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12.13.19

Links 13/12/2019: QEMU 4.2.0, GNU Guile 2.9.7

Posted in News Roundup at 3:35 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Server

      • IBM

        • We’re headed for edge computing

          Every week seems to bring a new report on how edge computing is going to take over the world. This crescendo has been building for the past few years, so it’s no surprise that edge computing sits near the peak on the Gartner hype cycle for emerging technologies. But the question remains—will the edge computing phenomenon take over the world as predicted and, if so, how can businesses benefit from it?

          In this and future articles, we’ll demystify edge computing, examine its motivations, and explore best practices in creating scalable edge deployments and the role of open source at the edge. We’ll also look at 5G and its impact to the telco industry, remote office/branch office, IoT, and other use cases.

        • Persistent data implications for apps and microservices

          Speed and agility are the name of the game, whether you are running track in a triathlon, racing to find cures to the world’s most nefarious diseases, or developing new applications that are changing the way society interacts. Application development teams can have a profound effect, not only on their organizations’ ability to differentiate themselves, but also the world we live in.

          [...]

          While just a few years ago, some organizations were still concerned with the viability of running production workloads in containers, the benefits of capitalizing on faster development cycles has garnered favor among developers. And, with enterprise-class enhancements delivered by platforms such as Red Hat OpenShift Container Platform, containers have grown from nifty developer projects, to scalable, more manageable infrastructure environments that enable DevOps for the hybrid cloud.

        • Cloud Pak for Applications supports IBM Z

          The latest version of Cloud Pak for Applications, Version 4.0, extends support for Red Hat OpenShift Container Platform 4.2 onto the IBM Z platform.

          Now users can extend their hybrid cloud deployments to include Red Hat OpenShift clusters on IBM Z hardware, taking advantage of the container orchestration platform and tools to bring a consistent experience for development of cloud-native workloads.

          Support for OpenShift on IBM Z in this release of IBM Cloud Pak for Applications is limited to the container platform only. IBM runtimes continue to provide support for IBM Z, including container deployments where appropriate.

        • Exploring OpenShift 4.x Cluster

          In this video we will explore the cluster installed during the last video, log into the cluster, configure an authentication provider. We will understand the structure of the cluster and the architecture overview of HA installation. We will get deep understanding of what runs on the master node vs worker node, how the load balancers are setup. We will also look at the cloud provider to see all the infrastructure components that got created by the installer.

        • Celebrating 20 years of enterprise Java: Milestones

          As we celebrate the last 20 years of enterprise Java, it is important to look back at the platform’s history to better understand where it came from and how we arrived where we are today.

          Enterprise Java emerged during a pivotal time in the history of enterprise computing. When Java 2 Platform, Enterprise Edition (J2EE) 1.2 was introduced in December 1999, it not only marked the birth of enterprise Java, but also signaled an important shift in how organizations were thinking about the web.

          Roughly five years earlier, in May 1995, the Java programming language had been publicly released. The language was originally developed to address obstacles faced by a stealth innovation team at Sun Microsystems building the Star7, an interactive handheld home entertainment controller; however, after a tepid response from the television industry, the team instead set its sights on the internet.

          Web browsers were making the web more accessible to users, and when the Java language was first announced by Sun, it came with a crucial endorsement: Netscape, one of the leaders in the nascent Web browser market at the time, announced in 1995 that it would include support for Java in its namesake browser.

    • Audiocasts/Shows

      • Makerspace 101: Brian Beck | Jupiter Extras 39

        Brian Beck joins Ell and Wes to chat about what’s going on at 10BitWorks, 3D printing and the need to tinker, and how to find a makerspace near you.

      • Linux with USB-C & Thunderbolt Docking Stations – What Works, and Buying Tips

        Although USB-C is a specification, it doesn’t offer any consistency – only confusion. In this video, I talk about USB-C and Thunderbolt “Docks” and how they pertain to and work with Linux. I’ll show off some example devices, and give you my tips.

      • Dora, Ms. Frizzle, the Phillipines, Hardware, and Chimeras

        TIK TEK TOE, episode 008. Marcel and Evan discuss Dora the Explorer, the Magic School Bus, how Adam ruins everything, Open Source in the Phillipines, the value of old hardware, consumer vs creator devices, licences (again) and .org (again). Cloud gaming makes another appearance and Marcel totally geeks out on the concept of human chimeras and how this might impact DNA evidence and even, wait for it, conciousness.

    • Kernel Space

      • Graphics Stack

        • Mesa 19.3 released with huge updates for Linux open source graphics drivers

          Arriving in time before the holiday season, Mesa 19.3 has now been officially released giving all open source Linux graphics drivers some big boosts and new features.

          What is Mesa? Is it a tasty biscuit? Do I have Mesa? If you have an AMD or Intel GPU then yes, you will be using Mesa (unless you changed it, 99% of distributions come with Mesa out of the box) and it’s what powers your GPU enabling it to talk to OpenGL and Vulkan.

        • AMDVLK 2019.Q4.4 Released With Navi 14 Fixes, DoW 3 Perf Optimization

          As anticipated, AMD has now formally released a new version of their AMDVLK open-source Vulkan driver following this week’s Radeon Software Adrenalin 2020 Windows driver release.

          The changes end up being what I was alluding to yesterday with VK_EXT_pipeline_creation_feedback support, subgroup cluster support, a performance optimization for the Dawn of War 3 game, CTS failure fixes for Navi 14, and other fixes.

    • Applications

    • Instructionals/Technical

    • Games

      • Proton 4.11-10 Adds Halo: Master Chief Collection Support, Integer Scaling, Other Game Improvements

        Valve has released Proton 4.11-10 and with this update to their blend of Wine that powers Steam Play is support for Halo: The Master Chief Collection among other Windows game improvements.

        Halo: The Master Chief Collection is now playable with the latest Proton and on a sufficiently new Linux distribution. But some game modes end up being disabled over Easy Anti Cheat support.

      • Steam Play Proton 4.11-10 out, mouse handling improvements and Halo: The Master Chief Collection works

        A brand new update to Steam Play Proton has arrived ahead of the weekend with Proton 4.11-10, giving out of the box play for Halo: The Master Chief Collection.

        For Halo, you will need the Steam Beta Client if you’re on an older distribution, plus online matchmaking still won’t work due to Easy Anti-Cheat not supporting Steam Play Proton. However, single-player does work fine and you should be able to play with friends outside of matchmaking.

      • Railway Empire heads to the cold North in the latest DLC, free update adds in a new Challenge Map

        Railway Empire from Gaming Minds Studios and Kalypso Media Digital has expanded again with the release of the Northern Europe DLC.

      • Unsettling story-driven adventure ‘Sally Face’ has a final fifth episode released

        An adventure about a boy with a prosthetic face and a tragic past, an unsettling episodic game and it’s now complete. As of today, it’s also now available on GOG as well as Steam.

      • Feral’s Lead Vulkan Developer Leaves The Company For Sony

        Last year one of Feral’s top Linux developers left the company and now another top developer has sadly left the game porting firm.

        Alex Smith who oversaw Feral’s Vulkan support has left the UK-based game porting company. Alex had been leading their Vulkan development for the past three years as well as working on some of their Nintendo Switch ports.

      • Feral Interactive’s lead Vulkan developer is moving onto something new

        Some game industry news to share today, as the Vulkan development lead at Feral Interactive has announced they’re moving on. A big change too, as they’re jumping over to Sony to work on the PlayStation.

      • A reminder of some great looking games coming to Linux from successful crowdfunding campaigns

        Crowdfunding for games doesn’t always work out but thanks to the likes of IndieGoGo, Kickstarter, Fig and more we have a lot of good Linux games.

        Firstly though, a reminder on what games came to Linux as a result of crowdfunding. It’s easy to forget just how many there has been. Games like: 7 Days to Die, AI War II, ATOM RPG, EVERSPACE, Factorio, FTL: Faster Than Light, Hollow Knight, Hyper Light Drifter, Pillars of Eternity + Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire, The Long Dark, Torment: Tides of Numenera, Wasteland 2.

        There’s plenty more on the way too, let’s take a quick look at over 20 which I think are going to be awesome that are funded and on the way to Linux. All release dates are subject to change of course, since they’re in development currently.

      • WarriOrb: Prologue gives an impressive taste of what’s to come in this action platformer

        A once mighty demon trapped in an unusual and slightly amusing body, WarriOrb: Prologue gives us a small taste of what’s to come in the full game and it’s quite impressive. You will have to make your way through the ravaged world to regain your freedom and sanity. Along the way you will meet demons, giants, mutants and all sort of magical and crazy creatures.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • Meetings and Conferences

          From there Aleix Pol and I sped off to Belgium for GNU Health CON. Aleix gave a talk on Kirigami and UIs for mobile devices. I might give a talk about Pine64 hardware (which I’m hardly qualified to do, but willing). Until then I’m running the KDE booth at the event, with a Plasma Mobile phone (not a PinePhone).

          One of the things we did for this booth is slap together a presentation to run on the monitor at the booth. This is a miniature QML application that runs a slideshow; the slideshow is easy to extend by adding more Component blocks to the file. It’s not quite the equivalent of reading in a Markdown file, but pretty close. At 8k of QML source (probably 80% of that is spaces for tidy indentation, too) it’s handy to have around. We’ll add it to the promo wiki once we’re done.

          Writing the slides was fun, I got to use the new emoji picker, and Aleix did all the heavy QML lifting. I really need to learn more of that.

        • Linux App Summit 2019!

          I attended the first Linux App Summit cohosted by KDE and GNOME! The conference was held in Barcelona, Spain. The conference was organised by the local team, Barcelona Free Software.

          The conference hosted quality talks all relevant to the subject of the Linux App Ecosystem – people from the entire spectrum of the Linux Desktop came to talk at the conference, right from packaging software like snap and flatpak devs to people involved in core Plasma and GTK – LAS is THE place to be if you want to see where the Linux App Ecosystem is heading to.

          One of my favourite talks was by Tobias Bernard and Jordan Petridis on “There is no ‘Linux’ platform” describing the immense differences we have within the “Linux” platform that we effectively have to call them a separate ‘platform’ itself.

          Another talk that stood out was the Day Two Keynote by Frank Karlitsche: “We all suck” ;) The talk didn’t mince words in saying that the Linux App Ecosystem has a lot to catch up with in terms of organising technology, people, packaging for us, to really compete with the proprietary system and laid a few, I wouldn’t say far-fetched but uneasy solutions (one of them being to merge both KDE and GNOME to form a ‘super’ organisation for all desktop needs (?) )

      • GNOME Desktop/GTK

        • Dual-GPU support follow-up: NVIDIA driver support

          There were a number of problems with the old detection code in switcheroo-control:
          - it required the graphics card to use vga_switcheroo in the kernel, which the NVIDIA driver didn’t do
          - it could support more than 2 GPUs
          - and it didn’t really actually know which GPU was going to be the “main” one

          And, on top of all that, gnome-shell expected the Mesa OpenGL stack to be used, so it only knew the right environment variables to do that, and only for one secondary GPU.

          So we’ve extended switcheroo-control and its API to do all this.

          (As a side note, commenters asked me about the KDE support, and how it would integrate, and it turns out that KDE’s code just checks for the presence of a file in /sys, which is only present when vga_switcheroo is used. So I would encourage KDE to adopt the switcheroo-control D-Bus API for this)

        • GNOME 3.36 Bringing Better Multi-GPU Handling With Switcheroo-Control, NVIDIA Support

          For a few years GNOME has supported a “launch on discrete GPU” option for applications within the Shell’s menu while for GNOME 3.36 that support is being cleaned up and extended to also handle NVIDIA GPU configurations.

          GNOME developer Bastien Nocera has been cleaning up the switcheroo-control code so it doesn’t rely upon the Linux kernel’s VGA_Switcheroo, support more than two GPUs, and better handling of the main/secondary handling. For end-users the big addition is support for the NVIDIA proprietary driver.

        • Sébastien Wilmet: Providing GActions in a library

          GAction represents an action that the user can do in an application, it’s usually present in a menu item or a button. It’s not just a function to launch, it’s a little more involved than that.

          Overall, providing GActions in a library can be done quite naturally, once the library provides a framework for the application.

          TeplApplication and TeplApplicationWindow both provide GActions in their public API. They are namespaced with the “tepl-” prefix, to avoid conflicts with other libraries or the application; so the full name of the GActions are “app.tepl-something” or “win.tepl-something”. And all the GActions are documented in the class description.

          Note that TeplApplication and TeplApplicationWindow are not subclasses of GtkApplication and GtkApplicationWindow, because several libraries might want to extend those GTK classes and an application needs to be able to use all those extensions at the same time. A nice solution that doesn’t require to hold a new object in the application: use this design pattern that I’ve already described on my blog.

    • Distributions

      • Reviews

        • Plenty of Linux Power Is Built Into Linux Lite 4.6

          Linux Lite 4.6 offers a great deal of flexibility and usability. Its desktop offers considerably more system controls and configuration options than many of the more modern desktops, such as Enlightenment, GNOME 3 and Budgie.

          All of the system controls and settings are located in the Settings option within the main menu display. Windows users will find a close similarity to the Control Panel.

          Even recent Linux newcomers will not need much exploring or head-scratching to navigate their way around Linux Lite. The layout is familiar and intuitive. The Welcome panel provides a very useful listing of information and how-to resources for using Linux Lite.

      • New Releases

        • Meet The Linux Desktop OS That Mac And Windows Users Keep Downloading — But Why?

          The Zorin Group has released a point update to the beautiful beginner-friendly Linux distro Zorin OS 15, and while not substantial it does ship with a few nice improvements worth mentioning below. But the real headline, at least in my opinion, is the visibility Zorin OS is enjoying with Mac and Windows users. In the release announcement, the Zorin group shares that within 6 months Zorin OS 15 has been downloaded 550,000 times, and that a surprising 65% of those downloads come from macOS or Windows machines.

          More than half a million downloads may seem trivial when compared to the large user-base for Windows and Macs, but for a boutique Linux distribution — in a sea of literally hundreds — this seems worthy of celebration

        • Zorin OS 15.1 has been released with great new improvements

          I made my first steps in the Linux world hand in hand with my good old friend Linux Mint. The reason was that the Linux Mint distribution is very newbie friendly but also good for professional use, incredibly easy to install and setup and many important and useful functionalities are already available out-of-the-box. Linux Mint makes it more easy for beginners to make the switch compared to other Linux distributions. And while Linux Mint was my favorite distro for a couple of years and I think it is still a great distribution, I feel that it mainly pleases former Windows users due to the chosen UI design language and way of working. But there is another easily accessible, friendly and beautiful Linux distribution that will appeal not only to former Windows users but to former macOS users as well, and that has some great special features that Linux Mint doesn’t offer straight out of the box. That is, in my opinion, Zorin OS. I really lost my heart to this distribution because it looks fantastic, can be visually set up via simple adjustments to appeal both Windows and macOS users, offers a lot of robust functionality that is already present after installation, has nice integration with your mobile device and offers many user-friendly and health friendly functionalities which makes this distribution rise above others. I am very enthusiastic about Zorin OS so I am really excited that yesterday the Zorin team released Zorin OS 15.1. Let’s see what it has to offer.

      • Screenshots/Screencasts

      • SUSE/OpenSUSE

        • Dominique Leuenberger: openSUSE Tumbleweed – Review of the week 2019/50

          Another week has passed – and we’re almost at the end of the year. During the last week we have released 4 snapshots for Tumbleweed (1206, 1207, 1210 and 1211) containing those noteworthy changes:

          gpg 2.2.18
          libvirt 5.10.0
          linux-glibc-devel 5.4
          Mozilla Thunderbird 68.3.0
          bluez 5.52
          libxml 2.9.10
          createrepo_c 0.15.4: beware: it is very strict and blocks any snapshot if there is a package with non-UTF8 chars or ASCII < 32 (except 9, 10 and 13) in a changelog. Double check your .changes files before submitting.
          GNOME 3.34.2
          KDE Plasma 5.17.4

      • Fedora Family

        • Flatpak 1.5.2 Continues Work On Authentication Support In Push To Handling Paid Apps

          Introduced last month was the Flatpak 1.5.1 development build that provided initial support for protected/authenticated downloads of Flatpaks as the fundamental infrastructure work towards allowing paid or donation-based applications within Flathub or other Flatpak-based “app stores” on Linux.

          Flatpak 1.5.2 is out this Friday morning and it has continued work on this focus for authenticated/protected downloads. There has been new API coverage around the authentication code, an OCI authenticator is now bundled, a simple user/password authentication-driven option similar to HTTP-based authentication, and related work towards opening up new use-cases for Flatpak.

        • Cockpit 209

          Cockpit is the modern Linux admin interface. We release regularly. Here are the release notes from version 209.

          A new design for the Overview page

          The landing page has been completely redesigned. Information is grouped into easier to understand panels, health information is much more prominent, the resource graphs have been moved to their own page, and the hardware information page should now be easier to find.

      • Debian Family

        • Jonathan McDowell: This Week I Voted

          I made use of Ian Jackson’s voting guide (and should disclose that he and I have had conversations about this matter where he kindly took time to explain to me his position and rationale). However I’m more pro-systemd than he is, and also lazier, so hopefully this post is useful in some fashion rather than a simple rehash of anyone else’s logic.

          I ranked Further Discussion last. I want this to go away. I feel it’s still sucking too much of the project’s time.

          E was easy to rank as second last. While I want to support people who want to run non-systemd setups I don’t want to force us as a project to have to shoehorn that support in where it’s not easily done.

          I put F third last. While I welcome the improvements brought by systemd I’m wary of buying into any ecosystem completely, and it has a lot of tentacles which will make any future move much more difficult if we buy in wholesale (and make life unnecessarily difficult for people who want to avoid systemd, and I’ve no desire to do that).

          On the flip side I think those who want to avoid systemd should be able to do so within Debian. I don’t buy the argument that you can just fork and drop systemd there, it’s an invasive change that makes it much, much harder to produce a derivative system. So it’s one of those things we should care about as a project. (If you hate systemd so much you don’t want even its libraries on your system I can’t help you.)

        • Olivier Berger: Antidote and NRELabs presentation at Paris Open Source Summit 2019

          I’ve just presented Antidote and the NRELabs platform at Paris Open Source Summit 2019. Here are the slides of the presentation : Antidote: virtualized learning labs running over kubernetes

          I made a demo and the speech in front of the few people left, unfortunately, as the conference attendance suffered from the ongoing strikes in France (opposing the pensions system reform).

          In any case, I hope it triggered some interest for the platform and the project.

        • Molly de Blanc: Autonomy

          I’ve been stuck on the question: Why is autonomy an ethical imperative? or, worded another way Why does autonomy matter? I think if we’re going to argue that free software matters (or if I am anyway), there needs to be a point where we have to be able to answer why autonomy matters.

          I’ve been thinking about this in the framing of technology and consent since the summer of 2018, when Karen Sandler and I spoke at HOPE and DebConf 18 on user and software freedom. Sitting with Karen before HOPE, I had a bit of a crisis of faith and lost track of why software freedom matters after I moved to the point that consent is necessary to our continued autonomy. But why does autonomy matter?

        • Outreachy post 1 by Anisa Kuci

          Couple of months ago I decided to apply for the winter 2019-2020 round of Outreachy.

          Outreachy, for those who don’t know, provides internships in Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) with the aim to support underrepresented groups of people. Outreachy internships are open to applicants around the world, and interns are able to work remotely.

          There were quite a few very interesting projects to choose among this round, but since I have been a Debian user and contributor for a while and it is a project I really like, I decided to work towards it. I have been doing small Debian related events or gatherings in the community I was part of. The Debian project I applied for is “Create fundraising material for DebConf20+, document the fundraising processes and support a cycle”.

          The initial tasks were very interesting and applicable to my skill-set, so I was really enjoying working on them. Also the mentor of the project was very responsive and helpful when I would have questions or feel in doubt and quite supportive, which was motivating me to keep contributing in such a great project.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • Linux Mint 19.3 disc images are being tested ready for Christmas release

          The Linux Mint ISO images status page now shows that the final disc images are being tested by the project in anticipation of the final release of Linux Mint 19.3 due at Christmas. The fact that these images are being finalised suggests that any bugs discovered since the betas have been fixed.

          It’s still unclear when the ISOs will be finalised but it’s likely to be very soon. Once the status page indicates that the builds are approved for stable release, we’ll then have to wait on an announcement from Clement Lefebvre, head of the Linux Mint project. Linux Mint 19.3 will be the final release of the series with attention shifting over to Linux Mint 20 in the new year.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • Why FOSS is still not on activist agendas

        On December 13th, 2006, author Bruce Byfield reflected on why he thought Free and Open Source Software (F.O.S.S.) was not on activist agendas. My interpretation of his views are that a knowledge barrier about technology makes FOSS less accessible, the insular nature of activism makes collaboration difficult, and FOSS activists reaching out to other activists with shared values should be encouraged. On December 13th, 2019, is FOSS on activist agendas? The answer is not black or white, but a gray somewhere in the middle. This is my response to Byfield’s article, thirteen years later, on what he got right but also what he left out.

      • Web

        • Curl

          • Daniel Stenberg: Reporting documentation bugs in curl got easier

            After I watched a talk by Marcus Olsson about docs as code (at foss-sthlm on December 12 2019), I got inspired to provide links on the curl web site to make it easier for users to report bugs on documentation.

            Starting today, there are two new links on the top right side of all libcurl API function call documentation pages.

            File a bug about this page – takes the user directly to a new issue in the github issue tracker with the title filled in with the name of the function call, and the label preset to ‘documentation’. All there’s left is for the user to actually provide a description of the problem and pressing submit (and yeah, a github account is also required).

        • Mozilla

          • Benchmarking Mozilla’s Firefox Performance Over The Past Two Years

            With 2019 quickly drawing to an end, I figured it would be interesting to see how the performance of Mozilla Firefox has been trending over the longer term. So for this article today is a look at the Firefox 57 through Firefox 71 stable performance plus tests of Firefox 72 beta and Firefox 73 alpha all from the same system and using a variety of browser benchmarks.

            Going back to Firefox 71 means a look at the performance of this web browser from present back through November 2017. Firefox 57 was the cut-off as Firefox 56 and older was not working with the Selenium / WebDriver interfaces used for automating these browser benchmarks. For all the Firefox releases tested, they were using the official Linux x86_64 binaries from the Mozilla FTP and each time tested in an out-of-the-box configuration with clean profile.

          • Ending QA community events, for now

            QMO events have been around for several years now, with many loyal Mozilla contributors engaged in various types of manual testing activities– some centered around verification of bug fixes, others on trying out exciting new features or significant changes made to the browser’s core ones. The feedback we received through them, during the Nightly and Beta phases, helped us ship polished products with each iteration, and it’s something that we’re very grateful for.

            We also feel that we could do more with the Testday and Bugday events. Their format has remained unchanged since we introduced them and the lack of a fresh new take on these events is now more noticeable than ever, as the overall interest in them has been dialing down for the past couple of years.

            We think it’s time to take a step back, review things and think about new ways to engage the community going forward.

          • Tips to improve your Ring camera security

            We cannot stress this enough. Weak and reused passwords are a serious vulnerability to your personal security and privacy. The software that the Nulled crew is using to tap into Ring feeds can be used to take over other things like, say, a Disney+ account. Or your bank account.

          • The Mozilla Blog: Petitioning for rehearing in Mozilla v. FCC

            Today, Mozilla continues the fight to preserve net neutrality protection as a fundamental digital right. Alongside other petitioners in our FCC challenge, Mozilla, Etsy, INCOMPAS, Vimeo and the Ad Hoc Telecom Users Committee filed a petition for rehearing and rehearing en banc in response to the D.C. Circuit decision upholding the FCC’s 2018 Order, which repealed safeguards for net neutrality.

            Our petition asks the original panel of judges or alternatively the full complement of D.C. Circuit judges to reconsider the decision both because it conflicts with D.C. Circuit or Supreme Court precedent and because it involves questions of exceptional importance.

      • Productivity Software/LibreOffice/Calligra

        • Trying Out The Skia+Vulkan Powered LibreOffice 6.5 Development Build

          Skia is more modern and much better maintained than Cairo so that alone is a huge win, but the Vulkan support makes it even more interesting with not being aware of any other open or proprietary office programs with Vulkan drawing support.

          I tried out a new development build of LibreOffice and it’s indeed working when activating the Skia code path. The Skia usage can be done either on a CPU or Vulkan if a Vulkan-supported GPU/driver is detected and needing Vulkan 1.1.

          At least from some basic testing, the LibreOffice Skia+Vulkan configuration does appear to be a bit faster when dealing with scrolling / presentation of large documents/spreadsheets. Unfortunately I am not aware of any LibreOffice UI-representative benchmarks, but just from my experience so far in testing the latest LO 6.5 development build. I didn’t try the CPU-based Skia support to know whether any changes “feel” like they are from the transition to Skia as opposed to the Vulkan-based drawing, but when this follow-on release to LibreOffice 6.4 approaches later on in 2020 I will be around with more testing. It would be great if LibreOffice has a representative UI benchmark (there is this LibreOffice test profile albeit limited to document conversion/handling operations and not encompassing the UI).

        • The LibreOffice Documentation Team Announces the LibreOffice Online Guide

          The guide includes content for end-users – as well as for system administrators – for rapid deployment and start of operation. It covers the basic usage of the word processor, spreadsheet and presentation modules, as well as guides for file handling and – one of the major technological achievements of LibreOffice Online – the collaborative editing capability, that allows several users to work on the same document, spreadsheet or presentation at the same time. Users familiar with LibreOffice on the desktop will quickly grasp the operation of LibreOffice Online, except for some specific differences addressed in the guide.

          For the system administrator, the guide covers installation and basic operation, and explains deployment in small and limited environments. Professional support and operation services are strongly recommended for large installations and mission critical deployments, available in the LibreOffice business ecosystem.

      • CMS

        • Marco Zehe: A quick introduction to using Gutenberg

          Late in November, I published a personal opinion on the state of Gutenberg accessibility. Today, I’d like to give an introduction to Gutenberg from a screen reader user perspective.

          Gutenberg, the WordPress block editor, is the new way to create content and build sites in WordPress. It is a rich web application that uses many modern techniques such as dynamic updates, toolbars, side bars and other items to completely update the posting experience. It can also be quite daunting at first. Let us try to shed a little light on some of the mysteries around it.

      • FSF

        • FSFE

          • Pitfalls for OMEMO Implementations – Part 1: Inactive Devices

            Smack’s OMEMO implementation received a security audit a while ago (huge thanks to the Guardian Project for providing the funding!). Radically Open Security, a non-profit pentesting group from the Netherlands focused on free software and ethical hacking went through the code in great detail to check its correctness and to search for any vulnerabilities. In the end they made some findings, although I wouldn’t consider them catastrophically bad (full disclosure – its my code, so I might be biased :D). In this post I want to go over two of the finding and discuss, what went wrong and how the issue was fixed.

        • GNU Projects

          • GNU Guile 2.9.7 Released [beta]

            We are pleased to announce GNU Guile release 2.9.7. This is the seventh
            and hopefully next-to-last pre-release of what will eventually become
            the 3.0 release series.

            Compared to the current stable series (2.2.x), the future Guile 3.0 adds
            support for just-in-time native code generation, speeding up all Guile
            programs. See the NEWS extract at the end of the mail for full details.

            Compared to the previous prerelease (2.9.6), Guile 2.9.7 improves the
            quality of native code generation, and fixes a bug that prevented a
            timely switch from the interpreter to native code. A performance
            comparison is further down in this mail.

            The current plan is to make another prerelease (2.9.8) on 3 January
            2020, and 3.0.0 on 17 January 2020. It’s a good time to test the
            prereleases to make sure they work on your platform. Please send any
            build reports (success or failure) to address@hidden, along with
            platform details. You can file a bug by sending mail to
            address@hidden.

          • GNU Guile 2.9.7 (beta) released
        • Licensing / Legal

          • Support FSF’s copyleft and licensing work

            We launched our annual fundraiser with the goal of welcoming 600 new associate members before December 31st. New members are critical to the cause, and by becoming a member you will stand in solidarity with others who care about computer user freedom. As is the case with any social movement, the numbers matter, and it is a very powerful gesture to make for only $10 a month ($5 if you are a student). Please support the work that gives hope for a future with software freedom: make a donation or – better yet — join us and become a member today.

            The Free Software Foundation is a global leader for copyleft, and the licensing team plays a vital role in disseminating useful knowledge about free software while working to protect it. We accomplish this in part by answering licensing questions from the public and by providing resources like our list of free software licenses. We also increase access to software freedom by managing the Respects Your Freedom certification program, and cataloging free software through our endorsed distributions program and the Free Software Directory. To protect free software, we handle license compliance for the GNU Project, resulting in a stronger community and more respect for the power of copyleft.

            We are proud to accomplish this as just two staff working with our executive director, board, and legal counsel. These resources combined make a potent force for software freedom, and your support will ensure our work continues with the aim to do an even better job in 2020. Let us share a bit about the work we did in 2019 and elaborate on why it is so vital that this work continues.

      • Programming/Development

        • Research: Developers are trusted by the business but the alignment is not felt evenly across different generations

          Welcome to the first in a series of in-depth articles looking at the developer’s role in the modern organisation. In this first post: a new generation has arrived. As organisations shift to becoming technology-focused, developers’ roles have evolved so that they are now playing a crucial role in decision making across their businesses. However, all this newfound alignment isn’t so keenly felt across the whole developer workforce…

        • Jakarta EE: Creating an Enterprise JavaBeans timer

          Enterprise JavaBeans (EJB) has many interesting and useful features, some of which I will be highlighting in this and upcoming articles. In this article, I’ll show you how to create an EJB timer programmatically and with annotation. Let’s go!

          The EJB timer feature allows us to schedule tasks to be executed according a calendar configuration. It is very useful because we can execute scheduled tasks using the power of Jakarta context. When we run tasks based on a timer, we need to answer some questions about concurrency, which node the task was scheduled on (in case of an application in a cluster), what is the action if the task does not execute, and others. When we use the EJB timer we can delegate many of these concerns to Jakarta context and care more about business logic. It is interesting, isn’t it?

        • Python

      • Standards/Consortia

  • Leftovers

    • Oregon Community College Press Offers Low-Cost Textbooks

      Managing editor of the Press, Brian Mosher, explained to the Salem Reporter how expensive textbooks contribute to dropouts: “Higher costs per course mean[sic] a student may take fewer classes per quarter, meaning a degree takes longer to finish. Students in college longer are less likely to finish at all.” Providing affordable textbooks offsets other college costs and encourages students to complete their degrees, especially for community college students who often have to balance school with other responsibilities.

    • Prostitutes Relish Drive-thru Brothels as Governments Sanction Sex Infrastructures

      For cash-strapped women like Nicole Schulze, these government-sanctioned drive-thru facilities offer an avenue of employment to get over financial speed bumps without going to pay-day lenders or other predatory quick-cash potholes.

    • Putin attends Luzhkov’s memorial service
    • Science

      • Public Shielded from Realities of Government-Funded Animal Research

        The National Institutes of Health (NIH) ensure that research using animals takes place behind closed doors, with only minimal public scrutiny. For example, the University of Iowa invested $11.2 million on a 35,000 square foot vivarium in an effort to further research and “offer an extra measure of protection from animal rights extremists.” Rosenberg states that often millions of animals are being sent to their death when they arrive to these labs. In addition to that, millions of animals that are being restrained and subject to a procedure, known as the Draize Test, that involves substances being applied to their eyes or skin to check for negative reactions.

    • Health/Nutrition

      • British Voters Are Terrified of US Companies Privatizing the NHS. They Should Be.

        The US healthcare machine raked in $100bn last year—and CEOs are salivating at the money they could extract from British patients.

      • California Farms Struggle to Harvest Produce in a Broken Food System

        Civil Eats found that many farmers would only estimate the amount of unharvested produce per year; when a thorough survey was conducted with accurate data, the numbers were higher than estimated, causing alarm across the agricultural community. With almost 40-million Americans categorized as food insecure, efforts to reduce the amount of unharvested food are crucial.

      • Baby Food Industries Milk Profits from Poor Mothers

        For example, a 2018 investigation, conducted by the Guardian and Save The Children, found that in deprived areas of the Philippines, Nestlé, Abbott, Mead Johnson and Wyeth (which is now owned by Nestlé) used underhanded methods, including some which clearly violated Philippine law, to encourage doctors, midwives, and local health workers to encourage low income mothers to use specific brands of formula milk.

      • Despite Audit, Doctors With Checkered Records Can Still Decide Fate of Green Card Seekers

        Last year, government investigators found that the federal program for vetting the health of green card applicants included scores of doctors with histories of professional misconduct. Physicians who had been disciplined by state medical boards for abusing patients, and in some cases had faced criminal charges, had the government’s blessing to conduct screenings that can decide the fate of an immigrant’s petition for permanent residency.

        The investigators found one doctor who had been convicted of hiring a hitman to kill a disgruntled patient, and in the same sample, found more than a hundred other physicians with serious disciplinary histories. The review concluded that U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, the agency that maintains the list of more than 5,000 doctors, inadequately vets the physicians, and that it often fails to follow its own standards. “As a result of these deficiencies, USCIS may be placing foreign nationals at risk of abuse by physicians performing medical examinations,” investigators concluded.

      • Ocasio-Cortez Makes Connection Between 20% Jump in Healthcare Costs and Industry-Sponsored Spa Days for Congressional Staffers

        “This is the healthcare system of ‘choice’ that so many politicians are committed to protecting.”

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Pseudo-Open Source

          • Privatisation/Privateering

            • Linux Foundation

              • The 2 Problems Facing Linux (and Open Source) in 2020

                Some of the largest and, arguably, most influential organizations within the Open Source world are heavily funded by companies who are predominantly opposed to Open Source as a concept.

                Microsoft and Facebook fund the Open Source Initiative. Facebook, VMWare, Microsoft, Comcast, and Oracle (all companies that focus on Closed Source almost entirely — the vast majority of their work is closed and some of these firms take drastic legal action against Open Source projects and their users) all fund the Linux Foundation (and have seats on the Linux Foundation board).

                Some of these seats cost half a million dollars per year.

                Companies don’t throw around that kind of money without expecting something in return.

                That’s not a conspiracy theory… that’s just good, obvious business. If Microsoft, for example, simply wished to be generous, they would donate the half million dollars, issue a press release about how nice they are, and be hands off. Instead, they are paying for board positions to give them greater control over activities and stances of organizations like the Linux Foundation.

                Again. Not a conspiracy. I’m not claiming anything unfounded or unproven. Simply pointing out the business relationships that have formed — and that companies don’t typically pay half a million dollars (per year) for nothing in return.

                I want to also stress this point: None of this makes these companies, like Microsoft, evil. I don’t view Microsoft as evil… simply a company focused (primarily) on Closed Source software and with a track record of attacking those that threaten their core businesses. They’re just doing the business they do. Looking at how the business needs (real or perceived) of such a company can impact the organizations they have some control over (such as the Open Source Initiative and the Linux Foundation) is, regardless of your views of any of these entities, the prudent thing to do.

                To me, Microsoft buying seats on the Linux Foundation board feels like a cigarette company buying a seat on the board of an organization focused on helping people quit smoking — in that their interests are not (by and large) aligned. Or Tesla buying a seat on the board of a chain of gas stations.

                Note: I have reached out to both The Linux Foundation and Microsoft repeatedly over the last several months. I genuinely want their viewpoint. To date, no response has been given.

              • Linux Foundation pitches DENT to simplify enterprise edge networks

                The Linux Foundation today announced a new open-source project aimed at simplifying enterprise networking software at the edge.

                The DENT initiative‘s goal is to create a network operating system for disaggregated network switches used in remote enterprise locations such as retail stores. The project is being backed by a number of companies, including Amazon.com Inc., Cumulus Networks Inc., Delta Electronics Inc., Marvell Technology Group, Mellanox Technologies Ltd. and Wistron NeWeb Corp.

                DENT’s founders say they’re trying to facilitate “open networking” at the network edge based on the idea of “disaggregation.” That refers to the evolution of switching and routing appliances from proprietary, closed hardware and software sourced from a single provider toward totally decoupled, open components combined to form a complete switching and routing device.

                [...]

                Analyst Holger Mueller of Constellation Research Inc. said the battle for the edge is in full swing and it’s not surprising that some companies are choosing to wage it on the standards front too.

                “The Foundation has a good track record on standards so far, and enterprise executives want to see cross-vendor endorsed standards win in the marketplace to power their next-generation applications,” he said.

              • DENT Launches To Simplify Enterprise Edge Networking Software

                The Linux Foundation, the nonprofit organization enabling mass innovation through open source, today announced the launch of DENT, a project to enable the creation of Network OS for Disaggregated Network Switches in campus and remote enterprise locations. Under the Linux Foundation, DENT hopes to unify and grow the community of Silicon Vendors, Original Design Manufacturers (ODM), System Integrators (SI), Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEM) and end users to create an ecosystem of contributors around a full-featured network operating system. The initial use case will focus on the retail industry with premier members including Amazon, Cumulus Networks, Delta Electronics Inc, Marvell, Mellanox, Wistron NeWeb (WNC).

                Networking solutions today are customized for each market and each use case, whether telecom, cloud or enterprise data center markets. They use proprietary silicon (ASIC) for packet processing and closed operating systems to enable workloads and applications on a network switch. Disaggregation is the new way for Open Networking and has been well accepted in data centers and telecom infrastructures. However, in enterprise networking– especially with distributed locations– nothing currently exists for Enterprise Edge properties that fall outside the traditional public cloud as they have very specific requirements to take advantage of disaggregation and the networking stack.

                Remote campus locations and retail stores require a simple networking OS stack that is low cost and Linux-based. DENT is an Open Source project that will enable the community to build this solution without complicated abstractions. It uses the Linux Kernel, Switchdev and other Linux based projects to allow developers to treat networking ASICs and silicon like any other hardware. It simplifies abstractions, APIs, drivers and overheads that currently exist in these switches and on other open software.

          • Entrapment (Microsoft GitHub)

            • GitHub Urges “Critical” Updates After Nine Git Vulnerabilities Spotted

              “If you clone untrusted repositories, there is no workaround that avoids the risk of any vulnerabilities disclosed in this post, except for updating”

              [...]

              Among the vulnerabilities was CVE-2019-1350, which through incorrect quoting of command-line arguments allows remote code execution during a recursive clone in conjunction with SSH URLs, the Git project’s Johannes Schindelin said.

              “This is a Windows-only issue, as the vulnerable code is only compiled on Windows. The exploit we found involves a submodule having a name that ends in a backslash, and a maliciously-crafted SSH URL that exploits the bug to pass arbitrary options to `ssh.exe`, allowing remote code to be executed during a recursive clone.”

            • OpenJS Foundation Welcomes Electron As Its New Incubating Project [Ed: OpenJS is run by people from Microsoft]

              Initially developed by GitHub in 2013, today the framework is maintained by a number of developers and organization

        • Security

          • This Week In Security: VPNs, Patch Tuesday, And Plundervault

            An issue in Unix virtual private networks was disclosed recently, where an attacker could potentially hijack a TCP stream, even though that stream is inside the VPN. This attack affects OpenVPN, Wireguard, and even IPSec VPNs. How was this possible? Unix systems support all manner of different network scenarios, and oftentimes a misconfiguration can lead to problems. Here, packets sent to the VPNs IP address are processed and responded to, even though they are coming in over a different interface.

            The attack initially sounds implausible, as an attacker has to know the Virtual IP address of the VPN client, the remote IP address of an active TCP connection, and the sequence and ACK numbers of that connection. That’s a lot of information, but an attacker can figure it out one piece at a time, making it a plausible attack.

            The scenario suggested in the disclosure was a rogue access point with multiple clients. An attacker can scan the private address space, 10.*.*.* for example, and discover all the VPN clients on the network. Unless the client’s firewall is configured to block it, the VPN interface will happily respond to that scan when the correct IP address is probed.

          • Microsoft Rolls Out Giant Full-Page Reminders That Windows 7 Is About to Die [Ed: GNU/Linux companies totally MIA. Not interested in exploiting this to advance GNU/Linux on desktops and laptops.]
          • Security updates for Friday

            Security updates have been issued by Fedora (knot-resolver and xen), openSUSE (kernel), and SUSE (haproxy, kernel, and openssl).

          • Mozilla to force all add-on devs to use 2FA to prevent supply-chain attacks
          • Fear, Uncertainty, Doubt/Fear-mongering/Dramatisation

            • May the Open Source Force Be with You [Ed: Flexera acting like Microsoft's Black Duck, spreading fear for money/sales]

              One of the challenges is that companies could have multiple versions of the same open source library in their product. Version control is a real issue. The ability to leverage SCA to make sure you have the latest version of a particular library and the version that is approved, safe, has the most desirable license terms according to your policies, and is used consistently across the entire product line is a huge benefit.

          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • Amazon’s Ring: Technology that Promises Home Security Introduces New Vulnerabilities

              The Ring app has already raised a number of privacy and civil liberty concerns, as the Electronic Frontier Foundation reported in August 2019. According to a July 2019 report by Gizmodo, Amazon has partnerships with more than 225 police departments, which not only promote Amazon’s product, but also, under certain circumstances, use video data collected by it.

            • Michael Hayden Ran The NSA And CIA: Now Warns That Encryption Backdoors Will Harm American Security & Tech Leadership

              There are very few things in life that former NSA and CIA director Michael Hayden and I agree on. For years, he was a leading government champion for trashing the 4th Amendment and conducting widespread surveillance on Americans. He supported the CIA’s torture program and (ridiculously) complained that having the US government publicly reckon with that torture program would help terrorists.

            • Florida Appeals Court Says Govt’s Lack Of Good Faith Can’t Save A 2012 Warrantless Stingray Deployment

              A good ruling [PDF] has been issued by a Florida Appeals Court — one that not only affirms its earlier warrant requirement for Stingray use, but also reminds law enforcement that the good faith exception isn’t as expansive as they think it is. (via FourthAmendment.com)

            • Inspector General’s Report On Investigation Of Trump Campaign Finds More FISA-Related Abuse By The FBI

              The Inspector General’s report [PDF] on the FBI’s investigation into Russia’s connection to the Trump election campaign has been released. In the 480-page report, there’s enough to satisfy both sides of the argument. Those who believe the investigation was never politically-driven will have their hunches confirmed. Those that believe there’s a concerted Deep State effort targeting Trump will find just enough in it to affirm those beliefs as well.

            • Hungary Has Fined Facebook For ‘Misleading Consumers’ Because It Promoted Its Service As ‘Free’

              Perhaps one of the more annoying points that people like to make when you point out that certain services are “free” is for them to point out, pedantically, “but you pay with your data” or some other such point. This is annoying because it’s (1) obvious and (2) not the point. When people say something is “free” in this context, they don’t mean “free of all consequences.” They mean “it doesn’t cost money.” However, it appears that Hungary’s Competition Authority is playing this pedantic game on a larger scale and has fined Facebook approximately $4 million because it advertises its services as “Free and anyone can join” on its front page…

    • Defence/Aggression

      • US Wary of China’s Influence in Iran

        And, as The Diplomat and RT reported, in September 2019, during a visit to Beijing, Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul-Mahdi announced that Iraq would join China’s signature Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).  The Arab Weekly described the BRI as “a massive global network of ports, railways, roads and industrial parks” that would span Asia, Africa, the Middle East, and Europe, expected to result in “trillions invested in new infrastructure.”

      • Zealots in High Office

        Back in 2003, in a top-secret international phone call, President George W. Bush urged French President Jacques Chirac to join America in invading Iraq on grounds that Christian nations must thwart the Satanic forces of Gog and Magog. Chirac was baffled by such crackpottery. A few French newspapers wrote derisive sneers about the born-again U.S. leader.

      • Afghanistan Papers Confirm That the Longest War Is a Lie

        The Washington Post’s Afghanistan Papers, detailing a true history of the nation’s longest official war, reveals nothing new about the war’s futility or about the fact that it was doomed to failure from almost the beginning. The Post fought a legal battle for three years to obtain the documents from the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR), a federal government watchdog agency that interviewed hundreds of officials about their honest assessments of the war.

      • The U.S. Government Lied about the Afghanistan War, They Couldn’t Have Done It Without Media Lapdogs

        “In ten years or so, we’ll leak the truth,” the Dead Kennedys sang. “But by then it’s only so much paper.”

      • Another accident interrupts repairs to the Russian Navy’s only aircraft carrier

        The “Admiral Kuznetsov,” the only aircraft carrier in Russia’s Navy, suffered a fire on December 12 while docked for repairs. According to reports from the “Zvezdochka” shipyard, the fire broke out during welding work to repair an electrical compartment on the ship’s lower deck, where several cables caught fire. The fire spread to roughly 600 square meters (6,458 square feet), a source told the news agency Interfax. The news agency TASS says there were 400 people aboard the ship when the fire started.

      • When You Follow the Gun Trail, You Can End Up in Expected Places

        I’ve always wanted to find out where the guns came from. Who were the ‘willing accomplices’ to the wars I witnessed?

    • Environment

    • Finance

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • Whose Coups?

        Donald Trump says that impeachment is actually a coup. It’s one more example of his attack on the rule of law.

      • #RefundPete Trends as Early Backers Request Donations Back After Learning Buttigieg Not So Progressive After All

        “The honeymoon is over.”

      • Kansas Abandons Technology Trumpeted by Kris Kobach, Trump’s Onetime Voter Fraud Czar

        The Kansas Secretary of State’s office has announced it will indefinitely suspend the use of controversial technology meant to identify voter fraud after concerns were raised about security risks.

        The technology had been heralded by former Secretary of State Kris Kobach, a Republican who in recent years has been one of the most prominent promoters of the alleged menace of voter fraud across the country. The computer program, known as CrossCheck, matched various state voter rolls against each other, identifying duplicate voters by first name, last name and birthdate. Critics called the program a cynical effort meant to suppress the vote among people of color.

      • Lawmakers Debate Articles of Impeachment

        The House Judiciary Committee pressed toward a historic vote Thursday to approve articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump. Split sharply along party lines, the panel was expected to send the charges to the full House for pre-Christmas action next week.

      • Southern States Take Up Fight For Bold Democracy Reforms

        Pro-democracy advocates are tapping a deep well of frustration with the status quo, and creating a blueprint for a more vibrant democracy.

      • The NFL Groomed Us for President Trump

        Because everything is so Trumpian these days, there’s less air or space for the only other mass entertainment that promotes tribalism and toxic masculinity while keeping violence in vogue: football.

      • Indian Government Strips Naturalization Rights From Muslims, Sparking Protests

        Critics condemned Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government Tuesday after the Lok Sabha, the lower chamber of the country’s parliament, passed the Citizenship Amendment Bill, stripping naturalization rights granted to other groups from the nation’s 200 million Muslims living in the world’s largest democracy.

      • Unequal Justice: Democrats Go Surgical and Small on Impeachment

        The Trump articles comprise a narrative of corruption, and on close inspection may not be as constrained as they appear at first glance.

      • Bernie Sanders Should Be Democrats’ First Choice

        Less than two months out from the Iowa caucus, the Democratic primary has become a four-way race featuring Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren and Pete Buttigieg. But while a recent war of words between Warren and Buttigieg has done little to bolster the prospects of either, it has served to underscore what makes Sanders such a unique candidate—more specifically, his remarkable consistency.

      • Pride Goeth Before the Fall

        The hammer of impeachment is finally falling on Donald Trump’s occupancy of the White House. For many, it’s taken far too long to get to the point where an obviously corrupt individual with a very long record of shady dealings, illicit financial transactions and bankruptcies now faces a process in which he has no control.

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • Teespring Takes Down Our Copying Is Not Theft Gear, Refuses To Say Why

        At Techdirt we’re no strangers to people disagreeing — often, let’s say, vehemently — with our views on copyright. But I’ve still often been surprised by how angry some people get about the simple, factual observation that copying is not theft. We’ve made the point many times (and it remains true even if you think copyright infringement is a dastardly crime), and a few years ago we put it on a t-shirt and some other products via the print-on-demand platform Teespring, where we sell a bunch of gear. But you won’t find the shirt at those links anymore, because last week we received notice from Teespring that it had been taken down… supposedly for copyright infringement.

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • Preventing Migrant Deaths on Arizona’s US-Mexico Border

        Warren’s work included dropping off gallons of water and canned food for migrants. Although eight members of a 12-person jury found Warren not guilty of a felony conspiracy charge, resulting in a mistrial on the conspiracy charge, at the time of the Democracy Now! interview he was awaiting trial on two charges of harboring migrants as well as several misdemeanor charges.

      • Death of Inmate Working in Extreme Heat Spurs Reform of Texas Prisons

        Donnelly was serving a 12-year sentence after pleading guilty of intoxication manslaughter in 2012. He was frequently assigned “grunt jobs” because guards assumed that his tattoos meant he was connected to a gang. Two months before his death, Donnelly started a new job training dogs to catch escapees. Inmates working as dog trainers got to go outside the prison gates to lay scents for the hounds to track, but they also sometimes had to wear stifling, 75-pound “fight suits” for protection when the dogs attacked.

      • Alabama Prisoners Shackled to Lavatory Buckets

        Caldwell was transferred to Limestone from a coveted work release center. Because he was suspected of smuggling contraband, on entry to Limestone, he underwent entry procedures that included several body cavity searches, metal detectors, and inspection by drug-detecting dogs. Yet, once Caldwell was in his cell he was shackled from his wrists, belly, and ankles, which prevented him from raising his hands above his waist; his pant legs were taped up.

      • Family Murder of 21-Year-Old Palestinian Woman Raises Protests over “Honor Killings”

        Israa Gharib’s murder was considered an “honor killing,” a term used to refer to the killing of a relative, most often a young girl or a woman, who is perceived to have brought dishonor or shame on the family. In an article published by Quds News Network, members of Gharib’s family claimed that she suffered from a “psychological disorder,” and that her spinal injuries were the result of her having jumped from the second story of their house. On August 30th, Israa’s brother denied that she was beaten. He explained that her screaming in the hospital was the result of being possessed by evil spirits. However, the director of the Center for Women’s Psychosocial Counseling and a member of the General Secretariat of the Palestinian Women’s Union, Khawla Al-Azraq, was able to obtain information indicating that Israa Gharib had no history of mental illness.

      • How Working Class Atomization and the Mohawk Valley Formula Gave Us Centrist Democrats

        The Mohawk Valley Formula, the propaganda model of “scientific strikebreaking” originated in 1937. Since that time, forms of non-violent worker control have been updated into much more sophisticated measures of strike-breaking. At this stage in American history, strike breaking is a major profession and by destroying unions and atomizing people, the business-run class war continues to achieve major electoral bipartisan results in promoting the right wing GOP business elite while holding off progressive Democratic electoral victories.

      • “None of the Children at the School Are Safe”

        The knock came on Beth Sandy’s door late one Friday afternoon at the end of May.

        Standing outside was an investigator with the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services, the state agency charged with examining allegations of child abuse and neglect.

      • US Government Using Google Translate To Screen Refugees

        Although the manual acknowledges that online translation tools may not provide the best translations, its guidance raises questions about the extent to which immigration officials rely on professional translators to do proper background checks to vet refugees.

      • US Border Policy, Abuse of Children, to face International Scrutiny in 2020

        The emotional abuse of children who are locked up in deplorable conditions with not enough space or a bed on which to sleep will be under the microscope as possible violation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

      • Paper Genocide: The Barriers to an Accurate Count of Native People in 2020

        As the country prepares for the 2020 census, many tribal governments and communities are still awaiting an accurate count of the most undercounted group in the United States: American Indians (AI) and Alaska Natives (AN). Though the 2020 census is the first to offer an online response form, that will have little impact in increasing AI and AN participation given existing barriers. At the same time, the undercounting of AI and AN people wreaks havoc on tribal communities today, and it will for generations to come.

      • Youth Lead Nigeria’s #ChurchToo Movement

        Iyorah’s report for Sojourner recounts multiple charges against Biodun Fatoyinbo, the pastor of the Common Wealth of Zion Assembly (COZA), a megachurch with a huge following in Lagos. Many critics allege Tatoyinbo is a serial rapist. After a series of tweets, sparked by an interview in which a celebrity photographer, Busola Dakolo, said that Fatoyinbo had raped her when she was a teen, Lagos youth “poured onto the streets in protest,” Iyorah wrote. Widespread protest led Fatoyinbo to resign as pastor. However, a month later Fatoyinbo returned to the pulpit.

      • Impunity for UK Police Accused of Domestic Abuse

        Reports of alleged abuses by law enforcement officers were treated differently. More than three quarters of accused officers receive no professional discipline, and just 3.9% of alleged domestic abuse cases involving police force members in England and Wales resulted in convictions, compared with 6.2% of such cases among the general population.

      • A$AP Rocky Successfully Performs in Sweden To Help Refugees

        Rapper A$AP Rocky triumphantly returned to Sweden, where he was jailed earlier this year, to perform a concert that in part benefited refugees.

      • Nginx’s office is being searched due to Rambler Group’s lawsuit. The complaintant press service confirmed the suit
    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

    • Monopolies

      • Trademarks

        • Restaurant Association Looks To Take Back Taco Tuesday For The People

          You may have noticed something of a steady stream of posts from us on the topic of a “Taco Tuesday” trademark held by the chain Taco John’s. Taco John’s has used this descriptive trademark to bully all kinds of other restaurants into not advertising their own taco Tuesday offerings, while also leaving alone the vast majority of small purveyors of tacos on Tuesdays. The ubiquity of Taco Tuesdays is mostly what has everyone confused as to why Taco John’s is acting like Taco Jerks: the term is descriptive and, even if it weren’t, fully generic at this point.

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  15. (Software) Freedom is Elusive Without the Ability to Concentrate

    Software is consuming people's minds; to make matters worse, people have become so attached to such software that they're unable to see it and get away from it (they associate that software with "social life")



  16. Monopolies Erode Freedom, Freedom Erodes Monopolies

    "There are so many reasons that GitHub makes projects less free."



  17. Links 7/7/2020: NomadBSD 1.3.2, Clonezilla Live 2.6.7 and DRM Comes to Cars

    Links for the day



  18. [Humour] IAM Ranked Top for Quality of EPO Propaganda

    Contrary to what the European Patent Office (EPO) keeps saying, patent quality is slipping very fast in Europe (based on the EPO's own analysis!) but patent trolls-funded publishers deny that



  19. When They're Done With Patents on Foods and Recipes They'll Have Patents on Fashion, Taste and Smell

    The mental dysfunction — an infectious condition — that says everything in the world must be patented should be resisted; it overlooks the fact that patents were introduced to protect/promote actual invention, not thoughts, feelings, nature and art



  20. [Humour/Meme] IBM's Money is Unhealthy to the Free Software Foundation (FSF)

    IBM will never be happy as long as RMS (Richard Stallman) has a say in the FSF — directly or indirectly — or even in the GNU Project, both of which he himself created back when IBM was the biggest monopolist



  21. IRC Proceedings: Monday, July 06, 2020

    IRC logs for Monday, July 06, 2020



  22. Never Let IBM/Red Hat Lecture Us on Morality

    Ethics and morality should not be taught by those who themselves need a lesson; in the meantime we're losing the courage to speak freely and those who commit atrocious acts like it a lot better that way



  23. [Humour/Meme] Wear the Red Hat as the Open Org Becomes Openwash

    IBM is changing Red Hat and not for the better; sooner or later IBM will become another Microsoft and changing from one to the other will be like swapping 'masters'



  24. IBM is Imposing Non-Free, Privacy-Infringing Tools and Patent Tolls on Red Hat Staff

    There are signs that Red Hat under IBM will be more like assimilation to IBM, not IBM assimilating to the 'Red Hat way' or the so-called 'open org'



  25. They Tell the Free Software Community That It is Racist While Saying Nothing at All About Trump's Racism (Because He Gives Them Government and Military Contracts)

    While their president compares 'foreign' people to a virus (using innuendo, dog whistles and racist rhetoric reminiscent of the Nazi era) the big US corporations (American surveillance giants) turn their attention to rather innocuous words inside people's code (which almost nobody sees anyway)



  26. LibreOffice 'Personal Edition' Seems Like a Marketing and Communication Fluke

    Had LibreOffice developers (and the Document Foundation) communicated these changes more openly, they would have averted/avoided some of the FUD



  27. It Almost Feels Like Microsoft Has Already 'Bought' Canonical

    Canonical's disturbing trajectory and betrayal of the community continue unabated; one can easily get the impression that Ubuntu exists to help Microsoft at some level



  28. Update to GNU Project Bleeding into Microsoft

    Update



  29. Microsoft is Going to Get Tired of Whining About “GAFA” and Accept That It's Just as Bad If Not a Lot Worse at Privacy

    Microsoft is being treated by the US government as if it's not abusing anything, let alone people's privacy; if anything, this demonstrates the degree to which Microsoft infiltrated or 'vendor-captured' regulatory branches



  30. Links 6/7/2020: LibreOffice 7.0 RC1, MX-19.2 KDE Beta 1, Linux 5.8 RC4

    Links for the day


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