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10.15.19

EPO Staff Resolution Against Neoliberal Policies of António Campinos

Posted in Europe, Finance, Patents at 11:56 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Last week: EPO Leak: António Campinos Announces Impending Cuts While Outsourcing to Private Firms Like Serco

EPO general assemblies resolution

Summary: “After Campinos announced 17 financial measures,” a source told us, “staff gathered at multiple sites last week for general assemblies. The meeting halls were crowded. The resolution was passed unanimously and without abstentions.”

Satya Nadella is a Distraction From Microsoft’s Real Leadership and Abuses

Posted in Deception, Microsoft at 11:39 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

By Mitchel Lewis (“Is Satya Real?”)

Summary: “I’m merely wondering if his image and accolades that we’re incessantly bombarded with by the press actually reflect his accomplishments or if they’re being aggrandized.”

Few executives have garnered more positive press than Satya Nadella since he took the reins at Microsoft. As shown with Elizabeth Holmes though, hype resulting from artificial press coverage is a commodity for major tech companies, hence why they all seem to have massive legal and PR teams to spin press favorably, too much of it can serve as correlate of the opposite being true; similar to a lifted truck with a pair of nuts hanging off the hitch.

With the influence of the media in mind, it’s easy to see why Nadella is credited with the lion’s share of Microsoft’s recent success while being revered as a mountaintop guru of sorts by many in the press. However, few, if any, tech companies are more notorious for manipulating the media than Microsoft. As such, when I ask if Satya Nadella is real, I’m not asking if he’s a real person. Instead, I’m merely wondering if his image and accolades that we’re incessantly bombarded with by the press actually reflect his accomplishments or if they’re being aggrandized.

So, is Satya real? Is he a genuine hyper-woke leader that hit refresh at Microsoft? Is he the champion of growth mindset and change? Or Is he just another manufactured figurehead doing what he’s told by a pasty white cabal of lawyers and PR people? Or is he somewhere in between?

If you were to ask Dina Bass of Bloomberg, she would maintain that Satya is the real deal and that Microsoft is going through a renaissance under his leadership. So would Jim Cramer and the list goes on and on. To their credit, Microsoft has made a boatload of money since Nadella took the reins. But correlation doesn’t always equal causation. Change occurs slowly on an enterprise scale and any manager at Microsoft will gladly affirm that it can be a big ship to steer. Resultantly, Microsoft has to plot its course so far in advance that the profits earned today are the byproduct of strategic planning and decisions made 5–10 years ago; none of which immediately goes out the door with leadership changes. As such, it can take 5–10 years for the merits of their new leadership to come into play and be realized as they slowly come out of the shadow of their predecessor.

Dina Bass
Cut out for space? Or cut out because it contradicts the renaissance narrative?

Satya article image #1

As a result of this executive runoff, which Dina openly admits (omits?), it’s safe to say that Nadella’s influence is still gradually being realized, for better or for worse. Ironically, much of the success that Microsoft is seeing today can still be credited back to Steve Ballmer and his old guard which is still mostly intact to this day. From the present success of Office 365, Azure, Windows 10, Server, Surface, Visual Studio, Hololens, and Xbox to their GitHub and LinkedIn Acquisitions, virtually all of the major decisions bringing these products where they are today were put in motion before Satya’s ascent to the CEO position. It’s just not advantageous for Microsoft to hype up Satya’s predecessors or their old guard with any of their accomplishments.

Sure, he could be the harbinger of ethical change at Microsoft, but it’s not as if Satya was at odds with Ballmer or Gates while under their leadership. Nadella gladly worked under both of them at a company where being ethical was/is a career-limiting move and seemingly taking no issue with anything that Microsoft became notorious for. He didn’t take a stand against their blatant anticompetitive behavior. He is seemingly fine with their commitment to lock-in and is chill with patent trolling too. Bribery? HR and management systematically retaliating against dissenters, whistleblowers, and abuse victims? Pay inequality? No problem at all as far as Nadella is concerned.

Presently, Microsoft is supplying ICE and CBP with its entire suite of software and services despite their participation in genocide. Meanwhile, Microsoft is also catering to China’s facial recognition ambitions and remain complicit in their various human rights violations; they aren’t the only ones though. In response, Satya has tried to downplay Microsoft’s relationship with these government entities while trying to distance the complicity of their productivity software from their deplorable behavior. But his lip service ultimately seems to contradict itself when it doesn’t dance around the subject entirely while his actions are par for the course with his predecessors.

Satya article image #2

In a recent interview and rather than acknowledging their complicity, Nadella claims to maintain some ethical control over their software, from who gets to use it to how they get to use it. Yet, he’s mum when ICE and CBP are blatantly violating their code of conduct with regard to the welfare of children. Even worse, he also seems to prefer to leave ethical decisions to the various laws of the land that they’re operating within like a modern Protagoras in the same breath; legal does not equal ethical. All while ignoring protests of this sort of behavior on his doorstep, internally, and abroad.

“We do have control on who gets to use our technology…and we do have principles. Beyond how we build it, how people use it is something that we control through Terms of Use. And we are constantly evolving the terms of use.”

“We also recognize whether it’s in the United States, whether it’s in China, whether it’s in the United Kingdom, they will all have their own legislative processes on what they accept or don’t accept, and we will abide by them.”
-Satya Nadella

With the above in mind, it’s quite obvious that Satya is towing the company line and deferring ethical decisions to his legal and PR teams while parroting whatever said teams mandate that he say. But ethics deferred are ethics abandoned and this is especially true when one defers to the likes of corporate counsel, PR teams, or the bastardized logic of regimes. As is the case for a proper figurehead, you would be hard-pressed to find Satya going against the grain of anything that Microsoft has become notorious for. None of which is a hallmark of the leadership qualities and ethical stances that he is supposedly a champion of.

While he’s positioned as a techno demigod in the media, Nadella is not even allowed to check his email according to his legal team which is a solid indicator of who is truly wearing the pants at Microsoft. That said, how much sway corporate counsel has within an organization the size of Microsoft often goes overlooked. When you’re walking the line between legal and criminal as Microsoft has done historically, you tend to do whatever your lawyer tells you to do and this is no different for a corporation. And this is especially the case at a law firm with a software problem such as Microsoft which was founded by the affluenza’d son of a Halliburton attorney.

Satya article image #3

Given the undue amount of influence of Microsoft’s legal team has within its walls, it borders on the irrational to expect a significant amount of change from such a company so long as they retain the same lawyers regardless of who their CEO is. Just as you don’t need a criminal defense attorney when you’re not committing crimes, you also won’t need the king of anti-trust such as Brad Smith working at the top legal position of your company unless you’re maintaining a monopoly and violating the Sherman Act.

When I was a vendor at Microsoft, I was told that it was not my job to think, only to do as I was told. Much like a vendor, it’s not Satya’s job to think as a figurehead either. Instead, it’s Satya’s job to operate at the behest of Brad Smith and his legal/PR teams. This isn’t to say that this makes Nadella is a bad person though. He’s just not the person we’ve been sold. Ethically speaking, the real Satya Nadella is most likely no better or worse than anyone else doing their job at Microsoft or anywhere else that requires employees to shelve ethics for a paycheck. You’re welcome to believe the hype though.

Raw: EPO Comes Under Fire for Lowering Patent Quality Under the Orwellian Guise of “Collaborative Quality Improvements” (CQI)

Posted in Europe, Patents at 11:10 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

CSC on Collaborative Quality Improvements

Summary: Stephen Rowan, the President’s (António Campinos) chosen VP who promotes the notorious “Collaborative Quality Improvements” (CQI) initiative/pilot, faces heat from the CSC, the Central Staff Committee of the EPO

Making The Most of The Fourth Age of Free Software

Posted in Free/Libre Software, FSF at 10:53 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

By figosdev

They said what? Founder of Free software does not and cannot speak for Free software?

Summary: “For better or for worse, we can be certain the Free Software Foundation will never be the same.”

Internet eras come and go in one lifetime. Other technological ages approach and wane with the same haste.

The First Age of Free software arrived in the 1950s, when source code was both available and unrestricted. Neither copyright nor patents were applicable to code, and the A-2 compiler gave customers the opportunity to study and improve the software.

The First Age continued through the 1970s, and gave birth to C, UNIX and BSD. In 1980, Software became copyrightable in the United States — as of the late 1990s, Microsoft had still not yet found a way to abuse the patent system to increase their level of control over the market.

“In 1980, Software became copyrightable in the United States — as of the late 1990s, Microsoft had still not yet found a way to abuse the patent system to increase their level of control over the market.”The Second, and first deliberate Age of Free software, began in the 1980s as Richard Stallman created the Free Software Foundation. Now that monopolies were exerting additional control over software, Stallman realised that this ultimately meant exerting unjust control over the users themselves. For an extreme example of this, one need only consider the level of control that Amazon has today over your ebook library.

You may “purchase” an ebook, but Amazon controls your digital reader and with that, your library. You have less of a say over your own books than the company you bought them from, which is an unprecedented level of control over libraries that circumvents First-sale doctrine.

First-sale doctrine dictates that even if you don’t have the right to publish a book, the physical copy you purchase is yours to change, resell, destroy — you don’t control the publishing rights but you do own your copy.

The Digital Millennium Copyright Act (where applicable) is at odds with First-sale doctrine, making it a crime to circumvent the encryption scheme on ebooks, music and films. But it’s Amazon’s control of the software that gives them their control of your library — and poses an existential threat to public libraries, which have nearly always existed in the (legally and constitutionally defended) defiance of publishers.

“But it’s Amazon’s control of the software that gives them their control of your library — and poses an existential threat to public libraries, which have nearly always existed in the (legally and constitutionally defended) defiance of publishers.”There are countless other examples of how non-free software creates a lack of freedom for the user, but the threat that companies who promote such software pose to libraries is as good an example as any. Similar modern injustices exist for users of automobiles, pacemakers and farm equipment.

In the late 90s, the Third Age of Free software began. This was an age where Free software worked to maintain awareness as a schism took place. As the GNU project moved forward from creating the rest of an operating system to creating a viable kernel, another free kernel emerged. We know this as the Linux kernel, which has included a Free software license since 1992.

It was not a problem that the Linux kernel was created outside of the GNU project per se, but it created a unique challenge. The authors of Linux were not interested in promoting Free software; they preferred to promote an offshoot or alternative concept called “Open Source.” And one of the primary goals of Open Source was to focus on goals that businesses liked, without having to talk about politics or freedom.

“The authors of Linux were not interested in promoting Free software; they preferred to promote an offshoot or alternative concept called “Open Source.” And one of the primary goals of Open Source was to focus on goals that businesses liked, without having to talk about politics or freedom.”The Third Age is an age of excessive compromise, as well as greater awareness of the products of Free software — through an often unsympathetic, pro-corporate and monopoly-sponsored tech press. This age created great misconceptions and frequently misrepresented history prior to “informing” the public about it. The Third Age helped to steal Free software from the poor and the general public, and give it to the rich and monopolistic.

The Third Age is largely successful, from the standpoint of people who are happy to find that Free software is now actually less free than before. If you ask someone sympathetic to Open Source, they may refer to the movement they co-opted as consisting of “neckbeards”, “whiners” and “zealots”. They mock people who spent years working hard to make software free for everyone as “cheapskates”. But for them, Open source is a triumph. It has entirely different standards of success, but by those standards things are going very well.

If an outside group co-opting Free software forms the Third Age, then the next great Schism in Free Software is the Fourth or present Age. This is a potentially dark age where Free Software itself splits apart — the cause could be considered as a combination of factors.

One factor is the damage to the Free software ecosystem caused by monopoly interference. This has been recognised for years by Free software supporters in various camps, closer to the outskirts (or frontiers) of the movement than the Free Software Foundation itself.

A second factor is the failure of the Free Software Foundation to respond to this category of interference. For many years, a debate has existed between these frontier supporters and the FSF on what the greatest threats to Free software are today. None of this negates or tries to negate the original or primary threats to freedom that have always existed and are still relevant — this a key difference between the current schism and Open Source.

“The First Age was an age of de facto software freedom, the Second Age was the first age of deliberate and intentional freedom, the Third Age was an age of challenged freedom — and in the Fourth Age, we find a dramatic change in leadership and organisation.”Finally, there are people working closely with the Free Software Foundation who have supported the complete political and social ousting of its leader. While voluntarily stepping down as president may have given the FSF the chance to find and transition in a leader suitable to the movement, this has now taken place under other, more disruptive circumstances (including leaving the board instead of just the position) and this dramatic change makes the Fourth Age of Free software that much more distinct.

The First Age was an age of de facto software freedom, the Second Age was the first age of deliberate and intentional freedom, the Third Age was an age of challenged freedom — and in the Fourth Age, we find a dramatic change in leadership and organisation.

You may choose to define this age as the one where its founder was ousted and rejected. Alternatively, you may choose to define this age as the one where the FSF lost credibility with the treatment of its founder. Stallman himself encourages us not to blame the FSF as an organisation, and I can still appreciate and try to support that request. How we go about supporting the FSF in the future is something we are all ultimately going to be discussing.

Speaking personally, I am not the only person that thinks we need the FSF just as much as ever before. I think this is mostly an attack by monopolies, enabled by damage done by Open Source, and that ceding too much control to those who never cared about freedom has weakened the FSF to the point of nearly falling apart.

I do think we should work to save the Free Software Foundation, and abandoning it will not likely save it.

“I do think we should work to save the Free Software Foundation, and abandoning it will not likely save it.”But it will only be saved on terms that no longer neglect the problems that led to this age in the first place. In other words, if we continue to support the FSF, it will be clear that Free software advocates have a greater input in the future and are not so easily waved aside.

It’s important that the FSF not compromise on its goals, but it is also important that it not shy away from addressing new problems. It can be argued that the FSF has fallen short on both. Since we cannot trust the FSF to get everything right, since it has proven unable to sustain its mission in a number of notable ways, it must be willing to accept help that it waved aside in the past.

This does not mean giving into the false compromise and false promise of Open Source. If anything, it has done too much of that already.

But since the FSF was founded, many organisations sympathetic to Software Freedom and (with varying degree) the FSF itself have formed. These are typically smaller organisations, often focusing on certain aspects of freedom that the FSF may neglect or even try to negate.

These organisations cannot and will not be ignored or hastily dismissed any longer. We have predicted several of the crises the FSF is bleeding out from, and if the FSF insists on continuing to bleed out this way, it will die. We can’t force them to listen, or to agree. But we can certainly point out the foolishness of some of the key mistakes that brought us to this point in time. We can also point out solutions that are within the FSF’s ability to implement.

“Regardless of what happens to a sole organisation, this is the second and new age where lines have appeared between those who would have Richard Stallman as captain, and those who would not.”The FSF remains very important to Free software. It holds documents, software, history and talent that can probably do far more good where it belongs — sheltered and maintained by the FSF, if they are willing to work with a broadening, ideologically diverse but sincere and devoted Free software community. By no means will we have a net benefit if the FSF falls.

But we also know that the FSF has failed us in ways we won’t put aside. Even if the organisation is vital, even if the majority of its volunteers are better described as “with us” than “against us,” those who are responsible for these failures will be noted and trusted less than in the past.

The FSF must choose — between becoming less trusted as an organisation, or understanding that certain individuals will become less trusted as a result of all this. We owe it to Stallman, as well as ourselves, not to be hasty or superficial in where we place or withdraw our trust. But the First and Second ages of Free software were ages of innocence and growing up. The Third and Fourth ages will prove to be ages of hard lessons and struggling to regain lost ground, as well as ages of new ideas and evolution.

“For better or for worse, we can be certain the Free Software Foundation will never be the same.”In many ways, it was our own decisions that led us here. In another sense, this is the direction we were swept into. The Free Software Foundation lacks a leader, and the Free software movement is searching for a new anchor. What once was a great ship, is very arguably now a fleet. Regardless of what happens to a sole organisation, this is the second and new age where lines have appeared between those who would have Richard Stallman as captain, and those who would not.

For some of us, this could be the age where Stallman is retired as captain and is promoted (by us) to Admiral, as several new captains appear. For better or for worse, we can be certain the Free Software Foundation will never be the same. Free software sails on, into uncharted waters. We venture forth in search of greater freedom — we do not abandon the quest for freedom for marketshare alone.

Long Live Stallman, and Happy Hacking.

Licence: Creative Commons CC0 1.0 (public domain)

FSF is Not for Free Speech Anymore

Posted in FSF at 10:05 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Mr. Pocock was right

Free Speech is Not Bad, Software Freedom Conservancy

Summary: The FSF gave orders to silence people

Bradley M. Kuhn (largely responsible for the RMS resignation): “I have been silent the last month because, until two days ago, I was an at-large member of FSF’s Board of Directors, and a Voting Member of the FSF. As a member of FSF’s two leadership bodies, I was abiding by a reasonable request from the FSF management and my duty to the organization. Specifically, the FSF asked that all communication during the crisis come directly from FSF officers and not from at-large directors and/or Voting Members. Furthermore, the FSF management asked all Directors and Voting Members to remain silent on this entire matter — even on issues only tangentially related to the current situation, and even when speaking in our own capacity (e.g., on our own blogs like this one). The FSF is an important organization, and I take any request from the FSF seriously — so I abided fully with their request.” (no direct link, but it can be read here)

Links 16/10/2019: Plasma 5.17.0, Project Trident Moves to GNU/Linux, NuTyX 11.2

Posted in News Roundup at 8:54 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • [Project Trident] 2020 OS Migration

      After several months of examination and testing of the various operating systems that are available right now, we have reached a conclusion. Project Trident will rebasing with Void Linux.

    • Project Trident Switching From TrueOS/FreeBSD Distribution To Basing On Void Linux

      Project Trident has been one of the lesser known BSD distributions derived from TrueOS (formerly PC-BSD) and making use of the FreeBSD package set. But moving forward the distribution is looking to reinvent itself as a derivative of Void Linux.

      Project Trident had been looking at re-basing itself on a new operating system platform especially with TrueOS being less desktop focused these days and encountering “multiple long-standing issues with the underlying FreeBSD”. In the end, they announced on Monday they selected Void Linux as their new target.

    • Desktop

      • 16 Places To Buy A Linux Laptop With Linux Preloaded

        Are you looking for Linux laptops? Do you want a Linux system without having to pay a Microsoft tax? The hardest part of using Linux is to find out the correct hardware. Hardware compatibility and drivers can be a big issue. But where one can find Linux desktops or Laptop for sale? Here are sixteen places to buy a preinstalled Linux Desktop and Laptop.

    • Server

      • IBM

        • Top 10 highlights at Red Hat Summit 2019

          As we careen into Fall, we at Red Hat have had a few months to catch our breath after another fantastic Red Hat Summit. Which means… we’re busy planning for next year’s Red Hat Summit. As we get everything lined up for next year, let’s take a look back at some of the highlights from our time in Boston.

          [...]

          Every year the Red Hat Innovation Awards recognize the technological achievements of Red Hat customers around the world who demonstrate creative thinking, determined problem-solving and transformative uses of Red Hat technology.

          The 2019 winners were: BP, Deutsche Bank, Emirates NBD, HCA Healthcare and Kohl’s. In addition, HCA Healthcare was voted the 2019 Red Hat Innovator of the Year for its efforts to use data and technology to support modern healthcare. A cross-functional team of clinicians, data scientists and technology professionals at HCA Healthcare used Red Hat solutions to create a real-time predictive analytics product system to more accurately and rapidly detect sepsis, a potentially life-threatening condition.

        • Red Hat Sacks CFO Over Alleged Workplace Standards Violation

          Red Hat CFO has been shown the door in alleged workplace standards violation.

        • Red Hat Developers Eyeing CPU Thermal Management Improvements For Fedora 32

          Several Red Hat developers are looking at improving the CPU thermal management capabilities for Fedora Workstation 32 and in turn possibly helping Intel CPUs reach better performance.

          The change being sought for Fedora Workstation 32 would be shipping Intel’s thermal daemon (thermald) by default with Fedora 32 and with that carrying various hardware specific configuration data for helping CPUs reach their optimal thermal/power limits. Intel’s open-source thermal daemon can already be installed on most Linux distributions as a separate package but isn’t normally shipped by default. With Fedora Workstation 32 it could be shipped by default for its goal of trying to keep CPUs operating in the correct temperature envelop and to reach maximum performance.

        • What’s new in Red Hat Dependency Analytics

          We are excited to announce a new release of Red Hat Dependency Analytics, a solution that enables developers to create better applications by evaluating and adding high-quality open source components, directly from their IDE.

          Red Hat Dependency Analytics helps your development team avoid security and licensing issues when building your applications. It plugs into the developer’s IDE, automatically analyzes your software composition, and provides recommendations to address security holes and licensing problems that your team may be missing.

          Without further ado, let’s jump into the new capabilities offered in this release. This release includes a new version of the IDE plugin and the server-side analysis service hosted by Red Hat.

        • Awards roll call: Red Hat awards, July 2019 – October 2019

          As we head into the new season, we?d like to spread the excitement by sharing some of our latest awards and industry recognition. Since our last roundup, Red Hat has been honored with accolades highlighting our unique culture, our creative and design work and our expansive product portfolio.

    • Audiocasts/Shows

      • 2019-10-15 | Linux Headlines

        A double dose of Python, AWS credits for open source projects, a new kernel development course from the Linux Foundation, and an exciting release for KDE Plasma.

      • A Chat with Allan Jude | Jupiter Extras 22

        Brent sits down for an in-person chat with Allan Jude for a retrospective storytelling of his beginnings in BSD, his long history with podcasting, BSDNow and Jupiter Broadcasting, a beginner’s guide to the benefits of FreeBSD, with technical nuggets and nostalgic bits throughout.

        Allan Jude wears many hats including FreeBSD developer and member of the FreeBSD Core team, ZFS expert, co-founder and VP Engineering at Klara Inc., co-founder and VP Operations at ScaleEngine Inc., host of BSDNow, former host of TechSNAP among many others.

      • Podcast.__init__: Andrew’s Adventures In Coderland

        Software development is a unique profession in many ways, and it has given rise to its own subculture due to the unique sets of challenges that face developers. Andrew Smith is an author who is working on a book to share his experiences learning to program, and understand the impact that software is having on our world. In this episode he shares his thoughts on programmer culture, his experiences with Python and other language communities, and how learning to code has changed his views on the world. It was interesting getting an anthropological perspective from a relative newcomer to the world of software.

        [...]

        Software development is a unique profession in many ways, and it has given rise to its own subculture due to the unique sets of challenges that face developers. Andrew Smith is an author who is working on a book to share his experiences learning to program, and understand the impact that software is having on our world. In this episode he shares his thoughts on programmer culture, his experiences with Python and other language communities, and how learning to code has changed his views on the world. It was interesting getting an anthropological perspective from a relative newcomer to the world of software.

      • 2019-10-14 | Linux Headlines

        Perl 6 is renamed, AWS goes metal with ARM, OnionShare just got a big upgrade, and Google has a new security dongle.

      • Fedora Removes 32bit, System76 Coreboot, Flatpak, Valve, Atari VCS, Docker | This Week in Linux 84

        On this episode of This Week in Linux, we talk about Fedora Removing 32-bit, well sort of. System76’s announced two laptops using Coreboot firmware. There is some interesing news regarding Docker and its future. Then we’ll check out some Linux Gaming news with some really exciting news from Valve!

    • Kernel Space

      • Linux Kernel 5.2 Reached End of Life, Users Urged to Upgrade to Linux Kernel 5.3

        Released in early July 2019, the Linux 5.2 kernel series brought various new features and enhancements, among which we can mention an open-source firmware to support DSP audio devices, support for case-insensitive names in the EXT4 file system, a new file system mount API, better resource monitoring for Android devices, as well as new open-source GPU drivers for ARM Mali devices.

        Additionally, Linux kernel 5.2 introduced some performance improvements to the BFQ I/O scheduler, a new CPU bug infrastructure that better protects your computers against the recently disclosed Intel MDS (Microarchitectural Data Sampling) hardware vulnerabilities, and a new device mapper “dust” target for simulating devices with failing sectors and read failures.

      • Highly Threaded Linux Software Running Under CFS Quotas See Big Performance Fix

        Thanks to a Linux kernel fix that is likely to be back-ported to the various stable series, highly threaded software running under CFS quotas for enforcing CPU limits are about to be much faster. At least in a synthetic test case, the kernel fix yields a 30x improvement in performance.

        Spotted by the Kubernetes community but affecting others with highly threaded workloads and making use of a CFS quota to restricted shared CPU resources, it turns out that highly-threaded applications are routinely not getting “their fair share” of the CPU, leading to lower than expected performance and higher latency.

      • New “FUSE2″ Kernel Driver Being Experimented With For File-Systems In User-Space

        Longtime FUSE developer Miklos Szeredi of Red Hat has been working on a new “FUSE2″ FUSE kernel driver for implementing file-systems in user-space.

        FUSE2 is a completely new “File-System in User-Space” kernel driver being worked on and presented as a new FUSE2_FS Kconfig option that simply describes it as an “experimental new fuse driver” and with interface changes compared to the existing FUSE kernel driver is now exposed via /dev/fuse2.

      • Graphics Stack

        • Intel Linux Graphics Driver Adds Bits For Jasper Lake PCH

          Details are still light on Jasper Lake, but volleyed onto the public mailing list today was the initial support for the Jasper Lake PCH within the open-source Linux graphics driver side.

          The patch adds in the Jasper Lake PCH while acknowledging it’s similar to Icelake and Tigerlake behavior. The Jasper Lake PCI device ID is 0x4D80. The patch doesn’t reveal any other notable details but at least enough to note that the Jasper Lake support is on the way. Given the timing, the earliest we could see Intel Jasper Lake support out in the mainline kernel would be for Linux 5.5, which will be out as stable as the first kernel series of 2020 and in time for the likes of Ubuntu 20.04 LTS and Fedora 32.

        • Linux Graphics Drivers Could Have User-Space API Changes More Strictly Evaluated

          In response to both the AMD Radeon and Intel graphics drivers adding new user-space APIs for user-space code that just gets “[thrown] over the wall instead of being open source developed projects” and the increase of Android drivers introducing their own UAPI headaches, Airlie is looking at enforcing more review/oversight when DRM drivers want to make user-space API changes.

          The goal ultimately is to hopefully yield more cross-driver UAPI discussions and in turn avoiding duplicated efforts, ensuring good development implementations prior to upstreaming, and better quality with more developers reviewing said changes.

        • xf86-video-ati 19.1 Released With Crash & Hang Fixes

          For those making use of xf86-video-ati on X.Org-enabled Linux desktops, the version 19.1 release brings just a handful of new fixes. This release was announced today by Michel Dänzer who last month departed AMD to now work on Red Hat’s graphics team. Michel is sticking around the Mesa/X.Org world for Red Hat’s duties but is hoping someone else will be picking up maintenance of the xf86-video-ati/xf86-video-amdgpu DDX drivers going forward. Granted, not a lot of activity happens to these X.Org DDX drivers these days considering more Linux desktops slowly moving over to Wayland, many X11 desktops using the generic xf86-video-modesetting, and these AMD drivers being fairly basic now with all of the big changes in the AMDGPU DRM kernel driver.

    • Benchmarks

      • Windows 10 vs. Linux OpenGL/Vulkan Driver Performance With Intel Icelake Iris Plus Graphics

        With picking up the Dell XPS 7390 with Intel Core i7-1065G7 for being able to deliver timely benchmarks from Intel’s long-awaited 10nm+ Icelake generation, one of the first areas we have been testing is the Iris Plus “Gen 11″ graphics performance. In this article are our initial Windows 10 vs. Linux graphics performance numbers for Ice Lake.

        For this very first Intel Iris Plus Gen11 graphics testing are results from Windows 10 compared to Ubuntu 19.10. Ubuntu Linux was benchmarked with its stock driver stack comprised of Mesa 19.2.1 as well as opting for the “Iris” Gallium3D driver and also testing Mesa 19.3-devel both with the default i965 OpenGL driver and the Iris Gallium3D driver. Of course, for the Vulkan tests on Linux is their sole “ANV” Vulkan driver.

        The Dell XPS 7390 was equipped with the Intel Core i7-1065G7 Ice Lake processor and its Iris Plus Graphics, 2 x 8GB LPDDR4 3733MHz memory, 500GB Toshiba NVMe solid-state drive, and 1920×1200 panel.

    • Applications

      • Rudimentary KBibTeX client using Kirigami2

        KBibTeX is a bibliography editor (BibTeX and somewhat BibLaTex) used in conjunction with LaTeX and friends. Based on this code base, a SailfishOS client called ‘BibSearch’ exists which allows to search for bibliographic data in various online sources (IEEE Xplore, Google Scholar, ACM Digital Library, …). BibSearch’s code makes use of KBibTeX’s C++ code, has its user interface implemented in SailfishOS’s Silica QML, and provides just two C++ files on its own to glue together everything.

      • Unoon, a tool to monitor network connections from my system

        I always wanted to have a tool to monitor the network connections from my laptop/desktop. I wanted to have alerts for random processes making network connections, and a way to block those (if I want to).

        Such a tool can provide peace of mind in a few cases. A reverse shell is one the big one, just in case if I manage to open any random malware (read downloads) on my regular Linux system, I want to be notified about the connections it will make. The same goes for trying out any new application. I prefer to use Qubes OS based VMs testing random binaries and applications, and it is also my daily driver. But, the search for a proper tool continued for some time.

        [...]

        A few weeks back, on a Sunday late night, I was demoing the very initial version of the tool to Saptak. While we were talking about the tool, suddenly, an entry popped up in the UI /usr/bin/ssh, to a random host. A little bit of search showed that the IP belongs to an EC2 instance. For the next 40 minutes, we both were trying to debug to find out what happened and if the system was already compromised or not. Luckily I was talking about something else before, and to demo something (we totally forgot that topic), I was running Wireshark on the system. From there, we figured that the IP belongs to github.com. It took some more time to figure out that one of my VS Code extension was updating the git, and was using ssh. This is when I understood that I need to show the real domain names on the UI than random IP addresses.

      • NordPy: An Open-Source Linux Client for NordVPN

        NordVPN is a personal VPN software with the main focus on protecting user privacy and granting them access to regionally restricted content. It features a strong encryption protocol with a no-log policy and works with north of 5700 servers in at least 60 countries. It is available for Linux, Windows, macOS, AndroidTV, Android, iOS and NAS platforms. It can also be manually set up on WiFi routers.

        NordVPN is one of the most recommended VPN services and while it continues to receive positive reviews from customers, developers are beginning to dedicate some time to it and this is how NordPy has come to be.

        NordPy is an open-source GUI client for Linux users who like NordVPN and it inherits all the features in the official NordVPN applications. Its feature list includes connection to OpenVPN or NetworkManager-OpenVPN via TCP and UDP, no DNS leak when using OpenVPN,

      • 7 Linux Applications You Should Start Using Right Now

        Linux used to be the go-to operating system among the tech-savvy crowd. Because back in the day, it was a lot more demanding to use. Now Linux has modern, user-friendly distributions such as Ubuntu and Mint. The application repository they have in common has matured too. Customizing it to your heart’s desire is now easier than ever before. And this should be the end goal — to mold the OS into a tool that’s custom-tailored to your needs. So if you haven’t already, consider installing the following types of applications.

      • Proprietary

        • Compromised AWS API Key Allowed Access to Imperva Customer Data

          Imperva has shared more information on how [attackers] managed to obtain information on Cloud Web Application Firewall (WAF) customers, and revealed that the incident involved a compromised administrative API key.

        • Oil Refiner Reports Major IT Incident in Finland

          It’s not yet clear whether the cause is a malfunction or a cyber attack, according to spokeswoman Susanna Sieppi. The issue is under investigation, and it’s too early to estimate when the systems will be fixed, she said by phone.

    • Instructionals/Technical

    • Games

      • 2D using Godot

        This brings me to the GUI parts. I’m still not convinced that I understand how to properly layout stuff using Godot, but at least it looks ok now – at the cost of some fixed element sizes and such. I need to spend some more time to really understand how the anchoring and stretching really works. I guess I have a hard time wrapping my head around it as the approach is different from what I’m used to from Qt.

        Looking at the rest of the code, I’ve tried to make all the other scenes (in Godot, everything is a scene) like independent elements. For instance, the card scene has a face, and an is_flipped state. It can also signal when it is being flipped and clicked. Notice that the click results in a signal that goes to the table scene, which decides if the card needs to be flipped or not.

        The same goes for the GUI parts. They simple signal what was clicked and the table scene reacts. There are some variables too, e.g. the number of pairs setting in the main menu, and the points in the views where that is visible.

      • City building god sim ‘The Universim’ will now let you launch rockets with satellites into orbit

        The Universim is slowly turning into a city building god game truly worth playing, with the Sky High update now available expanding the game into planetary orbit.

        Being able to actually launch things into space is a stepping stone towards visiting other planets. Currently, the Cosmodrome will allow you to send up Defence Satellites that will enable ground to air defences for your Defence Towers. So now you have a reasonable chance to take down meteors and other threats from space.

      • POSTAL 4: No Regerts released into Early Access, Linux version likely in future

        Running With Scissors are back, with a surprise release of POSTAL 4: No Regerts on Steam and a Linux version is looking likely in future.

        Naturally, someone posted on Steam to ask about the possibility of Linux support. This is something that happens a lot but here it’s a bit different. RWS already supported Linux with multiple previous Postal releases.

      • PlayStation 3 emulator RPCS3 is coming along quickly with their August progress report up

        Delayed as usual due to the progress reports being done by contributors, the team working on the PlayStation 3 emulator RPCS3 have another post up to show off more incredible progress.

        To start with, they have again changed how they list what games are playable and not with the removal of games that won’t work due to servers being shut down. They said even if RPCS3 becomes 100% complete, they wouldn’t work unless someone accurately emulated and hosted servers for them. With that in mind, they also did a lot of testing of games that previously only went in-game to see how many are now properly playable. Thanks to all the testing, the Playable category has jumped up to 1,426 titles!

      • Feral Interactive Launches ‘Shadow Of The Tomb Raider’ Plus All DLC On Linux November 5

        Lara Croft’s latest sprawling adventure is finally landing on Linux next month, courtesy of the porting masters at Feral Interactive. Shadow of the Tomb Raider: Definitive Edition marks the conclusion of the rebooted Tomb Raider trilogy, and it will feel fantastic to see the entire series natively playable on our favorite OS.

      • Shadow of the Tomb Raider Arrives for Linux and macOS on November 5th

        UK-based video games publisher Feral Interactive announced today that the Shadow of the Tomb Raider video game will arrive for Linux and macOS platforms on November 5th, 2019.

        Developed by Crystal Dynamics and Eidos-Montréal, Shadow of the Tomb Raider was launched on September 14, 2018, as the last instalment in the spectacular and thrilling action-adventure puzzle game Tomb Raider origins trilogy. It’s also the twelfth title in the Tomb Raider series featuring the famous character Lara Croft. In this game, players will adventure into a Maya apocalypse world where they need shape Lara’s destiny to become the Tomb Raider.

      • Shadow of the Tomb Raider Coming To Linux On 5 November

        Feral Interactive revealed today that Shadow of the Tomb Raider will be released for Linux on 5 November.

        While Shadow of the Tomb Raider already works quite well under Steam Play, Feral Interactive has been porting Shadow of the Tomb Raider Definitive Edition over to macOS and Linux. They now revealed 5 November is the launch date for this AAA game.

        The Linux system requirements have yet to be revealed but it is another Vulkan exclusive Linux game port.

      • Shadow of the Tomb Raider Definitive Edition arrives on Linux on November 5th

        Feral Interactive have finally confirmed the Linux release date for Shadow of the Tomb Raider after announcing it for Linux back in November last year.

        They’ve said today it will officially release as “Shadow of the Tomb Raider Definitive Edition” on November 5th! Looking around at dates, technically this is the earliest we’ve seen any of the newer Tomb Raider series arrive on Linux. The first Tomb Raider came to Linux in 2016 after an original 2013 release, with Rise of the Tomb Raider arriving on Linux 2018 after an original 2016 release and we get the final game in the reboot trilogy next month!

      • The Internet Archive website has added another 2,500 MS-DOS games

        Another point scored for game preservation. The Internet Archive have added another 2,500 MS-DOS games you can play right in your browser.

        In their official announcement, they said that while they’ve added a few more to their collection here and there this is the biggest yet and it ranges from “tiny recent independent productions to long-forgotten big-name releases from decades ago”.

      • 2,500 More MS-DOS Games Playable at the Archive

        Another few thousand DOS Games are playable at the Internet Archive! Since our initial announcement in 2015, we’ve added occasional new games here and there to the collection, but this will be our biggest update yet, ranging from tiny recent independent productions to long-forgotten big-name releases from decades ago.

      • Vulkan support is not far away now for the flight sim X-Plane 11, physics & flight model updates coming

        X-Plane 11, the detailed flight simulator is finally closing in on an update that will bring in Vulkan support as detailed in a new developer blog post.

      • Google have confirmed the Stadia launch date is November 19

        Stadia, Google’s new fancy Linux-powered game streaming service is officially set to launch on November 19, that is if you forked out for the expensive Stadia Founder’s Edition.

        In the blog post over on Google, written by John Justice the “Vice President of Product, Stadia”, they mention that the Founder’s Edition should start arriving on doorsteps on November 19. From then, you will be able to buy and play games beginning at 4PM UTC and it will work across devices right away (so you don’t need to use that fancy Chromecast Ultra). As long as your Linux PC has a Chrome browser installed, it should work fine.

        However, there’s an important note included to say that they will be shipped out “in the same order that pre-orders were received”. So if your country still had them available yesterday and you ordered, you’re probably in for a wait. Justice said once your package ships, you will then get an email and sometime shortly after a code to activate it all.

      • Godlike village sim ‘Rise to Ruins’ has officially left Early Access with a huge upgrade

        Rise to Ruins (formerly Retro-Pixel Castles) is a great blend of genres, pulling in inspiration from the likes of Black and White, Rimworld, and Dwarf Fortress to make something entirely unique.

        After being in Early Access for nearly five years, this is a huge milestone for Raymond Doerr of SixtyGig Games. It’s another title I’ve followed along closely all these years, after personally purchasing it back in 2015 and it’s really delightful to play. The Linux support has been in good shape for a long time too, no noteworthy issues.

      • Stranger Things have entered Rocket League for the Haunted Hallows event

        As a big fan of both Stranger Things (the TV series) and Rocket League, I approve of the little crossover they’re currently doing for the new Halloween event the Haunted Hallows.

        Running from now until November 11 at 6PM UTC, the Farmstead Arena has been given a bit of a makeover to be a bit more spooky. Complete with a freaky creature called the Mind Flayer watching over the arena. During the event you can once again earn Candy Corn to redeem for new themed in-game items. I’m quite a big fan of the animated spider decal, looks awesome.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • Plasma 5.17.0

          Plasma 5.17 is the version where the desktop anticipates your needs. Night Color, the color-grading system that relaxes your eyes when the sun sets, has landed for X11. Your Plasma desktop also recognizes when you are giving a presentation, and stops messages popping up in the middle of your slideshow. If you are using Wayland, Plasma now comes with fractional scaling, which means that you can adjust the size of all your desktop elements, windows, fonts and panels perfectly to your HiDPI monitor.

          The best part? All these improvements do not tax your hardware! Plasma 5.17 is as lightweight and thrifty with resources as ever.

        • Plasma 5.17 is out!

          Plasma 5.17 is the version where the desktop anticipates your needs. Among many new features and improvements, your desktop now starts up faster; Night Color, the color-grading system that relaxes your eyes when the sun sets, has landed for X11; your Plasma desktop recognizes when you are giving a presentation, and stops messages popping up in the middle of your slideshows; and, if you are using Wayland, Plasma now comes with fractional scaling, which means that you can adjust the size of all your desktop elements, windows, fonts and panels perfectly to your HiDPI monitor.

        • KDE Plasma 5.17 Desktop Environment Officially Released, Here’s What’s New

          KDE Plasma 5.17 brings numerous new features and enhancements, such as Night Color support on X11, multi-screen and HiDPI improvements, fractional scaling on Wayland, support for managing and configuring Thunderbolt devices in System Settings, much-improved notifications with automatic detection of presentations, as well as Breeze GTK theme support for Google Chrome and Chromium web browsers.

        • KDE Plasma 5.17 Released With Wayland Improvements, Better HiDPI

          Plasma 5.17.0 is out as the newest desktop feature release from the KDE project.

          KDE Plasma 5.17 is another significant release with ongoing improvements for Wayland, ongoing work as well for better HiDPI handling, faster start-up performance, slight RGB hinting for font rendering is enabled by default, better Thunderbolt device integration, settings improvements, and many small feature additions.

          Notable on the Wayland front is that KWin now supports fractional scaling but there are also many fixes and other Wayland improvements too.

        • KDE Plasma 5.17 Arrives Packed Full of New Features

          Well, Plasma 5.17 boasts a native “night light” feature (dubbed ‘night color’) to help protect eye from blue light.

          This feature, which was previously available in Wayland but now supported in X11 sessions, is something all major desktop operating systems offer, including Ubuntu, macOS and Windows 10.

        • KDE Plasma 5.17 released

          The KDE project has announced the release of version 5.17 of the Plasma desktop environment.

        • [Qt Quick] Very Hot New Stuff

          K’, Hot off the presses, here’s some New Stuff for you, with the Quickness! …terribly sorry about that, i shall endeavour to do better. Let’s try that again.

          As of KDE Frameworks 5.63, released on 2019/10/12, we officially introduce the fruits of my labour over the last few months, the shiny, new Qt Quick components, which were created to bring the Qt Quick submodule of KNewStuff up to par with the old QWidget based UX. Not only that, they also bring with them some shiny, new abilities in KNewStuff, which previously did not have any concept of comments outside of the very basic information of how many a content item had (which, incidentally, was also incorrect, and had been since, well… since that code was written about a decade ago – guess nobody noticed, because the information is a bit useless on its own).

          [...]

          Also don’t hesitate to mention, when you discover it, the various holes in the documentation that undoubtedly are there, so that we might get those fixed. Even better yet, we are very happy to take patches over on Phabricator, both code and documentation ones. One thing that i know is missing is a porting guide, to help people transition from the old QWidgets based stuff to the Qt Quick components for people who have got applications they’re looking to port or are already porting.

      • GNOME Desktop/GTK

        • How GNOME uses Git

          “What’s your GitLab?” is one of the first questions I was asked on my first day working for the GNOME Foundation—the nonprofit that supports GNOME projects, including the desktop environment, GTK, and GStreamer. The person was referring to my username on GNOME’s GitLab instance. In my time with GNOME, I’ve been asked for my GitLab a lot.

          We use GitLab for basically everything. In a typical day, I get several issues and reference bug reports, and I occasionally need to modify a file. I don’t do this in the capacity of being a developer or a sysadmin. I’m involved with the Engagement and Inclusion & Diversity (I&D) teams. I write newsletters for Friends of GNOME and interview contributors to the project. I work on sponsorships for GNOME events. I don’t write code, and I use GitLab every day.

    • Distributions

      • New Releases

        • NuTyX 11.2 Available

          I’m very pleased to announce the new NuTyX 11.2 release.

          The 64-bit version contains more than 2800 packages upgraded.

          The 32-bit version of NuTyX, still actively supported contains more then 1800 packages upgraded.

          In the newest release, base NuTyX comes with the Long-Term Support (LTS) kernel 4.19.79 (4.9.196 for the 32-bit version).

          For 64-bit systems,the kernel release 5.3.6 is also available.

          The gnu compiler collection, gcc, is now gcc 9.2.0.

          The graphical server is xorg-server 1.20.5.

          The mesa lib is 19.2.1, gtk3 is 3.24.12, and qt has been updated to 5.13.1.

          Python interpreters 3.7.4 and 2.7.16 have been included in this release.

          The MATE Desktop Environment comes in 1.22.2, the latest version.

      • Screenshots/Screencasts

      • SUSE/OpenSUSE

        • The OpenStack Train keeps chugging on

          SUSE, formerly a Platinum member of the OpenStack Foundation, may have left the open-source, Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) OpenStack cloud, but the project is going to move forward with the forthcoming 20th release of OpenStack: Train.

          That’s because while SUSE may no longer find OpenStack profitable, others are finding it works well for them and for their customers. “OpenStack is the market’s leading choice of open-source infrastructure for containers, VMs and bare metal in private cloud,” said Mark Collier, COO of the OpenStack Foundation in a statement.

        • KDE neon 5.17

          KDE neon 5.17 is out. You can upgrade your existing KDE neon User Edition install or install fresh from an ISO image or run the Docker image. Featuring Plasma 5.17 it is packed full of new features according to OMG Ubuntu.

        • openSUSE OBS Can Now Build Windows WSL Images

          As Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL) is becoming a critical piece of Microsoft’s cloud and data-center audience, openSUSE is working on technologies that help developers use distributions of their choice for WSL. Users can run the same WSL distribution that they run in the cloud or on their servers.

          The core piece of openSUSE’s WSL offering is the WSL appx files, which are basically zip files that contain a tarball of a Linux system (like a container) and a Windows exe file, the so called launcher.

      • Slackware Family

        • KDE Plasma 5 – Slackware October release

          I had already finished compiling KDE-5_19.10 and was waiting for the Plasma 5.17 public release announcement, when Pat upgraded libdvdread in slackware-current. That could mean trouble because of the dreaded ‘Shared library .so-version bump‘ message.
          But he added the older libdvdread.so.4 library to aaa_elflibs so that the k3b program in Plasma5 does not break, and hopefully it remains in there until after I recompile k3b (which ultimately happens for the Plasma5 November release).

          Unfortunately the earlier update of the ‘icu4c’ package broke some other stuff in Plasma5 as well. Be sure to install my ‘icu4c-compat‘ package, which contains the libraries from several older icu4c packages. Read my older article on ‘shared library .so version bumps‘ if you have not already done so, to understand the causes for this breakage.

          The packages for KDE-5_19.10 are available for download from my ‘ktown‘ repository. As always, these packages are meant to be installed on a full installation of Slackware-current which has had its KDE4 removed first. These packages will not work on Slackware 14.2.

      • Debian Family

        • State of Calibre in Debian

          To counter some recent FUD spread about Calibre in general and Calibre in Debian in particular, here a concise explanation of the current state.

          Many might have read my previous post on Calibre as a moratorium, but that was not my intention. Development of Calibre in Debian is continuing, despite the current stall.

          Since it seems to be unclear what the current blockers are, there are two orthogonal problems regarding recent Calibre in Debian: One is the update to version 4 and the switch to qtwebengine, one is the purge of Python 2 from Debian.

        • What to expect in Debian 11 Bullseye for nftables/iptables

          Debian 11 codename Bullseye is already in the works. Is interesting to make decision early in the development cycle to give people time to accommodate and integrate accordingly, and this post brings you the latest update on the plans for Netfilter software in Debian 11 Bullseye. Mind that Bullseye is expected to be released somewhere in 2021, so still plenty of time ahead.

          The situation with the release of Debian 10 Buster is that iptables was using by default the -nft backend and one must explicitly select -legacy in the alternatives system in case of any problem. That was intended to help people migrate from iptables to nftables. Now the question is what to do next.

        • Debian 11 To Further Deprecate IPTables In Favor Of Nftables Plus Promoting Firewalld

          With Debian 11 “Bullseye” the plan is to drop the “important” priority on the iptables package while promoting nftables to important. That change of priority effectively makes NFTables set to be installed by default for Debian 11 while dropping IPTables from the default package set. IPTables though is still expected to be found within the Debian 11 archive but not installed by default.

        • Debian XMPP Team: New Dino in Debian

          Dino (dino-im in Debian), the modern and beautiful chat client for the desktop, has some nice, new features.

          [...]

          Note, that users of Dino on Debian 10 (buster) should upgrade to version 0.0.git20181129-1+deb10u1, because of a number of security issues, that have been found (CVE-2019-16235, CVE-2019-16236, CVE-2019-16237).

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

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

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • Ubuntu 19.10 (Eoan Ermine) Enters Final Freeze Ahead of October 17th Release

          As of October 10th, the Ubuntu 19.10 release is officially in Final Freeze, the last step of its development stage, which means that only release critical bugs affecting the ISO images or the installers will be accepted in the archives. Release Candidate images are also now available for testing to ensure an uneventful and smooth release.

          “We will shut down cronjobs and spin some RC images late Friday or early Saturday once the archive and proposed-migration have settled a bit, and we expect everyone with a vested interest in a flavour (or two) and a few spare hours here and there to get to testing to make sure we have another uneventful release next week,” said Adam Conrad.

        • Design and Web team summary – 11 October 2019

          This was a fairly busy two weeks for the Web & design team at Canonical. This cycle we had two sprints. The first was a web performance workshop run by the amazing Harry Roberts. It was a whirlwind two days where we learned a lot about networking, browsers, font loading and more. We also spent a day working on implementing a lot of the changes. Hopefully our sites will feel a bit faster. More updates will be coming over the next few months. The second sprint was for the Brand and Web team, where we looked at where the Canonical and Ubuntu brands need to evolve. Here are some of the highlights of our completed work.

        • Ubuntu’s ZFS Trajectory Is Going From Exciting To Even More Exciting

          While it is already exciting to have the Ubuntu 19.10 desktop easily support installations to a root ZFS file-system, moving ahead with their original Zsys effort it should be even more exciting for Ubuntu storage possibilities on both the desktop and server.

          With Ubuntu 19.10 due for release on Thursday and the ZFS support now plumbed through Ubiquity and ready for the release, Canonical’s Didier Roche wrote about this Ubuntu 19.10 ZFS support.

        • Ubuntu ZFS support in 19.10: ZFS on root

          This is part 2 of our blog post series on our current and future work around ZFS on root support in ubuntu. If you didn’t yet read the introductory post, I strongly recommend you to do this first!

          Here we are going to discuss what landed by default ubuntu 19.10.

        • Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter Issue 600

          Welcome to the Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter, Issue 600 for the week of October 6 – 12, 2019.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • Daniel Stenberg: Me, curl and Dagens Nyheter

        In the afternoon of October 1st 2019, I had the pleasure of welcoming Linus Larsson and Jonas Lindkvist into my home in Huddinge, south of Stockholm, Sweden. My home is also my office as I work full-time from home. These two fine gentlemen work for Sweden’s largest morning newspaper, Dagens Nyheter, which boasts 850,000 daily readers.

        Jonas took what felt like a hundred photos of me, most of them when I sit in my office chair at my regular desk where my primary development computers and environment are. As you can see in the two photos on this blog post. I will admit that I did minimize most of my regular Windows from the screens to that I would accidentally reveal something personal or sensitive, but the plus side is that if you pay close attention you can see my Simon Stålenhag desktop backgrounds better!

        Me and Linus then sat down and talked. We talked about my background, how curl was created and how it has “taken off” to an extent I of course could never even dream about. Today, I estimate that curl runs in perhaps ten billion installations. A truly mind boggling – and humbling – number.

      • Events

        • Akademy 2019 Talks Videos

          We now have the Akademy 2019 videos ready for you to enjoy, see the previous summary of talks on the dot for some inspiration on what to watch. The talk schedule has the full list

          We had keynotes on Developers Italia and the New Guidelines: Let the Open Source Revolution Start! by Leonardo Favario and Towards Qt 6 by Lars Knoll

          We also got updates on KDE Community’s goals

        • Gnome-shell Hackfest 2019 – Day 1

          There’s a decent number of attendants from multiple parties (Red Hat, Canonical, Endless, Purism, …). We all brought various items and future plans for discussion, and have a number of merge requests in various states to go through. Some exciting keywords are Graphene, YUV, mixed DPI, Xwayland-on-demand, …

          But that is not all! Our finest designers also got together here, and I overheard they are discussing usability of the lock screen between other topics.

          [...]

          This event wouldn’t have been possible without the Revspace hackerspace people and specially our host Hans de Goede. They kindly provided the venue and necessary material, I am deeply thankful for that.

        • LibreOffice Conference 2019: Meet the Engineering Steering Committee

          Who makes the big technical decisions in the LibreOffice project? In this video from our recent LibreOffice Conference in Spain, the Engineering Steering Committee (ESC) introduces itself and provides an update on the latest updates…

        • Hello from Nutanix .NEXT Copenhagen

          Nutanix is, of course, a fast growing software company that works with many of the same Independent Hardware Vendors (IHVs) as SUSE to deliver solutions in the Hyperconverged Infrastructure (HCI) space. Nutanix pioneered the HCI market and they position themselves as a key element to making it easier than ever before to design, build, and manage datacenter IT. They were originally a single source for turnkey HCI infrastructure, leveraging a close partnership with SuperMicro. They’ve since branched out become more hardware agnostic, supporting a variety of specialized HCI hardware from other vendors, including IBM, Lenovo, Dell, HPE, and Fujitsu.

        • GStreamer Conference 2019: Full Schedule, Talks Abstracts and Speakers Biographies now available

          The GStreamer Conference team is pleased to announce that the full conference schedule including talk abstracts and speaker biographies is now available for this year’s lineup of talks and speakers, covering again an exciting range of topics!

          The GStreamer Conference 2019 will take place on 31 October – 1 November 2019 in Lyon, France just after the Embedded Linux Conference Europe (ELCE).

        • openSUSE.Asia Summit 2019, Bali, Indonesia

          I was at openSUSE.Asia summit 5-6 Oct 2019 at Udayana University, Bali, Indonesia . It was a great experience to be there. I got the opportunity to meet Douglas DeMaio openSUSE project Manager, Dr. Gerald Pfeifer, Chairman openSUSE. It was really great to meet Neil McGovern and Rosanna Yuen, from GNOME Foundation. Rosanna shared GNOME stickers that I will share with my students back in India. I would like to congratulate openSUSE.Asia summit local organizing team. They had really done a great job. It was a nice combination of quality talks and keynotes. I also presented my proposal at the conference for openSUSE.Asia 2020 to happen in India next year. It is been more than six year that I am an open source practitioner and promoter. It has been memorable Journey till date..

        • Join Us at the Open Source Summit Europe

          The Open Source Summit Europe, a premier open source events hosted by The Linux Foundation, will take place October 28-30 in Lyon, France at the Lyon Convention Centre. It is the leading conference for developers, architects, and other technologists – as well as open source community and industry leaders – to collaborate, share information, learn about the latest technologies and gain a competitive advantage by using innovative open solutions. Over 2,000 attendees are expected to gather for Open Source Summit Europe this year.

        • Join SUSE, AWS, SAP and Lemongrass in Sydney for a half-day workshop
        • Grace Hopper Conference 2019

          We are so excited about what just happened that we felt we should tell everyone about it!

          A group of 24 of us at Canonical from various teams including sales, HR and engineering, attended the Grace Hopper Celebration in Orlando, Florida. This year, it was an epic gathering of more than 26,000 people from all over the globe interested in tech. Despite its start as women’s work, the tech industry has gained a reputation of being dominated by and mostly suited for men. In reality, this only made the Grace Hopper conference feel more impactful, especially knowing that in its very first edition in 1994, only 500 women were present at the event. The Grace Hopper Conference was an awesome celebration of women; diverse, multi-talented, and deeply skilled!

          Both women and men, mostly students, interested in everything from security to machine learning came by the Canonical booth to hear about Ubuntu. We brought along an Orange box so we could demo MaaS, Openstack, and other incredible technologies happening on Ubuntu at Canonical.

        • Ubucon Europe 2019 | Sintra edition [Ed: Not English, but lots of photos here]
      • Web Browsers

        • Mozilla

          • Karl Dubost: This is not a remote work

            I have started working in a distributed environment very early. In 1994, when I was studying for my DEA in Astrophysics and Spatial Techniques, I was also doing my national service (mandatory at the time) at Observatoir de Meudon in France. The work included working with people and data across the world. Probably my first experience of having to deal with alocalized, asynchronous tasks.

            But my skills of really working in a distributed environment was when I landed a job at W3C from 2000 to 2008. There is a specific culture at W3C which is first class in terms of working in a distributed fashion. This is essential. I worked both from offices and from home (or cafes or airports). Location didn’t matter that much. I had years where I worked only in offices, and years working exclusively not from an office. I insist on saying “not from an office” compared “from home”.

            Then I worked for Opera Software from 2010 to 2013, again not in an office. And the same for Mozilla from 2013.

            W3C is still the place which fares the best in terms of working in a distributed, alocalized fashion. At Mozilla, for example, too many people relies on slack discussions, closed google documents or private email threads for working. This should not happen.

          • Firefox’s New WebSocket Inspector

            The Firefox DevTools team and our contributors were hard at work over the summer, getting Firefox 70 jam-packed with improvements. We are especially excited about our new WebSocket inspection feature, because you told us in feedback how important it would be for your daily work.

            To use the inspector now, download Firefox Developer Edition, open DevTools’ Network panel to find the Messages tab. Then, keep reading to learn more about WebSockets and the tricks that the new panel has up its sleeve.

            But first, big thanks to Heng Yeow Tan, the Google Summer of Code (GSoC) student who’s responsible for the implementation.

          • has google won the browser wars? – should Mozilla build their own SmartPhones?

            on the desktop: one refuses to believe it.

            on mobile: should Mozilla start building their own SmartPhone and ship Firefox.apk per default?

          • Why you should review your credit report after a data breach

            When significant data breaches happen where high risk data is at stake, there’s often a lot of talk about credit reports. Some companies that have been hacked may even be required to provide credit monitoring to their customers as part of their breach notification requirements. Whether the breached company provides credit monitoring or not, security experts recommend you check your credit reports for suspicious activity. To protect your identity, they also recommend you freeze your credit. Here’s what that means and why it’s important.

          • Search Engine add-ons to be removed from addons.mozilla.org

            For the last eleven years, Firefox Search Engine add-ons have been powered by OpenSearch. With the recent implementation of the search overrides API, a WebExtensions API that offers users more controls for opting into changes, Mozilla intends to deprecate OpenSearch and eventually remove it from Firefox. Search Engine add-ons will be removed from AMO on December 5, 2019.

          • Improved Security and Privacy Indicators in Firefox 70

            The upcoming Firefox 70 release will update the security and privacy indicators in the URL bar.

            In recent years we have seen a great increase in the number of websites that are delivered securely via HTTPS. At the same time, privacy threats have become more prevalent on the web and Firefox has shipped new technologies to protect our users against tracking.

            To better reflect this new environment, the updated UI takes a step towards treating secure HTTPS as the default method of transport for websites, instead of a way to identify website security. It also puts greater emphasis on user privacy.

      • SaaS/Back End/Databases

        • Dodging derailment by SUSE, OpenStack Train is scheduled to arrive this week

          With its OpenInfrastructure summit mere weeks away, the OpenStack gang is emitting its next release in the form of “Train” with a focus on data protection and machine learning.

          The release comes after foundation platinum member SUSE threw in the towel over OpenStack Cloud in order to move on to a bright, Kubernetes-based future.

          Not that the “S” word was mentioned, even in a waveringly high-pitched tone, as OpenStack readied Train ahead of a release expected on 16 October.

          As is the norm, OpenStack was keen to shout about the more than 25,500 accepted code changes this time around, from 1,125 developers over 150 organisations. A glance at the content of the release shows that OpenStack is as bewilderingly vast as ever, although a number of tweaks merit closer attention.

        • PostgreSQL 12 boosts open source database performance

          Performance gains are among the key highlights of the latest update of the open source PostgreSQL 12 database.

          PostgreSQL 12 became generally available Oct. 3, providing users of the widely deployed database with multiple enhanced capabilities including SQL JSON query support and improved authentication and administration options. The PostgreSQL 12 update will potentially affect a wide range of use cases in which the database is deployed, according to Noel Yuhanna, an analyst at Forrester Research.

          “Organizations are using PostgreSQL to support all kinds of workloads and use cases, which is pushing the needs for better performance, improved security, easier access to unstructured data and simplified deployments,” Yuhanna said. “To address this, PostreSQL12 improves performance by improving its indexing that requires less space and has better optimization to deliver faster access.”

      • Productivity Software/LibreOffice/Calligra

        • Coming up on October 21: First Bug Hunting Session for LibreOffice 6.4!

          LibreOffice 6.4 is being developed by our worldwide community, and is due to be released in early February 2020 – see the release notes describing the new features here. Of course, we’re still early in the development cycle, so many more features are still to come!

          In order to find, report and triage bugs, the LibreOffice QA team is organizing the first Bug Hunting Session for LibreOffice 6.4 on Monday October 21, 2019. Tests will be performed on the first Alpha version, which will be available on the pre-releases server a few days before the event. Builds will be available for Linux (DEB and RPM), macOS and Windows, and can be installed and run in parallel along with the production version.

          Mentors will be available from 07:00 UTC to 19:00 UTC for questions or help in the IRC channel #libreoffice-qa and the Telegram QA Channel. Of course, hunting bugs will be possible also on other days, as the builds of this particular Alpha release (LibreOffice 6.4.0 Alpha 1) will be available until mid November. Check the Release Plan.

        • Microsoft Office for free? Try these great alternatives

          Libre Office has been around in its current form since 2010 when it split from Free Office and has never failed to impress. Stemming from The Document Foundation, Libre Office is free and open-source software meaning it is worked on by a global community of collaborating developers.

          With Libre Office, you’ll find comparable programs to Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel, Microsoft PowerPoint, and more. You’ll also be able to run Libre Office on Microsoft Windows devices as well as Apple devices running Mac OS. Libre Office works on Linux machines too. There is also a Libre Office app for viewing your PDF files on Android devices and a plethora of add-ons to play around with too.

      • CMS

        • Responsible Participation In Online Communities

          In our first article in this series, we highlighted the WordPress mission to democratize publishing. WordPress introduced a tool to independent and small publishers who did not have the resources of the larger publishing platforms. Access to a free content management system to create websites has empowered thousands of people to find their voice online. People have been able to share their enthusiasm for hobbies, causes, products and much more. Through these different voices, we can encourage understanding, spark creativity, and create environments where collaboration can happen. But as we build more digital communities, it’s easy to forget that online safety is a group effort.

        • WordPress 5.3 Release Candidate

          The first release candidate for WordPress 5.3 is now available!

          This is an important milestone as we progress toward the WordPress 5.3 release date. “Release Candidate” means that the new version is ready for release, but with millions of users and thousands of plugins and themes, it’s possible something was missed. WordPress 5.3 is currently scheduled to be released on November 12, 2019, but we need your help to get there—if you haven’t tried 5.3 yet, now is the time!

        • Top 20 Best NodeJS CMS Platforms To Use in 2019

          NodeJs has been a popular web framework. It has been used to develop highly scalable web applications. A statistic shows that more than 1.5 Lakh websites are using NodeJs on a regular basis. And the number is increasing proportionally. When it comes to Content Management System (CMS), many NodeJs frameworks have been leading the way to a consistent digital content platform. For years now, NodeJs has been used to create some powerful CMS architectures. If you look closely, you will find some useful NodeJs CMS structures that you have been looking for your projects.

      • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

        • Meet the Villupuram group of engineers educating students about free and open software

          small group of software engineers are changing the face of computer education in Tamil Nadu’s Villupuram, empowering students from working class families by giving them a strong foundation in software programming. The Villupuram GNU/Linux Users Group (GLUG) is a not-for-profit initiative by a group of software professionals and students who believe in software freedom.

          Stared in 2013 by a group of six software engineers, the Villupuram chapter of GLUG was formed as part of a global social movement aimed at educating people about free software.

          Vijisulochana (Viji), the group’s current representative, tells TNM that the Villupuram GLUG is focused on training interested students so as to make them technically strong.

          “Students can always get trained in software training centres, but those centres may not be best equipped to teach them all the latest software developments. We also choose a handful of deserving students based out of Villupuram for whom travelling to Chennai or to other centres in town may not be financially viable. Here, we do it for free,” she says. Their weekly sessions are attended by hundreds of students.

        • Installing Gerrit and Keycloak for GDB

          Back in September, we had the GNU Tools Cauldron in the gorgeous city of Montréal (perhaps I should write a post specifically about it…). One of the sessions we had was the GDB BoF, where we discussed, among other things, how to improve our patch review system.

          I have my own personal opinions about the current review system we use (mailing list-based, in a nutshell), and I haven’t felt very confident to express it during the discussion. Anyway, the outcome was that at least 3 global maintainers have used or are currently using the Gerrit Code Review system for other projects, are happy with it, and that we should give it a try. Then, when it was time to decide who wanted to configure and set things up for the community, I volunteered. Hey, I’m already running the Buildbot master for GDB, what is the problem to manage yet another service? Oh, well.

          Before we dive into the details involved in configuring and running gerrit in a machine, let me first say that I don’t totally support the idea of migrating from mailing list to gerrit. I volunteered to set things up because I felt the community (or at least the its most active members) wanted to try it out. I don’t necessarily agree with the choice.

          Ah, and I’m writing this post mostly because I want to be able to close the 300+ tabs I had to open on my Firefox during these last weeks, when I was searching how to solve the myriad of problems I faced during the set up!

        • Bradley M. Kuhn: On Recent Controversial Events

          The last 33 days have been unprecedentedly difficult for the software freedom community and for me personally. Folks have been emailing, phoning, texting, tagging me on social media (— the last of which has been funny, because all my social media accounts are placeholder accounts). But, just about everyone has urged me to comment on the serious issues that the software freedom community now faces. Until now, I have stayed silent regarding all these current topics: from Richard M. Stallman (RMS)’s public statements, to his resignation from the Free Software Foundation (FSF), to the Epstein scandal and its connection to MIT. I’ve also avoided generally commenting on software freedom organization governance during this period. I did this for good reason, which is explained below. However, in this blog post, I now share my primary comments on the matters that seem to currently be of the utmost attention of the Open Source and Free Software communities.

          I have been silent the last month because, until two days ago, I was an at-large member of FSF’s Board of Directors, and a Voting Member of the FSF. As a member of FSF’s two leadership bodies, I was abiding by a reasonable request from the FSF management and my duty to the organization. Specifically, the FSF asked that all communication during the crisis come directly from FSF officers and not from at-large directors and/or Voting Members. Furthermore, the FSF management asked all Directors and Voting Members to remain silent on this entire matter — even on issues only tangentially related to the current situation, and even when speaking in our own capacity (e.g., on our own blogs like this one). The FSF is an important organization, and I take any request from the FSF seriously — so I abided fully with their request.

          The situation was further complicated because folks at my employer, Software Freedom Conservancy (where I also serve on the Board of Directors) had strong opinions about this matter as well. Fortunately, the FSF and Conservancy both had already created clear protocols for what I should do if ever there was a disagreement or divergence of views between Conservancy and FSF. I therefore was recused fully from the planning, drafting, and timing of Conservancy’s statement on this matter. I thank my colleagues at the Conservancy for working so carefully to keep me entirely outside the loop on their statement and to diligently assure that it was straight-forward for me to manage any potential organizational disagreements. I also thank those at the FSF who outlined clear protocols (ahead of time, back in March 2019) in case a situation like this ever came up. I also know my colleagues at Conservancy care deeply, as I do, about the health and welfare of the FSF and its mission of fighting for universal software freedom for all. None of us want, nor have, any substantive disagreement over software freedom issues.

          I take very seriously my duty to the various organizations where I have (or have had) affiliations. More generally, I champion non-profit organizational transparency. Unfortunately, the current crisis left me in a quandary between the overarching goal of community transparency and abiding by FSF management’s directives. Now that I’ve left the FSF Board of Directors, FSF’s Voting Membership, and all my FSF volunteer roles (which ends my 22-year uninterrupted affiliation with the FSF), I can now comment on the substantive issues that face not just the FSF, but the Free Software community as a whole, while continuing to adhere to my past duty of acting in FSF’s best interest. In other words, my affiliation with the FSF has come to an end for many good and useful reasons. The end to this affiliation allows me to speak directly about the core issues at the heart of the community’s current crisis.

        • Meet the FSF staff in Raleigh, NC on October 15

          On Tuesday, October 15th, the Free Software Foundation (FSF) staff would like to meet you at a social event at Raleigh’s Whiskey Kitchen!

          Executive director John Sullivan, licensing and compliance manager Donald R. Robertson, III, copyright and licensing associate Craig Topham, and program manager Zoë Kooyman, will all be in Raleigh, NC on October 15th, in anticipation of this year’s licensing seminar on GPL Enforcement and Legal Ethics.

          We look forward to hosting this informal meetup to show our appreciation for your support of the FSF’s work. We’ll share some bites and drinks while giving you the opportunity to meet other FSF associate members and supporters while learning about what the FSF is currently working on. We are curious to hear your thoughts, and would love to answer any questions you may have.

      • Openness/Sharing/Collaboration

      • Programming/Development

        • Python 3.7.5 is now available

          Note that the next feature release of Python 3, Python 3.8.0, is also now available. Python 3.8 contains many new features and optimizations. You should consider upgrading to it. We plan to continue regular bugfix releases of Python 3.7.x through mid-year 2020 and provide security fixes for it until mid-year 2023. More details are available in PEP 537, the Python 3.7 Release Schedule (https://www.python.org/dev/peps/pep-0537/).

        • PyPy v7.2 released

          As always, this release is 100% compatible with the previous one and fixed several issues and bugs raised by the growing community of PyPy users. We strongly recommend updating. Many of the fixes are the direct result of end-user bug reports, so please continue reporting issues as they crop up.

        • PyPy 7.2 released

          Version 7.2 of PyPy, an implementation of the Python language, is out.

        • PyPy 7.2 Released With Full 64-bit AArch64 Support, PyPy 3.6 Beyond Beta

          PyPy 7.2 is out today as a big update for this alternative Python implementation that currently provides interpreters for compatibility with Python 2.7 and Python 3.6.

          In cooperation with Arm and Crossbar.io, PyPy developers have been working on complete 64-bit ARM (AArch64) support and this summer they achieved getting the PyPy JIT running on 64-bit ARM. PyPy 7.2 is the first release with this 64-bit ARM support now in good standing.

        • Python 3.8.0 : New release of python development.

          Good news from the python development area with the new release of python development:
          Python 3.7.5 Oct. 15, 2019 and Python 3.8.0 Oct. 14, 2019

          Now you can use the new python version 3.8.0 from the official webpage.

        • Python 3.8.0 released

          Version 3.8.0 of the Python language has been released. New features include the controversial assignment expressions, positional-only arguments, the Vectorcall mechanism, and more; see the what’s new in Python 3.8 document for more information.

        • Python 3.8.0 is now available

          On behalf of the Python development community and the Python 3.8 release team, I’m pleased to announce the availability of Python 3.8.0.

          Python 3.8.0 is the newest feature release of the Python language, and it contains many new features and optimizations. You can find Python 3.8.0 here:

          https://www.python.org/downloads/release/python-380/

          Most third-party distributors of Python should be making 3.8.0 packages available soon.

        • Python 3.8 Released With Assignment Expressions, Runtime Audit Hooks

          Python 3.8 brings support to the Python syntax for assignment expressions, positional-only parameters, a parallel file-system cache for compiled bytecode files, runtime audit hooks, Pickle protocol 5 support and its ability to handle out-of-band buffers, many module improvements like a shared memory multi-processing module, Vectorcall as a fast calling protocol for CPython, and various performance improvements.

        • Announcing Rustup 1.20.0

          The rustup working group is happy to announce the release of rustup version 1.20.0. Rustup is the recommended tool to install Rust, a programming language that is empowering everyone to build reliable and efficient software.

        • Uploading Files to AWS S3 with Python and Django

          In the quest to build more interactive websites, we don’t only relay information to users but also allow them to upload data of their own. This opens up more opportunities and more ways that our websites can serve the end-users.

          By allowing users to upload files, we can allow them to share photographs, videos, or music with others or back them up for safekeeping. We can also provide the functionality to manage files and convert them into other formats through websites instead of installing native apps.

          The rise of social media globally can be attributed to the ability of users to upload their files, mostly in the form of images and videos for other users to see and also as a means of communication. By enabling users to upload files to websites and platforms, means of communication have been enhanced and information can now be spread in very many different formats.

          In this post, we will explore how Django handles file uploading and how we can tap into and extend this functionality with cloud storage to suit our needs.

        • PyCoder’s Weekly: Issue #390 (Oct. 15, 2019)
        • The Python range() Function

          Python’s built-in range function is handy when you need to perform an action a specific number of times. As an experienced Pythonista, you’ve most likely used it before. But what does it do?

        • Perl 6 renamed to Raku

          The pull request changing the name of Perl 6 to Raku has been merged. See the full text for more information. “This document describes the steps to be taken to effectuate a rename of ‘Perl 6′ to ‘Raku’, as described in issue #81. It does not pretend to be complete in scope or in time. To change a name of a project that has been running for 19+ years will take time, a lot of effort and a lot of cooperation. It will affect people in foreseen and unforeseen ways.”

        • Top three mistakes with K-Means Clustering during data analysis

          In this post, we will take a look at a few cases, where KMC algorithm does not perform well or may produce unintuitive results.

        • Agile project management: 10 mistakes to avoid

          Agile project management holds a lot of promise for leaders. Those who have successfully made the switch in their organizations sing agile’s praises, like the ability to rapidly course-correct, release software faster, and create happier teams and customers. But if you’ve been working at it for a while and you still aren’t seeing the promised benefits, you might start to think that agile is more hype than substance, or that it isn’t right for your organization.

      • Standards/Consortia

        • Heading levels

          the headings would be “Apples” (level 1), “Taste” (level 2), “Sweet” (level 3), “Color” (level 2). Determining the level of any given heading requires traversing through its previous siblings and their descendants, its parent and the previous siblings and descendants of that, et cetera. That is too much complexity and optimizing it with caches is evidently not deemed worth it for such a simple feature.

          However, throwing out the entire feature and requiring everyone to use h1 through h6 forever, adjusting them accordingly based on the document they end up in, is not very appealing to me. So I’ve been trying to come up with an alternative algorithm that would allow folks to use h1 with sectioning elements exclusively while giving assistive technology the right information (default styling of h1 is already adjusted based on nesting depth).

          The simpler algorithm only looks at ancestors for a given heading and effectively only does so for h1 (unless you use hgroup). This leaves the above example in the weird state it is in in today’s browsers, except that the h1 (“Color”) would become level 2. It does so to minimally impact existing documents which would usually use h1 only as a top-level element or per the somewhat-erroneous recommendation of the HTML Standard use it everywhere, but in that case it would dramatically improve the outcome.

  • Leftovers

    • Health/Nutrition

      • Mental health experts see Trump is dangerous, but our professional gatekeepers protect him

        Trump is psychologically unfit: President Donald Trump’s poor mental health is grounds for impeachment

        In response, the American Psychiatric Association (APA) has effectively gagged an entire profession, thus protecting a destructive government.

        The organization’s ethical guideline includes an affirmative obligation: to “contribut(e) to the improvement of the community and the betterment of public health.” In the midst of this political moment, the APA emphasized only one part of this guideline, the do-not-diagnose part, known as the so-called Goldwater Rule. Rather than take on a leadership role that acknowledges our profession’s societal responsibility at a critical time, the APA released statements that appear to suppress the educate-to-better-public-health part.

    • Security (Confidentiality/Integrity/Availabilitiy)

      • Debian and Ubuntu Patch Critical Sudo Security Vulnerability, Update Now

        Discovered by Joe Vennix, the security vulnerability (CVE-2019-14287) could be exploited by an attacker to execute arbitrary commands as the root user (system administrator) because sudo incorrectly handled certain user IDs when it was configured to allow users to run commands as an arbitrary user through the ALL keyword in a Runas specification.

        “Joe Vennix discovered that sudo, a program designed to provide limited super user privileges to specific users, when configured to allow a user to run commands as an arbitrary user via the ALL keyword in a Runas specification, allows to run commands as root by specifying the user ID- -1 or 4294967295,” reads Debian’s security advisory.

      • Flaw In Sudo Enables Non-Privileged Users To Run Commands As Root

        A vulnerability has been discovered in Sudo — one of the most important, powerful, and commonly used utilities that comes as a core command installed on almost every UNIX and Linux-based operating system. The vulnerability in question is a sudo security policy bypass issue that could allow a malicious user or a program to execute arbitrary commands as root on a targeted Linux system even when the “sudoers configuration” explicitly disallows the root access. Sudo, stands for “superuser do,” is a system command that allows a user to run applications or commands with the privileges of a different user without switching environments — most often, for running commands as the root user.

      • Sudo Flaw Lets Linux Users Run Commands As Root Even When They’re Restricted

        A vulnerability has been discovered in Sudo—one of the most important, powerful, and commonly used utilities that comes as a core command installed on almost every UNIX and Linux-based operating system.
        The vulnerability in question is a sudo security policy bypass issue that could allow a malicious user or a program to execute arbitrary commands as root on a targeted Linux system even when the “sudoers configuration” explicitly disallows the root access.
        Sudo, stands for “superuser do,” is a system command that allows a user to run applications or commands with the privileges of a different user without switching environments—most often, for running commands as the root user.

      • Linux security hole: Much sudo about nothing

        There’s a lot of hubbub out there now about a security hole in the Unix/Linux family’s sudo command. Sudo is the command, which enables normal users to run commands as if they were the root user, aka the system administrator. While this sudo security vulnerability is a real problem and needs patching, it’s not nearly as bad as some people make it out to be.

        At first glance the problem looks like a bad one. With it, a user who is allowed to use sudo to run commands as any other user, except root, can still use it to run root commands. For this to happen, several things must be set up just wrong.

        First the sudo user group must give a user the right to use sudo but doesn’t give the privilege of using it to run root commands. That can happen when you want a user to have the right to run specific commands that they wouldn’t normally be able to use. Next, sudo must be configured to allow a user to run commands as an arbitrary user via the ALL keyword in a Runas specification.

      • Linux Sudo bug opens root access to unauthorized users

        Sudo, the main command in Linux that allows users to run tasks, has been found to have a vulnerability that allows unauthorized users to execute commands as a root user.

        The vulnerability, known as CVE-2019-14287, does require a nonstandard configuration but nonetheless does open the door to unauthorized users.

        The vulnerability allows users to bypass the nonroot restriction by simply using -u#-1 in the command line. As The Hacker News described it Monday, the sudo security policy bypass issue allows “a malicious user or a program to execute arbitrary commands as root on a targeted Linux system even when the ‘sudoers configuration’ explicitly disallows the root access.”

      • Potential bypass of Runas user restrictions

        When sudo is configured to allow a user to run commands as an arbitrary user via the ALL keyword in a Runas specification, it is possible to run commands as root by specifying the user ID -1 or 4294967295.

        This can be used by a user with sufficient sudo privileges to run commands as root even if the Runas specification explicitly disallows root access as long as the ALL keyword is listed first in the Runas specification.

        Log entries for commands run this way will list the target user as 4294967295 instead of root. In addition, PAM session modules will not be run for the command.

      • WordPress 5.2.4 Security Release

        WordPress 5.2.4 is now available! This security release fixes 6 security issues.

        WordPress versions 5.2.3 and earlier are affected by these bugs, which are fixed in version 5.2.4. Updated versions of WordPress 5.1 and earlier are also available for any users who have not yet updated to 5.2.

      • Ubuntu Releases Patch for Major ‘sudo’ Security Exploit

        Canonical has issued an urgent security fix to the ‘sudo’ package in the Ubuntu archives following the discovery of a major security flaw.

        A critical fix has rolled out to all users of Ubuntu 16.04 LTS, 18.04 LTS, 19.04 and 19.10 (and one assumes Ubuntu 14.04 ESR too) — just run a sudo apt upgrade to install it.

        But what about the flaw inquisition? Well, if you’re yet to hear about it I appreciate meditative disconnect from social media. The oft toxic waste pools of chatter were with wet with alarm — some manufactured, the rest well weighted — over CVE-2019-14287 when it was announced yesterday, October 14.

      • Security updates for Tuesday

        Security updates have been issued by Debian (sudo and xtrlock), openSUSE (sudo), Red Hat (Single Sign-On), Slackware (sudo), SUSE (binutils, dhcp, ffmpeg, kernel, kubernetes-salt, sudo, and tcpdump), and Ubuntu (sudo).

    • Defence/Aggression

      • Trump’s Undeclared State of Emergency

        Trump’s public appeal to China last week to help with uncovering dirt on the Biden family was both a brazen flouting of the law and (it pains me to say) an astute political tactic.

      • Britain Isn’t the Only Empire Headed for the Dustbin of History

        Donald Trump may prove to be the ultimate Brexiteer. Back in August 2016, in the midst of his presidential campaign, he proudly tweeted, “They will soon be calling me MR. BREXIT!” On the subject of the British leaving the European Union (EU) he’s neither faltered nor wavered. That June, he was already cheering on British voters, 51.9% of whom had just opted for Brexit in a nationwide referendum. They had, he insisted, taken “their country back” and he predicted that other countries, including you-know-where, would act similarly. As it happened, Mr. “America First” was proven anything but wrong in November 2016.

      • Graphically Violent Parody Video Shown at Trump Resort

        A graphically violent parody video, shown at a meeting of President Donald Trump’s supporters at his Miami resort, depicted a likeness of the president shooting and stabbing his opponents and members of the news media in a church, The New York Times reported Sunday.

      • What Evil Empire?

        When did the Cold War begin? In 1917! When, if ever, did it end? Never! What is its most dramatic moment? The dropping of atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki! Who if anyone won? No one!

      • As Turkey Prepares to Slice Through Syria, the US has Cleared a New Breeding Ground for Isis

        “Never get into a well with an American rope” goes the saying spreading across the Middle East, as the US abandons its Kurdish allies in Syria to a Turkish invasion force. People in the region are traditionally cynical about the loyalty of great powers to their local friends, but even they are shocked by the speed and ruthlessness with which Donald Trump greenlit the Turkish attack.

      • Trump Orders Turkey Sanctions as U.S. Scrambles for Syria Exit

        Targeting Turkey’s economy, President Donald Trump announced sanctions Monday aimed at restraining the Turks’ assault against Kurdish fighters and civilians in Syria — an assault Turkey began after Trump announced he was moving U.S. troops out of the way.

      • ‘No Friend But the Mountains’: A History of US Betrayal of the Kurds

        To be clear, what follows is not an endorsement of a continued US military presence in Syria. There is, however, a difference between President Donald Trump attempting to fulfill a campaign promise to end American involvement in wars that have cost so much in blood and treasure and giving the green light to what many fear will be the great death and destruction, even ethnic cleansing, that will accompany a Turkish invasion of Syrian Kurdistan. Trump’s announcement on Sunday that the United States would step aside and allow the Turks to launch their long-desired offensive against Syria’s Kurds is nothing less than the latest of many epic US betrayals of a steadfast ally, one which has stood and fought with America in conflicts for over half a century. The president’s crass dismissal of his country’s latest abandonment of the Kurds — “they didn’t help us at Normandy,” he said — pours salt in the wound of a proud, loyal people who have time and again laid down their lives in service of their own freedom — and US interests.

      • The Apotheosis of Emperors

        Sometimes it may be instructive to look beyond foreign policy and pay attention to the actors and their words. I was struck by one of Trump’s tweets of this week not because of the threatening reference to Turkey (“I will totally destroy and obliterate the Economy of Turkey”) or the reason given (if Turkey…considers to be off limits”), but by his parenthetical statement “in my great and unmatched wisdom”. No one – maybe not even his supporters – would question the fact that Trump has a huge ego (problem) but his self-declared prowess in wisdom does show lack of modesty to say the least.

      • What the new 16th Air Force means for information warfare

        What was not immediately clear, however, is how cyber will be integrated into the information warfare cells for air components across other combatant commands because other service Joint Force Headquarters-Cybers are responsible for conducting cyber operations at the other combatant commands.

        One of the ultimate goals for the new organization will be to better prepare the service, and by extension, the joint force, in the so-called “competition phase” below the threshold of armed conflict every day.

      • Conviction, 26-Year Prison Term for Stabbing of Americans at Amsterdam CS

        After his arrest, S. quickly confessed to the attack. He told the court that he came to the Netherlands to “kill unfair and cruel people” and that his only mistake was that he did not stab people who were from the Netherlands. In previous statements to the police, S. said that he was angry with PVV leader Geert Wilders for insulting Islam by arranging a prophet-Mohammed cartoon contest, and angry at the Netherlands for not stopping him.

      • Turkish-Backed Forces Are Freeing Islamic State Prisoners

        The claim pours cold water on U.S. President Donald Trump’s suggestion on Twitter that the Syrian Kurdish fighters tasked with guarding the prisons released the detainees to grab U.S. attention after the Defense Department ordered all U.S. troops to evacuate the region.

        Backed by Turkey, the Free Syrian Army (FSA), a decentralized band of Syrian rebels that has been linked to extremist groups, has launched a bloody assault on northeastern Syria, executing Kurdish prisoners and killing scores of unarmed civilians and Kurdish fighters with the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF).

      • The Kurds
      • Trump is Selling Out America in Syria and Beyond

        This is shameful and criminal. At the very least, it is impeachable.

    • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

    • Environment

      • Green Party statement on the arrest of Ellie Chowns MEP

        The right to peaceful protest is a fundamental pillar of a liberal democracy. We stand in solidarity with Ellie Chowns MEP who was arrested late on Monday 14th October while peacefully attending the Extinction Rebellion gathering in Trafalgar Square.

        It is disturbing that the Metropolitan Police should impose a Section 14 across the whole of London, after 9pm on Monday 14th October. This is a disproportionate response to peaceful protest and to responsible expressions of democracy at this critical time for the planet.

      • NS Called to Create More Room for Bikes on Trains

        According to Fietsersbond, the number of travelers who want to take their bicycle on the train is growing by 10 to 20 percent per year. There is already a shortage of thousands of spaces to park bicycles in trains, director Saskia Kluit said to the newspaper. “On beautiful cycling days in particular, it is doom and gloom and often families or groups of cyclists have to stay behind on the platforms. We advocate for separate, single-story bicycle wagons on railway lines to popular recreational areas.”

      • Investment banks have plowed more than $700 billion into fossil fuels since the Paris climate agreement

        Using the data, the British paper found that JPMorgan was the biggest culprit when it came to providing “loans, equity issuances, and debt underwriting” to companies working within the various sectors that use fossil fuels, providing more than $75 billion between 2016 and mid-2019.

        Markets Insider reported last week that Goldman Sachs says climate change is “at the top of investors minds,” while JPMorgan said that the past two years have been a “watershed” moment for climate change awareness.

      • Can Extinction Rebellion Put Climate Change ‘Beyond Politics’?

        Extinction Rebellion began just under a year ago, when rebels occupied five bridges in London. Since then, the movement has taken off. In April it blocked four major intersections for over a week, which led to mass arrests, traffic jams, and lots of press. With press came money: XR is now one of the best-funded protest movements in the world. It has affiliate chapters in more than 60 countries. (Because its organizing structure is horizontal, each local XR group is autonomous.) October 7 marked the start of a “global rebellion”: two weeks of nonviolent civil disobedience in cities all over the world, from Melbourne (where rebels organized a “nudie run” and glued themselves to buildings) to New York (where they doused the Wall Street bull in fake blood).

        But the epicenter remains London, where tens of thousands of rebels from across the UK have converged on six sites around Westminster. [...]

      • The harm from worrying about climate change

        Back in 2014, my partner and I marked a date in our shared online calendar. Unusually, this was for 27 August 2015 – a year ahead. It was an arbitrary date.

        We’re indecisive when it comes to big life decisions, and this was the biggest: whether to have children. We were aware that, now in our 30s, we couldn’t wait indefinitely to decide. So we marked “baby-making conversation” in the calendar, as ever using irreverence in an attempt to make weighty matters seem less daunting, and happily pushed the question away for the time being.

        But 27 August 2015 came and went. We felt no more prepared. We moved the date back another year. Then 27 August 2016 passed too. Clearly our stratagem hadn’t worked. While plenty of factors affected our ambivalence, the personality-level issues were overshadowed by a global one: anxiety about a future planet made unliveable by climate change.

        Climate change harms mental wellbeing in a number of ways. From trauma and stress following disasters, to relationship damage caused by separation and displacement, the psychological effects of climate change can be enduring. Of course, these effects are heightened for certain vulnerable populations, such as elderly and low-income people, as well as those on the frontlines of climate change.

      • Global Climate Strike: From Protest To Power?

        Climate justice advocates enthusiastically report that the recent Global Climate Strike involved 7.6 million people in 6,500 events that took place in 185 countries, supported by 8,500 websites, 3,000 companies, and 73 trade unions. Behind the headlines is this fact: with the exception of Morocco, no country in the world is complying with its Paris Climate Accord commitment, and the U.S. has dropped out of the international agreement.

      • Extreme heatwaves pose spreading threat

        Rising temperatures mean that heatwaves will become hotter, more frequent, last longer and will cover much wider areas.

      • John Oliver’s Dire Forecast for Our National Weather Service (Video)
      • Energy

        • “The Grid” is the Problem, Not the Solution

          On October 9, Pacific Gas & Electric began shutting down power to about 750,000 customers (affecting as many as 2 million people) in California. The company claims the shutdowns are necessary to reduce the risk that its power lines and other infrastructure will cause wildfires like last year’s Camp Fire, which killed 85 people and and caused $16.5 billion in damage.

      • Wildlife/Nature

    • Finance

      • The Economics and Politics of Financial Transactions Taxes and Wealth Taxes

        Last month, the Washington Post reported that Joe Biden is considering including a financial transactions tax (FTT) as part of his campaign for the Democratic nomination. For those of us who have long advocated such a tax, this is very good news.

      • Class Struggle is Still the Issue

        The Manifesto of the Communist Party by Marx and Engels famously begins with: “The history of all hither existing societies is the history of class struggles.” The United States is no exception, although for many decades it was depicted as a classless society. Later they add: “The ruling ideas of each age have ever been the ideas of its ruling class.”

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • Sanders Distinguishes Himself From Warren in No Uncertain Terms

        White House hopeful Sen. Bernie Sanders distinguished himself from Sen. Elizabeth Warren—another top competitor in the Democratic presidential primary—by highlighting their different beliefs on economic policy during an interview with ABC News chief White House correspondent Jonathan Karl that aired Sunday.

      • Ralph Nader: Trump’s High Crimes Go Way Beyond Ukraine

        It is time for the House of Representatives to announce comprehensive articles of impeachment against the chronic outlaw and violator of the public trust—President Donald J. Trump who won the Electoral College, but lost the popular vote.

      • Republicans Are Going to Remove Trump Soon

        It will not be long before Trump is out of the White House and off the 2020 presidential ballot.

      • The Sudden Martyrdom of the Government Whistleblower
      • Joe Biden Has Corporate Democrats in Panic Mode

        The Democratic Party’s most powerful donors are running out of options in the presidential race. Their warhorse Joe Biden is stumbling, while the other corporate-minded candidates lag far behind. For party elites, with less than four months to go before voting starts in caucuses and primaries, 2020 looks like Biden or bust.

      • Weep for Catalonia, Weep for Liberalism in Europe

        The vicious jail sentences handed down today by the fascists (I used the word with care and correctly) of the Spanish Supreme Court to the Catalan political prisoners represent a stark symbol of the nadir of liberalism within the EU. That an attempt to organise a democratic vote for the Catalan people in pursuit of the right of self determination guaranteed in the UN Charter, can lead to such lengthy imprisonment, is a plain abuse of the most basic of human rights.

      • Cory Booker On Impeachment: ‘I Swore An Oath To Protect And Defend The Constitution’

        “I swore an oath to protect and defend the Constitution,” Booker told NPR on Saturday. “I didn’t swear an oath to protect and defend the Constitution unless there’s an election coming up,” he said in the interview, recorded for the NPR series with Democratic presidential candidates Off Script.

      • NBA vs. China: The League Is Bravely Defending Free Speech—And That’s a Game Changer

        The incident also reignited an important discussion here in the United States about free speech and the role and power of leaders in sports to shape the discussion around important social issues in our country and around the world.

        After initially acknowledging the complexity of the situation and expressing regret to those who were offended, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said in a statement that “the NBA will not put itself in a position of regulating what players, employees and team owners say or will not say on these issues.”

        Silver understands the potential financial implications of taking this position, but he added that “if that’s the consequence of us adhering to our values, we still feel it’s critically important to adhere to those values.”

      • New Zealand creates unit to target, ‘disrupt’ online extremism

        Ardern said the Internal Affairs department would hire 17 specialists in investigative, forensic and intelligence work to focus on violent extremist content online.

    • Censorship/Free Speech

    • Privacy/Surveillance

      • Starting December 1st, China’s new MLPS 2.0 cybersecurity laws will require submission of a facial scan to receive internet access

        China’s new MLPS (Multi-level Protection of Information Security) 2.0 cybersecurity laws goes into full effect on December 1st, 2019 and will see all internet service providers (ISPs) and mobile data providers requiring facial scans to sign up for new service.  This means every new mobile phone number assigned in China will be associated with a facial scan. On top of this, the new rules by the Chinese Ministry of Public Security mandate that all data on Chinese networks and systems be available for the Chinese government to sift through at will – and by default through the use of big data techniques. The government emphasized that the new law is meant to help the populace, not suppress it further. Guo Qiquan, one of the politicians responsible for the plan explained the width and breadth of the new cybersecurity surveillance system to SCMP…

      • South African court rules that mass surveillance by the government is illegal

        A South African court has ruled that mass surveillance, specifically bulk communication of communications, is illegal for the government to participate in.  A longstanding court case between the amaBhungane Centre for Investigative Journalism on behalf of journalist Sam Sole and South Africa’s State Security Agency lead to this ruling on September 16th, 2019.

      • The Old Man and His Smartphone, Episode III

        My wife was not all that impressed with the smartphone, which is not too surprising given that grade-school students commonly have them. She did note that if someone broke into it, they could be taking pictures of her without her knowledge.

      • [Older] Don’t hold your breath for that U.S. online privacy bill

        No new bill on online privacy expected expected to show up in Congress before the end of the year, Reuters reports, citing three unnamed sources on Capitol Hill.

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • Truth, Justice and Life

        It’s wonderful how good things can come in small packages. Like Greta Thunberg out waking the world to the urgency of action in addressing the climate crises. Like Ellen DeGeneres out for a game with George Bush. Like a butterfly, flapping its wings in the forest. Like the sound of truth.

      • A Passion for Writing

        I have been writing for fifty years. I wrote my first scholarly article in 1969. I was then a  graduate student in history at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. That was a bold step. My English was still in its early stages of improvement. But more than spelling and vocabulary, I felt I had something to say that might add to our understanding of the past.

      • The Oil Despots

        The world’s burgeoning far-right movements are far-flung and diverse, but in government they share a few core tendencies: They attack minority populations. They criminalize dissent. And they’re horrible for the planet.

      • Lebanon, Dreamland

        In 1928 my father, César Assad Chelala, emigrated from Lebanon to Argentina and made there his permanent home. The love for his country remained unaltered, and for the rest of his life he dreamt of going back. Although he never fulfilled his wish, he transmitted to us, his children, the love for his new country. He came to live in Tucumán, a city in the North of Argentina, where he already had some relatives.

      • Mississippi Takes Steps to End Damning Delays in Evaluating Criminal Defendants

        Mississippi’s Department of Mental Health will spend nearly $20 million on a new unit for forensic beds, an investment the state hopes will relieve a long-standing embarrassment: the months, even years those accused of crimes must wait to undergo court-ordered psychiatric evaluations.

        The change came after a push from the MacArthur Justice Center and the Southern Poverty Law Center, and close to two years after ProPublica reported the story of a teenager kept four years in jail before being granted his evaluation.

      • Insecurity in Mozambique Leaves Thousands Unable to Vote

        Mozambique’s Electoral Commission announced this weekend that 10 voting stations in Macomia, Mocimboa da Praia and Muidumbe districts will not open for the country’s general election on October 15. This will leave 5,400 voters unable to cast their ballot. 

      • US Columbus Day Holiday Celebrates a Shameful Past

        In one holiday, Americans encounter our two most shameful and discomforting historical legacies: the genocide of the American Indian and slavery.

      • Fort Worth Officer Kills Woman In Her Bedroom In Response To ‘Open Structure Call’

        A white police officer fired through the window of a black woman’s home early Saturday and killed her after responding to a call that a neighbor placed about an open front door, authorities in Fort Worth, Texas, say.

      • How a Legal Loophole Lets Colleges Pay Students Less Than Minimum Wage

        In many states — including Massachusetts, Connecticut, New Jersey, Virginia, and New York — students who work for universities are legally eligible to receive less than the state minimum wage when working on campus. In fact, a provision under the Federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) allows nonprofit educational organizations to apply for a certificate from the Department of Labor in order to hire student workers for significantly less than minimum wage — a law that many universities employ to its fullest. This exemption, also known as “subminimum wage,” authorizes employers to pay full-time students a lower wage — at least 75% of federal minimum wage or a percentage of an applicable state minimum wage if it’s higher — for on-campus jobs. They also have a cap on the number of hours they can work, usually no more than 20 in one week. (Students employed through a financial aid work-study program called Free Application for Federal Student Aid [FAFSA] must earn at least the federal minimum wage and, as part of their benefits package, have additional stipulations regarding their hours that other students employed on campus do not.)

    • Monopolies

      • Facebook CEO Cozies up to Conservatives at Private Dinners

        For a company that’s come under congressional and public scrutiny from all sides of the political spectrum, including for influencing the 2016 presidential election, it’s unsurprising that Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg would dedicate time to damage control with leaders who might be involved in investigating and regulating the platform. A new report from Politico, however, suggests that Zuckerberg may be if not outright favoring conservatives, than at least giving them more attention and access.

      • Libra Association announces new board members after recent departures

        In Geneva on Monday, the remaining members of the Libra Association held their inaugural meeting, bringing together executives from more than 20 different companies across the world.

        Much of the meeting was devoted to establishing the basic governance of the new association, which before Monday had been more of a proposal than a functional institution. The group named five board members — including Xapo CEO Wences Casares, Andreessen Horowitz partner and blockchain lead Katie Haun, and Facebook executive David Marcus, who has been the primary face of the project up until now.

      • Libra Association Board Members Have Ties to Facebook, Marcus

        The Libra Association, which oversees a controversial cryptocurrency, was officially formed on Tuesday, and its five board members have one thing in common: close relationships with Facebook Inc. and its executives.

      • Patents and Software Patents

        • [Guest Post] Fighting for your IP rights in Denmark – it’s expensive, but now maybe less so?

          With a new decision issued on 29 August 2019 by the Danish Eastern High Court (Danish only), the tides may now be turning. A new precedent may just have been set for the recovery of a party’s costs incurred by the use of experts, including European Patent Attorneys, and not least for legal costs recovery in general in Danish patent disputes. European Patent Attorneys, in particular, are often brought as expert witnesses by the parties, and their statements and testimonies (although admitted as evidence of a party rather than as impartial expert statements) tend to be regarded as highly persuasive.

          The case concerned the companies Gilead and Sandoz who had been in a legal dispute over a potential infringement of Gilead’s patent for the products “Emtricitabin and Tenofovirdisoproxil (as fumerat)”. Gilead was granted a preliminary injunction, which Sandoz appealed. While the appeal was underway, Gilead’s patent was declared invalid in a separate case against a third party. Sandoz therefore brought a separate motion before the Maritime and Commercial High Court (MCHC) to lift the preliminary injunction.

          [...]

          The case is a step in the right direction for the recovery of European Patent Attorneys’ fees in Denmark. What’s more, the award of actual legal costs incurred was set at 49.5% of the documented legal costs. This is a high level of costs recovery compared to most cases – and potentially the beginning of a general trend towards higher costs awards. However – and more likely – it may also just underline the point that the level of costs awards granted by Danish courts is too low, and that this may have lead companies to turn their backs on the Danish court system. Indeed, the Danish recovery rate has long seemed to be much lower than in comparable jurisdictions such as Norway and Sweden. In these neighboring Nordic countries, the winning party is generally awarded full costs, unless it is apparent that a full award is not merited (e.g. where the winning party’s legal costs are exceedingly and unnecessarily high compared to the costs spent by the losing party).

      • Copyrights

…So This GNU/Linux User Goes to a Pub With Swapnil and Jim

Posted in Apple, GNU/Linux, Humour at 11:12 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Linux.com Editor and Linux Foundation Chief

So... I run this thing called Linux Foundation and my friend runs Linux.com. So you use Linux Fuck no!! We're Mac users!

Summary: It’s hard to promote GNU/Linux when you don’t even use it

How to THRIVE, in Uncertain Times for Free Software

Posted in Free/Libre Software, FSF at 10:00 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

By figosdev

THRIVE

Summary: “The guidelines are barely about conduct anyway, they are more about process guidelines for “what to do with your autonomy” in the context of a larger group where participation is completely voluntary and each individual consents to participate.”

First things first: apologies for the acronym.

To
Help
Realise
Ideal
Volunteer
Efforts

These guidelines were written in late July, before the FSF Titanic series or Stallman stepping down. The reaction I tend to expect to a list like this is: “Oh no, a Code of Conduct.”

“The guidelines are barely about conduct anyway, they are more about process guidelines for “what to do with your autonomy” in the context of a larger group where participation is completely voluntary and each individual consents to participate. In other words these are intended to assist, not be imposed. Maybe a better way to consider them is as a sort of informal RFC.”If that’s your concern, I can appreciate it. Which is why the thrive guidelines have their own Code-of-Conduct Escape clause:

“Wherever these guidelines are misused to threaten community and development, they should be regarded with scrutiny — whenever these guidelines help create a foundation for purposeful development and progress, they should be considered thoughtfully.”

This is despite the fact (and hopefully reinforces the idea) that the guidelines are intended to be non-binding.

The guidelines are barely about conduct anyway, they are more about process guidelines for “what to do with your autonomy” in the context of a larger group where participation is completely voluntary and each individual consents to participate. In other words these are intended to assist, not be imposed. Maybe a better way to consider them is as a sort of informal RFC.

I will quote each of the ten guidelines one a time, then comment on each in the hopes of further clarification.

1. “Integrity and checks and balances are more valuable than false compromise.”

I’m fond of pointing out that just enough compromise can be wonderful, but too much can be devastating. Having more than one group working to maintain and improve the ecosystem means that if one authority (or respected group) goes sour, then others can speak up and offer a backup plan. Fans of a single, centralised point of authority won’t like this. But, it is a recommendation. It is non-binding, so people who are against it simply won’t have anything to do with it.

As I said in my previous article, for example:

“Many have called for a certain large, corporation associated with a particular primary-coloured hue to apologise for their active role in the Holocaust. Yet one of their subsidiaries asks for an arguably more grassroots organisation to seize an opportunity for greater diversity.”“When we agree on something, we struggle together. When we can’t agree, we struggle apart. It’s very useful to find our commonalities, and understand our differences. For many of us, Stallman and freedom are two things we are not willing to compromise on.”

That isn’t a decision that a central authority needs to make. Many of us are not willing to bend on the Stallman issue (a reminder that this guideline predates the Stallman issue.) So we invite anybody who is willing to work with us despite not bending on that issue, do so. They don’t need to sign an oath of loyalty to Stallman, but if they ask us to do something unjust against him — that’s something we won’t do.

At that point, you have a schism — and you would actually have that schism anyway. The difference is that some of us are building something that is more schism-tolerant. Other points address this a little more directly.

2. “Ignoring your own standards, as well as taking rules too seriously, can compromise the integrity of your community. Many communities are already diminished along these lines.”

This is mostly a comment on the state of communities, and a recommendation to try to live up to your own community standards. Those who already oppose the imposition of a Code of Conduct can read this as: “If you have a Code of Conduct that expects certain behaviour of others, you are naturally expected to treat them just as well as you’re demanding of them.”

Nobody is perfect, and it’s obvious that people already hold some to a more unreasonable interpretation of their standards than others. While suggesting that people not do that isn’t likely to cancel out any hypocrisy directly, this point at least comments on it.

3. “The corporate monopolies that promise to help resolve these problems, have a history of fundamental selfishness and interference. Giving these corporations too great a say in matters has helped them to destroy communities and stifle their efforts.”

This point comments on past mistakes, and also predates one of the best examples. Many have called for a certain large, corporation associated with a particular primary-coloured hue to apologise for their active role in the Holocaust. Yet one of their subsidiaries asks for an arguably more grassroots organisation to seize an opportunity for greater diversity.

“One only need look to Stallman to demonstrate how intolerant we’ve become of opinions — but that intolerance is a standing threat to all of us if we wish to work together and not be ridiculous when we use the word “inclusion.” While these guidelines are not meant to be imposed, if more people had taken them to heart, it would have possibly been more difficult to let Stallman suffer as much as we already have.”You could argue this is the same point as the second one, addressed specifically to very large and powerful companies. While it is unlikely to change the course of those companies directly, it serves as a warning to those who would take their requests (and perhaps, their lip-service) too seriously.

4. “In practical terms, ‘working together’ means finding enough common ground for collaboration. It does not mean abandoning the principles or values of your own community.”

This could be considered a re-iteration of what was said in my previous article: “When we agree on something, we struggle together. When we can’t agree, we struggle apart. It’s very useful to find our commonalities, and understand our differences.” Except it is actually a pre-iteration.

Some differences are worth working past. Other differences are simply worth accepting. Another way of saying this is that along with diversity of people, we should make it possible (whenever we can bring ourselves to do so) to include people with a diversity of opinions. In my own opinion, this is a strength that we were doing impressively well with, before all this corporate help showed up.

One only need look to Stallman to demonstrate how intolerant we’ve become of opinions — but that intolerance is a standing threat to all of us if we wish to work together and not be ridiculous when we use the word “inclusion.” While these guidelines are not meant to be imposed, if more people had taken them to heart, it would have possibly been more difficult to let Stallman suffer as much as we already have.

“These really are anti-monopoly recommendations, for making communities hopefully more robust in the presence of well-organised social attacks.”Not that I want you to think this is all about one example. What I really want you to do is think about how it would be for an entire community to start stoning you because of something you yourself were misquoted as saying by Forbes or ZDNet. All of these guidelines predate that incident, but many of these would have helped mitigate it.

These really are anti-monopoly recommendations, for making communities hopefully more robust in the presence of well-organised social attacks. If you think you can create a better version, these guidelines are already in the public domain.

And people are going to argue for more centralisation, of course. Some people like centralisation and single-points-of-failure, because they think of control exclusively in terms of benefits, not costs. Decentralisation has costs as well.

Very few meaningful decisions are made without accumulating both costs and benefits. It’s really a question of what benefits are desirable and what costs are unacceptable. If you can accept a single-point-of-failure that guarantees a tragedy in the long run, there are some short-term benefits to say the very least.

5. “In dealing with both critics and allies, it is always more useful to look past the superficial — towards motivations, true nature and real effects. Society encourages the shallow evaluation of goods and services, as well as of people. Vital communities must do better in this regard than general society, if they wish to thrive. This is not intended to eliminate speculation, only to temper superficiality.”

“A lot of it comes down to accepting differences, having more than a single venue for progress to be worked on, and working together when it makes sense. This is more robust because if you get Amish-shunned out of one community that has gotten a bit weird or been taken over, there are other places nearby where you can contribute instead.”Superficiality is a theme addressed in my previous article on Techrights (already linked from point 1.)

Back when the “Free Software Federation” was more of a concept, these were guidelines on how people who want such a thing to work (this by no means assumes that everybody would want it to) could understand how to make it run smoothly enough.

A lot of it comes down to accepting differences, having more than a single venue for progress to be worked on, and working together when it makes sense. This is more robust because if you get Amish-shunned out of one community that has gotten a bit weird or been taken over, there are other places nearby where you can contribute instead.

“Another thing to think about the is the level of censorship and interference going on. In security terms, this should be part of our threat model…”It is also a strong suggestion that such schemes have gradually been proven necessary if we want Free software to continue to have the level of practical success it already had in the past. A lot of people already look around and realise that “something has gone terribly wrong.” You can be certain there will be people demanding that single-points-of-failure be reinforced by more monopolistic means.

As recent history has shown us, when that happens it can leave us generally out of the loop — just sort of waiting for “permission” or a “cue” to get back to business as usual, while we try to figure out how to respond or move forward, without much in the way of means to do so. A reasonable word for that effect is “devastation.” It’s good to ask if we would have that level of devastation right now, if we had found a way to make Free software (as a movement) “more robust” or as I keep saying, “more decentralised.”

In the past, we had collaboration schemes as loosely defined as something called a “web ring.” Today, a “mesh network” would be a resilient structure more worthy of consideration than a “ring” (which was often maintained by a single person, albeit one who was very open to all sorts of people joining and adding their website.)

So you could, if you wanted to maybe overhype the idea, call this an “early version of a social protocol for a voluntary organisational mesh network.” But just calling it the “THRIVE Guidelines” is probably a lot more reasonable.

Another thing to think about the is the level of censorship and interference going on. In security terms, this should be part of our threat model:

I’m referring to this sort of behaviour from large corporations.

I’m also referring to this sort of behaviour from our beloved non-profits.

And even in the example of the FSF and FSFE:

“In 2018, FSFE used these tactics to make it appear that nobody supported elections any more.”

“In 2019, rogue elements of the Free Software Foundation (FSF) staff used the same tactics to undermine their own founder, Richard Stallman.”

“I don’t even think the other FSF chapters are prepared to defend everything the FSFE is doing right now.”NOW, if we can’t even even trust the FSF to prevent this sort of thing, and if their own objectives are being compromised by the (completely unjustified — as in there is simply no good reason given) censoring of mailing-lists, what exactly do we do?

And THAT is why federation is actually key to the future of our movement. It’s certainly not that the FSF doesn’t have a completely vital role to play. I think as the original, pioneering organisation with the most experience to lend us (and traditionally the greatest authority — actively maintaining the definition of Free software itself) I think bolstering that organisation (what Stallman asks us to do, I would add) is a very good idea.

But when I wrote about the need to create lifeboats for the same organisation prior to a great tragedy — which happened not 30 days later, as things turn out — I wasn’t doing that because I thought it would make a great story. I was doing it for exactly the reason it said on the tin:

A. The FSF is vulnerable.
B. The FSF is vulnerable.
C. The FSF is vulnerable.

The most obvious way around this (mission-damaging) censorship (a topic Daniel Pocock knows more about than I do — I comment on the things he goes into great detail about — with actual facts and evidence that I had only expected to come out eventually) is to have more communication, interconnection and organisation between autonomous “nodes” of this movement.

As it happens, such nodes already existed. Right now it appears that (if Pocock’s claims are true, and I suspect they are) the FSF (Boston) is at least somewhat compromised, and FSFE is (as I already thought) more compromised. I don’t even think the other FSF chapters are prepared to defend everything the FSFE is doing right now.

“FSFE censors, Pocock un-censors, the Federation “boosts” the uncensorship.”In terms of Copyright and Patents and yes, censorship — the EU is a mess right now, and FSFE is just a snail’s distance from going along with it on far too much.

So who is going to hold the FSFE accountable on these matters? Their members? The FSFE is (according to what I gather from reading the things Pocock says, but not to put these words in his mouth) manipulating its members with an almost Facebook-like tactic. I’m surprised, but not shocked that it has come to that.

Please don’t get me wrong on this — I’m not saying the future is hopeless for the FSF, only that the present is obviously dire!

And that if we care, we will lend them a hand that they have no real choice to turn away. FSFE censors, Pocock un-censors, the Federation “boosts” the uncensorship.

“Now, where do we get future coders from?”A federation that cares about Free software has the potential to “route around” not only mailing-list censorship, but even the corruption that happens at the very top of these organisations. But it loses that flexibility if we try too hard to “unite.” It is the redundancy that creates the robust nature of what we are doing.

But if you’ve ever tried to write code that uses concurrency, you know that such things are a little less intuitive than traditional scripting. So to make that accessible to more people, we have these recommendations.

If you want to know more about working around mailing list censorship, I strongly recommend looking around Daniel Pocock’s blog for more: https://danielpocock.com

Now, where do we get future coders from? From time to time, some people express concern about the “aging” of their developer force. This means that people capable of contributing either aren’t allowed to join, aren’t aware of the opportunity to join, aren’t interested in joining — or don’t even exist.

One way to address all of those points is with education:

6. “Without some greater commitment to the needs and education of users, Free software will soon lose too much ground to corporations that falsely pander to them. This is not a call to make everything ‘user friendly.’ As a user, you are free to develop on your own terms. There are still areas in which progress could be made regarding development.”

Should we allow repos (such as F-Droid) to be balkanised over political differences? Maybe not:

7. “It is better to have communities divided over politics than to have software development and repos hijacked and repurposed by a single political faction.”

How can a federated community help prevent such hijacking of repos? With a (relatively) neutral 3rd (or 3rd, 4th and 5th) party:

8. When communities with valuable contributions become divided over political differences, umbrella communities and organisations are a positive way to invite long-term resolution. Haste and superficial resolution are less positive, though “first step” efforts will hopefully count for something.

But false compromise is once again warned against — due to the amount of it I think we’ve already witnessed. We always want to enable cooperation where we can, without introducing false compromises and bad compromises. Freedom of course, produces differences:

9. “Each community should be allowed to explore its own options to further the long-term benefits of its efforts towards software freedom — subject to informal approval and/or intellectually honest (fair) critique from from other communities.”

If you need permission to comment, we really have dramatically changed as a movement. Point 9 says more than that, but this is a point worth reiterating at this time.

But what about the users? What should we do for them? The user of today may one day become the ally of tomorrow. So maybe, let’s one way to set a good example for our future is:

10. Communities should avoid, as much as possible and practical, efforts to lock other users into their software or distributions. The more important and popular (and fundamental) the software is, the more modular and optional and flexible the software should ideally be. Even the distro itself should become more modular and universal — via thoughtful design conventions, rather than rigid and demanding standards. But when in doubt, refer to points 5 and 9.

If you’ve read the FSF Titanic series, there are many more comments on making this sort of thing possible.

As for this list of recommendations — you can think of it as being told what to do, no matter how much someone stresses that the idea is nothing of the sort. On the other hand, I would say that it’s unfair to ask people to do something complicated and revolutionary without providing some real suggestions as to how it could be possible.

These guidelines were one of the first steps (predating, and even helping to inspire the FSF Titanic series) towards providing those real suggestions. As a bonus, this many-paragraph article and contextual update can be swapped out to some reasonable degree with just the 10 points mentioned. Though now that there’s some commentary on them, it’s possible their value is a little more obvious.

Long Live Stallman, and Happy Hacking.

Licence: Creative Commons CC0 1.0 (public domain)

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