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08.14.20

Summer of Code or Nuclear Winter?

Posted in Debian, Deception, Free/Libre Software, Google, Microsoft at 11:51 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Microsoft claims to maintain a “vault”; Google claims to ‘support’ Free software, but both are mostly PR ploys that let monopolies ‘boss’ or ‘police’ their alternatives

Nuclear-Free Zone

Summary: 2 ‘seasons’ or 2 ‘flavours’ of PR charades; can we seriously trust companies that fight against freedom to somehow guard Free software and ‘manage’ communities that are stewards of key Free software projects?

THE company known as “GOOGLE” (GOOG) has long used GNU/Linux. It has been publicly traded for a couple of decades, about half as long as “MICROSOFT” (MSFT). The companies are inherently different because of their primary business models, so comparing them as though they’re the same would lead us astray. We won’t compare apples to oranges, only note that both merit their place in “GAFAM” (or “GIAFAM” as figosdev puts it, insisting IBM belongs there too).

“One thing that Microsoft and Google do have in common is disdain for freedom.”Google’s Summer of Code (SoC or more commonly GSoC) has long bothered me for a number or reasons. On the one hand, it encourages people to join Free software communities and improve existing stuff; the downside is, as we found out in recent years, Google leverages GSoC to muzzle or ‘cancel’ Google critics (former Debian Project Leader Ian Jackson and Daniel Pocock from Debian complained about it). A side note is that many GSoC students end up outsourcing their work to Microsoft (GitHub), but Google or GSoC program managers cannot be held responsible/accountable for it as it’s typically students who make this choice, however careless if not reckless a choice.

Google is not a friend of copyleft, but it pays key people to pretend that it is (as does Microsoft, a serial GPL violator that goes out of its way to spread FUD against the GPL all around the Web, sometimes directly and sometimes by proxy, e.g. 'former' staff).

One thing that Microsoft and Google do have in common is disdain for freedom. Sure, Android uses Linux (kernel alone), but what is it used for anyway? Spying on people everywhere they go?

“It’s a bit amusing that Microsoft brags about a so-called ‘Arctic vault’ while helping Donald Trump pave the way to nuclear confrontation with China.”For ethics and morality look neither at Google nor Microsoft (or the rest of “GAFAM”). The founders of Google are long gone — one of them reportedly tried to keep Google in compliance with the “don’t be evil” mantra — and they don’t care about freedom. To them, Free software is just “free stuff” (to exploit or leverage to build proprietary, user-subjugating stuff).

It’s a bit amusing that Microsoft brags about a so-called ‘Arctic vault’ while helping Donald Trump pave the way to nuclear confrontation with China. Good luck with that PR charade.

International Business Machines and the 1941 Watson Letter Which Refutes IBM Denials

Posted in Deception, IBM at 11:00 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Watson Knew

1941 Watson letter

Summary: The letter revealed by Mr. Black (researcher and investigative author of these long-suppressed matters) shows that the co-founder of IBM knew what was going on and what he was profiting from (until it became a potential PR disaster for IBM as the Unites States entered the war)

Source: video unsourced (old)

The Real ‘Pee-gate’ Was on External (Portable) Media of Bill Gates’ Engineer, Arrested Over Pedophilia at the Gates Mansion

Posted in Bill Gates at 10:22 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Just a small sample from the police/NCMEC with hashes removed (analysis of the child pornography ‘stash’ of Bill Gates’ engineer, Mr. Jones):

Jones urine fetish #1

Jones urine fetish #2

Jones urine fetish #3

Jones urine fetish #4

Jones urine fetish #5

Summary: We let readers use their imagination (we don’t have access to the files, just the filenames from the police report/FOIA) to figure out what was in “D:\\Alexey&Garik_Pissing_004.jpg, D:\\Ivan_Pissing_003.jpg, D:\\Ivan_Pissing_006.jpg, D:\\Raul_Pissing_003.jpg, D:\\Raul_Pissing_005.jpg, D:\\Yaroslav_Pissing_001.jpg” among other such files on other machines and drives (Case Reference: 14-22121 Item 6_CD label 2 in Seattle Police Department; this could be copied to any machine, anywhere, because it is external, portable media without journaling.)

Background:

Peegate

Links 14/8/2020: GNUnet 0.13.2, Mesa 20.2 RC2

Posted in News Roundup at 2:07 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Desktop/Laptop

      • Linux vs. Windows: It’s a matter of perspective

        I was hired by another company to do a video series on a particular piece of software. I thought, “No problem! I’ve used the software on other platforms, this will be a cake walk.” And no, the software in question wasn’t Cakewalk.

        All I had to do was install a screen-recording application on Windows 10, and I’d be set for liftoff (no, the software in question wasn’t Liftoff).

        However, Windows 10 had something to say about that proposition.

        At first, I thought, “I’ll use the built-in screen recording app.” Nope. That’s only for games.

        Then I thought, “I’ll install the same tool I use on Linux (to great effect).” Nope. Not available for Windows.

        Then I thought, “I’ll check the Windows App Store (or whatever that abomination is called).”

        Bingo. I found five or so different titles to try.

        First one failed to launch.
        Second one failed to record.
        Third one crashed two minutes into the session.
        Fourth one was a joke.
        Fifth one wouldn’t install.

        I was at a loss. I had a deadline, and things weren’t looking so good. It wasn’t until I remembered that I’d used OBS Studio once upon a time and knew I could get a screen recording with that. So, I installed the tool, took the time to set it up, and recorded the session.

    • Audiocasts/Shows

      • Daniel Stenberg: Video: Landing code in curl

        A few hours ago I ended my webinar on how to get your code contribution merged into curl.

      • Command Line Heroes – Season 5, episode 3: What Kind of Coder Will You Become?

        The 10x Coder is often positioned as a mythical developer who can always save the day. Saron Yitbarek and Clive Thompson investigate how much of that myth is grounded in truth.

      • How Quarkus fits into the Red Hat Runtimes formula

        There are plenty of new features to talk about in the world of Red Hat Runtimes. When I recently had the chance to speak with James Falkner, technical product manager for Red Hat Runtimes, he zeroed in on the Quarkus framework, or more specifically, the Red Hat branded build of Quarkus.

      • What the Dev?

        This week, we spoke to Eric Schabell, the portfolio architect director at Red Hat, about Agile integration. A lot of enterprises are moving in the direction of Agile teams all with an eye on the digital transformation story where they’re headed towards delivering things in a cloud native fashion. You’ll hear some of the best ways in which to achieve that Agile integration.

      • Want Social Justice? The Free Software Movement Fights For Everyone!

        Everyone wants freedom but most people have no idea just how enslaved they have become to their computing devices and the proprietary software that controls those devices. The Free Software Movement aims to spread awareness of this issue and to advocate for the use of freedom-respecting software (“free software”).

    • Kernel Space

      • Graphics Stack

        • mesa 20.2.0-rc2
          Hi list,
          
          Available today is mesa 20.2.0-rc2. This is the second release candidate for
          the 20.2 release. Currently our open to close ratio on blocking bugs is looking
          really good. This release is dominated by changes to radeonsi, radv, and aco,
          with a few additional changes sneaking in for freedreno, meson,  etnaviv,
          st/mesa, anv, and a few utility fixes.
          
          Dylan
          
          
        • Mesa 20.2-RC2 Released With Many Fixes For RadeonSI + RADV Drivers

          The second weekly release candidate of the forthcoming Mesa 20.2 is now available for testing.

          Mesa 20.2 is aiming for release around the end of August or early September depending upon how the bug situation plays out. This quarterly feature release to Mesa3D brings many new Vulkan extensions, the RADV driver using ACO by default, initial support for Navi 2 GPUs, initial support for Intel Rocket Lake and DG1, OpenGL 4.3 for LLVMpipe, and much more as outlined in last week’s article.

        • DXVK 1.7.1 Released With Many Game Fixes For Direct3D Over Vulkan

          It’s been nearly three months without a new DXVK release for mapping Direct3D 9/10/11 atop the Vulkan API while finally today there is a big feature release out.

          DXVK 1.7.1 was released a few minutes ago as the first update since May. While the version number isn’t significant, this version does have many changes.

        • Direct3D to Vulkan translation layer DXVK 1.7.1 is out, lots of game fixes

          After a few months since 1.7 went out, DXVK 1.7.1 is now live to further improve Direct3D to Vulkan translation. This is the project that helps to power Proton, the compatibility layer for Steam Play.

          This release adds support for newer Vulkan extensions, fixes bugs and has new GPU driver requirements. On the driver side, the VK_EXT_transform_feedback extension is now required which has been supported in drivers on Linux since late 2018 / early 2019. Specifically you will need at least NVIDIA 415.22 and for AMD / Intel it looks like Mesa 19 covers both.

    • Applications

      • Readability CLI: I Don’t Want A GUI Just To Read An Article

        The web is big and bloated and that isn’t going to change any time soon so luckily for us some people are working on ways that can take the web and strip out most of the garbage that you don’t need to allow people to more easily use it from a terminal web browser or with a screen reader. One such tool is Readability CLI which interacts with Mozilla’s Readability Library to bring you a really comfy terminal web viewing experience which works amazingly for reading articles.

      • Rainbow Text, ASCII Art and More: Customize Your Linux Terminal

        The Linux terminal, sometimes referred to as the command line or the “shell” is a simple yet powerful way to interact with the computer. Commands are typed into the terminal, and their output is displayed immediately to the terminal.

        From the Linux terminal we can create users, make network connections and download files. Despite all of this power, the terminal is not as “friendly” as a modern desktop. How can the terminal be made a little friendlier? By customizing the Linux terminal with rainbows, art and handy information such as CPU temperature, IP address and the latest weather.

      • Best Command Line Music Players For Linux

        List Of The Best Command Line Music Players For Linux Operating Systems

        What will be more fun than playing music in the terminal or command-line interface in Linux based operating systems?. In this post, we will list out the best command-line music players for Linux based operating systems.

    • Instructionals/Technical

    • Games

      • Dead Cells gets another big free update and a Demake Soundtrack

        A chiptune/8-bit version of the Dead Cells soundtrack? Absolutely sign me up. Oh, there’s also a brand new free content update out now which is nice too.

        What they’re calling the “Barrels o’ Fun” update is out now, with an entirely new level/biome to play through which provides you with an alternative path to High Peak Castle which should spice-up the late game. This of course comes with new weapons, enemies, explosions and probably many player deaths. The new biome is called The Derelict Distillery, which comes with its own distinct style full of “old broken barrels and bottles, pipes venting steam, cool looking metal containers in the background – that kind of thing”. That’s great and all but it’s the enemies that are important here, there’s a new angry fella who throws big explosive barrels at you.

      • You are what you eat in the run and gun game Bite the Bullet

        What they’re calling the “Barrels o’ Fun” update is out now, with an entirely new level/biome to play through which provides you with an alternative path to High Peak Castle which should spice-up the late game. This of course comes with new weapons, enemies, explosions and probably many player deaths. The new biome is called The Derelict Distillery, which comes with its own distinct style full of “old broken barrels and bottles, pipes venting steam…

        [...]

        Quite a bit like the feel of Metal Slug, Contra and those sorts of run and gun games but with a little added platforming and wall jumping here and there.

      • Sunset Shapes is a relaxing puzzle game about building shadows

        Playing with shadows is something I’m sure we’ve all done a few times and Sunset Shapes takes that idea, merges it with some almost Tetris-like shapes to have you build a shadow.

        Inspired by the basic gameplay found in .projekt, each level gives you a set of shapes you need to fill with shadows. To do so, the game drops a bunch of random blocks onto the floor, for you to then move them around the air to attempt to fill out those shadow-shapes. For a puzzle game, it’s actually a pretty sweet idea.

      • Evolution sim The Sapling expands in September with massive new features

        Indie game dev Wessel Stoop has announced their evolution sim, The Sapling, will be getting a first proper major update since entering Early Access in 2019.

        With an aim for The Flower Update to land on September 10, Stoop mentioned over email that they spent three months completely rewriting and optimizing the underlying engine. As a result, they mentioned it’s become possible to make scenarios 100 times larger.

      • Over 8 years in development later, Factorio is properly out now

        Originally crowdfunded on IndieGoGo back in 2013, who would have thought this 2D game about building conveyor belts across a big map would be such a big hit? A great many years later, 8+ in total and here we are. Factorio has now left Early Access as a proper full game.

        The game was pretty much finished already, this last push was to get it out before Cyberpunk which ended up being delayed anyway. With that in mind, there’s some rough edges here and there that needs sorting. Still, they said they wanted to make the release truly special, so they added in a big ‘Spidertron’ walking spider mech that has all sorts of ridiculous uses and it sounds like serious fun. It can driven, remotely controlled, it has rocket launchers and more.

      • Rip Them Off is an upcoming blend of tower defense and satirical economic management

        Tower defense mixed blended with an economic management puzzle that has a satirical take on capitalism? Can’t say I remember any other game that blends such elements together. Rip Them Off from Lozange Lab is releasing in September and it’s now their PR team has reached out to us directly here at GOL to confirm Linux PC support.

        “The Board needs its profit, and it’s up to you to line the streets with shops the masses can’t resist. Choose your locations, pick your stores and earn enough to advance up the corporate ladder with its increasingly difficult challenges.”

      • Dying Light – Hellraid is out now giving you a little dungeon crawling

        Based loosely upon what would have been a standalone game from Techland (it’s “on-hold”), Dying Light – Hellraid, a small DLC that swaps Zombies for Skeletons and sends you into a cramped and streamlined dungeon crawler.

        Techland say it’s not just a new map, as they created new enemies for it and it has its own progression system giving you gradual access to new swords, axes and hammers. While you can’t take regular equipment into Hellraid, you do get to take these brand new weapons outside into the normal Dying Light world once you pay using the new coin system. It also has co-op support so you can play with others.

      • Dota Underlords is getting a hero rotation soon and a rank reset

        Valve have remembered that Dota Underlords exists and needs some attention, with an announcement that it’s going to see a hero rotation soon.

        Addressing the fact that since release, updates have slowed down and have mostly been balance changes, they mentioned how their team has been helping “other recent Valve projects ship” and external issues “2020 everybody” (COVID19 interrupted everything). They’ve mentioned that in the “next few weeks” we will get a hero rotation bringing in 8 new heroes, along with new alliances, new items and a rank reset. Hopefully this is the start of more updates to come.

    • Distributions

      • New Releases

        • Ubuntu-based Linspire 9.0 is a Linux distro that costs money — don’t buy it

          There are many great things about Linux-based operating systems. Not only are they often lightweight and good for older hardware, but they can be customized too thanks to the various available desktop environments. Unlike Windows, which only has one user interface, Linux distros can have several. Of course, one of the biggest benefits of Linux is that it is free. There are countless great operating systems based on the open source kernel that cost nothing, such as Ubuntu and Fedora.

          The thing is, Linux-based operating systems don’t have to be free. In fact, just because the Linux kernel is open source, that does not mean that a Linux distribution can’t incorporate closed source code. This brings us to Linspire — one of the rare Linux-based operating systems that costs actual money. Believe it or not, it isn’t even cheaper than Windows 10 Pro! Version 9.0 was recently released, but you probably shouldn’t buy it.

      • Screenshots/Screencasts

      • SUSE/OpenSUSE

        • openSUSE Tumbleweed Now Shipping Linux 5.8

          OpenSUSE Tumbleweed is among the early rolling-release distributions now shipping a Linux 5.8-based kernel by default.

          For those of you enjoying openSUSE Tumbleweed, this week’s updates most notably bring use of Linux 5.8. Linux 5.8 brings a lot of new features and is quite a big update all-around. But in general from my extensive testing of Linux 5.8 on many different hardware platforms, it appears to be in fairly good shape… Better than some prior 5.x kernels that had WiFi issues and other woes, nothing comes to mind of Linux 5.8 issues I’ve been seeing on the stable code. OpenSUSE developers likely feel similar in already shipping 5.8.0 to their rolling-release users.

        • Participate in Hacktoberfest, Help Develop Contributions

          The month-long, virtual-festival event that celebrates open source contributions, Hacktoberfest, is coming soon and members of the openSUSE community can make a difference.

          The event that is in its seventh year and run by Digital Ocean and DEV encourages people to make their first contributions to open source projects.

          The event is for developers, designers who contribute artwork, people who can contribute to documentation,and more.

          As the event brings more awareness to open-source projects and encourages contributions that benefit communities, having developers and community members available to help people who want to contribute can be beneficial to the project.

      • Slackware Family

        • LibreOffice 6.4.5 finally for Slackware 14.2

          The Document Foundation recently released version 7.0.0 of their Libre Office suite of applications. The packages for Slackware-current can be found in my repository. But the situation for Slackware 14.2 used to be different – I got stuck after LibreOffice 6.2 because the newer source releases (6.3 and onwards) require versions of system software that our stable Slackware 14.2 platform does not offer.

          From time to time during the last year, when there was time and the build box was not compiling packages, I messed around with the libreoffice.SlackBuild script in futile attempts to compile recent versions of LibreOffice on Slackware 14.2. I failed all the time.
          Until last week. After I had uploaded the new KDE Plasma5 packages to ‘ktown‘, I had an epiphany and decided to use a new approach. What I did was: question all the historic stuff in the SlackBuild script that got added whenever I needed to work around compilation failures; and accept that the compilation needs newer versions of software than Slackware 14.2 offers. The first statement meant that I disabled patches and variable declarations that messed with compiler and linker; and for the second statement I stuck to a single guideline: the end product, if I were able to compile a package successfully, has to run out of the box on Slackware 14.2 without the need to update any of the core Slackware packages.

      • Fedora

        • Contribute at the Fedora Test Week for Kernel 5.8

          The kernel team is working on final integration for kernel 5.8. This version was just recently released and will arrive soon in Fedora. As a result, the Fedora kernel and QA teams have organized a test week from Monday, August 17, 2020 through Monday, August 24, 2020. Refer to the wiki page for links to the test images you’ll need to participate. Read below for details.

        • OpenShift OKD on Fedora CoreOS on DigitalOcean Part 1: Deployment

          This blog post is the second in a series that illustrates how to set up an OpenShift OKD cluster on DigitalOcean. The first post in the series covered some background information and pre-requisites needed for deploying a cluster. At this point you should have chosen the domain for your cluster, set up your registrar to point to DigitalOcean nameservers, installed all necessary software (doctl, openshift-install, oc, aws cli, etc..), and configured appropriate credentials in your environment (DIGITALOCEAN_ACCESS_TOKEN, AWS_ACCESS_KEY_ID, AWS_SECRET_ACCESS_KEY).

        • Closing in on the end of the Summer

          Can you believe we’re two weeks through August already! And I’m so happy that my internship has been extended so last week isn’t my last week, even if it is the last full time week for awhile.

      • Debian Family

        • Finnix 121 released

          Today marks the release of Finnix 121, the LiveCD for system administrators. This release expands upon Finnix 120, and includes a number of fixes, new packages and new features. From the Finnix 121 release notes:

        • Debian vs Ubuntu in 2020- The Ultimate Showdown

          As a computer software distribution package, Ubuntu and Debian are utilized in two ways…

          Desktop Operating System
          Server

          Although they are similar in many ways, they have their differences. Ubuntu is based on the testing branch of Debian and often, Debian involves too many manual works and so it is not recommended for beginners. While Ubuntu is easy to use for beginners, it is not as stable as Debian in its built. Let us have a comparison between Debian vs Ubuntu.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • Ubuntu 18.04.5 LTS released

          The Ubuntu team is pleased to announce the release of Ubuntu 18.04.5 LTS (Long-Term Support) for its Desktop, Server, and Cloud products, as well as other flavours of Ubuntu with long-term support.

          Like previous LTS series, 18.04.5 includes hardware enablement stacks for use on newer hardware. This support is offered on all architectures and is installed by default when using one of the desktop images.

          Ubuntu Server defaults to installing the GA kernel; however you may select the HWE kernel from the installer bootloader.

        • Ubuntu 18.04.5 LTS Released with Linux Kernel 5.4

          Ubuntu 18.04.5 LTS (like all point releases before it) consolidates all the app, performance, and bug fixes Ubuntu devs have issued to the OS since the previous point release image was made.

          I.e., you get a shiny new installation image that doesn’t saddle you a tonne of post-install updates.

          But there is another reason why this point release may appeal to you and that’s the fact it has a new Linux kernel!

        • Ubuntu 18.04.5 Released with Linux 5.4 Kernel

          The Ubuntu team announced the release of Ubuntu 18.04.5 and Ubuntu 16.04.7 last night.

          While Ubuntu 16.04.7 comes with only security package updates and other fixes, Ubuntu 18.04.5 includes an updated hardware enablement stack from Ubuntu 20.04.

          With Linux Kernel 5.4, WiFi should work out-of-the-box in Ubuntu 18.04.5 with RTL8723DE (tests in my HP 246 G6 laptop).

          Also users of Ubuntu 16.04 LTS will be offered an automatic upgrade to 18.04.5 via Update Manager.

        • Ubuntu 16.04.7 LTS released

          The Ubuntu team announces the release of Ubuntu 16.04.7 LTS (Long-Term Support) for its Desktop and Server products, and the Ubuntu Kylin flavor.

          Similar to the 16.04.6 point release, 16.04.7 is a security-targeted release for the purpose of providing updated installation media which protects new installations from the recently discovered GRUB 2 vulnerabilities (USN-4432-1). Detailed information about USN-4432-1 can be found here…

        • Ubuntu 16.04.7 LTS And Ubuntu 18.04.5 LTS Point Version Released

          Ubuntu team has announced new point releases for the Ubuntu 16.04 LTS and Ubuntu 18.04 LTS as a Ubuntu 16.04.7 and Ubuntu 18.04.5 point version with long term support.

          If you want to download the ISO image of Ubuntu 16.04.7 and Ubuntu 18.04.5, visit the official site of Ubuntu.

        • Ubuntu MATE 20.04.1 for Raspberry Pi Now Has a Second Beta Ready for Testing

          Martin Wimpress published a new beta version of the upcoming Ubuntu MATE 20.04.1 images for Raspberry Pi devices, which you can download and test right now on the tiny computer.

          Ubuntu MATE 20.04.1 for Raspberry Pi promises major new features, such as support for the latest Raspberry Pi 4 SCBs, better graphics, experimental USB booting, basic rendering for the Firefox web browser by default, support for the rpi-eeprom utility for updating the Raspberry Pi 4 bootloader EEPROM, and a new configuration tool.

          Based on the recently released Ubuntu 20.04.1 LTS (Focal Fossa) operating system, the upcoming Ubuntu MATE 20.04.1 for Raspberry Pi release is now in its latest stages of development, with a second beta version ready for public testing.

          Since beta 1, the team fixed Wi-Fi issues that occurred on the first boot during the initial setup wizard and dropped the gpu_mem memory option that lets you specify how much memory the GPU can use from the config.txt file for better performance.

          The beta 2 is also powered by the same Linux 5.4 LTS kernel used in Ubuntu 20.04.1 LTS, and uses the latest MATE 1.24 desktop environment and most the core apps that are also available in the Ubuntu MATE 20.04.1 LTS release for PCs.

        • Ubuntu 18.04.5 LTS Released with Linux Kernel 5.4 LTS from Ubuntu 20.04 LTS

          Ubuntu 18.04.5 LTS comes six months after the Ubuntu 18.04.4 LTS point release and two and a half years after the release of Ubuntu 18.04 LTS (Bionic Beaver), which is normally supported until April 2023, though the end of life is planned for April 2028 due to Canonical’s new 10-year support policy.

          The good news for those still using Ubuntu 18.04 LTS (Bionic Beaver) is that Ubuntu 18.04.5 LTS brings yet another kernel and graphics stacks bump. This time, it runs the Linux 5.4 LTS kernel and Mesa 20.0.8 graphics stack from Ubuntu 20.04 LTS (Focal Fossa).

        • Lubuntu 18.04.5 Released!

          Lubuntu is an official Ubuntu flavor which uses the Lightweight X11 Desktop Environment (LXDE). The project’s goal is to provide a lightweight yet functional Linux distribution based on a rock solid Ubuntu base. Lubuntu specifically targets older machines with lower resources, but also runs great on newer hardware. Along with a simple but usable graphical user interface, Lubuntu comes with a wide variety of applications chosen for their small footprint so you can browse, email, chat, play, and be productive.

        • Ubuntu 18.04.5 + Ubuntu 16.04.7 LTS Released

          Following last week’s release of Ubuntu 20.04.1, the prior Ubuntu 16.04 and 18.04 Long Term Support series are also seeing new releases.

          Ubuntu 16.04.7 and Ubuntu 18.04.5 are out today as the newest long term support point releases for those prior versions from 2016 and 2018, respectively. Ubuntu 18.04.5 brings an updated hardware enablement stack from Ubuntu 20.04 so it works gracefully on newer hardware platforms. The Ubuntu 18.04.5 LTS desktop version will use the new stack by default while other architectures have it available. Ubuntu 18.04.5 Server defaults to the older kernel but can be easily switched to the newer HWE kernel.

        • New Ubuntu 16.04.7 LTS And Ubuntu 18.04.5 LTS Point Version Released

          Ahead of the first point version release of the Ubuntu 20.04 LTS series, the Ubuntu team has announced new point releases for both Ubuntu 16.04 LTS and 18.04 LTS series. Ubuntu 16.04.7 and Ubuntu 18.04.5 are the latest point versions with long-term support.

          On the one hand, v18.04.5 is available for all Ubuntu variants such as Desktop, Server, Cloud, and other flavors. While on the other, v16.04.7 is only available for Desktop, Server, and Ubuntu Kylin flavor owing to the end-of-life of other community flavors.

          [...]

          If you’re using Ubuntu flavors, Kubuntu 18.04.5 LTS, Ubuntu Budgie 18.04.5 LTS, Ubuntu MATE 18.04.5 LTS, Lubuntu 18.04.5 LTS, Ubuntu Kylin 18.04.5 LTS, and Xubuntu 18.04.5 LTS are also now available with HWE.

          Speaking of maintenance updates, Canonical will provide 5 years of support for Ubuntu Desktop, Server, Cloud, and Base until 2023 for 18.04.5 and 2021 for 16.04.7. However, all the remaining Ubuntu flavors will be supported for 3 years.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • Web Browsers

        • New release candidate: 0.4.4.4-rc

          There’s a new alpha release available for download. If you build Tor from source, you can download the source code for 0.4.4.4-rc from the download page. Packages should be available over the coming weeks, with a new alpha Tor Browser release likely in the coming weeks.

          Remember, this is a release candidate, not a a stable release: you should only run this if you’d like to find and report more bugs than usual.

        • Mozilla is dead

          If Mozilla wants to survive, the management will be fired with unearned compensation, the most important departments will be strengthened, products that nobody ordered will be discontinued and the organization will be limited to its core competence. Browser, email, security, adaptability and the fight for a free Internet. And they work with all their might to ensure that the products will become an integral part of everyday life and all operating systems.

          Three months. That’s all the time they have for a clear signal. After that, users have to make a decision. Unfortunately, it will probably only be something with chromium.

          Poor Internet.

        • Web browsers need to stop

          I call for an immediate and indefinite suspension of the addition of new developer-facing APIs to web browsers. Browser vendors need to start thinking about reducing scope and cutting features. WebUSB, WebBluetooth, WebXR, WebDRM WebMPAA WebBootlicking replacing User-Agent with Vendor-Agent cause let’s be honest with ourselves at this point “Encrypted Media Extensions” — this crap all needs to go. At some point you need to stop adding scope and start focusing on performance, efficiency, reliability, and security5 at the scope you already have.

        • Mozilla

      • SaaS/Back End/Databases

        • vScaler Integrates SLURM with GigaIO FabreX for Elastic HPC Cloud Device Scaling
        • vScaler Announces SLURM integration with GigaIO FabreX

          The additional integration of the SLURM workload manager, an open-source job scheduler for Linux and Unix-like kernels, means that vScaler Cloud users can request traditional resources like memory and compute cores to be available for jobs.

        • Profiling slow-running queries in Amazon DocumentDB (with MongoDB compatibility)

          Amazon DocumentDB (with MongoDB compatibility) is a fast, scalable, highly available, and fully managed document database service that supports MongoDB workloads. You can use the same MongoDB 3.6 application code, drivers, and tools to run, manage, and scale workloads on Amazon DocumentDB without having to worry about managing the underlying infrastructure. As a document database, Amazon DocumentDB makes it easy to store, query, and index JSON data.

          AWS built Amazon DocumentDB to uniquely solve your challenges around availability, performance, reliability, durability, scalability, backup, and more. In doing so, we built several tools, like the profiler, to help you run analyze your workload on Amazon DocumentDB. The profiler gives you the ability to log the time and details of slow-running operations on your cluster. In this post, we show you how to use the profiler in Amazon DocumentDB to analyze slow-running queries to identify bottlenecks and improve individual query performance and overall cluster performance.

      • Productivity Software/LibreOffice/Calligra

        • LibreOffice 7 Now Available

          The LibreOffice 7 office suite is now available with important compatibility improvements.

          The most popular open-source office suite, LibreOffice, is now available for download, a release that includes numerous improvements across the suite. Although most users won’t notice anything obvious, this release includes numerous file compatibility improvements, which should go a long way to make interoperability between LibreOffice and other suites even better.

          The first major compatibility improvement is that LibreOffice includes support for ODF 1.3. Along with this update comes digital signatures for documents and OpenPGP-based encryption of XML documents.

        • LibreOffice 6.4.6 Now Available for Download
        • LibreOffice 7.0 Released – Install it Via PPA on Ubuntu and Mint

          LibreOffice recently got a major update in the form of version 7.0 and I must admit, that the Document Foundation is doing an impressive job of maintaining their software’s position as the most sort out for open-source and cross-platform office suite in the market today.

          Being a major release, you can trust that there are more updates than can fit in a 10-minute read, but we’ve decided to bring you some feature highlights.

      • CMS

        • Critical vulnerabilities in Quiz And Survey Master WordPress Plugin

          Quiz and Survey Master is a WordPress plugin for creating quizzes and surveys easily on WordPress sites. It is installed on over 30,000+ websites.

          Recently WordFence‘s Chloe Chamberland discovered two critical vulnerabilities in Quiz and Survey Master plugin version 7.0.

        • Pros & Cons of WordPress Plugins Auto-updates

          WordPress has released a major update yesterday with some big changes. One of the features is the ability to apply all the plugins and themes updates automatically.

          Earlier plugins updates could be automatically applied with the help of additional plugins. One popular plugin is Jetpack that can apply available updates automatically. Now WordPress 5.5 core supports auto-updates out of the box.

          In this article, we will discuss the auto-update feature of WordPress. For many websites, this feature can be a lifesaver but for some, there may involve some risks.

      • FSF

        • GNU Projects

          • GNUnet 0.13.2 released

            This is a bugfix release for gnunet 0.13.1.
            It fixes some build issues and contains changes to the REST API implmementation (no change in the API itself) as well as OpenID Connect related fixes to re:claimID.

      • Programming/Development

        • Solved – Laravel Throwing MethodNotAllowedHttpException
        • Creating a Simple Middleware Class
        • SSH vs. kubectl exec

          There’s a lot of similarities between SSH and kubectl, and both have their strengths and weaknesses. While SSH is architecturally set in stone, higher-level software can learn a thing or two from Kubernetes about centralized configuration when managing a fleet of machines. See Teleport for an example of how this can be done. SSH could also borrow the credential management approach from kubeconfigs (i.e. “put all my client creds and server info into one file that I can copy around”).

          kubectl could improve on its non-shell features like port forwarding and file transfer. It’s raw data throughput is also lacking, which precludes it from becoming a transport-layer protocol like SSH. In practice, these tools are complementary and get used for different tasks, it’s not “one or the other”. I hope this post helped you learn something new about both!

        • Can we do better than our C compiler?

          Today, I wanted to become a C compiler. I added a hand-compiled assembly version of echo from our previous coding exercise and added a new make target, make asm, that will assemble it. Let’s look at our hand-compiled assembly and compare it to our C compiler and ask whether or not it was worth it.

        • Benign Data Races Considered Harmful

          The series of posts about so called benign data races stirred a lot of controversy and led to numerous discussions at the startup I was working at called Corensic. Two bastions formed, one claiming that no data race was benign, and the other claiming that data races were essential for performance. Then it turned out that we couldn’t even agree on the definition of a data race. In particular, the C++11 definition seemed to deviate from the established notions.

        • Micronaut 2.0 Full-Stack Java Framework Released

          The Micronaut framework uses Java’s annotation processors, which work with any JVM language that supports them, as well as an HTTP server and client built on the Netty non-blocking I/O client server framework. To provide a programming model similar to Spring and Grails, these annotation processors pre-compile the required metadata to perform DI, define AOP proxies, and configure applications to run in a low-memory environment, the company says. Many of the APIs in Micronaut were “heavily inspired” by Spring and Grails,” which was by design and aids in bringing developers up to speed quickly,” the company says.

        • Understanding computer vision and AI, part 1

          An active area in the field of computer vision is object detection, where the goal is to not only localize objects of interest within an image but also assign a label to each of these objects of interest. Considerable recent successes in the area of object detection stem from modern advances in deep learning, particularly leveraging deep convolutional neural networks. Much of the initial focus was on improving accuracy, leading to increasingly more complex object detection networks such as SSD, R-CNN, Mask R-CNN, and other extended variants of these networks. While such networks demonstrated state-of-the-art object detection performance, they were very challenging, if not impossible, to deploy on edge and mobile devices due to computational and memory constraints. This greatly limits the widespread adoption for a wide range of applications such as robotics, video surveillance, autonomous driving where local embedded processing is required.

          [...]

          Model Evaluation is an integral part of the model development process. It helps to find the best model that represents our data and how well the chosen model performs on unseen data.

          To improve the model we tune the hyper-parameters; parameter that determines the network structure (number of neurons in the network, network activation functions) or training parameter (gradient descent learning rate, adding parameters like momentum in the weight update rule). Tuning those parameters is an inevitable and important step to obtain better performance. Methods like GridSearch and RandomizedSearch can be used to navigate through the different parameters.

        • Qt Design Studio 1.6 Beta released

          We are happy to announce the beta release of Qt Design Studio 1.6

          Qt Design Studio is a UI design and development tool that enables designers and developers to rapidly prototype and develop complex UIs. Both designers and developers use Qt Design Studio and this makes collaboration between the two a lot simpler and more streamlined. To get an impression, you should watch this video.

        • Perl/Raku

          • Perl 7 By Default

            Perl 7 has been announced as the next direction of Perl development. My previous blog post explored at a high level the risks and benefits of the announced direction, as well as those of a more incremental proposal. The primary and critical difference between these two approaches is the decision to change interpreter defaults in an incompatible manner. I would like to explore each of the arguments presented for this design choice.

          • CY’s Recent Submission for PWC(068-073)

            Skipped blogging on Perl Weekly Challenge(PWC) for a few weeks!

        • Python

          • Announcing the new Jupyter Book

            Jupyter Book is an open source project for building beautiful, publication-quality books, websites, and documents from source material that contains computational content. With this post, we’re happy to announce that Jupyter Book has been re-written from the ground up, making it easier to install, faster to use, and able to create more complex publishing content in your books. It is now supported by the Executable Book Project, an open community that builds open source tools for interactive and executable documents in the Jupyter ecosystem and beyond.

          • Holdgraf: Announcing the new Jupyter Book

            On the Jupyter blog, Chris Holdgraf announces a rewrite of the Jupyter Book project. LWN looked at Jupyter and its interactive notebooks for Python and other languages back in 2018; Jupyter Book extends the notebook idea.

          • EuroPython 2020: Live Stream Recordings available

            We’re happy to announce the public availability of the live stream recordings from EuroPython 2020. They were already available to all conference attendees since the sprint days.

          • Learn Any Programming Language with This Learning Plan

            All it takes to master any programming language is the right learning plan.

            If you know anything about programming you should be aware that often you can’t tell whether what you are doing is wrong until it’s too late. That’s what makes programming a frustrating skill to master — long hours doing the wrong things.

            But hey, whether you want to make programming your full-time job or just a hobby, you can always make the learning curve less steep. The secret to getting it right with coding is this: have a learning plan! While the plan will not do the hard lifting for you, it will definitely provide the much-needed elbow grease to keep you grounded and focused as you learn programming.

          • Deploying Django to AWS ECS with Terraform

            In this tutorial, we’ll look at how to deploy a Django app to AWS ECS with Terraform.

          • Matt Layman: Rendering Calendars – Building SaaS #68

            In this episode, I worked on rendering a calendar of important events in a school year. We built out the appropriate data structures, and I wrote some new model methods and added tests. On the last stream, I created a new model to track breaks in the school year. The app now shows the calendar for the school year, and I want to display the breaks on the calendar. Before digging too far into the code, I provided my thoughts about using Docker for development from a question that came from the chat.

          • Basics of Working with the SQLite Database in Python

            A database is one of the most useful and popular files for storing data; they can be used to store any kind of data, including text, numbers, images, binary data, files, etc. SQLite is a relational database management system based on the SQL language. It is a C library, and it provides an API to work with other programming languages, including Python. It does not require a separate server process to be run as needed in large database engines like MySQL and Postgresql.

            It is swift and lightweight, and the entire database is stored in a single disk file, which makes it portable like CSV or other data storage files. Many applications use SQLite for internal data storage, mainly in environments like mobile devices or small applications.

        • Rust

          • In Which COVID-19 Misinformation Leads To A Bunch of Graphs Made With Rust

            A funny — and by funny, I mean sad — thing has happened. Recently the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) has been analyzing data from the patchwork implementation of mask requirements in Kansas. They came to a conclusion that shouldn’t be surprising to anyone: masks help. They published a chart showing this. A right-wing propaganda publication got ahold of this, and claimed the numbers were “doctored” because there were two-different Y-axes.

            I set about to analyze the data myself from public sources, and produced graphs of various kinds using a single Y-axis and supporting the idea that the graphs were not, in fact, doctored. Here’s one graph that’s showing that:

            In order to do that, I had imported COVID-19 data from various public sources. Many states in the US are large enough to have significant variation in COVID-19 conditions, and many of the source people look at don’t show county-level data over time. I wanted to do that.

        • Laravel

    • Standards/Consortia

      • Open Standards Are Simple

        If you want to create a truly open standard, you _need_ to make it simple.

        There are no exceptions to this rule. When a standard becomes harder to fully implement than what your average motivated programmer can do in two months (max!), it _shouldn’t_ be considered “open” anymore.

        Why?

  • Leftovers

    • Education

      • Best Books to Learn Data Science for Beginners and Experts

        Each of these books is extremely popular and considered a gold standard in data science. First, you can check out the books for beginners that provide basic information about Data science in R and Python. There are also some books for experts that go deep into specific sub-categories in data science such as deep learning, data mining, etc. So without further ado, let’s see these books now!

      • Self-publishing and the 2nd edition of Ansible for DevOps

        Five years, 834 commits, and 24 major revisions later, I’ve just published the 2nd edition of Ansible for DevOps, a book which has now sold over 60,000 copies and spawned a popular free Ansible 101 video series on YouTube.

    • Hardware

      • Intel’s dedicated gaming GPU releases in 2021, plus 10nm SuperFin is coming

        During Intel Architecture Day 2020, they made a number of announcements. While a fair amount was marketing talk and plenty for servers, they did give a few details on their upcoming dedicated GPUs.

        Intel’s new GPU strategy is Xe, a single overall architecture split between four micro-architectures that have various different targets from high-performance servers right down to integrated solutions. They’re betting big on it. From what they announced, the one for gamers will be known as Xe-HPG, as they said they “heard your requests for Xe for enthusiast gaming”. Xe-HPG is optimized for gaming, it comes with GDDR6 and will provide accelerated Ray Tracing support too. Don’t go getting too excited yet though, Xe-HPG is not due until 2021.

    • Health/Nutrition

      • ‘It’s Not Who Has the Most Deaths; It’s Who’s Doing What to Prevent the Spread’
      • UN Chief: Pandemic Must Be Met With Commitment to Peace

        “Covid-19 is a human tragedy, but we can mitigate the impacts by the choices we make.”

      • The Pandemic Disproves God

        Vice President Mike Pence, a renowned born-again fundamentalist, takes the podium as leader of America’s task force on the Corona crisis.  Reporters should ask him:

      • How We Analyzed Data on Nursing Home Outbreaks

        New Jersey’s long-term care population has been hard-hit by the pandemic. The novel coronavirus has killed nearly 16,000 people in the state so far, almost half of whom lived in long-term care facilities, and more than 5,400 of whom were nursing home residents. No other state has a higher number of known deaths from COVID-19 linked to nursing homes and assisted living facilities, based on officially released numbers from states.

        Nursing homes played a difficult role during the pandemic’s early months. The facilities house a population particularly vulnerable to the disease, but at the same time, many states, including New Jersey and New York, relied on nursing homes to ease the burden on hospitals during the peak of the pandemic.

      • CareOne Nursing Homes Said They Could Safely Take More COVID-19 Patients. But Death Rates Soared.

        On Friday, March 20, the New Jersey Department of Health got an urgent call from a Catholic nursing home. COVID-19 was tearing through St. Joseph’s Senior Home in Woodbridge Township. At least a dozen of the nuns who worked at the facility had fallen ill, and they feared they didn’t have enough staff on hand to care for the residents.

        Instead of sending in state inspectors to assess the situation, health officials reached out to private care providers for help, and CareOne, one of the largest nursing home chains in New Jersey, said it would assist. When nurses from the company arrived at St. Joseph’s on Sunday afternoon, they found just three nuns trying to manage almost 90 residents. The company sent a report to the state on Monday, and the following day, state officials took the extraordinary step of ordering St. Joseph’s to evacuate.

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Apple, Google Remove ‘Fortnite’ From App Stores

          Apple and Google have removed Fortnite from their app stores after the game’s owner introduced a new way to buy its virtual currency that circumvents the tech giants’ payment marketplaces.

          Epic, the developer of the popular title, said that Fortnite players who buy V-bucks through its direct payment process will get a 20 percent discount on their purchases. The move was meant to encourage players to make their purchases outside of Apple and Google’s systems.

        • HMD Global, maker of Nokia phones wants to make India its export hub

          HMD Global, the maker of Nokia-branded phones, is looking to make India its future export hub, and will be using a large part of the $230 million it has just raised from investors like Nokia Technologies, Google, and Qualcomm for the purpose, a top executive said.

          HMD will work with local contract manufacturers, chipset designer Qualcomm, and internet giant Google to bring low-cost 4G and affordable 5G smartphones in the coming future, Florian Seiche, CEO at HMD Global, told ET exclusively. Google and Qualcomm had announced a similar partnership with Indian telecom operator Reliance Jio last month.

        • Are universities spending enough on cybersecurity? [iophk: Windows TCO]

          Such attacks “will absolutely continue”, said Mark Ford, who leads higher education risk and financial advisory services for the audit firm Deloitte. As higher education becomes known as an “easy target”, this increasingly “attracts the bad guys”, he explained.

          The threat comes not just from criminals seeking money. Universities now house arguably the most valuable secrets on earth – plans for a coronavirus vaccine – putting them in the sights of state-backed [cr]ackers. In July, UK, US and Canadian intelligence services warned that Russian groups were attempting to target Covid-19 vaccine research and development.

          This raises the question: are universities doing enough to defend themselves against [cr]acking?

        • Pseudo-Open Source

          • Privatisation/Privateering

            • Linux Foundation

              • Linux Foundation, Grillo and IBM Announce Earthquake Early-Warning Open Source Project
              • Open source takes on earthquake early warning project

                While my little earthquake did no real damage, they can kill thousands of people and destroy billions of dollars of infrastructure. Any early warning can save lives which is why countries like Mexico, Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan have national earthquake early-warning systems (EWW)s.

                Earthquakes often hit developing countries the worst due in part to their poor construction and infrastructure. 2010′s Haiti earthquake, for instance, killed more than 200,000 people and caused over 10 billion dollars of damage.

                Timely alerts can save lives in the communities where earthquakes pose the greatest threat. EEW systems provide public alerts in some countries. Even a few seconds can make a difference. But, as The Linux Foundation states, “nearly three billion people globally live with the threat of an earthquake and don’t have access to nation-wide systems, which can cost upwards of one billion U.S. dollars.” OpenEEW wants to help reduce these costs, accelerate their deployments around the world, and help save many lives.

              • Facebook joins The Linux Foundation as a platinum member

                Most web-based companies are built on Linux and open-source software. Two-billion member social network Facebook is no different. For years, Facebook has not only relied on open-source, it’s been an active contributor to major open-source projects. These include the React JavaScript library; the Open Compute Project, which open sources data-center hardware; and Linux’s cGroup2 container software. Now Facebook is joining The Linux Foundation membership at the Platinum level.

                [...]

                While Facebook has been criticized for how it deals with privacy and politics, it has impeccable open-source credentials. It was already the lead contributor of many Linux Foundation-hosted projects, such as Presto, GraphQL, Osquery, and ONNX. The company also employs many Linux kernel key developers and maintainers.

              • Facebook Becomes a Platinum Member of The Linux Foundation

                While Facebook is having a dark history with politics and privacy, it’s one of the fine contributors to open-source like to ONNX, Osquery, Presto and GraphQL. Further, social media has also made projects like Facebook Connectivity and Telecom Infra Project Foundation to provide reliable and fast internet to underdeveloped areas.

              • Amundsen Joins LF AI as New Incubation Project

                LF AI Foundation (LF AI), the organization building an ecosystem to sustain open source innovation in artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), and deep learning (DL), today is announcing Amundsen as its latest Incubation Project.

              • LF AI Accepts Amundsen as Incubation Project

                The Amundsen data discovery project has joined the LF AI as an incubation project.

                Amundsen is a data discovery and metadata engine aiming to improve the productivity of data analysts, data scientists and engineers by indexing data resources. “Think of it as Google search for data,” the LF AI announcement said.

        • Security

          • An Average IT Org

            Supply chain attacks are a known issue, and also lately there was a discussion around the relevance of reproducible builds. Looking in comparison at an average IT org doing something with the internet, I believe the pressing problem is neither supply chain attacks nor a lack of reproducible builds. The real problem is the amount of prefabricated binaries supplied by someone else, created in an unknown build environment with unknown tools, the average IT org requires to do anything.

            [...]

            Yes some of that is even non-free and might contain spyw^telemetry.

            [...]

            In the end the binary supply is like a drug for the user, and somehow the Debian project is also just another dealer / middle man in this setup. There are probably a lot of open questions to think about in that context.

            Are we the better dealer because we care about signed sources we retrieve from upstream and because we engage in reproducible build projects?

            Are our own means of distributing binaries any better than a binary download from github via https with a manual checksum verification, or the Debian repo at download.docker.com?

            Is the approach of the BSD/Gentoo ports, where you have to compile at least some software from source, the better one?

            Do I really want to know how some of the software is actually build?

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

          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • New Jersey Supreme Court rules that passcodes aren’t protected by Fifth Amendment

              The New Jersey Supreme Court has ruled that passcodes aren’t protected by the Fifth Amendment. States around the country, and other countries around the world, continue to rule differently on whether passcodes are protected by a constitutional right against self incrimination. It’s already been established that biometrics aren’t protected, but these rulings on passcode represent an ongoing legal definition battle that will have far ranging impacts on protestors or at the border.

            • Watchdog Warns Unchecked Covid-19 Contact Tracing Apps Threaten Workers With ‘Dystopian Mass Surveillance’

              As competing bills aimed at privacy rights make their way through Congress, employers mull the use of apps to quell the spread of Coronavirus in the workplace.

            • CBP Privacy Impact Assessment Says It Can Pull All Sorts Of Data And Communications From Peoples’ Devices At The Border

              The CBP is going to continue fishing in people’s devices, despite federal courts (including the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals) telling it that suspicionless device searches are unconstitutional. The agency will just have to come up with something approximating suspicion to do it. Its latest Privacy Impact Assessment of its border device search policy gives it plenty of options for continuing its practice of performing deep dives into devices it encounters.

            • Instagram faces $500 billion lawsuit for gathering facial biometrics data without consent

              A new class action lawsuit in the state of Illinois is trying to bring Facebook to task for illegally harvesting biometrics data, specifically facial recognition data or a “face template.” The lawsuit, Whalen v. Facebook, seeks to fine Facebook up to $500 billion dollars for the illegal biometrics harvesting. The lawsuit explained:

            • Facebook under fire over drilling equipment on the seafloor off the Oregon coast: report

              A Facebook subcontractor’s efforts to install undersea fiber optic cables off the coast of Oregon resulted in an accident that forced the company to leave a sizable amount of drilling equipment on the sea floor.

              The accident, first reported by the Tillamook Headlight Herald and The Oregonian, has led to more than 1,000 feet of pipe, containers of drilling fluid totaling more than 6,000 gallons, and other equipment languishing on the ocean floor since late April. The company reportedly has no plans to retrieve any of it.

              In a statement, the company argued that the equipment poses no environmental risk while an operation to remove it would carry such a danger.

            • With TikTok’s Uncertain Future, Creators Scramble to Diversify Their Social Media Presence

              There are now companies that exist solely to manage TikTok stars or to help them broker partnerships with record labels. But as TikTok faces an uncertain future in the U.S., one that could include a sale to Microsoft to avert the ban, TikTokers are learning how fleeting influence can be. “It’s fantastic to grow and nurture community on a given platform, but you don’t own the platform,” says Chris Wittine, an agent in CAA’s digital media department. “It makes your business and your artistry very vulnerable.”

            • Facebook to engage external auditors to validate its content review report

              Social media giant Facebook has said it will engage with external auditors to conduct an independent audit of its metrics and validate the numbers published in its Community Standards Enforcement Report. The US-based company first began sharing metrics on how well it enforces its content policies in May 2018, to track its work across six types of content that violate its Community Standards, which define what is and isn’t allowed on Facebook and Instagram.

            • Judge agrees to release names of jurors in trial of ex-Minneapolis police officer Mohamed Noor

              Hennepin County District Judge Kathryn Quaintance will release the names of the jurors in the murder trial of former Minneapolis police officer Mohamed Noor on Aug. 3, more than 18 months after his conviction.

              But Quaintance sent notice that she will release only their names, not additional identifying information. The judge, who presided over Noor’s trial, has signed orders six times since his conviction on April 30, 2019, to keep jurors’ names private.

              Typically, juror information — including names, jury questionnaires and related data — is released within hours of a verdict.

            • [Old] Patrick Breyer on the Schrems II judgement: Outlaw mass surveillance!

              Today’s ruling is a victory for the protection of our privacy and the confidentiality of our communications and Internet use. The US mass surveillance programmes revealed by Edward Snowden have been dismissed as disproportionate encroachments on our fundamental rights, because affected citizens from Europe have no enforceable rights. This means that there can no longer be any transfer of our data to the USA without our consent, not even on the basis of the so-called standard contractual clauses, which do not change anything about the mass surveillance programmes. It is now up to the data protection authorities to stop the transfer of our personal data to the US.

              After the end of the useless ‘Privacy Shield’, the EU Commission must not again betray fundamental European values and bow to the US government and the business lobby. It is called upon to finally demand a no spy agreement with the US to outlaw mass surveillance and to ensure that people who have done nothing wrong are not permanently logged and monitored. There can be no free society where everybody is subject to permanent surveillance.”

            • [Old] Ebay is port scanning visitors to their website – and they aren’t the only ones

              While modern browsers allow Javascript to make requests to other domain names than the one you’re currently visiting (e.g. www.ebay.com), they layer on security controls to ensure the target data allows the calling website to access it. This prevents, for example, a malicious website from requesting the account details from you bank’s website. However, even without knowing the contents of the remote site, details about the connection itself (such as the time it takes to connect or time out) can be used to infer whether or not a website exists at the given host and port. A bit of Javascript code can wrap that into a package and allow any site to scan a user’s internal network, determining which IP addresses and ports have services running. Further, because many well-known services are commonly available on the same port (there is a registration page, but it’s more of a guideline than a hard and fast rule), it’s possible to also infer some programs that a user may be running on their network depending on whether the port is open or not.

            • [Old] An app to teach Xi Jinping thought can study the phones of its 100 million users

              A new report from the Open Technology Fund (OTF), an initiative funded by the US government, said that the “Study Xi, Strong Nation” app has code that “amounts to a backdoor to rooted devices, essentially granting complete administrator-level access to a user’s phone.” This means the app acquires “superuser” access to the phone, the report said. Superuser access gives it “the power to do anything,” including downloading software, modifying files and data, or installing a key logger, a tool that allows the interception of passwords and account numbers from the keystrokes on a device.

              The information collected by the app—such as users; location, the other apps on their phones, and activity log—is sent to to various entities, including xuexi.cn, a domain owned by Alibaba, according to the report. Alibaba’s messaging app DingTalk’s open tech platform was used to build the “Study Xi, Strong Nation” app.

            • TikTok users ‘voluntarily’ giving their data to China, Justice official says

              “99% of that data they will not be interested in from a counterintelligence perspective,” Demers said on a webcast hosted by the Center for Strategic and International Studies. “But once they’re interested in somebody… they can mine those existing data sources to find out what that person’s financial life is like, what their health life is like, what they’re married life is like.”

              Like countless other mobile apps, from Facebook to Snapchat, the TikTok app can access information about a user’s device. An analysis of TikTok by an independent security researcher found no signs of “suspicious behavior” or unusual data exfiltration from the app.

    • Defence/Aggression

      • Get Military Recruiters Out of Our High Schools

        Schools have become contested territory.

      • How the US helped push Lebanon to the brink of collapse, and now threatens more sanctions

        While the media blames the crisis in Lebanon solely on corruption, the US government unleashed a “maximum pressure” campaign to push regime change and crush Lebanese resistance with sanctions and aggressive hybrid warfare.

      • How American Guns Are Fueling U.K. Crime

        Most illegal firearms in Britain still come from Europe. But investigators seized hundreds of smuggled American guns last year, a small figure by international standards, though experts say the number that the police do not discover is likely to be far higher.

        The British police have traced some of the smuggled American guns back to loosely regulated gun fairs in states like Florida. Investigators have also seized American weapons being smuggled on a container ship and hidden in car engines.

      • Lebanon, forever colonised?

        When French President Emmanuel Macron visited Beirut last week, two days after a massive explosion destroyed swathes of the city, he was met with great public, political, and media attention. Surrounded by reporters, and with live coverage across Lebanon’s television channels, he toured the remains of the Beirut port and the nearby neighbourhoods, spoke to citizens, hugged them, expressed pain and support.

        On streets named after French colonialists, the first state leader – Lebanese or foreign – to walk Beirut’s devastation pledged to always be by Lebanon’s side, exclaiming that “France will never let Lebanon go”. He was met with cries of “Revolution!” and “Vive la France!”

        It is ironic that Macron should model France as Lebanon’s saviour.

        In the wake of World War I, Lebanon was created – via the Franco-British partition of the Ottoman Empire – as the beacon of France’s Mission civilisatrice. Formally given the mandate for Lebanon in 1923 by the League of Nations, France claimed it sought a “home” for Maronite Christians in the largely “Muslim East”.

        But the confessional system put in place by France has riddled the country with institutionalised sectarianism and corruption ever since.

        The roots and cause of Lebanon’s political crisis can be identified in the French-imposed system. Similarly, its economic crisis is a result of Western-empowered neo-liberal policies and the global political order. Indeed, the blast of ammonium nitrate that engulfed Lebanon’s capital last week was made possible – to a large extent – by global capital flows and a lawless world of international shipping.

    • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

      • Stopping phishing campaigns with bash

        We saw 2 phishing attacks in different quality. Both sent out as SMS to users who are customers of the same bank.

        I wrote a script to poison their data and got both of the sites to stop working. Great success!

    • Environment

      • UK: Paris climate treaty has no domestic effect

        The 2015 Paris climate treaty is the only global step to tame the crisis. Now London says it does not apply within the UK.

      • Facebook tells Elizabeth Warren it has two different standards for climate fact-checking

        Facebook says its third-party fact-checking partners “do review and rate climate misinformation, and there has never been a prohibition against them doing so,” in a response to criticism from Democratic senators. Facebook will continue its policy of exempting “clear opinion content” from fact-checking, the letter says. The senators are unsatisfied.

        In the response, which was shared exclusively with The Verge, the tech behemoth says it does not consider all climate change content “opinion.” But opinion articles about climate change don’t receive fact-checking, a policy Facebook says it began in 2016.

      • What We Know About Kamala Harris’ Climate Record

        Harris — formerly the district attorney for the city of San Francisco and the attorney general of California — has been known to be somewhat of a political chameleon. Her once-promising presidential campaign failed in part because of her inability to nail down her political ideology. But, over time, the Democrat has become increasingly firm in her commitment to one particular issue: environmental justice.

      • Mauritius oil spill: Are major incidents less frequent?

        In the 1970s, there were about 80 spills a year of more than seven tonnes. This has fallen to an average of just six per year over the past decade despite a large increase in the number of tankers now transporting oil.

        This improvement, according to Naa Sackeyfio of the ITOPF, is down to tighter regulation and improvements in safety standards.

      • Energy

      • Wildlife/Nature

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • Three killed in Bangalore clashes over Prophet Muhammad post

        Crowds gathered outside the house of a local politician whose relative was accused of making an “offensive” post about the Prophet Muhammad.

        They set fire to vehicles and attacked policemen who arrived on the scene with stones, police told BBC Hindi.

        Police have arrested the man, and also 110 others who were in the crowd.

      • BBC is increasing its shortwave radio shows to get past the news lockdown in Indian-controlled Kashmir

        As a communications blackout continues in Kashmir, the BBC is using one of the only ways to reach listeners in the Indian-controlled state: shortwave radio.

        The BBC is extending its Hindi radio output by 30 minutes, launching a 15-minute daily program in Urdu, and expanding its English broadcasts by an hour. All are being broadcast via shortwave signals.

      • Eyeing big China box office, Hollywood bows to censorship: Report

        The actions include everything from deleting the Taiwanese flag from Tom Cruise’s bomber jacket in the upcoming Top Gun: Maverick, to removing China as the source of a zombie virus in 2013′s World War Z.

        But it also means completely avoiding sensitive issues including Tibet, Taiwan, Hong Kong politics, Xinjiang and the portrayal of LGBTQ characters, the report said.

    • Freedom of Information/Freedom of the Press

      • Barr’s re-issued extradition request puts Assange September hearing in jeopardy
      • Iraqi federal police detain Kurdish broadcasting crews on assignment in Kirkuk

        On August 2, 2020, Iraqi federal police officers detained two TV crews with Kurdish broadcasters Kurdistan 24 (K24) and NRT, seized their equipment, and destroyed a camera while the reporters were on assignment near the northern Iraqi city of Kirkuk, according to K24 reporter Soran Kamaran, who spoke with CPJ via messaging app, an account by the NRT crew reviewed by CPJ, as well as a K24 article and an NRT video published on Facebook.

      • Trump pick to run Voice of America, other U.S. global media accused of carrying out ‘purge’

        The chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Rep. Eliot Engel, D-N.Y., accused Michael Pack, who took over in June as chief of the U.S. Agency for Global Media (USAGM), of trying to push out career officials who raised concerns about the legality of his decisions.

        “Tonight’s actions smack of illegal retaliation,” Engel said in a statement late Wednesday.

        “I understand that a number of the individuals who have been relieved had tried to make agency leadership aware of potentially inappropriate or unlawful actions during Mr. Pack’s first months in his position,” Engel said.

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • Nine Mile Ride: Why Police Reform Always Results in More Police Violence, Not Less

        Don’t call it a nickel ride, like they do in Philly. And it’s not exactly a rough ride, like the kind the cops give in Baltimore. It’s called a Nine Mile Ride in Albuquerque because that’s where the ride ends.

      • Was Kamala Harris a Progressive Prosecutor? A Look at Her Time as a DA & California Attorney General

        As Senator Kamala Harris makes history as the first woman of color on a major party ticket, we host a debate on her record as California attorney general and San Francisco district attorney, when she proudly billed herself as “top cop” and called for more cops on the street. San Francisco Deputy Public Defender Niki Solis says Harris was the state’s most progressive DA and advocated for “so many policies and so many alternatives to incarceration.” Law professor Lara Bazelon says Harris was on the wrong side of history for often opposing criminal justice reform, though her record did change as a senator. “Her office fought tooth and nail to uphold wrongful convictions that in some cases kept innocent people in prison,” Bazelon says.

      • General Strike & Blockade in Bolivia Enter Day 11 as Protesters Condemn Delayed Vote by Coup Gov’t

        We go to Bolivia, where opponents of the coup government have entered day 11 of a general strike and nationwide highway blockade to protest the repeated postponement of Bolivia’s first presidential election since last year’s ouster of Evo Morales by the right-wing coup government of Jeanine Áñez, which was followed by an economic collapse and oppression. “Almost all of the key highways have roadblocks … bringing the country to a standstill,” says Ollie Vargas, Cochabamba-based reporter with Kawsachun News. “People feel impoverished. They feel persecuted. There’s a climate of authoritarianism in the country, persecution against leftists, media outlets.”

      • Another Way to Think About Consciousness and the Lack of Self

        Does observing the birth and transience of a random though dispel the illusion of that thought being “yours”? And does the flattening of experience into a movie screen with no audience dispel the illusion of self?

        I’ll think more on it, and if you know of people who have answered this already, please point me to them.

      • Beyond Prisons Podcast: An Abolitionist Focus Is A Feminine Focus Feat. Dr. Venezia Michalsen

        Kim Wilson is joined by Dr. Venezia Michalsen for a conversation about her research on women’s experiences with the criminal punishment system on the Beyond Prisons podcast. 

        Their conversation, which was recorded in February, touches on how women are impacted differently by the system than men and how criminology has focused on studying men’s experiences. They also discuss the ways that women’s survival strategies are criminalized, white carceral feminism and punishment, and much more. 

      • Federal appeals court rules male-only draft constitutional

        A federal appeals court ruled Thursday that requiring only men to register for the military draft is constitutional.

        The Supreme Court ruled in 1981 that women could be excluded from registering since combat jobs were closed to them.

      • [Old] Mohamed Noor’s attorneys call for new trial in killing of Justine Ruszczyk Damond, citing improper court decisions

        After a monthlong trial watched around the world, jurors convicted Noor, 34, last April of third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter for shooting Damond.

        Noor was responding to Damond’s 911 call about a possible sexual assault behind her south Minneapolis home on July 15, 2017, when he shot the 40-year-old from the passenger seat of his police car.

      • Homeland Security details new tools for extracting device data at US borders

        The detailed list of how much information your phone can give about you came several days before the National Security Agency advised its staffers of the best practices for keeping their device data private. They include turning off location services and advertising permissions, and deactivating Bluetooth and Wi-Fi.

        The DHS said the privacy risks of using the tools are low because only trained forensics technicians will have access to the tools, and only data relevant to investigations will be extracted.

        That assurance is in stark contrast from what lawyers from the American Civil Liberties Union and the Electronic Frontier Foundation found, after a lawsuit revealed that agents had searched through travelers’ devices without any restrictions, and often for unrelated reasons like enforcing bankruptcy laws and helping outside investigations.

      • Prosecutors want joint trial for ex-Minneapolis officers in George Floyd’s death

        Chauvin is charged with second-degree murder, third-degree murder and manslaughter. The other three officers, Thomas Lane, J. Kueng and Tou Thao, are charged with aiding and abetting both second-degree murder and manslaughter. All four officers were fired and are scheduled for trial in March.

        Attorneys for Chauvin and Kueng declined comment on the prosecution’s motion to hold a joint trial. Defense attorneys for Lane and Thao did not immediately reply to requests from the Associated Press for comment Wednesday.

      • Pakistan’s Blasphemy Law A Weapon Of Revenge Used Against Minorities

        Rights groups and critics say Pakistan’s blasphemy laws are often used against religious minorities. Often the laws are used as a weapon of revenge. Therefore, there’s an urgent need to replace these laws.

        It is important that murderers like Khalid Khan be given maximum punishment by the judiciary to set an example that the guilty will not be spared. If Pakistan wants to prove itself as a haven for religious freedom, then it must ban these regressive laws.

        It’s also imperative that global powers raise this issue on international platforms to create pressure on the internal politics of the country. Proposal to put sanctions or interrogation at international level may force them to think on this again. Progressive countries of the world should give refuge to the acquitted.

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

      • Daniel Stenberg: Fiber breakage, day 4

        Warning to sensitive viewers, this is seriously scary stuff. So this happened Monday and I’m still to see any service people show up here to help me restore my life (I of course requested help within minutes). What you see here is a fiber that’s been cut off – the fiber that goes into my house. Turns out even a small excavator can do great damage. Who knew?!

    • Monopolies

      • The Big Tech firms are dividing the world between them

        Today, we are faced with a crisis of both finance and tech, thanks to the crisis in public health. Every chapter in this book — from the material on surveillance to that on global, networked soft power — has real bearing on the pandemic world. As economies implode, taking down those few remaining smaller firms with ties to places and people, we are experiencing a quiet wave of consolidations, in which the free-floating Big Tech firms (flush with tax-free, offshore cash) ‘rescue’ these smaller companies and absorb them, barrelling towards a future in which the world can be divided among them like the Great Powers whose peaceful status quo shattered with the Great War.

        As we lurch towards that oligarchic stitch-up and its inevitable conflagration, The System could not be more timely. Ball clearly loves this technology he writes about, has empathy for its self-styled guardians and would-be revolutionaries, and fears it too. He knows, as well as any of us, how rotten it’s become and how much worse it could become.

        Ball’s message boils down to this: you can’t change technology until you understand it, and you can’t understand it merely by knowing what it does. You have to know who it does it for… and who it does it to.

      • Qualcomm wins first-class antitrust acquittal from Ninth Circuit: patent licensing practices don’t contravene Sherman Act

        I have been and continue to be critical of certain aspects of Qualcomm’s business model, particularly the chipmaker’s refusal to grant exhaustive SEP licenses at the component level. Nevertheless I do congratulate Qualcomm’s lawyers on a sweeping victory–an accomplishment of gigantic proportions–and wish to point out that I already expected something like this to happen prior to the appellate hearing. The FTC’s trial team did a tremendous job last year; at the appellate stage, I was underwhelmed, also by some of the amicus curiae briefs supporting the FTC.

        Should the FTC give an en banc petition a try, I doubt the outcome would be different. And whether the FTC could even petition the Supreme Court depends on whether a vote would have to be held. Should a vote be required, there almost certainly wouldn’t be a majority in favor of a cert petition.

        [...]

        It’s a setback for the push for component-level access to SEP licenses without a doubt. But the fight will go on in multiple jurisdictions.

      • Patents

        • IBSA Institut Biochimique, S.A. v. Teva Pharmaceuticals USA, Inc. (Fed. Cir. 2020)

          IBSA urged below that “half-liquid” should be construed to mean “semi-liquid” to be interpreted as “having a thick consistency between solid and liquid.” Teva for its part argued that the term is indefinite, or in the alternative to mean “a non-solid, non-paste, non-gel, non-slurry, non-gas substance.” It was undisputed that the intrinsic evidence did not expressly define the term “half-liquid.” IBSA argued that the Italian priority document used the term “semiliquido” which was translated into “half-liquid” and that the skilled worker would understand from this translation that the terms were synonymous. The District Court disagreed, noting “a number of differences between the certified translation and the ’390 patent’s specification” for terms other than “half-liquid.” Under these circumstances, the District Court held that the U.S. application that matured into the ’390 patent was the document that “best reflected the applicant’s intent” (which is somewhat paradoxical because it is unlikely that the applicant would intentionally rely on an ambiguous document). Nevertheless, the District Court gave no weight to evidence regarding the disclosure of the Italian priority document.

          The District Court also relied on the prosecution history, during which IBSA submitted a dependent claim expressly reciting “semi-liquid,” which the District Court interpreted to mean that the applicant did not intend term “half-liquid” in the corresponding independent claim to mean “semi-liquid.”

          The District Court also considered citations in the patent specification of pharmaceutical references, finding that the term “half-liquid” did not mean “semi-liquid” as understood in the pharmacological arts. The District Court also interpreted citation to such references to indicate that while the applicant understood the meaning of the term “semi-liquid” it intentionally did not use that term.

          Reaching the extrinsic evidence cited by IBSA the District Court was not convinced, terming this evidence “minimally probative” and “unpersuasive.” Proffered dictionary definitions were not in the context of the invention claimed by IBSA, nor were citations to third party patents persuasive to the District Court. In toto, the District Court held that the term “half-liquid” was not a well-recognized term of art at the ’390 patent’s earliest filing date. The final quantum of evidence, from IBSA’s expert, was not persuasive to the District Court because it relied on evidence the court had already rejected as unpersuasive.

          [...]

          Finally, the panel considered the extrinsic evidence “including dictionary definitions, other patents, and expert testimony,” and found no error in the District Court’s conclusion that this evidence did not rebut the intrinsic evidence. Indeed, the Federal Circuit used the difficulties IBSA’s expert evinced in defining the boundaries of the term “half-liquid” to “demonstrate[] the difficulty a POSA would face in ascertaining” those same boundaries.

          Accordingly, the Federal Circuit affirmed the District Court’s determination that asserted claims 1, 2, 4, and 7-9 of the ’390 patent were invalid under 35 U.S.C. § 112(b) for indefiniteness.

        • Simple steps to expedite patent prosecution in Russia

          Rospatent has bilateral agreements for the PPH programme with a broad list of countries and IP organisations, including the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, the Northern Patent Institute, Austria, Germany, South Korea, Singapore, Japan and Australia. The Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT)-PPH programme is also available for the China National IP Administration (CNIPA), as well as the EPO. It is suitable for applications such as PCT work products. A patent application with claims that are recognised as patentable in these offices can be prosecuted with the benefit of the PPH programme.

          For Eurasia and the EAPO, the PPH programme is still quite narrow: There are agreements with the EPO, Japan, China, and South Korea only; and Finland is expected to ratify it by the end of 2020. The PPH does not apply to US and Canadian applications with no International Search Report (ISR) or International Preliminary Examination Report (IPER) made by the EPO.

          Both Rospatent and the EAPO allow the use of the PPH programme when filing a substantive examination request. Once the PPH request is accepted, the first office communication – an office action or a decision to grant – is issued within three to four months.

          No additional official fee is stipulated for accelerating the prosecution process via the PPH programme. The request must be supplemented with copies and translations into Russian for allowable claims. Copies of prosecution correspondence (ie, examination opinion notices and a cited prior art) should be provided if these are not available through WIPO’s PATENTSCOPE database. Rospatent and the EAPO both accept prosecution-related documents in English, while translation is required for documents in other languages.

        • Exemplary decision in the Eastern District of Texas: Judge Schroeder rightfully postpones VirnetX v. Apple trial in light of COVID

          United States District Judge Robert W. Schroeder III handed down a procedural decision yesterday that reflects an exemplary sense of responsibility and makes troll-loving Chief Judge Gilstrap an outlier not only by comparison with other parts of the U.S. but apparently even in his own Eastern District of Texas.

        • Dismissals With Prejudice

          In their lawsuit, Khans (both MDs) sued Hemosphere as well as 300+ hospitals and individual physicians for infringing their U.S. Patent No. 8,747,344 (AV shunt). The case did not get far. The district court dismissed the case – with prejudice – for want of prosecution, insufficient service, improper venue, and misjoinder. The Federal Circuit has now affirmed.

          [...]

          On appeal, the Federal Circuit affirmed the dismissal. Although the Khans had attempted to obtain waivers of service, the vast majority defendants refused to waive service. At that point, service is required under R.4(e). And, without service or waiver of service, the district court must dismiss.

          Regarding dismissal with prejudice, the Federal Circuit wrote explained that the 250 day delay in serving process for the vast majority of defendants was a form of “extreme delay” that sufficient to justify dismissal with prejudice. Note here that the court actually wrote: “nearly all of the over 300 defendants had not been properly served.” My comment on that line — make sure your law clerks are great writers.

        • Software Patents

      • Trademarks

        • Reelz v. Reels: Network Sues Instagram, Facebook for Trademark Infringement

          ReelzChannel says the feature’s name infringes on its longstanding trademark. The network, which launched in 2006, says it reaches more than 50 million homes in the U.S. The suit, which was filed Tuesday in Minnesota federal court, where the network’s parent company Hubbard Broadcasting is based, claims Reels usurps Reelz’ goodwill and is likely to confuse consumers.

          Instagram’s Reels is a new feature within the Facebook-owned photo- and video-sharing app that allows users to shoot, edit and post 15-second videos set to clips of music or other audio. It launched on Aug. 5 as the latest entry in the race to beat TikTok, which exploded in popularity amid the global COVID-19 pandemic and now boasts 100 million users in the U.S.

      • Copyrights

        • Your Chance to Perform for the CC Global Summit!

          This year, we want to close the CC Global Summit (19-24 October 2020) by celebrating with musical performances showcasing the artistic talent of our global community. We’re looking for musicians, singers, DJs, dancers, or performance artists! Some things to keep in mind:

OK, Melinda…

Posted in Bill Gates at 12:40 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

‘Really good quality sex education starts very, very early’: Melinda Gates

Summary: Teaching children about sex at the age of seven may seem controversial to most people, but not the Gates family

High-Level Criminals Associate Privacy With Crime Because They Want Privacy Only for Themselves (Control But No Accountability)

Posted in Bill Gates, Deception, Microsoft at 12:21 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Related: You Just Know Somebody is in a State of Retreat When the Strategy Becomes to Discredit One’s Critics (or Collectively Paint Them All as Wrong/Crazy)

Bill Gates advocates for stopping end-to-end encryption (to tackle 'misinformation')
The latest article, the latest modus operandi from the man who never even studied science (he studied law, dropped out, broke the law again… after he had already been arrested)

“Privacy protects us from abuses by those in power, even if we’re doing nothing wrong at the time of surveillance.”

Bruce Schneier

Summary: Tyrannical tendencies from the non-scientist who tries to paint himself as Mr. “science” (Jeffrey Epstein tried to do exactly the same thing, which is why he and Gates paid universities) are bare naked for everybody to see

AS we noted more than six years ago, Microsoft and Bill Gates support illegal surveillance by the NSA and are leading facilitators of this illegal and unconstitutional surveillance. It’s all a matter of public record, e.g.:

Bill Gates Says Snowden Is No Hero

Of course, as usual, this would be rationalised by superimposing major criminals onto subjects of spying, e.g.

Bill Gates backs FBI in battle with Apple over San Bernardino...

We’re intentionally leaving out links here; some of the above are Bill Gates-funded publications that treat Gates as some sort of genius who knows best on every single facet/topic. He pays them to perpetuate this idea; never mind if he never even finished university (in any discipline). It gives him more power/influence when the media presents him as a guru in all things… as if wealth alone implies cleverness.

We recently wrote about anonymous cash payments — something Gates opposes (in India he already experiments in turning Microsoft and technology companies into banks; he comes from a major banking family, so he looks at it as a form of control/domination over people). COVID-19 is being internationally exploited to drive this agenda, treating people who don’t perpetually carry around so-called ‘phones’ and cards (now with ‘contactless’ chips on them) like ‘dirty’ lepers or something.

Earlier this month Richard Stallman reappeared in the media because of an interview regarding cryptocurrency. It’s also ‘cashless’ (more of a buzzword nowadays). It’s not necessarily helping privacy — an issue that Stallman has long warned about. Stallman wasn’t ‘canceled’ completely and we hope we’ll make a comeback; as we noted this morning, he still inspires so many. He just doesn't control/command the media. A year ago (in August when Gates scandals in MIT became apparent, due to the Epstein links) I warned Stallman that the media would attempt to divert attention and cause attention to move elsewhere. He didn’t take my word of caution seriously enough. Weeks later he was out of MIT and then the FSF too.

Going back to the person RMS was exploited to distract from, the context of the above quote is a new interview where Gates pretends privatisation and monopolisation are just “science” and everyone who opposes his for-profit ventures is a nutcase. Here it is:

Gates on child porn

We’re highlighting the part about child porn.

Interesting how he mentioned it like that as if he’s all against it because Mr. Epstein comes to mind. Never mind Mr. Jones (his engineer arrested for child porn) as he might argue he did not know about Jones. But he knew what Epstein had done. He knew. It was in the public record.

Now let’s tackle the rest of this nonsense, starting with:

“Well, strangely, I’m involved in almost everything that anti-science is fighting.”

That’s what Microsoft has done; it held technology decades behind. Back doors (basically attack on maths) harmed public health and banking.

“I’m involved with climate change, GMOs, and vaccines.”

“I personally believe government should not allow those types of lies or fraud or child pornography [to be hidden with encryption...]”
      –Bill Gates (new interview)
That’s intentionally mixing several different things. Climate is changing, vaccines are generally effective, and GMOs have many legitimate issues with them, both health-related (pesticides) and patent-related. As for vaccines, they need to be properly tested (not just on poor, dark-skinned people) and patents often mean that there are profiteers like Gates himself.

Then he says (similar to what he told Chinese state media): “The irony is that it’s digital social media that allows this kind of titillating, oversimplistic explanation of, “OK, there’s just an evil person, and that explains all of this.””

Of course Gates doesn’t see himself as an evil person, just like Donald Trump thinks he’s absolutely awesome. His reply above is something along the lines of, “I’m rich, therefore people hate me…” (never mind how I amassed this wealth and what I do).

Then there’s this: “And when you have [posts] encrypted, there is no way to know what it is.”

“…what we have here is a tyrant who never graduated from any college painting himself as pro-science when he’s in fact pro-money (self-enrichment) and he’s willing to ban private communication between people to stifle discussions about him.”So? You want to spy on your critics. That’s kind of authoritarian, don’t you think? This is the kind of thing that causes people to loathe and distrust you.

“I personally believe government should not allow those types of lies or fraud or child pornography [to be hidden with encryption like WhatsApp or Facebook Messenger].”

Notice how he’s mixing together “child pornography” with “fraud” and “lies”; never mind if he has several child pornography-related scandals of his own.

The bottom line is, what we have here is a tyrant who never graduated from any college painting himself as pro-science when he’s in fact pro-money (self-enrichment) and he’s willing to ban private communication between people to stifle discussions about him. This is in fact why many people cannot tolerate him and Microsoft, which puts back doors even in full disk encryption [1, 2]. Gates has supported much worse than child pornography; he supported trafficking about 2,000 children per year for sex with people his age. Yes, he actively worked with Jeffrey Epstein to whiten his reputation after the arrest. Mr. “science” Gates…

Jeffrey Epstein, Bill Gates, and Nikolic
Days before his death Jeffrey Epstein “amended his will and named Mr. Nikolic [Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation’s science adviser, shown on the right] as a fallback executor,” according to the report which published this photograph.

It Was Mozilla — Not Google (or Chrome) — That Liberated the World Wide Web From MSIE Monoculture and O/S Vendor Lock-in, But Firefox is Likely Dying

Posted in DRM, Standard at 7:10 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

A lot of people could not and would not leave Windows behind if it weren’t for Firefox

Panda/Firefox
It became fat like a Panda, not light like a Fox, as F for Freedom no longer matters

Summary: Mozilla’s attitude towards software freedom, privacy, and the most widely used free/libre operating system (O/S) isn’t helping the “protected media” (DRM) Fox because its biggest selling point is becoming outdated/irrelevant/neglected

THE FIREFOX Web browser is a very important piece of software. I first used it in 2004, after a colleague had recommended it to me. I installed it in S.u.S.E. and over time let it replace Konqueror and even more ancient browsers. Back then a lot of sites were inaccessible or barely accessible to me; multimedia features barely worked (think ancient MPlayer and no sites such as YouTube).

This morning someone sent me Mozilla is dead and Web browsers need to stop. I agree with the latter, not the former. Mozilla can still rescue/salvage itself.

“…we regret to see how Mozilla left out GNU/Linux on occasions (no cross-platform support, just Apple and Microsoft malware) despite the fact that GNU/Linux is the only mainstream operating system that typically preloads (bundles) Mozilla Firefox without asking for anything in return (like financial incentive).”I am very thankful for what Mozilla did to the World Wide Web. It really opened it up and in the early days it was open to many third-party developers, who contributed extensions (I even made a couple of themes for it myself). But that Mozilla is gone. Nowadays it’s spying while calling it “telemetry”, talking about justice while talking people down, outsourcing to Microsoft (GitHub) while bemoaning the closed Web, and hiring executives from Microsoft while talking to us about the harms of monopolies. Mozilla just isn’t consistent and sometimes it feels like it lacks a direction and inspiring message.

For a number of years we’ve followed Mozilla blogs very closely and promoted their messages; we regret to see how Mozilla left out GNU/Linux on occasions (no cross-platform support, just Apple and Microsoft malware) despite the fact that GNU/Linux is the only mainstream operating system that typically preloads (bundles) Mozilla Firefox without asking for anything in return (like financial incentive).

“This, we believe, is to do with a project’s leadership as in Mozilla they have more activists than engineers.”Learning about the Mozilla layoffs is painful, albeit somewhat predictable. It’s the second time in less than a year. Mozilla already divided its userbase (developers pool alike) by entering politics where there was no justifiable reason to. Canning XUL also alienated their most important fans: developers, not users. Maybe it thought that the most compelling reason for people to still choose Firefox was some shallow messaging, even in one’s newly-opened tabs. Free software is inherently political, but rarely does it shove politics right into people’s faces. This, we believe, is to do with a project’s leadership as in Mozilla they have more activists than engineers.

I wish Mozilla well, I hope Firefox will survive another decade (Gecko keeps us from complete monoculture) and I hope that Mozilla’s strategic mistakes will serve as a cautionary tale to Free software projects everywhere. See the following old posts of ours from 2014 as well as this one from February:

Keep safe, Mozilla, and keep wise. Charging people to use Firefox is a misguided strategy, as LibreOffice/TDF recently found out (and withdrew from). Making money isn’t unethical; you received billions from Google and paid millions to 'fat cat' executives. Don’t be the Linux Foundation.

Ars Technica, ZDNet and Bleeping Nonsense Still Misreporting to Blame ‘Linux’ for Malware One Can Merely Add to Linux (Distracting From Systems With Back Doors, Such as Windows)

Posted in Deception, FUD, GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Security, Windows at 6:07 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

“Doctor, it hurts me when I do this.” Doctor: “so don’t do this.” Corporate media: “If you install malicious software or never patch, bad things can happen.” Geek: “I patch my systems and don’t install random stuff from dodgy Web sites.”

FBI/NSA report

Summary: A revised (spun) ‘report’ that we alluded to last night is spreading to more sites today or overnight; but it’s totally distorting the situation to make “Linux” seem a lot more dangerous than it really is

THE ‘news’ about “Linux” is always full of noise and FUD. Some of that comes from Microsoft front groups and Microsoft-connected publishers. That’s nothing new; it has been going on for well over a decade.

So we took a quick look at the original report [PDF] some chronic (serial) liars now allude to, assuming it’s that usual FUD where something one can add to Linux is portrayed as a problem with “Linux” itself (that’s like calling a hole in Photoshop a “Windows” bug).

“We’re omitting the links, but it definitely started with ZDNet, which also previously sought to associate Linux with terrorism, based on a distorted and cherry-picked government report that named “Gentoo” somewhere along the lines.”So while FBI, NSA etc. are themselves putting back doors in all things Microsoft here they are warning about “Russia” because it is possible, on an already-compromised system, to sort of rootkit everything (as one can expect; that’s a universal weakness and prevention framework exists, not only mitigation).

They suggest using a kernel not older than 3.7 (which is already very old).

The noise has already come from Microsoft Peter’s (pedophile) Ars Technica, Bleeping Computer and Bleeping Computer’s troll whom ZDNet hired. We’re omitting the links, but it definitely started with ZDNet, which also previously sought to associate Linux with terrorism, based on a distorted and cherry-picked government report that named “Gentoo” somewhere along the lines.

“As for ZDNet, its hire from Bleeping Computer (choice of a notorious drama queen, even prior to the hire) said a lot about ZDNet’s own agenda. The motivations are surface-deep.”Trashy media isn’t a new problem; the fact that Ars Technica had its “Open Source” section run solely by a Microsoft pedophile (until his arrest) speaks volumes, as does the fact that Mr. Goodin (Ars Technica) got sued for defamation for his inaccurate click-bait. As for ZDNet, its hire from Bleeping Computer (choice of a notorious drama queen, even prior to the hire) said a lot about ZDNet’s own agenda. The motivations are surface-deep.

Bleeping Computer? Bleeping nonsense! To hell with so-called ‘journalists’ who instead of showing people the actual report (screenshot above) come up with headlines such as “NSA and FBI warn that new Linux malware threatens national security” (by Mr. Goodin).

Ars Technica is owned by the same company that runs Reddit (where Microsoft critics are heavily censored), controls the site that caused Linus Torvalds to be temporarily ‘ousted’ from his own project, and repeatedly defamed Dr. Richard Stallman, egging on the online lynch mob.”We’d rather focus on patent threats and European Patent Office corruption, but lately there has been a rise in FUD against GNU/Linux, which means that some wealthy and well-connected people are growingly afraid of it (IIS is dying). They weaponise the media. They pay that same media. The editor of Ars Technica UK admitted to me that Microsoft wasn’t just the key advertiser but somewhat of a co-founder in the sponsorship sense. Ars Technica is owned by the same company that runs Reddit (where Microsoft critics are heavily censored), controls the site that caused Linus Torvalds to be temporarily ‘ousted’ from his own project, and repeatedly defamed Dr. Richard Stallman, egging on the online lynch mob.

Never forget what Microsoft did to Softpedia just months ago. It is another common vector of FUD, run single-handedly by a self-professed fan of Steve Ballmer. Microsoft, a very close ally of Donald Trump, plays dirty. We cannot just ignore all the FUD.

Update: Now it’s all over the place with needlessly alarming headlines:

Russia/Linux

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