Some Linux tidbits for the week include Linux Gurus of the year, a Gnome Gmail app, and an advanced game engine for Linux.
Could you be a Linux Guru?
Linux.com announced their first-ever winners for the honor of being named a Linux Guru, based on their skills and contributions to the Linux.com community. The emphasis is, of course, on sharing their Linux knowledge with others. They picked five winners, which includes the Ultimate Linux Guru, Masen Marshall, who is a full-time system administrator for a school district. And there are prizes! Marshall won a special Dell laptop, signed by the Super-Ultimate Linux Guru himself, Linus Torvalds. See the complete list of winners here.
Gnome Gmail integration
If you're a fan of Gmail on your Linux desktop, Lifehacker.com's Kevin Purdy recommends the Gnome Gmail download, which offers tighter integration if you want to make Gmail your default mail app. You can download Gnome Gmail here for your Linux Gnome desktop.
The future of Linux gaming?
I'm not a gamer myself, although I certainly know a few. And I also know that one of the perennial knocks on Linux is that it's not good for games. So I thought this little tidbit might be of interest to many of you. The folks at Phoronix.com have been looking at the Unigine gaming engine, which they say is now "the most advanced game engine for Linux." Unigine has just released Heaven Benchmark 2.0 to showcase the technical advances they've made, including a Linux version with an OpenGL 3.2 renderer.
You can download and try out the benchmark (scroll down to the bottom of the linked page for various versions/mirror choices), as well as see the list of features and enhancements in the 2.0 version. Editor Mark Kaelin downloaded it on an Alienware M11X laptop that he's trying out (running Windows 7, not Linux), which is where the screenshots below came from. If tessellation is something you get excited about, then you'll want to check it out. Just from the standpoint of aesthetics, I thought the graphics were pretty impressive: painstaking architectural detail, wispy smoke and shadows, and lots of cool light effects. Now, the developers will have to get busy designing some actual games!
Attesting to my dorkiness, I really liked the grass! Pretty amazing (even without exploding zombies, or whatever).