11.13.20

Links 13/11/2020: Mageia 8 Coming Soon, Endian 3.3.2 Released

Posted in News Roundup at 7:39 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Desktop/Laptop

      • Your Computer Isn’t Yours

        I’m speaking, of course, of the world that Richard Stallman predicted in 1997. The one Cory Doctorow also warned us about.

        [...]

        Your computer now serves a remote master, who has decided that they are entitled to spy on you. If you’ve the most efficient high-res laptop in the world, you can’t turn this off.

        Let’s not think very much right now about the additional fact that Apple can, via these online certificate checks, prevent you from launching any app they (or their government) demands be censored.

      • It Came From the Live-Boot: A True Linux Horror Story

        The Linux desktop distros of today are the most accessible to complete newcomers as they have ever been. There was a time not long ago when only truly intrepid computer thrill seekers would dare install Linux. Now, not only can one get Linux installed on most desktop or laptop computer hardware in 15 minutes, but one can hand it off to anyone with the loosest grasp on how to use computers and expect them to be just fine.

        All of that said, once in a blue moon, one will experience sheer terror at the hands of a buggy Linux system. No amount of battle-hardiness can keep you completely safe, either.

        I know this because not too long ago, a fear-inducing Linux bug came for me. I wanted to share this true Linux story, so that you may be informed and entertained. Out of respect to hard-working Linux distro developers who make honest mistakes, I will not name the offending distribution, but to add an air of ominousness I will note that it has consistently ranked in DistroWatch’s Top 10 for at least a year.

        To those of you who place unshakeable confidence in “mainstream” distros: You have been warned. Now then, let us begin.

    • Server

      • Monsters in combat: exploring application metrics with D&D

        Over the summer of 2019, I was watching my kids play. Indoors or out, with or without props, they were (and still are) always inventing some kind of game. At the time, they were re-enacting Pokemon battles, complete with sound effects, special moves, and crazy voices. I started thinking about how to preserve this creative spirit before the teenage years crept in. Dungeons and Dragons.

        I played D&D twice myself: once when I was 11 with the boy next door, which was essentially a pointless character creation exercise, and once as a grown-up, when I just about died of awkwardness. But for my son and his friends, I could do this; I offered to be a Dungeon Master (DM) for them. I made a significant rookie mistake, however. I did not limit how many players my son could bring to the table. I ended up starting my DM adventure with a party of six 10-year-old boys (and sometimes a 6-year-old girl). I underestimated both the work—and the chaos—by several orders of magnitude.

        [...]

        I learned so much writing this application, both as a new DM trying to understand how D&D works, and as a developer going beyond cut and paste examples to use and understand the data I was gathering. Application-specific metrics found bugs that my tests didn’t, and allowed me to see the impact (or lack thereof) of implementation choices I made. In a real world scenario, metrics collection for a live service just keeps on going, providing a statistical baseline that can be used to spot behavior changes as applications are updated.

        I mentioned that one of the things I’d hoped to do was compare the capabilities of metrics libraries. What I rapidly discovered was that I couldn’t. The Java library for metrics with OpenTelemetry was not-quite ready at the beginning of the year. I will give an updated version of this talk at J4K in September 2020, so I have ample time to try again.

        I also ran into trouble with MicroProfile Metrics, as it emitted only pre-digested histogram values, making it impossible to use Prometheus and Grafana to calculate rates or averages from data aggregated across sources. As a result, the Quarkus application is also using micrometer. At first it used the micrometer library directly, but I later created a Micrometer Extension for Quarkus to see how far I could get in providing a first-class experience using Micrometer with Quarkus.

      • Exploring Application Metrics with Dungeons & Dragons

        In a recent article on Jaxenter, Erin Schnabel explores what the popular role-playing game Dungeons & Dragons (D&D) has in common with application metrics and frameworks like Quarkus and Micrometer. In this deeply detailed article, Schnabel takes readers on an adventure full of monsters, graphs, and metrics.

      • From Unix to Linux: Key Trends in the Evolution of Operating Systems (Part 1)

        Long before free or open source software licenses, Unix source code was open to users who licensed the operating system. The owners of Unix maintained copyright over the source code and sometimes exerted their control over it very harshly, as we’ll see later in this series. But that stance doesn’t detract from the revolution presented by the availability of Unix source code.

        Because Unix users had the source code, Unix developers provided options that could be changed only by recompiling the code. It was fairly common for system administrators to recompile Unix after tweaking the options for their sites—another tradition carried on by Linux. In conversation with the author, BSD developer Greg Lehey pointed out that recompilation was actually a common practice for many operating systems at that time. For instance, a 1981 IBM manual for the VM/370 specifies on page 228 that their “SOURCE tape contains all source files, and macros of VM/370.”

        The availability of source code for a robust, contemporary operating system was also a boon to students. Unix not only pioneered important operating system techniques in memory management, scheduling, etc., it also contained interesting data structures and algorithms that were broadly applicable to other applications. Computer science professor John Lions documented the source code for Unix in a book that is considered a classic.

        In this article, I have tried to convey some of the aspects of computing that we take for granted today, but that were made uniquely possible by Unix. The operating system has followed a long and unexpected path, which I’ll continue to trace in upcoming articles.

    • Audiocasts/Shows

      • Donald Trump Has Suffered a Defeat of Historic Proportions

        Republicans have their differences, but they generally agree on Ronald Reagan, the conservative icon who for the better part of five decades has been their party’s emotional and ideological touchstone figure. So here’s a reference point for the Republican Party leaders who are now joining Donald Trump in a go-down-with-the-ship refusal to concede the 2020 presidential election: Joe Biden is currently winning that election by a higher percentage of the national popular vote than Reagan did in his historic victory over President Jimmy Carter.

      • Six Brief Theses on the Trump Era

        2. Once in power Trump pleased Wall Street with his tax cuts and deregulation, but alarmed many by his apparently unstable personality, and unpredictable trade and foreign policies. Many bosses wanted to fire him. Ruling class opposition to him took the most traditional, uncreative, backward Cold War form: he was criticized for alleged ties to Russia. But the campaign to oust Trump as a Putin puppet failed, as did the effort to impeach him—for the high crime of delaying delivery of anti-tank missiles to Ukraine. Having avoided removal from office in February 2020, as the Dow Jones reached new highs, Trump seemed poised for reelection.

        3. Then COVID19 arrived. The main issue now became not the (discredited) Russia charges, but the president’s callous, irresponsible response to the virus, indeed his responsibility for tens of thousands of deaths. And in May there was a sudden surge in mass demonstrations—despite the virus—against systemic racism as reflected in the latest iPhone-captured police murders. The protests were extraordinarily diverse and peaceful, and depicted sympathetically by much of the press. Trump’s hostile response to the protests, catering to his racist base, was condemned as “divisive.” COVID, racism and the prospects for a police state became the new issues in the drive—backed by the majority of the ruling class—to oust Trump.

      • Working Remote with a NAS – YouTube

        Getting Remote Work done in today’s world is paramount and one device can help solve many of your headaches.

      • Grep Is Dead And Ripgrep Is Here To Replace It – YouTube

        Grep is a great tool but nowadays there are faster implementations with better defaults available and one such tool is ripgrep which claims to be up at least twice as fast even in simple tasks and that gap only widens when doing larger search jobs.

    • Kernel Space

      • Graphics Stack

        • Mesa 21.0 RadeonSI Merges Buffer Modifier Support – Phoronix

          The long-standing patches by Bas Nieuwenhuizen on implementing DMA-BUF modifier support for the RadeonSI code within Mesa has now been merged for next quarter’s Mesa 21.0 feature release.

          With Linux 5.11 bringing the buffer modifier support on the kernel side for GFX9/Vega and newer, the code merged today into Mesa 21.0 enables the user-space API and makes use of the modifier capabilities within RadeonSI Gallium3D for the recent AMD Radeon graphics cards. This follows Intel’s Linux graphics stack that has benefited from modifier support for a while.

        • Dave Airlie (blogspot): lavapipe: a *software* swrast vulkan layer FAQ

          I had some requirements for writing a vulkan software rasterizer within the Mesa project. I took some time to look at the options and realised that just writing a vulkan layer on top of gallium’s llvmpipe would be a good answer for this problem. However in doing so I knew people would ask why this wouldn’t work for a hardware driver.

          [...]

          Software rasterizers are a very different proposition from an overhead point of view than real hardware. CPU rasterization is pretty heavy on the CPU load, so nearly always 90% of your CPU time will be in the rasterizer and fragment shader. Having some minor CPU overheads around command submission and queuing isn’t going to matter in the overall profile of the user application. CPU rasterization is already slow, the Vulkan->gallium translation overhead isn’t going to be the reason for making it much slower.

          For real HW drivers which are meant to record their own command buffers in the GPU domain and submit them direct to the hw, adding in a CPU layer that just copies the command buffer data is a massive overhead and one that can’t easily be removed from the lavapipe layer.

          The lavapipe execution context is also pretty horrible, it has to connect all the state pieces like shaders etc to the gallium context, and disconnect them all at the end of each command buffer. There is only one command submission queue, one context to be used. A lot of hardware exposes more queues etc that this will never model.

          [...]

          Can this make my non-Vulkan capable hw run Vulkan?

          No. If the hardware can’t do virtual memory properly, or expose features for vulkan this can’t be fixed with a software layer that just introduces overhead.

    • Benchmarks

      • Many More AMD Ryzen 5000 Series “Zen 3″ Linux Benchmarks

        Over the past week we have published our Linux performance reviews of the Ryzen 5 5600X, Ryzen 7 5800X, and Ryzen 9 5900X + 5950X “Zen 3″ processors. For as much data that has been available in those reviews, here is even more data accumulating thanks to the open-source Phoronix Test Suite and OpenBenchmarking.org. Thousands of data points are building up for these very exciting AMD Zen 3 desktop processors.

        Since the initial reviews on Phoronix I continue running more benchmarks on the AMD Zen 3 CPUs on Ubuntu 20.10 and in other hardware/software configurations — both for future Phoronix articles and also just running more benchmarks to explore more areas of these new AMD CPUs. All of that public benchmarking funnels into OpenBenchmarking.org. Other sites using the Phoronix Test Suite and opting to upload their results like L1 Techs to OpenBenchmarking.org and other early Ryzen 5000 owners lucky enough to buy the CPUs already have also begun uploading their results as well.

    • Applications

      • markets – track stock, currency, and cryptocurrency

        A cryptocurrency is a digital or virtual currency that is secured by cryptography, which makes it nearly impossible to counterfeit or double-spend. Typically it does not exist in physical form (like paper money) and is also typically not issued by a central authority. Instead, there’s decentralized control.

        Cryptocurrencies have not only had an impact on the world’s expectations surrounding money. They’ve also continued to evolve since the first Bitcoin block was mined back in 2009. Since then, thousands of unique cryptocurrencies have appeared.

        Of these, Bitcoin remains the most popular. Some economists, including several Nobel laureates, have characterized it as a speculative bubble. But Bitcoin could be on the verge of adoption by professional investors which would send its price higher.

        markets is software that lets you track stock, currency, and cryptocurrency prices. The tool is written in Vala and uses GTK3.

      • Wonderwall – Wallaper Manager with Huge Collection of Wallpapers

        Want to get some wallpapers for your Ubuntu Desktop? Here’s a simple tool to browse, download, and apply wallpaper from huge collection of wallpapers.

        Wonderwall is a simple graphical utility that allows to browse through the world’s largest collection of online 4k and Ultra HD Wallpapers.

        You can search wallpapers via colors, tags, categories, resolution, popularity, views, or by just typing a keyboard in filter.

        Simply click on a picture, you’ll get the menu with image details and download buttons.

        For downloaded wallpapers, you can crop / scale selected wallpaper to make it fit into your screen resolution. And of course, there’s an option to set as wallpaper.

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • How To Install Chromium Web Browser on Debian 10 – idroot

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to install the Chromium Web Browser on Debian 10. For those of you who didn’t know, The Chromium project covers two utilities such as Chromium and Chromium OS, which are the open-source projects of the Google Chrome browser and Google Chrome OS. Chromium has been developed as an open-source browser project whose critical mission is to offer a more secure, faster, and more stable way to navigate the web where threats are constant at every minute.

        This article assumes you have at least basic knowledge of Linux, know how to use the shell, and most importantly, you host your site on your own VPS. The installation is quite simple and assumes you are running in the root account, if not you may need to add ‘sudo‘ to the commands to get root privileges. I will show you through the step by step installation of Chromium Web Browser on a Debian 10 (Buster).

      • How to Install Discord on Ubuntu Linux (GUI & CLI Methods)

        Want to install Discord on Ubuntu? You are not alone. This popular messaging platform is ballooning in popularity on all systems for two reasons: it’s free, and it’s good.

        In this post we show you how to install Discord on Ubuntu 18.04 LTS, Ubuntu 20.04 LTS, or higher as a Snap app.

        And if Snap apps aren’t your thing? Well, that’s cool too as we show you how to install Discord’s Linux app using the terminal and a couple of commands.

        Whichever way you choose to install Discord you’ll be able to create a new account (or log in with an existing one); join your favourite channels; send messages, gifs, and media; take part in audio chats with other users; or create your own private Discord server.

      • How to back up your music files on Linux

        If you’re a music fan who uses Linux, you’ll no doubt have dozens, if not hundreds of music files on your Linux PC. However, if these music files are not backed up, you could lose them if something happens to your system.

      • How to temporarily mitigate SAD DNS for Linux servers and desktops – TechRepublic

        Jack Wallen walks you through the process of putting in place a temporary fix against SAD DNS for your Linux servers and desktops.

      • Different ways to schedule and list CRON jobs in Linux

        Cron is a built-in Linux utility used to run different processes within the computer system at a particular scheduled time.

        Crontab i.e. the Cron Tables are used for reading the scripts that are predefined within a system and by using a syntax, users can do the configuration of a Cron job for scheduling the commands. Cron is a daemon for managing that enables you to manage task execution at prescribed time. These activities are referred to as cron jobs and may be scheduled to run by a minute, hour, month day, month, week day, or any combination thereof. If the task were to be carried out manually, this could be an incredibly difficult task for a user, since the user would have to be present every interval to perform the task. This tutorial will assist you through several techniques to schedule and list Cron jobs in Linux.

      • Run ASCII Globe In Terminal With globe-cli Utility – OSTechNix

        Feeling bored at work? Let’s have some fun! The other day I stumbled upon a cool utility named globe-cli. As the name says, globe-cli is a command line ASCII globe generator to render an ASCII globe in your Terminal. You can rotate the globe in all direction, zoom in and zoom out a specific region in the globe using the mouse or keyboard. The globe-cli is written in Rust programming language and its source code is freely available under GPLv3. Without further ado, let us go ahead and run ASCII globe in Terminal with globe-cli utility in Linux.

      • Monitor Network Traffic with vnStat on Ubuntu 20.04

        vnStat is a free, open-source and console-based network traffic monitoring tool for Linux operating system. With vnStat, you can monitor network statistics over various time periods. It is simple, lightweight and consumes a small portion of your system resources. vnStat allow you to generate the network traffic data in an hour, day, month, week and day.
        In this tutorial, we will show you how to install and use vnStat to monitor network traffic.

      • The accidental forkbomb: How a *nix script goes bad | Enable Sysadmin

        When brilliant strategies go wrong, they can really go wrong and your opponent has to come to your rescue.

      • 5 Different Ways to open the terminal in CentOS 8 GNOME Desktop

        The terminal in Linux is a software that takes the commands from users, gets them executed from the OS, and returns the output to the users. They are also called shell and console.

        This article focuses on different ways of opening the terminal in CentOS 8.

        There are following five ways. I will demonstrate it to you one by one.

      • VirtualBox 6.1 on Fedora 33/32, CentOS/RHEL 8.2/7.8

        Oracle VirtualBox is a powerful x86 and AMD64/Intel64 virtualization product for enterprise as well as home use. VirtualBox is a general-purpose full virtualizer for x86 hardware. Targeted at server, desktop and embedded use, it is now the only professional-quality virtualization solution that is also Open Source Software.

    • Games

      • Never Go For AMD Gaming on Linux Without CoreCtrl

        AMD is starting to become the mainstream option for gamers nowadays with their CPUs & GPUs, allowing on-budget gamers to enjoy great performance for mostly half the price of the other vendors in the market like Intel and NVIDIA.

        Sadly AMD does not provide its AMD Radeon software for Linux (The controlling program responsible of tweaking GPU & CPU), and hence Linux users have to find alternatives or develop their own in order to unlock the full potential of the parts they bought.

        Luckily, a new game changer is finally available in market; Meet CoreCtrl.

        [...]

        Just keep in mind that manipulating the power/performance levels is not generally recommended unless you know what you are doing. Most users in fact can generally gain 10-30 FPS in their games by simply starting the fans at early levels without modifying anything else at all in their systems.

        So that could be a good option for you to try if you are newbie to these kinds of things, rather than burn your chips or shorten their virtual age.

        [...]

        CoreCtrl is an amazing open source software that fulfills a unique use case for AMD users on Linux. Using this software users will be able to gain additional performance from the parts they have in their PCs, and may even decide to skip a hardware upgrade due to the performance gain it can give.

        And it gives it quite easily; Just few clicks with a beautiful Qt-driven user interface that makes the operation very smooth and quick.

        CoreCtrl is definitely a must-have for AMD users on Linux.

      • Enjoy a battle of magic cults in the digital board game October Night Games – now on Linux | GamingOnLinux

        Following on from a successful Kickstarter campaign in September 2020, Octobear Knight Games have released their digital board game October Night Games.

        Being influenced by the writings of Roger Zelazny, H.P. Lovecraft, Abraham Merrit, Bram Stocker, Albert Bloch, and many others to create their procedurally generated narrative the game follows a battle between two mysterious and magical cults to decide the fate of the world on Halloween night.

      • Multiplayer narrative escape puzzler ‘Mad Experiments: Escape Room’ is out now | GamingOnLinux

        Enjoy escape room puzzle games? Mad Experiments: Escape Room from PlayTogether Studio is officially out now.

        With multiple rooms to break out of that are full of riddles, clues, and mysteries to uncover it’s a highly interactive game with items everywhere you can examine to try and find your way out. They here, is to fully explore your surroundings. It’s built firmly with co-op in mind, with it being possible to have six player try to solve the rooms together. It was previously in Early Access with the 1.0 release adding in the third chapter.

      • Take on the high seas in the new limited time Sail Forth demo | GamingOnLinux

        Sail Forth is a very colourful high seas adventure that sees you travel through a procedurally crafted adventure over an unending ocean. It is perhaps the most vibrant sailing game I’ve ever seen, with sharp colours and a cute style to it

        Coming with Linux support sometime in 2021, they’ve released a fresh demo build to go along with the IndieX event and it will be live for you to play until Sunday, November 15. This new and improved demo which was previously showed off during one of the big Steam events has “a lot of general gameplay changes and improvements, as well as new encounters, boats” and more.

      • HotShot Low-Polygon Racing on Linux – Boiling Steam

        Is it just me, or is there a complete category of games that are just building on past titles (almost with carbon copy precision) without using the original brand name? Just yesterday I saw an upcoming indie title, a 1 vs. 1 fighter, clearly looking like and playing like Bushido Blade, without the trademark. Then there’s this Wipe-out clone without the official name, BallisticNG. And I could go on. What’s interesting to me is that they are NOT cloning recent games – that used to be a thing. When Doom came out, within a couple of years every big publisher had a Doom-like game in their line-up. No, here we are witnessing something different, with (mostly) indie devs cloning/recreating much older games or genres that are not really popular anymore. I wonder about the economics of those. Do they sell well enough because of the semi-brand recognition for older gamers? Does the appeal to nostalgia work? It probably does well enough as there’s no sign of the trend stopping any time soon. The point may also be to bring such games to other platforms while they used to be exclusives of one console or another.

    • Distributions

      • Top 10 Lightweight Linux Distros to Try in 2020

        To get a taste of Linux, you don’t always have to have a beast of a computer. We know that the latest version of Ubuntu and other such newer Linux distros can be a bit difficult to run on older systems. However, there are many operating systems in the world of Linux that are especially geared toward machines with low-end specifications.

        And the best thing about them is that they still provide users with a genuine Linux experience but go easy on the computer resources by cutting down on a few less-needed elements. Other than that, you’ll also see that even though these distributions are really lightweight, they still happen to come with many features.

      • New Releases

        • Endian Community Releases New Version 3.3.2

          Hi to all our Endian Community fans and we’ve got some great news to share! First we’re releasing a huge set of updates that has a ton of bug fixes and minor feature improvements. In addition, we’re releasing a new ISO for those who want a new install with all the latest and greatest packages.Last, we’re switching our development cycle to use rolling releases which means you guys should be hearing (and receiving “update goodies”) a whole lot more from us on a much more regular and frequent basis ;-)

      • Screenshots/Screencasts

      • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandriva/OpenMandriva Family

        • Seamonkey Browser Suite updated to 2.53.5

          SeaMonkey is an all-in-one Internet application suite. It includes a browser, mail/news client, IRC client, JavaScript debugger, and a tool to inspect the DOM for web pages. It is derived from the application formerly known as Mozilla Application Suite.

        • Mageia 8 is on its way

          The road to get Mageia 8 is winding, slow but steady.

          The current situation is that major packages have been updated to latest versions, such as:

          – latest Linux kernel 5.9.6 built for x86_64, i586, arm7l and aarch64 architectures,which can recognize all new released hardware since Mageia 7.1. We intend to release Mageia 8 with a Long Term Support Kernel. 5.10 will be the new LTS one, just around the corner for a December release. We will ship with this version.

          – basesystem with systemd 246, glibc 2.31, GCC 10.2, LLVM 10.0.1, urpmi 8.123, DNF 4.2.23 and rpm 4.16.0 ;

          – Java stack updated to java-11-openjdk (11.0.9.6) and built against this version;- python 3.8.5, rust 1.47, ruby 2.7.2, Golang 1.15.3,…

          We decided to stop supporting Java 8, and only have Java 11. This requires fixing the Java stack, as some applications have never been ported, and therefore have to be removed, while others have to be updated to the ported version.

          On the desktop side, we have an updated x11-server to 1.20.9 stack. A Wayland session for GNOME is available on Intel, AMD and even NVIDIA (with nvidia-current nonfree drivers). KDE Plasma is based on QT 5.15.1 with Plasma-Workspace 5.20.2, which can permit a wayland session preview. All infrastructure is here for it to have a desktop running on modern technologies. By default, we still ship Plasma with an X11 session on all hardware.

          GNOME is at 3.38.1. LXqt is 0.16. XFCE is at 4.15 preview and is a good candidate to move to the 4.16 release before we ship Mageia 8.

        • Mageia 8 Linux OS Is Inching Closer To Release

          “The road to get Mageia 8 is winding, slow but steady,” begins the project’s latest status update.

          It’s been a quiet few months after Mageia 8 Alpha shipped back in January and was succeeded by the Mageia 8 Beta in August. This Mandrake/Mandriva-derived Linux distribution has been working to transition off Python 2, switch to Zstd for RPM package compression, better their Arm support, and better support the likes of F2FS and NILFS2, among other improvements for the latest iteration of Mageia Linux.

          Though with all the work at hand and always in need of resources/volunteers, the road to Mageia 8 hasn’t been too speedy. In today’s status update of it being “on its way” they have now switched over to the Linux 5.9 kernel and will likely be using Linux 5.10 LTS for the final release, systemd 246 is at play, GCC 10.2 and LLVM 10.0.1 are the compilers, and numerous other key packages have been updated.

      • SUSE/OpenSUSE

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • Oracle Linux 8 U3 Released With Better NVDIMM Support, Latest RHEL8 Work

          Oracle has released Oracle Linux 8 Update 3 as the newest version of their RHEL8-based operating system.

          Oracle Linux 8 Update 3 is based off the recent Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8.3 and thus sharing many of the same changes. RHEL 8.3 upstream brings TSX being disabled by default for Intel CPUs to reduce mitigation overhead, various network driver additions, a number of new module streams, installer updates, USBGuard integration work continuing, and other tech preview features catering to their enterprise Linux customers.

        • Oracle Linux 8.3 Is Out and It Brings a Much Improved Installer, SELinux Updates

          Derived from the source code of Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8.3, Oracle Linux 8 Update 3 is here six months after Oracle Linux 8.2 and it’s powered by the latest Unbreakable Enterprise Kernel Release 6 (UEK R6) based on the upstream long-term supported Linux 5.4 kernel, along with the Red Hat Compatible Kernel (RHCK).

          Highlights of this release include a much-improved graphical installer that features better support for NVDIMM devices and IPv6 static configurations, the LUKS2 (Linux Unified Key Setup) disk encryption management for encrypted containers by default, as well as the addition of “root password” and “user creation settings” in the Installation Summary screen.

        • Refreshed UI For Fedora Media Writer

          For those who don’t know, Fedora Media Writer is a tool to create bootable live USB drive with your favorite flavor of Fedora. It is written in C++ with UI written in QML and it is supported on Linux, Windows and Mac OS X. It was developed by Martin Bříza, my former collegue from Red Hat, who did an amazing job in the past. Fedora Media Writer (FMW) primarily targets Fedora Workstation and therefore the UI looks like a GNOME app using Adwaita theme. Unfortunately the Adwaita theme changed over time and originally FMW was written using QtQuickControls 1 (deprecated these days) so it needed an UI overhaul.

        • F33-20201113 updated isos released.

          The Fedora Respins SIG is pleased to announce the latest release of Updated F33-20201113-Live ISOs, carrying the 5.8.18-200 kernel.

          Some say Friday the 13th is unlucky, but we can say otherwise with this release.

          This set of updated isos will save considerable amounts of updates after install. ((for new installs.)(New installs of Workstation have about 800MB+ of updates)).

        • How I built a serverless blog search with Java, Quarkus, and AWS Lambda – Red Hat Developer

          DevNation Tech Talks are hosted by the Red Hat technologists who create our products. These sessions include real solutions plus code and sample projects to help you get started. In this talk, you’ll learn about serverless blog search with Java, Quarkus, and AWS Lambda from Gunnar Morling and Burr Sutter.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • Canonical brings Juju charms to Kubernetes Operators

          Managing Kubernetes is not for the faint of heart. For all its popularity, Kubernetes, the container-orchestration program requires a great deal of skill and the right tools to manage software on its clusters properly. That’s where Kubernetes Operators come in. And now Canonical’s DevOps Juju-based Charm Open Operator Collection, the largest collection of application operators, supports Kubernetes, cloud-native, and traditional applications on Windows and Linux. The collection is hosted at Charmhub.io and follows the Open Operator Manifesto.

        • Canonical’s Open Operator Collection extends Kubernetes operators to traditional Linux and Windows applications

          “The operator pattern successfully replaced config management on Kubernetes for cloud-native workloads,” said Sohini Roy, Product Manager at Canonical. “We are excited to generalise the operator pattern to include traditional applications on Linux and Windows, for a consistent model-driven operator framework for application management, across bare metal, virtual and K8s estates.”

          An operator is software that implements the lifecycle management of an application. The operator replaces custom hand-crafted institutional ops code with shared, standardised ops code packages for many organisations and many scenarios. An operator eliminates duplication of effort between organisations, who benefit from a shared operations codebase for that app.

          Operators encapsulate application domain knowledge so that organisations can run them without learning the low-level details. The operator code provides the full application lifecycle, including configuration and integration, as well as day-2 actions.

          “Data security and developer productivity are vital to our customers – across the full application lifecycle,” said Ian Tien, Co-Founder and CEO, Mattermost. “With charmed open source operators, Mattermost installs in minutes with the assurance the implementation utilises best practices – not just for deployment, but also for patching, upgrading and even re-architecting.”

        • Popular snaps per distro (2020 edition)

          With Arch Linux users, Spotify still holds the crown, Microsoft Visual Code has gained popularity, and Anbox has displaced Slack in the top-five list. CentOS users are all about productivity this time around. The presence of Certbot aligns with the overall shift to HTTPS across the Internet, and the growing use of the Let’s Encrypt service. Container and Kanban-style snaps are also quite popular.

          Debian shows similar traits to CentOS – but with some notable differences, to make it all more interesting. Debian users seem keen on the Snap Store, which provides a graphical interface for snap management and installation, and they also like to have a bit of fun among more server-like tasks. Fedora users are still focused on a mix of entertainment and productivity. In a move similar to what we see with Arch Linux, Anbox also seems to have gained interest here.

          Manjaro users are the most consistent of the bunch – with strong focus on fun and entertainment, and code development. The inclusion of the Zoom client snap is not surprising, given the global shift in work trends and the increased use of VoIP software in everyday communication due to the pandemic.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • SD Times Open-Source Project of the Week: TrustyAI

        The Knowledge is Everything (KIE) group recently released TrustyAI, an open-source solution that combines machine learning models and decision logic to enrich automated decisions by including predictive analytics.

        It is the result of a new initiative, within the KIE group, to increase trust in decision making processes that depend on AI predictive models. The new initiative focuses on runtime, explainability, and accountability.

        “New laws such as GDPR include the right to access how your data has been processed. Therefore, domain experts must understand the way in which a customer’s data has been processed, so that they can pass this information back to them,” the KIE group wrote in a blog post.

      • How Many Users Can Open Source Zoom Alternatives Handle?

        Zoom has been a boom since Coronavirus started, it seemed to be one of the very few software in the world capable of handling the planet’s digital transfer of most face-to-face communication since people were forced to stay in their homes during the quarantine. Governments, schools, universities, hospitals, companies, enterprises… All of them went to Zoom in order to face the new communication hassle.

        Its stock market increased by %500 since the beginning of the pandemic, and tens of of millions of new users worldwide signed up for its premium plans. Everything sounded so great so far for Zoom, unlike most of the human race standing on the other side of the equation.

        Until, an investigational report by the FTC showed that Zoom lied about its end-to-end encryption for years, and that its so-called E2E secure communication is actually false marketing. Of course, users and developers around the world had no way of verifying Zoom’s marketing claims easily since it was a proprietary, closed-source application. And thus, they were not able to check the source code by their selves to verify those claims.

        Zoom being fully proprietary is why people started switching into open source zoom alternatives, like Jitsi, BigBlueButton and many others, so that they don’t remain in Zoom’s jail locking all their remote communications in one place.

      • PeaZip 7.5.0

        PeaZip is an open source file and archive manager. It’s freeware and free of charge for any use. PeaZip can extract most of archive formats both from Windows and Unix worlds, ranging from mainstream 7Z, RAR, TAR and ZIP to experimental ones like PAQ/LPAQ family, currently the most powerful compressor available.

      • New Releases: Tor 0.3.5.12, 0.4.3.7, and 0.4.4.6

        We have a new stable release today. If you build Tor from source, you can download the source code for 0.4.4.6 on the download page. Packages should be available within the next several weeks, with a new Tor Browser likely next week.

        We’ve also released 0.3.5.12 (changelog) and 0.4.3.7 (changelog) today. You can find the source for them at https://dist.torproject.org/, along with older releases.

      • Web Browsers

        • Noscript cures font vulnerabilities

          In the past month, I’ve read about a dozen security bulletins involving remote execution exploits due to font parsing vulnerabilities in a range of operating systems, from desktop to mobile. In all these cases, there was a detailed mention of problems, but very little if any mention of possible solutions, other than vendor updates, that is.

          Which is rather intriguing, because there is a tool that can help you with fonts. It’s called Noscript, it’s a supreme browser extension available in Firefox and more recently in Chrome, and it allows you to govern the loading of fonts in your webpages. A simple and elegant tool that can save – or at the very least, significantly minimize, headache with fonts. But does it get the spotlight it deserves? Of course not, drama and fear are far more interesting. Let’s see what gives.

        • Mozilla

          • Warp: Improved JS performance in Firefox 83

            We have enabled Warp, a significant update to SpiderMonkey, by default in Firefox 83. SpiderMonkey is the JavaScript engine used in the Firefox web browser.

            With Warp (also called WarpBuilder) we’re making big changes to our JIT (just-in-time) compilers, resulting in improved responsiveness, faster page loads and better memory usage. The new architecture is also more maintainable and unlocks additional SpiderMonkey improvements.

            This post explains how Warp works and how it made SpiderMonkey faster.

          • SpiderMonkey’s Warp Upgrade Is Ready For Firefox 83 – Phoronix

            Back in September Firefox Nightly enabled the JavaScript “Warp” code for SpiderMonkey and now for next week’s Firefox 83.0 release it is remaining on by default for this web browser update.

            Warp is a big upgrade to Mozilla’s JavaScript just-in-time (JIT) compiler code. Thanks to a variety of optimizations the Warp functionality should yield more responsiveness and faster page load speeds, commonly around 5~15% faster but some cases ~20%+ speed-ups.

            Mozilla engineers confirmed in a Mozilla Hacks blog post today that this Warp update to the SpiderMonkey JavaScript engine will indeed be the default for next week’s Firefox 83 release.

  • Leftovers

    • Telstra does not seem to know who its customers are

      Telstra appears to have got its wires crossed by sending emails to non-subscribers asking them to try out its My Telstra app.

    • A Convergence of Calamities

      Record numbers of war-displaced to be dwarfed by those driven from their homes by climate change.

    • Health/Nutrition

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Pseudo-Open Source

          • Privatisation/Privateering

            • Linux Foundation

              • Linux Foundation Adds Professional DevOps Certificate Program – DevOps.com

                Clyde Seepersad, senior vice president and general manager for training and certification at The Linux Foundation, said the goal is to increase the number of IT professionals that have been exposed to DevOps fundamentals at a time when demand for DevOps expertise is surging. A survey published by The Linux Foundation finds 65% of organizations are currently looking for more IT personnel with open source DevOps skills.

              • FINOS Launches Open Regtech Initiative as It Receives Record High Number of Open Source Contributions

                At its annual, flagship Open Source Strategy Forum (OSSF) held virtually in conjunction with the Linux Foundation, FINOS (the Fintech Open Source Foundation), today announced the launch of its Open RegTech initiative, which aims to expand the successful open collaboration model built between financial institutions, fintech and technology firms to regulators and regtech companies. Additionally, FINOS announced a codebase contribution from Deutsche Bank of the Symphony Java Toolkit as well as the OpenMAMA project, which is led by JPMorgan, Deutsche Bank and several other FINOS members.

                The announcement comes a day after FINOS announced six new members and also recorded the largest number of commits, the smallest unit of contribution, on its open source projects since its inception with a 40 percent growth with respect to the previous record.

              • The Linux Foundation launches free online inclusivity training

                The Linux Foundation, and National Center for Women & Information Technology (NCWIT), have introduced an online training course that “delves into facts about diversity in tech, the importance of diversity for innovation, the basics of unconscious and societal bias, and how to recognize the different ways unconscious bias presents itself in technical environments.”

              • The state of the art of microservices in 2020

                It is expected that in 2020, the global cloud microservices market will grow at a rate of 22.5%, with the US market projected to maintain a growth rate of 27.4% [5]. The tendency is that developers will move away from locally hosted applications and shift into the cloud. Consequently, this will help businesses minimize downtime, optimize resources, and reduce infrastructure costs. Experts also predict that by 2022, 90% of all applications will be developed using microservices architecture [5]. This article will help you to learn what microservices are and how companies have been using it nowadays.

          • Entrapment (Microsoft GitHub)

            • Despite RIAA’s Claim That YouTube-dl Is Infringing, Journalists Use It All The Time

              A few weeks ago we had a story about the RIAA getting GitHub to remove YouTube-dl using a bizarre form of copyright takedown. The RIAA claimed that the tool violated rules against circumventing DRM. Over at Freedom of the Press Foundation, Parker Higgins has highlighted how often this tool is used legitimately for journalism purposes, which is important. Under the Betamax standard, tools with substantial non-infringing uses should not run afoul of copyright law. Higgins’ writeup is reposted here with permission.

        • Security

          • Security updates for Friday

            Security updates have been issued by Debian (libproxy, pacemaker, and thunderbird), Fedora (nss), openSUSE (kernel), Oracle (curl, librepo, qt and qt5-qtbase, and tomcat), Red Hat (firefox), SUSE (firefox, java-1_7_0-openjdk, and openldap2), and Ubuntu (apport, libmaxminddb, openjdk-8, openjdk-lts, and slirp).

          • Zoom Gets An FTC Wrist Slap For Misleading Users On Security, Encryption

            In many ways, Zoom is an incredible success story. A relative unknown before the pandemic, the company’s userbase exploded from 10 million pre-pandemic to 300 million users worldwide as of last April. One problem: like so many modern tech companies, its security and privacy practices weren’t up to snuff. Researchers found that the company’s “end-to-end encryption” didn’t actually exist. The company also came under fire for features that let employers track employees’ attention levels, and for sharing data with Facebook that wasn’t revealed in the company’s privacy policies.

          • This Week In Security: Platypus, Git.bat, TCL TVs, And Lessons From Online Gaming | Hackaday

            Git’s Large File System is a reasonable solution to a bit of a niche problem. How do you handle large binary files that need to go into a git repository? It might be pictures or video that is part of a project’s documentation, or even a demonstration dataset. Git-lfs’s solution is to replace the binary files with a text-based pointer to where the real file is hosted. That’s not important to understanding this vulnerability, though. The problem is that git-lfs will call the main git binary as part of its operation, and when it does so, the full path is not used. On a Unix system, that’s not a problem. The $PATH variable is used to determine where to look for binaries. When git is run, /usr/bin/git is automagically run. On a Windows system, however, executing a binary name without a path will first look in the current directory, and if a matching executable file is not found, only then will the standard locations be checked.

            You may already see the problem. If a repository contains a git.exe, git.bat, or another git.* file that Windows thinks is executable, git-lfs will execute that file instead of the intended git binary. This means simply checking out a malicious repository gets you immediate code execution. A standard install of git for Windows, prior to 2.29.2.2, contains the vulnerable plugin by default, so go check that you’re updated!

          • Using Burp for Automated Attacks – Linux Hint

            Burp Suite is a rich-featured web application attack tool designed by Portswigger. It is equipped with everything needed to perform a successful pentest against a web application. Burp is the world’s most widely used web application tester & scanner, with over 40,000 active users, due to its easy to use interface and depth. It’s already an awesome web application pentesting with capabilities that can even further increased by adding extensions or add-ons called BApps.

          • Unix/Linux Bash: Critical security hole uncovered | ZDNet

            By itself, this is one of those security holes where an attacker would already need to have a high level of system access to cause damage. Unfortunately, as Red Hat’s security team put it, “Certain services and applications allow remote unauthenticated attackers to provide environment variables, allowing them to exploit this issue.”

          • Cyber security centre warns of RAT targeting healthcare sector

            The Australian Cyber Security Centre has issued a warning to the health sector, saying it has seen increased targeting by attackers using the SDBBot remote access trojan.

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

            • Weekly threat roundup: Windows, Intel, and Ubuntu [Ed: Microsoft ‘research’: if you sit on a desktop of yours, running GNOME, then you probably already own that machine. BUT SHOCK HORROR! Under particular scenarios you can become ROOT! The SKY IS FALLING!]

              GitHub researcher Kevin Blackhouse found flaws in Ubuntu 20.04, now patched, that could have allowed any desktop user to gain root access to the operating system.

              Two separate issues may be exploited to allow hackers to escalate user privileges in an “astonishingly straightforward” manner, using a few simple commands in the terminal and a few mouse clicks.

              The first element involves exploiting the daemon which manages user accounts, known as AccountsService, while the second element involves a component of the Gnome desktop, which triggers system setup. This would allow somebody running the exploit to create a new user account with root privileges.

          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • Trumpland Apparently Just Forgot About Its Manufactured TikTok Hysteria

              We’ve repeatedly made it pretty clear that President Trump’s effort to ban TikTok is little more than a performative, xenophobic, idiotic mess. For one, the effort appears more focused on trying to get Trump-allied Oracle a new hosting deal than any serious concern about consumer privacy and security. Two, banning a teen dancing and lip syncing app does jack shit in terms of thwarting China or protecting U.S. consumer privacy, since the U.S. telecom, app, and adtech markets are largely an unaccountable privacy mess making it trivial to obtain this kind of data elsewhere.

            • Podcast Episode: The Secret Court Approving Secret Surveillance

              Julian Sanchez joins EFF hosts Cindy Cohn and Danny O’Brien as they delve into the problems with the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, also known as the FISC or the FISA Court. Sanchez explains how the FISA Court signs off on surveillance of huge swaths of our digital lives, and how the format and structure of the FISA Court is inherently flawed.

            • How privacy activists are fighting on multiple fronts to strengthen EU privacy laws that will have a global impact

              The best known of these is the Austrian privacy expert Max Schrems, whose work has seen both the Safe Harbor and Privacy Shield frameworks for sending EU personal data to the US struck down as invalid, with major implications for data protection in the EU and US. One of Schrems’ continuing battles is with Facebook – and the Irish Data Protection Commission (DPC), which refuses to enforce the GDPR properly, he says. Rather than conclude its main investigation into Facebook, the DPC wants to start a completely new one, but Schrems has obtained a temporary legal stay to prevent that move.

            • Google Storage Will Cost You and Delete Your Files

              Google is just so much a part of our daily lives. Forget our tech lives – it’s a major part of our lives. Even if you rant often about Google, it’s still ingrained in your life in some way. But now, Google wants to pull out. While Google has allowed us to use it for all our storage, it’s going to start charging us and will also delete our files.

    • Defence/Aggression

      • ‘This Should Be Basic Common Sense’: Lee and Pocan Urge Biden to Appoint Pentagon Chief Without Defense Contractor Ties

        “The American people deserve a defense secretary that puts the American people’s safety above corporate profits.”

      • Victims of Nuclear Bomb Tests on U.S. Soil 75 Years Ago Continue to Seek Justice

        On July 16, 1945, the first-ever nuclear bomb was tested in New Mexico, in the Southwestern United States. The detonation was code-named “Trinity.” It is the day that would seal the fate of many Americans living in the surrounding areas for generations to come.

        Seventy miles from what became known as ground zero—the Trinity test site—Genoveva’s family lived on a ranch just outside the village of Capitan in New Mexico. Genoveva was born the year after the blast. Now 74 years old, she solemnly recalls how her family remembers the day that would change their lives forever.

      • Fascism, Trumpism and the Future

        Fascism is a politics of contradictions that cannot be resolved. This is a fundamental argument author David Renton makes in his recently updated text Fascism: History and Theory. It is because of these contradictions that it usually falters and fails. Equally important to fascism’s occasional (if fleeting) success is its dependence on a genuine social movement to grow and take power. Unlike most other political parties of the capitalist class, fascist leaders are dependent on the popular movement supporting them. This movement, which crosses classes but has its origins in a disgruntled petit bourgeoisie fearful of having to become part of the working class to survive, believes it is acting in its own interests. As history proves, however, when fascism takes complete power, it only truly serves what is currently known as the one percent. In other words, fascism is not interested in the advancement of the laboring classes, but rather its total acquiescence to capitalism. While this is arguably the goal of most right wing (and even liberal) capitalist parties, fascism is not even interested in any pretense of equality or democracy. Instead, it seeks uniformity under the banner of nation and leader; indeed, the party leader becomes the nation.

        Fenton utilizes the works of Walter Benjamin, Antonio Gramsci and Leon Trotsky, among others, to describe the nature and history of fascism between the two wars. Primarily focused on Mussolini and Hitler, he contrasts the development of each nation’s movement, its taking power and its demise. At the same time, he examines the various Marxist arguments regarding those movements and their meaning. He discusses the united front and the popular front oppositional approaches in terms of the different understandings of fascism he describes. The result is a nuanced and intelligent discussion of what constitutes fascism. Although Renton’s text is primarily historical, the publication of this new edition in the current time is obviously for a reason. From Hungary to the United States, from Germany to Rome, the rise of modern fascist movements has changed the political landscape of the world. In Hungary and the US, the movements are both popular and influential among surprisingly large segments of the respective populations. In other nations, like Germany and Italy, the fascist parties enjoy a similar popular support, albeit not in as large numbers. Furthermore—and perhaps more dangerously—members of fascist groups have infiltrated law enforcement and the military in the US, Germany and elsewhere. Despite their support for fascism (or perhaps because of it), most of these fascist police and troops are permitted to keep their positions with little risk of sanctions. Indeed, several chapters of the police union in the United States endorsed Donald Trump for president, thereby encouraging its members to treat anti-Trump protesters much differently than those marching (and driving their vehicles) for Trump.

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      • Trump’s UAE Arms Sale Means More Slaughter in Yemen

        The UAE belongs to a military coalition led by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia which is waging a genocidal war on Yemen with the help of US arms. The Saudi-led aggression began in March 2015 after Houthi rebels ousted Yemeni interim president and Saudi ally Abdrabbuh Mansur Hadi. Seeking to restore Hadi, the coalition went to war against the Houthis but is indifferent to who it kills. The coalition makes no distinction between combatants and civilians—a violation of international humanitarian law. One hundred thousand Yemenis have died. Some of those deaths were a direct result of coalition air strikes. Others resulted from hunger and disease following on the coalition blockade of Yemen and the coalition’s deliberate targeting of civilian infrastructure used in food production and medical care—war crimes. There was already an epidemic of cholera in Yemen at the time Covid-19 struck. The United Nations calls Yemen the “world’s worst humanitarian crisis.”

        Under the $23 billion sale, the UAE will receive up to 50 F-35 Lightning II warplanes, armed aerial drones, and air-to-air and air-to-ground munitions. The sale is made possible by the so-called Abraham Accords. William D. Hartung, director of the Arms and Security Project at the Center for International Policy writes that if President Donald Trump, who helped broker the agreement, “had been honest for a change, he would have dubbed those Abraham Accords the ‘Arms Sales Accords.’” Impeding the sale to the UAE was a long-standing US commitment not to impair Israel’s “qualitative military edge” over its Middle East rivals. The Abraham Accords removed this obstacle. Under the Abraham Accords, signed by Israel, the UAE, and the US on August 13, the UAE agreed to normalize relations with Israel, while Israel gave the nod to the US arms transfer to the UAE.

      • Trump’s False ‘Stolen Election’ Claims Could Unleash Wave of Right-Wing Violence

        Trump’s deceitful charge undermines confidence in our Democratic system, but it could also threaten to unleash a dangerous wave of violence.

      • The Elders, Founded by Nelson Mandela, Warn ‘Baseless Accusations’ of Voter Fraud by Trump Threaten Democracy Worldwide

        Calling on American president to “accept the verdict” of voters, group warns of “far-reaching consequences” beyond U.S. borders.

      • South African Activist Kumi Naidoo: Trump is Attempting a Coup to Install Minority Rule

        We continue to look at the world’s response to the U.S. election with South African activist Kumi Naidoo, a global ambassador for Africans Rising for Justice, Peace and Dignity, former secretary general of Amnesty International and former head of Greenpeace. Naidoo says President Donald Trump’s loss to Joe Biden is good news, but notes that the world lost four crucial years to tackle the climate crisis and other issues because of the Trump administration. “This is a relief, but it is not something for us to — at this stage, anyway — celebrate with any great enthusiasm,” he says.

      • Utah Senator Tells People To Stay Home If They Don’t Want To Be Mauled By Police Dogs

        When cops can’t do the brutalization themselves, they send in man’s best friend. Best friend to The Man, that is. K-9 “officers” aren’t just for illegally extending traffic stops. They’re also capable of maiming people for the offense of not being respectful/subdued enough for an officer’s liking.

      • Who Says H.S. Juniors Can’t Ease Schools Other Headaches?

        But then I read about Sen. Dick Durbin’s (D-IL) new bill (S. 4538 ) to help relieve youth unemployment by resurrecting the Great Depression’s famed CCC (Civilian Conservation Corps). Recruits would be 16 or older, not just the 18-25 in the original men’s program. At the same time the AmeriCorps was announcing expansion plans to help the nation recover from the “economic and social impact” of COVID-19. This despite its parent agency, the 295,000 volunteer Corporation for National and Community Services (CNCS), barely escaping President Trump’s FY2021 budget snickersnee for the fourth year (“Funding community service and subsidizing the operation of non-profit organizations is outside the proper role of the Federal Government”).

        The estimated 2.5 million 16-year-olds, usually high school juniors, would be eligible. Now, teaching them made me well aware of the timeless secret dread of becoming seniors and leaving the cocoon of life beyond school. Many were apprehensive about having to permanently join a workplace with “older” employees (i.e., those over 30) or college acceptances. But many finally were concerned about grades instead of looks, clothes, sex, popularity, clique expulsion, and as always, peer pressure to do wild things.

      • The New Humanitarian | Ethiopia’s worsening conflict, Peru’s political crisis, and ironic US election advice: The Cheat Sheet

        Ethiopia’s Tigray conflict is little more than a week old, but the number of people killed and displaced is rising fast. On 12 November, Amnesty International said “scores and likely hundreds” of day labourers were stabbed or hacked to death in Mai-Kadra, a town in Tigray. TNH could not independently verify the killings, but witnesses who spoke to the rights group blamed militia aligned to the Tigray People’s Liberation Front, an ethnic Tigrayan party fighting against the government. One witness who inspected ID cards of victims said the dead were mostly ethnic Amharas, from a region that is supporting Addis Ababa’s offensive. Hundreds of combatants from both sides are also thought to have died in air raids and clashes in the region, while banking, transport, trade, and telecommunications services remain cut off. Some 11,000 people – half of them children – have fled to neighbouring Sudan, where local authorities told TNH they are struggling to cope. “The capability of Sudan is very limited and the number of refugees is very big,” said one Sudanese official. Read our latest on the conflict for more.

    • Environment

    • Finance

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • No Body for President? Pay Mind

        The slightly over 1,500 votes on the Green Party of Alaska line for former Minnesota governor Jesse Ventura may seem a mere footnote to the failed re-election bid of Donald Trump, whose level of support for Ventura’s rerun was much less than the “one hundred percent” promised at WrestleMania in 2004. Yet the success of referendum initiatives for drug decriminalization, two decades after Ventura’s support for such measures were viewed as no less outrageous than his feathered boas, hints that he may have had more to offer than a coincidental foreshadowing of the paths from performance to politics of Trump or Ventura’s movie costar Arnold Schwarzenegger.

        In his 1999 book I Ain’t Got Time to Bleed: Reworking the Body Politic from the Bottom Up, Ventura argued against drug prohibition not only on pragmatic grounds that it would be ineffective and counterproductive, but that “the government has no business telling us what we can and can’t use for pain relief and in matters of our own health.” Despite bragging to Reason magazine that year about how “I’ve taken the libertarian exam and scored perfect on it,” his record in office was less consistent, and he failed to sustain an alliance with libertarians.

      • ‘Loud Noises, Mean Stares, A Big Man’—But No Fraud: Trump Campaign Presents 238 Pages of Ridiculous GOP Poll Watcher Affidavits

        “A generous way of stating it is that a lot of these Republican challengers seemed pretty uncomfortable around Black people.”

      • Redemptive Possibilities in the Failed State

        That simple admission of one’s “failed state” is a profound, even heroic, act that leads to transformational, rather than merely “regime” change. Clearly America, so far removed from the aspirations and principles our nation has identified with for over 300 years – its moral compass tossed overboard, unneeded by those who are steering the ship toward their own mad ends, nor by those who are allowing themselves to sink into “savagery” – needs not regime change but transformation. For individuals, confessing one’s failed state allows the letting go of compulsive hubris that stands in the way of an “other” reality becoming available to consciousness – that is, the larger, metaphysical, interconnected reality which one is, at last, sufficiently humbled to recognize and accept as “redemptive.” This is how one comes to belief out of rigid denial, to life out of death, how one recovers native vitality from the grip of one’s own deadening compulsions.

        For the failed state of America, we cannot hope for or expect the humiliating admission of failure to come from the plutocrats and oligarchs that benefit from the dissolution, nor can we wait for heroes who’ll show us how to do this. The fate of the nation rests with individuals prepared to confess their failure and undergo the long postponed transformation into a life that matters ( because it matters to oneself); a special responsibility that rests disproportionately with the enlightened liberal class. We who’ve for so long bypassed our human responsibility to our souls, as if we lived apart, in a godlike realm of “exceptionalism” when in fact we exist in a social reality that depends, historically and presently, upon the disposability of human beings, valued less than our machines, must come to grips with the truth of our failed state.

      • 2020′s Lesson Is Clear: Bold Policies to Improve People’s Lives Are Broadly Popular

        What a Biden-Harris administration should prioritize on its first day.

      • Law firm attempting to block Biden’s win in Pennsylvania leaves controversial Trump campaign case
      • Michigan judge rejects demand to block certification of Biden win in Detroit
      • Obama Memoir Calls Trump’s Birtherism Lies “Elixir” for American Racial Anxiety
      • Grassroots Organizers Flipped Georgia Blue. Here’s How They Did It.
      • Biden’s Mandate Is for Deep Solutions, Not Donor-Class Fetishism of Bipartisan Compromise

        Biden and the Democrats should put principles first and rally the nation around a serious vision: an agenda not simply to “restore the soul of America” but to expand that soul, make this country a true global leader as Planet Earth faces its treacherous future.

      • As Trump Whines and Gaslights, Here’s a Reality Check: He Got His Ass Kicked in the General Election

        “The fact that he is a major loser does not sit well with this egomaniacal president. But his feelings can’t change the facts.”

      • Things May Get Worse Before They Get Better in the U.S.

        Then the political sociologist in me took over as I looked at the electoral breakdown by race.

        Whites make up around over 65 percent of the electorate of the US. Surveys show that 57 percent of white voters (56 percent women, 58 percent men) went for Trump, despite everything — his awful mismanagement of the pandemic, his lies, his anti-science attitude, his divisiveness, and his blatant pandering to white nationalist groups like the Nazis, Klan, and Proud Boys.

      • Arizona presidential election: Trump campaign drops lawsuit demanding a review of ballots
      • Republicans Aren’t Just Bad Losers—They’re Traitors to Democracy

        Trump’s insidious rhetoric on the election won’t stop Biden from taking office, but it’s not harmless either.

      • Anger. Shock. Dismay. Still.
      • ‘A Coup Is Underway’: Experts Warn Election Lies by Trump and GOP Leaders Could Unleash Violent Wave

        “Underestimating Donald Trump is a mistake that people should not go on making. Laughing at him will not make him go away. If it did, he would have vanished decades ago.”

      • China is Working to Expand Its Ties to Latin America

        Zhu Qingqiao, China’s ambassador to Mexico, said that his country agrees, and has “many plans to invest in Mexico,” including the $600 million needed by the state-owned Dos Bocas petroleum refinery in Tabasco; this money was put together by the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, the Bank of China, and other international partners.

        On June 4, 2019, just after he arrived in Mexico City, Ambassador Zhu wrote an opinion piece in a leading financial newspaper, El Financiero. “The trade war,” he wrote, “will not stop China’s development. Faced with risks and challenges, China has the confidence to face them and turn them into opportunities.” The U.S.-China economies, he noted, are highly integrated, which will make decoupling next to impossible. Meanwhile, China is prepared to increase its interaction with other countries, both through investments into those countries—such as Mexico—or by welcoming investment into China. China, he wrote, is not the author of this “trade war,” and China would like this conflict to end.

      • Trump Ran a False Ad in Florida Tying Biden to Venezuelan Socialists

        In Florida, where President Donald Trump gained crucial support among Latino voters, his campaign ran a YouTube ad in Spanish making the explosive — and false — claim that Venezuela’s ruling clique was backing Democratic nominee Joe Biden.

      • Trump Won Florida After Running a False Ad Tying Biden to Venezuelan Socialists

        In Florida, where President Donald Trump gained crucial support among Latino voters, his campaign ran a YouTube ad in Spanish making the explosive — and false — claim that Venezuela’s ruling clique was backing Democratic nominee Joe Biden.

        YouTube showed the ad more than 100,000 times in Florida in the eight days leading up to the election, even after The Associated Press published a fact-check debunking the Trump campaign’s claim. Actually, Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro expressed opposition to both presidential candidates.

      • Jair Bolsonaro Downplays COVID and Refuses to Acknowledge Biden Win
      • Trump, Pompeo Direct State to Deny Biden Access to Messages From Foreign Leaders
      • Brazil: Trump Ally Bolsonaro Refuses to Acknowledge Biden Win & Downplays COVID as Death Toll Mounts

        The White House has ordered agencies not to cooperate with Biden’s presidential transition team, and President Donald Trump continues to refuse to accept defeat in the 2020 election, which means Biden cannot receive security briefings or access government funds for the transition. But while the standoff continues in the U.S., other countries are already preparing for a new administration. For more on how the historic U.S. election is playing out internationally, we speak with analysts from around the world, including Maria Luísa Mendonça, director of the Network for Social Justice and Human Rights in Brazil, where far-right President Jair Bolsonaro has not acknowledged Biden’s victory. “The progressive movements in Brazil can also be inspired by that election here,” says Mendonça. “I think that the U.S. can play a much more positive role in Latin America.”

      • Working People Dragged Joe Biden Over the Finish Line

        Getting Donald Trump out of office was uniquely important because his reality TV stardom allowed him to go from acting like a jerk on The Apprentice to playing a real-life authoritarian strongman. People bought into his “drain the swamp” and “I tell it like it is” rhetoric while he and his family engorged themselves on the hard-earned taxes of the working class. Joe Biden was not the first choice of most progressives, but when the full might of the national Democratic Party leadership converged to anoint him, he became our only hope.

      • Biden’s Victory: Is the Worst Yet to Come?

        After four years in office one thing about Donald Trump has become transparently clear – he is a petty, vindictive man. He never admits mistakes and makes false statements whenever they serve his purpose. In the face of an apparent electoral repudiation, he – and his team led by Rudi Giuliani and Bill Barr – is seeking to overturn the election results through dubious legal challenges. His strategy will likely fail, even with his successful packing of the Supreme Court with arch conservatives.

        In all likelihood, Trump will turn over the presidency to Biden on Inauguration Day, January 20th. However, if he refuses to cede power, even if the Court rejects his claims regarding the legitimacy of the elections, a true national crisis could result.

      • Don’t Underestimate Where Trump’s Election Lies Could Take the United States

        Clinging to power by claiming you are the victim of internal enemies is a very dangerous tactic.

      • Trump Mulling Streaming Online Channel to Challenge Fox News: Report

        “He plans to wreck Fox, no doubt about it,” a source familiar with the president’s plans told Axios. 

      • As Trump’s Election Lies Continue, So Does His “Extremely Misleading” Fundraising Grift

        “He has always understood that money equals power, and now he wants to have a bunch of money and it’s going to give him a seat at the table. That’s what he’s doing.”

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • Popular Pirate Sites ‘Disappear’ From DuckDuckGo’s Top Search Results

        Search engines generally aim to return the most relevant results, but that’s not always the case. Earlier this year we reported how popular pirate sites were dropping from Google’s top results and the same appears to be happening in DuckDuckGo as well now, with Bing not staying behind.

      • WHO Is Blocking Commenters From Even Mentioning Taiwan On Its Facebook Page

        A few months back we highlighted the insane lengths the WHO was going to in an effort to silence Taiwan, despite that country’s extraordinarily successful efforts to combat COVID-19. Yes, yes, everyone understands the geopolitical mess in that the Chinese government refuses to recognize that Taiwan is an independent country (which everyone who lives in reality knows) and that various organizations and governments have to pretend otherwise to keep the Chinese government happy.

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • A Plea from Federal Death Row: ‘We Need You to Raise Your Voices’

        None of us is promised another day, hour, or even minute. Here on federal death row, that reality bears down on us harshly. But Christopher Vialva’s execution on September 24 weighs especially heavy on me.

      • 70 Percent of Latinx Voters Chose Biden With Record-Shattering Turnout
      • Is There a Cure for Burnout?

        During a trip home a few years ago, I casually asked my mother’s partner, D, for some financial advice. I was starting my third job in three years, and a byproduct of all this shuffling of tax forms was that I possessed two or three 401(k) accounts, each containing a paltry amount I nonetheless didn’t want to languish forever. D is a responsible, intelligent man in his 70s whose concerted investing efforts paid dividends throughout his life, and within days, he prepared a modest portfolio of annotated printouts suggesting some mutual funds and stocks for whenever I got around to rolling over those disparate accounts into one.

      • Appeals Court Strips Immunity From Detectives Who Turned A Rape Report Into 18 Hours Of Terror For The Victim

        This recent decision [PDF] by the First Circuit Court of Appeals details a law enforcement enabled nightmare — one that saw the plaintiff shot by the same person who had raped her earlier… and someone the police were supposed to be trying to locate. So much for the “Thin Blue Line.” The line never materialized here and, in fact, took affirmative steps to erase what little line there actually was.

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

      • Podcast Episode: Why Does My Internet Suck?

        Gigi Sohn joins EFF hosts Cindy Cohn and Danny O’Brien as they discuss broadband access in the United States – or the lack thereof. Gigi explains the choices American policymakers and tech companies made that have caused millions to lack access to reliable broadband, and what steps we need to take to fix the problem now. 

      • Introducing “How to Fix the Internet,” a New Podcast from EFF

        Today EFF is launching How to Fix the Internet, a new podcast mini-series to examine potential solutions to six ills facing the modern digital landscape. Over the course of 6 episodes, we’ll consider how current tech policy isn’t working well for users and invite experts to join us in imagining a better future. Hosted by EFF’s Executive Director Cindy Cohn and our Director of Strategy Danny O’Brien, How to Fix the Internet digs into the gritty technical details and the case law surrounding these digital rights topics, while charting a course toward how we can better defend the rights of users.  

        It’s easy to see all the things wrong with the modern Internet, and how the reality of most peoples’ experience online doesn’t align with the dreams of its early creators. How did we go astray and what should we do now?  And what would our world look like if we got it right? This podcast mini-series will tackle those questions with regard to six specific topics of concern: the FISA Court, U.S. broadband access, the third-party doctrine, barriers to interoperable technology, law enforcement use of face recognition technology, and digital first sale. In each episode, we are joined by a guest to examine how the current system is failing, consider different possibilities for solutions, and imagine a better future. After all, we can’t build a better world unless we can imagine it.

        “youtube-dl” is a popular free software tool for downloading videos from YouTube and other user-uploaded video platforms. GitHub recently took down youtube-dl’s code repository at the behest of the Recording Industry Association of America, potentially stopping many thousands of users, and other programs and services, that rely on it.On…

      • Join Us for 2020′s Virtual Aaron Swartz Day Hackathon

        EFF is excited to participate this weekend in a virtual version of the annual Aaron Swartz Day and International Hackathon—a day dedicated to celebrating the continuing legacy of activist, programmer, and entrepreneur Aaron Swartz.

        Join EFF Senior Researcher Dave Maass and privacy advocate Madison Vialpando as they lead a virtual session on the Atlas of Surveillance project. Participants will gather news articles, press releases, and public records about law enforcement agencies using surveillance technologies such as social media monitoring, automated license plate readers, and body-worn cameras. EFF Special Advisor Cory Doctorow, Director of Strategy Danny O’Brien, and Senior Activist Elliot Harmon are also scheduled to speak about Aaron’s legacy and how his work lives on today.

        A legacy of the 2016 U.S. election is the controversy about the role played by paid, targeted political ads, particularly ads that contain disinformation or misinformation. Political scientists and psychologists disagree about how these ads work, and what effect they have. It’s a pressing political question, especially on the eve…

        Washington, D.C.—The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) and leading cybersecurity experts today urged the Supreme Court to rein in the scope of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA)—and protect the security research we all rely on to keep us safe—by holding that accessing computers in ways that violate terms…

    • Digital Restrictions (DRM)

      • Asleep at the Wheel: Why Didn’t Carmakers Prepare for Massachusetts’ Right to Repair Law?

        The people of Massachusetts demanded their right to repair this month, passing a ballot initiative to allow independent repair shops to access critical information about their cars by an overwhelming 74.9% majority. Now, automakers—whose scare tactics and false privacy and security claims did not fool Massachusetts voters—are expected to use another known tactic from their playbook and ask the legislature to delay implementing that law for years to come by saying the timeline is too tight.

        That’s simply unacceptable. EFF stands behind the right to repair: If you bought it, you own it. You have the right to fix it yourself or take it to the repair shop of your choosing. Manufacturers often want to keep their customers tied to them long after a sale is done, and clearly are not above using whatever tactics they can to keep it that way. The people of Massachusetts didn’t fall for it. Neither should the legislature.

        Have you tried modifying, repairing, or diagnosing a product but bumped into encryption, a password requirement, or some other technological roadblock that got in the way? EFF wants your stories to help us fight for your right to get around those obstacles.Section 1201 of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA)…

    • Monopolies

      • Patents

        • Software Patents

          • Tell Trump’s Patent Office Director: Don’t Make Permanent Rule Changes Now

            In the final days of the administration, Andre Iancu, President Trump’s Director of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, is trying to push through permanent rule changes that would destroy the post-grant review system. Iancu is going all out to weaken “inter partes review” proceedings (or IPRs), which are the most effective mechanisms we have for getting the Patent Office to cancel patents it never should have granted in the first place. If these rules are adopted, the weakened IPR system will become a bonanza for patent trolls—and stay that way into the next administration. 

            We spoke out earlier this year about how the Patent Office was undermining the IPR process through bogus rules the Patent and Trial Appeal Board (PTAB) pushed through last year. Now, the Director is seeking to make these rules even more powerful and permanent. Now, we need EFF supporters to help us stop these dangerous changes. 

          • Longhorn HD patent determined to be likely invalid — Unified Patents

            On November 12, 2020, the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) instituted trial on all challenged claims in an IPR filed by Unified against U.S. Patent 7,260,846, owned and asserted by Longhorn HD LLC, an NPE. The ’846 patent is directed to cybersecurity techniques including detecting malicious network behavior and was previously owned by Intellectual Ventures, a well-known NPE. It had been asserted against Fortinet, Juniper Networks, and Check Point, but new assertions include NetScout Systems, Mitel Software, and Trend Micro.

      • Copyrights

        • Swiss Police & Europol Shut Down Pirate IPTV Service in First-of-a Kind Action

          Following a criminal complaint filed by Canal+ and anti-piracy company NAGRA, an IPTV provider distributing more than 84,000 TV shows and movies has been shut down by local police with assistance from Europol. The main domain of KBoxServ now displays a seizure notice. The action is said to be the first of its kind in Switzerland.

        • Happy Birthday To Us, TorrentFreak Turns 15

          On November 12, 2005, the first article appeared on TorrentFreak. Since then we have published 12,775 more, covering copyright news and piracy developments from all angles. It’s been a great ride so far, and we’re not done yet.

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