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10.01.19

Links 1/10/2019: Linux 5.4 RC1, WordPress 5.3 Beta 2, 4MLinux 31.0 Beta, LFS 9.0

Posted in News Roundup at 6:30 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Connecting A Physical DEC vt420 to Linux

      Inspired by a weekend visit to Vintage Computer Festival Midwest at which my son got to play Zork on an amber console hooked up to a MicroPDP-11 running 2BSD, I decided it was time to act on my long-held plan to get a real old serial console hooked up to Linux.

      Not being satisfied with just doing it for the kicks, I wanted to make it actually usable. 30-year-old DEC hardware meets Raspberry Pi. I thought this would be pretty easy, but it turns out is was a lot more complicated than I realized, involving everything from nonstandard serial connectors to long-standing kernel bugs!

    • Google warning about Linux logins but not Windows logins – Open Source discrimination
    • Windows 10 users fume: Microsoft, where’s our ‘local account’ option gone?

      The offline local account is specific to one device, while the Microsoft Account can be used to log in to multiple devices and comes with the benefit of Microsoft’s recent work on passwordless authentication with Windows Hello.

    • Desktop

      • How I ditched my old OS and jumped into Linux

        About a year ago, I came across an article on Twitter, Ditching Windows: 2 Weeks With Ubuntu Linux On The Dell XPS 13, by Jason Evangelho, a long-time Forbes tech writer. Here was a person who was clearly fired up from his recent experience using Linux. He had recently been sent a laptop running Windows 10 for evaluation and, in the middle of a large file transfer, the machine restarted without warning. Not only did he lose time on the file transfer, but the machine displayed the “blue screen of death” most Windows users are familiar with.

        That was the tipping point for Jason and the beginning of his journey to adopt Linux, which I have been following with interest this past year through his Twitter feed and columns on Forbes. In July, he started Linux for Everyone, a weekly podcast that is chock-full of great content and interviews about Linux. I contacted him recently to learn more about his work.

    • Server

      • 16 experts on Kubernetes, choosing the right container platform, and more industry trends

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

      • Upgrading OpenStack

        Whether your name’s Kenneth or not (and mine’s not, just to be clear but I do quite like the REM song), you’ll know how important it is to keep your systems up to date – with security vulnerabilities being found with alarming regularity, this should be a key task within every IT department. If you’re familiar with the OpenStack release cycle, you’ll know that a new version is released every six months. How many enterprises are in the habit of upgrading their business-critical infrastructure twice a year though? Also, what about keeping updated with patches outside of the upgrade cycle – for vulnerabilities, bug fixes and general updates?

        When you look at all the different components of OpenStack, each of them will need to be upgraded during the process. This represents a number of issues waiting to happen – what if one fails the upgrade process after you’ve already upgraded a number of other components? How will you actually carry out the upgrade – will you deploy a parallel cloud and then migrate all of your resources from the production cloud to the upgraded one when it’s ready? Will you do an in-place upgrade and migrate each component individually? If so, be careful as upgrading the services in the wrong order could cause problems. How much downtime are you willing to risk? Have you built out an HA environment and are hoping for a non-disruptive upgrade? What about your databases? Lots of questions, not all of them with ready answers…

      • What is YAML?

        The increasing popularity of Kubernetes means you’ve probably heard of YAML because it’s the format for Kubernetes configuration files, so almost every developer may need to get some familiarity with it.

        But while it’s not as ubiquitous as JSON, YAML goes far beyond Kubernetes; first released in 2001, it’s used in tools from OpenStack to Ansible playbooks.

      • Docker is in deep trouble

        Docker, the technology, is the poster child for containers. But it appears Docker, the business, is in trouble. In a leaked memo, Docker CEO Rob Bearden praised workers — despite the “uncertainty [which] brings with it significant challenges” and “persevering in spite of the lack of clarity we’ve had these past few weeks.”

        Lack of clarity about what? Sources close to the company say it’s simple: Docker needs more money.

        Indeed, Bearden opened by saying: “We have been engaging with investors to secure more financing to continue to execute on our strategy. I wanted to share a quick update on where we stand. We are currently in active negotiations with two investors and are working through final terms. We should be able to provide you a more complete update within the next couple of weeks.”

      • IBM

        • Sending a telegram with Apache Camel K and Visual Studio Code [Ed: Red Hat is promoting Microsoft yet again today]
        • Keeping DevOps cool in a heated environment

          Cloud platforms are somewhat a staple component to enterprises’ IT environments today, helping to achieve objectives and drive better business operations, but more often than not we don’t see the outcomes or rewards reaped from the use of such platforms.

          Red Hat OpenShift has demonstrated this in the last year.

          In November 2018, millions of residents in Southern California turned to their computers and devices to learn as much as possible about the encroaching Woolsey Fire. As the footprint of the fire increased, officials scrambled to make sure certain information was flowing to the community. They also used traditional media outlets to direct people to the county website for the latest updates and resources.

        • How Dynatrace and OpenShift Served Vital Information During the Woolsey Fire [Ed: Red Hat uses wildfires for marketing of its products]

          Our partners, Dynatrace, have written a blog and a case study covering our joint customer, the largest county in the United States. Normally, case studies and joint customer stories are strictly about business affairs, discussing ROI, OpEx and developer agility; tantalizing topics for IT folks, but not exactly the stuff of drama and danger. This particular case study, however, is about the county’s usage of Red Hat OpenShift and Dynatrace’s Davis AI during the Woolsey Fire in November of 2018.

          Normally, you wouldn’t think of access to a website as being a life or death situation but when the evacuation of more than 295,000 people depends upon the information being distributed on that website, SLAs and service guarantees can be tied almost directly to the saving of human lives.

    • Audiocasts/Shows

      • LHS Episode #304: Cloudlog Deep Dive

        Hello and welcome to the 304th installment of Linux in the Ham Shack. In this episode, the hosts take an in-depth look at the Cloudlog amateur radio logger. Leveraging Web server technology with PHP, hamlib for rig access and connectivity to the major online logging services like LoTW and eQSL, Cloudlog creates a distributed logging infrastructure for keeping all your QSLs properly organized. Join us as we explore the past, present and future of Cloudlog.

      • 09/30/2019 | Linux Headlines

        Oracle is one step closer to winning its settlement against Google, Exim has another critical flaw, and more details about the checkm8 iOS exploit reveal that it is not as dire as previously reported.

      • Setting up your very own Cloud With Nextcloud on Linode
      • Ubuntu Podcast from the UK LoCo: S12E25 – Wings

        This week we have been syncing Google Photos to a local server. We discuss the Ubuntu 19.10 beta release including the flavours, updates on 32-bit package commitments in Ubuntu, porting MATE to Wayland, and round up some community events.

        It’s Season 12 Episode 25 of the Ubuntu Podcast! Alan Pope, Mark Johnson and Martin Wimpress are connected and speaking to your brain.

    • Kernel Space

      • Writing Less Simple, Yet Stupid Filesystem Using FUSE in C

        In the previous tutorial we learned how to write Simple, Stupid Filesystem (SSFS) by using FUSE, we have covered the basics of FUSE to write a really simple filesystem which is able to list root directory’s files, return the attributes of available files and read the content of a file. In the current tutorial we are going to extend what we have discussed and create a Less Simple, Yet Stupid Filesystem (LSYSFS) which is able to create new directories, create new files and write some content in the files.

        Please note that some parts of this tutorial is already covered in SSFS tutorial, therefore, I recommend you to read it first. Also, please make sure that FUSE is installed on your Linux machine and you are ready to go. I used version 2.9.7 of FUSE in this tutorial, which also runs SSFS with no issues.

      • Linux 5.4 Will Try When Needed To Actively Generate RNG Entropy To Avoid Boot Problems

        Linux 5.4-rc1 didn’t end up being released on Sunday night as is tradition but instead there were some last-minute critical patches that landed around the kernel’s handling of the random number generator / entropy at boot-time.

        The changes involve the kernel now trying to actively generate entropy to feed the random number generator when needed where as previously it would wait for entropy. In the event of idle systems, the system could wait indefinitely.

      • Linus Torvalds Approves New Kernel ‘Lockdown’ Feature
      • Linux Kernel 5.4 to Have Kernel Lockdown and ExFAT Support

        Linux Kernel 5.4 will be the last major stable kernel release of the year 2019. The upcoming release has some big changes that will (positively) impact both manufacturers and end users.

        The lockdown feature aims to further strengthen Linux security by “restricting access to kernel features that may allow arbitrary code execution via code supplied by userland processes”.

        In simple words, even the root account cannot modify the kernel code. This will hep in cases where a root account is compromised, the rest of system won’t be easy to compromise specially on kernel level. In even simpler words, it enhances the Linux security.

      • Latest Feature Kernal ‘lockdown’ included in Linux
      • Linus Torvalds To Add “Lockdown” Security Feature In Linux 5.4

        The feature was proposed by Google engineer Matthew Garrett in 2010. He said, “The lockdown module is intended to allow for kernels to be locked down early in [the] boot [process].”

        The Lockdown feature in Linux is mainly intended to prevent root account from tampering with kernel code, thus drawing a line between userland processes and the code.

        The security feature will be disabled by default when it will be shipped. Upon enabling it, even root accounts won’t be able to access certain kernel functionalities, thus protecting the operating system from being affected from a compromised root account.

      • Linus Torvalds Kicks Off Development of Linux Kernel 5.4, First RC Is Out Now

        It’s been two weeks since the release of the Linux 5.3 kernel series, and the merge window for Linux kernel 5.4 is now officially closed, which means that the development cycle can start and weekly RC (Release Candidate) builds will be released to allow the community to test it and send feedback.

        The first Linux kernel 5.4 Release Candidate build is now available to download from kernel.org or through our free Linux software portal if you want to take it for test drive, but please be aware that this is an early development release that should not be installed on production machines.

      • Linux kernel 5.4 to get lockdown functionality

        fter years of review and deliberation, Linux creator and principal developer Linus Torvalds approved a new security feature for the Linux kernel, referred to as ‘lockdown.’This functionality should be included in the soon-to-be-released Linux kernel 5.4 branches and should ship as an LSM (Linux Security Module). Usage is optional as their exists risks that the new feature could break existing systems.

      • Linux 5.4-rc1
        didn't really extend the merge window by a day here, but I gave
        myself an extra day to merge my pending queue. Thus the Monday date
        for the rc1 rather than the usual Sunday afternoon.
        
        And it wasn't all _that_ big or painful a merge window, for some
        reason I just didn't get to the end of the queue until fairly late in
        the second week, and continued to get a few more pull requests even
        then. Part of it was just other discussions too happening, so I didn't
        do _just_ merges all the time. But part of it was just that I also
        spent some of Sunday away from the computer, doing some welding
        instead.
        
        Anyway, what I'm saying is that the Monday rc1 isn't really a sign of
        any real trouble or more issues than usual. More just random timing.
        
        Size-wise, 5.4 looks to shape up very regular. It's almost exactly the
        same size as 5.3 was at the same stage, both in commits and in lines
        added (honestly in advertising: 5.3 had more lines removed mainly due
        to some isdn removal). Nothing major stands out, the most notable may
        be the long-pending lockdown patches that weren't all that big, but
        that now finally aren't tied to just EFI secure boot, so you can test
        them out other ways too.
        
      • The 5.4-rc1 kernel is out
      • Linux 5.4-rc1 Kernel Steps Forward With Next-Gen GPU Bits, Arm Laptop Support & exFAT
      • Graphics Stack

        • AMD Navi 12 Gets 256-bit memory bus according to Linux drivers, Radeon RX 5600 128-bit

          A lot has been said and spoken already about AMD’s upcoming NAVI 12 (RX 5600) and 14 (RX 5500). More information from Linux drivers indicates that AMD Navi 12 gets a 256-bit memory bus and the RX 5600 128-bit, likely GDDR6.

          The news arrives today though a user at Germany based 3DCenter forums called Berniyh, he found Navi 12 and Navi 14 in Linux drivers, the two GPUs could end up in the RX 5800 and RX 5600 cards respectively. Navi 12 is mentioned to get a 256-bit memory bus. Navi 14 would, according to previously surfaced drivers, get versions with 3, 4 and 8 GB volume graphics memory but on a 128-bit memory bus.

    • Benchmarks

      • The Xeon vs. EPYC Performance With Intel’s oneAPI Embree & OSPray Render Projects

        With Intel seemingly ramping up work on their open-source OSPray portable ray-tracing engine now that they have pulled it under their oneAPI umbrella as part of a forthcoming rendering tool-kit, I figured it would be the latest interesting candidate for benchmarking of AMD EPYC 7742 vs. Intel Xeon Platinum 8280 performance. In addition, the Embree ray-tracing kernels are also being benchmarked as part of this performance comparison.

        Intel’s oneAPI is expected to see a beta release next quarter and among the libraries making up the oneAPI Rendering Toolkit will be OSPray and Embree. The OSPRay ray-tracing engine is geared for scientific visualizations and supports a wide range of features all while being open-source under the Apache 2.0 license. OSPray also builds off Embree itself as well as the Intel SPMD Program Compiler (ISPC). The SPMD Program Compiler is for Intel’s C-derived language optimized for SIMD on their modern architectures.

    • Applications

      • How to keep your messages private with an open source app

        Messaging apps have changed how we communicate. Where would we be today without SMS? Can you imagine returning to a world where near-instant communication is not pervasive?

        We have lots of messaging options in addition to SMS and MMS. There are Skype, iMessage, Facebook Messenger, Twitter (with and without direct messages), WeChat, WhatsApp, SnapChat, and more. Many of them are encrypted, and many people presume that their communications on these apps are private and secure. But are they really? Cloud-hosted applications that are harvesting metadata from your conversations, then using it to sell you products that support their services, may not be your friends after all.

      • Good List of 5 Open Source Log Management Software

        Log management is a practice which includes collecting, aggregating, storing, rotating and analyzing a large set of log files that are generated by various computer programs and systems. Log management is important, because it’s essential in monitoring both internal and external events happening on the deployed systems. What happened, who did what, when and how? All of those questions need to be immediately answered in a lot of deployed systems and infrastructures in the world.

        In some cases, even the law requires some sort of log management capabilities in the software before it can be used on official government equipment, such as HIPAA and others.

      • Linux Candy: ponysay – cowsay reimplemention for ponies

        Who loves eye candy? Don’t be shy — you can raise both hands!!

        Linux Candy is a new series of articles covering interesting eye candy software. We’re only going to feature open-source software in this series.

        You might have heard of cowsay, software that generates ASCII pictures of a cow with a message. cowsay isn’t limited to cow depictions, it also shows other animals, including Tux the Penguin.

        Less well known is ponysay, a wonderful alternative to cowsay. It’s a rewrite of cowsay with lots of full-color characters from My Little Pony. There’s over 400 characters and character combinations. While cowsay is written in Perl, ponysay is developed in Python.

      • Exaile Music Player Got Its First Release in 4 Years, And I Didn’t Even Notice!

        It turns out that this long-forgotten music library-come-player quietly squeaked back into life in the summer with the release of Exaile 4.0.0.

        Exaile, for those who don’t know about it, is a GTK-based music player that was (arguably) most popular during the “halcyon” days of omg! in 2009-2012, aka the era of apps like CoverGloobus, Docky, eMeSeNe, Songbird, et al.

        But the player (like other great apps of its time) soon faded from earshot as the music player scene solidified around apps like Banshee and Clementine and music streaming services like Spotify, Pandora and Deezer.

      • 5 Best Security Tools to Have on Your Linux PC

        Everyone hails Linux for its built-in security. Compared to Windows or other operating systems, the way Linux assigns file permissions is different. The infrastructure is much more robust. Plus, malware creators tend to target Linux less often due to it having a smaller percentage of users in general. Thus, there are fewer potential targets to exploit.

        But when it comes to cybersecurity, there is no such thing as being too careful. So if you want to go the extra mile, you should install some additional tools on your Linux PC. You can start with these five.

      • Proprietary

    • Instructionals/Technical

    • Games

      • Start your week with a cheap game, a look over some sales going on right now

        It’s Monday, there’s not enough caffeine in the office, it’s raining outside but on the bright side there’s plenty of games for Linux on sale right now.

      • Taking elements from XCOM and FTL, Galaxy Squad arrives on GOG with Linux support

        Inspired by two games I absolutely adore, Galaxy Squad takes the node-based exploration and random events from FTL and adds in some turn-based XCOM-like combat.

        It just today arrived on the DRM-free store GOG, with a Linux version. Curiously, Steam only has it for Windows so GOG got it first this time around which doesn’t happen often at all. The developer of Galaxy Squad was open to a Linux version when asked about it last year, so it’s great to see it happen.

      • Zombie Soup, a peculiar action-packed shooting adventure coming to Linux next year

        Zombie Soup from Aeonsparx Interactive recently popped up on Steam and I have to admit, after watching the trailer I do want to see a lot more from this.

        Set in the 80′s, the story seems pretty cliché with a young boy coming across a damsel in distress during some sort of Zombie apocalypse. You will need to shoot, loot and dodge your way through the hordes with a promise of reliving the “best time of pop culture”.

      • The promising action-adventure rogue-lite UnderMine just got a big update

        UnderMine has you dig deep for riches, now with a little bit more of a purpose with the Collector update out now.

        This update comes with two big new features! You can now unlock access to Griswold the Collector, if you manage to find a dusty tome in the UnderMine and bring it back. This allows you to unlock a bookcase behind the Archmage and discover Griswold hiding away. Griswold can give you hatchlings and when hatched they can become a new familiar.

      • The Atari VCS team is finally talking about games as they’re partnering with Antstream Arcade

        The team doing the Linux-powered Atari VCS gaming console are finally talking about games. After a lot of silence, they’ve announced a partnership with Antstream Arcade to bring tons of classics to it.

        What is Antstream Arcade? It’s a game streaming service that hosts quite a lot of licensed retro games from various platforms like the Amiga, Spectrum, Commodore 64, Atari 2600, Atari ST, Sega Mega Drive and so on. It has a dedicated application you stream the games through but it comes at a cost with a subscription. They said Antstream Arcade will be available for the VCS at launch (whenever that is…).

      • Songs of Syx, the pixel-art city-builder with an epic scale now has a Steam page and newer demo

        One that you need to firmly keep on your watch list is Songs of Syx, a city-builder that starts off tiny and allows you to grow into something huge.

        Written about here on GamingOnLinux back in July, with a tech demo available to mess around with available on itch.io. Shortly after writing that article, the developer actually put up a brand new demo with a ton of work going into it so it’s worth taking another good look at. Not only that, they also now have a Steam store page for you to wishlist and follow along ready for the eventual Early Access release.

      • Minecraft is set to get a huge update to the Nether with new mobs and biomes plus Bees

        With the Nether, they’ve announced three entirely new biomes so it’s about to get bigger and more interesting. You might even be able to actually live there now, not that you want to right? I mean, it’s basically Minecraft Hell isn’t it? Anyway, the three new biomes are: Soulsand Valley – An area full of blue fog and blue flames (a new block) and massive fossils everywhere, Netherwart Forest Red – a very dense forest designed to make you lose your sense of direction and the Netherwart Forest Blue – it’s like the Red version but with a unique atmosphere and blocks including the new Nether Fungi covering the ground.

      • Graveyard Keeper is getting a ‘Stranger Sins’ DLC that will let you build your own tavern

        Graveyard Keeper, the dark and humorous medieval cemetery management sim is about to expand with a new story DLC releasing October 29.

        It’s called Stranger Sins and it promises to be weird and crazier than the main game. Okay then. From what little they’ve said about it there will be around 4-8 hours extra to play through, the ability to build and run your own bar, new events, tons of new quests and apparently you will witness events that happened 200 years ago to find out what’s really been going on.

      • D9VK 0.22 released fixing The Sims 2 and games complaining drivers are too old

        Joshua Ashton released a small tidying up version of D9VK yesterday, fixing a few issues to give you a better experience with this D3D9 to Vulkan layer.

        It adds in support for SetSoftwareVertexProcessing and GetSoftwareVertexProcessing with the rest of D9VK 0.22 amounting to fixes for reported issues.

      • A new teaser is up for the FPS ‘TO4: Tactical Operations’ with testing opening up soon

        TO4: Tactical Operations, the upcoming free first-person shooter that’s planning Linux support is gearing up for a release with a new teaser video.

        As a reminder, TO4: Tactical Operations is a game we wrote about back in August last year as they announced work towards a Linux version.

      • Mutazione is a game about the importance of tending to gardens and people

        Kai is able to help by replanting and tending to various gardens around the village, each requiring different types of plants to bring it back to its normal state. These gardens unlock as you progress through the story; typically, you’ll get access to a new one in each chapter of the game. These chapters take place over the course of a day split into various periods, like morning, afternoon, and evening. During each segment, you are free to explore the island, find seeds to use in the gardens, and talk to any villagers. The day and the story progress after you complete whatever specific task or conversation the game requires you to have.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • Xfce’s xfce4-panel Says Farewell To GTK2 Support

        Following last month’s release of Xfce 4.14 that transitioned from GTK2 to GTK3 as its tool-kit, old remnants of GTK2 support are now being nuked.

        With the latest xfce4-panel development code, GTK2 support was dropped today and its GTK2 API. This also includes no longer loading GTK2 plug-ins. Moving forward, Xfce’s focus is just on GTK3 — well, until when they decide in the future to switch to GTK 4.0 that should be released in autumn 2020.

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • Latte bug fix release v0.9.3

          Latte Dock v0.9.3 has been released containing important fixes and improvements!

        • [Krita] September Development Update

          We also managed make 538 changes to the code in September with 23 developers — and that excludes translations, since those aren’t in our code repository.

          We also went back to the Coverity Static Code analyzer and started analyzing Krita again. That was good for at least a hundred potential bug fixes, and it’s something that’s ongoing. We hadn’t done that for quite some time! There is still plenty to do, but the average defect density for projects the size of Krita is 0.7, so we’re not that bad.

        • [Krita] Interview with Samantha Skoros

          Oh I’m terrible at talking about myself. I guess the easiest thing would be that I’m 26 years old and a mother. I identify as genderfluid and pansexual, I freaking love Dungeons and Dragons, and I also am a super avid knitter/fiber artist. I mainly just love doing things with my hands and gravitate to any hobby or craft that lets me do that.

      • GNOME Desktop/GTK

    • Distributions

      • Manjaro Linux makes two bold moves

        Manjaro has had one heck of a ride lately. Recently, the Arch-based Linux distribution went from being just that (an Arch-based Linux distribution) to a full-blown company: Manjaro GmbH & Co. KG. The move was to shift the distribution from being a hobby project to something that should (and will) be taken seriously.

        In fact, Philip Müller said he’d been researching “ways to secure the project in its current form and how to allow for activities which can’t be undertaken as a ‘hobby project.’” What this boils down to is that the Manjaro developers could now focus on the desktop Linux distribution full time, all the while getting paid for their efforts.

      • openSUSE News: Election Committee Set to Open Vote on Project Name

        Following discussions about the “openSUSE Project logo & name change” that started in June on the openSUSE Project mailing list [1], the Election Committee received a request from the Board to conduct a vote whereby openSUSE members can indicate whether they are for or against the project name change.

        The voting will start on Oct. 10 and end on Oct. 31, which will provide three weeks for members to vote. The result will be announced on Nov. 1.

        The voting exercise is limited to openSUSE members only.

      • New Releases

        • 4MLinux 31.0 BETA released.

          4MLinux 31.0 BETA is ready for testing. Basically, at this stage of development, 4MLinux BETA has the same features as 4MLinux STABLE, but it provides a huge number of updated packages.

        • LFS Stable Version 9.0 Release

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

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

          You can read the book online, or download to read locally.

          In coordination with this release, a new version of LFS using the systemd package is also being released. This package implements the newer systemd style of system initialization and control and is consistent with LFS in most packages.

          You can read the systemd version of the book online at LFS-systemd, or download-systemd to read locally.

          Please direct any comments about this release to the LFS development team at lfs-dev@lists.linuxfromscratch.org. Please note that registration for the lfs-dev mailing list is required to avoid junk email.

        • Linux From Scratch stable version 9.0 released
      • Screenshots/Screencasts

      • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandriva Family

        • OpenMandriva Can Now Clang Its Linux Kernel Build For This LLVM Focused Distribution

          OpenMandriva is one of the few Linux distributions (and arguably the only prominent one) that uses LLVM Clang as its default compiler toolchain over GCC for building its packages and the preferred C/C++ compiler exposed to its users. One of the last hold outs for this Clang’ed Linux distribution has been the kernel build but that is now no longer a blocker.

          With the new LLVM Clang 9.0 release, it’s now possible to use LLVM Clang to compile the mainline Linux kernel for x86_64 and Arm without needing any out-of-tree patches. In my testing of Clang 9 + Linux 5.3 it’s worked out well with a few exceptions like the AMDGPU driver having issues, but those few remaining headaches are being worked out so Clang’ing the Linux kernel works well for users and helps ensure code/compiler portability of the kernel.

      • Fedora Family

        • Contribute at the Fedora IoT Edition Test Day

          Fedora test days are events where anyone can help make sure changes in Fedora work well in an upcoming release. Fedora community members often participate, and the public is welcome at these events. If you’ve never contributed to Fedora before, this is a perfect way to get started. On Wednesday, October 2, we’ll test Fedora IoT.

        • Contribute at the kernel and IoT edition Fedora test days

          Fedora test days are events where anyone can help make sure changes in Fedora work well in an upcoming release. Fedora community members often participate, and the public is welcome at these events. If you’ve never contributed to Fedora before, this is a perfect way to get started.

          There are two upcoming test days in the upcoming week. The first, starts on Monday 30 September through Monday 07 October, is to test the Kernel 5.3. Wednesday October 02, the test day is focusing on Fedora 31 IoT Edition. Come and test with us to make the upcoming Fedora 31 even better.

      • Debian Family

        • Raspberry Pi OS Raspbian Improves Raspberry Pi 4 Support, Adds Many Improvements

          Raspbian 2019-09-26 images are now available to download and they include the rpi-eeprom tool, which will automatically update the SPI EEPROM on the new Raspberry Pi 4 computer to the latest stable version. Furthermore, it adds overscan support added for FKMS driver, and improves Bluetooth connection with audio devices by adding the latest changes to the Bluez ALSA interface.

          Furthermore, the Audio Settings tool has been modified to integrate more closely with the Volume plugin, which now lets users switch audio input devices, as well as the audio output between two HDMI devices. Support for more audio devices has been added as well in Raspbian 2019-09-26 by implementing “plug” values in the ALSA configuration file (.asoundrc).

        • Raspbian 2019-09-26 Has Raspberry Pi SPI EEPROM Updater, NTFS-3G Added

          Beyond updating a variety of packages like Chromium and VLC, Raspbian now includes RPI-EEPROM for being able to update the SPI EEPROM on Raspberry Pi 4 boards. This Raspbian release also has expanded appearance settings, switching of audio input/output devices from its desktop, overscan support for the FKMS driver, BlueZ Bluetooth updates, Mousepad as a simple text editor replacing Leafpad, drops GNOME Epiphany, and updates to a Linux 4.19.75 based kernel.

        • Jonathan McDowell: Life with a Yubikey

          At the past two DebConfs Thomas Goirand of infomaniak has run a workshop on using a Yubikey, and been generous enough to provide a number of devices for Debian folk. Last year I was fortunate enough to get hold of one of the devices on offer.

          My primary use for the device is to hold my PGP key. Generally my OpenPGP hardware token of choice is the Gnuk, which features a completely Free software stack and an open hardware design, but the commonly available devices suffer from being a bit more fragile than I’d like to regularly carry around with me. The Yubikey has a much more robust design, being a slim plastic encapsulated device. I finally set it up properly with my PGP key last November, and while I haven’t attached it to my keyring I’ve been carrying it with me regularly.

        • Chris Lamb: Free software activities in September 2019

          Attended the launch event of OpenUK, a new organisation with the purpose of supporting the growth of free software, hardware and data. It was hosted at the House of Commons of the United Kingdom and turned out to be quite the night to be attending Parliament.

          As part of my duties of being on the board of directors of the Open Source Initiative and Software in the Public Interest I attended their respective monthly meetings and participated in various licensing and other discussions occurring on the internet, as well as the usual internal discussions regaring logistics, policy etc.

        • Jonathan Carter: Free Software Activities (2019-09)

          It’s been a busy month on a personal level so there’s a bunch of my Debian projects that have been stagnant this month, I hope to fix that over October/November.

        • TeX Live/Debian updates 20190930

          TeX Live 2019 has seen already many updates since the initial upload to Debian, most of which I have never reported about. Today I have uploaded a new set of packages, based on the tlnet archives of 20190930.

        • Ben Hutchings: Kernel Recipes 2019, part 1

          This conference only has a single track, so I attended almost all the talks. All of them were recorded and videos should be available soon. This time I didn’t take notes but I’ve summarised all the talks I attended.

        • Sylvain Beucler: Debian LTS and ELTS – September 2019

          Here is my transparent report for my work on the Debian Long Term Support (LTS) and Debian Extended Long Term Support (ELTS), which extend the security support for past Debian releases, as a paid contributor.

          In September, the monthly sponsored hours were split evenly among contributors depending on their max availability – I was assigned 23.75h for LTS (out of 30 max) and 20h for ELTS (max).

          I was again able to factor out some time between LTS and ELTS.

          The qemu update required more testing than I expected, as it’s used with lots of different CPU and disk backends.

        • Russ Allbery: Haul post

          It’s been quite a while since I made one of these, and I… may have been supporting a lot of authors financially despite my huge to-read pile.

        • Sparky news 2019/09

          The 9th monthly report of 2019 of the Sparky project:

          • Sparky 2019.09 (semi-)rolling based on Debian testing “Bullseye” released
          • Linux kernel updated up to version 5.3.1 & 5.2.17
          • added to repos: Riot, Anydesk
          • build Bauh, a nice GUI tool which lets you install Flatpack and Snap packages, but it needs newer deps than can not be installed from Debian testing/Sid repos in this moment; have to wait
          • Sparky project page and Sparky forums got new skins; no big changes about the colors but they are much more mobile devices friendly now
          • Nemomen finished translating Sparky tools to Hungarian; thank’s a lot!
          • Sparky forums have been moved to a subdomain: https://forum.sparkylinux.org

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • Earning, spending, saving: The currency of influence in open source

        The acquisition and application of influence is a vital aspect of any organization. But the manner in which people acquire influence can vary widely. In traditional, hierarchical organizations, for example, someone might acquire influence by virtue of their title or position in a hierarchy. In government organizations, someone might acquire influence by virtue of being elected. On social media, someone might acquire influence through endless self-promotion. Or someone might acquire influence through inheritance or wealth.

        In open source communities, influence operates differently. It can’t be bought, inherited, elected through a ballot, bestowed through a job title, or gained through celebrity. In this world, influence must be earned through the merit of the contributions one makes to a team, organization, or community.

      • Sun Microsystems founders celebrate legacy

        More than 1,000 former employees of Sun Microsystems gathered near San Francisco International Airport recently to reminisce about the glory days. In attendance were all four founders of the company—Andreas Bechtolsheim, Vinod Khosla, Scott McNealy, and Bill Joy—who offered their perspectives on the technology business, past and present.

        Sun Microsystems was one of the highest flying technology companies at the turn of the 21st century, challenging rivals like IBM and HP in enterprise data centers and producing a range of open source software technologies still popular today, including the Java programming language and the Jenkins CI/CD platform (originally called Hudson). Sun fell on hard times a decade ago and ended up being bought by Oracle, with the sale completed in early 2010.

      • TensorFlow 2.0.0

        Version 2.0.0 of the TensorFlow machine-learning system is out. Headline features include the “Keras” high-level API, support for distributed training, and more, including a number of API-breaking changes.

      • Why Is Open-Source So Important? Part Two: The Problem With Profit And Property

        Part two of this article will explore Ittycheria’s comments in context, looking at how open-source companies profit while maintaining the good graces of the community and why this is so important today.

      • Events

        • Registration Open for CODES@OEHI Hackathon Event
        • Helm as a Package Manager for Kubernetes: Q&A with Helm Founder Matt Butcher

          At the recently concluded Helm Summit in Amsterdam, the Helm project was front, left and center. Helm is already a defacto package manager for the Kubernetes community and is on the verge of entering Cloud Native Compute Foundation (CNCF) as a top level project.

          Helm is an application package manager running on top of Kubernetes, and describes an application’s structure through Helm Charts, making it convenient to install and manage packages and their dependencies. Helm is akin to the OS package managers yum, apt, and Homebrew, etc.

          With the advent of microservices and the need to scale and manage these services independently, Helm offers a way to do this through the use of Helm Charts.

        • Linux Conference 2019 here next week – Register Now [Ed: LinuxConf [ZA] 2019 has been infiltrated by Microsoft to whom Linux is a cancer]

          The conference, hosted in collaboration with PyConZA and PostgresConf, will feature 27 presentations across four tracks and two side events run by Obsidian and Microsoft.

        • Open graphics in Montreal

          Collabora is proud to be hosting this year’s edition of the X.Org Developer’s Conference (XDC), the leading event for developers working on all things Open graphics, including the Linux kernel, Mesa, DRM, Wayland and X11.

          Taking place later this week at the Concordia University Conference Centre in Montreal, XDC 2019 promises to be one of the best editions yet, with a packed schedule of talks, workshops and lightning talks spread out over three days.

          As usual, all the presentations on the main track will be live-streamed throughout the conference. Stay tuned for link to view the stream, which will be available on the morning of October 2, on both the XDC website and Twitter account.

      • Web Browsers

        • Mozilla

          • WebHint in Firefox DevTools: Improve Compatibility, Accessibility and more

            Creating experiences that look and work great across different browsers is one of the biggest challenges on the web. It also is the most rewarding part, as it gets your app to as many users as possible. On the other hand, cross-browser compatibility is also the web’s biggest frustration. Testing legacy browsers late in the development process can break a feature that you spent hours on, even requiring rewrites to fix.

            What if the tools in your primary development browser could warn you sooner? Thanks to Webhint in Firefox DevTools, we can do exactly that, and more.

          • Mozilla Reps Community: Rep of the Month – August 2019

            Please join us in congratulating Yamama Shakaa, our Rep of the Month for August 2019!

            Yamama is from Nablus, Palestine. She is a teacher and has become a very active Mozillian, she joined the Reps program in November 2018 and is also part of the Mozilla Tech Speaker program. She keeps contributing deeply in the program as Reps Resources member.

          • Aaron Klotz: Coming Around Full Circle

            One thing about me that most Mozillians don’t know is that, when I first applied to work at MoCo, I had applied to work on the mobile platform. When all was said and done, it was decided at the time that I would be a better fit for an opening on Taras Glek’s platform performance team.

            My first day at Mozilla was October 15, 2012 – I will be celebrating my seventh anniversary at MoCo in just a couple short weeks! Some people with similar tenures have suggested to me that we are now “old guard,” but I’m not sure that I feel that way! Anyway, I digress.

            The platform performance team eventually evolved into a desktop-focused performance team by late 2013. By the end of 2015 I had decided that it was time for a change, and by March 2016 I had moved over to work for Jim Mathies, focusing on Gecko integration with Windows. I ended up spending the next twenty or so months helping the accessibility team port their Windows implementation over to multiprocess.

            Once Firefox Quantum 57 hit the streets, I scoped out and provided technical leadership for the InjectEject project, whose objective was to tackle some of the root problems with DLL injection that were causing us grief in Windows-land.

            I am proud to say that, over the past three years on Jim’s team, I have done the best work of my career. I’d like to thank Brad Lassey (now at Google) for his willingness to bring me over to his group, as well as Jim, and David Bolter (a11y manager at the time) for their confidence in me. As somebody who had spent most of his adult life having no confidence in his work whatsoever, their willingness to entrust me with taking on those risks and responsibilities made an enormous difference in my self esteem and my professional life.

            Over the course of H1 2019, I began to feel restless again. I knew it was time for another change. What I did not expect was that the agent of that change would be James Willcox, aka Snorp. In Whistler, Snorp planted the seed in my head that I might want to come over to work with him on GeckoView, within the mobile group which David was now managing.

          • Julien Vehent: Beyond The Security Team

            Good morning everyone, and thank you for joining us on this second day of DevSecCon. My name is Julien Vehent. I run the Firefox Operations Security team at Mozilla, where I lead a team that secures the backend services and infrastructure of Firefox. I’m also the author of Securing DevOps.

      • Databases

        • Peter Bengtsson: Update to speed comparison for Redis vs PostgreSQL storing blobs of JSON

          Last week, I blogged about “How much faster is Redis at storing a blob of JSON compared to PostgreSQL?”. Judging from a lot of comments, people misinterpreted this. (By the way, Redis is persistent). It’s no surprise that Redis is faster.

          However, it’s a fact that I have do have a lot of blobs stored and need to present them via the web API as fast as possible. It’s rare that I want to do relational or batch operations on the data. But Redis isn’t a slam dunk for simple retrieval because I don’t know if I trust its integrity with the 3GB worth of data that I both don’t want to lose and don’t want to load all into RAM.

      • CMS

        • WordPress 5.3 Beta 2

          WordPress 5.3 Beta 2 is now available!

          This software is still in development, so we don’t recommend running it on a production site. Consider setting up a test site to play with the new version.

      • Pseudo-Open Source (Openwashing)

      • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

        • Richard Stallman’s 10 suggestions to Microsoft
        • Richard Stallman Reveals 10 Suggestions He Gave To Microsoft

          Richard Stallman recently gave a talk at Microsoft’s office, and all the speculation around it was kind of expected — many people concluded that Microsoft might have convinced the FSF-founder to jump the ship.

          It certainly hasn’t been the case, according to Stallman, who has come forward to clear the air. “I was invited, and I accepted,” he wrote on his website.

        • Richard Stallman to Microsoft: Publicly retract ‘open source is a cancer’ claim

          Former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer once described Linux and the General Public License as a “cancer”. One-time Windows boss Jim Allchin also called open source a killer of intellectual property and un-American.

          Stallman, a long-time critic of Microsoft and founder of the GNU project, to the surprise of some delivered a speech at Microsoft Research earlier this month. The free-software movement argues against proprietary constraints, as opposed to zero-cost software.

        • Microsoft Loves Linux Needs More Work Argues Open Source Leader

          Microsoft has increasingly embraced Linux in recent years, enough for Redmond to run under the mantra, “Microsoft Loves Linux”. Of course, the reason for the sea change from hating open source to embracing it is simply good economic movement.

          Despite its new-found love for Linux, one expert believes Microsoft has a long way to go to atone for past problems. Specifically, free-software leader Richard Stallman says Microsoft’s top execs previously targeted open source in the past.

          Most famous of the Linux attacks was former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, who described the platform as a “cancer”. Former Windows chief Jim Allchin said the open source idea was both un-American and a killer of intellectual property.

        • What MIT Media Lab’s funding scandal says about sexism in tech

          Another prominent researcher, the computer scientist Richard Stallman, was pressured to resign from the school over comments he made that seemed to excuse Epstein’s behaviour, such as his statement that “it is morally absurd to define ‘rape’ in a way that depends on minor details such as which country it was in or whether the victim was 18 years old or 17.” He stepped down earlier this month.

        • Lubomir Rintel: Open letter to Neil McGovern

          Neil McGovern recently published an article entitled GNOME relationship with GNU and the FSF where he described parts of an e-mail exchange from Dr. Richard Stallman as “reprehensible” and called for him stepping down from his position at the Free Software Foundation. This eventually happened.

          Mr. McGovern decided to close comments on his blog entry. I respect this decision, especially because the topic is bound to attract troll commenters and an attempt to moderate the discussion might just take too much effort. I might end up doing the same. However, I disagree with Mr. McGovern’s assessment and believe it shouldn’t remain without a response. I figured out that an open letter might be the right way to respond.

          I’d like to stress that I’m, unlike Mr. McGovern, not speaking for GNOME, my colleagues, fellow hackers, my employer or anyone else but myself. Don’t cancel your GNOME Foundation membership because you think either of us is wrong. Engage in civilized discussion!

        • RenPyWeb – one year

          Big thanks to Ren’Py’s author who immediately showed full support for the project, and to all the other patrons who joined the effort!

          One year later, RenPyWeb is officially integrated in Ren’Py with a one-click build, performances improved, countless little fixes to the Emscripten technology stack provided stability, and more than 60 games of all sizes were published for the web.

        • 8 Best Plex Alternatives You Must Try in 2019

          MediaGoblin app comes with easy-to-use instruments to allow you to handle and share your media conveniently as well. Because it mainly supports a range of media types such as audio files, videos, books, 3D models, and even ASCII-art, it ensures that you don’t have to face incompatibility problems.

      • Licensing/Legal

        • OnePlus publishes OnePlus 7T Kernel Sources

          During this week OnePlus caught the headlines with the release of OnePlus 7T. The new handset is the company’s upgrade over the OnePlus 7 released earlier this year alongside the 7 Pro. Interestingly enough, the OnePlus 7T has a better chipset (Snapdragon 855+) which is better than the standard SD855 inside the OnePlus 7 Pro.

          There’s one undeniable fact about OnePlus devices, no matter if you like the brand or their pricing policies, they have one of the best software supports in the industry. Moreover, OnePlus handsets are easy to mod, due to the company’s good nature of offering an open-source experience. Now, in another good example of commitment in complying with GPL, OnePlus has disclosed the Kernel Sources of the 7T.

      • Programming/Development

        • The monumental impact of C

          is the original general-purpose programming language. The Season 3 finale of the Command Line Heroes podcast explores C’s origin story in a way that showcases the longevity and power of its design. It’s a perfect synthesis of all the languages discussed throughout the podcast’s third season and this series of articles.

          C is such a fundamental language that many of us forget how much it has changed. Technically a “high-level language,” in the sense that it requires a compiler to be runnable, it’s as close to assembly language as people like to get these days (outside of specialized, low-memory environments). It’s also considered to be the language that made nearly all languages that came after it possible.

        • Moving to C++11
          Greetings,
          
          I asked about moving to C/C++ 11 as it would make it easier to
          
          allow multithreading support due to having a memory model
          
          alongside other features. Jason Merill mentioned due to it
          
          being so common it may be a good  time to.
          
          Moving to git seems to be universally agree on so I'm opening the discussion
          
          for the same as related to C/C++11 migration and if possible opening
          
          a TODO similar to git if decided on.
          
          Please post your comments or ideas about the migration in response to this
          
          email,
          
          Nick
          
          
        • Moving to C++11
          Greetings David,
          
          I posted on the list about moving to C++11/C11 but the focus was on
          
          C++11 for my work. Seems that other people wanted to use some
          
          parts of the C++11 standard including rvalues,move,auto and template
          
          aliases. The thread is here:
          
          https://gcc.gnu.org/ml/gcc/2019-09/msg00228.html
          
          I've come to the conclusion that enabling parts of it would be useful overall based
          
          on the linked discussion.
          
          Therefore I'm opening up the discussion again with the commitee involved to figure
          
          out what should be used and how the migration should take place,
          
          Nick
          
        • GCC Developers Look At Transitioning Their Codebase To C++11

          Seven years after the GNU Compiler Collection (GCC) developers began transitioning their codebase from C to C++, they are now discussing the prospects of adopting C++11 as their allowed C++ standard revision for developing this open-source compiler.

          This past week the conversation over allowing C++11 code into the compiler code-base was brought up. So far there seems to be a lot of upstream developer interest in allowing C++11′isms into the GCC code-base. In fact, some have even expressed being open to allowing C++14.

        • Grants Awarded for Python in Education

          The Python Software Foundation has been asked about Python in education quite a bit recently. People have asked, “Is there an official curriculum we can use?”, “Are there online resources?”, “Are there efforts happening to improve Python on mobile?”, and so on.

          9 years ago we instituted the Education Summit at PyCon US where educators as well as students work together on initiatives and obstacles. Earlier this year we decided we needed to do more. In November of 2018, the PSF created the Python in Education Board Committee and it was tasked with finding initiatives to fund to help improve the presence of Python in education.

          In January of this year, the Python in Education Board Committee launched a “request for ideas” phase taking suggestions from the community on what we should focus our funding on. After the RFI period, we came up with 3 areas of education we wanted to focus on and asked to receive grant proposals on the following: resources (curriculums, evaluations, studies, multidisciplinary projects), localization (primarily translations), and mobile (development on mobile devices).

          We are happy to publish more details on the grants the PSF approved from this initiative!

        • ML with Python: Part-3

          In preious post, we saw various steps involved in creating a machine learning (ML) model. You might have noticed in Building ML Model we consider multiple Algorithums in a pipeline and then tune hyperparameter for all the Models. Don’t you feel that it would have been easier if some automated tools are there to ease the burden of repetitive and time-consuming tasks of machine learning pipeline design and hyperparameter optimization.

          Here comes AutoML, taking over the machine learning model-building process: once a data set is in a relatively clean format, the AutoML system will be able to design and optimize a machine learning pipeline faster than 99% of the humans out there.

        • Analyzing the Stack Overflow Survey with Python and Pandas

          I’m using the popular Pandas library, which is a “BSD-licensed library providing high-performance, easy-to-use data structures and data analysis tools,” according to the library’s About page.

        • Evennia: Blackifying and fixing bugs

          Evennia’s source code is extensively documented and was sort of adhering to the Python formatting standard PEP8. But many places were sort of hit-and-miss and others were formatted with slight variations due to who wrote the code.

          After pre-work and recommendation by Greg Taylor, Evennia has adopted the black autoformatter for its source code. I’m not really convinced that black produces the best output of all possible outputs every time, but as Greg puts it, it’s at least consistent in style. We use a line width of 100.

          I have set it up so that whenever a new commit is added to the repo, the black formatter will run on it. It may still produce line widths >100 at times (especially for long strings), but otherwise this reduces the number of different PEP8 infractions in the code a lot.

        • PyDev of the Week: Marlene Mhangami

          Sure, in college I studied molecular biology. I was actually in the schools pre-medicine track because I initially thought I wanted to become a doctor. Looking back on it now I laugh because I hate blood, just the sight of it in movies makes me shut my eyes tightly, so I’m genuinely happy that didn’t work out! I went to a liberal arts college and appreciate that I had the space to take courses in other fields like philosophy and politics which I really enjoy.

          I get asked about what hobbies I have quite often, and I’m not sure if I have anything I do consistently enough to call a hobby. I read, and sometimes run, and love to journal. I also occasionally paint, but the last time I told someone I painted they asked me where my studios were and started listing off artists that I had never heard of before, so I like to disclaimer that I don’t paint in a way that is cultured or sophisticated but just as a way to express myself and have fun.

        • Webinar: “React+TypeScript+TDD in PyCharm” with Paul Everitt

          ReactJS is wildly popular and thus wildly supported. TypeScript is increasingly popular, and thus increasingly supported.

          The two together? Not as much. Given that they both change quickly, it’s hard to find accurate learning materials.

          React+TypeScript, with PyCharm? That three-part combination is the topic of this webinar. We’ll show a little about a lot. Meaning, the key steps to getting productive, in PyCharm, for React projects using TypeScript. Along the way we’ll show test-driven development and emphasize tips-and-tricks in the IDE.

        • The Rust Programming Language Blog: Security advisory for Cargo

          The Rust team was recently notified of a security concern when using older versions of Cargo to build crates which use the package rename feature added in newer versions of Cargo. If you’re using Rust 1.26.0, released on 2018-05-10, or later you’re not affected.

        • The Rust Programming Language Blog: Async-await hits beta!

          Big news! As of this writing, syntactic support for async-await is available in the Rust beta channel! It will be available in the 1.39 release, which is expected to be released on November 7th, 2019. Once async-await hits stable, that will mark the culmination of a multi-year effort to enable efficient and ergonomic asynchronous I/O in Rust. It will not, however, mark the end of the road: there is still more work to do, both in terms of polish (some of the error messages we get today are, um, not great) and in terms of feature set (async fn in traits, anyone?).

        • September 2019 report: Jules, OpenSMTPD 6.6.0 upcoming release and related things

          Three months ago, I switched to a 75% part-time schedule so that I could spend a “free” week each month working on my own stuff, mostly opensource, without being pressured on what I should do. My employer does not know what I’ll be working on and I get to decide myself how I’ll spend this time.

          This came at the cost of slashing a quarter of my wage, so while most of my “free” weeks will be spent on opensource and writing articles, I might also have to take some contracts and sponsored developments based on the state of my finances. I opened a patreon account so that if enough people want to sponsor me, I can spend these free weeks focusing solely on community work rather than proprietary work.

          Thanks again to the people who make this possible !

      • Standards/Consortia

        • Why much of the [WWW] is closed off to blind people

          Ultimately, those pushing for digital accessibility argue that businesses have no excuse for dragging their feet over it.

          “It’s not hard to do, it should just be part of best practice, not an additional line item, just like making sure a website loads quickly is,” says Laura Kalbag, a website designer and author of Accessibility for Everyone.

          “It basically just involves HTML coding, which even a blogger can do. If it is a huge website, it might take some time, but the work itself is not complicated.”

          She adds it is a myth that making a website accessible makes it ugly, there is no correlation – you can still have snazzy images and graphics.

        • Neil Young’s Boring, Prophetic Message to Readers

          To Feel the Music is the story of Pono, which was Neil Young’s quixotic attempt to create and sell a new kind of portable music player and download service. Something that didn’t crush recorded sound into nasty little MP3s. If you’ve read either of his previous books, Waging Heavy Peace and Special Deluxe, you’ll be familiar with his preoccupation—his obsession, his foreboding—in this area. Young has long contended that with digitization, the conversion of music into data, has come a terrible shriveling of our sonic universe. You’ll also be familiar with his distinctively dazed, American Primitive prose style: “You have to give your body a chance to absorb [music] and recognize how good it feels to hear it. The human body is incredible. It’s great! It’s made by God/nature, depending on your beliefs.”

          MP3s, and I’ll try to be as scientific as I can here, are evil. They go against God/nature by chopping music into numbers. I’m with Young 100 percent on this. Beautiful flowing music, sliced to bits! And what is the devil’s price for having the entire Tangerine Dream back catalog at your fingertips? Why, shitty sound quality. The sound coming out of my Bluetooth speaker is no longer a dimension; it’s a narrow pulse, a serrated wave. Bass-blurts, ragged spikes of treble, a terrible crowdedness or crammedness in the midrange. My old-fart ears are squeaking in discomfort. The acoustic environment, like every other environment, is being degraded.

          But it doesn’t have to be, is Young’s point. We’ve all settled for this, because Steve Jobs said so. [...]

  • Leftovers

    • Budapest Stadium Blasts a Rammstein Song on Repeat — All Night Long [iophk: misuse of Facebook in place of official communication channels :( ]

      After a speaker test malfunctioned, a track from German raging rockers Rammstein was blasted for hours. Residents near the Puskas Arena complained about the noise. Rammstein’s recently released “Deutschland” song played on repeat throughout the night.

      The ‘accident’ sounds suspicious, though somehow, a blaring speaker system went rogue. And nobody slept as a result.

    • Science

      • DIY Thermal Imager Uses DIY Gaussian Blur

        Since [DZL] wanted to implement it on a microcontroller, the lightweight implementation was born. The project page walks through the details of Gaussian interpolation and how some effective shortcuts were made, so be sure to give it a look.

    • Security (Confidentiality/Integrity/Availability)

      • Malware Delivery Campaign Employs Advanced Fileless Techniques [iophk: Windows TCO]

        The attack starts with the delivery of an HTML Application (HTA), most likely through compromised advertisements. The file attempts to connect to a randomly named domain to download additional JavaScript code that attempts to retrieve content from the command and control (C&C) server.

        The downloaded file then attempts to contact the remote C&C domain to download an RC4-encrypted file and a decryption key. The file is an additional JavaScript snippet that starts a malicious PowerShell script.

      • Chinese [Attackers] Hit Technology Firms in Southeast Asia With PcShare Backdoor

        The attackers also used a trojanized screen reader application that replaces the built-in Narrator “Ease of Access” feature in Windows, essentially gaining remote control over the infected systems, all without having to steal the victim’s credentials.

        The malware is executed on the victim’s machine via DLL side-loading. Specifically, the backdoor is side-loaded by the legitimate NVIDIA Smart Maximise Helper Host application (part of NVIDIA GPU graphics drivers), the security researchers discovered.

      • Security updates for Monday

        Security updates have been issued by CentOS (dovecot, kernel, and qemu-kvm), Debian (cimg, cups, e2fsprogs, exim4, file-roller, golang-1.11, httpie, and wpa), Fedora (curl, ghostscript, ibus, krb5, mod_md, and nbdkit), Mageia (chromium-browser-stable, libheif, and nghttp2), openSUSE (djvulibre, expat, libopenmpt, mosquitto, phpMyAdmin, and webkit2gtk3), Red Hat (nodejs:10), SUSE (gpg2), and Ubuntu (e2fsprogs and exim4).

      • Exim 4.92.3 security release

        Exim 4.92.3 has been released with a fix for CVE-2019-16928, a heap-based buffer overflow in string_vformat that could lead to remote code execution. “The currently known exploit uses a extraordinary long EHLO string to crash the Exim process that is receiving the message. While at this mode of operation Exim already dropped its privileges, other paths to reach the vulnerable code may exist.”

      • New Critical Exim Flaw Exposes Email Servers to Remote Attacks — Patch Released

        A critical security vulnerability has been discovered and fixed in the popular open-source Exim email server software, which could allow a remote attacker to simply crash or potentially execute malicious code on targeted servers.
        Exim maintainers today released an urgent security update—Exim version 4.92.3—after publishing an early warning two days ago, giving system administrators an early head-up on its upcoming security patches that affect all versions of the email server software from 4.92 up to and including then-latest version 4.92.2.
        Exim is a widely used, open source mail transfer agent (MTA) developed for Unix-like operating systems like Linux, Mac OSX or Solaris, which runs almost 60 percent of the Internet’s email servers today for routing, delivering and receiving email messages.

      • Critical Exim Flaw Opens Servers to Remote Code Execution

        A fix has been issued for a critical Exim flaw that could lead to servers crashing or remote code execution attacks being launched.

        A patch has been issued for a critical flaw in the Exim email server software, which could potentially open Exim-based servers up to denial of service or remote code execution attacks.

        Exim, which is free software used on Unix-like operating systems (including Linux or Mac OSX), serves as a mail transfer agent that manages mail routing services for organizations. According to a Shodan analysis, Exim is the most used mail transfer agent globally and has over five million internet-facing hosts.

      • Stop us if you’ve heard this one before: Yet another critical flaw threatens Exim servers

        Admins of Linux and Unix boxes running Exim would be well-advised to update the software following the disclosure of another critical security flaw.

        The Exim 4.92.3 patch, released on September 28th, includes a fix to close up the CVE-2019-16928 flaw.

        Discovered by bug-hunters with the QAX A-Team, the vulnerability is caused by a buffer overflow error that occurs when Exim processes an extremely long string in an Extended HELO (EHLO) Extended Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (ESMTP) command message.

        In practice, an attacker could write an exploit into the EHLO message and remotely trigger the bug to get control over the targeted server. So far, no active attacks on the flaw have been reported in the wild.

        “It’s a simple coding error, not growing a string by enough,” said Jeremy Harris, the Exim dev who patched the flaw in what he described as a simple “one-line fix.”

      • pam-python: local root escalation (CVE-2019-16729)

        Last week the openSUSE Security Team spent some time to check and review the PAM module from the pam-python project. Main reason for that – to make sure that the source code of the project is secure enough and bug free of course. Badly implemented PAM modules may cause user authentication to always succeed or otherwise badly influence security.

    • Defence/Aggression

      • The Trump Administration is Waging a War on People Fleeing Persecution. We Can’t Let Them Win.

        In June 1939, a passenger ship named the St. Louis approached the coast of Florida, planning to dock in Miami. The boat was packed with nearly a thousand refugees fleeing Nazi persecution in Europe. Most were Jewish, and they thought they’d find a safe haven in the United States.

      • In Media Newspeak, a ‘Peace Plan’ for Israel/Palestine Is Anything US Proposes

        Prior to the elections in Israel/Palestine in September—marred by blatant racism posturing as the “democratic process,” with millions of Palestinians living under varying degrees of Israeli rule unable to vote due to their ethnicity—Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu generated headlines for repeatedly pledging to annex nearly a third of the illegally occupied West Bank, in violation of international law, to gain support for his and the Likud party’s reelection (New York Times, 9/10/19).

      • After the fall of the ISIS caliphate

        Among the Russians who joined ISIS, the most interesting one are those who eventually rejected the terrorist organization. This category itself can be divided into two subgroups: those who left ISIS after realizing its impending defeat, and those who left due to ideological disagreements or who became disappointed in ISIS’s handling of its matters.

      • Islamist extremists are exterminating Christians in northern Burkina Faso

        According to sources close to the international Catholic charity and pastoral foundation Aid to the Church in Need, the Christian population in the north of Burkina Faso is currently being exterminated or expelled from their villages by Muslim extremists.

        The most recent villages to have been abandoned are those of Hitté and Rounga, where the inhabitants have been given an ultimatum by the Islamist terrorists, ordering them to convert to Islam or leave their homes.

      • Supporting Kashmiris is doing ‘jihad’, says Pakistan PM Imran Khan

        In his speech that went on for about 50 minutes, far exceeding the 15-minute limit for UN speeches during the General Debate, Mr. Khan devoted half of his address to the Kashmir issue, warning that if there’s face-off between two nuclear-armed neighbours, the consequences would be far beyond their borders.

        His speech was in contrast to PM Narendra Modi’s message from the same podium few minutes earlier, in which he said India is a country that has “given the world, not war, but Buddha’s message of peace.”

        Pakistan has been trying to internationalise the Kashmir issue after India withdrew the special status of Jammu and Kashmir on August 5, but New Delhi has asserted the abrogation of Article 370 was its “internal matter.”

      • The Tragic Logic of the Attacks on the Saudi Oil Plants

        Maybe we’re the wrong species to conjecture about sanity, but between 3 and 4 am on Saturday, September 14, Yemeni Houthi forces—or Iran, or someone—did what may, under different circumstances, have been the sanest thing that any human beings resident on this warming Earth could do: They managed to shut down the largest crude-oil processing plant on the planet. Nineteen drone strikes did the job, 17 of them hitting targets at Saudi Arabia’s Abqaiq stabilization facility and Khurais oil field with an accuracy that was, in the words of one energy expert, “exquisitely precise.” In a single, two-pronged operation, they cut oil production by 5.7 million barrels per day, nearly 7 percent of the current global output. Decades of climate negotiations have not been nearly so effective.

      • China’s demand for undivided loyalty is causing tragedy in Hong Kong

        In Hong Kong the city’s former colonial master, Britain, left behind an awkward hybrid. The territory has the political culture and education system of a liberal democracy. But its leaders are mostly appointed, with only a minority of political offices opened to direct election. Since Mr Xi became the Communist Party’s boss, China has betrayed its impatience with even that limited accountability, and the central government’s agents have worked to marginalise competing voices.

      • Hong Kong: First Line of Defence against a Rising Fascist Power

        Why has no crackdown come? The answer is economic: the Chinese Communist Party exercises tight control over the movement of funds in its territory, but at the same time it desires greater integration into the world economy. The only way to achieve the latter while maintaining the former is by preserving the special status of Hong Kong. The region enjoys a free market economy, allowing foreign companies to access China while mainland companies can extend their influence beyond the country—indeed, as Kerry Brown points out in CEO, China: The Rise of Xi Jinping, more than 60 percent of China’s outward investment actually goes through Hong Kong. “We are a window for China to look to the outside world,” says Hong Kong politician Emily Lau.

        A repeat of the Tiananmen Square nightmare would almost certainly lead to a massive economic crash, and China cannot risk this, especially now that its economy is slowing down. [...]

      • Filming the Philippines’ ‘War on Drugs’

        The International Criminal Court (ICC) recently made a surprising request for its preliminary examination into thousands of alleged extrajudicial killings in Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte’s “war on drugs.” The court said it wanted to review footage from a movie set to be released to international audiences later this month.

      • More Violence Grips Hong Kong Ahead of China’s National Day

        Protesters and police clashed in Hong Kong for a second straight day on Sunday, throwing the semiautonomous Chinese territory’s business and shopping belt into chaos and sparking fears of more ugly scenes leading up to China’s National Day holiday this week.

    • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

      • Trump’s Whistleblower Attacks Are Troubling, But Not Unprecedented

        The @realDonaldTrump Twitter handle was on overdrive this weekend, assailing the anonymous whistleblower who reported that President Trump used the power of his office to solicit interference from a foreign country in the 2020 U.S. election. Like clockwork, President Trump tried to attack the whistleblower’s credibility, questioned the meager whistleblower protections currently in place, labeled those who provided information to the whistleblower as spies, and suggested such “spies” should be treated as they were in “the old days” — presumably referring to execution.

      • Shooting of King Salman’s guard deepens Saudi turmoil

        His death immediately led to speculation of palace intrigue, with claims that he had recently been dismissed from the king’s service and may have had information pertinent to the murder last year of the journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

      • Pakistan minorities in US to expose PM Imran Khan at UN

        “Pakistan is focusing on the wrong K. Pakistan is raising the Kashmir issue only to divert attention from Pakistan Army atrocities on its minorities from Mohajirs to Balochs, Pashtuns, Hindus and Christians,” Nadeem Nusrat, chairman voice of Karachi, told Mail Today in New York.

        “We have documented facts about the condition of minorities in Pakistan. More than seven decades after the Independence, Mohajirs (Muslims who moved to Pakistan after Independence) have still not been integrated. Our youth have been abducted, tortured and killed by Pakistan ISI and Rangers as intimidation tactics,” said Wasay Jalil, former Mayor of Gulshan Iqbal in Karachi who was forced to flee Islamabad facing Pakistan Army atrocities.

      • Why transcripts of Trump’s calls with heads of state are so hard to get

        “Every other telecon I’ve seen had an individual person — someone like Rose Gottemoeller, who was on the White House staff, or Nicholas Burns, who went on to be high-level State Department — they would be listed as note-taker because they were responsible for making sure the transcript was accurate as possible. The second really unusual item is the caveat down at the bottom of the page; it says ‘caution,’ it’s not a verbatim transcript. It just is our notes and recollections of these duty officers and policy staff, and there are a lot of factors that can make it inaccurate.’ That’s a really unusual caveat,” Blanton said.

      • Who is responsible for enforcing the US whistleblower law? The president.

        “Instead the transcript was loaded into a separate electronic system that is otherwise used to store and handle classified information of an especially sensitive nature,” the report said. “One White House official described this act as an abuse of this electronic system because the call did not contain anything remotely sensitive from a national security perspective.”

      • Do Not Feed The Climate Trolls

        As public acceptance of climate science continues to shift towards the scientific consensus, the insidious lobbies who have long-funded climate change denial are mobilising. Their goal is to erode the “consensus gap” between climate scientists and the public. It’s nothing new.

        But they have started gathering on a new battleground: polluting the comment sections on social media, to make it appear that even readers of science websites like ours don’t agree with climate science. Yeah, we’re on to them. We’re calling them climate trolls.

      • Interview With CIA Whistleblower John Kiriakou On Ukraine Call Whistleblower Complaint And War On Whistleblowers
    • Environment

      • Thai Premier Prayut urges people to wear masks as smog envelops Bangkok

        Pollution spikes caused by industrial emissions, construction, crop burning and vehicle fumes have rattled Thailand in recent years. The smog was one of the top trending items in the country on Twitter, underlining growing concern as officials struggle to control the problem.

      • Palm oil from Sumatra illegal plantation found in supply chains of brands like Nestle: Forest group

        A Rainforest Action Network (RAN) investigation showed Asia-based palm oil traders Golden Agri-Resources (GAR) and Musim Mas Group bought oil from two mills that sourced palm fruit from a small, privately owned plantation on Sumatra island.

        The plantation is inside the protected Rawa Singkil Wildlife Reserve, in a high-priority conservation area and critical wildlife habitat, dubbed the “orang utan capital of the world”.

      • Nature’s Solution to Climate Change

        The carbon capture potential of whales is truly startling. Whales accumulate carbon in their bodies during their long lives. When they die, they sink to the bottom of the ocean; each great whale sequesters 33 tons of CO2 on average, taking that carbon out of the atmosphere for centuries. A tree, meanwhile, absorbs only up to 48 pounds of CO2 a year.

        Protecting whales could add significantly to carbon capture because the current population of the largest great whales is only a small fraction of what it once was. Sadly, after decades of industrialized whaling, biologists estimate that overall whale populations are now to less than one fourth what they once were. Some species, like the blue whales, have been reduced to only 3 percent of their previous abundance. Thus, the benefits from whales’ ecosystem services to us and to our survival are much less than they could be.

        But this is only the beginning of the story.

      • Whales worth about $1 trillion in carbon sequestration, analysis finds

        On top of that, the metabolic activity of whales — their breathing, peeing and pooping — stimulates huge growths of phyloplankton, which itself sequesters tons of carbon. As National Geographic notes, in a post about this new study …

      • How much is a whale worth?

        While they are alive, whales might do even more to capture carbon, thanks to their jumbo-sized excrement. Great whales feed on tiny marine organisms like plankton and krill in the ocean’s depths before surfacing to breathe, poop and pee—and the latter activities release enormous plume of nutrients, including nitrogen, phosphorus, and iron, into the water. So-called poo-namis stimulate the growth of phytoplankton, marine algae that pull carbon out of the air via photosynthesis.

        When phytoplankton die, much of their carbon gets recycled at the ocean’s surface. But some dead phytoplankton inevitably sink, sending more captured carbon to the bottom of the sea. Another study from 2010 found that the 12,000 sperm whales in the Southern Ocean draw 200,000 tons of carbon out of the atmosphere each year by stimulating phytoplankton growth and death through their iron-rich defecations.

      • An Unlikely Weapon in the Fight Against Climate Change

        Climate scientists say seabed carbon storage could be a new ally to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions by a volume greater than all the carbon dioxide pumped into the atmosphere from the planet’s coal-burning power stations.

      • California Polluters May Soon Buy Carbon ‘Offsets’ From the Amazon — Is That Ethical?

        California thinks it has an answer.

      • Three Billion Canaries in the Coal Mine

        I was wrong. A new study in the journal Science reports that nearly 3 billion North American birds have disappeared since 1970. That’s 29 percent of all birds on this continent. The data are both incontrovertible and shocking. “We were stunned by the result,” Cornell University’s Kenneth V. Rosenberg, the study’s lead author, told The Times.

        This is not a report that projects future losses on the basis of current trends. It is not an update on the state of rare birds already in trouble. This study enumerates actual losses of familiar species — ordinary backyard birds like sparrows and swifts, swallows and blue jays. The anecdotal evidence from my own yard, it turns out, is everywhere.

      • Too many single-use plastics tossed in trash; deposit on small bottles possible

        Van Veldhoven also said that the association of Dutch municipalities VNG and the packaging industry are little to no action to make sure that cans don’t end up littering the streets. “So I decided to take measures myself to ensure the reduction of the amount of cans in litter.” She is considering various measures, “including legal measures”, on this front. Exactly what these measures are, is not yet clear.

      • Mexico City park purifies enough wastewater to fill a stadium each month

        Mexico City’s Ecoducto is a linear green space where a system of artificial wetlands purifies 30,000 liters of sewage daily, enough to fill the city’s 87,000-seat Estadio Azteca soccer stadium each month.

        The artificial wetlands were designed by Dr. Alejandro Alva, a hydrobiologist at the National Autonomous University (UNAM).

      • India’s Sikkim State Leads Country’s Plastic Ban with Bar on Bags

        Nestled on Himalayan slopes, Sikkim replaced plastic bags with paper or cloth bags and even leaves long before environmentalists raised an alarm about plastic choking cities and oceans. It imposed the ban on plastic bags after a spate of landslides in 1998, when experts feared they were partly caused because drains choked with plastic waste left no outlet for torrential rainwater.

        As India gears up to announce a nationwide push to eliminate single-use plastic this week, the state with the country’s smallest population is being hailed for launching the battle two decades ago.

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • China runs full-page ad on Hong Kong in Helsingin Sanomat, sparking criticism

        Mikko Kärnä (Centre), a second-term Member of the Finnish Parliament from Lapland, responded to the ad by calling for a legislative amendment preventing foreign nations from attempting to sway public opinion through media.

        He viewed that the newspaper showed extremely poor judgement in publishing the ad because of the violence that ended yet another week of protests in Hong Kong on Sunday. Media reports indicate that law enforcement officers fired rubber bullets, tear gas and water cannons to disperse the protesters.

      • ‘The Campaign Is The Amplifier’: How Trump Plans To Fight Impeachment Push

        Evidence of this came over the weekend when the Trump campaign, along with the Republican National Committee, announced a combined $10 million cable ad buy. The ads go after former Vice President Joe Biden and House Democrats and are an attempt to sway public opinion as the impeachment inquiry gets going. It’s not clear yet how saturated the airwaves will be, but it is a significant buy.

      • FATAH: Is the 9/11 mastermind still a matter of public debate?

        Sameer Zuberi seems to have made attempts to de-emphasize his past. He either de-activated his previous Twitter account and created a brand new one that has no content or was the only activist on the globe who found no use for Twitter until he became candidate. I asked him if he had a previous Twitter trail, but did not receive a response.

      • Is Johnson really going to ‘rein in’ NHS privatisation? Don’t you believe it!

        But it’s nonetheless worth investigating. When an election does come, the NHS will be a key battleground, and one in which the Conservatives hope to at least neutralise Labour’s natural advantage. And in the disgruntled words of US President Harry Truman (describing the tactics of his political enemies), “if you can’t convince them, confuse them”. Well, the news – reported in the Guardian, no less – that Johnson will legislate to “rein in” NHS privatisation – is certainly likely to have confused many. Particularly given that Johnson is surrounded by the most pro-free market, anti-state cabinet in recent history, that he’s desperate for a vindicatory US trade deal, and with the US explicitly desperate to profit from our NHS.

        So what’s really going on?

      • Stunned authorities find dozens of encrypted computers in alleged spy’s home

        Most of the computers were encrypted — which is legal but creates potential barriers for the RCMP officers still investigating the case.

        Ortis, the 47-year-old director general of the RCMP’s national intelligence co-ordination centre, faces multiple charges under the Security of Information Act for allegedly preparing to share sensitive information with a foreign entity or terrorist organization.

      • Why claims that Hong Kong protesters support escalating violence could be wrong… and dangerous

        A recently published study by a respected political scientist at Lingnan University found that more than half of its respondents advocated the escalation of protest tactics. The report was widely shared on social media and was the subject of a article in The Conversation.

        This is because the line that protesters support violence plays to three important biases. Firstly, it reads like a good news piece. Second, it provides reassurance to radical protesters that their actions carry public support. Thirdly, blurring the lines between peaceful and violent protesters justifies an indiscriminate crackdown that has already had a chilling effect on civil society.

        However, the study itself has important limitations and therefore does not really support this understanding. What the study shows is that of the 8,000 protesters surveyed over 19 demonstrations, with an 85 per cent response rate, an increasing number are choosing to either agree or strongly agree that over time “Radical protests can force the government to listen to the people.”

      • Bernie Sanders Is Tied With Joe Biden in Crucial State: New Poll

        New CNN polls from two key early states released Sunday solidify the notion that the Democratic Party presidential primary has largely become a three-way race between Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders, and Elizabeth Warren.

      • With Vote Over, Afghanistan Faces Possible Political Chaos

        Presidential elections are over, and Afghanistan now faces a period of uncertainty and possible political chaos. Saturday’s vote was marred by violence, Taliban threats and widespread allegations of mismanagement and abuse. It was the fourth time Afghans have gone to the polls to elect a president since 2001 when the U.S.-led coalition ousted a regressive Taliban regime.

      • Australia: Bring Home Children of Fighters in Syria

        The Australian government should bring home Australian children of parents who may have joined armed groups and who are living in deplorable conditions in camps in Syria, Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, and Save the Children said today. 

      • Could Washington’s Impeachment Drama Spark China Trade Deal?

        The Democratic impeachment inquiry may do at least one thing for President Donald Trump: It could give him more incentive to resolve his trade war with China.

      • Moscow’s FSB chief says a corrupt lawyer is using illicit court ties to steal money from Putin’s biographer

        Alexey Dorofeyev, the head of the Federal Security Service’s Moscow branch, has written a letter to state prosecutors alleging that a handful of Moscow judges and “individual heads” of the Moscow City Court have provided assistance to several illegal business takeovers. The newspaper RBC has obtained an audio recording from a Supreme Court hearing, where the contents of Dorofeyev’s letter were read aloud on September 27.

      • ‘United’ opposition parties step up plans to prevent Boris Johnson’s no-deal Brexit

        Opposition parties have for the first time put formal plans in place for a government of national unity as they step up attempts to stop Boris Johnson overseeing a no-deal Brexit.

        Whips from Labour, the Liberal Democrats, SNP and smaller parties will meet in Westminster to discuss arrangements for a possible national unity government, or GNU, if the Prime Minister refuses to request an extension to Brexit.

        The parties are in disagreement over who should lead the temporary government – with Labour chief Jeremy Corbyn insisting it should be him as leader of the opposition.

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • The Guy Who Wrote Facebook’s Content Rules Says Its Politician Hate Speech Exemption Is ‘Cowardice’

        Though Facebook says it will still remove content from politicians that encourages violence or harm, Willner argues that allowing hate speech—whether it’s from a politician or a private citizen white supremacist—can create a dangerous atmosphere. He cites research from the Dangerous Speech Project, which studies the types of public speech that spark violence, that backs up his claim. He also charges that Facebook’s exception now makes politicians a privileged class, enjoying rights denied to everyone else on the platform. Not only is Facebook avoiding hard choices, Willner says, it is betraying the safety of its users to placate the politicians who have threatened to regulate or even break up the company. “Restricting the speech of idiot 14-year-old trolls while allowing the President to say the same thing isn’t virtue,” writes Willner. “It’s cowardice.”

      • Tens of thousands rally in Moscow urging release of jailed opposition protesters

        The current wave of demonstrations was triggered by the refusal of Moscow authorities to allow opposition activists like Sobol, an associate of top Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny, participate in local elections.

        The sweeping, sometimes violent crackdown on protests backfired when crowds of many as 50,000 began to gather with wider political demands while the opposition gained dozens of seats in city parliament.

      • TikTok Bans Pro-LGBT Content In Certain Countries — Including Same-Sex Touching, Kissing, or Holding Hands

        The move comes after a reveal that the service is censoring references to Tiananmen Square, Tibet, and Falun Gong.

      • TikTok censors references to Tiananmen and Tibet

        Criticism of China’s socialist system comes under a general ban of criticism towards the policies and social rules of any country. A ban covering the distortion of local or other countries’ history includes the example of the Tiananmen Square “incidents”.

      • Social Media App TikTok Censors anti-China Content

        TikTok instructs moderators for the app to censor content that casts China in a negative light, including any vides that reference Tiananmen Square, the Falun Gong religious group, and Tibetan independence. There is also suspicion that the app is censoring videos related to the Hong Kong protests against Chinese encroachment on its independence.

        When the Washington Post searched for Hong Kong on the app, the results barely showed any sign of the protests or unrest.

      • TikTok’s moderation guidelines penalized political criticism and ‘controversial topics’

        The Guardian says TikTok moderators were told to flag content based on very general rules that purposely covered specific Chinese censorship concerns, like criticizing government policies. Some sections mentioned specific forbidden topics, including the Tiananmen Square protests and the Tibetan or Taiwanese independence movements.

      • WhatsApp restrictions slow the spread of fake news – but don’t stop it

        The researchers joined public WhatsApp groups dedicated to political discussions and tracked how 784,000 unique images were shared by users in the 60 days before and 15 days after the recent general elections in each of the three countries. These public groups are key arenas for propagating misinformation, says Benevenuto.

        The team found that 80 per cent of the images stopped being shared after two days, but some continued cropping up more than two months after their first appearance.

    • Privacy/Surveillance

      • Snowden in the Labyrinth

        How does one decide to become the dissident, the scapegoat, the whistleblower? Snowden seems as mystified as we are. It is as if one day the question simply appears, fully formed: Why am I the one who cares? Why am I haunted by the eyes of the boy in his father’s lap while other operatives with access to XKEYSCORE are busy collecting nudes and stalking ex-girlfriends? (Alas, yes. They even have a nickname for it: LOVEINT, a satirical variation on HUMINT and SIGINT—human and signals intelligence.) “To whom could I turn?” he writes. “Who could I talk to? Even to whisper the truth, even to a lawyer or a judge or to Congress, had been made so severe a felony that just a basic outlining of the broadest facts would invite a lifetime sentence in a federal cell.”

        Snowden suffers as he privately traces the extent of the government’s crimes and realizes the deceptions required to carry them out. He twists through feelings of shame at his complicity; astonishment at the indifference around him; fear at the onset of loneliness, a loneliness he knows is only a preview of the isolation awaiting him if he acts. There’s also a sort of bargaining and denial phase, as he assesses whether he’s too lowly to play the part in which he’s cast himself: “Who’d elected me the president of secrets?”

        Yet the answer is as plain as the publication date of his book: September 17, Constitution Day. (I’d never heard of it.) Snowden’s a Constitution dork. He’s the one guy in the office who actually takes a copy of the document off the “free table”; he’s the one guy who actually reads it. He likes reading it, “partially because its ideas are great, partially because its prose is good, but really because it freaked out my coworkers.”

      • How Facebook is profiting off of our loneliness

        It goes without saying that it is presumptuous for the company to suggest human Facebook profiles are “authentic” reflections of ourselves, especially when Facebook sees its human users as data points to make a profit from. It is also brazen to suggest that humans are still buying the narrative that meaningful connections can be made online, one we fell for over a decade ago, before the research spoke for itself. Yet Facebook’s desperate attempt to feed us a false narrative about human connection puts its success into a different context.

      • 200 years before Orwell, a German naturalist prophesied surveillance capitalism

        In this regard, it’s perfectly appropriate to recall Orwell, but we shouldn’t forget Humboldt as we do. The Uber example is less about surveillance in service of discipline as measuring as an end…to well, to what purpose? Even Uber itself couldn’t say precisely. The company talked about a little “analytic game.” But it could just as well have said that data that is collected but not collated is an insult to human reason.

      • Dunkin’ Donuts Sued by New York’s State Attorney General Over Data Breaches

        New York Attorney General Letitia James filed a lawsuit against Dunkin’ Donuts in the Supreme Court of the State of New York on Thursday, September 26, 2019. The complaint alleges fraudulent, deceptive and illegal conduct, and focuses on Dunkin’ Donuts breaches in 2015 and 2018. It claims an alleged failure to respond to these breaches in violation of state laws.

      • Migrating From Cloudflare

        But CDNs can get expensive, too. Since they are designed to mitigate costs for such a niche thing (upload storage bandwidth), they usual target enterprise customers. That means that they’re expensive. Or rather, they have been. Cloudflare became really popular because it offers free CDN services, and you only pay for the “pro” features if you need them. This is pretty cool, and it’s why I’ve used Cloudflare for a few years.

        However, I don’t really like Cloudflare. I don’t like how they protect hate forums, where mass shootings are planned; I don’t like how they have grown to the point where a huge portion of the internet’s total traffic flows through their infrastructure; I don’t like how un-seriously they treat their responsibilities. So, I wanted to move off.

      • Freedom of Information/Freedom of the Press

        • Moroccan journalist Hajar Raissouni jailed on abortion charges

          Ahmed Benchemsi, regional director for Human Rights Watch, described the verdict as a “black day for freedom in Morocco”, calling it “a blatant injustice, a flagrant violation of human rights, and a frontal attack on individual freedoms.”

        • Moroccan Journalist Sentenced to Prison for Abortion and Premarital Sex

          The trial was perhaps the most prominent example yet in a pattern of arrests and prosecutions of journalists who are critical of the state, on charges seemingly unrelated to their reporting. Last year, Taoufik Bouachrine, the founder and publisher of Akhbar Al Yaoum, was sentenced to 12 years in prison on sexual assault charges, in a prosecution that the United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention concluded was unfair.

        • Moroccan court jails journalist on abortion charge that she denies

          A Moroccan court on Monday sentenced a journalist to a year in prison for sex outside marriage and having an abortion, both of which she denied, in a case that has outraged rights activists, who say the charges are politically motivated.

        • Moroccan journalist sent to prison for ‘illegal’ abortion

          Hajar Raissouni has been sentenced to one year in jail for an abortion she denies having, in a case that has sparked mass protests over women’s rights. The journalist says the charges stem from her government criticism.

      • Civil Rights/Policing

        • Kickstarter To Workers and Project Creators: Drop Dead

          The statement was the most blatant slap in the face imaginable to both the workers and the project creators. It says, in essence: drop dead. We do not care what you think. We do not want a union and we are going to try to stop one from forming. We will fire union organizers if we want to, and if they complain to the National Labor Relations Board, they will be facing our lawyers. Kickstarter heard the hundreds of creators who signed our statement, and they have said plainly and unequivocally that they reject our values and will remain an anti-union company.

        • Tamarac City Commissioner Under Fire For Comments To A BSO Deputy During City Meeting

          On Wednesday morning, Broward Sheriff’s Deputy Joshua Gallardo received a Deputy of the Month award at a Tamarac City Commission along with a number of other deputies. But after the photos were taken and the handshakes ended from the feel-good moment, City Commissioner Mike Gelin dropped a bombshell.

          “Joshua Gallardo can you come down for a second,” Gelin said from the front of the commission chambers.

          “It’s good to see you again,” Gelin told Gallardo, as Gallardo approached the front. “You probably don’t remember me but you’re the police officer who falsely arrested me four years ago. You lied on a police report. I believe you’re a rogue police officer, you’re a bad police officer and you don’t deserve to be here.”

        • Sindhi Foundation to hold event during UNGA session to raise awareness against Pak girls’ forced conversion

          According to Human Rights Commission of Pakistan, every month between 40 to 60 Sindhi girls are abducted and forced converted to Islam and the families who report about it are often ignored by police, never submitting a First Information Report (FIR). Therefore, girls are left with their abductors, where they are often coerced into silence through threats or use of violence against them or their families.

          From January 2004 to May 2018, there were 7,430 cases registered, although the numbers are estimated to be higher since many go unreported.

        • I’ll Drink to That: Captain Morgan Website Asks Visitors to Affirm They’re Non-Muslim

          Were they drunk? Last week it was discovered that the U.S. website of rum brand Captain Morgan was asking visitors to check a box confirming that they were “non-Muslim.” After the box became a focus of controversy, it was quickly removed, but questions remain. The UK’s Metro newspaper says that the box “provoked intense theological debate online, with some calling it an example of ‘back door Sharia’ and others branding it ‘corporate racism.’” Neither Islam nor rum is a race, but back door Sharia? That it certainly is.

        • Pakistan college bans boys and girls walking together, notice goes viral. Twitter is divided

          Colleges, to maintain the decorum and discipline are known to pass out various kinds of circulars. However, this university located in Charsadda in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province of Pakistan took things to the next level with their latest circular.

          The notice that was issued by the Assistant Chief Proctor, Farmanullahon on September 23, 2019, in the Bacha Khan University, banned male and female students from roaming together in the college.

          The circular stated these activities as ‘un-Islamic’ and indulging in such activities would lead to a complaint to the parents along with a hefty fine.

        • Saudi Arabia’s extraordinary attack on Australia

          Australia led a coalition of countries condemning the Saudis over a series of human rights abuses, including arbitrary detention, torture and the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

          Ms Mansfield, delivered a statement on behalf of 24 nations expressing her “deep concern” at the human rights situation in Saudi Arabia.

          “Civil society actors in Saudi Arabia still face persecution and intimidation. Human rights defenders, women’s rights activists, journalists and dissidents remain in detention or under threat,” she said.

          “We are concerned at reports of torture, arbitrary detention, enforced disappearances, unfair trials and harassment of individuals engaged in promoting and defending human rights, their families and colleagues.”

      • Monopolies

        • Patents and Software Patents

          • AICTE and CIPAM spar over invention guidelines, USPTO invites comments on patenting inventions developed by AI and more

            The USPTO has extended the dates for receiving public comments on “Artificial Intelligence (AI) Patents” to November 8, 2019. The USPTO in August had sought public comments on the patenting of inventions developed by AI (wholly or partially) and inventions of AI. The USPTO had sought information and comments on 12 very interesting questions including – What are elements of an AI invention? If a person instructs an AI to solve a particular problem; has that person invented the solution (once it is solved by the AI)? Should an entity or entities other than a natural person, or company to which a natural person assigns an invention, be able to own a patent on the AI invention? Do current patent laws and regulations regarding inventorship need to be revised to take into account inventions where an entity or entities other than a natural person contributed to the conception of an invention?

        • Copyrights

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