12.05.16

Gemini version available ♊︎

Links 5/12/2016: Linux 4.9 RC 8, DeepMind as FOSS

Posted in News Roundup at 6:19 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Eight great Linux gifts for the holiday season

    Do you want to give your techie friend a very Linux holiday season? Sure you do! Here are some suggestion to brighten your favorite Tux fan’s day.

  • More Random Gift Ideas For Linux Enthusiasts & Others Into Tech
  • Which open source gift is at the top of your holiday wish list?
  • 7 Linux predictions for 2017

    Last year I made a set of predictions of events that I thought would happen in the tech world (focused primarily on Linux and free software). I was mostly right. This has emboldened me to make another set of predictions for 2017. I have no inside knowledge on any of these—I am basing this entirely on the twin scientific principles of star maths and wishy thinking.

  • Kernel Space

    • Linux 4.9-rc8

      So if anybody has been following the git tree, it should come as no
      surprise that I ended up doing an rc8 after all: things haven’t been
      bad, but it also hasn’t been the complete quiet that would have made
      me go “no point in doing another week”.

      Extra kudos to Arnd, who actually root-caused the incredibly annoying
      “modversions do not work with new versions of binutils”, bisecting it
      to a particular change to symbol handling in binutils, and then adding
      a small one-liner patch to the kernel to work around the issue. We
      already had other workarounds in place, but it’s always good to know
      exactly what in the tool chain changed to cause things like this.

    • Linux Kernel 4.9 Slated for December 11 Release as Linus Torvalds Outs RC8
    • Linux 4.9-rc8 Kernel Released
    • Linus Torvalds finds 163 reasons to wait a week for a new Linux

      Linus Torvalds told the world that if it wanted a new Linux he needed a quiet week. But he didn’t get it and now the world has an eighth release candidate of Linux 4.9 to consider.

      The Linux Lord’s weekly what’s up with Linux post says “things haven’t been bad, but it also hasn’t been the complete quiet that would have made me go ‘no point in doing another week’.”

    • Linux Foundation’s Blockchain Collective Hyperledger Hits 100 Members

      Hyperledger aims to enable organizations to build robust, industry-specific applications, platforms and hardware systems to support their individual business transactions by creating an enterprise grade, open source distributed ledger framework and code base.

    • The Blockchain Milestone You May Have Missed
    • Sasken becomes member of Automotive Grade Linux

      Sasken Communication Technologies Ltd has announced its membership with Automotive Grade Linux as its bronze member.

      This will enable Sasken to provide solutions to customers on Automotive Grade Linux (AGL). Sasken will provide product development and system integration services for automotive customers spanning in-vehicle infotainment (IVI), instrument cluster, heads-up display and telematics.

    • Graphics Stack

      • Mesa 12.0.4 Promises 15% Performance Boost for Radeon Users on Ubuntu 16.04 LTS

        The Mesa problem in Ubuntu Linux is about to be resolved very soon, after the game developers behind the UK-based Feral Interactive video game publishing company urged Canonical to update the software to a most recent version.

        The Mesa 3D Graphics Library is a unique open-source implementation of the OpenGL graphics API for Linux-based operating systems, and it includes drivers for Intel, Radeon, and Nvidia graphics cards. But it looks like Ubuntu 16.04 LTS (Xenial Xerus) was shipping with a pretty old version of Mesa.

      • The Favorite Open-Source Vulkan Projects Of Phoronix Readers
      • Mesa 12.0.5 Released, End Of Road For Mesa 12

        Mesa release manager Emil Velikov announced the availability today of Mesa 12.0.5, just another point release and what he expects will be the last of the Mesa 12.0.x releases.

      • [ANNOUNCE] mesa 12.0.5

        Mesa 12.0.5 is now available.

      • The future of xinput, xmodmap, setxkbmap, xsetwacom and other tools under Wayland

        This post applies to most tools that interface with the X server and change settings in the server, including xinput, xmodmap, setxkbmap, xkbcomp, xrandr, xsetwacom and other tools that start with x. The one word to sum up the future for these tools under Wayland is: “non-functional”.

        An X window manager is little more than an innocent bystander when it comes to anything input-related. Short of handling global shortcuts and intercepting some mouse button presses (to bring the clicked window to the front) there is very little a window manager can do. It’s a separate process to the X server and does not receive most input events and it cannot affect what events are being generated. When it comes to input device configuration, any X client can tell the server to change it – that’s why general debugging tools like xinput work.

      • Please don’t use pastebins in bugs
  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • 7 Things to do After Installing KDE Plasma

        Even for other Linux users, KDE Plasma can seem like a different operating system. Except for a few standards like LibreOffice, the apps are different, and so is the design philosophy, which tends to cram in every possible feature. As a result, once they install, users are likely to wonder what to do next.

      • KDE Framworks 5 Content Snap Techno

        In the previous post on Snapping KDE Applications we looked at the high-level implication and use of the KDE Frameworks 5 content snap to snapcraft snap bundles for binary distribution. Today I want to get a bit more technical and look at the actual building and inner workings of the content snap itself.

        The KDE Frameworks 5 snap is a content snap. Content snaps are really just ordinary snaps that define a content interface. Namely, they expose part or all of their file tree for use by another snap but otherwise can be regular snaps and have their own applications etc.

        KDE Frameworks 5’s snap is special in terms of size and scope. The whole set of KDE Frameworks 5, combined with Qt 5, combined with a large chunk of the graphic stack that is not part of the ubuntu-core snap. All in all just for the Qt5 and KF5 parts we are talking about close to 100 distinct source tarballs that need building to compose the full frameworks stack. KDE is in the fortunate position of already having builds of all these available through KDE neon. This allows us to simply repack existing work into the content snap. This is for the most part just as good as doing everything from scratch, but has the advantage of saving both maintenance effort and build resources.

      • Calligra 3.0 Is Ready As A Qt5 / KDE Frameworks 5 Office Suite

        It’s been quite a while since last having anything to report on the KDE Calligra open-source graphics/office suite while surprisingly this morning it was pleasant to see Calligra 3.0 tagged for release.

      • KDE Applications 16.12 Up to Release Candidate State, Final Arrives December 15

        The KDE development team was proud to announce the availability of the Release Candidate (RC) build of the upcoming KDE Applications 16.12 software suite for the KDE Plasma 5 desktop environment.

        Work on KDE Applications 16.12 started about a month ago, on November 10, when the third and last maintenance update of the current stable KDE Applications 16.08 release was announced, marking the end of life of the series. Until today, KDE Applications 16.12 received a Beta development version, tagged as build 16.11.80, and now we’re seeing the Release Candidate, tagged as build 16.11.90.

    • GNOME Desktop/GTK

      • GTK Lands A Big Refactoring Of OpenGL Code

        In addition to Red Hat’s Benjamin Otte working on a Vulkan renderer for GTK4′s GSK, he’s also been working on a big refactoring of the OpenGL code that’s now been merged to master.

        OpenGL is very important for GTK4 as it will play a big role in rendering with GSK. With this “large GL refactoring”, a big clean-up was done of the OpenGL GDK code, affecting the X11, Win32, Wayland, and Mir code too. Some of the specific work includes no longer using buffer-age information, passing the actual OpenGL context, and simplifying the code. More details via this Git commit.

      • A Vulkan Renderer For GNOME’s GTK+ GSK Is In Development

        A Vulkan back-end is in development for GNOME’s GTK’s tool-kit new GTK Scene Kit (GSK) code.

        Benjamin Otte has begun experimenting with a Vulkan back-end for GTK’s GSK code with GTK Scene Kit being one of the big additions in development for the major GTK+ 4.0 milestone. GSK implements a scene graph to allow for more complex graphical control of widgets and other improvements to its graphics pipeline. GSK was merged back in October and currently uses OpenGL for rendering while there is now a branched Vulkan renderer.

      • GNOME loves to cook

        With the upcoming 20th birthday of GNOME next year, some of us thought that we should make another attempt at this application, maybe as a birthday gift to all of GNOME.

        Shortly after GUADEC, I got my hands on some existing designs and started to toy around with implementing them over a few weekends and evenings. The screenshots in this post show how far I got since then.

  • Distributions

    • Linux Top 3: SparkyLinux 4.5, Mageia 5.1 and Peppermint 7

      SparkyLinux is (yet another) Debian based Linux distribution. The SparkyLinux 4.5 update codenamed “Tyche’ was released on December 3, providing users with multiple desktop choice other than GNOME. SparkLinux 4.5 ships with KDE, LXDE, LXQt, MATE and Xfce.

    • Upcoming Linux Distributions Releasing In December 2016

      In December 2016, a big Linux distribution release is taking shape in the form of Linux Mint 18.1 Serena, flavored by Cinnamon 3.2. It’ll be accompanied by the release of security and privacy-focused Anonymous Live CD Tails 2.9.

    • New Releases

      • 4MLinux 20.1 Linux Distro Released with Kernel 4.4.34 LTS to Restore PAE Support

        4MLinux developer Zbigniew Konojacki is happy to inform Softpedia today about the immediate availability of the first point release of the 4MLinux 20 stable series of his independently-developed GNU/Linux distribution.

        4MLinux 20.0 was officially released a month ago, on the first day of November, and it’s currently the most advanced version of the Linux-based operating system, shipping with the long-term supported Linux 4.4 kernel and many recent GNU/Linux technologies and Open Source software applications.

    • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandriva Family

    • OpenSUSE/SUSE

      • openSUSE Leap 42.2 gets 64-bit Raspberry Image

        The latest release from openSUSE has new images available for the Raspberry Pi and joins SUSE Linux Enterprise Server for Raspberry Pi in becoming the initial distributions with 64-bit for the Raspberry Pi 3.

        The 64-bit image of openSUSE Leap 42.2 for the Raspberry Pi 3 has been out for a couple weeks.

        “The ARM and AArch64 Images for openSUSE Leap 42.2 are not a once-only release,” said Dirk Mueller. “They get continuously updated and include fixes as the Leap 42.2 port matures over time. These are the first usable images, and more variants with more fixes will come over time.”

      • OpenSUSE Leap 42.2 Does A 64-bit Spin For The Raspberry Pi 3

        Following SUSE Linux Enterprise Server as being available in a 64-bit edition catered to the Raspberry Pi 3, openSUSE developers have now released a 64-bit image of Leap 42.2 for the RPi3.

      • SUSE Buys HPE’s OpenStack and Cloud Foundry Assets, Talent

        Back in November, the Cloud Foundry Foundation, home of an industry-standard platform for cloud applications, announced that SUSE had increased its engagement and support of Cloud Foundry by becoming a Platinum member.

        Now, SUSE has entered into an agreement with Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) to acquire technology and talent that will expand SUSE’s OpenStack Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) solution. In addition, the company announced that it will accelerate its entry into the growing Cloud Foundry Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) market, and said that the acquired OpenStack assets will be integrated into SUSE OpenStack Cloud.

    • Red Hat Family

      • Why Red Hat takes an ‘upstream first’ approach

        Red Hat has been an open source solution provider since 1993 and is 100% open source-focused. Today, the company has more than 80 offices in more than 40 countries around the globe and employs about 10,000 people.

      • Singapore IT Decision Makers Turn to Open Source for Digital Innovation

        Red Hat, Inc. (NYSE: RHT), the world’s leading provider of open source solutions, today announced the results of a commissioned study by Forrester Consulting, on behalf of Red Hat, about the use of open source in digital innovation initiatives in the Asia Pacific region. The results, highlighted in the study Open Source Drives Digital Innovation revealed that IT decision makers in Singapore are turning to open source to drive better efficiency and digital innovation.

      • Linux Pathshala received Red Hat awards
      • Red Hat OpenStack Platform

        The adoption of OpenStack in production environments has burgeoned, necessitating increased requirements for enhanced management and seamlessly integrated enterprise capabilities.

      • Red Hat’s Paul Smith: Open Source the Basis for Gov’t Digital Transformation

        Paul Smith, senior vice president and general manager of Red Hat‘s (NYSE: RHT) U.S. public sector business, has noted that the government utilizes open source technology as the development model for digital transformation efforts, ExecutiveBiz reported Tuesday.

        “Digital transformation is an unstoppable force as constituents and consumers are demanding more value and a greater user experience,” Smith said Nov. 2 at the 2016 Red Hat Government Symposium in Virginia.

      • Finance

      • Fedora

        • Fedora and GNOME at the Engineering Week of UPIG

          I was invited today to present two Free software projects: GNOME and Fedora at UPIG (Universidad Peruana de Integración Global). They celebrated the event during the whole week the “Engineering Week”. This was the advertisement they used to announce the workshop that last two hours. It was offered free admission with certification fee of s/.25.

        • Fedora 25 review

          Even when dealing with the various Wayland oddities and issues, Fedora 25 is a great distribution. Everything is reasonably polished and the default software provides a functional desktop for those looking for a basic web browsing, e-mail, and word processing environment. The additional packages available can easily turn Fedora into an excellent development workstation customized for a developer’s specific needs. If you are programming in most of the current major programming languages, Fedora provides you the tools to easily do so. Overall, I am very pleased using Fedora 25, but I am even more excited for future releases of Fedora as the various minor Wayland issues get cleaned up.

        • Try Fedora in the cloud for free with Dply

          Fedora 25 is now available on Dply. Dply is a new experimental cloud provider which lets you run an instance for two hours at a time — for free, with no catch. That means that with a few clicks, you can try Fedora 25 from the comfort of your home, school, or coffeeshop.

    • Debian Family

      • My Free Software Activities in November 2016

        This was my ninth month as a paid contributor and I have been paid to work 11 hours on Debian LTS, a project started by Raphaël Hertzog.

      • Derivatives

        • Debian-Based SparkyLinux 4.5 Brings Support for exFAT Filesystems, systemd 232

          The developers of the Debian-based SparkyLinux distribution announced this past weekend the release and immediate availability for download of the SparkyLinux 4.5 operating system.

          SparkyLinux 4.5 comes more than three months after the SparkyLinux 4.4 “Tyche” release and promises to offer users fully updated installation mediums for its KDE, Xfce, LXDE, LXQt, and MATE flavors, which have been synced with the upstream Debian GNU/Linux repositories as of November 29, 2016. The SparkyLinux 4.5 ISO images are powered by Linux kernel 4.8.7.

        • Debian/TeX Live 2016.20161130-1

          As we are moving closer to the Debian release freeze, I am shipping out a new set of packages. Nothing spectacular here, just the regular updates and a security fix that was only reported internally. Add sugar and a few minor bug fixes.

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Canonical Releases Snapcraft 2.23 Snap Creator for Ubuntu 16.04 LTS and 16.10

            Canonical’s Snappy development team have released a new maintenance version of the Snapcraft 2.x tool that lets applications developers package their apps as Snap packages for Ubuntu and other GNU/Linux distributions that support Snaps.

          • Canonical to sue cloud provider over Ubuntu images

            Canonical, the company behind the Ubuntu GNU/Linux distribution, has said it plans to sue an European cloud provider for distributing unofficial images of its cloud distribution despite several warnings.

            The company offers certified cloud images of Ubuntu that are guaranteed to run on specific cloud platforms such as AWS, Azure or Google.

            Performance is optimised and integrated with underlying cloud requirements, with input from the host’s cloud engineers.

          • Pico-ITX SBC runs Ubuntu on Braswell

            DFI announced an Intel Braswell based “BW051” Pico-ITX SBC with up to 8GB DDR3L, mini-PCIe, SATA 3.0, mSATA, and Linux support.

            DFI, which earlier this year tapped Intel’s “Braswell” generation of SoCs for its BW968 COM Express Compact Type 6 module, has now chosen Braswell for a Pico-ITX SBC. The 100 x 72mm BW051 ships with 4-6W Braswell processors including dual or quad-core Celeron models, the quad-core 1.6GHz Pentium N3710, and quad-core, 1.04GHz Atom x5-E8000.

          • Must have Ubuntu Packages

            For most people, any default Ubuntu installation will meet their needs. Ubuntu provides users with Web browsing, email, along with various communication tools right out of the box. Heck, even basic backups are provided…although you must take the time to configure it.

            Putting all of that aside for a moment, let’s consider which “must have Ubuntu packages” aren’t included by default. In this article, I’ll share my top list of must have Ubuntu packages and explain why I rely on each of them.

          • Canonical yells at European cloud provider

            Open saucy outfit Canonical is in the middle of a legal dispute with an unnamed “a European cloud provider” over the use of its own homespun version of Ubuntu on their cloud servers.

            Canonical is worried that the implementation disables even the most basic of security features and Canonical fears that when something bad happens, the great unwashed will not blame the cloud provider but will instead blame Ubuntu.

            Writing in the company bog, Canonical said that it has spent months trying to get the unnamed provider to use the standard Ubuntu as delivered to other commercial operations to no avail. It said that Red Hat and Microsoft wouldn’t be treated like this.

          • Flavours and Variants

            • Ubuntu-Based ExTiX OS Updated for Intel Compute Sticks with Improved Installer

              GNU/Linux developer Arne Exton announced this past weekend the release of an updated build of his Ubuntu-based ExTiX Linux distribution for Intel Compute Stick devices.

              Last month, we reported on the initial availability of a port of the ExTiX operating system for Intel Compute Sticks, boasting the lightweight and modern LXQt 0.10.0 desktop environment and powered by the latest Linux 4.8 kernel, tweaked by Arne Exton for Intel Atom processors.

              And now, ExTiX Build 161203 is out as a drop-in replacement for Build 161119, bringing a much-improved Ubiquity graphics installer that should no longer crash, as several users who attempted to install the Ubuntu-based GNU/Linux distro on their Intel Compute Stick devices reported.

            • Should Linux Mint be discontinued?

              Linux Mint has been quite popular with many users for a very long time. But changes to Linux Mint in recent years have one redditor wondering exactly what the point of using it is these days. Distributions like Fedora, Ubuntu and others have also stolen some of Linux Mint’s thunder with notable improvements and popular spins.

  • Devices/Embedded

Free Software/Open Source

Leftovers

  • Health/Nutrition

  • Security

  • Defence/Aggression

    • 20 houses of Hindus set on fire in Bangladesh

      At least 20 houses of Hindus were set on fire in Bochaganj upazila of Dinajpur in Bangladesh early Saturday.

      A report published in The Daily Star said that houses of seven families of Hindus were set on fire in Railway Colony.

      Fortunately, no one was injured as residents managed to escape on time.

      A person named Jewel was held by the locals, who allegedly set the fire.

    • Exclusive: WikiLeaks documents highlight sinister relations between Erdogan and ISIS

      The connection of the Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan΄s family with the oil smuggling of the “Islamic State” is revealed after Wikileaks΄ revealing of emails from the Turkish energy minister, and Erdoğan΄s son-in-law, Berat Albayrak. Albayrak΄s emails seem to confirm the not-so-recent accusations, since the energy minister is appealing to be the “unofficial” owner of the oil company Powertrance which is importing oil from the Isis΄ land in Northern Irak to Turkey.

    • 5 Bizarre Groups That Run Entire Foreign Countries

      Nippon Kaigi is an ultra-nationalist group whose members believe the Japanese are a superior race. They want to alter Japan’s history — like denying the rape and pillage of Nanjing, an onslaught with an estimated 200,000 Chinese victims. And they want to change the constitution, scrapping Japan’s pacifist policies, getting rid of foreigners, keeping women at home, bringing back corporal punishment, and generally doing away with a whole bunch of basic human rights, like freedom of speech.

      That headline about how Japan’s PM likes Trump makes a bit more sense now, doesn’t it?

  • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

    • Police “legally mug” gang boss to grab unlocked iPhone

      The Metropolitan Police have debuted a new tactic to beat Apple’s iPhone encryption—by mugging a suspect while he was making a call and then keeping the screen alive while they downloaded all the data from the phone.

      The technique, which bears all the hallmarks of a real mugging, is apparently legal and seems set to be adopted as a standard means of gathering evidence from devices that might otherwise be locked to investigators.

      The evidence gathered from the tactic helped jail five men involved in a major fake credit card operation. Officers from Operation Falcon, the specialist London unit tackling major fraud and other related online crime, seized the phone from one of the ringleaders, Gabriel Yew, whose gang were suspected of manufacturing false bank and credit cards and using them across mainland Europe to buy luxury goods.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife/Nature

    • Federal Officials to Explore Different Route for Dakota Pipeline

      Federal officials announced on Sunday that they would not approve permits for construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline beneath a dammed section of the Missouri River that tribes say sits near sacred burial sites.

      The decision is a victory for hundreds, perhaps thousands, of protesters camped near the construction site who have opposed the project because they said would it threaten a water source and cultural sites. Federal officials had given the protesters until tomorrow to leave a campsite near the construction site.

      In a statement on Sunday, the Department of the Army’s assistant secretary for Civil Works, Jo-Ellen Darcy, said that the decision was based on a need to explore alternate routes for the pipeline crossing.

      “Although we have had continuing discussion and exchanges of new information with the Standing Rock Sioux and Dakota Access, it’s clear that there’s more work to do,” Ms. Darcy said. “The best way to complete that work responsibly and expeditiously is to explore alternate routes for the pipeline crossing.”

    • Nigeria and Morocco Sign Gas Pipeline Deal to Link Africa to Europe

      Nigeria and Morocco have signed a joint venture to construct a gas pipeline that will connect the two nations as well as some other African countries to Europe, Nigeria’s minister of foreign affairs said on Saturday.

      The agreement was reached during a visit by the Morocco’s King Mohammed to the Nigerian capital Abuja, Geoffrey Onyema, the minister, said, adding that the pipeline project would be designed with the participation of all stakeholders.

    • Sanders sings Obama’s praises for stopping Dakota pipeline

      Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders applauded President Obama Sunday evening for halting the Dakota Access Pipeline.

      Sanders, who has been an outspoken opponent of the pipeline, shared his message on Facebook.

      “I appreciate very much President Obama listening to the Native American people and millions of others who believe this pipeline should not be built,” the post read.

      “In the year 2016, we should not continue to trample on Native American sovereignty. We should not endanger the water supply of millions of people. We should not become more dependent on fossil fuel and accelerate the planetary crisis of climate change. Our job now is to transform our energy system away from fossil fuels, not to produce more greenhouse gas emissions.”

    • Sadiq Khan to spend £770m on London cycling initiatives

      London’s mayor, Sadiq Khan, has promised to spend £770m on cycling initiatives over the course of his term, saying he wants to make riding a bike the “safe and obvious” transport choice for all Londoners.

      Following criticism that Khan has not been as bold as his predecessor, Boris Johnson, in committing to new bike routes, and amid increasing worries about air quality in London, Khan’s office has set out what is described as a hugely ambitious programme to boost cyclist numbers.

      The proposed spending of about £17 per person per year gets near the levels seen in cycle-friendly nations such as the Netherlands and Denmark.

      Among the plans are proposals for two new cycle superhighways, routes on which riders are largely separated from motor traffic by kerbs and dedicated traffic lights, the first of which were built under Johnson and have proved hugely popular.

  • Finance

    • Trump’s pick to lead Treasury tried to kick woman out of her house over 27 cents

      Steven Mnuchin, Trump’s pick to lead the Treasury, worked for Goldman Sachs for 20 years. In 2008 Munchin and his partners founded a bank (funded in part by George Soros) that tried to evict a 90-year-old woman from her home because she underpaid a bill by 27 cents.

    • India’s Modi Defends Clampdown on Cash Economy

      Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday defended his crackdown on the cash economy that has left businesses, farmers and families suffering, saying it was necessary to keep inflation in check and ensure basic amenities for all.

      Modi’s decision last month to scrap 500 rupee and 1,000 rupee banknotes as part of a crackdown on tax dodgers and counterfeiters has caused a currency crunch in a country where most people are paid in cash and buy what they need with cash.

      With a small stock of smaller notes available and new bills of 500 and 2,000 rupee in short supply, Indians are being forced to stand in queues outside banks and cash machines to change their old notes.

    • More farmers going bankrupt

      Eero Vilokki from Kiuruvesi in central Finland lost his family dairy farm after declaring bankruptcy in June when the derivative interest rates his bank suggested on his loans grew impossible to pay. He was kicked off his family farmstead by the new owners in late August.

      The locks on the buildings were changed the very same day.

      “My workers’ belongings and computers, along with my clothing and possessions, were all left behind. All I had was the work clothes on my back. No one bothered to ask if I had a place to stay or food,” Vilokki told Yle.

      Before Vilokki was forced to leave, the farm had been transferred to a company with four equal owners. The value of the farm was estimated at 400,000 euros, with an additional 151,000 euros added on for the property’s office space. The farm’s forest property was valued at 24,000 euros.

      “It was highway robbery. The forest land alone was worth 178,000 euros,” Vilokki said.

  • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

    • Austria rejects far-right candidate Norbert Hofer in presidential election

      Austria has decisively rejected the possibility of the European Union getting its first far-right head of state, instead electing a former leader of the Green party who said he would be an “open-minded, liberal-minded and above all a pro-European president”.

      Alexander Van der Bellen, who ran as an independent, increased his lead over the far-right Freedom party candidate, Norbert Hofer, by a considerable margin from the original vote in May, which was annulled by the constitutional vote due to voting irregularities.

    • Bernie Sanders: Trump didn’t win the election, the Democrats lost it

      “I look at this election not as a victory for Mr. Trump, who wins the election as the most unpopular candidate in perhaps the history of our country, but as a loss for the Democratic Party.” -Senator Bernie Sanders, speaking to a sold-out crowd in San Rafael, CA.

    • The Democratic Party has Tuned Out the Jihad… if it Ever Tuned it in to Begin With

      Or, to be more precise, for many Americans it did not really happen because they simply don’t care about Islamic theological violence against their fellow Americans. The reason that many Americans, particularly of the progressive variety, tend not to care about this kind of violence is because to do so is considered “racist” by president Obama, the leadership of the Democratic Party, and the elite media.

      Koranically-based attacks on innocent Americans are, therefore, perceived like the weather. A typhoon or a flood or an earthquake may happen now and again, but what can you do? You cannot dwell on such things. They are simply “acts of God” and there is very little to be done or said, for most of us, beyond, “Gee, how unlucky.”

    • Jury finds Brandon Hall guilty of election fraud

      It took less than an hour Wednesday for a jury to convict political activist Brandon Michael Hall on 10 counts of election law fraud, following a day-and-a-half trial in Ottawa County Circuit Court.

      According to the Grand Haven Tribune, the 27-year-old Grand Haven resident, author of the West Michigan Politics blog and self-admitted political junkie, said the verdict wasn’t a surprise.

  • Censorship/Free Speech

    • The war on ‘fake news’ is all about censoring real news

      Scrambling for an explanation for Donald Trump’s victory, many in the media and on the left have settled on the idea that his supporters were consumers of “fake news” — gullible rubes living in an alternate reality made Trump president.

      To be sure, there is such a thing as actual fake news: Made-up stories built to get Facebook traction before they can be debunked. But that’s not what’s really going on here.

      What the left is trying to do is designate anything outside its ideological bubble as suspect on its face.

    • Academic witch hunts are back: The new McCarthyism, a sign of the stupidity of the post-truth era

      In late November three blocks from the White House, a group of leaders from the so-called alt-right, who many consider to simply be white supremacists, gathered for an annual conference called the National Policy Institute. Their goal was to discuss and debate the opportunities offered by a Donald Trump presidency for their white nationalist plans. In the wake of a rise in hate crimes, the meeting sent a chill throughout the nation.

      But making America whiter “again” is not the only thing we need to fear with a Trump administration. Only two days after the alt-right convention in D.C., Turning Point USA launched Professor Watchlist, a website designed to call out college professors who “discriminate against conservative students and advance leftist propaganda in the classroom.”

    • The UK government’s latest deluded idea: ‘banning’ underage sexting on social media

      When the UK government is not busy looking for ways to invade internet users’ privacy, it’s looking for ways to restrict what they are able to do online — particularly when it comes to things of a sexual nature.

      The health secretary Jeremy Hunt has made calls for technology companies and social media to do more to tackle the problems of cyberbullying, online intimidation and — rather specifically — under-18-year-olds texting sexually explicit images. Of course, he doesn’t have the slightest idea about how to go about tackling these problems, but he has expressed his concern so that, in conjunction with passing this buck to tech companies, should be enough, right?

    • Defriend everyone on Facebook if you really want to see the world as it is

      Messing around on Facebook recently, I was appalled to see a man I used to work with gleefully posting about Trump’s election win. I went through a mixture of emotions. First, there was the shock that I had allowed myself to be friends with such a man, because my capacity to make everything about me is impressive, even for a comedian. Second, I couldn’t believe that he could have the temerity to post something that disagreed with what we had all agreed on Facebook was “The Official Viewpoint”. Third, I realised that I probably shouldn’t be on Facebook at my wife’s birthday dinner.

      What I should have done was thank him. It was the first time in ages that I had felt anything approaching an emotion on Facebook. Because I’ve only made friends with people who think like me, my newsfeed is nothing but the sound of people high-fiving each other for having the same opinion. It isn’t even an echo chamber. I am basically part of a Borg hive, speaking in unison on everything. If anyone disagreed with me, I would send them to unfriend exile, as if I were running some sort of Facebook North Korea, or Trump’s America.

    • In these turbulent times, take a break from social media to find comfort

      Five days after the election of Donald Trump, I stood in line at the airport wanting to kill time. I glanced at Twitter on my phone, almost by instinct, to snuff out a momentary feeling of boredom. What greeted me shouldn’t have been a surprise, given what I had read all week: a steady stream of hate promised, chronicled, photographed as it was unleashed throughout America, filled my timeline.

      As the plane began its taxi, my mind spiraled down an abyss of dark thoughts. Was the America I knew, loved, and once lived in, now a place I should viscerally fear? Would I witness this hate firsthand? Would I walk by unsettling graffiti, or feel the string of racism shouted as I spoke in front of crowds of strangers? My stomach churned as the plane climbed, and when the seatbelt sign turned off, I had to lock myself in the bathroom for a few minutes, taking deep breaths to stop my whole body from shaking.

  • Privacy/Surveillance

    • UK Police Circumventing Cellphone Encryption By ‘Mugging’ Suspects While Their Phones Are Unlocked

      So, it’s come to this: lawful mugging. Still, it’s not a terrible solution to the problem. Sometimes the best methods are lo-tech, as anyone swinging a $5 Password Acquisition Tool can tell you.

      This method will work in the UK. It may not in the US. UK law enforcement would likely find compelling a suspect to unlock a device a long and possibly fruitless endeavor, but there’s no Riley decision standing in the way of seizing/searching phones on the hoof (as it were).

      Courts here in the US have interpreted the Supreme Court’s Riley decision in diverse ways, but a motion to suppress evidence might succeed if US law enforcement began engaging in this novel form of encryption circumvention. In one case, a judge found that simply opening a flip phone constituted a search under Riley. Keeping a phone “alive” until evidence can be retrieved from it might run afoul of the Fourth Amendment, even if the seizure itself is completely lawful.

      It’s still a better idea than making encryption backdoors mandatory or requiring device manufacturers to make a second set of keys for the government. The solution isn’t elegant but it works. And it will only work in certain circumstances, so there’s not much potential for abuse. It might encourage rougher arrests than usual, if only to separate the cellphone from the suspect, but the small number of arrests where this process would work shouldn’t result in a sharp uptick in excessive force deployment.

  • Civil Rights/Policing

    • Amazombies: Seven seconds to find an item, every move filmed and blistering 12-hours shifts with timed toilet breaks… what YOUR Christmas order does to your ‘worker elves’

      Amazon was last night accused of ‘dehumanising’ its staff battling to deliver gifts to millions of customers in time for Christmas.

      Workers at the internet shopping giant’s distribution centres face disciplinary action if they lose a punishing race against the clock to track down items ordered by online shoppers.

    • Enclaves of Islam see UK as 75% Muslim

      Britain is an Islamic country where the majority of people share their faith, according to a report to be published this week.

      Evidence gathered by Dame Louise Casey, the government’s community cohesion tsar, will lift the lid on how some Muslims are cut off from the rest of Britain with their own housing estates, schools and television channels.

    • Three surprising ways to challenge violence against women

      It’s been more than 20 years since the UN General Assembly committed to eradicating violence against women. Yet today, it’s estimated that one in three women has experienced some form of sexual or physical violence, often at the hands of an intimate partner. This apparent lack of progress doesn’t mean, though, that people aren’t trying to do something about it – sometimes by pretty creative means.

    • Female Genital Mutilation in Pakistan

      World Health Organization defines Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) as “procedures that intentionally alter or cause injury to the female genital organs for non-medical reasons.” FGM is classified into four types. Clitoridectomy includes partial or total removal of the clitoris. 85% of the FGM procedures are of this type. The second type is excision which is performed to partially or totally remove the clitoris or the labia minora (inner folds of vulva). Infibulation, the third type, refers to the narrowing of the vaginal opening through the creation of a covering seal. The fourth type can include other harmful procedures like piercing, pricking, scraping, incising or cauterizing. More than 200 million girls across the world have undergone the torturous plight of having their genitals sewn up, removed or mutilated.

      The humiliating practice of FGM is carried out in 30 countries of Africa, the Middle East and Asia where FGM is rampant. The migrants from these regions take along their belief-systems, family rituals and customs to their new settlements and influence other people from their communities to practice the same. Many a religious heads, doctors, community leaders and other medically-trained professionals facilitate this oppressive custom either by indulging in genital-cutting or by sanctifying its prevalence. FGM manifests itself in regressive religious practices, community cultures and traditions. The procedural circumcision which is seen as a coming of age custom for a girl in many cultural rituals incurs life-threatening harm to the girl’s body on which it is performed, putting her at a risk of multiple health-hazards and psychological ill-effects. In religious terms, the practice is performed as a mark of entry for a girl-child from childhood to adulthood.

    • “Eliminating FGM is an essential step to realizing other SDGs”—Lakshmi Puri

      Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) is one of the most serious violations of human rights of women and girls and no amount of sophistry by its proponents and apologists can change that.

      In 2015, 194 countries at the highest level of government at the United Nations Sustainable Development Summit have declared that it must be eliminated and that it’s a Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) target. So that’s final!

    • The Plot to Sideline Gambia’s First Female Presidential Candidate

      In early September, Gambian feminist activist Isatou Touray stood before a crowd of reporters in the seaside town of Kololi and chastised the administration of President Yahya Jammeh, who has ruled over Gambia with an iron fist since he took power through a bloodless coup in 1994. Touray accused Jammeh of pilfering the country’s natural resources for his own benefit, purposely failing to uphold the rule of law and delegating power to a small and exclusive circle of corrupt men.

      Then she declared her plans to push him out of office in the December 1 presidential election by running for his seat herself. “It is time for him to leave,” she said.

    • The Lesson from Standing Rock: Organizing and Resistance Can Win

      Less than two hours earlier, news came that the Army Corps of Engineers had turned down the permit for the Dakota Access Pipeline to be built under the Missouri River. The company will have to find an alternate route and undergo a lengthy environmental assessment.

      Ever since, the network of camps now housing thousands of water protectors has been in the throes of (cautious) celebration and giving thanks, from cheers to processions to round dances. Here, at the family home of Standing Rock Tribal Councilman Cody Two Bears, friends and family members who have been at the center of the struggle are starting to gather for a more private celebration.

      Which is why the dishes must be done. And the soup must be cooked. And the Facetime calls must be made to stalwart supporters, from Gasland filmmaker Josh Fox to environmental icon Erin Brockovich. And the Facebook live videos must, of course, be made. Hawaii Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard—here as part of a delegation of thousands of anti-pipeline veterans—is on her way over. (“Exhilarated,” is how she says she feels when she arrives.) CNN must, of course, be watched, which to the amazement of everyone here gives full credit to the water protectors (while calling them “protesters”).

    • Analysis: The Assange case in the context of Sweden’s feminist foreign policy for international trade gains

      A previous analysis concluded that Sweden most likely would persist in neither undertaking nor recognizing the international criticism for its rejection of the UN conclusion regarding the arbitrary detention of Mr Julian Assange [See UNGWAD full document in Appendix 1]. That is to say, it will not do so at least in the nearest future.

      Further, the article hypothesizes that –in the eventuality of a positive intervention by the upcoming Trump administration regarding the case Assange – from the Swedish side the case will be likely used as a tool in a bargain including issues of economic interest, support by the US towards Swedish stances in the Security Council (as publicly anticipated by foreign minister Margot Wallström) [1] and other items already put forward by the letter of PM Stefan Löfven to President-elect Donald Trump. [2]

    • Mistrial in murder case against cop who shot Walter Scott

      A South Carolina judge declared a mistrial Monday after jurors said they were unable to reach a unanimous verdict in the case of a white former North Charleston police officer charged with murder in the death of black motorist Walter Scott.

      The mistrial came just a few hours after Circuit Judge Clifton Newman had ordered jurors to continue deliberating. But the jurors reported later that they were hopelessly unable to reach a unanimous consensus, the Associated Press and CNN reported. The jury had deliberated about 22 hours over four days.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • WIPO Committee On Traditional Knowledge Agrees On Revised Text For Further Discussions

      World Intellectual Property Organization delegates last week agreed on a revised set of draft articles to be further discussed at the next session of the committee working on a potential treaty to protect traditional knowledge. Views differed on the achievements of the week. For the proponents of a binding treaty, the text reflects a better understanding of issues, and some reduction in differences. However, for some developed countries not in favour of a treaty, gaps are still wide open and much work remains.

    • Will The Voice Of Indigenous Peoples Disappear From WIPO Discussions To Protect Their Knowledge?

      What would be the credibility of the World Intellectual Property Organization committee negotiating a system of protection for traditional knowledge held by indigenous peoples, if none of their representatives could participate in the meetings? That has been a recurring question asked by indigenous peoples and the organisation over the years. But now, if no voluntary contributions are made by governments or others, the next committee meeting could very well be first in 16 years held without a single observer from an indigenous community.

    • Copyrights

      • Every Website Needs To Re-register With The Copyright Office, Who Can’t Build A Functioning System

        As we mentioned last month, the Copyright Office — despite being warned this was a bad idea — has decided to implement a brand new system for websites to register DMCA agents, and has done so in a way that will undoubtedly fuck over many websites. It’s already ridiculous enough that in order to be fully protected under the DMCA’s safe harbor rules (that say you’re not liable if someone posts infringing material to your website), you need to register a designated “DMCA agent” with the Copyright Office. The idea behind this is that by registering an agent, copyright holders will be able to look up who to send a takedown notice to. And, sure, that makes sense, but remember that this is the same Copyright Office that supports not requiring copyright holders to register their works, meaning that there may not be any legitimate way to contact copyright holders back.

        The reason for the new system is that the old system was just ridiculous — on that everyone can agree. You had to fill out a paper form, sign it, and send it in. The Copyright Office has been way behind on digitizing everything, so moving to a web based system is a good thing. Also, the old system required payment of over $100, while the new one is just $6. That’s all good. The problem is twofold: first, the Copyright Office has said that it is throwing out all the old registrations, and if you want to retain your safe harbors, you need to re-register. There’s a grace period through the end of next year, but plenty of sites who don’t follow the Copyright Office’s every move are going to miss this, and will no longer have an officially registered agent with the Copyright Office (it’s possible that, should this issue go to court, a platform could reasonably argue that it still did meet the statutory requirements in the original registration, but why force site owners through that hoop in the first place). The second problem, is that this new system will toss out records every three years, so if you forget to renew, you once again can lose your legal safe harbors. This puts tons of websites at serious risk, removing key protections and opening them up to lawsuits from copyright trolls.

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DecorWhat Else is New


  1. IRC Proceedings: Sunday, January 16, 2022

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  2. Links 17/1/2022: postmarketOS 21.12 Service Pack 1 and Mumble 1.4 Released

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  3. [Meme] Gemini Space (or Geminispace): From 441 Working Capsules to 1,600 Working Capsules in Just 12 Months

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  4. [Meme] European Patent Office Space

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  6. Links 16/1/2022: Latte Dock 0.11 and librest 0.9.0

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  7. The Corporate Cabal (and Spy Agencies-Enabled Monopolies) Engages in Raiding of the Free Software Community and Hacker Culture

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  8. EPO's Web Site Constantly Spammed by Lies About Privacy While EPO Breaks the Law and Outsources Data to the United States

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  9. Links 16/1/2022: Tsunami and Patents

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  10. IRC Proceedings: Saturday, January 15, 2022

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  11. Links 16/1/2022: Year of the GNU/Linux Desktop and Catch-up With Patent Misinformation

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  12. Patrick Breyer, Unlike Most German Politicians, Highlights the Fact That Unified Patent Court (UPC) and Unitary Patent Are Incompatible With EU Law

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  13. Links 15/1/2022: Flameshot 11.0 and Libvirt 8.0

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  14. Blogging and Microblogging in Geminispace With Gemini Protocol

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  15. Links 15/1/2022: Raspberry Pi in Business

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  16. IRC Proceedings: Friday, January 14, 2022

    IRC logs for Friday, January 14, 2022



  17. Gemini Clients: Comparing Moonlander, Telescope, Amfora, Kristall, and Lagrange (Newer and Older)

    There are many independent implementations of clients (similar to Web browsers) that deal with Gemini protocol and today we compare them visually, using Techrights as a test case/capsule



  18. 2022 Starts With Censorship of Christmas and Other Greetings at the EPO

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  19. Links 14/1/2022: FFmpeg 5.0 and Wine 7.0 RC6

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  20. White House Asking Proprietary Software Companies That Add NSA Back Doors About Their Views on 'Open Source' Security

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  21. Links 14/1/2022: EasyOS 3.2.1 and Qt 6.3 Alpha

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  22. Scientific Excellence and the Debian Social Contract

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  23. Links 14/1/2022: openSUSE Leap 15.2 EoL, VFX Designers Are Using GNU/Linux

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  24. IRC Proceedings: Thursday, January 13, 2022

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  25. 2022 Commences With Microsoft-Themed (and Microsoft-Connected) FUD Against GNU/Linux

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  26. Between January 2021 and January 2022 the Number of Active Gemini Capsules Nearly Quadrupled Based on Publicly-Available Catalogue of Capsules

    Geminispace has grown to about 2,000 known capsules and 1,600 of them are active, permanently online, fully accessible; in January last year these numbers were about 4 times smaller



  27. Links 13/1/2022: NetworkManager 1.34 and Everett 3.0.0

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  28. Links 13/1/2022: Sparky 5.16, Fwupd 1.7.4, and KDE Plasma 5.24 Beta Released

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  29. Call a Spade a Spade (Microsoft 'Contributions' to Linux)

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