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08.20.19

Links 20/8/2019: DragonFlyBSD Developing DSynth

Posted in News Roundup at 7:24 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Desktop

      • Buy a Linux laptop: Star Labs laptops review

        Fortunately, after the increased use of Linux in the technical environment, some companies have begun to design and manufacture special computers that are compatible with the Linux system.

        [...]

        In summary, the Star Labs laptops can handle most tasks that you require as a Linux user, and is a highly rated Linux laptop. Fast, efficent and easy to set up, with some cons that can be ignored, but they should devotes some attention to its in the future versions as it gives us more choices “freedom” as Linux users.

      • Installing five flavours of Linux on my new laptop: One month on, here’s what I’ve learned

        It’s been a month since I wrote about getting a new HP Pavilion 14 laptop and loading Linux on it. My experience with it so far has been extremely good – it has done exactly what I wanted, I haven’t had any trouble with it, I have used it, traveled with it, updated all of the various Linux distributions I loaded on it, and even added another distribution to it.

        First, I broke one of my own basic rules – never travel with only a new and untested laptop. I left for a three-week-plus vacation in the US the day after my previous posting. I used the laptop pretty much every day during the trip. and never had a problem of any kind. It was fast and reliable, suspend/resume on closing/opening the lid worked perfectly. Battery life is extremely good – I’ve never actually managed to run the batteries completely out, but I can certainly say that they are good for 6-8 hours depending on your use.

    • Server

      • IBM

        • HPC workloads in containers: Comparison of container run-times

          Recently, I worked on an interesting project to evaluate different container run-times for high-performance computing (HPC) clusters. HPC clusters are what we once knew as supercomputers. Today, instead of giant mainframes, they are hundreds, thousands, or tens of thousands of massively parallel systems. Since performance is critical, virtualization with tools like virtual machines or Docker containers was not realistic. The overhead was too much compared to bare metal.

        • A project manager’s guide to Ansible

          For project managers, it’s important to know that deploying Ansible will improve the effectiveness of a company’s IT. Employees will spend less time trying to troubleshoot their own configuration, deployment, and provisioning. Ansible is designed to be a straightforward, reliable way to automate a network’s IT tasks.

          Further, development teams can use the Ansible Tower to track applications from development to production. Ansible Tower includes everything from role-based access to graphical inventory management and enables teams to remain on the same page even with complex tasks.

          Ansible has a number of fantastic use cases and provides substantial productivity gains for both internal teams and the IT infrastructure as a whole. It’s free, easy to use, and robust. By automating IT with Ansible, project managers will find that their teams can work more effectively without the burden of having to manage their own IT—and that IT works more smoothly overall.

        • DevNation Live: Plumbing Kubernetes builds | Deploy with Tekton

          DevNation Live tech talks are hosted by the Red Hat technologists who create our products. These sessions include real solutions and code and sample projects to help you get started. In this talk, you’ll learn about Tekton, a Kubernetes-native way of defining and running CI/CD, from Kamesh Sampath, Principal Software Engineer at Red Hat.

          The session explores the characteristics of Tekton, which is cloud-native, decoupled, and declarative. This demo-filled session will show how to combine various building blocks of Tekton to build and deploy (Tasks and Pipelines) a Kubernetes application.

    • Audiocasts/Shows

      • Test and Code: 84: CircuitPython – Scott Shawcroft

        The combination of Python’s ease of use and Adafruit’s super cool hardware and a focus on a successful beginner experience makes learning to write code that controls hardware super fun.

        In this episode, Scott Shawcroft, the project lead, talks about the past, present, and future of CircuitPython, and discusses the focus on the beginner.

        We also discuss contributing to the project, testing CircuitPython, and many of the cool projects and hardware boards that can use CircuitPython, and Blinka, a library to allow you to use “CircuitPython APIs for non-CircuitPython versions of Python such as CPython on Linux and MicroPython,” including Raspberry Pi.

      • GNU World Order 13×34
      • Absurd Abstractions | Coder Radio 371

        It’s a Coder Radio special all about abstraction. What it is, why we need it, and what to do when it leaks.

        Plus your feedback, Mike’s next language challenge, and a functional ruby pick.

      • KDE Apps 19.08, KNOPPIX, System76, Slackware, Huawei, EndeavourOS, Dreamcast | This Week in Linux 79

        On this episode of This Week in Linux, KDE announced their latest big release of their Application Suite with dozens of new app updates. We got some Distro news to talk about with KNOPPIX, Slackware, EndeavourOS and Neptune Linux. System76 announced some really cool news with their new Graphical Firmware Manager tool.

    • Kernel Space

      • Chromebooks Switching Over To The BFQ I/O Scheduler

        On Chromebooks when moving to the latest Chrome OS that switches over to a Linux 4.19 based kernel, BFQ has become the default I/O scheduler.

        BFQ has been maturing nicely and as of late there’s been an uptick in interest around this I/O scheduler with some also calling for it to be used by default in distributions. Google has decided BFQ is attractive enough to enable by default for Chromebooks to provide better responsiveness.

      • Graphics Stack

        • RADV Vulkan Driver Lands Renoir APU Support In Time For Mesa 19.2

          Just hours ahead of the Mesa 19.2 feature freeze and days after the RadeonSI OpenGL driver added Renoir support, the RADV Vulkan driver has picked up support for this next-gen Zen 2 + Vega APU.

          The support comes down to just eight lines of new code for this new APU rumored to be launching in 2020. While it was hoped that this would be the first APU built on the Zen 2 CPU microarchitecture and with Navi graphics, the open-source Linux driver code drops have all pointed it to be more of a Raven/Vega refresh on the graphics side.

    • Applications

    • Instructionals/Technical

    • Games

      • Underworld Ascendant’s Linux port has now been released

        Get ready to dungeon crawl! After many delays, the sequel to the classic Ultima Underworld games has finally seen a Linux release.

      • Event Horizon (Tower of Time) show off the first gameplay from their next RPG Dark Envoy

        Ah Gamescom has arrived, which means tons of games will be shown off over the next week. Event Horizon (Tower of Time dev) are getting in on the action, to show off footage from their brand new RPG called Dark Envoy.

        For those who missed the previous article, it is already confirmed to be coming to Linux. To save you a click, when asked they said “We spent a considerable effort to make Tower of Time run well on Linux – so now, being more experienced with it, we also plan to release on Linux at the same time as PC launch.”.

      • Going where no Steam Play has gone before with Elite Dangerous

        What’s the one game keeping you a dual booter? Maybe it’s PUBG, or Rainbow Six: Siege? Maybe it used to be Overwatch? For me, that game was Elite Dangerous, and one year on from Proton’s release, I have a story to tell.

        There’s a certain “je ne sais quoi” about Elite Dangerous that I’ve never been able to put my finger on. It’s a game set in a scientifically modelled, full-scale replica of the whole Milky Way galaxy, and as with that setting, the game is truly vast, remarkably cold, and frequently incomprehensible. Yet, when playing Elite, I get the same feeling as when looking up at the stars on a dark and moonless night — my hungry soul is fed. Or it could just be space madness. Regardless, it’s a feeling that I like to dip into every once in a while, immerse myself in, and try not to drown.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • GNOME Desktop/GTK

        • GNOME 3.34 Works Out Refined XWayland Support For X11 Apps Run Under Sudo

          GNOME 3.34 continues to look like an incredibly great release in the performance department as well as for Wayland users.

          Earlier this summer, support was added to GNOME’s Mutter to generate an Xauth file and passing it to XWayland when starting. The focus of that Red Hat contribution was for allowing X.Org/X11 applications to be run under XWayland as sudo. Up to this point when using sudo with an X11 app on Wayland, it hasn’t worked out but this addition for GNOME 3.34 corrects that behavior.

    • Distributions

      • Screenshots/Screencasts

      • Fedora Family

        • Flock to Fedora ’19

          I had a wonderful opportunity to go to Fedora’s annual contributor summit, Flock to Fedora in Budapest, Hungary. This is me penning down my takeaway from a week full of learning!

          [...]

          Apart from the talks, the conference outshone when it came to meeting mind-blowing developers. I got to know the most about Fedora and Red Hat through those interactions and it was a really pleasant experience. It was also super amazing to finally meet all the people I had been interacting with over the course of the internship in real life.

          My advice for any future Flock attendee would be to always make time to talk to people at Flock. Even I have a hard time interacting but the people are extremely nice and you get to learn a lot through those small interactions and end up making friends for a life time.

          Definitely taking back a tonne of memories, loads of pictures, and plethora of learning from this one week of experience.

        • Paul W. Frields: Flock 2019 in Budapest, Hungary.

          Last week I attended the Flock 2019 conference in Budapest, like many Fedora community members. There was a good mix of paid and volunteer community members at the event. That was nice to see, because I often worry about the overall aging of the community.

          Many people I know in Fedora have been with the project a long time. Over time, people’s lives change. Their jobs, family, or other circumstances move them in different directions. Sometimes this means they have less time for volunteer work, and they might not be active in a community like Fedora. So being able to refresh my view of who’s around and interested in an event like Flock was helpful.

          Also, at last year’s Flock in Dresden, after the first night of the conference, something I ate got the better of me — or I might have picked up a norovirus. I was out of commission for most of the remaining time, confined to my room to ride out whatever was ailing my gut. (It wasn’t pretty.) So I was glad this year also to be perfectly well, and able to attend the whole event. That was despite trying this terrible, terrible libation called ArchieMite, provided by my buddy Dennis Gilmore…

          [...]

          I also attended several sessions on Modularity. One of them was Merlin Mathesius’ presentation on tools for building modules. Merlin is on my team at Red Hat and I happened to know he hadn’t done a lot of public speaking. But you wouldn’t have guessed from his talk! It was well organized and logically presented. He gave a nice overview of how maintainers can use the available tools to build modules for community use.

          The Modularity group also held a discussion to hear about friction points with modularity. Much of the feedback lined up well with other inputs the group has received. We could solve some with better documentation and awareness. In some cases the tools could benefit from ease of use enhancements. In others, people were unaware of the difficult design decisions or choices that had to be made to produce a workable system. Fortunately there are some fixes on the way for tooling like the replacement for the so-called “Ursa Major” in Fedora. It allows normal packages to build against capabilities provided by modules.

      • Debian Family

        • salsa.debian.org: Postmortem of failed Docker registry move

          The Salsa admin team provides the following report about the failed migration of the Docker container registry. The Docker container registry stores Docker images, which are for example used in the Salsa CI toolset. This migration would have moved all data off to Google Cloud Storage (GCS) and would have lowered the used file system space on Debian systems significantly.

          [...]

          On 2019-08-06 the migration process was started. The migration itself went fine, although it took a bit longer than anticipated. However, as not all parts of the migration had been properly tested, a test of the garbage collection triggered a bug in the software.

          On 2019-08-10 the Salsa admins started to see problems with garbage collection. The job running it timed out after one hour. Within this timeframe it not even managed to collect information about all used layers to see what it can cleanup. A source code analysis showed that this design flaw can’t be fixed.

          On 2019-08-13 the change was rolled back to storing data on the file system.

        • Raphaël Hertzog: Promoting Debian LTS with stickers, flyers and a video

          With the agreement of the Debian LTS contributors funded by Freexian, earlier this year I decided to spend some Freexian money on marketing: we sponsored DebConf 19 as a bronze sponsor and we prepared some stickers and flyers to give out during the event.

          The stickers only promote the Debian LTS project with the semi-official logo we have been using and a link to the wiki page. You can see them on the back of a laptop in the picture below.

        • Raphaël Hertzog: Freexian’s report about Debian Long Term Support, July 2019

          Like each month, here comes a report about the work of paid contributors to Debian LTS.

        • Jaskaran Singh: GSoC Final Report

          The Debian Patch Porting System aims to systematize and partially automate the security patch porting process.

          In this Google Summer of Code (2019), I wrote a webcrawler to extract security patches for a given security vulnerability identifier. This webcrawler or patch-finder serves as the first step of the Debian Patch Porting System.

          The Patch-finder should recognize numerous vulnerability identifiers. These identifiers can be security advisories (DSA, GLSA, RHSA), vulnerability identifiers (OVAL, CVE), etc. So far, it can identify CVE, DSA (Debian Security Advisory), GLSA (Gentoo Linux Security Advisory) and RHSA (Red Hat Security Advisory).

          Each vulnerability identifier has a list of entrypoint URLs associated with it. These URLs are used to initiate the patch finding.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • Linux Mint 19.2 Cinnamon Released. Here’s What’s New

          Linux Mint releases latest version 19.2 with Cinnamon flavor.

          The popular Linux Mint project announced release of 19.2 version with Cinnamon, XFCE and MATE desktop environment flavors. Based on Ubuntu 18.04 LTS package base, Linux Mint is supported 2023 with security updates. This makes it ideal for new users who are migrating to Linux from Windows for the first time along with experienced users.

          Linux Mint 19.2 “Tina” Cinnamon edition features Cinnamon 4.2 version with Linux Kernel 4.15. This release brings new features, improvements as well as overall system experience for the general users. Here’s what’s new in Linux Mint Cinnamon edition.

          [...]

          The System reports utility is overhauled with a new look. A new page was added to show the system information and make it easy for users to copy it into the forums or upload it to a pastebin website.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • The cloud isn’t killing open source software

        The most common reason given for software vendors making these changes is “foul play” by cloud vendors. The argument is that cloud vendors unfairly offer open source software “as a service,” capturing large portions of the revenue, while the original software vendor continues to carry most of the development costs. Market rumors claim Amazon Web Services (AWS) makes more revenue from MySQL than Oracle, which owns the product.

        So, who is claiming foul play is destroying the open source ecosystem? Typically, the loudest voices are venture-funded open source software companies. These companies require a very high growth rate to justify their hefty valuation, so it makes sense that they would prefer not to worry about additional competition.

      • Funding

      • Programming/Development

        • Excellent Free Books to Learn Groovy

          Apache Groovy is a powerful, optionally typed and dynamic language, with static-typing and static compilation capabilities, for the Java platform aimed at improving developer productivity thanks to a concise, familiar and easy to learn syntax.

          It integrates seamlessly with any Java program, and immediately delivers to your application powerful features, including scripting capabilities, Domain-Specific Language authoring, runtime and compile-time meta-programming and functional programming.

          It’s both a static and dynamic language with features similar to those of Python, Ruby, Perl, and Smalltalk. It can be used as both a programming language and a scripting language for the Java Platform.

        • Top 9 Django Concepts – Part 2 : 5 Mins

          I will be covering 3 Django concepts, for those who had missed the first part of the 3 part series, you can head down to the Top 9 Django Concepts – Part 1

          The first concept is essential Django commands that you will be using when developing in Django.

          The second is the concept of using either a front-end like Vue, React or Angular web framework or using Django existing template system to build UI.

        • Get Current Date & Time in Python

          In this article, you will learn the datetime module supplies classes for manipulating dates and times in both simple and complex ways.

        • RcppQuantuccia 0.0.3

          RcppQuantuccia brings the Quantuccia header-only subset / variant of QuantLib to R. At the current stage, it mostly offers date and calendaring functions.

          This release was triggered by some work CRAN is doing on updating C++ standards for code in the repository. Notably, under C++11 some constructs such ptr_fun, bind1st, bind2nd, … are now deprecated, and CRAN prefers the code base to not issue such warnings (as e.g. now seen under clang++-9). So we updated the corresponding code in a good dozen or so places to the (more current and compliant) code from QuantLib itself.

        • The infrastructure is code: A story of COBOL and Go

          But what about today? With the decline of mainframes and the rise of newer and more innovative languages designed for the web and cloud, where does COBOL sit?

          As last week’s episode of Command Line Heroes mentioned, in the late 1990s, Perl (as well as JavaScript and C++) was outpacing COBOL. And, as Perl’s creator, Larry Wall stated then: “COBOL is no big deal these days since demand for COBOL seems to be trailing off, for some strange reason.”

      • Standards/Consortia

        • Marek’s Take: Why open source communities are critical to operators

          Open source locks down standards in code and makes sure it is interoperable, Rice said. “That’s why it’s symbiotic. Standards are options but they come together because they are built on one another.”

          And, similar to standards bodies, where delegates work side-by-side with competitors to develop global specifications, the same occurs in open source groups.

  • Leftovers

    • QAnon is the conspiracy theory that won’t die: Here’s what they believe, and why they’re wrong

      If you follow the squeaks and squawks of far-right conspiracy theorists, you have almost certainly encountered QAnon believers — individuals who follow the oft-debunked predictions of an anonymous man who calls himself “Q” and claims to know the sinister truth about how the world works.

    • A brief introduction to learning agility

      While “learning agility” is not a new term, it’s one that organizations clearly still need help taking into account. Even in open organizations, we tend to overlook this element by focusing too rigidly on a candidate’s degree history or current role when we should be taking a more holistic view of the individual.

      One crucial element of adaptability is learning agility. It is the capacity for adapting to situations and applying knowledge from prior experience—even when you don’t know what to do. In short, it’s a willingness to learn from all your experiences and then apply that knowledge to tackle new challenges in new situations.

      Every experience we encounter in life can teach us something if we pay attention to it. All of these experiences are educational and useful in organizational life. In fact, as Colin Willis notes in his recent article on informal learning, 70%‒80% of all job-related knowledge isn’t learned in formal training programs. And yet we’re conditioned to think that only what you were paid to do in a formal role or the degree you once earned speaks solely to your potential value or fit for a particular role.

    • Science

      • Politics tops science under Trump

        When the news is bad, punish the messenger, as in today’s United States it’s increasingly the case that politics tops science.

        This, according to a top scientist formerly working at the US Department of Agriculture (USDA), is what’s happening to government employees involved in climate change research under the administration of President Trump.

        Lewis Ziska, a plant physiologist who has worked for more than 20 years at USDA’s Agricultural Research Service (ARS), recently resigned his post, saying department officials had not only questioned the results of a peer-reviewed research paper he was involved in on the adverse impact of climate change – they had also attempted to minimise its coverage in the media.

        “You get the sense that things have changed, that this (the ARS) is not a place for you to be exploring things that don’t agree with someone’s political views”, Ziska tells the Politico website.

    • Security (Confidentiality/Integrity/Availability)

      • Hacker Summer Camp 2019: CTFs for Fun & Profit

        Okay, I’m back from Summer Camp and have caught up (slightly) on life. I had the privilege of giving a talk at BSidesLV entitled “CTFs for Fun and Profit: Playing Games to Build Your Skills.” I wanted to post a quick link to my slides and talk about the IoT CTF I had the chance to play.

        I played in the IoT Village CTF at DEF CON, which was interesting because it uses real-world devices with real-world vulnerabilities instead of the typical made-up challenges in a CTF. On the other hand, I’m a little disappointed that it seems pretty similar (maybe even the same) year-to-year, not providing much variety or new learning experiences if you’ve played before.

      • Nexus Repository Now Supports APT

        Beginning with version 3.17, Nexus Repository Manager supports APT (Advanced Package Tool) repositories. APT is a set of tools used to search, install, and manage packages on Debian, Ubuntu, and similar Linux distributions. With this new release, you can now host your own local APT repos. Developers benefit from no longer having to rely on connecting externally to a public repository every time an often-used package is needed.

        In the case of Debian-based Docker containers, the ability to locally cache Debian packages from public repositories can save copious amounts of time when rebuilding your containers. This can do wonders especially for containers built frequently in a CI pipeline and for the more traditional use-case of provisioning virtual machines.

      • Ransomware attack has hit 20 government agencies in Texas [iophk: Windows TCO]

        This week the state of Texas has joined the list of targets. According to Texas’s Department of Information Resources (DIR), more than 20 local government entities have been impacted by a ‘coordinated ransomware attack.’ DIR states that “the Texas Military Department, and the Texas A&M University System’s Cyberresponse and Security Operations Center teams are deploying resources to the most critically impacted jurisdictions.”

        No disclosure has beeen made regarding how much of a payment is being requested, though given recent attacks on other states the amount is likely to be eye-watering. Also absent is any information on which ‘local government entities’ have been affected.

      • Web server security – Part 8: Basic log file analysis

        Tools like lnav (“The Log File Navigator”) allow quicker analysis of log files. Instead of manually searching for attack-like behavior, you can use SQL queries, load and combine multiple files at once, and switch between different views.

        However, keep in mind that not only tools but also underlying processes and organization are important. You must know where log files are stored, how they are created and how long information is available. This requires a basic security concept. Understand the structure of your log files, and use customization of logging rules if available.

    • Defence/Aggression

      • US tests medium-range cruise missile in the wake of INF treaty exit

        The Pentagon said on Monday that it had tested a conventionally configured ground-launched cruise missile with a range of more than 500 km (310 miles), the first such test since the US pulled out of the Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF).

      • Violence in Afghanistan last year was worse than in Syria

        Facing less pressure from NATO, the Taliban are overwhelming the Afghan army, spreading to cities such as Kunduz from their stronghold in the south. A majority of Afghans now live in areas controlled or contested by the Taliban, according to the Long War Journal, a website that tracks the conflict. Gallup, which has polled Afghans since 2008, finds that record numbers fear for their liberty and safety.

    • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

      • Memo to mainstream journalists: Can the phony outrage; Bernie is right about bias

        It happens because of groupthink. It happens because top editors and producers know — without being told — which issues and sources are off limits. No orders need be given, for example, for rank-and-file journalists to understand that the business of the corporate boss or top advertisers is off-limits, short of criminal indictments.

        No memo is needed to achieve the narrowness of perspective — selecting all the usual experts from all the usual think tanks to say all the usual things. Think Tom Friedman. Or Barry McCaffrey. Or Neera Tanden. Or any of the elite club members who’ve been proven to be absurdly wrong time and again about national or global affairs.

      • Climate misinformation may be thriving on YouTube, a social scientist warns

        While Facebook and Twitter get the lion’s share of attention when it comes to concerns about fake news, Joachim Allgaier of RWTH Aachen University in Germany says YouTube is equally, if not more insidious, given its huge popularity. Allgaier, who focuses on how science is communicated online, initially researched science-themed music videos on the site. He found several on Darwin’s theory of evolution, one song about the periodic table by the band They Might Be Giants and a parody by an Alzheimer’s research team contorting the lyrics to Lady Gaga’s “Bad Romance” to sing about being “caught in a bad project.”

    • Environment

      • Italy’s fishermen battle the scourge of plastic in the Mediterranean

        Italy’s fishermen often catch as much plastic as fish in their nets. Until recently it was illegal for them to bring the plastic to shore. But a recent change in law means it can now be brought back to port to be recycled.

      • This country gave all its rivers their own legal rights

        But even among the countries that have embraced the rights of nature, Bangladesh now stands out as having done something unprecedented. “What’s unique about Bangladesh is that they declared all rivers to have this status,” said Ben Price, the national director for the Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund (CELDF), a nonprofit public interest law firm that helps people facing threats to their local environment. By contrast, other countries have granted rights only to individual bodies of water.

      • A Fungus Could Wipe Out the Banana Forever

        On August 8 the Colombian Agricultural Institute announced that it had confirmed that the fungus—a strain of Fusarium oxysporum called Tropical Race 4 (TR4)—had been found in plantations in the north of the country. The country declared a national state of emergency, destroying crops and quarantining plantations in an attempt to avert the spread of the fungus.

        But Latin America has been in this situation before. Until the 1950s, the most commonly exported banana variety was the Gros Michel, which was almost totally wiped out by a different strain of the Fusarium fungus. The modern export banana—the Cavendish—took Gros Michel’s place because it was resistant to that early Fusarium strain. Now 99 percent of all exported bananas are Cavendish—with almost all of them grown in Latin America.

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • Why Is Joe Rogan So Popular?

        The Joe Rogan Experience has been the No. 2 most-downloaded podcast on iTunes for two years running. Rogan’s second Netflix comedy special, Strange Times, dropped last year. His interview last fall with Elon Musk has been viewed more than 24 million times on YouTube, and his YouTube channel, PowerfulJRE, has 6 million subscribers. An indifferently received episode will tend to get somewhere around 1 million views. So many people in the content business right now are trying, and failing, to get the attention of these men, and yet somehow Joe Rogan has managed to recruit a following the size of Florida.

      • I’m Still Sorry I Listened To Susan Sarandon During The 2016 Election

        There aren’t any matters that are currently more pressing than grappling with the fact that I listened to what actress Susan Sarandon had to say during the 2016 presidential election and did not vote for Hillary Clinton.

        You may see a presidential administration that is going above and beyond to criminalize immigration. There are more migrants in camps or detention centers than ever before, but when I see the crying faces of children without their parents, I don’t think of Donald Trump. All I can think of is Louise and how she and Thelma drove their car off a cliff and that cliff was Donald Trump.

        Just as Janet Weiss was seduced by the allure of the sex god, Rocky Horror, Sarandon was entranced by the political revolution promised by Bernie Sanders. Under the spell of the Berns, she became convinced that Clinton was dangerous and would start a war if elected. She also suggested that Trump’s election would lead to an explosive revolt, but that did not happen because Robert Mueller would never have approved and we needed his approval to have Mueller Time.

        Sarandon was an obnoxious Bernie Bro. Her influence on the American population may not have been enough to convince Democratic voters to nominate Sanders over Clinton. However, when she trashed Clinton, that is when America finally came through for the star with Bette Davis eyes.

      • The malware election: Returning to paper ballots only way to prevent [cracking]

        That did not prevent them from completely dominating the machines. They accessed USB, compact flash and ethernet ports that were glaringly unprotected, and then proceeded to play video games and run pink cat graphics across the screens of ballot-marking devices and voter registration database systems.

        This may seem like fun and games, but the ability to access the core controls of these voting machines illustrates that malware could easily be planted on them. That malware can change vote totals, or prevent thousands of people from voting. In one system we timed, it took exactly five seconds to connect the voting machine to a device that could inject malware through a port that was easy to access and only a few inches from where voters scan their ballots.

        Once malware is on a voting machine, it can travel from that voting machine, to a central tabulating system, and then back out to all the other voting machines in a jurisdiction during the course of normal election procedures. Thus, a five second exploit, by one lone voter, in one precinct can infect and change the results in an entire county. Because of the way the Electoral College works, changing the results of a few counties in a few states could change the outcome of a presidential election.

      • Twitter ran paid ads from China’s state news media criticizing the Hong Kong protests

        The sponsored posts described the protests as violent and destructive and portrayed Hong Kong citizens as in favor of ending them.

        People in Hong Kong have been protesting the Chinese government for 11 weeks. Organizers say as many as 1.7 million people joined a peaceful rally on Sunday.

      • China Attacks Hong Kong Protesters With Fake Social Posts

        Twitter announced Monday it had removed over 900 accounts it believes were established by the Chinese government, which were “deliberately and specifically” attempting to sow political discord and undermine “the legitimacy and political positions of the protest movement on the ground.” The accounts were part of a much larger network of around 200,000 accounts Twitter took down before they were “substantially active” on the service.

      • Orderly marchers increase the pressure on Hong Kong’s government

        The organisers were the loose association of pro-democracy parties and NGOs responsible for bringing about enormous rallies in June and July. They had applied to lead participants along a two-and-a-half mile stretch of downtown Hong Kong, past the government offices. Police objected in advance, approving only a static assembly at Victoria Park. In the end a march proceeded anyway. It could hardly have done otherwise: rivers of people were flowing into the park and out of it. The organisers claimed that 1.7m people attended at least some portion of the protest. Police said the crowd present inside the park numbered 128,000 at its peak.

      • Influence Operations Kill Chain

        Influence operations are elusive to define. The Rand Corp.’s definition is as good as any: “the collection of tactical information about an adversary as well as the dissemination of propaganda in pursuit of a competitive advantage over an opponent.” Basically, we know it when we see it, from bots controlled by the Russian Internet Research Agency to Saudi attempts to plant fake stories and manipulate political debate. These operations have been run by Iran against the United States, Russia against Ukraine, China against Taiwan, and probably lots more besides.

      • Saudis Paid $90 Million to Sudan’s Ex-Leader, Officer Says in al-Bashir Trial

        A senior police officer testified that Mr. al-Bashir, who was ousted in April after months of street protests, had admitted to receiving part of the money from envoys sent by the Saudi crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman.

      • Twitter promotes Chinese-made ads against Hong Kong protesters: Report

        The social media giant has not commented on the matter, but other platforms such as social bookmarking site Pinboard have officially accused Twitter of supporting China. Pinboard stated on its official @Pinboard Twitter account that Twitter is “taking money from Chinese propaganda outfits and running promoted ads against top Hong Kong protest hashtags.”

        Twitter is now faced with a dilemma and it might need to take a political position – it will either keep running these ads in favor of China, or lose the sliver of a reputation it has as a free platform. It will be ironic if it continues to promote these ads since the social media platform is actually banned in China and has been replaced by the state-run Sina Weibo.

      • Uganda, Zambia Deny Huawei Helped Spy on Political Opponents

        In Uganda, WSJ reported that Huawei technicians helped Ugandan authorities use spyware to monitor pop star turned opposition icon Bobi Wine.

        Wine, whose real name is Robert Kyagulanyi, became a lawmaker in 2017 and is preparing to challenge President Yoweri Museveni in Uganda’s 2021 presidential election.

        According to The Wall Street Journal, Huawei’s assistance enabled Ugandan authorities to disrupt Wine’s plans for concerts they feared would turn into political rallies.

    • Privacy/Surveillance

      • Former Siri chief is leaving Apple to join Microsoft’s AI division

        Stasior’s departure seems less an indictment of the current state of Siri and more a reflection of the reality of AI at Apple. Last year, the iPhone maker poached John Giannandrea from Google, where he was a former head of search and AI. That’s reshaped the way Apple works on AI.

      • Trump administration calls for permanent restoration of bulk phone communications surveillance

        In a declassified letter to Congressional leaders, the outgoing Director of National Intelligence Daniel R. Coats called for the “permanent reauthorization of the provisions of the USA Freedom Act of 2015 that are currently set to expire in December.” The top Trump administration intelligence official wrote that among these provisions are the National Security Agency’s (NSA) officially suspended bulk collection of “telephone records from US telecommunications providers.”

      • I Shared My Phone Number. I Learned I Shouldn’t Have.

        In fact, your phone number may have now become an even stronger identifier than your full name. I recently found this out firsthand when I asked Fyde, a mobile security firm in Palo Alto, Calif., to use my digits to demonstrate the potential risks of sharing a phone number.

        Emre Tezisci, a security researcher at Fyde with a background in telecommunications, took on the task with gusto. He and I had never met or talked. He quickly plugged my cellphone number into a public records directory. Soon, he had a full dossier on me — including my name and birth date, my address, the property taxes I pay and the names of members of my family.

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • Local parliament torched amid protests in Indonesia’s Papua

        An insurgency has simmered in Papua since the early 1960s, when Indonesia annexed the region, a former Dutch colony. In recent years, some Papua students, including some who study in other provinces, have become vocal in calling for self-determination for the province.

        Residents of West Papua are ethnically similar to those in Papua.

      • You have a better chance of achieving “the American dream” in Canada than in America

        Raj Chetty, called “the most influential economist alive,” and Ezra Klein discuss the state of social mobility in the United States today.

      • Jay-Z Isn’t a Sellout, He’s a Capitalist

        The truth is actually much more banal. None of this is about social justice. It’s not about, as Shawn Carter put it, “helping millions and millions of people.” This partnership is happening because Shawn Carter is a billionaire who wants to be an NFL owner, and erasing Colin Kaepernick is the price of admission. Now Shawn Carter gets to multiply his fortune, and the NFL believes they will no longer be branded as racist, or have to schedule skim-milk Super Bowl halftime shows headlined by Maroon 5.

        Jay-Z is a boss. Colin Kaepernick and Eric Reid are workers. It is the interest of workers in the NFL to unite and say that blackballing people for their political beliefs is never going to be OK. It is in the interest of workers to stand up for their colleague. It is in Shawn Carter’s interest to stand up for himself. It’s not “millions and millions” who are going to be helped. It’s one person. It’s Jay-Z’s ultimate hustle—a hustle he told us, over 20 years ago, we were never to knock.

      • [Old] The Darkest Town In America

        She works full time for the cause these days, giving lectures, lobbying policymakers and meeting with people like me. “Creatures, great and small, are negatively affected,” she told me, citing reading she had done about the issue. “Humans are dramatically affected by night lighting.” Ever vigilant, she has a blue-light-blocking screen on her cellphone. Going dark is also more fiscally responsible, she said — excess lighting wastes billions of dollars worth of energy each year. And the mystical element motivates her advocacy too. “The emotional, spiritual connection with the universe,” Harder said. “If it’s gone, what else do we have? We just have our Earth-borne environment. I think it also could cut off our feeling of curiosity. It’s hard to measure these things, but psychically, I think they’re quite dramatic.”

      • The Trump Admin Just Took A Huge Leap Forward In Defunding Planned Parenthood

        The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) set a deadline for August 19th for program grantees to submit a written plan for complying with the new rule, the first step in implementation. Many providers have chosen to instead withdraw from the program rather than comply with the rule.

    • Monopolies

      • How to delete your Uber Eats account on a phone or computer

        The tricky thing about deleting your Uber Eats account is that you have to delete your primary Uber account as well. You can restore the account within 30 days and not lose your past credits and ride history, but after this 30-day deactivation period, the account is deleted permanently.

      • Patents and Software Patents

        • New Hampshire court to patent troll: it’s not libel when someone calls you a “patent troll”

          New Hampshire’s Supreme Court has ruled that calling someone a “patent troll” is not defamatory because “patent troll” is a statement of opinion and can neither be factually proved nor disproved.

          The case was brought by Automated Transactions Limited, who claims a broad patent on machines that dispense cash (ATL founder David Barcelou invented some unsuccessful gaming machines in the 1990s and received several patents they say cover the normal operations of ATMs and other common machines). ATL has made millions demanding patent license fees.

      • Trademarks

        • THE Ohio State University Applies For THE Stupidest Trademark In THE World

          We’ve talked ongoing about how ridiculous and aggressive many universities are becoming on trademark matters. Now colleges and universities do many, many annoying things, but their tendency towards trademark bullying certainly ranks up there near the top of the list. Not as high, of course, as Ohio State’s neverending insistence that everyone call it “THE Ohio State University.” The school likes to point out that the “the” (sigh) is actually part of the school’s legal name, when the reality is that the school is simply being haughty and pedantic.

          Well, now these two worlds are colliding in what might just be the dumbest trademark application I’ve ever seen. You’ll never guess what single word OSU wants to trademark.

      • Copyrights

        • YouTube sues alleged copyright troll over extortion of multiple YouTubers

          YouTube is going after an alleged copyright troll using the Digital Millennium Copyright Act’s (DMCA) provisions, alleging that Christopher Brady used false copyright strikes to extort YouTube creators, harming the company in the process. Now, YouTube is suing Brady, using the DMCA’s provisions against fraudulent takedown claims, seeking compensatory damages and an injunction against future fraudulent claims.

        • Court Denies Default Judgment Against ‘Cheating’ Fortnite Kid, In Spite of Mom’s ‘Defense’

          Two years ago, Epic Games decided to take several Fortnite cheaters to court, accusing them of copyright infringement.

          Several of these lawsuits have been settled but there is one that proved to be somewhat of a challenge.

          One of the alleged cheaters turned out to be a minor who’s also accused of demonstrating, advertising and distributing the cheat via his YouTube channel. The game publisher wasn’t aware of this when it filed the lawsuit, but the kid’s mother let the company know in clear terms.

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