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06.12.20

Links 13/6/2020: Mesa 20.0.8 and Devuan GNU+Linux 3.0.0 in Review

Posted in News Roundup at 11:40 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Desktop/Laptop

      • Now you can buy laptops with elementary OS pre-installed (GNU/Linux distribution)

        Elementary OS is an Ubuntu-based Linux distribution with an emphasis on speed, privacy, and ease-of-use. It also happens to have a user interface that’s reminiscent of macOS and a slightly controversial history of trying to guilt people into paying for free software.

        Like most GNU/Linux distributions, you can download elementary OS for free (or make a small donation) and install it on pretty much any computer released in the past decade.

    • Audiocasts/Shows

      • Noodlings | LeoCAD, DeWalt and a UPS

        openSUSE + LibreOffice conference will be online. See the news article for details on on the Open Source Event Manager system, the online Summit and submitting for talks for it.

        Tumbleweed Updates for snapshots 20200609 and 20200610, both trending stable scores.

      • LHS Episode #351: The Weekender L

        It’s time once again for The Weekender. This is our bi-weekly departure into the world of amateur radio contests, open source conventions, special events, listener challenges, hedonism and just plain fun. Thanks for listening and, if you happen to get a chance, feel free to call us or e-mail and send us some feedback. Tell us how we’re doing. We’d love to hear from you.

      • Python Bytes: #185 This code is snooping on you (a good thing!)
      • Episode 13: PDFs in Python and Projects on the Raspberry Pi

        Have you wanted to work with PDF files in Python? Maybe you want to extract text, merge and concatenate files, or even create PDFs from scratch. Are you interested in building hardware projects using a Raspberry Pi? This week on the show we have David Amos from the Real Python team to discuss his recent article on working with PDFs. David also brings a few other articles from the wider Python community for us to discuss.

        David searches for the latest Python news, links, and articles to produce PyCoder’s Weekly with Dan Bader. PyCoder’s Weekly is a free email newsletter for those interested in Python development. Along with David’s article on PDFs, we discuss another recent Real Python article about building physical projects with the Raspberry Pi. We also discuss articles from the community about: the PEPs of Python 3.9, why you should stop using datetime.now, Python dependency tools, and several ways to pass code to Python from the terminal.

    • Kernel Space

      • Linux 5.8 Lands The Kernel Concurrency Sanitizer To Spot Race Conditions

        Merged overnight into the Linux 5.8 code-base is KCSAN, the Kernel Concurrency Sanitizer that is a dynamic race detector for spotting flaws in the kernel code.

        The Linux Kernel Concurrency Sanitizer with this newly-added kernel code (4k+ lines of code) paired with compiler-based instrumentation in supported compilers is able to provide detection of race conditions happening within the kernel.

        Even before being mainlined to the kernel, KCSAN has already been successful in spotting legitimate kernel bugs and now with it being mainlined should see more usage in helping uncover other code flaws dealing with multiple threads/concurrency.

      • AMD Prepping PCID/INVPCID Support For KVM Guests On Zen 3 EPYC

        The latest Linux kernel patch work we are seeing out of AMD in preparations for Zen 3 processors coming later this year is INVPCID instruction support for KVM virtualization guests.

        One of the new capabilities we are looking forward to on the Zen 3 instruction set side is adding Process Context Identifiers (PCID) support. As part of the PCID support is the INVPCID instruction for Invalidate Process-Context Identifier to invalidate TLB mappings and caches based on the process context identifier.

      • Linux kernel earns CII best practices gold badge
      • Here’s how to get one of the highest-paying jobs in tech

        The Linux Foundation is offering a cloud engineer bootcamp that offers a certification in six months for a job that can pay $146,000.

      • Graphics Stack

        • mesa 20.0.8
          Hi list,
          
          I'd like to announce mesa 20.0.8 is now available. This is the last planned
          release of the 20.0.x series, and users are advised to consider the 20.1.x
          series instead.
          
          There were a couple of blocking issues that held this release up, so it's bit
          larger than normal, especially for one so late in the series. Overall though the
          changes are fairly normally distributed across the tree, with drivers for Intel
          and AMD hardware making up the majority of the changes, and little bits here and
          there for everything else.
          
          Dylan
          
          
          Shortlog
          ========
          
          Bas Nieuwenhuizen (3):
                radv/winsys:  Remove extra sizeof multiply.
                radv: Handle failing to create .cache dir.
                radv: Provide a better error for permission issues with priorities.
          
          D Scott Phillips (1):
                anv/gen11+: Disable object level preemption
          
          Danylo Piliaiev (6):
                anv: Translate relative timeout to absolute when calling anv_timelines_wait
                anv: Fix deadlock in anv_timelines_wait
                meson: Disable GCC's dead store elimination for memory zeroing custom new
                mesa: Fix double-lock of Shared->FrameBuffers and usage of wrong mutex
                intel/fs: Work around dual-source blending hangs in combination with SIMD16
                glsl: inline functions with unsupported return type before converting to nir
          
          Dave Airlie (1):
                llvmpipe: compute shaders work better with all the threads.
          
          Dylan Baker (13):
                docs/relnotes Add sha256 sums to 20.0.7
                .pick_status.json: Update to ceae09da156309327d7ba6f4a59d3a2e9b8837d9
                .pick_status.json: Update to a887ad7c84e14fdad7907037a39e9fee9d504bf3
                .pick_status.json: Update to 4504d6374dbe2aa40af519c16765457bcbf81b84
                .pick_status.json: Update to f0c102c075f8ac76629bb34619187262ccc3e9d8
                tests: Make tests aware of meson test wrapper
                .pick_status.json: Update to e58112bc08f99861ac634ede8db0f98cd497fc14
                radonsi/si_state.c: retab
                .pick_status.json: Update to 0795241dde1507e0c6a3f9ef07c281ad4f2acf7b
                vulkan-overlay/meson: use install_data instead of configure_file
                docs: Add release notes for 20.0.8
                VERSION: bump to 20.0.8
                docs: Add sha256sums for 20.0.8
          
          Eric Engestrom (3):
                tree-wide: fix deprecated GitLab URLs
                glapi: remove deprecated .getchildren() that has been replace with an iterator
                intel: fix gen_sort_tags.py
          
          Erik Faye-Lund (2):
                zink: use general-layout when blitting to/from same resource
                nir: reuse existing psiz-variable
          
          Gert Wollny (1):
                nir: lower_tex: Don't normalize coordinates for TXF with RECT
          
          Ian Romanick (1):
                anv/tests: Don't rely on assert or changing NDEBUG in tests
          
          Ilia Mirkin (1):
                nouveau: allow invalidating coherent/persistent buffer backings
          
          Jan Palus (1):
                targets/opencl: fix build against LLVM>=10 with Polly support
          
          Jason Ekstrand (6):
                anv:gpu_memcpy: Emit 3DSTATE_VF_INDEXING on Gen8+
                nir/lower_double_ops: Rework the if (progress) tree
                nir/opt_deref: Report progress if we remove a deref
                nir/copy_prop_vars: Record progress in more places
                intel/vec4: Stomp the return type of RESINFO to UINT32
                intel/fs: Fix unused texture coordinate zeroing on Gen4-5
          
          Jonathan Marek (1):
                freedreno/a6xx: use nonbinning VS when GS is used
          
          Joshua Ashton (1):
                radeonsi: Use TRUNC_COORD on samplers
          
          Lionel Landwerlin (4):
                iris: fix BO destruction in error path
                i965: don't forget to set screen on duped image
                i965: fix export of GEM handles
                iris: fix export of GEM handles
          
          Lucas Stach (1):
                etnaviv: retarget transfer to render resource when necessary
          
          Marek Olšák (2):
                radeonsi: don't expose 16xAA on chips with 1 RB due to an occlusion query issue
                radeonsi: add a hack to disable TRUNC_COORD for shadow samplers
          
          Marek Vasut (1):
                etnaviv: Disable seamless cube map on GC880
          
          Michel Dänzer (1):
                util: Change os_same_file_description return type from bool to int
          
          Nataraj Deshpande (1):
                dri_util: Update internal_format to GL_RGB8 for MESA_FORMAT_R8G8B8X8_UNORM
          
          Neha Bhende (1):
                util: Initialize pipe_shader_state for passthrough and transform shaders
          
          Pierre-Eric Pelloux-Prayer (1):
                omx: fix build with gcc 10
          
          Rhys Perry (4):
                nir: fix lowering to scratch with boolean access
                aco: fix interaction with 3f branch workaround and p_constaddr
                aco: check instruction format before waiting for a previous SMEM store
                aco: preserve more fields when combining additions into SMEM
          
          Rob Clark (1):
                freedreno: clear last_fence after resource tracking
          
          Samuel Pitoiset (4):
                spirv,radv,anv: implement no-op VK_GOOGLE_user_type
                nir/lower_explicit_io: fix NON_UNIFORM access for UBO loads
                radv: enable zero VRAM for Doom Eternal
                radv: enable zero VRAM for all VKD3D (DX12->VK) games
          
          Timothy Arceri (3):
                glsl: stop cascading errors if process_parameters() fails
                radv: fix regression with builtin cache
                glsl: fix potential slow compile times for GLSLOptimizeConservatively
          
          Vinson Lee (4):
                zink: Check fopen result.
                r300g: Remove extra printf format specifiers.
                vdpau: Fix wrong calloc sizeof argument.
                mesa: Fix NetBSD compiler macro.
          
          Yevhenii Kolesnikov (1):
                intel/compiler: fix cmod propagation optimisations
          
          
          git tag: mesa-20.0.8
          
        • Mesa 20.0.8 Released To End Out The Series

          With Mesa 20.1.1 having shipped, Mesa 20.0.8 was released today as the final point release of last quarter’s Mesa 20.0 series.

          Mesa 20.0.8 is the last update to the prior stable series and users are now encouraged to upgrade to Mesa 20.1 for the best open-source OpenGL/Vulkan driver experience.

          Mesa 20.0.8 has several Intel ANV and Radeon RADV driver fixes, an LLVMpipe improvement for compute shaders, a few NIR fixes, a build fix in the OMX code for GCC 10, a few minor ACO fixes, enabling of the RADV zero vRAM behavior for all VKD3D games, and other random fixes throughout.

    • Instructionals/Technical

    • Games

      • Futex2 Proposed In Latest Effort For Linux Kernel Optimization That Can Benefit Gamers

        Last year Valve in cooperation with consulting firm Collabora published their work on extending the futex system call for more optimal thread pool synchronization with a means of waiting on any of several futexes. This kernel-level work paired with patched user-space for Wine/Proton allows better matching behavior on Windows. It’s been months since hearing anything on Valve’s futex effort while today a futex2 system call was published for discussion.

        The futex patches posted last year could help with Linux gaming CPU utilization in the patched implementation leading to lower CPU utilization than an eventfd-based approach currently employed by Wine. This kernel improvement can mean lower CPU utilization and also avoids the possibility of exhausting available file descriptors.

      • Stealth hacking adventure OFF GRID playable during Steam Game Festival

        Stretch those fingers and get ready to hack the planet in the stealth-hacking adventure OFF GRID, as it’s getting a demo ready for the Steam Game Festival. The Steam Game Festival will launch June 16 and run until June 22 and we have it confirmed that OFF GRID will have the demo available on Linux too.

        Funded on Kickstarter back in 2018, along with many other games, OFF GRID is a story-focused game with hacking as the central game mechanic. Gameplay utilises unique mechanics that allow you to manipulate the world and people around you with the data they unwittingly leave behind. It’s a stealth game where the player can truly hack and manipulate objects in the environment.

      • Time matters in the tactical RPG ‘The Iron Oath’ and it looks very promising

        The Iron Oath is an upcoming turn-based tactical RPG set in a medieval fantasy world, one where your choices matter because as you progress time flows and affects everyone including your characters.

        You will be in charge of managing your own mercenary company. This includes recruiting, managing them and going together through difficult missions. Time moves with you as you progress through the game affecting character age, the world itself changes dynamically reacting to time and choices during events and overall it sounds thoroughly exciting.

        Originally funded on Kickstarter in 2017, with Linux support planned, they recently had a quick bit of footage shown off in the IGN Summer of Gaming event and it’s looking really slick.

      • art of rally looks terrific in the latest trailer and it will be on GOG too

        Bright colours, stylish low-poly graphics and a whole lot of speed is what’s coming our way with art of rally. From the same developer behind Absolute Drift and it’s coming to Linux this year.

        Already confirmed to be releasing on Steam, and we’ve previously written about art of rally so it’s not a new announcement. However, we do now know it will also release on GOG in addition to Steam.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • Calamares extensions and out-of-tree modules

          Calamares is a universal Linux installer framework. It provides a distribution- and desktop-agnostic set of tools that Linux distributions (and potentially FreeBSD as well) can use to build an installer for Live media (that is, ISO images). It is broadly themable, brandable, configurable and tweakable – the core repository contains 54 modules for various parts of the install process.

          Even 54 modules can’t do justice to all the breadth of things-people-might-want for Linux, so Calamares encourages people to write their own modules to solve specific problems. Calamares is also an eager upstream, so if the problem is specific, but affects lots of people, or can be made generally useful, then Calamares is eager to incorporate those modules into the “core” of the software product.

          To help and support people developing modules, Calamares should provide all the necessary bits for development: it has a C++ API and some CMake stuff that needs doing, for instance, and module-developers will need that.

        • Cantor Integrated Documentation : Week 1 and 2 Progress

          Hello KDE people!! It’s been almost couple of weeks of the coding period already, and it has been hectic already. I was mostly able to stick to the timeline I had proposed, just loosing couple of days here and there. None the less, I am here presenting my progress on the project.

          [...]

          I have also tried customizing the official documentation. I personally did not liked the layout of the official documentation, so I tried to add some styling to it. Currently I am in process of doing it. Adding style to hundreds of HTML files was a challenge and tedious task to be completed manually. I again utilized Python’s power and created a script to link the main CSS file to the HTML files.

        • Norbert Preining: KDE/Plasma Status Update

          Some time has passed since the last updated of my KDE/Plasma packages. In the meantime KDE/frameworks 0.70 was uploaded to Debian/unstable, and everyone should have smoothly transitioned to the “official” packages by now.

      • GNOME Desktop/GTK

        • Refactoring Fractal: Remove Backend (I)

          After a week and a half of starting work on Fractal in the GSoC and figuring things out, I could remove all state from one half of the backend, or what is called in Fractal as Backend.

          Confusing, right? Let me explain further.

          Actually the core of the application is split between two structs: one called AppOp, where most of the data is managed, and another one called Backend, out of the app crate, in fractal-matrix-api, where the calls to the server are done. They communicate between through message passing, but Backend stores some state that isn’t present in AppOp, or it’s even duplicated. So there are two sources of truth for state.

          That makes the process of implementing multi-account support harder and more error-prone than it should be.

          There are two paths to the solution here: remove AppOp and move all data to Backend or do the same in the opposite direction. I chose the latter because I wouldn’t have to transfer as much state as in the former case. Moreover, this way I can remove both loops and spawn threads directly and call functions directly from it instead of passing messages and matching against them (while spawning new threads anyways). Beware that these threads are kernel threads, not green threads or coroutines (aka Futures), so this is a very grotesque way of doing network requests without blocking the GUI as it is currently. It’s something that will be tackled in the future, though.

    • Distributions

      • Exploitation Tools in Kali Linux 2020.1

        Many people around the world are becoming interested in the hacking world. This might be due to sci-fi movies or other futuristic titles that have attracted users to learning how to hack. There are several exploitation tools in Kali Linux 2020.1 for practicing this skill. This article lists some of the most well-known and reliable exploitation tools out there. All of these tools are open-source and can be downloaded from anywhere in the world.

        [...]

        Metasploit Framework is a penetration testing tool that can exploit and validate vulnerabilities. This tool contains the basic infrastructure, specific content, and tools necessary for penetration testing and vast security assessment. Metasploit Framework is one of the most famous exploitation frameworks and is updated on a regular basis. New exploits are updated as soon as they are published. This program contains many tools that are used for creating security workspaces for vulnerability testing and penetration testing systems.

      • Reviews

        • PsychOS: A Crazy Cool Distro That Pushes Linux Limits

          One of the great joys of constantly checking out new or obscure Linux operating systems is finding some insane innovations that stand out from the crowded collection of distros. The current release of PsychOS Linux, code-named “Insane,” possibly might blow your mind.

          This distro is really an off-the-wall project with the potential to become a thing unto itself. PsychOS is a systemd-free, GNU/Linux operating system based on Devuan ASCII — a fork of Debian Linux.

          PsychOS Linux is a strange duck in the Linux distro world. It is very retro-esque.

          Even if you consider yourself a retrophile, however, PsychOS may not be for you. It is developed for older hardware and is available only for 32-bit computers. The developer has no immediate plans to release a 64-bit version.

          However, there is a workaround. If you are interested in checking it out, you can run it in a virtual box with 32-bit settings.

          Many Linux devs are dropping 32-bit releases, so even though PsychOS is not a mainstream product, it can keep aging hardware productive.

          PsychOS is polished in that it runs well. It is interesting in that it is clearly unlike the look and feel of today’s top-of-the-line Linux distributions.

      • New Releases

        • Escuelas Linux 6.9 Released: An Educational OS With Zoom App By Default

          Are you looking for an educational operating system for students of pre-school to high schools? This Spanish-based lightweight Escuelas Linux is worth noticing, which comes with tons of free educational software.

          Recently, Escuelas Linux released its new version 6.9 that includes a major application update and minor bug fixes. Though Escuelas targets Spanish-speaking students, it has support for the English language as well. So, let’s take a detailed look at its new enhancements.

      • BSD

        • OpenZFS removed offensive terminology from its code

          On Wednesday evening, ZFS founding developer Matthew Ahrens submitted what should have been a simple, non-controversial pull request to the OpenZFS project: wherever possible without causing technical issues, the patch removed references to “slaves” and replaced them with “dependents.”

          This patch in question doesn’t change the way the code functions—it simply changes variable names in a way that brings them in conformance with Linux upstream device-mapper terminology, in 48 total lines of code (42 removed and 48 added; with one comment block expanded slightly to be more descriptive).

          But this being the Internet, unfortunately, outraged naysayers descended on the pull request, and the comments were quickly closed to non-contributors. I first became aware of this as the moderator of the r/zfs subreddit where the overflow spilled once comments on the PR itself were no longer possible.

      • SUSE/OpenSUSE

        • openSUSE Tumbleweed – Review of the week 2020/24

          Another week has passed. There have been a few technical issues around the publishing of our snapshots. Two were flagged for release, but actually never made it to the mirrors. Turned out, kiwi renamed some of the live-images from *-i686-* to *-ix86-*. But nothing else knew about it. As we even have links on the web pointing to those image names, we opted to revert to the original name. So, due to this, we only release 3 snapshots (0604, 0609, and 0610; 0609 contained the changes of 0605 and 0607 – the ones that got not synced out).

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • Fedora program update: 2020-24

          Here’s your report of what has happened in Fedora this week. Congratulations to the winners of the Fedora 32 elections. I have weekly office hours in #fedora-meeting-1. Drop by if you have any questions or comments about the schedule, Changes, elections, or anything else.

        • Facilitation, collaboration, and webcams: A story about Principles of Authentic Participation

          This post does not describe what the Principles are (click that link to learn more about them). This post describes the story behind the Principles, and how our Sustain Working Group worked together over three months of virtual facilitation during the COVID–19 crisis to build these Principles.

          [...]

          After lunch, I gathered folks for the discussion group to discuss what authentic participation means. If we could propose a basic set of principles that we agree on, could this be a useful tool for the pain points of stories shared in the morning session?

          The afternoon discussion was insightful, but lacked firm conclusions. We had great ideas and lots of stories, but nothing to tie them together. I collected email addresses of folks who wanted to continue engaging on the Principles of Authentic Participation. However, I wasn’t sure what the next step would be at the time.

          At the Summit, I committed to facilitation of a public Discourse forum discussion, but some attendees voiced that Discourse was not accessible for them. To compromise without exhausting myself across too many platforms, I promised to host a few online discussions for folks to gather and talk about these things again later.

        • Red Hat Insights Twitter chat
        • Event streaming and data federation: A citizen integrator’s story

          Businesses are seeking to benefit from every customer interaction with real-time personalized experience. Targeting each customer with relevant offers can greatly improve customer loyalty, but we must first understand the customer. We have to be able to draw on data and other resources from diverse systems, such as marketing, customer service, fraud, and business operations. With the advent of modern technologies and agile methodologies, we also want to be able to empower citizen integrators (typically business users who understand business and client needs) to create custom software. What we need is one single functional domain where the information is harmonized in a homogeneous way.

        • Digital transformation in financial services without breaking the bank

          Like many organizations, financial services companies identify digital transformation as a top business priority. But their journey may be more complicated, as their infrastructures are often a blend of legacy platforms and processes, with core software built on proprietary vendors’ technology, and app development practices still tied – at least to some extent – to waterfall methodologies.

          Financial services firms are facing real challenges that, while somewhat germane to all companies on a digitization journey, may be hitting them a little harder. For example, the cost of long-term contracts with proprietary software vendors continue to increase, while limiting their flexibility to accomodate ever-evolving market demands.

          Because of costs of these commodity infrastructure and application architectures – which, by the way, rarely drive competitive differentiation – we’ve observed an increase in agile procurement as a means to alleviate these issues.

        • 3 lessons from remote meetings we’re taking back to the office

          For those of us fortunate enough to work remotely during this pandemic, we’ll likely be camped out in our home offices for a while yet. The transition back to in-person work will take time and be geographically patchy.

          As I’ve talked with colleagues who are working remotely, many people say this period is temporary and makeshift: “Once it’s safe to return to the office, we can resume all our old habits and processes.” But in truth, this period of working from home and our eventual return to the office are deeply entwined. The choices and changes we make now will impact the ways we work once we step back into our offices, laboratories, classrooms, and other workspaces.

          Rather than viewing this moment as temporary and makeshift, we should see it as formative. By investing in and improving our online meeting experience now, we can build the foundation for a better work environment that persists long after the pandemic. We can use this moment to recalibrate our culture and systems, so they are more robust, resilient, and inclusive. Those of us in scientific fields can use this moment to deliberately shift toward kinder science.

      • Devuan Family

      • Debian Family

        • Ulrike Uhlig: The right to demand change

          Two women sit in an office, one asks: “What’s the difference between being assertive and being aggressive?” The other replies: “Your gender.” (Cartoon by Judy Horacek, 1961.)

          When a person of a marginalized group (read: a person with less privilege, a person with lower rank) is being framed and blamed as being aggressive, she is being told that her behavior is unacceptable. Marginalized people have learnt that they need to comply to fit, and are likely to suppress their feelings. By being framed as aggressive, the marginalized person is also being told that what they are saying cannot be listened to because the way they are saying it does not comply with expectations. There is a word for this: tone policing. This great comic by Robot Hugs has all the important details. Tone policing is a silencing tactic in which privileged participants of a discussion one-sidedly define the terms of the conversation. This tactic has the interesting side effect of shifting the responsibility to prove that one is not {aggressive, hostile, explosive, a minefield, etc.} to the person being framed and blamed – proving that one is worthy to be listened to. (Some of those words are actual quotes taken from real life.)

          Years ago, I worked in a company in which my female developer colleague would put herself in a state of overly expressed sorriness, all the while pretending to be stupid and helpless whenever she needed to ask anything from the sysadmins. When I confronted her with that, she replied: “I do it because it works.” In the same company, another woman who generally asked assertively for what she needed ended up being insulted by one of the project managers using the word “dominatrix”. While the example comes from my own experience, this kind of thing happens across any oppression/privilege boundaries.

        • DebConf20 moves online, DebConf21 will be in Haifa

          The DebConf team has had to take the hard decision that DebConf 20 cannot happen in-person, in Haifa, in August, as originally planned. This decision is based on the status of the venue in Haifa, the local team’s view of the local health situation, the existing travel restrictions and the results of a survey of potential participants.

          DebConf 20 will be held online instead!

          The Debian community can still get together to share ideas, discuss plans in Birds of a Feather sessions, and eat cheese, from the safety of the desks at home.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • Download Linux Mint 20 “Ulyana” Beta

          The stable version of Linux Mint usually takes around 20 days to release after the beta announcement. So, the Mint 20 will be released by the end of June.

          Linux Mint 20 will be available in 3 editions (Cinnamon, MATE, and Xfce) but only in 64-bit. It will be based on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS and use a Linux 5.4 kernel.

          Linux Mint 20 is based on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS. Home directory encryption, which was removed in Ubuntu, will continue to be available in Linux Mint 20 “Ulyana”.

          Linux Mint 20 will have improved Nemo performance. Linux Mint 20 is supported until 2025. Linux Mint 20 is 64-bit only and there will be no 32-bit release. Ubuntu 18.04 LTS dropped 32-bit ISO 2 years ago but Linux Mint was obsessed with 32-bit but now there won’t be any support for it.

        • Complete Guide To Install Zotero On Ubuntu 20.04

          

          This tutorial explains how to install Zotero research assistant tool completely on Ubuntu Focal Fossa. This including web browser and word processor integrations (Firefox and LibreOffice Writer). You will find a 1 minute short demo video too below. After practicing, you will have Zotero accessible on your desktop area, panel, and start menu, and finally make documents with citations and bibliography easily. Examples in using and its results also included on last sections. Enjoy!

          Zotero is a free software desktop research assistant to collect references, data and information, to be processed as bibliography and citations in LibreOffice Writer or Microsoft Word documents. Zotero is available for GNU/Linux, Windows, and macOS. Zotero can be considered as an alternative to the proprietary Mendeley and such research assistant programs.

        • Productivity is but a snap away – useful applications for your everyday needs

          The state of being productive comes in various guises. Sometimes, you want to do more. Sometimes, you want less. It’s been a while since we toured the Snap Store, and we thought you would be interested in a fresh batch of cool, fun and useful applications that can help you perfect your daily digital activities. Without further ado, let’s have a look.

          [...]

          We hope you enjoyed today’s tour. There’s something for everyone – developers, people who seek improved battery life on their laptops, smartphone users, those looking for a robust backup setup, and Ubuntu 18.04 users with a penchant for eye candy.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • 800 authors and counting

        Today marks the day when we merged the commit authored by the 800th person in the curl project.

        We turned 22 years ago this spring but it really wasn’t until 2010 when we switched to git when we started to properly keep track of every single author in the project. Since then we’ve seen a lot of new authors and a lot of new code.

        The “explosion” is clearly visible in this graph generated with fresh data just this morning (while we were still just 799 authors). See how we’ve grown maybe 250 authors since 1 Jan 2018.

      • The Business of Open Source

        In a recent Twitter thread, Adam Jacob (co-founder and former CTO of Chef) talked about Chef’s switch from an “open core” model to a a “Red Hat” model for licensing their software. It was a fascinating discussion, with important implications for open source companies and their business models. I’ll reproduce the thread here, with Nat Torkington’s comments.

        First, I’d like to start with some background. The behavior of major cloud companies, such as Amazon, has increasingly stirred up angst and fear in open source companies. These companies provide (and support) software that anyone can download, install, and use for free. There are often commercially licensed add-ons around the open core. Amazon and other cloud providers have taken the free software without paying (after all, it’s free, that’s the point), and offer it in their commercial cloud products “as a service.” There’s nothing in the license to prevent this; after all, you can download and run the software without charge. It’s more free than beer; after all, you wouldn’t leave a party with a keg to sell on the street corner. The cloud providers have the technical capabilities to run and support the software at scale, so they have no need to buy services from companies like Chef (or Puppet, or Elastic, or MongoDB, or DataStax, or…), and in many cases they have the ability to build their own versions of the open source company’s proprietary add-ons. The result is that they are taking away market share without contributing anything in return. Stephen O’Grady has a good (and much more detailed) summary of the problem.

        [...]

        Chef has gone in the other direction. Just over a year ago, they doubled down on open source; as of April 2, 2019, all software development is under the Apache 2.0 license. You can download their software, use it, contribute to it, and even redistribute it or turn it into a service on your cloud platform, all for free. There is one catch: Chef is a trademark, and you do not get the rights to the trademark. You can redistribute the software, but you can’t call it Chef. This model is comparable to Red Hat’s: all of their software is open source, under the GNU Public License. You can use it to make your own distribution, but you can’t redistribute it and call it Red Hat.

      • Web Browsers

        • Mozilla

          • This Week in Glean: Project FOG Update, end of H12020

            It’s been a while since last I wrote on Project FOG, so I figure I should update all of you on the progress we’ve made.

            A reminder: Project FOG (Firefox on Glean) is the year-long effort to bring the Glean SDK to Firefox. This means answering such varied questions as “Where are the docs going to live?” (here) “How do we update the SDK when we need to?” (this way) “How are tests gonna work?” (with difficulty) and so forth. In a project this long you can expect updates from time-to-time. So where are we?

            [...]

            Third, we have a Glean SDK Rust API! Sorta. To limit scope creep we haven’t added the Rust API to mozilla/glean and are testing its suitability in FOG itself. This allows us to move a little faster by mixing our IPC implementation directly into the API, at the expense of needing to extract the common foundation later. But when we do extract it, it will be fully-formed and ready for consumers since it’ll already have been serving the demanding needs of FOG.

      • Programming/Development

        • Python

          • Why I don’t like SemVer anymore

            Back in 2017 I wrote a blog post on how I manage version numbers. In that post I mentioned how I tried to follow semantic versioning. Over the subsequent 3 years I have come to the conclusion I actually don’t like SemVer for my projects. It turns out I am not the only person to hold this opinion; Donald, Hynek and Bernat seem to agree with the general sentiment.

            [...]

            Here’s a thought experiment: you need to add a new warning to your Python package that tries to follow SemVer. Would that single change cause you to increase the major, minor, or micro version number? You might think a micro number bump since it isn’t a new feature or breaking anything. You might think it’s a minor version bump because it isn’t exactly a bugfix. And you might think it’s a major version bump because if you ran your Python code with -W error you suddenly introduced a new exception which could break people’s code. I did a poll on Twitter and there was no consensus as to what the right answer was.

            [...]

            To me that speaks volumes to why SemVer does not inherently work: someone’s bugfix may be someone else’s breaking change. Because in Python we can’t statically define what an API change is there will always be a disagreement between you and your dependencies as to what a “feature” or “bugfix” truly is.

          • Thanking the people behind Spyder 4

            After more than three years in development and more than 5000 commits from 60 authors around the world, Spyder 4 finally saw the light on December 5, 2019! I decided to wait until now to write a blogpost about it because shortly after the initial release, we found several critical performance issues and some regressions with respect to Spyder 3, most of which are fixed now in version 4.1.3, released on May 8th 2020.

            This new release comes with a lengthy list of user-requested features aimed at providing an enhanced development experience at the level of top general-purpose editors and IDEs, while strengthening Spyder’s specialized focus on scientific programming in Python. The interested reader can take a look at some of them in previous blog posts, and in detail in our Changelog. However, this post is not meant to describe those improvements, but to acknowledge all people that contributed to making Spyder 4 possible.

          • A Hundred Days of Code, Day 043

            Continuing with the Flask course.

            Today I learnt about how to loop, using Jinja loop blocks.
            The syntax is slowly becoming clear to me.
            Everything python related in enclosed is {% … %} blocks, except for variables which use their own {{ … }} syntax.

            What I am still confused on is the relationship between the various files, I am writing. There is html and then there are templates and there are python files themselves. Hopefully that will get clearer in the days to come.

          • any() and all() in Python with Examples

            In this tutorial, we’ll be covering the any() and all() functions in Python.

            The any(iterable) and all(iterable) are built-in functions in Python and have been around since Python 2.5 was released. Both functions are equivalent to writing a series of or and and operators respectively between each of the elements of the passed iterable. They are both convenience functions that shorten the code by replacing boilerplate loops.

            Both methods short-circuit and return a value as soon as possible, so even with huge iterables, they’re as efficient as they can be.

  • Leftovers

    • Health/Nutrition

      • U.S. Passes 2 Million Coronavirus Cases as States Lift Restrictions, Raising Fears of a Second Wave

        The number of confirmed U.S. coronavirus cases has officially topped 2 million as states continue to ease stay-at-home orders and reopen their economies and more than a dozen see a surge in new infections. “I worry that what we’ve seen so far is an undercount and what we’re seeing now is really just the beginning of another wave of infections spreading across the country,” says Dr. Craig Spencer, director of global health in emergency medicine at Columbia University Medical Center.

      • Federal Agencies Have Spent Millions on KN95 Masks, Often Without Knowing Who Made Them

        In scrambling to buy protective equipment for the coronavirus pandemic, federal agencies purchased up to $11 million worth of Chinese-made masks, often with little attention to manufacturing details or rapidly evolving regulatory guidance about safety or quality, a ProPublica review shows.

        Some agencies cannot say who made their masks at a time when thousands of foreign-made respirators appeared on the market, some falsely claiming approval or certification by the Food and Drug Administration. Some agencies bought the masks, known as KN95s, from companies that share a U.S. representative with another firm recently accused of fraud by the Justice Department.

      • Will Corporate Accountability Be the Next Coronavirus Casualty?

        As the Coronavirus spread, corporations risked essential workers’ lives. Immunizing businesses from liability would make them even more reckless.

      • Moscow mayor urges residents to stay home during upcoming Russia Day and Victory Day celebrations

        Moscow Mayor Sergey Sobyanin has announced that the Russian capital is not planning any public events for Russia Day (June 12), or for the day of the rescheduled Victory Day parade on June 24. He recommended that city residents stay at home.

      • US Passes 2 Million COVID Cases Amid Reopening, Raising Fears of Second Wave

        The number of confirmed U.S. coronavirus cases has officially topped 2 million as states continue to ease stay-at-home orders and reopen their economies and more than a dozen see a surge in new infections. “I worry that what we’ve seen so far is an undercount and what we’re seeing now is really just the beginning of another wave of infections spreading across the country,” says Dr. Craig Spencer, director of global health in emergency medicine at Columbia University Medical Center.

      • After the peak How Dagestani communities hit hard by a COVID-19 cover-up are mourning, recovering, and bracing for the rest of the fight

        In mid-May, eyes across Russia turned to Dagestan as it became clear that the Caucasian republic’s COVID-19 statistics were being massively undercut. Many Russian regions had seen a spike in “community-acquired pneumonia” diagnoses, but in Dagestan, testing was so scarce that these misclassified coronavirus cases far outnumbered those that were correctly confirmed. Now, after media attention that forced regional officials to recognize the problem, the republic has received an influx of direct medical deliveries, military troops are building emergency hospitals, and charitable foundations are rushing to meet hospitals’ orders for personal protective equipment (PPE). Official COVID-19 statistics in Dagestan also began rising sharply soon after officials admitted that they had previously been deflated. On May 18, when President Vladimir Putin held a videoconference with the republic’s leaders, there were 3,460 confirmed COVID-19 cases and only 29 deaths in Dagestan. Less than two weeks later, on May 30, those figures were 4,830 and 226, respectively. Now, as of June 11, Dagestan has officially tested 109,801 of its residents, revealing 6,272 coronavirus cases and 309 deaths. Even as the numbers continue to rise, however, it is likely that the first peak of Dagestan’s COVID-19 epidemic has passed. In the process, the disease changed every part of Dagestani society, from cities to mountain villages. Vladimir Sevrinovsky traveled through the region to ask what happens to tightly bound communities left to fight COVID-19 with support that comes too late.

      • Public Health Officials Urge Caution as 14 States Report Surge in Covid-19 Infections After Reopening

        Several of the states reporting a rise in cases will soon host President Donald Trump’s campaign rallies, where social distancing is not expected to be enforced.

      • It’s Been Three Months Since Covid-19 Hit and the Economic Pain Continues

        More than one in five workers are either on unemployment benefits or are waiting to get on.

      • Downton Abbey in Our Time and Place

        Thanks to Covid-enforced lockdown (a privilege not afforded to essential, mostly underpaid, workers)—I finished watching the entire six seasons of Masterpiece Theatre’s Downtown Abbey—for the first time—just as George Floyd’s brutal murder (caught on video), inundated television screens, newspapers and social media. Following on the heels of the Amy Cooper story, the murder of Ahmaud Arberry, and alongside reminders of other recent murders of Black men and women including Breonna Taylor—Floyd’s “I cant breathe” plea as Officer Chauvin’s knee squeezed the last breath out of him–began igniting waves of protest across the USA. These have been of such intensity and scope as to invite comparison to the civil rights protests of the 1960s by many scholars and media pundits. [1]

      • How Thailand Contained COVID-19

        When the novel coronavirus began its swift spread from China in mid-January, people in Thailand — the favorite destination of Chinese tourists — feared the worst. Thousands of Chinese visitors had come into Thailand in January, including some 7,000 people from Wuhan, then the epicenter of the viral outbreak.

      • Structural Racism and COVID-19

        Over the past two weeks, the United States—already hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic—has reckoned with another public health crisis: police violence against Black Americans. The protests and outrage galvanized by the killing of George Floyd by a Minneapolis police officer have renewed public attention to the pervasiveness of racial inequality throughout the United States. With this backdrop, it is hard to ignore the disproportionate impact COVID-19 has had on Black Americans, who are dying at a rate twice as high as their share of the population.

        In this blog post series, we have focused on how innovation and health laws have exacerbated the COVID-19 pandemic thus far, and how they can help spur development of affordable preventatives, diagnostics, and treatments. But we also think it is important to recognize how these laws and other legal institutions have often been complicit in creating the structural framework within which these racial disparities have persisted. In this post, we highlight the work of scholars who have focused on this issue and explain how structural racism contributes to disparities in COVID-19 cases and deaths, access to treatments among those who have been afflicted, and access to the most effective preventative interventions.

        [...]

        Professors Ruqaiijah Yearby and Seema Mohapatra point out that Black Americans have substantially lower access to health care even when it is affordable because it is simply less accessible. Hospitals disproportionately close and relocate as the local Black population increases; physicians similarly leave when hospitals do. With respect to COVID-19 specifically, “racial and ethnic minorities lack access to COVID-19 tests and testing sites.” Rather, “[t]esting centers are more likely to be in well-off suburbs of predominantly white residents than in low-income neighborhoods that are predominantly black,” according to Professors David Williams and Lisa Cooper.

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Security

          • Security updates for Friday

            Security updates have been issued by CentOS (tomcat), Debian (intel-microcode, libphp-phpmailer, mysql-connector-java, python-django, thunderbird, and xawtv), Fedora (kernel and thunderbird), Gentoo (perl), openSUSE (libexif and vim), Oracle (dotnet, kernel, microcode_ctl, and tomcat), Red Hat (net-snmp), Scientific Linux (libexif and tomcat), Slackware (kernel), and SUSE (adns, audiofile, ed, kvm, nodejs12, and xen).

          • Sysadmin security: Auditing your perimeter and access points

            When assessing corporate security, you need to approach it with the attitude that you are an outsider and want access. You must learn to view your network and your corporate facility from the outside, the same way as a potential attacker does. Performing internal scans is a good thing, but you also need to assess your external security. Is your network an easy mark for attackers? Is your corporate facility secure? Are employees safe? Can you gain access to valuable assets inside your network from the outside with minimal effort?

            Some companies hire outside security consultants who, as part of their service, attempt to breach corporate security just as real attackers would. They phish, they probe, they attempt to tailgate, they call into the office with legitimate-sounding requests, and they also attempt to gain physical access to employee areas and secured data centers.

          • x86/urgent Updates Sent In To Linux 5.8 With The Speculation Mitigation Fixes

            The first round of “x86/urgent” fixes have been sent in to Linux 5.8 just ahead of this weekend’s 5.8-rc1 milestone while many of these fixes are marked for back-porting to the stable series.

            Making this pull of x86/urgent fixes notable is that it does include the work I first reported on a few days ago regarding a Google engineer uncovering some holes in Linux’s Spectre mitigation handling. Some handling could result in some mitigation behavior being unfairly applied to AMD CPUs and in other fixes for addressing an issue that applications could be silently vulnerable to Spectre Variant Two attacks when thinking they are mitigated but in fact not. There is also a fix for a buggy optimization that could lead to Spectre V4 SSBD mitigation to be disabled for child processes.

          • Privacy/Surveillance

    • Defence/Aggression

      • Defund the Police, Defund the Military

        On June 1, President Trump threatened to deploy active-duty U.S. military forces against peaceful Black Lives Matter protesters in cities across America. Trump and state governors eventually deployed at least 17,000 National Guard troops across the country. In the nation’s capital, Trump deployed nine Blackhawk assault helicopters, thousands of National Guard troops from six states and at least 1,600 Military Police and active-duty combat troops from the 82nd Airborne Division, with written orders to pack bayonets.

      • Police Reform Was Never Going to be Easy, But Now’s the Time

        As the worldwide demonstrations continue two weeks after the murder of George Floyd by a Minneapolis policeman, the question is whether outrage will lead to real reforms?

      • Get Ready to Pay the Costs of a New Cold War With China

        How will it affect you?

      • New Report Details How Tear Gas Used to ‘Crush Peaceful Protests’ Around the World

        “In too many countries tear gas is used to deny protesters their universal right to peaceful assembly.”

      • Trump’s Illegal Use of Military Against Uprisings Portends Battles Ahead

        The backlash against Donald Trump’s illegal show of military force against anti-racist protesters compelled him to withdraw the troops — for now. But we must continue raising the illegality of this use of the military and pushing for barriers to guard against future such deployments. The threat of a resurgence of this violation still looms because as the protests continue, Trump might change his mind. And if he loses the election, all bets are off.

      • Another 91 Cases Linked To Lying Houston Cop Involved In A Botched Drug Raid Have Been Dismissed

        The fallout continues from a no-knock raid in Houston that left the two homeowners dead. The warrant was predicated on statements/controlled buys “performed” by a nonexistent informant using drugs apparently “found” in Officer Gerald Goines’ squad car. What was supposed to be the takedown of a dangerous heroin dealer was actually the killing of two people who possessed no heroin. Instead, investigators found personal use amounts of cocaine and marijuana, and none of the drugs or weapons Officer Goines claimed would be found at the residence in his warrant application.

      • “I Can’t Do It” Say Some GIs Being Deployed to Quell Uprisings

        A number of United States service members concerned about the possibility of being ordered by President Donald Trump to suppress uprisings in cities across the country are looking into ways they can personally abstain from such actions.

      • Trump Refuses to Discuss Removing Confederate Names From Military Bases

        President Donald Trump announced on Wednesday on social media that he would not engage in any discussions on renaming military bases that bear the names of Confederate generals.

      • Trump Picks Site of Anti-Black Massacre for Rally on Day Marking End to Slavery

        President Donald Trump is planning to appear in Tulsa, Oklahoma, next week for his first campaign rally since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, at a location and on a date that many are saying is incredibly insensitive and disrespectful to events in Black history in the U.S., especially in the wake of uprisings that have occurred following the killing of George Floyd late last month at the hands of white police officers.

      • Thousands Protest Against Annexation. But Is It Enough?

        “The majority of U.S. public opinion now acknowledges the legitimacy of black grievances, while the majority of Israelis—including most of the Jewish center-left—continues to view Palestinians, at least those beyond the former Green Line, as a mortal enemy bent on their country’s destruction.”

      • How the Saudis, the Qataris, and the Emiratis Took Washington

        It was a bare-knuckle brawl of the first order. It took place in Washington, D.C., and it resulted in a KO. The winners? Lobbyists and the defense industry. The losers? Us. And odds on, you didn’t even know that it happened. Few Americans did, which is why it’s worth telling the story of how Saudi, Emirati, and Qatari money flooded the nation’s capital and, in the process, American policy went down for the count.

    • Environment

      • The Perfect Storm Approaches

        This hurricane season, which runs from June 1 through November 30, will be “one of the most active” on record, some of the country’s top weather forecasters are predicting. By the end of May, before the season had begun, there had already been two named tropical storms. And a new National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration study released in May indicates that climate change has been intensifying the strength of hurricanes by about 8 percent per decade over the past 40 years. At the same time, infections and deaths from Covid-19 are projected to last through the summer and into the fall, according to the Centers for Disease Control, the World Health Organization, and others.

      • Black Lives and the Green New Deal

        The Green New Deal is a vehicle for building the broad movement for structural change necessary to truly make Black lives matter.

      • Formosa Plastics Opponents Ask Louisiana Governor to Veto Bill Over Harsh Sentencing Concerns

        But if you ask Sharon Lavigne, founder of RISE St. James, a Louisiana community group, what House Bill 197 means to her, the answer that comes back isn’t about floodgates or water pumps or pipelines. It’s about the legacy of slavery in the United States — and how that legacy echoes in criminalization efforts today.

      • Big Money Bought the Forests. Small Logging Communities Are Paying the Price.

        Wall Street investment funds took control of Oregon’s private forests. Now, wealthy timber corporations reap the benefits of tax cuts that have cost rural counties billions.

      • Energy

      • Wildlife/Nature

        • Trump Administration Eliminates Protections for Vast Ocean Monument — Experts React
        • How We Analyzed Data From Oregon’s Timber Industry

          Timber helped build Oregon, but, since the 1990s, the state’s western counties have lost thousands of jobs and millions of dollars in annual revenue. For decades, much of the blame for the downturn has been placed on the federal government’s decision to reduce logging in national forests.

          An investigation by OPB, The Oregonian/OregonLive and ProPublica examined ownership and tax data to determine the financial losses for counties in the Coast Range from the decline in logging on federal lands and from tax cuts for the timber industry. Our analysis of data found that timber tax cuts have cost counties at least $3 billion in the past three decades. By comparison, counties lost close to an estimated $4 billion due to federal logging reductions. In western Oregon, at least 40% of private forestlands are owned by investment companies that profit from the cuts. We detail the steps of our analysis below.

        • Forest Restoration or Forest Degradation?

          These two images display a recent example of a forest “restoration” project designed to improve the “health” of a ponderosa pine forests. The area to the left of the path was recently (about a year ago) thinned and then burned. The area to the right of the trail shows what the “unhealthy” landscape was like before “restoration” occurred.

    • Finance

      • ‘Speaking of Looting…’: Trump Admin. Refuses to Disclose Corporate Recipients of $500 Billion in Coronavirus Bailout Funds

        “This is outrageous AND exactly what was obviously going to happen AND exactly why many of us opposed CARES as written.”

      • The Migrant and the Moral Economy of the Elite

        The circular offered ‘relief for migrant workers by allowing inter-state movement of passenger vehicles and buses’ (If two neighbouring states could agree on it). But said nothing about the millions voting with their feet on the highways.

      • Gimmicks Might Be the Key to Understanding Capitalism

        Over the course of her career, scholar and critic Sianne Ngai has asked readers to interrogate the everyday aesthetic judgments we make about art and objects. While finding kitty cams, baby carrots, and bath toys “cute” might seem innocent, Ngai cautions that a term like “cute” is ultimately rooted in a desire to “aestheticize powerlessness,” a useful tool for making commodification and consumption feel, conversely, empowering. Ngai explores the assumptions about political economy underpinning “cute” and similar terms in her 2012 book Our Aesthetic Categories: Zany, Cute, Interesting. In that book, which won the Modern Language Association’s James Russell Lowell Prize for excellence in literary criticism, Ngai explored the ways that our aesthetic judgements have been molded and transformed by the logic of late capitalism. The “zany,” perhaps best embodied by the image of Lucille Ball stuffing chocolate bonbons into her mouth while working on the conveyor belt, encapsulates, Ngai argues, our growing sense that the boundary between labor and play has begun to dissipate. “Interesting,” our most ubiquitous aesthetic judgment, represents a demand to prolong our critical labor, or as Ngai puts it, “Let’s keep on talking about this movie, let’s continue giving it attention, even though it is not particularly good.”

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

    • Censorship/Free Speech

    • Freedom of Information/Freedom of the Press

      • You Don’t Have to Publish Both Sides When One Side Is Fascism

        The Trump administration and its Republican enablers are fighting a series of wars directed at targets inside the United States. A partial list would include immigrants, African Americans, Jews, poor people, middle-class people, people with student loan debts, the environment, voting rights, fair elections, blue-state taxpayers, the rule of law, honest elections, and all forms of accountability for Donald Trump, his family, and the criminals who helped him get elected. Because these are by and large unpopular causes, and it is the job of the press to let the public know what is going on, journalists are also a necessary, if ancillary, target. That explains Trump’s frequent use of the phrase “enemies of the people,” which had been the go-to charge of dictators and mass murderers, as well as his incessantly parroted mantra “fake news.”

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • “He Didn’t Deserve to Die Over $20”: George Floyd’s Brother Urges Congress to Stop Police Killings

        A day after George Floyd’s family laid him to rest in his hometown of Houston, his brother Philonise Floyd addressed lawmakers on Capitol Hill to demand an end to police violence. “I’m tired. I’m tired of pain,” he told the House Judiciary Committee. “People of all backgrounds, genders and races have come together to demand change. Honor them. Honor George.”

      • Spain: Trial Begins for Former Salvadoran Colonel Accused of ’89 Jesuit Massacre

        Many Salvadorans and human rights advocates around the world have welcomed the start of the trial.

      • The Beginning of the End for Unearned Authority

        At last glance it looks like we are up to almost 600 documented episodes of police violence during the George Floyd protests. An attorney and mathematician have compiled a google doc titled “GeorgeFloyd Protest – police brutality videos on Twitter”.

      • Historian Robin D.G. Kelley: Years of Racial Justice Organizing Laid Groundwork for Today’s Uprising

        As protests against police brutality and racism continue across the country, we speak with historian and UCLA professor of African American studies Robin D.G. Kelley. “We’re not here by accident,” Kelley says, crediting racial justice organizers for laying the groundwork for this moment over the last decade. “The real question now is whether or not this can be sustained.”

      • Dockworkers to Shut Down West Coast Ports in Memory of George Floyd

        On June 19th, members of the International Longshoremen and Warehouse Union (ILWU) will shut down 29 ports across the West coast in solidarity with ongoing protests over the murder of George Floyd. The day of action is slated for Juneteenth, the day celebrating the heralding of the emancipation proclamation to Texan slaves more than two years after the proclamation took effect in 1863.

      • Unravelling Donald Trump

        President Trump’s most ardent supporters and harshest critics would probably both agree on one thing:  The Donald is one of a kind.  By this, they generally mean that we have never seen anyone act like him   in the White House.  But he is also one of a kind in another way—the first corporate CEO to become   President—and that fact itself may explain at least some of his actions.

      • Globally Uprooting a Racist Past

        Not only have the protests against police violence gone global, but they have cut deep into Western history: into its racism and colonialism, which, until now, have remained quietly unquestioned and entrenched in our institutional “normal.”

      • Corporate Media Are Focusing on Race—and Dodging Class

        Economic injustice is vital to the entire U.S. power structure. While many people of all races suffer as a result, people of color are at much greater risk.

      • Trump Proposes Changes to Asylum Rules That Stand to ‘Practically Write the Refugee Definition Out of Existence’

        “The Trump administration is doubling down on a xenophobic, anti-immigrant agenda while the president is fueling violence against Black and Brown people in our country with his racist, white supremacist rhetoric.”

      • The Rev. Jesse Jackson: ‘Every City Has Its George Floyd’

        The Nation interviewed the Rev. Jesse Jackson on the night he returned from the Minneapolis funeral service honoring George Floyd, who was killed on May 25 while in police custody. Demonstrations were building in cities across the nation, and across much of Europe and Australia. Although the overwhelming majority were nonviolent, some were scarred by vandalism and violence. Cameras captured some police officers standing with the demonstrators, taking a knee with them, and others brutally dispersing them. Police violence has already taken more lives since the demonstrations began.

      • Hiding Behind a Badge
      • Weapons that Protect White Privilege Prevent Sustainable Community Change

        In her poem, “The Revolution Will Rhyme,” Buffalo Black Lives Matter activist Jillian Hanesworth writes about the movement for change we now see sweeping across the world.

      • We Don’t Want No Racist Police

        Police are not superior to anyone just because they put on a uniform and take orders from the State.  It is not revolutionary to suggest that.  It’s just basic logic, the fundamental law of equality.

      • A Trip From Utopia to Distopia

        You can’t get much further away from the news than on the north shore of Montana’s largest water body, Fort Peck Lake. While cattle and bison graze the vast prairie above, the lake lies at much lower elevation and topography pretty much provides a natural blackout for modern communication devices. Besides, once you’re there, “civilization,” or what passes for it these days, seems very far away indeed.

      • ‘Grotesque Abuse’ of Authority as Trump Declares National Emergency Over ICC Probe of Alleged US War Crimes

        “The Trump administration’s contempt for the global rule of law is plain.”

      • What George Floyd’s Dying Breaths Tell Our Fractured Nation

        It’s past time for a radical restructuring of criminal justice.

      • George Floyd and Casting Shadows

        In the wake of George Floyd’s horrendous lynching by cops caught on film, there are some equally horrendous things being said about his character. Candace Owens, the darling of the hate-filled far right among others, began disparaging him before his body was even cold. Owens is a talentless hack who merely provides a convenient black face for modern white supremacy, and she gets paid well for doing so. But white supremacists and apologists for police brutality have been working tirelessly to sling mud on Floyd’s character in an effort to disparage the justified rage and protests against state violence and institutional racism, and the ruthless response to them.

      • Seattle Protesters Declare Autonomous Zone Around Police Precinct After Heated Standoff with Police

        In Seattle, protesters have barricaded a six-block autonomous zone, after protests were met with a violent police response. Amid a days-long standoff, police removed barricades and abandoned their East Precinct building, and protesters moved into the area, declaring it “Free Capitol Hill.” We go to Seattle to speak with Omari Salisbury, a citizen journalist who has been live-streaming the uprising and police crackdown.

      • Federal Legislators Pitching Massive Police Reform Bill That Would End Qualified Immunity

        There’s some national-level police reform on the way, courtesy of Democratic lawmakers. Unfortunately, it’s going up against a party that holds a majority in the Senate and has pledged an oath of fealty to our very pro-cop president. This will make it difficult to pass in its unaltered form. And that’s even if it’s given a chance to come up for a vote when it hits the Senate, considering the Senate Majority Leader’s antipathy towards legislation he doesn’t agree with.

      • Why the George Floyd Protesters are American Patriots

        When demonstrations erupted across the country after George Floyd’s death at the hands of police officers, Donald Trump portrayed the protesters as America’s enemies.

      • Why NASCAR’s New Ban on the Confederate Flag Is Such a Big Deal

        Hell froze over this week when NASCAR announced its decision to officially ban Confederate flags from its racing venues. In a statement as astonishing and unexpected as anything we’ve seen in sports since maybe 1947, the racing league said,

      • Stop Asking Marvel To Keep Cops From Wearing Masks With ‘The Punisher’ Skull On It

        Regular readers here will certainly know that movie-sequel maker and occasional comic book producer Marvel is quite notorious for protecting its intellectual property in a rather heavy-handed way. Some of the examples of its protectionist actions are, ironically, cartoonish. Such as when it used copyright to crush the creator of Ghost Rider. Or refusing to allow copyrights for some of Marvel’s most famous characters to revert back to the folks who actually created them through termination rights. Add to this that Marvel is now a part of Disney, a company nearly as famous for its forays into shaping copyright law as it is for anything else. With all of the above, perhaps it was understandable when people saw a whole bunch of cops in the news for all the wrong reasons adorned in face masks imprinted with the logo for The Punisher that those same people wondered aloud why Marvel wasn’t suing the police over it.

      • Appeals Court Again Says That The White House Can’t Just Remove A Press Pass Because It Didn’t Like A Reporter Mocking Seb Gorka

        Last summer we explained why it was a clear 1st Amendment and 5th Amendment violation for the White House to remove Playboy reporter Brian Karem’s press pass, with no warning, after he got into a small verbal tiff with former White House employee Seb Gorka. Lots of Trump supporting people, who seem wholly ignorant of how the Constitution actually works, were very mad at us for reporting on that, and insisted that it was somehow obvious that the White House could revoke a press pass like that, even in retaliation for a reporter’s statements. And yet, just as we predicted, the district court quickly ruled that the White House needed to restore Karem’s pass.

      • Non-Black People of Color Are Mobilizing to End Complicity in Black Death

        The complicity of an Asian American officer in the murder of George Floyd is forcing Asian American communities across the country to face the ongoing ways in which we have benefited from and acted in complicity with broader systems of white supremacy.

      • Statues Celebrating Colonialism, Racism, and Oppression Toppled Across US and Worldwide

        “It’s a powerful thing for us to be able to dismantle the entire building of this country, the truths and the untruths that have been told about Christopher Columbus.”

      • Behind Every Terrible Police Officer Is An Even Worse Police Union Rep

        The biggest impediments to serious police reform are the shields erected around them, preventing officers from being held responsible for just about anything. Officer Derek Chauvin, whose brutal killing of a black man has provoked a national civil uprising, may be criminally charged at the moment. But that’s no guarantee he won’t end up a cop again, even if he ends up convicted.

      • Trump, DOJ Claim ANTIFA, Other Extremists Are Hijacking Protests. DOJ Filings Show No Link To Outside Groups.

        The Trump Administration has decided to give cops a pass on killing black people. Wait. Hear me out. The Blue Lives Matter administration began its term by declaring war on the general public if it refused to lick boot properly. And now ANTIFA is behind the riots and looting seen around the country.

      • ‘We Must Act Now’: Sanders Demands Congressional Ban on Police Use of Tear Gas and Rubber Bullets Against Protesters

        “The American people are rightly demanding justice and an end to police brutality and murder. The U.S. Senate has got to act now, has got to hear the cries for justice that are coming from the streets of this country.”

      • Black Lives Matter Movement in Seattle Occupies Six-Block “Autonomous Zone”

        Black Lives Matter demonstrators in Seattle flooded City Hall Tuesday night for an evening of speeches and protest as the movement took over a six block area in the Capitol Hill neighborhood and issued a list of demands to city government in an ongoing uprising that appears nowhere near over.

      • Cuomo and de Blasio’s Feud Highlights Democratic Fractures Over Floyd Protests

        On Sunday, June 7, as the outcry over violent suppression of Black Lives Matter protests in New York City was heard round the world, Mayor Bill De Blasio rescinded the city’s 8 pm curfew implemented a week prior, and made his first overtures to appease protesters, including a vow to cut some funding to the New York City Police Department (NYPD). Immediately, Gov. Andrew Cuomo moved to cast himself as the champion of the resistance, demanding “we seize the moment” to achieve equality. But a week earlier, the governor and mayor were both on board for implementing New York’s first curfew in 75 years. The joint order was a rare point of consensus between the two most powerful New York politicians and reflected a consolidation of the political line of the Democratic Party: public outpourings of support and solidarity, but increasingly repressive moves to squash a protest movement which is growing too big and militant to control via the normal channels of cooptation and containment.

      • Police Killed Breonna Taylor in Her Home. Their Report Lists Injuries as “None.”

        On Wednesday, Louisville Metro Police released the incident report for the death of emergency room technician Breonna Taylor, a Black woman shot and killed in her apartment by police executing a no-knock search warrant nearly three months ago. Outcry over Taylor’s death and the slow pace of the investigation into the police action that killed her helped spark a wave of Black Lives Matter protests in Louisville and across the world that is still ongoing.

      • Alternatives to Policing—The Case for Public Health and Community Development Investments – Censored Notebook

        As outrage sparks over police brutality, systemic racism, and socio-economic inequality, activists are calling to defund police. Despite other calls for anti-bias training, civilian review processes, and policies that prevent police brutality, the “Defund Police” movement sheds a light on the unprecedented expansion and intensity of policing in the last forty years. Cities spend more on policing than on health, housing, arts, parks, community development, workforce development, and civil rights combined. Instead of utilizing police as the primary tool for managing symptoms of socio-economic and race inequality, we must look at rebuilding and empowering our communities to address root causes for real change.

      • Media Acknowledge Drive to Defund Police—but Seek to Blunt Its Radical Edge

        Corporate media are typically loath to cover protests (at least, those not of the right-wing variety), as years of FAIR analysis can attest. But the remarkable ongoing nationwide protests against racism and police brutality have not only drawn widespread media coverage, they’ve shifted the national conversation on public safety.

      • Tear Down the Racist Statues, End Racist Debt and Pay for Equalizing Reparations

        The statues are coming down. The most recent avalanche began in the United States after the murder of George Floyd at the hands of police and the uprising it occasioned. In Philadelphia, the city removed a statue of former police commissioner Frank Rizzo; the mayor agreed with the protesters who called for its immediate removal, saying that the “statue is a deplorable monument to racism, bigotry, and police brutality for members of the Black community, the LGBTQ community, and many others.”

      • Time for Change

        An African-American man in his 40s whom I know well has been crying in despair over the life of George Floyd being pushed out of him during nearly nine minutes lying face down in a Minneapolis street, a life whose brutal end sparked a firestorm of nationwide demonstrations appealing for an end to racial injustice.

      • UN vows to ‘maintain trust’ in Congo aid effort after damning review leaked

        The UN has pledged to “carefully consider” the recommendations of an operational review into humanitarian aid operations in the Democratic Republic of Congo after a draft of the document leaked to The New Humanitarian revealed widespread corruption and abuse.

        The operational review was commissioned by an anti-fraud taskforce created by UN agencies and aid groups in Congo after the NGO Mercy Corps discovered a large-scale fraud scheme in late 2018 – first made public this week after a more than nine-month investigation by TNH.

        Funded by DFID, the UK government department responsible for overseas aid, the 70-page draft review was circulated last month to aid officials working in Congo and describes how corrupt practices have impacted everything from the recruitment of staff to the procurement of supplies and the delivery of aid.

        [...]

        The operational review said there is a mutual lack of trust between aid groups and communities in Congo, who “perceive humanitarian aid as corrupt and driven by external agendas”.

        McLachlan-Karr said humanitarian organisations in Congo have already introduced a number of measures in recent months. “Pursuant to the allegations,” he said, “the UN and its partners have taken a number of decisive steps to stamp out fraud and abuse.”

        According to the UN’s refugee agency, UNHCR, five million people are currently displaced in Congo – one of the world’s longest-running humanitarian crises. Hundreds of thousands of Congolese have become newly displaced in recent months alone.

      • Confessions of a Former Bastard Cop

        I was a police officer in a major metropolitan area in California with a predominantly poor, non-white population (with a large proportion of first-generation immigrants). One night during briefing, our watch commander told us that the city council had requested a new zero tolerance policy. Against murderers, drug dealers, or child predators?
        No, against homeless people collecting cans from recycling bins.
        See, the city had some kickback deal with the waste management company where waste management got paid by the government for our expected tonnage of recycling. When homeless people “stole” that recycling from the waste management company, they were putting that cheaper contract in peril. So, we were to arrest as many recyclers as we could find.
        Even for me, this was a stupid policy and I promptly blew Sarge off. But a few hours later, Sarge called me over to assist him. He was detaining a 70 year old immigrant who spoke no English, who he’d seen picking a coke can out of a trash bin. He ordered me to arrest her for stealing trash. I said, “Sarge, c’mon, she’s an old lady.” He said, “I don’t give a shit. Hook her up, that’s an order.” And… I did. She cried the entire way to the station and all through the booking process. I couldn’t even comfort her because I didn’t speak Spanish. I felt disgusting but I was ordered to make this arrest and I wasn’t willing to lose my job for her.
        If you’re tempted to feel sympathy for me, don’t. I used to happily hassle the homeless under other circumstances. I researched obscure penal codes so I could arrest people in homeless encampments for lesser known crimes like “remaining too close to railroad property” (369i of the California Penal Code). I used to call it “planting warrant seeds” since I knew they wouldn’t make their court dates and we could arrest them again and again for warrant violations.
        We used to have informal contests for who could cite or arrest someone for the weirdest law. DUI on a bicycle, non-regulation number of brooms on your tow truck (27700(a)(1) of the California Vehicle Code)… shit like that. For me, police work was a logic puzzle for arresting people, regardless of their actual threat to the community. As ashamed as I am to admit it, it needs to be said: stripping people of their freedom felt like a game to me for many years.
        I know what you’re going to ask: did I ever plant drugs? Did I ever plant a gun on someone? Did I ever make a false arrest or file a false report? Believe it or not, the answer is no. Cheating was no fun, I liked to get my stats the “legitimate” way. But I knew officers who kept a little baggie of whatever or maybe a pocket knife that was a little too big in their war bags (yeah, we called our dufflebags “war bags”…). Did I ever tell anybody about it? No I did not. Did I ever confess my suspicions when cocaine suddenly showed up in a gang member’s jacket? No I did not.
        In fact, let me tell you about an extremely formative experience: in my police academy class, we had a clique of around six trainees who routinely bullied and harassed other students: intentionally scuffing another trainee’s shoes to get them in trouble during inspection, sexually harassing female trainees, cracking racist jokes, and so on. Every quarter, we were to write anonymous evaluations of our squadmates. I wrote scathing accounts of their behavior, thinking I was helping keep bad apples out of law enforcement and believing I would be protected. Instead, the academy staff read my complaints to them out loud and outed me to them and never punished them, causing me to get harassed for the rest of my academy class. That’s how I learned that even police leadership hates rats. That’s why no one is “changing things from the inside.” They can’t, the structure won’t allow it.
        And that’s the point of what I’m telling you. Whether you were my sergeant, legally harassing an old woman, me, legally harassing our residents, my fellow trainees bullying the rest of us, or “the bad apples” illegally harassing “shitbags”, we were all in it together. I knew cops that pulled women over to flirt with them. I knew cops who would pepper spray sleeping bags so that homeless people would have to throw them away. I knew cops that intentionally provoked anger in suspects so they could claim they were assaulted. I was particularly good at winding people up verbally until they lashed out so I could fight them. Nobody spoke out. Nobody stood up. Nobody betrayed the code.

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

      • Streaming Is Laying Bare How Big ISPs, Big Tech, and Big Media Work Together Against Users

        HBO Max is incredible. Not because it is good, but because of how many problems with the media landscape it epitomizes. If you ever had trouble seeing where monopoly, net neutrality, and technology intertwine, well then thanks, I guess, to AT&T for its achievement in HBO Max. No one knows what it’s supposed to do, but everyone can see what’s wrong with it.

        For the record, HBO Max is a streaming service from AT&T, which owns Warner Bros. and, of course, HBO. HBO Go, by contrast, is the app for people who subscribe to HBO through a cable or satellite provider. And HBO Now is a digital-only subscription version of HBO. HBO Max is, somehow, not HBO. It’s a new streaming service, like Disney+, offering both the back catalogs of HBO and Warner Bros. and new exclusives. The name, which emphasizes HBO and doesn’t alert people that this is a service where they can watch Friends, has been a marketing problem.

      • Senators Wyden And Markey Make It Clear AT&T Is Violating Net Neutrality

        For years now, AT&T has imposed arbitrary broadband monthly usage caps and costly overage fees — but not if you use the company’s own streaming TV service. As a result, when you use AT&T’s own streaming TV platforms, you won’t see any limits. But try to use an AT&T competitor like Amazon, Hulu, or Netflix, and you’ll face monthly limits and usage surcharges. Like many big ISPs, AT&T has temporarily lifted its caps on fixed-line broadband networks, but is expected to quietly return to the practice once things semi-normalize.

    • Monopolies

      • Patents

        • Arsus patent challenged as likely invalid

          On June 11, 2020, Unified filed a petition for inter partes review (IPR) against U.S. Patent 10,259,494, owned and asserted by Arsus, LLC, an NPE. The ‘494 patent, generally directed towards a rollover prevention apparatus for an automobile, is currently being asserted against Tesla Motors. Prior patents in this family were asserted in a case against a BMW dealership in Utah (dismissed on non-infringement).

        • Software Patents

          • Gentlemen. It has been a privilege playing with you tonight.

            Ubisoft (Rocksmith) and Yousician are competitors in the music-lesson software market. Truthfully, I really enjoy using these tools — their main problem is the added screen time.

            In 2018, Ubisoft sued Yousician for infringing its U.S. Patent 9,839,852 covering an “Interactive Guitar Game.” Before the opening act even started, the district court dismissed the case on failure-to-state-a-claim. Fed. R. Civ. Pro. 12(b)(6). In particular, the court found the claimed invention to be improperly directed to an abstract idea. On appeal, the Federal Circuit has now affirmed.

[Humour] Microsoft’s WSL is Not GNU/Linux, It’s an Attack Against GNU/Linux

Posted in Deception, GNU/Linux, Microsoft at 11:18 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Not an act of “love” but an overt act of hostility

Asian Girl Drinking: GNU/Linux vs WSL

Summary: Microsoft’s deliberate lies and misconceptions about WSL would have us believe that an “extended” (with Microsoft’s “green goo” or proprietary lock-in such as DirectX) is GNU/Linux; in reality it’s all about Vista 10 and it’s geared towards discarding the real thing in same old fashion (the E.E.E. tactics)

The Gates Press (GatesGate) — Part IV: Burning History

Posted in Bill Gates, Deception, GNU/Linux, Microsoft, OLPC at 11:06 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

“Cash-strapped libraries that accept the millions Gates is waving at them may find themselves acting out the Microsoft billionaire’s dim vision of our electronic future. … Before they take anything from the chief executive, they’d better examine the gift very carefully for strings. After all, what sort of public libraries can we expect from a man who calls people ‘users’ and to whom War and Peace and Gilligan’s Island are both ‘content?’”

Margie Wylie, CNET

Gilligan's Island

Summary: The effort to reconstruct the spiked piece about Bill Gates attacking charities is underway; there’s meanwhile new pushback against Gates for trying to control the narrative for profit and for fame

THE subject of this article is better understood after reading what we’ve outlined in part one, part two, part three and some preliminary ‘teaser’ parts. If you did not read at least some of those, then we suggest doing so now. We’ll cut right to the chase, in order to avoid repetition, which can in turn cause boredom.

As some people are aware, later today there will be some protests against Bill Gates, in various locations worldwide. It has been planned for a while and readers keep telling us about these protests. Those are partly connected to this video, which is part of a series.

“As some people are aware, later today there will be some protests against Bill Gates, in various locations worldwide.”We’re meanwhile trying to piece back together the spiked article which caused a journalist to be fired, shortly before the publisher put Bill Gates in charge (as editor). The role I played in it was a long (very long) interview more than half a decade ago. “Do you still have a recording of our prior chat,” I asked the journalist. “I might do,” I noted, but “do you have the spiked article?”

As we said in prior parts, the publisher denied the journalist access to his very own notes! Before firing him and making Bill Gates the editor rather than subject of shame. Prior to the interview I was told that the editor (Patel) was very interested in thrashing Gates, so why the sudden change? How much did Gates pay The Verge or what else was promised? Clearly something happened…

“I would like to collaborate on bringing the above to light,” I added later, as “I think these types of things aren’t just supported by evidence but are also pretty damning.”

“As we said in prior parts, the publisher denied the journalist access to his very own notes!”“I don’t have my Verge article,” the journalist said, “because it was never completed — but I do have the recording of our conversation.”

We think we need to carefully plan and coordinate coverage of these matters, compare notes etc. This may take some time as the journalist is currently very busy covering the protests in the US. In the meantime readers might want to read about Gates paying my employer all of a sudden (I can only guess it may be an effort to compel me to be silent). Just remember that there’s an effort to discredit Gates critics for anything they say that cannot be easily proven. But we have the facts, we just need to be careful in how we present them. Sometimes, and as recently as hours ago, people ask us for information. But some of them have an agenda like opposing vaccination. Not all, but some…

“I was wondering if there was any update,” one person told us in IRC, “as I am trying to place a request for the 2851 page report from Seattle police… Writing a book.”

“The length to which he goes, sometimes with his fake ‘charity’ as a vehicle of influence, ought to be widely recognised and broadly understood.”For this particular issue — like the Gates Foundation interfering with OLPC (in effect battling a charity in Africa) — I’d suggest a multi-part series, which feeds in the feedback from prior parts. That worked well for prior matters. There are two strands of stories here: 1. the OLPC thing (or bad intent in Africa) and 2. the attempt to muzzle the media. Those two are naturally connected. We thought we’d be able to finish the series by now, but it’s taking longer because of the protests in the US. We’ll pass around some notes we currently have regarding OLPC being targeted by the Gates Foundation even if those are of draft quality. Techrights does reach millions of people, so we can do justice to that story, over time… the top priority is ensuring we have evidence to support every statement made. That takes time.

Gates has long attempted to delete ‘uncomfortable’ history or rewrite it using misleading puff pieces. The length to which he goes, sometimes with his fake ‘charity’ as a vehicle of influence, ought to be widely recognised and broadly understood. “Charitable grants” are often a mask for bribes.

Team UPC Keeps Perpetuating the Fiction UPCA Will be Ratified Soon (It Cannot, It’s Illegal)

Posted in Deception, Europe, Patents at 9:51 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Recent: Taylor Wessing’s Latest UPC Spin: No More/Additional Complaints Against UPC Lodged

Binocular Anime Girl: UPC ready soon? Nope. Fake news.

Summary: The lies of Team UPC have just been extended from the Bristows-led lying machine (Unified Patent Court and Unitary Patent blog) to Kluwer Patent Blog; since some people are not yet familiar with their track record (basically lots of fiction and fabrications) we ought to respond again

WHY EVEN bother?

Why ever give publicity to lies from Team UPC and from management of the European Patent Office, which said nothing factual about the FCC and instead just amplified Christine Lambrecht, who had spread controversial lies…

Why?

“…the latest lie comes from Team UPC, probably Bristows (“Kluwer Patent blogger” is often used by Bristows when it goes anonymous to tell lies).”Well, UPCA (and thus UPC) is dead, but if fiction is repeated often enough, then perception can be perturbed. We’ve seen that over and over again; many people believe that software patents are OK in Europe because the EPO keeps granting them (courts reject these) and IAM tells us every year that patent quality at the EPO is fantastic. Power of lies… never underestimate the power of big lies being repeated frequently enough by a multitude of mouths/sites.

So anyway, the latest lie comes from Team UPC, probably Bristows (“Kluwer Patent blogger” is often used by Bristows when it goes anonymous to tell lies). The Bristows site said it the other day and now the same stuff is in Kluwer Patent Blog. Coincidence?

See Kay’s first (and sole for the time being) comment: “What a mess my home country is creating. Has anybody responsible even read the complaint and the decision by the FCC? Likely they only listened to consultants. And since the budget for consultants has become problematic due to the example of Ms. von der Leyen, these consultants are then payed by interested external companies, who have an interest in a certain outcome. Lobbyism has become so easy in Germany.”

“Just like Benoît Battistelli became a major embarrassment to France this whole UPC thing became an embarrassment to Germany, which nowadays looks like some “banana republic”…”The blog post it’s attached to smells like the words of Bristows. They try to dominate the narrative with falsehoods, exaggerations and fabrications. They’ve done that for many years already. The blog post has a sort of misleading headline intended to fake 'progress' (as we said in relation to the Bristows blog) and it starts with Lambrecht’s outrageous lies, which some condemned at the time:

But less than a week after the FCC decision, the German minister of Justice and Consumer Protection, Christine Lambrecht, issued a press release of 26 March 2020, stating: “I will continue to work to ensure that we can provide the European innovative industry with a Unitary Patent and a Unified Patent Court. The Federal Government will carefully evaluate the decision of the Federal Constitutional Court and examine ways to remedy the formal deficits the FCC found during this legislative period.”

Since then, apparently work has been done. Taking into account the short consultation period, it now seems possible re-ratification of the UPCA in both chambers of parliament could be completed this year.

[...]

Precisely because of this issue, Patrick Breyer, representative of the Pirate Party in European Parliament, has asked the European Commission to confirm that Germany no longer has the right to ratify the UPCA, as according to EU case law, Member States must not enter into agreements with third countries that affect EU rules or alter their scope.

It’s worth noting that Bristows also covered (in order to distort) the question from Breyer. I’d bet all my money on this blog post being spin from Bristows, conjoined with statements like “possible re-ratification of the UPCA in both chambers of parliament could be completed this year.”

“What a mess my home country is creating. Has anybody responsible even read the complaint and the decision by the FCC? Likely they only listened to consultants. And since the budget for consultants has become problematic due to the example of Ms. von der Leyen, these consultants are then payed by interested external companies, who have an interest in a certain outcome. Lobbyism has become so easy in Germany.”
      –Kay
I still remember that back in 2018 Bristows was floating false rumours about dismissal of the UPC complaint by Christmas of that year (when I was in Berlin). It was based on nothing at all; likely pure fabrication, or a false rumour with political motivation. The above seems like more of the same. It also reaffirms everything we’ve been saying about Team UPC. Just like Benoît Battistelli became a major embarrassment to France this whole UPC thing became an embarrassment to Germany, which nowadays looks like some “banana republic”… (for a number of different reasons covered here before)

EPO Uses Microsoft to Illegally Spy on EPO Staff Inside Their Homes, Uses Microsoft’s Tactics of Hijacking Trademarks and Mottos

Posted in Europe, Microsoft, Patents at 8:45 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Here we are 5 years down the line and the EPO‘s “new” and “good” President António Campinos still illegally spies on staff, just like Benoît Battistelli

SUEPO Observer on EPO spying
Source: SUEPO Observer. SUEPO (Staff Union of EPO) takes note of simple facts, albeit with a comical slant. Former EUIPO chief is shameless about ‘stealing’ slogans, which says a lot about EUIPO…

Summary: We could not help but remark not only on the illegal use of Skype but also the attempt to shamelessly ‘steal’ the motto of one’s arch-rival (SUEPO in this case)

SUEPO (Staff Union of EPO): “The Imbalance Between the Importance of (Patent) Quality and Quantity Remains a Cause for Concern” and Only 3% of EPO Staff Has Confidence in President Campinos

Posted in Europe, Patents at 8:19 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Recent and related: Internal Publication About the EPO’s Financial Fraud

A survey by SUEPO

Summary: The text below (from SUEPO Observer) reveals the degree to which EPO management failed to restore confidence and even worsened matters (also see the graph above)

2020 EPO Staff Survey

Technologia, the company responsible for conducting the 2020 edition of the EPO Staff Survey (and the 3 previous ones in 2010, 2013 and 2016) has provided us with their preliminary results. 27% of EPO staff participated in the 2020 survey, which is lower than the participation rate in 2016 (39%). This is not surprising, however, given the major disturbance created by the covid-19 pandemic. Fortunately the participation rate remains sufficiently high to provide valid and relevant information.

Without wishing to draw hasty conclusions, a few things are already clear:
- The trend is generally worrying;
- Staff health is negatively affected by their work in the Office (63% of respondents consider that their current work life has a negative impact on their health). More alarming: 7% are in psychological distress;
- The imbalance between the importance of quality and quantity remains a cause for concern; Unsurprisingly, the meaning of the work remains low;
- Confidence in management remains very low. The level of trust generally decreases as the hierarchical levels increase; After about 2 years at the head of the EPO, Campinos scores 3% as regards confidence, a level which is even lower than the 5% obtained by Battistelli in 2013 after 3 years at the head of the Office. Trust in staff representatives remains very high.

If Campinos’ intention was to appease the EPO staff and restore confidence in management, then he has failed miserably. The way management is (ab)using the current pandemic will not help to improve the situation. Should management decide to pay attention to the results of the 2020 survey, we can bet that they will conclude – once again – that it is only a question of communication…

SUEPO will of course publish the full results and the analysis of Technologia as soon as available.

Microsoft Monopoly Cannot Coexist With Free Software (Microsoft Doesn’t Seek Coexistence But Domination)

Posted in Deception, Free/Libre Software, Microsoft at 7:54 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Related: Azure Running GNU/Linux Isn’t About ‘Love’ But About Control

Darth Maul Double Sided Lightsaber: Microsoft, GitHub, NPM
They tell us that the “supply chain” is a threat to Free software; well, it certainly is when Microsoft and the NSA control it.

Summary: There’s no “new Microsoft”; the only thing that’s “new” is the strategy against Software Freedom and we must understand that strategy, bolstered by media that Microsoft controls

THE simple fact is, Microsoft is an inherently unethical and very aggressive, ruthless company. When it claims to have changed or to have become ethical it’s simply lying. Microsoft is renowned for its lying, too. Consider this new example: [via]

Microsoft spying

“Hey, Microsoft do you love Linux?”

“The GitHub “asset” was just a missing piece in Microsoft’s war on Free software and purchasing NPM was the acquisition of more control over Microsoft’s competition.”“Of course!”

“But Microsoft, did you undermine GNU/Linux in Munich and bribed for it?”

“No comment!”

Munich is just one example of many, of course…

“The war on Free software carries on; only the strategy changed somewhat, but not the goal/s.”The laughable concept that Microsoft bought GitHub because of “love” is easily refuted by the fact that GitHub was in fact proprietary and two years down the line remains proprietary. The GitHub “asset” was just a missing piece in Microsoft’s war on Free software and purchasing NPM was the acquisition of more control over Microsoft’s competition.

The only frustrating thing is that some people are still in denial about it, maybe having been indoctrinated by liars from sites like ZDNet.

People ought to openly speak about what Microsoft really is. It’s still run by the same sociopaths who ran it one decade ago, two decades ago, and three decades ago. Only the PR strategy has changed. The war on Free software carries on; only the strategy changed somewhat, but not the goal/s.

Links 12/6/2020: Fedora 32 Elections Results, KDE June 2020 Update and Kali Linux in Review

Posted in News Roundup at 11:08 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • What is GNU/Linux?


      Most consumers can, with a little effort, name two desktop and laptop operating systems: Microsoft’s Windows and Apple’s macOS. Few have ever considered any of the open-source alternatives found under the umbrella of GNU/Linux, though some may have done so without even knowing it—for instance, Google’s Chrome OS uses the Linux kernel. To be honest, aside from the Chrome OS platform, GNU/Linux systems are typically not best for people who rely on big-name software or don’t like dabbling with a customizable, hands-on interface. However, if you’re looking for a change of pace, don’t want to pay for your software, and don’t mind rolling up your sleeves, switching to GNU/Linux may not only be worthwhile, but could also make you a convert for life. This guide for nontechnical home users can help you get started. Note that using a GNU/Linux system to run a server is an entirely different use case and one not covered here.

    • 3 points where Linux could have played out differently



      Given different events or individual actions, could Linux and open source more broadly have failed to become the engine for collaboration and innovation that it is today?

      Perhaps you believe that great economic and technological forces make it difficult for individuals or chance events to radically alter how events play out. The integrated circuit, Moore’s Law, the internet, the sharing of software especially in academic settings, and other broad trends trump any single action in this view. Even if an open source operating system called “Linux” did not exist today, something much like it would.

    • Removing “Annoying” Windows 10 Features is a DMCA Violation, Microsoft Says

      Ninjutsu OS, a new software tool that heavily modifies Windows 10 with a huge number of tweaks, mods and extra tools, has been hit with a DMCA complaint by Microsoft. According to the copyright notice, the customizing, tweaking and disabling of Windows 10 features, even when that improves privacy, amounts to a violation of Microsoft’s software license.

    • Desktop/Laptop

      • System76 Just Launched A Monster 12-Core AMD Ryzen Linux Laptop

        Linux users have been beating down the doors of Colorado-based System76, clamoring for the Pop OS developer and Thelio manufacturer to finally release a laptop with AMD Ryzen CPUs. Your feedback was apparently heard: today the System76 Serval WS laptop gets unleashed, and it’s packing unrestricted desktop performance with up to 12-core 3rd Gen AMD Ryzen processors.

      • Star Labs Now Offers elementary OS as an OS Choice for Its Linux Laptops



        I talked about Star Labs before and how they are producing really good Linux laptops. And the good news I want to share with you today is that you can finally buy a Linux laptop from Star Labs that comes pre-installed with the elementary OS distribution for an out of the box experience.

        If elementary OS is your favorite Linux distro, now you won’t have to go to all the trouble of installing it on your brand new laptop from Star Labs. The hardware manufacturer now lets you choose elementary OS as the default operating system when configuring and buying a new computer from them.

      • System76 Serval WS crams desktop CPUs and GPUs inside a laptop

        As powerful as laptops have become, they have always been limited by their size and the laws of physics. That’s why hardware, especially processors, are specifically designed to squeeze out as much performance without burning the computer down. From time to time, however, you’ll hear of some manufacturer boasting of performance comparable to desktop PCs. System76, famed for its Linux computers, makes that same boast by literally putting desktop-class processors inside a behemoth of a laptop known as the Serval WS.

        [...]

        With support for up to 64GB of dual-channel DDR4 RAM and up to 8TB total of storage via SATA or PCIe NVMe, the System76 Serval WS is built like a desktop that you can carry or drag around when absolutely necessary. It makes short work of any office or Web tasks and is more suited for heavy-duty processing, graphics and multimedia work, or even gaming.

        At that point, however, it bears noting that the System76 Serval WS comes with the Ubuntu Linux operating system installed by default though it’s also possible to dual boot Windows 10 on it. If those caveats are amenable, the next hurdle you need to overcome is the $1,299 price tag for the base configuration, or $4,877 when you max out all the available options.

      • It seems Coreboot and Open Firmware will come to System76′s NVIDIA laptops

        Back in April, System76 released the Lemur Pro laptop and one of the highlights was that it pulled in a lot more open source. It seems those clever engineers aren’t stopping there.

        System76 have their own fork of Coreboot, an open source replacement for the usual proprietary BIOS (firmware) found in most devices. They’ve continued working on it and now a System76 engineer, Jeremy Soller, has mentioned on Twitter that their fork now supports NVIDIA graphics in hybrid mode, and that NVIDIA laptops from System76 with both their System76 Open Firmware and their System76 Open Source Embedded Controller are “inevitable”.

    • Server

      • Which cloud strategy is right for you in 2020?

        While most organisations are certain that the cloud has a vital role to play in the future of business, the various strategies, from a public or private cloud first approach to the hybrid or multicloud routes, can be confusing to some.

        At Red Hat, we’re constantly receiving useful industry insights from our customers when speaking to them about their current priorities and issues. Our recent Global Customer Tech Outlook study revealed that many organisations don’t know what cloud strategy to put in place, with 17% stating that this was something they were still working on. A further 12% had not yet developed any plans at all for their cloud.

        So what do organisations unsure of their strategy need to know?

        [...]

        Lock-in only matters when you want to move or do something new but, in today’s business world, who knows when your apps or workloads will have new requirements or need to change? An open approach can shield against this, offering flexibility and a platform to innovate.

        Ultimately, on any journey to develop a hybrid cloud infrastructure, it is vital to remember that every cloud is unique. While it is important to understand the basic principles of building an interconnected and agile cloud environment, it is equally important to understand that private clouds are one of a kind and there are thousands of public cloud providers.

        Businesses today value agility, to adapt and move workloads, create new workloads, to exit or enter new clouds. More than ever before, organisations can’t afford to put all their eggs in one basket. A public-cloud-only-and-first approach is likely to hamper agility. Instead, small steps led by business needs, and the ability to pivot quickly, will be crucial to navigating this complex landscape.

        By James Read, EMEA Principal Solution Architect, Cloud and Service Providers, Red Hat.

      • Sysadmin careers: Is your sysadmin job going away?

        An industry pundit who claims that system administrator jobs are evaporating or shrinking at an alarming rate either has no idea what they’re talking about, or they have something to gain by saying it; in my opinion, it’s about a 50-50 split between the two. The short response is no, system administrator jobs are not going away in the foreseeable future, and are likely never going away at all. I’ve heard many of these gloom and doom predictions for the past 20 years; from the Y2K bug to zero administration packages to automated system administrator suites, someone is always trying to label us extinct. Well, it’s not happening in my lifetime, and you can take that to the bank.

        [...]

        If I got a dollar every time I heard some know-nothing know-it-all say that cloud computing and automation will eliminate the needs for sysadmins, I’d be able to retire, and you wouldn’t have to read my musings. The reality is that many so-called industry experts or insiders are actually neither, and they don’t really understand that cloud computing might change what jobs are, but it doesn’t eliminate them. Oh sure, they’ve read about it on Wikipedia and enough tech news stories to use the phrase with impunity, but their understanding of what’s underneath is nil.

        To get an idea of automation and jobs, look again at the auto industry. Lots of automation. Lots of auto workers are still employed. By the way, did you know that, since the very early days of automobile manufacture, some sort of automation has been in place? Just look at old photos of the Ford Model T and Model A assembly lines. Still, surprisingly, we have thousands of autoworkers who show up to work every day. If only our brilliant technology pundits had seen that coming.

        [...]

        Today’s job market for sysadmins is still going strong and growing. Don’t allow the naysayers and the conservative growth numbers to discourage you from continuing on your career course. There will be plenty of sysadmin jobs for the next twenty years, just as there were when the pundits said system administration was dying twenty years ago.

    • Audiocasts/Shows

    • Kernel Space

      • Development statistics for the 5.7 kernel

        The 5.7 kernel was released on May 31. By all appearances this was a normal development cycle, unaffected by the troubles in the wider world. Still, there are things to be learned by looking at where the code came from this time around. Read on for LWN’s traditional look at who contributed to 5.7, who supported that work, and the paths by which it got into the mainline.

        Work on 5.7 arrived in the form of 13,901 non-merge changesets contributed by 1,878 developers; that makes it rather busier than the 5.6 cycle was. It’s notable that 281 of those developers made their first contribution to the kernel for 5.7, the highest number since 5.0; that is a distinct contrast from 5.6, which saw the lowest number of new contributors since 2013. Perhaps being made to stay at home has inspired more people to put together and send in that first kernel patch.

      • A possible end to the FSGSBASE saga

        The FSGSBASE patch series is up to its thirteenth version as of late May. It enables some “new” instructions for the x86 architecture, opening the way for a number of significant performance improvements. One might think that such a patch series would be a shoo-in, but FSGSBASE has had a troubled history; meanwhile, the delays in getting it merged may have led to a number of users installing root holes on their Linux systems in the hope of improving security.
        “Segments” are a holdover from ancient versions of the x86 architecture; they once were distinct regions of memory used to get around the addressing limitations of that era. Virtual memory has done away with the need for segments, but the concept persists; x86_64 processors only implement two of the original segments (called “FS” and “GS”). In these processors, a “segment” is really just an offset into virtual memory with little other meaning; their remaining value comes from the segment-based addressing mode supported by the CPU.

        Historic or not, these segment registers are still used. A common use for FS in user space is thread-local storage; each thread has a unique value of the FS base register pointing to its own storage area. Code running in threads can then use segment-based addressing to access local storage without having to worry about where that storage is. The kernel, instead, uses GS in a similar way for per-CPU data. There are some relics of the kernel’s one-time use of FS to indicate the address range accessible to user space, but the kernel’s get_fs() and set_fs() functions no longer use that segment.

        Modifying the segment registers has always been a privileged operation. There is value, though, in letting user space make use of the FS and GS base registers, so the kernel provides that functionality via the arch_prctl() system call. Since the base registers are actually set by the kernel, privileged code can count on knowing what their contents will be (and that said contents make sense).

      • Capacity awareness for the deadline scheduler

        The Linux deadline scheduler supports realtime systems where applications need to be sure of getting their work done within a specific period of time. It allocates CPU time to deadline tasks in such a way as to ensure that each task’s specific timing constraints are met. However, the current implementation does not work well on asymmetric CPU configurations like Arm’s big.LITTLE. Dietmar Eggemann recently posted a patch set to address this problem by adding the notion of CPU capacity to the deadline scheduler.

        In realtime systems, tasks need to meet certain timing requirements. The Linux kernel includes two realtime scheduling classes to meet the needs of these systems: POSIX realtime (often called just “realtime”) and deadline.

        The POSIX realtime scheduler uses task priorities as the basis of its decisions; the task with the highest priority will be run first. The deadline scheduler, instead, dispenses with priorities and describes tasks using three parameters: the run time, period, and deadline. The run time is the CPU time that the task requires to finish its immediate work, the period defines the time between two activations of the task, and the deadline is the time by which the task must be able to use its CPU time. Interested readers can find more explanation of the theory behind the Linux realtime schedulers and the differences between them in an earlier article.

      • Cgroup v2 Checkpoint

        With the release of UEK5 in 2018, Oracle embarked on the long journey to fully transition to cgroup v2. UEK6 is the latest major milestone on the path to this significant upgrade.

        In UEK5, we added the cpu, cpuset, io, memory, pids, and rdma cgroup v2 controllers. While no new controllers were added for UEK6, emphasis was placed on reliability, usability, and security. Furthermore, we continue to focus on defining and implementing a holistic solution that once adopted by applications will allow them to seamlessly operate on a cgroup-v1 system or a cgroup-v2 system.

        [...]

        Cgroup v1 was a jack-of-all-trades and master-of-none solution. It provided the user with tremendous flexibility and a myriad of configuration options. This came at the cost of complexity, performance, and (at least within the kernel code itself) maintainability. In practice most users only utilized cgroup v1 in a couple different fashions, yet the kernel still needed to support the possibility of the many, many other quirky and now nonstandard v1 configurations. With cgroup v2, these nonstandard and unintuitive usages were removed, and a much more streamlined hierarchy was established.

      • Graphics Stack

        • Free user space for non-graphics drivers

          In the kernel graphics world, there has been a longstanding “line in the sand” that disallows merging kernel drivers without a corresponding free-software user-space driver. The idea is that not having a way to test the full functionality means that the kernel developers cannot verify the proper functioning and security of the driver; changes to the kernel driver may lead to unforeseen (and untestable) problems on the user-space side. More recently, though, we have seen other types of devices with complex drivers, but no useful free user-space piece, that have been proposed for inclusion into the kernel; at least one was merged, but the tide has perhaps turned against those types of drivers at this point—or some of them, anyway.

          In mid-May, Jeffrey Hugo posted an RFC patch for the “Qualcomm Cloud AI 100″ device, which is a PCIe card with an application-specific integrated circuit (ASIC) that targets “deep learning” workloads. The device is also referred to as a QAIC device; it presents a modem host interface (MHI) control path and a DMA engine for the data path. These are exposed in the driver as a Linux character device with ioctl() commands to access the data path.

        • AMD Publishes Video To Explain The Radeon Open Compute Stack (ROCm)

          AMD has shared with us that they have published a video to explain in basic terms for the audience at large “What is ROCm?”, a.k.a. the Radeon Open Compute stack.

          The video is arguably long overdue with ROCm being several years old, but it has been evolving a lot lately with new features and capabilities for better taking on the likes of NVIDIA CUDA and Intel oneAPI. With AMD increasing securing super-computing wins, they have also been ramping up their efforts on this standards-based GPU compute stack.

        • Intel Developer Posts Latest Patch For Variable Refresh Rate Within X.Org Modesetting

          With Intel supporting Adaptive-Sync/VRR with Gen11+ graphics and these days with effectively only supporting xf86-video-modesetting for X.Org-driven Linux desktops rather than their basically dead xf86-video-intel driver, the Intel open-source Linux developers continue working on plumbing variable refresh rate support into this generic modesetting DDX.

          Last month was more work on porting Adaptive-Sync/VRR to xf86-video-modesetting while this week the latest patch was sent out by Intel’s Uday Kiran Pichika.

    • Benchmarks

      • AMD Ryzen 3 3300X vs. Intel Core i3 10100 In 350+ Benchmarks



        Following our Intel Core i5 10600K and Core i9 10900K Linux benchmarks, here is a look at the lowest-end Core “Comet Lake” processor in the form of the Core i3 10100. Thanks to the increased pressure from AMD Ryzen, Intel now has a 4 core / 8 thread Core i3 processor at less than $150 USD. Here is a head-to-head matchup of the AMD Ryzen 3 3300X and Intel Core i3 10100 processors in more than 350 benchmarks while also looking at the power and thermal efficiency in this largest comparison to date for these low-end desktop CPUs.

        The Ryzen 3 3300X launched back in May to great success for budget desktop users. The Ryzen 3 3300X as a reminder is 4 cores / 8 threads, 3.8GHz base clock. 4.3GHz boost clock. 16MB L3 cache, and a 65 Watt TDP while retailing in the $120~130 USD range.

    • Applications

      • All the Possible Ways to Reduce Laptop Overheating in Linux

        Laptop overheating is a serious issue faced by many users worldwide. It happens primarily to people who use their notebook for a long period. Moreover, modern notebooks tend to be much slimmer than their older counterparts, and thus it’s hard to implement efficient cooling solutions for them. So, either users need to buy a flagship notebook or invest in additional cooling hardware. Thankfully, overheating in Linux can be managed pretty easily if you implement some useful policies. Today, we will discuss some proven methods to bring the thermal issues of laptops in control for Linux users.

      • Linux at Home: Explore the Universe from your Garden

        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.

        Even though many European countries have made significant steps in relaxing some of the restrictions of daily life, the advice is to maintain social distancing rules. The big fear is that there will be a coronavirus resurgence. But it’s important that we don’t cocoonourselves, we need to protect ourselves and be supportive to others. There are many fascinating hobbies that can spark our imagination. Astronomy is a great example.

        A widespread belief is that astronomy is an activity which cannot be enjoyed without paraphernalia like telescopes and other expensive equipment. However, astronomy is for everyone, and even with just the naked eye, it can become a fascinating and rewarding hobby for life.

        It’s a learning hobby. Its joys come from intellectual discovery and knowledge of the cryptic night sky. But you have to make these discoveries, and gain this knowledge, by yourself. In other words, you need to become self-taught.

        With the aid of open source software, budding astronomers can learn how to ‘read’ the stars, to know which constellations lie overhead, their trajectory throughout the seasons, and the legends ascribed to them. With the following software you can learn about the night skies of both the northern and southern hemispheres. I recommend Celestia, Stellarium, and AstroImageJ. For the first two programs, I’ve produced a short video showcasing them in action. The software is cross-platform.

      • Top 15 Ubuntu Applications

        We have selected the most popular categories that fit for an average Linux user. For instance, we suggest a flexible application for the picture altering classification; a natural GUI based video editorial manager for all your mixed media altering needs, etc. To put it plainly, we did all the investigation for you. So after you install Ubuntu, these are the applications that you would generally require for your everyday needs. Right away, we should begin the rundown.

    • Instructionals/Technical

    • Games

      • Stadia gets resolution options per-device, discount for everyone and more Android

        Stadia might not be reaching the heights that Google initially promised but they continue to tweak their game streaming service. Some big updates are now available.

        In their latest community update blog post, they did a bit of an information drop. For starters, it seems everyone will get $10 / £10 off their next purchase and as they already said, new sign ups now only get one month of free Stadia Pro.

        For playing on PC, we finally have built-in performance controls. You no longer have to use an Android device to switch between resolutions as it’s right there in Stadia settings now. That’s a very welcome change and something that truly should have been there from the beginning. Not only that though, performance / resolution settings are now per-device instead of being applied to everything. All sounding pretty good and sensible.

      • Theme park builder ‘Parkitect’ now uses the Vulkan API on Linux

        Parkitect, one of the most magnificent games from 2018 had one of it’s usual monthly updates but it turns out for Linux it was more than just some bug fixing.

        With the 1.5i update that’s live now, Texel Raptor have enabled Vulkan rendering by default with a fallback to OpenGL for those that need it which can be run with “-force-glcore” as a launch argument. Wonderful to see more developers look to use Vulkan, as it can offer better performance.

      • Have some physics fun with Poly Bridge 2, now released for Linux

        After a short delay, Poly Bridge 2 from Dry Cactus has now released for Linux so you can begin building bridges and playing with the fun physics system. Featuring a whole new set of levels, multiple new mechanics, a custom physics engine, workshop campaigns and more.

        Originally launched at the end of May, the delay in the Linux version was due to last-minute technical issues they’ve now solved. Currently though, the replay feature once you finish a level is missing while they work on a solution for the Linux version. Apart from that, it appears to work fluidly and it’s a lot of fun as expected.

      • Defold Foundation awarded a grant to bring support of Web Monetization

        The Defold Foundation recently announced another partnership, as they’ve secured a grant from Grant for the Web to bring in support for the Web Monetization API.

        Currently, Web Monetization is an API that is attempting to become a standard and it’s being proposed to the W3C as such. This way, developers doing any sort of web-based game would have a set API to target making things a whole lot simpler.

        Since the Defold game engine, which now has the source code available, supports building games for the web with HTML5, it makes sense to get support for it integrated.

        “Web Monetization is an exciting new and non-intrusive way for game developers to monetize their creations while at the same time offering premium content to their paying players. The grant we have received from Grant for the Web will allow us to explore this new way of monetizing web games and we are excited to see it adopted by Defold developers,” said Defold Product Owner Björn Ritzl.

        Also announced is that they will be running a Web Monetization game jam which will be hosted later this year. It’s planned to have cash prizes and some “well known names” from the game industry will be involved. You can see the announcement here.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • KDE Ships June 2020 Apps Update, Kup Backup System Is Now an Official App



          That’s right, KDE Applications 20.04.2 is here, coming hot on the heels of the KDE Plasma 5.19 desktop environment, and it’s packed with a new version of the Kup Backup System utility and several bug fixes and improvements for other included applications.

          The June 2020 Apps update ships with Kup 0.8, a hefty release that introduces a new way to store rsync type backups when selecting only one source folder to minimize the risk of deleting files, improvements across default settings, as well as new advanced option to specify files that are excluded.

        • KDE’s June 2020 Apps Update
        • 20.08 releases schedule finalized

          Dependency freeze is in four weeks (July 9) and Feature Freeze a week after that, make sure you start finishing your stuff!

      • GNOME Desktop/GTK

        • 15 Ways to Customize Your Desktop with the GNOME Tweak Tool



          Customizing your desktop is the best way to improve the look of your desktop and improve performance. I always like to customize the appearance of my desktop and perform tweaks to help me boost productivity.
          To customize your desktop, the GNOME Tweak Tool is the best customization tweak you will ever get. GNOME users must be well familiar with this tool, which is popularly known as Tweaks.

          This article will show you the 15 best ways to customize your desktop using the GNOME Tweak Tool. The customizations listed below are performed on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS Focal Fossa, running the GNOME desktop environment. If you have other distros, do not worry; these customizations will also work on other Linux distributions running the GNOME desktop environment.

        • Best 12 GNOME Themes of 2020



          Desktop appearance matters to me most and I regularly tweak appearance, icon, font themes, and backgrounds. It not only gives fresh look to my Ubuntu desktop but also gives me a feeling of freshness and motivation while working on projects.
          When Ubuntu is clubbed with GNOME, it opens up the door to the large world of tweaking and customization. There is a large pool of themes available for GNOME users which will give your GNOME desktop fresh new look.

          So, in this article, I’m going to share 12 best GNOME themes to give your GNOME desktop a whole new look.

    • Distributions

      • Kali Linux Top Forensic Tools (2020)



        In the current digital world, every individual, as well as an organization, are bound to external attacks and security breaches by a cyber attacker. To determine how the attack was carried out and how to respond to attack is achieved by using digital forensics. With the Kali Linux launched in 2013, the digital forensic area evolved very much. More than 600 penetration testing tools are packaged in Kali Linux. We are going to present 14 best tools for forensics packaged inside Kali Linux. Kali Linux forensic tools let you perform basic problem solving, data imaging solutions up to full case analysis and management.

        Generally, when performing forensics on a computer system, any activity that can change or modify the data analysis of the system must be avoided. Other modern desktops usually interfere with this goal, but with Kali Linux through the boot menu, you can enable a special forensics mode.

      • Kali Linux Top Forensic Tools (2020) (Part 2)
      • Top Sniffing and Spoofing Tools Kali Linux 2020.1

        Sniffing and spoofing means to wiretap the network, checking on all the traffic coming and going in that network. Kali Linux has the 10 best tools available for sniffing and spoofing. Most of these tools come pre-installed in Kali Linux. However, some of the tools might require you to install them manually. Some of these tools are network sniffers, others are for spoofing, and a few can handles both of these functions.

      • BSD

        • FreeBSD switches Code of Conduct

          There’s a reporting mechanism, at least (later on in the document).

          The previous version of the FreeBSD CoC was based on the Geek Feminism CoC which put enforcement much of in-your-face. I liked that. Something else I miss in the new CoC is some explicit attention for trans- and non-binary rights: Geek Feminism puts that front-and-center as well. I must admit that when that CoC first showed up in my FreeBSD world I had to ask “what’s a deadname!?” And that was an education, and now I know.

          So while I’m happy that the FreeBSD community (which I’m part of) continues to take Codes of Conduct seriously, I’m a bit apprehensive about the new wriggle-room. Time will tell, and we’ll have a new democratic round for the CoC in due course.

        • ZFS: adding a drive back into the zpool

          Today I was updating some servers. One of them was rebooted three times. On the third time, one of the drives went missing. This is how I tracked down which drive, and which slot in the server, and fixed it. I’m writing it mostly so I can remember how to flash the light on the drive. There is also an off-by-one issue to avoid.

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • Fedora 32 elections results

          One Council seat was open this election. A total of 267 ballots were cast, meaning a candidate could accumulate up to 1068 votes (267 * 4).

          # votes Candidate
          654 Aleksandra Fedorova
          591 Till Maas
          314 James Cassell
          303 Alberto Rodriguez Sanchez
          FESCo

          Four FESCo seats were open this election. A total of 273 ballots were cast, meaning a candidate could accumulate up to 2730 votes (273 * 10).

          # votes Candidate
          1507 Neal Gompa
          1450
          Stephen Gallagher
          1372 Igor Raits
          1148 Clément Verna
          1124 Justin Forbes
          997 Chris Murphy
          937 Petr Šabata
          904 Frantisek Zatloukal
          755 James Cassell
          730 Michal Novotný
          Mindshare

          One Mindshare seat was open this election. A total of 220 ballots were cast, meaning a candidate could accumulate up to 880 votes (220 * 4).

          # votes Candidate
          586 Maria Leandro
          420 Sumantro Mukherjee
          288 Alessio Ciregia
          188 Daniel Lara

        • Council policy proposal: withdrawing support from events

          The Fedora Council is considering a change in policy that better defines how the Council will handle withdrawing from sponsored events. The policy as proposed by Ben Cotton, with edits from the Mindshare Committee is:

          The Fedora Council may choose to withdraw Fedora’s support from events or other activities that involve fiscal sponsorship or use of Fedora trademarks when it determines that participation is not in the interests of the Fedora Project. Decisions to withdraw support will be published in venues normally used for Council decisions. Deliberation and reasoning for the decision should be public to the extent possible. The Council will engage with the committee/group/team that is involved with the event in question to ensure their input is considered.

          This policy proposal was written in response to a request from Justin Flory, who noted some lingering resentment over a previous Council decision.

      • Debian Family

        • Markus Koschany: My Free Software Activities in May 2020

          Welcome to gambaru.de. Here is my monthly report (+ the first week in June) that covers what I have been doing for Debian. If you’re interested in Java, Games and LTS topics, this might be interesting for you.

          [...]

          I was contacted by Martin Gerhardy, upstream maintainer of caveexpress and former lead-developer of ufoai. He is currently working on a new free software voxel game engine and its tools. He asked me to take a look at the Debian packaging but I couldn’t promise to package it yet, although this is certainly something that interests me. I will provide some feedback for the prelimary Debian packaging though, which he has prepared already. In the meantime he released a new version of caveexpress and I hope that we can find a solution for an ufoai RC-bug quite soon, but at least before Debian freezes.

          [...]

          New upstream versions this month: undertow, jboss-xnio and libapache-mod-jk. The latter package contained a wrongly named file that prevented the apache tools a2enmod and a2dismod from symlinking that file. I corrected the error by preparing a stable point-update as well.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • Linux Mint 20 beta arrives without Chromium browser

          Earlier this week, we said that the Linux Mint project was preparing the disc images of Linux Mint 20 beta. Now, sure enough, they have been pushed to several mirrors and are available for download. It was also reported earlier this month that Linux Mint 20 would block background snapd installs; now that the beta has been released, we were able to have a look at the ramifications of that change.

          Linux Mint 20 brings with it several enhancements but nothing very radical, which is to be expected from the distribution that prides itself on consistency. Several new changes in this update include…

        • Linux Mint 20 Beta is Now Available to Download

          Freshly prepared ISOs have been spun up for testing and feedback and are in the process of syncing out to mirrors.

          The Linux Mint 20 beta build precedes the final stable release, which is due for release in a couple of weeks time.

        • Linux Mint 20 Beta Is Now Available for Download

          It’s not officially announced yet, but the Linux Mint 20 Beta ISO images have just been uploaded to the main server for early adopters and adventurous users who want to give them a try and report bugs or other issues to the Linux Mint developers.

          The final release of the Linux Mint 20 “Ulyana” operating system has been teased by the Linux Mint team for late June 2020. It’s not yet clear when it will be generally available, but at least you can now get an early taste of its new features and improvements.

        • Linux Mint 20 Beta XFCE Run Through

          In this video, we are looking at Linux Mint 20 Beta XFCE.

        • Linux Mint 20 Beta MATE Run Through

          In this video, we are looking at Linux Mint 20 Beta MATE.

        • Linux Mint 20 Beta Cinnamon Run Through

          In this video, we are looking at Linux Mint 20 Beta Cinnamon.

        • You Can Now Download Beta Version Of Linux Mint 20 “Ulyana”

          A few hours ago, we reported that Clem Lefebvre, head of the Linux Mint project, approved the Linux Mint 20 for the beta release. Following the same, the testing ISO image of Mint 20 has now been made available to the public.

          You can download the Cinnamon, MATE, and Xfce editions of Mint 20 beta from the mirror archives. Though the Mint team has not officially announced or published any news of the beta release, you can expect it very soon on the Linux Mint blog.

          [...]

          As the beta sometimes contains bugs, some of you may want to switch to the latest Mint version only when the stable release comes out. So, if you’re looking for a stable version of Mint 20, I would say you still have to wait until the end of June.

          As per the previous releases, the stable version of Linux Mint usually takes around 20 days to release after the beta announcement. So, Mint 20 will most probably be released in the coming weeks. Moreover, Clem also mentioned in May blog that Mint 20 will be released by the end of June.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • Faster than ever, Apache Cassandra 4.0 beta is on its way


        If you want a fast database management system (DBMS), which can handle petabytes of data for web and mobile applications, chances are you’re using the NoSQL Apache Cassandra database. After all, such companies as Hulu, Netflix, and Reddit, already do. Oh, it has competitors, such as MongoDB, DynamoDB, and Cosmos DB, but Cassandra’s arguably the most popular DBMS of its breed.

        And, with its new beta release coming out shortly, it may become more popular than ever. With the addition of Zero Copy streaming, Cassandra promises to have five-times faster data streaming between clusters. So, what does that mean in terms of real-world speed? The developers claim that will mean five-times faster Mean Time to Recovery when there are problems. This, in turn, means it will reduce your Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) because you’ll need less cloud, server, and network resources.

      • 3 reasons to contribute to open source now


        Open source software has taken over the world. From the early days of Linux and MySQL, open source is driving innovation like never before, with more than 180,000 public repositories on GitHub alone.

        For those of you who have not yet ventured into the open source world, here are the three reasons to start today.

        If you’re young, early in your career, or are even just learning a new programming language, open source is the best way to get started.

        By contributing to an open source project, you receive immediate feedback on your development and programming skills. You may get suggestions about the choice of a function name, the way you used conditional logic, or how using a goroutine you didn’t know about speeds up the execution of your program. This is all invaluable feedback to receive when you’re learning something new.

      • replacing an existing zroot with a proper zroot

        I want to copy a zroot from old drives to new drives. The new drives are in a test box of mine. Once the new drives are configured, I will replace the existing mirror with them.

      • prose – Blogging with emails

        The software developer prx, his website is available at https://ybad.name/ (en/fr), released a new software called prose to publish a blog by sending emails.

        I really like this idea, while this doesn’t suit my needs at all, I wanted to write about it.

      • What’s up with K-9 Mail?

        The release of the latest stable version of K-9 Mail (5.600) was in September 2018, nearly two years ago. So, of course, many of you have been wondering if K-9 Mail is dead. I’m happy to inform you that this is not the case. Work on K-9 Mail was slow at times, but it has never really stopped.

        [...]

        Some features that were available in 5.600 are still missing because we haven’t had the time to restore them. Some have been deliberately removed because we didn’t consider them important enough to justify the maintenance burden.
        We would like to release a new stable version as soon as possible. There’s only one feature that we had to remove, but without which we don’t want to ship a new stable version of the app: Push (IMAP IDLE). After it has been added again, we’ll spend some time focusing on fixing bugs reported by beta testers, and then we’ll release the next stable version of K-9 Mail, 5.800.

      • Web Browsers

        • Mozilla

          • Introducing the MDN Web Docs Front-end developer learning pathway

            The MDN Web Docs Learning Area (LA) was first launched in 2015, with the aim of providing a useful counterpart to the regular MDN reference and guide material. MDN had traditionally been aimed at web professionals, but we were getting regular feedback that a lot of our audience found MDN too difficult to understand, and that it lacked coverage of basic topics.

            Fast forward 5 years, and the Learning Area material is well-received. It boasts around 3.5–4 million page views per month; a little under 10% of MDN Web Docs’ monthly web traffic.

            At this point, the Learning Area does its job pretty well. A lot of people use it to study client-side web technologies, and its loosely-structured, unopinionated, modular nature makes it easy to pick and choose subjects at your own pace. Teachers like it because it is easy to include in their own courses.

          • Recommended extensions — recent additions

            When the Recommended Extensions program debuted last year, it listed about 60 extensions. Today the program has grown to just over a hundred as we continue to evaluate new nominations and carefully grow the list. The curated collection grows slowly because one of the program’s goals is to cultivate a fairly fixed list of content so users can feel confident the Recommended extensions they install will be monitored for safety and security for the foreseeable future.

            Here are some of the more exciting recent additions to the program…

            DuckDuckGo Privacy Essentials provides a slew of great privacy features, like advanced ad tracker and search protection, encryption enforcement, and more.

          • Cameron Kaiser: TenFourFox FPR23 for Intel available

            Ken Cunningham figured out the build issues he was having with the Intel version and has updated TenFourFox for Intel systems to FPR23, now up to date with the Power Mac version. As always, there is no support for any Intel build of TenFourFox; do not report issues to Tenderapp. You can get it from SourceForge.

            Ken’s patches have also been incorporated into the tree along with a workaround submitted by Raphaël Guay to deal with Twitch overflowing our JIT stack. This is probably due to something we don’t support causing infinite function call recursion since with the JIT disabled it correctly just runs out of stack and stops. There is no way to increase stack further since we are strictly 32-bit builds and the stack already consumes 1GB of our 2.2-ish GB available, so we need to a) figure out why the stack overflow happens without being detected and b) temporarily disable that script until we do. It’s part B that is implemented as a second blacklist which is on unless disabled, since other sites may do this, until we find a better solution to part A. This will be in FPR24 along with probably some work on MP3 compliance issues since TenFourFox gets used as a simple little Internet radio a lot more than I realized, and a few other odds and ends.

      • SaaS/Back End/Databases

        • Yugabyte boosts distributed SQL database with new funding

          Bill Cook: We were doing this fund raising in parallel with the company recruiting me to join. But, you know, the impetus is obviously that there is a big market opportunity in front of us.

          As to why $30 million, it was really around what was going to be required to continue the investment on the engineering product side to grow the organization aggressively. And we’re also ramping on the enterprise go-to-market side.

          If you think about things like the pandemic and the changes that are going on more globally, it really just starts to accelerate how people think about technology. When you’re an open source database company like we are, with the services that we deliver, I think it is an accelerant.

        • MongoDB grows with Atlas Data Lake and mobile services

          MongoDB Inc. on Tuesday launched its Atlas Data Lake service, along with the latest update of its namesake database and the release of new mobile database services.

          With Atlas Data Lake, now in general availability after being in beta release for a year, the New York City-based vendor has expanded its Atlas Cloud platform.

          Meanwhile, the MongoDB 4.4 release provides enhanced features to the open source database intended to improve performance and scalability. Beyond the core database, the new MongoDB Realm mobile database builds on technology that the vendor acquired with the acquisition of open source mobile database vendor Realm in April 2019.

      • CMS

        • AsBlocks Project Uses Gutenberg to Create a Collaborative Writing Environment

          The Gutenberg team is currently immersed in bringing full-site editing capabilities to the block editor as part of Phase 2 in the project’s longterm roadmap. Meanwhile, Gutenberg engineer Riad Benguella has been experimenting with ideas for the collaboration features coming in Phase 3, which aims to deliver a more intuitive way to co-author content.
          Today, Benguella unveiled a collaborative writing prototype called AsBlocks that is built using the Gutenberg editor. It is an example of the editor working outside of WordPress. AsBlocks provides an end-to-end encrypted writing environment that can be shared to other users with a link, while the server itself cannot decrypt the content.
          In the video demo below you can see a user adds some content, clicks the share button, and is presented with an option to share a link for a live collaboration session (Write) or a link for read-only access (Read). The session is private and only users with the link can access the post.

      • FSF

        • GNU Projects

          • Digital signatures with GnuPG

            In a previous article, I introduced GnuPG by verifying a signed file and encrypting a file for a recipient by using a public key. I have also shared how to create a key pair and export a public key so that we could receive encrypted messages. In this article, I will demonstrate how to sign files before sharing via email or publishing on a web site.

            [...]

            The detached signature option is available to provide everyone with the option of viewing the message without having the public key. This creates a separate signature file that is used to verify the original message if desired. In its simplest form, this file contains a hash of the original message and is encrypted with the private key. Anyone with the public key can open the signature and then compare hashes to verify the integrity of the signed file.

          • GIMP 2.10.20 Released with Advanced Crop and More Filters

            The latest release of GIMP is here with new features and more bug fixes. And it is immediately available for download for Linux, Windows, and Mac.

      • Programming/Development

        • Enrico Zini: Custom build of Qt5

          This is part of a series of posts on compiling a custom version of Qt5 in order to develop for both amd64 and a Raspberry Pi.

          A customer needs a procedure for a custom build of Qt5 5.15, the last LTS release of Qt 5.

          They develop for industrial systems that are managed by an amd64 industrial computer. This computer is accessed either through an attached panel touch screen, or through touch screens driven by Raspberry Pi clients connected via an internal ethernet network.

          The control interfaces use mostly a full screen Qt5 application. The customer relies heavily on Qt5, has a full Enterprise license, and needs to stay on top of the most recent releases, to make use of new features or bug fixes that have made it upstream since the last Debian stable was released.

        • Enrico Zini: Qt5 custom build for amd64

          This is part of a series of posts on compiling a custom version of Qt5 in order to develop for both amd64 and a Raspberry Pi.

          First step, build Qt5 5.15 packages for amd64.

          To prevent conflicting with Debian Qt packages, we’ll install everything in /opt.

          We can install qtchooser configuration files to allow developers to easily switch between Debian’s standard Qt version or the custom version, at will.

        • Merkle trees and build systems

          OSTree is like Git, but for storing entire filesystem images such as a complete Linux system. OSTree stores more metadata about its files than Git does: ownership, complete permissions (Git only remembers whether or not a file is executable), and extended attributes (“xattrs”). Like Git, it doesn’t store timestamps. OSTree is used by Flatpak, rpm-ostree from Project Atomic/CoreOS, and GNOME Continuous, which is where OSTree was born.

          My company has been using OSTree to build and roll-out software updates to Linux-based devices for the last four years. OSTree provides deployment tools for distributing images to different machines, deploying or rolling back an image atomically, managing changes to /etc, and so on, but in this article I’ll focus on using OSTree for its data model.

          Like Git, OSTree stores files in a “Content Addressable Store”, which means that you can retrieve the contents of a file if you know the checksum of those contents. OSTree uses SHA-256, but I will use “SHA” and “checksum” interchangeably. This store or “repository” is a directory in the filesystem (for example “ostree/”) where each file tracked by OSTree (a “blob” in Git terminology) is stored under ostree/objects/ as a file whose filename is the SHA of its contents. This is something of a simplification because file ownership, permissions, and xattrs are also reflected in the checksum.

          A “tree” (directory) is stored as a file that contains a list of files and sub-trees, and their SHAs. The filename of this file, just like for blobs, is the SHA of its contents. This way the entire tree, including its sub-trees and their sub-trees, and the contents of each of the files within, can be uniquely identified by a single SHA. This data structure is called a Merkle tree.

        • The history and evolution of PHP governance

          Looking back to the early 2000s, as was true for many open-source projects at the time, the governance and direction of the project was largely dictated by the simple concept of what has been known in the PHP community as “karma”. That is to say, the more contributions you made to the project the more clout you had when it came to deciding which features made it into a release. Especially early on, there was little to no gatekeeping when it came to handing out repository credentials to people who wanted to contribute something interesting. If a developer wanted to add something, the biggest barrier was often only having the technical understanding to do so correctly. A good example of this is SimpleXML, which provides object-oriented mapping of XML documents. The experimental implementation of that feature more or less just appeared in the code base one day without much of any discussion at all. Back in the early 2000s, if you knew how to do it and it seemed reasonable, most of the time your code made it into a release.

          From the beginning, PHP was a language born of an itch to scratch. Solutions, rather than concerns over consistency or academic purity, have always been a main goal of the project. This show-me-the-code approach can certainly be credited for the vibrant community at work on the project still today, but it has also led to plenty of problems in regards to governance.

          Sidestepping the occasional argument over a relatively minor commit in the early days, the first real struggles PHP had was around the time of the release of PHP 4 with the introduction of the Zend Engine. Written by contributors Zeev Suraski and Andi Gutmans, it replaced the implementation of the language found in PHP 3 with a more robust engine and API for PHP 4. By itself, the value of the contribution to the project is undeniable. However valuable, the engine and control over it quickly became a point of conflict with the community as those same two developers founded Zend Technologies in order to sell closed-source technology for PHP based on the open-source engine they introduced to the language.

          The contribution itself rocketed Suraski’s and Gutmans’s standing in terms of clout when deciding the future direction of the language, but it left many of the other contributors uncomfortable. For starters, especially early on, the number of people who even understood the engine’s implementation was limited and documentation was scarce. Perhaps more significantly was that Zend’s product line included features that arguably belonged in the language, such as debugging and performance enhancements. These circumstances caused a certain amount of resentment among other community members as they started to get the impression that the two developers were preventing features that competed with their commercial offerings from getting into the open-source code base.

        • Abusing go:linkname to customize TLS 1.3 cipher suites

          When Go 1.12 was released, I was very excited to test out the new opt-in support for TLS 1.3. TLS 1.3 is a major improvement to the main security protocol of the web.

          I was eager to try it out in a tool I had written for work which allowed me to scan what TLS parameters were supported by a server. In TLS, the client presents a set of cipher suites to the server that it supports, and the server chooses the best one to use, where “best” is typically a reasonable trade-off of security and performance.

          In order to enumerate what cipher suites a server supports, a client must make individual connections, each offering a single cipher suite at a time. If the server rejects the handshake, you know the cipher suite is not supported.

        • Programming languages: Java still rules over Python and JavaScript as primary language

          Java, JavaScript and Python are invariably the three most popular programming languages in several indexes, but their exact order varies depending on how the ranking is calculated. Lately most have placed JavaScript and Python ahead of or equal to Java.

          But a new survey from Czech IDE maker JetBrains has found that Java, historically the most popular programming language, is still the top main language used by developers.

          [...]

          JetBrains asked developers to pick up to three languages they consider their primary programming language. In this context, JavaScript comes out on top (39%), followed Java (37%), and Python (31%).

          JetBrains analyst Sichkarenko Anastassiya explained the apparent discrepancy by saying each languages’ position – first, second or third – was assigned a weighting to produce an overall popularity ranking.

          The company also told The Register that Java’s superior ranking as a primary language comes down to lots of developers using JavaScript as part of a project, but its use falls when considering where developers spend most of their time.

        • GitLab Acquires Security Companies Peach Tech and Fuzzit

          DevOps company GitLab on Thursday announced the acquisition of software security testing firms Peach Tech and Fuzzit in an effort to expand its DevSecOps offering.

        • Functional Code is Honest Code

          This isn’t typical in OO code. Sometimes I joke that if I were to rewrite Working Effectively with Legacy Code I’d call it Working Effectively with Object-Oriented Code. So many of the techniques around gaining testability involve parameterizing classes and methods so that all of the inputs and outputs are explicit and mockable under test. You don’t have an embedded call to, say, the file system in a class. You pass in a reference to that capability as a constructor or method argument. This makes an OO system, broadly functional. That is, to say, it is honest. You can look at the signatures and see what is possible. Maybe some mutation happens a function body. You increment a local variable rather than using a fold. That’s ok. If it doesn’t leak through the interface (the call), you have referential transparency at the call. The signature tells you the full story.

        • Python

          • A View From Start To Finish – Building SaaS #60

            In this episode, I created a view to add students from beginning to the end. I used Error Driven Development to guide what I needed to do next to make the view, then wrote tests, and finished it all off by writing the template code.

            At the start of the episode, I gave a quick overview of the models in my application and which models I planned to focus on for the stream.

            We worked on a view to add students. I did this using a technique that I called Error Driven Development. With this strategy, I started with what I wanted and followed the error messages to drive to what I needed to write. Django’s error messages are good enough to show what was needed for each step.

            After creating a view that didn’t error anymore, I filled in some tests to prove that the view behaved in the way I wanted.

            Finally, I wrote the template that provides the proper data for the newly created view.

          • Python RegEx

            In this tutorial, you will learn about regular expressions (RegEx), and use Python’s re module to work with RegEx (with the help of examples).

        • Java

          • The 20 Best Java Books for Learning Core Java Programming

            Java is an extensively used programming language, unequivocally expected for use in the appropriated state of the web. If you did not know, Java stands for Just Another Virtual Accelerator. It is the most popular programming language for developing Android applications and is likewise among the most preferred for the advancement of cutting edge technologies. The uses of Java are innumerable, but if I were to mention the top few, I would say that Java is the best for mobile applications, embedded systems, desktop GUI applications, etc. Java can work on any platform, and this makes it a platform-independent software. That is why a proper set of Java books is extremely necessary for anyone who wants to learn Java.

    • Standards/Consortia

      • Listen to the Hedge Podcast 39 to Learn about the Open Standards Everywhere Project

        What is our Open Standards Everywhere (OSE) project all about? How did it get started? What are the project goals? What are some of the challenges web server operators face? How can we work together to make web servers more secure and available?

        Recently Russ White and his team interviewed me on The Hedge Podcast Episode 39 to discuss all these questions and much more. I’ve known Russ for a good number of years and it was fun to talk with him and his co-hosts Eyvonne Sharp and Tom Ammon about all things related to the OSE project. I hope you enjoy listening to the episode as much as we enjoyed having the conversation!

      • ECDSA: Handle with Care

        The elliptic curve digital signature algorithm (ECDSA) is a common digital signature scheme that we see in many of our code reviews. It has some desirable properties, but can also be very fragile. For example, LadderLeak was published just a couple of weeks ago, which demonstrated the feasibility of key recovery with a side channel attack that reveals less than one bit of the secret nonce.

  • Leftovers

    • Three Things: A for “Antifa”, for Brutality, C for Commit (Murder)

      Here’s my theory: “Antifa” isn’t just a bogeyman. It’s a test, like an A/B switch. The folks who adopt this concept so deeply they are willing to take action outside the norm can also be persuaded to take other action.

      QAnon likely serves a similar purpose, providing a centralized mythology for persons identified as too weak to reason out of a wet paper bag but willing to invest some degree of effort for their new “faith” system.

      What can’t be seen apart from idiots like this gun shop owner and his compadres is how this uptake is being tested online. This small town gun shop owner didn’t pull the idea of bus-packing “Antifa” terrorists out of thin air; he must have gotten through broadcast media and social media, of which only social media would allow a two-way push-pull of content.

    • Behind the Iron Curtain: Ivan Pepelnjak

      Ivan Pepelnjak was a founding member of the first IX in Slovenia twenty-five years ago. He joins us to describe the origins of the Internet, from the first dial-up circuits to the founding of the first IX and local DNS services here on the History of Networking.

    • Education

      • A Correspondent Looks Back at 40 Years on the Continent

        Everywhere, though, millions of Africans continue to struggle to overcome the same problems: poverty, unemployment, disease, the incompetence of a corrupt elite and competition for a limited amount of resources, a clash which is becoming worse as population growth and climate change continue apace. In many areas – from literacy to the number of dentists per capita – Africa is well behind the rest of the world.

        I have never been one to write off Africa as a continent beset by war and catastrophe. At the same time, though, I have never belonged to those who sugarcoat the situation in Africa, those who continually blame the region’s struggles on destructive foreign powers or who overhype small success stories as the beginning of a vast upsurge. I have always sought to remain an “Afro-realist,” positioning myself between the prophets of doom and the hopeless romantics. My motto: The situation is serious, but by no means hopeless.

    • Hardware

      • Intel Announces Jim Keller’s Departure, Other Leadership Changes

        Legendary processor engineer Jim Keller has resigned from Intel just over two years since he joined the company to much fanfare.

        Intel confirmed today that Jim Keller has resigned effective today due to “personal reasons” while he will continue serving as a consultant for Intel over the next six months.

      • Chip designer Jim Keller has resigned from Intel

        Jim Keller, something of a legend when it comes to chip design has formally resigned from Intel over ‘personal reasons’.

        If you don’t follow AMD / Intel too closely to know any of the specifics, Keller was the lead architect of the AMD K8 and also the original AMD Zen. Keller also worked with Apple, Tesla and most recently joining Intel in 2018 which turned a few heads because they’re obviously quite the name.

        Yesterday, Intel put out a press statement simply mentioning that Keller had resigned ‘effective June 11, 2020, due to personal reasons’. However, Keller will be sticking around as a consultant for six months to assist with any transitions.

    • Health/Nutrition

      • [Old] Study: Most Plastics Leach Hormone-Like Chemicals

        Most plastic products, from sippy cups to food wraps, can release chemicals that act like the sex hormone estrogen, according to a study in Environmental Health Perspectives.

      • Automating business for Covid-19 continuity

        While the global situation demands urgency, it’s important to clarify that IT automation won’t provide a rapid return on investment rapidly if your organisation tries to automate a complex business process or operation all at once. Automating small tasks allows you to gain experience in select automation solutions (in turn helping to build your team’s confidence), and it will allow you to develop a foundation of automated processes that can become the building blocks of more complex automation projects. When aggregated together, all the small tasks you automate away can represent a significant time-save for your organisation and will let you focus attention on the bigger projects.

        Another way to accelerate the return on the automation investment is by paying special attention to the skill levels necessary to master the automation solution of choice. Some automation languages tools are much easier to write, understand, and troubleshoot than actual development code, requiring smaller investments in sourcing or developing the skills necessary to operate the automation solution.

        Choosing an easy-to-understand automation language means that more people in your organisation can use the automation solution in their respective domains of expertise compared to a few highly skilled and expensive-to-hire professionals. Similarly, an easy-to -understand language implies a milder learning curve and a faster transition from education to application.

    • Integrity/Availability

      • This Guy Accidentally Took a Photo That Crashes Android Smartphones

        Amateur photographer Gaurav Agrawal had no idea his spectacular picture of St. Mary Lake in Glacier National Park, Montana could end up mercilessly crashing countless Android phones.

        But if it was set as the wallpaper on smartphones running the Android 10 operating system, the phones started acting up, switching off and on repeatedly.

        “I didn’t do anything intentionally,” Agrawal told the BBC. “I’m sad that people ended up having issues.”

        The image, edited in Adobe Lightroom and uploaded to Flickr, didn’t seem to cause any issues on iPhones. But thanks to a tiny snafu during the export of the image, Agrawal unintentionally turned his gorgeous landscape photo into an Android-killing threat.

      • Proprietary

        • Honda Ransomware Confirms Findings of Industrial Honeypot Research [iophk: Windows TCO]

          Through this account, the attackers uploaded a PowerShell script that created a backdoor user account called ‘Admin’. This ensured future access and created persistence that allowed the attackers to upload additional attack tools. One of these was Mimikatz, which was used to steal user credentials for lateral movement beyond the initial compromised server. In this instance, it failed because none of the credentials obtained could access the domain controllers. Instead, the attackers used a network scanner to discover additional endpoints. Only after as many endpoints as possible were detected and compromised was the ransomware simultaneously detonated.

        • Job application-themed malspam pushes ZLoader [iophk: Windows TCO]

          Last week, I published a diary about ZLoader malware spread through Polish malspam. Today’s diary reviews more ZLoader spread through a different malspam campaign. Two interesting points about this campaign: [...]

        • This was inevitable: ‘Thanos’ ransomware weaponizes research tool against Microsoft Windows users

          Scammers on cybercriminal forums are marketing a new strain of ransomware, dubbed “Thanos,” to other attackers aiming to infiltrate computers running Microsoft Windows, according to research published Wednesday by threat intelligence firm Recorded Future. Thanos operates much like similar [cracking] tools — encrypting victims’ files until they pay a shakedown fee — except that it’s the first ransomware built, in part, based on a proof-of-concept from security researchers who previously marketed their computer code as a way to bypass Windows 10 security protocols as part of otherwise legitimate tests.

        • [Attackers] use fake contact tracing apps in attempt to install banking malware on Android phones

          Twelve applications posing as coronavirus contact tracing apps available outside mainstream marketplaces are designed to steal personal and financial information from unwitting Android users.

          Apps meant to impersonate official government tracing apps from countries including Italy, Russia and Singapore trigger malicious software capable of collecting a range of data from user’s devices, the threat intelligence firm Anomali found in research shared with CyberScoop prior to its publication. It’s the latest example of [attackers] and scammers exploiting global events to try stealing from anxious smartphone users who, in this case, would have believed they were downloading an app designed to measure the prevalence of COVID-19 in their community.

        • U.S. Officials Ask Juniper Networks About Investigation Into 2015 Backdoor

          More than a dozen U.S. officials have sent a letter to California-based networking and cybersecurity solutions provider Juniper Networks to ask the company about the results of the investigation launched in 2015 following the discovery of a backdoor in its products.

        • Google Researcher Finds Vulnerability in VMware Virtualization Products

          The flaw, tracked as CVE-2020-3960, was reported to VMware by Cfir Cohen, a researcher from Google’s cloud security team.

          According to VMware, Cohen discovered that ESXi, Workstation and Fusion are affected by an out-of-bounds read vulnerability that can allow an attacker with non-admin access to a virtual machine to read privileged information from memory.

        • Senate Intelligence Committee wants DNI to investigate commercial spyware threats

          The Senate Intelligence Committee quietly approved a measure last week that would require the Director of National Intelligence to submit a report to Congress on the threats posed by foreign governments’ and entities’ use of commercially available surveillance software.

          The DNI’s report, which would be sent to Congress 180 days after the Intelligence Authorization Act for 2021 passes, would include information on how the U.S. — and other countries — can work to reduce the threats of commercial spyware, including through export controls, diplomatic pressure, trade agreements, and work with the technology and telecommunications sectors to better secure consumers’ software.

        • Pseudo-Open Source

        • Security

          • Another Intel Speculative Execution Vulnerability

            That has turned out to be true. Here’s a new vulnerability:

            On Tuesday, two separate academic teams disclosed two new and distinctive exploits that pierce Intel’s Software Guard eXtension, by far the most sensitive region of the company’s processors.

          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • Palantir to File IPO in Weeks For Possible Fall Debut

              The Palo Alto, California-based company is preparing to register an S-1 filing confidentially with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, said the people, who asked to not be identified because the matter isn’t public.

              Palantir is working with bankers to organize a tender offer for private shareholders to help clean up its capital structure ahead of an initial public offering, the people said. It’s also working with an IPO readiness consultant, they said.

            • Senator fears Clearview AI facial recognition could be used on protesters

              “As demonstrators across the country exercise their First Amendment rights by protesting racial injustice, it is important that law enforcement does not use technological tools to stifle free speech or endanger the public,” Markey said in a letter to Clearview AI CEO and co-founder Hoan Ton-That.

              The threat of surveillance could also deter people from “speaking out against injustice for fear of being permanently included in law enforcement databases,” he said.

            • Senator fears Clearview AI facial recognition could be used on protesters

              “As demonstrators across the country exercise their First Amendment rights by protesting racial injustice, it is important that law enforcement does not use technological tools to stifle free speech or endanger the public,” Markey said in a letter to Clearview AI CEO and co-founder Hoan Ton-That.

              The threat of surveillance could also deter people from “speaking out against injustice for fear of being permanently included in law enforcement databases,” he said.

            • Zoom Says China Asked It to Censor Pro-Democracy Activists

              Chinese officials reached out to Zoom in May and early June about four videoconference calls that were publicized on social media to commemorate Tiananmen Square protests, the San Jose, California-based company said Thursday in a blog post. Zoom said that China “demanded” the company terminate the meetings and host accounts because of the activity, which it deemed illegal.

            • Zoom Blocks Activist in U.S. After China Objects to Tiananmen Vigil

              Suspensions similar to Mr. Zhou’s appeared to affect the accounts of a Hong Kong politician, Lee Cheuk Yan, and Wang Dan, a student leader during the Tiananmen protests.

              Late Thursday, Zoom acknowledged that the Chinese government had contacted it about four meetings that would be hosted on the site to commemorate the Tiananmen Square crackdown. The government asked Zoom to terminate the sessions and the accounts hosting the calls, which it did in three of the cases, according to a company statement.

            • Zoom confirms Beijing asked it to suspend activists over Tiananmen Square meetings

              U.S. video conferencing company Zoom issued a statement on Thursday acknowledging that the Chinese government requested that it suspend the accounts of several U.S.- and Hong Kong-based Chinese activists for holding events commemorating the anniversary of the 1989 Tiananmen Square massacre.

              The big picture: Zoom claims that it only took action because the Chinese government informed the company that “this activity is illegal in China” and that meeting metadata showed “a significant number of mainland China participants.” Zoom said it does not have the ability to block participants from a certain country, and so it made the decision to end some of the meetings and suspend the host accounts.

    • Defence/Aggression

      • Death of Young Kurdish Man Sparks Hate Crime Debate in Turkey

        Baris Cakan, 20, was fatally stabbed in the Etimesgut neighborhood park of Ankara on May 31. His death soon fueled fury in Turkey after his family first announced he was killed by three nationalist Turks over listening to Kurdish music.

      • Yemen: Saudi Arabia Attacks Civilians With Cluster Bombs

        The Riyadh-led alliance launched several cluster bomb attacks on Wednesday against the Al-Sabah region in western Sana’a, the capital of Yemen.

        Four people, including two children and a woman, were injured when the house they lived in was destroyed in the attack.

        Cluster bombs are prohibited under the Convention on Cluster Munitions (CCM) because of the humanitarian consequences caused to civilians by this type of weapon.

      • Christians shot at and wounded for buying a house in a Muslim neighbourhood in Peshawar

        On the day of the attack, Khan showed up at the Christian house giving the residents a 24-hour ultimatum. Nadeem Joseph replied that he and his family had the right to live where they wanted and that they would not go away.

        Noticing that Khan and his sons had guns, Joseph tried to call the police, but was shot in the belly before he could do so. The attackers then turned their weapons on other members of the Christian family, wounding Joseph’s mother-in-law in the shoulder.

        No neighbour intervened to help the Christians. After calling the emergency ambulance service, Joseph and his mother-in-law were taken to Lady Reading Hospital, where they are still recuperating, and out of danger.

      • Pakistan’s Asia Bibi’s Brother-In-Law’s Body Found With Throat Slit

        Recounting the hellish conditions of eight years spent on death row on blasphemy charges but also the pain of exile, Asia Bibi recently broke her silence to give her first personal insight into an ordeal that caused international outrage.

        French journalist Anne-Isabelle Tollet, who has co-written a book about her, was once based in the country where she led a support campaign for her.

      • Assyrians Fear for Their Future in Turkey

        They are among the nearly 4,000 Assyrians left in the region after violence and poverty forced the community to leave Turkey in the 20th century.

        They are now scattered across Europe, with over 100,000 living in Germany, nearly 100,000 in Sweden and tens of thousands in Belgium, France and the Netherlands.

      • Myanmar Cautioned About Costly Borrowing From China

        As Myanmar’s largest lender, China holds considerable leverage over the underdeveloped and largely impoverished country. China also is the nation’s biggest trading partner and one of its largest sources of inward investment in its southwestern neighbor.

        Myanmar’s current national debt stands at about U.S. $10 billion, of which U.S. $4 billion is owed to China, Auditor General Maw Than told a news conference in Naypyidaw on Monday.

      • Denmark Summons Saudi Envoy Over Spying And Terror Plot

        In a tweet on June 10 Kofod said he has spoken with Saudi Arabia’s foreign minister and made it “crystal clear that the Danish government does not accept any terror-related activities on Danish soil and that the government considers the matter with the greatest seriousness”.

    • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

      • Twitter is Calling You Out for Sharing Articles You Haven’t Read

        Twitter is testing out a new feature on Android that ask users if they want to click and actually read the dang article they’re planning to retweet.

        “Sharing an article can spark conversation, so you may want to read it before you Tweet it,” reads a brief update from the company’s Twitter Support account.

      • Police Intelligence Document Spreads Antifa Conspiracy Theory

        In an interagency communication sent to local police departments earlier this month, an official with a Washington-state fusion center told cops to look out for members of Antifa traveling to their cities to potentially riot. These claims are unsubstantiated and have largely been debunked across the country.

    • Environment

      • Environmentalists Targeted Exxon Mobil. Then [Attackers] Targeted Them.

        Three years ago, several environmental groups noticed that they had been receiving suspicious emails with fake Google News articles and other links related to their climate-change campaign against Exxon Mobil. The emails came from accounts that impersonated their own colleagues and lawyers.

        Those phishing emails have now led to a federal criminal investigation into a sprawling [cr]acking-for-hire operation that for years has targeted the email accounts of government officials, journalists, banks, environmental activists and other individuals, according to people briefed on the inquiry.

      • Indonesian journalist held since early May on criminal defamation charge

        Sukirman’s complaint against Banjar Hits and Kumparan, the Indonesian blogging platform that hosted Banjar Hits, stated that he was misquoted in a story written and published by Diantara about a land dispute between the indigenous Dayak community and a palm oil company, and said the misquotation was defamatory and could cause ethnic tensions, MongaBay reported.

        Sukirman said that he believed the land dispute could be settled amicably or through the courts, but was misquoted as saying that the dispute could trigger ethnic tensions between the Dayak and Bugis communities, according to that report.

      • 10 beaches receive Blue Flag designation for a total of 63

        Among other requirements, Blue Flag beaches must offer environmental education activities, display a code of conduct, and provide information about water quality. Garbage cans, water, and restrooms are required, and lifeguards and first aid services must also be in place.

        In municipalities with multiple Blue Flag beaches, at least one must be accessible for people with disabilities.

      • Toward an Equitable Dark Sky Movement

        Toward an equitable dark sky movement, we commit ourselves to the following:

        Pursue relationships with people and organizations to learn from and empower diverse voices;

        Conduct an independent audit of all internal and public facing policies, programs, and procedures to identify barriers to inclusion;

        Implement a public and time-bound plan to break down these barriers.

      • Energy

        • The Bicycle as a Vehicle of Protest

          Bicycle politics, the causes championed by cycling advocates and activists, are often dismissed by critics as esoteric or élitist. But transportation issues are social-justice issues. The toll of bad transit policies and worse infrastructure—trains and buses that don’t run well and badly serve low-income neighborhoods, vehicular traffic that pollutes the environment and endangers the lives of cyclists and pedestrians—is borne disproportionately by black and brown communities.

        • Turning Your Car Into an Electric Bike for the Mid-Pandemic Commute

          Demand for e-bikes is rising sharply. Sales in April were up almost 300% over the same month a year ago. That’s not to suggest business was small last year—Radenbaugh says his company had sales of almost $100 million in 2019—just that the virus has created a new rationale for the bikes. “People are looking for a social distancing option,” he says.

      • Overpopulation

        • Armed gangs in northwest Nigeria kill dozens in string of attacks

          The unrest, which experts say has been spurred by overpopulation and climate change, has seen an estimated 8,000 people killed since 2011 and 200,000 flee their homes.

        • Earth Overshoot Day is August 22, more than three weeks later than last year

          Earth Overshoot Day 2020 lands on August 22, more than three weeks later than in 2019, according to Global Footprint Network. The date reflects the 9.3% reduction of humanity’s Ecological Footprint from January 1st to Earth Overshoot Day compared to the same period last year, which is a direct consequence of the coronavirus-induced lockdowns around the world. Decreases in wood harvest and CO2 emissions from fossil fuel combustion are the major drivers behind the historic shift in the long-term growth of humanity’s Ecological Footprint.

          The sudden year-over-year Ecological Footprint contraction, however, is a far cry from the intentional change which is required to achieve both ecological balance and people’s well-being, two inextricable components of sustainability. At Global Footprint Network, we envision a world where humanity lives on our planet’s ecological budget by design rather than by disaster, so that all thrive within the means of Earth.

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • Tucker Carlson Is Freaking Out About Elmo the Antifa Overlord And His Left-Wing Rage Mob
      • Twitter deletes over 170,000 accounts tied to Chinese propaganda efforts

        Twitter announced Thursday that it had deleted more than 170,000 accounts tied to a Chinese state-linked operation that were spreading deceptive information around the COVID-19 virus, political dynamics in Hong Kong, and other issues.

        Almost 25,000 of the accounts that were deleted formed what Twitter described as the “core network,” while around 150,000 accounts were amplifying messages from the core groups.

      • Tibetan Applicants For Police Work Turned Away Over Political Concerns: Report

        Tibetans seeking work as auxiliary police officers in Tibetan areas of China are being barred from employment over a wide range of concerns, with recruiters told to disqualify anyone engaging in “separatist activities” or having family members who have left Tibet to go into exile abroad, a Tibetan advocacy group said on Thursday.

        To be considered now for employment, applicants must never have participated in protests against Chinese policies in Tibetan areas or spread “rumors and false information that undermine social stability,” the Washington-based International Campaign for Tibet said in a June 11 report.

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • Rights group says Zoom shut down its account after Tiananmen Square anniversary event

        Zoom said in a blog post later on Thursday that it was informed by the Chinese government about four separate Zoom gatherings to commemorate the June 4 anniversary that were being publicized on social media.

        “The Chinese government informed us that this activity is illegal in China and demanded that Zoom terminate the meetings and host accounts,” the company said.

      • Tiananmen activists locked out of Zoom

        US and Hong Kong-based activists have reportedly had their Zoom account temporarily suspended following Tiananmen commemorations. Zoom said participants are required to comply with their respective local laws.

      • Zoom Shuts Down Account of U.S.-based Group After Tiananmen Anniversary

        Humanitarian China said its account was closed on June 7 at around 10.00 p.m. local time, a week after it had used the platform to host an international event commemorating the weeks-long pro-democracy movement that ended when Chinese leaders ordered the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) to kill civilians with tanks and machine guns on the night of June 3-4, 1989.

        “Zoom has not responded to our requests for an explanation,” the group said in a statement on its website.

      • The practical people problem with instance diversity in the Fediverse

        Finally, if you’re trying to actively pick a good instance, most people have the twin problems that they don’t know what they care about (or should care about) in instances, and even if they do know they have things they care about they don’t know enough to how to evaluate instances. Oh, you can read an instance’s policies and poke around a bit, but that may not give you clear and honest answers, and on top of that a lot of things in the Fediverse are only clear to people who are immersed in the Fediverse already. To put it one way, there are a lot of problems with instances (and problem instances) that aren’t obvious and clear to outsiders.

        All of this should be unsurprising, because it’s all a version of the problem of forcing users to make choices in security. People mostly don’t care, and even if they do care they mostly don’t know enough to make good choices. This is especially the case if they’re new to the Fediverse.

      • Whoopi Goldberg, Megyn Kelly criticize HBO Max’s temporary removal of ‘Gone With the Wind’

        On Wednesday, Whoopi Goldberg led “The View” panelists in a discussion over how, as she saw it, censoring “Gone With the Wind” is unhelpful, but educating viewers on the film’s context is.

        “If you start pulling every film, you’re going to have to pull … a very long list of films,” said Goldberg, the second black woman to win an acting Oscar after “Gone With the Wind” actress Hattie McDaniel won for playing Mammy.

      • Zoom closed account of U.S.-based Chinese activist “to comply with local law”

        The U.S. video-conferencing company Zoom closed the account of a group of prominent U.S.-based Chinese activists after they held a Zoom event commemorating the 31st anniversary of the June 4 Tiananmen Square Massacre, Axios has learned.

      • Wikipedia formally censors The Grayzone as regime-change advocates monopolize editing

        Internet encyclopedia giant Wikipedia is censoring independent news websites by adding them to an official blacklist of taboo “deprecated” media outlets.

        The Grayzone is among the news websites targeted by the censorship campaign. Others include leftist and anti-imperialist outlets like MintPress News and the Latin American news broadcaster Telesur, along with several prominent right-wing political sites, including the Daily Caller.

        The campaign to blacklist The Grayzone was initiated by Wikipedia editors who identify as Venezuelans and openly support the country’s right-wing, US-backed opposition. These users obsessively monitor Venezuela-related articles, aggressively pushing a regime-change line and working to excise any piece of information or opinion that interferes with their agenda.

      • Upper East Side Mom Group Implodes Over Accusations of Racism and Censorship

        Ms. Brady noticed that often, when black women weighed in on such topics, their comments would quickly disappear. When she brought this up to the group, she saw her comments vanish too.

    • Freedom of Information/Freedom of the Press

      • Trump, U.S. governors must stand up for press freedom, CPJ and other groups say

        Since protests demanding an end to police brutality and calling for social justice broke out on May 26, the U.S. Press Freedom Tracker has received reports of at least 400 incidents across the country, including assaults and arrests of journalists. CPJ swiftly condemned the attacks and has called for accountability and justice at all levels.

      • International groups call on Trump to speak up for press freedom

        We are writing to you as journalists, press freedom organizations, and industry groups to express our deep dismay at the recent violence perpetrated against journalists in the United States as they have sought to report on mass protests across the country. On behalf of the 72 groups listed below, we urge you to speak out forcefully against these attacks and in support of the rights of journalists to report freely, as guaranteed by the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.

      • A journalist sued the city of Minneapolis, saying she was blinded after being shot in the face by police during a George Floyd protest

        A journalist who was blinded in her left eye after being shot in the face with a “non-lethal” projectile is suing the city of Minneapolis, telling Insider that she hopes the litigation will lead to better standards for law enforcement and safer protests for members of the media and others exercising their right to free speech.

        Linda Tirado, a journalist who has written best-selling books and articles for The Guardian and The Daily Beast, was prepared for the worst when she drove from her home in Tennessee to Minnesota following the death of George Floyd. But she says her personal protective equipment — goggles around her eyes, credentials around her neck announcing her as “PRESS,” and a professional-grade Nikon in hand — proved incapable of safeguarding her from the Minneapolis police.

      • Court challenge awaits Duterte-backed anti-terror legislation

        During an online forum on Monday night covered by Al Jazeera, Senator Francis Pangilinan, the other opponent of the bill, said “there are serious constitutional questions” that it raises, “particularly on the respect for fundamental rights” of Filipino citizens.

        The most contentious provisions include those for warrantless arrest and the 14-day detention of suspected “terrorists”, extendible for another 10 days.

        According to the legislation, a warrantless arrest can be ordered by the so-called anti-terror council, under the president, meaning the council could be tasked to determine what constitutes terrorism – a role exclusively reserved for the courts as defined in the Constitution.

      • Hong Kong to Prosecute Media Mogul Jimmy Lai, Organizers Over Tiananmen Vigil

        Authorities in Hong Kong will prosecute four prominent pro-democracy figures including media mogul Jimmy Lai for their involvement in a public commemoration of the Tiananmen massacre anniversary on June 4.

        Lai, along with trade unionist Lee Cheuk-yan, rights lawyer Albert Ho, and veteran democracy activist Richard Tsoi will be charged with “incitement to join an illegal assembly” after thousands defied a police ban to gather in Victoria Park for the traditional candlelight vigil marking the 1989 bloodshed in Beijing.

        The vigil was organized by the Hong Kong Alliance in Support of Patriotic Democratic Movements in China, which is run by Lee, Tsoi, and Ho.

        Lee said he was informed of the decision to prosecute in a phone call from police on Thursday evening.

      • Mexico is a deadly place to be a journalist but sophisticated bot attacks are increasing the danger

        It’s about attacking the messenger.

        Mexico is already the most dangerous country on the continent for journalists. More regional reporters have been killed here than any other place on the Western Hemisphere. To this alarming situation, we add the sophisticated digital campaigns to discredit their work, which also puts their lives in danger.

      • Nigerian journalist in hiding after police arrest and question 5 reporters about his whereabouts

        “Nigeria’s police must stop detaining and questioning journalists, and should disclose the reason they are pursuing journalist Cletus Opukeme,” said Angela Quintal, CPJ’s Africa program coordinator, in New York. “The Nigerian press must be allowed to work freely, without police or other state agents harassing, arresting, and interrogating them.”

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • Defund the Police, Invest in Communities

        Local governments have a revenue problem, while America has a policing problem. There’s a simple solution.

      • Louisville bans “no knock” warrants through “Breonna’s Law”

        Why it matters: That warrant allows law enforcement to enter homes without warning, and was reportedly obtained by the officers who shot Louisville resident Breonna Taylor in her home on March 13. Her death has been protested by Black Lives Matter demonstrators following the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis.

      • Top general apologizes for appearing in photo-op with Trump after forceful removal of protesters

        “I should not have been there. My presence in that moment and in that environment created a perception of the military involved in domestic politics. As a commissioned uniformed officer, it was a mistake that I have learned from, and I sincerely hope we all can learn from it,” he added.

      • The Police Will Do Everything They Can to Resist Accountability — They Have to Be Defunded and Demilitarized

        We can take comfort from the fact that police play little role in determining the crime rate. When the NYPD went on their slowdown in 2014–15, crime actually went down, not up. We need to push to defund the police. This has to be at the center of what we demand of candidates for local office. In Democratic-run cities, we can run candidates in Democratic primaries who are committed to defunding, and if that fails, support third-party candidates. However, as the example of de Blasio makes clear, finding good candidates and getting them elected is not enough.

        We will need to engage in repeated direct action and be clear on our demands. The police have to be demilitarized. Police forces need to stop accepting surplus military weaponry and get rid of what they already have. For the most part, police should be replaced with volunteers who reflect and will respond to the needs of their neighborhoods. We need to elect district attorneys who will not defer to police, and who see reducing the incarceration rate as their central goal. The rapid accomplishments of recently elected progressive DAs in Philadelphia, Boston, San Francisco, Houston, and elsewhere are examples of the importance of targeting that office.

      • [Old] Marvel’s the Punisher Lays the Beatdown on Cops Who Use His Skull Symbol for ‘Blue Lives Matter’ Movement

        Hayden repeated Conway’s statement that “the Punisher represents a failure of the justice system.”

      • ‘Live PD’ says it destroyed video of Javier Ambler II’s death during 2019 Texas police stop

        Video filmed by a “Live PD” crew of an in-custody death of a black man last year has been destroyed and can no longer be turned over to Austin investigators, representatives of the reality TV show said Tuesday.

        The disclosure by A&E Networks came a day after the Austin American-Statesman and KVUE-TV first reported details of the March 2019 death of Javier Ambler while being arrested by Williamson County sheriff’s deputies in connection with a traffic violation. The Austin American-Statesman is part of the USA TODAY Network.

        A&E confirmed Tuesday that “video of the tragic death of Javier Ambler was captured by body cams worn on the officers involved as well by the producers of Live PD who were riding with certain officers involved.”

      • A White Woman, Racism and a Poodle

        There were plenty of times black men pulled up next to me when Merlin was in the passenger seat and said, “Hey, a brother dog.” I should have known. John Steinbeck wrote in “Travels with Charley,” Charley was also a Poodle, that he had to be careful driving in the South. He got in trouble a few times because people thought Charlie was a black man. How could I be so stupid!

        I stood behind my van with Merlin in the passenger seat and could see how he was mistaken for a black man. I wish I had a photograph.

        This happened to me 5 times in the span of about a year. I cannot imagine having it happen several times a week my entire life. As a white woman, getting stopped by the police is scary; it makes my heart race and my stomach hurt. I’m sure a black person’s fear and rage is a hundred times greater.

        Since Merlin died, I have not been pulled over once.

      • AWS Ruins Own Attempt at Sabotage

        Other takeaways to keep in mind: They’re never nicer to you then when they’re trying to hire you. If they mock your concerns about the non-compete? RUN. Amazon is apparently incredibly easily scorned. They will hurl fire after departed employees and use their own reputation as kindling. Brian Hall is the greatest cloud marketer in the world. He hasn’t even started yet, and he’s already made a Google job offer more compelling than its equivalent at AWS by a landslide. He’s gotten me saying nice things about Google—and that shouldn’t be possible! Non-competes are clearly being used to provide a chilling effect for their existing employees. Very few companies will go up against Amazon in a courtroom; it’s far easier for most to simply withdraw the offer and select another candidate. I can’t abide a bully. If, after losing your job, you can’t afford to weather an 18-month period in which your ability to work for any company Amazon deems to be a competitor, you should probably look into working elsewhere. There’s absolutely nothing in the non-compete that says your departure must be voluntary. If AWS had decided to fire Brian for any reason, they could just have easily have brought this same suit against him. Both Brian and I are the very whitest of guys, steeped in the purest expression possible of techbro privilege. If this is how it plays out when someone with that overwhelming accelerator pushes back, imagine how it might impact people of color, women, and other folks who aren’t dramatically overrepresented.

        Non-competes are bad news for everyone. The incredibly talented folks at AWS deserve better, massive amounts of goodwill among AWS’s candidate pool are being torched by moves like this, and I fail to see any way that this situation benefits customers.

      • Another election, another mess: ‘Complete meltdown’ in Georgia is latest chapter in America’s electoral problems

        Martin stopped short of assigning blame, but two Georgia Democrats on Biden’s list of potential running mates pointed at Republican Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, who led the selection of Georgia’s new voting machine system and invited every active voter to request an absentee ballot.

      • Georgia election chaos could have been avoided

        Georgia has been shaken in recent months by the vigilante-style death of Ahmaud Arbery and the threat of COVID-19. But its voters couldn’t have imagined the calamity it faced Tuesday, June 9 when they went out to vote or tried to secure absentee ballots.

        Alarm bells have been sounded in Georgia’s presidential primary and down-ballot elections as state and local officials reacted to the chaos as voters faced long lines and confusion as they attempted to cast their votes in-person. As of Tuesday evening, three-quarters of the calls received on the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law’s 866-OUR-VOTE hotline came from African-American voters.

        Georgia’s secretary of state and the governor could have deployed resources to provide a smoother and more seamless voting experience for its citizens during Tuesday’s Election Day. In recent years, state officials have been charged with discriminatory voter purges, widespread polling place closures, and selective signature match requirements harming Black and low-income voters most.

      • Year of repression: How Hong Kong’s leaders twisted the protest narrative to strangle a movement

        One year on from that record-breaking rally, the mass movement that galvanized a generation is feeling the full weight of a relentless government assault. Beatings, tear gas and gunfire have been unleashed against overwhelmingly peaceful protests over the past 12 months. Renewed demonstrations in response to a terrifying national security law proposed by Beijing are being met with a familiar heavy-handed police response.

        But away from the turmoil of the streets, Hong Kong’s government is taking a more calculated approach. In addition to brute force, propaganda is the weapon it has chosen to try to crush a second successive summer of discontent before it can get going.

      • ‘This is not just a Georgia problem’: Primary election troubles foreshadow challenges for November

        “I’m very concerned about our country’s preparations for the election,” Guy Cecil, chairman of Priorities USA, the largest Democratic-aligned outside group, said during a press briefing with reporters on Wednesday, the day after the election. “This is not just a Georgia problem, it’s not just a southern problem. This has been happening in states all across the country.”

      • A New Wave of Reckoning Is Sweeping the Porn Industry

        She also said that she’d like to see more sets employ talent advocates, “someone to make sure that women are being treated fairly and respected on set so that these things don’t happen… I hope that moving forward, the industry learns from this. That we are better vigilant of the ways that women can be taken advantage of.”

        In a moment when it can seem like every powerful person in an industry is suspect, it’s important to acknowledge that abuses like Chu and Karter and the dozens more women coming out about their experiences still aren’t the norm.

        “Consent is important everywhere, especially in porn,” Chu said. “I hope that this situation with everyone coming out not only opens a dialogue of proper boundaries on and off set, but changes the power dynamic completely.” Performers are realizing they have the power, Chu said—not producers or studios executives.

      • Father of Justine Ruszczyk Damond responds to death of George Floyd

        “We were satisfied that Justine’s killer was found guilty, but we remained concerned that the police force, as an institution was deeply flawed,” he said. “Both gentlemen said they would work to change the culture and behavior of officers with the goal of improving relations between the police and community. The fact that another person has died at the hands of the Minneapolis police using excessive force shows that they have not made adequate changes to their practices and training as we had been told they would after Justine’s murder.”

      • George Floyd’s former partner grieves with man whose fiancée was killed by Minneapolis police

        Damond and Washington are hopeful that Floyd’s death can bring about systemic change in policing in Minneapolis and across the world.

      • Leaked review exposes scale of aid corruption and abuse in Congo

        A review of fraud and corruption risks in the Democratic Republic of Congo – one of the world’s longest-running humanitarian crises – delivers a blistering assessment that could spark major changes to aid operations in a country where hundreds of millions of dollars of foreign aid are spent annually.

        The 70-page draft review – circulated last month to aid officials working in Congo and obtained by The New Humanitarian – looks at everything from corruption within the Ebola response to how women and girls are subjected to sexual exploitation. It also details how donor funds are siphoned off and how aid recipients ultimately lose out.

        The office of UN Secretary-General António Guterres is aware of the review, spokeswoman Zoe Paxton told TNH. “Once the report is published, we will carefully consider any recommendations made,” she said.

      • Where did ‘taking a knee’ come from?

        That sympathetic physician, Sir Thomas Browne, thought himself austere in conversation. ‘Yet, at my devotion,’ he confessed in Religio Medici (from the 1630s), ‘I love to use the civility of my knee, my hat, and hand, with all those outward and sensible motions which may express or promote my invisible devotion.’

        His hat he took off in church. His hand? Did he make the sign of the cross with it? His knee he probably bent to kneel in prayer, certainly at the reception of the Sacrament, as the Prayer Book directed.

        Today, there are two things odd about take the knee: the phrase itself and the gesture it describes. Neither was familiar in Britain.

        The phrase finds a history in American football, which I don’t play. An NFL rule declares: ‘An official shall declare the ball dead… when a quarterback immediately drops to his knee.’ This wastes time. It all took off in 1978. But if a player is injured, to take a (or the) knee is reckoned to show concern.

        In 2016 Colin Kaepernick, a quarterback, began taking a knee during the national anthem in protest at racism. It caused a stir. But it was less of a sledgehammer gesture than the black power salute of the clenched fist, which drew attention at the Mexico Olympic Games of 1968.

        The football tactic is also known as the genuflect offence (offense in American spelling). Yet Origen, the early Church father, thought genuflection absolutely necessary when asking God’s pardon for an offence. The gesture was so linked with penitence that in 325 the Council of Nicea forbade kneeling on Sunday, which was no day of penance but of rejoicing. On Good Friday, the leading fast day, people would creep the Cross, as Langland mentioned the 14th century, by advancing to adore it on their knees.

        The English knee, the Latin genu (hence genuflect) and Greek gonu all derive from an archaic word gneuo. But the gnu (called wildebeest by the Dutch) takes its name not from its knobbly knees but from the language of the San, whom we used to call Bushmen. It doesn’t take long to learn to say San instead, or to say take the knee and do it.

    • Monopolies

      • Patents

        • Sharp’s blunt swords: two patents-in-suit against Daimler likely invalid, infringement cases got stayed

          Sharp is a contributor to the abusive Avanci patent pool that makes supra-FRAND royalty demands and declines to license component makers. It’s more of a gang than a pool, and its level of coverage (of the cellular SEP landscape) is far lower than Avanci likes to pretend, as I’ll discuss in another post very soon.

        • Huawei, Samsung top list of companies with 5G-essential patents in Amplified/GreyB study–Huawei, Qualcomm have highest essentiality ratios

          Today’s IAM Sunday Supplement drew my attention to a June 2, 2020 article IAM summarized today as follows: “Essentiality analysis finds that so far just 26% of declared 5G SEP grants are core to the standard and claims Huawei, LG and Samsung lead the way.” That article notes, among other things, that “[t]he researchers judged 34% of the Huawei patents they analysed to be ‘core’ patents – by far the best hit rate among the top six players.” What is meant here by “hit rate” is the percentage of declared-essential 5G patents of a given company that actually come across as essential even upon closer look…

        • Traditionally bred plants and animals are no longer patent eligible at the European Patent Office – what is still protectable?

          On 14 May 2020, the Enlarged Board of Appeal (EBA) of the European Patent Office (EPO) provided their long-awaited opinion on the controversial G3/19 case relevant to the patent eligibility of traditionally bred plants and animals.

          This decision likely brings to a close a long running legal saga on this issue.

          [...]

          This apparent anomaly has been the subject of a protracted series of legal disputes with two previous decisions of the EBA (“Broccoli” – G2/12 and “Tomatoes II” – G2/12) finding that the exclusion should not be applied to the plants and animals produced.

          Following lobbying from the European Union, Rule 28(2) EPC was then introduced by the Administrative Council on 1 July 2017. This rule explicitly states that under Article 53(b) EPC European patents shall not be granted in respect of plants or animals exclusively obtained by means of an essentially biological process.

          However, because this apparently contradicted the earlier EBA decisions G2/12 and G2/13, and because articles are supposed to trump rules, an EPO Technical Board of Appeal (“Pepper” – T1063/18) then ruled that Rule 28(2) EPC should be ignored.

          With a view to resolving this ongoing conflict, and under pressure from various lobbyists, the President of the EPO made a referral of the issue to the EBA. Present G3/19 represents the EBA’s opinion on the issue.

        • European Patent Office COVID-19 provisions – as at 25 May 2020

          The EPO has recently issued further information regarding oral proceedings before examination and opposition divisions and before the Boards of Appeal. This article summarises all of the EPO’s COVID-19 related notices, information and decisions to date.

        • No More Automatic COVID-19 Extensions At The EPO

          In recent months, the EPO has announced various “COVID-19″ extensions of time, allowing additional time for responding to certain time periods (see our blog post here). The final “COVID-19″ extension period expires 2 June 2020, but most workplaces are still a long way from being back to “normal”. What does the absence of a formal COVID-19 extension mean for EPO users?

          As noted in our previous blog post on this topic, many significant deadlines were excluded from this extension including the deadline for filing a divisional application, and the deadlines for filing written submissions.

          Rather than providing a blanket extension of time for most (but not all) EPO time periods, the expiry of the “COVID-19″ extensions of time means that if a time limit is now missed after 2 June 2020, the onus is on applicants to demonstrate that the time limit is missed due to a dislocation in the delivery or transmission of mail caused by an exceptional occurrence affecting the locality where an applicant, a party or their representative resides or has his place of business. If there is disruption due to the pandemic, and any document received late will be deemed to have been received in due time if the person concerned offers evidence that on any of the ten days preceding the day of expiry of a period, it was not possible to observe the time limit due to this exceptional occurrence and that the mailing or the transmission was effected at the latest on the fifth day after the end of the disruption.

        • Episurf Medical: New European Patent Approval
        • Software Patents

          • Neonode provided key prior art against Apple’s slide-to-unlock patent and is now suing Apple in Texas over swipe-to-open and QuickPath swipe typing features in latest iPhones

            The Neonode N1m smartphone didn’t get much traction in the marketplace (with only a tiny number of units being sold in Sweden at the time), but it predated Apple’s slide-to-unlock patent application, which is why it served as a key prior art reference in various disputes between Apple and Android device makers Samsung and Motorola Mobility. In a nutshell, the problem plaguing Apple’s slide-to-unlock patent was that Apple itself had not invented slide to unlock per se, but merely the visual presentation (“slide-to-unlock image”).

            The Federal Court of Justice of Germany (the highest court to hear patent infringement and validity cases in that country) determined that the Neonode N1m rendered Apple’s slide-to-unlock patent non-novel. Prior to the five judges on that panel, ten other European judges had reached more or less the same conclusion.

            [...]

            Apple presumably had its reasons to reject Neonode’s demands. Let’s see how this infringement case unfolds. But after seeing the Neonode prior art mentioned in various Apple-Android disputes over the years, this is an ironic blast from the past.

      • Copyrights

        • BREAKING: CJEU rules that a functional shape may be protected by copyright in so far as it is original

          Since its seminal ruling Infopaq nearly 11 years ago [Kat-celebration here], the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) has been contributing fundamentally to both shaping and placing the building blocks of copyright protection in the EU.

          [...]

          In its 39-paragraph ruling, the CJEU held that copyright protection is in principle available to products whose shape is, at least in part, necessary to obtain a technical result, insofar as “that product is an original work resulting from intellectual creation, in that, through that shape, its author expresses his creative ability in an original manner by making free and creative choices in such a way that that shape reflects his personality”.

          In achieving this result, the Court reviewed earlier case law and, in line with the Cofemel holding, it confirmed that – for copyright protection to arise – it is “both necessary and sufficient” that the subject matter at hand is original, in the sense that it is its author’s own intellectual creation that results from their free and creative choices and reflects their personality.

          As the CJEU had held in earlier case law, originality is not fulfilled where the realization of a subject matter has been exclusively dictated by technical considerations, rules or other constraints which have left no room for creative freedom.

        • The inexorable rise of streaming and the sunset of the cinema: celebration or sorrow?

          How should we view the decline of the movie theatre industry? This is hardly a new question—The Economist reported that America has 1,600 fewer cinemas than it did at the beginning of this century. Then, the average movie goer went to the cinema about five times a year; now, it is closer to three times a year. But the coronavirus epidemic, and the binging on streamed contents that it engendered, has exacerbated these trends in a way that portends a fundamental shift in how we may be viewing movies in the future.

          [...]

          Against this backdrop, CNN.com recently published a report that AMC has “substantial doubt” that it can continue in business. Consider the numbers: it estimates to have lost between $2.1 billion and $2.4 billion during Q1 2020, with Q2 looking even worse. In the words of the company, “we are generating effectively no revenue.” With a cash balance on hand, as of April 20, of $718.3 million, the company estimates that it can still manage to reopen its operations as late as August 2020. But thereafter, uncertainty, rising to the level of an existential threat, will only increase.

          So how might this change what films we see and where we view them? After all, copyright, since its inception, has sought to foster the distribution of creative contents against the balancing of the interests of creators and consumers. Regarding films, for decades, one was limited to viewing what was screened at the local cinema. Television expanded the viewing options a bit, but it was cable, video cassettes, CD’s and the like that enabled us to have home access to movies, most recently marked by the current surge of home streaming platforms.

        • What the Federal Court of Appeal Anti-Spam Law Case Means for the Interpretation of CASL

          The case stands as the most important CASL case to date, providing both guidance on interpreting some of the provisions found in the law and strongly affirming that the law is constitutional.

        • Medical Device Repair Again Threatened With Copyright Claims

          Medical providers face countless challenges in responding to the COVID pandemic, and copyright shouldn’t have to be one of them. Hundreds of volunteers came together to create the Medical Device Repair Database posted to the repair information website iFixit, providing medical practitioners and technicians an easy-to-use, annotated, and indexed resource to help them keep devices in good repair. The database includes documentation for mission-critical devices relevant to the COVID pandemic and has been widely praised as a tool for caregivers and those supporting them.

          Despite this, Steris Corporation contacted iFixit to demand that their products’ documentation be taken down on copyright grounds. As the name suggests, Steris makes sterilization-related devices used to prevent contamination and the spread of disease. Unlike disease, though, the spread of repair information enhances public health and Steris should leave it alone.

        • Team-Xecuter Accuses Nintendo of Censorship and Legal Scare Tactics

          Team-Xecuter is widely known for creating ‘hacks’ that bypass digital restrictions on Nintendo consoles. Nintendo sees these tools as a major piracy threat and recently sued several stores that sell the products. Speaking with TorrentFreak, Team-Xecuter refutes the piracy stigma while accusing Nintendo of censorship, monopolistic control, and legal scare tactics.

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