LWDW 186: Silicon And Nope

Firefox 69 nukes autoplay video! Geekbench 5 benches Vulkan, npm bans terminal ads, and embedding a Raspberry Pi Zero W… in your leg.

03:56 Firefox 69
07:06 Thunderbird 68.0
10:50 9’th generation XPS 13
13:10 Hyperfine
16:10 CLI ad blocker
16:40 npm bans terminal ads
19:05 GNOMe maps
22:10 Geekbench 5
30:25 Embedded Pi
34:25 Full Raspberry Pi keyboard
37:30 Emails


Linux Weekly Daily Wednesday
Linux Weekly Daily Wednesday
LinuxGameCast LLP

A weekly dose of all thing Linux and open source with a slice of Pi for good measure.



Colour key – Venn Jill Pedro

Firefox 69

  • Blocking all the autoplay videos.
  • This is something Chrome had in beta but ended up dropping. 
  • Firefox 69 has been released with several major new security and privacy features.
  • In this release of Firefox 69.0, Enhanced Tracking Protection will be turned on by default.
  • The default standard setting for Enhanced Tracking Protection now blocks third-party tracking cookies and cryptominers.
  • Also, there is now support for receiving multiple video codecs, which makes it easier for WebRTC conferencing services to mix video from different clients.
  • Hopefully, this will go a long way to improving WebRTC performance in Firefox.
  • Better cookie management and not autoplaying crap is good default to have.
  • Especially in a world where the competition is more than a little too happy to let advertisers have all of your stuff.


Thunderbird 68.0

  • Hey, a better dark theme is much welcome. 
  • You now have a colour wheel so you can go full-metal rainbow in your correspondence. 
  • Can we do something about the startup time?
  • Thunderbird and Steam are the only two apps on the system that “take a second” to load.
  • I absolutely love the new App Menu!
  • All the functions are contained in one panel, and it’s so much cleaner and neater than having multiple sub menus to scroll through.
  • It’s so nice having a refreshed Thunderbird UI, because the interface was looking a bit stale and dated.
  • Still coming from the Mozilla Foundation, the Thunderchicken gets a proper update at last.
  • I do hope Mozilla finds a way to continue to fund the development of Thunderchicken.


9’th generation XPS 13

  • This month you can get your hands on a new Dell XPS 13 Developer Edition 9th Generation laptop starting at $899.99.
  • The Dell XPS 13 7390 will include:
    • Intel Core i5-10210U processor (quad-core) or i7-10710U processor (6 cores)
    • 13-inch InfinityEdge display with HD and UHD resolutions
    • Up to 16GB of LPDDR3 RAM
    • Killer AX1650 (2×2) Wi-Fi
    • This updated model will also include two Thunderbolt 3 ports.
  • Really don’t much care for the touch screen or any of the other tablety bits.
  • However, the black 7390 model looks very, very nice!
  • If I could get my hands of the 1080p non-touch model, I would be quite happy.



  • I just ran hyperfine with the cat, htop and inxi commands, in order from fastest load time to slowest, and it worked great, is easy to use and is extremely accurate.
  • If you really want that number crunching on a per job basis
  • Actually, just passing a dd command to this is probably a good way to have a progress bar.


CLI ad blocker

  • It was only a matter of time. 
  • But that’s no longer going to be a problem for npm. 


The plot thickens

  • It was a good idea that Aboukhadijeh listened to the community.
  • Also that Linode and LogRocket bowed out as well.
  • Acation, reaction. 
  • Ads at runtime or installation are a big honking no no.
  • You can still have a package that can be used to display ads. 
  • Glad they nipped this in the bud with a quickness before things went to complete hell. 


Gnome maps

  • Now opens directly in the location you last viewed. 
  • Implemented support for opening URLs pointing to objects in OpenStreetMap directly. 
  • While I’m not a fan on the GNOME DM a gang of neat apps have come out of the project.
  • Although I haven’t used GNOME Maps all that much, it is nice to have a local map viewer as part of GNOME that is a launchable app, and one that points to OpenStreetMap when needed.
  • I use OpenStreetMap a lot, as an alternative to Google Maps, and now will pay more attention to GNOME Maps, which is implementing some of the Google Maps functions.
  • Using the MapBox API with the OpenStreet Maps, the last GNOME Maps 3.33 beta is released.
  • Full GNOME 3.34 should come out next week.


Geekbench 5

  • A single-user license for Linux, Windows and macOS is only $4.99, but you can get all three for $7.49.
  • The Geekbench 5 Pro version license for commercial use includes command line tools, standalone mode, benchmark configuration and automation and support, and is on sale for $49.99.
  • I’m guessing the GPU compute business is limited to the paid version?
    • ./geekbench5 –compute Vulkan
    • It can also do OpenCL and Cuda, just type either one instead of Vulkan
    • I only have openCL available
  • I watched GPU utilization and it never touched it. 
  • Looks like the CPU scores all got divided by 4, going from Geekbench 4 to Geekbench 5
  • That Vulkan though: https://browser.geekbench.com/v5/compute/21619

Slice of Pi

Embedded Pi 

  • A decentralized communication system that you literally live with.
  • What happens when someone kicks you in the thigh?
  • These are things you think about when you have as many implants as I do. 
  • And most of mine are titanium, not a PCB covered in an inert goo. 


Keyboard Pi

  • They do say it can’t do WWAN yet, but there is at least one WWAN hat for the Pi.
  • Should just be a matter of hooking the SIM to the software to let you text/call
  • That I can imagine it would be a bit more difficult.






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