PowerShell is just Microsoft's latest open-source gift to developers

Microsoft just open-sourced PowerShell, making it available for both Linux and Mac. The command-line shell and scripting platform is just the latest open-source friendly software from Microsoft.

Microsoft software on Linux

All the “Microsoft loves Linux” talk can be a tad misleading. Microsoft definitely won’t be releasing a Linux desktop version of Microsoft Office any time soon, or porting the next Halo game to Linux and SteamOS. Microsoft’s love for Linux is all about developers. Developers can now use PowerShell on Linux, and run PowerShell scripts on Linux servers. Microsoft even provides its own Linux servers through the Azure cloud computing service.

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Firefox for Linux will soon support Netflix and Amazon videos

Firefox 49 for Linux, scheduled for a September 2016 release, will add support for DRM-protected HTML5 videos. Netflix, Amazon Prime, and other streaming services will “just work” in Firefox on Linux, just as they do in Google Chrome.

Encrypted media extensions come to Linux

Mozilla will add support for the “encrypted media extensions” (EME) feature. This is designed to allow services like Netflix and Amazon to deliver videos in HTML5 with some protection against those videos being captured and copied.

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How to get Bash on Windows 10 with the Anniversary Update

Windows 10’s Anniversary Update is now stable, and with it comes the Bash shell developers were so excited about when Microsoft announced it. If you’re using an up-to-date Windows 10 system, you can install it today.

How to get it

As long as you’ve updated your Windows 10 PC to the Anniversary Update, and you’re using a 64-bit version of the OS, Bash should work. The feature is compatible with all editions of Windows 10, including Windows 10 Home

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Chromebooks are getting PIN unlock

Google is adding a new PIN unlock feature to Chromebooks. You’ll soon be able to set a numeric PIN and more easily unlock your Chromebook without typing your Google account password.

How PIN unlock works

This feature works similarly to the PIN unlock feature found on smartphones, tablets, and Windows devices. After signing in to your Chromebook, you can set a separate numeric PIN. When your Chromebook wakes from sleep, you can enter the PIN on the lock screen instead of typing your (presumably) longer Google account password to unlock it. This is particularly convenient if you’re using a touchscreen Chromebook, where a short numeric PIN will be far easier to type than a string of letters and numbers (a must for email-password security) on a touchscreen keyboard.

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The FCC just forced TP-Link to support open-source router firmware

The strange saga of the FCC and open-source router firmware continues. After new FCC rules encouraged TP-Link and other router manufacturers to block open-source firmware, the FCC is now forcing TP-Link to do the opposite, and support open-source firmware.

TP-Link agreed to the FCC’s wishes in a settlement

As Ars Technica noticed, TP-Link just came to a settlement with the FCC. TP-Link was selling routers that allowed users to change the country code to operate in unlicensed ways in the United States. TP-Link agreed to pay a fine of $200,000 and follow the FCC’s rules in the future. But, most interestingly, TP-Link also agreed to enable open-source firmware to function on its routers.

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LibreOffice 5.2 includes classified documents and a streamlined interface

The Document Foundation is today releasing LibreOffice 5.2 for Windows, Mac, and Linux PCs. Major new features include support for marking sensitive documents as classified and a function for forecasting financial data. It’s still open source and completely free to use.

LibreOffice has an estimated 120 million users

The Documentation Foundation says it’s seen steady user growth. While it cited an estimated number of 100 million users at the release of LibreOffice 5.1 back in February 2016, it now estimates about 120 million users. That's based on download numbers; it doesn’t even include all the Linux desktop users out there—most Linux distributions preinstall LibreOffice as their default office suite.

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Vulkan Next will bring better support for VR and multiple GPUs

Vulkan, the cross-platform alternative to DirectX 12, was recently released, but “Vulkan Next” is already being worked on. That’s big news for Steam Machines, Linux, Android, and even Windows gaming PCs.

A roadmap for Vulkan Next

The Khronos Group recently gave a presentation at SIGGRAPH 2016 about the state of Vulkan, OpenGL, and OpenGL ES. While there were no major announcements, the presentation confirmed that a new version of Vulkan—dubbed Vulkan Next is on the way, and laid out a roadmap of various features to expect.

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