11.11.20

Links 11/11/2020: Clonezilla Live 2.7.0, Feren OS 2020.11, MX Linux 19.3 Released

Posted in News Roundup at 12:22 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Have you considered buying used hardware?

      For my current job I knew I wanted a Linux laptop again, after enough exposure to Apples ecosystem. Naturally a Thinkpad came to mind as an option, but I wanted to give used hardware a chance, given that Thinkpads are known to be reliable and well built.

      I went with used/refurbished hardware from a vendor I know and trust for a while now, lapstore.de, and I could not be happier with my choice. I went with a Lenovo Thinkpad T460s, as a compromise between decent performance, weight, screen size and good Linux support out of the box. This model is 5 years old, but CPUs are not evolving that fast anymore, so it still feels very snappy with everything I’m doing. The internal screen could have used a slightly higher resolution for my taste, but I am rarely using it these days.

      One big advantage of the older models is access to the old version of the docking stations, which are totally worth it. At home the laptop sits there, gets charged and drives my 4K display easily, while being hooked up to my mouse, keyboard and network cable. Speaking of ports: the T460s still has proper Rj-45, USB 2.0/3.0 and HDMI ports. No adapters needed!

    • Desktop/Laptop

      • New Galago Pro Linux Laptop Arrives With Refresh Look, Upgraded Specs

        Well-known Linux PC vendor System76 has launched the refreshed version of its light and thin Galago Pro Linux laptop. The latest Galago Pro contains several upgrades including looks and specifications.

        This 14-inch laptop with 1080p Full HD matte display now features Intel Iris Xe Graphics along with optional support for NVIDIA graphics (GeForce GTX 1650) for the first time.

      • Things We Love About the New Galago Pro

        The Galago Pro has returned in style! This laptop has received a few upgrades since its last appearance, and we can’t wait to share them with you. So we won’t!

        The Galago Pro’s slim, light aluminum body sports a new look and a larger trackpad. Carry your responsibilities between meetings, classrooms, war rooms, and Supervillans Anonymous member sessions (virtual, of course) without developing a conspicuous hunchback.

      • System76 Launches New Galago Pro Linux Laptop with 11th Gen Intel Core CPUs

        The refreshed Galago Pro Linux laptop is powered by 11th Gen Intel Core processors with 4 cores and 8 threads, namely the i5-1135G7 CPU with up to 4.2 GHz clock speeds and 8MB cache, as well as the i7-1165G7 CPU with up to 4.7 GHz clock speeds and 12MB cache.

        As expected, these new CPU options make the Galago Pro even more powerful and faster. In addition, the Linux laptop now comes with up to 64GB dual-channel DDR4 3200MHz RAM, up to 2TB PCIe 4.0 NVMe storage, Thunderbolt 4 support, Intel Dual Band Wi-Fi 6, and Bluetooth 5.0.

      • System76 refreshes the Galago Pro and you can buy the affordable Linux laptop now
      • System76 bring back the Galago Pro with Intel Xe and NVIDIA GPU options

        Bringing back something of a fan favourite, hardware vendor and Linux distribution maker System76 have announced the brand new Galago Pro.

        “The Galago Pro has always been a fan favorite of our laptop offerings,” says Carl Richell, Founder and CEO. “The extremely light chassis and well balanced mix of components, all for a very good price, make the Galago an all around excellent computer choice for gamers and engineers alike.”

      • This New System76 Linux Laptop Packs Something Special

        @System76 returns with a new and improved version of one of their gorgeous Linux laptops! The Galago Pro is back and it’s more “open” than ever! It also features all kinds of goodies from 11th Gen Intel chips with Iris Xe graphics, to storage loadouts of up to 2TB of NVMe storage and 64GB of RAM.

    • Server

      • How I use Cockpit for my home’s Linux server management

        Cockpit is a service for Linux that provides a web-based interface for managing and monitoring hosts. It can be deployed in any size organization, even a small office, and it’s a great way for home users to maintain the family IT infrastructure. I use it to manage and monitor all of the computers in my house—including Raspberry Pi.

        Cockpit is a free and open source software project released under the LGPL v2.1+. It is sponsored by Red Hat and included in Red Hat Enterprise Linux as the RHEL Web Console.

      • Nginx vs. Apache Comparison – Linux Hint

        Whenever it comes to deploying a website, the first thing that comes to your mind is choosing the right web server since, after deploying your website, your web server will be responsible for handling all the requests and serving the users with what they need.

        Nginx and Apache are the two leading web servers in the market that handle more than half of the Internet traffic these days. Apache was launched back in 1995, whereas Nginx is relatively newer since it was launched in 2004.

        The market share of both these web servers is more or less the same, which leaves users confused in choosing which web server they need for their particular website. Therefore, today we will try to draw a comparison between Nginx and Apache by discussing multiple parameters in which these web servers can be compared. After drawing that comparison, we will give you our take on which web server is better in certain situations. So let us try to find it out together.

    • Audiocasts/Shows

      • Episode #289 Discovering exoplanets with Python – [Talk Python To Me Podcast]

        Talk Python to Me is a weekly podcast hosted by developer and entrepreneur Michael Kennedy. We dive deep into the popular packages and software developers, data scientists, and incredible hobbyists doing amazing things with Python. If you’re new to Python, you’ll quickly learn the ins and outs of the community by hearing from the leaders. And if you’ve been Pythoning for years, you’ll learn about your favorite packages and the hot new ones coming out of open source.

        [...]

        When I saw the headline “Machine learning algorithm confirms 50 new exoplanets in historic first” I knew the Python angle of this story had to be told! And that’s how this episode was born. Join David Armstrong and Jev Gamper as they tell us how they use Python and machine learning to discover not 1, but 50 new exoplanets in pre-existing Keplar satellite data.

      • Vifm Is Amazing But Not The File Manager For Me – YouTube

        A few weeks back I had a look at vifm and you know it’s a really great terminal file manager but there’s just some things about it that really bother me that aren’t an issue inside of lf which is my current tool of choice, that’s not to say it’s bad or anything, it’s exceptional but it’s not the tool for me.

      • Favorite Linux Tweaks | LINUX Unplugged 379 | Jupiter Broadcasting

        We round up our favorite tweaks to the desktop, and apps that make it great.

        Plus some highlights from Arch Conf, and our reaction to Mint finally fixing their Chromium problem.

      • Wow! elementary OS 6 Dark Mode is Looking Gorgeous [Preview of the Early Build]

        elementary OS 6 is still under development and this is a look at the early builds. Please keep in mind that a lot can change by the actual release.

      • mintCast 347.5 – Sensational Silverback – mintCast

        In our Innards section, we cover our experiences with the flavors of Ubuntu 20.10!

        And finally, the feedback and a couple suggestions

      • I Will Not Watch These Linux YouTubers

        In this rant, I talk about why I don’t watch much Linux YouTube content. I talk about three categories of YouTubers that I especially take issue with, and how these kinds of YouTubers are completely missing the mark with their coverage of Linux.

    • Kernel Space

      • Linux 5.9.7
        I'm announcing the release of the 5.9.7 kernel.
        
        All users of the 5.9 kernel series must upgrade.
        
        The updated 5.9.y git tree can be found at:
        	git://git.kernel.org/pub/scm/linux/kernel/git/stable/linux-stable.git linux-5.9.y
        and can be browsed at the normal kernel.org git web browser:
        
        https://git.kernel.org/?p=linux/kernel/git/stable/linux-s...
        
        thanks,
        
        greg k-h
        
      • Linux 5.4.76
      • Linux 4.19.156
      • Linux 4.14.205
      • Linux 4.9.242
      • Linux 4.4.242
      • Linux 5.9.8
      • Linux 5.4.77
      • Linux 4.19.157
      • Linux 4.14.206
      • Linux 4.9.243
      • Linux 4.4.243
      • exFAT File-System Performance On Linux 5.9

        Now that the Samsung-contributed open-source exFAT file-system kernel driver has matured quite nicely since being merged earlier this year as a replacement to the short-lived staging exFAT driver based on an older code-base, here is a look at how exFAT is performing on the Linux 5.9 kernel compared to EXT4 and F2FS as well as the existing exFAT FUSE file-system implementation.

      • With $29M in funding, Isovalent launches its cloud-native networking and security platform
      • Isovalent Launches Breakthrough New Approach to Cloud-Native Networking With $29 Million Series A Led by Andreessen Horowitz and Google

        Today Isovalent, the cloud-native networking company, formally launched to help enterprises connect, observe and secure modern applications with Cilium. Cilium’s fundamentally new approach frees modern cloud-native applications from outdated, legacy techniques that place unnecessary limits on the agility that is driving enterprises to adopt Kubernetes and other cloud-native technologies. Cilium’s superior approach has already won the support of open source and commercial adopters, with a diverse community of hundreds of active contributors to the open source project and thousands of users.

      • Google, Andreessen Horowitz lead $29M round for Linux kernel networking startup Isovalent

        Google LLC and Andreessen Horowitz have jointly led a $29 million funding round into Isovalent Inc., a startup with a Linux-based networking platform that enterprises can use to manage the flow of data in their Kubernetes environments.

        Cisco Systems Inc. also participated in the Series A round, which was announced today.

        The networking software that orchestrates the movement of packets between servers is usually installed on top of those servers’ operating system. Isovalent’s platform, in contrast, embeds its network orchestration code directly into the operating system itself. The startup claims that its approach makes the network more efficient by reducing the number of additional software layers that need to be installed atop Linux to help manage data traffic.

        [...]

        Isovalent’s platform, called Cilium, facilitates this simplification by harnessing a low-level mechanism of Linux called eBPF. The mechanism makes it possible to embed networking code directly into the operating system’s kernel with less work and fewer security risks than traditional approaches.

      • Graphics Stack

        • mesa 20.3.0-rc1
          Hi list,
          
          It's that time again. Mesa 20.3.0-rc1 is now available for your general
          consumption. Please be sure to test it out and report plenty of bugs.
          
          There's lots of good stuff in this release, among the notable things off the
          top of my head:
           - lavapipe for vulkan swrast
           - v3dv vulkan driver for raspberry PI devices
           - lots of clover work, in particular spir-v for clover
           - tons of stuff I've not mentioned
          
          Dylan
          
        • Mesa 20.3-RC1 Released With Lavapipe CPU-Based Vulkan, Raspberry Pi V3DV Added – Phoronix

          Dylan Baker of Intel announced Mesa 20.3-RC1 overnight with its many new changes for this quarterly feature release. Mesa 20.3 comes the new V3DV Vulkan driver for Raspberry Pi 4/400 devices, LLVMpipe is in much better shape, Lavapipe has been added as a CPU-based Vulkan implementation akin to LLVMpipe, lots of OpenCL modernization work in Clover Gallium3D, many new Vulkan extensions added, various optimizations, and more. Our Mesa 20.3 feature overview will be published soon.

        • Mesa 21.0 Merges Direct3D 12 Gallium3D Driver – Phoronix

          Mesa 21.0 will allow running OpenCL and OpenGL on top of Gallium3D for any hardware on Windows 10 supporting Direct3D 12 acceleration.

        • Mesa 21.0 Feature Development Opens For Release In Q1-2021 – Phoronix

          Mesa 20.3 was branched this evening in marking the end of feature development for this Q4-2020 Mesa3D release that should debut as stable in December. This also means that Mesa 21.0 is now open for development.

          Mesa 20.3 bring continued improvements to LLVMpipe’s OpenGL 4 capabilities, various new Vulkan and OpenGL extensions to the Intel/Radeon drivers, the RADV ACO compiler back-end continues getting in much better shape, OpenCL Clover has been seeing renewed attention, continued bring-up around RDNA 2 graphics cards, Intel Gen12/Xe Graphics optimizations, and much more.

        • NVIDIA Extends Fragment Shading Rate Extension In Vulkan 1.2.160

          Vulkan 1.2.160 is out this morning as the newest revision to the Vulkan graphics/compute API.

          Besides the usual assortment of fixes/clarifications to the specification, Vulkan 1.2.160 brings one new extension. That new extension this week is NVIDIA’s VK_NV_fragment_shading_rate_enums.

        • Compute Express Link 2.0 Specification Published

          Just a year after the Compute Express Link 1.0 and 1.1 interconnect specifications were published, CXL 2.0 is being announced this morning for this high-speed, data center minded specification built atop the PCI Express interface.

    • AMD

      • AMD Renoir Running Smooth On Linux 5.10 – Phoronix

        After last week sharing some Intel Tiger Lake benchmarks on Linux 5.10, the tables have turned and here are some similar tests when running Linux 5.10 on an AMD Ryzen 4000 series “Renoir” notebook.

        Using a Lenovo IdeaPad with Ryzen 5 4500U with Ubuntu 20.10, I ran some benchmarks of Linux 5.9 stable against the Linux 5.10 development snapshot of the time.

        Via the Phoronix Test Suite dozens of benchmarks were run in comparing these latest kernel versions.

      • AMD SoC PMC Driver Slated To Come With Linux 5.11 – Phoronix

        In addition to the AMD Sensor Fusion Hub (SFH) driver coming with Linux 5.11 for improving Ryzen laptop support, the AMD SoC PMC driver is also under review for landing in this next kernel release.

        The AMD SoC PMC driver is for the power management controller found so far with Raven Ridge, Picasso, Renoir, and Cezanne SoCs. While Raven through Renoir has been available for a while, AMD only now is contributing this power management controller for the mainline Linux kernel — presumably due to AMD Chromebooks and the like that have motivated the other recent AMD Linux mobile improvements.

      • AMD Ryzen Embedded V2000 8-core Computer-on-Module supports up to 64GB RAM

        AMD Ryzen Embedded V2000 processors with up to eight Zen2 cores and faster Radeon graphics have been officially announced, and one of the first hardware platforms to take advantage of the new processor is ADLINK cExpress-AR COM Express Type 6 Compact computer-on-module suitable for demanding graphics-based applications such as medical ultrasound, image processing, 4K high-speed video encoding and streaming for broadcasting, embedded gaming, and infotainment.

    • Applications

      • SysTray-X Is A Thunderbird 68+ Tray Icon With Unread Email Counter And Close / Minimize To Tray

        SysTray-X is a Qt5 system tray icon for Thunderbird email client version 68 and newer, which shows the number of unread emails, and can minimize / close Thunderbird to tray. It’s available for Linux and Microsoft Windows.

        The tool is made of two parts: a Thunderbird extension and a companion system application. It uses the WebExtension APIs to control an external system dependent system tray application.

        You can tweak the look of the Thunderbird system tray icon provided by SysTray-X, like using a custom mail notification icon, set the new mail count font color and size, and more.

        You can also choose how Thunderbird behaves when you minimize or close it. From the SysTray-X setting you can set the Thunderbird window to hide when it’s minimized or use the default behavior, and have it minimize when closing the Thunderbird window. There’s also an option to start Thunderbird minimized, and depending on how you set the minimize options, this can mean to either have the window minimize in the taskbar, or have it minimize (hide) to tray.

      • Regards – modern photo viewer

        One of our favorite adages is “A picture is worth a thousand words”. It refers to the notion that a still image can convey a complex idea. Images can portray a lot of information quickly and more efficiently than text. They capture memories, and never let you forget something you want to remember, and refresh it in your memory.

        Images are part of every day internet usage, and are particularly important for social media engagement. A good image viewer is an essential part of any operating system.

        Linux offers a vast collection of open source small utilities that perform functions ranging from the obvious to the bizarre. It’s the quality and selection of these tools that help Linux stand out as a productive environment. This is particularly true when it comes to image viewers. There are so many image viewers that are available for Linux that it can make selection difficult.

        Regards is billed as a modern photo viewer. It supports a very large range of image formats. There’s OpenGL/OpenCL support. The software can also play videos. It’s written in C++ and C.

      • OpenRazer 2.9 Released with New Razer Peripherals Support [PPA]

        OpenRazer, open-source driver and user-space daemon to manage Razer peripherals on Linux, released version 2.9.0 a few days ago with new Razer devices support, improvements, and bug-fixes.

        [...]

        The new release also adds read support for idle_time and low_battery_threshold, ability to configure the battery notification frequency, screensaver monitor support on Xfce, improved fake driver support, and more.

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • About the offline laptop project

        Having a totally disconnected system isn’t really practical for a few reasons. Sometimes, I really need to connect the offline laptop to the network. I do produce some content on the computer, so I need to do backups. The easiest way for me to have reliable backup is to host them on a remote server holding the data, this requires network connection for the time of the backup. Of course, backups could be done on external disks or usb memory sticks (I don’t need to backup much), but I never liked this backup solution; don’t get me wrong, I don’t say it’s ineffective, but it doesn’t suit my needs.

      • My First Post On CSS Tricks

        My post is about making the WordPress back end match the look and feel of the front end so you don’t have to mess around with previews. You can read the post using the button below: [...]

      • Linux Fu: Send In The (Cloud) Clones | Hackaday

        Storing data “in the cloud” — even if it is your own server — is all the rage. But many cloud solutions require you to access your files in a clumsy way using a web browser. One day, operating systems will incorporate generic cloud storage just like any other file system. But by using two tools, rclone and sshfs, you can nearly accomplish this today with a little one-time setup. There are a few limitations, but, generally, it works quite well.

        It is a story as old as computing. There’s something new. Using it is exotic and requires special techniques. Then it becomes just another part of the operating system. If you go back far enough, programmers had to pull specific records from mass storage like tapes, drums, or disks and deblock data. Now you just open a file or a database. Cameras, printers, audio, and even networking once were special devices that are now commonplace. If you use Windows, for example, OneDrive is well-supported. But if you use another service, you may or may not have an easy option to just access your files as a first-class file system.

        The rclone program is the Swiss Army knife of cloud storage services. Despite its name, it doesn’t have to synchronize a local file store to a remote service, although it can do that. The program works with a dizzying array of cloud storage providers and it can do simple operations like listing and copying files. It can also synchronize, as you’d expect. However, it also has an experimental FUSE filesystem that lets you mount a remote service — with varying degrees of success.

      • Tagging commands on Linux

        Tags provide an easy way to associate strings that look like hash tags (e.g., #HOME) with commands that you run on the command line. Once a tag is established, you can rerun the associated command without having to retype it. Instead, you simply type the tag. The idea is to use tags that are easy to remember for commands that are complex or bothersome to retype.

        Unlike setting up an alias, tags are associated with your command history. For this reason, they only remain available if you keep using them. Once you stop using a tag, it will slowly disappear from your command history file. Of course, for most of us, that means we can type 500 or 1,000 commands before this happens. So, tags are a good way to rerun commands that are going to be useful for some period of time, but not for those that you want to have available permanently.

      • Ultimate Guide to SNES Emulation on Retroarch – Make Tech Easier

        The Super Nintendo is widely regarded as one of the best games consoles of all time, building on the revolution of its predecessor, the NES, to offer more color, great sound, and some of the best pixel-art games of all time (as well as some early 3D ones). Thanks to the miracle of emulation, we’ve been able to play SNES games on our PCs for years now.

        Retroarch is one of the best options around, offering an all-in-one emulation frontend for your SNES games, as well as those from other consoles. But Retroarch can be a little fiddly to set up, so this guide will show you how to give yourself the ultimate SNES experience on PC.

      • How to Install CentOS on a Raspberry Pi [Tutorial]

        CentOS is very popular because of its stability. In this article, I am going to guide you on how to install CentOS on a Raspberry Pi.

      • How To Install Beautiful Desktop Environment on Termux Android! – Fosslicious

        This time I want to discuss about the Desktop Environment that can be installed in Termux and run using VNC Viewer. This is a bit similar to this blog’s previous post about the GUI that comes with Termux when installing and running Ubuntu in this application. But this time, we don’t have Ubuntu, Arch or maybe any other linux distro installed. Only termux with its desktop environment.
        So, in this section we are going to try to setup a desktop environment for Termux itself. OK Let’s Get Started! …

      • How to Install Etcher on Linux and How to Use it

        Etcher is a popular USB flasher app for creating bootable Linux USB drives. Let me show you how to install it and how to use it for making a live Linux disk.

      • How to Setup Local DNS Resolver using Dnsmasq on Ubuntu 20.04

        Dnsmasq stands for “short for DNS masquerade” is a simple, lightweight and easy to use DNS forwarder used for a small network. It can be configured as a DNS cache and DHCP server and supports both IPv4 and IPv6 protocol. When it receives any DNS queries, it will answer them from its cache or forward to the different DNS server.

      • Zeit – A GUI Tool to Schedule Cron and At Jobs in Linux

        Zeit is an open-source GUI tool for scheduling jobs via “crontab” and “at”. It is written in C++ and released under GPL-3.0 License. It is an easy to use tool that provides a simple interface to either schedule a one-time job or iterative jobs. Zeit also comes with an alarm and timer which uses sound and notify the user.

      • How to uninstall apache2 on Ubuntu 20.04

        In this quick tutorial, you will learn how to completely remove Apache2 on Ubuntu 20.04 and similar distributions.

        When removing a package, sometimes it may leave behind some dependencies and configuration data which might clutter up your system. On Ubuntu, one of the best tools that helps with the removal of a package is the apt-get purge command.

      • Etcher – USB ISO Burner and Clone Tool | Pen Drive Linux

        Etcher is essentially an ISO to USB Burner and USB Clone tool. Created by Balena, this open source direct image writing and disk cloning software can be used to etch or burn an image or iso file onto a flash drive. In addition the utility functions as a USB disk cloning tool, and can be used to easily clone a USB flash drive to another of equal size or larger.

        Be aware that functionality is similar to using a destructive RawWrite DD command. Meaning that Etcher will overwrite the content of the destination drive with whatever source file has been chosen. As a result, all existing content on the destination drive will be erased, wiped clean or deleted. Additionally, depending on the filesystem of the source, the device might not remain usable for file storage purposes. After etching an ISO or IMG, the drive may no longer be detected by some operating systems. So, after playing around for a bit, you might find a need to restore your USB.

      • Load balance network traffic with HAProxy | Opensource.com

        You don’t have to work at a huge company to justify using a load balancer. You might be a hobbyist, self-hosting a website from a couple of Raspberry Pi computers. Perhaps you’re the server administrator for a small business; maybe you do work for a huge company. Whatever your situation, you can benefit from using the HAProxy load balancer to manage your traffic.

        HAProxy is known as “the world’s fastest and most widely used software load balancer.” It packs in many features that can make your applications more secure and reliable, including built-in rate limiting, anomaly detection, connection queuing, health checks, and detailed logs and metrics. Learning the basic skills and concepts covered in this tutorial will help you use HAProxy to build a more robust, far more powerful infrastructure.

      • How To Install Wine 5.0 on LinuxMint – TecAdmin

        Wine 5.0 Stable Released. Wine team has announced the latest stable release 5.0. Its source code, as well as the Debian packages for Linux Mint is available on its official site. You may also use the package manager to install wine. Wine is an Open Source implementation of the Windows API and will always be free software. Approximately half of the source code is written by its volunteers, and remaining effort sponsored by commercial interests, especially CodeWeavers.

      • How to Resize and Create Partitions with GParted – Make Tech Easier

        Need to meddle with your hard disk partition? Here, we’ll be showing you how to create and resize partitions with GParted.

      • How to install Netbeans 12 on Ubuntu 20.04.

        To do this we first update our Linux Repositories, then we install Java, then we download the Netbeans appimage, next we make the appimage executable as a program, with the next two commands we move (and rename) the appimage to the /opt directory which is a folder where many third-party apps stores it’s data and lastly we install a menu editor which we use to add Netbeans to our menu. Enjoy!

      • How to make Flameshot the default Linux screenshot app

        Flameshot is an excellent screenshot tool, but it doesn’t set itself as the default screenshot app once installed. Instead, users need to set it up themselves. To do this, you will need to modify the default screenshot shortcuts on your desktop.

        In this guide, we’ll show you how to set up Flameshot as the default screenshot app in Gnome, KDE, Mate, and XFCE 4. To get started, find the desktop you in this guide and follow along.

      • How to repair the GRUB2 boot loader on Linux – TechRepublic

        Jack Wallen shows you how easy it is to repair the GRUB2 boot loader in Linux.

      • Manage Raspberry PI GPU Memory Split

        As you know, Raspberry PI is, before all, a single board computer. This means that available memory is shared between CPU (Central Processing Unit) for programs usage and GPU (Graphics Processing Unit) for video processing usage.

        Unlike other bigger computer boards, Raspberry PI hasn’t memory slots to increase total available RAM (even if last Raspberry PI 4 models increased up to 8GB, matching heavier tasks needs). Furthermore, the amount of memory assigned to GPU is subtracted to CPU and you can’t dynamically reassign it until re-set its quantity and reboot.

        For this reason, you could need to tune your RAM needs and test and re-test until you ind the right compromise.

        In this tutorial I’m going to show you how to manage Raspberry PI Memory Split and set RAM amount assigned to GPU. This tutorial applies to all Raspberry PI boards.

    • Games

      • Linux game manager Lutris gets a 0.5.8 Release Candidate | GamingOnLinux

        The absolutely huge 0.5.8 update for the game manager Lutris is one step closer to a proper release, with a Release Candidate out now. Following on from the Beta release we covered in late October, this RC is mainly cleaning up all the issues found during testing.

        Giving you an easy way to bring your games from Steam, GOG, Humble Store, games run through compatibility layers like Wine and Proton and more all under one roof. If you’ve not tried it yet, you might find it’s actually really useful.

      • The Darkside Detective: Season 2 becomes The Darkside Detective: A Fumble in the Dark | GamingOnLinux

        Akupara Games and Spooky Doorway have announced that The Darkside Detective: Season 2 is going through a rebranding to The Darkside Detective: A Fumble in the Dark and they released a new trailer too.

        What is it? The Darkside Detective is a serial point-and-click adventure where you are put in the shoes of Detective McQueen and his sidekick, Officer Patrick Dooley, investigating cases plaguing Twin Lakes and its colourful citizens. A Fumble in the Dark continues to expand the Darkside Universe by adding an additional six cases full of loveable characters, old and new, wacky dialogue and out-of-the-box puzzles with unconventional solutions.

        Due to arrive in 2021 along with Linux support after a successful Kickstarter campaign, they mentioned that part of the reason for the renaming is that often sequels “do worse than their previous game”. Since The Darkside Detective presents you with a bunch of standalone cases, they wanted to reflect that in the sequel to show the first game is not needed to be played through too.

      • With deep sandbox building options and lots of content, From the Depths is out now | GamingOnLinux

        After 6 years in Early Access, the sandbox vehicle building game From the Depths has officially released.

        Designed for those who absolutely love to build anything possible, From the Depths gives you a ridiculous amount of freedom to do whatever you want with its creation tools. There’s something of a sharp learning curve to it but once you’re able to get through that, you will find something quite deep.

        Nick Smart, founder of the development team at Brilliant Skies mentioned how it’s designed to encourage people to love engineering commenting “It’s a very refreshing thing to see; Players thinking hard about their engineering choices on their vehicles, spending days, weeks or even months on a creation, trying to make it exactly how they want.”.

      • DoubleShake is an upcoming love letter to 5th generation console platformers | GamingOnLinux

        Currently crowdfunding on Kickstarter with a goal that’s been hit, DoubleShake from Rightstick Studios is a love letter to classic 5th generation platformers.

        Inspired by the likes of Mischief Makers, Tomba!, Klonoa and others from the Nintendo 64 and original PlayStation, it certainly looks the part with its delightfully blocky style. However, they make it clear they’re using some modern techniques and game design to shake it up and make it feel better. Using a mix of traditional platforming that also has you navigate through 2.5D styled paths where you can find all sorts of secrets. They say as the game progresses, it slowly switches from a platformer to be more puzzle and exploration-focused so it’s one big mix.

      • Shortest Trip to Earth gets a second DLC expansion with new content | GamingOnLinux

        Shortest Trip to Earth, a roguelike spaceship sim that somewhat resembles FTL but with far more depth to it has a second expansion now available. Originally released in August of 2019, it later came to Linux officially in April of 2020.

        The Old Enemies is the new DLC which adds in over 20 new enemy ships across 3 major new factions to the original game, so your short trip might end up quite a bit longer. There’s also a new playable ship, The Exception, which is a mysterious alien craft was excavated from a deep ravine on Mars full of advanced systems. Since the game is very much about exploration, there’s also a bunch of new planets and other interesting points to discover.

      • SDL2 Adds Support For The Xbox Series X Controller – Phoronix

        Last week Valve added Sony PlayStation 5 controller support to SDL2 while today there is launch-day support for the Xbox Series X controller for this cross-platform abstraction layer popular with games.

        Sam Lantinga of Valve who leads much of the Simple DirectMedia Library effort provided the Sony PlayStation 5 controller support. Today he committed to the Xbox Series X controller support.

      • Everafter Falls is a super-sweet farming sim with action-RPG elements on Kickstarter | GamingOnLinux

        As we previously covered back in September, Everafter Falls is an upcoming mix of a sweet and casual farming life sim blended with some action-RPG elements and it’s now live on Kickstarter. Taking elements from the popular titles Stardew Valley, Harvest Moon and Animal Crossing it looks simply wonderful.

        “You wake up to discover the life you previously had on Earth was nothing but a simulation. With no memory of this place, you will explore and rediscover the serene and peaceful existence you once had here. Welcome to Everafter Falls.”

      • Godot Engine – Complex text layouts progress report #2

        This is the second part of my work on Complex Text Layouts for Godot 4.0, focusing on Fonts and UI mirroring.

        See godot-proposals#1180, godot-proposals#1181, godot-proposals#1182, and godot-proposals#1183 on GitHub for detailed information on CTL proposals and feedback.

        See also the previous progress report for the TextServer API implementation details.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • KD Reports 1.9.0 Released

          KDAB has released KD Reports 1.9.0! KD Reports is a developer tool that generates printable and exportable reports from code and from XML descriptions. Reports may contain text paragraphs, tables, headlines, charts, headers and footers and more.

          Starting with this release, 1.9.0, KD Reports no longer supports Qt 4. However, KD Reports 1.8.2 and lower are still available with support for Qt 4. Our future efforts with KD Reports will go towards supporting Qt 6, which is due to come out soon.

        • Calamares – translations update

          Calamares is a Linux installer – a distro-, desktop- and toolkit- independent installer that is used by (at least) a few dozen different Linux distributions to get the software from the ISO image (or USB stick, or whatever) onto your computer. It’s modular and configurable so that each distro can make it their own with a minimum of fuss. Calamares is translated into 71 languages, of which 58 are usable for the installation.

          Calamares runs on “short-cycles”, which means there’s a release every two or three weeks with new features and new translations and whatnot. What actually gets onto ISO images is up to the distro’s: some produce weekly snapshots (like KDE neon and ArcoLinux) and some take a bit more time. A positive spin on this is that there’s always something fresh for rolling ISO’s to try out (and I really do appreciate the testing done by people from Manjaro and KaOS), a negative spin is that there’s always new bugs.

        • KDE Plasma 5.20.3 Desktop Update Arrives with More Than 30 Bug Fixes

          Coming only two weeks after KDE Plasma 5.20.2, the KDE Plasma 5.20.3 update is here with more than 30 bug fixes and other changes, including a fix for switching of users to work again when invoking the action, which is now visible in the Kickoff Application launcher, along with all the shutdown options, for users with Linux distros using an older systemd version.

          KDE Plasma 5.20.3 also addresses a crash in the Plasma Wayland session, which was improved for laptop users to immediately wake up the system when opening the lid instead of having to also press a key on the keyboard, as well as some minor visual glitches with the “Sliding Popups” effect used for various Plasma panel widgets

        • Maui Weekly Report 7 — Nitrux — #YourNextOS

          Today, we bring you a new report on the Maui Project progress.

          Are you a developer and want to start developing cross-platform and convergent apps, targeting, among other things, the upcoming Linux Mobile devices? Then join us on Telegram: https://t.me/mauiproject.

        • QmlBook: Felgo Service Integration

          Felgo has kindly sponsored the QmlBook, which has resulted in a new chapter. The topic this time around is the Felgo Qt extensions for
          integrating various services that are commonly used by app developers, the Felgo cloud builds, as well as their live reloading technology.

      • GNOME Desktop/GTK

    • Distributions

      • MX Linux 19.3 Released with Latest Debian Buster 10.6 Updates, BleedingTooth Patches

        Packed with all the latest software and security updates from the Debian GNU/Linux 10.6 (Buster) release, MX Linux 19.3 is here with new kernel versions patched against the recently discovered BleedingTooth security vulnerability affecting certain Intel processors.

        While the standard ISO images ship with Linux kernel 4.19.152 LTS, the more advanced AHS (Advanced Hardware Support) edition is powered by Linux kernel 5.8.14. The latter also comes with a newer Mesa graphics stack, version 20.1.8, as well as recent X.Org Server graphics drivers.

      • MX-19.3 now available!

        MX-19.3 is the third refresh of our MX-19 release, consisting of bugfixes and application updates since our original release of MX-19. If you are already running MX-19, there is no need to reinstall. Packages are all available thru the regular update channel.

        [...]

        The standard MX-19.3 releases (32 bit and 64 bit) feature the latest debian 4.19 kernel and unlike in the past the kernel will now auto-update along with debian sources by default.

        The AHS (Advanced Hardware Support) iso features a debian 5.8 kernel, mesa 20, as well as a new updated firmware package.

        The KDE iso has also been updated, and being based on AHS, also has the 5.8 kernel and updated firmware and mesa packages.

        As usual, this release includes the latest updates from debian 10.6 (buster) and MX repos.

      • New Releases

      • BSD

        • Oops, a fork

          An R&D project I’m involved with has forked freeDiameter. Since forks should be a last resort, I feel the need for some public justification. The fork isn’t driven by delusions of grandeur, but mostly down-to-earth practical considerations and has as explicit goal to upstream all work and dissolve the fork as soon as possible.

          The R&D project was spawned by a vision of a future-proofed Internet, described at InternetWide.org. To some extent that can be read as “break the big tech companies and allow everyone to be effectively self-hosting”. It is a tall task, and I poke and prod at tiny bits of it.

          [...]

          So, in order to “get shit done” we have forked onto GitLab, so that we have a modern collaboration mechanism, drive-by-branches, quick response times, etc. Still no mailing list, though, but then we’re not aiming to take over the project, we’re aiming to do some development and then upstream it – when we get to that point we can wrestle with Mercurial again.

        • FreeBSD Fridays: Introduction to RISC-V on FreeBSD – LinuxReviews

          Video: Join Mitchell Horne as he discusses the past, present, and future of FreeBSD’s support for the RISC-V CPU architecture. x86-64 is the most well-supported platform FreeBSD runs on. RISC-V support is not yet complete in all areas, but it is rapidly getting here.

      • SUSE/OpenSUSE

        • SES 7 and SUSE Global Services: A Perfect Pairing

          It’s no surprise that data is the most valuable commodity you have. After all, with the right data, you can personalize your services to meet your customer’s exact needs – virtually leapfrogging your competition. And with the rate of which data is growing, why wouldn’t you invest in a Software Defined Storage (SDS) solution. After all, SDS provides your business with greater flexibility, efficiency and faster scalability – and at the same time being extremely budget-friendly.

        • Digest of YaST Development Sprint 112 | YaST

          Our previous sprint report was full of promises. We stated we were working to improve the Cockpit support for (open)SUSE and finishing some other interesting stuff. We also mentioned we had delivered a YaST presentation in the openSUSE + LibreOffice Virtual Conference. Time has come to pay our debts. The current report offers more news about all that.

        • Supercharge your compliance practices with SUSE Manager

          Many industries and governments require compliance with security standards to ensure security, identity, confidentiality and data integrity. These standards specify a minimum-security level and also mandate measures such as logging and auditing to reveal any hints of unauthorized use.

        • An Introduction to SUSE Manager for Retail

          SUSE Manager for Retail is an open source infrastructure management solution that is optimized and tailored for the retail industry.

        • A New SUSE SAP Business One installer image is ready – SUSE Communities

          Cloud environments grow organically and often include a dizzying combination of virtual, bare metal and container-based systems. If cloud computing is part of your Linux landscape, you’ll save time and money with a single tool for managing all your Linux resources. SUSE® Manager is a versatile Linux management tool (all major distributions) built for the cloud.

        • Portworx and SUSE: a cloud-native storage partnership

          Kubernetes changed how we manage our applications and it has done the same for storage data which is growing at a staggering rate, coming from a vast variety of sources. The global software-defined-storage (SDS) is expected to hit $16 billion by 2020.

          In such a promising context, a partnership between Portworx and SUSE definitely made sense. It goes back to 2018 right after we met at Kubecon in Copenhagen. The Kubernetes ecosystem was just booming, and we were looking for partners who could align with us in the adoption of cloud native and container-based technologies. Portworx can be used to run any stateful service, on top of any cloud or storage infrastructure, using any Kubernetes platform and has now been certified on SLES 12 and lately on our latest version of CaaS Platform 4.

        • A New SUSE SAP Business One installer image is ready – SUSE Communities

          First of all many thanks to all IHV‘s which have validated the new installer image. They went the extra mile with us and make this happen. I‘d like to say thank you again for the great cooperation between all parties during this validation period. The new SUSE SAP Business One installer image was validated by FUJITSU, Nutanix, Supermicro and Dell for their respective Hardware.

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • Daniel Pocock: Withdrawing my nomination for Fedora Council

          First of all, my email nominating myself on the Fedora Council list was delayed for approximately 14 hours.

          [...]

          This strikes me as a strong hint that I’m an independent candidate who is not afraid to ask the important questions. If I was to suggest the election was about to be rigged then I would risk looking like the world’s biggest clown but nonetheless, messages delayed like that makes it feel like the playing field is not quite level. It is an all-too-familiar feeling in the free software world. This was an important revelation about transparency achieved without even getting to a vote.

          Secondly, there has been increased attention on the difference between real harassment as opposed to the counter-accusations that appear all too frequently from leaders covering up their own rogue behavior. Harvey Weinstein’s lawyer publicly blamed his victims and the outgoing US president claimed to be a victim of lynching. Leaders of certain free software organizations cry the same crocodile tears. Let us remember the original words chosen by young women coming into our environment are the only genuine examples of harassment. With or without a vote, I remain committed to allocating a share of my time to courageous volunteers like this. Their willingness to speak up gives me hope that the leaders of tomorrow may be better than the office holders of yesterday.

          The ultimate achievement of my short campaign is to depart gracefully. I couldn’t think of a better time to do so. This is what leadership looks like. Either you understand that or you don’t.

        • Exploring OpenShift Source-to-Image using Git webhooks | Enable Sysadmin

          OpenShift is an enterprise application platform based on the Kubernetes orchestration tool. It can deploy applications from a number of sources, including prebuilt images as well as from source. In this article, I will talk about Source-to-Image (S2I) and how to automate the entire process using Git webhooks. You can follow along and try it out yourself for free at the OpenShift Interactive Learning Portal.

        • Call for Code Spot Challenge for Wildfires

          Nearly 3 billion animals were affected by Australia’s worst wildfire season that burned from July 2019 through March 2020 estimates Chris Dickman, a professor of ecology at the University of Sydney. We’re asking you to join data scientists to develop models focused on forecasting wildfires in Australia for the upcoming wildfire season, and enter the chance to win $5K USD. To get you started we’re releasing historical data sets extracted from the Weather Operations Center Geospatial Analytics component (PAIRS Geoscope)

        • The history of an API: GitLab Runner and Podman | Enable Sysadmin

          Here is one sysadmin’s journey through Podman and GitLab Runner integration

        • From chemistry to coding: Changing careers to become a software developer

          Some people say that it doesn’t matter how you start, what matters is how you finish! And no truer words have been spoken, especially with regards to your career and professional life. Last year I graduated from college with a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry. Less than a year later I became a Systems Back End Software Engineer at IBM without a formal computer science degree. And today, I work at the Transaction Processing Facility in Poughkeepsie, where I develop and modernize an operations server console that handles transactions for several major credit card, hotels and airline companies. Most of my work is on the Java console for the z/TPF operating system. I also help process the linux build and package along with shipping code. (Note: According to the 2020 Stack Overflow developer survey, 4.4% of professional developers have a background in natural sciences.)

          My journey to becoming a software developer began when I took my first computer science class as a senior in college. After that one class I realized that being a developer was my true passion! But with a degree in an unrelated discipline I didn’t know how I could make the leap to becoming a professional developer. So, immediately after graduation, I completed an immersive software engineering boot camp at Flatiron School. While at that boot camp, I independently built scalable full-stack applications such as Facebook and Trello clones. I decided to attend a coding boot camp because I thought it would push me to learn as much as possible in the shortest period of time. After completing the boot camp, I applied for jobs and quickly accepted a position at IBM.

        • Automated golf highlights in a fanless environment

          Automating the creation of these videos dramatically reduced the time and effort required to produce this content. Quickly producing this content gave the Masters editorial team first mover advantage, coverage breadth across the entire field, and freed up critical video editing cycles to be used elsewhere.

          This automated system ingested video from every shot on every hole. The workflow that created the input content later went on to win the George Wensel Technical Achievement Emmy Award as well as many other accolades. As this content was ingested, it was evaluated for “highlight-worthiness” using a metric referred to internally by IBM as “excitement.” The excitement metrics were derived using artificial intelligence (AI) analysis of the content. These metrics were further enhanced by using IBM Watson® OpenScale to remove bias from the ranking. These excitement metrics, coupled with storytelling business rules, were used to select which golf scenes to include. These selections were then used to create a fully produced highlight video with broadcast interstitials and automated TV graphics minutes after the player completed their round. The work for the 2019 Masters was described in this IBM Developer blog.

      • Debian Family

        • jmtd → log → Borg, confidence in backups, GtkPod and software preservation

          Luckily, other fine folks have worked out reversing all these steps and implemented it in software such as libgpod and its frontend, GtkPod, which is still currently available as a Debian package. It mostly worked, and I got back 95% of the tracks. (It would have been nice if GtkPod had reported the tracks it hadn’t recovered, it was aware they existed based on the errors it did print. But you can’t have everything.)

          GtkPod is a quirky, erratic piece of software, that is only useful for old Apple equipment that is long out of production, prior to the introduction of the encryption. The upstream homepage is dead, and I suspect it is unmaintained. The Debian package is orphaned. It’s been removed from testing, because it won’t build with GCC 10. On the other hand, my experience shows that it worked, and was useful for a real problem that someone had today.

          I’m in two minds about GtkPod’s fate. On the one hand, I think Debian has far too many packages, with a corresponding burden of maintenance responsibility (for the whole project, not just the individual package maintainers), and there’s a quality problem: once upon a time, if software had been packaged in a distribution like Debian, that was a mark of quality, a vote of confidence, and you could have some hope that the software would work and integrate well with the rest of the system. That is no longer true, and hasn’t been in my experience for many years. If we were more discerning about what software we included in the distribution, and what we kept, perhaps we could be a leaner distribution, faster to adapt to the changing needs in the world, and of a higher quality.

          On the other hand, this story about GtkPod is just one of many similar stories. Real problems have been solved in open source software, and computing historians, vintage computer enthusiasts, researchers etc. can still benefit from that software long into the future. Throwing out all this stuff in the name of “progress”, could be misguided. I’m especially sad when I see the glee which people have expressed when ditching libraries like Qt4 from the archive. Some software will not be ported on to Qt5 (or Gtk3, Qt6, Gtk4, Qt7, etc., in perpetuity). Such software might be all of: unmaintained, “finished”, and useful for some purpose (however niche), all at the same time.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • Best Ubuntu Flavors You Should Try

          The Official Ubuntu flavors come with different specs depending on your specific need for the Ubuntu operating system. To help you choose one for your needs, let us list down the best Ubuntu flavors you should try.

          “I am because you are,” is the themed meaning behind the famed Ubuntu operating system. Moreover, this mindful phrase is practical because it continues to lure more individuals into the Ubuntu universe. Because great power beckons great responsibility, Ubuntu is stepping up. It realizes that different users will want to use the Ubuntu operating system software differently.

          For example, software developers and graphic designers cannot use the same Ubuntu operating system interface comfortably. In such an instance, these users will have different user experiences leading to varying user-experience ratings. Therefore, the best Ubuntu flavors you should try is the main theme of this article.

        • Ubuntu 20.10 Gets Its First Linux Kernel Security Patch, Update Now

          Released about three weeks ago, Ubuntu 20.10 is the latest version of the popular Linux-based operating system. It ships with the Linux 5.8 kernel series by default, which has now been patched against two recently discovered security vulnerabilities.

          The first security vulnerability addressed in this update is CVE-2020-27194, discovered by Simon Scannell in Linux kernel’s bpf verifier, which could allow a local attacker to expose sensitive information (kernel memory) or gain administrative privileges.

        • New Intel Vulnerabilities Now Patched in All Supported Ubuntu Releases

          Following the recent Linux kernel updates for Ubuntu 20.10 and all the supported Ubuntu releases, Canonical published today an updated version of the Intel Microcode package to address the latest vulnerabilities.

          In addition to the CVE-2020-8694 vulnerability already patched in the Linux kernels of all supported Ubuntu releases, the new Intel Microcode update also patches the CVE-2020-8695, CVE-2020-8696 and CVE-2020-8698 vulnerabilities, which could allow a local attacker to expose sensitive information.

        • st, xft and ubuntu 20.04.1

          Some time ago I switched to AwesomeWM and with that came another change, my default terminal emulator. Having used GNOME terminal for years, I soon switched to Terminator back in the day. Leaving GNOME behind, in search for a more lean desktop with less frills and more keyboard centric features, I also had to ditch that terminal emulator (it has too many dependencies for my use case). Eventually I stumbled upon st, which fit the bill.

          st still seems almost perfect for me and I’m sticking with it, for now. There is one annoying bug though, which came to light when I started receiving e-mails with emoticons. Those emoticons crashed my ‘st’ instance!

          This is actually caused by an upstream Xft bug. When emoticons are displayed, they crash st. I had to resort to using xterm sometimes, which is, well, not a great experience nowadays. I set out on a journey to fix my desktop.

        • Design and Web team summary – 10th November 2020 | Ubuntu

          Hi, my name is Long. I’ve recently joined Canonical on the Web and Design team as a Lead Visual Designer. Joining Canonical during this weird time that we’re all going through has been a strange experience.

          I’m generally a sociable person who likes those impromptu conversations and chance meets in the office, but having to work remotely I haven’t had the opportunity to meet any of them in person. That being said; all the guys have made me feel extremely welcome and everybody’s passion and enthusiasm is infectious.

          My previous experience expands a wide range of sectors, which include Banking, Insurance, Retail, Sports and Media, Healthcare and lots of other fun projects along the way. I’ve been doing design in some form or another for the past 20 years and it never gets old. I’m always awed and fascinated by the design community who are always pushing the boundaries of design.

          Although very cliche, my hobbies include keeping up with design trends, Fashion, Architecture, Product Design and everything else in-between that catches my eye.

          If I’m not scouring the net for inspiration, I’ll be reading stuff about tech or chilling out with a good book (Fantasy, Sci-Fi).

        • Open Operators Training Day hosted by Canonical: a co-located KubeCon event

          KubeCon NA is just around the corner and, as always, we aim to give back to the community in any way we can. That’s why, in the context of the upcoming KubeCon, we’re hosting a full-day training on operators, led by Canonical’s engineers.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • Why I use Home Assistant for open source home automation

        Home automation is a slippery slope; you have been warned! In this multipart series, I will discuss home automation using the open source project Home Assistant. This introductory article will cover my journey to Home Assistant, what the application does, and why it’s important.

        Some time ago, when I set out on this journey, my goal was not lofty. I was solving a need. You see, I have a fairly sizable homelab. Nothing on the scale of some notable YouTubers, but I have eight machines ranging from 16GB RAM all the way up to 96GB. I have a Netgear 10G Ethernet switch as the backbone of my networking infrastructure. However, I have a small problem. Every once in a while, this switch’s state table fills up, and then it crashes, taking the network with it. This is a known issue with this model (although it was not known to me ahead of time). The only way to resolve the issue, without replacing the switch, is to power it off for a few seconds and then power it back on.

      • JASP: A Less Complicated Free Open-source SPSS Alternative for Advanced Statistics

        I had a run with many open-source statistics software and packages, but JASP was truly unique among them.

        JASP is a free open-source complete statistical package supported by University of Amsterdam. It’s a multi-platform program that runs on Windows, Linux and macOS.

        It’s designed for users who want to do some statistical work without having to deal with programming or dive deep in learning complex statistical programs. It’s a recommended option for students and researchers.

      • Origins of the youtube-dl project

        As you may know, as of the time this text is being written youtube-dl’s repository at GitHub is blocked due to a DMCA takedown letter received by GitHub on behalf of the RIAA. While I cannot comment on the current maintainers’ plans or ongoing discussions, in light of the claims made in that letter I thought it would be valuable to put in writing the first years of youtube-dl as the project creator and initial maintainer.

      • Events

        • SeaGL – Seattle GNU/Linux Conference Happening This Weekend! | Linux Journal

          This Friday, November 13th and Saturday, November 14th, from 9am to 4pm PST the 8th annual SeaGL will be held virtually. This year features four keynotes, and a mix of talks on FOSS tech, community and history. SeaGL is absolutely free to attend and is being run with free software!

          Additionally, we are hosting a pre-event career expo on Thursday, November 12th from 1pm to 5pm. Counselors will be available for 30 minute video sessions to provide resume reviews and career guidance.

        • Linux App Summit starts on Thursday – Jonathan Riddell’s Diary

          The Linux App Summit runs this Thursday to Saturday. Like Akademy it’s scheduled on a Hispanic friendly time which gives sessions in the European morning (08:00UTC) good for out eastern friends and sessions in the European afternoons (15:30UTC) good for our western friends.

      • Web Browsers

        • Mozilla

          • SpiderMonkey Newsletter 7 (Firefox 82-83) | spidermonkey.dev [Ed: Mozilla blogging on Microsoft servers]

            SpiderMonkey is the JavaScript engine used in Mozilla Firefox. This newsletter gives an overview of the JavaScript and WebAssembly work we’ve done as part of the Firefox 82 and 83 Nightly release cycles.

          • iodide retrospective [Ed: Mozilla blogging on Microsoft servers and talking about spying on Firefox users]

            A bit belatedly, I thought I’d write a bit about Iodide: an effort to create a compelling, client-centred scientific notebook environment.

            Despite not writing a ton about it (the sole exception being this brief essay about my conservative choice for the server backend) Iodide took up a very large chunk of my mental energy from late 2018 through 2019. It was also essentially my only attempt at working on something that was on its way to being an actual product while at Mozilla: while I’ve led other projects that have been interesting and/or impactful in my 9 odd-years here (mozregression and perfherder being the biggest successes), they fall firmly into the “internal tools supporting another product” category.

            At this point it’s probably safe to say that most of the project has wound down: no one is being paid to work on Iodide and it’s essentially in extreme maintenance mode. Before it’s put to bed altogether, I’d like to write a few notes about its approach, where I think it had big advantanges, and where it seems to fall short. I’ll conclude with some areas I’d like to explore (or would like to see others explore!). I’d like to emphasize that this is my opinion only: the rest of the Iodide core team no doubt have their own thoughts. That said, let’s jump in.

            [...]

            It describes how people typically perform computational inquiry: typically you would poke around with some raw data, run some transformations on it. Only after that process was complete would you start trying to build up a “presentation” of your results to your audience.

            Looking back, it’s clear that Iodide’s strong suit was the explanation part of this workflow, rather than collaboration and exploration. My strong suspicion is that we actually want to use different tools for each one of these tasks. Coincidentally, this also maps to the bulk of my experience working with data at Mozilla, using iodide or not: my most successful front-end data visualization projects were typically the distilled result of a very large number of adhoc explorations (python scripts, SQL queries, Jupyter notebooks, …). The actual visualization itself contains very little computational meat: basically “just enough” to let the user engage with the data fruitfully.

            Unfortunately much of my work in this area uses semi-sensitive internal Mozilla data so can’t be publicly shared, but here’s one example

          • New Release: Tor Browser 10.0.4 [Ed: Firefox inside]

            Tor Browser 10.0.4 is now available from the Tor Browser download page and also from our distribution directory.

            This release updates NoScript to 11.1.5 and includes an important security update to Firefox.

          • You’re Invited: State of the Onion 2020

            Every year people from the Tor Project communities present the State of the Onion, a compilation of updates from our different projects, at conferences around the world. We use this opportunity to talk about highlights of the work we’ve accomplished during the year and what we are excited about in the upcoming year.

            With COVID-19 pandemic this year, we didn’t have the chance to ‘tour’ our State of the Onion during any face-to-face conferences. So we decided to bring the State of the Onion to you in a special livestream on November 16 from 16:00 – 18:00 UTC.*

      • Productivity Software/LibreOffice/Calligra

        • LibreOffice 7.0 branding: Blender 3D model

          LibreOffice 7.0, released in August 2020, includes new branding elements for the splash screen and other places, thanks Bayu Rizaldhan Rayes and the Design team. Now Barbara Tostes has made a 3D model for use in Blender, so if you want to make a video or animation about LibreOffice, check it out!

          And indeed, if you make any kind of video or tutorial and want us to spread the word, join our marketing mailing list or Telegram channel and say hello. Also take a look at the Design community’s work too. We love having more ideas and feedback!

        • Community Member Monday: Arnaud Mez

          LibreOffice is way more than just an office suite – it’s a worldwide project and community where people share ideas, build up their skills, and have fun. Today we’re talking to Arnaud Mez, who’s part of the Francophone community and who’s spreading the word about LibreOffice and helping with design…

          To start, tell us a bit about yourself!

          I’m from the Republic of Congo (the one with Brazzaville as its capital city :-) ). I’m the owner of a small venture called Smarty TC, based in the town of Pointe Noire, the city I live in.

          My everyday tasks and duties are exactly similar to my hobbies, as I constantly fight to stay focused on doing only what I love… So I do a lot of reading and listening to music, but beyond that I do a lot of research on the internet in order to keep an average but updated knowledge base. I did sport years ago… ;-) like Taekwondo until I reached the black belt level, and life just swallowed me up into the more exiting side: computers.

          My favourite musicians are Joshua Aaron and Paul Wilbur, but I also love Hebraic and Japanese music as they have strong and deep cultural riches. I don’t play games on my PC now and stopped playing on consoles, but my favourite games ever are Need for Speed Carbon, and the Zelda series starting from Ocarina of Time.

      • Programming/Development

        • Eleven Years of Go

          Today we celebrate the eleventh birthday of the Go open source release. The parties we had for Go turning 10 seem like a distant memory. It’s been a tough year, but we’ve kept Go development moving forward and accumulated quite a few highlights.

          In November, we launched go.dev and pkg.go.dev shortly after Go’s 10th birthday.

          In February, the Go 1.14 release delivered the first officially “production-ready” implementation of Go modules, along with many performance improvements, including faster defers and non-cooperative goroutine preemption to reduce scheduling and garbage collection latency.

          In early March, we launched a new API for protocol buffers, google.golang.org/protobuf, with much-improved support for protocol buffer reflection and custom messages.

        • GCC 11 Lands Support For Intel AVX-VNNI – Phoronix

          GCC 11 feature development is ending very shortly but landing in time are the patches last month for adding AVX-VNNI support.

          AVX-VNNI is the equivalent to AVX512-VNNI with VEX encoding for Vector Neural Network Instructions outside the AVX-512 context. LLVM Clang 12 added AVX-VNNI support at the end of October while now the GNU Compiler Collection support has been merged in time for GCC 11.

        • Understanding Elixir mocking with Mox

          This post is clearing up confusions around mocking in Elixir. If you were ever confused about mocks and stubs in Elixir, I made it 100% clear for you.

          Mocking is the testing technique to replace underlying code behaviour with the response we want. Typically we use it to mock modules that depend on 3rd-party services, APIs, internet connection, or system dependencies. Mox is my go-to library for mocking in Elixir.

          Note that the distinction between mocks and stubs is highly inconsistent across the literature. I am using my own understanding of the terms that is aligned with the Mox documentation.

        • Javascript Try Catch – Linux Hint

          Javascript is a translative programming language. Just like any other language, a developer or programmer often needs to care about error handling. Mostly a programmer or developer needs to handle errors while accessing or assigning some data to the database. So, error handling is an essential part of any programming project. There are three types of errors in programming that a programmer or developer often has to face.
          Syntax Error – An error in writing code against the syntax of programming language. For example, missing a semi-colon or not following the convention of creating and calling the function.

          Logical Error – An error in the logic building. For example, implementing the wrong arithmetic operation, which results in the wrong output.

          Runtime Error – Error occurred during the runtime. Like, calling a function without declaring it.

          The error that we get during the runtime is also known as an exception. Exceptional handling is very important. Because we can’t throw the errors and error codes right away. We have to handle that. So, In this article, we are going to have an understanding of how to handle exceptions using javascript’s try-catch block. We will also learn how to throw a custom message against an error and how to use the “finally” block with a try-catch block.

        • Python

          • New packages in Fedora/EPEL: screenkey & python-secure_cookie | Soliloquies

            Two software packages — screenkey and python-secure_cookie are available in Fedora and EPEL repositories.

            Screenkey

            Screenkey is a tool that displays the keys one type, on the screen. It is quite useful for screen recording/casting for video tutorials and such. I use it particularly to record tutorial sessions on Vim where keystrokes are important.

          • Calling a Function

            To use functions in Python, you write the function name (or the variable that points to the function object) followed by parentheses (to call the function). If that function accepts arguments (as most functions do), then you’ll pass the arguments inside the parentheses as you call the function.

            If that function has a return value, you can capture that return value into a variable or pass that return value straight into another function call.

          • Python Software Foundation News: Rami Chowdhury Awarded the PSF Community Service Award for Q3 2020

            Rami Chowdhury Entrepreneur, Software Engineer, DC Python User group co-organizer, and volunteer coordinator of PyCon US, has been awarded the Python Software Foundation 2020 Q3 Community Service Award.

            [...]

            With their help and encouragement, I progress through installing Linux-based operating system, learning the command line, and finally getting into the world of programming as a hobby.

          • Handling Missing Keys With the Python defaultdict Type – Real Python

            The Python defaultdict type behaves almost exactly like a regular Python dictionary, but if you try to access or modify a missing key, then defaultdict will automatically create the key and generate a default value for it. This makes defaultdict a valuable option for handling missing keys in dictionaries.

          • Optimizing your code is not the same as parallelizing your code

            You’re processing a large amount of data with Python, the processing seems easily parallelizable—and it’s sloooooooow.

            The obvious next step is switch to some sort of multiprocessing, or even start processing data on a cluster so you can use multiple machines. Obvious, but often wrong: switching straight to multiprocessing, and even more so to a cluster, can be a very expensive choice in the long run.

          • Loop mount an S3 or Ceph object

            This is a fun, small nbdkit Python plugin using the Boto3 AWS SDK…

          • PyCoder’s Weekly: Issue #446 (Nov. 10, 2020)
          • Getting Back on the Horse | Janusworx

            Ok, one more time.
            I know there have been lots of one more times before, but I am going to keep at this until I get proficient enough at this to land a job :)
            And while I may not be brainy enough, the one thing I can do is be persistent enough to show up.

    • Standards/Consortia

      • [GNUnet] GNS Technical Specification Milestone 4/4 and Packaging 1+2

        We are happy to announce the completion of the fourth and last milestone for the GNS Specification.

        [...]

        Based on this and private feedback received, we updated the draft and the implementation. Most notably, GNS now supports alternative cryptographic schemes for zone keys (“crypto agility”) which allows alternative zone types. The (protocol breaking) changes will be released as part of GNUnet 0.14.0.

      • HarfBuzz shaping engine in InDesign

        Adobe products use their own shaping engine known as ‘lipika’ for advanced text layout. The ‘world ready composer’ uses it by default when text with complex scripts such as Malayalam (and other Indic scripts) is used.

        Lipika has various issues in properly shaping advanced conjunct forms and has its own quirks. Certain issues are worked around in fonts, but certain issues cannot be. There were reports that Adobe products might eventually integrate the gold standard of shaping engines — libre software HarfBuzz.

  • Leftovers

    • It’s Only Words
    • The Limits of the Viral Book Review

      Have you read a book review recently? The ones that make the rounds, dropped in DMs and threaded down Twitter timelines? They all fixate on a certain quality. Critics—and the authors they cover—seem to be obsessed with self-awareness. Writing about oneself isn’t new at all, but what’s current (and quickly growing stale) is the overtly self-conscious way contemporary writers have chosen to go about it.

    • Hardware

    • Health/Nutrition

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Apple Releases M1-Powered Apple Silicon Macs, macOS Big Sur Releasing This Week [Ed: There’s no such thing as “Apple Silicon.” The term shows us that the Apple cult boils down to branding rather than actual tech.]

          As was widely expected for today’s Apple event, the Cupertino company just announced their first three Macs powered by Apple Silicon.

          [...]

          MacOS Big Sur meanwhile will begin shipping on Thursday. The new Apple M1 systems will begin shipping next week. In the next week or so we should also be able to present initial Phoronix Test Suite numbers on the Apple M1. Stay tuned.

        • Apple’s M1: A closer look at the chip inside of the latest Macs

          The M1 configuration also includes an image signal processor (ISP) to enhance video quality and decrease noise, and more. A Thunderbolt controller offers up to 40Gbps transfer speeds and a dedicated Secure Enclave boosts device security. The build also includes media encode decode engines.

        • What Apple’s New Mac Products and M1 Chip Mean for Hollywood

          Elaborating on the new Mac’s potential, Miller explains that the two primary “pain points” for editors are rendering effects in a timeline, and then compressing and outputting the video for client review. “They are computer processing intensive actions. We have to see if this new M1 chip speeds that up. It should. Dramatically. Then Avid, Adobe, and DaVinci (Blackmagic) have to use those hardware and OS advances in their software development.”

          To that end, THR reached out to several professional software developers on Tuesday. Avid didn’t immediately respond and Adobe offered the following statement: “We’re excited to bring Creative Cloud apps to both Apple silicon and Windows ARM-based devices soon. We’ll have news related to Lightroom and Photoshop on ARM soon.”

        • Apple announces MacBook Air with Apple’s Arm-based M1 processor

          The biggest advantage of Arm systems is that they’ll provide better battery life and efficiency over the Intel systems. They’ll also be able to run iOS and iPadOS apps natively on macOS. As for macOS apps: Apple has updated its own programs, such as Pages, Numbers, and Keynote, to support its silicon, as have other major companies like Microsoft and Adobe. At its June event, Apple demonstrated Lightroom and Photoshop running smoothly on the new processor — Lightroom is slated for release next month, and Photoshop early next year. And macOS Big Sur, which the Air will run, includes an emulator called Rosetta 2 that will “translate” any apps that haven’t yet been updated for Arm at launch.

        • Apple unveils new MacBooks and mini powered by its M1 chip, along with macOS Big Sur

          According to Apple, the M1 system-on-chip design allows it to provide high performance at extremely low power – much better than any PC design on the market – and it does so with eight cores. Four cores are high-power, and four cores are high-efficiency. Each of the cores is managed by a coordinator, which determines by workload needs in real time which tasks should be handled in order to keep wasted heat to a minimum and therefore provide the best power efficiency.

          Although Apple is absolutely glowing about its new M1 silicon, Patrick Moorhead, president and principal analyst at Moor Insights & Strategy, felt that the numbers might be a little questionable.

        • Former Microsoft engineer sentenced to nine years for theft of digital currency

          Ukrainian national Volodymyr Kvashuk worked at Microsoft at its head office in Redmond, Washington, starting in 2016 before he was fired in June 2018 and then arrested the next month. Kvashuk worked on Microsoft’s online sales platform, where he used a Microsoft Store account meant for testing to gain access to online sales where he obtained “currency stored value” such as Microsoft gift cards and then resold them online for bitcoin.

        • Microsoft hostility

          As some of you might have noticed, Microsoft (owner of Hotmail, Outlook, Live, Office360, etc.) is rejecting all emails originating from Disroot.org servers. Once reported to us, we immediately contacted support at Outlook as it was not the first time we have been targeted by Microsoft (last year for no reason, all emails from Disroot were marked as spam).

          After waiting for a reply for a few days, making sure we are compliant with ‘their policies’ and exchanging few pointless emails with the Microsoft’s support staff, we have gotten this final reply: [...]

        • Microsoft Releases .NET 5.0 With Many Performance Improvements, Continued Linux Work [Ed: Very disappointing to see Phoronix giving a platform to Microsoft proprietary agenda]
        • Stratodesk Announces the Worldwide Availability of the Windows Virtual Desktop Linux Client on Stratodesk NoTouch

          Stratodesk, leader in delivering VDI, Cloud, and IoT endpoint solutions, today announced the official support for the Windows Virtual Desktop Linux Client on Stratodesk NoTouch software. As enterprises around the world look to migrate their Windows instances to the Cloud, IT leaders rely on Stratodesk NoTouch to streamline Windows Virtual Desktop endpoint deployments. Stratodesk enables secure remote access to Microsoft Azure to end users anywhere in the world, right at a time when the world needs these solutions most.

        • Curtiss-Wright and Concurrent Real-Time Team to Bring RedHawk Linux to the Ultra-Small Parvus DuraCOR 312 Mission Computer
        • Pseudo-Open Source

          • Privatisation/Privateering

            • Linux Foundation

              • AMD + IBM Team Up To Tackle Confidential Computing [Ed: There’s also that BS and misnomer called Confidential Computing and like clown computing it boils down to surveillance being spun as “private” and “secure”… the very opposite of what it really is. “Department of DEFENCE…”]

                Researchers from both AMD and IBM will collaborate on hardware-based Confidential Computing to strengthen their presence in the cloud and enhancing artificial intelligence workloads. This makes more inroads for AMD EPYC in the cloud and from IBM’s side strengthens their cloud offerings.

                The brief press release being sent out notes that the joint development activities under the agreement are now underway. Unfortunately, however, when briefed under embargo they were not able to shed any light yet on what the initial focus is or what are the open-source projects they are looking to improve upon for this Confidential Computing initiative.

              • CNCF Releases Free Training Course Covering Basics of Service Mesh with Linkerd

                Introduction to Service Mesh with Linkerd is the newest training course from CNCF and The Linux Foundation. This course, offered on the non-profit edX learning platform, can be audited by anyone at no cost. The course is designed for site reliability engineers, DevOps professionals, cluster administrators, and developers who want to learn more about service mesh and Linkerd, the open source service mesh hosted by CNCF and focused on simplicity, speed, and low resource usage.

              • The Linux Foundation Launches LF Live: Mentorship Series [Ed: Linux Foundation Outsources Events and ‘LF Live’ to Proprietary Software With Back Doors and Surveillance (Zoom)]
              • The Linux Foundation Launches LF Live: Mentorship Series – The Linux Foundation

                The Linux Foundation, the nonprofit organization enabling mass innovation through open source, is launching a virtual mentoring series entitled LF Live: Mentorship Series. The goal of this program is to (1) continue offering opportunities to learn and re-skill to those that have been displaced from jobs as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic; (2) serve those considering jobs in open source by helping to grow their skills and build their network so they are better set up for successful careers; (3) grow the number of people entering the open source job market which has a huge demand for new talent; and (4) encourage new people to apply to The Linux Foundation’s Mentoring Program and other community mentoring programs. These webinars will be complimentary. There is no cost to participate in this program.

        • Security

          • Say hello to PLATYPUS, the latest CPU security problem

            This kind of PLATYPUS is not a sweet and unusual mammal, this is a security problem recently announced that affect Intel across server, desktop and laptop CPUs. Along with a long list of other Intel issues that went public today (there’s like 40 of them…), PLATYPUS is one that’s gaining some attention and came with its own fancy website.

            PLATYPUS (Power Leakage Attacks: Targeting Your Protected User Secrets) is a way to exploit the unprivileged access to the Intel RAPL (Running Average Power Limit) interface exposing the processor’s power consumption to infer data and extract cryptographic keys. Physical access is not required the researchers say, so it’s quite a concerning one.

          • Intel Discloses 40 More Security Advisories – PLATYPUS Is An Interesting One

            As part of Intel’s monthly security disclosures the company is today releasing forty new security advisories today.

            With these 40 security advisories for November 2020 they are addressing 95 vulnerabilities. There are security advisories relating to the Converged Security and Management Engine (CSME) as well as the Intel Wireless Bluetooth support — including a “critical” vulnerability that could lead to escalation of privileges via the LAN.

            Also being disclosed today is “PLATYPUS” stemming from information leakage with the Intel Running Average Power Limit (RAPL) interface.

          • Intel Releases New Processor Microcode For Security Advisories, CPU Bugs

            Intel on Tuesday evening released their 20201110 CPU microcode package as their first collection of updated CPU microcode binaries since June and it’s a big update.

            Following the disclosure of some 40 new security advisories for their products including the notable “PLATYPUS” vulnerability affecting Intel RAPL, they released the Intel 20201110 CPU microcode package for Linux users to address these security problems as well as other CPU bugs.

          • SUSE releases fixes for new PLATYPUS attack

            Today security researchers from TU Graz have published a new side-channel information leak attack using power metering in modern Intel CPUs.
            With this side-channel attack on power consumption fluctuations it is possible to extract secret information on the same CPU, like for instance key material from SGX enclaves or the Linux kernel, or KASLR information to help other attacks.

          • New Platypus attack can steal data from Intel CPUs

            A team of academics has disclosed today a new attack method that can extract data from Intel CPUs.

            Named Platypus, an acronym for “Power Leakage Attacks: Targeting Your Protected User Secrets,” the attack targets the RAPL interface of Intel processors.

            RAPL, which stands for Running Average Power Limit, is a component that allows firmware or software applications to monitor power consumption in the CPU and DRAM.

          • Colossal Intel Update Anchored by Critical Privilege-Escalation Bugs

            Intel released 40 security advisories in total, addressing critical- and high-severity flaws across its Active Management Technology, Wireless Bluetooth and NUC products.

            A massive Intel security update this month addresses flaws across a myriad of products – most notably, critical bugs that can be exploited by unauthenticated cybercriminals in order to gain escalated privileges.

            These critical flaws exist in products related to Wireless Bluetooth – including various Intel Wi-Fi modules and wireless network adapters – as well as in its remote out-of-band management tool, Active Management Technology (AMT).

          • Security updates for Tuesday [LWN.net]

            Security updates have been issued by Debian (moin, obfs4proxy, tcpdump, and zeromq3), Fedora (samba), Mageia (lout, openldap, pacemaker, samba, sddm, and spice, spice-gtk), openSUSE (bluez, ImageMagick, java-1_8_0-openj9, otrs, and wireshark), Red Hat (bind, buildah, curl, fence-agents, kernel, kernel-rt, kpatch-patch, librepo, libvirt, podman, python, python3, qt and qt5-qtbase, resource-agents, skopeo, tomcat, and unixODBC), SUSE (gcc10, python3, SDL, and zeromq), and Ubuntu (libexif).

          • Attackers take a dig at Symantec as they announce hit on tech repair firm

            Malicious attackers behind an attack on tech repair specialists CSAT Solutions have taken a dig at security firm Symantec, by releasing screenshots of the status of the Symantec security software on the site which was breached.

          • Oracle Proposing Change To Linux’s KPTI Meltdown Mitigation – Phoronix

            A proposal and set of patches have been sent out around the Linux kernel’s Page Table Isolation (PTI/KPTI) implementation to defer switching from the user page-table to kernel page-table until later in the kernel entry sequence. There are possible performance benefits and code improvements that would stem from this change.

            The proposal by kernel engineer Alexandre Chartre of Oracle is to defer making the page table isolation CR3 control register switch until hitting the kernel C code rather than the switch being early on within the Assembly entry code.

          • Campari ransomware attackers break into Facebook to publicise incident

            The cyber criminals behind the ransomware attack on Italian liqueur manufacturer Campari Group have taken their efforts to publicise the intrusion in a different direction, infiltrating the Facebook page of an entertainment event organiser and posting an ad and news about the attack there.

          • Tenable CSO slams Microsoft over change to patch release information

            A seasoned security professional has slammed Microsoft for the company’s decision to remove CVE description information from the monthly listing of patches on the second Tuesday of each month, saying that the new method will give malicious attackers the advantage to reverse engineer patches.

          • November 2020 Patch Tuesday: Microsoft fixes actively exploited Windows Kernel flaw

            Microsoft has changed the way it describes fixed vulnerabilities, and the new advisories unfortunately hold less information than before – information that may be crucial for admins to asses which patches are to be prioritized.

            So this month, the most information is available about CVE-2020-17087, a Windows Kernel privilege escalation vulnerability, because it’s being actively exploited in the wild (together with a Chrome bug) and because Google disclosed it on October 29, along with PoC exploit code.

            “While not explicitly stated, the language used makes it seem the exploit is not yet widespread. However, considering there is a full analysis of the bug weeks before the patch, it will likely be incorporated into other exploits quickly,” noted Trend Micro Zero Day Initiative’s Dustin Childs.

          • Linux Security Hardening for Beginners Part 04 – Using Access Control Lists – The Linux Juggernaut

            Welcome to our 4th part of our tutorial series. Today we will see how to create an access control list.

            With an ACL, we can allow only a certain person to access a file or directory or we can allow multiple people to access a file or directory with different permissions for each person. If we have a file or directory that’s wide open for Everyone, we can use an ACL to allow different levels of access for either a group or an individual.

          • Linux Security Hardening for Beginners Part 05 – Using Lynis Audit Tool – The Linux Juggernaut

            Lynis is a open-source application that we can use to audit the security posture of a Linux and other UNIX-like systems. In this guide, you will learn how to install lynis and how to run a security audit on your Linux system. Lynis will give suggestions on how to fix the identified issues so it will be helpful for you to do the suggested security hardenings by yourself.

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

          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • EU Takes Another Small Step Towards Trying To Ban Encryption; New Paper Argues Tech Can Nerd Harder To Backdoor Encryption

              In September, we noted that officials in the EU were continuing an effort to try to ban end-to-end encryption. Of course, that’s not how they put it. They say they just want “lawful access” to encrypted content, not recognizing that any such backdoor effectively obliterates the protections of end-to-end encryption. A new “Draft Council Resolution on Encryption” has come out as the EU Council of Ministers continues to drift dangerously towards this ridiculous position.

            • Top Monash economists urge EC, ACCC to reject Google-Fitbit deal

              Researchers from the Monash Business School have made a presentation to the European Commission and the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, saying that Google should not be allowed to acquire US-based fitness company Fitbit.

            • Data Broker On The Hook For $5 Million After Abusing Its Access To North Carolina DMV Data

              The government demands a lot of data from its citizens. In exchange for the privilege of operating a car, the government wants to know a lot about you. It then takes this data and locks it up tight, ensuring only the agency demanding the info has access to it.

            • Portland’s Facial Recognition Ban Won’t Stop Private Citizens From Rolling Their Own Tech To ID Cops

              Portland, Oregon recently passed a ban on facial recognition tech. Unlike bans passed elsewhere in the country, this one wasn’t fucking around. The ban covered private companies as well as local government agencies. We’ve yet to see whether or not the courts will allow Portland to tell local businesses how to run their business, but the new ban has posed a novel problem not seen elsewhere. Residents trying to flip the script on law enforcement have discovered the new ban might impede their efforts. Kashmir Hill has the details on the unlikeliest outcome of blanket facial recognition bans.

            • The DOJ Will Finally Allow Local Cops To Wear Body Cameras When Working With Federal Agencies

              The federal government is finally coming around to body cameras. While law enforcement agencies around the nation continue to buy body cameras for their officers, federal agencies have been less receptive to these tools of incremental accountability and transparency.

            • 10 Years of HTTPS Everywhere

              It’s been 10 years since the beta release of EFF’s HTTPS Everywhere web browser extension. It encrypts your communications with websites, making your browsing more secure. HTTPS has journeyed it’s way from an urgent recommendation to a main component of traffic of our everyday web experience. In 2018, we discussed the importance of HTTPS Everywhere and our ongoing effort to encrypt the web. We have come far and still have more work to do. This post gives a snapshot into the landscape of HTTPS Everywhere today.

              Since the launch of HTTPS Everywhere, other projects have also taken on the task of helping users browse securely. These more recent projects include DuckDuckGo’s Smarter Encryption and Smart HTTPS. The biggest difference is that HTTPS Everywhere still operates a community-curated list of rules for particular sites. Many users who add to our list have intimate knowledge of the sites they are contributing. Examples of such reports include subdomains of a site that have misconfigurations, insecure cookies, or CDN buckets to account for.

              The dangerous EARN IT Act passed the Senate Judiciary Committee last month, and now it’s been introduced in the House of Representatives.Take ActionTell Congress to Reject the Earn It ActWe need your help to stop this anti-speech, anti-security bill. Email your elected officials in both chambers of…

            • Rights Activists Slam EU Plan for Access to Encrypted Chats

              A draft proposal dated Nov. 6 and circulated by the German government, which holds the EU’s rotating presidency, proposes creating a “better balance” between privacy and crime fighting online.

              The confidential draft, obtained independently by The Associated Press, states that “competent authorities must be able to access data in a lawful and targeted manner, in full respect of fundamental rights and the data protection regime, while upholding cybersecurity.”

              It adds that “technical solutions for gaining access to encrypted data must comply with the principles of legality, transparency, necessity and proportionality.”

            • Is the EU moving towards a ban on end-to-end encryption?

              While the draft resolution doesn’t mention a backdoor, it does state there is a need to review the effects arising from different regulatory frameworks and develop a consistent regulatory framework that would allow competent authorities to carry out their duties effectively.

            • Security Instead of Surveillance: There Is No Such Thing as a “Partial Backdoor” to End-to-End Encryption!

              The proposal stands in line with regular attacks by governments on the secure encryption of content, made under the guise of the fight against organized crime and terrorism.

            • NHS Digital signs deal with DXC, CSIRO to improve data sharing

              UK’s NHS Digital has signed a deal with US IT firm DXC Technology and Australia’s national science agency CSIRO with an objective to enhance data sharing across different organisations.

              The deal will help in making mapping clinical and administrative codes between various health and care organisations, and their contracted technology suppliers, faster and easier. This will be through a new terminology server, said NHS Digital.

            • TikTok says the Trump administration has forgotten about trying to ban it, would like to know what’s up

              TikTok has filed a petition in a US Court of Appeals calling for a review of actions by the Trump administration’s Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFUIS). The reason, according for the company, is that it hasn’t heard from the committee in weeks about an imminent deadline for parent company ByteDance to sell off US assets over national security concerns.

              The CFIUS set the deadline of November 12th for TikTok to divest itself of “any tangible or intangible assets or property, wherever located, used to enable or support ByteDance’s operation of the TikTok application in the United States.” TikTok says it applied for a 30-day extension that was allowed for in the CFIUS’ order, but hasn’t received any communication on the matter. It’s not clear what would actually happen if the deadline passed; TikTok was granted a preliminary injunction against it late last month.

            • FTC Settlement: Zoom Lied About End-to-End Encryption

              Zoom announced recently that it was adding end-to-end encryption to its services, making it sound like it was providing users with a great service. It turns out it’s partially because it was court-mandated. Zoom has reached a settlement with the FTC, who claimed the company lied for years to users about utilizing end-to-end encryption.

              [...]

              According to the FTC, “Zoom has agreed to a requirement to establish and implement a comprehensive security program, a prohibition on privacy and security misrepresentations, and other detailed and specific relief to protect its user base, which has skyrocketed from 10 million in December 2019 to 300 million in April 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic.”

              The Republican majority in the FTC supports the settlement. The Democratic minority wanted to force Zoom to provide help to affected users. The settlement says Zoom does not have to “offer redress, refunds, or even notice to its customers that material claims regarding the security of its services were false,” said Democratic Commissioner Rebecca Kelly Slaughter.

              Zoom is also facing separate lawsuits from investors and consumers that could cause it to have to offer financial settlement to its users.

    • Defence/Aggression

      • As Trump Ignores Election Results and Plans ‘Flood’ of Sanctions, Biden Signals Possible Shift in US Relations With Iran

        Advocates of diplomacy are urging the president-elect to “take the opportunity to think bigger, even, than the Obama administration was able to.”

      • A Triumphant Return to Power for Bolivia’s Social Movements

        The most important victory, however, did not come at the ballot box, but rather in the streets.

      • Recognize What This Is: A Final Attempt of a Desperate, Bitter Man to Cling to Power

        Why this effort to steal an election and corrupt democracy won’t work.

      • UK Wing Of TikTok Swears It Isn’t Helping The Chinese Government Oppress Uighur Muslims

        China doesn’t have a problem with censorship. By that, I mean the Chinese government sees no problem with its ever-expanding censorship of speech it doesn’t like. While China appears to have embraced capitalism, it hasn’t embraced the democratic accoutrements that normally accompany a move towards a more free society.

      • CodePink Defends Georgia Senate Candidate Raphael Warnock After GOP Opponent’s ‘Anti-Semitism’ Smear

        “Denouncing Israeli occupation is NOT anti-Semitic,” the women-led peace group stressed after Sen. Kelly Loeffler attacked her Democratic challenger over a 2019 letter. 

      • The Urgency to Hold Biden Accountable on Foreign Policy

        One thing to be hopeful about is that the man who comes in his place, Joe Biden, will probably work towards rebuilding US relations to organizations that are crucial for the survival of vast numbers of people around the world. International efforts – mostly spearheaded by the UN – have drastically reduced afflictions such as HIV/Aids, tuberculosis, malaria, Ebola and leprosy, and have almost eliminated polio – though the prevalence of any of such deadly diseases in a world of plenty is still a moral scandal. Trump’s decision to withdraw the US from the World Health Organization, as the organization encounters one of the biggest global challenges in its history, was, as Richard Horton – the editor-in-chief of the prestigious medical journal The Lancet – aptly called it, a “crime against humanity.”[1] What else could one expect from a corrupt real estate tycoon who does not value brown and black lives, and does not even bring relief to his own people in a time of crisis?

        The wars to come

      • Mike Pompeo: ‘There Will Be a Smooth Transition to a Second Trump Administration’

        During the same press conference, a smug, combative Pompeo attacked a reporter for asking whether Trump’s refusal to concede discredits America’s efforts to promote free and fair elections around the world and to encourage the losers of those elections to accept the results.

      • How China’s Belt and Road threatens European Security: A closer look into the nine-dash line

        To address this issue, the EU released a report in which it criticized the BRI of being unsustainable to the members’ economy, environment, finances, and social welfare. The report also lambasted China for discriminating against EU businesses and for its lack of transparent bidding processes. Additionally, the EU has released an EU-Asia connectivity strategy in order to counter the BRI. This Joint Communication promotes the principles of the international rules based order and sustainable connectivity, and specifically addresses an equal level playing field regarding foreign investments between Asia and Europe. In order to promote these principles, the EU combines financial resources from the private sector and the EU’s External Investment Plan. With respect to the South China Sea, the EU has been relatively passive in this document and in its wider approach as it sees itself as a party that wants to deploy peaceful diplomatic resources to address the dispute. Although this might be the least confrontational option, it does not prevent the aforementioned security threats that might arise from a passive approach.

      • Celebrate Armistice Day – Wage Peace with Renewed Energy!

        November 11 is Armistice Day, marking the 1918 armistice that ended the First World War, on the “eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month.” Horrified by the industrial slaughter of millions of soldiers and civilians, the people of the U.S. and the world initiated campaigns to outlaw war once and for all. In 1928 the U.S. Secretary of State and the French Foreign Minister were awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for co-sponsoring the Kellogg-Briand Pact, which declared war-making illegal and called upon nations to settle their differences by peaceful means. The United Nations Charter, signed by many nations in 1945 after the end of World War II, included similar language, “to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war, which twice in our lifetime has brought untold sorrow to mankind…”

      • Armistice Day Memorial Service 2020

        This 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month is the symbolic moment chosen to remember the end of hostilities on the Western Front in 1918.

      • The New Humanitarian | Indigenous people in Guatemala lead their own Hurricane Eta response

        In the Indigenous communities of Guatemala hardest hit by Hurricane Eta’s ruinous sweep through Central America, early response to the disaster has come in the form of self-help, amid claims that the slow pace of official assistance is just the latest example of neglect.
        After making landfall on Nicaragua’s Caribbean coast on 3 November as a category four storm, Eta barrelled northward, causing widespread flooding and damage in Guatemala, Honduras, and Panama before inundating roads and knocking out power in Florida.
        Millions of people in Central America – many of them rural Indigenous communities – have been affected and at least 120 lives have been lost across the region, with many more people missing and presumed dead after landslides subsumed villages.
        On 10 November, the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) was calling the situation in the region a “major humanitarian crisis” and announcing a large-scale aid response, but many communities have so far been left to fend for themselves.

      • The New Humanitarian | Ethiopia’s Tigray conflict sees hundreds dead, thousands flee to Sudan

        Aid operations for millions already in need have had to be scaled back, even as officials struggle to respond to this new and growing crisis.

    • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

      • Debunked: These viral videos do not reveal US election fraud as claimed

        As President Trump raises doubt about the results of the 2020 US Presidential Election and files lawsuits claiming fraud in numerous states, many social media users have echoed these concerns, posting videos they allege reveal election worker fraud under hashtags like #StopTheSteal. Here are three of the most viral videos claiming to show fraud at the polls, and our explanations as to why these assertions are false.

    • Environment

    • Finance

      • The Death of Working-Class Paris

        Thirty-four-year old medical secretary Soumia Chohra calls her ground-floor apartment in Paris a “rathole”—which, she stresses, she means in the literal sense.

      • Behind the Doors of New York’s Public Housing

        The ongoing struggle for racial justice. The future for immigrant families. The health and well-being of all Americans. The very fate of our fragile planet. The United States faces a crossroads in this year’s elections. Seeking out the stories flying under the national radar, The Nation and Magnum Foundation are partnering on What’s At Stake, a series of photo essays from across the country through the lenses of independent imagemakers. Follow the whole series here. This installment was produced with support from the Economic Hardship Reporting Project.

      • Can American Labor Survive Prop 22?

        Uber, Lyft, DoorDash, Postmates, and Instacart convinced nearly 60 percent of Californian voters to support Proposition 22, which excludes “gig workers” from basic labor protections. The companies overwhelmed the opposition and muddled the truth with a record-breaking $200 million campaign, pelting voters with misleading ads that framed the proposal as a social justice cause. It marks a dangerous new phase in big tech’s onslaught against workers, and a pivotal test of whether labor can push back.

      • Uber and Lyft Notch Another Corporate Victory in the Global Exploitation of ‘Gig Workers’

        Labor organizing in California and around the world is pushing platform companies to take extreme measures to defend their exploitative business model.

      • A World Without Work? | Dissent Magazine

        Contemporary automation discourse responds to a real, global trend: there are too few jobs for too many people. But it ignores the actual sources of this trend: deindustrialization, depressed investment, and ultra-wealthy elites who stand in the way of a post-scarcity society.

        [...]

        The internet, smartphones, and social media have transformed the way we interact with each other and the world around us. What would happen if these digital technologies moved off the screen and further integrated themselves into the physical world?
        Advanced industrial robotics, self-driving cars and trucks, and intelligent cancer-screening machines presage a world of ease, but they also make us uneasy. After all, what would human beings do in a largely automated future? Would we be able to adapt our institutions to realize the dream of human freedom that a new age of intelligent machines might make possible? Or would that dream turn out to be a nightmare?
        The new automation discourse asks just these sorts of questions and arrives at a provocative conclusion: mass technological unemployment is coming, and it must be managed by the provision of universal basic income, since large sections of the population will lose access to the wages they need to live. Do the automation theorists have this story right?
        The resurgence of automation discourse today responds to a real, global trend: there are too few jobs for too many people. Chronic labor underdemand manifests itself in economic developments such as jobless recoveries, stagnant wages, and rampant job insecurity. It is also visible in the political phenomena that rising inequality catalyzes: populism, plutocracy, and the emergence of a sea-steading digital elite—more focused on escaping in rockets to Mars than on improving the lives of the digital peasantry who will be left behind on a burning planet.

        [...]

        Despite the weakening of the global economic-growth engine, workers will still have to find some way to earn wages in the pandemic (and post-pandemic) era. Over time, unemployment will therefore resolve into various forms of underemployment. In other words, workers will find that they have no choice but to take jobs offering lower-than-normal wages or worse-than-normal working conditions. Those who cannot find any work at all will set up shop in the informal sector or else drop out of the labor force entirely.
        As was the case following past recessions, the vast majority of the world’s underemployed workers will end up in low-wage service jobs. Services that see persistently low rates of labor-productivity growth and pay low wages have become the premier sites for job creation in stagnant economies. In those jobs, workers’ wages make up a relatively large share of the final price paid by consumers. That makes it possible for service-based firms to raise the demand for their products by holding down workers’ wages relative to whatever meager increases in labor productivity can be achieved in the wider economy. The small-scale family operations that comprise the world’s massive informal labor force use a similar strategy to compete with highly capitalized firms. They compress their own household wages as much as humanly possible.
        As underemployment rises, inequality must intensify. Masses of people can find work only as long as the growth of their incomes is suppressed relative to the average. As economists David Autor and Anna Salomons note, “Labor displacement need not imply a decline in employment, hours, or wages,” but can hide itself in the relative immiseration of the working class, as “the wagebill—that is, the product of hours of work and wages per hour—rises less rapidly than does value-added.” Such immiseration has contributed to the 9 percentage-point shift from labor to capital incomes in the G20 countries over the past fifty years. Worldwide, the labor share of income fell by 5 percentage points between 1980 and the mid-2000s, as a growing portion of income growth was captured by wealthy asset holders.

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • Celebrating the Biden-Harris Win
      • Trump Is Trying to Overturn the Election, but I’m Not Panicking—Yet

        Joe Biden is going to be the next president of the United States. He will be inaugurated on January 20 and take power at noon that day. There is nothing, legally, that Trump can do to stop that.

      • “An Unprecedented Attack on Democracy”: Trump Escalates Effort to Overturn Biden Election Victory

        Republicans have aligned behind President Trump as he continues to make baseless accusations of widespread voter fraud and refuses to concede that he lost the presidential election to Joe Biden. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell defended President Trump’s decision not to concede, and Attorney General William Barr upended long-standing Justice Department policy by announcing federal prosecutors could investigate “specific allegations” of voter fraud, a move that led to the resignation of Richard Pilger, the director of the Justice Department’s Election Crimes Branch. The Trump campaign has launched a barrage of lawsuits seeking to invalidate last week’s election results, including one in Pennsylvania attempting to block state officials from certifying Joe Biden’s election victory. So far no evidence has emerged of voter fraud as alleged by the Trump campaign. “This is an unprecedented attack on democracy,” says Kristen Clarke, president and executive director of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law. “The voters have spoken, and what we’re seeing is a president who refuses to recognize and embrace the will of the people.”

      • Democrats Need a Winning Message in Georgia. Bernie Sanders Says Fight for $15 Minimum Wage

        The Vermont senator noted that “47% of workers in Georgia make less than $15 an hour and 71% of voters in Georgia support increasing the federal minimum wage.”

      • State of Chaos

        Donald Trump knew us better than we knew ourselves.

      • ‘If Biden Wants to Be FDR, He Should Immediately Cancel Student Debt’: President-Elect Urged to Go Big

        “Young people voted for Biden in record numbers—he owes us this one.”

      • The Myth of the Latino Vote and What Newsrooms Must Learn From 2020

        In 2016, when it became clear that Donald Trump would become president, media outlets across the U.S. were blindsided by the results. They pledged to do better representing the larger communities that make up America. That included conservatives, those in rural areas (a complex group on its own) and, yes, Latinos.

        Four years later, though Trump did not win reelection, former Vice President Joe Biden’s narrower margin of victory in spite of polls predicting a landslide have media outlets asking similar questions all over again. The increased percentage of Latino voters for Trump in particular caught many off guard. How could pollsters get it wrong again? And is the media, and a lack of diversity in newsrooms, part of the problem?

      • ‘Biden Must Not Appoint a Single Corporate Lobbyist, Lawyer, or Executive’ to Top Posts, Say Progressives. ‘Not One.’

        “Why would we want a return to normalcy? We need a vision for the future, not a return to the past.”

      • We Could Use a Leader Like George McGovern Again

        As I lived through the nightmare of the election campaign just past, I often found myself dreaming of another American world entirely. Anything but this one.

      • Trump: the Sad Facts Are In

        In 2016, almost 6 million votes in the presidential election went uncounted, and Trump won. Barely. Those were the very same kinds of votes that Trump would throw away today. And he’d have won again. Mail-in ballots. “Legitimate” ballots, as the pundits and TV prognosticators at the maps keep telling us over and over this time, but not so much in 2016, when they were willing to look the other way when the same votes were tossed.

        But Corona forced our hand. Attention was drawn to the process like never before. Many white Democrats, heeding the sane advice to stay at home and mail in their vote, did just that. So, their votes had to count. We kept a close watch on that heart of ours. Woe to anyone who crossed the line. Especially when Trump tipped his hand with attempted postal shenanigans. So, this time we call them “Democrat votes,” instead of the votes of Blacks, Latinos, university-aged future debt slaves, and others (meaning Injuns). But if we want to get Trump out of there, we’d better hunker down, take the extra time, and count that Democratic vote, like our second car payments depended on it.

      • Election Security: When to Worry, When to Not, and the Takeaway from Antrim County, Michigan

        Everyone wants an election that is secure and reliable. With technology in the mix, making sure that the technology supports this is critical. EFF has long-warned against blindly adopting technologies that can be easily manipulated or fail without having systems in place to test, secure, and catch problems, including through risk limiting audits. At the same time, not every problem is worth pulling the fire alarm about—we have to look at the bigger story and context.  And we have to stand down when our worst fears turn out to be unfounded.

        A story out of Michigan last week in Antrim County provides a good opportunity to apply this. What seems to have happened is that a needed software update was not applied to a system that helps collect and report digital vote information—the county has paper ballots that are scanned—from the county. As a result, it appeared that 6,000 votes shifted from Republicans to Democrats in the unofficial reports.

        Javier Smaldone is a well-known figure in the Argentinian infosec community. As a security researcher, he’s worked to highlight the flaws in electronic voting in Argentina, despite the country’s local and federal attempts to move ahead with insecure software and electoral procedures.The Argentinian authorities have a reputation of…

        Foreign adversaries and domestic dirty tricksters can secretly hack our nation’s electronic voting systems. That’s why information security experts agree we must go back to basics: paper ballots. We also need “risk-limiting audits,” meaning mandatory post-election review of a sample of the paper ballots, to ensure the election-night “official” results…

        Sen. Ron Wyden’s new proposal to protect the integrity of U.S. elections, the Protecting American Votes and Elections (PAVE) Act of 2019, takes a much needed step forward by requiring a return to paper ballots.The bill forcefully addresses a grave threat to American democracy—outdated election technologies used in…

      • Biden’s Victory: a Eunuch Presidency Beckons

        A Joe Biden presidency promises to be a return, not a progression.  But a glance at the US electoral map suggests no easy pathway to political amnesia.  A vote count shy of 71 million for Trump will be a hard statistic to ignore; even harder for the new administration will be the Republicans in the House of Representatives and Senate.  The high priests and priestesses of news at CNN attempted to strangle any suggestion that they had gotten the election so horribly wrong.  Embarrassment would not be countenanced; Biden, despite struggling in various key states in the initial count, would come through on the mail-in ballots so vigorously slandered by Trump.

        CNN anchor Jake Tapper could not be accused of any complexity, preferring to summarise the Trump administration as a “time of extreme divisions… it’s a time of several significant and utterly avoidable failures, most tragically, of course, the unwillingness to accept the facts and science and do everything that can be done to save lives during a pandemic.”  A “long national nightmare” for Americans had concluded.

      • Queen of Diamonds Waiting in the Wings

        Biden won with the largest number of votes than ever before. 74million +. Almost looks like democracy worked, except for all the voter suppression from both the Democrats and Republicans. But there’s a side to this that few are recognizing. Who voted for Biden and why? Who voted for Trump and why? Biden’s supporters came in 2 groups. Vote Blue No Matter Who. This was anti-Trump as it wasn’t for any particular candidate. It could have been for any who ran in the primaries, except for Sanders. The Democratic party leadership would have been very lukewarm in its support for him, even though the voting public would have been ecstatic and a landslide all but guaranteed. As to this group of voters, they would have been the majority. A minority group of the overall voters would have been people who actually thought that Biden had what it took to take on Trump and supported his Republican-lite agenda. This may have been a minority of voters, but he was the preferred candidate for the party elite, the party establishment and those people who control the process. We see how the liberal media rallied around him, not so much as to praise his past accomplishments and propagandize over his ‘leadership’ skills but instead their job was to tear down Trump, a much easier, and likely for them, an enjoyable task.

        There is a lot to fear from the final vote. A four million vote spread is impressive, if the numbers were like any normal election year. And people will start mimicking Trump in how Biden’s numbers and win was in Trumpian proportions, like his imaginary largest inauguration audience ever attended. But let’s be mindful of how Trump fared in this election. Even when hundreds of thousands are now dying from the virus that he pretty much unleashed on America, people by the thousands came out to his rallies and to the polls, to support and vote for him. His 70 million voters voted for him, not as much against Biden. The Trump cult had its inauguration on Election Day. Everything before then was the organizing aspect of it and its preparation for what is to come.

      • A White House That Once Again Calls on Our Better Angels

        A new mood. A new plan of action. Once more, hope is reborn.

      • Trump Family Launches PAC to Continue Influence Over Republican Party
      • Trump Removes Scientist Overseeing Key Climate Assessment Report
      • Grassroots Organizing Defeated Trump. Now We Must Out-Organize Trumpism.
      • Trumpism and Mushrooms

        Trump’s adoring cult groupies thrive in the dark of ignorance and eat conspiracy. Uninformed and disinformed they’re gullible and furious, and they can’t wait to use their long guns to prove it.

        These inchoate, violence-prone paramilitary groups are opaque but reproducing; especially by way of social media memes which, like mushrooms, thrive in the dark of algorithmically-induced silos of cultural isolation that become self-reinforcing by a targeted diet of conspiracy crap.

      • Reclaiming American Idealism

        In that spirit, I also found myself looking at a photo of my fourth-grade class, vintage 1972. Tacked to the wall behind our heads was a collage, a tapestry of sorts that I could make out fairly clearly. It evoked the promise and the chaos of a turbulent year so long ago. The promise lay in a segment that read “peace” and included a green ecology flag, a black baseball player (Brooklyn Dodgers second baseman Jackie Robinson, who had died that year), and a clenched fist inside the outline of the symbol for female (standing in for the new feminism of that moment and the push for equal rights for women).

      • How Could 70 Million Still Have Voted for Trump?

        But it’s not all that difficult to understand. There are 3 major explanations: One economic. One health. And the third, and most important, a matter of culture and racism manipulated by clever politicians for the past quarter century at least.

        The first explanation—economics—is that the red states (Trump’s base) did not ‘suffer’ as much economically from the recession as have (and are) the blue states and big urban areas. The red states shut down only in part and for just a couple weeks then quickly reopened as early as May. A few hot spots in New Orleans and Florida were quickly contained. By reopening quickly they economically minimized the negative effects of the shutdowns and quarantines. They would eventually pay the price in health terms for early reopening, but they clearly chose to trade off later health problems for early economic gains. At the same time they quickly reopened, the red pro-Trump states still received the economic benefits of the March-April Cares Act bailout that pumped more than a $trillion into the economy benefitting households directly–i.e. this was the $670 billion in small business PPP grants, the $350 billion in extra unemployment benefits, the $1,200 checks, and other direct spending on hospitals and health providers. The Trump states got their full share of the bailout, even if they didn’t need it as much after having reopened early. Finally, if Trump supporters lived in the farm belt sector of Red State America, they additionally got $70B more in direct subsidies and payments from Trump that was designed to placate the farm belt during Trump’s disastrous China trade war. That’s 3 main sources of added income the red states as a general rule received that the blue states, coasts, big cities elsewhere did not get. In short the economic impact of this recession was therefore far less severe in the geographic areas of the greatest concentration of Trump’s political support.

      • When the Symptom Has Been Removed, But the Disease Remains

        Biden won. Trump lost. But it should have been a landslide. It wasn’t. In fact, the Democrats lost a lot of ground in other key races. A few QAnon folks are now going to Washington. And the Supreme Court has now decisively shifted even more toward the right. This has all kinds of implications, but the most obvious is that the American Empire is both deeply divided and shifting ever rightward. Fascism has always lain under the surface of American society, but the veil was completely ripped off over these past four years.

        Biden won. Trump lost. But Trump will not go gracefully. He is already calling it fraud and challenging the results. And his sons and other unhinged sycophants are calling for a war. Literally, a war. Don’t forget the plot to kidnap a US governor. Don’t forget Amy Coney Barrett. Don’t forget Bush v. Gore. Don’t forget that Trump had the backing of many police departments, ICE, and countless white supremacist groups. Don’t forget that there was a surge in weapons sales in the run up to the election. Don’t forget that there a lot of people who feel very threatened right now. Threatened that their status in a society is at risk. Threatened that “communism” or “cultural Marxism,” as ridiculous as it sounds, will sweep through the country. In fact, the threat of violence and unrest has never been higher than it is now. I urge my American comrades to be vigilant and careful.

      • Fundraising for Trump Legal Challenge Will Help Pay Campaign Debt
      • The Blue Wave that Never Came

        New York Times columnist Thomas L. Friedman has written that “We have just experienced four years of the most divisive and dishonest presidency in American history,” yet it produced “no landslide — no overwhelming majority telling Trump and those around him that enough was enough: Be gone with you and never bring that kind of politics of division back to this country again.” Friedman quotes Doy Seidman: “Whatever the final vote, it is already clear that the number of Americans saying, ‘Enough is enough’ was not enough. There was no blue political wave. But, more importantly, there was no moral wave. There was no widespread rejection of the kind of leadership that divides us.’’

        Why was there no overwhelming moral rejection of leadership that divides? I believe that the answer is that both sides speak only to their base. Both sides use divisive rhetoric. Both sides are incapable of reasonable appeals beyond their base.

      • Sore Loser

        “Every day you are waking up,” Jones said, wiping away tears. “And you are getting these tweets, and you don’t know, and you go into the store, and people who have been afraid to show their racism are getting nastier and nastier to you. And you are worried about your kids. And you are worried about your sister. Can she go to Walmart and get back into her car without somebody saying something to her. And you spent so much of your life energy just trying to hold it together.”

        It’s understandable that he cried, for himself, his family, his country because “the character of the country matters. Being a good man matters. I want my sons to look at this.”

        Tears came as I typed those words. It hasn’t been easy for any of us who despised Trump for what he was doing to our beloved country, at home and abroad.

        And it isn’t over. It won’t be over until noon Jan. 20. There’s a lot of space between now and then for Trump to cause a great deal of mischief. We don’t know how he will react to his defeat. He already refused to concede, mounting spurious court challenges.

      • Trump’s Cult of Personality Will be Badly Damaged by Defeat, But His Toxic Politics Marches On
      • Trump Ousted. The Spirit of Insurgent Democracy Is Rising.
      • When Centrists Lose, Corporate Media Blame the Left

        Joe Biden hadn’t even been declared the victor of the 2020 election before establishment Democrats, in the face of poorer-than-expected results in House and Senate races, began pointing fingers at the left—with corporate media giving them a major assist.

      • Progressives Are an Asset for the Democratic Party. It Should Treat Them That Way.

        Is the growing progressive wing of the Democratic Party an asset or a liability? Do the largest citizen mobilizations in history—galvanized by the Black Lives Matter demonstrations—alienate more US voters than they bring to the polls? Before the presidential election was called on Saturday, and even as citizens filled the streets celebrating Joe Biden’s projected victory over President Trump, recriminations were flying among Democrats distraught over the unexpected loss of House seats and their narrowed hopes of winning a Senate majority.

      • ‘Naked Political Ploy’: Outrage—and a Top DOJ Official Resigns—After Barr Memo Aims to Bolster Baseless Trump Fraud Allegations

        AG William Barr, said Sen. Elizabeth Warren, “is a corrupt Trump henchman who should have been impeached months ago. If he cared one shred about our democracy, he’d be focused on the peaceful transition of power instead of doing the bidding of a wannabe dictator.”

      • Lindsey Graham Admits That Making Voting More Accessible Renders GOP Victories Impossible

        The senator’s comment, said one journalist, “is not something that is said by a person who actually wants to represent people in a democracy.”

      • Bye, Donald

        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!

      • ‘Astounding and Tyrannical’: Mike Pompeo Denounced for Vowing Smooth Transition… for Trump’s Second Term

        “This is a war against America’s democracy and against 75 million American voters.”

      • The Asshole

        This blithering blathering idiot pauses at the podium, continuing to clap his itty bitty, self-congratulatory palms together like a baby sea lion clamoring for breakfast as the applause swells into a tsunami of hope and desperation, seasoned in some not inconsiderable quarters of the stadium with haters of the Other.

        His tiny pussy gropers flailing like an indignant lobster’s antennae as his facial asshole opens out into a perfect circle, he begins his peroration, a litany of libel and blame aimed squarely at all those who aren’t white and Christian and born here, in other words, all “those people” who steal his audience’s jobs and rape their women and desecrate their religion. He will deport the lot of them, build a wall around his country towering above that of ancient China – and nobody builds walls better than him. And they will all live happily ever after.

      • Barr Order to Investigate “Fraud” Claims Spurs Top DOJ Official to Quit
      • The Reactionary Immigration Measures Alabama, Florida and Colorado Just Passed That No One is Talking About

        The fight over non-citizen political rights is the cutting edge of democratic, refugee and migration discourse.

      • This Would Be a Very Good Time to Impeach William Barr

        Democrats have a duty to use this time of transition to define how they will respond during a Biden presidency to Republican lying, obstruction, and blatant disregard for the rule of law. And immediately impeaching Attorney General William Barr, who on Monday authorized federal prosecutors to examine baseless “allegations of voting and vote tabulation irregularities” before states move to certify results in the 2020 presidential election, is the place to start. As Barr and President Trump promote legal chaos in a subversive challenge to an election result that has gone against them, they are kicking at the essential underpinnings of the Constitution and the republic that extends from it. The Constitution outlines a remedy, and it ought to be employed, immediately and unapologetically.

      • Facebook cracks down on pages linked to Bannon

        The company removed seven pages which collectively had more than 2.45 million followers, according to activist organization Avaaz, which notified Facebook of the network of Bannon-linked pages on Friday as part of the group’s investigation into election disinformation.

      • Georgia GOP senators demand GOP election chief resign after failing to outright win their elections

        Without citing any evidence, the senators calling on Raffensperger to resign claimed that there had been “too many failures” in the state’s elections this year

      • I was a Detroit poll challenger. The GOP came to make havoc.

        The counting hadn’t even started yet; the ballots hadn’t yet arrived at the counting boards and already it was clear that the GOP challengers were there to sow confusion and suspicion.

        One poll inspector pulled me aside and told me she wanted to do her job with precision, but felt nervous about GOP challengers asking personal questions and quizzing her. It was intimidating, she said. I advised her to let her supervisor know. The rules were clear: challengers were not allowed to speak with inspectors, only supervisors.

        Already the GOP challengers were breaking the rules.

      • Australia’s hardcore critical infrastructure laws open to challenge

        The scope is genuinely enormous. It encompasses all telcos and ISPs, defence and space industry, maritime ports, power generation, water utilities, freight and passenger transport, operators of broadcast transmission equipment and submarine cables, cloud service providers (at least 30), data centre providers (at least 100), domain registrars, banks (at least 10), wealth managers (at least 30), insurers (at least 35), an undisclosed number of trading, stockbroking and payment providers, food and grocery companies (at least 6), and hundreds of hospitals, universities and research organisations. It includes any organisation that holds PII (personal data) on more than 20,000 Australians.

      • What is Parler and why are some people leaving Facebook to join it?

        As of Monday, Nov. 9, Parler is trending as the top free download in the Apple App Store and Google Play Store.

        The up and coming social media app appears to be a haven for Republicans and in the wake of the 2020 presidential election results – it appears a flood of new users have joined Parler.

    • Freedom of Information/Freedom of the Press

      • Chinese Authorities Punish Citizens for Using Foreign Social Media

        Chinese Communist Party officials appear to be increasing their harassment and punishment of Chinese internet users who publish on foreign social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook and YouTube.

        China’s government firewall blocks access to those sites, but users can use VPNs and other technology to circumvent it.

        A growing number of these Chinese “netizens” have been warned against visiting and posting on the social media platforms and have been forced to delete posts unfavorable to the government. Some have also been sentenced to jail terms.

      • Secular Modernity under Theocratic Assault

        France is not the only secular republic with a stake in the modernization and reformation of Islam. The United States, founded in large measure to advance the rights of mankind, is the proper nation to lead and rally support for this effort. In recent years, however, Americans have grown adrift from their national principles, at home and abroad. It would be pretty to think this degradation only began with Trump’s ascent and will cease to operate now that he has been voted out of office. This would be a false consolation. Recall that after the jihadist attack on Charlie Hebdo in 2015, neither President Obama nor any other senior US government official bothered to attend the “republican march” in Paris that followed the outrage.

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • Number of Seized Migrant Children That Cannot Be Reunited With Parents Now 666
      • What does REAL-ID Act “enforcement” really mean?

        For the last fifteen years, as both Republican and Democratic administrations have come and gone, the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has been using the threat of “enforcement” of the REAL-ID Act of 2005 to extort state legislators, governors, and driver licensing agencies into complying with the REAL-ID Act of 2005 and upload their residents’ drivers license and state-issued ID card data to the national REAL-ID database, “SPEXS”.

        The threat has been that the DHS and/or its components (such as the Transportation Security Agency) will harass or turn away residents of noncompliant states when they try to pass through TSA or other Federal checkpoints or enter Federal facilities.

        Not wanting to provoke riots or protests at airports, the DHS has repeatedly postponed its arbitrarily self-imposed “deadlines” for REAL-ID enforcement at TSA checkpoints, most recently until October 1, 2021.  And the TSA, despite repeated trial balloons suggesting what new rules it might try to adopt to require ID to fly, has not yet tried to finalize such a  rule. So we don’t really know what, if anything, REAL-ID Act enforcement at airports might mean.

      • Trump fires his defense secretary

        Two days after losing his bid for re-election, President Trump has removed Mark Esper, whose run as defense secretary was marked in its final stages by his defiance of Trump—on the idea of sending US troops to quell protests against police brutality and even on the question of wearing masks during the pandemic. How will his departure contribute to the post-election tumult? And is his successor likely to push back against the president?

      • Migrant friend to Julian Assange dies in UK’s Belmarsh prison

        On Monday last week, Stella Moris, partner of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange who is currently held on remand in Belmarsh maximum security prison pending possible extradition to the United States, reported the suicide of his friend Manoel Santos. She tweeted: “Spoke to Julian. A friend of his killed himself in the early hours of this morning. His body is still in the cell on Julian’s wing. Julian is devastated… He’d lived in UK for 20 years. The Home Office served him with a deportation notice to Brazil.”

        The prisons watchdog is conducting an investigation into the death.

      • Police looking for man accused of racist attack on Southern University student-athlete

        Police are investigating reports of an attack on a Southern student-athlete which the university believes was racially motivated.

        The Baton Rouge Police Department confirmed it was looking into the assault which happened late Monday evening near the LSU lakes. Police said the attacker allegedly punched the victim in the chest and shouted a racial slur at her.

        Southern’s athletics department said it notified police of the incident Tuesday.

      • The New Humanitarian | Rethinking Humanitarianism podcast: US election special

        After a few torturous days of suspense, Joe Biden was declared the winner of the US presidential elections.
        With 50.7 percent of the popular vote, as of recording, the election was much closer than many expected.
        In his victory speech, Biden said he seeks to unify not divide.
        “I sought this office to restore the soul of America, to rebuild the backbone of this nation – the middle class – and to make America respected around the world again.”
        So what of that last promise? How will the Biden administration show up in the world? Is this an opportunity to reimagine US foreign policy and its humanitarian implications?
        Flying solo with hosting duties for this episode (spoiler alert: Jeremy Konyndyk has taken a role in the new Biden transition and is in the midst of working things out there), Heba Aly speaks to Sarah Margon, director of US Foreign Policy at Open Society Foundations.

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

      • There Is No ‘Race To 5G.’ And The U.S. Wouldn’t Be Winning Even If There Was

        Data continues to indicate that despite ridiculous oodles of hype, U.S. 5G networks aren’t much to write home about. According to a recent study by OpenSignal, the U.S. ranked dead last in terms of 5G speeds in a 14-country comparison, largely due to our failure to make mid-band spectrum available for public use. Other reports have repeatedly shown that many initial 5G networks are actually slower than existing 4G networks. Not a great look given the months of DC rhetoric about how the U.S. is in an urgent “race to 5G.” In reality, it’s less of a race and more of a drunken stumble.

      • Digital Rights Advocates Warn Trump’s FCC Nominee—Who Backs Plan to Censor the Internet—Is ‘Even Worse Than Ajit Pai’

        Former telecom lawyer Nathan Simington, a Republican, was tapped by the president after an incumbent balked at a plan to weaken online protections granted under a key law. 

      • Tim Berners-Lee’s Inrupt Launches Enterprise-Ready Privacy Platform

        According to the Inrupt website, “Solid is a technology for organizing data, applications, and identities on the web,” offering the ability to secure your systems with auditing, end-to-end TLS encryption, and OIDC/OAuth access control features and support.

        Berners-Lee says the release of the Solid privacy platform “marks a huge milestone in Inrupt’s journey to deliver on my vision for a vibrant web of shared benefit and opportunity. … These technologies will fundamentally change how organizations connect people with their data and create value together.”

    • Digital Restrictions (DRM)

      • Netflix Gets Cute Using DMCA Notices To Take Down Tweets Critical Of ‘Cuties’

        Cuties, the stupid non-controversy against Netflix that simply will not go away. The film, which won awards at international film festivals, centers on a pre-teen and is a coming of age story about a young lady growing up in both a strictly conservative upbringing combined with living in the hyper-sexualized Western culture. While the whole story is about this juxtaposition, Netflix rather stupidly promoted the film using images that focused on the latter. The result was chaos, with large swaths of Quaker-Twitter screaming about boycotting Netflix entirely and one pandering prosecutor in Texas bringing an indictment against Netflix for promotion of lewd visual material depicting a child.

      • Disney Reorganizes TV and Streaming Content Units Under Peter Rice

        In an internal memo to staff from Peter Rice, chairman of the recently rebranded Disney General Entertainment Content (DGE) division, he elaborated on the company’s decision to split off its content creation team from its distribution and commercialization efforts, and outlined its leadership and publicity structures.

    • Monopolies

      • Amazon accused of EU antitrust violation over Marketplace data

        The EU is accusing Amazon of misusing the data it collects from third-party sellers on its platform, European commissioner Margrethe Vestager announced today. The European Commission says Amazon is “systematically” using non-public marketplace seller data to unfairly compete with sellers in France and Germany. The accusations are the result of an investigation that was announced last year which looked at how Amazon uses sales data to compete with the platform’s independent merchants.

      • FOSS Patents: Court throws out tort-based part of Apple’s counterclaims against Epic Games

        Epic Games just reduced the potential risk it incurs from its antitrust dispute with Apple over its App Store business terms: Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers of the United States District Court for the Northern District of California granted an Epic motion for judgment on the pleadings on some of Apple’s counterclaims. As a result, Apple’s counterclaims (unless an appeals court revives the ones the judge just threw out) are limited to breach of contract, which Epic already acknowledged in October it would be liable for should it lose its antitrust case against Apple. Punitive damages, which Apple was seeking, are not available on this basis, so they won’t have to be discussed at next year’s trial.

        The court viewed the tort-based ones of Apple’s counterclaims skeptically from the beginning. Nevertheless, Apple defended them, presumably in an effort to preserve them for an appeal.

      • Patents

        • Valeant Pharmaceuticals North America LLC v. Mylan Pharmaceuticals Inc. (Fed. Cir. 2020)

          Somewhat remarkably, there is no settled Federal Circuit precedent regarding where a patentee can bring suit against a generic competitor in Hatch-Waxman litigation under 35 U.S.C. § 271(e)(2). While recognizing that this situation has arisen in large part to the disruption created by the Supreme Court in TC Heartland LLC v. Kraft Foods Grp. Brands LLC of prior Federal Circuit interpretations that venue was coincident with personal jurisdiction, last Thursday the Federal Circuit arrived at a decision regarding where proper venue does not lie in ANDA litigation, in Valeant Pharmaceuticals North America LLC v. Mylan Pharmaceuticals Inc.

          The issue arose in ANDA litigation brought in the District of New Jersey by Valeant Pharmaceuticals against a trio of Mylan entities: Mylan Pharmaceuticals, Inc., (MPI) “a West Virginia corporation with a principal place of business in Morgantown, West Virginia”; Mylan Laboratories Ltd. (MLL), “Indian corporation with a principal place of business in Hyderabad, India”; and Mylan Inc., “a Pennsylvania corporation with a principal place of business in Canonsburg, Pennsylvania.” The underlying dispute involves Dow Pharmaceutical Sciences’ anti-fungal drug Jublia® (efinaconazole) protected by nine Orange Book-listed patents. Because geography is important to the venue issue, the opinion notes that MPI “executed” its ANDA in its West Virginia corporate headquarters and filed at the FDA in White Oak, Maryland.

          [...]

          Finally, the Federal Circuit reversed the District Court with regard to the MLL defendant, on the grounds that a foreign defendant can be sued in any judicial district, and remanded for the District Court to consider whether this defendant was sufficiently involved to overcome the motion to dismiss under Rule 12(b)(6).

        • Patent Rules amended again, major changes in fee structure for small enterprises; WIPO launches new patent information tool

          On 4th November 2020, The EPO signed a ‘Reinforced Partnership agreement’ with the Superintendent of Industry and Commerce of Colombia with the objective of strengthening co-operation. According to the official notification on the EPO website, the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed by the President of EPO, António Campinos and Colombia’s Superintendent of Industry and Commerce, Andrés Barreto, during a virtual meeting. The MoU allows the Superintendence to use EPO’s products, tools and practices, for the next five years, when granting national patents. The EPO President said “This agreement will not only improve the quality and efficiency of handling patent applications, which is key as Colombia moves to strengthen its knowledge economy, but will also help align our patent systems to better support the global technology market.”

        • Software Patents

          • Federal Circuit Usurps Judge Albright’s Judicial Power

            The Federal Circuit has granted Apple’s petition for writ of mandamus and ordered the infringement lawsuit against the tech-giant be moved from W.D. Texas (Waco) to N.D. Cal. — finding that the company’s convenience is paramount. The majority opinion was written by Chief Judge Prost and joined by Judge Hughes. Judge Moore wrote in dissent. Judge Albright was the W.D. Tex. Judge who had refused to transfer the case.

            [...]

            Still, writ of mandamus is viewed as “an extraordinary remedy available [only] to correct a clear abuse of discretion or usurpation of judicial power.” Slip. Op. Note here that the standard of “clear abuse of discretion” goes beyond an ordinary “abuse of discretion.” As judge Moore wrote in dissent: “there is no more deferential standard of review than clear abuse of discretion.” The appellate panel found that high standard met.

            In my experience, § 1404(a) arguments have become highly-formal and fairly divorced from the “interest of justice” command found in the statute. The majority opinion here nitpicks its way through Judge Albright’s case-management style and opinion in a way that goes beyond even typical de novo review of claim construction on an issue that is traditionally fully within the district court’s discretion. In particular, the majority appears to take real issue with Judge Albright’s express and actual focus on moving his docket forward quickly and efficiently.

      • Copyrights

        • Kim Dotcom Set to Win Damages Over NZ Government Privacy Act Requests

          In 2015, Kim Dotcom asked dozens of ministers and multiple government departments to urgently disclose information to help his case, requests that were ultimately denied by then-Attorney General Chris Finlayson. After a five year legal battle, the Court of Appeal has ruled that the process was flawed, meaning that Dotcom is now entitled to a damages award.

        • RIAA and MPA Want Domain Registries and Njalla on US Piracy Watchlist

          The RIAA and MPA have flagged several domain name companies, including Njalla and the .TO registry, as notorious piracy markets. Their latest submission to the US Government also lists hosting providers, apps including Telegram, CDN services, and advertisers that work with pirate sites.

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