Should Anybody Dictate the Free Software Movement?

Posted in Free/Libre Software, FSF at 1:02 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

By figosdev

A hand

Summary: “There’s a great myth, as Jagadees reminds us, that advocacy doesn’t produce software. That myth is corporate, and proper advocacy has at times produced the greatest software in the history of computing. If we want great Free software to continue, we need advocacy more than ever.”

I want to start this article out by thanking both Jagadees.S and Techrights for the service they did in bringing us the article this is in response to. My goal is to comment on that article without hijacking it; I hope it won’t be taken that way.

I also want to be careful not to misunderstand the intent of that article. It’s possible that some of what I say will be reactionary, and it’s important to me not to take the wrong way anything that was said.

Let’s start with: “We should start a second phase of the Free software movement that’s making good software and putting users at the center.”

This is a good idea overall, but the tricky part is the implementation. I want to nod to Alessandro and say that for a while now, we have talked about an organisation with a working title of the “Association for User Freedom”. If he did things “my way”, he would start simply with a page like freesw.org or Free Software Force has. This is a good way to get started on an organisation that promotes Free software.

“…advocacy for users is particularly important when “designeritis” comes in and tries to overhaul suites that tens of thousands (or even hundreds of thousands) of people use every day.”There is also a point specifically on a theme of users in the (non-binding, completely voluntary) THRIVE guidelines.

“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.”

This expresses at least mild concern about users becoming a distraction from software development. And while I think we need to do more to advocate for users (advocacy in the sense of listening to users, helping consolidate their needs into something coherent and then using that to inspire developers who wish to better design and cater with users as their audience) I think of this in terms of maintaining a natural balance.

“The software industry is a perpetual fashion victim, and in my opinion we aren’t advocating for users if we don’t give them a way to opt out of useless trends.”How we decide to support users matters just as much as whether we support them. Some developers are prone to flights of fancy, and as long as they aren’t undermining the tools we rely on and love, they do no harm. On the other hand, advocacy for users is particularly important when “designeritis” comes in and tries to overhaul suites that tens of thousands (or even hundreds of thousands) of people use every day.

The software industry is a perpetual fashion victim, and in my opinion we aren’t advocating for users if we don’t give them a way to opt out of useless trends. Not all trends are useless either — one of the best ways we can help users is to give them choices, to make choices as easy and seamless as possible, and to not force them to constantly bow to our whims.

The call to modularise and consider the Unix philosophy of “Do one thing and do it well” makes these choices easier to offer. If we have truly neglected the user, it is likely because we have done too much to neglect that philosophy.

I agree with Jagadees on the importance of freedom, not just good software: “But what if you joined the movement because the software is fast? Faaaaaast, or beautiful or secure etc. You cannot really understand what this community is for. You see it as just a company.”

“Whether Red Hat asks us to do so or not, we do end up measuring progress in lines of code or packages contributed — when these packages don’t always improve the situation of either users or freedom, as much as they improve the situation of large companies.”Open Source has encouraged many of us to treat this software as just a product of a company, when this is actually a community. That has made it easier for larger companies to come in and assist development, though these larger companies bring in some of the unfortunate habits we worked hard to escape when we traded legacy operating systems for community-based ones.

I see this too as a balance, because too often these very large contributors put their needs and priorities over ours — they overpower our communities and drag them into increasingly corporate territory. But there are some benefits to allowing their contributions as well — Red Hat encourages us to look at the benefits they bring in terms of lines of code (or even packages/tools) added.

Bill Gates (a man I certainly do not admire) is quoted as saying: “Measuring programming progress by lines of code is like measuring aircraft building progress by weight.”

Whether Red Hat asks us to do so or not, we do end up measuring progress in lines of code or packages contributed — when these packages don’t always improve the situation of either users or freedom, as much as they improve the situation of large companies. This was once done carefully, as with marketing, to avoid rocking the boat too much and have communities reject these contributions like an immune system rejecting an organ transplant.

“It was Free software that slowly forced corporations to play by our rules with regards to licensing, and it has taken them decades to come up with effective ways to circumvent those requirements.”But today, such contributions are so overwhelming that you are (in the words of Steve Litt) frequently given a Hobson’s choice of “take it or leave it.” We are often given this “choice” with extra “take it” and very little “leave it”, because the work of removing these contributions or making them optional continues to increase.

This should be considered bad behaviour, and not in good faith, to take the amount of choice and control we have as users — and continually work to make it more and more difficult to make choices at all. But it is defended by people chasing sponsors and corporate “contributions.” At some point, users must put their foot down. They must decide, if they are tired of this sort of treatment, that they refuse to accept any more of this degradation and manipulation of their Free software ecosystem.

It was Free software that slowly forced corporations to play by our rules with regards to licensing, and it has taken them decades to come up with effective ways to circumvent those requirements. Although it would almost certainly undermine the 4 freedoms to put new requirements on the same level — on a completely separate level, a slightly lower tier than the 4 freedoms, we can make our stand regarding choice, user advocacy and platform and UI stability.

Stability is underrated and under-catered to by companies who want to drag (control) users from one “experience” to the next. I offered to install Trisquel on someone’s notebook once, as part of my advocacy of Free software. They turned me down of course, but I wanted them to know such a thing was possible. When they found themselves using Windows 8, they finally took me up on it. They found 8 a complete nightmare, as did I when I tried it, and Trisquel offered greater stability and usability at the time than “8″ did.

Free software is not immune from similar nightmares, and if we listened to users a bit more we would know that. Projects to preserve abandoned user-facing software like MATE and Trinity should be encouraged, not treated as second class citizens (I’m looking at you, Debian — the Once Universal operating system. You’ve made too many compromises and dismissed too many users. But why you did that is very interesting too.)

“Free software is not immune from similar nightmares, and if we listened to users a bit more we would know that.”We really don’t want to drag users along like cattle. Calling that “freedom” becomes a little too cynical. It isn’t acting like a community, but a company.

“So everything is fine. Then you think that Free software politics have become obsolete.”

Another great point from Jagadees. We get so caught up in development that we forget about the freedom that made it possible. Ubuntu is such a great example of this. Named after the quality of humanity itself, Ubuntu whispers “Corporate” into everything it can get its hands on. It has a “universal” package system that is controlled and dictated by Canonical. And when the forums asked: “What are your Likes and/or Dislikes with Ubuntu Forums” I replied:

“Culturally speaking, I think the forums are far too apolitical. I haven’t expected any different in nearly a decade (I was also here around 2010 or something) but that’s my primary dislike.

Plenty of nuisances and unpleasantness are avoided that way, but in their place is an enforced sterility. I doubt I’ll ever be a fan of that. To each their own, I guess?”

At least I got away with saying that much. My favourite reply was from “super moderator” DuckHook, for the point it puts on the entire issue:

“I’ve always valued UF as a sanctuary and a respite from such conflict. Were it to turn into just another politicized, polarized, jingoistic mudfest, I would be out of here faster than you could say ‘RMS’.”

“What Canonical and its “Humanity to others” has typically done over the years is say in gentler terms: “If you don’t like it, GTFO.” Hobson’s choice again.”Mark Shuttleworth used to advocate Software Freedom to some degree, until his values diverged far enough from it to where he couldn’t fool anybody into thinking he cared about freedom anymore. Today it is a recipe for a “politicized, polarized, jingoistic mudfest” to even discuss such things. I mean, they want you to think it is. Corporate is happy to tell you that we are all better off if we just avoid those topics — and adopt corporate values instead.

If we did more to sincerely advocate for users, they would tell us how they feel about this. What Canonical and its “Humanity to others” has typically done over the years is say in gentler terms: “If you don’t like it, GTFO.” Hobson’s choice again.

Jagadees: “So all of a sudden you see the group of innocent corporate donors, even Epsteins. You will be happy with them and thank them for their support. Also, you might support their beliefs (in making money). This is the beginning of the conflict of interest.”

Stallman has made it very clear that making money isn’t a problem in and of itself, and I agree. It’s not money that is the root of all evil, but the “love of money” (over people, over integrity, over other kinds of value.) Greed, in other words. And lust for power. Taking those who lust for power too seriously puts our community (and society) in jeopardy. We should be able to comment, to mock greed, to (as Benjamin from Wayne’s World put it) “humiliate our sponsor.”

“We should be able to comment, to mock greed, to (as Benjamin from Wayne’s World put it) “humiliate our sponsor.””Otherwise, we simply put them on a level over us, and make them VIPs while we become serfs. We even let them spread this narrative that — if not for Red Hat, we would still be poking at ordinary VT screens in caves or something. (What did we ever do without them? The work that actually got us all here — useless!)

Not that we don’t want any large contributions, but we want them on our terms — we want choice. If taking your contributions means we need to abandon all of our own priorities and ignore our own needs, sorry — take your contribution and go. We must have freedom, first.

“Otherwise, we simply put them on a level over us, and make them VIPs while we become serfs. We even let them spread this narrative that — if not for Red Hat, we would still be poking at ordinary VT screens in caves or something.”Jagadees: “they want the same model of development without its politics. Model of development in this context means volunteers developing software. So they don’t have to pay for anything. Maybe once in a while they’ll give some trip to a foreign country or a podium position. Even better than the gig economy!”

I think I’ve heard the comparison of this third (corporate-first) age of Free software to the gig economy at least one other place, but it’s worth reflecting on. Yes, it’s disruptive technology — but disrupting the previous model doesn’t automatically imply freedom. It only implies change. Big companies want us to confuse something as basic as change with freedom, when it isn’t the same thing at all. They want us to think that anything other than the status quo is progress (as did Apple in their 1984-inspired commercial.)

Another gem: “Breaking a system from the outside is a tough job. It may backfire and strengthen the system. But it will be very easy to break things from inside. Ruling classes know and have known this for centuries. What they have to do is entryism — just act like they’re supporting people’s movements.”

I couldn’t agree more.

“We should start a second phase of the Free software movement that’s making good software and putting users at the center. There will be user communities. They will raise resources and fund things. They will recruit workers. Workers will develop software. Once a project is completed workers will be ‘fired’.”

This is an interesting approach. Because an increasing number of us are treating Free software as a federation, we can have an organisation (or more than one) that tries out this approach. And the model Jagadees is referring to is known traditionally as the Bounty system. I suspect that in reality this will be a combination of paid workers and community volunteers, but the call to keep paid developers at arm’s length is worth considering. With federation, we don’t all have to adopt this but many of us can try this out.

“We should teach everyone to code, and if that is too difficult to teach, we should look at the many tools (and develop new tools) that make it easier to learn how to code.”The beauty of federation is we can explore more options and methodologies towards creating Free software.

“Techies should not dictate the Free software movement. The Free software movement is for Free software users. Not developers.”

I still think it’s about a balance, and that the line between user and developer is too artificial. In my opinion, we shouldn’t just make it easier to be a user, we should make it easier to be a developer. We should consider working on friendlier development tools and the Free software movement ought to support better education.

“I think we need to take our communities back, not to exclude developers or even ban corporations entirely, but to make it clear that nobody “dictates” whether or not we all may advocate.”We should teach everyone to code, and if that is too difficult to teach, we should look at the many tools (and develop new tools) that make it easier to learn how to code. That’s something I was working on prior to this major Free software crisis — a crisis I predicted, I might add.

But I still love to code, and we should share that joy with users. Freedom is a vital goal, but empowering the user is not complete until we have invited them to our developers’ table.

I am not offended when Jagadees says “The Free software movement is for Free software users. Not developers.” We shouldn’t take offense to this. I am fond of saying that “freedom is for everyone.” Many developers have stopped listening to users, and developers have stopped listening to advocates of freedom. Everybody has more to learn, from developers and users alike.

There are still a lot more of them than there are of us, and besides — I’m a user too. I think we need to take our communities back, not to exclude developers or even ban corporations entirely, but to make it clear that nobody “dictates” whether or not we all may advocate.

“If we want great Free software to continue, we need advocacy more than ever.”And if that’s “just another politicized, polarized, jingoistic mudfest” — then let’s get our hands dirty. I know it might offend the “suits”, but I really never cared about that and I don’t know why people are fooled into thinking that’s so important these days. They’re just people, and we’ve spent too much effort on brown-nosing companies — and too little on advocacy.

There’s a great myth, as Jagadees reminds us, that advocacy doesn’t produce software. That myth is corporate, and proper advocacy has at times produced the greatest software in the history of computing. If we want great Free software to continue, we need advocacy more than ever.

Licence: Creative Commons Attribution-Sharealike 3.0 Unported

Links 18/10/2019: More KDE Events and OpenBSD 6.6

Posted in News Roundup at 11:29 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Server

      • Top 5 stress reliefs for sysadmins
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          This post is a high level solution overview describing the main building blocks and how they fit together. We assume that the reader has an overall understanding of Kubernetes, the Container Network Interface (CNI) and NFV terminology such as VNFs and CNFs.

    • Audiocasts/Shows

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      • Podcast Ubuntu Portugal: Ep 61 – Ubucon Europe 2019 Mashup show
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      • 2019-10-17 | Linux Headlines

        OpenStack’s Train release pulls into the station amidst mixed news from supporters, Ubuntu 19.10 has arrived with plenty of tempting features, NGINX’s Unit application server receives a big update, IBM’s financials continue to disappoint, and some welcome security improvements for Chrome on Android.

    • Kernel Space

      • Linux 5.3.7

        I’m announcing the release of the 5.3.7 kernel.

        All users of the 5.3 kernel series must upgrade.

        The updated 5.3.y git tree can be found at:

        git://git.kernel.org/pub/scm/linux/kernel/git/stable/linux-stable.git linux-5.3.y

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


      • Linux 4.19.80
      • Linux 4.14.150
      • Linux 4.9.197
      • Linux 4.4.197
      • Graphics Stack

        • libinput and tablet pad keys

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          Step back a second and let’s look at the tablet interfaces. We have one for tablet tools (styli) and one for tablet pads. In the latter, we have events for rings, strips and buttons. The latter are simply numerically ordered, so button 1 is simply button 1 with no special meaning. Anything more specific needs to be handled by the compositor/client side which is responsible for assigning e.g. keyboard shortcuts to those buttons.

        • libinput and button scrolling locks

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        • NVIDIA have released the big new Linux Beta driver 440.26 today

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    • Benchmarks

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      • The Spectre Mitigation Impact For Intel Ice Lake With Core i7-1065G7

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    • Applications

      • Snaptastic – elementary OS snap manager

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        Snaptastic is a graphical snap manager utility, available in the elementary AppCenter, designed to aid the users of this distribution in getting the software that might not be available through standard repository channels.

      • Foliate – A simple and modern ebook viewer for linux

        Foliate viewer support epub, .mobi, .azw, and .azw3 files. Have few mode for you such as light, dark, sepia and invert theme mode.

        How to install? Luckly, they also release distribution package for Fedora (sudo dnf install foliate , Arch and Void linux (xbps-install -S foliate). For DEB based such a Ubuntu or Debian can be download on latest release page. For others distribution, just download the source code and build yourself. Else, just download from Flatpak.

      • How I built and maintain Cantata, an open source music player

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        I was interested in learning more about Cantata, so I was grateful when Craig agreed to do this interview (which has been lightly edited for length and clarity). Without further ado, let’s chat with Craig.

      • Linux Candy: Ternimal – animated lifeform in the terminal

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        I’m not going to harp on about the tired proverb “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy”. But there’s a certain element of truth here. If you spend all day coding neural networks, mastering a new programming language, sit in meetings feeling bored witless, you’ll need some relief at the end of the day. And what better way by making your desktop environment a bit more memorable, zany, and idiosyncratic.

        For this article in the Linux Candy series, we’re looking at Ternimal. That’s not a typo. It’s called Ternimal. Think of the name as a hybrid of terminal and animal.

        Ternimal simulates a lifeform in the terminal using Unicode block symbols. It’s a script written in Rust. It has no dependencies and consumes very few resources.

      • Proprietary

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          Popularized by Fortnite, the battle pass system allows for players to buy the pass at the beginning of the season, and unlock a variety of items as they progress. Modern Warfare’s system sounds like it’ll be extremely similar to the Fortnite model (which has since been adopted by other major titles, like Destiny 2 and PUBG). Players will be able to buy a pass at the beginning of a season, with full transparency as to what the items included are, and how and when they’ll be unlocked.

        • Innr Smart White A19 bulb review: This inexpensive smart bulb seamlessly connects with a Philips Hue Bridge

          If you’re shopping for your first smart bulb and you’re not ready to invest in a hub, an Innr bulb isn’t the cheapest way to go. Instead, you’d be better off with a Bluetooth- or Wi-Fi-enabled bulb that can operate with just a smartphone app. The latest Philips Hue White bulb, for example, which can be controlled via Bluetooth as well as Zigbee), or a Wi-Fi-connected bulb like the $8 Wyze Bulb, which offers the bonus of being color-temperature-tunable.

        • The Untold Story of the 2018 Olympics Cyberattack, the Most Deceptive [Computer Attack] in History [iophk: Windows TCO]

          All nine of the Olympic staff’s domain controllers, the powerful machines that governed which employee could access which computers in the network, had somehow been paralyzed, crippling the entire system. The staff decided on a temporary workaround: They set all the surviving servers that powered some basic services, such as Wi-Fi and the internet-linked TVs, to bypass the dead gatekeeper machines. By doing so, they managed to bring those bare-minimum systems back online just minutes before the end of the ceremony.

        • [Old] Olympic Destroyer Takes Aim At Winter Olympics

          The purpose is to copy the initial stage to the remote system in %ProgramData%\%COMPUTERNAME%.exe and to execute it via a VBScript.

    • Instructionals/Technical

    • Games

      • Crusader Kings II goes free to play, Paradox games on sale and possibly Crusader Kings III coming

        It’s Friday morning, I’ve got my coffee ready so let’s go over what’s going on what Paradox Interactive. They’ve got a lot going on right now!

        Firstly, it seems Crusader Kings II has gone fully free to play. This doesn’t appear to be time limited either, the Steam store page properly states it’s “Free To Play” and on Twitter, the Crusader Kings official account said “This is not a joke – Crusader Kings 2 is free to play!”.

        Considering it has a rather large amount of DLC, it’s seven years old and it’s been given out temporarily free for keeps before, it seems like a good idea to set the base game free for everyone now. Looks like all the DLC is also 50% off.

      • With a fabric world, Woven looks like a unique adventure coming to Linux next month

        Alterego Games and StickyLock Studios have announced that their adventure game Woven is releasing on November 15. Woven certainly looks pleasant, with a world that looks like someone stitched it together and your character is a stuffed animal.

        Woven is a laid-back adventure and exploration game, where you roam a world made of fabric. They said all the stuffed animals once lived in peace and all appears well at first glance, but not everything is as it seems. As you progress through Woven as the clumsy character Stuffy you customize them with different animal shapes to gain new abilities, solve puzzles and attempt to find out why the world is being invaded by metal machines.

      • The Scream Fortress XI event has launched for Team Fortress 2

        While perhaps not as big as previous events, it’s still a good time to boot up Team Fortress 2 again and have a blast. Dust off your crazy mask, pick a silly weapon skin and dive in.

      • X4: Foundations update 2.60 is out, X4: Split Vendetta and the big 3.0 update both delayed

        A couple of bits of news from Egosoft to share for their massive space sci-fi sandbox X4: Foundations.

      • Fantasty tactical RPG Wildermyth blends a mix of hand-painted 2D and 3D art & arrives on Steam soon

        With character art during the turn-based battles that look like paper cutouts in a 3D environment, Wildermyth certainly has a strange and lovely charm to it.

        Currently available on itch.io were users have been testing it for some time, Worldwalker Games have now announced that their character-driven tactical RPG will enter Early Access on Steam on November 13. In Wildermyth, your party will be tasked with defending the lands from various threads, switching between the turn-based combat and making decisions on the over-world map. It has choice-based comic-styled events, which can end up changing your heroes appearance, personalities, relationships, and abilities.

      • Tannenberg the WWI FPS adds the new Ukraine map, still on sale in a bundle

        M2H and Blackmill Games have just release another pretty big update to Tannenberg, their impressive WWI first-person shooter.

        Today’s update adds in the Ukraine map which the developers say has plenty of open ground for HMGs to get you in their sights, with extensive trench networks to give some cover.

      • Project Zomboid just had the biggest Beta release ever overhauling loads of features

        Move over 7 Days to Die, you’re not the only Zombie survival game in town with a recent overhaul. Project Zomboid is another that just released an absolutely massive Beta update to try out.

        Included in their “IWBUMS” (I Will Back Up My Save) Beta branch on Steam (not on GOG until stable) is the first step towards Project Zomboid version 41. The amount of changes included is quite ridiculous. The Indie Stone even said it’s the “most fundamental and wide-ranging update that Project Zomboid has ever had” and they’re not wrong.

        This latest Beta is work towards making Project Zomboid feel a little more alive and have a wider variety for everything. It’s a foundation to bring even more big changes to PZ, with the new animation work in this build helping to bring wild animals in the next major build. This Beta is expected to last a while, as they have more to add back into it.

      • The Jackbox Party Pack 6 has officially released with Linux support

        In the mood to have a party? Well you’re in luck as The Jackbox Party Pack 6 is now available with Linux support. Continuing their great support of Linux gaming, all six packs have Linux versions which is excellent!

        What makes the Jackbox Party Pack (any of them) great is how you connect to play them. No need to hook up 4 or 5 gamepads, stretch wires across the floor or anything annoying like that. You load the game, tell everyone to pull out their phone or tablet and connect up to their website with a room code and—pop, you’re in the game.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • Xfce4-Panel Adds Dark Mode Preference

        Landing this week in xfce4-panel was this commit providing a dark mode preference for Xfce4, similar to the growing trend with other desktops/UIs for those wanting a “dark mode” interface.

        Enabling this option will request the GTK dark theme variant of capable themes. For a long time now GTK has exposed a property (gtk-application-prefer-dark-theme) for preferring dark themes while now is being tapped by xfce4-panel.

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • conf.kde.in Is Coming Back In 2020

          conf.kde.in 2020 will be held in Maharaja Agrasen Institute of Technology, located in Rohini, Delhi, India. MAIT was established by the Maharaja Agrasen Technical Education Society and promoted by well-known industrialists, businessmen, professionals and philanthropists. The aim of MAIT is to promote quality education in the field of Technology.

          MAIT endeavors to provide industry-relevant education and training through its well-crafted and practical training programs for the students in different semesters of their courses. The campus is composed of 10 blocks with a learning resource center. MAIT has been ranked as the 10th best private engineering institute in India by the Dataquest T-School Survey. MAIT always supports Free and Open Source communities and tech-related activities.

        • conf.kde.in is live!

          At least twice I have been to India. Atil Chitnis closed FOSS.IN in 2008, and I wrote about that only briefly, and in 2011 there was conf.kde.in in Bangalore which I wrote about some more.

          During one of those conferences I fell asleep on the ground in the hall at the KDE booth.

        • Announcing LaKademy 2019

          The seventh edition of the KDE Latin-American Summit (LaKademy 2019) is ready to go! It will take place at Salvador-Bahia, northeastern Brazil, from 14th to 17th November. 24 participants, hopefully accompanied by some local guests, will meet at Information Technology Superintendence of Federal University of Bahia for four days of hacking sessions, promo meetings, and all sort of KDE-related things.

          Salvador (the city I live in) is well known for its beatiful beaches, the biggest carnival in the planet, and its unique cuisine. In November, attendees can already have a glimpse on our warm summer and hopefully that will bring a bunch of additional energy for having a fun and productive meeting.

        • Akademy 2019 in Beautiful Milan

          We discussed on some marketing strategies, and did some brainstorming on few topics. Learnt how far we have reached on spreading KDE to new users and determined few tasks we would work on for this year.

        • Plasma Mobile: weekly update: part 3

          Thanks to the awesome KDE community, we are happy to present the Plasma Mobile project’s third weekly update.

        • List stores in kde.org/applications

          Announcing a small update for the goal: KDE is All About the Apps. kde.org/applications is now listing the stores where the application is available. For the moment, it’s only listing Linux and the Windows Store, but support for F-Droid and the Play Store is planned. Stay tuned!

    • Distributions

      • Reviews

        • PCLinuxOS MATE Review

          Published for Patreons on Oct 8th 2019. Available to the public Oct. 17th, 2019 – Become a Patreon today to get this plus exclusive Linux tips not found anywhere else!

      • New Releases

        • antiX-19 isos available.

          antiX-19 is based on Debian Buster and systemd-free.

          As usual we offer the following systemd-free flavours for both 32 and 64 bit architecture.

      • SUSE/OpenSUSE

        • openSUSE Asia Summit 2019: Summit Preparation

          Actually, this journey begins in 2015. I attending Indonesia Linux Conference, that’s the first time I meet people from openSUSE Indonesia. Mr. Edwin Zakaria. I remember, he gave me Alex the Gecko T-Shirt from Babacucu.com. My first openSUSE T-shirt.

          After attending the conference. I also invited to KPLI (Kelompok Pengguna Linux Indonesia: it’s like Indonesian Linux Users) meeting at Gucci, Tegal with my boss, Pak Vavai. It’s an honor for me. Because I remember, I was a kid who never knew about a community before.

      • Fedora Family

        • ibus-anthy 1.5.11 and anthy-unicode are released

          ibus-anthy 1.5.11 is released and available in Fedora 30 or later.
          # dnf update ibus-anthy

          The default input mode is now Eisu (direct) mode but not Hiragana mode.

          Eisu mode now can load a user compose file of either $HOME/.config/ibus/Compose or $HOME/.XCompose although the system compose files has been already loaded.

        • IBus 1.5.21 is released

          IBus 1.5.21 is now released and available in Fedora 31.

          # dnf update ibus

          This release enhances the IBus compose features. The maximum number of the compose key sequences was 7. Also the output character was limited in 16 bit and only one character could be output so the latest emoji characters or custom long compose characters were not supported.
          The following is the demo.

        • Fedora 31 Release Held Up By Installer + DNF Bugs

          Fedora developers had been trying to ship Fedora 31 for their original release target of next Tuesday, 22 October, but that isn’t going to happen due to remaining blocker bugs.

          At today’s meeting they decided F31 is a “No-Go” due to open issues.

        • Cockpit Project: Cockpit 205

          Cockpit is the modern Linux admin interface. We release regularly. Here are the release notes from version 205.

      • Debian Family

        • Meet The Linux Desktop That Will Embarass Windows 10 And macOS in 2020

          If you haven’t been paying attention to a little Linux desktop distribution called Deepin, it’s time to put it on your radar. Nevermind that Huawei chose Deepin to ship on their MateBook laptop lineup. Nevermind that Deepin Cloud Sync is a killer, forward-thinking feature that every Linux distro needs to adopt. Nevermind that its elegant slide-out control center resembles something sexy and sensible straight out of the future. But looking toward 2020, Deepin is poised to be absolutely stunning.

          This is without question the most beautiful environment I’ve ever laid eyes on. I’ve gone from admiring it as an elevated Desktop Linux distribution to downright salivating over it.

        • Molly de Blanc: Autonomy and consent

          When I was an undergraduate, I took a course on medical ethics. The core takeaways from the class were that autonomy is necessary for consent, and consent is necessary for ethical action.

          There is a reciprocal relationship between autonomy and consent. We are autonomous creatures, we are self-governing. In being self-governing, we have the ability to consent, to give permission to others to interact with us in the ways we agree on. We can only really consent when we are self-governing, otherwise, it’s not proper consent. Consent also allows us to continue to be self-governing. By giving others permission, we are giving up some control, but doing so on our own terms.

          In order to actually consent, we have to grasp the situation we’re in, and as much about it as possible. Decision making needs to come from a place of understanding.

        • Ritesh Raj Sarraf: User Mode Linux 5.2

          User Mode Linux version 5.2 has been uploaded to Debian Unstable and will soon be available on the supported architectures. This upload took more time than usual as I ran into a build time failure caused by newer PCAP library.

          Thanks to active upstream developers, this got sorted out quick. In the longer run, we may have a much better fix for it.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • Here’s When You Can Upgrade To The New Pop OS 19.10

          The entire flavorful family of Ubuntu 19.10 is now available for upgrades and downloads, but some Ubuntu-based distributions don’t follow as strict a release schedule. In the case of my current daily driver Pop!_OS, version 19.10 will be available “When It’s Ready™” but all signs are pointing to today or tomorrow at the latest.

          According to the Pop OS Upgrade project tracker on GitHub, there are still a handful of issues to test before the 19.10 release gets the green light and hits the servers.

          “We’re almost there,” says System76 Product Engineer Michael Aaron Murphy. “There are a handful of last minute issues to fix, and we’ll be able to roll out 19.10 with Tensorman and our new upgrade feature.”

        • Ubuntu 20.04 Release Date & Planned Features

          This early in the release cycle — development isn’t even open on Launchpad yet — there’s not an awful lot of information to go on and few plans are in place.

          But we do know when it’s due for release, how long it’ll be supported for, and some of the basic foundational details that will unpin it.

        • This fall, Ubuntu 19.10 stars as Eoan Ermine in… Dawn of the Stoats

          Canonical has released Ubuntu 19.10, codenamed Eoan Ermine for some reason.

          Ubuntu 19.10 is only supported until July 2020. The next LTS (Long Term Support) release will be 20.04 next year. Businesses using Ubuntu in production may prefer to wait for 20.04, for which 19.10 serves as a useful preview.

          Based on the Linux 5.3 kernel, Ubuntu 19.10 comes with an updated developer toolchain including GCC 9.2.1 and most packages have been compiled with additional GCC hardening options enabled for improved security. The default desktop is GNOME 3.34.

          Ubuntu is increasing its use of Snap packaging. Snap is a container technology designed for desktop applications. A Snap container has read-only access to system resources but can be configured to have full permissions for your files and documents.

        • 10 Things To Do After Installing Ubuntu 19.10

          For the record, we’ve written a list of ‘things to do after installing Ubuntu’ for the past 20 Ubuntu releases. That’s two lists a year, every year, for a decade — and each list is specifically tailored to each version of Ubuntu.

          Our rundown for Ubuntu 19.10? Well, it’s no exception!

          As always: we never suggest you do anything that would damage or harm your install. So for tips on how to butcher Eoan with beta software, unstable drivers, and deep-level config meddling, you’ll need to look elsewhere!

          Otherwise read on for plenty of useful pointers and pertinent advice on how to get the most from your spangly new Linux system.

          Let’s go!

        • Ubuntu 19.10 on the edge: Raspberry Pi 4 support and MicroK8s

          Ubuntu 19.10 debuts “strict confinement” support for MicroK8s — Canonical’s snap-deployed, single-node Kubernetes environment — enabling easier deployment of k8s containers on edge gateways. MicroK8s can even run on the newly supported RPi 4.

          Canonical’s Ubuntu project released Ubuntu 19.10 “Eoan Ermine” with loads of new features for the desktop and cloud. Yet, it also delivered some shiny new objects for the embedded/edge world. First and shiniest is support for the Raspberry Pi 4 Model B. The second is the addition of “strict confinement” support for Canonical’s MicroK8s Kubernetes environment for single-node clusters, enabling easier deployment on edge devices. In addition, the Kubeflow machine learning toolkit for Kubernetes is now available as an add-on to MicroK8s.

        • Ubuntu 19.10 Flavours Released, Now Available to Download

          Ubuntu’s family of flavours issue their latest iterations alongside today’s main attraction, the release of Ubuntu 19.10.

          And, like regular Ubuntu, all of the flavours mentioned in this post are supported with critical bug fixes, security patches and app updates for 9 months.

          So keep reading for a quick look at what’s new and notable in each release, plus the download links you need should you want to grab a freshly spun ISO and go hands on for yourself!

        • Xubuntu 19.10 Released with Xfce 4.14 Desktop Environment, ZFS on Root, and More

          Packed with the same under-the-hood components as Ubuntu 19.10 (Eoan Ermine), such as Linux kernel 5.3 and GCC 9.2.1, Xubuntu 19.10 is here to offer fans of the lightweight Xfce desktop environment all the latest and greatest GNU/Linux technologies and Open Source software. The major highlight being the recently released Xfce 4.14 desktop environment.

          Xubuntu 19.10 also replaces the Light Locker lockscreen utility used since Xubuntu 16.04 LTS (Xenial Xerus) with the more modern Xfce Screensaver application, which deeply integrates with the Xfce 4.14 desktop environment and adds support for suspend and hibernate on laptops, support for X11 screensaver signals and all Xscreensaver screensavers, and DPMS support.

        • Shuttleworth sees the Linux desktop living on with Ubuntu 19.10

          Canonical has just released Ubuntu Linux 19.10, Eoan Ermine. Like most modern Linux distributions, it comes with many improvements aimed at delivering enterprise services for the cloud and Kubernetes container orchestration. But Ubuntu hasn’t turned its back on the Linux desktop.

          In an interview, Canonical CEO and founder Mark Shuttleworth explained: “We never got the desktop into the consumer space. We’re still happy to give developers and system admins a platform. We’re still passionate about the Linux desktop.”

        • Ubuntu 19.10 (Eoan Ermine) Officially Released, Here’s What’s New

          Six months in the making, Ubuntu 19.10 is dubbed Eoan Ermine and it’s Canonical’s 31st release of Ubuntu Linux, one of the most popular free and Open Source operating systems in the world. Packed with numerous goodies, this release also celebrates fifteen years since the first Ubuntu release, but it’s not a long-term supported version, so it will only receive software and security updates for nine months, until July 2020.

          “In the fifteen years since the first Ubuntu release, we have seen Ubuntu evolve from the desktop to become the platform of choice across public cloud, open infrastructure, IoT and AI,” said Mark Shuttleworth, CEO of Canonical. “With the 19.10 release, Ubuntu continues to deliver strong support, security and superior economics to enterprises, developers and the wider community.”

        • Ubuntu 19.10 “Eoan Ermine” Released. Here’s What’s New

          Ubuntu 19.10 “Eoan Ermine” is released with latest features, iconic changes. Read on.

          Ubuntu – the most popular and widely used Linux Operating system for desktop and servers, announced the release of fresh Ubuntu 19.10 “Eoan Ermine”. This is a non-LTS release which means it is feature rich and supported till July 2020. Targeted for early adopters – Ubuntu 19.10 “Eoan Ermine” brings some important changes. These changes are the foundation for the next LTS release.

        • Ubuntu 19.10 delivers Kubernetes at the edge, multi-cloud infrastructure economics and an integrated AI/ML developer experience

          17th October 2019: Canonical today announced the release of Ubuntu 19.10 with a focus on accelerating developer productivity in AI/ML, new edge capabilities for MicroK8s and delivering the fastest GNOME desktop performance.

          “In the fifteen years since the first Ubuntu release, we have seen Ubuntu evolve from the desktop to become the platform of choice across public cloud, open infrastructure, IoT and AI. With the 19.10 release, Ubuntu continues to deliver strong support, security and superior economics to enterprises, developers and the wider community,” said Mark Shuttleworth, CEO of Canonical.

          New edge capabilities for Kubernetes

          Ubuntu 19.10 brings enhanced edge computing capabilities with the addition of strict confinement to MicroK8s. Strict confinement ensures complete isolation and a tightly secured production-grade Kubernetes environment, all in a small footprint ideal for edge gateways. MicroK8s add-ons – including Istio, Knative, CoreDNS, Prometheus, and Jaeger – can now be deployed securely at the edge with a single command. This builds on existing snaps for edge gateways already available including EdgeX and AWS IoT Greengrass.

          The Raspberry Pi 4 Model B is supported by Ubuntu 19.10. The latest board from the Raspberry Pi Foundation offers a faster system-on-a-chip with a processor that uses the Cortex-A72 architecture (quad-core 64-bit ARMv8 at 1.5GHz) and offers up to 4GB of RAM. With the Raspberry Pi 4 Model B, developers get access to a low-cost board, powerful enough to orchestrate workloads at the edge with MicroK8s.

          Continued focus on improving the economics of multi-cloud infrastructure

          Ubuntu 19.10 ships with the Train release of Charmed OpenStack – the 20th OpenStack release, backed by the Nautilus release of Ceph. This marks Canonical’s long-term commitment to open infrastructure and improving the cost of cloud operations. Train provides live migration extensions to aid telcos in their infrastructure operations. Live migration allows users to move their machines from one hypervisor to another without shutting down the operating system of the machine. It is now also possible in telco-specific environments with NUMA topology, pinned CPUs, SR-IOV ports attached and huge pages configured. Nautilus introduces the automatic placement group tuning feature to improve the experience of operating a Ceph distributed storage cluster.

          Integrated AI developer experience

          Kubeflow is now available as an add-on to MicroK8s for improved machine learning and AI capabilities. In minutes, developers can set-up, develop, test and scale to their production needs. Kubeflow and GPU acceleration work out the box with MicroK8s. All dependencies are included with automatic updates and transactional security fixes so users can spend less time configuring and more time innovating.

          Ubuntu 19.10 will ship with NVIDIA drivers embedded in the ISO image to improve the performance and overall experience for gamers and AI/ML users with NVIDIA hardware, saving the need for manual installation. Ubuntu 19.10 uses the 5.3 kernel, which introduces support for the AMD Navi GPUs and Zhaoxin x86 processors for workstations.

          15 years on – still delivering the most usable Linux desktop

          With GNOME 3.34, Ubuntu 19.10 is the fastest release yet with significant performance improvements delivering a more responsive and smooth experience, even on older hardware. App organisation is easier with the ability to drag and drop icons into categorised folders, while users can select light or dark Yaru theme variants depending on their preference or for improved viewing accessibility.

          Native support for ZFS on the root partition is introduced as an experimental desktop installer option. Coupled with the new zsys package, benefits include automated snapshots of file system states, allowing users to boot to a previous update and easily roll forwards and backwards in case of failure.

          Ubuntu 19.10 will be available to download here.

          To learn more about Ubuntu 19.10, click here to join the webinar on 23rd October 2019.

        • Ubuntu 19.10 delivers Kubernetes at the edge, multi-cloud infrastructure economics and integrated AI/ML for developers

          Canonical has released Ubuntu 19.10 with a focus on accelerating developer productivity in AI/ML. It also offers new edge capabilities for MicroK8s and aims to deliver the fastest GNOME desktop performance.

          “In the fifteen years since the first Ubuntu release, we have seen Ubuntu evolve from the desktop to become the platform of choice across public cloud, open infrastructure, IoT and AI. With the 19.10 release, Ubuntu continues to deliver strong support, security and superior economics to enterprises, developers and the wider community,” says Mark Shuttleworth, CEO of Canonical.

          Ubuntu 19.10 brings enhanced edge computing capabilities with the addition of strict confinement to MicroK8s. Strict confinement ensures complete isolation and a tightly secured production-grade Kubernetes environment, all in a small footprint ideal for edge gateways. MicroK8s add-ons – including Istio, Knative, CoreDNS, Prometheus, and Jaeger – can now be deployed securely at the edge with a single command. This builds on existing snaps for edge gateways already available including EdgeX and AWS IoT Greengrass.

        • Ubuntu 19.10 ‘Eoan Ermine’ Has Arrived: Downloads Available Now!

          It’s time to stand tall like the short-tailed weasel to make way for Ubuntu’s new release 19.10 Eoan Ermine. After six months of development, Ubuntu 19.10 is finally here.

          You might have already seen our list of the features of Ubuntu 19.10 while we tried the beta recently. In this article, I shall highlight a few key features and mention the official download links to get your hands on the new Ubuntu release.

        • Kubuntu 19.10 is released today

          Kubuntu 19 .10 has been released, featuring the beautiful KDE Plasma 5.16 desktop.

          Codenamed “Eoan Ermine”, Kubuntu 19.10 integrates the latest and greatest open source technologies into a high-quality, easy-to-use Linux distribution.

          The team has been hard at work through this cycle, introducing new features and fixing bugs.

        • Download Ubuntu 19.10 Eoan Ermine and Official Flavours with Torrents and Checksums

          Ubuntu 19.10 Eoan Ermine released this Thursday, 17 October 2019 as planned. Canonical, the company that develops Ubuntu, publishes the announcement at mailing list and website with webinar What’s new in Ubuntu 19.10 that will be held 24 October 2019. You can read the official announcement published at mailing list and website. Not less important, you can read Release Notes, detailed information, of Eoan Ermine and all Flavours at Ubuntu Wiki. As usual, I listed here all download links of Ubuntu, Kubuntu, Lubuntu and all desktop Flavours with torrents and checksums. You just need to click the link you want and download it. Happy downloading!

        • Ubuntu 19.10′s Kernel Ships With A DoS / Arbitrary Code Execution Bug In The IPv6 Code

          If you are planning to run the newly-released Ubuntu 19.10, among the initial round of stable release updates is an important kernel fix.

          A Phoronix reader pointed us to a vulnerability within Ubuntu 19.10′s default kernel due to a patch not being picked up from the Linux stable tree quick enough. The issue in the IPv6 kernel code can lead to a denial of service issue or possible arbitrary code execution vulnerability.

        • Ubuntu 19.10 (Eoan Ermine) released

          Ubuntu has announced the release of 19.10 “Eoan Ermine” in desktop and server editions as well as all of the different flavors: Ubuntu Budgie, Kubuntu, Lubuntu, Ubuntu Kylin, Ubuntu MATE, Ubuntu Studio, and Xubuntu.

        • Ubuntu 19.10 Installation Overview and Walkthrough
        • Kubernetes on a single machine

          As developers, we do not always have access to a production-like environment to test new features and run proof-of-concepts. This is why it can be very interesting to deploy Kubernetes on a single machine. Of course, there is the new microk8s snap that allows a super fast deployment of a k8s cluster on a laptop (and it is definitely worth a try, look here to see how I deployed and tested it in just a few minutes), but if you’re looking for the full experience, here’s how I deployed the Charmed Distribution of Kubernetes on LXD containers in a single bare-metal machine.

          Note: This is an adaptation of Michael Iatrou’s post with the newer LXD version 3.18 and Ubuntu 18.04 Bionic Beaver.

          You will need a machine equipped with at least 4 CPU cores, 16GB RAM,100GB free disk space, preferably SSD and one NIC. I am using MAAS to deploy Ubuntu 18.04.3 LTS on a machine. I configured a Linux bridge (br0) and attached one NIC (eno1) to it. Here is the /etc/netplan/config.yaml configuration of my machine.

        • What to do after installing Ubuntu 19.10

          In this video, we are looking at what to do after installing Ubuntu 19.10. Enjoy!

        • What’s new in Ubuntu 19.10

          In this video, we are looking at what’s new in Ubuntu 19.10. Enjoy!

        • What’s New In Ubuntu 19.10 (Eoan Ermine)

          Ubuntu 19.10 (Eoan Ermine) is available for download. Read on if you want to see what new features and improvements are included with this new Ubuntu release.

          This Ubuntu version is supported for 9 months. For a longer supported release, use Ubuntu 18.04 LTS instead, which is supported until April 2023.

          Ubuntu 19.10 (Eoan Ermine) uses GNOME 3.34

          Ubuntu 19.10 uses the latest GNOME 3.34 (with 3.34.1 for some components). You’ll find the latest version of GNOME Shell, GDM, and GNOME Settings, as well as applications like File (Nautilus), Text Editor (Gedit), Terminal, and so on.

          GNOME Software app is still at version 3.30.6 though, with a bug report mentioning that the reasons for not updating it being “regressions on debs support” and the lack of testing. This started with Ubuntu 19.04, and continued with this new Ubuntu 19.10 release.

        • Xubuntu 19.10 released!

          The Xubuntu team is happy to announce the immediate release of Xubuntu 19.10!

          Xubuntu 19.10, codenamed Eoan Ermine, is a regular release and will be supported for 9 months, until July 2020. If you need a stable environment with longer support time, we recommend that you use Xubuntu 18.04 LTS instead.

          The final release images are available as torrents and direct downloads from xubuntu.org/getxubuntu/

          As the main server might be busy in the first few days after the release, we recommend using the torrents if possible.

          Xubuntu Core, our minimal installation option, is available to download from unit193.net/xubuntu/core/. Find out more about Xubuntu Core here.

          We’d like to thank everybody who contributed to this release of Xubuntu!

        • Review: Ubuntu 19.10 “Eoan Ermine”
        • Lubuntu 19.10 (Eoan Ermine) Released!

          Thanks to all the hard work from our contributors, Lubuntu 19.10 has been released! With the codename Eoan Ermine, Lubuntu 19.10 is the 17th release of Lubuntu and the third release of Lubuntu with LXQt as the default desktop environment.

        • Ubuntu 19.10 Eoan Ermine Final release now available

          Planned the Ubuntu 19.10 Eoan Ermine final release has now been made available to download providing a wealth of features for business users, gamers and a new Gnome desktop. Other features of Ubuntu 19.10 Eoan Ermine include : Linux 5.3 kernel series with LZ4 compression algorithm for initramfs, experimental ZFS support in the installer, LibreOffice 6.3 office suite, PulseAudio 13.0 sound system, and Firefox 69 web browser and of course the already mentioned GNOME 3.34 desktop environment.

          Ubuntu 19.10 also features out-of-the-box support for the latest Raspberry Pi 4 Model B single-board computer, and Nvidia-specific enhancements like better startup reliability when using the Nvidia graphics driver, which is now included in the ISO image by default, as well as improved rendering smoothness and frame rates specifically for Nvidia GPUs. If you’re interested in learning more about Raspberry Pi operating systems jump over to our previous post.

          Under the hood, the toolchain was also refreshed with GCC 9.2.1, Glibc 2.30, Python 3.7.5, Ruby 2.5.5, PHP 7.3.8, Perl 5.28.1, Golang 1.12.10, OpenJDK 11, QEMU 4.0, dpdk 18.11.2, libvirt 5.6, Open vSwitch 2.12, OpenStack Train, and Rustc 1.37. The AArch64 and POWER toolchains have been enabled to cross-compile for ARM, S390X, and RISCV64 architectures.

        • Ubuntu 19.10 Debuts With Raspberry Pi 4 Support

          Canonical released Ubuntu 19.10 (also known as Eoan Ermine) today with support for the Raspberry Pi 4 Model B. The update isn’t all good for Raspberry Pi enthusiasts, though, as the company said that “Ubuntu 19.10 Raspberry Pi images can no longer boot on the Raspberry Pi 3 A+ development devices.”

          Raspberry Pi 4 support isn’t Eoan Ermine’s main draw. It also updates the distro to the Linux 5.3 kernel, introduces the GNOME 3.34 user interface and makes numerous improvements to Ubuntu’s security. More information about the changes arriving with Ubuntu 19.10 is available in the release notes on its website.

          In its announcement, Canonical noted that “with the Raspberry Pi 4 Model B, developers get access to a low-cost board, powerful enough to orchestrate workloads at the edge with MicroK8s.”

        • Ubuntu 19.10 (Eoan Ermine) released

          Codenamed “Eoan Ermine”, 19.10 continues Ubuntu’s proud tradition of integrating the latest and greatest open source technologies into a high-quality, easy-to-use Linux distribution. The team has been hard at work through this cycle, introducing new features and fixing bugs.

          The Ubuntu kernel has been updated to the 5.3 based Linux kernel, and our default toolchain has moved to gcc 9.2 with glibc 2.30. Additionally, the Raspberry Pi images now support the new Pi 4 as well as 2 and 3.

          Ubuntu Desktop 19.10 introduces GNOME 3.34 the fastest release yet with significant performance improvements delivering a more responsive experience. App organisation is easier with the ability to drag and drop icons into categorised folders and users can select light or dark Yaru theme variants. The Ubuntu Desktop installer also introduces installing to ZFS as a root filesystem as an experimental feature.

        • Ubuntu 19.10 delivers goodies for gamers and a slick new Gnome desktop

          On the business front, the latest version of this popular Linux distro introduces enhanced edge computing functionality, implementing strict confinement for MicroK8s, meaning a “tightly secured production-grade” Kubernetes environment in an equally tight footprint for edge gateways.

          It’s also now possible to deploy MicroK8s add-ons securely at the edge via a single command. Note that with support now in place for the Raspberry Pi 4, devs have an affordable hardware option to deploy at the edge with MicroK8s.

          Furthermore, Kubeflow has been made available as an add-on to MicroK8s in the cause of boosting machine learning chops. Developers benefit from speedy setup, testing and scaling to production needs. Canonical notes that Kubeflow and GPU acceleration work straight out of the box with MicroK8s.

          The move with embedding Nvidia drivers we mentioned at the outset will also help those involved in the machine learning or AI arena using hardware from that GPU maker, as obviously everything will be already there for them right off the bat.

          Ubuntu 19.10 will also witness the introduction of support for Zhaoxin x86 CPUs for workstations.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • In 2019, multiple open source companies changed course—is it the right move?

        Free and open source software enables the world as we know it in 2019. From Web servers to kiosks to the big data algorithms mining your Facebook feed, nearly every computer system you interact with runs, at least in part, on free software. And in the larger tech industry, free software has given rise to a galaxy of startups and enabled the largest software acquisition in the history of the world.

        Free software is a gift, a gift that made the world as we know it possible. And from the start, it seemed like an astounding gift to give. So astounding in fact that it initially made businesses unaccustomed to this kind of generosity uncomfortable. These companies weren’t unwilling to use free software, it was simply too radical and by extension too political. It had to be renamed: “open source.”

        Once that happened, open source software took over the world.

        Recently, though, there’s been a disturbance in the open source force. Within the last year, companies like Redis Labs, MongoDB, and Confluent all changed their software licenses, moving away from open source licenses to more restrictive terms that limit what can be done with the software, making it no longer open source software.

      • Network Time Foundation Joins Open Source Initiative

        The Open Source Initiative® (OSI), the global organization working to promote and protect Open Source Software, is pleased to announce the new affiliate membership of Network Time Foundation (NTF). NTF develops, maintains, and administers a variety of open source projects, including Ntimed, Linux PTP, RADclock, General Timestamp API, and, most significantly, the Network Time Protocol, one of the oldest continuously running protocols on the internet. NTP delivers the accurate, synchronized time that is a bedrock assumption of the moment-by-moment operations of networking computing. NTP communicates and synchronizes computer clocks robustly and efficiently.

        While Network Time Foundation was established relatively recently, in 2011, to provide direct services and support to improve the state of accurate computer network timekeeping in the general community, development of NTP dates back to 1981 and has served as essential infrastructure enabling the Internet as we know it, and ensuring our modern world runs on time. Network Time Foundation, a 501(c)(3) public benefit organization, develops, produces and maintains the most widely used open source precision time synchronization software, and has led the engineering and development of related IETF protocol and algorithmic standards. Secure and reliable timekeeping is essential to record-keeping in all industries, from financial to medical and beyond. Without NTF and their projects, the flow of information to the world’s interconnected devices would slow, or even stop.

      • Web Browsers

        • Mozilla

          • This Week in Glean: Glean on Desktop (Project FOG)

            The Glean SDK is doing well on mobile. It’s shipping in Firefox Preview and Firefox for Fire TV on Android, and our iOS port for Lockwise is shaping up wonderfully well. Data is flowing in, letting us know how the products are being used.

            It’s time to set our sights on Desktop.

            It’s going to be tricky, but to realize one of the core benefits of the Glean SDK (the one about not having to maintain more than one data collection client library across Mozilla’s products) we have to do this. Also, we’re seeing more than a little interest from our coworkers to get going with it already : )

            One of the reasons it’s going to be tricky is that Desktop isn’t like Mobile. As an example, the Glean SDK “baseline” ping is sent whenever the product is sent to the background. This is predicated on the idea that the user isn’t using the application when it’s in the background. But on Desktop, there’s no similar application lifecycle paradigm we can use in that way. We could try sending a ping whenever focus leaves the browser (onblur), but that can happen very often and doesn’t have the same connotation of “user isn’t using it”. And what if the focus leaves one browser window to attach to another browser window? We need to have conversations with Data Science and Firefox Peers to figure out what lifecycle events most closely respect our desire to measure engagement.

            And that’s just one reason. One reason that needs investigation, exploration, discussion, design, proposal, approval, implementation, validation, and documentation.

            And this reason’s one that we actually know something about. Who knows what swarm of unknown quirks and possible failures lies in wait?

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

            As explained in detail in the previous l10n report, cycles are starting to shorten towards the goal of 4 weeks. While Firefox 70 is going to be released in a few days, on October 22, the deadline to ship any update in Firefox 71 will be on November 19.

            Talking about Firefox 71, congratulations to Catalan (Valencian) (ca-valencia), Tagalog (tl), and Triqui (trs) for reaching an important milestone: with this version, they will move to Beta, and then will be officially released on December 3. Thanks to them, Firefox 71 will be shipping with 96 localizations.

            We have also added two new locales to Nightly in 71: Bodo (brx) and Tibetan (bo). If you speak one of these languages and want to help, head to Pontoon!

          • Mozilla Reps Community: Reps of the Month – September 2019

            Jyotsna is a Mozilla Rep and a Tech Speaker from Bangalore, India. The majority of her contributions goes to Add-ons, from building PrivateX to being an Add-ons Content Reviewer and a judge in the Firefox Quantum Extensions Challenge. She was also highlighted as a Friend of Add-ons in the last quarter of 2018 on the Add-ons blog. Besides all this, she mentored new extension developers in her local community and joined the Featured Extensions Advisory Board.

          • Mozilla: Firefox 70 brings you these new security indicators

            Mozilla and Google Chrome developers discussed removing EV SSL indicators in the address bar in August because the indicators don’t convey anything about the security and authenticity of a site.

            Google removed the EV indicators in Chrome 77, released in September, and Mozilla will do the same in Firefox 70, out later this month. This version removes the traditional green padlock icon plus the site owner’s name from the address bar. The padlock for EV sites will now be the same as any normal HTTPS site.

      • SaaS/Back End/Databases

        • Apache Rya matures open source triple store database

          The open source Apache Rya database effort is continuing to move forward as it reaches a new level of project maturity and acceptance.

          Rya (pronounced “ree-uh”) is an RDF (resource description framework) triple store database. The project started at the U.S. government’s Laboratory for Telecommunication Sciences with an initial research paper published in 2012.

          The project joined the Apache Software Foundation (ASF) in 2015 as an incubated project, and in September 2019 achieved what is known as Top-Level Project status. The Top-Level status is an indication and validation of the project’s maturity, code quality and community. The ASF is home to Hadoop, Spark and other widely used database and data management programs.

        • Yahoo Groups is being prepared for shutdown, with all stored archives to be deleted on Dec 14

          The latest fuck-you from Oath — the Verizon division created to manage the zombie assets of AOL and Yahoo, bought at a ridiculous premium and then written down by more than 99% — is the impending drawdown of Yahoo Groups, with mass deletions of all stored “Files, Polls, Links, Photos, Folders, Calendar, Database, Attachments, Conversations, Email Updates, Message Digest, Message History” as of Dec 14.

      • Productivity Software/LibreOffice/Calligra

      • BSD

        • OpenBSD 6.6 release, Oct 17, 2019

          As in our previous releases, 6.6 provides significant improvements, including new features, in nearly all areas of the system: [...]

        • OpenBSD 6.6 Released

          In a message to relevant mailing lists, Theo de Raadt (deraadt@) announced that the OpenBSD project’s 47th release, OpenBSD 6.6, is now available from mirror sites worldwide.

          Rather than reproducing here the full list of new features, we refer readers to the official OpenBSD 6.6 page, and the detailed changelog.

        • OpenBSD 6.6

          This is a partial list of new features and systems included in OpenBSD 6.6. For a comprehensive list, see the changelog leading to 6.6.

        • OpenBSD 6.6 Arrives: Disables GCC In Base For ARMv7/i386, SMP Improvements, AMDGPU Added

          Theo de Raadt released OpenBSD 6.6 today as the newest feature update to this popular BSD operating system known for its security focus.

          OpenBSD 6.6 has moved to disabling GCC in its base packages for i386 and ARMv7, LLVM Clang platform support has been expanded, various SMP improvements and more system calls being unlocked, improved Linux compatibility with ACPI interfaces, a number of new hardware drivers, wired and wireless networking stack improvements, various installation enhancements, and the never-ending work on improving the security. OpenBSD 6.6 ships with OpenSSH 8.1, LibreSSL 3.0.2, OpenSMTPD 6.6, and other updated packages.

        • GhostBSD Reaffirms To Being TrueOS+BSD Desktop OS With Official MATE Desktop

          With Project Trident moving away from a TrueOS/FreeBSD base to instead Void Linux, if you are looking for a good BSD-based desktop operating system it largely comes down to the likes of MidnightBSD and GhostBSD providing good out-of-the-box setups. As for GhostBSD, they are reaffirming their commitment to using TrueOS/FreeBSD and MATE as their official desktop.

          The project reaffirmed on Wednesday that they are sticking to their TrueOS with FreeBSD 12-STABLE base while being a “slow-moving rolling release’ that will eventually migrate to TrueOS with FreeBSD 13-STABLE after it is available.

        • Dealing with the misunderstandings of what is GhostBSD

          Since the release of 19.09, I have seen a lot of misunderstandings on what is GhostBSD and the future of GhostBSD. GhostBSD is based on TrueOS with FreeBSD 12 STABLE with our twist to it. We are still continuing to use TrueOS for OpenRC, and the new package’s system for the base system that is built from ports. GhostBSD is becoming a slow-moving rolling release base on the latest TrueOS with FreeBSD 12 STABLE. When FreeBSD 13 STABLE gets released, GhostBSD will be upgraded to TrueOS with FreeBSD 13 STABLE.

          Our official desktop is MATE, which means that the leading developer of GhostBSD does not officially support XFCE. Community releases are maintained by the community and for the community. GhostBSD project will provide help to build and to host the community release. If anyone wants to have a particular desktop supported, it is up to the community. Sure I will help where I can, answer questions and guide new community members that contribute to community release.

        • Codebase: Neck Deep | BSD Now 320

          FreeBSD on the Google Pixelbook, Porting NetBSD to the AMD x86-64, ZFS performance really does degrade as you approach quota limits, Fixing up KA9Q-unix, HAMMER2 and fsck for review, the return of startx(1) for non-root users, and more.


        • November 2: Save the date! EmacsConf is coming to Boston

          The Free Software Foundation (FSF) is happy to announce our office in Boston as the next official EmacsConf satellite! Join us on Saturday, November 2 for an all-day event on everyone’s favorite self-documenting, customizable, and extensible editor: GNU Emacs! The FSF will join ZĂźrich, Switzerland as the second physical satellite to EmacsConf, which will be held online this year.

        • Insecure permissions on profile directory (CVE-2019-18192)

          We have become aware of a security issue for Guix on multi-user systems that we have just fixed (CVE-2019-18192). Anyone running Guix on a multi-user system is encouraged to upgrade guix-daemon—see below for instructions.


          The default user profile, ~/.guix-profile, points to /var/guix/profiles/per-user/$USER. Until now, /var/guix/profiles/per-user was world-writable, allowing the guix command to create the $USER sub-directory.

          On a multi-user system, this allowed a malicious user to create and populate that $USER sub-directory for another user that had not yet logged in. Since /var/…/$USER is in $PATH, the target user could end up running attacker-provided code. See the bug report for more information.

          This issue was initially reported by Michael Orlitzky for Nix (CVE-2019-17365).

      • Openness/Sharing/Collaboration

        • Open Data

          • Montreal Subway Foot Traffic Data

            STM kindly sent me daily values for each subway stations from 2001 to 2018. Armed with all this data, I decided to play a little with R and came up with some interesting graphs.

            Behold this semi-interactive map of Montreal’s subway! By clicking on a subway station, you’ll be redirected to a graph of the station’s foot traffic.

      • Programming/Development

        • Riddle me this

          Found this today while playing around, thought people might enjoy this riddle.

        • TOP 5 Software Failures of 2018–2019 (#5 is pretty alarming)

          In this modern day and age tech is something we can’t even imagine our life without. Technology is so cool and we love it! But not everything goes as planned and the thing that was supposed to make life easier and be useful can become quite scary. So, this week we’ve wanted to bring your attention to the “TOP 5 Software Failures of 2018–2019 (#5 is pretty alarming)”. We are very interested in your thoughts on the matter!

        • Using Matplotlib with Wing 7

          Wing supports interactive development and debugging of Python code designed for the Matplotlib numerical and scientific plotting library, so plots can be shown and updated from the command line.

        • An unexpected character replacement

          A few weeks ago I found a replacement in GBIF that I’d never seen before: M<fc>ller. It was a hexadecimal value for the character “ü” enclosed in angle brackets. That particular hex value for “ü” appears in Windows-1252 and other encodings, but what program did this replacement? And why?

          Suspecting the worst, I did a search for other angle-bracket-enclosed strings in the dataset. The search turned up a lot of data items which had originally contained a non-breaking space, and which now contained that character’s Unicode representation in brackets, for example Laevicardium. Excluding these, the result is shown here:

        • 40 Simple Yet Effective Linux Shell Script Examples

          Historically, the shell has been the native command-line interpreter for Unix-like systems. It has proven to be one of Unix’s major features throughout the years and grew into a whole new topic itself. Linux offers a variety of powerful shells with robust functionality, including Bash, Zsh, Tcsh, and Ksh. One of the most amazing features of these shells is their programmability. Creating simple yet effective Linux shell scripts for tackling day to day jobs is quite easy. Moreover, a modest knowledge over this topic will make you a Linux power user in no time. Stay with us to for a detailed introduction to Unix shell scripting.

        • Creating A Super User In Django

          Django’s prominent feature is the admin interface, which makes it stand out from the competition. It is a built-in app that automatically generates a user interface to add and modify a site’s content.

        • Using PostgreSQL with Django

          Django is a high level full-stack open-source web framework written in Python, that encourages rapid development and clean, pragmatic design.

          Django, in its ‘out-of-the-box’ state, is set up to communicate with SQLite – a lightweight relational database included with the Python distribution. So by default, Django automatically creates an SQLite database for your project.

          In addition to SQLite, Django also has support for other popular databases that include PostgreSQL, MySQL, and Oracle.

        • Creating Comments System With Django

          In this tutorial, we will build a basic commenting system for a Django 2.X app, which lets readers add comments on posts.

          Here is a preview of what we are going to build by the end of this tutorial.

        • Qt Creator 4.11 Beta released

          We are happy to announce the release of Qt Creator 4.11 Beta!

          We added experimental support for Qt for WebAssembly and Qt for MCUs.

          We improved the general handling of configuring, building and running projects in so many smaller ways that I fail to choose anything for being highlighted here.

          If you use CMake 3.14 or later we now use CMake’s file-base API for configuring and parsing projects. Which behaves much more reliably than the previous server-mode, especially if you also use CMake from a terminal or other applications.

      • Standards/Consortia

        • Is your Internet up-to-date?

          Modern Internet Standards provide for more reliability and further growth of the Internet. Are you using them?

  • Leftovers

    • In Defense of Movies’ Ham-Handed Portrayals of Computer Code

      In an opening scene of the 1995 movie Hackers, one of the titular hackers, Dade, tires of watching some racist blowhard on his local television channel. So he calls the security guard and impersonates his way into the station’s control system to change the playback tape to an episode of The Outer Limits.

      Today, the scene looks beyond ridiculous. The many screens at the TV station are filled with an inexplicable snakeskin pattern. The control system has an inscrutable and unhelpful looping animation of the tape-switching machines. Dade’s terminal features four columns of text flying by rapidly, with the occasional purposeless large typographic symbol tucked in, and it looks like he may have taped strips of colored film onto his monitor for … reasons? All this computer work looks like the opposite of code. And this wasn’t a movie where technology played some set-dressing role. This was—if the title is to be believed—a movie about hacking.

    • Health/Nutrition

      • Bayer Shareholders: Put Health and Nature First and Stop Funding This Company!

        Campaigner and environmentalist Dr Rosemary Mason has just written an open letter to Bayer Crop Science shareholders and Chairman of the Board Werner Wenning. She has also sent them a 13,000-word report. Mason is appealing to shareholders to put human health and nature ahead of profit and to stop funding Bayer. In her report, she sets out why shareholders should take this course of action.

    • Security (Confidentiality/Integrity/Availabilitiy)

      • Linux Sudo bug could allow hackers root access

        Security researchers have discovered a bug in Sudo that enables hackers to execute commands as root on a Linux system when the “sudoers configuration” explicitly disallows the root access.

        Sudo is a powerful utility that is installed on virtually every Unix and Linux system; it enables certain users or groups to execute commands in the context of any other user – including as root – without having to log in as a different user.

        Exploiting the vulnerability requires the user to have Sudo privileges that allow them to run commands with an arbitrary user ID, except root. This vulnerability has been assigned CVE-2019-14287 in the Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures database.

      • Linux Wi-Fi bug leaves systems vulnerable to forced crashes and full control by hackers

        A vulnerability has been discovered in the RTLWIFI driver, which is used to support Realtek Wi-Fi chips on Linux system. A flaw in the driver could be exploited to either crash your device, or even allow an attacker to take full control of your system.

        The bug has been around for at least four years, and is described as ‘serious’ by security experts. It has been assigned CVE-2019-17666, and while a fix has been proposed, it’s yet to be incorporated into the Linux kernel.

      • Unpatched Linux bug may open devices to serious attacks over Wi-Fi

        The flaw is located in the RTLWIFI driver, which is used to support Realtek Wi-Fi chips in Linux devices. The vulnerability triggers a buffer overflow in the Linux kernel when a machine with a Realtek Wi-Fi chip is within radio range of a malicious device. At a minimum, exploits would cause an operating-system crash and could possibly allow a hacker to gain complete control of the computer. The flaw dates back to version 3.10.1 of the Linux kernel released in 2013.

      • Docker Attack Worm Mines for Monero
      • Can Linux improve ATM security?

        While ATM security is not necessarily “life critical” as with many other industries (think transportation, medical and some industrial applications) there are certainly financial and identity theft risks associated with these devices.

        Plenty of info is available on the web regarding various ATM attack vectors, estimated number of annual hacks and the cost to the industry. The question we will ponder here is very specific: Would replacing the Windows operating system in an ATM with a Linux-based one improve security? Most experts believe the answer is yes.

        Today’s ATM looks much like a personal computer on your desk. It runs the world’s most popular desktop operating system — Windows —on the world’s most popular hardware: Intel motherboards.

        But therein lies part of the problem. Being “most popular” means there are few barriers to keeping the bad guys from simulating the internals of a typical ATM. This fact alone makes Windows more prone to attack than alternatives.

      • WireGuard Restored In Android’s Google Play Store After Brief But Controversial Removal

        After Google dropped the open-source WireGuard app from their Play Store since it contained a donation link, the app has now been restored within Google’s software store for Android users but without the donation option.

        The WireGuard app for Android makes it easy to setup the secure VPN tunnel software on mobile devices, similar to its port to iOS and other platforms. The WireGuard apps are free but have included a donation link to the WireGuard website should anyone wish to optionally make a donation to support the development of this very promising network tech.

      • Letting Birds scooters fly free

        At that point I had everything I need to write a simple app to unlock the scooters, and it worked! For about 2 minutes, at which point the network would notice that the scooter was unlocked when it should be locked and sent a lock command to force disable the scooter again. Ah well.

        So, what else could I do? The next thing I tried was just modifying some STM firmware and flashing it onto a board. It still booted, indicating that there was no sort of verified boot process. Remember what I mentioned about the throttle being hooked through the STM32′s analogue to digital converters[3]? A bit of hacking later and I had a board that would appear to work normally, but about a minute after starting the ride would cut the throttle. Alternative options are left as an exercise for the reader.

        Finally, there was the component I hadn’t really looked at yet. The Quectel modem actually contains its own application processor that runs Linux, making it significantly more powerful than any of the chips actually running the scooter application[4]. The STM communicates with the modem over serial, sending it an AT command asking it to make an SSL connection to a remote endpoint. It then uses further AT commands to send data over this SSL connection, allowing it to talk to the internet without having any sort of IP stack. Figuring out just what was going over this connection was made slightly difficult by virtue of all the debug functionality having been ripped out of the STM’s firmware, so in the end I took a more brute force approach – I identified the address of the function that sends data to the modem, hooked up OpenOCD to the SWD pins on the STM, ran OpenOCD’s gdb stub, attached gdb, set a breakpoint for that function and then dumped the arguments being passed to that function. A couple of minutes later and I had a full transaction between the scooter and the remote.

        The scooter authenticates against the remote endpoint by sending its serial number and IMEI. You need to send both, but the IMEI didn’t seem to need to be associated with the serial number at all. New connections seemed to take precedence over existing connections, so it would be simple to just pretend to be every scooter and hijack all the connections, resulting in scooter unlock commands being sent to you rather than to the scooter or allowing someone to send fake GPS data and make it impossible for users to find scooters.

      • Security updates for Friday

        Security updates have been issued by Debian (poppler, sudo, and wordpress), Oracle (java-1.8.0-openjdk), Red Hat (java-1.8.0-openjdk), Scientific Linux (java-1.8.0-openjdk, java-11-openjdk, and kernel), and SUSE (kernel and postgresql10).

    • Defence/Aggression

      • In the age of fake news and manipulation, you are the new battlefield

        The 77th Brigade is the British Army’s unit for what it calls “information manoeuvre” and what everyone else calls information warfare: using print and online media to change the behaviour of hostile parties and prevent them causing problems at home. When I visited, just over two years ago, everything was in motion. Flooring was being laid, units installed. Desks formed neat lines in offices still covered in plastic, tape and sawdust. Even then, there was a sense that they were already too late.

      • As Militants Kill in Kashmir, People Are Afraid to Go to Work

        Militants are terrorizing civilians in the fractious Kashmir Valley, hoping to bring life there to a halt in protest of India’s dramatic reorganizing of the region. And many civilians eager to return to work after weeks of a military clampdown say they are terrified of provoking the militants’ ire.

      • Mysterious UAE Cyber Firm Luring ex-Israeli Intel Officers With Astronomical Salaries

        Probe finds DarkMatter works for UAE’s intelligence agency attacking Western targets, journalists and human rights activists, with graduates of Israel’s Defense Forces earning up to $1 million annually

      • ‘We Looked to Escape Death’: Violence Uproots Nearly 500,000 in Burkina Faso

        Ioli Kimyaci, the head of the United Nation’s refugee agency in Burkina Faso, said in an interview that in addition to the nearly half a million internally displaced people, another 16,000 have asked for asylum in neighboring countries since 2018. Some 12,000 of them went to Mali.

      • Videos document extrajudicial killings by Turkish-backed militia in northern Syria

        On October 9, the Turkish military and its allies of the rebel Syrian National Army launched “Operation Peace Spring”, a military offensive aimed at driving Kurdish forces out of northeast Syria. In the days following the offensive, several videos of extrajudicial killings carried out by members of the Syrian National Army appeared online. The France 24 Observers team checked these videos, some of which show actions that “may amount to a war crime,” according to the United Nations.

      • IS Families Call for Uprising in Wake of Turkish Military Operations

        When Turkey began its military operations last Thursday, Rezgar tells us, she received reports that women were flying black IS flags made with their traditional robes and toothpaste.

        Then on Friday, hundreds of women attacked a camp office, ripping padlocks off the doors and threatening to burn it down. Women shouted, “Long live Islamic State!” and “We will chop your heads off!” as they advanced, rioting for hours.

        Others rushed through the camp, calling for an uprising.

      • Three American diplomats removed from train during attempt to enter base where nuclear blast took place in August

        An American naval attaché, an embassy attaché, and an army attaché were removed from a train in Russia’s Arkhangelsk region on October 14. The three U.S. diplomats were reportedly attempting to enter a closed military territory without permission. They were released after a document check.

    • Environment

      • Wildlife/Nature

        • Emperor Penguins Are in Mortal Danger Thanks to Us

          A species that has come to symbolise Antarctica’s wealth of wildlife now faces mortal danger: climate change is putting emperor penguins in peril.

        • Wildlife Killing Contests are Unethical

          This summer USAToday ran a feature on the trophy hunting of a giraffe and the intense backlash against the hunter responsible for it. As people become more educated and anti-sport hunting sentiment grows, there is similar support for bills against wildlife killing “contests,” as have been enacted in New Mexico, California and Vermont. We are calling on Westchester County and New York state to follow suit and pass bills A00722/S04253 to ban them in our beautiful state.

    • Finance

      • Nebraskans Aim to End Predatory Lending with a Ballot Proposal to Slash Payday Interest Rates
      • GM and Union Reach Tentative Deal That Could End Strike

        Bargainers for General Motors and the United Auto Workers reached a tentative contract deal on Wednesday that could end a monthlong strike that brought the company’s U.S. factories to a standstill.

      • In For a Dime, in For a Dollar

        Many years ago, when we played what we called ‘penny-ante poker,’ there was always an unhappy participant who, as the evening wore on, slid more and more of his chips (or coins) to the middle of the table and recovered very few of them. This guy didn’t want to give up, but neither did he have very good cards to play. He wasn’t good at bluffing, he didn’t want to rock the boat, he was perhaps a tad masochistic, so he would grudgingly go along when someone raised the stakes. He would ‘see’ the aggressor, but never raise him, and he would repeatedly sigh and mutter, “In for a dime, in for a dollar.”

      • It Serves Us Right To Suffer: Breaking Down Neoliberal Complacency

        My recent discovery of and interest in the 19th century movement in revolutionary Russia aimed at social honesty (nihilism) stirred up an embarrassing memory. In the late 70’s, when I was in Divinity School, Orin and I were guests at dinner hosted by our loquacious friend George, a fellow div student and liberal Catholic, and his wife. The other guest, a priest friend of George’s, was feisty, not at all fearful of challenging liberal composure and putting the “religious liberal” (me) on the spot. Apropos of nothing I recall, he put to me a theological question. I no longer remember the question (maybe something like how can there be salvation if there’s no sin.) But I remember my answer: I had none. As a Unitarian liberal, I was not required to ponder theological fine points. It strikes me now that, equally, I had no notion that theology had something to do with important matters, i.e., human birth-to-death life and how people are to live meaningfully in the span of years we’re given in our time here. Here was I, cloaked in my thin agnostic apparel, in a quite superior way figuring I could do without acquainting myself with the history of all the thinking – not to mention the courage and sacrifice – that has gone into attempting to limn Supreme Value. His question caught me in my own dogmatism, providing me an opportunity to question it, which I was too fragile, too shaky in my div school status to take him up on.

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • Amazon Is Spending Big to Oust Seattle’s Socialist Council Member

        She spoke quickly, and paused so rarely that you could tell she’d been interrupted far too many times in her life. She kept tying her answers to the threats posed by business interests. Based on the cheers, the audience appeared to be evenly split between Sawant and Orion. But at the end, when one of the moderators thanked Amazon, the event’s sponsor, a loud “Boo!” rang out.

        On Tuesday, Amazon gave an additional million dollars to support business-friendly members of the City Council like Orion. The tech giant has now poured an unprecedented $1.45 million into the local elections, and ballots are being sent to voters this week. (Washington votes by mail.)

      • Trump Has ‘Meltdown’ in Syria Meeting With Democrats

        WASHINGTON — Washing his hands of Syria, President Donald Trump declared Wednesday the U.S. has no stake in defending the Kurdish fighters who died by the thousands as America’s partners against IS extremists. Hours later, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other top Democrats walked out of a meeting at the White House, accusing him of having a “meltdown,” calling her a “third-rate politician” and having no plan to deal with a potentially revived Islamic State group.

      • No, Warren and Sanders Are Not the Same

        When Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) had two heart stents inserted into his arteries in early October, media pundits were quick to foresee the end of his pioneering, movement-based candidacy. Some questioned why it took three whole days for his family and campaign to confirm the details of his medical condition and others wondered whether age and health would be important factors in his candidacy. Given the documented media bias against Sanders, it is certainly not surprising to see Sanders’ health scare exploited to undermine his candidacy. (Sanders, on the other hand, in his typical fashion, exploited his situation to demand that health care ought to be “a human right.”)

      • Pete Buttigieg Is the Past

        It was the paradox that defined the fourth Democratic debate Tuesday night. Pete Buttigieg stood to benefit more than anybody from Joe Biden’s entirely forgettable performance, and yet with the possible exception of Biden himself, no one more vividly embodied all that is stale and sclerotic about the Democratic Party than the fresh-faced politician colloquially known as Mayor Pete.

      • “We believe this deal does nothing to address the major concerns we have about Brexit and will not help secure Wales’ future prosperity.” Final Say Wales Board

        Leading members of Welsh Labour, the Welsh Liberal Democrats, the Welsh Conservatives and the Green Party of Wales have agreed to the formation of a cross-party committee to prepare for a Final Say on Brexit.

        Final Say Wales is a politically neutral organisation that will campaign for a confirmatory vote on any Brexit deal. We believe this is the biggest issue of our generation, the people of Wales must have their final say on Brexit. We believe in democracy and we want our Final Say on any Brexit Deal that is presented to Westminster.

        Chair of Final Say Wales, Lynne Neagle AM outlined the purpose of FSW and our united commitment to a final say on Brexit:

        “Final Say Wales has pulled together political parties in Wales to begin the preparation for the campaign for a final say referendum on the Prime Minister’s Deal. Wales is the first nation within the UK to establish a cross party committee to end the uncertainty of Brexit and unite political parties on the issue. This is an important step to ensure we secure a positive future for Wales, with the backing of a devolved government.

        We believe this deal does nothing to address the major concerns we have about Brexit and will not help secure Wales’ future prosperity. That’s why we have come together to campaign for a final say about Brexit and why we will campaign to remain in the EU because we believe that offers the best deal for Wales.”

      • Brexit Vote: Please Write to Your MP Today

        As people may have heard, there is a rather important vote on Brexit tomorrow. It’s going to be very close, so I would like to urge everyone in the UK to write to their MP, asking them to vote against what is in every respect a terrible deal.

        It will not only harm the economy, and the most vulnerable people in UK society, it will also open the way for a catastrophic, crash-out “No Deal” Brexit, with no way for Parliament to stop it. In short, it’s a trap, and one that some foolish MPs seem content to walk into.

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • Zuckerberg Warns China’s Censored Internet Could Still Win Out

        Zuckerberg, who gave his own speech Thursday about free expression at Georgetown University, said that while many people take the open internet for granted, China has become a major global player online — six of the top 10 largest [Internet] platforms now are Chinese, he said. What those services offer doesn’t align with the uncensored [Internet] most people are familiar with.

      • No one was impressed by Mark Zuckerberg’s lecture on free speech

        Ironically, the 35-minute address on free speech took place at Georgetown University’s Gaston Hall — where presidents have delivered addresses in the past — in front of a group of students and educators who weren’t allowed to ask questions openly. Moderators collected questions from students and selected them beforehand, rather than risk Zuckerberg receiving unfiltered ones. As journalist Kara Swisher pointed out on Twitter, it is unclear is this was Zuckerberg’s call or not — though the boy-wonder CEO is notoriously stiff and awkward, particularly when speaking off the cuff.

        Highlights of the speech included Zuckerberg defining “digital speech” — as in verbal expression on the internet — as falling into a separate category than journalism.

      • Mark Zuckerberg took on China in a speech defending free expression

        Concerns about Chinese censorship have come to a head amid the ongoing pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong. A number of US companies have attempted to stifle internal shows of support for those protests in deference to Chinese partners, including the NBA and Blizzard, which banned a professional Hearthstone player for comments made in a post-game interview.

        Democrats have stepped up criticism of Facebook in recent months, most notably from Democratic front-runner Elizabeth Warren. In response, Zuckerberg has made a number of apparent overtures to conservative leaders, including private dinners with right-wing pundits like Tucker Carlson and Hugh Hewitt.

      • Infamous Police Interrogation Firm Sues Netflix For Defamation Over Criticism Of Its Interrogation Technique

        We’ve written about the “Reid Technique” — a highly controversial police interrogation technique — a few times in the past, mainly to criticize it. If you’ve ever seen a police procedural on TV, you’re probably familiar with the technique — it’s the one that verges on a “good cop / bad cop” approach in which a good cop tries to “justify” the crime, telling a suspect all the reasons why it’s “understandable” why a person would have committed the crime. Back in 2013, a very thorough New Yorker article covered how the technique was responsible for a ton of false confessions, while also highlighting how the UK and Canada had long moved away from the technique because of the false confessions problem. Last year, one of the leading firms that taught the Reid Technique announced that it would stop teaching the method specifically because of the problems of false confessions and a recognition that “confrontation is not an effective way of getting truthful information.”

      • The Latest Blow to Journalism Comes From an Unexpected Place

        Like most politicians, corporate executives never do anything wrong. If anything wrong does “happen,” it’s always someone else’s fault.

    • Privacy/Surveillance

      • New Bill Promises an End to Our Privacy Nightmare, Jail Time to CEOs Who Lie

        Oregon Senator Ron Wyden has unveiled updated privacy legislation he says will finally bring accountability to corporations that play fast and loose with your private data.

        Dubbed the Mind Your Own Business Act, the bill promises consumers the ability to opt out of data collection and sale with a single click. It also demands that corporations be transparent as to how consumer data is collected, used, and who it’s sold to, while imposing harsh fines and prison sentences upon corporations and executives that misuse consumer data and lie about it.

      • The Delicate Ethics of Using Facial Recognition in Schools

        Jason Nance, a law professor at the University of Florida, says facial recognition is part of a trend of increasing surveillance and security in US schools, despite a lack of firm evidence that more technology makes kids safer. Nance’s research has documented how high-profile school shootings drive intensifying surveillance, with the burden falling heaviest on students of color.

      • Low Cost Phones Are Turning Privacy Into A Luxury Option

        Even when you’re shelling out thousands of dollars for the latest smartphone and an “unlimited” data plan for it to run on, that cost expenditure still puts you at great privacy risk. Wireless carriers, for years, have collected and sold your location and other data to a long line of dubious middlemen, and despite a lot of sound and fury on this subject, few (outside of maybe the EFF) are really doing much about it. And with the FCC recently having self-immolated at lobbyist request and any new meaningful privacy protections derailed by bickering, that’s not changing anytime soon.

      • New Bill Would Force Hardware Makers To Disclose Hidden Mics, Cameras

        Back in February, you might recall that Google took some heat from owners of their Nest home security platform, after they suddenly discovered that the Nest Secure home security base station contained a hidden microphone the company had never publicly disclosed. The reveal came via a Google announcement sent to Nest customers informing them the hidden mic would soon be turned on, allowing the integration of Google Assistant on the platform. Given tech’s shaky history on privacy, some folks were understandably not amused…

      • ¿Quién Defiende Tus Datos?: Four Years Setting The Bar for Privacy Protections in Latin America and Spain

        Four years have passed since our partners first published Who Defends Your Data (¿Quién Defiende Tus Datos?), a report that holds ISPs accountable for their privacy policies and processes in eight Latin America countries and Spain. Since then, we’ve seen major technology companies providing more transparency about how and when they divulge their users’ data to the government. This shift has been fueled in large part by public attention in local media. The project started in 2015 in Colombia, Mexico, and Peru, joined by Brazil in 2016, Chile and Paraguay in 2017, Argentina and Spain in 2018, and Panama this year.

        When we started in 2015, none of the ISPs in the three countries surveyed had published transparency reports or any aggregate data about the number of data requests they received from governments. By 2019, the larger global companies with a regional presence in the nine countries surveyed are now doing this. This is a big victory for transparency, accountability, and users’ rights.

    • Freedom of Information / Freedom of the Press

      • Reporters’ Notebook: The Moment Everything Changed In Syria

        All this chaos began after the White House’s Oct. 6 announcement that NATO-member Turkey was ready to launch an offensive into northern Syria and some U.S. military personnel would stand aside. The U.S. troops were stationed there in support of Syrian Kurdish forces in the fight against ISIS and the U.S. presence was a buffer against Turkey. The Turkish government considers the Kurdish forces as part of an insurgency threatening its national security.

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • Girls Do Porn Was a Crime Ring, Not a Porn Site, Industry Experts Say

        “No legitimate porn company operates the way that GirlsDoPorn allegedly did. This isn’t an outlier in porn industry operating procedure, it’s a series of despicable crimes that were filmed and exploited for profit,” Alison Boden, CEO of Kink.com, told Motherboard, highlighting that GDP isn’t a porn company, it’s a criminal operation. “I think the GirlsDoPorn case says a lot more about our society than it does about the porn industry.”

        The plaintiffs were victimized twice, Boden noted: first by the owners of Girls Do Porn and then by their own communities and strangers on the internet who stalked, harassed, and doxxed them.

        As more and more women come forward to say that through the coverage of this case, they’ve realized they’re not alone—and people within the adult industry continue to speak out about how this is not normal.

        I spoke with directors, performers, and harm reductionist activists about how this case, and the indictment of sex trafficking, is reverberating across the industry.

      • Tennessee Deputy Sued Twice In The Same Day Over A Roadside Anal Search And A Forced Baptism

        You’ve got to be a special kind of law enforcement officer to have two lawsuits filed against you in the same day. Hamilton County Deputy Daniel Wilkey is that kind of special. The Tennessee law enforcement officer managed to violate rights against enough people that two of them retained lawyers. This suggests Deputy Wilkey violates rights on a regular basis, but maybe not egregiously enough to merit a lawsuit in every case.

      • Portland Police Review Board Says It’s OK For Officers To Lie To Get Someone To Stop Filming Them

        The Portland Police Department’s Review Board — a board composed almost completely of police and government officials — concluded it’s OK for a cop to lie about the law to shut down recordings.

      • Cat accused of delivering drugs to Russian prison colony escapes holding area in petting zoo

        A local court in the city of Novomoskovsk is currently hearing a case in which a cat was allegedly used to smuggle drugs into a prison colony. The cat himself was seized as physical evidence during the investigative phase of the case and placed in a secure housing environment at the local petting zoo. Now, the newspaper Kommersant reported, defense attorneys have discovered that the cat ran away months ago.

      • Why Rikers Island Must Be Closed Without Building New Jails

        On October 16, all eyes are on the New York City Council as it votes on a proposal to build four new skyscraper jails and up to eight jailing satellites that would burn an $11 billion hole through the city’s wallet. The greatest cost of this plan, however, is that it would undoubtedly ensure that our future generations will inherit our system of mass incarceration.

        Communities have long demanded the closure of the Rikers Island jail complex for its horrendous conditions. Mayor Bill de Blasio has hijacked this demand by pursuing new jails as the cost of closing it.

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

      • Yandex Shares Plummet as Russia Considers Limits on Foreign Ownership

        The plunge came after media reports suggested Kremlin officials are welcoming a draft law to limit foreign ownership of Russian tech companies to 20%. The proposals were introduced in June by Anton Gorelkin, a Duma member from the Kremlin-loyal United Russia party and based on a similar rule which restricts foreign ownership of media companies.

      • Critics Warn ‘Consumers Will Pay the Price’ for T-Mobile/Sprint Merger

        Consumers advocates called out Republicans on the Federal Communications Commission Wednesday for a party-line vote approving a “blatantly anti-competitive” proposed merger between T-Mobile and Sprint, the third- and fourth-largest wireless carriers in the United States.

    • Monopolies

We Don’t Know Who Will Run the Free Software Foundation, But We Know Who Will Run the GNU Project

Posted in Free/Libre Software, FSF at 4:01 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Even after persistent toppling attempts Richard Stallman remains GNU’s chief

RMS site

Summary: Software Freedom is under a heavy and perhaps unprecedented attack; some people out there are paid by the attackers to celebrate this attack and defame people (cheering for corporate takeover under the blanket of “Open Source”), but the founder of the Free software movement remains alive, well, and very much active

TWEETS are not a good/reliable source for reporting; but sometimes (unfortunately) people write official communications there.

“As it happens RMS shot his own foot,” Bruce Perens wrote about Richard Stallman (RMS), “and no tears from me about him leaving. But 2 decades later.”

Perens and Eben Moglen were seen by us as two individuals with sufficient clout to take the position of RMS at the FSF. Now we know Perens is not likely to be interested. “After years of facilitating OSI’s assault on software freedom,” wrote a former FSF employee about the above. “Anyway, consider this, given your stance on returning RMS to the board…”

“Don’t believe the lie that the FSF rejected RMS; what we do know, for a fact (thanks to Mr. Pocock), is that the FSF actively censors messages in support of RMS.”Another former FSF intern/employee then said, “we have to remember that Bruce [Perens] actually was the one who promoted Molly de Blanc for OSI and if you look at the history there… Clearly Molly is not a leader…but established credibility through the FSF. Bruce also told us not to pursue what happened with Ian Murdock.”

“I was an early years FSF employee,” the first one responded, “and for a number of years that after somewhat closely associated but I’ve been away for a few years. Now paying attention again w/the current mess. What happened with Ian Murdock?”

“We expect RMS to still be around and very much active, not only in GNU but also in other areas.”Murdock, for those who don’t know, is Debian’s founder. Perens was an early project leader.

On went this conversation: “By “pursue” do you mean investigate? Because it sounds shady as shit.”

“His [Twitter] account was [posthumously] deleted,” I responded, “but police clearly abused him, while naked, to the point where he decided to hang himself…”

Apparently not everyone knew.

“Oh, god. I just looked it up. Oh, man.”

We still see reactions like this one years down the line.

“We also hear about some upcoming meetings with RMS in Boston.”We still keep in contact/touch with RMS and sometimes he keeps in contact with us. Sometimes FSF staff (past and present) who are loyal to RMS speak to us. They’re not happy about what happened last month. Don’t believe the lie that the FSF rejected RMS; what we do know, for a fact (thanks to Mr. Pocock), is that the FSF actively censors messages in support of RMS.

According to one of the above people, in a “presentation at LibrePlanet, RMS did mention something about promoting Free Software philosophies to maker spaces.”

We expect RMS to still be around and very much active, not only in GNU but also in other areas. His Web site has been updated to make that point very, very clear. It happened after it had repeatedly been vandalised to state the opposite (we suspect an insider or associate with access credentials did this). We also hear about some upcoming meetings with RMS in Boston. RMS isn’t ‘history’ or a ‘has been’, but some corporate agenda wants us to believe otherwise. There’s a very heavy and very persistent attack on multiple fronts at the moment.

An hour ago Benjamin Henrion told us (in IRC): “Fosdem is using Github for the devrooms, they ask for a Pull Request to submit the CFPs, I will refuse in a short letter…”

It’s almost as if FOSDEM (Europe) has been ‘outsourced’ to Microsoft. Create an account with Microsoft to talk or attend??? It is something we currently look into, e.g. who decided to pay FOSDEM this year and what for (e.g. keynote speakers’ positions). Money is toxic in this context and it has already poisoned quite a few communities. Some people online have alleged that the FSF already takes Google money (Google is not a copyleft proponent but an ‘unwilling’ user of it). Others have told us about the ramifications of Stormy Peters officially defecting to Microsoft. This defection causes problems on multiple fronts. Techrights called Peters out as a threat/danger more than a decade ago. It’s the same bunch as de Icaza of Mono and Friedman who’s now using proprietary software (GitHub) to attack FOSS as a whole. From the inside.

New EPO Meme: Who Wants to Make Billions From a ‘Public’ Monopoly?

Posted in Europe, Patents at 2:24 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

EPO meme
Credit/source: “What has become of you, EPO? Staff was once proud to work for, it feels like ages ago. Since then, it seems that #Fear and #oppression have become the norm rather than the exception. #patents #Europe #workplace #society #democracy #Germany #Netherlands #Austria #ruleOfLaw”

Summary: What was supposed to be a cash-balanced patent office became a money-making monster that fakes ‘crises’ to attack hard-working examiners

EmacsConf Without Richard Stallman

Posted in FSF, Humour at 2:12 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

New: “November 2: Save the date! EmacsConf is coming to Boston” (Stallman, who lives in Boston, is not even mentioned)

This man made emacs. Sorry, people no longer know or care.

Summary: Now that emacs is being 'rebranded' this kind of meme seems apt

IRC Proceedings: Thursday, October 17, 2019

Posted in IRC Logs at 1:58 am by Needs Sunlight



#techrights log

#boycottnovell log



#boycottnovell-social log

#techbytes log

Enter the IRC channels now

Guest Article: In the Absence of Richard Stallman OEM Source Software (‘Open Source’) is Trying to Hijack Even Emacs

Posted in Free/Libre Software at 1:28 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Article by Jagadees.S

White keyboard

Summary: “Now they have to create some fictional history. No need to worry.”

In 1983 an unknown (at the time) person began the Free software movement — a movement by which to free users from the software chaining them with corrupt copyright laws. He and his group, the Free Software Foundation, worked for decades to turn the idea into reality. Now millions of people are using their software without knowing it or while wrongly naming it.

The idea or the concept of users’ freedom is a dangerous one to the ruling class, the 1%. So they want the users controlled; they should be contained. They came up with a new name for an old idea. That was the OEM Source Software (“Open Source”). Of course they got more media coverage, that’s because of some rather obvious reasons.

“Now they are advocates of slavery-free, child labour-free workplace. At the same time they’ve implemented the 13th amendment and offshored the work to Bangladesh. “It’s like old child labour or a slavery issue. When there were protests to end child labour or slavery the businesspeople were crying that the economy would crash etc. But now if you ask them, they will scratch their heads and ask, “what is slavery or child labour?” Now they are advocates of slavery-free, child labour-free workplace. At the same time they’ve implemented the 13th amendment and offshored the work to Bangladesh.

So, coming to our issue, you have the original team, the Free software team, which is for users’ freedom and the new team, OSS, which is for… I don’t know… they say words like “community” and “open” etc but actually it’s for the corporate profits.

For 2 decades things went on as they did. But now a major blow/misfortune happened to the Free software movement. Its founder is charged with a thought-crime. The thought-police initiated a digital lynch mob to justify his firing from his own organisation. So he is out.

At the same time this OSS bunch thinks that they are the only people with a voice. All others will be silent because of fear of thought-crime charges, an effective censorship mechanism. So the empire is ready. Now they have to create some fictional history. No need to worry. Lots of existing successful achievements of Free software are there. So take it and rebrand it, right?

“Lots of existing successful achievements of Free software are there. So take it and rebrand it, right?”Yes, that’s already happening. On 4 Oct 2019 Joshua Allen Holm (Community Moderator), Mike Bursell (Red Hat, Community Moderator), Lauren Pritchett (Red Hat) and Don Watkins (Community Moderator) wrote an article. In that article they rebranded a lot of Free software as theirs. The worst thing in their list was some software called emacs — the first true Free software that appeared on this planet and was written by the same Richard Stallman.

This is how history is created by the ruling class. the question is whether you accept it or not. Will you let it happen? Let all freedom-loving people be united and end this crazy unethical takeover of Free software.

Guest Article: Techies Should Not Dictate the Free Software Movement

Posted in Free/Libre Software, FSF at 1:02 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Article by Jagadees.S

Richard Stallman in FSF site
Richard Stallman in the FSF site (a month ago)

Summary: “We should start a second phase of the Free software movement that’s making good software and putting users at the center.”

In 1983 Richard Stallman, a great computer programmer as well as a great thinker and technologist of our time, began the Free software movement. Its purpose was to produce software that respected users’ rights. Stallman did this because he saw the injustice proprietary software was doing to users. He could not bear that injustice and therefore he started the Free software movement and formulated the idea called copyleft — and along with it a licence called the GNU General Public License (GPL).

Nobody cared about this in the beginning.

“Even though Stallman dedicated his life to Free software development he always says there are lots of more important and urgent issues in this world.”He is a great programmer. So, he recruited himself; since — as he says — “no need to pay Stallman”. He began writing Free software programs which respected users’ freedom. He inspired and mobilised lot of programmers. They also joined and worked with him. So, Stallman and his whole team were the creators of Free software.

Even though Stallman dedicated his life to Free software development he always says there are lots of more important and urgent issues in this world. Since he is a programmer he is working to solve injustice in the software realm. So there is nothing special about software. He’s a programmer; that’s why he focuses on it.

How you joined the movement

But what if you joined the movement because the software is fast? Faaaaaast, or beautiful or secure etc. You cannot really understand what this community is for. You see it as just a company. Then you put yourself at the center. You see millions of people using your software for free. You feel something greater than yourself.

“So all of a sudden you see the group of innocent corporate donors, even Epsteins. You will be happy with them and thank them for their support.”Or, alternatively, you may have joined this movement after hearing Stallman’s speech or writing. You accepted the politics of Free software. Great. Years or decades of writing programs. Fixing lot of issues. You focused more on making your software better. You forget about the politics. You see it as old, boring. Also, you see that even proprietary software companies have joined the team. They may be donating millions of dollars. Nobody is against Free software even though some call it by a crazy name like “OEM Source Software” (Open Source). So everything is fine. Then you think that Free software politics have become obsolete.

Most of the time you may have been a student (at that time when you first heard Stallman’s speech). As you grow up your responsibility to a family increases. You have to meet or reach the so-called “American Dream”. But by now years have passed and you cannot reach it with your activism. So all of a sudden you see the group of innocent corporate donors, even Epsteins. You will be happy with them and thank them for their support. Also, you might support their beliefs (in making money). This is the beginning of the conflict of interest.

In the meantime you may also be bombarded with lots of “real” political issues such as the freedom to use incandescent bulbs, Right to Work, new #metoo etc in social control media. (Whereas society ignored Tarana Burke for more than a decade, #metoo became viral in just the last 2 years. There is a very big difference between those 2. Homework for you.)

Corporate interests

Decades ago the ‘corporates’ ignored the Free software movement. Because they thought it was a Utopian dream that will never realise or fulfill or reach its objective. Finally they saw the success of the movement. It had direct consequences for their corporate profits. For example, a lot of educational institutions now use GNU, eliminating the proprietary software market.

“Decades ago the ‘corporates’ ignored the Free software movement. Because they thought it was a Utopian dream that will never realise or fulfill or reach its objective.”So these ‘corporates’ cannot ignore the movement as they did earlier. Instead they want the same model of development without its politics. Model of development in this context means volunteers developing software. So they don’t have to pay for anything. Maybe once in a while they’ll give some trip to a foreign country or a podium position. Even better than the gig economy!

Breaking a system from the outside is a tough job. It may backfire and strengthen the system. But it will be very easy to break things from inside. Ruling classes know and have known this for centuries. What they have to do is entryism — just act like they’re supporting people’s movements. And then later they become the whole movement. At the end everybody will forget what the movement was for.

Techies’ conflict of interest

If you consider the movement keeping you at the center, what do you see? You see yourself or a group of people without selfish motives doing work and providing their work/output to the users. Meaning, you’re giving something to others. It’s kind of like charity.

In all of these circumstances you see the user as a charity taker. And yourself as a charity provider. Sometimes you don’t even think about users. All you care is about the software you work on with a narcissistic viewpoint.

“This is a community for the user.”This is completely wrong. It’s a myth. We have to end this myth. This movement is formed only to give full rights to users. But the techies’ self interest is betraying the movement.

You, dear techie, are just a worker. You have a conflict of interest. Whoever pays you, you are biased and obliged to them. So we cannot trust you. So do your work, take the money and go home. Don’t talk about your shallow sectarian politics here.

Free software as a people’s movement

This is a community for the user. We should start a second phase of the Free software movement that’s making good software and putting users at the center. There will be user communities. They will raise resources and fund things. They will recruit workers. Workers will develop software. Once a project is completed workers will be ‘fired’. User communities will own the software with all 4 freedoms. It’s not an easy task. But we have to work towards that. And techies should not dictate the Free software movement. The Free software movement is for Free software users. Not developers.

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