Linus Torvalds, Who Turns 50 in a Few Hours, Always Saw Richard Stallman and GNU as More Professional

Posted in GNU/Linux at 3:40 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Torvalds is 50 this Saturday

'I'm doing a (free) operating system (just a hobby, won't be big and professional like gnu) for 386(486) AT clones.'~Linus Benedict Torvalds, 1991

Summary: The myth of ‘professionalism’ in Linux (compared to GNU) goes a long way back; the truth of the matter is, GNU started it all

Links 27/12/2019: WireGuard 1.0 Soon, NewPipe 0.18.0, EasyOS 2.2

Posted in News Roundup at 6:30 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

  • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

    • Europe should adopt open source as a ‘digital sovereignty enabler’, says SalesAgility

      SalesAgility, a specialist in delivering open source CRM software solutions worldwide, is calling for Europe to adopt open source as an enabler and catalyst for digital sovereignty and data privacy as it celebrates 10 years at the heart of the open source community.

      As the question of digital sovereignty in Europe intensifies, SalesAgility – which launched in 2009 – firmly believe that adopting open source over standard proprietary software is the key to decentralising the web and taking back control of data from big tech firms based in the US and China.

      Businesses that embrace open source benefit from greater control and transparency over their software, processes and crucially, their data. In turn, this enables more flexibility, innovation and drives the economy.

    • H2O.ai Inducted into Highly Selective Credit Suisse Disruptive Technology Recognition Program

      H2O.ai, the open source leader in artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML), today announced that Credit Suisse has selected it as a member of its 2019 Disruptive Technology Recognition (DTR) Program. Credit Suisse’s DTR Program recognizes the top companies who are disrupting traditional IT with new, visionary, and innovative approaches.

    • Joget Reveals New Logo for Next Generation Open Source Digital Transformation Platform

      Joget Inc, the open source no-code/low-code application platform company, has revealed its brand new logo that symbolizes the new phase of growth and brand identity beginning in year 2020. Initially a workflow engine for business process automation, Joget started as the open source Joget Workflow project in 2009. With more than 200,000 open source downloads and more than 10,000 community members since inception, Joget has matured into an enterprise grade no-code/low-code application development platform for Fortune 500 enterprises, government agencies, mid-market companies and small businesses with notable customers globally.

    • Kiwi TCMS: Roadmap status report for 2019

      Hello everyone, in this article I will outline the progress that the Kiwi TCMS team has made towards achieving the goals on our 2019 roadmap. TL,DR: last year we’ve made lots of big and visible changes in Kiwi TCMS. This year less so. Progress has been slower than before and not so much visible. Community and team is growing. More contributors are welcome.

    • Impact Of Company Culture On Open Source

      Open Source is as much about people as it is about technologies. As more and more companies are embracing open source development model, they also need to change their internal culture all the way from top leadership to new interns.

    • Events

      • Call for interpreters: translate 36C3!

        We interpret ALL talks in the five main halls live and in real-time. German talks are interpreted into English, and vice versa. Our work is transmitted live in the lecture halls, streamed to the Internet, and recordings are published on CCC sites and YouTube. A second translation channel will be operated in the same way.

      • The Event

        The 36th Chaos Communication Congress (36C3) takes places in Leipzig, 27.-30.12.2019, and is the 2019 edition of the annual four-day conference on technology, society and utopia organised by the Chaos Computer Club (CCC) and volunteers.

        The Congress offers lectures and workshops and various events on a multitude of topics including (but not limited to) information technology and generally a critical-creative attitude towards technology and the discussion about the effects of technological advances on society.

    • Funding

      • An Appeal From The OSI President

        I want to write to you a triumphant message about what a wonderful year it has been for open source and the Open Source Initiative (OSI). There has been a lot to celebrate as an organization and a community. More than 600 of you are now members of the OSI, making us stronger than we’ve ever been before. We have increased staffing capacity, which makes it so we can do more of the necessary work to fulfill our mission. Open source adoption is on the rise and people continue to do amazing, innovative things with open source technology.

        However, I would be doing us all a disservice to pretend that there have not been incredible challenges for the OSI and open source as a whole. We’ve been asked tough questions about what open source is, its continued value, and how it will need to adapt to the ever-changing landscape of technology. It is necessary to acknowledge everything that has happened over the past year in order for us to move forward and create a bright future for open source.

        At the beginning of our planning year, we set a goal of increasing the number and diversity of OSI Affiliate organizations. Now we have over 75 Affiliate members, with significantly increased representation from across Asia. Affiliate members are now welcome to join the Board and each other on regular calls to talk about the work of the OSI, thanks to the efforts of the Membership Committee.

    • FSF

      • Proposals for the new GNU/FSF relationship

        As volunteers for the GNU Project we are happy that the FSF provides GNU with services like fiscal sponsorship, technical infrastructure, promotion, copyright assignment, and volunteer management. And we note that the FSF is looking for feedback on this relationship going forward:

        FSF and GNU: https://www.fsf.org/news/fsf-and-gnu

        To that end we have held discussions with other GNU maintainers, developers and other contributors, drafting a GNU mission statement and social contract, identifying stakeholders, delegation models and consensus based decision making. We would like to share some of the things we believe should happen to improve the shared understanding of the relationship for the future of the Free Software Foundation and the GNU Project.

      • GNU Projects

        • GNU Generation Geekerie

          Here is quick report on GNU Generation’s Geekerie which happened on 2019-12-14 in Lausanne, Switzerland. We – I have been a member for a few years – are a student association promoting free software on EPFL’s campus, organizing various events over the academic semesters.

          The Geekeries take place on a whole day – either Saturday or Sunday – at the end of the semester and are targeted towards somewhat ‘advanced’ students (i.e. our members and anyone that know what free software is, we try to avoid the ‘first-level support’ that is usually done during our Install Fests).

    • Openness/Sharing/Collaboration

      • Military

        • Pentagon Reportedly Tells Suppliers To Prep Open-Source 5G Solutions

          The Pentagon has now gone so far as to ask US-based companies to help develop open-source 5G in the face of Huawei’s continued growth. That’s according to a recent report from the Financial Times, reporting that Cisco and Oracle are among those that have been asked. Ultimately, the officials warn, not joining on the project could render their businesses obsolete.

          The goal of the endeavor is reportedly to create a viable alternative for Huawei. The Chinese The Chinese tech giant offers a full suite of 5G solutions from the towers to software and end-points. So it currently holds its position as a provider that supplies a complete package. That grants the company a great position, holding around a third of the global market share.

        • US Military Leaders Seek Open-Source Simulation

          Senior U.S. military leaders exhorted companies to develop integrated, standardized training and simulation systems to help them maintain fighting proficiency against other world powers—namely China—during the industry’s largest annual conference.

          With numerous companies among the 480 exhibitors at the Interservice/Industry Training, Simulation and Education Conference (I/ITSEC) displaying their own approaches to creating interactive, “immersive” training environments, military leaders called for technological unity.

    • Programming/Development

      • 11 Best Free Linux Compilers

        compiler is software that transforms source code written in a computer language (the source language) into another computer language (the target language, often having a binary form known as object code).

        Typically, a programmer writes language statements in a language such as C or C++ using an editor. The programmer then runs the appropriate language compiler, which analyzes the language statements and turns them into machine code that the processor can execute.

        Many coders learn to code using a text editor but in time they move towards using an Integrated Development Environment (IDE) as this type of software application makes the art of coding quicker and more efficient. For example, IDEs have semantic knowledge of the programming language which highlights coding problems while typing. Compiling is ‘on the fly’ and debugging is integrated. Our article titled 9 of the Best Free Linux Integrated Development Environments selects the best Linux IDEs.

      • Git v2.25.0-rc0
        An early preview release Git v2.25.0-rc0 is now available for
        testing at the usual places.  It is comprised of 531 non-merge
        commits since v2.24.0, contributed by 61 people, 24 of which are
        new faces.
      • Git 2.25 Is On The Way For Release In Early 2020

        Git 2.25 continues re-implementing git add -i functionality within C code, performance tweaks to git push for repos with many refs pointing to unheard of objects, various other performance optimizations, many fixes, and various enhancements to different sub-commands and arguments.

      • Embracing open-source to fill the IT skills gap

        It’s not difficult to conclude that, in the world that places the greatest importance on speed, efficiency and user-friendliness, IT has become the backbone of business in the 21st century. Despite the vast benefits and reliance on technology in today’s business, both employees and leaders in the field are familiar with the skills gap, and need to address it.

        IT staff must be able to implement, operate and manage new technologies effectively to procure business benefits, yet a recent study found that 65 per cent of CIOs report IT skills shortages in their organisation. As well as this, the European Commission has conjectured there will be 756,000 unfilled jobs in the region’s information communications technology (ICT) sector by 2020.

        As more businesses move online and data continues to underpin the modernisation of every industry, businesses lacking in IT professionals are at a major competitive disadvantage. But why is it so difficult to find tech talent?


        For IT organisations worrying about attracting new talent, skills gaps and reskilling staff, Postgres could be the answer.

        Postgres is a fork of the original relational language that Ted Codd at IBM developed, which went on to become the foundation of Oracle’s database technology. This compatibility means significantly less training for DBAs to understand how to implement and manage Postgres.

        So not only do businesses have a route to escape the clutches of Oracle, they can go a long way to reskilling their existing workforce without incurring a huge retraining bill. What’s more, Postgres is supported by an active community, which is constantly innovating – exactly the type of technology that will attract talent to an organisation.

        The digital skills gap may be widening, but the growing presence of open source alternatives may be able to bridge the gap. Not only does open-source software give customers in the database sector more choice, it also offers an attractive solution to attracting, retaining and reskilling staff.

      • Excellent Free Tutorials to Learn Swift

        Swift is a powerful and intuitive general-purpose programming language for the OS X, iOS, watchOS, and Linux operating systems. It’s developed by Apple Inc. Swift is intended to be more resilient to erroneous code (“safer”) than Objective-C, and more concise.

        Swift is a new language, first appearing in 2014. It’s friendly to new programmers, feels familiar to Objective-C developers, and the language is optimized for development. It was launched under a proprietary license, but Apple made the language open source in December 2015 by releasing Swift 2.2 and later under the Apache License 2.0. By open-sourcing Swift, developers are able to use the language for their own purposes and go beyond OS X, iOS and watchOS apps.

      • Evolution of OpenSSL Security After Heartbleed

        There are currently two people who work full-time on the OpenSSL code, which does not include individuals who are assigned by their organization to work on the project. There are also a total of 16 individuals on the committer team and many more in the broader community who contribute patches.

        According to Caswell, 30 OpenSSL contributors made 469 commits to the master branch in 2013, which was the last full year before the disclosure of Heartbleed. In comparison, in 2019, roughly 150 authors made over 1,800 commits.

        “This broader community engagement means we really do have many more eyes on the code and a much healthier project,” Caswell said.

      • ‘Cortex’: An open source platform for deploying machine learning models as production web services

        If you are looking for a tool to deploy machine learning models as production web services, then ‘Cortex’ could be a good option to try. This open-source platform is an alternative to serving models with AWS SageMaker or creating your own model deployment platform over AWS services like Elastic Container Service (ECS), Elastic Kubernetes Service (EKS), and Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) and even open-source projects like Docker, Kubernetes, and TensorFlow.

      • Net/Web

        • 10 networking guides for Linux sysadmins

          This was a great year for sysadmins interested in broadening their skills and making friends with their networking colleagues. As we closed out the last few months of the year, our talented writers shared their expertise throughout the layers of the TCP/IP stack. Network novices had the opportunity to learn basic troubleshooting tools, configure VLANs, befriend Network Manager, become comfortable with DNS fundamentals, and much more.

          Of course, we didn’t leave our advanced users hanging. Power users had the chance to familiarize themselves with the latest trends in software-defined networking, build their own VPN service, sniff the wire with tcpdump, and automate DNS configuration with Ansible. Knowing what goes on beyond your NIC isn’t just good for bonding with your networking colleagues; it’s also a great way to better understand the systems that you design, operate, and troubleshoot on a daily basis. Here’s a recap of our ten most popular networking articles

        • How to format code blocks for narrow screens

          For historical reasons dating back to code written on punch cards in the 1920s and carried on through terminal-screens from the 70s; programming style guides and editors set the line-length to 80-characters per line (cpl) or less. You’ll find this enforced today in the Style Guide for Python Code (PEP 8), the Ruby Style Guide, and many others.

          However, you’re not going to fit up to 80-characters of a fixed-width font face onto a mobile screen and maintain a readable font size. You can at most fit 32 characters at a comfortable 18px font size on a 360 px wide display (including a 10 px margin at either side). This is one of the most common mobile resolutions and also the smallest one.

          You can fit in 64 characters if you ask your readers to flip their phones horizontally. They’ll surely resent you for asking and interrupting their reading. There are still many phones on the market, even new ones, that have square displays.

          You can make a fluid preformatted code block that reflows to fit within the character limits for narrow (mobile portrait), medium (mobile landscape/tablet), and large displays (PCs). You likely have to do this yourself as there are no automated tools for the job.

          At this point, advanced CSS-stylists may be thinking of CSS rulesets like white-space: pre-wrap; word-break: break-word;. However, this method won’t handle indentation levels and would break lines in inopportune places.

          Instead, you’d need to invest the time to manually wrap segments of code at opportune places in a display: inline-block; elements. Your stylesheet (probably aided by JavaScript) would need to apply proper levels of indentation to wrapped lines. This would be a time-consuming process.

      • Python

        • Market Basket Analysis with Python and Pandas

          If you’ve ever worked with retail data, you’ll most likely have run across the need to perform some market basket analysis (also called Cross-Sell recommendations). If you aren’t sure what market basket analysis is, I’ve provided a quick overview below.

          What is Market Basket Analysis?

          In the simplest of terms, market basket analysis looks at retail sales data and determines what products are purchased together. For example, if you sell widgets and want to be able to recommend similar products and/or products that are purchased together, you can perform this type of analysis to be able to understand what products should be recommended when a user views a widget.

        • Decision Tree: Knowing The Every Possible Output

          Decision Tree is the best and easiest way to analyze the consequences of each possible output, be it in data mining, statistics, or machine learning. It is a supervised learning approach that can be used for both classification and regression.

          A decision tree can help in visually represent the decisions and the explicit decision making process. For example: While developing a decision tree, at each node there is a different type of question asked. Based on the type of question, you can calculate output from it.

        • Calculating the period of Van der Pol oscillators

          For ivp_solve an event is a function of the time t and the solution y whose roots the solver will report. To determine the period, we’ll look at where the solution is zero; our event function is trivial since we want to find the roots of the solution itself.

        • Heap Sort in Python

          Heap Sort is another example of an efficient sorting algorithm. Its main advantage is that it has a great worst-case runtime of O(n*logn) regardless of the input data.

          As the name suggests, Heap Sort relies heavily on the heap data structure – a common implementation of a Priority Queue.

          Without a doubt, Heap Sort is one of the simplest sorting algorithms to implement and coupled with the fact that it’s a fairly efficient algorithm compared to other simple implementations, it’s a common one to encounter.

        • The importance of consistency in your Python code

          The principle of least surprise is a guideline when designing user interfaces. It says that when the user performs an action, the program should do whatever would surprise the user the least. This is for the same reason kids love reading the same book over and over again: there is nothing more comforting to people than the ability to predict and have those predictions come true.

          A critical insight in the development of the ABC language, Python’s inspiration, was that programming languages are user interfaces and need to be designed with the same tools that UI designers use. Thankfully, since then, more languages have adopted the concepts of affordance and ergonomics from UI design, even if they apply them less strictly.

          This brings us to the next three principles in the Zen of Python.

        • Python For Finance(Beginner): See Behind the FX rate

          Many people have browsed FX trading sites to check FX rates. If you are buying a large amount of foreign currency whether for traveling or paying for oversea expense, you would be checking FX rate frequently (probably several times a day – like me) as a small rate difference could lead to a quite large financial impact.


          You could then leave the code to run for a day or two for it to collect the data.
          Once the data is collected, you have a series of data to play with.

          By plotting line graphs, you could check which banks offer the best rates – in my case, China Merchant Bank offered the more competitive rates at the time.
          Screenshot 2019-12-26 at 21.18.11.png

          I also noticed that both banks charges relatively consistent spreads (the difference between selling and buying rate) across the days. But in comparison, Bank of China seems to be charging higher spreads than China Merchant Bank like calculate below.

      • Git

        • 10 resources to boost your Git skills

          These articles range from use cases and tutorials to some very interesting, if somewhat unconventional, ways to use Git. All of these articles can help you improve your Git skills, but if you really need a Git 101 introduction, be sure to check out our Getting started with Git: Terminology 101 article and download our Git cheat sheet.

    • Standards/Consortia

      • C3GSM wants you to test yesterday’s future, today!

        Like previous years at 36C3 the C3GSM team will run a local cellular network for mobile phones, alongside the POC’s DECT system and the NOC’s IPv4 and IPv6 systems. As core network for our cellular network we use the open source projects osmocom (for 2G/3G) and NextEPC (for 4G). There will only be a very limited number of SIM cards available to buy. However, cards from previous CCC events can be used, so please don’t forget to bring them.

        As always, we had to ask commercial operators for permission to use some of their parts of the spectrum, which unfortunately has been completely sold to very few commercial operators. We got permission to use 5 MHz of the 850 MHz band, which we will use for 2G/3G and 10 MHz on the 2600 MHz band for 4G (LTE).

  • Leftovers

    • Science

      • How Math Can Help Prevent Outbreaks of Measles and Other Diseases

        Sometimes math really is a matter of life and death, particularly when it comes to the outbreak of a deadly disease and the strategies to control it. As well as helping us to understand the unusual features of different disease landscapes, mathematical models of epidemics allow us to peer into the future of disease progression and to take proactive preventive measures, rather than always playing reactive games of catch-up.

        Mathematical epidemiology helps us answer a number of perplexing questions that surround childhood diseases such as mumps and rubella.

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Apple will enforce app notarization for macOS Catalina in February

          The new policies require developers to submit their apps to Apple to go through a notarizing security process, or they won’t run in macOS Catalina. An extension to the existing Gatekeeper process that previously allowed notarization as an option, the requirement is designed to ensure downloaded software is from the source users believe it is from.

        • Apple to Enforce macOS App Verification Requirements Starting February

          “If you have not yet done so, upload your software to the notary service and review the developer log for warnings. These warnings will become errors starting February 3 and must be fixed in order to have your software notarized. Software notarized before February 3 will continue to run by default on macOS Catalina,” the company said in a statement.

        • Apple will enforce macOS app notarization requirements starting in February

          Developers received word of the impending changes this summer. Apple temporarily adjusted the notarization prerequisites in order to make the transition to macOS Catalina easier for developers and users. The new changes go into effect on February 3, 2020.

        • Apple’s App Notarization Requirements For macOS Catalina To Be Enforced In February

          Cupertino tech giant Apple announced earlier in June that all apps distributed outside the Mac App Store must be notarized so they can continue functioning on Macs and MacBooks running on the latest macOS version, macOS Catalina.

        • Pseudo-Open Source

          • Openwashing

            • Reli.cloud combines cutting edge open-source technologies for enhancing user experience

              Reli is part of the Multichain Ventures family of companies and grew out of their own DevOps needs. Their expert team of developers spent hundreds of hours refining their own DevOps tools to establish best practices for modern software engineering. Reli was born out of the realization that MultiChain Ventures’ developer’s work on their DevOps tools could be extended to help other teams who have similar needs.

          • Privatisation/Privateering

            • Compliance/Linux Foundation

              • Code Analysis Trends and A Holiday Wish

                It’s been a great year at Flexera, and I’m hoping my readers, too, prospered and experienced their own versions of success in 2019. I’ve enjoyed the time I’ve spent on my blog, delivering my views to all valued members of the open source community. Software Composition Analysis (SCA) is thriving; yes at Flexera, but also as a technology that is impacting companies across the globe and how they manage open source software, provide transparency across teams, and enable more innovation because license, IP and security risk protocols are in place. There’s peace of mind.

              • Gartner: The Crucial Role of OSS License Compliance[Ed: Gartner is grossly biased]

                An OSS license grants others permission to modify, use, and distribute software under certain conditions. However, every component is released with a different license, and a different set of terms. With hundreds or thousands of these components in a typical software supply chain, it is easy to see how complications arise.

              • Liferay Announces OpenChain Conformance

                Liferay, Inc., which makes software that helps companies create digital experiences on web, mobile and connected devices, has formalized compliance with the OpenChain Project since October 29, 2019, becoming the first digital experience provider to do so. As open source projects take on an increasingly important role in enterprise software development, it is critical that vendors and customers have a clear understanding of their licensing requirements. The OpenChain Project seeks to address this need by codifying and standardizing open source license compliance across organizations.

          • Entrapment (Microsoft GitHub)

            • Windows Store Status

              Kate is now in the Windows Store since September, see our initial post.

              It was the second application published there with the KDE e.V. account.

              One might argue that it is no good thing for an open-source project to promote the use of closed-source operating systems like Windows.

              On the other side, a lot of people are stuck on Windows and I think it is a good thing to provide them with open-source software. If people start to use more and more open-source user-space software, they will perhaps be able to switch over to some fully open-source operating system in the future.

            • openEQUELLA 2019.2 – A Significant Open Source Release

              openEQUELLA 2019.2 continues the process of redeveloping the platform’s user interface to ensure increased usability and appeal to end users. 2019.2 introduces a new default UI style sheet that matches the legacy UI to the new UI, providing a seamless look and feel. This will provide a transitional step for users as new UI technologies are applied across openEQUELLA throughout 2020.

        • Security

          • Security updates for Thursday

            Security updates have been issued by CentOS (firefox, fribidi, nss, nss-softokn, nss-util, openslp, and thunderbird), Debian (opensc), and Mageia (389-ds-base, apache, apache-mod_auth_openidc, kernel, libofx, microcode, php, and ruby).

          • Fancy New Terms, Same Old Backdoors: The Encryption Debate in 2019

            Almost every week, we hear about another corporate data breach or government attack on privacy. For anyone who wants real privacy online, encryption is the essential component.

            Governments around the world keep trying to break encryption, seeking to enhance the power of their law enforcement agencies. They’ve tried for years to require companies to build backdoors into encrypted software and devices, which would enable them to listen in on potentially any digital conversation. The FBI has coined a phrase, “going dark,” that it has used since the late ’90s to describe their “problem”—the lack of an omnipresent, all-powerful surveillance tool.

            But encryption with special access for a select group isn’t some kind of superpower—it’s just broken encryption. The same security flaws used by U.S. police will be used by oppressive regimes and criminal syndicates.

            The only innovation in 2019 has been rhetorical—anti-encryption authorities are determined not to call a backdoor a backdoor. Instead, we saw a proposal from UK intelligence agency GCHQ to add “ghost” listeners to encrypted messaging applications. Later in the year, we saw a revival of the idea of “key escrow,” a discredited idea about how to square the circle on encryption.

          • Yubico Security Key vs. Nitrokey FIDO2

            WebAuthn, Web Authentication: An API for accessing Public Key Credentials Level 1, is a W3C Recommendation released in March 2019. It defines creation and use of strong, attested, scoped, public key-based credentials by web applications. It is very similar to the Universal 2nd Factor (U2F) standard, but extended and customized for online services.

            Security devices with WebAuthn support allow you to use two-factor authentication more easily since they contain a secret key that provides a second factor only by pressing the device’s button. They can also be used as a single factor in some cases, storing your credentials for you.

          • Windows ransomware is a nice little earner for Microsoft

            One reason why Microsoft stays silent about ransomware attacks on its Windows operating system is because the company makes money when it is called in to help tackle such attacks which are increasing all the time.

            The Norwegian firm Norsk Hydro, which was hit by the LockerGoga ransomware in March last year, has been the biggest company to suffer from this scourge in recent times and has been affected to the tune of about US$75 million.

          • Wifi deauthentication attacks and home security

            I live in a large apartment complex (it’s literally a city block big), so I spend a disproportionate amount of time walking down corridors. Recently one of my neighbours installed a Ring wireless doorbell. By default these are motion activated (and the process for disabling motion detection is far from obvious), and if the owner subscribes to an appropriate plan these recordings are stored in the cloud. I’m not super enthusiastic about the idea of having my conversations recorded while I’m walking past someone’s door, so I decided to look into the security of these devices.

            One visit to Amazon later and I had a refurbished Ring Video Doorbell 2™ sitting on my desk. Tearing it down revealed it uses a TI SoC that’s optimised for this sort of application, linked to a DSP that presumably does stuff like motion detection. The device spends most of its time in a sleep state where it generates no network activity, so on any wakeup it has to reassociate with the wireless network and start streaming data.

            So we have a device that’s silent and undetectable until it starts recording you, which isn’t a great place to start from. But fortunately wifi has a few, uh, interesting design choices that mean we can still do something. The first is that even on an encrypted network, the packet headers are unencrypted and contain the address of the access point and whichever device is communicating. This means that it’s possible to just dump whatever traffic is floating past and build up a collection of device addresses. Address ranges are allocated by the IEEE, so it’s possible to map the addresses you see to manufacturers and get some idea of what’s actually on the network[1] even if you can’t see what they’re actually transmitting. The second is that various management frames aren’t encrypted, and so can be faked even if you don’t have the network credentials.

          • Fear, Uncertainty, Doubt/Fear-mongering/Dramatisation

          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • Where Even the Children Are Being Tracked

              Modern data surveillance relies on the ease of gathering but also the capacity to analyze giant sets of numbers. Run a set of numbers through a computer and the data becomes far more personal and invasive. Data points become a diary. A cluster of pings inside a secure facility reveals clues to the secretive role of an aerospace engineer. Visits to places of worship, trips to Planned Parenthood, a late-night visit to a bail bondsman — all collected in perpetuity and logged forever to be analyzed, traded and monetized. Each mark of latitude and longitude tells the story of the triumphs and tribulations of a life.

              Americans would never consent to a government directive that all citizens carry a device that broadcast, in real time, their physical location and archived that information in repositories that could be shared among powerful, faceless institutions. Instead, Americans have been lulled into doing it voluntarily by misleading companies.

              If a mobile phone is turned on, chances are its location is collected in a spreadsheet somewhere. What does it feel like to see that archive? We went to Pasadena to find out.

            • Thank You, Edward Snowden

              The ongoing fight for digital rights has seen major victories and setbacks this year, and some of these victories would not have been possible without the leaks from Edward Snowden. Snowden bravely blew the whistle on the mass surveillance undertaken by the United States government, and his revelations have informed the public of widespread privacy abuses taking place and helped people understand the urgency of taking back the [Internet]. Thank you, Snowden.

              You can read about Snowden’s path to becoming a whistleblower, including his use of Tor, in his new book, Permanent Record.

            • Interview with Cindy Cohn, EFF Executive Director

              Cindy Cohn, Executive Director of the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) and Board Member of the Tor Project, was named one of America’s Top 50 Women in Tech 2018 by Forbes.

              As a tireless defender of digital rights, we wanted to get her take on the state of the [Internet] today, recent victories and challenges ahead, and Tor’s role in taking back the [Internet].

    • Defence/Aggression

    • Environment

      • Fire Season Meets Hunting Season: A Bad Time To Be An Animal in Australia

        The Australian bush is burning. But the extreme conditions are wreaking havoc on more than just our flora, and more than just fauna outside our suburbs. Add in the chaos unleashed by hunters and it’s a pretty awful time to be an animal in Australia, writes Geoff Russell.

      • Morrison Announces Inquiry Into States’ Fire Policies, But It’s Business As Usual On Federal Climate Plans

        Now is NOT the time to discuss politics (or climate change), at least not while the nation burns. So says our Prime Minister, Scott Morrison. But now IS the time to play politics, with the Morrison government announcing today that it will launch a federal bushfire inquiry which will specifically look into state policy.

      • Burning States, Secret Travels and Scott Morrison

        The bush fire situation in Australia is now deemed catastrophic. And it started early, with a relentless ferocity that has seen thousands of volunteers stretched across the states and a slow but assured rise in the number of deaths. Currently, there are fires raging at emergency level across New South Wales, and major incendiary activity in South Australia and Victoria. Saturday was deemed by NSW Rural Fire Service commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons “awful”, given the loss of 20 homes in a “mega-blaze” northwest of Sydney in the Gospers Mountain. To this could be added fires at Currowan, Kerry Ridge and Upper Turon Road, Palmers Oaky.

      • Cattle have stopped breeding, koalas die of thirst: A vet’s hellish diary of climate change

        Here, we are seeing extreme weather events like never before. The other day we had about eight centimetres of rain in 20 minutes. These downpours are like rain bombs. They are so ferocious that a farmer lost all of his fences, and all it did was silt up the dam so he had to use a machine to excavate the mud.

        Most farmers in my district have not a blade of grass remaining on their properties. Topsoil has been blown away by the terrible, strong winds this spring and summer. We have experienced the hottest days that I can remember, and right now I can’t even open any windows because my eyes sting and lungs hurt from bushfire smoke.

      • The Revelator’s Top 12 Articles of 2019
    • Finance

      • What the NYT Doesn’t Understand About Russia’s Economy Under Putin

        That is the inevitable conclusion for readers of a NYT article on Putin and Russia that had the headline, “Russia is a mess. Why is Putin such a formidable enemy.” While the article notes the recent economic stagnation in Russia, it misses the extraordinary turnaround that took place under Putin.

      • How Some Sheriffs Force Their Inmates Into Medical Debt

        In Alabama, the county in which you’re arrested could be the deciding factor in who will be financially responsible for your medical bills behind bars.

        In Baldwin County, known for its white-sand Gulf Coast beaches and waterfront communities, the sheriff’s office ensures that inmates in the county jail do not have to pay anything more than a $15 copayment for medical care.

      • Desperate woman caught shoplifting for holiday meal, surprised with groceries from Woodbury police officer

        Sarah Lindgren, 61, of Oakdale, was scanning groceries in a self-checkout lane at Walmart with her teen daughter a couple of days before Thanksgiving. There was more in her cart than there was money in her account, but she bagged up the discounted meat anyway and headed toward the door in her motorized wheelchair.


        Woodbury police officer Bryan Wagner came to the room. He listened to her story but wasn’t sure he believed it.

        “As a police officer, I am lied to often and tend to become skeptical of stories given by people who are potentially being arrested,” he said. “I released her from Walmart with a citation for theft. She was remorseful, and, from my experience, it was likely her first time stealing.”

        Wagner began to wonder if she was telling the truth, so he did some digging.

      • Buttigieg Answers Criticisms Over Fundraising by Holding Lowest Donation Contest

        South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg faced attacks over big-dollar donors at the last debate. Then an email came out that implied “pay-to-play.”

        Now Buttigieg will likely face more criticism and mocking after his team revealed a contest to send his campaign the lowest donation.

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • Sanders Polling Surge Forces Democratic Establishment to Take Him Seriously

        Sen. Bernie Sanders’ recent surge in national and early-state polls, enthusiastic progressive base, and resilience in the aftermath of his heart attack have reportedly forced some within the Democratic establishment who were previously dismissive of the Vermont senator to concede — both in private and in public — that he could ultimately run away with the party’s presidential nomination.

      • Leadership PACs Pay for Luxury Hotel Stays, Private Flights, New Nonprofits

        Designed primarily to provide funding for other candidates running for office, leadership PACs are an important instrument for Washington politicos seeking leadership positions to raise money and build connections.

      • Israel’s Embattled Netanyahu Wins by Landslide in Primary

        Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Thursday scored a landslide victory in a primary race for leadership of the ruling Likud party, giving the embattled leader an important boost ahead of the country’s third election in less than a year.

      • Opinion: Accepting refugee children won’t solve the problem

        It’s difficult, just before Christmas, not to agree right off the bat with the proposal being discussed by several German states to unilaterally take in child refugees currently languishing in Greek refugee camps. Indeed, Heinrich Bedford-Strohm of the Evangelical Church in Germany supports the idea, noting that Jesus and his family were themselves refugees after his birth. Only the heartless aren’t moved by images of misery in refugee camps in Greece while here we are getting our homes cozy for the holidays. And if you’re hoping for a common solution at the EU level, you’re in for a long wait that will likely end up in kicking the can down the road.

        Still, Habeck and others are wrong. Taking in thousands of children would be sending the wrong message in a number of ways.

      • Ruslan Shaveddinov: Russian opposition activist ‘kidnapped’ by army

        Mr Shaveddinov was working as a project manager at Mr Navalny’s Anti-Corruption Foundation (FBK) when he was seized.

      • Anti-Putin activist ‘forcibly drafted’ and sent to Arctic base

        Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny said Wednesday that one of his allies had been forcibly conscripted and sent to serve at a remote Arctic base, in a move his supporters said amounted to kidnapping.

        Ruslan Shaveddinov, a project manager at Navalny’s anti-corruption foundation, went missing Monday after police broke into his Moscow flat and his phone’s SIM card was disabled.

      • No Longer Enamored, Washington Looks Critically at Silicon Valley

        In 2019, lawmakers grilled tech executives at multiple hearings in Washington and federal regulators slapped record fines on tech firms. They promise action in the coming year on a host of issues: competition, online privacy, encryption and bias.

        U.S. tech companies such as Apple, Facebook, Google and Amazon are girding themselves for more federal scrutiny.

        “As the [Internet] companies matured without a lot of regulation, some issues have emerged where attention is needed,” said Rep. Zoe Lofgren, a Democrat representing Silicon Valley since 1994 and who has introduced a national online privacy bill.

        “I think it’s fair enough to examine what kind of rules should be set in certain elements of the tech economy,” she said.

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • Federal Court Blocks Unconstitutional Arkansas Law That Prevents Plant-Based Food Companies From Using Meat Words

        Another case of nonexistent “customer confusion” is being litigated. Tofurky, the maker of several vegetable-based products, sued the state of Arkansas over its bogus [squints at Legiscan in disbelief] “Act To Require Truth In Labeling Of Agricultural Products That Are Edible By Humans” law.

      • YouTube Takes Down Chanukkah Parody Of Old Town Road… Because It Infringes On A Date?

        The Maccabeats, as I have just discovered, is an Orthodox Jewish a capella group that specializes in Jewish-themed parodies of hit songs (pretty much all a cappella groups seem to do a bunch of parodies). Their latest video, for this year’s Chanukkah, was a parody of both Billie Eilish’s Bad Guy (here: “Pan Fry”) and Lil Nas X’s “Old Town Road.” It’s pretty entertaining. Anyway, on Tuesday, they got a takedown notice from YouTube, saying that the video is no longer allowed to be shown for copyright violations:

      • Austrian Hotel Drops Libel Lawsuit Against Guest Who Complained About Pictures Of Nazis In The Lobby

        Some sanity has finally prevailed in Austria, where libel laws are anything but sane. Earlier this year, a guest of the Ferienhof Gerlos hotel in Austria was sued by the hotel after posting reviews that mentioned the unexpected presence of a photo of a man in a Nazi uniform by the front entrance.

      • Drake Puts ‘Chair Girl’ In New Video, Fans Demand Her Removal

        Marcella Zoia, Toronto’s infamous Chair Girl, made a cameo appearance in Drake’s latest video. Fan reaction to the appearance quickly led to her removal, though.

      • Court rules Turkey Wikipedia ban violates rights

        The court’s justices reportedly voted 10-6 in favor of Wikipedia.

        Turkey blocked access to Wikipedia under a law that allows it to restrict access to material that is considered to be a threat to national security in April 2017.

      • Court rules Turkey violated freedoms by banning Wikipedia

        Turkey blocked Wikipedia in April 2017, accusing it of being part of a “smear campaign” against the country, after the website refused to remove content that allegedly portrayed Turkey as supporting the Islamic State group and other terrorist organizations.

        Access to Wikipedia and all its language editions was blocked under a law that allows the government to ban websites it deems pose a national security threat.

      • Iran anticipates renewed protests amid social media shutdown

        Iran’s authorities have restricted mobile [Internet] access in several provinces, an Iranian news agency reported on Wednesday, following a trend of social media posts and messages from relatives of those killed in unrest last month calling for more protests and ceremonies to commemorate the dead.

      • Iran starts [Internet] shutdown before possible new protests

        Iran’s authorities have restricted mobile [Internet] access in several provinces, a day before new protests were expected to kick off following calls for the demonstrations on social media.

        Social media posts, along with some relatives of people killed in unrest last month, have called for renewed protests and for ceremonies to commemorate the dead to be held on Thursday (local time).

      • Iran Curbs Internet Before Possible New Protests: Reports

        The semi-official news agency ILNA quoted an informed source at the Communications and Information Technology Ministry as saying mobile [Internet] access to overseas sites was blocked by “security authorities” in Alborz, Kurdestan and Zanjan provinces in central and western Iran and Fars in the south.

        “According to this source, it is possible that more provinces will be affected by the shutdown of mobile international connectivity,” ILNA said.

      • Partial [Internet] disruption registered in Iran

        Network data show two distinct falls in connectivity at approximately 6:30 a.m. local time (03:00 UTC) and 8:00 a.m. (04:30 UTC) affecting mobile provider RighTel, Iran’s third licensed mobile network operator. Impact to other providers including fixed-line networks has been reported and is being investigated. Observations are consistent with a targeted disruption and do not appear to be related to any international issue, and users have speculated a possible connection with protests planned for 26 December 2019.

      • Iran blocks [Internet] in some areas ahead of planned protests [iophk: twitter in place of an actual press release :( it was *one* click away, what investivate reporting]

        An official denied any order by the authorities to block the [Internet] this week, and mobile operators have not reported service disruptions.

        Internet blockage observatory NetBlocks said on Twitter that there was evidence of [Internet] disruption in parts of the country.

    • Freedom of Information / Freedom of the Press

      • Guardian corrects article about Julian Assange embassy ‘escape plot’ to Russia…a year later

        The Guardian has corrected an article describing a “plot” to “smuggle” WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange out of London, more than a year after publication. Russia called the article “disinformation and fake news” from the outset.

        Assange is currently languishing in London’s Belmarsh Prison, awaiting a hearing on his extradition to the US where he is facing espionage charges. However, in the runup to Christmas 2017 he was still safe inside the city’s Ecuadorian embassy. At the time, Assange had become a thorn in the side of Ecuador’s new president, Lenin Moreno, and Moreno was reportedly mulling a plan to offer him a diplomatic post in Russia, shifting him out of the UK and away from the threat of extradition.


        The Russian embassy in London called the article a clear example of “disinformation and fake news by British media.”

        On Sunday, the Guardian itself issued a correction. “Our report should have avoided the words ‘smuggle’ and ‘plot’ since they implied that diplomatic immunity in itself was illicit,” read a statement from the paper.

        The correction was made after a complaint from Fidel Narvaez, who served as Ecuador’s London consul at the time of the alleged “plot.” The paper described Narvaez as a middleman between Assange and the Kremlin. Narvaez outright denied any discussions with Moscow.

      • Corrections and clarifications

        Last year, the Guardian reported on a plan to transfer Julian Assange from the Ecuadorian embassy in London to Ecuador’s embassy in Moscow by making Assange a member of the Ecuadorian embassy staff, first in London and then in Russia. Giving Assange diplomatic status would have allowed him to leave the Ecuadorian embassy, where he was a fugitive from UK justice. Assange, Ecuador and Russia were all parties to the plan, which was abandoned after the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office refused to recognise Assange as a member of the embassy staff. Our report should have avoided the words “smuggle” and “plot” since they implied that diplomatic immunity in itself was illicit.

      • Lawyer: US charges against WikiLeaks’ Assange ‘political’

        Lawyers for WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange told a London court Thursday that he should not be extradited to the United States to face spying charges because the offenses he is accused of are political in nature.

        U.S. authorities accuse Assange of scheming with former Army intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning to break a password for a government computer and leak hundreds of thousands of classified documents.

      • Lawyers say U.K.-U.S. treaty bans Assange’s extradition

        Lawyers for Julian Assange said on Thursday they will argue that the WikiLeaks founder cannot be sent from Britain to the United States to face spying charges because a treaty between the two countries bans extradition for political offenses.

      • The stakes are high for Julian Assange, but his case could set a larger precedent

        Julian Assange may be an odious character in the eyes of some. He may not be a journalist in the estimation of others.

        He may be regarded as a serial pest by his detractors, but his case in the British courts has become a cause celebre for free speech and civil liberties advocates.

        In a London magistrate’s court on Friday, early shots will be fired in the Assange defence team’s efforts to block his extradition to the United States on 17 charges under the Espionage Act with a separate indictment under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act.

        Assange is facing a jail sentence of 175 years on alleged breaches of the Espionage Act, and further penalty under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act.

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • The Yiddish Art of Suicide

        If today’s Incels had a sense of humor and a real flair for decadence like Zalman Schneour, they might be able to tell us something about how paranoia can dance. But contemporary Underground Man rarely goes out; content in his chat rooms, squinty-eyed, immobile and listless. The solitary’s terror now consists of a mania for being safe.

      • Russia’s Oldest Rights Group Fined 19th Time Under ‘Foreign Agent’ Law

        Memorial, Russia’s oldest rights group, now faces fines totaling 3.5 million rubles ($57,000) for violating a law that the European Parliament in Brussels earlier this month said creates “an atmosphere that is hostile to civil society.”

        Russia passed the original “foreign agent” law — which requires all nongovernmental organizations receiving foreign funding to register — in 2012 following a major wave of anti-government protests.

    • Monopolies

      • Patents

        • Historic Underpinnings of the Inventor Rights Act of 2019

          Profit Disgorgement – Reset to 1946: I will start with the profit disgorgement provision – which is a major change away from the current compensatory scheme in U.S. Utility Patent Law. That said, disgorgement remains available for design patent infringement as well as other IP regimes such as copyright, trademark, and trade secret misappropriation. The basic approach to disgorgement is to calculate the infringer’s profits associated with the infringement and then hand those profits over to the rights holder. As Supreme Court explained in Tilghman v. Proctor, 125 U.S. 136 (1888), this approach is designed to avoid unjust enrichment by the infringer — what patent owners term “efficient infringement.”

      • Copyrights

IRC Proceedings: Thursday, December 26, 2019

Posted in IRC Logs at 2:58 am by Needs Sunlight



#techrights log

#boycottnovell log



#boycottnovell-social log

#techbytes log

Enter the IRC channels now

RSS 64x64RSS Feed: subscribe to the RSS feed for regular updates

Home iconSite Wiki: You can improve this site by helping the extension of the site's content

Home iconSite Home: Background about the site and some key features in the front page

Chat iconIRC Channels: Come and chat with us in real time

New to This Site? Here Are Some Introductory Resources




Samba logo

We support

End software patents


GNU project


EFF bloggers

Comcast is Blocktastic? SavetheInternet.com

Recent Posts