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02.21.20

Links 21/2/2020: EasyOS 2.2.11 Released, Microsoft’s Control of the Linux Foundation Increases and More Binary Blobs Arrive

Posted in News Roundup at 5:12 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Desktop/Laptop

      • Why You Still Don’t Need Antivirus Software on Linux in 2020

        There’s a division of opinion when it comes to the question; does Linux need antivirus? Well, the short answer is no. Some say viruses for Linux are rare; others say Linux’s security system is secure and much safer than other operating Windows.

        So, is Linux really secure?

        While no single operating system is entirely secure, Linux is known to be much more reliable than Windows or any operating system. The reason behind this is not the security of Linux itself but the minority of viruses and malware that exist for the operating system.

        Viruses and malware are incredibly rare in Linux. They do exist though the likelihood of getting a virus on your Linux OS is very low. Linux based operating systems also have additional security patches that are updated regularly to keep it safer.

        The userbase of Linux is tiny when compared to Windows. While Operating systems like Windows and Mac house all kinds of users, Linux is inclined more towards advanced users. In the end, It all comes down to the caution taken by the user.

        Can you get viruses on Linux?

        Yes, before you assume anything, viruses and malware can affect any operating system.

        No operating system is 100% safe, and it’s a fool errand to look for one. Like Windows and Mac OS, you can get viruses on Linux. However rare they are, they still exist.

        On the official page of Ubuntu, a Linux based OS, it is said that Ubuntu is highly secure. A lot of people installed Ubuntu for the sole purpose of having a dependable OS when it comes to the security of their data and sensitive details.

      • Linux Community: Stop Doing This To Windows 10 And MacOS Users

        Unpopular opinion time: dual-booting Windows and Linux on your PC is actually great. I do it and I encourage it. Now, if you’ve read my articles here for the last 18 months or so, this statement may seem shocking. To some Linux users, it may come off as downright sacrilegious. I get it. “Prominent Forbes tech writer ditches Windows (1, 2), starts covering Linux full-time while touting all the benefits Linux has over Windows 10, produces a Linux podcast and YouTube channel, then says using Windows is fine?”

    • Server

      • 40 Useful Linux Server Commands for Beginners in 2020

        Most of the virtual world is powered by Linux today. Admins and network owners like to take control of their web presence by utilizing Linux to its fullest extent. If you are a starting Linux user looking to hone your system administration skills to the next level, learn these 40 Linux server commands mentioned below. Our team of veteran sysadmins has curated this guide for facilitating your learning experience. Most of these commands are pretty basic, but if used carefully, they will help you manage and monitor your Linux servers much more effectively.

      • Question the Current Dogma: Is Kubernetes Hyper-Scale Necessary for Everyone?

        Kubernetes in 2020 has become synonymous with the term cloud native and is also often used as a vehicle for vendors and IT organizations alike to claim they are transforming or modernizing their workloads. But what are they actually transforming? What is Kubernetes itself actually providing?

    • Audiocasts/Shows

      • LHS Episode #327: The Weekender XLII

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

      • Bad Voltage 2×65: Email Avengers Assemble

        Stuart Langridge, Jono Bacon, and Jeremy Garcia present Bad Voltage…

      • 2020-02-20 | Linux Headlines

        A new release for LibreOffice’s stable branch has some welcome improvements, Let’s Encrypt takes a major step to fight man-in-the-middle attacks, the EU unveils big plans to take on the US tech industry, and Microsoft’s endpoint protection software heads to Linux.

    • Kernel Space

      • The rest of the 5.6 merge window

        Linus Torvalds released the 5.6-rc1 prepatch and closed the merge window on February 9; at that point, 10,780 non-merge changesets had been pulled into the mainline repository for 5.6. That is substantially less than recent development cycles (14,350 for 5.5, 14,619 for 5.4), but is similar to what was going on at this time last year (10,843 for 5.0-rc1 in January 2019). About 6,000 of those changes were pulled since the first 5.6 merge-window article was written; read on for what was included in those changes.

      • Better tools for kernel developers

        By many accounts, the kernel project uses outdated tooling, far behind the state of the art that Kids Today tend to favor. The kernel’s workflow has worked well (enough) for years, but there are signs that it may not be sustainable indefinitely. As a result, there has been an ongoing conversation about improving the kernel’s workflow, but little has changed so far. The posting of a simple tool called get-lore-mbox is a sign that the rate of change may be about to increase.

        The kernel project’s reliance on email strikes many as quaint and antiquated. It may indeed partly be a natural outcome of the aging nature of the kernel community; many of the developers there, especially in the important maintainer positions, got started well before tools like web-based Git forges existed. Indeed, some of them got started using punch cards and may still be unconvinced of the virtues of, say, text editors. But the truth of the matter is that there are a number of good reasons for the kernel community’s continued reliance on email; there is little else that can handle a community of that size and diversity.

        So, while it seems that the future of email (as opposed to, say, proprietary services like Gmail) is uncertain at best, the path toward a replacement in the kernel community is unclear. Developers will have to be convinced that any new tools will make their lives better, not worse; busy maintainers have little patience for “improvements” that slow things down.

      • Kernel operations structures in BPF

        One of the more eyebrow-raising features to go into the 5.6 kernel is the ability to load TCP congestion-control algorithms as BPF programs; networking developer Toke Høiland-Jørgensen described it as a continuation of the kernel’s “march towards becoming BPF runtime-powered microkernel”. On its face, congestion control is a significant new functionality to hand over to BPF, taking it far beyond its existing capabilities. When one looks closer, though, one’s eyebrow altitude may well increase further; the implementation of this feature breaks new ground in a couple of areas.
        The use case for this feature seems clear enough. There are a number of such algorithms in use, each of which is suited for a different networking environment. There may be good reasons to distribute an updated or improved version of an algorithm and for recipients to be able to make use of it without building a new kernel or even rebooting. Networking developers can certainly benefit from being able to play with congestion-control code on the fly. One could argue that congestion control is not conceptually different from other tasks, such as flow dissection or IR protocol decoding, that can be done with BPF now — but congestion control does involve a rather higher level of complexity.

        A look at the patch set posted by Martin KaFai Lau reveals that what has been merged for 5.6 is not just a mechanism for hooking in TCP congestion-control algorithms; it is far more general than that. To be specific, this new infrastructure can be used to allow a BPF program to replace any “operations structure” — a structure full of function pointers — in the kernel. It is, at this point, only capable of replacing the tcp_congestion_ops structure used for congestion control; experience suggests, though, that other uses will show up sooner rather than later.

      • Graphics Stack

        • Peter Hutterer: A tale of missing touches

          libinput 1.15.1 had a new feature: it matched the expected touch count with the one actually seen as opposed to the one advertised by the kernel. That is good news for ALPS devices whose kernel driver lies about their capabilities because these days who doesn’t. However, in some cases that feature had the side-effect of reducing the touch count to zero – meaning libinput would ignore any touch. This caused a slight UX degradation.

          After a bit of debugging and/or cursing, the issue was identified as a libevdev issue, specifically – the way libevdev replays events after a SYN_DROPPED event. And after several days of fixing things, adding stuff to the CI and adding meson support for libevdev so the CI can actually run a few useful things, it’s time for a blog post to brain-dump and possibly entertain the occasional reader such as you are. Congratulations, I guess.

          The Linux kernel’s evdev protocol is a serial protocol where all events have a type, a code and a value. Events are grouped by EV_SYN.SYN_REPORT events, so the event type is EV_SYN (0), the event code is SYN_REPORT (also 0). The value is usually (but not always), you guessed it, zero. A SYN_REPORT signals that the current event sequence (also called a “frame”) is to be interpreted as one hardware event [0].

        • Mesa drivers 20.0.0 released, NVIDIA also have a small Vulkan driver update out

          Two bits of Linux driver news to share today, one quite big for AMD/Intel and the other on the smaller side for NVIDIA.

          Starting with NVIDIA, following on from the Vukan Beta driver update on the 15th they did a quick-fix and put another up with 440.58.02 yesterday. The only noted fix is “a regression which added syntax errors into the default application profiles configuration file” and that was specific to Linux.

        • Mesa 20.0 Arrives with OpenGL 4.6 on RadeonSI, Vulkan 1.2 on Intel ANV and RADV

          The Mesa 3D Graphics Library open-source graphics stack for Linux-based operating system got a new major series this week, Mesa 20.0, which brings numerous new features and improvements for a better gaming experience.

          Most of the work done during the development cycle of the Mesa 20.0 graphics stack appears to be around the AMD Radeon drivers, both OpenGL (RadeonSI) and Vulkan (RADV). This translates to improved gaming for AMD Radeon users on GNU/Linux.

          Highlights of the Mesa 20.0 release include OpenGL 4.6 support for the RadeonSI driver, Vulkan 1.2 support for both the Intel ANV and Radeon RADV Vulkan drivers, and Wave32 support for AMD GFX10 (Navi) GPUs in the RADV Vulkan driver and its ACO compiler.

        • RADV Vulkan Driver Adds Option For Zeroing Out Video Memory

          New to Mesa 20.1-devel is a new option for the Radeon Vulkan “RADV” driver to enable zeroing out video memory allocations.

          This isn’t a new concept with other graphics drivers offering similar functionality for zeroing out the vRAM either for security reasons or working around pesky game/app issues. For example, RadeonSI OpenGL zeros out the vRAM for Rocket League to workaround buggy behavior with that game. But zeroing out the video memory normally isn’t done by default for all allocations due to performance reasons.

          With the new flag to zero vRAM allocations for the RADV Vulkan driver it was done by Valve’s Samuel Pitoiset. In this case he mentions it’s in part for “future work.”

        • Intel Gen12/Xe Graphics To Support 12-Bit HEVC/VP9 Decode

          We are learning more about the media engine capabilities with the forthcoming Intel “Gen12″ (Xe) Tiger Lake graphics.

          The documentation for Intel’s open-source media-driver that exposes VA-API capabilities on the Linux desktop was recently updated. That updated Intel VA-API Media Driver points to Intel Gen12 dropping VP8 video capabilities but expanding when it comes to 12-bit codec support.

        • Intel Sends Out Latest Patches For Mitigating Graphics Flaw On Ivybridge/Haswell

          It has been one month and a few days since Intel first made public the need for graphics driver patching of Gen 7/7.5 graphics for older Ivybridge / Haswell hardware to fix a graphics hardware flaw. That vulnerability also affected the common Intel Gen9 graphics but there the mitigation was uneventful and quickly merged without causing any performance hit. But for Ivybridge/Haswell one month later the graphics driver mitigation for CVE-2019-14615 is still being addressed.

          This vulnerability is also known as iGPU Leak by the researchers that discovered it but for the Gen7/Gen7.5 protection the mitigation has been particularly problematic. With the initial Gen7/Gen7.5 patches posted in mid-January there was a huge hit to the graphics performance while Intel worked towards no performance loss.

        • NVIDIA Posts Firmware Needed For Open-Source GeForce 16 Series Acceleration

          As written about last week, in the works for the Linux 5.7 kernel this spring is open-source NVIDIA “Nouveau” acceleration for the GeForce 16 series. That code is currently sitting in the Nouveau development tree until landing in DRM-Next for Linux 5.7, but NVIDIA has now posted the necessary firmware binaries needed for enabling the hardware acceleration on these Turing GPUs.

    • Benchmarks

      • FreeBSD vs. Linux Scaling Up To 128 Threads With The AMD Ryzen Threadripper 3990X

        Last week I looked at the Windows vs. Linux scaling performance on the Threadripper 3990X at varying core/thread counts followed by looking at the Windows 10 performance against eight Linux distributions for this $3990 USD processor running within the System76 Thelio Major workstation. Now the tables have turned for our first look at this 64-core / 128-thread processor running on the BSDs, FreeBSD 12.1 in particular. With this article is looking at the FreeBSD 12.1 performance and seeing how the performance scales compared to Ubuntu 20.04 Linux and the Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8 based CentOS Stream.

    • Applications

      • VirtualBox 6.1.4

        VirtualBox is a powerful x86 and AMD64/Intel64 virtualization product for enterprise as well as home use. Targeted at server, desktop and embedded use, it is now the only professional-quality virtualization solution that is also Open Source Software.

      • Rav1e 0.3.1 Is 25~40% Faster At Low Speed Levels For Rust-Based AV1 Encoding

        It was not even two full weeks ago that Rav1e 0.3 was released with speed optimizations and other AV1 encoding enhancements while released on Tuesday was Rav1e 0.3.1 with a change to boost encode speeds at lower levels.

        The principal change with Rav1e 0.3.1 for this Rust-written AV1 video encoder is 25~40% better performance at lower speed levels (two through five). This big speed-up is by disabling fine directional prediction and intra-block transform splitting within inter-frames. The consequence of disabling these features for the double digit percentage speed improvements is approximately 1~2% lower video quality at these levels, which the developers deemed to be an acceptable trade for the faster encode times.

      • Cockpit Project: Cockpit 213

        Cockpit is the modern Linux admin interface. We release regularly. Here are the release notes from version 213.

      • Tools for SSH key management

        I use SSH constantly. Every day I find myself logged in to multiple servers and Pis (both in the same room as me and over the internet). I have many devices I need access to, and different requirements for gaining access, so in addition to using various SSH/SCP command options, I have to maintain a config file with all the connection details.

      • Daniel Stenberg: The command line options we deserve

        A short while ago curl‘s 230th command line option was added (it was –mail-rcpt-allowfails). Two hundred and thirty command line options!

        A look at curl history shows that on average we’ve added more than ten new command line options per year for very long time. As we don’t see any particular slowdown, I think we can expect the number of options to eventually hit and surpass 300.

        Is this manageable? Can we do something about it? Let’s take a look.

    • Instructionals/Technical

    • Games

      • Children are indestructible weapons in ‘Dad Quest’ – Linux Beta out now

        Possibly one of the quirkiest platformers I’ve ever come across, Dad Quest is now officially in Beta for Linux on Steam.

        A story-based platformer, with what developer Sundae Month claim is their own ‘unique brand of comedy’. It’s set in a world where children are indestructible weapons, ready to be hurled towards enemies. As a parent, I will admit it sounds amusing. According to the description you will teach your child new combat skills using ‘a variety of deadly toys’.

      • Hilarious co-op train track building game ‘Unrailed!’ is now officially on Linux

        After a little while being in Beta, Indoor Astronaut have today released the Linux (and macOS) versions of Unrailed! so they’re officially supported.

      • The full SteamWorld series is heading to Google Stadia “soon”

        While they’re seemingly not giving an exact date just yet, Thunderful Publishing and Image & Form announced today that multiple SteamWorld titles are heading to Google Stadia.

      • Dying Light gets a massive update with a ‘Story Mode’ plus a free weekend

        Techland are keeping their baby alive a while longer (especially after delaying Dying Light 2), and it appears they didn’t forget it turned 5 last month with a huge update and celebration.

        Since Dying Light has been out five years they’re kicking off a big celebration. It’s having a Free Weekend on Steam for the first time! A really good opportunity to see what the fuss is all about and I sure do fuss about it a lot. It really is a great game! One of my absolute favourites.

      • How to use community control schemes in Steam for Linux

        Sick of plugging your gaming controller into your Linux PC, only to find that the game does not have any gamepad controls set up? As it turns out, Steam has a solution for that. Did you know that you can add custom controller layouts for your Steam games on Linux? It’s true! Thanks to Steam’s stellar controller support on Linux, anyone can bind custom controls to their gaming controller! Follow along to learn how to do it on your system!

      • SGT Puzzles Collection 0.2.5 Released

        SGT Puzzles Collection, or simply sgt-launcher, is a game launcher and wrapper for Simon Tatham’s Portable Puzzle Collection, a popular collection of logic games by the developer of PuTTY.

        Joining the Xubuntu package set way back in Xubuntu 17.10 “Artful Aardvark”, SGT Puzzles Collection has quietly provided Xubuntu users with a variety of distracting games for several releases. If you want to learn more about the project, check out my introductory blog post.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • How not to lose the alpha channel

          Working on color imagery for QiTissue recently, I realized we were accidentally losing the alpha channel in multiple places. For efficiency reasons, we keep colors in memory using the QRgb type, and convert that to/from QString for serialization purposes via QColor as needed. Here’s what I discovered about why that doesn’t work, and some ways I fixed it.

          Firstly, be aware there is no QRgba in the Qt API . There is only QRgb, for 8bit color channels. It can hold an alpha value too, despite the lack of a trailing a in the type name. Then there is QRgba64 which uses 16bit per color channel. For our purposes, 8bit per channel is sufficient. So where do we lose the alpha channel, when QRgb can store it in principle?

        • Fosdem and Plasma Mobile Sprint

          From January 31st to February 8th I went on a little tour, first at the two days of Fosdem in Brussels, then to Berlin for a KDE sprint about Plasma Mobile.

          It was the first time i went to Fodem: it’s an awesome experience, even tough big and messy: which is the awesome of it… and the bad of it at the same time

          Even tough there were 800 talks I didn’t attend that many, some about the Elixir language, some about retrocomputing, some about iot stuff. At Fosdem the best thing to do there.. is meeting a lot of interesting people, rather than attending talks, which are very interesting never the less, which you can find videos here.

        • Norbert Preining: Okular update for Debian

          The quest for a good tabbed pdf viewer lead me okular. While Gnome3 has gone they way of “keep it stupid keep it simple” to appeal to less versed users, KDE has gone the opposite direction and provides lots of bells and knobs to configure their application. Not surprisingly, I am tending more and more to KDE apps away from the redux stuff of Gnome apps.

      • GNOME Desktop/GTK

        • Try the GNOME Nightly VM images with GNOME Boxes

          It was a long time overdue but we now have bootable VM images for GNOME again. These VMs are good for testing and documenting new features before they reach distros.

          To provide the best experience in terms of performance and host-guest integration, we landed in BoxesDevel (Nightly GNOME Boxes) an option to create GNOME VMs with the correct device drivers and configurations assigned to it. You know…the Boxes way™.

        • GNOME Shell + Mutter See Changes For Tracking Software Rendering, VNC To Toggle Animations

          GNOME Shell and Mutter saw a set of patches land today for GNOME 3.36 that have been around for a few months and deal with the tracking of software rendering and VNC usage where GNOME Shell should in turn disable animations to ease the rendering workload.

          The GNOME Settings Daemon has until now been responsible for controlling the animation heuristics when they should be disabled while now Mutter has added support for tracking software rendering situations and in turn GNOME Shell is relying upon that for determining when to disable desktop animations.

    • Distributions

      • SharkLinux – Virtualization and cloud compatible Linux distro

        Today, we are going to take a look at a specialized Linux distro, SharkLinux. It is a cloud compatible and virtualization Linux distro that you can use in the cloud.

        SharkLinux is an Ubuntu-based distribution featuring the MATE desktop and is best aimed for sysadmin testing, developers, and virtualization hobbyists. It follows a rolling release model for updates.

      • BSD

        • Supporting an open source operating system: a Q&A with the FreeBSD Foundation

          When discussing alternative operating systems to Microsoft’s Windows or Apple’s macOS, Linux often comes to mind. However, while Linux is a recreation of UNIX, FreeBSD is more of a continuation. The free and open source operating system was initially developed by students at the University of California at Berkeley which is why the BSD in its name stands for Berkeley Software Distribution.

          FreeBSD runs on its own kernel and all of the operating system’s key components have been developed to be part of a single whole. This is where it differs the most from Linux because Linux is just the kernel and the other components are supplied by third parties.

          To learn more about FreeBSD and its ongoing development, TechRadar Pro spoke to the executive director of the FreeBSD Foundation, Deb Goodkin.

      • SUSE/OpenSUSE

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • Fedora VS Ubuntu

          Linux is superior to Windows in a lot of ways. It gives you the freedom to shape your system according to your desire. You can customise almost everything to your taste. Don’t like the way your login screen looks, well change it according to your liking. You can change your Linux UI (User Interface) so that it looks like Windows if you are more comfortable that way. Linux is way less resource-hungry than Windows, meaning it runs a lot smoother. You can even customise how much cache and ram should Linux use. But despite all these good things switching from Windows to Linux can be a lot of hassle as there are a lot of distros or types of Linux to choose from and most people get confused. Different Linux distros are for different people. Here I’ll be comparing the two biggest distro releases, i.e., Ubuntu and Fedora

        • What is backporting, and how does it apply to RHEL and other Red Hat products?

          Version numbers are important, but aren’t always what they seem at first glance. Red Hat, for example, often backports updates to the software we ship in Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) to maintain the version that we shipped.

          This is a post to follow to Jean-Sébastien Tougne’s post on finding the latest available kernel. Jean-Sébastien’s article was responding to a question on the Red Hat Learning Community, where the poster was seeking the latest version of the kernel for Red Hat Enterprise Linux. That prompted me to write an article that went deeper into the nuance and strategy the Red Hat Enterprise Linux team employs for this to be magically delicious for administrators.

        • The edge is open: Why scale-out computing doesn’t exist without open hybrid cloud

          The past year has seen the rise of applications that push enterprise IT to the (literal) edge, from using autonomous vehicles guided by artificial intelligence (AI) to vast sensor networks that rely on 5G for instant connectivity and emergency reaction times. Whether it’s the Internet-of-Things (IoT), fog computing or edge computing, the intent is to bring computing resources like processing power and storage closer to the end user or data source to improve the ability to scale, responsiveness and the overall service experience.

          We can look at the edge as the newest IT footprint, becoming an extension of the data center just like bare-metal, virtual environments, private cloud and public cloud. In a sense, edge computing is a summation of the other four footprints, blending pieces from each to create infrastructure aimed at tackling specific customer demands that traditional IT models cannot address.

        • Enterprise open source software is growing within innovative companies

          Red Hat has been at the forefront of the global open source discussion, fighting for software freedom in the U.S Supreme Court, and offering free tech products for cloud infrastructure, automation, AI, and much more. After conducting research and interviewing IT leaders from around the world, Red Hat released a report examining the state of enterprise open source in 2020.

          950 IT leaders, unaware that Red Hat was the research sponsor, were surveyed about their practices and opinions on enterprise open source software.

        • Multicluster Management and GitOps Workshop

          There’s so much more to come. In the next few weeks, we’ll dive deeper into customer ideas and finish the design thinking process by producing designs, prototyping them, and finally testing their validity.

          We also want you to join us. To help influence the future of OpenShift, sign up to be notified about research participation opportunities or provide feedback on your experience by filling out this brief survey. If you’d like to attend the next workshop, keep an eye on the OpenShift Commons calendar for upcoming events. Feel free to reach out by email if you have any questions.

        • Red Hat Fuels Omnitracs to Deliver Cloud-Native Fleet Management Innovation

          Red Hat, Inc., the world’s leading provider of open source solutions, today announced that Omnitracs, LLC, the global pioneer of fleet management solutions to transportation and logistics companies, has delivered its Omnitracs One platform, the next-generation of fleet management innovation, on the foundation of Red Hat OpenShift. Using the industry’s leading enterprise Kubernetes platform along with Red Hat Ansible Automation Platform, Omnitracs One is a completely cloud-native offering and provides an enhanced user experience with a clear path towards future innovations.

        • Orange Egypt Builds Horizontal Cloud on Red Hat Technologies, Improving Time-to-Market by up to 10x

          Red Hat, Inc., the world’s leading provider of open source solutions, today announced that Red Hat’s open hybrid cloud technologies are providing a horizontal cloud platform for Orange Egypt’s virtual network functions (VNFs), helping the service provider to more quickly deliver new services to customers, optimize its network investments and reduce operational expenditure. Building on the foundation of Red Hat OpenStack Platform and Red Hat Ceph Storage, Orange Egypt is the first Orange affiliate to manage 100% of its live customer traffic over a fully software-based platform spanning several sites across its region.

        • Share-ing the News: the Mainframe is Back!

          What seems like a hundred years ago, I started in the technology business. My first job was as a computer operator for an IBM S/390 mainframe computer for a large networking company. The years zipped by and I now find myself at SUSE as the Product Marketing Manager for system Z and LinuxOne. My how things have come full circle!

          While the mainframes of today have transformed and are not quite the behemoths of yesteryear, the purpose of the mainframe is still the same – providing customers with increased security, fast processing time for large amounts of data, high availability, and rock-solid stability.

          Mainframes today like IBM LinuxOne and system Z provide unprecedented privacy and security for your infrastructure with encryption everywhere and instant recovery. And the best part is you can run your favorite Linux distribution on these systems – SUSE Linux Enterprise Server for system Z and LinuxOne

        • Building a community of practice in 5 steps

          In the first part of this series, we defined community as a fundamental principle in open organizations, where people often define their roles, responsibilities, and affiliations through shared interests and passions, not title, role, or position on an organizational chart. Then, in the second part of the series, we explored the many benefits communities of practice bring to open organizations—including fostering learning, encouraging collaboration, and offering an opportunity for creative problem-solving and innovation.

          Now you know you’d like to start a community of practice, but you may still be unsure where to start. This article will help define your roadmap and build a plan for a successful community of practice—in five simple steps (summarized in Figure 1).

        • Red Hat Combines Continuous Community Innovation with Long-Life Enterprise Support in Red Hat OpenStack Platform 16

          Red Hat, Inc., the world’s leading provider of open source solutions, today announced the general availability of Red Hat OpenStack Platform 16, the latest version of its highly scalable and agile Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) solution. More than 1,000 enhancements and new features will lay the foundation for enterprise and telco workloads from programmable IaaS for hybrid clouds, developer clouds and production clouds and cloud-native applications like network functions virtualization (NFV), edge computing, artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML).

        • Red Hat OpenStack lives on in a new release

          This new OpenStack is built on the foundation of Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) 8. The version adds a refined long-life support lifecycle, comprehensive feature consolidation, and a new commitment to delivering continuous community innovation as enterprise-ready features via stream releases. It combines the best features of the last three OpenStack release Train along with Red Hat’s own special sauce.

          Modular by design, the new Red Hat OpenStack is meant to optimize IT operations for existing traditional applications. But it’s not just the same old IaaS file storage cloud it was 10 years ago. It can now be used as the foundation for cloud-native applications such as network functions virtualization (NFV), edge computing, artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML).

        • Fedora Council November 2019 meeting: more miscellaneous stuff

          In addition to the big topic of the Fedora Project Vision, we used the opportunity to cover some other Fedora Council business. Because it’s a lot, we’re breaking the reporting on this into two posts, kind of arbitrarily — here’s the second of those.

        • Return of the son of the panda badger

          Here’s an initial mockup of a new sticker sheet design for Fedora! It features artwork from Fedora Badges. (Actually, now that I think of it, it would be nice to have a licensing notice for the artwork along the bottom or side of the sheet.) The idea behind this is just to be a fun piece of swag to give away at events.

          Before my leave, we produced a Fedora Diversity sticker sheet that has proven to be very popular at events, so it’s time for our panda and badger friends to have their time to shine I think

      • Debian Family

        • Easy Buster version 2.2.11

          EasyOS versions 1.x are the “Pyro” series, the latest is 1.3. Easy Pyro is built with packages compiled from source using ‘oe-qky-src’, a fork of OpenEmbedded. Consequently, the builds are small and streamlined and integrated. The Pyro series may have future releases, but it is considered to be in maintenance status.
          The “Buster” series start from version 2.0, and are intended to be where most of the action is, ongoing. Version 2.0 was really a beta-quality build, to allow the testers to report back. The first official release was 2.1.
          The main feature of Easy Buster is that it is built from Debian 10 Buster DEBs, using WoofQ (a fork of Woof2: Woof-CE is another fork, used to build Puppy Linux).
          The advantage of Buster over Pyro is access to the large Debian package repositories. That is a big plus.

        • EasyOS version 2.2.11 released
        • Enabling the persistent journal in Debian

          It seems unlikely that anyone on any “side” of the systemd war that has raged in Debian over the last few years thought that the results of the recent general resolution (GR) vote ended the matter. The vote showed a clear preference for moving ahead with systemd as the preferred init system, though it was far from any kind of landslide—there were definitely plenty of voters who would have preferred a different outcome. It was a complicated GR, with a wide spectrum of options, but at this point, the project as a whole has spoken. Actually implementing some of the changes that the GR enabled may not have the smooth path that some might have hoped for, however.

          On February 1, Michael Biebl posted a message to the debian-devel mailing list noting that he had fixed a wishlist bug (from 2013) by enabling the systemd persistent journal. Prior to that, journald would log to the non-persistent /run/log/journal directory by default and rsyslog would create the persistent text log files in /var/log. The change to the Debian systemd package would create the /var/log/journal directory where journald will store its persistent binary log files. That way, the journals will still be available after a reboot.

          The message said that new installs and upgrades of the systemd package would create the directory, but it also included instructions on how to revert to the existing behavior; further upgrades to the systemd package will respect that choice. Beyond that, though, running both the persistent journal and rsyslog means that the log files are effectively stored twice on disk, so Biebl may ask the Debian ftp-masters to lower the priority of rsyslog so that it is not installed by default for the upcoming Debian 11 (“bullseye”) release. Those who want to have a different system logger can add it after the initial install, of course.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • Ubuntu 18.04 LTS and 16.04 LTS Receive New Kernel Live Patch

          The new kernel live patch comes two and a half weeks after the last kernel live patch and just a day after the major kernel security updates released for all supported Ubuntu released on February 18th. It addresses a total of five security flaws affecting Ubuntu 18.04 LTS (Bionic Beaver) and Ubuntu 16.04 LTS (Xenial Xerus) systems.

          Among the fixes, there’s the well-known vulnerability affecting systems with Intel Graphics Processing Units (CVE-2019-14615), which could allow a local attacker to expose sensitive information, as well as a race condition (CVE-2020-7053) in the i915 driver that could let a local attacker to crash the system or execute arbitrary code.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • Top 7 Anime Based Open-Source Projects

        Anime is no longer limited only to Japan and China; it has gone global. It has attracted many people towards it because of its high-end graphics, vivid imaginations for the future, using highly advanced technologies which only find their place in our imaginations and artificial intelligence (AI) depiction in their storylines. Naturally, it serves as a means of entertainment for any kind of audience that watches it and also it could be fun to do projects related to it. And we all know Elon Musk likes anime too:

      • Events

        • Sustain OSS 2020: quick rewind

          I loved Sustain OSS 2020 because it is a unique collection of people from various backgrounds in the Free/Open Source movement. Both old and new folks, software engineers and designers, open source program office folks and the FOSS lawyers, all together in one room. Perhaps the best part for me is leaving with a sense of empowerment and connection to a bigger movement of people.

        • JupyterCon 2020 is a go!

          Just over a year ago, Project Jupyter announced it was reevaluating its annual community conference. An advisory committee of volunteers recommended a JupyterCon 2020 emphasizing a focus on access and leadership. We are now thrilled to announce a global Jupyter conference…

        • Announcing JupyterCon 2020

          NumFOCUS is excited to be a part of JupyterCon 2020. JupyterCon will be held August 10 – 14 in Berlin, Germany at the Berlin Conference Center.

        • Hot off the presses: a sneak peek at the LibrePlanet 2020 schedule

          LibrePlanet 2020 is organized by the FSF. Hundreds of people from across the globe will converge to explore this year’s theme, “Free the Future.” We’ll be delving into the threats to user freedom that we’ve all been reading about every day in the media, as well as the unique role the free software movement plays in solving these problems.

          In addition to the first keynote we announced last month, Brewster Kahle, LibrePlanet 2020 will feature a panoply of presentations. Our lineup includes some talks we absolutely can’t wait to see, and we think you’ll feel the same way! You can now dive in to the speakers already confirmed and start planning your itinerary.

          [...]

          LibrePlanet 2020 offers lots of opportunities for socializing, too! The annual FSF open house will take place on the evening of Friday, March 13th, at the FSF office. And the LibrePlanet Saturday night party will feature a sparkling new location. As we have in the past, we’ll organize a dinner specifically for women, genderqueer, nonbinary, and gender non-conforming attendees, please mail campaigns@fsf.org if you’re interested in joining. If you are looking to organize your own dinner or meetup, you can do so using the LibrePlanet wiki 2020 conference social and dinner pages as a central place for communication about this.

      • Web Browsers

        • Mozilla

          • Firefox 73.0.1 fixes crashes, blank web pages and DRM niggles

            Firefox version 73 has only been out for a week but already Mozilla has had to update it to version 73.0.1 to fix a range of browser problems and crashes, including when running on Linux machines.

            The list of issues is surprisingly long for a point release but, in most cases, the issues only happen in specific contexts. Despite this, some of the issues are still said to have affected “numerous” users, prompting the rapid update.

            Many reports noted Firefox would stop or hesitate when visiting websites or trying to open the internal about:config page, particularly when running in Windows 7 compatibility mode.

            Customers of the Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) found they were ending up with a blank page when logging in while others found the browser would exit when leaving Print Preview mode.

          • Synchronous Messaging: We’re Live.

            After a nine month leadup, chat.mozilla.org, our Matrix-based replacement for IRC, has been up running for about a month now.

            While we’ve made a number of internal and community-facing announcements about progress, access and so forth, we’ve deliberately run this as a quiet, cautious, low-key rollout, letting our communities find their way to chat.m.o and Matrix organically while we sort out the bugs and rough edges of this new experience.

            Last week we turned on federation, the last major step towards opening Mozilla to the wider Matrix ecosystem, and it’s gone really well. Which means that as of last week, Mozilla’s transition from IRC to Matrix is within arm’s reach of done.

            The Matrix team have been fantastic partners throughout this process, open to feedback and responsive to concerns throughout.
            It’s been a great working relationship, and as investments of effort go one that’s already paying off exactly the way want our efforts to pay off, with functional, polish and accessibility improvements that benefit the entire Matrix ecosystem coming from the feedback from the Mozilla community.

      • CMS

        • Pop-Up Livestream on February 22

          This should be a great way to get to hear from some speakers who have yet to share their knowledge on a global stage. WordPress is enriched by a multitude of experiences and perspectives, and I hope you are as excited as I am to hear new voices from a part of the world that is frequently underrepresented in the WordPress open source project.

      • Openness/Sharing/Collaboration

        • Open Access/Content

          • Trump hesitates on plan for open access mandate

            The Trump administration is backing away from a widely reported plan to bypass publisher paywalls on scientific research resulting from federal investment, making plans instead to study the matter further.

            The chief White House science adviser, Kelvin Droegemeier, said that after two years and nearly 100 meetings with publishers, universities, researchers and others, administration officials wanted more consultation.

      • Programming/Development

        • PHP version 7.2.28, 7.3.15 and 7.4.3

          RPMs of PHP version 7.4.3 are available in remi repository for Fedora 32 and remi-php74 repository for Fedora ≥ 30 and Enterprise Linux ≥ 7 (RHEL, CentOS).

          RPMs of PHP version 7.3.15 are available in remi repository for Fedora 30-31 and remi-php73 repository for Enterprise Linux ≥ 6 (RHEL, CentOS).

          RPMs of PHP version 7.2.28 are available in remi-php72 repository for Enterprise Linux ≥ 6 (RHEL, CentOS).

        • Excellent Free Tutorials to Learn Scheme

          Scheme is a general-purpose, functional, programming language descended from Lisp and Algol. It is a statically scoped and properly tail-recursive dialect of Lisp.

          Scheme is a very simple language with a very simple syntax based on s-expressions. Its simplicity is fundamental in making it a popular introductory language. It follows a minimalist design philosophy specifying a small standard core with powerful tools for language extension. This philosophy helps make Scheme a programming language that can be learned over a weekend. Nevertheless, Scheme is a very versatile language being used to write a diverse range of applications such as financial analysis tools, compilers, virtual reality systems, as well as more mundane software.

          Scheme is used in computing education and research as well as a wide range of industrial applications.

        • Don’t like IDEs? Try grepgitvi

          Like most developers, I search and read source code all day long. Personally, I’ve never gotten used to integrated development environments (IDEs), and for years, I mainly used grep and copy/pasted file names to open Vi(m).

          Eventually, I came up with this script, slowly refining it as needed.

        • Perl / Raku

          • Perl Weekly Challenge 48: Survivor and Palindrome Dates

            These are some answers to the Week 48 of the Perl Weekly Challenge organized by Mohammad S. Anwar.

          • Deprecating or Transferring Mojo::ACME

            While Mojo::ACME was a fun experiment, it has several shortcomings at this point and I’ve officially stopped using it. If someone is interested in maintaining it, and if I’m sufficiently convinced of your credibility since this is a security module after all, I can hand it over. Otherwise I will be marking it as deprecated soon.

            Some background

            Mojo::ACME was mostly an experiment for me in learning the ACME (v1) protocol. It was a port of the acme-tiny script to mojo with one significant difference. When used as a plugin in your application it actually could listen for a local connection over websocket from the certificate issuance command to prepare for the authentication challenges. This allowed for zero-downtime intervention-free certificate issuance for your application. It was pretty neat and I’m still proud that it worked. Meanwhile the letsencrypt client, later to be renamed certbot, was in a very painful infancy.

          • KBOS types

            After introducing KBOS I should write about the most fundamental concept in this Perl syntax extension. In fact it’s so basic, you could use it even without objects.

            Of course this is not a full fledged type system. Use Raku to get that. Variables with KBOS will stay your perly whatever data container. But like in Moose or Zydeco, you want to verify data – if its consistent with your expectation. And you don’t want to write the checking code lines over and over, plus they pollute method logic anyway.

            One of the advantages to have objects in the first place is to be sure, that the attributes obey requirements and you do not have to check them at every function all.

        • Python

          • Introducing our Jinja2 cheat sheet

            Jinja2 is a templating language for Python. While it got its start on the web for use with the Flask framework, it is popular in many other places. Both Flask and Pelican use it to template HTML pages, allowing seperation between style and content. Configuration management frameworks, like Ansible and SaltStack, use it to parametrize their configurations (Ansible playbooks or Salt state files, respectively). This allows the configuration files to take into consideration local machine parameters, for example. The Cookiecutter framework uses it to define its input templates, so that files that need the name of the project or the name of the maintainer can be parametrized.

            Jinja2 is used in many Python projects because it is both web-framework-agnostic and language-agnostic. This means that, for many Python projects in need of a template language, Jinja2′s easy API and accessible template-designer documentation is an easy choice. Additionally, its popularity is its own advantage: for a project that needs a tempate language, using Jinja2 means being able to point to the wealth of documentation on writing templates. This makes Jinja2 a great choice for home-grown, internal project.

          • Forks and Threats

            What is a threat? From a game-theoretical perspective, a threat is an attempt to get a better result by saying: “if you do not give me this result, I will do something that is bad for both of us”. Note that it has to be bad for both sides: if it is good for the threatening side, they would do it anyway. While if it is good for the threatened side, it is not a threat.

            Threats rely on credibility and reputation: the threatening side has to be believed for the threat to be useful. One way to gain that reputation is to follow up on threats, and have that be a matter of public record. This means that the threatening side needs to take into account that they might have to act on the threat, thereby doing something against their own interests. This leads to the concept of a “credible” or “proportionate” threat.

            For most of our analysis, we will use the example of a teacher union striking. Similar analysis can be applied to nuclear war, or other cases. People mostly have positive feelings for teachers, and when teacher unions negotiate, they want to take advantage of those feelings. However, the one thing that leads people to be annoyed with teachers is a strike: this causes large amounts of unplanned scheduling crisis in people’s lives.

            In our example, a teacher union striking over, say, a minor salary raise disagreement is not credible: the potential harm is small, while the strike will significantly harm the teachers’ image.

          • Python 101 2nd Edition Fully Funded + Stretch Goals

            The second edition of my book, Python 101, has been successfully funded on Kickstarter. As is tradition, I have added a couple of stretch goals for adding more content to this already hefty book.

          • List Comprehensions in Python

            List comprehensions are often used in Python to write single line statements that create a new list or dictionary by looping over an iterable object. This article will explain how to use list comprehensions in Python, starting with a basic explanation of how for loops work in Python.

            For Loop in Python

            A for loop statement in Python sequentially iterates over members of any object, list, string etc. Compared with other programming languages, its syntax is much cleaner and doesn’t require manually defining iteration steps and starting iteration. Though there are ways to make its behavior the same as other programming languages (won’t be covered in this article). You can also exercise some control over for loops by using statements like continue, break, pass etc.

          • Getting Started Testing with pytest

            This talk has been through a few iterations. In 2011, I gave a presentation at Boston Python about Getting Started Testing, based on the standard library unittest module. In 2014, I updated it and presented it at PyCon. Now I’ve updated it again, and will be presenting it at Boston Python.

            The latest edition, Getting Started Testing: pytest edition, uses pytest throughout. It’s a little long for one evening of talking, but I really wanted to cover the material in it. I wanted to touch on not just the mechanics of testing, but the philosophy and central challenges as well.

          • Learn To Code By Playing These Games

            Apart from an ambition to become a programmer and have an interesting well-paid job, there are plenty of reasons to learn coding even for those who see themselves in other professions.

            Programming can be helpful in many areas. It develops a structured and creative approach to problem-solving. If you know how to code, you also know how to break a problem down to smaller tasks with specific actions and measurable results.

            Your way of thinking becomes more logical and organized. Coding broadens your mind, so you start to see problems in the light of solutions. And of course, it teaches to be patient. Logic, problem-solving, persistence: sounds like a great set of skills for almost any professional.

          • The Best Android Apps for Learning How to Code

            As a senior software developer, I’m often asked for advice on learning programming. Since I believe that the tech market always benefits from having more high-quality developers, I’m happy to share tips and hacks that helped me become a better software engineer.

            However, as soon as I say: “Read this and that book, check out this reference guide. Taking these courses is a must, and don’t forget to be scanning through community forums all the time,” I see people’s enthusiasm fade away until they hit me with “I don’t have time to do all that.” Then they leave.

            Here’s the thing I’d love to state for the record — learning programming is not about making time. It’s about consistency. Since the market constantly changes and evolves, a developer who devotes 30 minutes a day to education is more flexible and has a better chance of adapting to new trends than a CS graduate who hasn’t learn a new program since getting out of college.

          • Let’s Build A Simple Interpreter. Part 18: Executing Procedure Calls
          • PyCharm 2020.1 EAP 4

            We have a new Early Access Program (EAP) version of PyCharm that can be now downloaded from our website.

            We’ve been hard at work making PyCharm easier to use and adding and improving features to get PyCharm 2020.1 ready for release. We have some good ones for you to try in this build. This EAP also includes loads of fixes from the IntelliJ Platform teams.

          • No Python 2 On Upcoming Ubuntu 20.04 LTS Version!

            Python 2 will no longer be available on upcoming Ubuntu 20.04 LTS version”, said by Matthias Klose. The team canonical had a very long discussion and came to a decision to remove Python 2 from Focal Fossa. The exact words are,
            Sorry for delaying that email. Based on some discussions, we are going forward with the Python2 removal.

          • Lua and Python

            From a high-level perspective, Lua and Python are similar languages; both are “scripting” languages that are compiled into bytecode instructions that run on a virtual machine. But the focus of Lua has generally been toward embedding the language into some larger application or system, rather than as an alternative for, say, Python, Perl, or Ruby as a general-purpose language. That is not to say that Lua is not capable of handling any of the tasks those other languages do, but that it has not really been the target, seemingly. Some recent discussions in the Lua community have explored possible changes in that regard, particularly around the idea of providing a larger, richer standard library.

            In mid-December, Gavin Holt posted a message to the lua-l mailing list noting his overall happiness with the language, but observing that support for the “batteries” was lagging. The “batteries” term presumably comes from Python, which has long had a “batteries included” philosophy—it ships with a large standard library that is meant to cover many of the tasks a user might encounter, without needing to install additional packages. As Lua has progressed through 5.1, 5.2, and 5.3 (with 5.4 on the horizon), however, some of the packages have not been updated, so Holt cannot use them with recent releases of the language. Many of the Lua libraries are written in C, which need to be compiled and distributed as binaries for some users.

        • JavaScript

          • Android home screen widgets in HTML and JS

            I like having the news headlines on my phone’s home screen. (Well, on the screen to the right.) It helps me keep up with what’s going on in the world. But it’s hard to find a simple headline home screen widget which isn’t full of ads or extra frippery or images or tracking; I just want headlines, plain text, not unpleasantly formatted, and high-density. I don’t want to see three headlines; I’d rather see ten. I tried a whole bunch of news headline home screen widgets and they’re all terrible; not information-dense enough, or they are but they’re ugly, or they insist on putting pictures in, or they display a ton of other information I don’t want.

    • Standards/Consortia

      • Always Use UTF-8 & Always Label Your HTML Saying So

        To avoid having to deal with escapes (other than for <, >, &, and “), to avoid data loss in form submission, to avoid XSS when serving user-provided content, and to comply with the HTML Standard, always encode your HTML as UTF-8.

      • Why Supporting Unlabeled UTF-8 in HTML on the Web Would Be Problematic

        UTF-8 has won. Yet, Web authors have to opt in to having browsers treat HTML as UTF-8 instead of the browsers Just Doing the Right Thing by default. Why?

        I’m writing this down in comprehensive form, because otherwise I will keep rewriting unsatisfactory partial explanations repeatedly as bug comments again and again. For more on how to label, see another writeup.

  • Leftovers

    • Science

      • Larry Tesler, the Inventor of Copy-Paste, Was More Influential Than You Realize

        Larry Tesler perhaps wasn’t the most high-profile figure in tech history, but his impact is most certainly felt in ways big and small to this day.

        By far, his best known contribution is the cut/copy-paste functionality that he is widely credited with inventing.

        Tesler, who died this week at the age of 74, is widely credited with the invention of the basic idea thanks to his role at the famed Xerox PARC, the experimental research center that helped formulate many of the general ideas behind the personal computer. While there, Tesler came up with Gypsy, one of the first WYSIWYG document editors that was reliant on a keyboard-mouse combo, for an Xerox subsidiary, Ginn & Company. While an earlier Xerox PARC tool named Bravo predated Gypsy, Gypsy was “modeless,” meaning that the user interface was always in an editable state, rather than an editor with modes, which requires commands to be typed first before text can be modified. (The modern-day Unix editor Vim is an example of a mode-based editor, which is relatively uncommon in the modern day.)

      • Larry Tesler cut and pasted from this mortal coil: That thing you just did? He probably invented it

        Larry Tesler – self-described “primary inventor of modeless editing and cut, copy, paste” – has died at the age of 74.

        Tesler had a hand in many of the computing concepts taken for granted today. On his website he wrote: “I have been mistakenly identified as ‘the father of the graphical user interface for the Macintosh’. I was not. However, a paternity test might expose me as one of its many grandparents.”

        After a stint at Stanford culminating in AI research in 1973, Tesler became a member of the research staff at Xerox’s famed Palo Alto Research Center (PARC).

    • Education

    • Hardware

      • Google Cloud Rolls Out “N2D” VMs Built Atop AMD EPYC 7002 “Rome” CPUs

        We are seeing more cloud providers now offering AMD EPYC 7002 “Rome” series processors with the latest being Google now offering the new N2D VM family in beta for their public cloud.

      • AMD Announces EPYC 7532 + EPYC 7662 As Newest Rome Processors
      • Linux Will Finally Stop Flickering With AMD Stoney Ridge On 4K Displays

        For those still running the AMD “Stoney Ridge” mobile APUs from 2016 that were launched aside Bristol Ridge with Excavator-based CPU cores and GCN 1.2 graphics, the Linux kernel has a fix finally for flickering issues when driving a 4K display off the APU.

      • Microsoft crack habit reports: User claims Surface Laptop 3 screen fractured again after repair

        Screens on Microsoft’s Surface Laptop 3 have appeared to develop a crack habit, with one of the latest complaints claiming this happened even after repair.

        Reports on Twitter noted whinges sprouting on Reddit and Microsoft’s own support forums last week about the new hardware appearing to suffer from spontaneously cracked screens.

        Users have described hairline cracks on the touchscreens of the Surface Laptop 3, and have insisted that the things weren’t dropped, bashed or otherwise interfered with, other than the usual stroking of the glass.

        A Microsoft agent in the company’s forums told a customer, who had spanked the best part of a years’ savings on a 13.5-inch matte black model only to find the fracture shortly after setting the thing up, that: “Physical damage do[es] not happen if there is no external force.”

    • Health/Nutrition

      • Reforming Expectations to Save Western Rivers

        Recently, former Interior Secretary Bruce Babbitt proposed an alternative to the highly controversial yet difficult-to-kill Gila River diversion project, which would dam and divert water from the last free-flowing river in New Mexico (“Damming the Gila a vampire proposal,” My View, Feb. 2).

        While the Gila proposal already is on life support because of missed deadlines and waning public and political support, water managers refuse to abandon it because a legal “right” to that water remains.

        While Babbitt’s proposal waves the white flag on the Gila diversion project, he suggests as a path forward stealing the 4.6 billion gallons (14,000 acre-feet) of water from another source in the Colorado River Basin — the San Juan River near Chama.

        The San Juan River, like the Gila, is a spectacular Western river. It is home to a full suite of recreational opportunities, supports communities and Native cultures in Colorado, New Mexico, Utah and Arizona, and it provides refuge to more than a half-dozen native fish, including the endangered Colorado pikeminnow and razorback sucker. The San Juan River, like almost every remaining Western river, cannot afford to sacrifice one more drop.

      • Trump Admin’s Clean Water Rollback Will Hit Some States Hard
      • Democrats Call on White House to Ensure Any Coronavirus Vaccine Is Not Profit-Making Venture for Big Pharma

        “We cannot allow Big Pharma to price gouge the fruits of Americans investments.”

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Discord Is Not An Acceptable Choice For Free Software Projects

          Discord’s communication is not end to end (e2e) encrypted. It is encrypted only between the individual user and the servers operated by Discord Inc. Their spying extends to every single message sent and received by anyone, including direct messages betweeen users. The service can and does log every message sent, both in-channel and DMs. It is impossible to have a private conversation on Discord, as there will always be an unencrypted log of it stored by Discord. Discord can, at their option, provide those stored messages to any third party they wish, including cops or government snoops, for any reason, even without a legal order, without any obligation to tell you that they have done so.

        • [Attackers] Were Inside Citrix for Five Months

          Networking software giant Citrix Systems says malicious [attackers] were inside its networks for five months between 2018 and 2019, making off with personal and financial data on company employees, contractors, interns, job candidates and their dependents. The disclosure comes almost a year after Citrix acknowledged that digital intruders had broken in by probing its employee accounts for weak passwords.

        • [Vulnerable] firmware lurks inside Dell, HP and Lenovo computers amid supply chain security efforts

          “Firmware is meant to be invisible to the user, and so it’s not surprising that most people don’t pay attention to it,” said Eclypsium CEO Yuriy Bulgin. “However, these components make up the foundation upon which every device, operating system, and application depends.”

          Researchers used unsigned firmware to show how an attacker could compromise an operating system remotely in order to steal network data. The highlighted flaws could also enable “direct-memory access” attacks which exploit a computer’s core operating system.

        • Aera Launches Cognitive ‘Business Brain’ Operating System [Ed: This is NOT an 'operating system". Terms misused these days.]

          Infor labels one of its core brands Infor OS and quite unashamedly uses the term operating system to explain the function of its industry-specific Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) and Supply Chain Management (SCM) cloud software. Mountain View headquartered Aera Technology has used a similar naming convention within its branding and called its automation-centric cloud platform the Aera Cognitive Operating System.

        • Microsoft Defender ATP for Linux Now In Public Preview

          Microsoft Defender ATP for Linux is now available in a public preview that allows administrators and security professionals to test the product in six different Linux distributions.

        • Keen to check for ‘abnormal’ user behaviours? Microsoft talks insider risk, AWS imports and compliance at infosec shindig RSA [Ed: “Microsoft talks insider risk”; but Microsoft is the risk]

          As well as widening the preview of Microsoft Threat Protection, a system aimed at a more automated response to threats, the gang has also extended the cross-platform support for Microsoft Defender Advanced Threat Protection (ATP) to include a whole bunch of Linux distributions.

        • Microsoft plans to add Linux support for Chromium-based Edge

          Microsoft fought long and hard to maintain and push its own proprietary browser, even launching Edge, hoping to get away from the stigma against Internet Explorer. However, the dominating market share of Chromium-based browsers finally got to Microsoft, and the company announced it would rebuild Edge with the Chromium source code. Last month, we reported that Microsoft’s Chromium-based Edge was out of development and ready for public deployment.

        • Pseudo-Open Source

          • Privatisation/Privateering

            • Amazon and commercial open source in the cloud: It’s complicated

              Like many platform operators, Amazon has a love-hate relationship with those hosted on its platform. This is particularly true for open-source software creators, who see their products on offer on Amazon’s cloud on terms they are not happy with.

              It’s a complicated relationship, which touches upon many aspects of technology, law, and social norms. The issue started becoming more pronounced and entering our turf on Big on Data, as Amazon Web Services (AWS) started offering top open-source data management products on its platform.

              Vendors developing those open source products started accusing AWS of strip mining, i.e., reaping the benefits of the products, without contributing back to their development. Google stepped in to show there is another way of doing business with open source in the cloud. The New York Times stepped in and made this talk of the town.

            • Linux Foundation

              • Alluxio Joins Linux Foundation’s Presto Foundation to Help Scale and Accelerate Presto Query Engine

                Alluxio, the developer of open source cloud data orchestration software, today announced it has joined Linux Foundation’s Presto Foundation. Along with members such as Facebook, Uber, Twitter and Alibaba, together we help scale and accelerate the popular distributed SQL query engine Presto. In addition, Alluxio will be sponsoring and exhibiting at the very first PrestoCon. Presto with Alluxio brings together two open source technologies to provide a unique solution for hybrid and multi-cloud deployments for the modern analytic stack.

              • LF Networking Expands Ecosystem — Adds Members, Leads Initiatives to Automate 5G deployments and accelerate Automation

                LF Networking (LFN), which facilitates collaboration and operational excellence across open networking projects, today announced the addition of nine new members.The project welcomes new Silver members A10 Networks, AMD, Codilime, Mirantis, Robin.io, Solutions by STC, ULAK, and Xilinx, and Associate members University of California San Diego, and University of Surrey.

                “It’s great to kick off 2020 by welcoming a new swath of global members to the LFN community,” said Arpit Joshipura, general manager, Networking, Edge & IoT, the Linux Foundation. “We’re expanding our member ecosystem in tandem with growth across initiatives that harmonize open source an open standards, enable automated testing and deployment, and further Cloud Native Network Functions as open source becomes more mainstream.”

                The newest LFN members will work alongside the 100+ existing member organizations to drive development, testing and implementation of LFN’s networking projects, including FD.io, ONAP, OpenDaylight, OpenSwitch, OPNFV, PNDA, SNAS, and Tungsten Fabric.

              • Xen Project is Participating in May 2020 to August 2020 Outreachy Internships Round [Ed: Microsoft continues to 'buy the agenda' of the 'Linux' Foundation]

                The Xen Project is excited to be participating in the Outreachy internship program which supports diversity in free and open source software. The Xen Project’s participation in this round is being sponsored by Microsoft (1 internship). Interns have to make an initial application which primarily verifies eligibility to the Outreachy program by February 25 at 4pm UTC: for more information see here. Applicants with an approved initial application can start to enquire about projects from March 5th and can then formally apply.

                During the application period, applicants are expected to contribute to the Xen Project while in parallel working on the detailed application. The final application deadline is April 7, 2020 at 4pm UTC. Applicants interested in becoming a Xen Project Intern can see our projects here and here (link not live until March 5th).

              • New Linux Foundation | Harvard Study Reveals Hard Truths, Actionable Steps for Open Source Security [Ed: Linux Foundation now works with Microsoft proxies/allies Snyk and Black Duck to smear FOSS]

                Open source has made its way into almost every server farm, consumer device and service we use, and it’s done so without most people even realizing it. Almost no one knows what is in their phones, apps or business data centers. This is wreaking havoc on the global supply chain, so much so that the U.S. House of Representatives Energy and Commerce Committee sent a letter to the Linux Foundation inquiring about it. The Linux Foundation did its best to summarize a very complex situation in its response.

                So with the help of Harvard researchers and companies like Snyk and Synopsys, we set out to produce our second Census of open source software but this time, with a focus on what open source software projects show up in production applications. At the heart of this is a desire to understand how we take a preventative care approach to security, rather than a reactionary one.

              • [Repeat] The Linux Foundation reveals the most commonly used open-source software components

                In order to determine the top packages and projects, the foundation worked with software composition analysis and app security companies like Snyk and Synopsys.

              • Linux Foundation study throws the open source sustainability debate into question

                Open source developers, it turns out, tend to be well paid. That’s one possible conclusion to be drawn from a recent Linux Foundation report (PDF), which found that over 75% of the top maintainers for the 200 most active open source projects are paid to work on open source full or part-time. This isn’t a new development (I wrote about it back in 2008), but it bears repeating since we are apparently in the midst of an open source sustainability crisis (again).

                As Luis Villa has suggested, “getting paid” isn’t the same thing as “comfortable work,” which can lead to burnout. But it does suggest we may need to approach the conversation with more data and less hand waving.

              • Census For Open Source Software Security Released

                “The Census II report addresses some of the most important questions facing us as we try to understand the complexity and interdependence among open source software packages and components in the global supply chain,” said Jim Zemlin, executive director at the Linux Foundation.

                “The report begins to give us an inventory of the most important shared software and potential vulnerabilities and is the first step to understand more about these projects so that we can create tools and standards that results in trust and transparency in software,” Zemlin added.

        • Security

          • Security updates for Thursday

            Security updates have been issued by Debian (netty and netty-3.9), Fedora (ceph, dovecot, poppler, and webkit2gtk3), openSUSE (inn and rmt-server), Oracle (openjpeg2), Red Hat (rabbitmq-server), Scientific Linux (openjpeg2), SUSE (dnsmasq, rsyslog, and slurm), and Ubuntu (php7.0).

          • 30 The Most Common Hacking Techniques and How to Deal with Them [Ed: Cracking, not hacking. Not the same thing.]
          • A guide to developing a holistic IT security strategy

            In assessing how prevalent cyberattacks are for companies, 18 percent of respondents rated the security risk as very high. Half (50 percent) even stated that their company had suffered financial losses due to security incidents. Opinions differed as to whether the incidents were handled optimally: Almost half (49 percent) say that everything worked well, while the other half (49 percent) believe there is a lot of potential for improvement.

          • The mess behind Microsoft’s yanked UEFI patch KB 4524244 [Ed: Microsoft shoots itself in the foot and even Microsoft boosters like Woody Leonhard are not happy. UEFI ‘in action’…]

            Patch Tuesday’s truly odd Win10 patch KB 4524244 wreaked havoc before it was finally pulled last Friday night. Since then, accusations have flown about Kaspersky, in particular, and Microsoft’s complicity in signing a rootkit. There’s plenty of blame to go around — and much more to the story.

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

            • Linux and malware: Should you worry? [Ed: All those headlines with question marks mean that the answer is "No."]

              Gone are the days when the idea of viruses or other malware hitting Linux was almost universally greeted with quizzical glances, if not outright rejection. Long thought of as the perfect marriage of open-source goodness and strong, Unix-like security, Linux-based operating systems are now increasingly seen as another valuable – and viable – target.

              This shift in thinking is partly the result of a growing realization among both Linux hobbyists and system administrators that a compromised Linux system such as a web server provides attackers an excellent ‘return on investment’. Just as importantly, malware research in recent years has brought better visibility into threats facing Linux systems.

          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • Top EU Judge Says Mass Snooping Is Illegal

              At the end of January, the Advocate General (AG) of Europe’s highest court said that indiscriminate data retention is disproportionate and may breach fundamental rights.

              AG Campos Sánchez-Bordona of the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU), was examining four cases regarding data retention regimes in France, Belgium and the UK. Specifically, under what conditions the security and intelligence agencies can access mass communications data retained by telecommunications providers.

              Many governments across the continent are keen to reintroduce data retention, despite the EU Data Retention Directive being struck down by the court in 2014 for contravening privacy rights in the EU Charter. A further ruling in 2016 – in the Tele2/Watson case – found that “general and indiscriminate retention” of data was outright illegal.

            • Eyal Weizman barred from U.S. ahead of Forensic Architecture retrospective

              London-based research collective Forensic Architecture, known for its use of architectural, spatial, and technological analysis to uncover state and corporate violence, opens its first major U.S. exhibition today at Miami Dade College’s Museum of Art and Design (MOAD). However, as the collective’s founder, Eyal Weizman was preparing to fly to Miami from his home of London for the opening, he received an email from the U.S. Embassy informing him that his visa had been revoked and he would not be allowed to travel to the United States.

              When Weizman went to apply for another visa, an interviewer at the Embassy told him that an “algorithm” had identified him as a security threat due to people he had interacted with, places he had traveled recently, or an unidentified combination of the two. When given the opportunity to “speed up the process” by giving names he felt might have been the cause for setting off alarms, Weizman refused.

            • Confidentiality

              • Stop Using Encrypted Email

                The least interesting problems with encrypted email have to do with PGP. PGP is a deeply broken system. It was designed in the 1990s, and in the 20 years since it became popular, cryptography has advanced in ways that PGP has not kept up with. So, for example, it recently turned out to be possible for eavesdroppers to decrypt messages without a key, simply by tampering with encrypted messages. Most technologists who work with PGP don’t understand it at a low enough level to see what’s wrong with it. But that’s a whole other argument. Even after we replace PGP, encrypted email will remain unsafe.

                Here’s why.

              • U.S. agency that handles Trump’s secure communication suffered data breach

                The agency provides direct telecommunications and IT support for President Donald Trump, Vice President Mike Pence, their staff, and the U.S. Secret Service, according to its website.

                It also provides direct support to the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and other senior members of the armed forces, and its field offices support U.S. military commanders abroad.

                The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment. The letter gave few further details. For example, it did not say what part of DISA’s network had been breached, nor identify which individuals may have had their data compromised.

    • Defence/Aggression

      • Australia: Don’t Cozy Up to Myanmar’s Army
      • Far-Right German Gunman Calling for Genocide Kills 9 People

        A 43-year-old German man who posted a manifesto calling for the “complete extermination” of many “races or cultures in our midst” shot and killed nine people of foreign background, most of them Turkish, in an attack on a hookah bar and other sites in a Frankfurt suburb, authorities said Thursday.

      • How the Military is Raiding Public Lands and Civilian Spaces Across the Western Front

        Military public land grabs and intrusions into civilian spaces are raging in the West. Wild landscapes are targeted for huge seizures of public land, increases in hideously loud war plane overflight impacts, or development of facilities like threat emitters. The military already has seized vast areas of the American West for use as ground and air ranges. The Nellis Range in Nevada spans 2.9 million acres, but the Air Force now wants to seize 300,000 more acres of the Desert National Wildlife Refuge. The Navy finalized a gigantic Fallon Range expansion EIS to lock up over 600,000 more acres of public lands east of Reno. Mountain Home Air Force base’s Owyhee Range airspace covers portions of three states (Idaho, Oregon, Nevada). Now the Air Force is proposing even more intrusive overflights. Washington’s wild coastal lands and waters, and people’s homes on Whidbey Island, are suffering nearly 100,000 Navy Growler flights a year. Navy intrusions on Olympic National Park and other sensitive sites include an area of the Hoh rainforest that had been described as the quietest place in the contiguous US. Meanwhile, civilian spaces in our cities and neighborhoods are increasingly subjected to creeping militarism and war games.

      • Where Have You Gone, Smedley Butler?

        Why no retired generals oppose America’s forever wars.

      • Why Have No Retired Generals Opposed US’s Forever Wars?

        There once lived an odd little man — five feet nine inches tall and barely 140 pounds sopping wet — who rocked the lecture circuit and the nation itself. For all but a few activist insiders and scholars, U.S. Marine Corps Major General Smedley Darlington Butler is now lost to history. Yet more than a century ago, this strange contradiction of a man would become a national war hero, celebrated in pulp adventure novels, and then, 30 years later, as one of this country’s most prominent antiwar and anti-imperialist dissidents.

      • Britain’s Secret Saudi Military Support Programme

        The UK’s Ministry of Defence has mistakenly admitted for the first time the cost of a secret multibillion-pound programme it manages for the Saudi Arabian royal family’s de facto protection force, which is also active in the devastating war in Yemen.

        It can also be revealed that this programme, which is embedded in the UK’s Ministry of Defence (MOD) but paid for by the Saudi regime, employs ten times more people than the British government publicly admits, raising questions about ministers misleading the parliament in Westminster.

      • What Happens After You’re Cancelled

        And then my colleagues in American journalism did me dirty. They ran with the crowd, releasing fast articles without any more context than Twitter and Facebook, without talking to me or trying to understand what was happening. Not all, but most. Enough that I knew I wouldn’t get work again, that anyone who googled me would not speak to me again. And yes, they’ll complain I didn’t get back to them. But I was nine hours ahead of the west coast and overwhelmed. I had just been fired, I was preparing for spinal surgery, and I needed to sleep. Or at least, I needed to try to sleep.

    • Environment

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • ‘No Tolerance’: Union Urges DCCC to Cut Off Support to Dems Who Voted Against Pro-Labor Bill

        “They must be denied the support of the Democratic Party for refusing to stand with working Americans.”

      • Shut Down Canada Until It Solves Its War, Oil, and Genocide Problem

        Indigenous people in Canada are giving the world a demonstration of the power of nonviolent action. The justness of their cause — defending the land from those who would destroy it for short term profit and the elimination of a habitable climate on earth — combined with their courage and the absence on their part of cruelty or hatred, has the potential to create a much larger movement, which is of course the key to success.

      • Canada Trapped By Its Own Folly

        Canada walked into a political and diplomatic trap of its own making when it took it upon itself to create a self-appointed busybody lobby called The Group of Lima.

      • AG Bill Barr Pretends The Nation Was Better Off Being Bullied By Cops, Lies About The Success Of ‘Tough On Crime’ Policies

        Bill Barr continues to burn the bridge between him and the public he’s supposed to represent. And why shouldn’t he? It’s not like the administration will rein him in, not when he’s willing to act as flak-catcher for the president we’ve all been forced to serve.

      • Poor Bill Barr

        Attorney General William Barr’s interview the other day in which he said Trump’s constant tweeting had made his job “impossible” has gotten mixed responses in the media. Some think the comment exposed a genuine rift between Barr and Trump, while others saw it as farce. I’m in the latter camp: I think the whole episode has been choreographed with specific aims in mind.

      • The Feud Between Trump and Barr Is a Grand Illusion

        The sad truth is that the two men are as simpatico as ever in pursuit of their jointly held goal of executive supremacy.

      • GOP’s Susan Collins Faces Tough Reelection Fight Following Vote to Acquit Trump

        Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, appears to be facing the toughest election of her career, with her support plummeting in a new poll.

      • Warren and Sanders Eviscerate Bloomberg on Debate Stage

        Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders took aim at former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg onstage at Wednesday’s Las Vegas Democratic debate, likening the billionaire businessman to President Donald Trump and questioning his ability to turn out voters.

      • Elizabeth Warren Made a Meal of Mike Bloomberg in Las Vegas

        The world will properly say in the aftermath of last night’s Democratic debate/melee in Las Vegas that former New York City mayor Mike Bloomberg had his own head handed to him in a small paper sack marked “Property of Warren for President.”

      • Warren Says Democrats Must Oppose Billionaire Who Calls Women ‘Fat Broads’ and ‘Horse-Faced Lesbians’ (She Wasn’t Talking About Trump)

        “We’re not going to beat Donald Trump with a man who silences women with who knows how many non-disclosure agreements.”

      • UltraViolet Calls On DNC to Keep Bloomberg Off Debate Stage Unless the Billionaire Releases Former Employees From NDAs

        “We already have a sexual predator in the White House in Donald Trump. Silencing employees and encouraging a toxic work environment cannot be the new normal.”

      • Bloomberg Serves Oligarchy and Patriarchy Before Any Party

        In its zeal to unseat President Donald Trump without sacrificing one iota of its waning power and influence, the Democratic National Committee is now for a “moderate” savior for the party’s nomination. It appears to matter little to DNC operatives whether this late entry is a Democrat, a Republican, or simply a political opportunist whose loyalties or agendas, whatever they are, must be accepted

      • Bloomberg is the Equal Evil

        An oligarch is trying to buy the Democratic Party’s presidential nomination with cash payments from his own personal fortune. If his takeover attempt succeeds, it will smash the party and assure the reelection of Donald Trump. Given their shared interests, we might wonder whether that is Michael Bloomberg’s true intent. His cynical campaign is based on deceiving people into believing the opposite, that he would be a strong candidate against Trump. Many also believe, falsely, that Bloomberg presents a lesser evil than Trump. The following is presented in refutation of these false premises.

      • Why is Black America Supporting Bloomberg?
      • Some Oracle Employees Stop Work in Protest of Larry Ellison’s Politics

        Now, a symbol of tech’s old guard is facing the stirrings of a worker uprising as well. People left their desks Thursday at Oracle offices around the world to protest Chairman Larry Ellison’s fundraiser a day earlier for President Donald Trump, according to people familiar with the matter. The protest, called No Ethics/No Work, involved about 300 employees walking out of their offices or stopping work at remote locations at noon local time and devoting the rest of the day to volunteering or civic engagement, said one of the people, who asked not to be identified for fear of retribution.

        Ellison drew employee ire that most didn’t know existed at Oracle. News of the fundraiser for Trump’s re-election campaign at Ellison’s home in Rancho Mirage, California, spurred a petition at Change.org from some of the company’s 136,000 employees. The workers argued the chairman’s public support for Trump violated Oracle’s diversity, inclusion and ethics policies, and harmed the image of the world’s second-largest software maker.

      • Reports: Trump Canned Acting Intel Chief Over Warnings About Russia

        U.S. President Donald Trump made the decision to cast out his top intelligence official following a classified briefing to lawmakers about election security, according to reports.

        The Washington Post and The New York Times said Thursday the president was irate after learning of last week’s briefing to members of the House Intelligence Committee, concerned that officials had shared information that could be used against him.

      • Democrats Must Reject Not Just a Billionaire but the Billionaire Class

        The party of Franklin Delano Roosevelt—who in 1936 warned, “We know now that Government by organized money is just as dangerous as Government by organized mob”—cannot rent itself out to the billionaire class. That’s not just politically unwise. As Sander explained, in Wednesday night’s most unapologetically class-based appeal, “Mike Bloomberg owns more wealth than the bottom 125 million Americans. That’s wrong. That’s immoral. That should not be the case when we got a half a million people sleeping out on the streets, where we have kids who cannot afford to go to college, when we have 45 million people dealing with student debt. We have enormous problems facing this country and we cannot continue seeing a situation where in the last three years, billionaires in this country saw an $850 billion increase in their wealth. Congratulations, Mr. Bloomberg. But the average American last year saw less than a 1 percent increase in his or her income. That’s wrong.”

      • U.S. intelligence told lawmakers of Russian bid to boost Trump re-election: source

        The briefers warned the committee in the classified briefing that Russia was working to cast doubt on the integrity of the Nov. 3 vote while at the same time boosting Trump’s election to a second four-year term.

        “They (the Russians) are favoring one candidate while they do it,” said the person, adding that the briefers identified that candidate as Trump. The source declined to elaborate.

      • Lawmakers Are Warned That Russia Is Meddling to Re-elect Trump

        Intelligence officials warned House lawmakers last week that Russia was interfering in the 2020 campaign to try to get President Trump re-elected, five people familiar with the matter said, a disclosure to Congress that angered Mr. Trump, who complained that Democrats would use it against him.

        The day after the Feb. 13 briefing to lawmakers, the president berated Joseph Maguire, the outgoing acting director of national intelligence, for allowing it to take place, people familiar with the exchange said. Mr. Trump was particularly irritated that Representative Adam B. Schiff, Democrat of California and the leader of the impeachment proceedings, was at the briefing.

      • MSNBC’s Anti-Sanders Bias Was on Display in Nevada, But It Hasn’t Hurt Him

        After months of speculation, billionaire and former New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg finally appeared at a Democratic primary debate last night. In an ominous sign, the first answer he gave to a question was a dishonest attack aimed at scaring voters away from a universal health care system.

      • ‘We Are Proud to Stand By His Side’: High-Profile Muslim Rights Group Emgage Endorses Bernie Sanders for President

        “Senator Sanders has built a historically inclusive and forward-thinking movement: one that represents America as a set of ideas grounded in the belief that all humans are equal and worthy of a dignified life.”

      • Divisions on Health Care Continue to Define 2020 Democratic Race

        Healthcare continues to be a central issue of the Democratic nomination fight, with Senators Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren repeating their calls for Medicare for All on the debate stage Wednesday night while their rivals proposed more incremental approaches.

      • The Most Unnerving Moment From the Nevada Democratic Debate

        Sen. Bernie Sanders was the lone voice on Wednesday night’s debate stage in Las Vegas endorsing without reservation the idea that the candidate for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination with the most votes by this summer’s convention in Milwaukee should be the party’s standard bearer.

      • Sanders Says the People — Not the Party Elites — Should Decide the Nomination

        As the primary season heads into the Nevada caucuses on Saturday, we unpack the ninth Democratic presidential debate in a roundtable on the tensions at work on the Las Vegas debate stage. Sen. Bernie Sanders, currently the front-runner in the race, said the candidate with the most delegates should become the nominee; all his rivals on stage suggested they would be open to a brokered convention, with superdelegates and other party insiders potentially deciding the nomination.

      • Mr. Sanders: Would You like Your Coffee Without Cream, or Without Milk?

        My friend and mentor John Helmeke always sees a little more than I see. John made me aware of Mike Bloomberg’s strategy of paying online influencers to make memes of him. John said, and I completely agree: “I’m so weary of the ordinary advertising (especially ordinary election campaign advertising) I will welcome an ironic, self-aware animated Bloomberg character even though I support Bernie for U.S. President.” Indeed, this was the specific request Bloomberg made to meme influencers: an ironic and self-aware Bloomberg who was trying too hard to be cool. If it sounds stupid, then stop and think a second. How else would the billionaire Republican Bloomberg convince the working class he was good for them?

      • Sanders Hits Bloomberg With ‘Grotesque’ Statistic: Billionaire Owns More Wealth Than Bottom 125 Million Americans Combined

        “That’s wrong. That’s immoral. That should not be the case when we got half a million people sleeping out on the street.”

      • Sanders Gets Backing of March for Our Lives Co-Founders for ‘Intersectional’ Approach to Ending Gun Violence

        “He gets that all the issues we fight for are connected, and the gun violence isn’t the cause but the symptom of systematic injustice in this country.”

      • The Wall Street Journal Excluded Elizabeth Warren From a Poll…Because They Wanted To?

        The poll, from NBC and the Wall Street Journal, found Warren was effectively tied for second place nationally, with 14% of the vote. But pollsters excluded her from a series of match-ups between Trump and top candidates. The poll include Pete Buttigieg, Joe Biden, and Mike Bloomberg, who all polled within a point of Warren, and Amy Klobuchar, who trailed significantly behind them. Peter Hart, whose firm conducted the poll, told BuzzFeed News that the poll had “space and time” for just five candidate match-ups.

        In other words, they didn’t include SPW because they didn’t want to. In other words, this poll and its subsequent publication make up a staggering act of deliberate journalistic malpractice, and anyone who continues to cite it needs to be demoted to night rewrite for a spell. And it is interesting to note that neither of the two news organizations behind the poll chose to comment on the BuzzFeed story. Sometimes, my business really sucks pondwater. (Lawrence O’Donnell refused to use the poll on his MSNBC show Tuesday night specifically because of SPW’s exclusion. Fair play to him for that.) Of course, SPW has dedicated her entire public career to fighting against the distortions in our lives and our politics by the people for whom the WSJ serves the same function as The Daily Racing Form,

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • Group Promoting ‘Religious Freedom’ Around Vaccines Appears To Want To Stifle Free Expression Of Critics

        As should be evident by the fact that our post from last fall about content moderation dealing with ignorant anti-vaxxers has amassed over 1700 comments (and more keep coming in), the anti-vax community seems to really like to flood the zone with bullshit, and keep talking until people debunking their nonsense are just completely worn out (and, yes, all of their nonsense has been debunked countless times). However, it appears that for all their talk of individual “freedom” sometimes they seek to silence others.

    • Freedom of Information / Freedom of the Press

      • Pardoning Julian Assange: Trump, WikiLeaks and the DNC

        The central pillar to Democratic paranoia and vengefulness regarding the loss of Hillary Clinton in 2016 was the link between Russian hacking, the servers of the Democratic National Committee and the release of emails via WikiLeaks. Over time, that account has become a matter of hagiography, an article of faith, with grave conclusions: WikiLeaks and Russia elected Donald Trump.

      • Did Trump try to bribe Julian Assange with a pardon? Well, he won’t be impeached over it

        Surprising no one, we learned this week that Donald Trump apparently offered WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange a pardon in exchange for aiding in Trump’s cover-up of the Russian military’s hacking and theft of emails from the Democratic National Committee in 2016.

      • Cameroonian journalist Martinez Zogo jailed since January on defamation charges

        On January 17, judicial police officers in Yaoundé, the capital, arrested Zogo at the offices of Radio Amplitude FM, a privately owned broadcaster where he works as editor-in-chief, Zogo’s lawyer, Joseph Kenmoe, told CPJ in a phone interview.

        Authorities charged him with criminal defamation following a complaint filed by Sylvie Biye Essono, the ex-wife of a government official, which alleged that Zogo had spread false information about her in a January 8 broadcast, Kenmoe said. On January 25, Zogo was transferred to Yaoundé’s Kondengui prison, where he remains in detention, Kenmoe told CPJ.

      • Dissenter Weekly: Chelsea Manning Urges Judge To Free Her (Again)—Plus, What To Expect At Upcoming Assange Hearing

        On this edition of the “Dissenter Weekly,” we depart from our normal routine and focus solely on WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange’s upcoming extradition hearing, as well as a recent motion to free United States Army whistleblower Chelsea Manning, which was filed by her legal team. As United States Army whistleblower Chelsea Manning yet again affirmed she will not testify before a federal grand jury empaneled against WikiLeaks, her legal team outlined how she will not be coerced by confinement or financial sanctions, and what the federal judge is allowing the government to do is profoundly cruel. Assange’s legal team informed the judge presiding over Assange’s extradition case that President Donald Trump allegedly offered a pardon through an intermediary. The media establishment wildly misreported what the legal team said so Gosztola clarifies what was really asserted.

        Later in the episode, Gosztola offers an overview ahead of next week’s extradition hearing. The first couple days will focus on opening arguments and then shift to the issue of whether the U.S.-U.K. extradition treaty covers Assange. There will be much deliberation over “political offenses” and so Gosztola looks back at the reasons why Ecuador granted Assange asylum.

      • Assange’s Lawyer Claims WikiLeaks Founder Was Offered U.S. Pardon If He Denied Russia’s Role

        Fitzgerald told the judge that another Assange lawyer, Jennifer Robinson, recalled that Rohrabacher said he was visiting on instructions from Trump and that the United States would be willing to pardon Assange or offer another means to set him free if he would say that Russia was not involved in the DNC leaks.

      • Trump ‘offered to pardon Assange in exchange for Russia denial’

        At Westminster Magistrates’ Court, Assange’s barrister, Edward Fitzgerald, referred to a witness statement by former Republican U.S. Representative Dana Rohrabacher who visited Assange in 2017, saying he had been sent by the president to offer a pardon.

        The pardon would come on the condition that Assange say the Russians were not involved in the email leak that damaged Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign in 2016 against Trump, Rohrabacher’s statement said.

      • NYC police arrest and charge photojournalist

        In New York City, police arrested photojournalist Amr Alfiky on Tuesday as he filmed an arrest underway on the street. Police held Alfiky in custody for about 3.5 hours and confiscated his press credentials. He was released after being charged with disorderly conduct. An NYPD spokesman told New York Daily News that Alfiky did not identify himself as a journalist until after he was in custody. In a video of the arrest, Alfiky can be heard repeatedly and loudly telling police officers that he is a journalist and offering to show his press credentials.

      • USA must drop charges against Julian Assange

        Authorities in the USA must drop the espionage and all other charges against Julian Assange that relate to his publishing activities as part of his work with Wikileaks. The US government’s unrelenting pursuit of Julian Assange for having published disclosed documents that included possible war crimes committed by the US military is nothing short of a full-scale assault on the right to freedom of expression.

        Julian Assange is currently being held at Belmarsh, a high security prison in the UK, on the basis of a US extradition request on charges that stem directly from the publication of disclosed documents as part of his work with Wikileaks. Amnesty International strongly opposes any possibility of Julian Assange being extradited or sent in any other manner to the USA. There, he faces a real risk of serious human rights violations including possible detention conditions that would amount to torture and other ill-treatment (such as prolonged solitary confinement). The fact that he was the target of a negative public campaign by US officials at the highest levels undermines his right to be presumed innocent and puts him at risk of an unfair trial.

      • ARTICLE 19 urges UK courts not to extradite Wikileaks publisher Julian Assange

        Freedom of expression organisation ARTICLE 19 is calling for the UK not to extradite Wikileaks publisher Julian Assange to the United States.

        Acting Executive Director Quinn McKew said:

        “The extradition of Julian Assange would be a blow to investigative journalism around the world, criminalizing the newsgathering process and having a chilling effect on freedom of expression. It would mean that journalists and whistleblowers who expose human rights abuses by the US and other governments, as well as other powerful entities, are at risk of extradition and prosecution, wherever they are located, on vague “national security” grounds.

        “If extradited, Assange would be tried under the US Espionage Act for publishing information that is both accurate and in the public interest, dealing a serious blow to national security journalism in the US and abroad.

        “The UK authorities should not be complicit in this attack on press freedom. We also urge the US Government to drop the charges and urgently improve the protection of whistleblowers in the US.”

        The US is seeking to extradite Assange to face an indictment with 18 counts that include charges for violation of the Espionage Act and a hacking-related charge.

      • Why supporting Julian Assange means defending freedom of information

        John Shipton, Julian Assange’s indefatigable father, armed with a smile, stood tall at the Palais des Académies in Brussels on 29 January 2020, at a ceremony awarding four Academic Honoris Causa by the Belgian network of academics, Carta Academica. The event was organised in honour of whistleblowers Chelsea Manning and Edward Snowden and journalists Sarah Harrison and Julian Assange, who “each in their own way, have put their freedom and even their lives at risk to defend press freedom, freedom of expression and our right to information”.

        Speaking before an audience of human rights and freedoms defenders, the Wikileaks founder’s father tirelessly insists that his son is in prison for exposing crimes committed by others. “In my country, Australia, but also in Sweden, the United Kingdom or the United States, it is usually reprehensible to conceal the truth, especially when it is about crimes.”

        And it is, precisely, the United States and the United Kingdom that Shipton has been pointing to since Julian Assange published over 250,000 diplomatic cables and 500,000 confidential documents concerning US military activities in Iraq and Afghanistan for the whole world to see, and especially for major international news outlets.

      • Assange’s extradition to the US would “threaten the work of all journalists”

        At a press conference today in Paris with Julian Assange’s international lawyers – Eric Dupond-Moretti, Antoine Vey, Baltasar Garzon, and with Assange’s father John Shipton, RSF secretary-general Christophe Deloire firmly opposed Assange’s extradition to the United States, where he is facing the possibility of a 175-year prison sentence for passing information of a public interest nature to journalists.

    • Civil Rights/Policing

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

      • NY AG Gives Up, Won’t Appeal T-Mobile Merger Ruling

        You only need to look at recent telecom court rulings to recognize that both US antitrust enforcement and regulatory oversight are dangerously and comically broken, at least as it pertains to the US telecom market.

    • Monopolies

      • Trump Ads Will Take Over YouTube’s Homepage on Election Day

        In the immediate run up to the U.S. presidential election and on Election Day, the homepage of YouTube is set to advertise just one candidate: Donald Trump.

        The president’s re-election campaign purchased the coveted advertising space atop the country’s most-visited video website for early November, said two people with knowledge of the transaction. The deal ensures Trump will be featured prominently in the key days when voters across the country prepare to head to the polls Nov. 3.

      • With a $10 Billion Fund, Jeff Bezos Can Control the Planet’s Future

        Ten billion dollars may not seem like a sizable sum for people in the market to buy a couple of football teams, but it’s an almost unfathomable amount of money for climate change research and activism. It dwarfs the $4 billion that 29 philanthropic organizations pledged to fighting climate change in 2018, in what was called the largest investment of its kind at the time. It’s so much money that it will likely be difficult to spend on existing researchers and organizations, as The Atlantic noted. Bezos could fund 2,857 Duke University professors indefinitely, or almost three times the number of tenured professors at Yale, for example.

        “It really will shape the whole nature of the climate movement,” says Robert J. Brulle, a professor emeritus at Drexel University studying politics and the environment. “There’s going to be this mad rush of cash.”

      • Patents

        • Why AI is crucial for patent searching and mining

          Thanks to the millions of documents that need to be analysed, AI can supplement human intelligence to analyse patent and market data. Using AI will involve a shift from keyword-based searches and conventional Boolean operators for patent discovery to AI-enhanced semantic searches using neural networks for high retrieval efficiency and accuracy.

        • Turkey: EPO Provides Grounds For Its Decision To Refuse AI-Invented Patent Applications

          On November 25, 2019, the European Patent Office has rejected two patent applications (EP 18 275 163 and EP 18 275 174) that designated an artificial intelligence named “DABUS” as the sole inventor. The applicant stated that DABUS is “a type of connectionist artificial intelligence” and that they acquired the right to the European patent from DABUS by being its successor in title. But, both applications have been refused for failure to comply with the formal EPC provision regarding the designation of inventor and now, EPO has published its reasons to refuse them.

          According to the EPO, when a machine is designated as inventor, the requirements of Article 81 and Rule 19(1) EPC have not been met, because Rule 19(1) EPC requires designation of inventorship to comprise a family name, given names and full address of the inventor and name of DABUS cannot be equated with names of natural persons. EPO stated: “Names given to natural persons, whether composed of a given name and a family name or mononymous, serve not only the function of identifying them but enable them to exercise their rights and form part of their personality. Things have no rights which a name would allow them to exercise.” In addition, in the EPC, inventors have various rights (Article 62, Article 81 EPC) but AI systems or machines have “at present no rights because they have no legal personality comparable to natural or legal persons.” Thus, since AI inventors do not have rights, they cannot “own its output or any alleged invention” and they cannot be considered to be a successor in title.

        • The Next Risk In Buying An IOT Product Is Having It Bricked By A Patent Dispute

          In the world of the Internet of Broken Things, there is nothing more impressive to me than the fact that these things actually sell as well as they do. The risks associated with internet-connected devices seem insurmountable, save for the fact that we are all cattle being marched along to the slaughterhouse, our faces as serene as could be. Between companies simply deciding that supporting these products isn’t worth it any longer and reducing functionality, firing off firmware updates that simply kill off selling-point features, or leaving security holes wide enough to drive a malicious creepster through, it seems that very little thought goes into the fact that customers are, you know, buying these things. Once that purchase is made, how long that purchase is functional and secure appears to be an afterthought.

        • The US Spent Years Telling China To Take Patents Seriously; Now It’s Freaking Out That China Is Doing So

          By now, I’m sure, you’ve heard the story over and over again about how China “doesn’t respect” things like patents, and how the US has had, time and time again, needed to use diplomatic pressure to try to get China to stop trying to copy American inventions, and to start “respecting” patents. Yet, for many years, we’ve been pointing out how brain dead this logic has been. All the way back in 2009, we warned that China was using this bizarre American obsession with patent monopolies against us. And that has continued over the years. Suddenly, China started flooding foreign patent offices with millions of Chinese patents. Indeed, the country started to “respect” patents so much, that it basically turned into a giant patent troll, shaking down foreign companies for money — and more importantly, using those patents to block competition (remember, patents are a monopoly right).

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