08.19.20

Links 19/8/2020: A Rust Foundation, Kali Linux 2020.3

Posted in News Roundup at 3:19 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Audiocasts/Shows

      • LHS [Linux in the Ham Shack] Episode #362: Pi-Star Deep Dive Part 2

        Welcome to Episode 362 of Linux in the Ham Shack. In this episode, the hosts have a second in-depth talk with Andy Taylor, MW0MWZ, the author and maintainer of the Pi-Star project. Pi-Star is a Linux operating system and application suite for single-board computers which creates a hotspot for digital VHF and UHF operation. We knew this topic would require more than one deep dive so here is the second in the series. You can find the first deep dive in Episode 301. Thank you for listening!

      • Podcast.__init__: Building The Open Data Ecosystem For Music And More At Metabrainz

        The Musicbrainz project was an early entry in the movement to build an open data ecosystem. In recent years, the Metabrainz Foundation has fostered a growing ecosystem of projects to support the contribution of, and access to, metadata, listening habits, and review of music. The majority of those projects are written in Python, and in this episode Param Singh explains how they are built, how they fit together, and how they support the goals of the Metabrains Foundation. This was an interesting exporation of the work involved in building an ecosystem of open data, the challenges of making it sustainable, and the benefits of building for the long term rather than trying to achieve a quick win.

      • This Week in Linux 113: Red Hat + Flatpak, KDE Neon, Darktable, RetroArch, HBO Max Drops Linux

        On this episode of This Week in Linux, we’ve got a lot of great news and also a few unfortunate things to talk about. Red Hat announces their Flatpak Runtime for Desktop Containers. Darktable announced the 3.2 release of their Open Source RAW photo editor. LibRetro announced the release of RetroArch 1.9.0 and we also got some unfortunate news from the LibRetro related to some of their servers being hacked. KDE ships the 20.08 updates for their Application Suite and KDE Neon has been rebased on Ubuntu 20.04. An Open Source Earthquake Early-Warning Project has been announced, plus we got the news that the FSF has elected a new President of the foundation. We’ve also got some unfortunate news with HBO Max reportedly dropping Linux Support and the NSA discloses discovery of malware which is targeting Linux systems. All that and much more on Your Weekly Source for Linux GNews!

    • Kernel Space

      • Why Linux’s biggest ever kernel release is really no big deal

        When the Linux 5.8 Release Candidate opened for testing recently, the big news wasn’t so much what was in it, but its size. As Linus Torvalds himself noted, “despite not really having any single thing that stands out … 5.8 looks to be one of our biggest releases of all time.”

        True enough, RC 5.8 features over 14,000 non-merge commits, some 800,000 new lines of code, and added around a hundred new contributors. It might have gotten that large simply because few have been traveling thanks to COVID-19, and we’ve all been able to get more work done in a release window than usual. But from the perspective of this seasoned Linux kernel contributor and maintainer, what is particularly striking about the 5.8 RC release is that its unprecedented size just was not an issue for those that are maintaining it. That, I’d argue, is because Linux has the best workflow process of any software project in the world.

        What does it mean to have the best workflow process? For me, it comes down to a set of basic rules that Linux kernel developers have established over time to allow them to produce relentlessly steady and reliable progress on a massive scale.

      • Fix Linux not suspending on low battery levels, and prolong your battery life

        Linux distributions like Fedora and Ubuntu will suspend a battery-powered system when the battery level drops to a critically low charge. They do this using the UPower subsystem. However, UPower’s default configuration isn’t great for battery longevity and it doesn’t always reserve enough charge to enter hibernation. Here’s how to prolong your laptop’s battery life and make sure it can handle low battery situations.

        You’re probably reading this article because your laptop is powering down when its battery charge level is low. So, first thing first: does hibernation work on your laptop? Make sure that both the commands systemctl hybrid-sleep and systemctl hibernate powers down your laptop, and that you can resume your session when you power it back on again. You should use your normal user account, and not the root user.

      • New Kernel Security Update For Ubuntu 16.04 LTS With Linux Kernel 4.4 Is Out Now

        Canonical, company behind the Ubuntu publishes a new Linux kernel security update for Ubuntu 16.04 LTS running the Linux Kernel 4.4 kernel. This security update is basically for the two security issues, CVE-2020-12771 and CVE-2020-15393.

      • Linux Continues To Thrive In 2021 In A Pandemic

        It’s been more than two decades I’ve been interested in GNU/Linux and it’s still thriving. The kernel of the OS is still gaining features, developers, contributions and bug-fixes after all these years. Unlike many Free Software projects that wither after one or more developers lose interest, Linux is a jungle with a life of its own and everything in dynamic development or in balance. It’s all good.

      • Linux kernel maintainers tear Paragon a new one after firm submits read-write NTFS driver in 27,000 lines of code

        Paragon Software is trying to get its NTFS driver into the Linux kernel, but has submitted it as a single dump of 27,000 lines of code, sparking complaints that it is too large to review.

        NTFS is the default file system for Windows XP and later. Microsoft is beginning to replace it with ReFS for some scenarios, but NTFS remains as the general-purpose file system for Windows. Linux has limited support for NTFS but has noted: “The biggest limitation at present is that files/directories cannot be created or deleted.”

        Paragon’s NTFS driver includes a free version with full read-write support, and a paid-for edition with partition formatting, error-checking utilities, and other features. NTFS support is useful for scenarios like attaching external storage formatted with NTFS, or booting a Windows PC into Linux for troubleshooting.

      • Graphics Stack

        • NVIDIA GeForce NOW adds Chromebook support, so you can run it on Linux too

          I’m sure this will excite some of our readers who are fans of game streaming: NVIDIA has added the ability to play GeForce NOW game streaming via the browser.

          Currently, it’s limited to ChromeOS and Chromebooks as per their announcement. However, you can easily get around that because of how stupidly flawed browser agent strings are.

        • NVIDIA 450.66 Released with Matrox D1450 D1480 Support

          NVIDIA for Linux driver 450.66 was released today as the latest long lived branch version.

          NVIDIA 450.66 fixed triple buffering support of Vulkan X11 swapchains when applications are syncing to vblank.

        • NVIDIA 450.66 Linux Driver Released With Expanded EIZO, Matrox Support

          NVIDIA today released 450.66 as their latest stable Linux graphics driver update.

          The NVIDIA 450.66 Linux driver has fixed triple buffering support of Vulkan X11 swapchains when applications are syncing to vblank. The rest of the official work in this stable driver update are expanding their GPU support.

          In particular, the NVIDIA 450.66 Linux driver supports a number of EZIO and Matrox graphics cards that rely on NVIDIA GPUs. These cards from EIZO now supported include the Quadro-based MED-XN31LP, MED-XN50LP, MED-XN51LP, MED-XN70, MED-XN71, MED-XN72, MED-XN90, MED-XN91, and MED-XN92.

        • NVIDIA driver 450.66 released for Linux, includes a useful Vulkan sync fix

          More NVIDIA news for you today, not only is it possible to use GeForce NOW on Linux in the browser, we also have a new stable NVIDIA driver release.

          The majority of the 450.66 driver is to add new support for multiple Quadro and Matrox GPUs, the type of stuff used in professional settings and not really for consumers. Still, NVIDIA constantly add to their Linux support which is good for the Linux industry as a whole.

        • NVIDIA driver 450.66 released for Linux, includes a useful Vulkan sync fix

          More NVIDIA news for you today, not only is it possible to use GeForce NOW on Linux in the browser, we also have a new stable NVIDIA driver release.

          The majority of the 450.66 driver is to add new support for multiple Quadro and Matrox GPUs, the type of stuff used in professional settings and not really for consumers. Still, NVIDIA constantly add to their Linux support which is good for the Linux industry as a whole.

          Apart from that, there was one single listed bug fix. Small but it sounded quite important…

        • Nvidia 450.66 Linux Graphics Driver Released with Support for New GPUs, Vulkan Fixes

          Available for Linux, BSD and Solaris systems, the Nvidia 450.66 graphics driver introduces support for eleven new GPUs, including EIZO Quadro MED-XN31LP, EIZO Quadro MED-XN50LP, EIZO Quadro MED-XN51LP, EIZO Quadro MED-XN70, EIZO Quadro MED-XN71, EIZO Quadro MED-XN72, EIZO Quadro MED-XN90, EIZO Quadro MED-XN91, EIZO Quadro MED-XN92, Matrox D-Series D1450, and Matrox D-Series D1480.

          In addition, the new Nvidia graphics driver version improves triple buffering support of Vulkan X11 swapchains on Linux systems by addressing an issue that won’t allow the functionality to work properly when applications are syncing to vblank. This change is not available for BSD and Solaris systems.

        • 30-bit Deep Color For GNOME On Wayland Will Likely Take Some Time

          As written about at the start of the month, well known GNOME contributor Daniel van Vugt of Canonical/Ubuntu has added tackling deep color support to his TODO list for being able to properly handle 30-bit color on the desktop.

          Last week he opened a merge request that would remove the hard-coded selection of the XRGB8888 GBM format so instead EGL could gracefully choose the highest color depth.

        • Microsoft Doubles Their Commits To Mesa This Week

          Yes, it may be surprising there is any commits to Mesa by Microsoft engineers, but in recent months there have been patches from at least two Microsoft employees.

        • LLVM’s libclc Adds Mesa SPIR-V Target

          Continuing on with all of the OpenCL Mesa work that’s been going on by Red Hat developers in recent time, LLVM’s libclc library now has support for targeting Mesa SPIR-V.

          The new target added to LLVM’s libclc is for emitting SPIR-V geared for Mesa’s OpenCL support. Libclc is the LLVM sub-project focused on providing a library for OpenCL C run-time usage. Existing targets have included AMDGPU/AMDGN, R600, and NVIDIA NVPTX while SPIR-V for Mesa is the newest target for this OpenCL library.

        • OpenGL 4.5 Now Enabled For LLVMpipe With Mesa 20.3, To Be Back-Ported For 20.2

          It landed sooner than anticipated but the LLVMpipe patches enabling OpenGL 4.5 support were merged to Mesa 20.3-devel today and are also marked for back-porting to the Mesa 20.2 series soon to be promoted to stable.

          The Mesa 20.2 feature code was already set to take this software-based OpenGL driver from GL 3.3 to GL 4.3 after all the work carried out by Red Hat’s David Airlie in recent months. But now his work on taking LLVMpipe to OpenGL 4.5 is in place.

    • Applications

      • 4 of the Best System Monitors to Check System Resources in Linux

        One of the greatest aspects of Linux is how efficient it is in terms of system resource usage. However, there are plenty of times when you might tax your Linux system, such as compiling large codebases, running multiple virtual machines, playing intense video games, or editing 4K video. In these situations, you may want to keep an eye on your system resources to make sure your CPU isn’t getting too hot. Here are some of the best system monitors you can use to check your system resources in Linux.

      • 3 alternatives for Microsoft Publisher on your Chromebook

        One of the oldest and most well-known MS Office alternatives, LibreOffice is used by Linux distros far and wide. The software suite features alternatives for most Microsoft Office applications and Draw by LibreOffice is a suitable choice if you’re looking to replace MS Publisher with an installable solution that has great support and an awesome community. The current version of LibreOffice in Debian 10 is version 6.1.5 which is new enough to give you all of the features you need and Draw will be included in your installation. To install LibreOffice, open your Linux terminal, paste or type sudo apt install libreoffice and hit enter. If you decide you’d prefer the latest build, you can find the steps to install the newest version of LibreOffice here.

    • Instructionals/Technical

    • Games

      • Half Human Games announced Dwerve, a tower defense and dungeon crawler RPG hybrid

        Today, Half Human Games announced Dwerve, a tower defense game that mixes in dungeon crawling and it looks like it’s going to be a lot of fun.

        “Dwerve is a tower defense dungeon crawler RPG. It tells the story of a young dwarven tinkerer that adventures into dwarven ruins to unearth the lost technologies of the ancient warsmiths – turrets and traps, the only weapons that can protect the dwarves from Witch Queen Vandra the Wicked and her army of bloodthirsty trolls and monstrous creatures.”

      • The ‘Humble Headup Games Band Boost Bundle’ is up with some fun looking stuff

        Ready for a gaming boost to push through the week? The Humble Headup Games Band Boost Bundle is out now and it has some rather sweet looking games.

        Live from now until Tuesday, September 1st, 2020 here’s a run-down of what to expect from it. Titles with Linux support are highlighted. Any that do work with the Steam Play Proton compatibility layer are noted too.

      • Total War: THREE KINGDOMS – The Furious Wild announced, on Linux ‘shortly’ after Windows

        Creative Assembly today announced Total War: THREE KINGDOMS – The Furious Wild, a full expansion coming to the hit strategy game and there’s a lot of content.

        This is not some minor DLC adding some new faces, it’s coming with the first extension of the THREE KINGDOMS map that will see you visit the jungles around Southern China. This is where you will experience a bit of Nanman culture, which Creative Assembly mentioned as being a highly requested addition.

      • Flying and shape-shifting sim ‘Fugl’ continues improving Vulkan support

        Do a barrel roll! Actually, now you can in Fugl, the shape-shifting bird flying sim just had another Early Access upgrade to improve their Vulkan API support and more.

        Apparently being able to do a Barrel Roll has been requested for a long time, ever since the first showing of Fugl to the public. It’s a nice little addition, giving you just that little bit of extra fun while you’re flying around exploring. Not just that, there’s a new procedural walking animation too which looks pretty sweet.

      • Story-driven platformer metroidvania Clunky Hero gets new trailer and IndieGoGo campaign

        After a successful crowdfunding campaign, Nicola Piovesan of Estonian team Chaosmonger Studio is now doing an extra funding campaign for Clunky Hero. Plus, there’s a new trailer.

        What is it? Clunky Hero is a story-driven metroidvania platformer with a few RPG elements and plenty of humour. The kind of game where you’re fighting enemies like drunken bees with a broom stick. Slightly absurd and a nice alternative to all the dark and serious styled games in the same genre.

      • Five years later, free and open source DDraceNetwork is now on Steam

        DDraceNetwork, originally just a mod for the platform shooter Teeworlds that eventually spawned its own game is now up and free on Steam. Giving new life to a classic game, one that’s absolutely frantic, it’s good to see it appear now after five years waiting.

        This is not a shooter, instead it’s something of a big online co-op game where you’re all trying to reach the finish line of every map. It’s not a Fall Guys situation either, you’re not trying win over everyone else. Instead it’s just about finishing. That can be together as you help each other or alone—whatever goes really.

      • The impressive Seasons Update for wilderness survival sandbox Vintage Story is out

        Vintage Story, the wilderness survival sandbox inspired by lovecraftian horror themes with some impressive depth to it has a huge new stable release up.

        A survival game that just continues to impress me. Slow and difficult to get into but very rewarding once you learn the mechanics which have a surprising amount of depth. That depth gets deeper with the Seasons Update, which I don’t think I need to explain too much with the big highlight being a full season system which includes: snow accumulation, there’s season-specific foliage and temperature dependent plant growth.

        Not only seasons though, graphically it got another bump. There’s now SSAO (screen space ambient occlusion), specular sunlight reflections on water surfaces and more foamy water. Also added: persistent world map, lots of new flora for hot and wet climates like Fern trees, crotons and rafflesias, in-game help improvements and tons more

      • Civilization VI gets another free upgrade on August 27, some highlights

        As the team at Firaxis Games continue to improve Civilization VI with the New Frontier Pass, they’re also pushing out free game upgrades in between DLC releases.

        The next of these is the August 2020 update, which will be going live on August 27.

      • Team Fortress 2 Classic should now work better on Linux

        Team Fortress 2 Classic is the re-imagining of the 2008-2009 era of the original Team Fortress 2 designed as a casual mod that anyone can get into and enjoy a little FPS action.

        It released properly back in July to much excitement in the TF2 modding community and it sounds like it’s doing well. The release came with a few Linux issues and problems elsewhere, which have been fixed up with a new patch out now. On the Linux side, it should fix broken sounds and a crash involving the Capture The Flag game mode.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • Stepping down as Qt 6 maintainers

          After quite some time maintaining Qt in Debian both Dmitry Shachnev and I decided to not maintain Qt 6 when it’s published (expected in December 2020, see https://wiki.qt.io/Qt_6.0_Release). We will do our best to keep the Qt 5 codebase up and running.

          We **love** Qt, but it’s a huge codebase and requires time and build power, both things that we are currently lacking, so we decided it’s time for us to step down and pass the torch. And a new major version seems the right point to do that.

          We will be happy to review and/or sponsor other people’s work or even occasionally do uploads, but we can’t promise to do it regularly.

          Some things we think potential Qt 6 maintainers should be familiar with are, of course, C++ packaging (specially symbols files) and CMake, as Qt 6 will be built with it.

        • Debian’s Qt Maintainers Stepping Down Ahead Of Qt 6.0
        • KDE Neon 20.04 Review | Distro for Hardcore KDE Fans

          We take a spin on KDE Neon 20.04. Boy oh boy! the freedom of customization KDE provides is an absolute treat. Have a look at it and let us know how you like it in the comments below.

        • Google Summer of Code 2020 – week 9, 10 and 11
        • Call for beta testers! | The final lap – GSoC 2020 with KDE and EteSync [Part 5]

          For the last 3 months, I have been working on native EteSync integration in Kontact. Since my last status update, I have been working on improving the resource – handling errors, token refreshes, making the configuration dialog better, locally caching journals and a lot more. Now, the resource is finally ready for testing, and we are thankful to everyone who has volunteered to test the resource (related post)! This post will detail how to test out the new EteSync-KDE integration.

      • GNOME Desktop/GTK

        • Working with GtkBuildable Interface

          In the last few posts, we got to see how the backbone of the HdyGrid is taking shape. But, one thing that was yet to decide is how to take the weight for columns from the XML file. For that, we thought to accept it as the widget’s property (simply put, take input as string of comma-separated weights and then process it). Another option we thought is to have a custom tag to enable us to take the weight for a column.

        • Implementing Branches Comparison on gitg

          The past three weeks have been crazy for me, I’ve been taking my finals, as well as working on my Graduation Project(it’s my graduating semester). I’ve also been talking and discussing different designs for my GSoC project with the amazing GNOME designer Tobias Bernard. We’ve been discussing what would be the best approach to provide a better user experience.

          We decided that it would be better to have a separate activity for the “comparing” outside the “History Activity”, however it should be accessed via a context menu from the “History Activity”. There will be a video at the end of the blog post illustrating the workflow.

          I’ve been also thinking what would be the best way to implement this without affecting the performance of gitg or increasing it’s memory consumption. One concern I had is that the commit lists models would consume a lot of RAM. Also loading them simultaneously would be an overkill for the CPU, especially for very large repositories. I had to ask for the best way to approach this problem, you could see my question here on Stack Overflow, where one of the maintainers of the libgit2 Library answered me.

    • Distributions

      • Best Linux Distros for 2020

        Linux is quickly rising to be one of the most popular operating systems for those who want customizability and speed for their desktop or laptop systems. Experiences on Linux aren’t homogenous, and there exist many distributions of the Linux operating systems, all offering users different feature sets according to their needs.

        There are a lot of Linux distros out there. It can be challenging to know how to tell which from which – and it’s very easy to get lost in the Linux community. This list will round-up the best picks for distros, and hopefully, we can help you decide on what to install to start your journey in Linux.

      • BunsenLabs Is The Continuation of the Legendary CrunchBang Linux

        BunsenLabs is a great continuation of the good old CrunchBang Linux. With a low resources consumption, a lot of helpful scripts and quick access to every aspect needed in the system… It becomes great for power users who are keyboard-driven in their usage. Being based on Debian allows it to enjoy a solid base of packages.

      • New Releases

      • Screenshots/Screencasts

      • SUSE/OpenSUSE

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • OpenShift 4.5: Bringing developers joy with Kubernetes 1.18 and so much more

          Since the first Red Hat OpenShift release in 2015, Red Hat has put out numerous releases based on Kubernetes. Five years later, Kubernetes is celebrating its sixth birthday, and last month, we announced the general availability of Red Hat OpenShift Container Platform 4.5. In this article, I offer a high-level view of the latest OpenShift release and its technology and feature updates based on Kubernetes 1.18.

          Although OpenShift 4.5 brings many improvements by itself, many other Red Hat contributions enhance the developer experience with this release. Figure 1 shows the range of additional technology updates that improve the operational and development experience when using OpenShift 4.5.

        • iptables: The two variants and their relationship with nftables

          In Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) 8, the userspace utility program iptables has a close relationship to its successor, nftables. The association between the two utilities is subtle, which has led to confusion among Linux users and developers. In this article, I attempt to clarify the relationship between the two variants of iptables and its successor program, nftables.

        • Contribute at the Fedora Kernel and GNOME test days

          Fedora test days are events where anyone can help make sure changes in Fedora work well in an upcoming release. Fedora community members often participate, and the public is welcome at these events. If you’ve never contributed to Fedora before, this is a perfect way to get started.

          There are two upcoming test days in the upcoming week. The first, starts on Monday 17 August through Monday 24 August, is to test the Kernel 5.8. Wednesday August 19, the test day is focusing on testing GNOME. Come and test with us to make the upcoming Fedora 33 even better. Read more below on how to do it.

        • Red Hat OpenShift 4.5 Features New Virtualization and Edge Capabilities

          Red Hat has announced the general availability of Red Hat OpenShift 4.5.

          This release includes the new OpenShift Virtualization feature, which lets organizations “bring standard VM-based workloads to Kubernetes, helping eliminate the workflow and development silos that typically exist between traditional and cloud-native application stacks.” It also provides full-stack, “push-button” automation for VMware vSphere deployments.

          Red Hat announced additional new features to meet the needs of enterprise edge workloads, aiming to bring full Kubernetes functionality to the edge and “seamless management of edge sites across the hybrid cloud” through its new Advanced Cluster Management for Kubernetes.

        • Red Hat Satellite 6.8 beta now available with support for IPv6 and improved upgrade processes

          Red Hat is pleased to announce that Red Hat Satellite 6.8 beta, part of your Red Hat Smart Management Subscription, is now available. This release includes a number of new and updated features to help organizations streamline management and automation, along with continued improvements in performance and user experience.

          Red Hat Satellite is part of the Red Hat Smart Management subscription that makes it easier for enterprises to manage patching, provisioning, and subscription management of Red Hat Enterprise Linux infrastructure, Red Hat Smart Management is fully integrated with Red Hat Insights and Red Hat Ansible Automation for automated identification and immediate resolution of compliance issues, misconfigurations and security risks, providing an automated solution to manage Red Hat Enterprise Linux environments at scale, regardless of where they are running.

        • IBM details next-gen POWER10 processor

          IBM on Monday took the wraps off its latest POWER RISC CPU family, optimized for enterprise hybrid-cloud computing and artificial intelligence (AI) inferencing, along with a number of other improvements.

          Power is the last of the Unix processors from the 1990s, when Sun Microsystems, HP, SGI, and IBM all had competing Unixes and RISC processors to go with them. Unix gave way to Linux and RISC gave way to x86, but IBM holds on.

        • Upvoting projects in Copr

          Let’s take a minute of our time and upvote our favorite projects in Copr to appreciate the great work their maintainers put it.

          There are tens of thousands of projects in Copr with vast differences in the quality of packages they provide and how well they are maintained. Many of them are just testing projects without any further purpose, others provide production-ready software valuable for many users. For a long time, we wanted to give projects some badge or a shiny plaque, that would reflect their popularity among users, and I am happy to announce, that we finally launched upvoting (and downvoting) of projects in Copr.

          [...]

          The highlighted upward arrow signalizes that I already upvoted this project. Similarly, a downvoted project would be highlighted with red color. Click the highlighted arrow to remove your vote, or point your cursor to the score number, it will show you the number of upvotes and the number of downvotes for the project as two separate numbers.

          Do you find the interface intuitive and user-friendly or would you rather like see some improvements done to it? Please, let us know. Currently, there is no copr-cli or API support for upvoting and downvoting projects.

        • Join the New to Z community: Mainframe developers driving innovation

          Modern application developers on IBM Z are at the epicenter of groundbreaking innovation across industries. They make up a diverse, global group working with powerful, foundational technology that drives many of our day-to-day experiences. The financial services, travel, and healthcare industries are undergoing radical transformation. Enterprise developers who specialize in mainframe are facing exciting opportunities as they embark on their careers — but they need more support. My role at IBM is to make sure that we’re equipping developers like you with the tools and resources you need to foster innovation and strengthen our community, so you can meet the heightened expectations you face at work each day.

          [...]

          IBM Z is embracing open technologies and fueling digital transformation. Demand for mainframe developers in the global workforce has never been stronger, and we’re excited to welcome those of you who are New to Z or interested in advancing your skills. There are new innovations being added to the mainframe every day, so there’s no limit to what you can learn. I hope you’ll join the New to Z community, and let us know how you’re using these tools and resources to build the next great innovations.

        • More Kubernetes innovation, less service complexity: Operators and the future of Kubernetes

          Kubernetes, the orchestration engine itself, has reached a point of incremental innovation. This is to say that wholesale, quantum leaps of capabilities are no longer taking place directly in the platform. Instead, Kubernetes now provides a solid foundation for innovation on top of and around itself – just like the Linux kernel, OpenStack and Linux containers before it.

          Red Hat continues to help drive this incremental innovation with the Kubernetes project as the second leading corporate contributor, but we have never stopped looking for ways to extend the innovation of Kubernetes outside of the orchestration engine. One of the most obvious ways we’re working to push this innovation envelope is with Kubernetes Operators, built on the backbone of the Operator Framework open source projects.

        • Red Hat Teams Up With Intuit On Argo Project
        • Red Hat Advanced Cluster Management For Kubernetes Now Available
        • Red Hat Enhances Developer Portfolio
      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • List of PPAs For Ubuntu 20.04 Focal Fossa

          Traditionally before 20.04 you looked for PPAs to install more software and get more updates on Ubuntu from outside of the official repository. Fortunately this tradition is still alive. This article once again brings you PPAs for Focal Fossa. This big list includes only Free/Libre Open Source Software from Audacious to Wine sorted alphabetically. This time it welcomes Element as new app as well. Last but not least, it includes explanation, how to install and uninstall the apps for you. Happy working!

        • IoT devices and Android and disappointment

          One of the projects I’m working on involves creating a little device which you talk to from your phone. So, I thought, I’ll do this properly. No “cloud service” that you don’t need; no native app that you don’t need; you’ll just send data from your phone to it, locally, and if the owners go bust it won’t brick all your devices. I think a lot of people want their devices to live on beyond the company that sold them, and they want their devices to be under their own control, and they want to be able to do all this from any device of their choosing; their phone, their laptop, whatever. An awful lot of devices don’t do some or all of that, and perhaps we can do better. That is, here’s the summary of that as a sort of guiding principle, which we’re going to try to do:

        • Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter Issue 644

          Welcome to the Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter, Issue 644 for the week of August 9 – 15, 2020.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • The best audio editors: Free and paid audio and music editing software

        The most well-known of the free audio editors has its reputation for a reason. Audacity manages to bring the all the building blocks of decent multitrack recording software and present it in an intuitive way, with tons more features than you’d expect hidden under the surface. It’s great for podcasting, simple music editing, and other basic audio needs.

      • Free animation overrider tuned for OpenSim

        AOs — Animation Over-riders — are popular scripted items in Second Life and OpenSim that replace the built-in system animations for walking, running, sitting, and other basic motions, but they usually bog down servers.

        I have written a drop-in replacement script that uses a feature of OpenSim to make these items much more gentle on the servers. It is free, based on an old script given out under the GNU General Public License. The more people who upgrade to this, the better everyone’s experience will be at crowded events.

      • Web Browsers

        • Mozilla

          • Mozilla Attack & Defense: Bug Bounty Program Updates: Adding (another) New Class of Bounties

            Recently we increased bounty payouts and also included a Static Analysis component in our bounty program; and we are expanding our bug bounty program even further with a new Exploit Mitigation Bounty. Within Firefox, we have introduced vital security features, exploit mitigations, and defense in depth measures. If you are able to bypass one of these measures, even if you are operating from privileged access within the browser, you are now eligible for a bounty even if before it would not have qualified.

            While previously, bypassing a mitigation in a testing scenario – such as directly testing the HTML Sanitizer – would be classified as a sec-low or sec-moderate; it will now be eligible for a bounty equivalent to a sec-high. Additionally, if the vulnerability is triggerable without privileged access, this would count as both a regular security vulnerability eligible for a bounty and a mitigation bypass, earning a bonus payout. We have an established list of the mitigations we consider in scope for this bounty, they and more details are available on the Client Bug Bounty page.

          • Eric Shepherd: Moz-eying along…

            By now, most folks have heard about Mozilla’s recent layoff of about 250 of its employees. It’s also fairly well known that the entire MDN Web Docs content team was let go, aside from our direct manager, the eminently-qualified and truly excellent Chris Mills. That, sadly, includes myself.

            Yes, after nearly 14½ years writing web developer documentation for MDN, I am moving on to new things. I don’t know yet what those new things are, but the options are plentiful and I’m certain I’ll land somewhere great soon.

          • Many have asked how Thunderbird is doing amidst the layoffs at Mozilla…

            Mozilla laid off 250 last week. I feel bad for the individuals, but I also had the selfish thought that this would impact Thunderbird. This tweet addressed that question. And it won’t.

          • Adjusting to changes at Mozilla

            Earlier last week, Mozilla announced a number of changes and these changes include aspects of SUMO as well.

            For a high level overview of these changes, we encourage you to read Mitchell’s address to the community. For Support, the most immediate change is that we will be creating a more focused team that combines Pocket Support and Mozilla Support into a single team.

      • Productivity Software/LibreOffice/Calligra

        • openSUSE + LibreOffice Virtual Conference Talks Accepted

          Talks submitted for the openSUSE + LibreOffice Virtual Conference have been reviewed and accepted by the conference organizers.

          The approved talks have been updated in the Open Source Event Manager instance on events.opensuse.org.

          The organizers thank everyone who took the time and effort to submit a talk for the conference.

          Speakers have until Sept. 6 to confirm their talk/s for the conference on events.opensuse.org. Speakers will need to login, click on My Proposals and will have an option to confirm the accepted proposal. There is also a withdraw proposal option.

          People who have issues logging on to confirm their talk may have not realized the openSUSE went through a migration and users might need to migrate their account following the steps on https://idp-portal-info.suse.com.

        • Advanced Features of LibreOffice Impress

          Do more with LibreOffice Impress! It’s a great tool for creating outlines and flashcards, and it has many features and extensions that make it easy to pull together professional presentations.

          If asked, most users would say that the purpose of LibreOffice Impress is to create slide shows. And that is, of course, its main purpose. Over the years, Impress has steadily improved, until today it is a match in most ways for Microsoft Powerpoint. However, just as Writer is good for more than bashing out a memo, so Impress can do far more than produce a generic presentation. Some of this extra functionality is in the menus waiting to be discovered, while other functions require the installation of extensions, which can be added to Impress via Tools | Extension Manager, then restarting LibreOffice. However, all these extras can give an added edge to your presentation – in fact, a few even have purposes that have nothing to do with slide shows at all.

          Here are some of the most useful advanced ways to use Impress.

        • LibreOffice GSoC Week 11 Report
        • Physics Based Animation Effects Week#11
        • Week 11 Report
      • FSF

        • A tech antitrust hearing misses the point

          On July 29th, the CEOs of Google, Facebook, Apple, and Amazon were called before the US Senate Judiciary Committee to give testimony to lawmakers considering substantial revisions to antitrust laws. Yet despite a five-hour hearing, conducted using some of the very same software which is at the root of these issues, little headway was made.

          It’s easy to focus, like these hearings, on the specific objectionable purposes for which the software these companies are involved with has been used. Specific actions have caused specific harms, and we understand the importance of talking about that and potentially taking or requiring remedial actions. However, it is imperative that we not stop there. We must go deeper, and expose the fact that it is the very way our predominant proprietary software culture and legal regimes operate — giving software companies immense power over users — which will inevitably lead to recurring specific problems until addressed.

          Attempting to address the problem of monolithic corporations like the ones in question, and their control over the digital sphere, will fail without addressing the issue at the core of their exploitation of users: proprietary software, or software that does not respect its users’ freedom. The terms of use and distribution for the software are by no means the only issue, but they are central to many of the issues causing public concern. We’ve been waiting for follow-up coverage to acknowledge the conspicuous absence of discussion about our rights as users to control the software we use, but it has not happened. This is evidence that the Free Software Foundation, the free software movement, and anyone else concerned with ending the dystopian control tech companies have achieved over our lives, have our work cut out for us.

        • Thank you for helping us welcome over 200 new members

          In the year 2020, every shred of good news is something to be grateful for, and the outpouring of support we’ve experienced during our spring fundraiser is very good news indeed. Over the course of the last month, not only did we exceed our goal of 200 new associate members, but we’ve gained more memberships this July than in any other July in the history of the Free Software Foundation (FSF) associate membership program. We are thrilled that in a time of many pressing concerns about freedom and safety, our supporters have grasped the central importance of the FSF’s role in defending our right to control the software in our lives. We cannot possibly thank you enough for helping to ensure that we can continue leading this battle.

      • Programming/Development

        • Using ProxyCannon-NG to Create Unlimited Rotating Proxies

          The modern age of computers is amazing to me. In a few mere minutes we can spin up a seemingly unlimited number of virtual servers on any one of the hundreds of cloud providers out there around the world.

        • CVE-2020-10029: Buffer overflow in GNU libc trigonometry functions?!?

          Earlier this year we uncovered bugs in the glibc functions cosl, sinl, sincosl, and tanl due to assumptions in an underlying common function, leading to CVE-2020-10029. These bugs, after being dormant for 8 years (introduced in 2012, in this commit) are now fixed in glibc 2.32.

        • Combine GraphQL with Java to build a flexible and modern API

          In the past few years, developers have used RESTful web services over HTTP(s) to expose business functions using an API. The REST API uses server-driven fixed data responses, which means a developer (client) can’t determine the result of a response. Instead, the server sends all the data back to the client, which is called over-fetching. The developer (client) needs to invoke multiple REST APIs after the first call until the client gets the required data, which results in under-fetching.

          To create new microservices, developers using these REST APIs have been looking for ways to minimize over-fetching and under-fetching when retrieving data along with business logic.

          GraphQL provides a client-driven query language and runtime to prevent this overhead on the client side and instead retrieve the exact data that the REST API requires. When GraphQL came out, many developers thought that it could replace existing REST API specifications. However, it’s not a replacement but an alternative.

        • The surprising thing you can do in the D programming language

          Software development can be a very complex process. As the code you write increases in size and complexity, it is important to keep it readable and easy to understand. In open source software development, many people collaborate on code with several interconnected and, quite often, frequently moving parts. This can make it hard for potential contributors to understand the codebases.

          The effort required to wrap your head around a codebase may have a direct impact on contributions, as a lot of people have a limited window for contributing, many doing it in their free time. This makes it essential for a codebase to be easy to understand for both seasoned and new contributors.

        • Now Out: Uno Platform 3.0 (C# + WinUI), Previewing Linux Support [Ed: When Microsoft says it "loves Linux" it means it's trying to impose proprietary vendor lock-in on it]
        • Excellent Free Tutorials to Learn Kotlin

          Kotlin is a cross-platform, statically typed, general-purpose programming language with type inference. Kotlin is a more modern version of Java. It adopts functional ideas such as immutability and first-class functions, out of the box, and it is also object oriented.

          Kotlin is designed to interoperate fully with Java, and the JVM version of its standard library depends on the Java Class Library, but type inference allows its syntax to be more concise. Kotlin mainly targets the JVM, but also compiles to JavaScript or native code (via LLVM).

          Kotlin has been making waves since it was open sourced by JetBrains in 2011; it has been praised by developers across the world and is being adopted by companies.

        • Python

          • Train Neural Networks Faster with Google’s TPU from your LapTop.

            You know the drill, you got that sweet deep neural network architecture, but it is taking forever to train. At this moment you start browsing Amazon for the cheapest GPU you can find to train your models, even though you are not even sure how plug that into your machine, but anything is better than those hours your model is taking to train one set of hyper-parameters. Well, before you start spending hundreds of dollars in hardware, you should consider the Tensor Processing Units (TPUs) from Google. TPUs are a hardware component meant to speed up machine learning models training and prediction so researchers and engineers can focus on their solutions to their favorite humans, instead of going crazy over life-long epochs.

          • sphinxcontrib-spelling 5.3.0

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

          • EuroPython Society General Assembly 2020

            As with our EuroPython conference, we are holding the General Assembly (GA) of the EuroPython Society (EPS) online for this year.

            Normally, we’d have the General Assembly at the EuroPython conference. Due to the difficulties in switching from in-person to online, the board decided to first focus on the conference and run the GA after the event in a separate session.

          • Returns a sequence of all the even characters from a string with Python

            In this example, I will write a Python function that will return a sequence (index begins with 1) of all the even characters from a string. If the string is smaller than two characters or longer than 100 characters, the function should return “invalid string”.

          • Python 3.6.12

            Python 3.6.12 is the latest security fix release of Python 3.6.

          • Python 3.7.9

            Python 3.7.9 is the latest security fix release of Python 3.7.

          • Python 3.7.9 and 3.6.12 security updates now available

            Python 3.7.9 and 3.6.12, the lastest security fix rollups for Python 3.7 and Python 3.6, are now available.

          • Real Python Office Hours

            The Real Python Office Hours is a weekly hangout where members of Real Python get the chance to meet fellow Pythonistas to chat about your learning progress, ask questions, and discuss Python tips & tricks via screen sharing.

          • Writing Faster Python – Introduction

            A few years ago, I made a presentation called “Writing Faster Python,” which got quite popular (as for a technical talk). But I made it for Python 2, and even though most advice applies to Python 3, I need to update it at some point. And I will, but first, I need some examples that I can use.

            So, today I’m starting a series of articles where I take some common Python code structures and show how they can be improved. In many cases, simply writing idiomatic code and avoiding anti-patterns will result in better and faster code, and that’s what I want to focus on. I will also show how you can significantly speed up your programs by using a different interpreter (like PyPy), just-in-time compilers like Numba and other tools. Some code examples are mere curiosities with a marginal impact on the execution time (like replacing dict() with {}), but I want to show you how they work and when I would use one over the other. Finally, there will be cases when the “improved” code is faster but less readable, and I wouldn’t use it in my programs – I will clearly warn you when this happens.

          • Wing Python IDE 7.2.4 – August 17, 2020

            Wing 7.2.4 introduces support for Python 3.9, adds a preference to set the size of white space indicators, and makes a number of usability improvements.

            [...]

            Wing 7.2 adds support for Black and YAPF for code reformatting, in addition to the previously available built-in autopep8 reformatting. To use Black or YAPF, they must first be installed into your Python with pip, conda, or other package manager. Reformatting options are available from the Source > Reformatting menu group, and automatic reformatting may be configured in the Editor > Auto-reformatting preferences group.

          • Learn PyQt: Creating Dialogs With Qt Designer

            Most PyQt GUI applications consist of a main window and several dialogs. Dialogs are small-sized windows that allow you to communicate with your users, either by showing messages on the screen or by taking the user’s input. You can use Qt Designer to create dialogs taking advantage of the variety of options that this tool offers.

            In this tutorial, we’ll learn how to create and customize dialogs using Qt Designer. We’ll also learn two different ways of using and launching dialogs in our GUI applications. With this knowledge, we’ll be able to add dialogs to our applications quickly and easily.

            For a better understanding of the topics we’ll cover in this tutorial, it will help to have some previous knowledge about PyQt applications, widgets, layouts and signals and slots.

          • GSoC Weekly Blog #6

            The most tough part for me has been writing tests this week. I wish there was a better testing support for PyQt because there are many simple things which are missing from it and the documentation of is also not completed. However, I have been able to keep a good test coverage of all my work.

          • PSF GSoC students blogs: Weekly Blog Post | GSoc | #12
          • PSF GSoC students blogs: Weekly Check-in #11
          • PyCoder’s Weekly: Issue #434 (Aug. 18, 2020)
        • Rust

          • Rust Core Team + Mozilla To Create A Rust Foundation

            Given the uncertainty created by Mozilla laying off roughly a quarter of their staff last week that did include some Rust developers and in looking to further along the Rust ecosystem in its own right, the Rust core developers in cooperation with Mozilla are working to form the Rust Foundation.

            Rust’s core team and Mozilla are announcing plans to create a Rust foundation with the hopes of establishing this legal entity by year’s end. The trademarks and related assets of Rust, Cargo, and Crates.io will belong to this foundation. Work is well underway on establishing this foundation with originally coming to the idea of possibly creating an independent Rust foundation last year, now pushed along by the recent Mozilla layoffs and the global pandemic. This should allow the Rust community more safety rather than being reliant upon a sole organization (Mozilla) and help foster growth and open up new possibilities.

          • Laying the foundation for Rust’s future

            The Rust project was originally conceived in 2010 (depending on how you count, you might even say 2006!) as a Mozilla Research project, but the long term goal has always been to establish Rust as a self-sustaining project. In 2015, with the launch of Rust 1.0, Rust established its project direction and governance independent of the Mozilla organization. Since then, Rust has been operating as an autonomous organization, with Mozilla being a prominent and consistent financial and legal sponsor.

            Mozilla was, and continues to be, excited by the opportunity for the Rust language to be widely used, and supported, by many companies throughout the industry. Today, many companies, both large and small, are using Rust in more diverse and more significant ways, from Amazon’s Firecracker, to Fastly’s Lucet, to critical services that power Discord, Cloudflare, Figma, 1Password, and many, many more.

            On Tuesday, August 11th 2020, Mozilla announced their decision to restructure the company and to lay off around 250 people, including folks who are active members of the Rust project and the Rust community. Understandably, these layoffs have generated a lot of uncertainty and confusion about the impact on the Rust project itself. Our goal in this post is to address those concerns. We’ve also got a big announcement to make, so read on!

          • The Rust language gets its own foundation

            The Rust blog announces the creation of an independent foundation for the language. “This foundation’s first task will be something Rust is already great at: taking ownership. This time, the resource is legal, rather than something in a program. The various trademarks and domain names associated with Rust, Cargo, and crates.io will move into the foundation, which will also take financial responsibility for the costs they incur. We see this first iteration of the foundation as just the beginning. There’s a lot of possibilities for growing the role of the foundation, and we’re excited to explore those in the future.”

  • Leftovers

    • Meet the Renegades: Michael Hudson
    • Reed Hastings, ‘Star Wars’ VFX Pioneer Richard Edlund to Be Honored by SMPTE Engineering Society

      Edlund — who received Academy Awards for VFX work on Star Wars, The Empire Strikes Back, Return of the Jedi and Raiders of the Lost Ark, as well as various technical achievements — has been cited for advancing VFX cinematography. Hastings is being recognized for the development and leadership of Netflix and Ross for a “lifetime” of advancing television engineering.

    • Atlantic Council Report On Software Supply Chains

      The report’s examples of state-sponsored supply chain attacks include CCleaner, NotPetya, Kingslayer, SimDisk, and ShadowPad. They write: [...]

    • Hardware

      • POWER10 sounds really great, but …

        Don’t just take my word for it: as of this writing no recent x86 system appears on the FSF Respects Your Freedom list, but the Talos II and T2 Lite both do (and I imagine the Blackbird is soon to follow). The Vikings D8 is indisputably libre, and has an FSF RYF certification, but is an AMD Opteron 4200, which is about eight or nine years old. As it stands I believe this is the most powerful x86 system still available on the FSF RYF list now that the D16 is out of production (Opteron 6200).

    • Health/Nutrition

      • Cellphone Data Shows How Las Vegas Is “Gambling With Lives” Across the Country

        When it comes to COVID-19, what happens in Vegas doesn’t stay in Vegas.

        Las Vegas casinos reopened June 4, and they have become a likely hotbed for the spread of the novel coronavirus, public health experts said. But if tourists return home and then test positive for COVID-19, the limitations of contact tracing in the midst of a pandemic make it unlikely such an outbreak would be identified.

      • Pandemic Pod People: Invasion of the School Snatchers – Censored Notebook
      • Politics Slows Flow of US Pandemic Relief Funds to Public Health Agencies

        As the coronavirus began to spread through Minneapolis this spring, Health Commissioner Gretchen Musicant tore up her budget to find funds to combat the crisis. Money for test kits. Money to administer tests. Money to hire contact tracers. Yet even more money for a service that helps tracers communicate with residents in dozens of languages.

      • Roundtable: How Indigenous communities respond to disasters

        Nunavut, the vast Arctic territory in Canada’s north where more than 80 percent of the population identifies as Inuit, holds a key distinction: It’s the only province or territory in the country without a single confirmed coronavirus case.

        Even though deaths have been avoided, the pandemic response has been burdened with a problem familiar to Indigenous communities across the globe – not enough Inuit people are involved at the decision-making level, according to Madeleine Redfern, the former mayor of Nunavut’s capital, Iqaluit.

        “It is primarily a non-Indigenous led response,” she said.

        In recent years, humanitarian organisations and governments have slowly woken up to the importance of traditional Indigenous knowledge in preparing for and responding to disasters such as earthquakes, floods, storms, wildfires, and health crises. But Indigenous leadership and experience during disasters are still often overlooked or misunderstood.

      • How the Relief Effort Ran Aground

        The goal was simple enough to print on a bumper sticker: freeze the economy. Take the economic arrangements that existed in January and have the government put them into hibernation long enough to survive the worst of the pandemic. After the outbreak was controlled, thaw the economy out, allowing it to continue on its own.
        The Trump administration was always going to be a failure when it came to containing the outbreak. But the freezing should have been easier. It mostly involves spending money, which the government is capable of doing quickly. And private markets were screaming for the government to spend massively. Yet two of the signature recovery efforts, the expansion of unemployment insurance and creation of payroll protections, have floundered.
        To freeze businesses, you can either backstop the businesses themselves by covering their payroll, or you can cover workers by funding unemployment insurance so they can go on leave and then come back to their jobs when the crisis is over. Each course of action has run into problems of execution. We need to understand why, not just because it’s making this recovery worse, but because the headwinds fighting against both approaches will plague any and all efforts at reform going forward. It’s easy to think big and bold, but implementation matters.
        Consider the massive expansion of unemployment insurance. The idea was that everyone would be furloughed for a few months, the government would pick up the tab, and then people would go back to work. But unemployment, an essential piece of social insurance, has been neglected in the past several decades. States set the terms and execute the program, and they’ve both narrowed the scope of who qualifies and reduced the amount of workers’ income that gets replaced. The Democrats who authored the expansion in March found an ingenious workaround. First, to boost replacement, they added $600 a week onto what people would normally get. Second, they extended unemployment to those who don’t normally qualify, like contractors and the self-employed, using a simple formula that then gets the extra $600 per week added to it. It is $260 billion worth of social insurance that goes straight to workers—so generous that Republicans almost killed the entire stimulus bill at the last minute to stop it.
        This plan has run into two serious problems. First, states have let their systems for distributing unemployment become so thin and ragged that it is very difficult for people to apply and receive payments. Horror stories of people on hold for weeks, uncertain when and if they’ll qualify, are terrible for the stressed individuals and because they weaken the macroeconomic effects of the expansion. They also make it harder to get people to defend the program going forward, when social insurance program expansions should be an easy sell. And this program doesn’t automatically renew if unemployment remains high when it ends at the end of July. Like much of the stimulus, the unemployment insurance extension will require another vote. Republicans in the Senate will block it unless they feel pressure from the public.

      • Bearing witness inside MSF

        Late last summer, while delivering a diversity and inclusion training session to medical staff at the Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) operational centre in the Netherlands, I felt it.

        The crossed arms; the remarks that the topic was a passing fad; the suggestion that insufficient data meant it was impossible to know whether there was even an issue to discuss. One participant asked me to spell out my name, and my name alone, on the whiteboard at the front of the classroom. I glanced at my white co-facilitator and then looked the participant in the eye. The stare back was menacing. The silence was deafening.

        Like many international aid groups, MSF uses a two-tier employee system: So-called “international staff” are mainly hired from countries in the Global North and move from office to office in management-level assignments; so-called “national staff” are locally recruited in the countries where MSF operates. What I came to understand through my three years with the organisation is not simply the extent to which this formal, racialised hierarchical structure creates a culture of institutional racism and a homogenous leadership class, but that attempts to begin dismantling this – through my work and by speaking out – were and are met with vicious resistance.

        When I joined MSF Canada in its Toronto office in 2017, I believed in its mission. Its principles of independence, impartiality, and neutrality spoke deeply to me after working as a director of fundraising for a Canadian charity and as a programme manager for a public health non-profit in East Africa.

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • SANS Data Incident 2020 – Indicators of Compromise [iophk: Windows TCO]

          On Tuesday, August 11, 2020, SANS disclosed a security breach which was the result of a successful phishing campaign. As described in the disclosure found at https://www.sans.org/dataincident2020, the phishing email enticed a single user to install a malicious Office 365 add-in for their account. The O365 add-in caused a forwarding rule to be configured on the victim’s account, which resulted in 513 emails being forwarded to an unknown external email address. In this article, we are publishing specific details and indicators of compromise associated with this attack in the hope that it will help the community detect and respond to any similar attacks.

        • Security

          • Security updates for Tuesday

            Security updates have been issued by Debian (sane-backends), Fedora (kernel, LibRaw, and wob), openSUSE (balsa, hylafax+, postgresql, postgresql96, postgresql10, postgresql12, and postgresql96, postgresql10 and postgresql12), Oracle (.NET Core 3.1), Red Hat (bash and bind), SUSE (dovecot23, firefox, fwupd, postgresql10, postgresql12, python-azure-agent, and zabbix), and Ubuntu (ark, gnome-shell, libonig, linux, linux-aws, linux-kvm, linux-lts-xenial, linux-raspi2, linux-snapdragon, linux-gke-5.0, linux-oem-osp1, and software-properties).

          • Firewall configuration recommendations for IPFire users

            After taking a closer look on how to achieve better DNS settings in terms of privacy, this post elaborates necessary steps for a secure configuration of IPFire’s firewall engine.

            Depending on how volatile and predictable your network is, the following steps might cause interruptions or break some clients altogether – if they are using hard-coded DNS resolvers, for example -, so it might be a good idea to apply them within a maintenance window. Make sure you can access the wiki at any time in order to know what to do if something was misconfigured by accident.

          • Freetz Alternative Firmware for Older FritzBoxes

            JavaScript can compromise the user’s network devices!

            pretty evil are devices/routers with security problems, that can be exploited from javascript.

            so basically opening a webpage with a browser that has javascript enabled (which most browsers have)

            might scan the user’s network for vulnerable devices

            and then tries to conquer/own those devices

            resulting in all kinds of trouble for the user or other users in form of DDoS attacks that this router then might participate in

          • 10,000+ WordPress Sites At Risk Due To Stored XSS Vulnerability

            WordPress plugin with over 10,000 installations contains a critical unpatched vulnerability. The vulnerability was discovered by Melbin Mathew yesterday and it deserves the attention of those who have installed this plugin on their WordPress sites.

            The plugin has XSS(Cross-site Scripting) vulnerability that can easily be exploited by a hacker. Here is how it works.

          • How to stop the onion denial (of service)

            As you might have heard, some onion services have been experiencing issues with denial-of-service (DoS) attacks over the past few years.

            The attacks exploit the inherent asymmetric nature of the onion service rendezvous protocol, and that makes it a hard problem to defend against. During the rendezvous protocol, an evil client can send a small message to the service while the service has to do lots of expensive work to react to it. This asymmetry opens the protocol to DoS attacks, and the anonymous nature of our network makes it extremely challenging to filter the good clients from the bad.

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

            • Some email clients are vulnerable to attacks via ‘mailto’ links [Ed: The latest FUD from ZDNet wants us to think that Free software is dangerous for E-mail because people can be tricked; it's a social engineering problem, not security problem.]

              A lesser-known technology known as “mailto” links can be abused to launch attacks on the users of email desktop clients.

              The new attacks can be used to secretly steal local files and have them emailed as attachments to attackers, according to a research paper published last week by academics from two German universities.

          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • No to Expanded HHS Surveillance of COVID-19 Patients

              The new program called HHS Protect poses a grave threat to the data privacy of all Americans.

            • Shitbirds Of A Feather Flock Together: ICE Signs $274,000 Contract With Clearview

              ICE continues to not care what anyone thinks of it. Its tactics over the past few years have turned it into one of the federal government’s most infamous monsters, thanks to its separation of families, caging of children, unfettered surveillance of undocumented immigrants, its fake university sting created to punish students trying to remain in the country legally, its sudden rescinding of COVID-related distance learning guidelines solely for the purpose of punishing students trying to remain in the country legally… well, you get the picture.

            • Oracle’s Improbable TikTok Talks Have a Simple Explanation: Data

              The company’s possible pursuit of a deal for the social network, owned by China’s ByteDance Ltd., makes more sense in light of Oracle’s desire to build up its cloud-computing and consumer-data businesses — and comes into even clearer focus considering Oracle’s close ties to U.S. President Donald Trump and Chairman Larry Ellison’s cheerleading for American tech interests.

            • Chinese AI Giant Blacklisted by Trump Mints Money From Virus

              It’s an example of how the ruling Communist Party, once wary of private entrepreneurs, is now supporting technology companies that have come under attack from the Trump administration, including SenseTime, Huawei Technologies Co., Tencent Holdings Ltd. and ByteDance Ltd., parent of TikTok. The country has pledged to spend $1.4 trillion to develop its own tech industry and overtake the U.S. in key sectors.

              In the case of facial recognition, concerns about privacy are taking a back seat while the country militantly traces and tracks outbreaks. Hard-line measures adopted by Beijing allow provincial governments, companies and residential complexes to deploy facial recognition devices with little resistance.

            • On TikTok as a Security Threat

              Consider Apple and Google. Both companies have an inordinate amount of intellectual [sic] property [sic] to protect. Both companies are surely deeply concerned about the Chinese government, in particular, attempting to infiltrate their systems. Both companies also have consumer brand reputations to protect with the App Store and Play Store. If either company had any actual reason to suspect TikTok of malfeasance, they’d remove TikTok from their app stores. Surely, the security experts at both companies have examined TikTok with more attention than most apps get.

            • Revolutionary Guard Coerced Iranian-Canadian Software Developer To Spy On Internet Activists

              An Iranian-Canadian software developer, who was arrested by the Revolutionary Guard during a January visit to Iran and freed after agreeing to serve as an informant for the Guard’s intelligence service, is going public about his experiences in order to prevent his family in Iran from being harassed.

              Behdad Esfahbod, a 37-year-old tech professional who worked for Facebook at the time of his visit to Iran, was arrested by four plainclothesmen with a Revolutionary Guard warrant on allegations of “activity against the security of the Islamic regime and cooperation with hostile entities.”

              In an exclusive interview with Radio Farda, Esfahbod said the Revolutionary Guard held him at the Guard’s enclave in Tehran’s Evin Prison, and threatened to frame him as an American spy responsible for the downing of the Ukrainian flight shot down by Revolutionary Guard on January 8 over Tehran.

    • Defence/Aggression

      • For Israel and the UAE, Peace for Profit Comes with Authoritarian Maneuvering and State-Surveillance

        They are officially leaving the Palestinians at the station.

      • Local groups step up to lead Beirut blast response

        While attention has focused on promises of international aid from a France-led donor conference and a UN appeal, much of the initial help in the two weeks since a massive explosion in Beirut has been provided by Lebanese themselves – by ad hoc efforts, established NGOs, and groups set up months ago to help deal with a deep economic crisis that has left more and more people in crippling poverty.

        In the hours after the port blast that destroyed large swathes of the capital, leaving more than 220 people dead and 6,000 wounded, Lebanese volunteers rushed to pull people from collapsed homes, carry the injured to hospitals, and set up makeshift clinics to take the burden off overwhelmed emergency rooms.

        The day after the 4 August blast, it felt like all of Beirut had descended on the eastern neighbourhoods that saw the most damage, bringing with them brooms and shovels to clear the debris.

        Teams of volunteers arrived with sandwiches and water only to find that others had already distributed the same things. Multiple social media pages popped up to coordinate offers of housing for those displaced, most of whom are now staying with family, friends, neighbours, and host families.

    • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

    • Environment

      • Greenland is losing more ice than it gains annually

        The ice lost to the sea annually off Greenland is now more than the snow falling on the island. This is a tipping point.

      • The 10 Hottest Climate Change Books of Summer
      • Common Misconceptions about the Ocean

        Misconceptions about the ocean can lead people to the wrong conclusions about conservation, climate change, and marine life. There are quite a few widely accepted ideas about the ocean that are not accurate. Here are the facts behind some common ocean myths. How many do you know?

      • A Child of Drought: On Climate Resilience, Community, and Love

        It feels strange to say it, but I am a child of drought. Not drought in any kind of metaphorical sense. Drought in the literal description, as defined by Merriam-Webster: a period of dryness, especially when prolonged. Perhaps this is the price of reveling in the beauty of the desert southwest.

      • How Software Companies Might Lead Us Out of Our E-Waste Dilemma

        I first came across the subscription model when, immediately following a software update, my Adobe Acrobat system failed to work and I was forced to reinstall it. But when I got to the step for entering the serial number I was instead deferred to an Adobe website where I was told to sign up for their subscription services. I didn’t have the time to write to Adobe to complain nor did I want to subscribe to something I already purchased. So, instead of subscribing, I sought out a freeware alternative which has more or less done the job over the years.

      • In Denial: Australia, Human Rights and Climate Change

        When the complaint was lodged in May 2019, there was a sense of the audacious about it.  Eight Torres Strait Islanders had taken the trouble to petition the Geneva-based UN Human Rights Committee, citing climate change and Australian violations as their main concern.  Australia, they claimed, had violated their fundamental rights under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.

      • Energy

        • Routine Gas Flaring Is Wasteful, Polluting and Under-measured

          If you’ve driven through an area where companies extract oil and gas from shale formations, you’ve probably seen flames dancing at the tops of vertical pipes. That’s flaring — the mostly uncontrolled practice of burning off a byproduct of oil and gas production. Over the past 10 years, the U.S. shale oil and gas boom has made this country one of the world’s top five flaring nations, just behind Russia, Iran and Iraq.

      • Wildlife/Nature

    • Finance

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • Whose Century Is It? Don’t Ask Donald Trump

        The moment has been a long time coming.

      • The Khabarovsk Territory’s acting governor announces the creation of a People’s Council

        The acting governor of Russia’s Far Eastern Khabarovsk Territory, Mikhail Degtyarev, has announced the creation of a People’s Council and invited local protesters to join it.

      • Putin discusses Belarus protests with German Chancellor Angela Merkel

        German Chancellor Angela Merkel had a phone conversation with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday, August 18, during which they discussed the unrest in Belarus following the presidential elections on August 9.

      • Belarusian state media shares photo from 2019 Barcelona protests in slideshow about unrest in Belarus

        The Belarusian state news agency BelTA published a video on its Telegram channel about the demonstrations in Belarus, which includes a photo from a 2019 protest in Barcelona, Spain. This was first noticed by the Telegram channel @belteanews (Chai z malinavym varennyem).

      • Ukrainian intelligence lured suspected Russian mercenaries to Belarus, journalists report

        The arrival of 33 suspected Russian mercenaries from the “Wagner” private military company (PMC) in Belarus at the end of July was part of a special operation carried out by the Security Service of Ukraine (the SBU) and Ukraine’s military intelligence service. However, the operation failed due to a high-level information leak. These reports surfaced in a Facebook post by Yuriy Butusov, the chief editor of the Ukrainian outlet Censor.net, who cited unnamed sources. Sources in the security services told a similar story to independent online newspaper Ukrainska Pravda. 

      • Harris’ Problem Isn’t Her Identity, It’s Her Politics

        As you no doubt know by now, Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden has chosen US Senator Kamala Harris (D-CA) as his running mate.

      • Made in the First Minister’s Office

        The first piece of evidence came out at the Holyrood Inquiry today which I have known for the last year but had not been allowed to tell you.

      • Trump’s “Law and Order” Campaign is a Distraction

        More than 160,000 Americans have already died from the coronavirus — tens of thousands more than would have died had Trump acted responsibly to contain it. And the economy is in freefall. No matter how hard he tries, we can’t let Trump shift public attention from his failure to attack the virus to his attacks on Americans protesting to create an America where Black lives matter and everyone can thrive.In fewer than 90 days, we must hold him accountable at the ballot box.

      • A Dismantled Post Office Destroys More Than Mail Service

        A dismantled USPS erodes American social ties, neighborhoods and even families.

      • DeJoy Donated Big to GOP Senators Up for Reelection — They’re Silent on USPS

        Recently appointed Postmaster General Louis DeJoy, a top donor to Donald Trump and until earlier this year the head fundraiser for the Republican National Convention, has given tens of thousands of dollars to Republican Senators up for re-election this November, according to Federal Election Commission records reviewed by Salon.

      • In DNC Speech, Sanders Urges Popular Front to Defeat Donald Trump

        Calling the 2020 election the most important in modern U.S. history — one in which the survival of democracy, the economy, and the planet hang in the balance — Sen. Bernie Sanders used his primetime address at the virtual Democratic National Convention Monday night to warn of the existential dangers of handing President Donald Trump a second term and urge the nation to unite to ensure he is defeated in November.

      • Julián Castro Ran on Police Reform Platform But Wasn’t Asked to Give DNC Address

        The Democratic National Convention faces criticism over the lack of diversity in its primetime programming during this year’s virtual event, even as Latinx voters are slated to make up the largest bloc of nonwhite voters in 2020. Only a handful of Latinx speakers and no Muslim speakers are appearing during the broadcasted convention, while Republicans like former Ohio Governor John Kasich were given slots. “There were 35 primetime speakers, and only three of them were Latinx, and I raised a concern about that,” says Julián Castro, former 2020 Democratic presidential candidate and the only Latinx candidate in the race. “I don’t think that represented the beautiful coalition that the Democrats put together.”

      • Mali’s president resigns and dissolves parliament

        It was led by Col Malick Diaw – deputy head of the Kati camp – and another commander, Gen Sadio Camara, BBC Afrique’s Abdoul Ba in Bamako reports.

        After taking over the camp, about 15km (nine miles) from Bamako, the mutineers marched on the capital, where they were cheered by crowds who had gathered to demand Mr Keïta’s resignation.

        On Tuesday afternoon they stormed his residence and arrested the president and his prime minister – who were both there.

        The president’s son, the speaker of the National Assembly, the foreign and finance ministers were reported to be among the other officials detained.

        The number soldiers taking part in the mutiny is unclear.

      • Thai Monuments Are Disappearing in the Dead of Night

        The medallion was one of a number of monuments to the 1932 revolution that have been quietly removed by Thailand’s government, in what critics describe as a systematic campaign to efface the country’s constitutional legacy and permanently cement the power of its military-royalist rulers. Over the past few years, monuments to the revolution have disappeared, statues of its leaders have been taken down, and buildings and military institutes whose names honored the revolution have been renamed.

      • Information on the German Pirate Party’s List of Candidates for the 2019 European Parliament Election
      • At least 20 states plan to sue the U.S. Postal Service over service delays, threat to election
    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • USAGM Funds Two Internet Freedom Projects

        The U.S. Agency for Global Media announced Tuesday that it is moving forward with funding two internet firewall circumvention projects despite an ongoing legal battle over the agency’s broader internet freedom strategy.

        The awardees — Psiphon and ACI — write software that help people gain access to websites and information blocked by their governments.

    • Civil Rights/Policing

    • Monopolies

      • Uber Considers Franchising in Response to California Labor Law

        The companies have already made other adjustments to try to lessen the impact of the California law, known as Assembly Bill 5. Earlier this year, Uber began offering drivers more flexibility to reject rides and set their own rates, hoping to bolster their arguments that drivers were entrepreneurs using the platform rather than workers for the company itself.

      • Patents

        • Reps. DelBene and Schweikert Introduce Important Bipartisan ITC Reform Bill

          Last week, Representative Suzan DelBene (D-WA) and Representative David Schweikert (R-AZ) introduced a bipartisan bill that would return the International Trade Commission (ITC) to a focus on its mission of protecting American industry from unfair foreign competition. H.R. 8037, the “Advancing America’s Interests Act” (AAIA), would reform both the domestic industry and public interest inquiries in ITC litigation, helping to keep the ITC focused on protecting U.S. companies and consumers.

          As Rep. DelBene said in her introduction of the bill, “in recent years, patent licensing entities have abused the ITC process for financial gain.” If this bill had been law, some of the most abusive recent ITC litigation would have been eliminated or significantly scaled back. And that, in turn, will make sure that Rep. Schweikert’s statement that “America has always been a shining light for innovation” continues to be true.

          [...]

          Right now, the ITC is statutorily required to consider the public interest when determining whether to issue an exclusion order that bans products from the United States. But it gives that requirement short shrift.

          The ITC has conducted more than 750 investigations under § 1337 over the past 15 years. In those 15 years, they have never refused to issue an exclusion order because of the public interest. In fact, the last time the ITC refused to issue an exclusion order on public interest grounds was more than 30 years ago, in 1984. In its entire modern history, the ITC has refused a total of 3 exclusion orders based on the public interest. In those 750 cases, the ITC never found that the public would be harmed more than aided by blocking products from the U.S.—products including radios used by first responders, tools for gene sequencing, and diagnostic products that can help fight COVID. Not once.

          The Commission often justifies its failure to seriously consider the public interest based on a “strong public interest in enforcing intellectual property.” But that justification makes a mockery of the statutory requirement to respect the public interest. By allowing enforcement to outweigh any other aspect of harm to the public, the Commission has effectively ignored the statute.

          The AAIA helps remedy that. Right now, the Commission is required to issue an exclusion order unless it specifically finds that the public interest outweighs exclusion. The AAIA would require the Commission to specifically find that the public interest is in favor of exclusion. Instead of paying lip service to the public interest by stating that enforcement of IP is in the public interest and outweighs other aspects of the public interest, the Commission would be required to establish why the public interest favors exclusion.

        • Race and Gender in the USPTO: Schuster’s Hard Data for Hard Issues

          Much like other rights, however, they have been unequally granted to people based on factors outside of their control throughout our country’s history. Intellectual property is a means for upward mobility of individuals who, through their own ingenuity, creativity, or otherwise, contribute something of value to our society. It is this exchange of benefits that the patent system is built upon. However, when certain individuals are less likely to reap the rewards of their inventions, they are both disincentivized from creating as well as from engaging with the patent system. Although the extent of these biases is yet unknown, research regarding the subject has been conducted with the intent of identifying and remedying inequity.

          The scope of this inequity is difficult to comprehend except by collecting, analyzing, and comprehending the data. Mike Schuster and his coauthors did just that in his article, An Empirical Study of Patent Grant Rates as a Function of Race and Gender (published version in the American Business Law Journal), which examines the patent granting rates as a function of inventors’ races and genders. As scientists and engineers, patent practitioners and examiners will undoubtedly appreciate the amount and quality of his data.

          Schuster’s article first focuses on the patent system’s bias against women. While women have come far in their representation in the patent system—from 0.3% of patents in the first 100 years of the United States to 12% in 2016—this is a far cry from equality in a country that is 50.8% female.

          Schuster’s study regarding female inventors was twofold: first, he hypothesized that female inventors would be granted patents at lower rates and second, he hypothesized that this disparity would decrease for female inventors with gender nonobvious names. The former hypothesis was supported, yielding a disconcerting result. Women were found to be 62% as likely as male inventors to have their patents granted. This gap narrowed for female inventors without gender identifying names.

          Much like female inventors, certain racial minorities were also found to receive patents at lower rates than white counterparts. These numbers, however, were less thoroughly presented and discussed. There were some indications that different racial minorities have different experiences at the USPTO. For example, Asian applicants were indicated to have better outcomes than Black and Hispanic applicants.

        • No CJEU reference (yet) as Mannheim Court grants injunction in Nokia v Daimler in further return to old Orange Book days

          In a slightly puzzling decision out of the Mannheim Regional Court’s Second Civil Chamber, an injunction potentially preventing sales of Mercedes vehicles in Germany has been issued. Its press release (in German) can be found here.

          The dispute in Case 2 O 34/19 between Daimler AG (the owner of the Mercedes-Benz marque) and Nokia Oyj relates to Nokia’s patent EP2981103, which the court today found to have been infringed by Daimler. The patent covers “allocation of preamble sequences for an access procedure in a mobile communication system,” i.e. telecommunications technology used in cars for e-connectivity.

          Daimler has argued that the enforcement of such an injunction would apply to around half its German sales. If Nokia sought to enforce the injunction to block Daimler’s sales on this basis, Bloomberg reportsthat security or a bond of €7bn would be required. This amount is held aside in case of a successful appeal by Daimler requiring Nokia to pay damages.

        • Software Patents

          • Velos Media patent held unpatentable

            On August 17, 2020, the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) issued a final written decision in Unified Patents, LLC v. Velos Media, LLC holding the only claim of U.S. Patent 8,767,824 unpatentable. The ‘824 patent is owned by Velos Media, LLC. Velos claims to have and seeks to license patents allegedly essential to the HEVC / H.265 standard (such as the ‘824 patent). Unified filed this challenge as part of its ongoing efforts in its SEP Video Codec Zone.

            The ‘824 patent and its corresponding extended patent family represents approximately 3% of Velos’ known U.S. assets. The ’824 patent, generally directed to techniques for video encoding and decoding, was originally assigned to Sharp before being transferred to Velos in 2017.

          • $2,000 for prior art on Sanderling Management

            On August 18, 2020, Unified Patents added a new PATROLL contest, with a $2,000 cash prize, seeking prior art on at least all of the limitations of dependent claim 2, including all of the limitations of claim 1, of U.S. Patent 9,355,412. The ‘412 patent is owned by Sanderling Management Ltd., an NPE., and relates to forwarding a processing function, such as an overlay, to a user’s mobile image processing application when the user’s mobile device indicates a certain GPS reading. The ‘412 patent is currently being asserted against Snap, Inc.

      • Trademarks

        • Costco Gets Trademark Judgement Overturned, Defeating Tiffany And Co.

          Readers here will be sick of this, but we’re going to have to keep beating it into the general populace’s head: trademark law is about preventing confusion as to the source of a good or service. The idea is to keep buyers from being fooled into buying stuff from one company or person while thinking they were buying it from another. That’s basically it.

        • Should a pseudonym be changed: George Eliot, Mary Ann Evans, and the “Reclaim her Name” project

          What’s in a pseudonym? When it comes to George Eliot and her 19th- century novel, Middlemarch, described by some as the greatest novel in the English language, the answer may about to change.

          This Kat remembers, having been conscripted in his high school English class to read the Victorian novel, Silas Marner, only later discovered that the author was not a “he”, George Eliot, as advertised, but a “she’, Mary Ann Evans. But in those high school days, when Norma Jeane Mortenson was Marilyn Monroe, Archibald Alec Leach was Cary Grant, and Issur Danielovitch was Kirk Douglass, using a pseudonym in your public persona was not that unusual (although crossing genders from George Eliot to Mary Ann Evans did give this Kat some pause for thought.) Still, George Eliot remained George Eliot.

          Now nearly six decades later, this hoary Kat took advantage of his stay-at-home COVID-19 routine to finally read Middlemarch. Steady as we go, this Kat has been carefully consuming 10-15 pages a day. In the midst of doing so, this Kat came across a news item last week reporting that a new edition of Middlemarch is being published under the author’s real name, Mary Ann Evans.

          As announced last Wednesday under the project name, “Reclaim her Name”, the Woman’s Prize for Fiction will be offering 25 works of fiction, including Middlemarch, all of which were authored by women but published under male-sounding or gender neutral names. The novels will all be available for free download as e-books in conjunction with a Prize co-sponsor, Baileys.

      • Copyrights

        • The Lincoln Project is stealing memes — and the online left isn’t happy

          But the video was actually lifted without credit from Taylor Marsyla, a freelance artist, who posted the original video on Friday night. “Fuck it. USPS fancam,” Marsyla tweeted. The video took her around an hour to edit, stitching together random clips of mail trucks and photos of letter carriers set to “W.A.P.” by Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion. She topped it off with a glittery effect and dreamy pink filter before uploading it and clicking post. Quickly, the video took off, racking up nearly 200,000 likes, 60,000 retweets, and two million views as of publication.

        • Warner Bros. Takes Down Leaked ‘Tenet’ Footage Ahead of Piracy Sensitive Box-Office Release

          Christopher Nolan’s sci-fi thriller ‘Tenet’ will be one of the first blockbusters to debut on the big screen since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. Recent takedown notices from Warner Bros. show that the movie studio is keeping a close eye on leaked footage. This will likely be the case for the official release as well, which presents some pressing piracy concerns.

        • Israel’s Most Popular Pirate Site Makes Headlines For Politics, Not Piracy

          The most-visited pirate site in Israel usually makes headlines for its massive collection of TV shows but this week things changed. With large-scale copyright infringement almost a sideshow, Sdarot.tv was criticized in mainstream media for urging citizens to support embattled Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

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