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02.25.20

Links 25/2/2020: MakuluLinux LinDoz and Manjaro 19.0 Released

Posted in News Roundup at 1:14 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Update on Linux support: creation of a CERN Linux community forum

      For those, a CERN Linux community forum has been created. Users will be able to post issues that they encounter when using non-CERN-supported Linux distributions and to post solutions. Users are also encouraged to post articles with comments and ideas that could help make this forum more dynamic and useful to them.

      Various methods for printing and using AFS, SSH, ROOT and other tools at CERN can be found on the internet. The CERN Linux community forum aims to collect these methods, as well as new ones that may be created directly in it.

    • Audiocasts/Shows

      • PinePhone | Using Linux Phone instead of Android or Apple

        PinePhone | Using Linux Phone instead of Android or Apple I am going over the Pinephone, the next generation of open-source phones that have no spyware and tracking like the traditional iPhones and Android Phones of today. It is still in development, but I got my hands on one and I have to say I am impressed.

      • 2020-02-24 | Linux Headlines

        Richard Stallman has won the battle for the GNU project, another critical vulnerability in OpenSMTPD, and Arch Linux makes leadership changes.

      • Ask Lunduke – Feb 24, 2020 – Bloated Software and Licensing

        Ask Lunduke is a weekly podcast where the community can ask any question they like… and I (attempt to) answer them. This episode is available to all Patreon supporters. Topics on Ask Lunduke this week: If you had a magic button that would swap all Free Software for Proprietary… and all Proprietary for Free Software… would you? Why is modern software so bloated? Would you rather live in a home with no power, or a home where everything imaginable is an Internet of Things device, and you can’t deactivate them or block their signal?

      • Mastering Cyber Security Basics: James Smith | Jupiter Extras 58

        Wes and Ell sit down with James Smith to have an honest conversation about what skills are needed to start a career and be successful in Tech and Information Security.

    • Kernel Space

      • Linux Kernel 5.6-rc3 Releases Officially by Linus Torvalds!!

        Kernel 5.6-re3 releases:“ Linux Torvalds said, ‘Linux Kernel 5.6-rc3 will be released soon.’” Linux Kernel is an open-source UNIX based operating system for all the computers. Each and every part of Linux distributions is made up of Linux Kernel. Every major open-source system such as Servers, Desktops, TV, smartphones, Watch, Distro is using the Linux Kernel as the base. The Linux Kernel is basically developed by Linus Torvalds in the year of 1991 for his personal computer. But later now, it has been developed into an operating system that attracted many developers all around the world.

      • Kernel prepatch 5.6-rc3

        The 5.6-rc3 kernel prepatch is out for testing. Linus says: “Fairly normal rc3 as far as I can tell. We’ve seen bigger, but we’ve seen smaller ones too. Maybe this is slightly on the low side of average at this time, which would make sense since this was a smaller merge window. Anyway, too much noise in the signal to be sure either way.”

      • Linux 5.5.6

        I’m announcing the release of the 5.5.6 kernel.

        All users of the 5.5 kernel series must upgrade.

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

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

      • Linux 5.4.22
      • Linux 4.19.106
    • Benchmarks

      • The Current RADV+ACO Mesa Driver Performance For February 2020

        As it’s been a few weeks since last running a Mesa open-source driver comparison on AMD Radeon graphics hardware, here are some fresh Mesa 20.1-devel benchmarks just a few weeks so far after the Mesa 20.0 branching. These latest Mesa 20.1-devel benchmarks were also run a second time when enabling the RADV ACO shader compiler back-end that’s been a focus by Valve developers in enhancing the Linux gaming experience. These results are compared to Mesa 19.2.8 as a baseline for the open-source driver support offered out-of-the-box by Ubuntu 19.10.

      • AMD officially recommends Windows 10 Pro, Linux for Threadripper 3990X

        AMD launched its insane Ryzen Threadripper 3990X processor recently, rocking 64 cores and 128 threads but what operating system do you need to squeeze everything out of the 128-threaded CPU? AMD has the answer.

    • Applications

      • Claws Mail 3.17.5 Open-Source Email Client Released with New Features

        Coming seven months after the previous release, Claws Mail 3.17.5 is here to implement colour syntax highlighting support for inline Git patch attachments, which can be configured via the “Other” tab in the Display/Colors page under General Preferences.

        It also adds the ability to scroll with the keyboard in the LiteHtml viewer plugin and the “Re-edit” message context menu option was reimplemented and will be visible in the Drafts folder.

        Furthermore, Claws Mail 3.17.5 adds support for two extra date header formats, namely weekday, month, day, hh, mm, ss, year, zone and weekday, month, day, hh, mm, ss, year, and lets users configure the “summary_from_show” hidden preference from the user interface via the “Message List” tab in the Display/Summaries under General Preferences.

      • 3 eBook readers for the Linux desktop

        I usually read eBooks on my phone or with my Kobo eReader. I’ve never been comfortable reading books on larger screens. However, many people regularly read books on their laptops or desktops. If you are one of them (or think you might be), I’d like to introduce you to three eBook readers for the Linux desktop.

        Bookworm is billed as a “simple, focused eBook reader.” And it is. Bookworm has a basic set of features, which some people will complain about being too basic or lacking functionality (whatever that word means). Bookworm does one thing and does it well without unnecessary frills.

        The application’s interface is very clean and uncluttered.

      • Open-Source AI Projects For Linux

        For years, programmers, researchers and web hosting gurus have used Linux for building and hosting their creations. One of the biggest benefits of using Linux for these AI open-source projects is that it is a stable program made to be used in just about any IT architecture and infrastructure. Some developers have the misconception that Linux is full of unwanted surprises like OSX and Windows, but this is not true because these programs are open source. This means that anyone can tinker with the open-source code online, which is why Windows and OSX are not widely used for AI programs.

        Linux has both the versatility and security needed to run open-source AI projects. Powerful tech companies like Google even use a variant of the Linux distribution Ubuntu to power their machine learning programs. Using tools like Loggly allows you to find errors in your Linux-powered creations and fix them quickly. Utilizing the power of the Linux/AI technology on the market will require lots of time and research. The more you know about the tools available to you, the easier it will be to choose the right ones.

    • Instructionals/Technical

    • Games

      • With clever cloth simulation the cyberpunk platformer ‘Lazr’ is funded

        With a campaign that had quite a dicey ending, Lazr, an action platformer with some really fun use of cloth physics/simulation has now been funded on Kickstarter.

        Against the goal of $10,000 they ended with $10,432. Sadly, right before it ended they had a sudden drop in funding from other $12,300 which means two stretch-goals didn’t make it and the campaign as a whole almost didn’t make it.

      • Counter-Strike: Global Offensive adds the first Agent customization with Patches

        Valve are pushing out more customization options to Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, with the ability to add Patches sewn into Agent’s outfits.

        Customization is big of course, it’s part of the reason other games (Fortnite) are so popular. Looks like Valve want to get a bigger piece of the pie too. With the new Battle Pass system introduced with the Shattered Web Operation, it brought with it new Agents so you don’t have to just have the standard look.

      • Hearts of Iron IV’s espionage-themed expansion, La Résistance, is a fun addition to a hard-fought war

        You could be excused for thinking that the latest expansion for Hearts of Iron IV is all about the plucky resistance fighters and partisans that fought various occupying forces and oppressive governments during the Second World War. While they certainly feature in new mechanics, there they’re not the main attraction of this sizeable expansion. Instead, La Résistance’s major features can be split into two broad camps: the introduction of espionage and skullduggery and unique focus trees and content for Iberian nations and France.

        The new espionage system adds a new layer of strategy to the game. Its fundamentals are simple: spend resources to establish an agency, recruit agents and then send them off in missions to further your aims. It’s a system that’s rather intuitive and offers a degree of flexibility in how you choose to grow your spy agency. In the various games that I played I found that it didn’t require much micromanagement and that I was able to approach warfare in slightly different ways each time around thanks to the help of my agents.

        The types of missions available are plentiful and, honestly, slightly overwhelming when it comes to actually deciding what I wanted to go for. This is in part because of the very long time it takes to infiltrate other countries, crack their codes or plan some of the more useful operations like winning over potential quislings so that future occupations are smoother. For typical aggressor nations, like Germany, it’s simply not worth the bother to send your two or so agents to France in the early years to destabilize them. By the time that you’re able to do anything useful in these infiltrated countries, you’re likely already on the verge of overwhelming them militarily anyways. The spy game plays best for long-term calculations, against foes who you have the luxury of time to undermine thoroughly.

      • First gameplay teaser for Spiritfarer, a ‘cozy management game about dying’ is out

        Spiritfarer has me so extremely curious, coming from Thunder Lotus Games (Sundered, Jotun) it’s a ‘cozy management game about dying’ and a short gameplay teaser is out.

        This is one I actually missed, when it and others had a short demo up for The Game Awards recently (I was too busy enjoying CARRION) so this is the first proper footage I’ve seen of it. In Spiritfarer, you play as Stella, a ferrymaster to the deceased. It’s your job to care for their spirits before they get released into the afterlife. A highly unusual setting for such a sim although it has the usual mechanics like mining, farming and so on but the setting definitely hits a new spot.

      • Half-Life remake ‘Black Mesa’ will finally hit 1.0 on March 5

        After a very long 14 year development cycle (yes really) and almost 5 years in Early Acces, the Half-Life remake Black Mesa is finally going properly release on March 5.

        In an announcement on Steam, they mentioned how hard it has been and how they nearly quit multiple times but they’re just about at the finishing line now. They even mentioned how their first game industry job came as a result of their free work on Black Mesa, which did eventually turn into their actual job and they feel Black Mesa is “the best, most polished, and most fun version of the game yet” and that the “anticipation and excitement around our project is beyond flattering.”.

      • The new ‘ΔV: Rings of Saturn’ hard sci-fi space sim trailer has me itching to play

        ΔV: Rings of Saturn, a top-down hard sci-fi space simulation game backed up by real physics and science has a rather explosive new trailer out.

        Currently in Early Access, and something our contributor Scaine talks about highly, ΔV: Rings of Saturn from Kodera Software definitely seems like something a bit special. It’s been through some huge updates in the last few months too from a major Godot Engine upgrade with improved performance to a bunch of new visual effects.

      • Norbert Preining: Gaming: The Turing Test

        In a world without Portal and The Talos Principle, The Turing Test would have been a great game. Fortunately there is Portal and The Talos Principle, which leaves The Turing Test as an interesting clone with a lot of (sometimes) challenging levels, but no real innovation.

      • Humble Store has a ‘Tabletop Sale’ going, some good Linux games on offer

        It’s the start of another glorious week for Linux gaming and another big sale is going on again. Over on the Humble Store, they have a Tabletop Sale now live.

      • How to play Bully: Scholarship Edition on Linux

        Bully: Scholarship Edition is a remaster of Rockstar Game’s “Bully,” a game about a young kid working his way through the social hierarchy of high school, meeting girls, making friends, and causing mischief. The game is an open world, which is typical of Rockstar. Here’s how to get it working on your Linux PC.

      • DOSBox – Run classic DOS games on your Linux PC

        DOSBox is an open-source software that creates a virtual MS-DOS compatible environment, including sound, graphics, and basic networking. It enables you to run DOS applications without any modifications.

        Using this wonderful app, you can run your classic DOS games and compilers like Wolfenstein 3D, Prince of Persia, Turbo C++, and MASM on your Linux PC.

        DOSBox makes use of Simple DirectMedia Layer (SDL), a library designed to allow low-level access to hardware components like a mouse, keyboards, sound system, and graphics. It has made the whole process of porting easier to various platforms. Currently, DOSBox runs on several platforms like different Linux, Windows, and macOS.

      • Space Grunts 2 shows how versatile a deck-builder can be and it’s good

        With how popular deck-builders have become, it’s no surprise to see many developers have a go at it. Orangepixel have with Space Grunts 2 and after playing it, I’m really enjoying it. Note: Key provided by the developer.

        Currently in Early Access, released there back in September 2019 the developer seems to just keep adding more to it nearly every week. Given how many updates it’s had, I took it for a spin to get some early thoughts on it. Space Grunts 2 has been, at least so far, one of the most unique feeling roguelikes thanks to their deck-building mechanic. Like other great roguelikes it’s turn-based so nothing happens until you move, you take turns on the combat, and if you die and you need to start again. However, as you travel you collect cards which are you abilities.

      • The afterlife is an office job of choosing who lives and dies in Death and Taxes

        Placeholder Gameworks (great name!) have just recently released Death and Taxes, a game set in the afterlife where you take on the role of the Grim Reaper only it’s not quite what you expect. Note: Key sent by the developer to our Steam Curator.

        Rather than go out dressed in a hooded-robe with a great big scythe, it’s an office job. You get to give the stamp of approval on who lives and dies to keep chaos in check, based on people in life-threatening situations with your actions having certain consequences based on who sticks around. Inspired by the likes of “Papers, Please”, “Reigns” and “Beholder”.

      • Oxygen Not Included still ‘fully in development’ with first DLC hopefully this Autumn

        Klei Entertainment have given an update on their plans for continued support of the colony survival/building game Oxygen Not Included and they confirmed it’s still ‘fully in development’.

        Although it left Early Access back in July last year, since then they’ve been somewhat quiet on their wider plans. Not entirely silent though as they did release the “Meep’s Manadatory Recreation Content Pack” free update, along with a big update to the Unity version used. Thanks to a recent roadmap post, we now know what their further plans are.

        For the first major DLC, they said it’s going to be “quite sizable” with new game systems included. However, they’re not giving a definite timeline on it as they’re still testing and iterating on their ideas. They did at least give something of a release window, with something to show in the Summer to possibly release in the Autumn.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • GNOME Desktop/GTK

        • GNOME Clocks App Redesigned, Now Looks Great on Linux Phones

          In all, looking pretty good I think! Although Clocks isn’t the kind of app I use that often on the desktop (save for setting up world clocks so they are shown in the messaging tray/calendar applet) it’s an integral tool.

          You can read more about the effort behind this update on Bilal’s blog. You’ll find code for the refreshed GNOME Clocks on Gitlab.

          Are you running a modern Linux distribution? If so, you can install the current version of Clocks using a package manager of your choice.

          Finally, to see more of this revamp in action check out this video that anime addict BabyWogue has just published — such great timing!

        • GNOME On Wayland Screencasting Is About To Be A Heck Of A Lot More Efficient

          Pending GNOME Mutter changes in conjunction with the new PipeWire 0.3 will offer a big improvement in making use of GNOME’s screencasting support from Wayland sessions.

          GNOME’s screencasting / monitor sharing support under Wayland has already been in quite good shape compared to other desktops/compositors on Wayland, but with PipeWire 0.3 and pending Mutter changes is a big step forward. With PipeWire 0.3 is support for importing DMA-BUF file descriptors and sharing it with clients, which can avoid excess image copies between CPU and GPU memory. As we see time and time again, using DMA-BUF can provide big wins for performance thanks to properly designed zero-copy buffer sharing between drivers and hardware blocks.

        • Even better screencast with GNOME on Wayland

          With last week’s release of PipeWire 3, and Mutter’s subsequent adaptation to depend on it, I decided to revive something I have started to work on a few months ago. The results can be found in this merge request.

          PipeWire 0.3 brings one very interesting and important feature to the game: it can import DMA-Buf file descriptors, and share it with clients. On the client side, one easy way to make use of this feature is simply by using the pipewiresrc source in GStreamer.

          The key aspect of DMA-Buf sharing is that we avoid copying images between GPU and CPU memory. On a 4K monitor, which is what I’m using these days, that means it avoids needlessly copying almost 2GB of pixels every second.

    • Distributions

      • Haiku Alpha 1: Rebirth of legend (Part 1 of 5: Startup and first look)

        As a quick recap or the ‘too long, didn’t read’ (tdlr) version of the intro to the Haiku Alpha series, Be had started life making its own software (BeOS) and hardware (BeBox) — but in the end, three things had hurt Be: struggling to compete in a Windows dominion, the lost candidacy at becoming the next generation Mac OS (and the end of Mac clones), and finally, their push into the Internet Appliance market (which failed as the technologies needed to make it attractive to consumers were ahead of Be’s time). By 2002, Be was gone (1).

        Thus, in the ashes of Be’s collapse, there were aficionados of the BeOS who tried to keep the legacy going through various distributions and forks (such as Max and Zeta) — but there really wasn’t one successor to lead the way. That is… until the appearance of the OpenBeOS (renamed Haiku later in its development), which finally reached Alpha status in the autumn of 2009 on September 14 (2).

        And so — without further prologue, that brings us to today’s topic: Haiku Alpha 1.

      • New Releases

        • IPFire 2.25 – Core Update 141 released

          The first exciting big update of the year is ready: IPFire 2.25 – Core Update 141! It comes with a totally reworked DNS system which adds many new features like DNS-over-TLS.

          On top of that, this update fixes many bugs.

        • IPFire Open-Source Linux Firewall Gets a Revamped DNS System
        • MakuluLinux LinDoz Edition is now available for Download

          MakuluLinux LinDoz Is not designed to be a Clone of Windows, it is merely familiar territory for both Windows and Linux users, the themes aren’t replicas of windows, but mere “similar” designs. It doesn’t matter which environment you come from, when you log into LinDoz you get a familiar sense of belonging. We added just enough to make windows users feel comfortable, yet pushing them to explore the Linux world, Linux users will feel instantly at home, feeling comfortable with the terminal and rest of the tools and software, yet maybe enjoy the windows like themes and icon sets. Lindoz is also extremely beautiful, from the first logon you will simply fall in love with how pleasing it is on the eyes. LinDoz not only offers pretty themes and beautiful wallpapers, it also features a really cool and unique menu options and some other cool hidden goodies, Watch the included Video for more details…

          Makulu LinDoz 2020 is a complete redesign of the Original Debian based LinDoz flavor. It is now built on top of the new MakuluLinux Constructor 2020 Base, Codenamed : “2020-U Base”, A Base that we spent a lot of time making and perfecting, possibly one of the fastest, most flexible and most stable bases floating around the net at the moment, not to mention it is near bug free. Unlike the its predecessor which used the Debian repositories, This base gets its core updates from Ubuntu Bionic with additional updates being supplied by Makulu Directly, unlike many other big developers that borrow their base from Debian or Ubuntu, we chose to instead build our own, this way we don’t inherit any known bugs that plague Ubuntu builds and since we built the base we know whats going on inside it, it also allowed us to optimize for speed and stability of our Builds, and it shows, it really shows, anyone who has run any of our builds have noticed how well they run… The Reason I mention the base at all will be relevant in Due time. Just know, this new 2020 Base is really Awesome, and that LinDoz is built on this new Base.

      • Gentoo Family

        • Searx and Gentoo wiki search

          Two years ago I started to get interested in selfhosting services. I started to go away from private services and implementing selfhosting, manly because private services was disabling most of the features that I liked and I had no way to contribute or see how they was working.
          That is what made look into https://old.reddit.com/r/selfhosted/ and https://www.privacytools.io/ That is when I disovered searx, as the github page say searx is a “Privacy-respecting metasearch engine”.

      • SUSE/OpenSUSE

        • Leap 15.2 Enters Beta Builds Phase

          openSUSE Leap 15.2 entered the Beta phase last week and has already released two snapshots with the release of build 581.2 and build 588.2. Leap has a rolling development model until it’s final build, so multiple builds will be released according to the road map until the gold master is released, which is scheduled for May 7.

          There are no concrete milestones in the rolling development model. As bugs are fixed and new packages introduced or excluded, snapshots of the latest beta phase builds will be released once they pass openQA testing.

        • OpenSUSE Leap 15.2 Begins Seeing Beta Builds, Official Release Due In May

          OpenSUSE Leap 15.2 has rolled past its alpha phase and is now producing rolling-release beta builds for this version of openSUSE built off the SUSE Linux Enterprise 15 sources.

          These beta releases are coming after several months of alpha milestones. SUSE developers are anticipating the transition to the release candidate phase around mid-April and to officially ship openSUSE Leap 15.2 on 7 May.

          Among the items on the 15.2 road-map for openSUSE has included updating AppStream, changing more “openSUSE” references to “Leap”, and other items. Leap 15.2 will have an updated Linux kernel, KDE Plasma 5.18 LTS with Qt 5.12, Xfce 4.14, and other package updates.

      • Arch Family

        • Linux Gamers And Creators Should Pay Attention To Arch-Based Salient OS

          Sometimes our field of vision or limited experience restricts us from seeing worthy alternatives. That’s especially true when it comes to desktop Linux; there is no shortage of quality Linux operating systems to test out. So when I argued here that System76’s Pop!_OS is perfect for gamers and produced this video demonstrating it, there were two passionate camps in the comments section. One side voiced cheerful agreement, but the other side basically said “Clearly you haven’t tried Salient OS.”

        • The Future of the Arch Linux Project Leader

          Some of you may know me from the days when I was much more involved in Arch, but most of you probably just know me as a name on the website. I’ve been with Arch for some time, taking the leadership of this beast over from Judd back in 2007. But, as these things often go, my involvement has slid down to minimal levels over time. It’s high time that changes.

          Arch Linux needs involved leadership to make hard decisions and direct the project where it needs to go. And I am not in a position to do this.

        • Arch Linux Announces New Project Leader

          Aaron Griffin is stepping down as the Arch Linux Project Leader, who has led the distribution since 2007 where under his tenure Arch Linux boomed in popularity. With him stepping away due to minimal time to invest in the project, a process for selecting a new leader has formed.

          The Arch Linux staff has formed a new process for determining future leaders by the staff voting for new leaders. The Arch Linux Project leader will hold two year terms moving forward.

        • Manjaro 19.0 released (Gnome, KDE, XFCE, Architect)

          We are happy to publish another stable release of Manjaro Linux, named Kyria.

          The Xfce edition remains our flagship offering and has received the attention it deserves. Only a few can claim to offer such a polished, integrated and leading-edge Xfce experience. With this release we ship Xfce 4.14 and have mostly focused on polishing the user experience with the desktop and window manager. Also we have switched to a new theme called Matcha. A new feature Display-Profiles allows you to store one or more profiles for your preferred display configuration. We also have implemented auto-application of profiles when new displays are connected.

          Our KDE edition provides the powerful, mature and feature-rich Plasma 5.17 desktop environment with a unique look-and-feel, which we completely re-designed for this release. The full set of Breath2-themes includes light and dark versions, animated splash-screen, Konsole profiles, Yakuake skins and many more little details. We have rounded off text editor Kate with some additional color schemes and offer Plasma-Simplemenu as an alternative to the traditional Kickoff-Launcher. With a wide selection of latest KDE-Apps 19.12.2 and other applications Manjaro-KDE aims to be a versatile and elegant environment ready for all your everyday needs.

        • Manjaro 19 Is Now Available With Updated GNOME, KDE Plasma And Xfce Features

          After several months of testing and copious amounts of teasing, the next major update to Arch-based Manjaro is now available. The final version of Manjaro 19 has been released with a host of updates, and special attention paid to the distro’s flagship Xfce desktop version. Manjaro 19 brings Xfce 4.14 to the table, with special attention paid to the overall polish of the user experience and window manager. The team has also switched the theme to Matcha, and added a feature called Display-Profiles to store one (or several) profiles for your current display configuration, which is nothing short of fantastic.

        • Manjaro Linux 19.0 “Kyria” Released: A Beginner-Friendly Arch Experience

          After the two release candidates, Manjaro Linux has announced the release of a new stable version v19.0 with bug fixes and more polished multiple Desktop Environments such as Xfce, KDE, and GNOME.

          Weeks before the release of Manjaro 18.1, Manjaro Linux became a professional project and hence it focuses more on building a professional Linux based operating system.

        • Arch-Based Manjaro 19.0 Released With Flagship Edition Using Xfce 4.14

          Manjaro 19.0 is out today as this popular desktop-focused Arch Linux based distribution that is focused on its Xfce desktop spin but also offers other desktop options.

          Manjaro 19.0 makes use of Xfce 4.14 paired with a new theme while KDE Plasma 5.17 and GNOME 3.34 are offered as other desktop options for this Arch-based platform. Manjaro 19.0 is shipping with the Linux 5.4 LTS kernel, Pamac 9.3 for package management, and a plethora of other package updates. Manjaro 19.0 also features improvements around Oracle VM VirtualBox support, NVIDIA PRIME with the proprietary graphics driver, and other updates pulled in from upstream.

        • Manjaro Linux 19.0 “Kyria” Officially Released, This Is What’s New
      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • LMDE 4 “Debbie” – BETA Release

          LMDE is a Linux Mint project which stands for “Linux Mint Debian Edition”. Its goal is to ensure Linux Mint would be able to continue to deliver the same user experience, and how much work would be involved, if Ubuntu was ever to disappear. LMDE is also one of our development targets, to guarantee the software we develop is compatible outside of Ubuntu.

          LMDE aims to be as similar as possible to Linux Mint, but without using Ubuntu. The package base is provided by Debian instead.

        • Linux Mint Debian Edition 4 Reaches Beta – Debian 10 Paired With Cinnamon

          The Linux Mint crew continues maintaining Linux Mint Debian Edition (LMDE) as a fall-back should anything ever happen to Ubuntu or their ability to deliver an Ubuntu-based Linux distribution. Available now in beta is Linux Mint Debian Edition 4.

          The Linux Mint Debian Edition 4 is re-based against Debian 10 “Buster” with a variety of other improvements like the ability to easily boot with the NVIDIA proprietary driver. Linux Mint Debian 4 does offer its latest Cinnamon desktop environment, XApps, and other refinements compared to running upstream Debian GNU/Linux.

        • Canonical’s Daniel Van Vugt Continues Squeezing More Performance Out Of GNOME 3.36

          Canonical’s Daniel Van Vugt continues focusing on GNOME performance optimizations and this past week still managed to squeeze another optimization out of the near-final GNOME 3.36.

          Van Vugt has managed some nice performance optimizations out of the GNOME stack over the past 2+ years in particular with Ubuntu using it as the default desktop environment. While GNOME 3.36 is gearing up for release in mid-March, Van Vugt is still working to get some lingering work completed and also seeing that in turn included for the Ubuntu 20.04 LTS release due out in April.

        • The Fridge: Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter Issue 619

          Welcome to the Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter, Issue 619 for the week of February 16 – 22, 2020. The full version of this issue is available here.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • Best Open Source Slack Alternatives for Team Communication

        You are here: Home / List / Best Open Source Slack Alternatives for Team Communication
        Best Open Source Slack Alternatives for Team Communication
        Last updated February 25, 2020 By Ankush Das Leave a Comment

        Brief: Here, we shall take a look at the best open source slack alternatives that you can choose to communicate with your team at work.

        Slack is one of the most popular team communication services for work. Some may call it a glorified IRC but that doesn’t impact its popularity.

        It is available for free with additional features offered in its paid plans. Though Slack can be installed on Linux thanks to an Electron app but it is not open source, neither the client nor the server.

        In this article, I’ll list a few open source Slack alternatives that you can try.

      • How to use HomeBank for your open source alternative to Quicken

        A while ago, I used Quicken to manage my finances. It’s proprietary software, and year after year, it cost me more and more money for upgrades. Eventually, I realized it isn’t prudent to take away from my budget to help me control my budget.

        Fortunately, I learned about HomeBank while reading an article about open source money management tools. HomeBank is free personal banking software. It runs on Linux, Windows, and macOS, and it’s offered in 56 different languages. These advantages ensure it’s available to you no matter your choice of operating system and the language you speak.

      • Web Browsers

        • Mozilla

          • Google helps devs speed up Firefox with open source Lighthouse extension

            Google has released a Firefox version of its Lighthouse browser extension, giving developers an easy way to test the performance of websites and web apps.

            The open source extension makes use of the PageSpeed Insights API, and the new release brings Firefox in line with Chrome which has had a version of the extension for a few years now. The ultimate aim is to make it easier for developers to improve app and page performance by encouraging better practices.

          • Firefox continues push to bring DNS over HTTPS by default for US users

            Today, Firefox began the rollout of encrypted DNS over HTTPS (DoH) by default for US-based users. The rollout will continue over the next few weeks to confirm no major issues are discovered as this new protocol is enabled for Firefox’s US-based users.

            A little over two years ago, we began work to help update and secure one of the oldest parts of the internet, the Domain Name System (DNS). To put this change into context, we need to briefly describe how the system worked before DoH. DNS is a database that links a human-friendly name, such as www.mozilla.org, to a computer-friendly series of numbers, called an IP address (e.g. 192.0.2.1).

          • The Facts: Mozilla’s DNS over HTTPs (DoH)

            The current insecure DNS system leaves billions of people around the world vulnerable because the data about where they go on the internet is unencrypted. We’ve set out to change that. In 2017, Mozilla began working on the DNS-over-HTTPS (DoH) protocol to close this privacy gap within the web’s infrastructure. Today, Firefox is enabling encrypted DNS over HTTPS by default in the US giving our users more privacy protection wherever and whenever they’re online.

          • Goals for USA FREEDOM reauthorization: reforms, access, and transparency

            At Mozilla, we believe that privacy is a fundamental digital right. We’ve built these values into the Firefox browser itself, and we’ve pushed Congress to pass strong legal protections for consumer privacy in the US. This week, Congress will have another opportunity to consider meaningful reforms to protect user privacy when it debates the reauthorization of the USA FREEDOM Act. We believe that Congress should amend this surveillance law to remove ineffective programs, bolster resources for civil liberties advocates, and provide more transparency for the public. More specifically, Mozilla supports the following reforms…

            [...]

            Second, the program may not provide sufficiently valuable insights in the current threat environment. In a recent Senate Judiciary Committee hearing, the government acknowledged that the intelligence value of the program was outweighed by the costs and technical challenges associated with its continued operation. This conclusion was supported by an independent analysis from the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board (PCLOB), which hopes to publicly release an unclassified version of its report in the near future. Additionally, the shift to other forms of communications may make it even less likely that law enforcement will obtain useful information through this specific authority in the future.

            And finally, some technological shifts may have made the CDR program too complex to implement today. Citing to “technical irregularities” in some of the data obtained from telecom providers under the program, the NSA deleted three years’ worth of CDRs that it was not authorized to receive last June. While the agency has not released a specific explanation, Susan Landau and Asaf Lubin of Tufts University have posited that the problem stems from challenges associated with measures in place to facilitate interoperability between landlines and mobile phone networks.

          • Critiquing Design

            This is me about 25 years ago, dancing with a yoga ball. I was part of a theater company where I first learned Liz Lerman’s Critical Response Process. We used this extensively—it was an integral part of our company dynamic. We used it to develop company work, we used it in our education programs and we even used it to redesign our company structure. It was a formative part of my development as an artist, a teacher, and later, as a user-centered designer.

            What I love about this process is that works by embedding all the things we strive for in a critique into a deceptively simple, step-by-step process. You don’t have to try to remember everything the next time you’re knee-deep in a critique session. It’s knowledge in the world for critique sessions.

          • Firefox for Mac and Linux to get a new security sandbox system
      • SaaS/Back End/Databases

        • EnterpriseDB looks to grow market for PostgreSQL

          One of key vendors in the PostgreSQL community is EnterpriseDB, which provides a commercially supported distribution of Postgres. A primary competitor of EnterpriseDB Postgres has long been Oracle’s namesake database, but simply replacing Oracle isn’t the only use case for PostgreSQL, according to Ed Boyajian, president and CEO of EnterpriseDB.

      • FSF

        • 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.

        • GNU Projects

          • GIMP 2.10.18 Officially Released, Here’s What’s New

            GIMP 2.10.18 comes three months after version 2.10.14, which probably most of you out there are running on your GNU/Linux distributions, but the development team released version 2.10.16 a week ago without announcing anything official. Now, GIMP 2.10.18 is here, and we finally have details about the new features that were implemented during this cycle.

            Without any further ado, the highlights of the GIMP 2.10.18 release include a new 3D Transform tool to let users rotate and pan items in 3D space (you can check it out in action below), a new high-contrast symbolic theme, a new “Composited Preview” option for most transformation tools, and the ability to group tools by default in the toolbox, which is enabled by default after you update to this version.

          • Download Now: GIMP 2.10.18 Released, Includes New 3D Transform Tool

            GIMP 2.10.18 builds on the refinements introduced in last year’s GIMP 2.10.14 release in a number of exciting ways.

            First off the bat is a major change to the toolbox, the left-hand panel used for switching between tools. Similar tools are now grouped together by default. This makes the list of available tools much shorter — but don’t worry, nothing has been removed!

            Indeed, while this particular tweak is unlikely to please everyone it does help bring a touch of order to the GIMP workspace…

          • GIMP 2.10.18 Released With Many Improvements Before GIMP 3.0

            While GIMP 3.0 remains elusive as the long overdue GTK3 port of this leading open-source image manipulation program, the GIMP 2.10 stable series continues seeing a lot of decent improvements in their subsequent point releases. GIMP 2.10.18 is out today following a botched GIMP 2.10.16 release.

            GIMP 2.10.18 introduces a new tool for performing transformations in a 3D space rather than just 2D transformations, various user-interface improvements, symmetry painting enhancements, ABR brushes load faster, Adobe PSD files continue to see support improvements, and a variety of bugs have been addressed.

        • Licensing / Legal

          • Open source licenses: What, which, and why

            Most people have at least heard of open source software by now—and even have a fairly good idea of what it is. Its own luminaries argue incessantly about what to call it—with camps arguing for everything from Free to Libre to Open Source and every possible combination of the above—but the one thing every expert agrees on is that it’s not open source (or whatever) if it doesn’t have a clearly attributed license.

            You can’t just publicly dump a bunch of source code without a license and say “whatever—it’s there, anybody can get it.” Due to the way copyright law works in most of the world, freely available code without an explicitly declared license is copyright by the author, all rights reserved. This means it’s just plain unsafe to use unlicensed code, published or not—there’s nothing stopping the author from coming after you and suing for royalties if you start using it.

          • The CLA Denial-Of-Service attack

            Obviously, there’s a flaw in that logic. A CLA is an agreement between a project and a (new) contributor. A project does not absolutely requires the contributor to sign the agreement to accept its contributions, in theory. It’s the reverse: for the contributor to have their patch accepted, they need to accept the CLA. But the project could accept contributions without CLA without violating the law.

            But it seems that projects sometimes end up doing a DOS on themselves by refusing perfectly fine contributions from drive-by contributors who don’t have time to waste filling forms on all projects they stumble upon.

            In the case of this typo, I could have submitted a patch, but because I didn’t sign a CLA, again, the project couldn’t have merged it without breaking their own rules, even if someone else submits the same patch, after agreeing to the CLA. So, in effect, I would have DOS’d the project by providing the patch, so I just opened an issue which strangely — and hopefully — isn’t covered by the CLA.

      • Programming/Development

        • Ethical Code Hosting Services in 2020

          I was really inspired by Free Software Foundation’s list of ethical repositories in which I saw GitLab.com service there among other old longstanding services. The Foundation (often called FSF) is a serious organization with long consideration if they wish to update that list. However, in fact, there are many more services coming by time and now there are several interesting ones worth to try and enjoy. Although I myself am not a programmer, but code hosting is not unfamiliar to me, as a free software community member (just like you all, dear readers) I often get so many useful information and sometimes submit bug report to projects I love. You can, for example, take information here as reference to host a Git server software at your home as you see perhaps many serious projects also using it. As an author and mere free software user, I hope this list could be useful for everybody and particularly for programmers. Happy hacking!

        • KDSoap 1.9.0 released

          KD SOAP is a tool for creating client applications for web services.

          The release of 1.9.0 brings a fair number of improvements and fixes, as the following text describes.

        • The History of Pong | Code the Classics

          One topic explored in Code the Classics from Raspberry Pi Press is the origin story and success of Pong, one of the most prominent games in early video game history.

        • Perl / Raku

          • 2020.08 Altered Noise

            Jonathan Stowe announced a long overdue migration to the Raku era of their NoiseGang portal, a group for the promotion and support of audio and music application development. Definitely a place to check out if you’re into making music using your computer!

        • Python

          • Introduction to Python SQL Libraries

            All software applications interact with data, most commonly through a database management system (DBMS). Some programming languages come with modules that you can use to interact with a DBMS, while others require the use of third-party packages. In this tutorial, you’ll explore the different Python SQL libraries that you can use. You’ll develop a straightforward application to interact with SQLite, MySQL, and PostgreSQL databases.

          • Introduction to Image Processing in Python with OpenCV

            In this tutorial, we are going to learn how we can perform image processing using the Python language. We are not going to restrict ourselves to a single library or framework; however, there is one that we will be using the most frequently, the Open CV library. We will start off by talking a little about image processing and then we will move on to see different applications/scenarios where image processing can come in handy. So, let’s begin!

          • Talking to API’s and goodlooking tools

            One of my go-to locations for security news had a thread recently about a tool called VTScan. I really liked the idea of not having to go through the browser overhead to check files against multiple scan engines.

            Although the tool (which is itself a basic vt-cli spinoff) already existed, I was looking for a new challenge, I decided to roll my own and add a few cool features! I’ll have a thorough look at how python talks to API’s with requests and I look at turning all this API data into a nice GUI application with click. I hope to give you some idea’s for CLI styling in the future so I can see more awesome tools by you all!

          • From a rejected Pycon talk to a new project.

            Like many others, my talk proposal (early draft here) for Pycon US was rejected. So, I decided to spend some time putting everything in a new project instead. (Documentation here.) It is still a rough draft, but usable … and since I’ve mentioned it in a few other places, I thought I should mention it here as well.

          • Learn Python Tuples Data Structure – Part 2

            In this Part 2 of Python Data Structure series, we will be discussing what is a tuple, how it differs from other data structure in python, how to create, delete tuple objects and methods of tuple objects and how tuple differs from the list.

          • Python 3.7.6 : The new concepts of execution in python 3 – part 001.
          • Podcast.__init__: Reducing The Friction Of Embedded Software Development With PlatformIO

            Embedded software development is a challenging endeavor due to a fragmented ecosystem of tools. Ivan Kravets experienced the pain of programming for different hardware platforms when embroiled in a home automation project. As a result he built the PlatformIO ecosystem to reduce the friction encountered by engineers working with multiple microcontroller architectures. In this episode he describes the complexities associated with targeting multiple platforms, the tools that PlatformIO offers to simplify the workflow, and how it fits into the development process. If you are feeling the pain of working with different editing environments and build toolchains for various microcontroller vendors then give this interview a listen and then try it out for yourself.

          • Episode 4 – 7 Practices for High Quality Maintainable Code
          • Welcome IRedis

            IRedis is A Terminal Client for Redis with AutoCompletion and Syntax Highlighting.

            IRedis is written in python using the wonderful prompt-toolkit library. It is cross-platform compatible and it is tested on Linux, MacOS and Windows.

  • Leftovers

    • Is It as Impossible to Build Jerusalem as It is to Escape Babylon?
    • Productivity Mondays – Are You Producing Enough Value? 5 Tips to Boost Your Deep Work

      Here is another edition of Productivity Mondays geared towards getting you closer towards your goals. This weekend I picked up Deep work again. Every time I read it is a revelation. The better you manage your time, the more successful you will become. It all comes down to the amount of value you can produce. And for that deep work is essential.

    • Larry Tesler’s Copy-Paste A Mixed Blessing For The Software World
    • Education

      • John Corbally and Chase Palmieri – The Project Censored Show

        Mickey begins the show with a conversation with academic colleague John Corbally; their topic is “Why History Matters.” Corbally has just completed a new textbook on 20th Century history, one that endeavors to include the perspectives of third-world nations, and of everyday people, rather than only the deeds of leaders and elites. In the second half-hour, Chase Palmieri rejoins the program as a guest, to offer an update on the latest developments at Credder.com, a web site that offers its users the ability to rate media outlets’ coverage of news stories. Notes:John Corbally teaches history at Diablo Valley College in Pleasant Hill, California. His new book is “The Twentieth Century World, 1914 to the Present,” from Bloomsbury Press. Chase Palmieri cohosts the Project Censored Show, and is a co-founder of Credder.com  

    • Health/Nutrition

      • Have You Been Injured Working for the U.S. Postal Service?

        Working for the U.S. Postal Service can take a serious toll on employees’ health. To get thousands of pieces of mail sorted and delivered every day, workers have to lift heavy packages and huge trays of letters, walk miles carrying sacks of mail across their shoulders, drive in the heat without air conditioning or do other tasks that can wear down the body without proper precautions.

        Postal workers make up about one-fifth of the federal workforce, but according to U.S. Labor Department data, they suffered about half of federal work-related injuries and illnesses in 2019, as well as 15 fatalities.

      • The Postal Service Fired Thousands of Workers for Getting Injured While Delivering and Processing Your Mail

        One night in 2009, Madelaine Sattlefield lifted an 80-pound tray of letters carefully sorted by Missouri ZIP code. She had done this task thousands of times in nine years, but on this night, her arm seared with pain and went limp by her side. The tray crashed and sent envelopes cascading around her. She could barely move but immediately worried about what an injury might mean for her job.

        “Anxiety had kicked in. I was like, what are they going to say, what are they going to do?” Sattlefield said.

      • Medicare for All, Union Benefits, and the Promise of #NotMeUs

        The nation’s healthcare crisis is staring us in the face. And so is the solution.

      • Health Experts Warn World Is Approaching ‘Tipping Point’ in Spread of Coronavirus as Outbreaks Erupt in Italy and Iran

        The World Health Organization called on the global community to rely on “science and facts, not stigma and discrimination” in the face of the disease outbreak.

      • Connecting the Coronavirus to Agriculture

        A new deadly coronavirus 2019-nCoV, related to SARS and MERS and apparently originating in live animal markets in Wuhan, China, is starting to spread worldwide.

      • Is Coronavirus Panic Sending Us Back to the Days of Racist Quarantines?

        As global fears around the coronavirus outbreak intensify, the United States and many other countries have opted for wholesale travel bans of Chinese nationals as well as foreign nationals who have recently been to China, and for mass quarantines of U.S. citizens returning from impacted parts of China.

      • Here’s What 22 Separate Studies Found: Medicare for All Would Cost Less Than the For-Profit Status Quo

        No matter how you design a single-payer public health insurance system, it would have lower overall health care costs, so long as for-profit private health insurers no longer exist to drive up health care costs.

      • EPA Enforcement in Distress — and More Trouble Is Brewing
      • Cancer and evolution (2020 edition)

        Why haven’t we cured cancer yet? How many times have I heard that question before, and how many times have I tried to answer it? I don’t know. I do know that I’ve pointed out many times that cancer is not one disease, but hundreds and that the genomes of cancers are messed up, real messed up, and that trying to cure any single cancer is fighting against the power of evolution that makes cancer more resistant to treatment the longer it’s exposed to a given treatment. Still, every so often a study comes out that leads me to revisit the question in light of the new data published. This time around, it’s a study published earlier this month in Nature by the Pan-Cancer Analysis of Whole Genomes Consortium (PCAWG) of the International Cancer Genome Consortium (ICGC) and The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) examining the evolutionary history of over 2,600 cancers representing 38 different kinds of cancer, each of whose whole genome was sequenced and analyzed. The conclusions of the study, the work of a more than a thousand scientists in 37 countries on four continents taking place over more than a decade, are fascinating and very much consistent with cancer being primarily a disease caused by mutations in a relatively small set of genes. Actually, it’s a series of papers based on the same massive study. Before we dig in, let’s consider just how massive this undertaking was:

      • [Old] Health Security Downgraded at the White House

        On May 9, the day after the Democratic Republic of the Congo confirmed an Ebola outbreak, the Trump administration dismissed Rear Admiral Tim Ziemer and dissolved his post as senior director for global health security and biothreats. Ironically, the creation of that directorate in the fall of 2016 stemmed directly from the costly mishandling of the response to the prior Ebola crisis in West Africa. We are now at risk of repeating the mistakes of 2014.

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Secure IoT Linux Platform FoundriesFactory Sees Adoption from Startups to Enterprise
        • Microsoft’s Azure Sphere, its Linux-based microcontroller plus cloud service, hits general availability
        • Hey, remember Microsoft’s IoT Linux gear? After two years, Azure Sphere is finally here
        • Microsoft Wants To Bring Defender For Linux Users

          In an announcement, Microsoft revealed that they wants to bring the Defender antivirus to Linux operating system. Right now, Microsoft Defender for Linux is in public preview.

        • Security

          • Security updates for Monday

            Security updates have been issued by Debian (libpam-radius-auth, pillow, ppp, proftpd-dfsg, and python-pysaml2), Fedora (firefox, glib2, hiredis, http-parser, libuv, mingw-openjpeg2, nghttp2, nodejs, openjpeg2, python-pillow, skopeo, and webkit2gtk3), Mageia (patch, postgresql, and systemd), Red Hat (ksh, nodejs:10, openjpeg2, python-pillow, systemd, and thunderbird), and SUSE (java-1_7_1-ibm, libsolv, libzypp, zypper, pdsh, slurm_18_08, and php53).

          • U.S. Government Says Update Chrome 80 As High-Rated Security Flaws Found

            Are you a Google Chrome user? High-rated security vulnerabilities have already been discovered in version 80 of Google Chrome. The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency is encouraging Google users to update again just weeks after the Chrome 80 release. Here’s what you need to know.

          • OpenBSD Pwned, Patched Again: Bug is Remotely Exploitable [Ed: Misleading. This is about OpenSMTPD.]

            There’s a fresh remote code execution (RCE) vulnerability in OpenSMTPD, and by extension in OpenBSD. Yes, it feels like déjà vu all over again.

            The severity of the vulnerability, CVE-2020-8794, means that anyone running a public-facing OpenSMTPD deployments should update as soon as possible.

            OpenBSD’s developers describe the issue as a “an out of bounds read in smtpd [that] allows an attacker to inject arbitrary commands into the envelope file which are then executed as root. Separately, missing privilege revocation in smtpctl allows arbitrary commands to be run with the _smtpq group.”

          • Kali Linux explained: A pentester’s toolkit

            Kali Linux is the world’s most popular offensive-security-optimized Linux distro. Maintained and managed by the fine folks at Offensive Security, Kali was born in 2006 as BackTrack Linux, but after a major refactoring in 2013 got the name Kali. What does the name mean? Well, we’ll get to that.

          • Police to get right to use spyware in serious crime investigations

            The new bill, that will allow the police to use trojans or virus programmes to tap into the chats, is expected to be voted through parliament on Thursday. Home Affairs Minister Mikael Damberg says he is convinced it will lead to more convictions.

          • McAfee WebAdvisor: From XSS in a sandboxed browser extension to administrator privileges

            A while back I wrote about a bunch of vulnerabilities in McAfee WebAdvisor, a component of McAfee antivirus products which is also available as a stand-alone application. Part of the fix was adding a bunch of pages to the extension which were previously hosted on siteadvisor.com, generally a good move. However, when I looked closely I noticed a Cross-Site Scripting (XSS) vulnerability in one of these pages (CVE-2019-3670).

            Now an XSS vulnerability in a browser extension is usually very hard to exploit thanks to security mechanisms like Content Security Policy and sandboxing. These mechanisms were intact for McAfee WebAdvisor and I didn’t manage to circumvent them. Yet I still ended up with a proof of concept that demonstrated how attackers could gain local administrator privileges through this vulnerability, something that came as a huge surprise to me as well.

          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • South Carolina’s Top Court Decides Black Men Should Feel Free To Terminate ‘Consensual’ Stops By Law Enforcement Officers

              A stop-and-frisk case that resulted in arrest made it to the top of the South Carolina court system, only to be rejected by three white judges with a dissent written by two black judges.

            • Ring Continues To Pitch Facial Recognition To Law Enforcement While Claiming It Won’t Be Adding Facial Recognition To Its Cameras

              Ring continues to insist it is not adding facial recognition to its sadly super-popular doorbell cameras. Its insistence is suspect for several reasons.

            • Stalkerware Developer Found Leaking Sensitive Data From Thousands Of The Software’s Victims

              Oh, if only this were more of a surprise. Another vendor selling sketchy spyware has been discovered to be careless with its handling of all the sensitive communications and data it pulls from victims’ cell phones. (via Databreaches.net)

            • Court Report Provides New Details About How Federal Law Enforcement in Seattle Obtain Private Information Without Warrants

              Federal law enforcement in Seattle sought an average of one court order a day to disclose people’s sensitive information such as calling history in the first half of 2019, according to a report released this year.

              The report, the first of its kind by the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington, shows that officials sought 182 applications and orders for electronic surveillance between January and June 2019. These types of surveillance orders do not require law enforcement to get a warrant and are directed to third parties like phone companies, email providers, and other online services to demand private and revealing information about their users

            • Airbnb Is Pushing Surveillance Devices as ‘Party Prevention’

              One of the devices, Minut, is a home alarm that also monitors temperature and motion. Its “plus” option offers to alert a person’s “trusted network of friends and family” if something happens in their home.

              But privacy experts raised concerns about the use of such devices.

              Daniel Cuthbert, a security researcher, said there are questions surrounding how the data from these devices is stored and handled.

            • Cloudflare silently deleted my DNS records

              I spent some time thinking about if it was fair for me to post this on the same day as I filed a support ticket with Cloudflare. I ultimately decided to because their ticketing system recommended I post on their community forum instead or in addition to submitting a ticket. The page informed me that because I don’t have a business account I would receive much faster support from the “community”. However, I’m unable to log in to their community forum. When I click the login button I’m redirected to my dashboard, and when I then click Support on the dashboard I’m redirected back to the forum without being logged in. I suppose it’s possibly an issue with Firefox blocking cookies (although I disabled tracking prevention) so it’s possible this part is partly a problem on my end.

            • Geofencing: what is it?

              With the imminent rollout of next generation 5G connectivity covering towns, cities, and countryside, geofencing use cases are set to receive a power boost, as the new networking equipment will provide significantly more heft in terms of wireless capability and bandwidth.

    • Defence/Aggression

    • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

      • Julian Assange’s lawyer claims US wanted to kill Wikileaks founder and make it look like accident
      • As Hearing Begins, Rights Groups Warn Extraditing Assange to US Would Deal ‘Body Blow to Press Freedom’

        “Using the draconian wartime powers of the Espionage Act against Assange undermines journalists’s rights and sets dangerous precedents that cast journalists and publishers as criminals.”

      • USA v Julian Assange: Extradition Day 1

        Julian Assange’s full extradition hearing began today at Woolwich Crown Court at Belmarsh with the prosecution pleading for the media to stop characterizing the US effort as a politicized war on journalism, and it ended with Assange’s defense providing a comprehensive summary of the many reasons that journalists, human rights activists, and defenders of a free press have been sounding the alarm.

        Assange, appearing thin in a grey suit, sat alone behind glass behind both legal benches, taking notes. Early in the proceedings, he looked up to the public gallery and raised a fist.

        James Lewis QC, arguing for the Crown Prosecutorial Service, which acts on behalf of the United States in its extradition request, explicitly asked journalists covering the case not to report on it as a matter of free speech or the right to publish. Lewis worked continuously to narrow both the defense’s arguments and the judge’s focus, portraying the indictment as solely a matter of exposing informants in the Iraq and Afghanistan war logs and the State Department cables.

        In the afternoon, defense lawyer Edward Fitzgerald QC laid out in detail the ways in which the extradition proceedings constitute an abuse of process, because they have been brought for ulterior political purposes, as an attack on freedom of speech, and fundamentally misrepresent the facts in order to extradite Assange to the US, where he faces torture, unusual and degrading treatment.

      • USA v Julian Assange: Extradition Day 2

        Mark Summers QC, arguing for Julian Assange’s legal defense, spent the second day of Assange’s extradition hearing at Woolwich Crown Court thoroughly debunking two key allegations the US government makes against Assange in its extradition request. The US has alleged that Assange attempted to help Manning conceal her identity, and it has alleged that Assange and WikiLeaks released the full unredacted State Department cables in 2011 with a reckless disregard for the harm it could cause.

        [...]

        Then in February 2011, Harding and Leigh published “WikiLeaks: Inside Julian Assange’s War on Secrecy,” in which they disclosed a password to an encrypted file containing the full unredacted cables. Harding and Leigh did not off-handedly or subtly reveal the password; the password was the title of a chapter in the book.

        If there was any doubt about whether the chapter title was the password, the index at p 322 tells you that that is in fact the password. In court, the defense had to point this out to the prosecution’s James Lewis, who laughed incredulously.

        The password disclosure went unnoticed for several months, until August 2011. On 25 August 2011, the German publication Der Freitag started reporting that the password was public and it had access to the encrypted file because it had been mirrored.

        That day, Assange and WikiLeaks colleague Sarah Harrison telephoned the US State Department, warning them about what was about to happen. There is a transcript of the call, in which Assange and Harrison talk in terms of an emergency about to happen; they have intelligence they are about to be put on the web unredacted, not by WikiLeaks. Though told that they had the “emergency phone line”, the two were told to call back in a few hours.

        Assange and Harrison also tried to get hold of the US ambassador in the UK, trying to explain that the “cables were about to be dumped online by someone else” and asking about the harm minimization process, whether it is complete or whether it can be escalated.

        Assange said told the US, “We don’t understand why you don’t see the urgency of this. Unless we do something about it, people’s lives are being put at risk.”

        Wikileaks sprang into action and released a statement within 20 minutes; however, within an hour, the cables were already on other websites, including Cryptome.

      • Julian Assange lawyer tells court: After pardon fell through, Trump administration resorted to ‘
        extortion’

        An attorney for WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange accused the Trump administration of extortion in a London court on Monday.

        The WikiLeaks attorney appeared at Woolwich Crown Court along with U.S. prosecutors, who argued that Assange should be extradited the United States, where he faces 18 charges and up to 175 years in jail.

        Attorneys for Assange previously told the court that former Congressman Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA) tried to broker a pardon deal between the White House and Assange if he would agree to say that Russia was not the source of hacked Democratic Party emails.

        Defense attorney Edwards Fitzgerald said on Monday that Rohrabacher had called the pardon offer a “win-win.”

      • Wikileaks Editor Calls Assange Extradition Arguments ‘Hollow Words’ As U.S. Claims Its Sources ‘Disappeared’ After Leaks

        The editor-in-chief of WikiLeaks has blasted what he calls “hollow words” pushed by the U.S. during its opening arguments for the extradition hearing of Julian Assange today.

        Speaking to the media at Woolwich Crown Court, at times drowned out by chanting supporters, Kristinn Hrafnsson suggested there was nothing new in the U.S. argument and teased “the real news” would come out later this week when the defense outlines its evidence.

        [...]

        “Now, in 2020, they are in court not able to present a single [piece of] evidence of that harm. Still they go on…why aren’t we discussing the harm that was revealed by the releases?”

        After the short break, WikiLeaks’ defense argued the extradition request is politically motivated and said claimed U.S. politician Dana Rohrabacher offered Assange a “full pardon in exchange for ‘personal services,’ on behalf of [president] Donald Trump,” according to Doleman.

        WikiLeaks was being represented by Edward Fitzgerald QC.

      • Trump’s Betrayal of Julian Assange

        One thing we’ve learned from the Trump Presidency is that the “deep state” is not just some crazy conspiracy theory. For the past three years we’ve seen that deep state launch plot after plot to overturn the election.

        It all started with former CIA director John Brennan’s phony “Intelligence Assessment” of Russian involvement in the 2016 election. It was claimed that all 17 US intelligence agencies agreed that Putin put Trump in office, but we found out later that the report was cooked up by a handful of Brennan’s hand-picked agents.

        Donald Trump upset the Washington apple cart as presidential candidate and in so doing he set elements of the deep state in motion against him.

        One of the things candidate Donald Trump did to paint a deep state target on his back was his repeated praise of Wikileaks, the pro-transparency media organization headed up by Australian journalist Julian Assange. More than 100 times candidate Trump said “I love Wikileaks” on the campaign trail.

      • DOJ Drooling Over Likely Assange Extradition

        The American brief in a London court today against Julian Assange is that he put informants at risk by publishing hundreds of thousands of pages of U.S. military documents and State Department cables in 2010.

        According to The Guardian’s reporting this morning, Washington’s lawyer, James Lewis, told the court that informants had “disappeared” after the leaks. But no one knows of course whether they just wised up and faded away.

      • ‘No Harm’ Resulted From WikiLeaks Revelations, US Government Admits at Julian Assange Court Hearing

        The bombshell admission was revealed at the initial hearing on a potential extradition of the detained WikiLeaks activist to the United States amid numerous protests outside the courthouse and across the world.
        No physical harm had occurred to any individuals as a result of documents published by Wikileaks, courts heard on Monday.

        The statement was made by US officials during the extradition trial for WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange at Woolwich Crown Court in London, near HM Belmarsh Prison.

        But there may be a ‘risk’ of harm despite none occurring due to the leaks, James Lewis QC told courts.

      • US extradition bid for Assange to go before a British court

        Jennifer Robinson, Assange’s lawyer, says his case could lead to criminalizing activities crucial to investigative journalists and his work has shed an unprecedented light on how the United States conducted its wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

      • US to lay out case against Assange at extradition hearing

        Journalism organisations and civil liberties groups including Amnesty International and Reporters Without Borders say the charges against Assange set a chilling precedent for freedom of the press.

        What we have is an assault on journalism, left-wing Greek lawmaker Yanis Varoufakis said at an Assange support march in London on Saturday. The only charge against Julian, hiding behind the nonsense of espionage, is a charge of journalism.

      • US/UK: Drop charges and halt extradition of Julian Assange

        “The potential chilling effect on journalists and others who expose official wrongdoing by publishing information disclosed to them by credible sources could have a profound impact on the public’s right to know what their government is up to. All charges against Assange for such activities must be dropped.”

        According to an analysis by the organisation, the charges against Julian Assange stem directly from the publication of disclosed documents as part of his work with Wikileaks. This activity, in and of itself, should not be punishable and mirrors conduct that investigative journalists undertake regularly in their professional capacity.

      • Your Man in the Public Gallery – Assange Hearing Day 1

        Woolwich Crown Court is designed to impose the power of the state. Normal courts in this country are public buildings, deliberately placed by our ancestors right in the centre of towns, almost always just up a few steps from a main street. The major purpose of their positioning and of their architecture was to facilitate public access in the belief that it is vital that justice can be seen by the public.

      • Assange’s Defense Details CIA-Backed Espionage Operation, Trump’s Politicization Of Justice Department

        The defense for WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange alleged that the director of a Spanish security company known as Undercover Global was contracted by Sheldon Adelson, a billionaire who is one of President Donald Trump’s biggest donors.

        The allegation was made during the first day of a week-long extradition hearing unfolding at Woolwich Court in London. It is adjacent to Her Majesty’s Prison Belmarsh, where Assange is detained.

        What happens this week will be a kind of prequel to a more substantial hearing scheduled to occur in late May and early June.

        As the Spanish newspaper El País previously reported, Undercover Global targeted Assange when he lived in the Ecuador embassy in the United Kingdom on behalf of the CIA.

        Personnel spied on privileged meetings between Assange and his lawyers. He met with his legal team in the women’s bathroom to ensure privacy, but it did not matter. They planted microphones in the women’s bathroom too.

        Edward Fitzgerald, a defense attorney for Assange, alleged Morales returned from Las Vegas in 2017 after attending a security trade fair. The contract was to provide security for Adelson’s private yacht, but while he was in the United States, he inked a “side agreement” to go to the “dark side” and spy on Assange for U.S. intelligence.

        A whistleblower, who worked for Undercover Global and was referred to in court as “Witness #2,” revealed data was collected and uploaded daily to a remote server. That information was accessed by U.S. intelligence. Original recordings, including sound, were collected from several microphones every 14 days.

      • Julian Assange was ‘handcuffed 11 times and stripped naked’

        Julian Assange was handcuffed 11 times, stripped naked twice and had his case files confiscated after the first day of his extradition hearing, according to his lawyers, who complained of interference in his ability to take part.

    • Environment

      • First look under imperilled Antarctic glacier finds ‘warm water coming from all directions’

        Taking advantage of rare ice-free waters in West Antarctica last February, scientists got their first look underneath Thwaites Glacier, a massive and increasingly unstable formation perched at the edge of the continent. What they saw only increased fears of a collapse that could raise global sea levels by more than half a metre. Data gathered by a robotic submarine deployed by scientists with the International Thwaites Glacier Collaboration suggest that warm water from the deep ocean is welling up from three directions and mixing underneath the ice.

      • The Next Economic Recession Will Likely Come From Climate Crisis

        American companies are ignoring the risks of climate change at their own peril, according to a researcher warning that extreme weather caused by the climate crisis could result in a devastating economic recession.

      • Old batteries can be source of new energy

        How to dispose of old batteries from redundant electric vehicles? The good news: we can harvest their valuable parts to make new ones.

      • New Deal for Nature: Paying the Emperor to Fence the Wind

        The conservation industry says 2020 is its “super year.”[1] It wants to set aside thirty percent of the globe for wildlife, and divert billions of dollars away from reducing climate change and into “natural climate solutions.”[2] This would be a disaster for people and planet. Conservation was founded in the racist ideology of 1860s USA but it committed thirty years ago to becoming people-friendly. It hasn’t happened. There will be more promises now, if only to placate critics and funders like the U.S. and German governments, and the European Commission, which are paying for conservation’s land theft, murder and torture.[3] More promises will be meaningless. No more public money should go for “Protected Areas” until the conservation bodies recognize their crimes, get rid of those responsible, and hand stolen lands back, with compensation. Conservation NGOs must also stop cozying up to mining, logging, oil, and plantation companies.

      • ‘Amazing News’: Climate Activists Celebrate Victory After Forcing Company to Abandon Proposed Tar Sands Project

        While welcoming this win against the fossil fuel industry, organizers vowed to “continue to fight because our planet and future is at stake.”

      • Global Rescue Plan to Stop Mass Extinction ‘Hopelessly Weak and Inadequate’

        “We need an urgent plan to save humanity and this is not it.”

      • Energy

        • Momentum Builds to Monitor Cancer Alley Air Pollution in Real Time After Exxon Refinery Fire in Louisiana

          A week after the incident, Exxon filed a required “seven-day report” to the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality (LDEQ) indicating the plant released four toxic chemicals during the incident, including benzene, butadiene, and sulfuric acid in quantities above allowable limits, and sulfur dioxide. Exxon said in its report that thousands of pounds of unspecified flammable vapor released in the incident were burned off by the fire and that little, if any, escaped the refinery in concentrations that could have posed a risk to nearby residents. 

        • Justices grapple with $8 billion pipeline that would cross Appalachian Trail

          The Supreme Court on Monday heard arguments in a high-profile case that could block construction of an $8 billion gas pipeline seeking to cross the Appalachian Trail.

          The proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline (ACP) would carry natural gas 604 miles from West Virginia to North Carolina and would tunnel below the famed trail that runs more than 2,000 miles from Georgia to Maine.

          At issue is whether jurisdiction over the affected land belongs to the U.S. Forest Service or the National Park Service (NPS). The case presents the justices with a complex tangle of federal laws that will determine if the land is open to energy development or must be preserved for recreational use under the park service’s mandate.

        • Oil and Gas Firms Reward Politicians When They Vote Against the Environment, Finds New Study

          That study, published Monday and conducted by researchers at Yale University and the University of Cambridge, found that oil and gas companies spend more on congressional candidates who consistently vote against environmental protection and climate action.

        • Burning the Future: the Growing Anger of Young Australians

          Growing up in a small town in Tasmania, Australia, not far from the coast, every summer we would spend seemingly endless carefree days at the beach – swimming, sunbathing and eating freshly-caught fish. I was there again last year with my family, during the Christmas break, but this time rather than enjoying the beach we spent the holiday glued to the television screen, watching as small bushfires across the country rapidly grew into huge uncontrollable conflagrations, burning everything right down to the shoreline.

      • Wildlife/Nature

        • Public Lands “Collaboration” is Lousy Management

          Collaboration is a process of playing two sides off against each other in order to create enough guilt in one or all parties that a compromise is reached. The primary problem is that it is specifically not based on science or best available data, thus eliminating the concept of best management practices and the long-term needs of the resource to maintain the natural values of the landscape. It becomes about me-now.

        • Extinction: Meet the new poster animals of conservation

          Ever heard of the gnu goat, the red-eared guenon or the Gila monster?
          They could be the future icons of conservation, according to a study. Scientists say these little-known animals are key to raising money for protecting vulnerable ecosystems.
          The likes of tigers and elephants, which appeal to the masses, are often selected for fundraising campaigns.
          But this approach has been criticised for neglecting many other species that need our help.
          “It’s time for us to put some science behind the species we use to market and fundraise for conservation – rather than framing our approach around what’s popular or seen as ‘cute’ by the public,” said Dr Hugh Possingham, chief scientist at conservation NGO, The Nature Conservancy.

        • Trojan Horse Timber Sales on the Bitterroot

          The proposed Darby Lumber Timber Sale Phase Two on the Bitterroot National Forest is a Trojan Horse being implemented under the guise of  “forest health” based on numerous false assumptions. The proposal displays the Forest Service’s Industrial Forestry bias and its subterfuge of science.

    • Finance

      • Radical Urban Planning Can Fight Gentrification With Affordable Housing

        We tend to talk about gentrification as if it’s beyond our control, that replacing old urban houses with identical high-end condos is a law of nature. We sigh as historically Black, ethnically diverse, and immigrant communities are displaced, destroying social infrastructure that was built up over generations.

      • What Happened to the Keynesian Dream of a 15-Hour Workweek?

        Now a famous economist, Thomas Piketty (along with co-researcher Emmanuel Saez) wrote Capital in the Twenty-First Century (2013), contending that capitalism has within it the germinating seeds of ever-growing inequality. That is what his longitudinal study of masses of data proved conclusively.

      • Trump Wants to Betray American Workers Yet Again

        Before sharing my opinions about Trump’s recent proposal to cut student loan forgiveness, let me explain my own situation.

      • The Priorities of General Motors: Ditching Holden

        It seemed to be a case of grand misrepresentation. Holden cars, those great Australian acquisitions, along with home, lawnmower and nuclear family, gave the impression of indigenous pride, the home brand. It was also resoundingly masculine. But behind that image was a mighty American thrust, with General Motors holding the reins on investment as benevolent parent happy to rebadge the car brand when needed. Poor returns would invariably mean rough corporate decisions untouched by sentiment.

      • As the Primary Race Heats Up, Candidates Forget Principled Campaign Finance Stands

        At this time last year, newly declared Democratic primary candidates were racing to outdo each other with escalating promises to shun big money support. Contenders vowed not to take corporate PAC money, to reject lobbyists’ dollars, to discourage super PACs, and to tell fossil fuel executives, “no, thank you”. Now, however, many seem to be in a wholly different sort of race: to put the most distance between themselves and their prior principled stands.

      • Bloomberg Has Spent Enough to Give a Nickel to Every Person Whose Life He’s Ever Damaged

        A review of Michael Bloomberg’s political career should not be limited, I think, to the fact that he has the debating skills of a baked potato. Nor does it matter much that he focuses his sales pitch on being a great “manager” but clearly can’t manage to hire anyone to tell him he has to prepare for a debate. His use of non-disclosure agreements to hide undesirable stories deserves the criticism it’s getting, but just begins to scrape the toxic moldy surface.

      • Bloomberg’s 2008 Story About the Great Recession Is Still Racist and Untrue

        It seems that pernicious right-wing nonsense never dies, no matter how many times it is shown to be wrong. The latest resurrection of such nonsense is the story that the Great Recession was caused because lenders were forced to give mortgages to people of color who could not pay them back.

      • Lagarde Wants Your Opinion on ECB’s Monetary Policy for Review

        European Central Bank President Christine Lagarde kicked off a public consultation on her strategy review with the first direct video address by the institution’s chief to euro-area citizens.

        Adopting a communication technique untested by her predecessors, the Frenchwoman spoke to camera to invite views on monetary policy in a broadcast on Twitter released in tandem with a press statement outlining the ECB’s plans.

        “The euro actually belongs to all of us — it belongs to you,” Lagarde said in the video. “So we need to hear from you in this strategy review. Stable prices help you make decisions in many aspects of your life, from saving to borrowing, and from spending to investing. Please share your ideas and concerns with us.”

      • [Old] International investment court plan threatens our democracy

        The European Commission is investigating a permanent international investment court as a replacement for the controversial Investor-State Dispute Settlement mechanism (ISDS). The plan for a court, and the road map towards it are fundamentally flawed, writes Ante Wessels.

        Ante Wessels is an analyst with the Foundation for a Free Information Infrastructure (FFII).

        Former Vice-President of the European Commission, in charge of justice, and now member of the European Parliament international trade committee, Viviane Reding proposed to replace ISDS with a permanent international investment court. Commissioner for Trade Malmström supports the idea. This plan creates a serious risk on expansionist interpretation and puts the EU at the mercy of other states.

        First among a number of flaws is that specialised courts tend to become biased. An example is the centralisation of appeals in patent cases before the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit; this prompted an expansionist interpretation and application of the US Patent Act. The Supreme Court intervened and opposed a series of judgments of the Federal Circuit. Specialised courts need a general supreme court on top to correct expansionist interpretation. Reding’s proposal lacks such a general supreme court.

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • Going Off-Script in the Age of Trump

        The American susceptibility to contrived and scripted versions of reality reveals an emptiness at the core of our national politics.

      • William Barr Is Donald Trump’s Hatchet Man

        “Where’s my Roy Cohn,” President Trump shouted at his staff at the beginning of 2018. According to The New York Times, he was angry at then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions for recusing himself from the investigation into Russian involvement in the 2016 election. Trump wanted his attorney general to be more like Roy Cohn, his infamous former lawyer and fixer, who had been an aide to Sen. Joseph McCarthy during McCarthy’s 1950s investigation into communist activity in America.

      • Amy’s Closet
      • Even Mayoral Races Are Getting Distorted by Big Money in Politics

        Candidates for federal office are raising increasingly large amounts of money — and this trend is not just confined to the national stage. In his race for office in 2014, sitting San Jose mayor Sam Liccardo alone raised $1.9 million — more than the average successful candidate to the U.S. House of Representatives that year. And while the 2018 election did not reach those astronomical heights in San Jose, it did see all three contested city council seats go to candidates who received the most money, incumbent or otherwise. During the 2018 election cycle, candidates for mayor and city council collectively brought in $1.9 million, according to a MapLight analysis of campaign contributions. Less than 40 percent of this total came from San Jose residents. In addition, of the $744,000 received from residents, 70 percent came from donors giving more than $500.

      • Trump’s New Spy Chief Once Got $100,000 from a Group Funded by the Hungarian Government but Never Reported It

        President Donald Trump’s acting director of national intelligence, Richard Grenell, worked as a paid publicist for a foundation funded by Hungary’s increasingly authoritarian government — his second former client to prompt scrutiny because Grenell did not disclose the work.

        In 2016, the Magyar Foundation of North America paid Grenell’s consulting firm, Capitol Media Partners, $103,750 for “public relations” services, according to the foundation’s tax filing. The foundation was funded and supervised by Hungary’s government, according to records obtained by the Hungarian nonprofit news organization Atlatszo. The foundation’s director, Jo Anne Barnhart, had been a registered lobbyist for Prime Minister Viktor Orban.

      • Episode 68 – Swing States: How 2016′s Fared Under Trump and The New Swing States in 2020 – Along The Line Podcast

        Along the Line, is a member of the Demcast network, brought to you by the Media Freedom Foundation. On today’s episode hosts Nicholas Baham III (Dr. Dreadlocks), Janice Domingo,  and Nolan Higdon analyze the 2016 and 2020 swing states. ATL’s  Creative Director is Dylan Lazaga.  Mickey Huff is ATL’s producer. ATL’s engineer is Janice Domingo. Adam Armstrong is ATL’s webmaster.

      • Humongous Costs of Inaction

        Obsessing about the cost of addressing them without acknowledging the cost of failing to address them is dangerously irresponsible

      • Tycoon Battle-Bots Battle Bernie

        We should welcome Bloomberg’s candidacy. It’s proof that the term plutocracy as it applies to the US isn’t just hyperbole but now an uncontested fact. The DNC’s willingness to bend their own rules to allow anyone into the candidate fold who can pay their way in – even an open sewer oligarch whose racism and sexism rivals Trump’s – just confirms our worst fears and vindicates the cynics: Elections are no more than rigged matches between tycoon Battle-Bots both engaged in a struggle to liberate billionaires from taxes, Wall Street from its regulators, and most urgently, the DNC from Bernie Sanders.

      • What Tomorrow May Bring: Politics of the People

        With two narrow popular vote wins behind him and national poll leads in the double-digit leads and growing, Nevada is Bernie Sanders’s first decisive victory. He will now be taking this momentum to South Carolina, where he is just 2 points behind Biden and has a real chance of going into Super Tuesday essentially undefeated. The “electability” myth demolished, each win will only make it easier for people to vote for him. Corporate Media can no longer ignore him, and narratives of “Bernie Bros” and Putin are unlikely to halt the snowball effect. As we saw with the failed “sexism” attack – which actually raised Sanders’s numbers while lowering Elizabeth Warren’s – the more people actually see and hear Sanders, the more his numbers rise.

      • Bernie Sanders Plunges to First Place

        Remember when the big winner of New Hampshire was third-place finisher Amy Klobuchar (FAIR.org, 2/14/20)?

      • Paul Krugman and Richard Wolff on Bernie Sanders’s Democratic Socialism
      • The Despicable Red-Baiting of Bernie Sanders

        The red-baiting of Bernie Sanders sank to a new low during the Democratic debate in Las Vegas last week, courtesy of mega-billionaire Mike Bloomberg. Responding to the Vermont senator’s charge that Bloomberg’s employees were at least partly responsible for his business success, the former Republican New York City mayor replied: “We’re not going to throw out capitalism. We tried that. Other countries tried that. It was called communism, and it just didn’t work.”

      • As a Corporate Tool, Buttigieg Is Now a Hammer to Bash Sanders

        The corporate establishment has not yet figured out how to defeat Bernie Sanders in the primary, but the former mayor of South Bend, Indiana appears dead set on damaging the progressive frontrunner as much as possible.

      • Pete Buttigieg’s Vile Turn as the Anti-Sanders Candidate

        Soon after his distant third-place finish in the Nevada caucuses, Pete Buttigieg sent out a mass email saying that “Senator Sanders believes in an inflexible, ideological revolution that leaves out most Democrats, not to mention most Americans.” The blast depicted “the choice before us” in stark terms: “We can prioritize either ideological purity or inclusive victory. We can either call people names online or we can call them into our movement. We can either tighten a narrow and hardcore base or open the tent to a new, broad, big-hearted American coalition.”

      • Amid Right-Wing Effort to Smear Sanders Over Cuba Comments, Campaign Issues Reminder That Obama Said the Same Thing

        “If offering an (accurately) positive assessment of any aspect of an authoritarian communist regime’s record is tantamount to endorsing its form of rule, then Barack Obama is an authoritarian communist.”

      • How Bernie Can Provide a Better Version of the Hope and Change Presidency of Barack Obama

        Is Sanders the Obama 2.0 that Democrats have been looking for? After tearing his way through Nevada, Bernie pivots to Super Tuesday with his eye on the White House. Here are the top five mistakes of his predecessor he must avoid in order to finally win universal health-care and a permanent Democratic majority

      • ‘Political Courage’: Sanders Will Not Attend AIPAC Conference Over Concern for ‘Basic Palestinian Rights’

        “You can support the Palestinian and Israeli people without supporting leaders or organizations that oppose the freedom and liberation of the Palestinian people.”

      • Bernie Sanders Releases Plan for Guaranteed “Child Care and Pre-K for All”

        Now running as the presumptive front-runner in the Democratic presidential primary, Sen. Bernie Sanders on Monday morning unveiled a sweeping new proposal that would guarantee high-quality child care and then pre-kindergarten education to every child — regardless of income or status — in the United States.

      • Democratic Frontrunner Bernie Sanders Releases Plan for Guaranteed ‘Child Care and Pre-K for All’

        “We know that the first four years of a child’s life are the most important years of human development, so it is unconscionable that in the wealthiest country in the world, we do not properly invest in early childhood education.”

      • MSNBC’s Chris Matthews Epitomizes Corporate Democrats’ Bernie Derangement Syndrome

        Corporate media will not tell you what America’s real problems are, because they are the class that benefits from all the dysfunctional characteristics of our Late Capitalism.

      • ‘The People Versus the Oligarch’: Bloomberg Planning All-Out Media Assault on Sanders Ahead of Super Tuesday

        “The Bloomberg machine turns its billions onto Sanders in a first test of what the general election will look like.”

      • Bernie Sanders Wins Nevada After Heavy Organizing in Latinx Communities

        Senator Bernie Sanders scored a decisive victory Saturday in the Democratic presidential caucuses in Nevada, riding a wave of support from young voters, union members and Latinx voters, who strengthened his status as front-runner. His win shows the potential for the nation’s largest minority group to reshape the next stage of the Democratic presidential race. In the next four weeks, six more of the 12 states with a large Latinx population will vote in the Democratic primary. On Super Tuesday, Texas, California and Colorado go to the polls. Arizona, Florida and Illinois will vote on March 17. We speak with Erika Andiola, chief advocacy officer for RAICES Action, the advocacy arm for the Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services, and Cristina Beltrán, associate professor and director of graduate studies at New York University’s Department of Social and Cultural Analysis. Her latest book is The Trouble with Unity: Latino Politics and the Creation of Identity.

      • Who Is Funding the Anti-Bernie Sanders Super PAC?

        Several outside groups are trying to slow the momentum of current Democratic presidential frontrunner Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) by spending millions on ad buys, as he continues to dominate the polls.

      • Do the Russians want Bernie to win? Not really — they want Democrats to turn on each other

        The answer is simple: Russia is not actually trying to help Bernie Sanders. The Kremlin wants Trump to win. What Vladimir Putin’s spooks are interested in is not even really Sanders himself, but in exploiting his candidacy to sow chaos.

      • [Old] YouTube, the Great Radicalizer

        It seems as if you are never “hard core” enough for YouTube’s recommendation algorithm. It promotes, recommends and disseminates videos in a manner that appears to constantly up the stakes. Given its billion or so users, YouTube may be one of the most powerful radicalizing instruments of the 21st century.

        This is not because a cabal of YouTube engineers is plotting to drive the world off a cliff. A more likely explanation has to do with the nexus of artificial intelligence and Google’s business model. (YouTube is owned by Google.) For all its lofty rhetoric, Google is an advertising broker, selling our attention to companies that will pay for it. The longer people stay on YouTube, the more money Google makes.

        What keeps people glued to YouTube? Its algorithm seems to have concluded that people are drawn to content that is more extreme than what they started with — or to incendiary content in general.

      • Trump set off by intelligence assertion that Russia favors him

        A senior U.S. intelligence official told lawmakers last week that Russia wants to see President Donald Trump reelected, viewing his administration as more favorable to the Kremlin’s interests, according to people who were briefed on the comments.

        After learning of that analysis, which was provided to House lawmakers in a classified hearing, Trump erupted at his acting director of national intelligence, Joseph Maguire, in the Oval Office, perceiving him and his staff as disloyal for speaking to Congress about Russia’s perceived preference. The intelligence official’s analysis and Trump’s furious response ruined Maguire’s chances of becoming the permanent intelligence chief, according to people familiar with the matter, who, like others, spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss a sensitive matter.

        [...]

        Trump announced on Wednesday that he was replacing Maguire with a vocal loyalist, Richard Grenell, who is the U.S. ambassador to Germany. The shake-up at the top of the intelligence community is the latest in a post-impeachment purge. Trump has instructed aides to identify and remove officials across the government who aren’t defending his interests, and he wants them replaced with loyalists.

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • As Court Finally Dumps One Of Devin Nunes’ Ridiculous Lawsuits (With A Warning About Sanctions), Nunes Promises To File Another

        Back in September, we wrote about Devin Nunes dropping the only lawsuit he’d filed in California against some of his critics, only to immediately file an absolute laugher of a lawsuit against Fusion GPS and Glenn Simpson, alleging racketeering (RICO) claims. Nunes claimed — ridiculously — that he’d obtained the info he needed from the California lawsuit (where he might have faced anti-SLAPP claims) in order to file this new lawsuit. As we noted at the time, Ken “Popehat” White’s usual warning of IT’S NOT RICO, DAMMIT totally applied to this new case. And, contrary to one of our more amusing commenters who insisted that this case was solid, Judge Liam O’Grady appears to have made quick work of it, dismissing it as nonsense with an incredibly short and to the point ruling (Politico first broke the news):

      • Apple, Tell Us More About Your App Store Takedowns

        EFF and 10 human rights organizations called out Apple for enabling China’s censorship and surveillance regime through overly broad content restrictions on the App Store in China, and for its decision to move iCloud backups and encryption keys to within China. In a letter to Philip Schiller, Apple senior vice president and App Store lead, the groups asked for more transparency about App Store takedowns and to meet with Apple executives to discuss the company’s decisions and ways Apple can rectify harms against Apple users most affected by the removals.

        Apple removed thousands of applications in China, including news apps by Quartz and the New York Times, foreign software services like Google Earth, and network applications like Tor and other VPN apps. Last year, Apple capitulated to state pressure to remove HKmap.live, a crowdsourced map application being used by Hong Kong protestors. 

    • Civil Rights/Policing

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

      • FCC Does Bupkis As US Telco Networks Fall Apart, Putting Lives At Risk

        For years we’ve explored how the nation’s phone companies no longer really want to be in the residential broadband business. They routinely refuse to upgrade their networks, yet often lobby to ensure nobody else can deliver broadband in these neglected footprints either. Telcos, in particular, have a bizarre disdain for their paying customers, delivering the bare minimum (slow DSL) at the highest rates they can possibly charge without a full-scale consumer revolt. It’s not surprising, then, that many telco DSL customers are fleeing to cable, assuming they even have a second option for broadband.

    • Monopolies

      • Uber will start putting ads on top of some of its vehicles

        Uber inked a deal to place ads on the roof of some of its vehicles, in a move that will likely generate some new revenue for the notorious cash-burning company and comparisons to Uber’s original adversary, the old-school taxi industry.

      • Uber Inks Deal With Adomni to Put Ad Displays Atop Vehicles

        Uber has signed a deal with the out-of-home ad-tech company Adomni to introduce ad displays on top of a thousand vehicles in three cities by April 1.

        While individual Uber drivers—working as independent contractors for the ride-share company—could previously install ad displays on top of their vehicles from third-party operators like Firefly, this agreement marks the first time Uber has rolled out a company-sponsored ad platform of its own.

        The partnership with Adomni also opens a new business unit for Uber, called Uber OOH Powered by Adomni, as well as an additional revenue stream for the company, which went public in May 2019. Cargo Systems, which has had an exclusive agreement with Uber since July 2018 to provide in-car commerce offerings like snacks and beauty products, is providing the displays in a separate deal with Uber, outside of the revenue-sharing agreement for advertising between Uber and Adomni.

      • Copyrights

        • Cloudflare Agrees to Stop Caching Pirate Content in Japan, If Court Declares Sites Illegal

          In 2018, four of Japan’s largest manga publishers filed a motion at a Tokyo court demanding that Cloudflare stop providing services to several ‘pirate’ sites, including Mangamura replacement Hoshinoromi. The companies now reveal that a settlement has been reached with Cloudflare to “stop the replication” of the sites on its Japan-based servers, if a court declares them illegal.

        • Rightsholders Want Google and Facebook to Scrub Links to Pirate Sites

          Creative Content Australia is urging the Australian Government to force online platforms to stop linking to pirate sites. According to the group’s Chair, Graham Burke, services such as Google and Facebook facilitate access to illegal sites that harm rightsholders. These pirate sites also scam the public at large by propagating malware and stealing card details, Burke warns.

        • The Public Domain is Alive and Well (for Now)

          To mark the occasion, Creative Commons (CC) collaborated with the Internet Archive, the Program on Information Justice and Intellectual Property, Creative Commons USA, the Institute for Intellectual Property & Social Justice, and SPARC to hold the Public Domain Day (PDD) celebration on January 30 at the American University Washington College of Law. 

        • Can You License A Video You Don’t Hold The Copyright Over?

          A few times in the past we’ve discussed the differences between ownership of an original creative work and ownership of the copyright associated with that work. I’m reminded of this distinction — which confuses the hell out of many people — after lawyer Eric Turkewitz tweeted at me a question about who would own the copyright in this (oldish) viral video of a camera dropping from an airplane while filming, only to be discovered by an interested pig. It’s gone viral a few times, and makes the rounds here and there. It’s mildly entertaining.

FSF’s Interim Co-President Alexandre Oliva on FSF Communication Policies

Posted in FSF at 10:56 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Original blog post by the FSF's interim co-president

E-mail communication

In yesterday’s inStallmant of the FSF Odyssey, I mentioned that guidance opposite to that of any board decision somehow got to FSF staff. Surely I, being acting president and then half-acting president, must suck as a manager. I probably do indeed, but it’s not so simple.

FSF operates with a lot of autonomy. Sometimes it felt like the board and the presidence are not even part of the FSF. Just to name two examples, I wasn’t even aware of the campaign to Upcycle Windows 7, or the awesome Shoetool Video, before they went public.

Shortly after I became acting president, I sent a letter to staff making myself available to any concerns they might have. I was then asked by chief of staff to route communications through the org chart rather than directly to staff. That made sense to me: having multiple bosses making conflicting requests to an employee is an unbearable situation. What I did not imagine was that staff would not be told about this arrangement, and might thus conclude that my abiding by the request, even when it came to staff I’d long known and interacted with, amounted to distancing myself, in contradiction with my stated availability.

There’s an internal wiki used to draft up posts, record meeting logs, document internal procedures, and also for plenty of informal internal communication such as personal activity logs, reading recommendations, and random thoughts and ramblings. I had been granted access to it early on, and welcomed to peruse it to keep up with internal ongoings. I did, for some time, and later I even thought I could use it for collaboration with staff and participate in activities!

Alas, that didn’t last long. I can’t tell whether it was because I extracted information from the logs that contradicted other information I was given, because I raised issues about information and plans I read there, or because I started storing in it drafts of plans and messages that affirmed board guidances and questioned deviations from them, but my I access was cut off without warning due to “misuse of the resource”.

Complaining didn’t get me anywhere. Part of the problem was that, by then, in computer networking terminology, we had a single point of failure mediating all public communication and all communication between board and staff, resisting to attempts to introduce alternate routes, at least ones involving myself. Richard predicted that problem the moment he heard about the configuration that enabled it. Stallman was right.

Meanwhile, the media storm that led to his resignation was long gone and I was eager to get back to public conversations on Free Software policies, but there was clear pressure for me not to do so. Don’t engage in conversations about the media storm grew into don’t talk to journalists, nor to anyone who might get published in a blog or social media; objections to talking about Richard’s political positions unrelated to Free Software expanded to talking about Richard, then to any public address; and even to complaining internally about deviations from board guidances and to telling Richard about plans that I knew he’d object to.

I joined the FSF as a voice for Free Software, eager to help it carry out its work for software freedom for all, but ended up grounded in virtual solitary confinement. But it’s not a coup.

(Julian and Chelsea, I apologize to you for the disproportionate comparison. The virtual version is unbearable, but the real thing is unfathomable. May we some day deserve the benefits conquered through the sacrifices you’ve made!)

So blong…


Copyright 2007-2020 Alexandre Oliva

Permission is granted to make and distribute verbatim copies of this entire document worldwide without royalty, provided the copyright notice, the document’s official URL, and this permission notice are preserved.

The following licensing terms also apply to all documents and postings in this blog that don’t contain a copyright notice of their own, or that contain a notice equivalent to the one above, and whose copyright can be reasonably assumed to be held by Alexandre Oliva.

This work is licensed under the Creative Commons License BY-SA (Attribution ShareAlike) 3.0 Unported. To see a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/ or send a letter to Creative Commons, 444 Castro Street, Suite 900, Mountain View, California, 94041, USA.

The EU’s EUIPO Will Later Today Help the EPO (Run by EUIPO’s Former Chief) Promote Illegal Software Patents

Posted in Europe, Patents at 8:51 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

And guess who runs EUIPO now

Computer-implemented inventions aad software patents

Summary: Propaganda terms such as “intellectual property rights” and meaningless concepts like “technical effect” are being used to promote so-called ‘computer-implemented inventions’ (software patents by another name)

THE software patents advocacy by the European Patent Office (EPO) isn’t so closeted anymore. The ‘Orange One’ (Battistelli replica) openly insinuates that the EPO would help the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) overcome 35 U.S.C. § 101 as if breaking the law and crushing the courts is the actual goal.

Speaking of the ‘Orange One’ (derogatory name for Donald Trump), he loves buzzwords even more than Battistelli. “HEY HI” (AI) is the leading buzzword at the moment…

Remember the even the software patents that the EPO does grant are thrown out by judges. These judges don’t care for “HEY HI” and won’t bother looking into shallow ‘reporting’ about how “HEY HI” will replace judges…

We’ve meanwhile noticed how the EPO uses meaningless nonsense like “intellectual property rights” and “technical effect” to justify granting illegal patents such as monopolies on algorithms in this . To quote yesterday’s tweet: “Innovative & aesthetic designs can be protected by a variety of intellectual property rights. However, only structures that elicit a technical effect fulfil the requirements for #patentability. More on #3Dprinting and IP here…” (links to a page about software patents)

The EPO, as we noted earlier this year in relation to the above page, has become totally shameless about granting invalid patents such as co-called ‘computer-implemented inventions’. Also from yesterday’s EPO tweets: “At this year’s #SearchMatters event for patent search professionals, we’ve planned an interactive workshop on computer-implemented inventions for #3Dprinting-related technologies.”

Yes, they’ve said it. They admit that they offer patents on algorithms. Also retweeted by the EPO yesterday because of this tweet that said “Tomorrow [today] the @EU_IPO & @EPOorg join forces to explore how IP rights relate to video game design, development and commercialisation.”

Mixing together totally separate things again? Things such as trademark law, copyright law and patent law are inherently different. Patents on games themselves aren’t permitted (algorithms are excluded from patentability). Will an EU agency (EUIPO) help disguise that?

EPO insiders surely know about serious corruption associated with EUIPO and EPO cross-pollination (giving jobs to friends). The EUIPO was retweeted by the EPO yesterday was this tweet which said: “Tuesday 25 February at 10.00. The EUIPO and the @EPOorg come together to explore the what and the how of protecting the IP of the gaming world.”

The gaming world is code; what does the EPO have to do in such an event (if not promotion of software patents)?

Growing Acceptance That There’s No Future to the UPC System and the Unitary Patent

Posted in Europe, Patents at 7:49 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Even those who are paid by the EPO to promote the UPC are giving up

IAM events

Summary: There are growing pains and more signs that even key elements of Team UPC move on, accepting the demise of the UPC

THE European Patent Office (EPO) of António Campinos is the same institution run by his appointer (who gave him this job and swapped chairs at CEIPI). They both promote software patents, which they hope the UPC would accept (as existing courts do not). These Frenchmen have a track record of law-breaking; they both lower patent quality (granting illegal/invalid patents) and they never value their staff or actual skills (they have none themselves; they have connections).

“These Frenchmen have a track record of law-breaking; they both lower patent quality (granting illegal/invalid patents) and they never value their staff or actual skills (they have none themselves; they have connections).”Just like 35 U.S.C. § 101 discussions in the US (very hot topic a couple of years back), discussions regarding EPO abuses have sort of faded away. It’s like nobody is left to cover this subject but us. It’s not like SUEPO says much (sometimes it shares some links), but we’re aware that it does a great deal. There’s definitely a desire to correct things at the EPO. The goal is to fix the EPO, not to make it go away.

Regarding the UPC, it definitely needs to vanish. For good. The very premise of it was all along flawed, not only the proposed legal implementation (as per UPCA).

While it’s possible that UPC will resurface under yet another name (with entirely different nature, excepting some clauses, excluding the UK and perhaps much more), this can take several more years to happen. And even then, ratification would still depend on constitutionality, not lobbying, bribery and various other dirty tricks.

Spotted in Lexology yesterday was this piece entitled “IP after Brexit: consequences and checklists” by Robert Guthrie, Richard May and Michelle Radom (Osborne Clarke). In their own words: “The UK will no longer be part of the new Unitary Patent and its involvement in the proposed new Unified Patents Court (a quasi-EU institution) is now open to doubt.”

The loudest pro-UPC voices of Bristows recently left the firm.

This is the kind of admission or acceptance we don’t often see (not from law firms anyway); the UK is ‘out’ and hence there’s no relevance to the UPCA. Without the UK, UPCA is simply invalid. Milan cannot be renamed “London”; Italians would not permit such a rename, either. We’ve meanwhile noticed that Managing IP writers begrudgingly come to the realisation that UPC is no longer possible.

Highlighted by its parent company this week (promotion in Lexology), IAM has just mentioned the UPC (“the future of the UPC system and the unitary patent” is a loaded statement, but IAM is still a paid megaphone of corrupt EPO management).

Authored by Editor-in-chief Joff Wild, feeding off the EPO’s PR firm, it reveals itself as nothing but a campinos puff piece or promotion of a new IAM issue:

EPO president António Campinos has said that the office’s user community can expect to see “significant advances” as his Strategic Plan 2023 rolls-out over the coming years. Speaking exclusively to IAM in his first detailed interview since succeeding Benoît Battistelli in July 2018, the Portuguese national explained how what he termed a “digital transformation” will lead to the patent-granting process becoming more efficient. “Practically, that should result in more online user services that keep users better informed on the progress of patent applications and more timely communications,” he stated.

[...]

Since becoming president, Campinos has rarely spoken to the press about his plans and priorities, or his more general views on the IP system. But over the course of a month in a series of email exchanges with IAM, he opened up on a number of topics, including: the office’s commitment to patent quality; the role that AI will play in the patent system of tomorrow and the patentability of AI-created inventions; the future of the UPC system and the unitary patent; his relationship with the examiner corps; competition between the IP5; and the EPO as a lever of European soft power; as well as much more besides.

From what we can gather, IAM may be in a slow-motion state of collapse. Quite a few writers have left, there’s a very stubborn paywall, hardly any interactions in social control media and their sponsors, notably the patent trolls, aren’t doing too well.

Emulating the Linux Foundation’s Business Model (Selling Influence)

Posted in FSF at 4:25 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

When (or if) you support freedom-centric conferences because you want something in return, is that genuine?

LibrePlanet sponsors

Summary: LibrePlanet sponsors are presented with benefits of offering money to the event (or to the FSF)

THE new brochure has some shades in it of the Linux Foundation‘s business model. Here are all the pages:

LibrePlanet sponsors page 1

LibrePlanet sponsors page 2

LibrePlanet sponsors page 3

LibrePlanet sponsors page 4

LibrePlanet sponsors page 5

LibrePlanet sponsors page 6

No further remarks.

Guest Article: LibrePlanet Attendees Should Demand a Partial Refund

Posted in FSF, GNU/Linux at 3:26 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

By figosdev

Antarctica wildlife

Summary: What we do know is — that the FSF is no longer “Free as in Speech!”

LibrePlanet is NonfreePlanet, though I am a big fan of Brewster Kahle. If I were Kahle, I would pull out of the event in protest of the despicable actions by FSF and/or the people running the event. I do not know exactly who made the decision to censor LibrePlanet.

I also know that the Internet is the greatest library that humanity has ever built, and that librarians are some of the world’s fiercest opponents of censorship. As one internet librarian to another, I urge Mr. Kahle to consider pulling out of the event in protest. But that’s only a side point to this article.

We do know the motivation that’s behind this injustice. We were told Stallman resigned from the FSF to be helpful. That is probably true, but it isn’t the whole story. We know from the Vice President the intentions of the board — vs. the staff:

“…the FSF board never made any decision to distance the FSF from Richard, to criticize him, or to celebrate his departure. Quite the opposite, if you look carefully at statements issued by the board”

That’s the board, but then there’s this:

“Somehow, despite the decision by the board to stay the course after Richard left, the notion that got to FSF staff was that we were to move away from him, silence his supporters and support his silencers.”

We know that for a while, the mailing list was being censored of pro-Stallman messages. These members were paying to be silenced, against the decision of the board. This is an organisation that has long touted the phrase “Free as in Speech!”

But NonfreePlanet is being censored this year:

“I submitted a speech proposal, but I didn’t even get a response. I’m told by people in the know that my speech was selected, but that there was concern I might speak in favor of the canceled person instead of the proposed topic”

That isn’t some random internet troll being cancelled, it’s the FSF’s own Vice President!

He’s not being censored for the contents of the speech he submitted — but out of FEAR that he might say something Respectful about the founder — who still heads the GNU project!

This is the New FSF Regime, and it’s not following the decisions of the board, nor is the FSF standing up for the founder’s freedom, the vice president’s freedom, nor ours.

When they censor the most distinguished guests, they aren’t only shortchanging the guest. They are diminishing their own standing as an organisation, diminishing their own message and their own advocacy, and they are shortchanging YOU, because they are denying you some of what you would have been allowed to be there for.

They are controlling what you witness and censoring your own experience, not just the guest’s opportunity to speak.

Since the full LibrePlanet experience is not available, you should DEMAND A DISCOUNT or for members, a partial refund — of (at least) one U.S. dollar. You will only be getting a fraction of the LibrePlanet experience in 2020. You shouldn’t have to pay full price.

Tell the FSF you want a refund! While they celebrate their 7th year (6.5 with Stallman as President) celebrating the transparency that Charity Navigator measures, they are being very opaque about where the LibrePlanet money goes. Yes, it goes to the event, or it goes to whatever they say it goes to — but they don’t tell you that you’re only getting PART of the event you paid for.

Every guest should pay less money for less of an event. Is this the first NonfreePlanet, or did they censor a perfectly suitable guest before?

What we do know is — that the FSF is no longer “Free as in Speech!”

As to a second protest worth considering, you might decide show up to the event with duct tape on your mouth, or possibly standing outside with Free Root Beers! (Distributing Free Beers might draw legal complications, and besides, it’s important to be able to get Root on your own system.)

After all — if LibrePlanet is no longer Libre as in Speech, it should at least be Gratis as in Beer! Plus you can drink to the guests who can’t be there, or can’t speak because they’re stifled and subjugated and controlled by an illegitimate coup!

Will they have ushers ready to put a bag over their own Vice President’s head and pull him out of thet even if he should say something Evil and Seditious such as “I love Richard?”

Who knows? Maybe in this New FSF Regime, they’ll have Tasers to stop such acts of free speech!

It’s sort of like the Free Software Song goes:

Join us now and, MMfff mmfff MMMmm-ware
You’ll be mmmfFFFFF mmm Mff!!
You’ll be… MMMfffmmmm…

I don’t know, man, it’s just my opinion. I’m not — Oh hi, guys! What? No! Stop! What are you doing?!

I —

Licence: Creative Commons CC0 1.0 (public domain)

IRC Proceedings: Monday, February 24, 2020

Posted in IRC Logs at 2:27 am by Needs Sunlight

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