Linux (en)

  • Transmageddon 1.0 Transcoder Supports VP9, DVD Ripping (Phoronix)
    We've been waiting for it and today the Transmageddon 1.0 release finally took place for the open-source audio/video transcoder application...
  • Trying Out Eight BSDs On A Modern PC: Some Are Smooth, Others Troublesome (Phoronix)
    Following the seven-way Linux distribution benchmark comparison published earlier this week, on the same system I set out to test a variety of BSD distributions on the same system and ultimately benchmark their out-of-the-box performance too. Those performance benchmark results will be published later this week while today were a few remarks I wanted to share when trying out TrueOS, DragonFlyBSD, GhostBSD, FreeBSD, OpenBSD, NetBSD, MidnightBSD, and PacBSD (Arch BSD) on this modern Intel Xeon system.
  • Distribution Release: Greenie Linux 8.1M (DistroWatch)
    Stanislav Hoferek has announced the release of Greenie Linux 8.1M, an easy-to-use Ubuntu-based distribution pre-configured for use by Slovak and Czech speakers: "Another version of Greenie Linux, an operating system prepared especially for Ubuntu lovers in Slovakia and the Czech Republic, is here. Among the new features, a....
  • SuperTuxKart 0.9.3 Officially Out With New Screen Recorder, In-Game Improvements (Phoronix)
    There was the release candidate back for Halloween while now officially available is SuperTuxKart 0.9.3, the latest installment of the Tux-themed racing game...
  • Linux 4.9 Is Showing A Performance Boost On More Systems (Phoronix)
    Earlier this week I posted some benchmarks of a Core i7 6800K Broadwell-E system seeing performance boosts under Linux 4.9 and it turns out it's looking more widespread than just affecting a niche system or two. When testing a more traditional Intel Haswell desktop, Linux 4.9 Git is seeing more wins over Linux 4.8 and 4.7 kernels...
  • Radeon's ROCm OpenCL Runtime Finally Open-Sourced (Phoronix)
    AMD has made good on their word to open-source their ROCm OpenCL stack...
  • How a Professor Beat Roulette, Crediting a Non-Existent Supercomputer (Slashdot)
    I loved this story. The Hustle remembers how in 1964 a world-renowned medical professor found a way to beat roulette wheels, kicking off a five-year winning streak in which he amassed $1,250,000 ($8,000,000 today). He noticed that at the end of each night, casinos would replace cards and dice with fresh sets -- but the expensive roulette wheels went untouched and often stayed in service for decades before being replaced. Like any other machine, these wheels acquired wear and tear. Jarecki began to suspect that tiny defects -- chips, dents, scratches, unlevel surfaces -- might cause certain wheels to land on certain numbers more frequently than randomocity prescribed. The doctor spent weekends commuting between the operating table and the roulette table, manually recording thousands upon thousands of spins, and analyzing the data for statistical abnormalities. "I [experimented] until I had a rough outline of a system based on the previous winning numbers," he told the Sydney Morning Herald in 1969. "If numbers 1, 2, and 3 won the last 3 rounds, [I could determine] what was most likely to win the next 3...." With his wife, Carol, he scouted dozens of wheels at casinos around Europe, from Monte Carlo (Monaco), to Divonne-les-Bains (France), to Baden-Baden (Germany). The pair recruited a team of 8 "clockers" who posted up at these venues, sometimes recording as many as 20,000 spins over a month-long period. Then, in 1964, he made his first strike. After establishing which wheels were biased, he secured a £25,000 loan from a Swiss financier and spent 6 months candidly exacting his strategy. By the end of the run, he'd netted £625,000 (roughly $6,700,000 today). Jarecki's victories made headlines in newspapers all over the world, from Kansas to Australia. Everyone wanted his "secret" -- but he knew that if he wanted to replicate the feat, he'd have to conceal his true methodology. So, he concocted a "fanciful tale" for the press: He tallied roulette outcomes daily, then fed the information into an Atlas supercomputer, which told him which numbers to pick. At the time, wrote gambling historian, Russell Barnhart, in Beating the Wheel, "Computers were looked upon as creatures from outer space... Few persons, including casino managers, were vocationally qualified to distinguish myth from reality." Hiding behind this technological ruse, Jarecki continued to keep tabs on biased tables -- and prepare for his next big move... In the decades following Jarecki's dominance, casinos invested heavily in monitoring their roulette tables for defects and building wheels less prone to bias. Today, most wheels have gone digital, run by algorithms programmed to favor the house.

    Read more of this story at Slashdot.

  • RADV Will Now Enable "Sisched" For The Talos Principle, Boosting Frame Rates (Phoronix)
    The RADV Mesa Radeon Vulkan driver will now enable the sisched optimization automatically when running The Talos Principle in order to boost performance...
  • Fedora 28 Hopes To Improve Linux Laptop Battery Life (Phoronix)
    Red Hat's Hans de Goede is spearheading an effort to improve the Fedora battery life of laptops -- and should conserve power too for desktops running Fedora Workstation -- for the current Fedora 28 cycle...
  • GCC vs. Clang Benchmark Comparison At Varying Optimization Levels (Phoronix)
    Last week I posted various LLVM Clang and GCC compiler benchmarks using packages available on Ubuntu 16.04 LTS and with the testing from a Xeon Skylake system. Today are some complementary tests when benchmarking GCC 5.3.1 and LLVM Clang 3.8 while testing each compiler with a variety of different optimization levels.
  • ARM Offers Vulkan Linux Debugger Support (Phoronix)
    Earlier this month ARM announced an updated Mali Graphics Debugger that includes Vulkan 1.0 tracing support on Linux...
  • VLC 3.0 Adds Chromecast Support and More as the Best Free Media Player Gets Even Better (Slashdot)
    Ian Paul, writing for PCWorld: The best free media player is getting even better. After three years of development, VLC 3.0 'Ventari' is rolling out to all platforms, and it's packed full of goodies such as Chromecast support. The latest version of VLC contains a lot of great additions, as well as a tweaked UI. Chromecast discovery tops the list. It's only available on Windows desktop and Android right now, but Videolan says the feature's coming to VLC's iOS and the Windows Store apps in the future. [...] VLC 3.0's refreshed UI isn't a fresh, new look from previous versions, but it is noticeably different. The icons at the bottom of the window are cleaner, and the small icons used within menu items are also new. Version 3.0 also adds support for 360-degree video and 3D audio, readying features for a VR version of VLC slated to roll out in mid-April. The new VLC also adds hardware decoding across all platforms for better performance and less CPU consumption, especially when dealing with more resource-intense video.

    Read more of this story at Slashdot.

  • Google's Graphics API Debugger 1.6 Adds Stadia Support (Phoronix)
    Google's GAPID, also known as the Graphics API Debugger, continues serving as an interesting open-source and cross-platform Vulkan debugger. On Thursday version 1.6 of GAPID was released...
  • Homeland Security Plans To Collect Immigrants' Social Media Information (Slashdot)
    The Department of Homeland Security plans to expand the files it collects on immigrants, as well as some citizens, by including more online data -- most notably search results and social media information -- about each individual. The plan is set out in the Federal Register, where the government publishes forthcoming regulations. A final version is set to go into effect on Oct. 18. Fortune reports: The plan, reported by BuzzFeed, is notable partly because it permits the government to amass information not only about recent immigrants, but also on green card holders and naturalized Americans as well. The proposal to collect social media data is set out in a part of the draft regulation that describes expanding the content of so-called "Alien Files," which serve as detailed profiles of individual immigrants, and are used by everyone from border agents to judges. Here is the relevant portion: "The Department of Homeland Security, therefore, is updating the [file process] to ... (5) expand the categories of records to include the following: country of nationality; country of residence; the USCIS Online Account Number; social media handles, aliases, associated identifiable information, and search results."

    Read more of this story at Slashdot.

  • Fedora 31 Planning To Upgrade To RPM 4.15 For Faster Builds, Other Improvements (Phoronix)
    RPM 4.15 is due out this year as the latest RPM4 update and Fedora 31 is planning to make prompt use of RPM 4.15 given its new/improved features...
  • Benchmarks Of GCC 4.2 Through GCC 4.7 Compilers (Phoronix)
    To see how the GCC 4.7 release is shaping up, for your viewing pleasure today are benchmarks of GCC 4.2 through a recent GCC 4.7 development snapshot. GCC 4.7 will be released next March/April with many significant changes, so here's some numbers to find out if you can expect to see any broad performance improvements. Making things more interesting, the benchmarks are being done from an AMD FX-8150 to allow you to see how the performance of this latest-generation AMD processor architecture is affected going back by GNU Compiler Collection releases long before this open-source compiler had any optimizations in place.


  • Amazon Launches a Cloud Service For US Intelligence Agencies (Slashdot)
    Amazon Web Services on Monday introduced cloud service for the CIA and other members of the U.S. intelligence community. From a report: The launch of the so-called AWS Secret Region comes six years after AWS introduced GovCloud, its first data center region for public sector customers. AWS has since announced plans to expand GovCloud. The new Secret Region signals interest in using AWS from specific parts of the U.S. government. In 2013 news outlets reported on a $600 million contract between AWS and the CIA. That event singlehandledly helped Amazon in its effort to sign up large companies to use its cloud, whose core services have been available since 2006.

    Read more of this story at Slashdot.

  • A Group of Independent Linux App Developers Has Asked Wider GNOME Community To 'Stop Theming' Its Apps (Slashdot)
    The letter is addressed to the maintainers of Linux distributions who elect to ship custom GTK and icons themes by default in lieu of upstream defaults. From a report: By publicizing the issues they feel stem from the practice of "theming" it's hoped that distros and developers might work together to create a "healthier GNOME third party app ecosystem." So what's the actual rub here? It often feels like the ability to control how our desktop looks and works is part of some unwritten Linux constitution, one we're all secret adherents to. But theming on the GNOME platform isn't all it seems. It's not without complications or compromises. As superficial as these changes might seem, usability is actually more than skin deep. Now, elephant in the room time: many leading Linux distros use custom GTK themes and icon sets as a way create a brand identity for themselves; an experience that feels uniquely their own. This includes Ubuntu (with Ambiance and Yaru), Linux Mint (with Mint-X), Pop OS (with Pop GTK) and Manjaro.

    Read more of this story at Slashdot.

  • Iowa's Governor Terry Brandstad Thinks He Doesn't Use E-mail (Slashdot)
    Earthquake Retrofit writes The Washington Post reports the governor of Iowa denying he uses e-mail, but court documents expose his confusion. From the article: "Branstad's apparent confusion over smartphones, apps and e-mail is ironic because he has tried to portray himself as technologically savvy. His Instagram account has pictures of him taking selfies and using Skype... 2010 campaign ads show him tapping away on an iPad. 'Want a brighter future? We've got an app for that.' Earlier this month, the governor's office announced that it had even opened an account on Meerkat, the live video streaming app." Perhaps he's distancing himself from e-mail because it's a Hillary thing.

    Read more of this story at Slashdot.

  • Slashdot Asks: Have You Switched To Firefox 57? (Slashdot)
    Yesterday, Mozilla launched Firefox 57 for Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, and iOS. It brings massive performance improvements as it incorporates the company's next-generation browser engine called Project Quantum; it also features a visual redesign and support for extensions built using the WebExtension API. Have you used Firefox's new browser? Does it offer enough to make you switch from your tried-and-true browser of choice? We'd love to hear your thoughts.

    Read more of this story at Slashdot.

  • Arm Announces Cortex-A77 & Mali-G77 Valhall (Phoronix)
    In addition to AMD announcing their Ryzen 3000 line-up, Arm also used today at Computex 2019 to announce their new Cortex processor as well as a new Mali graphics processor and machine learning chip...
  • Build a VR app in 15 minutes with Linux (Linux Today)

    opensource.com: In 15 minutes, you can develop a virtual reality application and run it in a web browser, on a VR headset, or with Google Daydream.

  • Microsoft and Its Patent Trolls Continue to Lobby for Software Patents (Linux Today)

     techrights: In order to maintain the order of "Linux patent tax" Microsoft and its proxies (patent trolls like Intellectual Ventures) keep pursuing patent policy that is friendly towards software patenting

  • Faraday Future's Factory Construction Paused; Shipping Timelines at Risk (Slashdot)
    Electric vehicle maker Faraday Future may not be able to make its first cars in time to hits its 2017 shipping deadlines, according to a new report by the Financial Times. From a report on TechCrunch: It's hard to ship a car when your factory itself isn't finished, is the main issue -- FF's Nevada-based manufacturing facility broke ground in April, but construction has since been paused because, according to state treasurer Dan Schwartz speaking to the FT, it hasn't paid bills owed by the company to its construction partner. The delay is temporary, according to comments made by general contractor Aecom, which is working with Faraday on the project, and construction will resume sometime in early 2017. That's going to push out the completion date considerably, and will make it quite difficult for FF to make its previously stated production timeline. FT also spoke to an anonymous former employee who said deliveries to customers within the 2017 timeframe were "not possible."

    Read more of this story at Slashdot.

  • Distribution Release: GeckoLinux 422.161213.0 (DistroWatch)
    The GeckoLinux project is an openSUSE-based, desktop oriented distribution. The project provides eight different editions with live discs for testing purposes. The latest version of the distribution, GeckoLinux 422.161213.0, is based on openSUSE 42.2 Leap and includes many package updates. "Changes to all GeckoLinux Static editions: The base....
  • German Navy Experiences 'LCS Syndrome' In Spades As New Frigate Fails Sea Trials (Slashdot)
    schwit1 shares a report from Ars Technica, highlighting the problems the Germany Navy is facing right now. It has no working submarines due to a chronic repair parts shortage, and its newest ships face problems so severe that the first of the class failed its sea trials and was returned to the shipbuilders in December. From the report: The Baden-Wurttemberg class frigates were ordered to replace the 1980s-era Bremen class ships, all but two of which have been retired already. At 149 meters (488 feet) long with a displacement of 7,200 metric tons (about 7,900 U.S. tons), the Baden-Wurttembergs are about the size of destroyers and are intended to reduce the size of the crew required to operate them. Like the Zumwalt, the frigates are intended to have improved land attack capabilities -- a mission capability largely missing from the Deutsche Marine's other post-unification ships. The new frigate was supposed to be a master of all trades -- carrying Marines to deploy to fight ashore, providing gunfire support, hunting enemy ships and submarines, and capable of being deployed on far-flung missions for up to two years away from a home port. As with the U.S. Navy's LCS ships, the German Navy planned to alternate crews -- sending a fresh crew to meet the ship on deployment to relieve the standing crew. Instead, the Baden-Wurttemberg now bears the undesirable distinction of being the first ship the German Navy has ever refused to accept after delivery. In fact, the future of the whole class of German frigates is now in doubt because of the huge number of problems experienced with the first ship during sea trials. So the Baden-Wurttemberg won't be shooting its guns at anything for the foreseeable future (and neither will the Zumwalt for the moment, since the U.S. Navy cancelled orders for their $800,000-per-shot projectiles). System integration issues are a major chunk of the Baden-Wurrenberg's problems. About 90 percent of the ship's systems are so new that they've never been deployed on a warship in fact -- they've never been tested together as part of what the U.S. Navy would call "a system of systems." And all of that new hardware and software have not played well together -- particularly with the ship's command and control computer system, the Atlas Naval Combat System (ANCS). schwit1 adds: "Perhaps most inexcusable, the ship doesn't even float right. It has a permanent list to starboard."

    Read more of this story at Slashdot.

  • Mazda Announces Breakthrough In Long-Coveted Engine Technology (Slashdot)
    An anonymous reader quotes a report from Reuters: Mazda Motor Corp said it would become the world's first automaker to commercialize a much more efficient petrol engine using technology that deep-pocketed rivals have been trying to engineer for decades, a twist in an industry increasingly going electric. The new compression ignition engine is 20 percent to 30 percent more fuel efficient than the Japanese automaker's current engines and uses a technology that has eluded the likes of Daimler AG and General Motors Co. Mazda, with a research and development (R&D) budget a fraction of those of major peers, said it plans to sell cars with the new engine from 2019. A homogeneous charge compression ignition (HCCI) engine ignites petrol through compression, eliminating spark plugs. Its fuel economy potentially matches that of a diesel engine without high emissions of nitrogen oxides or sooty particulates. Mazda's engine employs spark plugs under certain conditions, such as at low temperatures, to overcome technical hurdles that have hampered commercialization of the technology.

    Read more of this story at Slashdot.

  • Bacteria In Tumors Can Inactivate Common Chemotherapy Drugs, Study Suggests (Slashdot)
    Researchers caught the bacteria Mycoplasma hyorhinis hiding out among cancer cells, thwarting chemotherapy drugs intended to treat the tumors they reside in. The findings have been published this week in Science. Ars Technica reports: Drug resistance among cancers is a "foremost challenge," according to the study's authors, led by Ravid Straussman at the Weizmann Institute of Science. Yet the new data suggest that certain types of drug-resistant cancers could be defeated with a simple dollop of antibiotics alongside a chemotherapy regimen. Dr. Straussman and his colleagues got a hunch to look for the bacteria after noticing that, when they grew certain types of human cancer cells together in lab, the cells all became more resistant to a chemotherapy drug called gemcitabine. This is a drug used to treat pancreatic, lung, breast, and bladder cancers and is often sold under the brand name Gemzar. The researchers suspected that some of the cells may secrete a drug-busting molecule. So they tried filtering the cell cultures to see if they could catch it. Instead, they found that the cell cultures lost their resistance after their liquid broth passed through a pretty large filter -- 0.45 micrometers. This would catch large particles -- like bacteria -- but not small molecules, as the researchers were expecting. Looking closer, the researchers noticed that some of their cancer cells were contaminated with M. hyorhinis. And these bacteria could metabolize gemcitabine, rendering the drug useless. When the researchers transplanted treatable cancer cells into the flanks of mice -- some with and some without M. hyorhinis -- the bacteria-toting tumors were resistant to gemcitabine treatment.

    Read more of this story at Slashdot.

  • Emergency Presidential Alert Texts Could Be Faked, Researchers Say (Slashdot)
    Fake presidential alerts could be sent to tens of thousands of phones, according to a report out of the University of Colorado Boulder. From a report: Researchers say they found a backdoor that let them mimic alerts and blast fake messages to people confined to a small area, such as a city block or a sports stadium. The researchers developed software mimicking the presidential alert format and then used commercially available wireless transmitters to send the messages to phones within their radius. The team had a success rate of hitting 90% of all phones in the area it tested.

    Read more of this story at Slashdot.

  • AMD Launches Radeon RX Vega 64 and Vega 56, Taking On GeForce GTX 1080 and 1070 (Slashdot)
    MojoKid writes: AMD has finally launched its Radeon RX Vega series of graphics cards today, based on the company's next generation Vega 10 GPU architecture. There are three base card specs announced, though there are four cards total, with a Limited Edition air-cooled card as well. Three of the cards have 64 NGCs (Next Generation Compute Units) with 4096 stream processors, while Radeon RX Vega 56 is comprised of 56 NCGs with 3584 SPs. Base clocks range from roughly 1150 to 1400MHz, with boost clocks from 1470MHz to 1670MHz or so. All cards come with 8GB of HBM2 and sport 484GB/sec of memory bandwidth, except for Vega 56, which has a bit less, at 410GB/s. They are power-hungry as well, ranging from the 345 Watt liquid-cooled Radeon RX Vega 64, to the 295 Watt air-cooled RX Vega 64 and 210 Watt Radeon RX Vega 56. Performance-wise, Radeon RX Vega 64 is neck-and-neck with NVIDIA's GeForce GTX 1080, winning some and losing some, with flashes of strength in DirectX 12-based games and benchmarks. Vega 64 also maintains generally better minimum frame rates versus GTX 1080. Radeon RX Vega 56 is a more credible midrange threat that handily out-performs a GeForce GTX 1070 across the board. In DX12 gaming, Radeon RX Vega 56 stretches its lead over the similarly-priced GTX 1070. Both cards, however, are more power-hungry, louder and run hotter than NVIDIA's high-end GeForce GTX 1080. Radeon RX Vega 64 cards will retail for $499 (Liquid Cooled cards at $699), while Radeon RX Vega 56 drops in at $399. All cards should be available at retail starting today.

    Read more of this story at Slashdot.