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02.05.20

Links 5/2/2020: Simplicity Linux 2020.1 and Sparky 5.10.1

Posted in News Roundup at 7:54 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Desktop/Laptop

      • Raspberry Pi 4: Chronicling the Desktop Experience – Emulate Home Computers – Week 15

        This is a weekly blog about the Raspberry Pi 4 (“RPI4”), the latest product in the popular Raspberry Pi range of computers.

        A glaring omission from my RPI4 blog to date is gaming on this wee machine. There’s so many games to play on the machine, it’s difficult to know where to begin. I’ll start with something that shouldn’t be taxing on the machine. Emulating home computers. Specifically, the Amiga, ZX Spectrum, and Atari ST. They were hugely popular home computers targeted heavily towards games, but also ran other types of software.

        Home computers were a class of microcomputers that entered the market in 1977 and became common during the 1980s. They were marketed to consumers as affordable and accessible computers that, for the first time, were intended for the use of a single nontechnical user.

        My experience of the packages provided by the Raspbian repositories is somewhat baffling. There’s tons of great free software that’s not included, yet there’s plenty of software included without any optimization. Sometimes this renders what otherwise are useful software completely useless. I’ve gone through the home computer emulators mentioned in this article, summarizing my findings on Page 5 of this blog article.

        I cannot feasibly cover all 21 home computer emulators. Instead, I’ve looked at three of the cream: FS-UAE, ZEsaurUX, and Hatari. The former emulates the Amiga A500, A500+, A600, A1200, A1000, A3000 and A4000 models. ZEsaurUX is one of the finest ZX Spectrum emulators. And Hatari is a sublime Atari ST emulator. Let’s start with FS-UAE.

      • South Korea Will Start Switching to Linux from this Year

        South Korean government has announced that it will switch the computers used in its central government, local governments, and public institutions to Linux-based operating systems starting this year-end.

        The Linux-based operating systems planned by the government are Cloud OS, Harmonica OS, and TMAX OS. The government cites the need to update Windows once every five years and the discontinuation of Windows 7 for this move.

        Back in April, the South Korean Ministry of Public Administration and Security started a pilot test on Linux-based operating systems for public institutions. The country’s Ministry of National Defense is currently piloting harmonica OS while the postal service is testing TMAX OS.

      • Dell’s 2019 XPS 13 DE: As close as we currently get to Linux-computing nirvana

        Dell’s XPS 13 Developer Edition, the company’s flagship “just works” Ubuntu-based machine, was recently refreshed. These days Dell’s XPS line is not the cheapest Linux option, nor is it the most configurable or user-upgradable. And if any of those factors are a big part of your criteria, this is likely not the laptop for you.

        On top of that, many Linux users still have a strong DIY streak and will turn up their noses at the XPS 13. After all, in a day and age when just about every laptop I test seems to run Linux fairly well right out of the box, do you need official support? If you know what you’re doing and don’t mind troubleshooting your own problems, the answer is probably not.

        Yet after spending a few weeks with the latest XPS 13 (the fourth refresh I’ve tested), it’s hard to shake the feeling that this is the closest any company has come to Linux-computing nirvana. The XPS 13 Developer Edition makes an excellent choice for anyone who prefers Linux but wants hardware support from the manufacturer. All these years into its Linux odyssey, Dell continues to stand behind the operating system on these machines in a way that, in my experience, few other computer makers do.

    • Server

      • OpenCensus to monitor your Kubernetes cluster

        In my last article in this series, I introduced monitoring with Prometheus, the leading open source metric instrumentation, collection, and storage toolkit. While Prometheus has become the de facto standard for monitoring Kubernetes for many users, there may be reasons why you might choose another approach for metric telemetry.

        One reason is that using Prometheus introduces another component in your cluster that needs to be maintained and updated and will require additional management to ensure data persistence over the long term. Another reason is that Prometheus collects an incredibly large set of metrics right out of the box, and this could become cost-prohibitive in situations where metric volume is an input into your overall observability costs.

    • Audiocasts/Shows

      • The Mint Mindset | LINUX Unplugged 339

        We get into the Linux Mint mindset after years away and share our take on Cinnamon’s many improvements.

        Plus news that’ll have knock-on effects for the rest of the year, and more.

      • 2020-02-04 | Linux Headlines

        Neo4j rolls out version 4, NVIDIA’s GeForce NOW gaming platform opens up to consumers, VMware announces changes to its licensing terms, and Sandstorm reports on its ongoing revival.

    • Kernel Space

      • Linux 5.5.2

        I’m announcing the release of the 5.5.2 kernel.

        All users of the 5.5 kernel series must upgrade.

        The updated 5.5.y git tree can be found at:
        git://git.kernel.org/pub/scm/linux/kernel/git/stable/linux-stable.git linux-5.5.y
        and can be browsed at the normal kernel.org git web browser:

        https://git.kernel.org/?p=linux/kernel/git/stable/linux-s…

      • Linux 4.9.213
      • Linux 4.4.213
      • Services for Lars Kurth

        A funeral for Lars Kurth will be held on Friday, 7 February, at 11:45 am.

      • The Meteoric Rise Of Fwupd+LVFS For Linux Firmware Updates

        Intel firmware expert Brian Richardson was at FOSDEM 2020 to talk up UEFI Capsule Update functionality and the Linux Vendor Firmware Service (LVFS) for allowing OEMs/ODMs to easily distribute firmware updates to Linux users for application with the Fwupd firmware updating utility.

        Brian’s talk covered how UEFI Capsule Updates allow better resiliency and handling of system firmware updates in a trouble-free manner, etc. It’s a nice talk for anyone wanting to learn more about UEFI Capsule Updates.

      • What is WireGuard? Why Linux Users Going Crazy Over it?

        WireGuard is an easy to configure, fast, and secure open source VPN that utilizes state-of-the-art cryptography. It’s aim is to provide a faster, simpler and leaner general purpose VPN that can be easily deployed on low-end devices like Raspberry Pi to high-end servers.

        Most of the other solutions like IPsec and OpenVPN were developed decades ago. Security researcher and kernel developer Jason Donenfeld realized that they were slow and difficult to configure and manage properly.

        This made him create a new open source VPN protocol and solution which is faster, secure easier to deploy and manage.

        WireGuard was originally developed for Linux but it is now available for Windows, macOS, BSD, iOS and Android. It is still under heavy development.

      • Linux-Firmware Adds Updated Binary For Fixing Performance With RX 5600 XT vBIOS Update

        With last month’s release of the Radeon RX 5600 XT as quite a capable sub-$300 graphics card there was a new video BIOS at launch-day to significantly improve the performance even more. But that updated vBIOS was causing issues with the Linux driver. The necessary fix has now landed in linux-firmware.git as the necessary SMC firmware update for Navi.

        As explained last month after release and when benchmarking the Radeon RX 5600 XT with the new vBIOS on Linux, updated firmware for the SMC was needed to jive with the updated vBIOS. Without that updated SMC firmware, the graphics card on Linux would be left running in a low-power performance state and lead to poor performance.

    • Applications

      • Repo Review: PDFsam Basic

        PDFsam (Split and Merge) Basic is a helpful program used for splitting, extracting, and merging PDF documents. There are paid versions of PDFsam with more features, but for this review we’ll just be focusing on the free Basic edition available in the repository.

        PDFsam has a modern, well designed interface. Each editing function of PDFsam is divided into a different module accessible from the main screen.

      • 15 Notable Open Source Apps

        Open source software is always in flux, and new projects are being born every day. Open Source principles are spreading beyond software to not only include code, but in some cases, code that is being used to write an open source book or to do open source science where anyone is welcome to participate. And, cross-platform or platform-independent apps that work on any operating system are becoming much more common than those designed for a particular OS. We like to shine a spotlight on those that seem particularly noteworthy, but there are plenty more that didn’t get included. If you know of one, please make a note in the comments section below.

    • Instructionals/Technical

    • Games

      • Shocking Linux Gaming And Multitasking Performance With The AMD Ryzen 3400G

        I don’t typically review desktop PCs without a dedicated graphics card. Normally I like to push systems to the limit. But I’ve also been fascinated by AMD’s “APU” technology for years, checking in on them periodically to see how they’ve improved. That brings us to my coverage of the System76 Thelio, a gorgeous Linux desktop crafted in Colorado that ships with an AMD Ryzen 5 3400G in one of its cheaper models.

        Can you finally enjoy some 1080p gaming without needing a dedicated AMD or Nvidia graphics card? Yep. As it turns out, you can do a lot more — and the Thelio stays shockingly quiet while you’re putting it through the paces!

      • MangoHud, a new open source Vulkan overlay layer for gaming on Linux

        Today, the first official release of MangoHud went out, a new open source Vulkan overlay layer for gaming on Linux. This enables you to get a HUD on your games with fancy details like FPS and Frame Timings, GPU and CPU utilization, GPU and CPU temperature reporting and more.

        Originally a fork of the Mesa drivers “with the overlay files modified to produce the hud”, it’s now an entirely new project separate from Mesa and it works across different GPUs including NVIDIA. Their intention is to be an alternative to the Mesa overlay and the DXVK HUD and they’ve certainly got my vote as it works great!

      • With colourful and gorgeous pixel-art ‘Mists of Noyah’ enters Early Access soon

        Entering Early Access on February 26, Mists of Noyah looks like an incredibly promising 2D co-op action survival game with some really gorgeous artwork.

        It was announced back in November last year which we missed until the Steam page appeared, which showed that it will support Linux (as does their official site). Instantly pulling my attention with some vibrant visuals, I watched the trailer and definitely feel like this could be good.

      • Hammer Dongers – an amusing local multiplayer game that’s like Bomberman with Hammers

        Currently in development and local multiplayer only for now, Hammer Dongers has an absolutely brilliant idea that I can’t wait to see developed further.

        In Hammer Dongers, you run around a small arena and smash your hammer into the ground. Eventually, the ground will crumble away and perhaps take your opponent with it. Simple and effective gameplay for a fun time. Personally, I think it’s a brilliant idea for a party game, take a look:

      • Emotionally charged point-and-click ‘Road To Nowhere’ demo is up – looks gorgeous

        An emotionally charged point-and-click tale about betrayal, manipulation, and abuse. Road To Nowhere is going to be free at release, with a demo out now.

        With a quite unusual visual style using live-action actors being rotoscoped, full voice acting, an interactive music system and a melancholy soundtrack it’s definitely one of the more unique adventure games to come along recently. Visually, it’s quite stunning.

      • The Atari VCS team give another update – plus a proper look at the UI

        Pre-production is still ongoing for the Linux-powered Atari VCS, with the team giving a fresh update on how it’s doing. So far, it seems like it’s actually progressing well.

        After showing it off during the recent CES trade show, they went back to their manufacturer to continue the preparation and run a fresh pre-production run of Atari VCS development units.

      • Top down strategy and tactics returns with Door Kickers 2

        KillHouse Games have now re-announced Door Kickers 2: Task Force North, the sequel to their excellent 2014 tactics game.

        Originally announced in 2016, with it due out cross-platform that same year. Sadly it seemed to just sort of vanish for some time—but it’s back!

      • A few months after entering Early Access, Daedalic put their RTS ‘A Year Of Rain’ on hold

        Daedalic Entertainment announced their in-development real-time strategy game A Year Of Rain is now officially on hold.

        Currently in Early Access on Steam and only becoming available there back in November 2019, it was due to come to Linux a little later but that’s likely not happening now. Yesterday, Daedalic announced on Steam they mentioned that the “low player base” had caused some major issues for them with it only hitting a little more “than 5000 players worldwide” this week. Looking at the Steam stats for it, they only managed an all-time peak of 244 players and then it just continued to drop, which for a co-op RTS isn’t sustainable for an “independent studio with limited resources”. Due to this they “decided to put the active development of A Year Of Rain on hold”.

      • NVIDIA’s Cloud Gaming Service GeForce NOW Shamelessly Ignores Linux

        NVIDIA has once again neglected Linux. It’s newly launched cloud gaming service GeForce NOW is not available on Linux.

      • The sad case of Unreal Engine 1 on Mesa and Linux in 2020

        One of the great game industry battles of the turn of century was the standoff between Quake III Arena and Unreal Tournament. With both multiplayer focused first person shooters released just weeks apart from one another, that the two games would wind up going head to head was inevitable. If pressed I am always going to have to say I favour the former, but the remarkable thing for us Linux users is that, for a time, both games lived harmoniously under the same publisher.

        More than any other developer, Loki Software can be credited with founding the Linux games industry, and with them still riding high at the time, they went on to publish both titles on our platform. More than just popular games, Quake III Arena and Unreal Tournament were also flagships for the engine technology within. Unreal Engine 1 and id Tech 3 would go on to be used in dozens of other titles, some of which would also be ported by Loki Software before their closure in 2002.

        While Quake III Arena was granted its place in eternity when its source code was released in 2005, community support for Unreal Tournament was able to breathe some new life into the game, even with the limitations of the closed binary. By 2018 however the game was no longer launching for Mesa users. Due to the Core.so file being statically linked to an archaic libstdc++ library, the game can only be ran outside of Software mode on the free graphics stack with use of a hacked Mesa patch.

      • Rocket League No Longer Supports MacOS and Linux

        However, this also means that the planned developments can’t support DX 9. Once they release DX 11 on Windows, they will drop the DX 9 support as it won’t be compatible with the new content. However, they understand that some of their users that are “macOS and Linux native clients depend[ent] on our DX9 implementation for their OpenGL renderer to function.”

        Despite that, they mentioned that it would take “significant additional time and resources in a replacement rendering pipeline such as Metal on macOS or Vulkan/OpenGL4 on Linux.” They also pointed out that there’s no justification for investing time and developing for those platforms. Their Mac and Linux players account for only less than 0.3% of the total active players, and cited that “viable workarounds exist like Bootcamp or Wine to keep those users playing.”

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • Qt 3D Studio 2.6 Released

          We are happy to announce that the Qt 3D Studio 2.6 is now available via the online offline installers. For detailed information about the Qt 3D Studio, visit the online documentation page.

          Decreasing the CPU and GPU Utilization
          One of the main targets for 2.6 release was further identify runtime optimizations especially in CPU and GPU utilization. We have seen significant CPU and GPU usage decrease (around 15-20 percentage points). Of course, mileage may vary depending on the use case. This improvement was achieved by optimizing 3D element name hashing and introducing more checks on when scene needs to be rendered.

        • KDE’s New User Feedback Tool Gets First Stable Release, Will Ship in Plasma 5.18 LTS

          Long time KDE developer Jonathan Riddell announced today the general availability of the first stable release of KDE’s brand-new user feedback tool, KUserFeedback, for the Plasma desktop environment.

          Meet KUserFeedback, a framework built by KDE to collect feedback from users about the applications included in the Plasma desktop environment, via telemetry and surveys. KDE will use the feedback received from users to improve the Plasma desktop, so they only focus their future work on the things that matter to the community.

          KUserFeedback was developed during the development cycle of the forthcoming KDE Plasma 5.18 LTS desktop environment, but, as of today, it reached maturity with version 1.0.0, which is now available to download so those who want to grab the source and compile it.

        • KUserFeedback 1.0.0

          KUserFeedback is a framework for collecting user feedback for applications via telemetry and surveys.

          The library comes with an accompanying control and result UI tool.

          https://download.kde.org/stable/kuserfeedback/

        • Porting Qt Applications to Qt MCUs 1.0

          Last year, we ported a Qt Quick Application to Qt for MCUs 1.0.
          Foundation of this porting has been a demonstrator we had built together with the Qt Company.

        • Python 3.8 woes

          These days, Python is big, has lots of computer-sciency features that I don’t grok, and packaging Python is still hard. And the documentation is, for the most part, not very useful. I didn’t care a lot about that, though, since we only use Python as Krita’s extension language together with PyQt. And we had a nice and working setup for that.

          Well, nice… It’s a bit hacky, especially for Windows. Especially since we need to build Krita with mingw, because msvc has problems compiling the Vc library. And Python has problems getting built with mingw-gcc on Windows.

          We have three related parts: python, sip, which creates Python libraries out of special hand-written header-like files, and PyQt, which binds Pyton and Qt.

          So, we start with a system-wide install of Python. This is used to configure Qt and build sip and PyQt. Then we download an embeddable Python of exactly the same version as the system-wide install, and install that with Krita’s other dependencies.

        • FOSDEM retrospective

          FOSDEM has come and gone for 2020, so it’s time to look back at another huge event (it was a birthday event, although I didn’t notice it that much). Like most years, I was non-stop busy with either the booth or talking to people, so no photographs.

          [...]

          If there’s a main takeaway from this day for me, it’s that KDE on Wayland on FreeBSD is not close yet, but we’ll be working towards it for the next six months and coordinating with Gnome and the rest of the desktop stack to make that happen. Raichoo will be leading the Wayland bits. (Over two years ago I wrote a bit about Weston already!)

          In the evening I defected and met up with Bhushan and the Plasma Mobile and UBPorts and PostmarketOS people for dinner. I don’t know mobile, so this was a learning experience.

        • My 3 weeks of SoK!

          My proposal for Season of KDE 2020 was accepted and I was so happy to work on this. So this project is all about the revamp of Umbrello website with a modern Jekyll theme KDE uses. I had already given a revamp for the Konversation website on December 2019 under the mentorship of Carl Schwan. Umbrello is basically a UML modeller which is a great application by KDE for UML. Umbrello would help communication ease between other developers and other businessmen. To be honest I wasn’t a user of Umbrello as I never had a job to create a UML diagram. So the biggest challenge to me was getting used to the application.

          This project aims in revamping the website of Umbrello with the latest Jekyll template KDE uses. A Redesigned homepage can help new developers and users to get a better knowledge of the application if the workflow with proper screenshots and GIFs are added to it. The news and the announcements can be shifted to a separate page as it makes it much more organized.

        • Jupyter and Cantor Projects

          In the recent release of Cantor – KDE Frontend to mathematical applications – the support for Jupyter notebook format was announced. To cite from Cantor’s release announcement:

          Jupyter is a a very popular open-source web-based application that provides an interactive environment for different programming languages. The interactive documents are organized in “notebooks”. This application is widely used in different scientific and educational areas and there is a lot of shared notebooks publically available on the internet. As an example for a collection of such notebooks see this collection.

          For Cantor, which is very similar in spirit to Jupyter, we decided to add the ability to read and save Jupyter’s notebook format in order to benefit from the big amount of available content for Jupyter. The implementation required for this was mainly done by Nikita Sirgienko as part of the Google Summer of Code 2019 project. His series of blog posts contains many examples as well as implementational details that will be omitted here.

      • GNOME Desktop/GTK

        • Games and retro-gtk happenings

          Yesterday, I released GNOME Games 3.35.90, so we’re in feature freeze for 3.36.0. Let’s take a look at the changes during the 3.35.x cycle:

          Faster collection loading

          For a long time, Games loaded collection asynchronously using Vala async functions. While it didn’t block the UI completely, it was still slow and caused frequent UI stalls until it loaded completely. In 3.36, collection loading uses a separate thread instead and is noticeably faster as a result, while the UI is perfectly smooth the whole time.

          Cover loading has been moved to a thread as well, so both initial loading and scrolling while covers are loading should now be fast and smooth.

        • Inside Gnome Boxes

          For average users, Gnome Boxes offers an easy-to-use virtual machine solution for Linux.

          When Linux users want a virtual machine, many install VMware Workstation Player or VirtualBox. Neither is free-licensed, but both are free for downloading and easier to use than Qemu. In comparison, Gnome Boxes (Boxes) is less well-known , but deserves attention. A front end for Qemu, KVM, and libvirt, Boxes is not only the most efficient VM solution for Linux, Windows, or BSD, but also improves some of the features that make alternatives difficult to use. In fact, it is so simple that I thought twice about reviewing it, on the grounds that it is so simple that it can almost speak for itself.

          [...]

          At this point, experts might complain that Boxes lacks the choice of the VM type to create. Boxes simply creates a Virtual Disk Image, with no option to choose a Virtual Hard Disk or Virtual Machine Disk as on VirtualBox. Neither can you specify a fixed size — just a maximum size, so that the VM does not take over the entire drive. However, Boxes’ choices are what many users (if not most) want anyway, so the lack of options may hardly be missed. In general, the lack of options seems a reasonable exchange for Boxes’ streamlined simplicity.

          But no matter what your choices, when you have made them, click the Create button in the window’s upper right corner to go through a standard installation procedure in about the same time you would take if installing to hardware. If, as with many distributions, the installation gives you the option of a Live DVD rather than the installation, then, unlike with Virtual Box, the Live option can be used more than once. This setup means that you can save time and space by using the Live option. Later, if you want, you can install from the Live DVD.

    • Distributions

      • Most secure Linux distros

        This article focuses on some of the most secure Linux distros including QubeOS, Tails, Alpine Linux, Whonix, IprediaOS and a shared review for offensive security distributions including Kali Linux, Black Arch and Parrot OS for being the best options to pentest yourself.
        Some of the Linux distributions mentioned below are optimized to prevent hacker attacks while others fit better if you want to prevent forensics against your devices.

        Security offensive Linux distributions are also a good option when looking for safe OS and some were included in this list.

      • New Releases

        • Debian-Based Simplicity Linux 2020.1 Is Out With Gaming Edition

          A small group of developers headed by David Purse has released the new version v2020.1 of Simplicity Linux along with the new Blacknut Cloud Gaming edition.

          Simplicity Linux 2020.1 replaces the X Edition with Gaming Edition that includes the Steam launcher. X Edition exhibits features that may or may not be included in a future edition.

        • Simplicity Linux 20.1 Released with New Gaming Edition, Cinnamon Desktop

          Simplicity Linux 20.1 has been released as the latest version of this Devuan/Debian/Puppy inspired GNU/Linux distribution that doesn’t uses systemd as init system.

          Simplicity Linux 20.1 is a stable release, the first in a very long time. It’s based on Buster Dog, a small Debian-based live system designed to look and act like Puppy Linux, which in turn is based on the Debian GNU/Linux 10 “Buster” operating system series.

          This is also Simplicity Linux’s first release to move from the lightweight Xfce desktop environment to the more modern, yet resource-hungry Cinnamon desktop, which is present on all three editions. It also includes the OBS Studio video editor for Linux and PulseAudio as default sound system instead of ALSA.

        • Simplicity Linux 20.1 now available for download

          We are pleased to announce the release of Simplicity Linux 20.1. It is based on Buster Dog (https://debiandog.github.io/doglinux/zz03busterdog.html) and uses Cinnamon as a Window Manager. We’ve also preinstalled PulseAudio rather than the usual ALSA because it was causing problems with a few modern apps.

          Simplicity Linux 20.1 comes in three different editions: Mini, Desktop and Gaming. We usually create an X Edition, which showcases features which may or may not appear in a future version of Simplicity Linux, but we’ve decided to rest this for one release cycle as will be explained later.

          Mini is our lightweight Linux distro. It features minimal pre-installed software, instead using cloud based software. It uses Google Chrome as the main portal to software, and has shortcuts to commonly used cloud based software.

      • Screenshots/Screencasts

      • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandriva/OpenMandriva Family

        • OpenMandriva Lx 4.1 with Linux 5.5 is out, here’s what’s new

          Over this past weekend, the OpenMandriva Association announced the final release of OpenMandriva Lx 4.1, codenamed Mercury. The release announcement comes just days after the candidate release of the popular Linux distribution.

          For those new to OpenMandriva, it is a fork of Mandriva Linux 2011. Development of the Mandriva Linux distribution discontinued in 2011, with most of the Mandriva development team joining the Mageia Linux, another Mandriva Linux fork, development team. The majority of the remaining Mandriva Linux development team allied with community members to form OpenMandriva.

        • [PCLinuxOS] Screenshot Showcase
        • PCLinuxOS Family Member Spotlight: bliss

          Around 2011, I got serious and got a DSL line and started to download lots of distributions, but never found any I wanted to switch to until Mandriva went under and did not recover. I found PCLinuxOS around 2012.

          I also liked to read SF magazines, but they became too expensive after I had to retire from nursing. Now, I make extensive use of the San Francisco Public Library. I got interested in Japanese animation in the early 2000′s then, due to that in Japanese comics called “Manga.” I buy a few manga at low prices. To better understand the topics of the comics, I got interested in Japanese history and foods. I have read lots of books on Japanese history, ancient and modern.

          Why and when did you start using Linux?
          About 2006 when the Commodore Business Machines had gone under in 1994, I hoped forlornly that it would do the smart thing and start transitioning to the x86 processor architecture. One of my online friends suggested Mandriva, but could not get it together to send me copies. Another online friend took pity on me and sent me the Mandriva 2006 iso files on a DVD. I made the 6 CDs using Windows XP, created a partition on the Great Quality(not so great) laptop and installed Mandriva.

          I learned to use Knoppix as well from a book “Knoppix for Dummies”. Shortly after starting with Mandriva, I joined SF-LUG to get help, principally with getting online with WiFi and repairing LiLo.

        • Slipstream On PCLinuxOS: Analysis

          If I were to define this game in one sentence, it would go something like this: A love letter to the arcade racers of the 80′s (Outrun, Turbo Outrun, Outrunners, Top Gear and many others).

          Yes friends, the nostalgia is strong with this one, but it is not an empty nostalgia. Slipstream is inspired by the classics of the past, but it has enough personality to be original and fresh.

          The game was developed by Brazilian programmer Sandro Luiz de Paula, from Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais, and the sound/music part by Stefan Moser, from Charleston, South Carolina.

          [...]

          Here we come to a very important point: There is no point in having great graphics and music, if the gameplay is lame. A pleasant surprise was the automatic detection of the joystick, without any additional configuration.

          The game is fast, exciting and leaves the player on the edge of his seat. So good is the animation in the game, that again, it is hard to believe that it was made in Java, due to the speed and quality of the game.

          Being able to play between four players on the same computer is a journey of nostalgia, to the time when children gathered in the homes of friends, to challenge them, whether it was at Super Mario Kart, or Top Gear (who doesn’t remember?).

          Now, the controls are responsive, and the different tracks have their characteristics: rain, snow, desert, beach, which affects the control of the car, a very cool touch of realism.

          But, not everything is perfect: Special maneuvers, notably Drift and Slipstream are very difficult to do.

          The drift is done like this: Release the accelerator, touch the brake, and accelerator again. The problem is that this game mechanic is not intuitive: In all racing games, the drift is always done by pressing the hand brake, and, by slowing the acceleration a little, not with this confusing mechanic. It took me two days to do the drifts right.

          But worse is the slipstream, the maneuver that gives the game its name: This one, I never consciously managed, and it came out a few times, but alien to my will.

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • IBM CTO: Edge Will Implode Without Open Source

          As edge devices continue to hit the market, “the No. 1 thing you begin to realize is that this industry is at risk of imploding on itself if it does not solve the problem of creating a standard way of managing it, [and] creating a set of standards that developer communities can begin to form and create ecosystems from,” High said.

        • Recap: London OpenShift Commons Gathering January 29th 2020 [Videos and Slides]

          The OpenShift Commons Gathering in London brought together over 350 Kubernetes and Cloud Native experts from all over the world to discuss container technologies, best practices for cloud native application developers and the open source software projects that underpin the OpenShift ecosystem.

        • Red Hat Shares ― Edge computing

          A number of sources (like this one) predict an uptick in edge computing this year. Why? While cloud computing typically centralizes compute resources, many new applications and technologies―like 5G networks and the Internet of Things (IoT)―require compute power closer to the “edge” of a network, where the physical devices or data sources exist.

          This decentralized approach results in faster data processing and highly available apps, giving users a great experience. And enterprises get insights faster, letting them improve their apps based on customer needs or interactions. What’s the best way to build an edge computing environment? We recommend centralizing when you can and distributing when you must.

          In this issue of Red Hat® Shares, learn all about edge computing―including what it is, use cases, common myths, and how 1 company is using it. Plus, check out the results of our 2020 Global Customer Tech Outlook survey.

        • Fedora 32 Install Media Unlikely To Lose Weight But Fedora 33 Could Be Zstd’ed

          There had been a proposal to better compress the Fedora 32 install media via SquashFS without the nested EXT4 file-system setup for its live images and also ramping up the XZ compression. But this proposal was rejected at yesterday’s engineering meeting on the basis that a more optimal compression path could be utilized.

          In particular, making use of Zstd compression could be a better route for better compressing the Fedora install media. Issues over latency / CPU resources in ramping up XZ compression impacting the Fedora Live experience were raised.

        • Introducing IBM Cloud Pak for Integration: IBM?s hybrid integration platform

          The data that enterprises try to access resides across broad hybrid environments that need to connect systems and applications across multiple clouds — both public and private — and also to on-premises facilities. Because the average enterprise uses 3 – 10 clouds, this issue is complicated drastically. The cloud is changing the way enterprises onboard new technologies and the pace of change and demand for integration has never been greater.

          Digital transformation can be daunting due to siloed data and unreliable integration approaches. Integration work will likely account for at least half of the time and cost of building a digital platform. Integration must be an enabler, not an inhibitor.

          [...]

          IBM Cloud Pak for Integration offers a single, unified platform for all your enterprise integration needs. It deploys integration capabilities into the Red Hat OpenShift managed container environment and uses the monitoring, logging, and security systems of OpenShift to ensure consistency across all integration solutions.

        • Timeless AI insights at the GRAMMYs: A recap of the meetup experience

          Nearly 100 software developers and artificial intelligence (AI) enthusiasts gathered on the evening of January, 28, 2020, for an IBM Developer meetup hosted by the AI LA community at Cross Campus in Los Angeles to learn about how AI enabled the GRAMMY webcast to take viewers deeper into the event than any previous broadcast.

          [...]

          Baughman and Wilkin walked attendees through the deployment that combined Docker containers and the Red Hat OpenShift on IBM Cloud platform to scale computational processing capabilities for batch processing. The entire AI pipeline was supported by 7 images running Node.js v12 and Python v3.7. The cluster itself had 6 workers, with 4 vCPUs and 16 GB RAM each. This configured cluster allowed IBM and the GRAMMYs to process all 900 nominees within 10 hours.

          Wilkin also discussed the UX decisions that went into creating a functional admin tool that empowered grammy.com editors to make smart content decisions in real time during the broadcast.

        • End-of-life announcement for CoreOS Container Linux

          As we’ve previously announced, Fedora CoreOS is the official successor to CoreOS Container Linux. Fedora CoreOS is a new Fedora Edition built specifically for running containerized workloads securely and at scale. It 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 and the Fedora CoreOS documentation.

          We’d love for you to try Fedora CoreOS and get involved! You can report bugs and missing features to the issue tracker and discuss Fedora CoreOS in Fedora Discourse, the development mailing list, in #fedora-coreos on Freenode, or at our weekly IRC meetings.

        • Support for CoreOS Container Linux ending in May
        • Customizing OpenShift project creation

          I recently attended an excellent training run by Red Hat’s Global Partner Enablement Team on advanced Red Hat OpenShift management. One of the most interesting elements of the training was how to customize default project creation. This article explains how to use OpenShift’s projectRequestTemplate to add default controls for the resources that a project is allowed to consume.

          First, a little bit of background. OpenShift projects are synonymous with Kubernetes namespaces and are used to isolate objects between projects. By default, users who are authenticated can create projects and consume resources up to the global ClusterResource limits. As a cluster administrator, you might want to add new default limits around the number of resources that can be consumed by a project. OpenShift provides a mechanism to achieve this setting by creating a template that is referenced by the projectRequestTemplate parameter in OpenShift’s project configuration resource.

        • Daniel Berrange: libvirt: an “embedded” QEMU driver mode for isolated usage

          Within context of each daemon, VM name uniqueness is enforced. Operating via the daemon means that all applications connected to that same libvirtd get the same world view. This single world view is exactly what you want when dealing with server / cloud / desktop virtualization, because it means tools like ‘virt-top‘, ‘virt-viewer’, ‘virsh‘ can see the same VMs as virt-manager / oVirt / OpenStack / GNOME Boxes / etc.

          There are other use cases for virtualization, however, where this single world view across applications may be much less desirable. Instead of spawning VMs for the purpose of running a full guest operating system, the VM is used as a building block for an application specific use case. I describe these use cases as “embedded virtualization”, with the libguestfs project being a well known long standing example. This uses a VM as a way to confine execution of its appliance, allowing safe manipulation of disk images. The libvirt-sandbox project is another example which provides a way to take binaries installed on the host OS and directly execute them inside a virtual machine, using 9p filesystem passthrough. More recently the Kata project aims to provide a docker compatible container runtime built using KVM.

          In many, but not neccessarily all, of these applications, it is unhelpful for the KVM instances that are launched to become visible to other applications like virt-manager / OpenStack. For example if Nova sees a libguestfs VM running in libvirt it won’t be able to correlate this VM with its own world view. There have been cases where a mgmt app would try to destroy these externally launched VM in order to reconcile its world view.

          There are other practicalities to consider when using a shared daemon like libvirtd. Each application has to ensure it creates a sensible unique name for each virtual machine, that won’t clash with names picked by other applications. Then there is the question of cleaning up resources such as log files left over from short lived VMs.

      • Debian Family

        • Sparky 5.10.1

          There is a minor update of live/install media of Sparky 5.10.1 “Nibiru” of the stable line.

          Changes between 5.10 and 5.10.1:
          – the base system has been upgraded from Debian stable repos as of February 04, 2020
          – added new Sparky repository public key to avoid problems during fresh installation and upgrading Sparky after the first boot

          Existing Sparky users: system reinstallation is not required, install the new Sparky public key as follows…

        • Debian-Based SparkyLinux 5.10.1 Brings Latest Buster Updates

          SparkyLinux 5.10.1 has been released today as the latest, most up to date stable live and installation media of this desktop-oriented Debian-based GNU/Linux distribution.

          Based on the Debian GNU/Linux 10 “Buster” operating system series, SparkyLinux 5.10.1 is here as a minor update to the SparkyLinux 5.10 “Nibiru” series, which was released in mid-January 2020 with Linux kernel 4.19.67 and Firefox ESR as default web browser instead of Chromium.

          New in this release is a SparkyLinux repository public key, which the developers added to avoid any issues that might occur during a fresh installation of the distribution, or when upgrading SparkyLinux after the first boot.

          Of course, all the core components and packages have been updated, based on the Debian GNU/Linux 10 “Buster” stable software repositories as of February 4th, 2020, to offer users an up-to-date install media.

        • Birger Schacht: Fosdem 2020

          Today I returned from Brussels, where I attended FOSDEM. It was my first time in Brussels and it was my first FOSDEM.

          The days before FOSDEM, from Wednesday to Friday, there was a MiniDebCamp in the local Hackerspace. The Hackerspace is located at Studio CityGate, a collective space which was apparently an old factory for textile and medical equipment and can now be used by cultural projects (though I think its only temporary). There is a Bar at the ground floor, a recording studio in the basement, a skate park and a climbing wall and much more. The building and the yard reminded me a bit of the collective art space Fux, where the Hamburg MiniDebConfs 2018 and 2019 were located.

          I only visited DebCamp on Friday and did a bit of work on the debian timeline (researched dates/events to be added) and on sway related packages.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • Canonical Really Wants Windows 7 Users to Install Ubuntu

          When it comes to the latter, the Linux world has long been recommended as a possible destination for Windows 7 users, with many anticipating an influx of Linux adopters once the 2009 Microsoft operating system is retired.

          Canonical, the maker of Ubuntu, obviously wants to benefit from this potential en-masse migration, so in the last few weeks, the company has been publishing several articles to explain “why you should upgrade Windows 7 to Ubuntu” and to highlight the hardware and software considerations when planning to switch to Ubuntu.

        • Must Read: Okay Wow: The New UKUI Desktop Looks Phenomenal

          Admittedly it’s been while since I last wrote about this (formerly MATE-based) desktop environment, but it’s still out there, shipping as default experience in Ubuntu Kylin, doing its thing.

          And that “thing”, to be rather blunt about it, is looking an awful lot like Windows 7 does (or did, I guess now Windows 7 support has ended)…

          But not for much longer, it seems.

          Based on an updated shared on Chinese social media, the UKUI team appear to be rebuilding UKUI using Qt. The plan, they say, is to stick to to the same “easy, excellent, expert, elaborate” mantra that the original UKUI desktop was (supposedly) built to.

        • What’s New in Linux Mint 20 & Linux Mint DE 4 Debbie Version!

          Linux Mint 20 Features: The Linux Mint developers are so excited about releasing their two major Linux Mint releases in the year 2020. Linux Mint 20 & LMDE 4 is going to be released in this year. In their official blog, they mention the complete details about Linux Mint 20 & LMDE 4.

          New Features in Linux Mint 20 & LMDE 4:

          We can expect the LMDE 4 will be released 1st. LMDE will be loaded with many features as Linux Mint 19.3 have!

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • OSes

        • Haiku R1 Beta 2 Is Hopefully Not Too Far Away

          The BeOS-inspired Haiku operating system that has been in development since 2001 saw its long-awaited beta release in late 2018 while it looks like a second beta release could be on approach for this open-source operating system.

          Haiku OS developer François Revol presented at this weekend’s FOSDEM 2020 conference on Haiku OS and the R1 Beta2 that hopefully isn’t too far out at this point.

        • seL4 Microkernel Being Ported To RISC-V

          Micro-kernel researcher and seL4 developer Gernot Heiser presented at last weekend’s FOSDEM conference on the state of seL4. On the development front, their major recent accomplishment is bringing this micro-kernel to RISC-V. With their seL4 port to RISC-V their initial hardware target is for Munich-based HENSOLDT Cyber. The Bavarian firm is developing a secure RISC-V processor based on the open-source “Ariane” core and the secure OS for Hensoldt will be running seL4.

      • Web Browsers

        • Chromium

          • Google Chrome Browser FINALLY Catches Up

            “There’s little else in the world that’s as annoying as visiting a website and a few seconds after arriving, video or audio starts playing. I don’t know about you, but it makes my blood boil. Don’t. Take. My. Choices. Away. And that’s exactly what it does. If I want to watch a video or listen to an audio file, I will decide by clicking the play button.

            “Plan on autoplaying media any time you visit a media site, such as ABC, NBC, CBS, ESPN, CNN, Fox, or any number of other media outlets. The annoyance is just about enough to make you vow to never visit that particular site ever again. But then you do revisit, and get annoyed all over again.”

            That was how my initial article about stopping autoplaying media began in the June 2018 issue of The PCLinuxOS Magazine. Fully a year and a half after we ran our initial article in The PCLinuxOS Magazine on how to stop autoplaying media elements inside a browser, Google Chrome has finally caught up! At that time, we looked at Firefox Quantum, Opera and Google Chrome. Firefox earned a A+ for its ability to block autoplaying media elements. Meanwhile, Opera earned a C-, and Google Chrome earned a despicable F. Little has changed since then with those rankings, at least until now. Firefox upped the ante with additional controls since then, which we reported on in the January 2019 issue of The PCLinuxOS Magazine.

          • Chrome 80 Released with SameSite Cookie Enforcement, 56 Security Fixes

            Chrome 80 and Chromium 80 web browsers are now available for download with various new features and improvements.

        • Mozilla

          • Karl Dubost: Week notes – 2020 w05 – worklog – Mozilla All Hands Berlin

            Left home in between 5:30 AM and 6:00 AM. All geared up for the coronavirus outbreak just in case. Japan is not yet heavily affected. 3 cases at the time of this writing and all coming from Chinese traveling in Japan. Taking the train to Narita Airport. Then the plane to Brussels, and finally Brussels to Berlin.

      • Productivity Software/LibreOffice/Calligra

        • Building (a very small subset of) LibreOffice with Meson

          At FOSDEM I got into a discussion with a LibreOffice dev about whether it would be possible to switch LO’s build system to Meson. It would be a lot of manual work for sure, but would there be any fundamental problems. Since a simple test can eliminate a ton of guesswork, I chose to take a look.

          Like most cross platform programs, LO has its own platform abstraction layer called Sal. According to experience, these kinds of libraries usually have the nastiest build configurations requiring a ton of configure checks and the like. The most prominent example is GLib, whose configure steps are awe-inspiring.

          Sal turned out to be fairly simple to port to Meson. It did not require all that much in platform setup, probably because the C++ stdlib provides a lot more out of the box than libc. After a few hours I could compile all of Sal and run some unit tests. The results of the experiment can be found in this Github repo. The filenames and layouts are probably not the same as in the “real” LO build, but for a simple experiment like this they’ll do.

      • FSF

        • GNU Projects

          • GRUB 2.06 Planning For Release This Year – Possibly With Intel TXT + AMD SKINIT Support

            Oracle’s Daniel Kiper provided an update on the GRUB boot-loader efforts and their hopes on sticking to a yearly release cadence.

            At FOSDEM 2020 in Belgium this weekend, Kiper provided his annual update on the affairs of GRUB.

            In recapping the 2019 accomplishments for GRUB, there was RISC-V architecture support added, native DHCPv4, LUKS2 encryption support, and a lot of other features. Looking ahead though GRUB 2.06 should be out in the next few months with more features.

          • Getting started with GnuCash

            For the past four years, I’ve been managing my personal finances with GnuCash, and I’m quite satisfied with it. The open source (GPL v3) project has been growing and improving since its initial release in 1998, and the latest version, 3.8, released in December 2019, adds many improvements and bug fixes.

            GnuCash is available for Windows, MacOS, and Linux. The application implements a double-entry bookkeeping system and can import a variety of popular open and proprietary file formats, including QIF, QFX, OFX, CSV, and more. This makes it easy to convert from other personal finance applications, including Quicken, which it was created to replicate.

            With GnuCash, you can track personal finances as well as small business accounting and invoicing. It doesn’t have an integrated payroll system; according to the documentation, you can track payroll expenses in GnuCash, but you have to calculate taxes and deductions outside the software.

      • Programming/Development

        • The Modern Flang “f18″ Compiler Is The Most Exciting Fortran Compiler Of Recent Times

          While merging of the Flang “f18″ Fortran compiler into the LLVM source tree was delayed in January, this is still looking like the most exciting Fortran open-source compiler in development.

          This modern LLVM Fortran “Flang” compiler (based on the f18 code-base, not to be confused with the earlier Flang compiler) is quite promising for delivering a modern open-source Fortran experience being backed by Arm, AMD, and other vendors.

        • Making Industrial Applications Match iPhone Expectations

          Supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) systems have been around since the 1950’s, far longer than most other types of computer applications. Their rock-solid performance has been responsible for the streamlining of any industry that needs precise and consistent controls: building automation, energy management, part machining, printing and packaging, robotic assembly, ship building, water treatment, woodworking, and many more. However, this long legacy can also carry a hidden drawback – the user interfaces of many SCADA devices are a flashback that looks more appropriate as part of Windows for Workgroups than the modern age.

          This situation is ripe for change. Now that everyone carries superior user-interfaces in their pocket at all times, even the non-designers responsible for running the system expect their SCADA human-machine interface (HMIs) to have a certain level of polish and sophistication. Having implemented attractive SCADA HMIs for our customers, we’ve discovered that Qt is the right tool to build the modern SCADA system – here’s why.

        • How much do we bend to the will of our tools?

          How much of our design and architecture thinking is still bound by what’s easy to type? How much do we bend to the will of our tools? And, maybe most importantly, are we even aware of it?

        • Python

          • Python for Beginners: Why Does Python Look the Way It Does?

            Beginning Python courses often start with the basics of programming, like how to print a string of text or how to perform mathematical operations. But they don’t often cover why code looks the way it does.

            Consider, for example, the code snippet below. If you’re a total beginner, you might feel a little confused and intimidated. Why are some sections of the code in different colors? Why are there breaks between some of the lines but not others? Why are there spaces around some of the characters but not others?

          • PyCoder’s Weekly: Issue #406 (Feb. 4, 2020)
          • XRandRoll: a new program to configure displays

            In principle, it stores no configuration. It should obtain the state from xrandr. So it starts with a real reflection of your system as it exists.

            It allows more display scaling flexibility. Independent scales per axis! A widget that does all the silly calculations to make things the same size!

            It sort of does what I want now? In a prototypey-this-code-needs-to-be-rewritten way?

            For the future, I intend to add capability to monitor your monitors (heh) and refresh itself if, for example, you plug in a monitor to your computer with xrandroll running. Also, some sort of service that configures monitors automatically as they are added / removed.

          • Sets in Python

            In this course, you’ll learn about sets. They’re a useful data structure that allows you to do some complex operations more easily. They come up everywhere in the real world and are important to understand.

          • Django 3 Authentication with a MySQL Database— Login, Logout and Password Change/Reset

            In this tutorial, you’ll learn how to easily add a complete authentication system to your django 3 application with login, logout and password change and reset functionalities.

            We’ll be using django 3 with a MySQL database.

            We’ll also be using django-crispy-forms and Bootstrap 4 for styling the application UI.

          • Using virtualenv with Wing Python IDE

            Wing version 7.2 has been released, and the next couple Wing Tips look at some of its new features. Last time at code reformatting with Black and YAPF. Now let’s investigate Wing 7.2′s expanded support for virtualenv.

            What Wing 7.2 Adds

            Wing 7.2 improves support for virtualenv by allowing the command that activates the environment to be entered in the Python Executable in Project Properties, Launch Configurations, and when creating new projects. This is an easier and more natural way to configure virtualenvs than the old approach of finding and using the virtualenv’s Python executable.

            The New Project dialog now also includes the option to create a new virtualenv along with a new project, optionally specifying packages to install. This makes it much easier to get started on a new code base that uses virtualenv.

          • Gather information from Instagram with python.

            Being a Python coder, I like to experiment with all kinds of open source tools shared on the major platform Github through which coders from the whole world develop projects by collaborating with each other. As an Instagram user, I decided to try some Python applications which can help to interact with it from the command line.

        • Shell/Bash/Zsh/Ksh

          • Data quality in iNaturalist downloads

            iNaturalist is a citizen science platform. Take a picture of something (a flower, a bird, a frog) and upload it to iNaturalist. If the image is properly dated and georeferenced, and if the organism is free in nature (not captive or cultivated), then your observation is “verifiable”. Verifiables with a solid identification achieve “research grade” status. These are observations for which two-thirds of the experts in the iNaturalist community agree on an ID.

            Research-grade observations document the presence of a particular species on a particular day at a particular place. They’re passed on to GBIF, the world’s largest aggregator of biological occurrence records. GBIF processes the records further, sometimes disagreeing with the name or classification of the organism given in iNaturalist. (See below for an example.)

            All records are available on the iNaturalist website as webpages with images. Records can also be downloaded, although currently there’s a download limit of 200,000 records per batch.

        • Rust

          • Rav1e 0.3 Is Releasing Soon For Faster Rust-Based AV1 Encoding

            Rav1e v0.2 brought 40~70% speed improvements over its previous release for this Rustlang-based AV1 video encoder but the upcoming Rav1e 0.3 will be even faster.

            Rav1e and dav1d open-source developer Luca Barbato shared some of the project’s roadmap this past weekend in Brussels, Belgium at the annual FOSDEM conference. With the upcoming Rav1e 0.3 release that is releasing soon, there should be speed improvements at the higher speed/preset levels thanks to a multi-threaded deblocking filter, more SIMD code, more auto-vectorizable code, and less memory allocations. In addition, Rav1e 0.3 is bringing changes to its RDO biasing (though it will hurt the performance at higher quality levels), new API features, and WebAssembly support.

  • Leftovers

    • A Historic Conversation with Legendary Drummer Santa Davis

      On December 1, 2019, I interviewed drummer Carlton “Santa” Davis—at his house in Los Angeles—for over three hours about his legendary career. The interview focused heavily on: Santa’s work playing with the Soul Syndicate, backing artists like Dennis Brown and Burning Spear, and contributing on some of Bob Marley’s biggest and best hit songs; the years that he toured and recorded with Peter Tosh; the night Tosh was killed—with Santa addressing baseless allegations that have been made since then about what happened; the need for reggae musicians to unite and invest in their own awards show and museum in Jamaica, one that is not connected, funded, and controlled by government and corporate entities, and, so much more.

    • Science

      • Jennifer Block and Elisa Albert in the NYT: “Misogyny and the patriarchy are why skeptics attack Goop!”

        Regular readers know that I’m not really a fan of Goop, actress turned “wellness” entrepreneur Gwyneth Paltrow’s “lifestyle” brand that specializes in selling pseudoscience and quackery to affluent women seeking a taste of that sweet, sweet Paltrow vibe and lifestyle and who, as that famous Mitchell and Webb comedy sketch about homeopathy famously said, have a vague sense of unease, or a touch of the nerves, or even just more money than sense. Of course, Goop doesn’t sell homeopathy so much as it sells jade eggs in the vagina, psychic vampire repellant, bee venom acupuncture, magic pieces of tape, and the now regular “In Goop Health” confabs where all manner of quacks peddle their wares using Paltrow’s star power, including antivaxxers, HIV/AIDS denialists, psychic mediums, and worse. Of course, every time skeptics criticize Goop, there’s always someone striking back, as Goop itself did against Dr. Jen Gunter, an OB/GYN who’s been a constant gadfly about Goop’s promotion of nonsense. This time, a week and a half after the pseudoscience laden “reality series” the goop lab debuted on Netflix, criticism of the series seems to have struck a nerve with Jennifer Block and Elisa Albert, who penned an op-ed in the New York Times Opinion section entitled Who’s Afraid of Gwyneth Paltrow and Goop?: The long history of hating on ‘woo.’

      • How Instagram is making jigsaw puzzles cool again

        Karen Kavett lives in Los Angeles. She makes DIY videos at the home decor channel HGTV, but she also has a side hustle, a part-time gig with YouTube working on design. After work, she’s itching for something soothing and simple to do.

    • Education

    • Health/Nutrition

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Short Topix: U. S Gov’t Once Again Requests iOS Back Door

          In a bold move that will end up protecting users everywhere for all platforms, Microsoft has taken control of 50 domains believed to be used by the North Korean hacking group commonly referred to as Thallium, according to a blog report on Microsoft’s site.

          U.S. District Court documents were unsealed on December 27, 2019 that detail the steps that Microsoft has undertaken to disrupt cyberattacks originating from the Thallium hacking group. As a result, those 50 sites will no longer be able to be used to launch cyberattacks.

          The attacks were mostly “spear phishing” attacks. They would attempt to trick users into logging into a fake Microsoft security account to fill out information about their accounts, and into revealing their account credentials. By combining publicly available information gleaned from social media accounts, the Thallium group of hackers was able to make a rather believable case for the possibility of a user’s account becoming compromised.

          They also employed techniques that might go undetected by the average non-tech savvy users, such as using an “r” and an “n” closely spaced to represent the first “m” in the “microsoft.com” website address.

        • Tech Problem With Mobile App Causes Iowa Caucus Chaos

          A new mobile app was supposed to help Democratic officials quickly gather information from some 1,700 caucus sites throughout Iowa. Instead, a “coding issue” within the app is being blamed for delays that left the results unknown the morning after the first-in-the nation presidential nominating contest.

        • What We Know About Shadow Inc. and the App That Delayed the 2020 Iowa Caucus Results

          Okay, so what happened? Basically, a company fittingly named Shadow Inc. (linked to another company called Acronym) designed an app for reporting caucus results at nearly 1,700 precincts. According to the Los Angeles Times, Shadow Inc. is not a costumed team of comic book supervillains, but a private tech firm started by people who worked on Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign. And, sources told the New York Times, the app used to report Iowa caucus results was hastily developed in just the last few months, with no testing at the statewide scale needed for last night.

          The app, by all accounts, was a failure, forcing those running individual caucuses to call a hotline for reporting results. According to Vox, many reported they were waiting indefinitely to do so. One official trying to report results was live on air on CNN when he finally got through, only to be promptly hung up on.

        • [Attackers] Target Hong Kong Universities With New Backdoor Variant

          Believed to have been active since at least 2009, the Winnti Group is operating under the same umbrella as Axiom, Barium, Group 72, Blackfly, and APT41, targeting the aviation, gaming, pharmaceuticals, technology, telecommunication, and software development sectors in industrial cyber-espionage campaigns.

          In October last year, ESET detailed two new backdoors employed by the [attackers], namely PortReuse and the Microsoft SQL-targeting skip-2.0.

          One month later, the security researchers discovered a new campaign run by the Chinese hackers, targeting two Hong Kong universities with a new variant of the ShadowPad backdoor, the group’s flagship tool.

        • Nevada Democratic Party abandons problematic app used in Iowa caucuses

          The Nevada Democratic Party said Tuesday that it will not use Shadow Inc., the maker of the app that caused reporting issues in the Iowa caucuses, to power its state caucuses later this month, despite already paying tens of thousands of dollars to the Democrat-affiliated technology company.

          In a statement, state Democratic Party Chairman William McCurdy II promised that Nevada’s caucuses on February 22 will not be a repeat of Iowa’s.

        • Pseudo-Open Source

          • Entrapment (Microsoft GitHub)

            • UBank releases open source accessibility kit on Github

              UBank has released an open source accessibility kit on Github in a move to help iOS app developers and contributors improve the accessibility for users that experience issues such as low vision, cognitive impairment, or neurological impairment.

              UBank digital banking chief product officer Peter O’Malley said making the accessibility kit openly available for the first time is part of the bank’s mission of “making technology accessible to everyone”.

              “There’s nothing in the market. There’s no easy tool that are available for developers or contributors to make sure their apps more accessible and so for us, we want to ensure technology is accessible and easy for people to use no matter who they are,” he told ZDNet.

        • Security

        • Oh ****… Sudo has a ‘make anyone root’ bug that needs to be patched – if you’re unlucky enough to enable pwfeedback

          Sudo, a standard tool on Unix-y operating systems that lets select users run some or all commands as root, can be exploited to give superpowers to any logged-in user – if deployed with a non-default configuration.

          This security hole, discovered by Joe Vennix at Apple Information Security, is only active if the pwfeedback option is enabled. This option shows an asterisk each time a key is pressed, when entering a password. The good news is that pwfeedback is generally disabled by default.

        • Ten-Year-Old Sudo Bug Giving Root Privileges to Any User Gets a Fix

          The security flaw resides in the pwfeedback option, which is enabled by default on distros like Linux Mint and elementary OS. Because of the bug, any user can trigger a stack-based buffer overflow even if they aren’t listed in the sudoers file.

          The vulnerability exists in versions 1.7.1 to 1.8.25p1, but versions 1.8.26 through 1.8.30 can be abused because they include changes in EOF handling that block such an exploit. Sudo 1.7.1 was released on April 19, 2009, while the first patch version (1.8.26) landed on September 17, 2019, so the bug is about 10 years old.

          • Nasty Linux, macOS sudo bug found and fixed

            Ironically, pwfeedback was meant to make life a bit more secure for users. When enabled, it prints asterisks (*) to the screen when you enter your sudo password.

            Unfortunately, it also made it easy to cause a stack-based buffer overflow. Then, as sudo developer Todd C. Miller warns, “Because the attacker has complete control of the data used to overflow the buffer, there is a high likelihood of exploitability.”

            Whoops.

            The good news is pwfeedback isn’t enabled by default. The bad news is that sysadmins often do enable it. Worse still, it’s enabled by default in at least two popular Linux distributions, Elementary OS and Linux Mint.

            Fortunately, the fix is already in on most operating systems. The bug is fixed in sudo 1.8.31 and later. It’s now in the most recent security updates to all major Linux distributions and macOS. So, you should patch it immediately.

            If there is no patch available for your operating system, you can fix the problem by deactavating pwfeedback. First check to see if you’re vulnerable by running the command:

            sudo -l

          • Linux and macOS PCs hit by serious Sudo vulnerability

            Linux and macOS systems have been hit by a nasty little bug in the Sudo utility, although the good news is it has already been patched.

            Sudo is a tool that provides a specified user permissions above their normal levels, including root (administrative) access, but by leveraging this security flaw, it’s possible a low-privileged user (or malware) could get unauthorized root access, and thus potentially wreak all sorts of havoc on the host system.

          • Sudo Flaw Grants Root Privileges

            There is a stack buffer overflow in several versions of the sudo utility that could let an unprivileged user gain root privileges on a vulnerable system.

            The vulnerability is in versions 1.7.1 to 1.8.25p1 of sudo, the powerful utility that is ubiquitous on Linux and Unix-based systems. Sudo allows an administrator to give individual users or small groups the power to run commands as root. The utility logs those commands and the associated arguments and it runs per command.

            In the vulnerable versions, an attacker could take advantage of a pair of separate flaws in order to gain root privileges. The vulnerability lies in the way that the “pwfeedback” option handles some input. That option is used to show an asterisk in the password field whenever a user presses a key.

          • Serious flaw that lurked in sudo for 9 years hands over root privileges

            Sudo, a utility found in dozens of Unix-like operating systems, has received a patch for a potentially serious bug that allows unprivileged users to easily obtain unfettered root privileges on vulnerable systems.

            The vulnerability, tracked as CVE-2019-18634, is the result of a stack-based buffer-overflow bug found in versions 1.7.1 through 1.8.25p1. It can be triggered only when either an administrator or a downstream OS, such as Linux Mint and Elementary OS, has enabled an option known as pwfeedback. With pwfeedback turned on, the vulnerability can be exploited even by users who aren’t listed in sudoers, a file that contains rules that users must follow when using the sudo command.

            Sudo is a powerful utility that’s included in most if not all Unix- and Linux-based OSes. It lets administrators allow specific individuals or groups to run commands or applications with higher-than-usual system privileges. Both Apple’s macOS and Debian distributions of Linux received updates last week. People using other OSes should check their configurations and version numbers to ensure they’re not vulnerable.

          • Security updates for Tuesday

            Security updates have been issued by Arch Linux (salt), CentOS (git), Debian (qtbase-opensource-src), Fedora (java-11-openjdk), Mageia (kernel and openjpeg2), openSUSE (mailman, python-reportlab, ucl, and upx), Oracle (git), Red Hat (container-tools:rhel8, go-toolset:rhel8, grub2, kernel, kernel-rt, php:7.2, and sudo), SUSE (crowbar-core, crowbar-openstack, openstack-neutron-fwaas, rubygem-crowbar-client and python36), and Ubuntu (python-django).

          • PortSys heightens security for SSH network services with Total Access Control

            PortSys®, a global innovator in information security and Zero Trust Access control for the enterprise, today announced that Total Access Control™ (TAC) now offers protection for SSH network services.

          • PortSys heightens security for SSH network services with Total Access Control
          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • 1 Year Later, FCC Finally Admits Wireless Carriers Broke The Law On Location Data

              It only took a year of stonewalling, feet dragging, and dodging journalists’ questions, but the FCC has finally acknowledged that one or more wireless providers broke the law by collecting user location data–then selling access to that data to any nitwith with a nickel. In a letter (pdf) sent to Representative Frank Pallone last Friday, FCC boss Ajit Pai acknowledged for the first time that a year-long investigation into the wireless industry that the FCC has completed, concluding that yeah, one or several companies likely broke the law:

            • Court Order Shows DEA Demanding Tons Of Data From WhatsApp And Bunch Of Other Service Providers

              Encryption may be posing problems for law enforcement investigations, but the problems are not as insurmountable or widespread as certain encryption critics are portraying them. Enormous amounts of data are created by cellphone app users every time they communicate. While the content of communications is often of more evidentiary value, there’s still a wealth of information investigators can obtain that isn’t protected by encryption.

            • Technopolice: Resisting the Total Surveillance of Our Cities and of Our Lives

              In September 2019, dozens of human rights organizations launched Technopolice.fr, a participatory campaign to document the spread of so-called “Safe City” projects across France, and resist the proliferation of automated video-surveillance and predictive policing technologies. Here is the Technopolice Manifesto.

            • Stephen King quits Facebook

              Stephen King is quitting Facebook – citing false information in political advertisements and questionable privacy rights. He suggested followers join him – and his dog – on Twitter.

              “I’m quitting Facebook. Not comfortable with the flood of false information that’s allowed in its political advertising, nor am I confident in its ability to protect its users’ privacy. Follow me (and Molly, aka The Thing of Evil) on Twitter, if you like,” King tweeted at 9 p.m. Friday.

            • Stephen King axes Facebook over misinformation

              “I’m quitting Facebook,” the author said on Twitter Friday. “Not comfortable with the flood of false information that’s allowed in its political advertising, nor am I confident in its ability to protect its users’ privacy. Follow me (and Molly, aka The Thing of Evil) on Twitter, if you like.”

            • Inside Africa’s increasingly lucrative surveillance market

              Africa’s “cloak-and-dagger” market is growing. Heads of state, opposition members, businesspeople: no one is safe from [attackers] and taking protective measures against them is a tall order. We take an in-depth look at this highly profitable shadow war.

            • ‘Anonymized’ Data Is Meaningless Bullshit

              When most of us think of how the concept of “data” has been skewered by the press, we’re probably thinking about an app’s location data tipping off our home address, or apps like Grindr tipping advertisers off about our sexuality. What’s less scrutinized, both by the public and by those in public office, is data that’s “anonymized”—tied to something like an IP address, rather than a name—even though that’s a concept we’ve seen to be bullshit time and again.

              The latest proof comes courtesy of Dasha Metropolitansky and Kian Attari, two Harvard students who recently built a tool that combs through troves of consumer datasets uploaded from breaches across the web. As Metropolitansky and Attari told Motherboard, their program was created to link together not-so-anonymous information—like emails or usernames—back to any “anonymous” data that was found in a decade’s worth of data breaches from nearly a thousand different domains, from Adobe to YouPorn.

            • Confidentiality

  • Defence/Aggression

    • No sale FSB agents reportedly interrogate the administrators of a popular Telegram channel known for spreading ‘kompromat.’ Apparently they wanted to cash out.

      In a media landscape starved for information about the byzantine goings-on of officialdom, public channels on the instant messaging service Telegram have grown immensely popular in Russia. The network’s appeal is several years old already, having survived even a concerted attempt by the state to block the app, and the political gossip circulated on Telegram continues to draw readers and infuse the biggest channels with real market value. Journalists have explained how Russia’s authorities often buy out troublesome authors, but police crackdowns seem to be becoming increasingly common, as the state tries to maintain control over Telegram’s most trafficked political outlets. The latest apparent targets in this campaign are two individuals connected to a Telegram channel named after an enormously wealthy cellist.

    • NATO and the Impeachment Trial

      Is it not clear? The impeachment trial underway is all about cementing support for the foreign policy most clearly espoused by (the grotesque) Rep. Jason Crow (D-CO), an impeachment manager now appearing all too frequently on cable news. His foreign policy—meaning that of Rep. Hakeem Jeffries, Nancy Pelosi, Adam Schiff, Joe Biden and all the mainstream Democrats— is all about clobbering Trump for being inadequately anti-Russian (like any good normal American is supposed to be) and not adequately supporting brave Ukraine while the Russians supposedly invade that country (whose very location is a mystery to most USAians) as its people die, fallen to Russian tanks and mortars, daily, as we speak.

    • Russian Orthodox Church might stop consecrating weapons of mass destruction

      The Inter-Council Presence of the Russian Orthodox Church, an advisory body that helps draft church policy, has suggested ending the practice of consecrating both some conventional weapons and weapons of mass destruction. The proposal will be under review until at least June 1. Members of the Inter-Council Presence argue that consecrating weapons doesn’t reflect the church’s traditions and should be “abolished from pastoral practice.”

    • The US Military Has a Legacy of Wars Without Victory and Weapons Without End

      The expression “self-licking ice cream cone” was first used in 1992 to describe a hidebound bureaucracy at NASA. Yet, as an image, it’s even more apt for America’s military-industrial complex, an institution far vaster than NASA and thoroughly dedicated to working for its own perpetuation and little else.

    • Iran to Execute Alleged Spy Who Gave Nuclear Secrets to CIA

      Iran said Tuesday that its top court confirmed a death sentence for an Iranian man convicted of spying for the CIA, with state media alleging that he had shared details of the Islamic Republic’s nuclear program with the American spy agency.

      Judiciary spokesman Gholamhossein Esmaili identified the purported spy as Amir Rahimpour and said he would be executed soon. Esmaili did not elaborate on what Rahimpour was accused of doing, nor on his age or background. State media did not immediately name Rahimpour’s lawyer.

    • In pictures: Slovenia’s first mosque opens after 50 years

      Construction, which began in 2013, cost some 34 million euros ($39 million), out of which 28 million euros were Qatari donations, according to Grabus.

    • Iraq’s Assyrians Flee in the Face of Lawlessness and Sectarianism

      Quite aside from the capital’s big city crime problems, religiously-mixed Baghdad is still likely to be the first flashpoint for any renewed sectarian violence, which saw several churches attacked a decade ago. Unlike Iraq’s Muslims, the country’s Christians also lack traditional tribal networks, which act as rallying points for self-defence.

      “We have no tribe here, so if things go wrong, there is nobody here to help us,” added Mr Jabril. Another problem, though, is that for many families, a tipping point has simply been reached where more of their relatives live outside of Iraq than inside.

    • ‘This Is an Apartheid Proposal and It’s a Nonstarter’
    • How a Moscow man from an Uzbek family started the world’s biggest neo-Nazi forum

      In 2011, an English-language forum called IronMarch.org appeared online. Within a few years, it had become what the British tabloid The Sun called “Facebook for Nazis.” The forum’s users organized a number of neo-Nazi groups, including the Atomwaffen Division in the U.S. and the Antipodean Resistance in Australia. Those groups then committed five murders in the United States, including that of a 19-year-old gay and Jewish university student, and attempted to carry out a terrorist attack in Canada. The founder of Iron March wrote under the username Alexander Slavros. In reality, he is Alisher Mukhitdinov. In 2017, both Mukhitdinov and his forum inexplicably disappeared from the Internet. In a new report, the BBC Russian Service reveals that he is still living under the radar in a pre-fabricated apartment block in southwest Moscow.

    • Reagan’s Solicitor General Says ‘All Honorable People’ Have Left Trump’s Cabinet: ‘He is Capable of Doing Serious Damage’

      The principal one is “to take care that the laws be faithfully executed.” The laws made by Congress. And to do so faithfully. Not trickily. Not underhandedly. Not by transferring [money from one budget to another] and calling emergencies—as with the building of the wall.

  • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

    • Bridge is drawing a clearer line between news and opinion

      Bridge is nonpartisan, and doesn’t make endorsements of any kind and only editorializes in the rarest instances. We are fiercely committed to data-driven, nonpartisan journalism, but as we’ve grown, some readers have been confused about the difference between news articles and Guest Commentary.

    • We examine how News Corp’s loudest voices denied or downplayed the role of climate change.

      And, as always, welcome back to News Corp’s team of hand-picked, highly-paid columnists and TV hosts on Sky, who are leading the chorus: [...]

      Passionate denial that the bushfires should make us act on climate change runs right across the Murdoch media in this country reaching an audience of millions.

      But it’s also echoed by Murdoch’s Fox News in the US, as two former Prime Ministers noted last month: [...]

    • The Big Missing Piece of the Kushner Plan: Water

      Access to water has for decades been at the heart of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and many regional tensions more broadly. The arid region has limited supplies of water that are increasingly in demand for agriculture, and what water exists is largely shared across national boundaries, including the Jordan River and the critical underground aquifers in the West Bank and near the Gaza Strip.

      That geology and geography helps explain why water conflicts have been behind a lot of the region’s sharpest clashes for centuries and even millennia, going back to when the biblical Isaac and the Philistines fought over access to water wells. More recently, former Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon blamed water for ultimately sparking the Six-Day War in 1967.

  • Environment

    • Timber buildings can help to slow global heating

      Tomorrow’s town planners could take a leaf from nature’s book with timber buildings. More than a leaf: the whole tree and all the cuttings as well.

    • Energy

      • Global Witness Accuses Exxon of ‘Exploitative’ Contract That Robs People of Guyana of $55 Billion in Lost Oil Revenue

        “That money could be spent on upgrading infrastructure, health service, schools, parks, quality of life. Instead it will be plundered by oil barons.”

      • Can Roger Federer Beat Greta?

        How much more is there to say in praise of Swiss icon Roger Federer? Biggest winner in tennis history with 20 Grand Slam titles; Olympic medallist and Davis Cup victor; often called the greatest player of all time (GOAT); devoted father and husband; elegant on and off the court and one the most admired athletes in the world. At 38 years-old he continues to amaze with two come-from-behind victories in the recent Australian Open at the twilight of his career.

      • Finnish government outlines roadmap toward carbon-neutral Finland

        The government announced it aims to encourage “clean investments” by gradually lowering the electricity tax for manufacturing industries as of next year to the minimum level allowed in the European Union. Kulmuni estimated that the tax cut should support the electrification of the industries and promote predictability for businesses.

    • Wildlife/Nature

      • Trump’s Environmental Review Rollbacks Will Put Ranchers in Charge of Public Lands

        President Trump’s proposed new rollbacks of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) regulations will not only accelerate destructive infrastructure projects, they will also cut environmental concerns out of decision-making for livestock grazing on millions of acres of public lands.  Where environmental reviews do occur, the new regulations hamstring public participation and give an outsized voice to ranchers and other locally-powerful interests.  That’s why industry voices like the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association have been applauding the changes:  They hand over control of the public lands to private ranching interests for a pittance—$1.35 per animal use month—a steal of a deal for the ranchers and a ripoff for the American public.

      • Humans are putting fireflies at risk of extinction

        The fact that light pollution is seen as the second-biggest issue came as a bit of a surprise, Lewis says, but it makes sense. “The basis of their courtship is a quick, bright flash of light,” she says, and anything that might prevent that flash from being seen clearly is bound to cause problems. In fact, according to the study, experts in East Asia and South America actually ranked this issue as the top firefly threat.

      • IDA Responds to Satellite Megaconstellations

        IDA’s Executive Director, Ruskin Hartley, responded to the issue of megaconstellations at the 235th meeting of the American Astronomical Society in January, where he joined members of the professional astronomy community for a panel discussion about challenges to astronomy from satellites. Hartley shared IDA’s concerns about the impact of megaconstellations on stargazers and the general public.

      • Dr. T.K. Lawless Park, Michigan, Designated International Dark Sky Park

        As a young boy receiving his first telescope at age 8, Parrish developed a deep-seated love of the cosmos from shared stories of his dad viewing the night sky from aboard the U.S.S. Coral Sea as he served in the Navy. Unfortunately, those breathtaking views of the night sky are not the same, as we now strain to see a few stars visible to the naked eye. This is due to light pollution caused by poorly designed outdoor lights that not only mask the beauty of the night sky, but also cause negative effects to environmental and human health.

  • Finance

    • Reporting Recipe: How to Identify Suspicious Campaign Finance Records

      Following politics is about following the money. It’s increasingly a shortcut to influence, access and power — and it’s a key focus at “Trump, Inc.”

      This week we trace the story of Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman, two men who’ve emerged as central characters in the Ukraine pressure campaign that led to President Donald Trump’s impeachment. But it was their activities in America — making a flurry of big political donations — that ultimately got them arrested. Parnas and Fruman now face federal criminal charges for, among other things, allegedly funneling foreign money into U.S. elections and trying to hide its source. (They’ve pleaded not guilty.)

    • Where Is My Tax Refund?

      So, you figured out your deductions or credits, calculated how much you owed in taxes and successfully filed your return (for free, hopefully). If you’re sitting around wondering where your money is, you’re not alone. Lucky for you, the IRS offers several ways to track your tax return.

      Once you have filed, there are three options for tracking your refund:

    • Noam Chomsky: ‘The Neoliberal Order Is Visibly Collapsing’

      Since early Tuesday morning, when it became clear that the Iowa Democratic Party would not immediately release its 2020 caucus results, a range of conspiracy theories have bloomed on social media about the Democratic National Committee and Shadow Inc., the tech firm it enlisted to build its tabulating app. The simplest explanation remains the most plausible: Through a combination of incompetence and fealty to the consultant class, Democrats hired a for-profit company grossly ill-equipped to handle the demands of a byzantine, statewide contest.

  • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

    • U.N. Chief Warns ‘A Wind of Madness Is Sweeping the Globe’

      U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres warned Tuesday that “a wind of madness is sweeping the globe,” pointing to escalating conflicts from Libya and Yemen to Syria and beyond.

    • Brexit Day
    • Sedition or Sedation?: Liberalism and Neuroses

      It’s not hard these days to find sociopathology making news, as the Trump presidency has brought the sociopath into new vogue. Even our Cafe in Utica NY has been affected; last week my daughter Molly, as she was opening shop, found a note at the front door addressed to “Commie Scum,” decorated with swastika and a 4-digit number that means (we’re told) Heil Hitler. The implied threat of violence aimed at ourselves and our business, is disturbing. However, my greater concern is that another psychological illness, the more “benign” category known as “neuroses,” much more prevalent than genuine sociopathology, its symptoms more conformity-inducing than aggressive, may be the real threat to society. And we’re not supposed to see it.

    • Witness to a Farce

      Watching the actions of the Trump administration through the lens of the New York Times’ coverage has been by turns dumbfounding, disheartening and infuriating. While the white nationalists running our government have rolled out one attack after another on civil rights, civil liberties, the independence of the judiciary, procedural democracy, human rights laws and planetary survival, the “paper of record” has offered a soothing translation of these threats into the familiar language of Beltway politics—an anesthetizing stew of “he said, she said” false equivalences that juxtaposes claims and lies by Trump and Trumpsters with statements by others, often statements of fact, with no indication of the veracity of either side; an intense dedication to avoiding referring to anything as racist; and a general, unspoken pretense that Trump is just another president, which for the Times means extending to him its ever-reliable commitment to legitimating and stabilizing power. Never mind how dangerous this regime might be to the rest of us.

    • Up in Smoke
    • Trump Gives Super PAC Donors the Inside Scoop on Policy Plans

      A 90-minute recording released over the weekend shows President Donald Trump giving the inside scoop on policy and rollbacks of regulations to mega-rich donors attending a fundraising dinner for his preferred super PAC.

    • DeVos Threatened With Subpoena After Skipping Hearing to Campaign for Trump

      House Oversight Chairwoman Carolyn Maloney, D-N.Y., threatened to subpoena Education Secretary Betsy DeVos after she “stonewalled” the committee in setting up a date for her testimony.

    • Pelosi Goes Gangster
    • Don’t Panic, But Do Reflect: Lessons From The Iowa Democrat Debacle

      As I write this post, party officials in Iowa are still trying to figure out the results of last night’s Democratic Caucus, while pundits and political opponents have wasted no time in tearing into the Democratic Party, technology, and the very idea of democracy itself. Although there is plenty of reason for criticism, much of what there has been overwrought. Professor Ed Felten’s twitter thread here provides plenty of useful perspective on this:

    • ‘None of This Is Normal’: AOC Joins Pressley, Other Dems in Boycotting Trump’s State of the Union

      “I will not use my presence at a state ceremony to normalize Trump’s lawless conduct & subversion of the Constitution.”

    • Iowa’s Lesson: Political Parties Are Not as Good as Government Officials at Counting Votes

      Here’s the takeaway from the Iowa fiasco: Beware of caucuses run by political parties. But don’t panic about the integrity of most primaries and the general election, which are run by state and county election administrators.

      As Tuesday morning wore on without results from Iowa’s Democratic caucuses, the long-awaited first test of the strength of President Donald Trump’s would-be challengers, both public officials and enraged commentators stoked fears that Iowa was a harbinger of chaos for the rest of the 2020 campaign. Some said it raises alarms about the broader condition of election security and the reliability of computer systems that record, tally and publish the votes. Trump campaign manager Brad Parscale even suggested on Twitter Monday, without evidence, that the process was “rigged.”

    • Muddling Democrats: Chaos in the Iowa Caucus

      Whatever the claims by the Democratic pollsters on the ground, the party has all the work to do ahead of selecting a candidate to make a fist of it come November. Pity for them, then, that the opening in Iowa proved to be a spectacular shambles, notably for those obsessed with the live news cycle. The Iowa Democrats claimed that the delay in voting results across the 1765 precincts had arisen because of a “reporting issue”. At this writing, the “results” page is barren, characterised by the glorious absence of results. The pollsters, rather than the voters, have taken the high ground.

    • The App That Disrupted the Iowa Caucuses

      A cascading set of failures led us here.

    • Biden, Warren Raise Objections After Iowa Democrats Say Only Half of Caucus Results Will Be Released First

      “I think that’s a bit disingenuous,” said Sanders campaign advisor Jeff Weaver. 

    • The Iowa Caucus Has Choked Itself to Death at Last

      “A Systemwide Disaster.” “Meltdown.” “Debacle.” These are the headlines coming out of Iowa after the caucus on Monday night. Maybe it had to end this way for Iowa, a state that re-elects men like Chuck Grassley and Steve King with dreary consistency, and which has now seen disaster during its caucus for the third straight time.

    • Clinton Alums Behind Disastrous Iowa Caucus App

      A smartphone app was supposed to help Iowa’s 1,700 voting precincts provide smoother and quicker results for the first primary contest in the nation. Instead, in what The Los Angeles Times called “an unprecedented delay,” the Iowa Democratic Party is no closer to declaring a winner, and multiple reports suggest the much-hyped technology is to blame.

    • After Epic ‘Nightmare’ in Iowa, Democratic App Built by Secretive Firm Shadow Inc. Comes Under Scrutiny

      “This outfit is inexcusably secretive.”

    • DNC Chair Tom Perez Faces Calls for Resignation After Iowa Caucus Disaster

      Calls for Tom Perez to step down as the head of the Democratic National Committee grew louder Tuesday in the aftermath of the Iowa caucus fiasco in which party mismanagement of the process delayed the results from Monday night’s contest and left the 2020 Democratic presidential primary in disarray.

    • The First Democratic Primary Should Be Illinois
    • Teachers, Farmers, Veterans, and Grassroot Leaders: Sanders Campaign Unveils Yuuge Slate of California Endorsements

      “As a proud immigrant, long-time union leader, and advocate for women’s rights, civil rights, and environmental justice, I have a moral responsibility to support the candidate whose values align with mine,” said one of hundreds of people in the Golden State to announce their official support on Tuesday.

    • WATCH: Bernie Sanders Responds to Trump’s Third State of the Union Address

      The Democratic presidential candidate spoke from an event in New Hampshire, just a day after the Iowa caucuses.

    • Latest Poll Shows Sanders With ‘Commanding Lead’ as Democratic Hopefuls Head to New Hampshire

      At 32%, Bernie Sanders has more voter support than the next two candidates—Elizabeth Warren and Joe Biden—combined.

    • #TomPerezResign: DNC Chair Under Fire for Iowa Disaster, Favoritism for Billionaire Oligarch Bloomberg

      “The Dem establishment has been screaming that our movement is sowing divisiveness and is going to ruin party unity but they’re nailing that to the wall all by themselves.”

    • An Open Letter to the DNC From an American Centrist

      I respectfully encourage the DNC to abandon its corporate allegiance, re-configure its membership and shift into alignment with the will of the people.

    • A Radical Call To Action

      A radical call to action has never been more vital than today, as the abomination of capitalism known as neoliberalism tears apart society from stem to stern, continuing the grand experiment that originated under the watchful eyes and vision of aristocratic plantation-owners like Washington and Jefferson as wealthy patriots.

    • Reporter Notes: Exposing Corruption Within The DNC

      The Iowa Caucuses were a total fiasco. Despite cronyism linked to an app used by the state party, Senator Bernie Sanders has surged in numerous polls. Corporate Democrats, particularly those in leadership positions in the Democratic National Committee (DNC), are quite nervous that Sanders may become the party’s presidential nominee.

      The DNC changed debate rules in order to help a Republican billionaire, former New York mayor Mike Bloomberg, qualify for the next presidential debate. (Bloomberg contributed $800,000 to the DNC, and the DNC funneled $575,000 to 44 different state parties.)

    • Iowa Wasn’t a Technology Failure. It Was a Failure of Democratic Values.

      This kind of behavior undercuts the Democratic Party politically. To put it in today’s corporatized vocabulary, “democracy” is the party’’s brand—and lately they’ve been trashing it.

    • Based on 62% of Iowa Caucus Results, Bernie Leads Popular Vote by 1,200 But Trails Buttigieg With Delegates

      Sen. Elizabeth Warren and former Vice President Joe Biden are currently sitting at third and fourth, respectively, in both metrics.

    • DNC Declares War on Sanders…Again

      There’s already lots of evidence that the DNC old guard will sabotage Bernie’s campaign. Again. For example, take a look through the sources, links and excerpts below this column.

    • Interview With Eoin Higgins: The Aftermath Of 2020 Iowa Caucus

      Shadowproof Editor Kevin Gosztola is joined by Common Dreams Senior Editor Eoin Higgins to discuss the fall-out from the 2020 Iowa Caucus. They discuss what happened with the caucus app developed by Shadow Inc., a startup company with former staff from Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign.

      Eoin and Kevin put the cronyism between the Iowa Democratic Party and Shadow Inc. into perspective. They highlight why the swirling suspicions around how the state party handled the caucuses is understandable.

    • Bernie Sanders Can Silence His Critics in New Hampshire

      While journalists pick through the ashes of the Iowa caucuses meltdown, thousands of progressive activists are moving forward to make election history in New Hampshire. In sharp contrast to the prattle of mainstream punditry, the movements behind Bernie Sanders are propelled by people who engage with politics as a collective struggle because the future of humanity and the planet is at stake. As a result, the Granite State’s primary election on Feb. 11 could be a political earthquake.

    • Bernie Sanders’s Internal Data Show He May Have Won Iowa Caucus

      The Iowa Democratic Party delayed releasing results from Monday’s caucuses after uncovering inconsistencies in the reporting of data. Caucuses were held in 1,600 precincts across the state on Monday, but many precincts had trouble reporting the delegate totals to the state Democratic Party. Part of the blame was placed on a new smartphone app designed to help precinct chairs tabulate and report the vote. Early Tuesday morning, Bernie Sanders’s campaign released internal caucus numbers from 40% of the precincts in Iowa showing the Vermont senator was in first place with nearly 30% of the final count vote. According to the data released by the Sanders campaign, former South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg placed second with about 24.5% of the vote, followed by Senator Elizabeth Warren with 21%. Former Vice President Joe Biden placed a distant fourth with 12%, just beating Senator Amy Kloubuchar. For more on the chaos in Iowa, we speak with John Nichols, national affairs correspondent for The Nation and host of the podcast “Next Left.” He’s been reporting on the ground in Iowa and just wrote the piece “How to Figure Out Who ‘Won’ the Iowa Caucuses.”

    • Iowa the Musical
    • Buttigieg, Sanders Ahead in Early Iowa Results

      The Latest on the first-in-the-nation Iowa caucuses (all times local):

    • Iowa Should Be a Warning — It’s Time to Switch to Paper Ballots

      The chaos in Iowa’s Democratic primary is nothing new.

    • Iowa’s high-tech caucuses crashed, and paper ballots saved the day

      The first votes of the 2020 presidential primaries were cast on Monday night in Iowa. But as of this writing, we still don’t know the results of the Iowa caucuses because of bugs in a vote reporting app and the failure of a phone-based backup system. 

      Patrick Howell O’Neill

    • THE STATE OF THE DIS-UNION

      It’s not unprecedented for an impeached president to give a state of the union address. Bill Clinton delivered his State of the Union in 1999 while in the middle of his Senate trial. But that’s where the similarities end.Clinton was not up for re-election when he gave his speech, so he didn’t need to employ any campaign-style rhetoric. Trump is a polarizing, divisive president who is addressing an America that has never been so divided.But this begs the question: why are we so divided?We’re not fighting a hugely unpopular war on the scale of Vietnam. We’re not in a deep economic crisis like the Great Depression. Yes, we disagree about guns, abortion, and immigration, but we’ve disagreed about them for decades. So why are we so divided now?Ferocious partisanship is not new. Newt Gingrich, the Republican Speaker of the House who led the House’s impeachment investigation into Clinton, pioneered the combative partisanship we’re used to today.

    • US: Deported Salvadorans Abused, Killed

      The United States government is deporting Salvadorans to face risk of murder and other serious abuse, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today.

      The 117-page report, “Deported to Danger: United States Deportation Policies Expose Salvadorans to Death and Abuse,” identifies cases of 138 Salvadorans who, since 2013, were killed after deportation from the United States, and more than 70 others who were beaten, sexually assaulted, extorted, or tortured. Perpetrators of these abuses include gangs, former intimate partners, and Salvadoran police or security personnel.

    • Twitter Admits to Helping Spread Election Disinformation During Iowa Caucuses

      Twitter’s decision would seem to provide political fraudsters with a clear message: deceiving voters into believing U.S. election results have been falsified is an acceptable use of Twitter’s platform.

      Twitter did not respond to Gizmodo’s request for comment.

    • Iowa Caucus chaos likely to set back mobile voting

      Critics of mobile or online voting, including security experts, believe it opens up the prospect of server penetration attacks, client-device malware, denial-of-service attacks and other disruptions — all associated with infecting voters’ computers with malware or infecting the computers in the elections offices that handle and count ballots.

    • Iowa Caucus App Fiasco Shows Need for Open Source Transparency

      The Iowa caucuses were thrown into disarray as reports surfaced an opaque app used to tabulate the results and report them to Democratic Party officials was reporting only part of the required data. Although the app had been developed to improve efficiency in communicating the final caucus tallies, it ended up causing significant delays. According to security experts, the incident served to highlight the risks of relying on digital systems and the centralization of information, and a lack of transparency regarding these systems.

  • Censorship/Free Speech

    • Speaking Freely: Evan Greer

      Evan Greer is many things: A musician, an activist for LGBTQ issues, the Deputy Director of Fight for the Future, and a true believer in the free and open internet. Evan is a longtime friend of EFF, and it was great to chat with her about the state of free expression, and what we should be doing to protect the internet for future activism.

      Among the many topics we discussed was the tension that often arises between justice-oriented work and free expression activism, and how policies that promote censorship—no matter how well-intentioned—have historically benefited the powerful and harmed vulnerable or marginalized communities. This is something that we think about a lot in our work at EFF. Whether we’re talking about policies intended to curb online extremism or those meant to prevent sex trafficking, it’s important that we look at the potential collateral damage that will inevitably occur.  In this interview, Evan talks about what we as free expression activists should do to get at that tension and find solutions that work for everyone in society.

    • EFF Lawsuit Ends Censorship Against PETA on Public University’s Facebook Page

      In a big win for free speech on the Internet, an EFF lawsuit has compelled the nation’s second-largest public university to stop censoring dissent on its social media. To settle our First Amendment case, Texas A&M University (TAMU) agreed to end its automatic and manual blocking of comments posted on its Facebook page by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) about the school’s dog labs. This legal victory is an important step forward in EFF’s nationwide campaign to end censorship in government-operated social media.

      Social media has changed the way people all over the world connect and communicate. As the U.S. Supreme Court explained in Packingham v. North Carolina (2017): “While in the past there may have been difficulty in identifying the most important places (in a spatial sense) for the exchange of views, today the answer is clear. It is cyberspace—the vast democratic forums of the Internet in general, and social media in particular.” (The Court in Packingham repeatedly cited EFF’s amicus brief.)

    • Morocco: Crackdown on Social Media Critics

      (New York/Rabat) – Moroccan authorities have since September 2019 arrested and prosecuted at least 10 activists, artists, or other citizens who did nothing but peacefully express critical opinions via Facebook posts, YouTube videos, or rap songs, Human Rights Watch and the Moroccan Association for Human Rights said today. The authorities should immediately free those who are being detained for exercising their right to freedom of expression and drop the charges.

      The men face such charges as showing a “lack of due respect for the king,” “defaming state institutions,” and “offending public officials.” None of them were prosecuted under the Press and Publications Law, which is meant to govern offenses related to all forms of public speech. Instead, all were prosecuted under the penal law, which, unlike the Press and Publications Law, punishes offenders with prison terms.

  • Civil Rights/Policing

    • Re-Contextualizing Fascism

      In her recent book, ‘Being Numerous: Essays on a Non-Fascist Life,’ Natasha Lennard expresses dismay that her joyful reaction to the video of alt-right poster boy Richard Spencer being punched in the face in 2017 was not wholly shared by the liberal establishment. Let me state at the outset that I shared Lennard’s joy and found the video hilarious.

    • How to Not Remove a Fascist

      “America[ns] First”

    • More Trainings Are Not the Answer to Police Violence Against Disabled People

      The Chicago Police Department (CPD) recently announced it would be hiring an Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) compliance officer. The ADA compliance officer will be brought on to monitor CPD’s accordance with federally mandated ADA regulations, implement new policies for CPD and provide disability-related training. While the compliance officer may not have “police power,” they would be closely working with law enforcement officers.

    • European Court of Human Rights awards 50 Russians more than a million euros in police brutality ruling

      The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) has ordered Russia to pay more than a million euros in compensation to 50 Russian citizens who complained about experiencing torture and illegal searches at the hands of police. MBK Media first reported on the ruling in Russian, citing four different ECHR orders.

    • The Tribute Poems of AZ and KSM

      Who is this guy, Jim Mitchell? Evidently, I overslept and woke up smack dab in the middle of the post-Truth era. Where does a man get the moxie to have his work comprehensively condemned and declared illegal by a Senate Intelligence sub-committee, and then turn around, look us square in the eye, and declare he would “do it all again’? But that’s what Mitchell, the so-called “architect” of the CIA’s Enhanced Interrogation Techniques (EIT) did the other day at a pretrial hearing before the military commission at Guantanamo.

    • Burundi: Journalists Convicted in Flawed Trial
    • Lebanon’s Military Courts Have No Business Trying Civilians

      At least two civilians have appeared before military courts in Lebanon in recent days, prompting fresh concerns over authorities’ attempts to stamp out dissent in the country. Both men face charges related to their involvement in the protest movement currently sweeping Lebanon.

      Activist Hassan Yassine, who the Internal Security Forces (ISF) arrested during a protest in Beirut on January 22, 2020, has been charged by the military prosecutor with “forcefully resisting security forces.” He appeared before the Military Tribunal on February 3. The Lawyers’ Committee for the Defense of Protesters said that a forensic doctor who examined Yassine while in detention found his body bore marks of abuse, which the committee say resulted from the ISF beating him during his arrest and before his interrogation at the El Helou police station.

    • Ruling Against Rape Victim in Alabama, Say Critics, Shows Stand-Your-Ground Laws ‘Not Created for Women’

      Brittany Smith’s attorneys plan to appeal the decision.

    • Brittany Smith Loses Her Stand Your Ground Hearing

      Brittany’s defense also attempted to call witnesses to testify about Todd’s violent history, which included some eighty arrests, at least half a dozen of which were for domestic violence, against multiple women. (Todd’s ex-wife, Paige Parker, told a radio host in 2019 that she was “beaten and raped and sodomized for years” by Todd in the early two-thousands, before she got an order of protection.) But this, too, was unsuccessful. One of the witnesses, a woman who had worked as a dispatcher for the Stevenson Police Department, testified that, in 2009, Todd had shoved her against a desk in her office and tried to tear off her shirt. “If someone hadn’t come in, I believe it would have gotten pretty bad,” she said. A second witness, a man who grew up with Todd, began to tell the court of the bruises he’d seen on women he believed Todd had hit, before Pierce, the D.A., cut him off. When it was Pierce’s turn to question him, he asked the man, “What’s your necklace?” The man replied, “I’m into witchcraft,” and then paused, flustered. “I don’t see how that’s relevant, my religion.” The D.A. had no further questions. Both testimonies were ultimately thrown out, after Pierce argued that bad-character evidence was not admissible.

    • “They’re Trying to Break the Union”

      Seattle Democratic Socialists of America member Andrej Markovčič spoke with a few of the striking workers — vice president of SEIU Healthcare 1199NW Betsy Scott, nursing assistant Sheron Ray, and social worker Laura Wood — about conditions in the hospital, why they decided to strike, and how management has been affecting their ability to care for patients.

    • 5 Cruel Ways Being Poor Is Expensive

      Only an asshole, or somebody’s uncle, or somebody’s asshole uncle would think being poor is somehow easier than being rich. But hey, at least it’s cheaper, right? Things like subsidized housing and food stamps presumably exist to keep the overall cost of poor people’s lives down while everybody else is out there juggling multiple yacht payments and carefully considering which brand of high-end almond butter sparks the most joy. But as it turns out, being poor is actually expensive. Look at how …

    • Amsterdam Steps Up Fight Against Sexual Harassment, Violence

      Amsterdam is stepping up the fight against sexual harassment and -violence against women and girls. 51 percent of Amsterdam women have faced sexual harassment on the street. Among 15 to 34 year-olds, it’s even 81 percent. With a campaign and several other measures, the Amsterdam mayor and aldermen want to make clear to victims that they are not alone, and to perpetrators that sexual harassment and gender-based violence are unacceptable, the city said in a press release on Tuesday.

    • Grooming Gangs and Indifferent Police: What Have We Learned After Rotherham?

      The death of Victoria Agoglia inspired Manchester police to launch “Operation Augusta,” an investigation into child sexual exploitation in the city. The investigation identified almost 60 children at risk and almost 100 “persons of interest” who might be involved in abuse. A successful investigation, one might think. But the police appear to have been intimidated less by the scale of the crimes than by the scale of their investigation. They were unprepared for such a large, ambitious and, of course, sensitive mission, and—shamefully—they had no support from above.

      The investigation was closed. “Few of the relevant perpetrators were brought to justice,” the review has found, “And neither were their activities disrupted.” As the BBC reports: [...]

  • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

    • The Plot Against Section 230 Is Being Run By Big Legacy Companies Who Failed To Adapt To The Internet

      Last summer, we explained how it was not crazy to think that the narrative being pushed about internet companies and Section 230 was a manufactured narrative by Hollywood and other old legacy companies jealous of the success of new internet companies. Now, the NY Times has a detailed article on exactly that. It’s about how a broad coalition of big, old, legacy companies are conspiring to punish Google and Facebook by convincing the media and politicians that Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act is bad.

  • Digital Restrictions (DRM)

    • Finally! Checkra1n Jailbreak Now Supports Linux, iOS 13.3.1, Brings New CLI, More

      We previously covered that the Checkra1n jailbreak team was working on the exploit’s Linux version. Now the checkm8 bootrom exploit based tool has been updated to version 0.9.8 beta. The update brings a plethora of changes to the table. One of the major additions is support for Linux. Check out more details on the update below.

      [...]

      While Checkra1n jailbreak for macOS was out, Windows support is not a question at this point because the team is running through some difficulties. However, with Linux support coming in, it’s still great news for Windows users. This is due to the fact that Linux is free and it’s easy to install on any PC which is partitioned.

  • Monopolies

    • Developers sue Waze founder for share of IP

      Two developers filed suit against Waze and Google to obtain their share of the company’s intellectual property.

      A multi-million-shekel partnership and copyright lawsuit has been filed against popular navigating app Waze in the Tel Aviv District Court. The claimants, Roey Gorodish and Baruch Krotman, claim, through Adv. Itzhak Aviram, that Waze cofounder Ehud Shabtai appropriated the project for himself. They assert that the project belonged to a community of developers and users of which they were part of, and that it never belonged to Shabtai. The claimants say that this community promoted the FreeMap Israel project in 2006, and that Shabtai later changed its name to Waze, after having portrayed it as free shared social venture.

      The claimants are demanding their share of the app’s intellectual property from Waze Mobile and Google Israel, which acquired the app from Shabtai in 2013 for nearly $1 billion.

    • Copyrights

      • Plagiarism hunters, please lay down your weapons

        Academics worry endlessly about both being plagiarised and being accused of plagiarism. The concern has even extended to self-plagiarism, which in a saner world would be regarded as an ordinary exercise of the author’s copyright. Moreover, the neurosis has spread from the research to the teaching side of academia. Customised computer systems now monitor students’ work to ensure that they haven’t cut and pasted from anyone, including themselves.

        Wherein lies this madness? After all, from a strictly legal standpoint, the fixation on plagiarism gets the point of assigning property rights to intellectual products exactly backwards. The point is not to create an endless trail of debt, whereby those who come later must always pay backwards to their predecessors before proceeding forwards. On the contrary, the point of intellectual property rights is to ensure that those who come first enjoy a temporary advantage, before others appropriate the work to their own potentially greater advantage.

      • Juice WRLD Surviving Family Members Could Face a $15MM Lawsuit

        Despite the rapper’s untimely death, Juice WRLD family members could find themselves battling a $15 million copyright infringement lawsuit starting in March.

      • Record Label Lawyers Want To Ask Jurors About Their Torrenting Habits

        The piracy case against ISPs continues with juror questions about their piracy habits. Record label lawyers want to know potential juror’s torrenting habits in an upcoming trial.

      • Jury Finds Pirate TV Box Sellers Guilty Under the Serious Crime Act

        Two men who sold piracy-enabled TV boxes and encouraged buyers to access content without an appropriate subscription have been found guilty after a four-day trial in the UK. The individuals, who will be sentenced later this month, face potentially lengthy sentences under the Serious Crime Act 2007 and Fraud Act 2006.

      • IPTV Supplier Omniverse Wants Hovsat to Pay its $50 Million Piracy Damages Bill

        Omniverse, a now-defunct supplier of IPTV streams, is demanding a $50 million default judgment against cable operator Hovsat. The amount covers the piracy damages Omniverse owes a group of major Hollywood studios. Hovsat is responsible for this damages claim, according to the IPTV company, as it fraudulently claimed to have a proper license from DirectTV.

      • RIAA, Stream-Ripping Sites Engaged In Dumb Game Of Whac-A-Mole With Search Engines

        As we’ve detailed previously, the RIAA has for the past year or so specifically moved on to targeting stream-ripping sites as a primary focus. It’s not entirely without logic, as more and more piracy by percentage has moved away from direct file downloads and torrents, and onto ripping streams. The focus has largely been on YouTube, where some sites have declined to play games and accepted defeat. But the RIAA is also targeting these sites to have them delisted from search engines. There, the whac-a-mole game is most definitely being played.

      • Dune’s New Logo Started Disappearing From Twitter Due To Copyright Claims, But No One Is Quite Sure Why

        Late last week, Boing Boing reported that after the logo for Denis Villeneuve’s upcoming Dune movie that people have been obsessing over for decades (well, the idea of a new Dune movie, not Villeneuve’s version in particular), some people posted some photos of the launch event, showing a stage with an image and the logo behind whoever it is on stage. It looked something like this:

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