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02.13.20

Links 13/2/2020: Ubuntu 18.04.4 LTS, Septor 2020, Endless OS 3.7.7, Wayland 1.18.0, KDE Plasma 5.18 and GTK 3.98 Released

Posted in News Roundup at 11:53 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Desktop/Laptop

      • If you’re running Windows, I feel bad for you, son. Microsoft’s got 99 problems, better fix each one

        Microsoft had one of its largest patch bundles in recent memory, as the Windows giant released fixes for 99 CVE-listed vulnerabilities.

        These included CVE-2020-0674, a remote code execution flaw in Internet Explorer’s Trident rendering engine that is already being exploited in the wild. This hole would typically be exploited by a malicious webpage or the like to infect a visiting vulnerable computer.

        “Even if you don’t use IE, you could still be affected by this bug though embedded objects in Office documents,” noted Dustin Childs of the Trend Micro Zero Day Initiative.

        “Considering the listed workaround – disabling jscript.dll – breaks a fair amount of functionality, you should prioritize the testing and deployment of this patch.”

      • Update Microsoft Windows Systems to Patch 99 New Security Flaws

        A few hours after Adobe today released security updates for five of its widely-distributed software, Microsoft also issued its February 2020 Patch Tuesday edition with patches for a total of 99 new vulnerabilities.
        According to the advisories, 12 of the total issues patched by the tech giant this month are critical in severity, and the remaining 87 have been listed as important.

        Five of the bugs are listed as publicly known at the time of release, four of which are important in severity and one critical (CVE-2020-0674) that is also listed as under active attack.

        Microsoft warned about this zero-day vulnerability in Internet Explorer (IE) browser last month when it released an advisory without releasing a patch for millions of its affected users.

      • Windows 12 Lite: This Linux distribution doesn’t care about copyright

        Webhouses describes Windows 12 Lite as a Linux Lite 4.8 LTS Desktop with the Windows 10 desktop background applied. The developers of the Linux distribution do not appear to be too concerned about potential copyright issues, and continue by writing that it is “far superior in every respect to Windows 10″. Apparently, Windows 12 Lite 4.8 solves “all the problems of the poor operating system” too, the poor operating system presumably being Windows 10.

        According to the developers, Windows 12 Lite is also “the best operating system for Windows 7 users”. While this could be quickly dismissed as a hoax, physical copies of the distribution are being sold. One Redditor, for example, spotted Windows 12 Lite being sold at a “local computer fair”.

        To be clear, this distribution likely infringes on multiple trademarks. We would not recommend trying “Windows 12 Lite” in at all, but the website is a fun read, as are the comments on the ensuing Reddit thread.

    • Audiocasts/Shows

      • IRC is Dead | LINUX Unplugged 340

        The difficult and fascinating conversations from FOSDEM 2020. Plus how elementary OS does coopertition right.

        And a bunch of community news, app picks, and much more.

      • mintCast 328 – Sigh-DPI

        First up, in our Wanderings, Leo says Kernel 5.5 is the best and worst thing ever, Moss works on Distrohopper’s Digest, Joe is booking it again, and Bo is getting ready for a test.

        Then in our news, Linux Mint goes HiDPI, Proton open-sources its VPN, Kernel 5.4 makes long-term support waves, Wireguard lands in Kernel 5.6, and more.

        In security, your data is not safe. But we already knew that!

      • Python Bytes: #168 Race your donkey car with Python
      • FLOSS Weekly 566: Flutter Update

        Hillel is a co-founder of Invoice Ninja, the leading open-source invoicing solution. He also spends time on two passion projects: itsallwidgets.com and mudeo.app, and is a devoted husband and father and a Google Developer

      • 2020-02-12 | Linux Headlines

        Andy Rubin’s Essential Products is shutting down, a favorite Linux app gets a new release, and Microsoft details features for Windows 10X that sound very familiar.

      • The Linux Link Tech Show Episode 844

        raspberri pi 4, monitors, imacs, openshot, linux everywhwere

      • Which Wiki Wins | Self-Hosted 12

        We try out the top self-hosted Wikis and tell you which we like best, and Chris has a major project off-grid update.

        Plus Alex tells us about his robot vacuum that runs Ubuntu.

    • Kernel Space

      • Linux Kernel Continues Prepping For RISC-V’s Updated Supervisor Binary Interface

        RISC-V’s Supervisor Binary Interface “SBI” is the interface between the platform-specific firmware and the running operating system or hypervisor for interacting with the supervisor execution environment in the higher privileged mode. The Linux kernel has been working to support a newer version of the SBI that is more extensible moving forward.

        The RISC-V Supervisor Binary Interface v0.2 now has extendability in mind with the ability to add extensions in the future while maintaining backwards compatibility. Linux kernel patches continue to be worked on in supporting this updated SBI interface for the Linux kernel.

      • AMD Volleys Third Revision To Sensor Fusion Hub Linux Driver

        One of the letdowns of the forthcoming Linux 5.6 kernel is that AMD’s long-awaited Sensor Fusion Hub “SFH” open-source driver wasn’t ready in time for merging this cycle, but it continues moving forward with hopes of seeing it in Linux 5.7.

        The AMD Sensor Fusion Hub driver for supporting the accelerometer and gyroscopic sensors along with other possible sensors on modern AMD Ryzen laptops was published in early January and then revised again a few weeks later. Now after going through more code review, the third version of the AMD SFH Linux driver is available for review and testing.

      • Linux Kernel Seeing Work To Implement MEMFD “Secret Memory Areas”

        There is experimental work pending that plumbs support into MEMFD for creating “secret” memory areas. This secret memory support would then be exposed to user-space for different use-cases.

        This MEMFD “secret memory” support is about allowing memfd_create() to create memory areas from user-space only visible in the context of the owning process and is not mapped for other processes nor the kernel page tables. After using a new secret flag for memfd_create, the developer can then use an ioctl on the file descriptor to specify the desired protection mode.

      • Extend the life of your SSD drive with fstrim

        Over the past decade, solid-state drives (SSD) have brought about a new way of managing storage. SSDs have benefits like silent and cooler operation and a faster interface spec, compared to their elder spinning ancestors. Of course, new technology brings with it new methods of maintenance and management. SSDs have a feature called TRIM. This is essentially a method for reclaiming unused blocks on the device, which may have been previously written, but no longer contain valid data and therefore, can be returned to the general storage pool for reuse. Opensource.com’s Don Watkins first wrote about TRIM in his 2017 article “Solid-state drives in Linux: Enabling TRIM for SSDs.”

      • Low latency streaming of security video feeds with SRT and GStreamer

        For remote security surveillance, like monitoring an industrial facility where expensive equipment or even human lives might be at stake, maintaining an immediate and high quality video streaming from the areas of interest is a must. With the advent of 5G networks, it’s now possible to stream high quality video in real-time with a very low latency that wasn’t possible with the past generations of mobile networks. In this domain, the SRT protocol has been picking up speed, and thanks to srtsrc and srtsink elements available since GStreamer 1.16 (see Olivier Crête’s blog post) it’s now easier than ever to incorporate low latency streaming into your application.

        Here at Collabora we’ve been lately participating in design and development of Hwangsaeul—a next generation security video feeds streaming platform with one of our customers, SK Telecom Co..

        Hwangsaeul is a cloud relay service that gathers live security video feeds from different locations into a single service to which clients can connect to watch the feeds. Additionally, it also enables continuous recording of each feed. The SRT protocol is utilized by both camera-to-relay and relay-to-client transport in order to minimize latency.

      • Benchmarking Linux 5.5 vs. Linux 5.6-rc1 On A Few Systems So Far

        Since the release of Linux 5.6-rc1 that is coming in as a very feature-packed kernel, here are benchmarks of Linux 5.5 stable up against Linux 5.6-rc1 on a few of the systems tested so far while more results are in-progress.

        Linux 5.5 vs. 5.6-rc1 were benchmarked using the reference binaries from the Ubuntu Mainline Kernel PPA. For this quick article are results from a Threadripper 3970X, AMD EPYC 7742 2P, and Intel Xeon Platinum 8280 2P in distinctly different configurations in seeing if there is any widespread trends as of 5.6-rc1 for these high-end systems.

      • Libcgroup in the Twenty-First Century

        In 2008 libcgroup was created to simplify how users interact with and manage cgroups. At the time, only cgroups v1 existed, the libcgroup source was hosted in a subversion repository on Sourceforce, and System V still ruled the universe.

        Fast forward to today and the landscape is changing quickly. To pave the way for cgroups v2 support in libcgroup, we have added unit tests, functional tests, continuous integration, code coverage, and more.

      • Whoops, Linux 5.5 Missed Some “Critical” Intel Graphics Driver Patches

        While Linux 5.5 is out in the wild now as the latest stable version of the Linux kernel, it turns out some Intel kernel graphics driver patches were overlooked and this can spell trouble for some users.

        Longtime Intel open-source Linux graphics driver developer Chris Wilson noted on Tuesday that Linux 5.5 is missing multiple urgent patches. The ticket notes the lack of these patches is of severity “critical” and the highest priority.

      • Linux is ready for the end of time

        On 03:14:08 Greenwich Mean Time (GMT, aka Coordinated Universal Time) January 19, 2038 (that’s a Tuesday), the world ends. Well, not in the biblical Book of Revelations sense. But, what will happen is the value for time in 32-bit based Unix-based operating systems, like Linux and older versions of macOS, runs out of numbers and starts counting time with negative numbers. That’s not good. We can expect 32-bit computers running these operating systems to have fits. Fortunately, Linux’s developers already had a fix ready to go.

        The problem starts with how Unix tells time. Unix, and its relations — Linux, macOS, and other POSIX-compatible operating systems — date the beginning of time from the Epoch: 00:00:00 GMT on January 1, 1970. The Unix family measures time by the number of seconds since the Epoch.

        So far, so good. But, since Unix and family started out as 32-bit operating systems, time’s value is kept as a single signed 32-bit integer number. Those are a lot of seconds, but just like the last century’s Y2K bug, it’s not enough.

      • Google to Samsung: Stop messing with Linux kernel code. It’s hurting Android security

        Samsung’s attempt to prevent attacks on Galaxy phones by modifying kernel code ended up exposing it to more security bugs, according to Google Project Zero (GPZ).

        Not only are smartphone makers like Samsung creating more vulnerabilities by adding downstream custom drivers for direct hardware access to Android’s Linux kernel, vendors would be better off using security features that already exist in the Linux kernel, according to GPZ researcher Jann Horn.

        [...]

        Incidentally, the February update also includes a patch for critical flaw in “TEEGRIS devices”, referring to Trusted Execution Environment (TEE) on newer Galaxy phones that contain Samsung’s proprietary TEE operating system. The Galaxy S10 is among TEEGRIS devices.

        But Horn’s new blogpost is focused on efforts in Android to reduce the security impact of vendors adding unique code to the kernel.

        “Android has been reducing the security impact of such code by locking down which processes have access to device drivers, which are often vendor-specific,” explains Horn.

        An example is that newer Android phones access hardware through dedicated helper processes, collectively known as the Hardware Abstraction Layer (HAL) in Android. But Horn says vendors modifying how core parts of the Linux kernel work undermines efforts to “lock down the attack surface”.

      • Graphics Stack

        • wayland 1.18.0
          This is the official release for Wayland 1.18. The main new features in
          this release are:
          
          - Add support for the Meson build system (autotools is still supported
            but will be removed in a future release)
          - Add API to tag proxy objects to allow applications and toolkits to
            share the same Wayland connection
          - Track wayland-server timers in user-space to prevent creating too
            many FDs
          - Add wl_global_remove, a new function to mitigate race conditions with
            globals
          
          Thanks to all contributors!
          
          There were no changes since RC1.
          
          Simon Ser (1):
                build: bump to version 1.18.0 for the official release
          
          git tag: 1.18.0
          
        • Wayland 1.18 Released With Meson Support, Other Minor Changes

          Wayland 1.18 is out today as the first update to the core Wayland code in nearly one year.

          Eleven months have already passed since the release of Wayland 1.17 while on Tuesday was succeeded by Wayland 1.18.

          [...]

          The brief Wayland 1.18 release announcement can be found on Wayland-devel. The Wayland 1.18 release comes just a few weeks after the recent Weston 8.0 compositor feature release.

    • AMD

      • Noctua NH-U9S Performance For The AMD Ryzen 9 3950X + Ondemand vs. Performance Governors

        For those that may be looking to run an air-cooled AMD Ryzen 9 3950X especially in a rack-mount 4U chassis, here are some recent results I did from some testing using a Noctua NH-U9S with two 92mm fan configuration. Additionally, these results contain performance metrics from both CPUFreq Ondemand vs. Performance governors as an additional point of interest.

        These results are for reference purposes of the Noctua NH-U9S in a dual fan setup for this 16-core / 32-thread 3.5GHz (4.7GHz boost) CPU rated with a 105 Watt TDP.

      • CPUs From 2004 Against AMD’s New 64-Core Threadripper 3990X + Tests Against FX-9590

        With having the initial AMD Ryzen Threadripper 3990X Linux benchmarks out of the way, I did some fun Friday night benchmarking with this 64-core HEDT CPU… Seeing how the 3990X performance compares to some CPUs used when starting out Phoronix back in 2004 as well as also for fun seeing how the Threadripper 3990X compares to the notorious AMD FX-9590.

        The CPUs tested for comparison to what was trending when starting out Phoronix in 2004 were an Intel Pentium 4 2.80GHz processor, a 2.8GHz processor with Hyper Threading for offering up two threads. Then on the low-end a single-core with no HT Intel Celeron 2.4GHz processor. Both of those CPUs were running on the legendary Abit IC7-MAX3 with 1GB of dual channel memory, 160GB Seagate HDD, and ECS Radeon 9200 graphics card. That’s the oldest historical data I still have from when Phoronix started out and in a manner via the Phoronix Test Suite testing and version-locked test profiles where I can still carry out the test in a repeatable and standardized manner.

      • Meet The Linux OS AMD Recommends For Superior Ryzen Threadripper 3990X Performance

        AMD and Intel may be fierce competitors in the CPU space, but the two companies aren’t always trying to cut each other down. In fact, during the press briefing for AMD’s 64-core Ryzen Threadripper 3990X, it actually recommended using Intel’s in-house Linux distribution for best performance.

    • Applications

      • Pigz – Compress And Decompress Files In Parallel In Linux

        Pigz, short for parallel implementation of gzip, is a free, open source multi-threaded compression utility to compress and uncompress files in Linux. Pigz, pronounced as pig-zee, uses the zlib and pthread libraries and takes full advantage of multiple processors and multiple cores when compressing data. Since pigz compresses using threads to make use of multiple processors and cores, It can be able to archive larger files much faster than with gzip. To put this simply, pigz does what gzip does, but it allocates the work to multiple processors and cores when compressing and speed up the compression/decompression process significantly. In this guide, let us learn to compress and decompress files in parallel using Pigz in Linux.

      • Daniel Stenberg: curl is 8000 days old

        Another pointless number that happens to be round and look nice so I feel a need to highlight it.

        When curl was born WiFi didn’t exist yet. Smartphones and tablets weren’t invented. Other things that didn’t exist include YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Firefox, Chrome, Spotify, Google search, Wikipedia, Windows 98 or emojis.

        curl was born in a different time, but also in the beginning of the explosion of the web and Internet Protocols. Just before the big growth wave.

        In 1996 when I started working on the precursor to curl, there were around 250,000 web sites (sources vary slightly)..

        In 1998 when curl shipped, the number of sites were already around 2,400,000. Ten times larger amount in just those two years.

        In early 2020, the amount of web sites are around 1,700,000,000 to 2,000,000,000 (depending on who provides the stats). The number of web sites has thus grown at least 70,000% over curl’s 8000 days of life and perhaps as much as 8000 times the amount as when I first working with HTTP clients.

    • Instructionals/Technical

    • Games

      • dont_forget_me is an upcoming cyberpunk adventure game about exploring memories that looks promising

        Expect megacorporations, lots of neon, noir, jazz and synths and more in this adventure. A short prototype demo is available so you can get a little taste of uncovering memories.

      • The narrative-based game ‘Death and Taxes’ puts the grim reaper in an office job – demo available

        Inspired by the likes of Papers, Please, Animal Inspector, Beholder and Headliner we now have ‘Death and Taxes’, a game with plenty of hard choices and a morally gripping story with a rather stylish grim reaper.

        Arriving on Steam with Linux support on February 20, the developer said to expect “a ton of post-mortem bureaucracy”—oh my, whatever will people think up next. Your job is to decide who lives and who dies, with your decisions affecting the world around you.

      • Project Heartbeat is an upcoming sweet community-driven rhythm game developed on Linux

        Stretch your fingers and get ready for a workout, as a new rhythm game is in town named Project Heartbeat.

        Inspired by titles like Clone Hero and Project Diva with a sweet style and plenty of Eurobeat music, Project Heartbeat will be entering Early Access relatively soon on Steam.

      • Looks like the narrative thriller ‘The Suicide of Rachel Foster’ will come to Linux

        Releasing next week on February 19, it’s looking like ‘The Suicide of Rachel Foster’ will also be coming to Linux although it’s not clear yet exactly when.

        An eagle-eyed user spotted Linux being noted on SteamDB, which the developer ONE-O-ONE GAMES then did a little teasing with a Twitter post quoting it to say “seems that way” with a little party emoji included and then some teasing towards us. So it certainly seems like we’re getting this narrative thriller.

      • LUNA The Shadow Dust looks seriously beautiful and this point & click puzzler is out now

        LUNA The Shadow Dust from Lantern Studio and Application Systems Heidelberg has released today and certainly seems like a worthy point and click adventure to add to your collection.

        Inspired by classic adventure games, LUNA The Shadow Dust was funded on Kickstarter (like many others) by the small Chinese team from Lantern Studio with this being their first game together. A tale of two playable companions drawn together in a hand-animated puzzle adventure.

      • Contemporary adventure game inspired by the Philippines ‘Until Then’ announced

        This definitely has my attention, as I really do love seeing more games made in settings not too often explored in games. Until Then is inspired by the Philippines including its lifestyle, and culture.

      • A tournament for the lightweight free FPS ‘Warfork’ is happening Sat 15 February

        If you’re interested to join them, don’t forget to formally confirm your attendance through the following link, where you’ll also find some general rules and other information, like the maps where the action will take place.

        This isn’t the first time this community hosted a tournament, as you can see in this previous announcement, and hopefully they continue doing them so that there are incentives to keep pushing the progress on the game – remember that, although perfectly playable, it’s still in Early Access.

      • Mutant soap opera adventure ‘Mutazione’ now available for Linux

        Nominated for multiple awards so it must be a little bit special, the mutant soap opera adventure Mutazione has today been released for Linux.

      • Valve has banned tens of thousands of Dota 2 accounts as they tweak their smurf detection

        Unfortunately, in any online game (especially a free one) you’re going to get many forms of abusive behaviour. One such problem in Dota 2 is ‘smurf’ accounts and Valve are attempting to deal with it.

        A smurf account is where an experienced player will make another account, to then stomp all over less experienced players and ruin their fun. It is a nuisance, it can completely ruin games and no doubt turns away plenty of potential fans. Valve are aware and they’ve blogged a few times recently about their plans to improve Dota 2′s matchmaking and detection systems a lot of which is already live.

      • Valve released a new Stable version of the Steam Client – Steam Play filter for Big Picture Mode added

        Yesterday, Valve released an update to the Steam client pulling in a whole bunch of features changes and a visual visual adjustments from the recent Betas.

        Big Picture Mode also saw a few handy tweaks. For Linux, there’s a new filter for Steam Play white-listed games that shows as “Steam Play Certified”.

      • Logitech Wheel manager ‘Oversteer’ has a huge new release – also check out ‘new-lg4ff’ for more features

        Oversteer is quite possibly one of my favourite open source applications, as it’s made working with my own Logitech G29 a really great experience.

        As a reminder, it supports a ton of Logitech wheels on Linux including the G25, G27, G29, G920, Driving Force Pro, Driving Force GT and so on. If the Logitech Linux driver works with it, then Oversteer should be good to go.

        Within the last week, the developer put up quite a big new release. This includes a new interface, settings you can’t use are now disabled, it has integrated tests so you can ensure everything is working without the need for another application, Wheel Range can now be adjusted using buttons on the wheel which can be configured and changing compatibility modes is faster.

      • Fun looking fast-paced grid-fighter ‘EndCycle VS’ plans to support Linux

        With combat looking similar to (and likely inspired by) Mega Man Battle Network, EndCycle VS is another modern attempt to create a fun grid-fighter. Reminding me instantly of One Step From Eden as well, another upcoming game but EndCycle VS looks unique enough.

        A fast-paced fighting game, that needs you to use your head a bit with the battlefield grid. With both single-player and multi-player, it’s definitely sounding good. The great news is that they’re planning Linux support too, as confirmed on Twitter.

      • Bronze Age pixel-art RTS ‘The Fertile Crescent’ has a bunch of visual upgrades

        Continuing to grow into quite a fantastic little free real-time strategy game, The Fertile Crescent has gone through a few visual upgrades lately.

      • Medieval siege engine builder ‘Besiege’ leaving Early Access on Feb 18 – price to rise

        Spiderling Studios have announced their physics-based medieval siege engine builder, Besiege, is leaving Early Access on February 18 and the price is going to rise.

        The big 1.0 update is going to finish up the single-player campaign with a whole new island named Krolmar. What they say is an “ancient & mysterious desert island” full of more fortresses for you to annihilate. They’re also promising “secret magics to unravel” along with “stunning visuals and challenging levels”.

        We’re also going to get a bunch of new blocks to play with in a whole new category, with Logic and Automation. So we will be able to push a button and have things run in a sequence or use sensor blocks to pick things up and then cause mayhem. Sounds like a blast.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • KDE Plasma 5.18 out now with a more polished user interface

          The development team and contributors have greatly improved the KDE Plasma desktop environment with this release. Support for this version will end in two years, February 2022.

          The KDE community announced the release of the latest version of its popular desktop environment, KDE Plasma 5.18 LTS. It’s their latest long-term supported release and includes user feedback capabilities, widgets, the Discover software manager, System Settings improvements, an emoji selector, GTK Integration, global edit mode, and more.

        • KDE Plasma 5.18 Released

          The KDE community today announced the release of Plasma 5.18. This version of the popular desktop environment is the latest long-term supported release and brings an emoji selector, user feedback capabilities, a global edit mode, and improvements to System Settings, the Discover software manager, widgets, GTK integration and much more.

        • KDE Plasma 5.18 LTS Released With New Features

          KDE plasma desktop is undoubtedly one of the most impressive Linux desktop environments available out there right now.

          Now, with the latest release, the KDE Plasma desktop just got more awesome!

          [...]

          Normally, you would Google an emoji to copy it to your clipboard or simply use the good-old emoticons to express yourself.

          Now, with the latest update, you get an emoji selector in Plasma Desktop. You can simply find it by searching for it in the application launcher or by just pressing (Windows key/Meta/Super Key) + . (period/dot).

          The shortcut should come in handy when you need to use an emoji while sending an email or any other sort of messages.

      • GNOME Desktop/GTK

        • Belated GTK 3.98 Puts GTK 4.0 One Step Closer
        • GTK 3.98

          A few days ago, I’ve released a GTK 3.98 tarball. This is another step towards GTK 4. It is a little bit behind schedule, and does not quite include all the things we wanted to get into it, but it gets a lot closer to what we want to ship in GTK 4.

          Almost 9 months have passed since the 3.96 snapshot, so there are quite a few new things to look at. Too many to cover them all, but here are some highlights…

        • Community Story: Building a Librem 5 app with Rust and GTK

          Could you introduce yourself and share how you got involved with GNOME development?

          I’m Bilal Elmoussaoui, I co-maintain GNOME Clocks and Sound Recorder and develop GNOME applications. I’m a long-time Linux user. I originally studied civil engineering and I’ve been learning to code for some time now, mostly writing web applications. I started contributing to GNOME projects while honing my Python skills.

          You are now a maintainer of several GNOME apps.

          Yes, I’ve started contributing to applications I use daily like FeedReader and Lollypop. The more I contribute, the more I learn about software development and the ecosystem. After a few years I found myself contributing to several GNOME applications, wherever I could make the user experience better for free software.

          Could you tell us about your recently released Read It Later app?

          Read It Later is a Wallabag client, which is a link saving service that you can host yourself. It includes all the basic features you would expect like managing and viewing articles. It also comes with easy-reader and dark modes in a beautiful and convergent design which adapts perfectly to desktop and mobile screens.

          What technology did you use to create Read It Later?

          I used to write applications with Python/Vala and GTK until late this summer when I got “The Rust programming language” book. It just sat on my desk for a while but I finally decided to pick something small to work on and made a simple Rust and GTK application template. The moment I opened my first GTK window with Rust I was hooked. The Rust GTK bindings have evolved a lot and we now have libhandy Rust bindings for adaptive widgets. Now I always pick Rust as a programming language, Meson as a build system and Flatpak to distribute my applications.

          How did you discover libhandy and are you a mobile Linux enthusiast?

        • Georges Basile Stavracas Neto: Welcome 2020

          I’m continuously failing to keep up with the Friends of GNOME donors. I really have to empty this queue as soon as possible.

          I’m really unhappy with the political situation of my country, Brazil. A halfwitted, fascism flirting populist was democratically elected. The public institutions were dominated by their inapt followers. Rich are getting richier, poor are getting poorer, inequality is skyrocketing, and despite all of that, a massive number of citizens seems to be applauding this madness, regardless if they’re profiting or not with this situation. I’m not comfortable with the idea of living here. I’m also not comfortable with the idea of leaving family behind. It seems this trend is spreading all around the world, so where else could I go anyway?

          I’ve also stopped training martial arts. I got involved with Aikido when I was 14. I was a vulnerable, not intellectually emancipated teenager that needed emotional crutches to carry on. For years, Aikido was part of my identity, and I would ignore blatant problems that surrounded it for the sake of keeping the narrative. Feeling like a virtuous warrior was good, after all. Over time, and with the maturity that came with it, the toxicity of it took a toll on me. Quitting it was traumatic. I still feel a big void.

          Quitting martial arts meant I stopped exercising. Turns out, the lack of physical activities, together with an awful political climate, and the stress of being an open source maintainer, is an express highway to depression. When I wrote “On Being a Free Software Maintainer“, I was already going downhill. Things got progressively worse until around GUADEC. Fortunately, the support from the GNOME community, my wife, family, and friends, were strong enough to allow me break this downward spiral.

          I do not know what would have happened without this support. To my family, wife, friends, and the GNOME community: thank you all so much for being here when I most needed.

    • Distributions

      • 2019 LinuxQuestions.org Members Choice Award Winners

        Desktop Distribution of the Year – Ubuntu (15.68%)
        Server Distribution of the Year – Debian Stable (26.81%)
        Live Distribution of the Year – Slackware Live Edition (31.43%)
        Database of the Year – MariaDB (42.60%)
        Browser of the Year – Firefox (54.13%)
        Desktop Environment of the Year – Plasma Desktop (KDE) (32.94%)
        Window Manager of the Year – Openbox (23.13%)
        Audio Media Player of the Year – VLC (40.00%)
        Digital Audio Workstation of the Year – Ardour (39.06%)
        Video Media Player of the Year – VLC (67.10%)
        Video Authoring Application of the Year – KDEnlive (41.90%)
        Network Security Application of the Year – Wireshark (23.40%)
        Host Security Application of the Year – SELinux (28.79%)
        Network Monitoring Application of the Year – Nagios XI (26.73%)
        IDE of the Year – Geany (21.94%)
        Text Editor of the Year – vim (26.47%)
        File Manager of the Year – Dolphin (26.64%)
        Open Source Game of the Year – SuperTuxKart (17.82%)
        Programming Language of the Year – Python (29.26%)
        Backup Application of the Year – Timeshift (20.69%)
        Log Management Tool of the Year – Logwatch (55.56%)
        X Terminal Emulator of the Year – Konsole (21.05%)
        Browser Privacy Solution of the Year – uBlock Origin (33.33%)
        Privacy Solution of the Year – GnuPG/Tor Browser Bundle (tie) (25.40%)
        Open Source File Sync Application of the Year – Nextcloud (49.15%)
        IRC Client of the Year – HexChat (38.46%)
        Universal Packaging Format of the Year – Appimage (44.76%)
        Single Board Computer of the Year – Raspberry Pi 4 Model B (54.70%)
        Virtualization Application of the Year – VirtualBox (60.42%)
        Container of the Year – Docker (56.96%)
        Linux/Open Source Podcast of the Year – Late Night Linux (18.87%)
        Secure Messaging Application of the Year – Telegram (58.11%)
        Graphics Editor of the Year – GIMP (73.04%)
        Linux Desktop Vendor of the Year – System76 (52.46%)
        Linux Laptop Vendor of the Year – System76 (33.33%)
        Linux Server Vendor of the Year – Dell (46.94%)
        Email Client of the Year – Thunderbird (63.80%)
        Clipboard Manager of the Year – Klipper (39.39%)
        PDF Viewer of the Year – Okular (37.44%)
        Static Site Generator of the Year – Hugo/Jekyll (tie) (33.33%)

      • 2019 LinuxQuestions.org Members Choice Awards
      • SparkyLinux 2020.02 “LXQt” overview | powered by debian

        In this video, I am going to show an overview of SparkyLinux 2020.02 “LXQt” and some of the applications pre-installed.

      • An appeal to common decency

        As you know, the vast majority of Linux distros and open-source software projects are run by enthusiasts, who are keeping the dynamics alive and giving back to this wonderful community. EndeavourOS is no exception in this.

        Since the launch of our net-installer, our community is steadily growing with enthusiastic Linux lovers all over the world and we are very grateful to welcome you all.

        The number of community members that are involved with the general development of the project is also growing and thanks to them, development is taking a stride in progress.

        Recently, we came across with a couple of community members that had great ideas for the project but already started their initiative without consulting us. They just notified us about the existence of the project without giving us a chance to get acquainted with the project or the person behind it.

        I know, what you might think, legally we have no ground to stand on, we had to put our affairs in order before we began and the intentions are coming from a good place.

        I want to make clear that we don’t doubt the intentions, it is the way of handling that we have a problem with.

        EndeavourOS is a modest project with an equal amount of resources. Soon our yearly bill will arrive for the infrastructure and the donations we gratefully received won’t cover that one. Rest assured, we did calculate this in our future plan, so EndeavourOS won’t turn black in the near future.

        Having explained that, you must understand that there aren’t any financial resources to protect the brand legally and claim every international domain name in the world.

        If you have an idea that might improve EndeavourOS, whether if it is a social media presence, a translated website or anything. We kindly ask you to use common decency to talk with us before you act.

      • 6 Less Popular Enterprise Linux Distributions

        There are some special Linux distributions that we call Enterprise Distributions; Those are the distributions that are commercially supported to possibly fit a specific or multiple enterprise goals in the market. For example, large telecommunications companies like AT&T or even your local ISP most likely can’t develop all their software solutions by their selves, and above that, they need support in order to set up their infrastructure. That’s where those enterprise Linux distributions come to the picture. They provide a specific set of software for those companies (Small, medium & large ones) with the support they need to get the job done. In most of the times you can get the distribution itself for free, but for support, you have to pay $$$.

        We won’t talk about the famous enterprise Linux distributions such as Red Hat, SUSE or Oracle Linux, because most of you already know about them. Instead, in today’s article, we’ll introduce 6 less popular enterprise Linux distributions for you.

      • New Releases

        • Septor 2020

          Septor Linux is a operating system that provides users with a perfect computing environment for surfing the Internet anonymously. Septor providing users with a stable and reliable distribution that is based on Debian GNU/Linux and works on a wide range of computers. Distribution featuring a customised KDE Plasma desktop.

          Tor Browser, OnionShare (an anonymous file sharing utility) and Ricochet (an instant messaging client developed by the Invisible.im group). Thunderbird, HexChat and QuiteRSS are all pre-configured to connect to the Internet via the Tor network. The distribution can be used in “live” mode or it can be installed to hard disk via the standard Debian installer.

          Core desktop and applications
          Linux Kernel 5.3
          Plasma 5.14.5
          KDE Applications 18.08.0
          Tor Browser 9.0.2, based on Firefox 68.3 ESR

          Other applications
          Internet: Thunderbird, HexChat, Ricochet IM, QuiteRSS, OnionShare
          Software Management: Synaptic, GDebi
          Utilities: Gufw, Konsole, Ark, Sweeper, Bootiso, ISO Image Writer, Kcalc, KGpg, Kleopatra, MAT, KWallet, VeraCrypt, Cup-backup
          Office: LibreOffice, Kontact, КOrganizer, Okular, Kwrite, Kate
          Graphics / Multimedia: GIMP, Gwenview. VLC, K3b, Guvcview

        • Septor Linux 2020.1 Anonymous OS Released with Tor Browser 9.0.5

          Synced with the stable software repositories of the Debian GNU/Linux 10 “Buster” operating system series as of February 11th, 2020, Septor Linux 2020.1 is here to offer user an up-to-date live system for surfing the Internet anonymously using the latest Tor technologies.

          Included in this release, there’s the latest Tor Browser 9.0.5 anonymous web browser, which is based on the recently released Mozilla Firefox 68.5.0 ESR web browser, the Mozilla Thunderbird 68.4.1 email and news client, as well as the Linux 5.4 LTS kernel series.

        • Kali Linux Alternate Parrot OS Releases New Beta v4.8

          It’s been a long delay since the release of Parrot OS 4.7 and all ethical hackers and pentester are eagerly waiting for the latest updates and new features for the upcoming Parrot OS 4.8.

          So, recently, during a community discussion, Irene Pirrotta, Parrot OS Core Developer, released the new beta4 version of Parrot OS 4.8. The beta test includes various restructuring of projects and component changes.

        • Endless OS 3.7.7

          Endless OS 3.7.7 was released for existing users today (February 10th, 2020). Downloadable images for new users will be available in the next few days, except for Raspberry Pi 4 images which are already available (see below).

        • Linux-Based Endless OS 3.7.7 Released With Raspberry Pi 4 Support

          Following the tradition of monthly releases, Endless OS has announced the point update to Endless OS 3.7 series with the latest support for Raspberry Pi 4 and other hardware.

          Endless OS 3.7.7 includes the stable Linux kernel 5.0 to fix the hardware and security issues. You can now restore the missing listing of the installed application by restarting the system.

        • The gotcha got me again [EasyOS 2.2.10 bugfix release]

          I posted yesterday about this gotcha:

          https://bkhome.org/news/202002/ash-and-bash-glob-wildcard-expansion-gotcha.html

          I built EasyPup 2.2.10, and at the desktop there was no bluetooth icon in the tray …sigh.
          This is on the same laptop, did get the bluetooth icon for the EasyOS build. The background timing must be different somehow. T

          [...]

          OK, ready to release EasyPup 2.2.10, will upload later today.
          These little fixes should really also be applied to EasyOS 2.2.10, will probably also re-upload them later today.

      • Screenshots/Screencasts

      • SUSE/OpenSUSE

        • People of openSUSE: An Interview with Ish Sookun

          I joined the “Ambassador” program in 2009, which later was renamed to openSUSE Advocate, and finally the program was dropped. In 2013, I joined the openSUSE Local Coordinators to help coordinating activities in the region. It was my way of contributing back. During those years, I would also test openSUSE RCs and report bugs, organize local meetups about Linux in general (some times openSUSE in particular) and blog about those activities. Then, in 2018 after an inspiring conversation with Richard Brown, while he was the openSUSE Chairman, I stepped up and joined the openSUSE Elections Committee, to volunteer in election tasks. It was a nice and enriching learning experience along with my fellow election officials back then, Gerry Makaro and Edwin Zakaria. I attended my first openSUSE Conference in May 2019 in Nuremberg. I did a presentation on how we’re using Podman in production in my workplace. I was extremely nervous to give this first talk in front of the openSUSE community but I met folks who cheered me up. I can’t forget the encouragement from Richard, Gertjan, Harris, Doug, Marina and the countless friends I made at the conference. Later during the conference, I was back on the stage, during the Lightning Talks, and I spoke while holding the openSUSE beer in one hand and the microphone in the other. Nervousness was all gone thanks to the magic of the community.

          Edwin and Ary told me about their activities in Indonesia, particularly about the openSUSE Asia Summit. When the CfP for oSAS 2019 was opened, I did not hesitate to submit a talk, which was accepted, and months later I stood among some awesome openSUSE contributors in Bali, Indonesia. It was a great Summit where I discovered more of the openSUSE community. I met Gerald Pfeifer, the new chairman of openSUSE, and we talked about yoga, surrounded by all of the geeko fun, talks and workshops happening.

        • SUSE Hack Week Spotlight: Xabier Arbulu

          My name is Xabier Arbulu and I’m from Spain (Basque country), even though I live in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria enjoying a better weather. I have been working as a Software engineer around 6 years now, and I joined SUSE a bit more than a year ago. One of the major motivations was that I wanted to feel and explore how is to work in an organization where Open Source is more than just business. I really think that collaboration and transparency are the way to go. I work in the SLES4SAP and HA team where we provide solutions to the customers with critical mission applications.

          One of my hobbies is to enjoy the nature (and the sports around this like hiking, surfing…), so it’s totally aligned with the path that SUSE started against the climate change and our planet conservation.

        • SUSE Hack Week Spotlight: William Brown

          My name is William Brown, I’m a senior software engineer at SUSE. I’m from Brisbane Australia, and have been a software engineer for 5 years. Previously I was a system administrator at a major Australian university for 7 years. I am a photographer and also participate in judo and pole dance in my free time.

        • How SUSE builds its Enterprise Linux distribution – PART 3

          As for the “Minor Versions” of SLE, we decided (more than 14 years ago) to use a “Service Pack” Model for our SLE releases. The goal is to offer a predictable release cadence allowing our users to plan accordingly for their updates, but also to schedule our release with collections of maintenance updates and new features alike for a given major version. Back in the old days we promised to release a Service Pack every 12 to 18 months, but since SLE 12 GA (more than 5 years ago) we have decided to simplify and increase the regularity of our cadence by settling on a 12-month release cycle and supports previous service packs for 6 months after the release of the new service pack.

          Why? Well, this decision was made based on our customers’ and partners’ feedback and also because of the general increase in the cadence of open source development. For example, just to name a few other open source projects, did you know that there is a upstream Linux Kernel minor version every two months, Mozilla is releasing a new Firefox version every 6 weeks, and GNOME creates a full stable release every 6 months?

          Having two major SLE versions available with an annual release cadence for every “Minor Version”, which would normally be called a “Service Pack”, is part of our solution to solving the challenge of keeping up with the pace of open source projects, while at the same time offering choice and clarity to all our enterprise users.
          We will discuss the SLE Release Schedule in a dedicated blog post, but before getting too technical, we would like to give you a deeper insight into our Release Management Team, i.e. the people and team behind these release processes.

      • Slackware Family

        • Slackware Going for PAM

          It has been requested by many people in the past, many debates have been sprung due to this discussions, and finally in 2020 Patrick is taking PAM in -current (still in /testing for now, but hopefully will be merged in the main tree in the next few days or hours). It’s a long journey to get PAM gets included and some people have been working on this as a side project, namely Vincent Batts, Robby Workman, and Ivandi. Their work is finally paid off and next Slackware release will have PAM support out-of-the-box, so people in the corporate can start working on AD (Active Directory) on top of Slackware.

        • PAM landed in Slackware today, also new Plasma5 packages available

          What does that mean? Not much actually. Your Slackware will keep functioning as before. The new functionality offered by the Pluggable Authentication Modules is not directly visible.

          [...]

          Download the KDE-5_20.02 from the usual location at https://slackware.nl/alien-kde/current/ or one of its mirrors like http://slackware.uk/people/alien-kde/current/ .
          Check out the README file in the root of the repository for detailed installation or upgrade instructions.

          Development of Plasma5 is tracked in git: https://git.slackware.nl/ktown/ .

          A new Plasma5 Live ISO is going to be available soon at https://slackware.nl/slackware-live/latest/ (rsync://slackware.nl/mirrors/slackware-live/latest/) with user/pass being “live/live” as always. I am still working on an improved ‘setup2hd‘ and depending on the amount of work (and setbacks) I may decide to leave the ‘old’ setup2hd script in the ISO for now.

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • Red Hat OpenShift now available for IBM Z and IBM LinuxONE

          Today marks Red Hat OpenShift Container Platform becoming generally available for IBM Z and IBM LinuxONE. Red Hat is an established leader in enterprise Kubernetes with over 1,000 customers already using the Red Hat OpenShift Platform, and bringing IBM Z and IBM LinuxONE into the mix adds all of the security features, scalability, and reliability you’ve come to expect from IBM’s enterprise servers.

          Ross Mauri, General Manager of IBM Z & LinuxONE, has written a blog post that dives deeper into these statistics and more. Check it out.

        • Red Hatters recognize Black History Month

          February is Black History Month, and we wanted to share some of the people who’ve influenced and inspired Red Hatters throughout their lives. We asked members of Red Hat’s Blacks United in Leadership and Diversity (B.U.I.L.D.) about black historical figures who have inspired them. Some you no doubt have heard of, others may be new to you and you’ll have the chance to be inspired by their accomplishments for the first time.

          Janelle Harris, member of B.U.I.L.D. and a senior alliances partner marketing manager based in Raleigh, says that she views Black History Month as “a time to celebrate and acknowledge the accomplishments of black people in order to foster motivation, cultural pride and inspiration.”

        • What Matters Most to OpenShift Users?

          Red Hat OpenShift Container Platform has a broad set of powerful functions available to users as soon as it’s deployed. Providing so many functions within OpenShift poses a challenge to the OpenShift User Experience Design (UXD) team.

          Which functions and tasks are the most important to our users? What aspects of the product and interface should we focus on? To answer these questions, our UXD researchers are implementing the Top Tasks method to get insights from our users on how to craft the next stages of OpenShift’s user experience.

        • From The Enterprisers Project: 4 Facts about Kubernetes Operators
        • Storage made simple for hybrid multicloud: the new IBM FlashSystem family

          In part one of this blog post series, we discussed IBM’s approach for delivering innovation while simplifying your storage infrastructure, reducing complexity, and cutting costs. Now let’s take a closer look at the details of the new IBM FlashSystem family, a single platform designed to simplify your storage infrastructure, reduce complexity and cut costs, while continuing to deliver extensive innovation for your enterprise class storage solutions and your hybrid multicloud environments.

          [...]

          IBM Storage Insights provides monitoring, AI-based alerts, reporting and support capabilities from IBM Cloud. Storage Insights Pro simplifies storage further with support from a single management pane for cloud storage managed by IBM Spectrum Virtualize for Public Cloud and EMC Unity and Unity XT, NetApp FAS and AFF, and Hitachi VSP G-series storage.

        • IBM’s New FlashSystem Family

          IBM has announced the new FlashSystem family, designed to simplify storage infrastructure, reduce complexity and cut costs, while continuing to deliver support for hybrid and multicloud platforms.

        • Kevin Fenzi: Devconf.cz 2020

          This year again I had the honor of being able to attend devconf.cz. Many thanks to Red Hat (My employer) for sending me to the conference (it also allowed me to attend some work meetings after the conference).

          The trip out to Brno was much as it has been for me in the past, except this time it was even longer since the Portland to Amsterdam flight I used to take is no longer offered, so I had to go from Portland to Seattle and then Amsterdam. Due to various scheduling issues I also went to Vienna this time instead of Prague. No particular problems on the trip, just a long haul. The train in Vienna was nice and clean and fast and comfortable.

        • DevConf CZ 2020: play by play

          This is my third time attending DevConf CZ. I attended on behalf of RIT LibreCorps for professional development, before a week of work-related travel. DevConf CZ is also a great opportunity to meet friends and colleagues from across time zones. This year, I arrived hoping to better understand the future of Red Hat’s technology, see how others are approaching complex problems in emerging technology and open source, and of course, to have yummy candy.

      • Debian Family

        • Tails 4.3 released with the Trezor package and added security

          There has been the addition of the trezor package through which users will now be able to access their Trezor hardware wallet through the command-line interface. More details below.

          The general public now has access to the all-new Tails 4.3 update that comes with a new feature and different changes that contribute to the software’s overall security.

          If you like keeping your data and internet sessions protected, there are chances that you would have heard of Tails. If this isn’t the case, allow FOSSLinux to introduce this handy piece of software. Based on Debian, Tails is an operating system whose sole purpose is to provide anonymity and privacy to its users, as stated on its official website.

        • Norbert Preining: MuPDF, QPDFView and other Debian updates

          For those interested, I have updated mupdf (1.16.1), pymupdf (1.16.10), and qpdfview (current bzr sources) to the latest versions and added to my local Debian apt repository…

        • Paulo Henrique de Lima Santana: My free software activities in january 2020

          Hello, this is my first monthly report about activities in Debian and Free Software in general.

          Since the end of DebConf19 in July 2020 I was avoiding to work in Debian stuff because the event was too stresseful to me. For months I felt discouraged to contribute to the project, until December.

        • Molly de Blanc: How do you say “desktop environment” in Flemish? FOSDEM 2020 Trip Report

          FOSDEM is one of the biggest community organized conferences in Europe. Run by a team of dedicated volunteers, the conference has been going for 20 years. It’s one of the biggest yearly events for us at GNOME Foundation and a rare opportunity for the staff to come together.

          As a fully remote team, the GNOME Foundation staff all get together twice a year to strategize, plan, and collaborate at GUADEC and at FOSDEM. This is also when the Foundation Board of Directors and Advisory Board have the chance to meet in person.

          In the four days leading up to the event, GTK Core Developer Emanuelle Bassi and Matthias Classen hosted a hackfest focused on GKT and the future of accessibility in GNOME. We really appreciate everyone who showed up, and would especially like to thank the blind participants and those with vision issues and expertise as those using the accessibility tools.

          [...]
          While Executive Director Neil McGovern and Director of Operations Rosanna Yuen met with the Board of Directors, I attended Sustain Summit. I led a session on diversity in open source with a focus on building global movements.

        • Announcing miniDebConf Montreal 2020 — August 6th to August 9th 2020

          Dear Debianites,

          We are happy to announce miniDebConf Montreal 2020! The event will take place in Montreal, at Concordia University’s John Molson School of Business from August 6th to August 9th 2020. Anybody interested in Debian development is welcome.

          Following the announcement of the DebConf20 location, our desire to participate became incompatible with our commitment toward the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign launched by Palestinian civil society in 2005. Hence, many active Montreal-based Debian developpers, along with a number of other Debian developpers, have decided not to travel to Israel in August 2020 for DebConf20.

          Nevertheless, recognizing the importance of DebConf for the health of both the developper community and the project as a whole, we decided to organize a miniDebConf just prior to DebConf20 in the hope that fellow developpers who may have otherwise skipped DebConf entirely this year might join us instead. Fellow developpers who decide to travel to both events are of course most welcome.

        • Bits from MiniDebCamp Brussels and FOSDEM 2020

          I traveled to Brussels from January 28th to February 6th to join MiniDebCamp and FOSDEM 2020. It was my second trip to Brussels because I was there in 2019 to join Video Team Sprint and FOSDEM

          MiniDebCamp took place at Hackerspace Brussels (HSBXL) for 3 days (January 29-31). My initial idea was travel on 27th and arrive in Brussels on 28th to rest and go to MiniDebCamp on the first day, but I had buy a ticket to leave Brazil on 28th because it was cheaper.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • Ubuntu 16.04 LTS Users Can Now Hibernate AWS EC2 Instance

          In 2018, Amazon Web services launched the Hibernation feature that allows you to pause your EC2 instances and resume to the saved state without any loss.

          In collaboration with AWS, Canonical, the parent company behind the Ubuntu Linux distro, announced the hibernation support for Ubuntu 16.04 LTS. However, Ubuntu 18.04 LTS already supports hibernation, a feature which was added last year.

        • Ubuntu 20.04 release date, new features, and more

          The next big thing for Ubuntu is the release of Ubuntu 20.04 LTS, codenamed “Focal Fossa.” The development of this release was officially kickstarted in October 2019. You can find our post here.

          For more details on the Ubuntu 20.04 code name “Focal Fossa” can be found here. It is the next long term support (LTS) version after Ubuntu 18.04 LTS, which was launched in 2018 and will get support up to 2023. Going by Canonical’s typical 6-month development cycle, Ubuntu 20.04 LTS is planned for release on April 23, 2020.

          For those new to LTS, these editions will receive OS updates and security fixes for the next five years after release to the public. Applying the same logic, for Ubuntu 20.04, you are assured of five years of support, which is up to 2025.

        • A new Ubuntu Linux LTS is now available

          There are two types of Ubuntu users — brave ones willing to use bleeding edge variants of the Linux-based operating system, and weak ones that stick with the Long Term Support versions. Of course I am just kidding; there is absolutely nothing wrong with using LTS variants of Ubuntu. In fact, it is actually quite wise — especially for business users — since it focuses on stability and compatibility. Even home users should probably stick with LTS, as long support can be preferable to having the new “shiny” version. Personally, I like to go with whatever is the newest — support length be damned — but I digress.

          Now, Canonical is releasing the newest version of its LTS Linux-based operating system — Ubuntu Linux 18.04.4. Yeah, it is just a point release, and not 20.04 LTS (which will arrive in April), but still, it would be a good idea to update your installation media. It isn’t just the normal version of Ubuntu being updated — which uses the GNOME desktop environment — but other flavors too. For instance, Kubuntu, Xubuntu, Ubuntu MATE, Lubuntu, and Ubuntu Budgie are all being bumped up to 18.04.4.

        • Ubuntu, Kubuntu, Xubuntu 18.04.4 LTS Now Available for Download

          Known as Bionic Beaver, Ubuntu 18.04.4 LTS comes alongside all the other flavors that are based on this system, including Kubuntu and Xubuntu (you can find the full list, along with links to their release notes, in the box after the jump).

          Just as expected, the new release comes with all the patches and security fixes included in the latest updates, and given it’s an LTS version, it’s specifically focused on stability and compatibility going forward.

        • Ubuntu 18.04.4 LTS Released with Linux Kernel 5.3, Download Now

          Ubuntu 18.04.4 LTS comes exactly six months after Ubuntu 18.04.3 LTS, adding up-to-date components, as well as all the latest security fixes for those who want to install a fresh copy of the Ubuntu 18.04 LTS “Bionic Beaver” operating system with more recent kernel and graphics stacks.

          What’s more important in the Ubuntu 18.04.4 LTS release is that it comes with fresh new kernel and graphics stacks for better hardware support, Linux kernel 5.3 and X.Org Server 1.20.5, from Ubuntu 19.10 “Eoan Ermine.” In comparison, Ubuntu 18.04.3 LTS shipped with Linux kernel 5.0 from the now deprecated Ubuntu 19.04 “Disco Dingo” release.

        • Lubuntu 18.04.4 Released!

          Thanks to all the hard work from our contributors, we are pleased to announce that Lubuntu 18.04.4 LTS has been released! Lubuntu is an official Ubuntu flavor which uses the Lightweight X11 Desktop Environment (LXDE). The project’s goal is to provide a lightweight yet functional Linux distribution based on a rock solid Ubuntu base. Lubuntu specifically targets older machines with lower resources, but also runs great on newer hardware. Along with a simple but usable graphical user interface, Lubuntu comes with a wide variety of applications chosen for their small footprint so you can browse, email, chat, play, and be productive.

        • Download Now: Ubuntu 18.04.4 LTS Released with Linux Kernel 5.3
        • Ubuntu 18.04.4 LTS Released With The Newest Hardware Enablement Stack
        • Ubuntu 18.04.4 LTS released

          The Ubuntu team is pleased to announce the release of Ubuntu 18.04.4 LTS
          (Long-Term Support) for its Desktop, Server, and Cloud products, as well
          as other flavours of Ubuntu with long-term support.

          Like previous LTS series, 18.04.4 includes hardware enablement stacks
          for use on newer hardware. This support is offered on all architectures
          and is installed by default when using one of the desktop images.

          Ubuntu Server defaults to installing the GA kernel; however you may
          select the HWE kernel from the installer bootloader.

          As usual, this point release includes many updates, and updated
          installation media has been provided so that fewer updates will need to
          be downloaded after installation. These include security updates and
          corrections for other high-impact bugs, with a focus on maintaining
          stability and compatibility with Ubuntu 18.04 LTS.

        • Ubuntu 18.04.4 LTS released Wednesday—here’s what’s new

          This Wednesday, the current Ubuntu LTS (Long Term Service) release—Bionic Beaver—launched its fourth maintenance update.

          Ubuntu is one of the most predictable operating system distributions in terms of its release cycle—a new version is launched in April and October of each year. Most of these are interim releases, supported for a single year from launch; but the April release of each even-numbered year is an LTS, supported for five years. LTS releases also get maintenance releases as necessary, typically about every three to six months during the support cycle of the LTS.

        • Stephen Michael Kellat: Making A Service Launch

          While I know the folks behind the Ubuntu Podcast are planning to return to air shortly I will instead be taking a different path. The current hotness appears to be launching your own newsletter such as this technology one. Since podcasting is not feasible at the moment the reformatting of content to a strictly textual form seem like the simplest way forward for now.

          I could operate an announce-only mailman list on a minimal Ubuntu 19.10 droplet on Digital Ocean. However, my current economic circumstances have instead pushed me over to trying to utilize tinyletter.com instead. To quote the 13th & 21st US Secretary of Defense, Donald Rumsfeld, in an apt manner: “As you know, you go to war with the army you have, not the army you might want or wish to have at a later time.”

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • Web Browsers

        • Can I install the Brave Browser on my Chromebook?

          If you’re using a Chromebook, chances are high that you’re perfectly comfortable using the Chrome browser as your default portal to the internet. However, as the Chrome OS ecosystem continues to expand, more and more users are moving to the platform and some of them may want other options. Because of the nature of Chrome OS, you’re out of luck if you want to install a secondary browser directly onto the main operating system. Thankfully, there are curious people out there that like to ask me questions that lead me to figure out new and inventive ways to do cool stuff on Chrome OS.

          [...]

          Built to block ads and trackers, Brave boasts that their browser can attain speeds twice that of Chrome. Where Brave differs from many other ad-blocking platforms is that it was designed to create an alternative traditional to advertising platforms by offering publishers and users a way to be part of a privacy-respecting revenue sharing program. When you browse the site of a verified Brave Publisher, they benefit by receiving BAT (Basic Attention Tokens). Users are also rewarded with BAT when they allow a limited number of ads to display on sites they browse. I’ll save you the long, drawn-out argument about the pros and cons of this type of advertising model. If you want to learn more about Brave and the Basic Attention Token at the foundation of its revenue, you can do so here.

        • Mozilla

          • Firefox 73 + Firefox 74 Beta Benchmarks On Ubuntu Linux

            Given this week’s release of Firefox 73 stable that also puts Firefox 74 into beta state, here are fresh Firefox browser benchmarks of Firefox 72/73/74 on Ubuntu Linux with and without WebRender as well as how it compares to the current state of Google Chrome.

            These benchmarks today are looking at the performance of Firefox 73 and looking ahead at how the performance is shaping up for Firefox 74 with the initial beta release. Secondary runs were also performed when force-enabling WebRender.

          • What watching “You” on Netflix taught us about privacy

            We’re not sure if we can consider “You” a guilty pleasure considering how many people have binged every episode (over 43 million), but it certainly ranks up there right next to ASMR videos. There’s something oddly compelling about listening to and watching someone like Joe Goldberg who is just a regular, well, Joe (or psychopath), uncover everything there is to know about his “love” obsession Guinevere Beck through a few simple online searches.

            In reality, the whole premise of the show kind dissolves with the most basic of digital privacy setting, which is why it feels good to know with a few simple tweaks, someone like Joe could never snoop in on our lives and thus makes the whole experience of watching “You” completely voyeuristic.

            Season one, episode one kicks off with Beck, a struggling poet living in Manhattan, wandering into a bookstore to find a Paula Fox book. Joe, the clerk, immediately sets his eyes on the ingenue and starts building a mental profile of her based on her body language and reading preferences.

            It’s not long after their first encounter when we happen upon our first privacy tip. After soliciting his help to find the book, she checks out at the register and hands him her credit card. He thinks it’s because she wants him to know her name, we think it’s because she’s a struggling poet and probably needs the cash she has in her wallet to be liquid in case of emergencies, but anyway.

          • Firefox 73 Released With Security Fixes, New DoH Provider, More

            Mozilla has released Firefox 73 today, February 11th, 2020, to the Stable desktop channel for Windows, macOS, and Linux with bug fixes, new features, and security fixes.

            Included with this release are new features such as a default zoom setting, high contrast theme improvements, and NextDNS as a new DoH provider.

            Windows, Mac, and Linux desktop users can upgrade to Firefox 73.0 by going to Options -> Help -> About Firefox and the browser will automatically check for the new update and install it when available.

          • things one hates about Windows 10 – Thunderbird as default mail program for firefox mail sharing links

            use GNU Linux on a daily basis on all machines. run windows virtualized for various tasks and as a gaming station.

            but also have to support clients using Win 10.

            So here is why one would NOT use it.

            What the Open Source community shall do better: listen to the users and create high quality well tested reliable secure robust fast sleak software that makes the everyday life better for millions and millions.

          • Karl Dubost: Week notes – 2020 w06 – worklog – Finishing anonymous reporting

            Cleaning up emails. And let’s restart coding for issue #3140 (PR #3167). Last week, I discussed with mike, if I should rebase the messy commits so we have a cleaner version. On one hand, the rebase would create a clean history with commits by specific sections, but the history of my commits also document the thought process. For now I think I will keep the “messy informative” commits.

          • The Talospace Project: Firefox 73 on POWER

            …seems to just work. New in this release is better dev tools and additional CSS features. This release includes the fix for certain extensions that regressed in Fx71, and so far seems to be working fine on this Talos II. The debug and optimized mozconfigs I’m using are, as before, unchanged from Firefox 67.

      • Productivity Software/LibreOffice/Calligra

      • FSF

        • FSFE

          • I Love Free Software – and you?

            While you are reading this, someone somewhere is improving the code of a Free Software you use for yourself. Free Software has long been part of the daily use of billion of users, still the people behind the respective projects often remain invisible. Together we want to change that. On 14 February is the “I love Free Software Day”, a day to show your love and celebrate your favourite Free Software and its contributors. Join us!

            Behind every Free Software project is a team of developers, translators, designers, and other contributors. These are the people who fix bugs, improve the look and feel, and provide security updates. They do a great service to our society by making the sources of their work available to everyone and granting us the four freedoms. Day by day, a lot of people bring in priceless contributions, many of which do it voluntarily in their spare time. But how often do we actually thank them for this?

            This is what the annual “I love Free Software” day is made for. On 14 February, Free Software users around the globe show their appreciation for a project of their choice. It’s easy to join in: just write a short message of thanks on the social network of your choice with the hashtag #ilovefs. Or write a short thank you email to a development team. The message does not have to be long – even a simple thank you is highly appreciated.

        • Licensing / Legal

          • What Every Open Source Software User Needs to Know About Open Source Licenses

            Not all free and open source (OS) software licenses have been created to achieve the same goals, and failure to understand the differences can have dire consequences. Some OS licenses are business-friendly in that they allow the code to be combined with downstream proprietary applications without imposing open source licensing requirements on those downstream applications. Others do not allow such combinations in any circumstances (at least if the developer wishes the products to remain proprietary), and some licenses fall somewhere in between these two extremes. Here is the minimum knowledge your company and development team should have regarding OS license types before incorporating OS code into software you develop.

      • Openness/Sharing/Collaboration

        • This Open-Source ‘Precious Plastic’ Project Is Changing What Waste Means And How Recycling Is Done

          People involved in more than 400 projects around the world are using a recycling system that they downloaded for free from the internet. It’s from an open-source project called Precious Plastic, based in the Netherlands. The basic idea: Plastic can be a resource if you have the tools to turn it into beautiful new things.

          “Plastic is a precious and valuable material. It’s just been kind of designed, used and marketed in the wrong way, in our view,” says Joseph Klatt, business guy with Precious Plastic.

          That’s Klatt’s official title: business guy. He’s based in the Netherlands, but is originally from Ohio.

      • Programming/Development

        • Manage complex Git workspaces with Great Teeming Workspaces

          Somewhat like Python venv, but for languages other than Python, GTWS handles workspaces for multiple versions of multiple projects. You can create, update, enter, and leave workspaces easily, and each project or version combination has (at most) one local origin that syncs to and from the upstream—all other workspaces update from the local origin.

        • Why developers like to code at night

          If you ask most developers when they prefer to work, many will say their most productive hours are at night. This may be especially true for open source contributors who are contributing to projects outside of their day job (though hopefully within healthy limits to avoid burnout).

          Some like to start in the evening and work till the early hours while others get up super early—say, 4 a.m.—to get most of the programming work done before the daily grind kicks in.

          This work habit may make many developers seem like oddballs and misfits. However, there are quite a few reasons why so many programmers prefer to work during the odd hours:

        • Introducing our new Lua cheat sheet

          Not only is Lua simple in design, but it’s also consistent in ways that many other languages are not. It has explicit scoping (so it’s not dependent on indentation), it interfaces with C through simple wrappers, and it can accept raw C data as a data type. Lua’s syntax is direct and predictable, so once you learn a few structures, the rest is largely intuitive.

          For example, the end keyword is used to close a clause, whether that clause is an if statement, a for or while loop, or a function. The table construct is the sole data-structuring mechanism in Lua, and it can be used to represent ordinary arrays, lists, symbol tables, sets, records, graphs, or trees, and it can even mimic object-oriented classes. Broad statements about Lua are plentiful, and they usually apply equally across the language. There aren’t exceptions to the syntax: once you learn something, you can use that principle no matter what you’re writing in Lua.

          Lua is simple enough to fit on one side of a single-page cheat sheet, but we created a two-page cheat sheet for notes about syntax, data structures, important variables, and a few tricks and tips. Whether you’re new to Lua or you’ve been using it for years, download our Lua cheat sheet and keep it handy. It’ll make Lua (or at least writing it) even faster.

        • Excellent Free Tutorials to Learn Ada

          Ada is a structured, statically typed, imperative, wide-spectrum, multi-paradigm, object-oriented high-level, ALGOL-like programming language, extended from Pascal and other languages. The language was developed in the late 1970s and early 1980s. Ada is named after Augusta Ada Byron (often now known as Ada Lovelace), daughter of the poet Lord Byron.

          Ada has built-in language support for explicit concurrency, offering tasks, synchronous message passing, protected objects, and non-determinism. Ada incorporates the benefits of object-oriented languages without incurring the pervasive overheads.

          Other notable features of Ada include: strong typing, inherent reliability, modularity mechanisms (packages), run-time checking, parallel processing, exception handling, the ability to provide abstraction through the package and private type, and generics.

          Ada is particularly strong in areas such as real-time applications, low-level hardware access, and safety-critical software, as it has specialized design features, and high reliability. Most errors are detected at compile time and of those remaining many are detected by runtime constraints. While Ada was originally targeted at embedded and real time systems, the Ada 95 revision added support for object-oriented (including dynamic dispatch), numerical, financial, and systems programming. With its readability, scalability, and being designed for development of very large software systems, Ada is a good choice for open source development.

          Here’s our recommended tutorials to learn Ada. If you’re looking for free Ada programming books, check here.

        • digest 0.6.24: Some more refinements

          Another new version of digest arrived on CRAN (and also on Debian) earlier today.

          digest creates hash digests of arbitrary R objects (using the md5, sha-1, sha-256, sha-512, crc32, xxhash32, xxhash64, murmur32, and spookyhash algorithms) permitting easy comparison of R language objects. It is a fairly widely-used package (currently listed at 889k monthly downloads with 255 direct reverse dependencies and 7340 indirect reverse dependencies) as many tasks may involve caching of objects for which it provides convenient general-purpose hash key generation.

          This release comes a few month after the previous release. It contains a few contributed fixes, some of which prepare for R 4.0.0 in its current development. This includes a testing change to the matrix/array class, and corrects the registration for the PMurHash routine as pointed out by Tomas Kalibera and Kurt Hornik (who also kindly reminded me to finally upload this as I had made the fix already in December). Moreover, Will Landau sped up one operation affecting his popular drake pipeline toolkit. Lastly, Thierry Onkelinx corrected one more aspect related to sha1.

        • Do you CI?

          Continuous integration is often confused with build tooling & automation. CI is not something you have, it’s something you do.

          Continuous integration is about continually integrating. Regularly (several times a day) integrating your changes (in small & safe chunks) with the changes being made by everyone else working on the same system.

          Teams often think they are doing continuous integration, but are using feature branches that live for hours or even days to weeks.

          Code branches that live for much more than an hour are an indication you’re not continually integrating. You’re using branches to maintain some degree of isolation from the work done by the rest of the team.

        • Using Zuul CI with Pagure.io

          I attended Devconf.cz again this year – I’ll try and post a full blog post on that soon. One of the most interesting talks, though, was CI/CD for Fedora packaging with Zuul, where Fabien Boucher and Matthieu Huin introduced the work they’ve done to integrate a specific Zuul instance (part of the Software Factory effort) with the Pagure instance Fedora uses for packages and also with Pagure.io, the general-purpose Pagure instance that many Fedora groups use to host projects, including us in QA.

          They’ve done a lot of work to make it as simple as possible to hook up a project in either Pagure instance to run CI via Zuul, and it looked pretty cool, so I thought I’d try it on one of our projects and see how it compares to other options, like the Jenkins-based Pagure CI.

        • Working on these skills can get you high paying jobs
        • ML, data analytics most sought after skills for 2020: Study
        • Tech skills will dominate in 2020
        • Perl / Raku

          • Declarative Systems Take Center Stage

            Declarative systems and languages are different from what we typically think of as computer code. Most computer languages are imperative, not declarative. In imperative systems, code defines a series of steps to be taken which the system then executes. This is the classic programming language paradigm.

            For example, a declarative system may be told to create a virtual machine by declaring the existence of the VM as the expected state of the system.

        • Python

          • The NSA Has a Beginner Python Course

            The National Security Agency (NSA) recently released a free Python programming course for beginners after a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request according to ZDNet. There is almost 400 pages of material that has been uploaded to Digital Oceans Spaces by Chris Swenson, the software developer who made the original request.

            You can access the course PDF directly here. Interestingly, the document mentions a couple of No Starch Press’s most popular books, such as “Automate the Boring Stuff with Python” and “Python Crash Course”.

            The document is a bit dry, but it is interesting to see how the United States government is teaching Python.

          • The Pythonic Fast Lane, Digest of a 30 Min Mentoring Session

            The other day I had an awesome mentoring session with a beginner Pythonista, amazing what 30 min of screen sharing can do. Read on to learn more …

          • K-Nearest Neighbors explained

            Here on Codementor I usually see lots of students and developers trying to get into Machine Learning confused with complicated topics they are facing at the very beginning of their journey. I want to make a deep yet understandable introduction to the algorithm which is so simple and elegant that you would like it. If you are a Machine Learning engineer but have a limited understanding of this one, it could be also useful to read it.

            I was working as a software developer for years and everyone around me was talking about this brand new data science and machine learning thing (I understood that there is nothing new on this planet later), so I’ve decided to take masters studies in the University to get known to it.

          • Generating API documentation for both external and internal users

            A recurring need in larger integration projects is generation of API documentation for users belonging to different, yet related, target groups. Read on to learn how to generate Zato-based API specifications for more than one group from a single source of information.

            A typical scenario is granting access to the same APIs to external and internal users – what they have in common is that all of them may want to access the same APIs yet not all of them should have access to documentation on the same level of details.

            For instance – external developers should only know what a given endpoint is for and how to use it but internal ones may also be given information about its inner workings, the kind of details that external users should never learn about.

          • How to Plot a Histogram with Pandas in 3 Simple Steps

            The post How to Plot a Histogram with Pandas in 3 Simple Steps appeared first on Erik Marsja.

            In this post, we are going to learn how to plot histograms with Pandas in Python. Specifically, we are going to learn 3 simple steps to make a histogram with Pandas. Now, plotting a histogram is a good way to explore the distribution of our data.

          • Python Community Interview With Brett Slatkin

            Today I’m speaking to Brett Slatkin, a principal software engineer at Google and the author of the Python programming book Effective Python. Join us as we discuss Brett’s experience working with Python at Google, refactoring, and the challenges he faced when writing the second edition of his book. Without any further ado, let’s get into it!

          • World’s average country population and inspection paradox

            Have you ever thought how much is the world’s average country population? And what does it say about the country you are living in or for the quality of life of the average person? All these questions are related to what we call the “Inspection Paradox” which we are going to illustrate here using Python.

            First of all we need to find some data. For that purpose we could use wikipedia. We are going to do everything without even opening a web browser! There is a nice Python library we could use to access and parse data from Wikipedia. In order to install it we need to simply run.

          • Is Switching From Python to Java is a Good Idea?

            The idea of having Python as a first programming language has a rational background. First of all, the syntax of Python is short and clear and the underlying model of objects and variables working is perfectly consistent. That means you can write “real” and pretty powerful applications without great effort. So there is nothing strange that many schools teach students programming using Python.

            However, knowing two languages is always better than one. If you are thinking of learning a second language after Python, Java could be a really nice choice. In this article, we are going to discuss switching from Python to Java in the case of a beginner software developer.

          • Tensorflow basics

            Machine learning might be frightening for beginners.

            So let’s learn something extremely simple so you could feel the ground.

        • Rust

        • Java

          • 7 Best Programming Languages for Mobile Apps Development | HokuApps

            Java is probably one of the most popular programming languages out there for mobile app development and is used by a number of mobile app development services. Android OS, which is a widely used operating system, is written in Java; and so, if an app developer is well-versed with Java, then they’ll be able to create all kinds of Android apps.

            Besides Android apps, developers familiar with Java can develop games, embedded space, websites, server apps, and more. Moreover, Java can either be run in a browser window or in a virtual machine that does not require a browser. This is why it’s an extremely flexible programming language in terms of reusing code.

  • Leftovers

    • Microsoft will no longer force Bing by default for Office 365 ProPlus customers

      Microsoft will no longer forcibly make Bing the default search engine in Chrome for Office 365 ProPlus customers. A techcommunity post from Microsoft announced the change. Microsoft states that people will have the choice to opt-in to have the Microsoft Search in Bing browser extension installed.

      Microsoft was going to install the Microsoft Search Bing extension onto any system with Office 365 ProPlus that didn’t already have Bing set as the default search engine. This would have effectively forced Bing onto Office 365 ProPlus customers. The move set off waves of backlash around the web, which caused Microsoft to change its plans.

    • Science

    • Health/Nutrition

      • ‘Mass Murder’: New Report Says Air Pollution From Fossil Fuel Combustion Causing 4.5 Million Deaths Each Year

        “Moving our energy generation sector from fossil fuels to renewables is an essential step towards preventing catastrophic climate change and protecting our health.”

      • Health Care for People…or for Corporate Profits?

        Unable to win public support on their own merit, the corporatists and their hired political hacks are going all out to continue their profit gouging and keep control of America’s dysfunctional system.

      • Fall in New Cases Raises Hope in Virus Outbreak in China

        The number of new cases of the coronavirus in China dropped for a second straight day, health officials said Wednesday in a possible glimmer of hope amid the outbreak that has infected over 45,000 people worldwide and killed more than 1,100.

      • Trump-Linked Anti-Abortion “Pregnancy Centers” Endanger Pregnant People

        A global network of ‘crisis pregnancy centres,’ backed by US anti-abortion groups linked to the Trump White House, has been condemned by lawmakers, doctors and rights advocates for targeting vulnerable women with “disinformation, emotional manipulation and outright deceit.”

      • The coronavirus is the first true social-media “infodemic”

        On January 19—a week before the Lunar New Year—Tommy Tang left Shenzhen with his girlfriend to visit her family in Wuhan for the holiday. They had heard of the novel coronavirus (now officially known as COVID-19), but as far as they knew, it was localized to a small area. The local government had assured people that it would only affect those who visited a specific food market and contracted it directly from wild animals.

      • Just as Trump Slashes Global Health Funds, Experts Warn Coronavirus Could Infect 60% of World Population

        “The goal is to stay at least a couple of steps ahead of the epidemic curve.”

      • ‘Outrageous and Un-American,’ Sanders Says of City in Kansas Jailing People for Unpaid Medical Debt

        The 2020 Democratic presidential candidate denounced the fact that people in the U.S. “are being thrown in jail for being unable to pay their medical bills.”

      • WordCamp Asia Cancelled Due to COVID-19

        I’ve arrived at the difficult decision to cancel the inaugural WordCamp Asia event, which was planned to take place in Bangkok on February 21st. The excitement and anticipation around this event have been huge, but there are too many unknowns around the health issues unfolding right now in the region to explicitly encourage a large public gathering bringing together over 1,300 people from around the world.

        We’re going to explore if speakers — including myself — can do our sessions with the same content and at the same time that was originally planned, just online instead of in-person so we can achieve our goal of bringing the pan-Asian community closer together without putting anyone’s health at additional risk.

      • Coronavirus leads to cancellation of massive MWC mobile trade show in Barcelona

        The coronavirus has taken down one of tech’s biggest trade shows.

        MWC (formerly Mobile World Congress) in Barcelona, the largest mobile trade event in the world, was canceled by its organizers Wednesday.

        “With due regard to the safe and healthy environment in Barcelona and the host country today, the GSMA has canceled MWC Barcelona 2020 because the global concern regarding the coronavirus outbreak, travel concern and other circumstances make it impossible for the GSMA to hold the event,” wrote GSMA CEO John Hoffman in a statement emailed to USA TODAY.

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Forging SWIFT MT Payment Messages for fun and pr… research!

        TLDR: With a bit of research and support we were able to demonstrate a proof of concept for introducing a fraudulent payment message to move £0.5M from one account to another, by manually forging a raw SWIFT MT103 message, and leveraging specific system trust relationships to do the hard work for us!

      • SymTCP – a new tool for circumventing deep packet inspections

        In a paper (PDF) entitled ‘SymTCP: Eluding Stateful Deep Packet Inspection with Automated Discrepancy Discovery’, academics from the University of California’s Department of Computer Science and Engineering demonstrate how to bypass DPI mechanisms, regardless of their application.

        According to the team, DPI systems often use simplified machine states of network stacks that are not exact implementation copies of end hosts. Discrepancies can then be exploited through packet fragmentation or manipulation.

        SymTCP first runs ‘symbolic execution’ on a server’s TCP implementation, and the resulting scan collects execution paths labeled as either ‘accept’ or ‘drop’ for packet inspection.

        The DPI system is then checked with generated packet sequences to ascertain which, if any, are processed in the same way by the DPI and the server.

        If discrepancies in handling are detected, the open source tool is able to create packets that can reach core elements in the code responsible for accepting or dropping requests, thereby potentially avoiding DPI middlebox checks.

      • Proprietary

        • Vivaldi 2.11 Released with Improved Pop-out Video Player, Other Tweaks

          A new version of the Vivaldi web browser is now available for download with an improved pop-out video player.

          Vivaldi 2.11 is the first major desktop update of the settings-packed web browser to be released this year and, accordingly, is carrying plenty of improvements in this build.

          Among them, a refined Pop-out video mode. Vivaldi’s implementation of this feature, which is known as picture-in-picture mode in other browsers, benefits from better discoverability.

        • Emotet can spread to poorly secured Wi-Fi networks and computers on them

          After the malware infects a computer that has Wi-Fi capability, it uses the wlanAPI interface to discover any Wi-Fi networks in the area: a neighbor’s Wi-Fi network, a free Wi-Fi network at a café, or a Wi-Fi network of a nearby business.

        • Emotet can now hack Wi-Fi networks

          This new strain utilizes wlanAPI.dll calls to discover wireless networks around a computer that is already infected with Emotet. By using the compromised machine’s Wi-Fi connection, the malware tries to brute-force its way in to other password protected networks nearby.

          After the compromised device has been successfully connected to another wireless network, the Emotet Trojan begins looking for other Windows devices with non-hidden shares. The malware then scans for all accounts on these devices and once again brute-forces the password for the Administrator account and all other users on the system.

        • “What is the Root User?” Joshua Schulte Set Up the Shared “root” Password He’ll Use in his Defense

          In a full day of testimony yesterday, one of Joshua Schulte’s former colleagues, testifying under the name Jeremy Weber (which may be a pseudonym of a pseudonym under the protective order imposed for the trial) introduced a ton of detail about how the engineering group he and Schulte worked in was set up bureaucratically, how the servers were set up, and how relations between Schulte and the rest of the group started to go south in the months and weeks leading up to the date when, the government alleges, he stole CIA’s [cracking] tools. He also described how devastating the leak was for the CIA.

          In that testimony, the government began to lay out their theory of the case: When Schulte lost SysAdmin access to the servers hosting the malware they were working on — and the same day the unit announced they’d soon be moving the last server to which Schulte had administrator privileges under the official SysAdmin group — Schulte went back to the back-up file of the server from the day the fight started blowing up, March 3, 2016, and made a copy of it.

          But the government also started previewing what will likely be Schulte’s defense: that some of these servers were available via a shared root password accessible to anyone in their group.

        • State officials press Congress for more resources to fight cyberattacks [iophk: Windows TCO]

          Tuesday’s hearing follows months of escalating attacks against government entities across the nation, with most involving ransomware, which attackers use to lock down a system and demand payment to give the user access again.

        • Pseudo-Open Source

          • Openwashing

            • Facebook Releases Open-Source Library For 3D Deep Learning: PyTorch3D

              In a significant boost to 3D deep learning research, Facebook AI has released PyTorch3D, a highly modular and optimised library with unique capabilities to make 3D deep learning easier with PyTorch.

              PyTorch3d provides efficient, reusable components for 3D Computer Vision research with PyTorch.

          • Privatisation/Privateering

            • Trump administration wants private sector to do more to counter foreign intelligence efforts

              The Trump administration’s counterintelligence strategy, released Monday, aims for stronger collaboration between the intelligence community and the private sector on detecting and stopping foreign intelligence threats to U.S. entities.

              The plan, which President Donald Trump approved in early January, emphasizes a longstanding government argument that the private sector must do more to prevent foreign espionage. As state-sponsored hackers target more U.S. companies, corporate America should prioritize preparations to stifle similar attacks in the future, the director of the National Counterintelligence and Security Center, Bill Evanina, told reporters at a briefing Monday.

            • Linux Foundation

              • Cloud Foundry Foundation Turns 5

                The Cloud Foundry Foundation, home to open source projects helping build the future of cloud applications, is celebrating its 5th anniversary.

                Officially launched in January 2015 with more than 40 members as an independent not-for-profit Linux Foundation Collaborative Project, the Foundation projects include Cloud Foundry Application Runtime, Cloud Foundry Container Runtime, BOSH, Open Service Broker API, Eirini, Project Quarks, Abacus, CF-Local, CredHub, ServiceFabrik, Stratos, and more.

                The Cloud Foundry project comprises of Cloud Foundry Elastic Runtime (now Cloud Foundry Application Runtime) and BOSH.

        • Security

          • Security updates for Wednesday

            Security updates have been issued by CentOS (spice-gtk), Debian (libemail-address-list-perl), openSUSE (chromium, libqt5-qtbase, nginx, systemd, and wicked), Oracle (spice-gtk), Slackware (firefox and thunderbird), and Ubuntu (libexif and Yubico PIV Tool).

          • Mitigations are attack surface, too

            This blog post discusses a bug leading to memory corruption in Samsung’s Android kernel (specifically the kernel of the Galaxy A50, A505FN – I haven’t looked at Samsung’s kernels for other devices). I will describe the bug and how I wrote a (very unreliable) exploit for it. I will also describe how a second vulnerability, which had long been fixed in the upstream kernel, the upstream stable releases, and the Android common kernel, but not in Samsung’s kernel, aided in its exploitation.

            If you want to look at the corresponding source code yourself, you can download Samsung’s kernel sources for the A505FN from here. The versions seem to be sorted such that the newer ones are at the top of the list; A505FNXXS3ASK9 is the newest one at the time of writing, corresponding to the November 2019 security patch level.

          • What to know about open source security

            Many companies have a preference towards open source technology, so what should be kept in mind in regards to ensuring its security?

          • Enhancements to our DNS Resolver

            Today, we have taken some important changes on our DNS Resolver into production. Having released support for DNS-over-TLS in 2018, we have now added TCP Fast Open and TLSv1.3.

            Lightning Wire Labs is managing a DNS Resolver to provide an alternative to the large corporation who are trying to get the global DNS system under their control and use it for marketing purposes.

            To not fall behind the technical development, we have now enabled some new features on our resolver to make it ready for the new DNS changes that are going to land with IPFire 2.25 – Core Update 141 very soon.

          • Microsoft Patch Tuesday, February 2020 Edition

            A dozen of the vulnerabilities Microsoft patched today are rated “critical,” meaning malware or miscreants could exploit them remotely to gain complete control over an affected system with little to no help from the user.

            Last month, Microsoft released an advisory warning that attackers were exploiting a previously unknown flaw in IE. That vulnerability, assigned as CVE-2020-0674, has been patched with this month’s release. It could be used to install malware just by getting a user to browse to a malicious or hacked Web site.

            Microsoft once again fixed a critical flaw in the way Windows handles shortcut (.lnk) files (CVE-2020-0729) that affects Windows 8 and 10 systems, as well as Windows Server 2008-2012. Allan Liska, intelligence analyst at Recorded Future, says Microsoft considers exploitation of the vulnerability unlikely, but that a similar vulnerability discovered last year, CVE-2019-1280, was being actively exploited by the Astaroth trojan as recently as September.

          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • Wacom drawing tablets track the name and time everytime you open an app

              Wacom drawing tablets have a dirty little secret – they are likely tracking the name and time of every app you’re opening – and sending that information to Google. The discovery and damning of Wacom’s anti-privacy actions are thanks to one observant Wacom drawing tablet user: Robert Heaton. Heaton used to use a Wacom drawing tablet to illustrate images for his blog, but was curious why the tablet – a glorified mouse pad – came with a privacy policy upon set up. He dug into the privacy policy (full text of Wacom privacy policy available here) and found that section 3.1 included permission for Wacom to send information from the user’s device to Google Analytics. What data you might ask?

            • Can the Government Buy Its Way Around the Fourth Amendment?

              The bigger twist here is that, unlike in Carpenter, DHS isn’t subpoenaing location records; it’s buying them from Venntel, a data broker that according to the Journal has ties to Gravy Analytics, a major adtech company. Does the Fourth Amendment, or any other legal protection, even apply to this type of transaction?

              Nathan Freed Wessler, the ACLU lawyer who successfully argued Carpenter’s case at the Supreme Court, said there are at least two ways in which this arrangement could violate the law. The first concerns the companies originally gathering location data, rather than the government. Under the Stored Communications Act of 1986, companies that store and transmit user data are generally prohibited from “knowingly” sharing those records with the government. That, Wessler said, probably doesn’t apply to a broker like Venntel that doesn’t deal with consumers directly. But it could apply to the app makers who are passing data along to companies like Venntel, if they know it will eventually end up in the government’s hands.

            • Swiss machines ‘used to spy on governments for decades’

              Swiss firm Crypto AG supplied encoding devices to more than 120 governments from the Cold War era up to the 2000s.

              But the spies reportedly rigged the devices so they could crack the codes and read the messages.

              They harvested secrets from countries including Iran, India and Pakistan.

              The highly-classified programme between the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and Germany’s BND Federal Intelligence Service has been detailed in reports by US newspaper the Washington Post, German broadcaster ZDF and Swiss channel SRF.

            • More On The Ad Bubble

              Another way of looking at the erosion of Google’s CPC illustrates the “advertising is a bubble” theme. Since ads are sold via an auction mechanism, advertisers are gradually figuring out that the value of an ad is less than they thought it was, so what they’re willing to bid for it is less. They are still wildly optimistic about the value, as I discussed in Advertising Is A Bubble, but the trend is there.

            • Dangerous Domain Corp.com Goes Up for Sale

              As an early domain name investor, Mike O’Connor had by 1994 snatched up several choice online destinations, including bar.com, cafes.com, grill.com, place.com, pub.com and television.com. Some he sold over the years, but for the past 26 years O’Connor refused to auction perhaps the most sensitive domain in his stable — corp.com. It is sensitive because years of testing shows whoever wields it would have access to an unending stream of passwords, email and other proprietary data belonging to hundreds of thousands of systems at major companies around the globe.

            • U.S. Officials Say Huawei Can Covertly Access Telecom Networks

              Huawei can covertly access mobile networks through back doors meant for law enforcement, the U.S. has told allies in a bid to show that the firm poses a security threat.

              U.S. officials say Huawei Technologies Co. can covertly access mobile-phone networks around the world through “back doors” designed for use by law enforcement, as Washington tries to persuade allies to exclude the Chinese company from their networks.

            • Security Still the Top Concern as Privacy Regs Loom

              Enforcement of CCPA doesn’t begin until July, which gives some time for American companies who do business with Californians to come into compliance. But other states are expected to follow in California’s footsteps and craft data privacy regulations that are similar to CCPA (which itself is similar to GDPR).

              HelpSystems is also tracking how those new data privacy requirements translate into new requirements for IBM i tools and technology. “We’ve also seen a lot of request for data encryption at rest, and data encryption for data that’s in flight,” Huntington says.

              Ian Jarman, the former IBM i product offering manager who now heads up IBM Lab Services, is keeping an eye on the evolving compliance landscape, in particular the “dramatic rise” in the number of the regulations.

              “The thing that is beginning to change is consumer privacy,” Jarman says. “The GPDR, the [data protection] regulations in Europe, these are being replicated, or similar types of regulations are coming in Latin America, in California, and I think you will continue to see that rise.”

            • OpenVPN vs WireGuard: The Best VPN Protocol

              Before I begin, I want to give a brief overview of the development history and business model of both the VPN protocols. As most of us know, OpenVPN is among the oldest VPN protocols which was first released in 2001. It’s an open-source VPN protocol and run by the OpenVPN project. Having said that, OpenVPN is not free to use either for personal or commercial users so keep that in mind. Nevertheless, you can use the OpenVPN Community Edition for free, but with very limited features.

            • Confidentiality

              • Appeals Court Rules That People Can’t Be Locked Up Indefinitely For Refusing To Decrypt Devices

                The Third Circuit Court of Appeals has finally decided — after more than four years — that the government can’t keep someone locked up indefinitely for contempt of court charges.

              • EFF Fights to Protect Anonymity of Glassdoor Commenter

                San Francisco – The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) is asking a state court to protect the identity of an anonymous Glassdoor commenter who is being targeted by their former employer. EFF filed a motion to quash a subpoena for identifying information of its client after the cryptocurrency exchange company known as Kraken filed suit against several anonymous reviewers seeking to identify them based upon a claim that they breached their severance agreements.

                Glassdoor is a popular website where people share opinions of their current and former workplaces. After Kraken laid off several employees, people left anonymous reviews about the company on Glassdoor. EFF’s client, J. Doe, shared their views on working for Kraken, which ranged from praising the “skilled, knowledgeable, and nice colleagues” to a personal reflection that “I personally had a deep sense of trepidation much of the time.” Doe took care writing the review, as Doe had signed a severance agreement promising not to disclose confidential information or disparage or defame the company. Kraken publicly responded to Doe’s review of the company on the Glassdoor site, thanking Doe for the feedback and wishing Doe the best.

    • Defence/Aggression

      • Ilhan Omar Unveils Bold Proposal for US Foreign Policy ‘Deeply Rooted in Justice’

        “I believe that when the United States says it champions human rights, democracy, and peace, we should mean it!”

      • Trump Demands Senate Reject Iran War Powers Resolution as Lawmakers Debate Measure to Assert Constitutional Power

        “If the Senate passes Sen. Tim Kaine’s War Powers Resolution, both chambers will have taken a stand for peace and for their constitutional authority.”

      • Sudan Opens Door for ICC Prosecutions
      • Warship Accidents Left Sailors Traumatized. The Navy Struggled to Treat Them.

        Two and half years after a massive oil tanker cleaved the side of the USS John S. McCain, leaving a gaping hole and killing 10 sailors, hospital corpsman Mike Collins is still haunted by the aftermath.

        That morning in August 2017, awoken by the thunderous shaking, the 23-year-old was thrust into round-the-clock motion: Tending to the chemical burns of the sailors whose sleeping area flooded, their flesh raw from the fuel that spilled in with the seawater. Collecting the heavy stack of the dead’s medical records. Staying up late trying to purge the stink of diesel that clung to their uniforms, so the clothes could be returned to grieving families.

      • Trump Intends to Ride Pentagon Spending to Reelection in 2020

        Donald Trump likes to posture as a tough guy and part of that tough-guy persona involves bragging about how much he’s spent on the U.S. military. This tendency was on full display in a tweet he posted three days after an American drone killed Iranian Major General Qassem Suleimani in Baghdad….

      • The Doomsday Clock Is the Call to Action We Need Right Now

        Nuclear weapons make us less, not more, safe, and it’s time to stop playing a no-win game of chicken and enact common-sense nuclear policies before time runs out.

      • Trump’s First Offer was a Better Deal for Palestine…and Israel

        In early 2016, then-candidate Donald Trump pronounced himself “neutral” in the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians. He also expressed pessimism that a deal between the two sides was even possible: “I have friends of mine that are tremendous businesspeople, that are really great negotiators, [and] they say it’s not doable.”

      • From ‘Swiss Cheese’ to ‘Frankenstein’s Monster,’ Arab Leaders Have Many Names for Kushner-Trump Apartheid Plan

        A contest among Arab leaders to find the most colorful way of expressing how truly catastrophic the Kushner Apartheid is for the Palestinians and the Arab world.

      • Trump “Peace Plan” Too Extreme Even for Former Right-Wing Israeli Prime Minister

        In an extraordinary joint press conference at the United Nations on Tuesday, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert outlined their objections to Donald Trump’s so-called “peace plan” between Israel and Palestine. The plan would allow Israel to annex large swathes of territory conquered in the 1967 war that it has since illegally colonized with Israeli settlers. Trump’s proposal, made without Palestinian participation and unilaterally announced last month, would leave small noncontiguous enclaves of remaining Palestinian territory surrounded by a greatly expanded Israel and allowed only limited autonomy.

      • U.N. List Targets Firms Linked to Israeli Settlements

        The U.N. human rights office on Wednesday released a list of more than 100 companies it said are complicit in violating Palestinian human rights by operating in Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank — a first-ever international attempt to name and shame businesses that has drawn fierce Israeli condemnation.

      • America and Israel Against the World

        My Spotify workout playlist is a time warp. Growing up in a blue-collar neighborhood of New York City in the 1990s and early 2000s, listening to popular East Coast hip-hop was practically required. So on a recent morning in which I had planned to write a column about Israel/Palestine, I jammed out to the Jay-Z & Beyonce’s famous original power-couple-jam, “’03 Bonnie and Clyde.” The song revolves around a former street dude and his loyal girlfriend, ready to face off against the world like the title’s outlaw couple.

        [...]

        Prime Minister Netanyahu has recently, and probably accurately from his perspective, called Donald Trump “the best friend that Israel has ever had in the White House.” Netanyahu has proven himself all too willing to exchange political loyalty for gifts, and perhaps no one has offered him more than the 45th president of the United States. These include, but are not limited to:

        moving the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem, recognizing Israel’s sovereignty over the contested Golan Heights region (after which Bibi cutely named a Golan ghost town settlement for The Donald), and reversing 50-plus years of U.S. policy by declaring that Israeli settlements in the West Bank are not in violation of international law. In light of these giveaways, the terms of the administration’s newest “peace” deal for the Holy Land should come as no surprise.

        [...]

        The most disturbing evidence that Trump and Netanyahu — and by extension the U.S. and Israeli governments — stand proudly against the world is this: The only other nations supporting this plan are dictatorial and/or monarchical Arab client states like Saudi Arabia, Egypt and the United Arab Emirates. These regimes, some of which have gunned down peaceful protesters by the droves and still behead women for “sorcery,” also just happen to be huge recipients of U.S. military aid, arms sales, training, and “protection” from Iran. Pretty nice company to keep for a republic that bills itself as the world’s “beacon of democracy,” huh?

    • Environment

      • Trump’s 2021 Budget Proposal Slashes Over One-Quarter of the EPA’s Budget

        President Donald Trump has unveiled his budget proposal for the next federal fiscal year, and it’s predictably harsh for wildlife and the environment — but great for oil, gas and coal.

      • The Earth is Dying, But Not Fast Enough

        We hear all the time that we are at the tipping point of a long history of increasing energy consumption. Unfettered energy use is eating up finite fuels, increasing planetary temperatures, releasing stored methane and other emissions into the atmosphere, and raising ocean temperatures to levels that threaten the world’s fisheries. Carbon emissions are now heating up the planet at a rate equivalent to the detonation of six atomic bombs per second.[1] At this rate, we are told, the Earth may become uninhabitable for humans by the end of the century.

      • ‘The Saddest Thing Is That This Won’t Be Breaking News’: Concentration of CO2 Hits Record High of 416 ppm

        “Emissions from fossil fuels and deforestation need to be reduced to ZERO to stop this trend!”

      • Cities turn to freewheeling public transport

        Cities worldwide are making their public transport free to use. As passenger numbers rise, car use falls. What’s not to like?

      • Senate Democrats’ Plan for Net Zero Carbon Emissions by 2050 Is ‘Wishful Thinking’ on Solving Crisis, Climate Action Groups Say

        “We need binding emission reduction targets, in line with what climate justice and historical responsibility demand, far sooner than 2050.”

      • Concentration of Carbon Dioxide in the Atmosphere Hits Record High

        The concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere hit a record high Monday, according to a reading from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration that elicited fresh calls from climate activists and scientists for the international community to end planet-heating emissions from fossil fuels and deforestation.

      • How to Support Your Children in Turning Climate Angst Into Climate Action

        We must tell the truth and show through our actions that we stand with young people in their efforts.

      • Iowa and New Hampshire Voters Show Medicare for All and Climate Crisis Top Issues for Democrats in 2020

        “Bernie’s victory in New Hampshire shows just how ready we are as a country to elect Green New Deal leaders at all levels of office,” declared an organizer with the youth-led Sunrise Movement.

      • Energy

        • Irrational Exuberance

          In 1982 William R. Catton published OVERSHOOT The Ecological Basis of Revolutionary Change. In it Catton illustrates the trap we humans have set for ourselves. Fossil fuels have allowed humans to live from what Catton calls “ghost acres,” the land or ocean that would be necessary to produce the various goods we make or grow using fossil fuels. We are spending the capital of what from this perspective is nature’s bank account. This has allowed the population and the way of life for many to greatly exceed the carrying capacity of the planet. In so doing we have lost the ability to live within our means. We have overshot that ability by a wide margin.

        • ‘Surprised, No. Disgusted, Yes’: Study Shows Deepwater Horizon Oil Spread Much Further Than Previously Known

          “Time to get off fossil fuel and on to renewables.”

        • BP has announced a “net zero” emissions plan

          A growing number of oil and gas companies are trumpeting plans to cut their greenhouse-gas emissions amid mounting pressure from investors, policymakers, and a public concerned about climate change—or the financial risks it poses to the sector.

        • EU Plans to Measure True Climate Impacts of LNG Imports From US Fracked Gas

          “Work has started on the methane emissions linked to the energy sector, including oil and gas production and transport, but also coal mines and we are planning on presenting the strategic plan still this year,” said an unnamed official working with European Union (EU) energy commissioner Kadri Simson, as reported by Euractiv.

      • Wildlife/Nature

        • Extinction Foretold, Extinction Ignored

          American evolutionary biologist George C. Williams died in September 2010 at the age of 83 years. I doubt he knew we were facing our own imminent extinction.

        • The Battle for Los Cedros

          The last leg of the bus ride from Terminal La Ofelia, in the north of Quito, to the village of Chontal, located in Ecuador’s northern highlands in the Intag Valley, is winding dirt road that takes you through small, cloud forest villages, sometimes overlooking precipitous drops to little silver ribbons of river far below. In spite of the many bus trips I’ve taken in Ecuador, I’ve never gotten used to this dizzying view. My version of the law of diminishing returns always gnaws at me: the additional factor of production (more bus rides on winding mountain roads) may well result in smaller increases in output (additional years lived). It is better to look away and not dwell on such things.

    • Finance

      • The Survival of the ILWU at Stake!

        Coastwide Port Action Can Stop Union Busting! Labor Solidarity Must Prevail

      • A Culture of Cheating

        Cheating, and the lying that always accompanies it, is probably as old as the human species. At the same time, that is probably how long we have known that they are harmful traits. The Eighth Commandment (out of the famous ten) tells us not to bear false witness, which means, don’t lie. Most older societies had someone assigned to monitor the marketplace for reliable weights and measures—because left to themselves, most capitalists, of all times and places, cheat. This reality was and still is confirmed by the Roman warning “caveat emptor,” let the buyer beware.

      • Wall Street Invading Wet’suwet’en Territory

        The uprising across Canada in support of Wet’suwet’en First Nation land defenders shows no sign of stopping. As of February 11, ports, bridges, rail lines, highways and roads have been blockaded across much of the country by solidarity protesters, who have also occupied the offices of politicians and at least one bank.

      • Trump’s Paid Leave Proposal Could Be Inaccessible to Low-Income Workers

        While President Trump claims that paid family leave is a “priority,” the paid leave proposal in his 2021 budget would likely prevent many workers — particularly low-income workers — from accessing paid leave when they need it.

      • Trump Quietly Slashed Pay Raise for Federal Workers a Day Before Claiming US Economy Is Best ‘In History’

        “This is just the latest action in Donald Trump’s war on civil servants.”

      • Who’s Afraid of ‘Socialism’?

        Americans were taught to associate “socialism” with dictatorship and “capitalism” with democracy. Are those days over?

      • Who’s Afraid of Democratic Socialism?

        You knew it was going to be a long night when ABC’s George Stephanopoulos spent the first 11 minutes of the February 7 Democratic presidential debate directing a discussion about how risky it would be to have a democratic socialist at the top of the ticket.

      • More Details Emerge on YouTube’s ‘Applause’ Donation Feature

        More details have emerged about the new YouTube Applause donation feature.

      • Trump’s New Budget Is Not Only Immoral — It’s Also Unaffordable

        With the release of the president’s latest budget request on Monday, it would be fair to expect a rash of tough, analytical coverage examining how affordable the president’s proposals are.

      • ‘Go back to your cave’: Alibaba’s European expansion triggers anger in Liège

        Welcome to the staging ground for Alibaba’s European surge.

        Over the past year, the Chinese e-commerce giant has been quietly transforming this mid-sized Belgian city into an international transport hub and European logistics center — complete with an airport that operates 24/7 importing products from China and dispatching them around the bloc.

        The investment is a key part of Alibaba’s strategy to compete against U.S. rival Amazon and others in one of the world’s richest markets. It’s already brought clear economic benefits to Belgium’s fifth-largest city — a once-thriving industrial center where many hope that Alibaba can help revive the economy.

        Yet as the firm’s footprint expands, with plenty of help from the Belgian government, it’s also running into home-grown opposition. A local grassroots movement that calls itself “Watching Alibaba” argues that the costs of hosting the Chinese guest — which it says include more frequent flyovers, snarled traffic, growing air pollution and jammed postal centers — far outweigh the benefits.

      • Euro area Industrial Production contracts 4.1% in 2019

        Industrial Production in the euro area declined by 2.1% on a monthly basis in December to drag the annual rate down to -4.1% from -1.7%, the data published by the Eurostat showed on Wednesday. Both of these readings came in worse than market expectations.

        “In the euro area in December 2019, compared with November 2019, production of capital goods fell by 4.0%, intermediate goods by 1.7%, non-durable consumer goods by 1.3%, durable consumer goods by 1.1% and energy by 0.5%,” the press release read.

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • Being a Democrat, Ugh

        It’s a rough time to be a Democrat.

      • ‘Do They Never Learn?’: Progressives Rip Media Attempts to Downplay Bernie Sanders Win in NH Primary

        “The story of the night is that Bernie Sanders is the favorite to win the Democratic nomination… Why is this so hard for people to see?”

      • Talking Points For News Anchors Against Sanders

        It appears the news directors of the cable channels have directed their anchors to note the following about Bernie Sanders in their objective, fair and balanced news coverage.

      • With Back-to-Back Wins for Sanders, Pundits Proven Wrong in Iowa and New Hampshire

        It was a big, big mistake to write off both Bernie Sanders and his No. 1 policy proposal.

      • Bernie Sanders Isn’t a Radical—He’s a Pragmatist Who Fights to Un-rig the System

        Sanders would use both markets and government to reverse the upward redistribution of income to the already rich.

      • Fueled by Diverse Working Class Voters, Sanders’ New Hampshire Win Celebrated as ‘Major Victory for Progressive Movement’

        “If you want to see how we’re going to beat Trump in November, look at what just happened in New Hampshire.”

      • Klobuchar Surged in New Hampshire. Can She Make It Count?

        It took a year of campaigning, countless stump speeches and an especially strong night on the debate stage for little-known Democratic presidential hopeful Amy Klobuchar to break into the top tier of the 2020 campaign in New Hampshire.

      • Biden Attempts to Revive ‘Doomed’ Campaign in South Carolina After Fifth Place Finish in New Hampshire

        The former vice president also came in fourth place in Iowa last week.

      • Michael Bloomberg, American Billionaire Oligarch

        The multi-billionaire has spent his career using his fortune to undermine democracy and enact his preferred political agenda. His presidential gambit is just the latest example.

      • ‘Age Old Divide and Conquer Tactics’: Union Leader Sara Nelson Rips Buttigieg Comments on Healthcare

        “Anytime the word ‘they’ is used with workers, it’s a sign of union-busters at work. The only pronoun that represents unionism and builds power is we/us.”

      • NPR Mara Liasson Mandatory Medicare for All and the Ramped Up Attack on Single Payer

        Leaders of the single payer movement were taken aback by the use of the term and did not know where it came from.

      • South Bend Residents Condemn Mayor Pete’s Treatment of Black Community

        2020 presidential candidate and former mayor of South Bend, Indiana, Pete Buttigieg has surprised many with his strong showings in Iowa and New Hampshire, two of the country’s whitest states. But as the race moves on to South Carolina and Nevada, Buttigieg continues to poll extremely low with African-American voters. His own former constituents are condemning his treatment of the Black community in South Bend during his time as mayor, calling out systemic racism in the police force. During Buttigieg’s tenure, Black residents were 4.3 times more likely to be arrested for possessing marijuana than white people. We speak with Henry Davis Jr., a South Bend city councilmember since 2008, as well as legendary feminist scholar Barbara Smith, co-founder of the Combahee River Collective.

      • Meet the Journalist Who Exposed Bloomberg’s Racist Defense of “Stop-and-Frisk”

        “#BloombergIsRacist.” That’s the hashtag that’s trending on Twitter since audio of remarks made by 2020 Democratic presidential hopeful and former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg surfaced earlier this week. In the clip from the 2015 Aspen Institute, Bloomberg is heard defending the New York City Police Department’s controversial “stop-and-frisk” policies, saying, “Ninety-five percent of your murders and murderers and murdered victims fit one MO. You can just take the description, xerox it and pass it out to all the cops.” He continues, “They are male minorities, 15 to 25. That’s true in New York. It’s true in virtually every city.” Bloomberg issued a statement Tuesday saying, “I inherited the police practice of stop-and-frisk, and as part of our effort to stop gun violence it was overused. By the time I left office, I cut it back by 95%, but I should’ve done it faster and sooner. I regret that and I have apologized.” But Bloomberg didn’t just inherit stop-and-frisk. During his tenure, use of the practice increased sevenfold. At its height, there were nearly 700,000 stops in 2011 compared to around 100,000 in 2002. The vast majority of those stopped were black or Latino. Bloomberg defended stop-and-frisk as recently as 2019, only apologizing for the practice publicly in November, shortly after entering the presidential race. We speak with the journalist who unearthed the 2015 audio of Bloomberg, Benjamin Dixon, the host of “The Benjamin Dixon Show” and podcast. Dixon is the co-founder of the TheNorthStar.com, the revitalized abolitionist newspaper of Frederick Douglass.

      • ‘This Is Corruption’: Trump and Barr Accused of Blatant Abuse of Power as DOJ Intervenes to Reduce Roger Stone Sentence

        “Presidents and attorneys general cannot put their thumbs on the scales of justice for any reason—including to aid friends associates—or we cease to be a nation of laws.”

      • ‘Language of Monarchy’: Trump Asserts He Has ‘Absolute Right’ to Tell Justice Department What to Do

        “Trump spends his days threatening the Justice Department in order to keep his criminal buddies out of prison, while Bill Barr grotesquely pillages the rule of law.”

      • William Barr Is Turning the Justice Department Into Trump’s Protection Racket

        The exit polls in the New Hampshire Democratic primary on Tuesday said 81% of voters were motivated to vote because of anger at President Donald Trump. Part of the reason for that is likely because of the ongoing authoritarian power grab he was staging even as they cast their ballots.

      • AG William Barr to Testify Before House Judiciary Committee… in Six Weeks

        The development comes amid increased scrutiny over the attorney general’s actions, including his apparent role in reducing the recommended sentence for Trump ally Roger Stone, which prompted four career prosecutors handling the case to withdraw.

      • Thugs R Us: Roger Stone Prosecutors All Quit After DOJ Meddles in Sentencing To Appease Mad King and There’s More
      • Warren Says AG William Barr Must ‘Resign or Face Impeachment’ for Intervening in Roger Stone Case

        “Congress must act immediately to rein in our lawless attorney general.”

      • Barr Agrees to Testify as Democrats Question his Leadership

        Attorney General William Barr has agreed to testify before the House Judiciary Committee next month, appearing for the first time before the panel as questions swirl about whether he intervened in the case of a longtime ally of President Donald Trump.

      • Sliding Toward Authoritarianism

        Now that Donald Trump has emerged from the impeachment fiasco bloody but unbowed, are Democrats justified in portraying his acquittal as an epic defeat for democracy? The short answer is yes – except that a conviction would have even been worse.

      • Can Andrew Wiggins Save America?

        The ruling class likes to equate the growing skepticism of the status quo with white supremacy. This is how they can equate the Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump movements. But I do think it is more complicated than this.

      • Bernie Sanders interviews Punks [1988]
      • Election 2020: Transformation or Stability?

        We don’t know whether the candidate with the most progressive policy ideas will win. What we do know is that there are different paths to victory.

      • The Party’s Over
      • Progressives to Voters Skeptical of Bernie Sanders: This ‘Big Tent’ Movement Is a Winning and Practical Choice

        “Sanders is much more pragmatic and less ideological than his opponents would like to admit.”

      • The Establishment Now Has Three Horses in the Race — and None Won New Hampshire

        Keene, New Hampshire — On Tuesday night, Bernie Sanders took another step toward securing the Democratic nomination for president, the establishment wing of the party went three ways at once, and the state of New Hampshire put on an exhibition of electoral competence that made the doomstruck Iowa Caucus look like the sorry contest it was.

      • 5 Ways Donald Trump Has Not Drained the Swamp

        2. He and his family are personally profiting from the presidency. Despite Trump’s promise he’d sever all ties with his existing businesses and place all assets in a “blind” trust to eliminate any conflicts of interest, documents show Trump remains the sole beneficiary of his trust and still retains the legal power to revoke the trust at any time. Meanwhile, foreign dignitaries have flooded Trump’s hotels, lining his pockets in clear violation of the Constitution. He even attempted to host the G-7 at his own luxury golf course until he was forced to back down.3. He is catering to billionaires and corporations at the expense of the American people. In the fall of 2017, mega-donors shelled out more than $31 million in political contributions to Trump and Republicans. And in return, they got a massive $2 trillion tax cut. Not a bad return on investment. As Trump told his wealthy friends at Mar-a-Lago just days after the tax bill became law, “You all just got a lot richer.”  4. He is using taxpayer dollars to subsidize his luxurious lifestyle. Since taking office, Trump’s golf trips alone have cost taxpayers more than $110 million dollars. His children have also charged taxpayers for costs associated with business trips around the world that they’ve taken, including India and Uruguay. Taxpayers even footed the bill for Donald Trump Junior’s hunting trip to Canada. 5. The Trump administration has been riddled with scandals and ethics violations. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross held on to investments and never divested despite pledging to avoid even the appearance of conflict of interest. Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao has tried to arrange meetings with Chinese officials for her family business. Ethics officials have found Kellyanne Conway broke laws that prohibit government workers from engaging in political activities. The list goes on, and on. This has been the most corrupt administration in American history. Trump is exploiting everything that’s vulnerable in our political system. But in order to truly stop the corruption of our democracy, we have to fix what’s broken. We must get big money out of politics, end the flow of lobbyists in and out of government, and strengthen ethics laws. Trump has enlarged and deepened the swamp, but the swamp was there before he got to Washington. One of the first tasks of the next president must be to drain the swamp once and for all.

      • ACTION ALERT: NBC Garbles Graph on Democrats’ Electability
      • Left Media and Venezuela: An Exchange

        Lucas Koerner’s recent piece for Fairness & Accuracy In Reporting, “How Western Left Media Helped Legitimate US Regime Change in Venezuela” (1/22/20), is a leading exemplar of a genre of leftist thought which might be termed “shotgun leftism,” due to its self-professed “uncompromising” commitment to revolutionary movements and states, and harsh “shoot-‘em-up” stance towards anyone deemed to lack such a commitment. This stance is evident in this and other pieces, in which Koerner takes aim at leftist publications such as NACLA and Jacobin, and a growing list of writers, including myself. This style of leftism contains a mix of admirable, questionable and highly untenable features.

      • ‘Clog the lines’: Internet trolls deliberately disrupted the Iowa caucuses hotline for reporting results

        An Iowa Democratic Party official said the influx of calls to the reporting hotline included “supporters of President Trump who called to express their displeasure with the Democratic Party.” The party official’s comments were first reported late Wednesday by Bloomberg News.

        Users on a politics-focused section of the fringe 4chan message board repeatedly posted the phone number for the Iowa Democratic Party, which was found by a simple Google search, both as screenshots and in plain text, alongside instructions.

      • Joe Biden would show selfless patriotism by quitting the 2020 Democratic nomination race

        Biden, who has served his country honorably, must now demonstrate — again — what a truly good man he is. Rather than cling to hope of a recovery in Nevada on Feb. 22 or South Carolina on Feb. 29, he should withdraw now to smooth the process for his fellow Democrats seeking the best candidate to defeat President Donald Trump.>

      • Budgets Don’t Lie, but Trump and His Enablers Do

        If Trump’s State of the Union was a manifesto of mistruths, then his budget proposal is a poorly concealed confession. The economy isn’t working for most Americans, and Trump’s plans for growth promise to benefit even fewer. Poor people know this—black, white, and brown—which is why Trump didn’t win a single demographic in 2016 that makes less than $50,000 a year. His campaign advisers have told him the economy is the message to run on, but it may well be his greatest vulnerability. If Democrats want to build a coalition that can beat him, they would do well to start talking about the real costs of his lies.

      • What We Can Learn From the Iran/Contra Scandal

        As Oliver North says in his memoir, the diversion [of funds] was kind of a diversion [from the scandal]. People got so obsessed with the question of whether Reagan knew about it ahead of time, that they forgot that it was problematic either way, both morally and legally. Whatever kind of magic was deployed to make the diversion “the thing” that everyone wanted to know about effectively insulated Reagan. As soon as John Poindexter said, “I did it on my own,” that was the end of any impeachment talk.

      • Trump Denies Applying Pressure to Change Sentencing Recommendation for Confidant

        In politically charged Washington, the shorter sentence recommendation immediately raised new questions about Trump’s influence over the Justice Department, which is meant to operate independently and without political favor in criminal cases and investigations.

      • Trump Told the Truth Where It Counted…for His Reelection
      • Bloomberg Said This of Murder Suspects in 2015: ‘Just Take the Description, Xerox It, and Pass It Out to All the Cops. They Are Male, Minorities, 16-25.’

        In a separate resurfaced audio recording, the billionaire and former NYC mayor said of stop and frisk, “I think we disproportionately stop whites too much, and minorities too little.”

    • Censorship/Free Speech

    • Freedom of Information / Freedom of the Press

      • South Sudan Academic Suspended Over Opinion Piece

        South Sudan’s University of Juba has suspended a renowned academic and writer from his teaching position over an opinion article on the issue of states and their boundaries – a controversial issue that has yet to be addressed by South Sudanese leaders before a Unity government can be formed. Taban Lo Liyong’s article, the university said, amounted to “incitement of ethnic hatred” and is “bringing the name of the university…into disrepute.”

        This action is emblematic of the government’s repression of basic freedom of expression, where any form of dissent or criticism of government policy is dangerous.

      • Russia: Court Convicts Journalist for Activism

        A Russian court on February 11, 2020 found a journalist criminally responsible for involvement in an “undesirable” organization, Human Rights Watch said today.

        The journalist, Maxim Vernikov, was the first person convicted under a 2015 law that allows the authorities to ban from the country any foreign or international organization that allegedly undermines Russia’s security, defense, or constitutional order. The law also provides for administrative sanctions to organizations and people that engage with “undesirable organizations” and criminal liability for “continued involvement,” that is, more than two administrative penalties in a year.

      • Watchdog says Iran ‘Muzzling’ Journalists Ahead Of Parliamentary Elections

        At least 10 journalists have been targeted by the intelligence arm of the elite Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) over the past two weeks, CHRI said in a statement on February 11.

        It said the crackdown was targeting journalists — and activists — who maintain active social media accounts. Those targeted include human rights defender Bahareh Hedayat, a former political prisoner who was detained on February 10.

      • Council of Europe sides with Julian Assange

        The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) has become the first one to step in and call for Assange’s immediate release, joining the call of the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Torture, Nils Melzer, who some months ago clearly stated that Assange should walk free.

        The call was made on the 28th of January, 2020, when the PACE was debating on a resolution for the Member States included in a report on Threats to Media Freedom and Journalists’ Security in Europe.

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • Pope Avoids Question of Married Priests in the Amazon

        Pope Francis refused Wednesday to approve the ordination of married men to address a shortage of priests in the Amazon, sidestepping a fraught issue that has dominated debate in the Catholic Church and even involved retired Pope Benedict XVI.

      • Der Spiegel is Citing Andy Ngo’s Race-Scientist Ex-Editor to Attack Me and I’m Not Even Jewish: As the CEO of Antifa, I Must Object

        Europe’s most widely-circulated news magazine, Der Spiegel, has a new piece up entitled “The Man Behind the Mask” that I was curious to read since it turns out to be about me.

      • Shakespearean Veracity in “Vera”: the Working Class Cop Show from Bloody England

        “I’ll be gone in a tic,” Vera Stanhope says and means she’ll soon scram and be out of the way. She uses words and expressions like “me backside,” instead of “my backside” and “dodgy” rather than “sketchy,” which seems to be the preferred American word to describe a lowlife character. Time and again, Vera wages psychological warfare with detainees she suspects of committing crimes, exclaiming, “Help me!” as though she wants them to feel sorry for her, turn state’s evidence and fess up. “DCI Vera Stanhope,” she barks, flashing her badge, though not all the time. Sometimes, she barges in, pokes around and asks probing questions and finds telling pieces of evidence. There’s no privacy in the world depicted in this series. The cops can and do know everything.

      • House Subcommittee Opens Investigation of Evenflo, Maker of “Big Kid” Booster Seats

        A congressional subcommittee is launching an investigation of Evenflo, a major maker of children’s car booster seats, over its product marketing and testing practices.

        A ProPublica investigation last week showed how the company put marketing over safety in pushing its booster seats as “side impact tested,” even though its own tests showed a child using that seat could be paralyzed or killed in such a crash.

      • US: ‘Remain in Mexico’ Program Harming Children

        (Washington, DC) – A United States government program exposes children, as well as their parents, seeking asylum to serious risk of assault, mistreatment, and trauma while waiting for their cases to be heard, Human Rights Watch said today in a joint investigation report.

        Human Rights Watch, working with Stanford University’s Human Rights in Trauma Mental Health Program and Willamette University’s Child and Family Advocacy Clinic, found that the US Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP) program, commonly known as “Remain in Mexico,” compelled families with children to wait in unsafe environments in Mexico for many months. Parents said that prolonged immigration court proceedings, fear of being incarcerated, and uncertainty about the future took a toll on their family’s health, safety, and well-being. Many described changes in their children’s behavior, saying they became more anxious or depressed after US authorities sent them to Mexico to await their hearings.

      • New Leadership of Toronto Human Rights Watch Film Festival

        (Toronto, February 12, 2020) — Helga Stephenson is stepping down as chair of the Human Rights Watch Film Festival Toronto, an event she brought to the city 17 years ago, Human Rights Watch said today. The veteran documentary film directors Jennifer Baichwal and Nicholas de Pencier will become the new co-chairs of the annual festival.

        The Human Rights Watch Film Festival wrapped its Toronto edition on February 4, 2020. The festival included six powerful films in a new partnership with Hot Docs, which also included three new daytime student screenings. A new initiative to provide all screenings without charge resulted in a record-breaking response, with nearly 3,000 people attending.    

      • Justice Comes to Dagestan

        Justice is finally coming to the small, remote village of Vremenny, located in Dagestan, the largest and arguably the most complex region of Russia’s Northern Caucasus. The residents there are finally being compensated after an abusive 2014 counterterrorism operation practically destroyed the village.

        We documented the crackdown on Salafi Muslims in Vremenny and elsewhere in Dagestan, detailing the abusive counterinsurgency operations by Russian law enforcement and security officials, and in the summer 2015 published the findings in our report, “Invisible War.”

      • Cambodia: EU Partially Suspends Trade Preferences

        (Bangkok) – The European Commission on February 12, 2020, announced the partial suspension of Cambodia’s preferential trade preferences with the European Union after the government failed to address serious human rights concerns, Human Rights Watch said today. Prime Minister Hun Sen should take urgent measures to improve the dismal human rights and labor rights situation in Cambodia that led to the commission’s decision, including ending the ban on the opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) and dropping charges against the leader of the CNRP.

        The EU decision followed a formal year-long review of Cambodia’s “Everything But Arms” (EBA) trade preferences. The EU’s preliminary conclusion, sent to the Cambodian government on November 12, 2019, stated that Cambodia has seriously and systematically violated the right to freedom of expression, restricted other civil and political rights, and failed to ensure labor rights. Josep Borrell, the EU high representative for foreign affairs and security policy, said in a statement that the EU “will not stand and watch as democracy is eroded, human rights curtailed, and free debate silenced. Today’s decision reflects our strong commitment to the Cambodian people, their rights, and the country’s sustainable development.”

      • All 50 States Report Prison Understaffing

        Every state in the nation has reported prison staffing shortages since 2017, according to research by Shadowproof.

        This is concerning because “staff shortages” are historically used to push for greater investments in prison systems, oftentimes riding reform waves like the one the United States is experiencing currently.

      • Donald Trump loosens America’s restrictions on landmines

        “When the technology is brought into the battlefield, we see that the actual data doesn’t match with the promises,” says Erik Tollefsen, head of Weapons Contamination for the International Committee of the Red Cross, a humanitarian organisation in Switzerland. He says that impressive reliability rates are usually derived from tests in sterile conditions, and prove wildly exaggerated in practice. Take the evidence from Iraq in 1991. A report published in 2002 by the Government Accountability Office, an agency that audits the federal government, noted that during the Gulf war, the Pentagon claimed that 0.01% of landmines used at the time were expected to remain active (a dud rate of one in 10,000), which would have produced 12 duds. The actual figure, from contractors hired to remove the mines, was almost 2,000: two orders of magnitude higher.

      • Border Officials Threaten to Destroy Native Burial Grounds to Build Trump’s Wall

        Construction crews building President Trump’s border wall in southern Arizona are blasting apart a mountain on a protected national monument that includes areas sacred to Native American groups.

      • Iranian-Americans in the Age of Trump, the Travel Ban, and the Threat of War

        We want democracy and freedom for Iran, not because of Iranian exceptionalism, but because those are the values we aspire for at home, and therefore believe all people deserve.

      • How Privilege and Woke Politics are Destroying the Left

        I was a Slack group for gender critical academics in the UK started by a UK feminist who has become known over the past 18 months for her critique of gender identity. The inception of this group seemed promising. Or rather, that is until this individual and several others within the group took it upon themselves to malign women who were doing political activism in the US whereafter I wrote an article here about the toxicity and elitist politics taking place in the heart of feminist circles. The defamation was astonishing to witness as it put into the crosshairs feminists who were not operating from the safety of academic tenure and enacted gross misrepresentations of these women who felt the fallout of these attacks for months. And since this attack took place largely on Twitter, the pile-on effect was pronounced as the shit was stirred for weeks even if the posh feminists quickly pretended they had nothing to do with the ensuing political goulash they alone concocted. In response to having written the article, I was kicked out of the group as I was informed via email. So much for academic discussions that allow for diverse, even non-woke, positions.

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

      • AT&T Keeps Pretending It Wants Real Net Neutrality And Privacy Laws. It Doesn’t.

        You’d be hard pressed to find a bigger enemy of consumer safeguards than the fine folks at AT&T. The company has a history of all manner of anti-competitive behavior, from making its bills harder to understand to help scammers rip off its customers, to routinely ripping off programs designed to help everyone from the hearing impaired to the poor. AT&T also, of course, played a starring role in killing both the FCC’s 2010 and 2015 net neutrality rules, and pretty much all meaningful state and federal efforts to protect broadband and wireless user privacy as it builds a creepy new ad empire.

    • Monopolies

      • Why Do Josh Hawley’s Cures For ‘Big Tech’ Always Oddly Omit ‘Big Telecom’?

        Over the last year, giants like Amazon, Facebook, Google, and Apple have all faced growing calls for greater regulatory oversight and antitrust enforcement, something that isn’t particularly surprising. After all, experts have noted for decades than US antitrust enforcement has grown toothless and frail, and our definitions of monopoly power need updating in the Amazon era. Facebook’s repeated face plants on privacy (and basic transparency and integrity) have only added fuel to the fire amidst calls to regulate “big tech.”

      • Patents

        • BREXIT’s Projected Impact on Intellectual Property Rights

          Brexit finally arrived on Jan. 31, 2020, and we are now in the period during which the UK and EU will negotiate the final rules governing their future. During this transition period, the UK and EU will continue to recognize IP rights without change. When the transition period ends on Dec. 31, 2020, some changes to IP rights will come into effect in the UK and EU. We expect the most significant impacts of Brexit with respect to intellectual property rights to be:

          Patents

          The European patent system allows applicants either to file for a regional patent through the European Patent Office (EPO) or to file for national patents at the patent office within each country. This patent system exists independent of the EU, and Brexit will not impact patents granted through the EPO and national patent offices.

        • Infringe Ford’s Design Patents by Repairing your Car

          Ford has implemented an aggressive strategy of patenting the various parts of its new vehicles. Many of these new patents are design patents: Wheels; fenders; airbag compartments; grilles; bumpers; tail lights; headlights; console; hood; mirror; etc.

          After an accident, a vehicle owner typically wants to repair the vehicle. While repair of the vehicle may seem permissible under an exhaustion doctrine, the difficulty comes in when looking at individual parts. Repair of the vehicle might require replacement/reconstruction of a patent part (such as the side-mirror pictured above). The repair industry (and insurance companies) would like to use less-expensive repair parts — one way is to buy off-brand parts — especially for lower-tech items such as a fender or headlight cover. But, the design patents are preventing that from happening.

        • Software Patents

          • Startup Mycroft AI declares it will fight ‘patent troll’ tooth and nail after its Linux voice-assistant attracts lawsuit

            An AI startup is battling a patent-infringement lawsuit filed against it for building an open-source Linux-based voice-controlled assistant.

            Mycroft AI first learned trouble was brewing when it was contacted by a lawyer at Tumey LLP, a Texas law firm focused on intellectual property, in December. In an email to the startup’s CEO Joshua Montgomery, the legal eagle claimed Mycroft AI’s technology infringed two US patents – 9,794,348 and 10,491,679 – belonging to Tumey’s client, Voice Tech Corp.

            Voice Tech’s patents described a system for handling “voice commands from a mobile device to remotely access and control a computer.” Mycroft AI develops voice-assistant software that runs on Linux systems, including Raspberry Pis and its own standalone Mark I and II gadgets, and responds to spoken requests, such as setting alarms and reminders, searching the web, and so on. You can add more features by installing add-ons called skills.

      • Copyrights

        • Reevaluating the DMCA 22 Years Later: Let’s Think of the Users

          The Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) is one of the most important laws affecting the Internet and technology. Without the DMCA’s safe harbors from crippling copyright liability, many of the services on which we rely, big and small, commercial and noncommercial, would not exist. That means Youtube, but also Wikipedia, Etsy, and your neighborhood blog.  At the same time, the DMCA has encouraged private censorship and hampered privacy, security, and competition.

          The DMCA is 22 years old this year and the Senate Subcommittee on Intellectual Property is marking that occasion with a series of hearings reviewing the law and inviting ideas for “reform.” It launched this week with a hearing on “The Digital Millennium Copyright Act at 22: What is it, why was it enacted, and where are we now,” which laid out the broad strokes of the DMCA’s history and current status. In EFF’s letter to the Committee, we explained that Section 1201 of the DMCA has no redeeming value. It has caused a lot of damage to speech, competition, innovation, and fair use. However, the safe harbors of Section 512 of the DMCA have allowed the Internet to be an open and free platform for lawful speech. 

        • US Congress Starts Review on Possible Modernization of the DMCA

          A new copyright-focused initiative has got underway in the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Intellectual Property. Its goal is to evaluate the 22-year-old Digital Millennium Copyright Act with a view to modernizing the legislation to better deal with today’s Internet following the dramatic changes of the last two decades.

        • Rightsholders Asked Google to Remove Five Million ThePirateBay.org URLs

          Copyright holders have filed five million requests to delete ThePirateBay.org URLs from Google’s search results over the past several years. Roughly two-thirds of these requests indeed resulted in links being removed, while the search engine took no action at all for less than one percent. The Pirate Bay’s homepage remains available as well, despite repeated attempts to have it deleted.

        • Copyright Troll Lawsuit Over Duct Taped Banana Picture

          Back in December, it’s likely you heard the wacky story about the “art installation” at the Art Basel gallery in Florida of a banana duct taped to the wall, which sold for $120,000. You may have also heard about how someone stepped in and ate the banana, but the original purchasers were still happy, despite the recognized absurdity of the whole thing. Anyway, because it’s been a few months since we last had a story about copyright and bananas, we need to tell you that a copyright lawsuit has been filed against the owners of the website ClickOrlando, claiming that they used a photograph of the duct taped banana taken by John Taggart without licensing it in its article about the artwork. The lawsuit was filed by frequently in trouble copyright troll, Richard Liebowitz. The lawsuit was first reported by Law360, though it’s behind their paywall.

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