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01.18.20

Links 18/1/2020: Mir 1.7 and GNU Guile 3.0.0

Posted in News Roundup at 1:24 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Desktop/Laptop

      • Kubuntu Focus Laptop is Now Ready for Pre-Order

        If you’ve ever wanted a KDE-specific, Linux-powered laptop, now’s your chance.

        The Kubuntu Focus is a new Linux laptop effort set to marry the Kubuntu Linux distro and a laptop aimed specifically for gamers, power users, developers, video editors, and anyone who seeks performance and seamless Linux compatibility.

        And now, this brand new laptop is ready for pre-order.

        The laptop was born from a collaboration between Kubuntu, Tuxedo Computers, and MindShareManagement Inc. The Focus will not only highlight the KDE desktop environment, it will be the first officially recognized laptop created specifically for the Kubuntu Linux distribution.

      • Kubuntu Focus: A new top-of-the-line Linux laptop arrives

        For years, there have been high-powered Linux laptops like Dell’s XPS 13 Developer Edition, System76′s Serval WS, and ZaReason’s UltraLap 6440 i5, but I’ve never seen anything quite as powerful out of the box as the Kubuntu Focus from the Kubuntu Council, MindShareManagement, and Tuxedo Computer.

        The specs alone are pretty darn impressive. It starts with the CPU. The Focus uses an Intel Core i7-9750H 6 core 4.5GHz Turbo processor. There are faster CPUs out there, but you’re not going to find many of them in a laptop. This is backed up by an Nvidia GeForce RTX 2060 GPU with 6GB of video RAM.

        To run applications with all that processor power, the Focus comes with 32GB of Dual Channel DDR4 2666 RAM. This, in turn, gets its data from a 1TB Samsung 970 EVO Plus NVMe-connected Solid-State Drive (SSD).

        What all that horsepower gives you is an outstanding performance. With the CPU set to ‘Performance’ mode via the CPU frequency widget, GeekBench 5.0.4, I saw single core measurements of 1,292 and a multi-core rating of 5,734. There are maxed up faster desktop systems, but you’d need to look long and hard for laptops that can give it a run for its money.

        That said, you may find yourself using the Focus in desktop mode more often than you’d like. With great power comes great battery drain. Running the machine hard, I saw a battery life of just less than three hours. When not beating the heck out of it, it came in at a respectable three and a half hours. Still, I’m used to getting five or six hours out of a laptop these days.

      • Can You Live Without These Five Companies That Rule Your Life?

        Want to get a PC that’s not a Mac or a Windows machine? Well, you’ve got to try using one that runs on Ubuntu or Linux, but it’s not everyone’s cup of tea. Similarly, good luck trying to get around using Word, Excel and Powerpoint like apps without cozying up to Apple or Google for that.

      • I’m still on Windows 7 – what should I do?

        If Windows 10 runs well on your PC, you might decide to pay to authenticate it. If it doesn’t run well, you can still try a different option, such as Linux Mint, Ubuntu LTS or CloudReady.

        Alternatively, keep Windows 7 for offline use, and use a “live Linux” for internet access.

        Many people are familiar with the idea of running Linux from a “live CD” or DVD, which doesn’t interfere with the current desktop operating system. There are not many DVD drives around nowadays, so the modern equivalent is to run it from a thumb-drive. You can create one with a tool such as Rufus or LinuxLive USB Creator. Thumb-drives are slow, so you won’t get great performance, but it will keep you safe online. You’ll also find out if you can live with Linux.

      • How to Upgrade From Windows 7 to Linux

        If you’re still using Windows 7 because you just don’t like Windows 10, that’s understandable. But there’s an alternative upgrade path: You can install Linux on your PC for free, and you’ll have a supported operating system that’s still getting updates.

        This is easier than you might think. You can try Linux on your PC before installing it, and you can even install it alongside Windows 7 when you make the leap. Here’s what you need to know.

      • How to install Linux on your Chromebook

        Chromebooks can do a lot right out of the box. However, if you want just a little more, you can install Linux apps to most newer models (see the full list here) and have access to a full catalog of desktop-class applications.

        [...]

        The Pixelbook Go is one of the more expensive Chromebooks on the market, but for all you get, it’s worth it. You get an amazing keyboard, great battery life, and an Assistant key that lets you connect to the company’s smart assistant at any time. It is, like we said, pricey, but there are plenty of other great Chromebooks out there if you’re looking for something different.

      • 7 Best Windows 7 Alternatives You Can Use After Its Death

        Linux Mint is probably the closest replacement to Windows 7 in terms of look and feel. You get a similar taskbar and a menu bar that looks like the Start Menu. It appears that the initial learning curve won’t be steep as compared to other operating systems.

        To install apps on Linux Mint, you can take the help of the command line, but it also has a full-blown app store for the users.

        In terms of hardware, the popular Linux distro can run smoothly if your machine has 1GHz CPU, 2GB RAM, and 20GB of storage. However, it can manage to run with somewhat less capable hardware as well.

    • Server

      • IBM

        • Red Hat Accelerates Cloud-Native Development with Unified Hybrid Cloud Storage for Red Hat OpenShift Container Platform

          Enhanced with Multi-Cloud Object Gateway from Red Hat’s 2018 acquisition of NooBaa, Red Hat OpenShift Container Storage 4 offers greater abstraction and flexibility so customers have the freedom to choose data services across multiple public clouds, while still operating from a unified Kubernetes-based control plane for applications and storage. In addition to helping customers avoid public cloud lock-in, this enables developers to keep their data close to applications through improved accessibility, delivering a more efficient developer experience.

          With a consistent Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3) interface, enterprises now have built-in object storage and scalability needed to support portability for data-intensive applications across the hybrid cloud on Red Hat OpenShift Container Platform, previously unavailable through any container storage vendor in the OpenShift OperatorHub.

        • OpenShift and Kubernetes, with Clayton Coleman

          Five years ago, Clayton Coleman took a bet on a new open source project that Google was about to announce. He became the first external contributor to Kubernetes, and the architect of Red Hat’s reinvention of OpenShift from PaaS to “enterprise Kubernetes”. Hosts Adam Glick and Craig Box return for 2020 with the story of OpenShift, and their picks for Game of the Holidays.

        • Command Line Heroes season 4 trailer

          No one ever said hardware was easy. In Season 4, Command Line Heroes is telling 7 special stories about people and teams who dared to change the rules of hardware and in the process changed how we all interact with technology.

          The first episode drops January 28, 2020. Subscribe today and sign up for the newsletter to get the latest updates and bonus content.

        • Deploying applications in the OpenShift 4.3 Developer perspective

          In this article, we take a look at user flow improvements for deploying applications in Red Hat OpenShift 4.3‘s Developer perspective. You can learn more about all of the developer-focused console improvements in the OpenShift 4.3 release article here. Since the initial launch of the Developer perspective in the OpenShift 4.2 release, we’ve had frequent feedback sessions with developers, developer advocates, stakeholders, and other community members to better understand how the experience meets their needs. While, overall, the user interface has been well received, we continue to gather and use the feedback to enhance our flows.

        • A ‘fail fast’ solution for end-to-end machine learning

          Enterprise AI solutions are characterized by an end-to-end workflow that involves data sourcing, querying, ETL, feature engineering, and training the machine learning algorithms. Did you know there’s an end-to-end machine learning pipeline, which can be built using Pythonic frameworks, that allows you to fail fast at TeraScale data levels?

        • Deploying your storage backend using OpenShift Container Storage 4

          This Blog is for both system administrators and application developers interested in learning how to deploy and manage Red Hat OpenShift Container Storage 4 (OCS). This Blog outlines how you will be using OpenShift Container Platform (OCP) 4.2.14+ and the OCS operator to deploy Ceph and the Multi-Cloud Object Gateway as a persistent storage solution for OCP workloads. If you do not have a current OpenShift test cluster, you can deploy OpenShift 4 by going to the OpenShift 4 Deployment page and then follow the instructions for AWS Installer-Provisioned Infrastructure (IPI).

        • What desktop OS do you use at work?

          We have all heard the age-old debate of what is the best operating system user prefer. Windows or Mac? Linux or nothing. The funny thing about this question is that in many places of business, the user does not get a choice. You are handed a laptop when you start and may be stuck with whatever is preloaded onto the machine. In some cases, you’re not even allowed to run something else in a virtual machine.

    • Audiocasts/Shows

      • Destination Linux 156 – CES 2020, Disaster Recovery Tips, Fallback Safe Distros?, Firefox

        Topics covered in this episode:
        openEuler
        New Firefox 72 Released
        Linus Say No To ZFS In Kernel
        New Dell Linux Laptop
        Nvidia Wakes Up

      • No, But | User Error 83

        Context switching, improving Linux conferences, a positive approach to life, what makes us cringe, and more.

        #ErrorAsk: What’s the dumbest idea for an app that you can come up with?

      • LHS Episode #321: The Weekender XL

        It’s time once again for The Weekender. This is our bi-weekly departure into the world of amateur radio contests, open source conventions, special events, listener challenges, hedonism and just plain fun. Thanks for listening and, if you happen to get a chance, feel free to call us or e-mail and send us some feedback. Tell us how we’re doing. We’d love to hear from you.

      • 2020-01-17 | Linux Headlines

        Nextcloud announces exciting changes to the platform, Puppet is now releasing both faster and slower, DigitalOcean?s restructuring is resulting in layoffs, and Fedora CoreOS reaches production-ready status.

      • Infrastructure Engineer: Seth McCombs | Jupiter Extras 47

        Ell and Wes are joined by Infrastructure Engineer Seth McCombs for a chat about how he got started in tech, the hard transition from legacy data centers to the cloud, and why being honest about both success and failure can lead to a better open source community.

      • 5 Things I Hate About Linux

        So I love Linux for my daily desktop driver, but there are some things that I hate about it. Here are the 5 things that I wish were different.

    • Kernel Space

      • Graphics Stack

        • Red Hat Recommends Disabling The Intel Linux Graphics Driver Over Hardware Flaw

          It’s been another day testing and investigating CVE-2019-14615, a.k.a. the Intel graphics hardware issue where for Gen9 all turned out to be okay but for Gen7 graphics leads to some big performance hits. Besides the Core i7 tests published yesterday in the aforelinked article, tests on relevant Core i3 and i5 CPUs are currently being carried out for seeing the impact there (so far, it’s looking to be equally brutal).

          The contents of CVE-2019-14615 are still marked private, but the Red Hat Customer Portal has opened their guidance on this graphics flaw. Red Hat rates this CVE as having moderate impact. This Red Hat bug report does shed some more light onto the issue.

        • Mir 1.7 Released With Improvements For Running X11 Software

          Mir 1.7 was released today as the newest feature release for this Ubuntu-focused display stack that for the past two years now has focused on serving viable Wayland support.

          With the Mir 1.7 release there are a number of X11 client improvements, including the ability to show basic window decorations, a new configuration knob for specifying the XWayland executable to utilize for the support, and various code clean-ups.

        • Panfrost: Liberating ARM GPUs @ Linux Conf Au

          This talk covers the history, future and internals of the Panfrost driver for ARM GPUs.

        • Raspberry Pi 4 V3D Driver Reaches OpenGL ES 3.1 Conformance

          The V3D Gallium3D driver that most notably offers the open-source graphics support for the Raspberry Pi 4 is now an official OpenGL ES 3.1 implementation.

          Consulting firm Igalia has continued working on the V3D driver since Eric Anholt left Broadcom. Igalia had ironed out OpenGL ES 3.1 support and last month also went on to begin tackling geometry shaders and more.

        • Iago Toral: I am working on the Raspberry Pi 4 Mesa V3D driver

          Yeah… this blog post is well overdue, but better late than never! So yes, I am currently working on progressing the Raspberry Pi 4 Mesa driver stack, together with my Igalian colleagues Piñeiro and Chema, continuing the fantastic work started by Eric Anholt on the Mesa V3D driver.

          The Raspberry Pi 4 sports a Video Core VI GPU that is capable of OpenGL ES 3.2, so it is a big update from the Raspberry Pi 3, which could only do OpenGL ES 2.0. Another big change with the Raspberry Pi 4 is that the Mesa v3d driver is the driver used by default with Raspbian. Because both GPUs are quite different, Eric had to write an all new driver for the Raspberry Pi 4, and that is why there are two drivers in Mesa: the VC4 driver is for the Raspberry Pi 3, while the V3D driver targets the Raspberry Pi 4.

        • Raspberry Pi 4 V3D driver gets Geometry Shaders

          I actually landed this in Mesa back in December but never got to announce it anywhere. The implementation passes all the tests available in the Khronos Conformance Tests Suite (CTS). If you give this a try and find any bugs, please report them here with the V3D tag.

        • Raspberry Pi 4 V3D driver gets OpenGL ES 3.1 conformance

          So continuing with the news, here is a fairly recent one: as the tile states, I am happy to announce that the Raspberry Pi 4 is now an OpenGL ES 3.1 conformant product!. This means that the Mesa V3D driver has successfully passed a whole lot of tests designed to validate the OpenGL ES 3.1 feature set, which should be a good sign of driver quality and correctness.

          It should be noted that the Raspberry Pi 4 shipped with a V3D driver exposing OpenGL ES 3.0, so this also means that on top of all the bugfixes that we implemented for conformance, the driver has also gained new functionality! Particularly, we merged Eric’s previous work to enable Compute Shaders.

    • Benchmarks

      • Intel graphics patch “wrecks” Gen7 iGPU Linux performance

        Earlier this week Intel released details about a vulnerability in its integrated graphics hardware. Its advisory ID was INTEL-SA-00314 and it talked about the CVE-2019-14615 vulnerability. Products from 3rd Gen Core up to 10th Gen are affected including the contemporaneous Xeon, Pentium, Celeron and Atom products. Intel was made aware of this vulnerability as far back as August so already has patches available and links to recommended new drivers for both Windows and Linux users (scroll down this page about half way).

        All so regular and nothing surprising so far… However, since the updated drivers have been released, Linux-centric tech site Phoronix has been busy checking and testing the new drivers (on Linux of course) to see if there are any performance penalties, or other aberrations, delivered with the vulnerability patches.

        Intel describes the CVE-2019-14615 vulnerability as follows: “Insufficient control flow in certain data structures for some Intel Processors with Intel Processor Graphics may allow an unauthenticated user to potentially enable information disclosure via local access.” Please note the key phrase – local access – but Phoronix thinks that WebGL within web browsers is another possible attack vector.

        In its Linux testing, Phoronix was initially unperturbed by results on processors sportin

      • Intel’s Mitigation For CVE-2019-14615 Graphics Vulnerability Obliterates Gen7 iGPU Performance

        Yesterday we noted that the Linux kernel picked up a patch mitigating an Intel Gen9 graphics vulnerability. It didn’t sound too bad at first but then seeing Ivy Bridge Gen7 and Haswell Gen7.5 graphics are also affected raised eyebrows especially with that requiring a much larger mitigation. Now in testing the performance impact, the current mitigation patches completely wreck the performance of Ivybridge/Haswell graphics performance.

        The vulnerability being discussed and analyzed this week is CVE-2019-14615. This CVE still hasn’t been made public over 24 hours later (though there are the Intel SA-00314 details for this disclosure), but from going through kernel patches and other resources, it certainly caught our interest right away and have been benchmarking it since yesterday evening. The CVE-2019-14615 vulnerability amounts to a new information disclosure issue due to insufficient control flow in certain data structures. Local access is required for exploiting this control flow issue in the hardware, but it’s not yet known/published if say WebGL within web browsers could exploit this issue. This is a hardware issue with all operating systems being affected. Our testing today, of course, is under Linux.

    • Applications

      • The 15 Best Physics Tools for Linux System in 2020

        There are different types of applications of Linux physics software in the study and research of theoretical and applied physics. So, it’s very difficult to call a single piece of software the best. Here we have enlisted a collection of 15 best Physics tools for Linux.

        Some of them are for analyzing data, some for numerical applications, some for simulation, and even some will help you in programming the solution of different physics-related problems. We are certain that no matter what your requirement is, you are going to love this curated collection of Linux physics software.

      • 11 Best Web Browsers I Discovered for Linux in 2020

        Web Browser is a software that provides an interface to surf the web. With an introduction in around 1991, there development and advancement have advanced many folds till the current stage which we see today.

        Earlier there used to be mostly text-based sites with few having images and graphical content, hence only text-based browsers sufficed with some of the early browsers being: Lynx, Netscape, and Opera.

        But, with the advancement of technology to support audio, video, images and even flash content, browsers also need to be that advanced to support such content. This has pushed the advancement of browsers to what we see today.

        A modern browser requires the support of many software which include: web browser engines like Geeko, Trident, WebKit, KHTML, etc, Rendering engine to render the web site content and display in a proper format.

        Linux being an open-source community gives freedom to developers across the globe to experiment with features they expect from an ideal browser.

      • Get started with this open source to-do list manager

        Last year, I brought you 19 days of new (to you) productivity tools for 2019. This year, I’m taking a different approach: building an environment that will allow you to be more productive in the new year, using tools you may or may not already be using.

    • Instructionals/Technical

    • Games

      • Godot Engine 3.2 is almost here with a first Release Candidate

        Godot Engine, the quickly improving free and open source game engine is getting real close to a major release with the first Release Candidate now up for Godot 3.2.

        What was suppose to be a reasonable small release, has grown into something rather large with a lot of new features coming in to help developers make their games. With thousands of code commits by hundreds of different developers to the point that they expect Godot 3.2 to be “much more mature than 3.1 in all aspects”.

      • RELEASE CANDIDATE: GODOT 3.2 RC 1
      • The hero is dead so it’s up to you to fix a glitched world – Lenna’s Inception is out now

        In Lenna’s Inception you will be exploring a little island, filled full of dangerous dungeons as you work to bring order to a kingdom falling apart from glitches. Designed in a way that’s much like classic Zelda titles, however it has a clever idea of letting you play through in either 8-bit or 32-bit pixel art styles and they each have a distinct soundtrack.

      • Detailed open-world space sandbox game ‘Avorion’ leaving Early Access soon

        Boxelware have announced that Avorion, their procedural co-op space sandbox where you build your own spaceship will leave Early Access soon.

        After being in development for years, first appearing on Steam in early 2017 it’s been seriously fun to watch it grow into such a massive game. Incredibly fun too.

      • Wizard of Legend gets a little electric in a huge content update out now

        Contingent99 just released a massive upgrade to Wizard of Legend, their fast-paced magical action game and it continues to be brilliant.

        The Thundering Keep update brings in an entirely new stage complete with new enemies and a big boss battle which should make runs through it more interesting. Also added in this update you will find over 20 new Arcana (card spells), over 30 new Relics (items you equip to buff you up), new special moves, new outfits and plenty of balance changes and bug fixes.

      • Google is Reportedly Working to Bring Steam Support to Chromebooks

        It would appear that Google is working to bring official Steam support to its Linux-based Chrome OS operating system for supported Chromebook devices.

        According to a report from the Android Police website, Kan Liu, director of product management for Google’s Chrome OS, revealed the fact that Steam support could be enabled on Chrome OS in the near future by taking advantage of the implementation of support for Linux apps that landed in Chrome OS last year.

        While this might come as good news for Chromebook owners, the fact of the matter is that Chrome OS devices aren’t powerful enough to support many of the games available on Steam. If Steam comes to Chrome OS, most probably Google will only enable it only on its most powerful Chromebooks.

        Kan Liu did not said when Steam will be coming to Chrome OS, and neither Google or Valve have confirmed this news. However, it looks like Google will be working directly with Valve to enable official Steam support on Chrome OS, and Google is working to release more powerful Chromebooks this year.

      • Steam reportedly coming to Chrome OS – Linux gaming across even more devices

        Android Police have an article up mentioning that Google is reportedly working on getting Steam working officially and supported on Chrome OS. While the details of this are a little sketchy, since neither Valve or Google have announced this, Android Police claim they spoke directly to Kan Liu at CES, the Director of Product Management for Google’s Chrome OS who told them of their plans to make it happen.

        Note: You can get Steam working on it in some form with some manual effort now, although it’s not great. This seems to be about making it all official. Having it properly integrated, enabling ease of use would be good, part of what Chrome OS is supposed to be about?being simple and easy.

      • Exclusive: Google is working to bring official Steam support to Chrome OS

        Last week in Las Vegas while at CES, I spoke with Kan Liu, Director of Product Management for Google’s Chrome OS. In a wide-ranging discussion about the Chrome platform and ecosystem, Liu dropped something of a bombshell on me: the Chrome team is working—very possibly in cooperation with Valve—to bring Steam to Chromebooks.

        Liu declined to provide a timeline for the project, but did confirm it would be enabled by Chrome OS’s Linux compatibility. The Steam client would, presumably, run inside Linux on Chrome—a platform for which it is already available. Liu implied, though would not directly confirm, that Google was working in direct cooperation with Valve on this project. Valve’s motive here is largely in being the first major gaming storefront on a platform that, to date, has had no compatibility with mainstream PC or console releases. Valve also seems like a good fit, as the company has no particular loyalty to any one platform, and is increasingly facing competition from players like Epic and Microsoft on its most popular OS, Windows. Currently, it is possible to install the Steam Linux client on Chrome OS using the Crostini Linux compatibility layer, but there’s no official support, and performance has been pretty lamentable even when comparing identical Linux-native systems to Chrome. Even getting games running in a remotely playable way is kind of a nightmare.

      • A Long Way Down blends together Slay the Spire card combat with maze building – now in Early Access

        One thing is for sure, Slay the Spire truly has kicked off a deck-building indie game revolution of sorts. More and more are releasing with deck-building and A Long Way Down seems like one of the better ones so far. Note: Key provided by the publisher, Goblinz Studio.

        Quite derivative I would say though, in the nicest way possible. The deck-building card-based combat from Slay the Spire is merged in with maze building in a similar fashion to what’s seen in Guild of Dungeoneering.

      • The Humble Australia Fire Relief Bundle is up with 100% going to charity

        Humble are back with a new bundle, although this is a 100% charity bundle to help deal with the sad situation in Australia.

        The Humble Australia Fire Relief Bundle only has one tier at $25, which does include quite a lot of games. Here’s what’s included, I’ve highlighted in bold text those with Linux support….

      • Google plan over 120 Stadia games this year, 10 coming to Stadia before other platforms

        In their latest community update, the Stadia Team have given a small insight into what’s coming to the Linux-powered game streaming service Stadia across 2020.

        Missed our first impressions of Stadia? Check them out here.

        They said “more than” 120 games will be coming to Stadia this year, more interestingly though they also mentioned that 10 will be arriving in the “first half of this year” that will “only” be on Stadia when they launch. So that’s presumably some timed-exclusives they have going. No names were mentioned, so we just have to wait and see.

      • Move over Sonic, Surge has arrived with Open Surge – a game engine and retro platformer

        I grew up playing the early Sonic games so Open Surge really speaks to me. A retro Sonic-inspired platformer (that’s actually quite polished already) and a game engine for others to create with it.

        Open Surge is free and open source software (GPL license), so anyone can grab it from GitHub and do whatever they wish. Written from scratch in C, using the cross-platform Allegro programming library.

      • Boxtron, the Steam Play tool to run games through a native DOSBox on Linux has a new release

        Boxtron is another awesome Steam Play tool! Covered here a few times now, like Proton it enables you to play games on Linux that don’t have a Linux build setup on Steam only this is for DOSBox games.

        Rather than running DOSBox-powered games on Steam through Proton when they don’t have a Linux build of it all up, using Boxtron should give a better experience.

        Today a new release went up with Boxtron 0.5.4 fixing multiple issues including: games that use multiple CD images not starting like The Dame Was Loaded (and probably other FMV titles), they tweaked Retro City Rampage 486 to use “aspect=false”, several bugs around parsing user-supplied regex for MIDI synthesiser detection were fixed, they also fixed a bug preventing MIDI port detection if there are no soundfonts installed and there’s now several fallback soundfont names for various Linux distributions.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • Xfce 4.16 is Adopting Client Side Decoration by Default

        Xfce 4.16 will look a little different to long time users when it arrives later this year, as the popular desktop environment is adopting client side decoration by default.

        But before you cry tears over the loss of traditional app menus I should stress that the plan is to go full CSD, not full GTK header. It’s a subtle sounding difference, but an important one.

        Xfce 4.16 is switching to GTK header bars, but they’re more commonly referred to as client side decoration (CSD) as window borders are rendered client side (GTK), not by the window manager.

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • KPatience added to flathub. Which app should be next?

          This week we added KPatience to flathub.

          That makes for a quite a few applications from KDE already in flathub

        • KDE Connect Website SoK 2020 Week 1

          It had been great fun working with KDE Community on my SoK 2020 Project that is making a Website to promote KDE Connect. I started early off making the website from December by having a lot of discussion with my mentors Carl Schwan and Piyush Aggarwal, and the KDE Connect Developers. They were all very supportive and provided very constructive feedback. So when the project got accepted last week a lot of the work was already over. My proposal included the more work that is required on the website and taking the website to as much perfection as possible.

        • Plasma 5.18 LTS Beta (5.17.90) Available for Testing

          Are you using Kubuntu 19.10 Eoan Ermine, our current Stable release? Or are you already running our development builds of the upcoming 20.04 LTS Focal Fossa?

          We currently have Plasma 5.17.90 (Plasma 5.18 Beta) available in our Beta PPA for Kubuntu 19.10.

          The 5.18 beta is also available in the main Ubuntu archive for the 20.04 development release, and can be found on our daily ISO images.

      • GNOME Desktop/GTK

        • PaperWM: tiled window management for GNOME

          When I started using Linux on my personal computer, one of the first things I got excited about was tiny lightweight window managers, largely because my laptop at the time had 32MB of RAM and anything else was unusable.

          Then I got into tiling window managers like xmonad! I could manage my windows with my keyboard! They were so fast! I could configure xmonad by writing a Haskell program! I could customize everything in all kinds of fun ways (like using dmenu as a launcher)! I used 3 or 4 different tiling window managers over the years and it was fun.

          About 6 years ago I decided configuring my tiling window manager wasn’t fun for me anymore and switched to using the Ubuntu stock desktop environment: Gnome. (which is much faster now that I have 500x more RAM in my laptop :) )

          So I’ve been using Gnome for a long time, but I still kind of missed tiling window managers. Then 6 months ago a friend told me about PaperWM, which lets you tile your windows in Gnome! I installed it immediately and I’ve been using it ever since.

        • Alberto Ruiz: GTK: OSX a11y support

          Everybody knows that I have always been a firm believer in Gtk+’s potential to be a great cross platform toolkit beyond Linux. GIMP and Inkscape, as an example, are loyal users that ship builds for those platforms. The main challenge is the short amount of maintainers running, testing and improving those platforms.

          Gtk+ has a few shortcomings one of them, one of the biggest ones is lack of a11y support outside of Linux. Since I have regular access to a modern OSX machine I decided to give this a go (and maybe learn son Obj-C in the process).

          So I started by having a look at how ATK works and how it relates to the GTK DOM, my main goal was to have a GTK3 module that would walk through the toplevels and build an OSX accessibility tree.

    • Distributions

      • Introducing Zorin Grid: Manage All of Your Organization’s Computers as Easily as One.

        We’ve been working on a major new product over the past 2 years, and we’re excited to finally introduce it to you today.

        Since the beginning of the Zorin OS project in 2008, our mission has always been to bring the power of Linux to people who’ve never had access to it before. It has been downloaded millions of times since then, helping countless users switch to Linux and giving them a better, easier, and more secure computing experience.
        Now, we’re moving onto the next part of the Zorin OS master plan: to bring Linux into the working world; into businesses, schools, and organizations. We’re making this possible with the help of our new product called Zorin Grid.

      • Zorin OS Makes It Easy to Deploy Linux-Powered Computers in Schools, Businesses

        The Zorin OS development team announced today a new tool to make it easier for organizations to deploy a fleet of Linux-powered computers and administrate them from a a centralized place.

        Meet Zorin Grid, an in-house built tool whose whole purpose is to make it simple for IT administrators to set up, manage, and secure a fleet of Linux-powered computers in any type of organization, including small and medium sized businesses or schools and universities. The tool also provides a centralized place to administrate all these computers.

        “We’ve been working on a major new product over the past 2 years, and we’re excited to finally introduce it to you today. We’re moving onto the next part of the Zorin OS master plan: to bring Linux into the working world; into businesses, schools, and organizations. We’re making this possible with the help of our new product called Zorin Grid,” reads today’s announcement.

      • Meet Zorin Grid: A Slick Linux Desktop Management Tool For Schools And Businesses

        Zorin Grid is aimed specifically at organizations still running Windows 7 who want an alternative to upgrading or buying new hardware with Windows 10.

        In a nutshell, Zorin Grid is a cloud-powered tool with the intention of making it simple to set up, manage, monitor and secure a fleet of Zorin OS computers. The Zorin team says it’s like “putting your PCs on auto-pilot.” The concept seems very similar to the Google Management Console, which lets an entire fleet of Chromebooks be managed from a single device.

        From the announcement: “Imagine all of your organization’s computers working in concert. When you choose to install an app or make a new security policy, it’s deployed to your fleet automatically. It’s just as easy to manage computers that are off-site as on-premises. Fully-owned or BYOD. And all of this is accessible anytime, anywhere, in the cloud.”

        For the past 2 years, the Zorin team has been working with various organizations, soliciting feedback and building Zorin Grid.

      • Screenshots/Screencasts

      • SUSE/OpenSUSE

        • Martin de Boer: Comparing uptime performance monitoring tools: StatusCake vs Freshping vs UptimeRobot

          When you host your own website on a Virtual Private Server or on a DigitalOcean droplet, you want to know if your website is down (and receive a warning when that happens). Plus it’s fun to see the uptime graphs and the performance metrics. Did you know these services are available for free?

          I will compare 3 SaaS vendors who offer uptime performance monitoring tools. Of course, you don’t get the full functionality for free. There are always limitations as these vendors like you to upgrade to a premium (paid) account. But for an enthousiast website, having access to these free basic options is already a big win!

          I also need to address the elephant in the room: Pingdom. This is the golden standard of uptime performance monitoring tools. However, you will pay at least €440 per year for the privilege. That is a viable option for a small business. Not for an enthousiast like myself.

          The chosen free alternatives are StatusCake, Freshping and UptimeRobot. There are many other options, but these ones are mentioned in multiple lists of ‘the best monitoring tools’. They also have user friendly dashboards. So let’s run with it.

        • Vinzenz Vietzke: Running for openSUSE Board #2: Questions and Answers

          Already in the beginning of 2019 I have been a candidate for the board of openSUSE. Since there are now two places open again, I am again available for the task and run for election.

          A general overview of my ideas and goals can be found here.

          In the run-up to the election all candidates of the community are of course open for questions. I have answered a catalogue of 5 questions from Gerald Pfeifer, currently chairman of the board, and would like to make it available here.

        • Q&A for openSUSE Board elections

          Our openSUSE Chairman has some questions for the candidates for the openSUSE Board. My answers are here:

      • Fedora Family

        • Fedora CoreOS out of preview

          The Fedora CoreOS team is pleased to announce that Fedora CoreOS is now available for general use. Here are some more details about this exciting delivery.

          Fedora CoreOS is a new Fedora Edition built specifically for running containerized workloads securely and at scale. It’s the successor to both Fedora Atomic Host and CoreOS Container Linux and is part of our effort to explore new ways of assembling and updating an OS. Fedora CoreOS combines the provisioning tools and automatic update model of Container Linux with the packaging technology, OCI support, and SELinux security of Atomic Host. For more on the Fedora CoreOS philosophy, goals, and design, see the announcement of the preview release.

        • Fedora CoreOS Now Deemed Production Ready For Containerized Workload Experience

          Fedora CoreOS has graduated out of its preview state and is now considered ready for general use.

          Fedora CoreOS is the spin of the Red Hat sponsored Linux distribution focused on running containerized workloads and succeeds the earlier Fedora Atomic Host initiative as well as CoreOS Container Linux.

        • Fedora program update: 2020-03

          I will not hold office hours next week due to travel, but if you’ll be at DevConf.CZ, you can catch me in person.

      • Debian Family

        • Debian Xfce vs Gnome

          XFCE is a light desktop environment compatible with low resource systems while keeping a nice visual interface and effects like screen rotation and transparency. Xfce is extremely user friendly and it is a lot more user friendly than new GNOME versions for PC users without touch screen.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • Elementary OS 6 will be based on Focal Fossa Ubuntu 20.04 LTS Version!

          Elementary OS 6: The Co-founder and CXO of Elementary OS Cassidy James Blaede says, Elementary OS 6 will be based on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS Focal Fossa version. He also mentioned that the developers are working furiously to make the Elementary OS 6 more convenient and bug-free. The exact words from him are,

          Elementary OS 6. elementary OS is based on the Ubuntu LTS core and repositories under the hood. Ubuntu 20.04 LTS will be coming out this year, and subsequently, we plan to release elementary OS 6 with a 20.04 base.Cassidy James Blaede

        • Elementary OS 6 Will Release with Ubuntu 20.04 LTS Base

          As Ubuntu 20.04 LTS is under the UI development phase with a recent desktop theme update, Cassidy James Blaede, Co-founder & CXO, mentioned in his latest blog that Elementary OS 6 will release with a 20.04 base.

          Reviewing 2019 and listing the great accomplishments and improvements along with the major release of elementary OS 5.1 Hera that broke the previous first-month downloads, his team has designed significant 2020 goals for making life much more comfortable with elementary OS.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • 16 Open Source Cloud Storage Software for Linux in 2020

        The cloud by the name indicates something which is very huge and present over a large area. Going by the name, in a technical field, Cloud is something that is virtual and provides services to end-users in the form of storage, hosting of apps or virtualizing any physical space. Nowadays, Cloud computing is used by small as well as large organizations for data storage or providing customers with its advantages which are listed above.

        Mainly, three types of Services come associated with Cloud which are: SaaS (Software as a Service) for allowing users to access other publically available clouds of large organizations for storing their data like Gmail, PaaS (Platform as a Service) for hosting of apps or software on Others public cloud ex: Google App Engine which hosts apps of users, IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service) for virtualizing any physical machine and availing it to customers to make them get feel of a real machine.

      • Meet the newest Collaborans!

        What better way to start the new year than by highlighting the newest members of our engineering and administrative teams who joined in Q4 2019!

        Based in Italy, Portugal, the United Kingdom and Greece, these newest Collaborans join our worldwide team of highly skilled engineers, developers and managers who all share a common passion for technology and Open Source.

      • Web Browsers

        • Chromium

          • Google is finally killing off Chrome apps, which nobody really used anyhow

            Today, Google shared an updated timeline for when Chrome apps will stop working on all platforms. June 2022 is when they’ll be gone for good, but it depends on which platform you’re on (via 9to5Google). Previously, we knew that Chrome apps someday wouldn’t work on Windows, macOS, and Linux, but today, Google revealed that Chrome apps will eventually stop working on Chrome OS, too.

            A Chrome app is a web-based app that you can install in Chrome that looks and functions kind of like an app you’d launch from your desktop. Take this one for the read-it-later app Pocket, for example — when you install it, it opens in a separate window that makes it seem as if Pocket is functioning as its own app.

        • Mozilla

          • A brand new browsing experience arrives in Firefox for Android Nightly

            It’s been almost 9 years since we released the first Firefox for Android. Hundreds of millions of users have tried it and over time provided us with valuable feedback that allowed us to continuously improve the app, bringing more features to our users that increase their privacy and make their mobile lives easier. Now we’re starting a new chapter of the Firefox experience on Android devices.

      • SaaS/Back End/Databases

        • MariaDB X4 brings smart transactions to open source database

          MariaDB has come a long way from its MySQL database roots. The open source database vendor released its new MariaDB X4 platform, providing users with “smart transactions” technology to enable both analytical and transactional databases.

          MariaDB, based in Redwood City, Calif., was founded in 2009 by the original creator of MySQL, Monty Widenius, as a drop-in replacement for MySQL, after Widenius grew disillusioned with the direction that Oracle was taking the open source database.

          Oracle acquired MySQL via its acquisition of Sun Microsystems in 2008. Now, in 2020, MariaDB still uses the core MySQL database protocol, but the MariaDB database has diverged significantly in other ways that are manifest in the X4 platform update.

          The MariaDB X4 release, unveiled Jan. 14, puts the technology squarely in the cloud-native discussion, notably because MariaDB is allowing for specific workloads to be paired with specific storage types at the cloud level, said James Curtis, senior analyst of data, AI and analytics at 451 Research.

      • FSF

        • GNU Projects

          • GNU Guile 3.0.0 released

            Version 3.0.0 of the Guile implementation of the Scheme programming language has been released. There’s a lot of work here, including a new, lower-level byte code implementation, interleaved internal definitions, a new exception implementation, and much more. “Guile programs now run up to 4 times faster, relative to Guile 2.2, thanks to just-in-time (JIT) native code generation. Notably, this brings the performance of “eval” as written in Scheme back to the level of ‘eval’ written in C, as in the days of Guile 1.8.”

          • GNU Mes 0.17 released
            We are delighted to announce the release of GNU Mes 0.17, representing
            64 commits over 6 weeks.
            
            Mes is now an official GNU package and we have bootstrapped gcc-4.7.4
            for x86-linux with a reduced binary seed (i.e., without regular toolchain).
            
            Next targets:
            
             - upstream the x86 Mes bootstrap to GuixSD
             - create a x86_64 Mes C Lib, see if that is is enough to bootstrap x86_64
             - reduce the 1MB ASCII M1 seed to ~5000 LOC/~100KB of M2 source
             - create a plan for Geesh and Gash and use them to reduce the
               bootstrap binary dependencies
             - and/or otherwise reduce the bootstrap binary dependencies
            
            Packages are available from Guix's wip-bootstrap branch.
            
            * About
            
            GNU Mes[0] aims to help create full source bootstrapping for GNU/Linux
            distributions such as GuixSD[1] as part of the bootstrappable builds[2]
            effort.
            
            It consists of a mutual self-hosting Scheme interpreter written in
            ~5,000 LOC of simple C and a Nyacc-based C compiler written in Scheme.
            This mes.c is being simplified[3] to be transpiled by M2-Planet[4].
            
            The Scheme interpreter (mes.c) has a Garbage Collector, a library of
            loadable Scheme modules-- notably Dominique Boucher's LALR[5],
            Pre-R6RS portable syntax-case[6] with R7RS ellipsis, Matt Wette's
            Nyacc[7] --and test suite just barely enough to support a simple REPL
            and simple C-compiler: MesCC.
            
            Mes+MesCC can compile an only lightly patched TinyCC[8] that is
            self-hosting.  Using this tcc and the Mes C library we now have a
            reduced-binary-seed bootstrap for the gnutools triplet: glibc-2.2.5,
            binutils-2.20.1, gcc-4.7.4.
            
            Mes is inspired by The Maxwell Equations of Software: LISP-1.5[9] --
            John McCarthy page 13, GNU Guix's source/binary packaging transparency
            and Jeremiah Orians's stage0[10] ~500 byte self-hosting hex assembler.
            
          • Mes Becomes An Official GNU Project, Mes 0.17 Released To Bootstrap GNU/Linux Distros

            GNU Mes 0.17 was released this weekend as the first release as being an official GNU project. Mes consists of a self-hosting Scheme interpreter and a Nyacc-based C compiler written in Scheme. From this Scheme interpreter to build its C compiler, it can then build a (slightly patched) TinyCC compiler and in turn that resulting TinyCC compiler can go on to building GCC 4.7, Glibc 2.2.5, and Binutils 2.20 for getting a toolchain in place to go on to build the rest of the GNU/Linux platform.

          • SecureMyEmail makes really private email surprisingly simple

            The service also allows seamless, key-free transmission to other SecureMyEmail subscribers and to others who use PGP software such as the PGP-compatible free-software GNU Privacy Guard.

        • Licensing / Legal

          • Copy-left behind: Permissive MIT, Apache open-source licenses on the up as developers snub GNU’s GPL

            Permissive open-source software licenses continue to gain popularity at the expense of copyleft licenses, according to a forthcoming report from WhiteSource, a biz that makes software licensing management tools.

            Permissive licenses include the MIT and Apache 2.0 licenses and are known as such because the permit licensors to do more or less what they want with the covered software, with minimal caveats, and without imposing obligations like sharing code revisions.

            Copyleft licenses like GPLv2, GPLv3, and LGPLv2.1 convey similar freedom, while, to put it simply, requiring that licensors not release versions or derivatives of the licensed code that restrict said freedom.

      • Programming/Development

        • JetBrains’ New Font (Apparently) Makes Reading Code Easier

          A new free and open source monospace font has been released by software development powerhouse JetBrains.

          Their typographic creation is called (surprise) JetBrains Mono and, they claim, it makes reading code much kinder on the eyes.

          Admittedly it feels a bit like everyone has their own monospace font these days: IBM released ‘Plex’ in 2017; Microsoft has launched ‘Casacida; and even Ubuntu has its own one for when you need to get up close with the command line.

          But with JetBrains being — apologies in advance, you knew this obvious pun was coming — the brains behind some of the world’s best-loved development and code creation tools, it kinda makes sense for them to have their own one too, doesn’t it?

          And lo: the creation of JetBrains Mono.

        • 9 Best Free Git Clients

          Git is an open source distributed version control system which was originally designed by Linus Torvalds, the creator of Linux, in 2005 for Linux kernel development. This control system is widely used by the open source community, handling small to extremely large projects with an emphasis on speed and efficiency, but maintaining flexibility, scalability, and guaranteeing data integrity.

          Git is one of a number of open source revision control systems available for Linux. Other popular tools in this field include Subversion, Bazaar, Mercurial, Monotone, CVS, and SVN. However, Git is frequently regarded by many developers to be the finest version control tool available.

          There are two Git tools that are part of the main Git repository each designed for a different job. Git-gui is a Tcl/Tk-based graphical user interface that concentrates on commit generation and single file annotation. gitk is a repository browser that is also written in Tcl/tk. Whilst these two tools, used in conjunction, offer reasonable access to the power of Git, they lack integration, and functionality that other Git clients provide.

          The purpose of this article is to provide an insight into the best free open source Git clients that are available. We have covered the best graphical and console based clients available, so hopefully there will be something here of interest for anyone involved in the development of software projects.

          There are a large number of projects that use Git to aid their development. Notable examples include the Linux kernel, Eclipse, Wine, X.org, Ruby on Rails, ALSA, Bacula, Drupal, FreeRADIUS, Puppet, VLC, and many more.

        • Code a Boulder Dash mining game | Wireframe #30

          Learn how to code a simple Boulder Dash homage in Python and Pygame. Mark Vanstone shows you how. 

        • Announcing Better Support for Fuzzing with Structured Inputs in Rust

          Today, on behalf of the Rust Fuzzing Authority, I’d like to announce new releases of the arbitrary, libfuzzer-sys, and cargo fuzz crates. Collectively, these releases better support writing fuzz targets that take well-formed instances of custom input types. This enables us to combine powerful, coverage-guided fuzzers with smart test case generation.

          Install or upgrade cargo fuzz with:

          cargo install –force cargo-fuzz
          To upgrade your fuzz targets, bump your libfuzzer-sys dependency to 0.2.0 on crates.io. That should be all that’s needed for most cases. However, if you were already using Arbitrary inputs for your fuzz target, some changes will be required. See the upgrading fuzz targets section below for more details.

        • C vs. Rust: Which to choose for programming hardware abstractions

          Rust is an increasingly popular programming language positioned to be the best choice for hardware interfaces. It’s often compared to C for its level of abstraction. This article explains how Rust can handle bitwise operations in a number of ways and offers a solution that provides both safety and ease of use.

        • Perl / Raku

          • Shorewall 5.2.3.5 Released!

            Shorewall 5.2.3.5 is now available for download. Shorewall is a gateway/firewall configuration tool for GNU/Linux, written in Perl.

        • Python

          • Mocking in Python

            The first mission is called “Univocalic davasaan” created by Phil15 and here you have to write a function named davasaan which calculates the integer division by 10, and make your code as short as possible.

            The second one is the “Tree Walker” mission created by quarkov where you are given a tree and a target and your task is to calculate the number of leaves or subtrees that are equal to the target.

          • Python Bytes: #164 Use type hints to build your next CLI app
          • Talk Python to Me: #247 Solo maintainer of open-source in academia

            Do you run an open-source project? Does it seem like you never have enough time to support it? Have you considered starting one but are unsure you can commit to it? It’s a real challenge.

            On this episode, we welcome back Philip Guo, who has been a solo maintainer of the very popular PythonTutor.com project for over 10 years. He has some non-traditional advice to keep your sanity and keep your project going while holding down a busy full-time job.

          • Leysin Winter sprint 2020: Feb 28 – March 7th

            The next PyPy sprint will be in Leysin, Switzerland, for the fourteenth time. This is a fully public sprint: newcomers and topics other than those proposed below are welcome.

          • Use this Python script to find bugs in your Overcloud

            OpenStack stores and manages a bunch of log files on its Overcloud nodes and Undercloud host. Therefore, it’s not easy to use OSP log files to investigate a problem you’re having, especially when you don’t even know what could have caused the problem.

            If that’s your situation, LogTool makes your life much easier! It saves you the time and work it would otherwise take to investigate the root cause manually. Based on a fuzzy string matching algorithm, LogTool provides all the unique error and warning messages that have occurred in the past. You can export these messages for a particular time period, such as 10 minutes ago, an hour ago, a day ago, and so on, based on timestamp in the log.

      • Standards/Consortia

        • Apple may have to abandon Lightning connector cable

          The cable is used to charge and sync many Apple devices, such as the iPhone.

          But members of the European Parliament urged the European Commission on Monday to force tech giants to adopt a single universal charging method.

  • Leftovers

    • The Wonders of Modern Life Briefly Explained: An Anthropology of the Industrial Revolution
    • Health/Nutrition

      • Ex-Pharma Lobbyist Embedded in White House Tanked Drug Pricing Bill

        In 2016, presidential candidate Donald Trump told voters that lowering drug prices would be a top priority of his domestic agenda. When House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s (D-CA) introduced a bill to lower drug costs, Trump greeted it with enthusiasm. But in October, Trump executed an about-face, abandoning negotiations on the House bill, claiming it would “harm seniors,” and threatening to veto the bill if it passed the Senate.

      • 1st Malaria Vaccine Tried Out in Babies in 3 African Nations

        A pinch in the leg, a squeal and a trickle of tears. One baby after another in Malawi is getting the first and only vaccine against malaria, one of history’s deadliest and most stubborn of diseases.

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Software tips for nerds

        I use Vim for almost a decade now, which is probably the longest I’ve sticked to some application. During that time, I repeatedly tried to use it as an IDE but inevitably failed each time. Let’s remember eclim as my Java IDE. I work almost exclusively on projects written in Python, which can be beautifully done in Vim but because of a gap in my skills, I was reliant on PyCharm. Thankfully, not anymore.

        My biggest issue was misusing tabs instead of buffers and poor navigation within projects. Reality check, do you open one file per tab? This is a common practice in other text editors, but please know that this is not the purpose of tabs in Vim and you should be using buffers instead. Please, give them a chance and read Buffers, buffers, buffers.

        Regarding project navigation, have you ever tried shift shift search in PyCharm or other JetBrains IDE? It’s exactly that thing, that you wouldn’t even imagine but after using it for the first time, you don’t understand how you lived without. What it does is, that it interactively fuzzy-finds files and tags (classes, functions, etc) that matches your input, so you can easily open them. In my opinion, this unquestionably defeats any other way of project navigation like using a file manager, NerdTree, or find in the command line.

        Fortunately, both of these problems can be solved by fzf.vim, which quickly became one of my most favorite Vim plugins. Please read this section about fzf plugin.

        I am forever grateful to Ian Langworth for writing VIM AFTER 11 YEARS, EVERYTHING I MISSED IN “VIM AFTER 11 YEARS” and VIM AFTER 15 YEARS articles. If you are a Vim user, those are an absolute must-read.

      • Proprietary

        • Was It an Act of War? That’s Merck Cyber Attack’s $1.3 Billion Insurance Question. [iophk: Windows TCO]

          In all, the attack crippled more than 30,000 laptop and desktop computers at the global drugmaker, as well as 7,500 servers, according to a person familiar with the matter. Sales, manufacturing, and research units were all hit. One researcher told a colleague she’d lost 15 years of work. Near Dellapena’s suburban office, a manufacturing facility that supplies vaccines for the U.S. market had ground to a halt. “For two weeks, there was nothing being done,” Dellapena recalls. “Merck is huge. It seemed crazy that something like this could happen.”

        • A Windows 10 Vulnerability Was Used to Rickroll the NSA and Github [iophk: Windows TCO]

          “What Saleem just demonstrated is: With [a short] script you can generate a cert for any website, and it’s fully trusted on IE and Edge with just the default settings for Windows,” Kenn White, a researcher and security principal at MongoDB, said. “That’s fairly horrifying. It affects VPN gateways, VoIP, basically anything that uses network communications.” (I spoke with White before Rashid had demonstrated the attack against Chrome.)

          The flaw involves the way the new versions of Windows check the validity of certificates that use elliptic-curve cryptography. While the vulnerable Windows versions check three ECC parameters, they fail to verify a fourth, crucial one, which is known as a base point generator and is often represented in algorithms as G. This failure is a result of Microsoft’s implementation of ECC rather than any flaw or weakness in the ECC algorithms themselves.

        • VirtaMove Announces Beta Version V-Migrate for Linux Container Migrations

          The new release of VirtaMove’s award-winning application migration product V-Migrate for Linux now moves legacy Red Hat and other Linux application infrastructure forward with a stateful re-install of applications into a container. You can now easily move legacy applications from Red Hat Enterprise Linux RHEL 5 and 6 to new Linux Docker containers on modern Linux releases and even run those containers on Microsoft Windows Server 2019. V-Migrate for Linux software automatically moves Linux-based applications from older to newer operating systems, on modern in-house servers or on hybrid or public cloud environments, including Microsoft Azure and Amazon AWS clouds. RHEL 6 reaches End of Maintenance Support 2 on November 30, 2020. On January 14, 2020, Microsoft ended all support for Windows Server 2008 R2.

        • Pseudo-Open Source

          • Openwashing

          • Privatisation/Privateering

            • Linux Foundation

              • Confidential computing promises secure cloud apps

                Enterprises, governments and other organizations all sit on vast troves of data that cannot be processed due to security and privacy concerns. To address this limitation, researchers and vendors have developed various confidential computing techniques to safely process sensitive data.

                Confidential computing is particularly important for organizations in heavily regulated industries or sectors where opportunities for running workloads on the public cloud are severely limited, such as government, telecommunications, healthcare and banking. Confidential computing protects data at rest, which enables organizations to deploy sensitive workloads off premises and provides further protection to sensitive workloads on premises.

                [..].

                “If projects and products can show regulators and legislators that the levels of security are sufficient to meet their requirements, then deployment to public clouds becomes plausible for a great many more applications and use cases,” said Mike Bursell, chief security architect at Red Hat.

              • Akraino Edge Stack Enables Connected Car, AR/VR, AI Edge, and Telco Access Edge Application Use Cases

                LF Edge, an umbrella organization within the Linux Foundation that aims to establish an open, interoperable framework for edge computing independent of hardware, silicon, cloud, or operating system, today announced the availability of Akraino Edge Stack Release 2 (“Akraino R2”). Akraino’s second release furthers the power of intelligent edge with new and enhanced deployable, self-certified blueprints for a diverse set of edge use cases.

                Launched in 2018, and now a Stage 3 (or “Impact” stage) project under the LF Edge umbrella, Akraino Edge Stack is creating an open source software stack that supports a high-availability cloud stack optimized for edge computing systems and applications. Designed to improve the state of edge cloud infrastructure for enterprise edge, over-the-top (OTT) edge, and carrier edge networks, it offers users new levels of flexibility to scale edge cloud services quickly, to maximize the applications and functions supported at the edge, and to help ensure the reliability of systems that must be up at all times.

                “The Akraino community has grown rapidly in the past year, and now includes contributions from 70 percent of LF Edge Premium member companies and countless other ecosystem partners beginning to deploy the blueprints across the globe,” said Arpit Joshipura, general manager, Networking, Automation, Edge and IoT, the Linux Foundation. “With R2, strong community collaboration brings even more blueprints to the ecosystem that support current and future technology at the open source edge.”

        • Security

          • Patch Tuesday, January 2020 Edition

            As first reported Monday by KrebsOnSecurity, Microsoft addressed a severe bug (CVE-2020-0601) in Windows 10 and Windows Server 2016/19 reported by the NSA that allows an attacker to spoof the digital signature tied to a specific piece of software. Such a weakness could be abused by attackers to make malware appear to be a benign program that was produced and signed by a legitimate software company.

          • Study Shows The Internet Is Hugely Vulnerable To SIM Hijacking Attacks

            U.S. Wireless carriers are coming under heavy fire for failing to protect their users from the practice of SIM hijacking. The practice usually involves conning or bribing a wireless employee to port a victim’s cell phone number right out from underneath them, letting the attacker then pose as the customer to potentially devastating effect. Carriers are facing numerous lawsuits from victims who say attackers used the trick to first steal their identity, then millions in cryptocurrency, or even popular social media accounts.

          • Restoring DNS Privacy

            Stefan and I have been taking last week to add DNS over TLS into IPFire – another step to make DNS more private. Here is what we have done.

            Cleaning up some mess

            IPFire has multiple places where DNS servers could be configured. If you were using PPP for your Internet connection, you would have set this up with your dialup settings. If you were using a static IP address, then you would have set up the DNS servers with it in the setup. If you were using DHCP, you had a page on the web user interface to go to. This is not only confusing for the user, but also there were the places in the code where those settings were applied.

            Now, we have created an entire new page which combines all of it together! You will have a list where you can set all DNS servers and set new settings.

            [...]

            This will be release with Core Update 140. Amongst the many new features, we have removed a lot of code that has caused us a lot of trouble in the past and rewritten many things entirely from scratch.

          • Security updates for Friday

            Security updates have been issued by Arch Linux (chromium), Fedora (gnulib, ImageMagick, jetty, ocsinventory-agent, phpMyAdmin, python-django, rubygem-rmagick, thunderbird, and xar), Mageia (e2fsprogs, kernel, and libjpeg), openSUSE (icingaweb2), Oracle (git, java-11-openjdk, and thunderbird), Red Hat (.NET Core), Scientific Linux (git, java-11-openjdk, and thunderbird), SUSE (fontforge and LibreOffice), and Ubuntu (kamailio and thunderbird).

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

          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • US Government Challenges Apple on Encryption (Again)

              Expand

              Attorney General William Barr speaks during a tour of a federal prison in Edgefield, South Carolina, July 8, 2019.

            • Chief Justice Arrives at Capitol for Impeachment Trial

              The chief justice of the United States arrived Thursday at the U.S. Senate to preside over President Donald Trump’s impeachment trial, ready to swear in the senators with an oath to ensure “impartial justice” as jurors for only the third such proceeding in American history.

            • Free Press Advocates Decry ‘Unprecedented’ and ‘Unjustified’ Restrictions on Reporter Access to Trump Impeachment Trial

              “Americans expect and deserve a fully transparent impeachment trial… For the Senate to produce anything less would be a show of GOP contempt for the American people.”

            • Trump Was on Board With the Plan to Use Ukraine to Torpedo Biden, Parnas Says

              Lev Parnas, a close associate of President Donald Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani, claimed in a series of interviews that aired on Wednesday and Thursday that the president and top aides were aware of and on board with the plot to use Ukraine to torpedo former Vice President Joe Biden’s chances in the 2020 election.

            • Ukraine launches criminal probe into Trump allies’ alleged “surveillance” of Marie Yovanovitch

              “Ukraine’s position is not to interfere in the domestic affairs of the United States of America. However, the published references cited by the Washington Post contain a possible violation of the law of Ukraine and the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations, which protects the rights of a diplomat on the territory of the foreign country,” the agency said in a statement. “Ukraine cannot ignore such illegal activities on the territory of its own state.”

              The statement added that the agency reached out to the FBI for information and materials about “persons who may be involved in a possible criminal offense.”

            • Traficom sells license plate data for targeted adverts, research

              When customers drive into the shopping mall car park, a camera snaps a picture of their vehicle’s registration plate number. The camera was installed by Jyväskylä-based information technology and services firm Nodeon.

              Checking the registration number at the Transport and Communications Agency’s (Traficom) database, the firm is able to gather personal information about the owners of the vehicles, including their postal codes – and then sells that data to the shopping mall.

            • Breaking iPhone encryption won’t make anyone safer

              It only takes one disaffected government employee, one deeply inserted spy in government or a tech company, or one sophisticated criminal attack to successfully extract that key.

            • Pelosi rips ‘shameful’ Facebook behavior, accuses it of intentionally misleading users

              House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) slammed tech giant Facebook on Thursday, accusing the social media company of abusing technology to mislead users and calling its behavior “shameful.”

              “The Facebook business model is strictly to make money. They don’t care about the impact on children, they don’t care about truth, they don’t care about where this is all coming from, and they have said even if they know it’s not true they will print it,” Pelosi said at a press conference.

              “I think they have been very abusive of the great opportunity that technology has given them,” she added.

            • Jack Dorsey Asks Elon Musk How to Fix Twitter

              “Basically, how do you tell if the feedback is real or someone trying to manipulate the system, or probably real, or probably trying to manipulate the system,” Musk continued. “What do people actually want, what are people actually upset about versus manipulation of the system by various interest groups.”

            • Facebook Foes Sue to Force Zuckerberg to Sell Majority Stake

              Facebook Inc. was sued by four potential competitors who accuse it of anticompetitive behavior and who asked a judge to order Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg to give up control of the social media behemoth.

              The companies also said if Facebook isn’t forced to sell its WhatsApp and Instagram assets, it’ll integrate them into the social network, “consolidating its market power across the globe, likely permanently foreclosing competition in the relevant markets for decades to come.”

            • EU considers banning facial recognition technology in public spaces

              As the development of facial recognition technologies gains traction, lawmakers have been left with the task of working out how to control its use.

              The EU, as reported by Reuters, is considering a ban of up to five years on facial recognition in public areas — potentially including locations such as parks, tourist hotspots, and sports venues — to give politicians time to thrash out legislation to prevent its abuse.

              The proposals, as seen by the publication, are part of an 18-page whitepaper that suggests a ban could permit the time to create a “sound methodology for assessing the impacts of this technology and possible risk management measures.”

            • EU mulls five-year ban on facial recognition tech in public areas

              The European Union is considering banning facial recognition technology in public areas for up to five years, to give it time to work out how to prevent abuses, according to proposals seen by Reuters.

              The plan by the EU?s executive – set out in an 18-page white paper – comes amid a global debate about the systems driven by artificial intelligence and widely used by law enforcement agencies.

              The EU Commission said new tough rules may have to be introduced to bolster existing regulations protecting Europeans? privacy and data rights.

    • Defence/Aggression

      • How the President Became a Drone Operator

        We’re only a few days into the new decade and it’s somehow already a bigger dumpster fire than the last. On January 2nd, President Trump decided to order what one expert called “the most important decapitation strike America has ever launched.” This one took out not some nameless terrorist in a distant land or a group of civilians who happened to get in the way, but Major General Qassem Suleimani, the leader of Iran’s elite Quds Force and the mastermind of its military operations across the Middle East.

      • Russia’s Bid to Block UN Financing for Syria Probe Defeated

        In late December, United Nations member countries defeated an attempt by Russia to block funding for investigations into grave abuses in Syria, approving US$17.81 million for a team of investigators responsible for gathering evidence of serious crimes for future prosecutions and ensuring they have the resources necessary to do the work.

        The UN General Assembly created the International, Impartial and Independent Mechanism (IIIM) in 2016 in response to a stalemate at the UN Security Council, where Russia had used its veto  six times since 2011 to block action on the Syrian conflict. Since 2016, Russia has used its veto eight more times to the same effect. But Moscow was unable to prevent the IIIM’s creation in the General Assembly or block its inclusion in the UN budget.

      • Nuclear Hubris

        If an attack of any sort kills “hundreds of thousands or even millions” of people—their deaths are instantly belittled if they aren’t Americans.

      • Trump’s Space Force Means Trump Not Satisfied Being Terrible Only on This Planet

        The U.S. military is creating an imaginary “space gap” to pour money into closing, wasting funds while increasing the risk of conflict.

      • Senate Urged to Convict Trump After GAO Says Freezing Ukraine Aid Was Illegal

        Sparking fresh calls for the Republican-controlled Senate to remove President Donald Trump from office, a federal watchdog agency announced Thursday that the White House violated the law by withholding congressionally approved U.S. military aid to Ukraine — a decision at the center of the impeachment probe.

      • Texas Baby-Killer Pleads Guilty to a New Murder

        Former nurse Genene Jones, suspected for decades of killing more than a dozen children but tried and convicted for only one, pleaded guilty Thursday in San Antonio to the murder of an 11-month-old boy in 1981 and was sentenced to life in prison. Jones’ sudden reversal — she had previously pleaded not guilty to five murder charges filed in 2017 — confirms her place as a serial baby-killer and ends a twisted criminal-justice saga that has played out over four decades.

        Jones, 69, unexpectedly sought the plea deal last week, just a month before she was to go to trial in the first of the five murder charges: for the death of Joshua Sawyer on Dec. 12, 1981.

      • Trump’s Unprecedented Attack on Iran and the Rule of Law

        It’s time to demand an end to the madness once and for all.

      • Go To War And One Day You Might Get A Dunny Named After You Too!

        Wondering how you can help the Morrison Government save $500 million on their War Memorial upgrade, and maybe redirect the money towards fighting climate change?

      • The Real Reason Trump Ordered Soleimani’s Killing

        President Donald Trump’s administration has trotted out an embarrassingly inconsistent series of justifications for the recent drone strike in Iraq that killed top Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani. The ever-changing story of why Soleimani was killed underscores the Trump administration’s thin rationale for an action so provocative that it could have triggered an all-out war.

      • The Media Failed Us in the Lead-Up to the Iraq War

        In 2003, virtually every newspaper endorsed the war, and journalists reported as fact the false claim that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction. This was an unchallenged lie pitched by then–Secretary of State Colin Powell, who has since professed remorse. Many journalists later expressed regret for falling for it. But our profession is shrinking, and I worry that our collective memory is, too.

        On January 3, Donald Trump ordered a US drone strike that killed Iran’s Maj. Gen. Qassim Suleimani. The ensuing swirl of political punditry and Trump’s continued erratic behavior give me a sinking feeling that we are about to repeat our worst mistakes.

      • Joe Biden won’t tell the truth about his Iraq war record — and he hasn’t for years

        Sen. Bernie Sanders’ camp has just highlighted a video of Biden speaking at the Brookings Institution in July 2003, after the invasion, in which he expresses support for “finishing this job” in Iraq and says: “The president of the United States is a bold leader and he is popular.”

        As far as showing Biden’s support for the war, that video is the tip of the iceberg.

      • [Old] Three Stooges first to blast Hitler

        The book both exposes and accuses Hollywood’s largest moviemakers — MGM, Warner Bros., 20th Century Fox — as hideously bowing to the demands of Nazi censors in order to have their movies released in Germany, a large and steady commercial consumer of American movies.

        Urwand reveals many documents showing Adolf Hitler’s front men to have had great and sustained influence in Hollywood and on its executives, starting with Hitler’s rise to the Reich chancellorship in January 1933, through to the inevitable outbreak of World War II in September 1939.

    • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

      • Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren’s Dispute Is a Sign the Media Has Learned Little from the 2016 Election

        Media consumers have their own responsibility in this, especially as we share news on social media. Those of us who are extremely online should consider what fixating on these reality-TV-type moments means and how it affirms the models of for-profit media that thrive off drama. But similar to how plastic-straw bans ask individuals to step up while massive corporations bear far greater climate responsibility, placing the onus for change entirely on media consumers ignores the systemic problems that only those of us in content production can address.

    • Environment

    • Finance

      • How Economic Despair Drives Workers to Their Deaths

        Maria Fernandes was a good-hearted American with a family, ambitions and a rock-solid work ethic.

      • ‘I Made a Lot of Bankers Look Very Good,’ Brags Trump as Wall Street Titans Enjoy $32 Billion Tax Bonanza

        “It looks like Trump just let the six largest banks ‘get away with murder’ something he promised he wouldn’t do as president,” said a senior advisor to Bernie Sanders in response.

      • Another Geithner Scandal

        Tim Geithner might have left his job as Treasury Secretary seven years ago, but his legacy lives on. The Wall Street Journal reported that the financial firm Morningstar had reached a settlement with the SEC over marketing it had done for firms whose bonds it had rated.

      • Trump’s Broad-Based Sanctions Failed in Iran and Will Fail in North Korea

        In both Iran and North Korea, the Trump administration has pursued an aggressive policy of “maximum pressure” — crushing economic sanctions, diplomatic isolation and military threats — in order to thwart their nuclear ambitions. In both cases, “maximum pressure” has not only failed to achieve the desired goal but has had the opposite effect: ramping up tensions and hardening both countries’ resolve to obtain nuclear weapons. Meanwhile, sanctions are having devastating consequences for ordinary citizens in both countries.

      • Treasury Inspector General Probes Possible Trump Tax Break Abuses

        The Treasury Department’s inspector general is looking into the opportunity zone program following stories by ProPublica and The New York Times about how the tax break meant to help the poor had been manipulated by billionaires.

        The development, which was first reported by NBC News, comes after three congressional Democrats wrote to Treasury’s inspector general in October asking for the probe and citing the ProPublica and Times stories.

      • Bose Closing All Retail Stores in North America, Europe, Japan, & Australia

        Bose will close all of its retail stores in North America, Europe, Japan, and Australia. Online sales played a significant part in Bose’s decision.

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • The Warren-Sanders Squabble is Foolish

        The real issues in this campaign have nothing to do with who said what in 2018.

      • How Donald Trump Successfully Wagged the Dog, and More

        Although I have never seen Donald Trump with a pet, I do believe that he wagged the dog when he ordered the assassination of the Iranian General Qasem Soleimani. The expression “wag the dog” comes from a 1997 film satire in which a president, caught up in a sex scandal, uses a war to divert attention from his peccadillo. It was released at about the time of the Monica Lewinsky/ President Clinton scandal and later U.S. bombing in Sudan. In Trump’s case, he more than wagged the dog. By ratcheting up tensions with Iran, he also increased his stature as commander-in-chief to the detriment of Democratic candidates and reinforced his image as a rogue head of state.

      • Death by Illogic, Lies and Stupidity

        Donald Trump continues to be under fire. He has been impeached for a gross abuse of power: attempting to blackmail the Ukrainian government into libeling his likely 2020 Democratic opponent, Joe Biden, with allegations of corruption. To induce the Ukrainians to do this, Trump ordered the withholding of military aid. This was an illegal act. When a congressional investigation followed, Trump and his rather clownish minions in Congress tried to obstruct it. This constituted yet another impeachable offense.

      • In Explosive Interviews, Giuliani Sidekick Lev Parnas Says Trump ‘Lied’ and ‘Knew Exactly What Was Going On’

        “It was all about Joe Biden, Hunter Biden. It was never about corruption.”

      • Standing With Labor, Farmers, and Climate Groups on Trump Trade Deal, Sanders Vows to Vote Against NAFTA 2.0

        “In my view, we need to rewrite this trade agreement to stop the outsourcing of American jobs, to combat climate change, to protect the environment, and stop the destructive race to the bottom.”

      • Progressive Groups Urge Sanders-Warren Unity to Defeat Corporate Democrats in Primary—and Then Donald Trump

        “When progressives fight each other, the establishment wins.”

      • Politics and Business in Seattle

        I am in Seattle for an academic conference, having last been here about ten years ago.

      • The welcome wagon Here’s what Russia’s new prime minister told lawmakers, immediately after they voted him into office

        On January 16, State Duma deputies approved the appointment of Federal Tax Service chief Mikhail Mishustin as Russia’s new prime minister. The new head of Vladimir Putin’s cabinet won the support of 383 deputies. Another 41 lawmakers abstained, and not a soul voted against him. At the hearing, Mishustin made a speech outlining his plans for the federal government and also answered a few questions. Meduza summarizes these remarks below.

      • With Bernhardt Running Trump’s Interior Dept., Former Corporate Clients Lavishing Tens of Millions in New Lobby Spending

        “The corruption is absolutely shameless.”

      • Should Facebook and Twitter Stop Trump’s Lies?

        Antitrust law was designed to check the power of giant commercial entities. Its purpose wasn’t just to hold down consumer prices but also to protect democracy.Antitrust should be used against Facebook and Twitter. They should be broken up. So instead of two mammoth megaphones trumpeting Trump’s lies, or those of any similarly truth-challenged successor to Trump, the public will have more diverse sources of information, some of which will expose the lies.A diverse information marketplace is no guarantee against tyranny, of course. But the system we now have – featuring a president who lies through his teeth and two giant uncritical conveyors of those lies – invites tyranny.

      • Scotty From Marketing Makes The Urban Dictionary: To Do A ‘Scomo’ Is To…?

        Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison has finally made the big time… the Urban Dictionary.

      • Group Behind Wisconsin Voter Purge Lawsuit Has Strong GOP Ties

        This case has thrust Wisconsin to the forefront in this year’s voter suppression wars and reflects a larger Republican strategy to tilt the playing field by making it harder for low-income, student, and minority citizens to vote.

      • Wisconsin May Purge 200,000 Voters From State Rolls in 2020

        A Wisconsin appeals court on Tuesday put on hold a purge of approximately 200,000 voters from the state voter rolls. The court proceedings have been complicated, and how it will end is unclear, but this purge is a bad idea regardless of how the courts come down on its legality.

      • Pelosi Pushes for a Real Impeachment Trial With Witnesses and Cross-Examination

        In a historic move, the House of Representatives presented articles of impeachment against President Trump to the Senate Wednesday. It marks only the third presidential impeachment trial in all of U.S. history. Earlier Wednesday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi held a news conference with the seven impeachment managers. The House vote to send articles of impeachment to the Senate comes as The Washington Post reports explosive new information at the center of the impeachment inquiry. New material released by House Democrats shows text messages between former Giuliani associate Lev Parnas and Robert Hyde, a Republican congressional candidate from Connecticut, in which the two have threatening exchanges about Marie Yovanovitch, the U.S. ambassador to Ukraine. In the text messages, Parnas and Hyde discuss how Yovanovitch was under surveillance. Yovanovitch has repeatedly said she felt threatened by Trump, who called her “bad news” in his now-infamous July 25 call with Ukrainian President Zelensky. For more, we’re joined by Elie Mystal, justice correspondent for The Nation. “Pelosi at least thinks or hopes that there will be witnesses, there will be cross-examination, and this will be something more approaching a real trial situation as opposed to kind of just a show,” Mystal says.

      • Biden, Buttigieg and Corporate Media Are Eager for Sanders and Warren to Clash

        Corporate Democrats got a jolt at the end of last week when the highly regarded Iowa Poll showed Bernie Sanders surging into first place among Iowans likely to vote in the state’s Feb. 3 caucuses. The other big change was a steep drop for the previous Iowa frontrunner, Pete Buttigieg, who — along with Elizabeth Warren and Joe Biden — came in a few percent behind Sanders. The latest poll was bad news for corporate interests, but their prospects brightened a bit over the weekend when Politico reported: “The nonaggression pact between Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren is seriously fraying.”

      • Not Bernie, Us. Not Warren, Us.

        In a sense, this moment calls for Sanders and Warren supporters to be better than their candidates, who’ve descended into an avoidably harsh conflict that hugely benefits corporate power and corporate Democrats.

      • What Separates Sanders From Warren (and Everybody Else)

        In America, the term “middle class” has long been used to describe the majority of wage and salary earners, from those receiving a median annual income of around $50,000 to those who earn three or four times that amount. Whether Democrat or Republican, politicians from across the political aisle claim to represent the middle class—that vast-yet-amorphous segment of the population where the managers and the managed all seem to fit together.

      • Moscow City Court cancels fine against non-protester whose leg was broken by police before a protest

        The Moscow City Court has reversed a 10,000-ruble ($162) fine instituted against Konstantin Konovalov, who has said he was going on a run in central Moscow on July 27 when police violently arrested him, breaking his leg in the process. A protest was scheduled to take place three hours later; Konovalov claims he was not involved in the protest. Protest Apologists, a human rights organization whose attorney Fyodor Sirosh is representing Konovalov, posted about the court’s ruling on Telegram.

      • Zelensky withdraws bill decentralizing power in Ukraine for further revision

        Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has withdrawn a bill from the national legislature that would have increased the autonomy of individual regions, including breakaway regions in the country’s east. Zelensky introduced the bill into the Verkhovna Rada in mid-December and decided to withdraw it after meeting with legislative leaders from his party, Servant of the People.

      • Mikhail Mishustin formally appointed Russia’s prime minister as Medvedev takes on Security Council role

        Russian President Vladimir Putin has officially signed an order appointing Mikhail Mishustin to be Russia’s new prime minister, the Kremlin’s press service reported.

      • Pauline Hanson Weaponises Her Wilful Ignorance. Why Can’t We Call It Out?

        Pauline Hanson has been getting a free pass by mainstream media for far too long, writes Nico Bell.

      • New Report: Trump Violated US Funding Law at Center of Impeachment Trial

        But after an investigation, the Government Accountability Office ruled that “Faithful execution of the law does not permit the president to substitute his own policy priorities for those that Congress has enacted into law.” It said that the Trump-controlled U.S. budget agency blocked release of the money “for a policy reason,” which is not allowable under U.S. law.

        The ruling by the GAO came less than two hours before the formal start of Trump’s Senate trial on two articles of impeachment, that Trump abused the office of the presidency by trying to get Zelenskiy to open the Biden investigations while withholding the military aid and then obstructing congressional efforts to investigate Trump’s Ukraine-related actions.

      • Senate Urged to Convict Trump After GAO Says White House Broke Law by Freezing Ukraine Aid

        The federal watchdog’s decision “should be a call to action for every senator to put country over party and vote to remove Trump from office.”

      • ‘Russia’s Political Transition Has Arrived Ahead of Schedule’

        In his annual State of the Nation address, Putin proposed changes to the constitution in a series of moves that appear to pave the way for the term-limited president to assume a new position of power after he leaves office. A few hours after Putin’s address, Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev announced on live television that he and the entire Russian government would be resigning, saying that the Russian president will choose a new government.

        Putin later nominated Mikhail Mishustin, a 53-year-old technocrat who heads the Federal Tax Service and is best known for boosting tax collections and cutting graft, as Medvedev’s successor. Mishustin is a low-profile choice not seen as a power player in Moscow, making his prospects of transitioning into a major political force unlikely.

      • New allegations, watchdog report complicate GOP position on impeachment trial

        The Government Accountability Office (GAO) on Thursday issued a stunning report, accusing the White House budget office of breaking the law by withholding military aid to Ukraine — the very issue at the heart of the Democrats’ impeachment effort.

        Separately, a close associate of Rudy Giuliani, Trump’s personal lawyer, has delivered a trove of information to House Democrats related to Giuliani’s campaign to pressure Ukrainian leaders to find dirt on the president’s political rivals. Lev Parnas, a Soviet-born Florida businessman facing unrelated campaign-finance charges in New York, is also making the media rounds to deliver a damning message: Trump, he says, was privy to the pressure campaign from the start.

      • Sanders says he’s concerned about lost campaign time during impeachment trial

        Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), who is atop polls in Iowa and New Hampshire, said Thursday he is worried about losing valuable time on the campaign trail while he sits through an impeachment trial that could last for weeks.

        The Senate spent much of Thursday in a ceremonial session to mark the beginning of President Trump’s trial, which included all senators present taking an oath administered by Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts to uphold impartial justice. Senators then signed an oath book one by one.

        Asked later if he’s concerned about how participating in the trial will affect his White House bid, Sanders responded, “Yeah, I am.”

    • Censorship/Free Speech

    • Freedom of Information / Freedom of the Press

      • Assange ‘denied access’ to lawyers in UK

        Wikileaks founder Julian Assange has been denied access to evidence and even basic items like paper and pens by British prison officials, putting his US extradition case on the brink of judicial review, his lawyer has warned.

        Solicitor Gareth Pierce was shocked to learn that District Judge Vanessa Baraitser only intended to allow the defence team one hour to review evidence with the Australian in the holding cells at the Westminster Magistrates Court on Monday.

        He’s been charged in the US with 17 counts of spying and one count of computer hacking after WikiLeaks allegedly tried to help US army intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning conceal her virtual identity in the release of thousands of classified Pentagon files regarding the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.

        Some of those files have revealed US war crimes committed in both countries.

      • Short of Time: Julian Assange at the Westminster Magistrates Court

        Another slot of judicial history, another notch to be added to the woeful record of legal proceedings being undertaken against Julian Assange. The ailing WikiLeaks founder was coping as well as he could, showing the resourcefulness of the desperate at his Monday hearing. At the Westminster Magistrates Court, Assange faced a 12-minute process, an ordinary affair in which he was asked to confirm his name, an ongoing ludicrous state of affairs, and seek clarification about an aspect of the proceedings.

        Of immediate concern to the lawyers, specifically seasoned human rights advocate Gareth Peirce, was the issue that prison officers at Belmarsh have been obstructing and preventing the legal team from spending sufficient time with their client, despite the availability of empty rooms. “We have pushed Belmarsh in every way – it is a breach of a defendant’s rights.” Three substantial sets of documents and evidence required signing off by Assange before being submitted to the prosecution, a state of affairs distinctly impossible given the time constraints.

        A compounding problem was also cited by Peirce: the shift from moving the hearing a day forward resulted in a loss of time. “This slippage in the timetable is extremely worrying.” Whether this shows indifference to protocol or malice on the part of prosecuting authorities is hard to say, but either way, justice is being given a good flaying.

        The argument carried sufficient weight with District Judge Vanessa Baraitser to result in an adjournment till 2 pm in the afternoon, but this had more to do with logistics than any broader principle of conviction. As Baraitser reasoned, 47 people were currently in custody at court; a mere eight rooms were available for interviewing, leaving an additional hour to the day. In her view, if Assange was sinned against, so was everybody else, given that others in custody should not be prevented from access to counsel. (This judge has a nose for justice, albeit using it selectively.)

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • It’s 2020 and Florida’s Supreme Court Just Ruled in Favor of a Poll Tax

        “Florida cannot violate the U.S. Constitution’s protections. The right to vote cannot be contingent on the ability to pay.”

      • EU Parliament Calls for Release of Burundi Journalists

        The European Parliament today adopted a resolution condemning the continued deterioration of the human rights situation in Burundi ahead of the May 2020 elections. It also called on authorities to drop charges and immediately and unconditionally release four journalists working for Iwacu, one of the country’s last remaining independent newspapers, and all others arrested for exercising their fundamental rights.

        Christine Kamikazi, Agnès Ndirubusa, Egide Harerimana, and Térence Mpozenzi, and their driver, Adolphe Masabarakiza, were arrested on October 22, 2019 while on a reporting trip to Bubanza Province, and later charged with being complicit in “threatening the security of the state.” Their judgment is due by the end of January.

      • The Trump Administration Weakens Standards for ICE Detention Facilities

        The new immigration detention standards set by the Trump administration weaken critical protections and lower oversight requirements. The consequences for the health and safety of people who are detained could be disastrous.

      • The Humanitarian and Environmental Disaster of Trump’s Border Wall

        Making America great again in a new wild west.

      • The Questions No One’s Asking About the Border Wall

        A new Wild West has taken root not far from Tombstone, Arizona, known to many for its faux-historical reenactments of the old West. We’re talking about a long, skinny territory — a geographic gerrymander — that stretches east across New Mexico and down the Texan Rio Grande to the Gulf of Mexico. It also runs west across hundreds of miles of desert to California and the Pacific Ocean. Like the old Wild West, this one is lawless, save for the law of the gun. But that old West was lawless for want of government. This one is lawless because of it.

      • Trump Has Suspended Nearly 50 Laws to Build the Wall

        A new Wild West has taken root not far from Tombstone, Arizona, known to many for its faux-historical reenactments of the old West. We’re talking about a long, skinny territory — a geographic gerrymander — that stretches east across New Mexico and down the Texan Rio Grande to the Gulf of Mexico. It also runs west across hundreds of miles of desert to California and the Pacific Ocean. Like the old Wild West, this one is lawless, save for the law of the gun. But that old West was lawless for want of government. This one is lawless because of it.

      • The Longue Durée: Commemorating RIC and Black & Tan Colonialism

        Most histories of modern Ireland tend to marginalise or completely disregard questions of language and culture. This neglect occurs within various fields, be it the study of the conquests of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, the rise to power of Ascendancy Ireland during the eighteenth century, the expansion of the modern technocratic state during the nineteenth century as well as in the study of quasi-independent Ireland during the twentieth century.

      • Why Legal ‘Innovation’ Might be Bad News for Rights in Russia

        Yesterday, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced plans for constitutional reform that, among other things, seem to clear a path for him to remain in power – albeit not as president – after his term expires in 2024.

        But the reforms have implications beyond Putin’s political future. Some, like me, are pondering the impact on the rights of millions of Russians if Putin’s call “to directly guarantee the priority of the Russian Constitution in our legal framework” becomes law.

      • Judge Says Chicago PD Must Release Nearly 50 Years Of Misconduct Files Before The End Of This Year

        The Chicago Police Department is one of the worst in the nation. There’s simply no denying this.

      • Morocco: 3 Years in Abusive Solitary Detention
      • Parental Leave Laws Are Failing Single Parents

        The two parties in Congress don’t agree on much these days. However, in the final days of December, they struck a deal that will give about 2 million federal workers paid time off following the birth of a baby, an adoption or the arrival of a foster child in their home.

      • Moms 4 Housing Speaks Out After Militarized Eviction From Vacant Oakland House

        We look at the fight for affordable housing in the Bay Area with Moms 4 Housing, the unhoused and insecurely housed mothers who were evicted Tuesday by a militarized police force from a vacant home they had been occupying in Oakland, California. The action ended a two-month standoff between the mothers and real estate developer Wedgewood Properties when sheriff’s deputies arrested two mothers and two of their supporters. All four were released on bail Tuesday afternoon. We speak to Misty Cross, one of the moms who was arrested, and her daughter Destiny Johnson. “It was never about trying to stay in that house,” says Cross. “The message we were trying to send out was to get people aware of policies and things that are in place that are making us not move forward in life.” We also speak to Carroll Fife, the director of the Oakland office for Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment.

      • A Christian Nationalist Group Is Quietly Shaping Bills for State Legislatures

        Fred Clarkson, a senior research analyst at the social justice think tank Political Research Associates, had studied the Christian right wing for decades when someone tipped him off about an intriguing link on the website of the Congressional Prayer Caucus Foundation (CPCF) — a group that seeks to “preserve America’s Judeo-Christian heritage and promote prayer.” In early 2018, Clarkson clicked on the link, which led him to what was essentially a roadmap of the Christian right’s theocratic vision for state legislatures — a 116-page manual of model legislation aimed at advancing an anti-LGBTQ, anti-choice, Christian nationalist agenda.

      • Dissenter Weekly: Blowing Whistle On Business Of War In Iraq—Plus, Honduras and DOJ Cheat Whistleblower

        On this week’s “Dissenter Weekly Update,” host and Shadowproof editor Kevin Gosztola discusses how military contractors are speaking out after President Donald Trump assassinated—and attempted to assassinate—leaders of militias aligned with General Qassim Soleimani.

        Current and former employees for a military contractor called Sallyport Global Services claim the Iranian-backed militia, Kataib Al Imam Ali, allegedly stole military hardware and issued death threats against their employees. The company, which had a billion-dollar contract with the Pentagon, bribed the militia with “free trucks” and a first, second, and third base for their operations. These fighters were aligned with the United States, probably fighting ISIS, wasting taxpayers dollars like most military ventures. It’s how the business of war works.

      • The end of Iraqi Christianity?

        Erbil has been a refuge for Christians escaping the horrors of ISIS during the militants’ occupation of Mosul and the nearby Nineveh Plains, home to some of the oldest Church communities dating back to earliest times. Such attacks have underlined the precarious state of Iraq’s now tiny Christian community, which continues to reel from an exodus triggered by genocidal persecution.

        According to research by Aid to the Church in Need (ACN), within a generation, Iraq’s Christians have declined by 90 per cent to below 250,000. Some reports suggest that the actual figure may be lower than 120,000.

        Were the Iran crisis to become protracted, bishops from the region believe that the consequences for Iraqi Christians would be potentially catastrophic.

      • How to Organize Your Workplace Without Getting Caught

        In the last few years, American workers across multiple industries have unionized or mobilized collectively in an attempt to get better wages, demand accountability for sexual harassers in the workplace, push for real action to slow down climate change, and in general, change company culture.

        The movement seems to be popping up everywhere: Amazon, Google, Gawker, Riot Games, Salesforce, Tesla, Kickstarter, Uber, you name it. In fact, approval ratings for unions among Americans are at the highest level since the beginning of the 2000s, according to Gallup.

        As proud members of a union, we at Motherboard understand how important collective action is, and how challenging it can be. One of the biggest and perhaps most overlooked questions is: how do you form a union or organize a workplace walkout without tipping off the company that owns your computers and internet connection?

      • All the Single Ladies

        Still, much of this is assuming that men in educated dating pools prefer educated women. And for long-term relationships, they do. Compared with women, though, men tend to be more open to pairing up with less educated partners. And less educated women tend to be open to dating men more educated than themselves. What this means, then, is that educated women are not only competing against other educated women for educated male partners, but also against less educated women. To use Guttentag’s phrasing, the dating environment for educated men has an oversupply of women, and they are acting in line with Guttentag’s original findings. As Birger puts it in Date-onomics, describing why educated men are often reluctant to settle down, “Why make a lifetime commitment to one woman when you can keep her as an option while continuing to survey the market—a market that, for college-educated men, has an ever-increasing number of options?” This point has also been stressed by David Buss. In an essay titled The Mating Crisis Among Educated Women, Buss observes that it is no coincidence that the rise of hookup culture on college campuses has developed alongside the growing proportion of female students. Even Tinder, he suggests, is a part of the same phenomenon. Fewer men means more hookups.

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

      • Bad Ideas: Raising The Arbitrary Age Of Internet Service ‘Consent’ To 16

        We all know various ideas for “protecting privacy online” are floating around Congress, but must all of them be so incredibly bad? Nearly all of them assume a world that doesn’t exist. Nearly all of them assume an understanding of “privacy” that is not accurate. The latest dumb idea is to expand COPPA — the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act — that was put in place two decades ago and has been a complete joke. COPPA’s sole success is in getting everyone to think that anyone under the age of 13 isn’t supposed to be online. COPPA’s backers have admitted that they used no data in creating and have done no research into the effectiveness of the law. Indeed, actual studies have shown that COPPA’s real impact is in having parents teach their kids its okay to lie about their age online in order to access the kinds of useful services they want to use.

    • Digital Restrictions (DRM)

      • False Profits and Anti-Christs™

        It doesn’t take many viewing minutes into Messiah, the new Netflix series, to make an old postmodernist like myself wonder what the fuck I’m wasting what’s left of my time with this stuff for. El-Masih, the YouKnowWho (played, this time, by Mehdi Debhi), shows up in “Palestine” out of nowhere to announce that it’s Armageddon Time, accompanied by the first of many signs: Just as Damascus is about to have a bad hair day with artillery fired on them by ISIS from mysteriously unguarded heights not far away, a locust-like sandstorm engulfs Assad-abad. Insh’allah intervenes, it seems, but on whose behalf I can’t tell.

    • Monopolies

      • Uber Wins Dubious Honor Of Being First Big Tech Company To Bully A Small Nation Using Corporate Sovereignty

        Six years ago, when Techdirt first started writing about the investor-state dispute system (ISDS) — or corporate sovereignty as we prefer to call it — it was largely unknown outside specialist circles. Since then, more people have woken up to the power of this apparently obscure element of international trade and investment deals. It essentially gives a foreign company the ability to threaten to sue a nation for millions — even billions — of dollars if the latter brings in new laws or regulations that might adversely affect an investment. The majority of corporate sovereignty cases have been brought by the extractive industries — mining and oil. That’s not least because many of the laws and regulations they object to concern environmental and health issues, which have come to the fore in recent years. New legislation designed to protect local communities might mean lower profits for investors, who then often threaten to use ISDS if they are not offered compensation for this “loss”.

      • Trademarks

      • Copyrights

        • Corellium CEO says Apple is trying to ‘eliminate public jailbreaks’ with latest DMCA filing

          The intensity of the lawsuit that Apple has filed against software virtualization company Corellium has reached another level as the latter’s CEO says a recent DMCA from Apple claims that it is “engaging in trafficking” and that Apple is trying to set a precedent to “eliminate public jailbreaks.” Corellium CEO Amanda Gorton has penned an open letter expressing her belief that “Apple’s latest filing against Corellium should give all security researchers, app developers, and jailbreakers reason to be concerned.”

        • Apple Lawsuit Against Cyber Startup Threatens ‘Dangerous’ Expansion Of Copyright Law

          As Apple and Corellium head towards mediation talks, the iPhone maker has been criticized for “dangerous” claims that the cybersecurity startup has broken copyright laws. Critics say the lawsuit could lead to an expansion of U.S. copyright law and legally endanger software creators and security researchers tinkering with Apple tech.

          Corellium “virtualizes” Apple iPhones. In other words, it creates software-only versions of the devices, helping researchers and developers better test hacks or the functionality of apps. For instance, if a developer wanted to see whether their app crashes iOS or breaks a phone entirely, they won’t have to restart or buy a new iPhone if they can just spawn a new software version at speed.

          But Apple believes this amounts to illegal replication of its famous phone. It first launched a suit in August 2019 but has ratcheted up the claims against Corellium, in particular around what the Cupertino giant says are breaches of its rights as protected by the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA).

        • Corellium Accuses Apple of Using Lawsuit to ‘Crack Down on Jailbreaking’

          The lawsuit has been ongoing since August, but it is heating up after Apple amended its lawsuit in late December with a Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) filing, suggesting the Cupertino company believes jailbreaking is a violation of the DMCA. Corellium, says Apple, facilitates jailbreaking through its software.

          Corellium’s CEO Amanda Gorton has taken issue with Apple’s new filing, and yesterday penned a missive lambasting Apple for its jailbreaking position. “Apple’s latest filing against Corellium should give all security researchers, app developers, and jailbreakers reason to be concerned,” reads the letter’s opening statement.

        • Join Us in Washington D.C. to Celebrate Culture and Heritage on Public Domain Day

          In collaboration with the Internet Archive, the Institute for Intellectual Property & Social Justice, the Program on Information Justice and Intellectual Property, and SPARC, this event will “bring together a diverse group of organizations, musicians, artists, activists, and thinkers” to celebrate the works entering the public domain in 2020 as well as highlight the “elements of knowledge and creativity that are too important to a healthy society to lock down with copyright law.”

        • RomUniverse’s Request to Dismiss Nintendo Piracy Lawsuit Fails

          A California federal court has denied RomUniverse’s request to dismiss Nintendo’s piracy lawsuit. The site’s operator, who is leading his own defense, argued that he is protected by the DMCA’s safe harbor provisions. However, the court notes that a motion to dismiss is not the proper stage to bring this up and has refuted other arguments too.

        • Kim Dotcom Wins Back K.im Domain After Dispute & $100K Sell-Back Offer

          After falling into third-party hands the main domain of Kim Dotcom’s K.im project is set to be reclaimed. The Isle of Man domain recently expired and was quickly snapped up but, following a dispute process, it could be transferred back to the crypto project in a matter of days. Documents reviewed by TorrentFreak reveal that there was an attempt in December to sell the domain back for $100,000.

        • Why Is The NYC MTA Going After A Random Artist Who Created A Different Subway Map For Infringement?

          It’s been a while since we last wrote about the New York City Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA), but in the past, it’s always been for incredibly stupid reasons. There was the time it claimed it owned the facts of its schedule and went after someone who created a better scheduling app. There was the time it claimed that its “unlimited rides” card really meant no more than 90 rides. We didn’t write about this other one, but a few years back, the MTA actually sued a bagel place for calling itself “F Line Bagels.” And now we have it filing an incredibly questionable copyright takedown notice over someone making a nicer subway map.

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