Links 28/8/2019: A Look at Debian 10 Buster GNOME Edition, Android 10

Posted in News Roundup at 10:35 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • New LINUX bite-sized computer with a full-feature display just in $69

      favorite among many webmasters and technology enthusiasts around the world, LINUX is known for its incredible power and flexibility as a platform. An operating system that rules the IT industry with just a snap of a finger, LINUX has stood tall since the year it was introduced into the developer community almost three decades ago. The community has recently outdone itself by releasing to the public a bite-sized computer with a full-feature display for a price you would not believe until you’ve since it for yourself. The VoCore2 Mini Linux Computer Bundle lets you take Linux power with you wherever you go, and is currently available at over 10% off for only $69. Read on to find out everything this table-sized computer can do to make your life easier one click at a time.

    • Desktop

      • Linux Laptop Buyer’s Guide: Tips And Resources To Find The Perfect Laptop For Your Favorite Distro

        There is one question that’s dominating my interactions with Linux users on social media lately: “I want to buy a new laptop to run Linux, but do I have to purchase one from a company like Dell, Purism or System76? Aren’t we at a point where Linux ‘just works’ on anything?” The answer isn’t black and white, but I’ll do my best to give you a sensible response and explain the advantages of buying a computer that’s purpose-built for Linux, as well as what you can expect when snatching up any modern laptop from HP, Acer, Asus, Lenovo and other OEMs that ship with Windows by default.

        Linux uses less of your computer’s resources than Windows, so the hardware requirements for running a Linux distro may not be as steep as Windows 10. But the specs you’re looking for will vary depending on your needs. So here are some basic scenarios alongside the minimum CPU, RAM and space requirements you should look for…

    • Server

      • IBM

        • Themes driving digital transformation and leadership in financial services

          Incumbent banks should know they have to modernize their organization to compete in a world where customers want better and more personalized digital experiences. Eager to realize the cost-savings and increased revenue that can result from micro-targeting products and services, they can adopt next-generation technologies to transform their businesses to lead their market.

          Digital leaders are focused on end-to-end customer experiences. Processes, policies, and procedures defined for branch networks are being reimagined to support new digital customer engagement. By modernizing the back office and business processes, banks have an opportunity to streamline, codify, and thereby automate – which, in turn, can reduce friction caused by manual checks and inconsistent policies. This can enable more seamless customer experiences and speedier customer service, with transparency into servicing while reducing operational costs.

        • Introducing Red Hat OpenShift 4.2 in Developer Preview: Releasing Nightly Builds

          You might have read about the architectural changes and enhancements in Red Hat OpenShift 4 that resulted in operational and installation benefits. Or maybe you read about how OpenShift 4 assists with developer innovation and hybrid cloud deployments. I want to draw attention to another part of OpenShift 4 that we haven’t exposed to you yet…until today.

          When Red Hat acquired CoreOS, and had the opportunity to blend Container Linux with RHEL and Tectonic with OpenShift, the innovation did not remain only in the products we brought to market.

          An exciting part about working on new cloud-native technology is the ability to redefine how you work. Redefine how you hammer that nail with your hammer. These Red Hat engineers were building a house, and sometimes the tools they needed simply did not exist.

        • IBM POWER Instruction Set Architecture Now Open Source

          IBM has open sourced the POWER Instruction Set Architecture (ISA), which is used in its Power Series chips and in many embedded devices by other manufacturers. In addition, the OpenPOWER Foundation will become part of The Linux Foundation to further open governance.

          IBM created the OpenPOWER Foundation in 2013 with the aim to make it easier for server vendors to build customized servers based on IBM Power architecture. By joining the OpenPOWER Foundation, vendors had access to processor specifications, firmware, and software and were allowed to manufacture POWER processors or related chips under a liberal license. With IBM latest announcement, vendors can create chips using the POWER ISA without paying any royalties and have full access to the ISA definition. As IBM OpenPOWER general manager Ken King highlights, open sourcing the POWER ISA enables the creation of computers that are completely open source, from the foundation of the hardware, including the processor instruction set, firmware, boot code, and so on up to the software stack.

    • Audiocasts/Shows

      • Self Hosted Secrets | LINUX Unplugged 316

        Safely host your own password database using totally open source software. We cover BitWarden, our top choice to solve this problem.

        Plus we announce a new show we’re super proud of, and chat with Dan Lynch from OggCamp.

        Special Guests: Alan Pope, Alex Kretzschmar, Brent Gervais, Dan Lynch, and Ell Marquez.

      • Episode 80 | This Week in Linux

        On this episode of This Week in Linux, we’ve got a couple birthdays to celebrate with one being the Linux kernel itself and Valve’s Steam Play (Proton) project.

    • Kernel Space

      • Graphics Stack

        • Intel’s Open-Source Graphics Driver Lands Another Icelake/Gen11 Performance Optimization

          Intel open-source developer Kenneth Graunke who is the lead developer on their “Iris” Gallium3D driver has landed a new performance optimization in Mesa to help their Gen11/Icelake graphics performance.

          Ken managed another 1~3% performance boost for Gen11/Icelake. The optimization is using headerless RT writes for MRT cases and is an optimization made to their common compiler code used by i965/Iris/ANV drivers, but Ken’s testing is focused on their new Iris OpenGL driver.

        • Google’s SwiftShader Now Supports Vulkan 1.1

          SwiftShader. Google’s CPU-based implementation that originally was focused on OpenGL ES and Direct3D 9, now has Vulkan 1.1 support in tow.

          Google engineers have been maintaining SwiftShader as open-source the past few years and is akin to Gallium3D’s LLVMpipe but focused as well on just not OpenGL ES but also Direct3D 9 and Vulkan. SwiftShader is used by Google Chrome and other software for CPU-based 3D graphics when necessary.

        • FFmpeg Adds AMD AMF Vulkan Support For Linux Users

          he FFmpeg library up to this point has supported AMD’s Advanced Media Framework (AMF) library just on Windows for H.264/HEVC encoding on GPUs. The Windows code-path makes use of DirectX while now AMD AMF support for Linux via Vulkan is now exposed by the latest FFmpeg code.

          AMD does offer the Advanced Media Framework for Linux but it’s through their Radeon Software / AMDGPU-PRO packages and thus not seeing as much adoption as the likes of VDPAU/VA-API. And even then when using the packaged AMD Linux driver, the user needs to manually install the amf-amdgpu-pro package as it doesn’t get installed by default.

    • Applications

      • 9 Best Free Linux Geometry Software

        In the field of mathematical software packages, applications such as Wolfram Research’s Mathematica, and Maplesoft’s Maple system instantly spring to mind. These are both highly popular, proprietary, commercial, integrated mathematical software environments. Other types of mathematical software packages generally receive much less publicity.

        One such area is interactive geometry software, which combines three branches of mathematics: geometry, calculus and algebra. This type of software allows users to create and modify constructions, which are generally in plane geometry. Construction involves building mathematical shapes out of points, lines, conic sections, hyperbola, ellipses, and circles. These diagrams can then be altered and the effects of the mathematical properties of the shapes can be observed.

      • 7 Best SNMP Monitoring Tools For Linux

        SNMP monitoring is by far the most common type of network monitoring technology. It allows administrators of networks of any size to be kept informed of the status of the networks they manage as well as their utilization. Likewise, Linus is also a very common platform that many network administrators have turned to. Although it is not yet as common in the desktop world as the commercial offerings from some mega-vendors, it is very common in the server world. Even IBM has made it its OS of choice on many of its higher-range systems.

      • Rclone 1.49 Adds Google Photos Backend, New Web UI

        Rclone, a free and open source command line cloud storage hub, was updated to version 1.49 with major additions like 4 new backends, including for the much requested Google Photos, and a new experimental web UI. There’s also a new logo (picture above).

        Rclone is a command line cloud storage synchronization program. It allows accessing and synchronizing files between your filesystem and cloud storage services, or between multiple cloud storage services. It features one way sync to make a directory identical, it has encryption, cache and union backends, supports FUSE mounts, and can serve local or remote files over HTTP, WebDav, FTP, SFTP or dlna.

    • Instructionals/Technical

    • Games

      • Star Traders: Frontiers, the epic space RPG from Trese Brothers had a huge update

        Trese Brothers just recently put out a massive update to their impressive and engrossing space RPG Star Traders: Frontiers, along with a nice sale to go along with it.

        This incredibly deep space sim just got bigger with a lot more story content added, along with a pistol-blade wielding “Bodyguard” Job. The developer said this major expansion to the story of Star Traders: Frontiers “includes a major arc that moves forward the political story of the galaxy, brings new powerful characters to the fore and threatens to upend some of the order you may have helped establish”.

      • Voidpoint have said they will not be “censoring” Ion Fury by removing stupid gay joke

        Voidpoint, what are you doing? I am so confused at this point. After releasing a statement we posted last week in our Ion Fury post, the team at Voidpoint now seem to be doing something of a ridiculous U-turn.

        Their original statement seemed reasonable and a good way to put an end to the situation. It sounded genuine enough anyway.

        A few days later, they posted an announcement on Steam that’s a joint statement from both developer Voidpoint and publisher 3D Realms. In this statement they say they “will absolutely NOT be censoring Ion Fury or any of our other games” and that they will not be “removing gags such as gaming’s most controversial facial wash”. The facial wash in question has the homophobic slur “ogay” on the bottle, to which the statement mentions that they “regret our initial decision to alter a sprite in the game instead of trusting our instincts”.

      • Unity 2019.3 beta released with a revamped Editor UI and lots of rendering improvements

        The team over at Unity continue advancing the game engine with some impressive work going on and the first Unity 2019.3 beta is now available.

        With this beta release it includes some needed enhancements to the Editor UI with uniform icons and high-DPI support along with other changes to improve usability and make the UI more responsive overall.

      • Fun 2D top-down racer Bloody Rally Show to release in February 2020 with Linux support

        Bloody Rally Show, the very promising top-down racer from Game Hero Interactive now actually has a release date set. This game is one we briefly talked about here earlier this month, after being impressed by the early Linux support available in the beta.

        Announcing the set date on Steam, the developer has put it down to February 20th, 2020 to ensure they have enough time to fix bugs and make it a polished release.

      • Cathedral looks like a pretty good retro action adventure, coming to Linux in October

        Prepare yourself for another retro-inspired action adventure with Cathedral, developed by the Swedish team at Decemberborn Interactive.

        Cathedral is leaning heavily into the NES style here with both the colour palette and the audio work, although they do some they’re not fully restricting themselves so it has elements taken from both the 8-bit and 16-bit era.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • GSoC ’19 comes to an end

          The library will be doing the heavy lifting by rendering QML templates to QImage frames using QQuickRenderControl in the new MLT QML producer. Parameters that can be manipulated are:

          Image Format
          The library can be tested using QmlRender (a CLI executable).

      • GNOME Desktop/GTK

        • GNOME Firmware Updater

          GNOME Firmware Updater was designed in the style of a GNOME Control Center panel, and all the code is written in a way to make a port very simple indeed if that’s what we actually want. At the moment it’s a seporate project and binary, as we’re still prototyping the UI and working out what kind of UX we want from a power user tool. It’s mostly complete and a few weeks away from it’s first release. When it does get an official release, I’ll be sure to upload it to Flathub to make it easy for the world to install. If this sounds interesting to you the code is here. I don’t have a huge amount of time to dedicate to this power user tool, but please open pull requests or issues if there’s something you’d like to see fixed.

        • GNOME Firmware Updater Is A New UI For Managing Firmware On Linux By Power Users

          After mentoring a Dell student intern over the summer, Red Hat’s Richard Hughes has announced their work today on the GNOME Firmware Updater.

          The GNOME Firmware Updater is a more powerful GTK application for viewing device firmware information on Linux built off the existing Fwupd+LVFS infrastructure.

        • GNOME Foundation launches Coding Education Challenge

          The GNOME Foundation, with support from Endless, has announced the Coding Education Challenge, a competition aimed to attract projects that offer educators and students new and innovative ideas to teach coding with free and open source software. The $500,000 in funding will support the prizes, which will be awarded to the teams who advance through the three stages of the competition.

          Both the GNOME Foundation and Endless share a deep commitment to a vibrant free and open source software ecosystem.

          “We’re very grateful that Endless has come forward to provide more opportunities for individuals to learn about free and open source software,” said Neil McGovern, Executive Director, GNOME Foundation. “We’re excited to see what can be achieved when we empower the creativity and imagination of our global community. We hope to make powerful partnerships between students and educators to explore the possibilities of our rich and diverse software ecosystem. Reaching the next generation of developers is crucial to ensuring that free software continues for many years in the future.”

        • GNOME Launches Coding Education Challenge With $500k In Funding

          The GNOME Foundation has kicked off their Coding Education Challenge for promoting programming around free/open-source software and with Endless Computers providing the $500,000 USD for prize money.

    • Distributions

      • Debian Family

        • RFH: Naming things is hard

          Lars and I have been working on an acceptance testing tool recently. You may have seen the soft launch announcement on Lars’ blog. Sadly since that time we’ve discovered that Fable is an overloaded name in the domain of software quality assurance and we do not want to try and compete with Fable since (a) they were there first, and (b) accessibility is super-important and we don’t want to detract from the work they’re doing.

        • Debian 10 Buster GNOME Edition – Features GNOME 3.30 and Powered by Linux Kernel 4.19

          Debian 10 “Buster” operating system, a major release of debian Linux distribution that brings many new features and enhancements. ships with a variety of desktop environments, running with Gnome Desktop (3.30) with Wayland display server by default (but it also incorporates Cinnamon 3.8, KDE Plasma 5.14, Mate 1.20, Xfce 4.12 and more), including support for the latest LTS (Long Term Support) Linux kernel series, support for new devices, improved support for existing hardware, as well as up-to-date packages and latest security patches.

          The AppArmor open-source access control framework is now installed and enabled by default in Debian 10 “Buster” to add a new layer of security to the operating system. Also, the seccomp-BPF sandboxing method is now being used by APT for better security, along with UEFI Secure Boot support.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • How an NSA researcher plans to allow everyone to guard against firmware attacks

        The project will increase security in machines essentially by placing a machine’s firmware in a container to isolate it from would-be attackers. A layer of protection is being added to the System Management Interrupt (SMI) handler — code that allows a machine to make adjustments on the hardware level — as part of the open source firmware platform Coreboot.

        Eugene Myers, who works in the National Security Agency’s Laboratory for Advanced Cybersecurity, told CyberScoop that the end product — known as an SMI Transfer Monitor with protected execution (STM-PE) — will work with x86 processors that run Coreboot. Attackers are increasingly targeting firmware in order to run malicious attacks. Just last year, the first-ever documented UEFI rootkit was deployed in the wild, according to ESET researchers.

      • Manly McManface: Endgame

        Rather than track sales of this book forever, I’ve rounded up the amount I donated to $250. I expect this will cover the lifetime sales of this particular edition. Tilted Windmill Press is now a proud sponsor of SIGP’s Stop Traffic 5K Walk/Run on 21 September.

      • Seven God-Like Bash History Shortcuts You Will Actually Use

        Here I outline the shortcuts I actually use every day. When people see me use them they often ask me “what the hell did you do there!?”, conferring God-like status on me with minimal effort or intelligence required.

      • Bringing students together with open source technology

        Recently, Tamarind Tree, a collective from India that works towards social justice, open knowledge and open technology, shared a beautiful story of how a class of students in their School is using group messaging within their Moodle site. Because one of their classmates cannot attend school currently due to family circumstances, the students are using group messaging to update their friend about what’s happening in class and encouraging her to come back to school as soon as possible.

      • Boostnote is an easy to use open-source, cross-platform note-taking app in active development

        Unsurprisingly, software developers are very passionate about both and very attached to their choices. One of the features offered by the newly Product Hunt award-winning note-taking app Boostnote – the support for both Vim and Emacs keybindings – shows the degree to which it caters specifically to the niche market made up of programmers, as it facilitates the workflow they are used to in their full-fledged editors.

        Boostnote, which recently rolled out a new version, doesn’t stop there when it comes to being programmer-friendly: it allows users to make both Markdown and code snippets notes in a fairly clean and easy to use interface. Markdown notes are previewed in a split pane in the same window, while code snippets support over 100 programming languages with syntax highlighting.

        Other features include Markdown auto-formatting and drag-and-drop embedding of images.

        These notes are saved automatically and synced between devices. Boostnote is a cross-platform application, written for Linux, Mac, Windows, as well as Android and iOS.

      • Flash Content to be Preserved as Newgrounds Develops Open-Source Emulator

        The iconic website that hosted what many consider to be the birthplace of Internet content creation wants to make sure we don’t lose out on history

        Anyone who was active on the Internet in the early to mid-2000s will no doubt have heard of Newgrounds, a place where anybody with a passion to create animation, games or full-blown films could come together and share their work with others. Many of these products were created with the use of Adobe Flash, a nifty little piece of design that allowed users to create all kinds of unique interactions, visuals and sound effects.

        Hell, before I even knew what “mainstream” gaming I was I would spend hours playing the original browser versions of games that nearly everyone has heard of now like Linerider, Alien Hominid, Super Mario 63 and Realm of the Mad God. Flash games were a quaint little past time for many and a jumping board for creators looking to put their names out there.

      • Newgrounds Working on Open-Source Emulator to Preserve Flash Content

        Newgrounds announced last Friday plans to preserve Flash content on the web. Used for everything from animations to games, Flash had a considerable presence on the site. Creators across the globe uploaded thousands of passion projects. Many of these projects became cornerstones of Internet culture, from the Numa Numa Dance to Metal Gear Awesome. Despite Flash’s deprecation as a program, sites still run it to this day. Their emulator, currently called Ruffle, seeks to preserve the technology and keep it accessible.

      • Events

        • Arturo Borrero González: Wikimania 2019 Stockholm summary

          A couple of weeks ago I attended the Wikimania 2019 conference in Stockholm, Sweden. This is the general and global conference for the Wikimedia movement, in which people interested in free knowledge gather together for a few days. The event happens annually, and this was my first time attending such conference. Wikimania 2019 main program ran for 3 days, but we had 2 pre-conference days in which a hackathon was held.

          The venue was an amazing building in the Stockholm University, Aula Magna.

          The hackathon reunited technical contributors, such as developers, which are interested in a variety of technical challenges in the wiki movement. You can find in the hackathon people interested in wiki edits automation, research, anti harassment tools and also infrastructure engineering and architecture, among other things.

      • Web Browsers

        • Mozilla

          • Mozilla VR Blog: New Avatar Features in Hubs

            It is now easier than ever to customize avatars for Hubs! Choosing the way that you represent yourself in a 3D space is an important part of interacting in a virtual world, and we want to make it possible for anyone to have creative control over how they choose to show up in their communities. With the new avatar remixing update, members of the Hubs community can publish avatars that they create under a remixable, Creative Commons license, and grant others the ability to derive new works from those avatars. We’ve also added more options for creating custom avatars.

            When you change your avatar in Hubs, you will now have the opportunity to browse through ‘Featured’ avatars and ‘Newest’ avatars. Avatars that are remixable will have an icon on them that allows you to save a version of that avatar to your own ‘My Avatars’ library, where you can customize the textures on the avatar to create your own spin on the original work. The ‘Red Panda’ avatar below is a remix of the original Panda Bot.

          • QMO: Firefox 69 Beta 14

            As you may already know, Friday August 16th – we held a new Testday event, for Firefox 69 Beta 14.

      • Databases

        • Julien Danjou: The Art of PostgreSQL is out!

          f you remember well, a couple of years ago, I wrote about Mastering PostgreSQL, a fantastic book written by my friend Dimitri Fontaine.

          Dimitri is a long-time PostgreSQL core developer — for example, he wrote the extension support in PostgreSQL — no less. He is featured in my book Serious Python, where he advises on using databases and ORM in Python.

          Today, Dimitri comes back with the new version of this book, named The Art of PostgreSQL.

        • Surf’s Up! Riding The Second Wave Of Open Source

          have never surfed before, but I am told it is incredibly exciting and great exercise, which as we all know is very good for you. For some it may sound daunting, because it is so unlike any other sport, but for those prepared to take the challenge it can be hugely rewarding. Stretching yourself – perhaps literally – and taking your body out of its comfort zone is a proven way of staying healthy. I would argue there are similarities for IT departments as they evaluate how to get their database architectures fit to support businesses that want to become more agile and responsive to customers.

          Making sure that IT systems are fit-for-purpose, robust and reliable enables companies to embrace new markets, innovative products and re-engineered processes: all are typical of organisations which are looking to survive and thrive in an increasingly fraught business environment.

      • Openness/Sharing/Collaboration

      • Programming/Development

        • Async Stack Traces in Rust

          One neat result of Rust’s futures and async/await design is that all of the async callers are on the stack below the async callees. In most other languages, only the youngest async callee is on the stack, and none of the async callers. Because the youngest frame is most often not where a bug’s root cause lies, this extra context makes debugging async code easier in Rust.

        • Facebook’s HHVM Begins Seeing Rust Rewrite

          Facebook’s HHVM implementation that started off as a high performance PHP5 implementation but is now just focused on powering their own Hack programming language is beginning to see some of its code rewritten in Rust.

          HHVM 4.20 was released on Tuesday and with this release they have been transitioning some of their code from OCaml to Rust.

        • Things I Learnt from a Senior Software Engineer

          year ago, I started working full-time at Bloomberg. That’s when I imagined writing this post. I imagined myself to be full of ideas that I could spit out on paper when the time comes. Just one month in, I realised it won’t be that easy: I was already forgetting things I learnt. They either became so internalized that my mind tricked me into believing I always knew them1, or they slipped my mind.

          That’s one of the reasons I started keeping a human log. Every day, whenever I came across an interesting situation, I logged it. All thanks to sitting next to a senior software engineer, I could closely observe what they were doing, and how it was different from what I would do. We pair-programmed a lot, which made doing this easier. Further, in my team culture it’s not frowned upon to “snoop behind” people writing code. Whenever I sensed something interesting going on, I’d roll around and watch what was happening. I always had the context, thanks to regular standups.

          I sat next to a senior software engineer for a year. Here’s what I learnt.

        • Quansight Labs Dask Update

          Finally, there’s been a push for a more coordinated effort towards project maintenance and development by core Dask maintainers at Quansight, Anaconda, and NVIDIA. As part of this effort, we spend a portion of our work week on day-to-day project maintenance tasks (e.g. responding on issues, reviewing pull requests, fixing CI systems, etc.) as well as working on contributions that require significant amounts of time or expertise to implement (e.g. large-scale refactoring, adding new features, writing documentation, etc.). Today, Dask users typically get a quicker response from a core maintainer when opening an issue or pull request, in part, because of these efforts. I, and perhaps other core maintainers, hope to write more about this process in the future.

        • Little Trouble in Big Data – Part 3

          We have shown how a simple “How do I use mmap()?” mentoring project has grown beyond its initial scope and how we have used mmap, Eigen,parallel_for/parallel_reduce, flow graphs [maybe replace these two with Intel Thread Building Blocks] and zlib to nicely make the problem tractable. This has shown a nice set of performance improvements whilst at the same time keeping the disk and RAM usage within feasible limits.

  • Leftovers

    • Socialization Isn’t Responsible for Greater Male Violence

      Shaw says the heavily disproportionate incarceration reflects a lack of faith in men, who are then adversely affected by the experience of prison and the social stigma they are forced to carry upon release. And “what leads us to blindly accept that our prisons are full of men?” she asks.

    • Health/Nutrition

    • Security (Confidentiality/Integrity/Availability)

      • Groups push lawmakers for hearings on voting machine security [iophk: Windows TCO]

        Voting rights and election security groups on Monday urged two House and Senate committees to hold hearings on the security of voting machines.

        The groups, which include the National Election Defense Coalition, Electronic Privacy Information Center, R Street Institute and Public Citizen, asked the House Administration Committee and the Senate Rules and Administration Committee in a letter to schedule election security hearings that include testimony from voting machine vendors and election security experts.

      • Asruex Malware Exploits Old vulnerabilities to Infect PDF, Word Docs

        A recently observed variant of the Asruex backdoor acts as an infector by targeting old vulnerabilities in Microsoft Office and Adobe Reader and Acrobat 9.x, Trend Micro reports.

        Asruex was initially discovered in 2015 and was previously associated with the spyware DarkHotel. In addition to backdoor capabilities, the malware also appears to be able to inject code into Word and PDF files by targeting two old vulnerabilities tracked as CVE-2012-0158 and CVE-2010-2883.

      • First-ever worm that attacked the internet : Morris Worm

        Colombo (News 1st): Our connected world comes with countless risks. Viruses, worms, spyware, ransomware, backdoors, trojans: The language of cybersecurity is relatively new, but we have quickly become fluent. The misuse of technology has become the darkest danger of the digital age. Bad actors, emboldened by our inability to properly secure crucial systems and networks, are launching increasingly sophisticated attacks. No system is safe.

        But in the beginning, the very, very beginning computers inspired utopian visions of a better future, a world in which we were all digitally connected to one another and living in harmony.

      • Security updates for Wednesday

        Security updates have been issued by Debian (dovecot), Fedora (docker and nghttp2), Oracle (pango), SUSE (apache2, fontforge, ghostscript-library, libreoffice, libvirt, podman, slirp4netns and libcontainers-common, postgresql10, and slurm), and Ubuntu (dovecot).

      • Josh Bressers: Backdoors in open source are here to stay

        Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past few … forever, you may have noticed that open source is taking took over the world. If software ate the world, open source is the dessert course. As of late there have been an uptick in stories about backdoors in open source software. These backdoors were put there by what is assumed to be “bad people” which is probably accurate since everyone is a villain in some way.

        The reactions I’ve seen to these backdoors range from “who cares I don’t use that” to “we should rewrite everything in house and in assembler and go back to using CVS on a private network”. Of course both of those extremes are silly, it’s far better to land somewhere in the middle. And as much fun as writing assembler can be, the linker is probably an open source project.

        This brings us to the question what do all these backdoors really mean for open source? It isn’t going to mean anything in most instances. There’s a lot happening that’s not well understood yet, and no doubt we’ll see more changes in the future as we understand the problem better. I think there’s a tendency to try to overcorrect when something new happens, in this case I’m not sure we can overcorrect even if we want to.

        The first and most important point is to understand that a huge number of open source projects are a couple of people who are doing this for fun. They’re not security experts, they will never be security experts. They’re also not going to adopt some complex security process. If they get a nice looking pull request they’ll probably merge it. Security isn’t on the top of their list when working on the project. The whole point of their project is to solve some sort of problem. While I’m sure many would love getting a few donations, it’s a steep climb to being able to work on your open source library full time. The reality is these project will always be hobbies.

    • Defence/Aggression

      • High-Stakes Gamble: Iranian Envoy Gets Surprise G-7 Invite

        A top Iranian official paid an unannounced visit Sunday to the G-7 summit and headed straight toward the heart of the city where leaders of the world’s major democracies have been debating how to handle the country’s nuclear ambitions.

      • Economic Sanctions: War by Another Name

        In early 2019, the White House threatened to invade Venezuela, take down the government and replace it with their choice of president and political party.  Though no missiles have been fired and no bombs dropped on the country, our government is waging a war by other means, namely criminal economic sanctions, to achieve the same end.  And they are just as lethal.

      • China’s Playbook in Hong Kong Is Also Working in the Asia-Pacific

        Around the region, it is not difficult to find examples that echo Hong Kong’s experience, with co-opted politicians, shaping of local media narratives, and massive influxes of investment being the primary methods of influence. I spoke with five experts who have been ringing the alarm over CCP influence in their countries. The resulting snapshot highlights the difficulties of existing in China’s orbit without succumbing to its gravitational pull.

      • Police in Nigeria assault, arrest journalists covering #RevolutionNow protests

        On August 5, 2019, Nigerian police arrested and detained at least four journalists covering protests that took place across Nigeria in connection with the hashtag #RevolutionNow, according to journalists who spoke with CPJ and media reports.

      • China will not sit idly by, warns general

        Beijing considered the sale a violation of previous US commitments to China regarding Taiwan, which it considers its own territory to be annexed by force if necessary, said Major-General Chen Rongdi, chief of the Institute of War Studies at the Academy of Military Sciences.

      • Indonesian police kill separatist in Papua

        In Jakarta, rights groups and journalists’ associations urged the Communication Ministry to end an Internet blackout in Papua that started on Wednesday night.

      • Indonesia deploys 1,000 police to West Papua to quell protests

        Papuan activists have long disputed the results of the referendum that led to both provinces becoming part of Indonesia in 1969, during the country’s transition to independence from colonial rule. Only 1,000 people from the local Melanesian population were handpicked to vote in what was called the “Act of Free Choice.”

        Activists also say that Indonesia maintains control of the area by force. “West Papua is a militarized zone. People’s everyday life is colored by harassment and intimidation at the hands of security forces,” said Benny Wenda, a Nobel Peace Prize nominee in the UK who leads a global push for rights in Papua.

        Wenda also criticized the government’s decision to block internet access, and called on the UN to investigate.

      • Riots in West Papua: why Indonesia needs to answer for its broken promises

        Police stormed the students’ dorm and used teargas to force them out, while bystanders and officers called them “monkeys”, a derogatory term for ethnically Melanesian Papuans.

        West Papuans have long been cast by Indonesians as primitive people from the Stone Age, and this racist treatment continues to this day. West Papuan author Filep Karma described the extent of racism against West Papuans in his 2014 book, As If We Are Half-Animal: Indonesia’s Racism in Papua Land, saying he often heard Indonesians call West Papuans monkeys.

        This latest episode of discrimination builds on more than five decades of racism, torture, summary executions, land dispossession and cultural denigration of West Papuans by Indonesian security forces.


        In 1969, seven years after Indonesia invaded West Papua, the United Nations oversaw a referendum in which West Papuans were to decide on independence or official integration with Indonesia. Indonesia handpicked less than 1% of the Papuan population to vote and threatened them with violence should they make the “wrong” decision.

        The result has been a lengthy, often brutal colonial occupation of Papuans and their land.

      • West Papua protests continue despite Indonesian police claiming to have regained control

        Some protesters over the past two days were seen dressed as monkeys in response to allegations that members of the Indonesian military, police and public yelled, “Monkeys, get out” at a group of West Papuan students who were barricaded inside their dormitory.


        Indonesia’s acquisition of West Papua has been the cause of tension and controversy for more than 60 years.

    • Environment

      • Scientists Warn of “Cascading System Collapse” in Amazon Rainforest

        Over the last 50 years, about 20 percent of the rainforest has been burned or cut away, according to The Intercept. As the current fires rage on and the policies that led to them continue to exist, another 20 percent — that’s 300,000 square miles — could soon be gone as well. At that point, scientists warn of a “cascading system collapse,” in which the Amazon begins to completely crumble, and release a planet-devastating amount of stored carbon in the process.

      • Bernie Sanders’s Green New Deal Is a Reminder of What’s Necessary to Take On the Climate Crisis

        Sanders’s Green New Deal, released on August 22, is full of specifics and numbers. According to the proposal, the $16.3 trillion plan would create 20 million jobs and pay for itself after 15 years. The plan also calls for transitioning to 100% sustainable electricity and transportation by 2030 and 100% decarbonizing the economy by 2050. It calls for massive amounts of investment into a wide variety of sectors in order to radically reshape everything from school buses to how the United States handles climate policy on the global stage.

      • International leaders gathering at the G7 summit are reportedly nearing an agreement to help fight fires in the Amazon rainforest.

        Wildfires often occur in the dry season in Brazil, but satellite data published by Brazil’s National Institute for Space Research (Inpe) has shown an increase of 85% this year.

        They say more than 75,000 have been recorded in Brazil so far in 2019, most of them in the Amazon region.

        Environmental activists have drawn links between President Bolsonaro’s attitudes towards the environment and the recent surge in the number of fires in the famous rainforest.

      • The Amazon Fires Are More Dangerous Than WMDs

        If a country obtains chemical or biological weapons, the rest of the world tends to react with fury—or at least it did in the not-so-distant past. Sanctions rained down on the proliferators, who were then ostracized from the global community. And in rare ( sometimes disastrously misguided) cases, the world decided that the threat justified a military response. The destruction of the Amazon is arguably far more dangerous than the weapons of mass destruction that have triggered a robust response. The consequences of the unfolding disaster—which will extinguish species and hasten a worst-case climate crisis—extend for eternity. To lose a fifth of the Amazon to deforestation would trigger a process known as “dieback,” releasing what The Intercept calls a “doomsday bomb of stored carbon.”

      • Crisis in Brazil
      • Bolsonaro’s Horrific Plans for the Amazon Revealed in Leaked Presentation

        Fires continue to engulf the Amazon rainforest at record-breaking rates. As Rosana Villar of Greenpeace, who toured the damage with reporters, told CNN, “This is not just a forest that is burning. This is almost a cemetery. Because all you can see is death.” When the Group of Seven countries pledged to send tens of millions of dollars to help fight the fires during their meeting Monday, Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro scoffed at the $20 million from G-7, plus $11 million from Canada, and according to the Associated Press, accused the wealthy countries of treating his own like a “colony.”

      • The Amazon Fires Have Upended the Climate Fight as We Know It

        ProPublica is a nonprofit newsroom that investigates abuses of power. Sign up for ProPublica’s Big Story newsletter to receive stories like this one in your inbox as soon as they are published.

      • G-7 Pledges Funds to Fight Amazon Fires; Bolsonaro Questions Motives

        PORTO VELHO, Brazil—The Group of Seven nations on Monday pledged tens of millions of dollars to help Amazon countries fight raging wildfires, even as Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro accused rich countries of treating the region like a “colony.”

      • As Global Warming Crisis Worsens, DNC Torpedoes Climate Debate

        The Democratic National Committee voted Saturday to strike down a resolution that would have allowed for a multi-candidate climate forum.

      • Corporate Media Get the Story Wrong on the Amazon Fires

        More and more media are reporting on fires tearing through the Amazon rainforest in Brazil. There has been a marked increase in fires in Brazil concurrent with an increase in illegal—and climate-disrupting—deforestation, concurrent with President Jair Bolsonaro’s efforts to open the Amazon to mining and logging interests. Criticism of media is coming in, too—mostly for being late to cover fires that have been burning for three weeks in a uniquely critical place. But whenever they do it, corporate media addressing modern day crises like the Amazon fires will never do them anything approaching justice.

      • The Rich Will Not Be Exempt From the Worst of Climate Change

        By the close of the century, the United States could be more than 10% poorer, thanks to the economic loss that climate change will impose.

      • The future of food: Why farming is moving indoors

        An artificial intelligence expert, Mr Peggs founded Square Roots with investor Kimball Musk (Elon’s brother) two years ago. They’ve signed a deal with one of America’s big distribution companies, Gordon Food Service, to locate herb-growing containers at some its 200 warehouses.

        He says the deal represents everything about indoor farming’s potential: locally grown, quick-to-market, fresh produce that can be harvested year-round and is free of pesticides and not affected by harsh weather.

      • Protests erupt after DNC committee votes down 2020 climate debate

        The committee’s 8-17 vote on the resolution outraged members of the youth-led Sunrise Movement in attendance, who stood on their seats and sang the union protest song “Which Side Are You On?” before walking out.

      • Democratic National Committee votes against allowing 2020 candidates to participate in climate change debate

        Democratic National Committee members on Saturday voted down a resolution that would have resulted in single-issue debates among candidates — including on the issue of the climate crisis.

        The language that was rejected — inserted at the behest of climate change activists during a contentious Resolutions Committee meeting on Thursday — said the DNC, “will continue to encourage candidates to participate in multi-candidate issue-specific forums with the candidates appearing on the same stage, engaging one another in discussion.”

        Democratic presidential candidates are barred from appearing together on stage outside of DNC-sanctioned debates.

      • Brazil rejects G7 aid for Amazon fires, blasts ‘imperialist’ Macron

        Brazil on Monday rejected aid from G7 countries to fight wildfires in the Amazon, with a top official telling French President Emmanuel Macron to take care of “his home and his colonies.”

      • For Humanity, David Koch Died Decades Too Late

        Koch and his legacy are as anti-life as you can possibly get, something no amount of selfishly motivated cancer research funding can cover up. I say “are” rather than “were” because even though Koch himself is gone, the corporatist bulldozer he set into motion will keep going long after he’s dead.

      • NASA Images Show Just How Much Carbon Monoxide Is Coming Off The Burning Amazon

        NASA collected new data from their Atmospheric Infrared Sounder (AIRS) instrument, measuring levels of carbon monoxide at an altitude of 18,000 feet (5,500 meters) from August 8 to 22, according to a press release.

        The AIRS, which is aboard NASA’s Aqua satellite, measures “atmospheric temperature and humidity, cloud amounts and heights, greenhouse gas concentrations and many other atmospheric phenomena,” the press release stated.

      • Donald Trump’s story on skipping the G7 climate meeting makes no sense [iophk: fails to even mention the 25th ammendment]

        So, he skipped it. And then the White House, as they are so often forced to do, scrambled to suggest this was all part of some broader plan — when provable facts make clear it, well, wasn’t.

      • Trump Was the Only World Leader to Bail on a G7 Climate Session

        When asked what message he wanted to deliver at the climate session he would not be attending because it already happened, Trump said that he wants “clean air and clean water” and that the United States is “having the cleanest air and cleanest water on the planet.”

      • America’s Water Crisis Goes Way Beyond Flint
      • As New Fires Rage in Amazon, Global Calls for Urgent Action to Avert ‘Astronomical’ Impacts to ‘Life on Earth’

        Pope Francis urges protection of “that lung of forests” and French President Macron says G7 nations pledged help at summit

      • Months after dire warnings, Flint spills 2 million gallons of raw sewage into river

        The city dumped an estimated 2 million gallons of untreated sewage into the Flint River Sunday, Aug. 18, just months after officials warned wastewater infrastructure was fast approaching a “critical point.”

      • Newark water crisis: The latest chapter in the capitalist poisoning of America

        Newark, the largest city in New Jersey, is facing a water crisis of historic proportions, caused by a water delivery system that has been leaching lead into the drinking water of both residences and businesses. Blood tests have confirmed that a significant percentage of children in Newark have been exposed to lead, a strong neurotoxin that can cause lasting damage in even small amounts.

      • Trump only world leader not seen at G-7 meeting on climate

        The rest of the G-7 leaders were present.

      • Muslim pilgrims risk being killed by heat

        Many of the nearly two million Muslim pilgrims who journey to Saudi Arabia annually will soon be in severe danger of death from the extreme heat in years when the Hajj takes place in mid-summer, scientists say.

        For 1.8 billion Muslims, around a quarter of the world’s population, a pilgrimage to Mecca, known as the Hajj, is an obligation to be undertaken once in their lifetime. But the city is in one of the hottest places in the world, where the temperature already tops 45°C (113°F) in summer, enough to damage the heart, brain and kidneys.

        According to researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), when climate change drives temperatures even higher it will threaten the lives of thousands of people who typically spend more than a week on the pilgrimage in unrelenting heat.

      • While “The World Is on Fire,’ DNC Kills Resolution for Climate Forum

        Party had been reminded of its platform asserting it will combat the ‘global climate emergency’

      • Endangered Species

        Self -interest speaks all sorts of tongues, and plays all sorts of roles, even that of disinterestedness. — Francois, Duc de La Rochefoucauld, ReflectionsHe hit a double. It all happened the week of August 11, 2019. That was the week the trump took steps to reduce protections for two endangered species.

      • Energy

        • Both Democrats and Republicans Profit From Fueling Climate Change

          Burning fossil fuels boils our planet — that much is generally well known.

        • Tapping Into People Power

          In times like this, many of us feel powerless to do anything about the political, social, and environmental injustices we face. But, power is everywhere. Like sunlight and solar panels, it’s a question of tapping into it. Accustomed to the top-down power of presidents and CEOs, most of us have no idea where to plug in and connect to the phenomenal people power that exists. |

        • Industry guidance touts untested tech as climate fix

          The guidance appears to encourage high-polluting sectors to take the cheapest route towards limiting global warming, potentially decoupling emissions cuts from the temperature goals outlined in the Paris climate agreement.

          The International Organization for Standardization (ISO), a global industry-driven non-profit group comprising more than 160 member states, has produced new draft guidance on climate action for businesses.

          Rather than measuring climate action by the yardstick of emissions reduction, the draft, seen by AFP, concentrates on managing “radiative forcing”, which is the amount of excess energy trapped in Earth’s atmosphere.

      • Wildlife/Nature

        • Heat stress that killed thousands of salmon in Alaska is a sign of things to come, scientist warns

          She said when salmon enter a river to travel to their spawning grounds, they stop feeding. They only have their built-up fat stores as energy.

          When fish are exposed to warmer temperatures, their metabolism increases and they go through their energy stores much faster. The salmon that died didn’t have enough energy to make it to their spawning grounds and their hearts failed, she said.

        • Sharks and rays to be given new international protections

          The proposal, which was tabled by Mexico and requires ratification this week, means that the species can no longer be traded unless it can be proven that their fishing will not impact the possibility of their survival.

        • California Tribe Hopes to Conquer Climate Woes — With Fire

          More and more land in California is going up in flames. The area in the state burned by wildfires has increased by a factor of five since 1972, according to a recent study, which identified human-caused warming the likely culprit.

          So what’s to be done?

          The Karuk Tribe wants to fight fire with fire.

          This summer the tribe, one of the largest in the state, released a climate-adaptation plan that calls for a return to a more natural fire regime. According to the plan, using prescribed burns at appropriate times of the year in place of the current policy of fire suppression would reduce the possibility of high-severity fires, which have proven deadly and costly for California in recent years and are expected to worsen as the climate warms.

          “Climate adaptation is about restoring human responsibilities and appropriate relationships to the natural world,” says Bill Tripp, deputy director of Karuk Natural Resources Department and a co-author of the plan.

        • Parts of Chile ‘turning to desert’ in worst drought in 60 years

          Chile has been hit by its worst drought in six decades, forcing officials to declare an agricultural emergency to prevent the collapse of farming.

          The country’s capital Santiago and its outskirts, as well as Coquimbo, Valparaiso and O’Higgins, are among the worst-hit areas.

        • G7 summit: Boris Johnson accuses Macron of using Brazil’s rainforest fires as ‘excuse’ to interfere with free trade negotiations

          Boris Johnson has issued a slapdown to Emmanuel Macron over the French president’s threat to veto a EU trade deal with South American states including Brazil, claiming that concern over the Amazon fires was being used as an “excuse” to interfere with free trade.

      • Overpopulation

        • Indonesia to Move Capital From Sinking Jakarta to Borneo

          “We couldn’t continue to allow the burden on Jakarta and Java island to increase in terms of population density,” Widodo said at a news conference in the presidential palace. “Economic disparities between Java and elsewhere would also increase.”

    • Finance

      • The Trump Administration’s Assault on Fair Housing

        This week, the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) published a proposed rule that would substantially limit enforcement of the 1968 Fair Housing Act, whose purpose is to provide for fair housing throughout the United States.

      • Just Who Got Trump’s Farm Bailouts?

        Donald Trump loves farmers. We know this because he says so. “Farmers, I LOVE YOU!” he declared in December. But he’s been “loving” them to death, with policies that are causing farm prices to tumble, miring our ag economy in the ditch and creating a rising tsunami of farm bankruptcies.

      • Providence Plans to Defund Its Public Schools to Expand “No Excuses” Charter

        The evidence is clear that privately managed charters can get higher test scores by culling, exclusion, and attrition. It’s equally clear that charters drain resources from the public schools that enroll most students. Most public officials seem to understand that it costs more to run parallel systems, one public, one private. But not in Rhode Island, where Governor Gina

      • America’s Anti-Establishment Fury Isn’t Going Away

        If you’re feeling anger the political system being rigged to benefit those at the top, a new poll reveals you’re far from alone.

      • 68 Protesters Detained as Leaders Gather at G-7 Summit
      • Two Arguments for Localism

        Argument 1: Localism is inevitable. Globalization was made possible by long-distance transport, communications, and capital flows. It fits with widespread assumptions about progress and economic growth leading to a better future.

      • New Poll Shows ‘Deep and Boiling Anger’ Towards Political Establishment Still Widespread

        More than half of respondents also said race relations are worsening under Trump and that they feel “anxious and uncertain” because of the economy

      • RIP Decentralization

        With the Hacker Noon publication leaving and crypto content being downgraded on Medium, suffice to say that we won’t be reading much about “decentralization” here anymore.

        That watchword for a generation of young men interested in building the future as developers, programmers and blockchain and crypto enthusiasts, is well, kind of dead.

      • EU officials float €100B boost for European companies

        EU officials want to set up a €100 billion wealth fund to bolster “European champions” against American and Chinese business rivals like Google, Apple and Alibaba.

        The proposal for a so-called European Future Fund appears in an unusually radical raft of plans that European Commission officials want to put onto the agenda of their president-elect, Ursula von der Leyen, whose mandate begins on November 1.

        While the Eurocrats’ 173-page wish list — obtained exclusively by POLITICO — ranges from putting beehives on public buildings to greater restrictions on social media, the dominant theme is building a more defensive Europe that can take hard-hitting trade measures against Washington and Beijing, while putting more public money into home-grown business heavyweights.

      • Apple, EU Set for September Showdown Over Record Tax Bill

        Apple Inc.’s 13 billion-euro ($14.4 billion) battle with the European Union reaches the bloc’s courts next month in a hearing set to throw the spotlight on antitrust commissioner Margrethe Vestager’s crackdown on tax deals doled out to big companies.

        The EU’s General Court, its second-highest tribunal, will hear arguments in the challenges by the iPhone maker and Ireland over two days set for Sept. 17-18. The U.S. last year lost a bid to intervene in the case in support of Apple.

        Margrethe VestagerPhotographer: Callaghan O’Hare/Bloomberg
        The European Commission in August 2016 ordered Ireland to recoup the record sum plus interest, saying the world’s richest company was handed an unfair advantage. The EU decision reverberated across the Atlantic, triggering criticism from the U.S. Treasury that the EU was making itself a “supra-national tax authority” that could threaten global tax reform efforts.

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • News reporting hit by Internet blackout in West Papua

        Internet access in West Papua was initially slowed down and then disconnected altogether on 21 August in what the information ministry called a “temporary” measure designed “to accelerate the process of restoring the security and order situation in Papua and the surrounding areas,” where violent protests have been taking place.

        As a result of the blackout, journalists reporting in the field have been finding it extremely difficult to transmit their stories, photos and video, and to contact their news organizations and sources.

      • Iranian Satirist Sentenced To More Than 23 Years In Prison

        According to the Washington-based Human Rights Campaign, Marzban left Iran in 2009 and returned eight years later to see his ailing grandmother before being arrested in September last year.

      • Islamophobia definition will prevent criticism of the ‘hateful’ ideology of Islam, say leading atheists

        A new definition of Islamophobia will prevent criticism of the “hateful ideology of theocratic Islam,” say two of Britain’s leading atheists in new book of essays.

        Richard Dawkins and Peter Tatchell – and other authors including a former member of extremist group Hizb ut-Tahrir – say attempts to define Islamophobia risk curtailing freedom of speech and work to expose extremism.

      • In Kashmir, Government’s Priority Should be to Protect Civil Liberties

        The government deployed 40,000 additional troops to the region and set up expanded checkpoints that have been used to limit movement. In addition to phones, the [Internet] has been shut down, cutting Kashmiris off from the rest of India and the world. “It’s a nightmare,” a Kashmiri woman said. “We are terrified for our families back home.”

      • Blasphemy laws are quietly vanishing in liberal democracies

        More fundamentally, campaigners for free speech are worried by the rise in the seductive but dangerous notion that people have a right not to be offended. Kenan Malik, a British writer, has argued that in the Western world, secular notions of “offence” and the protection of different communities’ feelings are taking the place of blasphemy laws explicitly based on religion.

        In fact, Mr Malik maintains, there is no real contradiction between the formal abolition of blasphemy legislation and the secular world’s ambivalent interpretation of “hate speech” or extremism to encompass meanings that can easily shut down all vigorous religious debate. Blasphemy is not so much being decriminalised as redefined.

        Stephen Evans of the National Secular Society, a lobby group, says the British right to robust philosophical debate survived only by the skin of its teeth in 2006, [...]

      • As Hong Kong Firms Fall in Line Over Protests, Some Workers Push Back

        “They are trying to silence everyone,” said Ada Wong, a 30-year-old accountant at Friday’s march, which was held over the lunch hour. “But if we don’t speak out, I’m afraid that Hong Kong will be no more.”

        She said lashing out at major companies in Hong Kong would ultimately be self-defeating for China. “Our financial and business sector is important to them, so if they hurt us, they will be hurting themselves, too,” Ms. Wong said.

    • Privacy/Surveillance

      • Facial Recognition: Ten Reasons You Should Be Worried About the Technology

        Facial recognition technology is spreading fast. Already widespread in China, software that identifies people by comparing images of their faces against a database of records is now being adopted across much of the rest of the world.

      • Palantir forced out of job fair after outcry over ICE contracts

        Last week, that list included Palantir, too — but in the days since, Palantir has been discreetly removed from that list. The company’s money has been refunded and it no longer has any role in the job fair, which will proceed as if Palantir had never been a sponsor.

        Reached by The Verge, Lesbians Who Tech confirmed the dropped sponsorship, saying it was the result of public objection to Palantir’s recent contract work with the US government.

      • Hong Kong tech firm pulls out of smart lamppost programme after surveillance accusations and staff threats

        Representatives from the Lands Department and the Office of the Government Chief Information Officer (OGCIO) said that the TickTack component was a Bluetooth Beacon, which was used to signal the lamppost’s location to smartphones.

        In July, the government said it would not activate certain functions on its new smart lampposts, following public concerns over privacy. Fifty smart lampposts with sensors, data connectivity and cameras were installed in June, with 350 more set to be rolled out. Features that were disabled included a function to detect vehicle speed using bluetooth device recognition, a function to detect car types using licence plate recognition, and a function to video monitor the dumping of industrial waste at blackspots.

      • Why Colleges Look at Students’ Social Media

        According to a 2017 survey administered by the American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers, 11% of respondents said they “denied admission based on social media content” and another 7% rescinded offers for the same reason.

        A 2018 Kaplan Test Prep survey found that about 25% of college admissions officers review applicants’ social media profiles.

      • Future of distracted driving technology makes Edmonton pitch

        The question, Sides says, is whether this indiscriminate and widespread surveillance technology amounts to a violation of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. The lawyer says a judge would have to balance the right to be secure against unreasonable search with other considerations, such as public safety and a limited expectation of privacy on public roads.


        The system could potentially learn to identify other cases of distracted driving, such as eating or reading, but Jannink told the conference the company is focused on cellphones. The technology could also measure speeds and identify unregistered vehicles.

      • The EU wants strict controls on facial recognition

        Documents seen by the Financial Times say the new legislation will “set a world-standard for AI regulations” with “clear, predictable and uniform rules… which adequately protect individuals.”

      • Ban on cash payments above $10,000 under proposed law

        An exposure draft of the legislation, called the Currency (Restrictions on the Use of Cash) Bill 2019, was quietly introduced by Treasurer Josh Frydenberg last month.

        Under the proposed law, all cash transactions between businesses and individuals would be limited to $10,000, and any amount over this would be considered criminal.

        The proposed changes were first announced in the 2018-19 budget.

    • Freedom of Information/Freedom of the Press

      • Iran is the world’s biggest jailer of women journalists

        Reporters Without Borders (RSF) is alarmed by a new wave of arrests and interrogations of women journalists since the start of August in Iran. The Islamic Republic is now the world’s biggest jailer of women journalists, with a total of ten currently held.

      • In Locked-Down Kashmir, News Gathering a Herculean Challenge

        Over the last decade, [Internet] access and mobile devices have been cut off several times in Kashmir, a region often wracked by violence since a separatist movement erupted 30 years ago. Landlines were never disconnected, however, making it possible to gather news.

        Authorities said Tuesday that most landlines have been restored, but those in the area that is a hub of Kashmir’s media offices still do not appear to be working.

      • Journalist found dead in Mexico after criticizing local authorities

        A Mexican journalist was found dead with stab wounds on Saturday, authorities said, adding to a growing list of reporter deaths in one of the world’s most dangerous countries for the press.

        The state of Mexico prosecutor said it was investigating the cause of death of Nevith N., 42, whose body was found in the Tejupilco municipality about 75 miles from Mexico City.

      • Trump Allies Target Journalists Over Coverage Deemed Hostile to White House

        A loose network of conservative operatives allied with the White House is pursuing what they say will be an aggressive operation to discredit news organizations deemed hostile to President Trump by publicizing damaging information about journalists.

        It is the latest step in a long-running effort by Mr. Trump and his allies to undercut the influence of legitimate news reporting. Four people familiar with the operation described how it works, asserting that it has compiled dossiers of potentially embarrassing social media posts and other public statements by hundreds of people who work at some of the country’s most prominent news organizations.

        The group has already released information about journalists at CNN, The Washington Post and The New York Times — three outlets that have aggressively investigated Mr. Trump — in response to reporting or commentary that the White House’s allies consider unfair to Mr. Trump and his team or harmful to his re-election prospects.

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • Blaming Schools for Student Absences Is Like Denouncing Doctors for Disease

        If something is wrong with children, it must be the school’s fault.Right?If kids can’t read, write and do ‘rithmetic, the teachers must not have taught ’em right.

      • I Am Very Much Alive: America, Even the Atheists, Offers Prayerful Thanks and Multiple Organs At Latest News of RBG Cancer

        Panic rippled across our battered national landscape Friday when the Supreme Court revealed Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, 86, has faced down cancer again, completing three weeks of radiation for a tumor on her pancreas. Given that many deem her all that stands between us and end times, Twitter users rushed to offer best wishes, random organs, their first-born, eternal life.

      • What the Right Gets Embarrassingly Wrong About Slavery

        Four hundred years after the event, the New York Times has published a special project focusing on the first Africans arriving in 1619 at Point Comfort, Virginia, and the legacy of slavery in the U.S.

      • Harvey Weinstein Faces New Sex-Assault Charges, Delaying Trial

        Movie mogul Harvey Weinstein pleaded not guilty to a new indictment Monday that includes revised charges of predatory sexual assault, a development that caused the judge to delay the start of his trial until early next year.

      • Stop Using Mental Illness to Explain White Supremacy

        A few weeks ago, we convened and moderated a “justice and equity” reading group for students, staff, and faculty at a local college. Our inaugural meeting centered on an essay in which the author calls attention to the shortcomings of organizing racial justice interventions in higher education around the sanitized and depoliticized language of “diversity.”

      • ‘It’s an Attempt to Impose a White Nationalist Vision of What America Is’
      • Will North Carolina’s Supreme Court Allow Racism to Remain a Persistent Factor in its Death Penalty?

        In 2009, North Carolina passed the Racial Justice Act (RJA), which allowed defendants to strike the death penalty from their cases if they could show that racial discrimination was a factor in their prosecution. The law came as a response to a series of exonerations of Black people who were falsely convicted of crimes they did not commit by all-white or nearly all-white

      • Dissent Is Being Criminalized Right Under Our Noses

        Many of us are deeply concerned about the recent wave of mass shootings and hate crimes that have taken place across the United States. As the Department of Justice reported, in 2018 alone there were 25 race-based terrorist attacks on U.S. soil, each committed by an alleged white supremacist. Immediate action is needed to address this crisis and tragedies like the Aug. 3 shooting in El Paso, Texas.

      • The Number Of People Incarcerated In United States Is Far Higher Than 2.5 Million

        The most popular statistic regarding the United States’ prison system is that there are 2.5 million people incarcerated. However, this figure significantly under-represents the number of people caged in this country each year.

        According to a new analysis released by the Prison Policy Initiative, at least 4.9 million people are arrested and jailed each year. Those individuals are disproportionately poor, Black, and lack access to education and health care.

      • Video of brutal murder highlights Turkey’s femicide crisis

        Emine Bulut was killed by her ex-husband Fedai Baran in broad daylight in a café in Kırıkkale, a town in Turkey’s Central Anatolia region. People across Turkey have reacted with shock and horror to a video of the fatally injured Bulut that has been circulating online. Now, many are using the hashtag #EmineBulut to call for urgent action to tackle the issue of femicide and violence against women in Turkey, a country where more than 220 women have already been murdered this year.

      • “Poor Whites Have Been Written out of History for a Very Political Reason”

        From the antebellum period to today, Southern white elites are terrified of poor whites and black workers joining hands — because they know it’s an existential threat to their power.

      • Even David Koch’s Philanthropy Was Toxic

        Such encomiums are premised on the idea that Koch’s charitable giving was so commendable that questions about where his money came from or the general impact of the super-rich on society would be impertinent. This willful lack of curiosity was sharply critiqued as long ago as 1909 by then-President Theodore Roosevelt, who wasn’t impressed by John D. Rockefeller’s setting up a foundation to help disperse his mountain of money. “No amount of charities in spending such fortunes can compensate in any way for the misconduct in acquiring them,” Roosevelt curtly but accurately noted. In the case of the Koch family, there’s plenty of misconduct to investigate.

      • Ex-Muslim to ‘Post’: Trying to teach ‘naive West’ about true nature of Islam

        “Western democracies are suffering from a toxic mix of arrogance and naiveté that makes them complacent,” said Mohammed, who highlighted this challenge only days after an eruption between Israel and the American Left over a proposed visit to the Jewish state by pro-BDS representatives Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib. “They underestimate the power of Islam, they look at what Islamists have done in other countries and they arrogantly think: ‘That won’t happen to us’ – even though it is happening right under their noses.”

      • GCSE student disqualified after ‘over zealous’ examiner mistook vegetarianism for Islamophobia

        A GCSE student was disqualified for “obscene racial comments” after an examiner mistook her vegetarianism for Islamophobia, it has emerged.

    • Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Update of the Situation of Human Rights in Indian Administered Kashmir and Pakistan from May 2018 to April 2019 [PDF]

      108. Jammu and Kashmir continues to face frequent barriers to [Internet] access as the authorities continue to suspend arbitrarily [Internet] services. According to a United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), South Asia reported the highest number of shutdowns in the world between April 2017 and May 2018 with India accounting for the highest level of shutdowns in the world. 160 Half of all [Internet] shutdowns in India were reported from the Kashmir Valley. 161 UNESCO said that [Internet] shutdowns “pose a threat to human rights and block the public’s right to know; and have emerged a significant tool of censorship by governments which are increasingly utilizing shutdowns under the guise of security”. 162 A widely followed Indian civil society group that tracks [Internet] shutdowns reports that 65 of the 134 incidents of [Internet] shutdowns recorded in the country in 2018 were in Jammu and Kashmir. 163 In the first 4 months of 2019, Jammu and Kashmir experienced 25 instances of [Internet] shutdown. 164
      109. In 2018, several journalists and human rights defenders – mostly based in the Kashmir Valley – reported that social media platforms Twitter and Facebook had taken actions against a number of accounts for various Kashmir – related content, including removing such posts or suspending user accounts. 165

    • Hospital Can’t Sanction Patient Over Deleted Facebook Profile [iophk: paywall]

      A Florida federal judge rejected a Cape Coral hospital’s sanctions bid on Monday in a suit by a patient who alleges she was sexually assaulted by a nurse, rejecting the hospital’s claims that the woman acted in bad faith when she deleted her Facebook profile during litigation.

    • App-based courier service challenges Finland’s postal system

      Workers at I Carry It – aged between 16 and 50 – will all be freelancers using their own transport, not salaried employees, so the company will not be offering them insurance.


      The working conditions and workers’ rights at many food delivery companies such as Wolt and Foodora have also caused public outrage. How would I Carry It deal with such scrutiny?

    • Protest fears stalk Hong Kong businesses as China threat looms

      One Hong Kong-based worker of a Chinese state-owned enterprise recently bragged in a WeChat chat group that he had been reporting employees who posted pro-democracy comments regarding the protests to human resources.

      In extreme cases, some people said they had received calls from Chinese authorities after posting pro-protest comments on Facebook.

  • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

    • US, French officials reach deal on digital tax: report

      A source close to the negotiations told the outlet that the deal made between French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire, U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow would have France repay companies the difference between a French tax and a planned mechanism being drawn up by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.

    • Macron defuses French digital tax row, Trump coy on wine threat

      France and the United States reached a deal to end a standoff over a French tax on big [Internet] companies, though U.S. President Donald Trump declined to say whether his threat of a retaliatory wine tax was off the table as a result.

      The compromise struck between French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire, U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Donald Trump’s White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow foresees France repaying companies the difference between the French tax and a planned mechanism being drawn up by the OECD.

    • FCC Does Something Right: Proposes Making Suicide Prevention Hotline A Three Digit Number

      We give FCC chair Ajit Pai a lot of grief (to be fair: we’ve given basically every FCC chair a lot of grief over the years). However, when he does something right we should give him credit. And he’s now embraced a plan to give the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline its own 3 digit number, likely to be 988. This is one of those simple plans that just makes sense. Thankfully, there’s been a lot greater awareness over the past few years concerning the hotline and suicide prevention in general — but you still need to remember the phone number. Most people don’t (it’s 1-800-273-8255 (TALK), in case you don’t know). Moving it to a simple three digit number is a good idea that should save lives.

  • Monopolies

    • Google Doesn’t Want Staff Debating Politics at Work Anymore

      “I think it’s specifically intended to silence dissent,” Irene Knapp, an engineer at Google, said. “This is the end of the important parts of Google’s open culture.”

    • Uber’s $1-per-ride ‘safe rides fee’ had nothing to do with safety

      Uber imposed a $1-per-ride surcharge it called a “Safe Rides Fee” in 2014, but it was a just a play for profit. The money collected by the company from the fee — estimated at around $500 million — was never earmarked specifically for safety and was “devised primarily to add $1 of pure margin to each trip,” according to an excerpt from New York Times reporter Mike Isaac’s new book Super Pumped: The Battle for Uber.

    • Governments back Netflix Clickbait mini-series production in Melbourne

      Written, co-created and produced in Victoria, Clickbait is an 8-episode character-based thriller which explores the ways in which our most dangerous and uncontrolled impulses are fuelled in the age of social media, and reveals the ever widening fractures we find between our virtual and real life personas.

    • Preview: Judge Brückner-Hofmann interview

      She and her co-panellists hear around 100 design cases and between 120 and 150 unfair competition disputes every year. In her early days as a judge, however, Brückner-Hofmann would hear no more than five design cases per year – 1,900% less than today’s 100.

    • Judge Brückner-Hofmann preview: ‘a few cases are clearly wrong’

      The Düsseldorf District Court judge admits being upset when an appeal judgment is badly argued and discusses the 1,900% increase in design cases at her court

    • Johanna Brückner-Hofmann: life as a German judge
    • Patents and Software Patents

      • PTAB Precedent: Infringement Claim Filed before Patentee Owned the Patent Still Triggers 315(b) Timeline

        In a new precedential decision, the PTAB Percedential Opinion Panel (POP) has reversed a prior institution decision in this case — holding “that service of a pleading asserting a claim alleging infringement triggers the one-year time period for a petitioner to file a petition under 35 U.S.C. § 315(b), even where the serving party lacks standing to sue or whether the pleading is otherwise deficient.”

      • Guest Post: FTC and DOJ Face Off Over Antitrust And FRAND Licensing In FTC v. Qualcomm

        Antitrust law in the United States is regulated by both the Antitrust Division of the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). Usually, these two agencies are able to reach a common understanding on antitrust policy and enforcement. Infrequently, they find themselves in disagreement.

        Currently, the proper antitrust treatment of standard-essential patents and patent-holder commitments to make these patents available on “fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory terms” is such an occasion. The disagreement has come to a head in FTC v. Qualcomm, now on appeal before the Ninth Circuit.

        Standard-Essential Patents and “FRAND” First, a brief introduction to standard setting and essential patents.

        A technological standard adopted by a standard setting organization (an “SSO”) may sometimes be written in such a way that it is impossible to build a product or provide a service without infringing on one or more patents. When this happens and the patents are owned by a member of the working group creating the standard, the SSO may fear that once a standard is adopted the patent holder will take advantage of its SSO-granted market power and charge an excessive royalty to license the patents – that the patent owner will “hold up” companies that have made an irreversible investment (in a practical sense) in the standard.

      • Qualcomm argues Quanta changed patent exhaustion law, requiring Qualcomm to adjust terms of dealings with other chipmakers

        This is my first follow-up to yesterday’s post, which just served to make Qualcomm’s Ninth Circuit opening brief in its appeal of the FTC v. Qualcomm ruling public and to discuss the likely effect of the sheer length of that filing on the further schedule.

        While it’s imperative to see the forest among all the trees, it simply is a huge case, so this first commentary on Qualcomm’s opening brief on appeal will focus on the question of chipset-level licensing (Section I of the brief, which ends on page 70 of the PDF).

        In order to analyze what Qualcomm is saying in that incredibly important part, I’ve re-read a couple dozen other documents, most of which are court decisions cited by Qualcomm or others in this context. On this basis I can provide you with a bird’s-eye view on the questions this part of the appeal turns on.

      • Nvidia chipmaker TSMC basically just called GlobalFoundries a patent troll

        Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) took a day to digest a series of lawsuits filed against it by GlobalFoundries, a former spin-off of AMD and one of the world’s largest semiconductor fabrication companies, and then issued a curt statement saying the allegations of IP infringement are without merit. It also insinuated GlobalFoundries is acting like a patent troll.

        “TSMC has established one of the largest semiconductor portfolios with more than 37,000 patents worldwide and a top 10 ranking for US patent grants for 3 consecutive years since 2016. We are disappointed to see a foundry peer resort to meritless lawsuits instead of competing in the marketplace with technology,” TSMC said.

        While TSMC did not use the words “patent troll,” it’s easy to come to that conclusion by reading between the lines. Or just by reading the lines as presented.

      • Nokia’s German anti-antisuit campaign against Continental’s San Jose antisuit motion: court hearing scheduled for Thursday (8/30)

        Continental v. Avanci (Northern Distict of California; Judge Lucy H. Koh; trial date in October 2021) continues to be an extraordinarily interesting FRAND dispute. On Thursday (August 30) I’ll attend a hearing that the 21st Civil Chamber of the Munich I Regional Court will hold as a result of Nokia pursuit of an additional anti-antisuit-injunction injunction (“AAII”) against Continental AG, the German parent company at the top of the automotive industry supplier’s corporate group. The AAII that Nokia obtained last month enjoins Continental Automotive Systems, Inc. (“CAS”; of Auburn Hills, MI), the plaintiff in the U.S. case, once properly served on CAS–which Nokia claims to have occurred already while CAS argues the rigid service requirements of the Hague Convention in conjunction with the rules governing the service of German court injunctions have yet to be fulfilled.

        The press office of the Munich court thankfully confirmed to me today that a hearing would be held, and provided the case number 21 O 9512/19, while the case number of the already-ordered injunction against CAS (of which Nokia informed Judge Koh) is 21 O 9333/19. A translation of Nokia’s original German motion was attached to Continental’s reply (in the form of another letter to Judge Koh).

      • The Chamberlain Group, Inc. v. Techtronic Industries Co. (Fed. Cir. 2019)

        Another week and another technology patent falls to a patentable subject matter challenge under Alice Corp. v. CLS Bank Int’l. In this case, the patentee may have effectively shot itself in the foot with its own statements made in the specification. But the Federal Circuit also provides its clearest explanation yet (but one that is still not clear enough) of how it expects the second part of the Alice analysis to be carried out.

        Chamberlain sued Techtronic Industries (TTI) and several other parties in the Northern District of Illinois, contending infringement of U.S. Patent No. 7,224,275. TTI moved the District Court for judgment as a matter of law that the ’275 patent was invalid under 35 U.S.C. § 101. The District Court denied the motion and TTI appealed.


        Accordingly, the Federal Circuit reversed the District Court and held the asserted claims invalid under § 101.

        This case is another example of judicial-exception-creep, in line with that of ChargePoint, Inc. v. SemaConnect, Inc. Similar to that decision, an invention that adds particular communication abilities to a physical device is rendered an “abstract idea” because the Court found that the only innovative part of what is claimed was the (allegedly abstract) communication itself. Of course, the specification served to quickly sink the claim by admitting that all claimed elements were known in some fashion or another (even if the combination was not), but under the current patent-eligibility regime even a more carefully-worded application would have likely led to the same outcome.

        The invention here (as in ChargePoint) might have been more rationally invalidated on grounds of obviousness, though its 2003 priority date was well before wireless transceivers were being added to all kinds of conventional devices. Nonetheless, § 101 is once again the wrong tool for applying the prior art motivated invalidation. There are other parts of the statute to serve that function.

      • “Lofty”: not precise, but precise enough for patent work

        On appeal, the Federal Circuit agreed with the defendant that “lofty” batting is a term of degree whose boundary is not fully clear. However, it is clear enough for patent law work. In a particular, the court defined “lofty” batting is batting that “shows the properties of of bulk and some resilience.” The specification further explains that “bulk” refers to air between the fibers, and “sufficient resilience” occurs where the batting can be compressed and then substantially spring back to its original bulk. The court also noted that the specification includes more than 20 different examples (some from the prior art) of “lofty” batting that can be used to understand the scope of the term.

      • Do No-Opinion Judgments by the Federal Circuit Violate Due Process?
      • Sanofi-Aventis U.S., LLC v. Fresenius Kabi USA, LLC (Fed. Cir. 2019)

        The panel rejected Defendants’ allegation that they would lose the possibility of the issue preclusion defense “should Sanofi obtain amended claims and assert them against Defendants.” This is not sufficient to satisfy the case or controversy requirement, according to the opinion, first because the relevance of the disclaimed claims to a future issue preclusion defense was speculative, and second, the Defendants failed to establish that the District Court judgment pertaining to the disclaimed claims “is material to a possible future suit.” And the panel refused Defendants’ invitation to provide an advisory opinion on “the claim preclusion arguments that they intend to make . . . should Sanofi secure amended claims at the Board and then assert them against Defendants.”

        Turning to the District Court’s decision that Defendants had not shown by clear and convincing evidence that claims 1 and 2 of the ’170 patent were invalid for obviousness, the panel relied on the Court’s decision in Takeda Chem. Indus., Ltd. v. Alphapharm Pty., Ltd., that a challenger must “identify some reason that would have led a chemist to modify a known compound in a particular manner to establish prima facie obviousness of a new claimed compound.” 492 F.3d 1350, 1357 (Fed. Cir. 2007). The opinion reviewed the District Court’s “extensive [factual] findings” based on the testimony of “seven witnesses and seventeen prior art references” in arriving at its conclusion that the District Court had not erred. This analysis centered on the question of the motivation and rationale of the skilled worker to modify prior art docetaxel by simultaneously replacing hydroxyl groups with methoxy compounds at positions C7 and C10. Defendants argued that this modification would be motivated to increase the lipophilicity of docetaxel to interfere with its binding by P-glycoprotein (Pgp), a plasma membrane-associated protein pump that rendered cells resistant to cytotoxic drugs (like docetaxel) by extruding these compounds from the cell. The panel credited the District Court’s determination that the prior art cited in support of increased lipophilicity as a way to decrease Pgp extrusion did not disclose taxanes or show any relationship between lipophilicity and Pgp extrusion for taxanes. Concerning Defendants’ assertion of prior art related to possible substitution positions in the canonical taxane structure, the panel agreed with the District Court’s characterization that Defendant had cherry-picked the data in the cited references to reach the pattern of substituents exhibited by cabazitaxel and thus rejected them. Secondary considerations (commercial success, failure of others) also supported the District Court’s decision that Defendants had not established obviousness of claims 1 and 2 of the ’170 patent by clear and convincing evidence.

      • What to do if Someone Offers you an Opponent’s Information.

        The L.A. bar association is the latest to offer an opinion on what to do if someone, say the opposing party’s former employee, offers you information from the opposing party that looks purloined or seems confidential. In Los Angeles City Bar Ass’n Professional Responsibility & Ethics Committee Opinion No. 531 (July 24, 2019) (here), the committee gave some useful guidance.

        First, the committee stated the lawyer had to determine if the person possessed the information unlawfully. If so, the lawyer might need to alert the court or appropriate authorities.

        Second, the lawyer had to determine if the information was privileged or otherwise protected. As stated in a prior post, this can trigger obligations to at least notify the opposing party.

    • Trademarks

    • Copyrights

      • IPTV Providers Reject Claims of Links to Drugs, Weapons, People Trafficking

        This week the National Coordinator for the Government Agency Intelligence Network linked ‘pirate’ IPTV resellers with serious crime, claiming that they are often part of larger organizations involved in drugs, weapons, and people trafficking. Several weeks ago, TF had the chance to speak with an IPTV provider in Europe who said that to his knowledge of many providers, none of that is true.

      • Now You Can Watch the Keynotes from CC’s 2019 Global Summit

        We wanted to make sure that the insights shared by the summit’s seven amazing keynote speakers are accessible to people who couldn’t make it to the event, so we’ve uploaded their talks to YouTube and made them available under a CC Attribution license.

      • SELF Magazine and the AAP Promote Vaccine Awareness Through CC-Licensed Images

        After consulting with us here at Creative Commons, SELF and the AAP chose to release these images under our Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license, so that they can be freely used by anyone—including media outlets, hospitals, public health departments, and other organizations creating content about vaccines—as long as credit is given to the photographer.

Serial GPL Violators Fancy Being Called ‘Open Source’ and the Linux Foundation is Happy to Oblige

Posted in Deception, Free/Libre Software, GNU/Linux, GPL, VMware at 5:31 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Welcome to the PR universe; Proprietary software is “open source” now…

Summary: Everything we were told is wrong! Proprietary software is apparently open, the Open Source community loves proprietary software and violating Open Source licences by exploiting the code (without meeting the most basic obligations) doesn’t really matter

THE “OPENWASHING” epidemic is spreading. Quite the pandemic!

Microsoft is far from the sole culprit when it comes to openwashing. That much should be obvious and our weekly openwashing reports barely mention Microsoft. Today we’d like to focus on VMware.

“Microsoft is far from the sole culprit when it comes to openwashing.”There has been an extraordinary effort lately to label malicious VMware software “open”. There’s even an openwashing piece [1] with the CEO in a site connected to the Linux Foundation and the author isn’t joking (only coming across as somewhat ignorant if not worse — corruptible). What is this inane PR campaign? It’s like saying that "Open Source loves Microsoft". Lies are the business model now. “Perception management” is what they sometimes call it in the PR industry which the Foundation is based upon.

The openwashing of VMware went up a gear over the past few days because of an event of theirs. Check out Packt Hub’s piece about Pivotal. They’re openwashing their proprietary software by separating just one component out. “Pivotal and Heroku teamed up to create Cloud Native Buildpacks for Kubernetes,” it says. “Cloud-Native Buildpacks turn source code into production-ready Docker images that are OCI image compatible and is based around the popular Buildpack model. Yesterday, they open-sourced kpack, which is a set of experimental build service Kubernetes resource controllers.”

“VMware is, of course, a surveillance and back doors company (see Snowden leaks about EMC’s response and RSA’s revelations).”What about all the rest? Proprietary of course. Remember who’s buying Pivotal… VMware, with Dell Technologies as the main owner. Dell and VMware are joined by the EMC hip and we recently named Dell as a joint openwashing culprit (with AT&T). How about “Dell Adds Kubernetes Support to VxRail”? Dell wants us to believe that it likes Open Source merely because it exploits it. It’s like saying you love cows because you frequently eat beef.

VMware is, of course, a surveillance and back doors company (see Snowden leaks about EMC’s response and RSA’s revelations). Who would give it data? Or a whole database? Sadly, some would. And new reports reveal this thirst for data [1, 2] — a subject which no doubt won't bother the Foundation.

“They set up some group called “Open Source” something to pretend that because less than 1% of the staff has the term “open” somewhere in the job title it therefore means that the whole company is “open”.”Meanwhile we’ve noticed that Swapnil continues that gross, Linux Foundation-funded (i.e. VMware-funded) openwashing of a GPL violator and back doors giant. He’s doing another PR stunt with “Dirk Hohndel, VP and Chief Open Source Officer at VMware [who] talks about the importance of Open Source Program Office.”

They set up some group called “Open Source” something to pretend that because less than 1% of the staff has the term “open” somewhere in the job title it therefore means that the whole company is “open”. Sadly, Swapnil’s site (TFiR) is full of PR spam of proprietary software for proprietary software platforms (e.g. “Aqua Security Brings Aqua CSP to VMware Cloud Marketplace”). Swapnil has reduced himself to an openwasher of VMware who merely copies and edits press releases for proprietary software companies (compare to the original press release; it’s just embarrassing). It’s about Platform9, which in VMworld 2019 made its planned appearance. There’s lots and lots of openwashing coming out of this event, e.g. this from Mellanox Technologies.

Remember, people… VMware is open! The VMware-funded Linux Foundation tells us so. VMware says so too.

Related/contextual items from the news:

  1. VMware CEO Sets Lofty Open Source Goals

    VMware hasn’t traditionally had the best reputation in the open source community, VMware CEO Pat Gelsinger admits. In fact, he sums it up in one word: “Bad.”

Links 28/8/2019: MX Linux 19 Beta and Kodachi 6.2

Posted in News Roundup at 1:53 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Desktop

      • Floppy Disks vs 21st Century Linux

        Recent headlines proclaim the imminent demise of support for the venerable floppy disk drive in the Linux kernel. My stomach churned and my heart gave a flutter or two. I have been in this business quite a few years and my collection of floppy disks goes back to 8-inchers. “Not again!” I thought.

        Fortunately, further research indicated that the headlines overstated the situation somewhat. All floppy support isn’t going away—just support for drives connected to dedicated floppy controllers. That USB drive you bought to bring diskette read/write capability to newer computers uses a different support mechanism and will continue to be supported—for now. All the same, it seemed like now was a good time to do something with all these diskettes.


        To be sure, many of these old diskettes contain data files of one sort or another and the files could be copied to a directory on my Linux system. Since I use Linux Mint KDE, I don’t even have to manually mount the diskettes. Mint will offer to do that for me when the diskette is inserted. Open my file manager and I can simply drag and drop files to their new locations.

      • Dell Announced the XPS 13 Developer Edition “7390”, Which Powered by 10th Generation

        Dell have announced that the new XPS 13 developer edition (7390) will soon be available in the US, Canada and Europe, according to Dell’s Barton George update.

      • Google Does A Good Job Sticking Close To Upstream For Their Linux Kernels On Chromebooks

        For those wondering how Google manages the Linux kernel sources they use for shipping on the dozens of different Chromebooks and maintaining the support for the respective cycles, Douglas Anderson of Google presented at last week’s Embedded Linux Conference in San Diego on the matter.

        Google tries to stick close to the upstream kernel as possible to reduce their maintenance burden as well as making it easier to upstream changes. Google engineers pick an LTS kernel on an annual basis that they use for all devices for the given year.

    • Server

      • IBM

        • Modernize with open source, containers, hybrid cloud, and more to achieve real-time payments

          Financial services institutions understand that today’s banking customers expect fast, easy-to-use services they can tap into anytime, anywhere, and are therefore accelerating adoption of digital technologies to enable a variety of new offerings. That often includes real-time payments that let businesses, consumers, and even governments send and accept funds that provide both availability to the recipient and instant confirmation to the sender.

          In many ways, the rapid adoption of mobile commerce and mobile banking has whet the appetite for real-time payments among consumers. PwC makes this case in its report, “Financial Services Technology 2020 and Beyond: Embracing disruption,” which discusses the evolution of the digital wallet. The report points to the benefits of digital wallets that give consumers “a fast, secure, low-cost method to use, store and send money over the Internet,” and notes that banks are pursuing greater control over mobile banking channels so they can “manage the security, user experience, and customer connectivity at the point of purchase.”

        • Of Ranchers and iPads: How British Columbia Replaced Paperwork with OpenShift and Aporeto

          The cattle rancher relies on a few trusty belongings out on the dusty trail: a good horse, strong coffee and a well-charged iPad with a backup battery. That last pairing of items may seem far astray from the rucksacks of those that herd “dogies,” steer and moo-cows, but in the north western region of Canada, there used to be even stranger things being carried in trail bags by cowherd.

          For many years, herds of cattle grazing on provincial government land had to be documented and accounted for by hand. That meant a mountain of paperwork for rangers upon their return to the ranch. Instead of a bag full of beans and rawhide, they were lugging around a phonebooks-worth of paperwork to account for just where their bovines had been.

          When Todd Wilson, product director of Enterprise DevOps for the Province of British Columbia, and his team began working with Red Hat OpenShift and Aporeto, they weren’t thinking about the cattle grazing on grasslands 1,000 miles north of them. Instead, they were looking for a way for the software developers inside the government of British Columbian to accelerate their velocity.

        • RHEL top tasks survey: help us put your needs at the center of our process

          What really matters to our users and what do they care about most? Answering these questions are essential first steps to ensure that we’re measuring user experience and improving our products the right way.

          Top tasks is a descriptive process that allows us to see which types of tasks are most important to the users and to guide future user research studies and development, ensuring that Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) can meet the needs of our users. The user research team at Red Hat is currently conducting a study to see what users see as the top tasks in RHEL and your input would be greatly appreciated! Please take a few minutes and complete our “Top tasks” survey.

        • Red Hat Launches OpenShift Service Mesh for hybrid cloud developers

          With Kubernetes becoming a hybrid cloud’s foundation, we need a way to manage the network connections between the containerized applications and decentralized services. That’s where Red Hat’s just-released Red Hat OpenShift Service Mesh comes in. With it, you can connect, observe, and simplify Kubernetes applications service-to-service communication on Red Hat OpenShift 4.

          A service mesh is the underlying networking architecture for Kubernetes containerized programs and microservices. It’s responsible for traffic management, policy enforcement, and service identity and security.

          Red Hat’s take, OpenShift Service Mesh, is built on the Istio, Kiali, and Jaeger projects and enhanced with Kubernetes Operators. Istio provides the service mesh itself, while Kiali gives Istio an observability console and Jaeger enables you to monitor and troubleshoot transactions in complex distributed systems. Put it all together, and developers get an efficient way to deploy and manage microservices-based application architectures, without the blood, sweat, and tears of implementing networking services from scratch.

        • Should sysadmins learn SQL?

          A couple of weeks ago, an interesting discussion popped up on the r/sysadmin subreddit:

          “Learning SQL – Yay or Nay? I’m looking into which area I should be studying next and I often see SQL mentioned on job listings. I’d love some advice if it is the correct thing for my current skill set, or If I should be focusing on different skills.”

          Without interjecting too much of my personal opinion, I thought the commentary was interesting and definitely interjected some considerations I hadn’t made before.

          While of course it’s helpful to know more about nearly any technology you might encounter in your day job, what to learn has to be a matter of priority. But I’ve always found querying and filtering to be critical: Whether you’re using SQL, regular expressions at the command line, or just some basic filters in a spreadsheet, it’s essential to know how to break down big piles of data into something digestible, or just find that one thing you need.

        • IBM Mainframe Is A Great Platform For Linux Developers | Elizabeth K Joseph

          In this episode of Let’s Talk, we sat down with Elizabeth Joseph – Developer Advocate at IBM to talk about Mainframe and why it’s a great platform for Linux developers.

    • Audiocasts/Shows

      • LHS Episode #298: JOTA Deep Dive and Feedback-o-Rama

        Hello and welcome to the 298th installment of Linux in the Ham Shack. In this episode, we take a close look at getting Scouts on the air with the JOTA and JOTI programs. It’s a great way to get involved in amateur radio, whether or not you’re into Scouting. Also, we address a bunch of feedback that’s been queuing up over the last few weeks. Lots of great information there as well. Hope everyone has a great week and, as always, thank you for downloading and listening!

      • Crystal Clear | Coder Radio 372

        We’re back and going crazy about Crystal, a statically typed language that’s as fast as C and as slick as ruby.

        Plus an update on Rails 6, Intel’s growing adoption of Rust, and the challenge of making breaking changes.

      • Linux Action News 120

        More tools to keep your Linux box and cloud servers secure this week, OpenPOWER responds to Risc-V competition, and we ponder the year-long open-source supply chain attacks.

        Plus our reaction to Android dropping dessert names, the Confidential Computing consortium, and more.

      • SMLR 31# Detroit Linux
      • GNU World Order 13×35
    • Kernel Space

      • The biggest events in Linux’s history

        Linus Torvalds and friends

        You can argue about Linux’s official birthday. Heck, even Linus Torvalds thinks there are four different dates in 1991 that might deserve the honor. Regardless, Linux turns twenty-eight. Here are some of its highlights and lowlights.

      • Linux Kernel Turns 28 Today

        August 25th is taken to be the official birthday of the Linux. What’s so special about 28? Well we managed to miss 21 and 25 so we are making sure we mark it this time around,

        August 25th 1991 was when Linus Torvalds, first announced that he was working on an operating system based on MINIX. At the time Torvalds, then 21, was studying at Finland’s University of Helsinki. He’d learned about MINIX from Andrew Tanenbaum’s book Operating Systems: Design and Implementation and at the beginning of 1991 bought a 386-based PC clone, installed a copy of MINIX and started work on his one-man cloned operating system. He graduated in 1996 with a Masters degree having submitted a thesis titled Linux: A Portable Operating System.

      • Celebrating the 28th Anniversary of the Linux Kernel
      • In comics: Linux celebrates 28th birthday

        n 26 August 1991, Linus Torvalds announced hobby project that was supposed to better than Minix operating systems. He said I am doing a free operating system. Just a hobby and won’t be big or professional like GNU. Linux turns 28 years old, and we are going to celebrate Linux’s birthday by sharing comics in pop culture that made it even more popular.

      • Linux Foundation

        • Marketing Open Source Projects

          Marketing is as crucial as code to any open source project’s success. Organizations that participate in open source projects play a vital role in developing a sustainable ecosystem around a project by marketing the project through their own networks. Organizations, in turn, benefit from those marketing efforts by growing their visibility in the project community and associating their own brand with the project. The benefits can be seen in a growing project leadership role, attracting developers to your organization, and promoting your open source products and services. The key is to promote the project first and always remain authentic and true to the open source ethos of openness and transparency.

      • Graphics Stack

        • Sway 1.2 Released For This Popular i3 Inspired Wayland Compositor

          Sway 1.2 brings with it compatibility updates for i3 version 4.17, better XWayland support, new protocol coverage, output toggle support, better layout handling behavior, and a variety of other new features and fixes.

        • Mesa 19.3′s LLVMpipe Driver Adds Support For Shader Image Extensions

          A number of months have passed since having anything new to report on the progress of the LLVMpipe software driver, but David Airlie now has landed a number of improvements to this LLVM-leveraging “soft” OpenGL driver for Mesa 19.3.

          Following a number of commits made today, the LLVMpipe driver in Mesa 19.3 Git now exposes ARB_shader_image_load_store and ARB_shader_image_size. Those are extensions for OpenGL 4.2 and 4.3, respectively, as well as being part of OpenGL ES 3.1.

        • AMD To Land Support For Navi 14 Into The Upcoming Mesa 19.2 Driver Stack

          As a possible sign that AMD Navi 14 graphics cards could be coming sooner rather than later, support for Navi 14 is slated to be back-ported to the Mesa 19.2 release due out in a few weeks rather that entered its feature freeze earlier this month rather than waiting for next quarter’s Mesa 19.3.

          Mesa 19.2 should make it into the likes of Fedora 31, Ubuntu 19.10, and other autumn Linux distribution updates. Prominent AMD RadeonSI Gallium3D driver Marek Olšák has announced his interest in back-porting Navi 14 to Mesa 19.2 and intends to merge that code today.

    • Applications

      • Top 20 Best Notepad++ Alternatives for Linux in 2019

        Notepad++ is arguably the most popular source code editors among users of the Microsoft Windows systems. It replaced the legacy Notepad editor around 15 years back and since then has been the subject of constant admiration. The software enjoys widespread popularity due to its lightweight footprint, flexible features, and hard to match performance. Thankfully, Linux doesn’t fall short when it comes to code editors and offers some of the most rigorous text editors available right now. There’re quite a lot of worthy Notepad++ alternatives for Linux that you might want to check out.

      • Google Summer of Code 2019 with Pitivi Final Report

        For GSoC 2019, I worked on improving the effects user experience in Pitivi.

      • [Pitivi] Millan Castro: GSoC: Final report

        Google Summer of Code 2019 has come to an end. This post is part of my final submission. It summarizes my contribution to Pitivi, providing links to my work.

        My proposal consisted on a interval time system with different applications for Pitivi video editor. Originally, one of the applications would be to be able to set up markers at selected positions in the timeline, to store user metada.


        My work in GES is co-authored with my mentor, Mathieu Duponchelle. It includes the new classes GESMarkerList and GESMarker, and tests for them. It is already merged.

        GESMarkerList allows to have a list of GESMarker in every class that implements GESMetaContainer. Its API includes methods for create, serialize and deserialize a GESMarkerList, and for add, move, get and remove GESMarker. Also include signals to notify this operations.

        The class GESMarker implements GESMetacontainer. It has a position property.

        A set of new tests checks that everything works fine.

      • Pngquant – A Command-line Utility To Compress PNG Images On Linux

        Pngquant is a free, open source and cross-platform command-line lossy PNG compressor. It is based on a portable libimagequant library and is written in C99. It reduces the file size significantly by converting the PNG image to more efficient 8-bit PNG format and preserves full alpha transparency. As you may already know, 8-bit PNG files are often 60-80% smaller than 24/32-bit PNG files. The images compressed using Pngquant are fully-compatible with all web browsers and operating systems. Pngquant can compress one or multiple images at once.

      • Rufus: Creating A Persistent Storage Live USB With Ubuntu Or Debian From Windows

        Rufus 3.7 beta, released yesterday, has finalized the persistent partition support for Debian and Ubuntu, allowing users to create persistent storage live USBs of recent Debian Live ISOs, and Ubuntu Live ISOs created after 1st of August, 2019.

        Rufus is a popular free and open source graphical tool to create bootable USB drives from Windows. It can be used to create not only bootable Windows drives from ISO files or disk images, but also create bootable Linux USB drives from Windows.

        This application is able to create persistent live drives that work in both UEFI (MBR or GPT) and BIOS mode, with casper-rw being used for the persistent storage partition, so it can have a size of more than 4GB.

        Experimental persistent partitions support was first added to this Windows bootable Live USB creation tool with version 3.6, but it didn’t seem to work properly, as in my test, any changes made to the Live USB did not persist between reboots. With the latest Rufus 3.7 beta though, the persistent partition feature works (I tested it with the latest daily build of Ubuntu 19.10 Eoan Ermine). But it doesn’t support every Linux distribution out there.

        The Rufus 3.7 beta release notes mention that with this release, the persistent partition support is finalized (so it’s not longer experimental) for Debian and Ubuntu. BUT as far as Ubuntu is concerned, the persistence feature only works with ISOs of Ubuntu 19.10 Eoan Ermine created later than August 1st, 2019 (e.g. the Ubuntu Eoan Ermine daily ISO from here should work). The reason for this is a bug that caused persistence on casper-rw partitions to break when the mount sequence order was changed, which was only recently fixed.

      • Proprietary

        • FreeOffice

          There is a new tool available for Sparkers: FreeOffice

    • Instructionals/Technical

    • Wine or Emulation

    • Games

      • From Orbit has you hop from one planet to the next in this RTS, out now with Linux support

        Manage the crew of a small spaceship as you hop between planets in uncharted space, From Orbit has a fun idea. Disclosure: Key provided by the developer to our Steam Curator.

        From Orbit is a strategy game of survival and finding your way home against increasingly hostile odds. The basic loop is always the same, with you hopping across planets to mine resources and when you think you’re ready you go onto the next. You have no idea what each planet will present you with though of course and some can be pretty challenging.

      • The Bard’s Tale IV: Director’s Cut is now out, adding Linux support and other goodies

        Linux gamers have had to wait a while but, with the launch of the new director’s cut, The Bard’s Tale IV now has a native port. The new enhanced version also has a lot of new improvements over the original game.

      • Best Chess Games To Install on Ubuntu

        “I have come to the personal conclusion that while all artists are not chess players, all chess players are artists.” – Marcel Ducham

        One of the oldest skill games and a lesson in history, chess is famously played all over the world. It is a war fought over the board and every war requires strategy, the main playing component of chess. A game of intelligence and intellect, chess is played for no prize other than one’s honor. A defeat in chess, or becoming subject to a checkmate, is such a harrowing and mighty defeat. But even in defeat, there is irreplaceable excitement and learning!


        Learning a game now is as easy as installing a program of only a few Mbs and directly getting started with it! Let us look at a few of the best chess games available for download on Linux systems.

      • Unity 2019.3 Beta Released With Renderer Improvements, Linux & Vulkan Fixes [Ed: Mono warning]

        The beta release of Unity 2019.3 is out today for this wildly popular cross-platform game engine.

        Unity 2019.3 Beta brings a revamp to its input system, significant improvements to its Universal Render Pipeline (Lightweight Render Pipeline as it was previously called), better physics, and initial ray-tracing support.

        The better physics support with Unity 2019.3 comes via moving from NVIDIA’s PhysX 3.4 to version 4.1. The ray-tracing support for now is just available with the DirectX DXR API and unfortunately no Vulkan ray-tracing for Linux support at this time.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • polkit-qt-1 0.113.0 Released

          Some 5 years after the previous release KDE has made a new release of polkit-qt-1, versioned 0.113.0.

          Polkit (formerly PolicyKit) is a component for controlling system-wide privileges in Unix-like operating systems. It provides an organized way for non-privileged processes to communicate with privileged ones. Polkit has an authorization API intended to be used by privileged programs (“MECHANISMS”) offering service to unprivileged programs (“CLIENTS”).

          Polkit Qt provides Qt bindings and UI.

        • [GSoC – 6] Achieving consistency between SDDM and Plasma

          Roughly a year ago I made a post titled How I’d improve KDE Plasma – a user’s point of view. I never shared the post publicly, but revisiting the first topic of the post — “my biggest pet peeve” — makes for an interesting story.

          You probably guessed it, my biggest pet peeve is what I’ve been trying to solve with this GSoC project. A year go you would find me ricing my Plasma and wondering why SDDM was doing “its own thing” instead. Fast-forward to now and I’m pretty happy to have an option to sync settings between the two, ever more so given that I could have contributed to creating it.

        • Pay another respect to kritacommand–which we are going beyond

          Krita’s undo system, namely kritacommand, was added 8 years ago to Calligra under the name of kundo2, as a fork of Qt’s undo framework. The use of undo commands, however, might have an even longer history. Undo commands provide a way to revert individual actions. Up to now, most (though not all) undo commands do it by providing two sets of code that do and undo the actions, respectively. Drawbacks of this system includes (1) it is not very easy to manage; (2) it may introduce duplicated code; and (3) it makes it hard to access a previous document state without actually going back to that state. What I do is to start getting rid of such situation.

          The plan for a new system is to use shallow copies to store documents at different states. Dmitry said “it was something we really want to do and allows us to make historical brushes (fetch content from earlier document states).” And according to him, he spent years to implement copy-on-write on paint layers. He suggested me to start from vector layers which he thought would be easier since it does not need to be very thread-safe.

          I completely understood that was a challenge, but did not realize where the difficult part was until I come here. Copy-on-write is not the challenging part. We have QSharedDataPointer and almost all the work is to routinely replace the same code. Porting tools is more difficult. The old flake tools are running under the GUI thread, which makes no requirement on thread-safety. Technically we do not need to run it in a stroke / in image thread but with no multithreading the tools runs too slowly on some computers (read as “my Thinkpad laptop”) so I am not unwilling to take this extra challenge. In previous posts I described how the strokes work and the problems I encountered. Besides that there are still some problems I need to face.

      • GNOME Desktop/GTK

        • Joaquim Rocha: Whereabouts

          It’s been almost two months since my last day at Endless, and some people keep asking me what am I up to now. The change was nothing top-secret so I told my closest friends and colleagues about what I was doing, but I have been so busy — first with the job change, personal life (whose events I will leave for a later post), then with some vacation time in Portugal, and this past week with my son’s first days in the Kindergarten — that I kept neglecting writing a post about that.

          I had met Endless when it was still a small startup, in a shared working space in San Francisco, and joined it a few years after that, because it was all I could think about. Having spent almost 4 years with the company, it is and will always be a special place for me, not only because of its mission, but also because of its people and the experiences we shared, and I will keep rooting for their success.

        • Mayank Sharma: GSoC’

          It has rightly been said – “All good things come to an end”. Google Summer of Code too was one of the good experiences I’ve had, in the sense that I didn’t know anything about the Open Source world. It provided the exact platform that I needed to kickstart my open source contributions and to let me feet as fantastic a community as GNOME.

        • How to Run a Usability Test

          Conducting usability testing on free software shouldn’t be an afterthought of the development process but rather it should be a deeply integrated component. However, the reality is that the resources of free software projects (including large ones like GNOME) are quite limited, so one of my goals with this post is to empower you to do more usability testing on your own—you don’t have to be an expert—and to help out and contribute to larger software projects to make up for the limits on resources.

    • Distributions

      • List Of The Best Linux Distros For Laptops In 2019

        Linux is not only the server-side operating system as it is already creating a big impact in desktop and laptop segment too. There are plenty of Linux based operating systems developed for different purposes.

        In this post, we are going to write about some of the best Linux distros suitable for the Laptops in 2019.

      • New Releases

        • Proxmox Mail Gateway 6.0 released!

          We’re happy to announce the final release of the new Proxmox Mail Gateway 6.0! It’s based on the latest stable release of Debian 10.0 (Buster) with a 5.0.21 kernel including the latest security fixes.

          We’d like to thank all of you who contributed to the project by testing and providing feedback!

        • LFS 9.0-rc1 Release

          The Linux From Scratch community announces the release of LFS Version 9.0-rc1. It is a preliminary release of LFS-9.0. Major changes include toolchain updates to gcc-9.2.0 and glibc-2.30. In total, 33 packages were updated since the last release. Changes to the text have also been made throughout the book. The Linux kernel has also been updated to version 5.2.8.

          Note that the major version of LFS has changed to 9. This has been done to keep LFS and BLFS version numbers synchronized. The BLFS System V version has added the elogind package which now allows Gnome to be built in the new environment.

        • MX Linux 19 Beta 1 is here — download the Debian-based operating system now

          Another day, another Linux distribution. Yeah, it can get a bit tedious reading about so many operating systems based on the open source kernel, so here at BetaNews we typically try to inform you about the better ones. You see, there are many garbage Linux distributions that can simply be ignored — they are either low-quality or overly redundant. Ultimately, it all becomes noise, harming the Linux community overall. Yes, having too much choice can be a negative.

          Today, a wildly popular operating system achieves Beta status, and you should be interested — it is worth your attention. Called “MX Linux,” it has quietly gained a fairly large following, topping the charts at the legendary DistroWatch. MX Linux 19 Beta 1 is based on Debian 10 Buster and features the recently released Xfce 4.14 desktop environment. So, yeah, this is fairly bleeding edge stuff, although the Linux kernel is only at 4.19.5.

        • MX-19 Beta 1 available for testing

          MX-19 Beta 1 available for testing


          August 25, 2019

          Updated iso images

        • Kodachi 6.2

          Linux Kodachi operating system is based on Xubuntu 18.04 it will provide you with a secure, anti-forensic, and anonymous operating system considering all features that a person who is concerned about privacy would need to have in order to be secure.

          Kodachi is very easy to use all you have to do is boot it up on your PC via USB drive then you should have a fully running operating system with established VPN connection + Connection established + service running. No setup or knowledge is required from your side we do it all for you. The entire OS is functional from your temporary memory RAM so once you shut it down no trace is left behind all your activities are wiped out.

      • Screenshots/Screencasts

      • Fedora Family

        • Jakub Kadlčík: Flock report 2019

          This year’s Flock is inevitably over, so the right thing to do now is to capture its best moments. This time, the conference took place in the unbelievably beautiful city of Budapest, starting from Thursday 8th of August and carried on till the end of the week. I would like to thank all organizers, sponsors, volunteers and the community for putting the effort and resources into hosting such a great conference and also my employer for giving me an opportunity to attend. It was a wild ride!

        • Inkscape – Python 3 in f32+

          I’ve just updated Inkscape in f32 to a git snapshot to allow it to move to Python 3. It seems to work well for me, but please test and file bugs.

        • Pooja Yadav: Flock-2019

          First day started with “The State of Fedora” session by Matthew Miller where he discussed about Fedora current and future state. Then Cate Huston presented a very interesting talk on how we can make a great and successful team. She shared interesting facts to make failing team functional. It was good to see “Facebook Loves Fedora” and Facebook employees are using it. In this they shared their experience and challenges faced. After lunch I attended “The future of langpacks in Fedora”, it was a great discussion on langpacks. In evening I attended Fedora CI by David and Tim Flink and Getting started with Fedora QA by Suprith Gangawar and Geoffrey Marr. Day 1 ended with Slideshow Karaoke organised by Amita and Adam Samalik.

      • Debian Family

        • Netrunner 19.08 Released, Which is Based on Debian 10 “Buster”

          The Netrunner development team has announced the availability of Netrunner 19.08, it’s code named as “Indigo”.

          It is based upon Debian 10 “Buster” and comes with a few new updated software versions.

          The Netrunner 19.08 ships with a brand new Look with combination of darker blue and lighter blue together with classic white like gray, the Breeze Icon theme.

        • EasyOS 2.1 Released, Which is Based on Debian 10 “Buster”
        • Kali Linux Team has Renamed their Meta-packages to More Meaningful

          Kali Linux team has renamed their meta-packages to more meaningful to understand it in a better way.

          This implementation will optimize Kali, reduce ISO size, and organize meta-packages in a better way.

          Some of you may already know about it, however, i will give you an overview about meta-package before discuss further on this topic.

          What’s Meta-package?

          Meta-packages are specialized packages, they do not contain any files usually found in packages.

          Meta-package is a way to collect and group related software packages, they simply depend on other packages to be installed.

          It allows entire sets of software to be installed by selecting only the appropriate meta-package.

          Say for example, Each Linux desktop environments comes with a wide range of applications, it can be installed by running a single command because they were already grouped together.

          This will reduce download requirements, i mean to say, this will obtain all the Gnome packages in one download.

        • Molly de Blanc: Free software activities (July 2019)

          Debian AH rebranded to the Debian Community Team (CT) after our sprint back in June. We had meetings, both following up on things that happened at the meeting and covering typical business. We created a draft of a new team mission statement, which was premiered, so to speak, at DebConf19.

        • Mike Gabriel: Debian goes libjpeg-turbo 2.0.x [RFH]

          I recently uploaded libjpeg-turbo 2.0.2-1~exp1 to Debian experimental. This has been the first upload of the 2.0.x release series of libjpeg-turbo.

          After 3 further upload iterations (~exp4 that is), the package now builds on nearly all (except 3) architectures supported by Debian.

          @all: Please Test

          For those architectures that libjpeg-turbo 2.0.2-1~exp* is already available in Debian experimental, please start testing your applications on Debian testing/unstable systems with libjpeg-turbo 2.0.2-1~exp* installed from experimental. If you observe any peculiarities, please file bugs against src:libjpeg-turbo on Debian BTS. Thanks!

          Please note: the major 2.x release series does not introduce an SOVERSION bump, so applications don’t have to be rebuilt against the newer libjpeg-turbo. Simply drop-in-replace installed libjpeg62-turbo bin:pkg by the version from Debian experimental.

        • Mark Brown: Linux Audio Miniconference 2019

          As in previous years we’re going to have an audio miniconference so we can get together and talk through issues, especially design decisions, face to face. This year’s event will be held on Sunday October 31st in Lyon, France, the day after ELC-E. This will be held at the Lyon Convention Center (the ELC-E venue), generously sponsored by Intel.

          As with previous years let’s pull together an agenda through a mailing list discussion – this announcement has been posted to alsa-devel as well, the most convenient thing would be to follow up to it. Of course if we can sort things out more quickly via the mailing list that’s even better!

          If you’re planning to attend please fill out the form here.

        • Release of nx-libs (Call for Testing: Keyboard auto-grab Support)

          Long time not blogged about, however, there is a new release of nx-libs: nx-libs
          What is nx-libs?

          The nx-libs team maintains a software originally developed by NoMachine under the name nx-X11 (version 3) or shorter: NXv3. For years now, a small team of volunteers is continually improving, fixing and maintaining the code base (after some major and radical cleanups) of NXv3. NXv3 aka x2goagent has been the only graphical backend in X2Go [0], a remote desktop framework for Linux terminal servers, over the past years.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • Kubernetes 1.16 beta now available, with support from Canonical

          Canonical announces full enterprise support for Kubernetes 1.16, starting with the beta release, with support covering the following installation mechanisms – kubeadm, Charmed Kubernetes, and MicroK8s.

          The beta release of Kubernetes offers users an opportunity to test some of the upcoming features and to validate containerised workloads on the latest Kubernetes technology. It also offers the user community a chance to give early feedback on the next release, ensuring new features work as intended, and the existing features you rely upon haven’t regressed.

          For quick, secure, and reliable Kubernetes installations in a single step, the MicroK8s beta channel will be updated with Kubernetes 1.16 beta. In addition to supporting the beta, the MicroK8s community has recently added one line installs of Helm and Cilium. With MicroK8s 1.16 beta you can develop and deploy Kubernetes 1.16 on any Linux desktop, server or VM across 42 Linux distros. Mac and Windows are supported with Multipass.

        • MicroK8s Version 1.16.0 Beta Released!

          We’re excited to announce the release of MicroK8s 1.16 beta! MicroK8s is a lightweight and reliable Kubernetes cluster delivered as a single snap package – it can be installed on any Linux distribution which supports snaps or Windows and Mac using Multipass. MicroK8s is small and simple to install and is a great way to stand up a cluster quickly for development and testing. Try it on your laptop!

        • A guide to developing Android apps on Ubuntu

          Android is the most popular mobile operating system and is continuing to grow its market share. IDC expects that Android will have 85.5% of the market by 2022, demonstrating that app development on Android will continue to be an in-demand skill.

          For developers looking to build Android apps, Ubuntu is the ideal platform in conjunction with Android Studio – the official Android development environment. Ubuntu features a wide variety of software development tools including numerous programming language compilers, integrated development environments (IDEs) and toolchains to enable developers to target multiple hardware platforms.

        • The Fridge: Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter Issue 593
        • Snaps help Xibo rekindle its relationship with Linux

          Sometimes, relationships just don’t work out. At first, it seemed that Xibo and Linux were made for each other. Xibo had a popular open source digital signage and player system, while Linux brought a community of enthusiastic users. Dan Garner of Xibo remembers why they broke up in 2015: “Releasing our player on Linux was too heavy on development resources, we were a small team, and it was difficult to make deployment stable”.

          So, Linux releases were shelved, much to the disappointment of users. Xibo’s software remained available as open source and as binaries. However, Linux users had to do the heavy lifting to install it and make it work. Hardcore fans often built their Xibo systems directly from the source code, creating a patchwork of different generations of the software in a universe outside Xibo’s mainstream activities.

        • Connect to Wi-Fi From Terminal on Ubuntu 18.04/19.04 with WPA Supplicant

          In this tutorial, we are going to learn how to connect to Wi-Fi network from command line on Ubuntu 18.04/19.04 server and desktop using wpa_supplicant. In a modern home wireless network, communications are protected with WPA-PSK (pre-shared key) as opposed to WPA-Enterprise, which is designed for enterprise networks. WPA-PSK is also known as WPA-Personal. wpa_supplicant is an implementation of the WPA supplicant component. A supplicant in wireless LAN is a client software installed on end-user’s computer that needs to be authenticated in order to join a network.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • Rabbit Holes: The Secret to Technical Expertise

        Sometimes, the simplest questions take you on exciting journies. This was, in fact, the most powerful and motivating force that got me into doing computery things from a very young age. I would ask a question, how do I X? And after some poking around I discover that I can’t do X without learning about Y and Some Authoritative Resource says you definitely can’t do Y without also knowing the arcane black magic of Z. And so on and so forth until I get myself so buried in tangents that at a certain point, I have no choice but to stop and come up for air. Or a potty break and snack.

        In the glamorous tech sector, we call these things rabbit holes. Unless you got into tech solely for the money (you monster), it’s stuff like this that we nerds live for. It’s how we got our start and crucially, it’s how we continue to learn and hone our skillset.

        But what, you ask, does a rabbit hole look like? And anyway, don’t rabbits live in dens or burrows? First of all, nobody asked you to critique the metaphor. Second, I’ll show you. This isn’t the deepest or most complex rabbit hole that I’ve stumbled down but it is recent and that counts for something when I’m itching to write something. Please feel free to follow along on your own instance of Ubuntu 18.04 if you have one handy. When you log into such a host, you are greeted with 27 lines of this here nonsense: [...]

      • Events

        • FSFE booth on Veganmania Donauinsel 2019

          Once more free software activists from Vienna used the opportunity of the local vegan summer festival to inform about the possibility to increase our independence on computers and mobile devices. It was the second such event in Vienna this year. But unlike the first which was directly in the city center with loads of passers by this street festival took place in Viennas big recreation area on the island in the Danube river. It is rather close to the city center also and therefore many local people visit it in their spare time. The organisers estimated 9000 visitors per day.

          The FSFE booth was manned there all the time from Saturday between 12:00 and 21:00 and Sunday from 10:00 to 19:00. It had a great spot far enough away from the stage with live music in order to allow undisturbed conversations and still close enough to the other 90 stalls with drinks, food, merchantise and a variety of stalls on other subjects like animal welfare, veganism sustainability, shelters and environmental protection.

          Since it was an outdoor event on a meadow and because we don’t own a tent we couldn’t hang-up our posters. We just used our umbrella to not be exposed directly to the strong summer sun. And we had huge luck with the weather. Shortly after the festival was closed down on Saturday heavy rain started and it lasted until shortly before the event started again the next day.

          Over the years we have collected a few regulars on our information stalls who normally drop by but again mostly totally new people frequented our FSFE information desk. Many of them had no prior knowledge what free software is about. Most of the time we were engaged in conversations with interested people and many explicitly thanked us for being there. We frequently explained why we man an FSFE information stall on a vegan summer festival: If you use the same ethical considerations that lead people to adopt a vegan life style in information technology you end up with free software.

      • Web Browsers

        • Mozilla

          • IRL (podcast): Making Privacy Law

            The word “regulation” gets tossed around a lot. And it’s often aimed at the internet’s Big Tech companies. Some worry that the size of these companies and the influence they wield is too much. On the other side, there’s the argument that any regulation is overreach — leave it to the market, and everything will sort itself out. But over the last year, in the midst of this regulation debate, a funny thing happened. Tech companies got regulated. And our right to privacy got a little easier to exercise.

            Gabriela Zanfir-Fortuna gives us the highlights of Europe’s sweeping GDPR privacy law, and explains how the law netted a huge fine against Spain’s National Football League. Twitter’s Data Protection Officer, Damien Kieran explains how regulation has shaped his new job and is changing how Twitter works with our personal data. Julie Brill at Microsoft says the company wants legislators to go further, and bring a federal privacy law to the U.S. And Manoush chats with Alastair MacTaggart, the California resident whose work led to the passing of the California Consumer Privacy Act.

      • Productivity Software/LibreOffice/Calligra

        • Don’t get trapped by your office suite

          The new trend among software vendors is to push towards online subscription models, even when the customer would rather stick to desktop software. Users need to keep paying in order to access the software – and therefore their documents. Their very own documents!

          As we’ve seen, this can be disastrous for end users. If you can’t make a payment, or the “authentication server” doesn’t work, you lose access to your data. The Document Foundation, started to fight for digital freedoms, rejects this kind of model. We think powerful office tools should be free to use, share and modify.

          LibreOffice, which is free, open source and developed by a worldwide community, doesn’t have subscriptions, or registrations, or yearly license fees, or anything like that. You can use it as you please (subject to the Mozilla Public License 2.0). You install LibreOffice on your own computer, and run it whenever and wherever you want. Even offline.

      • Pseudo-Open Source (Openwashing)

        • [Old] SystemD – it keeps getting worse

          My first impression of SystemD was “why on earth do that?”. Digging a little, it became “What the? That’s not right.”. Now I’ve gone further into it via using it on a couple of platforms and had that sinking feeling when “everything you know is wrong, now” and had some inexplicable bad behaviours from those systems. (Things like a directory in which I was residing being apparently deleted and recreated and “kill -9 PID” not causing that Process ID to die.)

      • Openness/Sharing/Collaboration

      • Programming/Development

        • “Rust is the future of systems programming, C is the new Assembly”: Intel principal engineer, Josh Triplett

          At Open Source Technology Summit (OSTS) 2019, Josh Triplett, a Principal Engineer at Intel gave an insight into what Intel is contributing to bring the most loved language, Rust to full parity with C. In his talk titled Intel and Rust: the Future of Systems Programming, he also spoke about the history of systems programming, how C became the “default” systems programming language, what features of Rust gives it an edge over C, and much more.

          Until now, OSTS was Intel’s closed event where the company’s business and tech leaders come together to discuss the various trends, technologies, and innovations that will help shape the open-source ecosystem. However, this year was different as the company welcomed non-Intel attendees including media, partners, and developers for the first time.

        • Introducing nushell, a shell written in Rust
        • Wing Tips: Introducing Variables with Refactoring in Wing Pro

          In past issues of Wing Tips we covered a number of the refactoring operations available in Wing Pro, such as renaming symbols, moving symbols, and introducing functions and methods. To finish our series on refactoring, let’s take a look at how to introduce a variable based on existing Python code, using Wing Pro’s Introduce Variable refactoring operation.
          This operation is used to replace selected occurrences of an expression with a new local variable, either to make code more readable or to avoid redundant computation.

        • A Guide to Excel Spreadsheets in Python With openpyxl

          Excel spreadsheets are one of those things you might have to deal with at some point. Either it’s because your boss loves them or because marketing needs them, you might have to learn how to work with spreadsheets, and that’s when knowing openpyxl comes in handy!

          Spreadsheets are a very intuitive and user-friendly way to manipulate large datasets without any prior technical background. That’s why they’re still so commonly used today.

        • Combine Multiple Excel Worksheets Into a Single Pandas Dataframe
        • Minimax with Alpha-Beta Pruning in Python

          Shortly after, problems of this kind grew into a challenge of great significance for development of one of today’s most popular fields in computer science – artificial intelligence. Some of the greatest accomplishments in artificial intelligence are achieved on the subject of strategic games – world champions in various strategic games have already been beaten by computers, e.g. in Chess, Checkers, Backgammon, and most recently (2016) even Go.

          Although these programs are very successful, their way of making decisions is a lot different than that of humans. The majority of these programs are based on efficient searching algorithms, and since recently on machine learning as well.

          The Minimax algorithm is a relatively simple algorithm used for optimal decision-making in game theory and artificial intelligence. Again, since these algorithms heavily rely on being efficient, the vanilla algorithm’s performance can be heavily improved by using alpha-beta pruning – we’ll cover both in this article.

        • Python MANOVA Made Easy using Statsmodels

          n previous posts, we learned how to use Python to detect group differences on a single dependent variable. However, there may be situations in which we are interested in several dependent variables. In these situations, the simple ANOVA model is inadequate.

          One way to examine multiple dependent variables using Python would, of course, be to carry out multiple ANOVA. That is, one ANOVA for each of these dependent variables. However, the more tests we conduct on the same data, the more we inflate the family-wise error rate (the greater chance of making a Type I error).

          This is where MANOVA comes in handy. MANOVA, or Multivariate Analysis of Variance, is an extension of Analysis of Variance (ANOVA). However, when using MANOVA we have two, or more, dependent variables.

        • Mike Driscoll: PyDev of the Week: Frank Wiles

          This week we welcome Frank Wiles (@fwiles) as our PyDev of the Week! Frank is the President and Founder of Revolution Systems and President of the Django Software Foundation. If you’d like to know about Frank, you should take a moment to check out his website or his Github account. For now, let’s take some time to get to know him better!


          I switched to a new laptop a couple of months ago and am trying to do most everything in Docker containers and fully 12-Factor, which has the side benefit of things I would not normally release publicly can be. So I’m trying to code “in the open” a bit more than I used to.

          I’m currently working on improving the docs around some of REVSYS’ open source projects like django-test-plus.

        • Quick and dirty mock service with Starlette

          The Python ecosystem is full of strong options to address the first part of the solution. Django, Flask, Pyramid, Bottle, and any other web framework you can think of would handle that with ease.

          The second part of the solution is harder. If I’m not careful, then being simple goes out the window, and I’ve destroyed the third objective.

        • Profitable Python Episode: Put Your Family First

          During the interview, I was asked how I would like to have Python runnable in the browser and I couldn’t recall the name of a product that makes this sort of thing possible. The product I was thinking of was Anvil, which while still not quite having Python in the browser, it’s close.

        • Test and Code: 85: Speed Up Test Suites – Nicklas Meinzer

          Good software testing strategy is one of the best ways to save developer time and shorten software development delivery cycle time.

          Software test suites grow from small quick suites at the beginning of a project to larger suites as we add tests, and the time to run the suites grows with it.

          Fortunately, pytest has many tricks up it’s sleave to help shorten those test suite times.

        • AI Driven Automated Code Review With DeepCode

          Software engineers are frequently faced with problems that have been fixed by other developers in different projects. The challenge is how and when to surface that information in a way that increases their efficiency and avoids wasted effort. DeepCode is an automated code review platform that was built to solve this problem by training a model on a massive array of open sourced code and the history of their bug and security fixes. In this episode their CEO Boris Paskalev explains how the company got started, how they build and maintain the models that provide suggestions for improving your code changes, and how it integrates into your workflow.

        • Introduction to AWS beanstalk platform

          In this tutorial, I am going to show you how to deploy your Python based flask application to AWS Beanstalk.

          There could be 2 ways to host your application to AWS beanstalk platform, one is using web interface of AWS beanstalk and another is Command Line Interface (CLI).

        • PyCoder’s Weekly: Issue #383 (Aug. 27, 2019)
        • Python for NLP: Multi-label Text Classification with Keras

          This is the 19th article in my series of articles on Python for NLP. From the last few articles, we have been exploring fairly advanced NLP concepts based on deep learning techniques. In the last article, we saw how to create a text classification model trained using multiple inputs of varying data types. We developed a text sentiment predictor using textual inputs plus meta information.

          In this article, we will see how to develop a text classification model with multiple outputs. We will be developing a text classification model that analyzes a textual comment and predicts multiple labels associated with the comment. The multi-label classification problem is actually a subset of multiple output model. At the end of this article you will be able to perform multi-label text classification on your data.

          The approach explained in this article can be extended to perform general multi-label classification. For instance you can solve a classification problem where you have an image as input and you want to predict the image category and image description.

          At this point, it is important to explain the difference between a multi-class classification problem and a multi-label classification. In multi-class classification problem, an instance or a record can belong to one and only one of the multiple output classes. For instance, in the sentiment analysis problem that we studied in the last article, a text review could be either “good”, “bad”, or “average”. It could not be both “good” and “average” at the same time. On the other hand in multi-label classification problems, an instance can have multiple outputs at the same time. For instance, in the text classification problem that we are going to solve in this article, a comment can have multiple tags. These tags include “toxic”, “obscene”, “insulting”, etc., at the same time.

        • Python Software Foundation Fellow Members for Q1 & Q2 2019

          We are happy to announce our newest PSF Fellow Members! This group includes nominated Fellows from Q1 and Q2 of 2019.

        • EPS Board 2019/2020

          For those of you who were not at EuroPython 2019, we’re happy to announce our new board for the next term:
          Anders Hammarquist (Treasurer)
          Angel Ramboi
          Jakub Musko
          Marc-André Lemburg (Chair)
          Martin Christen (Vice Chair)
          Raquel Dou
          Silvia Uberti
          Stéphane Wirtel

        • How to Use Python Lambda Functions

          Python and other languages like Java, C#, and even C++ have had lambda functions added to their syntax, whereas languages like LISP or the ML family of languages, Haskell, OCaml, and F#, use lambdas as a core concept. Python lambdas are little, anonymous functions, subject to a more restrictive but more concise syntax than regular Python functions.

        • Learning Python

          Did I need to read a fifteen hundred page book to learn Python?
          At the end of fourteen hundred pages, I can safely assure you, I did not.

          If you want to just solve your pressing issues or scratch your itch, or just plain get started with programming (and programming in Python specifically), I’d recommend starting with a simple, fast paced book, like Python for you and me, and then doing tons of practice.1

          Mark Lutz, as he closes the book, himself laments that Python has gotten too big to hold in your head. And by doing so, has lost some of the simplicity and the joy and fun and the magic, Python held for the early adopters of the language.

  • Leftovers

    • Science

      • Reliable after 50 years: The Apollo Guidance Computer’s switching power supplies

        We recently restored an Apollo Guidance Computer, the revolutionary computer that helped navigate to the Moon and land on its surface.1 At a time when most computers filled rooms, the Apollo Guidance Computer (AGC) took up just a cubic foot. This blog post discusses the small but complex switching power supplies that helped make the AGC compact enough to fit onboard the spacecraft.

    • Health/Nutrition

      • Retailers face pressure to get BPA-like chemicals out of their receipts

        Some retailers removed BPA-coated receipt paper, but replaced it with nearly identical bisphenol substances, like BPS, according to the groups, which include Environmental Defence, the United Food and Commercial Workers Canada, and Breast Cancer Action Quebec. They say these coatings pose a risk to retail workers and consumers.

        “The notion that … by doing one’s job that one is being exposed to these toxins would quite naturally concern us,” said Derek Johnstone, a spokesman for the UFCW Canada, which represents thousands of cashiers.

    • Security (Confidentiality/Integrity/Availability)

      • Nmap: scan IP ranges
      • Security updates for Tuesday

        Security updates have been issued by Debian (apache2 and xymon), openSUSE (putty and vlc), Red Hat (kernel and ruby), Scientific Linux (advancecomp, bind, binutils, blktrace, compat-libtiff3, curl, dhcp, elfutils, exempi, exiv2, fence-agents, freerdp and vinagre, ghostscript, glibc, gvfs, http-parser, httpd, kde-workspace, keepalived, kernel, keycloak-httpd-client-install, libarchive, libcgroup, libguestfs-winsupport, libjpeg-turbo, libmspack, libreoffice, libsolv, libssh2, libtiff, libvirt, libwpd, linux-firmware, mariadb, mercurial, mod_auth_openidc, nss, nss-softokn, nss-util, and nspr, ntp, opensc, openssh, openssl, ovmf, patch, perl-Archive-Tar, polkit, poppler, procps-ng, python, python-requests, python-urllib3, qemu-kvm, qt5, rsyslog, ruby, samba, sox, spice-gtk, sssd, systemd, tomcat, udisks2, unixODBC, unzip, uriparser, Xorg, zsh, and zziplib), Slackware (kernel), and SUSE (ardana-ansible, ardana-db, ardana-freezer, ardana-glance, ardana-input-model, ardana-nova, ardana-osconfig, ardana-tempest, caasp-openstack-heat-templates, crowbar-core, crowbar-ha, crowbar-openstack, crowbar-ui, documentation-suse-openstack-cloud, galera-python-clustercheck, openstack-cinder, openstack-glance, openstack-heat, openstack-horizon-plugin-monasca-ui, openstack-horizon-plugin-neutron-fwaas-ui, openstack-ironic, openstack-keystone, openstack-manila, openstack-monasca-agent, openstack-monasca-api, openstack-monasca-persister, openstack-monasca-persister-java, openstack-murano, openstack-neutron, openstack-neutron-gbp, openstack-neutron-lbaas, openstack-nova, openstack-octavia, python-Beaver, python-oslo.db, python-osprofiler, python-swiftlm, venv-openstack-magnum, venv-openstack-monasca, venv-openstack-monasca-ceilometer, venv-openstack-murano, venv-openstack-neutron and qemu).

      • Ransomware attacks

        Safely tucked away in the sub-basement server dungeon of Linux Format Towers, were largely unaware of the icecream-melting heat of these summer days, though the walls are left mighty dannk from the river Avon worming its way through the ground towards our self-imposed entombment.

        What does worry us though is the creeping threat of ransomware attacks and social engineering of our feeble human brains. So we tasked Jonni – inbetween tea making runs – to write a guide on how to beat ransomware, better protect from social engineering attacks and more! I

      • CPU Security Mitigation on openSUSE | Tuning it for Your Case

        This is a little outside of my normal blatherings format but after stumbling upon a video from Red Robbo’s YouTube channel. I wanted to investigate his claims that maybe, just maybe the security mitigations that I have chosen they are a bit excessive for my use case. Recently, openSUSE has added a feature to make this easily user adjustable. Since they made it easy, obviously, someone far smarter than I am has decided that some of the mitigations may be excessive and not worth the performance loss for all use cases. I written about the mitigations some time ago and how it is fun to see all that is being implemented. Maybe it’s time to dial it back.

      • Rootkits 101

        Rootkits originated in the early days of UNIX-based systems. They can be broadly defined as a collection of malicious software and tools used to exploit security vulnerabilities in any UNIX operating system.

        But in modern parlance, since Windows systems dominate the cyber ecosystem, rootkits have a much narrower definition — those that target Windows systems. They are divided into those that restrict themselves to the software space (user) of the OS, and those that delve into the deeper levels with direct firmware access (kernel).

      • Solving the Cyber Security Problem: Mission Impossible

        Why nothing is working in cyber security?

      • Secret backdoor inserted into Webmin tool

        Cameron has traced the modification to an incident in April last year involving the Webmin development build server being exploited. The vulnerability was added to one of Webmin’s scripts, and the timestamp of the modified script was set back so that the modification was not detected.

        The same backdoor is present in versions 1.900 to 1.920 of the tool, but is only exploitable if an administrator had enabled the feature to allow the changing of expired passwords.

    • Environment

      • Tree loss brings more warming as world heats

        Blazing forests cannot dampen climate change, tree loss will worsen it, and poorly nourished trees will make the next century more challenging.

      • Bolsonaro’s legal bonfire fuels Amazon inferno

        Brazil’s president has destroyed the protection enacted by his predecessors, leaving an Amazon inferno to torch the rainforest.

      • DNC Shuts Down Climate Debate Compromise

        The Democratic National Committee (DNC) will not let 2020 primary candidates share the stage in a debate devoted to the climate crisis, the party voted Saturday during its summer meeting in San Francisco.

        The DNC resolutions committee had already voted against holding a party-sanctioned debate on the topic Thursday, but it did approve language that would have allowed candidates to speak face-to-face on the issue at a third-party sponsored event. That compromise was voted down 222-137 Saturday, CNN reported. CNN and MSNBC both plan to hold climate forums in September, but the candidates will have to speak separately and will not be able to engage each other.

        “This decision is as baffling as it is alarming,” candidate and former Texas Representative Beto O’Rourke tweeted of the decision. “Our planet is burning—the least we can do as a party is debate what to do about it.”

      • Energy

        • On David Koch’s Passing and the Koch Network’s Ongoing War on Clean Energy

          Billionaire libertarian activist and oil industry tycoon David Koch died on Friday, leaving a toxic legacy that includes helping birth the climate denial movement, fighting against regulations that protect worker and public health, and — critical to our work here on DeSmog’s KochvsClean project — helping fund and coordinate a decades-long attack on clean energy and low carbon energy solutions.

        • Comment: Rail Industry Publication Attacks New York Times Over Lac-Mégantic Oil Train Tragedy

          Six years after the oil train derailment and explosion in Lac-Mégantic, Quebec — which claimed 47 lives and destroyed the downtown of this small lakeside town — The New York Times reviewed what progress has been made since the disaster, with a headline that noted “Deadly Cargo Still Rides the Rails.”

          However, Railway Age, the leading rail industry publication, attacked The Times’ coverage in an incredibly flawed critique. The title of finance editor David Nahass’s take-down is “Clickbait Journalism at The New York Times.”

        • Green peer reacts to reports of a possible cut to fuel duty

          Responding to reports of a possble cut to fuel duty (1), Green peer Jenny Jones has said:

          “The UK has declared a climate emergency, there’s grave global concern about the Amazon, ‘the lungs of the world’, being consumed by fire, and yet what we hear from our Prime Minister is the floating of a populist policy that he hopes will win over the votes of Brexit Party backers.
          “Thus is Boris Johnson boosterism exposed as the nakedly self-interested, short-termist approach that it is. It has not the interests of the British people or the fragile, threatened planet at heart, but the political interests of one man.
          “This is no way to run a country.”

      • Wildlife/Nature

        • The Federal Government’s Cruel War Against Wildlife

          Wildlife advocates got a much-needed win recently when the EPA withdrew its support for M-44 “cyanide bombs” used to kill coyotes and other animals. The devices — which attract animals with tasty bait and then inject a deadly dose of sodium cyanide into their mouths — have been used for decades by a USDA program called Wildlife Services to eliminate animals that are perceived as threats to agricultural interests.

          The announcement came just five days after the EPA re-approved the use of M-44s, a move that generated outcry from around the country.

          While this success is noteworthy, M-44s are just one of the weapons in Wildlife Service’s arsenal. The program’s staff uses a variety of additional tools and methods to complete their tasks, including several that wildlife advocates consider to be cruel and inhumane.

          These methods add up. All told Wildlife Services killed 2.6 million animals in 2018, including 1.1 million invasive species and 1.5 million native animals.

        • Rare baby wildebeest born at Newquay Zoo

          John Meek, curator of animals at the zoo, said: “The birth of this little one is a great effort towards the conservation of this species and towards the captive breeding programme Newquay Zoo is involved in.

          “Mum and baby are doing great! Dessi is very protective over her first born and has taken to motherhood extremely well.”

          Despite the species’ conservation status of Least Concern, black wildebeest are a rare species as a result of over-hunting and hybridisation with the blue wildebeest.

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