EditorsAbout the SiteComes vs. MicrosoftUsing This Web SiteSite ArchivesCredibility IndexOOXMLOpenDocumentPatentsNovellNews DigestSite NewsRSS

06.08.20

This is Not a Drill

Posted in GNU/Linux, Microsoft at 11:17 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Thor two faces: No way GNU will outsource to Microsoft... Wait, what? Bison made savannah a mirror of github?!

Summary: GNU Bison is an example of casualties of Microsoft’s newly-acquired monopoly; FSF-copyrighted code is now being handed over to Microsoft (with savannah hosting being just a mirror of it)

Software Development Isn’t Social (Control) Media

Posted in Free/Libre Software, FSF, GNU/Linux, Microsoft at 11:05 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

“I’m the last survivor of a dead culture. And I don’t really belong in the world anymore. And in some ways I feel I ought to be dead. [...] In terms of effect on the world, it’s very good that I’ve lived. And so I guess, if I could go back in time and prevent my birth, I wouldn’t do it. But I sure wish I hadn’t had so much pain.”

Richard Stallman

Summary: We’re coming to a point now where monopolies are dictating to Free software developers the way they code and behave; the trouble is, if we work/operate based on the rules of monopolies, we’ll never succeed in making these monopolies obsolete and never liberate/unshackle ourselves from them

THE FSF belatedly responded to the GitHub threat several months ago. A bunch of us had contacted Richard Stallman and months later the FSF said it would improve its development framework to make it more like social control media (we presume with Gitlab as base/template). Git is Free software; it’s simple, it’s modular, and I’ve personally used it over the years, always from the command line. We use Git on our Techrights server too (to maintain some code of ours). Git collaboration and communication can be done over E-mail; Git is designed to handle that. It may seem slow at times (e.g. PR workflow), but speed isn’t the only thing that matters. Standards, processes, ‘papertrail’ etc. must also be taken into account.

“Last year I heard rumours that users and projects — not only staff — had been fleeing GitHub (we lacked hard evidence to confirm this).”Microsoft shrewdly avoided antitrust scrutiny when it bought GitHub (fiction like “Microsoft loves Linux” helped), exploiting the ‘network effect’ to acquire a monopoly it could never build with CodePlex (not even remotely). Notice how careful Microsoft is to not associate GitHub with itself (Microsoft logo nowhere to be seen; same in LinkedIn). Microsoft is very much self-conscious about its crimes. Last year I heard rumours that users and projects — not only staff — had been fleeing GitHub (we lacked hard evidence to confirm this). This isn’t something that the chronic liars from Microsoft would ever publicly acknowledge. Heck, last month I discovered that my GitHub account that I deleted two years ago is still there and still publicly listed. Anything to maintain the illusion of size/scale/magnitude, eh?

After pushing RMS out (let’s face it, they put incredible pressure to cause him to resign; it wasn’t wilful) the FSF started resorting to wordplay of the ‘hipster’ types, not the hacker types. I personally preferred the messaging of the RMS days; nothing wrong with some abrasive words when particular companies very much deserve it. So it’s more or less expected that now they want something “social” and started pursuing “mobile-friendly” design for the FSF site (as if “smart” phone ownership isn’t a regressive development; in China they impose aggressive malware on those, introducing it in particular “hot” regions first).

“If you cannot write decent code, then no amount of “social” and “likes” (or GitHub “stars”) will compensate for it.”I myself have developed software since I was 15. I still develop software every day (at some capacity or another) and I have a general understanding of how ridiculous all the buzzwords are (“agile”, “devops”, “CI”, “scrum” etc.) because in practical terms little has really changed except formalities. If you cannot write decent code, then no amount of “social” and “likes” (or GitHub “stars”) will compensate for it. All that proprietary (non-standard) metadata associated with actions is tiresome nonsense that sometimes distracts from what really matters. If your code is bad, you may need more practice/training and experience, not more “friends”/”followers” on the platform (to “like” your bad work). Any popularity contest should be based on objective merit, not “click farming…”

Of course the FSF is free (as in freedom) to do as it pleases; but many people out there believe that the FSF ought to educate the public rather than be ‘educated’ (or lectured) by the public into a “mobile-friendly” (i.e. crap, minimal, lacking navigation options and still very bloated) design, a “social” development framework and so on.

Here in this site we still use a theme from 2006; it works with virtually all devices made in the past 1.5 decades, it’s relatively light (you don’t need to download fonts to merely render a single page) and it’s backward compatible in a lot of ways. Pages still look the same as they did 13 years ago (sans banner changes at the top).

“The hacker movement will die if we’re led to making so many concessions that we become what we fought.”The adoption of all this “social” nonsense (it’s not really social; a lot of what they nowadays call “social” — including “social distancing” — is in fact antisocial) shows that in a submissive, capitulative fashion the tail now wags the dog, instead of the dog wagging his/her own tail (can we say “bitch” in 2020?) and likewise, in the Linux Foundation, monopolists like Microsoft tell Linux developers how the kernel should be developed instead of Linux developers dictating their own trajectories, leaving dying monopolists to adapt to our own standards.

The hacker movement will die if we’re led to making so many concessions that we become what we fought. Or even taking money from what we’re supposed to replace.

“Corruption and hypocrisy ought not to be inevitable products of democracy, as they undoubtedly are today…”

Mahatma Gandhi (Indian Philosopher, internationally esteemed for his doctrine of nonviolent protest, 1869-1948)

Going Write-Only in Twitter (One Step Away From Deleting Twitter)

Posted in Free/Libre Software at 10:10 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

I’m done.

Goodbye, Twitter

Summary: Goodbye, Twitter (sort of); you’ve wasted weeks of my life, but not anymore… I’m moving on, leaving just a shadow of myself in that increasingly hostile site which rewards liars, uncloseted fascists, lynch mobs and privileged trolls

TWITTER is generally very bad (getting worse over time) and exceptionally toxic. There are two recent incidents/examples that prove this and that we’ve covered here [1, 2] (there are several more today and it’s not worth getting down to the finer details). Cults, corporate cults, or cults leveraged by corporations are the ‘new Internet trolls’. They’re a total waste of time to deal with… they’re less likely to do their trolling in blog comments because they lack the presence of their fellow ‘social network’ trolls (what makes up so-called ‘lynch mobs’). Together with their “friends” and “followers” they ‘gang up’ on people to dominate with some narrative, oftentimes a false one (albeit amplified by groupthink). In the Digg.com days (around 2006) we used to speak of “bury brigades”; now there’s stuff like ‘cancel culture’ (not my words; not even a term I want to associate with) and people out there sometimes liaise to mass-report (abuse reports) people for what they deem ‘wrongthink’ (also not a term that I fancy because of unwanted connotations).

“In the Digg.com days (around 2006) we used to speak of “bury brigades”; now there’s stuff like ‘cancel culture’…”Linus Torvalds was right about social control media. All of it. There’s no “good” social control media as the underlying concept is flawed (there’s also no censorship-resistant option). Stallman said something to that effect for years and Torvalds later agreed. Not too long afterwards (after his widely-covered remarks) Google+ shut down (it’s all to do with money, not security), so he lost his presence everywhere but the kernel mailing lists. Many Google+ refugees came to Diaspora (Pluspora).

We’ve often talked about the “Stallman was right” meme; I actually find myself, increasingly as I research some old stuff (for Techrights articles), thinking quite often that “Torvalds was right” too (on many subjects, including the GPL, Stallman and Torvalds do agree; the media contributes to their superficial rift/friction).

“Linus Torvalds was right about social control media.”Short of just deleting my Twitter account I’ve decided that, for the time being, I’ll make the account merely a shadow of Pleroma/Diaspora. I won’t respond to anything there (not just rude things; nothing at all). The account thus becomes merely a carbon copy — something that should be treated as such. I’ll continue to reply on networks that are Free/libre and mostly decentralised. But not in Twitter. It’s over. I’m done. I’ve wasted far too much time helping these charlatans sell ads in their toxic, divisive, Trump-boosting (megaphone) environment. All I receive is threats there; death threats, threats of termination of my account, lawsuit threats and so on.

Some people may misunderstand; they might mistake lack of reply for being rude. So I will update the profile there accordingly. They can speak and I’d speak back if they did so over a freedom-respecting platform such as Pleroma.site or JoinDiaspora. I’m active in both and I check those regularly.

“I’ve long told people that if they’re not on social control media, then it’s wise to not even start.”What about Techrights? Well, Techrights as a site was never on social control media and in hindsight/retrospect it was a fantastic decision. Lots of nuisance/time-wasting spared.

I’ve long told people that if they’re not on social control media, then it’s wise to not even start. Some of those networks are designed not just for censorship and spying; they’re designed to be addictive. That in its own right should be a warning label; like that which we find on cigarettes/cigarette packs.

So, in short, my Twitter account is now write-only (WO, not RO). It’ll have copies of what I post in Pleroma.site and JoinDiaspora. But that’s all. Nothing more. No replies, no “retweets”…

The only regret I am going to have is that I didn’t do this years ago…

“I am not doing this for attention but for purely practical reasons; I’ve long attempted to come up with a solution to the above problems.”I welcome others who have an active Twitter account to ‘join me’ in this kind of ‘protest’; no need to delete any accounts, at least not yet… so, in effect, nothing gets ‘lost’ (I posted nearly 800,000 tweets over the years).

I am not doing this for attention but for purely practical reasons; I’ve long attempted to come up with a solution to the above problems. I think this approach is the least harmful, at least from curators’ perspective. I don’t want everything I wrote to be purged and I don’t want the account terminated (obviously). Pragmatically speaking, I’d rather do more exercise and spend time with family than waste time on “Twitter fights” (no better than the Facebook nonsense).

Techrights will publish a lot more in the coming weeks/months. Getting rid of Twitter (except as a shadow) would help/contribute towards that.

Don’t forget to tell the kids, “if they’re not on social control media, then it’s wise to not even start!” Your online “friends” aren’t real friends or surrogates thereof. Just like “esports” aren’t actually sports.

Links 8/6/2020: Happy 6th Birthday to Kubernetes and Hamburg Moves to GNU/Linux

Posted in News Roundup at 12:50 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Desktop/Laptop

      • Lenova Expands Linux Certification to Its Entire Lineup

        In good news for Linux, Lenovo has expanded its Linux certification to its entire ThinkPad and ThinkStation lineup.

        Toward the end of April, Lenovo announced it would be offering Fedora Workstation on its ThinkPad laptops. Previously, Dell had been the main manufacturer offering an OEM Linux option.

        It seems Lenovo is now going all-in on Linux, with both the ThinkPad and ThinkStation lineup being certified for both Red Hat Enterprise Linux and Ubuntu LTS

        “Now, I’m excited to share Lenovo is moving to certify the full workstation portfolio for top Linux distributions from Ubuntu® and Red Hat® – every model, every configuration,” writes Rob Herman, General Manager, Executive Director Workstation & Client AI Group.

    • Server

      • SpaceX: We’ve launched 32,000 Linux computers into space for Starlink internet

        Each of SpaceX’s monthly launches of 60 internet-beaming Starlink satellites carries 4,000 stripped-back Linux computers, SpaceX software engineers have revealed.

        SpaceX engineers disclosed the detail in a Reddit Ask Me Anything (AMA) session over the weekend. Elon Musk’s rocket company last week launched 60 more internet-beaming satellites into space on a reused Falcon 9 rocket, bringing its total count to around 480 and moving it closer to the 800 it needs to provide moderate coverage over the US.

        The company plans to launch a public beta of the satellite internet service by the end of the northern hemisphere’s summer and has won approval to deploy one million end-user terminals in the US.

      • Happy 6th Birthday, Kubernetes

        Today is the 6th anniversary of the commencement of the Kubernetes Project. While there are other milestones coming up this summer, such as the first code was check-in for the project, we thought we’d use today as an opportunity to share some of Red Hat’s favorite memories from the first six years. Here’s to many more!

    • Kernel Space

      • Linux 4.19.127
      • Linux 5.4.45
      • Linux 5.6.17
      • Reiser4/Reiser5 Updated For Linux 5.7 Kernel Compatibility



        It was just over a week ago that Reiser4 was updated for Linux 5.6 support while now it’s been updated for the newly-minted Linux 5.7 stable kernel along with updating the experimental Reiser5 file-system for this latest kernel series.

        Uploaded today by Edward Shishkin was Reiser4 for Linux 5.7.1. Though given the minimal changes with 5.7.1 compared to last week’s 5.7 release, the patch presumably should apply cleanly there as well. There are no reports of any other functional Reiser4 changes besides re-basing to the new kernel series.

      • Linux 5.8 Adding NTB Support For Upcoming Ice Lake Xeon CPUs

        Normally the NTB patches for new kernel cycles aren’t particularly noteworthy but this time around for Linux 5.8 is Icelake support.

        The non-transparent bridge (NTB) support is for connecting separate memory systems of multiple computers to the same PCI Express fabric. With Linux 5.8, Intel NTB support with PCIe Gen4 is added for Ice Lake Xeon CPUs.

      • Linux 5.8 Will Light Up The Adreno 405 / 640 / 650 GPUs On Open-Source

        Last week saw the main Direct Rendering Manager driver updates for Linux 5.8 with a lot on the open-source graphics front while a secondary pull request was submitted today with the Freedreno “MSM” DRM driver changes for this open-source Qualcomm Adreno driver implementation.

        Most significant with the open-source MSM driver updates for Linux 5.8 are the Adreno 405, 640, and 650 GPUs are now supported. The Adreno 405 is quite old from the Snapdragon 415/615/616/617 days, but the Adreno 640/650 are at least still more relevant in being current-generation hardware.

        The Adreno 640 provides the graphics for the Snapdragon 855/855+ and the Adreno 650 is within the Snapdragon 865. The Snapdragon 855 is used by the Samsung Galaxy S10 series, OnePlus 7, Google Pixel 4/XL, ASUS ROG Phone 2, and countless others. The Snapdragon 865 is what powers the Samsung Galaxy S20 series, OnePlus 8, and many other modern devices.

      • Linux 5.7 Released – Main Changes, Arm, MIPS and RISC-V Architectures

        Linux 5.6 brought us some very interesting features including USB 4 support, in-kernel Wireguard VPN, and 2038-year readiness.

      • USB Improvements Land In Linux 5.8 With Intel Additions, Non-x86 Thunderbolt

        On Sunday Greg Kroah-Hartman began sending in his pull requests to the different areas of the kernel he oversees for the ongoing Linux 5.8 merge window.

        Greg sent in the USB/Thunderbolt changes for Linux 5.8 with some of the highlights including:

        - Intel Tiger Lake Thunderbolt support.

      • Graphics Stack

        • Open source Panfrost driver for modern Mali GPUs expands OpenGL support

          Collabora have written up a post about their recent work on the Panfrost driver, a free and open source driver for powering modern Mali GPUs found in many devices.

          It’s been advancing quickly, with it now supporting all the major features of OpenGL ES 2.0. They mentioned some work has even got into supporting some features of the proper desktop OpenGL 2.1 as well. Thanks to the work done, the Panfrost driver with a Mali G31 chip can now run Wayland compositors with GNOME 3 and it can even do a little gaming along with hardware-accelerated video in some players.

        • NVIDIA 450 Linux Beta Driver Quietly Rolls Out With New PRIME Option, Other Improvements

          NVIDIA has yet to formally announce the 450 Linux driver series in beta or stable form, but the first pre-release builds in the 450 branch did manage to creep out this past week alongside the CUDA 11.0 release candidate.

          Via developer.nvidia.com when going through the CUDA download process, the NVIDIA 450.36.06 Linux driver is served up for the Ubuntu 18.04 support. If navigating the conventional NVIDIA Linux driver download process, the 440 driver series is still marked as the latest.

        • Intel Graphics Driver Sees Fair Low-Latency Scheduling Inspired In Part By BFS/MuQSS

          Longtime open-source Intel Linux graphics driver developer Chris Wilson on Sunday sent out a big patch series that introduces a new fair low-latency scheduler for the Intel kernel graphics driver.

          This fair low-latency scheduling code is inspired in part by the former BFS Linux CPU scheduler and its current incarnation as MuQSS.

        • Ubuntu 20.10 / GNOME 3.38 Could See Better Intel Gen9 Graphics Performance

          While more laptops are shipping these days finally with Icelake “Gen 11″ graphics and Tiger Lake with “Gen 12″ graphics are expected soon, there still is an incredible amount of hardware out there making use of Intel Gen 9 graphics that have been in use since Skylake. It’s looking like for the Ubuntu 20.10 cycle, there is going to be an emphasis on offering better performance for this very common generation of Intel UHD Graphics.

    • Applications

      • Tools I use for Remoting in on Windows and Linux
      • CPU-X, An Alternative to CPU-Z for Ubuntu and Other Linux Distributions!

        If on Android and Windows we know CPU-Z, then in Linux, there are also similar applications, namely CPU-X. This application is very useful for those of you who prefer to see detailed laptop hardware specifications on Ubuntu or other Linux Distributions.

        To install this application is very easy. If you are an Ubuntu 20.04 user, please type the command sudo apt install cpu-x on the terminal. And for other distributions can be read on this page. You can also directly run this application with the Appimage package provided here.

    • Instructionals/Technical

    • Games

      • FOSS game engine GDevelop gets a sweet new dark theme

        GDevelop is a wonderful free and open source game engine, one that’s cross-platform and it continues to get more powerful. It also has theme support with a new dark theme landing that looks great.

        The new dark theme “Nord” is based on the the palette from nordtheme.com, and it fits in very nicely with the GDevelop editor UI. In fact, it actually looks a little like the Godot Engine theme. Dark themes can at times be a little too dark, light themes blinding and this new Nord theme seems to have a nice contrast to it, makes tinkering with it feel better along with the recent UI adjustments the GDevelop team did to reduce useless padding everywhere.

      • First-person slavic fantasy adventure The End of the Sun is fully funded

        The End of the Sun, a slavic first-person fantasy adventure has managed to run a successful Kickstarter campaign. Against their initial $12,000 goal, 741 backers pledged $18,001 to help make it.

        What is it? A strange sounding tale that’s what, interesting though. Set in the world of Slavic rites, beliefs, legends, and their everyday life. It is a series of mysterious events that ordinary people dealt with, as they were living in a small village where the line between myth and reality began to fade perilously.

        [...]

        We’ve spoken to the developer a few times, and they’ve been vocal about their Linux support. The game director, Jakub Machowski, was part of the team that developer The Mims Beginning which also supports Linux.

      • Missions and Monsters DLC date announced for Fell Seal: Arbiter’s Mark

        Fell Seal: Arbiter’s Mark, a tactical turn-based RPG from 6 Eyes Studio and 1C Entertainment is set to get a first major DLC with Missions and Monsters on June 23.

        Bringing many new additions to the game like the ability to recruit powerful monsters, the Missions and Monsters DLC sounds like it’s going to bring a lot of fun options for battles. 6 Eyes Studio mentioned their main focus was to “enrich the core gameplay experience” and they’re “extremely happy about the result”.

      • Social deduction hacking game Untrusted looking for stress-test players

        Untrusted, an upcoming online indie game of hacking and social deduction inspired by the likes of Werewolf/Mafia genre and others similar is running a free stress-test soon.

        The developer supports Linux with it right now and on Saturday, June 13 at 7PM UTC, they’re going to be putting it all online in the hopes of gathering more feedback and finding any issues. Untrusted now has a tutorial too, which the developer hopes will ease more people into it.

      • Hectic single-player FPS Ravenfield expands modding with scripting and mutators

        Ravenfield might be one of the most popular indie single-player first-person shooters on Steam and now it’s probably going to get even more popular with a huge update out.

        You could already do a lot of ridiculous things with Ravenfield. Thanks to modders there’s thousands of maps, vehicles and weapons you can add it from the Steam Workshop. Now though? Expect things to get a lot more wild. With Ravenfield’s Early Access Build 20, they’ve extended modding support to include a new Lua-based scripting language Ravenscript.

        On top of that, you can also now mod in mutators. These can be tweaks both big and small to the gameplay that can be pulled from the Steam Workshop, with a couple built-in as examples like name tags and crosshairs. If enabled, some mutators even like you configure them to adjust settings.

      • Punch Pong turns Ping Pong into a very clever fighting game

        Punch Pong is a fantastic and fun idea, turning the classic Ping Pong into a turn-based fighting game that needs quick-thinking and countering your enemies.

        It’s turn-based but the Punch Pong battles continue switching between players in real-time as the ball moves directions but you can only engage your move as it comes your way. It’s quite ingenious and a has a lot of style to it. As you bounce the ball back, you build up an energy bar allowing you to do special moves and gradually bring down your opponents HP.

      • Wipeout inspired racer BallisticNG to get a big expansion in July

        BallisticNG, what the developers openly call a love letter to the classic Wipeout, is set to get a big DLC filled with new content to blast through.

        With a release date confirmed as July 20, BallisticNG – Outer Reaches will include 6 new tracks, all of which can be played in reverse too making it sort-of double that. There’s also going to be a new campaign to race through and a new set of liveries (skins).

        [...]

        Now that’s what you call good Linux support to ensure the Linux version works well. The big update also includes other Linux fixes, a new game mode and a lot more coming.

      • New Games You Can Play With Proton Since May 2020

        And June is upon us. And COVID-19 seems to be less of a problem in most countries that opened up again (hopefully) – if you are still under some kind of lockdown, we got your covered with some recent games recommendations!

        You will find below the list of the most popular reports on ProtonDB for the month of June… as usual “Gold+” refers to the number of reports in April that were either “Gold” or “Platinum” in rating, meaning that you could either play them out of the box or with a minor tweak to make them launch. Such ratings don’t exist anymore per se on ProtonDB but they can be recreated based on the provided user data.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • Regolith – modern desktop environment built on Ubuntu, GNOME, and i3



        A desktop environment is a collection of disparate components that integrate together. They bundle these components to provide a common graphical user interface with elements such as icons, toolbars, wallpapers, and desktop widgets. Additionally, most desktop environments include a set of integrated applications and utilities. Essentially, the desktop environment enables a user to interact with a computer using a keyboard, mouse, and monitor.

        Desktop environments (now abbreviated as DE) provide their own window manager, system software that controls the placement and appearance of windows within a windowing system. They also provide a file manager which organizes, lists, and locates files and directories. Other aspects include a background provider, a panel to provide a menu and display information, as well as a setting/configuration manager to customize the environment.

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • KDAB Releases Qt 3D + glTF 2.0 Powered Kuesa 3D 1.2

          Consulting firm KDAB has released Kuesa 3D 1.2 as the newest version of their 3D integration workflow open-source software.

          This dual licensed design-to-code workflow software for 3D realtime applications is built atop Qt 3D and with the v1.2 release comes more glTF 2.0 integration work and other enhancements.

        • Running kwin wayland on Nvidia

          I recently switched to running wayland fulltime on all my machines, including my Nvidia box. It was good that I did as it seems Qt regressed, fortunately I was able to fix it just in time for the final Qt LTS.

          I’ve also updated the wiki with the steps needed to run nvidia wayland whilst I had the information fresh.

        • Cantor new features

          this is the first post about the progress in my GSoC project and I want to present three new features in Cantor implemented recently.

      • GNOME Desktop/GTK

        • More on lists in GTK 4

          The previous post introduced the overall list view framework that was introduced in the 3.98.5 release, and showed some examples. In this post, we’ll dive deeper into some technical areas, and look at some related topics. One important feature of GtkTreeView is that it can display trees. That is what it is named for, after all. GtkListView puts the emphasis on plain lists, and makes handling those easier. In particular the GListModel api is much simpler than GtkTreeModel—which is why there have been comparatively few custom tree model implementations, but GTK 4 already has a whole zoo of list models.

        • GNOME 3.37.2 Released As Another Step Towards GNOME 3.38



          GNOME 3.37.2 is out as the latest development snapshot in the quest towards the stable GNOME 3.38 desktop environment this September.

          With this newest development snapshot, GNOME 3.37.2 brings:

          - GNOME Shell has the new capability for indicating apps that should always run on discrete GPUs via the new .desktop launcher file option.

          - Mutter has support for the primary-selection protocol for Wayland, touch-mode detection for the X11 back-end, and various other fixes and improvements.

          - The Epiphany web browser has seen a number of improvements including a redesigned password manager dialog, user script support, support for importing passwords from Chrome/Chromium, drag-and-drop from the download popover support, and various other improvements and fixes.

        • 10 Reasons to use Cinnamon as your Desktop Environment

          

          With the release of Gnome 3 in 2011, there was quite a mixed reaction from users and developers. Most of them preferred the original Gnome that got forked, and one of those forks was Cinnamon. Since the release of Cinnamon 2.0, Cinnamon has evolved to become a desktop environment by itself.

          When most people hear of Cinnamon, the first thing that comes to mind is Linux mint. That is because the same Linux Mint team developed the desktop environment (DE) and is used as flagship DE on Linux Mint. However, Cinnamon is now available across other Linux distributions too.

    • Distributions

      • Reviews

        • Review: KISS 1.9.11



          This past week I had a chance to look at a project I have been hoping to find time to try for a while now, KISS. The project’s website describes KISS as follows…

          An independent Linux distribution with a focus on simplicity and the concept of less is more. The distribution targets only the x86-64 architecture and the English language.

          The KISS project appears to be aiming to create a very minimal operating system with a simple design. One that is transparent and can be both audited and understood relatively easily. The default environment is quite small and minimal in terms of features. Default tools tend to be written in shell scripts rather than binary programs, making it possible for administrators to quickly view and edit the utilities.

        • Pop!_OS Review: Optimized Ubuntu for Creative Professionals

          Pop!_OS 20.04 is a beautiful operating system. It allows you to optimize your workflow with automatic window tiling and has lots of other neat features such as a handy extensions app, an effective application launcher and switcher, and Flatpack package management support. If you choose to install this OS, you will also appreciate the automatic firmware updates and improved graphics support.

          Admittedly, you may have to spend some time getting used to the automatic window tiling feature. It is quite useful when you do, however. Optimizing the space that windows take up on your screen is something you may overlook, but it saves you from having to constantly drag around windows.

          Overall, this distribution strikes me as one which can help a busy professional manage all of their various tasks efficiently. If you are keen to use the Unity desktop instead of Gnome on Ubuntu, you should also check out UMix.

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • Freeplane: the Swiss Army knife for your brain

          A previous Fedora Magazine article covered tracking your time and tasks. Another introduced some mind mapping tools. There you learned that mind mapping is a visual technique for structuring and organizing thoughts and ideas. This article covers another mind mapping app you can use in Fedora: Freeplane.

          Freeplane is a free and open source software application that supports thinking, sharing information and getting things done. Freeplane runs on any operating system that has a current version of Java installed.

        • Red Hat Satellite 6.7 performance improvements

          Red Hat Satellite 6.7, included with Red Hat Smart Management, is the next generation Red Hat Enterprise Linux systems management tool and is the combined product of a number of open source projects, including Foreman, Katello, Pulp, Candlepin, and Ansible. Let’s take a look at the performance and scale improvements of Satellite 6.7.

        • HelpSystems Expands Native Virus Protection Software to Include LinuxONE and IBM Z

          HelpSystems announced today that its native virus protection software Powertech Antivirus has expanded to include coverage for IBM LinuxONE and Linux on IBM Z. This new addition means customers now have the ability to protect their Linux on Z infrastructure from viruses, worms, Trojans, and other complex malware with the only commercially available antivirus solution native to IBM systems

        • MegaCryption 6.5.0: Optimized Compression and Authentication Features Added to z/OS Cryptographic Toolkit

          MegaCryption, specifically designed for z/OS environments, provides organizations with encryption, decryption, compression, and file management capabilities

          Advanced Software Products Group (ASPG, Inc.) is pleased to announce the latest release of MegaCryption 6.5.0. Specifically designed for z/OS environments, MegaCryption is a comprehensive enterprise and mainframe cryptography toolkit providing organizations with encryption, decryption, compression, and file management capabilities.

        • Integrating CI/CD pipelines and rearchitecting applications on OpenShift 4

          Imagine this, you’re one of the world’s largest, multi-billion dollar defense contractors providing cutting edge hardware and software in the engineering, powerplant, and vehicle manufacturing space. You’re pursuing a large defense contract to provide them with the software tools to keep them effective, efficient, and protected. The problem? Allowing your existing legacy software and emerging technologies to be brought together to make this solution work. We looked to Red Hat OpenShift, as the keystone solution to this particular defense contract solution, but alas, what about those existing and legacy tools?

          [...]

          The defense contractor had identified, with the help of Shadow-Soft and Red Hat, that OpenShift 4.3 was the central solution to provide this functionality, but had to integrate it with existing tools and legacy applications.

          The contract would be awarded to the contractor who was able to put together a Proof-of-Concept (POC) that would demonstrate the required, mission-critical functionality to keep essential defense systems and applications running, updated, and deployable in an expedient and reliable fashion. The problem this contractor ran into with two weeks to go before the deadline for the POC, was their inability to integrate other external solutions and a legacy application into a centralized, self-contained solution: OpenShift.

      • Debian Family

        • SparkyLinux 2020.06 Released: Based On GNU/Linux Debian 11 ‘Bullseye’

          The new rolling version 2020.06 of SparkyLinux has been released with several new changes, improvements, and tools. The latest edition is built on top of the testing repository of the upcoming GNU/Linux Debian 11 ‘Bullseye.’

          A fully featured SparkyLinux 2020.06 features a stable Linux Kernel 5.6.14 which brings many key features. For instance, support for WireGuard VPN, Qualcomm, USB4, Amazon Echo speaker, and fixing the Year 2038 Problem. Moreover, you can also install and try the latest Kernel 5.7 from the Sparky unstable repository.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • Linux Mint Drops Snap

          In a move that surprised many within the Linux landscape, Linux Mint (one of the most popular desktop distributions) has decided to drop support for the universal snap package system.

          What are snap packages? Simply put, they are a way to combine an application and all of its dependencies into a single package. By doing this, an application can be installed on any supporting operating system, regardless of desktop or default package manager.

          The idea of leaving behind snap packages began in 2019, when Clement “Clem” Lefebvre said, “When Snap was announced it was supposed to be a solution, not a problem.” Clem continues, “It was supposed to make it possible to run newer apps on top of older libraries and to let third-party editors publish their software easily towards multiple distributions, just like Flatpak and AppImage.”

        • Linux Mint Pulls Support For Canonical’s Snap

          The popular Linux Mint distribution of Linux has ended support for Canonical’s Snap package management system, saying Canonical controls Snap too tightly and comparing it to proprietary software.

          “You’ve as much empowerment with this as if you were using proprietary software, i.e. none,” said lead Linux Mint developer Clement “Clem” Lefebvre in a notice to users.

          “This is in effect similar to a commercial proprietary solution, but with two major differences: It runs as root, and it installs itself without asking you.”

        • Ubuntu opens the door to talking with Linux Mint about Snap

          The popular Linux Mint distribution’s developers were fed up with how Canonical’s Ubuntu Linux was dealing with the Chromium web browser in its Snap application installation system, so they took action. Clement “Clem” Lefebvre, Mint’s lead developer, decided that Mint’s default software installation APT will block Snaps, Snap’s core program, from installing in Mint.

        • Devs Tease Official Ubuntu Desktop Support for the Raspberry Pi 4

          Your dream of being able to run Ubuntu desktop on the Raspberry Pi 4 may be closer to reality than you think.

          October’s Ubuntu 20.10 release may introduce official support for Ubuntu desktop on the Raspberry Pi, if a recent tease by Ubuntu desktop lead Martin Wimpress on the Ubuntu Podcast bears fruit.

          The recently announced 8GB Raspberry Pi certainly positions itself as a competent low-cost ARM-powered desktop PC, and one more than capable of running “full” desktop versions of Linux distros like Ubuntu.

          While Ubuntu 20.04 LTS for Raspberry Pi is already a ‘thing’ it is a GUI-free server edition and not the fully-featured desktop that many would prefer to use. The question of when an official Ubuntu desktop image for the Pi might happen — if at all — is a regularly Googled one.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • Top 5 Open Source Linux Caching Tools Recommended by Geeks


        Welcome back to LinuxTechi! Caching of data is highly important for any website or application out there as it can largely help in reduce the server load. In this article, we’ll be looking at the top 5 open source linux caching tools recommended by linux system administrators or geeks. So, without wasting much time, let’s jump directly into the article.

        After we reviewed several caching tools and other tools provided in the list above, we can conclude that Redis is the best among the best as it is extremely fast and offers excellent performance. Caching tools are highly beneficial and adds a lot of value to applications and websites as they can largely reduce the use of network bandwidth, latency, and server load as well.

        I hope the information provided above gives you a basic idea about the best open source linux caching tools. And the tools listed are not recommended by several linux administrators, but we’ve also analyzed and installed each and every tool along with various other tools for this review. Please share your valuable comments and suggestions in the feedback section below.

      • A secure and private open source alternative to Alexa



        Igrew up in rural towns all over Ontario, Canada. We weren’t particularly well off, although, as a kid in the middle of nowhere, I wasn’t really aware of our socioeconomic status. What I was aware of was this beige box called a computer that sat in my dad’s office. Dad worked for the bank, and for his job, it was essential for him to have a computer. So while we never had the latest gaming console, we always had a computer.

        It’s probably because of this that I developed a pretty intense relationship with all things computers. Today, I am fortunate to work for Red Hat, but that’s another story altogether. Growing up in the ’80s and having my teenage years in the mid-90s, I have a vivid awareness of how computers have changed. I remember watching as my dad logged online for the first time on our 9600-baud modem. I remember the first time I was able to download skins for buildings in my favorite game, Sim City 2000.

      • The best free and open-source alternatives to Google Drive on Android

        Cloud file storage is a big business, and frequently involves trusting hoards of your data with corporations so large that even hundreds of gigabytes of your personal data constitute a mathematical rounding error if they were to go missing. There are ways to get around the death grip services like Google Drive, Dropbox, and Microsoft OneDrive have on the cloud storage market, though, including some great free and open-source ones we’ll round up in this list.

      • Web Browsers

        • Mozilla

          • A More Compact Character Encoding Detector for the Legacy Web

            chardetng is a new small-binary-footprint character encoding detector for Firefox written in Rust. Its purpose is user retention by addressing an ancient—and for non-Latin scripts page-destroying—Web compat problem that Chrome already addressed. It puts an end to the situation that some pages showed up as unreadable garbage in Firefox but opening the page in Chrome remedied the situation more easily than fiddling with Firefox menus. The deployment of chardetng in Firefox 73 marks the first time in the history of Firefox (and in the entire Netscape lineage of browsers since the time support for non-ISO-8859-1 text was introduced) that the mapping of HTML bytes to the DOM is not a function of the browser user interface language. This is accomplished at a notably lower binary size increase than what would have resulted from adopting Chrome’s detector. Also, the result is more explainable and modifiable as well as more suitable for standardization, should there be interest, than Chrome’s detector

            [...]

            There is a long tail of legacy Web pages that fail to label their encoding. Historically, browsers have used a default associated with the user interface language of the browser for unlabeled pages and provided a menu for the user to choose something different.

            In order to get rid of the character encoding menu, Chrome adopted an encoding detector (apparently) developed for Google Search and Gmail. This was done without discussing the change ahead of time in standard-setting organizations. Firefox had gone in the other direction of avoiding content-based guessing, so this created a Web compat problem that, when it occurred for non-Latin-script pages, was as bad as a Web compat problem can be: Encoding-unlabeled legacy pages could appear completely unreadable in Firefox (unless a well-hidden menu action was taken) but appear OK in Chrome. Recent feedback from Japan as well as world-wide telemetry suggested that this problem still actually existed in practice. While Safari detects less, if a user encounters the problem on iOS, there is no other engine to go to, so Safari can’t be used to determine the abandonment risk for Firefox on platforms where a Chromium-based browser is a couple of clicks or taps away. Edge’s switch to Chromium signaled an end to any hope of taking the Web Platform in the direction of detecting less.

            ICU4C’s detector wasn’t accurate (or complete) enough. Firefox’s old and mostly already removed detector wasn’t complete enough and completing it would have involved the same level of work as writing a completely new one. Since Chrome’s detector, ced, wasn’t developed for browser use cases, it has a larger footprint than is necessary. It is also (in practice) unmodifiable over-the-wall Open Source, so adopting it would have meant adopting a bunch of C++ that would have had known-unnecessary bloat while also being difficult to clean up.

            Developing an encoding detector is easier and takes less effort than it looks once one has made the observations that one makes when developing a character encoding conversion library. chardetng’s foundational binary size-reducing idea is to make use of the legacy Chinese, Japanese, and Korean (CJK) decoders (that a browser has to have anyway) for the purpose of detecting CJK legacy encodings. chardetng is also strictly scoped to Web-relevant use cases.

            On x86_64, the binary size contribution of chardetng (and the earlier companion Japanese-specific detector) to libxul is 28% of what ced would have contributed to libxul. If we had adopted ced and later wanted to make a comparable binary size saving, hunting for savings around the code base would have been more work than writing chardetng from scratch.

            The focus on binary size makes chardetng take 42% longer to process the same data compared to ced. However, this tradeoff makes sense for code that runs for legacy pages and doesn’t run at all for modern pages. The accuracy of chardetng is competitive with ced, and chardetng is integrated into Firefox in a way that gives it a better opportunity to give the right answer compared to the way ced is integrated into Chrome.

            chardetng has been developed in such a way that it would be standardizable, should there be interest to standardize it at the WHATWG. The data tables are under CC0, and non-CC0 part of chardetng consists of fewer than 3000 lines of explainable Rust code that could be reversed into spec English.

          • The Mozilla Blog: Mozilla Announces Second Three COVID-19 Solutions Fund Recipients

            Innovations spanning food supplies, medical records and PPE manufacture were today included in the final three awards made by Mozilla from its COVID-19 Solutions Fund. The Fund was established at the end of March by the Mozilla Open Source Support Program (MOSS), to offer up to $50,000 each to open source technology projects responding to the COVID-19 pandemic. In just two months, the Fund received 163 applicants from 30 countries and is now closed to new applications.

            OpenMRS is a robust, scalable, user-driven, open source electronic medical record system platform currently used to manage more than 12.6 million patients at over 5,500 health facilities in 64 countries. Using Kenya as a primary use case, their COVID-19 Response project will coordinate work on OpenMRS COVID-19 solutions emerging from their community, particularly “pop-up” hospitals, into a COVID-19 package for immediate use.

            This package will be built for eventual re-use as a foundation for a suite of tools that will become the OpenMRS Public Health Response distribution. Science-based data collection tools, reports, and data exchange interfaces with other key systems in the public health sector will provide critical information needed to contain disease outbreaks. The committee approved an award of $49,754.

      • Productivity Software/LibreOffice/Calligra

        • Collabora vs ONLYOFFICE

          Since the Nextcloud Hub release switched from ONLYOFFICE to Collabora Online as default, lots of people have asked why. Is one better than the other? Let’s talk about this.

          Let me first say – the decision wasn’t pure technical. As always, relations and other reasons play a role. I’ll try to cover both aspects, but there is always more. With that out of the way, let’s first look at how ONLYOFFICE got into Nextcloud.

          Frank, myself and others in the Nextcloud community have wanted to integrate office in our collaboration platform for most of the past decade. Previously, we* had invested quite a bit in getting a collaborative document editor into our private cloud. The Documents app was a from-the-ground-up developed ODF editor with a unique and very clever design, built by KO GmbH (now sadly defunct). We together put resources in integration and further development and we hoped other (open source) businesses would invest and contribute too, so the solution would grow in time. Also, we had hoped some customers would be willing to pay for it. Both of these did not really come true, and KO sadly didn’t survive.

        • TDF announces major Linux event the openSUSE + LibreOffice will take place online

          Due to the current pandemic situation all over the world, every tech company is shifting its conferences, meetings, and seminars online. The Tech companies have also delayed major updates of their Softwares due to the situation. Now The Document Foundation (TDF) also makes the major Linux event online. The openSUSE and LibreOffice conference that was scheduled to take place between 13-16 October has now shifted online.

        • LibreOffice 7.0 Beta 1 arrives with ODF 1.3 document support

          The Document Foundation has released the first public beta of its upcoming LibreOffice 7.0 office suite for Windows, Mac and Linux. Users are encouraged to download and test the software — which installs alongside any existing production release — ahead its final release, expected to be in August.

          The new release doesn’t boast any major new features, but does update ODF support to 1.3, plus unveils improvements both major and minor to the suite’s major components — in particular Writer.

        • Community Member Monday: Andreas Heinisch

          In my teaching activity, there’s only a small part where I can really program or solve some challenging problems. So I decided to join an open source project in order to contribute to the community, get in touch with current software lifecycle technologies and to improve or contribute to existing widely used software. To be honest: LibreOffice was the first product which came to my mind.

          In addition, I think that local public administrations should not invest only in proprietary software solutions, which abuse their market position.

        • For a better way to edit PDFs, use Libreoffice’s hidden gem, Draw

          But take a look at the other members of the suite, and you’ll notice you can also edit PDF documents using the graphics program Draw.

          It doesn’t matter if it’s graphics, photos or text: Once you’ve opened a PDF in Draw, you’re already editing what you’re looking at in just a few clicks.

          You’ll find all tools for editing in a box on the right-hand side of the screen. Once you’re happy with the changes, just hit save and the PDF is ready to be shared.

      • FSF

        • GNU Projects

          • What is GNU?

            According to the GNU website, “the GNU project develops and maintains the GNU operating system. Through this work, and other related activities, the GNU Project advocates and promotes software freedom, the core philosophy of the free software movement.”

            GNU (pronounced g-noo) was created by Richard Stallman (rms) in 1983, and the Free Software Foundation (FSF) was founded in October 1985, originally as a way to fund GNU. Stallman also served as president of the FSF until his resignation in 2019.

            The GNU name, as the website explains, is a recursive acronym meaning GNU’s Not Unix, which acknowledges the technical ideas of Unix while also saying that GNU is something different. “Technically, GNU is like Unix. But unlike Unix, GNU gives its users freedom,” the website states.

            The GNU name, as the website explains, is a recursive acronym meaning GNU’s Not Unix, which acknowledges the technical ideas of Unix while also saying that GNU is something different. “Technically, GNU is like Unix. But unlike Unix, GNU gives its users freedom,” the website states.

            The GNU operating system is a Unix-like operating system, comprising a kernel, compilers, editors, mail software, graphical interfaces, libraries, games, and other things. The GNU project also includes application software, including such well-known and widely used programs as GNU Emacs, the GNU Debugger, the GRUB bootloader, and the GNU C Compiler (GCC).

      • Public Services/Government

        • After Munich agreement Hamburg moves to Linux

          Hamburg has announced that it is going to follow Munich and start moving civil service software away from Microsoft and towards something more open saucy.

          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. It was presented on Tuesday but has yet to be signed off. The political parties in charge in Hamburg are the same as those in Munich, who recently agreed to revert back to that city’s own open-source software.

          Peter Ganten, chairman of the Open Source Business Alliance, or OSBA, based in Stuttgart said that “With this decision, Hamburg joins a growing number of German states and municipalities that have already embarked on this path.”

      • Programming/Development

        • T^4 #5: More About Byobu

          Another video in our T^4 series of video lightning talks with tips, tricks, tools, and toys (where we had seen the announcement, shells sessions one, two, and three, as well as one byobu session) is now up at YouTube.

        • Why sysadmins don’t like changing things, illustrated

          System administrators are famously reluctant to change anything unless they have to; once a system works, they like to freeze it that way and not touch it. This is sometimes written off as irrational over-concern, and to be honest sometimes it is; you can make a fetish out of anything. However, it isn’t just superstition and fetish. We can say general things like on good systems, you control stability by controlling changes and note that harmless changes aren’t always actually harmless, but surely if you take appropriate care you can monitor your systems while applying controlled changes, promptly detect and understand any problems, and either fix them or roll back.

          Well, let me tell you a story about that, and about spooky subtle action at a distance. (A story that I mentioned in passing recently.)

        • Why Email is the Best Discussion Platform

          Email is the asynchronous platform where decisions can be announced, questions can be asked no matter who is online, and there can be an open, infinite public record of discussions and questions which can be freely searched by anybody (public mailing list software typically preserves all the messages and they can be viewed online).

          IRC is the synchronous, ephemeral platform where developers and users can go to hash out quick discussions, get answers to their support questions quickly, and generally hang out like one would in a Slack or Mattermost channel. IRC is a topic for another day, so I’ll just be focusing on why email is better in this post.

          The biggest problem with these so called “modern” platforms is that they’re actually a regression from what already exists. Platforms such as Slack and Discord are walled gardens requiring account creation, Discourse and Mattermost are better, yet you still have to access them through a web browser and those who wish to use their own clients are treated as second-class citizens.

        • Let’s go out to sea with Digital Making at Home
        • Python

          • PSF GSoC students blogs: Week 2 Check-in
          • PSF GSoC students blogs: Week 1 Check-in
          • PSF GSoC students blogs: GSoC: Week #2
          • PSF GSoC students blogs: GSoC 20: Week 2: del legacy.c
          • PSF GSoC students blogs: GSoC 2020 Blog Post (#1)
          • PSF GSoC students blogs: Brainstorming ideas – Weekly Check-in 2
          • PSF GSoC students blogs: Weekly Check-In #2
          • PSF GSoC students blogs: Week #2
          • PSF GSoC students blogs: GSoC Week 2: except Exception as opportunity_to_learn:
          • PSF GSoC students blogs: GSoC Weekly Blog #1
          • PSF GSoC students blogs: Laying out the foundations for the EOS feature request system in GSOC’20
          • Test and Code: 116: 15 amazing pytest plugins – Michael Kennedy

            pytest plugins are an amazing way to supercharge your test suites, leveraging great solutions from people solving test problems all over the world. In this episode Michael and I discuss 15 favorite plugins that you should know about.

          • PyDev of the Week: Dong-hee Na

            This week we welcome Dong-hee Na (@dongheena92) as our PyDev of the Week! Dong-hee is a core developer of the Python programming language.

            [...]

            Hi, My name is Dong-hee Na, and I am the software engineer of Kakao Corp. I got my BS in Computer Science from Chungnam National University. My hobby is taking a look at the open-source compiler projects. And as you know, these days, I use most of my own extra time working on the CPython project.

            On the other side, I research well-designed projects or try to implement a simple stage implementation to understand the theory which I have interests. Recently, I am watching the MIR project which is kind of JIT framework project and it looks like a very interesting project for me.

            Why did you start using Python?

            The first time I learned Python was because I took the undergraduate data structure class by using Python. My first impression was that the language is so simple that it was very easy to write pseudocode. The time I learned Python more deeply was to contribute to Dropbox’s Pyston project. This project aimed to implement the LLVM-based Python JIT compiler. This project made me dig in Python more in-depth since I needed to check the Python compiler worked properly.

          • PyCharm at the 2020 Python Web Conference

            Our countdown for the 2020 Python Web Conference has started, come meet our team!

          • Using UUID in Python

            Python has a library named UUID (Universal Unique Identifier) to generate a random object of 128 bits. This library generates unique IDs based on the system time and the network address of the computer. The UUID object is immutable and it contains some functions to create various unique IDs. UUID is used for many purposes, such as creating a unique random ID, an ID-based MAC address, cryptographic hash values, or random documents. This tutorial will show you how you can create different types of UUID libraries by using different UUID functions.

          • Open Source Product Analytics With PostHog

            You spend a lot of time and energy on building a great application, but do you know how it’s actually being used? Using a product analytics tool lets you gain visibility into what your users find helpful so that you can prioritize feature development and optimize customer experience. In this episode PostHog CTO Tim Glaser shares his experience building an open source product analytics platform to make it easier and more accessible to understand your product. He shares the story of how and why PostHog was created, how to incorporate it into your projects, the benefits of providing it as open source, and how it is implemented. If you are tired of fighting with your user analytics tools, or unwilling to entrust your data to a third party, then have a listen and then test out PostHog for yourself.

          • Gocept Weblog: We have nearly one million lines of Python 2 code in production – and now?

            Still running Python 2 code in production is like steering a ship without radar in thick fog: You don’t know, which obstacle you will hit next. But there are ways to see the sun again even for large code bases.

            I am Michael Howitz and I am going to present a talk at Python Web Conf 2020 on this topic.

            In this talk I will show possible approaches for a Python 3 migration of existing Python code running on Python 2.7. I will evaluate which of these approaches seems suitable for a large code base and which principles should be paid attention to to increase the probability of a successful migration project.

        • Java

          • Commit to excellence: Java in containers

            DevNation Tech Talks are hosted by the Red Hat technologists who create our products. These sessions include real solutions plus code and sample projects to help you get started. In this talk, you’ll learn about using Java with containers from Markus Eisele and Burr Sutter.

            Java in 2019 was predicted to be business as usual by many. New Java releases came out as planned, AdoptOpenJDK became the main trustful source of binaries, and Oracle fought for the trademark again by preventing the use of javax as a namespace.

  • Leftovers

    • Health/Nutrition

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Security

          • 10 Actionable SSH Hardening Tips to Secure Your Linux Server



            This way, you can easily see if you need to change any parameter to enhance the security of the SSH server.

            You should also keep the SSH install and system updated.

            I have listed some practical ways of SSH hardening. Of course, there can be several other ways you can secure SSH and your Linux server. It’s not possible to list all of them in a single article.

          • Windows 10 Critical Exploit Now Confirmed, Months After Microsoft’s Emergency Update

            U.S. Government cybersecurity agency warns malicious cyber actors are targeting Windows 10 systems still vulnerable to a three-month-old critical security flaw.

            Cast your mind back to March 10 when the monthly Windows Patch Tuesday security updates were released by Microsoft. That same day, one critical Windows 10 vulnerability was disclosed by mistake; disclosed before a fix had been made available.

          • Episode 200 – Talking Container Security with Liz Rice

            Josh and Kurt talk to Liz Rice from Aqua Security about container security and her new book on the same topic. What does container security look like today? What are some things you can do now? What will container security look like in the future?

          • Security updates for Monday

            Security updates have been issued by Debian (cups, dbus, gnutls28, graphicsmagick, libupnp, and nodejs), Fedora (gnutls, kernel, libarchive, php-phpmailer6, and sympa), openSUSE (axel, GraphicsMagick, libcroco, libreoffice, libxml2, and xawtv), Oracle (bind, firefox, freerdp, and kernel), Red Hat (bind, freerdp, and unbound), Scientific Linux (firefox), SUSE (dpdk, file-roller, firefox, gnuplot, libexif, php7, php72, slurm_20_02, and vim), and Ubuntu (gnutls28).

          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • How Google Docs became the social media of the resistance

              Shirky says it’s a common misconception that protesters are seeking privacy from the state. “Most of them are concerned with activism, not privacy,” he says. In fact, Johnson says that for her and other activists, the goal is to disseminate as much information as accurately as possible.

    • Defence/Aggression

      • How We Should Remember D-Day and the Struggle Against Nazism

        On the 76th anniversary of D-Day, we should take a moment to remember the millions of working men and women from all Allied countries who fought and died to defeat fascism. But we must also reflect on the imperialist meaning that D-Day has assumed in our present context. If the last seventy-six years have taught us anything, it is that no country — and certainly not the United States — can be trusted to rule the world.

    • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

      • Barack Obama Urges Graduates to Fight Conspiracy Theories, Use ‘Fact-Based Debate’

        The former president also talked about the importance of vetting information, especially in the age of social media. “Use all that critical thinking you’ve developed from your education to help promote the truth,” he said. “You are the Internet generation and the social media generation. It’s not just how you shop, or listen to music or watch videos, it’s part of your social lives, it’s the new town square where you all come together to meet. In many ways, it’s been an amazing tool. In your pockets, you have access to more information than any group of people in history. It’s allowed movements of like-minded people to mobilize on behalf of worthy causes.

        However, he said social media can also be used to spread misinformation and conspiracy theories.

        “What’s become clear is that social media can also be a tool to spread conflict, divisions, and falsehoods, to bully people and promote hate,” he said. “Too often, it shuts us off from each other instead of bringing us together, partly because it gives us the ability to select our own realities, independent of facts or science or logic or common sense. We start reading only news and opinions that reinforce our own biases. We start cancelling everything else out. We let opinion masquerade as fact, and we treat even the wildest conspiracy theories as worthy of consideration. The irony is that usually the people who are peddling falsehoods on the internet or social media are doing so for their own purposes: Either to sell you something or to distract you from the real issues that matter. You can change that. If a friend tells you COVID-19 is a hoax, politely correct them. If an older relative cites some video to promote a racist stereotype, show him or her why that video is a sham. As a generation that understands social media and technology a lot better than anyone, it’s going to be up to you to create online cultures and communities that respect differences of opinion and freedom of speech, and also restore the kind of honest, informed, fact-based debate that is the stating point for tackling the challenges we face.”

      • James Bennet: New York Times opinion editor resigns over Tom Cotton’s article [iophk: yet it published the piece anyway]

        The newspaper had initially stood by the publication but then said the article “did not meet” its standards.

      • New York Times opinion editor resigns amid fallout over op-ed calling on military to quell protests

        Cotton’s article, published Wednesday and titled “Send in the Troops,” incited a backlash not just from readers but also from Times journalists. Many from within the newsroom publicly stated that the article put the lives of black journalists employed at the company in danger.

        The article supported the use of military force to suppress the nationwide protests against police violence that were sparked by the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis.

    • Environment

      • Energy

        • The True Cost of Power

          A government-appointed committee’s ‘Report on the Power Sector’ attempted to fix the blame for the high cost of electricity in the country. Subsequent to its leak, media attention focused exclusively on the ravenous role of the independent power producers. But how conclusive is the report about them? And what are the other issues the report has sidestepped?

      • Wildlife/Nature

        • As Amazonian Wildfire Season Approaches, We Must Protect the Vulnerable Forest

          The wildfires that tore across Australia were as devastating as they were overwhelming, scorching some 15 million acres of land, killing 26 people and more than 1 billion animals up until January 2020. In terms of its apocalyptic imagery — sweeping infernos torching great swaths with unerring speed — Australia’s wildfires were hauntingly reminiscent of the fires that roared through the Amazon rainforest over the past year. Indeed, more than 80,000 fires hit the region during 2019, according to the Brazilian government.

    • Finance

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • Top 16 Euphemisms US Headline Writers Used for Police Beating the Shit Out of People

        “After Curfew, Detroit Police Act Aggressively to Disperse Protesters Who Refused to Leave” (Detroit Free Press, 5/31/20)

      • Former Harvard psychiatrist Lance Dodes: Trump is trying to “turn America into a police state”

        Enraged by the protesters in Washington, Donald Trump has now retreated into the White House, literally surrounding it with National Guard troops, law enforcement agents (some with no badges or insignias), and an improvised wall of fences and barriers.

        Trump has threatened to unleash the U.S. military against Americans exercising their constitutionally-guaranteed right to free speech and protest. Senior military officials have — to this point — blunted or rejected Trump’s demands that the country’s armed forces be turned against the American people. It is unclear how this crisis will resolve.

        In a new essay at the Atlantic, George Packer describes this ominous and pitiful moment in which America under Donald Trump appears more like a failed state than a great nation. He draws a specific comparison with the aftermath of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.’s assassination in 1968: [...]

      • After Twitter’s pushback, a dam is breached among social media companies defying Trump

        Snapchat’s actions mirrored Twitter’s recent moves, although without spending years overthinking it. Insiders attest that Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey ignored the president’s disinformation and hate-spewing campaign on his platform for years. Finally, after an onslaught of public criticism, in 2019 Twitter announced that it would label content by world leaders or public officials that broke its policies.

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • Shocker: US state propaganda outlets censor Black Lives Matter protests

        It’s hard for Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty to sell the USA as a shining example of civil liberties and democracy when the internet is drowning in pics of American killer cops beating down on anyone in sight.

      • New Hasty Attempt to Tackle Fake News in Brazil Heavily Strikes Privacy and Free Expression

        The Brazilian Senate rushes to approve a draft bill that seriously undermines privacy and free expression. Named as the “Fake News Law,”  PLS 2630/2020 aims to tackle an intricate problem, whose responses must be carefully designed in a democratic and participatory manner. Contrary to the Brazilian Civil Rights Framework for the Internet, law approved in 2014 with broad and intense social participation, PLS 2360/2020 is marked by a rushed debate, during a time of exceptional operation of legislative activities due to the COVID pandemic.

        After an alarming and not officially filed version of the text was almost put to a vote last Tuesday, the bill’s original author presented a substitute text, and there are other proposals under discussion. Seeking to curb the spread of disinformation online, the bill lacks precision to avoid abusive reporting and interpretations. It also creates criminal offenses, prohibitions, and obligations that hamper legitimate ways of expressing ourselves online and severely expose users’ communications.

      • Prosecution of blogger over Quran parody ignites renewed fears of censorship

        The criminal case against Emna Chargui for a Ramadan Facebook post has raised questions about the limits of free speech in Tunisia, and given rise to passionate protests against the enforcement of Ben Ali-era laws.

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • After the Lockdown, the Jailbreak

        If there’s finally an effective antidote to cynicism, it’s people in the streets.

      • Why Is the University of California Punishing Students During a Pandemic?

        In an experience now familiar to many, faculty at the University of California, Santa Cruz (UCSC) logged onto Zoom on May 15 and stared into the online abyss. Hundreds of squares awaited us, some with actual faces, others with initials written on dark backgrounds. The alienation that we have experienced from teaching remotely, and the exhaustion of transforming our classes into an online format, both pale in comparison to the bizarre spectacle we were about to witness. One after another, we asked UCSC’s administration the same question: Why is the university continuing to punish students during a global pandemic? The chancellor and executive vice chancellor did not provide an answer. Instead, they confirmed that the university would continue punitive measures against students due to their peaceful involvement in the wildcat strike this past winter.

      • Palestinian Lives Matter: Huge Jewish-Arab Rally in Tel Aviv Decries Netanyahu’s Plan to Annex 1/3 of West Bank

        It was the biggest demonstration by the Israeli left wing in many years, and was remarkable for its mixed character, with both Jewish and Palestinian Israelis coming out.

      • Thousands Protest Against Police Violence Outside US Embassies in UK and Spain

        After the U.S. saw its largest demonstrations yet over the police killing of George Floyd, massive demonstrations kicked off Sunday outside of the U.S. embassies in the United Kingdom and Spain as thousands gathered in a show of solidarity with America’s uprising against law enforcement brutality and systemic racial injustice.

      • ‘No One Is Free When Others Are Oppressed’: Thousands in Spain and UK Rally at US Embassies in Solidarity With America’s Anti-Racist Uprising

        “There’s children of all ages and older adults here. They are going to experience what we have experienced and we have to try to make that not happen.”

      • It’s Time to Redistribute Obscene Police Budgets to Much-Needed Public Services

        The marches are sweeping every state. Hundreds of thousands of people have braved the pandemic to protest the murder of an unarmed Black man, George Floyd, by Minneapolis police.

      • ‘Gross Abuse of Authority’: AOC, Pressley Join Probe Into Trump Use of Predator Drones to Surveil Protesters

        “This administration has undermined the First Amendment freedoms of Americans of all races who are rightfully protesting George Floyd’s killing.”

      • Top Recipients of Police Money Include Trump and Leading Congressional Democrats

        Police reform is now a congressional priority following nationwide protests against police violence and systemic racism after the killing of George Floyd by Minneapolis police. Many of the protests in cities across the country, including Washington, D.C., have been met with militarized force and violence.

      • Cyber Security for Protests

        Modern-day protests are as much about social media and voicing your opinions online, as they are about showing up “in person”. When attending a protest, it is important to keep some basic rules in mind to stay secure. Of course, it is always best to leave expensive electronics at home, but live streaming, posting to social media, and recording events at the protest is very much a part of modern protests. The other option is to only take a relatively cheap “burner phone” with you that does not have any of your personal data associated with it. But even a cheap, but reasonably functional phone will be too expensive for most.

        The rules below come mostly from various sites for protestors in Hong Kong. Hong Kong protesters during their ongoing prolonged protests have not only learned to use electronic means efficiently, but they also have faced very strong countermeasures. So let’s learn “from the best” to see how to protect yourself.

      • A Daughter Is Beheaded, and Iran Asks if Women Have a Right to Safety

        Before he beheaded his 14-year-old daughter with a farming sickle, Reza Ashrafi called a lawyer.

        His daughter, Romina, was going to dishonor the family by running off with her 29-year-old boyfriend, he said. What kind of punishment, he asked the lawyer, would he get for killing her?

        The lawyer assured him that as the girl’s guardian he would not face capital punishment but at most 3 to 10 years in jail, Mr. Ashrafi’s relatives told an Iranian newspaper.

        Three weeks later, Mr. Ashrafi, a 37-year-old farmer, marched into the bedroom where the girl was sleeping and decapitated her.

      • To stop police brutality, make it financially unsustainable

        But police brutality also has a cost in dollars, often borne by taxpayers, and it’s not a small bill.

        In New York City, for instance, out of a total $1 billion spent in settlements by the city in 2018, nearly $230 million went to payouts related to New York Police Department actions.

        Police malpractice is a huge cost for local governments—and therefore, on communities—and making these costs more tangible is significant lever in reducing police misconduct and brutality.

      • Buffalo police pushed an old man — but said he tripped. Because police lie.

        The common thread? Faulty information spread by law enforcement sources and repeated uncritically by politicians and the press.

        In reality, the police as an institution and policing as a practice are not fair, balanced or objective. Isn’t it time we receive the information they disseminate with the same amount of skepticism and critical thinking we apply to more violent functions of the police?

      • Majority of the Minneapolis City Council pledges to dismantle the Police Department.

        Nine members — a veto-proof majority — of the Minneapolis City Council pledged on Sunday to dismantle the city’s Police Department, promising to create a new system of public safety in a city where law enforcement has long been accused of racism.

        Saying that the city’s current policing system could not be reformed, the council members stood before hundreds of people who gathered late in the day on a grassy hill, and signed a pledge to begin the process of taking apart the Police Department as it now exists.

        For activists who have been pushing for years for drastic changes to policing, the move represented a turning point that they hoped would lead to a complete transformation of public safety in the city.

      • Minneapolis City Council Backs Dismantling Police Department

        Many of the demonstrators who have been protesting across the country have demanded that big city police departments be defunded. Supporters say that doesn’t mean literally getting rid of law enforcement but say much of the money used to run police departments can be reinvested into social services, arguing that creating better lives for citizens means little need for a gun-toting officer.

      • [Old] Jeronimo Yanez attorney thinks Mohamed Noor will testify

        “He (has) to explain why he shot the gun,” Gray said. “By the bare facts of this, it looks like he reached over and shot a person was unarmed and in a nightgown.”

      • ‘Efforts at Incremental Reform Have Failed’: Minneapolis City Council Members Declare Intent to Disband Police Department

        “Our commitment is to end our city’s toxic relationship with the Minneapolis Police Department and to work toward ending policing as we know it.”

      • Defending Assault on Peaceful Protesters in DC, William Barr Falsely Claims Pepper Spray ‘Not a Chemical Irritant’

        “Barr is lying. Pepper balls contain chemical irritants. They are paint balls stuffed with oleoresin capsicum. Pepper spray is also a chemical irritant.”

      • Why Do Police Unions Talk and Act Like the Mafia? How Can We Stop Them?

        It’s been difficult, if not impossible, to end the career of the worst cops who commit many of the abuses.

      • Aid workers: It’s time to practise what you preach

        I’ve been in international development for nearly 20 years. And still, when I walk into meetings, I can appear – to some – invisible.

        I have lived and worked in Asia, Africa, Europe, and the United States. I am 43 years old and lived the bulk of my adult life outside of my country.

        On various occasions I have had to explain that 1. Yes, I am African and no, the whole of Africa is not at war, and when I have walked barefoot it has been out of my choice to feel the earth 2. Yes, I was born in a hospital and not under a tree, and no we don’t hunt lions for dinner in our backyard 3. No, I do not speak English because I was adopted – the foundation of my education was in Zambia, and it is that which prepared me to qualify for jobs in the UN and elsewhere 4. Yes, I have also qualified, with merits, for two master’s degrees at the University of London and York St John University in England, where as you can imagine, the language of instruction is English.

    • Monopolies

      • Patents

        • EMED Technologies Corp. v. Repro-Med Systems, Inc. (Fed. Cir. 2020)

          In April, the Federal Circuit affirmed a decision by the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas granting summary judgment in favor of Repro-Med Systems, Inc., finding that Repro-Med did not infringe U.S. Patent No. 8,961,476. EMED Technologies Corp., which owns the ’476 patent, had filed suit against Repro-Med, asserting that Repro-Med’s safety needle devices infringed the ’476 patent.

          [...]

          The Federal Circuit, therefore, affirmed the District Court’s grant of summary judgment of noninfringement.

        • Software Patents

          • Voice Tech Corp patent challenged as likely invalid

            On June 5, 2020, Unified filed a petition for inter partes review (IPR) against U.S. Patent 10,491,679, owned by Voice Tech Corp, an NPE. The ’679 patent relates to remotely controlling a computer’s operating system and applications using voice commands from a mobile device. The patent is currently asserted against Mycroft AI Inc. for using open source, voice-related technologies.

      • Copyrights

        • Doh” may be a female deer and “re” a drop of golden sun, but “me” harmony be the basis for copyright infringement?

          Let’s start from the basics. Copyright infringement of a piece of music is based on the claim that two songs sound similar. But that is not enough. Songs have a melody and harmony. That’s simple. But considering how melody and harmony work in the context of copyright infringement is a much more complex matter. What follows a consideration of melody and harmony and how they apply to a claim of copyright infringement.

          Similarities between two pieces of music in most cases are detected in the course of the main melody. But works of music involve not only melody but also harmony. While melody is a horizontal sequence of sounds – a linear combination of pitch and rhythm, harmony refers to vertical composition of tones, which we can usually find in the accompaniment to the melody.

          [...]

          The deposit copy contains only a melody, text, and chord names, placed to tell the artist when the chord should be changed. That gives the rhythm of the chord progression. There are no other elements of the musical work, especially no score of the original expression of chords including its bassline and instrumentation. Those are fixed in the recording of the song.

          The experts, hired by the respective parties, all detected similarities between “Let’s Go On” and “Thinking Out Loud”. Of course, each has a different opinion about the relevance of the similarities. Experts found the strongest similarities in the harmonic progression (identical for the first 24 seconds of the songs, fixed in the deposit copy), harmonic rhythm (“anticipating” the second and fourth beat, fixed in the deposit copy), and melody of bassline (most similar but not present in the deposit copy, but fixed in the recording). The similarities are strong (recognizable by the “ordinary observer”).

          In the opinion of this blogger, every chord progression should be considered as an unprotectable idea. That idea is expressed in the work of music as a composition of tones that could be either original or common. That is why the similarities between chord progression (I-III°-IV-V) that were detected by experts in “Let’s Go On” and “Thinking Out Loud” should not be considered as infringing. The chords’ names fixed in the deposit copy are not enough.

        • Manga, Scanlation, and The Curious Case of The ‘Pirating’ Anti-Piracy Advocate

          A few days ago a vocal anti-piracy advocate was accused of working with pirates. The case revolves around the manga industry, which is thriving today, in part thanks to piracy. More than anything, the accusations and the defense from the targeted Manga translator show how an evolving industry is struggling with its roots.

        • Top Mistakes Made By BitTorrent Users That Lead to Lawsuits & DMCA Notices

          Every week bemused BitTorrent users post online wondering why they have received copyright notices from their ISPs or, worse still, notification of a pending lawsuit. The obvious reason is that they downloaded some pirated content but there are several more, mostly the result of belief in urban myths or misunderstandings of how BitTorrent works.

They Tell Us Free/Libre Software is a Security Threat (Never Mind Proprietary Back Doors), a Licensing Risk (Never Mind Proprietary EULAs) and So Forth…

Posted in Deception, Free/Libre Software, FUD at 8:10 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Myth versus reality (shame — like the religious concept of so-called ‘sin’ — is a social control mechanism)

The two guys talking: They told me Free Software was sexist; did they bother checking who runs proprietary software companies? No, they don't like talking about that

Summary: The tired old myth of overt sexism in Free software (never mind the trends in Computer Science or STEM disciplines in general) overlooks the simple fact that there are even greater barriers in the proprietary software world; in Free software any woman can participate (without having to pass job interviews) and the same is true for security, which can be assured/verified by studying source code, with the same applying to licence compliance…

Pretending to Oneself Microsoft and GitHub Are Not the Same Thing…

Posted in Deception, Microsoft at 7:44 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Scotty Kirk, Kirk Preston: I told our guys to not push to Github; Sir, I think he's trying to keep our autonomy; Did you send Microsoft our private code? No, just to Github, Microsoft says they're separate

Summary: Foolishly, irresponsibly and recklessly a lot of companies have been bamboozled into handing over not just public code but also private code to Microsoft, the NSA’s spies, and censors looking to put back doors in everything while eliminating perceived ‘enemies’

“Microsoft is, I think, fundamentally an evil company.”

Former Netscape Chairman James H. Clark

Examples of Forced Apologies (or Compelled Ones)

Posted in Debian, Kernel, Microsoft, Novell at 5:18 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

When a refusal to apologise can have severe consequences or lost business

Novell apology

Debian apology

Torvalds apology

Microsoft apology

Summary: Apologies are nice; but they need to be sincere and not come out of sheer pressure (or threats, or blackmail from media)

Social Control Media: Where ‘Cancel Culture’ Thrives

Posted in GNU/Linux at 4:50 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Just look at this… sometimes you wonder if there’s even a point bothering with Twitter at all

Michael Hall in Twitter

Summary: Hours ago I saw a great example of “cancel culture”; even bots are being urged to untweet something I wrote, simply because some people out there do not agree with me about ZDNet…

« Previous entries Next Page » Next Page »

RSS 64x64RSS Feed: subscribe to the RSS feed for regular updates

Home iconSite Wiki: You can improve this site by helping the extension of the site's content

Home iconSite Home: Background about the site and some key features in the front page

Chat iconIRC Channels: Come and chat with us in real time

New to This Site? Here Are Some Introductory Resources

No

Mono

ODF

Samba logo






We support

End software patents

GPLv3

GNU project

BLAG

EFF bloggers

Comcast is Blocktastic? SavetheInternet.com



Recent Posts