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

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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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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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  • 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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  • 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.

Movie Monad – A GTK Video Player Built with Haskell

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Yes, guys – another video player! “What’s special about this one?”, you ask. Well, for starters, it began as a (blog post project) for Haskell programmers interested in functional programming and who also have an interest in building GTK UI apps.

Movie Monad is a free, simple, and open-source GTK video player written in Haskell. If features a UI reminiscent of VLC Media Player, keyboard shortcuts, and the ability to play both local and remote files.

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Additional VLC Coverage

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VLC 3.0 Vetinari

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  • VLC 3.0 Vetinari

    VLC 3.0.0 is the first version of "Vetinari" branch of our popular media player.

  • VLC 3.0 Released

    As expected, the VLC 3.0 media player is now available!

  • The 5 Coolest Things About VLC 3.0

    VLC Chromecast support arrives in VLC 3.0, as do many other features! In this post we take a look at 5 changes that make this VLC release worth downloading.

  • VLC 3.0, PostgreSQL 10.2, Sylabs, Zerodium Bounty and More

    PostgreSQL 10.2 was released yesterday, which includes numerous bug and security fixes: "This release fixes two security issues" as well as "issues found with VACUUM, GIN and hash indexes, parallel query, logical replication, and other bugs reported over the past three months. All users using the affected versions of PostgreSQL should update as soon as possible."

MythTV 29.1 Released

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  • MythTV 29.1 Released

    Last July marked the release of MythTV 29 as the latest release of this once super popular Linux DVR/PVR software. Today marks the availability of MythTV 29.1.

  • Happy Release Day!

    The MythTV Team is pleased to announce the release of MythTV version v29.1

Video Acceleration in Fedora 28 and the Rotting of MPEG Due to Software Patents

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Red Hat
  • Fedora 28 Planning For VA-API 1.0 Support

    The latest work by Fedora developers on feature work for Fedora 28 is shipping with VA-API 1.0 support for updated capabilities around the Video Acceleration API.

    The VA-API 1.0.0 API/ABI is provided by the libva 2.0 video acceleration library. Libva 2.0 was released last October with H.264 FEI support in its API, deprecating older parts of the API, fixing a race condition with the Wayland support, renaming some parts of the API, improving the logging capabilities, and various other changes. Libva 2.0 broke API/ABI compatibility with older versions of this Intel-developed Video Acceleration API.

  • A crisis, the causes and a solution [Ed: LWN says "this blog posting from Leonardo Chiariglione, the founder and chair of MPEG, on how (in his view) the group is being destroyed by free codecs and patent trolls."]

    Because there are rumours spreading about a presumed “MPEG-Video collapse” and Brownian motion-like initiatives trying to remedy – in some cases by the very people who have contributed to creating the “crisis”.


    In its 30 years of operation MPEG has created digital media standards that have enabled the birth and continue promoting the growth of digital media products, services and applications. Here are a few, out of close to 180 standards: MP3 for digital music (1992), MPEG-2 for digital television (1994), MPEG-4 Visual for video on internet (1998), MP4 file format for mobile handsets (2001), AVC for reduced bitrate video (2003), DASH for internet streaming (2013), MMT for IP broadcasting (2013) and more. In other words, MPEG standards have had and keep on having an impact on the lives of billions of people.


    In 2013 MPEG approved the HEVC standard which provides the same quality as AVC at half the bitrate. The licensing situation is depicted by the picture below (courtesy of Jonathan Samuelsson of Divideon): there are 3 patent pools, one of which has not published their licence and a significant number of patent holders that have not joined any pool (and not published their licences either).

     I saw the threat coming and one year ago I tried to bring the matter to the attention of the higher layers in ISO. My attempts were thwarted by a handful of NPEs.

    Alliance for Open Media (AOM) has occupied the void created by MPEG’s outdated video compression standard (AVC), absence of competitive Options 1 standards (IVC) and unusable modern standard (HEVC). AOM’s AV1 codec, due to be released soon, is claimed to perform better than HEVC and will be offered royalty free.


    The work of patent pools would be greatly simplified because they could define profiles with technologies that are “available” because they would know who owns which tools. Users could switch on tools once they become usable, e.g. because the relevant owner has joined a patent pool.

    These are just examples of how the MPEG standard development process can be adapted to better match the needs of entities developing licences and without becoming part – God forbid – of a licence definition process.


    Companies will slash their video compression technology investments, thousands of jobs will go and millions of USD of funding to universities will be cut. A successful “access technology at no cost” model will spread to other fields.

    So don’t expect that in the future you will see the progress in video compression technology that we have seen in the past 30 years.

LibreELEC (Krypton) 8.2.3 MR

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LibreELEC 8.2.3 is released to change our embedded pastebin provider from (RIP) to (working) so users can continue to submit logs to the forums through a URL without copy/pasting text or direct uploading log files. This is our preferred way to receive and read your log files so if you are not familiar with using the paste function please read this wiki article to find out how. The 8.2.3 release also solves an issue with continuity errors on USB DVB adaptors that has been troubling some 8.2 users for some time; kudos to user @jahutchi for tracking down the problem kernel commit. We also address a long-running crashing issue with Intel BayTrail hardware that needed some users to force max_cstate in kernel boot parameters, and for bonus credit users with an Intel NUC equipped with an LED can fiddle with the colours, as we backported the LED driver from our master branch.

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More in Tux Machines

KDE: KDE Applications 18.04, KDE Connect, KMyMoney 5.0.1 and Qt Quick

  • KDE Applications 18.04 branches created
    Make sure you commit anything you want to end up in the KDE Applications 18.04 release to them :)
  • KDE Connect – State of the union
    We haven’t blogged about KDE Connect in a long time, but that doesn’t mean that we’ve been lazy. Some new people have joined the project and together we have implemented some exciting features. Our last post was about version 1.0, but recently we released version 1.8 of the Android app and 1.2.1 of the desktop component some time ago, which we did not blog about yet. Until now!
  • KMyMoney 5.0.1 released
    The KMyMoney development team is proud to present the first maintenance version 5.0.1 of its open source Personal Finance Manager. Although several members of the development team had been using the new version 5.0.0 in production for some time, a number of bugs and regressions slipped through testing, mainly in areas and features not used by them.
  • Qt Quick without a GPU: i.MX6 ULL
    With the introduction of the Qt Quick software renderer it became possible to use Qt Quick on devices without a GPU. We investigated how viable this option is on a lower end device, particularly the NXP i.MX6 ULL. It turns out that with some (partially not yet integrated) patches developed by KDAB and The Qt Company, the performance is very competitive. Even smooth video playback (with at least half-size VGA resolution) can be done by using the PXP engine on the i.MX6 ULL.

Red Hat Leftovers

Debian Leftovers

  • RcppSMC 0.2.1: A few new tricks
    A new release, now at 0.2.1, of the RcppSMC package arrived on CRAN earlier this afternoon (and once again as a very quick pretest-publish within minutes of submission).
  • sbuild-debian-developer-setup(1) (2018-03-19)
    I have heard a number of times that sbuild is too hard to get started with, and hence people don’t use it. To reduce hurdles from using/contributing to Debian, I wanted to make sbuild easier to set up. sbuild ≥ 0.74.0 provides a Debian package called sbuild-debian-developer-setup. Once installed, run the sbuild-debian-developer-setup(1) command to create a chroot suitable for building packages for Debian unstable.
  • control-archive 1.8.0
    This is the software that maintains the archive of control messages and the newsgroups and active files on I update things in place, but it's been a while since I made a formal release, and one seemed overdue (particularly since it needed some compatibility tweaks for GnuPG v1).
  • The problem with the Code of Conduct
  • Some problems with Code of Conducts

OSS Leftovers

  • Can we build a social network that serves users rather than advertisers?
    Today, open source software is far-reaching and has played a key role driving innovation in our digital economy. The world is undergoing radical change at a rapid pace. People in all parts of the world need a purpose-built, neutral, and transparent online platform to meet the challenges of our time. And open principles might just be the way to get us there. What would happen if we married digital innovation with social innovation using open-focused thinking?
  • Digital asset management for an open movie project
    A DAMS will typically provide something like a search interface combined with automatically collected metadata and user-assisted tagging. So, instead of having to remember where you put the file you need, you can find it by remembering things about it, such as when you created it, what part of the project it connects to, what's included in it, and so forth. A good DAMS for 3D assets generally will also support associations between assets, including dependencies. For example, a 3D model asset may incorporate linked 3D models, textures, or other components. A really good system can discover these automatically by examining the links inside the asset file.
  • LG Releases ‘Open Source Edition’ Of webOS Operating System
  • Private Internet Access VPN opens code-y kimono, starting with Chrome extension
    VPN tunneller Private Internet Access (PIA) has begun open sourcing its software. Over the next six months, the service promises that all its client-side software will make its way into the hands of the Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) community, starting with PIA's Chrome extension. The extension turns off mics, cameras, Adobe's delightful Flash plug-in, and prevents IP discovery. It also blocks ads and tracking. Christel Dahlskjaer, director of outreach at PIA, warned that "our code may not be perfect, and we hope that the wider FOSS community will get involved."
  • Open sourcing FOSSA’s build analysis in fossa-cli
    Today, FOSSA is open sourcing our dependency analysis infrastructure on GitHub. Now, everyone can participate and have access to the best tools to get dependency data out of any codebase, no matter how complex it is.
  • syslog-ng at SCALE 2018
    It is the fourth year that syslog-ng has participated at Southern California Linux Expo or, as better known to many, SCALE ‒ the largest Linux event in the USA. In many ways, it is similar to FOSDEM in Europe, however, SCALE also focuses on users and administrators, not just developers. It was a pretty busy four days for me.
  • Cisco's 'Hybrid Information-Centric Networking' gets a workout at Verizon
  • Verizon and Cisco ICN Trial Finds Names More Efficient Than Numbers
  • LLVM-MCA Will Analyze Your Machine Code, Help Analyze Potential Performance Issues
    One of the tools merged to LLVM SVN/Git earlier this month for the LLVM 7.0 cycle is LLVM-MCA. The LLVM-MCA tool is a machine code analyzer that estimates how the given machine code would perform on a specific CPU and attempt to report possible bottlenecks. The LLVM-MCA analysis tool uses information already used within LLVM about a given CPU family's scheduler model and other information to try to statically measure how the machine code would carry out on a particular CPU, even going as far as estimating the instructions per cycle and possible resource pressure.
  • Taking Data Further with Standards
    Imagine reading a book, written by many different authors, each working apart from the others, without guidelines, and published without edits. That book is a difficult read — it's in 23 different languages, there's no consistency in character names, and the story gets lost. As a reader, you have an uphill battle to get the information to tell you one cohesive story. Data is a lot like that, and that's why data standards matter. By establishing common standards for the collection, storage, and control of data and information, data can go farther, be integrated with other data, and make "big data" research and development possible. For example, NOAA collects around 20 terabytes of data every day.Through the National Ocean Service, instruments are at work daily gathering physical data in the ocean, from current speed to the movement of schools of fish and much more. Hundreds of government agencies and programs generate this information to fulfill their missions and mandates, but without consistency from agency to agency, the benefits of that data are limited. In addition to federal agencies, there are hundreds more non-federal and academic researchers gathering data every day. Having open, available, comprehensive data standards that are widely implemented facilitates data sharing, and when data is shared, it maximizes the benefits of "big data"— integrated, multi-source data that yields a whole greater than its parts.