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10.29.19

Guest Contribution: Linux Foundation spoke of “quid pro quo” in the context of poor children

Posted in Deception, GNU/Linux at 11:41 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

A child and a laptop

Summary: Linux Foundation (LF) publicity stunts wind up disgracing the causes they claim to be serving; an insider’s story revealed what had happened and we explain why that’s a problem which prevails to this date (it’s all about money)

THIS post is anonymous, but some people close to these matters may be able to identify the author (based on recollection of these affairs). That’s fine. Those people may, in fact, very much deserve the scrutiny. More than a decade ago we wrote about the attacks on OLPC (mostly the fault of Microsoft and Intel greed); we did not at the time foresee a group called “Linux” something acting in bad faith to undermine similar projects. Months ago we wrote about the Linux Foundation‘s false claims that it supported diversity. Well, the Foundation likes to lecture us about diversity while pushing purely corporate agenda and totally ignoring inequality. Has anyone checked (recently) the price of attending LF events? Or sponsoring them? Or speaking in them? Or buying tweets? LF very much contributes to inequality. Its events are all about class; its membership fees are like fast lanes and “First Class” access. So without further ado, here’s our anonymous contributor.


This is somewhat private but interesting information… I don’t really know how to tactfully proceed here…

Today, I had lunch with someone who informed me that a few years ago… the Linux Foundation had an event in Canada, where a non-profit that works with underprivileged children was “invited”.

This non-profit attended and the words “quid pro quo” were spoken. Apparently, the LF purchased about 2k worth of laptops for this non-profit in exchange for attendance to this event.

However, the event was not for underprivileged children but the children of well-to-do executives and people high on the ladder at LF?

This is what I heard.

“This non-profit attended and the words “quid pro quo” were spoken. Apparently, the LF purchased about 2k worth of laptops for this non-profit in exchange for attendance to this event.”
      –Anonymous
The joke here was “overprivileged” children were served.

The non-profit leader was sick over the entire thing and I hesitate to even disclose this information — except the LF did this… and ultimately, those laptops were used for the greater good but the means by which these were acquired and the method and farce of it all, is important to know…

I don’t know what you can do with this information. I want to help, not injure any organization, especially those that serve underprivileged youth.

However, the Linux Foundation did do this, according to a very good source.

“The joke here was “overprivileged” children were served.”
      –Anonymous
The makerspaces were already existing in Canada, the underprivileged youth in the area are able to find resources.

Just on that particular day… the overprivileged children were served, instead of the underprivileged.

The next year, I actually had signed up 2 of my youths to attend a makerspace learning event sponsored by LF.


We’ve had to omit the rest as it might reveal too much about the source, but we’re pretty certain some parties do, at this point, know who the messenger is. And that message is very important for all to see. This is a symptom of a much broader problem. The LF isn’t what it seems and being a PR operation it keeps twisting people’s perceptions. We’re supposed to think they help GNU/Linux, whereas in reality they help whatever sponsors they have, including Microsoft. As recently as yesterday the LF put in “Linux” dot com (Linux.com) yet more Microsoft advocacy.

“As recently as yesterday the LF put in “Linux” dot com (Linux.com) yet more Microsoft advocacy.”Swapnil, the site’s sole editor after all the layoffs, used the site for pushing Microsoft Azure. This is what LF is ‘good’ for these days… promoting Microsoft and surveillance — something which yesterday they doubled down on. Less than half a day ago puff pieces about listening devices and promotion of surveillance inside the homes of people were published at Swapnil’s personal site. These are the people who nowadays run things at “Linux” dot com. Seems fitting; see the list of sponsors of the LF. It’s all about money. Remember that: money!

Links 30/10/2019: Fedora 31 Released, IDAD 2019 Report, Python 3.5.8 Ready

Posted in News Roundup at 10:15 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Server

      • Virtualization versus Containers: Is there a clear winner? Does it really matter?

        Will virtual machines disappear? No. Not anytime soon. This implies that the one day, container technology will eventually replace traditional virtual machines. So, I will save you from reading this entire piece to reach the conclusion of there being a clear winner. The answer is: no. There isn’t a clear winner primarily because both technologies are not one and the same. Each boasts their own respective features and functions and each solve their own set of problems. Understanding the problems in which each solves will better prepare you from misusing the technology.

      • OpenStack Charms 19.10 – Train, Policy Overrides and more

        This release introduces support for OpenStack Train on Ubuntu 18.04 LTS (via Ubuntu Cloud Archive) and Ubuntu 19.10. Train is the 20th OpenStack release which brings a lot of interesting features on its own. One of the most important additions are telco-specific extensions to Nova live migration. The benefits of moving guest machines from one hypervisor to another without shutting down the operating system of the guest are now also available in telco-specific environments with NUMA topology, pinned CPUs, SR-IOV ports attached and huge pages configured.

        In order to upgrade your Charmed OpenStack installation to Train, please follow the procedure described in the charm release notes.

        For more information about OpenStack Train, please refer to the upstream release notes.

      • Kafka Streams and How They Work

        Kafka streams seem like a daunting subject to many learners, but they don’t have to be. Just think of a stream as a sequence of events. In fact, when I put together information for this blog post, I joked that getting all this data would be like drinking from a waterfall. Chad (the Training Architect that created our new Kafka course) was able to take it a step further, and we went off on a tangent. This will help to explain it:

      • Kubernetes Documentation Survey

        In September, SIG Docs conducted its first survey about the Kubernetes documentation. We’d like to thank the CNCF’s Kim McMahon for helping us create the survey and access the results.

      • IBM

        • A PodPreset Based Webhook Admission Controller

          One of the fundamental principles of cloud native applications is the ability to consume assets that are externalized from the application itself during runtime. This feature affords portability across different deployment targets as properties may differ from environment to environment. This pattern is also one of the principles of the Twelve Factor app and is supported through a variety of mechanisms within Kubernetes. Secrets and ConfigMaps are implementations in which assets can be stored whereas the injection point within an application can include environment variables or volume mounts. As Kubernetes and cloud native technologies have matured, there has been an increasing need to dynamically configure applications at runtime even though Kubernetes makes use of a declarative configuration model. Fortunately, Kubernetes contains a pluggable model that enables the validation and modification of applications submitted to the platform as pods, known as admission controllers. These controllers can either accept, reject or accept with modifications the pod which is attempting to be created.

          The ability to modify pods at creation time allows both application developers and platform managers the ability to offer capabilities that surpass any limitation that may be imposed by strict declarative configurations. One such implementation of this feature is a concept called PodPresets which enables the injection of ConfigMaps, Secrets, volumes, volume mounts, and environment variables at creation time to pods matching a set of labels. Kubernetes has supported enabling the use of this feature since version 1.6 and the OpenShift Container Platform (OCP) made it available in the 3.6 release. However, due to a perceived direction change for dynamically injecting these types of resources into pods, the feature became deprecated in version 3.7 and removed in 3.11 which left a void for users attempting to take advantage of the provided capabilities.

        • Verifying signatures of Red Hat container images

          Security-conscious organizations are accustomed to using digital signatures to validate application content from the Internet. A common example is RPM package signing. Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) validates signatures of RPM packages by default.

          In the container world, a similar paradigm should be adhered to. In fact, all container images from Red Hat have been digitally signed and have been for several years. Many users are not aware of this because early container tooling was not designed to support digital signatures.

          In this article, I’ll demonstrate how to configure a container engine to validate signatures of container images from the Red Hat registries for increased security of your containerized applications.

          In the lack of widely accepted standards, Red Hat designed a simple approach to provide security to its customers. This approach is based on detached signatures served by a standard HTTP server. The Linux container tools (Podman, Skopeo, and Buildah) have built-in support for detached signatures, as well as the CRI-O container engine from Kubernetes and the Red Hat OpenShift Container Platform.

        • Advanced telco services and better customer experience need modern support systems

          It seems nearly everything we do these days involves the internet – communication, commerce, entertainment, banking, filing taxes, home security, even monitoring our health – creating a wealth of opportunity for communications service providers (CSPs) to deliver innovative and advanced services, increasing and expanding their revenue streams. But it’s a significant challenge to do so using the traditional, proprietary and monolithic infrastructures in place for decades. To achieve success, it’s critical to modernize business and network systems with open source, cloud-native solutions, and move operations support systems (OSS) and business support systems (BSS) to microservices-based architectures.

          Red Hat believes that by transforming OSS/BSS to a more modern architecture, service providers will be in a better position to improve customer experience and create new revenue and business models, and operate more efficiently. But moving to a modern OSS/BSS architecture isn’t without challenges.

        • Red Hat Customer Success Stories: Automating management and improving communications security

          Datacom is a IT-based service provider in Asia Pacific with more than 5,000 staff and a vision of designing, building, and running IT systems and processes that are aligned to its clients’ business goals. As a Red Hat Advanced Business Partner, Datacom provides solutions to its market across Red Hat’s product lines.

          Because Ansible was getting the attention of many Datacom customers, the company chose to focus on using Ansible as the orchestration glue for automation. Datacom constructed the platform which made it easily consumable while allowing customers to leverage the automation elements. Datacom is witnessing application developers use the infrastructure stack to deploy the apps on different technologies.

          Joseph Tejal is Datacom’s Red Hat Certified Specialist in Ansible Automation based in Wellington. Tejal explained that it wasn’t by chance that Datacom standardized on Red Hat Ansible Automation.

    • Audiocasts/Shows

    • Kernel Space

      • Running on Intel? If you want security, disable hyper-threading, says Linux kernel maintainer

        Linux kernel dev Greg Kroah-Hartman reckons Intel Simultaneous Multithreading (SMT) – also known as hyper-threading – should be disabled for security due to MDS (Microarchitectural Data Sampling) bugs.

        Kroah-Hartman, who was speaking at the Open Source summit in Lyons, has opened up on the subject before. “I gave a talk last year about Spectre and how Linux reacted to it,” he told The Reg. “And then this year it’s about things found since the last talk. It’s more and more of the same types of problems.

      • Linus Torvalds: ‘I’m not a programmer anymore’

        Linus Torvalds, Linux’s creator, doesn’t make speeches anymore. But, what he does do, and he did again at Open Source Summit Europe in Lyon France is have public conversations with his friend Dirk Hohndel, VMware’s Chief Open Source Officer. In this keynote discussion, Torvalds revealed that he doesn’t think he’s a programmer anymore.

        So what does the person everyone thinks of as a programmer’s programmer do instead? Torvalds explained…

      • Linux 5.3.8
        I'm announcing the release of the 5.3.8 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:
        
        https://git.kernel.org/?p=linux/kernel/git/stable/linux-s...
        
        thanks,
        greg k-h
        
        
      • Linux 4.19.81
      • Linux 4.14.151
      • Linux 4.9.198
      • Linux 4.4.198
      • Trimming systemd Halved The Boot Time On A PocketBeagle ARM Linux Board

        Happening this week over in Lyon, France is the Embedded Linux Conference Europe and Open-Source Summit Europe events. Developer Chris Simmonds spoke today about systemd and boot time optimizations around it.

        Besides going over the basics of systemd that all Phoronix readers should be well familiar with, much of his talk was on reducing the boot time with systemd. For reference he talked about his optimizations using a PocketBeagle ARM board running Debian Stretch.

        Debian on this low-power ARM board took 66 seconds to boot with some 18 seconds for the kernel and over 47 seconds for the user-space bits. With some basic tuning, he was able to chop that in half to around 30 seconds.

      • Graphics Stack

        • A Lot More Intel Tiger Lake / Gen12 Xe Graphics Code Merged To Mesa 19.3

          With Mesa 19.3 embarking on its feature freeze this week unless the period is extended, Intel developers have been working on landing more of their Gen12 graphics code into this release for future Tiger Lake CPUs as well as the basis for their first Xe discrete graphics card.

          For Mesa 19.3 is a lot of Intel’s Gen13 graphics code bring-up to go along with their changes coming for Linux 5.5. For both kernel and user-space, it will likely be a few more releases each before the Gen12 graphics support is squared away, which should be fine since the first Xe graphics card isn’t expected until H2’2020 and the same goes for the Tiger Lake CPUs with Gen12 graphics.

        • Mesa 19.3 Adds Support For New AMDGPU Reset Interface

          AMD open-source developer Marek Olšák is landing the last of his changes for the Mesa 19.3 imminent feature freeze.

          Among the changes merged overnight were for initializing shader compilers in threads on-demand as what appears to mostly benefit Piglit when spinning up its many shaders for testing. Mesa 19.3 has also updated the AMDGPU winsys code to support the new AMDGPU reset interface plumbed through the kernel and Mesa DRM library (libdrm).

        • NVIDIA Announces GeForce GTX 1650 SUPER + GTX 1660 SUPER

          After weeks of information leaking on these new ~$200 GTX SUPER graphics cards, NVIDIA today officially announced the GTX 1660 SUPER that is shipping today and the GTX 1650 SUPER that will hit store shelves in late November.

          The NVIDIA GTX 1660 SUPER is being marketed as 1.5x faster than the GeForce GTX 1060 for popular Windows games. The GTX 1660 SUPER features 15 Gbps GDDR6 video memory and the Turing upgrade over Pascal provides a significant performance uplift. The GTX 1660 SUPER will begin shipping today starting at $229 USD.

        • NVIDIA Launches Upgraded Shield TV with Tegra X1+ Processor
    • Applications

      • Free Password Manager KeePassXC 2.5.0 Adds Paper Backup, Database Statistics, Re-Enables Wayland Support

        KeePassXC 2.5.0 was released recently with important improvements, like an option to export a database to an HTML file (for paper backup), database statistics, re-enabled Wayland support, and more.

        KeePassXC is a free and open-source password manager started as a community fork of KeePassX (which itself is a fork of KeePass), which is not actively maintained. The application is built using Qt and runs on Linux, Windows and macOS. For its database, KeePassXC uses the KeePass 2.x (.kdbx) password database format as its native file format in versions 3.1 and 4, using AES encryption with a 256 bit key.

        There’s no cloud synchronization built into KeePassXC, but this can easily be done through third-party cloud provides like Dropbox, Google Drive, Nextcloud, and so on.

      • Cloud Storage GUI Rclone Browser 1.6.0 Adds New Options, Fixes

        The Rclone Browser fork I was telling you about a while back keeps improving, with the latest release adding new options in the application preferences, as well as an important fix on Windows that gets mounting/unmounting to work properly.

        Rclone Browser is a cross-platform Qt5 GUI for Rclone, a command line tool to synchronize (and mount) files from remote cloud storage services like Google Drive, OneDrive, Nextcloud, Dropbox, Amazon Drive and S3, Mega, and others. Use it to copy a file from one cloud storage service to another, from a cloud storage to your system or the other way around, and to mount some cloud storage on your system with a single click.

        Since the original Rclone Browser hasn’t been updated in almost 3 years, a new developer has forked it, fixing some issues that started happening with new Rclone versions, while also adding new functionality.

      • WordPress 5.3 RC3

        The third release candidate for WordPress 5.3 is now available!

        WordPress 5.3 is currently scheduled to be released on November 12 2019, but we need your help to get there—if you haven’t tried 5.3 yet, now is the time!

      • Kiwi TCMS: Kiwi TCMS 7.1

        We’re happy to announce Kiwi TCMS version 7.1! This is a small improvement update which includes database schema and API changes, several other improvements, internal refactoring and updated translations.

    • Instructionals/Technical

    • Games

      • The Humble Day of the Devs Bundle 2019 is out, get ‘Minit’ plus ‘ToeJam & Earl’ cheap

        Humble have another bundle! The Humble Day of the Devs Bundle 2019 just recently went live with a small selection of games and some good picks have Linux support too.

        In the $1+ tier you get The Haunted Island, a Frog Detective Game and ART SQOOL although neither offer up Linux support sadly.

        When you pay more than the average you get Flipping Death and Battle Chef Brigade, the latter of which does actually have Linux support it’s just not advertised as such on Steam.

      • Play classic games using RetroArch Emulator in Ubuntu/Linux Mint

        Do you love to play classic games? If yes, then you are on the right page. RetroArch is a frontend utility for emulators, game engines and media players. You can play wide variety of classic of computer and consoles games. It is free, open-source and cross-platform runs on Linux, Most Windows versions, Mac OS X; On top of all that, RetroArch also runs on iOS and Android for tablets and phones, as well as on game consoles like PS2, PS3, PSP, PS Vita, Wii, Wii U, 2DS, 3DS, Switch, and more! If you have device which is not mentioned here or simply you don’t want to install it on your system or you just want to give it a shot then you can run RetroArch online in your web-browser.

      • Eight Dragons brings retro-inspired beat ‘em up action to you and a bunch of friends

        Eight Dragons? Does that mean it’s like four times as good as the classic Double Dragon? Asking the important questions here today on GOL.

        You might be able to find the answer to that yourself, as the developer sent word to us on Twitter that their new beat ‘em up that’s currently in Early Access recently added Linux support. Extend Mode have ported it over from their in-house engine to Unity which has helped it be more cross-platform.

      • ULTRAKILL is a first-person shooter for fans of super speed and lots of blood

        ULTRAKILL, as the name might suggest, is a pretty over-the-top game. It’s an upcoming first-person shooter from Hakita that now has a free Prelude build out.

      • Vampire: The Masquerade – Coteries of New York shows off some gameplay, releasing December 4

        Readying for release on December 4, Vampire: The Masquerade – Coteries of New York now actual has some in-game footage available.

        Not to be mixed up with Bloodlines 2 which is not coming to Linux (as far as we know), Vampire: The Masquerade – Coteries of New York is since it mentions it on the Steam store page and it was also clearly stated in the trailer announcement too on Steam.

      • Ubuntu 19.10 Radeon Linux Gaming Performance Plus Linux 5.4 / Mesa 19.3 Benchmarks

        For those curious about the performance of AMD Radeon open-source Linux gaming out-of-the-box on the newly released Ubuntu 19.10, here are those benchmarks compared to the Radeon driver state on Ubuntu 19.04. Additionally, there are benchmark results if manually upgrading your Ubuntu 19.10 installation to using the in-development Linux 5.4 kernel and Mesa 19.3 for the very newest AMD Linux driver support.

      • Challenging open-world turn-based RPG ‘Stoneshard’ delayed until February 2020

        Ink Stains Games recently announced their impressive looking open-world turn-based RPG, Stoneshard, will be delayed until February 2020.

        While it sounds like development is going well, as they’ve been doing closed-beta testing and they say the quality is up to their standards, some apparently important mechanics aren’t yet implemented. They said it’s already fun to play but it can end too quickly so they’re working to expand the core gameplay loop with more of everything.

      • Bake ‘n Switch looks like a ridiculously fun couch co-op and PvP game coming to Linux

        Overcooked isn’t the only multiplayer cooking game around now, as Bake ‘n Switch has been announced and it’s going to be supporting Linux too.

        Bake ‘n Switch seems quite different to the Overcooked series though, it’s not all about preparing special dishes against a timer. Instead, you work together or against each other to combine the doughs and the bigger the dough the higher the score. You also need to fight off “Spores and Stickies” which might give you some sort of power-up. It seems to be a lot more crazy-action orientated, rather than worrying about overcooking items and combining dishes.

      • Survival Vacancy looks like a mix of Factorio and Terraria and it’s now in Early Access

        Survival Vacancy follows a nuclear apocalypse and it’s your job to save as many people as possible. To do so you need to explore the ruined world, mine for resources and build up an underground city.

        Arriving on Steam in Early Access a few days ago, Survival Vacancy from developer Mind Leak looks intriguing as it really does seem to mix the styles of both Factorio and Terraria. It looks a little rough right now but it has a nice idea.

      • Eight Dragons brings retro-inspired beat ‘up up action to you and a bunch of friends

        Eight Dragons? Does that mean it’s like four times as good as the classic Double Dragon? Asking the important questions here today on GOL.

        You might be able to find the answer to that yourself, as the developer sent word to us on Twitter that their new beat ‘em up that’s currently in Early Access recently added Linux support. Extend Mode have ported it over from their in-house engine to Unity which has helped it be more cross-platform.

      • NVIDIA announce the GeForce GTX 1660 SUPER and the GeForce 1650 SUPER

        Today, NVIDIA officially lifted the lid on two new GPUs with the GeForce GTX 1660 SUPER and the GeForce 1650 SUPER. Both of them will continue using the Turing architecture.

        Aimed at the money conscious gamer, with NVIDIA aiming their sights at the entry-level market to give you a reasonable 1080p experience. That’s still the most popular resolution with gamers, as shown by Valve’s survey and our own.

      • Revive the dead and make them dance in Skeletal Dance Party’s Afterparty update

        Skeletal Dance Party, the amusing musical dungeon crawling RPG from Catalope Games and No Studio in Particular just had a big Afterparty update.

        What’s Halloween without some sort of gathering? Skeletal Dance Party already felt like a party, a pretty unusual one that is. With skeletons dancing across levels with whatever weapons you come across and now it just got a whole lot bigger in a free update.

      • Valve ends Counter-Strike: Global Offensive container key trading and selling

        The team at Valve working on Counter-Strike: Global Offensive have now put an end to the selling and trading of new container keys.

        In a post on the official site, the Valve team said as of now all keys purchased in-game are tied to that Steam account so you can’t trade or sell them on the Steam Market. Existing keys are not affected but they will eventually run out of course. The question is, why? Well, according to Valve “worldwide fraud networks have recently shifted to using CS:GO keys to liquidate their gains” and “nearly all key purchases that end up being traded or sold on the marketplace are believed to be fraud-sourced” so they’re putting a stop to it.

      • The RollerCoaster Tycoon 2 open source game engine ‘OpenRCT2′ v0.2.4 is out

        The team keeping RollerCoaster Tycoon 2 alive with the power of open source have pushed out another fine looking release of OpenRCT2.

        Overall, v0.2.4 seems to be mostly a release aimed at cleaning up existing features with a ton of bug fixes. However, a couple of new features and improvements did make it in. They’ve increased the number of ride musics playing simultaneously from 2 to 32, which should solve an issue hearing rides currently on the screen when at a higher screen resolution. The “image list” capacity was increased by around 100k units, which should help stop multiple crash bugs when people hit the limits.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • KDE Kills Off The ‘Cashew’, Replaces It With Something Less Nutty

          This little icon (which could be moved around the workspace) provided users with a shortcut to editing their desktop layout (add/remove panels, activities, widgets, etc).

          Despite having the shape of a poorly filled water balloon the feature was actually a ‘desktop toolbox’ shortcut.

          Now a) I didn’t know the icon was supposed to resemble a cashew until about 20 mins ago and b) I’m wilfully ignoring the fact that the ‘desktop toolbox’ shortcut has actually been represented by a hamburger menu since Plasma 5 arrived.

      • GNOME Desktop/GTK

        • Pango Dropping Support For Bitmap Fonts Is Frustrating Some Linux Desktop Users

          Cleaning up of the Pango layout engine library as some much needed housekeeping by GNOME developers resulted in shifting to the Harfbuzz library for font loading. That quietly meant dropping support for bitmap fonts from Pango, which is now reaching Linux desktop users when upgrading to the Pango 1.44 stable release.

          Some Linux desktop users are being surprised when their Pango-using applications are no longer loading their bitmap fonts but just showing square blocks or similar artifacts instead. Pango, of course, is the layout engine used by GTK and Qt among other desktop software.

    • Distributions

      • Screenshots/Screencasts

      • SUSE/OpenSUSE

        • ASpeed DRM Driver Ported To Atomic Mode-Setting

          The “AST” DRM/KMS display driver that can be used with the many servers supporting ASpeed display hardware now has work pending for atomic mode-setting.

          SUSE’s Thomas Zimmermann sent out the set of nine patches that convert the existing AST KMS driver into supporting atomic mode-setting as well as universal planes.

        • openSUSE Leap 15.0 Reaches End of Life on November 30th 2019

          openSUSE Leap 15.0 reaches the end of life on November 30, 2019. openSUSE Leap 15.0 reaches the end of its support after 1.5 years of life.

          openSUSE Leap 15.0 is based on SUSE Linux Enterprise (SLE) 15 resources, released May 25, 2018.

      • Fedora Family

        • Fedora 31 is here — download the world’s best desktop Linux distribution now

          Is Fedora popular? Well, is any desktop Linux distribution truly popular in the grand scheme of things? I mean, look, Windows holds an insurmountable lead in the desktop operating system space — it cannot be denied. Amongst Linux distributions, however, yes, Fedora is very popular comparatively. Why do people choose it over other distros, such as Ubuntu, MX Linux, or Manjaro? It’s simple — Fedora is a no-nonsense operating system with a genuine focus on free and open source software. Not to mention, it is fairly bleeding edge while remaining stable.

          So, yeah, Fedora is wonderful. Today, however, the Linux distribution gets even better. You see, following the beta period, Fedora 31 is now available for download. Is it an exciting release? No, not really. Sure, enthusiasts will find themselves thrilled withe inclusion of the GNOME 3.34 desktop environment (with Qt Wayland by default), Linux 5.3 kernel, and Mesa 9.2, but otherwise, it is fairly boring. You know what? That’s not a bad thing. In 2019, Fedora is simply a mature and stable operating system that only needs to follow an evolutionary path at this time — not revolutionary. It stands alone as the world’s best desktop Linux distribution.

        • Fedora 31 Released For This Innovative Linux Distribution Supported By Red Hat

          Fedora 31 is now officially available as the latest update for this prominent Linux distribution backed by Red Hat and continuing uninterrupted under IBM’s ownership of Red Hat.

          Fedora 31 features the Linux 5.3 kernel, Mesa 9.2, GCC 9.2.1, GNU C Library 2.30, GNOME 3.34, RPM 4.15, Golang 1.13, Perl 5.30, and all of the other up-to-date packages we expect to find from new Fedora releases. Besides updating to the latest packages, Fedora 31 has worked on removing its remaining Python 2 packages, disabling root password log-ins with SSH by default, using cgroups v2 by default, removing i686 repositories, and a ton of other changes.

        • Fedora 31 is officially here!

          It’s here! We’re proud to announce the release of Fedora 31. Thanks to the hard work of thousands of Fedora community members and contributors, we’re celebrating yet another on-time release. This is getting to be a habit!

          If you just want to get to the bits without delay, go to https://getfedora.org/ right now. For details, read on!

        • Upgrading Fedora 30 to Fedora 31

          Fedora 31 is available now. You’ll likely want to upgrade your system to get the latest features available in Fedora. Fedora Workstation has a graphical upgrade method. Alternatively, Fedora offers a command-line method for upgrading Fedora 30 to Fedora 31.

        • What’s new in Fedora 31 Workstation

          Fedora 31 Workstation is the latest release of our free, leading-edge operating system. You can download it from the official website here right now. There are several new and noteworthy changes in Fedora 31 Workstation. Read more details below.

          Fedora 30 Workstation includes the latest release of GNOME Desktop Environment for users of all types. GNOME 3.34 in Fedora 31 Workstation includes many updates and improvements, including…

        • Fedora 31 Officially Released with GNOME 3.34 & Linux 5.3, Drops 32-Bit Support

          Fedora 31 has been in development during the past six months, and after a one-week delay, it’s finally here packed with some of the latest and greatest Open Source software and GNU/Linux technologies, including the GNOME 3.34 desktop environment, Linux 5.3 kernel, Glibc 2.30, Python 3, and Node.js 12.

          However, with this release, Fedora Linux says goodbye to 32-bit installations as it no longer offers ISO images to allow users to install the operating system on older machines with 32-bit processors, from more than 20 years ago. The 32-bit software repositories will also not be available anymore.

        • Fedora 31: Peering into Red Hat Enterprise Linux’s future

          After a brief delay, while last-minute bugs were fixed, Fedora 31 has just rolled out the door, and besides being a worthy Linux distribution in its own right, it’s even more interesting for what it tells us about parent company Red Hat’s future plans for Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL).

          We tend to think of Fedora as a desktop operating system, but while it’s great at that role, it’s far more than that. Besides golden oldies such as the self-explanatory Fedora Workstation and Fedora Server, we also now have Fedora CoreOS, Fedora IoT, and Fedora Silverblue.

        • Fedora 31 is here

          Fedora Magazine announces the release of Fedora 31. This release includes the Fedora Toolbox for launching and managing personal workspace containers. The Fedora Editions include Workstation, Server, with CoreOS and IoT in a preview state. Alternate architectures include ARM AArch64, Power, and S390x. However the 32-bit only i686 system has been dropped.

        • Charles-Antoine Couret: Fedora 31 est disponible
        • Fedora Workstation, Server 31 Released. Here’s What’s New

          Fedora Linux the Linux distribution developed by community supported Fedora project and sponsored by Red Hat lands yet another milestone with the release of Fedora Workstation 31.This release brings many exciting new changes and features with its workstation, server release alongside its “spins”. Here’s what’s new.

        • Fedora 31 Now Generally Available

          The Fedora Project, a Red Hat, Inc. sponsored and community-driven open source collaboration, today announced the general availability of Fedora 31, the latest version of the fully open source Fedora operating system. Fedora 31 includes new features that help to address a host of modern computing challenges, from building and running cloud native applications to driving innovation in the connected world.

          Each Fedora edition is designed to address specific use cases for modern developers and IT teams with Fedora Workstation and Fedora Server providing open operating systems built to meet the needs of forward-looking developers and server projects. Fedora 31 also sees the continued evolution of emerging Fedora editions, including Fedora CoreOS, Fedora IoT and Fedora Silverblue. Fedora 31 brings enhancements to all editions with updates to the common underlying packages, from bug fixes and performance tweaks to new versions.

      • Debian Family

        • Debian To Seek A General Resolution Over Their Init System Policy

          Debian Project Leader Sam Hartman has determined it’s necessary to pursue a general resolution among Debian developers over their init system policy and whether to still care about init system diversity outside of systemd.

          Last month we wrote about Debian developers re-evaluating their interest in “init system diversity”. Some Debian developers have been working on elogind support to help ensure Debian isn’t explicitly tied to systemd while other Debian developers don’t have the energy/resources/interest in dealing with elogind and other non-systemd issues that may come up via bug reports or packaging review.

        • Wouter Verhelst: Announcing policy-rcd-declarative

          A while ago, Debian’s technical committee considered a request to figure out what a package should do if a service that is provided by that package does not restart properly on upgrade.

          Traditional behavior in Debian has been to restart a service on upgrade, and to cause postinst (and, thus, the packaging system) to break if the daemon start fails. This has obvious disadvantages; when package installation is not initiated by a person running apt-get upgrade in a terminal, failure to restart a service may cause unexpected downtime, and that is not something you want to see.

          At the same time, when restarting a service is done through the command line, having the packaging system fail is a pretty good indicator that there is a problem here, and therefore, it tells the system administrator early on that there is a problem, soon after the problem was created — which is helpful for diagnosing that issue and possibly fixing it.

        • Debian LTS report for October 2019

          This month I was allocated 0 hours and carried over 14.5 hours from August. Unfortunately, once again I didn’t find time to work on LTS issues. Since I expect it to stay that way for a few more months, I set the limit of hours that I get allocated to 0 last month already. I’ll give back the remaining 14.5 hours and continue with LTS work once I again have some spare cycles to do so.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • Ubuntu Server development summary – 29 October 2019

          The purpose of this communication is to provide a status update and highlights for any interesting subjects from the Ubuntu Server Team. If you would like to reach the server team, you can find us at the #ubuntu-server channel on Freenode. Alternatively, you can sign up and use the Ubuntu Server Team mailing list or visit the Ubuntu Server discourse hub for more discussion.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • Framasoft, Disroot, & PrivacyToolsIO: All-In-One Ethical Online Service Providers

        For people who want to be free from Google, there is a good news that now exist 3 providers of ethical alternatives namely Framasoft.org, Disroot.org, and PrivacyTools.io. They provide all the services gratis so ethical services will be accessible for everybody. By ethical service I meant network service that based on free software and with commitment to user privacy as privacy-security community recommends it. By all-in-one here I meant as close as possible to Google in number of services they provide. This can’t be avoided to introduces you to new names to you like Searx, Nextcloud, Gitea, and such free software that are now popular in our community. I hope this review reaches as many audiens as possible to make people aware about existence of privacy services. Now let’s go!

      • What OSI Affiliates Are Doing For Open Source.

        The Open Source Initiative has seventy affiliate members. They represent a broad swath of the open source community, representing educational institutions, projects, and communities. We’re especially proud of our affiliates’ excellent work: thought leadership in open source philosophy; forward-thinking, community-building initiatives; and the work they do as part of fulfilling their missions to develop, innovate, and encourage the adoption of open source technology.

        We wanted to take a moment to share the work of some OSI affiliate organizations and their stellar leadership across the greater open source community in community, design, and technology. Our goal is to offer just a few examples of how some of our affiliates are working which may inspire andinform your own efforts.

        Brandeis University recently launched a program in Open Source Technology Management, to help train those seeking leadership roles in companies and communities, giving them a foundation in the value and necessity of open source software and philosophy. The program at Brandeis also creates a space for students to work directly with individuals active in the open source movement.

        Creative Commons completely revolutionized licensing for content and media through the creation of the Creative Commons suite of open licenses. Their optimism and dedication to building a cultural commons have inspired countless people around the world to adopt open licenses and share their creative works.

      • The best (and worst) ways to influence your open community

        After you’ve established a positive reputation in an open community—hopefully, as we discussed in our previous article, by being an active member in and contributing productively to that community—you’ll have built up a healthy “bank balance” of credibility you can use to influence the direction of that community.

      • Events

        • Peruvian International Scientific Meeting: Sinapsis 2019

          The first speaker pictured is Prof. Jorge Chau from the Leibniz Institute in Germany and his talk named “Studies of mesospheric and lower thermospheric turbulence and waves with novel multi-static MIMO specular meteor radars”. He made a thoughtful and impassioned explanation of his work. This time I understood maths and its application. My second favorite talk was given by Lucia Fitts Vargas. She talked about “Effects of disturbances and land used change on carbon stocks in six US states ” from the University of Minnesota. I liked her talk because she was able to explain in a very simple way the presence of carbon in trees in our jungle in Peru and then she gradually jumped to the complexity explanation about her carbon stock research and tools used in the USA. I was impressed by the research of Jacqueline Valverde Villegas from INSERM, Université de Montpellier, France about the HIV: “Aspectos genéticos e inmunológicos en la infección por el VIH/SIDA”, and the work of Juan Carlos Hurtado from the University of Barcelona: “Identificación de las causas de muerte en países de mediana y baja renta a través de la autopsia mínimamente invasiva”. I overheard good acceptance for the talk of Dr. Luis Dalguer about the earthquakes prediction in Switzerland: “Terremotos: su mecanismo físico, su predicción y prevención de desastres”. Lastly, the talk of Lucila Menacho from the University of Engineering in Peru named “Study, construction, and applications of supercapacitors based on graphene” was an interactive talk that everyone in the room paid attention. Congrats in general to all because all they were interesting topics.

        • FOSDEM 2020 Real-Time Communications Call for Participation

          You can use HTML and links in your bio, abstract and description.

          If you maintain a blog, please consider providing us with the URL of a feed with posts tagged for your RTC-related work.

          We will be looking for relevance to the conference and devroom themes, presentations aimed at developers of free and open source software about RTC-related topics.

          Please feel free to suggest a duration between 20 minutes and 55 minutes but note that the final decision on talk durations will be made by the devroom administrators based on the number of received proposals. As the two previous devrooms have been combined into one, we may decide to give shorter slots than in previous years so that more speakers can participate.

          [...]

          Generally, it was a good experience. I have not seen another peruvian in person more than a year and living again for a week with Wilson Valerio, Martin, Lucas, Alisa and others, made me remember my roots and way I am in Europe. I am glad I tried the best chocolate!

      • Web Browsers

        • Mozilla

          • Password dos and don’ts

            So many accounts, so many passwords. That’s online life. The average person with a typical online presence is estimated to have close to 100 online accounts, and that figure is rising. If you’re reading this, you’re probably in that category. You have a collection of primary accounts that you care the most about because they’re important and you access them frequently, like your email, social media, bank, media subscriptions, streaming services, etc.

            Then you most likely also have a handful of lower priority accounts you set up without much thought, and some that you forgot about. Since those accounts are low priority, maybe you weren’t careful about password hygiene, and you slipped into bad habits like password reuse which can put your other accounts at a security risk should there be a data breach.

          • Mozilla Open Policy & Advocacy Blog: A Year in Review: Fighting Online Disinformation

            A year ago, Mozilla signed the first ever Code of Practice on Disinformation, brokered in Europe as part of our commitment to an internet that elevates critical thinking, reasoned argument, shared knowledge, and verifiable facts. The Code set a wide range of commitments for all the signatories, from transparency in political advertising to the closure of fake accounts, to address the spread of disinformation online. And we were hopeful that the Code would help to drive change in the platform and advertising sectors.

            Since then, we’ve taken proactive steps to help tackle this issue, and today our self assessment of this work was published by the European Commission. Our assessment covers the work we’ve been doing at Mozilla to build tools within the Firefox browser to fight misinformation, empower users with educational resources, support research on disinformation and lead advocacy efforts to push the ecosystem to live up to their own commitments within the Code of Practice.

          • A Year with Spoke: Announcing the Architecture Kit

            Spoke, our 3D editor for creating environments for Hubs, is celebrating its first birthday with a major update. Last October, we released the first version of Spoke, a compositing tool for mixing 2D and 3D content to create immersive spaces. Over the past year, we’ve made a lot of improvements and added new features to make building scenes for VR easier than ever. Today, we’re excited to share the latest feature that adds to the power of Spoke: the Architecture Kit!

            We first talked about the components of the Architecture Kit back in March. With the Architecture Kit, creators now have an additional way to build custom content for their 3D scenes without using an external tool. Specifically, we wanted to make it easier to take existing components that have already been optimized for VR and make it easy to configure those pieces to create original models and scenes. The Architecture Kit contains over 400 different pieces that are designed to be used together to create buildings – the kit includes wall, floor, ceiling, and roof pieces, as well as windows, trim, stairs, and doors.

          • Auditing For Accessibility Problems With Firefox Developer Tools

            Since its debut in Firefox 61, the Accessibility Inspector in the Firefox Developer Tools has evolved from a low-level tool showing the accessibility structure of a page. In Firefox 70, the Inspector has become an auditing facility to help identify and fix many common mistakes and practices that reduce site accessibility. In this post, I will offer an overview of what is available in this latest release.

          • SourceForge download issues (and Github issues issues)

            There are two high-priority problems currently affecting TenFourFox’s download and development infrastructure. Please don’t open any more Tenderapp tickets on these: I am painfully aware of them and am currently trying to devise workarounds, and the more tickets get opened the more time I spend redirecting people instead of actually working on fixes.

            The first one is that the hack we use to relax JavaScript syntax to get Github working (somewhat) is now causing the browser to go into an infinite error loop on Github issue reports and certain other Github pages, presumably due to changes in code on their end. Unfortunately we use Github heavily for the wiki and issues tracker, so this is a major problem. The temporary workaround is, of course, a hack to relax JavaScript syntax even further. This hack is disgusting and breaks a lot of tests but is simple and does seem to work, so if I can’t come up with something better it will be in FPR17. Most regular users won’t be affected by this.

      • Linux Foundation

        • IOTA rises 10% on Dell and Linux partnerships

          The IOTA cryptocurrency rose nearly 10 percent yesterday, following the news that the Internet of Things (IoT) protocol will be teaming up with computing giant Dell and the open-source focused Linux Foundation on a new project to improve the trustworthiness of data.

          The new project, called Alvarium (Latin for “beehive”), is aimed at creating intrinsic trust across exceedingly diverse systems. By using blockchain technology (specifically, a distributed acrylic graph) and a data rating system—known as Data Confidence Fabrics—the project aims to provide a way of ensuring that certain data, once generated from a variety of sources, is known to be accurate.

        • Linux Taps IOTA to Create New Level of Trust in Data

          The Linux Foundation is tapping tech from the IOTA Foundation to launch a project designed to increase trust and confidence in data transferred across various systems.

          Billed as “Project Alvarium,” the venture also plans to utilize code from Dell Technologies, according to a Linux Foundation press release.

        • IOTA, Linux and Dell collaborate for crypto data security

          Crypto data security has never been a major concern, but in the recent past, risks of 51 percent attacks have been increasing and thus the need to make data secure, crypto, or otherwise.

          Just today, American multinational technology company Dell Technologies Inc., the heart of open-source Unix-like operating systems Linux Foundation and the German distributed ledger technology (DLT) provider IOTA announced an initiative dubbed the Project Alvarium aiming to rate data based on the level of its reliability.

        • IOTA partners with Dell and Linux for data trustworthiness ratings

          Data trustworthiness is one of the biggest challenges that the technology sector faces in the coming decade. As more people get connected to the internet with more devices, as the Internet of Things gets into everyone’s lives, the amount of data being collected is exponentially increasing. In this world, making sure we can trust this data becomes increasingly important. 

          Linux Foundation announced Project Alvarium, in partnership with industry leaders like Dell, IOTA Foundation, Arm, IBM, MobiledgeX, OSIsoft, Unisys and more. The aim of this project will be to build a Data Confidence Fabric or DCF. This will enable measuring the trustworthiness of data collected from various sources. DCF is also called ‘trust fabric’. It will be embedded in the path of data collection which will facilitate the delivery of trusted data from devices to the applications.

      • Productivity Software/LibreOffice/Calligra

        • Redaction Feature in LibreOffice – Phase 1: Manual Redaction

          Redaction in its sanitization sense is the blacking out or deletion of text in a document, or the result of such an effort. It is intended to allow the selective disclosure of information in a document while keeping other parts of the document secret. Typically the result is a document that is suitable for publication or for dissemination to others than the intended audience of the original document. For example, when a document is subpoenaed in a court case, information not specifically relevant to the case at hand is often redacted. Redaction in Wikipedia

          Although there are some proprietary software applications in the market for this purpose, they have their own limitations like lack of support for open/libre document formats. Thanks to LibreOffice’s great support for various file formats, and our recent work on implementing this new feature on top of it, it is now possible to redact most of your documents without leaving the comfort of your favourite office suite.

      • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

        • IDAD 2019: Thank you for defending the right to read!

          Now that the dust has settled and we have made our voices heard, we would like to give a sincere thanks to everyone who helped to make the International Day Against DRM (IDAD) 2019 possible. This is the thirteenth year that we have come together to voice our dissent against the unjust power of Digital Restrictions Management (DRM), and we could not have done it without the help of digital rights activists from all over the world.

          In our continued fight against DRM, we make it clear that we reject a world in which learning is shackled behind draconian restrictions. On IDAD 2019, we used our strength in numbers to tell Pearson that restricting access to textbooks is antithetical to the human right to education. Here in Boston, we protested outside the Pearson building, and spoke with a wide range of students and shoppers about the importance of their digital rights. Demonstrating our own commitment to a culture based on sharing rather than exclusion, we also worked in the FSF office, and remotely with collaborators from around the world, to make contributions to ethical and DRM-free educational materials.

        • GNU Spotlight with Mike Gerwitz: 11 new GNU releases in October!

          artanis-0.4
          aspell-0.60.8
          binutils-2.33.1
          gdb-9.1
          libmicrohttpd-0.9.68
          libredwg-0.9
          nano-4.5
          parallel-20191022
          parted-3.3
          screen-4.7.0
          src-highlite-3.1.8

      • Unix

        • Unix Tell All Book From Kernighan Hits The Shelves

          When you think of the Unix and C revolution that grew out of Bell Labs, there are a few famous names. Dennis Ritchie, Ken Thompson, and Brian Kernighan come to mind. After all, the K in both K&R C and in AWK stand for Kernighan. While Kernighan is no stranger to book authorship — he’s written several classics including “the white book” for C and Unix — he has a new book out that is part historical record and part memoir about the birth of Unix.

          Usually, when a famous person writes a retrospective like this, it is full of salacious details, but we don’t expect much of that here. The book talks about Bell Labs and Multics, of course. There’s serious coverage of the first, sixth, and seventh editions with biographies of people integral to those releases.

          The final part of the book deals with the explosive growth and commercialization of the operating system along with its many descendants. Yes, Linux is in there, of course, as is BSD and others. In broad strokes, this probably doesn’t add a lot to what we all know about the history of Unix, but the personal details and just hearing it from a primary source is worth the price of admission.

        • Dominello reveals how NSW counselled Canberra on tech

          Dominello offers that the journey to get to the digital licence involved straddling a pile of back-end legacy. It included the former Roads and Traffic Authority’s mainframe-based “Drives” architecture that sported a customised blend of Solaris, Unix, Oracle and Java.

      • Programming/Development

        • Five new-ish Python things – Part 1

          I keep gathering links of interesting Python things I’ve seen around the internet: new packages, good tutorials, and so on – and so I thought I’d start a series where I share them every so often.

          Not all of these are new new – some have been around for a while but are new to me – and so they might be new to you too!

          Also, there is a distinct ‘PyData’ flavour to these things – they’re all things I’ve come across in my work in data science and geographic processing with Python.

        • Coroutines in Python

          Every programmer is acquainted with functions – sequences of instructions grouped together as a single unit in order to perform predetermined tasks. They admit a single entry point, are capable of accepting arguments, may or may not have a return value, and can be called at any moment during a program’s execution – including by other functions and themselves.

          When a program calls a function its current execution context is saved before passing control over to the function and resuming execution. The function then creates a new context – from there on out newly created data exists exclusively during the functions runtime.

          As soon as the task is complete, control is transferred back to the caller – the new context is effectively deleted and replaced by the previous one.

        • Excellent Free Books to Learn Bash

          Bash (acronym for the ‘Bourne-Again-SHell’) is the GNU Project’s shell and programming language. It’s an sh-compatible shell that incorporates useful features from the Korn shell (ksh) and C shell (csh). Bash has become a de facto standard for shell scripting. It runs on almost all versions of Unix and a few other operating systems including Windows platforms.

          A Unix shell is both a command interpreter and a programming language. As a command interpreter, the shell provides the user interface to various utilities. The programming language features of Bash allow these utilities to be combined. Files containing commands can be developed, and become commands themselves. A shell script is therefore a quick way of prototyping a complex application. Shell scripting follows the classic Unix philosophy of breaking complex projects into simpler subtasks, of chaining together components and utilities.

          Like all Unix shells, Bash supports filename globbing (wildcard matching), piping, here documents, command substitution, variables and control structures for condition-testing and iteration. The keywords, syntax and other basic features of the language were all copied from sh.

        • Uncovering hidden Perls for Command Line Heroes

          Diving for Perl presented a unique challenge for us: how do we depict a language that was once one of the most popular in programming, without then implying it’s unwanted or in ruins? We wanted to tell Perl’s story while also staying true to its current status—a powerful language with an active community.

        • The Rust Programming Language Blog: A call for blogs 2020

          We are accepting ideas about almost anything having to do with Rust: language features, tooling needs, community programs, ecosystem needs… if it’s related to Rust, we want to hear about it.

        • 5 reasons why I love Python

          I have been using Python since it was a little-known language in 1998. It was a time when Perl was quite popular in the open source world, but I believed in Python from the moment I found it. My parents like to remind me that I used to say things like, “Python is going to be a big deal” and “I’ll be able to find a job using it one day.” It took a while, but my predictions came true.

          There is so much to love about the language. Here are my top 5 reasons why I continue to love Python so much (in reverse order, to build anticipation).

        • Python 3.5.8

          Python 3.5 has now entered “security fixes only” mode, and as such the only changes since Python 3.5.4 are security fixes. Also, Python 3.5.8 has only been released in source code form; no more official binary installers will be produced.

        • Python 3.5.8 is now available

          Python 3.5.8 is now available.

        • Building Quantum Computing Algorithms In Python – Episode 235

          Quantum computers are the biggest jump forward in processing power that the industry has seen in decades. As part of this revolution it is necessary to change our approach to algorithm design. D-Wave is one of the companies who are pushing the boundaries in quantum processing and they have created a Python SDK for experimenting with quantum algorithms. In this episode Alexander Condello explains what is involved in designing and implementing these algorithms, how the Ocean SDK helps you in that endeavor, and what types of problems are well suited to this approach.

        • Python Type Checking

          In this course, you’ll learn about Python type checking. Traditionally, types have been handled by the Python interpreter in a flexible but implicit way. Recent versions of Python allow you to specify explicit type hints that can be used by different tools to help you develop your code more efficiently.

        • PyCoder’s Weekly: Issue #392 (Oct. 29, 2019)
        • Colaboratory + Drive + Github -> the workflow made simpler
        • New project: Nice Telescope Planner

          And now, for something different, I have just dived into Java. I am sharing with you the first (pre-)release of Nice Telescope Planner, a simple cross-platform desktop utility for amateur astronomy hobbyists, written in Java. The aim is to provide an easy to use tool to help planning sky observation sessions, suggesting some of the interesting objects you may be able to watch at naked eye, or using amateur equipment (binoculars or small to medium size telescopes) in a given date/time and place.

  • Leftovers

    • Hardware

      • Pete Zaitcev: Samsung shutting down CPU development in Austin

        An acquaintance of mine was laid off from Samsung. He was a rank-and-file ASIC designer and worked on FPU unit for Samsung’s new CPU. Another acquaintance, a project manager in the silicon field, relayed that supposedly ARM developed a new CPUs that are so great, that all competitors gave up and folded their CPU development, resulting in the layoffs. The online sources have details.

      • [Older] Layoff Rumors Swirl at Samsung Semiconductor R&D Center

        The Samsung R&D Center in Austin, Texas (SARC) was founded in 2010 to develop CPUs and system IP, including interconnects and memory controllers. Development for Samsung’s custom CPU core is reportedly handled here, which would make sense — Samsung’s CPU dev team has at least a few ex-AMD employees on it, and Austin has been a major hub for AMD for decades. According to rumors, however, SARC has just been hit by major layoffs.

        The scope of these layoffs is currently unclear. Some sources have said that a single project was canceled, while others have implied a larger number of employee firings. Like Apple and Huawei, Samsung has invested in building its own custom CPU cores based on its own version of the ARMv8 architecture rather than solely licensing cores from ARM itself. Samsung, however, has struggled to compete in this space.

    • Health/Nutrition

      • On Vaping and Lung Disease

        A front-page story by Matt Richtel in the New York Times October 21 contains some useful info about the increasing incidence of lung damage caused by vaping, but gets the history wrong. And then gets it right. An editor should have caught the contradiction.

    • Security (Confidentiality/Integrity/Availabilitiy)

      • 3 quick ways to reduce your attack surface on Linux
      • DNS Hijacking: How to Diagnose a DNS Hijack and Stop It

        DNS hijacking sounds scary, but understanding the risks and installing a VPN are effective countermeasures to ensure your security online. In today’s guide, we’ll teach you everything you need to know about DNS hijacking attacks, and how to fix the problem if it arises.

      • Security updates for Tuesday

        Security updates have been issued by Debian (php7.0, php7.3, ruby-loofah, and spip), Fedora (proftpd), openSUSE (lz4 and sysstat), Red Hat (chromium-browser, jss, kernel, kernel-alt, kpatch-patch, pango, polkit, sudo, systemd, and thunderbird), SUSE (graphite-web, python3, and samba), and Ubuntu (php5, php7.0, php7.2, php7.3, and samba).

      • PHP RCE flaw actively exploited to pop NGINX servers

        A recently patched vulnerability (CVE-2019-11043) in PHP is being actively exploited by attackers to compromise NGINX web servers, threat intelligence firm Bad Packets has confirmed.

      • How a months-old AMD microcode bug destroyed my weekend

        This weekend, I was excited to deploy my first Ryzen 3000-powered workstation in my home office. Unfortunately, a microcode bug—originally discovered in July but still floating around in large numbers in the wild—wrecked my good time. I eventually got my Ryzen 3700X system working, and it’s definitely fast. But unfortunately, it’s still bugged, and there’s no easy way to fix it.

      • Intel’s security problems are not going away

        Chipzilla’s security problems are not going away, Linux kernel maintainer, Greg Kroah-Hartman has warned.

        Speaking to the assembled throngs at the Open Source Summit Europe Kroah-Hartman said Intel CPU’s security problems “are going to be with us for a very long time” and are “not going away”.

        He added: “They’re all CPU bugs, in some ways they’re all the same problem” but each has to be solved in its own way. “MDS, RDDL, Fallout, Zombieland: They’re all variants of the same basic problem.”

        Kroah-Hartman said that all the CPU bugs were potentially deadly for your security. RIDL and Zombieload, for example, can steal data across applications, virtual machines, even secure enclaves.

    • Defence/Aggression

    • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

    • Environment

    • Finance

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • Won’t You Please Come to Chicago/For the Help That We Can Bring

        If you missed the glad spectacle of thousands of baseball fans booing and chanting “Lock Him Up” to our Unindicted Co-conspirator, take heart: The chants and their spirit of resistance trailed him to Chicago, where he met with police chiefs, slammed the sanctuary city as scarier than Afghanistan, and called the chief who snubbed him “a disgrace.”

      • Poll Sponsored by Anti-Communists Discovers 70% of US Millennials Ready to Ditch Capitalism for Socialism

        Critics blame poll results on ‘historical amnesia,’ while progressive observers say millennials associate socialism with strong social welfare systems

      • ‘Look at My Record, Child,’ Biden Tells Adult Climate Campaigner in Condescending Response to Super PAC Question

        “Biden needs to wrestle seriously with young people demanding real leadership,” says Sunrise Movement co-founder, “and stop dismissing young women asking him legitimate questions as children.”

      • US President Greeted With Thunderous Boos and ‘Impeach Trump’ Banner at World Series

        “After years of horrifying footage of people wildly cheering Trump’s deranged rambling at his rallies, it’s reassuring—restorative, even!—to know that the rest of the country hasn’t forgotten how to greet tyrants.”

      • The Art of the Backpedal

        It is a hallmark of right-wing populists to make a preposterous policy and then be forced — by opposition, by circumstance, by the laws of physics — to retreat.

      • Who Deserves to Be Called a Progressive?

        It’s no secret that Democrats today like to call themselves progressive. Even Joe Biden, among the most conservative candidates in the 2020 primary, has claimed, without a trace of irony, that he owns “the most progressive record of anybody running.” Since 2016, the term has only gained currency; after all, who wants to be seen as an impediment to progress? Yet Biden’s idea of what constitutes progress bears little relation to the ideas of Sens. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., and Bernie Sanders, I-Vt.

      • White House Official Defies Impeachment Subpoena, Deepening Standoff

        A former national security official defied a House subpoena Monday, escalating a standoff between Congress and the White House over who will testify in the impeachment inquiry against President Donald Trump.

      • Russian Interference! Oh My!

        Let’s get this out of the way first, the USA interferes in elections around the world, we all know that. Not just with some fb posts but with crippling sanctions and blockades, support of rebellious insurgency groups, all out war and of course social media manipulations.

      • Forget Russia, The Real Threat to Democracy Are Corporate Assets Like Clinton and Trump

        Hillary Clinton recently made headlines around the globe with her strong insinuation that current Democratic presidential nominee Tulsi Gabbard was a “Russian Asset” during an interview. She declared “I’m not making any predictions, but I think they’ve got their eye on somebody who is currently in the Democratic primary and are grooming her to be the third-party candidate.

      • The Time is Now to Vote Green

        A vote for the Green Party is a vote for urgent action on climate chaos, a vote for a fairer Britain and a call for a final say on Europe with a People’s Vote.

        We need a fairer society and a liveable planet. That can only happen through bold action to cut carbon emissions and protect the environment. This action starts at the ballot box.

        This year the Green Party won record gains in council elections, grew its presence in Parliament and went over 50,000 members. We got two million votes in the European elections. That’s two million demands to tackle the climate emergency.

        Our climate action is unparalleled. Caroline Lucas MP co-founded the Green New Deal. This empowers communities to be sustainable, supplying investment to achieve net zero carbon by 2030, creating jobs and homes and vastly improved public transport. Meanwhile, Parliamentary Candidate Carla Denyer first put forward the idea of a local area declaring a climate emergency, a call joined by over 270 local authorities to date.

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • Russian journalist charged with ‘insulting the government’ for a single sentence posted on Telegram

        On October 21, journalist and political scientist Fyodor Krasheninnikov found out that he was facing administrative charges for insulting the government. For what appears to be the first time in the history of Russia’s 2019 law against offensive anti-government statements published online, the charges against Krasheninnikov stemmed from a post on the social site Telegram. Telegram is officially banned in the Russian Federation, but it is widely used nonetheless.

      • Putin orders criminalization of online ‘drug propaganda’ in Russia

        Russian President Vladimir Putin has ordered the country’s federal executive branch to develop new legislation that would criminalize “encouraging the use of or propagandizing narcotic substances, psychotropic substances, or their analogues using the information and telecommunication network known as the Internet.” Encouraging illegal drug use in Russia is currently an administrative violation punishable by a small fine, and there has not previously been a specific punishment for committing that violation online.

      • Bus Company Threatens To Sue College Newspaper Over Satirical Story

        What is it with college bus companies? For years we’ve covered the insanity of Suburban Express and its attacks on customers for criticizing the company, and now we have a story that impacts my own alma mater. Coach USA is a large bus holding company that runs a bunch of different bus companies, including ShortLine, which runs regular coach bus service between downstate New York and upstate New York, making it a popular option for students from the New York City metropolitan region going to college at Binghamton, Ithaca, Cornell, Albany or Elmira. It’s been around for quite some time — and like many college bus transportation services, the subject of jokes.

    • Privacy/Surveillance

    • Civil Rights/Policing

    • Monopolies

      • Patents and Software Patents

        • Price Setter LLC Falsely Claims Online Ad Invention, Demands Money from Android Devs

          Unfortunately, app developers are facing another onslaught of letters demanding money they shouldn’t have to pay.  This time, the sender is Jorge Maass, a patent owner who also runs a real-estate business in Texas. In recent months, Maass has been sending out threatening letters under the name of his company, Price Setter, LLC. The letters tell developers that the apps they built infringe his patent—and they owe him money—just for using standard software to display online ads. 

          The Price Setter letters, titled “Notice of Potential Infringement” [PDF] or the more threatening “Final Notice of Potential Infringement,” [PDF] demand that developers pay an annual license fee ranging from $400 to $2,000, depending on the number of times the app is downloaded.

      • Copyrights

        • Senators Wyden And Paul Put A Hold On Dangerous CASE Act; Will Propose Alternative

          Last week we noted that the House (overwhelmingly) voted in favor of the CASE Act, which is presented as a “small claims court” for copyright issues, but which has significant Constitutional issues, and would almost certainly lead to an uptick in copyright trolling activity. As we noted, the bill still needed to go to the Senate, and it appears that this is (at least for now) being blocked by Senators Ron Wyden and Rand Paul who have put a hold on the bill, and will introduce an alternative approach.

Links 29/10/2019: D9VK 0.30 Released and KernelCI Joins the Linux Foundation

Posted in News Roundup at 5:25 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Server

      • Demystifying namespaces and containers in Linux

        Containers have taken the world by storm. Whether you think of Kubernetes, Docker, CoreOS, Silverblue, or Flatpak when you hear the term, it’s clear that modern applications are running in containers for convenience, security, and scalability.

        Containers can be confusing to understand, though. What does it mean to run in a container? How can processes in a container interact with the rest of the computer they’re running on? Open source dislikes mystery, so this article explains the backend of container technology, just as my article on Flatpak explained a common frontend.

      • Flavors of Data Protection in Kubernetes

        As containerized applications go through an accelerated pace of adoption, Day 2 services have become a here and now problem.

      • Doing the cloud differently

        Jeff Dike, one of the contributors to Linux, had developed a technology called User-mode Linux. UML, as it was known, allowed developers to create virtual Linux machines within a Linux computer. This Matrix-like technology was groundbreaking and opened the door for the virtualized cloud we know today.

        One of the developers Dike’s technology enabled was a young technologist named Christopher Aker. He saw an opportunity to use this technology not to build the next Salesforce or Amazon, but to make cloud computing less complicated, less expensive, and more accessible to every developer regardless of where they were located, what their financial resources were or who they worked for. The company he built — Linode — helped pioneer modern cloud computing.

      • IBM

        • Scaling Red Hat OpenStack Platform to more than 500 Overcloud Nodes

          At Red Hat, performance and scale are treated as first class citizens and a lot of time and effort are put into making sure our products scale. We have a dedicated team of performance and scale engineers that work closely with product management, developers, and quality engineering to identify performance regressions, provide product performance data and guidance to customers, come up with tuning and test Red Hat OpenStack Platform deployments at scale. As much as possible, we test our products to match real-world use cases and scale.

          In the past, we had scale tested director-based Red Hat OpenStack Platform deployments to about 300 bare metal overcloud nodes in external labs with the help of customers/partners. While the tests helped surface issues, we were more often than not limited by hardware availability than product scale when trying to go past the 300 count.

        • Introducing the Red Hat Global Transformation Office

          Change is the brutal truth for global enterprises. True business transformation requires fundamental shifts in behaviors. Software, systems, networking and storage all need to be aligned with the people working on these technologies and the associated processes, in order to increase the number of strategic opportunities an organization is capable of effectively responding to. To help drive this evolution, today we’re pleased to announce the launch of the Global Transformation Office, which will be focused on accelerating our customers digital visions while bringing holistic change across their technological AND social systems.

          Market conditions, competitive pressures, the technology landscape and even customer requirements change on a weekly, if not daily, basis. Since the launch of Red Hat Enterprise Linux more than 15 years ago, Red Hat has provided the technologies and expertise helping to fuel the next generation of business innovation, from the world’s leading enterprise Linux platform to the industry’s most comprehensive enterprise Kubernetes platform in Red Hat OpenShift. The Global Transformation Office formalizes and matures our commitment to delivering the software, the skills and the expertise required to serve as a change catalyst for global IT organizations, founded on the success and demand for our regional Transformation practices.

        • A day in the life of a quality engineering sysadmin

          Let me begin by saying that I was neither hired nor trained to be a sysadmin. But I was interested in the systems side of things such as virtualization, cloud, and other technologies, even before I started working at Red Hat. I am a Senior Software Engineer in Test (Software Quality Engineering), but Red Hat, being positioned so uniquely because its products are something primarily used by sysadmins (or people with job responsibilities along similar lines) and also most of Red Hat’s products are primarily focused on backend systems-level instead of user application level. Our testing efforts include routine interaction with Red Hat’s Virtualization, OpenStack, Ansible Tower, and Hyperconverged Infrastructure.

          When I was hired, I was purely focused on testing Red Hat CloudForms, which is management software for the aforementioned environments. But as one of our previous senior software engineers departed to take on another role within Red Hat, I saw an opportunity that interested me. I was already helping him and learning sysadmin tasks by then, so after looking at my progress and interest, I was a natural successor for the work in my team’s perspective. And hence, I ended up becoming a sysadmin who is working partly as a software engineer in testing.

        • Getting to know Jae-Hyung Jin, Red Hat general manager for Korea

          We’re delighted to welcome Jae-Hyung Jin to Red Hat as a general manager for Korea. In the new role, he will be responsible for Red Hat’s business operations in Korea.
          Prior to joining Red Hat, Jae-Hyung Jin served as head of the enterprise sales and marketing group as a vice president at Samsung Electronics. He has held several key leadership positions in the past at leading technology and trading companies, including Cisco Systems, LG Electronics and Daewoo International. Jae-Hyung brings in nearly 25 years of experience in various industries, including telecommunications, manufacturing, finance and public.

        • Enterprise JavaBeans, infrastructure predictions, and more industry trends

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

    • Audiocasts/Shows

      • 2019-10-28 | Linux Headlines

        Tor sets its sights on 2020, the KernelCI project moves to its new home, Microsoft finalizes their Linux powered IoT plans and great news for video playback on older Linux systems.

    • Kernel Space

      • Top Linux developer on Intel chip security problems: ‘They’re not going away.’

        Greg Kroah-Hartman, the stable Linux kernel maintainer, could have prefaced his Open Source Summit Europe keynote speech, MDS, Fallout, Zombieland, and Linux, by paraphrasing Winston Churchill: I have nothing to offer but blood sweat and tears for dealing with Intel CPU’s security problems.

        Or as a Chinese developer told him recently about these problems: “This is a sad talk.” The sadness is that the same Intel CPU speculative execution problems, which led to Meltdown and Spectre security issues, are alive and well and causing more trouble.

        The problem with how Intel designed speculative execution is that, while anticipating the next action for the CPU to take does indeed speed things up, it also exposes data along the way. That’s bad enough on your own server, but when it breaks down the barriers between virtual machines (VM)s in cloud computing environments, it’s a security nightmare.

      • Graphics Stack

        • Ubuntu’s Mir Working On Replaceable Renderer, Hybrid Graphics Driver Support

          Canonical’s Chris Halse Rogers has shared a road-map for Mir (or terrain map as he prefers calling it) about their future plans for this open-source display server that remains focused now on providing Wayland support.

        • Zink Merged Into Mesa 19.3 For Offering OpenGL Over Vulkan

          Zink is the effort led by Collabora’s Erik Faye-Lund for offering a generic OpenGL/GLES implementation that runs atop Vulkan. While it’s exciting prospects and well into the future could allow hardware vendors to avoid having to maintain OpenGL drivers with instead focusing on Vulkan, for now there is still a long road ahead for performance and features. Right now Zink supports just OpenGL 2.1 / OpenGL ES 2.0. With time though there are plans for supporting OpenGL 3.x/4.x and OpenGL ES 3.x functionality. At least with Zink, the existing OpenGL code inside Mesa/Gallium3D is doing much of the heavy lifting.

        • AMD Linux Graphics Driver Prepping “DMCUB” Support For Renoir APUs

          While we have seen a lot of open-source AMD Linux graphics driver patches for Renoir and that initial support within the 5.4 kernel, support for this 2020 APU platform is still maturing. The newest work on the Linux upbringing for Renoir is enabling the “DMCUB” support.

    • Benchmarks

      • Apple macOS 10.15 vs. Windows 10 vs. Ubuntu 19.10 Performance Benchmarks

        In addition to this month bringing the release of the Ubuntu 19.10 “Eoan Ermine”, Apple also shipped macOS 10.15 “Catalina” as the sixteenth major release of their macOS operating system. So with that it makes for an interesting time seeing how macOS 10.15 competes against both Ubuntu 19.10 and Windows 10 on an Apple MacBook Pro. Here are those results from dozens of benchmarks.

        Using an Apple MacBook Pro with Core i7-6700HQ Skylake CPU, 2 x 8GB RAM, 250GB Apple SSD, and Radeon Pro 450 graphics, macOS 10.15, Windows 10, and Ubuntu 19.10 were all benchmarked off this same system. All three operating systems were tested with their latest software updates as of testing.

      • Intel Core i9 9900KS Linux Benchmarks Are Coming
    • Applications

      • VGrive is a Google Drive Linux Client Written in Vala, Designed for elementaryOS [Ed: New means by which to feed the surveillance machines]

        With Google not providing an official one, there’s no shortage of unofficial Google Drive clients for Linux.

        Some, like InSync 3, are paid software, others, like ODrive, are open source and free to use.

        But all of them more or less do the same thing: sync files to and from your Google Drive on your Linux machine, with as little fuss as possible.

        Reader Jena mailed in to tell me about a (somewhat) new Google Drive client for Linux desktop built in Vala.

      • Hotfix for VeraCrypt 1.24 encryption software released

        The developers of VeraCrypt have released a hotfix for the recently released VeraCrypt 1.24 which we reviewed earlier this month. The hotfix addresses several issues in the client and improves certain functionality next to that.

        VeraCrypt 1.24 was the first stable release of the encryption software in 2019. It added new functionality, updated libraries and fixed several issues in the client.

      • Introduction to App Packages on Linux

        When GNU/Linux was introduced in 1991, people used to compile their own software by themselves from the source code. You would simply download each component you want (or have it in a CD) and then take a few hours or even days to finish the compilation process. Of course, the compilation process is hard, as each component will require you to compile additional dependencies for the software to run, which will take extra few hours or days.

        In 1994, however, the first package manager was introduced, which was PMS (Package Manager System) of the Bogus Linux distribution. Dpkg (Debian package system) was also introduced in 1994. And later on in 1995, the RPM (Red hat Package Manager) came to light.

        A package is a pre-compiled piece of software that can be installed automatically on any host that is using the same architecture and has the needed dependencies. Packages solved the dependencies hell issue, and saved users a lot of time, and enabled non-technical people to have any software they needed. Packages & Package managers are still dominating till this day.

      • 4 best Adobe Acrobat alternatives for Linux

        Adobe Acrobat is the standard for PDF viewing on Mac OS, and Windows 10. Unfortunately, this program is unavailable for Linux, as Adobe does not support the platform. If you’ve recently switched to Linux and need Adobe Acrobat, you must find an alternative. Here’s a list of the 4 best Adobe Acrobat alternatives for Linux.

      • The 4 best audio converter tools for Linux

        Do you need to convert some music files on your Linux PC to a different audio format? Unsure of what tool to use to do the job? We can help! Here are 4 of the best audio converter tools for Linux!

      • Proprietary

        • Adobe gets U.S. license to operate in Venezuela despite sanctions
        • Adobe Gets Permission From U.S. to Continue Offering Services in Venezuela

          Earlier this month, Adobe announced that it would be forced to delete all user accounts for customers in Venezuela by October 28 to comply with President Donald Trump’s Executive Order 13884. Adobe said at the time that users wouldn’t even receive refunds, which the company said would be against U.S. law. But Adobe has been granted a special waiver, perhaps because it’s not clear how a ban on Adobe products in the country would advance U.S. interests.

          “After discussions with the US government, we’ve been granted a license to provide all of our Digital Media products and services in Venezuela,” Chris Hall, vice president and general manager of customer experience at Adobe, said in a statement published early this morning.

        • The Ransomware Superhero of Normal, Illinois

          About 10 years ago, Michael Gillespie and several classmates at Pekin Community High School in central Illinois were clicking on links on the school’s website when they discovered a weakness that exposed sensitive information such as students’ Social Security numbers. They quickly alerted their computer repair and networking teacher, Eric McCann.

          “It was a vulnerability that nobody even knew about,” McCann said. “They did a quick search on passwords and student accounts, and lo and behold, that file is sitting out there.”

        • Congress Still Doesn’t Have an Answer for Ransomware

          The letter itself reveals the mysterious depth of this growing problem: Congress and the agencies tasked with protecting American’s security are basically clueless when it comes to even understanding the scope of the problem.

        • The Market for Voting Machines Is Broken. This Company Has Thrived in It.

          In the glare of the hotly contested 2018 elections, things did not go ideally for ES&S, the nation’s largest manufacturer of voting technology.

          In Georgia, where the race for governor had drawn national interest amid concerns about election integrity, ES&S-owned technology was in use when more than 150,000 voters inexplicably did not cast a vote for lieutenant governor. In part because the aged ES&S-managed machines did not produce paper backups, it wasn’t clear whether mechanical or human errors were to blame. Litigation surrounding the vote endures to this day.

    • Instructionals/Technical

    • Wine or Emulation

      • D9VK 0.30 Released With Performance Improvements, Other D3D9 Features Now Supported

        Building off yesterday’s DXVK 1.4.4 release, D9VK 0.30 is out as the similar project that implements the Direct3D 9 API atop Vulkan.

        D9VK 0.30 re-bases its code atop DXCVK 1.4.4 and has performance improvements via locking changes, avoiding the throwing out of D3DUSAGE_DYNAMIC buffers, supporting discard on non-dynamic resources, other locking changes, and other work.

      • D9VK 0.30 ‘Froglet’ is blowing out the cobwebs ready for Halloween

        Joshua Ashton has pushed out a large update to D9VK, the DXVK-based layer that translates Direct3D9 to Vulkan for use with Wine.

        D9VK is now based on the recently released DXVK 1.4.4, there’s multiple changes to improve performance in games, new DirectX 9 feature support, experimental shader predication and so on. Lots of new bits that should enable even more older Windows titles to run with Wine (and eventually Steam Play when it updates D9VK) to allow you to enjoy even more on Linux.

        Masses of bug fixes also made it into this release. You should get a better experience with Halo 2, Halo CE, Battlefield 2, Psychonauts, The Sims 2, Manhunt, Anno 1404 and likely plenty more but those were specifically named.

    • Games

      • There’s tons now on sale for Linux gamers so let’s take a look

        Steam, GOG, itch.io and everywhere else have all started their spooky Halloween sales. Let’s dive in and see what’s cooking in the cauldron. As always, Steam died at the start of the sale from overwhelming demand which caused us a delay in actually being able to see what they have.

      • Xeno Crisis is a true action-packed retro throwback worth your time and it’s out now

        Xeno Crisis was originally funded on Kickstarter to create a brand new action-packed Sega Mega Drive game, today it released on PC with Linux support right away. Interestingly, the Linux release (along with Windows/macOS) was actually a stretch goal that was hit. We’ve seen stretch goals for just Linux or Linux/macOS together but an entire PC port in a stretch goal doesn’t happen often.

        The gameplay in Xeno Crisis involves running from room to room as one or two players, smashing through all the aliens that appear and then running onto the next room. The room layout is randomly generated and when you reach the end of an area, you’re in for a big boss fight. Since GOG sent over a copy, I’ve been playing it today and it’s a huge amount of fun.

      • Ubuntu 19.10 Is The First Time We’ve Seen (X)Wayland Gaming Performance Match X.Org

        With Ubuntu 19.10 it’s the first time we have seen the Radeon gaming performance under a GNOME Wayland session match or exceed the performance found under the default GNOME X.Org session.

      • Become a sentient civilization of rocks in the Stellaris: Lithoids Species Pack out now

        Paradox Interactive and Paradox Development Studio recently released the Stellaris: Lithoids Species Pack, allowing you to become a civilization of sentient crystals and rocks.

        This new pack includes unique game mechanics for Lithoid Empires (you eat Minerals, not Food), a bunch of new empire portraits, Mineral-based shop models and a new voice pack with some great rock puns. Something that feels a bit missed here though, is that there’s no preset empire to play with them. It’s not exactly a negative against it, I just found it odd to release a species pack without one setup ready for you.

      • Dark fantasy survival RPG ‘Urtuk: The Desolation’ enters First Access with Linux support

        Slovakian developer Mad Sheep Studios just recently released Urtuk: The Desolation, a stylishly dark, low-fantasy, survival RPG with tactical turn-based battles.

        Currently in “First Access” (the itch.io form of Early Access), it takes place on a completely destroyed Earth-like planet. Your mail goal is to find a cure for the main character, Urtuk, who has a lethal disease. As you travel across a procedurally generated world-map using a node-based travel system like found in FTL you will need to manage your party, gather new equipment, extract “mutators” from fallen enemies and use them to upgrade your own characters.

      • Sweet puzzle platformer In The Shadows has a big two year anniversary update

        Released back in October 2017, In The Shadows is an incredibly pretty puzzle platformer with a very sweet idea and it’s very much worth a look.

        It’s all about the dark and monsters, however they’re scared of the light. You use lights to scare them, forcing them to transform into various objects you can then use to progress through each level. It’s absolutely delightful and the two year anniversary update is a great excuse to go and check it out.

      • Tavern building and management Crossroads Inn is out now and it sounds like a mess

        Kraken Unleashed and Klabater just recently released Crossroads Inn, a mix of a real-time management sim with RPG elements according to their official description.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • GNOME Desktop/GTK

        • Debian Donates to Support GNOME Patent Defense

          Today, the Debian Project pledges to donate $5,000 to the GNOME Foundation in support of their ongoing patent defense. On October 23, we wrote to express our support for GNOME in an issue that affects the entire free software community. Today we make that support tangible.

          “This is bigger than GNOME,” said Debian Project Leader Sam Hartman. “By banding together and demonstrating that the entire free software community is behind GNOME, we can send a strong message to non-practicing entities (patent trolls). When you target anyone in the free software community, you target all of us. We will fight, and we will fight to invalidate your patent. For us, this is more than money. This is about our freedom to build and distribute our software.”

        • Open Invention Network comes to GNOME’s aid in patent troll fight

          Rothschild Patent Imaging (RPI) is suing the GNOME Foundation for violating its “wireless image distribution system and method patent” (US Patent No. 9,936,086).” It’s just another day at the office for Rothschild, a Non-Practicing Entity (aka a patent troll), which has filed 714 lawsuits over the past six years. But for the non-profit GNOME Foundation, this lawsuit is a real threat. Fortunately, GNOME has friends. One of them, the Open Invention Network (OIN), a pro-Linux patent non-aggression consortium, is coming to GNOME’s defense.

          In a surprise announcement at Open Source Summit Europe in Lyon, France, Keith Bergelt, OIN’s CEO, announced that OIN has sicced its legal team in finding prior art that can be used to show that RPI’s patent should be ruled invalid.

        • GNOME 3.36 “Gresik” Desktop Environment Enters Development with First Snapshot

          GNOME 3.36 will be the next major release of the popular and open-source desktop environment for GNU/Linux distributions, slated for release next spring on March 11th. It will supersede the current version, GNOME 3.34, which has recently hit the stable software repositories of the most popular distros.

          GNOME 3.36 will be dubbed “Gresik,” after the host city of the GNOME Asia Summit 2019 conference, which took place three weeks ago, between October 11th and October 13th, in Gresik, Indonesia, with the main focus on the GNOME desktop, applications, and platform development tools.

    • Distributions

      • New Releases

        • Kodi-focused Linux distro LibreELEC (Leia) 9.2 Beta 2 available to download now

          LibreELEC is a lightweight Linux distro that is designed to run Kodi, the hugely popular open source home theater software. It is ideal for installing and using on a Raspberry Pi, although it runs on other hardware too.

          LibreELEC (Leia) 9.2 Beta 2 is now available to download, with a complete overhaul of the underlying OS core to improve stability, as well as a number of refinements to the user experience.

      • Debian Family

        • Jaldhar Vyas: Sal Mubarak 2076

          It’s the Gujarati new year and to the entire Debian community, best wishes for good health and great prosperity in Vikram Samvat 2076 (named Virodhakrt.)

        • Joey Hess: how I maybe didn’t burn out

          Last week I found myself in the uncomfortable position of many users strongly disagreeing with a decision I had made about git-annex. It felt much like a pile-on of them vs me, strong language was being deployed, and it was starting to get mentioned in multiple places on the website, in ways I felt would lead to fear, uncertainty, and doubt when other users saw it.

          It did not help that I had dental implant surgery recently, and was still more in recovery than I knew when I finally tackled looking at this long thread. So it hit hard.

          I’ve been involved in software projects that have a sometimes adversarial relationship with their users. At times, Debian has been one. I don’t know if it is today, but I remember being on #debian and #debian-devel, or debian-user@lists and debian-devel@lists, and seeing two almost entirely diverged communities who were interacting only begrudgingly and with friction.

          I don’t want that in any of my projects now. My perspective on the history of git-annex is that most of the best developments have come after I made a not great decision or a mistake and got user feedback, and we talked it over and found a way to improve things, leading to a better result than would have been possible without the original mistake, much how a broken bone heals stronger. So this felt wrong, wrong, wrong.

          Part of the problem with this discussion was that, though I’d tried to explain the constraints that led to the design decision — which I’d made well over three years ago — not everyone was able to follow that or engage with it constructively. Largely, I think because git-annex has a lot more users now, with a wider set of viewpoints. (Which is generally why Debian has to split off user discussions of course.) The users are more fearful of change than earlier adopters tended to be, and have more to lose if git-annex stops meeting their use case. They’re invested in it, and so defensive of how they want it to work.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • Open Season: Ubuntu LTS 20.04 Officially Open for Development

          Canonical Ltd., the privately-held UK-based computer software company, yesterday officially opened the development cycle of their upcoming Ubuntu 20.04 LTS (codenamed Focal Fossa) Linux Operating System. It’s expected that Canonical will officially release Focal Fossa next spring.

          Slated for release on April 23rd, 2020, “Focal Fossa” is the next long-term supported version of the worlds’ most popular Linux distribution.

          Daily ISO builds have been available on Canonical’s servers since last week. However, Canonical did not officially start the development cycle until October 24th and did not announce it until today.

        • Ubuntu 20.04 LTS (Focal Fossa) Is Now Officially Open for Development

          Ubuntu 20.04 LTS will be the next long-term supported version of the world’s most popular GNU/Linux distribution, slated for release on April 23rd, 2020. It’s dubbed “Focal Fossa” to keep it in tone with the FOSS (Free and Open Source Software) movement, and will most probably ship with well-tested components.

          While the daily ISO builds have appeared on Canonical’s download servers since last week, the development cycle started on October 24th with the toolchain upload, which consists of some upgraded components, such as Python 3.8 (the goal is to offer Python 3.8 as the only Python3 version), Perl 5.30, and support for IBM z13 systems on s390x builds.

        • Ubuntu 20.04 LTS “Focal Fossa” Formally Opens For Development
        • And We’re Off: Ubuntu 20.04 Development Officially Begins
        • Testing CVE-2019-11043 (php-fpm security vulnerability) with LXD system containers

          CVE-2019-11043 is a buffer overflow in php-fpm that under certain conditions, can lead to remote execution. There is an exploit at PHuiP-FPizdaM that targets certain nginx and php-fpm configurations. On their page, the describe how to use Docker to test this exploit. In this post, we use LXD to test the exploit and verify whether it actually works.

          Note that php-fpm is vulnerable when nginx is configured to handle php-fpm by a specific way. Apparently, the configuration instructions for Nextcloud suggest to use this bad way. In this post, we try to achieve this bad configuration without installing Nextcloud but rather using what is minimally required for the demonstration.

          In the following we create two system containers, vulnerable and hacker. In the first container, we setup nginx and php-fpm (latest version, buffer overflow still present) and configure as required at the exploit page. In the other container, we run the exploit code, targeting the first container.

        • The Fridge: Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter Issue 602

          Welcome to the Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter, Issue 602 for the week of October 20 – 26, 2019.

        • The masters speak: Forward-thinking Ubuntu users gather to share their experiences

          Comprised primarily of engineers and developers, the group convened at the NVIDIA campus in Santa Clara, CA, on October 8th to listen to speakers from Netflix, Adobe, Roblox, NVIDIA, and Canonical. The event was a unique opportunity for attendees to ask questions, share their own experiences, and network, while hearing about specific use cases from the keynote speakers.

          The gathering took place as Ubuntu approaches a milestone – the 15th anniversary of the first Ubuntu release this month. Stephan Fabel, Director of Product at Canonical, said Ubuntu has become one of the most powerful and flexible platforms available today for a wide range of modern applications in the data center and cloud, including artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML), robotics, the Internet of Things, edge computing and more.

        • PSA for ROS users: Some things to know as Python 2 approaches EOL

          We recently got an interesting question from a customer, and I think the answer might be helpful to a wider audience. Python 2 will reach end of life in two months. This shouldn’t be news to anyone who hasn’t been living under a rock, and plans are in place to use Python 3 in Noetic (whereas ROS 2 has always used Python 3). However, the question from our customer was this: What does that mean for existing ROS 1 distributions (Kinetic and Melodic)? They are still using (and will continue to use) Python 2.

          The answer really depends on where you’re getting Python 2. Tl;dr: If you’re using Ubuntu Xenial (16.04) or Bionic (18.04), please know that Python 2 from the Ubuntu repositories will continue to be supported for the lifetime of the Ubuntu release, regardless of Python 2’s upstream support status.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • A secret to productivity for busy individuals with chaotic contexts

        This methodology and philosophy works best for those I would call “organized chaos warriors”. Stay tuned for the next two blog posts this Wednesday and Friday, which will present my “typology of workers” (where I define the chaos warriors) and my favorite Free and Open-Source tool for Getting Things Done.

      • Events

        • miniDebConf Vaumarcus happened

          The miniDebConf19 Vaumarcus was this week-end in Vaumarcus. Some 35 attendees gathered together in LeCamp, which provided for accomodation, food and all the hacking and talk spaces.

          The view is really fantastic from here! Thanks for all the fish!

          A dozen of talks and BoFs ranging from ZFS to keyboard firmwares were presented, and, thanks to the awesome DebConf Video Team volunteers, a live video feed was provided covering most talks for remote attendees. Most talk videos are available already on the Meetings Archive.

      • Web Browsers

        • Mozilla

          • Firefox 71 Doesn’t Do Much For Performance

            Following last week’s release of Firefox 70 and Chrome 78 I posted some fresh Linux web browser benchmarks where the Mozilla browser continued to get beat severely by Google on Linux. But is the situation any better with Firefox 71 in beta? Not really.

            The Firefox 71 beta released last week brings a new kiosk mode, a picture-in-picture mode for video playback on Windows, a redesigned about:config, a new certificate viewer, and other changes. But, unfortunately, nothing major in terms of performance.

          • Firefox UX: Prototyping Firefox With CSS Grid

            Prototyping with HTML and CSS grid is really helpful for understanding flexibility models. I was able to understand how my design works in a way that was completely different than doing it in a static design program.

          • Mozilla Addons Blog: Add-on Policies Update: Newtab and Search

            As part of our ongoing work to make add-ons safer for Firefox users, we are updating our Add-on Policies to add clarification and guidance for developers regarding data collection. The following is a summary of the changes, which will go into effect on December 2, 2019.

          • Firefox Nightly: These Weeks in Firefox: Issue 67
          • evaluating bazel for building firefox, part 1

            The motivation behind switching build systems was twofold. The first motivation was that build times are one of the most visible developer-facing aspects of the build system and everybody appreciates faster builds. What’s less obvious, but equally important, is that making builds faster improves automation: less time waiting for try builds, more flexibility to adjust infrastructure spending, and less turnaround time with automated reviews on patches submitted for review. The second motivation was that our build system is used by exactly one project (ok, two projects), so there’s a lot of onboarding cost both in terms of developers who use the build system and in terms of developers who need to develop the build system. If we could switch to something more off-the-shelf, we could improve the onboarding experience and benefit from work that other parties do with our chosen build system.

            You may have several candidates that we should have evaluated instead. We did look at other candidates (although perhaps none so deeply as Bazel), and all of them have various issues that make them unsuitable for a switch. The reasons for rejecting other possibilities fall into two broad categories: not enough platform support (read: Windows support) and unlikely to deliver on making builds faster and/or improving the onboarding/development experience. I’ll cover the projects we looked at in a separate post.

          • Tantek Çelik: #Redecentralize 2019 Session: IndieWeb Decentralized Standards and Methods

            On Friday 2019-10-25 I participated in Redecentralize Conference 2019, a one-day unconference in London, England on the topics of decentralisation, privacy, autonomy, and digital infrastructure.

            After giving a 3 minute lightning talk, I helped Kevin Marks run a session in the first time slot of the “unconference” portion of the day. I participated in two more sessions, and gave a closing statement in the end of day circle. This post is from the Etherpad session notes and my own memory recall from three days ago.

            Kevin Marks started the session by having me bring up the tabs that I’d shown in my lightning talk earlier, digging into the specifications, tools, and services linked therein. Participants asked questions and Kevin & I answered, demonstrating additional resources as necessary.

      • Linux Foundation

        • Distributed Linux Testing Platform KernelCI Secures Funding and Long-Term Sustainability as New Linux Foundation Project

          Open Source Summit Europe — The Linux Foundation, the nonprofit organization enabling mass innovation through open source, today announced the KernelCI testing platform is becoming a Linux Foundation project underwritten by BayLibre, Civil Infrastructure Platform, Collabora, Foundries.io, Google, Microsoft, Red Hat. As a Linux Foundation project, KernelCI will accelerate its work to test Linux on the largest variety of hardware platforms.

        • KernelCI joins the Linux Foundation

          A long-anticipated move has finally been made official: the KernelCI continuous-integration project has found a new home under the Linux Foundation umbrella.

        • Annoyed by too many kernel testing projects? Good news. Linux Foundation anoints chosen one – KernelCI

          Its new status was revealed at the Open Source Summit under way in Lyon, France, and it’s a significant move, according to Kroah-Hartman.

          KernelCI had previously been supported by BayLibre and Collabora, but those two companies are now joined by Google, Microsoft, Red Hat, Civil Infrastructure Platform and Foundries.io.

          What is KernelCI? “It is a project for testing the kernel,” co-founder Kevin Hilman told the Summit crowd. “It started six or seven years ago among a few kernel maintainers that were recognising that Linux runs on so many pieces of hardware, but the testing on that hardware is very minimal. That’s how it began: just collecting a bunch of hardware and running on as much of this hardware as possible.

        • A new home for KernelCI

          Given the huge scale at which the Linux kernel is being used, achieving comprehensive test coverage for it is an incredibly challenging goal. Based on the open source philosophy principles, KernelCI’s distributed architecture makes this possible by enabling the whole kernel community to collaborate around a single upstream CI system. Becoming part of the Linux Foundation will let the project flourish and become in turn integral part of the Linux kernel development workflow.

          Some actual results of this move can already be seen with the new common database for storing test results from KernelCI and other related projects that share a common goal such as Red Hat’s CKI and Linaro’s LKFT. It is an experimental step towards expanding KernelCI in a modular way to interact with other existing systems. There are as many different ways to test the kernel as there are use-cases for it, and many types of specialised systems to cover: a CPU architecture such as 0-day, a Linux distribution such as CKI, a range of reference platforms such as LKFT..

        • Automated testing comes to the Linux kernel: KernelCI

          At the recent Linux Kernel Plumbers get-together in Lisbon, Portugal, one of the hottest topics was how to bring better and automated testing to the Linux kernel. There, the top Linux developers united their efforts behind one testing framework: KernelCI. Now, at Open Source Summit Europe in Lyon, France, to help give KernelCI the resources it needs to be successful, it became a Linux Foundation project.

          Here’s how it works: As you probably know the Linux kernel is developed by a large, collaborative open-source community, which works through the Linux Kernel Mailing List (LKML). You can’t argue with the method. But Linux kernel testing is fragmented — since it is largely done in private silos without enough collaboration on the testing software or methodologies.

        • Iota, Dell and Linux Developing Platform to Rate Data Trustworthiness

          Distributed ledger technology provider Iota, Dell Technologies and the Linux Foundation are collaborating on Project Alvarium.
          In an Oct. 28 press release, the nonprofit Linux Foundation announced it was forming a new project with support from several major industry giants such as Dell, the Iota Foundation and IBM. Other partners to the project include edge resource marketplace MobiledgeX and global IT firm Unisys.
          The project, based on code from Dell Technologies, aims to build on the concept of a Data Confidence Fabric, which establishes measurable trust and confidence in data coming from multiple sources. The system would score data based on its trustworthiness and reliability.

        • New Linux Foundation Effort to Focus on Data Confidence Fabrics to Scale Digital Transformation Initiatives
        • New Linux Foundation Effort to Focus on Data Confidence Fabrics to Scale Digital Transformation Initiatives

          IOT Solutions World Congress — The Linux Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to accelerating the growth of Linux and collaborative development among sustainable open source ecosystems, today announced the intent to form Project Alvarium. Project Alvarium will focus on building the concept of a Data Confidence Fabric (DCF) to facilitate measurable trust and confidence in data and applications spanning heterogeneous systems. The project will be seeded by code from Dell Technologies, with support from industry leaders including Arm, IBM, IOTA Foundation, MobiledgeX, OSIsoft, Unisys, and more.

          [...]

          The project will be seeded in the coming quarter with work from Dell Technologies which also seeded the EdgeX Foundry project in April 2017. Now part of the LF Edge Umbrella, EdgeX is adopted globally for device- to- application interoperability at the IoT Edge, recently hitting one million total microservice downloads with half of those over the prior two months. The EdgeX framework is a default component within the DCF seed for open data ingestion, but as with any other ingredients, it can be replaced with a preferred alternative.

      • Productivity Software/LibreOffice/Calligra

        • LibreOffice Community Member Monday: Petr Valach

          I was born in Brno, but for nearly 30 years I’ve been living in Prague. I work for a software company where I am member of a mobile applications project. But IT isn’t my only hobby. I do lots of things – personally, astronomy and physics are the most important for me. There is nothing quite so interesting. And I am happy when astronomical or astronautical institutions (for example, the International Space Station) use free and open-source software.

          I was member of the scout movement, so scouting is one of my “hobbies” too (it’s not a hobby, but lifestyle). In the Czech Republic, there is something special, a mixture of pure scouting with the education system of our boys’ book author, Jaroslav Foglar. He lead his scout group called The Boys from Beaver River for 60 years and wrote over 20 books, which are bestsellers. Indeed, Jaroslav Foglar is the most successful author in the Czech Republic, who directly or indirectly influenced literally everybody here. I am a member of the community associated around him, and member of Foglar’s association. Recently we’ve had meetings in the Foglar group clubhouse every month.

          I am a member of the editors of OpenOffice.cz (focused on LibreOffice and OpenOffice.cz) and LinuxEXPRES (focused on free and open-source software generally). I am lead editor at ExoSpace.cz, which supports these magazines and websites, the Czech community around LibreOffice, other astronomical and astronautical magazines and more.

      • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

        • libredwg-0.9.1 released
        • [Old] Happy St Patrick’s Day, IFSO AGM and meeting sock puppets

          When discussions took place in the FSFE community about the decision to abolish elections, approximately 15 people participated, with about 10 people against democracy and only about 5 people speaking up in favour.

          Looking at those numbers is deceptive: of the 10 people speaking against elections, all were in what other people perceive as the cabal, a group of 27 people who have full membership, over and above the fellows. Cabal people hadn’t lost anything in the constitutional change. The 5 people speaking in favour of democracy where not members of the cabal, they were ordinary members of the 1500-strong fellowship. In such circumstances, is it fair to extrapolate the voice of those 5 people and consider it to be representative of the majority of 1500 fellows? Or do we accept the more simplistic 10 against 5? The more simplistic case, where it is not obvious to outsiders that the 10 people are cabal members, is one of those fake community situations.

          Imagine if every participant in that conversation had to state in their email signature whether they were cabal or fellow, or even better, if the emails could be colour-coded by membership class. Would it be easier to see the correlation between the vested interests and the opinions?

          In any case, the more outspoken members of the cabal tried to intimidate the fellows, trying to discredit them with personal attacks and calling some of them sock puppets. As fellowship representative, I simply emailed some of these people personally asking “can you please tell me if you are a sock-puppet or a fellow?”

          What I found was surprising: not only were they real people, one of them lives just around the corner from my home in Dublin. Stefan and I met for burgers late in 2018 and helped put things into motion to reboot the IFSO.

          One fellow told me he (or she?) was not using their real name because the FSFE cabal censors discussions about governance issues, blocking people from the mailing lists or moderating their posts. But they are still a real person making real contributions to the organization. Another fellow observed that one member of the cabal, Cryptie, doesn’t use her real name and asked why should anybody else?

      • Openness/Sharing/Collaboration

        • Open Access/Content

          • Introducing CC Accidenz Commons: An Open-Licensed Font

            In 2002, just one year after the founding of CC, designer Ryan Junell accomplished the difficult task of designing a logo that is distinctive, yet teaches through its design. Over time, the CC logo has become a recognizable symbol of the open movement, even accepted by the Museum of Modern Art in New York as a permanent addition in 2015.

        • Open Hardware/Modding

      • Programming/Development

        • Operon: Extreme Performance For Ansible

          I’m very excited to unveil Operon, a high performance replacement for Ansible® Engine, tailored for large installations and offered by subscription. Operon runs your existing playbooks, modules, plug-ins and third party tools without modification using an upgraded engine, dramatically increasing the practical number of nodes addressable in a single run, and potentially saving hours on every invocation.

          Operon can be installed independently or side-by-side with Ansible Engine, enabling it to be gradually introduced to your existing projects or employed on a per-run basis.

        • Replication in Firebird 4: Configuration and practical examples

          Replication is a long-awaited feature that allows the creating of reliable high-performance database replicas without user-defined triggers and with full DDL support. This talk presents the replication subsystem architecture, possible replication modes, their impact on performance and available tuning options. We’ll demonstrate how to set up a simple standby configuration and use it in practice.

        • Firebird on the road from v4 to v5

          This talk done at Firebird Conference 2019 describes the current state of the v4 development and reviews its key features (new data types, Batch API, timezones). Dimitry Yemanov spoke about the future of Firebird development, including the updated release plan and expected post-v4 features. Review of upcoming features for Firebird 5

        • Cleaning Up Currency Data with Pandas

          The other day, I was using pandas to clean some messy Excel data that included several thousand rows of inconsistently formatted currency values. When I tried to clean it up, I realized that it was a little more complicated than I first thought. Coincidentally, a couple of days later, I followed a twitter thread which shed some light on the issue I was experiencing. This article summarizes my experience and describes how to clean up messy currency fields and convert them into a numeric value for further analysis. The concepts illustrated here can also apply to other types of pandas data cleanup tasks.

        • Python Community Interview With Al Sweigart

          This week, I’m joined by Al Sweigart, a familiar name in the Python community. Al is an accomplished developer, conference speaker, teacher, and origamist. (Yes, you read that correctly!) But some may know him best as the author of many Python programming books, including the bestselling book Automate the Boring Stuff with Python and our top pick, Invent Your Own Computer Games with Python. So, without any further ado, let’s get into it!

          [...]

          I didn’t learn that much knowledge-wise, but I did pick up the idea that programming was just a thing you could learn to do like anything else. It didn’t require super smarts or Olympic-level training to do.

          My first programming language was BASIC and soon after Qbasic, but I also picked up a little C, Visual Basic, Perl, Java, PHP, and JavaScript. It seems like a lot, but I never really mastered any of them. I just learned enough to complete whatever project I was working on in those languages at the time.

          I got into Python around 2005, and sort of stopped learning new languages after that. I keep feeling the urge to explore new ones (Kotlin, Rust, and Dart have been in my sights for a while), but Python is just so easy to use for so many areas that I haven’t had a strong enough pull away from it yet.

        • Loan Amortisation Schedule using R and Python

          In this post, we will explain how you can calculate your monthly loan instalments the way bank calculates using R and Python. In financial world, analysts generally use MS Excel software for calculating principal and interest portion of instalment using PPMT, IPMT functions. As data science is growing and trending these days, it is important to know how you can do the same using popular data science programming languages such as R and Python.

        • Practical Log Viewers with Sanic and Elasticsearch – Designing CI/CD Systems

          One of the critical pieces in a build system is the ability to view build and test output. Not only does it track progress as the build transitions through the various phases, it’s also an instrument for debugging.

          This chapter in the continuous builds series covers how to build a simple log viewer. You’ll find details on retrieving log entries from Docker containers, serving them through Python, linking from a GitHub pull request, and highlighting the data for easy reading.

          Creating a log viewer is not as complicated as you might think. You’ll need permanent storage for the logs, a REST API to retrieve them, and some web code to help highlight areas of interest and offer a “live reload” function.

        • I’ve been involved in software proj

          Why Python is considered the top programming language ahead of JavaScript and C++

        • Asynchronous Tasks Using Flask, Redis and Celery

          As web applications evolve and their usage increases, the use cases also diversify. We are now building and using websites for more complex tasks than ever before. Some of these tasks can be processed and feedback relayed to the users instantly, while others require further processing and relaying of results later. The increased adoption of internet access and internet-capable devices has led to increased end-user traffic.

          In a bid to handle increased traffic or increased complexity of functionality, sometimes we may choose to defer the work and have the results relayed at a later time. This way, we do not get to keep the user waiting for an unknown time on our web application, and instead send the results at a later time. We can achieve this by utilizing background tasks to process work when there is low traffic or process work in batches.

        • AWS Throws Its Weight Behind Rust Project

          AWS, which the Rust project has used for years, is sponsoring the project in the form of “promotional credits”.

        • 2019.42 Answered

          Welcome to the first issue of the Rakudo Weekly, formerly known as the Perl 6 Weekly. It continues the tradition of weekly news about the development of Rakudo, an implementation of the Raku Programming Language. Please see About for more background on this incarnation of this weekly blog.

        • The London Perl Workshop 2019

          I went to the London Perl Workshop 2019 this weekend. I’ve been attending the London Perl Workshop several times in the past, and it has always been a great workshop. This year the workshop had a brand new team of organisers, and they did a great job of following up on the legacy that is the London Perl Workshop (LPW).

  • Leftovers

    • Hardware

      • Kontron unveils first Compact Type 7 module

        Kontron’s Linux-friendly “COMe-cDV7” appears to be the first COM Express Compact Type 7 module. The 95 x 95mm module ships with an Atom C3000 and supports GbE, 4x 10GbE, 2x SATA, and 14x PCIe 3.0.

        When Kontron announced the COMe-cDV7 as a smaller, “entry level” alternative to the Atom C3000-based COMe-bDV7 COM Express Basic Type 7 module, we were confused by the “smaller” claim. Although Kontron does not celebrate it, this appears to be the first 95 x 95mm Compact Type 7 module on the market. The module supports network intensive applications including real-time Industry 4.0 edge servers, micro servers, network appliances, robotics, and energy systems.

    • Health/Nutrition

      • Report says deadly pandemic could sweep world in 36 hours – killing millions

        A review of health care systems already in place across the world found just 13 countries had the resources to put up a fight against an “inevitable” pandemic.

      • Most of the world unprepared for next epidemic or pandemic, GHS Index shows

        A project of the Nuclear Threat Initiative (NTI) and the Johns Hopkins University Center for Health Security, with research by The Economist Intelligence Unit, the GHS Index is the first comprehensive assessment of epidemic and pandemic threats globally. Built around a framework of 140 detailed questions, the Index assesses each country’s capacity to prevent, detect and respond to health emergencies, as well as the effectiveness of their health systems, their commitment to global norms, and the political, socioeconomic and environmental risk factors that can limit response. The average overall index score is just over 40 out of a possible score of 100, pointing to substantial weaknesses in preparedness. Even among the 60 high-income countries assessed, the average score is barely over 50.

    • Security (Confidentiality/Integrity/Availabilitiy)

      • Security updates for Monday

        Security updates have been issued by Arch Linux (chromium, firefox, php, and thunderbird), Debian (file, golang-1.11, libarchive, libxslt, mosquitto, php5, and proftpd-dfsg), Fedora (apache-commons-compress, chromium, java-1.8.0-openjdk, java-11-openjdk, jss, kernel, kernel-headers, kernel-tools, libpcap, mod_auth_openidc, tcpdump, and xpdf), openSUSE (kernel, openconnect, procps, python, sysstat, and zziplib), and SUSE (binutils, docker-runc, ImageMagick, nfs-utils, and xen).

      • Most system administrators prefer firewall GUIs over CLIs

        Almost 60% of sysadmins said they “preferred” GUIs over CLIs, and 70% said they “used” GUIs on a daily basis.

      • You’re ARIN a laugh: Critical internet org accused of undercutting security over legal fears

        A key internet infrastructure organization is undercutting efforts to make the internet more secure by insisting ISPs accept a legal agreement before using a security framework, critics charge.

        The org in question – US-based regional internet registry ARIN – argues that under American law, it has to have people consciously accept its terms and conditions for them to be legally binding. ARIN is worried that the kerfuffle could end up at the end of countless lawsuits if ISPs rely too heavily on this security framework and end up cutting off subscribers if its service goes down or awry.

        At the heart of the issue is a relatively new system, known as Resource Public Key Infrastructure (RPKI), which was developed by the global regional internet registries (RIRs) that are responsible for overseeing and allocating IP addresses.

        [...]

        The end result of ARIN’s stance is that adoption of RPKI in North America is lower than other regions, and that has created a knock-on impact where ISPs are not signing up to the framework because others haven’t. Of the roughly 50,000 ISPs worldwide, only around 2,000 are currently signed up to the framework.

    • Defence/Aggression

      • The Forgotten Christian Terror Cult That Presaged Trump’s Memes

        Yet for me, of all those proffering a seer-stone to secret knowledge today, Q is the most interesting. Most of the media labels it a conspiracy theory, but that doesn’t quite cut it for me. It is too intentionally dismissive and ignores the tangible, real-world effect of Q. From its start, I watched as an anonymous poster on the chans created a digital guerrilla army. Just as The Covenant, the Sword, and the Arm of the Lord stockpiled guns and ammo, the Q folks stockpile rare Pepes, dank memes and elaborate link-analysis charts for when the cause needs them. If Illuminati and Christian Identity sermon tapes were enough to radicalize the clustered CSA flock in the 1980s—imbuing their day-to-day life struggles with divine meaning—what could a similar Manichean narrative do today when unleashed in a carefully calibrated cyber campaign? How long could such a narrative survive? How many people could it radicalize?

      • Can members of the Trump cult be deprogrammed after the leader falls? Steven Hassan says yes

        Despite — or because of — Trump’s apparent criminal behavior and obvious inclinations toward fascism he has a cement-like hold on his supporters. Trumpism can be understood as right-wing political extremism transformed into a cult. This is not just a metaphor. Trump’s lies, his assault on reality, his threats of violence, his cruelty, his demand of absolute loyalty, his manipulation of willing subjects who choose to escape empirical reality, and his shared state of collective narcissism with his followers all fit the definition of a cult. From that realization follows another: Trump’s removal from the White House, by electoral defeat or any other means, remains unlikely — unless his opponents can fully mobilize to overwhelm and defeat Trump’s zealots.

        Is it possible to deprogram Trump’s political cult members and return them to normal society? Should good Americans isolate Trump supporters and refuse to interact with them? In what ways does Trump fit the profile of a cult leader? How is his apparent and lengthy history of sexually predatory behavior typical of a cult leader? If Trump is removed from office, will his supporters respond with violence?

        In an effort to answer these questions, I recently spoke with Steven Hassan, one of the world’s foremost experts on mind control and cults. Hassan is the author of several bestselling books, including “Combating Cult Mind Control” and “Freedom of Mind: Helping Loved Ones Leave Controlling People, Cults, and Beliefs.” His new book is “The Cult of Trump: A Leading Cult Expert Explains How the President Uses Mind Control.”

      • Killing of Truckers an attack on economy, livelihood of people: DGP

        He said the attacks on truckers and damage to power transmission towers in Shopian district by militants were to disrupt horticulture and tourism that provide livelihood to many people in Kashmir.

      • Battle of airwaves: Why is India cranking up mobile network in deserted hills?

        The army says the region’s security is at stake as only the Chinese network is available on the Indian side. “NTRO was informed about the spillover. They explained that the higher the quality of the network, the more secure they are. They also suggested that microwave towers which can project network to areas such as Walong (about 25 km from Kibithu) can be installed,” the report quoted an unidentified official as saying.

      • India ramping up mobile connectivity along LAC, amid Chinese spill over

        Since only Chinese network is available on the Indian side, the security of mobile network in the area is in question. “NTRO was informed about the spill over. They explained that higher the quality of the network, the more secure they are. They also suggested that microwave towers which can project network to areas such as Walong (about 25 km from Kibithu) can be installed,” an official explained.

        The move is expected to largely benefit the army. While military communication is said to be strong, widening the mobile network will ensure faster means of sharing and passing instructions during emergencies. It will also provide soldiers an opportunity to connect with their families; they often stay out of touch for months, resorting to hand-written letters.

      • Russia: Friend or Foe?

        When did Russia start to become an enemy of the US? The Soviet Union had thousands of nuclear missiles aimed at us as we had the same towards them. That Cold War did constitute enemy status. But when was the last time Russia, or even the Soviet Union, ever purposely kill an American, civilian or military personnel? Isn’t that a basic criteria for enemy status? Al Queda is our enemy because they killed thousands in 2001. But in all likelihood, they were backed by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. KSA also killed an American citizen, Jamal Khashoggi, but the only ‘punishment’ is more military aide from Washington. In 1967 the Israelis killed 34 US sailors aboard the USS Liberty and injured 171, with the intention of killing them all, and knew it was an American ship. In 2010 Israel point blank executed an American citizen aboard the Mavi Marmara in international waters in the Mediterranean. Why is Israel not considered our enemy?

    • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

      • Press Watch: It would be insane for America to re-elect Trump. Why can’t journalists say that?

        So what does appropriately unfair coverage of the 2020 presidential campaign look like?

        The right storyline isn’t even that a widely hated and failing president is running for re-election and has little to no chance of winning — although that’s all true.

        The right storyline is that this is a crisis, caused by a terrible error, and it has to be fixed.

      • Did this happen in the home of Magna Carta?

        In a special comment written for Consortium News, John Pilger describes the disturbing scene inside a London courtroom last week when the WikiLeaks publisher, Julian Assange, appeared at the start of a landmark extradition case that will define the future of free journalism.

        The worst moment was one of a number of ‘worst’ moments. I have sat in many courtrooms and seen judges abuse their positions. This judge, Vanessa Baraitser – actually she isn’t a judge at all; she’s a magistrate – shocked all of us who were there.

        Her face was a progression of sneers and imperious indifference; she addressed Julian with an arrogance that reminded me of a magistrate presiding over apartheid South Africa’s Race Classification Board. When Julian struggled to speak, he couldn’t get words out, even stumbling over his name and date of birth.

        When he spoke truth and when his barrister spoke, Baraister contrived boredom; when the prosecuting barrister spoke, she was attentive. She had nothing to do; it was demonstrably preordained. In the table in front of us were a handful of American officials, whose directions to the prosecutor were carried by his junior; back and forth this young woman went, delivering instructions.

        The judge watched this outrage without a comment. It reminded me of a newsreel of a show trial in Stalin’s Moscow; the difference was that Soviet show trials were broadcast. Here, the state broadcaster, the BBC, blacked it out, as did the other mainstream channels.

    • Environment

      • Water wars more about information than water itself. India must prepare

        These two cases elaborate the “two-level games” in water negotiations that the Indian government has been subjected to, at the international transboundary level between nations and at domestic level between the states or between the Centre and the state. These processes are characteristic of federal structures. While the two successive Modi governments have made conscious efforts to promote “competitive federalism” and “cooperative federalism” between states and Centre, water has increasingly and organically become a subject of “conflictual federalism”. Meanwhile, there is the widespread perception that China, the upstream “hydro-hegemon” over the Brahmaputra (or Yarlung-Tsangpo), has been diverting its waters to India’s detriment. This perception became widespread since the publication of Water: Asia’s New Battleground by Brahma Chellaney, in 2011.

        However, this has been challenged by me and my colleagues using more realistic hydrological and meteorological data which reveals that around 75 per cent to 85 per cent of the water flows, and the precipitation feeding the flow over the Brahmaputra, occur downstream much after the river gets formed by the flows of Dihang, Dibang and Lohit near Sadiya in Assam. Further, potentially utilisable water of the Brahmaputra is a fraction of the total renewable water resources. Largely, sediment formation happens after flow transcends the Himalayan crest-line and moves into the southern aspects.

      • In California, the Rich Are Buying Their Own Firefighters

        “This is serious …. but this is only the beginning. This is only a taste of the horror and the terror that will occur in [the coming] decades,” former California Gov. Jerry Brown told Politico Monday, of the fires that continue to engulf both northern and southern areas of the state. Brown recently inaugurated a new University of California, Berkeley, think tank focused on tackling climate change, in partnership with Tsinghua University in China.

      • California’s Wildfires Are the Doom of Our Own Making

        It never had to come to this. Native peoples in California maintained a healthy relationship with fire—they, of course, didn’t have a capacity to fight natural fires, whereas today we quickly extinguish those blazes to save lives, leading to a buildup of brush that forms one giant tinder box. They also intentionally set fires, harnessing the restorative power of flames to reset ecosystems to feed themselves. Today California isn’t doing nearly as many controlled burns as it should: In 2017, the southeastern US burned 100 times the amount of land as California, even though the region is only five times bigger than the state. The consequence is a state built to burn, and burn explosively.

      • California declares state of emergency over massive wildfires

        California authorities ordered more than 180,000 people to evacuate and declared a state of emergency in response to raging wildfires. More than two million people have been left without electricity across the US state.

      • How California’s destructive wildfires can affect climate change worldwide

        Wildfires are nothing new to the West Coast. They have two seasons in which they are expected to occur each year: the summer season, when hot temperatures dry out vegetation providing fuel, and the fall fire season, when hot, dry winds blow over dried out vegetation. Research shows both seasons have become more frequent and more intense over the last 50 years. The past decade has seen some of the state’s largest and most destructive fires. As the trend continues, the implications for human health, infrastructure, and ecosystem management worsen too. While the effects, at the surface, appear to be isolated to the state of California, the impact of more tense wildfires could extend beyond the golden state, too.

      • Energy

      • Wildlife/Nature

      • Overpopulation

        • Is population control the answer to fixing climate change?

          But he notes population control alone “won’t solve” climate change.

          “It’s one of a number of things that needs to be considered as we try to address or respond to this incredibly difficult problem that the world is facing. There’s no one thing that’s going to do it.”

    • Finance

      • The Advertising Industry Has a Problem: People Hate Ads

        In the predigital days, advertising agencies were ruled by swaggering creative directors who gorged on lavish client contracts and sometimes created campaigns that set the cultural agenda and captivated the public.

        Nearly every piece of that equation has changed. Agencies are better informed than ever before about consumers, having amassed huge stores of their data. But many of those consumers, especially the affluent young people prized by advertisers, hate ads so much that they are paying to avoid them.

        At the same time, companies that hire ad agencies are demanding more from marketing campaigns — while paying less for them.

        As a result, the advertising industry faces an “existential need for change,” according to a blunt report published on Monday by the research firm Forrester. Now the agencies must “disassemble what remains of their outmoded model” or risk “falling further into irrelevance,” the report concludes.

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • Trump Faces Jeers, Calls for Impeachment at World Series

        President Donald Trump was greeted with loud and sustained boos, a large “Impeach Trump” banner, and chants of “Lock Him Up!” Sunday night as he attended Game 5 of the World Series in Washington, D.C.

      • Trump’s Stated Plan to Loot Syria’s Oil Reserves ‘Would Be a War Crime,’ Critics Say

        “He’s pulling back that curtain and just telling you the truth.”

      • Donald Trump Got Booed and Heckled With “Lock Him Up!” Chants at the World Series

        Footage posted by USA Today sports reporter Gabe Lacques from inside the stadium captured the crowd cheering loudly for a display of military service people (a third-inning tradition, according to Lacques), but their reaction quickly shifted when Trump appeared onscreen.

        After showing several service members waving to the crowd, the shot changed to show the box where Trump was seated, and the announcer said, “Tonight, we are joined by the president and the first lady of the United States.” Before that first sentence could even be finished, boos rang out through the stadium.

      • Ohio governor signs into law measure to increase cybersecurity of elections

        Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine (R) on Friday signed into law legislation that will increase cyber protections for election systems and enhance the overall cybersecurity posture of the state.

        The legislation, which had bipartisan support, requires post-election audits by county boards of elections to ensure the accuracy of the vote count, while also creating a “civilian cyber security reserve” that can be called into duty to protect state and local government entities against cyberattacks, including those involving elections and those against critical infrastructure

      • In Chicago, Trump Calls the City an Embarrassment to the U.S.

        Visiting Chicago for the first time as president, Donald Trump disparaged the city Monday as a haven for criminals that is “embarrassing to us as a nation.” The city’s top cop sat out Trump’s speech to protest the president’s immigration policies and frequently divisive rhetoric.

      • So What Happens When Trump Is Impeached?

        The impeachment of Donald John Trump by the House of Representatives is all but inevitable. The House is slated to hold a formal vote on Thursday to authorize the impeachment inquiry, and in the coming weeks, it is expected to shift from closed-door investigatory sessions to public hearings designed to reveal the “high crimes and misdemeanors” committed by our 45th commander in chief.

      • Katie Hill pledges to fight ‘revenge porn’ after leaving Congress

        Hill said those involved in the “coordinated campaign” that gave her husband a platform to perpetuate his abuse will be held accountable.

      • Internet Bringing New Forms of Violence Against Women

        Katie Hill, a US Congress member elected to the House of Representatives less than a year ago, has just resigned, days after nude photos of her – which she says were released without her consent – were posted online by media outlets.

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • Academic freedom lecturer to address tenured faculty reductions

        The single biggest threat to academic freedom today is the decline of full-time, tenured faculty positions at colleges and universities, says the historian who will deliver the U-M Faculty Senate’s annual academic freedom lecture this week.

        [...]

        Reichman, professor emeritus of history at California State University, East Bay, said that around the country colleges and universities are providing tenure protections to an ever-shrinking segment of faculty. Only about a quarter of people who teach in higher education today are included in the tenure system, a much smaller percentage than a few decades ago.

        Reichman said research has shown that an overreliance on short-term or part-time adjunct faculty negatively impacts student retention, graduation and learning. It has also weakened tenured faculty’s voice in shared governance, he said.

      • Is Twitter censoring its pro-Remain users?

        Eighteen months ago I created a Twitter account with the handle @eugrandparents to add my support to the Remain campaign. Since then I have tweeted and retweeted often and, in particular, used the platform to direct people to my blogs on leftyoldman. Earlier this month, without any prior notice, my account was suspended by Twiitter. No reason was given and I appealed. The account was reinstated and I was informed that the action was taken ‘for posting multiple unrelated updates to a trending or popular topic’. My attempts to clarify exactly what this meant, and what I can and cannot do, have so far received no acknowledgement from Twitter let alone a reply.

      • More Than 50 Federal Watchdogs Sign Letter Condemning OLC Decision That Allows White House Counsel To Unilaterally Block Whistleblower Reports

        The whistleblower report implicating President Trump in a quid pro quo exchange of US military aid for promises to investigate a political rival has been very illustrative of the dangers of whistleblowing. Laws and policies mean next to nothing when the proper channels are willing to bury reports and possibly the reporter.

    • Privacy/Surveillance

      • The facial recognition debate: Orwellian dystopia or effective tool in the fight against crime?

        This week, department chief Jørgen Bergen Skov told Berlingske that it would be “a huge advantage” and a “priceless tool” if they could employ facial recognition technology, adding that it would be especially helpful in the hunt for suspected terrorists.

        And it would appear that the surveillance-friendly government is keen to oblige.

      • Hundreds of Facebook Employees to CEO Zuckerberg: ‘Free Speech and Paid Speech Are Not the Same Thing’

        “Facebook’s own employees are rising up against the company’s dangerous decision to help politicians lie to U.S. voters.”

      • Facebook employees raised concerns over political ad policy in letter to Zuckerberg: report

        In a letter to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, obtained by The New York Times, the employees wrote they “strongly object” to Facebook’s decision not to fact-check political ads paid for by elected officials or political candidates.

        “Misinformation affects us all,” they wrote, according to a copy published by the Times. “Our current policies on fact checking people in political office, or those running for office, are a threat to what FB stands for.”

      • China passes law regulating encryption, killing what remains of privacy

        China is amplifying its surveillance capabilities to unprecedented levels and it is now trying to gain access to apps that have end-to-end encryption. The country has now passed a law that will allow it to regulate cryptography in both government and private use data starting January 1, 2020.

        Chinese officials have refused to comment on the matter, but have told Xinhua Net that the law is necessary for utilisation, regulation and development of cryptography. They also believe that it will be necessary in ensuring the “security of cyberspace and information.”

      • Huawei says open to ‘no backdoor’ agreement with India

        India, the world’s second-biggest wireless market by users, will hold an airwaves auction for 5G services before March, according to the country’s Telecoms Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad.

        It has yet to begin 5G trials and has not taken a decision on allowing or banning Huawei from the test runs amid a US-led push to shut out the Chinese tech and telecoms group, saying its gear contained “back doors” that would enable China to spy on other countries. Beijing denies such a plan.

    • Freedom of Information / Freedom of the Press

      • Journalist Max Blumenthal Arrested, Hit With Political Prosecution Related To Venezuela Reporting

        Journalist Max Blumenthal was arrested on October 25 and charged with “assault” in a political case that he says is “completely false” and “manufactured” by Venezuela opposition supporters.

        From April to May, supporters of Juan Guaido’s attempted coup in Venezuela surrounded the Venezuela embassy in Washington, D.C. They engaged in verbal and physical assaults that authorities largely permitted.

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • Mexico: Risks at Border for Those With Disabilities

        Asylum seekers with disabilities waiting in Ciudad Juárez, Mexico, for their United States asylum applications to be processed face obstacles to getting basic services. Mexico’s government should identify and ensure services for people with disabilities and chronic health conditions.

      • Mexico getting dangerous for environmental activists, organizations warn

        In the first nine months of 2019, Amnesty International has documented at least 12 murders of people working to protect the environment in Mexico.

      • Tiananmen leader on Hong Kong protesters: ‘They are ready to burn together’

        The demonstrations in Hong Kong have been led mostly by young people protesting the way China governs the territory. It’s easy to make a historical comparison to 1989 when young people in Beijing’s Tiananmen Square also protested.

        Han Dongfang was among those in Tiananmen Square 30 years ago.

        After the bloody crackdown, he spent a couple of years in prison. He later fled to Hong Kong.

        Dongfang spoke to The World’s Marco Werman about his view of the protests that have taken over Hong Kong.

      • European Parliament: Rights Award Boosts Pressure on China

        The European Parliament should use its 2019 Sakharov Prize, awarded to the unjustly detained Uyghur scholar Ilham Tohti, to significantly increase pressure on China to release him.

      • Greece: Asylum Overhaul Threatens Rights

        Greece’s parliament should scrap provisions in a new bill that threaten to limit asylum seekers’ access to protection, Human Rights Watch said today. The draft law, to be debated in parliament this week, would reduce safeguards for asylum seekers from countries like Afghanistan, Syria, and Iraq in an effort to block the arrival of migrants and refugees in Greece, per a 2016 European Union (EU) migration deal with Turkey.

      • Iran: Sanctions Threatening Health

        The Trump administration’s broad sanctions on Iran have drastically constrained the ability of the country to finance humanitarian imports, including medicines, causing serious hardships for ordinary Iranians and threatening their right to health, Human Right Watch said in a report released today. 

      • EU Parliament Urges Tough Action Against Egypt’s Crackdown

        On October 24, Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) took aim at Egypt’s brutal crackdown on human rights, calling out the European Union and its member states for their feeble response to the escalating crisis, and urging “a profound and comprehensive review” of the EU’s relationship with Egypt.

      • Tanzania: Asylum Seekers Coerced into Going Home

        Tanzanian authorities unlawfully coerced more than 200 unregistered asylum seekers into returning to Burundi on October 15, 2019 by threatening to withhold their legal status in Tanzania, Human Rights Watch said today. The United Nations refugee agency (UNHCR) facilitated the returns by registering the asylum seekers under its voluntarily repatriation program, despite threats from Tanzanian officials that they could risk arrest if they stayed in Tanzania.

      • Tanzania: Climate of Fear, Censorship as Repression Mounts

        Repeal Repressive Laws; Investigate Abuses of Activists, Critics, Opponents

      • Why did Microsoft fund an Israeli firm that surveils West Bank Palestinians?
    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

      • Canadian Wireless Carrier Rogers ‘Surprised’ That People Like Unlimited Data Plans

        Despite industry claims, US wireless is painfully mediocre. US consumers pay some of the highest prices for mobile data in the developed world, thanks to regulatory capture and wireless competitors who embrace “competition theater” more than actual price competition. Also contrary to industry claims, these high prices don’t necessarily reflect quality; US LTE (4G) speeds are not only among the slowest in the developed world, arbitrary throttling, caps, and other usage restrictions reduce the value of these connections even further.

    • Monopolies

      • Game of Thrones showrunners quit Star Wars trilogy to work on Netflix projects

        Benioff and Weiss recently signed a $200 million multi-year deal with Netflix to produce exclusive content. The decision to walk away from the Star Wars universe means that the pair’s output will be solely under Netflix’s umbrella for the foreseeable future. The first of their Star Wars movies was due to hit theaters in 2022.

      • Google shouldn’t be the only source of interest-based recommendations

        Firefox had a brief flirt with a company called LaserLike in 2018. The two companies created Firefox Advance: an experimental content-recommendation system that would appear inside the Firefox browser. Advance would show a sidebar filled with recommendations based on the page you currently had open in the browser.

        The Firefox Advance experiment disappeared shortly before LaserLike was acquired by Apple.

        I tested Advanced while it was available. I found several interesting things to read and I was generally impressed with the recommendations I received. Advance even suggested relevant and interesting articles even for some of the more obscure topics I cover here on Ctrl blog.

      • The Fruits of the Forbidden Tree – AG Opinion C-176/18 on the Boundaries of Plant Variety Rights

        Although Regulation (2100/94/EC) on Plant Variety Rights (“PVR Regulation”) is one of the oldest pieces of EU IP law still in force, it has not been often explored by the Court of Justice. This may help explain why a question of a rather fundamental nature is currently before the Court, some 25 years after the introduction of the Regulation.
        The case in which AG Saugmandsgaard Oe recently handed down his Opinion (not available in English at the time of writing) revolves around the distinction between “variety constituents” and “harvested material” (a distinction this Kat thought was rather self-evident – until reading this Opinion) pursuant to Art. 13 of the PVR Regulation. It also relates to the intricate question of how much (if any) protection the PVR Regulation affords to a right holder in the period between the publication of the application for a PVR and grant (a period that lasted over ten years in the case at hand).

      • Patents and Software Patents

        • Interview: Alan Albright, the listening judge

          It’s been just over one year since he was sworn in at the Western District of Texas, but has it become the patent hotbed he hoped, and what else makes him tick?

        • Quest USA Corp. v. PopSockets LLC (PTAB 2019)

          The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office Patent Trial and Appeal Board recently issued a decision indicating that certain claims of a patent directed to the popular PopSockets are invalid.

          [...]

          The Patent Owner argued that the issue is not whether Grinfas’ securing structures would adhere the conduit to the back of a phone, but rather was whether Grinfas discloses attaching the conduit to the back of a phone. Therefore, Patent Owner’s argument was not about whether Grinfas’ securing structures are capable of attaching a conduit to the back of a phone, but rather was about whether Grinfas discloses the function of attaching to the back of a phone. The Patent Owner argued that an expert declaration failed to provide evidence that the claimed function is necessarily present in Grinfas, and that expert testimony, without (additional) evidence is insufficient to establish inherency.

          The Board disagreed that the Petitioner failed to establish inherency. In particular, the Board disagreed that the Petitioner is required to show that the claimed function is actually performed or must be performed when the full structure is described.

          Thus, despite the cited art failing to describe the full use of the structure, as recited in the claim, and also being directed to a clearly different use altogether, it was found to anticipate the claim because the structure in Grinfas was capable of performing the recited use.

          As a result, because Grinfas discloses a securing element inherently capable of being attached to the back of a portable media player, the Board found that Grinfas discloses the securing element limitation. Thus, the Board determined that Petitioner demonstrated, by a preponderance of the evidence, that claim 9 is anticipated by Grinfas.

      • Copyrights

The Linux Foundation is Deep in the ‘Surveillance Capitalism’ Industry Now

Posted in Deception, GNU/Linux at 5:08 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

The Linux Foundation’s (LF) Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) was the Director of Public Affairs for James Clapper

James Clapper

Summary: The Linux Foundation, with deep connections to the spying industry (high-level staff), is very proudly in the “data monetization” business now. It’s not even hiding it.

MR. Jim Zemlin and his group, which is mostly proprietary software companies and monopolies, gathered yesterday in Europe, under the banner of “Open Source” (it had nothing to do with it). The resultant press coverage focused on KernelCI joining the Linux Foundation; a lot less attention has been paid to Alvarium, a surveillance-oriented push. Yesterday in France these people basically announced that the Linux Foundation enters the “data monetization” business as an openwashing partner…

“Their openwashing of this malicious practice, which is often illegal and thus kept undercover (e.g. Cambridge Analytica scandal), is an extension of “surveillance capitalism”…”How very “Linux”-like…

“Data monetization” (surveillance). Their openwashing of this malicious practice, which is often illegal and thus kept undercover (e.g. Cambridge Analytica scandal), is an extension of “surveillance capitalism”…

From the official site’s front page we learn that this “will help scale data sharing and monetization…”

Alvarium, as far as we can see, has not even shared any code yet. When it does, we’re pretty sure Zemlin and his friends will give EVERYTHING to Microsoft at GitHub, which is proprietary software (that’s what the Foundation always does) and the licence will not be GPL/copyleft (they have not used that for many years).

“Alvarium, as far as we can see, has not even shared any code yet.”One reader wrote to us to say last night: “Upon realizing the LF was not what I had thought, when LF took Microsoft money, I revoked my participation. Even I had no idea about the extent of the LF farce just a few years ago.

“In 2015, I saw it, when the LF had an event in Seattle – I felt something was very off. Mini cupcakes and all business… not a single community project was represented that I could see. In 2016, at SCALE, I noticed oddities in speaking and sponsorship — with LF hands in the mix — it seemed. In 2017, I realized things were quite amiss.”

That’s an understatement. Nowadays they actively work against everything GNU/Linux stands for. Look at their list of clients; as we stated above, they’re mostly proprietary software companies and monopolies with lots of software patents.

An Illegal Practice: The EPO Continues to Grant Unlawful Patents and Then Brag About These

Posted in Europe, Patents at 4:31 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

EPO delivery

Summary: The EPO very well understands that it grants illegal patents and it silences those who point this out; it remains rather incredible that in a developed continent such as Europe this is allowed to carry on for so long

THE U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), taking 35 U.S.C. § 101 into account, either does not grant software patents or barely grants these (only for patent courts and judges to throw them out later). Here in Europe, however, software patents are being granted more than ever, owing to European Patent Office (EPO) presidents like António Campinos and Battistelli, who proudly break the law. Then they even look to reward those who amass many of these illegal patents. It is really as bad as that sounds; patents on mathematics are being granted by the EPO in spite of EPO management being well aware those are illegal.

Yesterday the EPO wrote:

The EPO will be at the #WebSummit2019 for the first time! Stay tuned as we reveal what we will be up to in Lisbon! Who’s joining? https://bit.ly/2Js5SzE #WebSummit pic.twitter.com/2kR7eV2eXL

“Your speakers are promoting illegal software patents that cause a lot of damage to everybody,” I responded, having reviewed this list (of just 2 people).

“It is really as bad as that sounds; patents on mathematics are being granted by the EPO in spite of EPO management being well aware those are illegal.”From the page in question (warning: epo.org link): “The 2019 EIA Lifetime achievement finalist dedicated her career to inventions that enable fast, high quality streaming. Named as inventor in almost 130 granted European patents, Karczewicz’s technologies have transformed the video entertainment industry and made video streaming on laptops and mobile devices available to a wider audience.”

Those patents are fake patents; they cover mathematics and they’re used to actively harm the computer industry. The EPO is promoting lies of Qualcomm instead of actually assessing the impact of these patents. This is the first entry in the list and there’s another one for Microsoft (Alex Kipman), a big booster of software patents all around the world

The EPO later added: “We’re happy to announce that EPO President António Campinos will join a panel discussion at #WebSummit on “ #Patenting the future: The next big invention” on 6 November!”

“Those patents are fake patents; they cover mathematics and they’re used to actively harm the computer industry.”He does not even have technical qualifications for this. “Web Summit is a meeting point for people and companies that are redefining technology,” they say about this event. Campinos has nothing to do with technology. So “Web Summit” has been compromised in the sense that now it is a platform for patent zealots without any common sense. They don’t value the Web, they value patent mazes.

We have meanwhile found fresh criticism of these illegal patents that the EPO keeps granting, recently under the guise of “AI” (a buzzword/vague acronym). Benjamin Henrion noted that by “[e]nd of this week, the EPO will extend software patents to AI without a public debate. This is how broken this institution is…”

“The EPO is making up these guidelines while knowingly and consciously breaking the law that gave it its very existence,” I responded. Albert Cohen (“Research on compilers, programming languages, code generators, performance and correctness. Free software advocate,” by his own description, as per his profile at Twitter) also responded to Henrion by stating: “The last paragraph is very problematic: training a neutral net, or other AI algorithm, is patentable if part of a larger design with “technical” effect. This could go extremely wrong.”

“We have meanwhile found fresh criticism of these illegal patents that the EPO keeps granting, recently under the guise of “AI” (a buzzword/vague acronym).”“Worse,” I said, “it’s illegal. But the EPO illegally grants software patents using false, bogus justifications that are in essence facilitating violations of the EPC every day. Nobody holds them accountable.”

Is the EPC just a dead and obsolete document now? It’s violated in various other ways, e.g. judges being punished by exile to Haar.

If the EPO refuses to obey the EPC, then immunity must be withdrawn and the whole institution ‘rebooted’ (all management removed and replaced, maybe punished as well). On Monday morning Daniela Ampollini showed that courts in Italy recognise the EPC (lots about this in the second paragraph, included previously in our Daily Links), unlike the EPO which violates it every day. Why are courts across Europe following the EPC, whereas the EPO is allowed to flagrantly violate it? Because of immunity? Then remove it. Put an end to this corruption.

Yesterday the EPO spoke — in a new tweet — of “computer programs” followed by “AI” (that in itself is “computer programs”). This means that either EPO tweets are written by chronic liars or the people who write this are endlessly clueless and unfit for the job. Choose one.

“If the EPO refuses to obey the EPC, then immunity must be withdrawn and the whole institution ‘rebooted’ (all management removed and replaced, maybe punished as well).”The tweet said: “Can you patent computer programs, GUIs and artificial intelligence at the EPO? This recorded #webinar will shed some light on the topic: https://bit.ly/2mCzO3X”

“You can,” I responded, “but those would be fake patents courts would invalidate because EPO is a rogue, corrupt institution that breaks the EPC, its governing law.”

The EPO also wrote: “European patent applications related to autonomous driving have grown 20 times faster than those across all technologies. View the figures in this report: http://bit.ly/SDVstudy #SelfDriving #FutureOfCars pic.twitter.com/96CamDck9d”

“You just make up categories, buzzwords and acronyms,” I told them, “that ‘justify’ you granting illegal, fake, bogus, bunk software patents and other patents…”

See this new article from Managing IP. Do they recognise already that software patents “on a car” aren’t legally valid and therefore resort to secrecy (while criminalising knowledge of their employees)? Anything for monopoly/protectionism?

“The EPO gets to break the law every single day and nobody gets punished. Illegal orders must be obeyed because of diplomatic immunity.”This has become so banal and typical that it’s almost depressing. The EPO gets to break the law every single day and nobody gets punished. Illegal orders must be obeyed because of diplomatic immunity. We’ve meanwhile taken note of this upcoming ‘webinar’ in which an IBM-connected front group (IPO) has some real nerve promoting software patents alongside “Open Source” (there’s a part there about “Open Source, Software Related Inventions”). It’s just IBM’s usual promotion of software patents — even by lying about Open Source and saying it was possible owing to such patents.

Henrion has meanwhile blasted OIN, arguing that “OIN [is] lobbying the Gnome Foundation to use prior art instead of Alice to avoid the subject matter eligibility #oin #ibm #swpat”

I told him that “this is so that IBM can keep lobbying for software patents all around the world and that lobbying won’t be disrupted by the troll that got its patents from a Microsoft troll (nobody talks about it!)…”

We covered this subject numerous times in the past. Here’s all the coverage we’ve found about it so far. As oiaohm put it moments ago in our IRC channels, Alice “can take out complete classes of patents in a single pen stroke.” This is what IBM is hoping to avoid, or at least front groups such as OIN.

IRC Proceedings: Monday, October 28, 2019

Posted in IRC Logs at 3:37 am by Needs Sunlight

GNOME Gedit

GNOME Gedit

#techrights log

#boycottnovell log

GNOME Gedit

GNOME Gedit

#boycottnovell-social log

#techbytes log

Enter the IRC channels now

EPO Advertises Questel and Rather Extremist Views on Patents

Posted in Europe, Patents at 1:02 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

After the sign

Summary: Europe’s second-largest institution is in the pockets of private companies associated with grift and predation, not science and technology

European Patent Office (EPO) scandals have not ended. What has ended is media coverage of these. Frenchmen António Campinos and Battistelli totally break the law, yet the media in Europe and elsewhere does not seem to mind.

“European Patent Office (EPO) scandals have not ended.”Many people may not realise it, due (in part) to our limited reach, but Techrights has exclusively uncovered hundreds of scandals over the years. Including those not covered exclusively that’s even more than hundreds and they’re searchable. Sometimes our coverage is appreciated years later. Here’s one example.

Hours ago the EPO wrote: “If you’re unable to join us in Bucharest, stay tuned as we’ll be live-tweeting from #EPOPIC 2019!”

“Sometimes our coverage is appreciated years later.”“If you are interested in patent information,” they said separately, “this is the hashtag to follow for the next three days as we’ll be live-tweeting from #EPOPIC!”

There will be lots of nonsense and lies soon (in "tweet" form), but here’s the interesting thing. Questel was retweeted by the EPO on Sunday when they’re supposed to have a day off. The Questel scandal was covered here before [1, 2]. “Excited to represent Questel at EPOPIC 2019,” this person wrote, soon to be rewteeted by the EPO (on a Sunday). This isn’t the first time the EPO does promotion/advertising for Questel and remember that the EPO-Questel scandal is also connected to Europatis, as we covered in:

  1. Jacques Michel (Former EPO VP1), Benoît Battistelli’s EPO, and the Leak of Internal Staff Data to Michel’s Private Venture
  2. Europatis: “Turnover of €211,800 and Zero Employees”
  3. Loose Data ‘Protection’ and Likely Privacy Infringements at the EPO: Here’s Who Gets Employees’ Internal Data
  4. Summary of the EPO-Europatis Series

two years ago we mentioned how the EPO had promoted this firm. On the 7th of November two years ago this same person wrote: “Delighted to represent @questel_ipbi at the EPO conference!”

He has kept posting Questel stuff like this: “Is your #patent cited by an examiner to reject an application based on novelty? If so, you might have a potential infringement or a #licensing opportunity! Spotting key blocking patents cited by USPTO Examiners…”

“This isn’t the first time the EPO does promotion/advertising for Questel and remember that the EPO-Questel scandal is also connected to Europatis…”That’s the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), where patent quality hasn’t been spectacular to say the least.

Then, retweeted by EPO on Monday was more promotion of private firms. “Meet us at #EPOPIC starting today in Bucharest. At booth number 15 or Wednesday morning’s session you’ll learn a thing or two about how #graphAI helps to significantly improve patent searches,” it said. Also retweeted by EPO on Monday was this ridiculous tweet (linking to WIPO): “3.3 MILLION patents 💡 were filed globally last year 🌍 That’s an increase for the 9th successive year 😲 Find out which countries in particular are putting innovation on the map”

“These people are creating an unprecedented patent mess and then celebrate this mess.”China games the system by passing into it lots of ‘garbage’ (or cruft) and the EPO is ever so proud of this massive collapse in patent quality as if it’s the same as innovation. Look no further than EPO policies!

As Stephanie Nebehay (writer for Reuters) has just explained, “China accounts for nearly half global patent filings” and if one single nation does this, then you know something is wrong. China has basically gamed the world’s patent system by throwing lots of junk at it. WIPO does not seem to mind. From Nebehay’s article:

China accounted for nearly half of global patent filings last year, with a record 1.54 million applications, led by telecoms and computer technology, the U.N.’s World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) said on Wednesday.

China’s share, up 11.6 percent from 2017, included requests received by China’s intellectual property office from foreign innovators and companies seeking patent protection there, representing one in 10 filings, it said.

These people are creating an unprecedented patent mess and then celebrate this mess. They profit from it. Yesterday the EPO wrote that “[b]usinesses that make intensive use of intellectual property rights pay higher wages,” citing this disgraced paid-for 'study'. Yes, businesses that have more monopolies pay more money. Let’s have lots more monopolies then? There’s obviously a limit to how many business monopolies can exist, so the number of well-paid workers is severely limited. All the money goes into fewer hands. Good luck explaining that to the patent ‘industry’ — a so-called ‘business’ which profits from nothing but patenting and lawsuits.

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