.

    We also added a 2.8 hub on A page where people could learn more about the 2.8 project. If you haven’t visited it, go check it out. You can find all the Siggraph demo files, as well as videos, documents and everything that is 2.8 related.

  • Blender 2.8 Is Coming In 2018 With Huge Improvements

    Developers behind the Blender 3D modeling software have shared a "Christmas update" about their ongoing work towards Blender 2.8 as the next major release for this open-source, cross-platform modeling software.

    Blender 2.8 will premiere with Eevee as the real-time engine integrated with the Blender viewport. Eevee supports PBR rendering, subsurface scattering, light probes, and many other features used by today's 3D games.

Darktable 2.4.0 is Out

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  • darktable 2.4.0 released

    we’re proud to finally announce the new feature release of darktable, 2.4.0!

    the github release is here:

  • darktable 2.4 Open-Source RAW Image Editor Is Officially Out, Here's What's New

    As a Christmas surprise for all photography fans, the development team behind the darktable open-source and cross-platform RAW image editor released the final darktable 2.4 update.

    darktable 2.4 is a massive update that incorporates numerous new features, but the biggest of them all is support for the Microsoft Windows operating systems. While there's no printing support and a few bugs and limitations are still present, users can now run darktable on their Windows PCs.

  • Darktable 2.4 Released With Many New Features, Windows Support

    Darktable 2.4 is now available as the latest major release for this widely-acclaimed open-source RAW photography software.

Software and howtos

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Software: Opus 1.3 Beta and Proprietary Software

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  • libopus 1.3-beta

    This Opus 1.3-beta beta release of the upcoming Opus 1.3 includes:

        Enabling by default the spec fixes in RFC 8251
        Improvements to the VAD and speech/music classification using an RNN
        Improvements to stereo speech coding at low bitrate
        Added support for ambisonics projection using mapping 3 (disabled by default)
        Fixes to the CELT PLC

  • Opus 1.3 Audio Codec Reaches Beta

    The Opus open-source, royalty-free audio codec designed for interactive speech and music over the Internet is working on its version 1.3 update.

  • Blueworx Releases Voice Response 7.4 for Linux

    Blueworx, a provider of Interactive Voice and Customer Experience solutions designed to deliver efficient, scalable, and reliable voice technologies, announced the release of Blueworx Voice Response 7.4 for Linux. The new release provides enhancements for the Blueworx Cloud solutions with the same proven rock-solid stability and unparalleled scalability of Blueworx Voice Response for Linux 7.3. Blueworx Voice Response is available for both IBM AIX® and Linux.

  • You Can Now Install Spotify on Linux as a Snap

    Linux users rejoice! As Spotify is now much easier to install on most Linux distributions. This is because the Spotify desktop app is now available as a snap, which makes it really easy to install and use without the need to install any other software first. It seems Christmas has come early.

  • Citrix Debuts XenServer 7.3, Removing Some Features from Free Edition

    Citrix is taking steps to help advance the commercially supported version of its XenServer virtualization product, while at the same time removing some capabilities from the free edition of XenServer.

  • Opera 50 Web Browser Will Bring a Cryptocurrency Mining Protection Feature

    Opera Software announced on Thursday the availability of the Release Candidate of the upcoming Opera 50 web browser for all supported platforms.

    Besides the revamped built-in VPN service, one of the biggest new features coming to the Opera 50 web browser, which should hit the streets in the coming days, is an anti-Bitcoin mining functionality that won't allow cryptocurrency miners to steal your CPU power while you're browsing the Internet. It's a very good feature and it should be implemented by default in all web browsers available on the market.

Wine 3.0 Gets One Last Release Candidate with Far Cry and SlingPlayer 2 Fixes

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Coming just one after the second Release Candidate build, today's Wine 3.0 RC3 development snapshot brings another batch of bug fixes and improvements for various Windows applications and games. According to the changelog, a total of 24 fixes are included in this new development release.

Among the Windows apps that received improvements in Wine 3.0 RC3, we can mention SlingPlayer 2.0.4, AstroPlanner 1.6.1, Adobe Photoshop CS5, SlovoEB 2.1, Microsoft Money, TMIDI Player, and Autocad 2002. Windows games that should work better include Far Cry, Age of Empires 2, and Pool of Radiance 1.4.

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Also: Wine 3.0-RC3 Released With Two Dozen Fixes

Software: Bareos (Backup), Converting Audio & Video Files, Slack Lockin

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  • Bareos 17.2 published

    Bareos has already presented the release candidate for the new version 17.2 at this year’s Open Source Backup Conference in Cologne, Germany. As of now, the final release is officially published. There are many new features in the web UI as well as under the hood. Most new features were sponsored by customers.

    Especially professional users with large environments will benefit from the new database optimization (de-normalization of the file table), which leads to significant speed-increase when backing up millions or more files.

  • Great Apps to Convert Audio & Video Files

    The growth in digital media has come with a plethora of video formats that never existed in the past, and this means many players are not able to understand these formats. One of the remedies you have in such a case is to ensure you use a video converter to change the formats to ones that can be read by your players. In this case, you have many options and most of the apps available are free of charge. Here are a few you might want to consider.

  • Changing how we use Slack solved our transparency and silo problems

    My first (open source) thought was: "Hey, why aren't we using IRC, or some other open source tool, for this?" I quickly realized that didn't matter, as our open source engineers weren't the only people using Slack. People from all areas of the company—even senior leadership—were adopting Slack in droves, and, in some cases, convincing their management to pay for it!

Software: Xfce PulseAudio Plugin 0.3.4, drat 0.1.4, digest 0.6.13, Cockpit 158, Weblate 2.18 and More

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Android Leftovers

ExTiX, the Ultimate Linux Operating System, Is Now Based on Ubuntu 18.04 LTS

ExTiX is dubbed the "Ultimate Linux System," and it's been updated earlier today by developer Arne Exton to version 18.4, based on Canonical's upcoming Ubuntu 18.04 LTS operating system. However, ExTiX is using the lightweight and modern LXQt 0.12.0 as default desktop environment instead of GNOME, and it's powered by the latest Linux 4.16.2 kernel. "After removing GNOME I have installed LXQt 0.12.0," said Arne Exton in today's announcement. "Programs won’t crash or anything like that. And I haven’t discovered any bugs to report. While running ExTiX LXQt 18.4 live or from the hard drive you can use Refracta tools (pre-installed) to create your own live installable Ubuntu system. A ten-year child can do it." Read more

20-Way NVIDIA GeForce / AMD Radeon GPU Comparison For Rise of The Tomb Raider On Vulkan/Linux

Today Feral Interactive released their much anticipated Linux port of Rise of the Tomb Raider, the game that was released for Windows in January of 2016 and then released for macOS last week. Feral's Mac port was relying upon the Apple Metal API while the Linux port is now their second game (after F1 2017) exclusively relying upon the Vulkan graphics/compute API rather than OpenGL. This morning I posted the initial Radeon results using the RADV driver while here is the NVIDIA GeForce vs. AMD Radeon graphics card comparison on Ubuntu Linux using twenty different graphics cards. Read more

Nix This Innovative OS for Its Uninviting Complexity

I had to keep reminding myself that I was not dealing with an extreme case of Arch Linux instead of GNU/Linux. NixOS is more demanding and definitely not a distro for users with anything less than advanced skills. To say NixOS comes with a steep learning curve and lots of hands-on overhead is putting it mildly. If you are a typical Linux user who lacks sysadmin training, avoid NixOS like a malware attack hiding in plain sight. Read more