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09.12.19

Links 12/9/2019: Manjaro 18.1 and KaOS 2019.09 Releases

Posted in News Roundup at 12:07 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Desktop

      • Huawei Just Started Selling Laptops With Deepin Linux Pre-Installed

        Some of the best and most affordable premium laptops on the market are now shipping with Linux pre-installed. More specifically they’re shipping with Deepin, a beautiful and polished desktop Linux distribution which, like Huawei, are based in China. Whether this is a result of the ongoing trade dispute between the United States and China is unknown, but it’s a nice step forward for the proliferation of Linux alternatives promoted by major OEMs.

        Let’s get the disappointing news out of the way first. Right now these select Huawei laptops with Linux are only rolling out in China, via Huawei’s official e-commerce store VMall.com.

        The exact models available with Deepin Linux are the Huawei MateBook X Pro, Huawei MateBook 13 and Huawei MateBook 14. It also looks like you’re stuck with the stock options for each model.

    • Server

      • SLE 12 SP5 Release Candidate 1 is available for testing

        SUSE Linux Enterprise 12 Service Pack 5 (SLE 12 SP5) is the last Service Pack of the SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 12 (SLE 12) code stream.

      • Not Enough Open Source Monitoring Solutions For Enterprise

        In this interview, Greg Pattison, GM of Blue Medora talks about the state of monitoring and logging solutions for enterprise workloads. The interview was conducted at VMworld.

      • OpenStack Foundation’s StarlingX 2.0 Expands Cloud Computing to the Edge

        The OpenStack Foundation’s StarlingX has reached another major milestone, with the 2.0 release of the edge computing platform project.

        Based on code contribution from Wind River Systems, StarlingX debuted in late 2018 to enable the development and deployment of edge computing cloud software

      • This is the 75th issue of syslog-ng Insider, a monthly newsletter that brings you syslog-ng-related news.

        This is the 75th issue of syslog-ng Insider, a monthly newsletter that brings you syslog-ng-related news.

      • IBM

        • Kubeflow + OpenShift Container Platform + Dell EMC Hardware: A Complete Machine Learning Stack

          Kubeflow is an open source machine learning toolkit for Kubernetes. It bundles popular ML/DL frameworks such as TensorFlow, MXNet, Pytorch, and Katib with a single deployment binary. By running Kubeflow on Red Hat OpenShift Container Platform, you can quickly operationalize a robust machine learning pipeline. However, the software stack is only part of the picture. You also need high performance servers, storage, and accelerators to deliver the stack’s full capability. To that end, Dell EMC and Red Hat’s Artificial Intelligence Center of Excellence recently collaborated on two white papers about sizing hardware for Kubeflow on OpenShift.

        • Wherefore Art Thou CentOS 8?

          IBM’s Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8 (and I’m not sure if Red Hat likes me putting IBM in front of it or not) was released on May 7th, 2019. I write this on Sept. 11th, 2019 and CentOS 8 still isn’t out. RHEL 7.7 came out on August 6, 2019. In an effort to be transparent, CentOS does have wiki pages for both Building_8 and Building_7 where they enumerate the various steps they have to go through to get the final product out the door.

          Up until early August they were making good progress on CentOS 8. In fact they had made it to the last step which was titled, “Release work” which had a Started date of “YYYY-MM-DD”, an Ended date of “YYYY-MM-DD”, and a Status “NOT STARTED YET”. That was fine for a while and then almost a month had passed with the NOT STARTED YET status. If you are like me, when they completed every step but the very last, you are thinking that the GA release will be available Real-Soon-Now but after waiting a month, not so much.

        • Develop with Flask and Python 3 in a container on Red Hat Enterprise Linux

          In my previous article, Run Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8 in a container on RHEL 7, I showed how to start developing with the latest versions of languages, databases, and web servers available with Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8 even if you are still running RHEL 7. In this article, I?ll build on that base to show how to get started with the Flask microframework using the current RHEL 8 application stream version of Python 3.

          From my perspective, using Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8 application streams in containers is preferable to using software collections on RHEL 7. While you need to get comfortable with containers, all of the software installs in the locations you?d expect. There is no need to use scl commands to manage the selected software versions. Instead, each container gets an isolated user space. You don?t have to worry about conflicting versions.

          In this article, you?ll create a Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8 Django container with Buildah and run it with Podman. The code will be stored on your local machine and mapped into the container when it runs. You?ll be able to edit the code on your local machine as you would any other application. Since it is mapped via a volume mount, the changes you make to the code will be immediately visible from the container, which is convenient for dynamic languages that don?t need to be compiled. While this approach isn?t the way to do things for production, you get the same development inner loop as you?d have when developing locally without containers. The article also shows how to use Buildah to build a production image with your completed application.

        • IBM brings Cloud Foundry and Red Hat OpenShift together

          At the Cloud Foundry Summit in The Hague, IBM today showcased its Cloud Foundry Enterprise Environment on Red Hat?s OpenShift container platform.

          For the longest time, the open-source Cloud Foundry Platform-as-a-Service ecosystem and Red Hat?s Kubernetes-centric OpenShift were mostly seen as competitors, with both tools vying for enterprise customers who want to modernize their application development and delivery platforms. But a lot of things have changed in recent times. On the technical side, Cloud Foundry started adopting Kubernetes as an option for application deployments and as a way of containerizing and running Cloud Foundry itself.

        • SAN vs. NAS: Comparing two approaches to data storage

          For a new sysadmin, storage can be one of the more confusing aspects of infrastructure. This confusion can be caused by lack of exposure to new or different technologies, often because storage needs may be managed by another team. Without a specific interest in storage, an admin might find one’s self with a number of misconceptions, questions, or concerns about how or why to implement different solutions.

          When discussing enterprise storage, two concepts are at the core of most conversations: storage area networks (SAN) and network-attached storage (NAS). Both options provide storage to clients across a network, which offers the huge benefit of removing individual servers as single points of failure. Using one of these options also reduces the cost of individual clients, as there is no longer a need to have large amounts of local storage.

    • Audiocasts/Shows

      • FLOSS Weekly 546: CockroachDB

        Cloud-based apps and services deserve a database that scales across clouds, eases operational complexity, and improves reliability. CockroachDB delivers resilient, distributed SQL with ACID transactions and data partitioned by location.

      • Recapping vBSDcon 2019 | BSD Now 315

        vBSDcon 2019 recap, Unix at 50, OpenBSD on fan-less Tuxedo InfinityBook, humungus – an hg server, how to configure a network dump in FreeBSD, and more.

      • The Linux Link Tech Show Episode 825

        fiftyonefity passes, sony walkman, ham radio software, manjaro

      • Linux Headlines – 09/11/2019

        The Fairphone 3 gets a perfect 10 from iFixit, Acer joins LVFS, and Facebook has a user-space killer for a distro near you.

        Plus an updated RAW file editor for Linux and Full Circle’s plea for help.

      • Jeff Atwood on Discourse, Stack Overflow, and Building Online Community Platforms

        Jeff Atwood has an enormous amount of experience doing precisely this. Not only was he the co-founder of Stack Overflow (and later Stack Exchange), but he is also the founder of Discourse, an enormously popular Open Source platform for online discussions.

        In this episode of Conversations With Bacon we get into the evolution of online communities, how they have grown, and Jeff’s approach to the design and structure of the systems he has worked on. We delve into Slack vs. forums (and where they are most appropriately used), how Discourse has designed a platform where capabilities are earned, different cultural approaches to communication, and much more.

      • The First One | Self-Hosted 1

        You’ve been wanting to host a Nextcloud instance (or anything else) for your family for a while now. Where on Earth do you start? We share some hard learned lessons about self-hosting, discuss the most important things to consider when building a home server, and Chris gives Alex a hard time about Arch as a Server OS.

      • CubicleNate Noodlings | Episode 02 Desktops and Window Managers, BDLL and openSUSE News

        I view KDE Plasma as the pinnacle of all things that are the Desktop and portal into your digital life. This is of course my own opinion but really, what else can do as much as Plasma, in as little resources and be as flexible as it is.

        Xfce is the GTK desktop that is, in my estimation, the benchmark to which all GTK desktops should be measured against. It is what I would call a “classic” Redmond style interface that is familiar to nearly everybody.

      • Video: Opening session of LibreOffice Conference 2019

        Here’s the opening session – there’s a quick introduction in Spanish, followed by English at 00:40…

    • Kernel Space

      • Working on Linux’s nuts and bolts at Linux Plumbers

        Linux is built on the Linux Kernel Mailing List (LKML) and numerous other more specialized development mailing lists. But email and Internet Relay Chat (IRC) can only get you so far. Sometimes, to get things done, top Linux programmers really need to talk face-to-face with each other. That’s where the Kernel Maintainers Summit and Linux Plumbers comes in.

        The Kernel Maintainers Summit, Linux ceator Linus Torvalds told me, is an invitation-only gathering of the top Linux kernel developers. But, while you might think it’s about planning on the Linux kernel’s future, that’s not the case. “The maintainer summit is really different because it doesn’t even talk about technical issues.” Instead, “It’s all about the process of creating and maintaining the Linux kernel.”

    • Benchmarks

      • AMD/Intel Benchmarks: Building The Mainline Linux x86_64 Kernel With LLVM Clang

        With the upcoming LLVM Clang 9.0 compiler release there is an amazing achievement more than a decade in the making… The mainline Clang compiler can finally build the mainline Linux x86_64 kernel. The AArch64 state has been in better shape in recent years with multiple Arm vendors using Clang as their default compiler including to build the Linux kernel, but finally in 2019 the mainline Clang can build mainline Linux x86_64. There are a few caveats, but in this article is my experience in doing so with LLVM Clang and the Linux 5.3 kernel as well as running some preliminary benchmarks on AMD and Intel hardware.

        It has taken years of work to address various GCC’isms within the Linux kernel to improve its code portability for different compilers. There’s also been various features implemented in LLVM/Clang to help in building the Linux kernel. The most recent addition was finally supporting “asm goto” for satisfying Linux x86_64 kernel builds. LLVM Clang 9.0 will soon be released with this support and for today’s testing I was using the Linux 5.3 development code as of earlier this week.

    • Applications

      • Starship Is A Minimal And Fast Shell Prompt Written In Rust

        Over the years I’ve tried various fancy shell prompts, but I’ve always come back to the plain default username@host because I found the others too distracting and cluttered, or too slow for my taste.

        Until I came across Starship, a cross-shell / cross-platform prompt. Using the defaults is simple but also very useful, providing extra information only when it’s needed. It’s highly customizable too, and you can make it look as fancy as you like, but I only made some minor changes for my needs: I made it show the prompt on a single line, and disabled the new line it adds above the start of the prompt, because that needs more scrolling.

    • Instructionals/Technical

    • Games

      • Harvested, a game that blends city-building strategy with a top-down shooter

        Nice to see more games blend entirely different genres together. Harvested has you build a city like a strategy game and become a soldier on the field in a top-down shooter style.

        Speaking to the developer on Steam, Vashta Entertainment, they confirmed Linux support is planned. Their previous game, Trenches of War, is also available on Linux.

      • Hotel design and management sim Hotel Magnate should be on Linux at release

        After a successful crowdfunding campaign, it looks like Hotel Magnate will actually be coming to Linux. A few days ago their Kickstarter campaign ended, with over $70K Australian Dollars pulled in from over a thousand backers.

      • War Thunder 1.91 ‘Night Vision’ is out with the Chinese nation, new sound engine and Easy Anti-Cheat

        The online free to play combat sim War Thunder just had a huge new release, adding in an entirely new nation with China and plenty of upgrades elsewhere.

        Some highlights include: Night Vision and Thermal Sight devices; Chinese air and ground forces; a map rotation filter; a new sound engine; three new locations; new ground vehicles, helicopters, naval vessels and aircraft for various nations, plus numerous fixes and updates for existing machines and game mechanics.

      • ‘Far Cry New Dawn’ Never Released For Linux, But It’s Matching Windows 10 Performance Anyway

        The takeaway is clear: same minimum framerates, and an average framerate only 2.6% lower than Windows 10. Effectively within margin of error, and certainly not discernible when we’re talking about 112 FPS versus 115 FPS.

        (The eagle-eyed among you may even notice slightly lower frametimes on the Linux side when watching the benchmark video.)

        When you step back and realize that Far Cry New Dawn was never intended to run on Linux, yet does so this smoothly, it’s a testament to how far Linux gaming has come.

        My own benchmarks – albeit for different titles – back this up. And when games are released natively on Linux, the performance is often better than the Windows 10 counterparts. It’s not a consistent conclusion, but as Codeweavers and Valve continue to refine and improve what they’re doing, the outlook gets brighter and brighter.

      • Shiro Games have announced that Northgard is getting a big free expansion with Northgard Conquest

        Northgard Conquest, that’s the name of the next big free expansion coming to Northgard, the strategy game based on Norse mythology.

        In the announcement on Steam, Shiro Games noted that Northgard Conquest is a “standalone game mode” which they confirmed to GamingOnLinux over email is just an update for the existing game, not a full standalone game.

      • Ultra Strangeness will bring clay graphics and stop-motion to Linux next year

        I absolutely love hand-made clay stop-motion animation, ever since watching Trap Door when I was much younger it left a lasting impression so I’m always keen to see what games can do with it. Ultra Strangeness is one such title that caught me here.

        Developer Michael Rfdshir announced it late last year, with us now only noticing it thanks to Steam’s Discovery Queue feature I sometimes use to pick up missed games and it often delivers in times like this.

      • While not on Linux officially, Far Cry New Dawn seems to work amazingly well on Linux

        A recent benchmark video is currently doing the rounds showing off Far Cry New Dawn from Ubisoft, despite it not supporting Linux thanks to Wine, DXVK and Steam Play it seems to run beautifully.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • Plasma 5.12.9

          Today KDE releases a Bugfix update to KDE Plasma 5, versioned 5.12.9. Plasma 5.12 was released in February 2018 with many feature refinements and new modules to complete the desktop experience.

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

        • KDE Plasma 5.12.9 LTS Desktop Environment Released with More Than 20 Bug Fixes
        • KDE Plasma 5.18 Desktop Environment Will Be Next LTS Series, Lands February 2020

          The current LTS (Long Term Support) series of the KDE Plasma desktop environment is KDE Plasma 5.12 LTS, which recently got its last scheduled maintenance update, KDE Plasma 5.12.9, which means that it actually reached end of life and will no longer receive point release except only if critical security issues or bugs need to be addressed.

          Therefore, the KDE Project talked with various GNU/Linux distribution vendors about which next LTS series of the KDE Plasma desktop environment will suit them, and two of the biggest distros requested that the next long-term supported KDE Plasma series will be KDE Plasma 5.18, which was slated for release early next year.

        • Kate got submitted to the Windows Store

          Since a few years Kate is working well on Windows. You can grab fresh installers since then from our download page.

          But the visibility of it was very low for Windows users.

        • FOSS painting program Krita now has the Linux version on Steam

          Okay, not exactly gaming news but good to see anyway. Krita, the high quality FOSS painting program now has a Linux version available on Steam.

          They made a bit of a splash about releasing the Linux version on Steam too, in their announcement they mentioned how they’re proud of it being “free, open source and community-driven software” with the Steam release meant as another direct way to support the development since it requires a purchase.

      • GNOME Desktop/GTK

        • GNOME Shell Picks Up Performance Improvements For Extensions

          While days too late for squeezing into GNOME 3.34.0, the GNOME Shell has landed a one year old merge request providing various fixes and performance improvements to its extension system.

          This MR was finally honored providing performance improvements around extensions, particularly those with a longer setup/start-up process.

    • Distributions

      • A 2019 View of Manokwari Desktop and BlankOn 11 Uluwatu

        BlankOn is a GNU/Linux system developed by YPLI group from Indonesia with its own desktop environment called Manokwari. Its latest release is XI under the name Uluwatu. However, this desktop system is not too well known in international community, although I’ve also been reviewed it in 2017, so I think it’s my chance to present you how it looks like and what’s inside of it you could try. Enjoy!

        Uluwatu is a place in Bali island, Indonesia. It is the eleventh codename released 2018 after Tambora, or BlankOn X, released 2017. Since this release BlankOn available only as 64-bit version.

      • New Releases

        • Manjaro Linux 18.1 Is Officially Released, And You Have A New Choice To Make

          The headlines continue to roll out for Manjaro (which is now an official company), and this one puts to bed the short-lived controversy surrounding the company’s decision to include the proprietary office suite FreeOffice in Manjaro 18.1. The latest stable version of the Arch-based Linux distribution is available now with a ton of new features, and a new choice to make during installation.

          First let’s highlight the big changes to the distribution itself.

          The standout feature is definitely the integrated FlatPak and Snap package support, which is managed through “bauh” (you may formerly recognize it as “fpakman”). Between the Manjaro repositories, the AUR and now FlatPaks and Snaps, there’s no shortage of available software and that’s certain to be a major draw for a lot of people.

        • Manjaro 18.1 Released With Choice Of Office Suite

          Manjaro 18.1 pulls in the latest Arch packages and has various other improvements on its own. One of the most user-facing changes with Manjaro 18.1 comes at installation time where the user now has their choice of office suite: users can continue selecting LibreOffice as what’s been the default, go for the free but proprietary FreeOffice, or have no office suite installed. Manjaro’s decision to offer the proprietary Freeoffice in its distribution is what caused controversy recently but the developers prefer content with that decision with FreeOffice dealing better with some document formats and features than LibreOffice.

        • Arch Linux-based Manjaro 18.1.0 ‘Juhraya’ now available with GNOME, KDE, or Xfce

          Manjaro may have lofty goals of becoming a successful company, but let’s be honest — users of the Linux-based operating system don’t really care about that. Don’t get me wrong, I am sure most members of the Linux community are rooting for the newly-formed company’s success, but they are probably more interested in the excellent operating system itself.

          Today, Manjaro Linux 18.1.0 “Juhraya” finally becomes available for download, and it isn’t without some controversy. You see, rather than just offer up LibreOffice like most distributions, Juhraya offers an alternative choice at installation — FreeOffice.

        • Manjaro Linux 18.1.0 ‘Juhraya’ has been officially released

          Manjaro, the Linux distribution based on Arch has just put out a major new release with Manjaro 18.1.0 – Juhraya.

          Something of a controversial decision was the Manjaro team were possibly going to replace the FOSS office suite LibreOffice in favour of the proprietary FreeOffice. After they took on plenty of feedback, they decided to drop that plan. Instead, when installing you now get the choice between the two or no office suite at all. Additionally according to what the Manjaro team said, SoftMaker (the developer), actually expanded FreeOffice to support more Microsoft formats due to the demand from the Manjaro community so thats’ quite nice.

        • KaOS 2019.09

          KaOS is pleased to announce the availability of the September release of a new stable ISO.

          As always with this rolling distribution, you will find the very latest packages for the Plasma Desktop, this includes Frameworks 5.61.0, Plasma 5.16.5 and KDE Applications 19.08.1. All built on Qt 5.13.1.

          With almost 60 % percent of the packages updated since the last ISO and the last release being over two months old, a new ISO is more than due. News for KDE Applications 19.08 included Dolphin’s information panel has been improved in several ways. You can, for example, choose to auto-play media files when you highlight them in the main panel, and you can now select and copy the text displayed in the panel, Okular’s support for EPub documents has also received a push in this version, Konsole had a boost to the tiling feature and Spectacle comes with several new features that regulate its Delay functionality.

          For the installer Calamares, two major CVE’s were addressed among the many changes for 3.2.13. CVE-2019-13178 and CVE-2019-13179

          Since LibreOffice 6.2, it is now possible to supply this as a pure Qt5/kf5 application. LibreOffice has thus replaced Calligra as the default Office Application for KaOS.

        • KaOS 2019.09 Linux Distro Released with KDE Plasma 5.16.5 and Linux Kernel 5.2

          KaOS 2019.09 comes two months after the release of KaOS 2019.07 earlier this summer and brings with it all of the latest KDE technologies that have been released during this period, including the KDE Plasma 5.16.5 desktop environment, KDE Applications 19.08.1 and KDE Frameworks 5.61 software suites, as well as the Qt 5.13.1 application framework.

          “With almost 60 % percent of the packages updated since the last ISO and the last release being over two months old, a new ISO is more than due,” reads the release announcement. “As always with this rolling distribution, you will find the very latest packages for the Plasma Desktop, this includes Frameworks 5.61.0, Plasma 5.16.5 and KDE Applications 19.08.1. All built on Qt 5.13.1.”

      • Screenshots/Screencasts

      • Debian Family

        • Norbert Preining: TeX Services at texlive.info

          I have been working over the last weeks to provide four more services for the TeX (Live) community: an archive of TeX Live’s network installation directory tlnet, a git repository of CTAN, a mirror of the TeX Live historic archives, and a new tlpretest mirror. In addition to the services that have already been provided before on my server, this makes a considerable list, and I thought it is a good idea to summarize all of the services.

        • FAI.me service now support backports for Debian 10 (buster)

          The FAI.me service for creating customized installation and cloud images now supports a backports kernel for stable release Debian 10 (aka buster). If you enable the backports option, you will currently get kernel 5.2. This will help you if you have newer hardware that is not support by the default kernel 4.19. The backports option is also still available for the images when using the old Debian 9 (stretch) release.

        • Jonas Meurer: debian lts report 2019.08

          This month I was allocated 10 hours. Unfortunately, I didn’t find much time to work on LTS issues, so I only spent 0.5 hours on the task listed below. That means that I carry over 9.5 hours to September.

        • Ben Hutchings: Debian LTS work, August 2019

          I prepared and, after review, released Linux 3.16.72, including various security and other fixes. I then rebased the Debian package onto that. I uploaded that with a small number of other fixes and issued DLA-1884-1. I also prepared and released Linux 3.16.73 with another small set of fixes.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • Ubuntu?s New Look: Are You a Fan? [Poll]

          As mentioned in yesterday?s new report, Ubuntu?s community design team have elected to change the look of Ubuntu. The dark header bars used in the ?current? Yaru GTK theme (Ubuntu 19.04) have been replaced by lighter, greyer (though apparently bluer) ones.

          The new lighter header bars are said be in keeping with the upstream Adwaita GTK theme (on which Yaru is based). Additionally, the lighter look is said to resolve and address a number of usability issues resulting from the ?mixed? theme set-up.

    • Devices/Embedded

  • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

    • With the Intimidation of Tech Expert, Ola Bini Case Hits A New Low

      In the early hours of last Thursday in Ecuador, members of the Judicial Police, assisted by the Prosecutor’s Office, broke down the door of Fabián Hurtado at his apartment in Quito. Hurtado is a cybersecurity expert at the International University (UISEK) in Ecuador and a digital forensics expert currently employed by Ola Bini’s defense. The police refused to let Hurtado read or have a copy of their warrant, and by immediately seizing his mobile phone and other digital equipment prevented him from contacting an attorney.

      This raid was prompted, according to the authorities, by a belief that Hurtado “incorporated misleading information in his resume to try to mislead the authorities and citizens.” If so, the police action was wildly disproportionate to the alleged crime. Hurtado is a well-known, impartial forensics expert in Ecuador, employed by businesses, law enforcement, and defendants and plaintiffs alike. If there is a problem with Hurtado’s resume, the correct step would be to move to have him rejected as a court expert – not to storm into his home in the middle of the night.

    • Which Compression Format to Use for Archiving

      The last criteria is the most important; the format has to be resilient. It has to expect that damage will happen, and have a strategy for dealing with that damage. Or at least work around the damage.

    • Events

      • Announcing Linux Autumn 2019

        Summer is not yet over (in my climate zone) but it’s time to think about the autumn. Yes, I mean the Linux Autumn, the annual Polish conference of Linux and free software enthusiasts organized by PLUG. I wrote about this event many times in the past, I don’t want to make you bored by the same things again. This year we hope to invite more foreign guests and make the conference more international, possibly with one day full of English talks.

        [...]

        Remember that the conference is paid for attendees. The money is spent to pay for the accommodation and food for everyone. Why do I ever write in the article for Fedora Planet about a paid and not strictly Fedora-oriented event? First of all, the participation (including accommodation and food) is fully refunded for speakers. I’m not encouraging you to attend a paid event, although if you want you are most welcome. I’m encouraging you to give your talks and participate in a three-days long event for free. Second, this is a Linux event and Fedora is still a Linux distribution. Third, as we all know, many Fedora contributors live and work in the Czech Republic, especially in Brno, and this event is organized in Poland just across the Czech border. It cannot be closer.

    • Web Browsers

      • Mozilla

        • Firefox Reality 1.4

          With this release, we’re excited to announce that users can enjoy browsing in multiple windows side-by-side. Each window can be set to the size and position of your choice, for a super customizable experience.

          And, by popular demand, we’ve enabled local browsing history, so you can get back to sites you’ve visited before without typing. Sites in your history will also appear as you type in the search bar, so you can complete the address quickly and easily. You can clear your history or turn it off anytime from within Settings.

          The Content Feed also has a new and improved menu of hand-curated “Best of WebVR” content for you to explore. You can look forward to monthly updates featuring a selection of new content across different categories including Animation, Extreme (sports/adrenaline/adventure), Music, Art & Experimental and our personal favorite way to wind down a day, 360 Chill.

        • Turn off DoH, Firefox. Now.

          DoH means that Firefox will concentrate all DNS traffic on Cloudflare, and they send traffic from all their users to one entity. So what does that mean? It means people outside the US can now be fully tracked by US government: now some of you might wonder if this is actually in line with GDPR (The EU General Data Protection Regulation). It is indeed very questionable if DoH is rolled out as default, since users do NOT opt in, but have to opt out.

        • DoH disabled by default in Firefox

          Disable DoH by default. While encrypting DNS might be a good thing, sending all DNS traffic to Cloudflare by default is not a good idea. Applications should respect OS configured settings. The DoH settings still can be overriden if needed. ok landry@ job@

        • Niko Matsakis: AiC: Shepherds 3.0

          What I’m proposing, at its heart, is very simple. I want to better document the “agenda” of the lang-team. Specifically, if we are going to be moving a feature forward1, then it should have a shepherd (or multiple) who is in charge of doing that.

          In order to avoid unbounded queues, the number of things that any individual can shepherd should be limited. Ideally, each person should only shepherd one thing at a time, though I don’t think we need to make a firm rule about it.

          Becoming a shepherd is a commitment on the part of the shepherd. The first part of the lang team meeting should be to review the items that are being actively shepherded and get any updates. If we haven’t seen any movement in a while, we should consider changing the shepherd, or officially acknowleding that something is stalled and removing the shepherd altogether.

          Assigning a shepherd is a commitment on the part of the rest of the lang-team as well. Before assigning a shepherd, we should discuss if this agenda item is a priority. In particular, if someone is shepherding something, that means we all agree to help that item move towards some kind of completion. This means giving feedback, when feedback is requested. It means doing the work to resolve concerns and conflicts. And, sometimes, it will mean giving way. I’ll talk more about this in a bit.

    • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

      • International Day Against DRM (IDAD): Defending the right to read on Oct. 12

        A global community of students, teachers, and activists are taking part in the Defective by Design campaign’s 13th annual International Day Against DRM. Though from different backgrounds, countries, and perspectives, participants in the campaign share the common cause of opposing Digital Restrictions Management (DRM), a widespread technology that places heavy restrictions on how people access digital media.

        On Saturday, October 12th, there will be two events held in Boston: a protest outside of the Pearson Education offices at 501 Boylston Street, followed by an evening “hackathon,” or collaboration session, on unrestricted and truly shareable educational materials at the offices of the Free Software Foundation (FSF) at 51 Franklin Street.

    • Licensing/Legal

      • Introducing Craig Topham, FSF copyright and licensing associate

        My name is Craig Topham, and I’m the latest to have the honor of being a copyright and licensing associate for the Free Software Foundation (FSF). I started work in November, and the delay in assembling my introductory blog post is a testament to how busy I have been. Although my post feels late, it gives me a chance to share my experience here at the FSF, along with sharing a little bit more about myself.

        From 2005 to 2017, I worked as a PC/Network Technician for the City of Eugene, Oregon. The role had the inherent reward of allowing me to be a part of something much larger than myself. I was helping local government function. From the mayor and city council all the way to the summer staff that worked the front desk at the recreation department’s swimming pools, I was one of many making it all work. It was even a part of my job to support some free software the city used! Sadly, a vast majority of the software that we used was proprietary, but despite the painful duty of supporting nonfree software, the overall experience felt pretty great. As I close that chapter of my life with all the wonderful memories and marks made, I am beset with a wild sense of relief. Like finding a rock in my shoe after twelve years, the alleviation is palatable: I never have to labor to master proprietary software again!

        For unknown reasons (which I contemplate often), I did not learn about the free software movement until 2004, despite a lifetime of using computers. Like so many before me, my initial education on the movement came via Free Software, Free Society: Selected Essays of Richard M. Stallman. What so instantaneously drew me to free software was the simplicity of the four freedoms: run, edit, share, contribute. These freedoms, coupled with the ethical nature of the movement, made it a natural fit for me. It did not take me long to realize that this is what I needed to soothe my “How can I make the world a better place?” angst. Inevitably, I became an FSF associate member on October 28, 2007 because it was (and still is) the easiest way to help out. If you are reading this and you are not a member, I encourage you to change that and help make the world a better place.

    • Programming/Development

      • Jakarta EE 8: The new era of Java EE explained

        Java EE is a fantastic project. However, it was created in 1999, under the name of J2EE, and is 20 years old, which means it also faces challenges in keeping pace with enterprise demands.

        Now, Java EE has a new home and a new brand. The project was migrated from Oracle to the Eclipse Foundation, and it is called Jakarta EE, under the Eclipse Enterprise for Java (EE4J) project. The Eclipse Foundation released Jakarta EE 8 on September 10, and in this article, we’ll look at what that means for enterprise Java.

        Java EE was a very strong project that was widely used in many kinds of enterprise Java applications and many big frameworks, such as Spring and Struts. Developers may have questioned its features and evolving processes, but looking at its high usage and time in the market, its success is undeniable. Nonetheless, the enterprise world doesn’t stop, and new challenges emerge all the time. The speed of change has increased, with new technologies such as cloud computing being developed to provide better solutions, and Java EE needed to keep pace as well.

      • Unit-testing static functions in C

        An annoying thing about C code is that there are plenty of functions that cannot be unit-tested by some external framework – specifically anything declared as static. Any larger code-base will end up with hundreds of those functions, many of which are short and reasonably self-contained but complex enough to not trust them by looks only. But since they’re static I can’t access them from the outside (and “outside” is defined as “not in the same file” here).

        The approach I’ve chosen in the past is to move the more hairy ones into separate files or at least declare them normally. That works but is annoying for some cases, especially those that really only get called once. In case you’re wondering whether you have at least one such function in your source tree: yes, the bit that parses your commandline arguments is almost certainly complicated and not tested.

      • Node.js VS Python: Which is Better?

        Both Node.js (majorly used as a backend framework ), and Python ( front-end and back-end programming language) are used extensively for programming of a web app. It is vital to select a suitable framework or programming language for web app development because it is the backbone of every web app.

        Node.js and Python are extensively used for this purpose. When you talk about Node.js or python, you are actually comparing JavaScript with Python . This is because Node.js is actually a framework built on Google Chrome’s JavaScript.

        Both of them are among the top programming languages according to the TOIBE index.

      • Episode #147: Mocking out AWS APIs
      • Python Testing 201 with pytest

        For Python Frederick?s September presentation, I presented on Python testing. In the presentation, I explained more of the features of pytest that went beyond the basics that we explored in March.

      • Excellent Free Books to Learn Logo

        The Logo Programming Language, a dialect of Lisp, was designed as a tool for learning. It features interactivity, modularity, extensibility, with flexibility of data types.

        Logo offers a rich programming environment providing multimedia tools, robotics and network access. Full-featured Logo packages provide hundreds of commands for exploring all sorts of applications, from the simplest turtle graphics to artificial intelligence.

        None of the books featured below are released under an open source license. There seems to be a dearth of open source programming books for Logo. But the books featured below are available to view without charge.

      • How to fix common pitfalls with the Python ORM tool SQLAlchemy

        Object-relational mapping (ORM) makes life easier for application developers, in no small part because it lets you interact with a database in a language you may know (such as Python) instead of raw SQL queries. SQLAlchemy is a Python ORM toolkit that provides access to SQL databases using Python. It is a mature ORM tool that adds the benefit of model relationships, a powerful query construction paradigm, easy serialization, and much more. Its ease of use, however, makes it easy to forget what is going on behind the scenes. Seemingly small choices made using SQLAlchemy can have important performance implications.

      • Presentation Mode in Wing 7

        Presentation Mode, added in Wing 7, temporarily applies a selected magnification to the entire user interface, so the screen can be read more easily during meetings or talks.

        [...]

        To disable Presentation Mode, uncheck the high-level configuration menu item again.

        That’s it for now! We’ll be back soon with more Wing Tips for Wing Python IDE.

      • 3 ways to handle transient faults for DevOps
  • Leftovers

    • RIP Robert Frank: It Is Important To See What Is Invisible To Others

      Robert Frank, the radical photographer and filmmaker who famously documented the darkness, racism and inequality of an ostensibly shiny post-war America, has died at 94. A Swiss immigrant who “made the margins (his) home,” Frank’s classic book “The Americans” unsparingly portrayed things “as they really were – unaestheticized, somewhat plain, more than a little dour.”

    • Science

      • Oliver Sacks, the “Neurological Philosopher”

        Oliver Sacks, the “neurological philosopher”, did a “different sort of medicine on behalf of chronic often warehoused and largely abandoned patients.” It combined art and science. Lawrence Weschler, in How Are You, Dr. Sacks?, says Sacks was from “the period before the science and the humanities split apart”.[1]

    • Health/Nutrition

      • Government Will Propose Banning Flavors Used in E-Cigarettes

        President Donald Trump said Wednesday his administration will propose banning thousands of flavors used in e-cigarettes to combat a recent surge in underage vaping.

      • Tentative Opioids Settlement Falls Short of a Nationwide Deal

        A tentative settlement announced Wednesday over the role Purdue Pharma played in the nation’s opioid addiction crisis falls short of the far-reaching national settlement the OxyContin maker had been seeking for months, with litigation sure to continue against the company and the family that owns it.

      • Medicine For All: The Case for a Public Option in the Pharmaceutical Industry

        Too many Americans are suffering and dying prematurely because we have ceded control over a key part of our infrastructure for public health—the pharmaceutical industry—to unaccountable corporations, for whom the pursuit of profit trumps the needs of patients and communities. Instead of continuing to push the boulder of regulation up the hill in hopes that it one day finally proves effective, we can displace corporate power over our health and lives by moving towards a democratic, publicly-owned pharmaceutical sector, designed to respond to public health needs and deliver better health outcomes at lower costs.

        Democratic, public ownership of pharmaceutical development, production, and distribution in the U.S. is necessary to combat the increasingly harmful impacts of Big Pharma which decades of regulation have failed to counteract.

        [...]

        Public control of pharmaceutical manufacturing, wholesale distribution and retail pharmacies could serve as the basis for large-scale upstream investments in public health3 through the development of associated educational opportunities and job pipelines—part of an inclusive industrial strategy for economic development and stabilization, with profit now captured by corporations reinvested to meet public needs. Existing public resources like the Veterans Health Administration and the US Postal Service could be leveraged to help deliver medications, and public, unitary pricing on medications and their distribution would create transparency in the pharmaceutical supply chain that could inform further policy efforts.

        Public ownership in pharmaceutical R&D would ensure that more intellectual property related to drug development would be held by public institutions and utilized in the public interest. Right now, a small number of newer medications are responsible for the majority of pharmaceutical spending by public programs like Medicare and Medicaid. Ensuring that new drug development is done in the public interest assures that not only do we get the medications that we need for the most pressing public health concerns (rather than the most profitable health issues), but also that those medications come at an accessible price.

    • Security (Confidentiality/Integrity/Availability)

      • Security updates for Thursday

        Security updates have been issued by Arch Linux (exim, firefox, and webkit2gtk), Debian (libonig and opensc), Fedora (cobbler), Oracle (firefox and kernel), Red Hat (flash-plugin, kernel, kernel-rt, rh-maven35-jackson-databind, rh-nginx110-nginx, and rh-nginx112-nginx), Scientific Linux (kernel), Slackware (curl, mozilla, and openssl), SUSE (ceph, libvirt, and python-Werkzeug), and Ubuntu (vlc and webkit2gtk).

      • Android 10 Gets Its First Security Patch, 49 Security Vulnerabilities Fixed

        Google has released the Android Security Patch for September 2019 to address the most important security vulnerabilities and bugs discovered since August 2019, which also happens to be the first security patch for the recently released Android 10 operating system.

        Consisting of the 2019-09-01 and 2019-09-05 security patch levels, the Android Security Patch for September 2019 addresses a total of 49 security vulnerabilities across various core Android components, including Framework, Media framework, System, kernel components, Nvidia components, and Qualcomm components, including closed-source ones. The most critical flaw fixed in this patch may allow remote attackers to execute code.

      • Infrastructure Updates

        This is a post to the developers and other people who contribute to the IPFire project and have an account on our infrastructure.

        Since we have rolled out loads of changes recently, some change in client configuration is required. This was announced on the development mailing list, but for those who have missed it, here is a little blog post.

    • Defence/Aggression

      • US Forces May Have Committed War Crimes in Syria: UN Report

        The conflict, now in its ninth year, “continues to torment civilians who bear the brunt of hostilities”

      • Will It Be Business as Usual for Saudis at London’s Arms Fair?

        “The future for our defence sector is a very bright one.” So said Fleur Thomas, head of exports for the United Kingdom’s Ministry of Defence, as her government prepares to help host Europe’s biggest arms fair in London this week.

      • Tracks to Nowhere

        Reporting on the failed Camp David plan to sign an agreement between the U.S. and the Taliban, on 8 September, 2019, a CNN reporter stated that Trump’s plan for talks on an agreement between the U.S. and the Taliban, and, by extension, Trump’s foreign policy, “went off tracks.”

      • Is Killing Peasants Protecting America’s Interests?

        The war drags on. There is no end in sight. Peace negotiations are thwarted again. Republicans and Democrats alike appear in the press decrying the possibility of the enemy coming to talk peace and staying at Camp David. Personally, I was surprised by the Camp David aspect of the story only because I figured Trump might try and get the Taliban negotiators a floor or two in one of his hotels or resorts. Why go to Camp David if the family Trump can make a few bucks? If Trump properties are good enough for the Chinese and the US Air Force, why not the Taliban, too?

      • On 18th Anniversary of 9/11, Bernie Sanders Calls for End to Endless War

        “U.S. power should be measured not by our ability to blow things up, but to bring people together around our common humanity.”

      • Trump Leaves Afghanistan and Pakistan at His Mercy

        The Doha talks between the United States and the Taliban to work out a peace deal to end Afghanistan’s 18-year conflict began with a whimper a year ago. They ended Saturday with a presidential tweet from the White House that was no less than a bang that resounded around a startled world.

      • A Morning in Afghanistan

        n a very warm September morning in Kabul, several dozen men, women, and children sit on the carpeted floor of a room at the Afghan Peace Volunteers’ Borderfree Center. The women cluster together. All wear burqas, but because of the heat they push the steel blue veils back, revealing their faces. Most of the men wear traditional tunics and pakol hats.

      • Reflections on “Peace” in Afghanistan

        When the conflict that the Vietnamese refer to as the American War ended in April 1975, I was a U.S. Army captain attending a course at Fort Knox, Kentucky. In those days, the student body at any of our Army’s myriad schools typically included officers from the Army of the Republic of Vietnam (ARVN).

      • Afghanistan May Never Recover From the U.S. Invasion

        When the conflict that the Vietnamese refer to as the American War ended in April 1975, I was a U.S. Army captain attending a course at Fort Knox, Kentucky. In those days, the student body at any of our Army’s myriad schools typically included officers from the Army of the Republic of Vietnam (ARVN).

      • 18 Years Later, America Vows to ‘Never Forget’ 9/11

        Americans commemorated 9/11 with solemn ceremonies and vows Wednesday to “never forget” 18 years after the deadliest terror attack on American soil.

      • The CIA’s alleged Kremlin asset reportedly spent at least five years working inside Russia’s presidential administration

        Oleg Smolenkov, the CIA’s reported asset inside the Kremlin, worked for at least five years in the office of Yuri Ushakov, now a presidential adviser on foreign policy, a source close to Russia’s intelligence community told the newspaper Vedomosti. 

      • Knowledge in the Blood: Stories About 9-11

        A Saudi Arabian exchange student starting 12th grade in an American high school this fall is bullied because his name is Osama. “Something about 11th of September?” I learn.

      • 9/11, An Anniversary of Unity or Division?

        The U.S. needs to make a serious appraisal assessing our bridges—of unity—and walls—of hate and division. What benefits, if any, are provided by increasing isolationism? Do they outweigh the blessings of collaboration, connection, and friendship?

      • A Day that Changed the World

        A new anniversary of a catastrophe brings back strong feelings and sad memories. Such is the case of the 9/11 attacks on New York’s World Trade Center, a tragedy that had long-lasting effects. New York, and the world, has not been the same since the events of September 11, 2001.

      • Never Forget
      • The Catastrophic Tenure of John Bolton

        John Bolton’s tenure was a complete disaster. The national security architecture after Bolton looks like the Bahamas after Hurricane Dorian.

      • John Bolton’s Dismissal

        The power of identity politics as a tool of the Establishment to divert and derail opposition to the wealthy elite was demonstrated to me in a stunning and graphic way back in January 2013. I was entering the Oxford Union to attend the presentation of the Sam Adams award for Integrity to Tom Fingar, a senior American intelligence officer who had successfully blocked a push for military action against Iran by insisting on the barring from assessments of highly exaggerated accounts of Iran’s nuclear programme. A person of integrity in the right place had been able to stop a repeat of the extreme horrors of war engendered by the Iraqi WMD scam perpetrated by Blair and Bush.

      • On 18th Anniversary of 9/11, Media Worry About ‘Premature’ End to Afghan War

        On the 18th anniversary of the September 11 attacks, the illegal US occupation of Afghanistan continues as the longest overseas war in American history. Although President Donald Trump recently declared that peace negotiations over the withdrawal of US troops with the Taliban are “dead,” reportedly because of the death of a US soldier from a suicide bomb attack in Kabul last week, the status of future negotiations is still unclear.

      • The Real Charles Manson

        The 50th anniversary of the Manson family slayings have inspired a rash of new essays and retrospectives, and almost ubiquitous among them is the same basic premise: that the seven murders committed by Charles Manson’s cultists in August 1969 marked not just the “death of the ’60s” but the indefinite deferral of the dream they contained. From the very titles of the works exploring the family’s crimes to a new summer blockbuster starring Brad Pitt and Leonardo DiCaprio, this notion continues to dominate the public imagination.

    • Environment

      • The Courage of Saying No: Children, Rebellion and Greta Thunberg

        There is something to be said of wariness when it comes to revolutionary voices. As Albert Camus argued in that beautiful tract of illumination and contradiction, The Rebel, “All modern revolutions have ended in the reinforcement of the power of the state.” But he also argued that humankind were the only creatures refusing to be what they are, a permanent self-deluding bunch bound to cause various neuroses. The true rebel, then, is the one who says no, and can maintain credibility even as he risks becoming an ideologue, another dogmatist.

      • Healthcarecan worsen global climate crisis

        Healthcare workers urging zero carbon emissions say chemicals used increasingly to anaesthetise patients are potent greenhouse gases.

      • Sand and dust storms pose global threat

        The standard bearer of the United Nations’ effort to combat desert spread and the threat from sand and dust storms, meeting here, is determined to be remembered as not just a global talking shop, but a launchpad for action.

        The UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) has launched a coalition to energise the UN’s response to the problem. One focus for the new body will be to develop the sand and dust storms (SDS) source base map to improve the monitoring of the storms.

        Iran told the meeting that both traditional and modern knowledge on SDS hot spots could help to create a stronger knowledge base for regional initiatives. The coalition’s members include the International Civil Aviation Organization and the World Meteorological Organization (WMO).

      • Immigrant Rights and Green Groups Join Forces in Rally at CBP, Demanding Trump Welcome Bahamians and All Climate Refugees

        “In the climate crisis, we must not deny entry to survivors of disasters.”

      • Amnesty International Chief’s Plea to 30,000+ Schools Worldwide: Let the Students Climate Strike!

        “Children should not be punished for speaking out about the great injustices of our age.”

      • What It Will Take to Actually Fight Climate Change

        Ponder the onrushing disaster of climate change, and the towering task of getting greenhouse gas emissions down in time to avoid existential calamity, and one can be led very easily to an enervating political despair. The battle is basically lost, or so says the famed novelist Jonathan Franzen in a New Yorker essay this week. While we should try to reduce emissions, he writes,

      • Leaked Email Suggests Trump Admin Pressuring UN Agency to Self-Censor on ‘Political Sensitivities’ Like Climate Crisis or Risk Defunding

        Critics called the administration’s reported threat to cut funding “deeply worrying” and “blackmail.”

      • It’s Not About Your Straws or Your Light Bulbs

        A few years ago, I had a cupcake problem. I’d go to the cupcake store almost daily and I’d eat at least one cupcake, sometimes more. At the same time, I wanted to lose weight, or at least stop gaining it. So I kept looking up information about diets and superfoods, just looking for some magical solution to present itself.

      • Energy

        • New Report on Trans Mountain Pipeline Highlights ‘Dangerous’ Construction Hot Spots

          “Canadians taxpayers—who are the ones paying for this multi-billion dollar pipeline—have a right to know the impacts that construction will have on communities and the environment.”

        • Oil Tycoon T. Boone Pickens Dies at Age 91

          T. Boone Pickens, a brash and quotable oil tycoon who grew even wealthier through corporate takeover attempts, died Wednesday. He was 91.

        • Fees on Electric Cars, Inspired by Koch Network, Are Unfairly Penalizing Drivers, Says Consumer Reports

          Drivers of electric cars are being unfairly punished by punitive fees in several states, according to a newly published analysis by Consumer Reports. Legislators in 26 states have enacted or proposed special registration fees for electric vehicles (EVs) that the consumer advocacy group found to be more expensive than the gas taxes paid by the driver of an average new gasoline vehicle.

          These punitive EV fees have been pushed in many states by the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), the corporate-funded group which produces model legislation and voted on a model resolution supporting “equal tax treatment for all vehicles” — a move that bears the fingerprints of the fossil fueled–Koch network.

      • Wildlife/Nature

        • The Truth About Electric Eels Has Long Been Overlooked

          Carlos David de Santana, a Brazilian researcher at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, thinks differently. By comparing 107 specimens pulled from museum drawers and the Amazon basin, he and his team of mostly Brazilian scientists have found that the infamous electric eel is actually three distinct species.

          There are dozens of different ways of defining a species, and none are universally accepted. That said, de Santana says that his team “used many lines of evidence to prove that there’s more than one electric eel species.” This trinity differs not only in physique, but also in genetics, habitat, and electric power. Tellingly, the eels’ DNA suggests that they last shared a common ancestor 7 million years ago, which means that they started to diverge well before brown bears and polar bears, lions and tigers, and even humans and chimpanzees.

    • Finance

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • St. Petersburg police completely ignored an attack on an election monitor inside a polling station, even though it happened right before their eyes

        Last Sunday, as Russians across the country cast ballots in local races, election commission members were attacked at two polling stations in St. Petersburg. Georgy Medvedinsky, a member of the № 1619 precinct commission with a consultative vote, says he was jumped in the street, near his polling station. After the elections were over, the watchdog group “Petersburg Observers” published video footage of another attack inside precinct 1619 itself.

      • ‘We have no politics, so we have no politicians’ Leading journalist Ilya Azar offers an inside look at how media involvement and leaderless organizing drove Moscow’s summer of protest

        Ilya Azar is a special correspondent for Novaya Gazeta and a former special correspondent for Meduza. He also serves as a municipal deputy in Moscow. In early June, he helped organize a march against fabricated criminal cases following the arrest of Meduza correspondent Ivan Golunov. That proved to be only the beginning of a highly eventful summer for Azar. He went on to take part in organizing several demonstrations demanding fair elections for the Moscow City Duma, including the August 10 protest that brought more than 60,000 Muscovites into the streets for the first time since 2012. Meduza correspondent Vladislav Gorin spoke with Azar about the line between journalism and politics and about the shift within Russia’s opposition movements toward spontaneous, democratic organizing tactics.

      • Happy days for managed democracy Sources say the Kremlin welcomes recent election results, and Russia’s ruling political party lives to fight another day

        Multiple sources close to Russia’s presidential administration told Meduza that the Kremlin is happy with pro-government candidates’ performance in the September 8, 2019, elections. Officials are especially pleased in the State Council’s Department of Affairs, which is managed by Alexander Kharichev, a close associate of Sergey Kiriyenko, President Putin’s deputy chief of staff and “domestic policy curator.” Responsible for overseeing Russia’s gubernatorial races, Kharichev’s office had a clear task: don’t allow any second-round votes. The Kremlin was eager to avoid a repeat of 2018, when the Putin administration’s candidates couldn’t win first-round elections and lost runoffs in four gubernatorial contests — including elections in the strategically important Primorsky and Khabarovsk regions.

      • Power and Tragedy

        Starting with the Trojan War in the thirteenth century BCE, the Greeks embarked on a gigantic Grexit that lasted for centuries. They migrated to other more prosperous lands.

      • EU Commission Wants the Fox in Charge of the Henhouse

        Yesterday, the new European Commission president, Ursula Von der Leyen, proposed Hungarian politician László Trócsányi as enlargement commissioner. Given his background, it’s a move that threatens the credibility of the Commission’s role to promote human rights, rule of law, and fundamental values in the European Union and third states. 

      • Revive the True Spirit of Constitutionality and Federalism in India: Article 370

        The process of nationalist self-imagining in India is likely to remain in a nebulous state so long as the destiny of regional politicians is etched by the calligrapher in New Delhi and determined by maneuvers in the murky den of centralized federalism.

      • ‘Red Flag for Whole World’: Undocumented Workers in India Fear They May Soon Be Prisoners in Detention Camps They Are Building

        “This is the world that the global war on terror made.”

      • The Myths of the “Genius” Behind Trump’s Reelection Campaign

        On the evening of May 30, Brad Parscale, the campaign manager of Donald J. Trump for President Inc., gave a speech to a gathering of the faithful. Parscale is a striking figure: 6-foot-8, with a trademark Viking beard and a penchant for bombast. He was a phenom of the 2016 election, rising, in a matter of months, from an anonymous web designer in San Antonio to the Trump campaign’s reputed digital savior. Parscale has become a frequent warmup act at Trump rallies and a prized attraction in GOP fundraising circles.

        On this occasion, he was speaking to the Miami Young Republicans. Parscale regaled the audience with his litany of Trump’s achievements, according to a recording of the speech (provided by Palm Beach Post reporter Christine Stapleton). He warned of the “crazy socialist Democrats” who want to “slaughter” babies in the third trimester; admit “all of South America” to the U.S. through open borders; and render jet-fueled planes illegal and “farming cows” extinct. “I don’t know about you guys,” Parscale told them. “I really like steak.”

      • The Imperative to Restore Congressional Powers

        You have to give President Trump credit for one thing — he has so abused executive authority that even the most conservative members of Congress are now clamoring to restore our vital constitutionally-established checks and balances.

      • The Bill of Rights Turns 230: What Do We Have to Show for It? Nothing Good

        It’s been 230 years since James Madison drafted the Bill of Rights—the first ten amendments to the Constitution—as a means of protecting the people against government tyranny, and what do we have to show for it?

      • Bojo Johnson’s Magic Carpet Ride Wearing Nigel Farage’s Clothes

        Boris Johnson (“BoJo”) has been a chancer all his adult life.

      • Tongan Prime Minister ‘Akilisi Pohiva, who is credited with helping bring democracy to the small Pacific island nation, has died. He was 78.

        Pohiva was an immensely significant figure in Tonga who was behind the push for democracy and getting away from politics being dominated by the royal family, said Graeme Smith, a research fellow in the Department of Pacific Affairs at Australian National University.

      • Destroy the MIT Media Lab

        The Media Lab was founded in the mid-1980s by Nicholas Negroponte, the son of a Greek shipping magnate who served as its director until 2000, and a tech gadfly straight out of central casting (his 1995 bestselling book Being Digital prophesied a world in which digital “bits” would overtake our physical world of “atoms”). Though it’s branded a little less earnestly, the Media Lab is what happens when this techno-utopian sentiment congeals into an entire institution, a reputation launderer for corporate America and the billionaire class.

      • [Old] Future Schlock

        The most important of the Lab’s interfaces is the one that connects academic research to commerce. In Negroponte’s scheme, there could be no point in giving the world’s most imaginative minds free rein unless that would also appeal to major corporations and venture capital. Hence his pioneering business plan, unique for a university lab at the time, under which corporate sponsors front most of the budget by kicking in a few hundred thousand dollars a year each for nonexclusive rights to the Lab’s intellectual property [sic]. This funding mechanism is fussily calibrated to rake in cash while preserving a façade of independence. A diversified industrial average of seventy-odd sponsors—including Bank of America, Google, News Corporation, Northrop Grumman, and Hasbro—pay for access to a broad “consortium” of research groups but can’t direct their money to a particular project or dictate terms to a specific scientist. All they buy, ostensibly, is a chance to take notes on and adapt for their own ends whatever breakthroughs surface unbidden from the Lab’s creative ferment.

      • The Perils of Billionaire Philanthropy

        At this year’s World Economic Forum at Davos, billionaire Michael Dell, the 25th-wealthiest man in the world, weighed in on new proposals to tax the very wealthy. Dell said he was “much more comfortable” giving through his private foundation “than giving…to the government.” He’s not the first billionaire to confuse his obligations to society and conflate charitable giving with paying taxes.

        Indeed, the discussion about solutions to most social problems are too often sidetracked by stories of beneficent billionaires and their charitable deeds. Lost in a fog of generosity is the recognition that philanthropy is not a substitute for a fair and progressive tax system and robust public investments in poverty alleviation, infrastructure, economic opportunity, and social protection.

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • FSB expert says YouTuber’s ‘do everything you can’ remarks are tantamount to inciting armed rebellion

        The newspaper Novaya Gazeta has published a copy of the linguistic expertise carried out in the extremism case against Higher School of Economics student and popular YouTuber Egor Zhukov.

      • The NY Times Got It Backwards: Section 230 Helps Limit The Spread Of Hate Speech Online

        A few weeks back, we wrote about the NY Times absolutely terrible front page of the Business Section headline that, incorrectly, blamed Section 230 for “hate speech” online, only to later have to edit the piece with a correction saying oh, actually, it’s the 1st Amendment that allows “hate speech” to exist online. Leaving aside the problematic nature of determining what is, and what is not, hate speech — and the fact that governments and autocrats around the globe regularly use “hate speech” laws to punish people they don’t like (which is often the marginalized and oppressed) — the entire claim that Section 230 “enables” hate speech to remain online literally gets the entire law backwards.

      • Months After Christchurch Shooting, The Australian Government Is Issuing Site-Blocking Orders Targeting Footage Of The Incident

        Following the Christchurch shooting in New Zealand, governments sprang into action to declare the internet to be the real villain. It wasn’t. And isn’t. But that didn’t stop a strange series of policies from being enacted.

      • That Time Taylor Swift Threatened To Sue Microsoft Over Its Racist Chatbot

        I don’t know much about Taylor Swift, but I do know two things. First, she apparently has built a career out of making music about men with whom she’s had breakups, real or fictitious. Second, it sure seems like she spends nearly as much time gobbling up every type of intellectual property right she can and then using those rights to threaten everyone else. She trademarks all the things. She tosses defamation and copyright claims around to silence critics. She sues her own fans just for making Etsy fan products. Some of these attacks are on more solid legal ground than others, but there appears to be a shotgun approach to it all.

      • That Time EFF Got a Copyright Takedown Demand

        Earlier this week, EFF received an email claiming that our body-camera police officer illustration (shown in the banner above) violated the sender’s copyright in a graphic they used to illustrate a tweet (cropped screenshot shown on the right). The email demanded we remove the image or provide a link to their e-commerce website, which sells police body cameras. For those interested in Search Engine Optimization (SEO), a link from EFF can be very beneficial to their page ranking. The funny thing was, the police officer illustration is an original EFF work.

        It’s not a problem for someone to use our works in their own—they are available to the public under a Creative Commons attribution license—but that certainly doesn’t give a claim against our original. And their graphic had no attribution. (The Action Camera skateboarder illustration on the left appears to be an Adobe stock image.)

    • Privacy/Surveillance

      • Yes, News Sites Need To Get Out Of The Ad Surveillance Business — But Blame The Advertisers As Well

        Doc Searls has a great recent blog post in which he rightly points out why Bernie Sanders’ “plan to save journalism” is completely misguided and will fail. It’s worth reading — with the key point being that Sanders’ plan to save journalism assumes a world that does not exist, and one where heavy regulations will somehow magically save journalism, rather than stifle it. As Searls notes, that’s not the world we live in. We live in a world of informational abundance, which changes everything…

      • DOJ Wants Apple, Google To Hand Over Names And Phone Numbers Of 10,000 App Users

        Let’s hope this isn’t the only scope discussed by the court handling this case, detailed here by Thomas Brewster of Forbes.

      • New Report Finds Border Communities Inundated with Surveillance Technologies

        San Francisco – The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) today published “The Atlas of Surveillance: Southwestern Border Communities,” the first report from a new research partnership with the University of Nevada, Reno’s Reynolds School of Journalism.

        EFF and a team of students compiled profiles of six counties along the U.S.-Mexico border, outlining the types of surveillance technologies deployed by local law enforcement—including drones, body-worn cameras, automated license plate readers, and face recognition. The report also includes a set of 225 data points marking surveillance by local, state, and federal agencies in the border region.

      • Facebook’s cryptocurrency project to pursue payments license in Switzerland

        The Libra Association said it has asked the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA) to offer more insight into how the coin – called the “Libra” – will be regulated by the country’s government.

      • Victory! California Senate Votes Against Face Surveillance on Police Body Cams

        The California Senate listened to the many voices expressing concern about the use of face surveillance on cameras worn or carried by police officers, and has passed an important bill that will, for three years, prohibit police from turning a tool intended to foster police accountability into one that furthers mass surveillance.

        A.B. 1215, authored by Assemblymember Phil Ting, prohibits the use of face recognition, or other forms of biometric technology, on a camera worn or carried by a police officer in California for three years.  The Assembly passed an earlier version of the bill with a 45-17 vote on May 9. Today’s vote of the Senate was 22-15. We are pleased that the Senate has listened to the growing number of voices who oppose the way government agencies use face surveillance.

      • California Bill Would Halt Facial Recognition on Bodycams

        The bill, which needs approval by the state Assembly and the governor’s signature to become law, has been celebrated by the ACLU as an positive step. Matt Cagle, an attorney at the ACLU of Northern California, says that body cameras, which have been touted as tools for accountability after shootings of unarmed people of color, are poised to turn into tools of surveillance instead. “It’s a bait and switch,” he says. The bill would ban the use of facial recognition algorithms in real time, when the body cameras are rolling, and in subsequent forensic analysis of footage. It carves out an exemption for algorithms that detect and redact faces from body camera footage, so that the rules don’t slow public records requests.

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • Court issues much-anticipated order in favor of Russian theater directors accused of embezzlement

        Judge Irina Akkuratova of Moscow’s Meshchansky Court has refused to rule on the Seventh Studio criminal case, which has sparked widespread opposition among Russian activists and artists since it was opened in 2017. Akkuratova ordered the case to be returned to prosecutors for further development, writing, “The case as it stands cannot be considered by the court.”

      • Supreme Court OKs Enforcement of Trump Asylum Limits

        The Supreme Court is allowing nationwide enforcement of a new Trump administration rule that prevents most Central American immigrants from seeking asylum in the United States.

      • After string of similar cases, Russian court frees Chinese student who faced drug charges for foreign prescription

        The Perm Regional Court has canceled the deportation of Liu Yankun, a Chinese citizen studying for a graduate degree at Perm University. Liu’s attorney, Lyudmila Chegrina, said he was released from the police holding cell where he had been kept in custody since August 31.

      • The 1994 Crime Bill and Beyond: How Federal Funding Shapes the Criminal Justice System

        September 13 marks 25 years since the signing of the most far-reaching crime bill Congress ever passed.

      • As AOC and Ayanna Pressley Demand Answers on Trump Policy That Would Deport Sick Kids, ICE Officials at Hearing Refuse to Talk

        “This is a threat to the rule of law.”

      • ‘The Moron Fascists’: ICE Fails to Properly Redact Document Proposing ‘Hyper-Realistic’ Urban Warfare Training Facility

        “Sure feels like ICE is positioning itself to become an all encompassing, no accountability, paramilitary force.”

      • U.K. Court Rules Johnson’s Suspension of Parliament Unlawful

        A Scottish court dealt another blow to Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s Brexit plans Wednesday, ruling that his decision to suspend Parliament less than two months before the U.K. is due to leave the European Union was an unlawful attempt to avoid democratic scrutiny.

      • This We’ll Defend

        The monsters in power marked another 9/11 with their usual grace and gravitas. As Trump whined about the polls, lied about the day, and boasted me me me, smarmy sycophant Rudy Giuliani, concluding his ugly mutation from America’s Mayor to Fascism’s Mayor, posted a deranged, “truly evil” video celebrating police brutality against Americans exercising their 1st Amendment rights.

      • China: Ban on Tibet Religious Activity Toughened

        A Chinese Communist Party notice banning retired Tibetan government employees from taking part in religious activities violates China’s commitment to religious freedom, Human Rights Watch said today. The notice obtained by Human Rights Watch is undated but appears to have been issued in early August 2019.

      • The Revival of Non-Self

        The 21st century is witnessing the revival of Non-Self, such as Herrenvolk and Hindutva, which assert a binary division of “Self” and “Non-Self.” Selfism advocates the exclusion of Non-Self, variously defined as immigrants, refugees, gypsies, indigenous people, minorities, or “others.” Nationalism, majoritarianism, and exceptionalism are its noxious crops. Ethnic cleansing, apartheid, segregation, settler colonialism, denial of citizenship, incarceration, and deportation are its blunt tools. Selfism has no tolerance for plurality or heterogeneity.

      • Belarus: Homophobic Attack on Filmmaker

        Police in Belarus are investigating a brutal attack on a filmmaker and two colleagues early on the morning of August 25, 2019, Human Rights Watch said today. Unidentified assailants in Minsk verbally threatened the three men and then violently attacked Nikolai Kuprich, the filmmaker. He was hospitalized for days after the attack with serious head injuries. 

      • The Need for Non-Violence in Hong Kong

        The gloves are off in Hong Kong. Judging from the pictures on today’s BBC News the police no longer have any compunction about beating protestors.

      • US: How Abusive, Biased Policing Destroys Lives

        Abusive policing in Tulsa, Oklahoma that targets black people and poor people, diminishes the quality of life in all our communities. Human Rights Watch released the report on the eve of the third anniversary of the killing of Terence Crutcher, an unarmed black man. 

      • Being Black is Not a Crime: Yunek’s Story of Police Brutality

        My name is Yunek Moore. I am a Black woman, a college graduate, and a survivor of police brutality. I’m choosing to tell my story because, sadly, this wasn’t the last time something like this happened to a person of color in Peoria, Illinois, and that must change.

      • How To Avoid Getting Banned From the US Over Weed

        Jones said many of these scenarios play out the same way for tourists. A traveller catches the eye of a Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officer or they may be coming in and out of the country too often.

        “Maybe they get a little bit too feisty with CBP in CBP’s eyes, or maybe they don’t like the person. That’s when they start to dig,” Jones said.

        Jones said once someone gets pulled into secondary screening, it’s unlikely that they’ll be admitted in the U.S. He describes the ensuring interrogation as “an answer looking for a question.”

        “They’ve already determined they’re going to bar this person and they need a legal route to do it so they start fishing,” he said, noting that a person doesn’t have a right to a lawyer or any constitutional rights at the airport.

        [...]

        And she said to clean your phone and expect it will be gone through at the border, even if you’re a U.S. citizen.

      • Running for Office With Student Loans Is Practically Impossible

        Running for office is time-consuming and emotionally exhausting. It’s also a full-time, unpaid job that barrels through weekends and evenings, without allowing for a moment off the clock. This is part of the reason we’re saddled with candidates who have millions to spend, and in turn, that our current congressional class has more than a billion dollars in combined wealth. These representatives may have graduated debt-free from college or inherited trust funds they used to buy a first home. Many are able to pay sky-high health insurance premiums without flinching. Their bank accounts are full, their debt nonexistent; being unpaid for a year while campaigning sometimes has little effect on their savings.

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

      • Hotel Lobbyists Push Forward Their Plan To Kill The Internet Because They Hate Competing Against Airbnb

        In the midst of this “techlash” atmosphere, it seems that basically every industry whose business models have been upended by competition brought about by the internet is now cynically using the anger directed at successful internet companies as an opportunity to kneecap the wider internet. We’ve recently pointed out that many of the efforts to undermine Section 230 of the CDA (the law that makes much of the good parts of the internet possible) are actually being pushed by Hollywood out of frustration that they’re no longer able to maintain their monopoly rents in a gatekeeper business. Similarly, the big telcos have been using this opportunity to pull a “but look over there!” to point at the big internet companies, while trying to distract from the much greater privacy violations they regularly engage in.

      • Verizon Can’t Stop Over-hyping 5G; This Time In NFL Stadiums

        We’ve noted for a while that 5G is being aggressively over-hyped. While it’s an important evolutionary step in wireless connectivity, it’s far from the revolution hardware vendors and cellular carriers are promising. Verizon, for example, insists that 5G is the “fourth industrial revolution” that will almost miraculously spur the smart cities and smarter cars of tomorrow. While 5G is important (in that faster, more resilient networks are always important), the idea that 5G will fundamentally transform the world tends to overshoot the mark.

      • “Father of the [Internet]” Vint Cerf says we need to be less naive if we’re going to fix it

        The promise of the [Internet] is one of an open global network for communication and commerce, and the foundation for a more prosperous and equitable world. But its potential is limited if we can’t trust it.

        We trust that water will come out of our kitchen tap and electricity will flow when we turn on the lights. In much the same way, the [Internet] carries critical information and services for our daily lives, our businesses, and the operation of our cities and governments. The [Internet] is critical infrastructure for the modern fabric of our societies.

        Lack of confidence in it will undermine our trust in everything from personal communications and e-commerce to digital stop lights and online elections.

    • Monopolies

      • Uber says it won’t classify drivers as employees despite California bill

        California’s legislature sent the bill, known as AB 5, to Gov. Gavin Newsom’s (D) desk on Wednesday, and he has vowed to sign it. The legislation would make it harder for companies such as Uber, Lyft and DoorDash to classify their workers as contractors.

        But West argued Wednesday that the test the new law would apply to company’s classification of workers is not impossible for Uber to work around. He also anticipates that the company’s stance will prompt lawsuits from its drivers.

      • In California, Gig Workers Are About to Become Employees

        Labor experts expect the bill to prompt similar efforts in other states and cities where public sentiment has shifted against tech companies like Uber and toward labor efforts like unionization drives. “All eyes are on California,” says Rebecca Smith, who directs the Work Structures program at the National Employment Law Project.

        AB 5 codifies a 2018 California Supreme Court decision that established a three-part test to determine whether a worker is an independent contractor or an employee, eligible for a minimum wage, unemployment and workers’ compensation, health care benefits, and other traditional protections. According to the test, a worker is only considered an independent contractor if she is not under the control or direction of a company while working and if she performs work that is “outside the usual course” of the company’s business. The bill does not address workers’ rights to collectively bargain.

      • Uber argues its drivers aren’t core to its business, won’t reclassify them as employees

        West said Uber could pass the ABC test because drivers aren’t core to its business. “Under that three-part test, arguably the highest bar is that a company must prove that contractors are doing work ‘outside the usual course’ of its business,” West said. ”Several previous rulings have found that drivers’ work is outside the usual course of Uber’s business, which is serving as a technology platform for several different types of digital marketplaces.”

      • California just dropped a bomb on the gig economy — what’s next?

        Uber and Lyft will try to staunch the bleeding by doing what they do best: spending obscene amounts of money. The companies say they will fund a ballot initiative in 2020 to ask voters to approve the creation of a new category for ride-hail drivers. The enforcement of the law will present a range of obstacles for state regulators. And drivers will still face tough hurdles before they can achieve their ultimate goal: the formation of an independent union.

      • Trademarks

        • USPTO Gets One Right: Refuses To Allow Farmers Market To Trademark City’s Nickname

          We don’t spend a great deal of time here patting the USPTO on the back for getting things right, but occasionally the agency surprises us. When it comes to trademarks being granted for city or town names, the Trademark Office has a higher bar for approval but is still far too permissive. When it comes to widely used nicknames for cities and towns, the Trademark Office’s rubber-stamp methods have caused issues. The point here is that, whether its a city’s name or nickname we’re talking about, neither are good source identifiers, given both their wide use and the fact that both serve as geographic descriptors.

      • Copyrights

        • Congress Continues to Ignore the Dangerous Flaws of the CASE Act

          The Copyright Alternative in Small-Claims Enforcement Act (CASE Act) is one of those (mostly) bad ideas that just won’t go away. It feels like a simple and easy solution to a thorny problem in copyright law: streamlining the dispute process. But as often happens, this solution is neither simple nor easy.

          The U.S. House of Representatives’ Committee on the Judiciary followed its counterpart in the Senate by passing the CASE Act out of committee. This means that the whole House could vote to pass it, without bothering to fix any of its many flaws.

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