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KDE Plasma 5.22 is out now with a focus on 'stability and usability' and more Wayland

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Stability and usability are the keys to the new KDE Plasma 5.22 release that's officially available today.

I am always in awe of what Plasma can do. It's probably one of the most versatile Linux desktop environments available. It has options for everything, options within options and it manages to somehow look good while doing everything you could possibly want it to.

Plasma 5.22 works even better with Wayland as of this release, which is becoming increasingly important. KDE say it now works with variable refresh rate/FreeSync, marking off another big piece from the list, especially with different refresh rates possible across different screens.

Other Watland improvements include the ability to set a screen's overscan value, the Present Windows effect is hooked up exactly as it is on X11, you can maximise windows both vertically and horizontally, external graphics cards will work without a Plasma restart, performance improvements for Plasma, notifications won't bother you when you're screen sharing and much more.

There's plenty that isn't related to Wayland too including:

  • Adaptive Transparency for panels
  • System Settings gained a speed dial feature for common settings
  • You can disable offline upgrades
  • The System Tray Widgets should look a lot more consistent, along with Widgets like the Digital Clock gaining more ways to customize the date. You can now select an audio devices' profile directly in the Audio Volume Widget too/
  • KRunner can also now show multiple lines of text.
  • The modern Plasma System Monitor replaces the old KSysguard
  • On both Wayland and X11, windows open on the screen where your cursor is.

A lot more on top of that, those are just some of the more noticeable improvements to be expected.

Check out the flashy release page for more or see the main changelog.

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

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chriswere
14 days ago
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Monmouth, Wales
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All These Balls Are the Same Color?!

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optical illusion where several balls that appear to be the same color actually aren't

Oh dear, this illusion just totally broke my brain. No can write now. Somehow all same ball colors. What world? What earth? Why live? (Even after reading and seeing the explanation, I had to drag this into my photo editing app to verify it with my own eyes. True true. Oh, humanity.) (via @flyosity)

Tags: optical illusions
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chriswere
35 days ago
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Monmouth, Wales
hexdsl
42 days ago
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NoiseTorch is another tool to remove background noise while recording on Linux

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NoiseTorch is another recent discovery that can help you remove background noise in real-time while recording with a microphone on Linux.

Much like Cadmus which we covered recently and were very impressed with, it makes use of the Real-time Noise Suppression Plugin for PulseAudio based on Xiph's RNNoise (a noise suppression library based on a recurrent neural network).

The application gives you pretty much a one-click solution, as it sets it all up for you and then you can just select NoiseTorch as the microphone source and away you go. Just like we did with Cadmus in the above link, here's a test of its ability to cut out some harsh noise.

While it seems Cadmus does a slightly better job at reducing background noise while chatting, overall it still pretty much does the job you need it to. Unlike the test, you're not usually going to have someone taking a hammer to the desk the microphone is attached to but it's interesting to see how these tools do in extremes. It should nicely get rid of all that crisp eating, furious typing and vaping noises for you.

Do you want to try it out yourself? You can find NoiseTorch on GitHub.

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

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chriswere
320 days ago
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Monmouth, Wales
hexdsl
339 days ago
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Want to run Mac OS 8 on Linux as an Electron app? Well, you can anyway

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Macintosh JSFancy running Mac OS 8 on your modern Mac, Linux, or Windows 10 desktop as an app? Of course you don’t, but that hasn’t stopped Slack developer Felix Rieseberg😉 from giving you (and the rest […]

This post, Want to run Mac OS 8 on Linux as an Electron app? Well, you can anyway is from OMG! Ubuntu!. Do not reproduce elsewhere without permission.

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chriswere
326 days ago
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Monmouth, Wales
hexdsl
326 days ago
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3D adventure thriller 'Beyond a Steel Sky' is out now for Linux PC

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Beyond a Steel Sky, the big 3D sequel to the much loved classic Beneath a Steel Sky is out now with Linux support. A long awaited sequel too, since the original was from way back in 1994. A long time between them of course, with Beyond a Steel Sky being a much prettier game in full 3D with nice WASD controls and an absolutely fantastic style to it.

What is it? From Charles Cecil, creator of the Broken Sword series, with art direction by Dave Gibbons, legendary comic book artist behind 'Watchmen' it's an adventure set within a dynamic world, populated by wilful characters driven by motivations that the player can subvert. In combination with a unique hacking tool, multiple solutions to puzzles emerge from player choices. Playing as Robert Foster, you attempt to track down an abducted child that leads you back to Union City, one of the last remaining mega-cities in a world ravaged by shattering wars and political meltdown.

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Beyond a Steel Sky had a lot to live up and it's always difficult to do what they've attempted here, to bring such a classic into modern gamers hands. It does set things up nicely with a great little comic-style intro, and the overall style of the game is fantastic. Being an adventure game, one with deep roots in the classic point and clicks, Beyond a Steel Sky may have been updated visually but it's still very much taking on the mechanics of the older game so you're hopping between conversations, solving a few issues and then repeating somewhere else.

The weird thing is how calm and chilled out Foster always seems, for someone in his position you would think there would be a lot more urgency about him but that's the feeling I got from the game and the pacing. It's quite slow going

This backtracking between conversations can be a little annoying, as characters tend to wander off so you're often left chasing the people you want. A minor point but still a bit frustrating. The modern interaction system is great though, giving you options that appear as you come closer to people and objects. There's plenty of quirky characters to meet, with some amusing events and conversations to be had. It helps that the conversation system is nicely streamlined too, with it noting when a talking point has something new with a little arrow that appears so you don't get stuck in a loop.

You're also going to be doing plenty of hacking to get around, which involves scanning the environment with a tool and then swapping around code blocks. It's not particularly difficult to do but fits perfectly within the setting. Simple and effective to progress through it but I do wish the game did more with it.

What's also quite nice is it has a proper hint system, that allows you to get an idea of what to do from the main menu during the game. It has a 30 second timer on it, so if you're truly stuck you mind need to wait a minute or two to get all the hints you need. It starts off somewhat vague and the more you click the more it gives.

It's come with a few technical troubles though while playing through before release. In the Linux version tested with an NVIDIA GPU I had it reliably crash every single time during the intro after starting a New Game, unless I made sure Vsync was on in the settings. That's sadly not the end of the technical issues encountered. Having "Detail Level" set to "High" seemed to break a bunch of shadows causing flickering black areas in lots of places, so I was forced to play it in lower settings. Those two things are likely Unreal Engine weirdness.

There's also cases of NPCs that like to try and walk through things including you, the game vanished a few times when ALT+TABBED away, a puzzle just didn't work on one of my saves causing a broken game and the list goes on. Speaking to someone I know reviewing it for Windows, it's clear technical issues are not limited to the Linux version. Lots of niggling issues that overall give it a feel that's a bit too rough. To Revolution's credit though, they promptly replied about some issues and are looking into them. On the side of performance though, there was no issue there for me. It remained smooth sailing 99% of the time minus a few loading hiccups.

Funnily enough, the idea of a sequel to Beneath a Steel Sky was talked about during the Kickstarter campaign for Broken Sword 5 - the Serpent's Curse. It was actually a $1M stretch-goal that wasn't hit so it's nice to see they delivered anyway.

It's a reasonably good game as a whole that could have been really great if a few of the rough edges were properly smoothened out. Overall though I enjoyed my time spent chatting with peculiar people, funny robots and hacking the city. The accents made me chuckle quite often because they're pretty over the top at times but they nicely play into it with some good voice actors.

You can buy Beyond a Steel Sky available now on Steam for £23.99 / $27.99 / €23.99 which is with a 20% discount until July 23. If you own Broken Sword 5, you're supposed to get an additional 10% off too.

Never played the original? You're in luck! It's not strictly required but if you have the time I would recommend it for the full backstory experience. You can actually play Beneath a Steel Sky easily on modern platforms if you wish to refresh your memory a little with ScummVM.

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

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chriswere
333 days ago
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Monmouth, Wales
hexdsl
339 days ago
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Mozilla VPN Goes Live But Linux Users Aren’t Invited — Yet

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Mozilla VPNMozilla’s VPN service has officially launched in six countries — but Linux users can’t take advantage of the tech just yet. The privacy-minded subscription-based service is available to web surfers in the USA, the UK, […]

This post, Mozilla VPN Goes Live But Linux Users Aren’t Invited — Yet is from OMG! Ubuntu!. Do not reproduce elsewhere without permission.

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hexdsl
341 days ago
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chriswere
341 days ago
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