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    NIH begins trial of COVID boosters to fight future variants

    news.movim.eu / ArsTechnica · Friday, 1 April - 22:28 · 1 minute

Extreme close-up photo of a gloved hand holding a tiny jar.

Enlarge / A vial of the current Moderna COVID-19 vaccine. (credit: Getty | Ivan Romano )

Mild or not, more SARS-CoV-2 variants are inevitable. To avoid any blips in our pandemic endgame, researchers at the National Institutes of Health on Thursday announced the start of a complex Phase II clinical trial to find the best COVID-19 booster regimen to protect against variants that emerge in the wake of omicron.

"We are looking beyond the omicron variant to determine the best strategy to protect against future variants," Anthony Fauci, director of the NIH's National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said in a statement . "This trial will help us understand if we can use prototype and variant vaccines alone or together to shift immune responses to cover existing and emerging COVID-19 variants."

Evidence so far suggests that the current vaccines—which are based on an early version of SARS-CoV-2 isolated in Wuhan, China—can muster protection against most of the variants that have swept across the globe so far. However, current vaccines have struggled against omicron, an ultratransmissible variant that is the most divergent variant yet. As such, researchers are wary that an omicron-specific vaccine alone will not generate broad protection against any future variant that may be more closely related to past variants—such as beta, a variant first detected in South Africa in 2020 suspected of being more severe than past variants, and delta, a highly transmissible variant that swept through the US before the emergence of omicron.

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    NVIDIA 510.39.01 Beta driver out for Linux

    news.movim.eu / GamingOnLinux · Tuesday, 11 January, 2022 - 15:29 · 2 minutes

After silently launching the RTX 3080 12GB , NVIDIA has also today put out a brand new Beta driver for Linux with version 510.39.01 now available.

The interesting part is, the changelog mentions quite a number of things that were added in previous driver releases like support for the GBM API. There's also mentions of extensions that were added in previous stable releases too. It's likely that this will be their new "Production Branch" driver that has pulled over lots of changes from their "New Feature Branch". Confused? NVIDIA explain it like so:

Production Branch Production Branch drivers provide ISV certification and optimal stability and performance for Unix customers. This driver is most commonly deployed at enterprises, providing support for the sustained bug fix and security updates commonly required.

New Feature Branch New Feature Branch drivers provide early adopters and bleeding edge developers access to the latest driver features before they are integrated into the Production Branches

Some extensions have jumped over in 510.39.01 from their other standalone Vulkan Beta Drivers though, and some are newly supported like these:

  • VK_EXT_depth_clip_control
  • VK_EXT_border_color_swizzle
  • VK_EXT_image_view_min_lod
  • VK_KHR_shader_integer_dot_product
  • VK_EXT_primitive_topology_list_restart
  • VK_EXT_load_store_op_none
  • VK_KHR_maintenance4
  • VK_KHR_format_feature_flags2
  • VK_KHR_dynamic_rendering

With Dynamic Rendering (VK_KHR_dynamic_rendering) being one of the major additions, something that The Khronos Group announced in late 2021 that many developers seemed excited about. This release newly brings AV1 decode support to the NVIDIA VDPAU driver, and brings on an optimization for the Vulkan fullscreen presentation path for X11 and direct-to-display swapchains.

Some of the bug fixes include:

  • Fixed several issues which caused the supported-gpus.json file to contain incorrect product information.
  • Fixed a bug that caused the nvidia-settings control panel to report inaccurate ECC error counts, and completely prevented the reporting of aggregate ECC error counts. ECC error counts reported by nvidia-smi were not affected.
  • Fixed a bug which caused Vulkan applications to hang when the __GL_THREADED_OPTIMIZATIONS environment variable was set to enable threaded optimizations in the NVIDIA driver.
  • Fixed a bug where calls to vkWaitForPresentKHR would fail with VK_TIMEOUT on Maxwell and Pascal GPUs.
  • Fixed a bug in the Vulkan compiler where 64-bit atomics were partially broken.
  • Fixed a bug in the Vulkan driver where VK_NULL_HANDLE was not properly handled as input to VkRenderingFragmentShadingRateAttachmentInfoKHR.imageView.
  • Fixed a bug in the Vulkan driver where the SPIR-V Centroid interpolation decoration was not ignored when used in conjunction with FragCoord.
  • Fixed a bug in the Vulkan driver where unreferenced descriptor bindings were sometimes not ignored properly.
  • Fixed a bug in the Vulkan driver where vkCmdBindDescriptorSets would not properly handle pDynamicOffsets for compute pipelines.
  • Fixed a bug which caused OpenGL and Vulkan applications to generate excessive traffic over dbus while attempting to communicate with nvidia-powerd, even though nvidia-powerd was not running.
  • Fixed a bug in the Vulkan driver where some Ray Tracing shaders would timeout, resulting in device loss.
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    OBS Studio 27.2 enters Beta with official Flatpak support

    news.movim.eu / GamingOnLinux · Monday, 3 January, 2022 - 12:46 · 1 minute

Ready for 2022, the OBS team is preparing a major new release of the free and open source livestreaming and recording software OBS Studio.

OBS Studio 27.2 has two Beta versions out bringing in some major new features. For Linux users, it's a big one too as it brings along our previously reported plans for official Flatpak support. This means users of any Linux distribution will be able to grab the officially supported package with all the bells and whistles.

Some of what's new includes:

  • Added AJA source for AJA devices [DDRBoxman/AJA Team]
  • Added AJA output to tools menu for AJA devices [DDRBoxman/AJA Team]
  • Added the ability to set different blend modes to sources via the source right-click context menu (similar to Photoshop’s layer blending for example) [jw0z96]
  • Added AOM AV1 and SVT-AV1 encoders (note that these are currently considered experimental, work best with CPUs that have many cores, and are only accessible for recording in advanced output mode) [Jim]
  • Added an OBS hotkey for browser sources to allow refreshing a browser source via that hotkey [gxalpha]
  • Added hotkey filter search [furious]
  • Added hotkey duplicate detection [furious/Jim]
  • Added a warning dialog when switching profiles that have settings changes that require a restart [offthegrid-mike]
  • Added a “Show active outputs warning on exit” option in advanced settings, which allows you to enable/disable the confirmation dialog on exit while recording/streaming [bobvandevijver]
  • Added support for the RIST protocol [pkv]
  • Added official Flatpak support for Linux [GeorgesStavracas]
  • Added framework for future support of background hotkeys on Wayland [kkartaltepe]

Plenty of other smaller tweaks came with it like an upgrade to the CEF version used, the Window Capture on Linux is now sorted alphabetically, Twitch panels match the OBS theme for dark / light mode and more robust PipeWire Capture support for Linux.

See more on the GitHub and test from their Flatpak using these commands:

flatpak remote-add --if-not-exists flathub-beta https://flathub.org/beta-repo/flathub-beta.flatpakrepo
flatpak install flathub-beta com.obsproject.Studio

Once it's out of Beta, installing will be easier as it will be on the main branch.

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    Steam Labs Experiment 13 upgrades the store tag hubs

    news.movim.eu / GamingOnLinux · Saturday, 18 December, 2021 - 13:34 · 1 minute

Valve are always tweaking something on Steam and their latest experiment is an upgrade to the Store Hubs, the areas on Steam where you can browse through all the random tags.

Now, when you click a tag on Steam (if you opt-in), there's a great big banner carousel at the top to go through some of the featured games. This shows off those titles that are new, top-sellers, discounted, recommendations from users and curators and more from their mighty algorithm. Below that you will get a list of recent and upcoming events, helping you to stay on top of everything.

The massive banners at the top do waste a bit of space IMO but they certainly do grab your attention - so I guess they're working as intended. They also, again, don't seem to respect your operating system preferences as it just shows anything.

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When you scroll further down, Valve also shows off various personalised recommendations based on what you've been playing, plus items from your wishlist that might be relevant. On top of that, there's also all their new sorting and filtering options available in a list towards the bottom (which does have a platform filter).

Overall, it's far more useful that what Valve had before for tag hubs, it's looking pretty good.

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    AI Kingdoms arrive for Kingdoms and Castles in a new Beta

    news.movim.eu / GamingOnLinux · Friday, 17 December, 2021 - 16:45 · 1 minute

The massive AI Kingdoms update for Kingdoms and Castles has finally hit Open Beta for anyone who owns it, so you can now see what the developer has been working on for quite some time.

Kingdoms and Castles is a city-building simulation game about growing a kingdom from a tiny hamlet to a sprawling city and imposing castle. It has gradually grown from quite a small and relaxed game into a much bigger city-builder / RTS hybrid, although you can still pretty much play how you want and AI Kingdoms are optional to add in.

Here's some highlights of what's in the current Beta:

  • AI Kingdoms you can add when starting a new game
  • Talk, trade, or fight with these AI kingdoms
  • Hall of Diplomacy where you can make diplomats used to interact with the AI Kingdoms
  • Fog of war system
  • Siege Workshop which builds Catapults
  • New harder 'Survive 250' game mode
  • Theatre and Jousting Arena
  • Transport carts
  • Minimap
  • Ability to set maximum workers per job category
  • Lots of other various improvements

I managed to set aside some time and play through the Beta today and it's looking absolutely fantastic. Kingdoms and Castles was already a wonderful game but now it just has so much more depth to it, giving you a great many more hours of building - without making it too complicated.

20456596771639759541gol1.jpg

For the Beta, it's currently Steam-only until it's finished and then it will be up as a normal update for other stores. If you wish to try it on Steam simply right click the game and go to Properties, hit the Beta tab and select "next-version-preview".

You can find Kingdoms and Castles on Steam , GOG and itch.io .

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    Project Zomboid reintroduces multiplayer with the newest Beta build

    news.movim.eu / GamingOnLinux · Friday, 17 December, 2021 - 12:17 · 1 minute

After multiple years working on Build 41 of Project Zomboid, The Indie Stone have now finally hooked up multiplayer for it and you can test it yourself now.

Project Zomboid did already have multiplayer but Build 41 that's available in an opt-in Beta is a massive overhaul of the entire game. It is the single biggest update the game has ever seen and it's still not done, which is why it's left in an opt-in Beta but most people generally play on that version now. Build 41 has all sorts like revamped animations and combat, a whole new sound design by some who did the incredible Alien: Isolation, a huge map expansion and the list of what's new and improved at this point is practically endless.

Now it's multiplayer's time to shine! A new and separate Beta version is now available to finally hooks up multiplayer for this version. To access this version on Steam, simply look for the "b41multiplayer" Beta. Have a look at some of the chaos:

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The Indie Stone mentioned that multiplayer has been what's holding back a proper full release of Build 41, which they hope to do "early" in 2022. So at some point in early 2022, no one will need to opt into any Beta and just get this multi-year effort right out of the box.

Exciting times ahead for Project Zomboid!

Don't own it yet? You can purchase a copy from Humble Store , GOG and Steam .

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    Linux Mint 20.3 'Una' gets a Beta release

    news.movim.eu / GamingOnLinux · Tuesday, 14 December, 2021 - 15:11 · 1 minute

For those of you who love the taste, Linux Mint has a new Beta version available for testing the next major release. Linux Mint 20.3 'Una' is available with multiple desktop environments. With the ability to download with Cinnamon, MATE and Xfce out of the box, there's plenty to like about it.

705477931639494275gol1.png Pictured - Linux Mint 20.3 'Una' Cinnamon Edition

The look and feel of Linux Mint has been tweaked with this release to have larger titlebar buttons, rounded corners and an overall "cleaner" theme with better dark mode support. Accent colouring to grab your attention in places was also adjusted, and removed from some places. There's also the ability for some applications to have a dark theme while the desktop keeps its lighter theme. Only a few applications currently support this mixed theming.

Other changes include:

  • Searching in the Sticky Notes app.
  • A new Document Manager called Thingy.
  • Hypnotix IPTV player gained a search feature.
  • Multi-calendar events support in the Cinnamon Calendar.
  • Workspace switcher applet: Option to disable scrolling.
  • Notification applet: Option to hide the counter.
  • Window list applet: Option to remove labels.
  • Xreader PDF reader received better support for manga.

With this release you're getting Kernel 5.4, a packaging base of Ubuntu 20.04, Flatpak 1.12, linux-firmware 1.187 and depending on what edition you go for there's Cinnamon 5.2, MATE 1.26 and Xfce 4.16.

Once stable and released proper, Linux Mint 20.3 will be supported until 2025.

The announcements can be seen on the Mint Blog .

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    Dinosaur survival MMO Path of Titans adds the Allosaurus and baby dinos

    news.movim.eu / GamingOnLinux · Friday, 3 December, 2021 - 13:37

Path of Titans is slowly shaping up to be an MMO worth looking into with full cross-platform support and a big new update is out now adding in a ferocious new beast and cute little baby dinos.

The Allosaurus is the headline new playable creature, with it being able to hunt even the largest prey. The growth system also completely changes the game, and sounds like it makes it a huge amount more interesting. You now start off life in Path of Titans as a wee baby hatchling, where you need to complete quests to give you a growth buff that repeatedly over time will allow you to grow into the full awesome thing. Helping new players is a brand new tutorial area to teach you some basic too.

youtube video thumbnail
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More is coming with the next release planned to have small AI critters running around, giving everyone something a bit smaller to chase around and make the world feel a little bit more alive.

You can buy it on the official site .

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