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09.16.19

As Richard Stallman Resigns Let’s Consider Why GNU/Linux Without Stallman and Torvalds Would be a Victory to Microsoft

Posted in FSF, GNU/Linux, Kernel, Microsoft at 10:05 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Media mob. A year after they made Torvalds ‘take a break’ Stallman steps down (coinciding with lots of negative media coverage).

Danger

Summary: Stallman has been ejected after a lot of intentionally misleading press coverage; this is a dark day for Software Freedom

SO it’s official. The FSF has broken the news that “Richard M. Stallman resigns” and it seems like it was done in a hurry judging by the brevity of the statement:

On September 16, 2019, Richard M. Stallman, founder and president of the Free Software Foundation, resigned as president and from its board of directors.

I’ve decided to wake up early and do a rebuttal to all that “remove Stallman” movement. He can be tactless, sure, and I often disagree with what he says in some areas like sexuality, but removing him would make the world a much worse place. As explained yesterday, Microsoft people should call to “remove Gates”; Gates has done vastly worse things. As for Stallman? Some media exaggerated or distorted what he said; see later comments in this thread. The damage has been done.

“He can be tactless, sure, and I often disagree with what he says in some areas like sexuality, but removing him would make the world a much worse place.”As Stallman himself has just put it in his site, “I am resigning effective immediately from my position in CSAIL at MIT. I am doing this due to pressure on MIT and me over a series of misunderstandings and mischaracterizations.”

Stallman previously responded in his blog with “Statements about Epstein”. To quote:

I want to respond to the misleading media coverage of messages I posted about Marvin Minsky’s association with Jeffrey Epstein. The coverage totally mischaracterised my statements.

Headlines say that I defended Epstein. Nothing could be further from the truth. I’ve called him a “serial rapist”, and said he deserved to be imprisoned. But many people now believe I defended him — and other inaccurate claims — and feel a real hurt because of what they believe I said.

I’m sorry for that hurt. I wish I could have prevented the misunderstanding.

Slashdot mentioned this and there’s this article entitled “Stallman defends himself over Epstein comments”, lost in the noise of misleading headlines claiming that Stallman was defending Epstein (he wasn’t).

To make matters worse, yesterday the Software Freedom Conservancy issued a statement to say: “We call for Stallman to step down from positions of leadership in our movement.”

Wait, your movement?

“…Microsoft people should call to “remove Gates”; Gates has done vastly worse things.”Stallman started it. You just piggybacked it. Some of you were kids when he started it.

“Move along, Stallman, let us steal your movement…”

This is part of the “remove Stallman” and “post-RMS” nonsense (among others; the FSF mistakenly gave an award to that person).

Sorry to say this, but the Software Freedom Conservancy would not even exist if it weren’t for Stallman’s software and licence, which they enforce for a living (they’re quasi-lawyers suing and threatening to sue). We’d rather see Kuhn stepping down (than Stallman stepping down). The Software Freedom Conservancy is not essential and it has competition anyway (it’s not like GPL enforcers are missing in action).

In the above statement the Software Freedom Conservancy cites (without actually citing) old remarks from Stallman, but why did it wait until now to make a big fuss over it? Is it opportunism? Maybe the impact of Outreachy inside the Software Freedom Conservancy? Agenda for 'professionalism'?

We can’t help recalling what happened a year ago to Torvalds. He temporarily stepped down. Had Torvalds still had ‘teeth’ in the project (he was lashed last year as a a warning), he would likely reject exFAT like he did all sorts of case-insensitive file systems in the past. He doesn’t want Linux – strategically – to chase Microsoft with specifications and patents (for an inferior implementation).

“We can’t help recalling what happened a year ago to Torvalds. He temporarily stepped down.”Why was he pushed out? You would struggle to find evidence of Torvalds being racist or sexist.

Even remotely.

If he sees bad code, he calls it out.

He’s a technical person, a geek.

We need geeks, not suits and marketing liars like Linux Foundation managers.

Calling bad code “bad” is not intolerance and it is very much essential. Look how many strides Microsoft has made inside Linux since Torvalds got ‘spooked’ by the media.

Is there an effort to ‘decapitate’ (as in decapitation strategies) GNU/Linux? The media wants us to think Torvalds is a disgusting person and Stallman now speaks of pressure on MIT.

“When Bill Gates was done with the Lolita Express they figured out how to steal kids from their parents for a profit (child separation). But it’s Stallman who ends up being the evil one?”Torvalds isn’t a bad person (I spoke to him in the past and he was polite), but yesterday I saw some people repeating this smear about Torvalds. Some videos in YouTube want him and Stallman to step down (no more identity to Linux and GNU). Who would benefit?

Those who wanted Stallman to step down or be removed got their way. Now, who the heck do they think can replace him? Nobody can. We wrote about this in our recent series about "FSF Titanic". Stallman made GNU when I was a baby (literally), then he came up with the GPL etc.

He’s tactless, but he remains instrumental. If the Conservancy wished to distance itself from Stallman, fine. But they actually called for his resignation and sacking.

We need someone in the top of Free software who speaks about politics (like Stallman does) because companies like Microsoft are inherently political, politically-connected and extremely subversive, you can’t face them on technical terms alone.

Why doesn’t Smith resign over crimes against humanity? Here are some new tweets:

When Bill Gates was done with the Lolita Express they figured out how to steal kids from their parents for a profit (child separation). But it’s Stallman who ends up being the evil one?

Free speech and political speech come at a cost; you’re guaranteed to piss off just about everyone, based on selective subsets of things you say over the years. Having no opinions is ‘safe’; if you want to be attacked while smiling politely.

At the moment Micosoft is trying to take control of both GNU and Linux using EEE tools such as Azure and WSL. Failing to guard GNU and Linux at a higher level may hand fast defeat to us and triumph to Microsoft.

“With the removal of Stallman we already see some “Extinguish”.”Some Linux bloggers have sadly decided to also cover Microsoft Vista 10 news because there’s “Linux” in the name. Now, with Stallman out, such an agenda would face less resistance. From yesterday: “Microsoft announced something Linux users would have never dreamed of, the first Microsoft Linux Conference for their WSL (Windows Subsystem for Linux) implementation. [...] WSL 2, the latest version of Windows Subsystem for Linux, was announced by Microsoft earlier this summer and it introduces major new features like an entirely new architecture that uses a real, in-house built Linux kernel, as well as full system call compatibility to run more Linux apps.”

With the removal of Stallman we already see some “Extinguish”.

Links 16/9/2019: GNU Linux-libre 5.3, GNU World Order 13×38, Vista 10 Breaks Itself Again

Posted in News Roundup at 11:54 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Desktop

      • Can a Raspberry Pi 4 really replace your PC?

        I have written several times already about the recently-released Raspberry Pi 4 Model B (see my first impressions, how-to setup, my hands-on experience, and my thoughts two months in). Now I’m going to look at one of the practical aspects that I think a lot of people have been wondering about – is it (finally) good enough to use as an every-day desktop system?

        We’ve been through this several times before, when the original Raspberry Pi, the Pi 2 and the Pi 3 came out – and each time the answer was “only if you have enough patience”. Although the amount of patience required decreased each time, it was still too slow on many everyday tasks, or too limited in configuration (primarily memory) for most people to be satisfied using it. So maybe this time it will make the grade?

    • Server

      • This $8,000 super computer can be yours for pennies

        With companies of all sizes looking to boost their computing power, the amount of competition to provide such services is keener than ever.

        20 years ago, the world’s most powerful computer was the Intel-powered ASCI Red. It had nearly 10,000 cores, a peak performance of 3.21 Tflops and had a cool price tag of $55 million.

        [...]

        Ubuntu 18.04 is included as the default operating system and you can upgrade it to WIndows Server 2019. As with all Ionos dedicated servers, there’s also a 1Gbps unlimited data pipe, and you can choose the location of your server (either US or Europe).

      • IBM

        • 9 steps to awesome with Kubernetes and Red Hat OpenShift

          Our first DevNation Live regional event was held in Bengaluru, India in July. This free technology event focused on open source innovations, with sessions presented by elite Red Hat technologists.

          Kubernetes has become the de facto standard for hybrid cloud portable application architecture, and in this session, Burr Sutter shows why Kubernetes and Red Hat OpenShift provide the ideal solution for deploying and managing microservices in your organization.

          This live hands-on session is for any developer who is interested in Linux containers and cloud-native application architecture. Our examples will primarily be in Java, as there is some special “care and feeding” related to Java in a container, but the lessons are applicable to any programming language.

    • Audiocasts/Shows

      • GNU World Order 13×38

        First up: all about mcookie, mesg, and namei from util-linux. Then, a discussion of how one might transition to running Linux exclusively. Do you have a story of how you switched to Linux full-time? Do you not run Linux and just run as much open source as possible?

    • Kernel Space

      • Linux Kernel 5.3 Released, This is What’s New

        Linux 5.3 was announced by Linus Torvalds on the Linux Kernel Mailing List (lkml) in the founder’s trademark modest style. No major “quotable” quips from Linus thus time around, save for background on the unplanned eighth release candidate.

        This release follows the well-received Linux 5.2 release back in July and comes with a raft of improvements, optimisations, and new hardware support.

        For instance, Linux 5.3 introduces early support for AMD Navi GPUs, makes 16 million new IPv4 addresses available, and is compatible with Intel Speed Select used in Intel Xeon servers.

      • Linus Torvalds releases Linux 5.3: Kernel fixes are about user impact, nothing else

        Linux kernel boss Linus Torvalds has finally announced the release of Linux 5.3, after eight release candidates and a delay of one week.

        But that delay has been a good thing, according to Torvalds, because it gives kernel developers an important lesson in what’s important and how to frame issues when reporting bugs.

        Torvalds had a busy schedule last week, speaking with ZDNet’s open-source authority, Steven J Vaughan-Nichols, at not one but two core Linux conferences – the Kernel Maintainers Summit and the Linux Plumbers Conference, held in Lisbon, Portugal last week.

      • The 5.3 kernel is out

        The 5.3 kernel is available at last. The announcement includes a long discussion about user-space regressions — an ext4 filesystem performance improvement had caused some systems to fail booting due to a lack of entropy early after startup. “It’s more that it’s an instructive example of what counts as a regression, and what the whole ‘no regressions’ kernel rule means. The reverted commit didn’t change any API’s, and it didn’t introduce any new bugs. But it ended up exposing another problem, and as such caused a kernel upgrade to fail for a user. So it got reverted.”

      • Linux 5.2.15

        I’m announcing the release of the 5.2.15 kernel.

        All users of the 5.2 kernel series must upgrade.

        The updated 5.2.y git tree can be found at:

        git://git.kernel.org/pub/scm/linux/kernel/git/stable/linux-stable.git linux-5.2.y

        and can be browsed at the normal kernel.org git web browser:

        https://git.kernel.org/?p=linux/kernel/git/stable/linux-s…

      • Linux 4.19.73
      • Linux 4.14.144
      • Linux 4.9.193
      • Linux 4.4.193
      • GNU Linux-libre 5.3-gnu
        GNU Linux-libre 5.3-gnu sources and tarballs are now available at
        <http://www.fsfla.org/selibre/linux-libre/download/releases/5.3-gnu/>.
        It didn't require any deblobbing changes since -rc7-gnu, the first
        published rc-gnu.  Freesh binaries are already available!, thanks to
        Jason Self; others are on the way.
        
        
        Besides recognizing new false positives (sequences that our blob hunter
        would report as suspicious, but that are neither blobs nor requests for
        blobs), updating the deblobbing scripts for 5.3 required adjusting
        cleaned up drivers for updated blob names, recognizing one new Free
        piece of firmware with binary and corresponding sources embedded in the
        kernel sources, and disabling blob loading introduced in a few drivers:
        QCOM, DRM (HDCP), Allegro-DVT, and Meson-VDEC.
        
        This last one was particularly disappointing: the firmware sources were
        supposed to be available from LibreELEC, and though the link to the
        alleged sources there is broken, I managed to find the "source" repo
        containing them, only to find out the "source" was just a binary blob
        encoded in C as an array of char, just like Linux used to do back when I
        got involved with Linux-libre.  Oh well...  Request disabled...
        
        If anyone can find Freely-licensed actual source code for that, or for
        any other file whose loading we disable, please let us know, so that we
        can refrain from disabling its loading.
        
        
        For up-to-the-minute news, join us on #linux-libre of irc.gnu.org
        (Freenode), or follow me (@lxoliva) on Twister <http://twister.net.co/>,
        Secure Scuttlebutt, GNU social at social.libreplanet.org, Diaspora* at
        pod.libreplanetbr.org or pump.io at identi.ca.  Check my web page (link
        in the signature) for direct links.
        
        
        Be Free! with GNU Linux-libre.
        
      • GNU Linux-libre 5.3 Continues Deblobbing & Dealing With Firmware Trickery
      • GNU Linux-Libre 5.3 Kernel Arrives for Those Seeking 100% Freedom for Their PCs
      • Google’s FS-VERITY File Authentication Called For Inclusion In Linux 5.4 Kernel

        Linux kernel engineer Eric Biggers of Google has sent in a pull request adding FS-VERITY support to the Linux 5.4 but it remains to be seen if Linus Torvalds is content with pulling the code at this stage.

        FS-VERITY is the code Google has been working on for a while now in the context of Android. The focus is on providing transparent integrity/authenticity support for read-only files on an otherwise writable file-system. See this presentation to learn more on this file-based authenticity protection.

      • Linux 5.4 Brings Working Temperature Reporting For AMD Ryzen 3000 Series CPUs

        Due to a combination of poor timing and an oversight at AMD, the CPU temperature reporting under Linux for the Ryzen 3000 series processors isn’t in order until this new Linux 5.4 cycle. Back at the Ryzen 3000 series launch event I was told everything was “all good” from the Linux support perspective for thermal monitoring, after having been closely following the situation for past Zen CPUs and ended up myself adding the Linux CPU temperature monitoring support for Threadripper 2 among other hudles in the past. That all-good though just ended up meaning that there is no Tcontrol offset needed for these new CPUs, which is great news no longer needing the temperature offset by an arbitrary amount. But the oversight was the Family 17h Model 70h ID was never added to the AMD k10temp driver. As a result, temperature monitoring wasn’t actually working and took an extra kernel cycle before this trivial addition landed.

      • Linux Foundation

        • All about Reactive Foundation,The Linux Foundation’s new baby

          The Linux Foundation has announced the launch of the Reactive Foundation, a community of leaders established to accelerate technologies for building the next generation of networked applications. The foundation is made up of Alibaba, Lightbend, Netifi and Pivotal as initial members and includes the successful open source RSocket specification, along with programming language implementations.

          The aim of reactive programming is to build applications that maintain a consistent user experience regardless of traffic on the network, infrastructure performance and different end-user devices (computers, tablets, smartphones). Reactive programming uses a message-driven approach to achieve the resiliency, scalability, and responsiveness that is required for today’s networked cloud-native applications, independent of their underlying infrastructure. The Reactive Foundation establishes a formal open governance model and neutral ecosystem for supporting open source reactive programming projects.

          [...]

          The aim of reactive programming is to build applications that maintain a consistent user experience regardless of traffic on the network, infrastructure performance and different end-user devices (computers, tablets, smartphones). Reactive programming uses a message-driven approach to achieve the resiliency, scalability, and responsiveness that is required for today’s networked cloud-native applications, independent of their underlying infrastructure. The Reactive Foundation establishes a formal open governance model and neutral ecosystem for supporting open source reactive programming projects.
          “From the beginning of our work on RSocket during my time at Netflix, our intent was to have an open system that encouraged broad adoption, which is essential for networking technology. We’re thrilled to be hosted at the Linux Foundation with commitment from leaders and disruptors in the industry, and are excited to make progress enabling reactive programming,” said Ryland Degnan, Co-Founder, and CTO at Netifi and Foundation community chair.

    • Applications

      • New WireGuard Snapshot Offers Better Compatibility With Distributions/Kernels

        WireGuard sadly isn’t slated for the now-open Linux 5.4 merge window, but lead developer Jason Donenfeld has put out a new development snapshot of this open-source secure VPN tunnel.

        Coming barely two weeks since the previous WireGuard snapshot, this newest development release isn’t too heavy on the changes but the focus is on better portability/compatibility.

      • PulseAudio 13 Released with Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio Support, More

        Released three months after the PulseAudio 12 series, PulseAudio 13 is here with support for Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio, support for the SteelSeries Arctis 5 USB headset, improved initial card profile selection for ALSA cards, as well as S/PDIF improvements for CMEDIA USB2.0 High-Speed True HD Audio.

        The PulseAudio 13 series also adds several new module arguments, including “max_latency_msec” for module-loopback, “stream_name” for module-rtp-send, and “avoid_resampling” for module-udev-detect and module-alsa-card, and no longer uses persistent Bluetooth card profile choices by default, recommending users to use A2DP by default.

      • Apple Watch Series 5, $500, or Linux PineTime smartwatch, $25?

        A new open-source smartwatch is in the works with a planned price of $25.

        [...]

        But the PineTime isn’t quite a reality yet. Pine64 said it is still “waiting for some love from developers” and that for now it is a side project, similar to the Pine64 CUBE, an open-source IoT camera.

        Besides Apple, no Android smartphone maker besides perhaps Xiaomi has been able to carve out a dominant position in the smartwatch category.

        The cheapest decent smartwatches today can be found generally for about $40, so Pine64′s promise of a smartwatch that looks similar to the Apple Watch for $25 does sound interesting. And it runs on Arm MBed or FreeTOS, a sure selling point for those who want to avoid the mainstream.

        The smartwatch announcement follows Pine64′s plans to launch the PinePhone, a follow-up to its cheap Pinebook Pro laptops and its Raspberry Pi rival boards.

      • cmus – free terminal-based audio player

        It took me a few years to appreciate console-based software. Repairing a broken system using the ubiquitous vi text editor was a turning point in my Linux journey. Now I spend a lot of time at the terminal, and listening to music. Best combine the two!

        When it comes to console-based music software, I really admire musikcube, a wonderful audio engine, library, player and server written in C++.

        This review looks at an alternative to musikcube. It’s called cmus. It shares many similarities with musikcube. Both are designed to run on a text-only user interface, reducing the resources required to run the application.

        cmus is written in C.

      • Rclone Browser Fork With Fixes And Enhancements

        Rclone Browser is a fairly popular cross-platform GUI for Rclone. Its development was stopped in 2017, but a Rclone Browser fork was created recently to fix some “small not working bits and pieces”, like the transfer progress not working, while also adding some enhancements.

        Let me tell you a few things about Rclone, in case you haven’t heard of it, and then continue with Rclone Browser. Rclone is like rsync, but for cloud storage. The command line tool can synchronize files between your filesystem and cloud storage services like Google Drive, Microsoft OneDrive, Nextcloud, Yandex Disk, Dropbox, Amazon Drive and S3, Mega, pCloud, and others (and having WebDAV, FTP and SFTP support), as well as directly between cloud storage services. It also supports mounting these cloud storage services so you can access your files using desktop applications.

    • Instructionals/Technical

    • Games

      • It Stares Back, an RTS with a really wild style will be coming to Linux

        Always on the lookout for my next strategy game fix, I recently came across It Stares Back after it pulled my in due to the wild visuals.

        Currently, it’s only available for Windows in Early Access on Steam. However, the developer confirmed to me on the Steam forum that it’s planned for Linux just like their last game, Castle Battles. The Linux version should come once the game is complete.

      • Receiver, the experimental FPS from Wolfire Games had a big update recently

        Receiver is a name I’ve not heard in a long time, the indie FPS released back in 2013 by Wolfire Games and it’s just seen a big update.

        There’s no new enemies or levels in this update, instead Wolfire focused on the tech that runs the game. In this case it’s the Unity game engine and they gave it quite a big update. It also adds in some graphical prettiness and other bits like that.

      • Ocean exploration game Beyond Blue has a new story trailer and voice cast reveal

        Beyond Blue, the near-future ocean exploration game from E-Line Media (publisher of Never Alone) has a new story teaser.

        If you’ve not heard of it before, this is not some survival game like Subnautica. Instead, it’s a game about exploring the depths of our oceans. Think of it like Blue Planet: The Game, that sums it up quite well especially since they’ve teamed up with BBC Studios (who did the Blue Planet documentary).

      • NARWHAR Project Hornwhale, a really wacky shoot ‘em up that reminds me of the Amiga days

        The developer of NARWHAR Project Hornwhale emailed in recently about their new arcade style shoot ‘em up being released with Linux support. It’s a bit wild.

        I’ll admit the name, along with the setting of this thoroughly made me chuckle to no end. Space Narwhals that rule with an iron fist, with you playing as one of two Rays that shoot lasers? The damn Narwhals took away all the free milkshake, so naturally a rebellion happened. What’s not to love about such a crazy setting?

      • Buoyancy, a city-builder where you manage a floating city has a Linux test build up

        Sometimes when you ask if a game is coming to Linux it’s a no, others say it’s planned and when it’s Buoyancy the developer just puts up a build soon after asking.

        Yep, that’s what happened here. After asking about Linux support on Steam, developer replied to say “yes”. When asking if they knew when, they went ahead and uploaded a build. If only it was always that easy…

      • The latest Overcooked! 2 expansion sounds more crazy than ever with the Carnival of Chaos

        Overcooked! 2 is no doubt one of the best, most hilarious and most infuriating co-op experiences around all in one. It just got bigger again too, with another great sound DLC out now.

      • Fantastic looking beat ‘em up Shing! confirmed to be releasing for Linux

        One we completely missed from Gamescom is Shing!, a new beat ‘em up from developer Mass Creation releasing next year and it looks like it’s going to be a lot of fun.

        Curiously, it appeared recently in my Steam searching with a SteamOS/Linux icon but the store page only has Windows system requirements. When going to message the developer, I checked the Steam forum and as expected someone asked about Linux support. The reply from the developer was a very clear “Yes – Shing will be available on Linux.”.

        They’re saying it’s so good, they’ve called it a “beat-em-up 2.0″. With Shing! Mass Creation say they’re mixing in classic arcade-style gameplay with modern graphics and an innovative control scheme. This is not going to be a button basher, instead you use the right stick of a gamepad to directly control your weapon. It sounds good on paper but does it look good? Sure does! Take a look at their recent gameplay reveal:

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • New webpage for Plasma Desktop

          In my quest to improve the website of KDE, I updated the Plasma Desktop webpage. This is a huge improvement to the old website, which didn’t show any screenshots and didn’t list any Plasma features.

          I already teased the improvements I made in the Plasma BoF in Milan to the Akademy.

          The redesign got a lot of positive feedback by the Plasma team and after some small modifications the changes landed.

        • Interview with Julius Grels

          At one point I started to search for open source alternatives for the myriad number of programs I was using, and Krita was a recommendation somewhere to replace Photoshop, with high ratings from users.

      • GNOME Desktop/GTK

        • GNOME Firmware App Launches Officially to Make Updating Firmware Easier on Linux

          Promising to make firmware updates easier to deploy, GNOME Firmware is a graphical application for power users that lets them check for new firmware for their devices, update or downgrade current firmware, as well as to install new firmware. GNOME Firmware is designed as an optional utility for GNOME users, as well as users of other desktop environments.

          “GNOME Firmware is designed to be a not-installed-by-default power-user tool to investigate, upgrade, downgrade and re install firmware,” said Richard Hughes in a blog post. “GNOME Software will continue to be used for updates as before. Vendor helpdesks can ask users to install GNOME Firmware rather than getting them to look at command line output.”

        • A Simple Review of GNOME 3.34

          That’s all for now. As always, I love how simple and beautiful GNOME release announcement was. After testing in 3 days, I immediately like this version more than the previous one for the speed improvement and I hope Ubuntu and other distros adopt it soon. Ah, I forgot, regarding Ubuntu, good news for us: next October’s Ubuntu Eoan Ermine will feature 3.34! Regarding GNOME, I don’t know if this is coincidence or what, but this year’s KDE Plasma is faster and smoother and so is GNOME. I think next GNOME 3.36 will be faster and better as well. Finally I would love to say thank you GNOME developers! You all did well in last 6 month.

          How do you think about 3.34? Let me know in the comment section!

        • Internet Speed Indicator for GNOME 3.34
    • Distributions

      • Reviews

        • Chuwi AeroBook review: Testing 5 Linux distributions

          Chuwi is likely not a brand familiar to many, though the Chinese firm has established its abilities in producing budget-focused notebooks and tablets—essentially, attempting to provide a full Windows experience at a price point of an average Chromebook. Chuwi’s upmarket Chuwi Aerobook could be the right price for an Ultrabook form factor at a $500 price point.

          Support for Linux on fundamentally consumer hardware has improved considerably over the last decade, largely preventing the need to perform extensive manual configuration. In 2019, minor compatibility issues—tiny papercut-like problems that are harder to actually solve—can pop up for specific hardware configurations. Depending on the return policies of your preferred marketplace, it might be impossible or cost-prohibitive to return a product like this if it doesn’t work with Linux.

      • Debian Family

        • Why Debian Is the Gold Standard of Upstream Desktop Linux

          If you don’t follow the fortunes of Linux distributions, you might think that the days of Debian’s dominance are long since gone. However, superficial appearances can be deceiving. Not only does Debian consistently appear in the top ten of Distrowatch’s page hit ranking, it’s used as the base of the majority of other distributions as well, far eclipsing rivals like Fedora and Red Hat or openSuse. In fact, Debian might be said to be the most influential distro ever.

          That may seem an overstatement, but the figures are hard to argue with. For at least eight years, Debian has been by far the most dominant distribution. Some details of its dominance have changed, but the overall pattern has been constant. Without Debian, modern Linux would be vastly different.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • Web Browsers

        • Mozilla

          • QMO: Firefox 70 Beta 6 Testday Results

            Hello Mozillians!

            As you may already know, Friday, September 13th – we held a new Testday event, for Firefox 70 Beta 6.

            Thank you all for helping us make Mozilla a better place: Gabriela (gaby2300), Dan Caseley (Fishbowler) and Aishwarya Narasimhan!

            Result: Several test cases were executed for Protection Report and Privacy Panel UI Updates.

      • Productivity Software/LibreOffice/Calligra

      • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

        • Stallman defends himself over Epstein comments

          Open saucy messiah Richard Stallman has found himself in a bit of a mess after he was quoted as defending Marvin Minsky’s association with dead sex-pest Jeffrey Epstein.

          On MIT’s internal Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) listserv, Stallman had seen the description of a protest of Marvin Minsky which said Minsky was “accused of assaulting” one of Epstein’s victims. Stallman argued that “the most plausible scenario” is that “she presented herself to him as entirely willing” — even if Epstein coerced her into doing so — whereas the phrase “assaulting” implies the use of force or violence, faciliating what he calls “accusation inflation… Whatever conduct you want to criticise, you should describe it with a specific term that avoids moral vagueness about the nature of the criticism.”

      • Programming/Development

        • The State Of Qt Quick Vulkan Support With Qt 5.14

          Of the exciting changes so far for Qt 5.14, one of the big ticket items on the path to Qt 6 is the experimental implementation of Qt’s new graphics API independent scenegraph renderer. Rather than being limited to OpenGL, Qt 5.14+ can target Vulkan, Direct3D 11, and even Apple’s Metal API for rendering.

        • How to get current date and time in Python?

          There are a number of ways you can take to get current date. We will use date class of the datetime module to accomplish this task.

        • Mike Driscoll: PyDev of the Week: Veronica Hanus

          This week we welcome Veronica Hanus (@veronica_hanus) as our PyDev of the Week! Veronica is a regular tech speaker at Python and other tech conferences and meetups. You can see some of her talks and her schedule on her website. She has been active in the Python community for the past few years. Let’s take a few moments to get to know her better!

  • Leftovers

    • Security (Confidentiality/Integrity/Availability)

      • Warning Issued For Millions Of Microsoft Windows 10 Users

        The September KB4515384 update is already a menace. Introduced to fix CPU spiking, reports state it has broken Windows 10 search, the Start Menu, Action Centre, USB connections and caused audio problems. And now it is gunning for your Internet access.

        Windows Latest has spotted that users are reporting on Microsoft’s community forum, Windows 10’s Feedback Hub and social networks that network adapters have stopped working after applying this update. Impacted users primarily appear to have Intel chipsets (Asus, MSI and Gigabyte motherboards are mentioned) and both their Ethernet and WiFi connections are affected.

        “Cumulative update (KB4515384) causes the NIC to fail to enable with a code 10 error,” warns one user on the Windows 10 Feedback Hub. “Reinstalling network drivers from Intel or Windows Update sources does not resolve the issue. However removing the update through the ‘Programs & Software’ panel or using a recovery point set *before* the update fully resolves the issue.”

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • Possibly by accident, Moscow officials released the decryption key for the city’s online votes. We put it to use and found some weird stuff.

        In three of Moscow’s voting districts, the city’s September 8 legislative elections also served as a test for a new online voting system. In one of those districts, the online vote proved decisive: While independent candidate Roman Yuneman won the most paper ballots in District 30, he lost to pro-regime candidate Margarita Rusetskaya thanks to the latter’s electronic results. Moscow City Hall published the results of the city’s online voting but did not provide access to the raw voting data behind those results. We found the key to that data, decrypted all of Moscow’s online votes, and reconstructed the three races that used online voting down to the minute.

      • By unknown means, Navalny’s Anti-Corruption Foundation reportedly obtains list of Moscow online voters

        Russian opposition politician Alexey Navalny’s Anti-Corruption Foundation (FBK) has reportedly obtained a complete list of the Moscow residents who were registered to vote online during the city’s limited run of a new Internet election system on September 8. The list includes 12,000 names (9,810 people ultimately submitted online ballots) as well as contact information.

        A statement on Navalny’s website did not specify how the FBK had obtained the list. Moscow city officials said they would investigate the matter. They did not confirm or deny the list’s authenticity, saying only that their official voter list was stored in a different format.

    • Privacy/Surveillance

      • Edward Snowden wants to come home: “I’m not asking for a pass. What I’m asking for is a fair trial”

        “I would like to return to the United States. That is the ultimate goal. But if I’m gonna spend the rest of my life in prison, the one bottom line demand that we have to agree to is that at least I get a fair trial. And that is the one thing the government has refused to guarantee because they won’t provide access to what’s called a public interest defense,” Snowden told “CBS This Morning.”

        The former NSA contractor is shedding new light on his decision to reveal classified documents about the U.S. government’s mass surveillance program back in 2013. Snowden disclosed government programs that collected Americans’ emails, phone calls and internet activity in the name of national security and was subsequently charged under the Espionage Act for doing so. A congressional report said his disclosures “caused tremendous damage to national security.”

        In his new memoir, “Permanent Record,” Snowden tells his story in detail for the first time and speaks about his life in exile in Russia. Snowden, who now identifies himself as a privacy advocate, said his biggest issue with standing trial in the U.S. is that the government won’t allow the jury to consider his motivations.

    • Monopolies

      • Patents and Software Patents

        • CJEU declines to assess unfriendly SPCs based on third-party MAs in Eli Lilly v. Genentech (C-239/19)

          One of the features that render the European Union’s Supplementary Protection Certificate (SPC) unique in comparison to similar legal instruments in other jurisdictions, including the United States and Japan, is that there is no legal provision expressly calling for any specific relationship or agreement between the patent proprietor (and SPC applicant) on the one hand, and the holder of the marketing authorization relied upon for the SPC filing on the other hand. In line with this, and following the CJEU’s judgment in Biogen (C-181/95), it has become common practice that SPCs are granted to patent proprietors who rely on a marketing authorization held by a third party, including even a competitor, without the consent of that third party. Yet, the validity of this practice has stirred controversy for more than 20 years, which has never been fully resolved.

          [...]

          While this result is not entirely unexpected, it is deeply disappointing that the fundamental question whether or not the consent of the holder of a marketing authorization is required for the filing of an SPC remains unresolved. Yet, chances are that this same question could be referred to the CJEU again in the near future, possibly in contentious proceedings between the same parties in another EU member state or in the context of a different case with similar factual circumstances, of which there are more than a few.

        • State of Minnesota Petitions for Certiorari in Regents of University of Minnesota v. LSI Corp.

          The issue is not whether the university’s patents can be challenged, because the State has asserted these patents against Respondent in district court litigation. The issue, according to the brief, is that the State has the constitutional right to choose the forum before which its patents are put at issue. This position is contrary to the Federal Circuit’s blanket determination (begging for Supreme Court review) that IPRs are not subject to any sort of sovereign immunity, based on the appellate court’s decision in St. Regis Mohawk Tribe v. Mylan Pharmaceuticals Inc.

Links 16/9/2019: Qt Quick on Vulkan, Metal, and Direct3D; BlackWeb 1.2 Reviewed

Posted in News Roundup at 3:10 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Desktop

      • Bad news for Microsoft as Huawei starts shipping Matebooks with Linux

        Huawei’s struggles with the US government is still far from over, with the company currently only 30 days into a 90-day reprieve from the US Commerce Department’s ban which prevents US companies from trading with the Chinese giant.

        While there is a possibility that this ban will be extended again and again, there is also the possibility that come December Huawei will no longer have access to Google’s Android and Microsoft’s Windows operating systems.

        On smartphones, Huawei is working on Harmony OS to replace Android. While this operating system could run on the desktop it would need a lot more development.

        There is however a readymade free OS for the desktop already, Linux, and today Betanews reports that Huawei has started selling their MateBook 13, MateBook 14, and MateBook X Pro running the OS in China.

      • Linux In, Windows Out: Huawei Laptops Coming With Deepin Linux Pre-Installed

        The mid-May sanction has forced the Chinese tech giant to look for alternatives, and while everybody knew Linux was the first option, Huawei has been working hard on its very own operating system as well.

        Called HongMeng, this project eventually turned to be a platform for IoT devices, but it can easily convert to mobile and desktop if needed.

        However, Linux appears to be Huawei’s choice in the short term, and the company thus launched the very first devices running this operating system in its home market.

    • Audiocasts/Shows

      • Talking About Communities and ‘People Powered’ with Leo Laporte

        I have always had a bit of a soft spot for the TWiT team and more specifically Leo Laporte. Years ago I used to co-host FLOSS Weekly on their network and occasionally I pop over to the studio for a natter with Leo.

        With ‘People Powered: How communities can supercharge your business, brand, and teams‘ coming out, I thought it would be fun to hop over there. Leo graciously agreed and we recorded an episode of their show, Triangulation.

      • Linux Action News 123

        Speed is the big story around GNOME 3.34, two new major Firefox security features start to roll out, and we explain the CentOS 8 delay.

        Plus our thoughts on the PineTime, and more.

    • Kernel Space

      • Linux 5.3 Released
      • Linux 5.3 Release – Main Changes, Arm, MIPS & RISC-V Architectures

        Linus Torvalds has just announced the release of Linux 5.3: So we’ve had a fairly quiet last week, but I think it was good that we ended up having that extra week and the final rc8.

      • Linux Kernel 5.3 Released By Linus Torvalds With Support For AMD Navi GPUs

        After 8 release candidates, Linus Torvalds has finally released Linux Kernel 5.3. It is a major upgrade that brings many new features in terms of better hardware support, changes specific to Arm architecture and a couple of bug fixes.

        The extra release candidate RC8, as Torvalds says, was because of his busy travel schedule. Nonetheless, RC8 has allowed developers to bring in some essential bug fixes.

      • Graphics Stack

        • Qt Quick on Vulkan, Metal, and Direct3D

          Now that the first beta of Qt 5.14 is getting closer, it is time to start talking about one of the big new features. We cannot possibly cover all the details around the graphics stack improvements and the road to Qt 6 in one post, so in part 1 and 2 we will describe the background and take a closer look at what 5.14 will ship with, and then dive into the technical details and future directions in another set of posts later on.

        • Linux Drivers Entries Suggest two APU AMD Lines in 2020

          A Linux patch reveals that AMD is actively working on two APU series, Dali and Renoir. If chatter is correct then Renoir is to focus on the mobile and the desktop market whereas Dali will be targeted at budget-friendly small form factor builds and mobile systems.

          Renoir likely will be making use of Vega architecture (not NAVI). However, the processor cores would be likely be based on Zen 2 at a 7nm fabrication process.

    • Applications

      • Feh is a light-weight command-line image viewer for Linux

        The default image viewer in most Linux distros is a fine option for many users, but if you want a distraction free alternative, Feh is a good option.

        Feh’s interface is as barebones as it gets as it does not have any toolbars or buttons but is a command line interface application; because of that, it is very light on resources and still easy enough to use even for users who shy away from using the command line whenever possible.

    • Instructionals/Technical

    • Distributions

      • Reviews

        • EndlessOS | Review from an openSUSE User

          EndlessOS is a distribution of Linux I have been watching from afar and almost dabbled with several times. Unfortunately for me and my biases, I didn’t take the time to get to know this distribution sooner. This is an incredibly interesting project that has been given a lot of time and care with plenty of thought. In no way should Endless ever be confused with a casual passion project. This is a serious, well designed and well thought out distribution of Linux that should be part of any Linux user’s growth in an open source enthusiastenthusiest.

          Bottom line up front: Endless OS is a very interesting Linux distribution that has a specific target. I am not that target that I can appreciate. To refer to Endless as a Linux distribution does not do it justice as this is so much more. This is a Linux product. The “offline internet” and especially the Cooking application with the loads and loads of recipes built into it. There has obviously been a lot of thought that went into the user interface as this is incredibly polished. The presentation and holistic thoughtfulness in the user interface is not lost on me at all. The interface and the design intent is quite clear but is clearly not for me. I will stick with my more customizable KDE Plasma with my comfortable, leading-edge base that openSUSE Tumbleweed provides.@endlessglobalBottom line up front: Endless OS is a very interesting Linux distribution that has a specific target. I am not that target that I can appreciate. To refer to Endless as a Linux distribution does not do it justice as this is so much more. This is a Linux product. The “offline internet” and especially the Cooking application with the loads and loads of recipes built into it. There has obviously been a lot of thought that went into the user interface as this is incredibly polished. The presentation and holistic thoughtfulness in the user interface is not lost on me at all. The interface and the design intent is quite clear but is clearly not for me. I will stick with my more customizable KDE Plasma with my comfortable, leading-edge base that openSUSE Tumbleweed provides.

        • BlackWeb 1.2

          BlackWeb is a penetration and security testing distribution based on Debian. The project’s website presents the distribution’s features as follows:

          BlackWeb is a Linux distribution aimed at advanced penetration testing and security auditing. BlackWeb contains several hundred tools which are geared towards various information security tasks, such as penetration testing, security research, computer forensics and reverse engineering. Starting from an appropriately configured LXDE desktop manager it offers stability and speed. BlackWeb has been designed with the aim of achieving the maximum performance and minimum consumption of resources.

          There are 32-bit (x86) and 64-bit (x86_64) builds of BlackWeb available on the distribution’s website. I downloaded the 64-bit build which is 2.6GB in size. Booting from the media brings up a menu asking if we would like to try BlackWeb’s live desktop, run the installer or run the graphical installer. Taking the live desktop options presents us with a graphical login screen where we can sign in with the username “root” and the password “blackweb”.

      • Screenshots/Screencasts

      • Debian Family

        • Sam Hartman: Free as in Sausage Making: Inside the Debian Project

          Recently, we’ve been having some discussion around the use of non-free software and services in doing our Debian work. In judging consensus surrounding a discussion of Git packaging, I said that we do not have a consensus to forbid the use of non-free services like Github. I stand behind that consensus call. Ian Jackson, who initially thought that I misread the consensus later agreed with my call.

          I have been debating whether it would be wise for me as project leader to say more on the issue. Ultimately I have decided to share my thoughts. Yes, some of this is my personal opinion. Yet I think my thoughts resonate with things said on the mailing list; by sharing my thoughts I may help facilitate the discussion.

          We are bound together by the Social Contract. Anyone is welcome to contribute to Debian so long as they follow the Social Contract, the DFSG, and the rest of our community standards. The Social Contract talks about what we will build (a free operating system called Debian). Besides SC #3 (we will not hide problems), the contract says very little about how we will build Debian.

          What matters is what you do, not what you believe. You don’t even need to believe in free software to be part of Debian, so long as you’re busy writing or contributing to free software. Whether it’s because you believe in user freedom or because your large company has chosen Debian for entirely pragmatic reasons, your free software contributions are welcome.

          I think that is one of our core strengths. We’re an incredibly diverse community. When we try to tie something else to what it means to be Debian beyond the quality of that free operating system we produce, judged by how it meets the needs of our users, we risk diminishing Debian. Our diversity serves the free software community well. We have always balanced pragmatic concerns against freedom. We didn’t ignore binary blobs and non-free firmware in the kernel, but we took the time to make sure we balanced our users’ needs for functional systems against their needs for freedom. By being so diverse, we have helped build a product that is useful both to people who care about freedom and other issues. Debian has been pragmatic enough that our product is wildly popular. We care enough about freedom and do the hard work of finding workable solutions that many issues of software freedom have become mainstream concerns with viable solutions.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

        • MIT scientist defends pedophile Jeffrey Epstein [Ed: This headline is patently false. Stallman defends all sorts of crazy things, but he did not “defend Epstein” as corporate media keeps telling us (probably distorting the story intentionally).]

          Richard Stallman, a well-known MIT computer scientist who’s previously suggested that President Donald Trump stole the 2016 presidential election, has been accused of not only defending deceased billionaire pedophile Jeffrey Epstein’s alleged crimes but also smearing his victims.

        • Epstein Victim Likely Was Willing, MIT Scientist Says [Ed: Check what Stallman actually said. Nothing like what these headlines claim. Tactless? Sure. Even tasteless. But this is distortion.]

          MIT’s Jeffrey Epstein awkwardness isn’t going away yet. Days after the director of the MIT Media Lab resigned after being accused of accepting and covering up donations from Epstein, emails have surfaced that show a famed computer scientist excusing sexual assault. Richard Stallman wrote that it’s likely that a woman who says she was recruited for sex at age 16 was “entirely willing,” the Daily Beast reports, logic that would excuse the late Marvin Minsky, who founded MIT’s Artificial Intelligence Lab.

        • MIT computer scientist describes Jeffrey Epstein victim as ‘entirely willing’ in alleged sexual assault
        • [libreplanet-discuss] Is Stallman nuts?
          Remarkably, in order to make their allegations against Stallman, both
          Selam G. and Edward Ongweso Jr. must speak untruthfully about what
          Stallman wrote. 
          
          Selam G., for example, writes:  "…and then [Stallman] says that an
          enslaved child could, somehow, be "entirely willing"."   Yet, what
          Stallman actually  wrote was that if the victim were being coerced by
          Epstein, he thinks it most likely that she would have been directed to
          conceal that coercion from Minsky and others.    The two statements are
          very different.   What Salem G. falsely attributes to Stallman would
          indeed be very damning -- but it is not what Stallman wrote at all. 
          
          Edward Ongweso Jr. offers this slander:  "Early in the thread, Stallman
          insists that the "most plausible scenario" is that Epstein's underage
          victims were "entirely willing" while being trafficked."   The truth,
          however, is that Stallman wrote: "We can imagine many scenarios, but the
          most plausible scenario is that she presented herself to him as entirely
          willing."   Two two statements are, again, very different.  Ongweso
          Jr.'s false paraphrase is about whether the young woman was willing. 
          Stallman's is about how, under the circumstances, the young woman might
          have appeared to Minsky to be willing, for example if she were directed
          to conceal the coercion. 
          
          Accusations such as Salem G. and Ongweso Jr. make are made to cause harm
          to the accused.  That is how  they appear to be made in this context:
          with the aim of harming Stallman.  Yet in order to accomplish this harm,
          both Salem G. and Ongweso Jr. must abandon the truth in favor of
          statements falsely attributed to Stallman. 
          
          It would be appropriate, in my opinion, for both writers to retract
          their critical misstatements of fact. 
          
          
        • Statements about Epstein

          I want to respond to the misleading media coverage of messages I posted about Marvin Minsky’s association with Jeffrey Epstein. The coverage totally mischaracterised my statements.

          Headlines say that I defended Epstein. Nothing could be further from the truth. I’ve called him a “serial rapist”, and said he deserved to be imprisoned. But many people now believe I defended him — and other inaccurate claims — and feel a real hurt because of what they believe I said.

          I’m sorry for that hurt. I wish I could have prevented the misunderstanding.

        • Richard Stallman Challenges ‘Misleading’ Coverage of His Comments on Marvin Minsky

          On MIT’s internal Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) listerv, Stallman had seen the description of a protest of Marvin Minsky which said Minsky was “accused of assaulting” one of Epstein’s victims. Stallman argued that “the most plausible scenario” is that “she presented herself to him as entirely willing” — even if she was coerced by Epstein into doing so — whereas the phrase “assaulting” implies the use of force or violence, faciliating what he calls “accusation inflation… Whatever conduct you want to criticize, you should describe it with a specific term that avoids moral vagueness about the nature of the criticism.”

          An angry MIT alumni who was forwarded the email then “started emailing reporters — local and national, news sites, newspapers, radio stations” — and then not receiving quick enough responses, published it herself in a Medium essay titled “Remove Richard Stallman. And everyone else horrible in tech.” And then leaked the whole thread to Vice.

        • Preliminary fact-finding about MIT and Jeffrey Epstein

          Joi sought the gifts for general research purposes, such as supporting lab scientists and buying equipment. Because the members of my team involved believed it was important that Epstein not use gifts to MIT for publicity or to enhance his own reputation, they asked Joi to agree to make clear to Epstein that he could not put his name on them publicly. These guidelines were provided to and apparently followed by the Media Lab.

          Information shared with us last night also indicates that Epstein gifts were discussed at at least one of MIT’s regular senior team meetings, and I was present.

          I am aware that we could and should have asked more questions about Jeffrey Epstein and about his interactions with Joi. We did not see through the limited facts we had, and we did not take time to understand the gravity of Epstein’s offenses or the harm to his young victims. I take responsibility for those errors.

          While the fact finding will continue, we have already identified flaws in our processes that need to be addressed.

          I am confident that, once Goodwin Procter submits its final fact-finding to the Executive Committee and me, and the Provost’s internal review is complete, MIT will have the tools to improve our review and approval processes and turn back to the central work of the Institute.

      • Programming/Development

        • Constraint programming by example

          There are many different ways to solve problems in computing. You might “brute force” your way to a solution by calculating as many possibilities as you can, or you might take a procedural approach and carefully establish the known factors that influence the correct answer. In constraint programming, a problem is viewed as a series of limitations on what could possibly be a valid solution. This paradigm can be applied to effectively solve a group of problems that can be translated to variables and constraints or represented as a mathematic equation. In this way, it is related to the Constraint Satisfaction Problem (CSP).

          Using a declarative programming style, it describes a general model with certain properties. In contrast to the imperative style, it doesn’t tell how to achieve something, but rather what to achieve. Instead of defining a set of instructions with only one obvious way to compute values, constraint programming declares relationships between variables within constraints. A final model makes it possible to compute the values of variables regardless of direction or changes. Thus, any change in the value of one variable affects the whole system (i.e., all other variables), and to satisfy defined constraints, it leads to recomputing the other values.

        • Samuel Sutch: Why Python Has Become an Industry Favorite Among Programmers

          With the world stepping towards a new age of technology development, it isn’t hard to imagine a future that will be full of screens. And if so be the case then, demand for people with strong programming skills will definitely rise with more number of people required to develop and support the applications. Python Training is always a good idea for those wishes to be a part of this constantly developing industry. Python language is not only easy to grasp, but emphasizes less on syntax which is why a few mistakes here and there doesn’t give as much trouble as some other languages does.

  • Leftovers

    • Defence/Aggression

    • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

      • The World’s Most Important Political Prisoner

        We are now just one week away from the end of Julian Assange’s uniquely lengthy imprisonment for bail violation. He will receive parole from the rest of that sentence, but will continue to be imprisoned on remand awaiting his hearing on extradition to the USA – a process which could last several years.

    • Environment

      • Naomi Klein: ‘We Are Seeing the Beginnings of the Era of Climate Barbarism’

        In a North American context, it’s the greatest taboo of all to actually admit that there are going to be limits. You see that in the way Fox News has gone after the Green New Deal—they are coming after your hamburgers! It cuts to the heart of the American dream—every generation gets more than the last, there is always a new frontier to expand to, the whole idea of settler-colonial nations like ours. When somebody comes along and says, actually, there are limits, we’ve got some tough decisions, we need to figure out how to manage what’s left, we’ve got to share equitably—it is a psychic attack. And so the response [on the left] has been to avoid, and say no, no, we’re not coming to take away your stuff, there are going to be all kinds of benefits. And there are going to be benefits: We’ll have more livable cities, we’ll have less polluted air, we’ll spend less time stuck in traffic, we can design happier, richer lives in so many ways. But we are going to have to contract on the endless, disposable consumption side.

      • NaomiKlein: ‘We are seeing the beginnings of the era of climate barbarism’
      • Globalwarming hot spots pass safe limit

        A study says Earth’s hot spots have already warmed by more than the safe limit for avoiding dangerous climate change.

      • Why DeSmog Is Joining a Global News Collaboration to ‘Cover Climate Now’

        Since then, we’ve been telling the stories overlooked by mainstream media: debunking early arguments of climate science deniers, exposing their funding sources and networks, and examining the questionable claims (and finances) of the “fracking revolution” that has contributed to the climate crisis, just to name a few.

      • Attacks on Greta Thunberg Are About More Than Anti-Environmentalism

        “Freak yachting accidents do happen…”

      • How to Live With the Climate Crisis Without Becoming a Nihilist

        The climate crisis has moved into everyday life and it can feel overwhelming.Hurricane Dorian, which left more than 70,000 people homeless, was an instance of this climate breakdown. A hotter ocean means stronger storms, a higher sea means worse flooding, a hotter atmosphere means more rain. Worsening wildfires in California and elsewhere…

      • Energy

        • Drone attacks cut Saudi Arabia’s oil output by half

          Moreover, the attacks come at a sensitive time for the oil markets in general and for Aramco in particular, which is preparing to list a portion of its shares in what is expected to be the largest initial public offering ever. In preparation for its listing, Saudi Arabia has been keen to show both that it can support the oil price and that it can produce crude reliably, despite mounting security threats. Recent events reveal the limits of its ability to do either.

        • Trump authorizes use of emergency oil reserve after Saudi attacks

          “Based on the attack on Saudi Arabia, which may have an impact on oil prices, I have authorized the release of oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, if needed, in a to-be-determined amount sufficient to keep the markets well-supplied,” Trump said in a series of tweets. “I have also informed all appropriate agencies to expedite approvals of the oil pipelines currently in the permitting process in Texas and various other States.”

      • Wildlife/Nature

        • Instagram is helping drive a black market for succulent poachers

          While there are documented cases of succulent poaching in dating back at least two decades, officials say it has recently increased in frequency and severity. Plant experts tell Salon poachers take these plants from private and public properties. And such poaching is destroying California’s coastal ecosystem, already compromised by invasive plants and human development.

          [...]

          Suba added that people don’t need poachers to enjoy these plants, noting that they are easy to grow. A pinch of seeds, he said, can produce ten thousand plants.

    • Finance

      • Teaching Democrats to Talk About Socialism

        It doesn’t matter who the Democratic nominee for president is next year, they will be attacked for being “socialist.”  It will be relentless and merciless.  The problem is that none of the current candidates know how to talk about socialism, so they always seem to be on the defensive.  They’re always back on their heels, explaining, evading, apologizing.

      • From Voice of America to NPR: New CEO Lansing’s Glass House

        I don’t know about you, but I take a teeny weeny bit of offense when a guy in a glass house lobs a great big stone and expects me not to notice the sound of shattering. Which brings me to National Public Radio.

        [...]

        This had me picking through the shards when they went on to explain that Lansing comes to NPR from the United States Agency for Global Media, a federally-funded organization whose express mission is to interfere in journalism by doing it, in such as way as to promote American policy values all across the world.

        NPR’s new CEO story came with a picture of Lansing in his capacity as CEO of USAGM, testifying in Congress about the scourge of Russian media meddling. “The Russian government and other authoritarian regimes engage in far-reaching, malign influence campaigns,” he said.

      • Reasons for Optimism

        The arc of American history reveals an unmistakable pattern. Whenever privilege and power conspire to pull us backward, we eventually rally and move forward.

      • Auto Workers Vote to Strike at General Motors Plants

        The United Auto Workers union announced Sunday that its roughly 49,000 workers at General Motors plants in the U.S. would go on strike just before midnight because contentious talks on a new contract had broken down.

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • Trapped, alone and ‘desperate to come home.’ American siblings barred from leaving China

        The State Department has warned Americans about China’s growing use of exit bans – stating in a Jan. 3 travel advisory that Chinese authorities have sometimes used exit bans to keep Americans in China for years.

        “China uses exit bans coercively,” the State Department cautioned, “to compel U.S. citizens to participate in Chinese government investigations, to lure individuals back to China from abroad, and to aid Chinese authorities in resolving civil disputes in favor of Chinese parties.”

      • Israel: Two Elections, One Apartheid State

        Israelis are getting ready to head to the polls for the second time in 2019. Israel’s last national elections were five months ago in April, ending in a razor-tight finish with Netanyahu’s Likud party winning 35 Knesset seats and the Blue and White party winning 35 Knesset seats.

      • 3 Democratic Candidates Call for Kavanaugh’s Impeachment

        At least three Democratic presidential candidates are calling for the impeachment of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh in the face of a new, uninvestigated, allegation of sexual impropriety when he was in college.

    • Privacy/Surveillance

      • Should apps share details of women’s menstruation and sex lives with Facebook and other sites? Some already do

        Aside from the high level of intrusion this kind of tracking represents, there’s another worrying aspect. Judging by the 187,000 reviews of Maya on Google Play, almost nobody is aware of how their most personal information is being passed around. That’s not a surprise: Privacy International had to use some fairly sophisticated software tools in order to study the data flows from these period tracking apps. Few general users would be able to do that, even if it occurred to them to try. But the more sensitive the personal data that is being collected, the stronger should be the protections to keep it safe at all times, and the greater should be the transparency about how it used.

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • India: Free Kashmiris Arbitrarily Detained

        Indian authorities should immediately release detained Kashmiris who have not been charged with a recognizable offense.

      • China: Xinjiang Children Separated from Families

        Chinese authorities should immediately release to their families children held in “child welfare” institutions and boarding schools in Xinjiang, Human Rights Watch said today. The government should cease unnecessarily separating Uyghur and other Turkic Muslim children from their families. 

    • Restrictions

      • Congress Is Investigating Apple’s Repair Monopoly

        For years, the independent repair community has said that Apple has engaged in anticompetitive behavior by refusing to sell parts to repair shops who are not “authorized” by the company. The company has also lobbied heavily against so called right-to-repair legislation, which would require it and other electronics companies to sell parts and tools to the general public. It has sued independent repair companies for using aftermarket and refurbished parts and worked with the Department of Homeland Security to seize unauthorized repair parts from small businesses both at customs and from individual shops. And, as the committee’s letter notes, Apple cut a deal with Amazon that restricted who is allowed to sell refurbished Apple devices on Amazon.

        Apple has made small strides toward opening up the repair ecosystem. Earlier this month, the company said it would begin to sell repair parts to certain independent repair shops, though it has not said how much they will cost or what parts will be available.

        The internal communications are due to the committee on October 14.

    • Monopolies

      • Copyrights

        • Platform Exclusives Could Boost Piracy, UK Govt Report Notes

          One of the prerequisites of beating piracy is that content is available legally for a fair price. In recent years, however, movies and music are increasingly becoming fragmented over a variety of paid subscription services. According to a UK Government report, this may be the reason why piracy is making a comeback.

        • UK ‘Pirate’ IPTV Users’ Favorite Channels “Are Free-to-Air”

          TV viewers in the UK are blessed with a wealth of channels provided free-to-air, such as the world-famous BBC and ITV selections. Interestingly, however, the operator of a ‘pirate’ IPTV service says that people are increasingly turning to platforms like his to access the same channels due to a better viewing experience.

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