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09.16.20

Links 17/9/2020: GNOME 3.38 and LabPlot 2.8

Posted in News Roundup at 10:17 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Desktop/Laptop

      • The new TUXEDO Book XUX7 is an absolute monster desktop-replacement laptop

        While today we had Slimbook offer up good value with their affordable Slimbook Essential, on the complete opposite end we have Tuxedo Computers with their monster TUXEDO Book XUX7.

        This, Tuxedo said, is a “high-end desktop replacement”. It’s big and bulky, with a high price tag and the performance to back it up with ridiculous specifications. It’s their new flagship gaming laptop coming in at 43.5 mm high and weighing 3.8 kg so it’s certainly not light but not overly heavy – equivalent to a few bags of sugar over in the UK. This puts it at about the same weight as the System76 Bonobo WS. In fact, the shell even looks the same.

      • TUXEDO Book XUX7 Launches as Behemoth of a Linux Gaming Laptop

        TUXEDO Book XUX7 is a monster of a Linux laptop, powered by 10th Gen “Comet Lake” Intel Core desktop processors up to Intel Core i9-10900K, which features 10 cores and 20 threads, as well as up to 5.3 GHz clock speeds and a nominal power consumption of 125 watts.

        Being a gaming machine, the TUXEDO Book XUX7 laptop provides Linux gamers with maximum graphics performance on-the-go thanks to either the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 Refresh, NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 SUPER or NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 SUPER graphics cards, which feature 8GB GDDR6 VRAM.

      • The Slimbook Essential is new affordable Linux laptop line with two models

        When a lot of companies reveal their new Linux hardware, it often ends up being towards the high end. Slimbook have come along to help remedy that with their Slimbook Essential line.

        Slimbook said in an email to us today: “A new computer that may establish a milestone in our trademark history, not for being the best Linux ultrabook, because some already claim that the PRO X holds that title, but for being the most affordable Linux ultrabook for everyone.

        During our 5 years of service, we have released several high performance ultrabooks targeting professional environments with relatively moderate / high prices, but never as low as 499€ like the new Essential. With this new addition, we aim to widen our client base and reach customers that look for the best price / quality ratio.”

      • The Slimbook Essential is a Surprisingly Affordable Linux Laptop

        The suitably-named Slimbook Essential packs a fair bit of power for a low starting price of just €499. This makes it the cheapest Linux laptop this company has produced to date.

        In this post we dive in to the Slimbook Essential specs, price, and release date. We also ask if the device is a better buy than pricer portable, like the phenomenally powerful Slimbok Pro X.

      • Slimbook Essential is a Linux laptop with 10th-gen Intel Core for € 499 and up

        Spanish PC maker Slimbook’s latest Linux laptops are thin, light, and affordable models powered by 10th-gen Intel Core processors.

        The Slimbook Essential 14 ships with a choice of Intel Ice Lake processors, while the Slimbook Essential 15 sports Intel Come Lake-U processor options. Both feature full HD displays, compact designs, and support for a variety of GNU/Linux distributions, which can be pre-installed for free.

      • Working From Home with a New-to-Me ThinkPad

        Like so many, but not nearly enough, I’ve been work-from-home since mid-March.

        My daily driver is a Dell desktop with Ubuntu 16.04 (the GNOME spin), but it’s in the living room. It’s not the easiest place to work during the day, in that it’s high-traffic. My two-year-old daughter is way too fascinated by video calls! I took to working in the bedroom on my fairly old T420i ThinkPad for chunks of the day. It’s probably around 10 years old, but it’s rock solid, even though it’s 32-bit architecture and 8GB RAM. I ran Linux Mint Cinnamon on it and while it wasn’t blazingly fast, it handled my daily work without any issues. That is, until a Zoom update broke Zoom. Without Zoom, the computer was much less useful. And unfortunately, finding support for Zoom on a 32-bit Linux system isn’t as easy as it sounds.

        [...]

        I wrote this to remind everyone that while there’s a shortage of new laptops, there are lots of good used options, and Linux breathes new life into older hardware. As the people on the ThinkPad reddit are quick to point out, the more you’re able to fix up a ThinkPad yourself, the more favorable the pricing. I needed something quick and operational, but I’m comfortable with the specs I got for the price.

        I’m a ThinkPad nerd. I love them (this is my third) and have had nothing but great experiences with them. But this isn’t about ThinkPads. It’s about affordability and sustainability. My story is a reminder that even if you’re not looking for a fixer-upper, you can still find something used and reliable, that runs Linux, at a good price.

    • Server

      • Nginx vs. Apache: When to Use One or the Other

        The two most popular web servers in the world are Apache and Nginx, with over 60% of all websites worldwide being run by these two web servers. Both Apache and Nginx offer excellent performance and similar features. However, they differ in terms of their architecture, security, and performance.

        Because both of these servers are pretty great, it can be hard to choose between them. It’s important to make the right decision since each web server has its own pros and cons.

        In this tutorial, we will introduce Apache and Nginx, compare both servers and help you to decide which one is best for your website.

      • Build multi-architecture container images using Kubernetes

        Recently I’ve added some Raspberry Pi 4 nodes to the Kubernetes cluster I’m running at home.

        The overall support of ARM inside of the container ecosystem improved a lot over the last years with more container images made available for the armv7 and the arm64 architectures.

        But what about my own container images? I’m running some homemade containerized applications on top of this cluster and I would like to have them scheduled both on the x64_64 nodes and on the ARM ones.

        There are many ways to build ARM container images. You can go from something as simple, and tedious, as performing manual builds on a real/emulated ARM machines or you can do something more structured like using this GitHub Action, relying on something like the Open Build Service,…

        My personal desire was to leverage my mixed Kubernetes cluster and perform the image building right on top of it.

        Implementing this design has been a great learning experience, something IMHO worth to be shared with others. The journey has been too long to fit into a single blog post; I’ll split my story into multiple posts.

        Our journey begins with the challenge of building a container image from within a container.

    • Audiocasts/Shows

      • FLOSS Weekly 596: Self-Sovereign Identity – Evernym & Verifiable Credentials

        Self-sovereign identity, and the importance of verifiable credentials with Richard Esplin a product manager from the company Evernym. Historically we have expressed our identity through a piece of paper, driver’s license, and documents given by an authority but, now in the digital age, we have companies holding the credentials, like Facebook & Google. Richard Esplin, an open-source advocate, talks with Doc Searls and Shawn Powers about the importance of taking control of your identity. Richard Esplin works for Evernym, which is the world’s leading platform for verifiable credentials.

      • Fern Vim: It’s Been Fun Netrw, But I Have A Better File Tree

        I’ve been using Netrw since the day I stopped using Nerdtree and it’s been ok after dealing with a few hacky problems but it’s always been sort of lacking but recently I discovered another file explorer called fern vim and you know what it does everything that I could possibly want it to do plus it’s dead simple to extend.

      • Are Snaps Bad?

        How to Remove Snaps 02:47 Why are Snaps Bad

      • Unfettered Freedom, Ep. 7 – Nvidia Buys ARM, GNOME CoC, Linux Exploits, Free vs Proprietary

        Unfettered Freedom is a video podcast that focuses on news and topics about GNU/Linux, free software and open source software. On this freedom-packed episode:

      • Destination Linux 191: GNOME 3.38 & Our Must Have Linux Apps!

        The DL Triforce brings to your our Must Have Linux Apps, the applications and software we can’t live without. We discuss the latest big GNOME release with GNOME 3.38. In the Gaming section this week we reveal our new DLN Xonotic Server and show you a way to get some table-top gaming back in action on Linux. Later in the show we’ll give you our popular tips/tricks and software picks. Plus so much more, coming up right now on Destination Linux.

      • Neckbeards Get Shaved | Coder Radio 379

        Is it a Post-Open Source world now that the mega-clouds are here? We share our thoughts on this renewed idea.

        Plus, our reactions to Nvidia buying Arm, your feedback, and much more.

      • Full Circle Magazine: Full Circle Weekly News #182

        Groovy Gorilla Is In Feature Freeze

        https://lists.ubuntu.com/archives/ubuntu-devel-announce/2020-August/001279.html

        Ubuntu Beginning the Switch to NFTables in Groovy Gorilla

        https://lists.ubuntu.com/archives/ubuntu-devel/2020-August/041142.html

        IP Fire 2.25 Core Update 148 Released with Location-based Firewall

        https://blog.ipfire.org/post/ipfire-2-25-core-update-148-released

        Lenovo to Ship Fedora on its Thinkpads

        Raspberry Pi OS 2020-08-20 Out

        https://www.raspberrypi.org/downloads/raspberry-pi-os/

        Q4OS 3.12, Centaurus Out

        https://q4os.org/blog.html

        Linux from Scratch and Beyond LFS 10 Out

        http://lists.linuxfromscratch.org/pipermail/lfs-support/2020-September/053845.html

        Linux Mint’s Warpinator via Flatpak Out

        https://flathub.org/apps/details/org.x.Warpinator

        SuperTuxKart 1.2 Out

        https://blog.supertuxkart.net/2020/08/supertuxkart-12-release.html

        Htop 3.0 Out

        https://groups.io/g/htop/topic/htop_3_0_0_released/76441967

        Credits:
        Ubuntu “Complete” sound: Canonical

    • Kernel Space

      • Microsoft: These patches aim to make Linux run as root partition on Hyper-V
      • Microsoft finally announces Azure Files support for NFS v4.1 protocol – MSPoweruser
      • Microsoft’s Latest Patches Could Allow Linux Distros To Runs As Root Partition On Hyper-V Allowing Direct Access To Hardware
      • Graphics Stack

        • X.Org Developers Conference 2020 Starts With Many Interesting Talks

          XDC2020 as the annual gathering of X.Org developers was due to take place in Poland this year but the COVID-19 pandemic has caused it to be yet another conference happening exclusively online. Day 1 of XDC2020 has just begun.

          XDC2020 is organized by Intel’s graphics engineering team in Gdansk, Poland. The virtual event is leveraging existing Linux Plumbers Conference infrastructure as well as YouTube for video streaming. Intel is the platinum sponsor of XDC2020 while Google and NVIDIA are the gold sponsors.

        • After Reaching Vulkan 1.0 Conformance, V3DV Raspberry Pi Vulkan To Pursue Mainline Mesa

          The V3DV driver for providing Vulkan support on the Raspberry Pi 4 is very close to Vulkan 1.0 conformance and once squaring that away along with other lingering bits they will be pursuing the upstreaming of this driver within Mesa.

          Upstreaming the V3DV driver in Mesa will be a huge help for those wanting to see this Vulkan driver readily available on the many Linux distributions shipping Raspberry Pi spins and sticking to just upstream/mainline code. V3DV is very close to Vulkan 1.0 conformance with Quake III Vulkan, vkOpenArena, Vulkan-powered emulators, and various demos now running well on the Raspberry Pi 4 with this driver developed by Igalia under cooperation with the Raspberry Pi Foundation. Thus once upstream in 2021 we are looking at Linux distributions shipping this driver with their upstream Mesa.

        • XDC 2020 conference is today – Vulkan Ray Tracing and Vulkan for Raspberry Pi 4

          Today the X.Org Developers Conference (XDC 2020) begins and there’s a couple of interesting talks worth checking out, especially if you like to follow OpenGL and Vulkan. What is the event? The X.Org Developers Conference is the event for developers working on all things open graphics related including in the Linux kernel, Mesa, DRM, Wayland, X11 and so on.

          Due to the ongoing COVID19 pandemic, it’s going to be quite a streamlined virtual event spread across three days from September 16 to September 18. There’s still going to be quite a few talks and lots of them sound really interesting.

        • NVIDIA GeForce NOW on Linux can run without user agent spoofing in a browser

          Looks like NVIDIA might be ready for the next push in cloud gaming with their GeForce NOW service, as it’s even easier to run it on Linux. What is it? GeForce NOW allows you to play games you already digitally own on other platforms, on whatever device you have available. It hooks in with Steam, EA / Origin, Epic Games and more.

          Back in August, NVIDIA officially opened it up to Chromebooks by letting people playing with it in the browser. For everyone else, it needed you to spoof your user agent string to act like it was a Chromebook. It was a small thing but still a minor nuisance. That now, appears to no longer be needed.

    • Instructionals/Technical

    • Games

      • Left 4 Dead 2 – The Last Stand releases September 24

        Left 4 Dead 2, the nearly 11 year old shooter from Valve now has a set release date of September 24 for the huge update made along with a community of modders.

        A collaborative effort from both Valve and over 30 different people from the community to improve on an already fantastic game. This update has been in progress for a long time now, and it will be available free to all owners of Left 4 Dead 2. Not only that, it will get a long free weekend when it goes live.

      • Beamdog just gave Neverwinter Nights: Enhanced Edition a big graphical boost

        Beamdog have released the latest development updates to Neverwinter Nights: Enhanced Edition for everyone, and it comes with some wonderful upgrades.

        As we reported on before during the Beta, several noteworthy graphical boosts have been added to it. These can really change and improve the RPG experience found here. Beamdog are absolutely comitted to making it the best it can be, with this update being the biggest since the Enhanced Edition release back in 2018.

      • Gamescope Continues Advancing As Wayland/Vulkan Compositor Backed By Valve

        Valve developer Pierre-Loup Griffais just provided an update during XDC2020 on the Gamescope compositor work as an evolution of Valve’s prior “steamcompmgr” X11 window manager used by SteamOS.

        Pierre-Loup Griffais has been working on Gamescope for a number of months now as a Wayland-based, Vulkan-minded compositor for use in potential new SteamOS releases but it’s also beginning to work well for desktop use-cases. Gamescope is much more efficient than steamcompmgr thanks to Wayland efficiencies, aims to remove excess copies on present, and for any compositing it makes use of Vulkan async compute. Gamescope in part leverages the WLROOTS Wayland library. XWayland is supported by Gamescope for games lacking native Wayland support.

      • Slime Rancher hits 3 million copies sold, gets a big discount

        Slime Rancher is quite possibly one of the sweetest games around, and it’s clearly something a lot of people enjoy.

        It’s now another indie team success story too, as Monomi Park have announced that Slime Rancher has officially blown passed 3 million sales. A game about exploring, sucking up slimes with your ‘vacpack’ and selling their shiny poop for profit. That’s a slightly amusing way to explain it but it’s pretty accurate. You capture the slimes, put them into your nicely built fenced-off areas, feed them and wait for the shiny Plorts to pop out of them to collect.

      • Dicey Dungeons, the innovative and great fun deck-builder has a huge update out

        Modding also gets a big upgrade here too. While Dicey Dungeons already had a modding API, and plenty of mods available, the 1.9 update delivers “a massive number of features that modders have been requesting for a while”. This means future mods can do a lot more and hopefully be more compatible with each other. Some great mods were also pointed out like Floorplan to add more floor layouts and Pyromancer which adds a whole new character. Perhaps you want bigger though? There’s also Cauldron Mania which adds whole new episodes and equipment.

        Additionally, over 200 issues reported have been closed on the bug tracker so it should be better than ever. Some new content even made it in with 9 new remix rules for the Bonus Round episodes.

      • Everafter Falls looks like another absolutely charming casual crafting adventure

        Another game coming to Linux that mixes in cute graphics, a casual theme, plenty of crafting and something about eating cards? Everafter Falls looks like another absolutely charming casual crafting adventure.

      • Free to play strategy Epicinium releases October 12 with a climate change gameplay twist

        Fast turn-based strategy where the map changes along with the climate, Epicinium could be interesting with its fresh take on tactical battles.

        War, war never changes. Except when it does and the land around you is ruined. That’s what Epicinium will have a focus on when it releases free on October 12. The idea is that you need to be seriously careful to balance firepower against the enemy, and damage to the environment. There’s a ‘global warming’ system that will also include a multitude of different weather effects adding to gameplay depth and variety.

        [...]

        You win by being careful. Combat will destroy grass, crops, trees and so on. Building industry will accelerate the global warming system and more environmental destruction will happen as battles go on. Players get a score based on how much of nature is left at the end of the war. While it’s turn-based it does have a simultaneous turn system so no one should be left waiting around too.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • LabPlot 2.8 Released

          In 2.8 we made it easier to access many online resources that provide data sets for educational purposes. These data sets cover a variety of different areas, such as physics, statistics, medicine, etc., and are usually organized in collections.

        • Asus Vivobook – Kubuntu Bionic to Focal upgrade

          A year and a half ago, I was quite pleased with my Vivobook upgrade, and I thought it had been a sensible move. Plasma seemed to offer a good, pleasing work environment. Fast forward to now, my impression is less glamorous. The look & feel and performance are solid, but there are too many bugs and issues to make me feel happy or comfortable.

          This ties into how I’ve been feeling about the Linux desktop in general these past few years. At the end of the day, yes, my laptop works, and it’s got a stylish enough operating system with a plenty of goodies in there for casual and even advanced use. But then, why do I need to have this flicker thingie on a laptop with Intel graphics? It’s worked fabulously for seven odd years. Or why do I need to fret about Samba in 2020, when every other desktop environment – and certainly Windows – does streaming perfectly fine? I don’t know, maybe I should stop writing about Linux and just do pottery instead or something. Anyway, the upgrade worked, but the top layer shows cracks in the facade, the slow and steady decline of care, love, passion and fun in the Tuxy desktop. But will I keep the distro installed? Not sure really. Really not sure. The end.

      • GNOME Desktop/GTK

        • The GNOME Extensions Rebooted Initiative

          With the advent of the new release of GNOME 3.38 – we want to start focusing next cycle on improving the GNOME Extensions experience.

          I’m using my blog for now – but we will have a extensions blog where we can start chatting about what’s going on in this important space.

          [...]

          To appreciate and expand on the details of this project, you should check out the Extensions Rebooted Bof on the last GUADEC and my GUADEC talk.

          The Extensions Rebooted initiative’s ultimate goal is to get the extensions community to work with each other, have closer ties with GNOME shell developers and provide documentation and tools.

          Extension writers are encouraged to get involved and build this better experience. Consumers of extensions are requested to help spread the word and encourage extensions developers to participate so we can all benefit.

        • GNOME 3.38 ‘Orbis’ is out now to showcase a modern Linux desktop

          GNOME 3.38 “Orbis” just landed today, which brings in another 6 months of hacking away at all the tech behind the GNOME desktop for a fully modern Linux environment. The Orbis code-name is to recognise the team behind the GUADEC 2020 conference, which the GNOME team said “is only possible thanks to the hard work of many volunteers”.

        • GNOME 3.38 is Here With Customizable App Grid, Performance Improvements and Tons of Other Change

          GNOME 3.36 brought some much-needed improvements along with a major performance boost. Now, after 6 months, we’re finally here with GNOME 3.38 with a big set of changes.

          The app grid or the app menu will now be customizable as part of a big change in GNOME 3.38.

          Now, you can create folders by dragging application icons over each other and move them to/from folders and set it right back in the app grid. You can also just reposition the icons as you want in the app grid.

        • GNOME 3.38 ‘Orbis’ is here — the best Linux desktop environment gets better

          One of the best things about Linux-based desktop operating systems is having access to many wonderful desktop environments. While there are many great user interfaces available, only one can be the best. For many years now, GNOME has been the greatest DE, and that is still true today. What makes it so wonderful? Well, GNOME 3.x is ideal for productivity, allowing the user to focus on the task at hand. Not to mention, it is beautiful and simple — it provides a no-nonsense computing experience. There’s a reason both Ubuntu and Fedora use GNOME as their default environment.

          Today, the best Linux desktop environment gets even better. You see, GNOME 3.38 “Orbis” is finally here, and it is chock-full of improvements. For instance, the default web browser, called “Web,” now has improved privacy settings, including cross-site tracking. There is also a new app called “Tour” which introduces the user to GNOME features after installation. Retro gamers will be thrilled to learn that Nintendo 64 support has been added to the “Games” app. Orbis also provides support for varying refresh rates when using multiple monitors. Best of all, the developers have killed the “Frequent” and “All apps” views, replacing it with a single customizable grid with the ability to drag to reorder the icons.

        • New Features And Improvements In GNOME 3.38

          One of the most important changes in GNOME 3.38 is the elimination of the Frequent and All app views, which have been replaced with a single, more consistent apps view that allows the user to reorder the applications, and to optionally arrange them in folders…With this, the layout algorithm of the app grid was rewritten, with the number of rows and columns now being based on the monitor aspect ratio and the available space.

          GNOME developers say that even though the customizable app grid is a feature in itself, it’s also something that’s needed for future design changes. It remains to be sees what these design changes are.

        • GNOME 3.38 Released With Many New Features, Better Performance

          GNOME 3.38 has shipped as the newest half-year update to this desktop environment and will be featured in the upcoming Ubuntu 20.10, Fedora 33, and other autumn Linux distribution updates.

          GNOME 3.38 brings numerous performance optimizations, continued maturing of the Wayland session, a moderate overhaul to the GNOME Shell application overview area, systemd integration enhancements, various applications redesigned, better screencasting, new parental control capabilities, and much more.

        • GNOME 3.38 Desktop Environment Officially Released, This Is What’s New

          Six months in the works, GNOME 3.38 “Orbis” is finally here and it’s packed with many goodies for fans of one of the most popular Linux desktop environments out there, used by default by numerous GNU/Linux distributions like Ubuntu and Fedora Linux.

          Highlights of GNOME 3.38 include a new GNOME Tour app that acts as a first-run tour and greeter for newcomers to the GNOME desktop environment, as well as a highly customizable app grid that lets users created folders more easily using drag and drop, move apps between folders, and reorder apps inside the app grid.

        • GNOME 3.38 is here. This is What’s New

          The popular GNOME 3.38 desktop environment is here. In this post, we take a look at the top 10 new features of the GNOME 3.38 desktop environment, and updates that are going to change your desktop experience in the coming days.

        • GNOME 3.38 released

          Version 3.38 of the GNOME desktop environment is out.

        • Introducing GNOME 3.38: “Orbis”

          GNOME 3.38 is the latest version of GNOME 3, and is the result of 6 months’ hard work by the GNOME community. It contains major new features, as well as many smaller improvements and bug fixes. In total, the release incorporates 27896 changes, made by approximately 901 contributors.

          3.38 has been named “Orbis” in recognition of the team behind GUADEC 2020. GUADEC is GNOME’s annual conference, which is only possible thanks to the hard work of many volunteers. This year’s event was meant to be held in Zacatecas, Mexico, but had to be moved online due to the COVID-19 pandemic. We are very much looking forward to meeting in Mexico in the near future.

        • GNOME 3.38 Released with New App Grid Features, Fingerprint Login + More

          Six months of intense development, iteration, and ideation has been poured into making the latest release of GNOME the best release yet. In all it comprises a colossal 27,000+ commits from more than 900 contributors.

          What’s new? Our feature roundup spotlights the best new features in GNOME 3.38. A sizeable set of improvements are on offer, from a re-arrangeable app grid and fingerprint login, to a brand new Welcome Tour app to help educate new users on how the GNOME workflow flows.

        • Why the Next Version of GNOME Will Have a New Version Number

          Here’s a curve ball: GNOME developers have announced that the next major stable release of the desktop environment will come with a new version number.

          And no: I don’t mean GNOME 3.40 as you (and me) might’ve been expecting. The current the GNOME 3.38 release followed on from GNOME 3.36, that from 3.34, and so on going all the way back to 2011 and GNOME 3.0.

          But GNOME 40 will be the next stable release.

          Yes, GNOME 40.

          Since there’s a rather dramatic leap between GNOME 3.0 and GNOME 40 (37 if you’re keeping count) you might be wondering what’s going on and why.

          Enter the GNOME Foundation’s Emmanuele Bassi who, in a forum post to unveil the new versioning, explains the reasoning behind the leap: to simplify the ‘unwieldy’ numbering.

        • GNOME 40 Is the Next Major Release of the Linux Desktop, Coming March 2021

          GNOME 3 series is finally over! Now that the GNOME 3.38 release hit the streets, the development team unveiled earlier today that they are changing the versioning scheme and the development cycle of the next major release.

          Coming after GNOME 3.38, will be GNOME 40 (yes, Forty), due for release in March 2021, which will have a total of three milestones during its six-month development cycle: Alpha, Beta and RC (Release Candidate).

        • Succeeding GNOME 3.38 Will Be “GNOME 40″ – Yes, GNOME Forty

          Following today’s GNOME 3.38 release a new versioning scheme was announced whereby the next release in six months time will be GNOME 40.0.

          Not GNOME 4.0, but GNOME’s new versioning scheme is jumping next to GNOME 40.0. Stable point releases will go on as GNOME 40.1, 40.2, 40.3, etc.

        • Epiphany 3.38 and WebKitGTK 2.30

          It’s that time of year again: a new GNOME release, and with it, a new Epiphany. The pace of Epiphany development has increased significantly over the last few years thanks to an increase in the number of active contributors. Most notably, Jan-Michael Brummer has solved dozens of bugs and landed many new enhancements, Alexander Mikhaylenko has polished numerous rough edges throughout the browser, and Andrei Lisita has landed several significant improvements to various Epiphany dialogs. That doesn’t count the work that Igalia is doing to maintain WebKitGTK, the WPE graphics stack, and libsoup, all of which is essential to delivering quality Epiphany releases, nor the work of the GNOME localization teams to translate it to your native language. Even if Epiphany itself is only the topmost layer of this technology stack, having more developers working on Epiphany itself allows us to deliver increased polish throughout the user interface layer, and I’m pretty happy with the result. Let’s take a look at what’s new.

    • Distributions

      • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandriva/OpenMandriva Family

        • Shotcut updated to 20.09.13

          Shotcut is a free and open-source cross-platform video editing application. Shotcut supports many video, audio, and image formats via FFmpeg and screen, webcam, and audio capture. It uses a timeline for non-linear video editing of multiple tracks that may be composed of various file formats. Scrubbing and transport control are assisted by OpenGL GPU-based processing and a number of video and audio filters are available.

        • Zoom updated to 5.2.458699.0906

          Zoom, the cloud meeting company, unifies cloud video conferencing, simple online meetings, and group messaging into one easy-to-use platform. Our solution offers the best video, audio, and screen-sharing experience across Zoom Rooms, Windows, Mac, Linux, iOS, Android, and H.323/SIP room systems.

        • Basilisk browser updated to 2020.09.11

          Basilisk is a free and Open Source XUL-based web browser, featuring the well-known Firefox-style interface and operation. It is based on the Goanna layout and rendering engine (a fork of Gecko) and builds on the Unified XUL Platform (UXP), which in turn is a fork of the Mozilla code base without Servo or Rust.

      • Gentoo Family

        • Gentoo Offers Up New Easy Kernel Options

          The three kernel packages now offered are sys-kernel/gentoo-kernel providing a Linux kernel with the Gentoo “genpatches” applied, sys-kernel/gentoo-kernel-bin as a prebuilt kernel binary of the gentoo-kernel, and sys-kernel/vanilla-kernel as an upstream kernel build without any extra patches. The hope is these new packages will make keeping the kernel up to date easier and a bit more streamlined.

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • 20 years of Linux on Big Iron

          Let’s take the way-back machine to March 1991. Back then Stewart Alsop, venture capitalist and one-time editor-in-chief of InfoWorld, predicted “the last mainframe will be unplugged on March 15, 1996.” In IBM’s last quarter, IBM Z mainframe led IBM’s systems revenue to $1.9 billion, a gain of 6% over the last quarter. Oh well, you can’t get them all right.

          So, what happened? Linux happened.

          At the time, this seemed a very unlikely marriage of software and hardware. Linux was the open-source software darling and the IBM mainframe was the proprietary hardware king. IBM leadership could see, long before other major companies would, that Linux was the future of operating systems.

        • IBM MQ on Raspberry Pi – our tastiest developer edition yet!

          The IBM MQ team is sometimes asked if MQ can only run on large enterprise systems, like a mainframe. The answer is always a resounding “yes!” IBM MQ supports a wide range of platforms, but to make life easier for developers, we have developer builds for Windows and Linux, a Mac client, our MQ on Cloud managed service, and an IBM MQ container image. (You can learn more about these developer platforms on our “Get started with IBM MQ” page.)

          Now, we’ve created a developer edition of IBM MQ for the smallest platform yet. Introducing… the IBM MQ Developer Edition for Raspberry Pi OS!

          The Raspberry Pi is a tiny computer about the size of a credit card that’s more than powerful enough to run MQ. They’re often used as part of DIY computing projects and as educational tools. For example, our MQ Developer Experience team used two $12 Raspberry Pi Zeros to run an image transfer demo to show system resilience to developers at several conference…

        • What are containers and why do you need them?

          Sadly, it is not all about ball bearings nowadays. It’s all about containers. If you’ve heard about containers, but not sure what they are, you’ve come to the right place.

          [...]

          The best analogy for understanding containers is a shipping container. That’s why the majority of all container articles and blogs, you see a photo of a shipping container – including this one. I’m sure you’ve seen the transport of those big steel shipping containers. (I’ve also seen some “off-the-grid-type” people using them to build houses and swimming pool.) The shipping industry standardized on a consistent size container. Now, the same container can move from a ship to a train to a truck without unloading the cargo. The container contents do not matter.

          Just like a shipping container, a software container is a standardized package of software. Everything needed for the software to run is inside the container. The software code, runtime, system tools, system libraries, settings are all inside a single container.

        • 2020 Call for Code Global Challenge Regional Finalists

          Today, I’m excited to announce the Regional Finalists for the 2020 Call for Code Global Challenge. Since its launch in 2018, this movement has grown to over 400,000 developers and problem solvers across 179 nations. Through Call for Code, developers connect, learn, share their expertise, and build open source solutions that can scale around the world and be deployed in individual communities.

          After much deliberation, our judges have identified the top solutions from Asia Pacific, Europe, Greater China, Japan, Latin America, the Middle East and Africa, and North America. Congratulations to all these teams, and thank you all for your time, commitment, and ingenuity!

          The everyday effects of climate change and especially COVID-19 have revealed the limits of the systems we take for granted. That’s why Call for Code is focused on these two unprecedented challenges in 2020. Because these issues are experienced differently by local communities, there is no one-size-fits-all solution. We learned this in the first two years of Call for Code, creating solutions to mitigate the effects of natural disasters. We need solutions that work on the local level but also have the ability to scale and help any community, anywhere. Now in our third global competition, we’ve seen thousands of solutions built using Red Hat OpenShift, IBM Cloud, IBM Watson, IBM Blockchain, data from The Weather Company, and APIs from partners like HERE Technologies and InteliPeer.

        • IDC paper highlights the business value of Red Hat software certifications [Ed: Red Hat/IBM paying IDC again. They’re basically producing propaganda for money.]

          A recent IDC study1 sponsored by Red Hat revealed significant benefits for partners that certify their software as part of the Red Hat Partner Connect program, including greater return on investment, increased revenue and faster development lifecycles. In fact, the study showed that partners can see an average of 49% higher revenue for software products that have been certified by Red Hat.

        • Mainframe Open Education Project Launched | Open Mainframe Summit
        • Open Mainframe Project Launches 4 New Projects
        • At the Intersection of Mainframe and Open Source, Linux Foundation’s Open Mainframe Project Reports Record Growth
        • New name for ABRT?

          The project ABRT started in 2009. The initial name was CrashWatcher. Very quickly changed to CrashCatcher. But in one month, it got its final name ABRT. ABRT is the name of a POSIX signal and stems from the word abort.

          ABRT project was meant as a tool to ease the life of Red Hat Support. Unfortunately Red Hat Support never fully utilized and used ABRT (with some minor exceptions). I recently analyzed the use of ABRT, and its strength are for developers and DevOps. We can identify and helps to report bugs when new software or major release is released. Devops can leverage that we can identify crashes in their deployments and show it in a private instance of ABRT Analytics.

      • Debian Family

        • Steve Kemp: Implementing a FORTH-like language ..

          At the time I read that comment I’d just hacked up a simple FORTH REPL of my own, in Perl, and I said “thanks for posting”. I was recently reminded of this discussion, and decided to work through the process.

          Using only minimal outside resources the recipe worked as expected!

        • Salsa hosted 1e6 CI jobs

          Today, Salsa hosted it’s 1,000,000th CI job. The price for hitting the target goes to the Cloud team. The job itself was not that interesting, but it was successful.

        • Debian Local Groups at DebConf20 and beyond

          There are a number of large and very successful Debian Local Groups (Debian France, Debian Brazil and Debian Taiwan, just to name a few), but what can we do to help support upcoming local groups or help spark interest in more parts of the world?

          There has been a session about Debian Local Teams at Debconf20 and it generated generated quite a bit of constructive discussion in the live stream (recording available at https://meetings-archive.debian.net/pub/debian-meetings/2020/DebConf20/), in the session’s Etherpad and in the IRC channel (#debian-localgroups). This article is an attempt at summarizing the key points that were raised during that discussion, as well as the plans for the future actions to support new or existent Debian Local Groups and the possibility of setting up a local group support team.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • FSF

        • GNU Projects

          • GNU Taler operational at Bern University of Applied Sciences

            The GNU Taler payment system was launched at the BFH in the presence of a representative of the Swiss National Bank. Students, staff, faculty and visitors can visit the cafeteria at Höheweg 80 to withdraw the electronic equivalent of Swiss Franks (CHF) onto Taler Wallet App running on their mobile phones and pay at a Taler-enabled snack machine. The system is expected to expand to allow payments at other places in the future. Various faculty members and students are involved various aspects of the project. Students interested in working on projects or theses related to the subject should contact Prof. Grothoff.

      • Programming/Development

        • RcppSpdlog 0.0.1: New and Exciting Logging Package

          Very thrilled to announce a new package RcppSpdlog which is now on CRAN in its first release 0.0.1. We had tweeted once about the earliest version which had already caught the eyes of Gabi upstream.

          RcppSpdlog bundles spdlog, a wonderful header-only C++ logging library with all the bells and whistles you would want that was written by Gabi Melman, and also includes fmt by Victor Zverovic.

        • LZHAM + Crunch Now Placed Under The Public Domain

          Compression expert Rich Geldreich who previously worked for the likes of Valve and Unity prior to co-founding his own consulting firm has now made the Crunch and LZHAM technologies available under the public domain.

          LZHAM is a lossless data compression codec with a compression ratio comparable to LZMA but with 1.5~8x faster decompression. This LZ-based data compression codec performs excitingly well for decompression purposes. More details on LZHAM via this repository.

        • Perl/Raku

        • Python

          • Python vs. JavaScript: Is It a Fair Comparison?

            When we talk about building a project with Python or JavaScript, we very rarely mean building every software component with one programming language.

          • Python Requests Library: Sending HTTP GET and POST requests using Python

            HTTP (HyperText Transfer Protocol) is the protocol of the world-wide-web. When you visit a webpage with your web browser, the browser is making a series of HTTP requests to web servers somewhere out on the Internet. Those servers will answer with HTTP responses.

            The Python Requests library makes it easy to write programs that send and receive HTTP. Instead of having to understand the HTTP protocol in great detail, you can just make very simple HTTP connections using Python objects, and then send and receive messages using the methods of those objects.

          • Sending email with attachments using Python built-in email module

            The email built-in Python module lets us easily construct email messages.

            We’ll start by using the email.message.EmailMessage class to create an email message.

          • Python: Check if Variable is a Number

            In this article, we’ll be going through a few examples of how to check if a variable is a number in Python.

            Python is dynamically typed.

          • Numbers in Python

            You don’t need to be a math whiz to program well. The truth is, few programmers need to know more than basic algebra. Of course, how much math you need to know depends on the application you’re working on. In general, the level of math required to be a programmer is lower than you might expect. Although math and computer programming aren’t as correlated as some people might believe, numbers are an integral part of any programming language, and Python is no exception.

          • Pandas Convert Column to datetime – object/string, integer, CSV & Excel

            In Pandas, you can convert a column (string/object or integer type) to datetime using the to_datetime() and astype() methods. Furthermore, you can also specify the data type (e.g., datetime) when reading your data from an external source, such as CSV or Excel.

            In this Pandas tutorial, we are going to learn how to convert a column, containing dates in string format, to datetime. First, we are going to have a look at converting objects (i.e., strings) to datetime using the to_datetime() method. One neat thing when working with to_datetime() is that we can work with the format parameter. That is, we will also have a look at how to get the correct format when converting. After that, we will go on and carry out this conversion task with the astype() method.

          • Faster gzip reading in Python

            In this essay I’ll describe how I improved chemfp’s gzip read performance by about 15% by replacing Python’s built-in gzip module with a ctypes interface to libz. If you need faster gzip read performance, you might consider using zcat or similar tool in a subprocess – if so, look at the xopen module.

            Gzip decompression overhead is enough that the 15% read speedup corresponds to a 5% overall speedup for chemfp’s sdf2fps tool.

            chemfp is a high-performance cheminformatics fingerprint similarity search package for Python. See its home page and documentation for details. Various licensing options are available, including the option to download a pre-compiled package that works on most Linux-based OSes so you test most of the features right now.

        • Rust

          • Rav1e 0.4 Alpha Released With Much Faster Performance For Rust AV1 Encoding

            After over a half year working on this new version, Rav1e 0.4 is on the way but first is the alpha milestone out today.

            Rav1e 0.4 Alpha delivers from a few percent to over 100% speed-up on x86-64 depending upon quality settings and more. The Arm 64-bit speed-ups are even more pronounced with the Rav1e 0.4 performance slated to offer at least a 50% speed-up at nearly all quality settings. The ARM speed-ups are coming thanks to writing more NEON Assembly.

          • This Week In Rust: This Week in Rust 356
  • Leftovers

    • On the Death of My Brother

      My brother Panages (Pete) was eleven years older than me. By the time I was six, he left the village and our beautiful Greek island of Cephalonia for America. I knew he was my brother, but we did not have anything in common, not even memories of childhood. There were none. My older sisters used to tell me he was a trouble maker in high school. Once he drove a motorcycle into his class.

    • Health/Nutrition

      • Empathy Saves Lives as Pandemic Makes Addiction More Dangerous

        In our new era of nearly unparalleled upheaval, as a pandemic ravages the bodies of some and the minds of nearly everyone, as the associated economic damage disposes of the livelihoods of many, and as even the promise of democracy fades, the people whose lives were already on a razor’s edge — who were vulnerable and isolated before the advent of Covid-19 — are in far greater danger than ever before.

      • ‘American Carnage’ Unveiled

        It doesn’t seem to sink in that this country’s so-called president withheld deadly serious information from the American people about such a life-altering, once-in-a-century coronavirus that it could kill them. It was his biggest lie yet.

      • The Difference Between the U.S. and China’s Response to COVID-19 is Staggering

        In Washington Post reporter Bob Woodward’s new book, Rage, he reports on interviews he did in February and March with U.S. President Donald Trump about the coronavirus. Trump admitted that the virus was virulent, but he decided to underplay its danger. “I wanted to always play it down,” Trump said, “because I don’t want to create a panic.” Despite months of warnings from the Chinese authorities, Trump and his health secretary Alex Azar completely failed to prepare for the global pandemic.

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Opera 71 Released with Tab & History Searching Improvements

          Opera web browser 71 was released one day ago. The new version features more options for tab searching and history searching, custom shortcuts for Messengers & Workspaces.

        • Pseudo-Open Source

        • Security

          • Security updates for Wednesday

            Security updates have been issued by Fedora (libssh, python35, and xen), Oracle (kernel), Red Hat (librepo and mysql:8.0), SUSE (perl-DBI), and Ubuntu (Apache Log4j, Apache XML-RPC, bsdiff, libdbi-perl, luajit, milkytracker, OpenJPEG, ruby-loofah, and ruby-websocket-extensions).

          • SSH Attack Vector: Dormant & Forgotten Keys

            SSH keys are everywhere. However, despite their widespread use and high-privilege access, they’re often overlooked by IT and security teams. Meanwhile, malicious actors seek to exploit unmanaged and unprotected keys to perform SSH attacks and spread through networks undetected.

            In this blog, we’ll discuss the underlying problem of SSH key sprawl and how to prevent emerging SSH attacks, such as FritzFrog and Lemon_Duck, by implementing proper key management and security practices.

          • Optional L1d Flushing On Context Switching Looks Like It Will Try Again For Linux 5.10

            The feature to provide opt-in flushing of the L1 data cache on each context switch looks like it will be coming with the Linux 5.10 cycle for this functionality providing security benefits but at the cost of further performance degradation.

            Earlier this year an Amazon engineer proposed the L1d flushing on context switching in the name of security due to vulnerabilities like MDS. Linux 5.8 was going to add this optional feature but was quickly reverted as Linux creator Linus Torvalds found it to beyond stupid, the software fallback not necessarily working, and the performance implications.

    • Defence/Aggression

      • It’s Time to Repeal the President’s License for Endless War

        Congress must rein in our government’s ability to do harm in the world.

      • Breonna Taylor’s Family to Receive $12 Million in Wrongful Death Settlement

        The City of Louisville, Kentucky, and the family of Breonna Taylor, a 26-year-old emergency medical technician who was shot five times by police in her sleep earlier this year, have reached a settlement regarding a wrongful death lawsuit.

      • America’s War on Terror is the True Cause of Europe’s Refugee Crisis

        Syria surpassed Afghanistan in 2013 as the country in the world producing the most refugees. As violence and economic collapse continue, the number of Syrians forced to flee their homes is likely to go up rather than down. One feature the eight post-9/11 wars have in common is that none of them have ended, despite years of inconclusive fighting. This is why the numbers displaced is so much higher than in extremely violent but far shorter conflicts in the 20th century. The endless nature of these present-day conflicts has come to seem to be part of the natural order of things, but this is absolutely not the case.

      • Power Politics and Imperial Gambles

        In grand power politics, there are only national interests, not friendships. This is a point often missed on Australia’s dedicated Americanophiles. Faith is put in such untestable propositions as extended nuclear deterrence. Faith is also unqualified. Foreign conflicts with US forces are bound to see the company, albeit small, of Australian contingents.

      • US Marine Corps: Semper Fi, But Why?

        Seventy years ago today, September 15, 1950, the U.S. Marine Corps won one of its greatest battles, landing at Inchon on the Korean coast, collapsing the North Korean lines, and enabling U.S. forces to regain the capital of Seoul, South Korea.  General Douglas MacArthur conducted the operation over the objections of the Joint Chiefs, who feared that the operation would fail and that there were no reserves to take the place of the Marines who would be lost.

      • American Imperialism and the Murder of Jennifer Laude
      • Jordan returns refugees to desolate Syrian border camp, rights groups cry foul

        The Jordanian authorities have over the past few months deported dozens of Syrian refugees to a desolate camp on the Syria-Jordan border, despite deteriorating conditions and accusations from rights groups that the returns are a breach of international law.

        Jordan has been sending refugees back to Syria for years, but this is the first time it has been accused of forcible transfers to the desert no man’s land, known as Rukban.

        “People with security issues or other problems [in Jordan] have been deported” to Rukban, starting in July, a member of the camp’s administrative council told The New Humanitarian by phone, requesting anonymity out of fear for his safety.

        The source could not provide the exact number, but Mahmoud al-Hmeili, a spokesperson for one of the councils that help govern the settlement, told TNH that 39 people had been sent to Rukban from inside Jordan in the past two and a half months. Most had not remained for long, opting instead to travel on into Syria, al-Hmeili said.

        In a statement issued on Tuesday, Amnesty International said at least 16 Syrian refugees had been “forcibly transferred” to Rukban on 10 August alone.

    • Environment

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • Kenyon College Students Are Organizing the First Campus-Wide Undergraduate Union

        On August 31, students at Kenyon College, a private liberal arts college in Gambier, Ohio, announced their intent to unionize with the United Electrical, Radio and Machine Workers of America (UE) in an open letter to the school’s president and board of trustees. Students have requested voluntary recognition through a card-check neutrality agreement with the school’s administration. If successful, the Kenyon Student Worker Organizing Committee (K‑SWOC) will become the first union to organize its entire undergraduate workforce, which will include all 800 student worker positions available on campus.

      • Groundbreaking Study Shows ‘Deep Listening’ Over 100 Times More Effective in Winning Undecided Voters Away From Trump

        Research shows “respectful, non-judgmental conversations are able to move voters where many other tactics have failed, producing meaningful increases in Biden’s vote margin.”

      • God, Guns, Bats, and Patriotism

        I live in Portland, Oregon, where presently the state is suffering from the worst wildfires in its history. Eventually, these wildfires will be called what they really are: “Climate Fires.” 500,000 Oregonians are on alert to evacuate. Whole towns have been completely destroyed.

      • Readers React | Should humanitarian aid always be neutral?

        We recently published a commentary by the former policy chief at the International Committee of the Red Cross, academic and ethicist Hugo Slim, arguing that you don’t have to be neutral to be a good humanitarian.

        As part of our series on #RethinkingHumanitarianism, his opinion challenged one of the four principles long considered sacrosanct in the emergency response sector: Humanitarian aid workers must not take sides in hostilities or engage in controversies of a political, racial, religious, or ideological nature.

    • Monopolies

      • ‘It Is Past Time for Action’: Ahead of Senate Antitrust Hearing, Groups Demand AGs Sue Google to End Monopoly Abuses

        “Such an action would be the most significant act of antitrust enforcement since U.S. v. Microsoft was filed over 20 years ago.”

      • Patents

        • Jumping the patent exam queue in the Philippines

          But what if the applicant eagerly needs the patent application to be granted faster? For example, the applicant wants to take action against a potential infringer but cannot commence for the sole reason that the application is still pending. In such circumstances, applicants can accelerate the examination of the application with the Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines (IPOPHL).

          There are two recommended ways to accelerate examinations with the IPOPHL: (1) file a request for accelerated examination under the Patent Prosecution Highway (PPH) programme; or (2) file a request for accelerated examination under the ASEAN Patent Examination Co-operation (ASPEC) programme.

        • Online Trade Mark Filing System Introduced in Ethiopia

          The Ethiopian Intellectual Property Office (EIPO), in collaboration with the World Intellectual Property Office (WIPO) has adopted an online trade mark filing system. The development was borne of an agreement between EIPO and WIPO to modernise the IP system in Ethiopia.

          The new system is expected to change the culture of doing business and obtaining trade mark registrations in Ethiopia. There will be less reliance on hard copy records; therefore, the efficiency of EIPO is likely to improve overall.

          The online system facilitates the filing of applications for the registration of trade marks. However, the prescribed fees and original supporting documents, such as legalised Powers of Attorney, which are still required, will need to be presented at the Registry by an agent once the online application has been reviewed and approved by an examining officer.

        • Mylan and Development Partner, Synthon, Win Significant European Patent Office Ruling Related to Copaxone® 40mg/mL

          Mylan N.V. (NASDAQ: MYL) today announced that the Technical Board of Appeal of the European Patent Office (EPO) has held that Yeda Research and Development Company, Ltd.’s European Patent no. 2 949 335 related to Teva’s Copaxone® 40 mg/mL three times weekly product is invalid and revoked across Europe.

          With the EPO’s decision, Mylan has once again overcome Teva’s attempts to restrict MS patients’ access to safe and affordable alternatives. Over the course of the last eleven years, Mylan has successfully defeated Teva’s four waves of U.S. patent litigation, eight Citizen Petitions, injunction proceedings in India, and more than 15 regulatory challenges, patent litigations or commercial actions across Europe. The EPO’s positive ruling will allow Mylan to immediately return to the market and accelerate commercialization in other markets across Europe.

        • Software Patents

          • $1,000 Awarded for Landmark Technology prior art

            Unified is pleased to announce the PATROLL crowdsourcing contest winner, Ekta Aswal, who received a cash prize of $1,000 for prior art submitted for U.S. Patent 7,010,508. The ’508 patent is owned by and asserted by Landmark Technology, LLC, and specifically relates to a means for screening loan applications, but has been broadly asserted against a variety of products and services using e-commerce systems.

            To help the industry fight bad patents, we have published the winning prior art below.

          • $2,500 for CDN Innovations prior art

            On September 16, 2020, Unified Patents added a new PATROLL contest, with a $2,500 cash prize, seeking prior art on at least claim 13 of U.S. Patent 6,311,180, using the preamble as a limitation. The ’180 patent is owned by CDN Innovations, LLC, an entity of IP Investments Group and an NPE, and generally relates to a method that allows documents to be viewed on a plurality of devices according to the preferences of the user.

            The ‘180 patent is currently being asserted against Grande Communications Networks, LLC. View CDN Innovations’s district court litigation.

          • The Public-Private Role of Federal Reserve Banks

            Bill Bozeman’s patents cover what he calls “Universal Positive Pay” for fraud detection and check clearing. Back in 2017, the 12 Federal Reserve Banks (but not the Board) sued Bozeman seeking a declaratory judgment of non-infringement. The banks then also filed for Covered Business Method (CBM) review of the patents at the USPTO. The PTO instituted review and concluded that the claims were ineligible under Alice Corp. Pty. Ltd. v. CLS Bank Int’l, 573 U.S. 208 (2014). In its decision, the Federal Circuit affirmed and also held that the banks are “persons” under the statute because they “are distinct from the government for purposes of the AIA.”

            [...]

            This case is not huge for the patent system — although there are hundreds of federally-created entities that might be “people.” In addition, the CBM program has sunset and is unlikely to be revived.

            The case is still a big deal as our country discusses the role of socialist governmental policies providing a safety net for Americans. The US system is already ripe with “private” entities designed to serve a public good: Federal Reserve banking system; Fannie Mae; Freddie Mac; Highly regulated utilities (that are given the power of eminent domain); etc. For over 100 years, this approach has been a form of back-door socialism that becomes palatable because of paperwork showing a separation from government. This case would shine some interesting light on the field with the simple question — Are the Federal Reserve Banks part of the U.S. Government?

Cliques That Form and Nepotistically Control Debian (Whilst Ousting Challengers and Intimidating Influential Contributors)

Posted in Debian, Free/Libre Software, GNU/Linux at 8:28 pm by Guest Editorial Team

Reprinted with permission from Debian Community News

There have been many observations about the particularly sinister blackmailing of volunteers in Debian. It is notable that this took place at the time that a volunteer died, when another volunteer had lost a family member and by an even more bizarre coincidence, during the ongoing prosecution of leaders of the NXIVM sex cult in New York.

As racy details of the NXIVM abuses trickled out of the courtroom and into the newspapers each day, volunteers noted the similarities to how the Debian organization had been acting under the leadership of Chris Lamb.

A power couple

NXIVM was operated by Keith Raniere in collusion with his associate/girlfriend, the actress Allison Mack. Debian was officially led by Chris “lamby” Lamb, while his girlfriend Molly de Blanc (together: Mollamby) had created the infamous Anti-Harassment team, analogous to Scientology’s Sea Organization, to promote submissiveness and obedience under the guise of a “Code of Conduct”.

OSI Board

Branding people

In NXIVM, Raniere and Mack were branding their victims. They burnt their initials, KR & AM, in close proximity to victims’ genitalia.

Early in 2018, Alexander “formorer” Wirth had set up Debian’s public Git repositories, hosted in the Salsa.debian.org service. Shortly after this, at DebConf18 in Taiwan, Lamb had started the discussions about how to brand volunteers with adverse records in Git / Salsa. A few days before Christmas, this weapon was unleashed on Dr Norbert Preining, who maintains the LaTeX packages used widely in the academic world.

This is the permanent scar in a Git repository where Dr Preining is shunted to the DM sin-bin:

DM sin-bin

After doing that, the Debian gulag realised they didn’t have any evidence against their victims and so they put out calls for dirt to try and justify the shaming retrospectively:

Dr Norbert Preining shaming

These intentionally permanent scars in Git, mailing list archives and the Debian Bug Tracking System are functionally equivalent to the branding of NXIVM victims.

When volunteers have filed GDPR requests for the deletion of these records, Debian oligarchs have stonewalled and used Debian money to hire lawyers to perpetuate the abuse.

Joerg Jaspert: This is not involving anything from the universal declaration of human rights.

What a chilling comment from a German

Miriam Ballhausen Bird & Bird awyer abuse harassment of debian volunteer

Even with the GDPR, it appears that a volunteer’s chances of removing the scars of defamation from Debian infrastructure are no better than an NXIVM girl’s chances of removing scars from her skin.

Is Miriam Ballhausen at Bird & Bird a volunteer, or is Debian money paying her to write these GDPR denials? You can ask her.

Destroying people

Just as Debian oligarchs often use nicknames and acronyms, NXIVM’s founder, Raniere, had chosen to hide behind the pseudonym Vanguard, taken from an arcade game in which the destruction of one’s enemies increased one’s own power. It is a remarkable parallel to the style used by some of the worst leaders in Debian over the years.

In fact, every year there are public discussions about which Debian volunteers should face the firing squad. Enrico Zini, one of the Debian Account Managers who is currently engaged in blackmailing a volunteer, asked candidates in the 2006 leadership election to publicly name five people they would expel.

enrico zini harassment abuse volunteers

The people who write things like this have never done any real work themselves. If they had, they might understand that this is not the right way to thank volunteers for years of contributions to Debian.

molly de blanc cyberbully harassing volunteers

Can you imagine any other organization where participants egg each other on to publicly denounce volunteers, or is this only possible in the world of Scientology, NXIVM and Debian?

debian nxivm scientology

Keeping dossiers on people

Raniere & Co had a practice of building dossiers on people. Lamb’s girlfriend, de Blanc, boasted about the same practice, whispering networks, in her FOSDEM 2019 talk about being an enforcer. The debian-private leaks show that this has been going on in Debian for decades.

In an email leaked from FSFE, another organization racked by scandals, the FSFE president Matthias Kirschner relates a conversation he had with Chris Lamb:

One general wish — which I agreed with — from Debian was to better share information about people

The first conviction in the NXIVM case was that of Nancy Salzman, who pleaded guilty to racketeering conspiracy, tearfully confessed in court on March 13 that she tracked and monitored the usernames and passwords of suspected moles in the group to ensure they weren’t leaking details about the group’s inner workings.

Stasi

Secret shame

NXIVM pressured their victims to provide nude photos, which were held as a form of collateral.

Lamb, de Blanc and their associates, the Anti-Harassment team and Debian Account Managers, had been making secret and totally invalid findings of misconduct against volunteers. Then they send their abusive finding to the volunteer with veiled threats to disclose these abusive verdicts if the volunteers do not become their submissive and obedient slaves. After observing the abuse of Dr Preining in a series of Git commits, another volunteer couragesouly called their bluff, stepping forward to reveal he was the first victim. Dr Preining then released a whole bundle of the criminal emails from these mafias.

Slavery

Slavery and modern slavery mean different things in different contexts. Salzman’s daughter admitted in court that she kept another woman as a slave.

Some of Debian’s Google Summer of Code interns have come forward with allegations of non-payment. In 2018, one intern filed a complaint with Debian and then escalated to Stephanie Taylor, Google’s head of the GSoC program, after his mentor pushed him to work up to the last day of the internship and then withheld payment. Taylor refused to assist the intern. (Note: the student chose to disclose this matter publicly, we are not doing that without consent)

The two mentors for this student had disagreed: only one of them wanted to fail the intern. The other one felt the case justified closer consideration. Molly de Blanc overrode him as she didn’t want to bother Google with news of the childish bickering that plagues Debian. de Blanc then received a free trip to the GSoC mentor summit in California, funded by Google.

Google and Taylor are at the root of the slavery problem, insisting that the interns must always be referred to as students. This is a dishonest fudge to deny their status as workers.

The intern in question is from Bhopal, one of the most impoverished areas of India, decimated by the 1984 industrial disaster that has become synonymous with the name of the city.

Bhopal

Blackmail

The charges that eventually led to NXIVM jail time were on the basis of sex trafficking. We are not talking about teenage girls bought from Thailand. The victims of this sex trafficking program were educated and wealthy adult women, coerced into submission by blackmail.

The Code of Conduct enforcement mantras pushed by Molly de Blanc, in comparison, are aimed squarely at educated and wealthy adult men. Once again, the force of blackmail and fear of humiliation is used to deny people their freedom, as in the case of Dr Preining and other victims.

We can prove that this is blackmail very clearly: the message disclosed by Dr Norbert Preining shows that Debian oligarchs still expected him to maintain his packages after his secret expulsion. This factor makes the abuse indistinguishable from the blackmailing of NXIVM victims with nude photos.

Therefore, we are revoking your status as a Debian Developer with immediate effect… All packages in which you are currently listed as maintainer or uploader will be added to your Debian Maintainer whitelist as soon as possible.

Both NXIVM victims and Debian victims reported being coerced to do tasks for their would-be masters in much the same way.

NXIVM’s slaves did dishwashing and similar chores. Dr Preining’s work on the TeX-live packages is widely used in the international community of academics and researchers. Many now feel uncomfortable about how this software is produced but have little option to work around it.

Debian, under Chris Lamb and Molly de Blanc, had become nothing better than a revenge porn syndicate.

Enslaving women

Many of NXIVMs victims are women. Debian has been unable to attract women to enter as volunteers so they began enticing them into Debian with Outreachy internships. Debian’s community of volunteers has never had more than two percent (2.0%) female participation. While GSoC money is from Google’s bank account, the Outreachy stipends are paid from Debian’s own bank accounts, held by SPI Inc. Debian’s constitution states that contributors must be volunteers but the oligarchs have started using funds to pay women to volunteer. Multiple women have reported being threatened or coerced to behave in a particular way or they won’t continue to receive travel funding for Debian’s events. Some had even heard the case of the intern from Bhopal who never got paid.

In one disturbing case, multiple people have alleged somebody from Canonical Ltd, the company behind Ubuntu, was able to enter Debian as an official GSoC mentor and pursue a liaison with one of the women from a low income country attending DebConf on a diversity bursary.

NXIVM members spoke about building a dungeon where women could volunteer to be abused.

The belief that women enter such relationships and dungeons voluntarily and of their own free will is a dubious fantasy.

One of Debian’s GSoC admins resigned in August 2018 almost immediately after hearing about the relationship. Rather than listening to his concerns, oligarchs started spreading rumours to try and discredit his ethical stance.

Blaming and shaming victims

Due to the sexual nature of NXIVM crimes, the court suppressed the names of the victims from identification in the press. Raniere fought tooth and nail to try and have them named, hoping to cause embarassment.

Both previous Debian Project Leaders, Chris Lamb and Sam Hartman have followed in Raniere’s footsteps by making plots to shame and humiliate volunteers who speak up about cult phenomena in Debian.

In particular, when one volunteer resigned at a time of grief, Lamb completely ignored the privacy of their family and sent out over 60 secret emails denouncing that volunteer. People who behave like Lamb and Raniere can never be trusted in a position of power over other human beings.

Rituals where victims submit to the oligarchs

Lauren Salzman, whose mother co-founded NXIVM, recalls reciting the following self-deprecating oath when being branded:

Master, please brand me, It would be an honor. An honor that I want to wear for the rest of my life.

Dr Norbert Preining was forced to post similar words in the very public debian-project mailing list after three months of blackmail that occurred concurrently with the NXIVM trial:

I also will take care to listen carefully to advice and corrections,

In cooperation with DAM – and the invaluable help of some fellow DDs -
we have reached the agreement about my further status. DAM will write
about this in a separate email outlining the agreement and consequences.

Absolutely chilling.

A human rights perspective

From the Universal Declaration of Human Rights:

Article 12: No one shall be subjected to arbitrary interference with his privacy, family, home or correspondence, nor to attacks upon his honour and reputation. Everyone has the right to the protection of the law against such interference or attacks.

and the European Convention on Human Rights:

Article 8 – Right to respect for private and family life. Everyone has the right to respect for his private and family life, his home and his correspondence.

It is clear that the communications circulated and perpetuated by Mollamby and their associates, backed by the weight of Debian’s reputation, are a violation of these rights.

The UN’s Special Rapporteur on Torture and other Cruel, Inhumane or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, Professor Nils Melzer, was no doubt thinking about organizations like Google and the way they use fronts like Debian and FSFE to shame their critics when he wrote that these organizations:

not only have the capacity to conduct cyber-operations inflicting severe suffering on countless individuals, but may well decide to do so for any of the purposes of torture. Cybertechnology can also be used to inflict, or contribute to, severe mental suffering while avoiding the conduit of the physical body, most notably through intimidation, harassment, surveillance, public shaming and defamation, as well as appropriation, deletion or manipulation of information.

As if to animate Professor Melzer’s prophecy, the Debian mailing lists have now been moderated/censored to avoid questions about these matters.

How Unix Works (Explanation by Its Founding Fathers)

Posted in Free/Libre Software, GNU/Linux, UNIX, Videos at 7:56 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Source: Bell Laboratories archives (3:01 to 18:14)

Summary: An early look at the system which decades later took over the entire world (as a prototype or as a concept and de facto standard at least); it’s partly relevant to the systemd debate

THE important principles of modularity (for reliability through simplicity) are explained above. This video is as old as yours truly. What many people (wrongly) call “LINUX” did not start in 1991. There was a lot of prior work. We need to recognise the true origins.

As we’re digging into the history of computing and various BSDs these days (turns out Richard Stallman played a role in BSD being freed), we thought the above was worth keeping (and hosting locally in free/open formats). Throughout the summer we studied a great deal of IBM’s history, including the mainframes, knowing that IBM now completely controls Red Hat and ‘crown jewels’ such as systemd. Will we be keeping the same simplicity UNIX/POSIX was made famous for? Or will increasingly complex systems and giant blobs (like containers and Snap/Flatpak) become the new ‘normal’?

“This week in “the news” they tell us even Microsoft is accepting Linux as the ‘root authority’, seeing that its own stack is failing quite badly.”The above video explains chaining of commands or piping input/output — one of the greatest strengths of this architecture (to this day). Cobbling together a bunch of simple programs is important and opponents/critics of systemd often point this out. Former Debian Project Leader Bruce Perens spoke about that.

We don’t intend to walk into this whole systemd debate (or “war”); the key point is, those systems have not changed much since Stallman was an adolescent — way, way before he even started the GNU Project. This sort of architecture has become an industry standard, whether one looks at Android or iOS on mobile, ChomeOS or macOS on laptops, and GNU/Linux or BSD on servers. This week in “the news” they tell us even Microsoft is accepting Linux as the ‘root authority’, seeing that its own stack is failing quite badly. The future is UNIX/POSIX/BSD/GNU/Linux; there’s likely very little room left for anything else. Windows lost. NT lost. Even Microsoft knows that. But Microsoft insists on using proprietary Hyper-V, which was a GPL violation. Microsoft has plans and they’re not beneficial to us. Hyper-V is actually an attack on Free software. It always was. Microsoft paid Novell to participate in this attack and Novell’s Greg K-H was rewarded by the Linux Foundation with powerful seats, both as Torvalds’ deputy and key participant in the Technical Advisory Board along with Microsoft.

António Campinos is Believed to be “Dismantling” the EPO

Posted in Europe, Patents at 6:05 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Exploiting COVID-19 to shut down a lot of things

A building

Summary: It looks like the EPO is gradually abolishing much of itself; staff is understandably stressed about the matter

THE FOLLOWING document was circulated among EPO staff earlier today. It’s about António Campinos making secret plans, as he so often does. Staff plays no role in the decisions.

“We invite thoughts and input from readers.”“Campinos is pushing towards the destruction of the EPO,” one reader told us. “May be to replace it with a new normal UPC?”

“I am scared of what thus mafia is preparing for the employees and users of the EPO.” (Yes, many refer to them as “mafia”)

Some buildingsHere is what SUEPO (the union) wrote to staff this morning: “Mr Campinos has mandated the company Willis Towers Watson to perform an extensive survey among EPO staff focused this time on “Shaping the New Normal”. The staff representation was excluded from the preparation of the survey. This raises the suspicion that the survey may have hidden intents. Whoever drafts the questions alone, already knows the answers he wants to get. We can only warn staff to be very wary of the questions in this survey and to pay attention to their double meaning in view of a decentralisation exercise.

“In this paper you will find a “translation” of the announcement of Mr Campinos, “Shaping our future”.”

The above (first) paragraph is from the accompanying publication.

We’ve warped the publication into HTML as follows (with no added comment or emphasis, which we may add separately, in later and standalone posts):

16.09.2020
su20010mp – 0.2.1/1.1/5.3

New Normal Survey
“Shaping your future” translated

Mr Campinos has mandated the company Willis Tower Watson to perform an extensive survey among EPO staff focused this time on “Shaping the New Normal”. The staff representation was excluded from the preparation of the survey. This raises the suspicion that the survey may have hidden intents. Whoever drafts the questions alone, already knows the answers he wants to get. We can only warn staff to be very wary of the questions in this survey and to pay attention to their double meaning in view of a decentralisation exercise.

Here is a “translation” of the announcement of Mr Campinos:

What Mr Campinos says What Mr Campinos means
Shaping our future Pushing a political agenda
With many of us having returned to the Office recently, I want to wish you all a very warm welcome back after our summer break. The canteen providers are leaving, sport facilities are closed and Amicale events are still forbidden. The EPO house rules are stricter than Bavarian regulations. It has become unattractive to come back to the Office premises.
So far we have proved extremely capable of adapting to those changes and continuing to deliver excellent results. Our staff have remained safe and business has continued, despite some the difficulties caused by homeworking. Thanks for giving great production figures during a pandemic at the expense of your health and family life. In return, the new salary method will cut your purchasing power and the childcare allowance will be abolished.
This is a time, in the EPO’s story of dealing with coronavirus, when we are beginning to develop measures that will ensure our long-term role as one of the foremost IP offices operating in a changed world. For that, we need your help. In the last survey, you asked for a deterministic and a fairer career system fostering quality. Actually, your answers are just needed to pretend that you support the political agenda of the administration.
In the last few months a task force has been reflecting on what a New Normal might look like for the EPO and how it affects our ways of working for the year 2021 and beyond. Management has been devising its plans behind closed doors and rejected the requests for participation of staff representatives. The draft is ready since July. Formal consultation of staff is the last checkbox to be ticked.
It will tackle subjects that affect you directly, as EPO staff members, such as future teleworking (different schemes, locations and durations and the relationship between long-term teleworking and expatriation benefits, and the impact of extended teleworking and flexibility on performing your day-to-day tasks), options to work at different EPO sites and the future use of buildings and Office premises.
The agenda is to cut costs in an organisation which makes 400 M€ benefits per year. Management has made you feel comfortable teleworking in another country. What was free for you in the last months, will now come at a price on your benefits. The generalisation of shared offices and the selling of buildings are part of the plan. Even the closure of an entire place of employment like Vienna and Berlin is now possible. With staff working from home there is no reason why they cannot be “transferred” (at least on paper) to Munich or The Hague without management being accused of forcing relocation.
It’s a tool to help us figure out how we can maintain the collaborative spirit we have nurtured over the last couple of years, particularly while on our journey to achieving the vision we put down in the Strategic Plan and in facing coronavirus so far. Your input will help us to understand how we can continue that journey as a true community of EPO professionals, regardless of where exactly or how we are working. The collaborative spirit is the one management has developed with the member states by providing them with our IT tools for free. The future is the European Patent Network and decentralisation. Uber and Deliveroo also have a “true community of professionals”. You too can become part of such a “collaborative” community. In the long term, your National Intellectual Property Office will be your “hotspot” with the appropriate employment package of your country.

Our future is determined by the choices we make, don’t make, or leave for others to make for us. Choose wisely. Don’t give Mr Campinos a blank check to dismantle our organisation.

SUEPO Munich

Personal interpretations of the above are set aside for another article and likely another day. We invite thoughts and input from readers. We just strive to inform in a time of deception.

Programmers’ Day Should be Reason to Abolish Software Patents, Not Celebrate These

Posted in Deception, Patents at 5:25 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

“On “Programmer’s [sic] day”,” Benjamin Henrion told us yesterday, this account “tweets about the first software patent…”

A happy spin

Summary: Even in the 35 U.S.C. § 101 era, which was well overdue, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) romanticists have decided to offend programmers; “this one is really insulting,” Henrion (FFII) responded. “Not sure programmers can celebrate. Software patents are an insult to our profession…”

[Meme] Leaks Aren’t Our Enemy; They Help Expose an Inherently Corrupt and Unethical System

Posted in Deception, Finance at 5:32 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Censors don’t want us to know what’s really going on

Politics: meme

Summary: Understanding of society and human affairs requires compelled/imposed disclosures; tribalism or identity politics can only move us away from truth itself

In yesterday’s news: ‘$2.5 Trillion Theft’: Study Shows Richest 1% of Americans Have Taken $50 Trillion From Bottom 90% in Recent Decades

Links 16/9/2020: Gentoo Distribution Kernel and Tor 0.4.4.5

Posted in News Roundup at 4:50 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Cartesi Launches an Incubation Program Rewarding Developers to Build DApps in Linux

      Cartesi, an innovator in the blockchain space, today announces the start of the Cartesi DApp Incubation Program. Developers can apply for the program until October 12, 2020.

      Erick Demoura, CEO & Co-Founder of Cartesi said, “Cartesi is the only infrastructure that allows developers to use a Linux environment to build DApps. Developers can now conveniently build their DApps outside of the frustratingly restrictive, blockchain development environment. With the Incubation Program we are not only giving developers the opportunity to finally build the DApp of their dreams, but we are also rewarding them handsomely for their achievement.”

    • Desktop/Laptop

      • Switch to Linux with these top distros

        Regular contributor Jon Honeyball has fallen for the charms of Linux Mint – and we can understand why – but Mint is far from the only flavour on offer. Each distro has a different style and skillset, with variants to suit every taste.

        In this instance, we’re more interested in usability than we are in raw numbers, as this is about the computing experience as much as it’s about what you can do with each OS.

        Moreover, we’ve cut each candidate greater slack than we’d usually be prepared to do. We had issues with each distro – without exception – when installing them on our current-specification laptop, spanning wobbly Wi-Fi, touchpads that stopped working, mute speakers and, in some cases, distributions that wouldn’t install at all.

        This is by no means an unusual occurrence in the world of Linux, which often works on a system of trial and error. Linux has a reputation as being the sole province of hardcore tech-heads, and while that’s not quite true any more, it certainly not for the faint of heart, and we’d advise anyone who’s worried about using a command-line interface to turn back now.

        The winner, then, isn’t so much the quantifiably “best” open-source operating system on test, but rather the one we’d be most likely to stick with if it was time to wave goodbye to Windows altogether.

    • Server

      • GSoC 2020 – Building operators for cluster addons

        Google Summer of Code is a global program that is geared towards introducing students to open source. Students are matched with open-source organizations to work with them for three months during the summer.

        My name is Somtochi Onyekwere from the Federal University of Technology, Owerri (Nigeria) and this year, I was given the opportunity to work with Kubernetes (under the CNCF organization) and this led to an amazing summer spent learning, contributing and interacting with the community.

        Specifically, I worked on the Cluster Addons: Package all the things! project. The project focused on building operators for better management of various cluster addons, extending the tooling for building these operators and making the creation of these operators a smooth process.

    • Audiocasts/Shows

      • mintCast 343.5 – FOSS or Bust

        In our Innards section, NonFree vs FOSS

        And finally, the feedback and a suggestion

      • The Lamest Terminal Apps That I Could Find

        So I was searching through the Snap Store for interesting terminal applications. Instead, I kept coming across really lame and corny terminal apps. Some were so lame that I just had to install them and check them out.

    • Kernel Space

      • Microsoft submits Linux kernel patches for a ‘complete virtualization stack’ with Linux and Hyper-V [Ed: Microsoft Tim continues to push Microsoft takeover of Linux narratives in El Reg and Slashdot is now helping him (them), along with FOSSBytes. Him and Microsoft…]
      • Graphics Stack

        • NVIDIA GeForce RTX 30 Series Linux Driver/Support Expectations

          For well over a decade now and in fact closer to two decades, NVIDIA generally provides launch day support in their official, proprietary Linux driver. I think there’s just been a few times where there has been a few day delay. But thanks to their largely shared driver code-base between Windows and Linux (and BSD), it’s generally right on time. Generally speaking the first-cut support is quite good if using this proprietary driver. The performance and features are generally close to on-par with the Windows driver albeit with exceptions from time to time. So as long as you aren’t strictly abiding by free software principles and don’t oppose to using the binary blob, all should be well for the RTX 3080 beginning to ship this week or in the days ahead.

    • Applications

      • Fragments – A Modern BitTorrent Client for Gnome Desktop

        Fragments is an open-source GTK+ 3 BitTorrent client with a modern and easy to use user interface.

      • Lightworks Software Now Independent Of EditShare

        For just over a decade the Lightworks high-end, cross-platform video editing software has been owned by EditShare after it was acquired from Gee Broadcast. Now though LWKS Software Ltd has been established and acquired this video editing software from EditShare.

        LWKS Software Ltd is the new owner of Lightworks as a “forward-thinking company dedicated to the content creation industry.” EditShare’s QScan software was also part of this deal.

    • Instructionals/Technical

    • Games

      • Unvanquished Game, Assets Are Now Fully Open-Source Compliant

        Unvanquished was one of the most promising open-source game projects nearly a decade ago with its “Daemon” engine but since abandoning their monthly alpha release regiment and their beta/stable releases never materializing either, it’s been relatively quiet the past few years. But their developers have been persisting and today they are announcing that following a three-year cleanup the game is fully free/open-source including all assets under applicable licenses.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • XFCE 4.16 to Feature Better Fractional Scaling Support

        Look out for improved fractional scaling support in Xfce 4.16 when it arrives later this year.

        The feature is one of several betterments the nimble desktop environment will boast in the upcoming release, alongside the switch to CSD we ferried word on back in January.

        Adaptive screen handling on high-resolution displays is a basic ask of any modern desktop environment. Alas, some manage it better than others. GNOME, for instance, still only offers ‘experimental’ support for fractional scaling in Xorg sessions (though Ubuntu has patched the relevant settings into its GUI).

        The latest pre-release of Xfce 4.16 carries additional scaling values in the Display module. These settings range from 100% (1x), 150% (1.5x), and 200% (2x) scaling. There’s also a ‘custom’ option for manually entering values in-between. I find 125% (1.25x) to be the sweet spot in most DEs on my 14-inch laptop.

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • Kate and the Tab Bar – Release 20.12

          Kate did a long time not have tabbing. My initial design was a MDI editor with a list/treeview for the file selection.

          We had splitting very soon and some when in-between we had tabs around the split areas (like in good old Konqueror). But we had no tabs for documents. The tabbing for the split views was removed again later, as close to nobody understood or even found it ;)

          Here is some good old Kate, (alias Kant) screenshot from the good old KDE 2.2 times.

    • Distributions

      • Screenshots/Screencasts

        • Manjaro 20.1 XFCE Run Through

          In this video, we are looking at Manjaro 20.1 XFCE. Enjoy!

        • Manjaro 20.1 XFCE

          Today we are looking at Manjaro 20.1 XFCE. It is based on Arch, Linux Kernel 5.8, and uses about 800MB of ram when idling. Enjoy!

      • Gentoo Family

        • Distribution kernel for Gentoo

          The Gentoo Distribution Kernel project is excited to announce that our new Linux Kernel packages are ready for a wide audience!

          The project aims to create a better Linux Kernel maintenance experience by providing both ebuilds that can be used to configure, compile, and install kernel entirely through the package manager as well as prebuilt binary kernels.

      • SUSE/OpenSUSE

        • Conference Organizers Announce Schedule, Platform Registration

          Organizers of the openSUSE + LibreOffice Conference are pleased to announce the schedule for the conference is published.

          All times on the schedule are published in Coordinated Universal Time. The conference will take place live Oct. 15 through Oct. 17 using the https://oslo.gonogo.live/ platform.

          There are more than 100 talks scheduled that range from talks about the openSUSE and LibreOffice projects to talks about documentation. There are talks about open-source projects, cloud and container technologies, embedded devices, community development, translations, marketing, future technologies, quality assurance and more.

          There will be multiple sessions happening at the same time, so some talks might overlap. Attendees have an option to personalize a schedule so that they are reminded when the live talk they would like to see begins.

        • openSUSE Projects Support Hacktoberfest Efforts

          The openSUSE community is ready for Hacktoberfest, which is run by Digital Ocean and DEV that encourages people to make their first contributions to open source projects. The openSUSE + LibreOffice Virtual Conference will take place during Hacktoberfest and is listed as an event on the website. The conference will have more than 100 talks about open source projects ranging from documentation to the technologies within each project.

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • Best Free and Open Source Media Centers

        The majority of Linux distributions come supplied with a wide range of software that lets individuals use their PC to watch movies and television programs, listen to a music collection, and view photos. However, if you are looking for a more harmonious approach, turning your Linux box into a state of the art media center with an integrated easy-to-use interface, media center software will be just the ticket.

        In the media center department, Linux has a fairly narrow range to choose from. Fortunately, the software featured in this article ticks all the boxes. We have also chosen to include some distributions which are dedicated media centers, as they significantly simplify the installation process particularly on esoteric hardware. At the heart of each of these distributions is Kodi.

      • Web Browsers

        • Mozilla

          • Mozilla Cloud Services Blog: The Future of Sync

            There’s a new Sync back-end! The past year or so has been a year of a lot of changes and some of those changes broke things. Our group reorganized, we moved from IRC to Matrix, and a few other things caught us off guard and needed to be addressed. None of those should be excuses for why we kinda stopped keeping you up to date about Sync. We did write a lot of stuff about what we were going to do, but we forgot to share it outside of mozilla. Again, not an excuse, but just letting you know why we felt like we had talked about all of this, even though we absolutely had not.

            So, allow me to introduce you to the four person “Services Engineering” team whose job it is to keep a bunch of back-end services running, including Push Notifications and Sync back-end, and a few other miscellaneous services.

            [...]

            Sync needs to run with new versions of Firefox, as well as older ones. In some cases, very old ones, which had some interesting “quirks”. It needs to continue to be at least as secure as before while hopefully giving devs a chance to fix some of the existing weirdness as well as add new features. Oh, and switching folks to the new service should be as transparent as possible.

          • Mozilla announces partnership to explore new technology ideas in the Africa Region

            Mozilla and AfriLabs – a Pan-African community and connector of African tech hubs with over 255 technology innovation hubs spread across 47 countries – have partnered to convene a series of roundtable discussions with African startups, entrepreneurs, developers and innovators to better understand the tech ecosystem and identify new product ideas – to spur the next generation of open innovation.

            This strategic partnership will help develop more relevant, sustainable support for African innovators and entrepreneurs to build scalable resilient products while leveraging honest and candid discussions to identify areas of common interest. There is no shortage of innovators and creative talents across the African continent, diverse stakeholders coming together to form new ecosystems to solve social, economic problems that are unique to the region.

          • Make Firefox your default browser on iOS (finally!)

            Firefox is an independent browser, backed by Mozilla, the not-for-profit organization. We believe you should be able to decide who sees your personal info, not just among your friends, but with advertisers and companies on the internet — including us. In contrast to other major tech companies, Firefox products don’t harvest, sell or monetize your personal data. So you do you online. We’re here for it.

          • New Release: Tor 0.4.4.5

            After months of work, we have a new stable release series! If you build Tor from source, you can download the source code for 0.4.4.5 on thedownload page. Packages should be available within the next several weeks, with a new Tor Browser by some time next week.

            Tor 0.4.4.5 is the first stable release in the 0.4.4.x series. This series improves our guard selection algorithms, adds v3 onion balance support, improves the amount of code that can be disabled when running without relay support, and includes numerous small bugfixes and enhancements. It also lays the ground for some IPv6 features that we’ll be developing more in the next (0.4.5) series.

      • CMS

        • Wiki.js: A Modern Open-source Wiki Engine for the Enterprise

          Whenever there is a mention of a Wiki, the first thing that always come to thoughts is: Wikipedia.org. So first let’s draw a like between Wiki and Wikipedia.

          A Wiki is a software that built to ease collaborative writing and editing processes for teams. They are designed with a specific goal to provide productive writing environment for writers and editors, as well as a set of management tools for moderators and managers.

          Wikis have been around since the dawn of the modern internet as we knew it, and the most popular Wiki system is MediaWiki which Wikipedia uses.

          Over the years we used many wiki engines in work, starting from MediaWiki, DokuWiki, PmWiki, Wikkawiki, and TiddlyWiki. All of them are still popular wiki engines with loyal communities.

          [...]

          Wiki.js is a fully customizable and modular wiki engine written entirely in JavaScript. It comes with a rich set of features, and works smoothly on different systems and environments.

          It’s also a blazing fast web application, with an eye-candy design, furthermore, It supports many database interfaces with primary support for PostgreSQL (Note that the other database engines may be dropped in the next major release).

          With a developer-friendly tool set, developer can integrate Wiki.js with any existing system as they can build modules, and create custom themes for it.

          Wiki.js is a perfect solution for scientists, researchers, business managers, writers, historians, software developers and technical writers. It’s also a polished solution for the enterprise. Here in this article we will explain why.

        • 10 Best WordPress Push Notification Plugins

          With the world moving around the web, and the dynamics of marketing changing every hour, it is essential now to keep the website customer-ready. Push notifications are one way to keep your audience tied to your website, even when they are not visiting your website. You can send Push notifications to both desktop and mobile from the WordPress site.

          But, first of all, let’s see what WordPress Push notifications are. All clickable messages that you receive in the notification area of your mobile device or the messages that you see on the desktop of your computer are WordPress Push Notifications.

      • Programming/Development

        • What’s the point: Qt, Qbs, cri-o, HashiCorp Sentinel, and a new CNCF radar

          Qt 6.0 is on its way, but it’s shaping up to be different than developers were expecting. Qt product manager Santtu Ahonen has taken to the company’s blog to let users know that in order to “focus on the essential key features”, the Qt team will limit the number of targets and omit some operating systems in the next major release.

          [...]

          A second edition of the CNCF end user technology radar has been released and this time, the CNCF end user community took a long, hard look at observability. As in the first edition, members of the end user community were asked to let the editors know which products they had assessed, trialed, and adopted in their chosen field. The result is meant to give organisations that are new to the cloud native space some guidance of what to look into first.

        • [Moment.js] Project Status

          Moment.js has been successfully used in millions of projects, and we are happy to have contributed to making date and time better on the web. As of September 2020, Moment gets over 12 million downloads per week! However, Moment was built for the previous era of the JavaScript ecosystem. The modern web looks much different these days. Moment has evolved somewhat over the years, but it has essentially the same design as it did when it was created in 2011. Given how many projects depend on it, we choose to prioritize stability over new features.

        • Moment.js announces legacy status

          Moment.js, the de facto standard JavaScript library for date and time manipulation, has announced that “we would like to discourage Moment from being used in new projects going forward.” The project cited multiple reasons for the recommendation. The first is that moment objects are mutable; another is the unnecessarily large size of the library when compared to other internationalization and time-zone support options available to modern browsers. According to the post, “we now generally consider Moment to be a legacy project in maintenance mode. It is not dead, but it is indeed done.” The project offers multiple recommendations of alternative options, including “the evolution of Moment”, Luxon, authored by long-time Moment.js contributor Isaac Cambron.

        • What’s new in PHP 7.3?

          The PHP 7.3 was released on December 2018, although were not much improvements as it were in the version 7 and version 7.1 it is worth to check the news added features.

          If your GNU/Linux distribution does not have the 7.3 version in its official repositories, see How to compile PHP-7.3 en Debian

        • Python

          • Integrate Summernote Editor in Django application

            In this tutorial, we will learn how to integrate Summernote WYSIWYG Editor in Django Application.

          • wxPython by Example: Adding Icons to the Title Bar (Video)

            In this video tutorial, you will learn how to add icons to your wxPython application’s title bar. This is a nice feature to add to your application to give your program some branding.

          • Teach Python with Jupyter Notebooks

            Some things about the Ruby community have always impressed me. Two examples are the commitment to testing and the emphasis on making it easy to get started. The best example of both is Ruby Koans, where you learn Ruby by fixing tests.

            With the amazing tools we have for Python, we should be able to do something even better. We can. Using Jupyter Notebook, PyHamcrest, and just a little bit of duct tape-like code, we can make a tutorial that includes teaching, code that works, and code that needs fixing.

            First, some duct tape. Usually, you do your tests using some nice command-line test runner, like pytest or virtue. Usually, you do not even run it directly. You use a tool like tox or nox to run it. However, for Jupyter, you need to write a little harness that can run the tests directly in the cells.

          • Nathan Piccini Data Science Dojo Blog: Building a Chatbot with Google DialogFlow

            DialogFlow is a natural language understanding platform (based on Google’s AI) that makes it easy to design and integrate a conversational user interface into your mobile app, web application, device, bot, interactive voice response system, and so on. Using DialogFlow, you can provide new and engaging ways for users to interact with your product.

        • Shell/Bash/Zsh/Ksh

          • Finding one-to-many entries in a data table

            The command described in this post is useful in data checking, but it’s a little hard to explain what it actually does. It answers this question: Are there records with non-blank entries in field 1 that have multiple corresponding entries in field 2?

        • Java

          • Oracle’s Java 15 rides into town, waving the ‘we’re number one’ flag, demands 25th birthday party

            Oracle on Tuesday marked the arrival of Java 15, known as Oracle JDK 15 among those concerned about formalities and trademarks, in the 25th year of the programming language’s existence.

            “As Java celebrates its 25th birthday, we continue to make technical investments that drive Java innovation forward and help address the rapidly changing technology landscape,” said Georges Saab, VP of development for Oracle’s Java platform group, in a statement.

            Java, the database giant insists, continues to be the number one programming language used by 69 per cent of full-time developers worldwide, though others frame the matter differently.

            In TIOBE’s September 2020 ranking of programming languages, Java is the number two programming language and isn’t doing so well. “Java is in real trouble with a loss of -3.18 per cent in comparison to last year,” said CEO Paul Jansen, who clearly isn’t concerned that pedantic devs might read the loss of a negative value as an increase.

            The PYPL PopularitY of Programming Language Index shows less of a percentage decline, though still puts Java behind Python. And Redmonk’s July 2020 ranking of programming languages puts Java at number three.

    • Standards/Consortia

      • When services always had RSS

        I talked about RSS a lot earlier this year, mostly defending it from the charge that it’s irrelevant, and from weak arguments that it’s only useful for plumbing. But there’s one aspect I missed: it used to be assumed that a site would come with it. Now you have to use third-party tools, or write your own scraper.

  • Leftovers

    • One Last Pressure Drop…and You’re Free

      When I first heard that Toots Hibbert had been hospitalized a couple of weeks ago for mysterious respiratory problems — just a few days after he released his latest album, Got To Be Tough — I own that I thought it might be a publicity stunt to stir souls who’d long written him off and to sell CDs. I playfully imagined Toots tokin’ on a bone back home, waiting for his career to pull a Lazarus, before a sudden planned announcement of his ongoingness broke through dark clouds of sentimental sorrow, and People were forcing themselves to reach catharsis by buying his latest release. Got to be tough to make a buck in the present climate, I thought.

    • The Incantatory Power of Ayad Akhtar and Shahzia Sikander

      In an age of visual profusion, when the vividness and abundance of images consumed for distraction and commerce is breathtaking, it might seem naive for an artist to try to create images of incantatory, even magical power. To seek a holy relationship to the image today is often seen as foolhardy.

    • Science

      • Trump’s big lies reveal a truth: Right-wing science denial was never about ignorance, just cruelty

        Was it that right-wingers were too ignorant or benighted to accede to scientific realities? Or was it more sinister than that: They knew full well what the science said, but were too selfish and cruel to care, and also selfish and cruel enough to lie about it to our faces?

        Well, with the West Coast on fire, a pandemic spreading across the land, and a pathological liar in the White House as the Republican standard-bearer, I think we can consider that debate settled: It’s not ignorance. It’s malice.

    • Education

      • How Not To Be A School District Superintendent: The Elmhurst, IL Edition

        It should serve as no surprise that school district superintendents are not somehow universally amazing people. Like any population, there will be good ones and bad ones. All of that being said, it seems that the COVID-19 pandemic has been particularly good at highlighting just how bad at the job, not to mention at public relations, some superintendents can be. The most useful example of this came from Georgia, where a school district suspended, then un-suspended, students for posting pictures of just how badly their schools were failing at managing bringing students back during the pandemic.

      • Finding My Students Over Zoom

        My Not-So-Terrible Experience With Remote Teaching

    • Health/Nutrition

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • 1.9bn to help combat cyber breaches at hospitals [iophk: Windows kills]

          For long-term security and the prevention of future breaches, Mr Sathit said a budget of 1.9 billion baht will be set aside to install a security system capable of protecting data stored in hospitals run by the Public Health Ministry nationwide.

        • Security

          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • Ninth Circuit Appeals Court May Have Raised The Bar On Notifying Defendants About Secretive Surveillance Techniques

              Recently — perhaps far too recently — the Ninth Circuit Appeals Court said the bulk phone records collection the NSA engaged in for years was most likely unconstitutional and definitely a violation of the laws authorizing it. The Appeals Court did not go so far as to declare it unconstitutional, finding that the records collected by the government had little bearing on the prosecution of a suspected terrorist. But it did declare it illegal.

            • A “Persistent Eye in the Sky” Coming to a City Near You?

              Allowing this powerful technology to be taken from overseas wars and turned inward on American citizens isn’t something that should happen without a robust public debate.

            • DHS lies again about REAL-ID

              As it’s been doing for years, the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is still lying about the state of compliance by states with the Federal REAL-ID Act of 2005.

              The latest DHS whopper is this DHS press release issued September 10, 2010:

            • Oracle Wins TikTok Sweepstakes, Rewarding Trump Donor Larry Ellison

              The “deal,” if it even is a deal, as no cash terms were announced, is still pending a U.S. Treasury department review. And it sounds suspiciously like a compromise that saves face for both sides, and saves ByteDance from losing their most lucrative asset — either the U.S. portion of its user base, or its vast Asian market of users, which it was never clear it would give up.

    • Defence/Aggression

      • Three World War II Books That Mirror Our Current Crises

        The 75th Commemoration of the End of World War II is Sept. 2, 2020. This fall, three new books cover foreign-policy issues from the conclusion of that war. Those issues are still with us today: how to care for the plight of millions of displaced and desperate immigrants, how to apply international laws to punishing enemies, and how to justify (if we can) the use of nuclear weapons. They’re worth a read this fall.

      • Russian servicemen arrive in Belarus for annual ‘Slavic Brotherhood’ drills

        Servicemen from the 76th Guards Air Assault Division, a division of Russia’s Airborne Troops stationed in Pskov, have arrived in Belarus to participate in the 2020 Belarusian-Russian “Slavic Brotherhood” military exercises, the Belarusian Defense Ministry says. 

      • Russia’s new draft budget doesn’t include the expected cuts to government spending — why is that?

        Russia’s Finance Ministry has developed a new draft budget for the next three years. It was created with a new reality in mind: the coronavirus pandemic has left Russia facing a severe crisis, one made worse by this year’s fall in oil prices. Like many other countries, Russia has increased spending in response to the crisis, creating a significant deficit in the budget. But now that this year’s one-time distribution of budgetary funds is coming to an end, the government faces a choice: spend heavily going forward, which will require dipping into the country’s reserves and borrowing trillions of rubles, or cut government spending. Initially, the Finance Ministry opted to make cuts, but then it changed its mind. There’s still a chance that the Russian economy will be able to recover quickly and cutbacks won’t be necessary.

      • For Palestinians and Their Supporters, Arab-Israeli Pacts Are ‘A Stab in The Back’ Amid Ongoing Oppression

        From the West Bank and Gaza to Washington, D.C. and beyond, Palestinians and their allies stress that only an end to Israel’s illegal occupation can bring peace to the Middle East. 

      • George Bush’s Book of Immigrant Portraits Won’t Redeem His Legacy

        In Teen Vogue, Sarah Souli called the political rehabilitation of Bush an “amnesic view of our history,” citing his administration’s unconstitutional and inhumane Iraq war, and its response to Hurricane Katrina, which disproportionately killed and displaced Black communities. When it comes to immigration, Bush’s legacy is similarly beyond repair. Sure, Bush endorsed the 2007 Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act, which would have provided a very lengthy path to citizenship for the undocumented migrants who could afford a hefty fine, pass a background check, and demonstrate a consistent employment history, while ballooning the Border Patrol’s budget and expanding enforcement in the interior. The Bush administration also created an entire agency that has disappeared migrants from our communities.

    • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

      • QAnon is coopting a USPS phishing scam

        A viral phishing scheme is targeting people across the country with scammy text messages claiming to be from the United States Postal Service (USPS). Now, QAnon conspiracy theorists have jumped into the fray, falsely claiming the scheme is tied to human trafficking, as reported by Insider.

        There’s no evidence to suggest this is true. The rumor has spread on Facebook and Instagram, echoing the Wayfair conspiracy theory that went viral earlier this summer. Unlike the Wayfair conspiracy, however, the USPS myth is obfuscating a real phishing threat.

    • Environment

      • Hothouse US: Catastrophic Fires Spreading Smoke From the West; Five Cyclones To the East

        From the west to the east, climate change is super-charging our warming world.

      • Facebook Admits Climate Denialist Content is ‘Viral’ on Platform, Launches Hub to Combat Misinformation

        The company has also not said if it will tag or remove posts containing climate change misinformation from Facebook groups, or if its climate change misinformation efforts will be limited to News Feed posts.

      • The Climate Flames Come for Us All
      • Mass migration set to increase as world warms

        Climate change is now driving mass migration, which will only worsen unless governments take global heating seriously.

      • Climate Change Will Force a New American Migration

        August besieged California with a heat unseen in generations. A surge in air conditioning broke the state’s electrical grid, leaving a population already ravaged by the coronavirus to work remotely by the dim light of their cellphones. By midmonth, the state had recorded possibly the hottest temperature ever measured on earth — 130 degrees in Death Valley — and an otherworldly storm of lightning had cracked open the sky. From Santa Cruz to Lake Tahoe, thousands of bolts of electricity exploded down onto withered grasslands and forests, some of them already hollowed out by climate-driven infestations of beetles and kiln-dried by the worst five-year drought on record. Soon, California was on fire.

        Over the next two weeks, 900 blazes incinerated six times as much land as all the state’s 2019 wildfires combined, forcing 100,000 people from their homes. Three of the largest fires in history burned simultaneously in a ring around the San Francisco Bay Area. Another fire burned just 12 miles from my home in Marin County. I watched as towering plumes of smoke billowed from distant hills in all directions and air tankers crisscrossed the skies. Like many Californians, I spent those weeks worrying about what might happen next, wondering how long it would be before an inferno of 60-foot flames swept up the steep, grassy hillside on its way toward my own house, rehearsing in my mind what my family would do to escape.

      • UN Biodiversity Report Urges 8 Transitions Needed to Restore Essential Ecosystems Impacted by Humanity

        “We can no longer afford to cast nature aside. Now is the time for this massive step up—conserving, restoring, and using biodiversity fairly and sustainably.”

      • Energy

        • ‘Unplanned Gas Release’ at Controversial Gas Facility in Weymouth, South of Boston

          Enbridge, the Canadian-based energy pipeline corporation behind the controversial Weymouth compressor station, sent a written notice to Massachusetts state regulators on Friday, September 11 informing them of the mechanical failure and “unplanned” gas release. The compressor station’s approval plan requires this notification when there is an unplanned gas release exceeding 10,000 standard cubic feet in volume. According to Enbridge, 265,000 standard cubic feet of gas and 35 pounds of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) were leaked during the incident.

      • Wildlife/Nature

        • Indigenous Stewardship of the Land Would Help to Prevent Raging Climate Fires

          We examine California’s history of forest management and how a century of fire suppression has made the current climate fires even more destructive. For thousands of years, Native American tribes in California would regularly burn the landscape to steward the land, but colonization led to the suppression of these tactics and decades of misguided policy. A return to these Indigenous practices could help better steward the land and foster greater climate resiliency, says Don Hankins, a pyrogeographer and Plains Miwok fire expert who teaches geography and planning at California State University, Chico. “If we all work together and we use the same mindset in terms of process, being able to use fire within the landscape, we can start to put fire back in at the scale that it needs to be for the right ecological and cultural purposes,” Hankins says.

        • Colonization Made California a Tinderbox: Why Indigenous Land Stewardship Would Help Combat Climate Fires

          We examine California’s history of forest management and how a century of fire suppression has made the current climate fires even more destructive. For thousands of years, Native American tribes in California would regularly burn the landscape to steward the land, but colonization led to the suppression of these tactics and decades of misguided policy. A return to these Indigenous practices could help better steward the land and foster greater climate resiliency, says Don Hankins, a pyrogeographer and Plains Miwok fire expert who teaches geography and planning at California State University, Chico. “If we all work together and we use the same mindset in terms of process, being able to use fire within the landscape, we can start to put fire back in at the scale that it needs to be for the right ecological and cultural purposes,” Hankins says.

    • Finance

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • Plummeting Loser
      • Ten Trump-Away Haiku

        Ten Trump-Away Haiku

      • On the Lasting Influences of David Graeber

        Influential academic David Graeber had been invited to Berlin to present his new book Debt: The First 5,000 Years, by current German President Steinmeier who at the time was preparing to run for office of German Chancellor. The year was 2012, massive debt of Greece and many other European nations were threatening a free-fall of the Euro currency, and the topic of how to save Europe was at the top of the political agenda.

      • I Voted, I Voted.
      • It’s Going to Be a Long November

        Twenty years ago, this country faced a drawn-out electoral dilemma—and we were woefully unprepared. The Democratic campaign had no what-if plan in 2000. Ultimately, all it took to seal our nation’s fate was the Republican Party shutting down the Miami-Dade recount.

      • ‘Just Wildly, Blatantly Corrupt’: Researcher Reveals DeJoy Donated $600,000 to Trump and GOP After Top USPS Job Opened

        “This information is explosive. We have a crony at the helm of our nation’s Postal Service. A man rife with conflicts of interest and potential violations of law.”

      • DeJoy Donated $600,000 to Trump and GOP After Postmaster General Job Opened

        During a House hearing Monday examining Postmaster General Louis DeJoy’s myriad potential conflicts of interest, researcher Lisa Graves testified that the former North Carolina logistics executive donated more than $600,000 to the GOP and President Donald Trump’s reelection campaign in just a two-month period after the top Postal Service job opened up late last year.

      • Trump’s Nevada Rally Is a Mockery to Millions
      • Trump’s China Diversion

        The Trump administration’s orchestrated attack on China is commonly assumed to stem from upset over China’s human rights violations and its aggressive behavior in the South China Sea and along the border with India. Where once Trump was fulsome in praise of Xi Jinping’s leadership, now official statements on China are uniformly critical and alarmist.

      • Young, LGBTQ Voters of Color Could Swing This Election
      • Trump Supporters Need a Reality Check

        Support independent cartooning: join Sparky’s List—and don’t forget to visit TT’s Emporium of Fun, featuring the new book and plush Sparky!

      • “Cover Up”: House Democrats Subpoena Documents That NLRB Refused to Share in Ethics Investigation

        House Democrats are set to issue a subpoena Tuesday to compel the National Labor Relations Board to hand over documents as part of an inquiry into potential ethical lapses at the board, according to congressional aides. The move, by Democrats on the House Committee on Education and Labor, marks a significant escalation of a long-running investigation and follows the repeated refusal by the NLRB’s chairman, John Ring, to produce the documents voluntarily.

        The subpoena demands that the labor board produce a set of documents linked to its efforts, under the Trump administration, to undo one of the landmark decisions of the Obama-era NLRB, which expanded worker protections by broadening what is called the “joint employer” rule. That decision left companies on the hook for labor law violations against workers not directly employed by them, like temp staff and employees of fast-food franchisees. It meant that a parent corporation like McDonald’s, one of the companies embroiled in litigation over the rule, could be held liable for a franchise owner’s wrongdoing, such as retaliating against workers for trying to unionize. That had implications for the profits of corporations that operate on a franchise model and for contract-staffing firms, like cleaning services.

      • McConnell Vows to Be ‘Firewall’ Against Progress in Senate As Democrats Mull Eliminating Filibuster

        While lawmakers from both parties have used the tactic in the past, Democrats, hoping to flip the Senate, look to block GOP opposition in 2021.

      • Senator Demands HHS Official Michael Caputo Be Fired for Deranged ‘Sedition’ Rant Against CDC Scientists

        The former Trump campaign aide-turned-federal official baselessly claimed “there are hit squads being trained all over this country” to prevent the president from winning reelection.

      • Roger Stone Coaches Trump on How to Stage an Election Coup

        There’s a strong possibility that the period after Election Day could make Bush v. Gore in 2000 look like a tea party.

      • Why Are Democratic Super PACs Wasting Millions?

        Why do we settle for mediocrity when we should be insisting on excellence? Having spent the past few weeks working on a report card grading the Democratic super PACs and the more than $600 million they’re planning to spend on the fall elections, my main takeaway is that we tolerate far too much mediocrity in progressive politics.

      • “Mass Voter Disenfranchisement”: GOP Ramps Up Assault on Voting Rights Across U.S. Ahead of Election

        With just seven weeks to go before the U.S. presidential election, the battle for the White House is increasingly being fought in courts across the country. From Wisconsin to Florida, Pennsylvania to Colorado, judges are making major rulings deciding who gets on the ballot, how a record number of mail-in ballots are handled and distributed, and who ultimately gets to vote on November 3. Ari Berman, senior writer at Mother Jones and author of “Give Us the Ballot: The Modern Struggle for Voting Rights in America,” says Republicans are carrying out a nationwide attack on voting rights aimed at keeping a shrinking white minority in power. “This is the Republican Party’s game: Don’t do anything for the American people, make it as hard as you can to vote, and then put in place judges who will then uphold those new voter suppression laws.”

      • Conservative group used a bunch of teens to evade Twitter and Facebook moderation

        The campaign occurred over the course of months, and the Post identified at least 4,500 tweets that came from the Turning Point Action effort. “In 2016, there were Macedonian teenagers interfering in the election by running a [astroturfer] farm and writing salacious articles for money,” Graham Brookie, an expert in digital forensic research, told The Post. “In this election, the [astroturfer] farm is in Phoenix.”

      • Bird conservation group removes Taiwan for not complying with China’s political agenda

        BirdLife International (BirdLife), a global bird conservation organization, has been accused of removing its Taiwanese partner after it refused to give in to Chinese political pressure intended to undermine Taiwan’s sovereign integrity.

      • No Democrats Allowed: A Conservative Lawyer Holds Secret Voter Fraud Meetings With State Election Officials

        Starting in early spring, as the coronavirus took hold, a conservative lawyer at the forefront of raising alarms about voting by mail held multiple private briefings exclusively for Republican state election officials, according to previously unreported public records.

        The lawyer, the Heritage Foundation’s Hans von Spakovsky, is a leading purveyor of the notion that voter fraud is rampant, claims that have been largely discredited.

      • No Democrats Allowed: A Conservative Lawyer Holds Secret Voter Fraud Meetings With State Election Officials

        The lawyer, the Heritage Foundation’s Hans von Spakovsky, is a leading purveyor of the notion that voter fraud is rampant, claims that have been largely discredited.

        Among the participants in these meetings has been an official from the office of Georgia’s secretary of state; the secretary, Brad Raffensperger, recently elevated concerns about voter fraud by contending that 1,000 Georgians had voted twice in elections this year.

        GOP congressional staffers and a Trump administration appointee have also joined in these meetings, which were open to officials from states across the country, including Missouri and Nevada, the records show. No Democratic state election officials appear to have been invited.

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • Because Too Many People Still Don’t Know Why The EARN IT Bill Is Terrible, Here’s A Video

        The biggest problem with all the proposals to reform Section 230 is that way too many people don’t understand *why* they are a terrible idea. And the EARN IT bill is one of the worst of the worst, because it does not just break Section 230 but also so much more, yet too many people remain oblivious to the issues.

      • Confused by Section 230? So Is Donald Trump

        A key protection for internet freedom has run headlong into a Trump administration determined to stifle all criticism of the president and ensure that social media remain tools for the unchecked spread of the president’s brand of disinformation and bigotry.

    • Freedom of Information/Freedom of the Press

      • Journalists Need to Be Clear About a Clear Threat to Democracy

        When the president of the United States has…

      • Day 6: September 15, 2020 #AssangeCase

        Continuing testimony that began yesterday, U.S. lawyer Eric Lewis explained that under President Trump, the Department of Justice is not an independent agency but rather one that takes its direction from the top down. Lewis said that he isn’t questioning the integrity of lower-level prosecutors, but they are taking direction from their Attorney General.

      • Your Man in the Public Gallery: Assange Hearing Day 9

        Things became not merely dramatic in the Assange courtroom today, but spiteful and nasty. There were two real issues, the evidence and the procedure. On the evidence, there were stark details of the dreadful regime Assange will face in US jails if extradited. On the procedure, we saw behaviour from the prosecution QC that went well beyond normal cross examination and was a real attempt to denigrate and even humiliate the witness. I hope to prove that to you by a straightforward exposition of what happened today in court, after which I shall add further comment. B Today’s witness was Eric Lewis. A practising US attorney for 35 years, Eric Lewis has a doctorate in law from Yale and a masters in criminology from Cambridge. He is former professor in law at Georgetown University, an elected member of both the American Law Institute and the Council on Foreign Relations and a fellow of the American Bar Foundation. He is Chairman of Reprieve. He has represented high profile clients in national security and terrorism cases, including Seymour Hersh and Guantanamo Bay internees.

      • Witnesses At Extradition Trial Say Assange Could Spend Rest Of His Life In US Prison

        During an extradition trial, witnesses for WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange’s legal team said he could spend the rest of his life in a federal prison in the United States if convicted of all the offenses he faces.Judge Vanessa Baraitser, the presiding British judge, also heard testimony related to how authorities in the U.S. government would likely pressure Assange to plead guilty instead of going to trial.Assange, who is 49 years-old, is accused of 17 counts of violating the Espionage Act and one count of conspiracy to commit a computer crime that, as alleged in the indictment, is written like an Espionage Act offense.The charges criminalize the act of merely receiving classified information, as well as the publication of state secrets from the United States government. It targets common practices in news gathering, which is why the case is widely opposed by press freedom organizations throughout the world.

        Eric Lewis, a U.S. defense attorney, said the “base level” for a sentence if Assange was convicted of all the above offenses would be about eight to 10 years. However, Assange pled guilty to 24 charges in a case brought against in Australia for allegedly hacking into Nortel, a Canadian telecommunications company. That criminal history could potentially increase his sentence.

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • Whistleblower on Doctor at ICE Facility: “Everybody He Sees Has a Hysterectomy”

        A whistleblower complaint directed toward the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) alleges that detainees at an Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) facility in Georgia were medically neglected, including not being tested for COVID-19, and that an alarmingly large number of hysterectomies were being performed on detainees.

      • Bill Barr’s Deceitful Distortion of Jesse Jackson

        A 1998 statement is twisted to support a scenario of prejudice and hate.

      • ‘Forced Sterilization Is Genocide’: Rights Groups Condemn ICE Amid Whistleblower’s Allegations of Unwarranted Hysterectomies

        The complaint alleges numerous health and safety violations in regards to Covid-19 in addition a disturbing number of procedures performed on detained women.

      • Guilty, Complicit, and Canceled

        When we meet him, the first father in Emma Cline’s story collection Daddy is just chilling on the patio, eating salami off a paper plate, dressed California casual in “jeans, his white socks, his white sneakers, a knitted sweater.” The sweater almost definitely belongs to his wife, Linda, but John is too old to worry over silly things like necklines. “Who would care?” John considers himself a simple creature, but there are many hints that this man can’t be trusted to know himself. As he putters around, Cline plants suggestions of his violent temper: how his default stress response is to “knock things over,” how he used to throw food at his oldest daughter when she wouldn’t eat it, and how that daughter, age 9, called the police on him. John doesn’t divulge why any of this happened and hardly approaches coming to terms with whatever it was—“he guessed it would have been after one of the bad periods—though Cline obviously wants us to wonder why. What did this sexless father, dreaming only of filial affection, do or not do to his family? John isn’t totally clueless, but “these things seemed so far away,” he thinks. “And then eventually they got further away, and then nobody talked about them anymore.” In other words, who still cares? The past has passed. John remembers the Disney movies his children once loved, in which “the fathers were basically Jesus, the kids crowding around whenever the dad came into a room, hanging off his neck.” That he is not “basically Jesus,” pains him enough to compel him to open three bottles of wine, but his sins are anyone’s guess.

      • Ableism and White Supremacy Are Intertwined — We Must Confront Them Together

        Ableism, broadly defined, is any expression of discrimination that favors nondisabled people, but it is not a prejudice that harms only those with disabilities. Ableism is a systemic oppression that finds common ancestry with white supremacy.

      • Refugees Face Fire and Terror in Greece

        Lesbos—For years, the squalor of overcrowded metal container homes and a sprawling tent city of flimsy plastic tarps amid open rivers of sewage made life in the Moria Refugee Camp a grim manifestation of Fortress Europe. That cruel regime changed abruptly last week, when four nights of fires turned the 12,000-person camp into a scorched-earth wasteland of char and ash.

      • Alexey Navalny shares first personal update on his condition since regaining consciousness after poisoning

        On Tuesday, September 15, Russian opposition figure Alexey Navalny published his first social media post since his poisoning with a Novichok-type nerve agent on August 20.

      • ICE Deported a Woman Who Accused Guards of Sexual Assault While the Feds Were Still Investigating the Incident

        The U.S. government late Monday deported a crucial witness in an ongoing investigation into allegations of sexual assault and harassment at an El Paso, Texas, immigrant detention center, the witness’s lawyers said.

        The 35-year-old woman has been held in the facility, which is overseen by Immigration and Customs Enforcement, for about a year and told lawyers about a “pattern and practice” of abuse there, including that guards systematically assaulted her and other detainees in areas that were not visible to security cameras.

      • ‘A red card isn’t cause for throwing punches’ Former Russian national team soccer player faces criminal charges for beating up referee during amateur match

        Police officials in Moscow have launched a criminal case against 39-year-old Roman Shirokov, a former midfielder for the Russian national soccer team, reports TASS citing an anonymous source in law enforcement. This was first reported by the Telegram based news outlet Baza. 

      • EU Foreign Minister calls for naming global human rights sanctions regime after Alexey Navalny

        During a plenary session of the European Parliament on Tuesday, September 15, the EU’s High Representative for Foreign Affairs, Josep Borrell, put forward the idea of naming a global human rights sanctions regime after Russian opposition figure Alexey Navalny.

      • Racism is Profitable

        Let’s get to work.

      • Denver Now Routing 911 Calls About Mental Health Issues Away From Cops, Towards Trained Health Professionals

        Sending out armed law enforcement officers to handle mental health crises has often been a bad idea. Situations that require compassion, de-escalation, and nuance are far too often greeted with force, more force, and deadly force. Since there’s always “excited delirium” to excuse the deaths caused by officers ill-equipped to deal with mental health issues, very little has changed. Until now.

      • ‘We Must Not Lose Focus’: Louisville To Pay $12 Million to Family of Breonna Taylor, But Officers Not Yet Charged

        The city has vowed to implement police reforms, but Taylor’s mother demanded officials “move forward with the criminal charges because she deserves that and much more.” 

      • The Police Are Lying in LA and the Media Is Falling for It—Again

        After hearing the charge, I went to the Internet to look for the video of this alleged protest. Here is what the LA County sheriffs were apparently talking about. As you can see in the video, the “protest” appears to be about four guys hovering around the emergency entrance, shouting invectives. It wasn’t a protest, and they weren’t preventing any medical vehicles from entering or exiting the hospital. It was a few people who gave into the justified-yet-wrong anger I myself overcame this morning through the grace of coffee and the backspace key.

        To call this group of individuals “protesters who blocked the entrance,” as the police did, is misleading at best. To repeat the disinformation, as journalists did, simply because it was on a police Twitter account, is bad journalism.

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

    • Monopolies

      • Patents

        • Can academic peer-review learn something from patent prosecution?

          Both peer-review and the patent prosecution, of course, have their problems. Peer-review is considered, to paraphrase, the worst system for reviewing academic papers except for all the others. However, the comparison between peer-review and patent prosecution puts many of the problems of peer-review into sharp relief, and perhaps sheds some light on why science struggles to retain those from unrepresented groups.

          Patent prosecution is a codified system in which professional patent office examiners determine whether a patent should be granted. The examiner assesses the claims of the patent application for novelty, inventiveness, and utility, as defined by the patent law. If the examiner raises an objection, the applicant is given some number of months to respond to the objection, either by arguing their case or by amending the claims. The to and fro between the applicant and the examiner may go on for many iterations, before final acceptance or rejection.

          Peer-review is similar to patent prosecution except that the place of the examiner is taken by experts in the field, who are presumed to be in the best position to assess the truth, originality and significance of the research. Manuscripts submitted to a journal by an author are sent by the journal editor to expert academics in the field to review. Like the patent examiner, the peer-reviewer passes judgement on the merits of the paper and recommends publication, potentially subject to revisions, or rejection. The author is then invited by the editor to respond to the reviewer’s comments and to make the suggested revisions. The editor takes the final decision on whether the paper should be accepted or rejected based on the reviewer comments and the author’s reply.

          Before beginning the comparison between peer-review and patent prosecution, it is noted that academic purists may be scandalised by any attempt to equate the world of peer-review with the commercial world of patents. However, such critics may be reminded that published papers are the currency of science, on the basis of which grants are awarded, jobs offered, and promotions given. A published paper therefore has economic value to its authors, albeit a more indirect one than a patent. The process by which papers are accepted and rejected should thus be as arguably fair and robust as those by which a patent is granted.

        • Federal Circuit Statistics Update – September 2020

          Last week we released version 1.16 of the Compendium of Federal Circuit Decisions, which is a publicly-available dataset containing information about all documents published by the Federal Circuit on its website since 2004 (which includes all opinions and, since 2007, all Rule 36 summary affirmances). The Compendium was designed from the ground-up to be used for empirical research rather than as a conventional legal research tool.

          Generally, there haven’t been any striking changes in the statistics for the court’s opinions and Rule 36 summary affirmances so far in 2020. The below two graphs are the basic ones that I usually show: opinions and Rule 36 affirmances by the Federal Circuit in appeals arising from the PTO and district courts.

          [...]

          One noteworthy shift is the relative drop in Rule 36’s. So far in 2020, the court has decided more appeals via the mechanism of nonprecedential opinion and fewer through summary affirmance–especially in appeals arising from the PTO.

          Affirmance rates continue to be in line with the past: the vast majority of decisions result in the affirmance of the lower tribunal.* Over the last few years, the court has consistently affirmed the PTO outright about 80% of the time, and affirmed-in-part another 7% of the time. The district courts have been affirmed a bit less often: about 70% of the time the court is affirmed entirely, and another 13% of the time it has been affirmed-in-part. The court’s decisions in 2020 have been consistent with these metrics.

      • Trademarks

        • Banksy’s Weakass Attempt To Abuse Trademark Law Flops, Following Bad Legal Advice

          Nearly a year ago we wrote about the somewhat complex (and misunderstood by many) trademark dispute involving Banksy. There is a lot of background here, so I’m going to try to go with the abbreviated version. Banksy — who has claimed that “copyright is for losers” — has always refused to copyright his random graffiti-based art. However, as it now becomes clear, one reason he’s avoided using copyright is because to register the work, he’d likely have to reveal his real name. Instead, it appears he’s spent a few years abusing trademark law to try to trademark some of his artwork, including his famous “flower bomber” image, which was registered to a company called Pest Control Office Limited. Of course, to get a trademark, you have to use it in commerce, and many Banksy creations don’t fit that criteria.

        • Open Usage Commons: Google’s Initiative to Manage Trademark for Open Source Projects Runs into Controversy

          Back in July, Google announced a new organization named Open Usage Commons. The aim of the organization is to help “projects protect their project identity through programs such as trademark management and usage guidelines”.

          Google believes that “creating a neutral, independent ownership for these trademarks gives contributors and consumers peace of mind regarding their use of project names in a fair and transparent way”.

      • Copyrights

        • TuneIn Blocks 1,000s of Radio Channels in UK But a VPN Restores Service

          In 2019, the High Court of England and Wales ruled that by offering an index of non UK-based or unlicensed radio stations to UK residents, radio aggregator service TuneIn breached copyright. In response the service has now geo-blocked thousands of stations leaving UK customers without their favorite sounds. Unless they use a VPN, then it’s business as usual.

        • EU’s Article 17 Consultation Reinvigorates ‘Upload Filter’ Debate

          The European Commission is working on a guidance document for member states, clarifying how Article 17 of the new Copyright Directive should be implemented. The proposal has reinvigorated the ‘upload filter’ debate. According to copyright groups, the EU is watering down the earlier agreement by suggesting the “likely legitimate” content should not be immediately removed. At the same time, upload filter opponents are calling for more human reviews.

IRC Proceedings: Tuesday, September 15, 2020

Posted in IRC Logs at 2:01 am by Needs Sunlight

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