ZaReason Debuts New Gamerbox 9400, Google Announces Live Transcribe and Sound Amplifier Android Apps, Microsoft Bringing Xbox Live to Android, Kernel 5.0-rc5 Is Out and Mallard 1.1 Released

News briefs for February 4, 2019.

ZaReason debuted its new Gamerbox 9400, "the ultimate Linux gaming PC". And, the Gamebox is just the beginning, ZDNet reports, quoting ZaReason CEO Cathy Malmrose: "Our current team is mostly gamers so, not surprisingly, that is the direction we are going. We have a full line of gaming machines in R&D." The Gamebox runs Ubuntu 18.04, with a 64-bit Pentium 3.8Ghz G5500 Coffee Lake processor and 8GB of DDR4 memory.

Google announces two new audio apps for Android to help people who are deaf or hard of hearing: Live Transcribe and Sound Amplifier. Live Transcribe "takes real-world speech and turns it into real-time captions using just the phone's microphone". Starting today, Live Transcribe will rollout gradually as a limited beta via the Play Store and pre-installed on Pixel 3 devices. You can sign up here to be notified when it's more widely available. Sound Amplifier makes "audio is more clear and easier to hear. You can use Sound Amplifier on your Android smartphone with wired headphones to filter, augment and amplify the sounds in your environment. It works by increasing quiet sounds, while not over-boosting loud sounds." Sound Amplifier is available now via the Play Store and supports Android 9 Pie or later and comes pre-installed on Pixel 3.

Microsoft is bringing Xbox Live to Android, macOS and Nintendo Switch. According to The Verge, "Some iOS and Android games already have Xbox Live Achievements, but they're only enabled in titles from Microsoft Studios and there's not many of them available right now. Microsoft describes this new push as much bigger. 'Xbox Live is expanding from 400 million gaming devices and a reach to over 68 million active players to over 2 billion devices with the release of our new cross-platform XDK,' says the GDC listing."

Linux kernel 5.0-rc5 is out. Linus writes, "I'm happy to report that things seem to be calming down nicely, and rc5 is noticeably smaller than previous rcs. Let's hope the trend continues."

Mallard 1.1 was released recently. Mallard is a "markup language for dynamic topic-oriented help. It is designed to be as simple as possible, while still providing the features needed for a modern help system. Mallard features a unique reciprocal linking system that helps writers create flexible help frameworks that are easy to extend with new content. Writers can create an outline-like structure, and as they add new help topics, the reciprocal linking mechanism will neatly integrate the new help topics with the existing help topics." To see the list of what's new, go here.

Jill Franklin is an editorial professional with more than 17 years experience in technical and scientific publishing, both print and digital. As Executive Editor of Linux Journal, she wrangles writers, develops content, manages projects, meets deadlines and makes sentences sparkle. She also was Managing Editor for TUX and Embedded Linux Journal, and the book Linux in the Workplace. Before entering the Linux and open-source realm, she was Managing Editor of several scientific and scholarly journals, including Veterinary Pathology, The Journal of Mammalogy, Toxicologic Pathology and The Journal of Scientific Exploration. In a previous life, she taught English literature and composition, managed a bookstore and tended bar. When she’s not bugging writers about deadlines or editing copy, she throws pots, gardens and reads. You can contact Jill via e-mail, ljeditor@linuxjournal.com.

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