22 stories

I’m not really a TikTok user, but I have discovered a few accounts that are wort...

1 Share

I’m not really a TikTok user, but I have discovered a few accounts that are worth following. Since I don’t want to install TikTok under any circumstances and I don’t want to visit the website manually, I built myself a TikTok JSON Feed generator. This tool consists of only a few lines of JavaScript and uses the library tiktok-scraper. Now I can follow TikTok-ers and see new posts in Miniflux. I hope that TikTok will not block my server.

Read the whole story
22 days ago
Monmouth, Wales
Share this story

Russia's request for Delta Chat user data ... declined.


On April 27th we received a letter from Roskomnadzor, the russian supervisor of communications and information technology. They requested us to provide access to Delta Chat user data and register with their state-run provider registry. We declined for the simple reason that Delta Chat developers have no access to user data whatsoever.

Delta Chat is a decentralized messenger and doesn’t have their own servers. You choose the e-mail provider which you trust yourself and we don’t know about your choices. Besides, even e-mail providers won’t see Delta Chat message contents because messages are end-to-end encrypted via Autocrypt.

Big cheers to the e-mail ecosystem which has a standardized separation of apps (MUAs) from message transport (MTAs), and a planetary-scale and diversely operated system at that … even if a little messy and slow-moving ;)

Formal answer to Russian state request for Delta Chat user data

Read the whole story
26 days ago
Monmouth, Wales
27 days ago
Share this story

Pop OS 20.04 Review: Best Ubuntu-based Distribution Just Got Better


Brief: Pop OS 20.04 is an impressive Linux distribution based on Ubuntu. I review the major new features in this review and share my experience with the latest release.

Now that Ubuntu 20.04 LTS and its official flavours are here – it’s time to take a look at one of best Ubuntu-based distro i.e Pop!_OS 20.04 by System76.

To be honest, Pop!_OS is my favorite Linux distro that I primarily use for everything I do.

Now that Pop!_OS 20.04 has finally arrived. It’s time to take a look at what it offers and whether you should upgrade or not?

What’s New In Pop!_OS 20.04 LTS?

Pop Os 20.04 Review

Visually, Pop!_OS 20.04 LTS isn’t really very different from Pop!_OS 19.10. However, you can find several new features and improvements.

But, if you were using Pop!_OS 18.04 LTS, you have a lot of things to try.

With GNOME 3.36 onboard along with some newly added features, Pop!_OS 20.04 is an exciting release.

Overall, to give you an overview here are some key highlights:

  • Automatic Window Tiling
  • New Application Switcher and Launcher
  • Flatpack support added in Pop!_Shop
  • GNOME 3.36
  • Linux Kernel 5.4
  • Improved hybrid graphics support

While this sounds fun, let us take a look at a detailed look on what has changed and how’s the experience of Pop!_OS 20.04 so far.

User Experience Improvements in Pop OS 20.04

Undoubtedly, a lot of Linux distros offer a pleasant user experience out of the box. Likewise, Ubuntu 20.04 LTS has had top-notch improvements and features as well.

And, when it comes to Pop!_OS by System 76, they always try to go a mile further. And, the majority of new features aim to improve the user experience by providing useful functionalities.

Here, I’m going to take a look at some of the improvements that include GNOME 3.36 and Pop!_OS-specific features.

Support For System Tray Icons

Finally! This may not be a big change – but Pop!_OS did not have the support for system tray icons (or applet icons).

System Tray Icons Pop Os

With 20.04 LTS release, it’s here by default. No need of any extension.

There may not be a whole lot of programs depending on system tray icons – but it is still something important to have.

In my case, I wasn’t able to use ActivityWatch on Pop!_OS 19.10 – but now I can.

Automatic Window Tiling

Pop Os Automatic Screen Tiling

Automatic Window Tiling is something I always wanted to try – but never invested any time to set it up using a tiling window manager like i3, not even with Regolith Desktop.

With Pop!_OS 20.04, you don’t need to do that anyway. The automatic window tiling feature comes baked in without needing you to set it up.

It also features an option to Show Active Hint i.e it will highlight the active window to avoid confusion. And, you can also adjust the gap between the windows.

Tile Feature Options Popos

You can see it in action in their official video:

And, I must say that it is one of the biggest additions on Pop!_OS 20.04 that could potentially help you multi-task more efficiently.

Even though the feature comes in handy everytime you use it. To make the most out of it, a display screen bigger than 21-inches (at least) should be the best way to go! And, for this reason – I’m really tempted to upgrade my monitor as well!

New Extensions App

Pop Os Extensions

Pop!_OS comes baked in with some unique GNOME extensions. But, you don’t need GNOME Tweaks the manage the extension anymore.

The newly added Extensions app lets you configure and manage the extensions on Pop!_OS 20.04.

Improved Notification Center

Notification Center Pop Os

With the new GNOME 3.36 release, the notification center includes a revamped look. Here, I have the dark mode enabled.

New Application Switcher & Launcher

Pop Os Application Launcher

You can still ALT+TAB or Super key + TAB to go through the running applications.

But, that’s time-consuming when you have a lot of things going on. So, on Pop!_OS 20.04, you get an application switcher and launcher which you can activate using Super key + /

Once you get used to the keyboard shortcut, it will be very convenient thing to have.

In addition to this, you may find numerous other subtle improvements visually with the icons/windows on Pop!_OS 20.04.

New Login Screen

Well, with GNOME 3.36, it’s an obvious change. But, it does look good!

Pop Os 20 04 Lock Screen

Flatpak Support on Pop!_Shop

Normally, Pop!_Shop is already something useful with a huge repository along with Pop!_OS’s own repositories.

Now, with Pop!_OS 20.04, you can choose to install either Flatpak (via Flathub) or the Debian package of any available software on Pop!_Shop. Of course, only if a Flatpak package exists for the particular software.

You might want to check how to use Flatpak on Linux if you don’t have Pop!_OS 20.04.

Pop Os Flatpak Deb

Personally, I’m not a fan of Flatpak but some applications like GIMP requires you to install the Flatpak package to get the latest version. So, it is definitely a good thing to have the support for Flatpak on Pop!_Shop baked right into it.

Keyboard Shortcut Changes

This can be annoying if you’re comfortable with the existing keyboard shortcuts on Pop!_OS 19.10 or older.

In either case, there are a few important keyboard shortcut changes to potentially improve your experience, here they are:

  • Lock Screen: Super + L changed to Super + Escape
  • Move Workspace: Super + Up/Down Arrow changed to Super + CTRL + Up/Down Arrow
  • Close Window: Super + W changed to Super + Q
  • Toggle Maximize: Super + Up Arrow changed to Super + M

Linux Kernel 5.4

Similar to most of the other latest Linux distros, Pop!_OS 20.04 comes loaded with Linux Kernel 5.4.

So, obviously, you can expect the exFAT support and an improved AMD graphics compatibility along with all the other features that come with it.

Performance Improvements

Even though Pop!_OS doesn’t pitch itself as a lightweight Linux distro, it is still a resource-efficient distro. And, with GNOME 3.36 onboard, it should be fast enough.

Considering that I’ve been using Pop!_OS as my primary distro for about a year, I’ve never had any performance issues. And, this is how the resource usage will probably look like (depending on your system configuration) after you install Pop!_OS 20.04.

Pop Os 20 04 Performance

To give you an idea, my desktop configuration involves an i5-7400 processor, 16 GB RAM (2400 MHz), NVIDIA GTX 1050ti graphics card, and an SSD.

I’m not really a fan of system benchmarks because it does not really give you the idea of how a specific application or a game would perform unless you try it.

You can try the Phoronix Test Suite to analyze how your system performs. But, Pop!_OS 20.04 LTSshould be a snappy experience!

Package Updates & Other Improvements

While every Ubuntu-based distro benefits from the improvements in Ubuntu 20.04 LTS, there are some Pop OS specific bug fixes and improvements as well.

In addition to it, some major apps/packages like Firefox 75.0 have been updated to their latest version.

As of now, there should be no critical bugs present and at least none for me.

You can check out their development progress on GitHub to check the details of issues they’ve already fixed during the beta testing and the issues they will be fixing right after the release.

Download & Support Pop!_OS 20.04

Support Pop Os

With this release, System76 has finally added a subscription model (optional) to support Pop!_OS development.

You can download Pop!_OS 20.04 for free – but if you want to support them I’d suggest you go for the subscription with just $1/month.

My Thoughts on Pop OS 20.04

I must mention that I was rooting for a fresh new wallpaper with the latest 20.04 release. But, that’s not a big deal.

With the window tiling feature, flatpak support, and numerous other improvements, my experience with Pop!_OS 20.04 has been top-notch so far. Also, it’s great to see that they are highlighting their focus on creative professionals with out-of-the-box support for some popular software.

Pop Os Stem Focus

All the good things about Ubuntu 20.04 and some extra toppings on it by System76, I’m impressed!

Have you tried the Pop!_OS 20.04 yet? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.

Read the whole story
26 days ago
Monmouth, Wales
27 days ago
Share this story

Linus Torvalds’ Advice on Working From Home during Coronavirus Lockdown


While many of us are self-isolating indoors amidst the coronavirus outbreak. ZDNet had a special feature discussion with Linus Torvalds on his opinions or thoughts on working from home during the Coronavirus lockdown.

If you didn’t know already (how could you not?), Linus Torvalds is the creator of Linux and Git as well. And, he did all that while working from home. Here’s a video from 2016 where Torvalds shows his home office:

So, in this article, I’m going to share some of my key takeaways along with his responses from Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols‘ interaction with Linus Torvalds for ZDNet.

Discard the fear of missing human interaction

Torvalds mentioned that when he first started working from home years ago, he was worried about missing human interaction that included going to the office, interacting with people, or simply going out for lunch.

Interestingly, he did not seem to miss any of that anymore- he preferred his time at home without human interaction.

Of course, isolating yourself from human interacting isn’t the best thing – but it looks like that is a good thing for now.

Take advantage of working from home

Work From Home Torvalds

Just like we at It’s FOSS operate completely remote, you can do a lot of stuff without actually being at an office.

Not to forget – you can pet your cat as much as you want and I have 6 of them, I know it’s difficult (*giggles*).

And, as Linus Torvalds mentioned, the real advantage of remote work is “flexibility”. You do not necessarily need to sit in front of your desk working from 9-5 or more. Technically, you are free to take breaks in between and do whatever you wish at home.

In other words, Linus suggests avoiding re-creating an office at your home – which is worse than going to an office.

Efficient communication is the key

Torvalds Home Office

You can choose to have several meetings (video conferences or audio calls) in a day – but is it really necessary?

For some, it might be a big deal – but you should try to minimize the time spent on a meeting by clearing things up in brief.

Or, as Linus recommends, it’s best to have email lists to keep things on point and that’s how Linux kernel runs.

James Bottomley, Distinguished Engineer at IBM Research, and a senior Linux kernel developer, also adds a suggestion that you should re-read your text to make sure that you’re sending precise information that no one will potentially skim through.

Personally, I prefer texts over voice for the very same reason. It saves you time, fact.

But, keep in mind, that you need to convey only the necessary information in a proper manner without overloading the information that you send via texts/email.

Track your time

Flexibility doesn’t necessarily mean that you can work less and lurk on social media platforms, unless that’s your job.

So, you need to make sure that you are making the most out of your time. To do that, you can use several tools to track your time on what you use and the duration of it on your computer.

You can even write it down on a sticky note to make sure you reach your goal of spending the allocated time for work efficiently. You can opt to utilize RescueTime or ActivityWatch to track the time you spend on your computer or smartphone.

Play with your cat (pets)

Torvalds Penguins

Not to discriminate against other pets, but that’s what Linus Torvalds mentioned.

Just because you are at your home – you have a lot to do while you schedule your work or try to efficiently utilize the time.

Linus insists that whenever you’re bored, you can head out to get essentials if necessary or simply play with the cat (or your pet).

Wrapping Up

While Linus Torvalds also mentioned that no one will be judging you when you’re at home, his suggestions seem to be on point and could be very useful for people who struggle with working from home.

Not just for the coronavirus outbreak – but if you are planning to work from home permanently, you should keep these things in mind.

What do you think about Linus Torvalds thoughts here? Do you agree with him?

Read the whole story
69 days ago
Monmouth, Wales
69 days ago
Share this story

Death and Taxes goes open source after selling 'pretty well' to help others

1 Share

Death and Taxes, a narrative game about choosing who lives and who dies as the Grim Reaper is now officially open source. In an announcement on Steam written by their coder, they said their wish when joining the team was to eventually open it up and so now they have.

It's only been out since February (and I quite liked it!), since then they've gone on to sell "pretty well" at twenty-six thousand copies so they're not afraid people will copy it. Only the code is open source though, you still need the assets which is a good example of how to do it that others have also done. The game code can live on, be ported elsewhere and fixed up, while the original developer can still earn from it.

Resources which I sorely missed were concrete, specific and (most importantly) helpful examples of real-world applications of coding principles, workarounds, hacks, engine-specific behaviour, et cetera. The most helpful places were, for example, the Unity Answer Hub, Stack Overflow, the Unreal Developers' Network... they all, at best, offered a window to see how people actually implement stuff. I am a firm believer that it is usually more efficient to learn from the mistakes of others, rather than just people having to make the same mistakes over and over again due to lack of reliable information.

And this leads me to the (incredibly winding and convoluted, sorry) answer to why we're releasing the source code for our game. I want to provide something that people can learn from. Including myself. The code for Death and Taxes is by NO MEANS clean or even "good" (depends on what your standard is). But the most important thing is that the code worked. The game shipped, and the game worked.

It's truly wonderful to see more and more developers doing this. Blendo Games recently did a similar thing with their game Flotilla and UniverCity also did the same earlier in February.

Find the source on GitHub under the MIT license. You can pick the game up on Steam and on itch.io.

Hat tip to Eike

Article from GamingOnLinux.com - do not reproduce this article without permission. This RSS feed is intended for readers, not scrapers.

Read the whole story
70 days ago
Monmouth, Wales
Share this story

OpenStreetMap: A Community-Driven Google Maps Alternative

1 Share

Brief: OpenStreetMap is a community-driven map – which is a potential alternative to Google Maps. Learn more about this open source project.

OpenStreetMap (OSM) is a free editable map of the world. Anyone can contribute, edit, and make changes to the OpenStreetMap to improve it.


You need to sign up for an account first – in order to be able to edit or add information to the OpenStreetMap. To view the map, you wouldn’t need an account.

Even though it’s a free-to-use map under an open data license, you cannot use the map API to build another service on top of it for commercial purpose.

So, you can download the map data to use it and host it yourself while mentioning the credits to OSM. You can learn more about its API usage policy and copyright information on its official website to learn more.

In this article, we shall take a brief look at how it works and what kind of projects use OpenStreetMaps as the source of their map data.

OpenStreetMap: Overview

Open Street Map 2

OpenStreetMap is a good alternative to Google Maps. You might not get the same level of information as Google Maps- but for basic navigation and traveling, OpenStreetMap is sufficient.

Just like any other map, you will be able to switch between multiple layers in the map, get to know your location, and easily search for places.

You may not find all the latest information for the businesses, shops, and restaurants nearby. But, for basic navigation, it’s more than enough.

OpenStreetMap can be usually accessed through a web browser on both desktop and mobile by visiting the OpenStreetMap site. It does not have an official Android/iOS app yet.

However, there are a variety of applications available that utilize OpenStreetMap at its core. So, if you want to utilize OpenStreetMap on a smartphone, you can take a look at some of the popular open-source Google Maps alternatives:

MAPS.ME and OsmAnd are two open-source applications for Android and iOS that utilize OpenStreetMap data to provide a rich user experience with a bunch of useful information and features added to it.

You can also opt for other proprietary options if you wish, like Magic Earth.

In either case, you can take a look at the extensive list of applications on their official wiki page for Android and iOS.

Using OpenStreetMap On Linux

Open Street Map 1

The easiest way to use OpenStreetMap on Linux is to use it in a web browser. If you use GNOME desktop environment, you can install GNOME Maps which is built on top of OpenStreetMap.

There are also several software (that are mostly obsolete) that utilize OpenStreetMap on Linux for specific purposes. You can check out the list of available packages in their official wiki list.

Wrapping Up

OpenStreetMap may not be the best source for navigation for end users but its open source model allows it to be used freely. This means that many services can be built using OpenStreetMap. For example, ÖPNVKarte uses OpenStreetMap to display worldwide public transport facilities on a uniform map so that you don’t have to browse individual operator’s websites.

What do you think about OpenStreetMap? Can you use it as a Google Maps alternative? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below.

Read the whole story
75 days ago
Monmouth, Wales
Share this story
Next Page of Stories