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09.19.19

Links 19/9/2019: German Federal Ministry of the Interior Wants FOSS, Top Snaps Named

Posted in News Roundup at 4:06 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • German ministry hellbent on taking back control of ‘digital sovereignty’, cutting dependency on Microsoft

      The Federal Ministry of the Interior (Bundesministerium des Innern or BMI) in Germany says it will reduce reliance on specific IT suppliers, especially Microsoft, in order to strengthen its “digital sovereignty”.

      In an official statement, the Federal Minister of the Interior Horst Seehofer states that “in order to ensure our digital sovereignty, we want to reduce dependencies on individual IT providers. We are also considering alternative programs to replace certain software. This will be done in close coordination with other EU countries.”

      BMI commissioned a strategic market analysis from consultants PwC, resulting in a paper that was published last month. The paper examines the risks inherent in IT dependency on commercial software vendors, with a particular focus on Microsoft because of the heavy use of its products and the way they are interconnected, especially Microsoft Office, Windows, Windows Server and Office 365.

    • Desktop

      • Buying Huawei: A wolf in sheep’s clothing?

        Creating a rival for its key technology at the level Huawei’s is suggesting is unprecedented, yet other businesses have either had to give their intellectual property away or, taken a stance that is generally counter to good business: AT&T and its UNIX operating system in the 1970s is a good example. Google has famously done rather well by making its Android operating system (OS) Open Source, and Tesla, with founder Elon Musk stating he: “will not initiate patent lawsuits against anyone who, in good faith, wants to use our technology.”

        However, could this move by Huawei be little more than an attempt to protect its future profitability in a mobile market that is about to explode once again as 5G ushers in a new age of connectivity? And Huawei is about to release their own OS, which they hope will rival Android. There is more hope than substance, as users still won’t be able to use many of their favourite apps when the latest Huawei handsets are launched.

        Don’t forget, the current block on US firms selling technology to Huawei includes Apps from Google. Huawei smartphones might use the Open Source Android OS, but their Apps are banned from export due to the US’s arguments that this technology could be a national security issue. So, Huawei’s 5G handsets wouldn’t have YouTube or Gmail for instance. Is Mr. Zhengfei’s offer a backhanded way to get this ban lifted? As the Economist points out, 50% of Huawei sales came from selling its smartphones. All eyes are on how Huawei’s new Mate 30 performs in the marketplace.

    • Server

      • Linux Container Technology Explained (Contributed)

        State and local governments’ IT departments increasingly rely on DevOps practices and agile development methodologies to improve service delivery and to help maintain a culture of constant collaboration, iteration, and flexibility among all stakeholders and teams.

        However, when an IT department adopts agile and DevOps practices and methodologies, traditional IT problems still need to be solved. One long-standing problem is “environmental drift,” when the code and configurations for applications and their underlying infrastructure can vary between different environments. State and local IT teams often lack the tools necessary to mitigate the effects of environmental drift, which can hamper collaboration and agility efforts.

      • IBM

        • DevNation Live Bengaluru: Java microservices and how to become cloud-native

          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.

          Many of us are on a journey from traditional monolithic applications to a more distributed cloud-native microservices architecture. In this session, Burr Sutter discusses the key microservices architecture principles and explains how and why to evolve to this approach. You’ll learn how to become a new cloud-native developer and architect.

        • Red Hat UK ranked fourth in Best Workplaces In Tech 2019

          At Red Hat we love to celebrate our people and culture, and it is with great pleasure that we can share that Red Hat in the United Kingdom has been honoured in the Great Place to Work awards, ranking fourth in the UK’s Best Workplaces in Tech 2019, large company category.

          Great Place to Work identifies thriving successful workplaces through a rigorous methodology that includes its Trust Index survey, which looks at the employee experience, and its Culture Audit, which assesses leadership and people practices. Red Hat reached the number four spot thanks to its passion to deliver a great employee experience and to enable a more innovative and productive environment for all. Great Place to Work recognises Red Hat UK as somewhere employees trust the people they work for, have pride in the work they do and enjoy the people they work with.

        • Custom Grafana dashboards for Red Hat OpenShift Container Platform 4

          OpenShift administrators often face the same challenges as other system administrators: “I need a tool that will monitor the health of my system.” Yet, traditional monitoring tools often fall short in their visibility of an OpenShift cluster. Thus, a typical OpenShift monitoring stack includes Prometheus for systems as well as service monitoring, and Grafana for analyzing and visualizing metrics.

          Often, administrators are looking to write custom queries and create custom dashboards in Grafana. However, the Grafana instance that is provided with the monitoring stack, along with its dashboards, is read-only. Enter the community-powered Grafana operator provided by OperatorHub.

        • IBM will soon launch a 53-qubit quantum computer

          IBM continues to push its quantum computing efforts forward and today announced that it will soon make a 53-qubit quantum computer available to clients of its IBM Q Network. The new system, which is scheduled to go online in the middle of next month, will be the largest universal quantum computer available for external use yet.

          The new machine will be part of IBM’s new Quantum Computation Center in New York State, which the company also announced today. The new center, which is essentially a data center for IBM’s quantum machines, will also feature five 20-qubit machines, but that number will grow to 14 within the next month. IBM promises a 95% service availability for its quantum machines.

    • Audiocasts/Shows

    • Kernel Space

      • Linux 5.2.16

        I’m announcing the release of the 5.2.16 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 4.19.74
      • Linux 4.14.145
      • Linux Kernel 5.3

        Linux 5.3 was released over the weekend, which means it’s time for our usual “where does Collabora stand in this picture?” tour.

        As has been the case for several years now, Collabora keeps being an active contributor to the Linux project, with 77 commits authored by Collaborans merged in this release.

        On the media subsystem front, André Almeida and Helen Koike kept working on the Virtual Media Controller (VIMC) driver. The most notable change in this release being the addition of a VIMC entry to the media subsystem doc, centralizing all information about this virtual driver.

      • Graphics Stack

        • Intel’s Gallium3D OpenGL Driver Taps Another Optimization – ~32% For GFXBench

          Intel’s new OpenGL Linux driver, their Gallium3D-based “Iris” implementation that is aiming to be the default before year’s end, continues making striking progress.

          Just this past week when testing the very latest Mesa code for this Intel Gallium3D driver I was quite impressed with it near universally being faster than their existing “i965″ Mesa driver. For some OpenGL workloads, this Gallium3D driver is significantly faster than the driver it’s set to replace for Broadwell “Gen 8″ graphics and newer.

        • Mesa’s Disk Cache Code Now Better Caters To 4+ Core Systems

          Most Linux gamers these days should be running at least quad-core systems so Mesa 19.3 has been updated to reflect that reality with the number of CPU threads used by their disk cache.

        • Performance-Boosting DFSM Support Flipped On & Off For RADV Vulkan Driver

          Back in July of last year the RADV Vulkan driver enabled primitive binning and DFSM for this open-source Radeon Vulkan driver. Well, it thought it enabled DFSM support and paired with the binning did yield a minor performance benefit at the time for Raven Ridge APUs. But now it turns out the DFSM support wasn’t properly wired up and is now addressed but is currently introducing a performance regression.

          RADV developer Bas Nieuwenhuizen added the actual DFSM (Deterministic Finite State Machine) support and mirrors the behavior of the RadeonSI OpenGL driver. With the DFSM support he found that it doubles the fill-rate of one of his test samples from around 16 to 32 pixels/cycles for Raven Ridge.

        • The Valve-funded shader compiler ‘ACO’ is being queued up for inclusion in Mesa directly (updated: merged)

          Back in early July, Valve announced their work on a new AMD GPU shader compiler for Mesa named ACO and now they’re trying to get it pulled into Mesa directly.

          Their main aims with ACO were to get the “best-possible code generation for game shaders, and fastest-possible compilation speed” and to replace the currently used shader compiler from the massive LLVM project. It has certainly seemed promising, improving both shader compile time resulting in less stuttering and so helping to improve overall FPS and smoothness in Linux games when played on supported AMD GPUs.

        • Valve’s ACO Shader Compiler For The Mesa Radeon Vulkan Driver Just Landed

          It was just two days ago that Valve’s performance-focused “ACO” shader compiler was submitted for review to be included in Mesa for the “RADV” Radeon Vulkan driver. Just minutes ago that new shader compiler back-end was merged for Mesa 19.3.

          ACO, short for the AMD COmpiler, is the effort led by Valve at creating a more performant and optimized shader compiler for the Radeon Linux graphics driver. Besides trying to generate the fastest shaders, ACO also aims to provide speedy shader compilation too, as an alternative to the AMDGPU LLVM shader compiler back-end. Initially ACO is for the RADV Vulkan driver but it may be brought to the RadeonSI OpenGL driver in the future. At the moment ACO is in good shape for Volcanic Islands through Vega while the Navi shader support is in primitive form.

    • Benchmarks

      • Running The AMD “ABBA” Ryzen 3000 Boost Fix Under Linux With 140 Tests

        Last week AMD’s AGESA “ABBA” update began shipping with a fix to how the boost clock frequencies are handled in hopes of better achieving the rated boost frequencies for Ryzen 3000 series processors. I’ve been running some tests of an updated ASUS BIOS with this adjusted boost clock behavior to see how it performs under Linux with a Ryzen 9 3900X processor.

        The AGESA 1.0.0.3 ABBA update has an improved boost clock frequency algorithm along with changes to the idle state handling. This AGESA update should better position AMD Ryzen 3000 processors with the boost clock behavior expected by users with better hitting the maximum boost frequency and doing so more aggressively.

    • Instructionals/Technical

    • Wine or Emulation

      • WineHQ 4.16 Released, Install Using Official Repository in Ubuntu/Linux Mint

        Wine lets you run Windows software on other operating systems. With Wine, you can install and run these applications just like you would in Windows. Wine enables Linux, Mac, FreeBSD, and Solaris users to run Windows applications without a copy of Microsoft Windows. Wine is free software under constant development. Other platforms may benefit as well. The new release carries new features and bugs fixes.

    • Games

      • Valve have released two more experiments into Steam Labs

        Ready to be a test subject once again and possible find some new games to play? Valve have released another two tools enabling you to find something to keep you busy and keep boredom away.

        The first up is the Deep Dive, developed by Lars Doucet (Defender’s Quest), it’s an extension of the work they did on their own Diving Bell Prototype. It allows you to click through games and be presented by more based on what you’ve clicked, however it comes with a number of improvements over the prototype. It has a breadcrumb navigation with a Start Over button, it won’t loop over as it strips out what you’ve already seen, Microtrailers from another Steam Labs experiment on them all and a proper Search bar.

        Deep Dive, thankfully, is one that should actually respect your store preferences after we had a chat about it on Twitter (#1, #2). So if you’ve only ticked Linux in your Steam Preferences (see the bottom), it shouldn’t constantly throw Windows titles at you.

      • Fine Wine: An Interview With Codeweavers About Valve, Windows And The Future Of Gaming On Linux

        For a staggering 23 years, the developers at Codeweavers have undertaken the gargantuan task of enabling Windows software to run on Mac and Linux operating systems. Among other accomplishments, the company’s collective work and collaboration with Valve resulted in a massive leap forward in Linux gaming with Steam Proton. I recently sat down with Codeweavers CEO and Wine developer Andrew Eikum for an illuminating conversation about the challenges they face, working with Valve, and the future of gaming and software on Linux.

      • Linux commit suggests mainstream AMD Navi GPUs will launch before October 15

        Trivial and urgent. That’s probably not how AMD would like its upcoming Navi 12 GPUs to be referenced, but that’s how its open source guru, Marek Olsak, has termed the addition of the Navi PCI ID to the Mesa 3D Graphics Library in a recent commit. Trivial, presumably because adding the little bit of extra code of Navi 12’s PCI ID doesn’t take a lot of effort, but what of the ‘urgent’ tag? Are we looking at the very imminent arrival of the AMD Navi 12 graphics cards?

        [...]

        The next Mesa 3D Graphics Library release – 19.3.0-rc1 – isn’t scheduled until October 15 which kinda suggests that AMD’s open source crew wanted to get support into the 19.2 library preceding it, as compatible GPUs would presumably be available before version 19.3 drops.

      • A Total War Saga: TROY Seeing A Native Linux Port Next Year

        Creative Assembly revealed Total War Saga: TROY on Wednesday for release next year. Feral Interactive has announced they are porting this latest Total War game to macOS and Linux.

        Feral has done a good job punctually porting Creative Assembly’s Total War games to Linux/macOS and it will continue that way for Total War Saga: TROY.

      • Valve have already begun tweaking the new Steam Library Beta

        With the new Steam Library Beta now available for everyone to test, Valve have started tweaking it based on feedback.

      • Video recording and livestreaming app OBS Studio has a big new release out

        Some really great new features made it into this release like the ability to actually pause a recording. That will come in very handy, when you want to keep a single file but you know there’s times you don’t want in it. This can certainly help cut down on editing time for a lot of situations. You can also use a script to pause recordings when a specific scene is up, like when you’ve run to the toilet or something—handy! To get pausing to work though, you cannot share the encoder between recording and streaming.

      • Physics-based space shoot ‘em up Hyper Ultra Astronautics allows up to 16 players for total madness

        FRACTiLE Games just released Hyper Ultra Astronautics, a physics-based local multiplayer space shoot ‘em with Linux support.

      • The dev of Rings of Saturn thinks going cross-platform ‘paid off’

        Currently in Early Access on itch.io and Steam, the developer of the top-down hard sci-fi space sim ΔV: Rings of Saturn seems to think doing a Linux and Mac build was worth it.

        Before getting into the details of it, let’s have a reminder of what the game actually is. Developed by Kodera Software, a one-person studio from Poland, Rings of Saturn follows the unexpected discovery of valuable minerals within the rings of Saturn. This has sparked a thriving space excavation industry and you’re going out there to hopefully strike it rich. The developer said it’s “backed up with real physics and science” and the attention to detail is pretty amazing.

      • Total War Saga: TROY officially announced and it will be coming to Linux next year

        Good news for fans of strategy games today as Total War Saga: TROY has been officially announced by Creative Assembly and SEGA. It’s also getting a Linux port once again from Feral Interactive.

        Inspired by Homer’s Iliad, it focuses on the historical flashpoint of the Trojan War, evolving the series with new period-inspired features. Creative Assembly said you will be able to explore it from both the Greek and Trojan perspectives allowing you to peel back “the layers of myth and legend to reveal the realities that may have inspired them”. Taking place in the late Bronze Age, this will be the the furthest back in time the Total War franchise has gone with its setting.

        Right on the Steam store page, it very clearly states “A Total War Saga: TROY will be released for macOS and Linux shortly after Windows.”. Feral Interactive will be doing the port just like they did with previous Total War titles as confirmed on their official site. Exciting to see another top title officially coming to Linux—brilliant!

      • Squad-based zombie apocalypse strategic rogue-lite Deadly Days has officially released

        Deadly Days is a game I’ve played repeatedly over the course of it being in Early Access, it’s good fun and it’s officially out now with a big update.

        What to expect from it? You control a small squad, which you equip with various weapons to go through a series of randomly generated locations to loot for scrap and more equipment. You need to direct your survivors around each map and while they can act by themselves, you can also take a bit more direct control to aim their weapons. Additionally, you also have special abilities like dropping bombs, healing, speeding them up and so on.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • Plasma 5.17 Beta Out for Testing

          Today KDE launches the beta release of Plasma 5.17.

          We’ve added a bunch of new features and improvements to KDE’s lightweight yet full featured desktop environment.

          Plasma’s updated web page gives more background on why you should use it on your computer.

          System Settings has gained new features to help you manage your fancy Thunderbolt hardware, plus Night Color is now on X11 and a bunch of pages got redesigned to help you get your configuration done easier. Our notifications continue to improve with a new icon and automatic do-not-disturb mode for presentations. Our Breeze GTK theme now provides a better appearance for the Chromium/Chrome web browsers and applies your color scheme to GTK and GNOME apps. The window manager KWin has received many HiDPI and multi-screen improvements, and now supports fractional scaling on Wayland.

        • KDE Plasma 5.17 Beta Rolls Out With Wayland Improvements, Overhauled Settings
    • Distributions

      • Firefox, Graphene, Krita update in Tumbleweed

        Two openSUSE Tumbleweed snapshots were released this week.

        The snapshots furnished the update for KDE Applications 19.08.1 and updated several libraries including Intel’s Graphene library OS.

        Snapshot 20190917 delivered four packages. The Graphene package updated to 1.10.0 and now uses an ancillary library called (micro) µTest for its test suite, which makes possible to build and run the test suite without depending on GLib. Mozilla Firefox 69.0 provided Enhanced Tracking Protection (ETP) with stronger privacy protections and added support for receiving multiple video codecs to makes it easier for WebRTC conferencing services to mix video from different clients. The other two package updates in the snapshot were icecream 1.3, which takes compile jobs from a build and distributes it among remote machines allowing a parallel build, and the HTTP client/server library for GNOME libsoup 2.66.3. The update of icecream 1.3 improved the speed of creating compiler tarballs. The snapshot is trending at a moderately stable rating of 87, according to the Tumbleweed snapshot reviewer.

      • Reviews

        • Arch Linux Review in 2019

          In constant development since 2002, Arch Linux isn’t new. It’s built up a large, loyal following of users who love Arch’s “Keep It Simple, Stupid” approach, where minimalism and choice reign supreme.

          No Arch Linux installation is the same, and that’s the appeal to Arch users. It isn’t the friendliest Linux distro for beginners, but if you’re looking to truly understand what a Linux distro can do, Arch Linux could be for you.

          At number 15 on the Distowatch popularity list over the past 12 months, Arch is also one of the most well-known Linux distros. Let’s find out why this minimalist distro continues to be popular.

      • Screenshots/Screencasts

      • Debian Family

        • FAI 5.8.7 and new ISO images using Debian 10

          The new FAI release 5.8.7 now supports apt keys in files called package_config/CLASS.gpg. Before we only supported .asc files. fai-mirror has a new option -V, which checks if variables are used in package_config/ and uses variable definitions from class/.var.

        • Praise Be CUPS Driverless Printing

          Last Tuesday, I finally got to start updating $work’s many desktop computers to Debian Buster. I use Puppet to manage them remotely, so major upgrades basically mean reinstalling machines from scratch and running Puppet.

          Over the years, the main upgrade hurdle has always been making our very large and very complicated printers work on Debian. Unsurprisingly, the blog posts I have written on that topic are very popular and get me a few ‘thank you’ emails per month.

          I’m very happy to say, thanks to CUPS Driverless Printing (CUPS 2.2.2+), all those trials and tribulations are finally over. Printing on Buster just works. Yes yes, even color booklets printed on 11×17 paper folded in 3 stapled in the middle.

        • Freexian’s report about Debian Long Term Support, August 2019

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

        • Louis-Philippe Véronneau: Archiving 20 years of online content

          mailman2 is pretty great. You can get a dump of an email list pretty easily and mailman3′s web frontend, the lovely hyperkitty, is well, lovely. Importing a legacy mailman2 mbox went without a hitch thanks to the awesome hyperkitty_import importer. Kudos to the Debian Mailman Team for packaging this in Debian for us.

          But what about cramming a Yahoo! Group mailing list in hyperkitty? I wouldn’t recommend it. After way too many hours spent battling character encoding errors I just decided people that wanted to read obscure emails from 2003 would have to deal with broken accents and shit. But hey, it kinda works!

          Oh, and yes, archiving a Yahoo! Group with an old borken Perl script wasn’t an easy task. Hell, I kept getting blacklisted by Yahoo! for scraping too much data to their liking. I ended up patching together the results of multiple runs over a few weeks to get the full mbox and attachments.

          By the way, if anyone knows how to tell hyperkitty to stop at a certain year (i.e. not display links for 2019 when the list stopped in 2006), please ping me.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • Vivaldi Web Browser 2.8 Released! How to Install it in Ubuntu

          Vivaldi web browser released the new stable version 2.8 today. Here’s how to install it in Ubuntu 18.04 and higher.

        • Try Screen Mirroring Android Using Wi-Fi on Ubuntu!

          In the previous article, I once discussed screen mirroring on Ubuntu using Scrcpy. I like Scrcpy because this application is very light and runs very well when Screen Mirroring. And in this article, I will try Screen Mirroring using Wi-fi(wifi).

          Screen Mirroring using wifi has several benefits. One of them is, we don’t need to connect the device with a cable. So, when we are presentation a demo of an application made for smartphones, we can move freely because we don’t use connecting cables when used for screen mirroring.

        • Popular snaps per distro

          From a distance, Linux is one big, confusing ball of passionate users and hardcore technical jargon. But as you zoom in, you can start seeing patterns – and differences. Indeed, the individual and vastly varied choice of a favorite distribution has played a major part in shaping the community conversation in the Linux space. But does this also reflect on the application usage patterns?

          We wanted to have a look at how users on different distributions consume snaps. So we crunched some numbers and checked the top five snaps for Ubuntu, Debian, Fedora, CentOS, Arch Linux, and Manjaro users.

        • Ubuntu-maker Canonical shares top 5 snaps per Linux distribution

          All Linux users are the same, right? Oh, hell no! Linux users are a diverse bunch, with differing opinions, tastes, and personalities. In fact, that is probably a contributing factor to the fragmentation of the Linux community. Linux users have lots of options between distributions, desktop environments, and more — they are not stuck in a box like Windows 10 users.

          To highlight how different Linux users can be, Canonical has released some data about the installation of snaps, categorized by distro. It chose six of the most popular Linux-based operating systems for its analysis — Ubuntu, Debian, Fedora, CentOS, Arch Linux, and Manjaro. It then shared the top five most popular snaps for each distribution.

        • Ubuntu on the new LinuxONE III

          A few months ago I visited the IBM offices in Poughkeepsie to sync up with colleagues, record an episode of Terminal Talk, and let’s be honest, visit some mainframes. A lot of assembly still happens in Poughkeepsie, and they have a big client center with mainframes on display, including several inside a datacenter that they give tours of. I was able to see a z14 in operation, as well as several IBM LinuxONE machines. Getting to tour datacenters is a lot of fun, and even though I wouldn’t have meaningful technical interactions with them, there’s something about seeing these massive machines that I work with every day in person that brings me a lot of joy.

          Now I have to go back! On September 12th, the newest mainframe was announced, the IBM z15 and accompanying Linux version, the IBM LinuxONE III. To celebrate, I joined my colleagues in the IBM Silicon Valley lab for a launch event watch party and, of course, cake.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • Events

      • Web Browsers

        • Mozilla

          • Mozilla Localization (L10N): L10n Report: September Edition

            Please note some of the information provided in this report may be subject to change as we are sometimes sharing information about projects that are still in early stages and are not final yet.

          • Will Kahn-Greene: Markus v2.0.0 released! Better metrics API for Python projects.

            Markus is a Python library for generating metrics.

          • This Week In Rust: This Week in Rust 304

            Hello and welcome to another issue of This Week in Rust! Rust is a systems language pursuing the trifecta: safety, concurrency, and speed. This is a weekly summary of its progress and community. Want something mentioned? Tweet us at @ThisWeekInRust or send us a pull request. Want to get involved? We love contributions.

          • Mozilla VR Blog: Virtual identities in Hubs

            Identity is a complicated concept—who are we really? Most of us have government IDs that define part of our identity, but that’s just a starting point. We present ourselves differently depending on context—who we are with our loved ones might not be the same as who we are at work, but both are legitimate representations of ourselves.

            Virtual spaces make this even harder. We might maintain many virtual identities with different degrees of overlap. Having control over our representation and identity online is a critical component of safety and privacy, and platforms should prioritize user agency.

            More importantly, autonomy and privacy are intrinsically intertwined. If everyone saw my google searches, I would probably change what I search for. If I knew my employer could monitor my interactions when I’m not at work, I would behave differently. Privacy isn’t just about protecting information about myself, it’s about allowing me to express myself.

      • Pseudo-Open Source (Openwashing)

      • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

        • Statement on the RMS situation

          On Monday September 16th, Richard Stallman, long-time president and founder of the FSF, has resigned from both his position at the FSF, and the MIT.

          There’s a plethora of reporting around that – if you’re short on time, then I recommend reading Thomas Bushnell’s rather excellent medium piece in full.

          Many things can be said about this event, but immediately coming to defend RMS as a principled old man, who was the victim of a witch hunt, is not it. I fundamentally disagree with Michael here, and like to point out (though its obvious), that his point of view is not shared nor endorsed by The Document Foundation, albeit aggregated on their planet.

        • Remove Richard Stallman: Appendix A

          My original post, “Remove Richard Stallman”, has received over 180,000 views at the time that I am writing this. Since then, I’ve spoken with a few reporters, and even more information has been released that I thought would be useful to add, but too much to fit on that initial post. I leaked the full email thread, with names and contact information redacted, to Vice.

      • Programming/Development

        • Get Out, Git! – Building SaaS #33

          In this episode, I removed the Git clone from the server. This is some of the final cleanup to streamline the deployment process.

          Before we could remove the clone completely, we had to decouple the final remaining connections that still depended on the repository clone.

        • An introduction to audio processing and machine learning using Python

          At a high level, any machine learning problem can be divided into three types of tasks: data tasks (data collection, data cleaning, and feature formation), training (building machine learning models using data features), and evaluation (assessing the model). Features, defined as “individual measurable propert[ies] or characteristic[s] of a phenomenon being observed,” are very useful because they help a machine understand the data and classify it into categories or predict a value.

        • Excellent Free Books to Learn Lisp

          Lisp (derives from “LISt Processing”) is one of the oldest programming languages. It was invented in 1958, with the language being conceived by John McCarthy and is based on his paper “Recursive Functions of Symbolic Expressions and Their Computation by Machine”. Over the years, Lisp has evolved into a family of programming languages. The most commonly used general-purpose dialects are Common Lisp and Scheme. Other dialects include Franz Lisp, Interlisp, Portable Standard Lisp, XLISP and Zetalisp.

          The majority of Lisp implementations offer a lot more than just a programming language. They include an entire environment such as debuggers, inspectors, tracing, and other tools to add the Lisp developer. Lisp is a practical, expression-oriented, interactive programming language which uses linked lists as one of its major data structures. A Lisp list is written with its elements separated by whitespace, and surrounded by parentheses. Lisp source code is itself comprised of lists.

          The language has many unique features that make it excellent to study programming constructs and data structures. Many regard Lisp as an extremely natural language to code complex symbolic reasoning programs. Lisp is popular in the fields of artificial intelligence and symbolic algebra.

        • Easy-to-use tools are key to CI/CD success says 2019 State of DevOps Report

          The most effective strategies for scaling DevOps and fostering productivity include easy-to-use tools and solutions that create community, according to the 2019 Accelerate State of DevOps Report.

          This year’s report, written by Dr. Nicole Forsgren, Dr. Dustin Smith, Jez Humble, and Jessie Frazelle, represents six years of research and data from more than 31,000 professionals and aims to better understand how the technical and cultural practices associated with DevOps affect team and organizational performance. It also explores ways to help improve performance and productivity and even reduce burnout.

  • Leftovers

    • Slouching Toward “Bethlehem”

      Hive-mindedness seems to be growing — at the same time that bees are heading towards kaputzville. DARPA’s got a fix for the bees, they say. Then again, (D)ARPA gave us the Internet, which is where the hivemind is located. On the other hand, Al Gore ‘claims’ to have invented the Internet. Some people say he invented Climate Change, too. Riddle me this: If a guy can be that clever, then how come he can’t win his home state in 2000, without the need to blame Nader? And how come Watergate felon Charles “Dirty Tricks” Colson can be given back his voting rights by Jeb, but not all those Black voters? Is there a koan in a haystack locked up in all this? Or is it all rhetorical?

    • Health/Nutrition

    • Security (Confidentiality/Integrity/Availability)

      • Security Researchers Whose ‘Penetration Test’ Involved Breaking And Entering Now Facing Criminal Charges

        Turning security researchers into criminals is so popular we have a tag for it here at Techdirt. A security hole is found or a breach pointed out, and the first thing far too many entities do in response is turn the messenger over to law enforcement while muttering unintelligible things about “hacking.”

      • Security updates for Thursday

        Security updates have been issued by CentOS (exiv2, firefox, ghostscript, http-parser, httpd, kdelibs and kde-settings, kernel, pango, qemu-kvm, and thunderbird), Debian (ibus), Fedora (kernel, kernel-headers, python34, qbittorrent, and samba), openSUSE (chromium), Oracle (go-toolset:ol8), Red Hat (kernel, nginx:1.14, patch, ruby, skydive, systemd, and thunderbird), Scientific Linux (thunderbird), SUSE (libreoffice, openssl-1_1, python-urllib3, and python-Werkzeug), and Ubuntu (tomcat9 and wpa, wpasupplicant).

      • Irdeto Warns Healthcare IoT Is Under Heavy Attack

        The world of IoT is no stranger to attacks, with security being a number one priority for keeping the world of interconnected devices safe. One area where security is most crucial is healthcare, where successful attacks can result in loss of life. It wasn’t too long ago that ransomware was making the rounds, shutting down entire hospital networks and putting patients at risk. Irdeto made a press release that put forward the case for better security for healthcare IoT. They quoted some statistics that put some insight into how healthcare comes under attack from malicious agents.

      • Why it’s time to embrace top-down cybersecurity practices

        Cybersecurity is no longer just the domain of the IT staff putting in firewalls and backing up servers. It takes a commitment from the top and a budget to match. The stakes are high when it comes to keeping your customers’ information safe.

        The average cost of a data breach in 2018 was $148 for each compromised record. That equals an average cost of $3.86 million per breach. Because it takes organizations more than six months—196 days on average—to detect breaches, a lot of remediation must happen after discovery.

        With compliance regulations in most industries tightening and stricter security rules, such as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) becoming law, breaches can lead to large fines as well as loss of reputation.

      • SIM Application Toolkit: Avoid Being Exploited

        Technologies are often created with good intent, to make our life easier, to solve problems in a convenient way. The Management Engine in Intel’s CPUs, for instance, was intended to make the life of admins easier. It allowed for remote access on a very low level, so they could even do complete remote reinstalls of a machine. And if you have to manage a large fleet of machines, distributed within a larger enterprise, this can save huge amounts of effort, time–and thus money.

        [...]

        Its name already points to the origin: the SIM card. It is the tiny chip card you insert into your phone, to get access to the cellular network of an operator. The SIM card used to be a fairly simple device, which you can imagine as the key to unlock the access to the network: i.e., it stores a secret (a cryptographic key) along with an ID (the IMSI) and some details about the issuing operator, etc. This data set grants you access to the operator’s network.

        But phones [also called handset, or ‘terminal equipment’ (TE), in mobile terms] have become more and more powerful. And setting up these cards has become more and more complicated; you need an SMS center number, details for the MMS server, mailbox dial-in number… and a lot more. All this needs to be properly set up in the mobile, to make full use of both the mobile and the network. To make this even more complicated, these details (and the way to set them up) are different from operator to operator. The process for this initial setup is (also) called provisioning. It was to make this (and other things) as convenient and least painful as possible for users that SAT was invented.

        The name SAT tells us not only that it is SIM-related, but also that it contains the term application: SIM cards can, and today they usually do, indeed contain small applications or applets. They are small computers on their own, they run code, and they can indeed be programmed. Most are based on the JavaCard standard and can be programmed with small Java applets. The SAT defines a standard way to interface the SAT applets with the modem and the phone.

    • Defence/Aggression

      • Can America Break Its Gun Addiction?

        After mass shootings in Southaven, Mississippi; Dayton, Ohio; and Midland, El Paso and Odessa, Texas, public demand for sensible gun reform once more soared. And once more, Republican politicians, led by President Donald Trump, were intimidated into inaction by the gun lobby…

      • The Emperor’s New-Old Nuclear Clothes

        How is it still possible to write a lengthy article about the military/strategic dynamic among the triad of Israel, Iran, and the United States while making zero mention of Israel’s robust nuclear-weapons capability? New York Times staffers Ronen Bergman and Mark Mazzetti, and their editors at the Times magazine clearly think this is quite okay.

      • The Call of Blood Money

        Because we inhabit a repugnant, rapacious culture, some repugnant, rapacious creeps thought it’d be cool to make clothes celebrating our national sport of killing children en masse. Thus has Bstroy, makers of “neo-native, post-apocalypse streetwear,” unveiled what really shouldn’t be in the same sentence: “school shooting-themed hoodies…”

      • Will Americans Let Trump Start World War III for Saudi Arabia and Israel?
      • WATCH: With Gun Control Measures Held Up In Congress, ‘Gut Punch’ PSA Shows Children Trying to Survive School Shooting

        “When kids go back to school, they have plenty to worry about. They shouldn’t also have to wonder if they’re going to make it home.”

      • Disputing Trump Claims, Japan Says No Evidence Iran Was Behind Saudi Attack

        “We are not aware of any information that points to Iran,” said Japanese defense minister Taro Kono.

      • Facebook Still Auto-Generates Islamic State, al-Qaida Pages

        In the face of criticism that Facebook is not doing enough to combat extremist messaging, the company likes to say that its automated systems remove the vast majority of prohibited content glorifying the Islamic State group and al-Qaida before it’s reported.

      • Americans Want Action on Climate; Not War Over Oil With Iran

        As I write, the U.S. is inching its way towards possible war with Iran after the weekend drone strikes in Saudi Arabia on the strategic oil facilities owned by the state oil company, Saudi Aramco.

      • The Uncertain and Dangerous Interregnum: World Peace and the Post-Cold War Era

        The post-Cold War era is over. We are living in the interregnum between disorders, marked by uncertainties and dangers, as well as opportunities. Some see the confrontations of the moment as a new Cold War.

      • Why on Earth Would the US Go to War with Iran over an Attack on Saudi Oil Refineries?

        President Bone Spur, backed by his war-mongering Secretary of State Mike “Armageddon” Pompeo, tweeted yesterday that the US military is “locked and loaded,” ready to attack (bomb) Iran if it can be proven that Iran was behind a drone bomb attack on Saudi Arabia’s oil refineries.

      • Conflict With Iran Portends World War III

        Mark Twain once commented, “History doesn’t repeat itself, but it does rhyme.”  The U.S. conflict with Iran sounds a lot like a rhyme with World War I. The portent would be World War III. The parallels are not trivial. They are haunting, and should be sobering.

      • Once Again in Afghanistan, the U.S. Proves It Can’t Be Trusted

        The first draft of this column came not to bury but to praise Donald Trump. I planned to applaud the president’s peace initiative with the Taliban, his strategy of ignoring the corrupt and discredited puppet regime Bush installed in Kabul and his desire to withdraw American troops from Afghanistan. This was a move I have been almost alone in promoting since the U.S. idiotically invaded the country in 2001 and I congratulate Trump for having the courage to unwind Bush and Obama’s mistakes. The Afghan people should be allowed to shape their future free of imperialist interference.

      • Support the Climate Strike, Not a Military Strike

        The propaganda campaign has begun. The New York Times dutifully published photos of an attack on ARAMCO oil processing facilities in Saudi Arabia. Accompanying the photos are descriptions provided by the warmongers in Washington, DC. Naturally, the photos don’t look like much of anything. This gives those describing them the leeway to provide a narrative fitting into their agenda of isolating and eventually attacking Iran, despite no real evidence that Iran was involved beyond perhaps some financial assistance to the forces claiming credit for the Saudi attack. In other words, the Houthi rebels claimed responsibility, Iran denied any knowledge, and Washington, Riyadh and presumably Tel Aviv ramped up their rhetoric against Tehran. Meanwhile, the US media repeats and amplifies the unsubstantiated charges from US war cheerleader Michael Pompeo that Iran launched the attack. Wannabe warriors in the Pentagon and Congress rub their hands together in anticipation of a glorious victory for the homeland’s forces. Meanwhile, ARAMCO debates whether or not to delay its much-anticipated initial public offering (IPO) given the circumstances. At the same time, traders in oil futures look forward to a substantial increase in earnings because of the attack. Now that I think about it, maybe those wannabe warriors are actually rubbing their hands together hoping for a glorious increase in their portfolios; specifically, in the energy and defense sectors.

    • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

    • Environment

    • Finance

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • 2020: Democratic Establishment vs. Democratic Socialists

        Democratic Socialism has grown in popularity over the past few years, fueled by Bernie Sanders’s 2016 presidential campaign and continued grassroots waves of support. The country has seen a surge of political candidates across all levels of government running on platforms that embrace democratic socialism.

      • Creating a Society of Hope and Inclusion: Speech to the TUC

        This is the text of Jeremy Corbyn’s speech to the Trades Union Congress on September 10, 2019.

      • Putin agrees to consider election reforms, after rocky campaigns in Moscow

        In a meeting with Communist Party leader Gennady Zyuganov on Tuesday, Vladimir Putin agreed to consider reforms to Russia’s election laws. The president said officials need to look at how the political system’s “existing tools operate in real life,” in order to determine where improvements are needed “for the benefit of Russia’s people.”

      • Senator Hawley Responds To Techdirt With A Bunch Of Nonsense And Lies About His Own Bill That He Doesn’t Seem To Understand

        Hoo boy. We’ve criticized a bunch of Senator Josh Hawley’s nonsense over the past few months. After all, he’s the elite cosmopolitan “get big government out of business” Senator who is railing against elite cosmopolitans, while demanding that government get deeply involved in regulating companies. Well, not all companies. Just tech companies. It’s almost as if Hawley is deliberately picking on companies that he thinks don’t like his insane brand of politics. Anyway, while Hawley has introduced a slew of nonsensical bills targeting internet companies, the most laughable was the one that literally lays out what features certain websites can and cannot use. As we wrote in our post about it, Hawley seems to want to appoint himself the product manager of the internet.

    • Censorship/Free Speech

    • Privacy/Surveillance

      • Big Tech’s Disingenuous Push for a Federal Privacy Law

        This week, the Internet Association launched a campaign asking the federal government to pass a new privacy law.

        The Internet Association (IA) is a trade group funded by some of the largest tech companies in the world, including Google, Microsoft, Facebook, Amazon, and Uber. Many of its members keep their lights on by tracking users and monetizing their personal data. So why do they want a federal consumer privacy law?

      • Thanks For Helping Us Defend the California Consumer Privacy Act

        The California Consumer Privacy Act will go into effect on January 1, 2020—having fended off a year of targeted efforts by technology giants who wanted to gut the bill. Most recently, industry tried to weaken its important privacy protections in the last days of the legislative session.

        Californians made history last year when, after 600,000 people signed petitions in support of a ballot initiative, the California State Legislature answered their constituents’ call for a new data privacy law. It’s been a long fight to defend the CCPA against a raft of amendments that would have weakened this law and the protections it enshrines for Californians. Big technology companies backed a number of bills that each would have weakened the CCPA’s protections. Taken together, this package would have significantly undermined this historic law.

      • University Of Alabama Is Using A Location-Tracking App To Punish Students For Leaving Football Games Early

        One of the most successful college football programs in history is coached by one of the most insecure men in America, apparently. This combination of success and neediness has resulted in one of the weirdest forms of location tracking in government history. (via Slashdot)

      • DOJ Decides To Help Publicize Snowden’s Memoir By Suing Him For Failing To Run His Book By The CIA And NSA First

        As you’ve probably heard, Ed Snowden just came out with his memoir, entitled Permanent Record. I haven’t yet had a chance to read it, but it looks fascinating. Snowden obviously can’t do the usual book tour for this kind of thing, but he has been doing a fresh round of very interesting interviews about his current situation — including saying that he’d be willing to come home to the US and stand trial if only the US actually allowed a public interest defense for Espionage Act claims. As we’ve pointed out for years, one of the (many) problems with the Espionage Act is that it literally does not allow a defendant to explain why they leaked certain information, and assumes that it is equally nefarious to sell secrets to foreign enemies as it is to blow the whistle by informing the press of unconstitutional surveillance.

      • US Government Mass Surveillance Isn’t ‘Secret’

        Today marks 11 years since the Electronic Frontier Foundation filed a federal lawsuit against mass surveillance in the United States. When it eventually concludes, this case will determine whether people in the US ever get a judgment on the constitutionality of mass surveillance.

    • Civil Rights/Policing

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