Guix Petition Demographic Data, by Figosdev

Posted in Free/Libre Software, GNU/Linux, Google, Microsoft, Red Hat at 11:33 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

RMS letter

Summary: That old anti-RMS letter, which called for his removal (or resignation) from GNU (RMS is the founder of the GNU Project), as characterised by metadata of signatories

33 people:

  • At least 21 have a GitHub accounts
  • 20 have contributed to GitHub in the past year (GitHub as Microsoft)
  • At least 14 are European: 3 French, 3 British, 2 German, 2 Spanish, 2 Czech, 1 Slovakian, 1 Dutch
  • 7 work for Red Hat, owned by the FSF’s largest publicly known sponsor
  • 2 work or worked for the FSF in Boston
  • 2 are associated with Google on GitHub
  • 2 are from Boulder, CO
  • 1 works for a member of the Linux Foundation
  • 1 also signed the LibrePlanet petition against Stallman
  • 1 of the people from Red Hat strongly endorsed SFC
  • 1 is associated with the FFI dependency
  • 1 is associated with another “Cloud computing company”

When You Realise People Who Don’t Support RMS Do Not Really Support GNU, Either

Posted in GNU/Linux, GPL, IBM, Microsoft, Petitions, Red Hat at 11:09 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

“If in my lifetime the problem of non-free software is solved, I could perhaps relax and write software again. But I might instead try to help deal with the world’s larger problems. Standing up to an evil system is exhilarating, and now I have a taste for it.”

Richard Stallman

Puppy and evil dog: 2019: We want GNU that works for everyone, 2020: We want to replace GNU

Jeff Law signed

Jeff Law for LLVM


Summary: The (in)famous letter against Richard Stallman (RMS), which was signed by many Red Hat employees with Microsoft (GitHub) accounts, doesn’t look particularly good in light of recent revelations/findings; it increasingly looks like IBM simply wants Microsoft-hosted and “permissively” licensed stuff, just like another project it announced yesterday [1, 2] and another that it promoted yesterday

The Gates Press (GatesGate) — Part III: What Happens When You Tell the Truth About Bill Gates and the Gates Foundation

Posted in Bill Gates, OLPC at 10:23 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

“Where are we on this Jihad?”

Bill Gates

Summary: One might not expect this from a so-called ‘charity’; the Gates Foundation’s critics are often met with unprecedented aggression, threats and retribution, which make one wonder if it’s really a charity or a greedy cult of personalities (Bill and Melinda)

THIS series is an ongoing discussion, based on evidence, of how Bill Gates controls the media and punishes/ousts his critics. Some new evidence was presented in part one and in part two. We don’t want to repeat what was said then; it’s not needed.

“Why would Gates suddenly offer money? And why at that particular point in time? As a reminder, Microsoft had already phoned my boss to complain about me. This is how those thugs operate.”About a month ago I noted/journaled my personal experience, noting that a month or so after I did an important series about Gates (starting Sept. 2019, onwards to present) Gates started paying my boss at work, even though we in theory competed against Microsoft. But I’m sure that’s all a coincidence…

Why would Gates suddenly offer money? And why at that particular point in time? As a reminder, Microsoft had already phoned my boss to complain about me. This is how those thugs operate. He only told me about it years later, as a little tidbit, casually… if I recall correctly as we all waited to board a ride at a theme park (Alton Towers). It wasn’t even something that he was planning to tell. As for the Gates money, it was mentioned as an aside months later in a conference call, taking note that I had been critical of Gates. Believe it or not, the payment was done with/under an NDA. Like the so-called ‘charity’ is a matter of national security or something…

“The story being worked on never showed up; instead he was fired and denied access to his very own notes/story before he was told about the firing. Then Gates ‘took over’ The Verge, at least temporarily…”The NDA part is rather bizarre. I was never asked to sign an NDA (and did not sign any).

Going back to the story of The Verge (journalist fired after working on a story about Gates), Microsoft could know what was coming as he was using Skype (not my choice) to communicate. There’s ample evidence that Microsoft spies on people’s personal communications for Microsoft’s business reasons (e.g. snuffing out critics/whistleblowers). The media wrote about in the past. Microsoft even got people arrested for doing things Microsoft disliked.

The story being worked on never showed up; instead he was fired and denied access to his very own notes/story before he was told about the firing. Then Gates ‘took over’ The Verge, at least temporarily…

“When things like these happen you know you’re on the right track,” I told him, but “I have a few more stories to tell that are related to this.”

I need to be granted permission to tell those other stories. I’ve spoken to other people who were met with incredible attacks (if not through employers then through platforms) after they had written about Gates and sought records about him. Investigation of these matters comes at a great price.

Over the years I saw and reported on similar incidents. For instance, right after Lancet blasted Gates’ influence Gates paid the Lancet, which then became his mouthpiece for a while.

“To Mr. Gates African children are more like risk-free (of litigation) “clinical trials” than anything worth truly helping. If he wanted to help African children, he’d give them food. Millions die of starvation. Monsanto (now Bayer) wants to feed them patents, not food.”This is very wrong; corruption of scholarly scientific journals (with one’s money) is a lot more severe an ethical breach than bribery of media/publishers.

At this moment of time we’re still working to recover what’s left of the spiked story; the publisher denied the journalist access to his very own notes, so this is not easy. As if the goal was also to ensure the same piece cannot be published elsewhere.

The gist of the story is, the Gates Foundation is not a charity but an entity that attacks charities (e.g. OLPC) and works against African children. Evidence of this is overwhelming. To Mr. Gates African children are more like risk-free (of litigation) “clinical trials” than anything worth truly helping. If he wanted to help African children, he’d give them food. Millions die of starvation. Monsanto (now Bayer) wants to feed them patents, not food. Suffice to say, Gates is a prominent investor in Monsanto. It’s all about profit. It’s also about monopoly.

In part 4, delayed somewhat because of the protests in the US (which this journalist now covers), we’re hoping to start sharing some details about the spiked story. Better late than never, right?

Links 6/6/2020: Bifrost Meets GNOME, Wine 5.10 is Out

Posted in News Roundup at 9:51 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • SpaceX Used Linux To Send NASA Astronauts To International Space Station

      On May 30, SpaceX sent its first manned spacecraft into space that successfully delivered NASA astronauts to International Space Station (ISS). But not many know that SpaceX’s Falcon 9, besides rocket fuel, is fueled by the Linux operating system!

      The Falcon 9 rocket was running an unspecified version of the open-source Linux OS on which the flight software, written in C/C ++, runs. SpaceX and Linux go way back as SpaceX employees confirmed that Dragon and Falcon 9 both run on Linux in an old 2013 post.

    • Server

    • Audiocasts/Shows

      • 2020-06-05 | Linux Headlines

        The first-ever Blender LTS is out with support for VR, the CNCF debuts a training program to convey students from novice to cloud professional in six months, the Matrix project previews peer-to-peer messaging, and Canonical introduces two developer tools.

    • Kernel Space

      • EXT4 Gets A Nice Batch Of Fixes For Linux 5.8

        Ted Ts’o sent in the EXT4 file-system changes on Thursday for Linux 5.8 as the summer 2020 kernel release.

        EXT4 material for this pull request is focused on bug fixes and code cleaning. There is a fix for performance problems within the dioread_nolock code, a mballoc problem has been fixed for smaller file-systems running out of blocks, multiple race issues have been resolved, and other fixes. There is also clean-ups to EXT4′s fiemap handling, multiple block allocator, and other improvements.

      • Linux 5.8 Has The Bits Needed To Begin Booting POWER10 Processors

        POWER10 is the forthcoming IBM + OpenPOWER processor expected to be shipping in 2021 and manufactured on a 7nm process and offer big improvements over the existing POWER9 microarchitecture.

        There has been a lot of POWER10 open-source enablement already happening from the Linux kernel to code compilers and other key components. Now with the Linux 5.8 kernel is enough code to have initial support for booting on POWER10 hardware. Granted, outside of IBM / OpenPOWER and key partners, it will still be some months (and more kernel releases down the road) before seeing the hardware and thus more time still to get the support squared away — hopefully in time for the the spring 2021 Linux distributions.

      • Linus Torvalds criticized the L1 cache reset function when context switching – Linus all programming languages suck except C

        “The function resets the cache not only when necessary, but also on the “order” of any application.

        Linus Torvalds, the Creator of the Linux kernel, opposed the addition of the L1 data cache reset function when context switching to the Linux kernel version 5.8. This feature was proposed as a protection against vulnerabilities of the Spectre class and other cache leaks.

        The problem is that the function resets the cache not only when necessary, but also at the “order” of any application. In multitasking OSS such as Linux distributions, this will reduce the performance of not only the application itself, but also the rest of the processes. Of course, this state of Affairs is not suitable for highly loaded server systems. According to Torvals, resetting the L1 cache makes sense only for Intel processors, and where it is not required, the function will be superfluous.

      • OpenGL/OpenCL/Graphics Stack

        • SVGA Gallium3D Now Exposes OpenGL 4.1 Support

          Following VMware making the VMWGFX kernel changes for supporting OpenGL 4.x, the SVGA Gallium3D driver is now exposing OpenGL 4.1 in compatibility profile contexts for this open-source graphics driver used as part of the VMware virtualization stack.

        • Intel Exposes OpenCL 3.0 For Tiger Lake Graphics

          It’s a bit surprising that at least as of now OpenCL 3.0 is only being exposed for Gen12/TigerLake while previous generations are on OpenCL 2.1. OpenCL 3.0 is designed to be more flexible in even allowing OpenCL 1.2 drivers to be fitted for CL 3.0 compliance. All OpenCL 2.x functionality can be queried via OpenCL 3.0 as extensions. Thus it’s surprising at least for now Intel is only exposing OpenCL 3.0 for Tiger Lake, but we will see in forthcoming Compute Runtime updates if they flip on OpenCL 3.0 for existing generations.

        • Bifrost meets GNOME: Onward & upward to zero graphics blobs

          In our last blog update for Panfrost, the free and open-source graphics driver for modern Mali GPUs, we announced initial support for the Bifrost architecture. We have since extended this support to all major features of OpenGL ES 2.0 and even some features of desktop OpenGL 2.1. With only free software, a Mali G31 chip can now run Wayland compositors with zero-copy graphics, including GNOME 3. We can run every scene in glmark2-es2, and 3D games like Neverball can be played. In addition, we can support hardware-accelerated video players mpv and Kodi. Screenshots above are from a Mali G31 board running Panfrost.

          All of the above is included in upstream Mesa with no out-of-tree patches required, with the upcoming Bifrost support enabled via the PAN_MESA_DEBUG=bifrost environmental variable.

        • Rosenzweig: Bifrost meets GNOME: Onward & upward to zero graphics blobs

          Alyssa Rosenzweig provides an update on the Panfrost driver for Mali GPUs on the Collabora blog.

    • Benchmarks

      • Windows 10 May 2020 vs. Linux Performance On AMD Ryzen Threadripper

        Given the recent release of the Windows 10 May 2020 Update, here are some fresh benchmarks showing how the latest Windows 10 software update paired with the latest AMD drivers performs against the latest 2020 Linux distribution releases. This testing was done on an AMD Ryzen Threadripper 3970X box given the interesting performance differences we have seen in the past to Linux’s advantage with these HEDT processors. The Linux distributions tested against Windows 10 May 2020 Update were Ubuntu 20.04 LTS, openSUSE Tumbleweed, Arch-based Manjaro 20.0.2, Clear Linux 33250, and Fedora Workstation 32.

    • Applications

      • VirtualBox 6.1.10 Released with Support for Linux Kernel 5.7, Bug Fixes

        Oracle released VirtualBox 6.1.10 as a minor maintenance update to its open-source and cross-platform virtualization software to add support for the latest Linux kernel series and fixes some minor bugs.

        VirtualBox 6.1.10 comes exactly three weeks after version 6.1.8, which added support for the Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8.2, Oracle Linux 8.2, and CentOS Linux 8.2 operating systems.

        It’s a minor update that’s mainly here to add support for the latest Linux 5.7 kernel series for both Linux guest and Linux hosts running Linux kernel 5.7, even though most distributions haven’t upgraded yet.

        But Oracle is always one step ahead, so if you’re distro is already running Linux kernel 5.7 or will soon be powered by it, you can now update VirtualBox to version 6.1.10 and safely use your virtual machines.

    • Instructionals/Technical

    • Wine or Emulation

      • Wine Announcement
        The Wine development release 5.10 is now available.
        What's new in this release (see below for details):
          - More progress on the WineD3D Vulkan backend.
          - Beginnings of a separate Unix library for NTDLL.
          - Better support for anti-cheat kernel drivers.
          - More glyph substitutions in DirectWrite.
          - Support for DSS private keys.
          - ARM64 exception handling fixes.
          - Various bug fixes.
        The source is available from the following locations:
        Binary packages for various distributions will be available from:
        You will find documentation on https://www.winehq.org/documentation
        You can also get the current source directly from the git
        repository. Check https://www.winehq.org/git for details.
        Wine is available thanks to the work of many people. See the file
        AUTHORS in the distribution for the complete list.
      • Wine 5.10 Starts Work On A Unix Library For NTDLL, More WineD3D Vulkan

        Wine 5.10 is out as the latest bi-weekly development release of this open-source project for allowing Windows games and applications to run generally gracefully on Linux (and other) platforms.

        Wine 5.10 continues the recent trend of bringing up the Vulkan back-end for WineD3D for this Direct3D 9/10/11 implementation to allow it to run atop Vulkan rather than needing to map it over OpenGL. With Wine 5.10 more functionality is in place but doesn’t appear to be good yet for gamers compared to the OpenGL code-path or most notably the out-of-tree DXVK project providing great Direct3D 9/10/11 support over Vulkan and is what is notably used at the moment by Steam Play (Proton).

      • Wine 5.10 out with more WineD3D Vulkan work and anti-cheat improvements

        Alexandre Julliard, CodeWeavers staffer and Wine hacker today announced the Wine 5.10 development release with some more exciting work.

        They’ve continued progressing Vulkan support for WineD3D, there’s the beginnings of a separate Unix library for NTDLL, more glyph substitutions in DirectWrite, support for DSS private keys, ARM64 fixes and other various bug fixes included.

        Something bigger came with Wine 5.10 though too, as they also mentioned it has better support for anti-cheat kernel drivers. That’s going to be the big one if it’s possible to get working properly. Anti-cheat as a whole is the Achilles heel of Wine (and so Steam Play Proton too), as it’s often the cause of Windows games being unable to work on Linux through the compatibility layer so it’s pleasing to know more work is going on.

    • Games

      • Interviewed – Veloren, an upcoming FOSS multiplayer voxel RPG

        Today we have something a bit special for you, an interview with one of the team working to produce the free and open source multiplayer voxel RPG named Veloren.

        Recently, the Veloren team put out their 0.6 release, bringing a lot of extra content to try out and so we felt this was a good time to have a chat about the project.

      • Wave of EA games hit Steam, including Dragon Age 2 and Dragon Age: Inquisition

        These older EA games hit Steam alongside Command & Conquer Remastered Collection, which comes out on PC today. The revived strategy classic includes mod support with Steam Workshop, and is one of the first major RTS franchises to open source its source code under the GPL.

      • Steal everything and flee from the Burning Knight – out now

        With some great lighting work, furious action and a good sprinkle of comedy Burning Knight is an fast-paced roguelike that’s out now. Note: key provided by the developer.

        It’s…ridiculous. I mean that in the nicest way I can because I’m at a loss for a better word. The whole game is just pure madness and a massive amount of fun. Much like other similar titles that came before including Nuclear Throne and Enter the Gungeon, it’s got that supremely satisfying gameplay loop nailed down perfectly. Run through various floors as you dodge roll, shoot and slice your way through everything.


        Hilariously, the shop is clearly selling dubious wares just take a look at the shopkeeper and tell me that’s not a robber, just look at the mask! You can even start a fight with them, much to my surprise when accidentally clicking next to them and they asked me to stop. So for science, I hit them a few more times and they got very angry and starting running around super fast, firing everywhere. Even though I had clearly done it to myself, it was a bit of a shock but super funny especially with the Burning Knight cheering them on against me.

      • Valve moves the Steam Game Festival to June 16

        The upcoming Steam Game Festival Summer Edition has been delayed, as confirmed in a Valve email today.

        Originally due from June 9 – 15, they’ve now moved it to June 16 – 22. No reason was given and their email on it was extremely brief. It’s not really unexpected though at this point, practically every other major event has also been postponed. This is all in response to the ongoing situation in America right now, after the death of George Floyd who died at hands of Minneapolis police officers.

      • June’s Humble Choice is out with Supraland, Overload, Barotrauma and more

        Looks like the June 2020 Humble Choice is a pretty good one filled with some highly rated games. Time to take a quick look over what’s on offer.

        Humble Choice (prev Humble Monthly) is a curated bundle that changes each month. You pick a tier with different prices to get access to the huge Humble Trove (a collection of DRM-free games) plus a Humble Store discount and then you pick between 3-9 games to keep. This month you can pick from (bold titles support Linux):

        Remnants of Naezith
        Stygian: Reign of the Old Ones

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • Adding EteSync address books to Kontact – GSoC 2020 with KDE and EteSync [Part 3]

          Last week, I wrote a post about adding EteSync address books to Kontact. I’m happy to report that you can now fetch your EteSync address books and contacts in Kontact. If you want to test it out, skip to ”Testing the resource” section below. You can read on for updates on the project:

        • Reordering the People Sidebar in DigiKam

          The People Sidebar is an important aspect of Face Management in DigiKam. It displays the names of all people in the database, and provides a variety of context menu functionality. Currently, the Face Tags (Names) in the Sidebar are sorted alphabetically (either ascending or descending). This causes inconvenience to the user, particularly when confirming the results of a Facial Recognition.

    • Distributions

      • BSD

        • VAX port needs help

          This are severe challenges for a general purpose operating system like NetBSD, but also provides reality checks for our claim to be a very portable operating system.

          Unfortunately there is another challenge, totally outside of NetBSD, but affecting the VAX port big time: the compiler support for VAX is … let’s say sub-optimal. It is also risking to be dropped completely by gcc upstream.

          Now here is where people can help: there is a bounty campaign to finance a gcc hacker to fix the hardest and most immediate issue with gcc for VAX. Without this being resolved, gcc will drop support for VAX in a near future version.

      • SUSE/OpenSUSE

        • openSUSE Tumbleweed – Review of the weeks 2020/21 – 23

          It has been a while since I wrote a ‘weekly’ review. My own fault for taking some days off, right? At least I had good weather and enjoyed the time – a lot even. But now I am in dept to you: I owe you a review over what happened over the last three weeks. Since the last review, openSUSE Tumbleweed has seen 11 new snapshots (0514, 0515, 0516, 0517, 0519, 0520, 0523, 0526, 0528, 0602 and 0603). Thanks to Max for taking care of it during my absence).


          This means almost all of the things from the last ‘weekly review’s’ ‘things in progress’ have been delivered by now. But that does not mean there is nothing left.

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • IBM Releases Fully Homomorphic Encryption Toolkit for MacOS and iOS; Linux and Android Coming Soon

          Often, when I begin explaining fully homomorphic encryption (FHE) to someone for the first time I start by saying that I’ve been working in the field for nearly a decade and yet, I still have to pause to spell it right. So, let’s call it FHE.

          Half-kidding aside, FHE really sounds like magic when you hear about it for the first time, but it’s actually based on very sound mathematics. The main difference is that FHE requires a shift in the programming paradigm that we are used to, which makes it a little more difficult to integrate into applications. That was until today thanks to a new toolkit we are making available for MacOS, iOS and soon for Linux and Android. In fact, developers with basic platform tool familiarity can get up and running by following a few simple instructions rather quickly (see video below). It was no small feat to synthesize 11 years of top-notch cryptography research into a streamlined developer experience that is accessible and freely available to anyone in the time most people would spend to brew a pot of coffee or de-clutter a desk.

        • New open source security tools let you develop on encrypted data

          Building security into the fabric of your applications no longer requires you to be an expert in cryptography. The open source IBM Fully Homomorphic Encryption Toolkits provide code and development environment settings that developers can use to experiment with a different kind of secure programming model.

        • Contribute at the Fedora CoreOS Test Day

          The Fedora CoreOS team has released the first Fedora CoreOS testing release based on Fedora 32. They expect that this release will promote to the stable channel in two weeks, on the usual schedule. As a result, the Fedora CoreOS and QA teams have organized a test day on Monday, June 08, 2020. Refer to the wiki page for links to the test cases and materials you’ll need to participate. Read below for details.

        • IBM C/C++ and Fortran compilers to adopt LLVM open source infrastructure

          IBM® has been investing significantly in open source code, communities, and governance. LLVM is an open source compilation technology framework that is actively maintained by a large development community, supporting multiple architectures and programming languages. Clang is the open source C/C++ frontend for the LLVM project and provides full support for the latest language standards. IBM intends to fully incorporate the LLVM Core and Clang sub-projects in future C/C++ offerings on IBM z/OS®, Linux on Power, IBM AIX®, and IBM i (with PASE) platforms.

          As an active sponsor and strong supporter of the LLVM open source project, IBM is contributing code for both IBM Power® and IBM Z® in the areas of code generation and exploitation, portability and usability enhancements, and toolchain support. In 2019, IBM increased participation in the LLVM project by adding AIX support and enhancing loop optimizations. IBM is intending to fully leverage the LLVM infrastructure in C/C++ offerings as the next step in our compiler strategy.

        • Mandrel: A community distribution of GraalVM for the Red Hat build of Quarkus

          The Java community has demonstrated time and time again its ability to evolve, improve, and adapt to meet the needs of its developers and users. Even after 25 years of language and framework choices, Java has consistently ranked in the top languages in use today due to its strong track record and capabilities in enterprise use cases. Red Hat has long been a strong leader in Java and open source software development and remains committed to being at the forefront of Java as it continues to evolve.

          Today, Red Hat and the GraalVM community jointly established a new downstream distribution of GraalVM, called Mandrel. This distribution will power the Red Hat build of Quarkus, a recently announced addition to Red Hat Runtimes. This article explains what Mandrel is and why it is necessary.

        • Red Hat CEO Paul Cormier Talks About IBM and His Vision for the Future

          Paul Cormier recently sat down for a talk with us about how the company’s relationship with its new owner, IBM, is working out and to reflect on where the company is going.

        • Fedora program update: 2020-23

          Here’s your report of what has happened in Fedora this week. Elections voting is open through 11 June.

      • Devuan Family

        • Devuan Beowulf 3.0 release continues to resist the Debian fork’s Grendel – systemd

          The Devuan team has released Beowulf 3.0.0, based on Debian Buster, but with the systemd init system – now standard in Debian – removed.

          The project began in November 2014 as a fork of Debian with an announcement citing “diverging perceptions of the Debian project” after a battle over the adoption of systemd, and promising to be “free from bloat as a minimalist base distro should be.” The “vua” in the name stands for Veteran Unix Admins. It is sponsored by Dyne.org, which describes itself as a “non-profit free software foundry.”

          This is the third stable Devuan release, the first being Jessie in May 2017 and the second ASCII (based on Debian Stretch) in June 2018.

          Linux kernel maintainer Greg Kroah-Hartman told The Reg: “Everybody who has ever worked at that level in the operating system has agreed that systemd is the proper solution. It solves a problem that people have. Distros have adopted it because it solves a problem for them.” But he added: “If you don’t want to use it, you don’t have to use it.”

      • Debian Family

        • Tor from Telmex. When I say “achievement unlocked”, I mean it!

          Back in 2016, Telmex –Mexico’s foremost communications provider and, through the brands grouped under the América Móvil brand, one of Latin America’s most important ISPs– set up rules to block connecitons to (at least) seven of Tor’s directory authorities (DirAuths). We believe they might have blocked all of them, in an attempt to block connections from Tor from anywhere in their networks, but Tor is much more resourceful than that so, the measure was not too effective.


          How can I put this in words? I am very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very happy we managed to see this through!

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • Linux Mint dumps Ubuntu Snap

          Linux Mint is one of the most popular Linux distributions, and it’s my favorite. In part because, while it’s based on Debian Linux and Ubuntu, it goes its own way. For example, its developers created their own excellent desktop interface, Cinnamon. Now, Mint’s programmers, led by lead developer, Clement “Clem” Lefebvre, has dropped support for Ubuntu’s Snap software packing system.

          Snap, along with its rivals Flatpak and AppImage, are alternative ways to install applications on Linux systems. The older ways of Linux apps, such as DEB and RPM package management systems for the Debian and Red Hat Linux families, include the source code and hard-coded paths for each program.

        • Yaru Colors Updated With Ubuntu 20.04 Yaru Theme In 12 Colors (GTK, Icons, GNOME Shell, More)

          Yaru Colors, a theme pack containing Yaru theme (the default Ubuntu GTK, icon, GNOME Shell and cursor themes) in 12 colors, was updated recently based on the Ubuntu 20.04 Yaru theme, which has 3 variants: mixed (default), light and dark, and new folder icons.

          The colors available with this theme pack are aqua, blue, brown, deep blue, green, grey, MATE (uses the Ubuntu MATE green), orange, pink, purple, red and yellow. The themes are available in light, dark and regular (mixed) variants, just as Yaru is available in Ubuntu 20.04. There are also light and dark GNOME Shell themes.

        • Ubuntwtoooo 20.04!

          The next LTS release of Ubuntu has dropped and it’s frankly fantastic. We’re getting you up and running with it as quickly as possible in our main feature this month for those readers who are new to Linux or Ubuntu, and we’ll cover off the important new features you’ll be itching to try out. After nearly 16 years of continuous development this release isn’t here to innovate as much to refine Ubuntu.

          The Gnome desktop – love it or hate it – feels super-slick and has received some much-needed optimisations over the past year. The theme has been polished to a sheen and icons refreshed. There will, of course, be the usual cascade of spin-off updates, ranging from the usual array of xyz-buntus but also downstream distros. The new Pop!_OS is already out and we’ve managed to squeeze a review into this issue. We’re very much looking forward to seeing how Mint 20 works out, too.

        • The State of Robotics – May 2020

          With several countries finally emerging from lockdowns and markets showing signs of economic recovery, we’ve seen the newscycle steadily shift its focus away from Covid-19. And that will be reflected in our robotics recap as well. Let’s get right to it.


          As is the ROS tradition, now that we’re nearing the ROS 2 Foxy release date, it’s time to name the G-version of ROS 2. The discussion thread has received a ton of suggestions. Our favorites so far are Galactic Gamera, Grumpy Gopherus, and Gutsy Gibba.

          Head over to the Discourse page to provide your own recommendations. Something to keep in mind – not every user is a native English speaker, so the best release names are easy to pronounce. Glacial, glorious and global are quite practical. Glamorous, groundbreaking and geosynchronous… not so much.

        • OSM#9 Hackfest: the highlights

          For this hackfest, the organisers decided to change the structure in a way that would facilitate hands-on sessions; with attendees playing with technology to learn and unlock new capabilities and skills – staying true to the very nature of a hackfest The event spanned three days of theory and workshop sessions, with an extra day for ecosystem-related presentations and leadership, and technical sessions happening in a parallel track for the full week.

          The overall experience was great with active participation and every session felt like adding a piece to the puzzle to highlight the benefits that OSM can bring to telcos in a landscape that is rapidly moving towards network function virtualisation and containerisation. Participants were introduced to the end-to-end hackfest scenario on the first day. The next two days were all about how to deploy and operate network functions on physical machines (PNFs), virtual machines (VNFs) and Kubernetes-managed containers (KNFs), and how to do network slicing, auto-scaling and testing. Slides from all sessions can be found on the OSM wiki.


          Canonical has a strong presence in the OSM leadership team, with CEO Mark Shuttleworth being a technical steering committee (TSC) member plus Beierl and Garcia from Canonical’s OSM engineering team as MDLs. Canonical’s vision is to bring better economics for data centres by providing smarter operations at a better price. This vision is very appealing to telecommunications providers that face complex network operations at scale. Our engagement in OSM aims at driving comprehensive design choices to drive better code and operations.

          During the technical sessions, we presented the latest version of the OSM installer. The installer is able to deploy OSM using upstream OSM charms in high-availability mode on a user-provided Kubernetes, bootstrap a LXD cluster and link it to a virtual infrastructure manager (VIM) such as an Openstack cloud. Similarly, the installer can deploy OSM on a single-node, using Microk8s as the K8s substrate. The technical sessions also addressed the roadmap plan for OSM Release EIGHT that should be available in July 2020 and defined upcoming features to address production readiness. This marks an inflection point in OSM as the project enters a more mature stage.

        • Fabrica – Your self-hosted snap factory

          There are many ways one can go about building snaps. You can do it on your local system, by manually running commands in a terminal window. If you have a developer account in the Snap Store, you can use the integrated build functionality to create snaps. You can also use Launchpad, Electron Builder or a range of CI/CD systems. And you can also run your own, self-hosted snap building factory!

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • Web Browsers

        • Mozilla

          • Mozilla releases recommendations on EU Data Strategy

            Mozilla recently submitted our response to the European Commission’s public consultation on its European Strategy for Data. The Commission’s data strategy is one of the pillars of its tech strategy, which was published in early 2020 (more on that here). To European policymakers, promoting proper use and management of data can play a key role in a modern industrial policy, particularly as it can provide a general basis for insights and innovations that advance the public interest.

            Our recommendations provide insights on how to manage data in a way that protects the rights of individuals, maintains trust, and allows for innovation. In addition to highlighting some of Mozilla’s practices and policies which underscore our commitment to ethical data and working in the open – such as our Lean Data Practices Toolkit, the Data Stewardship Program, and the Firefox Public Data Report – our key recommendations for the European Commission are the following…

      • FSF

        • GNU Projects

          • Sean Whitton: spacecadetrebindings

            I’ve been less good at taking adequate typing breaks during the lockdown and I’ve become concerned about how much chording my left hand does on its own during typical Emacs usage, with caps lock rebound to control, as I’ve had it for years.

      • Openness/Sharing/Collaboration

        • Why Now Is the Time for “Open Innovation”

          Collaboration can obviously save human lives, but it can also produce huge benefits for companies — even though it’s often overlooked in normal circumstances. For more than a decade, we’ve studied open innovation and have taught thousands of executives and students how to innovate in a more distributed, decentralized and participatory way. The classroom response is usually, “My company needs more of this!” But despite the enthusiasm, companies rarely follow through. We have also witnessed how companies have used hackathons and other forms of open innovation to generate heaps of creative ideas that never reach the point of implementation, leading to frustration among employees and partners. At many companies this kind of distributed, decentralized, and participatory way of innovating remains an ambition that hasn’t yet come true.


          Earlier research has found that many companies are extremely worried about value “leaking” from collaborations with outsiders. As a result, they often stick to their knitting and collaborate on a few peripheral tasks, but not on the most important business issues. For example, we are aware of several chemical companies in Europe and the U.S. that made it practically impossible for their open innovation partners to provide help and advice. How? They wouldn’t reveal what their most critical problems entailed, as that could endanger future patenting. Instead the innovation partnerships slipped into irrelevance.

          These intellectual property concerns are of course real and important, but they risk blocking any open innovation initiative from gaining momentum. However, during the Covid-19 crisis it could be wise to focus more on creating value than capturing value.

      • Programming/Development

        • M5Stack Atom Echo Coin-Sized Bluetooth Speaker is Powered by ESP32-PICO-D4 SiP
        • The 20 Best Arduino Books Available for Developers in 2020

          Basing on the hardware and software that are easy-to-use, the Arduino made itself a strong electronic platform in the open-source world. It has earned enormous popularity in the field of projects that are built based on electronics. If you want to understand and learn embedded systems, then Arduino is the most suitable one. Arduino is well known to be a different sensor reader like a thermometer, sound, heat, etc. and thereby can be used in households and all kinds of industrial installations. So, it is worth learning Arduino in this era. Thus, we are here to give you the best collections of Arduino books to learn Arduino in an easy and constructive way.

        • QStringView Diaries: Zero-Allocation String Splitting

          After four months of intensive development work, I am happy to announce that the first QStringTokenizer commits have landed in what will eventually become Qt 6.0. The docs should show up, soon.

          While the version in Qt will be Qt 6-only, KDAB will release this tool for Qt 5 as part of its KDToolBox productivity suite. Yes, that means the code doesn’t require C++17 and works perfectly fine in pure C++11.

          This is a good time to recapitulate what QStringTokenizer is all about.

        • Python

          • sphinxcontrib-spelling 5.1.0

            sphinxcontrib-spelling is a spelling checker for Sphinx-based documentation. It uses PyEnchant to produce a report showing misspelled words.

          • The Real Python Podcast – Episode #12: Web Scraping in Python: Tools, Techniques, and Legality

            Do you want to get started with web scraping using Python? Are you concerned about the potential legal implications? What are the tools required and what are some of the best practices? This week on the show we have Kimberly Fessel to discuss her excellent tutorial created for PyCon 2020 online titled “It’s Officially Legal so Let’s Scrape the Web.”

            We discuss getting started with web scraping, and cover tools and techniques. Kimberly gives advice on finding elements inside of the html, and techniques for cleaning your data. She also notes a recent change to the legal landscape regarding scraping the web.

          • Tricks for Working with Data in Python

            The terms ‘Data Science’ and ‘Data Analyst’ are considered hot topics in the IT world. The problem is that these are generic terms and mean different things to different people and organizations. As a result, I am calling this ‘Data Examination’. In this case, Data Examination refers to the ability to use the Pandas DataFrame to get a first look at the data, slice it into useful bits of information to make a decision, clean the data, get stats on the data, and add more information to a dataframe.

          • Cosmic Python

            Folks I’ve written a new book!

            Along with my coauthor Bob, we are proud to release “Architecture Patterns with Python”, which you can find out more about at cosmicpython.com.

            The cosmic soubriquet is a little joke, Cosmos being the opposite of Chaos in ancient Greek, so we want to propose patterns to minimise chaos in your applications.

          • PyCharm: Smart execution of R code

            In this release, we also introduced some stability improvements and enhancements for resolving and autocompleting named arguments.

          • Python Bytes: #184 Too many ways to wait with await?
          • Return Multiple Values from A Python Function

            The function is used in any programming language to run a specific block of code multiple times when require and organize the code properly. Sometimes, this requires reading the return value from the function for the programming purposes. The return value of the function is stored in a variable. Python functions can return both single and multiple values. This tutorial shows how multiple values can be returned from Python functions with multiple variables, objects, tuples, lists, and dictionaries.

          • Reading and Writing Excel (XLSX) Files in Python with the Pandas Library

            Just like with all other types of files, you can use the Pandas library to read and write Excel files using Python as well. In this short tutorial, we are going to discuss how to read and write Excel files via DataFrames.

            In addition to simple reading and writing, we will also learn how to write multiple DataFrames into an Excel file, how to read specific rows and columns from a spreadsheet, and how to name single and multiple sheets within a file before doing anything.

          • Writing the Factorial Program in Python

            The factorial of a number is the number that you get after multiplying all numbers from 1 to that number. The factorial of a number is denoted by the ‘!’ symbol. For example, if we want to find out the factorial of 4, denoted 4!, then the result would be 1x2x3x4 = 24. There are many ways to find out the factorial of a number. The factorial can be determined in Python using the built-in function for loop and recursive functions. This tutorial shows how the factorial of a number can be determined using various functions of Python.

          • How to Use Boxplot in Python

            A box plot is used to summarize data sets by using the box and whisker plot method. This function helps users to understand the data summary properly. Box plots can be very useful when we want to know how the data is distributed and spread. Three types of quartiles are used in the box plot to plot the data. These values include the median, maximum, minimum, upper-quartile, and lower-quartile statistical values. A box plot summarizes this data in the 25th, 50th, and 75th percentiles. This tutorial will show you how to create box plots based on a given data set using the pandas and seaborn libraries of Python.

          • How to Use Urllib in Python

            Python contains a module named urllib for handling Uniform Resource Locator (URL)-related tasks. This module is installed in Python 3 by default, and fetches URLs of different protocols via the urlopen() function. Urllib can be used for many purposes, such as reading website content, making HTTP and HTTPS requests, sending request headers, and retrieving response headers. The urllib module contains many other modules for working with URLs, such as urllib.request, urllib.parse, and urllib.error, among others. This tutorial will show you how to use the Urllib module in Python.

          • Python 3.8.3 : Using the fabric python module – part 001.
  • Leftovers

    • Science

      • Genetic Diversity and Relationships of Living and Extinct Lions

        Population studies, most relying on mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA), have been pursued for living species and remains of extinct lions, with varying degrees of confidence. Last month, an international group of researchers published a paper in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA entitled “The evolutionary history of extinct and living lions” that reported results of genomic DNA analysis of twenty lion specimens, comprising two cave lions (Panthera leo spelaea), about 30,000 years old from Siberia and the Yukon; 12 “historic” lions (Panthera leo leo/Panthera leo melanochaita) that lived between the 15th and 20th centuries outside the current geographic distribution of lions, and 6 present-day lions from Eastern and Southern Africa (4) and India (2). The broad conclusions these authors drew from this genetic data is that the cave and modern lion species shared a common ancestor that lived about a half million years ago, and that modern lions consist of two lineages that diverged about 70,000 years ago. The “orphan” Indian lions showed what the authors termed “a nearly complete absence of genetic diversity,” consistent with their low population sizes in recent years.


        Turning to the Indian lions, the authors report the greatest extent of population reduction and inbreeding in these lions (a 16-fold reduction in heterozygosity compared with modern southern African lions), with 90% of the Indian lion genomic DNA residing in ROHs. Further analyses showed that Indian lions carry on average 12.7% more deleterious mutations in homozygosity, which results in a substantial genetic load and even more so should these mutations be recessive (i.e., individuals would carry both mutant copies of the gene).

        The authors conclude their paper with a section on “implications for conservation,” including efforts to resuscitate extinct or nearly extinct populations a la Jurassic Park. (The risks of this embodiment of “playing God” using genetic methodologies have been set forth in Beth Shapiro’s book, How to Clone a Mammoth: The Science of De-extinction.) These authors caution that “although conservation efforts are contributing to increasing population size after centuries of decline, their remarkable lack of genomic diversity suggests that they could be extremely susceptible to inbreeding depression and genetic erosion, as well as future pathogen outbreaks.”

        While providing the first whole-genome sequencing comparison of several extinct and living lion species, the paper illustrates that significant additional work will be needed to sort out the interrelationships between these different forms of the King of Beasts.

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Pseudo-Open Source

          • Entrapment (Microsoft GitHub)

            • Dirk Eddelbuettel: corels 0.0.2 on CRAN: Initial upload!

              The source code repo has since been relocated from my account to the (upstream) corels org in GitHub. And renamed: as the upstream (C++) repo as well as the existing Python package simply call is corels we now do too. The repo, to be distinguishable as a directory, will remain named rcppcorels.

              We also describe the package a little on the corels package page. Some more work should go into along with work in the upstream repos, so please follow whichever GitHub repo you are interested in.

        • Security

          • Security updates for Friday

            Security updates have been issued by CentOS (bind, firefox, and freerdp), Debian (netqmail and python-django), Fedora (cacti, cacti-spine, dbus, firefox, gjs, mbedtls, mozjs68, and perl), Oracle (freerdp and kernel), Scientific Linux (bind and firefox), Slackware (mozilla), SUSE (krb5-appl, libcroco, libexif, libreoffice, libxml2, qemu, transfig, and vim), and Ubuntu (firefox, freerdp, and python-django).

          • Free Software Can Cost Plenty [Ed: NSA perpetuates this idea that somehow it's Free software that's the risk, not proprietary software with NSA back doors]

            Cybersecurity experts note that the notion of sharing software is hardly new; most would argue the present open source movement began in 1984. The Free Software Foundation and GNU project led to the GNU C compiler and GNU Emacs, both pivotal to software development at the time. In addition, the GNU General Public License (GPL) allows the copying, modification and redistribution of software licensed under the GPL. None of those actions require explicit permission of the original owner; the only obligation is that modifications be public and therefore visible to the originator.

            Although OSS has facilitated many software solutions, they bring with them inherent cybersecurity issues, the experts say. The strength of the OSS community—its openness and trust—unfortunately also is a weakness. A cultural system organized to solicit and accept patches, fixes and improvements from a variety of somewhat vetted but fundamentally untrusted sources will inevitably allow some malicious code to be introduced.

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

          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • Looking forward to an open sourced wearable contact tracing device

              So, the other shoe is about to drop. Gov is planning on providing everyone a wearable contacting tracing device to counter the limitations of apps that run in mobile phones – like the TraceTogether (the downstream of OpenTrace).

              It also seems that a “newer” version of TT will now ask for NRIC in addition to mobile phone number at registration.

              Not a good thing, really, NOT A GOOD THING.

              Why? One can generate any NRIC number.

              This report claims that it will be like TT/OT, except that it is a separate device that one could carry. What is needed is a device that implements the BlueTrace protocol. This device can take on the form factor of a watch, a pen, or a key fob. It should be easy to design and build. And once built, put the designs, schematics etc on a Open Hardware License and published on Thinkiverse (or anywhere else). There are plenty of examples of wearables there. No need to reinvent the wheel.

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • African lockdown killings, delayed elections, and a US sexual health impasse: The Cheat Sheet

        The police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis has caused outrage across Africa. Social media lit up in solidarity with Black Lives Matter and revulsion at yet another murder. African leaders, from Ghana to Namibia, have condemned the systemic racism it reveals. And yet, a week after George Floyd was choked to death, police in Kenya shot and killed a homeless man for breaking COVID-19 curfew – one of 15 people killed by Kenyan security forces so far in lockdown-related incidents. In South Africa, security forces enforcing stay-at-homes have killed at least 10 people; in Uganda it has been six. But these deaths haven’t provoked the same popular protest. Why? Under-resourced, Africa’s police forces have historically controlled through fear, and there’s middle-class complicity in that violence and impunity – plus a growth industry in additional private security. William Shoki, writing for Africa Is a Country, points out that while Africa’s cosmopolitan twitterati feel an affinity for black America, it is poor Africans who are the closest in experience to working-class people of colour in the diaspora and the injustices they face. An intersectionality of race, class, and gender frames this discrimination – and the path to its dismantling. One of George Floyd’s brothers, Terrence, offered advice to all: “Go and vote”.

    • Monopolies

      • Patents

        • Our Top 5 Added Matter Drafting Tips

          1. At the EPO, amendments that create “new” combinations are a particular problem. Consider filing with multiply dependent claims or include a “numbered embodiments” section to provide basis for combinations in the future.

          2. At the EPO, the term “comprising” may not provide basis for “consisting of”. Consider including embodiments with both terms e.g. “a pharmaceutical formulation comprising X, Y, Z” and “a pharmaceutical formulation consisting of X, Y, Z”.

          3. It is difficult to rely on the Examples or Figures as basis for amendments at the EPO, particularly if you wish to extract one feature in isolation. Consider adding falls backs to the key features of the Examples and Figures in the description.

          4. At the EPO, basis for amendments must derive from the application as originally filed. This excludes the abstract and the priority document. Information that has been “incorporated by reference” can only be relied upon as basis for amendments in very limited circumstances.

          5. Use consistent terminology when drafting. For example, the terms “pharmaceutical formulation” and “pharmaceutical composition” could easily be used interchangeably when drafting, but an EPO Examiner may not allow embodiments relating to the formulation to be combined with embodiments relating to the composition as these are (arguably) different things.

        • This week in IP: Courts shut amid protests, AI inventorship push, Tiger King’s cage rattled

          Nokia IP head Eeva Hakoranta has taken a new job as chief licensing officer with InterDigital, it was announced on Wednesday.

          Hakoranta, who has worked for the Finnish telecoms company for more than 13 years, will take up her new position on July 1. She will replace Timothy Berghuis, who is retiring and has been InterDigital’s chief licensing officer since January 2018.

          “InterDigital’s ability to attract someone with Eeva Hakoranta’s capabilities and track record to lead such a crucial function as licensing speaks to the strength of our technology and our position in the industry,” said William Merritt, president and CEO at InterDigital.

          “I am thrilled that she has chosen to join us, and very much look forward to working with her as we execute on our mobile licensing programme, continue to build our new CE licensing programme, and explore further opportunities leveraging the tremendous research conducted at the company.”

          Until 2012, Hakoranta was the director of Nokia’s IPR legal team, which she had established upon joining the company in 2006. Before arriving at Nokia, she worked as a specialist counsel for law firm Roschier in Helsinki.

        • Software Patents

          • CIPA calls for clarity about artificial intelligence and patents [Ed: This is a lie. The liars from CIPA don’t call for “clarity” but call for patent maximalists’ agenda (just like anti-Alice/Section 101 hacks don’t want “clarity”; they want software patents back).]

            The Chartered Institute of Patent Attorneys (CIPA) in the UK has called for clarity over the patenting of innovations created by artificial intelligence. The issue has drawn a lot of attention lately. Last January, the EPO stated a machine cannot be an inventor, refusing patent applications EP 18 275 163 and EP 18 275 174 in which a machine called DABUS was named as the inventor.


            Others in CIPA prefer to limit patent protection to inventions having a human contribution – in effect, retaining current inventorship requirements, but accepting that an invention created using AI is patentable as long as there is a genuine human contribution.”

            CIPA calls for an investigation of the issue, “including discussions with stakeholders such as industry, policy-makers and legislators”, as “the ongoing uncertainty might cast doubt on the validity of granted patents for inventions created using an AI system; it might also potentially impact AI supported research and development in the UK and elsewhere.”

      • Copyrights

        • Academy logo (featuring Oscar statue silhouette) denied copyright registration in the US

          What happens when the work that you wish to register is a derivative of your own earlier work? This is the slightly unusual quandary that the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (‘the Academy’) found itself in when it tried to register its logo (the ‘Work’) – which prominently features a silhouette of the Oscar statuette – for copyright protection in the US. Further to an initial registration refusal and an appeal to the US Copyright Office Review Board (‘the Board’), last month the latter upheld the refusal, stating that the Work did not contain the requisite authorship necessary for it to be eligible for copyright protection.


          The Work (referred to as the ‘Academy logo’) is described as a “black and white two-dimensional graphic consisting of the Oscar statuette on a pedestal surrounded by a triangle”. In June 2017, the Academy filed an application to register the work for copyright protection. This was denied in June 2018, on the basis that the work “lack[ed] the authorship necessary to support a copyright claim”. The First Request for Consideration also concluded with a finding that the “combination of the [Work’s] component elements to be insufficiently creative to support a claim in copyright”.

          In response, the Academy claimed that the work “conveyed sufficient copyrightable authorship” as originality was involved in its creation, such as “the overall shape of the Oscar silhouette base and the orientation of the side of the base made to align with the sides of the stylized overhead spotlight that forms the overall shape of the Work, the use, design, and orientation of the overhead spotlight and the sizing of each element for aesthetic proportionality”.

Links 5/6/2020: LibreELEC (Leia) 9.2.3, Rust 1.44.0, and Hamburg’s Pivot to Free/Libre Software

Posted in News Roundup at 9:11 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • SpaceX Sent NASA Astronauts Into Orbit Using Linux

      This past weekend, Elon Musk-led private space company SpaceX made history by launching a pair of NASA astronauts into orbit, an accomplishment that could upset the balance of the international space industry.

    • Linux at Home – Take a break with rapid gameplay

      In this series, we look at a range of home activities where Linux can make the most of our time at home, keeping active and engaged. The change of lifestyle enforced by Covid-19 is an opportunity to expand our horizons, and spend more time on activities we have neglected in the past.

      We’ve seen welcome relief in the past few weeks in European countries, with marked declines in Covid-19 associated deaths. Sadly, the pandemic is rampant in many countries including Mexico, USA, Brazil, and India.

      Given that working from home is likely to remain popular, it’s essential we strike a balance. When working from home, it’s very easy to lose track of time. It’s important to take regular breaks. Playing video games offers one avenue. There are many benefits of playing video games. Examples include improved coordination, problem-solving skills, it improves attention and concentration, and much more.

    • Desktop/Laptop

      • Lenovo is adding Linux to all its workstation products

        Following the news that it will soon offer Linux laptops, Lenovo has now announced that it will also be bringing Ubuntu and Red Hat Linux to its full workstation portfolio.

        Many Linux users prefer to customize their own machines by configuring and installing Linux distros themselves but this can raise uncertainty when it comes to system stability, restricted performance compatibility, end-user productivity and even IT support for devices.

        Now though, demand has increased for an out-of-the-box solution that removes the barrier for deployment of enterprise-grade hardware within a Linux software ecosystem which is why Lenovo has decided to bring Linux to its workstations.

      • Lenovo is now offering full certification and Linux preinstalled hardware

        PC giant Lenovo is bringing serious support to Linux…big support. The entire line of Lenovo workstations (minus the IdeaPad) will now be fully certified to work with Linux. That’s not all. Lenovo will also start selling the entire line of ThinkStation PCs and ThinkPad P series laptops with either Ubuntu LTS or Red Hat Enterprise Linux pre-installed.

        Lenovo will also include full web support and dedicated Linux forums into the mix.

        For many, within the Linux community, this could be the biggest piece of news to develop for the open source operating system. Lenovo adding their support behind Linux not only gives consumers far more options for Linux hardware, it could easily help companies to realize the open source operating system is a viable option for the desktop. And with Lenovo also adding their drivers into the upstream kernel, all of their hardware will work with Linux, out of the box. No more tweaking or compiling to get features like Wi-Fi, sound, and fingerprint readers to work.

      • What Lenovo’s recent announcement means for Linux and the open source community

        2020 has done everything it can to rob of us joy and progress. It seems there’s some new bit of news that deflates all hope and sucks the wind out of our sails. But then, we get the slightest glimmer of good news and, no matter how insignificant it may seem in the grand scheme of things, we hold onto like it like it was a pot of gold at the end of every rainbow in the sky.

        Such is the case when Lenovo made the announcement that they were broadening their support for desktop Linux.

    • Server

      • Longhorn Simplifies Distributed Block Storage in Kubernetes

        Today we’re announcing the general availability of Longhorn, an enterprise-grade, cloud-native container storage solution. Longhorn directly answers the need for an enterprise-grade, vendor-neutral persistent storage solution that supports the easy development of stateful applications within Kubernetes.

        We’ve been working on Longhorn for almost as long as we’ve been around as a company. We launched the project in 2017, and then in 2019, we contributed it to the Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF) as a sandbox project. So it’s that CNCF open source project that is now generally available.

      • Supporting the Evolving Ingress Specification in Kubernetes 1.18

        Earlier this year, the Kubernetes team released Kubernetes 1.18, which extended Ingress. In this blog post, we’ll walk through what’s new in the new Ingress specification, what it means for your applications, and how to upgrade to an ingress controller that supports this new specification.

      • 6 Kubernetes Security Best Practices Every Linux Administrator Should Know

        Kubernetes is a popular container orchestration platform used by many professionals around the world. It’s an open-source platform that enables you to manage containerization, providing you with feature-rich controls. However, Kubernetes is not easy to learn and maintain. To properly secure Kubernetes operations, you need to adopt certain best practices.

      • Build a Kubernetes cluster with the Raspberry Pi

        Kubernetes is an enterprise-grade container-orchestration system designed from the start to be cloud-native. It has grown to be the de-facto cloud container platform, continuing to expand as it has embraced new technologies, including container-native virtualization and serverless computing.

        Kubernetes manages containers and more, from micro-scale at the edge to massive scale, in both public and private cloud environments. It is a perfect choice for a “private cloud at home” project, providing both robust container orchestration and the opportunity to learn about a technology in such demand and so thoroughly integrated into the cloud that its name is practically synonymous with “cloud computing.”

      • Provision Kubernetes NFS clients on a Raspberry Pi homelab
      • A beginner’s guide to Kubernetes container orchestration
    • Audiocasts/Shows

      • FLOSS Weekly 581: Purism

        Doc Searls and Simon Phipps talk to Kyle Rankin, Chief Security Officer and Vice President at Purism. Purism is security focussed software & hardware company that believes in building products that respect and protect individuals’ privacy, security, and freedom.

      • BSDNow 353: ZFS on Ironwolf

        Scheduling in NetBSD, ZFS vs. RAID on Ironwolf disks, OpenBSD on Microsoft Surface Go 2, FreeBSD for Linux sysadmins, FreeBSD on Lenovo T480, and more.

    • Kernel Space

      • GNU Linux-Libre 5.7 Kernel Is Out for Those Seeking 100% Freedom for Their PCs

        Based on the recently released Linux 5.7 kernel series, the GNU Linux-Libre 5.7 kernel is here to disable blob loading in the Azoteq IQS62x MFD driver, IDT 82P33xxx PTP clock driver, Marvell OcteonTX CPT driver, Mediatek MT7622 WMAC driver, MHI bus driver, and Qualcomm IPA driver.

        It also introduces new blob names in the AMDGPU, Arm64 DTS files, Broadcom FMAC, m88ds3103 DVB frontend, Mediatek mt8173 VPU, Mediatek 7622 and 7663 WiFi, Meson VDec, Qualcomm Venus, Realtek Bluetooth, and Silead x86 touchscreen drivers.

      • 80-characters-per-line limits should be terminal, says Linux kernel chief Linus Torvalds

        Linux kernel overlord Linus Torvalds has railed against 80-character-lines as a de facto programming standard and has moved to make reminders to keep things short a thing of the past.

        Torvalds weighed in on a Linux kernel clean-up post that somehow strayed into the topic of line lengths. Some advocated for the retention of 80-character lines on grounds that they’re a long-standing convention and that large monitors can handle many small windows when column width is limited.

        Torvalds respectfully disagreed on grounds that limiting lines to 80 characters makes for lots of line breaks.

        “Excessive line breaks are BAD. They cause real and every-day problems,” he wrote.

        “They cause problems for things like ‘grep’ both in the patterns and in the output, since grep (and a lot of other very basic unix utilities) is fundamentally line-based.”

      • Linux 5.8 Networking Changes Include Introducing Cable Testing Infrastructure

        David Miller on Tuesday sent in all of the networking subsystem updates for the Linux 5.8 kernel and there is a lot in store.

        Among the many networking changes as usual are the following new items for Linux 5.8:

        - A network cable test infrastructure has been added to the kernel and initially supported by the Marvell 1G PHY driver. This is intended for helping to figure out if a cable may be shorted, broken, not plugged in on the opposing end, or similar issues. This diagnostics support requires PHY support with some even being able to estimate how far along a cable fault may be on the wire. With Linux 5.8 this necessary infrastructure is in place but for now just the Marvell PHY driver is supported. Infrastructure is added to Ethtool and phylib for initiating such tests.

      • Intel Atom Camera Driver Resurrected In Linux 5.8 – Benefits A Lot Of Devices

        The Linux 5.8 media subsystem changes restore a previously dropped driver for supporting the cameras found on multiple generations of Intel Atom devices.

        The “atomisp” driver is a big one at more than 168k lines of code and is for supporting the Intel ISP2 camera and MIPI sensors on multiple generations of Intel Atom laptops/tablets/2-in-1 type devices. But back in 2018, the atomisp driver was removed from the Linux kernel.

      • Linux 5.8 Sound Changes Bring New AMD Renoir ACP Driver, Intel Elkhart Lake Support

        There is new hardware support as part of the sound subsystem updates for the in-development Linux 5.8 kernel.

      • Graphics Stack

    • Benchmarks

      • The AMD Ryzen 5 4500U / Ryzen 7 4700U Against Intel With 141 Benchmarks

        Following the initial benchmarks of the AMD Ryzen 5 4500U performance a few days ago, here is another more exhaustive look at the performance of this six-core Zen 2 mobile processor as well as that of the eight core Ryzen 7 4700U and several competing Intel CPUs in 140+ benchmarks.

        Here is a fresh round of benchmarking with the Core i7 1065G7, Core i7 8565U, and Core i7 9750H up against the Ryzen 5 4500U and Ryzen 7 4700U.

        The comparable Intel parts were based upon what I had available for testing… Given laptop vendors generally being less than interested in Linux benchmarks/reviews, generally I have to buy the laptops for Linux testing, thus the limited selection compared to our desktop and server benchmarking. The Ryzen 5 4500U and Ryzen 7 4700U are the only Ryzen 4000 mobile parts I have at the moment that were acquired through retail channels. The Ryzen 5 4500U is within the Lenovo Flex 5 and the Ryzen 7 4700U in the Lenovo IdeaPad 5 (14).

      • Benchmarks Of 2nd Gen AMD EPYC On Amazon EC2 Against Intel Xeon, Graviton2

        Today AMD and Amazon announced the general availability of 2nd Gen AMD EPYC “Rome” processors available via the Elastic Compute Cloud. AMD EPYC “Rome” on EC2 with the new “C5a” instance types offer very competitive performance against the latest Intel Xeon instance types, Amazon’s own Graviton2 Arm-based instances, and a big upgrade compared to the first-generation EPYC processors in the cloud.

    • Applications

      • 10 Best Linux Font Tools (Updated 2020)

        In the days when Linux was a fledgling operating system, font handling was often identified as a major weakness. It was true that Linux then had problems with dealing with TrueType fonts, its font subsystem was prehistoric compared to its competitors, there was a dearth of decent fonts, difficulties in adding and configuring fonts made it almost impossible for beginners to improve matters for themselves, and jagged fonts with no anti-aliasing just added to a rather amateurish looking desktop.

        Fortunately, the situation is considerably better these days, with a better quality of user interface typography. With the continuing improving FreeType font engine producing high quality output, natively supporting scalable font formats like TrueType, Linux is making great strides although there’s still some way to go. Dealing with fonts under Linux can sometimes be tricky.

      • Repo Review: Manuskript

        Manuskript is a program designed to assist with the writing of fictional stories and non-fiction papers. It allows you to easily organize all your ideas for plots, characters, and world details, create an outline, and then let you begin writing your first drafts.

        When you first launch Manuskript, you need to select which kind of project you want to create, though there isn’t really that much difference between the fiction and non-fiction project types (Non-fiction projects are divided into sections rather than chapters). You can then set how many chapters you want it to have, how many scenes per chapter, and a word count goal for each scene. This can all be adjusted at a later stage from the Editor tab.


        Manuskript is a great planning and organizing tool for writers, though it definitely seems to be intended more for fiction than non-fiction. I did unfortunately encounter a few bugs though, but the program is still fairly early in development. I’m not really much of a fiction writer myself, so I probably won’t be using Manuskript that much, but I can definitely see how useful it could be for some writers.

      • Blender 2.83 Released as First Long Term Support [Ubuntu PPA]

        Blender 2.83 was released a few days ago. It’s marked as the first LTS (Long Term Support) release with 2-year support with critical fixes.

    • Instructionals/Technical

    • Games

      • A new update to Stoneshard makes ranged combat a lot more interesting

        Stoneshard, an Early Access turn-based and open-world RPG from Ink Stains Games that has a ridiculously huge amount of potential just had another big update.

        The “Bolt Thrower” update adds in quite a lot of extra content. It’s surprising how quickly they’re able to keep building it up. Ranged combat is definitely a lot more interesting now with Spears and Crossbows, and the addition of arrowhead variation. New skills to learn were added as part of this too including Dual Wielding, there’s new fauna like sweet little Hedgehogs and new flora.

      • Build an interplanetary industrial rail network in Space Trains

        Two awesome things together: space and trains. I’m not going to question how that’s even possible but it sounds like quite a fun little mix of strategy and puzzles.

        A simple yet quite fun and absurd sounding idea. You build an interplanetary industrial rail network, while discovering new plants and assigning projects to them. When doing so, space trains will ferry everything around. There’s even a research system that will give you tech that ranges from “silly to literally game-winning, sometimes both”. Looking at some of the options, it’s got a nice bit of comedy to it. Like “Trapped Gas Mining” which mentions “Interstellar trains aren’t going to power themselves; time to start drilling. Half these planets could do with some global warming anyway.”. Gave me a bit of a chuckle.

      • FOSS transport building sim OpenTTD adds official Ubuntu 20.04 packages

        Want to jump into the latest version of OpenTTD and you’re on the latest Ubuntu 20.04 LTS? Good news, they now have some official packages setup for it.

        Info – OpenTTD is an open source simulation game based upon Transport Tycoon Deluxe. It attempts to mimic the original game as closely as possible while extending it with new features and accessibility enhancements.
        You could have installed it previously using the Snap package but considering how slow they can often be to start, and plenty of people just don’t like Snaps, having proper native .deb packages setup seems like a good idea. This way they enable as many people on Ubuntu as possible to easily play OpenTTD.

      • Hidden Folks merges DLC into the game, big update out now

        Hidden Folks, a somewhat hilarious hidden-object game that’s like a much more interactive ‘Where’s Wally?’ has a huge update.

        Previously, Hidden Folks had DLC for extra content but that’s no longer the case. They’ve unified the game into a single install and one payment but as a result the price has risen. So all existing players get free content, everyone else just pays a little more for a much bigger game, fair enough. This means the Beach area with 5 themed areas is now part of the game. On top of that, yesterday they release another huge free ‘On Tour’ update.

      • Simply Puzzles: Codewords brings 100 code-cracking puzzles to Linux

        Enjoy a good codewords puzzle and in need of some more? Simply Puzzles: Codewords released recently with 100 levels to tease your brain with.

        There’s no fluff to find here, no special shiny additions. Just an easy to grasp codewords puzzle game that has you code-crack your way through crossword-like puzzles. The developer, Simply Puzzles, mentioned to us they thought there wasn’t enough “clean, simple puzzle games on Steam” with this being their first of many planned games like it.

      • Tower Defense with a sprinkle of Deck-Building, Core Defense launches July 31

        After being available in an Early Access stage on itch.io, with a demo available in the form of Core Defense: Prelude, the full Core Defense game is now set to launch on July 31.

        Core Defense is quite unlike other Tower Defense games. It doesn’t have a big colourful map with only a few set tower places. Instead, it uses a blank-slate map that you build up however you want to face the various enemy waves in a more roguelike way. It’s also another game to sprinkle in some card mechanics in a sort-of deck-builder way as you pick a card between waves to build up your arsenal.

      • Xbox One wireless dongle driver for Linux ‘xow’ gets a new release

        xow is another fantastic bit of open source, enabling the use of an Xbox One wireless dongle on Linux to be a much nicer experience overall. Supporting what looks like most of the variations now, it’s got some fun advanced features with input mapping being based on existing kernel drivers like xpad.

        The latest release, xow 0.5, went up yesterday which further advances what’s possible including external pairing mode activation using SIGUSR1 to communicate and there’s also a new compatibility mode option to spoof Xbox 360 controllers. Why the need to spoof the gamepad name? Some games aren’t built to work with or detect the Xbox One pad but they work fine with the 360 pad, this workaround enables you to use your Xbox One pad in even more games.

      • What Is Love2D?

        Let’s try to answer what Love 2D is: LöVE (or Love2D) is an open source multiplatform engine for the development of 2D video games. The engine is written in C ++ and uses Lua as its scripting language. It is published under the zlib license.

        The API provided by the engine provides access to the video and sound functions of the host machine through the SDL and OpenGL libraries, or, since version 0.10, also OpenGL ES 2 and 3. Fonts can be rendered using the FreeType engine. A version of the engine called piLöve was ported specifically to Raspberry Pi.

        It also provides basic “sandbox” management of files to prevent access to the entire disc and system from the running games. In other words, the games in Love 2D language are sandboxed, to limit their level of access to the host machine.

        LöVE is still maintained by its original developers.

        This engine is often found in the compositions of video game development competitions, such as the international competition Ludum Dare.

      • Electronic Arts Launches 25+ Games on Steam Starting Today

        New EA games developed for PC will also launch on Steam alongside other platforms, including the Command & Conquer™ Remastered Collection which launches tomorrow, providing mod support with the Steam Workshop as this game is one of the first major RTS franchises to open source their source code under the GPL

      • Electronic Arts Launches 25 Titles On Steam Today
      • GamerOS, An Enhanced Version of SteamOS

        Let’s walk down memory lane to 2013. Valve had launched Steam for Linux in 2012, and the following year, introduced their idea of console gaming with SteamOS.

        It was an exciting time for Linux gaming. Gabe Newell complained of Windows 8 and its’ awful representation of being a desktop-tablet hybrid, along with their walled garden that is the Windows Store. So Valve decided to take matters into their own hands by using the power of Linux, and in so doing, created SteamOS — a Debian-based distribution that launches Steam Big Picture Mode on startup, thereby preventing the need for a mouse and keyboard.

        Needless to say, I think we’re all aware that Valve’s partnership with various distributors like Dell and iBuyPower to get SteamOS on their machines — dubbed the Steam machines — had been met with a lot of skepticism and therefore launched poorly. Not only was the selection of games limited — due to the need for Steam games to be natively built for Linux in order to work with SteamOS — but console gamers reasoned, “Why should I have to pay nearly twice the money on this, when I can get a traditional console for a lot less?”

        Then there was the nightmare that was installing SteamOS, for creating your own Steam machine. Ekianjo had penned his frustrations with SteamOS a few years back, and much of his thoughts I concur with — getting partitions to work along nicely, getting Wi-Fi drivers to work, outdated video drivers, a bunch of other junk I don’t need to fill you up on.

        I know I’ve already offended a few die-hards out there. But there’s a huge plus to all this that I haven’t covered.

      • Keep up with Crusader Kings 3 info thanks to a new dev video

        Working from home certainly has a lot of challenges but Paradox Development Studio has continued on with Crusader Kings 3 and they have another roundup of what’s to come.

        The latest video covers development topics across April and May, covering a multitude of topics important to all aspiring rulers. Bits covered includes more insight into religion and faith systems, heresies and doctrines, map features and modes and the list goes on. Crusader Kings 3 is shaping up to be a massive game at release, which isn’t surprising since it’s a grand strategy game and they likely want to avoid the issues Imperator had.

      • KeeperRL Alpha 30 adds Gnomes and enemies that steal your lair

        Michał Brzozowski, developer of long-running roguelike KeeperRL, announced the release of the Alpha 30 and it’s big with some seriously fun sounding features. KeeperRL became quite popular due to the way it merges together roguelike, base-building and a mix of strategy and RPG mechanics all into one roof.

        One of the biggest additions in Alpha 30 are the Gnomes, a new playable faction. They’re not powerful directly in combat but they are a crafty bunch. You can make mechanical contraptions to dominate dungeons and battlefields with a new automaton crafting mechanic.

      • Stadia exclusive Crayta will show off the unique State Share feature

        State Share, one of the features of Stadia that Google announced early on looks to be finally coming along with the release of the Stadia exclusive Crayta.

        Crayta is one of the titles announced during the April Stadia Connect presentation. It looks like a huge amount of fun too. A creative game where you and others can build and share multiplayer games, bringing down barriers to enable play and creation in real-time and then instant play them and get anyone else to join in. It’s one of the games that (in my opinion) might actually pull people into Stadia properly because of the uniqueness to it and how Stadia can benefit such a game.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • Recent developments for the coming release

          Despite a very active development in the recent couple of weeks, we still need to finalize a couple of things before we can do the release for version 2.8.

          While going through the remaining issues, we found some time to work on users’ suggestions, test our nightly builds and provide feedback. We fixed several reported bugs and also implemented a couple of smaller features that were recently requested. The purpose of this short post is to update you on the latest developments.

          LabPlot supports different analysis methods, like fitting, smoothing, Fourier transformation, etc. For smoothing we recently added the calculation of rough values. The difference between the approximating smooth function and the original data is called “rough” in this context (data = smooth + rough). This is very similar to the calculation of “residuals” for the fit algorithms. In 2.8 we calculate and expose the rough values, made it possible to visualize them and to check the goodness of the smoothing process.

        • Status update: Linux

          I didn’t believe her, seeing that it only happened inside Krita. I converted Disney’s existing imageSynth2 demo and compiled it inside our toolchain to see if it was the compiler instead, but to no avail.

          Without any other options left, I jumped deep inside the rabbit hole that is SeExpr’s parser, and started by tracing the calls that yield the (truncated) constants.

          The state dump I posted before says a class called N7SeExpr211ExprNumNodeE represents them; this is just a mangled name for the ExprNumNode class. I put a breakpoint on the value() call, but the value had already been truncated. I tested with the constructor itself, but wasn’t able to get the actual value, as it’d been <optimized out> according to gdb.

    • Distributions

      • Reviews

        • Linuxfx 10: A Smart, Easy Way to Transition From Windows

          Linuxfx is a great OS to run on older computers. It does not need very advanced hardware. A dual-core rig with a minimum of 2 GB of RAM is enough to run the system without lags or sluggishness.

          However, you will experience far superior performance if your hardware exceeds the minimum requirement. The sweet spot is at least 4 GB RAM and 16 GB of free disk space.

          Installation is a no-brainer as well. It is a fairly straightforward process that takes around 5 minutes.

      • New Releases

        • LibreELEC (Leia) 9.2.3

          LibreELEC 9.2.3 (Leia) the final version has arrived based upon Kodi v18.7.1.

        • OSMC’s June update is here with Kodi v18.7

          Firstly, and most importantly, we hope that everyone and their loved ones are staying safe. We continue to work on and develop OSMC during this time and offer support and our store also remains open with orders being fulfilled promptly and without delay.

          Team Kodi recently announced the 18.7 point release of Kodi Leia. We have now prepared this for all supported OSMC devices and added some improvements and fixes.

          We continue to work on our improved video stack for Vero 4K and Vero 4K + which brings HDR10+ and 3D MVC support. We also continue to work on Raspberry Pi 4 support and we will shortly make some kernel 5.x test builds available in our forums for currently supported Pi models so we can use a unified kernel code base for all models.

      • BSD

        • TrueOS development ceased

          Does anyone remember PC-BSD, the FreeBSD-based distribution aimed at desktop users? After being acquired by iXsystems and renamed to TrueOS, the graphical installer was removed in 2018 because TrueOS served more as a base for iXsystems’ other offerings, such as FreeNAS, And now, in April of this year – we missed it – development has been halted entirely.

      • Screenshots/Screencasts

      • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandriva/OpenMandriva Family

        • Finally! Blade Runner On PCLinuxOS!

          The design of the Blade Runner game was extremely ambitious for the time. In contrast to many contemporary games, the game engine included pre-rendered backgrounds and 3D characters, but did not require the use of any 3D hardware accelerator. Designers David Leary and James Walls achieved this through self-developed technology using voxels (pixels with width, height and depth). Castle explains:

          “We had to invent a new technology for the characters. We went back to voxel technology and used it as a launch pad. What we are using are not voxels, but a kind of ‘voxels plus’. We use voxels to make rotations, transformations and three-dimensional projections that create the character, but in fact we use a very fast polygon rendering engine to render the polygons on the screen. Because we do not need a voxel model that is so dense that every pixel is a voxel, we are able to achieve much higher frame rates with many more polygons on the screen and with many characters.”

          “When we told Intel that we were making a 640×480 game, 65,000 colors that emulates true colors, with 16-bit Z-buffer and six-channel CD-quality audio, they said: You can’t – the PCI bus doesn’t support it.

          “So we feel good about ourselves, because we haven’t mentioned the 750,000 polygons for the characters yet”, Castle said, with a smirk.

          Graphically, the game resembles some games of the time, with pre-rendered 3D scenarios, and 3D characters, in this case, with the voxel-plus technique. It’s something similar to franchises like Alone in the Dark and Resident Evil. However, in a totally different and exciting way, the scenarios have lighting, and even though they are pre-rendered images, they are animated: fans that roll (and the game has many), and the lights change, blink. There are NPCs walking and spinners in the skies. The rain constantly falls, and it makes puddles on the ground.


          Speaking in 2015 about a possible re-release of the game via Steam or GOG.com, Louis Castle explained that the source code and assets were lost when Westwood moved its studio from Las Vegas to Los Angeles, making a relaunch or an HD remaster impossible. Even if the code were found, restoring almost a terabyte of assets, whether for new pre-rendered or 3D real-time scenarios, would cost tens of millions of dollars, making the relaunch as unlikely as a sequel. The Blade Runner partnership and Electronic Arts held the rights to the game for many years at this point.

          However, the game would finally arrive on GOG.com on December 17, 2019, following an agreement with Alcon Interactive Group and the website, using ScummVM: Several attempts have been made to reverse engineer the game’s engine. As it is technically complex with voxel graphics for game actors, video backgrounds and random paths, the final project took eight years to complete. The new Blade Runner engine was added to the ScummVM game engine collection on October 13, 2016 and took another three years to be ready for public testing on June 16, 2019 and included in ScummVM version 2.1.0.

        • PCLinuxOS Family Member Spotlight: Hallvor

          I had been curious to try it out for a long time before actually trying it. The first time was in 1998. I asked a friend to help me that I knew had some knowledge, but he just brushed me off and said it would be too difficult. An install required floppy disks and quite a bit of command line work. After scratching my head on my own for a little while, I gave up and didn’t give it much thought before 2006, when I had problems with instability of my router. I installed Linux based firmware on it and noticed how much better it ran. This made me curious about GNU/Linux on the desktop, because my installation of Windows at the time needed reboots roughly every other day, and the install tended to slow down over time.

          The second thing that sparked my curiosity, and would make the transition easier, was that I was already running many types of GNU software on my Windows installation.

          I ordered a free CD of Ubuntu, and got it in the late summer of 2006. It was Ubuntu 6.06 Dapper Drake. It was underwhelming at first, and I bumped into many beginner’s problems that I was unable to solve at the time. So I wiped the install in frustration and installed Windows. I don’t know if anyone has tried to install Windows without an OEM, but hunting drivers online and setting everything up, took a whole day. That reminded me of how easy and flawless the installation of Ubuntu had been, so a few days later, after reading about the stuff that was causing me trouble the first time, I installed it again. I have been using variants of GNU/Linux ever since.

          What specific equipment do you currently use with PCLinuxOS?

          I am currently using a HP EliteBook 2570p with 6 GiB RAM and 240 GiB SSD. It is not the newest hardware, but it is very rugged and so blazing fast with PCLinuxOS and KDE Plasma that it would be silly upgrading it.

        • [PCLinuxOS] Screenshot Showcase
      • Gentoo Family

        • Baïkal (CalDAV) 0.7.0 in Gentoo

          Just this past week, the new version of of Baïkal (0.7.0)—a PHP CalDAV and CardDAV server based on Sabre—was released, and one of the key changes was that support was added for more modern versions of PHP (like 7.4).

          Since my personal Gentoo server is running the ~amd64 branch, I had to wait for this release in order to get my CalDAV server up and running. For the most part, installing Baïkal 0.7.0 was a straightforward process, but there were a couple of “gotchas” along the way.

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • Fedora 33 Proposal To Allow Packages To Build With LLVM Clang Rather Than Requiring GCC

          A feature proposal raised by Red Hat’s Jeff Law would allow Fedora packages to be built under the LLVM Clang compiler rather than defaulting that all packages to be built under GCC. Clang-built packages would happen where the upstream software recommends using Clang by default or for software without an upstream to let the packager(s) make their own decision.

        • Red Hat’s Stratis Storage 2.1 Released With Encryption Support, Other Improvements

          Version 2.1 of Red Hat’s Stratis daemon is now available that aims to bring Btrfs/ZFS-like functionality atop the XFS file-system paired with LVM.

          Stratis 2.1 is the first release in three months for this Red Hat storage project. Most notable to Stratis 2.1 is the daemon now handling encryption support, closing off a string of bug reports / requests over such functionality considering other modern Linux file-systems long offering easy to manage encryption support. The Stratis 2.1 storage encryption makes use of LUKS2 for encryption.

      • Debian Family

        • Antoine Beaupré: Replacing Smokeping with Prometheus

          I’ve been struggling with replacing parts of my old sysadmin monitoring toolkit (previously built with Nagios, Munin and Smokeping) with more modern tools (specifically Prometheus, its “exporters” and Grafana) for a while now.

          Replacing Munin with Prometheus and Grafana is fairly straightforward: the network architecture (“server pulls metrics from all nodes”) is similar and there are lots of exporters. They are a little harder to write than Munin modules, but that makes them more flexible and efficient, which was a huge problem in Munin. I wrote a Migrating from Munin guide that summarizes those differences. Replacing Nagios is much harder, and I still haven’t quite figured out if it’s worth it.


          A naive implementation of Smokeping in Prometheus/Grafana would be to use the blackbox exporter and create a dashboard displaying those metrics. I’ve done this at home, and then I realized that I was missing something.

        • Reproducible Builds in May 2020

          One of the original promises of open source software is that distributed peer review and transparency of process results in enhanced end-user security. Nonetheless, whilst anyone may inspect the source code of free and open source software for malicious flaws, almost all software today is distributed as pre-compiled binaries. This allows nefarious third-parties to compromise systems by injecting malicious code into seemingly secure software during the various compilation and distribution processes.

        • Steve McIntyre: Interesting times, and a new job!

          It’s been over ten years since I started in Arm, and nine since I joined Linaro as an assignee. It was wonderful working with some excellent people in both companies, but around the end of last year I started to think that it might be time to look for something new and different. As is the usual way in Cambridge, I ended up mentioning this to friends and things happened!


          Where do I fit in? Pexip is a relatively small company with a very flat setup in engineering, so that’s a difficult question to answer! I’ll be starting working in the team developing and maintaining PexOS, the small Linux-based platform on which other things depend. (No prizes for guessing which distro it’s based on!) But there’s lots of scope to get involved in all kinds of other areas as needs and interests arise. I can’t wait to get stuck in!

          Although I’m no longer going to be working on Debian arm port issues on work time, I’m still planning to help where I can. Let’s see how that works…

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • elementary OS now allows updates without admin permission

          As part of the ongoing work to reduce authentication fatigue, the elementary OS team are going over everything with a fine-tooth comb to ensure asking for admin / root permission makes sense.

          One idea they came up with, which appears to be integrated into elementary OS 5.1.5 ‘Hera’, is the removal of needing to enter the admin password when you’re doing updates with the AppCenter. The question is why? As they explained, you already gave your full permission to install the applications originally and that they “provide clear expectations around curated versus non-curated apps” so they felt it didn’t make sense to authenticate again just to do updates.

        • My Thoughts On Pop OS 20.04 After One Month

          I’ve been using Linux for around 10 years now; most of that has been Ubuntu based distributions, but I also spent a couple of years on Fedora too. In recent years I’ve flipped from being a distro hopper to preferring stable systems that I know intimately well.

          My desktop, for example, has gone from running Pop OS 18.04, right the way through to the current 20.04 release. Because Pop follows the Ubuntu 6 month release cycle, that’s 4 major OS upgrades.

          Throughout that time, I haven’t had a single issue with Pop OS, which I think is a testament to the stability of modern Linux distributions.

          Anyway, on with my thoughts…

        • OpenStack Ussuri for Ubuntu 20.04 and 18.04 LTS

          The Ubuntu OpenStack team at Canonical is pleased to announce the general availability of OpenStack Ussuri on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS and on Ubuntu 18.04 LTS via the Ubuntu Cloud Archive.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • NextCloud gets bigger and better with Nextcloud Hub 19

        I’ve used Nextcloud, a great open-source Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) cloud, for years on both my own on-premise and shared servers. It works well, it’s simple to set up, and it does the main job of replacing public cloud storage services such as Google Drive, Microsoft OneDrive, and DropBox flawlessly. With this latest edition, Nextcloud Hub 19 is also adding improvements to its built-in, office Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) programs.

      • Open Source Password Manager Bitwarden Introduces Two New Useful Features: Trash Bin & Vault Timeout

        Bitwarden is unquestionably one of the best password managers available for Linux. It’s also a cross-platform solution — so you can use it almost anywhere you like.

        You can also read our review of Bitwarden if you want to explore more about it.

        Now, coming back to the news. Recently, Bitwarden introduced two new major features that makes it even better.

      • Reading about open source in French

        English speakers have so many wonderful open source resources that it’s easy to forget that communications in English aren’t accessible to everyone everywhere. Therefore, I’ve been looking for great open source resources in Spanish and French, so I can recommend them when the need arises.

        One I’ve been looking at recently is LinuxFr.org, which seems to be a fine “agora” for all sorts of interesting conversations in French about open source specifically and open everything else as well.

      • Five best open source Backup utilities for Linux

        Data loss is a common threat we all face these days. Disk failure or other user mistakes might result in data loss. Losing data is more hazardous for a data center which stores tons of information every day. There are so many backup Utilities available in the market which makes it confusing to choose the best one among the numerous options. This article will help you select the most appropriate free backup utility for Linux that might fit your needs.

      • Events

        • LGM 2020 : my experience running an online international conference

          Last week was the Libre Graphics Meeting (LGM) 2020 online conference. The LGM is normally an occasion for all the contributors of graphics related Free Software to meet physically, and this year we had planned to organize it in our city of Rennes, France. But of course, with the current situation, we were forced to cancel the physical event. We hesitated to make an online event instead, as the biggest interest in this event is to have a physical meeting. We ran a poll to see if there was enough interest for an online event, and the result showed us that there was.

          As several people asked me about the technical setup used for the stream, I’m going to explain it here.

          I was inspired a lot by the solution used for the Libre Planet conference, which used a jitsi meet instance to receive the stream of remote speakers, and sent it to an icecast server using a GStreamer based script to record the screen.

          The first difference is that we decided to ask all the speakers to send a pre-recorded video of their presentation. We felt it was safer to get a good quality source for the talks, as some speakers may not have enough bandwidth on their internet connection for a reliable high-quality live session. And it was also safer to have a good quality recording available to publish the videos after the event.

        • State of the Source Summit

          The State of the Source Summit invites open source communities of practice from around the world to organize and contribute to a global conversation on the current state of open source software: non-technical issues that foster development and community, the licenses that enable collaboration, the practices that promote contribution, and the issues confronting cooperation.

      • Web Browsers

        • Mozilla

          • The Talospace Project: Firefox 77 on POWER

            Firefox 77 is released. I really couldn’t care less about Pocket recommendations, and I don’t know who was clamouring for that exactly because everybody be tripping recommendations, but better accessibility options are always welcome and the debugging and developer tools improvements sound really nice. This post is being typed in it.

            There are no OpenPOWER-specific changes in Fx77, though a few compilation issues were fixed expeditiously through Dan Horák’s testing just in time for the Fx78 beta. Daniel Kolesa reported an issue with system NSS 3.52 and WebRTC, but I have not heard if this is still a problem (at least on the v2 ABI), and I always build using in-tree NSS myself which seems to be fine. This morning Daniel Pocock sent me a basic query of 64-bit Power ISA bugs yet to be fixed in Firefox; I suspect some are dupes (I closed one just this morning which I know I fixed myself already), and many are endian-specific, but we should try whittling down that list (and, as usual, LTO and PGO still need to be investigated further). I’m still using the same .mozconfigs from Firefox 67.

          • A New RegExp Engine in SpiderMonkey

            Regular expressions – commonly known as RegExps – are a powerful tool in JavaScript for manipulating strings. They provide a rich syntax to describe and capture character information. They’re also heavily used, so it’s important for SpiderMonkey (the JavaScript engine in Firefox) to optimize them well.

            Over the years, we’ve had several approaches to RegExps. Conveniently, there’s a fairly clear dividing line between the RegExp engine and the rest of SpiderMonkey. It’s still not easy to replace the RegExp engine, but it can be done without too much impact on the rest of SpiderMonkey.

            In 2014, we took advantage of this flexibility to replace YARR (our previous RegExp engine) with a forked copy of Irregexp, the engine used in V8. This raised a tricky question: how do you make code designed for one engine work inside another? Irregexp uses a number of V8 APIs, including core concepts like the representation of strings, the object model, and the garbage collector.

      • Public Services/Government

        • Microsoft dropped for open source: Why Hamburg is now following Munich’s lead

          The trend towards open-source software on government computers is gathering pace in Germany.

          In the latest development, during coalition negotiations in the city-state of Hamburg, politicians have declared they are ready to start moving its civil service software away from Microsoft and towards open-source alternatives.

          The declaration comes as part of a 200-page coalition agreement between the Social Democratic and Green parties, which will define how Hamburg is run for the next five years.

      • Openness/Sharing/Collaboration

        • Open Access/Content

          • After Taming Open Access, Academic Publishing Giants Now Seek To Assimilate The World Of Preprints

            As Techdirt has reported, the open access movement seeks to obtain free access to research, particularly when it is funded by taxpayers’ money. Naturally, traditional academic publishers enjoying profit margins of 30 to 40% are fighting to hold on to their control. Initially, they tried to stop open access gaining a foothold among researchers; now they have moved on to the more subtle strategy of adopting it and assimilating it — rather as Microsoft has done with open source. Some advocates of open access are disappointed that open access has not led to any significant savings in the overall cost of publishing research. That, in its turn, has led many to urge the increased use of preprints as a way of saving money, liberating knowledge, and speeding up its dissemination. One reason for this is a realization that published versions in costly academic titles add almost nothing to the freely-available preprints they are based on.

      • Programming/Development

        • Top 20 Git Commands with Practical Example

          If you are here reading this post, there is a high probability that you have heard or interacted with Github, and you now want to learn Git. Before we continue with showing you some of the cool Git commands, let’s understand the difference between Git and GitHub.

        • Melissa Wen: Walking in the KMS CURSOR CRC test

          In this post, I describe the steps involved in the execution of a kms_cursor_crc subtest. In my approach, I chose a subtest (pipe-A-cursor-alpha-transparent) as a target and examined the code from the beginning of the test (igt main) until reaching the target subtest and executing it.

          This is my zero version. I plan to incrementally expand this document with evaluation/description of the other subtests. I will probably also need to fix some misunderstandings.

        • Composer.js: Framework and toolset for rapidly building back-end API services using NodeJS

          AcceleratXR announced the launch of its new open source project – Composer.js. Composer.js is a framework and toolset for rapidly building back-end API services using NodeJS. The project is a fork of the internal tools and technology the company has been steadily building its innovative MMO gaming platform with over the last two years.

        • Code Gauntlet’s four-player co-op mode | Wireframe #39
        • Perl/Raku

        • Python

          • PyCharm: PyCharm 2020.2 Early Access Program starts now!

            The Early Access Program for our next major release, PyCharm 2020.2, is now open! If you are the kind of person who is always looking forward to the next ‘big thing’, we encourage you to join and share your thoughts on the latest PyCharm improvements! Our upcoming release is loaded with cool features!

          • ListenData: How to drop one or multiple columns from Pandas Dataframe

            In this tutorial, we will cover how to drop or remove one or multiple columns from pandas dataframe.

            What is pandas in Python?

            pandas is a python package for data manipulation. It has several functions for the following data tasks:

            Drop or Keep rows and columns
            Aggregate data by one or more columns
            Sort or reorder data
            Merge or append multiple dataframes
            String Functions to handle text data
            DateTime Functions to handle date or time format columns

          • Matt Layman: Designing A View – Building SaaS #59

            In this episode, I focused on a single view for adding a course to a school year. This view is reusing a form class from a different part of the app and sharing a template. We worked through the details of making a clear CreateView. The stream started with me answering a question about how I design a new feature. I outlined all the things that I think through for the different kinds of features that I need to build.

          • Configuring Wing Pro’s Python Debugger for Your Code Base

            This Wing Tip provides a roadmap to the configuration options available for Wing’s debugger, to make it easier to understand the available possibilities and how these can be applied to your development projects.

        • Rust

          • Announcing Rust 1.44.0

            The Rust team has published a new version of Rust, 1.44.0. Rust is a programming language that is empowering everyone to build reliable and efficient software.

            This is a shorter blog post than usual: in acknowledgement that taking a stand against the police brutality currently happening in the US and the world at large is more important than sharing tech knowledge, we decided to significantly scale back the amount of promotion we’re doing for this release.

            The Rust Core Team believes that tech is and always will be political, and we encourage everyone take the time today to learn about racial inequality and support the Black Lives Matter movement.

    • Standards/Consortia

      • USB4 Is Coming! USB4 Is Coming!

        Widely reported in the technical press, USB4, a.k.a. USB 4.0, should be finding its way to your computing world soon. There is hope for a late-2020 rollout for cables and devices, but sometime in the first half of 2021 is more realistic, given the global manufacturing shutdown prompted by the coronavirus pandemic. You can download the “official” spec information for USB4 here (zip file).

        For a little bit of background, in 2017, Intel donated the Thunderbolt 3 specs to the USB Implementers Forum for third-party use. Thunderbolt 3 is significant, due to it sporting 40Gbps transfer speeds. While the standard for Thunderbolt 3 is free to use and implement, the use of the Thunderbolt 3 trademark is not, and still requires certification by Intel before advertising that a device is Thunderbolt 3 compatible. Additionally, the Thunderbolt 3 compatibility is only available if individual manufacturers choose to build it in. And, I have to admit that I had never heard of Thunderbolt until I started to write this article. But then again, I don’t spend endless hours perusing new computer systems that I know I cannot afford, either, which is most likely why Thunderbolt never appeared on my radar.

        After experiencing the confusing rollout of the USB 3 standard, and its subsequent (and even more confusing) split into USB 3.1 and USB 3.2 “standards,” don’t hold your breath for anything less confusing with the USB4 rollout. Like most users, I’ll withhold judgement. After all, I live in Missouri, who’s nickname is “The Show Me” state.

  • Leftovers

    • Four Aphorisms
    • Technical Excellence and Scale

      In America, we hope that businesses will grow by inventing amazing things that people love – rather than through deep-pocketed catch-and-kill programs in which every competitor is bought and tamed before it can grow to become a threat. We want vibrant, competitive, innovative markets where companies vie to create the best products. Growth solely through merger-and-acquisition helps create a world in which new firms compete to be bought up and absorbed into the dominant players, and customers who grow dissatisfied with a product or service and switch to a “rival” find that they’re still patronizing the same company—just another division.

      To put it bluntly: we want companies that are good at making things as well as buying things.

    • Our History is Our Future

      We can be sure that the public grandiloquence of Barack Obama grated mightily on at least half of the country during his eight years in the Oval Office. Now, we Libtards find every Trump tweet excruciatingly inane – or horrifyingly inflammatory. As ever, it is the style, not the content, of American political leadership that is in question. For Its neoliberal ideology has been unwavering for four decades and is but the contemporary version of an implicitly racist dedication to the well-being of the wealthy that was fundamental to the founding of the Republic. Committed to the economization of all facets of public and private life, we citizens are remade as human capital: mini entrepreneurs whose only civic duty is towards pumping up the GDP. This is what our government demands of us, and we would be foolish to expect more from it than further destruction of the public realm and further trivialization of the democratic process. Having relinquished our individual roles as a necessary part of the Republic’s sovereignty, our vote is rendered superfluous at a time of a viral pandemic, unprecedented unemployment and expectations of further economic dislocation likely to eclipse the melt-down of 2008.

    • A Lavender League of Their Own

      “There’s no crying in baseball,” says Tom Hanks in A League of Their Own, the most popular baseball film of all time. But a more subtle theme of the film is that there are no lesbians in baseball. The film made no mention of the fact that many of the athletes in the All American Girls Professional Baseball League (AAGPBL) were lesbians, although none of them were open about their sexuality except to close friends and some teammates.

    • How the Credibility Gap Became a Chasm in the Age of Trump

      These days, teaching graduating college seniors has me, as the Brits would say in the London Underground, “minding the gap.” In my case, however, it’s not the gap between the platform and the train I’m thinking of, but a couple of others: those between U.S. citizens and our government, as well as between different generations of Americans. The Covid-19 crisis has made some of those gaps far more visible than usual, just as my students leave school with many of their personal expectations in tatters.

    • Byte flight: How an exodus of tech workers could reshape Silicon Valley

      The possibility has sparked a variety of think pieces about how a tech exodus could reshape Silicon Valley. Already, restaurants that catered to the downtown lunch crowd have been forced to close, and public transit agencies are struggling to survive without riders. Even the housing market — one of the region’s most expensive and intractable problems — has seen prices fall ever so slightly.

      It’s too early to tell whether the work from home trend will extend beyond a few companies to reshape the fabric of Silicon Valley. While Twitter, Square, and Facebook are going all-in on remote work, companies like Google and Salesforce are extending work from home options for the rest of the year with plans to reopen in 2021.

    • Health/Nutrition

      • Leading by Example: Cuba in the Covid-19 Pandemic

        The response of socialist Cuba to the global SARS-CoV2 pandemic has been outstanding both domestically and for its international contribution. That a small island nation, subjected to hundreds of years of colonialism and imperialism and, since the Revolution of 1959, six decades of the criminal United States blockade, can play such an exemplary role is due to Cuba’s socialist system. The central plan directs national resources according to a development strategy which prioritises human welfare and community participation, not private profit.

      • Defending Land and Water From Mining Profiteers in the Time of Covid-19

        Over the years, the mining industry has taken advantage of dictatorship, disasters, and a variety of distractions to expand operations in Latin America. In the time of Covid-19, with entire populations under lockdown and economies falling apart, mining companies have also hopped on the pandemic profiteering bandwagon.

      • Regional authorities close Russia’s northern city of Severodvinsk due to mass COVID-19 outbreak

        The authorities in Russia’s northern Arkhangelsk region will be restricting entry and exit from the city of Severodvinsk beginning on June 6, the regional government’s website says. 

      • Unrecommended Cures
      • ‘Mama, this is a terrible disease’ In St. Petersburg, more than 3,000 medical workers have contracted COVID-19. Here’s one of their stories.

        According to official data alone, more than 3,000 medical workers in St. Petersburg have fallen ill with the coronavirus — that’s about 20 percent of the total number of COVID-19 cases in the city. In addition to the increasing number of doctors contracting the disease, the general outbreak in St. Petersburg isn’t getting any better: between 350–390 new cases are registered daily, and this number isn’t going down. To illustrate how the pandemic is impacting St. Petersburg’s medical workers and their families, Meduza tells the story of Olga Novikova, who worked as nurse at St. Petersburg’s Dzhanelidze First Aid Research Institute. She died of the coronavirus on May 2nd — she was only 46 years old.

      • The Pandemic Is a Threat. The President Is Worse.

        Over the past week, we’ve seen editors and reporters, looking for a new angle on the pandemic, start to suggest—with the help of some experts—that protests risk fueling a resurgence of Covid-19 around the United States. Are these gatherings, large and small, something we should be worrying about? Anywhere people assemble in close proximity for extended periods presents some risk of viral transmission, so these protests are certainly not risk-free, even if they are outdoors, where the risk from SARS-COV-2 is far less than in indoor environments. But as Howard Markel, a historian of science and medicine at the University of Michigan, reminds us, outdoor events can carry great epidemiological significance. The Liberty Loan parades in Philadelphia and Detroit likely helped to spread influenza in 1918. In most cases, bringing thousands of people together for several hours in cities and towns across the country as we have seen over the past week wouldn’t be advisable. But this is not “most cases.”

      • Larry Kramer’s Righteous Rage

        When it was his turn to address a forum on AIDS in New York in 1991, Larry Kramer took an uncharacteristic pause before speaking. He rubbed his ear and ran his hand through his thinning hair. Eyes cast down, he sat in silence for another moment. Then a syllable burst through his grimacing lips: “Plague!” Another pause. Then staccato. “We are in the middle of a fucking plague. Plague!” He pounded the table in time to his words. “Forty million infected people is a fucking plague, and nobody acts as if it is. Nobody in this hospital, nobody in this city, nobody in this world. Forty million people is a fucking plague. Every person I talk to, in every city, in every agency—gay, straight—is as despondent as they can possibly be. Nobody knows what to do next. Nobody knows what to do next.” He looked down and shuffled some papers. Sighed. Took in a breath and blew it through billowing cheeks.

      • The Only Hospital in Town Was Failing. They Promised to Help but Only Made It Worse.

        It was the sort of miracle cure that the board of a rural Oklahoma hospital on the verge of closure had dreamed about: A newly formed management company promised access to wealthy investors eager to infuse millions of dollars.

        The company, Alliance Health Southwest Oklahoma, secured an up to $1 million annual contract in July 2017 to manage the Mangum Regional Medical Center after agreeing to provide all necessary financial resources until the 18-bed hospital brought in enough money from patient services to pay its own bills.

      • These Hospitals Pinned Their Hopes on Private Management Companies. Now They’re Deeper in Debt.

        At least 13 hospitals in Oklahoma have closed or experienced added financial distress under the management of private companies. These companies sold themselves to rural communities in Oklahoma and other states as turnaround specialists.

        Revenues soared at some rural hospitals after management companies introduced laboratory services programs, but those gains quickly vanished when insurers accused them of gaming reimbursement rates and halted payments. Some companies charged hefty management fees, promising to infuse millions of dollars but never investing. In other cases, companies simply didn’t have the hospital management experience they trumpeted.

      • Lancet Retracts Study on Safety of Malaria Drugs for Coronavirus

        “Not only is there no benefit, but we saw a very consistent signal of harm,” study leader Dr. Mandeep Mehra of Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston told The Associated Press when the work was published.

      • Known unknowns: The challenge of collecting COVID-19 data in Venezuela

        The World Health Organisation this week declared Latin America to be the new global epicentre of the coronavirus pandemic, and experts are warning that the real death toll in the region could be far higher than what is being reported, due to inaccurate or incomplete data.

        While Brazil, Mexico, Peru, Chile, and Ecuador appear hardest hit, it’s difficult to measure the extent to which COVID-19 is taking hold in a country like Venezuela that was already data-poor and engulfed in a humanitarian crisis long before the pandemic arrived.

        Official records show 1,952 confirmed coronavirus cases and 20 deaths as of 3 June. But Venezuela’s Academy of Physical, Mathematical and Natural Sciences published a report in May stating that the low numbers of COVID-19 cases appear inconsistent with the real scale of the epidemic. Venezuelan authorities have called for an investigation of the Academy.

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Retrotech: The Novell NetWare Experience

          In the simplest terms possible, NetWare was a dedicated network operating system. It was designed around fast and reliable network operations at the expense of almost everything else. Novell had invested massive amounts of research in figuring out how to do fast I/O and minimizing any delays from hardware related sources. The end result was a very lean system that remained stable and performant with a large number of clients attached. As networking was Novell’s bread and butter, NetWare had excellent support for everything: clients were available for DOS, Windows, UNIX, Macintosh, OS/2 and probably other platforms I’ve never even heard of.

          The early history of NetWare is very muddled, and pre-2.0 versions have been lost to time. This compounded with poor documentation has made it very difficult to trace the early history of the product. However, while NetWare was not the first (or only) network product for IBM PCs, it quickly became the largest, displacing IBM’s PC Network, and laughed at Microsoft’s LAN Manager, and IBM OS/2 LAN Server.

          While NetWare did compete on UNIX, Sun had already gotten their foot in the door by porting NFS and making it the de-facto solution for all UNIXs of the era, as well as Linux. Meanwhile, Apple held onto AppleTalk which itself survived well into the early 2000s when NetWare had already disappeared into the aether. The explosion of Wintel PCs throughout the 90s had given NetWare a market position that should have been very difficult to dislodge.

          The full story of NetWare’s fall from grace is a story for another time, but I do want to go into the more technical aspects that were both the boon and bane of NetWare. Much of NetWare’s success can be attributed to its own IPX protocol which made networking plug and play and drastically lowered latencies compared to NetBIOS or even TCP/IP.

        • Polish malspam pushes ZLoader malware

          When enabling macros on the malicious Excel spreadsheet, the victim host retrieved the ZLoader DLL as shown in the previous section, saved the DLL to the victim’s Documents folder, and ran it using rundll32.exe.

        • Microsoft Defender SmartScreen is hurting independent developers

          But what is SmartScreen?

          SmartScreen collects installation data from all Windows users in order to establish “reputation”. If the program does not have an established good reputation, you get this big warning message. By this time most users have deleted the .exe already thinking it is a malware, but SmartScreen can be bypassed by clicking on “More info” then “Run anyway”.

          The digital signature racket

          But let’s say you bite the bullet, you buy yourself an overpriced piece of prime numbers generated by a computer, sign your code and re-publish your application. You can now start getting users to install your app right? Wrong.

          But how do you build reputation? First of all, Microsoft needs to be able to gather information on who has published the app, and this is done by a code signing certificate. The most obvious implication is that unsigned apps will always trigger SmartScreen. The more insidious implication is that acquiring a code signing certificate is a big expense for an individual developer. There is currently no “Let’s Encrypt” equivalent to code signing certificates; so you have to purchase it from trusted authorities. The price range is wide but a certificate only valid for a year will typically go for about $100.

        • #Privacy: Michigan State University struck by ransomware attack

          It remains unclear as to how and when the attack happened, and what the ransom demand is.

          NetWalker is one of twelve ransomware gangs who threaten to publish data in revenge if organisations refuse to pay the ransom demand.

          MSU have not official disclosed the incident, however, an MSU spokesperson, Dan Olsen shared the following statement to EdScoop: “We are aware of a possible intrusion and we are actively looking into it.”

        • MSU: We won’t pay [attacker] demanding ransom, threatening university over records

          University officials believe the latest breach occurred on Memorial Day and took relevant computer systems offline within hours of the intrusion, according to a news release. It compromised data associated with the Department of Physics and Astronomy, and information technology teams are coordinating with law enforcement to understand the scope of the breach. Investigators are notifying and providing support to affected MSU affiliates as they are identified.

          The cybersecurity breach, known as a ransomware attack, first became public May 27 when a [cr]acker-affiliated blog posted screenshots of files allegedly belonging to MSU affiliates. Images circulating on social media include a redacted passport and a list of transactions related to physics and astronomy projects. They also show a countdown clock that warns of “secret data publication” less than one week from when the screenshots were taken.

        • Michigan State target of ransomware attack threatening to release university data

          The ransom demanded was not specified, but the ransomware gang is prepared to release the university’s documents.

          The NetWalker, a newer form of ransomeware sometimes labeled as Mailto, blog post threatened publication of ‘secret’ documents dated with a countdown clock with close to a week remaining.

        • Malware Team NetWalker Launches Ransomware Attack Against Weiz

          The Malware team NetWalker launched a new ransomware attack against the Austrian village of Weiz which affected the public service system and leaked a lot of the stolen data from building applications as we are about to read more in the following latest cryptocurrency news.

          According to the cybersecurity firm Panda Security, the Malware team managed to enter the town’s public network through phishing emails related to the Coronavirus pandemic. The subject of the emails which was ‘’information about the coronavirus’’ was used to bait the employees of the public infrastructure of the city into clicking on malicious links which triggered the ransomware.

          Panda Security claims that the ransomware attack belongs to a new version of a ransomware family that spreads by using VBScripts. If the infection is successful, it will spread through the entire windows network to which the infected machine is related. The report details that the ransomware terminates and services under Windows which encrypts files on all available disks thus eliminating the backups.

        • Inside a ransomware gang’s attack toolbox

          The crooks deployed a pirated copy of the Virtual Box virtual machine (VM) software to every computer on the victim’s network, plus a VM file containing a pirated copy of Windows XP, just to have a “walled garden” for their ransomware to sit inside while it did its cryptographic scrambling.

          But that’s far from everything that today’s crooks bring along for a typical attack, as SophosLabs was able to document recently when it stumbled upon a cache of tools belonging to a ransomware gang known as Netwalker.

        • Researchers Dive Into Evolution of Malicious Excel 4.0 Macros

          For more than five months, Lastline security researchers have tracked the evolution of malicious Excel 4.0 (XL4) macros, observing the fast pace at which malware authors change them to stay ahead of security tools.

          A central part of many organizations’ productivity tools, Excel opens the door for phishing attacks where victims are tricked into enabling macros in malicious documents, which can results in the attackers gaining a foothold on the network, in preparation for additional activities.

          During their five-month research, Lastline observed thousands of malicious samples, clustered into waves that provide a comprehensive picture of how the threat has evolved in both sophistication and evasiveness.

        • MSU won’t pay ransom to [cr]acker who stole financial documents, personal information

          EdScoop reported the ransomware attack on May 27 and provided screenshots from a blog on the dark web, showing what appear to be a student’s passport, MSU financial documents and files from the MSU network, as well as a countdown that had about one week remaining as of May 27.

        • Security

          • A new Java-based ransomware targets Windows and Linux [Ed: So... do not install it?]
          • GNU Linux – a pretty old vulnerability in ppp(d) was fixed (risk of remote exploit)

            Debian says the problem is fixed in many versions.

            The table below lists information on source packages.

            Make sure to keep all internet facing systems as up to date as possible.


            The pppd daemon works in conjunction with the core PPP driver to establish and maintain a PPP connection with another system (called a partner) and negotiate IP addresses for each end of the connection.

          • Cooking up secure code: A foolproof recipe for open source [Ed: Companies that sell fear of FOSS are overstating the threat whilst never speaking about back doors in proprietary components, software etc.]

            Even if two components have the same name, they can be very different depending on which organization or developer community has created them, or the various iterations and forks which they have experienced. While they might share similar purpose or functionality, these components might contain slight changes that reflect the needs or preferences of the people who influenced their evolution. A good example of this is the difference between Red Hat Enterprise Linux and Ubuntu. In practice, these slight differences can add up to create a significant impact on functionality, compatibility, and security, and thus must be considered when researching which “recipe” to follow.

          • Surprise Capital One court decision spells trouble for incident response

            Break in case of emergency: Language is everything. Delineate clearly in all written comms between a ‘potential incident’ – and an actual one. Don’t start turning one of the hundreds of security events you see into a ‘security incident’ before the most essential facts are understood. Halpert’s threshold for incidents that need to be covered by legal privilege are: a) An incident that gives rise to an obligation to notify a regulator, or a contractual obligation to notify a business partner; or b) An incident that exposed trade secrets or otherwise would affect the share price of a company; or c) An incident that would cause significant reputational hit to the company; or d) An incident in which a crime is committed.

          • Judge rules Capital One must hand over Mandiant’s forensic data breach report

            It’s a significant ruling that effectively affords the attorneys suing Capital One with a breakdown of which bank behaviors were successful, and which failed. It’s common for Fortune 500 companies to keep incident response firms like Mandiant on retainer, though it’s rare for those firms’ insights on high profile breaches to be made public. Similar rulings in the future could provide aggrieved customers with ammunition to seek higher pay-outs in court.

          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • How to Identify Visible (and Invisible) Surveillance at Protests

              The full weight of U.S. policing has descended upon protesters across the country as people take to the streets to denounce the police killings of Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, and countless others who have been subjected to police violence. Along with riot shields, tear gas, and other crowd control measures also comes the digital arm of modern policing: prolific surveillance technology on the street and online.

              For decades, EFF has been tracking police departments’ massive accumulation of surveillance technology and equipment. You can find detailed descriptions and analysis of common police surveillance tech at our Street-Level Surveillance guide. As we continue to expand our Atlas of Surveillance project, you can also see what surveillance tech law enforcement agencies in your area may be using. 

            • Protecting Your Privacy if Your Phone is Taken Away

              Your phone is your life. It’s where you communicate, get your news, take pictures and videos of your loved ones, relax and play games, and find a significant other. It can track your health, give you directions, remind you of events, and much more. It’s an incredibly helpful tool, but it can also be used against you by malicious actors. It’s important to know what your phone contains and how it can also make you vulnerable to attacks.

              Your threat model is unique and personal. And you will have to decide which solutions are the best for you. The best protection is to avoid creating the opportunity for an attacker to gain physical access to your phone or its metadata. The safest solution would be not to bring your phone to high-risk activities, such as protesting, but this might not be feasible for everyone.

            • Facebook Shareholders The Latest Group To Ask Facebook To Drop Its Encryption Plans

              Facebook is implementing end-to-end encryption in its Messenger service. This has made a number of government officials unhappy. Claiming this will lead to an increase in child sexual exploitation, multiple governments (including our own) have pounded their respective tables in Facebooks’ direction, demanding the company not give its users secure communications.

            • Cops Are Using Military Spy Planes to Surveil BLM Protesters

              “Multiple federal agencies are flying surveillance planes over protests, and it’s likely that some of these planes are outfitted with a Dirtbox or similar technology,” Martin Shelton, principal researcher at Freedom of the Press Foundation, told Motherboard. A Dirtbox is device that can act like its a cell tower, thereby duping smartphones into giving up their physical location.

              “What this means for protesters and journalists covering these events is that phone numbers, as well as voice calls and text messages, are likely being scooped up for analysis,” Shelton added.

            • Slack partners with Amazon to take on Microsoft Teams

              The move to Amazon Chime for Slack voice and video calls is also a significant part of the deal. Voice and video conferencing is a particular weak point of Slack compared to Microsoft Teams, but this new integration should mean it will be vastly improved in the future. Slack has already started the migration, and it’s looking into new features. “For now, we’re just focused on shoring up the back end,” says Armstrong. “As Chime has additional features, we’re looking at bringing the mobile experience to include video, which it doesn’t today. We’re also looking at transcription.”

            • Class action lawsuit against Google says internet giant tracks private internet use

              Google is being sued for 5 billion USD in a class action lawsuit over the tracking of private internet activity. Boies Schiller Flexner LLP has filed a massive lawsuit against Google and Alphabet Inc. for tracking and storing private internet activity. The suit, Case No. 20-3664, was filed on behalf of plaintiffs Chasom Brown, Maria Nguyen, and William Byatt as well as similar Google users – of which there are many – in a class action lawsuit that lawyers are hoping will be heard by a jury.

            • Google faces $5 billion lawsuit for tracking people in incognito mode
            • Privacy Issues Emerge During Pandemic

              It’s not bad enough that privacy issues before the pandemic were mounting. Now, with many people telecomputing from home, bosses are attempting to log how much time employees working from home are spending doing their jobs, taking privacy concerns to new heights.

              According to an article from NPR (National Public Radio in the U.S.), the increased incidence of working from home has led to an increase in surveillance by bosses spying on those working-from-home workers.

              One company required its WFH (work from home) workers to install Hubstaff on their computers. In turn, Hubstaff logged every mouse movement, keystroke, and website the workers visited. The same company required WFH workers to install an app on their phones, called TSheets, to keep track of the worker’s whereabouts during work hours.

              Companies try to sell it on the merits of “improving team productivity and efficiency.” But many WFH workers aren’t buying it. Nor are privacy advocates, who are fearful that the extra surveillance of WFH workers will normalize workplace surveillance, and that the digital surveillance will continue once workers return to working “on site.”

              The software is intrusive and unforgiving. “If you’re idle for a few minutes, if you go to the bathroom or whatever, a pop-up will come up and it’ll say, ‘You have 60 seconds to start working again or we’re going to pause your time,’ ” one woman said. But most workers, including this one woman, are afraid to say anything, fearful that they will lose their jobs.

              Meanwhile, the companies selling the software say that the demand for and usage of their software has at least tripled since the beginning of the pandemic. Of course, that means more money for them, and we all know how powerful of a motivator GREED is.

              Is it intrusive? Without a doubt. Is it illegal? Not at all. While there are laws (in the U.S.) that are supposed to prevent the government spying on its citizens, employers are not subject to those laws. In fact, the laws governing employers vary wildly from state to state.

            • Confidentiality

              • Attackers Target 1M+ WordPress Sites To Harvest Database Credentials

                Attackers were spotted targeting over one million WordPress websites in a campaign over the weekend. The campaign unsuccessfully attempted to exploit old cross-site scripting (XSS) vulnerabilities in WordPress plugins and themes, with the goal of harvesting database credentials.

                The attacks were aiming to download wp-config.php, a file critical to all WordPress installations. The file is located in the root of WordPress file directories and contains websites’ database credentials and connection information, in addition to authentication unique keys and salts. By downloading the sites’ configuration files, an attacker would gain access to the site’s database, where site content and credentials are stored, said researchers with Wordfence who spotted the attack.

                Between May 29 and May 31, researchers observed (and were able to block) over 130 million attacks targeting 1.3 million sites.

    • Defence/Aggression

      • Domination and the Murder of George Floyd

        In our documentary movie “The Doctrine of Discovery: Unmasking the Domination Code,” directed by Sheldon Wolfchild (Dakota Nation), we quote language from the papal document Dum diversas, issued by the Catholic Church in 1452. The dehumanizing language expressed in that papal document provides a means of understanding the heartless killing of an African-American named George Floyd by Minneapolis, Minnesota police.

      • AFL-CIO’s Veteran Council Demands Resignation of Defense Secretary and Joint Chiefs Chair Over Violent Clearing of Lafayette Square

        “President Trump has set a violent and misguided tone in the wake of George Floyd’s tragic murder. It is time for our leaders at every level to challenge and repudiate this dangerous rhetoric—and for those at the top of our military, who failed in this responsibility, to step down.”

      • I Remember the Lynchings of the 60s. They’re Still Happening

        I was naive until I wasn’t.

      • Buffalo Police Said Protester With Head Wound “Tripped and Fell.” Video Shows They Lied.
      • With USA in Retreat, China Reassesses Its Options
      • Jim Mattis vs. Tom Cotton: No Contest

        As the revolt against The New York Times’ decision to publish GOP Senator Tom Cotton’s op-ed calling on President Donald Trump to “send in the troops” spread across social media Wednesday night, encouraged by brave Times writers who publicly challenged the move, it was clear that Times leadership—in this case James Bennet, who edits the opinion section—had made another boneheaded choice. It looked especially bad when, later the same day, The Atlantic published a searing, eloquent broadside against all of Donald Trump’s fascist posturing from Trump’s former defense secretary James Mattis.

      • U.S. Abandons Open Skies for New Age Space Weapons

        With the U.S. deciding to walk out of the Open Skies agreement, the U.S. is signaling to the world that it intends to return to days of Pax Americana that existed post-World War II, when it was the sole possessor of nuclear weapons. It has already walked out of the Anti-Ballistic Missile (ABM) Treaty in 2002 under George W. Bush, and the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty under Trump. The only nuclear arms control treaty that still remains in place is the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START), which provides a rough limit and parity on the U.S. and Russia’s nuclear arsenals. Its days also seem to be numbered, as it expires on February 5, 2021, leaving very little time for any serious discussion.

      • NATO Returns to Libya to Challenge Russia

        The great game in Libya has begun surging with the United States shedding its strategic ambivalence and resorting to a proactive role. At the end of May, the Pentagon marked a dramatic escalation by accusing Moscow of bolstering “Kremlin-linked mercenaries” who are allegedly helping Khalifa Haftar, the eastern warlord in Libya.

      • GOP’s Rand Paul Blocks Anti-Lynching Bill

        Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., is blocking the passage of a Senate bill that would make lynching a federal hate crime, because he worries that it would be used for lesser violent crimes that result in only “minor bruising.”

      • As Trump Wages War on DC Residents, It’s Clear He Must Resign Immediately

        There is an iconic scene in the film The Dead Zone where a thoroughly unglued President Stilson, played by Martin Sheen, bulldozes one of his generals into co-authorizing a nuclear strike. “You are not the voice of the people, I am the voice of the people!” Stilson rages. “The people speak through me, not you!” After the launch is effected, upon being told an attack is not necessary, Stilson says with a smile, “The missiles are flying, hallelujah, hallelujah.”

      • With Hydroxychloroquine Out of the News, Ingraham Pivots to Tear Gas Trutherism

        The Trump campaign on Tuesday sought to defend the president’s Bible-toting photo-op — which was made possible after police backed by the National Guard dispersed peaceful protesters with tear gas — by claiming that tear gas had not actually been used on the protesters.

      • WOLA: Media’s ‘Left’ Source for Pro-Coup Propaganda in Venezuela

        The mass media, as Noam Chomsky and Edward Herman documented decades ago, are structurally dependent on pre-ordained “experts,” who play a decisive role in filtering the information reaching the public.

      • How Endless War Contributes to Police Brutality

        Police officers are explicitly trained to conceive of themselves as warriors in battle, always on high alert and prepared to kill.

      • The Protests Made a Huge Difference: All Four Minneapolis Cops Charged in Killing of George Floyd

        After more than a week of nationwide protests, all four Minneapolis police officers involved in the killing of George Floyd have been charged with murder or aiding and abetting murder in a case that triggered historic protests across the country. “If you look at the video … the pressure from all three officers on Mr. Floyd’s body contributed to his death,” says activist and civil rights attorney Nekima Levy Armstrong, former president of the Minneapolis chapter of the NAACP. “They heard the man pleading, saying ‘I can’t breathe,’ and they had a callous disregard for his life.”

      • Why do online trolls call SWAT teams? Because the police hurt people

        Americans in all 50 states are protesting against police brutality. That alone should be all anyone needs to know that something is gravely wrong and that police violence has touched every community in the nation. And yet, as people continue to deny what they are seeing, it’s important to remember the reasons why police brutality is undeniable. One of those is the internet’s favorite way of making a death threat: calling on SWAT teams to terrorize people in their homes.

        Swatting is when someone makes an anonymous, fake emergency call that baits a heavily-armed police response. These hoaxes can have deadly results, and many of the perpetrators are never found. Swatting has been used to terrorize victims by a variety of perpetrators, from angry gamers to organized neo-Nazi groups. Here are just a few examples: [...]

      • Denial of service attacks against advocacy groups skyrocket

        Distributed denial-of-service attacks against advocacy organizations increased by 1,120% since a Minneapolis police officer killed George Floyd by kneeling on his neck, sparking demonstrations throughout the U.S.

        In figures published Tuesday, the internet security firm Cloudflare said it blocked more than 135 billion malicious web requests against advocacy sites, compared to less than 30 million blocked requests against U.S. government websites, such as police and military organizations. The company did not disclose which websites were affected, specifically.

      • Tear Gas Is Way More Dangerous Than Police Let On — Especially During the Coronavirus Pandemic

        When Amira Chowdhury joined a protest in Philadelphia against police violence on Monday, she wore a mask to protect herself and others against the coronavirus. But when officers launched tear gas into the crowd, Chowdhury pulled off her mask as she gasped for air. “I couldn’t breathe,” she said. “I felt like I was choking to death.”

        Chowdhury was on a part of the Vine Street Expressway that ran underground. Everyone panicked as gas drifted into the dark, semi-enclosed space, she said. People stomped over her as they scrambled away. Bruised, she scaled a fence to escape. But the tear gas found her later that evening, inside her own house; as police unleashed it on protesters in her predominantly black neighborhood in West Philadelphia, it seeped in.

      • Tiananmen Square anniversary marked by crackdown, Hong Kong vigil ban

        However, China has long detested the vigil, the only such activity allowed on Chinese territory to commemorate victims of the crackdown, which remains a taboo subject on the mainland. Hundreds, possibly thousands of people were killed when tanks and troops assaulted the centre of Beijing on the night of June 3-4, 1989, to break up weeks of student-led protests seen as posing a threat to authoritarian Communist Party rule.

      • On Tiananmen Anniversary, Hong Kong Protesters Brace for Their Chinese Crackdown

        Law himself has already spent time in Chinese prisons for his work. Some activists have fled abroad to the U.S., Europe or Taiwan to escape persecution, raising the possibility that the anti-Beijing movement may have to go abroad to survive, as after the Tiananmen Square protests.

        But protest abroad carries less weight than at home. The CCP’s fearsome censorship system controls what its citizens see and hear. Displaced Hong Kong activists might make international headlines–but their compatriots won’t see them.

        “Democratic activists like us will be the first wave of the ones that are being prosecuted,” Law said, though he stressed, “I’ll definitely stay in Hong Kong.”

      • Veteran 1989 Activist Detained Over Online Tiananmen Massacre Event

        Authorities in the southwestern Chinese province of Sichuan are believed to be holding dissident and 1989 pro-democracy movement veteran Chen Yunfei for marking the anniversary of a massacre of civilians in Beijing on June 4, 1989.

        Friends of Chen’s said he has been incommunicado a couple of days ahead of Thursday’s anniversary of the bloodshed that ensued when the ruling Chinese Communist Party leadership ordered the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) to clear downtown Beijing of protesters using machine guns and tanks.

        His apparent detention comes after some 200 rights activists launched an online event to mark the 31st anniversary of the massacre on Sunday.

      • Gun-toting members of the Boogaloo movement are showing up at protests

        They grabbed their guns — mostly assault rifles — hopped into their vehicles, and made the 18-hour trek to Minneapolis.

        The Boogaloos are an emerging incarnation of extremism that seems to defy easy categorization. They are yet another confounding factor in the ongoing effort among local, state and federal officials to puzzle out the political sympathies of the agitators showing up to the mostly peaceful George Floyd rallies who have destroyed property, looted businesses, or — in the case of the Boogaloos who descended on Minneapolis — walked around the streets with assault rifles.

        Boogaloo members appear to hold conflicting ideological views with some identifying as anarchists and others rejecting formal titles. Some pockets of the group have espoused white supremacy while others reject it. But they have at least two things in common: an affinity for toting around guns in public and a “boogaloo” rallying cry, which is commonly viewed as code for another US civil war.

    • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

      • Tiananmen Mothers Call on Beijing to Make Public Details of 1989 Massacre

        More than three decades after the massacre on the night of June 3-4, the Tiananmen Mothers’ victims group has called on the administration of President Xi Jinping to make public ruling Chinese Communist Party records from that time, and explain the chain of events that led to the deaths of their loved ones.

        The group, in an annual open letter to China’s leaders, takes aim at the official silence surrounding the events of June 4 and the immediate aftermath, when hundreds, possibly thousands, died or were injured in the crackdown.

      • Piers Morgan stops train-wreck interview to inform Rudy Giuliani he sounds “completely barking mad”

        Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani went completely off the rails during an interview with British journalist Piers Morgan on Thursday after Morgan confronted the former New York mayor about some of President Donald Trump’s inflammatory tweets.

        During the interview, Morgan demanded to know why it was acceptable for Trump to send out a tweet that promoted the shooting of looters.

    • Environment

    • Finance

      • Amid Covid-19 and Nationwide Protests, America’s Billionaires Got $79 Billion Richer Over the Last Week

        “Surging billionaire wealth juxtaposed with the suffering and plight of millions undermines the social solidarity required for us to recover together in the years ahead.”

      • Redistribution by Another Name

        Across the US, cities, especially fancy malls and outlets of major retail chains, are being busted into and ransacked, as police squad cars get flipped over and torched, in scenes not seen in the US since the mid to late 1960s.

      • America’s Unfinished Revolution

        Will we advance our unfinished revolution or will our spontaneous actions end in the acceptance of petty reforms and a return to the status quo?

      • The UN’s Anti-Poverty Proposal for Latin America: a “Basic Emergency Income”

        The economic impact of the COVID-19 crisis on Latin America could be potentially devastating, according to a new Special Report by the UN’s Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC). The report, based on the available data in mid-April, has estimated a -5.3 percent drop for the region’s GDP growth in 2020 — the largest in the region’s history. If this is the case, ECLAC calculates, 29 million more people would be pushed into poverty and 16 million more into extreme poverty, alongside a dramatic increase in inequality in what is already the most unequal region in the world.

      • To the Commercial Heavens We Go! SpaceX, NASA and Space Privatisation

        It would be too simple to regard the latest space venture, funded by Elon Musk, as entirely a matter of vast ego and deeply-pocked adventurism. But it would be close. The successful delivery of astronauts Douglas Hurley and Robert Behnken of NASA as part of the joint mission with SpaceX to the International Space Station by the Dragon capsule proved intoxicating for followers and devotees. Behnken was himself keen on the idea of travelling into the heavens away from a messy, trouble-torn planet. “This is still something that we are going to be successful at, and we’re going to do it in the face of the pandemic.” Good of him to think so.

      • America for the Rich or the Poor?

        Which America will be ours after the pandemic?

      • Will Our Future Be Organized by the Rich or the Poor?

        In the summer of 1995, when I was 18, I started visiting Tent City, a temporary encampment in an abandoned lot in northeast Philadelphia. About 40 families had taken up residence in tents, shacks, and other makeshift structures. Among them were people of various races, ages, and sexual orientations, all homeless and fighting for the right to live.

      • She Paid Thousands for a Visa to Work in the U.S. Then She Got Laid Off. Now, She’s Trapped.

        In the middle of March, L., a 23-year-old culinary school graduate from the Philippines, was scrambling eggs in her kitchen when her supervisor called.

        L. sensed trouble was coming. As part of the J-1 Exchange Visitor Program overseen by the U.S. Department of State, she had a job setting up the breakfast buffet at a luxury resort in Virginia. For weeks, as COVID-19 spread across the United States, she had noticed the guest count dropping on the white board in the kitchen.

      • Construction Workers and the Gig Economy

        Misclassification is a business model that depends on tax, insurance, and payroll fraud. It is an assault on a century of hard-won workers’ rights.

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • Think Of The Kitten: A Crash Course On Section 230

        We are so hip here at Techdirt that we’ve been writing about Section 230 long before it was cool. But even though everyone and their President seems to be talking about it these days, and keen to change it, it does not seem like everyone necessarily knows what it actually says or does. Don’t let this happen to you!

      • YouTube deletes homophobic campaign video created by media organization linked to ‘Russian troll factory’

        YouTube moderators have deleted a Russian campaign video that used homophobic humor to urge participation in an upcoming plebiscite on constitutional amendments. “This video has been removed for violating YouTube’s policy on hate speech,” says a message where the video used to be accessible, followed by a hyperlink to the website’s policy on hate speech, which says the company removes content that promotes hatred against groups based on an array of attributes, including sexual orientation. 

      • Saudi cleric: ‘It is prohibited to protest in Islam’

        The Jeddah-based cleric, who is a well-known propagator in the English language and who regularly appears on Saudi-owned religious satellite channel Huda TV, which is aimed at English speakers told his 161,500 followers that “It is not permissible to protest in Islam”.

      • Defying Beijing, Thousands in Hong Kong Hold Tiananmen Vigil

        Residents across the city gathered to commemorate the victims of China’s 1989 crackdown, despite a police ban. Hours earlier, the city made mocking China’s anthem a crime.

      • U.S. States Have Been Trying to Criminalize Protests for the Past Five Years

        From 2016 through 2019, state lawmakers introduced ten bills that either made obstructing traffic on highways a misdemeanor or increased penalties for protesting near oil and gas facilities. Most of these legislative proposals were introduced in response to ongoing protests against a controversial oil pipeline as well as those following the police killing of Philando Castile in a St. Paul suburb in 2016. The bills would have allowed protesters to be jailed for up to a year, fined offenders up to $3,000 each, and allowed cities to sue protesters for the cost of police response. Many of the bills were introduced in 2017 after racial justice activists in the state made headlines shutting down a major highway. A couple others were in response to protests in 2016 and 2019 against the energy company Enbridge’s planned replacement of a pipeline running from Alberta to Wisconsin.

        None of the bills have yet become law, but three failed only because they were vetoed by the governor. Two bills introduced earlier this year are still on the table. One would make trespassing on property with oil and gas facilities punishable by up to three years in prison and a $5,000 fine. The other would make those who assist such activity civilly liable for damages.

    • Freedom of Information/Freedom of the Press

      • United States added to list of most dangerous countries for journalists for first time

        At least 63 professional journalists were killed doing their jobs in 2018, a 15 percent increase over last year, said the group, Reporters Without Borders. The number of deaths rises to 80 when all media workers and people classified as citizen journalists are included, it said in its annual report.

        The world’s five deadliest countries for journalists include three — India, Mexico and, for the first time, the United States — where journalists were killed in cold blood, even though those countries weren’t at war or in conflict, the group said.

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • Chamberlain v. White Plains: A Crack in the Wall for Police Killings?

        On Monday, June 1, the U.S. Second Circuit in New York substantially reversed a district court’s ruling on appeal in the case of the police killing of Kenneth Chamberlain, Sr., in which the lower court had found mainly for the defendants.

      • The Killers Inside Us: White Fury and the Thin Blue Line

        These tin soldiers are the violent, cowardly, bullying products of a dying empire, the death dreams of a sybaritic system breathing its last. They are America’s Id.

      • An Idea on Providing Coordination and Leadership

        The country is filled with so much anger and so much action – but, as far as I can see, so little leadership!

      • A Fearsome Walk In the Park
      • EFF Offering Assistance with Attorney Referrals for Protesters

        In light of the current protests across the country against racism and police brutality, we want to call attention to EFF’s attorney referral services. We are opening up our Cooperating Attorneys list to people facing legal troubles as a result of their participation in the ongoing demonstrations, especially those involving surveillance or devices such as phones. We urge anyone in such a position to contact us for help in finding representation.

        Our referral list is comprised of hundreds of lawyers from around the nation who share an interest in our issues. Like EFF, the attorneys on this list focus on issues where technology and the law intersect, so we especially encourage those whose arrests involved digital rights issues to contact us. For instance, if you believe your phone’s contents were accessed and stored after arrest, or if you are a journalist being compelled to share your footage with law enforcement, we want to hear from you.

      • The Knee for Change

        In a country founded on racism, real change must be deeply structural.

      • Solidarity Includes Wearing a Mask at Protests

        The life you save may not be your own. Those who wear a mask at protests are making clear that they’re willing to undergo some discomfort to protect people they don’t even know.

      • ‘The Planet Is at Stake’: DNC Panel Pushes Biden to Back $16 Trillion Plan to Fight Climate Crisis

        “Trump’s going to call Biden a lefty no matter what, right? So let’s energize our base, let’s energize the middle. Let’s do what’s right.”

      • ‘This Isn’t Going Away’: Defying Curfews and Police Brutality in Relentless Push for Justice, Uprising Over Killing of George Floyd Keeps Growing

        “Essential workers are exempt from the curfew, and what we are doing here is essential.”

      • ‘Sorry For Blowing Up Your Culture’, And Other Things Rio Tinto Says But Doesn’t Mean

        The recent destruction of sacred Aboriginal sites in Western Australia by an Australian mining giant should outrage us all, writes Georgia McGrath.

      • ‘Starve the Beast’: A Q&A With Alex S. Vitale on Defunding the Police

        In 2015, Minneapolis was one of six cities selected by Barack Obama’s Department of Justice to pilot a new kind of policing. Said to be grounded in rigorous social science research, the new initiative aimed “to build trust” between the police and the community being policed. The Minneapolis Police Department would undergo implicit bias training, wear body cameras, and practice mindfulness and “racial reconciliation” as part of a three-year, $4.75 million project tied to Obama’s “My Brother’s Keeper” campaign. The national reform program was described by then–Attorney General Eric Holder as “groundbreaking.”

      • The Forgotten Workers of Tiananmen Square

        On June 4, 1989, the Chinese military violently suppressed the protest movement of students and workers in Beijing’s Tiananmen Square. The protests had begun earlier that spring; at their peak, they may have included as many as 1 million people. To put an end to them, the government invaded Beijing with as many as 250,000 soldiers, supported by tanks and armored personnel carriers, who shot, bayoneted, and ran over civilians. Protesters resisted by building blockades along the road to Tiananmen Square, setting vehicles on fire, and fighting back with rocks and Molotov cocktails. But they were overwhelmed.

      • CDT First Out The Gate In Suing To Block Donald Trump’s Silly Executive Order On Section 230

        The Center for Democracy and Technology appears to be the first out of the gate in suing Donald Trump to block his silly executive order on Section 230. In the aftermath of the EO being issued I know some people wondered if it was actually worth suing over, since it actually did so little in practice. But, as I discussed in this week’s podcast, it can still be used to create havoc.

      • State pollster says 61 percent of Russians planning to vote in upcoming plebiscite support constitutional changes

        The state-owned Russian Public Opinion Research Center (VTsIOM) has released the results of its most recent telephone survey on Russia’s upcoming constitutional plebiscite.

      • Attempts By Officials To Blame ‘Outside Agitators’ For George Floyd Protests Failed

        Days after Minneapolis police murdered George Floyd and sparked a rebellion, Minnesota Governor Tim Walz claimed state officials “assessed that up to 80 percent of those protesting or rioting came from outside Minnesota.” He suggested “far-right white supremacists” and “organized drug cartels” were responsible.

        “We are now confronting white supremacists, members of organized crime, out-of-state instigators, and possibly even foreign actors to destroy and destabilize our city and our region,” Walz declared on May 29.

      • Many Abortion Clinics May Not Survive COVID-19 Unless Progressives Take Bolder Action

        The fury of the anti-choice movement is always in Kwajelyn Jackson’s face.

        Protesters stand outside of the Feminist Women’s Health Center in Atlanta, Georgia, where she works. They harass her doctors. They destroy clinic property. They break COVID-19 social distancing rules. They hound her patients, who are mostly poor and black or Hispanic.

      • Trump Is Framing US Residents as Enemies to Be Met by Force. Don’t Let Him.

        Donald Trump, who has cratered in opinion polls this spring as the pandemic and the economic collapse have battered the U.S., is attempting to turn this past week’s explosion of political protest amid a deadly pandemic into his Reichstag fire moment.

      • Obama Calls for Police Reform, But Others Note He Doesn’t Go Far Enough

        During a virtual town hall event on Wednesday afternoon, former President Barack Obama discussed the need for police reform in the U.S., and support for protests across the country in the wake of the death of George Floyd last week.

      • How Immunity for Cops and Facebook Kills Americans

        When you tell people they won’t be held accountable for their actions, it almost always ends badly. That’s what’s happened with our police and our social media, two institutional pillars of personal and political society in America today. Removing those dual immunities could dramatically change—for the better—the lives of millions of Americans.

      • Ilhan Omar Criminal Justice Reform Bills Offer ‘Systemic Solutions to Systemic Problems’

        “If we are to change this pattern of violent racism, we need to fundamentally restructure our criminal justice system.”

      • “When They Say We Don’t Have the Right to Protest,” Says Naomi Klein, “That’s the Moment to Flood the Streets”

        As Trump declares “law and order” clampdown against peaceful demonstrations, author and activist reminds people of most important lesson she’s learned studying history of shock doctrine tactics.

      • As Americans Rise Up Against Racial Injustice, International Crisis Group Calls on Trump to ‘Stop Making Situation Worse’

        “Sometimes, sitting by quietly and saying nothing is not an option,” the International Crisis Group wrote.

      • I Cover Cops as an Investigative Reporter. Here Are Five Ways You Can Start Holding Your Department Accountable.

        The death of George Floyd at the hands of police in Minneapolis has drawn historic levels of interest in police misconduct and drawn condemnation from law enforcement leaders nationwide.

        As a reporter covering law enforcement for the Asbury Park Press in New Jersey, and now in partnership with ProPublica’s Local Reporting Network, I use investigative reporting techniques to strengthen police accountability. Other journalists do the same. But, in truth, any citizen can apply the same methods to ensure the law enforcement system they’re funding is serving them well.

      • Tamika Mallory: Nationwide Uprising Against State Violence Shows People Have Reached Breaking Point

        As Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison files charges against all four Minneapolis police officers involved in the killing of George Floyd, a mass uprising against police brutality continues. “At this point, we’re looking at a nation and a world that has decided that what we saw happen on camera … is no longer acceptable, and we cannot continue to meet and ask and cry and beg for change. People have taken to the streets to demand change,” says Tamika Mallory, former national co-chair of the 2017 Women’s March.

      • Uprisings Are Driving a Surge in Mutual Aid in Minneapolis and Beyond

        Mutual aid is flourishing in south Minneapolis, where the police killing of an unarmed Black man and a revolt against state violence has left a community hungry for connection and racial justice. The alleged murder of George Floyd and the ensuing powerful uprisings have made the need to forge material support networks among neighbors all the more apparent, say activists – and they are up to the challenge.

      • DC Residents Take to the Streets to Demand End of Police State

        Protesters have continued to pour onto the streets of Washington, D.C., night after night, despite the city’s attempt to suppress protest through the deployment of the National Guard and the imposition of nightly curfews.

      • The Military Is Being Tapped To Handle Domestic Protests, Something It’s Not Really Equipped To Handle

        With protests sparked by the killing of George Floyd by Officer Derek Chauvin erupting all over the nation, states are beginning to ask the National Guard to step in. The epicenter of these demonstrations is Minneapolis, Minnesota, where the National Guard has already been deployed to handle protests and enforce the curfew.

      • Breonna Taylor Was Killed by Police in March. Officers Haven’t Faced Charges.

        We go to Louisville, where protesters are calling for charges against the officers involved in the death of Breonna Taylor, the 26-year-old African American woman who was an emergency room technician treating COVID patients and was shot to death by police inside her own apartment in March. This comes as the National Guard fired shots at a crowd of protesters on Monday, killing David McAtee, a local barbecue restaurant owner who regularly gave police officers free meals. We speak with Sadiqa Reynolds, president and CEO of Louisville Urban League.

      • Say Her Name: Breonna Taylor Was Killed by Police in March. Why Haven’t the Officers Faced Charges?

        We go to Louisville, where protesters are calling for charges against the officers involved in the death of Breonna Taylor, the 26-year-old African American woman who was an emergency room technician treating COVID patients and was shot to death by police inside her own apartment in March. This comes as the National Guard fired shots at a crowd of protesters on Monday, killing David McAtee, a local barbecue restaurant owner who regularly gave police officers free meals. We speak with Sadiqa Reynolds, president and CEO of Louisville Urban League.

      • Trapped at Sea, Alone With Her Assailant, He Told Her “You’re Mine for the Week”

        Hearing the boat motor click off, she burrowed deep into her sleeping bag.

        It was 4:30 a.m. one August morning in 2013 and they had been traveling for hours. Just Cathleen and the captain aboard a fishing boat little bigger than a minivan, now bobbing somewhere in Prince William Sound.

      • New York City’s Curfew Is Only Leading to More Police Brutality

        According to the poster, Gasland director Josh Fox, this arrest took place around 50th Street and Third Avenue, where on Wednesday at 9 p.m. police swarmed a peaceful demonstration that began two hours earlier with a 30-minute silent vigil in front of Gracie Mansion. Demonstrators marched south from the mayor’s Upper East Side residence, wending their way into midtown Manhattan. “Fuck your cur-few!” they chanted as 8 p.m. came and went. Signs read, “We See Police Get Away With Murder,” and “Defund the NYPD,” and “Resources, Not Police Forces!”

        “It was [de Blasio’s] own Blackout Tuesday,” Patrick Bobilin, one of the vigil’s organizers, tells Rolling Stone of the curfew. “He blacked out our demands. They asked for an end to police violence — they got more police violence. People marched all night, they got a curfew. It shows an unwillingness to lead and an unwillingness to control police violence.”

      • Another Man Who Said ‘I Can’t Breathe’ Died in Custody. An Autopsy Calls It Homicide.

        A black man who called out “I can’t breathe” before dying in police custody in Tacoma, Wash., was killed as a result of oxygen deprivation and the physical restraint that was used on him, according to details of a medical examiner’s report released on Wednesday.

        The Pierce County Medical Examiner’s Office concluded that the death of the man, Manuel Ellis, 33, was a homicide. Investigators with the Pierce County Sheriff’s Department were in the process of preparing a report about the March death, which occurred shortly after an arrest by officers from the Tacoma Police Department, said the sheriff’s spokesman, Ed Troyer.

      • Minneapolis Bus Drivers Refuse to Transport George Floyd Protesters to Jail

        More than 400 union workers, including Minneapolis postal workers, nurses, teachers, and hotel workers have signed the petition posted on the Facebook group Union Members for #JusticeForGeorgeFloyd pledging not to aid the policing of the protests with their labor, according to Adam Birch, a Minneapolis bus driver who wrote the petition.

      • Iran’s Misogynist Regime Is Responsible for Romina Ashrafi’s Death

        The disturbing and tragic news of a 13-year-old Romina Ashrafi being beheaded with a sickle by her own father in Iran, described as an “honor killing,” has been circulating on the web. This news is indeed sad, but so is the killer not being punished in Iran under the misogynist laws of the mullahs’ regime.

      • Activists in Europe protest racism against Kurds

        Actions were organised in Bielefeld, Germany and Copenhagen to protest against Turkish racism and the murder of Barış Çakan.

      • ‘China’s forgotten day’: Global leaders and activists raise human rights concerns on Tiananmen Massacre anniversary

        Thursday marks the 31st anniversary of Tiananmen Massacre where hundreds, perhaps thousands died from the People’s Liberation Army crackdown on a student-led movement in Beijing on June 4, 1989. HKFP rounds up reactions from political leaders and activists as the Hong Kong authorities ban the annual vigil for the first time, citing Covid-19 regulations.

      • Hong Kong marks Tiananmen crackdown amid virus vigil ban

        As China tightens its control over Hong Kong, activists in the city defied a police ban and broke through barricades Thursday evening to mark the 31st anniversary of the crushing of a democracy movement centered on Beijing’s Tiananmen Square.

        With democracy all but snuffed out in mainland China, the focus has shifted increasingly to semi-autonomous Hong Kong, where authorities for the first time banned an annual candlelight vigil marking the anniversary of the 1989 crackdown.

      • The Nationalist Roots of White Evangelical Politics

        White evangelicals remain some of Donald Trump’s most steadfast supporters. Their strong support for the president in the last election—roughly 81 percent voted for him—puzzled many liberals; they found it hypocritical for evangelicals to support someone whose lifestyle so egregiously contradicts their puritanical moralism. But the group that seemed most surprised was the evangelical leadership.
        Take Daniel Reid, former editor of InterVarsity Press, one of the major evangelical publishing houses: “How can Trump have gotten eighty-one percent? I don’t know a single person at InterVarsity who voted for Trump.” Mark Galli, the former editor-in-chief of Christianity Today—the flagship magazine of evangelical thought—echoed this sentiment last December in an editorial that called for Trump to be removed from office in light of the impeachment hearings. He and his colleagues had “done our best to give evangelical Trump supporters their due, to try to understand their point of view,” but no longer could. The problem with today’s evangelicals, said Galli in response to the negative reception of his editorial, is their “widespread ignorance” and “ethical naïveté.” Evangelical historian Thomas Kidd has even questioned their religious credentials: “I suspect that large numbers of these people who identify as ‘evangelicals’ are really just whites who watch Fox News and consider themselves religious.”
        When they do acknowledge that a significant amount of support exists, evangelical intellectuals like Galli are drawn to cultural explanations for the reactionary white populist surge that they claim has only recently overtaken their movement. The faithful, so the argument goes, avoid extremes when they attend church regularly and adhere to orthodox theology. When these practices break down, chaos and crisis await.
        The argument that the gospel can serve as a source of moderation in politics has a long tradition in religious thought. Had Catholic orthodoxy not been compromised by the medieval Church, the Reformation would have had little appeal. Had fin-de-siècle Europe not been swept over by a wave of secularization, workers would have continued to keep faith in paradise in another world, rather than putting their hopes in totalitarian regimes that promised paradise in this one.
        White evangelicals, according to this perspective, have substituted the real truth of the gospels for an exclusionary religious nationalism. The absence of a deeper theological and spiritual foundation contributes to a sense of grievance and resentment. For Never Trump evangelicals, this cultural drift explains the wide gulf that separates evangelical Protestant theology from the rank-and-file’s political beliefs. The moral failings of churches, then, are distinct from their central theological doctrines. But it’s harder than evangelical intellectuals think to separate religious doctrine and history from the problems of contemporary racist nationalism on the right. As far back as the founding moment of the United States, the evangelical movement has depended on the nation-state for its survival. Its salvific mission is deeply connected to a theology of exclusionary Christian nationalism.

        What is evangelicalism? While it can prove difficult to find a simple definition for a global movement involving scores of denominations and ethnic groups, scholars and religious leaders today most often point to the “Bebbington Quadrilateral,” named for historian David Bebbington. In his 1989 book Evangelicalism in Modern Britain, Bebbington laid out four core principles: 1. Conversionism, or the belief that lives need to be transformed through a “born-again” experience and a lifelong process of following Jesus; 2. Activism, which expresses the gospel through missionary and social reform efforts; 3. Biblicism—a high regard for and obedience to the Bible as the ultimate authority; and 4. Crucicentrism, or a stress on the sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the cross for the redemption of humanity.
        While the Bebbington Quadrilateral has become the standard definition of evangelicalism, it offers little insight into why white evangelicals have been drawn to right-wing populism. The crisis in understanding only deepens when we learn that, according to some Pew polls, increased church attendance correlates with higher levels of support for Trump. Yet African-American evangelicals hold these exact same doctrinal beliefs and vote for the Democratic Party (as do many Latino evangelicals). This helps Never Trump evangelicals to avoid implicating theology, but it doesn’t help explain white evangelical support for the president. A historical approach to the relationship between doctrinal belief and political principle—political theology—can help make sense of these patterns.

      • NLG Statement on the President’s Unlawful Declaration of Antifa as a Domestic Terrorist Organization

        In the long history of protest, governments have often sought to discredit political activists who challenge the status quo. President Donald Trump’s recent declaration, that “Antifa”—shorthand for “anti-fascist”—is a domestic terrorist organization, is no departure from this tradition. As protests continue to erupt around the country in response to the murder of George Floyd by a Minneapolis Police officer on May 25, people of all classes, races, genders, and political orientations are expressing outrage and grief in the streets and on social media. The demonstrators have been repeatedly and violently attacked by heavily militarized police departments using an array of tactics—including chemical weapons during a global pandemic—against people in the streets. In an effort to shift blame away from legitimate calls for racial justice and the violent police response to protests, the President is using his bully pulpit to obscure the fact that these demonstrations are supported by a broad majority of Americans.


        While the Department of Justice (DOJ) can indict people on federal terrorism charges, no clear legal authority exists for the President to designate Antifa a “domestic terrorist organization.” Nevertheless, Attorney General William Barr quickly followed Trump’s declaration with an official statement announcing that the DOJ would use its existing network of 56 FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF) offices to investigate Antifa. DOJ investigations will only serve to harass protesters and provide the state with additional means to prosecute political activists. The Trump administration’s threats are nothing more than political theater and an attempt to sow division and intimidate those who exercise their right to fight injustice.

        “Trump’s declaration that Antifa is a domestic terrorist organization has no basis in fact or law and is merely an attempt to criminalize ordinary people who are exercising their right to protest,” said NLG Mass Defense Director Tyler Crawford. “The NLG condemns any such attempts by the government to interfere with the right of the people to have their voices heard in demanding justice for George Floyd and an end to racist police violence.”

        The NLG will continue to oppose any attempts to exploit this crisis to repress political activism and social justice movements working to end to white supremacy. The Trump administration continues to ignore the ongoing injustice wrought on Black communities by institutional racism, including police brutality, in favor of seeking to physically or politically punish those who are part of anti-racist and anti-fascist movements. The NLG will continue to provide legal support to activists as they take to the streets to call for justice for George Floyd, from Minneapolis to Washington, D.C. and many other cities.

      • NLG Condemns Violent Police Response to Black Lives Matter Protests Nationwide

        Spurred by the uprising in Minneapolis last week in response to the police killing of George Floyd, demonstrations took place in more than 75 cities over the weekend of May 29-31 as thousands of people protested to demand an end to racialized police violence and justice for Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade, and so many others. National Lawyers Guild (NLG) Chapters across the country have mobilized to provide legal support to these people’s movements and will continue to do so for as long as necessary. As a grassroots organization led by volunteer members who take direction from movements on the ground, we remain committed to the struggle for Black lives and an end to white supremacy.

      • Stuart Langridge: I’m not outside

        They’ll currently be chanting. Then there’s music and speeches and poetry and a lie-down. I’m not there. I wish I was there.

        This is part of the Black Lives Matter protests going on around the world, because again a black man was murdered by police. His name was George Floyd. That was in Minneapolis; a couple of months ago Breonna Taylor, a black woman, was shot eight times by police in Louisville. Here in the UK black and minority ethnicity people die in police custody twice as much as others.

        It’s 31 years to the day since the Tiananmen Square protests in China in which a man stood in front of a tank, and then he disappeared. Nobody even knows his name, or what happened to him.

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

      • Why Slow Networks Really Cost More Than Fiber

        A myth often pushed by incumbents who want to forestall universal fiber is that there is a high “cost” of fiber and cheaper alternatives. They’ll point to figures that for example show that a fiber-to-the home approach costs several thousands of dollars per household,  when upgrading the copper DSL line or cable line can be done at a fraction of the price. They then use this argument for “cheaper” networks to advocate that government subsidies and public investments make a short-sighted focus on building networks with slow speeds, but broader coverage. But what they leave out is, despite the appearance of lower costs, they are in fact setting up these government programs for an exorbitant amount of waste—that translates into company profit— in the long run. If the government incentivizes building fast networks for the future, not just fast-enough for today, we will all save a lot of money over the long-term. 

        Cable and DSL networks, absent the investment in fiber optics, are not getting any faster and are deteriorating after decades of use. EFF has written this technical analysis explaining in great detail why this is the case.  In short, the capacity of those wires to transmit data have real world limits whereas fiber optic wires have a capacity that our network technology has not even begun to reach. In cable and DSL networks, copper wires can only carry so much data over so much distance. Any significant improvements in the future will involve replacing big sections of the copper cables with fiber optics. But for pure fiber networks, the limit on capacity isn’t the cables, it’s the transmitters and receivers at each end. Once the fiber is in place, we’ll be able to upgrade these networks for years to come without having to bury any new cables. Because of the massive capacity differences, there is a “speed chasm” between legacy networks and fiber networks. and this plays directly into the true costs of choosing to incrementally upgrade an old network or switching over to all fiber. 

      • 5G Conspiracy Idiots Now Threatening Telecom Workers That Don’t Even Work In Wireless

        On one end, you’ve got wireless carriers implying that 5G is some type of cancer curing miracle (it’s not). On the other hand, we have oodles of conspiracy theorists, celebrities, and various grifters trying to claim 5G is some kind of rampant health menace (it’s not). In reality, 5G’s not actually interesting enough to warrant either position, but that’s clearly not stopping anybody in the post-truth era.

      • Playing Politics with Section 230 Makes the Internet Weaker, Not Stronger

        With this in mind, one can see how the executive order is problematic, setting in motion a dangerous precedent both for the Internet and speech. The problem is that a lot of the provisions in this order appear to be what Stanford’s Director of Intermediary Liability, Daphne Keller, calls “atmospheric” – politically driven questions that should not be part of the legal debate related to the scope of intermediary liability protections. They constitute a distraction, which could cause a series of unintended consequences for the evolution of the Internet.

        While conversations about the evolving scope of Section 230 are healthy, they should not be based on fashionable political motivations. Section 230 has a historical track record of promoting innovation and creativity online. By separating it from partisan politics, we can ensure that these benefits are retained.

      • It’s All Linked: How Communication to the Public Affects Internet Architecture

        The architecture of the Internet is changing. A novel expansive construction of communication and making available to the public has been shaking the Internet ecosystem. It reaches into basic online activities, such as linking. Departing from well-established international approaches, the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) has recently decided a multitude of cases that redesigned the notion of communication to the public in the Internet, while discussing linking activities in particular. This jurisprudence stands against a fluid legal framework searching for the optimal allocation of intermediary liability of information service providers. [...]

      • Mind Your Step: Remembering GeoCities

        Besides bringing back the EBCDIC to ASCII translation library, something else unexpected happened. While I was on YouTube, I came across a video that brought back memories of the early days of the Web.

        How many of you remember a web hosting service called GeoCities?

        This brings back memories as my flagship site (Horneker Online) got its start on GeoCities back in 1996 as a single page website about OS/2 (called “OS/2 Junction”).

        GeoCities was founded in 1994 by David Bohnett and John Rezner as a web hosting service where anyone who wanted a website on the Internet could build one. Websites hosted here were organized into neighborhoods based on the topic of websites, such as SiliconValley, Heartland, and MadisonAvenue.

        My website there was placed in SiliconValley as it was a website about OS/2. (This was back in 1996, long before I started using Linux.) The URL for that site was http://www.geocities.com/SiliconValley/Heights/4301. The Wayback Machine at Internet Archive can be used to view websites that were on GeoCities back in the day.

        Some neighborhoods got so large, sublets were introduced to further organize the location of websites hosted at GeoCities. On the filesystem used in GeoCities, sublets are nothing more than subdirectories contained with the directories assigned to the neighborhoods.

      • Book Review: Conflict of Laws on the Internet

        In a world largely of national laws with territorial jurisdiction and enforcement, the internet is a complicating factor. Online activities have the potential for instantaneous, global effects, implicating a variety of national legal regimes. Thus, as the internet becomes increasingly integral to much of our daily lives, conflict of law issues are certain to arise.

        In Conflict of Laws and the Internet, Pedro de Miguel Asensio (Complutense University of Madrid, Spain) presents a thorough analysis of the fundamental issues of private international law regarding online activities. Presented in six chapters, the book explores a variety of legal concerns implicated by online activity, including the regulation of illegal material, the protection of personal data and personality rights, copyright law, trademarks and unfair competition, and online contracts.

    • Monopolies

      • Patents

        • Sean O’Connor’s Historical Take on Different Types of Intellectual Property [sic] [Ed: Camilla Hrdy cites/boosts Koch-funded patent extremists who lobby for software patents and patent trolls]

          In my read, the big upshot for current IP theory is O’Connor’s view that the historic purpose of patents and copyright was “not to incentivize the authorship or invention of new things. Such creation had been taking place, often quite prodigiously, throughout human history.” (2). Instead, it was to encourage sharing those things by transferring them from the private to the public sphere. “From at least Greco-Roman antiquity,” O’Connor writes, “an important divide was acknowledged between the private and public spheres. An intentional act of publicare was required to transfer something from the private to the public.” (2). He argues that this transfer would not occur without patents and copyrights.

        • Covalon Granted Key Antimicrobial Patents in the United States, Canada, and Europe

          Covalon Technologies Ltd. (the “Company” or “Covalon”) (TSXV: COV; OTCQX: CVALF), an advanced medical technologies company, today announced that the Company has been granted key antimicrobial patents by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (“USPTO”), the Canadian Intellectual Property Office (“CIPO”), and the European Patent Office (“EPO”).

          Covalon’s Antimicrobial Silicone-based Wound Dressing patent has been granted in the United States by the USPTO, in Canada by the CIPO, and in Europe by the EPO. This antimicrobial patent is integral to the Company’s CovaClear® platform technology and the Company’s IV Clear®, MediClear® PreOp, and SurgiClear® products.

        • HGF Deadlines And Docketing – 20th May 2020 Update

          HGF continues to remain fully operational at this time, with the majority of staff working remotely due to the ongoing situation regarding the COVID-19 outbreak.

          The status of our offices can be found here and is updated on a daily basis. Please do not send any documents by post at this time as our UK offices continue to remain physically closed and we do not have guaranteed access to documents and correspondence sent by post. For all matters, please contact us by email or telephone. When sending us instructions always send a copy by email to docketing@hgf.com and ensure you receive a personal acknowledgement of receipt.

          Official Intellectual Property offices in the jurisdictions in which HGF operates continue to remain fully operational at this time, but some are offering extensions to deadlines in order to support applicants and their attorneys who have been affected by the pandemic. We have provided an updated list of the specific situations below.

      • Copyrights

        • Coronavirus: Influential study on hydroxychloroquine withdrawn

          Three of the study’s authors said they could not longer vouch for its veracity because Surgisphere, a healthcare firm behind the data, would not allow an independent review of its dataset.

        • Twitter removes Trump campaign tribute to George Floyd claiming copyright complaint

          A Twitter spokesperson told The Hill they received a complaint from a copyright owner of at least one of the images in the video, although it’s unclear which one. Harvard University’s Lumen Database, a third-party research group Twitter uses to study cease and desist letters, reviewed the complaint and found it to be valid under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.

        • Major medical journal’s retraction of hydroxychloroquine study is poised to rile the MAGA crowd

          “Today, three of the authors of the paper, ‘Hydroxychloroquine or chloroquine with or without a macrolide for treatment of COVID-19: a multinational registry analysis’, have retracted their study,” the editors of The Lancet said in a statement Thursday. “They were unable to complete an independent audit of the data underpinning their analysis. As a result, they have concluded that they ‘can no longer vouch for the veracity of the primary data sources.’ The Lancet takes issues of scientific integrity extremely seriously, and there are many outstanding questions about Surgisphere and the data that were allegedly included in this study.”

        • No Opinions Permitted: Broadcast Panel Rules Jokingly Criticizing Canadian Content During Radio News Segment Violates Code of Ethics

          Moreover, the Broadcast and Telecommunications Legislative Review Panel, which Canadian Heritage Minister Steven Guilbeault plans to implement, recommended extending Canada’s broadcast regulatory framework to the Internet, including sites and services that aggregate the news. The panel referenced the broadcast standards panel, stating that it is part of a system used to suppress misinformation and manipulation. It continued with a recommendation that the “federal government introduce legislation with respect to liability of digital providers for harmful content and conduct using digital technologies, separate and apart from any responsibilities that may be imposed by communications legislation.” The fear then – and now – is that the recommendations would invariably lead to increased speech regulation online in keeping with its questionable conclusion that it is all part of the “Canadian broadcast system.”

        • Guinness World Records People Accidentally Claiming Copyright On Tons Of ‘Super Mario Bros.’ Speedruns

          Even a cursory review of just the headlines on our posts about YouTube’s ContentID will demonstrate a theme. That theme mostly centers around how the automagic copyright detection system that YouTube put in place is mostly useful for creating collateral damage on non-infringing material, often times at the expense of the rightsholders themselves. Whenever this happens, there are usually apologies issued, blame cast on ContentID for the mistake, and then everything continues on with no changes made. Which is absurd. These situations identify a flaw in the ContentID system, or the use of an automated system of any kind, and yet we never do anything about it.

        • Major Publishers Sue The Internet Archive’s Digital Library Program In The Midst Of A Pandemic

          For many years, we’ve said that if the public library were invented today, the book publishers would sue it out of existence. It appears that the big book publishers have decided to prove me right, as they have decided to sue the Internet Archive for lending ebooks without a license.

        • Hollywood Studios & Netflix Target ‘Movies Time’ Piracy App

          Several Hollywood studios and Netflix have filed a complaint with Github over the pirate streaming app ‘Movies Time’. The companies claim that the Microsoft-owned platform hosts not only the application itself but the website used for its distribution. In response, the operator of Movies Time has already taken evasive action.

        • More Than Half of All Sports Fans Regularly Pirate Content

          A new survey published by Synamedia shows that more than half of all sports fans access pirated content at least once a month. On average, these pirates are more engaged than other sports fans. At the same time, however, the findings show that there are many different types of pirates, all with their own preferences and habits.

        • Our Community is Reducing the Impact of COVID-19 on Science, Education, and Culture

          Over the past months, we’ve talked on the Creative Commons blog about the effect of the pandemic on science and education and asserted how important it is to share knowledge and culture as openly as possible, now more than ever. We also launched the Open COVID Pledge, a groundbreaking initiative founded on the idea that relevant scientific resources and intellectual property owned or developed in relation to COVID-19 should be made freely available to anyone in the world to use and build upon to end the pandemic.

This Article About GitHub Takeover Never Appeared (Likely Spiked by Microsoft and Its Friends Inside the Media)

Posted in Microsoft at 3:55 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

And later they wonder why people distrust so much of the media (where paying advertisers set the agenda/tone)

The GitHub missing piece

And s/he (anonymised on purpose) never sent a thing. Silence

Raw: How Microsoft and/or the EPO Killed an Important EPO Story About Their SLAPP Against Techrights and Others

Posted in Europe, Microsoft, Patents at 3:16 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Spiking a story about spiked stories about corruption

Spiking a story about spiked stories about corruption

Old article about this (without the raw material above, withheld for half a decade): Did the EPO Spike a BBC Story Regarding Discriminatory Practices, Legal Bullying of Bloggers, and/or Microsoft Bias?

The Linux Foundation ‘Bootcamp’ — Badly Timed and Badly Named in June 2020 — Only Uses Linus Torvalds Like a ‘Prop’ (for Legitimacy) While Promoting Militarised Monopolies

Posted in Free/Libre Software, GNU/Linux, Kernel, Microsoft at 2:46 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

The Corporate Linux Foundation is more about Microsoft (GitHub, ‘clown computing’ surveillance etc.) than about Torvalds, Linux and Git


Summary: Sometimes a picture says a lot more than words, especially in light of political events in the US and a certain Chinese anniversary we cannot name (Microsoft censors mentions of it)

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