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Article from Issue 235/2020
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In the news: Nextcloud Partners with IONOS; Linux to Get High Resolution Wheel Scrolling; KDE Developers Are Working on a TV Interface; System76 is Developing a New Keyboard; Embedded Linux Joins the Fight Against COVID-19; and AWS Launches a New Linux Distribution.

Nextcloud Partners with IONOS

In times of crisis, open source projects step up big. That's exactly what Nextcloud has done. In the current climate, companies have had to quickly migrate to cloud solutions, only to find themselves bumping up against serious privacy and security issues. Because of the 2018 CLOUD act, authorities could obtain data without prior judicial review for this request.

With so many companies and employees having to migrate from their in-house cloud platforms and turn to various third-party cloud services, Nextcloud and IONOS have come together to ensure sovereignty over customer data. Because both companies are housed in Germany, anyone using the Nextcloud platform on IONOS is guaranteed maximum protection against the US CLOUD Act.

Achim Weiß, CEO of IONOS, had this to say about the partnership:

"Our cooperation, therefore, gives Nextcloud customers the legal security they need. The consistent use of open standards ensures transparency. Anyone can view the code at any time, check it for security gaps and change it if necessary. Moreover, only on an open-source basis is it easy to link data and applications with other systems."

This solution isn't just a response to the US CLOUD Act. In fact, Nextcloud has pulled this off to help lower the barriers to entry and offer a reliable, compliant and safe place to work online. With a fully managed Nextcloud Hub, users can enjoy document editing, file sharing, groupware, audio/video chat, and much more.

Even better, this particular Nextcloud solution is hosted on IONOS, so users don't have to concern themselves with installing the cloud platform software. To find out how to sign up for an account, check out the official Nextcloud IONOS sign up page (https://www.ionos.com/cloud/cloud-apps/nextcloud), where you can get an account for as little as $0.0069/hour with a max of $5.00 USD per month (for an XS account).

Linux to Get High Resolution Wheel Scrolling

The Linux desktop has come a very long way in a short time. But there are a couple of features that lag behind the likes of macOS – such as multi touch gestures and smooth wheel scrolling. That all began to change about a year ago, when high resolution wheel scrolling was merged into the mainline Linux kernel, by adding new axes REL_WHEEL_HI_RES and REL_HWHEEL_HI_RES. However, since that kernel addition, work on the feature fell to the wayside.

Around the same time as support was added to the kernel, Peter Hutterer began working on integrating high resolution mouse wheel scrolling support into Wayland. However, that work also ground to a halt and nothing came of Hutterer's efforts.

Good news, Linux desktop users, Mr. Hutterer has resumed work on getting "buttery smooth" implemented into Wayland. The work is happening by way of libinput, Wayland, Mutter, GTK, and XWayland. Although this new feature won't make it into Ubuntu 20.04 or Fedora 32, it is possible to add this feature into the latest iteration of Fedora, using the repository found on the Fedora COPR site for the project (https://copr.fedorainfracloud.org/coprs/whot/high-resolution-wheel-scrolling/).

Once this feature is finally rolled out, the Linux desktop experience will be much improved.

To find out more about this project, follow Peter's blog (https://who-t.blogspot.com/).

KDE Developers Are Working on a TV Interface

Never one to remain stagnant, the developers of the KDE desktop are hard at work creating what they have dubbed "Plasma Bigscreen." This new project has one goal – to develop a user interface aimed at television screens.

This new interface will also integrate with the open source Mycroft AI voice assistant to create a smart TV platform that will include full voice control and can be expanded with Mycroft "skills." The platform will be free, open source, innovative, and community supported. Out of the box, Big Plasma will include some simple skills, such as the YouTube Voice Application, which allows users to interact with YouTube via voice command.

Plasma Bigscreen will also include the Aura Browser, based on the QtWebEngine. This browser has been designed to work completely with arrow key navigation, so you won't need a mouse to control the app (just your remote). In fact, the entire Plasma Bigscreen interface is intended to be easily used via remote control, and includes experimental support for HDMI-CEC (HDMI Consumer Electronics Control).

Plasma Bigscreen is intended to be used with a TV, but will also work on a regular monitor. The developers already have the platform working on a Raspberry Pi 4. Although the project is intended for small computing platforms, it will be able to run on just about any computer.

Anyone with a Raspberry Pi 4 can download the beta image.

Original announcement: https://dot.kde.org/2020/03/26/plasma-tv-presenting-plasma-bigscreen

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