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04.02.20

Links 2/4/2020: Linux 5.6.2, Qt Creator 4.11.2, LineageOS ROM Based on Android 10

Posted in News Roundup at 11:14 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Desktop/Laptop

      • Looking For A Linux Laptop? Check Out The Latest Manjaro InfinityBook

        The market for Linux laptops is booming, especially in 2020. We’ve reported various updates about the launch and upcoming Linux laptop announcements. Following the same trend, TUXEDO computers and the Manjaro Linux team have joined hands to bring a brand new customized Linux laptop dubbed Manjaro InfinityBook.

        The two companies are already involved in producing the best products for the Linux community. The latest Manjaro InfinityBook is just another custom version of TUXEDO’s InfinityBook Laptop with pre-loaded Manjaro Linux OS. If you want to have a Linux laptop with the best user experience, get along with me to know more about InfinityBook.

      • Video conferencing with Jitsi

        Spring is coming to the northern hemisphere, and one’s thoughts naturally turn to … being locked up inside the house and not allowed to go anywhere. That has, in turn, led to an increasing interest in alternative mechanisms for keeping up with family and coworkers, especially video conferencing. There are a number of proprietary video-conferencing services out there; your editor decided to look into what solutions exist in the free-software realm. It turns out that there are a few; the first to be looked at is Jitsi.

        Jitsi is, in fact a collection of components, written mostly in Java (and JavaScript) and released under the Apache license. At the core is Jitsi Videobridge, which implements multi-participant video conferences, and Jitsi Meet, which implements the client side. Various other components live under the hood and are likely to only come to one’s attention if something goes wrong with them. There is also a Jitsi Desktop application, but that has been superseded by the browser interface and is considered “legacy” at this point.

      • Q: RoamingProfiles under GNU/Linux? What’s your Best Practice?

        This post is an open question to the wide range of GNU/Linux site admins out there. Possibly some of you have the joy of maintaining GNU/Linux also on user endpoint devices (i.e. user workstations, user notebooks, etc.), not only on corporate servers.

        TL;DR; In the context of a customer project, I am researching ways of mimicking (or inventing anew) a feature well known (and sometimes also well hated) from the MS Windows world: Roaming User Profiles. If anyone does have any input on that, please contact me (OFTC/Freenode IRC, Telegram, email). I am curious what your solution may be.

      • Must Have Apps For New Linux Users In 2020

        If you are a Windows user and recently shifted to Linux based platforms then you might be confused or wondering what to do, or how to play music, how to edit documents and so on.

        This post is for you if you are fresh or new Linux users and need some help with the transition from Windows to Linux.

    • Server

      • Ubuntu Blog: Edge AI in a 5G world – part 2: Why make the cell tower smart?

        AI training & ML operationsDecades of Moore’s Law have given us smartphones at a price we’re willing to pay but IoT devices need to be much cheaper than that. Adding today’s fastest CPUs or GPUs to IoT devices costs a significant amount which put a hard limit on what the market is currently willing to buy at scale.

        The IoT devices that are currently on the market are usually underpowered and have limited connectivity. With 5G connectivity and shared compute resources at the Edge these constrained devices will soon be able to do much more.

        For instance, adding a GPU to each IoT device for the purposes of AI model inference would mean a significant increase in the hardware bill of materials. This cost would be passed onto the consumer and because it is more expensive would drastically reduce the target audience. Instead, 5G allows for heavy computation to be offloaded to nearby shared GPUs and get a response with minimal latency.

        We will dive into this approach in the next section.

      • Tech Giants Team Up to Launch Open Source 5G Infrastructure Management Tool

        “5G and Edge Computing industry initiatives will require large-scale and geographically distributed multi-vendor infrastructure deployments”

        HPE and Intel are working with open source partners such as Red Hat to create a 5G distributed infrastructure management tool that could potentially help telecommunications firms get past the difficulty of installing 5G system into sites that hold infrastructure belonging to multiple vendors.

        The project will be donated to the Linux Foundation, with release scheduled for later in Q2 2020. It will be accessible via: www.linuxfoundation.org.

      • Cloudflare announces free VPN tool WARP for Windows and macOS, with Linux to follow

        If you’re in the market for a free VPN for your desktop PC or laptop, Cloudflare will soon have a new offering.

        Following on from the success of its free VPN for mobile devices, the company that’s also behind the 1.1.1.1 DNS resolver is now bringing WARP to Windows and macOS — and there is a Linux version in the works. Cloudflare’s WARP is currently available in beta, but not everyone will be able to get access to it straight away.

      • Kubernetes 1.18 Feature Server-side Apply Beta 2

        Server-side Apply is an important effort to migrate “kubectl apply” to the apiserver. It was started in 2018 by the Apply working group.

        [...]

        Server-side Apply works by keeping track of which actor of the system has changed each field of an object. It does so by diffing all updates to objects, and recording all the fields that have changed as well the time of the operation. All this information is stored in the managedFields in the metadata of objects. Since objects can have many fields, this field can be quite large.

        When someone applies, we can then use the information stored within managedFields to report relevant conflicts and help the merge algorithm to do the right thing.

    • Audiocasts/Shows

    • Kernel Space

      • Automatic buffer selection for io_uring

        The io_uring subsystem has, in the last year, redefined how asynchronous I/O is done on Linux systems. As this subsystem grows in both capability and users, though, it starts to run into limitations in the types of operations that can be expressed. That is driving a number of changes in how operations are programmed for io_uring. One example is the mechanisms considered for carrying a file descriptor between operations that was covered here in early March. Another has to do with how I/O buffers are chosen for operations.
        As io_uring developer Jens Axboe describes in this patch set, the usual mode for programs that handle large numbers of file descriptors is to use poll() to find out which descriptors are ready for I/O, then making separate calls to actually perform that I/O. One could use io_uring in this mode, but it defeats one of the purposes of the whole exercise: avoiding system calls whenever possible. The io_uring way of doing things is to just queue an asynchronous operation on every file descriptor, then react to the resulting events whenever one of those operations is executed.

        Working that way can indeed reduce system calls — all the way to zero if the request ring is kept full. But it also requires allocating a separate I/O buffer for each of those queued operations, even though many of them may not execute for an indefinite period of time. The poll() method, instead, allows an application to defer buffer allocation until a buffer is actually needed. Losing that flexibility can result in significantly higher memory use for applications that keep a large number of operations outstanding.

      • Working-set protection for anonymous pages

        A bit of background may be helpful for understanding how this patch set works; we’ll start with a highly oversimplified picture, then add some details as we go.
        Virtual-memory systems allow applications to address far more memory than can actually fit into the physical memory installed in the system, so a significant part of any given process’s address space is likely to exist only on secondary storage at any given time. Obviously, the pages that are in physical memory should be the ones that the process is going to use in the near future. The kernel cannot know for sure which pages will be useful, though, so it must fall back onto a set of heuristics that allow it to guess as well as it can.

        Some of those heuristics are reasonably straightforward. For example, if a process is observed to be working through a file sequentially, chances are pretty good that it will soon be wanting the pages of the file immediately after those it is accessing now. Another heuristic, found at the core of almost any virtual-memory implementation, is that pages that have been used recently are likely to be used in the future, while those that have languished unused for a while may not be worth keeping around.

        To implement that last approach, the kernel maintains a “least-recently used” (LRU) list; all user-space pages in physical memory are kept on that list. The kernel occasionally checks the pages on the LRU list and moves those that have been accessed recently to the head of the list. When more memory is needed, to bring in pages from secondary storage, for example, pages at the tail end of the list are reclaimed.

        In truth, the kernel maintains more than one LRU list. To begin with, the “LRU list” is actually two lists: the “active” and “inactive” lists. The active list functions mostly as described in the previous paragraph, except that, when pages fall off the tail of the list, they are put onto the inactive list instead. At that point, the protections on those pages are set to disallow all user-space access. Should some process access one of those pages, a “soft” page fault will result; the page will be made accessible again and returned to the active list. When memory is needed, pages will be reclaimed from the inactive list.

      • SELinux Seeing Performance Improvements With Linux 5.7

        A few months back when we last looked at the performance impact of having SELinux enabled there was a hit but not too bad for most workloads. But we’ll need to take another look soon as with the Linux 5.7 kernel are some performance improvements and more for SELinux.

        The NSA-backed Security Enhanced Linux has seen a fair amount of work build up for the now-open Linux 5.7 kernel merge window.

      • Linux 5.6.2
        I'm announcing the release of the 5.6.2 kernel.
        
        All users of the 5.6 kernel series must upgrade.
        
        The updated 5.6.y git tree can be found at:
        	git://git.kernel.org/pub/scm/linux/kernel/git/stable/linux-stable.git linux-5.6.y
        and can be browsed at the normal kernel.org git web browser:
        
        https://git.kernel.org/?p=linux/kernel/git/stable/linux-stable.git;a=summary
        
        thanks,
        
        greg k-h
        
      • Linux 5.6.2 Released With Fix For The IWLWIFI Intel WiFi Driver

        Linux 5.6.1 shipped on Wednesday morning as the first point release. That fixed some bugs in the media code, adding the ASUS USB-N10 Nano B1 to the rtl8188eu driver, adding a Comet Lake H PCI ID to the AHCI driver, adding some USB serial IDs, and a few other random fixes.

        Less than 24 hours later, Linux 5.6.2 is now shipping. Linux 5.6.2 has just a few fixes to the VT code but making it notable is carrying the mac80211 fix for fixing the broken Intel “IWLWIFI” wireless driver in Linux 5.6. That patch missed getting picked up by Linux 5.6.1 but is now there in 5.6.2.

      • Graphics Stack

        • Mesa 20.0.3 Released With Latest Open-Source Graphics Driver Fixes

          While many of you are users of Mesa Git for experiencing the bleeding-edge graphics drivers especially if you are a gamer wanting peak performance, for those on the Mesa stable series the Mesa 20.0.3 update has now shipped.

          Mesa 20.0.3 is the latest bi-weekly point release for back-porting the fixes to this Q1’2020 stable series.

    • Applications

      • ProtonMail Bridge support finally arrives on Linux

        Proton Technologies has announced that ProtonMail Bridge support is finally available to users on the Linux platform. The Bridge functionality enables people to connect their ProtonMail account with a desktop e-mail client. This app is necessary due to the way ProtonMail is built.

        In order to use the ProtonMail Bridge desktop app, you’ll need to be a paying subscriber of the service. With this app, you get ProtonMail’s privacy and security features, such as zero-access encryption and end-to-end encryption, with your preferred desktop e-mail client. Bridge is compatible with all e-mail clients that support the IMAP/SMTP protocols but comes with special optimisations for Thunderbird.

      • ProtonMail Officially Announces ProtonMail Bridge for Linux

        ProtonMail has just announced Bridge for Linux, finally allowing users to to get their ProtonMail message right in the email client they use on the computer.

        Bridge has been in beta for quite some time now, and the stable version comes with a series of new options thanks to the integration with Linux email apps, including full-text search, offline editing, and email exporting and backups.

        At this point, Bridge for Linux is specifically optimized for Thunderbird, Mozilla’s email client that’s used by a significant number of users on Linux. However, the app is compatible with pretty much any email client on Linux that uses IMAP/SMTP protocols.

        ProtonMail says this is just the beginning of Bridge on Linux, so future updates will bring improvements to the design, but also support for more clients on the platform.

      • ProtonMail Bridge Now Officially Available For Linux, Windows, And Mac

        In today’s world of rising cyberattacks, security measures have become an essential part of our digital lives. ProtonMail is one of those companies that aims to provide secure communication using its encrypted email service.

        But apart from security, ease of usage and access to these services also matter. Not every user always has an internet connection to check the recent emails or retrieve messages via their native OS email clients. Hence, ProtonMail has launched a desktop application, Bridge, to access all messages directly from local email clients.

      • DownZemAll is an open source download manager for Windows, Linux and macOS

        Recently, while casually browsing GitHub, I came across a name that seemed familiar at first; it turned out to be a new download manager called DownZemAll.

        The program’s name is very similar to the popular DownloadThemAll! extension for Firefox, which is what surprised me. The official page reveals that the developer of DownZemAll started the project during the time the legacy add-on stopped working with Firefox Quantum, and seems to have used it as the inspiration to rewrite this application.

        But that’s where the similarities end, because DownZemAll is a desktop program. Let’s take a look at it to see how it stacks up. The interface is mostly what you’d expect in a download manager: a menu bar, toolbar, the main pane, but unlike others, DownZemAll has a sidebar too. The options in the side panel are also available from the right-click menu.

    • Instructionals/Technical

    • Games

      • OpenTESArena – a modern game engine for The Elder Scrolls: Arena has a new release

        Now available free, The Elder Scrolls: Arena is something of a classic and it continues to live on with thanks to the free and open source game engine OpenTESArena. Bethesda Softworks actually made The Elder Scrolls: Arena free to download some years ago as part of the 10th anniversary which has certainly helped.

        Still in early development, with gameplay not really there yet, it’s very promising and a big new release went up a few days ago further expanding what it’s able to do with the original game data. OpenTESArena 0.11.0 adds in quite a lot including: original entity loading (static NPCs, creatures, trees, furniture, palace rulers, etc.), lights, water and lava rendering, fading voxels, translucent entity rendering, Ray Cast selection with pixel-perfect option and more.

      • Transport Tycoon Deluxe inspired ‘OpenTTD’ has a massive new release out

        Transport Tycoon Deluxe is a classic and OpenTTD is an excellent open source game engine directly inspired by it, with a huge new stable release out now.

        Saying it’s inspired by it is perhaps not entirely accurate, it’s a full replacement for it! With many new and advanced features, to make building a sprawling transportation network feel good on modern systems. It can use Transport Tycoon Deluxe data files or you can stick with the open graphics which still look good.

      • Relaxing strategic sky trading sim ‘Merchant of the Skies’ leaving Early Access on April 17

        Originally entering Early Access back in July last year for Linux, macOS and Windows it’s had a lot of updates since release and it has become a much bigger game. In Merchant of the Skies you start off with a small ship and not much else, then progress through trade and quest completion. As you accumulate more wealth, purchase islands and establish your company you gradually go through more advanced resource chains and continue expanding. There’s also something involving you needing to feed a massive fish-god. See the new release date trailer below:

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • Qt Creator 4.11.2 released

          We are happy to announce the release of Qt Creator 4.11.2!

          We fixed the default target project when creating files with wizards, and the debugging of Qt Quick tests. We also got rid of several issues with the editor. Have a look at our changes file for a more complete list.

          The opensource version is available on the Qt download page under “Qt Creator”, and you find commercially licensed packages on the Qt Account Portal. Qt Creator 4.11.2 is also available as an update in the online installer. Please post issues in our bug tracker. You can also find us on IRC on #qt-creator on chat.freenode.net, and on the Qt Creator mailing list.

        • Qt Virtual Tech Con Registration is Now Open!

          We know many of you have looked forward to the hustle and bustle of Qt World Summit in May. While we unfortunately had to postpone it, we have put together a live online conference with many speakers from the Qt ecosystem to tie you over from the comfort of your favorite screen.

          Qt Virtual Tech Con 2020 offers a jam-packed 24+ hours of live techtalks, interactive Q&As, and virtual exhibition on May 12-13 to showcase the latest advancements in Qt and share the best practices in software design and development.

          Secure your seat and invite your peers!

      • GNOME Desktop/GTK

        • Adrien Plazas: A Coloring API for GTK

          This week we had the Design Tools Hackfest 2020, virtualized because of COVID-19, where we discussed that recoloring API. We came up with something I think is interesting enough to discuss more widely.

    • Distributions

      • 21 Important Penetration Tools in Kali Linux

        Kali Linux uses many kinds of penetration tools to assess the security situation of your devices and networks. Whether you are looking to advance your career as an ethical tester or find the vulnerabilities of your systems, these powerful tools yield excellent results. Almost all of them should be accessible from the main Kali Linux terminal.

        Note: if you are an ethical tester, you must have the necessary permissions to access another person’s device, unless you’re testing on your own devices.

      • Reviews

        • Bodhi Linux 5.1 Review: Slightly Different Lightweight Linux

          Bodhi Linux is a lightweight Linux distribution based on Ubuntu. Unlike most other distributions, Bodhi uses its own Moksha desktop and focuses on providing you a minimal setup to run on older computers.

          Bodhi Linux was first introduced in 2011. It is designed with “minimalism, resource efficiency, and user choice” in mind. The devs strove to provide a “system that is functional but not bloated“. As such, it uses the lightweight Moksha Desktop and has only the basic applications preinstalled. The idea is to give the user a stable platform to build the system that they want. It is based on the latest Ubuntu LTS.

      • Arch Family

        • What is Arch User Repository (AUR)? How to Use AUR on Arch and Manjaro Linux?

          What is AUR? What are the pros and cons of using AUR? How to use AUR in Arch-based Linux distributions? This beginner’s guide answers all such questions.What is AUR? What are the pros and cons of using AUR? How to use AUR in Arch-based Linux distributions? This beginner’s guide answers all such questions.

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • Red Hat Enterprise Linux helps pioneering unmanned marine research

          In 1620, the Mayflower embarked on an uncertain journey across the Atlantic Ocean, with more than 100 pilgrims on board hoping to begin a new life in the New World. Now, 400 years later, The Mayflower Autonomous Ship (MAS) will follow in the footsteps of the original ship from Plymouth, England to Plymouth, Massachusetts. Only this time, there will be no human captain or onboard crew. It will be one of the first full-sized, fully-autonomous and unmanned vessels to cross the Atlantic Ocean.

          The MAS project is a global collaboration led by marine research organization Promare. Conceived as a way to commemorate the 400th anniversary of the Mayflower voyage, it could have long-lasting implications for the shipping industry and the future of oceanographic research.

          The autonomous shipping market is projected to grow from $90BN today to over $130BN by 2030. However; many of today’s autonomous ships are just automated and do not dynamically adapt to new situations. Using an integrated set of IBM’s AI, cloud, and edge technologies, ProMare is aiming to give the Mayflower the ability to operate independently in some of the most challenging circumstances on the planet.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • How to Setup CTRL+ALT+DEL As Task Manager in Ubuntu

          If you are a beginner in Ubuntu Linux and migrated from Windows, this guide is for you. You can easily setup CTRL+ALT+DEL as Task Manager in Ubuntu Linux with just a few tweaks.

        • Now you can pre-order a PinePhone with Ubuntu Touch for $150

          The PinePhone is an inexpensive smartphone designed to run open source operating systems such as postmarketOS, KDE Plasma Mobile, or Ubuntu Touch. But the first units to ship earlier this year didn’t have an operating system installed — it was up to users to load their own.

          Now the Pine64 team and the developers of Ubuntu Touch have announced that the first community partner edition of the phone is available for pre-order.

        • You Can Now Buy a PinePhone Preloaded with Ubuntu Touch

          Ubuntu Touch, also known by the name UBports, is a community-maintained version of Ubuntu for phones and tablets based on Ubuntu 16.04 LTS. It is a direct continuation of the codebase Canonical cancelled a few years back.

          From today you (and anyone else interested) can preorder a PinePhone Community Edition with UBports direct from the Pine64 Store.

        • PinePhone Ubuntu Touch Edition Now Available for Pre-Order

          Meet the PinePhone UBports Community Edition, the first variant of the PinePhone Linux phone to come pre-installed with a mobile operating system, namely the gorgeous Ubuntu Touch produced by UBports.

          It took UBports a year and a half to produce the PinePhone UBports Community Edition, which ships with the Lomiri (formerly Unity 8) user interface, but it’s finally available for pre-order for only $149.99 USD.

        • [Former Canonical manager] Dustin Kirkland: Coordinated Launch Cycles at Apex

          I joined Apex Clearing last year, having spent the previous 20 years as a software engineer, product manager, and executive, mostly around open source software, including Ubuntu, OpenStack, and Kubernetes. Albeit IBM, Canonical and Google differ from fintech on many levels, these operating systems and cloud infrastructure technology platforms share a number of similarities with Apex’s software-as-a-service platform. Moreover, there also exists some literal overlap: we’re heavy users of both Ubuntu and Kubernetes here at Apex.

          Ubuntu, OpenStack, and Kubernetes all share similar, predictable, time-based release cycles. Ubuntu has released every April and October, since October of 2004 – that’s 32 major software platform releases, on time, every time, over 16 years. Ubuntu has set the bar for velocity, quality, and predictability in the open source world. OpenStack’s development processes have largely mirrored Ubuntu’s, with many of the early project leaders having been ex-Ubuntu engineers and managers. OpenStack, too, has utilized a 6-month development cycle, since 2010, now on its 20th release. Kubernetes came along in 2014, and sought to increase the pace a bit, with quarterly release cycles. Kubernetes is a little bit looser with dates than Ubuntu or OpenStack, but has generally cranked out 4 quality releases per year, over the last 6 years. I’ve been involved in each of these projects at some level, and I’ve thoroughly enjoyed coaching a number of early stage start-ups on how to apply these principles to their product development methodologies.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • Selling Free and Open Source Software? With DRM?

        “What is everyones feelings on buying free/open source software? And if we are ok with that could we put DRM on the source code?” – Tom Ohhhhhh, boy. These are two intense questions. Short answer: Buying Free and Open Source Software = Great! Including DRM in, on, or anywhere near Free and Open Source Software (including on the source code itself) = The Opposite of Great!

      • Open Source Code – The Future of User Privacy

        Will we see more and more open source software in the future, or is this a passing trend that will die off eventually?

      • Events

        • Helping FOSS conferences in the face of a pandemic

          The effects of the Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic are horrific and far-reaching; we really do not yet know just how bad it will get. One far less serious area that has been affected is conferences for and about free and open-source software (FOSS). On the grand scale, these problems are pretty low on the priority list. There are a fair number of non-profit organizations behind the gatherings, however, that have spent considerable sums setting up now-canceled events or depend on the conferences for a big chunk of their budget—or both. A new organization, FOSS Responders, has formed to try to help out.

      • Programming/Development

        • QuickDAQ.mikroBUS Development Board Leverages Visual Programming and MikroE Click Boards (Crowdfunding)

          mikroBUS is a socket interface that allows you to connect MikroElektronik (MikroE) Click add-on boards that can be buttons, sensors, a servo controller, a wireless module, and practically anything you may think of since there are over 700 Click boards to choose from.

        • GCC 10 Release Candidate Likely Hitting In The Next Few Weeks

          The month of April usually sees the new annual GNU Compiler Collection (GCC) feature releases and for GCC 10 in the form of GCC 10.1 as the first stable release in the series does stand chances of releasing this month.

          SUSE’s Richard Biener provided the latest GCC 10 status report on Wednesday. He notes there still are 21 bugs to fix (or demote to a lower priority regression) before they hit the milestone of no “P1″ regressions.

        • Eclipse Foundation offers open-source alternative to Visual Studio Code

          The Eclipse Foundation just released version 1.0 of an open-source alternative to Visual Studio Code called Eclipse Theia. Theia is an extensible platform that allows developers to create multi-language cloud and desktop IDEs, allowing them to create entirely new developer experiences.

          According to the Eclipse Foundation, the differences between Theia and Visual Studio Code are that Theia has a more modular architecture, Theia was designed from the ground to run on desktop and cloud, and Theia was developed under community-driven and vendor-neutral governance of the Eclipse Foundation.

        • Red Hat Developers: How to write an ABI compliance checker using Libabigail

          I’ve previously written about the challenges of ensuring forward compatibility for application binary interfaces (ABIs) exposed by native shared libraries. This article introduces the other side of the equation: How to verify ABI backward compatibility for upstream projects.

          If you’ve read my previous article, you’ve already been introduced to Libabigail, a static-code analysis and instrumentation library for constructing, manipulating, serializing, and de-serializing ABI-relevant artifacts.

          In this article, I’ll show you how to build a Python-based checker that uses Libabigail to verify the backward compatibility of ABIs in a shared library. For this case, we’ll focus on ABIs for shared libraries in the executable and linkable format (ELF) binary format that runs on Linux-based operating systems.

          Note: This tutorial assumes that you have Libabigail and its associated command-line tools, abidw and abidiff installed and set up in your development environment. See the Libabigail documentation for a guide to getting and installing Libabigail.

        • Excellent Free Tutorials to Learn BASIC

          BASIC (Beginner’s All-purpose Symbolic Instruction Code) is a family of general-purpose, high-level programming languages whose design philosophy emphasizes ease of use. In 1964, John G. Kemeny and Thomas E. Kurtz designed the original BASIC language at Dartmouth College. They wanted to enable students in fields other than science and mathematics to use computers. At the time, nearly all use of computers required writing custom software, which was something only scientists and mathematicians tended to learn.

          The advent of the personal computer was crucial to the success of BASIC. The language was designed for hobbyists, and as personal computers became more accessible to this audience, books of BASIC programs and BASIC games surged in popularity.

          BASIC is generally not regarded as the easiest way to take the first steps in learning the art of programming. But it does not hinder beginners from learning how to program, or teach them bad habits. And it’s the highest low-level language. Even today, there remains value in learning BASIC.

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

        • LLVM Plumbs Support For Intel Golden Cove’s New SERIALIZE Instruction

          Yesterday we noted Intel’s programming reference manual being updated with new Golden Cove instructions for Sapphire Rapids and Alder Lake and with that Intel’s open-source developers have begun pushing their changes to the compilers. The latest updates add TSXLDTRK, a new HYBRID bit for Core+Atom hybrd CPUs, and a new SERIALIZE instruction. After GCC was receiving the patch attention yesterday, LLVM is getting its attention today.

        • Python

          • The 20 Best Python Tips and Tricks You Must Know in 2020

            This well-crafted article will show how you can get good at Python. All these tips and tricks will make you a better Python Developer. If you are a beginner, you are in for a treat! Python is very easy to learn. Its syntax is very compact and clean. If you are up for it, you can master it within months. Python is truly ubiquitous. Software Development to Data Science, Machine Learning to Artificial Intelligence — you can do everything. Let’s show you how to become a Pythonista!

          • Reuven Lerner: Reminder: My free “Python for non-programmers” course continues tomorrow!

            If you’ve never programmed a computer before — or if you tried, and found it frustrating and difficult — then you’re welcome to join my “Python for non-programmers” course, which takes place on Thursdays at 10 a.m. Eastern.

            The class is 100% free of charge, and open to anyone who wants. Just register at https://PythonForNonProgrammers.com/. Registering gets you weekly reminders, recordings of previous sessions, and invites to the private forum, where you can chat about the lessons with other students.

          • Django changes its governance

            The Django web framework has come a long way since it was first released as open source in 2005. It started with a benevolent dictator for life (BDFL) governance model, like the language it is implemented in, Python, but switched to a different model in 2014. When Python switched away from the BDFL model in 2018, it followed Django’s lead to some extent. But now Django is changing yet again, moving from governance based around a “core team” to one that is more inclusive and better reflects the way the project is operating now.

            Django actually started out with co-BDFLs; Adrian Holovaty and Jacob Kaplan-Moss filled that role until they retired in early 2014, which motivated the change to the core-team model. By 2018, some problems with that new model were being felt, so James Bennett spearheaded an effort to change it, which resulted in Django enhancement proposal (DEP) 10 (“New governance for the Django project”)—adopted on March 12. Perhaps unsurprisingly, some of the problems identified for Django are sometimes heard in Python circles as well; the changes for Django could be a harbinger of Python’s governance down the road.

        • Shell/Bash/Zsh/Ksh

          • Get started with Bash scripting for sysadmins

            The Bash shell is definitely not the only shell out there, but it’s one of the most powerful. This makes it a popular choice for systems administrators needing to develop serious applications that go beyond a simple “laundry list” of commands to run on a system. There are lots of great uses for other shells (I default to Tcsh for Git hooks, for instance), but Bash is an easy choice for serious scripting, and here’s why.

        • Java

          • You should know the comparison between Java 8 & Java 9

            Java language is based on an Object-Oriented Programming algorithm. Oracle is currently maintaining Java. Being licensed under General Public License GNU, Java 8 was released on 14th January 2014 whereas Java 9 on 27th July 2017. The latest version is Java 13, which was released on 17th September 2019.

            If you’re applying for a job position as a Java Developer, you might want to read some Java 8 interview questions and also clarify differences between Java 8 and Java 9. The 8th version of Java included important updates. The basic purpose of Java 8 was to provide enhancements, bug fixes and improve the efficiency of coding compared to its predecessor. Java 9 included updates to enhance industry-wide development through a new platform module system.

            Java 9’s accessibility and improved modularity help developers to easily assemble and maintain sophisticated applications. It also helps in making Java scale down on smaller devices while improving security and performance.

  • Leftovers

    • Apocalypse, Now and Forever

      Notes from an Apocalypse: A Personal Journey to the End of the World and Back is a thoughtful, engaging book that ends in failure. But Mark O’Connell shouldn’t take that assessment too personally. His book fails in the way that his culture—the modern, cosmopolitan, left/liberal, individualist culture—routinely fails in the face of multiple, cascading ecological crises.

    • Another New Peace

      It’s not easy to write in the middle of a tsunami or a pandemic either for that matter. It seems like a good opportunity, one might think, all the bars are closed and people’s usual activities like dating, eating-out and shopping aren’t options at all, but it’s just hard to focus when you’ve got too much on your mind.

    • Algonquin Anishinabeg Territory Threatened by Condo Development

      Dream Unlimited Corporation and Theia Partners, a subsidiary of Windmill,  stand to make millions from the 10- to 15-year construction project. The aforementioned activists have been going to the municipal and federal governments, pressuring them to stop the construction of condominiums on sacred land. Internationally renowned architect and Elder Douglas Cardinal, an opponent of the project, was quoted in Briarpatch magazine on the importance of Akikodjiwan, saying, “These beautiful, sacred waterfalls and islands lie at a symbolic confluence of waters: The rivers flow into the centre from the South, West and North and in turn flow to the East. Similarly, our own ceremonial lodges embrace the four directions and are opened to the East. Furthermore, the Chaudière Falls creates a great kettle; a whirlpool that brings water deep into the earth. With the uprising mist and the surrounding rock forms, the falls appear as a sacred pipe, sculpted by the Creator.”

    • Education

      • Balancing Screen Time for Children with Nature-Based Education

        A recent MRI study of children 3 to 5 years old showed reduced brain matter in the area associated with language and cognitive development for children who were exposed to only one hour of screen time per day.

      • Pandemic Reveals Limits of Education System to Assist Students and Families

        The COVID-19 pandemic is unfolding fast, with each day’s missives giving us new, and sometimes contradictory, information about the virus. Schools — public and private, pre-K through university — have been scrambling to figure out how best to respond since the virus hit the U.S. Currently, schools in most states are closed, but dates for reopening vary. Some are slated to open their doors in mid-April, while others have already announced that they will not reopen until fall.

    • Health/Nutrition

      • The White House and the CDC are United in Stupidity

        On Saturday, I received a postcard of guidelines from the white house and the Centers for Disease Control – CDC. The guidelines repeated based recommended behavioral changes to the coronavirus outbreak on whether a person showed signs of being sick. This is a horribly misrepresentative response to this plague because it ignores the reality that this infestation has largely been spreading through people who had not yet shown signs of their own possible contamination.

      • Former WHO Director: 8-Week Suppression Strategy Could Stop US COVID Crisis in Its Tracks

        “We know we can get this under control,” says Dr Anthony Costello, a former Director at the World Health Organization (WHO) where he headed up maternal, child and adolescent health. “The problem is that Europe has been too slow to act compared with Asia; and America is now facing a huge crisis.”

      • “The Coronavirus is Man-Made:” the Conspiracy Theory Trap

        In this trying time, have you heard some of your friends say that the U.S. government created this pandemic or that the pandemic is not real at all?

      • COVID-19 in Haiti: the Current Response and Challenges

        On March 19, Haitian president Jovenel Moïse confirmed the first two cases of the novel coronavirus in Haiti. The number has since increased to eight. In response, the president has declared a state of emergency and ordered schools, factories, and religious entities to close; established a curfew; and closed the country’s borders. The government announced the new policies after previously suspending air travel from most countries.

      • Guatemalan Water Protectors Persist, Despite Mining Company Threats

        The hard work of protecting water and land from the long-term harms associated with gold and silver mining takes place daily on the frontlines of tenacious struggles throughout Latin America and around the world.

      • Coronavirus Exposes How Concentrated Pharma Ownership Has Destroyed Prescription Drug Markets

        Regulators then gave GPO’s antitrust exemption in the mid-1990s. All of this resulted in GPOs completely monopolizing the pharmaceutical trade, creating an economic system vulnerable to disruption. Smaller drug distributors in the US have been driven out of business due to impossible competition from GPOs. Even if hospitals wanted to buy from these smaller distributors, hospitals are typically locked into purchasing from a GPO due to their contracts.

      • ‘How Are We Supposed to Protect Our Lungs?’: Climate Strikers Blast EPA Suspension of Pollution Laws

        Greta Thunberg and others argue that the Trump administration has created another “loophole” for environmental destruction.

      • The Answer to Decreasing US Life-Expectancy—Community Health

        Research studies from the University of Wisconsin show that only twenty percent of a person’s overall health is attributable to access and quality of health care services. The rest depends on social, economic, environmental, mental, and personal behavior factors.

      • Nurses: We Are the Canaries in the Coronavirus Mine

        Instead of saying we’re heroes, we need people and organizations to stand up and protest the unsafe working conditions in healthcare facilities all across the country.

      • ‘When We Are Infected No One Is Safe’: Nurses Nationwide Protest Over Lack of Coronavirus Protective Equipment

        “For the wealthiest hospital corporation in the United States to show such disregard for the health and safety of its caregivers, is disgraceful and unconscionable.”

      • Chechnya is Russia’s first region to close its boundaries completely because of coronavirus

        Effective April 5, Russia’s Chechen Republic will close its boundaries completely to all passenger and individual traffic into and out of the region, in a dramatic effort to curb the spread of coronavirus. Chechen officials announced the new policy on April 1, after local health officials confirmed the republic’s first death caused by coronavirus.

      • Congress Must Reject Weakened Medicaid Protections in Next COVID-19 Bill

        States received a significant temporary increase in federal Medicaid funding in the bipartisan Families First Coronavirus Response Act, which was signed into law on March 18. In exchange for this increase in federal funding, they can’t impose new Medicaid eligibility restrictions, or take away people’s coverage, during the public health emergency. Now, some policymakers are trying to weaken or eliminate these beneficiary protections, after failing in an effort to do so in the newly enacted Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. Congress should again reject these attempts, which could cost hundreds of thousands of people (or more) their health insurance in the midst of a pandemic and severe economic downturn.

      • Surrender everything Moscow officials are launching an app to monitor coronavirus patients’ compliance with home isolation. It requires access to geolocation, calls, and device settings.

        On April 2, the Moscow Mayor’s Office will launch a mobile app called “Social Monitoring” designed for coronavirus patients with mild symptoms recovering at home. Eduard Lysenko, the head of the city’s Information Technology Department, confirmed this information in an appearance today on the radio station Ekho Moskvy. According to the city, there are currently about 550 confirmed COVID-19 patients who are recuperating at home, instead of in a hospital. “This [app] isn’t intended for everyone’s use. I repeat: this is for patients at home,” Lysenko explained. The app will be available on both iOS and Android, and the city is prepared to provide phones with the software preinstalled to patients who do not have mobile devices. (People will be required to return the hardware after their quarantine ends.) In another interview with the news agency TASS, Lysenko said patients will also be offered smartwatches loaded with the “Social Monitoring” app.

      • Russia records 440 new COVID-19 cases, bringing total number of confirmed infections to 2,777

        In the past day, Russia recorded 440 new cases of COVID-19, raising the country’s confirmed total to 2,777 infections. Once again, most of the new positive results (267) were in Moscow. Between March 31 and April 1, the number of deaths caused by coronavirus rose by seven people to 24. Meanwhile, a total of 190 people are known to have recovered fully from the illness.

      • The UK and Covid-19 Crisis

        The UK has been preoccupied with its roiling Brexit psychodrama since 2016.

      • No Pandemic-Related Pause? VA Privatization Leaves Veterans Waist Deep in Another Big Muddy

        Half a century ago, 60,000 Americans and more than three million Vietnamese lost their lives in the foreign policy quagmire known as the Vietnam War.

      • ‘Millions of People Lose Water Service Because They Can’t Afford Their Water Bills’
      • Democrats Being Blocked From Advertising On Trump’s Failed COVID-19 Response Due To Content Moderation Rules

        Here we go again: content moderation at scale is impossible to do well — and, as we’ve discussed, things are especially tricky when it comes to content moderation and political advertising. Now, when you mix into that content moderation to try to stop disinformation during the COVID-19 pandemic and you run up against… politicians facing blocks in trying to advertise about Trump’s leadership failures in response to the pandemic:

      • Thank Farmers and Grocery Workers for Their Service

        Our national security depends on those workers who feed us. They deserve a living wage and health care.

      • US Response to Coronavirus in North Korea Can Save Lives and Lead to Peace

        The urgency of the situation calls for drastic changes to business as usual. We can turn the COVID-19 crisis into a critical opportunity for international cooperation on the Korean Peninsula by reallocating resources toward protecting human health and reviving the stalled diplomacy between the US and North Korea.

      • Exclusive: The Military Knew Years Ago That a Coronavirus Was Coming

        Despite President Trump’s repeated assertions that the Covid-19 epidemic was “unforeseen” and “came out of nowhere,” the Pentagon was well aware of not just the threat of a novel influenza, but even anticipated the consequent scarcity of ventilators, face masks, and hospital beds, according to a 2017 Pentagon plan obtained by The Nation.

        “The most likely and significant threat is a novel respiratory disease, particularly a novel influenza disease,” the military plan states. Covid-19 is a respiratory disease caused by the novel (meaning new to humans) coronavirus. The document specifically references coronavirus on several occasions, in one instant saying, “Coronavirus infections [are] common around the world.”

      • Republicans Could Kill Obamacare in the Middle of Coronavirus Recovery

        This is not the first GOP attempt to weaken the law, and repealing Obamacare would have an enormous impact on the country’s public health system, pandemic or not. But, as the Daily Beast notes, the timing of the decision—potentially during the recovery stage—gives it “a seismic significance.” At least 20 million Americans covered by Obamacare will lose their coverage if the law is repealed. “The only thing worse than a public health pandemic is a public health pandemic without health care,” Democratic strategist Jesse Ferguson said. Two coronavirus cases mentioned in the article—one of a teenage boy who died after being turned away from a hospital because he didn’t have insurance, another of an uninsured woman who, after going to the hospital for treatment, was billed $35,000—give an early preview to what could become the new normal, depending on which way the Supreme Court rules.

      • Coronavirus Conspiracy Claims: What’s Behind a Chinese Diplomat’s COVID-19 Misdirection

        An examination of social media posts across Weibo, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, and Reddit in English, Chinese, and Japanese reveals the context and pathways that brought this particular conspiracy theory to Chinese state media and diplomatic channels. Weeks of speculation and online conspiracy theorizing about military links to the virus’ origins or emergence, combined with a broadening uncertainty about the circumstances of Wuhan’s outbreak and increasingly brittle U.S.-China rhetoric, laid the groundwork for Zhao’s inflammatory tweets and the reaction that followed.

      • World risks food crisis in wake of coronavirus

        FAO, WHO and WTO warn of the risk of a worldwide food shortage if authorities fail to manage the crisis properly

        The world risks facing a food shortage if authorities fail to manage the continuing coronavirus outbreak properly, the heads of three global agencies have warned.

        As governments around the world are trying to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus by putting their populations in lockdown, international trade and food supply chains suffered a severe slowdown.

      • Should You Wear a Mask to Fight Coronavirus? A Top Doctor Weighs In, Angry It Has Come to This

        To help sort through this confusing calculus, Rolling Stone reached out to Donald Milton, both a medical doctor and doctor of public health, who runs the Public Health Aerobiology, Virology, and Exhaled Biomarker Laboratory at the University of Maryland. Several years ago, Milton published a paper showing the potential effectiveness of surgical masks in limiting viral spread. But as he spoke to Rolling Stone, Milton was mostly angry that the United States has so utterly botched the response to this pandemic that generalized mask wearing has become part of the conversation. He noted that a country like Singapore has managed to contain the spread of the coronavirus through robust public health measures, which have allowed its economy to keep functioning while reserving masks for the medical community and the obviously ill. He also points to South Korea that got ahead of the pandemic through mass testing. “We have that capability,” he says, “We could have done that.” Because we didn’t, Milton says, “We’re totally behind the 8-ball here. So we’re desperate.”

      • The Ghost Office: our Transition to Remote Work during COVID-19

        Before we decided to send people home and close the office, we sat down and listed all of the tasks that would require someone to be in the office. From there, we looked for remote-friendly alternatives and did our best to make the transition as smooth as possible.

      • The FDA’s emergency use authorization of chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine for COVID-19: Dangerous politics, not science

        During my recent absense from this blog, I wasn’t entirely inactive writing about COVID-19. Obviously, I was active (much less frequently) on my not-so-super-secret other blog. During that time, I addressed the topic of the promotion of chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine (the latter sometimes with the antibiotic azithromycin) as treatments for COVID-19. It started with anecdotal reports from China of success repurposing these drugs to treat these patients, which somehow morphed into claims of “great promise” in randomized clinical trials, none of which have yet been published except for one of them, a small negative trial of chloroquine, and a second one, a small reportedly positive trial of hydroxychloroquine, that’s been published as a preprint and has major issues. Overall, the evidence supporting the use of these drugs against COVID-19 is shockingly thin (almost nonexistent), consisting of some in vitro evidence of antiviral activity against SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, anecdotes, and ; yet they’ve become almost standard of care in many countries. Indeed, the FDA recently granted Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) to use these drugs for COVID-19, leading Steve Usden to express alarm over at Biocentury. He’s basically saying what I’ve been saying on Twitter the last two weeks about the frenzied off-label use of these drugs to treat COVID-19. I’ll comment on his article in a moment. First, since I haven’t written about this yet here, let’s look at some background.

      • Trump rejects Obamacare special enrollment period amid pandemic

        President Donald Trump and administration officials recently said they were considering relaunching HealthCare.gov.

      • Hospitals Tell Doctors They’ll Be Fired If They Speak Out About Lack of Gear

        Hospitals are threatening to fire health-care workers who publicize their working conditions during the coronavirus pandemic — and have in some cases followed through.

        Ming Lin, an emergency room physician in Washington state, said he was told Friday he was out of a job because he’d given an interview to a newspaper about a Facebook post detailing what he believed to be inadequate protective equipment and testing. In Chicago, a nurse was fired after emailing colleagues that she wanted to wear a more protective mask while on duty. In New York, the NYU Langone Health system has warned employees they could be terminated if they talk to the media without authorization.

        “Hospitals are muzzling nurses and other health-care workers in an attempt to preserve their image,” said Ruth Schubert, a spokeswoman for the Washington State Nurses Association. “It is outrageous.”

        Hospitals have traditionally had strict media guidelines to protect patient privacy, urging staff to talk with journalists only through official public relations offices. But the pandemic has ushered in a new era, Schubert said.

        Health-care workers “must have the ability to tell the public what is really going on inside the facilities where they are caring for Covid-19 patients,” she said.

      • What does it mean that Oracle is partnering with the Trump administration to study unproven COVID-19 drugs?

        One of the dizzying stream of innovation and health law stories to emerge last week is Oracle’s partnership with the White House to study unproven pharmaceuticals for treating COVID-19. We decided to unpack this story for ourselves and then to collectively share our thoughts in a short explainer.

        [...]

        The impetus behind studying these two drugs stems from in vitro studies following the 2005 SARS-CoV-1 outbreak. Those studies suggested the drugs could inhibit some types of coronaviruses from both entering cells and replicating after infection—potentially serving as a preventative and a treatment. But the studies were small, in cell culture rather than living animals, and not conducted against the virus that causes COVID-19, SARS-CoV-2. Some early work with the drugs against SARS-CoV-2 may be promising but it, too, has been done in a test tube rather than an animal model.

        Importantly, though, chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine are not risk free. To the contrary, both have some significant side effects that may be especially concerning for COVID-19 patients. These include an increased risk of blindness and heart failure, the latter of which seems to be exacerbated by and is the primary cause of death in some COVID-19 patients. NPR recently reported that one COVID-19 patient on experimental chloroquine has died, seemingly as a result. It’s possible that chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine could make COVID-19 worse, not better.

        More drugs besides chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine are being tested for COVID-19 treatment, and it is unclear which of these the Oracle platform might track. Drugs that have already received FDA approval for other indications include antiviral HIV drugs, interferons that activate the body’s immune response, and anti-arthritis drugs to treat lung inflammation. Researchers are also testing new drugs that have not yet received FDA approval; for example, the antiviral remdesivir, which is being scrutinized in numerous clinical trials, made headlines last week after Gilead asked for and received (and then withdrew) FDA designation of the medicament as an “orphan drug.”

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Security

          • More good news: Medical equipment is still prone to [cracker] attacks [iophk: Windows TCO]

            A new report from Unit 42 says 72% of health care networks mix [Internet] of things (IoT) and information technology assets, allowing malware to spread from users’ computers to vulnerable IoT devices on the same network. The report also offers a lot of data on non-medical IoT attacks.

            There is a 41% rate of attacks exploiting device vulnerabilities, as IT-borne attacks scan through network-connected devices in an attempt to exploit known weaknesses. And Unit 42 has seen a shift from IoT botnets conducting denial-of-service attacks to more sophisticated attacks targeting patient identities, corporate data, and monetary profit via ransomware.

          • Conficker a Twelve Years Old Malware Attack Connected Objects [iophk: Windows TCO]

            Twelve years after its creation Conficker malware is now attacking connected objects. The American firm Palo Alto Networks announces that it has detected Conficker on the connected devices of a hospital, activating a resurgence of the twelve-year-old computer worm. It calls on all owners of connected objects to adopt the security measures recommended by specialists.

            According to a report released Tuesday, March 10, 2020, by IT expert Palo Alto Networks, a twelve years old computer worm called Conficker has recently made a comeback. The latter, which emerged in 2008 by taking advantage of security vulnerabilities in Microsoft’s Windows XP operating system, has generated a whole network of zombie machines.

            In 2009, Conficker reportedly infected up to 15 million machines. Still active, although it is considered a minor phenomenon and without real risk, it still infected some 400,000 computers in 2015. The proliferation of connected objects would have increased this number to 500,000 devices today.

          • [Older] Maastricht Univ. paid €250K to ransomware [attackers]: report [iophk: Windows TCO]

            Maastricht University paid between 200 thousand and 300 thousand euros to [attackers] who had blocked access to the university’s digital systems with ransomware, various people involved told the Volkskrant. The university board was forced to pay because the university’s backups were also hijacked. The backups [sic] – stored on the university servers – contain research data and data from students and staff from the past decades.

          • [Older] University of Maastricht says it paid [attackers] 200,000-euro ransom [iophk: Windows TCO]

            The University of Maastricht on Wednesday disclosed that it had paid [attackers] a ransom of 30 bitcoin — at the time worth 200,000 euros ($220,000) — to unblock its computer systems, including email and computers, after an attack that unfolded on Dec. 24.

          • [Older] Maastricht University Pays 30 Bitcoins as Ransom to TA505 Group[iophk: Windows TCO]

            A management summary of the Fox-IT report and Maastricht University’s response found that during the time frame of October 15 to 23 December 2019 (inclusive of both dates), the TA505 gained control over multiple servers. Following is the timeline of the events in the leadup to the final ransomware attack: [...]

          • Weakness in Zoom for macOS allows local attackers to hijack camera and microphone

            The Zoom video conferencing client for macOS does not take full advantage of the application hardening features the operating system offers, which could allow local malware to elevate its privileges or access the camera and microphone without the user’s knowledge. The issues, which stem from insecure use of system APIs, were revealed Wednesday by security researcher Patrick Wardle on his blog. Wardle has a long history of macOS security research, which includes finding vulnerabilities, analyzing malware and writing security tools for Apple’s platform.

          • FBI warns Zoom, teleconference meetings vulnerable to hijacking

            “The FBI has received multiple reports of conferences being disrupted by pornographic and/or hate images and threatening language,” the FBI cautioned. “As individuals continue the transition to online lessons and meetings, the FBI recommends exercising due diligence and caution in your cybersecurity efforts.”

            It’s not just private businesses and children whose meetings could be Zoombombed. Privacy and security issues in conferencing software may also pose risks to national security, as world leaders convene Zoom meetings. In some cases, world leaders such as U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson have shared screenshots of their teleconferencing publicly only to reveal Zoom meeting IDs, raising concerns that sensitive information could be compromised.

          • Qakbot malspam sent from an infected Windows host [iophk: Windows TCO]

            Every once in a while, I’ll see spambot-style traffic from the Windows hosts I infect in my lab environment. On Tuesday 2020-03-31, this happened during a Qakbot infection. I’ve covered examining Qakbot traffic before, but that didn’t include examples of spambot emails sent from an infected Windows computer. Today’s diary provides a quick review of some email examples from spambot traffic by my Qakbot-infected lab host.

          • Varonis Exposes Global Cyber Campaign: C2 Server Actively Compromising Thousands of Victims [iophk: Windows TCO]

            During the analysis, we reversed this strain of Qbot and identified the attacker’s active command and control server, allowing us to determine the scale of the attack. Based on direct observation of the C2 server, thousands of victims around the globe are compromised and under active control by the attackers. Additional information uncovered from the C&C server exposed traces of the threat actors behind this campaign.

            [...]

            Qbot (or Qakbot) was first identified in 2009 and has evolved significantly. It is primarily designed for collecting browsing activity and data related to financial websites. Its worm-like capabilities allow it to spread across an organization’s network and infect other systems.

          • os x ssh fails when using -p flag/a>

            /usr/bin/ssh in macos 10.15.4 hangs if used with the -p flag to specify an alternate port and used with a hostname. This was not present in macos 10.15.3

          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • Security And Privacy In A Brave New Work From Home World

              We have moved to a radically remote posture, leaving a lot of empty real-estate in corporate offices and abandoning the final protections of the digital perimeter. For years, we’ve heard that the perimeter is dead and there are no borders in cyberspace. We have even had promises of a new and better style of working without being bound to a physical office and the tyranny and waste of the commute. However, much like the promise of less travel in a digital age or even the total paperless office these work-life aspirations never had a chance to materialize before COVID-19 forced us to disperse and connect over the Internet. This has massive implications on corporate culture and productivity. More immediately, the surge in use of remote work capabilities has consequences from a security and privacy perspective that cannot be ignored.

            • Revolution in Urban Design Integrates High Tech and Eco Tech

              The high-tech approach to healthy and sustainable cities involves the smart tech movement, and the Internet of Things (IoT). The IoT enables various objects and entities to communicate with each other through the Internet. Telecom companies are selling the new 5G tech network as the communications backbone of the “Smart City.” Smart cities promise to use cameras and sensors to monitor everyone and everything, from bins to bridges, and use the resulting data to help the city run smoothly.

            • Appeals Court Tells Baltimore PD To Start Coughing Up Information About Its Cell Site Simulators

              The Baltimore Police Department was an enthusiastic early adopter of cell site simulator technology. In 2015, a Baltimore detective admitted the department had deployed its collection of cell tower spoofers 4,300 times since 2007.

            • How can we protect privacy during a crisis like Covid-19, when “health surveillance” is on the rise around the world?

              A couple of weeks ago, this blog looked at the use of smartphones to track people so that contact tracing can be carried out to slow the spread of Covid-19. Two weeks is a long time in a pandemic. Soon after, it emerged that many countries were going further, and using smartphone location to check that quarantined individuals were staying at home, and that people weren’t congregating in public. Countries adopting this approach include Canada, Poland, Taiwan and the EU. In the last few days, many more governments have joined in, including those of Ecuador, the UK, Singapore, Israel, Russia, Pakistan, Kenya, Bulgaria, South Africa and France. That astonishing escalation has alerted people to the larger risk here: that the coronavirus emergency will be used to introduce additional permanent surveillance, and to roll back hard-won privacy protections.

            • The EARN IT Act Violates the Constitution

              Since senators introduced the EARN IT Act (S. 3398) in early March, EFF has called attention to the many ways in which the bill would be a disaster for Internet users’ free speech and security.

              We’ve explained how the EARN IT Act could be used to drastically undermine encryption. Although the bill doesn’t use the word “encryption” in its text, it gives government officials like Attorney General William Barr the power to compel online service providers to break encryption or be exposed to potentially crushing legal liability.

    • Defence/Aggression

      • This is not a War—COVID-19 Pandemic as Opportunity to Rebuild Sense of Common Good

        When we speak about the current coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, we should approach it by saying without a doubt: “This is not a war,” Marder wrote. We cannot turn a blind eye on how critical this condition is, however this does not mean his situation requires a militaristic approach. We should be searching for more holistic/systemic ways of grappling with the coronavirus crisis and how we can bring about a better world after the current pandemic winds down.

      • Lessons From Africa: Military Intervention Fails to Counter Terrorism

        Late last year, President Trump provoked a furor when he declared his intent to withdraw some 1,400 US troops from West Africa, where he claimed they had quelled the terrorist threat. He sparked a similar firestorm when he announced that the U.S. would (eventually) pull 14,000 troops from Afghanistan, where they were engaged in an 18-year conflict against other violent extremists.

      • The US Military’s Predatory Practices: Targeting Teens

        Rosa del Duca stated for WhoWhatWhy, “groups critical of current recruitment practices struggle to gain access to schools at all.” Teenagers are being targeted by recruiters due to the unlikelihood of being disqualified by a prior criminal record and being more naïve than an older crowd. Under the federal Every Student Succeeds Act signed by Barack Obama in 2015, public high schools are required to provide the military with the names of all seniors, along with their contact information, or risk losing their federal funding.

      • Despite Calls for Global Ceasefire, Trump Threatens War With Iran Amid COVID-19

        “Unsatisfied with a global pandemic and an economic collapse, Trump wants to add a major war into the mix.”

      • Amid Coronavirus, Mullahs Speeding Up Nuclear Activities

        Why should having this amount of enriched uranium be regarded as a critical issue? Because the Iranian regime now has enough enriched uranium to refine and build a nuclear bomb if it desires to do so. Approximately 1000kg of uranium enriched at just 5% can be refined to create one nuclear bomb.

        Moreover, “the agency identified a number of questions related to possible undeclared nuclear material and nuclear-related activities at three locations in Iran,” according to a recently published second report by the IAEA.

      • As the World Is Distracted, Boko Haram Terrorists Strike a Key Western Ally

        As the world’s attention turns almost completely to the coronavirus pandemic, the battle against jihadi terrorism in Africa’s vast Sahel region has taken one of its deadliest turns yet. On March 23, Boko Haram terrorists ambushed a military encampment of Chadian soldiers on the Boma Peninsula, in the Lake Chad region. Over seven hours, the militants—whose group’s name roughly means “non-Islamic education is a sin”—killed at least 92 heavily armed troops with machine guns and bombs and injured dozens of others.

        It is the deadliest attack the Chadian military has ever suffered. Chad’s ruler of 30 years—President Idriss Déby Itno—visited the site of the attack the next day and picked through the burned-out wreckage. “I have taken part in many operations,” he said in a televised address, “but never in our history have we lost so many men at one time.”

      • US to deploy anti-drug Navy ships near Venezuela
    • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

      • Victory! Federal Circuit Enables Public to Hear Arguments In Important Patent Case

        Just like us, federal judges are continuing to grapple with the challenges of COVID-19 and its impact on their ability to do their jobs. Less than two weeks ago, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in Washington, D.C. announced that April’s oral arguments in our case would take place telephonically or not at all. Since that time, the court has cancelled arguments for a substantial number of cases on its calendar, but EFF’s argument on behalf of the public’s right to access court documents in patent cases is among those the Court has scheduled for telephonic argument.

        Whatever challenges lie ahead, courts must ensure that their proceedings remain as accessible to the public as possible.

      • Disinformation and propaganda during the coronavirus pandemic

        An internal EU document seen by news agency Reuters speaks of a comprehensive disinformation campaign from Russia, allegedly aimed at increasing coronavirus’ impact, creating panic and sowing doubts. Moscow swiftly rejected all accusations.

        The lines peddled by media close to the Kremlin tend to contradict each other these days. Sometimes the pandemic is all a big ruse, then suddenly we’re contemplating apocalyptic scenarios like the disintegration of the Schengen Zone, the break-up of NATO or even the collapse of Baltic states. According to the conclusions of EUvsDisinfo, the disinformation arm of the Kremlin aims to undermine solidarity during a crisis that calls for trust and cooperation.

    • Environment

      • Northern Europe’s warm water flow may falter

        Global heating can stop the flow of Europe’s warm water from the tropics. Happening often during the Ice Ages, it could soon recur.

      • Coca-Cola First in Plastic Pollution Two Years in a Row

        When asked about the egregious amount of plastic pollution linked to their company, Coca-Cola responded via email saying this: “Any time our packaging ends up in our oceans—or anywhere that it doesn’t belong—is unacceptable to us.” They also stated, “We are investing locally in every market to increase recovery of our bottles and cans, and recently announced the launch of a Vietnam industry-backed packaging recovery organization, as well as a bottler-led investment of $19 million in the Philippines in a new food-grade recycling facility.” In October 2019, Coca-Cola introduced a bottle made from recycled marine plastic, and in 2018 the company made plans to recycle the same number of bottles or cans it sells around the world. Despite the company’s efforts to reduce waste, they remain the face of plastic pollution due to their increasingly alarming waste trail.

      • Court Rules EPA Can’t Keep Secret Key Model Used in Clean Car Rule Rollback

        The new Safer Affordable Fuel Efficient (SAFE) Vehicles rule, which requires vehicle fuel economy improvements of 1.5 percent annually rather than 5 percent, is expected to increase air pollution, greenhouse gas emissions, and consumer fuel spending.

      • What Does COVID-19 Have to Do With Industrial Pollution?
      • The Censored Cause of Natural Disasters

        A joint report from Columbia Journalism Review and The Nation, published in April 2019, was headlined, “Media Are Complacent While the World Burns.” “At a time when civilization is accelerating toward disaster,” the authors wrote, “climate silence continues to reign across the bulk of the US news media. Especially on television, where most Americans still get their news, the brutal demands of ratings and money work against adequate coverage of the biggest story of our time.” A 2012 study by Media Matters for America showed that in an 18-month period, “news outlets gave 40 times more coverage to the Kardashians than to ocean acidification.”

      • Energy

        • Oil industry Exploits Pandemic as Excuse to Dodge Federal Regulations, Fees

          In an act of appalling hubris, the oil and gas industry is asking the federal government to loosen enforcement of federal regulations on public lands in response to the coronavirus pandemic. Kathleen Sgamma of the Western Energy Alliance, one of the petroleum industry’s primary lobbying groups, was quoted in EnergyWire as seeking one-year extensions for two-year drilling permits and 10-year federal mineral leases, a change that would allow them to hold onto unused leases they are stockpiling. Sgamma also referenced changes to compliance requirements and “royalty and fee waivers” for the world’s wealthiest industry. Robert McEntyre of the New Mexico Oil and Gas Association is quoted in the same story as seeking “commonsense flexibilities” when it comes to complying with federal regulations.

        • Industry Infighting as Oil and Gas Seek Government Help

          Crude oil prices went into a freefall in early March following the one-two punch of an OPEC price war and the meltdown of financial markets because of the coronavirus pandemic. In less than two weeks, prices of the oil benchmark Western Texas Intermediate (WTI) dropped from $45 to the low-$20s per barrel, plunging the global oil industry into a state of deep crisis. A tenth of global oil supply could become uneconomic to produce.

        • Former Oil Lobbyist Now Secretary of Interior, Giving Incentives to Big Oil

          Bernhardt took the cabinet position in April 2019, and only four days after he was confirmed he was hit with an ethics investigation. Before Bernhardt became head of Interior, he worked for the law firm Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck as a lobbyist for big oil. This law firm has earned tens of millions of dollars lobbying for the oil industry. Bernhardt is using his position in government to bring favors to his former client in the oil and gas industry, National Ocean Industries Association, over the interests of the American people.

      • Wildlife/Nature

        • UK Purchased Billion Euros of Beef from Firms Tied to Amazon Deforestation

          Marfrig is a known supplier of beef to many fast food chains around the world including McDonald’s and Burger King. The company takes pride in its green credentials and recently approved a bond for environmentally conscious investors as well as claiming that none of the cattle they buy originate from farms implicated in deforestation.

        • Australians Left on Their Own to Ward off Toxic Smoke

          Meanwhile, the Department of Home Affairs in Australia told its staff to stay home due to the polluted air even though the air at home was not much better. The particles in the air were odorless but highly dangerous — containing toxins linked to respiratory ailments, cancer and heart disease — and especially harmful to children and the elderly. An elderly woman died of respiratory distress after breathing the smoke on the tarmac at the Canberra airport, and an asthmatic teenager died when Glenn Innes, New South Wales was inundated with smoke, Byler wrote. Canberra’s stores were out of air purifiers. Baylor and his family returned home and ordered an air purifier online that, once it was up and running, warned the family that their house’s air quality was “poor”. Eventually, the air purifier the Bylers installed moved the quality from “poor” to “very good”.

        • How the US Enables Shark Finning Worldwide

          This article raises questions as to why these shark fin shipments are passing through our borders without being monitored, thereby making the US a “weak link” in the inspection chain. As Bittel explains, the problem lies in the cargo handling procedures of US ports. So long as the cargo is not unloaded at the ports, there is no legal obligation to check the contents of the ship. Also, shark fins are often listed as “dried seafood” or some other vague variant, excluding the fins from protection under endangered species legislation.

        • What’s the Hang Up on Releasing Adult Lobos?

          On March 9, a colleague from Endangered Species Coalition and I published this op-ed in the Albuquerque Journal, identifying Arizona and New Mexico as major stumbling blocks to wolf recovery, “[B]ecause both are allowing the Fish and Wildlife Service only to conduct cross-fostering in their states.” We called out the urgency with which the New Mexico Department of Fish and Game must act to release well-bonded adult pairs into the wild this summer as a way of addressing the critical genetic crisis facing the wild wolves.

        • Bees Can Help Cities by Monitoring Pollution

          For four years, researchers collected honey from six hives across Vancouver and tested it for trace levels of lead, zinc, copper and other elements, to determine whether they were man-made and to help locate the elements’ sources. The trace amounts also provided a baseline on which to monitor local environmental changes. The work was a partnership between the university’s Pacific Centre for Isotopic and Geochemical Research and the non-profit Hives for Humanity, which promotes urban beekeeping.

    • Finance

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • Virginia Court Reaffirms The Right To Give Cops The Finger

        It’s pretty well established that giving the finger to cops is protected expression. Stopping or detaining someone for flipping you off violates their rights and the usual law enforcement excuses for unconstitutional behavior tend to perform poorly when examined by a federal judge.

      • How Do You Moderate COVID-19 Misinformation When It’s Coming From Official Sources?

        Continuing our never-ending series of posts about the impossibility of content moderation at scale, let’s take a look at just how impossible it is to handle misinformation in the age of COVID-19. Ben Thompson over at Stratechery has a truly wonderful post highlighting this problem with regards to Twitter’s disinformation policies, and how things break down when the “misinformation” is coming form official sources. We noted this, to some extent, the other day when we called out Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo for saying that he was seeking to have anyone who posted false information online about COVID-19 prosecuted. During the press conference, he said to only listen to “your elected officials, or to your appointed officials.” But, as we noted, our elected officials and their appointees aren’t always right.

      • Disney Deletes Print-on-Demand Sale Claiming Rights to Denmark’s The Little Mermaid Statue

        A woman who uploaded one of her own photographs to print-on-demand site RedBubble says she has been hit with a takedown notice by Disney. The photograph, which features the 107-year-old The Little Mermaid statue in Copenhagen, apparently violates Disney’s rights. According to a copy of the complaint, the statue depicts one of “Disney’s Princesses”.

      • The rise of Andrey Lipov How an inconspicuous Kremlin bureaucrat was tapped to head Russia’s federal censor

        In late March, after several years spent transforming his agency from a dull licensing office into a bonafide Internet censor, Roskomnadzor head Alexander Zharov left for a new job at Gazprom-Media. His shoes will now be filled by Andrey Lipov, an inconspicuous Kremlin bureaucrat whose official biography spans just two paragraphs. Lipov’s most prominent initiative to date is his work on Russia’s “Internet sovereignty” legislation. As the new director of Roskmonadzor (which is responsible for implementing this law), he’ll have the chance to bring this project to life. Meduza correspondent Maria Kolomychenko studied Andrey Lipov’s career path, his high-placed associates, and past conflicts that have involved certain law-enforcement agencies.

      • Concerns Grow Over Wuhan Doctor Amid Call For Return to Work

        Whistleblowing Wuhan doctor Ai Fen is currently incommunicado, believed detained after giving media interviews about her initial concerns over the coronavirus, according to an Australian media report.

        “Just two weeks ago the head of Emergency at Wuhan Central Hospital went public, saying authorities had stopped her and her colleagues from warning the world,” flagship investigative show 60 Minutes Australia reported on Sunday.

        “She has now disappeared, her whereabouts unknown,” the show reported, also tweeting photos of Ai.

    • Freedom of Information/Freedom of the Press

      • The Extradition of Julian Assange and the Assault on the Free Press

        In 2006, Assange co-created WikiLeaks to provide whistleblowers a platform to inform the world and possibly even hold international governments and corporations accountable for their crimes against humanity. Since then, WikiLeaks has exposed a trove of authenticated, classified information, including the Guantanamo Files, the Collateral Murder video, and nearly 400,000 field reports from the Iraq War, that have been the bases for significant news reports by both corporate and independent news outlets.

      • Myanmar Journalist Arrested For Interview With Blacklisted Arakan Army

        “Reporting on armed conflict is not the same as being a terrorist, and threatening a journalist with life in prison is inexcusable. Myanmar’s assault on journalists must stop now.”

      • Sajid Hussain: Fears for Pakistan journalist missing in Sweden

        Sajid Hussain was last seen boarding a train in Stockholm on his way to Uppsala on 2 March, according to the group Reporters Without Borders (RSF).

        The group said it was possible he had been abducted “at the behest of a Pakistani intelligence agency”.

        Hussain, 39, fled to Sweden in 2012 after writing about crime.

      • RSF Points Finger At Pakistani Intelligence After Exiled Journalist Disappears In Sweden

        Sajid Hussain, the editor of the Balochistan Times news website, went missing in the Swedish city of Uppsala on March 2, according to the website, which covered human right violations and other aspects of the situation in the southwestern Pakistani region.

        “Considering the recent attacks and harassment against other Pakistani journalists in Europe, we cannot ignore the possibility that his disappearance is related to his work,” Erik Halkjaer, the president of RSF’s Swedish section, said in a statement on March 30.

      • Baloch journalist Sajid Hussain goes missing in Sweden

        According to Human Rights Council of Balochistan (HRCB), “Mr Hussain was living in Stockholm and decided to move to a private student accommodation in Uppsala on 2nd of March because of his work and studies. After reaching Uppsala he remained in contact with his friends until 2pm, after that his phone went off and he was unable to be reached by his family and friends.”

        Swedish Police has also been informed about Mr Hussain’s disappearance and he was added on a missing persons database on 5th of March.

        However, concerns have been expressed regarding the slow progress in locating Mr Hussain’s whereabouts.

      • Baloch journalist goes missing in Sweden

        His wife Shehnaz told Dawn that he had worked on the issue of enforced disappearances in Balochistan, but his report exposing a top drug lord Imam Bheel in 2012 led to some threats. He also sensed being followed, she said. “Then some people broke into his house in Quetta when he was out investigating a story. They took away his laptop and other papers too. After that he left Pakistan in Septem­ber 2012 and never came back,” said Shehnaz.

        Taj Baloch, a friend of Sajid’s in Sweden, said he had met him a day before his disappearance and everything seemed fine. The next day, his phone was off, and he would not return any calls. The last someone had heard from him was when he was in a hostel office, getting the key of his room and he said he would call back.

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • California Program Encourages Teachers, Social Service Workers to Report “Alienated” Youth to Government

        As Tracy Rosenberg, the executive director of Media Alliance, told Garrison, a coalition of thirty groups—including MPower Change (a Muslim grassroots movement), Asian Americans Advancing Justice, the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR), Media Alliance, Oakland Privacy, and the American Civil Liberties Union—has formed to oppose the program on the grounds that it violates students’ rights to privacy and their civil liberties.

      • Arctic Communities Fight for Justice and Resources to Overcome Tragic Deaths

        Published a year before the trial, “Death in the Arctic” featured the family of Robert Adams, who endured the tragic loss. Adams was murdered during a night out with friends in the Inuit village of Kangiqsujuaq, Quebec in March 2018. His father Bernie Adams is searching for answers to understand why the government has done little change to day to day life in remote Inuit Communities, which includes violence, high rates of suicide and accidents. Many of these issues do not make mainstream media as these communities ignored and treated as they are not a part of Canada. The media outlet focuses on the community’s stories and the fight for justice and resources to help their community to overcome these tragedies

      • Trump’s Mass Negligent Homicide Doesn’t Let Democratic Leaders Off the Hook

        In the last few days, New York and Pennsylvania postponed voting in presidential primaries from April until June. A dozen other states have also rescheduled. Those wise decisions are in sharp contrast to a failure of leadership from Joe Biden and the Democratic National Committee.

      • Death Camps in the Making: New York’s Prisons During a Time of Pandemic

        Every day, says Donna Robinson, a bucket of bleachy water is delivered to a ward in Bedford Hills to be used by the sixty women housed there, her own daughter among them. That’s the extent of the supplies they receive to keep their area sanitized from COVID-19.

      • Advancing Change in a Time of Disruption: Forging a New Pathway for Nature

        A disruption—such as a global pandemic—can provide a window of opportunity to change our habits and make positive change.

      • Silenced In Savannah: US Journalist Abby Martin Challenges BDS “Gag Law,” First Amendment Violation, in Georgia

        BDS—which stands for Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions—is a movement driven by global citizen activists, teleSUR explained. The BDS movement works to peacefully pressure for-profit companies that do business with the state of Israel, with the goal of pressuring Israel to obey international law and understand that the Palestinian people deserve human rights.

      • US Media Neglect to Report on Missing Black Females

        As Henry explained, a 2010 study of US media coverage found that “only 20 percent of reported stories focused on missing Black children despite it corresponding to 33 percent of the overall missing children cases.” The study concluded that missing person stories involving black children, and more specifically missing black girls, are reported on less frequently by corporate media. The media coverage a missing person case receives raises community awareness and can kickstart crowdsourcing efforts in terms of searching and funding, factors that can lead to the eventual discovery of said missing person.

      • Fort Belknap and Fort Peck Indian Reservation Suicide Crises

        Anecdotally, there had been fifteen deaths among youths on the reservation. This ongoing crisis prompted the tribal government to declare a state of emergency “related to recent youth and adult suicides on the Fort Belknap Reservation.” In the past year and a half, the reservation has encountered a rising trend of suicides and attempted suicides. They’re mostly among teens and young adults, although the impacts obviously affect the community as a whole. It’s becoming increasingly unsettling how non-seriously this is being taken by various government agencies. According to Connie Filesteel, who works with the Indian Community Council on special projects, they don’t have access to accurate statistics among the reservation. Native Americans have significantly higher suicide rates than any other racial group. Factors including a history of oppression and murder, dilapidated reservations, poverty, alcoholism, drug abuse, isolation, and many more underlying causes contribute to the 42.82 deaths by suicide for every 100,000 Native Americans youths in Montana. The statewide rate for the same age group is eight deaths by suicide for every 100,000. On the Fort Peck Reservation, also in Montana, similar problems have been faced and attempted to be addressed. Throughout the 2000s and 2010s, this reservation has gone face to face with the tragic contagion of suicides and attempted suicides.

      • “Whose University? Our University!” The Struggle for a COLA at UC Berkeley

        On March 5th, in the midst of a campus-wide march and rally, a student protester at UC Berkeley walked into the bustling Free Speech Movement Café, a study spot that borrows its name from Cal’s legendary 1960s anti-war protests. “Fellow students!” she shouted, climbing on top of the counter.

      • Court Tells Lying Cops That Someone Asserting Their Rights Isn’t ‘Reasonably Suspicious’

        A couple of lying cops who couldn’t perform a traffic stop without violating the driver’s rights have just seen their illegally-obtained evidence tossed and their successful drug bust busted. The Louisiana Second Circuit Court of Appeal not only finds the officers untrustworthy but also points out there’s nothing reasonably suspicious about someone’s invocation of their rights.

      • Pandemic Catalyzes Grassroots Action, Mutual Aid, Collaboration

        One of the biggest obstacles to fighting COVID-19 is the lack of ventilators. But in just three hours engineers in Italy created a prototype for a 3-D printed valve that successfully converts scuba gear into a ventilator mask. The mask tested successfully in an Italian hospital so the engineers have made the 3-D valve plans available to everyone (online) for free. In a separate innovation involving ventilators, Dr. Alain Gauthier, from Perth and Smiths Falls District Hospital in Ontario, Canada redesigned a ventilator so it could serve as many as nine people.

      • Footballer Sent Off for Reacting to Racist Chants

        As RT would report, “The scenes have been widely condemned, and Taison later took to social media to state his tears were ones of ‘indignation’.” What happened in Ukraine proves that the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) has not made significant change or positive direction in controlling the racial abuse of its players.

      • Tibetan Father, Son Detained For Listening to Dalai Lama Teachings

        Though Chinese authorities quickly blocked outside communication links with Dorje’s family, a second source later learned that Dorje and his son were eventually freed after showing “a good attitude” while in custody.

        “However, the authorities also warned them that given the nature of their crime, they could have faced up to five years in jail,” the source said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

        After taking down the phone numbers of all of Dorje’s family members, the authorities forced the elderly villager and his son to sign a document promising never to repeat “the offense of receiving their daughters’ phone calls or listening to the Dalai Lama’s teachings,” the source said.

      • This Stalkerware Delivers Extra-Creepy Features

        Researchers are sending up a red flag over the distribution of an aggressive stalkerware app called Monitor Minor. In a report released Monday, researchers said the Android version of the app gives stalkers near absolute control of targeted devices, going so far as allowing them to capture the unlock pattern or unlock code of phones.

        “This is the first time we have registered such a function in all our experience of monitoring mobile platform threats,” wrote Victor Chebyshev, a security researcher at Kaspersky who authored the report.

      • Warren calls on food delivery apps to classify workers as full employees

        “Delivery workers are experiencing serious health and economic vulnerabilities as a result of their jobs, and your company is failing to provide appropriate and necessary protections,” the former 2020 presidential candidate wrote to DoorDash, Grubhub, Uber Eats and Instacart.

        “I urge you to reclassify your delivery workers as employees, rather than independent contractors, and ensure they are provided a full suite of employee protections and benefits,” she said.

        Warren called on the four companies to provide 14 days of paid leave to those with COVID-19 — the disease caused by the novel coronavirus — symptoms or who need to care for family members, protective equipment and a guaranteed minimum wage with added hazard pay.

      • Ulrike Uhlig: Breaking the chain reaction of reactions to reactions

        Each of these interactions is embedded in larger society, and, as said above, we learn these roles from childhood. Therefore, we perpetually reproduce power structures, and learnt behavior. I doubt that fixing this on an individual level is sufficient to transform our interactions outside of small groups, families or work places. Although that would be a good start.

        We can see that the triangle holds together because the Victim, seemingly devoid of a way to handle their own needs, transfers care of their needs to the Rescuer, thereby giving up on their autonomy. The Rescuer is provided by the Victim with a sense of autonomy, knowledge, and power, that only works while denying the Victim their autonomy. At the same time, the Persecutor denies everyone else’s needs and autonomy, and feels powerful by dismissing others. I’ve recently mentioned the importance of autonomy in order to avoid burnout, and as a means to control one’s own life. If the Rescuer can acknowledge being in the triangle, and give the Victim autonomy, by supporting them with compassion, empathy, and guidance, and at the same time respecting their own boundaries, we could find even more ways to escape the drama triangle.

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

      • Broadband Speeds Dip In Major Cities Due To Covid-19

        Generally speaking, experts believe the U.S. internet should hold up pretty well under the significant new strain created by COVID-19. Italy and China’s networks have generally weathered the added load, and most major U.S. ISPs say congestion shouldn’t be a problem. Streaming providers have been reducing their overall bandwidth consumption as a precautionary measure, though generally many providers say they’ve seen greater impact from events like the Superbowl.

      • Encryption Helps America Work Safely – And That Goes for Congress, Too

        Encryption is a critical tool to provide confidentiality and integrity to digital communications. Encryption enables much of the flexibility needed for staff to work from home securely during social distancing. End-to-end encrypted messaging like WhatsApp, Signal or iMessage, and voice or video calls allow staff to discuss sensitive topics without fear of eavesdroppers. Encryption also secures everyday digital activities like payroll, human resource management, and file sharing. For Congress to legislate effectively while staying healthy during this pandemic, the security provided by encryption will be key. When reaching across the aisle, especially necessary in times of crises, staffers and legislators must be assured that politically sensitive discussions remain confidential – even when those conversations happen over the Internet. And while congressional votes are public information, a remote voting system must ensure that congressional members’ votes aren’t tampered with, and in case they are, make it clear that tampering has occurred.

        A new bill introduced by Judiciary Committee Chairman Sen. Lindsey Graham and Sens. Richard Blumenthal and Dianne Feinstein, puts the security provided by encryption under threat, and therefore, weakens the country’s ability to work, learn and govern while we aren’t able to conduct business as usual. This bill, called the “EARN IT Act of 2020,” would make changes to Internet intermediary liability rules in the United States and could force companies to modify their services for law enforcement to gain access to encrypted user content for various services – or become liable for the actions of all their users. But the consensus among cybersecurity experts is clear: there is no way to provide exceptional access to encrypted communications for law enforcement without making all of its users more vulnerable. Any way for law enforcement to get in could be found by criminals or foreign adversaries, and used for their own purposes.

      • Internet Society Expands Program for Secure Internet Routing Framework

        Supported by the Internet Society, the MANRS program is being expanded to include content delivery networks (CDNs) and cloud providers. The reason is simple — the more network operators that adhere to MANRS, the more secure is the [Internet]. The cascading nature of [Internet] routing means not only that major network players like Cloudflare, Akamai, Facebook and Netflix (who have joined with the new expansion) are committed to secure routing, they are also committed to encouraging adoption by all of the many thousands of networks that peer with them.

        There are three categories of network operators within the MANRS program: networks (almost 300 members); IXPs (48 members); and now CDNs and cloud providers. While each category has a slightly different set of commitments, the purpose in each case is the same: to prevent the thousands of small and largely media-unnoticed outages and the few major catastrophes that occur all the time.

    • Monopolies

      • Trademarks

        • Court Manages To Get NBA2K Tattoo Copyright, Trademark Case Exactly Right

          Somehow, it’s been nearly four years since a tattoo company, Solid Oak Sketches, decided to sue 2K Sports, the studio behind the renowned NBA 2K franchise, claiming that the game’s faithful representation of several stars’ tattoos was copyright infringement. The company claimed to own the copyright on the design of several players’ tattoos, including most famously LeBron James, Kobe Bryant, and DeAndre Jordan. The claim in the suit was that 2K’s faithful depiction of the players, whom had collectively licensed their likenesses via the NBAPA, somehow violated Solid Oak’s IP rights.

      • Copyrights

        • ETTV Moves to New Domain Name After Operator Goes Missing

          TV-torrent distribution group ETTV switched to a new domain name a few days ago. While domain changes are not unusual, the background to this decision is quite worrisome. According to a top ETTV staffer, the site’s main operator disappeared without a trace last December, which makes the site’s future rather uncertain.

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  1. IRC Proceedings: Wednesday, May 27, 2020

    IRC logs for Wednesday, May 27, 2020



  2. Allegations That Microsoft Will Ruin Besieged Clinics and Hospitals to Retaliate Against Those Who Name the Culprit

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  3. Microsoft Has Ideas...

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  4. ZDNet Proves Our Point by Doing Not a Single Article About Linux (RC7), Only About Linus and Windows Clickbait Junk

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  5. UPC Lies That Make One Laugh...

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  6. Canonical Continues to Help Promote Windows Instead of GNU/Linux or Ubuntu

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  7. Links 27/5/2020: CoreOS Container Linux Reaches Its End-Of-Life, 2020 GNOME Foundation Elections Coming

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  8. IRC Proceedings: Tuesday, May 26, 2020

    IRC logs for Tuesday, May 26, 2020



  9. GNEW Seedlings vs. Free Software Deforestation

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  10. Joi Ito Already Admitted on the Record That Bill Gates Had Paid MIT Through Jeffrey Epstein

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  11. It's Convenient to Call All Your Critics Nuts and/or Jealous

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  12. Real History of Microsoft and How It Became 'Successful'

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  13. Hostility and Aggression Towards Staff That Does Not Use Windows After Windows Takes Entire Hospital Down

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  14. They Came, They Saw, We Died...

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  15. The GitHub Takeover Was an Extension of Microsoft's War on GPL/Copyleft (Because Sharing Code to Anyone But Microsoft is 'Piracy')

    Licences that make it easier for Microsoft to 'steal' (or a lot harder for Free software to compete against proprietary software) are still being promoted by Microsoft; its GitHub tentacles (see GitHub's logo) further contribute to this agenda



  16. ZDNet is Totally a Microsoft Propaganda Machine

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  17. When Microsoft's Mask Falls (or When Times Are Rough)

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  18. Careers in Free Software Aren't Careers in the Traditional Sense

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  19. Embrace, Extend, Extinguish 2020 Edition

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  20. Links 26/5/2020: SHIFT13mi GNU/Linux Tablet, Linux Kodachi 7.0 and Some Qt Releases

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  21. EPO Propaganda on Steroids (or on EPO)

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  22. Breton (EU) 'Joins' Team UPC to Help His Buddy Battistelli... Again

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  23. Removing Free/Libre Software as an Inadequate Response to Microsoft Windows (With Back Doors) Getting Compromised, Killing People

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  24. IRC Proceedings: Monday, May 25, 2020

    IRC logs for Monday, May 25, 2020



  25. Under Distributed Denial of Service Attacks Lately, But We're Too Robust For Those

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  26. The Art of Giving: Why Free Software Will Inevitably Survive Attacks Against It

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  27. 'Journalism' in 2020: Far More Articles About What Computer Linus Torvalds Bought Than About Linux Releases

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  28. Links 25/5/2020: Wrapland Redone, DebConf20 Plans, Many More Games

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  29. Media Covers WSL Like People Actually Use This Trash (a Failed Distro Which Only Works With Windows)

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  30. Working From Home on Patent Monopolies Would Lower Their Quality and Perceived Legitimacy

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