07.11.16

Gemini version available ♊︎

Links 11/7/2016: Linux 4.7 RC7, PCLinuxOS Trinity

Posted in News Roundup at 2:27 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Kernel Space

    • Linux 4.7 delayed
    • Linux 4.7-rc7
    • Linux 4.7-rc7
    • Linux 4.7-rc7 Released: Linux 4.7 Kernel In Two Weeks
    • Linus Torvalds Announces The Last RC, Linux Kernel 4.7 To Be Released On July 24

      Linus Torvalds has just announced the availability of the seventh Release Candidate (RC) of the forthcoming Linux 4.7 kernel branch.

      Except for a couple of regressions, things look to have calmed down for Linux 4.7. According to Linus Torvalds, this could just be the last RC for Linux kernel 4.7, which means that the final release will be announced on July 24, 2016.

    • Linus Torvalds goes on epic rant over Linux devs’ comment syntax

      Linus Torvalds has launched an epic, yet entertaining, rant against Linux kernel maintainers over their use of syntax in code comments.

      Torvalds, who is the chief maintainer of the Linux kernel, has a record for no-nonsense posts to the army of coders who keep the operating system going.

      The comments are a key means by which developers can follow and understand code across the community.

    • Linus Torvalds goes off on one over comment syntax

      LINUS TORVALDS, the creator and chief maintainer of Linux, as well as the author of some entertaining online rants, has complained to the community about comment syntax styles.

      Torvalds was commenting in response to a proposal to standardise on a syntax style used to add comments which he described as “brain-damaged stupid”.

    • Linux Kernel Development – Greg Kroah-Hartman
    • Graphics Stack

      • Mode Switching Coming For Graphics Tablets In Libinput 1.4

        Linux input expert Peter Hutterer at Red Hat has shared an upcoming feature of libinput 1.4: mode switching support for graphics tablet (e.g. Wacom tablets) for switching through different behavior depending upon button presses.

      • libinput and graphics tablet mode support

        In an earlier post, I explained how we added graphics tablet pad support to libinput. Read that article first, otherwise this article here will be quite confusing.

        A lot of tablet pads have mode-switching capabilities. Specifically, they have a set of LEDs and pressing one of the buttons cycles the LEDs. And software is expected to map the ring, strip or buttons to different functionality depending on the mode. A common configuration for a ring or strip would be to send scroll events in mode 1 but zoom in/out when in mode 2. On the Intuos Pro series tablets that mode switch button is the one in the center of the ring. On the Cintiq 21UX2 there are two sets of buttons, one left and one right and one mode toggle button each. The Cintiq 24HD is even more special, it has three separate buttons on each side to switch to a mode directly (rather than just cycling through the modes).

      • Google’s SwiftShader Released

        Year by year, plain-old HTML 5 websites are becoming fancier, and right now, the home entertainment world is buzzing about VR and 3D. But most sites are missing the boat; they have no 3D content. Well, that’s about to change.

        Google recently opened the source code for its SwiftShader project. If you have used Google Chrome or Android, you probably have seen SwiftShader in action before. It’s a high-performance software renderer that improves the performance of games or 3D content on low-end machines.

        Until recently, SwiftShader was a closed-source project. Although Android and Chromium are open source, SwiftShader always was distributed as a separate component, covered by a proprietary license. Now that Google has released SwiftShader to the world, other web browser developers will be able to use it too. This, in turn, should stimulate the development of richer 3D web content.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • Multi-screen woes in Plasma 5.7

        With Plasma 5.7 we promised improved multi-screen support. While we achieved that, some users are still experiencing issues. This is unfortunate and our users have all the reasons to be disappointed with us. We are working very hard to fix the issues which have been reported to us since the release.

        But there are many situations where users blame us for issues not under our control. With this blog post I want to describe some of the problems we got reported and explain them.

      • KDE Plasma Users Are Still Running Into Multi-Screen Issues

        KDE Plasma 5.7 was advertised as having better multi-screen support, but it turns out there’s still more work to do as various problems in the open-source Linux desktop stack are leading to a less than ideal experience.

    • GNOME Desktop/GTK

      • SHAPING THE SCENARIO TASKS

        This week we are moving on to Creating the scenario tasks for GNOME programs. After a discussion with Jim Hall(my mentor), Allan and Jakub(GNOME design team),we decided to look back at the usability test results from the last round of Outreachy, and focus on the tasks that the participants struggled to accomplish. For example: Finding the zoom button in Image Viewer (header bar button), changing the month/year in Calendar (header bar buttons), searching (header bar button) and copying in Characters (primary window button), annotating and bookmarking in Evince (header bar menus), and other tasks in Nautilus (several were header bar menus). Re-using these scenario tasks will allow us to compare how the design patterns have improved over time.

      • Getting ready for usability tests

        In this test, Diana will ask testers to simulate an “unboxing” of a new system. The tester will turn on the laptop or computer, watch the computer start up, and login to a fresh “test” account so they get first-user experience.

  • Distributions

    • New Releases

      • New install medium 2016.07.09

        Dual architecture (i686 and x86_64):

        Main ISO – Live ISO image for installation and recovery.
        MATE desktop ISO – Live ISO image for installation and recovery (with MATE Desktop Environment).
        TalkingParabola ISO – Live ISO image for installation and recovery (adapted for blind and visually impaired users).

    • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandriva Family

      • PCLinuxOS 64 Trinity 2016.07 Community Edition Switches to Linux Kernel 4.6.3

        After we announced the release of the PCLinuxOS 64 Xfce 2016.07 Community Edition and PCLinuxOS 64 LXDE 2016.07 Community Edition distributions, the time has come for you to download PCLinuxOS 64 Trinity 2016.07 Community Edition.

        Created by PCLinuxOS senior member reelcat, the PCLinuxOS 64 Trinity Community Edition operating system is using the same acclaimed GNU/Linux technologies that are behind the official PCLinuxOS editions, but built around the Trinity Desktop Environment (TDE) project that tries to keep the spirit of the KDE 3.5 desktop alive.

    • OpenSUSE/SUSE

      • Side-by-side: openSuSE Tumbleweed and Leap

        Leap, on the other hand, should never have such stability problems. It is so extensively tested, and so conservatively updated, that such problems are extremely unlikely to make it through. While the Leap distribution doesn’t have that long of a history to look at (it’s initial release was in April 2015), I think it is safe to say that Leap is related to SuSE Linux Enterprise in much the same way that Tumbleweed is tied to factory, and one thing that SuSE Linux Enterprise is very well known for is rock solid stability.

        That’s pretty much it, so I hope this brief review of the two distributions is helpful in deciding which would be right for your purposes.

      • Google Summer of Code student focuses on next steps
    • Red Hat Family

    • Debian Family

      • Week 5&6 Report

        During week 5 and 6, I have been to the debian conference 2016. It was really interesting meeting with a lot of people all so involved in Debian.

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Snapd 2.0.10 Snappy Tool Now Available in Ubuntu 16.04 LTS, Here’s What’s New

            Canonical’s Michael Vogt has been happy to announce that the snapd 2.0.10 Snappy tool from Ubuntu Core has successfully landed in the main software repositories of Ubuntu 16.04 LTS (Xenial Xerus).

            We reported last week on the availability of the snapd 2.0.10 update, which is a pretty significant release, for Arch Linux and Fedora operating systems. Yes, that’s right, Canonical first pushed the snapd 2.0.10 build to Fedora’s COPR repository, as well as the main software repo of the Arch Linux distribution, allowing users to install the tool using the “pacman -S snapd” command, not an AUR helper.

            “The Snappy team is very happy to announce that the 2.0.10 release is now available in 16.04 via ‘xenial-updates.’ The 2.0.10 release contains a number of improvements and fixes over the previous 2.0.9 release that was available before,” says Michael Vogt, Software Developer at Canonical. “We hope you like it as much as we do. If you find any issues, please let us know via: http://bugs.launchpad.net/snappy.”

          • Flavours and Variants

  • Devices/Embedded

Free Software/Open Source

  • All the Apache Streaming Projects: An Exploratory Guide

    The speed at which data is generated, consumed, processed, and analyzed is increasing at an unbelievably rapid pace. Social media, the Internet of Things, ad tech, and gaming verticals are struggling to deal with the disproportionate size of data sets. These industries demand data processing and analysis in near real-time. Traditional big data-styled frameworks such as Apache Hadoop is not well-suited for these use cases.

    As a result, multiple open source projects have been started in the last few years to deal with the streaming data. All were designed to process a never-ending sequence of records originating from more than one source. From Kafka to Beam, there are over a dozen Apache projects in various stages of completion.

  • prpl Foundation Unveils the First Open Source Hypervisor for the Internet of Things
  • In the Wake of ownCloud, Here Comes Nextcloud

    The extremely popular ownCloud open source file-sharing and storage platform for building private clouds has been much in the news lately. CTO and founder of ownCloud Frank Karlitschek resigned from the company a few months ago. His open letter announcing the move pointed to possible friction created as ownCloud moved forward as a commercial entity as opposed to a solely community focused, open source project.

    Karlitschek had a plan, though. He is now out with a fork of ownCloud called Nextcloud, and there are strong signs that we can expect good things from this open platform.

  • Getting started with Git

    In the introduction to this series we learned who should use Git, and what it is for. Today we will learn how to clone public Git repositories, and how to extract individual files without cloning the whole works.

    Since Git is so popular, it makes life a lot easier if you’re at least familiar with it at a basic level. If you can grasp the basics (and you can, I promise!), then you’ll be able to download whatever you need, and maybe even contribute stuff back. And that, after all, is what open source is all about: having access to the code that makes up the software you run, the freedom to share it with others, and the right to change it as you please. Git makes this whole process easy, as long as you’re comfortable with Git.

  • Never Discount the Soft Skills for Career Building

    As an open source professional, even if you have the technical chops required for a position, it doesn’t necessarily mean you are a “shoe-in” for the role. Surprisingly, what many don’t know is that what sets you apart from other candidates in the interview process is your soft skills. Finding a professional who has the technical skills to handle a job can be difficult, but finding a professional who has both the technical skills required and the personal attributes that enable collaboration with team members can even more challenging.

    For open source professionals looking to move, improving some of your soft skills is a great way to make yourself indispensable to employers. Focusing on these skills allows you to still grow professionally and attract potential employers without having to go through the formal training methods required to learn some of the more technical skills. In particular, pay specific attention to some of the skills listed below, as they were found to be amongst the top soft skills employers on Dice requested from open source professionals:

  • SaaS/Back End

  • Pseudo-Open Source (Openwashing)

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • In mourning for Nano, chap crafts 1k-loc text editor

      Ticked off by the news that Nano opted out of GNU, a programmer called Salvatore Sanfilippo has written his own text editor.

      What’s impressive about it is that it provides a basic code editor with syntax highlighting and search, without ncurses as a dependency, and in a mere 1,000 lines of code (at Github).

  • Public Services/Government

    • Could open source help kill piracy in Romania?

      Open source enthusiast Petru Ratiu stressed that although Linux might be cost-effective, it’s not completely free, as it implies payments like the ones associated with support and training. As for the administration, he emphasised the need for open data and open formats.

    • New European contest to promote IT reuse

      The EC will award EUR 15,000 and EUR 10,000 to the two most-proven IT solutions reused by each of the four levels of public administration: cross-border, national, regional and local.

      Contenders for the ‘Sharing & Reuse Award’ can register their project here. The contest is open until 28 October 2016 and the prizes will be announced in March 2017.

      “We want to award existing IT solutions that have been developed and shared by public administrations, and that can be further reused across Europe”, says Margarida Abecasis, in charge of the ISA² programme, under whose auspices the awards are run.

  • Openness/Sharing/Collaboration

  • Programming/Development

    • Rcpp now used by over 700 CRAN packages
    • IoT puts assembly language back on the charts

      Let’s do the time warp again: according to an outfit that tracks programming languages, the Internet of Things is re-igniting demand for assembly language skills.

      Software consultancy TIOBE’s Programming Community Index has turned up the re-emergence of assembly programming in its monthly index (the definition of the index is here).

Leftovers

  • Science

    • Should NASA Have Given $1.1 Million to a Theology Institute?

      In 2014, NASA gave $1.1 million to the Center of Theological Inquiry, an independent institution “rooted in Christian theology.” The grant supports an initiative to study “the societal implications of astrobiology.”

      Surprisingly, it took more than a year for anyone to complain.

      The potential issue here is obvious: NASA is a government agency. The Center of Theological Inquiry is, well, a center of theological inquiry—an institution that seemingly has a religious, and specifically Christian, orientation. At least in theory, the government is barred from sponsoring religious activities. And doing theology about extraterrestrials does sound kind of religion-y.

  • Health/Nutrition

    • Radioactive waste and the nuclear war on Australia’s Aboriginal people

      Australia’s nuclear industry has a shameful history of ‘radioactive racism’ that dates from the British bomb tests in the 1950s, writes Jim Green. The same attitudes persist today with plans to dump over half a million tonnes of high and intermediate level nuclear waste on Aboriginal land, and open new uranium mines. But now Aboriginal peoples and traditional land owners are fighting back!

    • Biodiversity, GMOs, Gene Drives and the Militarized Mind

      The aforementioned study on ghost-tech was sponsored by DARPA (The Pentagon’s Research Ghost) and The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (The ghost of the Microsoft Monopoly). DARPA has been busy. Interestingly, Microsoft BASIC was developed on a DARPA Supercomputer across the street from MIT, at Harvard. Where does DARPA end and MIT start? Where does Microsoft end and The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation start. The orientation of our technologies has been dictated by the DARPA-Mind, a Mechanical Mind trained in War, and Gates continues to colonize meaning, just as gates had done to our lands, and the Green Revolution has done to our food.

  • Security

    • Security advisories for Monday
    • Is Your Antivirus Making Your PC More Hackable? Probably YES!f

      Is your antivirus software protecting you from all kinds of malware and security threats? The answer to this questions is a big NO. While one shouldn’t completely get rid of his/her antivirus solution, one shouldn’t be too carefree having them installed. We also advise our readers to follow the basic security practices to stay safe on the internet.

    • Social Media Accounts Of Twitter And Yahoo CEOs Hacked By OurMine

      Hacking group OurMine has now targetted Jack Dorsey and Marissa Mayer. OurMine recently hacked their Twitter accounts and posted messages on their profile. OurMine has triggered the frequency of its operations in the recent times and targeting multiple high-profile tech CEOs and celebrities.

    • Let’s Encrypt torpedoes cost and maintenance issues for Free RTC

      Many people have now heard of the EFF-backed free certificate authority Let’s Encrypt. Not only is it free of charge, it has also introduced a fully automated mechanism for certificate renewals, eliminating a tedious chore that has imposed upon busy sysadmins everywhere for many years.

      These two benefits – elimination of cost and elimination of annual maintenance effort – imply that server operators can now deploy certificates for far more services than they would have previously.

    • Voice Commands Hidden In YouTube Videos Can Hack Your Smartphone
    • This is quite a nice tool – magic-wormhole

      This beats doing a scp from system to system, especially if the receiving system is behind a NAT and/or firewall.

    • Entry level AI

      I was listening to the podcast Security Weekly and the topic of using AI For security work came up. This got me thinking about how most people make their way into security and what something like AI might mean for the industry.

      In virtually every industry you start out doing some sort of horrible job nobody else wants to do, but you have to start there because it’s the place you start to learn the skills you need for more exciting and interesting work. Nobody wants to go over yesterday’s security event log, but somebody does it.

  • Defence/Aggression

    • Europe’s NATO Ambivalence

      The just-completed NATO summit repeated tiresome U.S. propaganda about “Russia’s aggressive actions” but some European leaders flinched at the heated rhetoric and warmongering, notes ex-CIA official Graham E. Fuller.

    • Veterans Must Be Honored for Teaching Us the Need for Peace

      Mark Karlin: Many in the US political, entertainment and media world jingoistically hype support for veterans’ charities, but rarely do they ever bring to our attention the devastating condition of veterans who have survived injuries. Why is a book such as Tomas Young’s War vital in countering a sanitized charitable appeal for veterans that doesn’t focus on the actual ordeals of veterans such as Tomas Young?

    • The Chilcot Report Fails to Speak Plain Truth: Bush Lied, So Did Blair

      The newly released Chilcot Report on Iraq is British understatement, to a fault. In fact, it is understated so far as to miss the plain truth of the matter. Saying only that extremely questionable intelligence “was not challenged [by the Bush and Blair regimes] and it should have been” is failing to say plainly what the evidence so clearly shows: George W. Bush lied; so did Tony Blair.

      To demonstrate that, let’s try a simple exercise: let’s compare what White House officials said about Iraq in the run-up to war with what they knew at the time — or at the very least, should have known, because the intelligence was available to them.

      What they said: “We now know that Saddam has resumed his efforts to acquire nuclear weapons. Among other sources, we’ve gotten this from the testimony of defectors — including Saddam’s own son-in law” (in the words of Dick Cheney).

      What they knew: Testimony obtained by reporters in 2003 showed that Saddam’s son-in law told UN weapons inspectors that “all weapons — biological, chemical, missile, nuclear — were destroyed.” In other words, he said the opposite of what Cheney claimed he said.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife/Nature

    • Bankrupt Coal Miner Peabody Energy Paid Climate Denialist Craig Idso To Write Greenhouse Gas Reports

      A research center that has produced scores of reports dismissing the dangers of human-caused climate change was being paid by coal company Peabody Energy to produce reports about its greenhouse gas emissions.

      The Center for the Study of Carbon Dioxide and Global Change (CSCDGC) is revealed as having historical financial ties to Peabody in the coal company’s bankruptcy papers.

      A DeSmog investigation has also uncovered undisclosed financial links between the center, run by veteran climate science denialist Craig Idso, and another contrarian group, the Science and Public Policy Institute.

      Peabody Energy was revealed as a funder of a web of groups and organisations that have worked to spread doubt over human-caused climate change while fighting rules to cut greenhouse gas emissions.

      Dr Idso, the chairman and founder of CSCDGC, has written many reports claiming that extra carbon dioxide is a benefit to the planet, while ignoring or downplaying the many negatives.

      His work was used in a flawed report from the American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity — a grouping of coal miners, transporters and burners — which argued greenhouse gas emissions were a large net financial benefit to society.

    • I Was Sick for a Year After an Oil Spill. Five Years Later, Pipeline Accidents Are Worsening

      Early in the morning on July 2, 2011, I walked down the gravel road on our Montana farm to let the goats out to graze for the day. I found an oily rainbow sheen on the Yellowstone River flowing through our hay fields and pasture, plus large clumps of crude oil sticking to trees, cattails and brush. The oily water was in our sloughs, our pond and the creek that runs along the eastern edge of the farm. I checked the local news on my phone and found that an Exxon oil pipeline had ruptured underneath the Yellowstone River upstream. More than 300 people upstream from us were evacuated, but no one had thought to notify those of us further from the spill. The smell of hydrocarbons was overwhelming.

      In the end, more than 63,000 gallons of crude oil spilled into the Yellowstone River from what we later learned was a “guillotine cut” in Exxon’s Silvertip pipeline, which lay in a trench only four to five feet under the Yellowstone River. Snowmelt combined with spring rains had caused heavy flooding, and the river bottom was scoured away, leaving the oil pipeline exposed. All it took was a heavy object being tossed down the river to break the pipeline in half. After spending $135 million on the cleanup, Exxon recovered less than 1 percent of the oil spilled.

  • Finance

    • Three Recent Wins Prove Old-Fashioned Union Power Isn’t Dead Yet

      Three big wins for workers in the last nine months arrived where you might least expect them: in the old, blue-collar economy. That’s the economy where unions are down to 6.7 percent, where wins are rare and workers are supposed to be on their way out.

      Yet at Chrysler, Verizon, and a huge Teamster pension fund, thousands of union members mobilized to put a stick in management’s eye. Hundreds of thousands will see the benefit.

  • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

    • Pro-Fracking, Pro-Colonialism, Anti-Single Payer: Dem Platform Disappoints

      At the committee’s final meeting in Orlando, Florida, supporters of Hillary Clinton successfully voted down amendments supporting a single payer healthcare system, a nationwide ban on fracking, as well as an amendment objecting to Israel’s occupation of the West Bank and characterizing the settlements as illegal.

      The losses stung progressives already dismayed by the committee’s refusal to oppose the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade deal in the platform earlier that day, among other defeats.

    • Obama: Out of Many Sides of His Mouth

      Picture a defendant before a judge asking to be found innocent of any crime on such grounds. On other occasions, Obama, without apparent embarrassment, has stated that “nobody is above the law.” (A public figure can be labeled stupid not just for saying or doing stupid things, but for not even realizing that the public will SEE his words or actions as stupid.)

      –Asked whether he would apologize for Washington’s role in Chile’s 1973 military coup which overthrew the democratically elected government and replaced it with a dictatorship, Obama replied: “I’m interested in going forward, not looking backward. I think that the United States has been an enormous force for good in the world.” (June 23, 2009)

      –Question from CNN, 2008: “Do you think the US should apologize for any mistakes that it has made in the past?” Obama’s reply: “I don’t think the US should ever apologize for anything.”

      –Obama’s speech to the UN General Assembly on September 24, 2014 where he classified Russia to be one of the three great threats to the world along with the Islamic State and the ebola virus.

    • Oklahoma Governor Says Trump Is Trying To Be A ‘Racial Healer’

      Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin (R) said on Sunday that presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump has been “trying to campaign as a racial healer.”

      The governor appeared on CNN, where anchor Jake Tapper asked her twice if she thought Trump was a racial healer.

      “I’ve heard from a number of Latino Americans, Muslim Americans, Native Americans, Jewish Americans, African Americans, all expressing concern about some of the things Donald Trump has said,” CNN’s Jake Tapper told the governor.

    • Does anyone know what’s real anymore?

      Increasingly we are lost in a world of binary codes: zero or one, Republican or Democrat, black or white, female or male, good or bad.

  • Censorship/Free Speech

    • Censorship: SABC postpones hearings indefinitely, Solidarity approaches ConCourt

      While opposition against censorship at the public broadcaster grows, according to trade union, Solidarity, the SABC has postponed the disciplinary hearing of the three suspended employees, Thandeka Gqubule, Foeta Krige and Suna Venter, that was scheduled for Monday indefinitely. The three employees remain suspended.

      Solidarity, which represents the three journalists, on Sunday said the mere postponement of the hearings is not acceptable. It reiterated that the disciplinary process must be abolished in its entirety.

      The trade union also announced that it would approach the Constitutional Court in the coming week for direct access to test the constitutionality of the censorship instruction. Also during this week Solidarity would approach the Labour Court to obtain an interdict against the SABC’s disciplinary process, pending the Constitutional Court case.

    • SABC’s Vuyo Mvoko awaits fate

      The Star understands that Mvoko, the most senior member of the eight-person group of journalists to speak out against the reign of repression and censorship being waged by SABC chief operating officer Hlaudi Motsoeneng, was served with a letter on Friday by the public broadcaster’s human resources department to provide reasons why his contract should not be terminated.

    • Bheki’s Ordinary People: SABC Turmoil

      The discord that plagues the SABC is a massive threat to the corporation. Controversy around the COO, Hlaudi Motsoeneng, his leadership and even his qualifications are some of the things that exposed the extent to which the institution’s structural integrity has been vastly compromised. Here’s what some South Africans think.

    • SABC postpones hearings of suspended employees indefinitely – Solidarity

      The SABC postponed the disciplinary hearing of the three suspended employees, Thandeka Gqubule, Foeta Krige and Suna Venter indefinitely. The hearing was due to start on Monday, 11 July. However, the three employees remain suspended. Trade union Solidarity, which represents the three journalists, said the mere postponement of the hearings is not acceptable. According to Solidarity, the disciplinary process must be abolished in its entirety.

    • SABC journalists want suspensions lifted

      Certain suspended SABC journalists want their suspensions lifted following the indefinite postponement of their disciplinary hearings.

    • SABC hearings postponed indefinitely

      The SABC laid disciplinary charges against journalists because they distanced themselves from a censorship instruction.

      Trade union Solidarity will go to court to revoke the suspensions of three senior SABC journalists and to test the constitutionality of SABC chief operating officer Hlaudi Motsoeneng’s censorship instruction.

      The SABC has postponed the disciplinary hearing of the three suspended employees, Thandeka Gqubule, Foeta Krige, and Suna Venter, indefinitely, Solidarity chief executive Dirk Hermann said on Sunday.

      The hearing was due to start on Monday. However, the three employees, among those represented by Solidarity, remained suspended. The mere postponement of the hearings was not acceptable and the disciplinary process should be abolished in its entirety, he said.

    • Buthelezi says censorship at SABC reminds him of apartheid

      Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) leader Mangosuthu Buthelezi said that the censorship at the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) reminded him of the apartheid days when then president, PW Botha, banned coverage of his party.

    • SABC responds to Icasa’s ruling on censorship

      The South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) board chairperson Mbulaheni Maguvhe says the corporation’s lawyers will now study the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa’s (Icasa) ruling against its editorial changes, and may take the matter to court.

    • SABC ordered to reverse its censorship policy

      The South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) has been ordered by the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (Icasa) to reverse its editorial decision to censor ‘violent protests’ in the country.

      In May, the SABC said it will no longer show violent protests on any of its channels in a bid to “educate the population”, and send a message that violent action will not get them the attention they seek.

    • Icasa overturns Hlaudi’s ‘censorship’

      This makes the disciplinary action against eight SABC journalists who fought against the order and were subsequently suspended illegal.

      The Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (Icasa) has overturned SABC COO Hlaudi Motsoeneng’s decision not to broadcast the burning of public institutions because, in his opinion, it might encourage protestors to run amok.

      Icasa acting chairperson Rubben Mohlaloga said the Complaints and Compliance Committee had found the SABC had overstepped its authority and gave it seven days to reverse its decision.

    • Icasa orders SABC to withdraw their censorship on protests
    • South African state TV ordered to stop censoring protest footage
    • Russia censorship targets sports betting portals, affiliates
    • Russia Roskomnadzor gets tough on affiliates and sports media portals
    • Russian Media Watchdog Targets Sports Portals and High Traffic Affiliates
  • Privacy/Surveillance

    • Despite Security Concerns, Study Finds That Cloud Platforms Deserve Trust

      How much trust should organizations be putting in their cloud platforms and applications? Plenty, according to a Google-sponsored study called Trust in cloud technology and business performance: Reaping benefits from the cloud. The study found that enterprises that trust cloud computing apps and platforms to transform their businesses beyond cost cutting gain from significant revenue growth.

    • NSA Labels Privacy-Centric Internet Users As Extremists

      The NSA is not making any friends these days, and their latest statement on privacy-centric journalists is not helping matters much either. To be more precise, an investigation by the agency revealed how they are continuing to target the Tor network. Moreover, The Linux Journal is referred to as an “extremist forum”. Quite a strong sentiment, and possibly completely misguided as well.

    • Reports Shows UK Police Improperly Accessed Data On Citizens Thousands Of Times

      A lot of the problem with access is the access itself. Give enough people a way to look up compromising information on nearly anyone and abuse is guaranteed. Human nature ensures this outcome.

      Sure, abuse could be curbed with actual, substantial punishments for abusing this access, but as we’ve seen time and time again, the threat of firings and jail time doesn’t mean much if law enforcement officers are rarely, if ever, fired/jailed for abusing their access privileges.

      The larger problem with access is the lack of strong deterrents. Access is essential to law enforcement work, but far too often, this access is used for anything but law enforcement reasons.

      Big Brother Watch has released a report [PDF] detailing numerous abuses of law enforcement databases by UK police staff over the past several years.

    • DEA Finally Decides To Do Something About Its Wiretap Warrant Abuses

      The DEA never let Rule 41 jurisdiction limitations bother them. Agents used wiretap warrants to track suspects all over the nation. The DEA also didn’t let the DOJ’s hesitancy to condone its actions/warrants get in the way of its drug warring. DOJ lawyers heavily hinted that if the DEA wanted to use questionable wiretap warrants, it had better not be dragging its raggedy affidavits into federal court.

      But drag those affidavits into federal court it did, forcing the DOJ to defend the very warrants it told the DEA to stop dropping off at its place. The DOJ’s lawyers said the toxic, possibly illegal warrants were actually 100% legal, perfectly compliant with federal and state law — even though they were missing the signature of the local District Attorney, as required by federal law.

      The DEA — having had its bogus warrant assembly line exposed by USA Today’s Brad Heath and Brett Kelman — is finally moving towards curbing its wiretap abuse.

  • Civil Rights/Policing

    • Police Said They Shot A Man Because He Pointed A Gun At Them. Video Shows He Had His Hands Up.

      Another black man was shot and killed by police in Texas early Saturday morning.

      Houston Police said Alva Braziel was waving a gun around and pointed it at them when they opened fire. But surveillance footage from a nearby gas station suggests otherwise.

      The video, which began circulating Saturday night on Twitter, shows Braziel walk out toward an intersection. When the squad car arrives, he appears to put his hands in the air and turn around, standing still for a few seconds before police shoot him.

    • Legalized Murder and the Politics of Terror

      Police officers carry out random acts of legalized murder against poor people of color not because they are racist, although they may be, or even because they are rogue cops, but because impoverished urban communities have evolved into miniature police states.

      Police can stop citizens at will, question and arrest them without probable cause, kick down doors in the middle of the night on the basis of warrants for nonviolent offenses, carry out wholesale surveillance, confiscate property and money and hold people—some of them innocent—in county jails for years before forcing them to accept plea agreements that send them to prison for decades. They can also, largely with impunity, murder them.

      Those who live in these police states, or internal colonies, especially young men of color, endure constant fear and often terror. Michelle Alexander, author of “The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness,” calls those trapped in these enclaves members of a criminal “caste system.” This caste system dominates the lives of not only the 2.3 million who are incarcerated in the United States but also the 4.8 million on probation or parole. Millions more are forced into “permanent second-class citizenship” by their criminal records, which make employment, higher education and public assistance, including housing, difficult and usually impossible to obtain. This is by design.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Kim Dotcom Announces The Launch Of File Sharing Website Megaupload 2.0

        The Megaupload creator is busy tweeting about the rebirth of his defaced website Megaupload which went offline in 2012. A series of tweets indicate that Megaupload 2.0 will be a presented to the world in January 2017 along with restored account data of all the old users.

      • As UK Piracy Falls To Record Lows, Government Still Wants To Put Pirates In Jail For 10 Years

        Last fall, our think tank, the Copia Institute, released a paper, The Carrot or the Stick? which detailed how innovation in the form of convenient, appealing and reasonably priced legal content streaming services appeared to be the most powerful tool in reducing piracy. The report looked at a number of different data sources and situations in multiple different countries. And what we found, over and over again, was pretty straightforward: ratcheting up enforcement or punishment did not work — or, if it did work, it only worked exceptionally briefly. However, by introducing good, convenient authorized services, piracy rates fell, like off a cliff. We saw this pattern repeated over and over again.

        And yet… instead of seeing policymakers and legacy content companies pursue strategies to encourage more innovation and more competition in authorized services, they continually focus on enforcement and punishment. This makes no sense at all. Take the situation in the UK, for example. Last week, the UK’s Intellectual Property Office (IPO) came out with a report noting that piracy in the UK had dropped significantly in the wake of authorized streaming services like Spotify and Netflix entering the market. The full report is worth reading and pretty clearly suggests — as our own report last year did — that having good authorized services in place is the best way to reduce piracy.

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DecorWhat Else is New


  1. IRC Proceedings: Friday, September 17, 2021

    IRC logs for Friday, September 17, 2021



  2. Links 17/9/2021: Ubuntu 18.04.6 LTS, Manjaro 21.1.3, “2021 is the Year of Linux on the Desktop”

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  3. Links 17/9/2021: WSL Considered Harmful

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  4. [Meme] Microsoft Loves Linux Bug/Back Doors

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  5. Lagrange Makes It Easier for Anybody to Use Gemini and Even Edit Pages (With GUI)

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  6. IBM is Imploding But It Uses Microsoft-Type Methods to Hide the Demise (Splits, Buybacks, and Rebranding Stunts)

    A combination of brain drain (exodus) and layoffs (a lack of budget combined with inability to retain talent or attract the necessary staff with sufficiently competitive salaries) dooms IBM; but the media won't be mentioning it, partly because a lot of it is still directly sponsored by IBM



  7. IRC Proceedings: Thursday, September 16, 2021

    IRC logs for Thursday, September 16, 2021



  8. [Meme] 70 Days of Non-Compliance

    António Campinos would rather fall on his sword than correct the errors or work to undo the damage caused by Team Battistelli, which is still at the EPO



  9. EPO “Board 28” Meeting: Imaginary Dialogue Between EPO President Campinos and the Chair of the Administrative Council, Josef Kratochvíl

    The EPO‘s chaotic state, which persists after Benoît Battistelli‘s departure, is a state of lawlessness and cover-up



  10. Links 16/9/2021: Linux Mint Has New Web Site, LibreOffice 7.2.1, KDE Plasma 5.23 Beta, and Sailfish OS Verla

    Links for the day



  11. If Git Can be Done Over the Command Line and E-mail, It Can Also be Done Over Gemini (Instead of Bloated Web Browsers)

    In order to keep Git lean and mean whilst at the same time enabling mouse (mousing and clicking) navigation we encourage people everywhere to explore gemini://



  12. Techrights Examines a Wide Array/Range of Gemini Clients/Browsers

    After spending many months examining an array of different types of software for Gemini (including but not limited to clients/browsers) we take stock of what exists, what's supported (it varies a bit), and which one might be suitable for use by geeks and non-geeks



  13. Links 16/9/2021: KStars 3.5.5 and Chafa 1.8

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  14. Trusting Microsoft With Security is a Clown Show

    A quick and spontaneous video about this morning's post regarding a major new revelation that reaffirms a longstanding trend; Microsoft conflates national security (back doors) with security



  15. IRC Proceedings: Wednesday, September 15, 2021

    IRC logs for Wednesday, September 15, 2021



  16. Microsoft Azure and Back/Bug Doors in GNU/Linux: Fool Me Once (Shame on You) / Fool Me Twice (Shame on Me)

    "Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me," goes the old saying...



  17. Deleted Post: “LibreOffice is Becoming Dominated by a Bunch of Corporates, and Has no Place for the Enthusiastic Amateur.”

    Chris Sherlock, an insider of LibreOffice, cautions about the direction of this very important and widely used project



  18. Links 16/9/2021: Unifont 14.0.01, LibreOffice on ODF 1.3, Mozilla Pushing Ads (Sponsored 'Firefox Suggest'), and Microsoft Pushes Proprietary Direct3D via Mesa

    Links for the day



  19. Links 15/9/2021: Another Azure Catastrophe and Darktable 3.6.1

    Links for the day



  20. Open Invention Network (OIN) Recognises a Risk Posed to Cryptocurrencies (Danger From Software Patents), But OIN Still Proposes the Wrong Solutions

    Square is joining OIN, but it's another example of banking/financial institutions choosing to coexist with software patents instead of putting an end to them



  21. IRC Proceedings: Tuesday, September 14, 2021

    IRC logs for Tuesday, September 14, 2021



  22. (Super)Free Software As a Right – The Manifesto

    "Software text has long been recognized as “speech”, and is covered under the very same copyright laws as conventional printed matter."



  23. Links 15/9/2021: Java 17 / JDK 17 Released and ExpressVPN Sold

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  24. Latest Public Talk (Over BigBlueButton) by Richard Stallman is Now Online

    This video has been released; it starts with an old talk and then proceeds to a new discussion (14 minutes from the start)



  25. Richard Stallman Is Not Surrendering His Free Speech

    The homepage of Dr. Stallman looked like this on Saturday, 20 years since the September 11 attacks in the US, noting that “[t]oday we commemorate the September 11 attacks, which killed President Allende of Chile and installed Pinochet’s murderous military dictatorship. More than 3,000 dissidents were killed or “disappeared” by the Pinochet regime. The USA operated a destabilization campaign in Chile, and the September 11, 1973, attacks were part of that campaign.”



  26. Twitter -- Like Google's YouTube -- is 'Hiding' Tweets From People Who Follow You

    So-called 'entertainment' platforms disguised as 'social' aren't the future of media; they need to be rejected



  27. How to Track the Development or Construction of the Techrights Web Site and Gemini Capsule

    Following some busy publication schedule (heavy lifting for weeks) we're stopping a bit or slowing down for the purpose of site (or capsule) 'construction'; here's a status update



  28. Links 14/9/2021: Libinput 1.19, Kali Linux 2021.3, and ExTiX Deepin 21.9

    Links for the day



  29. [Meme] [Teaser] EPO Management, Always Right

    The only permissible and allowable/exercise-able “Right” at the EPO is “Shut up and work”; if you strike, the dictator du jour will authorise a drone strike



  30. Recent Focus on Git, Gemini, and Upcoming Series About EPO Abuses

    Some updates about this past weekend's (and Monday's) work, which improves transparency and resilience ahead of the next 'blockbusters'


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