LWDW 282: Audacity Phone Home

Audacity addresses the concerns around their new Privacy Policy, Google kills support for 32-bit Netflix, open-source self hosted discord-compatible chat, and big changes for Linux audio coming in Kernel 5.14.

Special thanks to:
Amber (New Patron)



00:00 Intro
05:17 Audacity is now spyware?
13:47 Google kills 32-bit Netflix
17:47 FOSS powered Discord
21:57 Xorg gets gestures
24:07 Kernel 5.14 audio changes
32:32 New nvenc for OBS
37:57 Pi powered 286

Colour key: Venn Pedro Jill

Audacity phone home 


  • Two things I have seen going on. 
    • Privacy hobbyists who have never opened Audacity doing their omg pank routine. 
    • Everybody clamoring for a fork. 
    • A fork of Audacity without the backing of a core developer has near zero viability. 
  • No way distro maintainers are letting this pass.
  • All the networking features that the maintainers of Audacity have added can be disabled in the build system through appropriate CMake variables, and the resulting binaries won’t contain any code to provide usage data/crash reports/update checking.
  • Please don’t blow things out of proportion. 
  • It’s not like Debian is ever going to ship Audacity with telemetry enabled. 
  • As for your distro, ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ 
  • I think timing is possibly the crux of the blowback with this one.
  • And, you know, the outright contradictory statements from the original privacy notice before they edited it and what that github post says.
  • Yeah, I think there’s been a bit of a resonance cascade of screw ups and poorly handled situations since muse score took over
  • It’s been one heck of a month and half for them.
  • This has been a roller coaster ride indeed!
  • And bad communication for telemetry that many open source projects have been gathering for years.


32bit Wide


  • Google seems to have pulled the plug on 32bit Widevine for Linux.
  • Which happens to also affect Firefox.
  • If you have a 32bit machine you were using as a streaming client for a TV or something like that, no more Netflix for you.
  • I do wonder how many smart TVs this is going to affect.
  • Google not open sourcing Widevine is one of the real problems here.
  • Now Google’s Widevine has become more narrow :-(
  • Oh no, you might be forced to buy a $50 Android tablet. 


FOSS Discord


  • There is a new Discord alternative project in the works called Fosscord.
  • Fosscord is an open source, self hostable chat, voice and video platform similar to Slack, Rocket.chat and is Discord-compatible.
  • It uses the Open Source CSS framework in the style of Discord.
  • As much as I love Matrix and use it for work on a daily basis, it will be nice to have another decentralized and open Discord like option.
  • Fosscord is looking for project contributors, as well as financial contributions via opencollective.
  • Ok, I was about to dismiss this with a solid “Good luck with that”
  • But it actually claims to be Discord compatible while offering self-hosting options.
  • Interesting!
  • You might want to change that logo, though.


Reach out and Touch X (Rtheren)


  • Natively supported touchpad gestures.
  • Actual VRR support for the modesetting driver
  • GLamor acceleration for xvfb virtual displays.
  • It’s been 3 years since the v1.20 release.
  • Improvements to XWayland.
  • Better Meson build system support.


Kernel 5.14 Soundmageddon 


  • There are a lot of great sound and audio updates for the upcoming Linux Kernel 5.14!
  • So here are some of those features we can expect that are included in the Linux Kernel 5.14 Release Candidate 1.
  • Lots of fixes and enhancements for USB audio devices, which will improve latency on our mics, mic interfaces and audio mixers etc.
  • Scarlett2 mixer fixes and enhancements.
  • Fixes for Ozone and Denon devices.
  • And a lot more improvements that will make Venn happy!
  • Two big things going on here from my man Tak. 
  • USB latency reduction, it does what is said on the tin. 
  • FireWire code refactoring and enhancements needs to be unpacked a bit. 
  • Up until now there were two drivers for firewire audio interfaces. 
  • FFADO & ALSA. These could be broken down into works and don’t. 
  • While the ALSA drivers worked they were only good for audio playback, mostly. 
  • This latest update adds media clock recovery for motu and digi devices making them usable as recording devices with ALSA. 
  • If you have a Digidesign 002/3 or a MOTU mk3 you’re going to get plug and play support. 
  • Several other improvements have been made to clean up the overall stability of the firewire stack.
  • I’ve been providing feedback for the last few months and can tell you this is working with my Focusrite, Digi, and MOTU interfaces. 
  • This and Pipewire will greatly reduce the friction for Windows users trying to configure audio interfaces on Linux. 


Faster OBS nvenc 


  • OBS nvenc on Linux is a testimate to inefficiency. 
  • This is an openGL version of jim-nvenc for Linux. 
  • It skips a lot of the extra copying done by the current nvenc implementation. 
  • This results in lower CPU usage. 
  • Only ARGB textures are supported ATM. 
  • What’s great is that the developer tested it on his older machine:  an Intel Core i3 4th gen processor with an Nvidia GTX1060 6GB GPU running Arch Linux.
  • And his CPU usage has decreased from around 25-30% to around 11% during nvenc encoding.

Slice of Pi

89 Pi (RTheren)


  • Using a Pi0 to add modern functionality to a 286 laptop.
  • Make it a 0W and you got yourself wi-fi on a 286.
  • Using a RasPi will give you a lot more options than running the ELKS, or the Embedded Linux Kernel Subset on a 286.
  • I remember the days of setting up the internet on DOS, configuring ethernet controllers and then using my favorite GUI web browser Arachne, and later Dillo.
  • And Lynx and Links text based browsers got used a lot on my old 286s, and still do :-)

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