08.25.20

Links 26/8/2020: Istio 1.5.10, Tails 4.10, MidnightBSD 1.2.7, ExTiX 20.9

Posted in News Roundup at 8:56 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • 3 Ways to Make Use of Your Old PC with Linux

      Many of us have an old computer lying around our house. Maybe it’s an old family desktop, an old school laptop, or something you just forgot you had or put in storage because it’s so slow. Before you throw it away, check out the following ways to make use of your old PC with Linux.

      Keep in mind that this is a small list. It’s not the be-all-end-all list. There is no doubt that there are other things that can be done on Linux that simply didn’t make the list.

    • How to choose an affordable Linux laptop for video conferencing

      As more and more activities move online during the global pandemic, an increasing number of folks are looking for affordable and stable solutions to connect to their doctor, therapist, bank, college, and more. Many of the folks I’ve been working with are on limited incomes, and they’re eager for any technical help they can get.

      Whether they’re on a proprietary video conferencing solution or using an open source one like Jitsi Meet, everyone needs a platform that’s robust enough to support their needs without breaking the budget. One of the leading cloud video conferencing providers recommends that platforms should have at least an i3 processor or equivalent with a minimum of 4GB RAM. My experience has taught me that an i5 or equivalent and at least 4-8GB RAM is even better.

    • Goodbye backups

      Good news everyone: no one needs to back up any more! After decades of tech “journalists” (hey, I have a certificate–Ed) telling you to back up your systems, modern ways of working have made the backup obsolete. No, wait, don’t go! We’re not obsolete, just yet…

      It’s true enough that many of us are working in “the cloud” and have work assets and media automagically backed up with some unknown level of redundancy–that may or may not involve the NSA/MI5. So how can you do that yourself? How can you protect your system? How can you make backups of everything run like clockwork, while making any data recovery just as slick?

    • Desktop/Laptop

    • Audiocasts/Shows

      • LHS Episode #363: Too Hot

        Welcome to the 363rd installment of Linux in the Ham Shack. In this episode, the hosts discuss some big changes for the show, Google and 6GHz, an upcoming contest for portable operators, identifying and dealing with HF noise, Warpinator, GhostBSD, Bitcoin and much more. Thank you for listening and have a spectactular week.

      • This Week in Linux 114: WordPress 5.5, System76, Kali Linux, Parrot OS, Kdenlive 20.08 & More

        On this episode of This Week in Linux, we’ve got a ton of cool news to talk about. We’ve got App News for Kdenlive video editor, WordPress website platform, Nextcloud’s Desktop client now has End-to-End Encryption and later we’ll cover a terminal based File Manager called “nnn”. We’ve also got some really fun Distro News with 2 Hacking aka Penetration Testing distros in Kali Linux and Parrot OS. We’re also going to follow up on the KDE Edition of MX Linux because the stable release is out. Later in the show we’re going to discuss Valve’s Proton because it’s been 2 Years since the release of the project and just so much has happened thanks to this project. All that and much more on Your Weekly Source for Linux GNews!

      • 2020-08-24 | Linux Headlines

        Another Mozilla project faces an uncertain future, UBports improves its Pine device support, Crostini-enabled Chromebooks could soon run Linux from removable media, and a nixCraft Twitter poll shows that users still prefer traditional package management.

    • Kernel Space

      • BPF Preload / User Mode Debugging Additions On The Way For Linux 5.10

        The “first real user” of the BPF user mode driver facility is on the way for Linux 5.10.

        Hitting bpf-next a few days ago is some interesting work destined for Linux 5.10. “This patch set is the first real user of user mode driver facility. The general use case for user mode driver is to ship vmlinux with preloaded BPF programs. In this particular case the user mode driver populates bpffs instance with two BPF iterators. In several months BPF_LSM project would need to preload the kernel with its own set of BPF programs and attach to LSM hooks instead of bpffs. BPF iterators and BPF_LSM are unstable from uapi perspective. They are tracing based and peek into arbitrary kernel data structures. One can question why a kernel module cannot embed BPF programs inside. The reason is that libbpf is necessary to load them. First libbpf loads BPF Type Format, then creates BPF maps, populates them. Then it relocates code sections inside BPF programs, loads BPF programs, and finally attaches them to events. Theoretically libbpf can be rewritten to work in the kernel, but that is massive undertaking…Hence the decision is to ship vmlinux with user mode drivers that load BPF programs. Just like kernel modules extend vmlinux BPF programs are safe extensions of the kernel and some of them need to ship with vmlinux.”

      • Bootlin contributes SquashFS support to U-Boot

        SquashFS is a very popular read-only compressed root filesystem, widely used in embedded systems. It has been supported in the Linux kernel for many years, but so far the U-Boot bootloader did not have support for SquashFS, so it was not possible to load a kernel image or a Device Tree Blob from a SquashFS filesystem in U-Boot.

        [...]

        Of course, the SquashFS driver is still fresh, and there is a chance that more extensive and widespread testing will uncover a few bugs or limitations, which we’re sure the broader U-Boot community will help address. Overall, we’re really happy to have contributed this new functionality to U-Boot, it will be useful for our projects, and we hope it will be useful to many others in the embedded Linux community!

      • Open Source U-Boot Bootloader Now Supports SquashFS Filesystem

        SquashFS is one of the most popular compressed read-only filesystems for Linux operating system. It is widely used in embedded systems to compress entire filesystems, inodes, and directories.

        In 2009, support for SquashFS merged into the mainline kernel as part of Linux 2.6.9. But so far, open-source Universal Bootloader (U-Boot) did not support SquashFS, leading to an inability to load kernel images or Device Tree Blobs from a SquashFS filesystem in U-Boot.

      • Linux 5.10 Slated To Use New Intel SERIALIZE In Fending Off Speculative Execution Bugs

        Queued now in the “x86/cpu” development branch ahead of the Linux 5.10 kernel later this year is the change to make use of Intel’s new “SERIALIZE” instruction within the kernel’s “sync_core” code that is used for stopping the speculative execution and prefetching of modified code.

        Earlier this year Intel’s programming reference manual documented the new SERIALIZE instruction set to come next year with Sapphire Rapids and Alder Lake. SERIALIZE is used for ensuring all flags/register/memory modifications are complete and all buffered wrties drained to memory before proceeding to the next instruction. SERIALIZE comes as a result of the speculative execution bugs hitting Intel particularly hard over the past few years.

      • Happy 29th Birthday To Linux

        Our lovely operating system Linux is turning 29 today so we will like to wish a very happy birthday to the Linux.

        August 25th, 1991, the day Linus Benedict Torvalds made this famous announcement on the comp.os.minx newsgroup regarding the Linux.

      • Linux turns 29: The biggest events in its history so far

        You can argue about Linux’s official birthday. Heck, even Linus Torvalds thinks there are four different dates in 1991 which might deserve the honor. Regardless, as Linux turns twenty-nine, here are some of its highlights and lowlights.

      • Celebrating Linux’s 29th Birthday with training bundle

        Radenta is offering a certified Linux Training Bundle for four for P29,000. Sign ups go on until September 30 and classes begin in October.

        Since its inception in 1991, Linux has maintained an active and growing community. Any IT professional working in Cloud computing, cybersecurity, networking and IT infrastructure, Open Source technologies, Android and embedded technologies and high performance computing, will find benefits in leaning more about Linux.

      • IGEL Commemorates the 29th Anniversary of Linux

        - IGEL, provider of the next-gen edge OS for cloud workspaces, today commemorates the 29th anniversary of Linux. Originally developed by a young college student in Finland, Linus Torvalds, for Intel x86-based personal computers, today Linux is known as the operating system (OS) that has been ported to more platforms than any other OS. It runs 90% of the world’s internet servers, delivers supercomputing for space programs including NASA and SpaceX, and even drives the connected car functionality for many major car brands. In fact, four out of five of today’s cell phones and tablets use Linux-inspired platforms.

        “On this 29th anniversary of Linux, the passionate Linux followers at IGEL commend Linus Torvalds for his vision and talent which created a better way to run the world’s computers. He BELIEVED in open source, and it changed history,” said Jed Ayres, CEO, IGEL. “Now, nearly thirty years later, Linux is at the core of helping remote workers remain productive as hundreds of millions of people suddenly moved to work-at-home environments in the face of a global pandemic. It’s just one more remarkable milestone enabled by the power of Linux.”

      • Happy 29th Birthday, Linux!

        Twentynine years ago, on August 25th, 1991, 21-year-old Finnish student Linus Benedict Torvalds made his now-famous announcement on the comp.os.minix news group, saying that he’s working on a free operating system for 386(486) AT clones, just as a hobby.

        Well, 29 years later, it turns out Linux is no longer “just a hobby” and it is actually everywhere around us. Even if you don’t use Linux, you’re still using Linux. But if you use Linux, even better!

        Linux powers almost every smart thing around us, from Android smartphones, Wi-Fi routers, smart fridges and big screen TVs to airplanes, satellites and the giant Google search engine.

      • Zram, Zcache, and Zswap: Which One Is the Best For You?

        If you’re using Linux, you can multiply your available RAM without having to buy new memory modules. Zram, zswap, and zcache allow you to compress your PC RAM’s contents, practically expanding it. But which one should you use? Which one’s better?

      • Graphics Stack

        • Older Radeon GPUs With RADV Vulkan Driver Now Have Trap Handler For Helping Catch Issues

          The Mesa Radeon Vulkan driver “RADV” has seen an initial trap handler implementation for helping to more easily catch and diagnose various issues stemming from Vulkan shaders.

          Initially for AMD “GFX8″ Fiji/Polaris graphics processors but should theoretically work as well for older GFX6/GFX7 hardware is the trap handler merged on Monday. Newer GFX9/GFX10 GPUs will require a separate trap handler implementation due to hardware differences.

        • Experimental Zink Patches Get OpenGL 4.6 Running Atop Vulkan

          When the Zink Gallium3D driver running OpenGL over Vulkan was first introduced in 2018 and since one of the main blockers besides the performance overhead has been the limited OpenGL 2/3 support. The GL3/GL4 support has been improving with time for Zink and when making use of the latest out-of-tree patches is even possible to get OpenGL 4.6 running over Vulkan with Zink!

        • Mike Blumenkrantz: Tessellation

          Tessellation shaders were the second type of new shader I worked to implement after geometry shaders, which I haven’t blogged about yet.

          As I always say, why start at the beginning when I could start at the middle, then go back to the beginning, then skip right to the end.

          Tessellation happens across two distinct shader stages: tessellation control (TCS) and tessellation evaluation (TES). In short, the former sets up parameters for the latter to generate vertex data with. In OpenGL, TCS can be omitted by specifying default inner and outer levels with glPatchParameterfv which will then be propagated to gl_TessLevelInner and gl_TessLevelOuter, respectively.

        • Victory Lap

          It’s been about three months since I jumped into the project to learn more about graphics drivers, and zink has now gone from supporting GL 3.0 to GL 4.6 and GLES 3.2 compatibility*. Currently I’m at a 91% pass rate on piglit tests while forcing ANV to do unsupported fp64 ops, which seems like a pretty good result.

        • Nouveau NVC0 Shader Disk Cache Lands For Speeding Up Game Load Times

          Covered back in February was work for Nouveau’s NVC0 Gallium3D driver to finalle make use of the Mesa on-disk shader cache functionality for speeding up game load times by allowing previously compiled GLSL shaders to be cached to disk. That work by Red Hat has finally been mainlined in Mesa 20.3.

          Mark Menzynski who is part of the Red Hat crew working on the open-source Nouveau driver finally saw his shader disk caching patches merged.

    • Applications

      • Glances – A Versatile System Monitoring Tool for Linux Systems

        The most commonly used command line tools for process monitoring on Linux are top and its colorful, feature rich cousin htop .

        To monitor temperature on Linux, you can use lm-sensors. Similarly, there are many utilities to monitor other real-time metrics such as Disk I/O, Network Stats and others.

        Glances is a system monitoring tool which ties them all together and offers a lot more features. What I like the most is that you can use run Glances on a remote Linux server and monitor the system resources on your local system or monitor it through your web browser.

        Here’s what it looks like. The terminal in the below screenshot has been beautified with Pywal tool that automatically changes the color based on wallpaper.

      • Inkscape for Students

        This is a guide book for students to learn computer drawing using Inkscape program. You are recommended to use Ubuntu operating system to exercise this book. This book is like previous book GIMP for Authors which is divided into several parts to make you easier to learn and practice. This book is mainly intended for students but also can be helpful for users moving from Adobe Illustrator and CorelDRAW. You are encouraged to practice everything in this book commercially. As usual, I will write part by part by keep updating this front page so keep watching here. I hope this will be useful for everyone!

      • The 10 Best Open-Source Photoshop Alternatives

        We all know how much Photoshop is loved by designers all over the globe, thanks to its multitude of features and excellent user interface. With that being said, not everyone would be able to afford its monthly subscription plan that costs a whopping $20.99, which could make individuals who are just getting into this field take a step back and think about other available options.

        Luckily, there is quite a few professional design software out there on the Internet, which is open-source, meaning you won’t have to pay a single penny to use them. Moreover, the ones on our list would be able to work on Windows, macOS, and even Linux, on which Photoshop doesn’t run anyway (without a virtual machine or Wine, that is). However, before we begin, we’d like to tell you that no design software will indeed be a replacement for all the features provided by Photoshop. Still, they can do quite well when it comes to individual tasks, such as graphic designing, photo editing, and RAW image processing. If we have that clear, let’s cut to the chase and take a look at the best free and open-source Photoshop alternatives for newbies and professionals alike.

      • Essential Linux Applications For My Daily Workflow

        Recently I talked about what vim plugins I’m currently running so I thought it would be a good idea to follow up that video and talk about the applications I’m running as well. Are they all the application I use on my Linux system, absolutely not but it should give you a fairly good idea of the general about what I consider to be essential for my daily work flow

      • Support for Istio 1.5 has ended

        As previously announced, support for Istio 1.5 has now officially ended.

        At this point we will no longer back-port fixes for security issues and critical bugs to 1.5, so we heartily encourage you to upgrade to the latest version of Istio (1.7) if you haven’t already.

      • Announcing Istio 1.5.10

        This release includes bug fixes to improve robustness. These release notes describe what’s different between Istio 1.5.9 and Istio 1.5.10.

      • LaTex Editor TeXstudio 3.0.0 Released [How to Install]

        TeXstudio 3.0.0, an open-source cross-platform LaTex editor, was finally released after some alpha, beta, and rc tests.

      • Kubernetes 1.19 available from Canonical

        Canonical today announced full enterprise support for Kubernetes 1.19 spanning from public cloud to the edge, covering Charmed Kubernetes, MicroK8s and kubeadm.

        “As with all releases, Canonical is committed to fast following so that users benefit from the latest features, lifecycle operations and enterprise support in line with the upstream. With Kubernetes 1.19, MicroK8s and Charmed Kubernetes also bring enhanced security and carrier grade features. Certification management, IPv6 and SR-IOV are all added across any infrastructure, whether used in development or production,” commented Alex Chalkias, Product Manager at Canonical.

        MicroK8s, the lightweight, zero-ops, opinionated Kubernetes is ideal for users that look for K8s on-rails. With support for Intel and Arm chips, MicroK8s is suited for edge environments and IoT use cases. MicroK8s 1.19 comes with new versions for add-ons such as Istio 1.5.1, Prometheus 2.20 and K8s dashboard 2.0. The Multus add-on is now generally available to handle multiple networking Kubernetes plugins simultaneously and the Ambassador add-on provides an API gateway to handle traffic between heterogeneous services. Users of the latest stable MicroK8s track will be automatically upgraded to 1.19.

        Charmed Kubernetes is best suited for enterprises looking to streamline their multi-cloud and hybrid cloud production environments by providing elastic K8s with declarative, lifecycle operations. Enterprises running critical production workloads such as telco and retail will benefit from new additions to Charmed Kubernetes 1.19. The latest version is now able to handle more fast networking scenarios with SR-IOV, IPv6 support and security is enhanced with the addition of CIS (Centre for Internet Security) benchmark compliance.

      • Easily boot multiple operating systems from a USB flash drive with Ventoy

        There are a bunch of tools that let you load an operating system onto a USB flash drive, allowing you to boot from that drive and either run or install the OS. But most of those tools are only designed to support one operating system at a time.

        Ventoy is a new tool that turns a flash drive into a multiboot system, allowing you to load as many operating system as you can fit on your flash drive. And it’s extraordinarily easy to use.

      • Annie – video downloader built with Go

        We’ve written a fair few reviews of open source software that let you download videos from YouTube and other similar services without needing to fire up a web browser. We really admired two command-line tools — youtube-dl and You-Get. We also warmly endorsed two GUI tools Tartube, and DownZemAll!. The latter has a truly sublime interface.

        We’re big advocates of command-line tools, so it seems appropriate to put a third command-line downloader tool through the mangle.

        Annie is an open source video downloader. It supports sites like YouTube, Tumblr, Vimeo, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, TikTok, and other sites (mostly Chinese) I’ve never used. The program is written in the Go programming language.

      • Latte Dock v0.10~ | Background Radius and Shadows

        After using Kirigami ShadowedRectangle to provide background with different radius it was time to play with background shadows. So now you can adjust the background shadow size if you want.

        Notice: There is a bug with Kirigami.ShadowedRectangle; if the shadow size is bigger from any of the background width or height, the produced shadow is vastly in size. This is why Latte protects from the case and limits the shadow size to never exceed the mentioned case; more info at kde_bug#425745

    • Instructionals/Technical

    • Games

      • 3D Gaming on the Librem 5

        The Librem 5 is the first phone running a full-blown desktop Operating System–PureOS; the same operating system that runs Purism’s Librem Laptops, Mini, and Servers. Productivity tools are abundant, but how good is the Librem 5 when it comes to gaming?

        The Vivante GC7000Lite GPU in the Librem 5 provides a lot of 3D rendering power while still protecting your freedom with free software drivers. Here’s a look at how some 3D games run on the Librem 5 today.

      • Check out 9 minutes of brand-new Dark Envoy gameplay

        Dark Envoy is the next title from Event Horizon, creator of Tower of Time, and there’s a bunch of new gameplay available in a fresh video.

        Before that though, as a quick reminder. Dark Envoy is a non-linear RPG to offer exploration of a vast world with an emphasis on tactical combat layered with lore and strategy. A continuation of Event Horizon’s attempt, which began with the studio’s debut title Tower of Time, to shatter long-standing RPG tropes and to create something unique in the process.

      • Devs quit Skullgirls and Indivisible studio Lab Zero Games, issues with studio owner

        It’s never fun to have to write about things like this but it needs to be highlighted. Lab Zero Games, developer on titles like Skullgirls and Indivisible seem to be a sinking ship.

        A bunch of their developers have now quit together, from what I’ve seen this appears to be more than half their staff. Why? The theme here appears to be Lab Zero Games owner, Mike Zaimont, who appears to create an unsafe working environment and does not treat staff fairly.

        The issue runs deep it appears, as Zaimont was previously accused (Kotaku) of various inappropriate comments, these included gross sexual messages to people and racist jokes. This led to an apparent agreement that Zaimont would leave but it appears Zaimont is sticking around and generally making things terrible for staff so it’s led to this.

      • Unity Technologies officially files to go public with an IPO

        Unity Technologies, creator on the Unity game engine has now formally applied for IPO (initial public offering) and the documents are pretty revealing.

        In these documents, they do show just how popular they are with the Unity game engine. They mentioned that they had approximately 1.5 million “monthly active creators” across over 190 countries. That’s seriously impressive, with a lot of people hooked into the Unity ecosystem. That was clear though, considering the amount of games releasing all the time powered by Unity.

      • Ubisoft renews their funding commitment to Blender

        The good news for the open source application Blender just keeps flowing, after Unity announced their support for funding Blender only recently, now Ubisoft will be continuing with their funding as they’ve renewed their relationship with Blender.

        Reminder—Blender is the free and open source 3D creation suite. It supports the entirety of the 3D pipeline—modeling, rigging, animation, simulation, rendering, compositing and motion tracking, video editing and 2D animation pipeline.

        Originally announced last year around the same time Epic Games also joined in on funding Blender, it was announced August 24 that Ubisoft have renewed their funding at the corporate Gold member level. This is the same level as before, meaning Ubisoft will continue paying the Blender Foundation €30K a year.

      • The Linux port of fighting game Them’s Fightin’ Herds is coming along

        The Mane6 development team have posted a short but slightly amusing update on the upcoming Linux port of the fighting game Them’s Fightin’ Herds.

        As a brief reminder: it was originally funded via an IndieGoGo crowdfunding campaign with an initial funding goal of $436K, which was way back in 2015. Linux and macOS support were stretch-goals at $486K, meaning they would only happen if it hit that goal. Once the campaign finished, they managed to raise around $586,346.

      • The Girl from Arkanya looks like a wonderful pixel-art treasure hunting RPG

        With a style inspired by retro Zelda titles, Arkanya Team is working alongside Top Hat Studios to produce The Girl from Arkanya. A top-down treasure hunting RPG, with the protagonist Marisa followed around by a capybara.

        “The Girl from Arkanya is the tale of Marisa, an aspiring young adventurer with her sights set on becoming the world’s greatest treasure hunter! She is accompanied by her capybara companion, and you will need to use both characters together in creative ways to solve puzzles and challenges.”

        Most developers go for a dog, a cat or something like that but a capybara? That’s certainly a bit different to what’s expected. Describing the game, they said it “takes a proven formula and expands upon it” with the two character control scheme thanks to the pet.

      • The 7DFPS Game Jam returns in December 2020

        Ready to see more weird and unique games? The 7DFPS Game Jam returns this December so it’s time to get planning.

        What is it? 7DFPS is a game development challenge, to make a first person game in seven days. Challenge yourself and first person games by creating a game that takes us to new places in new ways. 7DFPS is one I love to follow as it’s ended up giving us a few gems like SUPERHOT, Receiver and a number of others.

        This year it’s being run a bit differently, as the rules are: there’s no rules. Yes really. No special theme or anything, it sounds like it doesn’t even need to be first-person this time. As they confirmed on Twitter, the theme is to just “make something”.

      • Stadia Pro gets 6 free games for September, with 3 leaving

        Are you a Stadia user or Stadia Pro subscriber? Well, some interesting news for you as Google have revealed what’s coming for you in September and it’s pretty good.

        Stadia is the game streaming service, that works on pretty much anything with a Chromium-based browser. Powered by Linux and Vulkan in the cloud, it’s slowly building up an interesting library of games to pick from. Stadia Pro is the optional monthly subscription, which gives you access to free games each month that once claimed you get to keep if you continue your Pro sub.

      • Explore dungeons and do a little tower defense in Dwerve, demo and Kickstarter up

        Florida based game dev Half Human Games has launched a Kickstarter campaign and a demo for Dwerve, a mixture of dungeon crawling and tower defense in one.

        Dwerve 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.

      • FUTEX2 Still Being Worked On For Benefiting Linux Gaming & Much More

        Proposed last summer by Valve and Collabora developers were extending the Linux kernel’s futex system call to allow for more optimal thread pool synchronization and paired with Wine/Proton work to better match the semantics of Windows. That then spun into creating a new system call, futex2. With the recently closed Linux 5.9 merge window the new futex2 system call didn’t land, but the work is still being pursued.

        Futex2 was sent out in June for initial discussions on this new blocking construct system call rather than continuing to try extending the existing futex system call. From the Valve/Collabora perspective for Linux gaming this is about potentially yielding CPU utilization benefits. Futex2 changes allow for waiting on any of multiple futexes and to better support other features moving forward that can’t fit in nicely with the existing futex system call like variable bit size futexes and NUMA optimizations.

      • Linux Has A Hardware Problem And We Need To Solve It

        I once had a conversation with an Ubuntu Budgie developer who explained to me why testing an update to the official Ubuntu flavor’s UI was problematic: no one on the team had access to a 4K monitor. Meaning it was impossible for them to reliably see how the changes would look for owners of HiDPi monitors. This is merely one example — and a rather minor one — that reflects an ocean full of issues that can negatively impact the desktop Linux experience. It’s a situation in need of a solution. Fortunately, that solution is being brainstormed and developed by the community.

        [...]

        “You can go to a Best Buy and purchase a computer,” Chelliah begins, “but depending on who made that computer, when that computer was made, when in a [distro’s] release cycle that computer was made, what software was available at the time, what the release cadences were of the software projects when that LTS or that distro came out, all affects the quality and the experience you get as an end user.”

      • PlayStation 3 exclusive Heavenly Sword now runs in RPCS3 emulator

        The people working on RPCS3 sure do some amazing work, this PlayStation 3 emulator is truly the stuff of dreams for game preservation and another big title is now playable.

        Heavenly Sword was developed by Ninja Theory and released originally in 2007 exclusively for the PlayStation 3, this was due to Sony themselves publishing. Ninja Theory later went onto make more popular titles like DmC: Devil May Cry and Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice.

      • Rocket Shipment is an upcoming fresh-take on classics like Lunar Lander & Thrust

        Much like the upcoming Gravity Ace, we have another new take on the classic gameplay found in the likes of Lunar Lander & Thrust with Rocket Shipment.

        All the classic gameplay elements are there having you fly, grapple, puzzle and refuel all while exploring caverns and fighting gravity in this physics based delivery game. There’s also confirmed be a level editor, which will have Steam Workshop integration to create and play content from the community.

      • GOG have a huge ‘Harvest Sale’ with Serious Sam: TFE free for 48 hours

        If you need to start your week off with some new games, you should take a look at DRM-free store GOG.com as they have a pretty huge sale going on.

        Before getting into that: they also have Serious Sam: The First Encounter free for 48 hours. No direct Linux support on that (they added it proper with the later Fusion engine release) but you can try your luck with the Wine compatibility layer. The other option is the Serious Engine itself, which is actually open source, so you could use the data files with it.

      • Children of Morta adds Linux support and a new animal charity DLC

        Coming up on a year since the original release, Children of Morta from developer Dead Mage and publisher 11 bit studios has now formally added Linux support.

        Children of Morta is an action RPG with a rogue-lite approach to character development, where you don’t play a single character – but a whole, extraordinary family of heroes. Hack’n’slash through hordes of enemies in procedurally generated dungeons, caves and lands and lead the family of Bergsons, with all their flaws and virtues, against the forthcoming Corruption.

      • Amusing co-op game Unrailed! to get 1.0 release on September 23

        Unrailed!, the brilliant bit of co-op train-track building fun from Indoor Astronaut and Daedalic Entertainment now has an actual release date.

        After entering Early Access in September 2019, they’ve put in a lot of major upgrades that added saves and checkpoints, additional wagons to add to your trains, new characters, a sandbox mode, a single-player mode, achievements, Linux and macOS support and lots more. They also mentioned that more is to come yet.

      • Draft of Darkness adds a little survival horror to deck-building roguelikes

        Whatever will developers come up with next for deck-building card games? Survival horror, as it turns out. Draft of Darkness was announced and it’s coming to Linux.

        A roguelike card game with a post-apocalyptic theme, merging together game mechanics from popular titles like Slay The Spire and Darkest Dungeon. As you progress you recruit companions, get more cards for your deck, and try to reach the end. Gameplay is split between top-down exploration and encounters, with various events that need you to make decisions to continue the story and of course find valuable loot.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • Qt 3D will be ready for the Qt 6 release

          Up until now, Qt 3D was relying on OpenGL for rendering. With the upcoming Qt 6, Qt will come with a rendering abstraction layer (Rendering Hardware Interface or RHI) to target not only OpenGL but also Vulkan, Metal and DirectX.

          We are in the process of adding RHI support to Qt 3D. This will allow us to leverage the same convenient Qt 3D APIs while using the best rendering backend available for each platform. This means there is now a solution for the OpenGL deprecation on Apple platforms.

          The capture below is a glimpse of Kuesa and Qt 3D using Vulkan for rendering through the Qt’s RHI abstraction. There are still many missing pieces but Qt 3D will be ready for the Qt 6 release.

        • Plasma Mobile update: May-August 2020

          Once again it’s been a while since the last Plasma Mobile update was published, but as always that doesn’t mean nothing happened.

          It’s almost hard to believe, but in the meantime we gained several completely new applications! Meet our new clock, weather, calculator and color contrast checking apps.

          Development has been ongoing for several months and basic functionality is working now. The first stable releases of these will come after Plasma 5.20.

          As you would expect from any self-respecting clock app, it allows you to…

        • KDE’s Plasma Mobile UI Scores a Major Update for Linux Phones

          Competing with UBports’ Ubuntu Touch mobile OS and postmarketOS’ GNOME-based Phosh UI developed by Purism for their Librem 5 Linux phone, KDE’s Plasma Mobile is a very viable alternative for Linux phone owners.

          About six months ago, Plasma Mobile developer Marco Martin shared a video at FOSDEM 2020 to showcase the awesome experience offered by Plasma Mobile on PINE64’s PinePhone Linux phone.

        • Amazing Plasma Mobile progress

          If you haven’t already seen it, I’d like to call attention to the recent Plasma Mobile blog post. There’s some truly amazing stuff highlighted there! PlaMo apps are looking better than ever before. Go check it out!

      • GNOME Desktop/GTK

        • Peter Hutterer: libei – a library to support emulated input

          Let’s talk about eggs. X has always supported XSendEvent() which allows anyone to send any event to any client [1]. However, this event had a magic bit to make it detectable, so clients detect and subsequently ignore it. Spoofing input that just gets ignored is of course not productive, so in the year 13 BG [2] the XTest extension was conceived. XTest has a few requests that allow you to trigger a keyboard event (press and release, imagine the possibilities), buttons and pointer motion. The name may seem odd until someone explains to you that it was primarily written to support automated testing of X servers. But no-one has the time to explain that.

          Having a separate extension worked around the issue of detectability and thus any client could spoof input events. Security concerns were addressed with “well, just ifdef out that extension then” which worked great until other applications started using it for input emulation. Since around ~2008 XTest events are emulated through special XTest devices in the server but that is solely to make the implementation less insane. Technically this means that XTest events are detectable again, except that no-one bothers to actually do that. Having said that, these devices only make it possible to detect an XTest event, but not which client sent that event. And, due to how the device hierarchy works, it’s really hard to filter out those events anyway.

        • GUADEC ’20 experience

          Last days of July before 27th, I had been preparing my GUADEC 3 minutes presentation. It was an easy task because I introduce myself and what I was working on. Below I attached slides and speech if you want to review them. Also, I embedded presentation video where you can find my talk between 20:10 and 23:50.

          I attended to several talks about GNOME world and it is huge, that is my conclusion. There are a lot of projects and ideas that could improve GNOME and open-source environment, enhancing the world. Interns -and some of them, future contributors- are pushing tiny improvements and all of them are really important to improve GNOME ecosystem. Particularly, I want to mention last talks on “Intern lightning talks” when past interns that still on GNOME share their experience and their career inside and outside GNOME, letting us know what we can do next and where we can be in the future.

        • GNOME Mutter Code Further Tuned For Lowering Latency On NVIDIA Driver

          One of many performance optimization projects being pursued by Canonical’s Daniel van Vugt in the GNOME space has been working to lower the latency when using NVIDIA’s proprietary driver to address high latency spikes in certain situations as well as stuttering on the desktop. The Ubuntu developer has had patches under testing for months while this past week a latest revision was made available.

          Daniel van Vugt reworked the NVIDIA latency/stutter fixing patches. With the latest iteration there should be “even lower latency” and he now characterizes the latency handling as on par with the open-source graphics drivers.

    • Distributions

      • ExTiX 20.9 KDE Plasma together with Anbox (“Android in a Box”) :: Build 200825

        I have made a new version of ExTiX – The Ultimate Linux System. I call it ExTiX 20.9 KDE Anbox Live DVD. (The previous KDE version was 20.2 from 200127). I have now included Anbox (Android in a Box – Anbox puts the Android operating system into a container, abstracts hardware access and integrates core system services into a GNU/Linux system. Every Android application will be integrated with your operating system like any other native application). So now you can run Android apps in ExTiX. You can also very easy install GAPPS (Google Play Services and Google Play Store) yourself after a hard drive installation of ExTiX 20.9. The second best thing with ExTiX 20.9 is that while running the system live (from DVD/USB) or from hard drive you can use Refracta Snapshot (pre-installed) to create your own live installable Ubuntu/Anbox system. So easy that a ten year child can do it!

        ExTiX 20.9 KDE Plasma DVD 64 bit is based on Debian and Ubuntu 20.04.1 LTS. The original system includes the Desktop Environment Gnome. After removing Gnome I have installed KDE Frameworks 5.68.0 with KDE 4.19. KDE Frameworks are 60 addon libraries to Qt which provide a wide variety of commonly needed functionality in mature, peer reviewed and well tested libraries with friendly licensing terms.

      • BSD

        • MidnightBSD 1.2.7

          MidnightBSD 1.2.7 is available via the FTP/HTTP and mirrors as well as github. It includes several bug fixes and security updates over the last ISO release and is recommended for new installations. Users who don’t want to updatee the whole OS, should consider at least updating libmport as there are many package management fixes…

      • Screenshots/Screencasts

        • Ubuntu Unity 20.10 Alpha 1 Remix Run Through
        • Ubuntu Unity 20.10 Alpha 1 Remix

          Today we are looking at the stunning Ubuntu Unity 20.10 Alpha 1 Remix. This is a Ubuntu flavor that refreshes the Yaru Theme, Papirus icon theme, based on Ubuntu 20.10 development cycle and something really nice. They even got a great, inviting website. The system settings is a bit buggy, currently (it is an alpha release) and switching between themes doesn’t really work so well yet. However, it is something to keep our eyes on for sure!

        • Linux Mint 20 Cinnamon Edition – Based on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS and Features Cinnamon 4.6

          Linux Mint Team has been released and announced the latest long-term support (LTS) version of its popular desktop Linux desktop, Linux Mint 20, “Ulyana.” This edition, based on Canonical’s Ubuntu 20.04 LTS (Focal Fossa) operating system.

          Linux Mint 20 offers users long-term support with security updates until 2025, improved support for Nvidia GPUs and Nvidia Optimus, /home directory encryption, and a new file sharing app with an encryption called Warpinator.

          Also, features better resolution in VirtualBox, improvements to the system tray icons with HiDPI support, improvements to the Mint-Y theme on all editions, enablement of APT recommends by default for newly installed packages, Linux kernel 5.4 LTS and a revamped Gdebi tool to make installing of .deb packages easier.

        • Kali Linux 2020.3 overview | By Offensive Security

          In this video, I am going to show an overview of Kali Linux 2020.3 and some of the applications pre-installed.

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • Btrfs Coming to Fedora 33

          Btrfs is a stable and mature file system with modern features: data integrity, optimizations for SSDs, compression, cheap writable snapshots, multiple device support, and more.

          The switch to Btrfs will use a single-partition disk layout, and Btrfs’ built-in volume management. The previous default layout placed constraints on disk usage that can be a difficult adjustment for novice users. Btrfs solves this problem by avoiding it.

          As a techie, you may have heard of bit rot, and memory bit flips. Data can be corrupted by a multitude of physical factors, even cosmic rays from the sun! Before an SSD fails outright, often it will return either zeros or garbage, instead of your data. Btrfs safeguards your data with checksums, and performs verification on every read. Corrupt data is never given to your programs, and it won’t replicate into your backups to be discovered another day (or year).

          Btrfs uses a “copy-on-write” model: your data and the file system itself are never overwritten. This enhances crash-safeness. When copying a file, Btrfs does not write new data until you actually change the old data, saving space.

          In fact, users will save more space when using Btrfs’ transparent compression. Compressing data reduces total writes, saves space, and extends flash drive life. In many cases, it can also improve performance. Compression can be enabled on an entire file system, or per subvolume, directory, and even per file. You will be able to opt-in to using compression in Fedora 33. And it’s one of the features we’re looking forward to taking advantage of by default in future Fedora releases.

        • Scaling Red Hat OpenStack Platform 16.1 to more than 700 nodes

          Over the past few years, as Red Hat OpenStack Platform has matured to handle a wide variety of customer use cases, the need for the platform to scale has never been greater. Customers rely on Red Hat OpenStack Platform to provide a robust and flexible cloud, and with greater adoption we also see the need for our customers to deploy larger and larger clusters.

          With that said, the Red Hat Performance & Scale Team has been on a mission over the last year to push OpenStack scale to new limits. Last summer we undertook an effort to scale test Red Hat OpenStack Platform 13 to more than 500 overcloud nodes and in the process identified and fixed several issues that led to better tuning for scale, out of the box.

          Around the beginning of this year, we repeated the exercise with Red Hat OpenStack Platform 16.0, and achieved the same level of scale of 500+ nodes. More recently, over the last few weeks, we tested Red Hat OpenStack Platform 16.1 to scale to more than 700 overcloud compute nodes pre-GA, setting a new record for the largest Red Hat OpenStack Platform Director driven bare metal deployment tested by our team.

        • Get started with JDK Flight Recorder in OpenJDK 8u

          The OpenJDK 8u 262 release includes several security-related patches and a new addition, JDK Flight Recorder (JFR). This article introduces OpenJDK developers to using JDK Flight Recorder with JDK Mission Control and related utilities. I will also briefly introduce you to Project Hamburg, also known as Container JFR.

        • Fedora 32 : Repair the starting LightDM display manager.
        • Set up SSH access with session recording and containerized bastion servers: Part 1

          With the vast majority of people working from home nowadays, remote access to systems is becoming the norm. Remotely managing and configuring servers securely is extremely critical for business continuity.

          Most administrators rely on SSH (with or without a VPN) for remote administration. There has always been a demand for the ability to record user/administrator sessions for security and accountability reasons, as well as for knowledge-sharing purposes.

          This series of posts covers out-of-the-box capabilities of Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) 8.2 (rootless containers with Podman, cgroups v2, systemd, ssh, tlog, and RHEL Identity Management) to put together a solution which helps administrators provide secure access to users. They can configure session-recording for some or all of the users along with centralized authentication (including two-factor authentication) and authorization (HBAC, centralized sudo) for the backend (target) servers.

        • What is etcd?
        • Maintaining order at the edge: Why cluster management is critical to edge computing

          From “smart” manufacturing equipment to the latest and greatest mobile devices, modern IT is increasingly facing more and more demands at the edge of enterprise networks. Edge computing is very much real, as a recent survey by Analysys Mason calls out the concept as a top strategic priority for many organizations.

          The requirements of edge computing, however, differ from traditional datacenter systems, especially when it comes to management. Just as virtualization management tools struggled to adapt to the rigors of cloud-native computing, edge computing necessitates a new way of looking at infrastructure management – flexibility, scalability and reliability are key characteristics of successful edge technologies, and management solutions must extend these concepts. The recently launched Red Hat Advanced Cluster Management for Kubernetes is built with the demands of not only cloud-native computing, but also edge deployments in mind, addressing a broad variety of needs for modern computing strategies.

        • Introducing Red Hat Insights Drift Capability for Red Hat Enterprise Linux configuration troubleshooting

          As a system administrator, troubleshooting system configurations is part of day-to-day activities. In this post, we would like to introduce a new service from Red Hat Insights, called Drift, that empowers system administrators to compare configurations, define baselines, and ultimately perform root-cause analysis of issues during troubleshooting. While managing a large inventory of Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) systems is facilitated by tools like Red Hat Smart Management with Satellite, system configurations tend to drift away from defined standard operating environments.

        • Ten tips for internationalizing your website and technical documentation

          I’ve been the NLS (National Language Support) program manager for IBM Developer (formerly developerWorks) since 2000 and when we initially set up our Japanese and Chinese sites. For 20 years I’ve trialed and errored my way to success, and in the process stumbled over and resolved a slew of translation issues. Most top ten lists contain similar recommendations: start NLS work early, encode in unicode, leave space in your design for language expansion, and so on. But there are other issues that are more subtle and less likely to hit the top 10 list for localization. Think of them as the top 11-20 best practices.

      • Debian Family

        • Jonathan Carter: DebConf 20 Sessions

          DebConf20 is happening from 23 August to 29 August. The full is schedule available on the DebConf20 website.

          I’m preparing (or helping to prepare) 3 sessions for this DebConf. I wish I had the time for more, but with my current time constraints, even preparing for these sessions took some careful planning!

        • One week, two events: DebConf20 & Linux Plumbers Conference

          DebConf20, the annual conference for Debian contributors and users, is already in full swing, with the schedule of talks having begun yesterday, and continuing until Saturday. As usual, Collaborans will be participating, so please say hello if you happen to see one of them in the discussion channels, or contact us if you would like to schedule a chat!

          Among the nearly 90 talks and BoFs this week, keep an eye out for Andrew Lee’s presentation on Wednesday, August 26, titled “Open Build Service and Debian Packaging”. Andrew will be giving a detailed look at how to do Debian packaging on your private Open Build Service instance. All DebConf talks will be live streamed here.

        • Molly de Blanc & Debian: pushing volunteers boundaries, DebConf orgy

          Looking at the Jacob Appelbaum allegations again, somebody tweeted that he had used their work in 2007 without properly crediting them in a research paper. This is a serious issue in the academic world. Nonetheless, we can see exactly the same behavior in Debian: multiple people have been removed from the list of Debian Developers, while Debian continues to distribute their work and take credit for it. The most blatant example of this was Dr Preining, who was told to keep working as a Debian Maintainer, like an apprentice, but he wouldn’t be credited for his work as a Debian Developer. Ironically, the software that Dr Preining packages is the LaTeX software. This is the same software that is typically used to format the academic research papers that Jacob Appelbaum is accused of creating from other people’s work. How could Debian deny Dr Preining full and proper credit for his work while adding weight to accusations of plagiarism against another volunteer, Appelbaum?

          It is not clear if the tweet about plagiarism is noteworthy. Genuine mistakes with crediting authors are not unprecedented and are usually fixed behind the scenes by releasing an updated copy of the paper and a thank-you note on a blog. Many of the Appelbaum allegations are simply misunderstandings that have been hyped by the media.

          Back into the domain of pushing people’s boundaries, as alleged by Lunar, when you read the self-deprecating confession-apology that Dr Preining wrote, it should be clear that this was not written spontaneously and under his own free will: in Debian, consent is rarely taken seriously. Dr Preining’s boundaries were pushed by three months of blackmail.

        • Erinn Clark & Debian: Justice or another Open Source vendetta?

          In criminology research, between thirty and fifty percent of women surveyed typically indicated they have experienced sexual violence or rape.

          Experience of the authorities also tells us that on average, over ninety percent of crime reports are true yet between five and ten percent of accusations are proven to be false, motivated by money, vendettas and women with mental illness.

          In 2016, a small group of people came to the debian-private (leaked) gossip network to tell us what they thought about Jacob Appelbaum. Why did they choose to air stories from their friends in this way instead of going to the police to make a sincere statement under oath?

          [...]

          Why does Debian put so much effort into software licensing rights, as proclaimed in the Debian Free Software Guidelines, but ignore the Universal Declaration of Human Rights? After all, even software licenses are derived from UDHR Article 22, cultural rights.

          We know for a fact that at least some of the accusations spread with Debian resources are false. The case of Dr Norbert Preining, expelled for Thought Crime™ just days before Christmas 2018, is one of the most well known.

          The misuse of Debian’s name and resources, denouncing people in a manner that achieves maximum damage to their reputation, is the only crime that has ever been proven by visible evidence.

        • Tails 4.10 Anonymous OS Released with Updated Tor and Tor Browser, Linux 5.7.10

          Tails 4.10 continues the monthly release cycle of the Tails 4.x series, adding various updated components and a number of bug fixes to improve the overall stability, reliability and compatibility of the distribution.

          Based on the stable Debian GNU/Linux 10.5 “Buster” software repositories, Tails 4.10 ships with the latest Tor Browser 9.5.4 anonymous web browser and Tor 0.4.3.6 open-source client/server software for enabling anonymous communication.

        • Tails 4.10 is out

          This release fixes many security vulnerabilities. You should upgrade as soon as possible.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • Life – Part III of Ubuntu 20.04 LTS Review

          This last part of Ubuntu 20.04 review conveys the use for real world life purposes. If the first part talks about panorama, second talks about power, then this part speaks about life. Ubuntu Focal Fossa empowers my old laptop for everything routine smoothly including browsing folders, viewing pictures, editing documents, and playing videos without any hardware problem so I felt very satisfied. I report to everyone in computing you can happily use Ubuntu right away. Enjoy!

        • Give Ubuntu’s Default Theme a Makeover with Yaru Colors

          Yaru Colors is a fully-fledged customisation script capable for changing the colour highlight used in Yaru — plus a fair bit more, which we’ll get to in a second.

          Now I will warn you straight up that this task, easy though it sounds, is a bit different to installing other Linux icon themes and GTK themes. Rather than you manually moving folders into places there’s an install script to take care of the process.

          Also: don’t confuse Yaru Colors with Folder Colors. The latter tool lets you change the colour of individual folder icons on a per-folder basis, whereas this tool changes the colour of all folder icons.

        • Linux Mint 20 Cinnamon Edition – Based on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS and Features Cinnamon 4.6

          Linux Mint Team has been released and announced the latest long-term support (LTS) version of its popular desktop Linux desktop, Linux Mint 20, “Ulyana.” This edition, based on Canonical’s Ubuntu 20.04 LTS (Focal Fossa) operating system.

          Linux Mint 20 offers users long-term support with security updates until 2025, improved support for Nvidia GPUs and Nvidia Optimus, /home directory encryption, and a new file sharing app with an encryption called Warpinator.

          Also, features better resolution in VirtualBox, improvements to the system tray icons with HiDPI support, improvements to the Mint-Y theme on all editions, enablement of APT recommends by default for newly installed packages, Linux kernel 5.4 LTS and a revamped Gdebi tool to make installing of .deb packages easier.

        • Travel, CLIs, and sticky notes: Lilyana’s life as a Canonical UX designer

          Canonical is at the forefront of open source, which is a field I’ve always been interested in, and I feel that it’s a company that is trying to do something good for the world. A while ago, I spoke with a user who looks after a fairly large server lab at a London University. He told me that if MAAS – our Metal-as-a-Service solution – wasn’t open source and completely free to use, they wouldn’t be able to maintain that lab and continue their research. Canonical really is an enabler on a global scale, which I like.

        • Ubuntu 20.04 LTS vs. Linux 5.9 + Mesa 20.3-devel Radeon Graphics Performance

          Now that the default graphics driver stack of Ubuntu 20.04 LTS is a few months old, here is a look at the AMD Radeon Linux gaming performance of Ubuntu 20.04.1 LTS out-of-the-box compared to upgrading against Linux 5.9 Git and Mesa 20.3-devel for seeing if the performance advantages are worthwhile in making the leap to the newer RadeonSI OpenGL and RADV Vulkan drivers paired with the very latest kernel.

          Ubuntu 20.04.1 LTS is making use still of the Linux 5.4 kernel and Mesa 20.0.8. Meanwhile the very latest development code is Linux 5.9 and Mesa 20.3-devel, which is easily deployable on Ubuntu by means of the Mainline Kernel PPA and Oibaf PPA for those wanting a bleeding-edge graphics driver stack. Those two sources were used for fetching the newest Mesa and kernel for this round of testing on an AMD Ryzen 9 3950X desktop.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • Why we open sourced our security project

        When Nathaniel McCallum and I embarked on the project that is now called Enarx, we made one decision right at the beginning: the code for Enarx would be open source, a stance fully supported by our employer, Red Hat (see the standard disclaimer on my blog). All of it, and forever.

        That’s a decision that we’ve not regretted at any point, and it’s something we stand behind. As soon as we had enough code for a demo and were ready to show it, we created a repository on GitHub and made it public. There’s a very small exception, which is that there are some details of upcoming chip features that are shared with us under an NDA1 where publishing any code we might write for them would be a breach of the NDA. But where this applies (which is rarely), we are absolutely clear with the vendors that we intend to make the code open as soon as possible, and we lobby them to release details as early as they can (which may be earlier than they might prefer) so that more experts can look over both their designs and our code.

      • 10 Open Source/Commercial Control Panels For Virtual Machines (VM’s) Management

        Automatic creation and management of virtual machines is a topical issue for any company that provides VPS services. If you manage a large number of machines, a command line is definitely not the only tool you may need to perform various operations including client tasks, because such operations may be time-consuming.

        In order to simplify routine tasks of server administrators and users, various companies develop control panels for virtual machines management, including interface-based solutions.

      • 6 open source virtualization technologies to know in 2020

        Virtualization Tools, better known as Virt Tools, is a collection of six open source virtualization tools created by various contributors to make the virtualization world a better place.

        Some of the tools, like KVM and QEMU, might be familiar to Linux enthusiasts, but tools like libvirt and libguestfs are probably less so.

        In case you prefer to learn through watching videos than reading, I created a video version of this article, which you can access on YouTube.

      • 12 Open Source/Commercial Software for Data Center Infrastructure Management

        When a company grows its demand in computing resources grows as well. It works for regular companies as for providers, including those renting out dedicated servers. When the total number of racks exceeds 10 you’ll start facing issues.

        How to inventory servers and spares? How to maintain a data center in a good health, locating and fixing potential threats on time. How to find the rack with broken equipment? How to prepare physical machines to work? Carrying out these tasks manually will take too much time otherwise will require having a huge team of administrators in your IT-department.

      • Moving from YouTube to PeerTube

        I’m not rehosting everything I’ve posted on Vimeo or YouTube. I’m starting with all the videos that are featured on my website, so I can replace the embedded clips, and point them to my self-hosted PeerTube instance on battlepenguin.video. I’m keeping links to other video platforms in the video descriptions and in my own blog posts. I’m not changing any of the descriptions for existing videos, but newer uploads to YouTube will have a link to my PeerTube mirror.

      • Events

        • Join us for OSI’s first State of the Source Summit!

          We need open source now, more than ever. Now is the time to foster global connections, knowledge exchange and cross-border collaboration. Only by working together can we make bigger strides in solving some of the world’s most pressing problems. The mission of OSI has always been to advocate for the benefits of open source and to build bridges among different constituencies in the open source community. Our goal is to establish State of Source as a platform to bring together open source projects, communities and advocates from around the world.

      • Web Browsers

        • WebBundles Harmful to Content Blocking, Security Tools, and the Open Web (Standards Updates #2)

          Google is proposing a new standard called WebBundles. This standard allows websites to “bundle” resources together, and will make it impossible for browsers to reason about sub-resources by URL. This threatens to change the Web from a hyperlinked collection of resources (that can be audited, selectively fetched, or even replaced), to opaque all-or-nothing “blobs” (like PDFs or SWFs). Organizations, users, researchers and regulators who believe in an open, user-serving, transparent Web should oppose this standard.

          While we appreciate the problems the WebBundles and related proposals aim to solve,[1] we believe there are other, better ways of achieving the same ends without compromising the open, transparent, user-first nature of the Web. One potential alternative is to use signed commitments over independently-fetched subresources. These alternatives would fill a separate post, and some have already been shared with spec authors.

        • Chromium

          • Chrome 85 Is Clang PGO’ing Binaries For Better Performance But Linux Left Out

            As we frequently cover, making use of compiler PGO (Profile Guided Optimizations) can mean some sizable performance wins, assuming the generated usage profile is accurate. With the imminent Chrome 85 availability, Google is now making use of PGO with their default LLVM Clang compiler toolchain for squeezing out around 10% better performance.

            Going back four years ago is when Google engineers began experimenting with compiler PGO’ing for better browser performance. Back then they were enabling PGO on Windows builds carried out by the Microsoft MSVC compiler. But with LLVM Clang being Chrome’s default compiler, with Chrome 85 they are now making use of profile-guided optimizations there. It took some additional time but Google is comfortable enough now with Chrome’s PGO abilities.

        • Mozilla

          • Mozilla Firefox 80 Is Now Available for Download with VAAPI Acceleration on X11

            Mozilla Firefox 80 sounds like a massive update to the popular, open-source web browser, but, in fact, it’s not. I’ve been keeping an eye on the changes and haven’t noticed many major features since Mozilla Firefox 79.

            One of the coolest things in Firefox 80 that Linux users were probably expecting for some time now is support for FFmpeg/VAAPI acceleration for video playback on X11. The Wayland implementation was already in place since a previous release.

            The new feature is implemented as two options accessible via the about:config page, but it’s disabled by default. To enable it, you have to open a new tab, type about:config, and search for vaapi.

          • Firefox 81 Enters Beta with GPU Acceleration Enabled by Default on Linux

            Firefox 81 has been in the Nightly channel until today, but when a new stable Firefox version is released, the current Firefox version in Nighly moves to Beta, and the next version (Firefox 82 in this case) takes its place.

            Firefox 80 introduces a highly anticipated feature for Linux users, namely VA-API/FFmpeg hardware acceleration for video playback on systems using the traditional X11/X.Org Server display server.

          • Download Now: Firefox 80 Released with Optional GPU Acceleration on Linux
          • Firefox 80 Available With VA-API On X11, WebGL Parallel Shader Compile Support
          • 4 Ways to Install Firefox 80 in Ubuntu / LinuxMint / CentOS

            Firefox or Mozilla Firefox is a free and open-source web browser developed by the Mozilla foundation and generally utilized by thousands and thousands of individuals on their daily actions.

          • Introducing a scalable add-ons blocklist

            When we become aware of add-ons that go against user expectations or risk user privacy and security, we take steps to block them from running in Firefox using a mechanism called the add-ons blocklist. In Firefox 79, we revamped the blocklist to be more scalable in order to help keep users safe as the add-ons ecosystem continues to grow.

          • Fast, personalized and private by design on all platforms: introducing a new Firefox for Android experience

            Big news for mobile: as of today, Firefox for Android users in Europe will find an entirely redesigned interface and a fast and secure mobile browser that was overhauled down to the core. Users in North America will receive the update on August 27. Like we did with our “Firefox Quantum” desktop browser revamp, we’re calling this release “Firefox Daylight” as it marks a new beginning for our Android browser. Included with this new mobile experience are lots of innovative features, an improved user experience with new customization options, and some massive changes under the hood. And we couldn’t be more excited to share it.

          • Extensions in Firefox 80
          • [Enigmail] Upgrading info for Thunderbird 78.2

            Thunderbird 78.2 will be released soon. With that release, OpenPGP in Thunderbird is considered complete, and Enigmail users will start to be upgraded to Thunderbird 78. What does this mean for you: [...]

      • SaaS/Back End/Databases

        • Announcing ASql – async Sql for Qt

          When developing Qt applications be it Desktop, Mobile or Web that need to talk directly with a database the use of QtSql is usually the best choice, it has many database drivers, comes ready on their installer, but has a blocking API, which means a query will block you GUI thread.

          My Cutelyst Web projects also used QtSql, and for low traffic this isn’t a big issue because you are not freezing users GUI, but you are freezing the request queue instead.

          One of the Cutelyst apps I developed this year has a very high traffic, and a side effect of blocking came in play, I’ve about 3k TVs connected via websockets, once a TV connects it does an authentication query, it takes ~17ms, now when there is an event PostgreSQL notifies the application which does some 20 other queries a little more expensive (~30ms) and send them to the TVs, this event also blocks the Cutelyst process.

        • What is MariaDB? How Does MariaDB Work?

          MariaDB, a fork of MySQL is one of the most popular open-source SQL (Structured Query Language) relational databases management systems, made by the original developers of MySQL. It is designed for speed, reliability, and ease of use.

          It is the default MySQL type database system in the standard repositories of most if not all major Linux distributions including RHEL (RedHat Enterprise Linux) and Fedora Linux. It also works on Windows and macOS, and many other operating systems. It is used as a replacement for MySQL database system in the LAMP (Linux + Apache + MariaDB + PHP) and LEMP (Linux + Engine-X + MariaDB + PHP) stack.

      • CMS

        • WordPress claims Apple wants 30% of App Store profits even though its free

          A founding WordPress developer accused Apple of delaying the app’s updates and bug fixes in the App Store until WordPress agrees to fork over 30% of its domain name purchases to Apple.

          The problem? The WordPress app, which lets users create and manage websites for free, does not have any options for in-app purchases. Its desktop-based website, WordPress.com, however, sells domain names.

      • FSF

        • GNU Projects

          • Open-Source Software: Benefits And Legal Risks

            Under some expansive licenses – for example, the GNU Affero General Public License and the Open Software License – making the covered code available to others over a network may represent a distribution and trigger corresponding conditions. This is not the case for most licenses but still worth considering. Check your conditions.

          • Emacs 27.1 Adds Native JSON Parsing

            Emacs has been updated with native support for JSON parsing, built-in support for arbitrary-size integers, and text shaping with HarfBuzz.

            Emacs is the GNU project’s text editor. It can be extended and customized, and comes with an interpreter for Emacs Lisp. GNU Emacs was created in the 1980s by Richard Stallman as a free software alternative to the proprietary Gosling Emacs. It is based around a Lisp interpreter and has been under constant development for over 30 years. It was last updated in 2018.

          • GCC 11 Compiler Might Finally Enable DWARF 5 Debugging By Default

            For a number of years the GNU Compiler Collection has shipped experimental support for the DWARF 5 debugging data format while finally for next year’s GCC 11 release it might be deemed stable and used by default.

            The DWARF 5 debug data format was published back in 2017 to succeed the now decade old DWARF Version 4. With DWARF 5 there is support for better data compression, various performance improvements, better debug handling around optimized code, and other enhancements over DWARF4. DWARF 5 itself was in development for a half-decade and is detailed at DWARFstd.org.

      • Programming/Development

        • Bcrypt hashing library bug leaves Node.js applications open to brute-force attacks

          A recently patched truncation bug in the Node.js implementation of bcrypt resulted in inadequate encryption strength in certain use cases, according to a security advisory that was issued last week.

          Node.js bcrypt is a popular hashing library with thousands of dependent packages and more than 500,000 weekly downloads.

          The truncation bug caused very long inputs to be shortened to a few bytes, making the hashes extremely insecure. First reported in January, the vulnerability was patched in version 5.0.0 of the library.

        • Create a Keycloak Realm Using Admin REST API

          Keycloak provides a fully functional Admin REST API.

        • 6 Excellent Free Books to Learn Standard ML

          ML (“Meta Language”) is a general-purpose functional programming language. It has roots in Lisp, and has been characterized as “Lisp with types”. ML is a statically-scoped functional programming language like Scheme.

          It is known for its use of the polymorphic Hindley–Milner type system, which automatically assigns the types of most expressions without requiring explicit type annotations, and ensures type safety – there is a formal proof that a well-typed ML program does not cause runtime type errors.

          Standard ML is a functional programming language with a formal specification. It has static types to prevent a wide array of common errors, but also features powerful type inference, requiring few to no type declarations. It is easy to define new data types and structures, due to algebraic data types, and write well-abstracted, easy to reason about code due to its powerful module system and parametric polymorphism (generics).

        • GNU nano 5.2 was released

          Version 5.0 brought: direct access to the “Execute Command” prompt, the ability to place and jump to anchors, the –indicator option for showing a kind of scrollbar, nine new color names plus the “italic” attribute, and several major internal changes. Versions 5.1 and 5.2 then fixed the bugs that these changes had caused along the way.

        • Use a Nano Text Editor or Nano command in Linux Guide for Beginners

          Nano command in Linux is not just a command but it is a text editor. Nano text editor is used to create and edit files, included in most Linux distributions.

          It has a very simple interface, Which makes it a great choice for Linux beginners. If you are not pro in Linux then this tutorial is very useful.

          I will cover of nano text editor of nano command in Linux with appropriate images.

          Today, I am using CentOS 8, So I will show demonstration images on it.

        • Code is not documentation

          There’s no lack of opinions on the role of comments in a codebase. From undergraduate computer science classes to grumpy IRC discussions, opinions range from the Gospel of Ludicrous Commentiquette to considering the mere existence of comments a code smell.

          This is also an issue for systems engineers who are writing shell scripts, glue utilities, and thousands of lines of configuration management language. With tools like Pulumi, sysadmins are truly coding their infrastructure. So what is the role of code comments for sysadmins in this world? Is formalized documentation necessary if you can just read the Ansible and Terraform for a given environment?

          I contend that Infrastructure as Code is not documentation, and comments are still necessary. Comments explain the why, and documentation communicates the intended state.

        • Writing a Test Case Generator for a Programming Language
        • Perl/Raku

          • Thoughts on Marshalling and Unmarshalling in Zydeco

            Prompted by a recent question on PerlMonks, I’ve been thinking a bit recently on marshalling and unmarshalling Perl objects. If you’re happy using Data::Dumper’s format, then it’s trivial, but today we’re looking at JSON.

            If you just want to encode your objects as JSON, that’s very easy. Just add a TO_JSON method to all your classes. This can be done in a role to eliminate duplication, and in most cases can be as simple as:

            The difficulty comes in going the other direction.

          • 2020.34 Another Survey Time

            It’s that time of the year again! Time for the yearly Raku User Survey! Please fill in the survey so that the Raku Community can better tweak the Raku experience. Kudos to JJ Merelo for organizing this once again!

        • Python

          • Zato and Docker installation options – general overview

            Docker is a containerization platform that gained immense popularity in the IT world as a tool that can contain an application and help to deploy it to multiple environments.

          • Read, write, tell, seek, check stats, move, copy and delete a file in Python

            In this article, we will discuss how to perform different file operations in Python. We will keep this to-the-point.

          • Python mmap: Improved File I/O With Memory Mapping

            The Zen of Python has a lot of wisdom to offer. One especially useful idea is that “There should be one—and preferably only one—obvious way to do it.” Yet there are multiple ways to do most things in Python, and often for good reason. For example, there are multiple ways to read a file in Python, including the rarely used mmap module

            Python’s mmap provides memory-mapped file input and output (I/O). It allows you to take advantage of lower-level operating system functionality to read files as if they were one large string or array. This can provide significant performance improvements in code that requires a lot of file I/O.

          • EuroPython: EuroPython 2020: Merch Shop Discount

            We have setup another 10 day 15% discount period in our merch shop, from today until Sept 1.

          • PSF GSoC students blogs: Weekly Check-In: Week 13

            Today marked the official end of the coding period for Google Summer of Code 2020. On this day i would like to take the opportunity to thank all my mentors and Soham who have shown immense support during this time and helped me grow not only to be a better programmer but also to be a better team member. While the GSoC period ends, i will try my best to be active and contribute to the project and help it grow.

          • Flask Course Released!
          • PSF GSoC students blogs: The Final Week – Weekly Check-in 13
          • PSF GSoC students blogs: GSoC Weekly Check-In #7
          • PSF GSoC students blogs: GSoC 2020: Final Code Submission
          • PSF GSoC students blogs: Final Check-In
          • IPython reproducible builds

            Starting with IPython 7.16.1 (released in June 2020), you should be able to recreate the sdist (.tar.gz) and wheel (.whl), and get byte for byte identical result to the wheels published on PyPI. This is a critical step toward being able to trust your computing platforms, and a key component to improve efficiency of build and packaging platforms. It also potentially impacts fast conda environment creation for users. The following goes into some reasons for why you should care.

            Since the cornerstone paper Refections on trusting Trust, there have always been advocates of reproducible builds. In today’s highly interconnected world, and with the speed at which new software is released and deployed, being able to confirm the provenance of build artifacts and verify that the supply chain has not been affected by a malicious actor is often critical. To help in this endeavour, the movement of reproducible builds, attempts to push software toward a deterministic and reproducible build process.

          • Python Qt5 – Get item data from QTreeWidgets.

            In this example, I create a tree view with QTreeView with all folders tree.
            I add a context_menu with two options.
            One option is to get the data from item and is the name of the folder.
            The second option is to close the application.

          • A movie connection quiz in Python

            Not so long time ago, I was living and working in Graz, Austria, and in my free time, I would regularly take part in a Pub Quiz.

            Every Tuesday evening, me and my team the legendary Dudes, would gather for more than four hours among 40 other teams in the Office Pub, hang on Nick’s the quizmaster words, competing with the other teams for the top 5 places that gave money prizes, and at the same time chasing the 500 euros special blockbuster round prize, which eventually led us arguing with the quizmaster about his notoriously tricky questions, that every time drove us mad.

          • Creating Python bindings for Qt libraries

            Python is a handy all-purpose language. It can make you very productive within a short time period and has powerful expressiveness for data manipulation and processing. Yet, it’s not a great fit for lots of tasks. C++ is far better at achieving anything that needs bare metal performance, deterministic timing, or low-level access. Thankfully, some great tools are available that make it relatively easy to create Python bindings that let Python functions call into C++ code.

            In this blog, we’re going to explain the process of creating Python bindings for your Qt library using one of our own open source Qt libraries as an example, KDDockWidgets. You can use the same process to create Python bindings for plain C++ (non-Qt) libraries, too. Once you see how straightforward the process is, you’ll want to add Python accessibility for all of your existing libraries. Consequently, a whole new community of programmers will be able to use them. And if you want a working example to download, you can get KDDockWidgets off GitHub.

          • How to turn an ordinary gzip archive into a database

            This article demonstrates how specially crafted gzip archives can be used as a database like storage. It also introduces a Python package and explains how it works.

          • Django Redirects

            When you build web applications in Python using the Django framework, you’ll likely need to redirect the user from one URL to another. This course covers what you need to know about redirecting in Django. All the way from the low-level details of the HTTP protocol to the high-level way of dealing with them in Django.

          • Top 10 Trending Python Projects On GitHub: 2020
          • Python for loop example – solving drone path

            In this example, we will use the Python for loop with the range function to show the drone’s path by lighting up lamps on the path of the drone.

            You will be given two strings: lamps and drone. lamps represents a row of lamps, currently off, each represented by x. When these lamps are on, they should be represented by o.

            The drone string represents the position of the drone T and its flight path up until this point =. The drone always flies left to right, and always begins at the start of the row of lamps. Anywhere the drone has flown, including its current position, will result in the lamp at that position switching on.

          • Working In The Code Mines: Mining Software Repositories With PyDriller

            A large portion of the software industry has standardized on Git as the version control sytem of choice. But have you thought about all of the information that you are generating with your branches, commits, and code changes? Davide Spadini created the PyDriller framework to simplify the work of mining software repositories to perform research on the technical and social aspects of software engineering. In this episode he shares some of the insights that you can gain by exploring the history of your code, the complexities of building a framework to interact with Git, and some of the interesting ways that PyDriller can be used to inform your own development practices.

          • What are the major differences between Python and R for data science?

            The majority of deep learning research is done in Python, so tools such as Keras and PyTorch have “Python-first” development. You can learn about these topics in Introduction to Deep Learning in Keras and Introduction to Deep Learning in PyTorch.

            Another area where Python has an edge over R is in deploying models to other pieces of software. Python is a general purpose programming language, so if you write an application in Python, the process of including your Python-based model is seamless. We cover deploying models in Designing Machine Learning Workflows in Python and Building Data Engineering Pipelines in Python.

          • PSF GSoC students blogs: From console.log to GSoC
          • PSF GSoC students blogs: Final Blog GSoC 2020
          • PSF GSoC students blogs: Weekly Check-In #7 (16th Aug – 23rd Aug)
          • PSF GSoC students blogs: Google Summer of Code Final Work Product
          • PSF GSoC students blogs: Weekly Check-in #12
          • PSF GSoC students blogs: Week 12 Check-in
    • Standards/Consortia

  • Leftovers

    • RIP, Justin Townes Earle – Harlem River Blues
    • Homeless at home: Inside Mexico’s neglected displacement crisis

      Since the United States severely restricted immigration in March, Mexico has seen an uptick in asylum claims from people fleeing gang violence in Central America, but a far greater number of its own citizens have been forced from their homes by similar brutality and are flying under the humanitarian radar.

      The UN’s refugee agency, UNHCR, has registered nearly 50,000 refugees in Mexico, but this is only a fraction of the 345,000 Mexicans internally displaced by conflict, according to the Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre.

      With no government support and authorities sometimes complicit in criminal activities, many Mexicans have decided to follow migrants and asylum seekers from El Salvador, Honduras, and Guatemala on their route north to the US border, with increasingly uncertain outcomes.

    • Science

      • LHC creates matter from light

        If you try to replicate this photon-colliding experiment at home by crossing the beams of two laser pointers, you won’t be able to create new, massive particles. Instead, you’ll see the two beams combine to form an even brighter beam of light.

        “If you go back and look at Maxwell’s equations for classical electromagnetism, you’ll see that two colliding waves sum up to a bigger wave,” says Simone Pagan Griso, a researcher at the US Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. “We only see these two phenomena recently observed by ATLAS when we put together Maxwell’s equations with special relativity and quantum mechanics in the so-called theory of quantum electrodynamics.”

        Inside CERN’s accelerator complex, protons are accelerated close to the speed of light. Their normally rounded forms squish along the direction of motion as special relativity supersedes the classical laws of motion for processes taking place at the LHC. The two incoming protons see each other as compressed pancakes accompanied by an equally squeezed electromagnetic field (protons are charged, and all charged particles have an electromagnetic field). The energy of the LHC combined with the length contraction boosts the strength of the protons’ electromagnetic fields by a factor of 7500.

        When two protons graze each other, their squished electromagnetic fields intersect. These fields skip the classical “amplify” etiquette that applies at low energies and instead follow the rules outlined by quantum electrodynamics. Through these new laws, the two fields can merge and become the “E” in E=mc².

        “If you read the equation E=mc² from right to left, you’ll see that a small amount of mass produces a huge amount of energy because of the c² constant, which is the speed of light squared,” says Alessandro Tricoli, a researcher at Brookhaven National Laboratory—the US headquarters for the ATLAS experiment, which receives funding from DOE’s Office of Science. “But if you look at the formula the other way around, you’ll see that you need to start with a huge amount of energy to produce even a tiny amount of mass.”

    • Education

      • The demise of the second-hand bookshop

        I have written before about my own long history of book collecting, and occasional dealing. After I finish writing this piece, I shall be heading off to the excellent and hugely knowledgeable rare book department in Blackwells with a couple of recent acquisitions, and see if they might be interested in buying them. I hope so; my own shelves are long since full and my wife tends to look askance at me whenever I walk into a second-hand bookshop, because she knows that the chances of my leaving empty-handed are next to zero. But these shops are a lot sparser in number than they once were, and that seems to me to be a true national loss.

        Decades, even centuries, of history and tradition are disappearing because of market forces, and the pandemic that we are all suffering through has sped matters up. So, although I would offer two hearty cheers for the Oxfam bookshops, please try and visit your local book dealer, if you’re still lucky enough to have one. Otherwise, this most eccentric and likeable of trades shows every sign of being annihilated forever, save for the most rarefied of dealers, and this would be a great pity, especially if it were to take place more or less through carelessness, rather than design.

      • Back to School With the Internet Archive

        As students around the world resume their education, millions of learners are facing uncertainty about school schedules, class formats, and online study. As a nonprofit dedicated to Universal Access to All Knowledge, the Internet Archive provides a number of free resources for parents, students, teachers, and librarians around the world—check out these tools for remote learning!

    • Hardware

      • BlackBerry Will Launch 5G Phone With QWERTY Keypad On Android Next Year

        The partnership was announced by OnwardMobility’s CEO Peter Franklin on Wednesday. Part of the announcement hinted at the arrival of the next lineup of smartphones from the company “in the first half of 2021.” This early availability will be limited to North America and Europe.

        As per the agreement, BlackBerry has granted OnwardMobility the right to “develop, engineer, and bring to market” a BlackBerry 5G mobile device. With the collaboration, the new BlackBerry partner plans to cater to the “need for a secure, feature-rich 5G-ready phone” in the international markets.

      • Meeting Increasing Performance Requirements in Embedded Applications with Scalable Multicore Processors

        Superscalar implementations are a good tradeoff in terms of performance gain versus the increased area and power. Moving from a single-issue architecture to dual-issue can increase RISC performance by as much as 40% with limited increases in area and power. This is a good tradeoff for an embedded processor. Moving to tri-issue or quad-issue will further increase area and power but offer lower increases in performance. Performance at any cost is never the goal of an embedded processor.

        Adding Out-of-Order (OoO) execution can increase performance for embedded applications without increasing clock speeds. Typically, a CPU that supports full OoO is overkill for embedded and a limited approach will give an optimal performance increase without blowing up the size of the processor. Limited OoO is commonly used on high-end embedded processors.

    • Health/Nutrition

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • How to turn an old laptop into a Chromebook

          You might not even need to spend anything if you have an older laptop already lying about. Installing the equivalent of Chrome OS onto aged hardware takes less than an hour’s worth of elbow grease, and the final result often feels snappier than today’s dirt-cheap Chromebooks.

          Here’s how to do it.

        • Safari vulnerability disclosed after Apple pushes fix to Spring 2021

          A vulnerability in Apple’s Web Share API, used to share Safari links through third-party apps, has been publicly disclosed after Apple said it wouldn’t release a fix until Spring 2021.

          The Web Share API allows users to share links to elements, such as photos, from the Safari browser through third-party applications, including any email client. A flaw found in this integration, however, could allow a hacker to configure a malicious site to attach system files to an email, in addition to the link being shared.

        • Xcode Apps with Malware May Be e Innocently Added to Mac App Store
        • Apple Defeats Epic’s Effort to Restore Fortnite on App Store

          But U.S. District Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers’s ruling late Monday wasn’t a total loss for Epic, as she granted the company’s request for a temporary order blocking Apple from limiting the game developer’s ability to provide Unreal Engine, key graphics technology, for other apps.

        • Audible Introduces All-You-Can-Listen Subscription Plan

          The Amazon-owned company has added a new all-you-can-listen offering, Audible Plus. It is also revamping its existing subscription plans, renaming it Audible Premium Plus and giving members access to the all-you-can-listen library in addition their one credit per month.

        • Germany investigates Porsche over suspected petrol engine manipulation

          Bild am Sonntag weekly had reported that the investigation was focused on engines developed between 2008 and 2013, including those of the Panamera and 911 models, with suspected illegal changes to hardware and software that could affect exhaust systems and engine components.

          The paper also said that apart from discussions with employees, evidence was also being sought in the minutes of company meetings and hundreds of thousands of emails.

        • Tim Cook has now led Apple for nine years

          In 2009, when then-CEO Steve Jobs had to take an extended leave of absence to try to address pancreatic cancer, Cook presided over the Q1 2009 financial call.

        • [Old] Neil Young says 16-inch MacBook Pro is ‘a piece of crap’ with ‘Fisher-Price quality’ audio

          It’s a piece of crap. Are you kidding? That’s Fisher-Price quality. That’s like Captain Kangaroo, your new engineer. A MacBook Pro? What are you talking about? You can’t get anything out of that thing. The only way you can get it out is if you put it in. And if you put it in, you can’t get it out because the DAC is no good in the MacBook Pro. So you have to use an external DAC and do a bunch of stuff to make up for the problems that the MacBook Pro has because they’re not aimed at quality. They’re aimed at consumerism.

        • [Old] Apple apologizes to people having problems with the MacBook’s controversial keyboard

          The admission is the latest sign of issues with Apple’s keyboard design, which has been widely criticized, and it indicates that the newest Mac laptop models are affected by the same problems as previous versions.

        • Security

          • Security updates for Tuesday

            Security updates have been issued by Debian (icingaweb2 and mongodb), Fedora (nss), Gentoo (chromium and shadow), Mageia (ghostscript, kdepim-runtime, kmail-account-wizard, luajit, mysql-connector-python, and python-ipaddress), openSUSE (python, python3, and webkit2gtk3), Red Hat (kernel and kernel-alt), Slackware (firefox), SUSE (squid3), and Ubuntu (bind9, ghostscript, net-snmp, postgresql-10, postgresql-12, postgresql-9.5, and sane-backends).

          • Security updates for Monday

            Security updates have been issued by Debian (firejail, icingaweb2, inetutils, libjackson-json-java, proftpd-dfsg, python2.7, software-properties, and sqlite3), Fedora (chrony), Mageia (chrony), openSUSE (dovecot23, postgresql12, and python), Slackware (bind), SUSE (gettext-runtime and SUSE Manager Server 3.2), and Ubuntu (bind9).

          • Consumer Reports Study Shows Many ‘Smart’ Doorbells Are Dumb, Lack Basic Security

            Like most internet of broken things products, we’ve noted how “smart” devices quite often aren’t all that smart. More than a few times we’ve written about smart lock consumers getting locked out of their own homes without much recourse. Other times we’ve noted how the devices simply aren’t that secure, with one study finding that 12 of 16 smart locks they tested could be relatively easily hacked thanks to flimsy security standards, something that’s the primary feature of many internet of broken things devices.

          • Never Run ‘python’ In Your Downloads Folder

            As the category of attacks with the name “DLL Planting” indicates, there are many ways that browsers (and sometimes other software) can be tricked into putting files with arbitrary filenames into the Downloads folder, without user interaction.

            Browsers are starting to take this class of vulnerability more seriously, and adding various mitigations to avoid allowing sites to surreptitiously drop files in your downloads folder when you visit them.1

            Even with mitigations though, it will be hard to stamp this out entirely: for example, the Content-Disposition HTTP header’s filename* parameter exists entirely to allow the the site to choose the filename that it downloads to.

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

            • Enough with the Linux security FUD

              Like all operating systems, Linux isn’t perfectly secure. Nothing is. As security guru, Bruce Schneider said, “Security is a process, not a product.” It’s just that, generally speaking, Linux is more secure than its competitors. You couldn’t tell that from recent headlines which harp on how insecure Linux is. But, if you take a closer look, you’ll find most — not all, but most — of these stories are bogus.

              For instance, Boothole sounded downright scary. You could get root access on any system! Oh no! Look again. The group which discovered it comes right out and says an attacker needs admin access in order for their exploit to do its dirty work.

              Friends, if someone has root access to your system, you already have real trouble. Remember what I said about Linux not being perfect? Here’s an example. The initial problem was real, albeit only really dangerous to an already hacked system. But several Linux distributors botched the initial fix so their systems wouldn’t boot. That’s bad.

            • Lemon_Duck cryptominer targets cloud apps & Linux

              The Lemon Duck cryptominer is one of the more advanced types of cryptojacker payloads we’ve seen. Its creators continuously update the code with new threat vectors and obfuscation techniques to evade detection, and the miner itself is “fileless,” meaning it remains memory resident and leaves no trace of itself on the victim’s filesystem.

              In this post, I’ve shared information on the new attack vectors employed by this campaign, and some follow-ups to the rest vectors I discussed in my previous post on this subject.

            • Apache Warns of Serious Struts Vulnerability

              Apache is warning developers and users about a serious vulnerability in several versions of its Struts framework that can lead to remote code execution in some circumstances.
              The bug affects versions 2.0.0 through 2.5.20 and lies in the way that Struts performs the evaluation of user input in tag attributes. The problem arises when Struts is forced to do a double evaluation of Object-Graph Navigation Language (OGNL) attributes, something that an attacker can cause the framework to do with a specially crafted request. The vulnerability (CVE-2019-0230) is rated important, but the pervasiveness of the Struts framework and the potential to execute arbitrary code make it an attractive target for attackers.

              “The Apache Struts frameworks, when forced, performs double evaluation of attributes’ values assigned to certain tags attributes such as id so it is possible to pass in a value that will be evaluated again when a tag’s attributes will be rendered. With a carefully crafted request, this can lead to Remote Code Execution,” the Apache advisory says.

          • Privacy/Surveillance

    • Defence/Aggression

    • Environment

    • Finance

      • Socialist or Capitalist: What is China’s Model, Exactly?

        Near the end of his life Lenin gave a speech that referred to the USSR as a transitional society. He explained that socialists had taken state power and could thereby take the post-revolutionary economy—which he labeled “state capitalism”—further. The socialists’ state could achieve transition to a genuinely post-capitalist economy. He never spelled out exactly what that meant, but he clearly saw that transition as the revolution’s goal. In any event, conditions inside and outside the USSR effectively halted further transition. Stalin’s USSR came to define socialism as state power in socialists’ hands overseeing an economy that mixed private and state enterprises with market and state planning mechanisms of distribution. The state capitalism originally conceived as a transitional stage en route to a socialism different from and beyond state capitalism came instead to define socialism. The transition had become the end.*

      • Black Workers Face Higher Joblessness, But Are Less Likely to Get Unemployment

        Record numbers of Americans are receiving unemployment insurance during the pandemic. That’s because of the enormous scale of jobs lost — but also because Congress greatly expanded the number of workers eligible for benefits. For the first time, thanks to the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program, part-timers, independent contractors and gig workers qualify for unemployment payments. Black workers are overrepresented in these nontraditional positions, which in the past has contributed to making them less likely to receive unemployment payments than other groups.

      • Black Workers Are More Likely to Be Unemployed but Less Likely to Get Unemployment Benefits

        Record numbers of Americans are receiving unemployment insurance during the pandemic. That’s because of the enormous scale of jobs lost — but also because Congress greatly expanded the number of workers eligible for benefits. For the first time, thanks to the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program, part-timers, independent contractors and gig workers qualify for unemployment payments. Black workers are overrepresented in these nontraditional positions, which in the past has contributed to making them less likely to receive unemployment payments than other groups.

        Yet despite the expansion of eligibility, a smaller percentage of unemployed Black workers are receiving unemployment benefits than white workers during the pandemic, according to national survey data from NORC at the University of Chicago: 13% of jobless Black workers received such payments between April and June, compared with 22% for Hispanic workers and 24% for white workers.

      • The Post Office Crisis to Come

        Call your members of Congress at (202) 224-3121 and demand your representatives take these urgent steps to save the USPS and protect the election. The stakes couldn’t be higher.

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • Episode 103 – Kamala Harris with Robin Andersen – Along The Line Podcast

        On today’s episode, Nicholas Baham II (Dr. Dreadlocks), Janice Domingo, and Nolan Higdon host Fordam University’s Robin Andersen.

      • Thanks, Obama: You Lie

        Record-Setting Absurdity and Mendacity

      • Mail-In Voting Does Not Cause Fraud, but Judges Are Buying the GOP’s Argument That It Does

        Faulty legal decisions have tremendous power to impact how Americans vote this November, regardless of the strength of the COVID-19 virus. 

      • Operation Legend in Albuquerque is Not What Anyone Says It Is

        President Trump announced an expansion to Operation Legend in a July 22 White House press conference, calling it a planned “surge of federal law enforcement into American communities plagued by violent crime. . . One of them is Albuquerque, New Mexico.” Attorney General William Barr said that thirty-five agents from multiple federal agencies would be sent to Albuquerque to assist in serious gun and drug investigations. “These are street agents,” explained Barr, who will be “working shoulder to shoulder with our state and local colleagues.”

      • Not the president’s prerogative Kremlin spokesman says Putin didn’t hold any international talks about sending Navalny abroad for treatment — but that’s not true

        Russian President Vladimir Putin didn’t participate in any talks or decision-making on transporting opposition politician Alexey Navalny from Omsk to Berlin for treatment, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told journalists on August 24. Here’s how the exchange went:

      • Navalny will survive ‘poison attack’, Bizilj tells Bild

        Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny, who is being treated in a German hospital after what his allies say was a poison attack, will survive, Jaka Bizilj, founder of the Cinema for Peace Foundation, told mass tabloid Bild.

      • Berlin hospital confirms that opposition leader Alexey Navalny was poisoned

        The Charite Hospital in Berlin, where Russian opposition leader Alexey Navalny is currently being treated, has confirmed that he was poisoned. The specific substance used to poison him has yet to be identified.

        According to a statement from the hospital, clinical evidence points to poisoning with a “cholinesterase inhibitor” — a chemical that prevents the breakdown of neurotransmitters linked to the nervous system.

        [...]

        Navalny remains in an induced coma and is still in serious condition, but is no longer in life-threatening danger, the hospital said. Navalny is currently being treated with atropine — a medication used to treat nerve agents.

        Doctors added that while the consequences of Navalny’s illness remain unclear, there could be long-term damage, in particular to his nervous system.

        The German doctors are in communication with Navalny’s wife, Yulia Navalnaya.

      • Germany says ‘fairly likely’ Navalny was poisoned

        The German government announced on Monday, August 24, that it believes it is “fairly likely” that opposition politician Alexey Navalny was poisoned, spokesman Steffen Seibert said at a press conference.

      • ‘We saved his life’ The Russian doctors who treated Navalny on his diagnosis, the decision to send him abroad, and more

        On the morning of August 22, Russian opposition politician Alexey Navalny was medevaced to the Charité Hospital in Berlin. Prior to that, he spent 44 hours at an emergency hospital in the Siberian City of Omsk, after becoming violently ill on board a flight from Tomsk to Moscow. Navalny’s family members and coworkers immediately assumed he had been poisoned, and suspected the doctors in Omsk of trying to cover it up — particularly, due to the fact that people who appeared to be plain clothes officers showed up at the hospital, and doctors spent more than 24 hours refusing to release Navalny for transport to Germany for further treatment. On Monday, August 24, the hospital’s chief physician, Alexander Murakhovsky, and his deputy in the medical department, Anatoly Kalinichenko, held a press conference. Here’s how they answered journalists’ questions about Navalny’s condition, his diagnosis, the decision to move him, and the men in plain clothes. 

      • Omsk health officials maintain that Navalny tested negative for poison

        The Omsk Health Ministry maintains that during his hospitalization in Russia, opposition politician Alexey Navalny tested negative for a wide range of synthetic substances, including inhibitors, reports RIA Novosti. 

      • German Chancellor Angela Merkel calls for open investigation into Navalny’s poisoning

        In a joint statement, Germany’s Chancellor, Angela Merkel, and Foreign Minister, Heiko Maas, have called on the Russian authorities to conduct an open investigation into the poisoning of Russian opposition leader, Alexey Navalny.

      • Cholinesterase inhibitors 101: What you need to know about the type of poison used on Navalny
      • “The Damage Has Been Done”: Historian Says Trump’s Postmaster Has Undermined Faith in 2020 Election

        The battle over the future of the United States Postal Service is intensifying, with a record number of mail-in ballots expected to be cast in the 2020 presidential election, and Democrats and Republicans locked in a fight over the future of the agency. Historian Philip Rubio, who teaches at North Carolina A&T State University and worked as a mail carrier for two decades before that, says decades of political interference have caused a “manufactured crisis” at the U.S. Postal Service. “The damage has been done,” Rubio says of Postmaster General Louis DeJoy’s changes. “I think he’s discouraged a lot of voters who were hoping to vote by mail to vote safely and securely because of the pandemic.”

      • American Deceptionalism

        Lying in State: Why Presidents Lie—and Why Trump Is Worse

      • Media Praise Biden’s ‘Centrist Coalition’ for Steering Clear of ‘Progressive Demands’

        “Abortions for some, miniature American flags for others.”

      • QAnon: Trump Embraces Far-Right “Deep State” Conspiracy Theory Deemed a Threat by FBI

        As the Republican National Convention gets underway this week, we look at how the party has openly embraced the far-right conspiracy theory known as QAnon, which claims, among other things, that President Trump is secretly at war with a deep state cabal of Satan-worshiping elites who run a child sex trafficking operation. Trump has retweeted messages from supporters of the conspiracy theory and recently spoke publicly about it for the first time, describing QAnon believers as “people that love our country.” “At this point, it’s reached full spread, that we really can’t ignore it anymore,” says Angelo Carusone, president of Media Matters, who notes 20 “full QAnon adherents” are on the ballot in November.

      • The Party of Whatever the Hell Trump Says

        The betrayal of the Republican Party began long ago, as party leaders compromised away the last of the basic premises on which it was founded.

      • Denmark suspends foreign spy agency chief, 2 others

        Denmark’s government said Monday that the head of the country’s foreign intelligence service has been ‘œrelieved of duty for the time being’ after an independent watchdog heavily criticized the spy agency for deliberately withholding information and violating Danish laws.

      • Journalism’s Gates keepers

        NPR’s funding from Gates “was not a factor in why or how we did the story,” reporter Pam Fessler says, adding that her reporting went beyond the voices quoted in her article. The story, nevertheless, is one of hundreds NPR has reported about the Gates Foundation or the work it funds, including myriad favorable pieces written from the perspective of Gates or its grantees.

        And that speaks to a larger trend—and ethical issue—with billionaire philanthropists’ bankrolling the news. The Broad Foundation, whose philanthropic agenda includes promoting charter schools, at one point funded part of the LA Times’ reporting on education. Charles Koch has made charitable donations to journalistic institutions such as the Poynter Institute, as well as to news outlets such as the Daily Caller, that support his conservative politics. And the Rockefeller Foundation funds Vox’s Future Perfect, a reporting project that examines the world “through the lens of effective altruism”—often looking at philanthropy.

        As philanthropists increasingly fill in the funding gaps at news organizations—a role that is almost certain to expand in the media downturn following the coronavirus pandemic—an underexamined worry is how this will affect the ways newsrooms report on their benefactors. Nowhere does this concern loom larger than with the Gates Foundation, a leading donor to newsrooms and a frequent subject of favorable news coverage.

        I recently examined nearly twenty thousand charitable grants the Gates Foundation had made through the end of June and found more than $250 million going toward journalism. Recipients included news operations like the BBC, NBC, Al Jazeera, ProPublica, National Journal, The Guardian, Univision, Medium, the Financial Times, The Atlantic, the Texas Tribune, Gannett, Washington Monthly, Le Monde, and the Center for Investigative Reporting; charitable organizations affiliated with news outlets, like BBC Media Action and the New York Times’ Neediest Cases Fund; media companies such as Participant, whose documentary Waiting for “Superman” supports Gates’s agenda on charter schools; journalistic organizations such as the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting, the National Press Foundation, and the International Center for Journalists; and a variety of other groups creating news content or working on journalism, such as the Leo Burnett Company, an ad agency that Gates commissioned to create a “news site” to promote the success of aid groups. In some cases, recipients say they distributed part of the funding as subgrants to other journalistic organizations—which makes it difficult to see the full picture of Gates’s funding into the fourth estate.

        [...]

        As CJR was finalizing its fact check of this article, the Gates Foundation offered a more pointed response: “Recipients of foundation journalism grants have been and continue to be some of the most respected journalism outlets in the world.… The line of questioning for this story implies that these organizations have compromised their integrity and independence by reporting on global health, development, and education with foundation funding. We strongly dispute this notion.”

        The foundation’s response also volunteered other ties it has to the news media, including “participating in dozens of conferences, such as the Perugia Journalism Festival, the Global Editors Network, or the World Conference of Science Journalism,” as well as “help[ing] build capacity through the likes of the Innovation in Development Reporting fund.”

        The full scope of Gates’s giving to the news media remains unknown because the foundation only publicly discloses money awarded through charitable grants, not through contracts. In response to questions, Gates only disclosed one contract—Vox’s—but did describe how some of this contract money is spent: producing sponsored content, and occasionally funding “non-media nonprofit entities to support efforts such as journalist trainings, media convenings, and attendance at events.”

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • Facebook blocks access to group criticizing Thailand king after government threat

        The group, called “Royalist Marketplace,” was created in April by academic Pavin Chachavalpongpun, a critic of the Thai government and its king, Maha Vajiralongkorn, who now lives in Japan. However, on Monday, the group was restricted based on a legal request from Thailand’s Ministry of Digital Economy and Society. The group was dedicated to discussing Vajiralongkorn and it had amassed more than 1 million members in the past four months, the report states.

      • Facebook blocks group critical of Thai monarchy amid government pressure

        Facebook blocked access within Thailand to a group with 1 million members that has criticised the country’s king, but said it was planning a legal challenge to the government’s demand that it block the group.

        The move comes amid near daily youth-led protests against the government led by the former military junta chief and unprecedented calls for reforms of the monarchy.

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • Brew Dog, Aldi Get Into Brand Battle With Good Nature, Not Cease And Desists

        It’s been quite a brief but impactful journey for Brewdog, a self-styled “punk brewery.” The history starts with Brewdog first going after a pub in the UK over trademarks, getting a fair amount of backlash for it, and then having Brewdog ownership not only rescinding all the threats, but inviting the pub to collaborate on a gin together. As part of that whole episode, Brewdog promised to “do better” when it came to IP enforcement and even covered the pub’s legal costs. It was a nice story.

      • How Yale Became the Latest Target in the Plot to Kill Affirmative Action

        The Department of Justice has not filed a single case to defend the Voting Rights Act during the Trump era. Other Republican administrations have mounted at least token defenses of the law, but Donald Trump’s DOJ has not found even one instance of voter discrimination or suppression that it is willing to bring to federal court. And it has all but stopped conducting investigations into biased policing and greatly reduced the number of investigations into hate crimes and disability rights cases.

      • Board of Islamic Relief Worldwide resigns over antisemitism allegations

        The mass resignation comes just a month after Heshmat Khalifa resigned as director of IRW, following The Times’ disclosure of antisemitic social media posts in which he called Israelis the “grandchildren of monkeys and pigs,” and Egypt’s president a “pimp son of the Jews.” He also lauded Hamas as “the purest resistance movement.”

        Khalifa’s place on the board was taken by another IRW trustee, Almoutaz Tayara, who is also the chairman of Islamic Relief Germany, and the charity promised it was “reviewing our processes for screening trustees’ and senior executives’ social media posts to ensure that this will not happen again”.

        However, posts have now come to light on Tayara’s social media accounts displaying similarly antisemitic views. According to The Times, Tayara described Hamas’s leaders as “great men” who answered the “divine and holy call of the Muslim Brotherhood.” Another showed Barack Obama wearing a tie emblazoned with the Star of David.

      • Video shows police in Kenosha, Wisconsin, shooting Black man in back

        “That don’t make sense that you treat somebody like that, who’s not armed. He ain’t throw no punch or nothing,” Booker said.

      • Three years after Rohingya exodus, mismatched expectations of justice

        Nurul Alom’s mosque is a tarpaulin-covered bamboo shelter in the middle of Bangladesh’s sprawling refugee camps.

        As the imam for this part of the camps, he leads other refugees in a daily plea: “Every day in every prayer, we ask Allah for justice,” he said.

        Nurul is among more than 700,000 Rohingya pushed from their homes in neighbouring Myanmar’s Rakhine State by a military purge in August 2017.

        Three years later, little has changed: Nearly one million refugees live in Bangladesh’s fragile refugee settlements; Myanmar has stripped most Rohingya of basic rights and citizenship; and Myanmar authorities haven’t been held to account for what the Rohingya community believes is a genocide.

        The wheels of international justice are turning, however. Three separate courts around the globe are examining atrocity crimes committed against the Rohingya. People in the camps follow the news eagerly – a December hearing in a case accusing Myanmar of genocide at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in The Hague saw people hovering over smartphones and crammed into camp teashops to follow the proceedings from afar.

      • The Rohingya

        In August 2017, Myanmar’s military launched a crackdown that pushed out hundreds of thousands of members of the minority Rohingya community from their homes in northern Rakhine State. Today, roughly 900,000 Rohingya live across the border in southern Bangladesh, in cramped refugee camps where basic needs often overwhelm stretched resources.

        The crisis has shifted from a short-term response to a protracted emergency. Conditions in the camps have worsened as humanitarian services are scaled back during the coronavirus pandemic. Government restrictions on refugees and aid groups have grown, along with grievances among local communities on the margins of a massive aid operation.

      • The Road to Abolition: Honoring Dr. Angela Davis

        WE’VE GOT BIG NEWS! Join us during the digital 2020 #Law4thePeople Convention as we honor scholar, activist, and author Dr. Angela Davis with the 2020 Arthur Kinoy Award!

        For decades, Dr. Davis has worked to advance the mission of human rights over property interests through an intersectional approach to movements for global solidarity, prison abolition, and anti-carceral feminism.

        Watch her acceptance speech as she gives her thoughts on the current political moment, and the struggles ahead.

      • The Gramsci of the Brazilian Right

        Despite Carvalho’s fervent support of Benjamin Netanyahu (a strongman after his own heart), he has trafficked over the years in many of the classic anti-Semitic notions of the far right, as well as more novel fabrications. Adding to the conspiracy theory about the Bilderberg Group and the Trilateral Commission, Carvalho updates the canard of the Elders of Zion, claiming there is a Consórcio—a consortium—that rules the world. This consortium, he writes, is a dynastic “organization of large-scale capitalists and international bankers committed to establishing a worldwide socialist dictatorship.” He describes George Soros as “a Jew who helped the Nazis seize the property of other Jews,” who is guilty of “financing every anti-American and anti-Israeli movement in the world.”
        Elsewhere, Carvalho attacks the alleged nexus of big money, the left, and the Jews with more subtlety. The Frankfurt School, he claims, “was not only founded by a capitalist billionaire Felix Weyl” [sic] but was “always led by people from stylish families, like Max Horkheimer, Theodor Adorno, Leo Löwenthal, and their kind.” This description of the birth of the Frankfurt School did not keep Carvalho from alleging, in an interview with a right-wing American website, that it was founded by the Communist International as a means of weakening Western society.
        This conflation of billionaires, Jews, and left-wing thinkers is hardly a secondary feature of Carvalho’s worldview. He holds the “cultural Marxism” it represents chiefly responsible for the moral rot of Brazilian and Western society. In this respect Carvalho is not an innovator. The far right has inveighed against “cultural Marxism” for decades, leveling complaints that are now resonating in the lower depths of the global movement Carvalho represents in Brazil. Anders Breivik, the Norwegian mass murderer, included “cultural Marxists” among his enemies in his 1,500-page manifesto, discovered after his killing spree in 2011.
        But, for Carvalho, no group was more influential, or evil, than the Frankfurt School. Although he describes the writings of Adorno and Benjamin as “indecipherable,” he still asserts that since the 1960s the Frankfurt School has exerted a greater influence “over the national left than classical Marxism-Leninism” thanks to its propagation in universities. According to Carvalho, members of the Frankfurt School sought to prove that “all the values, symbols, beliefs, and millenarian cultural property” were “a fraud and a dirty trick.” Under their influence, romantic scenes in films were “replaced by explicit sex.” Music was no longer melodic and harmonic. Even women’s makeup now “had to suggest that they were dead or at least had AIDS.”
        The political scientist Miguel Lago told me that Carvalho has even alleged that the correlation of cigarettes and lung cancer is an invention of “cultural Marxists.” The campaign to spread awareness of this seemingly unimpeachable fact represents, for Carvalho, the left testing its power to impose its will: if the left could convince the world of the relationship between cigarettes and cancer, then everything else was possible. For Carvalho, then, smoking in public is an act of political defiance.
        “Cultural Marxism” describes a perceived cultural hegemony, not a political force. The real enemy, for Carvalho, is communism. A member of the Brazilian Communist Party from 1966 to 1968, he claims to have left after he “witnessed acts [he] considered sadistic.” Carvalho’s hatred of communist ideology is beyond measure, rivaled only by his joy in attacking it. Writing recently of his experience as a young communist and his subsequent, lifelong career as an anticommunist warrior, he wrote: “For someone who has helped to build a lie in youth, you cannot fathom the pleasure derived from destroying it in maturity, brick by brick, with the sadistic meticulousness of the wrecker.”
        Communism in Brazil has a long and tortured history, but it has no more influence in the country today than it does elsewhere in the world. Yet Carvalho writes about the communist menace as if the downfall of the Soviet Union and its allies had never occurred. In a radio interview in 2000 he claimed that “we are on the brink of a communist seizure of power in a revolutionary process.” Earlier this year, with Bolsonaro in power and the opposition momentarily cowed, Carvalho continued to issue warnings that “the greatest frustration of a communist is not to have risen sufficiently in life to be able to have all rightists killed.”

        At its core, Carvalho’s entire project is an effort to apply the Gramscian notion of hegemony to Brazilian society in order to cleanse it of “cultural Marxism” and all its diabolic influence. Carvalho “is obsessed by Gramsci,” observes Salles. “He wants to create a reactionary hegemony in the cultural realm, which explains his success in putting his people in strategic positions related to education and the arts.”

    • Monopolies

      • Mark Zuckerberg pushed anti-TikTok message to officials, lawmakers: report

        The Journal reported that Zuckerberg discussed TikTok with Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) before the government began its national security investigation into the app owned by the China-based ByteDance.

        Zuckerberg also made the case to President Trump that the rise of Chinese internet companies poses a huge threat to American businesses during a private dinner in October, the Journal reported.

      • Brew Dog, Aldi Get Into Brand Battle With Good Nature, Not Cease And Desists

        It’s been quite a brief but impactful journey for Brewdog, a self-styled “punk brewery.” The history starts with Brewdog first going after a pub in the UK over trademarks, getting a fair amount of backlash for it, and then having Brewdog ownership not only rescinding all the threats, but inviting the pub to collaborate on a gin together. As part of that whole episode, Brewdog promised to “do better” when it came to IP enforcement and even covered the pub’s legal costs. It was a nice story.

      • When free-riding someone else’s brand might be a win-win situation

        “Free rider” is one of those terms that seems objectionable, a fancy way of saying that someone is “getting something for nothing.” We can thank the economists, who observed circumstances in which people benefit from a public (think of a road) or communal (think of the trout population in the local river) good, but do not pay for it. In the view of economists, free riding is a market failure. While free riding originated from a concern about the manner of use of public goods, it can also apply in non-public settings, including IP.

        This Kat thought about the free rider problem when he took notice of a radio advertisement that has recently been broadcast on leading channels in Israel immediately after the on-the-hour news summary. The radio advertisement goes something like this.

        A telephone conversation takes place, in which a woman tells her male listener that his son is once again “tearing up” books. Because in Hebrew, the words for “read” and “tear” sound identical, the father responds, “my son, what a genius.” The woman replies, “I don’t think that you quite understand.” The advertisement then goes on to observe that things that seem alike may in fact be different: case in point, buying non-genuine replacement parts for Toyota vehicles.

        [...]

        For sure, there is a bit of a free ride of that message at Toyota’s expense. But Toyota may also enjoy an additional benefit in being seen as an industry good citizen in warning car owners about commercial behavior that may ultimately be harmful, especially if the non-genuine replacement part is also of inferior quality. Here, Toyota offers a clarion call in support of public safely.

      • Patents

        • UK patent exams update: Major changes to invigilation arrangements for candidates taking the exams in the office

          The change to the arrangements seems to follow from the decision of the PEB to drop the use of third party proctoring software (IPKat: UK patent exams update: Proctoring system will no-longer be used, but exams still to go ahead with “simpler” invigilation system). The FAQs indicate that the latest changes were made on the 21st August, although it seems they only became available online a few days after this. Either way, there is very little time for candidates and firms to finalise and confirm arrangements (e.g. to appoint a designated contact) before the 31st August cut-off for designating your exam venue. The PEB have also now taken the instructions to candidates off the website (they are “currently being updated”). It is not clear when we should expect these to re-appear.

        • Patent case: Fesoterodinhydrogenfumarat, Germany

          In this decision, the German Federal Court of Justice deals with a number of practical issues concerning service inventions by German employees. In particular, it ruled on what must be contained in the employee’s inventor’s report and whether an assignment given by the employee in order to enable the employer to file for a US patent is valid if the employer has not effectively claimed the service invention under German law.

        • Doubling Up: Federal Circuit Mischaracterizes both its own Precedent and the Lower Court Ruling [Ed: The patent maximalists now attack the courts/judges]

          I am struggling somewhat to wrap my head around the Federal Circuit’s recent claim preclusion decision in Sowinski v. California Air Resources Bd. (CARB) (Fed. Cir. 2020). I believe that it turns out to be a really poor decision — probably prompted by poor lawyering in the first-place. In particular, the court reaches its result here only after mischaracterizing both (1) the lower court holding and (2) its own prior precedent.

          Claim preclusion always involves (at least) two lawsuits. Here, Sawinski’s first lawsuit against CARB was dismissed “with prejudice” for lack of subject-matter-jurisdiction based on sovereign immunity (12(b)(1)) and also for failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted (12(b)(6)). Sowinski later re-filed his lawsuit — but focusing on subsequent acts of alleged infringement that occurred after the prior case ended. The district court dismissed on res judicata and the Federal Circuit here affirms.

          [...]
          The defendants first removed the case to Federal Court and then moved for dismissal for lack of subject matter jurisdiction and failure to state a claim. One minor note about that filing is that Kamala Harris represented CARB in her role as California AG.

        • Is It Time for Federal Circuit to Rethink Its Subject Matter Eligibility Jurisprudence? [Ed: And yet more court bashing for simply tossing out fake patents that the USPTO should never have issued in the first place (but did so anyway, in pursuit of money and increased relevance)]

          The Federal Circuit’s inchoate attempts to fashion a consistent, rational application of the Supreme Court’s recent subject matter eligibility jurisprudence, while understandably Herculean in view of the difficulties inherent in that precedent, raises questions regarding the value of having a “specialized” Circuit Court for the purpose of harmonizing U.S. patent law (see “The Proper Role of the Federal Circuit”; “In Defense of the Federal Circuit: A Response to Judge Wood”). Such sentiments are understandable, particularly in view of the dissension amongst the Federal Circuit judges themselves (see, e.g., “Ariosa Diagnostics, Inc. v. Sequenom, Inc.” and “Athena Diagnostics v. Mayo Collab. Servs.”). The most recent example of the fractured nature of the Court on this issue is American Axle & Mfg. v. Neapco Holdings LLC. The opinions of the Circuit Judges on the question of granting American Axle’s request for rehearing en banc is illustrative that these issues will not disappear soon without Supreme Court intervention. (Whether such intervention would clarify or render the standard even more opaque is itself an open question.)

          [...]

          Judge Newman’s dissent from denial of rehearing en banc, joined by Judges Moore, O’Malley, Reyna, and Stoll illustrates (albeit not as forcefully as Judge Moore’s dissent from the panel decision) the state of the Court’s doctrinally incoherent precedent. (Respectfully, Judge Reyna’s presence on this dissent speaks volumes about the serious questions raised by the panel majority’s decision, if only to the extent that rehearing en banc is warranted.) Judge Newman’s views and concerns regarding the Court’s subject matter eligibility decisions echo her dissent in Athena; she states “[t]he court’s rulings on patent eligibility have become so diverse and unpredictable as to have a serious effect on the innovation incentive in all fields of technology” and her concern remains that “[t]he victim is not only this inventor of this now-copied improvement in driveshafts for automotive vehicles; the victims are the national interest in an innovative industrial economy, and the public interest in the fruits of technological advance.”

        • CAFC: IPR Cancellation Is not a 5th Amendment Taking [Ed: Asking for compensation after receiving fake patents from the USPTO (and PTAB spotted the errors)]

          Christy, Inc. asserts that the United States owes it just compensation for the Patent Trial and Appeal Board’s cancellation of claims 1–18 of Christy’s patent, U.S. Patent No. 7,082,640, in two inter partes reviews. Because the cancellation of a patent in an inter partes review does not grant the patentee any compensable claim against the United States, we affirm the Court of Federal Claims’s dismissal of the case for failure to state a claim.

        • Software Patents

          • Courts Shouldn’t Stifle Patent Troll Victims’ Speech

            In the U.S., we don’t expect or allow government officials – including judges–to be speech police. Courts are allowed to restrain speech only in the rarest circumstances, subject to strict limitations. So we were troubled to learn that a judge in Missouri has issued an order stifling the speech of a small company that’s chosen to speak out about a patent troll lawsuit that was filed against it.

            Mycroft AI, a company with nine employees that makes open-source voice technology, published a blog post on February 5 describing how it had been threatened by a patent troll called Voice Tech Corporation. Like all patent trolls, Voice Tech doesn’t offer any services or products. It simply owns patents, which it acquired through more than a decade of one-party argumentation with the U.S. Patent Office.  

      • Copyrights

        • Popular torrenting site YTS provides IP address logs to copyright lawyers to extort you with

          The second largest torrent site in the world, YTS, is actively working with copyright infringement lawyers to extort cash from torrent downloaders. This isn’t the only historical instance of a torrent site storing IP addresses to be used against torrenters but it is a confirmation of a disturbing new precedent which may stand on shaky legal ground. In the past, torrent sites like The Pirate Bay (TPB) have stored IP addresses and even given them up as a way to pinpoint original uploaders of certain torrents. There have also been instances where YTS has given up logs in court for ongoing cases against downloaders. The most recent revelation, though, is that YTS is also giving these logs to the Culpepper law firm in Hawaii so that Culpepper can send “Pay-Up-Or-Else Threats” to those that have used YTS, before a case is even filed.

        • Rick Ross wins legal beef with 50 Cent: the Second Circuit holds that 50 Cent’s Publicity Right claim is preempted by the Copyright Act

          This Kat is pleased with the outcome in this case; 50 Cent’s claims would effectively grant him an exclusionary stake of the copyright in In Da Club. In certain respects, 50 Cent’s claims fall within an assertion of moral rights – moral rights, however, are not explicitly recognized under US law. As a result, there are interesting parallels between this case and Gilliam v. American Broadcasting Company, which concerned ABC’s editing of Monty Python.

          In that case, the moral right against mutilation of an author’s work was adjudicated by analog through a claim under the Lanham Act. By editing the work in manner that mutilated the content (i.e., removing punchlines) and then broadcasting it as Monty Python, ABC passed off the improperly-edited piece (a good) under the Monty Python mark; this serves as the basis a claim under the Lanham Act.

          The distinction between Gilliam and this case lies in the presentation of the subsequent work. Rick Ross released a mixtape where rapped over songs he liked from a variety of artists; he indicated the artists behind the original works of authorship that he used, not to pass off his remixes as works of the original artists but to give those original artists credit for their works. Nothing about ABC’s presentation indicated that they were showing a derivative work based upon Monty Python; rather, ABC portrayed their edit as the original work of Monty Python.

        • After Going After YTS, Law Firm Obtains Subpoena To Discover Registrant of 1337x.to

          The law firm obtaining user information from torrent site YTS has a new target. Via a DMCA subpoena, Culpepper IP hopes to compel a domain registry and Cloudflare to hand over information allowing it to identify the person who registered the 1337x.to torrent site domain and the uploader of a specific five-year-old torrent.

        • Nintendo Copyright Infringement Threats Shut Down Switch Payload Injector

          Nintendo has targeted the developer of an open-source Switch payload injector with a cease and desist notice. Faced with copyright infringement threats, the DragonInjector developer decided to shut the project down. While he doesn’t agree with the allegations, an expensive legal battle is not an option.

        • Steve Bannon, Former Trump Adviser, Allegedly Stole Funds for Private Border Wall Plagued by Erosion

          President Trump’s former campaign CEO and White House adviser, Steve Bannon, is his sixth close associate to face criminal charges by the Department of Justice. Bannon and three others are accused of defrauding donors to We Build the Wall, a private effort to build a wall along the Mexican border, and redirecting funds to fund their own lavish lifestyles. We follow the money and look at how an investigation last month showed a private wall project the funds were used for is already eroding and could be in danger of falling into the river. We speak with Perla Trevizo and Lexi Churchill, two reporters at the ProPublica-Texas Tribune investigative unit.

        • Border Town Links Fight Against Trump’s Wall to the Black Lives Matter Movement

          Under a sweltering August sun, just blocks from the U.S.-Mexico border, four local activists busily stage-direct the movements of about 100 residents of Laredo, Texas, who are lined up, fists raised, along the street in front of the city’s George P. Kazen federal courthouse.

        • Federal Prosecutors Have Steve Bannon’s Murky Nonprofit in Their Sights

          Near the end of a lengthy indictment detailing fraud allegations against Stephen Bannon, former Donald Trump campaign CEO and chief strategist and his associates, federal prosecutors reveal that they intend to seize the assets of a murky nonprofit organization Bannon launched in 2017 to promote “economic nationalism.”

          The group is Citizens of the American Republic, a California-based nonprofit that serves as a platform for Bannon’s films and podcasts that promote Trump’s ideology. Throughout the 24-page indictment, the group appears to be referenced as “Non-Profit-1” in a scheme in which Bannon and his partners were allegedly looting a crowdsourced charity, We Build the Wall, for personal gain. The indictment never outright states that “Non-Profit-1” is Citizens of the American Republic, but it describes it as an “organization founded by [Bannon] with the stated purpose of promoting economic nationalism and American sovereignty,” which closely matches the nonprofit’s own stated aims.

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    GitHub is proving to be more of a censorship site than a code-sharing site; with the GitHub takeover Microsoft became a 'censorship police' or force of occupation against its ideological competition; just weeks after the YouTube-DL debacle and further take-downs seeking to 'protect' broken DRM schemes (by banning code) we can see that Microsoft isn't defending developers at all; it's just protecting the interests of MPA, RIAA and other Biden circles from the interests of the general population, which sometimes circumvents perfectly circumventable 'DRM' schemes



  13. IRC Proceedings: Saturday, November 28, 2020

    IRC logs for Saturday, November 28, 2020



  14. Help Make Techrights (and Other Technology-Centric Sites) More Robust to Censorship by Setting Up More IPFS Nodes

    We’re trying to improve the site’s availability (ensuring it can never be offline) and make it more censorship-resistant; people who adopt IPFS can make that happen while tackling the “bloated Web” and “centralised Internet” issues — all at the same time



  15. Microsoft Loves Linux and Android Apps Running on Windows Instead of GNU/Linux and Android Devices

    Microsoft loves Linux, they say; but as Microsoft's former VP James Allchin put it: "If you're going to kill someone there isn't much reason to get all worked up about it and angry -- you just pull the trigger [...] We need to smile at Novell while we pull the trigger."



  16. Links 28/11/2020: RenderDoc 1.11, GNOME 40 Scrolling Horizontally

    Links for the day



  17. Nine Documents About the Financial Siege Against EPO Staff (Past, Present, and Future)

    Today we release dozens of pages of letters and documents (internal to Europe's second-largest institution); they all focus on the betrayal and skulduggery, crushing staff in spite of what was originally promised (and what workers actually signed up for)



  18. EPO Senior Management (Cabal) “Essentially Deaf to the Proposals From Staff Representatives.”

    Representatives of EPO staff feel like the management of the EPO is "deaf" and uncaring; there's hardly any meaningful progress (or none whatsoever) when it comes to truly honest dialogue with real participation



  19. EPO Management, Led by António Campinos, Attempted to Stifle or Prevent Staff From Being Surveyed

    Battistelli's cabal, which covers up a lot of fraud and corruption, is attempting to prevent the staff from expressing an opinion (for insiders and perhaps outsiders to assess) because things are really bad and autocratic measures are seen as necessary to keep the lid on issues/abuses



  20. The European Patent Office's Central Staff Committee: Office Cannot Recruit Fit-for-Purpose Patent Examiners Anymore

    One third of EPO recruits are 'locals' (Germans), 0.2% are Swiss, 1% Scandinavian; the EPO as an employer became unattractive and it's unable to attract the staff it needs (as was projected and planned when the EPC was agreed upon)



  21. IRC Proceedings: Friday, November 27, 2020

    IRC logs for Friday, November 27, 2020



  22. Links 27/11/2020: Jolla is 7, Diffoscope 162, MNT Reform Production

    Links for the day



  23. The Time Coronavirus Helped EPO Management Prevent Staff From Protesting and Going on Strike (March 26th)

    "In view of the spreading of the New Corona Virus, the planned General Assemblies have to be cancelled," the Staff Union of the European Patent Office (SUEPO) wrote in the wake of the crisis across Europe back in March (weeks ahead of a planned strike)



  24. Guarding Your Privacy With E2EE: Primer

    "As with all security, there is assumed risk no matter how careful you are. There are no security guarantees but that doesn't mean you shouldn't try."



  25. Links 27/11/2020: Systemd 247 and Cockpit 233

    Links for the day



  26. A Free Speech Deficit Harms Software Freedom

    Free software and Software Freedom cannot possibly succeed if we keep accepting or even just tolerating systematic censorship of opinionated people in our community; failing to speak out on this matter (for fear of supposedly offending someone, risking expulsion) is part of the problem — complicity by passivity



  27. Perception of Difficulty

    New poem by figosdev



  28. IRC Proceedings: Thursday, November 26, 2020

    IRC logs for Thursday, November 26, 2020



  29. Cartoon: After Gambling With Workers' Savings the EPO Can Do Real Estate

    New EPO cartoon from EPO insiders (the one on the right certainly looks a lot like António Campinos and the one on the left can be his EUIPO ‘import’ or Benoît Battistelli‘s INPI ‘import’)



  30. Free as in Freedom Should Not be Associated With Cost

    It's important to remind people that so-called 'free' services (Clown Computing, centralised spaces that 'farm' their so-called 'users') aren't really free; we need to advocate freedom or free-as-in-freedom alternatives


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