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Links 8/2/2020: Kdenlive 19.12.2, GNU Screen 4.8.0

Posted in News Roundup at 9:42 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Desktop/Laptop

      • South Korea To Replace Windows 7 With Linux-Based Open OS

        Following the termination of Windows 7 technical support, South Korean Govt has drafted a strategy to replace Windows 7 dependency with a Linux-based open source OS at full scale.

        In May last year, the Korean govt announced the migration from Windows to Linux. Subsequently, the Ministry of Public Administration and Security plans to adopt the Open OS fully for all public institutions and local governments by 2026.

      • Windows 10 Warning: Anger At Microsoft Rises With Serious New Failure

        Windows 10 may now be essential but users new and old have had a rough ride in recent weeks. And it has just gotten a lot worse after a new, high-profile Windows 10 failure has left more questions than answers and some seriously angry users.

        The drama began yesterday as Windows 10 users suddenly found that Search was broken with a black bar showing where search results should be, even for those who tried to perform a local search of their files. Breaking with tradition (1,2,3,4,5), Microsoft was fast to act blaming “a temporary server-side issue”. But the explanation instead kicked a hornet’s nest. First, the fix doesn’t work for everyone. Second, and more worryingly, Microsoft’s explanation doesn’t add up and it has prompted serious questions to be asked about how the operating system works and what personal data it is sharing.

      • As AMD launch the monster 3990X CPU, System76 offer it up with their stylish Thelio Major

        Today, AMD officially made the Ryzen Threadripper 3990X available as a seriously high-end desktop processor. Along with that, System76 jumped in right away to give it as an option on their powerful Thelio Major.

        Coming with a huge amount of cores, the Threadripper 3990X certainly isn’t cheap in the region of around $3,990/£3,696. For that you get a lot of everything though with 64 cores, 128 threads, PCIe 4.0 support, 32MB L2 cache with a base clock of 2.9GHz up to 4.3GHz boost. It’s a monster. For gaming, quite likely serious overkill but if you play games and do plenty of content creation, compiling software and things like that all those cores will obviously come in handy. Nothing like playing a game while all your work is going on in the background eh? Find out more here.

      • System76 Announces AMD Threadripper Linux Workstations

        System76 is a Denver, Colorado-based American computer manufacturer. They are specializing in the sale of Linux powered laptops, desktops, and servers. Last year System76 announced two Intel laptops with Coreboot, which as an alternative to proprietary BIOS using Intel 10th Gen CPUs. Now, System76 updated its Linux workstations line and ship with the latest AMD chips for CPU-intensive workloads. But how much of a difference can 64 cores AMD CPU make?

      • System76 ‘Thelio Major’ Ubuntu Linux desktop gets jaw-dropping 64-core AMD Ryzen Threadripper 3990X option

        If you are a Linux user that craves lots of processing power, you are undoubtedly familiar with System76′s popular line of Thelio desktops. Hell, you have either already bought one of these computers or you daydream about owning one. These Thelio desktops are made in the USA, housed in a custom wooden chassis, and come with Ubuntu Linux or System76′s own Ubuntu-based Pop!_OS operating system pre-installed. Thelio is what dreams are made of…

        Depending on the model of Thelio you choose, you can get either Intel or AMD processors. While the standard Thelio model can be had with regular AMD Ryzen processors, the Thelio Major can be configured with Ryzen Threadripper chips. If you aren’t familiar, Threadripper processors are multi-core beasts that are designed for hardcore users.

      • System76 Just Took Its Thelio Linux PC To Insane New Heights

        All other desktop CPUs cower in its presence. My mighty Falcon Northwest Talon with its 12-core Ryzen 3900x is weeping in a corner. And don’t even get me started on the “core envy” my own System76 Thelio is feeling right now. I’m of course referring to the insane 64-core Ryzen Threadripper 3990X from AMD, which can now be loaded up in the newly redesigned Thelio Major Linux PC from System76.

        Launching new or upgraded systems day-and-date alongside a major component release like the Ryzen Threadripper 3990X is commonplace in the Windows hardware world, but this is a move that simply delights me to see in the Linux ecosystem.

      • System76 Launches Impressive Line Of Thelio Major Linux Workstations Powered By AMD Ryzen Threadripper

        One of the complaints we here most frequently about the Linux-focused PC vendors is that they tend to most often offer just Intel-based hardware. Well, for those wanting a pre-built Linux workstation powered by AMD Ryzen Threadripper 3960X / 3970X / 3990X, System76 has launched a new line of their Thelio Major desktops powered by these HEDT CPUs.

    • Server

      • Docker Inc. Creates Index to Track Docker Hub Usage

        Docker Inc. this week launched a Docker Hub Index that provides access to analytics based on anonymized data from 5 million Docker Hub and 2 million Docker Desktop users.

        John Kreisa, senior vice president of marketing for Docker Inc., says the company decided to create the index to illustrate how vibrant the Docker developer community remains in the wake of its restructuring to focus on workflow tools that accelerate the development of containerized applications.

        The Docker Index shows there have been 8 billion pulls from the Docker Hub in the last month alone, and a total of 30 billion overall. Docker Inc. reports there are now 6 million repositories on Docker Hub that are being accessed by 5 million users.

      • Rancher Labs Achieves 169% Revenue Growth, Doubles Customer Base in 2019 as Kubernetes Management Market Matures
    • Audiocasts/Shows

      • PDL: Episode VI – a New Book

        I would love a new PDL Book. One that’s completely different from the original to maximize the surface of engagement to a new audience. As a “sequel”, It would have the advantage of being able to refer the reader to the first book for longer explanations and be able to jump right into how to solve significant problems. brian d foy has just finished his Mojolicious book, so I bet he’s got loads of free time on his hands. (although I remember him in the middle of writing it in 2018, so you may have to wait a bit)

        The premise behind the PDL Book is that it takes you on a tour of the features, trying to expose the useful parts as quickly as possible and yet still give you the Full Monty. In today’s world, many coders, including yours truly, are unwilling adherents of SOOP (Stack Overflow Oriented Programming) with the attention span of 5-year olds who want to dive into the middle of a book and work their way backwards trying to understand the solution. I think it’s an issue of motivation and, honestly, I’m surprised you’ve read this far before going off and checking your phone. :)

      • 2020-02-07 | Linux Headlines

        Bruce Perens prevails in court, a patent troll takes aim at Mycroft, Docker announces the removal of its legacy repositories, GitHub opens the beta for its Actions service API, and the FSF and GNU project release a joint statement regarding their future relationship.

      • Multipath Musings | TechSNAP 422

        We take a look at a few exciting features coming to Linux kernel 5.6, including the first steps to multipath TCP.

        Plus the latest Intel speculative execution vulnerability, and Microsoft’s troubled history with certificate renewal.

      • AWS Christophe Limpalair | Jupiter Extras 53

        Christophe joins Ell to discuss how to get started learning AWS and which materials you will need for that nerve-wracking interview.

      • 2020-02-06 | Linux Headlines

        CoreOS Container Linux prepares to say goodbye, OpenJDK and Kotlin see some big gains, and some long-awaited changes coming soon to Firefox.

      • Installing and Reinstalling Linux on the Pinebook Pro

        The process for installing a Linux distribution on the Pinebook Pro is not the same as other Linux laptops, it’s a bit more involved. In this video, I show off the process and give you an overview of how this works.

    • Kernel Space

      • BFQ I/O Scheduler Gets Some Fixes For Linux 5.6

        It has been a while since there has been any new developments to report on BFQ, the Budget Fair Queueing I/O scheduler that offers both low-latency and high throughput modes, bandwidth and latency guarantees, and other functionality. With the ongoing Linux 5.6 cycle, BFQ at least has picked up some fixes.

        There has been no new discussions at the kernel level of potentially defaulting to this I/O scheduler for relevant devices, but it does continue advancing. There aren’t any shiny new BFQ features for Linux 5.6, but a number of fixes.

      • Linux 5.6 Continues Work On Intel VT-d Nested Mode Support

        The IOMMU changes have been sent in for the ongoing Linux 5.6 kernel merge window.

        On the Intel front with the IOMMU driver changes are prep patches for Intel VT-d nested mode support. The changes also allow for toggling VT-d Scalable Mode via a new Kconfig switch INTEL_IOMMU_SCALABLE_MODE_DEFAULT_ON though this is just in regards to the default kernel behavior and can Scalable Mode with VT-d 3.0 can still be forced on at run-time with the intel_iommu=sm_on kernel option.

      • Linux 5.6 Flipping On GPU Reset Support For AMD Renoir + Radeon Navi

        Last week the main set of kernel graphics driver improvements were merged while today is an interesting secondary batch of changes for the in-development Linux 5.6 kernel.

        Most notable in our opinion on this secondary batch of Direct Rendering Manager (DRM) driver updates is enabling GPU reset support for forthcoming AMD Renoir APUs and also Navi GPUs. AMDGPU GPU reset recovery has been a bit challenging for some generations of AMD GPUs with the Linux driver and the Navi support is rather belated (the GPU reset recovery for Navi 10/12/14 turns out it should have been working fine for a while already but only now is getting flipped on), but at least Navi and Renoir are here today. This GPU reset recovery support should ideally improve the experience should the graphics processor hit into a hang and needs to be reset without rebooting the entire system.

      • Linux 5.6 KVM Expands AMD APIC Virtualization Support With Dynamic APICv

        A second round of KVM virtualization updates were sent out today for the Linux 5.6 merge window that is still open through the weekend.

      • Linux 5.6 NFS Client Adds New Option To Use Cache If NFS Server Connection Lost

        With the NFS client are a few new features with its code to be found in Linux 5.6.

        First up, the NFS client has added a “softreval” mount option that will let clients use any cache if the server disconnects/drops. rhe softreval mount option is also automatically enabled if the “softerr” mount option is active. This allows for attribute revalidation calls to time out and to fall-back to using cached attributes. This should allow NFS clients to still traverse paths based upon cached information and then to gracefully resume should the connection be restored.

      • Learn More About Systemd-Homed For How Linux Home Directories Are Being Reinvented

        Coming with the imminent systemd 245 is systemd-homed that is making fundamental changes to Linux home directories. Systemd lead developer Lennart Poettering presented at FOSDEM 2020 last weekend on systemd-homed and that video recording is now up.

        Systemd-homed is focused on offering easier migration of home directories from system-to-system, better home directory encryption handling, better self containment, new user record formats, and more.

    • Benchmarks

      • Intel Clear Linux is a distro that outperforms Windows 10 and Ubuntu… on cheap AMD hardware

        Clear Linux beat the others in audio and video encoding, graphics benchmarks and battery life tests, amongst others.

        Impressively this also meant that Clear Linux outperformed Windows 10 Home, which was pre-installed on the laptop.

        One of the easiest ways to eke out better performance from old or under-powered devices is to replace Windows 10 with a lighter Linux distro, and it looks like for the maximum performance gains on cheap AMD hardware, Intel’s Clear Linux is the surprise winner.

      • AMD Ryzen Threadripper 3990X Offers Incredible Linux Performance

        If you are looking for the absolute best single-socket workstation performance for Linux, there has already been the Threadripper 3970X that easily outperforms the likes of the Core i9 10980XE as Intel’s top-end HEDT product, but now the Threadripper 3990X is shipping. The Threadripper 3990X is AMD’s first 64-core / 128-thread desktop/workstation processor and will love your multi-threaded workloads from code compilation to content creation. As shown in our benchmarks, this single CPU is indeed faster than $20k worth of Intel Xeon Platinum CPUs.

        The Ryzen Threadripper 3990X with its 64 cores and 128 threads comes with a 2.9GHz base frequency and 4.3GHz boost frequency and a full 288MB cache. This Threadripper 3990X is easily the best HEDT processor on the market, but will cost quite a bit at $3,990 USD.

    • Applications

      • 12 Excellent Free Scorewriters – Compose, arrange, print, and publish music

        A scorewriter (often known as notation software or music notation processor) is software used with a computer for creating, editing and printing sheet music.

        For a musician to be able to read, understand, and play music, a composition needs to be in written form. A system of notation is essential for musicians to be able to play music as intended by the composer.

        In the field of music composition, Sibelius and Finale are held in high esteem. These scorewriters are widely used by composers, songwriters, and arrangers for creating sheet music, including the score for an ensemble and parts for individual musicians. Unfortunately, both Sibelius and Finale are proprietary software. They are very expensive applications; the cheapest perpetual license for Sibelius sets you back hundreds of dollars. And neither application is available for Linux.

        Fortunately, there is a wide range of open source scorewriters which are supported in Linux. This article recommends cost-effective alternatives to Sibelius and Finale. The software featured here is released under open source licenses, all are available to download at no charge, and generate music scores which are engraved with traditional layout rules.

    • Instructionals/Technical

    • Games

      • Valve making steps to address toxic behaviour on Counter-Strike: Global Offensive

        One of my all-time favourite first-person shooters, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, is about to tell naughty players to sort their attitude out.

        In a new blog post on the official site, the Valve team write that while you can already tweak what you see in-game like turning off players’ avatars, names, and voice/text chat—they’re a bit of a nuclear option as it affects everyone. To help with this, Valve has been working on a new system based on reports.

      • Build massive circuits in ‘Logic World’ (prev. The Ultimate Nerd Game) releasing in March

        Logic World (previously known at TUNG – The Ultimate Nerd Game), a game about building circuits and making fun machines with them now has a release date.

        Mouse Hat Games confirmed it’s launching on March 13 and they told GamingOnLinux this will include Linux support. It was originally due to launch last year, then earlier this year and now they’ve set on March to ensure they’re “100% confident about it”. You only get one launch after all.

      • Road Redemption gets a slightly amusing Revengers Assemble DLC – also has multiple monitor support

        Revengers Assemble! Why does that sound so familiar? I can’t think why. Road Redemption, the modern Road Rash-like just gained a big new DLC.

        Sounds like the team behind Road Redemption have decided to lean into the silly with the Revengers Assemble expansion. Obviously somewhat inspired by The Avengers (plus the Revengers are an actual thing in the Marvel universe) it features new riders like “Admiral Uganda” who has a special shield made out of “Vibronium” who can deflect attacks and “Theranos” who can turn enemies to dust with their “Chaos Gauntlet”.

      • Impressive space sandbox ‘Avorion’ leaving Early Access on March 9

        Boxelware have officially set a date for their spectacular space sandbox game, Avorion, to leave Early Access.

        On March 9, the Early Access sticker is being removed as they will consider it complete enough for anyone to jump in, build a ship and explore space. Until that date, they’re still going through all the finishing touches as well as releasing a massive update soon to overhaul the ship generator for various factions (as everything in the game is made from blocks).

      • Vulkan to Direct 3D translation layer DXVK has another small release up

        Another fresh release of the Vulkan to Direct 3D translation layer, DXVK, was released today which continues their cycle of bug fixing.

        DXVK 1.5.4 is a point release, meaning no major new features and it’s largely feature-complete already from what the original creator Philip Rebohle told us in this previous article.

      • Humble Store has some great Linux games on sale right now

        It’s coming up to the weekend, so here’s a little look at some of the great games you can get for cheaps on Humble Store.

        Firstly, they’re running an 11 bit Publisher Sale so a bunch of their titles can be picked up with some nice discounts available like Moonlighter with 60% off or This War of Mine: Final Cut with 75% off.

      • Please Follow is another short and very tense psychological horror

        Please Follow from developer somewhat who also made Please (which I certainly enjoyed) recently released another short psychological horror. Much like their previous, it’s a mix of a walking sim with some horror elements that rely on the environment and your own imagination to disturb you along with light puzzle elements.

      • Lotus Reverie – a Visual Novel with a slice of turn-based strategy and a game of survival

        Always looking for a Visual Novel to pull me back into the genre with something different, Lotus Reverie ~ First Nexus seems like it has the makings for a good story. Currently in development by Keinart Lobre, who also released the highly rated One Thousand Lies back in 2016.

        Lotus Reverie mixes in the usual Visual Novel style and gameplay, with a sprinkle of time management and a turn-based strategy mini-game that all actually sounds quite good. I’m most curious about the story, involving something known as “the Incident” which caused almost everyone to vanish.

      • Linux Gaming in 2020 | Proton GE and SweetFX for Linux

        Linux Gaming in 2020 | Proton GE and SweetFX for Linux These two things are advancing at a rapid rate.

      • February’s Humble Choice is up with a new bunch of good looking games

        Humble’s monthly subscription with the Humble Choice has a fresh set of games up ready for February.

        With different tiers available from £3.99 up to £15.99 a month (cheaper if you do it per-year), you get to pick from a bunch of games each month to keep. You also get access to an absolute ton of DRM-free games from the Humble Trove.

        Here’s the games you can pick from for February with Linux-supported games in bold at the top…

      • Direct 3D to Vulkan translation layer DXVK has another small release up

        Another fresh release of the Direct 3D to Vulkan translation layer, DXVK, was released today which continues their cycle of bug fixing.

        DXVK 1.5.4 is a point release, meaning no major new features and it’s largely feature-complete already from what the original creator Philip Rebohle told us in this previous article.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • Kdenlive 19.12.2

          The second minor release of the 19.12 series is out with Qt 5.14 compatibility, Project Bin ability to sort subclips in chronological order, crash fixes and interface enhancements.

          Cleaner deletion order on exit. Commit.
          Fix crash on new project with Qt 5.14. Commit.
          Fix index corruption on track deletion. Commit. See bug #416677
          Sort subclips in chronological order when sorting by date. Commit.
          Fine tune timeline clip elements on smaller track size. Commit.
          Cleanup resize and other clip handles (fades, add composition, keyframes). Commit.
          Clean up and fix possible corruption on missing bin clip id. Commit.
          Restore opening of clips from command line. Commit. See bug #416404
          Fix effect with long names prevent easy access to effect actions. Commit. Fixes bug #416420
          Hide option to overlay audio info from Project monitor (not supported). Commit.
          Fix one empty frame left when trying to put 2 clips together. Commit.
          Fix i18n warning on startup. Commit.
          Improvements to composition duration on drop. Commit.

      • GNOME Desktop/GTK

        • WinTile For GNOME Shell: Windows 10 Like Quarter Tiling (Snapping) With Super/Win + Arrow Keys Or Mouse

          If you like the Microsoft Windows 10 tiling style, you can easily get your GNOME Shell desktop to support it with the help of an extension called WinTile.

          The extension brings quarter tiling functionality to GNOME Shell, using the Super/Win + Arrow keys or using the mouse (with previews and snapping when dragging the windows to the edges).

          Maximizing single windows and maximizing to the side snap modes also work next to quarter tiling, both using the keyboard (Super/Win + Up to maximize a window, and Super/Win + Left or Right arrow to maximize a window to the left or right, taking 50% of the screen) and mouse. Do note that single window maximizing and maximizing to the left/right (edge tiling) are already present in the standard GNOME Shell, so there’s no need to install anything if that’s all you want.

        • This Month in Mutter & GNOME Shell | December 2019 & January 2020

          One area of focus during this cycle was unifying the layout, content structure, and feel of dialogs in GNOME Shell. Many dialogs were redesigned, polished, and updated as a result of this effort…

    • Distributions

      • MakuluLinux LinDoz Offers Windows Comfort Zone, but It’s All Linux Under the Hood

        Overall, I am very impressed with the new LinDoz release. It is essentially designed as an easy-to-use operating system that feels comfortable for both Windows and Linux users.

        In fact, it even makes using Linux easier for those with disabilities. LinDoz fully supports accessible options to cater for disabled or the elderly that may not see well. It now has a built in Screen Reader, Magnifier and On Screen keyboard. These features are neatly laid out with easy access.

        I do not expect an automatic update from the still current version, however. Way too many changes are built into this LinDoz release. So grab the new ISO and experience an effortless fresh installation.

        As of this writing, the upgrade was not yet posted for download. But Raymer’s targeted date is between mid February and the end of the month.

      • New Releases

        • RaspEX OS Gets New Release with Better Raspberry Pi 3 Support

          RaspEX Build 200206 replaces the previous Build 191117, which had some keyboard and mouse issues on Raspberry Pi 3 Model B and Model B+ boards that some users reported. To fix the issue, Arne Exton added a separate kernel for these Raspberry Pi boards, including for the Raspberry Pi 2 Model B.

          While RaspEX Build 200206 is specifically made for the newer Raspberry Pi 4, thanks to two kernels included the system will be compatible with all Raspberry Pi boards as it will automatically determine the model you’re using the load the appropriate kernel for it.

      • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandriva/OpenMandriva Family

      • Arch Family

        • What Are the Best Arch Linux Based Distributions?

          First released almost two decades ago, Arch Linux has become one of the most influential Linux distributions of all time, attracting users with its simplicity, modernity, and versatility. Perhaps the best testament to the influence of Arch Linux is the fact that there are now multiple distributions based on it.
          Some Arch Linux derivatives make the distribution more accessible to inexperienced users, and some were created in reaction to various key system design decisions made by the developers of Arch Linux. Listed below are the top 5 best Arch-based Linux Distributions you should know about in 2020.

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • Citrix ADC in OpenShift Service Mesh

          Citrix is proud and thankful to achieve Red Hat OpenShift Operator Certification. Operators enable users to deploy and manage resources in an OpenShift environment in an easier and more simplified manner. This blog post talks about various benefits of Citrix Cloud Native Stack and deployment of Citrix ADC to act as OpenShift Ingress.

          I believe that readers are familiar with Kubernetes, Istio, and Istio resources such as Gateway, VirtualService etc. It is recommended to glance through this blog post to gain perspective about aforementioned resources.

          In this blog, I shall talk about deploying Citrix ADC as Gateway in OpenShift Service Mesh using the Citrix ADC Istio Ingress Gateway Operator.

      • Elementary OS


          After knowing elementary OS, downloading and installing it, now we learn to use its File Manager that is called Files. With file manager we access files, folders, documents, disk partitions, external drives, by browsing, creating, copying/moving, renaming, and deleting files. By this guide you learn how to do those things with Files. More that that, there are also Open In Terminal and Color Folders which are important to learn. I wish this guide will be useful for everybody getting started with elementary OS. Enjoy!

          Up to this section you should have basic abilities to navigate and manipulate between folders and files with elementary OS file manager. With this ability you can already live with elementary OS lively. Files will be your close friend everyday. Next time, you will learn more about installing additional applications and more stuffs. That’s all. Enjoy!

        • Want to Install Elementary OS? 10 Reasons Why You Should!

          elementary OS is a free and open-source privacy and security-focused Linux distribution designed with a strong emphasis on beauty, ease of use, and developer-friendliness. It holds my record for one of the best Linux alternatives available to Windows and macOS users and one of the most beautiful Linux distributions on the planet.

          Perhaps you’ve heard about elementary OS before but haven’t given it a lot of thought and are now considering installing it but aren’t certain, I’m happy to present you with a comprehensive list of the 10 reasons why you should.

        • Elementary OS Has A Bold New Plan To Get Linux App Developers Paid

          Here’s a bold statement: Linux open source software developers deserve to get paid for their work. They should have the mechanisms in place to charge for the apps they’re creating — even if it’s just a “pay what you want” model. When developers get paid, they can devote more energy and resources and time into their work, and produce a better product. This is a philosophy that elementary OS picked up and ran with when the company launched its AppCenter. Now elementary OS wants to bring the AppCenter to everyone.

          The team behind the Linux distribution just launched a crowdfunding campaign on IndieGoGo — the same platform it successfully raised money to launch the AppCenter with. The $10,000 goal will enable a team of designers and developers to assemble in Denver, Colorado to begin bringing their plan from concept to reality.

      • Debian Family

        • Raspbian OS for Raspberry Pi Adds Multi-Monitor Improvements, More

          The new Raspbian release is here four months after the previous build to add various enhancements to the default file manager, PCManFM, such as a new “Places” pane at the top of the sidebar to display mounted volumes in the simplified view, as well as a “New Folder” icon to the taskbar.

          Moreover, the file manager’s expanders have been updated to correctly display the state of subfolders in the directory browser. Also, the folder and file icons got a clean new design to make it clearer for users what file an icon represents.

          Raspbian now also supports separate ALSA devices for internal audio outputs via the volume taskbar plugin and raspi-config. The volume taskbar plugin also got new mixer dialogs.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • Canonical Won’t Ship Latest Kernel In Ubuntu 20.04 LTS

          Even though it’s not the official announcement, but, Brad Gigg, team leader of kernel developers at Canonical, has mentioned the kernel version for Ubuntu 20.04 in his Ubuntu mailing list.

          This may discourage the people who were hoping for the latest stable kernel 5.5 and get the hardware support for Ryzen or Navi GPU or Raspberry Pi 4. However, the Focal Fossa 20.04 will be based on the upstream Linux 5.4 kernel.

        • Ubuntu Linux 18 Bionic Beaver

          There’s no need to fear GNU/Linux, so long as you don’t mind troubleshooting more often than you would with macOS or Windows. Ubuntu simply requires more of a learning curve and effort than most people are willing to dedicate to their OS. I don’t know many people who use Ubuntu or any other distro on a daily basis or even many willing to dual-boot the OS either. That said, people should reconsider these biases because Ubuntu is a highly usable and stable OS for daily computing, even if it will appeal mostly to coders, enterprises, and hobbyists. It’s free too, though you should contribute to the project if you use Ubuntu regularly.

          Ubuntu feels familiar and presents a user-friendly and customizable interface that mostly hides its messy underbelly. One drawback is that Ubuntu (and more broadly GNU/Linux) is incompatible with essential software, including Microsoft Office and Adobe CC, and it lacks broad first-party hardware support. Navigating Ubuntu also feels less fluid than macOS and Windows and troubleshooting errors can present some serious challenges. Editors’ Choices Windows and macOS are more polished, feature better hardware and software integrations, and have larger user bases.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • Customize your internet with an open source search engine

        A long time ago, the internet was small enough to be indexed by a few people who gathered the names and locations of all websites and listed them each by topic on a page or in a printed book. As the World Wide Web network grew, the “web rings” convention developed, in which sites with a similar theme or topic or sensibility banded together to form a circular path to each member. A visitor to any site in the ring could click a button to proceed to the next or previous site in the ring to discover new sites relevant to their interest.

        Then for a while, it seemed the internet outgrew itself. Everyone was online, there was a lot of redundancy and spam, and there was no way to find anything. Yahoo and AOL and CompuServe and similar services had unique approaches, but it wasn’t until Google came along that the modern model took hold. According to Google, the internet was meant to be indexed, sorted, and ranked through a search engine.

      • Davis: Is Open Source a diversion from what users really want?
      • Is Open Source a diversion from what users really want?

        When I started working on Ardour, it never occured to me to do anything other than use the GNU Public License (GPL), the most well-known way to release “open source” software. At that time, it a choice driven by a combination of…

        my passionate belief in what is more appropriately called “free/libre software”
        an awareness that I’d probably need help developing Ardour. The open source model seemedto me the best way to make it possible for others to contribute (no matter what their motivations might have been).
        the desirability of being able to use dozens of software libraries released under GPL-related licenses

        Of course, developing software with complexity on the level of Ardour’s is never going to be easy, and finding other people willing and able to contribute to such a project is always going to be hard, whether you’re an open source project or a proprietary company.

        However, underlying both of those reasons why I wanted to use the GPL was a conviction the access to the source code was critical to both:

        giving users the freedom they deserved
        attracting developers (or even just “power users”) to contribute to the project.

        I remain convinced that access to source code is a fundamental part of the “four freedoms” that Richard Stallman has outlined as the basis of the concept of “free/libre software”. But as described at great length and exhaustive detail by Berlin-based electronic musician and developer Louigi Verona, it’s not quite that simple.

      • Open source takes on managing and securing the electrical grid

        The first you may know about the next cyberwar might be when your power goes out. Just ask the citizens of Kiev, Ukraine — whose power was cut off for an hour by an attack from Russian hackers. Indeed, you probably don’t know it, but the first shots have already been fired in the US. In March 2019 a Denial of Service (DoS) attack hit power grid control systems in Utah, Wyoming, and California. Energy companies know it, which is one reason LF Energy, a Linux Foundation project, announced its latest project: Grid eXchange Fabric (GXF).

        Dutch distribution system operator Alliander created it as an Open Smart Grid Platform (OSGP). GXF is a scalable and technology-agnostic Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) platform. It enables grid operators to securely collect data and monitor, control, and manage smart devices on the grid. Specifically, it can be used in the following ways…

      • The Y2038 problem in the Linux kernel, 25 years of Java, and other industry news

        As part of my role as a senior product marketing manager at an enterprise software company with an open source development model, I publish a regular update about open source community, market, and industry trends for product marketers, managers, and other influencers. Here are five of my and their favorite articles from that update.

      • How fast are your disks? Find out the open source way, with fio

        Storage benchmarking—much like Wi-Fi benchmarking—is a widely misunderstood black art. Admins and enthusiasts have for decades been tempted to just “get the big number” by reading or writing a large amount of data to a disk, getting a figure in MB/sec, and calling it a day. Unfortunately, the actual workload of a typical disk doesn’t look like that—and that “simple speed test” doesn’t reproduce a lot of the bottlenecks that slow down disk access in real-world systems.

        The most realistic way to test and benchmark disks is, of course, to just use them and see what happens. Unfortunately, that’s neither very repeatable, nor is it simple to analyze. So we do want an artificial benchmarking tool—but we want one that we can use intelligently to test storage systems across realistic scenarios that model our day-to-day usage well. Fortunately, we don’t have to invent such a tool—there’s already a free and open source software tool called fio, and it’s even cross-platform!

      • How the Iowa caucus app went wrong and how open source could have helped

        Opinion: It was incompetence, not politics, that led to the Iowa caucus app misfiring. Above all, it was poor programming. Open-source software techniques could have prevented this blunder.

        When the Iowa Democratic Caucus results were delayed by an application foul-up Bernie Sanders supporters were outraged at a stolen victory. Now, as the results trickle in, and Sanders’ results turned out OK, they’ve quieted down. But the fact remains that the application not only fouled up caucus results reporting, but it also made people even less trusting of the election process.

        Most of the Iowa caucus post-mortem has focused on Shadow, the company behind the app, and its parent organization, Acronym. The root problem wasn’t with the groups behind the misfiring application, IowaReporterApp; it was with a fundamentally flawed software development process.

      • Events

        • OSOR Workshop on Sustainable OSS Communities at FOSDEM 2020

          The room was packed with OSS enthusiasts who brought invaluable contributions to the discussion. The contributions will feed into the contents of the Guidelines on the sustainability of open source communities in the public sector. These key findings can be downloaded from the dedicated page in the Knowledge Centre.

        • My first-ever FOSDEM; it was awesome

          I came back from FOSDEM on Tuesday but got busy with my day time job at Crossbar.io. Finally, today when I got to write something, I found my blogspot based web page to be really uncomfortable to navigate and manage, so I spent the last few hours trying to move my blog over to wordpress. I also had to update the planet ubuntu bzr repository for my new blog to show up on Planet Ubuntu.

          Having been part of the Ubuntu community, I have had the chance to travel to different software events, mostly Ubuntu specific. While at Canonical, my travel was for Ubuntu Developer Summit and for internal Canonical sprints. Post-Canonical layoff in 2017, I didn’t really travel much for conferences, though last year, while visiting Crossbar.io GmbH’s HQ in Erlagen, Germany, I used that opportunity to plan my trip as such that it coincides with UbuCon Europe in Sintra. That was a great event and I got to meet really great people, the social part of that event was on par or even better than the talks/workshops.

          So when FOSDEM’s date was announced, I was yet again excited to travel to a community event and since its known as the biggest FOSS conference in Europe and the fact that lots of super-intelligent people from the wider open-source community attend it every year, I knew I had to be there. To that regard I applied for the Ubuntu community donation fund and guess what I got the nod. Rest is just details.

        • Attending FOSDEM 2020

          I had a talk scheduled in the Python devroom on Saturday about building a production-ready profiling in Python. This was a good overview of the work I’ve been doing at Datadog for the last few months.

        • FOSDEM 2019 aftermath

          One more year visiting Brussels to visit the ultimate FOSS conference, FOSDEM 2019. This is my second year.

          My trip was easy. A stop in Rome and then Charleroi. Bought tickets online for a shuttle bus to Brussels (I write this for the people who read this for the first time and they want to attend to FOSDEM). In Rome, I met two friends from my Nextcloud presentations in Greece. It was their first time visiting FOSDEM conference.

          The first time it was all new and unknown. This time, I tried to attend as many talks as possible, but I failed. Well, the first day I had to cover Nextcloud booth and the second day (usually is calmer), after I left Nextcloud booth to walk around the campus and check if there’s a talk for me, I missed the notification on signal about the group picture. So that’s why I’m not in the group picture.

          FOSDEM supposed to be all about the talks but usually is all about meeting new people and have a conversation outside of the talks. Also as far as I know, if I want to see a specific talk, I have to sit in the room early in the morning because rooms are crowded for the whole day. Also, there’s a plus, that you can watch all the talks from your computer at home wearing slippers and pajamas.

        • Random bits from FOSDEM 2020

          On 1-2 February I attended FOSDEM. This is only the second time I’ve attended this annual event in Brussels, and it’s just about as crazy as it was last year with over 8000 attendees and 835 talk/BoF/etc sessions.

          I did all the typical FOSDEM stuff. Visiting booths, attend a few talks and BOFs, catch up with a few people, meet some new ones I’ve only known on IRC, signed a few GPG keys and consumed a whole lot of club mate, fries, chocolate and waffles.

          Below follows some random bits that I happen to remember or took photos of. They are in no order of particular importance. I wish I got some photos with some of the cool people I so seldomly see, if I ever attend an event like this, I’ll pay some more attention to this.

        • FOSDEM 2020 – Recorded presentations (videos)

          If you weren’t able to attend FOSDEM last weekend, you’re in luck as all presentations were recorded! From KernelCI’s new home, the latest on Zink (OpenGL on Vulkan), OpenXR & Monado, PipeWire in the automotive industry, JPEG2000, and GStreamer on the Magic Leap One, Collaborans gave talks in 6 different devrooms, as well on the main track. Below is the full list of talks given at Collaborans during the two-day conference in Brussels, with direct links to each recording.

      • FSF

        • GNU-FSF cooperation update

          The Free Software Foundation and the GNU Project leadership are defining how these two separate groups cooperate. Our mutual aim is to work together as peers, while minimizing change in the practical aspects of this cooperation, so we can advance in our common free software mission.

          Alex Oliva, Henry Poole and John Sullivan (board members or officers of the FSF), and Richard Stallman (head of the GNU Project), have been meeting to develop a general framework which will serve as the foundation for further discussion about specific areas of cooperation. Together we have been considering the input received from the public on and . We urge people to send any further input by February 13, because we expect to finish this framework soon.

          This joint announcement can also be read on https://www.fsf.org/news/gnu-fsf-cooperation-update.

        • GNU-FSF cooperation update
        • The GNU + FSF Relationship Remains Complicated But They Are Drafting A Framework
        • GNU Projects

          • GNU Screen v.4.8.0

            I’m announcing availability of GNU Screen v.4.8.0

            Screen is a full-screen window manager that multiplexes a physical terminal between several processes, typically interactive shells.

        • Licensing / Legal

          • Maker of Linux patch batch grsecurity can’t duck $260,000 legal bills, says Cali appeals court in anti-SLAPP case

            Open Source Security – the maker of the grsecurity patches that harden Linux kernels against attack – must cough up $260,000 to foot the legal bills of software industry grandee Bruce Perens.

            So ruled California’s Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals today, affirming a lower court’s ruling against Open Source Security (OSS).

            In June 2017, Perens published a blog post in which he said that he believed grsecurity exposed users to potential liability under version 2 of the GNU General Public License because the grsecurity code states that customers will not get further updates if they exercise their right to redistribute the software, as allowed by the GPLv2.

          • Appeals Court Win for Open Source Advocate Speaking Out on Licensing Restrictions

            An Open Source advocate and blogger criticizing a company, Open Source Security Inc. (OSS), has successfully defended a defamation lawsuit after an appeals court found that the company’s accusations against the blogger were baseless.

            The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) represented Bruce Perens, a founder of the Open Source movement, in this appeal. The case started in 2017, when Perens posted a blog entry denouncing restraints that OSS placed on customers of its security patch software for the Linux Operating System. OSS sued Perens in response, despite the fact that Perens was merely exercising his First Amendment right to express his opinion about a matter of public concern to the worldwide Open Source community.

          • Linux kernel patch maker’s appeal against Perens’ legal costs thrown out

            Open source advocate Bruce Perens has prevailed in a legal stoush with Open Source Security, the company that offers a patch known as Grsecurity for the Linux kernel, with a court ratifying that OSS must pay Perens’ legal costs as awarded in June 2018.

            Perens was sued by OSS and its owner, Brad Spengler, in August 2017 over remarks he made about the Grsecurity patch, characterising OSS’ efforts as presenting “a contributory infringement and breach of contract risk”.

            Perens issued a statement on 28 June 2017, detailing his reasons why users should avoid using the Grsecurity patch. “It (the patch) is a derivative work of the Linux kernel which touches the kernel internals in many different places. It is inseparable from Linux and cannot work without it,” he wrote.

            “It would fail a fair-use test (obviously, ask offline if you don’t understand). Because of its strongly derivative nature of the kernel, it must be under the GPL version 2 licence, or a licence compatible with the GPL and with terms no more restrictive than the GPL. Earlier versions were distributed under GPL version 2.”

          • Switzerland plans to anchor public services’ contribution to open source in law

            Swiss federal government organisations and agencies will soon be free to share the source code of their software solutions as open source. In addition, software developers working for the federal government should be able to be part of open source communities. The government wants to anchor this in federal law, according to new Guidelines on Open Source in the Federal Government, made public last Friday.

      • Openness/Sharing/Collaboration

        • Open Access/Content

          • Mass resignations at Wiley journal over academic independence

            The resignation of all members of a journal’s editorial and advisory boards in a row over academic independence raises fundamental questions about “who owns” academic publications, scholars have claimed.

            The mass resignations at the European Law Journal — in which a total of 20 academics linked to the Wiley publication quit — follow more than a year of negotiations with the US publisher in the wake of its alleged effort to appoint new editors-in-chief in 2018 without consulting either its board of editors or its advisory board.

      • Programming/Development

        • Software is about people, not code

          Software and code is created for people and their purposes. It doesn’t exist on its own, isolated from human needs.

        • Call for testing: OpenSSH 8.2

          OpenSSH 8.2p1 is almost ready for release, so we would appreciate testing on as many platforms and systems as possible. This is a feature release.

          Snapshot releases for portable OpenSSH are available from http://www.mindrot.org/openssh_snap/

          The OpenBSD version is available in CVS HEAD: http://www.openbsd.org/anoncvs.html

        • [Old] Unix as IDE: Introduction

          The interesting thing about this problem for shell users is that well-designed and enduring Unix tools already share a common user interface in streams of text and files as persistent objects, otherwise expressed in the axiom — everything’s a file. Pretty much everything in Unix is built around these two concepts, and it’s this common user interface, coupled with a forty-year history of high-powered tools whose users and developers have especially prized interoperability, that goes a long way to making Unix as powerful as a full-blown IDE.

        • My Approach to Getting Dramatically Better as a Programmer

          My approach to getting dramatically better is built around a training regime. There are a specific set of “exercises” I do every week. I designed the training regime with two explicit goals in mind:

          Learning how to solve problems I didn’t know how to solve before.

          Learning how to write correct programs faster.

        • Swift is again replacing Objective-C, report claims

          Java, C, Python and C++ remain the top languages, of course, but Swift has now climbed 10 places to become the 10th most popular programming language, according to the Tiobe report, with Objective C falling from 10th to 20th position.

        • Rust

          • Excellent Free Tutorials to Learn Rust

            Rust is a systems programming language that runs fast, prevents segmentation faults, and guarantees thread safety. It accomplishes these goals by being memory safe without using garbage collection. The language enables developers to write programs with the performance and control of a low-level language, but with the powerful abstractions of a high-level language.

            Rust is ideal for systems, embedded, and other performance critical code.

            If you had to describe Rust in just three words, they would be fast, safe, and productive. There’s memory safety without garbage collection, concurrency without data races, abstraction without overhead, and stability without stagnation.

            Rust is designed by Mozilla.

    • Standards/Consortia

      • Cycling / bike trips and opensource

        The most common file format for recording GPS position is the GPX format, it’s a simple XML file containing all positions with their timestamp, sometimes with a few more information like speed at that time, but given you have all positions, software can calculate the speed between each position.

      • Talking About Protocols Not Platforms In SF

        Last year, via the Knight Institute at Columbia, I published my long article on Protocols, Not Platforms, explaining that there was a potential technological solution to many of the big concerns raised about big tech today, from privacy to competition to content moderation and more. The paper has been well received and even has helped influence Jack Dorsey and Twitter on rethinking what Twitter should be in the future.

      • Why interoperability is cool (again)

        Healthcare data integration was in the news recently with the Office of the National Coordinator highlighting API-led connectivity across Health IT applications as part of its proposed five-year Federal Health IT Strategic Plan.

        ONC has been waging a battle with the healthcare and technology sectors to open up data access to patients. While emphasizing greater accessibility of data to patients, ONC chief Don Rucker also noted that the healthcare system’s transformation is “hindered by entrenched interests looking to prohibit access to that information.”

      • This guy now owns Murfie’s nearly 1 million abandoned CDs

        Last November, a small Wisconsin company named Murfie, which streamed and stored thousands of people’s personal CD and vinyl collections, suddenly went defunct, leaving customers to wonder if their personal collections would be lost forever. Now, after months in the dark, it’s been announced that Murfie’s assets have been purchased by a startup named Crossies, with the intent of moving the collection to a newly obtained warehouse in Arkansas.

        Except, Crossies isn’t a well-established, stable company that’s ready to return all of those discs. It’s mostly just one guy named John Fenley who purchased a giant warehouse in Arkansas.

  • Leftovers

    • The Revolutionary Cinema of Patricio Guzman

      On February 12th, the IFC in New York will begin showing “The Cordillera of Dreams”, the latest film from Patricio Guzman. The 78-year-old Chilean is one of Latin America’s most celebrated leftwing directors, whose three-part “The Battle of Chile” became an iconic film alongside Octavio Getino and Fernando Solanas’s 1968 tripartite “Hour of the Furnaces” that dealt with the revolutionary movement in Argentina. For sixties radicals like me, these films were required viewing. Timed to the release of Guzman’s latest, Ovid–the Netflix of the left–has added five Guzman films to their nonpareil inventory. After some words on “The Cordillera Of Dreams”, I will cover some of the new Ovid offerings.

    • Federico Fellini: Author of Cinema

      The cinema world is marking the one hundredth anniversary of the birth of Federico Fellini (b. January 20,1920-d. October 31, 1993) in Rimini on the shores of the Adriatic Sea on the east coast of Italy. Exhibits of his films and his life are being shown all over Italy, while a major show, “Fellini 100″, is open in Palazzo Venezia, the very center of the Rome he loved. The exhibit will travel to Los Angeles, Berlin and Moscow.

    • Bada Bing, bada bork: Windows 10 is not happy, and Microsoft’s search engine has something to do with it

      Microsoft doesn’t do things by halves. Not content with Teams taking the day off and Outlook labeling everything as spam, now Windows 10 Search has joined the cock-up club.

      The problem manifests itself by flinging up a large black box where search results should be on the Windows 10 desktop. Multiple flavours of Windows 10 are affected, and PCs at Vulture Central have also suddenly caught the search sickness.

      We’re guessing queries are piped to Bing, which isn’t responding for some reason, causing all results to not show up on desktops. In which case, we have to wonder, why is it necessary for Windows 10 to send local queries to Microsoft’s backend, and why is it programmed in such a way that network failures blow away all results, including local ones?

    • Science

    • Health/Nutrition

      • These Drugs are in US Meat But Not on the Label

        Thanks to animal welfare groups, most people are now aware of “factory farms.” Concentrated animal feeding operations or CAFOs abuse workers, animals, the environment, human consumers and even our tax dollars. (How? Price supports and government bailouts when diseases occur.) Thanks to greedy CAFOs crowding, diseases killed one-tenth of all US pigs and millions of chickens and turkeys a few years ago.

      • Moscow metro threatens to contact police over coronavirus pranks

        Moscow metro officials have expressed an intention to complain to the city’s police force over a series of pranks apparently aimed at sparking fear over the current coronavirus outbreak. The metro system’s Twitter account warned that “this is no joke — it’s your average disorderly conduct.”

      • Between the Quarantine and Quakes: Coronavirus Life in China

        I was not planning to end up in the middle of a coronavirus outbreak here in the People’s Republic of China for my long winter break. I had been planning on increasing my one-on-one language classes to five times a week for a few weeks, then jetting off to the beaches of Da Nang in Vietnam to rest up before teaching my spring courses. Instead, I am quarantined in my home in western China, barricaded on all sides, and watching coronavirus panic sweep the globe from the comfort of my wheelchair and screen.

      • Curbing the Coronavirus, While Targeting China

        Within this avalanche, there is a lot of “news” that is clearly false.

      • The Coronavirus Panic Exposes the Pathology of Nationalism

        “The idea of America First, the nationalist populism, is against everything that we believe in in global health.”

      • How Worried Should We Be About the Novel Coronavirus?

        As we watch the numbers of cases in China of the novel coronavirus increase exponentially every day, we should prepare for its arrival in our midst.

      • Chinese Doctor Who Sounded the Alarm About Virus Outbreak Dies

        A Chinese doctor who got in trouble with authorities in the communist country for sounding an early warning about the coronavirus outbreak died Friday after coming down with the illness.

      • “It was either stay here in comfort or stay behind barbed wire” We talked to three of the 200 Russians who have stayed in Wuhan rather than escaping the coronavirus

        On February 5, two Russian Defense Ministry airplanes took 144 Russian citizens out of the Chinese city of Wuhan, where an outbreak of the 2019-nCoV coronavirus continues to spread. The evacuees will spend two weeks quarantined in a Tyumen sanitorium. Meanwhile, official statistics indicate that in Hubei Province, where Wuhan is located, there were almost 200 Russians more than the number that left. Pavel Merzlikin spoke with some of those who remained at the outbreak’s epicenter about what’s happening now in Wuhan and why they decided not to evacuate.

      • Satellite images show how coronavirus brought Wuhan to a standstill

        On January 22, China took the extraordinary step of shutting down all transportation in the city of Wuhan, where the coronavirus outbreak first began. The measure effectively put 11 million people under quarantine, which is still ongoing as public health officials work to treat individuals who have fallen ill and stop the spread of the virus. 

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Maze ransomware spree continues amid advisories from French, FBI officials

          Roughly a month after the FBI advised U.S. companies to protect themselves against a pernicious strain of ransomware, [attackers] have continued to attack victims and threaten to publicize their private information.

          A [cracking] group deploying Maze ransomware has used a network of websites to publicly identify organizations it claimed to [attack], and which of them refused to pay a ransom.

        • Boeing’s passenger spacecraft actually suffered a second unknown software glitch during debut flight

          But the mission didn’t go quite as planned. A software glitch during the launch prevented Starliner from firing its main engines at the right time, and the capsule got into the wrong orbit as a result. The vehicle never made it to the space station and had to land much earlier than expected. Now it seems that there was a second software glitch that Boeing caught while the Starliner was in orbit, according to NASA’s Aerospace Safety Advisory Panel, which had a public meeting today. While the details are fuzzy, the glitch would have caused the Starliner’s thrusters to needlessly fire while it descended to Earth, and the capsule would have moved uncontrollably.

        • Google Pigweed: What is it and what we know about it so far

          The name “Pigweed” was first spotted by a Redditor on the USPTO website and the filing describes it as something related to “computer operating software”. 9to5Google also spotted the new name in the Chromium repository and in a proposed code change for the Fuchsia operating system. In the proposed code change case, the name was subsequently changed from Pigweed to Fuchsia.

        • Security

          • Research Finds Hackers Can Compromise Smart Bulbs

            In the past, we’ve recommended keeping your smart gadgets simple. If you put sensitive devices onto the cloud (such as CCTV cameras), outside agents can access and use these devices. Stuff like smart bulbs, however, seemed too simple for a hacker to manipulate in a devastating way. A recent report from Check Point, however, has discovered a nasty exploit within Philips Hue which shows that even light bulbs are a nasty threat in the IoT world. Related: 5 Ways to Prevent Your IoT Devices from Becoming a Botnet How Does The Attack Work?

          • Zigbee vulnerability lets [attackers] use Hue bulbs to hijack your network

            According to Check Point, [attackers] can exploit the Zigbee vulnerability by taking control of an older Hue bulb and making it turn on and off or change color, in hopes of tricking the owner into thinking something’s amiss with the bulb.

            If the user removes the bulb from the Hue app and re-pairs it to the bridge, the [attackers] can then use the compromised bulb to send a “heap-based buffer overload” to the bridge, essentially overwhelming it with data and paving the way for a malware attack on the user’s entire network, the Check Point report says.

          • Oops! Microsoft gets ‘black eye’ from Teams outage

            Microsoft Teams users were unable to access the collaboration app for more than two hours Monday due to an expired authentication certificate. The outage is something of an embarrassment for Microsoft which is looking to compete with popular rival Slack in the workplace collaboration market.

          • Cisco Flaws Put Millions of Workplace Devices at Risk

            The flaws lie in the implementation of a mechanism known as the Cisco Discovery Protocol, which allows Cisco products to broadcast their identities to each other within a private network. CDP is part of a network’s “Layer 2,” which establishes the foundational data link between network devices. All devices use some sort of identity broadcasting mechanism, but CDP is Cisco’s proprietary version.

          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • Tor in the Media: 2019

              In 2019, mainstream coverage of privacy wins and challenges increased, and with that, so did coverage of the Tor Project. We are proud of what we accomplished last year and proud that our work advancing human rights to privacy and freedom online has caught the attention of outlets such as BBC, WIRED, Deutsche Welle, and NPR. Not only did they write about us, but some of these big names also began using and promoting our tools.

              We’ve broken down 2019 coverage into sections: Tor’s Reach and Accessibility, Anti-Censorship, Onion Adoption, Ecosystem Impact, Cryptocurrency, and Advocacy. A more comprehensive list of coverage can be found after the post narrative.

            • ICE is fingerprinting teen migrants

              The senior ICE official called HHS’ current information collection practices “dangerous and irresponsible,” accusing the department of “willfully” relying on suspect documents “for the sole purpose of increasing the speed of placement and ignoring the obvious risks to child welfare and safety.”

            • Why the N.Y.P.D. Dropped One of Its Oldest Crime-Fighting Tools

              The department is retiring handwritten memo books by Feb. 17 in a transition to a digital version — an app on officers’ department-issued iPhones. Instead of making entries by hand, whether with flowery script from ink-dipped pens in Victorian-era New York or ballpoints today, officers will type in their notes, which the app will send to a department database.

            • Frustration grows in China as face masks compromise facial recognition

              As millions don masks across the country, the Chinese are discovering an unexpected consequence to covering their faces. It turns out that face masks trip up facial recognition-based functions, a technology necessary for many routine transactions in China. Suddenly, certain mobile phones, condominium doors, and bank accounts won’t unlock with a glance.

            • Medical Face Masks Thwart China’s Omniscient Facial Recognition

              At first, it sounds like a success story for the privacy-minded: the state’s surveillance systems defeated by the public health measures that the government itself mandated.

              But it’s also making life difficult for people who rely on facial recognition to do simple things like unlock their phones, access their bank accounts, open automatic doors, or even use toilet paper in public restrooms. While they could presumably pull their mask down to quickly access their phone, the sheer number of everyday activities that are interrupted by face masks reportedly presents a major nuisance.

            • From Private Bads to Public Goods: Adapting Public Utility Regulation for Informational Infrastructure

              While much of the discussion around the online public sphere has centered on questions of content moderation and speech, there is now growing interest in responding to the concentrated power of platforms through a renewal of antimonopoly tools. Antimonopoly tools include separation by size, separation by function where there is a conflict of interest, separation by market share, laws requiring interoperability, laws prohibiting predatory pricing or inputs, and laws prohibiting tying contracts. 1. See, e.g., Zephyr Teachout, Break “Em Up (forthcoming May 2020) (arguing for the revival of antimonopoly tools to breakup new forms of corporate concentration);Matt Stoller, Goliath (2019) (describing the history of anti-monopoly regulation and arguing for its revival in context of today’s platform firms); Tim Wu, The Curse of Bigness: Antitrust in the New Gilded Age (2018) (same); Lina M. Khan, The Separation of Platforms and Commerce, 119 Colum. L. Rev. 973 (2019) (proposing the separation of platforms by function where there is a conflict of interest). These tools have historically been key to ensuring a democratic public sphere. 2. See, e.g., Richard John, Network Nation: Inventing Am. Telecomm.(2nd ed. 2015) (describing the history of antimonopoly regulation in context of telecommunications). But while these strategies are critical, antimonopoly regulations have historically also relied on the additional set of tools of public utility regulation, the focus of this paper. Public utility regulation has been an essential complement to antitrust and breakup strategies, as governments have in the past used regulation to enforce critical public obligations such as common carriage, nondiscrimination, rules of interoperability, and fair pricing. 3. For the history of the public utility concept, see especially William J. Novak, The Public Utility Idea and the Origins of Modern Business Regulation, in Corporations and Am. Democracy 139-76 (Naomi R. Lamoreaux & William J. Novak eds., 2017); William J. Novak, Law and the Social Control of American Capitalism, 60 Emory L. J.377, 399 (2010). We argue in this paper that information platforms like Facebook, Google, and Amazon should be viewed as essential infrastructure and regulated as public utilities. This public utility regulatory approach is a critical complement to the antimonopoly tools that scholars have proposed in the context of tech platforms. 4. See, e.g., K. Sabeel Rahman, The New Utilities: Private Power, Social Infrastructure, and the Revival of the Public Utility Concept, 39 Cardozo L. Rev. 1621 (2018) (arguing that tech platforms, along with other forms of modern concentrated economic power, should be understood as public utilities and regulated as such). It is also important to assure that information platforms serve their critical functions as the bedrock of a democratic public sphere.

            • Wacom drawing tablets track the name of every application that you open

              Last week I set up my tablet on my new laptop. As part of installing its drivers I was asked to accept Wacom’s privacy policy.

              Being a mostly-normal person I never usually read privacy policies. Instead I vigorously hammer the “yes” button in an effort to reach the game, machine, or medical advice on the other side of the agreement as fast as possible. But Wacom’s request made me pause. Why does a device that is essentially a mouse need a privacy policy? I wondered. Sensing skullduggery, I decided to make an exception to my anti-privacy-policy-policy and give this one a read.

            • With cookies on the way out, advertisers turn to old-school measurement methods

              If these solutions don’t work, then advertisers could be prompted to advertise within walled gardens like Google’s and Facebook’s platforms where audience data abounds; yet the platform companies won’t necessarily share all the data. In recent years the platform companies have erected –vdata-clean rooms” — or safe spaces for advertisers to access aggregated rather than customer-level data in a privacy-compliant way. But until now advertisers’ appetite for this has been muted as they have found the platform companies intensely control their access to the data. “Google wants to work with more technically advanced advertisers and agencies that are can interrogate the reach and frequency of ads as well as integrate the technology company’s data with advertisers’ own first-party data, said one media buyer who is currently using the data clean rooms of Google, Facebook and Amazon.

            • Ancestry lays off 6% of staff as consumer genetic testing market continues to decline

              Excitement in the consumer genetic testing market continues to show signs of slowing down.

              In the past two weeks, layoffs have hit two of the biggest consumer genetic testing services — 23andme and Ancestry — with the latter announcing in a blogpost that it would slash its staff by 6 percent earlier today.

    • Defence/Aggression

      • Putin, Erdogan, and the new Syrian breaking point Russian-Turkish tensions are reaching dangerous heights in Syria and Libya, but a war is still unlikely

        Following several years of friendship, Russia and Turkey have once again found themselves on the verge of the kind of cold war they last experienced in 2015 — 2016 — and, once again, the cause of the conflict is the same. The two governments have completely different perspectives on what to do with the last remaining opposition enclave in the northwest Syrian province of Idlib. With Moscow’s support, Bashar al-Assad intends to eliminate the country’s final Islamist strongholds. Meanwhile, Ankara is trying to stop him and has even threatened the Syrian government with another war. Some active battles have already broken out: One attempt to arrest Syrian troops led to eight Turkish fatalities. Direct talks between Vladimir Putin and Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who have previously managed to smooth out disagreements like these one-on-one, failed to repeat their success on February 5, leaving current tensions unresolved. The Syrian advance has continued, and both Moscow and Ankara have accused each other of violating their previous agreements. Dmitry Kuznets explains why Russia and Turkey are at loggerheads again and how this new conflict could end.

      • Assyrian twins: We are resisting the grandchildren of Ottomans

        The same jihadists who overrun the region in 2015 under the name of ISIS are now attacking again under a different name and Turkish command, Basil says: “All the mercenaries of the Turkish state are ISIS jihadists. The Turkish state wants to repeat the massacres the Ottoman Empire committed against the Assyrians.”

      • Danish shipping laments piracy spike in west Africa

        According to the ICC International Maritime Bureau, which monitors crimes related to maritime trade and transportation, 121 sailors were kidnapped in the Gulf of Guinea in 2019, up from 78 in 2018.

      • Baghdad, Chaldean patriarch: a secular state to overcome violence, protests and divisions

        In a message published on the patriarchate website and sent to AsiaNews, the Cardinal states that the “solution” to the “Iraqi crisis” is a “secular state” founded on citizenship. The “goal”, continues the cardinal, “is the integration” of the various components and “service to citizens” without distinction of identity.

        Card Sako, who today meets Pope Francis in the Vatican at the meeting of the patriarchs of the Catholic Churches of the East, is writing in a context of profound political and social turmoil, with street protests taking place for months against corruption and economic crisis. The authorities have repeatedly tried to quell the demonstrations, triggering clashes that have resulted in over 500 deaths.

      • Turkey denies it, Swiss laboratory proves it used phosphorous

        Laboratories in Switzerland have confirmed to have found presence of white phosphorous on a sample of the skin of a Kurdish fighter, who was wounded in the Turkish attack on the town of Serekaniye.

      • The FBI Just Put White Nationalists and Neo-Nazis on the Same Threat Level as ISIS

        Wray’s announcement comes just two weeks after FBI agents arrested eight members of the violent neo-Nazi group The Base, three of whom were allegedly discussing firing into the crowd during the large pro-gun rally in Virginia last month. In recent months, the FBI also foiled two synagogue bombings, Wray said.

      • Racially-motivated violent extremists elevated to “national threat priority,” FBI director says

        The FBI has elevated its assessment of the threat posed by racially motivated violent extremists in the U.S. to a “national threat priority” for fiscal year 2020, FBI director Christopher Wray said Wednesday. He said the FBI is placing the risk of violence from such groups “on the same footing” as threats posed to the country by foreign terrorist organizations such as ISIS and its sympathizers.

    • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

    • Environment

      • Global Ocean Circulation Is Speeding Up

        From these data, the team discovered that while ocean circulation in some regions shows a decelerating trend–for example, in the North Atlantic–across the planet as a whole there was a “surprising significant acceleration of global mean circulation during the past two decades,” Hu writes. Particularly prominent acceleration was apparent in the tropical oceans, the team notes.

        The likely culprit behind the acceleration, the team suggests, is increasing surface wind speeds. Indeed, “All the [data assimilation] products show a remarkable increase in the global mean sea surface wind speed over the past two decades,” Hu writes.

      • Germany: Environmental activists occupy coal plant

        Datteln 4, which belongs to utility company Uniper, is a modern hard coal plant, valued at €1.5 billion ($1.6 billion). The plant, which has not yet begun operations, was exempted from a German government proposal to wean the country off coal by 2038.

        Uniper won the exemption by arguing that it would make more sense to shut down old coal-fired plants with high CO2 emissions.

        Environmental activists have criticized the compromise between the government and companies like Uniper, saying it showed a lack of ambition on the part of the government to tackle the climate crisis.

      • [Old] New German Coal Plant Could Threaten Merkel’s Final Climate Push

        One of Germany’s biggest utilities plans to open a new coal plant even though the nation is lagging behind countries from U.K. to Spain in phasing out the fuel.

        Protesters are already preparing to disrupt the opening of Uniper SE’s Datteln-4 plant in June and could turn the utility into the latest flash point in Germany’s increasingly fractious debate about the fossil fuel that still generates about a third of the country’s electricity. The conflict could threaten Chancellor Angela Merkel’s climate legacy as German emission targets lag following a decade of record renewable energy investments.

      • CO2 emissions on the web

        I’ve spent the last month trying to reduce the carbon footprint of the websites I have (some) control over. When talking about this with other people they often look at me blankly before asking “aren’t you taking this a little too far”.

        The simple answer is no. In fact, it is probably the most effective use of my time when it comes to reducing carbon dioxide emissions.

        Just last week I reduced global emissions by an estimated 59.000 kg CO2 per month by removing a 20 kB JavaScript dependency in Mailchimp for WordPress. There’s no way I can have that kind of effect in other areas of my life.

      • Rust Belt residents aren’t as enthusiastic about fracking as the media depicts

        As the Washington Post’s fact-checkers noted, Trump’s claim is inaccurate, as the surge in oil and gas production began long before Trump’s reign. Yet for the majority of the country, which is aware and frightened of the potential for surging carbon emissions to bring about a climate apocalypse, bragging about one’s ability to extract 300 million year-old hydrocarbon deposits in preparation to convert them to carbon dioxide doesn’t seem like something to brag about. Meanwhile, much of the rise in natural gas production is owed not to federal policy but to new engineering technology that allows for increased extraction — in the case of natural gas, hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, in particular.

      • Welcome to the Era of Supercharged Lithium-Silicon Batteries

        When a lithium-ion battery is charging, lithium ions flow to the anode, which is typically made of a type of carbon called graphite. If you swap graphite for silicon, far more lithium ions can be stored in the anode, which increases the energy capacity of the battery. But packing all these lithium ions into the electrode causes it to swell like a balloon; in some cases, it can grow up to four times larger.

      • Conversion of Biomass to Organic Acids by Liquefaction Reactions Under Subcritical Conditions

        [...] Subcritical water has much lower dielectric constant than liquid water at ambient temperature. So, it was claimed that if constant current was applied to the reaction medium through specially designed electrodes in subcritical water environment, electrolysis could alter the hydrolysis reaction of cellulose in a way of protonation of intra-and inter-molecular hydrogen bonding around anode and as a result electrolysis in subcritical water could decrease necessary thermal energy to hydrolyze the [...] glycosidic linkage. Therefore, we developed a green hybrid process by combining hydrolysis and electrolysis in subcritical water without using any toxic, organic solvents and catalyst. Effects of especially applied current and temperature on the product distribution and conversions of cellulose were revealed and hydrothermal electrolysis reaction pathway of cellulose was proposed. The significance of the interaction indicated that, applied voltage had major impact on cellulose hydrolysis. Maximum cellulose conversion (82%) was achieved at 230°C and 180 min of reaction time in 25 mM of H2SO4. Application of 8.0 V of applied voltage to the reaction medium at reaction temperature of 230°C increased the TOC conversion (50.3%) with acid concentration of 25 mM in comparison with current-free experiments. Thus, the idea of electrochemically generated acid layer due to the dissociation of water around anode is supported. As future perspective, the output of the study gave an idea about converting cellulose and various biomass wastes, which may have high cellulose, content and led the way in obtaining valuable chemicals from no utilized real biomass sources such as hazelnut shell waste. The studies with other biomasses are undergoing.

      • From chip fat to biofuel

        Hydrocarbon biofuels made from waste fats and oils, such as leftover cooking oil could help reduce our dependence on fossil fuels. Traditionally, these biofuels are synthesised by transesterifying lipids under harsh alkaline conditions; in addition to generating waste solvent, this technique does not remove enough oxygen, so the products are incompatible with diesel engines. The process also doesn’t work with fatty acids as they become soapy and deactivate the catalyst.

        Now, Ding Ma from Peking University, Ning Yan from the National University of Singapore, and colleagues, have tested a series of cheap and commercially available nickel-based salts as pre-catalysts for deoxygenating fatty acids and triglycerides into shorter chain hydrocarbons, in solvent-free conditions.

      • How to Make Climate Refugee Protections a Reality
      • Kremlin climate representative acknowledges heating effects in press conference following meeting with activists

        Ruslan Edelgeriev, Vladimir Putin’s special representative for climate issues, acknowledged in a February 6 press conference that the effects of a rapidly changing climate are palpable in Russia. “In Yakutia, there are areas where the surface temperature has increased by five to eight degrees,” Edelgeriev said, according to Greenpeace Russia.

      • Energy

      • Wildlife/Nature

    • Finance

      • The Economy Not Worth Defending: A Response to Trump’s State of the Union

        This president’s delusions of grandeur have few limits, as witnessed by the headlines across the nation following his state of the union. One New York Times headline read: “Trump Claims End of “American Decline.” CNN reported that Trump’s economic focus is a savvy one from a political perspective” when “poll after poll shows that a majority of Americans approve of how he has handled the economy.”

      • Neoliberalism and the Coronavirus

        In This Changes Everything, Naomi Klein notes that the TV sets owned by Americans were manufactured in China with the energy input from coal-burning. Those carbon emissions are logged in China’s ledger. The trucking to bring the TV to your town’s big box outlet is logged in the U.S.’s ledger. However, the transoceanic shipping that brought the set from Shenzhen to Los Angeles is not logged under any country’s ledger.

      • A new money-laundering rule is forcing crypto exchanges to scramble

        Global financial institutions use their own secure messaging system called SWIFT to exchange information about financial transactions and comply with money-laundering rules. Now cryptocurrency exchanges are under pressure from regulators to create a similar system, but it’s not at all clear how.

      • Of Course Bloomberg’s an Oligarch–and He’s Coming For Your Social Security

        I’m not a dictionary, but I know what words mean. And I’m not a clock, but I know what time it is.

      • The Time Is NOW For The PRO Act To Protect Workers

        Working people have never stopped fighting for their rights. Now it’s time for Congress to join their fight.

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • With Establishment Knives Out for Bernie, Iowa Fiasco Just a Taste of What’s Coming

        The glaring subtext of what’s now occurring is the frantic effort to find some candidate who can prevent Sanders from becoming the party’s nominee at the national convention in July. Progressives must fight bac–not succumb to fatalism.

      • ‘Blatant Lie’: Seema Verma Claims Trump Not Cutting Medicaid as He Pushes Plan Doing Just That

        “Make no mistake: the Trump administration has spent the past two years actively dismantling Medicaid by fiat–after failing to gut it legislatively.”

      • Trump, Racism, and Fascism — More than Just Personality Disorders

        After the supposedly post-racial presidency of Barack Obama, what passes for the liberal punditry discovered racism had arisen in the homeland. They never felt so good feeling bad about racism, denouncing what they identified as its primal cause ” Mr. Trump, who was sullying that “shining example” of the United States of America. Obscured were those historical antecedents of this “exceptional” republic, founded on the expropriation of indigenous land and extermination of its inhabitants and built in part by African slave labor.

      • New Iowa Results: With 97% of Precincts Reported, Sanders Extends Popular Vote Lead Over Buttigieg to More Than 2,500

        “We are on the path to victory,” said Misty Rebik, Iowa state director for the Sanders campaign.

      • Episode 66 — The Bernie Blackout and Bashing – Along The Line Podcast

        Along the Line, is a member of the Demcast network, brought to you by the Media Freedom Foundation. On today’s episode hosts Nicholas Baham III (Dr. Dreadlocks), Janice Domingo,  and Nolan Higdon analyze “The Bernie Blackout Is Real, and These Screenshots Prove It,” a recent article by Nolan Higdon and Mickey Huff published in Truthout. ATL’s  Creative Director is Dylan Lazaga.  Mickey Huff is ATL’s producer. ATL’s engineer is Janice Domingo. Adam Armstrong is ATL’s webmaster.

      • While Sanders Declares Victory in Iowa Popular Vote, Buttigieg Chided for Claiming He ‘Officially Won’ Based on Error-Filled Delegate Count

        The Sanders campaign issued a statement Thursday night highlighting more than a dozen “discrepancies in the state delegate equivalent data” that it sent to the Iowa Democratic Party.

      • Bernie Sanders Reports Massive January Haul After Iowa Debacle

        Sen. Bernie Sanders’ presidential campaign announced Thursday that it raised a staggering $25 million in the month of January alone, by far the biggest fundraising month of the senator’s campaign and a larger haul than his 2020 Democratic rivals posted in any full quarter of 2019.

      • Sanders’ $25 Million January Haul More Than Any Other Democrat Raised in Any Full Quarter of 2019

        “Working class Americans giving $18 at a time are putting our campaign in a strong position to compete in states all over the map.”

      • How Corporate Media Make Pete Look Like He’s Winning

        Leading at what exactly?

      • The Divided States of Trumpistan?

        With the end of the Impeachment Trial of Donald Trump the partisan divide is deepened and acquittal a mere formality. Mitch McConnell promised to quickly acquit Trump of the charges, he did so with no witnesses or evidence provided. It leaves me wondering what this leaves of American democracy, the Constitution, and where is the justice?

      • Trump Unleashes Fury at Impeachment Enemies at Prayer Event

        President Donald Trump unleashed his fury against those who tried to remove him from office at a prayer breakfast Thursday, a day after his acquittal by the Senate in his impeachment trial.

      • Mobster At Work: Vindman Escorted From White House For Telling the Sordid Truth
      • Child Suicide Is a Symptom of Our Traumatised World

        The prevalence of psychological trauma among refugee youth should be an issue of utmost urgency for us all.

      • The “manosphere” is getting more toxic as angry men join the incels

        In 2014, Elliot Rodger went on a shooting and stabbing spree, killing six and injuring 14 at the University of California, Santa Barbara. Rodger was a self-proclaimed “incel” (short for involuntary celibate)–a group of young men who feel furious at their perceived rejection by women and meet online to discuss and spread their ideology. Their toxic misogyny fuels a hatred for women that has led to several recent incidents of mass violence, with many incels citing Rodger’s own disturbing manifesto as an inspiration. 

      • Don’t Let Corporate Media or DNC Fool You — Sanders Scored a Big Win in Iowa

        Bernie Sanders’s supporters remain justifiably outraged at the way the results of the Iowa caucus were reported and misreported. Yet, there is much for these supporters to celebrate. Sanders, who just today declared victory in the Iowa caucus, leaves Iowa as the likely front-runner in the race for the 2020 Democratic primary. The corporate media will do everything they can to avoid acknowledging this, but the data do not leave room for any other logical conclusion.

      • Psychiatrists tell Congress Trump’s acquittal was invalid: “Not mentally competent to stand trial”

        A group of psychiatrists urged Congress in a letter Wednesday to invalidate President Donald Trump’s acquittal in the Senate until his mental competency to stand trial is evaluated.

        The letter was sent by the World Mental Health Coalition, an association of mental health professionals sounding the alarm on the risks posed by the president’s mental health. A copy of the coalition’s letter was provided to Salon.

        “Under well-established principles of justice in the United States, a defendant who is not mentally competent to stand trial cannot be tried. We believe that Donald John Trump should not have been tried for impeachable offenses because of his apparent mental incapacities,” the letter reads. “While the Senate chose not to have witnesses, we believe that a witness who could confirm the president’s mental competence was mandatory, and therefore, in its absence, the Senate must throw out any trial results.”

      • Jeff Bezos is feuding with a White House economist

        Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos is refusing to meet with White House adviser Peter Navarro and the trade czar is “fuming,” the Washington Post reported Wednesday. It’s the latest feud in the never-ending saga of beef between Bezos and Donald Trump, who has leveled ongoing Twitter tirades against Amazon and the Bezos-owned Washington Post since 2016.

        According to the Post’s report, Navarro approached Bezos at an opulent Alfalfa Club dinner in Washington, DC last month in hopes of securing a meeting with the chief executive to discuss counterfeit products on his platform. The company has long struggled with counterfeit listings, and works with US Customs in taking down the listings when they are identified.

      • Trump Legacy on Courts, Climate Will Hurt the United States for Generations

        My point is not that we shouldn’t think about which presidential candidates have a strong chance of beating Trump; people have debated the merits of the current Democratic slate for literally years now. And if Trump wins reelection in November, it’ll likely only embolden him in his second term, as we’ve seen from autocratic leaders around the globe throughout history.

        But another question to ask simultaneously is who’s going to make sure we don’t find ourselves in this mess ever again? Which candidate is going to codify institutional norms that were able to fall by the wayside as soon as Trump, his cabinet cronies, and the GOP at large no longer felt like following them” And who’s going to work on not only reinstating a more secure democracy but also moving us forward”

      • Here Is a Link to the App that Blew Up the Iowa Caucus

        Motherboard is publishing the app used to tabulate early voting results in Iowa’s Democratic Presidential primary.

        The app, called IowaReporter, ultimately won’t affect the vote totals of the Iowa caucuses, which are being recounted with paper ballots and other hard documentation. But the app’s failure–and the widespread attention this failure has received–spurred chaos on election night, followed by speculation, conspiracy theories, and political jockeying.

        To try to combat that misinformation, it’s necessary to offer complete transparency on what the app is, what it can and cannot do, and why it failed.

      • No, the center will not hold: After acquittal, expect Trump to push for full power

        This outcome was all but preordained. The Republican Party is a fully owned subsidiary of Donald Trump (and arguably of his patron, Vladimir Putin). Republicans in the Senate and House have publicly admitted that Trump has committed crimes against the Constitution, democracy, the rule of law and the American people.

        But today’s Republicans embrace power above all else. Many are motivated by greed, and a great many are racial authoritarians or white supremacists who want to destroy America’s multiracial democracy. As members of a corrupt political cult, they have chosen to anoint Donald Trump as a de facto king or emperor.

      • For The First Time, An Impeached President Is Running For Reelection. What Happens Now?

        In other words, the circumstances of Trump’s impeachment are unique. Viewed narrowly, nothing has really changed — Trump remains in office, and is likely to continue to disregard traditional norms and, at times, core democratic values. His approval rating isn’t great, but it hasn’t meaningfully gone up or down during the impeachment process. But in part because Trump will now run for reelection, the impeachment process has a number of important implications.

      • Republican Senators Just Sold Out Democracy

        We should not be shocked that they’ve done this. Republicans feel empowered to free the president from all constraints because they never intend to be subjected to a Democratic president armed with these new powers. Republicans think they’re on the cusp of locking in one-party control of the government. Their solution to the demographic changes that will soon see us become a majority-minority country is to forge a new theory of government, in which minority white rule can withstand the popular will.

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • Muzzling critical voices: Politicized trials before Saudi Arabia’s Specialized Criminal Court

        Despite the Saudi Arabian authorities’ rhetoric about reforms, they have unleashed an intense crackdown on citizens promoting change in the last few years. One of the instruments of that repression has been the Specialized Criminal Court (SCC), which was set up in 2008 to try individuals accused of terror-related crimes. Amnesty International has documented the cases of 95 individuals who were tried before the SCC between 2011 and 2019. It has concluded that the SCC’s judges have presided over grossly unfair trials, handing down prison sentences of up to 30 years and numerous death sentences, in an effort to silence dissent.

      • China’s censors tried to control the narrative on a hero doctor’s death. It backfired terribly

        Li was speaking from his hospital bed, having succumbed to the virus himself. In the early hours of Friday morning, his condition worsened, and the 34-year-old died, becoming one of hundreds of fatalities from an outbreak that has spread well beyond Wuhan, affecting all of China and dozens of countries around the world.

        If Li’s initial arrest was an embarrassment for the authorities, his death is a disaster.

    • Freedom of Information / Freedom of the Press

      • Opinion: I am Julian Assange

        Journalists all over the world have hugely benefited from Assange’s WikiLeaks platform since. It allows them to network and reveal the intransparent, illegal and at times even downright criminal activities of political and business elites. So it’s really no wonder that high-ranking decision-makers fear this platform. And they’re certainly entitled to make use of whichever fair, legal measures exist to fight such revelations — though the steps taken against WikiLeaks founder Assange in recent years are entirely disproportionate.

      • DFG: Four journalists sentenced to prison in January

        The Dicle-Firat Journalists’ Association [...] founded at the beginning of the year, has published its first monthly balance sheet on the situation of press freedom in Turkey. “The repression against journalists has continued in the first month of 2020. Media workers are being obstructed in their work, accused and condemned,” the report says.

        According to the report, the judicial reform package adopted in 2019 has not brought about any changes for media freedom in Turkey: “Media institutions are attacked and obstructed, journalists are dismissed. The aim of this policy is to silence all opposition voices”. For this reason, the press cards of almost a thousand journalists have been cancelled, the association announced. The cards were only reactivated after a mass protest. However, the communication department of the presidential office has announced that the examination of the press card issue is still ongoing.

      • Publishers are growing audiences by producing less content

        Media analyst Thomas Baekdal cited several elements at play as publishers migrate from print to digital production. Publishers can now granularly track audience metrics on individual articles, as well as how much revenue, from ads or subscriptions, each online article generates. Certain online stories have a huge reach while others are never seen, regardless of the quality of the article. That’s because people read a smaller number of individual news articles when consuming news online. But people peruse print publications from cover to cover, meaning a wider number of articles are seen but not necessarily read. And due to the infinite nature of the internet, online publishers might be tempted to produce content in abundance in search of revenue.

        “Whether a digital magazine publishes 100, 500, or 1,000 articles makes no difference” to the reader, Baekdal said. “It’s the quality and interest of the articles that matter instead. We see this clearly on YouTube, where the most popular YouTubers rarely post more than once or twice a day. Publishers look at this, do the analysis, and they discover that when they cut away the not valuable, nobody realizes that it is gone.”

      • Iran-linked hackers pose as journalists in email scam

        The phony request was in reality an attempt to break into Kasraie’s email account. The incident is part of a wider effort to impersonate journalists in [cracking] attempts that three cybersecurity firms said they have tied to the Iranian government, which rejected the claim. The incidents come to light at a time when the U.S. government has warned of Iranian cyber threats in the wake of the U.S. air strike that killed Iran’s second most powerful official, Major-General Qassem Soleimani.

        In a report published Wednesday, London-based cybersecurity company Certfa tied the impersonation of Fassihi to a [cracking] group nicknamed Charming Kitten, which has long been associated with Iran. Israeli firm ClearSky Cyber Security provided Reuters with documentation of similar impersonations of two media figures at CNN and Deutsche Welle, a German public broadcaster. ClearSky also linked the [cracking] attempts to Charming Kitten, describing the individuals targeted as Israeli academics or researchers who study Iran. ClearSky declined to give the specific number of people targeted or to name them, citing client confidentiality.

      • As Newspapers Fade, Journalists Are Finding New Ways to Cover Local News

        The weakening of local newspapers means that public discourse has become increasingly nationalized, which has contributed to political polarization and social fragmentation. Instead of focusing on local and regional campaigns that invite effective citizen mobilization and activism, such as ensuring the quality of schools, roads and utility networks, Americans increasingly treat politics as a subject of national-level gossip and entertainment.

      • Prominent Germans appeal for Julian Assange’s release

        More than 130 prominent figures in Germany from the world of art, politics, and the media signed an appeal on Thursday calling for Wikileaks founder Julian Assange to be released from prison in the UK. He is currently serving a 50-week sentence for skipping bail.
        The letter’s signatories include famous German investigative journalist Günther Wallraff, former Vice Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel, and Austrian winner of the Nobel Prize in literature, Elfriede Jelinek.
        It says that Assange, 48, is being held in “isolation and monitored under unnecessarily stressful conditions” in a British prison despite being in “critical health.”
        UN Special Rapporteur on torture, Nils Melzer, told DW that after meeting with Assange he believed that the activisted exhibited “typical signs of psychological torture.”
        They also argue that Assange risks being deprived of his basic human rights if he is extradited to the United States when his sentence is over.

      • More than 100 prominent Germans appeal for WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange’s release from prison
      • U.N. torture expert “outraged” by WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange’s U.S. extradition case: “What about the war crimes?”

        “If you are going to put somebody in jail for the rest of his life for publishing diplomatic cables…that is an attack on all journalists,” one panelist said at a talk in London this week.

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • Over 200 Salvadorans Killed, Raped, Abused After Deportation from US

        Trending rights tweets this week: New HRW report, “Deported to Danger”, identifies cases of 138 Salvadorans who were killed after deportation from the US; one of the first Chinese doctors to warn about the emerging coronavirus outbreak in Wuhan was not only detained for his effort but died this week from the virus; and poor Venezuelans driven to work in gold mining by the ongoing economic crisis and humanitarian emergency have become victims of macabre crimes by armed groups that control illegal mines.

      • Starting a Business is Hard, Discrimination Makes It Harder

        My parents came to the United States from India in 1971 to chase their “American Dream.” They bought a small community grocery, liquor store, and deli called Renno’s Quality Food Market in Shady Side, Maryland.

      • Mosque in Perak censured by Islamic body for holding Chinese New Year lion dance, fireworks

        A small mosque in Perak that organised a lion dance and fireworks to celebrate the Chinese New Year in an event attended by two lawmakers from Chinese-led Democratic Action Party (DAP) has been censured by the state religious authority for angering the local Muslim community.

      • Amnesty terms Saudi secret court “weapon of repression?

        “Our research gives lie to the shiny new reformist image Saudi Arabia is trying to cultivate,” said Heba Morayef, Amnesty’s Mideast and North Africa regional director. She said the government has used the special court “to create a false aura of legality around its abuse of the counter-terror law to silence its critics”.

        Amnesty also said that the government’s “rhetoric about reforms under the crown prince” stands in stark contrast to reality in the kingdom where women’s rights activists and dozens of perceived critics of the young prince remain imprisoned or face trial on vague charges related to national security. Some, like reformist cleric Salman al-Awda, face the death penalty in trials before the court.

      • Watch: Test Videos Reveal How Evenflo Put Children at Risk
      • Justice Dept. Says It Will Investigate Deadly Conditions at Four Mississippi Prisons

        The U.S. Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division has announced an investigation into four Mississippi prisons, a month after deadly riots led to prolonged lockdowns.

        Justice Department officials will look into conditions at Mississippi State Penitentiary at Parchman, the South Mississippi Correctional Institution in Leakesville, Central Mississippi Correctional Facility in Pearl and the privately operated Wilkinson County Correctional Facility, run by Management & Training Corp.

      • Why Doctors Are Fighting Their Professional Organization Over Medicare for All

        Together, the actions signal the increasing militancy of doctors who no longer feel represented by the largest professional society in their field, the American Medical Association. Since its rise in the early 20th century, the AMA has served as the most powerful umbrella organization for physician advocacy and lobbying and has proved instrumental in defeating every campaign for national health insurance in US history.

        That calls for single-payer are coming from outside the ASMA reflects the reality that doctors are not a single class of workers with a unified political view. The American College of Physicians consists of doctors of internal medicine who largely work on the front lines of primary and preventive care, while the AMA is dominated by physicians practicing in lucrative specialty fields.

      • 200 Million Girls Have No Choice! #EndFGM

        very year, more than 3 million girls in the world suffer from this type of violence; and France is not to be outdone, as there has recently been an increase of those acts. Nearly 60 000 women and girls have experienced a FGM according to the French Institute for Demographic Studies (FIDS/INED). [...]

      • Yazidi Family Reunites in Germany After Five Years of Separation

        Yusuf told VOA that she is hopeful that life in Germany will offer her family a new chapter after the trauma they suffered because of IS attacks. Returning to Iraq anytime soon is not an option for them, she said.

        More than 85,000 Yazidis from Iraq and Syria have sought protection in Germany since the IS attacked their community.

      • Trump administration blocks New York drivers from fast border-crossing programs

        That law, which Gov. Andrew Cuomo and state lawmakers approved in June, also prohibits the state Department of Motor Vehicles from sharing any data with federal authorities that enforce immigration law, including ICE and Customs and Border Protection, without a subpoena or court order.

        The Trump Administration’s decision applies to four of the federal government’s five Trusted Traveler Programs: NEXUS, Global Entry, SENTRI and FAST. It does not apply to TSA PreCheck, which is used for air travel from U.S. airports.

      • New York Residents Can No Longer Sign Up for Global Entry, DHS Chief Says

        The Department of Homeland Security has suspended Global Entry and several other trusted traveler programs for all residents of New York.

        Chad Wolf, the Acting Homeland Security Chief, was on Fox News Wednesday night when he told host Tucker Carlson that all residents of the Empire State will be unable to enroll in the programs that make flying both domestically and internationally smoother.

        Wolf said that New Yorkers “can’t enroll or re-enroll” in the Trusted Traveler Programs — which includes Global Entry, TSA PreCheck, Nexus and more — because the department “no longer [has] access to make sure that they meet those program requirements.”

    • Digital Restrictions (DRM)

      • checkra1n Jailbreak now supports Linux & iOS 13.3.1, Windows support teased

        For as long as iOS has been around, there’s been the need to get a little more functionality than Apple builds onto the OS. This led to the birth of the whole jailbreaking community. One popular tool to accomplish this has been checkra1n.

        checkra1n jailbreak is considered by many, the new generation jailbreaking tool. It is based on the permanent unpatchable bootrom exploit called checkm8 by axi0mX.

      • New League of Legends Anti-Cheat Will Run at Kernel Level

        A brand new League of Legends anti-cheat system has been detailed, but it also raises some concerns about potential vulnerabilities and Linux users.

        A blog post on the League of Legends website goes into a very tech-heavy description of a new anti-cheat system that will be coming to League of Legends and other Riot games.

    • Monopolies

      • Copyrights

        • Disney CEO apologizes after elementary school is fined for Lion King showing

          The case is a bizarre one. Emerson Elementary School in Berkeley, California, was fined $250 by licensing firm Movie Licensing USA for playing the movie during a “parent’s night out” fundraiser that raised $800, according to CNN. The fundraiser was set up to help out teachers and bring more money into the school, according to a tweet from the Emerson PTA.

        • Europeans Deserve to Have Their Governments Test–Not Trust–Filters

          Thanks to the adoption of a disastrous new Copyright Directive, the European Union is about to require its member states to pass laws requiring online service providers to ensure the unavailability of copyright-protected works. This will likely result in the use of copyright filters that automatically assess user-submitted audio, text, video and still images for potential infringement. The Directive does include certain safeguards to prevent the restriction of fundamental free expression rights, but national governments will need some way to evaluate whether the steps tech companies take to comply meet those standards. That evaluation must be both objective and balanced to protect the rights of users and copyright holders alike.

          Quick background for those who missed this development: Last March, the European Parliament narrowly approved the new set of copyright rules, squeaking it through by a mere five votes (afterwards, ten MEPs admitted they’d been confused by the process and had pressed the wrong button).

        • YouTuber Who Slammed Copyright Lawsuit Against Katy Perry Hit With Copyright Complaint From Perry’s Publisher

          Katy Perry’s writers lost a $2.8m lawsuit against Christian rapper Flame last year over the use of a handful of notes. Musician Adam Neely published a hit video on YouTube slamming the lawsuit but in a bizarre twist, Perry’s publisher Warner Chappell has now filed an infringement complaint against Neely. Not only have they claimed all of the advertising revenue from his video, they’ve turned the entire matter into an unbelievable trainwreck.

        • U.S. Counters Appeal of Criminally Convicted ‘Copyright Troll’ Lawyer

          The US Government has asked the Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit to affirm the conviction of Paul Hansmeier, one of the lead attorneys behind the controversial Prenda law firm. The lawyer appealed his conviction and 14-year prison sentence but according to the federal prosecutors handling the case, it’s clear that he lied to the courts to extract settlements from alleged pirates.

        • Pirate IPTV Supplier One Box TV Ordered to Pay $3.8m Damages

          In 2019, ‘pirate’ IPTV supplier One Box TV found itself on the wrong end of a DISH Networks lawsuit. Filed in a Florida court, the complaint alleged that the IPTV supplier was transmitting DISH programming unlawfully via the Internet. After failing to put up a defense, One Box TV and its owner have now been ordered to pay $3.8 million in damages.

        • Millions Illegally Streamed the Super Bowl via YouTube and Facebook

          With an audience of over 100 million people, the Super Bowl is one of the most-watched TV broadcasts in the world. At the same time, it’s one of the most pirated live events as well. Data shared by anti-piracy platform VFT Solutions shows that more than 12 million people tuned into illegal streams through reputable platforms such as YouTube and Facebook. While the NFL is not pleased with these unauthorized views, VFT Solutions frames it as an opportunity.

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DecorWhat Else is New

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