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05.26.20

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

Posted in Microsoft, Security, Windows at 11:47 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

“It is no exaggeration to say that the national security is also implicated by the efforts of hackers to break into computing networks. Computers, including many running Windows operating systems, are used throughout the United States Department of Defense and by the armed forces of the United States in Afghanistan and elsewhere.”

Jim Allchin, Microsoft

Summary: Microsoft Windows, with NSA back doors, continues to take hospitals offline (with records copied by criminals if not stolen by effectively locking the originals out of reach for ransom money); but guess who’s being punished for it…

WHO put Microsoft inside hospitals?

Was this a technical decision? A political decision? Kickbacks?

Those questions are very much relevant; Windows was never a reliable operating system, let alone a secure one. In the words of Brian Valentine (Microsoft manager): “We really haven’t done everything we could to protect our customers. Our products just aren’t engineered for security.”

“We really haven’t done everything we could to protect our customers. Our products just aren’t engineered for security.”
      –Brian Valentine (Microsoft manager)
We’ve already published nearly a dozen articles in this ongoing series, which relies on whistleblowers and other inside sources. We’ve explained some of the tactics at hand; there are commonalities. As somebody put it some hours ago, in relation to the latest part: “Unfortunately, I see this all the time. It is as if the whirring cogs in the mind of the listener break free, leaving behind a clapping spring, repeating the same thing as if it will change reality. This is especially true for individuals employed in government, they are unable to answer childish questions. And while they claim supremacy in their subject field, their inability to hold an intelligent conversation on the same reveals their inferiority. When confronted by the truth, and factual information, they go silent and then repeat their same argument which has been disproven. I believe there is something truly wrong with such individuals, and expect nothing of them, as that is all they can deliver.”

This happens not only in hospitals/health but also in education (the above alludes to experiences from New Zealand, where this Systems Administrator is apparently based).

People who are responsible for Windows inside hospitals are far from technical; heck, they barely even know how this world works. They probably still think that “smart” phones are secure…

“When I told him that I’d have to make a new account to protect my existing password from Windows, he exploded and said that “anarchic” ideas like that are extremely radical and wrong.”
      –Anonymous
As somebody once told me, a senior person at a clinic insisted on Windows everywhere “and [said] that he was buying me an iPhone because my ancient Nokia brick was an embarrassment.”

Well, those old phones are actually rather difficult to remotely exploit and convert into listening devices. So where’s the logic in that? Windows good, Nokia phones bad? After Windows brought down an entire hospital?

“When I told him that I use a traditional mail client he told me to use webmail on Windows, “like everyone else”. When I told him that I’d have to make a new account to protect my existing password from Windows, he exploded and said that “anarchic” ideas like that are extremely radical and wrong.”

Oh, yeah… trust Microsoft with everything. After Microsoft’s stuff handed over a whole hospital to crackers! Killing people in the process…

“My boss is supposed to be a scientist. Nearly two weeks later, I’m still shocked by his level of dogma.”
      –Anonymous
“He thinks that Microsoft will be dominant 20 years from now and there’s no one in [the field] doing anything about it,” we’re told based on recollections. “Telling me that was basically his version of the future being a boot in the face forever.”

Many people have probably experienced bosses like these…

Clueless, arrogant, uncaring and eager to blame everyone else (even for their own errors).

“All of this, especially the anger, was surprising and upsetting,” we’re told. “My boss is supposed to be a scientist. Nearly two weeks later, I’m still shocked by his level of dogma.”

They Came, They Saw, We Died…

Posted in Free/Libre Software, GNU/Linux, Microsoft at 11:10 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

“Where are we on this Jihad?”

Bill Gates

Joker: We came in peace; Shame it didn't work out. Love, Microsoft

Summary: It cannot be overstated that we’re under attack (or a “Jihad” against Linux as Bill Gates himself put it) and failing to act upon it will be costly as time may be running out and our groups are being ‘bought off’ by Microsoft in rapid succession, as per the plan/strategy

THE large (and fast-growing) number of carcasses outside Microsoft’s lair/cave does not seem to intimidate those standing to gain from Microsoft’s monopoly, either as employees or partners (MSPs, MVPs etc.) and we must learn the correlation between the agenda and their words.

When a Microsoft-funded site like ZDNet tells us that Microsoft ‘comes in peace’ we must immediately take that as a stern warning, not a constructive advice.

“Linus Torvalds, obviously against his choice, is being bossed by several Microsoft employees who receive 100% of their salary from Microsoft. Does that seem normal to anyone?”Having witnessed firsthand the cult tactics of Microsoft (trying to cause me trouble at work for merely writing about Microsoft in a way that Microsoft disliked) I can say with 100% certainty that Microsoft has not changed at all, except it has managed to infiltrate many projects and institutions formerly considered part of the “the community” (does anyone still think that the Corporate Linux Foundation has any community element left in it?!). Linus Torvalds, obviously against his choice, is being bossed by several Microsoft employees who receive 100% of their salary from Microsoft. Does that seem normal to anyone? Speaking out against Microsoft can cost him his job now. The employer is receiving annual bribes from Microsoft.

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

Posted in Free/Libre Software, GNU/Linux, GPL, Law, Microsoft at 11:01 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Shortly after the takeover was announced Microsoft managers also told me explicitly that they’d discourage GPL

Dutton before and after: We're releasing our source code; hmmm... someone has turned that into proprietary software

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

WHEN FUD from Microsoft ‘proxies’ like Black Duck and WhiteSource isn’t enough to keep developers and companies off copyleft (as adopters or releasers) there’s GitHub to make decisions or choices for people. RMS (Stallman) warned about this half a decade ago. Now that Microsoft controls GitHub the matter becomes ever more urgent.

“RMS (Stallman) warned about this half a decade ago. Now that Microsoft controls GitHub the matter becomes ever more urgent.”With some exceptions, like EA choosing GPLv3 for its latest code release, we too often hear about companies and governments* “going open” by basically shelving source code in the proprietary software trap of Microsoft (GitHub), often under a so-called ‘permissive’ licence (which means Microsoft can take it, change it, give nothing back). This is the wet dream of proprietary software giants. Free code! Not free as in freedom. Free as in “people out there will fix bugs for us” and “give us code” (to improve our proprietary software that these people will later need to pay for). This ‘labour farming’ practice has long been encouraged by Microsoft and others.

If you do not support these sorts of scams, delete GitHub (well, technically it's not truly possible). Then, choose licences Microsoft et al hate the most. Those licences are most effective at putting an end to proprietary software. That’s why they hate such licences so much. The InnerSource Commons (ISC), run by a Bill Gates lackey, shows us what they’re pushing for; the person previously (at Sun Microsystems, now part of Oracle Corporation) crafted a licence whose goal was to be as incompatible as possible with GPL**. Black Duck was, by its own admission, created by a Microsoft guy to discourage and exterminate GPL. Those aren’t even secrets; it’s all in the public domain.
_____
* The Government of India now gives Microsoft control over its mass surveillance tool, as covered hours ago in [1, 2].

** As per Wikipedia: “Simon Phipps (Sun’s Chief Open Source Officer at the time), who had introduced Cooper as “the one who actually wrote the CDDL”,[19] did not immediately comment, but later in the same video, he says, referring back to the license issue, “I actually disagree with Danese to some degree”,[20] while describing the strong preference among the engineers who wrote the code for a BSD-like license, which was in conflict with Sun’s preference for something copyleft, and that waiting for legal clearance to release some parts of the code under the then unreleased GNU GPL v3 would have taken several years, and would probably also have involved mass resignations from engineers (unhappy with either the delay, the GPL, or both—this is not clear from the video). Later, in September 2006, Phipps rejected Cooper’s assertion in even stronger terms.[21] Similarly, Bryan Cantrill, who was on Sun at that time and involved in the release of CDDL licensed software stated in 2015 that he and his colleagues expected in 2006 the fast emerge of CDDL licensed software into the Linux ecosystem and the CDDL being not an obstacle.[22]“

ZDNet is Totally a Microsoft Propaganda Machine

Posted in Site News at 10:04 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Posted over the past ~10 hours alone:

ZDNet propping up the Epstein-connected Sinofsky
Now propping up the Epstein-connected Sinofsky (his wife and him are closely connected to Epstein, as per the NY Times piece). These villains who run the site on Microsoft’s cash (ad money) also defamed RMS as connected to Epstein even though he had repeatedly called him serial rapist. The real Epstein connections are Microsoft’s. RMS was a convenient distraction at a time (Gates had used Epstein as his ‘mule’ at MIT).

'New' Microsoft

Summary: The site ZDNet has become worse than useless; it lies, defames and launders the reputation of famous criminals (that’s the business model these days)

“Mind Control: To control mental output you have to control mental input. Take control of the channels by which developers receive information, then they can only think about the things you tell them. Thus, you control mindshare!”

Microsoft, internal document [PDF]

“The author of the email, posted on ZDNet in a Talkback forum on the Microsoft antitrust trial, claimed her name was Michelle Bradley and that she had “retired” from Microsoft last week.

“”A verbal memo [no email allowed] was passed around the MS campus encouraging MS employee’s to post to ZDNet articles like this one,” the email said.

“”The theme is ‘Microsoft is responsible for all good things in computerdom.’ The government has no right to prevent MS from doing anything. Period. The ‘memo’ suggests we use fictional names and state and to identify ourselves as students,” the author claimed.”

Wired Magazine

When Microsoft’s Mask Falls (or When Times Are Rough)

Posted in GNU/Linux, Microsoft at 9:48 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Microsoft Loves eating Linux; Microsoft Loves Linux

Summary: Microsoft loves Linux in the same sense that cats love mice (they might play with them until they get hungry)

“We need to slaughter Novell before they get stronger….If you’re going to kill someone, there isn’t much reason to get all worked up about it and angry. You just pull the trigger. Any discussions beforehand are a waste of time. We need to smile at Novell while we pull the trigger.”

Jim Allchin, Microsoft’s Platform Group Vice President

Careers in Free Software Aren’t Careers in the Traditional Sense

Posted in Free/Libre Software, GNU/Linux, Microsoft at 9:35 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Think outside the box in a world that barely makes sense anymore (economy is beyond dysfunctional)

Building of glass and metal cages

Summary: With historic unemployment rates and people ‘stranded’ inside their homes there’s still demand and need for technology; these times of adaptation present an opportunity for Software Freedom

NOWADAYS, whenever you pick up the phone and call some company the line is likely to be diverted to somebody’s home, even if it’s some remote callcenter’s worker’s apartment in a distant continent. This is 2020. Nothing makes much sense, not going by traditional common sense and logic.

To the whole “software as a product” crowd (which used to sell software inside a physical box) Free software did not “make sense” — even if it was the de facto standard and norm decades earlier (before being demonised as "theft").

“The whole “clown computing”/subscription model may seem attractive when it can be imposed on everyone inside some office; but when workers are working remotely it’s difficult to enforce the use of particular configurations, software etc.”Now that many people work from home, some permanently (there’s a bunch of news reports about companies that do not plan to come back to a central workplace), it’s time to rethink the old modes of software development, distribution and support. Those things aren’t just changing temporarily. The whole “clown computing”/subscription model may seem attractive when it can be imposed on everyone inside some office; but when workers are working remotely it’s difficult to enforce the use of particular configurations, software etc. It’s definitely very difficult to police that (e.g. staff making local copies of highly sensitive data). The “BYOD” mindset is becoming universal; unless they come up with Chinese-like regimen and visit workers’ homes at random times for an invasive audit.

This seemingly (on a shallow level) “anarchic” nature of work, which may actually prove to be less authoritarian because there’s no boss over one’s shoulder, presents a huge opportunity to Free software. The FSF has been busy writing about doing online ‘events’ (webstreams) using Free software, having just cross-posted in a site called OpenSource.com (apparently it’s considered OK now), but what about the future of work?

“People who became accustomed to working (if not living) in ‘glass and metal cages’ or ‘open offices’ that resemble human farms may never have to return to that mode of employment.”At home we use only Free software. There are minor exceptions like Wi-Fi firmware (hardware’s fault), but we’re able to do all our work without proprietary software. The European Patent Office (EPO) now imposes Microsoft’s proprietary software on most staff, but that’s just typical tyranny or corruption from António Campinos — like Benoît Battistelli. It would not shock us if they receive bribes (kickbacks) for doing so… Microsoft still does this nonchalantly.

People who became accustomed to working (if not living) in ‘glass and metal cages’ or ‘open offices’ that resemble human farms may never have to return to that mode of employment. If they regain their prior employment status at all

Building of glass and metal cages 2

Freelancing, especially in the domain of technology, does not require the same level of physical access as plumbers, barbers and so on. It seems abundantly apparent by now that the estate business that deals with “commercial spaces” will have a really hard time ahead. Some people convert rooms inside their homes into offices, so demand for office furnishing might still exist. But commuting and renting of “office space” already suffer and will certainly suffer for years to come.

“I happened to learn from a reliable source that equipment used by Microsoft employees at home is merely loaned. The employees are used (or exploited) like ‘serfs’ that the employer can contact 24/7 and keep working until midnight (if there’s some “deadline” or another excuse).”Free software enthusiasts already are in a position of advantage because few true Free software projects are developed in a physically centralise fashion. They don’t “drive to the office” and their expenses are generally low. To them, with few exceptions, little will change. The disruption, the agony etc. will affect companies like Facebook and Microsoft. No longer can they say things like, “choose us because we’re professional and have physical offices…”

The pandemic strikes hard and changes profoundly the status quo of business, not the underlying activities which have long been carried out by communities online. Some make the argument that powerful companies will only become more powerful during the crisis, but those people typically allude to Amazon as courier (taking advantage of physical stores being shut) and surveillance monsters like Facebook taking advantage of bored people who cannot physically meet other people.

Whether one looks forward to “going back” (leaving home) to “work” (some remote office, away from home) depends on factors like number of kids — if any — as well as accommodation type and job type. I happened to learn from a reliable source that equipment used by Microsoft employees at home is merely loaned. The employees are used (or exploited) like ‘serfs’ that the employer can contact 24/7 and keep working until midnight (if there’s some “deadline” or another excuse). Working for such companies is extremely unattractive a proposition at these times… EPO workers have expressed similar displeasure.

“In terms of operating systems, Windows is at 33.1%, surpassed by Android, which together with GNU/Linux accounts for well over 40% of the market.”Apple is suffering. Microsoft merely pretends not to suffer (they're good at pretending) and GNU/Linux is said to have almost doubled its share since the lock-downs began (so said a company close to Microsoft).

According to StarCounter (which uses GitHub but isn’t generally known to be in Microsoft’s pocket), Chrome now enjoys 62.48% market share followed by Safari (19.94%), Firefox (4.21%), Samsung Internet (3.4%), Edge Legacy (2.23%), UC Browser (1.97%). Yes, notice where Microsoft fits in… now that many people use mobile devices. In terms of operating systems, Windows is at 33.1%, surpassed by Android, which together with GNU/Linux accounts for well over 40% of the market. This is no laughing matter as the Windows share keeps decreasing over time.

Net Applications keeps telling us Microsoft has over 90% in “market share” as if phones and tablets don’t exist… not even Chromebooks!

Embrace, Extend, Extinguish 2020 Edition

Posted in Deception, GNU/Linux, Microsoft at 8:35 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

“I have decided that we should not publish these extensions. We should wait until we have a way to do a high level of integration that will be harder for the likes of Notes, Wordperfect to achieve, and which will give Office a real advantage.”

Bill Gates [PDF]

'Microsoft loves Linux', 'Microsoft owns Linux'

Summary: Embrace, Extend, Extinguish (E.E.E.) is alive and well, but the corrupt (paid by Microsoft) media isn’t talking about it anymore; in fact, it actively cheers and encourages people/companies to enter the trap

THE Redmond monster said it was trying to “help” Yahoo! and Nokia. How did that work out for them? What about Novell? It has not even existed for like a decade!

“Microsoft wants to entrap as much as possible in its embrace stage/phase before advancing to the next stage.”Microsoft always claims to love what it seeks to destroy. It is a sociopathic strategy. Dozens of companies have fallen victim to it. Regrettably, many still think GitHub is their friend and independent from Microsoft’s Grand Silo. How foolish, how naive. Microsoft has plans and they’re all about Microsoft. Maybe the next “E” just hasn’t been activated yet. Microsoft wants to entrap as much as possible in its embrace stage/phase before advancing to the next stage. Before some panic commences and people sound the alarm…

Are you a GNU/Linux developer? Sys admin? User? Give us your code and binaries they say… the code hosting is “free” (gratis, for now) and Azure has introductory offers or “discounts” (to get you locked in, spied on, manipulated). Anything else would be unprofessional in an age when all projects that aren’t on GitHub (i.e. controlled by Microsoft) simply "don't exist" and "won't count..."

Businessman: GNU/Linux for hippies and dorks; Only professional when the code is in GitHub, the binaries in Azure

It’s not at all difficult to see the tricks Microsoft has up its sleeves. Even without knowing its past practices it is all pretty predictable. GitHub isn’t a charity and running it at a massive loss cannot be justified to shareholders unless the site is merely ‘farming’ people…

“Free software means autonomy and independence, not reliance on Microsoft servers and dependence on Windows, DirectX etc.”And what about WSL? the “W” at the front says it all. It’s really just Windows disguised as something else. It didn't even have any "Linux" (at all) in it until last year. Only about 150,000 people worldwide use actual Linux inside Windows. Microsoft wishes to change that by paying sites like ZDNet to bombard the “Linux” brand with everything Windows….

A pokemon: Features, Windows-only Features! Hmm... Linux isn't so fast and lean after all

Does anybody seriously believe that Microsoft has changed? The goals are the same, it’s just the strategy that’s changing. The goal is to spread Windows and the strategy is to devour and then ‘extend’ Linux in the same way GitHub ‘extends’ Git (even the father of Git isn’t happy about it; he created Linux too). The father of GNU has warned about GitHub for a very long time.

Can Microsoft pull this stunt off? This mostly depends on how well informed (or contrariwise misinformed) developers are. Don’t walk into the trap. Free software means autonomy and independence, not reliance on Microsoft servers and dependence on Windows, DirectX etc.

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

Posted in News Roundup at 7:22 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • SHIFT13mi Linux-friendly tablet with replaceable mainboard scheduled for 2021 release



      German smartphone maker Shift makes phones that are designed to be modular and easy to repair. And now the company has introduced a tablet with the same design ethos.

      The SHIFT13mi will be a 2-in-1 tablet with a 13.3 inch touchscreen display, a detachable keyboard, support for Windows 10 or Linux, and upgradeable, replaceable, and repairable components.

    • SHIFT13mi Linux tablet now available to pre-order

      German hardware manufacturer Shift is now accepting preorders for their new SHIFT13mi Windows 10 and Linux tablet with prices starting from €1,222 or roughly $1,330. The 13 inch touchscreen display comes complete with a detachable keyboard and features a design allowing users to upgrade, replace and repair internal components themselves.

      “The SHIFT13mi will be in the development stage by the end of 2020 and details may still improve. As soon as changes occur, we will update this list. You can support us with your pre-order in this project phase and thus benefit from the cheaper pre-order conditions. There is no risk for you: If the SHIFT13mi does not meet your expectations, you can withdraw from the purchase contract at any time up to 14 days after receiving the device.”

      The SHIFT13mi is equipped with a full HD display with finger and pen touch support, powered by an Intel Core i5 Tiger Lake processor, supported by up to 64GB of LPDDR4 of RAM and fitted with a SSD for OS and storage.

    • Tuxedo Computers Joins the Ryzen Bandwagon

      Tuxedo Computers has released the Tuxedo Boot BA15 with an AMD Ryzen 3500 CPU.

      Not one to rest on reputation, Tuxedo Computers has upped the ante for their Linux pre-installed options. This time around, the Linux-only computer manufacturer has released the first-ever Ryzen-powered Linux laptop. The Tuxedo Book BA15 has one option for CPU—the AMD Ryzen 5 3500. As for GPU, the BA15 ships with the AMD Radeon Vega 8.

      This could be considered significant, given only days ago Linus Torvalds (the creator of Linux) announced he’d moved his main machine away from an Intel CPU to an AMD Ryzen. Torvalds claims the AMD Threadripper 3970x has his test builds of the kernel running three times faster than they were with the Intel chip.

    • Audiocasts/Shows

      • Python Podcast: Dependency Management Improvements In Pip’s Resolver

        Dependency management in Python has taken a long and winding path, which has led to the current dominance of Pip. One of the remaining shortcomings is the lack of a robust mechanism for resolving the package and version constraints that are necessary to produce a working system. Thankfully, the Python Software Foundation has funded an effort to upgrade the dependency resolution algorithm and user experience of Pip. In this episode the engineers working on these improvements, Pradyun Gedam, Tzu-Ping Chung, and Paul Moore, discuss the history of Pip, the challenges of dependency management in Python, and the benefits that surrounding projects will gain from a more robust resolution algorithm. This is an exciting development for the Python ecosystem, so listen now and then provide feedback on how the new resolver is working for you.

      • Late Night Linux – Episode 90

        The deeper implications of all of Microsoft’s recent announcements, good news for Munich, GNOME, and KDE, and mixed news for VR on Linux.

      • mintCast 335.5 – Big Ol’ Lug

        In our Innards section, we’re making good on the promise to include more community.

    • Kernel Space

      • Qualcomm Adreno 650 + 640 GPUs To Be Supported By Mainline Linux 5.8 Kernel

        The crew working on the MSM DRM driver from Freedreno / Google / Code Aurora (Qualcomm) have an interesting batch of changes for this open-source GPU driver for Qualcomm Adreno hardware come Linux 5.8.

        New hardware to be supported by this open-source MSM driver in Linux 5.8 include Qualcomm’s Adreno 405, 640, and 650 series. The Adreno 405 is an old, low-end part from the 400 series and used by the Snapdragon 415/615/616/617 SoCs. The Adreno 405 support isn’t particularly exciting but it’s there for those interested along with the relevant MSM8x36 changes to the MDP5 code.

      • Linux 5.8 Picking Up A Quirk For Being Able To Reboot The 2009 MacBook Without Hangs

        With the upcoming Linux 5.8 cycle a quirk is being added to be able to reboot the 2009 era Apple MacBook without needing to boot with any special flags.

        Up to now the 2009 Apple MacBook (Macbook6,1) required a reboot=pci boot parameter added to the kernel otherwise when rebooting the system there would be a hang. This late 2009 MacBook (MC207LL/A) with Core 2 Duo CPU is very slow by today’s standards and hopefully many of you still aren’t using it in production, but should you be doing so and running new kernel releases, with Linux 5.8 the kernel can reboot without hanging or needing to manually add the flag.

      • AMD Energy Driver Queued Ahead Of Linux 5.8 For Core/Package Power Sensors

        Landing this weekend in hwmon-next ahead of the upcoming Linux 5.8 kernel cycle is the recently reported on “amd_energy” driver for supporting AMD Zen/Zen2 core and package energy sensors.

        This is the recently reported on work of a Google engineer allowing AMD Zen CPUs to expose power usage on Linux via the Runtime Average Power Limiting (RAPL) framework. The amd_energy driver is making it to the Linux 5.8 kernel by way of the hardware monitoring “hwmon” subsystem thanks to this Google open-source contribution.

      • Linux chief says he’s picking AMD over Intel

        Linux overseer Linus Torvalds has revealed he has replaced the Intel processor on his PC with the 32-core AMD Ryzen Threadripper 3970x.

        Furthermore, he dropped hints that he hopes to someday have an ARM-powered system.

        In his weekly State of the Kernel blog post, Torvalds announced that the development process of the Linux 5.7 rc7 has been hassle-free and smooth, and that a regular release looks on the cards for next week.

        [...]

        Whatever the case, Torvalds’ system processor has more cores than any currently offered by Intel.

      • Linus Torvalds Now Uses AMD instead of Intel



        Linus Torvalds, the creator of Linux and Git now uses AMD box as his main rig for work instead of an Intel one.

        During the Linux Kernel 5.7 rc7 announcement, Linus mentioned his primary machine.

      • Linux Creator Linus Torvalds Ditches Intel CPU Over AMD Threadripper

        A few days ago, with the release of Linux Kernel 5.7-rc7, Linus Torvalds shared his biggest excitement of the week. After a long span of 15 years, he has finally upgraded his personal desktop, replacing his previous Intel CPU with the AMD Threadripper 3970x.

        Linus further confirmed that he has not yet switched to ARM, rather he has only dropped his Intel-based CPU to adopt AMD. However, in 2015 while expressing his views on security and the future of ARM-powered laptops, Linus affirmed having a machine with an ARM in the coming year.

      • Reiser5 File-System Working On New Features Like Data Tiering, Burst Buffers

        Reiser5 was announced back on New Year’s Eve with support for local volumes and supporting parallel scaling out and other improvements over the long-in-development but never mainlined Reiser4. While Reiser5 was not met with enthusiasm, Edward Shishkin has continued working on this next-generation file-system and today announced the latest round of improvements.

        Shishkin announced today with support for dumping peaks of I/O load to a proxy device with Reiser5, “Now you can add a small high-performance block device to your large logical volume composed of relatively slow commodity disks and get an impression that the whole your volume has throughput which is as high, as the one of that “proxy” device!”

      • Graphics Stack

        • Steam Beta adds Vulkan shader processing

          Valve has enabled the next step towards making Steam games on Linux run smoother in the latest Steam Beta release.

          This is something Valve has been working towards for some time now, as the Steam Client has been able to download pre-compiled GPU shaders, which you might have seen when something pops up in your Steam Downloads with an OpenGL and Vulkan icon below.

          [...]

          It doesn’t just do it for installed games, it will do it as you’re downloading them too, so by the time you’ve finished downloading it might even be all ready.

        • Adaptive-Sync/VRR Seeing Port To xf86-video-modesetting Driver

          Currently if wanting to use Adaptive-Sync/FreeSync variable refresh rate support of the AMDGPU DRM kernel driver you need to be using the xf86-video-amdgpu X.Org driver for proper handling as well, but a port of the DDX bits to the generic xf86-video-modesetting driver is in the works.

          This is still obviously contingent upon the DRM kernel-side support in the AMDGPU DC code, but for those using this generic DDX driver, it at least allows the Adaptive-Sync/VRR handling there.

    • Instructionals/Technical

    • Games

      • 10 Best PSX Emulator Programs You Have to Try

        To know what PSX emulators are, we must first discuss what console they’re emulating: the PS1.

        Made from a failed collaboration between media titans Nintendo and Sony, Sony’s PlayStation line has long since come out as the one of if not THE most dominant console gaming platform of its generation. The PlayStation series had a long and storied history and an enormous library of gaming classics. So much so that if you have a box of all the PS1 games out there and randomly take a game off it, chances are you get a game classic for your perusal. And even if no one’s making them anymore, it’s possible to experience some of those groundbreaking classics for yourself today through the help of emulators.

        [...]

        Let’s start with an awesome all-in-one emulator program called RetroArch. RetroArch is an open-source multi-platform emulator that’s available not only on Windows, but also on Linux, and Android. RetroArch already comes equipped with its very own front-end GUI and gives users the ability to download a huge variety of emulation cores for various consoles and handhelds. (Do note though that the PSX cores are powered by Mednafen, which we’ll discuss later in this article.)

        RetroArch isn’t just a single emulator but is instead a collection of emulators, which the program calls “cores,” that allows you to play a lot of classic games not only for the PS1 but also from dozens of other consoles all on one PC. RetroArch still needs to have a PlayStation BIOS file for emulation, so that might be a major hurdle for some new users. The PS1 core on this program is named Beetle PSX, and it’s pretty great compared to most standalone original PlayStation emulator programs.

      • Test Tube Titans: Taster Trial lets you play with colossal mutants for free

        Test Tube Titans which released back in March has you create and mutate massive unwieldy creatures, and now there’s a sort-of demo you can try.

        One of the big parts of Test Tube Titans is the control system. It’s clumsy, with per-limb control so everythings that little bit harder than it would be normally. Control each foot as you attempt to walk around and destroy everything. I personally found it to be a huge amount of fun though!

      • The International Battle Pass for Dota 2 is up with a Guilds feature

        While the date for The International has been pushed back likely into 2021, the Battle Pass has gone ahead to help provide funding for it.

        As usual 25% of the Battle Pass funds go towards the overall prize-pool, with the rest going to Valve. Considering how much that 25% ends up being, it’s a huge earner for Valve. Last year it broke records hitting over 34 million dollars, which made it the biggest single prize pool ever for an esports tournament like it.

        This year it comes with a new Guild system, letting anyone join together but only Battle Pass owners can actually create a guild. You all work together to level up your Guild, while earning rewards in the process. There’s daily contracts, guild challenges and a guild chat integration.

      • Heroic Labs becomes a Defold game engine sponsor

        Recently, game developer King transferred the source code for the Defold game engine over to a new Defold Foundation where they opened up the source and now they have a new sponsor.

        There was a bit of an issue with the initial source opening for Defold, as they initially claimed it was “open source” but their license was tweaked in a way that made it not OSI-approved open source. Now they’ve moved over to calling it “source available”. With that sorted, they’re moving onto bigger things.

        Like other such projects, they allow the community to donate money to help development but they also take on corporate sponsors. King, the original copyright holder is currently a “Platinum” partner which provides them around $4,000 a month. Announced today is the inclusion of Heroic Labs as a “Gold” level partner, which should provide them a further $2,000 a month.

      • You can build you own Devolver Digital bundle and save monies

        If you’re after some new games to kick-start your week, you should check out the Devolver Digital bundle over on Humble Store. It’s one of their special build-it-yourself bundles allowing to pick a few games, and get a higher discount if you pick up more at the same time.

      • 5 Gaming Headsets With Great Linux Compatibility



        There are a lot of great gaming headsets out there for PC gamers. But what ones work well with your Linux PC? Find out in our list of 5 USB gaming headsets that work with Linux!

        All of the headsets on this list work very well on Linux, but they’re not the only gaming headsets available. What’s your favorite gaming headset? Does it work well with Linux? Tell us about it in the comment section below!

      • 4 Gaming Laptops That Best Handle Linux

        Are you a Linux gamer in the market for a new gaming laptop? Can’t figure out what laptop will work well with your favorite Linux-based operating system? We can help! Here are 4 gaming laptops that handle Linux well!

      • First person exploration adventure Estranged: Act II is out

        Acting as a standalone sequel to the free Estranged: Act I, solo developer Alan Edwardes has now released Estranged: Act II.

        It’s a first-person adventure that mixes in plenty of exploration in different environments, a few puzzles and a little action and horror too. A thoroughly mixed bag of genres blended together. You assume the role of a lone fisherman, stranded on a mysterious island during a violent storm.

      • Free to Play Puzzle-Dating Sim Helltaker Now Available on Linux and Steam OS

        Vanripper (Lukasz Piskorz) has announced that free to play puzzle-dating sim Helltaker is now available on Linux, and Steam OS.

        Launching on May 11th, the game is a fusion of visual novel dating sim and puzzle game. You have entered hell for one purpose- to create a harem from cute demon girls.

        Play through navigation based puzzles with limited moves, and attempt to reach multiple demon girls at the end. These puzzles can be skipped if you desire.

      • Classic multiplayer action game Soldat is now open source

        Soldat, a side-scrolling multiplayer shooter that was ridiculously popular in the early 2000s is now open source.

        They’re now working on Soldat 2, which will be a much upgraded Unity remake with all sorts of advanced features. To give back to the community though, the classic Soldat has been put up on GitHub under the MIT license. Interestingly, this is not the current live version but an in-progess 1.8 build with some key differences

      • Steam Achievement Manager ‘SamRewritten’ has a new release

        Need to tweak your Steam Achievements? Perhaps a game doesn’t correctly unlock them or you want to start fresh again on a game – SamRewritten can help you do that. It’s an open source Steam Achievements Manager for Linux and there’s a new release out recently.

      • Strategic multiplayer artillery game ShellShock Live is out now

        ShellShock Live is an awesome tribute to games like Scorched Earth, Pocket Tanks, and Worms and after many years in development it’s finally released.

        If you’ve never played either of those classics (madness), it’s a side-scrolling game of artillery. Each player controls a tank they’re able to position anywhere they can reach, and you take it in turns to pick a weapon and fire in the hopes of annihilating the other side. It’s simple but ShellShock Live advances the classics in many great ways that makes it genuinely super fun. There’s fully destructible terrain, upgrades and it can be played in single-player and online.

      • What Never Was: Chapter II gets a boost from an Epic MegaGrant

        What Never Was, a short story-driven adventure game from Acke Hallgren has been given a funding boost for What Never Was: Chapter II.

        Not played What Never Was? It’s a first-person game focused on exploration and puzzle-solving about Sarah, having to shoulder the arduous task of clearing out her grandfathers attic, and soon finds that not everything about the attic is what it seems.

        The first part has been well received, showing that on a small budget some great experiences can be made and the developer had been planning a sequel. The developer announced on Steam recently, that Epic Games have approved them to get an Epic MegaGrant to help fund development. Hallgren also confirmed it’s not going to be an EGS exclusive.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • Ignored Category in DigiKam

          Last week, as part of my GSoC Project with DigiKam, I implemented a new feature to effectively Ignore faces. The feature had been requested multiple times, and was in-fact necessitated due to the power of DigiKam’s Facial Recognition Algorithm.

          DigiKam will often detect and then try to recognize faces in photos that the user perhaps doesn’t recognize himself! With the implementation of this new feature, the user could just mark such faces as Ignored. Faces marked as Ignored will not be detected by the Face Detection process in the future, nor will they be considered during the recognition process.

          Only Unknown Faces are allowed to be marked as Ignored, this stems from the logic that if you confirmed a face, i.e. gave it a name, then it is someone you know, and hence marking them as Ignored doesn’t really make sense.

        • Sunsetting XRandR Brightness

          One of the first features I added back then was smooth brightness changes. PowerDevil supports three ways of changing screen brightness: through XRandR configuration, through DDC (display data channel, for desktop monitors, experimental and not built by default), and by writing to sysfs (/sys/class/backlight or /sys/class/leds). Since the latter requires privileges and uses a helper binary through KDE’s KAuth framework, I only implemented the animation for the XRandR code path, which was executed in the same process.

          Obviously, XRandR doesn’t work on Wayland, and it seems that modern graphics drivers don’t support changing brightness through it anymore either. I recently sat down and wrote a patch to have the helper binary execute a similar animation. KAuth works quite magically by exposing methods defined in an .actions file through DBus and then calling them as slots through Qt’s meta object. Unfortunately, the way it is designed doesn’t allow for delayed replies, which I wanted to use so the job only finished once the animation was completed in order to keep PowerDevil’s state consistent. I then found that KAuth randomly keeps its helper running for 10 seconds, more than enough for a 250ms animation.

      • GNOME Desktop/GTK

        • GNOME seeking feedback on defining GNOME software

          In a post made from Red Hat developer Allan Day, who sits on the GNOME Foundation Board, they put out an official proposal to attempt to clear up with is and isn’t official GNOME software. Why are they doing this? Well, they said it’s not a big issue but it appears it can cause some legal headaches which they’re trying to solve.

          What they’re proposing is essentially a set of new overall branding guidelines. These will clarify official and unofficial GNOME software, while also helping to promote both sets. Software will be split across “Official GNOME software” which has full access to GNOME branding and trademarks, as decided by their release team. The other is what they will call “GNOME Circle”, not official but also still able to be part of GNOME and they will have access to their own branding plus access to host on GNOME’s own infrastructure but that’s not required.

    • Distributions

      • New Releases

        • GoboLinux 017 released

          Version 017 of the decidedly non-traditional GoboLinux distribution has been released. “This release introduces a simplified model for recipe management and contribution that’s fully integrated with the Compile build tool. The recipe tree is now a plain Git repository managed via GitHub cloned into your /Data/Compile/Recipes directory and used by the GoboLinux Compile tool directly.”

        • IPFire 2.25 – Core Update 145 is available for testing

          
          Ihope everyone is making their way okay through this pandemic. In case you got bored, we have a brand new Core Update available for you for testing.
          It introduces new metrics for OpenVPN and ships the largest number of package updates that we have ever had, fixing various bugs and carrying plenty of security-related fixes.

        • Kali Linux 2020.2 Released – Download DVD ISO Images

          Kali Linux (formerly known as BackTrack Linux) announced the release of Kali Linux Version 2020.2 on May 12th, 2020. Kali Linux is a Debian based distribution specially focused on penetration testing and digital forensics use.

          [...]

          The GNOME desktop environment has also been updated to its latest version – GNOME 3.36. The KDE Plasma and XFCE environments have also received a polished look.

          [...]

          The new Kali 2020.2 gets rid of the ‘kali-linux-everything’ option from the installer. This resolves the issue that was present in the earlier version (Kali 2020.1) where users had to select “everything” which took much longer to retrieve very large meta-packages.

          Now, every desktop environment and Kali-Linux-large meta-packages are cached in the ISO image and users get to select what they need to install.

        • Linux Kodachi 7.0 ‘Katana’ Released: Browse The Internet Anonymously

          Linux Kodachi is one of the most secure operating systems that offer complete privacy and anonymity. Now with the latest full system update, Warith Al Maawali, developer of Linux Kodachi, has released a new point version Linux Kodachi 7.0.

          The latest edition further strengthens the security of the OS with the addition of new security packages, updates, and bug fixes. Kodachi 7.0 is built upon the Xubuntu 18.04 LTS featuring the latest stable Linux kernel 5.4. Let’s take a look at all the new features of Kodachi 7.0 —

      • Screenshots/Screencasts

        • Here’s Ubuntu Budgie 20.04 LTS – See What’s New

          The Ubuntu Budgie team has been announced and released Ubuntu Budgie 20.04 LTS On April 23rd, 2020. Ubuntu Budgie 20.04 LTS is the second Long Term Support (LTS) version after the 18.04 release. It will be supported with security and software updates for 3 years, until April 2023, This release rolls-up various developments, fixes and optimizations that have been released since the 18.04 LTS.

          Ubuntu Budgie 20.04 LTS ships with the latest Budgie Desktop 10.5.1 series by default, an elegant menu applet by default, a Budgie-based NetworkManager applet by default, a completely revamped Window Shuffler, support for switching between desktop layouts with a single click and a new desktop wallpaper rotator and workspace switcher.

        • Ubuntu Kylin 20.04 LTS – Features the Latest UKUI 3.0 Desktop Environment by Default

          The Ubuntu Kylin Team has been announced and released Ubuntu Kylin 20.04 LTS On April 23rd, 2020. Ubuntu Kylin 20.04 LTS is the fourth Long Term Support (LTS) version after 14.04, 16.04, 18.04 release. It will be supported with security and software updates for 3 years, until April 2023, This release received numerous improvements over previous releases.

          Ubuntu Kylin 20.04 LTS features the latest UKUI 3.0 desktop environment by default and it’s powered by the most recent and advanced kernel, Long term Support of Linux kernel 5.4. which brings improved hardware support (among other features).

          Ubuntu Kylin default theme improved, introduced a dark variant, which it comes with two variations that user can switch from “Ubuntu Kylin Control Center”. The start menu is completely revamped with New layout, full-screen window to your heart’s content; carefully categorized, intelligent search with one key, default, and full-screen size switch to your choice, provide alphabetical sorting and sorting by function, more convenient to find.

        • UbuntuDDE Remix 20.04 LTS overview | Powerful Ubuntu with the most beautiful desktop environment.

          In this video, I am going to show an overview of UbuntuDDE Remix 20.04 LTS and some of the applications pre-installed.

        • LibreOffice 7 Alpha Early looks on Linux Mint 19.3 (installation guide and quick look)

          In this video, we are looking at LibreOffice 7 Alpha on Linux Mint 19.3, installation guide and quick look.

      • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandriva/OpenMandriva Family

        • [Mageia] Chronicle in May

          It’s been a very long time since you’ve heard from us on this blog. Now it’s time to give you some fresh news, because no matter what it seems, a lot of work has been done since then.

          Organization

          Many teams — the dev and QA teams in particular — are now working on a schedule for the upcoming Mageia 8. It is now available online. It seems this summer is going to be all about testing our new release!

          You can already take part in the testing and check if all of our Drak tools are functioning properly, and help the QA team. The coming months should allow us to report any new bugs or update existing reports in our Bugzilla. If you are comfortable working with Perl, your coding skills will be much appreciated to help correcting all the known bugs in our Drak tools.

          [...]

          A security alert has been published concerning our current version of LibreOffice, which is also EOL at the end of the month… Therefore, LibreOffice’s latest version 6.4.4 has been built and is currently being thoroughly tested.

      • SUSE/OpenSUSE

        • T-Systems And Suse: Boost For Hana And Linux

          T-Systems is one of the biggest SAP hosting and cloud providers worldwide supporting roughly seven million SAP users. The biggest Hana database instance that T-Systems hosts has 36 terabytes. The multi-cloud provider also takes care of monitoring, managing and operating Hana-based SAP applications like S/4.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • ZFS focus on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS: ZSys general presentation

          In our previous blog post, we presented some enhancements and differences between Ubuntu 19.10 and Ubuntu 20.04 LTS in term of ZFS support. We only alluded to ZSys, our ZFS system helper, which is now installed by default when selecting ZFS on root installation on the Ubuntu Desktop.

          It’s now time to shed some lights on it and explain what exactly ZSys is bringing to you.

          [...]

          As you can infer from the above, we will have a lot of state saves. While we allow the user to manually save and remove states, as most of them will be taken automatically, it would be complicated and counter-productive on a daily bases to handle them manually. Add to this that some states are dependent on other states to be purged (more on that in … you would have guess, the next blog post about state!), you can understand the complexity here.

          The GC will have also its dedicated post, but in summary, we are trying to prune states as time passes, to ensure that you have a number of relevant states that you can revert to. The general idea is that as more time pass by, the less granularity you need. This will help saving disk space. You will have a very finer grain states to revert to for the previous day, a little bit less for the previous weeks, less for months… You get it I think. :)

        • Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter Issue 632

          Welcome to the Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter, Issue 632 for the week of May 17 – 23, 2020.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • Working Remotely with FOSS tools

        These last few months have been really wonderful in enabling me to catch up on making sure that as much of the technology that I use to be working online is indeed free and open source tools.

      • How to write about open source software

        One way to get started with an open source community is to write about it. You can contribute to technical documentation, share how you use the software, or write an article for Opensource.com. But getting started writing is easier said than done. The two most common excuses I hear for not writing are: “I have nothing new to say” and “I’m not a good writer.” I’m here to dispel both of those myths.

      • Events

        • Libre Graphic Meeting online 2020 Livestream

          After Canada, Germany, Spain, Brazil and more; the famous Libre Graphic Meeting 2020 was finally happening in France! But unfortunately, due to the worldwide pandemic, the in real life event was canceled. The event was then converted into an online event and I decided to contribute with offering a livestreaming session: a Krita digital painting workshop. I’ll share on this one some step by step for my speedpainting technique; the theme: “Here be dragons”.

          If you want to participate, connect to the program page on Friday 29 May, 15h00 (Paris Time); a “LIVE” button will be available on the top to access the video stream and you’ll get also documentation on how to chat to interact with me during the livestream. It’s free, open access, and the content of the video will be shared later under an open license.

      • Web Browsers

        • WWW

          • Daniel Stenberg: curl ootw: –socks5

            –socks5 was added to curl back in 7.18.0. It takes an argument and that argument is the host name (and port number) of your SOCKS5 proxy server. There is no short option version.

          • How does the Glean SDK send gzipped pings

            Within the Glean SDK, the glean-core Rust component does not provide any specific implementation to perform the upload of pings. This means that either the language bindings (e.g. Glean APIs for Android in Kotlin) or the product itself (e.g. Fenix) have to provide a way to transport data from the client to the telemetry endpoint.

            Before our recent changes (by Beatriz Rizental and Jan-Erik) to the ping upload system, the language bindings needed to understand the format with which pings were persisted to disk in order to read and finally upload them. This is not the case anymore: glean-core will provide language bindings with the headers and the data (ping payload!) of the request they need to upload.

            The new upload API empowers the SDK to provide a single place in which to compress the payload to be uploaded: glean-core, right before serving upload requests to the language bindings.

      • CMS

        • Why Drupal is the Best CMS

          Some CMS packages require a license, while free products may be unreliable. Drupal 8 is open-source software licensed under the GPL. It is distributed free of charge, with no restrictions on use. This means you can customize the functions as you see fit. Today, the sheer number of community-contributed modules is astonishing — over 43,000!

          The platform may be refined and adjusted following your needs. You will not be dependent on Drupal creators. Features may be added and removed with ease. The open-source nature also means that functionality is under constant scrutiny from the vast international community, so any bugs are detected and fixed in no time.

        • Create interactive content in WordPress with the H5P plugin

          WordPress is best known as a website content management system, but it also a great learning management system (LMS) for delivering online courses. If that is what you are looking for out of WordPress, then H5P should be the top plugin on your list.

          H5P is a way to create and share interactive HTML5 content, including presentations, games, quizzes, forms, and more, in a browser. You can download a wide variety of content types from H5P’s Examples and Downloads page, or you can create unique content to embed in your WordPress site.

          H5P provides plugins and integrations for WordPress, Moodle, Drupal, Canvas, Brightspace, Blackboard, and more. In this article, I will show how to use H5P in WordPress to create a reading comprehension quiz for students.

      • Programming/Development

        • A Quick Look At GCC 10.1 PGO Optimization Benchmarks

          Following the GCC 10.1 compiler optimization benchmarks posted this weekend, a number of readers were wondering about the impact of Profile Guided Optimizations (PGO) on the new GCC 10 compiler. Here are some preliminary data points on that front.

          Profile-Guided Optimizations basically amount to optimizing each binary after having collected various profiles/metrics as hints provided back to the compiler during the optimization process. PTS has a PGO module to make that instrumentation setup easy with first running the benchmarks, then rebuilding with the necessary PGO instrumentation and re-running each benchmark to generate the profile, and then rebuilding with that collected profile information on a per-test basis. So with that it’s very easy to see the potential impact from PGO.

        • Excellent Free Tutorials to Learn Chapel

          Chapel is an open-source, high-productivity, productive, parallel-programming language in development at Cray Inc., and is designed to run on multi-core PCs as well as multi-kilocore supercomputers.

          The language aims to support general parallel programming, and make parallel programming at scale far more productive.

          The language is also portable and released under an open-source license.

          Here’s our recommended tutorials to learn Chapel.

        • Perl/Raku

        • Python

          • Reporting Exceptions in Python Scripts with Sentry

            Python scripts are the glue that keep many applications and their infrastructure running, but when one of your scripts throws an exception you may not know about it immediately unless you have a central place to aggregate the errors. That’s where adding Sentry can solved this distributed error logging problem.

            In this tutorial, we’ll see how to quickly add Sentry to a new or existing Python script to report errors into a centralized location for further debugging.

          • Luke Plant: Keyword-only arguments in Python

            Keyword-only arguments are a feature that has been around since Python 3.0. But I’ve seen and used them much less use that I could have. They are described in PEP 3102, which is pretty readable, but I think they could benefit from more exposure with examples and rationale.

          • Creating and Modifying PDF Files in Python

            The PDF, or Portable Document Format, is one of the most common formats for sharing documents over the Internet. PDFs can contain text, images, tables, forms, and rich media like videos and animations, all in a single file.

            This abundance of content types can make working with PDFs difficult. There are a lot of different kinds of data to decode when opening a PDF file! Fortunately, the Python ecosystem has some great packages for reading, manipulating, and creating PDF files.

          • Will McGugan: Rich gets Richer

            Since my last post on Rich there have been a number of improvements.

            [...]

            Coverage has reached 97% which is not bad at all. To be honest though it is the use of type annotations throughout which gives me the most confidence.

          • rdiff-backup – A Powerful Incremental Backup Tool Now Supports Python 3

            This improvement was officially released and published on March 15, 2020, with Version 2.0.0 and distributed on the GitHub site.

            The much appreciated Rdiff-backup application allows users to back up a directory to another remote or local destination. One of the key strengths of the application, is its simplicity.

          • Security Release for issue9351

            A vulnerability in sao has been found by Benjamin Kunz Mejri at Vulnerability-Lab. But they publish it without using our responsive disclosure procedure so we had to make this fix in the hurry.

            With issue9351 , the web client does not escape the HTML tags from user data. This allow cross-site scripting attack which result in session hijacking, persistent phishing attacks, persistent external redirects to malicious source.

          • Precision data plotting in Python with Matplotlib

            Matplotlib is the alligator of the plotting zoo. It’s been around for a while, but it’s still got plenty of bite. Matplotlib gives you precise control over your plots—but, like anything precise and powerful, this sometimes forces you to think harder than you might want to.

            [...]

            All this power is great, but there must be a handful of plots that people want to make all the time. Why can’t somebody wrap Matplotlib in a high-level interface that makes things much simpler? That’s been done, and it’s called Seaborn. We will look into that next time.

            In the meantime, congratulations on your first Matplotlib visualization!

        • Qt

          • Using Modern CMake with Qt

            KDAB’s Kevin Funk presented Using Modern CMake with Qt at Qt Virtual Tech Con last month.

            Kevin reported that the Qt Company did a great job moderating the sessions at this event, and there was a lively Q&A at the end – Kevin had to pick from about 60 questions, so this is a hot topic.

            Now the event is over you can access the talks, including Kevin’s and the answers he had time for, and also Kevin’s slides, below this abstract.

          • Qt Design Studio 1.5 released

            We are happy to announce that the Qt Design Studio 1.5 is now available via the online and offline installers.

            Qt Design Studio 1.5 comes with a fully supported 3D editor which enables designing seamlessly integrated 2D and 3D UIs.

            We have taken the best concepts from Qt 3D Studio and ported them over to Design Studio. This is the first time we have a one unified designing tool that supports both 2D and 3D.

            To streamline collaboration between designers and developers Qt Design Studio can be used by both, designers and developers.

          • Qt 5.15 LTS Released

            I’m thrilled to announce that we’ve released Qt 5.15 LTS today. Qt 5.15 is going to be the last feature release of the Qt 5 series. As such, it is a bit special, and a lot of work has gone into preparations towards Qt 6, our next major release. While Qt 5.15 is supported as usual for all our users, Qt 5.15 will also provide long-term support for three years to all commercial license holders, including the new Qt for Small Business. Option for extended support is available after the three year support period.

          • Qt 5.15 Released With Graphics Improvements, Preparations Ahead Of Qt 6

            Qt 5.15 is a big LTS update and the last ahead of the Qt 6.0 release expected before the end of 2020. Qt 5.15 offers many graphics improvements, including the isolating its OpenGL renderer to a plug-in and experimental support for Vulkan with its Wayland platform code. Qt’s embedded EGLFS layer has introduced support for Vulkan via the VK_KHR_display extension. Qt 5.15 additionally is bringing greater multi-threading within QImage scaling/conversion methods, support for rendering to multiple surfaces with Qt Multimedia, qmlformat to format QML code according to the QML coding guidelines, support for the nullish coalescing operator with QML, an updated Qt WebEngine, native file dialog support on Android, and countless other improvements for this open-source toolkit.

        • Rust

          • Kushal Das: Using Rust to access Internet over Tor via SOCKS proxy

            Tor provides a SOCKS proxy so that you can have any application using the same to connect the Onion network. The default port is 9050. The Tor Browser also provides the same service on port 9150. In this post, we will see how can we use the same SOCKS proxy to access the Internet using Rust.

  • Leftovers

    • Holy Beaver
    • In St. Petersburg, a graffiti mural celebrating Joseph Brodsky’s 80th birthday was covered over almost as fast as it went up

      On the day that would have been Russian poet Joseph Brodsky’s 80th birthday, May 24, a graffiti mural of his image appeared in St. Petersburg. It was painted on the wall of a school on Pestelya Street, located across from the Muruzi House, where Brodsky lived from 1955 to 1972 (his former apartment there is now a memorial museum). The image was based on a photo of Brodsky, taken by Italian photographer Graziano Arici in Venice in 1989. “It seems like an excellent place for a selfie has appeared here,” wrote the Brodsky Museum in a post on its official Instagram page. 

    • Health/Nutrition

      • The Sure Way to End Concerns About China’s “Theft” of a Vaccine: Make it Open

        In the last couple of weeks both the New York Times and National Public Radio have warned that China could steal a vaccine against the coronavirus, or at least steal work in the U.S. done towards developing a vaccine. Both outlets obviously thought their audiences should view this as a serious concern.

      • Human rights defenders map the spread of respiratory diseases in the Russian prison system

        A group of human rights defenders and lawyers have launched a new project called “Grey Zone” (“Seraya zona” in Russian), which maps information on cases of respiratory illnesses in Russia’s prison colonies and pre-trial detention centers. 

      • Nearly 200 Groups in Canada Vow to Fight for Covid-19 Recovery That Puts Human and Ecological Health First

        “The choices we make now about how to recover from this pandemic will shape not only our health and economic future, but also the future of human life on this planet.”

      • $3,278 ER Visit for Coughing Fits and Fever Amid Covid-19 Pandemic Highlights Failure of For-Profit System

        “Congress and insurers have made all of these promises to waive copays for treatment and testing but we’re hearing that’s not always the reality.”

      • Make a Resilient, Localized Food System Part of the Next Stimulus

        From wasted food, to the exploitation of farmworkers, the COVID-19 pandemic has made it painfully clear that this country’s food system must be changed. Politicians must pass further stimulus legislation that includes policy to reform our inflexible, consolidated food system to prepare for future crises.

      • The Next Death Wave from Coronavirus Will Be the Poor, Rural and White

        What do you call a crisis that kills a hundred thousand Americans? It all depends on who does the dying.

      • Dubious State Testing Numbers May Be Screwing Up National CDC Reports

        Health officials in Texas, Georgia, Vermont and Virginia acknowledged this week that they have been combining viral and antibody test results. Those results may well have painted an inaccurate picture of how the coronavirus has spread over time, and led to an overestimation of how well officials are tracking the contagion.

      • More than 350,000 people have now been diagnosed with COVID-19 in Russia

        On the morning of May 25, Russian officials announced that the country recorded 8,946 new coronavirus infections in the past day (347 more cases than the day before). This brings the nation’s total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases to 353,427.

      • Challenges of the Evolving Coronavirus Pandemic

        On May 19, 2020, two notable events occurred in Brazil: for the first time in the country, there were more than a thousand COVID-19 deaths and its president, Jair Bolsonaro, gave an interview via Instagram to the blog website de Magno where he said, laughing, “The one on the right takes chloroquine, the one on the left takes Tubaína”, a brand of soft drinks from the interior of the state of São Paulo. Bolsonaro’s words revealed one of the most marked consequences of the coronavirus infection: the ignorance and insensitivity of numerous politicians worldwide in their response to the pandemic.

      • [Older] How Denver businesses plan to deal with face mask enforcement

        Beginning Wednesday, any customer entering a Denver business will be required to put on a mask.

        That part is straightforward. But what happens when people refuse to do so?

        It’s a question that cities and states around the country are grappling with as mandatory mask orders become more common to help slow the spread of the novel coronavirus. While compliance only takes a cloth mask, the mandate has generated strong backlash in parts of the country, with deadly consequences in at least one instance.

        Groups from Florida to California have argued loudly that such orders are unconstitutional restrictions on individuals’ freedom. Several states and municipalities have been forced to retract their mask orders after threats of violence and physical abuse were directed at business employees.

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Security

          • Security updates for Monday

            Security updates have been issued by Arch Linux (chromium, dovecot, openconnect, and powerdns-recursor), Debian (cracklib2, feh, netqmail, ruby-rack, tomcat7, and transmission), Fedora (dovecot, kernel, log4net, openconnect, python-markdown2, and unbound), Mageia (ansible, clamav, dovecot, file-roller, glpi, kernel, kernel-linus, libntlm, microcode, nmap, pdns-recursor, unbound, viewvc, and wireshark), openSUSE (ant, autoyast2, dpdk, file, freetype2, gstreamer-plugins-base, imapfilter, libbsd, libvpx, libxml2, nextcloud, openconnect, openexr, opera, pdns-recursor, python, python-rpyc, and tomcat), and SUSE (salt, tomcat6, and zstd).

    • Defence/Aggression

    • Environment

      • Carbon dioxide emissions fall – but by accident

        The good news is that carbon dioxide emissions have fallen in line with global agreement. But we have chance to thank for that.

      • Praising Emissions Reductions Due to Coronavirus Plays Into Right-Wing Strategy

        A study published in Nature Climate Change recently found that, in early April, daily global carbon dioxide emissions decreased by 17 percent compared to the 2019 mean levels. Because of shelter-in-place rules and businesses being closed, people have been driving and flying less, leading to lower emissions.

      • Wildlife/Nature

        • This Year’s Forest Fire Season Could Be Even Deadlier

          The world’s forests could soon join the growing list of casualties of the coronavirus pandemic. The fire season is approaching for many. And governments grappling with COVID-19 are rolling back enforcement of environmental protections that are crucial for containing the fires.

        • Grizzlies, Lynx, Bull Trout and Elk on the Chopping Block for Trump’s Idaho Clearcuts

          What would you do if you caught Trump’s Forest Service trying to slip through huge clearcuts and bulldozing roads into an already over-cut area? How about if the Forest Service then denied the potential presence of endangered species the agency is supposed to be keeping from extinction, lied about the existence of a wild and scenic river in the area, and ignored passionate pleas from long-time local citizens to save a few trees for a dwindling elk herd?

        • Saving the Lionhead Wilderness

          One of the most outstanding wildlands on the Custer Gallatin National Forest is the 43,759-acre proposed Lionhead Wilderness. The Lionhead lies along the Continental Divide and rises up above  Hebgen Lake near West Yellowstone. The Madison River and Quake Lake on the north, while Targhee Pass on the south and Raynold Pass on the west all delineate the boundaries of this area. It is the southernmost extension of the Madison Range which are sometimes referred to as the Henry’s Lake Mountains.  Part of this roadless area exists on the Targhee National Forest and Beaverhead Deerlodge National Forests.

        • The Mismanagement of Wildlife in Utah Continues to be Irrational and a National Embarrassment.

          The greater sage-grouse, now threatened with extinction, once occurred in the tens of millions. It has declined in over 93% of it range in the Sagebrush sea in seven western states. This largest of our grouse may be on its way to oblivion if not protected by the Endangered Species Act, first proposed in 2003 but never enacted due to widespread resistance from development and grazing interests. There are no places in Utah that sagebrush and its forbs and grass understory, so important for grouse rearing, have not been seriously degraded by 150 years of over-grazing by sheep and cattle. Would it have asked too much to have a sage-grouse park where livestock were excluded?

    • Finance

      • A Spontaneous Rebellion of Low-Wage Workers Is Rising Up Amid Pandemic

        Workers are fighting for their lives—even as they save ours.

      • ‘Here We Go Again’: Richest Hospitals Sitting on Billions in Cash Got Golden Bailouts Compared to Those Serving Poorest

        “If you ever hear a hospital complaining they don’t have enough money, see if they have a venture fund.”

      • Without More Federal Funds, Half of All Child Care Centers Could Close Forever

        As the days of a national shutdown stretched on, Aliya Johnson-Roberts knew she would have to start cutting employees’ hours and laying off some of her staff. When her child care center in northeast Philadelphia closed its doors in mid-March due to the coronavirus, she immediately started to lose out on a large portion of her revenue: $7,000 a month in tuition from private-paying families, co-pays from families who receive state support, and money she would normally receive through a federal food program. Johnson-Roberts, who has 35 employees to support and $20,000 a month in rent for the building that houses Bustleton Learning Center, estimated she would likely run out of money by early June.

      • If the Federal Government Won’t Fund the States’ Emergency Needs, There is Another Solution

        Many states are now experiencing severe budget deficits as they cope with the combined collapse of tax revenues and corresponding expansion of spending brought about by the coronavirus. Although the most recent $3 trillion fiscal package of the House Democrats proposes significant funding for the state and local governments, the GOP and the president have already said it’s “DOA.” That’s despite the fact that California Governor Gavin Newsom has already announced that the federal government has “an ethical obligation” to send money to the states in order to fund many of the frontline workers working to contain the coronavirus. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo also has called for hundreds of billions more in federal funding for the states not only to get through this phase of the crisis but also to protect their citizens moving forward in the event of a feared second wave. Absent this assistance from the federal government, many of the country’s states might have to introduce cuts amid a crisis at a time when the economy has already collapsed into a depression. That would be the worst thing to do at this juncture.

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • Chrome and Firefox Block Torrent Site YTS over “Phishing”

        Chrome and Firefox are blocking direct access to the movie download pages of popular torrent site YTS. According to Google’s safe browsing report, YTS.mx is a “deceptive site” that may trick visitors into doing dangerous things. The warning is likely the result of malicious advertisements.

    • Monopolies

      • Patents

        • IPO & Harrity Analytics Release List of Top 300 Patent Holders for 2019

          Patent Docs readers may recall that the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office stopped releasing its annual list of top patent recipients in 2006 in order to “discourag[e] any perception that we believe more is better.”

        • European Patent Office endorses EU’s stance on conventionally-bred plants

          The longstanding legal saga on patentability for plants obtained by conventional biological processes has been seemingly put to an end after the Enlarged Body of the European Patent Office (EPO) published an opinion upholding the EU’s standpoint.

          On 14 May, the EPO’s highest judicial authority U-turned on its previous decisions by advising against offering the possibility to patent plants and animals which have been exclusively obtained by means of an essentially biological process.

          In its new opinion, the EPO’s body adopted a “dynamic interpretation” of the exception to patentability that overturns an earlier interpretation of Article 53(c).

          It justified this on the basis that that European patents cannot be granted in respect of plant or animal varieties or essentially biological processes for the production of plants or animals.

          The EU executive welcomed this as a positive development since it aligns with its own position, a Commission source told EURACTIV.com.

          The decision comes after a lengthy debate on the matter, starting back in 2015 when the EPO, which is not an EU body, broached the possibility of granting patent protection to conventionally-bred plants.

          This occurred after various attempts were made to register conventionally-bred crops, such as tomatoes with reduced water content by the consumer goods giant Unilever and broccoli growing with a selective increase of the anticarcinogenic glucosinolates by the global agrochemical company Syngenta.

        • Covid-19: EPO extends opposition period for European patents

          Up to nine months after publication of the mention that a European patent has been granted anyone may give the European Patent Office (EPO) notice of opposition to the patent. The nine-month opposition period, if expiring on or after 15 March 2020, has currently been extended until 02 June 2020 under the EPO Covid-19 extensions.

          In view of the continued disruptions to public life caused by the Covid-19 outbreak, the EPO has published a notice extending time limits expiring on or after 15 March 2020 until 02 June 2020. If the disruption should continue after 02 June 2020, the EPO may publish another notice informing users about further extensions and remedies in respect of time limits.

          Whilst there are some notable exceptions to time limits to be aware of (including filing divisional applications and written submissions ahead of scheduled oral proceedings), the nine-month opposition period for any European patent, if expiring on or after 15 March 2020, remains open as long as the EPO notice is extended.

          Accordingly, if you have rights under a European patent where the nine-month opposition period expired on or after 15 March 2020, you may wish to consider holding back on any action which could put a potential infringer on “notice”, to ensure that the potential infringer does not oppose the patent.

      • Copyrights

        • DISH Sues Canada-Based Pirate IPTV Provider ‘Voodoo IPTV’

          TV broadcaster DISH Network has filed a lawsuit in a Texas court targeting the operators of Canada-based ‘pirate’ IPTV supplier Voodoo IPTV. The lawsuit names four Ontario residents as defendants along with fifth individual said to reside in Nepal. A further 11 ‘Doe’ defendants are said to have created DISH accounts in order to capture and rebroadcast its programming.

        • From Historic Images to Galactic Datasets: A Look at NASA’s Mission to Be Open

          Along with 600 million people, nine-year-old Chris Hadfield is glued to his television—watching intently as American astronaut Neil Armstrong glides down the ladder of the Lunar Module, and in one swift pounce, touches the dust of a familiar yet alien world. His words forever immortalized, “That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.” 

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