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11.15.19

Links 16/11/2019: Wine 4.20, Picolibc 1.1

Posted in News Roundup at 11:08 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Desktop

      • MSI Cubi 5 should make an excellent mini Linux computer

        If you want a basic Linux desktop, you can never go wrong with an all Intel-based mini computer — such as that company’s own NUC line. Things typically work without issue — an Intel Wi-Fi card, for instance, shouldn’t give you any headaches on Linux.

        Intel is not the only game in town, however. Other companies manufacture and sell mini desktop computers too. Today, MSI unveils its latest, and it looks like a real winner. Called “Cubi 5,” it comes with 10th gen Intel Comet Lake processors, USB-C, and supports Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax).

        “Keeping in mind the needs of consumers, MSI announces the world’s first energy-efficient Mini-PC to be equipped with Intel’s 10th gen Comet Lake processors: Cubi 5. The Cubi 5 delivers upgraded computing capability as well as improved functionality. Cubi 5 may be small, but its performance can be improved all the way up to Intel Core i7 processor (Comet Lake), which helps deliver computing capability that will keep you in the flow, wherever you go,” says MSI.

      • Deepin Linux Shows Off Its Next Big Feature: A Smart AI Voice Assistant

        I’ve just obtained a video that was shared inside the Deepin Telegram Group, and it contains some compelling evidence that the upcoming version of the slick Desktop Linux distribution may ship with an AI Voice Assistant. And a clever one, at that.

        The video (which is entirely in Chinese), shows a user asking a series of questions and receiving responses in both voice and via text in a pop-up window. But as the video progresses, it becomes clear that the AI voice assistant also interfaces directly with Deepin system settings.

      • VXL Launches CloudDesktop On the Go (CoGo), a Truly Portable Linux Micro Thin Client

        VXL, a leader in thin clients, endpoint management and digital signage software solutions, launches its new, low cost, CloudDesktop On the Go (CoGo). An ultra-compact and highly portable USB key, CoGo repurposes legacy PCs into a fully functional Linux thin client. Available with a lifetime perpetual license and priced at a highly competitive $77 including first year support, CoGo offers users up to a massive 50% saving over equivalent software solutions.

        CoGo allows businesses to extend the life of ageing PC hardware by using it to access server-hosted computing sessions or virtual desktop infrastructure. Users simply plug CoGo into a PC and boot from it. The VXL Gio Linux firmware is instantly useable without overwriting the local OS and the converted PC can be managed as thin client.

    • Server

      • IBM

        • Announcing Oracle Linux 8 Update 1

          Oracle is pleased to announce the general availability of Oracle Linux 8 Update 1. Individual RPM packages are available on the Unbreakable Linux Network (ULN) and the Oracle Linux yum server. ISO installation images will soon be available for download from the Oracle Software Delivery Cloud and Docker images will soon be available via Oracle Container Registry and Docker Hub.

          Oracle Linux 8 Update 1 ships with Red Hat Compatible Kernel (RHCK) (kernel-4.18.0-147.el8) kernel packages for x86_64 Platform (Intel & AMD), that include bug fixes, security fixes, and enhancements; the 64-bit Arm (aarch64) platform is also available for installation as a developer preview release.

        • Oracle Linux 8 Update 1 Announced With Udica, Optane DCPM Support

          Fresh off the release of Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8.1 at the beginning of November, Oracle is now shipping Oracle Linux 8 Update 1 as their spin of RHEL 8.1 with various changes on top — including their “Unbreakable Enterprise Kernel” option.

        • Telco revolution or evolution: Depends on your perspective, but your network is changing

          As the market embraces edge computing and 5G networks, telecommunications service providers are increasingly looking for ways to migrate their monolithic services to microservices and containers. These providers are moving from legacy hardware appliances to virtualized network functions to containerized network functions on cloud infrastructure. Red Hat’s partnership with a rich ecosystem of software-defined networking (SDN) vendors, independent software vendors (ISVs), network equipment providers (NEPs), as well as its deep involvement in the open source projects powering these initiatives, give customers the choices and long-life support they need to build the services infrastructure that supports their business needs both today and tomorrow – as well as the journey in between.

        • The rise of the network edge and what it means for telecommunications

          5G. Software-defined networking (SDN) and network functions virtualization (NFV). IoT. Edge computing. Much has been said about these technologies and the impact they will have on the telecommunications services of tomorrow. But it’s when they’re talked about together—as part of the broader digital transformation of service provider networks and business models—that things really get interesting. It’s a story that may impact every corner of the telecommunications ecosystem, from mobile network operators (MNOs), traditional service providers, and cable network operators to cellular tower companies, data center operators, managed services providers, and vendors.

          SDN and NFV hold the promise of replacing enormous networks of proprietary, single-purpose appliances with racks of off-the-shelf compute and storage platforms that are running software from a variety of vendors for a variety of services. Progress on this front has been slowed by several issues, leaving operators looking for their next opportunity. It has emerged in the form of 5G, and whether they are early adopters or taking a wait-and-see approach, every telco company is looking for its 5G play.

    • Audiocasts/Shows

    • Kernel Space

      • Interesting Facts About Linux That You Should Know

        There are many, especially those who are newly orientated with Linux, think that it is an operating system. But, the fact is, it is not an operating system; instead, it is a kernel. A kernel is the central part of an operating system. The name of the OS is GNU Linux OS, which has many other derivatives like Ubuntu, Debian, Fedora, Kali Linux, and much more.

      • How the Linux kernel balances the risks of public bug disclosure

        Last month a serious Linux Wi-Fi flaw (CVE-2019-17666) was uncovered that could have enabled an attacker to take over a Linux device using its Wi-Fi interface. At the time it was disclosed Naked Security decided to wait until a patch was available before writing about it.

        Well, it’s been patched, but the journey from discovery to patch provides some insights into how the Linux open-source project (the world’s largest collaborative software development effort) manages bug fixes and the risks of disclosure.

      • Linux 5.5 To Finally Kill The Async Block Cipher API In Favor Of SKCIPHER

        The crypto code within the Linux kernel for the upcoming 5.5 cycle finishes converting the drivers to making full use of the four-year-old SKCIPHER interface so that the old ABLKCIPHER code can be removed.

        SKCIPHER was introduced in 2015 to the mainline kernel to ultimately replace BLKCIPHER/ABLKCIPHER. This “symmetric key cipher” interface is a generic encrypt/decrypt wrapper for ciphers.

      • NUVIA To Make Serious Play For New CPUs In The Datacenter, Hires Linux/OSS Veteran

        Making waves this afternoon is word of the NUVIA server CPU start-up landing its series A funding round and thus making more information known on this new silicon start-up.

      • Graphics Stack

        • Intel Spins Up Latest Graphics Compiler + Compute Runtime With Ice/Tiger Lake Work

          The Intel developers working on their open-source compute run-time this morning released a new version as they continue making improvements to their Gen11 Ice Lake support as well as further bringing up the Gen12/Xe Tiger Lake support.

          As part of the compute runtime is the Intel Graphics Compiler to which this morning they released IGC 1.0.2805. With this compiler update is a memory leak fix, an OpenCL fix, and minor fixes/improvements.

        • NVIDIA have released another Vulkan Beta Driver 435.27.07, just for Linux this time

          NVIDIA have pushed out the second Vulkan Beta Driver in the space of a week, with 435.27.07 now available for Linux.

        • WXRC Is The Wayland XR Compositor For VR Headsets

          Drew DeVault of Sway/WL-ROOTS notoriety and longtime Wayland developer Simon Ser have started development on WXRC, a new Wayland compositor.

          WXRC is the Wayland XR Compositor and is based on OpenXR and the open-source Monado implementation. This is better than the past Linux VR desktop efforts we’ve recently seen that relied on SteamVR. As of this week, WXRC has working 3D Wayland clients.

    • Benchmarks

      • OnLogic Karbon 700: Passively-Cooled, Up To 8 Core / 16 Thread Industrial & Rugged PC

        OnLogic (formerly known as Logic Supply until a recent rebranding) announced the Karbon 700 back in August as a durable Linux-friendly computer largely intended for industrial applications but nothing prevents the user from using it as a passively, well-built desktop PC either. OnLogic recently sent over the Karbon 700 and it’s been working out very well even with passively cooling an Intel Xeon eight-core / sixteen-thread processor, 16GB of RAM, 512GB NVMe storage, and more.

        In suiting the Karbon 700 for industrial applications, this high-performance rugged computer supports power over Ethernet (PoE), wireless, the ability to have an external graphics card (though that variant is no longer fanless), CAN bus support, dual COM RS-232, 8-bit DIO, and other interfaces in addition to triple Gigabit LAN, triple DisplayPort, USB 3.1 Gen 1, and other connectivity options.

    • Applications

      • Linux Presentation Software that Shines

        A presentation software is a tool used to show information in the form of a slide show, a presentation of a series of still images.

        Presentation software helps a speaker keep structure to a presentation when standing in front of an audience. Like any good composition tool, this type of application should help the presenter focus on the substance of the presentation. Effective presentation software will also help the audience follow the matters being discussed, whether it is being conducted in a business or personal setting. This type of software is a presenter’s best friend helping information to be communicated effectively at events, meetings, conferences, lectures, sales presentations, and more. Embellishing the presentation with smooth transitions, text, photo and video will help retain the attention of the audience, bring out the key ideas that are being shared, and make the presentation more professional.

        To provide an insight into the quality of software that is available, we have compiled a list of 7 high quality open source Linux presentation software. The software listed below will help make your slides look stunning. Whether you are teaching a lesson, pitching a product, delivering a keynote, or trying to promote a worthy cause, these tools will help bring simplicity and engagement to your presentations. Hopefully there will be something of interest for anyone who needs to produce professional quality presentations.

      • Dart 2.6 Goes Native on Linux, Windows, and MacOS

        The latest version of Google programming language Dart, numbered 2.6, extends support for native, ahead-of-time (AOT) compilation with the addition of dart2native, which enables the creation of command-line programs on Linux, Windows, and MacOS.

        Importantly, dart2native generates self-contained binaries, meaning they do not require the Dart SDK to run. Another key feature of dart2native is it supports the whole set of Dart core libraries which are available on the rest of Dart-targeted platforms. dart2native is also compatible with dart:ffi, the C-interoperability layer introduced in Dart 2.5 to interface with C=compatible system functions available on a native platform.

      • Rufus for linux? Not available, Use these best alternatives

        Rufus for Linux, yes, everybody who has ever used this bootable USB creator tool which is only available for Windows, definitely wished to have it for Linux operating systems too. However, although it is not directly available for Linux, we can still use it with the help of Wine software. But again even after installing it using Wine on Ubuntu, in our case, it couldn’t recognize the attached USB drives, which again closed the door for normal users to use Rufus on Linux. Thus in such scenarios what do?

        Don’t worry. The Rufus is not the only software for creating a bootable USB drives in the world. There are also few other best alternatives to Rufus that we can use easily on Linux operating systems. And here today we will discuss such opensource or free tools for creating bootable drives on Linux Distros.

      • Proprietary

        • Winstars 3 is a planetarium application for Windows, Linux, macOS and Android

          Who remembers going to the planetarium? I was a kid when I visited one on a field trip. Stargazing isn’t exactly my forte, though I like watching the night sky and try to identify some of the objects that I see.

          Most of my space knowledge comes from sci-fi movies, shows, games, and the occasional news article or two. The most fun I had looking at the star-studded sky was probably when I used mobile apps like Sky Map.

          But it’s not really that easy to learn much while you’re pointing a phone at the sky and trying to figure out what the celestial object you’re looking at actually is.

        • 10 Best Note-Taking Apps for Programmers and Coders

          There are a thousand and one note-taking applications in the market right now but not all note-taking applications are created equal and some are developed with a specific userbase in mind and are, thus, more efficient for certain tasks.

          For example, a note-taking application aimed at coders typically features auto-complete and auto-correction, syntax highlighting, and support for a variety of programming languages.

          Today, we bring you a list of the best note-taking applications designed with programmers and developers in mind listed in no particular order for mixing plain text with code snippets, regular expressions, etc.

    • Instructionals/Technical

    • Wine or Emulation

      • D9VK developer is working on allowing DXVK to help Linux ports for Direct3D to Vulkan

        You have a fancy game using Direct3D 11 and you want to port it to Linux? In future, DXVK may be able to help with that.

        Currently, DXVK translates D3D11 and D3D10 into Vulkan when used with Wine. However, Joshua Ashton who developed D9VK which is the offshoot of DXVK to do the same for D3D9 put out word on Twitter that they’ve begun working on “a way to use DXVK on your native platform! (ie. D3D11 on Linux! :D)”.

      • Experimental Work Allows DXVK To Be Natively Used For Direct3D 11 On Linux

        The DXVK Direct3D 10/11 over Vulkan implementation to date has been built as a Windows library run under Wine along with the game/software being rendered for converting the calls to Vulkan for execution by the host drivers. There is now experimental work for building DXVK as a native Linux library for converting D3D10/D3D11 calls to Vulkan outside of Wine.

        Joshua Ashton who previously worked on DXUP and is well known for his work on D9VK for taking Direct3D 9 over Vulkan has been tackling this experimental DXVK support for running natively on Linux itself rather than within Wine.

      • Wine Announcement
        The Wine development release 4.20 is now available.
        
        What's new in this release (see below for details):
          - New version of the Mono engine with an FNA update.
          - Code persistence in VBScript and JScript.
          - Vulkan spec updates.
          - Improved support for LLVM MinGW.
          - Various bug fixes.
        
        The source is available from the following locations:
        
        https://dl.winehq.org/wine/source/4.x/wine-4.20.tar.xz
        
        
        http://mirrors.ibiblio.org/wine/source/4.x/wine-4.20.tar.xz
        
        Binary packages for various distributions will be available from:
        
        https://www.winehq.org/download
        
        You will find documentation on https://www.winehq.org/documentation
        
        You can also get the current source directly from the git
        repository. Check https://www.winehq.org/git for details.
        
        Wine is available thanks to the work of many people. See the file
        AUTHORS in the distribution for the complete list.
        
      • Wine 4.20 Brings Vulkan Updates, Better LLVM MinGW Support

        Wine 4.20 is out today as the newest bi-weekly development snapshot for this open-source project allowing Windows games and applications to run on Linux and other non-Microsoft platforms.

        Wine 4.20 brings with it an updated Mono engine with newer FNA, code persistence within VBScript and JScript, Vulkan specification updates, improved support for LLVM MinGW, and a total of 37 bug fixes.

    • Games

      • Explore a fractured future in ‘Resolutiion’, a ridiculously stylish Zeldaesque action-adventure

        Step into the role of Valor, an old killer escorting a curious AI to infiltrate a terrorist network in the dark cyberpunk world of Resolutiion, which seems to be shaping up beautifully with a new trailer.

        Loaded with gorgeous pixel art, dirty jokes, awesome tunes and hours of punishing combat, Resolutiion will be wrapped up in some exploration they say will be rewarding thanks to the layered storytelling.

      • Game dev: Flax Engine is adding Linux support in an upcoming update

        Flax Engine, another game engine that supports Vulkan is going cross-platform with an upcoming release adding in Linux support.

        In a fresh blog post today, the team noted that Linux support is coming and development builds of Flax are already running great on Ubuntu and cloud-based solutions. This comes with their Vulkan rendering engine and all core engine features working.

      • Weekend deals and free stuff, here’s what is currently hot for Linux gamers

        Hello Friday, welcome back into our lives. Here’s a look at what you can pick up cheap across this weekend and what’s free.

        First up, Company of Heroes 2 is free to pick up on Steam and keep forever! This deal will last until Sunday, November 17 at 6PM UTC. Relic Entertainment are also giving out the Victory At Stalingrad DLC as a free extra if you join their newsletter. This could mean there’s a new one on the way. It has a Linux port from Feral Interactive and it’s a huge amount of fun.

      • Woolen adventure game Woven is out today, some thoughts on my adventure

        A world stitched together with a clumsy stuffed animal for a protagonist, a flying mechanical bug companion and a softly spoken rhyming narrator, the adventure game Woven certainly has a lot of initial charm and it’s out now.

        The developers said it’s like “platform, point-and-click and action-adventure games without being exactly like any of them”. To me though, it felt a lot simpler than that, more like a walking sim with basic puzzle elements.

      • Amusing action game Pirates, Vikings, and Knights II adds AI bot support

        The biggest problem for a lot of multiplayer games, even when they’re free is pulling in players. To help with that, Pirates, Vikings, and Knights II now supports playing with AI bots.

        In the latest update released this month, it adds in bot support for when playing both offline and online. Now servers can fill up with bots and be replaced by players so you’re not waiting around for anyone to join. There’s also new achievements to do with the bots too, based on how many bot kills you get and one for if a bot manages to dominate you in the game.

      • This War of Mine turned 5, so 11 bit studios gave it a big free Final Cut update

        11 bit studios are celebrating their dark and depressing survival game This War of Mine turning five years old, so they’ve given everyone a huge free Final Cut update.

        Adding in all the maps from the Stories DLC packs into the main game making each run now have more possibilities, new quests and events for those added locations, a new classic scenario, a new character, remastered versions of the original locations along with various visual improvements, UI improvements and an opt-in Beta on Steam to play the original “Vanilla” game without all this and more.

      • Enjoy our daily news and updates? We would appreciate your support

        For a long time now GamingOnLinux has been providing daily (and often on Weekends too) Linux gaming news, tips, reviews, interviews and more.

        A few months ago, we passed the ten year mark! We would very much like to be here for another ten years and more, with your support that will be possible. A call for donations and support isn’t something we do directly often either, as we prefer to spend our time chatting with developers and getting news out for you to read. Thanks to all the existing support, we have no need to have any adverts keeping your browsing experience nice and clean.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • Xfce 4.16 Desktop Environment Enters Development Phase

        The next installment of XFCE desktop environment version 4.16 enters dev phase.

        With the release of recent XFCE 4.14, the stage is set for the next major XFCE release – version 4.16. XFCE 4.16 would be significant considering number of core changes that is slotted to be worked upon.

        Here’s a list of items we can expect in XFCE 4.16. Remember, features are rolling at the moment and would change in the final XFCE 4.16 release which would be released on June 2020.

      • GNOME Desktop/GTK

        • 5 Eye-Catching GTK Themes by Vinceliuice

          Few GTK theme makers are as prolific as ~vinceliuice, an open source designer based in Jinan, China.

          Vince’s theme portfolio is wildly unlike anyone else’s. It’s packed full of eye catching designs boasting dramatic visual elements and modern design sensibilities.

          So good, in fact, that I’ve written this post to spotlight 5 of the best themes made by vinceliuice — themes that showcase this designer’s colourful creativity and theme crafting skill.

    • Distributions

      • Glen Singh on why Kali Linux is an arsenal for any cybersecurity professional [Interview]

        Kali Linux is a popular term for anyone related to computer security. It is the most renowned tool for advanced Penetration Testing, Ethical Hacking and network security assessments.

        To know more about Kali Linux more closely, we recently had a quick chat with Glen D. Singh, a cyber security instructor and an Infosec author with Learn Kali Linux 2019 being his latest book. In his book, Glen explains how Kali Linux can be used to detect vulnerabilities and secure your system by applying penetration testing techniques of varying complexity.

        Talking to us about Kali Linux, Glen said that the inclusion of 300 pre-installed tools makes Kali Linux an arsenal for any cybersecurity professional. In addition to talking about certification options for both novice and experienced cybersecurity professionals, Glen also shared his favorite features from the latest Kali Linux version 2019.3 among other things in this deeply informative discussion.

      • OpenWrt 19.07.0 first release candidate

        The OpenWrt community is proud to announce the first release candidate of the upcoming OpenWrt 19.07 stable version series. It incorporates over 3700 commits since branching the previous OpenWrt 18.06 release and has been under development for about one a half years.

        With this release the OpenWrt project brings all supported targets back to a single common kernel version and further refines and broadens existing device support. It also provides initial support for the new ath79 target, the future device tree based successor of the popular ar71xx target.

      • OpenWrt 19.07 RC Offers WPA3 Configuration Support, All Targets On Same Kernel Version

        OpenWrt 19.07 is on the way as the next feature release to this router/network focused Linux distribution that remains quite popular with hobbyists.

        The release candidate of OpenWrt 19.07 was made available this week and it features all hardware targets now converging on the same kernel version (Linux 4.14.151) where as previous releases saw a mix of Linux branches used depending upon the hardware. GCC 7.4, musl libc 1.1.24, and Binutils 2.31.1 are among the other components powering OpenWrt 19.07 RC1.

      • Reviews

        • ALT Linux: Worthy Linux Alternatives, With a Catch

          ALT Linux may have a problem with getting English language updates on some of its most recent product releases. The primary geographic audience it serves may not make English a top priority. Yet many of its products are available with the English language intact.

          The great variety of Linux distros available make ALT Linux a very viable source of options for anyone looking to sample the flexibility the Linux operating system offers. I like the starter kit inventory maintained by the ALT Linux developers.

          Distro hoppers particularly can focus on trying dozens of desktop varieties without having to adjust to separate distro designs. All of the ALT Linux distros share a common, simple design for ease of use and reliability.

      • SUSE/OpenSUSE

        • [Older] SUSE doubling up investment almost every year in India: Rajarshi Bhattacharyya

          German multinational open source software company SUSE that develops and sells Linux products is doubling up investment almost every year in India. In the last 3 years, it has grown five-times and manpower is up by three-times. According to a senior executive, the open source giant has significantly invested in the support system and now looking to leverage it to broaden the company’s reach in the government vertical in India.

        • Virtualization Management with SUSE Manager

          SUSE® Manager 4 is a best-in-class open source infrastructure management solution that lowers costs, enhances availability and reduces complexity for life-cycle management of Linux systems in large, complex and dynamic IT landscapes. You can use SUSE Manager to configure, deploy and administer thousands of Linux systems running on hypervisors, as containers, on bare metal systems, IoT devices and third-party cloud platforms. SUSE Manager also allows you to manage virtual machines (VMs).

          Virtualization is the means by which IT administrators create virtual resources, such as hardware platforms, storage devices, network resources and more. There are quite a few tools that enable the creation of virtual resources (such as Xen and KVM), but what about the management of those tools? That’s where SUSE Manager comes in.

        • Private and Air-Gap registry for openSUSE Kubic

          Sometimes there are occasions where direct internet access is not possible (proxy/offline/airgapped). Even in this setups it is possible to deploy and use Kubernetes with openSUSE Kubic and a local private registry.

          In this blog I will explain how to setup a local server which acts as private registry providing all the container images needed to deploy Kubernetes with openSUSE Kubic.

        • Join SUSE in Booth #4011 at AWS re:Invent, Las Vegas, December 2-6th!
        • Dominique Leuenberger: openSUSE Tumbleweed – Review of the week 2019/46

          This has been a busy week, with 5 successfully tested snapshots delivered to you, the users (1107, 1109, 1110, 1111 and 1112).

      • Slackware Family

        • Slackware November ’19 release of OpenJDK 8

          Today, icedtea-3.14.0 was released. IcedTea is a software build framework which allows easy compilation of OpenJDK.

          The new IcedTea release will build you the latest Java8: OpenJDK 8u232_b09. This release syncs the OpenJDK support in IcedTea to the official October 2019 security fixes that Oracle released for Java. The release announcement in the mailing list for distro packagers has details about all the security issues and vulnerabilities that are addressed.

          I have built Slackware packages for the new Java 8 Update 232 and uploaded them already. Please upgrade at your earliest convenience. Java is still widespread which makes it a popular target for vulnerability attacks.

      • Fedora Family

        • PoC to auto attach USB devices in Qubes

          Here is PoC based on qubesadmin API which can auto attach USB devices to any VM as required. By default Qubes auto attaches any device to the sys-usb VM, that helps with bad/malware full USB devices. But, in special cases, we may want to select special devices to be auto attached to certain VMs. In this PoC example, we are attaching any USB storage device, but, we can add some checks to mark only selected devices (by adding more checks), or we can mark few vms where no device can be attached.

        • David Cantrell: rpminspect-0.9 released

          Very large packages (VLPs) are something I am working on with rpminspect. For example, the kernel package. A full build of the kernel source package generates a lot of files. I am working on improving rpminspect’s speed and fixing issues found with individual inspections. These are only showing up when I do test runs comparing VLPs. The downside here is that it takes a little longer than with any other typical package.

        • Fedora pastebin and fpaste updates

          A pastebin lets you save text on a website for a length of time. This helps you exchange data easily with other users. For example, you can post error messages for help with a bug or other issue.

          The CentOS Pastebin is a community-maintained service that keeps pastes around for up to 24 hours. It also offers syntax highlighting for a large number of programming and markup languages.

        • ProcDump for Linux in Fedora

          ProcDump is a nifty debugging utility which is able to dump the core of a running application once a user-specified CPU or memory usage threshold is triggered. For instance, the invocation procdump -C 90 -p $MYPID instructs ProcDump to monitor the process with ID $MYPID, waiting for a 90 % CPU usage spike. Once it hits, it creates the coredump and exits. This allows you to later inspect the backtrace and memory state in the moment of the spike without having to attach a debugger to the process, helping you determine which parts of your code might be causing performance issues.

        • What’s a kernel headers package anyway

          I’ve written before about what goes into Fedora’s kernel-devel package. Briefly, it consists of files that come out of the kernel’s build process that are needed to build kernel modules.

          In contrast to kernel-devel, the headers package is for userspace programs. This package provides #defines and structure definitions for use by userspace programs to be compatible with the kernel. The system libc comes with a set of headers for platform independent libc purposes (think printf and the like) whereas the kernel headers are more focused on providing for the kernel API. There’s often some overlap for things like system calls which are tied to both the libc and the kernel. Sometimes the decision to support them in one place vs the other comes down to developer choices.

          While the in-kernel API is not guaranteed to be stable, the userspace API must not be broken. There was an effort a few years ago to have a strict split between headers that are part of the userspace API and those that are for in-kernel use only.

          Unlike how kernel-devel gets packaged, there are proper make targets to generate the kernel-headers (thankfully). make headers_install will take care of all the magic. These headers get installed under /usr/include

        • Fedora Community Blog: FPgM report: 2019-46

          Here’s your report of what has happened in Fedora Program Management this week. Fedora 29 will reach end of life on 26 November. Elections voting begins next week. Candidates must submit their interviews before the deadline or they will not be on the ballot.

      • Debian Family

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • New HA clustering on MicroK8s eases path to clustered edge appliances

          Canonical announced high availability clustering in MicroK8s, its single-node Kubernetes environment for prototyping k8s applications and running edge containers on IoT gateways. The feature is enabled using Dqlite.

          Last month with the release of Ubuntu 19.10, Canonical announced “strict confinement” support for Canonical’s MicroK8s Kubernetes environment for single-node clusters, thereby enabling easier deployment on edge devices. Now, Canonical has announced high availability (HA) clustering in MicroK8s.

          High availability clustering enables a group of hosts that act like a single platform. It’s often used to ensure continuous uptime via load balancing, backup, and failover strategies. All the HA-clustered hosts need to be able to access the same storage.

        • Canonical Finally Discovers “–no-install-recommends” Is Worthwhile For Docker

          Debian’s APT package manager has supported the –no-install-recommends for years so only the main dependencies are installed and not the “recommended” packages. Seemingly it’s taken Canonical until now to figure out how practical that option is for reducing the size of their Docker containers.

          In an official Ubuntu.com blog post they announced their Ubuntu Docker images were reduced by 60% via the use of using the –no-install-recommends option within their Docker files. The option has been in APT and just a matter of making use of that option as opposed to announcing a new development or capability.

        • Ubuntu Blog: We reduced our Docker images by 60% with –no-install-recommends

          Here at Canonical, we use Dockerfiles on a daily basis for all our web projects. Something that caught our attention recently was the amount of space that we were using for each Docker image, and we realized that we were installing more dependencies than we needed.

          In this article, I’ll explain how we improved our image build time and reduced the image size by using the flag –no-install-recommend in our Dockerfiles.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • Molly de Blanc: Free software activities, October 2019

        In October, work was quite busy, though a lot of it was behind-the-scenes stuff I cannot yet update you on. It was also very busy with a very exciting trip I took that had absolutely nothing to do with free software. If you’re ever going to Kyoto or Tokyo and looking for some recommendations for coffee, cocktail bars, restaurants, or general things to do, hmu.

      • Corteza Service Cloud Released

        Corteza Service Cloud features: Case Management, Account & Contact Management, including entitlements, Product management, including entitlement templates for products, Knowledge Base, Process Automation, Advanced role-based permissions, Notifications, Advanced reporting, Record importing and exporting, Mobile ready (responsive design), and Enterprise messaging (via Corteza Messaging).

        [...]

        I have regular meetings with Patrick Masson, the general manager of the OSI. We made most of them in October.
        I did some writing for the OSI. Not all of it is published at this point.
        I worked on crafting drafts of organizational policies for the OSI, including staffing, travel, and a whistle blower policy. I hope to be able to arrange for an HR specialist or employment lawyer to review these.
        The OSI has two new board members! In order to make this happen, I contacted all of the nominees for whom I had contact information. I spoke with them about the OSI, the Board and it’s activities, and how they saw their potential involvement. Basically I interviewed a bunch of ~fancy~ people. It was so much fun talking with every one of them and I learned so much during the process.
        The Debian Community Team had some meetings, wrote some emails, and discussed The Future together and with the greater Debian community.

      • Corteza Service Cloud, the open-source Salesforce Service Cloud alternative, has been released

        Corteza today announced the release of Corteza Service Cloud, the free, open-source and self-hosted Salesforce Service Cloud alternative. Corteza Service Cloud is a customer service desk, built on the Corteza Low-Code platform. It enables businesses to deliver faster and more personalised service to their clients, across multiple channels.

      • My System Administration Ethics book has been published

        Dear readers, I am truly happy to announce the publication of my latest technical book. It comes with a lengthy but important title – System Administration Ethics: Ten Commandments for Security and Compliance in a Modern Cyber World. A colleague and I have been writing this book over the past year and a bit, and we’ve jotted down what we believe are the most critical dos and don’ts of information technology.

        Ethics has never been more important – just look around, and you’ll see the Wild Wild West of the digital world, breach here, breach there, data this, data that. Amidst this chaos, you will find techies, afloat, lost, confused, angry, and wondering how their work and passion has become the spearpoint of social dissent and mistrust. I hope this book can provide the right pointers.

      • Events

        • LAS 2019, Barcelona

          The Linux App Summit (LAS) is a great event that bring together a lot of linux application developers, from the bigger communities, it’s organized by GNOME and KDE in collaboration and it’s a good place to talk about the Linux desktop, application distribution and development.

        • Capitole du Libre 2019

          The Capitole Du Libre is a french event that takes place at INP-ENSEEIHT in Toulouse. It is an event dedicated to free and open source softwares. The Capitole Du Libre 2019 will happen this weekend on 16th-17th November.

          There will be a Debian booth with the DebianFrance team, I will be there to help them. A lot of interesting talks will be presented, see the schedule here.

        • First Day of Lakademy

          Next day, we got up early to move to the Universidade Federal da Bahia and began the Lakademy. Some members went to buy some groceries and some went directly and prepared the room. After a round of presentations, Lakademy was declared online! I spent most of the time reviewing ROCS code and wrote some fixes for redundant code and a problem with the interface that was introduced in the last commits. After that, I listed some tasks that could be done this week. We ended the first day with some good drinks in some fun places in Salvador. :)

      • Web Browsers

        • Brave 1.0 is ready for privacy-loving web surfers

          The browser promises to not only block adverts and trackers but to also offer Brave Ads, which are a form of adverts that will pay people to view them and not gobble their data. Such ads are delivered through push notifications rather than intrusive web page banner ads.

          It’s a somewhat novel approach and one that will see targeted ads that won’t spill data out of the browser’s hands and into the grubby mitts of third parties.

          Folks who opt into Brave Ads will get blockchain tokens as a reward. These can be cashed in for vouchers or gift cards through Brave’s partner Upload, or they can be given to an article’s writer or website creator.

        • Mozilla

          • Karl Dubost: Best viewed with… Mozilla Dev Roadshow Asia 2019

            I was invited by Sandra Persing to participate to the Mozilla Developer Roadshow 2019 in Asia. The event is going through 5 cities: Tokyo, Seoul, Taipei, Singapore, Bangkok. I committed to participate to Tokyo and Seoul. The other speakers are still on the road. As I’m writing this, they are speaking in Taipei, when I’m back home.

            Let’s go through the talk and then some random notes about the audience, people and cities.

      • Linux Foundation

        • With Vitess 4.0, database vendor matures cloud-native platform

          As a software engineer at YouTube in 2010, Sugu Sougoumarane realized that scaling the MySQL database for the cloud was a tough challenge. His realization helped lead to the creation of the open source Vitess project, which hit a major milestone with the release of Vitess 4.0.

          The Vitess project joined the Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF), which is home to the Kubernetes container orchestration project, in February 2018. At the same time, Sougoumarane co-founded PlanetScale, a commercial service supporting Vitess and its deployment.

          Just over a year and a half later, on Nov. 5, 2019, the Vitess project graduated from the CNCF, marking a major milestone for the project. CNCF graduation is the highest level of project status within the CNCF and is an indicator of the maturity of the project code and processes. With graduation, Vitess 4.0 became generally available, providing users with new features.

        • Helm Reaches Version 3

          The Cloud Native Computing Foundation® (CNCF®), which builds sustainable ecosystems for cloud native software, today announced that Helm, the package manager for Kubernetes, has released its third major update with Helm 3.

          Helm 3 builds on the core features of Helm 2, with improvements to chart repositories, release management, security, and library charts. With this release, the Helm maintainers incorporated feedback and requests from the community to better address the needs of Kubernetes users and the broad cloud native ecosystem.

      • Programming/Development

        • Interview Guido van Rossum: “I’d rather write code than papers.”

          Guido van Rossum (1956) is the founding father of the Python programming language, one of the most popular development tools in the world. In 2019 CWI will award him the Dijkstra Fellowship.

          What led you to come up with a brand new programming language during your time at CWI?

          “I started at CWI as a junior programmer on a research team with Lambert Meertens, Leo Geurts and Steven Pemberton. They wanted to develop a language which would enable people without programming experience – such as scientists – to start writing computer programs fairly quickly.”

          “It was at the time that Basic was on the rise due to the arrival of the microcomputer. Meertens looked at this inadequate language with horror. ‘Stamp out Basic!’ Was his motto. In the end, ABC, as our language was called, would not work. The target group could not use it on their microcomputers, which were not powerful enough for it, while Unix users already had other tools. Those users thought ABC was an odd man out.”

          “Then I came across the so-called Amoeba project. That was a distributed operating system based on a microkernel, developed by Andrew Tanenbaum at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam and Sape Mullender at CWI. Not aiming at popularizing their operating system, their first and foremost goal was writing papers. Scientifically it was a breakthrough indeed: those papers are still being studied. I myself was not a researcher but a programmer on that project. I must say thought that there was an atmosphere at CWI in which programmers had a major input in the projects.”

        • Python Tears Through Mass Spectrometry Data

          At the November 2019 Python Frederick event, Conor Jenkins showed the group how mass spectrometry works and how Python saves huge amounts of time when processing the large amount of data produced by a mass spec analysis.

        • Wingware News: Wing Python IDE 7.1.3 – November 14, 2019

          Wing 7.1.3 adds improved and expanded documentation and support for matplotlib, improves the accuracy of code warnings, fixes automatically debugging child processes on Windows with Python 3.8, fixes installing the remote agent from .rpm or .deb installations, solves several issues with runtime type introinspection, allows Open from Project and similar navigation commands from non-Browse vi mode, improves debugger reliability, and fixes about 30 other minor usability issues.

        • Easily specifying colours from the default colour cycle in matplotlib

          Another quick matplotlib tip today: specifically, how easily specify colours from the standard matplotlib colour cycle.

          A while back, when matplotlib overhauled their themes and colour schemes, they changed the default cycle of colours used for lines in matplotlib. Previously the first line was pure blue (color=’b’ in matplotlib syntax), then red, then green etc. They, very sensibly, changed this to a far nicer selection of colours.

        • Typing Mercurial with pytype

          Following the recent introduction of Python type annotations (aka “type hints”) in Mercurial (see, e.g. this changeset by Augie Fackler), I’ve been playing a bit with this and pytype.

          pytype is a static type analyzer for Python code. It compares with the more popular mypy but I don’t have enough perspective to make a meaningful comparison at the moment. In this post, I’ll illustrate how I worked with pytype to gradually add type hints in a Mercurial module and while doing so, fix bugs!

          The module I focused on is mercurial.mail, which contains mail utilities and that I know quite well. Other modules are also being worked on, this one is a good starting point because it has a limited number of “internal” dependencies, which both makes it faster to iterate with pytype and reduces side effects of other modules not being correctly typed already.

        • Two Books About the Kivy GUI Framework

          The Kivy Python GUI framework is intriguing.

          Not only it’s cross-platform but also supports Android. Java is too verbose and low level for me and Kivy is an opportunity for developing native Android apps without leaving Python.

          Outside of the Kivy project documentation, there are few third-party advanced tutorials that go in more depth than the official tutorials. So, before diving into the code of the Kivy demos, I wanted some books to explore more features and get a broader picture of the framework and what it can do.

          I found two potentially interesting books: Building Android Apps in Python Using Kivy with Android Studio: With Pyjnius, Plyer, and Buildozer by Ahmed Fawzy Mohamed Gad (Apress, 2019), and Kivy – Interactive Applications and Games in Python – Second Edition by Roberto Ulloa (Packt, 2015).

        • A Qt GUI for logging

          A question that comes up from time to time is about how to log to a GUI application. The Qt framework is a popular cross-platform UI framework with Python bindings using PySide2 or PyQt5 libraries.

          The following example shows how to log to a Qt GUI. This introduces a simple QtHandler class which takes a callable, which should be a slot in the main thread that does GUI updates. A worker thread is also created to show how you can log to the GUI from both the UI itself (via a button for manual logging) as well as a worker thread doing work in the background (here, just logging messages at random levels with random short delays in between).

        • Picolibc 1.1 Released With POSIX File I/O Support

          Longtime X11 developer Keith Packard has spent a lot of time in recent months while being employed by SiFive working on Picolibc as a new C library for embedded systems.

          Picolibc is designed solely for embedded use-cases at this point and was formerly developed by Keith under the name newlib-nano. Picolibc 1.1 is out now as the project’s second stable release.

        • Picolibc Version 1.1

          Picolibc development is settling down at last. With the addition of a simple ‘hello world’ demo app, it seems like a good time to stamp the current code as ‘version 1.1′.

        • Catching Java exceptions in Swift via j2objc

          it’s possible to handle Java-originating exceptions in Swift for j2objc-based projects. Scroll to the end for example code.

          It’s getting more common to call j2objc-generated Objective-C code from Swift as iOS development shifts to this modern language. At a high level, we can imagine this means calling Java code from Swift. But Objective-C is an important link in this chain and it shapes the way Swift interacts with the code that started its life as Java.

        • Long-term betting on dependencies

          Thankfully, my bet on j2objc proved to be a good one. It’s actively maintained by very helpful developers and works as expected. I’ve completed most of the risky work in porting the core of my app to iOS and any work I do on that core benefits the apps on both platforms.

          There are very few compromises I have to make because language features in Java map surprisingly well to both Objective-C and Swift.

          But one important exception remained. I’ll cover that in a subsequent post.

      • Standards/Consortia

        • Botond Ballo: Trip Report: C++ Standards Meeting in Belfast, November 2019

          Last week I attended a meeting of the ISO C++ Standards Committee (also known as WG21) in Belfast, Northern Ireland. This was the third and last committee meeting in 2019; you can find my reports on preceding meetings here (July 2019, Cologne) and here (February 2019, Kona), and previous ones linked from those. These reports, particularly the Cologne one, provide useful context for this post.

          At the last meeting, the committee approved and published the C++20 Committee Draft (CD), a feature-complete draft of the C++20 standard which includes wording for all of the new features we plan to ship in C++20. The CD was then sent out to national standards bodies for a formal ISO ballot, where they have the opportunity to file technical comments on it, called “NB (national body) comments”.

          We have 10-15 national standards bodies actively participating in C++ standardization, and together they have filed several hundred comments on the CD. This meeting in Belfast was the first of two ballot resolution meetings, where the committee processes the NB comments and approves any changes to the C++20 working draft needed to address them. At the end of the next meeting, a revised draft will be published as a Draft International Standard (DIS), which will likely be the final draft of C++20.

          NB comments typically ask for bug and consistency fixes related to new features added to C++20. Some of them ask for fixes to longer-standing bugs and consistency issues, and some for editorial changes such as fixes to illustrative examples. Importantly, they cannot ask for new features to be added (or at least, such comments are summarily rejected, though the boundary between bug fix and feature can sometimes be blurry).

          Occasionally, NB comments ask for a newly added feature to be pulled from the working draft due to it not being ready. In this case, there were comments requesting that Modules and Coroutines (among other things) be postponed to C++23 so they can be better-baked. I’m pleased to report that no major features were pulled from C++20 at this meeting. In cases where there were specific technical issues with a feature, we worked hard to address them. In cases of general “this is not baked yet” comments, we did discuss each one (at length in some cases), but ultimately decided that waiting another 3 years was unlikely to be a net win for the community.

          Altogether, over half of the NB comments have been addressed at this meeting, putting us on track to finish addressing all of them by the end of the next meeting, as per our standardization schedule.

          While C++20 NB comments were prioritized above all else, some subgroups did have time to process C++23 proposals as well. No proposals were merged into the C++23 working draft at this time (in fact, a “C++23 working draft” doesn’t exist yet; it will be forked from C++20 after the C++20 DIS is published at the end of the next meeting).

  • Leftovers

    • The Strange Life and Mysterious Death of a Virtuoso Coder

      By running the name through an Ohio law-enforcement database, the investigators learned that Haas had been reported missing seven weeks earlier. Haas had lived in Columbus, 80 miles from where his remains were discovered, but he’d last been seen at a gas station one county over from O’Bryan’s sprawling property. He’d disappeared along with a black backpack in which he carried the tools of his career as a computer programmer: three smartphones, two Dell laptops, an Amazon tablet, and an array of USB sticks and cables. He never let the backpack out of his sight; even on trips to the office bathroom, the bag stayed glued to his shoulder. But the backpack was nowhere to be found in the woods.

    • Audio Porn Streams Erotica to Your Ears—and Your Imagination

      Quinn is part of an audio porn renaissance. The old format, popularized by red-light chat lines, has reemerged, riding the wave of the podcast boom. Today there are as many forms of audio erotica as the sexual preferences it represents. Some companies like the venture-backed Dipsea produce narrative audio stories that people can subscribe to for a monthly fee. Others like the less glossy Literotica get authors to read their erotic literature aloud. Quinn’s biggest competitor is Reddit, where a community of more than 300,000 people upvote erotic audio clips on r/GoneWildAudio.

    • My reddit story: the Android subreddit drama
    • Science

      • The Early History of Usenet, Part I: The Technological Setting

        Usenet — Netnews — was conceived almost exactly 40 years ago this month. To understand where it came from and why certain decisions were made the way they were, it’s important to understand the technological constraints of the time.
        Metanote: this is a personal history as I remember it. None of us were taking notes at the time; it’s entirely possible that errors have crept in, especially since my brain cells do not even have parity checking, let alone ECC. Please send any corrections.
        In 1979, mainframes still walked the earth. In fact, they were the dominant form of computing. The IBM PC was about two years in the future; the microcomputers of the time, as they were known, had too little capability for more or less anything serious. For some purposes, especially in research labs and process control systems, so-called minicomputers — which were small, only the size of one or two full-size refrigerators — were used. So-called “super-minis,” which had the raw CPU power of a mainframe though not the I/O bandwidth, were starting to become available.

    • Health/Nutrition

      • The Woman Who Can Smell Parkinson’s

        For the last several years, scientists have taken an acute interest in her nose. Milne, after all, is also able to smell diseases. People with Alzheimer’s smell to her like rye bread, diabetes like nail polish, cancer like mushrooms and tuberculosis like damp cardboard. Having provided care to thousands of sick people in her life, she has had plenty of contact with various illnesses. Milne, though, is most familiar with the smell of Parkinson’s. It’s the disease that killed her husband Leslie and his mother, who she also cared for during her illness.

    • Security (Confidentiality/Integrity/Availabilitiy)

      • IPFire 2.23 – Core Update 137 released

        We are happy to announce the release of IPFire 2.23 – Core Update 137. It comes with an updated kernel, a reworked Quality of Service and various bug and security fixes.

        Development around the Quality of Service and tackling some of the bugs required an exceptional amount of team effort in very short time and I am very happy that we are now able to deliver the result to you to improve your networks. Please help us to keep these things coming to you with your donation!

      • Security updates for Friday

        Security updates have been issued by CentOS (kernel), Debian (ghostscript, mesa, and postgresql-common), Fedora (chromium, php-robrichards-xmlseclibs, php-robrichards-xmlseclibs3, samba, scap-security-guide, and wpa_supplicant), Mageia (cpio, fribidi, libapreq2, python-numpy, webkit2, and zeromq), openSUSE (ImageMagick, kernel, libtomcrypt, qemu, ucode-intel, and xen), Oracle (kernel), Red Hat (ghostscript, kernel, and kernel-rt), Scientific Linux (ghostscript and kernel), SUSE (bash, enigmail, ghostscript, ImageMagick, kernel, libjpeg-turbo, openconnect, and squid), and Ubuntu (ghostscript, imagemagick, and postgresql-common).

      • New NextCry Ransomware Encrypts Data on NextCloud Linux Servers
      • Using Nmap For Port Scanning + Other Tools to Use

        Nmap is a well-known utility that is bundled with many Linux distributions and that is also available for Windows and several other platforms. Essentially a scanning and mapping tool, there’s a lot that Nmap can do for you.

        Today, we’re having a look as using Nmap for port scanning which, incidentally, is the tool’s primary usage. Port scanning is an essential task of network management as it ensures that no backdoors are left unaddressed. It is one of the most basic forms of securing the network.

        Before we get into the how-to part of this post, we’ll sidetrack a little and first introduce Nmap and its GUI cousin Zenmap. We’ll then explain what ports are and how you need to be careful not to leave unused ports open on your devices. Then, we’ll get to the essence of this post and show you how to use Nmap for port scanning. And since there are quite a few other tools that can be viable alternatives to Nmap for port scanning—some of them much better or easier to use tools—we’ll finally review some of the very best Nmap alternatives for port scanning.

    • Defence/Aggression

      • ISIS is Targeting Syria’s Christians

        The Americans returned with tanks only to check the oil wells and prevent the Syrian army from regaining possession, while in the region “insecurity is growing. We too in Aleppo – he concludes – are the object of bombing and only two days ago a little girl died. Rebels and jihadists are still in the suburbs and continue the attacks. We are exhausted!”.

      • Unprecedented UN Critique of China’s Xinjiang Policies

        The UN rights experts’ assessment shows that as more and more details of China’s abuses in Xinjiang emerge and international outrage escalates, China increasingly faces an uphill battle.

    • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

      • Audit Blackout: gatekeepers cuddled while sleeping on the job

        Why then are the audit inspections blacked out? These are inspections of public documents, of public financial accounts for this country’s largest corporations yet the findings remain largely secret.

        ASIC looked at 49 audits for “Listed entities and other public interest entities” and found failures across the board.

        In the KPMG inspection, for instance, 19 of the audits were dodgy, or to quote the ASIC narrative from the bits which were not blacked out, “In our view, the auditor did not obtain reasonable assurance that the financial report was free of material misstatement in 15 of the 70 key areas reviewed in total across 19 audits”.

      • What Samherji wanted hidden
    • Environment

      • CDC: The number of Americans dying from antibiotic-resistant “superbugs” vastly underestimated

        Twice as many people are dying from antibiotic-resistant infections, also known as superbugs, than previously thought, according to a report published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

        The report, published on Wednesday, states that nearly 3.1 million antibiotic-resistant infections happen each year in the United States. As a result, an estimated 48,700 people die. The findings are based on data from millions of patient health records, and are an update to a 2013 report in which the public health agency raised concerns about these superbugs.

      • In water disputes, what to do if authorities can’t be counted on to fix it?

        So when some kind of unfairness is threatening one’s livelihood, what’s to be done if the authorities can’t be counted on to fix it? How, as a society, do we deal with injustice when no institution can actually solve it or enforce the rules that are already there?

        There are plenty of places in Mexico where large companies and factories, expensive resorts, and yes, the land and businesses of wealthy families, have all the water they need, even when scarcity in the area is a problem.

        Those who live in surrounding areas often go without, or have to figure out other solutions to the unequal distribution.

      • Climate Change Is Already Making Us Sick
      • India must not look at its water crisis in isolation

        India’s water woes, though, stem largely from its over-dependence on groundwater, and here, the climate links are less pronounced because underground aquifers take much longer to react to changes in temperature and rainfall. India is the world’s largest user of groundwater, extracting 250 cubic km of groundwater annually, and has 20 million wells and tube wells. Most of our cities depend on groundwater, and our irrigation is overwhelmingly groundwater dependent. The risk of linking our water crisis to climate change is that policymakers can throw their hands up and say that there is little that they can do. And that’s a dangerous road, because, so much of our water crisis originates from misplaced policies.

        First, India’s cities. In almost all our cities, wetlands, lakes and ponds have been encroached upon, and this, when added to mostly concrete surfaces, drastically reduces groundwater recharge, causing the kind of water crisis we saw in Chennai this past summer, and also paradoxically, urban floods of the kind that Mumbai witnessed this year, and every other year. We need policies that incentivise urban municipalities to implement nature-based solutions such as rejuvenating water bodies, to demarcate areas where recharge happens as protected places, and provide incentives to urban residents and industries to undertake rainwater harvesting and reuse waste water.

      • Greenhouse gases drive Australia’s bushfires

        Australia’s bushfires are feeding on heat from the climate change happening in the tropics, but its government doesn’t want to know.

      • Energy

        • New Paper Reveals Rail Industry Was Leader in Climate Denial Efforts

          In the paper, Networks of Opposition: A Structural Analysis of U.S. Climate Change Countermovement Coalitions 1989-2015, author Robert Brulle, looks at “key political coalitions that worked to oppose climate action. In conjunction with their allied trade associations, these coalitions have served as a central coordination mechanism in efforts opposed to mandatory limits on carbon emissions.”

    • Finance

      • A Trump Tax Break To Help The Poor Went To a Rich GOP Donor’s Superyacht Marina

        The Rybovich superyacht marina lies on the West Palm Beach, Florida, waterfront, a short drive north from Mar-a-Lago. Superyachts, floating mansions that can stretch more than 300 feet and cost over $100 million, are serviced at the marina, and their owners enjoy Rybovich’s luxury resort amenities. Its Instagram account offers a glimpse into the rarefied world of the global 0.1% — as one post puts it, “What’s better than owning a yacht, owning a yacht with a helicopter of course!”

        Rybovich owner Wayne Huizenga Jr., son of the Waste Management and Blockbuster video billionaire Wayne Huizenga Sr., has long planned to build luxury apartment towers on the site, part of a development dubbed Marina Village.

    • Privacy/Surveillance

      • Smarter Responses Needed for Online Abuse in South Korea

        We only know her as “A,” and she is dead. The court ruled this week in the case of a young woman in South Korea who killed herself after learning she had been secretly filmed in a changing room of the hospital where she worked.

      • Introducing Private.sh: A search engine that cryptographically protects your privacy

        Private.sh is a new private search engine that uses cryptography to ensure that your search history cannot be tracked by anyone – even us. Private.sh comes from the same privacy committed makers of Private Internet Access in partnership with GigaBlast – one of the few companies to have their own index of the internet available for search.

      • Privacy Implications of Transparent Pixels

        Well, it does what it says. If you leave this option checked when you export your image, any pixels you erased will be saved in the exported image. They will not be truly erased, just made fully transparent. In other words, the data that describes the color of each pixel will be preserved, they will just be made invisible. This option has privacy implications. With it enabled, what you erase from an image may still be present in transparent pixels.

      • Mudi is a Tor & VPN Enabled Portable 4G LTE WiFi Router (Crowdfunding)

        GL.inet has made routers for a long time, and its latest product is called Mudi which they promote as a “4G LTE Privacy Router for Road Warriors”.

    • Monopolies

      • Copyrights

        • Canadian Court Rejects Reverse Class Action Against BitTorrent Pirates

          The Canadian Federal Court has dismissed a motion from Voltage Pictures to go after alleged BitTorrent pirates through a reverse class action lawsuit. The case in question started in 2016, in an attempt to sue alleged pirates at reduced cost. However, the court rejected this approach, as it’s not suitable for file-sharing cases.

        • Kodi Addon & Build Repositories Shut Down Citing Legal Pressure (Updated)

          Two groups involved in the distribution of third-party Kodi addons and ‘builds’ have shut down citing legal pressure. KodiUKTV and OneNation both ran so-called repositories where software could be downloaded but that activity will not continue into the future. TorrentFreak has been able to confirm that FACT was behind the action.

Understanding Thierry Breton: Moral Responsibility for “a Capitalism That Kills”?

Posted in Europe at 3:15 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Overview

Understanding Thierry Breton

  • Part 1: In the Beginning...
  • Part 2: “Mister Cash” Arrives at France Télécom
  • Part 3: Toxic Management Goes on Trial in France
  • You are here ☞ Part 4: Moral Responsibility for “a Capitalism That Kills”?
  • Part 5: Chirac’s Entrepreneurial “Joker”
  • Part 6: The “Cost-Killer” Tries to Tame the National Debt
  • Part 7: “Rhodiagate” and the Vivendi Universal Affair
  • Part 8: Insider-Trading Scandal at EADS
  • Part 9: Noël Forgeard and His “Golden Parachute”
  • Part 10: What Thierry Did Next…
  • Part 11: Atos Healthcare – “The Ugly Face of Business”
  • Part 12: Thierry and the $100 Billion Man
  • Part 13: Socialising With the Elite
  • Part 14: More Influential Friends in High Places

Further parts pending review and research


Breton at France Télécom
Moral responsibility for “a capitalism that kills”?

Summary: “…France Télécom which had previously been defined by an ethos of public service, by egalitarian working conditions and by a sense of universal mission, had now been transformed into a “cash machine” whose sole purpose was to generate shareholder value on international financial markets.”

French telecommunications had a long and illustrious history as a state enterprise. Since 1889 the state telecommunications company was administered directly by a government ministry in Paris which had its budget fixed by the French National Assembly.

Employees of France Télécom enjoyed job security and guaranteed income as state employees, or “fonctionnaires”, but were part of a hierarchical, paternalistic, and tightly regulated structure that offered restricted opportunities for career advancement.

At first, the privatisation of France Télécom was hailed by free market enthusiasts as a showpiece of economic liberalization which had surpassed all other French companies in the scale and speed of its transformation from a state-owned enterprise to a global economic player.

French politicians like to cite France Télécom as a flagship for privatization which demonstrated the methods that could be used to privatize other companies stifled by the yoke of state ownership.

“…France Télécom which had previously been defined by an ethos of public service, by egalitarian working conditions and by a sense of universal mission, had now been transformed into a “cash machine” whose sole purpose was to generate shareholder value on international financial markets.”However, in the eyes of some critics, France Télécom which had previously been defined by an ethos of public service, by egalitarian working conditions and by a sense of universal mission, had now been transformed into a “cash machine” whose sole purpose was to generate shareholder value on international financial markets.

In her article entitled “A Capitalism That Kills: Workplace Suicides at France Télécom” (2014), Sarah Waters, Professor of French Studies at the University of Leeds, takes the view that France Télécom’s situation represents a microcosm of the broad economic changes that transformed the French economy since the early 1980s.

These economic transformations which involved processes of privatization, economic liberalization, and deregulation were characterised by a shift from an economic model rooted in industrial production to a model of finance capitalism driven by exogenous financial indicators.

This is a new economic “paradigm” in which profits are derived from financial exchanges rather than material production. The worker is no longer an essential factor of production but is reduced to a mere “cost factor” and thus becomes an impediment to profitability.

“This is a new economic “paradigm” in which profits are derived from financial exchanges rather than material production.”Under this model France Télécom was increasingly driven by financial imperatives that determined how the company was to be run at every level, from the shop floor to senior management.

With the increased privatisation of its shares, the company was obliged to comply with performance indicators put in place by financial analysts in order to measure the company’s share price on international markets.

France Télécom managers increasingly substituted a coherent internally-defined economic and technological strategy with short-term financial indicators to measure workplace performance.

At the same time, France Télécom’s increasing indebtedness as a result of its vast acquisitions meant that making short-term financial returns became the single and all-pervasive goal of management, to the detriment of every other human consideration.

Didier Lombard cartoon
Didier Lombard protests at the injustice of being branded “the CEO with 60 suicides over 3 years” which overlooks his achievements as “the CEO of the 4 billion annual dividend!”

The new course was set by the ruthless “cost-killer” Thierry Breton when he became CEO in 2002. He defined his primary task as the restoration of the company’s financial health (“santé financière”) through the reimbursement of € 15 billion euros in 2003 and renegotiation of company debt to 50 billion euro over three years.

“France Télécom managers increasingly substituted a coherent internally-defined economic and technological strategy with short-term financial indicators to measure workplace performance.”A company once governed by a vision of the “common good” became increasingly subjugated to a single overarching goal: “la finance”.

The “suicide wave” which occurred under the stewardship of his successor, Didier Lombard, took place after Breton had departed to take up his new position as Minister for the Economy in 2005.

However, some commentators take the view that by laying the foundations for the toxic management culture which ran riot under Lombard and by acting as one of the main cheerleaders for the new economic paradigm, the swashbuckling “ultra-liberal musketeer” Breton shares a moral culpability for the tragedy known as “l’affaire France Télécom “.

Yannick Jadot
According to French MEP Yannick Jadot, cost-killer Thierry Breton bears “moral responsibility” for the France Télécom “suicide disaster”.

This view was recently expressed by the French MEP Yannick Jadot who commented on Breton’s nomination as the French candidate for EU Commissioner in the following terms:

“The “suicide wave” which occurred under the stewardship of his successor, Didier Lombard, took place after Breton had departed to take up his new position as Minister for the Economy in 2005.”“The questions raised by Mr Breton’s career are indeed numerous. He also has a moral responsibility regarding the ‘suicide disaster’, which affected employees at France Télécom.”

In the next part we will look at the events which led to Breton entering the world of politics as Minister for the Economy under President Jacques Chirac in February 2005.

FOSSPatents Conference is Against FOSS, Promoting the FOSS-Hostile Construct Known as RAND or FRAND

Posted in Free/Libre Software, Microsoft, RAND at 6:23 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

FOSSPatents Conference. Did you really think it's about FOSS?

Summary: Do not be misled by the term Free/Open Source software (FOSS) in the name FOSSPatents and whatever relates to it (e.g. FOSSPatents Conference); it’s not about FOSS but against FOSS, or pro-FRAND

THE previous post ended with a tweet. As Benjamin Henrion put it the other day: “UPC rules of procedure also mention proportionality. Like bifurcation, rules of procedure should be made by legislators under art6 ECHR”

Henrion posted this while attending an event organised by another software professional, a longtime opponent of software patents and the UPC (those two things are closely related). I’ve long criticised this event (even before it took place), seeing what front groups were attending and speaking alongside Bristows. The event promotes the false concepts of “FRAND” and “FOSS patents” (no such thing). It welcomes litigation fanatics. “No idea why he chose to do this,” I said, “but I can guess…”

He has repeatedly replied to me; the organiser and I have agreed and disagreed on a lot of things over the years. Here’s Henrion stating: “Yesterday’s Fosspatents conference was pretty much “trolls trolls trolls” with many more companies being attacked. Software patent warming is happening…”

That’s an old term.

“FLOSS still absent from the conference of today,” he said, “who is “all” if the developer doing the hard work of writing code is not even mentioned…”

“Yes,” I responded, as “the program itself showed that Fosspatents was all about patents and not at all about FOSS (let alone anything tech)…”

“FRAND” is 4 (or 5) lies in a row, compacted into an acronym that sounds like “FRIEND”. As one person put it: “Of course. Commons law. …but FRAND used to mean Free Rand = RAND-0. Then they said FRAND = Fair RAND. No one could explain the difference between FRAND and RAND. It is not fair and unreasonable discriminates open source implementations. What a waste…”

RAND or FRAND or fancy ‘lego puzzle’ with these lies as letters (“reasonable”, “nondiscriminatory”, “fair”…) won’t change the fact that they’re designed to put gloss on monopoly. They reinforce the concept of patent tax on everything. It is almost depressing and going back to the UPC, high-profile ‘FRAND’ cases already target British courts, looking to tax the whole public through satellite patent trolls. If they got the UPC, the outcome of such court cases would impact hundreds of millions of people, not just tens of millions. So we know who stands to gain from the UPC.

We’ve found some particular tweets (with photographs) from Henrion informative. He focused on the detrimental effect, e.g. in

  • Tweet: “Trolls don’t go after big chip manufacturers, they even go to telco operators, time lost for everybody #trolls #wifi”
  • Tweet: “Trolls wants royalties backwards in time, which would kill many companies”
  • Tweet: “STRONGER patent act trying to abolish eBay jurisprudence, pro-patent trolls”
  • Tweet: “Nokia and Ericsson using proxy trolls to enforce their patents”
  • Tweet: “Conversant Wireless, a Patent Troll based in Luxembourg” (armed by Microsoft to attack Linux as Microsoft instructed to pass patents to this troll when it was known as MOSAID)
  • Tweet/Tweet: “NokiaPlanP is happening, they turned into a patent troll. I should have kept the http://nokiaplanp.com domain” (lots of writings about this topic regardless)
  • Tweet: “Germany as a magnet for patent trolls”
  • Tweet: “Taskin (AirTies): there was originally no patents on WiFi, but it changed with patent trolls”
  • Tweet: “Taskin: P&L (patents & litigation) is pure waste of time and energy”
  • Tweet: “At the end consumer pays #patents”

Of particular interest to our longtime readers is this couple/pair of tweets [1, 2]: “Antitrust law has abolished competition by installing barriers such as patents, for example in the 2007 Microsoft case http://blog.ffii.org/microsoft-will-trump-eu-competition-ruling-with-patents/”

To this date, Microsoft continues to leverage FRAND to impose software patents everywhere and blackmail everyone. Some other tweets speak of the origins of this term, “RAND”, which we’ve used here since 2007 if not 2006. It was always (all along) a deliberate attack on FOSS/FLOSS. Microsoft knew all along that it wasn’t compatible; hence it used front groups such as BSA to lobby for it.

Jake Hamby, who worked for Danger (then Microsoft) and later Google (Android), told me regarding the shock of awful patent quality: “Well, I wouldn’t, considering the sketchy Microsoft patents I tried to help Google’s lawyers defend against with Android. They milked those mobile OS patents for an entire decade. I’d love to know which companies are still paying them and how much per device.”

Microsoft is still suing over it, e.g. Foxconn earlier this years. The underlying patents may all be bogus, more so after Alice — a subject that the EFF has just brought up again [1]. We hope that Mr. “FOSSPatents” isn’t taking Microsoft money again (as he did before) to promote FRAND.

Related/contextual items from the news:

  1. Alice Doesn’t Block Good Patents, It Protects the Public By Requiring Real Invention

    Leaders of the Senate IP Subcommittee have been working, for nearly a year now, on producing some kind of legislation to weaken Section 101 of the Patent Act. Their proposal would throw out all the case law based on Section 101, including the Alice decision, which has been especially critical for keeping bogus software patents out of the system.

    They held three days of hearings on the Senate floor in June, but still haven’t presented a bill detailing the changes they want to make.  As we’ve explained before, weakening Section 101’s protections would be a disaster for innovation, and encourage patent trolls to squeeze money from small businesses.

Europe is Under Attack

Posted in Deception, Europe, Patents at 6:06 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Protectionism and patronising policies ensure the rapid passage of wealth from Europe’s working people to few aristocrats and their bureaucratic enablers (whose handlers use policy as a weapon, e.g. ISDS)

European tower as 'candid'

Summary: European politicians or political candidates pretend to be ‘candid’; but they’re agents of Power, or put another way, they’re there to make the rich and powerful class even richer and more powerful by passing new, ruinous laws in the name of ‘the people’ or ‘for SMEs’

THE European Patent Office’s (EPO) scandals interest us because they are connected to other scandals. If they weren’t, how would we be able to publish over 3,000 articles on the matter? António Campinos and Benoît Battistelli are, in our view, a bit like players or actors in a broader game. They’re given instructions regarding policies and together with the Council they implement corrosive policies, which include more than just software patents (which actual software professionals in Europe reject). ILO, WIPO, and various political establishments are willing to play along, turn a blind eye, and occasionally signal to the public — for a mere impression — that they’re getting abuses under control. Nobody is being held accountable for anything while hard-working people have their lives destroyed; some are driven to suicide. If that’s a rather depressing panorama, then tough luck; reality can be hard to digest sometimes. This is not the fault of the EU by the way; the US has similar and almost identical issues. This is part of a global trend.

“This is not the fault of the EU by the way; the US has similar and almost identical issues. This is part of a global trend.”This problem is not unique to the EPO either. We’ve seen that before, e.g. in France Télécom. We’ll have published another part about France Télécom by tomorrow morning. Part 3 of the series is now published and Parts 4-7 are ready to go, probably one per day. We might increase pace of publication, based on ongoing events. We have the capacity to speed up a bit. But we do not want to overwhelm the readers (information overload) and some of the research is still ongoing. At the same time attention is paid to current events, such as yesterday’s hearing. We are constantly watching, and shall report on, the Breton hearings etc. People send us pointers, so there are many eyes and brains included. Many sources of use are limited to the French language (which I personally cannot read), but we are helped by people to whom French is a mother’s tongue. We work really hard on the Breton series. It takes a lot of energy out of us. But anything we publish, especially in the English language, will hopefully help spread information, together with much-needed citations. A lot of that stuff isn’t secret, it’s just not properly disseminated, especially not in English.

Without further ado, let’s discuss what happens in Europe’s patent system, which over time gets tilted more and more to favour rich people rather than inventors. Many of these rich people aren’t even European and the “small players” tend to be patent trolls, not scientists. We believe that to be an understood consensus among EPO examiners as well, judging by publications put forth by staff representatives. The concern they have is a very legitimate one. An examiner’s pride is derived from advancing science, not protecting some foreign monopoly that spies on billions of people.

“An examiner’s pride is derived from advancing science, not protecting some foreign monopoly that spies on billions of people.”Sadly, we’re nowadays witnessing a certain betrayal from our politicians, both national and pan-national. It is becoming increasingly apparent who they really work for or whose agenda they advance (or who they represent). All that we, the public, can do about it is expose them using words. The pen is mightier than the sword and verbal response is a lot more effective than violence or — God forbid! — assassinations. As long as we stick to facts and can support the allegations, we are exposing bad actors. Those aren’t character assassinations if they’re based on truth.

Earlier this week Benjamin Henrion highlighted this report in our IRC channels. The title is “Fractus at the European Parliament promoting respect for IP” [sic]

What does the European Parliament hope to accomplish by this? Reaffirm accusations it serves only the rich and the powerful while misusing terms like “SMEs”?

We’ll come back to it in a moment.

Henrion brought up — both here and in Twitter — these responses from Breton on this matter [PDF]. “Breton’s answers are here,” he said, adding that “the one on patents still does not address on how SMEs are supposed to defend themselves [...] Breton for patent inflation, SMEs still cannot defend themselves: “So far, only nine percent of our SMEs use IP and as a result, their inventions risk not being commercialised in Europe.””

“The so-called ‘SMEs’ they chose (cherry-picked) have come under scrutiny online, but on they go with their propaganda.”This is consistent with some EPO propaganda. EPO managers do not care about SMEs; they actively discriminate against them and then emit face-saving tweets like this new one: “Continuous innovation supported by patents allows technology-based SMEs to compete with large companies. That’s one of the conclusions of our SME case studies.”

Whose cases? The so-called ‘SMEs’ they chose (cherry-picked) have come under scrutiny online, but on they go with their propaganda. Another new tweet: “This study shows how European SMEs with diverse profiles leverage European patents to sustain growth in Europe & cites concrete case studies…”

They keep posting that stock photography with links to their so-called ‘study’, which is basically a Big Lie. They then retweeted another nonsensical claim, citing the EPO itself: “European start-ups and other SMEs rely heavily on patents to protect their innovations and grow their business, and account for one out of every five European patents filed. Key findings: https://bit.ly/2NXUNYB .”

“To understand how they crafted this propaganda look at what ‘businesses’ they chose to ‘assess’.”This is misleading nonsense. It’s false. This ‘study’ is a lie designed and funded to distract from the simple reality that EPO harms SMEs. The EPO soon emitted more SME ‘spam’, this time with #IPforSMEs (they do this every day or every other day; it has gone on for about 2 years so far).

To understand how they crafted this propaganda look at what ‘businesses’ they chose to ‘assess’.

This brings us back to the European Parliament, which together with the EPO and EUIPO habitually amplifies the Big Lie. “No respect for patent troll,” Henrion responded to the above (“respect for IP”).

Does the European Parliament think respecting patent trolls would make the EU more popular? This is patently dumb. And look at the logos in this page: IP Europe (litigation fanatics), US CoC, GIPC, and the EU. Why does the EU associate itself with US imperialists and front groups of American robber barons? Massive shot in its own foot! Patent despots like these being displayed alongside the EU’s logo would only reaffirm allegations that the EU works for the US. To be more specific, in this particular case the EU advances the agenda of few but very large American corporations.

“One might joke that those law firms are like “agents of occupation” (or corporate colonialism).”In some people’s eyes, this is something to be championed and treated as desirable. After all, there are some law firms in Europe whose biggest clients are those American corporations. Nothing for them to lose, only to gain, right? One might joke that those law firms are like “agents of occupation” (or corporate colonialism).

This concept of “corporate colonialism” isn’t a novel one; there are all sorts of terms one can ascribe to the concept (sometimes with words like “imperialism” or “domination”). That’s one of the reasons Thierry Breton is a dangerous man; look at his career history to better understand his view on “the market”; he’s dangerously reckless and it seems clear that Team UPC ‘champions’ him. They want this kind of person in charge, based on their blog posts and articles. Supremacy of corporations over human rights is what UPC is all about. They can even raid people based on mere accusations. Due process barely exists.

Breton has meanwhile become somewhat ‘camera-shy’, knowing the piles of skulls in his basement or the skeletons in his closet. He’s even ashamed of what he himself (Breton) said. The personal site of Thierry Breton (https://thierry-breton.com/) is down; intentional? Maybe because of the hearing? Afraid that people might ‘cherry-pick’ his own words to highlight hypocrisy, conflicts and so on?

“Supremacy of corporations over human rights is what UPC is all about.”“Let’s build European Internet champions,” Thierry Breton’s blog said (the Internet Archive does not forget). Here’s what he wrote: “When I took over the reins of Atos seven years ago the company had 45,000 engineers and was a medium sized participant in our sector. I wanted to build a leader in information technology to accompany European businesses along their digital revolution. In my eyes this was a major challenge for Europe. We acquired 30,000 engineers and employees from Siemens, creating the basis for a solid Franco-German company which is the second most important behind Airbus. Today Atos has two headquarters, one in Paris and the other in Munich. In six years the Atos management team has been able to double sales revenue and workforce to currently include 100,000 engineers, and also multiply our market capitalisation by six whilst quadrupling operational margin. All this has been financed by our own resources without creating any debt. I daresay that during this period none of the other important international actors in our sector have achieved the same level of performance. Therefore this is proof that, in the area of information technology, we are capable of outperforming our American or Asian competitors even as Europeans.”

The Atos scandals are astounding and we shall cover them next week and the week after that (unless we speed up the publication).

“The Atos scandals are astounding and we shall cover them next week and the week after that (unless we speed up the publication).”Hiding something, Mr. Breton? It’s not a case of too much Web traffic ahead of hearing. So why take the site offline?

Henrion has assessed some of the things he wrote in French, dubbing himself “Champion” (signs of unbridled megalomania). Here are the sorts of things he doesn’t want the ‘pesky’ European public to see:

  • 15 mai 2018: Thierry Breton : « Cette opération va donner naissance à un champion européen des paiements »
  • 26 avril 2018: Le PDG d’Atos et le directeur général de Worldline, Gilles Grapinet, expliquent pourquoi l’acquisition de SIX Payment…
  • Atos noue une alliance avec Google Cloud
  • Le français va créer trois nouveaux centres d’innovation, dont un en France. IN­FOR­MA­TIQUE C’est un joli coup…
  • Thierry Breton : « Atos va fournir à ses clients un accès sécurisé à l’intelligence artificielle de Google »

Because nothing matters to Europe as much as Google?

Henrion said he “would like to restore all his website” because the public needs to see what he himself bragged about (and now wishes to hide).

Here’s one article entitled “A company’s raison d’être, for what purpose?”

“They raid/plunder what’s public (privatisation), rendering services worse and more expensive.”‘Champion’ Thierry Breton’s blog explains, citing Milton Friedman. Do we want these dangerous (repeatedly proven to fail) ideologies of Milton Friedman to rule over Europe? More importantly, is this the man we want in charge of the European market?

Who would be best served by that? Well, as always, at least with these methods, only the rich will get richer. They raid/plunder what’s public (privatisation), rendering services worse and more expensive.

We wish Henrion much luck and a lot of support if he wishes to go ahead and restore the site/blog of Breton. As a wannabe public figure (again) his thoughts are of public interest and belong in the public domain.

Henrion, 3 years my senior, has long observed these affairs. He and I are both engineers. We’re not politicians; we don’t try to cling onto power as instead we wish to expose power. We want justice.

“We’re not politicians; we don’t try to cling onto power as instead we wish to expose power. We want justice.”UPC, which the EPO and Breton ‘champion’, is all about injustice, just like the EPO in recent years (both inwards and outwards, i.e. both towards staff and towards stakeholders). The reason the UPC was stopped isn’t Brexit but a solicitor who ‘defected’ and fought the UPC, eventually with a detailed, formal constitutional complaint. That complaint was aided by further court challenges (on constitutional grounds) and studies commissioned by small European economies. So there’s a lot of resistance to the UPC; the public may not understand the issues at stake (lawyers made it intentionally harder and lied ‘on behalf’ of SMEs), but people are catching up and they don’t like what they see. Team UPC is hugely demoralised and barely active anymore. The other day Edward Nodder (Bristows) revealed that his colleague Alan Johnson had left Bristows. Even worse — he apparently retired! Will he still lie for Team UPC? That depends on the kind of retirement. To quote Nodder: “Before retiring from Bristows on 31 October 2019, partner Alan Johnson authored this article “A seat at the table” , in which he looks at the scenarios for the Unified Patent Court (UPC) and the UK’s departure from the EU. The article was first published in Intellectual Property Magazine, November 2019. (As reported here, the European Parliament last week published a research paper on how Brexit may affect UPC.)”

“In our next post we’ll turn our attention to the effect on and relevance to Free/Open Source software (FOSS).”That so-called ‘research’ paper has been condemned online and it harms the image of the European Parliament as it contains lies, it was outsourced, and it had been commissioned more or less with the goal of aiding Team UPC, not informing the European public (see IP Kat getting slammed for its lies about the UPC because of a blog post from Big Pharma solicitors (it’s AstraZeneca in this case); they use the blog for monopoly lobbying). If the European Parliament wishes to prevents more ‘brexits’ or EU exits, then this patronising attitude (lobbying disguised as information or ‘research’) will need to end. As Henrion put it the other day: “UPC rules of procedure also mention proportionality. Like bifurcation, rules of procedure should be made by legislators under art6 ECHR”

In our next post we’ll turn our attention to the effect on and relevance to Free/Open Source software (FOSS).

Links 15/11/2019: New Opera and Brave, GNU/Linux Flatpa(c)ked

Posted in News Roundup at 5:48 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Server

      • IBM

        • Red Hat Adds AI Capabilities to Process Automation Suite
        • Department of Defense Enlists Red Hat to Help Improve Squadron Operations and Flight Training

          Red Hat, Inc., the world’s leading provider of open source solutions, today announced that the Department of Defense (DoD) worked with Red Hat to help improve aircraft and pilot scheduling for United States Marine Corps (USMC), United States Navy (USN) and United States Air Force (USAF) aircrews. Using modern development practices and processes from Red Hat Open Innovation Labs that prioritized end user needs, the project team identified unaddressed roadblocks and gained new skills to build the right solution, a digital “Puckboard” application, for their unique scheduling challenge.

          [...]

          The problem facing squadrons was seemingly straightforward: how to improve and digitize the management of flight training operations. The existing process was entirely manual, each representing pertinent information like a pilot’s name, associated with their training syllabus, location and time of flights. Simple at a glance, the number of cognitive variables contained within this undertaking made it stressful for the operator and difficult to scale across squadrons and bases.

          For more than a decade, various project teams within the DoD had tried to improve the system via custom built applications, aircraft scheduling software and hybrid solutions. None of these deployments withstood the test of time or could be replicated if the operator took a new role elsewhere. The Defense Innovation Unit (DIU), an organization tasked with accelerating commercial technologies into the military, took on this challenge.

        • It’s RedHat, And Everyone Else

          As time passes, it appears that corporations are primarily considering one distribution when considering installing Linux, and that distro is clearly RedHat. That probably does not come as any major surprise, but it appears RedHat’s dominance continues to get stronger. What use to be a landscape littered with a multitude of choices has nearly been rendered down to one. Wow! That didn’t take long. The open source software dynamic seemed to be formed on the premise that users were never again going to be pigeon-holed into using one piece of software. Or, perhaps better stated, that was a byproduct of making the source code readily available. And, that is still true to this day. However, as a corporate citizen in today’s business climate, one finds themselves with limited possibilities.

          It was a mere 20 years ago when the buzz of Linux was starting to hit its stride. Everywhere you looked, there was a different flavor of Linux. There were nearly too many to count. And, these were not just hobbyist distros. Instead, they were corporations rising like corn stalks all over the place. Sure, there were more dominant players, but one had the ability to analyze at least 10 different fully corporate supported distributions when making a decision. With that amount of possibilities, the environment was ripe for consolidation or elimination. And, we have all watched that take place. But, did we ever think we were going to find ourselves in the current predicament?

          The data that has been collected over the past five years paints a concerning picture. Even a mere five years ago, it seemed likely that at a minimum RedHat would always have Suse as a legitimate competitor. After all, those were the two distros that seemed to win the consolidation and elimination war. At least in the corporate space. As was widely reported during that time, RedHat had somewhere in the neighborhood of 70% marketshare. It was always the gorilla in the room. But, Suse was always looked upon as an eager and willing participant, no matter its stature, and tended to garner most of the remaining marketshare. That is the way it appeared for a length of time prior to this decline over the past few years.

        • Scale testing the Red Hat OpenStack Edge with OpenShift

          Red Hat Openstack offers an Edge computing architecture called Distributed Compute Nodes (DCN), which allows for many hundreds or thousands of Edge sites by deploying hundreds or thousands of compute nodes remotely, all interacting with a central control plane over a routed (L3) network. Distributed compute nodes allow compute node sites to be deployed closer to where they are used, and are generally deployed in greater numbers than would occur in a central datacenter.

          With all the advantages that this architecture brings, there are also several scale challenges due to the large number of compute nodes that are managed by the OpenStack controllers. A previous post details deploying, running and testing a large scale environment using Red Hat OpenStack Director on real hardware, but this post is about how we can simulate far greater scale and load on the OpenStack control plane for testing using containers running on OpenShift without needing nearly as much hardware.

          In order to prove the effectiveness of Red Hat’s DCN architecture, we’d like to be able to get quantitative benchmarks on Red Hat Openstack’s performance when many hundreds or thousands of compute nodes are deployed.

    • Audiocasts/Shows

      • Ubuntu Podcast from the UK LoCo: S12E32 – Dungeon Keeper

        This week we’ve become addicted to Sedna SSD to PCIe controller cards. We discuss why distro hoppers are the worst, bring you some GUI love and round up our listener feedback.

        It’s Season 12 Episode 32 of the Ubuntu Podcast! Alan Pope, Mark Johnson and Martin Wimpress are connected and speaking to your brain.

      • I.T. Phone Home | TechSNAP 416

        Ubiquiti’s troublesome new telemetry, Jim’s take on the modern Microsoft, and why Project Silica just might be the future of long term storage.

      • 2019-11-14 | Linux Headlines

        Mirantis acquires Docker, WordPress brings a big new feature to Jetpack, GitHub has a plan for archiving the world’s open source code, and a new developer hub is available for Go.

      • Talk Python to Me: #238 Collaborative data science with Gigantum

        Collaborative data science has a few challenges. First of all, those who you are collaborating with might not be savvy enough in the computer science techniques (for example, git and source control or docker and Linux). Second, seeing the work and changes others have made is a challenge too.

    • Kernel Space

      • Security things in Linux v5.3

        In the continuing work to remove “uninitialized” variables from the kernel, Alexander Potapenko added new “init_on_alloc” and “init_on_free” boot parameters (with associated Kconfig defaults) to perform zeroing of heap memory either at allocation time (i.e. all kmalloc()s effectively become kzalloc()s), at free time (i.e. all kfree()s effectively become kzfree()s), or both. The performance impact of the former under most workloads appears to be under 1%, if it’s measurable at all. The “init_on_free” option, however, is more costly but adds the benefit of reducing the lifetime of heap contents after they have been freed (which might be useful for some use-after-free attacks or side-channel attacks). Everyone should enable CONFIG_INIT_ON_ALLOC_DEFAULT_ON=1 (or boot with “init_on_alloc=1“), and the more paranoid system builders should add CONFIG_INIT_ON_FREE_DEFAULT_ON=1 (or “init_on_free=1” at boot). As workloads are found that cause performance concerns, tweaks to the initialization coverage can be added.

    • Benchmarks

      • Zombieload V2 TAA Performance Impact Benchmarks On Cascade Lake

        While this week we have posted a number of benchmarks on the JCC Erratum and its CPU microcode workaround that introduces new possible performance hits, also being announced this week as part of Intel’s security disclosures was “Zombieload Variant Two” as the TSX Async Abort vulnerability that received same-day Linux kernel mitigations. I’ve been benchmarking the TAA mitigations to the Linux kernel since the moment they hit the public Git tree and here are those initial benchmark results on an Intel Cascade Lake server.

    • Applications

      • Top GIF Recorders For Linux

        Whether you pronounce it as ‘gif’ or ‘jif’, it’s still a no-brainer that the Graphics Interchange Format is the most widely used image format there is today, gaining in popularity exponentially. This surging bitmap image format is used for a number of purposes, most of which include producing eye-catching animations to improve digital marketing. However, due to its convenience of storing multiple images in the same file while retaining file compression, it is also now considered a popular alternative to screen recording.

        While there’s a lot of support for GIFs on Windows and other operating systems like Android, they can also readily be produced on Linux with a lot of flexibility and in the best quality. Let’s look at some of the most popular GIF recorder tools used to produce GIFs on Linux.

      • Proprietary

        • Opera Browser 65 Released with Redesigned Address Bar

          Opera web browser 65 was released a day ago with redesigned address bar, improved tracker blocker, and new bookmarks panel.

        • Opera 65 Launches with Much-Improved Tracker Blocker, Redesigned Address Bar

          Opera Software announced today the general availability of the Opera 65 web browser for desktop platforms, including GNU/Linux, macOS, and Windows, a release that brings a bunch of enhancements and new features.
          Based on Chromium 78, the Opera 65 web browser is here and it’s better than ever, brining a much-improved tracker blocker that finally lets you see which trackers are tracking your digital footprint while you’re surfing the Internet.

          Based on the EasyPrivacy Tracking Protection list, Opera’s tracker blocker feature will now show you all the trackers following you and let you take action against them if you believe some aren’t good for you.

          By default, the tracker blocker will automatically block known tracker scripts to speed up the loading of pages and keep your online activity private. In Opera 65, the built-in tracker blocker can be toggled on and off per site too.

    • Instructionals/Technical

    • Games

      • Stardew Valley is getting a nifty whole-farm screenshot feature in an upcoming update

        The developer of the sweet game Stardew Valley, ConcernedApe, has announced that a feature-filled update is coming.

        Coming with the update is a big variety of new things. Their main aim with it, they said is to “polish” the game more. So they’re going through fixing various issues that have been hanging around and add a lot of quality of life features. They don’t go into too much detail though as they said they don’t want to spoil it all, but it sounds like a massive update. One thing they did say is that Wild Bait, as an example, used to be “essentially worthless” but now gives you a chance to catch double fish. Also, every spouse option now has a unique 14-heart event after marriage.

      • The latest Overland update should address some inventory management nuisances

        While I appreciated Overland as difficult as it is, certain parts of it did need improvements and this new update aims to address some of the pain points.

        First up, a refresher course: what is Overland? It’s a tough turn-based survival game, where you take care of a group of travellers on a post-apocalyptic road-trip across the United States.

      • inXile’s big party-based RPG ‘Wasteland 3′ launching May 19 next year, now up for pre-order

        Wasteland 3, the big new squad-based role-playing game from inXile entertainment has a new trailer plus a release date. Today, they confirmed May 19 next year for Linux, macOS and Windows.

        Moving away from the scorching deserts of post-apocalypse Arizona to the frosty mountains of Colorado, you’ve been promised aid to keep your own home alive if you help the self-proclaimed Patriarch of Colorado rescue it from the ambitions of their bloodthirsty children. inXile are promising it will be full of challenging tactical combat, exploration, a deep story full of twists and ethical decision making.

    • Distributions

      • Screenshots/Screencasts

      • Arch Family

        • 6 Best Arch Linux Based User Friendly Distributions of 2019

          If you’re an avid Linux user you probably know by now that it is no Operating System for the weak at heart (well sometimes). The chances of you getting crushed when trying to install a Linux-based Operating System or learning the usual curves in your first week are pretty high.

          On the other hand, if you’re starting your trip into the world of Linux you will probably be using one of the mainstream distros out there – Ubuntu and Linux Mint, for example. Yes, these are excellent distro choices as is suggested by the Google results of the typical keyword search, but if you are explorative enough, you would have already started craving for something that is radically different from what the mainstream has to offer and this is when Arch Linux comes to the rescue.

          Arch Linux is a lightweight rolling release Linux distribution for x86-64 architecture-based computers. It is open-source and contains both libre and proprietary software because of its flexibility-based philosophy. As much loved as Arch Linux is, word on the blog streets is that it has a steep learning curve and new users end up searching for derivatives that are less developer-centric or switch to trying out a different Linux distro line completely.

      • Debian Family

        • Chrome OS 80 will start using Debian 10 Buster on new Linux installations

          At Google I/O last year, Google announced Linux app support for Chrome OS. This is made possible thanks to installing a GNU/Linux distribution, specifically Debian 9 “Stretch”, in a Linux container. Earlier this year, the Debian project announced Debian 10 “Buster,” but Google wasn’t ready to upgrade the default Linux container on Chromebooks just yet. Now, after months of testing and bug fixing, Google is ready to enable Debian 10 “Buster” as the default Linux container in Chrome OS.

          According to a recently merged commit we spotted in the Chromium Gerrit, new Crostini (the code-name for Linux apps on Chrome OS) installations will get Debian 10 by default. The commit doesn’t mention how Chromebooks with existing Debian 9 “Stretch” installations will be migrated to the newer version, but users can easily upgrade the container themselves by running a few commands. Upgrading to the newer version of Debian enables new features and should also bring greater application support. For the truly enterprising, it’s even possible to replace the Debian container with Arch Linux.

        • Debian Project Releases Linux Security Updates to Patch Latest Intel CPU Flaws

          As reported earlier this week, four new security vulnerabilities have been discovered in the Linux kernel and with an impact on Intel CPUs, namely CVE-2019-11135, CVE-2018-12207, CVE-2019-0154 and CVE-2019-0155, which may lead to privilege escalation, information leak, as well as denial of service.

          Following on the footsteps of Canonical and Red Hat, Debian Project has also released new Linux kernel security patches, along with new intel-microcode updates to mitigate all these new vulnerabilities in the Debian GNU/Linux 9 “Stretch” and Debian GNU/Linux 10 “Buster” operating systems.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • UBports offers free Ubuntu Touch to developers willing to help

          Earlier today, UBports tweeted that Canonical had gifted them several Ubuntu Touch devices to use for further development. In the tweet, UBports offered to send the gifted devices to users willing to help develop Ubuntu Touch.

          Ubuntu Touch (also known as Ubuntu Phone) is the mobile version of Canonical’s popular Ubuntu Linux distro designed primarily for touchscreen devices such as smartphones and tablet computers.

        • Canonical enhances Kubernetes reliability for edge, IoT and multi-cloud

          Canonical today announced high-availability clustering in MicroK8s, the workstation and appliance Kubernetes, and enterprise SQL database integration for its multi-cloud Charmed Kubernetes.

          “The rapid rise of enterprise and edge Kubernetes creates a challenge for corporate IT, with thousands of edge nodes running Kubernetes, and hundreds of cloud Kubernetes clusters,” said Stephan Fabel, Director of Product at Canonical. “The next generation of Canonical’s Kubernetes offerings reduce the number of moving parts, and embrace standard corporate SQL databases for Kubernetes data stores, to address the operational consequences of Kubernetes cluster sprawl.”

          Canonical’s MicroK8s gained popularity as an IoT, appliance and developer workstation Kubernetes, with a very small footprint suitable for edge devices and laptops. MicroK8s 1.16 added clustering, enabling rapid deployment of highly standardised small K8s clusters. The next step is to ensure high availability of these clusters, using Canonical’s Dqlite distributed SQL engine. Dqlite removes process overhead by embedding the database inside Kubernetes itself, and reduces the memory footprint of the cluster which is important for IoT.

        • Canonical Announces High-Availability Clustering In MicroK8s
        • Canonical Enhances the Reliability of Its Kubernetes for IoT, Multi-Cloud & Edge

          MicroK8s is an upstream Kubernetes deployment certified by the Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF) and developed entirely by Canonical to run offline on your workstation or edge device for all your development, prototyping, and testing needs. MicroK8s is delivered as a snap, which makes it possible to run all Kubernetes services natively and comes bundled with all the libraries and binaries required.

          The latest MicroK8s 1.16 release adds high-availability clustering by integrating enterprise SQL database through Canonical’s in-house built Dqlite distributed SQL engine to enable rapid deployment of highly standardized small K8s clusters. Dqlite is designed to reduce memory footprint of the cluster in MicroK8s by embedding the database inside Kubernetes itself.

        • Zorin OS vs Linux Mint

          There are some specific linux distros out there that specially target the new and casual Linux users, most notably, Linux Mint and Zorin OS. In this article we will compare them.

          Zorin OS vs Linux Mint

          Both of these distros have earned a solid reputation from the community for being two of the most user-friendly distros of all. Both of them use Ubuntu as the core. Thus, both of them offer similar functionality at the core. However, the real magic is how each of them builds up on top of it. Both Linux Mint and Zorin OS comes up with different feel and vibe.

          While both of them are extremely user-friendly and robust, there are some key differences between them. That’s the beauty of Linux.

        • The future of Linux desktop application delivery is Flatpak and Snap

          Once upon a time, GNOME and KDE got along like cats and dogs. That was then. This is now. At Linux Application Summit (LAS) in Barcelona, the two, along with other desktop developers, came together to make the Linux desktop a friendlier place for all users. A big way developers will do that is by using Snap and Flatpak to deliver programs.

        • The long run of Linux desktop software shipping is Flatpak and Snap

          The moment upon a time, GNOME and KDE bought along like cats and canines. That was then. This is now. At Linux Application Summit (LAS) in Barcelona, the two, along with other desktop builders, came jointly to make the Linux desktop a friendlier area for all end users. A significant way builders will do that is by making use of Snap and Flatpak to supply plans.

        • A technical comparison between the snap and the Flatpak formats

          Since we’ve already discussed the snap layout and architecture in greater details in the previous weeks, let’s start with a quick overview of Flatpak. Much like snaps, Flatpak packages come with necessary components contained inside standalone archives, so they can be deployed and maintained with simplicity on a range of Linux distributions. Runtime and image components are bundled into a single file using the OCI format.

          In general, Flatpak applications are built against runtimes, but they can also contain additional libraries inside their own bundles. A Linux system with the Flatpak binary (primary command) installed and configured can then run Flatpak applications. At the moment, there are 21 distributions that offer Flatpak support.

          Furthermore, applications are sandboxed using Bubblewrap, which utilises kernel security and namespace features to set up unprivileged containers. Communication outside the sandbox is possible through a mechanism of portals, which allows granular access to system resources.

          Flatpak packages are available to end users primarily through Flathub, an app store and build service that is (semi)-officially associated with the Flatpak project. Submissions to Flathub are done as pull requests through GitHub, and require approval from the store admins. Similarly, publishers of proprietary software have to manually request inclusion of their applications. Flatpak applications are also sometimes available as manual download links. There is no automatic update mechanism available by default.

        • Canonical enhances Kubernetes reliability for edge, IoT and multi-cloud

          14 November 2019: Canonical today announced high-availability clustering in MicroK8s, the workstation and appliance Kubernetes, and enterprise SQL database integration for its multi-cloud Charmed Kubernetes.

          “The rapid rise of enterprise and edge Kubernetes creates a challenge for corporate IT, with thousands of edge nodes running Kubernetes, and hundreds of cloud Kubernetes clusters,” said Stephan Fabel, Director of Product at Canonical. “The next generation of Canonical’s Kubernetes offerings reduce the number of moving parts, and embrace standard corporate SQL databases for Kubernetes data stores, to address the operational consequences of Kubernetes cluster sprawl.”

          Canonical’s MicroK8s gained popularity as an IoT, appliance and developer workstation Kubernetes, with a very small footprint suitable for edge devices and laptops. MicroK8s 1.16 added clustering, enabling rapid deployment of highly standardised small K8s clusters. The next step is to ensure high availability of these clusters, using Canonical’s Dqlite distributed SQL engine. Dqlite removes process overhead by embedding the database inside Kubernetes itself, and reduces the memory footprint of the cluster which is important for IoT.

          RAFT and SQLite are well-understood best practices for distributed and embedded systems. Using Dqlite as the Kubernetes datastore simplifies the deployment of a resilient K8s cluster. Telco and retail edge applications can now achieve high reliability at very low cost on x86 or ARM commodity appliances such as clusters of Intel NUCs or Raspberry Pi boards.

        • Lessons learned from 100+ private cloud builds

          Building a private cloud based on OpenStack has typically been a complex process with uncertain build costs based on time and materials requiring specialised expertise and low-level Linux OS knowledge. To help enterprises overcome these challenges,Canonical offers Private Cloud Build to provide businesses with a fully deployed OpenStack delivered in as little as two weeks at a fixed cost.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • PyRadio: An open source alternative for internet radio

        PyRadio is a convenient, open source, command-line application for playing any radio station that has a streaming link. And in 2019, almost every radio station (certainly, every one that has a web presence) has a way to listen online. Using the free PyRadio program, you can add, edit, play and switch between your own selected list of streaming radio stations. It is a command-line tool for Linux that can run on many computers, including Macintosh and tiny computers like Raspberry Pi. To some, a command-line client for playing music might sound needlessly complicated, but it’s actually a simple alternative and one that serves as an instant text-based dashboard to easily select music to listen to.

        A little background about myself: I spend a lot of time browsing for and listening to new music on Bandcamp, on various blogs, and even Spotify. I don’t spend time casually listening to app *radio* stations, which are really algorithmically-generated continuous streams of similarly tagged music. Rather, I prefer listening to non-profit, college and locally-produced independent radio stations that are run by a community and don’t rely on advertisements to sustain themselves.

      • PHP 7.4.0RC6 is available for testing
        PHP 7.4.0RC6 has just been released and can be downloaded from:
        
            <https://downloads.php.net/~derick/>
        
        Or use the git tag: php-7.4.0RC6
        
        Windows binaries are available at: <https://windows.php.net/qa/>
        
        Please test it carefully, and report any bugs in the bug system at
        <https://bugs.php.net>.
        
        Hash values and PGP signatures can be found below or at
        <https://gist.github.com/derickr/75073b820cef83190094d34b7b04d322>.
        
        7.4.0 should be expected in 2 weeks, i.e. on November 28th, 2019.
        
        Thank you, and happy testing!
        
        Regards,
        Peter Kokot & Derick Rethans
        
      • PHP 7.4 Aims For Release In Two Weeks With FFI, Performance Improvements

        The sixth and final release candidate of PHP 7.4 is now available with it being on track for the general availability release before month’s end.

        PHP 7.4-RC6 is now available for testing with plans for the official release in just two weeks. PHP 7.4-RC6 is just comprised of fixes ranging from making stream_copy_to_stream using mmap more often to a reflection bug to TLS issues.

      • Google: As Go programming language turns 10, here are the big names using it

        To celebrate its anniversary, Google has launched a new website on its recently launched .dev domain, simply called go.dev, which highlights Go’s strengths for building cloud services, command-line interfaces, web applications, and its support of DevOps.

        Claiming over a million Go users worldwide, Google is also keen to show how many big brands are using the language extensively, including American Express, Salesforce, IBM, Target, Twitch, Netflix, Twitter, Uber, and Dropbox.

      • Google releases source code of new on-device machine learning solutions

        In a blog post, software and silicon engineers Andrew Howard and Suyog Gupta from Google Research said on Wednesday that both the source code and checkpoints for MobileNetV3, as well as the Pixel 4 Edge TPU-optimized counterpart MobileNetEdgeTPU, are now available.

      • Web Browsers

        • Brave Browser Reaches Version 1.0

          The Brave browser was pioneered by Mozilla co-founder and JavaScript inventor Brendan Eich and we originally reported on it in January 2016 when it was at version 0.7. Now as it launches Version 1.0, the Brave browser already has 8.7 million monthly active users across the globe

          Motivated by dissatisfaction with “maladvertising”, Brave promises to prioritize security by blocking third-party ads, trackers, and won’t allow video to autoplay. This makes it faster and saves users’ time and battery life.

          Announcing the official launch of Brave 1.0 the blog post states:

          The Brave open source browser fundamentally shifts how users, publishers, and advertisers interact online by giving users a private, safer, and 3-6x faster browsing experience, while funding the Web through a new attention-based platform of privacy-preserving advertisements and rewards.

          The numbers displayed at the top of this screen reveal that Brave has blocked 117,674 ads and trackers, saved 2,846 upgrades, thus saving an estimated 59 minutes in the current brower session.

        • Mozilla

          • Thermostats, Locks and Extension Add-ons – WebThings Gateway 0.10

            Happy Things Thursday! Today we are releasing WebThings Gateway 0.10. If you have a gateway using our Raspberry Pi builds then it should already have automatically updated itself.

            This new release comes with support for thermostats and smart locks, as well as an updated add-ons system including extension add-ons, which enable developers to extend the gateway user interface. We’ve also added localisation settings so that you can choose your country, language, time zone and unit preferences. From today you’ll be able to use the gateway in American English or Italian, but we’re already receiving contributions of translations in different languages!

          • The ByteCode Alliance wants to bring binary apps into your browser

            Back in 2015, a consortium including Google, Microsoft, Mozilla, and the WebKit project announced WebAssembly. This week, Mozilla, Intel, Red hat, and Fastly announced a new consortium called the Bytecode Alliance, which aims to foster WebAssembly and other “new software foundations” that will allow secure-by-default ways to run untrusted code, either inside or outside the Web browser environment.

            For many, this raises an obvious question: what is WebAssembly? WebAssembly (wasm) was and is a potentially exciting project, offering a way to run native bytecode inside the browser for potentially very large increases in performance over the Javascript engines in use both then and today.

            Javascript is frequently misunderstood as a scripting language that is interpreted at runtime. Although it is generally loaded into the browser as source code, it may be either interpreted or compiled to bytecode and executed. Compilation means higher performance execution—particularly inside tight loops—but it also means a startup penalty for the time needed to do the JIT compilation itself.

          • 2019 Add-ons Community Meetup in London

            At the end of October, the Firefox add-ons team hosted a day-long meetup with a group of privacy extension developers as part of the Mozilla Festival in London, UK. With 2019 drawing to a close, this meetup provided an excellent opportunity to hear feedback from developers involved in the Recommended Extensions program and to get input about some of our plans for 2020.

            [...]

            We recently announced that Firefox Preview, Mozilla’s next generation browser for Android built on GeckoView, will support extensions through the WebExtensions API. Members of the Android engineering team will build select APIs needed to initially support a small set of Recommended Extensions.

            The group discussed a wishlist of features for extensions on Android, including support for page actions and browser actions, history search, and the ability to manipulate context menus. These suggestions will be considered as work on Firefox Preview moves forward.

          • Here’s why pop culture and passwords don’t mix

            Were they on a break or not?! For nearly a decade, Ross and Rachel’s on-screen relationship was a point of contention for millions of viewers around the world. It’s no surprise to learn that years after the series finale, they are not only TV’s most beloved characters, but their names are popular account passwords, too. That’s right. More than thousands of internet users love Rachel, Monica, Joey, Chandler, Ross and Phoebe enough to use their names as passwords.

            Wondering about trends, we turned to haveibeenpwned (HIBP) — the website that aggregates data from known breaches — for pop culture favorites. (Firefox Monitor draws from HIBP to help people learn if they’ve been caught up in a data breach and take steps to protect themselves.)

            We couldn’t access any data files, browse lists of passwords or link passwords to logins — that info is inaccessible and kept secure — but we could look up random bad passwords manually on HIBP. It turns out, quite a lot of sitcom and sports fans are using pop culture passwords for their accounts. These bad passwords are not only weak, they have also been breached. Here’s what we spotted.

          • Adding CodeQL and clang to our Bug Bounty Program

            One of the ways we’re supporting this initiative at Mozilla is through renewed investment in automation and static analysis. We think the broader Mozilla community can participate, and we want to encourage it. Today, we’re announcing a new area of our bug bounty program to encourage the community to use the CodeQL tools. We are exploring the use of CodeQL tools and will award a bounty – above and beyond our existing bounties – for static analysis work that identifies present or historical flaws in Firefox.

      • Linux Foundation

        • The Linux Foundation and AWS announce new open data model

          The Linux Foundation’s joint Development Foundation (JDF) is teaming up up with AWS, Genesys and Salesforce to create an open source data model that standardizes data interoperability across cloud applications. They’re calling it the Cloud Information Model (CIM).

          The CIM is meant to tackle the challenge of cloud computing and creating data models. The foundation explained that data models force developers to build, test and manage custom code in order to translate data across systems.

          According to the foundation, the new open data model aims to reduce the complexities of integrating data across cloud applications by providing data interoperability guidelines to point-of-sale systems, digital marketing platforms, contact centers or CRM centers.

        • LF AI Welcomes ONNX, Ecosystem for Interoperable AI Models, as Graduate Project

          The LF AI Foundation, the organization building an ecosystem to sustain open source innovation in artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML) and deep learning (DL), is announcing today the Open Neural Network eXchange (ONNX) is its newest graduate level project. Moving ONNX under the umbrella of LF AI governance and management is viewed as a key milestone in establishing ONNX as a vendor-neutral open format standard.

          ONNX is an open format used to represent machine learning and deep learning models. An ecosystem of products supporting ONNX provides AI capabilities like model creation and export, visualization, optimization, and acceleration capabilities. Among its many advantages, ONNX provides portability, allowing AI developers to more easily move AI models between tools that are part of trusted AI/ML/DL workflows.

      • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

        • GIMP basics: Best tips and tricks for beginners

          GIMP (GNU Image Manipulation Program), like so many other open source programs, started out as a student project at the University of California, Berkeley. It was developed by Spencer Kimball and Peter Mattis in 1995, and the first version (0.54) was released in 1996.

          As of the current version (2.10) GIMP has matured into a truly incredible photo-editing program. It’s not as complex as Photoshop, but it’s not as basic as PC Paint either. It rivals all the top dogs on the market today. Best of all, it’s free!

          If you’re coming at GIMP by way of Photoshop, however, you may be frustrated by the some of the differences. Here are a few user tips to get you started, whether you’re a rookie or a pro.

      • Programming/Development

        • Manipulating text with grep

          Imagine you have a file (or bunch of files) and you want to search for a specific string or configuration setting within these files. Opening each file individually and trying to find the specific string would be tiresome and probably isn’t the right approach. So what can we use, then?

        • Hiring a technical writer in the age of DevOps

          It’s common for enterprises to leave the technical writer’s role out of the DevOps discussion. Even the marketing department joins the discussion in some DevOps-first organizations—so why not the writers?

          Our industry doesn’t ask enough of its technical writers. Documentation is an afterthought. Companies farm out technical writing to contractors at the end of the project lifecycle. Corners get cut. Likewise, technical writers don’t ask enough of their industry. The expectations for the role vary from company to company. Both circumstances lead to technical writers being left out of the DevOps discussion.

          As your organization matures its DevOps practices, it’s time to revisit the role of your technical writer.

        • How to port an awk script to Python

          Scripts are potent ways to solve a problem repeatedly, and awk is an excellent language for writing them. It excels at easy text processing in particular, and it can bring you through some complicated rewriting of config files or reformatting file names in a directory.

        • Navigating Python Code with Wing Pro 7 (part 1 of 3)

          Wing Python IDE includes a boatload of features aimed at making it easier to navigate and understand the structure of Python code. Some of these allow for quick navigation between the definition and uses of a symbol. Others provide a convenient index into source code. And still others quickly find and open files or navigate to symbols matching a name fragment.

          [...]

          This tool supports text matching, wildcard, and regular expression searching and automatically updates the search results as files change.

          Searching on Project Files assumes that you have used Add Existing Directory in the Project menu to add your source code to your project. Typically the project should contain the code you are actively working on. Packages that your code uses can be left out of the project, unless you anticipate often wanting to search them with Search in Files.

      • Standards/Consortia

        • Report from July 2019 ISO C++ Standards Committee Meeting (Concurrency and Parallelism Study Group) S

          The summer 2019 WG21 C++ Committee meeting was held in Cologne, Germany during the week of July 13. As usual,
          Red Hat sent three representatives, Jason Merrill in the Core Working Group (CWG), Jonathan Wakely in the Library Working Group (LWG), and myself in the Concurrency and Parallelism Study Group (SG1). This rather late report covers the Cologne SG1 session and looks ahead to some revised papers from that meeting, which are scheduled for the fall meeting in Belfast, Northern Ireland, for the first week of November 2019.

        • On data encoding and complex text shaping

          The summit was inaugurated by Fahad Al-Saidi of the Scribus fame, who was instrumental in implementing complex text layout (CTL). Prior to the talks, I got to meet the team who made it possible to switch Janayogom’s entire publishing process on to free software platform — Kubuntu based ThengOS, Scribus for page layout, Inkspace for vector graphics, GIMP for raster graphics, CMYK color profiling for print, new Malayalam Unicode fonts with traditional orthography etc. It was impressive to see that entire production fleet was transformed, team was trained and the news paper is printed every day without delay.

          I also met Fahad later and pleasantly surprised to realize that he already knows me from open source contributions. We had a productive discussion about Scribus.

  • Leftovers

    • Health/Nutrition

      • The Logic of Medical Co-Payments

        Aaron Carroll had a very useful NYT Upshot piece highlighting research showing that even modest co-payments discourage people from getting necessary medical care. The article is about co-payments for prescription drugs where it highlights research showing that people will often skip taking prescribed drugs to avoid co-payments. There are a couple of points worth making about co-payments in this context and more generally.

      • Justice Democrats Accuses Buttigieg of Abandoning Medicare for All After Taking ‘Tons of Cash’ From Corporate Interests

        The progressive group said Buttigieg has “no credibility” to attack Warren and Sanders on Medicare for All given “how much money he’s been taking from Big Pharma and insurance executives.”

    • Security (Confidentiality/Integrity/Availabilitiy)

      • Why Kali Linux is loved by penetration testers [Q&A]

        Penetration testing is an essential tool for organizations to make sure their systems are safe and secure. It probes systems by attacking them in the way that a hacker would.

        But for many, the concept of pentesting is something of a dark art, and the tools used to carry it out shaded in obscurity. One of the most popular tools among testers is Kali Linux but you could be forgiven for never having heard of it.

        We spoke to Jim O’Gorman of testing training specialist Offensive Security, which maintains the Kali Linux project, to discover more about what Kali Linux is and why pen testers love it so much.

      • Windows and Linux Get Options To Disable Intel TSX To Prevent Zombieload v2 Attacks
      • Windows & Linux get options to disable Intel TSX to prevent Zombieload v2 attacks
      • Security updates for Thursday

        Security updates have been issued by Arch Linux (kernel, linux-lts, and linux-zen), CentOS (kernel, sudo, and thunderbird), Debian (linux-4.9), Fedora (samba), openSUSE (apache2-mod_auth_openidc, kernel, qemu, rsyslog, and ucode-intel), Oracle (kernel), Red Hat (kernel and kernel-rt), Scientific Linux (kernel), SUSE (kernel and microcode_ctl), and Ubuntu (kernel, libjpeg-turbo, linux, linux-hwe, linux-oem, linux, linux-hwe, linux-oem-osp1, and qemu).

    • Defence/Aggression

      • Murder Like It’s 1495: U.S.-Backed Counterinsurgency in the Philippines

        Two men, soldiers probably, noticed Bai Leah Tumbalang. This was last August. She was in Valencia City, in the Philippine province of Bukidnon. The men drew near on their motorcycle, followed her, then pulled up to shoot her in the forehead. She died immediately.

      • The So-Called War on Terror Has Killed Over 801,000 People and Cost $6.4 Trillion: New Analysis

        “The numbers continue to accelerate, not only because many wars continue to be waged, but also because wars don’t end when soldiers come home.”

      • A Doubtful Proposition: a Reflection on the Trial of the Kings Bay Plowshares 7

        “Whether nuclear weapons are actually illegal under international or domestic law (a doubtful proposition) is not relevant or an appropriate issue to litigate in this case,” so ruled Judge Lisa Godbey Wood of the US District Court for the Southern District of Georgia, late on Friday October 18. This last-minute order, restricting the defense of seven antinuclear activists at a trial that began Monday morning the 21st, made a short trial a foregone conclusion. It also, more than any evidence that the yet to be impaneled jury would eventually hear, made their convictions all but certain.

      • ‘Schools of Mass Destruction’: Report Details 49 US Universities Abetting Nuclear Weapons Complex

        “Why would an institution of higher learning support weapons that cause terrible humanitarian consequences?”

      • How Not to End a Forever War

        I love “caper’ movies. There’s nothing like a gang of lovable rogues executing an elaborately planned, seemingly impossible crime. President Donald Trump, while in no way lovable, pulled off the perfect caper when he grabbed the White House three years ago. Now Trump has launched a new caper: stealing Syria’s oil. Danny Ocean, eat your heart out.

      • Reckoning With the Costs of War: It’s Time to Take Responsibility

        In 2008, when he was only 29, Army Pfc. Russell Madden enlisted in the Army because he needed health insurance for his son, who was born with cystic fibrosis. While deployed to Afghanistan in 2010, he died after a rocket-propelled grenade hit his convoy.

      • Israel Intensifies Strikes as Rockets Rain Down on Gaza

        Israeli aircraft struck Islamic Jihad targets throughout the Gaza Strip on Wednesday while the militant group rained scores of rockets into Israel for a second straight day as the heaviest round of fighting in months showed no signs of ending. The death toll rose to 26 Palestinians, including a 7-year-old boy and two other minors.

      • Sanders Has Denounced Coup, But Biden, Warren, and Buttigieg So Far Silent on Overthrow of Bolivia’s Morales

        “Why is Bernie Sanders the only one who has spoken out? Don’t the other candidates have a position about a destabilizing, right-wing takeover of a neighboring country? We need to hear from them.”

      • The Bolivian Coup Comes Down to One Precious Mineral

        Bolivia’s President Evo Morales was overthrown in a military coup on November 10. He is now in Mexico. Before he left office, Morales had been involved in a long project to bring economic and social democracy to his long-exploited country. It is important to recall that Bolivia has suffered a series of coups, often conducted by the military and the oligarchy on behalf of transnational mining companies. Initially, these were tin firms, but tin is no longer the main target in Bolivia. The main target is its massive deposits of lithium, crucial for the electric car.

      • How the OAS and US Just Helped Overthrow Another Government

        The United States and the Organization of American States can add another coup to their scorecards, even if U.S. media refuses to recognize it as such.

      • Military Coup in Bolivia ‘Has Been Consummated,’ Says Evo Morales as Right-Wing Senator Declares Herself President in Defiance of Constitution

        “She’s declared herself president without having a quorum in the parliament,” said Morales supporter Julio Chipana. “She doesn’t represent us.”

      • New Revelations on Dutch Role in Deadly Iraq Attack

        Recent news reports have exposed Dutch involvement in an airstrike in Iraq in June 2015 that killed at least 70 civilians, with the Minister of Defense finally admitting on November 5, 2019 that the ministry had known about the deaths after years of denial.

      • ‘Everybody at the school knew’ The St. Petersburg university that employed the historian who dismembered his grad student girlfriend denies past complaints about other sexual assaults

        On November 9, police pulled 63-year-old historian and St. Petersburg State University senior lecturer Oleg Sokolov from the Moyka River. He was alive, but the same could not be said for Anastasia Eshchenko, a 24-year-old graduate student who lived with Sokolov as his fiancée. Officials soon realized that he had murdered her and dismembered her body. When he was discovered in the river, Sokolov was carrying a backpack that contained the woman’s severed hands. On November 11, a court formally jailed the historian, and St. Petersburg State University quickly announced his dismissal. Many are angry, however, that the school didn’t act sooner. A petition at Change.org now has more than 72,000 signatures demanding punishment for the university officials who failed to take action against Sokolov, despite apparent allegations against him. In St. Petersburg, demonstrators have also staged isolated pickets with the same demands. The historian’s colleagues say the school was aware of his multiple romances with students, but they say there were no grounds to fire Sokolov, because no one ever filed a formal complaint against him.

      • Criminalated Warmongers

        The Dawn Patrol is a 1938 film about British World War I fighter pilots, roistering and dying in an aerial war of attrition in France with their German counterparts. It was directed by Edmund Goulding from a screenplay written by Seton I. Miller and Dan Totheroh, which was adapted from a story by John Monk Saunders. The film starred Errol Flynn (Captain Courtney), Basil Rathbone (Major Brand), David Niven (Scott), Donald Crisp (Phipps), and Morton Lowry (Donnie Scott), and was produced by the Warner Brothers Studio as a remake of their earlier 1930 film of the same story.

    • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

      • Assange, Zuckerberg and Free Speech

        This time, more than any other, is a time for free speech absolutism. It is a time where the influence of one’s speech can be bought. Corporations are considered people. Truth is not defined by people, it is defined by corporate interests—namely profit. Sectarianism has at least culturally collapsed, creating the potential, although not a guarantee, of a united global revolution against the prevailing ideology of capital. Now is not the time for censorship. Now is the time to leave the truth behind all together and accept something greater. We must transcend truth and begin to live in material reality that is not conscious of anything except for the mission at hand and the urgency of life itself as the material clock of both ourselves and civilization as we know it nears midnight.

      • Norway’s DNB to investigate allegedly improper Icelandic payments to Namibia

        Norwegian bank DNB (DNB.OL) is investigating media allegations that an Icelandic company transferred money via the bank to bribe Namibian officials, DNB said on Wednesday.

        Iceland’s public broadcaster reported on Tuesday that fisheries group Samherji had made illicit payments worth millions of dollars to secure fishing quotas in Namibia.

        “We are of course investigating the claims,” DNB said of the report.

        Separately, Namibian media reported that two Namibian ministers had resigned from their cabinet positions on Wednesday following the Icelandic news report.

        The Namibian government had no immediate comment.

        Samherji said in a statement it had hired a law firm to investigate the allegations.

      • Ministers Sacky Shanghala and Bernhardt Esau resign after kickback exposé

        Justice Minister Sacky Shanghala and Fisheries Minister Bernhardt Esau have resigned after The Namibian newspaper exposed a Namibian fishing quota kickback scandal worth millions of dollars.

        State House issued a press statement Wednesday afternoon announcing the resignations.

        The Presidency said since assuming office President Hage Geingob “has taken practical steps to promote effective governance, prioritising the fight against corruption, promoting greater transparency and accountability. ”

      • Julian Assange’s judge and her husband’s links to the British military establishment exposed by WikiLeaks

        The husband of Lady Emma Arbuthnot, the Westminster chief magistrate overseeing WikiLeaks’ founder Julian Assange’s extradition to the US, has financial links to the British military establishment, including institutions and individuals exposed by WikiLeaks.

    • Environment

    • Finance

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

    • Censorship/Free Speech

    • Privacy/Surveillance

      • Ring Spends The Week Collecting Data On Trick-Or-Treating Kids And Being An Attack Vector For Home WiFi Networks

        Nothing owns like a self-own. And Ring — Amazon’s doorbell surveillance project — is so into self-abuse, it’s almost kinky. It’s a DOM when it picks up another submissive law enforcement partner (400+ at last count, so maybe get tested if you install a doorbell without protection). Any other time, it seems to be a relentlessly cheery masochist. Hopefully it’s deriving some pleasure from the endless negative news cycles. Maybe 95% market share heals all wounds.

      • Facebook Says It Axed 3.2 Billion Fake Accounts in Last Six Months

        Facebook says it removed 3.2 billion fake accounts from its service from April to September, up slightly from 3 billion in the previous six months.

      • Microsoft Says It’s Cool With California’s New Privacy Law

        We’ve made it abundantly clear that California’s new privacy law is aggressively undercooked, and will require some very serious fine tuning if it’s going to be workable for many California companies. At the same time, giant companies like Google, Comcast, and AT&T have spent a lot of time aggressively misrepresenting what the law actually does, running ads outright lying about the bill’s impact, and downplaying the fact that states wouldn’t be wading into the privacy waters if these companies hadn’t lobbied to kill modest federal privacy requirements in the first place.

    • Civil Rights/Policing

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

      • DirectTV Forgot To Stop Charging Customers For Channels That Were Blacked Out

        As we’ve detailed for some time now, while contract blackouts have almost always been an annoyance in the cable television industry, they are becoming increasingly prevalent alongside the rise of cord-cutting. Normally when we discuss cable blackouts, the discussion revolves around the entirely predictable strategy by both the broadcaster and cable operator to blame one another, all while paying customers sit without the channels they’re paying for. While annoying, that is usually the extent of our comments on the matter.

IRC Proceedings: Thursday, November 14, 2019

Posted in IRC Logs at 2:55 am by Needs Sunlight

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