10.20.20

Links 20/10/2020: OpenZFS 2.0 RC4 and Trisquel GNU/Linux 9.0

Posted in News Roundup at 7:50 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Audiocasts/Shows

    • Kernel Space

      • OpenZFS 2.0-RC4 Released With More Fixes, Linux 5.9 Support – Phoronix

        The fourth release candidate of OpenZFS 2.0 is now available for testing of this open-source ZFS file-system implementation currently for Linux and FreeBSD platforms.

        OpenZFS 2.0 is a big update for this project in that it mainlines FreeBSD support, Zstd file-system compression is a new option, various performance improvements, sequential resilvering, fast clone deletion, persistent L2ARC, and a number of other changes compared to the state of the current ZFSOnLinux 0.8 stable series.

      • Linux 5.10 FUSE To Allow Faster Performance With VirtIO-FS – Phoronix

        The FUSE implementation for supporting file-systems in user-space is seeing important kernel work merged for Linux 5.10.

        The most prominent change with FUSE in Linux 5.10 is a “DAX” mode for allowing direct access to the host page cache. Making use of this direct access support for the host page cache is the VirtIO-FS file-system for sharing files/folders with virtualized guests.

        By allowing direct access to the host page cache, there is no longer any double caching and most I/O operations should be significantly faster.

      • Check out the Oracle talks at KVM Forum 2020

        The annual KVM forum conference is next week. It brings together the world’s leading experts on Linux virtualization technology to present their latest work. The conference is virtual this year, with live attendance from October 28-30, or check out the recordings once they are available! https://events.linuxfoundation.org/kvm-forum.

        We have a good number of engineers from the Oracle Linux kernel development team who will be presenting their work at the forum.

        Alexandre Chartre presents KVM Address Space Isolation, a kernel enhancement that provides a separate kernel address space for KVM when running virtual machines. This provides an extra level of protection against speculative execution exploits, improving security for all, and also was a hot topic at the Linux Plumbers Conference earlier this year.

      • Graphics Stack

        • Intel Lands A Hefty Tiger Lake Graphics Optimization – Phoronix

          From my Tiger Lake testing so far with the Core i7 1165G7, the “Gen12″ Xe Graphics have been quite compelling with a very nice upgrade over Gen11 and especially obvious win over the very common still Gen9 graphics. With Mesa 20.3, another measurable performance is on the way for the Intel Vulkan driver with Tiger Lake.

          For Tiger Lake (and theoretically Rocket Lake as well), a new and significant optimization landed today in Mesa 20.3-devel. The optimization applies for Intel Gen12 graphics except for discrete/DG1 graphics.

        • Vulkan Specification Version 1.2.158 Brings Two New Extensions

          Version 1.2.158 of the Vulkan specification introduces VK_KHR_fragment_shading_rate that lets developers change the rate at which fragments are shaded on a per-region, per-primitive or per-draw basis and VK_KHR_shader_terminate_invocation which, together with the previously introduced VK_EXT_shader_demote_to_helper_invocation extension, lets developers do a much more specific OpKill.

        • Open-Source RADV Vulkan Driver Is Seeing Work To Allow Building It On Windows – Phoronix

          An independent party has slowly begun merging patches into mainline Mesa for allowing the open-source Radeon Vulkan driver “RADV” to build on Microsoft Windows.

          AMD is not behind this effort nor Valve but has been worked on in recent months for making Mesa’s Radeon Vulkan driver code compatible with Windows. James Park of a little known “Lag Free Games” has been behind this initiative to bringing it to Windows and seemingly only explaining in private to upstream Mesa developers his motivations for doing so.

          RADV as a reminder is the Mesa Radeon Vulkan driver started out by David Airlie of Red Hat and Bas Nieuwenhuizen of Google in the time while waiting for AMD to open-source their Vulkan driver. AMD ultimately provided “AMDVLK” as their official open-source Vulkan driver derived from their internal Vulkan driver sources and built against the AMDGPU LLVM compiler back-end.

    • Benchmarks

      • Further Exploring The Intel Tiger Lake Core i7-1165G7 Performance On Ubuntu Linux

        Last week I published initial benchmarks of the Intel Core i7 1165G7 “Tiger Lake” performance on Linux with the Dell XPS 13 9310 Developer Edition laptop. Of most surprise from those preliminary Linux figures were finding that for some single-threaded workloads the performance was actually worse than the previous generation Ice Lake. Since then I’ve been running more tests around the clock with some interesting discoveries to note today. It is possible to enhance the single-threaded performance so it’s performing better than Ice Lake as would be expected, but comes with lowering the multi-threaded performance compared to the results shared last week.

    • Applications

      • Rdiff-backup – A Local and Remote Backup Tool for Linux

        The Rdiff-backup tool is a simple yet powerful backup tool that can be used to back up data either locally or remotely. It’s a cross-platform tool written in python that works on both Linux, macOS and even FreeBSD. Rdiff-backup, just like rsync, is mostly a reverse incremental backup tool that updates the differences from the previous backup to the next one and ensures that you get the latest backup. Additionally, you can easily restore the backup and access your files. In this guide, you will learn how to install Rdiff-backup – A local and remote backup tool for Linux.

        The Rdiff-backup tool uses the SSH protocol to back up directories over the network. This provides a secure safe and secure transfer of data thanks to the SSH protocol. The remote system ends up with a replica of the source directory and subsequent backups are synced incrementally. Without much further ado, let’s dive in and see how the tool is used.

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • Rickroll in the Terminal – CubicleNate’s Techpad

        This is a mostly useless blathering but since I got a good laugh out of it, I wanted to index this bit of fun and share it because that is what you do, right? Share nonsense on the Internet? Isn’t that why they invented the thing?

        I was watching “Adrian’s Digital Basement” on YouTube and caught site of a device that had a repeating Rickroll animation. At first, I couldn’t remember what it was called and nearly hurt my thinking muscle in trying to remember it. After a bit of searching, I found a YouTube video of the actual music video of the “RickRoll”. So then I thought, I wonder if someone made this to run in the terminal. Sure enough, that is a thing.

      • How to Import and Export Bookmarks in Google Chrome – Make Tech Easier

        Do you frequently use browser bookmarks to save important information? Learn how you can export and import bookmarks in Google Chrome.

      • How to Install Eclipse IDE on Ubuntu 20.04 Linux – Linux Concept

        Eclipse is the most famous and widely used Java integrated development environment (IDE). It supports many plugins to enhance the capabilities to use for other programming language development environments such as PHP, C++, and JavaScript.

        You can install Eclipse IDE using your Ubuntu repositories, but the Ubuntu repositories’ installation package is outdated. If you want to use the latest Eclipse IDE package on your Ubuntu 20.04 system, use a snappy packaging system.

      • How to Install Guacamole to Access Your Computers from Anywhere in Ubuntu

        Apache Guacamole is a clientless open-source web-based gateway that provides remote access to servers and PCs via a web browser using SSH, VNC, and RDP protocols.

      • How to Boost the Productivity with Sublime Text Snippets

        Snippets are a popular programming feature/functionality that ships with many modern text editors or IDE editors that can be reused whenever required.

      • How to install TensorFlow Python Machine Learning Library on CentOS 8

        TensorFlow is an important open-source library for machine learning that is built by Google. It can run on the GPU as well as on the CPU of different devices. TensorFlow is used by many organizations, including PayPal, Intel, Twitter, Lenovo, and Airbus. It can be installed as a Docker container, or in a virtual environment of Python, or with Anaconda.

        In this article, you will learn how to install the popular python machine learning library TensorFlow on CentOS 8 using a python virtual environment.

      • Web of Trust, Part 2: Tutorial – Fedora Magazine

        Get hands-on with the web of trust with a step-by-step guide to building and verifying a Flatpak.

        [...]

        For this tutorial, you’ll use Flatpak and the Flathub repository. Flatpak is intentionally well-suited for making verifiable rebuilds, which is one of the tenets of the Web of Trust. It’s easier to work with since it doesn’t require users to download independent development packages. Flatpak also uses techniques to prevent in‑flight tampering, using hashes to validate its read‑only state. As far as the Web of Trust is concerned, Flatpak is the future.

        For this guide, you use Remmina, but this guide generally applies to every application you use. It’s also not exclusive to Flatpak, and the general steps also apply to Fedora’s repositories. In fact, if you’re currently reading this article on Debian or Arch, you can still follow the instructions. If you want to follow along using traditional RPM repositories, make sure to check out this article.

      • How to install Zorin OS 15.3

        The latest release of Zorin OS has hit the internet. The new release is known as Zorin OS 15.3, and it is packed with the latest features and improvements. In this guide, we’ll show you how to install a fresh copy of Zorin OS 15.3!

        Please note that to use Zorin OS 15.3, you must have a computer with a decently fast CPU, at least 20 GB of hard drive storage, and at least 1 GB of RAM.

      • Introduction to using firewalld on Oracle Linux 8

        This video provides an introduction to using the firewalld utility.

        For additional videos on Oracle Linux check out oracle.com/goto/oraclelinuxlearning.

      • How to Install pip on Ubuntu 20.04 – RoseHosting

        We’ll show you how to install the pip package manager for both Python 3 and Python 2 on an Ubuntu 20.04 VPS.

      • How To Install Nextcloud on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS – idroot

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to install Nextcloud on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS. For those of you who didn’t know, Nextcloud is an open source self-hosted file sync and share application (Calendar, Contacts, Documents, Email, and more).

      • How to install and use Slimbook Battery Saver on Ubuntu | FOSS Linux

        Linux systems can be optimized into having longer battery usage, courtesy of Slimbook battery saver. Slimbook battery saver is an open-source tool which was created by the Slimbook hardware manufacturer (Manufactures and sells laptops running on Linux based operating systems). It is effective in GNOME, KDE, Cinnamon, Unity, and MATE desktop environment.

      • How to install LibreOffice 7 on Deepin 20 – YouTube

        In this video, we are looking at how to install LibreOffice 7 on Deepin 20.

      • How to install Atom Text Editor on a Chromebook

        Today we are looking at how to install Atom text editor on a Chromebook. Please follow the video/audio guide as a tutorial where we explain the process step by step and use the commands below.

      • How to fix: ‘cannot open shared object file : No such file or directory’ on Ubuntu

        Sometimes, when you try to install a program or a package from its source code, you might end up getting an error which looks like :

        “error while loading shared libraries: cannot open shared object file No such file or directory”

      • Secure Azure blobs pre-signing in Elixir
      • How to Install pip on Ubuntu 20.04 – RoseHosting

        We’ll show you how to install the pip package manager for both Python 3 and Python 2 on an Ubuntu 20.04 VPS.

        [...]

        Both Python 2 or Python 3 can be installed on Ubuntu 20.04. However, with Ubuntu 20.04, the default version is Python 3. If for some reason you need Python 2 along with its version of pip, don’t worry, we’re covering that in this tutorial as well.

        Pip is not installed by default on Ubuntu – however, the installation is quite quick and simple. Let’s start with the installation.

      • SSH 2FA with Google Authenticator and Yubikey – anarcat

        About a lifetime ago (5 years), I wrote a tutorial on how to configure my Yubikey for OpenPGP signing, SSH authentication and SSH 2FA. In there, I used the libpam-oath PAM plugin for authentication, but it turns out that had too many problems: users couldn’t edit their own 2FA tokens and I had to patch it to avoid forcing 2FA on all users. The latter was merged in the Debian package, but never upstream, and the former was never fixed at all. So I started looking at alternatives and found the Google Authenticator libpam plugin. A priori, it’s designed to work with phones and the Google Authenticator app, but there’s no reason why it shouldn’t work with hardware tokens like the Yubikey. Both use the standard HOTP protocol so it should “just work”.

    • Games

      • Minesweeper-inspired roguelite DemonCrawl has a big free Halloween update and event live | GamingOnLinux

        I’m not sure what I’m scared of more, creepy crawly Halloween stuff or spending even more time playing DemonCrawl with the latest free expansion. With gameplay very much inspired by the classic Minesweeper, it’s got that horrible “one more turn” feeling. It’s so easy to get into too but devilishly difficult to actually get through.

        DemonCrawl needs little in the way of an introduction really. It’s Minesweeper on steroids, with some rogue-lite / RPG flavour thrown into it to create a great mix. Imagine each board being an area your character is travelling through, complete with chests to find, money to grab and monsters.

      • Noir roleplaying detective adventure Backbone is ‘content complete’ with a new trailer | GamingOnLinux

        With a free Prologue available to try out right now, developer EggNut has announced that Backbone is pretty much content complete.

        Quite exciting, as Backbone: Prologue which arrived on Linux officially back in October 2019 has been reviewed exceptionally well by users on Steam. That’s really encouraging on what to expect from the full game when it releases next year. The developer said in the recent announcement that, amongst other things, “Backbone is almost done” and it sounds like they don’t have much left to do apart from a big polishing pass on it.

      • Need a scary story-rich adventure novel for Halloween? Try out Omen Exitio: Plague | GamingOnLinux

        Omen Exitio: Plague appears to be a title we’ve never even mentioned here on GOL which is surprising as it looks great, it supports Linux and users enjoy it. Released back in 2018, Omen Exitio: Plague is a visual novel choice-based adventure set in H.P. Lovecraft’s otherworldy universe, so you can expect all sorts of nasty creatures to appear.

        Italian developer Tiny Bull Studios say it’s styled very much like gamebooks of the ’80s and ’90s, and while it has Lovecraft themes the overall plot and characters are original and what happens is guided by your choices. You could say it’s a choose your own adventure, although we don’t want to get sued by Chooseco now do we.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • GNOME Desktop/GTK

        • Debian-Based DebEX Linux Now Ships with GNOME 3.38 and Linux Kernel 5.9

          Based on the Debian Testing repositories, where the development of the upcoming Debian GNU/Linux 11 “Bullseye” operating system series takes place, the new DebEX Linux release is here with goodies that no other live Linux distribution currently offers.

          For starters, the developer removed the lightweight MATE desktop environment, which was used in previous DebEX versions, and replaced it with the latest GNOME 3.38 desktop environment. So that right there might be a very good reason for many wanting to try GNOME 3.38 on Debian GNU/Linux to download this distro.

        • libsecret is accepting Outreachy interns as well – Daiki Ueno

          libsecret is a library that allows applications to store/retrieve user secrets (typically passwords). While it usually works as a client against a separate D-Bus service, it can also use a local file as database. The project is about refactoring the file database so it can easily gain more advanced features like hardware-based security, etc. That might sound intimidating as it touches cryptography, but don’t worry and reach out to us if you are interested

    • Distributions

      • BSD

        • The OpenBSD Project’s 25th Anniversary

          We are pleased to announce the official release of OpenBSD 6.8. This day marks the OpenBSD project’s 25th anniversary. As we celebrate our 49th release, we remain proud of OpenBSD’s record of more than twenty years with only two remote holes in the default install.

        • Google Summer of Code 2020: [Final Report] Enhancing Syzkaller support for NetBSD

          This report was written by Ayushu Sharma as part of Google Summer of Code 2020.

          This post is a follow up of the first report and second report. Post summarizes the work done during the third and final coding period for the Google Summer of Code (GSoc’20) project – Enhance Syzkaller support for NetBSD

      • IBM/Red Hat and Oracle

        • Get started with Node.js 14 on Red Hat OpenShift – Red Hat Developer

          In April, the Node.js development team released Node.js 14. This major version release, code-named Fermium, will become a long-term support (LTS) release in October 2020.

          Node.js 14 incorporates improvements and new features from the V8 8.1 JavaScript engine. I’ll introduce two of them: Optional chaining and the nullish coalescing operator. I will also show you how to deploy Node.js 14 on Red Hat OpenShift. See the end of the article for a list of resources for learning more about improvements and new features in Node.js 14.

        • Unbreakable Linux Network (ULN) IP address changing on October 30, 2020

          Unbreakable Linux Network (ULN) will be undergoing planned maintenance beginning on October 30th 2020 starting at 6pm Pacific time. This planned maintenance event is scheduled to be completed by 10pm Pacific time on the same date. During this planned maintenance event, the content delivery component of the Unbreakable Linux Network will move to a new IP address.

        • IBM, ServiceNow Join Hands For New Integrated Solution
        • Join IBM and Red Hat at NodeConf – IBM Developer

          NodeConf remote is coming November 2-6. While the conference will be a bit different this year with everyone remote, it will continue to be a premier showcase and reunion of the Node community.

          IBM is excited to return as a sponsor and to work with Red Hat as our partner in order to provide updates through speaking sessions and workshops. In this blog post, you will find a detailed list of sessions and workshops where you can learn from and interact with Node.js developers and community leaders from Red Hat and IBM.

          We also look forward to talking to you at the Red Hat and IBM booths which are a great opportunity to catch up on what our Node.js team is up to as well as how Red Hat and IBM can help you succeed in your Node.js deployments.

          Make sure to join our community members and leaders through these talks and workshops.

      • Debian Family

        • Steve Kemp: Offsite-monitoring, from my desktop.

          I’ve been hosting my services with Hetzner (cloud) recently, and their service is generally pretty good. Unfortunately I’ve started to see an increasing number of false-alarms. I’d have a server in Germany, with the monitoring machine in Helsinki (coincidentally where I live!). For the past month I’ve started to get pinged with a failure every three/four days on average, “service down – dns failed”, or “service down – timeout”. When the notice would wake me up I’d go check and it would be fine, it was a very transient failure.

          To be honest the reason for this is my monitoring is just too damn aggressive, I like to be alerted immediately in case something is wrong. That means if a single test fails I get an alert, as rather than only if a test failed for something more reasonable like three+ consecutive failures.

          I’m experimenting with monitoring in a less aggressive fashion, from my home desktop. Since my monitoring tool is a single self-contained golang binary, and it is already packaged as a docker-based container deployment was trivial. I did a little work writing an agent to receive failure-notices, and ping me via telegram – instead of the previous approach where I had an online status-page which I could view via my mobile, and alerts via pushover.

          So far it looks good. I’ve tweaked the monitoring to setup a timeout of 15 seconds, instead of 5, and I’ve configured it to only alert me if there is an outage which lasts for >= 2 consecutive failures. I guess the TLDR is I now do offsite monitoring .. from my house, rather than from a different region.

          The only real reason to write this post was mostly to say that the process of writing a trivial “notify me” gateway to interface with telegram was nice and straightforward, and to remind myself that transient failures are way more common than we expect.

        • Video Decoding « etbe – Russell Coker

          I’ve had a saga of getting 4K monitors to work well. My latest issue has been video playing, the dreaded mplayer error about the system being too slow. My previous post about 4K was about using DisplayPort to get more than 30Hz scan rate at 4K [1]. I now have a nice 60Hz scan rate which makes WW2 documentaries display nicely among other things.

          But when running a 4K monitor on a 3.3GHz i5-2500 quad-core CPU I can’t get a FullHD video to display properly. Part of the process of decoding the video and scaling it to 4K resolution is too slow, so action scenes in movies lag. When running a 2560*1440 monitor on a 2.4GHz E5-2440 hex-core CPU with the mplayer option “-lavdopts threads=3” everything is great (but it fails if mplayer is run with no parameters). In doing tests with apparent performance it seemed that the E5-2440 CPU gains more from the threaded mplayer code than the i5-2500, maybe the E5-2440 is more designed for server use (it’s in a Dell PowerEdge T320 while the i5-2500 is in a random white-box system) or maybe it’s just because it’s newer. I haven’t tested whether the i5-2500 system could perform adequately at 2560*1440 resolution.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • Unity Desktop Review: Good for the Nostalgic Ubuntu Users

          Continuing with our series of Linux Desktop Environment reviews, we’re going back to a classic. The Unity is just as much a blast from the past as MATE. This review covers the Unity Desktop: first impressions, the user experience, some notable features, and some recommendations on who should use it.

          When I first boot into Unity, I’m struck by how much it looks like GNOME and Budgie. This makes sense, as Unity is a graphical shell that sits on top of the GNOME Desktop Environment (rather than GNOME Shell), and it does offer some separate features that are different than GNOME Shell.

        • Trisquel GNU/Linux 9.0 “Etiona” Released: A 100% Free Operating System

          Trisquel GNU/Linux is one of the few operating systems endorsed and listed under “Free GNU/Linux Distributions” by the Free Software Foundation. This is because Trisquel is a 100% free operating system that contains only free software with Linux-libre kernel.

          Recently, after more than two years of development, a new version, Trisquel 9.0 “Etiona,” has been released with long-term support (LTS) for home users, small enterprises, and educational centers.

          Trisquel GNU/Linux 9.0 is based on Ubuntu 18.04.5 LTS with all proprietary software and firmware removed from the codebase, and all packages up-to-date with long-term-support updates and security patches.

          Since Trisquel has “Abrowser” as the default web browser, it now includes all the latest updates from the upstream Mozilla Firefox. In addition, Trisquel 9.0 has also added backports to provide extended hardware support, the latest software like LibreOffice, and other utilities.

        • Trisquel GNU/Linux 9.0 Is Here for Those Who Seek 100% Freedom for Their PCs

          Trisquel GNU/Linux 9.0 is based on Ubuntu 18.04.5 LTS (Bionic Beaver) and it’s powered by the GNU Linux-libre kernel. To offer users a 100% free operating system, it uses a version of Ubuntu’s 4.15 kernel that doesn’t contain any proprietary code.

          Of course, this release updates all packages to their latest versions, and includes backports to provide users with top-notch hardware support. Also, Trisquel’s default web browser Abrowser, a version of Mozilla’s popular Firefox web browser that respects the freedom and privacy of users, received a major update, based on Firefox 81.

        • Trisquel GNU/Linux: Trisquel 9.0 “Etiona” release announcement, and 10.0 plans

          They say that good things come to those who wait, and for this release there has been a lot of waiting but also plenty of good things. Trisquel 9.0, codename “Etiona” is our most polished release yet, thanks to the contribution of a very committed team of volunteers.

          [...]

          Despite the longer than usual release time, all packages are fully up to date with long-term-support updates and security patches. The default web browser “Abrowser”, our freedom and privacy respecting take on Mozilla’s browser, provides the latest updates from upstream for a great browsing experience. Backports provide extended hardware support and other goodies like a newer LibreOffice and many other utilities.

          Special thanks (in no particular order, and probably forgetting a few!) to adfeno, Ark74, leny2010, chaosmonk, davidpgil, dctrud, daroal, proninyaroslav, sudoman, a_slacker_here, rms, bill-auger, pabloyoyoista, kpengboy, pikurasa, mtsio, bandali, thomzane, jxself, valessio, DiivaaD, DNS, Eighth_Doctor, iank, fredd, freekurt, aklis, gnutastyc, calher, CharlieBrown, satellit, charh, fvnines, pehjota, and the whole Trisquel community, for your contributions, support, ideas and continuous encouragement.

        • Trisquel 9.0 Released – Powered By The Linux 4.15 Kernel

          Trisquel 9.0 has been released as one of the few Linux distributions approved by the Free Software Foundation.

          Trisquel 9.0 is now the latest version of this 13 year old operating system tracking Ubuntu/Debian while being modified to ensure non-free code is removed among other steps to receive praise from the FSF and Richard Stallman for being one of the few “pure” GNU/Linux platforms.

          Trisquel 9.0 is based on the Ubuntu 18.04 LTS packages but with various de-blobbing and changes to ensure everything is 100% open-source and compliant with the Free Software Foundation recommendations for code freedom. There is also modifications like using “Abrowser” built off the Firefox sources but with more user privacy minded changes.

        • Pop!_OS 20.04 Review: The Best Ubuntu-based Distro!

          The Linux distro world is getting better each day, thanks to developers’ immense dedication. The OS sure has come a long way from people calling it “Complex to use” to “User/Beginner Friendly.” One of the best beginner-friendly distros recommended by almost everyone is Ubuntu. Another distro that has recently taken the Linux universe by storm with its new release is Pop!_OS 20.04; it is developed by System 76, a company that manufactures Laptops and ships them with Linux.

          Pop!_OS is a distro based on Ubuntu that has gained popularity lately. After using it extensively for three weeks, it has now become one of my favorite distros of all time. Here’s my review of the same.

        • Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter Issue 653

          Welcome to the Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter, Issue 653 for the week of October 11 – 17, 2020. The full version of this issue is available here.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • How should open source projects handle copyright notices?

        Copyright notices in source code are inconsistently applied and poorly maintained. As a result, such notices are poor sources of information. Should more resources be applied to the maintenance of copyright notices? No.

        Copyright notices are one-line strings that typically include the word “Copyright” (or some substitute, like ©), a name (usually a person or company), and a year.

        In this article, I am not focusing on licenses or license notices (which may sometimes include a copyright notice). My suggestion for low prioritization of investment in copyright notice maintenance does NOT apply to license information. License information should be clearly presented and maintained to be accurate. If you invite others to take and do something with your software, please make the permissions that are being given clear by presenting and maintaining clear license information.

      • 8 Best Free and Open Source PDF Development Libraries

        Portable Document Format (PDF) is a file format created by Adobe Systems in 1993 for document exchange. The format includes a subset of the PostScript page description programming language, a font-embedding system, and a structural storage system.

        Over the years PDF has become an extremely important file format. If you want to create documents that can be viewed under all major operating systems, PDF is the ticket, as it maintains the overall look and feel of documents regardless of what platform they are viewed under.

        There is a large range of PDF-related software available with many different applications available that can both output to and open files. Many open source software save documents to this format such as LibreOffice and GIMP.

      • Events

      • Web Browsers

        • Mozilla

          • Firefox 82 is Out with New Sync Options, Malicious Download Blocking

            Firefox 82 is due for formal release later today (October 20) but as that tend to happen when I’m in bed I’m posting this post a tiny bit early. Firefox 82 downloads are up on the release server.

            Indeed, feature development for Firefox seems to be slowing down in general — Mozilla did recently sack a sizeable chunk of the brower’s development team — but a welcome round of enhancements and changes are available through this uplift.

          • Twitter and Facebook: unfck the algorithms

            Our socially distant reality is pretty damn weird, let’s be honest. Social networks shouldn’t make it any weirder — or more dangerous.

            And yet they are making it more dangerous while promising to “bring the world closer together.” Extremists are finding each other in Facebook groups to plan insurrections and other not-very-good-for-civic life things. Facebook has to do better.

            Over on Twitter, bots and organized mobs have all-too-easily hijacked trends to spread dangerous misinformation and hate speech. Like this and this. Twitter too has to do better.

          • Mozilla Mornings on addressing online harms through advertising transparency

            On 29 October, Mozilla will host the next installment of Mozilla Mornings – our regular breakfast series that brings together policy experts, policymakers and practitioners for insight and discussion on the latest EU digital policy developments.

            A key focus of the upcoming Digital Services Act and European Democracy Action Plan initiatives is platform transparency – transparency about content curation, commercial practices, and data use to name a few. This installment of Mozilla Mornings will focus on transparency of online advertising, and in particular, how mechanisms for greater transparency of ad placement and ad targeting could mitigate the spread and impact of illegal and harmful content online.

      • FSF

        • GNU Projects

          • GNU recutils – News: GNU recutils is back to active development [Savannah]

            During the last few years I somehow stopped adding new features to the GNU recutils, limiting its development to the resolution of important bugs, and releasing every one or another year. The reason for this was that I considered the recutils to be, mostly, “finished”.

            However, as of recent some projects have adopted recutils as part of their infrastructure (guix, GNUnet) and it seemst hat Fred’s and George’s favorite tools are getting popular in the internets… and what is more, people are sending patches! o_O

            So I have decided to put the GNU recutils back under active development, for the immense joy of adults and children (and turtles.)

        • Licensing/Legal

          • Come on, Amazon: If you’re going to copy open-source code for a new product, at least credit the creator

            It broke no law in doing so – the software is published under the permissive Apache License v2 – and developers expect such open-source projects will be copied forked. But Amazon’s move didn’t win any fans for failing to publicly acknowledge the code’s creator.

            There is a mention buried in the NOTICE.txt file bundled with the CloudWatch extension that credits Headless Recorder, under its previous name “puppeteer-recorder,” as required by the license. But there’s an expectation among open source developers that biz as big as AWS should show more courtesy.

      • Programming/Development

        • Git v2.29.0 released

          The latest feature release Git v2.29.0 is now available at the
          usual places. It is comprised of 627 non-merge commits since
          v2.28.0, contributed by 89 people, 24 of which are new faces.

        • Git 2.29 Released With Experimental Support For Using More Secure SHA-256
        • 13 Reasons Why It’s High Time to Start Learning to Program | Codementor

          Software development is something that is gaining popularity at lightning speed with the development of technology. The demand for regular developers is high compared to most other mainstream professions. But, what are the other reasons for learning to code?

        • Perl/Raku

          • 2020.42 Recipes

            Another Raku book just hit the (virtual) bookshelves: Raku Recipes, A Problem-Solution Approach by JJ Merelo, with examples about data science, analytics, microservices, and desktop/console applications usage. Recommended reading and mandatory addition to your programming language bookshelves!

        • Python

          • Getting Started with Python | FOSS Linux

            Python is the fastest-growing programming language in the world. Major websites like Instagram, Pinterest, Quora, and many others are built using python’s Web Framework Django. The thing that makes python most popular is its simple syntax, which is similar to the normal English language. Its powerfulness makes it a primary choice adopted by top tech companies.

          • Griatch’s Evennia musings: On using Markdown with Sphinx – onward to Evennia 0.9.5

            Last post I wrote about the upcoming v1.0 of Evennia, the Python MU* creation engine. We are not getting to that 1.0 version quite yet though: The next release will be 0.9.5, hopefully out relatively soon (TM).
            Evennia 0.9.5 is, as you may guess, an intermediary release. Apart from the 1.0 roadmap just not being done yet, there is one other big reason for this – we are introducing documentation versioning and for that a proper release is needed as a base to start from. Version 0.9.5 contains everything already in master branch, so if you have kept up-to-date you won’t notice too much difference.

          • The Journey To Replace Python’s Parser And What It Means For The Future – The Python Podcast

            The release of Python 3.9 introduced a new parser that paves the way for brand new features. Every programming language has its own specific syntax for representing the logic that you are trying to express. The way that the rules of the language are defined and validated is with a grammar definition, which in turn is processed by a parser. The parser that the Python language has relied on for the past 25 years has begun to show its age through mounting technical debt and a lack of flexibility in defining new syntax. In this episode Pablo Galindo and Lysandros Nikolaou explain how, together with Python’s creator Guido van Rossum, they replaced the original parser implementation with one that is more flexible and maintainable, why now was the time to make the change, and how it will influence the future evolution of the language.

          • Python Booleans: Optimize Your Code With Truth Values – Real Python

            The Python Boolean type is one of Python’s built-in data types. It’s used to represent the truth value of an expression. For example, the expression 1 <= 2 is True, while the expression 0 == 1 is False. Understanding how Python Boolean values behave is important to programming well in Python.

  • Leftovers

    • Your Dog in the Race?
    • Health/Nutrition

      • As Pandemic Surges in US, Trump Says ‘People Are Tired of Hearing Fauci and All These Idiots’

        “People are tired of a science-denying president that has allowed over 218,000 people to die from Covid,” responded Rep. Mark Pocan.

      • Jeremy Scahill on Trump’s “Homicidal” Pandemic Response & What’s at Stake in November Election

        As President Trump campaigns in swing states that are also coronavirus hot spots, The Intercept’s Jeremy Scahill argues he is directly responsible for the poor U.S. response to the coronavirus pandemic, which has killed almost 220,000 people in the country so far and sickened millions. “I don’t know how else to describe what Trump has done except homicidal,” says Scahill, host of a new seven-part audio series that examines the Trump era.

      • Trump Administration Is Paying Big Pharma Billions in Rush for Vaccine

        Desperate to distract the national discourse from his criminal mishandling of the coronavirus pandemic, Donald Trump is promising that a vaccine will be available before Election Day. His vaccine campaign is named “Operation Warp Speed” and there is a real danger that its speed will warp the results. Ironically, the Trump administration is comparing this effort to the Manhattan Project, the highly secret government program to develop the first atomic bomb. “This isn’t a secret government weapon we’re trying to keep from an enemy,” said David Mitchell, founder of Patients for Affordable Drugs. “The enemy is the virus. This is actually a rescue mission to save Americans and humanity from the virus.”

      • ‘How do you feel?’ A ‘Meduza’ special correspondent continues cataloging her experience as a volunteer in Russia’s coronavirus vaccine trials

        In August 2020, Russia announced the registration of the world’s first coronavirus vaccine, named “Sputnik V.” However, to finalize the vaccine’s registration, its developers at the Gamaleya National Research Institute of Epidemiology have to conduct large-scale clinical trials involving tens of thousands of volunteers. In September, “Meduza” special correspondent Svetlana Reiter became one of them. After receiving her first injection, she catalogued her impressions of the process, as well as her body’s reaction, day by day and hour by hour (it wasn’t the most pleasant experience). But the study didn’t end there: the coronavirus vaccine trial includes two injections. After her second trip to a Moscow clinic to get another shot, which took place in mid-October, Reiter continued to record her experience. Here’s the second part of her diary.

      • The Metamorphosis

        As the coronavirus ricocheted through New York City this spring, among its many casualties was a certain image of life in the Big Apple. The foodie destinations, posh galleries, and pricey cocktail lounges sat deserted while city hospitals long scorned as antiquated, clunky, and ineffective became crowded, bustling centers of activity and pandemonium. If they didn’t abscond to their second homes, financiers and lawyers huddled in their apartments, and grocery store employees, doormen, UPS drivers, and postal workers all became consummate risk-takers. Spaces segregated from the middle class—homeless shelters, nursing homes, jails—were revealed as inextricably linked to the rest of the city on a microbial level, as the virus could not be kept out or contained within. In the pandemic city, the oft-praised prosperity of New York in the early years of the 21st century proved illusory or at least misdirected: a world of glittering condos and luxe hotels that somehow could not provide enough hospital masks to its nurses or figure out a way to keep its children safe.

      • Fauci Says Trump’s Refusal to Wear Mask Is Due to Belief It Makes Him Look Weak

        During an interview on Sunday evening on CBS’s “60 Minutes” program, Anthony Fauci, a member of the White House’s coronavirus task force and the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, explained that President Donald Trump’s aversion to wearing a mask is based on the desire to be perceived as strong.

      • COVID-19 Spikes in Rural Areas While Hospitals Face Financial Crisis

        One by one, COVID-19 outbreaks popped up in April and May at meatpacking plants across the country, fanning fears that the infectious coronavirus could spread rapidly into rural states. Plants closed temporarily in small metro areas such as Sioux Falls, South Dakota, and Waterloo, Iowa, and in smaller towns like Iowa’s Tama, Columbus Junction and Perry.

      • Amid Trump Failure to Get Pandemic Under Control, Canada Extends Border Closure With US

        “The United States is not in a place where we would feel comfortable reopening those borders,” Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said. 

      • 1,000+ CDC Officials Condemn Trump’s Disastrous Pandemic Response, ‘Silencing’ of Agency

        “The absence of national leadership on Covid-19 is unprecedented and dangerous,” reads statement from current and former staffers. 

      • Waiting for a Vaccine and the Collaborative Research Alternative
      • New Bill Aims to End Racial Disparities in Amputations

        On Friday, Congressman Donald M. Payne Jr., a Democrat from New Jersey, introduced a sweeping bill to reduce unnecessary amputations and address racial disparities that were the subject of a ProPublica story investigating why Black Americans were three times more likely to undergo diabetic amputations than others. The Amputation Reduction and Compassion Act of 2020 was introduced five months after the ProPublica investigation showed how government and hospital policies obstruct equitable care for at-risk patients.

        The bill proposes major reforms that seek to address policy gaps explored in the article. Today, about half of patients with peripheral artery disease — a condition in which clogged arteries limit the flow of blood — are asymptomatic, and primary care physicians are not always reimbursed for screening. But catching and treating the disease, which is often caused by diabetes, is critical to preventing unnecessary amputations. The bill seeks to ensure that all at-risk patients can obtain a screening at no cost. It requires that Medicare and Medicaid cover the tests, as well as private insurers.

      • ‘No Wonder the US Leads the World in Covid Deaths’: Trump Mocks Biden for Vowing to ‘Listen to the Scientists’

        The president also claimed the economy is rising “like a rocket ship,” a claim belied by ongoing layoffs and widespread economic suffering.

      • In Nevada, Trump Mocks Biden for Listening to Scientists

        Speaking to a largely maskless crowd of supporters on Carson City, Nevada late Sunday, President Donald Trump mocked Democratic nominee Joe Biden for vowing to “listen to the scientists” on the Covid-19 pandemic if elected in November and boasted about his own refusal to heed the advice of experts even as coronavirus cases and deaths continue to surge nationwide.

      • The Great Barrington Declaration: COVID-19, “magnified minority,” and eugenics

        When you’ve been examining pseudoscientific and quack claims for over two decades, you start to recognize patterns in the strategies and technique used by those denying science to promote their pseudoscience or quackery. Those who don’t pay attention to these sorts of issues might have been surprised by or unfamiliar with these techniques, but many skeptics were not. I was thinking about this sort of thing when I came across the latest propaganda from COVID-19 deniers, conspiracy theorists, and grifters known as the Great Barrington Declaration.

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Apple’s CUPS Repository Has Died A Quiet Death

          The Common Unix Printing System (CUPS) is something all the GNU/Linux distributions use to manage printers. It’s been maintained by Apple since 2007. The Apple-lead CUPS development efforts appear to have completely died out after lead CUPS developer Michael Sweet left the company. CUPS isn’t dead, though, Sweet and others are still working on it in a fork maintained by the OpenPrinting organization.

          [...]

          Michael Sweet begun developing the Common Unix Printing System (CUPS) for his company Easy Software Products in 1997. The first beta versions, released under the GNU General Public License, appeared in 1999. Linux distributions were quick to adopt CUPS and the Internet Printing Protocol (ipp) it uses as the de-facto standard for printing and so did Apple it it’s inclusion in Mac OS X 10.2 in March 2002.

          Apple bought the Common Unix Printing System (CUPS) lock, stock and Michael Sweet in July 2007. They kept the GNU GPL v2 license and Michael Sweet kept working on it after he joined Apple.

        • Pseudo-Open Source

          • Privatisation/Privateering

            • Linux Foundation

              • Goldman Sachs Open Sources its Data Modeling Platform through FINOS

                The Fintech Open Source Foundation (“FINOS“), together with platinum member Goldman Sachs (GS), today announced the launch of Legend, Goldman’s flagship data management and data governance platform. Developed internally and used by both engineers and non-engineers alike across all divisions of the bank, the source code for five of the platforms’ modules have today been made available as open source within FINOS.

                Today’s launch comes on the heels of the completion of a six-month pilot in which other leading investment banks, such as Deutsche Bank, Morgan Stanley and RBC Capital Markets, used a shared version of Legend, hosted on FINOS infrastructure in the public cloud, to prototype interbank collaborative data modeling and standardization, in particular to build extensions to the Common Domain Model (CDM), developed by the International Swaps and Derivatives Association (ISDA). This shared environment is now, starting today, generally available for industry participants to use and build models collaboratively. With the Legend code now available as open source, organizations may also launch and operate their own instances. The components open-sourced today allow any individual and organization across any industry to harness the power of Goldman Sachs’ internal data platform for their own data management and governance needs as well as contribute to the open code base.

        • Security

          • Ubuntu and Debian Get Patches for Bluetooth Remote Code Execution Flaws, Update Now

            Discovered by security researcher Andy Nguyen in Linux kernel’s Bluetooth L2CAP and Bluetooth A2MP implementation, as well as the Bluetooth HCI event packet parser, the CVE-2020-12351, CVE-2020-12352, and CVE-2020-24490 vulnerabilities are affecting Debian GNU/Linux 10, Ubuntu 20.04 LTS, Ubuntu 18.04 LTS, and Ubuntu 16.04 LTS.

            While CVE-2020-12351 and CVE-2020-24490 could allow a physically proximate remote attacker to crash the system by causing a denial of service or execute arbitrary code, CVE-2020-12352 let physically proximate remote attackers to expose sensitive information (kernel memory).

          • North Korean hacker group attacked targets inside Russia

            The North Korean hacker group “Kimsuky” is reportedly carrying out attacks against military and industrial entities inside Russia, cybersecurity experts told the newspaper Kommersant. 

          • Eyewear giant Luxottica hit by Windows Nefilim ransomware, data leaked

            The world’s biggest eyewear company, Italian conglomerate Luxottica, has suffered a ransomware attack staged by criminals using the Windows Nefilim ransomware and data about its financial and human resources operations have been leaked on the dark web.

          • Auto equipment maker KYB hit by Windows NetWalker ransomware

            Indiana-based KYB Corporation, the biggest supplier of OEM automotive equipment to companies around the globe, appears to have been hit by the Windows NetWalker ransomware, with the criminals behind the attack threatening to leak data stolen from the company on the dark web.

          • Security updates for Monday [LWN.net]

            Security updates have been issued by Debian (kernel, thunderbird, and yaws), Fedora (createrepo_c, dnf, dnf-plugins-core, dnf-plugins-extras, kata-agent, libdnf, librepo, and wireshark), Gentoo (chromium and firefox), Mageia (brotli, flash-player-plugin, php, phpmyadmin, and wireshark), openSUSE (crmsh, gcc10, nvptx-tools, icingaweb2, kernel, libproxy, pdns-recursor, phpMyAdmin, and rubygem-activesupport-5_1), Red Hat (nodejs:12 and rh-maven35-apache-commons-collections4), and SUSE (gcc10, nvptx-tools and transfig).

          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • Judge Shuts Down Vallejo PD’s Illegally-Obtained Stingray

              For the moment, police officers in Vallejo, California aren’t allowed to use their cell site simulator. A tentative ruling [PDF] issued by a judge says the city violated the law by approving the purchase of a Stingray device without instituting a privacy policy governing its use — a policy explicitly approved by the city council and subjected to public scrutiny prior to adoption.

            • COVID-19 Is Driving The Uptake Of Chess — And Of Surveillance Tools To Stop Online Players Cheating

              Techdirt has been noting some interesting tech trends arising out of the increasing number of people who work and study from home because of COVID-19. One that few of us saw coming is a greatly increased enthusiasm for playing chess. That would be a good thing, except that life is never simple, as the Guardian reports:

            • Lawful interception: German government sets up new surveillance unit at Europol

              Germany uses its EU Presidency to reorganise digital surveillance in Europe. A 5G working group temporarily set up by the BKA is now being consolidated at Europol. It is to coordinate the „operational capabilities“ in the Member States and facilitate interception through new legislative proposals.

    • Defence/Aggression

      • May 2020, May 1968

        May 68. The students stormed Paris, and the institutions that produced their oppression. They seemed to be a culmination of existentialist thought as much as they were of marxist, anarxist, etc thought. Sartre’s existentialism, born in the cafe settings of the left bank, to the drugs, cigarettes and alcohol intake of its thinkers, (amongst others) seemed to be walking in the streets, setting up barricades. This thought? That first I am. That secondly, I must question and be skeptical of what is. That I can be free, and even from capitalism. Sartre himself was in the streets, along with Michel Foulcault and others whose examination would come to impact the world. Paris after the war in the 40’s and 50’s, a child of Soren Kieerkegard’s thoughts on angst, and existence had taken hold of the streets.

        Who are we? It is a question that we two ask ourselves, and have been for some time. The coffeeshops that stood up to the Vietnam War on our side of the atlantic too hosted conversation, and the love of wisdom (philosophy). How did we arrive at the metaphysics that we have seen in the streets provoke and convoke the entirety of the world (that as a human I MUST protest against injustice). This metaphysics can be heard in much of Dr. Martin Luther King’s speeches who spoke of a duty. Beyond a right. Let us not forget that the rights of man (which I have purposely limited to man), that comes of the enlightenment, and that the duty of humans are different, that do not exclude one another but that certainly are not the same. They are each a metaphysics.

      • Reframing America’s Role in the World

        Remember when Michael Wolff’s Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House was all the rage? It’s now available in hardcover for $0.99 from online used booksellers. James Comey’s Higher Loyalty also sells for a penny less than a buck.

        An additional forty-six cents will get you Omarosa Manigault Newman’s “insider’s account” of her short-lived tenure in that very White House. For the same price, you can acquire Sean Spicer’s memoir as Trump’s press secretary, Anthony Scaramucci’s rendering of his tumultuous 11-day stint as White House communications director, and Corey Lewandowski’s “inside story” of the 2016 presidential campaign.

      • The War on Cuba and Venezuela

        “Right now fewer trucks are coming in. Less merchandise too. And the quality isn’t the same because a lot of the products are rotting the fields because there’s no oil for the trucks. Because of the U.S. blockade on Cuba, no oil tankers can get here,” says Barbaro Medina, a produce vendor in Havana’s Vedado neighborhood.

        This interview features among others in episode two of The War on Cuba, a documentary series released by Belly of the Beast, a media startup covering Cuba and U.S.-Cuba relations.

      • How Biden Flubbed Town Hall Foreign Policy Question

        Most of our leaders are still hell-bent on preserving America’s imperial power at any cost: endless wars, climate catastrophe, mass extinctions, and the terrifying risk of a final, apocalyptic mass-casualty war—most likely a nuclear war. 

      • St. Petersburg court rejects defamation lawsuit against news outlet that linked Russian mercenary to gruesome execution in Syria

        A court in St. Petersburg has rejected a defamation lawsuit by a man in Bryansk who accused the news outlet Fontanka of falsely identifying him as one of the Russian mercenaries who executed, dismembered, and burned a Syrian war deserter in 2017. The case appears to have been coordinated by the “Patriot” media group — a conglomerate of websites reportedly controlled by Evgeny Prigozhin, who also allegedly owns the “Wagner” private military company that supposedly employed the Russian combatants who tortured, killed, and mutilated Mohammed Taha Ismail Al-Abdullah.

      • How Does a Nation Best Deal With a Leader Who Intentionally Kills Its Citizens?

        Regardless of his motivations, Trump is engaging in and encouraging behavior that is killing and disabling Americans by the millions.

      • Abby Martin and Eleanor Goldfield – The Project Censored Show

        Program Summary: Anti-imperialist journalist Abby Martin of The Empire Files returns to the program to note the many similarities between Trump and Biden on  foreign policy and US empire. She also explains her battle against a Georgia law under which she was prevented from speaking at a public university there. In the second half-hour, journalist and filmmaker Eleanor Goldfield revisits the program and shares her observations about the US political culture and elections, and what social justice advocates must do to foster genuine progress regardless who wins the election in November.Notes: Abby Martin is an independent journalist, documentary filmmaker, and the creator of “The Empire Files.” She is cofounder and cohost of Media Roots Radio and www.MediaRoots.org. Her web site is www.theempirefiles.tv.       Eleanor Goldfield is a journalist, artist, and organizer; she recently produced the documentary “Hard Road of Hope,” an award-winning documentary about peoples’ resistance in West Virginia coal country. She also cohosts numerous podcasts including “Common Censored” and “Act Out!” Her web site is www.artkillingapathy.com1) “Uncle Sam Goddam” by Brother Ali2) “Land of Confusion” by Genesis3) “Higher Ground” by Stevie Wonderthe Project Censored Show:

      • US charges six Russians with being behind numerous computer intrusions

        The US has charged six Russians, all officers in Unit 74455 of the Russian Main Intelligence Directorate or GRU, of participating in intrusion of computer systems in a number of countries.

      • Reframing America’s Role in the World

        The specter of isolationism.

      • In Trump’s America, There Is Death Before Due Process

        The Thurston County sheriff in Lacey, Washington, where the suspect was killed, released a public statement saying his investigation team “can confirm… that Mr. Reinoehl pointed the handgun that he had in his possession at the officers at the time of the shooting.” The U.S. Marshals Service whose forces were the ones that shot Reinoehl released a similar statement claiming that the fugitive task force that had been sent to his location “attempted to peacefully arrest him,” but, after being shot at, “Task force members responded to the threat and struck the suspect who was pronounced dead at the scene.”

        News outlets took the official statements at their word and dutifully reported the incident as one where a suspected killer opened fire on officers and was fatally shot in the course of his arrest. In other words, there was “nothing to see here.” But according to a New York Times investigation six weeks after his death, it remains unclear “whether law enforcement officers made any serious attempt to arrest Mr. Reinoehl before killing him.”

      • Trump Has Stoked White Supremacy and Led Police to Act Outside the Law

        As the 2020 presidential campaign enters its final two weeks, we look at the past four years of the Trump presidency with investigative journalist Jeremy Scahill of The Intercept. His podcast “Intercepted” has just released the fourth chapter in a seven-part audio documentary titled American Mythology, which critically examines the Trump presidency and places it within a larger historical context. Scahill says Trump has empowered white supremacist vigilantes and given permission to law enforcement to act extrajudicially to enforce a racist status quo, but he cautions that “Donald Trump is not an aberration of U.S. history or some anomaly, but he’s a very overt representation of many of the absolute most violent, destructive, racist, xenophobic trends in U.S. history.”

      • Jeremy Scahill: Trump Has Incited White Supremacists & Emboldened Police to Act Outside the Law

        As the 2020 presidential campaign enters its final two weeks, we look at the past four years of the Trump presidency with investigative journalist Jeremy Scahill of The Intercept. His podcast “Intercepted” has just released the fourth chapter in a seven-part audio documentary titled “American Mythology,” which critically examines the Trump presidency and places it within a larger historical context. Scahill says Trump has empowered white supremacist vigilantes and given permission to law enforcement to act extrajudicially to enforce a racist status quo, but he cautions that “Donald Trump is not an aberration of U.S. history or some anomaly, but he’s a very overt representation of many of the absolute most violent, destructive, racist, xenophobic trends in U.S. history.”

      • France teacher attack: Four school students held over beheading

        Tens of thousands of people took part in rallies across the country on Sunday to honour Mr Paty and defend freedom of speech. A ceremony paying tribute to Mr Paty, who was 47, will be held at the Sorbonne University in Paris on Wednesday.

        [...]

        Four school pupils who may have helped identify Mr Paty to his killer in exchange for payment have been detained, a judicial source told the AFP news agency on Monday.

      • 4 students detained after French teacher’s beheading

        French police on Monday launched a series of raids targeting Islamist networks three days after the beheading of a history teacher who had shown his students a cartoon of the Prophet Mohammed.

      • Police operations under way in France after beheading of teacher

        Darmanin said they include the father of a student and an Islamist activist who both “obviously launched a fatwa,” or religious ruling, against the teacher.

      • France: Teacher Beheaded, Police Shoot Dead Suspected Killer

        The attack came as Macron is pushing for a new law against what he calls domestic “separatism,” notably by Islamic radicals accused of indoctrinating vulnerable people through home schools, extremist preaching and other activities.

      • Suspect in teacher’s beheading in France was Chechen teen

        Ricard told reporters that the Moscow-born suspect, who had been granted a 10-year residency in France as a refugee in March, was armed with a knife and an airsoft gun, which fires plastic pellets.

        His half-sister joined the Islamic State group in Syria in 2014, Ricard said. He didn’t give her name, and it is not clear where she is now.

      • Attacker shouts ‘Allahu Akbar’ after beheading teacher in Paris

        Immediately after the beheading, the attacker claimed responsibility and posted an image of his victim’s severed head on Twitter, a police source told NBC News. The grisly image was removed by the social-media site.

      • Cameroon Closes Schools as Boko Haram Suicide Bombings Increase

        Cameroon says it has again closed more than 60 schools on its northern border with Nigeria to save children and teaching staff from increasing Boko Haram attacks. The central African state has deployed its military to teach displaced children in locations they say are safe. Boko Haram is increasingly using suicide bombers, as the military has drastically reduced the terrorist group’s firepower.

        Ousmanou Garga, the Cameroon basic education official on the northern border with Nigeria, says recent Boko Haram attacks have made many schools unsafe.

      • Sweden embarks on its largest military build-up for decades

        The draft, abolished a decade ago and reintroduced for both genders in 2017, will double in size to 8,000 conscripts a year, and five new local-defence battalions will be established around the country, tasked with protecting supply lines from the Norwegian ports of Oslo and Trondheim. An amphibious unit will be re-established in Gothenburg, Scandinavia’s largest port.

        There are goodies for the other services, too. The air force can look forward to newer Gripen fighter jets with longer ranges and better radar, some of which will go to a new air wing in Uppsala, 70km (43 miles) north of Stockholm. The navy will get an extra submarine, money to design a new type of warship and air-defence missiles that its ships have been in need of for 15 years.

        Civil defence is also getting attention, with funding for cybersecurity, the electricity grid and healthcare. “We’ve begun to rebuild a newer version of what we had during the cold war”, says Niklas Granholm of FOI, Sweden’s defence research agency. A big exercise to test national resilience was held this year. The aim is to enable Sweden to hold out in a crisis or war for at least three months, until help arrives (assuming that it does).

    • Environment

    • Finance

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • Losing Ground

        Here is a version of the old rock-paper-scissors game, on a topic that should be of urgent concern to people on the left: How did Trump’s America happen, and what can we do to dislodge its hold on our politics? One can argue that Donald Trump didn’t really win the 2016 election or that he won it only through some combination of voter suppression, Russian meddling, and the peculiarities of the American constitutional system. Even so, somebody who shouldn’t have been a serious candidate got tens of millions of votes, and it’s legitimate (urgent, if we are to avoid a repeat performance this November) to ask why. Was it racism? Misdirected economic frustration? Expert manipulation of public opinion? A deterioration of democratic norms? All of these combined? Three new books by prominent liberal intellectuals—Jacob S. Hacker and Paul Pierson’s Let Them Eat Tweets, Robert B. Reich’s The System, and Robert P. Saldin and Steven M. Teles’s Never Trump—give strikingly different answers to these questions. Each book’s argument is strong and important, and yet each one also vitiates the others.

      • The Public, the Personal, and the Utter Hypocrisy of the GOP

        It is nonsensical to argue, as do Trump and his allies, that government cannot mandate masks or close businesses during a pandemic but can prevent women from having abortions and same-sex couples from marrying.

      • Facebook Is So ‘Biased Against Conservatives’ That Mark Zuckerberg Personally Agreed To Diminish The Reach Of ‘Left-Leaning’ Sites

        As you well know if you’ve been reading this site for the last few years, there’s a garbage myth out there that the internet companies have an “anti-conservative” bias. First of all, even if this were true, there’s literally nothing wrong with that. Historically, media companies have long had political biases, going all the way back to the founding of the country (seriously you should read how crazy it was). This is literally part of the reason the 1st Amendment exists in the form that it does. The founders knew that allowing the government to crack down on biased media would create problems over time.

      • Can Jaime Harrison Really Beat Lindsey Graham?

        Columbia, S.C.—Does Jaime Harrison really have a chance to unseat Lindsey Graham? Yes. But it won’t be easy—despite some current polls showing the race in a dead heat and Harrison raising money hand over fist.

      • Jeremy Scahill: “Trump Is Not the Root of the Problem, He Is a Product of American Imperial History”

        Donald Trump ran for president in 2016 with a mixed message of attacking the legacy of the Iraq War and U.S. military adventurism, while simultaneously pledging to commit war crimes and promote imperialism. As we look back at Trump’s record, Jeremy Scahill, co-founder of The Intercept, says his flouting of international norms and bullying of other countries is in keeping with how U.S. presidents have long behaved. “Donald Trump is not the root of the problem. Donald Trump is a product of American imperial history,” Scahill notes.

      • What Joe Biden Can Learn From Jacinda Ardern

        New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern accepted her landslide reelection win Saturday with a message for her country and the rest of the world: “We are living in an increasingly polarized world, a place where more and more people have lost the ability to see one another’s point of view. I hope that this election, New Zealand has shown that this is not who we are. That as a nation, we can listen and we can debate. After all, we are small to lose sight of other people’s perspective. Elections aren’t always great at bringing people together, but they also don’t need to tear one another apart.”

      • Trump Keeps Slinging Mud, but This Time It’s Not Sticking

        A skilled entertainer, Donald Trump has a natural instinct for pleasing hardcore fans who never get tired of old favorites. If he has a joke that gets a laugh, he’ll tell it again and again. If a nickname like “Crooked Hillary” or a slogan like “lock her up” works up the crowd, he’ll keep hammering at it with no fear of being tiresome. His rallies often seem less like political events than entertainment extravaganzas, where groupies eagerly hang on his words waiting for the greatest hits to echo again. This repetitive quality makes Trump all the more annoying to his political opponents. But his willingness to work within the narrow ambit of a limited repertoire of catchphrases has served him well.

      • Balls

        Objectivity in judging is a myth. As Justice Cardozo noted, “We (judges) may try to see things as objectively as we please, nonetheless we can never see them with any eyes except our own.” A test of principled judging is doctrinal consistency. As Ryan Grim and others argue, Judge Barrett fails that test, notably regarding the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

        When Sonia Sotomayor said at her Supreme Court confirmation hearings that her experience as a Latina woman informs her judging, she broke the rules of the game and had to recant in support of the guise of neutrality. The charade continues.

      • Sound and Fury

        Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, with Donald Trump as his crowbar, opened the way to Barrett’s hearings in possibly one of the most hypocritical acts of his career. He denied a hearing to President Barack Obama’s court nominee in 2016, arguing the people should choose in an election year. He pulled a Judas.

        The people’s choice, if life were fair, should go to the winner of the Nov. 3 election, which may not be Trump. But power is as power does. And if Joe Biden becomes president, it will be in his power to expand the Supreme Court.

      • Money Rules

        Lee, after observing that they are both members of  once-persecuted groups (Lee a Mormon, Barrett a Catholic) praised Barrett for her courage  defending minorities. The US Constitution, he declared, is designed to “protect unpopular issues and groups from the impulses of a majority which might be bent on harm”.

        Next, Whitehouse called these confirmation hearings a puppet show, whose strings were pulled by dark money, the objective being :remake the national judiciary, demean and diminish the civil jury, weaken regulatory agencies which protect the public trust, allow unlimited  money in politics, restrict voting rights, and of course knocking down Roe vs. Wade,  same-sex marriage and Obamacare. $250 million had been spent, he  stated, in dark money, to reshape the courts.

      • Corporatist Judge Barrett – Two More Senate Abstentions Needed to Stop Trump

        This week, nominee to the High Court, Judge Amy Coney Barrett followed the “say-nothing” playbook, through injudicious and repetitious filibustering, essentially claiming that it was improper for a judge “to opine” on matters outside the judicial process.

        Really? Judge Barrett “opined” in lectures, interviews, and articles as a judge as have many sitting Supreme Court Justices. Her mentor, Justice Antonin Scalia regularly made controversial declarations at law school addresses and all kinds of other public appearances.

      • Michigan Republican Senate Candidate Has Strong Financial Ties to DeVos Family

        Michigan Republican Senate candidate John James attended a fundraiser at the home of Education Secretary Betsy DeVos’ brother-in-law while trying to downplay the financial help his campaign has received from the family.

      • Why a Former Green Party Candidate Is on a Very Long Fast—Urging Progressives to Vote for Biden to Defeat Trump

        “A very large number of people on the left who supported Bernie Sanders or Elizabeth Warren have come around to an understanding that Trump and his accomplices are such a dire threat to any hope of forward progress in this country.”

      • Ep112: The DNC’s War on the Green Party and Traditional Versus New Media in an Election Year w/Peter Finch – Along The Line Podcast

        On today’s episode, Nicholas Baham II (Dr. Dreadlocks), Janice Domingo, and Nolan Higdon discuss the DNC’s war on the Green Party and traditional versus new media in an election year with the host of The Finch Files, Peter Finch.

      • With Biden Path to Victory Still Fraught, Senate Democrats Issue All-Hands-on-Deck Warning Against Trump and GOP Election Threats

        “The reality is that this race is far closer than some of the punditry we’re seeing on Twitter and on TV would suggest,” Biden’s campaign manager cautioned over the weekend.

      • Progressives Won’t Wait for Biden to Set the Course

        On October 8, the Working Families Party released the People’s Charter, a progressive “road map out of our current state of crisis,” endorsed by several leading progressive legislators and insurgent congressional candidates, including Alexandria Ocasio Cortez and other members of “the Squad,” as well as organizations including the Movement for Black Lives Electoral Justice Project,the Service Employees International Union, and MoveOn. Earlier, the Green New Deal Network, an even broader coalition anchored by Indivisible, released the Thrive Agenda endorsed by 85 sitting legislators and legions of unions, environmental, civil rights, and citizen action groups. These serve not only as policy statements but as political markers as well: If Biden wins next month as expected, progressives will not give him a pass but will seek to drive bold reforms from the get-go.

      • Belarus moves prominent political analyst Vitali Shkliarov to house arrest, following roundtable meeting with Lukashenko

        After months, the Belarusian authorities have finally released political analyst Vitali Shkliarov from jail, transferring him to house arrest, his lawyer Anton Gashinsky told the newspaper Novaya Gazeta. 

      • The Courts v. Democracy

        Of the six major controversies to convulse the Supreme Court since 2000, exactly half have been over personnel. First, in 2016, the Republican Senate refused to consider President Obama’s nomination to the court, claiming that nine months was too soon before an election and that the American people should have a say; then, in 2017, Trump’s nominee to the Court, Brett Kavanaugh, was credibly accused of sexual assault and confirmed amidst national protests; and now, less than two months before the 2020 presidential election, Republicans are vowing to confirm a justice to replace Ruth Bader Ginsburg regardless of the election results.

        That a simple hiring decision can plunge the nation into crisis suggests an institution in profound upheaval, its legitimacy threatened by the increasing gap between its presentation as a non-political arbiter and the profoundly political nature of its job. If one of the central goals of liberal democracy has been to sever the power and legitimacy of political institutions from the personalities of the people who occupy them, if, in Karl Popper’s words, “what we need is not so much good men as good institutions,” then the Supreme Court is failing.

      • Rule Draconia: Tories and Labor Collude in Enabling Act for State Crimes

        The Covert Human Intelligence Sources Bill provides immunity for any government agent in undercover operations; and this goes far beyond those aimed at dire terrorist threats and big crime gangs, as touted by the bill-pushers. (Activities that are already given perilously wide scope in current practice.) It also includes serious crimes committed while pursuing operations launched “in the interests of the economic well-being of the United Kingdom, for the purpose of preventing or detecting crime or of preventing disorder.”

        As the Spectator puts it:

      • Days Before Debate, Trump Attacks Moderator After Being Advised to Be Nicer

        President Donald Trump’s campaign advisers are reportedly urging him to approach the final debate of the 2020 presidential election season with a calmer demeanor, but he appears already to be dismissing the strategy by attacking the character of the moderator just days before the debate is set to take place.

      • ‘Democracy Has Won’: Year After Right-Wing Coup Against Evo Morales, Socialist Luis Arce Declares Victory in Bolivia Election

        “Brothers and sisters: the will of the people has been asserted,” Morales declared from exile in Argentina.

      • QAnon/8Chan Sites Briefly Knocked Offline

        A large number of 8kun and QAnon-related sites (see map above) are connected to the Web via a single Internet provider in Vancouver, Wash. called VanwaTech (a.k.a. “OrcaTech“). Previous appeals to VanwaTech to disconnect these sites have fallen on deaf ears, as the company’s owner Nick Lim reportedly has been working with 8kun’s administrators to keep the sites online in the name of protecting free speech.

        But VanwaTech also had a single point of failure on its end: The swath of Internet addresses serving the various 8kun/QAnon sites were being protected from otherwise crippling and incessant distributed-denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks by Hillsboro, Ore. based CNServers LLC.

        [...]

        The FBI last year identified QAnon as a potential domestic terror threat, noting that some of its followers have been linked to violent incidents motivated by fringe beliefs.

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • Republicans, Who Have Made Sure The Federal Election Commission Can’t Do Anything, File A Complaint About Twitter’s Moderation Practices

        Last week, Senator Josh Hawley (who knows better) sent a ridiculous letter to the Federal Election Commission claiming that Twitter and Facebook’s decision (based on different reasons) to limit the sharing of a sketchy NY Post article was election interference. We explained why that was nonsense, but it appears that the Republican Party no longer gives a shit about what the law actually says when it can play the victim.

      • Pakistan bans TikTok; calls videos “immoral and indecent”

        The Pakistan Telecommunications Authority (PTA) has officially banned TikTok for providing access to “immoral and indecent” videos – though it remains to be seen how permanent this ban will be. TikTok has recently had similar troubles in the United States; however, it is becoming increasingly clear that these software bans being executed or threatened by governments around the world are merely chess moves to try and get tech companies to acquiesce to government demands. The PTA has passed on instrutions to Pakistan’s internet service providers (ISPs) instructing them to block the popular social media app.

      • People Need to Reclaim the Internet

        No matter how much you dislike Trump, only a fool can fail to see the implications for public access to information of the massive suppression on the internet of the Hunter Biden leaks.

      • New book shines light on China’s influence over Hollywood

        Chris Fenton, the former president of DMG Entertainment, produced nearly two dozen films for the Chinese market. In his new book “Feeding the Dragon: Inside the Trillion Dollar Dilemma Facing Hollywood, the NBA, and American Business,” he details that experience.

        “Quite frankly, myself and other cogs and wheels of the machine of the capitalism between the two countries weren’t really thinking about how what we were doing was detrimental to America, or detrimental to the world overall or helping give more leverage or power to the Chinese Communist Party,” he told VOA.

      • Police detain 10 people over beheading of French teacher in Paris suburb

        Reporting from the scene of the attack, FRANCE 24′s Julia Kim said the teacher had recently given a class on secularism and the controversy surrounding the publication of cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed by satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo.

    • Freedom of Information/Freedom of the Press

      • Supreme Court rules source protection a valid defence for reporter who refused to testify

        Finland’s Supreme Court has granted leave to a Helsingin Sanomat journalist to appeal a decision by the Helsinki District Court regarding whether or not he had the right to protect sources who contributed to a story about a military intelligence research centre.

        The verdict in the earlier case itself is sealed, but the supreme court’s ruling means that the journalist cannot be convicted solely on the basis of protecting a source.

    • Civil Rights/Policing

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

      • The GOP’s Blisteringly Hypocritical Road From Whining About Net Neutrality To Supporting Trump’s Idiotic Attack On Social Media

        Mike has already highlighted FCC boss Ajit Pai’s rank hypocrisy in his support of Trump’s brain fart of an executive order targeting social media. This is, after all, a guy that crowed for literally the better part of the last decade about how some modest net neutrality rules (read: some basic consumer protections aimed at policing widely disliked telecom monopolies) was “government run amok” and a “government takeover of the internet.” Now, as Trump attempts to bully the FCC into policing social media giants it has no authority over, a decade worth of purported principles are somehow, mysteriously absent.

    • Monopolies

      • Patents

        • Software Patents

          • $1,000 Awarded for American GNC Prior Art

            Unified is pleased to announce the PATROLL crowdsourcing contest winner, Ekta Aswal, who received a cash prize of $1,000 for their prior art submissions for U.S. Patent 6,480,789, owned by American GNC Corp. The ’789 patent, directed to a collision avoidance system, had been asserted in district court litigation against Toyota.

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

          • Patent Eligibility: Advantages over the Prior Art are Not Sufficient without Meaningful Technological Improvements

            In a terse opinion, Judge Hughes has affirmed the demurrer (12(b)(6) decision by Judge Sweeney (S.D. Ind) holding Tenstreet’s U.S. Patent No. 8,145,575 invalid as directed toward an abstract idea.

            The holding: even if the invention provides “advantages over the previous method,” it is not patent eligible without a “technological improvement beyond the use of a generic computer.” In essence, “do it on a computer” is not enough for patent eligibility.

      • Copyrights

        • Another view on Glenn Gould, user rights, performance and recording – The IPKat

          In her article, ‘Glenn Gould: Inventor of “User Rights”?’, Professor Mira T. Sundara Rajan points to Glenn Gould’s interview with Humphrey Burton as an early example of discussions about user rights, embodied by Gould’s ‘new listener’. Whilst the importance of recordings since 1966 has increased and new technologies have created new opportunities for sonic manipulation, music listeners have not become conductors in their own right (as Gould predicted) – struck by the lightning of inspiration.

          Instead, new listening technologies (such as the iPod and Spotify) have become disassociated with technologies that allow music to be manipulated or adapted (such as the turntable or the digital audio workstation (DAW)). I think it is worth probing further the relationship between user rights, listening, and music technology in the half-century since the interview.

          In one part of the interview, Gould states that the ability to ‘accelerate’ the tempo of records could allow listeners to conduct their own versions of symphonies. Burton replies that: ‘I want to hear Klemperer’s Beethoven, I don’t want to do my own Beethoven’. Gould immediately responds ‘Why not? Are you afraid of your own Beethoven?’ Gould goes on to explain that in the future the listener may be presented with a ‘skeleton’ performance which they could ‘assemble’.

          For Gould, once the listener obtains the ‘power’ to control recordings, they will not relinquish this power lightly. Once the technology was there, Gould’s Frankenstein listener would dissect and assemble a piece to fit their own vision. However, this Promethean dream has never been realised. Whilst the clay of musical recordings has become ever-more malleable, listeners’ desire for authenticity and portability, coupled with new technologies, have dislocated the listener from creativity and user rights.

        • Cloudflare Counters Mass Piracy Allegations in ‘Thothub’ Lawsuit

          Cloudflare has denied that it’s part of a RICO copyright infringement conspiracy. The CDN provider responded to the allegations from Texas-based model Deniece Waidhofer, who sued Cloudflare, Thothub and several advertisers. While Thothub has vanished, the lawsuit isn’t going away just yet.

        • Men Sued For Selling IPTV Subscriptions From Pirate Provider Previously Raided By Police

          DISH Network has filed a copyright infringement lawsuit against individuals who reportedly sell access to a pirate IPTV supplier that was previously targeted by police in Sweden. In that matter, several people were sentenced to years in prison and ordered to pay around $24m in damages. According to DISH, however, the provider is still in business and supplying content to the United States.

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