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Convert video using Handbrake

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Software
Movies

Recently, when my son asked me to digitally convert some old DVDs of his high school basketball games, I immediately knew I would use Handbrake. It is an open source package that has all the tools necessary to easily convert video into formats that can be played on MacOS, Windows, Linux, iOS, Android, and other platforms.

Handbrake is open source and distributable under the GPLv2 license. It's easy to install on MacOS, Windows, and Linux, including both Fedora and Ubuntu. In Linux, once it's installed, it can be launched from the command line with $ handbrake or selected from the graphical user interface. (In my case, that is GNOME 3.)

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CCNY faculty and student to learn how Pixar works its magic

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GNU
Linux
Movies

Laisa Barro says “Studying Computer Science and Art allows me to combine my creative and technical skills in unique and innovative ways. As a Production Support Engineer intern at Pixar, I’ll have the opportunity to apply those skills while working with almost every group at the studio to help diagnose and problem-solve issues for users on GNU/Linux-based desktop platforms."

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FFmpeg 4.0 Released

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Movies
OSS
  • FFmpeg 4.0 released

    Version 4.0 of the FFmpeg multimedia toolkit is out. There is a long list of new filters, formats, and more; see the announcement for details.

  • April 20th, 2018, FFmpeg 4.0 "Wu"
  • FFmpeg 4.0 Released With New Encoders/Decoders, NVIDIA NVDEC Decoding

    FFmpeg 4.0 is now available as the latest major release for this widely-used open-source multimedia encode/decoder library.

    FFmpeg 4.0 introduces NVIDIA NVDEC GPU-based decoding for H264 / MJPEG / HEVC / MPEG-1/2/4, VC1, VP8, and VP9 formats. This release also adds an Intel QSV accelerated overlay filter, an OpenCL overlay filter, VA-API MJPEG and VP8 decoding support, new VA-API filters, and many other accelerated code path improvements.

How to Turn Any Linux PC Into a Kodi-Based HTPC With Kodibuntu

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GNU
Linux
Movies

Kodi originated as Xbox Media Center, or XBMC. However, it evolved into what’s now Kodi. The utilitarian open-source media center plays pretty much any audio and video file you throw at it.

Plus, Kodi add-ons serve as apps similar to what’s found on streaming devices like Roku. For instance, the Plex for Kodi add-on provides access to your Plex media server library, while the Funimation Now add-on lets you stream Funimation from Kodi. Furthermore, the robust Kodi media center provides plenty of options to access networked media files.

As a Kodi-based Linux distro, Kodibuntu is a fusion of Kodi and Lubuntu, a lightweight Ubuntu derivative. Yet Kodibuntu differs from the likes of OpenELEC, LibreELEC, and OSMC in that it’s a full on Linux distro with a desktop environment. While the main focus is media center use, you benefit from the ability to access and edit system files.

Thus, it’s more comprehensive than most Kodi OSes. If you’ve used Ubuntu, then Kodibuntu should present a familiar experience. Learn more about Kodi with our complete A-Z of Kodi guide!

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Also: Will You Upgrade to Ubuntu 18.04 LTS? [Poll]

10 Best Media Server Software for Linux in 2018

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GNU
Linux
Movies

A media server is simply a specialized file server or computer system for storing media (digital videos/movies, audio/music, and images) which can be accessed over a network.

In order to setup a media server, you need computer hardware (or perhaps a cloud server) as well as a software that enables you to organize your media files, and makes it easier to stream and/or share them with friends and family.

In this article, we will share with you a list of 10 best media server software for Linux systems. By the time you complete this article, you will be able to choose the most appropriate software to setup your home/office/cloud media server powered by a Linux system.

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Also: 5 Reasons Kodi Users Should Just Switch To Plex Already

LibreELEC (Krypton) 8.2.5 MR

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GNU
Linux
Movies

LibreELEC (Krypton) 8.2.5 is now available with updates to Raspberry Pi firmware to address issues seen with the initial firmware release supporting the new 3B+ hardware (which also affected the Slice box). We also bump both nVidia drivers in the Generic x86_64 image, resolve an MCE remote problem, add support for the WeTek Pro remote control unit in WeTek images, the Allo DigiOne DAC in Raspberry Pi images, and updated u-boot in the Odroid C2 image now supports mild overclocking to boost performance.

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You Can Now Transform Your Raspberry Pi 3 Model B+ into a Home Theatre System

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Movies

OSMC (Open Source Media Center), the free and open-source media player operating system based on the Linux kernel and designed for single-board computers received March 2018's update with dozens of changes, including support for the latest Raspberry Pi model.

Raspberry Pi Foundation announced last week on Pi Day, March 14, 2018, the Raspberry Pi 3 Model B+ single-board computer (SBC), which features updated hardware, including a 1.4GHz 64-bit Quad-core ARM Cortex-A53 CPU, Gigabit Ethernet over USB 2.0, Bluetooth 4.2, Dual-band 802.11ac wireless LAN, and PoE support.

The developers of the OSMC Linux OS (formerly RaspBMC) received some pre-production units from Raspberry Pi Foundation to prepare their upcoming release for the new SBC, and March's update is now live with Raspberry Pi 3 Model B+ support, allowing you to transform it into a versatile home theatre system.

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LibreELEC (Krypton) 8.2.4 MR

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GNU
Linux
Movies

Team LibreELEC celebrates its second birthday (and international Pi-Day) with the release of LibreELEC (Krypton) v8.2.4 which brings minor bug-fixes and new firmware to support the Raspberry Pi 3 Model B+ hardware announced this morning.

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Kodi 18 Leia Alpha

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Software
Movies
  • Kodi v18 Leia - Alpha 1

    A new hope dawns and it is finally time to start heading towards a final release. Today we are happy to announce that we are bringing you the first official pre-release Alpha build to a galaxy near you.

  • Kodi v18 Leia Alpha, BleachBit Version 2.0, Use an RPi 3 to Build Your Own Cheap Car Head Unit and More

    Kodi v18 Leia Alpha was released today with "more than 6140 (code chunks changed)", with great improvements to the HTPC software's music library, Live TV and video player. See the changelog for more details.

  • Kodi 18 "Leia" Enters Alpha With Thousands Of Changes

    Kodi, the popular HTPC software formerly known as XBMC, has put out the first alpha release of their upcoming 18 Leia milestone.

    Kodi 18 is a big update coming later in 2018 with RetroPlayer gaming support, Wayland support improvements, Google Assistant support, better live TV support, and much more. While there are new features, stability and usability improvements were also a main focus during Kodi 18 development.

Patent Troll MPEG LA Wants People to Stay With MPEG

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Movies
  • Waddawewant? Free video codecs! When do we... oh, look, the last MPEG-2 patent expired!

    It's almost of historical interest only, but everywhere except the Philippines and Malaysia, the last MPEG-2 video encoder/decoder patents have expired.

    As *nixcraft noted, what it means is that there will never again be the risk of an MPEG-2 decoder being bombed in the libre operating system world.

    The company that had the patents wrapped up for licensing, MPEG LA, told the world the last US patent expired on 13 February here .

  • Race on to bring AV1 open source codec to market, as code freezes

    The long-heralded open source AV1 codec is now set for development of commercial product, with the code complete and ready to be frozen over the next few weeks. This has been confirmed by contributors to the standard such as Austrian transcoding software developer Bitmovin, which hopes to be among the first to bring out a product. That will happen once members of the Alliance for Open Media (AOM) that developed the codec sign off its performance.

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today's leftovers

  • Chromebook Users Will Soon Be Able to Install Debian Packages via the Files App
    Google continues to work on the Linux app support implementation for its Linux-based Chrome OS operating system for Chromebooks by adding initial support for installing Debian packages via the Files app. Linux app support in Chrome OS is here, but it's currently in beta testing as Google wants to make it ready for the masses in an upcoming stable Chrome OS release. Meanwhile, Google's Chrome OS team details in a recent Chromium Gerrit commit initial support for installing Linux packages in the .deb file format used by Debian-based operating systems directly from the Files app.
  • Phoronix Test Suite 8.2 Milestone 1 Released For Open-Source Benchmarking
    The first development snapshot of Phoronix Test Suite 8.2 is now available as what will be the next quarterly feature update to our open-source Linux / BSD / macOS / Windows automated benchmarking software and framework.
  • How To Install Plex Media Server on CentOS 7
  • How to Recover Files from Corrupted or Damaged ReiserFS File Systems? DiskInternals Has the Answer
  • DXVK 0.63 Released With Support For NVIDIA's Latest Driver
    For those planning to enjoy their favorite Direct3D 11 games under Wine this weekend and utilizing the DXVK D3D11-over-Vulkan layer for greater performance, DXVK 0.63 is now available. First up with DXVK 0.63 is compatibility with the newly-released NVIDIA 396.45 stable driver release due to Vulkan driver changes.
  • Northgard introduces the Clan of the Snake in a new DLC
    Thriving in the harsh northern lands in Northgard isn’t particularly easy and the new Snake Clan faction adds a few twists to the enjoyable Viking experience. An update that released alongside the DLC also adds several bells and whistles to all players for free.
  • Meg Ford: GUADEC 2018
    I was particularly interested in and disappointed by Michael Catanzaro's talk "Migrating from JHBuild to BuildStream". I appreciate all the time and effort the Release Team has put into maintaining and developing the build systems, so I'm including my experience here as an example, not as a criticism. Over time I've gotten used to JHBuild and become adept at searching for and fixing its sometimes bizarre error messages. A few months ago, after running into some modules that failed on JHBuild, I read the announcement about GNOME's modulesets moving to BuildStream. I spent a couple days removing JHBuild and rebuilding everything in BuildStream. Except I ran out of disk space. So I removed as much as I could and started over. Except then PulseAudio wouldn't work. Luckily I'd occasionally run into the same errors caused by an unavailable PulseAudio daemon when I was using JHBuild. I tried restarting the daemon, etc, and looked for info on the subject. In the end it turned out that PulseAudio wasn't available within the sandbox, so I scrapped BuildStream and went back to JHBuild. Going forward, I'm planning to move from JHBuild to using FlatPak, Builder, and GNOME's nightly runtime build. I'm happy that the community is providing solutions, and, while things are still in a confusing state, at least they are moving quickly in interesting and promising directions.
  • On Flatpak Nightlies
    As far as I know, it was not possible to run any nightly applications during this two week period, except developer applications like Builder that depend on org.gnome.Sdk instead of the normal org.gnome.Platform. If you used Epiphany Technology Preview and wanted a functioning web browser, you had to run arcane commands to revert to the last good runtime version. This multi-week response time is fairly typical for us. We need to improve our workflow somehow. It would be nice to be able to immediately revert to the last good build once a problem has been identified, for instance. Meanwhile, even when the runtime is working fine, some apps have been broken for months without anyone noticing or caring. Perhaps it’s time for a rethink on how we handle nightly apps. It seems likely that only a few apps, like Builder and Epiphany, are actually being regularly used. The release team has some hazy future plans to take over responsibility for the nightly apps (but we have to take over the runtimes first, since those are more important), and we’ll need to somehow avoid these issues when we do so. Having some form of notifications for failed builds would be a good first step.
  • TLS 1.3 Via GnuTLS Is Planned For Fedora 29
    The feature list for Fedora 29 continues growing and the latest is about shipping GnuTLS with TLS 1.3 support enabled. TLS 1.3 was approved by the Internet Engineering Task Force earlier this year as the newest version of this protocol for making secure web connections that is key to HTTPS. TLS 1.3 offers various security and performance improvements over TLS 1.2 as well as lower-latency, better handling of long-running sessions, etc.
  • Xubuntu 17.10 EOL
    On Thursday 19th July 2018, Xubuntu 17.10 goes End of Life (EOL). For more information please see the Ubuntu 17.10 EOL Notice.
  • Linux Mint developers planning big Cinnamon 4.0 improvements
    Linux Mint is one of the most popular Linux-based desktop operating systems for a reason -- it’s really good. By leveraging the excellent Ubuntu for its base, and offering a top-notch user experience, success is pretty much a guarantee. While the distribution primarily focuses on two desktop environments -- Mate and Cinnamon -- the latter is really the star of the show. Cinnamon is great because it uses a classic WIMP interface that users love, while also feeling modern. With Cinnamon 3.8, the Linux Mint Team focused on improving the DE's performance, and today, the team shares that it is continuing that mission with the upcoming 4.0. In particular, the team is focusing on Vsync.

OSS and Sharing Leftovers

  • Crowdfunding for extension management in GIMP (and other improvements)
    Well that’s the big question! Let’s be clear: currently security of plug-ins in GIMP sucks. So the first thing is that our upload website should make basic file type checks and compare them with the metadata listing. If your metadata announces you ship brushes, and we find executables in there, we would block it. Also all executables (i.e. plug-ins or scripts) would be held for manual review. That also means we’ll need to find people in the community to do the review. I predict that it will require some time for things to set up smoothly and the road may be bumpy at first. Finally we won’t accept built-files immediately. If code is being compiled, we would need to compile it ourselves on our servers. This is obviously a whole new layer of complexity (even more because GIMP can run on Linux, Windows, macOS, BSDs…). So at first, we will probably not allow C and C++ extensions on our repository. But WAIT! I know that some very famous and well-maintained extensions exist and are compiled. We all think of G’Mic of course! We may make exceptions for trustworthy plug-in creators (with a well-known track record), to allow them to upload their compiled plug-ins as extensions. But these will be really exceptional. Obviously this will be a difficult path. We all know how security is a big deal, and GIMP is not so good here. At some point, we should even run every extension in a sandbox for instance. Well some say: the trip is long, but the way is clear.
  • Python's founder steps down, India's new net neutrality regulations, and more open source news
    The head of one of the most popular free software/open source software projects is stepping down. Guido van Rossum announced that he's giving up leadership of the project he founded, effective immediately. van Rossum, affectionately known as Python's "benevolent dictator for life," made the move after the bruising process of approving a recent enhancement proposal to the scripting language. He also cited some undisclosed medical problems as another factor in his resignation. van Rossum stated that he "doesn't want to think as hard about his creation and is switching to being an 'ordinary core developer'," according to The Inquirer. van Rossum, who "has confirmed he won't be involved in appointing his replacement. In fact, it sounds very much like he doesn't think there should be one," believes that Python's group of committers can do his job.
  • FLIR Creates Open-Source Dataset for Driving Assistance
    Sensor systems developer FLIR Systems Inc. has announced an open-source machine learning thermal dataset designed for advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) and self-driving vehicle researchers, developers, and auto manufacturers, featuring a compilation of more than 10,000 annotated thermal images of day and nighttime scenarios. The first of its kind to include annotations for cars, other vehicles, people, bicycles, and dogs, the starter thermal dataset enables developers to begin testing and evolving convolutional neural networks with the FLIR Automotive Development Kit (ADKTM). The dataset empowers the automotive community to quickly evaluate thermal sensors on next-generation algorithms. When combined with visible light cameras, lidar, and radar, thermal sensor data paired with machine learning helps create a more comprehensive and redundant system for identifying and classifying roadway objects, especially pedestrians and other living things.
  • Open-source map of accessible restaurants in Calgary growing into something beautiful
    A call on Twitter for a list of accessible restaurants has led to an online mapping movement to plot out user-friendly restaurants around the city. On Monday, Calgary-based tech entrepreneur Travis Martin saw a tweet from Natasha Gibson (@ktash) asking Councillor Druh Farrell if she knew of some accessible restaurants for her senior parents.
  • Universities in Germany and Sweden Lose Access to Elsevier Journals [iophk: "sci-hub to the rescue"]

    This month, approximately 300 academic institutions in Germany and Sweden lost access to new papers published in Elsevier’s journals due to a standstill in negotiations for nationwide subscription contracts. While Elsevier’s papers remain inaccessible, academics are turning to alternative means of obtaining them, such as using inter-library loan services, emailing authors, finding earlier versions on preprint servers, or buying individual papers.

  • Open Source Laboratory Rocker is Super Smooth
    Lab equipment is often expensive, but budgets can be tight and not always up to getting small labs or researchers what they need. That’s why [akshay_d21] designed an Open Source Lab Rocker with a modular tray that uses commonly available hardware and 3D printed parts. The device generates precisely controlled, smooth motion to perform automated mild to moderately aggressive mixing of samples by tilting the attached tray in a see-saw motion. It can accommodate either a beaker or test tubes, but since the tray is modular, different trays can be designed to fit specific needs.
  • Update on our planned move from Azure to Google Cloud Platform
    Improving the performance and reliability of GitLab.com has been a top priority for us. On this front we've made some incremental gains while we've been planning for a large change with the potential to net significant results: running GitLab as a cloud native application on Kubernetes. The next incremental step on our cloud native journey is a big one: migrating from Azure to Google Cloud Platform (GCP). While Azure has been a great provider for us, GCP has the best Kubernetes support and we believe will the best provider for our long-term plans. In the short term, our users will see some immediate benefits once we cut over from Azure to GCP including encrypted data at rest on by default and faster caching due to GCP's tight integration with our existing CDN.

Openwashing Examples

  • Ripple’s Evan Schwartz says Codius might pave the way for open-source services
    The Creator of Codius, Evan Schwartz, spoke about the technology recently at CSAIL Initiative Launch. Codius is a smart contract and distributed applications hosting platform developed jointly by Stefan Thomas, the Founder of Coil, and Evan Schwartz. Schwartz started off by saying that Codius is much more flexible in hosting decentralized applications when compared to the blockchain. The reason for many developers to choose the blockchain is mainly security and redundancy.
  • Nish Tech Simplifies eCommerce Integrations With the Launch of Open-Source Framework for Sitecore Commerce
    Nish Tech, a leader in Sitecore and eCommerce implementations, released a framework to the user community to accelerate and simplify development and integration for ecommerce sites. Nish Tech, a Gold Sitecore Implementation Partner with a specialization in eCommerce, initially unveiled a preview at the European Sitecore User Group summit in Berlin, Germany earlier this year. Today marks the official launch of this framework. In most online ecommerce implementations, integration with backend systems like ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) and PIM (Product Information Management) play an important role. Most companies spend significant time/effort building connections to these systems. Customers using a modern ecommerce platform, like Sitecore Experience Commerce in the digital commerce space need a communication link to the backend systems to complete ecommerce transactions.
  • Appareo offers open source on fourth-generation Stratus receiver
    Appareo released a new addition to its Stratus family of pilot-friendly affordable avionics this week. Stratus 3 is the latest model in the line of industry-leading ADS-B receivers first introduced in 2012. The company will exhibit Stratus 3 as part of its full line of Stratus products next week at the annual EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2018 fly-in and expo.