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08.07.20

Links 7/8/2020: Mesa 20.2 RC, Radeon Software for Linux 20.30

Posted in News Roundup at 6:51 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Audiocasts/Shows

      • 2020-08-07 | Linux Headlines

        The Free Software Foundation elects a new president, security researchers warn of an attack related to Spectre and Meltdown that affects even more processor types, Ubuntu 20.04.1 is out, a new tool aims to automatically optimize laptop power without sacrificing battery life, and just two candidates are running for the vacant openSUSE board seat.

      • Test and Code: 125: pytest 6 – Anthony Sottile

        pytest 6 is out. Specifically, 6.0.1, as of July 31.

        And there’s lots to be excited about.
        Anthony Sottile joins the show to discuss features, improvements, documentation updates and more.

      • Real Python: The Real Python Podcast – Episode #21: Exploring K-means Clustering and Building a Gradebook With Pandas

        Do you want to learn the how and when of implementing K-means clustering in Python? Would you like to practice your pandas skills with a real-world project? This week on the show, David Amos is back with another batch of PyCoder’s Weekly articles and projects.

        David talks about a Real Python article about how to perform K-means clustering in Python. We also talk about a new project based article on the site about how to create a gradebook using pandas, practicing the skills of importing, merging, and calculating across groups of data. We cover several other articles and projects from the Python community including: JPEG image decoding, object-oriented development with interfaces and mixins, sparking joy with Python, five package picks from Real Python authors, and more.

    • Kernel Space

      • Linux 5.7.14

        I’m announcing the release of the 5.7.14 kernel.

        All users of the 5.7 kernel series must upgrade.

        The updated 5.7.y git tree can be found at:
        git://git.kernel.org/pub/scm/linux/kernel/git/stable/linux-stable.git linux-5.7.y
        and can be browsed at the normal kernel.org git web browser:

        https://git.kernel.org/?p=linux/kernel/git/stable/linux-s…

      • Linux 5.4.57
      • Linux 4.19.138
      • Linux 4.14.193
      • Linux Kernel 5.8

        Earlier this week Linux Kernel 5.8 was released, improving stability and introducing new features.

        [...]

        I will probably upgrade Linux Mint 20.0 to Linux Kernel 5.8 over this weekend.

      • The Seccomp Notifier – Cranking up the crazy with bpf()

        The 2. feature just landed in the merge window for v5.9. So what better time than now to boot a v5.9 pre-rc1 kernel and play with the new features.

        I said that these features make it possible to intercept syscalls that return file descriptors or that pass file descriptors to the kernel. Syscalls that come to mind are open(), connect(), dup2(), but also bpf(). People that read the first blogpost might not have realized how crazy^serious one can get with these two new features so I thought it be a good exercise to illustrate it. And what better victim than bpf().

        As we know, bpf() and unprivileged containers don’t get along too well. But that doesn’t need to be the case. For the demo you’re about to see I enabled LXD to supervise the bpf() syscalls for tasks running in unprivileged containers. We will intercept the bpf() syscalls for the BPF_PROG_LOAD command for BPF_PROG_TYPE_CGROUP_DEVICE program types and the BPF_PROG_ATTACH, and BPF_PROG_DETACH commands for the BPF_CGROUP_DEVICE attach type. This allows a nested unprivileged container to load its own device profile in the cgroup2 hierarchy.

      • RISC-V Software Support Adds More Features With Linux 5.9

        More kernel architecture features continue to be supported by the RISC-V code with Linux 5.9.

        Each kernel cycle we have been seeing more RISC-V code get squared away and over the past year has begun running nicely on the likes of SiFive’s HiFive Unleashed.

      • Linux 5.9 Exposes Device Link Details Via Sysfs, Allows Hiding DebugFS From User-Space

        There are a few driver core changes for the Linux 5.9 kernel worth mentioning.

        Exciting changes to the core driver infrastructure for the mainline Linux kernel are rare though this time around are a few alterations worth pointing out:

        - The recently covered work by Sony on being able to allow restricting user-space access to DebugFS while keeping the debug feature enabled is in Linux 5.9. While most distributions / Linux configurations already restrict DebugFS access to root / admin privileges, as this file-system often exposes sensitive system information, the change by Sony allows for it to be initialized but not accessible from user-space. Sony’s focus on this effort appears to be in line of further securing their Android smartphones.

      • Graphics Stack

        • mesa 20.2.0-rc1
          Hi list,
          
          The mesa 20.2 release cycle is officially underway! A new staging/20.2 and 20.2
          branch have been pushed, and 20.2.0-rc1 is now officially available for your
          consumption. Please enjoy responsibly.
          
          I'm still planning to have a normal -rc cadence on wednesdays. I do apologize if
          I'm a bit slow to respond, especially to email. Please ping me on matrix or irc
          if I've missed something from you.
          
          Dylan
          
        • Mesa 20.2 Development Ends After Many New Features Land

          Feature work on Mesa 20.2 is now over with the code having been branched today and Mesa 20.2-RC1 subsequently issued.

          There will now be weekly release candidates until this quarter’s release is ready, which is likely to happen at some point in September depending upon how many blocker bugs are discovered and in turn how long it takes to get those issues resolved. Ideally the Mesa 20.2.0 release will happen in early September.

        • NVIDIA Releases Their Previously Announced HPC SDK

          Earlier this year at GTC Digital was the announcement of the NVIDIA High Performance Computing Software Development Kit while this week they have finally released this HPC SDK for developers at large.

          The NVIDIA HPC SDK aims to make it easy to deploy HPC workloads not only on NVIDIA GPUs but also CPUs. The HPC SDK features LLVM-based C++ and Fortran compilers, including support for automatic GPU acceleration of C++17 code using parallel algorithms and Fortran intrinsics.

        • Mike Blumenkrantz: Shader Testing

          I’m back, and today’s topic is testing.

          Again.

          But this time is different. This time I’m going to be looking into a specific test format, namely piglit shader tests.

          Shader tests in piglit are tests which are passed through piglit’s undocumented shader_runner binary, which parses *.shader_test files at runtime to automatically produce tests based on GLSL without requiring any actual GL code and only minimal boilerplate. This makes writing tests easy, and, more importantly for my own use case, it makes debugging them easier.

    • Radeon

      • AMD Radeon Software for Linux 20.30 Released with Support for Ubuntu 20.04.1 LTS

        AMD Radeon Software for Linux 20.30 is now available with full support for the recently released Ubuntu 20.04.1 LTS (Focal Fossa) operating system, as well as for the SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop and Server 15 Service Pack 2 (SP 2).

        Radeon Software for Linux 20.30 now supports a total of eight distribution releases, including Ubuntu 20.04.1 LTS, Ubuntu 18.04.4 LTS, CentOS 7.8, CentOS 8.2, Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7.8, Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8.2, SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop 15 SP2, and SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 15 SP2.

        If you’re using any of these systems on your computer(s) powered by an AMD Radeon graphics card supported by the AMD Radeon Software for Linux, you should update the drivers to version 20.30 as soon as possible.

      • Radeon Software for Linux 20.30 Released

        Just under two months since Radeon Software for Linux 20.20 that is comprised of the AMDGPU-Open and AMDGPU-PRO driver components for these packaged drivers, Radeon Software for Linux 20.30 was quietly released at the end of last week.

        Radeon Software for Linux 20.30 provides the latest packaged Linux graphics drivers, primarily intended for enterprise Linux distributions like RHEL/CentOS, Ubuntu LTS, and SUSE Linux Enterprise. For most gamers running other distributions you are better off just using the latest Linux kernel and Mesa (and AMDVLK, if you want).

      • AMDVLK 2020.Q3.3 Driver Enables Its Pipeline Cache

        AMDVLK 2020.Q3.3 is the latest tagged release for their open-source Vulkan Linux driver that is an alternative to Mesa’s RADV driver. With AMDVLK 2020.Q3.3 they finally have their pipeline cache in good order that it’s (re)enabled, which is helpful for performance. AMDVLK 2020.Q3.3 also enables sharing of metadata for images, support for dumping viewports as part of the command buffer logger, improving the defer-freeing command chunk in the queue context, and support for DispatchMeshIndirectMutli.

    • Applications

      • Bashtop – A Resource Monitoring Tool for Linux

        Bashtop is a terminal-based resource monitoring utility in Linux. It’s a nifty command-line tool that intuitively displays statistics for your CPU, memory, running processes, and bandwidth to mention just a few.

        It ships with a game-inspired and responsive terminal UI with a customizable menu. Monitoring various system metrics is made easy by the neat arrangement of various display sections.

        With Bashtop, you can also sort processes, as well as easily switch between the various sorting options. Additionally, you can send SIGKILL, SIGTERM, and SIGINT to the processes that you want.

      • Tracking Your CRYPTO INVESTMENTS Is Dead Simple With Cointop
      • Automatic CPU Speed & Power Optimizer Auto-cpufreq 1.2 Released

        Auto-cpufreq, automatic CPU speed & power optimizer for Linux to improve battery life, released version 1.2 with AMD support.

        Different to cpufreq indicator and / or TLP, Auto-cpufreq automatically make “cpufreq” related changes based on active monitoring of laptop’s battery state, CPU usage and system load. Ultimately allowing you to improve battery life without making any compromises.

    • Instructionals/Technical

    • Wine or Emulation

      • Wine 5.0.2 Released With Fixes For Various Games, Windows Applications

        For those using Wine in a production environment for running Windows software on Linux, Wine 5.0.2 is out as the latest stable update.

        While Wine continues chugging along with a lot of great feature work with the Wine 5.x bi-weekly snapshots leading up to the Wine 6.0 release early next year, Wine 5.0.2 is the latest stable point release with a variety of bug-fixes back-ported to this code-base that was minted at the start of this year. There are no new features but exclusively bug fixes.

    • Games

      • Techland confirm Dying Light Hellraid will see plenty of updates post-release

        Dying Light – Hellraid is the upcoming DLC that swaps Zombies for Skeletons and turns Dying Light into something of a dungeon crawler. It’s exciting and it’s going to continually get updates after release.

        Reminder: the DLC is inspired by and using some ideas from Hellraid, which was originally going to be a standalone first-person co-op slasher. Techland appear to have shelved it completely so they’re making sure it didn’t all go to waste this way. I’m pretty happy about it because if there’s one thing I want, it’s more Dying Light content.

      • The Bridge Constructor series is now up on GOG with a nice big sale

        A little building for the weekend perhaps? The Bridge Constructor series has appeared on GOG and there’s a sweet discount deal going where you could get the first game free.

        The newly DRM-free released titles on GOG are: Bridge Constructor, Bridge Constructor Medieval and Bridge Constructor Portal. I don’t think any of these games really need an introduction do they? The name along pretty much speaks for itself. Each of them has a slightly different take on what you do but the end result is the same. You get to build bridges, and watch as your glorious creations fail repeatedly.

        [...]

        I had a huge amount of fun with Bridge Constructor Portal, as the portal system definitely makes it feel different to the previous entries and to other similar such games.

      • Railway Empire gets a Complete Collection out now

        All aboard the DLC train! Kalypso Media and in-house developer Gaming Minds Studios today put the brakes on Railway Empire, with a proper Complete Collection now available.

        This is because the team has moved onto another game, so Railway Empire should be considered actually finished now, apart from perhaps a few standard patches that may come in future. Since release in early 2018 it’s been through 13 free updates, 8 extensive DLCs spanning iconic locations such as the Rocky Mountains, Sweden and Mexico, and brought to life 83 historically authentic locomotives. Kalypso claim this collection which bundles all DLC with the main game offer up “the most comprehensive railway tycoon experience currently available on PC and consoles”.

      • Quirky vehicle building game ‘Making it Home’ is now in Early Access

        Making it Home looks so bizarre that I feel like I just need to give it a go. You’re a ladybug building a vehicle to travel from one side of America to the other.

        Yes, a ladybug. I did say it looks bizarre. Even the developer thinks their idea is weird. They said it’s “kinda Oregon Trail meets Banjo Kazooie Nuts and Bolts with a bit of Far Lone Sails – and a smoking crab and bear – with carrots and peas – and honey… and dehumidifiers”. Are we any clearer? No but it looks a bit amusing. The point is to build a big Rube Goldberg styled contraption, then platformer all over it to interact with it and collect stuff along the way.

      • Perspective illusion puzzler THE IMPOSSIBLE is out now

        Inspired by designs from MC Escher, THE IMPOSSIBLE is a game about moving a box around crazy shapes. Note: key provided by the developer.

        Taking the visuals and gameplay, you could compare it directly with hocus from 2015 but Airem have put their own slightly quirky take on it, complete with a GLaDOS-inspired narrator to prod you along. Using simple controls, all you need to do is get the the box across the shape you’re given onto the red square. Doing so is not always easy, due to the perspective. It’s not impossible of course but it is challenging.

        This is not your typical shape puzzle game though, this cheeky GLaDOS sounding AI that comments on your progress also messes with you. There’s some intentional glitches and errors that flash around on certain levels to interrupt you. Quite funny actually the way it’s done and it’s not over the top either, you’re even told if you “obey the rules, you’ll get Steam Achievements” in a glitched-out voice with the audio going from all relaxing to properly mysterious.

      • Len’s Island plans to blend together peaceful building with intense dungeon exploration

        Len’s Island sounds like quite a peculiar mix. Blending together peaceful building, farming and crafting, mixed with intense combat, dungeon battles and deep questing and exploration. We’ve got plenty of games that do either side of the coin with building or dungeon crawling but both together? I’m eager to see how that will all work. Even more so because of the setting and the lovely colourful style it provides.

        “Len’s Island brings excitement and progression for many playstyles, all within a vibrant and engaging world. Catering to the hardcore dungeon-crawler fans, home-builders and decorators, explorers and completionists, farming fanatics, collectable hoarders, and people who just want to live the simple life chopping trees as the sun goes down.”

      • Google adds Free Weekends to Stadia starting with Borderlands 3

        Google’s game streaming service Stadia continues to gradually roll out new features, one of which went up yesterday with Free Weekends now being a thing. Plus, another round-up on recent Stadia info.

        I’m surprised it actually took this long. Free Weekends are a great way to trial games, and something Steam has been doing for quite a long time now. Partly thanks to demos at some point becoming more of a rarity. The thing is, for a game streaming service like this it makes a whole lot more sense, since there’s no lengthy initial downloads. You can jump in practically instantly and see if you like it and play a good few hours. Then perhaps buy it.

      • Counter-Strike: Global Offensive gets fancy new skins, networking improvements

        Valve continue to tweak their classic free to play shooter Counter-Strike: Global Offensive. The latest update improves various parts of the game and there’s some fancy new weapon skins.

        Trusted Mode, the newer feature that’s just one small part of their fight against cheating now has the “-untrusted” launch argument removed. Trusted Mode on Linux also now appears to be on by default, so you no longer need the quick fix we wrote about recently, so if you missed that you should find your CS:GO games on Linux to be a lot nicer. Valve also fixed several exploits related to VPK tampering.

        For collectors, a new Fracture Collection weapons case went up so you can gamble away some of your monies on their loot box system. This new case features designs from over 17 different community artists and there’s even Shattered Web Knives as rare special items. Looking over the Steam Market, there’s already tons on there from it so if you’re after something really specific you might just be able to grab it right away there.

      • Core Defense developer ‘completely blown away’ by first week Steam sales

        After launching on July 31, Core Defense from developer ehmprah appears to have done quite well to the point that they’ve been ‘blown away’ by the sales numbers.

        What is Core Defense? It’s a tower defense game, that mixes in a little more randomness than you might expect. You pick towers and upgrades from a set a cards after each wave, and gradually build up a maze to force enemies to travel through. See our previous thoughts here—it’s good!

        This cross-platform release (Linux, macOS, Windows) managed to cut through the noise, with the first week hitting 2,546 units and grossed $20,186 on Steam. Compared with 106 units and grossed $1,144 on itch.io during the Early Access phase it did there. Interestingly, despite Steam Wishlists often being said to be what makes or breaks games, they said only 26% of sales came from wishlist conversions. They also had around 8% refunded, which sounds pretty good so overall the managed to net $17,029 before Steam’s own cut.

      • Braid is getting a much upgraded Anniversary Edition releasing in 2021

        Braid, the indie puzzle-platformer from Jonathan Blow is getting a huge overhaul with a new Anniversary Edition that’s due out sometime in 2021. It’s something of a classic and became quite a big hit, it was also one of the early bigger indie titles to come to Linux.

        Sounds like it’s going to be a massive improvement, which includes David Hellman returning to do the repainting. Extra animations are in, upgraded sound effects and music and so on. They explained the point was to upgrade it and not do a “Star Wars Special Edition” to change how some things were done to the story. There’s even going to be a toggle to switch between old and new which is always fun to play with in a game. Developer commentary is also going to be in, with their plan to have it as the “craziest, most-in-depth commentary ever put in a video game”.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • GNOME Desktop/GTK

        • The archaeology of GNOME accessibility

          There are many people in the world who cannot make full use of their computers without some sort of accessibility support. Developers, though, have a tendency not to think about accessibility issues themselves; they don’t (usually) need those features and cannot normally even see them. In a talk at the 2020 GUADEC virtual conference, Emmanuele Bassi discussed the need for accessibility features, their history in GNOME, and his effort to rethink about how GNOME supports assistive technology.

          He began by defining “accessibility” as usability by people with disabilities; this usability is often provided through the use of assistive technology of some sort. When one thinks about who benefits from accessibility, it is natural to picture people like Stephen Hawking, who clearly needed a lot of assistive technology. But that is not what the most common consumers of assistive technology look like; instead, they look like his parents, who are active people in their late 60s. They are computer-literate, but they are getting older and need more affordances than they once did.

          [...]

          Much of the accessibility implementation is maintained outside of the GTK source tree, which brings problems of its own. The end result is that GNOME’s accessibility support never worked all that well. But it lets managers check the “accessibility” box, which is all many of them need. Unfortunately, accessibility is not a box that can be checked and forgotten about; it is a process that must be constantly kept up with. But the GNOME project ended up mostly forgetting about it.

          In the intervening years the world has changed. CORBA has been replaced by D-Bus, for example. Patience for out-of-tree modules is mostly gone. The move to Wayland is creating problems for existing assistive technology, as is the sandboxing that is increasingly being used for GNOME applications.

          AT-SPI has been ported to D-Bus, he said, but the architecture of the accessibility subsystem as a whole is the same. It remains in the X11 world, where every application expects to have access to the entire system. This is a design that dates back to the days when applications were installed by the system administrator and could (hopefully) be trusted; they certainly were not acquired from random places on the Internet.

          The world has changed, he said, so accessibility support in GNOME needs to change with it. The system is “stuck” and needs a redesign. But this is hard because, unlike the situation with other desktop features, it is not possible to ask users of assistive technology to contribute. To a great extent, they simply cannot perceive what is not available to them, so it’s hard to even ask them to report regressions.

          The first thing that needs to happen is to consolidate the various pieces, many of which have been untouched for years. Some new functionality has been added, mostly to match new features provided by browsers, but as a whole GNOME accessibility support just doesn’t really work. The abstraction layer doesn’t really abstract anything, so changes typically have to be made in many places. The toolkit needs to be simplified; as things stand now, application developers expect GTK to take care of everything, but that is not the case. There is also a need for funding; this work is not trivial and it’s not reasonable to expect it to be done by volunteers.

    • Distributions

      • BSD

        • GSoC 2020 Second Evaluation Report: Curses Library Automated Testing

          My GSoC project under NetBSD involves the development of test framework of curses library. This blog report is second in series of blog reports; you can have a look at the first report. This report would cover the progress made in second coding phase along with providing some insights into the libcurses.

      • Screenshots/Screencasts

      • SUSE/OpenSUSE

        • Skopeo, xxHash, GCC 10.2 are Among Updates in Tumbleweed

          openSUSE Tumbleweed had continuous daily snapshots with a handful of software package updates this week.

          Many minor-version updates and one major-version update became available to Tumbleweed users and the newest snapshot, 20200804, updated the iso-codes package, which lists country, language and currency names; the new 4.5.0 version updated translations and the subdivision names for Belarus. The Greybird Geeko theme was updated to improve contrast of gtk2 selection background color. The desktop calculator qalculate was updated to version 3.12.0 and improved exact simplification of roots. The fast hash algorithm xxhash 0.8.0 stablized the XXH3. Both libyui-ncurses and ncurses had minor updates. The snapshot is trending stable with a rating of 97, according to the Tumbleweed snapshot reviewer.

        • Digest of YaST Development Sprint 105

          Although a significant part of the YaST Team is enjoying their well deserved summer vacations, the development wheel keeps turning. During the latest two weeks we have fixed quite some bugs in several parts of (Auto)YaST. But listing fixed bugs it’s quite boring, so let’s focus on more interesting stuff we have also achieved.

        • Open Source for the Edge at IoT World

          As technologies converge to drive new innovation at the edge, organizations are working together more than ever to pave the road forward by combining the likes of 5G, AI/ML, Embedded Systems, High Performance Computing, Kubernetes, private/public environments and more. Companies are bringing specific domain expertise to the table, and SUSE is uniquely positioned with 28 years of Linux and open source expertise to serve as the foundation for developing, distributing and managing edge systems and the critical workloads they will support.

        • SUSE Partner Summit – Coming to a digital platform in mid-September!
      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • Open source is more than code: Developing Red Hat Satellite documentation upstream

          The code base for Satellite begins upstream and moves downstream. Until recently, the Satellite documentation did not follow the same journey. In this post, I will outline what has been happening with Satellite documentation over the last year and how this benefits both the Foreman community and Red Hat Satellite users.

          The Foreman and Katello projects are the upstreams of Red Hat Satellite. The discussions and contributions that take place in the vibrant upstream community help shape the Red Hat Satellite code base. Red Hat’s open source and community strategy has made Red Hat Satellite a robust and flexible product that can manage complex management workflows.

        • Accelerating the value of multicloud environments: A collaborative DevSecOps approach is critical

          Cloud Native development is not so much about where you run your application, but more about how you develop it. It is an interesting moment in time for enterprise developers, as more emphasis shifts to application modernization and cloud native development. The responsibility is shifting to the application for critical success factors for hybrid cloud environments, including security, reliability, and manageability. I have found that these “interesting” challenges are best addressed by collaborative, cross-disciplinary DevSecOps teams that understand the entire software development lifecycle.

          In this new environment, your role as developers is more demanding, and we all need better tools. You have increased responsibility for understanding and working directly with security engineers on governance and related management policies. You are being tasked with prioritizing service reliability, and the best practice is to address potential problems early in the application lifecycle. You also need to proactively detect and resolve potential issues with production environments before they have a negative business impact.

        • Play Minecraft with Fedora Friends at Nest 2020 [Ed: Fedora is boosting Microsoft and "Fedora Minecraft/Spigot server follows the same Code of Conduct as Fedora Nest and the wider Fedora Community. Be kind, be respectful, and have fun!" (unlike Microsoft)]
      • Debian Family

        • Deepin Linux Gets V20 (1000) Update With New Rules For Version Number

          It has been over four months since the beta release of Deepin 20 and we’re still waiting for its stable version. Now with the latest system update, Deepin 20 series has a new release, but with a new rule for the system version number.

          Instead of using the previous point version number scheme, Deepin Linux will now comply with the unified naming specification. Under the scheme, any new release or system update from Deepin will use the major version number plus (minor version number), such as 20 (1000), 20 (1010), and so on.

        • Jonathan Dowland: Vimwiki

          At the start of the year I begun keeping a daily diary for work as a simple text file. I’ve used various other approaches for this over the years, including many paper diaries and more complex digital systems. One great advantage of the one-page text file was it made assembling my weekly status report email very quick, nearly just a series of copies and pastes. But of course there are drawbacks and room for improvement.

          vimwiki is a personal wiki plugin for the vim and neovim editors. I’ve tried to look at it before, years ago, but I found it too invasive, changing key bindings and display settings for any use of vim, and I use vim a lot.

          I decided to give it another look. The trigger was actually something completely unrelated: Steve Losh’s blog post “Coming Home to vim”. I’ve been using vim for around 17 years but I still learned some new things from that blog post. In particular, I’ve never bothered to Use The Leader for user-specific shortcuts.

        • Gmail Desktop

          There is a new application available for Sparkers: Gmail Desktop

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • First Point Version Ubuntu 20.04.1 LTS Arrives With A Lot Of Bug Fixes

          After the rescheduling of the point release date of Ubuntu 20.04 and 18.04, the Ubuntu team has finally released the Ubuntu 20.04.1. This is the first point release for Ubuntu 20.04 LTS, which arrived on 23 April 2020 with a number of new features and enhancements.

          Additionally, the team has also announced a point version of seven official Ubuntu flavors. It includes Kubuntu 20.04.1 LTS, Ubuntu Budgie 20.04.1 LTS, Ubuntu MATE 20.04.1 LTS, Lubuntu 20.04.1 LTS, Ubuntu Kylin 20.04.1 LTS, Ubuntu Studio 20.04.1 LTS, and Xubuntu 20.04.1 LTS.

          Being a long-term version, Ubuntu 20.04 along with its other variant for Desktop, Server, Cloud, and Core will be supported for five years until 2025. However, you can also extend its security support through ESM (Extended Security Maintenance) at the cost of money.

        • Ubuntu 20.04.1: The First Point Release of Ubuntu 20.04 LTS is Now Available To Download

          This could be confusing if you are new to Ubuntu. Ubuntu 20.04 long term support (LTS) version was released in April this year.

          Since a LTS release is supported for five years, providing the same installation media (ISO) for five years won’t be a wise thing to do.

          Imagine trying to install Ubuntu 20.04 in 2022. You’ll have a huge list of system updates, security updates, software updates and bug fixes to install right after you have a fresh install of Ubuntu.

          Installing several GB of update data can be avoided thanks to these point release.

          The Ubuntu team refreshes the ISO of Ubuntu 20.04 with all the bug fixes and important updates released since April 2020. There will be up to 5 more point releases for Ubuntu 20.04 in the future.

        • Ubuntu 20.04.1 LTS out now opening LTS upgrade path

          Canonical has announced the release of Ubuntu 20.04.1 LTS for its Desktop, Server, and Cloud products as well as other Ubuntu flavours with long-term support. Additionally, those still running Ubuntu 18.04 LTS will now be offered the upgrade inside the Update Manager. As with other point releases, Ubuntu 20.04.1 LTS comes with all the latest security patches from preceding months, saving time post-installation.

          When Ubuntu 20.04 LTS was released back in April, those on Ubuntu 18.04 LTS were not offered the update right away because Canonical wanted to let the new release mature a bit. Long-term support editions of Ubuntu are supported for at least five years so they’re preferred in production environments so stability is a very important factor.

        • Manjaro vs. Ubuntu – which is better for you?

          If you are a person associated with Computer technology and spend most of the time in the open-source arena, you must have heard or worked with some of the popular Linux distributions we have in the market. Some of the names that you will never miss are; Ubuntu, Arch Linux, Debian, and Mint.

          Despite Linux having more than 600 distros available today, I tend to believe there is that one distribution that everyone has a soft spot for. That could be because of its performance, stability, software availability, or a specific feature not available in other distribution.

          In this article, we will put our focus on two Linux distributions. The first is Ubuntu, one of the most popular distributions with its first release made on October 20, 2004. The other is Manjaro, which is regarded as a much smaller and emerging distribution with its first release on July 10, 2011. We will compare these two distros across a few key areas and give a brief review of both distributions.

        • Ubuntu Kylin Point Release Boosts Desktop Performance by 46%

          More than 418 updates, tweaks, and other improvements have been made to the uniquely styled desktop environment and distro since the release of Ubuntu Kylin 20.04 back in April.

          And as with the Ubuntu 20.04 point release Ubuntu Kylin’s refreshed installer image comes with all of those enhancements wrapped up, ready to go, out of the box — no lengthy post-install upgrades required.

        • The First Point Release of Ubuntu 20.04 Available to Download

          Ubuntu 20.04.1, the first point release for the LTS, was released. ISO images and upgrade from Ubuntu 18.04 are available.

          This point release DO NOT contain updated Kernel and X stack. It contains various bug fixes to installation, upgrade, desktop, server and cloud, and Kernel and hardware support updates. See change summary.

    • Devices/Embedded

      • iWave Telematics Control Unit Supports GPS, 4G LTE, WiFi, and Bluetooth

        We’ve often written about iWave Systems’ single board computers, development kits, and systems-on-module, but the company has also been offering automotive products such as a Linux based OBD-II Dongle.

      • First Tiger Lake SBCs emerge

        Aaeon and Kontron are prepping 3.5-inch SBCs — and Advantech will offer a 2.5-incher — that debut Intel’s 11th Gen, 10nm Tiger Lake CPUs. The 15-28W TDP Tiger Lake offers better graphics than Ice Lake, including support for up to 4x 4K displays.

        Intel’s recent announcement of an additional six months delay in delivering 7nm CPUs, pushing back its original roadmap by a year to late 2022 or 2023 has led to further questions about the company’s future dominance. The 7nm defects are severe enough that Intel says it will expand its outsourcing of manufacturing to TSMC. Yet, Intel’s strong quarterly earnings and news that 10nm fabricated, 11th Gen Tiger Lake processors will meet their revised Q4 2020 deadline are helping to salve the wound.

      • RAK2287 Mini PCIe LoRaWAN Concentrator Module Supports up to 500 Nodes per km2

        The company provides a Raspbian based Raspberry Pi 3/4 firmware in the Wiki, but it’s obviously possible to use the card with other Linux hardware, and instructions to build an x86 Linux gateway are also provided. That’s for RAK2247, but it will work for RAK2287 as well.

      • How A Raspberry Pi 4 Performs Against Intel’s Latest Celeron, Pentium CPUs

        Following the recent Intel Comet Lake Celeron and Pentium CPU benchmarking against other x86_64 Intel/AMD CPUs, here was a bit of fun… Seeing how these budget Intel CPUs compare to a Raspberry Pi 4 in various processor benchmarks, all tested on Debian Linux.

        The Celeron part tested was the G5900 as a $42 processor as a dual-core 3.4GHz processor with 2MB cache and UHD Graphics 610.

      • MEGA-RTD Raspberry Pi HAT Offers up to 64 Resistance Temperature Detectors (Crowdfunding)

        Sequent Microsystems like to make stackable Raspberry Pi HATs. After their stackable 4-relay board allowing for up to 32 relays controlled by a Raspberry Pi board, the company has now launched MEGA-RTD 8-channel RTD Raspberry Pi HAT enabling up to 64 resistance temperature detectors via 8x MEGA RTD board stacked on top of a Raspberry Pi board.

      • The State of Robotics – July 2020

        Looking for an easy way to get familiar with ROS 2? We recently published a few helpers on how to simulate robots with turtlesim to help our readers get a rolling start on ROS2.

        [...]

        CIS has a long and successful history of creating community-consensus best practice recommendations for security. The first CIS benchmark for ROS is currently under consideration and covers Melodic running on Ubuntu Server 18.04.

      • Open Hardware/Modding

        • When Will Open Source Hardware Become a Thing?

          my honest opinion, Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) is probably the best of all innovation to come out of the tech industry in the past four or five decades. As far as I can tell, the Open Source Initiative is predated by Richard Stallman’s famous Free Software Foundation (FSF) (1985), which itself is predated by his own GNU project (1983) which seems as if it pretty much kick-started what we would call Free and Open Source today. Whilst it is true that software programs were often shared amongst academics before GNU, the software industry was a fraction of what it is today and so I believe that it was indeed GNU that kicked it all off.

          [...]

          Open Source firmware and drivers have been harder to come by in general than software. However, there have been major efforts made by Open Source and Free Software community members to create projects such as Libreboot which aims to replace proprietary boot firmware. Firmware is often a more contentious issue than software since most hardware we buy comes with firmware baked in. Reverse engineering a device’s firmware is not necessarily a particularly easy task, at least not when compared to just rebuilding an existing software project (eg. LibreOffice and Microsoft Office). To make matters worse, It can be much easier for companies to embed potentially malicious code since it is harder to analyse.

          I think that Open Source firmware will slowly become a bigger thing. However, its growth will probably be driven by the rise of Open Source hardware.

          [...]

          We’ve also seen the introduction of devices for the everyday user (not just hobbyists and tinkerers) including mobile phones and laptops. The company Purism has recently released both Laptops and a model of mobile phone which seem promising. Unfortunately, their laptops do rely on Intel CPUs, even if they claim to have disabled the management engine. It does seem like it will certainly take a while for these devices to meet mainstream though. Still, promising…

        • SAMD21 Lite is a Stamp-sized, MikroBus Compatible Cortex-M0+ MCU Board

          If you’re a fan of tiny microcontroller boards, you’ll be pleased with BOKRA SAMD21 Lite board powered by Microchip SAMD21 Arm Cortex-M0+ MCU, exposing I/Os in a way compatible with MikroBus socket, and adding a Grove connector for good measure.

        • TLS gets a boost from Arduino for IoT devices

          Arduino devices are a favorite among do-it-yourself (DIY) enthusiasts to create, among other things, Internet of Things (IoT) devices. We have previously covered the Espressif ESP8266 family of devices that can be programmed using the Arduino SDK, but the Arduino project itself also provides WiFi-enabled devices such as the Arduino MKR WiFi 1010 board. Recently, the Arduino Security Team raised the problem of security shortcomings of IoT devices in a post, and how the Arduino project is working to make improvements. We will take the opportunity to share some interesting things from that, and also look at the overall state of TLS support in the Arduino and Espressif SDK projects.

          When it comes to making a secure IoT device, an important consideration is the TLS implementation. At minimum, TLS can prevent eavesdropping on the communications, but, properly implemented, can also address a number of other security concerns as well (such as man-in-the-middle attacks). Moreover, certificate-based authentication for IoT endpoints is a considerably better approach than usernames and passwords. In certificate-based authentication, a client presents a certificate that can be cryptographically verified as to the client’s identity, rather than relying on a username and password to do the same. These certificates are issued by trusted and cryptographically verifiable authorities so they are considerably more difficult to compromise than a simple username and password. Still, according to the team: “As of today, a lot of embedded devices still do not properly implement the full TLS stack”. As an example, it pointed out that “a lot of off-brand boards use code that does not actually validate the server’s certificate, making them an easy target for server impersonation and man-in-the-middle attacks.”

          The reason for this is often simply a lack of resources available on the device — some devices only offer 32KB of RAM and many TLS implementations require more memory to function. Moreover, validating server certificates requires storing a potentially large number of trusted root certificates. Storing all of the data for Mozilla-trusted certificate authorities on a device takes up over 170KB in a system that potentially only has 1MB of available total flash memory. A general lack of education regarding the importance of security in this space unfortunately also plays a role. After all, TLS isn’t the most straightforward subject to begin with, and having to implement it on a resource-limited platform does not make implementing it correctly any easier of a problem to solve.

        • Open-source CNCing

          Last year Sienci Labs finished its Kickstarter campaign for the open-source LongMill Benchtop CNC Router — its second successful open-source CNC machine Kickstarter campaign. CNC routers allow users to mill things (like parts) from raw materials (like a block of aluminum) based on a 3D-model. The LongMill is a significant improvement over the original sold-out Mill One and makes professional-quality machining based entirely on open-source technology a reality. As an owner of a LongMill, I will walk through the various open-source technologies that make this tool a cornerstone of my home workshop.

          Hardware

          The Sienci Labs LongMill is an impressive feat of engineering, using a combination of off-the-shelf hardware components alongside a plethora of 3D-printed parts. The machine, once assembled, is designed to be mounted to a board. This board, called a spoilboard, is a board the machine can “accidentally” cut into or otherwise suffer damage — designed to be occasionally replaced. In most circumstances, the spoilboard is the top of a table for the machine, and Sienci provides documentation on several different table builds done by the community. For builders short on space, the machine can be mounted on a wall.

          The complete 3D plans for the machine are available for download, including a full bill of materials of all of the parts needed. The project also provides instructions to assemble the machine and how best to 3D print relevant components. The machine is controlled by the LongBoard CNC Controller, and Sienci Labs provides full schematics [23MB ZIP] of that as well. All mentioned materials are licensed under a Creative Commons BY-SA 4.0 license.

          In addition to the open-source design of the machine itself, an open-source-minded community has formed around the project. The company’s Facebook user group has 1,600 members, and an active community forum is hosted by the company, which discusses everything from tips to machine support. Community members contribute, among other things, various modifications to improve the original design or to add new features such as a laser engraver.

      • Mobile Systems/Mobile Applications

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • Daniel Stenberg: Using fixed port numbers for curl tests is now history!

        The curl test suite fires up a whole bunch of test servers for the various supported protocols, and then command lines using curl or libcurl-using dedicated test apps are run against those servers to make sure curl is acting exactly as it is supposed to.

      • Mycroft: an open-source voice assistant

        Mycroft is a free and open-source software project aimed at providing voice-assistant technology, licensed under the Apache 2.0 license. It is an interesting alternative to closed-source commercial offerings such as Amazon Alexa, Google Home, or Apple Siri. Use of voice assistants has become common among consumers, but the privacy concerns surrounding them are far-reaching. There have been multiple instances of law enforcement’s interest in the data these devices produce for use against their owners. Mycroft claims to offer a privacy-respecting, open-source alternative, giving users a choice on how much of their personal data is shared and with whom.

        The Mycroft project is backed by the Mycroft AI company. The company was originally funded by a successful one-million-dollar crowdfunding campaign involving over 1,500 supporters. In recent years, it has developed two consumer-focused “smart speaker” devices: the Mark 1 and Mark 2. Both devices were funded through successful Kickstarter campaigns, with the most recent Mark 2 raising $394,572 against a $50,000 goal.

        In the press, the company has indicated its intention is to focus on the enterprise market for its commercial offerings, while keeping the project free to individual users and developers. On the subject of developers, contributors are expected to sign a contributor license agreement (CLA) to participate in the project. The actual CLA was unavailable at the time of publication, but the project claims it grants the project a license to the contributed code, while retaining ownership of the contribution to the developer.

      • Web Browsers

        • Mozilla

          • By embracing blockchain, a California bill takes the wrong step forward.

            The California legislature is currently considering a bill directing a public board to pilot the use of blockchain-type tools to communicate Covid-19 test results and other medical records. We believe the bill unduly dictates one particular technical approach, and does so without considering the privacy, security, and equity risks it poses. We urge the California Senate to reconsider.

            The bill in question is A.B. 2004, which would direct the Medical Board of California to create a pilot program using verifiable digital credentials as electronic patient records to communicate COVID-19 test results and other medical information. The bill seems like a well-intentioned attempt to use modern technology to address an important societal problem, the ongoing pandemic. However, by assuming the suitability of cryptography-based verifiable credential models for this purpose, rather than setting out technology-neutral principles and guidelines for the proposed pilot program, the bill would set a dangerous precedent by effectively legislating particular technology outcomes. Furthermore, the chosen direction risks exacerbating the potential for discrimination and exclusion, a lesson Mozilla has learned in our work on digital identity models being proposed around the world. While we appreciate the safeguards that have been introduced into the legislation in its current form, such as its limitations on law enforcement use, they are insufficient. A new approach, one that maximizes public good while minimizing harms of privacy and exclusion, is needed.

          • Karl Dubost: Browser developer tools timeline

            I was reading In a Land Before Dev Tools by Amber, and I thought, Oh here missing in the history the beautifully chiseled Opera Dragonfly and F12 for Internet Explorer. So let’s see what are all the things I myself didn’t know.

      • CMS

        • Kiwi TCMS Enterprise v8.5.2-mt

          We’re happy to announce Kiwi TCMS Enterprise version 8.5.2-mt and extended support hours for subscribers in America.

      • FSF

      • Programming/Development

        • Intel Compute Runtime Preparing For The Upcoming oneAPI Level Zero 1.0

          At the end of last year Intel published the oneAPI Level Zero specification as a low-level API for direct-to-metal interfaces for offload accelerators like FPGAs and GPUs. In the months since they have continued advancing the Level Zero interface and implementation within the Intel software stack (along with the other oneAPI components at large) while it’s looking like Level Zero v1.0 is around the corner.

        • nanotime 0.3.0: Yuge New Features!

          A fresh major release of the nanotime package for working with nanosecond timestamps is hitting CRAN mirrors right now.

          nanotime relies on the RcppCCTZ package for (efficient) high(er) resolution time parsing and formatting up to nanosecond resolution, and the bit64 package for the actual integer64 arithmetic. Initially implemented using the S3 system, it has benefitted greatly from work by Leonardo Silvestri who rejigged internals in S4—and now added new types for periods, intervals and durations. This is what is commonly called a big fucking deal!! So a really REALLY big thank you to my coauthor Leonardo for all these contributions.

          With all these Yuge changes patiently chisseled in by Leonardo, it took some time since the last release and a few more things piled up. Matt Dowle corrected something we borked for integration with the lovely and irreplacable data.table. We also switched to the awesome yet minimal tinytest package by Mark van der Loo, and last but not least we added the beginnings of a proper vignette—currently at nine pages but far from complete.

        • Lockless algorithms for mere mortals

          Time, as some have said, is nature’s way of keeping everything from happening at once. In today’s highly concurrent computers, though, time turns out not to be enough to keep events in order; that task falls to an extensive set of locking primitives and, below those, the formalized view of memory known as the Linux kernel memory model. It takes a special kind of mind to really understand the memory model, though; kernel developers lacking that particular superpower are likely to make mistakes when working in areas where the memory model comes into play. Working at that level is increasingly necessary for performance purposes, though; a recent conversation points out ways in which the kernel could make that kind of work easier for ordinary kernel developers.

          Concurrency comes into play when multiple threads of execution are accessing the same data at the same time. Even in a simple world, keeping everything coherent in a situation like this can be a challenging task. The kernel prevents the wrong things from happening at the same time with the use of spinlocks, mutexes, and other locking primitives that can control concurrency. Locks at this level can be thought of as being similar to traffic lights in cities: they prevent accidents as long as they are properly observed, but at the cost of stopping a lot of traffic. Time spent waiting for locks hurts; even the time bouncing lock data between memory caches can wreck scalability, so developers often look for ways to avoid locking.

        • A look at Dart

          Dart is a BSD-licensed programming language from Google with a mature open-source community supporting the project. It works with multiple architectures, is capable of producing native machine-code binaries, and can also produce JavaScript versions of its applications. Dart version 1.0 was released in 2013, with the most recent version, 2.8, released on June 3 (2.9 is currently in public beta). Among the open-source projects using Dart is the cross-device user-interface (UI) toolkit Flutter. We recently covered the Canonical investment in Flutter to help drive more applications to the Linux desktop, and Dart is central to that story.

          Dart’s syntax is a mix of concepts from multiple well-established languages including JavaScript, PHP, and C++. Further, Dart is a strongly-typed, object-oriented language, with primitive types that are implemented as classes. While Dart does have quirks, it is likely that a programmer familiar with the aforementioned languages will find getting started with Dart to be relatively easy. Included in the language are useful constructs like Lists (arrays), Sets (unordered collections), and Maps (key/value pairs).

          Beyond the language constructs, the Dart core libraries provide additional support for features like asynchronous programming, HTML manipulation, and converters to work with UTF-8 and JSON.

        • Python

          • Integrating H2 with Python and Flask

            H2 is a lightweight database server written in Java. It can be embedded in Java applications, or run as a standalone server.

            In this tutorial, we’ll review why H2 can be a good option for your projects. We’ll also learn how to integrate H2 with Python by building a simple Flask API.

        • Java

          • Reactive Quarkus: A Java Mutiny

            DevNation Tech Talks are hosted by the Red Hat technologists who create our products. These sessions include real solutions plus code and sample projects to help you get started. In this talk, you’ll learn about reactive Quarkus and Mutiny from Clement Escoffier and Edson Yanaga.

            First things first: How much confusion has been caused by the word reactive? Are we talking about reactive systems? Reactive programming? Reactive streams? Also, how many headaches have been caused by non-seasoned reactive developers trying to read reactive code?

            Let’s make some sense out of this issue. In this talk, we introduce Mutiny, a new reactive programming library. After several years of observing developers using reactive APIs, we designed this library to be more event-driven, navigable, and to avoid the common pitfalls of reactive programming. This talk explores the reason behind Mutiny and how it simplifies the development of reactive applications. We also explain how Mutiny is integrated into Quarkus to build supersonic, subatomic, and reactive applications.

  • Leftovers

    • Suffrage: The Myth of Sisterphus

      Awhile back the New Yorker magazine published a cartoon titled “Glass Ceiling,” which depicted a father and his little daughter looking out the window of an office high up in a skyscraper. The caption read, “Someday, all of this glass ceiling will be yours.” You chuckle, because it’s funny; but then you go ahead and think about it. Then your smirk drops, and you’re thinking, “Shit, that’s not funny at all.” It’s like telling my little girl there’s a limit to what she can achieve. And then you feel bushwacked by the cartoon, and caught out because you laughed inappropriately, and think again: glass ceiling.

    • In Ethiopia, a musician’s death and a transition in trouble

      Ethiopia’s transition to multiparty democracy is facing one of its most serious tests yet, after the murder in June of Hachalu Hundessa, a much-loved Oromo singer and activist, sparked the worst bout of unrest since Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed took charge of the East African country more than two years ago.

      Over 200 people were killed in Addis Ababa and the surrounding Oromia region when groups of Oromo youth – who saw the 34-year-old as an icon in their community’s long struggle against oppression – began attacking members of other ethnic groups, while security forces used lethal force against protesters.

    • Science

    • Education

      • The Federal Government Gives Native Students an Inadequate Education, and Gets Away With It

        A couple of months after Kimasha Shorty’s son started sixth grade at an Arizona public middle school, his teachers called her at home. He had trouble adding and subtracting and was struggling to read at grade level.

        Shorty didn’t understand how it was possible that her oldest child could be so far behind after leaving Wide Ruins Community School, the sole elementary school in an area of about 1,000 residents at the southern edge of the Navajo Nation. He had been diagnosed with a mild learning disability that affects reading and math comprehension, but Shorty said he was doing so well by fourth grade that he skipped a grade at the urging of administrators and began attending a public middle school about 25 miles south in Sanders.

    • Health/Nutrition

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Pseudo-Open Source

          • Openwashing

            • Google Details Its Open Source Contributions

              Most of Google’s open source work is done within two hosting platforms: GitHub and Google’s own Git service, git-on-borg, which hosts Android and Chromium. According to the report, Google hosts over 8,000 public repositories on GitHub and more than 1,000 public repositories on git-on-borg.

            • Open source by the numbers at Google

              At Google, open source is at the core of our infrastructure, processes, and culture. As such, participation in these communities is vital to our productivity. Within OSPO (Open Source Programs Office), our mission is to bring the value of open source to Google and the resources of Google to open source. To ensure our actions match our commitment, in this post we will explore a variety of metrics intended to increase context, transparency, and accountability across all of the communities we engage with.

          • Privatisation/Privateering

        • Security

          • How a Fake WordPress Plugin Can Kill Your Site

            A nulled plugin is a copy of a premium WordPress plugin that’s distributed illegally online. People who do this argue it’s OK to do so because WordPress and its derivative works (like plugins) are licensed under a General Public License (GPL). According to them, that makes it OK to copy and distribute plugins how they like.

            While that’s technically true, pirating premium plugins comes with a cost. Legitimate WordPress plugin developers lose money and, more importantly, it compromises the security and integrity of WordPress websites using these nulled plugins. When you hear of a WordPress site being hacked, it’s often because they’re using a nulled plugin.

          • Security updates for Friday

            Security updates have been issued by CentOS (firefox, java-1.8.0-openjdk, java-11-openjdk, libvncserver, postgresql-jdbc, and thunderbird), Debian (firejail and gupnp), Fedora (cutter-re, postgresql-jdbc, radare2, and webkit2gtk3), openSUSE (chromium, firefox, kernel, and python-rtslib-fb), Oracle (container-tools:ol8, kernel, and nss and nspr), Scientific Linux (thunderbird), and SUSE (firefox, kernel, postgresql10 and postgresql12, python-ipaddress, and xen).

          • Reproducible Builds (diffoscope): diffoscope 155 released

            The diffoscope maintainers are pleased to announce the release of diffoscope version 155. This version includes the following changes:

            [ Chris Lamb ]
            * Bump Python requirement from 3.6 to 3.7 - most distributions are either
              shipping3.5 or 3.7, so supporting 3.6 is not somewhat unnecessary and also
              more difficult to test locally.
            * Improvements to setup.py:
              - Apply the Black source code reformatter.
              - Add some URLs for the site of PyPI.org.
              - Update "author" and author email.
            * Explicitly support Python 3.8.
            
            [ Frazer Clews ]
            * Move away from the deprecated logger.warn method logger.warning.
            
            [ Mattia Rizzolo ]
            * Document ("classify") on PyPI that this project works with Python 3.8.
            

          • Open source tool Infection Monkey allows security pros to test their network like never before

            Guardicore unveiled new capabilities for Infection Monkey, its free, open source breach and attack simulation (BAS) tool that maps to the MITRE ATT&CK knowledge base and tests network adherence to the Forrester Zero Trust framework.

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

    • Militarism

      • As Bolivian Regime Delays Elections a Third Time, Media Continue to Ignore Coup

        US media have a well-documented history of supporting right-wing coups and regimes around the world, and not much seems to be changing.

      • How the Fascists Won World War II

        This is a mystery story. It revolves around a building that—as you will all come to agree—should have been bombed.

      • Reverse the New Nuclear Arms Race

        August 6 is the 75th anniversary of the only time any nation in the world dropped an atomic bomb on people.

      • Life Under the Bomb Means a Life of Resistance

        This 75th anniversary of Hiroshima should not just be an interesting historical marker; it should be a turning point, when the U.S. renounces its nuclear legacy, and charts a new course for itself and humanity.

      • On 75th Anniversary, Hiroshima Survivor Warns Against Nuclear Weapons

        On the 75th anniversary of when the United States dropped the world’s first atomic bomb on the Japanese city of Hiroshima, killing some 140,000 people, we speak with Hideko Tamura Snider, who was 10 years old when she survived the attack. “The shaking was so huge,” she recalls. “I remember the sensation, the color and the smell like yesterday.” Tamura Snider describes her harrowing journey through a shattered city, suffering radiation sickness following the attack, and her message to President Trump.

      • Dropping Atomic Bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki Was Unnecessary

        U.S. leaders knew we didn’t have to drop atomic bombs on Japan to win the war. We did it anyway.

      • The American Narrative of Hiroshima is a Statue that Must be Toppled

        In August 1945, the United States attacked two cities in Japan with nuclear weapons in the last days of World War Two. The US used weapons of mass destruction against a primarily civilian population, instantly killing over 100,000 human beings, with tens of thousands of wounded and irradiated people who would die in the subsequent months and years. The American narrative of the nuclear attacks was formalized in a piece written by former Secretary of War Henry Stimson in Harper’s in 1947. Stimson wrote that the use of nuclear weapons ended the war, and in making an invasion of the Japanese home islands unnecessary, saved millions of lives on both sides. He actually wrote that the use of weapons of mass destruction against urban centers saved lives.

      • ‘Self-Centered Nationalism’ Could Lead to War and Nuclear Disaster, Hiroshima Mayor Warns on 75th Anniversary of Attacks

        “We must never allow this painful past to repeat itself.”

      • “The Beginning of Our End”: On 75th Anniversary, Hiroshima Survivor Warns Against Nuclear Weapons

        On the 75th anniversary of when the United States dropped the world’s first atomic bomb on the Japanese city of Hiroshima, killing some 140,000 people, we speak with Hideko Tamura Snider, who was 10 years old when she survived the attack. “The shaking was so huge,” she recalls. “I remember the sensation, the color and the smell like yesterday.” Tamura Snider describes her harrowing journey through a shattered city, suffering radiation sickness following the attack, and her message to President Trump.

      • Revealed: How U.S. Gov’t & Hollywood Secretly Worked Together to Justify Atomic Bombings of Japan

        On the 75th anniversary of the Hiroshima bombing, when the United States became the only country ever to use nuclear weapons in warfare, we look at how the U.S. government sought to manipulate the narrative about what it had done — especially by controlling how it was portrayed by Hollywood. Journalist Greg Mitchell’s new book, “The Beginning or the End: How Hollywood — and America — Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb,” documents how the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki triggered a race between Hollywood movie studios to tell a sanitized version of the story in a major motion picture. “There’s all sorts of evidence that has emerged that the use of the bomb was not necessary, it could have been delayed or not used at all,” says Mitchell. “But what was important was to set this narrative of justification, and it was set right at the beginning by Truman and his allies, with a very willing media.”

      • ‘Thoughts and Prayers’: Gun Control Groups Send Ironic Condolences After New York AG Files Lawsuit Seeking to Dissolve NRA

        Letitia James accused leaders at the NRA of overseeing “a culture of self-dealing, mismanagement, and negligent oversight that was illegal, oppressive, and fraudulent.”

      • New York AG Letitia James Files Lawsuit Seeking to Dissolve the NRA

        New York State Attorney General Letitia James filed a lawsuit Thursday against the National Rifle Association (NRA), stating that leaders of the organization engaged misused donations from members to fund their own personal expenditures for decades.

      • War and Pandemic Journalism

        The Truth Can Disappear Fast.

    • Environment

      • As the Hurricane Season Intensifies, Is Puerto Rico Ready?

        Perhaps the most emblematic image of Puerto Rico’s encounter with Tropical Storm Isaías last week was one of a National Guard soldier carrying a young boy on his back through Barrio Sábalo in the western town of Mayagüez, rescuing him from a rising torrent of brown water from nearby Caño (Canal) Majagual. That area, as well as Barrio Buenaventura, vulnerable to Rio Hondo and other smaller streams of water, was among the most visible recipients of Isaías’s heavy downpours as the storm swept the region on Thursday.

      • Energy

      • Wildlife/Nature

    • Finance

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • On 55th Anniversary of Voting Rights Act, Advocates Call on Congress to Fully Restore Law to Honor John Lewis’s Fight for Justice

        Since the Supreme Court gutted the law in 2013, more than 1,600 polling places have been closed, including many in largely-Black and Latino communities.

      • 2020 Is a Great Year for #SquadPolitics. Just Ask Cori Bush and Rashida Tlaib.

        Representative Rashida Tlaib celebrated her landslide win in what was supposed to be a close Michigan primary Tuesday by explaining that—no matter what the doubters say—the insurgency seeking to transform the Democratic Party and America is real. And it’s not going away.

      • The Next Progressive Insurgent You Haven’t Heard of Yet

        Omar Fateh’s campaign for the Minnesota State Senate operates out of an adult day care center in Minneapolis, run by and for members of the local Somali community. It sits on Lake Street, where much of the immediate local response to George Floyd’s death took place. Just weeks prior, the gas station next door was ablaze; onlookers gawked at the inferno as national guardsmen ushered them along. The care center was unscathed, but when I went to meet with Fateh at his office, the urgency of that first week in June still hung in the air. Around us, a mix of left-wing activists and young East African community members fielded calls and collected polling data.

      • No Matter Who Biden Chooses as VP, It Will Be a Bittersweet Win for Women

        Once upon a time, many American women looked forward to a euphoric 100th anniversary celebration of the 19th Amendment, which belatedly granted us the vote, to be led this month by the nation’s first woman president. We still celebrate, though that much-anticipated president lost to a confessed sexual predator whose administration is dedicated to rolling back women’s rights. As I write, we are also preparing to celebrate the Democratic Party’s second nomination of a woman for vice president, though I don’t know who she is yet. (Readers might by the time they read this.) But we know that Joe Biden, who might have skipped a third run for president to back one of the four women senators who ran in 2020, promised to pick a female running mate before he sealed the nomination—a consolation prize of sorts for the largest bloc of American voters.

      • ‘The Clear Progressive Choices’: Working Families Party Endorses Markey and Morse in Primary Contests

        “The progressive cavalry is headed to Massachusetts.”

      • The Kids Are Putting Elected Officials On Notice
      • The Complete Dysfunction of the GOP Is on Full Display

        With unemployment at Depression levels, enhanced unemployment benefits expired, and millions on the verge of eviction or foreclosure in the midst of a pandemic, Trump and the Republican majority in the Senate are revealing just how dysfunctional they are.

      • In Pompeo’s New Hierarchy of Rights, Religion and Property, Not Humans, Are at the Top

        Pompeo’s ideologically motivated initiative aims to quash equal protection of human rights and dignity, and we must reject it.

      • Warning of GOP Voter Suppression, Progressives Urge Democrats to Reject Any Covid-19 Deal Without Election Assistance

        “Republicans cannot be allowed to suppress the vote in the middle of a pandemic.”

      • Why We’re Demanding No Cops for Veep

        Presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden is getting a lot of advice right now on his vice-presidential selection, and he’s considering a lot of factors: geography, chemistry, and preparedness. But there’s another factor that, as the codirector of an organization representing Black and brown communities in 35 states, Puerto Rico, and Washington, D.C., I’m calling on Biden to carefully consider.

      • Biden Says He Won’t Stand in Way of Possible Future Prosecution of Trump

        “I will not interfere with the Justice Department’s judgment of whether or not they think they should pursue the prosecution of anyone that they think has violated the law.”

      • Corporate Lobbyists Vote to Keep Corporate Lobbyists in the DNC

        Last week, a proposal to reduce corporate influence over the Democratic Party was hastily rejected during a virtual meeting of the Democratic National Convention Rules Committee by a vote of 105 to 45, with eight abstentions. The resolution, which would have changed the DNC Charter to permanently bar corporate PAC donations and ban corporate lobbyists from serving on the party organization, was introduced by Brent Welder, a Kansas City area attorney and delegate appointed by the Bernie Sanders campaign.

      • Ireland and Slavery: Debating the ‘Irish Slaves Myth’

        Over recent months, social media in Ireland and the United States has been saturated with claims and counterclaims about ‘Irish slaves’ and a broader controversy about Irish complicity in the transatlantic slave trade. The timing of the ‘debate’ is far from coincidental: a series of false and malicious assertions that the American far Right have pushed aggressively for more than a decade, embraced with enthusiasm by the most conservative elements in Irish America, have grown wings in the new context opened up by the rise of Black Lives Matter. A controversy that has simmered below the surface has taken on new urgency as a fascist Right, emboldened by Trump, finds itself confronted for the first time with a powerful mass movement capable of pushing back. In this context racists in the US are attempting to weaponize a false version of Irish ‘history’ to undermine BLM. In the south of Ireland, especially, a small ‘anti-globalist’ Right sees in the controversy a possibility for redeeming their dismal showing in the recent election by drawing people in on the basis of a mawkish, fairytale nationalism. Socialists and all anti-racists have a responsibility in this situation to counter these lies, to build solidarity with BLM here in Ireland and abroad, and to confront racism wherever it is manifested in Irish society.

      • ‘Elections Are Sacred’: Democrats Demand Postmaster General Reverse Policies Threatening Mail-In Ballot Delivery

        Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said Postmaster General Louis DeJoy’s new policies could “get in the way of all the ballots being counted.”

      • Election Theft and the Reluctant Democracy

        Yes, voting is important (if you can), but claiming the right to vote and have your vote counted—and being able to vote for more than simply the lesser evil and the maintenance of the status quo—requires continual struggle in the face of lies and teargas.

      • Four days before presidential race ends, Belarusian police briefly detain campaign chief of main opposition candidate

        On Thursday morning, just four days before Belarus’s presidential race concludes, police reportedly arrested Maria Moroz (Maryja Maroz), the campaign chief for leading opposition candidate Svetlana Tikhanovskaya (Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya). According to spokespeople for her campaign, men identifying themselves as Interior Ministry officers took Moroz into custody around 11 a.m., Minsk time, as she exited the Lithuanian embassy after submitting paperwork for a visa.

      • Lukashenko wants to meet with the attorneys general of Russia and Ukraine to negotiate a solution to the ‘mercenaries’ arrested in Minsk

        Alexander Lukashenko (Alyaksandr Lukashenka) has invited the attorneys general of Russia and Ukraine to visit Minsk to assist in the hearings of 33 arrested Russian nationals, whom Belarusian officials say are mercenaries from the “Wagner” private military company.

      • A 2020 Imperative: Why the Left Must Reject and Elect Biden at the Same Time

        To make a progressive future possible, beating Trump is absolutely necessary while very far from sufficient.

      • Biden, Just Say Yes on Medicare for All!

        Many of us are committed to preventing four more years of Donald Trump by any means necessary: mailing ballots, voting early, or braving in-person polls in November if we have to. As John Lewis recently reminded us, “Democracy is not a state. It is an act, and each generation must do its part.”

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • Judge Rejects Devin Nunes’ SLAPP Suit Over The Esquire Article He Really, Really Doesn’t Want You To Read

        A federal judge has happily dismissed one of Devin Nunes’ many SLAPP suits. This isn’t much of a surprise given what the judge had said back in May regarding Nunes’ Iowa-based SLAPP suit (reminder: Iowa has no anti-SLAPP law) against Esquire Magazine and reporter Ryan Lizza. The lawsuit was over this article that Devin Nunes really, really doesn’t want you to read: Devin Nunes’s Family Farm Is Hiding a Politically Explosive Secret. Reading that will make Rep. Devin Nunes very, very sad.

      • Georgia School District Inadvertently Begins Teaching Lessons In First Amendment Protections After Viral Photo

        There’s this dumb but persistent meme in American culture that somehow the First Amendment simply doesn’t exist within the walls of a public school district. This is patently false. What is true is that there have been very famous court cases that have determined that speech rights for students at school may be slightly curtailed and must face tests over “substantial disruption” of the speech in question in order to have it limited. Named after the plaintiff in that cited case, the “Tinker test” essentially demands that schools not simply dislike a student’s speech or the discomfort that comes from it, but instead must be able to demonstrate that such speech is disruptive to the school and students broadly. The facts of that case, for instance, dealt with students being suspended for wearing anti-war armbands. Those suspensions were seen as a violation of the students’ First Amendment rights, because obviously.

      • Content Moderation At Scale Is Impossible: Twitter Locks Accounts For Fact Checking The President

        Another day in which we get to explain how content moderation is impossible to do well at scale. On Wednesday, Twitter (and Facebook) chose to lock the Trump campaign’s account after it aired a dangerous and misleading clip from Fox News’ “Fox & Friends” in which the President falsely claimed that children are “almost immune” from COVID-19.

      • State Department Announces That Great Firewall For The US; Blocks Chinese Apps & Equipment

        Forget banning TikTok, the Trump State Department just suggested it wants to basically ban China from the internet. Rather than promoting an open internet and the concept of openness, it appears that under this administration we’re slamming the gates shut and setting up the Great American Firewall for the internet. Under the guise of what it calls the Clean Network to Safeguard America, last night Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced a program that is full of vague statements, that could, in practice, fragment the internet.

    • Freedom of Information/Freedom of the Press

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • Moscow courthouse sees protests ahead of sentencing in controversial extremism case
      • 201 Trump Judges Are Busy Defining the Political Landscape for the Decades Ahead

        After Republicans took control of the U.S. Senate in early 2015, they set out to pack the federal courts with radical right-wing judges. Mitch McConnell said, “My goal is to do everything we can for as long as we can to transform the federal judiciary, because everything else we do is transitory.” Under Article III of the Constitution, federal judges serve for life, so a 50-year-old appointed today could serve 30 years or even longer.

      • Saying ICE Has ‘Lost the Right to Be Trusted,’ Federal Judge Orders Mandatory Testing at Detention Center Hit by Covid-19

        Court order follows an outbreak at the Mesa Verde Detention Center and evidence that officials opted not to test detainees for fear of positive test results.

      • Over 1,100 Policing Agencies in the U.S. Have Bought Drones Capable of Recording

        In early June, Julie Weiner was at a Black Lives Matter rally in downtown Yonkers, New York, when she spotted a small drone in the sky, monitoring the protest. Weiner, a long-time Yonkers resident, immediately asked her city councilperson, Shanae Williams, who had organized the rally, whether the drone was being operated by the Yonkers police. Williams went over to talk to a group of police and returned to report that, yes, the drone belonged to the Yonkers Police Department.

      • Native Americans Win Historic Victories in U.S. High Court Rulings

        Heat on the U.S. Presidential election campaign thermometer reached new highs during the dog days of summer 2020, with the final rulings of the Supreme Court calendar year favoring indigenous causes diametrically opposed to those of incumbent candidate Donald Trump.

      • Time to Empower the Invisibles: India Awaits a Mental Health Revolution

        Mental health is an inherent and the most paramount aspect of our well being, without it a qualitative life is barren to imagine. These ‘Covidnary Times’ are extremely turbulent, where ‘Normality’ will be more sidelined with ‘Abnormality.’ The side-effects of Covid-19 will keep hunting our World for ages to come. Surging mass layoffs, transcendental change in our social and community relations, deterioration of physical and financial health, lives being lost and even the right to ‘Rest In Peace’ has been violated by Coronavirus disease.

      • A Lethal Traffic Stop in Georgia
      • Gullible Maine & DHS Intel Officers Believed Teen TikTok Video Was Serious Terrorist Threat

        We’ve been noting for a few weeks that much of the hysteria surrounding TikTok is kind of dumb. For one, banning TikTok doesn’t really do much to thwart Chinese spying, given our privacy and security incompetence leaves us vulnerable on countless fronts. Most of the folks doing the heaviest pearl clutching over TikTok have opposed efforts at any meaningful internet privacy rules, have opposed funding election security reform, and have been utterly absent or apathetic in the quest for better security and privacy practices over all (the SS7 flaw, cellular location data scandals, etc.).

    • Monopolies

      • Crystal Dynamics Explains Spider-Man PS4 Exclusivity By Saying A Bunch Of… Words, I Guess?

        We had just been talking about the upcoming Marvel’s Avengers multi-platform game and its very strange plan to make Spider-Man a PlayStation exclusive character. In that post, I mentioned that I don’t think these sorts of exclusive deals, be they for games or characters, make any real sense. Others quoted in the post have actually argued that exclusive characters specifically hurt everyone, including owners of the exclusive platform, since this can only serve to limit the subject of exclusion within the game. But when it came to why this specific deal had been struck, we were left with mere speculation. Was it to build on some kind of PlayStation loyalty? Was it to try to drive more PlayStation purchases? Was it some kind of Sony licensing thing?

      • Patents

        • Comments Emphasize Flaws In PTO Proposal To Remove Pre-Institution Presumption

          Recently, the Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) proposed a concerning new rule. It would create serious due process problems, violate the Administrative Procedure Act (APA) by changing an agency position without justification, increase the cost of inter partes review (IPR), and make it harder to invalidate bad patents in IPR.

          Given all these problems, it shouldn’t be any surprise that most serious commenters—even from the life sciences industries—think the proposed rule is a bad idea. (CCIA, among others, filed comments explaining many of these flaws.)

          [...]

          Because petitioners can’t challenge patent owner evidence, the PTO originally put into place a rule that said, for purposes of institution only, new evidence provided by the patent owner will be viewed in the light most favorable to the petitioner. That’s very similar to the standard for threshold motions in a trial—before evidence is fully available and each side has had a chance to respond to and cross-examine witnesses, judges treat the evidence in the light most favorable to the non-moving party. And since the patent owner is the one who wants an IPR not to be instituted, petitioners get the benefit of the doubt at institution with respect to patent owner evidence.

          That all makes sense. New and unchallengeable evidence shouldn’t be the basis for an unchallengeable decision that prevents a petitioner from using IPR. But the PTO is proposing that that evidence be given full weight, even though it hasn’t been subject to challenge. In a court case, while it’d still be a bad rule, treating evidence that way might be tolerable. After all, even if you lose the threshold question, you’ll still have a chance to show that the evidence is flawed later in the case, winning a renewed motion or winning on the ultimate merits at trial.

          But Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) institution decisions are unappealable. Petitioners will never have a chance to cross-examine that evidence. If it’s flawed, petitioners have no recourse and they have to spend time and money bringing an IPR that may get summarily dismissed even though the patent might be invalid on the merits. That hardly serves the AIA’s goals of an affordable, quick, and accurate resolution.

        • Software Patents

          • Ikorongo Texas patent challenged as likely invalid

            On August 7, 2020, Unified filed a petition for inter partes review (IPR) against U.S. Patent RE45543-E1, owned by Ikorongo Texas LLC, an NPE and subsidiary of Concert Technology Corporation. The patent is related to selectively sharing location data with contacts from a contact list. The patent is currently being asserted against Lyft, Bumble, Samsung, and LG.

      • Copyrights

        • In 10 Years Of Existence, The Long-Running French Farce Known As Hadopi Has Imposed Just €87,000 In Fines, But Cost Taxpayers €82 Million

          The French anti-piracy framework known as Hadopi began as tragedy and soon turned into farce. It was tragic that so much energy was wasted on putting together a system that was designed to throw ordinary users off the Internet — the infamous “three strikes and you’re out” approach — rather than encouraging better legal offerings. Four years after the Hadopi system was created in 2009, it descended into farce when the French government struck down the signature three strikes punishment because it had failed to bring the promised benefits to the copyright world. Indeed, Hadopi had failed to do anything much: its first and only suspension was suspended, and a detailed study of the three strikes approach showed it was a failure from just about every viewpoint. Nonetheless, Hadopi has staggered on, sending out its largely ignored warnings to people for allegedly downloading unauthorized copies of material, and imposing a few fines on those unlucky enough to get caught repeatedly.

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