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09.04.19

Links 4/9/2019: Systemd 243, Plasma 5.16.5, Android 10, Firefox 69.0, Go 1.13

Posted in News Roundup at 5:08 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Linux for Chromebook may offer a choice in distro in the future

      After the successful launch of Linux for Chromebooks which caught the attention of a lot of developers, it seems there’s been a push for more.

      A recent submission for additional functionality on Chromium has me very interested. The request (along with mock screenshots on how the setup may look) is for users to have the option to choose their Linux Distribution at the time of install.

    • Geeks in Cyberspace: A documentary about Linux nerds and the web that was

      Malda created Slashdot.org more than 20 years ago, in 1997, and his friends helped him turn his proto-blog into an engine of participation. The site was powered by an incredibly rich suite of Linux, Apache, MySQL, and clever Perl hacks, as well as a community of readers who would submit stories, comment on them, then moderate those comments to bring the best bits to the top. Wired called this “open-source journalism” in 1999, and the site would directly influence the creation of Digg and later Reddit.

      Slashdot’s massive influence in the open source community coincided with what could be termed the open source bubble of the late 1990s, when Linux companies set records on Wall Street, and Microsoft recognized it had a real competitor in projects that were giving their source code away for free. Malda and his friends profited from the speculative craze, albeit modestly in comparison to later social media entrepreneurs. They sold Slashdot to Andover.net in the summer of 1999 for several million dollars in cash and stock options.

    • Server

      • Microsoft set to close licensing loopholes, leave cloud rivals high and dry

        Microsoft this fall will begin closing loopholes in its licensing rules that have let customers bring their own licenses for Windows, Windows Server, SQL Server and other software to rival cloud providers like Google and Amazon.

        The Redmond, Wash. company laid down the new law in an Aug. 1 announcement, the same day it previewed Azure Dedicated Host, a new service that runs Windows virtual machines (VMs) on dedicated, single-tenant physical servers.

      • Schedule for Open Infrastructure Shanghai now released

        It may feel like summer is still in full swing, but before you know it, we’ll be facing those shorter days that autumn (or fall, depending on your geographic location and/or linguistic preference) brings. To brighten up these shorter days, many in the open source community will be looking forward to the Open Infrastructure Summit (sometimes shortened to OIS) in Shanghai. The first of these summits to be held in mainland China, this is an exciting event as it will bring together some of the finest minds in open source from around the world in one location.

      • What is Edge [and Fog] Computing and How is it Redefining the Data Center?

        Some of you may have noticed that a hot new buzzword is circulating the Internet: Edge Computing. Truth be told, this is probably a buzzword you should be paying attention to. It is creating enough of a hype for the Linux Foundation to define edge computing and its associated concepts in an Open Glossary of Edge Computing. So, what is edge computing? And how does it redefine the way in which we process data? In order to answer this, we may need to take a step backwards and explain the problem edge computing solves.
        We all have heard of this Cloud. In its most general terms, cloud computing enables companies, service providers and individuals to provision the appropriate amount of computing resources dynamically (compute nodes, block or object storage and so on) for their needs. These application services are accessed over a network—and not necessarily a public network. Three distinct types of cloud deployments exist: public, private and a hybrid of both.

        The public cloud differentiates itself from the private cloud in that the private cloud typically is deployed in the data center and under the proprietary network using its cloud computing technologies—that is, it is developed for and maintained by the organization it serves. Resources for a private cloud deployment are acquired via normal hardware purchasing means and through traditional hardware sales channels. This is not the case for the public cloud. Resources for the public cloud are provisioned dynamically to its user as requested and may be offered under a pay-per-usage model or for free (e.g. AWS, Azure, et al). As the name implies, the hybrid model allows for seamless access and transitioning between both public and private (or on-premise) deployments, all managed under a single framework.

      • IBM

        • Using the STOMP Protocol with Apache ActiveMQ Artemis Broker

          In this article, we will use a Python-based messaging client to connect and subscribe to a topic with a durable subscription in the Apache ActiveMQ Artemis broker. We will use the text-based STOMP protocol to connect and subscribe to the broker. STOMP clients can communicate with any STOMP message broker to provide messaging interoperability among many languages, platforms, and brokers.

          If you need to brush up on the difference between persistence and durability in messaging, check Mary Cochran’s article on developers.redhat.com/blog.

          A similar process can be used with Red Hat AMQ 7. The broker in Red Hat AMQ 7 is based on the Apache ActiveMQ Artemis project. See the overview on developers.redhat.com for more information.

        • From the AWS Blog: What Red Hat OpenShift Dedicated can do for you

          While Red Hat OpenShift makes it easier for teams to implement and run Kubernetes-based Linux container infrastructure, there are scenarios where a team may be too small or spread too thin even to administrate an OpenShift cluster on their own. For these teams, we offer Red Hat OpenShift Dedicated, a fully managed and provisioned service from Red Hat, hosted on AWS. These two services go hand in hand to provide production-grade container-based infrastructure on top of Amazon’s worldwide cloud infrastructure.

          But what does that actually mean for an IT executive trying to suss out the total costs, savings and optimizations offered by moving to OpenShift Dedicated? Ryan Niksch, Partner Solutions Architect at Amazon, has written an extensive blog entry detailing the exact benefits of using OpenShift Dedicated. That should be some useful information for anyone evaluating the many hosted Kubernetes options available in the marketplace.

        • Want to power innovative clouds? Rev up open source technologies

          It wasn’t that long ago that open source software was considered an unusual technology choice for enterprise computing. Not so anymore. According to Red Hat’s 2019 State of Enterprise Open Source survey of 950 IT professionals, 68% of respondents said their use of enterprise open source has increased over the past 12 months. And, only 1% indicated that open source software was not at all important, while 69% said it is very or extremely important.

          The survey illustrates open source software’s impact on cloud computing, too. According to the survey, IT leaders who expect to use more enterprise open source in the next year are more likely than IT leaders who do not expect to use more enterprise open source in the next year to move legacy applications to the cloud, modernize IT infrastructure and applications, and manage hybrid or multiclouds. And 43% of respondents said open source is being used in their cloud management tools.

        • Peanuts, paper towels, and other important considerations on community

          Red Hat president and CEO Jim Whitehurst explains that even the smallest gestures can impact how an organization sees itself—and how it sustains itself.

          [...]

          The most powerful aspects of an organization’s culture live in the smallest individual gestures—sometimes no bigger than a peanut.

          Not long ago, as I was sitting in the Dallas airport waiting for a delayed flight, I watched another passenger munch on some peanuts. Their shells fell all over the floor and, after a few minutes, the passenger kicked them into the aisle, presumably for the airport cleaning staff to collect later.

          I hadn’t given those peanuts shells much thought until a recent internal Red Hat event, when someone asked me about my pet peeves. I started thinking about the way I notice paper towels on the floors in Red Hat bathrooms. Whenever I see them, I pick them up and put them in the trash.

    • Audiocasts/Shows

      • Performance Picks for Kicks | LINUX Unplugged 317

        We take a trip to visit Level1Tech’s Wendell Wilson and come back with some of his performance tips for a smoother Linux desktop.

        Plus the story behind exFAT coming to Linux, and the big desktop performance improvements landing next week.

        Special Guests: Alex Kretzschmar, Brent Gervais, Cassidy James Blaede, Drew DeVore, and Ell Marquez.

      • LHS Episode #299: Wee Oui

        Hello and welcome to the 299th episode of Linux in the Ham Shack! In this episode, the hosts discuss ARES and Hurricane Dorian, keeping 2m frequencies in France, Icom’s new foray into QRP radio, Google in open source, fldigi, WINE and much more. Thank you for listening and we hope you have a fantastic week.

    • Kernel Space

      • UPower 0.99.11 Released As v1.0 Remains Elusive

        UPower is the abstraction layer around batteries and other power devices on Linux. Even with it being years since it was known as DeviceKit-power and seeing many 0.99 updates, the UPower 1.0 release isn’t there yet but at least UPower 0.99.11 is now available as their first release since February.

        UPower 0.99.11 is the project’s first release since formally adopting a Code of Conduct. The CoC used is the common FreeDesktop.org Code of Conduct that is based upon the Contributor Covenant.

      • Oreboot Is Taking Shape As Rust’ed, Purely Open-Source Focused Coreboot

        Oreboot has been in development for a number of months now and while at first may have sounded like a novelty downstream of Coreboot is now proving its usefulness and taking shape.

        Oreboot similar to Libreboot is focused on targeting “truly open systems” as Coreboot without binary blobs. But in addition to taking that libre stance to hardware support in working to do away with binary blobs like the current Intel FSP or present AMD AGESA, Oreboot trades in the C code for Rust (hence the name of Coreboot without the “C”).

      • Systemd 243 Released With Many Changes

        Systemd 243 finally shipped this morning as the latest major update to this widely used Linux init system.

        After seeing release candidates for just over one month, systemd 243 was finally tagged a short time ago. We’ve been particularly eager to see systemd 243 due to its AMD RdRand workaround though with new motherboard firmware updates working around the Ryzen 3000 series boot issue, it’s been less of an issue, but nice to see this systemd update out there with its workaround.

      • Intel Linux Graphics Driver Preparing NN Integer Mode Scaling

        Following the recent hype of Intel’s Windows graphics driver introducing integer mode scaling support, their open-source Linux graphics driver is receiving similar treatment with nearest-neighbor integer scaling support.

        The nearest-neighbor integer mode scaling support aims to provide better clarity to images when upscaled from say 1280 x 720 to 3840 x 2160 (or any other integer multiple of the original source image) compared to other scaling techniques. The integer scaling mode is particularly useful for pixel art video games that can otherwise lose their sharp edges when upscaled.

      • Linux 5.4 Kernel To Bring Improved Load Balancing On AMD EPYC Servers

        Adding to the growing list of features for Linux 5.4 with its cycle officially kicking off in mid-September is a kernel scheduler optimization designed to improve load balancing on AMD EPYC servers.

        The scheduler topology improvement by SUSE’s Matt Fleming changes the behavior as currently it turns out for EPYC hardware the kernel has failed to properly load balance across NUMA nodes on different sockets.

      • Linux Foundation

        • An introduction to Hyperledger Fabric

          One of the biggest projects in the blockchain industry, Hyperledger, is comprised of a set of open source tools and subprojects. It’s a global collaboration hosted by The Linux Foundation and includes leaders in different sectors who are aiming to build a robust, business-driven blockchain framework.

          There are three main types of blockchain networks: public blockchains, consortiums or federated blockchains, and private blockchains. Hyperledger is a blockchain framework that aims to help companies build private or consortium permissioned blockchain networks where multiple organizations can share the control and permission to operate a node within the network.

    • Benchmarks

      • Phoronix Test Suite 9.0 M3 Brings Improvements Around Offline/Private Testing

        The third and likely final development milestone release ahead of this month’s Phoronix Test Suite 9.0-Asker release is now available for cross-platform, fully-automated benchmarking.

        Phoronix Test Suite 9.0 Milestone 3 most notably brings improvements for running the Phoronix Test Suite in an offline environment particularly when there is no OpenBenchmarking.org test/suite data present. Phoronix Test Suite 9.0 is now shipping a static cache of all the tests/suites as of release time to help offline users. Those running with Internet connectivity will continue to query OpenBenchmarking.org for new/updated profiles. This should help those that initially run Phoronix Test Suite in an offline environment.

      • AMD Firmware Update To Bring Boost Performance Optimizations

        There has been a lot of talk recently of AMD Ryzen 3000 series processors reportedly not hitting their boost clock frequencies, whether stock coolers are adequate for hitting the boost frequencies, and other concerns around the boost behavior on these new Zen 2 processors. AMD issued a statement today they are rolling out a new BIOS/firmware update to help with boost clock frequency optimizations.

      • PowerTop, AMD CPUFreq CPPC & Other Power Tests From The Ryzen 9 3900X On Linux

        Idle load was about three Watts less for the overall AC system power consumption, the average power draw under idle and load came out to 2~3 Watts, and the peak AC power draw was just one Watt lower. That’s the out-of-the-box state compared to setting all the PowerTop tunables to their “good” state. So it saved 1~3 Watts, but still off the 10~30 Watt differences seen on the same hardware between Ubuntu 19.04 (plus Linux 5.3) and Windows 10 1903.

    • Applications

      • 20 Best Drone and Robot Software for Linux: The Professionals Choice

        Linux is enriched with a lot of drone and robot software. This industry is entirely linked with Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning, which needs a different kind of expertise and creativity. Since the new era of technology has emerged, it started to be a vital part mostly in the scientific research area. Also, this kind of stuff is not cheap to build and control. So, deciding on a particular product is fishy enough, even if you are experienced in this industry.

      • The birth of the Bash shell

        Shell scripting is an essential discipline for anyone in a sysadmin type of role, and the predominant shell in which people write scripts today is Bash. Bash comes as default on nearly all Linux distributions and modern MacOS versions and is slated to be a native part of Windows Terminal soon enough. Bash, you could say, is everywhere.

        So how did it get to this point? This week’s Command Line Heroes podcast dives deeply into that question by asking the very people who wrote the code.

      • 14 Best Free Linux Earth Science Software

        Earth science (also known as geoscience) is the focus of understanding the sciences related to the planet Earth. It includes a wide range of fields such as geology, geography, geophysics, meteorology, oceanography, and glaciology. Some people are surprised to learn that astronomy is also regarded to be an earth science. Geology is generally considered to be the primary earth science.

        Earth scientists plays an important role in helping nations minimize risks that are posed by climate change and natural disasters (such as floods, tornadoes, hurricanes, and earthquakes).

        Science really prospers and advances when individuals share the results of their experiments with others in the scientific community. There is a certain logic that scientific software should therefore be released under an open source license. Software is crucial in helping earth scientists carry out scientific research in understanding the system earth and its interplay with society.

      • Proprietary

    • Instructionals/Technical

    • Games

      • The Humble RPG Bundle seems like a really great deal for Linux gamers

        In the mood for some new games? Well Humble Bundle are back again for your monies, this time with The Humble RPG Bundle.

      • A little look over ProtonDB reports for Steam Play in August 2019

        Another month has come and go and so ProtonDB, the super handy unofficial tracker for Steam Play compatibility ratings has released another data dump.

        Looking to get started with Steam Play? Be sure to check our previous beginners guide.

        Once again, here’s a quick look over some points shown in the data. August had a total of 3,848 reports sent in with ProtonDB showing a total of 56,345 reports overall. From that, ProtonDB is currently reporting 6,129 “games work” which ProtonDB base on those with at least one gold rating or higher.

      • openblack is a FOSS game engine for Black & White currently under development

        How about a little open source to start your Tuesday morning? Work is going into the openblack project, to create a modern open source game engine for Black & White.

        Originally released in 2001, Black & White is a “god game” developed by Lionhead Studios which closed down back in 2016. It’s considered a classic and even now it’s well love, with plenty of new games describing it as an inspiration.

      • The FOSS racer Yorg has recently released a big update with local multiplayer

        Always great to see free and open source games continue to mature. The racing game Yorg just recently put out a big a new release and it’s coming along nicely.

        Part of this update included moving to a new version of Panda3D, the open source game engine/framework used to power Yorg. This should help with performance, gamepad support and much more.

      • Village construction and management simulator MicroTown is out in Early Access

        Snowy Ash Games just recently released MicroTown, a pixel art village construction and management simulator. Note: Key provided by the developer.

        So far, it feels pretty good. Has a certain Settlers feel to it! The gameplay offered currently is a little simple and short, with only a single scenario to go through or sandbox play with no objective. For what it’s worth though, the developer does describe it as a “relaxing” game so a huge amount of depth is likely not the point with this one.

      • GTA-inspired Battle Royale game Geneshift just got a pretty big makeover

        Geneshift is really looking slick with the latest major update now available, completely overhauling the menu and the way you unlock everything. Overall, it’s a huge improvement.

      • Little Misfortune from the developer of Fran Bow is releasing this month

        After releasing a demo with Linux support back in April, the dark adventure game Little Misfortune now has a release date of September 18th.

        Developed by Killmonday Games, this is their second title after the really well received Fran Bow from back in 2015. Curiously, Killmonday said that Little Misfortune shares the same universe as Fran Bow and it seems it will be as delightfully strange. They say that it’s an “interactive story” one where your choices will have an impact and there will be…consequences.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • Plasma 5.16.5

          Today KDE releases a Bugfix update to KDE Plasma 5, versioned 5.16.5. Plasma 5.16 was released in June with many feature refinements and new modules to complete the desktop experience.

          This release adds a month’s worth of new translations and fixes from KDE’s contributors. The bugfixes are typically small but important and include…

        • KDE Plasma 5.16 Desktop Reaches End of Life, Plasma 5.17 Arrives on October 15
        • The past and future of the Randa Meetings

          This big and old house hosted our Randa Meetings for several years but unfortunately we have to tell you that it is, at least for now, no longer available. The former owners couldn’t afford to renovate it and thus needed to sell the house. So the new owner of the house is now the municipality of Randa and they have decided against opening it for rent this year. We don’t know much about their future plans, but we are trying to stay up to date so we can inform you about another possibility for Randa Meetings as soon as we can. But honestly we’re not very optimistic for futher Randa Meetings in the same house in Randa.

          No need to be sad or afraid that the meetings are dead though, as the team behind them is already looking for and thinking about other possibilities and locations for future “Randa” Meetings.

        • Akademy, the pulse of a vibrant community

          Have you ever wondered how KDE, a global community of volunteers, can successfully create and maintain such a large set of software projects? Projects that, among many others, include image and video editing applications, a powerful desktop environment and frameworks that make the work of developers easier. If you have not found the answer yet, I recommend you to participate in Akademy, the annual conference of the KDE community, because the answer is not a technical one.

          The answer is the community spirit. Regardless of nationality, sexual orientation or age, everyone feels comfortable in KDE. If you participate in a BoF session, raise your hand and shoot a question, no matter your technical expertise, every single person will pay attention to what you will say. KDE is an inclusive community; be respectful and tolerate others and you will be more than welcome.

      • GNOME Desktop/GTK

        • What to Expect in GNOME 3.34, Out Next Week

          The GNOME 3.34 release is set for an early September release, and it’ll ship with a sizeable set of new features and changes in tow.

          Among the new stuff that GNOME 3.34 brings, which millions of desktop Linux users can look out for, is easier app folder creation, a entirely revamped system profiling tool, and power ups for a crop of core apps.

          In short, GNOME 3.34 is a substantial yet iterative upgrade that buffs some of this free desktop’s rougher edges, particularly in so-called problem areas like animations and frame rates.

          There’s plenty more to talk about so read on to snare a sneak peek at the best new features in GNOME 3.34!

        • Will Thompson: γυαδεκ? χκπτγεδ?

          GUADEC in Thessaloniki was a great experience, as ever. Thank you once again to the GNOME Foundation for sponsoring my attendence!

        • Adrien Plazas: GUADEC 2019

          I attended Christian’s talk about designing multi-process apps, it sparked the interest of Alexander Mikhaylenko who rapidly started playing with these concepts, as we plan since a long time to run Libretro cores in a subprocess in GNOME Games.

          Lubosz presented his work on the VR Linux desktop. Even better, he demoed it, and the next day it was possible to test it in the corridor! So I did, and it was pretty amusing.

    • Distributions

      • Best lightweight Linux server Distros without GUI

        Most of the Linux server Distro can become an ultimate lightweight Linux server operating system if we use them in their minimal form. Although a wide range of open-source Linux distros can be used to perform server tasks by installing applications and tools needed by a server such as Apache, PHP, MySQL and more, the thing we have to make sure is the stability, Long term support and security. If you are going to opt any Linux Distro on your Server, you will never want it to be bloated or crashed oftentimes.

      • Charging Money For Linux Distros And Open Source Software? It’s More Successful Than You Think

        Daniel Foré is the founder of elementary OS, a boutique Linux distribution developed by a small startup that scraped by on user donations and merchandise sales. Then, inspired by an established business tactic in the gaming space, Foré and his team flipped a somewhat controversial switch that led to a massive increase in the company’s income: they simply started charging money for it.

        That just makes sense when you look at the potential audience elementary OS wants to serve: anyone.

        “We started out with a donation thing, but you know, donations are such a small scale that it doesn’t match what we need in order to serve all the people who are interested in using elementary OS,” Foré says in the upcoming September 4 episode of Linux For Everyone. “Even Patreon is a small portion of what we bring in.”

      • Screenshots/Screencasts

      • Debian Family

        • Kali Linux 2019.3 Released For Ethical Hacking Enthusiasts

          Earlier this year in May, the folks at Offensive Security shipped Kali Linux 2019.2 — the second Kali release of 2019. The biggest feature of 2019.2 was the new Nethunter 2019.2 release that supports more than 50 Android smartphones.

          Going one step further, the developers have released the third point update of the year in the form of Kali Linux 2019.3. It includes a number of changes to ensure ethical hackers can get the most out of this operating system.

        • Kali Linux 2019.3 released and Kali Linux NetHunter updated for mobile devices

          The third release of Kali Linux 2019 has now been made available for download bringing with it a wide variety of new features, enhancements and updates to hacking tools within the operating system. Kali Linux 2019.3 as a major update to the OS which was switched to the Linux 5.2 kernel series, providing users with improved hardware support when compared to Linux 4.19 used in previous releases. Linux kernel 5.2.9 is being used by default in this version, which updates many tools, including Burp Suite, HostAPd-WPE, Hyperion, Kismet, and Nmap.

          As well as rolling out Kali Linux 2019.3 an update has been rolled out for the Kali Linux NetHunter project for running Kali on Android devices offering support for LG V20 International Edition, Nexus 5X, Nexus 10, and OnePlus 7. “The OnePlus 7 is now the phone we recommend for Kali NetHunter. It is the latest and greatest flagship device for half the price of other devices,” said Offensive Security. “One thing to note is package management is done through the F-Droid compatible NetHunter store, so you can even choose to have a NetHunter device without any Google Play.”

        • Norbert Preining: Debian Activities of the last few months

          I haven’t written about specific Debian activities in recent times, but I haven’t been lazy. In fact I have been very active with a lot of new packages I am contributing to.

          [...]

          Lots of updates since we first released TeX Live 2019 for Debian, too many to actually mention. We also have bumped the binary package with backports of fixes for dvipdfmx and other programs. Another item that is still pending is the separation of dvisvgm into a separate package (currently in the NEW queue). Biber has been updated to match the version of biblatex shipped in the TeX Live packages.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • Canonical Outs Major Linux Kernel Security Updates for All Supported Ubuntu OSes

          Affecting the Linux 5.0, 4.15, and 4.4 kernels of Ubuntu 19.04 (Disco Dingo), Ubuntu 18.04 LTS (Bionic Beaver), and Ubuntu 16.04 LTS (Xenial Xerus), the most critical vulnerability (CVE-2019-10638) fixed in this new security update was discovered by Amit Klein and Benny Pinkas in the Linux kernel when randomizing IP ID values generated for connectionless networking protocols, which could allow a remote attacker track particular Linux devices.

          Also discovered by Amit Klein and Benny Pinkas, the security update addresses another critical vulnerability (CVE-2019-10639) in the Linux kernel, but only affecting the Linux 4.15 kernel used in the Ubuntu 18.04 LTS (Bionic Beaver) and Ubuntu 16.04 LTS (Xenial Xerus) systems. This could allow a remote attacker to exploit another vulnerability in the Linux kernel as the location of kernel addresses could exposed by the implementation of connection-less network protocols.

        • 5 Reasons to Switch to Linux Mint

          If you are looking for an easy to use, low learning curve, compatible, reliable Linux based distribution – Linux Mint is the ultimate choice.

        • Linux Mint 19.3 To Further Enhance Its HiDPI Support

          Even as we approach 2020, many Linux distributions and various desktop programs still isn’t fully optimized for today’s modern HiDPI screens. Fortunately for users of Ubuntu-based Linux Mint, their next update will further improve its HiDPI support.

          On tap for Linux Mint 19.3 are reworking several lingering icons/images that were never redone for a HiDPI world, the GTK status icon for system tray icons needs to be optimized still for HiDPI, and other changes.

        • Linux Mint 19.3 Slated for Release on Christmas with HiDPI Improvements, More

          The Linux Mint project published their monthly newsletter to inform the community about the latest developments around the Ubuntu-based Linux Mint operating system.
          With the Linux Mint 19.2 “Tina” operating system hitting the streets last month, the Linux Mint project has kicked off the development of the next release, Linux Mint 19.3 (codename is yet to be revealed), which is expected to arrive this Christmas with more improvements and updated components.

          “With the stable release behind us, the upgrade path opened and the new packages ported towards LMDE 3, we started work on Linux Mint 19.3. This next release is planned for Christmas, so our development cycle is quite short and we need to move fast,” said Linux Mint project leader Clement Lefebvre.

        • Monthly News – August 2019

          I hope you enjoyed the release of Linux Mint 19.2. It all went really well here, we got very good feedback during the BETA phase and that allowed us to fix a significant number of bugs. The stable release was very well received. It was great to see you happy, and we really enjoyed your comments, in particular about the speed and resource usage improvements in Cinnamon.

          With the stable release behind us, the upgrade path opened and the new packages ported towards LMDE 3, we started work on Linux Mint 19.3. This next release is planned for Christmas, so our development cycle is quite short and we need to move fast.

          Let’s have a look at some of the upcoming improvements.

        • Design and Web team summary – 03 September 2019

          This was a fairly busy two weeks for the Web & design team at Canonical. Here are some of the highlights of our completed work.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • EU turns from American public clouds to Nextcloud private clouds

        Just like their American counterparts, more than half of European businesses with over 1,000 employees now use a public cloud platform. But European governments aren’t so sure that they should trust their data on Amazon Web Services (AWS), Azure, Google Cloud, or the IBM Cloud. They worry that the US CLOUD act enables US law enforcement to unilaterally demand access to EU citizens’ cloud data — even when it’s stored outside the States. So, they’re turning to private European-based clouds, such as those running on Nextcloud, a popular open-source Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) cloud.

      • Events

        • Kiwi TCMS: Open source sprints at PyCon Balkan in Belgrade

          Next month our team will be at PyCon Balkan, Oct 3-5 in Belgrade. Together with presentation and a workshop we are going to host open source sprints! These will be an informal gathering where participants will be able to learn more about how open source works and go through their first contributions. This is ideal for students and less experienced people but we welcome everyone. There will be tasks ranging from easy to very hard!

      • Web Browsers

        • Mozilla

          • 69.0 Firefox Release

            As of today, Enhanced Tracking Protection will be turned on by default, strengthening the security and privacy for all of our users around the world. We’d like to extend a special thank you to all of the new Mozillians who contributed to this release of Firefox.

          • Firefox 69 is Now Available to Download

            Firefox 69 is a modest release on the features front, with its most notable improvements reserved solely for those using the browser on macOS and Windows systems.

            For instance, Firefox 69 will use the energy-efficient GPU for WebGL content on MacBooks that have dual graphics cards, which will help improve battery life while using the browser.

          • Today’s Firefox Blocks Third-Party Tracking Cookies and Cryptomining by Default

            For today’s release, Enhanced Tracking Protection will automatically be turned on by default for all users worldwide as part of the ‘Standard’ setting in the Firefox browser and will block known “third-party tracking cookies” according to the Disconnect list. We first enabled this default feature for new users in June 2019. As part of this journey we rigorously tested, refined, and ultimately landed on a new approach to anti-tracking that is core to delivering on our promise of privacy and security as central aspects of your Firefox experience.

            Currently over 20% of Firefox users have Enhanced Tracking Protection on. With today’s release, we expect to provide protection for 100% of ours users by default. Enhanced Tracking Protection works behind-the-scenes to keep a company from forming a profile of you based on their tracking of your browsing behavior across websites — often without your knowledge or consent. Those profiles and the information they contain may then be sold and used for purposes you never knew or intended. Enhanced Tracking Protection helps to mitigate this threat and puts you back in control of your online experience.

          • Firefox 69 — a tale of Resize Observer, microtasks, CSS, and DevTools

            For our latest excellent adventure, we’ve gone and cooked up a new Firefox release. Version 69 features a number of nice new additions including JavaScript public instance fields, the Resize Observer and Microtask APIs, CSS logical overflow properties (e.g. overflow-block), and @supports for selectors.

            We will also look at highlights from the raft of new debugging features in the Firefox 69 DevTools, including console message grouping, event listener breakpoints, and text label checks.

          • Recommended Extensions program—where to find the safest, highest quality extensions for Firefox

            Extensions can add powerful customization features to Firefox—everything from ad blockers and tab organizers to enhanced privacy tools, password managers, and more.

            With thousands of extensions to choose from—either those available on addons.mozilla.org (AMO) or self-hosted extensions listed on third-party websites—we know it can sometimes feel overwhelming trying to find good, trustworthy extensions. That’s why we created Recommended Extensions, a collection of curated extensions that meet our highest standards of security, utility and user experience.

          • Mozilla’s Manifest v3 FAQ

            Chrome versions the APIs they provide to extensions, and the current format is version 2. The Firefox WebExtensions API is nearly 100% compatible with version 2, allowing extension developers to easily target both browsers.

            In November 2018, Google proposed an update to their API, which they called Manifest v3. This update includes a number of changes that are not backwards-compatible and will require extension developers to take action to remain compatible.

            A number of extension developers have reached out to ask how Mozilla plans to respond to the changes proposed in v3. Following are answers to some of the frequently asked questions.

      • Openness/Sharing/Collaboration

        • Open-Source Finance: From Scarcity To Abundance

          A relatively new branch of economic theory that extends out of chartalism, MMT seeks to explain the way money works in practice today. With the advent of fractional reserve banking and practices like “quantitative easing,” it’s evident that governments can generate money out of thin air, or to use the fancier Latin term, ex nihilo. On top of this so-called monetary mass (M0), the banking system creates asset-backed money (called M3) through the emission of debt. As MMT researcher Dr. Randall Wray explains, a balanced budget — in which tax revenues always equal government spending — is a fallacy and actually limits full employment and the creation of new value. In fact, I believe we could, in theory, do away with taxes and just print the corresponding monies into circulation, adding to the supply instead of taking out by taxation. MMT describes that it’s not a shortage of capital that limits growth and innovation, but how that money is spent.

        • Humbleness key to open source success, Kubernetes security struggles, and more industry trends

          As part of my role as a senior product marketing manager at an enterprise software company with an open source development model, I publish a regular update about open source community, market, and industry trends for product marketers, managers, and other influencers. Here are five of my and their favorite articles from that update.

      • Programming/Development

        • Go 1.13 Release Notes

          The latest Go release, version 1.13, arrives six months after Go 1.12. Most of its changes are in the implementation of the toolchain, runtime, and libraries. As always, the release maintains the Go 1 promise of compatibility. We expect almost all Go programs to continue to compile and run as before.

          As of Go 1.13, the go command by default downloads and authenticates modules using the Go module mirror and Go checksum database run by Google. See https://proxy.golang.org/privacy for privacy information about these services and the go command documentation for configuration details including how to disable the use of these servers or use different ones. If you depend on non-public modules, see the documentation for configuring your environment.

        • Go 1.13 Released With TLS 1.3, Illumos, Unicode 11 & Other Fun

          Go 1.13 was released today as Google’s latest update to their language and run-time/toolchain.

        • Django Optimization: Or how we avoided memory mishaps

          Working in a tech startup is akin to fighting a series of fires that crop up every now and then (faster, if you’re iterating at breakneck speeds). Each time you douse a fire enough to maintain some calm over the next few months, but you know in the back of your mind that this isn’t over. Thus it becomes important to pick your battles.

        • Excellent Free Books to Learn COBOL

          COBOL is an acronym which stands for Common Business-Oriented Language. The US Department of Defense, in a conference, formed CODASYL (Conference on Data Systems Language) to develop a language for meeting business data processing needs which is now known as COBOL.

          COBOL is a standard language that can be compiled and executed on various machines. It’s ideally suited for business-oriented applications as it can handle huge volumes of data. It provides numerous debugging and testing tools. COBOL is a structured language; it has different divisions, so it’s easy to debug. The language is not designed for writing systems programs.

          COBOL is one of the oldest computer languages.

        • 50 Best Free Online Python Tutorials

          According to TIOBE Programming Community Index released in August 2019 for the most popular programming languages, Python stands 3rd in the list behind Java and C programming language. Exceptional progress in popularity of the Python language shows how this language has gained the trust of the millions of programmers and become one of the most reliable programming languages.
          Personally I’m not surprised with the overwhelming popularity gained by Python language because I’ve been using Python since my early days in programming and it is high-level programming language which is very easy to learn but one of the most powerful programming languages which lets you do whole lot of things with it.

          Multiplatform support is what makes Python one of the most used programming languages as it helps programmer avoid using different tools to port application and software’s between different platforms such as Android, Mac and Windows.

          It’s great idea to start your programming career with Python as it one of the easiest languages to learn with effortless integration support to other languages such as Java, JavaScript, PHP, etc. Learning Python is a fun task once you get familiar with the language and to make it more interesting for you; I’m going to give you 50 best online Python tutorial which you will find very useful.

        • Lists and Tuples in Python

          In this course, you’ll learn about working with lists and tuples. Lists and tuples are arguably Python’s most versatile, useful data types. You’ll find them in virtually every non-trivial Python program.

        • Python for NLP: Working with Facebook FastText Library

          This is the 20th article in my series of articles on Python for NLP. In the last few articles, we have been exploring deep learning techniques to perform a variety of machine learning tasks, and you should also be familiar with the concept of word embeddings. Word embeddings is a way to convert textual information into numeric form, which in turn can be used as input to statistical algorithms. In my article on word embeddings, I explained how we can create our own word embeddings and how we can use built-in word embeddings such as GloVe.

          In this article, we are going to study FastText which is another extremely useful module for word embedding and text classification. FastText has been developed by Facebook and has shown excellent results on many NLP problems, such as semantic similarity detection and text classification.

          In this article, we will briefly explore the FastText library. This article is divided into two sections. In the first section, we will see how FastText library creates vector representations that can be used to find semantic similarities between the words. In the second section, we will see the application of FastText library for text classification.

        • Webinar: “10 Tools and Techniques Python Web Developers Should Explore” with Michael Kennedy

          Building web applications is one of Python’s true superpowers. Yet, the wide-open ecosystem means there are SO MANY CHOICES for any given project.

        • Issue #384 (Sept. 3, 2019)
        • A case study in analyzing C++ compiler errors: why is the compiler trying to copy my move-only object?

          Recently a coworker came across a C++ compiler error message that seemed baffling, as they sometimes tend to be.

          We figured it out together, and in the hope of perhaps saving some others form being stuck on it too long, I thought I’d describe it.

        • Huawei Releases their Open Source Ark Compiler for HarmonyOS

          Back in May, there were rumors Huawei was working on HongMeng OS as an alternative to Android mobile operating systems, as the OS was brought to light due to US sanctions against the company.

      • Standards/Consortia

        • Report from July 2019 ISO C++ Meeting (Core Language)

          The summer 2019 C++ meeting was in Cologne, Germany, 10 years since our last meeting in Germany. As usual, Red Hat sent three of us to the meeting: I attended in the Core language working group (CWG), Jonathan Wakely in Library (LWG), and Thomas Rodgers in SG1 (parallelism and concurrency).

        • USB 4.0 “USB4″ Specification Published

          As expected after Intel provided Thunderbolt 3 to the USB Promoter Group royalty-free earlier this year, the USB 4.0 “USB4″ specification was published today and indeed based on the Thunderbolt protocol specification.

    • Leftovers

      • Security (Confidentiality/Integrity/Availability)

        • India Suffers Most IoT Attacks for Second Quarter in a Row

          The world of IoT is expanding rapidly, and businesses are adopting it at a quick pace in order to prevent being left behind. Unfortunately, IoT’s current security situation leaves much to be desired, and as such, are hotspots for people who want to cause trouble.

          Should companies continue to adopt IoT to keep ahead of the competition? Or is it a smarter move to stop and wait for proper security protocols to catch up? Let us know below!

        • Security updates for Tuesday
        • Teardown of a Failed Linux LTS Spectre Fix

          Today’s blog will serve as a deep dive into a recent Spectre fix, one of dozens being manually applied to the upstream Linux kernel. We’ll cover the full path this fix took, from its warning-inducing initial state to its correction upstream and then later brokenness when backported to all of the upstream Long Term Support (LTS) kernels. We’ll look at both the nature of the flaw in the backport as well as flaws in upstream processes that resulted in this backporting failure. As contrast, we’ll note how our independent review process spotted this vulnerability at commit time and how our Respectre plugin had already automatically fixed the underlying vulnerability.

        • grsecurity: Teardown of a Failed Linux LTS Spectre Fix

          This grsecurity blog entry looks at how an ineffective Spectre fix found its way into the stable kernel releases.

      • Defence/Aggression

      • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

        • Imprisoned Activist Jeremy Hammond Called Against His Will to Testify Before Federal Grand Jury in the EDVA

          Imprisoned information activist Jeremy Hammond has been called against his will to testify before a Federal Grand Jury in the Eastern District of Virginia (EDVA). Last week Hammond was removed from the Federal Correctional Institution in Memphis, Tennessee where he was serving a 10-year prison sentence after pleading guilty to charges he hacked the private intelligence contractor Stratfor Global Intelligence. At the time of his transfer Hammond was enrolled in the Federal Bureau of Prison’s intensive Residential Drug Abuse Program (RDAP) which upon completion qualifies participating inmates for early release. Hammond’s prison release date was projected to come around mid December of 2019 but because of his removal from the RDAP program and the summons to this grand jury his time incarcerated could be extended by over two years. Although Hammond is still in transit it is believed he will be detained in or near Alexandria, VA for the duration of his proceedings.

      • Environment

        • Worse US Atlantic floods need planned retreat

          What are now considered once-in-a-hundred-years floods are on the increase in the US. Later this century, they could happen to northern coastal states every year.

          And even in the more fortunate cities along the south-east Atlantic and the Gulf of Mexico coasts, the once-in-a-century floods will happen a lot more often: somewhere between every 30 years and every year.

          In a second study, a team of distinguished scientists argues that the US should face the inevitable and begin to plan for a managed, strategic retreat from its own coasts.

          At the heart of both studies is a set of new realities imposed by a rapidly-heating ocean and higher air temperatures worldwide. As the icecaps of Greenland and Antarctica melt, and as the glaciers of Canada and Alaska retreat, so sea levels have begun to rise inexorably.

        • Wildlife/Nature

          • How Animal Researchers Stay Out of the News

            If you are like most people, you know a lot more about how farm animals are treated on factory farms than dogs, primates and other animals are treated in US labs. It is no coincidence.

          • What the New Yorker Got Wrong About Forests and Wildfires

            The New Yorker recently published an article titled Trailblazing plan to fight California Wildfires that contains misinformation. I’ve had many people ask me what I thought of the piece. Given the influential nature of the New Yorker, I decided to respond here.

          • Pacific Bluefin Tuna Fishing Proposals Jeopardize Recovery Efforts

            Pacific bluefin tuna remains a species at risk. Despite a 2017 agreement on a rebuilding plan by countries that catch the species, overfishing that began nearly a century ago continues, leaving this highly valuable fish at less than 4 percent of its historic size — and vulnerable to extinction.

            When the managers responsible for Pacific bluefin tuna meet Sept. 2-6 in Portland, Oregon, they must reject proposals from Japan and South Korea that would raise quotas and put the future recovery of the population at risk. Instead, the decision-makers from the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission and Inter-American Tropical Tuna Commission, which jointly manage the species, should exercise caution, not increase catch limits, and focus on long-term sustainable management of the fishery.

            The rebuilding plan that was passed just two years ago aims to return the species to 20 percent of its historic size by 2034. Japan’s proposal calls for increasing the catch of both juvenile and adult Pacific bluefin, and comes even after countries rejected a similar proposal from Japan last year. Any increase in catch quotas would exacerbate overfishing and delay or derail the chances of a recovery. Additionally, recovery depends on an increase in recruitment — an estimate of the number of new fish entering the population in a given year — but signs point to a possible decrease in recruitment last year. Managers should wait for the results of an official stock assessment, scheduled for next year, to confirm if the plan is working before even considering raising the bluefin quota.

        • Overpopulation

          • The country’s birth rate is now less than one child per woman

            But other features of South Korean society may be dragging birth rates down. For one, working hours are among the longest in the rich world. In 2018 South Koreans laboured for 39 hours per week on average, 16% above the OECD mean. Work at home, meanwhile, is not shared equally. A survey in 2018 by the Korea Institute for Health and Social Affairs, a think-tank, found that married women do about four times as much housework and three times as much child care as their husbands. Greater gender equality and less punishing working hours would encourage more childbearing. Until then, expect South Korea’s fertility rate to keep falling.

      • Finance

        • The Defining Scam of the Neoliberal Era
        • Lawmakers Seize Brexit Agenda in Major Blow to Boris Johnson

          On a day of humiliating setbacks, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson suffered a major defeat in Parliament on Tuesday night as rebellious lawmakers voted to seize control of the Brexit agenda, prompting the embattled prime minister to say he would call for a new general election.

        • Justifications for Inequality: The Neuroses of Kochland

          One of the brothers Koch, David, has shuffled off this mortal coil, and the pious few looking at his passing may well think he is making it tough for camels passing through needles. As part of the Brothers Koch, he presided over a corporate empire that did its pinching best to wrest control from the purses of public accountability in the US republic. At his death, he was the eleventh richest person on the planet, on par with his dominant brother, Charles.

        • This Labor Day, We Need Real Plans to Build Worker Power

          This Labor Day, Democratic presidential candidates will no doubt be touting their support for a $15 per hour minimum wage. None have opposed the idea.

      • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

        • Bernie Sanders Is Coming to American Journalism’s Rescue

          Criticizing the media has become a sensitive issue for many on the left in the age of Trump. With an authoritarian president in office who seeks to discredit the media at every turn and regularly calls the press the “enemy of the people,” being too critical of the journalism business in 2019 can feel a bit like kicking someone when they’re down. Journalists in and beyond the U.S. not only must deal with a hostile president who attacks reporters and publications that don’t offer a steady stream of fawning coverage, but they are also grappling with the fact that their industry is in rapid decline.

        • Joe Biden Taps Influence Industry Despite Pledge on Lobbyists

          Joe Biden entered the Democratic primary promising “from day one” to reject campaign cash from lobbyists.

        • Beyond the Brexit Debacle

          If we focus only on the near term and on Brexit, we are doing precisely what Boris Johnson wishes. But the ramifications of the last few weeks will have effects on politics on the British Isles that are far more far reaching than even the question of EU membership. Let us think about those.

        • Democracy Dies From Bad Fact-Checking

          With these polemics-disguised-as-rebuttals, the Post is discrediting the entire journalistic genre of fact-checking. This is dangerous in a way that goes beyond any damage it does to Sanders as a presidential candidate. In truth, Sanders has little to worry about. The fact-checks are so ludicrous that they are unlikely to sway any voters. What they are more likely to do is feed into a pervasive distrust of the mainstream media, which is bad for democracy.

          Fact-checking is an essential journalistic service, all the more so under President Donald Trump. As is well known, Trump is a pathological liar on a scale never seen before in American politics. He makes Richard Nixon and Joseph McCarthy look like Boy Scouts. Many journalists, notably Daniel Dale of CNN, have done a commendable job in keeping track of Trump’s unending Niagara of prevarication, fibs, invention, and nonsense.

        • The Crazed, Rogue Leader is in Washington Not Tehran

          History in the Middle East is unkind to us westerners. Just when we thought we were the good guys and the Iranians were the bad guys, here comes the ghostly, hopeless possibility of a Trump-Rouhani summit to remind us that the apparent lunatic is the US president and the rational, sane leader who is supposed to talk to him is the president of the Islamic Republic of Iran. All these shenanigans are fantasy, of course – like the “imminent” war between America and Iran – of which more later.

        • James Comey, Whistleblower

          Former FBI director James Comey has been criticized once again for violating FBI guidelines in handling official matters.  He was pilloried for his handling of Hillary Clinton’s violations of security practices as secretary of state, and now for revealing Donald Trump’s efforts to obstruct justice.  Although Comey believed he was acting in the best interests of the nation on both occasions, there is no argument that Comey did violate the FBI’s internal regulations.  On both occasions, he was calling attention to illegal and possibly criminal behavior by Clinton and Trump.

        • From Trump Tower to Dictatorial Trump Power Over Law

          Donald Trump is “dumb as a rock” (to use his phrase) when it comes to the programs and the policies of the federal government agencies over which he is allegedly presiding. However, when it comes to defending and expanding his own political power, Trump is shameless and profoundly cunning.

        • Hong Kong’s Enemy Within

          The bedrock of any nation is its government — the manifestation of its sovereignty and protector of its people. But what if the personal loyalties of a substantial portion of civil servants do not lie with the sovereign? Worse, what if these allegiances are actually more to other powers — forces that are at odds with the sovereign and working to undermine its interests?

      • Censorship/Free Speech

        • Suit Against Pharmacy Groups Uses Antitrust as a Weapon Against Unaccountable Online Censorship

          PharmacyChecker.com found itself in a tough spot. The website evaluates online pharmacies, giving people information about how to cheaply and safely import prescription medicines into the U.S. for personal use. A network of other groups, closely aligned with U.S. pharmaceutical companies, is trying to drive Pharmacy Checker off the Internet, but Pharmacy Checker is calling them out.

          PharmacyChecker is the focus of a pressure campaign aimed at Internet gatekeepers, including domain name registrars, web hosting services, advertising networks, and search engines. PharmacyChecker is fighting back with an antitrust lawsuit against these rival groups, accusing them of conspiring to restrain competition, both in lawful prescription drug sales and in information about how to save money on prescription drugs. The pharmacy groups’ influence campaign against Pharmacy Checker is a classic example of shadow regulation—the use of private agreements with the Internet’s gatekeepers to regulate the speech of others. Pharmacy Checker’s antitrust suit is an important testcase for fighting back against unaccountable private speech policing.

        • The siege through journalists’ eyes 15 years after a horrific terrorist attack in Beslan, ‘Meduza’ asks reporters on the ground what they remember

          On September 1, 2004, terrorists seized a grade school in Beslan, capturing 1,128 children, parents, and staff. For the next two and a half days, the assailants mined the building and waited. By the end of the ordeal — one of the worst terrorist attacks in Russian history — 333 people were dead, and 783 were injured. Throughout the tragedy, Russian and foreign journalists were in Beslan, reporting the story live from on the ground. Fifteen years later, Meduza asked some of these journalists what they remember about those difficult, dark days.

      • Privacy/Surveillance

        • Facebook says Homeland Security can’t make fake accounts

          Fake accounts violate Facebook’s rules, and even the Department of Homeland Security can’t create them, the social network told the Associated Press today in response to a new policy implemented by the agency.

          In one of a series of changes to immigration policy last week, the department said employees at US Citizenship and Immigration Services, a division of DHS, could create fictitious accounts on social media to investigate the social media presence of an applicant for citizenship or a visa. This year, the Trump administration also started requiring applicants to list social media accounts as part of the visa screening process, a move that critics saw as an unnecessarily invasive measure.

        • Smart devices raise fear of privacy invasion for Australians

          Australians are concerned about their privacy with smart devices listening in on their conversations, and allowing organisations to extract personal information from their digital footprints.

        • How Porn Performers Fall Victim to Twitter Impersonators

          The glitch I noticed while trying to report my friend’s impersonator is one that is widely known to sex workers on Twitter. Commonly referred to as “shadow banning,” the act of delisting accounts from search can have serious effects for Twitter users. (You can find out more about shadow banning from my OneZero colleague Will Oremus’ stories on it here and here.)

          It’s not merely that it makes it harder for fans to find their account; in many cases, erasing a real account from search gives added legitimacy to impostor accounts, which show up in place of the actual account when someone types in a person’s name. (When reached for comment about the original reporting issue that drew my attention, a Twitter representative informed me that the team was “aware of this issue,” noting that there was “no specific timeline for when it’ll be fixed, but we’re working on it.”)

        • Purism: Why the Total Dossier on Everybody Must Stop

          There is a total dossier on everybody, and you are likely a willing, yet oppressed, participant. Willing because of how convenient it is; oppressed, because everything you do is under the complete control of others.

          Gang-stalking by corporations must stop. We have seen before what can happen when all the whereabouts of all people are tracked. The German Secret Police (the Stasi) had over 250,000 spies, who served in a four-decade long despotic regime over a population of 17 million, committing crimes against their own people–crimes that were viewed to be as brutal as those perpetrated by their Nazi predecessors–reminds us what oppression is. We have seen what happens when your privacy is invaded, when what you do is tracked. Decades before the Stasi, the Gestapo had 40,000 spies watching over a country of over 80 million, committing the worst atrocities on civilians ever; this is what oppression is.

          We have seen what happens when who talks to whom turns into a demagogic tragedy. McCarthyism was coined from recklessly slandering public figures, ruining the lives of hundreds of US citizen with unsubstantiated accusations; this is what repression is.

        • 8 Best Browser Extensions for 2019

          Whether you’re a casual or power user of the Internet, there are some must-have browser extensions that will enhance the utility of your favorite browser, boost your security, and overall improve your quality of life online. Today, we’ll cover the top 8 browser extensions, along with two of the best browser supported VPNs

        • Dropbox To Stop Following Symlinks To Items Outside The Dropbox Folder

          It looks like Dropbox will soon stop following symbolic links to files or folders outside of the Dropbox folder.

          When placing a symbolic link (symlink or soft link) in the Dropbox folder before this change, the symlink is replaced by the data it points to, so you have the actual data on the Dropbox servers, and not just the symlink.

        • Announcing the PureBoot Bundle: Tamper-evident Firmware from the Factory

          We have been promoting the benefits of our PureBoot tamper-evident firmware with a Librem Key for some time, but until now our laptops have shipped with standard coreboot firmware, that didn’t include tamper-evident features. To get tamper-evident features, you had to reflash your Librem laptop with PureBoot firmware after the fact, using our standard firmware update process. One of the biggest challenges for most people using PureBoot was the initial setup process–but many people might find installing an OS challenging too.

          The best way to solve this challenge is for us to do the setup for you–and that’s what we are happy to announce today.

          While we will still default to our standard coreboot firmware, starting today, if you order a Librem laptop and select the “PureBoot Bundle” option for the firmware, you can choose to have PureBoot installed and configured at the factory. The PureBoot Bundle includes a Librem Key, as well as a “Vault” USB drive that will contain the GPG public key we generated at the factory. You can use the Vault drive later to store backups of GPG keys you generate and store them in a safe place.

        • 14 Best Privacy-Focused Email Services in 2019

          We’ve covered emails in a lot of our articles ranging from titles about the best email marketing services to Android email clients and several wonderful email client apps e.g. Mailspring. And while we have covered some email services that respect users’ privacy individually, we haven’t ranked them into a top list before.

          Today, we’re placing our focus to the top email service applications you can use in 2019 thus my list of the best privacy-focused email services. It is a mixture of free, paid, open-source, and closed-source applications arranged alphabetically.

      • Civil Rights/Policing

        • Russian investigators drop rioting charges against five demonstrators and want another two suspects transferred to house arrest

          Russia’s Investigative Committee has dropped its rioting charges against five suspects in the so-called “Moscow Case” against demonstrators who attended recent unpermitted opposition rallies. Officials have closed the cases against Sergey Abanichev, Daniil Konon, Valery Kostenyok, Vladislav Barabanov, and Dmitry Vasiliev. All five men could still be charged with misdemeanor offenses, however.

        • ‘If I’m sad, why do I need to pretend like everything’s fine?’ Death Cafés are bringing Russians together to break taboos about the end of life. Our correspondent joined in — and began to overcome her own fears.

          Over the past several years, a movement advocating for “a more positive relationship to death” has taken off around the world, especially in Great Britain and the United States. This movement’s ideology suggests that people should talk more about their own deaths and those of their loved ones, establishing a more conscious relationship with the inevitable end of every life. The most striking part of this movement is the so-called Death Café, a space where those who wish to can talk about death, burials, and the many complications that come along with them. Such cafés already exist in a number of Russian cities. Meduza correspondent Sasha Sulim attended Death Café meetings in Moscow and Voronezh to find out what purpose they serve for their members and organizers. In the process, she began to see her own relationship with death in a new light.

        • Children’s rights commissioner demands inquiry, after police officers abandon journalist’s two-year-old daughter

          Moscow Children’s Rights Commissioner Evgeny Bunimovich has asked the city’s state prosecutors to review the actions of the police officers who arrested journalist Ilya Azar on September 2, leaving his two-year-old daughter at home, unattended.

        • A day of verdicts in Moscow’s cases against opposition demonstrators is a mixed bag for Russia’s opposition

          On September 3, courts sentenced three suspects in the so-called “Moscow Case” to multiple years in prison for crimes allegedly committed at unpermitted opposition rallies in the city. Vladislav Sinitsa was sentenced to five years for tweeting about the children of law-enforcement officials; Ivan Podkopaev was sentenced to three years for pepper-spraying two National Guard troops; and Danil Beglets was sentenced to two years in prison for shoving a police officer.

        • Financiers Of For-Profit Prisons Targeted With ‘Rolling Picket’ Organized By Anti-ICE Activists

          Dozens of activists met at Bryant Park in midtown Manhattan to demonstrate against financial institutions connected to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) through for-profit prison companies.

          The protesters engaged in a “rolling picket” on August 27, rallying at branches of HSBC, Vanguard, BlackRock, and Prudential in order to pressure the companies to divest from CoreCivic and GEO Group, which imprison immigrants for ICE.

        • Sparking Change: How Movements Pass on Inspiration

          Change doesn’t happen in a vacuum. Resistance is a continuum. Nonviolent movements arise amidst the efforts of many other struggles. The knowledge of how to organize for change is a global legacy passed between movements and generations of activists through lineages of inspiration that stretch through hundreds of years. (The first recorded strike happened in 1170 BC when Egyptian pyramid builders refused to work until they were paid; they’ve been happening much the same way ever since.) We learn from one another both directly and indirectly. We mimic creative tactics. We replicate strategies. We learn from mistakes. We are emboldened by others’ courage.

        • America’s White Problem Revisited

          Almost three decades ago when Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr. penned The Disuniting of America: Reflections on a Multicultural Society (1991), the threat of American white extremism was, if not quite unimagined, profoundly underestimated. Instead, Schlesinger lays the blame for what he calls the “decomposition of America” on the rise of “tribalism,” with Afrocentrism, “multiculturalists” and “ethnocentric separatist,” who in Schlesinger’s view see “the western tradition [as] inherently racist, sexist, ‘classist,’ hegemonic; irredeemably repressive, irredeemably oppressive,” presenting a clear and present danger. In some ways, the book presages Samuel P. Huntington’s The Clash of Civilizations (1996), another in a long tradition of apocalyptic treatises on the rising tide of color, although this time penned by cold war liberals who offer a more palatable version lacking the overtly racist demagoguery of previous scribes. Like Huntington, Schlesinger envisions that the threat to western, specifically American values and institutions comes from an imagined Brown Peril of teeming dark-skinned others not from those who have historically rejected them – i.e., white racial narcissists. As Sam Tanenhaus wrote in his 2017 review of the book in The Atlantic, “though its critique of the ‘politics of identity’ and the ‘tribal antagonisms’ it bred should have included a harder look at his own privileged tribe, its delusions as well as its prejudices and presumptions.”

        • The Many Faces of Immigration Resistance

          For the most part, major news organizations like the New York Times, CNN, the Washington Post, and the Los Angeles Times have provided comprehensive, accurate coverage of major immigration-related developments. Significant policy changes and their impacts on people have been presented with careful regard for both detail and larger issues. This is as it should be. Nevertheless, coverage often falls short in underplaying a critical dimension of unfolding events: the extraordinary depth and breadth of resistance to the Trump administration’s policies.

        • Whose Bread I Eat, His Song I Sing: An International Education Nonprofit and a Devil’s Bargain

          2019 is the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Institute of International Education (IIE), a well-known US-based private nonprofit that focuses on international student exchange and aid, foreign affairs, and international peace and security. IIE refers to itself as “a world leader in the international exchange of people and ideas.”

        • Starved for Five Days, Disabled Child Succumbs in Indian Province

          Starved for five days, Goutam Behera, 17, a disabled child from Odisha, an eastern state of India, finally succumbed on July 8, 2019. Was it a starvation death? Government is evasive; but the activists say, ‘yes’. If there are so many food related schemes in the state, then why the starvation deaths? That’s the moot question.

        • Politics & 21st Century Discontents: Change It

          We’ve Got Trouble People

        • The NRA vs. American Children

          If any doubts remain about the nefarious influence of the National Rifle Association (NRA) on the political life of the United States, President Donald Trump’s decision to discuss gun control measures with that organization should dispel them. The offer to discuss these measures is like asking a criminal for his weapon of choice in order to hand it over. This obsequiousness equals that of many legislators, mainly Republican, who refuse to pass effective legislation on gun control measures out of fear of losing NRA support. Scores of people stand to lose, among them a significant number of children and adolescents, whose lives end needlessly by criminal violence.

        • We Are All Indigenous

          “All things are interrelated. Everything in the universe is part of a single whole. Everything is connected in some way to everything else. It is therefore possible to understand something only if we can understand how it is connected to everything else.”

        • Remembering Mitch Podolak

          Before going to bed last night, I learned from a post I was tagged on on Facebook that Mitch Podolak had died.  If I ever checked my Feed, I might have learned earlier — he had died several days earlier, on August 25th, 2019.  Incidentally, exactly one year after US Senator John McCain died, who was about as different politically from Mitch as it would be possible to be.  (I probably only happen to remember that because I wrote a song about the man when he died.  If I wrote one about Mitch, it wouldn’t be like that one at all.)

      • Digital Restrictions (DRM)

        • Cory Doctorow: DRM Broke Its Promise

          Streaming services do depend on DRM: DRM is how Spotify stops third parties from making play­ers that skip ads, and it’s how Netflix and Amazon Prime stop you from saving its Christmas movies to your hard-drive in July so you can watch them for free in December, when they become pay-per-view movies.

          There’s a name for societies where a small elite own property and everyone else rents that prop­erty from them: it’s called feudalism. DRM never delivered a world of flexible consumer choice, but it was never supposed to. Instead, twenty years on, DRM is revealed to be exactly what we feared: an oligarchic gambit to end property ownership for the people, who become tenants in the fields of greedy, confiscatory tech and media companies, whose in­ventiveness is not devoted to marvelous new market propositions, but, rather, to new ways to coerce us into spending more for less.

      • Monopolies

        • Copyrights

          • Announcing an Open Call for Proposals: The Bassel Khartabil Fellowship

            The Fellowship supports outstanding individuals developing free culture projects in their communities under adverse circumstances, honoring the legacy of beloved artist, open source technology innovator, free culture advocate Bassel Khartabil.

          • Search Engines Given “Six Hours” to Delete Pirate Links Under New Law

            New amendments to Russian law developed by the largest media and search engines will require the latter to swiftly delete ‘pirate’ links from their indexes. According to local sources inside the working group, platforms like Yandex will be required to delete links within six hours after their appearance on infringing content databases, which must be queried every five minutes.

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