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05.12.20

Links 13/5/2020: Proxmox VE 6.2, FlightGear 2020.1, Kali Linux 2020.2, Coreboot 4.12 Released

Posted in News Roundup at 10:58 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Desktop/Laptop

      • Yes, the Lenovo Chromebook Duet will run Linux apps

        We’ve had the Lenovo Chromebook Duet here in the office for a few days now. There will be a review forthcoming but an email from a reader prompted me to go ahead and share out the answer to a very crucial question that could be the tablet’s hinge pin for some buyers. Linux Applications.

    • Audiocasts/Shows

      • This Week in Linux 103: XRdesktop, 700% Increase to Linux Marketshare, Firefox, MNT Reform

        00:58 = DLN Patrons Chat Live Stream Announcement · [Timezone Converter]
        01:37 = Sponsored by Digital Ocean · [do.co/dln]
        02:26 = xrdesktop 0.14 with OpenXR Support · [collabora.com]
        06:23 = Firefox 76.0 Released · [mozilla.org]
        11:49 = Manjaro Linux + Star Labs Linux Laptops · [starlabs.systems]
        15:49 = MNT Reform: DIY Open Laptop · [crowdsupply.com]
        23:47 = herbstluftwm 0.8.2 Released · [herbstluftwm.org]
        27:50 = NOAFtodo: ncurses TODO-manager · [github.com]
        30:46 = Front Page Linux · [Links: frontpagelinux.com, Linux++, Lenovo + Fedora Thinkpads]
        33:12 = Destination Linux · [Links: destinationlinux.org, DL171, DL172, DL173]
        34:56 = Become a Patron of TuxDigital & TWinL · [tuxdigital.com/contribute]
        36:19 = Linux Marketshare 7x Increase Last Month · [techradar.com]
        39:54 = LGW Interview with Ell, GIMP Core Developer · [libregraphicsworld.org]
        41:25 = Netherlands & Munich to use “Public Code” · [Links: fsfe.org (Munich), fsfe.org (Netherlands)]
        51:26 = Humble Bundle Bonanza
        56:17 = Outro

      • Talk Python to Me Episode #264: 10 tips every Flask developer should know

        Are you a web developer who uses Flask? It has become the most popular Python web framework. Even if you have used it for years, I bet we cover at least one thing that will surprise you and make your Flask code better.

        Join me as I speak with Miguel Grinberg about his top 10 list for tips and tricks in the Flask world. They’re great!

      • LHS Episode #344: Slashdotted

        Hello and welcome to Episode 344 of Linux in the Ham Shack. In this episode, the hosts discuss the Contest University, learning Morse Code, virtual online club meetings, 6-meter season, open-source N95 masks, WSJT-X, BSD, Solaris…what the??? Anyway, hope you enjoy the episode, stay home, stay safe and play amateur radio and open source.

    • Kernel Space

      • Graphics Stack

        • AMD relaunch their GPUOpen website and expand the open source FidelityFX toolkit

          AMD have given their GPUOpen website, a place that hosts various resources for game developers with open source and open standards at its heart, a new look.

          GPUOpen originally went live a few years ago in 2016, with an aim to have a single place to collect all sorts of developer-focused materials. These are spread across tools, tutorials, code samples and more all while keeping everything under open licenses.

        • NVIDIA Vulkan Beta Driver 440.66.14 released

          NVIDIA have released a brand new Vulkan Beta Driver for Linux which pulls in another Ray Tracing extension and some bug fixes.

    • Benchmarks

      • Initial AMD Ryzen 7 4700U Linux Performance Is Very Good

        Since AMD Renoir laptops began shipping some weeks ago, I’ve been on the hunt for an interesting laptop to pick up for Linux testing and to potentially even use as my next main production laptop. Given the successes of AMD Zen 2 on the desktop and server front, I’ve been very eager to try out a Renoir laptop and last week picked up a Lenovo IdeaPad with Ryzen 7 4700U and the experience so far has been very good and with captivating Linux performance.

    • Instructionals/Technical

    • Games

      • Cyberpunk point and click ‘VirtuaVerse’ is out now and looks incredible

        VirtuaVerse looks shockingly good and has an awesome soundtrack to go along with it and it’s out now with same-day Linux support from Theta Division.

        Possibly one of the most stylish point and click adventures I’ve seen in some time, and an incredibly intriguing setting too. Set in a “future not-so-far-away” because nothing seems impossible anymore, society has migrated over to the virtual world across a single neural network that sounds horrifying. You play as Nathan, an outsider living off-the-grid on a quest to find a missing girlfriend.

      • The Humble Indie Bundle 21 launches to mark the tenth anniversary

        To mark the tenth anniversary, the team over at Humble have now launched the Humble Indie Bundle 21 with some wonderful Linux games included. Hard to imagine it was ten years ago that the first bundle appeared, back when it was run by Wolfire Games and later spun into its own company.

      • Get ready to be a viking in Valheim, Beta sign-ups are open

        Valheim can’t come soon enough, a survival & exploration with a fantasy theme inspired by norse mythology and viking culture and you can get in early. The developer, Iron Gate AB, has today opened a Closed Beta period and anyone can sign up for it.

        They previously put up a very early Alpha available on itch.io, which admittedly I put quite a bit of time into and ended up enjoying it a lot. It ends up being quite a pretty game too, although it does have a slightly odd graphical style mixing lower resolution texturing with some advanced techniques and great lighting that all work together to give it a unique feel.

      • FlightGear 2020.1 released

        The FlightGear development team is delighted to announce the 2020.1 release of FlightGear, the free, open-source flight simulator. This version is a preview of our next stable release, containing many new features and improvements.

        Enhancements since 2019.1 include the inclusion of the Compositor graphical rendering framework as a separate pre-built binary, better aircraft carrier support, improvements to both the JSBSim and YASim flight dynamics models, better view options, more efficient and improved OpenStreetMap buildings and translation of the UI into Polish and Slovak. Here’s the complete list of changes.

      • FlightGear 2020.1 Released For This Open-Source Flight Simulator

        FlightGear 2020.1 is out as the newest release to this long-running project providing an open-source flight simulator.

        With FlightGear 2020.1 it includes the Compositor graphical rendering framework as a separate pre-built library, better support for aircraft carriers, improvements to flight dynamics models for JSBSim and YASim, better view options, improvements around its OpenStreetMap integration, and a variety of other changes as outlined via the change-log.

      • Indie Monster-Collecting RPG Cassette Beasts Announced for PC, Linux, and Nintendo Switch

        Bytten Studio have announced monster-collecting RPG Cassette Beasts.

        Players journey across the open-world of the island of New Wirral, capturing over 120 monsters and turning them into cassette tapes to transform themselves and allies. Some monsters even grant abilities while exploring as a human that aid in exploration and puzzles.

        Players can also fuse with human allies and their monster forms in battle, creating one of over 1,400 powerful forms for battle. The stronger a bond they have with an ally, the better the result.

      • With crazy action and excellent visuals ‘Fury Unleashed’ is out now and there’s a free Prologue

        Fury Unleashed is an action platformer with a seriously good art style from developer Awesome Games Studio, it’s out in full now and they added Linux support just before release too.

        Mixing in what the developer loved about Dead Cells and Rogue Legacy, with the intensity of classics like Contra and Metal Slug it definitely looks the part. There’s some serious action sequences in it and it looks brilliant. The idea is that you’re blasting your way through an ever-changing comic book, with ink you collect from enemies being your most valuable resource and each room acts like a comic panel.

      • Zombie survival RPG ‘Dead Age’ is now available DRM-free on GOG

        Silent Dreams and Headup have just recently put up their Zombie survival RPG, Dead Age, up on GOG so anyone can now grab this positively rated game DRM-free. Originally released back in 2016, GOG are a bit late on the uptake with this one but good things come to those who wait.

        Survive the zombie apocalypse with turn-based combat and permanent death! Manage survivors, go on dangerous scavenging runs, build alliances, craft equipment, make difficult story-influencing decisions, defend your camp against undead hordes and experience non-linear rogue-lite elements. An innovative Indie Survival-RPG!

      • Space command sim PULSAR: Lost Colony gains a much improved AI and new sectors

        PULSAR: Lost Colony is a co-op spaceship command sim, one where you and friends can each take a dedicated role and it just got much better for solo players.

        Beta 29 released last Friday, May 8, which overhauled how the AI works both for you and enemies. Leafy Games mentioned how the AI has been enhanced to be capable of charging programs, patrolling sectors and even launching nukes. AI priorities and behaviours got a big boost too. As an example, if you have an AI engineer to fill a slot in your crew it can now lower shields, eject the reactor core and more. The Scientist AI can also now do extras like running a sensor sweep.

        There’s also new sectors you can explore, and new Beacon item that may spawn into some sectors that’s supposed to help mix-up the space combat. These beacons can either help or hinder you as they do a variety of things from improving your boost to disabling cloaking tech. You can destroy them if they annoy you too.

      • Railway Empire goes to the southern hemisphere in the Down Under DLC out now

        G’day! Gaming Minds Studios and Kalypso Media continue expanding their building sim Railway Empire, with a big new DLC pack out now that visits the sun-scorched plains of the Australian outback.

        Not only did it get a big new DLC, they also released a free update for everyone which includes bug fixes and optimizations for signal-controlled stations it also added a whole new challenge map ‘Thunder Across the prairie’.

      • One Dreamer: Prologue, a narrative adventure about a failed VR game developer needs some Linux testing

        Developer Gareth Ffoulkes is currently working on One Dreamer, a narrative story adventure about an indie game developer suffering burnout. There’s a Prologue and it now has a Linux Beta that needs some testing.

        One Dreamer: Prologue is the story of a failed VR game developer who inadvertently inspired two young kids to follow in his footsteps. Program objects, solve coding puzzles and discover the reason why Frank became a game dev in this emotional, English voiced prologue of One Dreamer.

      • DOOM 64 is now available to stream on Google Stadia

        Google have added another game to their Linux-powered streaming service, with DOOM 64 now officially available. Already available on other stores and services, it was originally released in 1997 for the Nintendo 64 and was given a new life with an updated version with help from Nightdive Studios.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • Jean Lima Andrade: GSoC 2020 – Community bonding introduction

          Hi! Today, I am bringing some good news. The Google Summer of Code 2020 results were announced and I was accepted as a student!

          I am excited and grateful for this opportunity that KDE community has given to me and I will focus to do an excellent work during this project.

        • Akonadi / KMail and Google accounts resolved!

          Since I wrote about this back in january we have still had the occasional inquiry about the state of Kontact, KMail and Akonadi with regards to Google’s GMail service. The wheels over there grind very slowly, it seems, but eventually manage to make a full turn.

          Dan Vrátil tells me that KMail can log into GMail again using OAuth, and this should become available to everyone automatically, no action to be taken.

      • GNOME Desktop/GTK

        • Neville Antony: Introduction

          Hello everyone! I’m Neville and I’m an all-things-computer enthusiast. And this is my my blog where I tell the tales of my journey into open source!!

          I’ve always been interested to be part of the open source community and to contribute to the countless cool projects. Now that I’ve started contributing to open source projects it feels very exciting to be part of it! The community is very nice and helpful. And I feel like I’m learning a lot in the process. And there’s a whole journey ahead me.

        • Its Happening!!

          I will be working on GNOME Games. It’s a video game launcher + emulator for several video game platforms. My work is to implement game collections which will allow users to create, view and manage user creatable and auto generatable collection of games (like albums in photo viewers). Games is mostly written in Vala, and is packaged as flatpak. You can get it from here.

        • Kavan Mevada: Finally Landed on Planet GNOME

          Hi to the people of planet GNOME!

          Should I start with a deep introduction? Not sure! Okay, let me start from my first time with Linux. I installed my first Linux when I was around 17, It was OpenSUSE. I just burned iso and booted, HAHAHA It was a magnetic disk era. After some years I was getting deep into Linux. I consider Linux as an Icecream. Lots of flavors to eat. Eat whatever you like. Or make your own flavor. 4-5 years ago I was jumping over multiple distros. I tried multiple linux distros. But now I’m settled on a custom build Debian distro. My first encounter with GNOME was on Fedora. I still love Fedora. But Debian is ultra-fast with only selected packages and easy to make its flavor. This is my short Linux story.

          This year I’m selected into GSOC. Yay. well, the fun part is Its GNOME. I applied in only one Org. from the list, cause It was GNOME or nothing.

          I was connected to one of my mentor month before GSOC start. He told me to fix some newcomers’ issues on GitLab. That was my first contribution to GNOME.

    • Distributions

      • The best Linux distributions for beginners


        When you want to try Linux, a question comes to mind: which distribution to choose. There are hundreds of different Linux distributions, but here we will try to demonstrate which ones are best to start with. “Linux” is actually a kernel, the core of the operating system .
        The graphical desktop, command line utilities, and other parts of the system are separate projects. Linux distributions use open source applications from different projects and combine them into a complete operating system ready to install and enjoy.

        Linux distributions are very easy to test. Just download them and use a tool to create a USB drive or burn a bootable DVD. You can then restart your computer and boot from the removable media to use the Linux distribution in “portable” mode.

        In this way, Linux will run from the boot device without affecting the previously installed system. If you decide to install the Linux distribution, you can do it from the portable environment.

        Experts emphasize that there is no such thing as “Linux”, but rather a multitude of variants, some of which are suitable for beginners – and others less so.

      • Reviews

        • Pop!_OS 20.04 Review: Best Ubuntu based Linux Distribution

          Pop! OS is a fairly new Ubuntu-based Linux desktop distribution, developed by American computer manufacturer System76. System76 created Pop! OS to use on its hardware lineup as a pre-loaded OS. However, due to its customizations, the built-in driver support – it gained popularity and it is arguably the best Ubuntu-based distribution today.

      • New Releases

        • Kali Linux 2020.2 Release



          Despite the turmoil in the world, we are thrilled to be bringing you an awesome update with Kali Linux 2020.2! And it is available for immediate download.

          With XFCE and GNOME having had a Kali Linux look and feel update, it’s time to go back to our roots (days of backtrack-linux) and give some love and attention to KDE Plasma. Introducing our dark and light themes for KDE Plasma…

        • Kali Linux 2020.2 Released with GNOME 3.36, Dark and Light Themes for KDE Plasma
        • Q4OS 3.11 Centaurus, stable

          A significant update to Q4OS 3 Centaurus LTS is immediately available for download. The new 3.11 series receives all the fixes and goodies from the recent Debian Buster 10.4 update, critical security and bug fixes and brings several Q4OS specific improvements. Most importantly, the Q4OS Software centre applications list has got a bunch of new items. National keyboard layout configuration has been enhanced. In addition to the above, Q4OS 3.11 brings other exciting enhancements, such as dedicated installers for Firefox 76 and Palemoon browsers as well as cumulative upgrade covering all changes since the previous stable version of Q4OS 3 Centaurus.

          Current users only need to perform regular update to get all of the new features. Anyone can download installation media images from the Downloads section of the Q4OS website.

      • BSD

        • WireGuard for OpenBSD Kernel Patches Posted
          Hey folks,
          
          I'm delighted to announce that Matt has posted his OpenBSD kernel port
          to the OpenBSD mailing list:
          
          https://marc.info/?l=openbsd-tech&m=158926407905492&w=2
          
          
          https://marc.info/?l=openbsd-tech&m=158926356005344&w=2
          
          We've worked together closely on this for a long time, and I think
          this is a high quality implementation with a lot of the same security
          design principles as our Linux implementation. In a way, WireGuard's
          minimalism fits into and was inspired by OpenBSD's overall design
          philosophy. Looking forward to seeing how things pan out on the
          mailing list there; I'm optimistic.
          
          Users can try this out early by following the directions at:
          
          https://git.zx2c4.com/wireguard-openbsd/about/
          
          Regards,
          Jason
          
        • WireGuard Ported To The OpenBSD Kernel – Looking For Upstream Inclusion

          With the WireGuard secure VPN tunnel having been upstreamed in the Linux 5.6 kernel, developer attention recently turned to OpenBSD and porting the very promising VPN technology to its kernel.

          Jason Donenfeld and Matt Dunwoodie announced WireGuard for the OpenBSD kernel and posted the patches this week for review.

        • OpenZFS 0.8.4 Released With Support Through Linux 5.6, Bug Fixes

          OpenZFS / ZFS On Linux 0.8.4 is out as the latest update to this leading open-source ZFS file-system base for Linux and FreeBSD and coming together as well for macOS.

          With OpenZFS 0.8.4, Linux kernel compatibility is from Linux 2.6.32 now up through Linux 5.6 as well as early work on Linux 5.7 support, compared to the prior release tapping out at 5.4.

      • Screenshots/Screencasts

      • SUSE/OpenSUSE

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • Open source subscription-based models will become more appealing: Red Hat

          The Red Hat Training & Certification is delivering live virtual training classes, extended timelines for using Red Hat Training Units and the exam window by three months for those who are not in a position to cancel or reschedule previously scheduled classes or exams.

        • IBM Cloud Now: IBM Cloud Satellite, Financial-Services Ready Public Cloud, and 5G and Edge
        • The TCO of virtualizing RAN in mobile operator infrastructures

          Mobile 3D gaming apps, autonomous vehicles, industrial IoT, remote surgery, smart cars, and smart cities – mobile operators’ 5G network architectures are preparing to enable these and other advanced wireless use cases as they come available. 5G supports high-speed, low power and very low-latency connectivity to fulfill the potential of many scenarios, delivered with automation and the required performance on cloud-native distributed architectures.

          Communications service providers (CSPs) have big decisions to make as the service capacity of their mobile networks grows and their plans for 5G architecture take shape. Virtualized system infrastructures will be increasingly critical – from centralized core operating sites to the enterprise edge and radio access network (RAN) application sites.

      • Debian Family

        • Proxmox VE 6.2 released

          Proxmox Server Solutions GmbH today announced the general availability of Proxmox VE 6.2, the latest version of the open-source virtualization management platform. Proxmox VE 6.2 includes new features aimed at addressing issues facing modern datacenter administrators and IT teams. The new version of the virtualization management solution comes with a lot of new features, notable improvements, and many advanced options for the web-based user interface. It’s based on Debian Buster 10.4 and a 5.4 longterm Linux kernel and includes updates to the latest versions of the leading open-source virtualization technologies QEMU 5.0, LXC 4.0, Ceph Nautilus (14.2.9), and ZFS 0.8.3.

        • Proxmox VE 6.2 Released With Zstd Backups, Live Migration With ZFS Storage Replication

          Version 6.2 of the Proxmox VE open-source virtualization environment has been released for this web-based, easy-to-use solution.

          Proxmox VE 6.2 is based on the newly-released Debian 10.4 while pulling in the Linux 5.4 LTS kernel, QEMU 5.0, LXC 4.0, and other updated software components including OpenZFS 0.8.3.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • Ubuntu Unity Remix 20.04 Unofficial Flavor Sees First Stable Release



          Rudra Saraswat, a member of the Ubuntu community has been working hard in the past few months to put together a special flavor of Ubuntu with Unity 7 as default desktop environment.

          He calls it Ubuntu Unity Remix, and it brings good old memories to those of us who have used Ubuntu for a long time.

          Built in-house by Canonical and based on the GNOME desktop environment, Unity has been the default desktop interface of Ubuntu for about six years.

          The first Ubuntu release with Unity by default was Ubuntu 11.04 (Natty Narwhal) and the last one was Ubuntu 17.10 (Artful Aardvark).

        • MediaWiki packages for Ubuntu 20.04 Focal available

          Packages for the MediaWiki 1.31 LTS release are now available for the new Ubuntu 20.04 LTS “Focal Fossa” release in my PPA. Please let me know if you run into any errors or issues.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • Announcing coreboot 4.12

        Since 4.11 there were 2692 new commits by over 190 developers and of these, 59 contributed for the first time, which is quite an amazing increase.

        Thank you to all developers who again helped made coreboot better than ever, and a big welcome to our new contributors!

      • Coreboot 4.12 Released – Drops Older Intel / AMD Platforms

        Coreboot 4.12 is out today as the latest version of this open-source BIOS / system firmware implementation that saw more than 2,600 commits since the previous release.

        Coreboot 4.12 drops 51 motherboards while adding in just 49. Most of the new motherboards are for different Chrome OS devices but there is also new System76 laptop support and additions from the Open Compute Project too.

      • Web Browsers

        • Mozilla

          • Firefox 76 for Windows, Mac, Linux Brings Better Password Security and Enhanced Zoom Support

            Mozilla brought Firefox 76 for Windows, macOS, and Linux with new features and bug fixes on Tuesday. With the latest update of the Firefox Web browser, Firefox is making the protection of online account logins and passwords stronger. Firefox will display critical alerts in its Lockwise password manager if a saved website is breached. Moreover, if any of your accounts are involved in the breach and you have used the same password elsewhere, the Firefox will prompt you to change the password. You will also be able to use the Zoom app on Firefox now without any additional downloads.

            Firefox has brought several changes and additions in the update. In addition to the features mentioned above, Firefox has also made the login credentials safer for users who share their devices with others. It will now require a login to your operating system account before showing your saved passwords. Firefox has expanded Lockwise’s ability to generate complex passwords for more websites. The update by Firefox around securing login credentials is quite timely as there has been a surge in people staying online while working from home.

          • [Old] David Bryant: Why WebAssembly is a game changer for the web — and a source of pride for Mozilla and Firefox

            With today’s release of Firefox, we are the first browser to support WebAssembly. If you haven’t yet heard of WebAssembly, it’s an emerging standard inspired by our research to enable near-native performance for web applications.

            WebAssembly is one of the biggest advances to the Web Platform over the past decade.

            This new standard will enable amazing video games and high-performance web apps for things like computer-aided design, video and image editing, and scientific visualization. Over time, many existing productivity apps (e.g. email, social networks, word processing) and JavaScript frameworks will likely use WebAssembly to significantly reduce load times while simultaneously improving performance while running. Unlike other approaches that have required plug-ins to achieve near-native performance in the browser, WebAssembly runs entirely within the Web Platform. This means that developers can integrate WebAssembly libraries for CPU-intensive calculations (e.g. compression, face detection, physics) into existing web apps that use JavaScript for less intensive work.

          • Mozilla Launches Hubs Cloud

            Mozilla’s Mixed Reality group launches a cloud version of Mozilla Hubs, their social space for virtual reality gatherings.

            With Hubs Cloud, organisations can now deploy and customize their own instance of Mozilla Hubs. It is available on the AWS Marketplace and manages all necessary AWS resources. There are two versions available: personal and enterprise. The difference between the two is that personal manages one server, and enterprise manages multiple servers and optionally a dedicated content streaming server. The benefits of managing your own Hubs Cloud are that you can customize the rooms for uptime and concurrency in case you are hosting a big event. It also allows you to keep sensitive data inside your company’s network.

      • SaaS/Back End/Databases

        • An Elasticsearch and Kibana-based dashboard for COVID-19

          Looking back to the start of the year, we could never have predicted what would befall our world as a result of COVID-19. Back then, the coronavirus was spreading in China, and while there were warnings of its potential to escalate across the world, few could imagine the tremendous shift it would bring to the status quo.

          Today, we find ourselves living in a new normal. Working from home has become standard, the global economy is uncertain, hospitals are working harder than ever, and the world is waiting for a vaccine to provide reassurance that we can stop social distancing.

      • Productivity Software/LibreOffice/Calligra

        • Online development CI accessible via the internet

          Recently the CI (continuous integration) infrastructure for Online has been made accessible via the internet. Now developers from outside Collabora can directly check the status of their patches and builds.

        • LibreOffice 7.0 Alpha1 is ready for testing

          The LibreOffice Quality Assurance ( QA ) Team is happy to announce LibreOffice 7.0 Alpha1 is ready for testing!

          LibreOffice 7.0 will be released as final at the beginning of August, 2020 ( Check the Release Plan ) being LibreOffice 7.0 Alpha1 the first pre-release since the development of version 7.0 started in the beginning of June, 2019. Since then, 6213 commits have been submitted to the code repository and more than 1200 bugs set to FIXED in Bugzilla. Check the release notes to find the new features included in this version of LibreOffice.

          LibreOffice 7.0 Alpha1 can be downloaded from here for Linux, MacOS and Windows, and it can be installed alongside the standard version.

        • LibreOffice is a hot target for the Google Season of Docs 2020

          For the second year in a row, The Document Foundation has been accepted as an organization in the Google Season of Docs, a programme whose goals are to give technical writers an opportunity to participate in contributing to open source projects, and to give open source projects an opportunity to engage the technical writing community.

          This year we offer a wide range of projects for technical writers, and we’re extending the reach by providing projects for e-learning, mathematical documentation and code-oriented documentation.

          During the programme, technical writers will spend a few months working closely with the LibreOffice community, bringing their technical writing expertise to the project’s documentation, and at the same time learning about the open source project and new technologies. Similarly, LibreOffice documentation team members will work with the technical writers to improve the project’s documentation and processes.

        • LibreOffice Tuesday T&T: Windows Installation Issues

          According to our estimates, worldwide there are around 150 million LibreOffice users on Windows. And when we say worldwide we mean worldwide, as according to the origin of downloads we have users in every continent including Antarctica.

          As a consequence, we get a large amount of questions related to LibreOffice on Windows. Many of these questions are about the installation process, because there are several issues which prevent the user to get the expected positive user experience. Unfortunately, the majority of these questions are related to Windows issues and not to LibreOffice issues.

        • Microsoft doc formats are the bane of office suites on Linux, SoftMaker’s Office 2021 beta may have a solution [Ed: Microsoft Tim promoting proprietary software and OOXML]

          SoftMaker’s Office 2021 – a cross-platform office suite that runs on Windows, Mac and Linux – has hit public beta.

          SoftMaker Office features the classic trio of products: word processor (TextMaker), spreadsheet (PlanMaker), and presentation graphics (Presentations). It has been around for 30 years; this new version replaces SoftMaker Office 2018.

          The suite comes in two guises, FreeOffice and a commercial version. The commercial version has additional features including customisable ribbons, document tabs, thesaurus, better spell checking, SVG image support, mail merge, charts, and VBA-like macros (full details of the differences are here). A permanent licence costs £44.90 per year for the full version, or £24.90 per year for a (only slightly) cut-down Home version.

      • FSF

        • FSFE

          • Public Hackathons +++ Munich supports Public Code +++ New Podcasts

            In recent weeks we have seen many hackathons that have been organised to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic. Interestingly, many of them have been organised by governments and other public bodies who are hosting or funding these hackathons. As with our “Public Money? Public Code!” campaign, at the FSFE we demand that software resulting from publicly funded hackathons can be re-used globally by publishing it under a Free Software license.

            Especially in a time when humanity needs to work together to find solutions for a crisis, we cannot afford to reinvent the wheel again and again for software that helps us contain the spread of COVID-19. Global problems need global solutions! It is Free Software that enables global cooperation for code development. Any proprietary solution will inevitably lead to countless isolated solutions and will waste energy and time which we as humanity cannot afford in such a critical situation.

            [...]

            In an open letter to the Parliament, the Dutch minister for internal affairs, Raymond Knops, commits to a “Free Software by default” policy and underlines its benefits for society. A rewording of current market regulations shall be proposed to allow publishing of Free Software by the government.

        • GNU Projects

          • Top 6 GIMP Plugins to Use in 2020

            GIMP started as a semester project by two fellows at the University of California in the year 1995. In its initial days, it was called General Image Manipulation Program, but later, got renamed to GNU Image Manipulation Program. For those unaware, GNU or GNU’s Not Unix is an operating system comprising of a collection of various free software and projects, licensed under the GNU project.

          • Denemo News: Release 2.4 imminent – please test!
            New Features 
                    Omission Criteria 
                        A lightweight alternative to Score Layouts 
                        A single flag turns on/off features of the score 
                    Swing Playback 
                        Playback with altered note durations 
                        Use for Jazz swing and note inègales 
                    Page Turner/Annotater 
                        Annotate while playing from digital score 
                        Page turn digital score from pedals 
                    New from Current 
                        Create a new score using the current one as template 
                        Use for books of songs, sonatas etc to keep style uniform 
            Bug Fixes 
                    Easier object edit interface 
                    After Grace command now fully automatic 
                    Crash on Windows during delete measure all staffs 
                    Template save bugs fixed 
                    Assign Instrument command in score with voices fixed. 
            No messages in Release 2.4 imminent - please test!
            
          • Guix welcomes Outreachy and GSoC interns

            We are thrilled to announce that three people will join Guix as interns over the next few months!

      • Programming/Development

        • Eclipse Foundation Moving to Brussels

          The Eclipse Foundation will begin to transition its headquarters from Ottawa to Brussels as part of an effort to advance international expansion. The Foundation plans to establish a new legal entity sometime in July, with personnel relocating or added to a Brussels office over time.

        • Total Eclipse to depart: Open-source software foundation is hopping the pond to Europe

          The Eclipse Foundation today unveiled plans to make itself a little more European with a jump into Brussels.

          The outfit already has a European office, in the form of the wholly owned subsidiary in Germany, Eclipse Foundation Europe GmBH. Today’s move is a little more major (although won’t involve moving bottoms from Ottawa seats to something a bit more Belgian just yet).

          Executive director Mike Milinkovich told The Register: “This is about re-domiciling the legal entity that controls The Eclipse Foundation from the US to Europe.”

          The timing could be considered unfortunate, what with one thing and another, although there are no plans to move staffers around. Milinkovich said a small office might be opened in Brussels at some point in 2021, but cautioned that “all of these sorts of things need to be linked to growth.” In the meantime, the foundation would make do with a Brussels mailing address.

          As for what the Eclipse Foundation will get from re-domiciling, Milinkovich highlighted the contributions made from European countries. Commits from Germany and France account for a shade over 30 per cent of the total, with the US coming in at 12.7 per cent. “Europeans,” he said, “want to operate under European law and Europeans want to have at least one open-source foundation that is distinctly European.

        • Open Source Software Leader the Eclipse Foundation Announces Transition to Europe as Part of Continued Global Expansion
        • Mike Milinkovich: Eclipse Theia and VS Code differences explained

          Eclipse Theia 1.0 arrived at the end of March. The open source extensible platform combines some of the best features of IDEs, so we took a closer look to find out what sets it apart from Microsoft’s source code editor Visual Studio Code. In this article, you will learn more about Eclipse Theia’s licensing, architecture, and more.
          After we announced the release of Eclipse Theia 1.0 and published a blog about it, we received a number of questions about the differences between Theia and Visual Studio (VS) Code and why we’re calling Theia “a true open source alternative” to VS Code. Here are some clarifications I hope will help people understand the differences between the two and the value of Theia.

        • Intel’s Load Hardening Mitigation Merged Into LLVM 11 For LVI Protection

          Intel’s Load Value Injection mitigation has finally been merged into mainline LLVM.

          LLVM was disclosed back in March and while the GNU Assembler mitigation was quickly merged, on the LLVM compiler toolchain side it took until yesterday for the patch to be squared away in full.

          This Intel-developed mitigation is of similar nature to the GAS patch. When enabled, a load fence (LFENCE) is added after each instruction that may be vulnerable to LVI as well as warning over code that cannot be automatically mitigated.

        • Wanna be a developer? Your coworkers want to learn Go and like to watch, er, Friends and Big Bang Theory

          Google’s Go programming language, all but disallowed by the web giant’s own Fuchsia team for its excessive memory consumption, tops developers’ to-do lists. That’s according to a survey by tech talent platform HackerEarth.

          At the end of last week, the biz released data gathered from 16,000 programmers, more than 20 per cent of them women, in 76 countries. Its survey found that 29 per cent of students and 32 per cent of working professional developers wanted to learn Go.

          That appears to jibe with a recent Hired survey that found Go was the most sought after language by employers, and that only seven per cent of developers cited Go as their primary coding language. If companies are looking to hire Go developers, sooner or later, prospective employees can be expected to get the message.

          The HackerEarth data also indicates that SQL is the most widely known language by professional developers (52 per cent), followed by Java (50 per cent), HTML/CSS (46 per cent), Python (40 per cent), Java 8 (39 per cent), C++ (36 per cent), JavaScript/Node.js (34 per cent), and Bash/Shell/PowerShell (19 per cent).

        • Perl/Raku

          • Perl Weekly Challenge 060: Excel Column And Find Numbers

            This seemed like a simple base 10 to base 26 conversion and back. I started by installing Math::Base::Convert, Math::BaseConvert, Math::BaseCnv, and Convert::AnyBase to quickly discover they wouldn’t help me much. What Excel uses for column names is a weird 26 digit system that lacks a symbol for zero, but has a symbol for 26 (or for 1026). It’s called the bijective base-26 numeration system. The interesting fact about such systems is that digit addition, subtraction, and multiplication work the same way as in our common system (division is a bit problematic).

            Converting a column name to its number is easy. Start from the left, add the number corresponding to the letter to the result, then multiply it by 26 and continue with the next letter.

        • Python

          • Moving the Program Counter in Wing’s Python Debugger

            This Wing Tip describes how to move the program counter while debugging Python code in Wing Personal and Wing Pro. This is a good way to go back and re-execute previously visited Python code, in order to trace through to the cause of a bug without having to restart the debug process.

          • Improve Your Tests With the Python Mock Object Library

            When you’re writing robust code, tests are essential for verifying that your application logic is correct, reliable, and efficient. However, the value of your tests depends on how well they demonstrate these criteria. Obstacles such as complex logic and unpredictable dependencies make writing valuable tests difficult. The Python mock object library, unittest.mock, can help you overcome these obstacles.

          • Mike Driscoll: Learn How to Log with Python (Video)

            Learn how to use Python’s logging module in this screencast:

            You will learn about the following:

            Creating a log
            Logging Levels
            Logging Handlers
            Logging Formatters
            Logging to Multiple Locations
            and more!

          • Python Pause For User Input

            input() method is used in python 3 for data intake from the user. Sometimes, it requires waiting or pause the input task for a specific period of time for programming purposes. For example, if there is an infinite loop in the script that will terminate based on specific user input, then it will wait for the input from the user in each iteration of the loop. Time module contains sleep() method that can be used to wait a certain period of time in python before taking input. Python contains many other modules to terminate the script based on any key press or pause the execution of the script. How python pause for input can be applied in python script is shown in this article.

          • How to search for data in JSON using python

            One of the most used data serialization technique is JSON format. Python has an in-built module JSON to work with JSON data. It supports all types of primitive data types such as number, string, etc, along with python objects. The data are stored in a structured format in JSON. Sometimes it is required to search a particular data from a large JSON string or a JSON file. There are many ways to search for specific data from JSON data. How JSON data can be searched based on key or value using the python script is shown in this article.

          • PyCoder’s Weekly: Issue #420 (May 12, 2020)
        • Rust

  • Leftovers

    • Science

      • Roman Finger Counting

        I recently wrote a final paper on the history of written numerals. In the process, I discovered this fascinating tidbit that didn’t really fit in my paper, but I wanted to put it somewhere. So I’m writing about it here.

        If I were to ask you to count as high as you could on your fingers you’d probably get up to 10 before running out of fingers. You can’t count any higher than the number of fingers you have, right? The Romans could! They used a place-value system, combined with various gestures to count all the way up to 9,999 on two hands.

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Thunderspy attack: How to protect your Mac, Windows or Linux computer from hackers

          The Thunderbolt port used on computers and laptops has been found to have a serious vulnerability, one that allows a hacker to access the contents of your device within minutes.

          The port is a connection made by Intel and Apple that allows for faster data transfer through a physical cable.

          While the hacker will need physical access to your computer, the level of control they would have should they get it is astounding; your device could be encrypted, password-protected, and locked, and yet could still be bypassed in under five minutes.

        • Keybase joins Zoom

          I don’t know what to think of this. I use Zoom and appreciate that they maintain a Linux client, but I know their security and privacy practices are problematic.

        • Pseudo-Open Source

          • Privatisation/Privateering

            • Linux Foundation

              • Success Story: Linux Training and Certification Helps Advance an Information Security Professional’s Career

                Andreea’s interest in Linux and open source was clear to the scholarship judges, as she already had a few Python projects hosted on GitHub at the time. She was selected as the recipient of a Linux Newbies scholarship, which enabled her to enroll in the Essentials of System Administration training course and to take the Linux Foundation Certified System Administrator exam.

              • Joint Development Foundation Adds a Path for Formal International Standardization
              • Joint Development Foundation Adds a Path for Formal International Standardization

                The JDF’s first PAS submission is for OpenChain, a specification that identifies the key requirements of an open source compliance program. It is designed to build trust between companies in the supply chain while reducing internal resource costs. The outcome is increased trust and consistency in open source software across the supply chain. International standardization will help to guide the evolution of the OpenChain Specification from de facto to de jure standard, a process that will assist procurement, sales and other departments to increasingly engage with OpenChain-related activities.

                “Open source is now a mainstream means of building infrastructure and providing a platform for innovation. While open source development models focus on lowering the barriers to innovate and change, there comes a time when industries decide the next step is to agree on one approach to an issue and work together on that solution,” said Seth Newberry, executive director at Joint Development Foundation. “These de facto standards are just one step away from becoming recognized standards, and JDF provides a path to international recognition as a standard by ISO/IEC JTC 1. This is a key additional capability to further support our open project communities with a path to engage on standards with the worldwide business and industry ecosystems.”

                To become a JTC 1 PAS Submitter, the Joint Development Foundation had to meet a rigorous set of criteria. It was required to demonstrate its process for developing the specifications that are neutral to all of the contributors (no one company may dominate the process); the specification must be developed with sufficient industry participation to ensure that the resulting work is representative of an industry-wide consensus, and the specification must be formed in accordance with standard PAS editing standards so that each specification is easily understood by the readers.

              • Joint Development Foundation recognized as an ISO/IEC JTC 1 PAS submitter and submits OpenChain for international review

                The Linux Foundation itself was formed out of the merger of the Free Standards Group, which maintained the LSB (“Linux Standards Base”) and the Open Source Development Labs. Open standards and open source software have been part of the mission from the very beginning.

                Standards play a role in everyone’s life. Think about the things you touch every day, as simple as a power plug, the USB connector on your phone or laptop, or the WiFi that you use in your business and your home to connect your mobile devices wirelessly. All of these devices need to be able to interoperate with each other.

                A pragmatic and sensible approach to solving interoperability issues would be to create open source software projects everyone can use. However, there are cases where open source software alone will not solve all the implementation challenges that open standards can achieve.

                Open source software in and of itself may not solve particular situations where there will be many implementations in many different device or delivery models (e.g., video codecs or 3D printer designs with many software design tools and many hardware printers and scanners). Still, in other cases, that fragmentation is due to different device capabilities, implementation details, or limitations that open source software cannot resolve alone.

                The design and capacities of many things are defined by industry stakeholders as a standard so that every plug and device is interoperable and capable of the same connectivity. Every country in the world has its own national standards bodies that define the standards it deems necessary, from power transmission, radio spectrum, food safety, and others.

                Not all standards bodies are national standards bodies, with standards organizations coming in many shapes and sizes. Many standards are developed by industry-specific organizations that have a common set of technical objectives and are seeking a common set of use cases, a shared set of key design and performance criteria, and a common test specification to ensure interoperability.

        • Security

          • Security updates for Tuesday

            Security updates have been issued by Arch Linux (a2ps and qutebrowser), openSUSE (cacti, cacti-spine, ghostscript, and python-markdown2), Oracle (kernel), Red Hat (chromium-browser, libreswan, and qemu-kvm-ma), Scientific Linux (thunderbird), and SUSE (kernel and libvirt).

          • Ubuntu’s Server Installer Was Mistakenly Leaking Encrypted Storage Passphrase To Its Log

            With the recently released Ubuntu 20.04 LTS, the Ubuntu Server installer exclusively uses the “Subiquity” installer that Canonical has been working on in recent years in moving away from the classic Debian Installer. Unfortunately a security issue crept into Subiquity that has now been resolved.

          • U.S. Moves Towards Resolving Permitting US Companies to Collaborate with Huawei on 5G Standards

            Regular readers will know that the addition of Huawei and scores of its subsidiaries to the U.S. Bureau of Industry and Security Entity List last May has had a serious impact on standards setting organizations (SSOs). Specifically, the related rules bar companies from disclosing certain types of U.S. origin technology to companies on the Entity List, and technology is exactly what is disclosed in the course of standards development. Due to a lack of guidance from the Department of Commerce, SSOs have been left wondering whether they can allow Huawei and its subsidiaries (collectively, “Huawei”) to participate in their technical activities. When they decide that the answer is yes, U.S. companies must then decide whether they read the regulatory tea leaves the same way. Many have not.

            Over the past two weeks the situation has taken a more hopeful turn. The impetus for this change has a lot to do with the law of unexpected consequences – in this case, the results of the Department of Commerce refusing to provide the type of certainly that the private sector needs when political winds shift.

            That uncertainty has led many modern-era consortium SSOs, on the one hand, and a number of traditional, old school SSOs, on the other, to reach different conclusions about whether they can or cannot safely allow Huawei to participate. Many of the consortia concluded that they would need to make radical changes to their technical processes in order to be sure they would fall under one or both of two exemptions that are to a degree analogous – holding open meetings and offering material for publication in journals.

          • Huawei denies involvement in buggy Linux kernel patch proposal [Ed: ZDNet has found another subtle way to insinuate Linux is not secure]

            Huawei says employee submitted code as part of a personal project, not on behalf of the company.

          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • Spurred by low adoption of its app, Singapore introduces highly-invasive, mandatory COVID-19 surveillance

              According to the report, Singapore’s TraceTogether app has only been downloaded by 20-25% of the population. Estimates for the effective adoption rate range from 56% to as high as 80%. Seeing its tracing app fall on deaf ears, Singapore is introducing a new SafeEntry operation, which requires users to check-in to busy public places using either a national form of ID, or by scanning a QR code with their phone.

              [...]

              The full list of places where the technology must be deployed includes workplaces, schools, universities and pre-schools, healthcare facilities, residential care facilities, hairdressers, supermarkets, malls, and hotels. commuters are even being sold to scan QR codes in taxis when taking “street-hail trips”. Retail outlets are being encouraged, but not required to deploy the technology.

              The stark news highlights how contact tracing by way of an app may not be effective without mass adoption, and paints a harrowing picture of the invasive lengths Singapore seems to be willing to stretch to in order to control the pandemic.

            • NSO Group Pitched Phone Hacking Tech to American Police

              NSO Group, the surveillance vendor best known for selling hacking technology to authoritarian governments, including Saudi Arabia, also tried to sell its products to local U.S. police, according to documents obtained by Motherboard.

              The news provides the strongest evidence yet of NSO’s attempt to enter the U.S. market, and shows apparent appetite from U.S. police for such tools, with one law enforcement official describing the hacking technology as “awesome.”

              “Turn your target’s smartphone into an intelligence gold mine,” a brochure for the hacking product, called Phantom, reads. The brochure was made by Westbridge Technologies, “the North American branch of NSO Group,” it says. Motherboard obtained the document and related emails through a public records act request.

              In August 2016, a Westbridge employee emailed the San Diego Police Department (SDPD) offering more information on Phantom, “a mobile intelligence system that would be a great addition to your investigative and special support offices.” After remotely hacking the phone, Phantom can siphon a target’s emails, text messages, and contact list, as well track their location, turn on the device’s microphone and take photos with its camera, according to the brochure.

    • Environment

      • Wildlife/Nature

        • Wild giant panda spotted in SW China’s closed mining area

          Staff also found pictures and videos of the golden monkey, the gnu, the forest musk deer, the Chinese monal and the blood pheasant. The latter two were spotted by cameras in the reserve for the first time.

          Mianzhu authorities have shut down all the 243 mines on the mineral-rich Jiudingshan Mountain where mining activities had taken a toll on the environment. Yet an area of more than 100,000 square meters has become green again.

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • Watchdog slams EU agency for letting boss join lobby group

        The EU’s banking regulator should have stopped its executive director from joining a financial lobbying association, the European ombudsman said Monday.

        Emily O’Reilly’s verdict came after an inquiry into Adam Farkas’ exit from the European Banking Authority to become chief executive of the Association for Financial Markets in Europe.

        “Public authorities cannot allow themselves to become proxy recruiters for the industries they are regulating,” the Irishwoman said in a statement.

        The ombudsman presented two findings of maladministration by the EBA.

        The first is the regulator should have “forbidden the job move.”

        The agency also failed to immediately block Farkas’ access to confidential information when it learned of his new career plans on August 1. It was only from October 31 that he was kept out of the regulator’s policy and supervisory work.

        The regulator prohibited Farkas from contacting the agency’s staff for 24 months after joining AFME, where he started work in February. The Hungarian is also blocked from personally lobbying for the banking industry for 18 months.

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • Chagos islanders’ exile is ongoing breach of human rights, court told

        Denying exiled Chagos islanders the right to return to their homes on the Indian Ocean archipelago is a continuing breach of their human rights and not just a historical injustice, the court of appeal has been told.

        The claim was made on Tuesday in the first legal battle over the territory in a British courtroom since the international court of justice (ICJ) in The Hague ruled last year that the UK’s assertion of sovereignty was illegal.

        The latest challenge has been brought on behalf of two former Chagos residents. Solange Hoareau, who was born on the island of Diego Garcia and transported to the Seychelles in the early 1970s, has never received any compensation for her exile. The other claimant, Olivier Bancoult, the leader of the Chagos Refugee Group, who now lives in Mauritius, was born on the island of Peros Banhos in the archipelago.

        The UK government refers to the islands as a British Indian Ocean Territory (BIOT). Between 1,500 and 2,000 native islanders were forcibly deported in the early 1970s so that the largest island, Diego Garcia, could be leased to the US to use as an airbase. They have never been allowed to return home.

        By a majority of 13 to one, the ICJ – , the United Nation’s highest court, found that the UK’s decolonisation of Mauritius, of which the Chagos Islands were originally a part, had not been lawfully completed. It said the islands must be handed back to Mauritius “as rapidly as possible”.

      • Online Voting Has Worked So Far. That Doesn’t Mean It’s Safe

        WEST VIRGINIA STATE delegate Eric Porterfield is blind and usually votes at a polling place using an accessible voting machine. He would need assistance to fill out a regular mail-in paper ballot, reducing his ability to keep his votes private. But thanks to a state law passed in January to address accessible remote voting, Porterfield has a new alternative for his state’s June 9 primary. For the first time, he plans to submit his absentee ballot online.

        “The gold standard for you or me or anyone is to be able to fulfill our constitutional right to vote by private ballot,” Porterfield says.

        The Covid-19 pandemic has made internet voting options more tempting than ever for election officials across the US. But election integrity advocates and security experts continue to warn that remote digital voting systems, whether mobile apps or cloud portals, do not have strong enough security guarantees for prime time. On Friday, a group of federal agencies including the Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency and the Election Assistance Commission sent a risk assessment to states, warning that “electronic ballot return technologies are high-risk even with controls in place.”

Today in ZDNet ‘Linux’: Linux is Not Secure and You Should Use Microsoft Proprietary Software With Spying and EULA

Posted in Deception, GNU/Linux, Microsoft at 9:45 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

More recent examples in this wiki

Linux at ZDNet

Summary: Another typical morning/night at the site which seems to exist for little but Microsoft propaganda these days

Boycott Softpedia

Posted in GNU/Linux at 1:12 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Golum: Boycott Softpedia unless you want to help Microsoft

Summary: Now that Softpedia's "Linux" section is run to damage Linux (by Microsoft fans) it’s time to say goodbye to Softpedia

‘Team Microsoft’ Took Control of Softpedia to Control Coverage About GNU/Linux

Posted in Deception, GNU/Linux, Microsoft at 12:52 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Typical; they even admitted doing this (based on leaked presentations).

“You want to infiltrate those. Again, there’s two categories. There’s those that are controlled by vendors; like MSJ; we control that. And there’s those that are independent. [...] So that’s how you use journals that we control. The ones that third parties control, like the WinTech Journal, you want to infiltrate.”

Microsoft's chief evangelist

Teacher and Golum: Softpedia's GNU/Linux section 2000-2019; Softpedia's GNU/Linux section after GNU/Linux people removed

Summary: Softpedia’s GNU/Linux writers were ousted, only to be replaced by Microsoft boosters who now use the site’s most popular GNU/Linux section to spread Microsoft lies and FUD (as happened in other sites before Softpedia)

IT happened to Linux.com less than a year ago. Months ago it happened to Softpedia as well. It has been happening for years all over the Web.

What is this?

Read the quote at the top (source available as original PDF).

“They’re loaded with Microsoft ‘assets’ there, including the chief editor who fired the “Open Source” writers.”Someone who “admires” Microsoft (he actually used that word) now controls Linux.com. He’s the sole editor of that site and he’s using Microsoft Outlook, based on something he tweeted earlier this month. How are “Linux” sites ending up being controlled by foes and sellouts? Well, as usual, one needs to only follow the money. Microsoft pays publishers a lot of money (e.g. for advertising), looking for something in return. Chiefs of publications are typically the sole beneficiaries of this money, just like at the Linux Foundation, where Microsoft employees play a fast-growing role.

We’re going to try not to name anybody, only publications (or we’ll use first/last names on their own, to avoid confusion and improve clarity). It’s almost impersonal. The pattern matters. We’re talking about a bunch of news sites that are attracting people to their propaganda pieces using rather innocuous and shallow ones. Just look at the laughing stock that ZDNet became (their “Linux” section is mostly Microsoft and SJVN was reduced to habitual Microsoft propagandist, whose articles that are negative about Microsoft get edited/censored even after he publishes them). They’re loaded with Microsoft ‘assets’ there, including the chief editor who fired the “Open Source” writers.

We’ve seen it all before. We documented the fine details down to pertinent facts.

“How did we end up at a point where the competition of Microsoft, GNU/Linux, has news about it composed (at least in high-profile sites) by Microsoft people?”The latest casualty seems to be Softpedia. It helps Microsoft. Dominating “Linux” news with their spam about “Azure” or “WSL” or whatever is the goal…

We saw a good example of that all over the so-called ‘Linux’ news last week (a $100,000 bounty). We wrote about it.

How did we end up at a point where the competition of Microsoft, GNU/Linux, has news about it composed (at least in high-profile sites) by Microsoft people? Consider as another example Ars Technica (owned by the same publisher that ‘ousted’ Torvalds temporarily in 2018 and defamed RMS several times last year, in several of its sites; it’s well documented and we wrote about it last year). As a reminder, before his arrest, Microsoft Peter completely dominated the “Open Source” section (100%) of Ars Technica, filling it with nothing but Microsoft propaganda pieces, seemingly ghostwritten by Microsoft (they had scoops there, like preparatory puff pieces about Git — composed in preparation to the takeover of GitHub which was envisioned already in 2014).

He was later arrested for having sexually abused children (we’ll spare readers the disturbing details about what he had done as we covered these matters before [1, 2]). He spewed out Microsoft propaganda and lies for about a decade [1, 2]. Microsoft uses these people like ‘props’ and rewards them for the ‘service’ (we covered examples of the bribes over the years).

“Both were replaced by someone who still goes by the title “Microsoft Editor”. He’s the sole person who edits the “Linux” section now, writing each and every item in the “Linux” section, often with deliberate anti-Linux lies like the one we covered days ago (he’s trying to shame China out of its GNU/Linux migration.”We regret to say that today’s Softpedia is no exception. The ‘handover’ happened months ago. The pro-Microsoft people are now doing the same thing to what we considered to be the leading source of GNU/Linux news at the time. There was a writer there who was a GNU/Linux guru. He used to have a colleague until about half a decade ago — a person who was also a good writer and GNU/Linux proponent.

Both were replaced by someone who still goes by the title “Microsoft Editor”. He’s the sole person who edits the “Linux” section now, writing each and every item in the “Linux” section, often with deliberate anti-Linux lies like the one we covered days ago (he’s trying to shame China out of its GNU/Linux migration).

Here’s his latest output. From today’s Daily Links (last link to that site), which we published an hour ago:

  • Ubuntu 20.04: Users Complaining of Store Issues After Upgrade [Ed: Or... Bogdan Popa's FUD... i.e. the Usual... Based on Random Reddit Posts]

    Ubuntu 20.04 was officially announced a few weeks ago with major improvements, but at the same time, it looks like it also introduces a series of inconsistencies that ruin the whole experience for some.

    More specifically, users are now complaining that the store isn’t working exactly like they expected it to work in the first place, with a growing thread of reddit grouping messages from users who encountered various problems when trying to install snaps.

    One of the common annoyances, and which I also encountered on my Ubuntu 20.04 laptop, concerns the behavior of the store when a new snap is being installed. There’s no indication regarding the progress of the installation after clicking the install button, and trying to click the same button again returns an error that the process is still under way.

The added editorial comment, which was already added to Tux Machines earlier, sums it up, we hope. So here we have someone scanning Reddit for ‘dirt’ on Ubuntu, pushing into Google and Google News a bunch of fear-mongering. Just like the junk he was publishing against Munich’s adoption of GNU/Linux. This is a very typical modus operandi; we saw it in other publications and wrote about it. As the quote at the top makes apparent, this is an official strategy at Microsoft. The company is like a cult which leverages entryism tactics to spread lies like “Microsoft loves Linux” (spread a great deal for a number of years by Ars Technica).

Remember that once upon a time Ars Technica did very fine journalism about GNU/Linux, but that was more than a decade ago (Ryan and others). We still recall all the good work they once did…

“Remember that once upon a time Ars Technica did very fine journalism about GNU/Linux, but that was more than a decade ago (Ryan and others).”Less than a decade ago the editor of Ars Technica UK admitted to me that Microsoft had paid them to start that site. And guess what dominated that site? Yes, Microsoft puff pieces. Corruption of the media has been a longstanding goal at Microsoft and they’re not shy about it.

Earlier today I had confirmed to me my worst fear. 9to5Linux‘s editor (𝓜𝓪𝓻𝓲𝓾𝓼 𝓝𝓮𝓼𝓽𝓸𝓻 in Twitter), who edited the Softpedia section for a very long time, turns out to have been pushed out by Softpedia. To keep track of the good work of Mr. Nestor one still can follow 9to5Linux, but 9to5Linux is not in Google News and doesn’t have the same brand power or reach. He started it all from scratch. And we’re left with no choice but to outright boycott Softpedia here and in Tux Machines. No more links. Why? Because now we know what they did to him.

We recently learned that this gentleman ‘left’ Softpedia because they forced him to leave by telling him that they’re not interested in Linux news anymore, despite the fact that Linux news had the most reads in Softpedia. Now look who writes Linux news in his place…

Mr. Popa’s official bio at Softpedia (we’re omitting the link to avoid sending traffic there) in full:

If you look really deep into my eyes, you may find some sort of Windows imprint hiding in there, as I’m the one who spends most of his time writing about everything that happens inside Microsoft’s Redmond campus.

While I’m probably one of the few Softpedians who truly like Windows 8, I’m also pretty interested in every single little thing that bears a Microsoft logo (I prefer the new one).

When I’m not screaming “developers, developers, developers!” I like watching Formula 1 and soccer, driving and swimming.

Even though that may sound a little bit awkward, I truly respect Steve Ballmer, most likely because he loves Microsoft more than anything else on this planet.

“Maybe if everyone would stop promoting them they will give up,” a source told us. The above person dominates 100% of their “Linux” section and uses that control to spread Microsoft FUD. We gave many examples over the past few months, including WSL stuff.

Microsoft is not just another “big company”. It is vicious and corrupt. Nothing has changed in that regard. My wife bemoaned them pushing out not one but two GNU/Linux writers to install a Ballmer worshiper to replace both. And that Ballmer worshiper now totally dominates the “Linux” section.

“He spent a lot of his life making that site relevant and visible. They owe him so much and look what they did to him (and to Linux). It’s like they handed over Linux to Microsoft.”This is insane! Months ago when the change happened that made no sense to me as prior to that departure Mr. Nestor openly advertised that he loved Softpedia. He spent a lot of his life making that site relevant and visible. They owe him so much and look what they did to him (and to Linux). It’s like they handed over Linux to Microsoft.

I have never seen any company going as far as to dominate the information channels of its very competition. Over the years we wrote many articles about the European Patent Office’s Benoît Battistelli bribing the media, but never did we see him actually installing ‘moles’ (e.g. paying programming sites to promote software patents in Europe). This is the kind of thing Microsoft does.

Links 12/5/2020: Wraith Master 1.0, Qt 5.15.0 RC2, FreeBSD 12.1 on a Workstation

Posted in News Roundup at 11:28 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Linux Usage Is on the Rise

      According to NetMarketShare, Linux saw a significant bump in usage during April.

      The COVID-19 pandemic has been a catastrophe for so many. Businesses have shuddered, unsure if they’d survive the months-long closure. And although it’s hard to find a silver lining in such a tragedy, they do eventually appear. One such positive outcome is that the Linux operating system has witnessed a large surge in usage.

      Before you get too excited, it’s not as though Linux all of a sudden surged past either Windows or macOS. In fact, Linux desktop usage is still in the single digits. However, in comparison, Linux actually bested both Windows and macOS for growth in April.

    • Remote working and learning should be enabled with free/low-cost hardware and software

      However, suddenly the software/hardware set-up in each person’s home has become a critical factor in getting work done.

      At Kazi Farms Group, we found that a significant number of people had to be given computers to allow them to work from home remotely once lockdown began. This was enabled at minimum cost by giving them low-cost RaspberryPi computers which are available at various online outlets in Bangladesh for Tk9000 or less.

      It does require an additional computer monitor, keyboard, mouse, and cables to connect.

      But since RaspberryPi runs on the free/open-source Linux operating system which includes the LibreOffice word processor, spreadsheet, and presentation software, Firefox web browser and Thunderbird email software, it is easily used by most office workers.

      Marketing and graphic design people who normally use Adobe Photoshop or Illustrator can accomplish much the same on a RaspberryPi with free software like Gimp and Inkscape.

      RaspberryPi’s low-cost hardware and the free Linux operating system enable this sort of solution to be installed in homes at several times lower cost than would be possible with conventional hardware and software.

      The savings from using RaspberryPi/Linux over conventional PC hardware with proprietary software is even more urgent for students.

    • Desktop/Laptop

    • Audiocasts/Shows

      • Late Night Linux – Episode 89

        Good news for Linux phones and Raspberry Pi users, an embarrassing security incident, Keybase bought by Zoom, KDE Korner, some feedback, and more.

      • [Ubuntu Podcast from the UK LoCo] S13E07 – Jumping over children

        This week we’ve been making a New Show and playing Ring Fit Adventure. We discuss Mark Shuttleworth on Ubuntu popularity and Canonical profitability, Ubuntu Core security audit, Groovy Gorilla is coming, Ubuntu Studio switches to KDE, Folder Colors adds Yaru support and Ubuntu Server has a self-updating installer. Plus we round up some of our favourite tech stories.

    • Kernel Space

      • Wraith Master 1.0 Released For Controlling AMD RGB Fans On Linux

        Wraith Master 1.0 has been released as the “feature complete” version of this Linux GUI application for providing RGB lighting controls for the AMD Wraith Prism heatsink under Linux.

        [...]

        More details on Wraith Prism 1.0 via the release announcement. The code for this AMD independent RGB lighting solution is available via GitLab.

      • Wraith Master Hits Version 1.0

        Wraith Master is an open-source Linux-only RGB control application for the Wraith Prism, written in Kotlin and compiled down to a native binary. It has feature parity with the official Windows application by Cooler Master, and has two interfaces: a CLI and a GUI. Both are native Linux binaries, and the command-line interface only requires libusb to function, while the graphical interface additionally requires GTK3 (and glib2 on some distributions). 1.0.0 is the first stable release!

      • Graphics Stack

        • Zink GL-Over-Vulkan Now Supports Conditional Rendering – Stepping Towards OpenGL 3.0

          The Zink Gallium3D driver project that is layering OpenGL over Vulkan is one step closer to exposing OpenGL 3.0 capabilities.

          The Zink project has just been at OpenGL 2.1 era functionality for this generic OpenGL-over-Vulkan layer. But now conditional rendering support was merged. NV_conditional_render is one of the requirements for OpenGL 3.0 and that is now scratched off the list with this merge request pulled in today for Mesa 20.2.

        • AGP Graphics Card Support Proposed For Removal From Linux Radeon/NVIDIA Drivers

          Longtime AMD open-source driver developer Christian König is proposing the removal of AGP graphics card support from their Radeon kernel driver as well as the open-source NVIDIA “Nouveau” kernel driver and in turn removing the AGP related code from the TTM memory management code.

          “Well let’s face it AGP is a total headache to maintain and dead for at least 10+ years,” began Christian’s proposal sent out today.

    • Benchmarks

      • SESES Speculative Execution Pass Lands In LLVM With “Extreme Performance Implications”

        The Google-backed SESES pass for LLVM to help fend off speculative execution vulnerabilities has been merged for LLVM 11, but in opting to enable this patch you lose much of your system’s performance.

        SESES was shown back in March by Google engineer Zola Bridges following the public disclosure of the Load Value Injection attack affecting Intel CPUs. SESES is an optional pass for LLVM on x86-based platforms for “Speculative Execution Side Effect Suppression” and is intended as a last resort for mitigating against the likes of LVI and other possible speculative execution side channel vulnerabilities.

    • Applications

      • 5 humans review 5 open source video chat tools



        Stuck indoors like most of the rest of the world, a group of Opensource.com editors and correspondents—Seth Kenlon, Matt Broberg, Alan Formy-Duval, Jessica Cherry, and Chris Hermansen—decided to use their far-flung locations and variable-quality internet connections to try out several open source video-conferencing solutions.

        Regardless of which solution you choose, we’re clearly past the tipping point of open source communication. There are several great options, so try one on your next call, and get off those proprietary and centralized (and probably insecure) chat applications! Next time someone invites you to a call, make a counter offer with an easy-to-remember Jitsi or p2p.chat URL or just your phone number for a Signal chat.

    • Instructionals/Technical

    • Games

      • Indivisible’s First Paid DLC: Is It Worth Your Money?

        Less than a month after the free New Game+/Couch Co-op update for Indivisible comes a paid DLC: Razmi’s Challenges. I rarely buy DLC, unless I’m buying the game-of-the-year edition, but being the Indivisible fanboy that I am, I wanted to get some further gameplay out of it. I’ll be going over a quick rundown of what the DLC is about, and let you determine whether it’s worth your time (and definitely, your wallet) by sharing my thoughts on it.

        Razmi — one of the characters that Ajna encounters early on in her journey — has set up a tent in Ajna’s inner realm (i.e. inside her head). This tent evidently allows Razmi to create challenges for Ajna to complete — a total of forty, using a mixture of platforming and battle elements. A clock will be ticking, and the faster the challenge is cleared, the better ranking you’ll get. And that’s pretty much all there is to it.

      • Off-Road Racing Simulator DRAG Coming to Linux

        Something that I found quite interesting is DRAG. According to the description on Steam, the off-road racing title “introduces next generation 4CPT vehicle physics (4-way contact point traction technology) and a damage model that allows for competitive multiplayer wheel-to-wheel racing in a rallycross fashion.” The Early Access trailer description mentions that there will be both Windows and Linux support, which is also confirmed by the store page listing the system requirements for Linux.

        [...]

        The system requirements are pretty modest. The Steam store page recommends 8 GB of RAM, a Ryzen 5 or a Core i5, and an RX 580/GTX 760. They’re the same with the Windows version. Support for racing wheels will be added throughout the Early Access period; keyboards and gamepads will need to be used in the meantime. I’d really like to know what made these guys decide to support Linux, how similar or how different the codebase is between them, and what graphics API they’re using.

      • Stellaris turns 4 with the big 2.7 ‘Wells’ update – free to play for a few days and a big milestone hit

        Today Paradox Interactive and Paradox Development Studio have released the huge 2.7 ‘Wells’ update for Stellaris, as it recently turned 4. Not only are the having a bit of an anniversary blow-out with it being 75% off, they’re also allowing you to play it for free from now until May 17.

        “We have always put the community first when developing and supporting content for Stellaris,” said Daniel Moregård, Game Director for Stellaris. “It is so rewarding to see this strategy help us earn the continued interest of a large and growing player base after all these years. Being able to reach a new all-time high right now makes the anniversary festivities feel even more momentous.”

    • Distributions

      • System76’s Company Distro

        Linux-centered companies often find themselves at the center of a dilemma. On the one hand, they depend on open source software. On the other hand, they are selling their version of open source software. As a result, they generally seek a way to differentiate themselves from the open source software they are based upon. As a result, they often embed in their product a particular set of assumptions about how users can or should work. A case in point is Pop!_OS, the Ubuntu-based operating system developed by System76, the manufacturer of American-made computers. What users think of Pop!_OS is likely to have less to do with versatility or features than with how Pop!_OS’s aesthetics and work-flow fit with their own.

        To start with, Pop!_OS is based on Ubuntu and the Gnome desktop environment. Either because System76 has tweaked the system extensively, or to simplify technical support (perhaps both), those are a user’s only choice. Those who prefer, for instance, LXDE or KDE’s Plasma for an interface are out of luck. Pop!_OS is simply not for them.

        As for aesthetics, one immediate problem is that Pop!_OS delivers a decidedly mixed message. Although Pop!_OS was originally advertised as being “an OS for the software developer, maker, and computer science professional who uses their computer as a tool to discover and create,” its name seems aimed at a different target. Most of its current artwork seems aimed at gamers and can best be described as inspired by science fiction cartoons from the 1950s (Figure 1). To complicate matters, its default wallpaper is in another style altogether, seemingly rooted in motivational speeches, featuring the slogan “Unleash Your Potential” in monolithic characters (Figure 2), while the overview screen is simply a reversal of the desktop (Figure 3). None of the artwork fits well together, or with the flat, minimalist design of the icons and widgets (Figure 4). Moreover, for gamers, features like disk encryption and tiled windows are apt to be a nuisance rather than a feature.

      • 20 Best Operating Systems You Can Run on Raspberry Pi in 2020



        We haven’t covered any major thing on the Raspberry Pi since our article on the 8 New Raspbian Features to Start Using on Your Raspberry Pi close to a year ago. No one needs to state how successful the Raspberry Pi has been since its inception till date, thus, the factor behind this article.

        Today, we bring you a list of the best Linux distributions you can run on the Raspberry Pi perfectly. But before we delve into that list, let me brief you on NOOBS

      • Top 10 Linux Distribution for Gamers – 2020

        Long back gaming on Linux was next to impossible, but in recent years it quite stable.
        Nowadays, there are hundreds of Linux distro, made with different ideas and purpose supports to gaming.

        There are some of the best option available in Linux distro for gamers. Here, we are going to list the top Linux gaming distribution.

        These distros are precompiled and installed with various drivers, application and softwares, and emulators for the excellent gaming experience.

      • New Releases

        • [Older] Arch Linux-based Manjaro 20 Lysia available for download with Xfce, GNOME, and KDE

          Ubuntu 20.04 was released this past Friday, and Linux fans around the world were understandably excited. However, “when it rains, it pours,” as they say, because not only is Fedora 32 right around the corner, but today, yet another top-tier distribution gets a new release. This time, it is the Arch Linux-based Manjaro 20, which is code-named “Lysia.”

          The newest version of the wildly popular operating system can be had with your choice of three desktop environments — Xfce, GNOME, and KDE Plasma. All three are great, but Xfce is the default for Manjaro. In version 20 of the OS, Xfce gets bumped up to 4.14. Manjaro 20 “Lysis” also gets Linux kernel 5.6 and a new ZFS installation option in Architect. Pamac 9.4 package manager gets support for both flatpaks and snaps by default — very cool.

      • BSD

        • How we guarantee there’s always some free space in our ZFS pools

          To stop this from happening, we use pool-wide quotas. No matter how much space people have purchased in a pool or even if this is a system pool that we operate, we insist that it always have a minimum safety margin, enforced through a ‘quota=’ setting on the root of the pool. When people haven’t purchased enough to use all of the pool’s current allocated capacity, this safety margin is implicitly the space they haven’t bought. Otherwise, we have two minimum margins. The explicit minimum margin is that our scripts that manage pool quotas always insist on a 10 MByte safety margin. The implicit minimum margin is that we normally only set pool quotas in full GB, so a pool can be left with several hundred MB of space between its real maximum capacity and the nearest full GB.

        • FreeBSD 12.1 on a workstation

          I’m using FreeBSD again on a laptop for some reasons so expect to read more about FreeBSD here. This tutorial explain how to get a graphical desktop using FreeBSD 12.1.

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • Using Ansible Automation Webhooks for GitOps

          If your organization has adopted a DevOps culture, you’re probably practicing some form of Infrastructure-as-Code (IaC) to manage and provision servers, storage, applications, and networking. IaC uses human-readable, and machine-consumable, definitions and automation tools such as Ansible. It’s also likely that Git is an essential part of your DevOps toolchain, not only for the development of applications and services but also for managing your infrastructure definitions.

          With the release of Red Hat Ansible Tower v3.6, part of the Red Hat Ansible Automation Platform, we introduced Automation Webhooks to natively enable easier and more intuitive Git-centric workflows. Such workflows might be found with GitOps-oriented environments.

          GitOps is a prescriptive style of Infrastructure as Code based on the experience and wisdom of what works in deploying and managing large, sophisticated, distributed, and cloud-native systems. While you can implement Git-centric workflows, where you treat infrastructure like it is code, that doesn’t mean it’s GitOps.

          In the first half of this post, we’ll explore how you can make use of Automation Webhooks. In the second half, we’ll cover how to apply these features to creating GitOps pipelines using the unique benefits Ansible provides.

          First, let’s look at IaC for some context as to how this feature benefits your organization.

        • Six reasons to love Camel K

          Apache Camel K is a lightweight cloud-integration platform that runs natively on Kubernetes and, in particular, lets you automate your cloud configurations. Based on the famous Apache Camel, Camel K is designed and optimized for serverless and microservices architectures. In this article, I discuss six ways that Camel K transforms how developers work with Kubernetes, Red Hat OpenShift, and Knative on cloud platforms.

        • Dbus-Broker 23 Released For High Performance D-Bus

          The BUS1 API did see some activity back in March but with that in-kernel IPC mechanism not yet on approach for landing in the mainline Linux kernel, the Dbus-Broker project for a high-performance D-Bus implementation remains the best solution for the time being.

        • Six more warning signs that your technical project might fail

          In part one of this article, I discussed some of the common pitfalls for sysadmins who are suddenly pulled into projects way too late in the game. Recognizing these warning signs can help you anticipate whether a project is in trouble. Here in part two, I’ll continue with the remaining six signs and have provided you with a checklist that you can use to make your life as a sysadmin better.

      • Debian Family

        • Debian Edu interview: Yvan Masson

          It is free software! Built on Debian, I am sure that users are not spied upon, and that it can run on low end hardware. This last point is very important, because we really need to improve “green IT”. I do not know enough about Skolelinux / Debian Edu to tell how it is better than another free software solution, but what I like is the “all in one” solution: everything has been thought of and prepared to ease installation and usage.

          I like Free Software because I hate using something that I can not understand. I do not say that I can understand everything nor that I want to understand everything, but knowing that someone / some company intentionally prevents me from understanding how things work is really unacceptable to me.

          Secondly, and more importantly, free software is a requirement to prevent abuses regarding human rights and environmental care. Humanity can not rely on tools that are in the hands of small group of people.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • Ubuntu 20.04: Users Complaining of Store Issues After Upgrade [Ed: Or... Bogdan Popa's FUD... i.e. the Usual... Based on Random Reddit Posts]

          Ubuntu 20.04 was officially announced a few weeks ago with major improvements, but at the same time, it looks like it also introduces a series of inconsistencies that ruin the whole experience for some.

          More specifically, users are now complaining that the store isn’t working exactly like they expected it to work in the first place, with a growing thread of reddit grouping messages from users who encountered various problems when trying to install snaps.

          One of the common annoyances, and which I also encountered on my Ubuntu 20.04 laptop, concerns the behavior of the store when a new snap is being installed. There’s no indication regarding the progress of the installation after clicking the install button, and trying to click the same button again returns an error that the process is still under way.

        • Linux on the desktop as a web developer

          So in short, using Linux as your desktop environment if you’re a web developer is pretty great. You probably won’t miss much, as soon as you rewire your brain to get the keyboard shortcuts right.

          I find that the main things I miss these days are some of Apple’s best built-in apps, such as Preview or Garage Band. I love Preview for taking a quick screenshot and drawing arrows and boxes on it (something I do surprisingly often), and I haven’t found any good substitutes on Linux. (I use Pinta, which is okay.) Other apps like ImageOptim also have no Linux version.

          So if you depend on some Mac-only apps, or if you need best-in-class Safari and iOS debugging, then I wouldn’t recommend Linux over Mac. If your main focus is accessibility, it also might not be sufficient for you (although something like Assistiv Labs may change this calculus). But for everything else, it’s a great desktop OS for web development.

        • Linux Desktop OS Market Share is Dropping – ‘Well, except for Ubuntu’

          Linux was at a 2.78% market share around December of 2018, but has been steadily dropping ever since…until just recently. Around March of 2020 the Linux Desktop/Laptop market share was at 1.36% and Ubuntu was just .27% of that. Ubuntu has jumped to 1.89% of the total Desktop OS market share, and that leaves the other Linux Distros with a market share of .98% (that includes the Ubuntu Flavors, BTW).

          Take out Ubuntu, Ubuntu Flavors, Ubuntu-based and Mint & it looks like the rest of the Linux Distros don’t have much of a Desktop/Laptop OS market share at all. Looks like all those articles and blog posts were just a hullabaloo over nothing…

        • Want to really Test Linux on your Windows computer?

          That’s the best pic I could find, and newer ones look a lot better, but no decent pics of them. Knowing how to use your Boot Menu is going to be key to doing all of this fairly safely on your Windows computer. However, ‘n just in case, go ahead and do a full image backup … if you’re using WIN10 then “Create a system image” using the free Backup and Restore (Windows 7) program located in your Control Panel … if you’re using Vista just delete it (-wink-)… if you’re using WIN7 go ahead and upgrade to WIN10, then “Create a system image.” If you’re still using DOS, then stop here and go try one of the ‘Archies’ or even Arch Linux … slower versions of DOS, but you might like them.

        • Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter Issue 630

          Welcome to the Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter, Issue 630 for the week of May 3 – 9, 2020.

        • A Surprising New Remix Of Ubuntu 20.04 Brings Unity Back To Life



          Nearly 10 years ago, Canonical introduced Unity to the world. When Ubuntu 18.04 LTS released in early 2018, the company abandoned Unity in favor of the GNOME 3 desktop. Some people in the Linux community viewed this as a huge mistake. If you’re yearning for the good ole’ Unity and Compiz days, I bring awesome tidings: someone’s shining a new spotlight on them, and the stage underneath is a brand new Linux distribution called Ubuntu Unity Remix 20.04.

        • Linux Mint 20 “Ulyana” Is Coming in June with Cinnamon 4.6, Based on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS



          Linux Mint 20 was announced at the end of January 2020, along with the LMDE (Linux Mint Debian Edition) 4 rolling release based on Debian GNU/Linux, which was released on March 20th.

          Soon after the release of LMDE 4, the Linux Mint 20 operating system was dubbed as “Ulyana” and the team announced the obvious, that it would be based on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS (Focal Fossa).

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • Lnav Log Files Navigator Helps You Analyze Log Files in a Mac OS or Linux Terminal

        If you have a problem with your computer, you may have to go through log files, or as a software engineer, you may be looking for clues about a bug in a debug or error log. It can be done in any text editor, but there may be a better way thanks to lnav Log Files Navigator that allows checking those files more easily and efficiently in a Mac OS or Linux terminal.

        lnav is open-source software released under a BSD-2 clause in Github. It’s not new at all as some commits were made in January 2010, but it’s new to me, and hopefully to some of you as well.

      • Software Maker Chef Hires Guggenheim to Help Raise Funds

        “We have established a relationship with Guggenheim as an adviser with the primary purpose to bring in additional capital to fund acquisitions and enable us to fuel growth,” Chef’s Chief Marketing Officer Brian Goldfarb said in a statement.

        An external spokesperson for Chef said it hasn’t raised cash since 2015. The company has raised about $105 million to date, according to Pitchbook.

      • How to value cloud-based open source software services

        The public cloud and open source software are pretty much coupled these days. No matter if you’re running Kubernetes-as-a-service, MySQL, Linux, or that open source text editor you’ve used since college, it’s all there for the taking, as-a-service.

        However, it’s really not free. Cloud providers charge for usage, either by time or other resource-units consumed. Indeed, it’s half or more of the cloud computing bills I’ve seen recently.

        Some enterprises have not yet used open source on premises, not to mention cloud. Now that they are moving to the public cloud, both developers and infrastructure engineers are finding some very compelling reasons to “go open” in the cloud.

        [...]

        In many instances I’ve seen enterprises pick open source software around religious beliefs more than from a feature and function comparison. Although you’ll certainly get the open source cred, in some instances you won’t be able to get the value out of that specific cloud service versus other alternatives.
        It’s really not that hard. Enterprises fall down when they’re myopic about picking the right solution for the business without understanding the true value. Keep the business value in sight, and you’ll be fine. Short of that, you’re likely to make expensive mistakes.

      • Programming/Development

        • Qt 5.15.0 RC2 published

          We have released Qt 5.15.0 RC2 today. As usual you can get it by using online installer (for new installations) or by using maintenance tool (existing online installation). Delta to rc1 as an attachment.

          Target is still to release Qt 5.15.0 19th May.

        • Qt 5.15 Aiming For Release A Week From Today

          Qt 5.15 is aiming to release next week while today marks the availability of the toolkit’s second release candidate.

          Qt 5.15 RC2 is out as a last-minute test release. Since the prior Qt 5.15 release candidate are just some install fixes, updating of Chromium, updating MapBox-GL, and some other last minute fixes.

          In today’s RC2 announcement, The Qt Company’s Jani Heikkinen confirmed they are still planning to release next Tuesday, 19 May.

        • Daniel Holbach: GitOps Days 2020

          I’m very much looking forward to GitOps Days 2020 on 20th/21st May (next week). It will be a great opportunity to learn more about GitOps concepts and tools, see demos, ask questions, have a great time and meet other people who are in the space as well.

        • Daniel Silverstone: The Lars, Mark, and Daniel Club

          Last night, Lars, Mark, and I discussed Jeremy Kun’s The communicative value of using Git well post. While a lot of our discussion was spawned by the article, we did go off-piste a little, and I hope that my notes below will enlighten you all as to a bit of how we see revision control these days. It was remarkably pleasant to read an article where the comments section wasn’t a cesspool of horror, so if this posting encourages you to go and read the article, don’t stop when you reach the bottom — the comments are good and useful too.

          This was a fairly non-contentious article for us though each of us had points we wished to bring up and chat about it turned into a very convivial chat. We saw the main thrust of the article as being about using the metadata of revision control to communicate intent, process, and decision making. We agreed that it must be possible to do so effectively with Mercurial (thus deciding that the mention of it was simply a bit of clickbait / red herring) and indeed Mark figured that he was doing at least some of this kind of thing way back with CVS.

          We all discussed how knowing the fundamentals of Git’s data model improved our ability to work wih the tool. Lars and I mentioned how jarring it has originally been to come to Git from revision control systems such as Bazaar (bzr) but how over time we came to appreciate Git for what it is. For Mark this was less painful because he came to Git early enough that there was little more than the fundamental data model, without much of the porcelain which now exists.

        • Low-code, the future or a fad?

          “Low code development” is increasingly being used in the marketing of a wide range of software products. The term refers to the use of a graphical user interface to build something that a developer would usually have to custom code.

          “Low code development” is somewhat deceiving. One might think it is going to solve all our development problems, but in reality, each low code platform has a very specific set of capabilities. They are domain-specific and target areas like web or mobile applications, BPM or CRM, and give us large pieces of predefined functionality to build with. This makes us more efficient at delivering functionality as long as we stay within the platform domain.

        • Perl/Raku

        • 2020.19 Release Release

          Some weeks see one release. And then some do two! In any case, it is good to see the 2020.05 Rakudo Compiler Release, thanks to the hard work of Alexander Kiryuhin. Which was immediately followed by updated Docker Containers (by Suman Khanal and JJ Merelo) and installable Linux packages (by Claudio Ramirez). And since it has been a time since there was a Rakudo Star release, Patrick Spek immediately created a Rakudo Star Release Candidate. Rakudo Star users: please test this Release Candidate!

      • Python

        • Python eval(): Evaluate Expressions Dynamically

          Python’s eval() allows you to evaluate arbitrary Python expressions from a string-based or compiled-code-based input. This function can be handy when you’re trying to dynamically evaluate Python expressions from any input that comes as a string or a compiled code object.

          Although Python’s eval() is an incredibly useful tool, the function has some important security implications that you should consider before using it. In this tutorial, you’ll learn how eval() works and how to use it safely and effectively in your Python programs.

        • Python Qt5 – Simple text editor with QPlainTextEdit.

          I haven’t played python in a long time. It can be seen after the last article.
          Today I installed Python 3.8.3 and my favorite PyQt5 and started to see how much I forgot from what I knew.
          Installing PyQt5 python mode was simple.

  • Standards/Consortia

    • Why Forking HTML Into A Static Language Doesn’t Make Sense

      A bigger issue is that defining a static fork of HTML is easy, but persuading Web developers to use it is where the real problem lies, and that is immensely difficult and no-one has any good ideas for how to do it. Of course, if you do find a way to persuade Web developers to avoid features you don’t like, there isn’t much value in defining a specific “static subset” of HTML.

  • Leftovers

    • Kevin Morby and Waxahatchee
    • Finnish Hockey League Championship Decided Via Stand-In Esports Playoff

      As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, we have been discussing for some time that esports is having itself a moment. The reason for that is obvious: there is an enormous vacuum that has been left by IRL leagues shutting down throughout the world. That vacuum is easily filled by esports that don’t rely on sweaty people rubbing up against each other in order to pull off the same style of competition. It’s all gotten big enough that the gamblers are now involved, along with most of the major sports leagues.

    • Encouraging a Culture of Written Communication

      More and more people are being exposed to working remotely. One of the key factors for success in a remote workplace is a culture of written communication. It’s not always obvious how to create such a culture, and it takes at least some level of discipline from the people involved to make it a habit.

      I’ve worked with mostly remote teams over the past three years. Here are a few of my observations on what helped cultivate such a culture.

    • Science

      • What Plandemic left out about Judy Mikovits’ wild conspiracy mongering

        Last week, I wrote about Plandemic, a viral video featuring disgraced scientist turned antivaxxer turned COVID-19 “Fire Fauci” conspiracy theorist and grifter Dr. Judy Mikovits. You’d think that, after a 6,000-word takedown of that 26 minutes of disinformation-filled conspiracyfest of a video there wouldn’t be anything left for me to say, but, hey, it’s Orac. There’s always something left to say! In this case, the reason is that, as bonkers as Plandemic was, it turns out that the director of the video, Mikki Willis, apparently restrained the ever excitable Dr. Mikovits to make her appear far more reasonable than she actually is during the video in which she promoted her book Plague of Corruption: Restoring Faith in the Promise of Science and kept referring to the COVID-19 pandemic as a “plandemic.”

    • Education

    • Hardware

      • [Old] YubiKey 4C vs. Nitrokey Pro: Stalemate

        Both security tokens are quite similar except U2F support (YubiKey 4C) and their firmware model (closed source vs. open source). Therefore, our recommendation depends on your use case:

        If you only need a secure storage for your OpenPGP key, buy either a YubiKey or Nitrokey.

        If you hate closed-source software or if you need a hardware-based password storage (with the above-mentioned limitations), buy a Nitrokey.

        If you need U2F support or if you need to store lots of OATH-TOTP secrets, buy a YubiKey.

    • Health/Nutrition

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Railway Vehicle Maker Stadler Hit by Malware Attack

          Contacted by SecurityWeek, the Swiss manufacturer refrained from providing additional details on the incident, given the ongoing investigation.

        • Millions of Thunderbolt-Equipped Devices Open to ‘ThunderSpy’ Attack

          If an attacker can get his hands on a Thunderbolt-equipped device for five minutes, he can launch a new data-stealing attack called “Thunderspy.”

        • Pseudo-Open Source

          • Openwashing

            • Build Great Things with the New GPUOpen

              AMD’s commitment to openness is the foundation upon which the GPUOpen initiative was built. We stand behind the belief that the freedom of open standards and being open about our hardware drives innovation forward faster and further than any proprietary technology can.

              Since 2016, GPUOpen has been a vehicle for this vision, sharing our game development and content creation software tools and technologies, with a focus on solving developer problems.

            • AMD Relaunches GPUOpen For Open-Source Game Development Resources

              AMD is marking the relaunch with “releasing new GPUOpen tools and technologies every day this week.” Announced for Monday is an expansion of FidelityFX as their open-source toolkit for high quality post-process game effects. There is now support for screen space reflections, ambient occlusion, HDR mapper, and a downsampler as part of FidelityFX.

        • Security

          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • Does California’s Privacy and Consumer Protection Committee actually care about privacy?

              The Privacy and Consumer Protection Committee of the California Assembly is supposed to have an obvious, eponymous purpose – but doesn’t seem to. There’s a new “online privacy” bill in the California legislature that is seeking to grossly normalize facial recognition technology and it just received an 8-3 vote to continue from the Privacy and Consumer Protection Committee. The bill, AB2261, was put forth by Democratic Assemblymember Ed Chau of California’s San Gabriel Valley – who also conveniently sits as the chair of the Privacy and Consumer Protection Committee. Said committee, whose name might suggest is looking out to protect consumer privacy, has proven to be anything but.

            • In Response To Getting Sued, Clearview Is Dumping All Of Its Private Customers

              This is the first good news we’ve heard from Clearview since its exposure by Kashmir Hill for the New York Times back in January. In response to a lawsuit filed against it in Illinois accusing it of breaking that state’s privacy laws with its scraping of images and personal info from a multitude of social media platforms, Clearview has announced it’s cutting off some of its revenue stream.

            • Mitch McConnell Moves to Expand Bill Barr’s Surveillance Powers

              Taken together, privacy advocates consider McConnell’s moves an alarming expansion of Attorney General Bill Barr’s powers under FISA, a four-decade-old process that already places the attorney general at the center of national-security surveillance. It also doesn’t escape their notice that McConnell is increasing Barr’s oversight of surveillance on political candidates while expanding surveillance authorities on every other American. One privacy activist called McConnell’s efforts “two of the most cynical attempts to undermine surveillance reform I’ve ever seen.”

              [...]

              McConnell’s amendment blocks the FBI from seeking the “content” of web browsing and searching conducted by Americans. But it explicitly permits the warrantless collection of “Internet website browsing records or internet search history records.” Barr and other attorneys general approve guidelines for conducting such surveillance.

            • FISA is supposed to protect, not ensnare, innocent people

              This coalition is currently focused on Section 215 of the Patriot Act, commonly known as the business records provision. Under this authority, the government holds that any information we give to a business (an online search through Google, video from a Ring doorbell camera, and even DNA test results from 23andMe) can be accessed by the government without the Fourth Amendment requirement for a probable cause warrant. All the FBI has to do is assert such information is somehow relevant to national security.

              Congress now has a unique chance to bring these practices in line with the Fourth Amendment. The House passed a bill that was never subjected to markup or amendments. Predictably, this bill has only a few weak reforms, a sop to those with deep concerns over the potential for surveillance abuse. A rebellion against similar tactics in the Senate forced Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to allow for debate and amendments as soon as this week.

            • Guest Post: “Using Digital Surveillance To Combat COVID-19: What the 9/11 Era Can (and Cannot) Teach Us”

              The following is not meant as a comprehensive list. Rather, these are a few themes that came up in our panel discussion as my colleagues and I were thinking of how our experiences from the 9/11 era might be relevant to the use of digital surveillance to combat the pandemic—particularly if we were to consider a role for the federal government. (I also recommend this piece by Peter Swire, in which he thoughtfully lays out his own list of lessons learned, some of which overlap with the themes below.)

    • Defence/Aggression

    • Environment

      • Studies Reveal Climate Tipping Points Could Be Here Much Sooner Than We Thought

        According to the findings, climate tipping points could happen in a matter of years or decades, not on the ecological timescale of hundreds, or even, thousands of years.

      • Interior sued over temporary appointments of top officials

        In a lawsuit filed in federal court in Washington, D.C., Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER) and the Western Watersheds Project objected to the continued appointments of the acting leaders of the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and National Park Service (NPS).

        The groups argue that the repeated tenure extensions of William Perry Pendley and David Vela are unconstitutional and claim that neither is qualified to lead their respective agency.

        [...]

        [...]

        “These serial, ‘temporary’ appointments for Pendley to head the nation’s largest public lands agency are not only irresponsible but illegal, as well,” said a statement from Erik Molvar, the executive director of Western Watersheds Project. “These serial, ‘temporary’ appointments for Pendley to head the nation’s largest public lands agency are not only irresponsible but illegal, as well,” said a statement from Erik Molvar, the executive director of Western Watersheds Project.

      • Climate change has already made parts of the world too hot for humans

        Most of the frequency increases were in the Persian gulf, India, Pakistan and south-west North America. But at Jacobabad and Ras al Khaimah, 35°C TW appears to have been passed, the first time the breach has been reported in scientific literature.

        “The crossings of all of these thresholds imply greater risk to human health – we can say we are universally creeping close to this magic threshold of 35°C. The tantalising conclusion is it looks like, in some cases for a brief period of the day, we have exceeded this value,” says Tom Matthews at Loughborough University in the UK.

      • Heatwaves too hot and wet for human life are here

        Lethal heatwaves carrying air turned too hot and wet to survive are a threat which has arrived, thanks to climate change.

      • As the Earth Dies…

        The earth is dying and capitalism is to blame. Facing this, one can opt for hope, as Marxist ecosocialists do, or one can succumb to pessimism fed by dark thoughts on human nature and the intractable, deadly persistence of our economic system of exploitation. Human nature has a destructive and murderous side, while capitalism, expressing that side with its endless growth, endless greed, blights the planet like cancer. Yet Marxist ecosocialists do not let this drag them down to despair. They talk about fixing what humanity has wrought, about drastically cutting carbon emissions, about mitigating the sixth mass extinction, about decreasing plastics and other environmental toxins and doing so while providing for the necessities of life, including, as John Bellamy Foster and Brett Clark write in their newly published “The Robbery of Nature,” “love, family, community, meaningful work, education, cultural life, access to the natural environment and the free and equal development of every person.”

      • Energy

        • Indigenous, Activists Protest as KXL Pipeline Construction Begins

          “Not Today. Not Tomorrow. Not Ever. No KXL. Mni Wiconi,” read the banner displayed on social media as the ongoing coronavirus pandemic kept activists and campaigners from gathering to demonstrate.

          “We do not consent to their dirty tar sands KXL pipeline,” the Indigenous Environmental Network (IEN) said on Twitter.

          The pipeline’s construction is taking place less than a month after federal Judge Brian Morris ruled that the United States (U.S.) Army Corps of Engineers had improperly issued a permit to TC Energy when it authorized it to construct the pipeline without conducting a thorough review of its environmental impact, IEN explained in an email sent Friday to supporters.

      • Wildlife/Nature

    • Finance

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • Putin announces end of Russia’s ‘non-working’ days during the coronavirus pandemic

        President Vladimir Putin has announced that the ‘non-working’ days introduced to prevent the spread of COVID-19 will come to an end on May 12. 

      • Rights Groups Work to Stop ‘Unnecessary and Potentially Disenfranchising Purges’ of Voter Rolls in Pennsylvania

        “We want to ensure eligible voters and election integrity are protected.”

      • An Irrational Fear of Predators Drives Utah Politics
      • A New John Ratcliffe or the Same Old Story?

        Last summer, Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats was forced to resign because of his assessments of Russia and North Korea that opposed the personal and political views of Donald Trump.  The removal of Coats meant there was no longer a member of the national security team willing to contradict the views of the president.  For the past year, moreover, as a result of the purge of intelligence personnel, the top two positions in the Office of the DNI and the Department of Homeland Security were occupied by “acting” officials who had not received congressional confirmation.

      • Republicans Are On the Wrong Side of History—and Everything Else!

        Republicans are conserving little beyond their own wealth, racism, sexism, and homophobia, while eroding American democracy, health, and the environment.

      • ‘What is there to argue about here?’ Ksenia Sobchak vs. Lyubov Sobol on how to support people during the coronavirus crisis. A debate in brief.

        Lyubov Sobol, a lawyer for the Anti-Corruption Foundation (FBK), led by opposition politician Alexey Navalny, debated television host Ksenia Sobchak during a May 10 broadcast on the liberal radio station Ekho Moskvy. The debate centered around the question of whether or not money should be paid to people directly during the coronavirus pandemic. 

      • Debunking Trump’s Nonsense

        Conspiracy theorists never let a crisis go to waste.

      • Trump Judge Argues the Government Can Execute People Any Way It Wants

        As we noted in April, President Donald Trump has appointed a staggering number of judges to the federal bench, including more circuit court judges than any president by this point in their tenure.

      • ‘Why Me, Specifically?’ Says Asian-American Reporter After Trump Tells Her to ‘Ask China’ About Testing

        “Unbelievably ugly ending to Trump press conference.”

      • The honorable offspring of Putin’s pals Journalists map the medals awarded to children of Russia’s elite, where only three women rank in the top 50

        The website Open Media compiled a “ranking of Putin’s medal bearers” — Russians who have received at least half of their state honors, medals, and awards by order of presidents Vladimir Putin or Dmitry Medvedev. 

      • Radical Politics and Pandemic Nightmares
      • Black Scholar Jill Nelson Arrested for Chalking “Trump = Plague” in New York

        Black and Brown communities are being disproportionately targeted and policed in New York City’s response to the spread of COVID-19. We speak with author and activist Jill Nelson, who was herself arrested by NYPD in April for writing “Trump = Plague” in chalk on an abandoned building in her Washington Heights neighborhood. The 67-year-old scholar was handcuffed, taken to the police station and held for five hours. Now she is speaking out. The president is “telling us that as people of color, and older people, we should just die,” says Nelson. “It’s ridiculous.”

      • Trump and His Staff Wouldn’t Wear Masks. Now the White House Is a COVID Hotspot.

        It is one of the most familiar horror movie tropes on file: On a dark and stormy night, the phone rings and an evil voice whispers terrifying threats. The phone keeps ringing, the mystery grows, the tension builds, until the big reveal: THE CALL IS COMING FROM INSIDE THE HOUSE!

      • The Politics of Framing and the Framing of Politics

        We know how to frame from picture framing, and we also know the frame in which a picture is placed can influence how we see a picture. Well, virtually the same thing applies to politics. The way in which politics is framed can influence how we perceive politics. Social scientists have known about this for a long time. A simple example shows how framing works. Group 1 is told that crime is like a lurking predator which is increasing in number in neighborhoods. Group 2 is told that crime is like a virus infection which is increasing in number in neighborhoods. If crime is a predator, the natural response is to hunt it down. The first group accordingly opts for stronger law enforcement. On the other hand, if crime is a virus, the natural response is to attack it at the source.

      • The Deathly Tragedy of American Exceptionalism

        With 4.25 percent of the world population, America has the tragic distinction of accounting for about 30 percent of pandemic deaths so far.

      • Media Out Russian In Alleged Plot To Poison Czech Officials With Ricin

        In a report aired on May 10, the Czech public TV program 168 Hours quoted unnamed security sources as saying Andrei Konchakov flew to Prague’s Vaclav Havel Airport two months ago with the toxin and was driven to the Russian Embassy compound in the Czech capital, long considered a nerve center of Russian espionage activities.

      • RIP Democracy

        Events in the United States have unfolded more favorably than any operative in Moscow could have ever dreamed: Not only did Russia’s preferred candidate win, but he has spent his first term fulfilling the potential it saw in him, discrediting American institutions, rending the seams of American culture, and isolating a nation that had styled itself as indispensable to the free world. But instead of complacently enjoying its triumph, Russia almost immediately set about replicating it. Boosting the Trump campaign was a tactic; #DemocracyRIP remains the larger objective.

      • The Secrets Flynn Was Desperate to Conceal

        Many of those same Republicans are now acclaiming the decision to drop charges against Flynn as vindication. But vindication is precisely what this is not. Flynn’s release by Barr does not prove that Flynn was innocent of wrongdoing. Being released by Barr does not convert Flynn’s lies into truth. Flynn’s release by Barr only strengthens the suspicion that back in December 2016, Flynn acted with Trump’s approval. Flynn’s release by Barr only strengthens the suspicion that Flynn and Kislyak were furthering a corrupt arrangement between Trump and Putin. Flynn’s release by Barr only strengthens the suspicion that the corrupt arrangement continues to this day.

      • Animal Crossing’s Embrace of Cute, Capitalist Perfection Is Not What We Need

        In keeping with Animal Crossing’s founding principles, New Horizons is capable of quiet, welcomingly pointless moments—like when I left my avatar to sleep while rain gently tapped its window—but for the most part, it’s been subsumed within a modern mentality of optimization. Games ask us to role-play—that’s part of their fun—whether it’s as an enterprising villager, machine, or lonely creature spending 400 days below ground. But in this moment of downtime, at least for those asked to stay home, we might do well to look beyond New Horizons’ gamified conception of the everyday. Its stultifying islands are not the inspiration we need.

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • Cartoon of “Campus Seen Through the Eyes of Conservatives” Goes Viral Because Right-Wingers Didn’t Understand It Was Satire

        “Right-wing idiots didn’t realize the joke is on them not the students.”

      • Facebook Puts Soros, Muslim Brotherhood, Activists in Charge of Censorship

        Only a quarter of the Oversight Board originates from the United States. That means three quarters of the censorship court comes from countries with no First Amendment. While people from outside the United States may believe in certain kinds of free speech, political speech in this country will be determined by a majority Third World board of left-leaning political activists.

        And even there the balance is curiously tilted.

        3 members of the 20 member board are Muslim or come from Muslim countries. Only one board member is Hindu. Considering that there are approximately 1.1 billion Hindus and 1.8 billion Muslims, the Facebook Oversight Board favors Muslim countries at the expense of Hindus.

        Considering the pressure by Islamists and their allies to censor India’s Hindu political movements and civil rights organizations combating Islamic violence, this is troubling.

        The Oversight Board also has only one Asian member for around 1.8 billion people.

      • Turkey’s plan to destroy social media

        A draft of Turkey’s economic aid package in response to the pandemic was made public early this month and eight articles buried deep in the bill outline a framework that free speech advocates like Human Rights Watch describe as an attempt to censor and control social media.

        Among other restrictions, the bill stipulates that all social media platforms with more than a million daily users – this would include Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Instagram, TikTok and others – must appoint a legal representative in Turkey to whom courts can turn to make requests to remove content or block users.

        The social media regulations were removed from the aid package before it was passed by Turkish parliament last week, but Yaman Akdeniz, faculty of law at Istanbul Bilgi University, feels confident they will soon be revived.

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • Progressive International Launches ‘To Form Common Front’ in Global Struggle for Justice and a Better World

        “Nothing less than the future of the planet is at stake.”

      • South Dakota Governor Aims to Force Tribal Leaders to Ease Stay-at-Home Orders

        Leaders from the Oglala Sioux and Cheyenne River Sioux tribes in South Dakota sent firm rebuttals to Gov. Kristi Noem over the weekend, following her call for the two sovereign jurisdictions to shut down highway checkpoints that are being used to minimize the spread of coronavirus.

      • Federal Court Says Every Drug Dog In Utah Is Unreliable

        For as long as people have been driving, cops have been imagining reasons to pull them over and coerce them into “voluntary” searches. The Supreme Court’s Rodriguez decision (sort of) put an end to extended stops — the ones that start with a perceived violation that’s dragged out until a drug dog arrives. Unfortunately, that decision only removed part of the equation. The Supreme Court’s Heien decision made it possible for cops to rely entirely on pretext to engage in fishing expeditions by saying cops only had to think they witnessed a traffic violation, rather than actually be accurate about the laws they’re tasked with enforcing.

      • Russian police stage online flashmob to support jailed community leader

        Officers from the Russian Interior Ministry have launched an online flashmob in response to the imprisonment of Vladimir Vorontsov — the administrator of an online community known as “Police Ombudsman,” which publishes reports of abuse within the ministry. 

      • Arrest Numbers Show The NYPD Is Handling Pandemic Enforcement With The Same Biased Enthusiasm It Put Into Stop And Frisk

        You can take the stop-and-frisk out of the NYPD, but you can’t remove the biased policing, as the old saying goes. The NYPD may have been forced to stop pushing every minority up against the nearest wall/fence/cop car after a federal court determined this to be a violation of their rights, but they’re apparently continuing to enforce laws very selectively.

      • Trump demands “these votes must not count” after California opens poll site in heavily black area

        Polls have found that a majority of Americans support allowing everyone to vote by mail permanently — not just as a precaution amid the coronavirus pandemic. Polls have also found that a large number of Republicans disagree, particularly those who watch Fox News.

      • Trump increasingly engaged in legal battles unfolding over mail-in voting

        The RNC’s legal efforts are largely defensive in nature, but have dramatically ramped up in response to an increase in lawsuits by Democrats seeking to expand mail-in voting rules across the country in light of the coronavirus crisis. Republicans are involved in legal battles in 13 states across the country.

        Experts say there is no evidence that mail-in voting benefits one party over the other. And while Trump has claimed that mail-in voting will result in massive fraud, experts say voter fraud involving mail-in voting is still rare. A majority of Americans favor changing election laws to allow everyone to vote by mail, according to an April NBC/Wall Street Journal poll, but Republicans are far less likely than Democrats to agree.

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

      • [Mozilla's Eric Rescorla] What the heck happened with .org?

        If you are following the tech news, you might have seen the announcement that ICANN withheld consent for the change of control of the Public Interest Registry and that this had some implications for .org. However, unless you follow a lot of DNS inside baseball, it might not be that clear what all this means. This post is intended to give a high level overview of the background here and what happened with .org. In addition, Mozilla has been actively engaged in the public discussion on this topic; see here for a good starting point.

        [...]

        During this period the actual name registrations were handled by a series of government contractors (first SRI and then Network Solutions) but the creation and assignment of the top-level domains was under the control of the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA), which in practice, mostly meant the decisions of its Director, Jon Postel. However, as the Internet became bigger, this became increasingly untenable especially as IANA was run under a contract to the US government. Through a long and somewhat complicated series of events, in 1998 this responsibility was handed off to the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), which administers the overall system, including setting the overall rules and determining which gTLDs will exist (which ccTLDs exist is determined by ISO 3166-1 country codes, as described in RFC 1591). ICANN has created a pile of new gTLDs, such as .dev, .biz, and .wtf (you may be wondering whether the world really needed .wtf, but there it is). As an aside, many of the newer names you see registered are not actually under gTLDs, but rather ccTLDs that happen to correspond to countries lucky enough to have cool sounding country codes. For instance, .io is actually the British Indian Ocean’s TLD and .tv belongs to Tuvalu.

        One of the other things that ICANN does is determine who gets to run each TLD. The way this all works is that ICANN determines who gets to be the registry, i.e., who keeps the records of who has which name as well as some of the technical data needed to actually route name lookups. The actual work of registering domain names is done by a registrar, who engages with the customer. Importantly, while registrars compete for business at some level (i.e., multiple people can sell you a domain in .com), there is only one registry for a given TLD and so they don’t have any price competition within that TLD; if you want a .com domain, VeriSign gets to set the price floor. Moreover, ICANN doesn’t really try to keep prices down; in fact, they recently removed the cap on the price of .org domains (bringing it in line with most other TLDs). One interesting fact about these contracts is that they are effectively perpetual: the contracts themselves are for quite long terms and registry agreements typically provide for automatic renewal except under cases of significant misbehavior by the registry. In other words, this is a more or less permanent claim on the revenues for a given TLD.

      • Heads-Up to RSS Reader Authors

        NetNewsWire 5.0.1 for iOS is delayed due to an apparently new, or newly-enforced, issue: if an RSS reader includes default feeds, Apple will ask for documentation that says you have permission to include those default feeds.

      • Study Shows US 5G Is An Over-hyped Disappointment

        We’ve noted for a while that the “race to 5G” is largely just the byproduct of telecom marketing departments and lobbyists hoping to spur lagging smartphone sales and scare lawmakers into obedience. Yes, fifth-generation wireless (5G) is important in that it will provide faster, more resilient networks when it’s finally deployed at scale years from now. But the society-altering impacts of the technology are extremely over-hyped, availability has been dramatically overstated, and even if it was a “race,” our broadband maps are so terrible (by industry design) it would be impossible to actually determine who won.

    • Monopolies

      • Facebook’s Supreme Court Is In Place… And Everyone Hates It, Because Facebook Makes Everyone Hate Everything

        Facebook seems to really dislike it when people refer to its Oversight Board as the Facebook Supreme Court, but it’s just too good a name not to use. The company announced plans a while back to create this Oversight Board to review a narrow slice of its moderation decisions. As I discussed two years ago when such an idea was floated, people all over the place freaked out mainly because they hate Facebook so anything associated with Facebook must automatically be deemed bad and evil.

      • Patents

        • New BGH ruling to harmonize FRAND case-law post Huawei?

          A six- year long legal dispute between Sisvel and Haier, concerning the question of injunctive relief for infringement of cellular Standard Essential Patents (SEPs) EP 0 852 885 (“885”), owned by Sisvel, has been brought to an end by the German Federal Supreme Court (BGH), in a decision, rendered on May 5, 2020.

          The BGH ruled that Haier had acted as an unwilling licensee in FRAND negotiations, thus not fulfilling the requirements for a compulsory license.

          Previously, on March 10, 2020, the BGH had confirmed that patent EP 885 was valid. On April 28, 2020, the same court confirmed the validity of yet another Sisvel patent, namely EP 1 264 504.

        • Software Patents

          • COVID-19 tracing apps threatened by Blyncsy software patent

            COVID tracing apps are now under the threat of a software patent in the United States, granted to Blyncsy, a company from Utah. This is the posterchild of an American patent office willfully ignoring the Alice jurisprudence of the Supreme Court, which bans patents on software.

            Blyncsy was granted a patent on February 2019 titled “Tracking proximity releationships and uses thereof” (US10198779B2), which claims “receiving data about a first person and a second person, the first person having a contagion.”

      • Copyrights

        • ETTV & ETHD Stopped Uploading Torrents But a Comeback is Planned

          Torrent release groups ETTV and ETHD generally upload a steady stream of movies and TV-shows to torrent sites, but that abruptly stopped little over a week ago. The outage is linked to troubles at their home base from where the main operator has disappeared. New servers were ordered and the bots are likely to resume later this week but there are other problems too.

        • Court Fines YouTuber For Posting IPTV Piracy Tutorials

          A popular YouTuber who specializes in unboxing videos, reviews and tips, has been fined by a court in Brazil for instructing people how to access TV content using pirate IPTV services. Bruno Gustavo, whose YouTube channel has more than 15.5 million views, must also hand over 10% of the revenue generated by his social media accounts to the Brazilian Pay TV Association.

        • Welcome Our Interns from Google Summer of Code and Outreachy!

          Over the next three months, these interns will work with members of the Creative Commons’ team on projects that support our mission and community. We can’t wait to get started! 

IRC Proceedings: Monday, May 11, 2020

Posted in IRC Logs at 2:20 am by Needs Sunlight

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