12.08.20

Gemini version available ♊︎

Links 8/12/2020: HP Preloading GNU/Linux, GNU Bash 5.1, CentOS Stream in Focus, Endless OS 3.9.1, fwupd 1.5.3

Posted in News Roundup at 6:09 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Desktop/Laptop

      • HP To Begin Preloading Ubuntu 20.04 On Select Laptops Paired With Data Science Stack

        HP today announced a new Ubuntu Linux offering for select mobile workstations and notebooks in the form of the “Z by HP Data Science Software” package. This isn’t just pre-loading the Ubuntu 20.04 LTS OEM version on the notebook but calling it a day, rather it’s been pre-loaded as well with a variety of data science software packages.

        Z by HP Data Science Software pre-installs a variety of data science libraries, developer tools, Docker container support, and other extras atop the Ubuntu 20.04 desktop. Some of the pre-installed offerings with “Z by HP Data Science Software” include NVIDIA’s RAPIDS and CUDA components pre-installed along with the proprietary driver and common machine learning libraries like TensorFlow, Keras, PyTorch, and more.

      • HP reveals Linux laptops tailored for data scientists

        HP has announced a new software bundle tailored for data analysts and scientists for some of its workstations and notebooks that run Ubuntu Linux 20.04.

        The Z by HP Data Science Software preload is a collection of popular data science tools that’ll be rolled out on select HP ZBook Studio G7 Mobile Workstations and HP ZBook Create G7 Notebook PCs.

        These machines are designed for data scientists and have the necessary computing resources that are required to power the new software preload for machine learning, deep learning, and data science workloads.

      • Case Study: Success of Pardus GNU/Linux Migration

        Eyüpsultan Municipality decided to use an open source operating system in desktop computers in 2015.

        The most important goal of the project was to ensure information security and reduce foreign dependency.

        As a result of the research and analyzes prepared, a detailed migration plan was prepared.

        As a first step, licensed office software installed on all computers has been removed. Libreoffice software was installed instead.

        Later, Libreoffice training was given to the municipal staff.

    • Audiocasts/Shows

    • Kernel Space

      • Linux 5.9.13

        I’m announcing the release of the 5.9.13 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 5.4.82
      • Linux 4.19.162
      • Linux 4.14.211
      • Qualcomm Adreno MSM Driver For Linux 5.11 Has Many Improvements – Phoronix

        The set of MSM DRM driver improvements have now been submitted to DRM-Next that are targeting the Linux 5.11 merge window for enhancing the Qualcomm Adreno mainline kernel graphics driver support.

      • The 10 Most Interesting Features Of Linux 5.10 – Phoronix

        With the Linux 5.10 kernel expected to be released this weekend, here is a look at some of the most interesting changes and new additions. Besides being the last kernel release of 2020, Linux 5.10 is significant in that it’s also serving as a Long Term Support (LTS) release.

        After the Linux 5.10 merge window closed in October we published our Linux 5.10 feature overview. But for those short on time or just wanting a quick refresher about this upcoming kernel release, here is a look at the Linux 5.10 material I find most interesting rather than being an exhaustive list.

      • NVMe “Simple Copy” Offloaded Copy Support Being Prepared For The Linux Kernel – Phoronix

        One of the NVMe specification additions that was ratified this year is the “simple copy” command that allows for copying multiple contiguous ranges to a single destination. That simple copy operation is offloaded to the SSD controller. The Linux kernel support for NVMe simple copy is now being prepared.

        Simple copy allows offloading the copy operations from multiple source LBAs to a single destination LBA. This copy offloading operation is akin to SCSI Extended Copy “XCOPY” but much simpler. Data movement is handled solely by the SSD controller and this extension was designed with the NVMe Zoned Namespaces (ZNS) support in mind.

      • Graphics Stack

        • Vulkan 1.2.164 Released With Valve’s Extension For Helping Direct3D 12 Implementation – Phoronix

          Vulkan 1.2.164 is out today with the usual assortment of documentation fixes/clarifications plus two new extensions.

        • Mike Blumenkrantz: Subtle Movements

          Looking at the second item in the above list, there’s a vague sense of discomfort that anyone working deeply with shader images will recognize.

          Yes, I’m talking about the COHERENT qualifier.

          For anyone interested in a deeper reading into this GLSL debacle, check out this stackoverflow thread.

          TL;DR, COHERENT is supposed to ensure that buffer/image access across shader stages is synchronized, also known as coherency in this context. But then also due to GL spec wording it can simultaneously mean absolutely nothing, sort of like compiler warnings, so this is an area that generally one should avoid thinking about or delving into.

          Naturally, zink is delving deep into this. And of course, Vulkan makes everything better, so this issue is 100% not an issue anymore, and everything is great.

          Just kidding.

    • Applications

      • RedNotebook 2.21 Released, How to Install in Ubuntu 20.10

        RedNotebook, modern desktop diary and personal journal software, released version 2.21 today.

        RedNotebook 2.21 features updated MathJax to version 3, resulting in much faster rendering / preview times; The release also fixed date references in CEF-based HtmlView.

      • Top 10 Collaboration Software

        If you are looking for productive outcomes then relying on just personal chat applications available at the workplace is not enough. Instead, use the best collaboration software to collaborate and monitor all the work updates.

        Below we have listed the best collaboration software to meet the internal communication needs of different businesses.

      • OpenRGB – An Open Source RGB Lighting Control App for Linux

        OpenRGB, formerly OpenAuraSDK, is a free open-source RGB lighting control that doesn’t depend on manufacturer software.

        OpenRGB supports ASUS, ASRock, Corsair, G.Skill, Gigabyte, HyperX, MSI, Razer, ThermalTake, and more (See supported devices).

        While every manufacturer has their own app, proprietary and Windows-only, some even require online accounts, OpenRGB aims to control all of your RGB devices from a single app, on both Windows and Linux.

      • Richard Hughes: fwupd 1.5.3

        Today we released fwupd 1.5.3 which has the usual smattering of fixes and enhancements you’d expect. One notable fix is that we now allow setting the GMainContext when used for sync methods, as some people reported problems with the way we implemented the sync libfwupd methods in previous 1.5.x releases. We’re now defaulting to the default thread context allowing the app to override if required, which seems to fix a lot of problems.

        We’ve also merged some support code to support PS/2 devices. This included adding the device firmware ID for serio class hardware. In general I’m happy to help vendors with patches that affect the core parts of fwupd (e.g. things inside ./libfwupdplugin or ./src) but plugins themselves should now either be written by the IHV or by a consulting company employed by the IHV, ODM or OEM. There are now dozens of companies adding support for new hardware all at the same time and although I’m happy to review code, I still can’t write it all :) There are lots of consulting companies to choose from now.

      • The 10 Best Open Source Clipboard Managers for Linux

        Clipboard managers for your Linux system can boost up your productivity to a large extent. We all know how important the copy-paste feature in modern computing. It saves us a lot of time, and we don’t have to remember long commands in Linux. But sometimes, the default copy-paste feature is not enough, especially for the advanced users.

        This is when the custom clipboard managers come into play. They can store several text and image snippets in the clipboard. You can easily manage your clipboard, such as adding and deleting entries. Some tools even give you more features like syncing with the cloud and sharing them online with friends. The most important fact is that these are tiny tools that don’t even require much computing resources to run.

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • How to add a replication rule to an S3 bucket
      • Red Hat build of Node.js 14 brings diagnostic reporting, metering, and more
      • How to Deploy MySQL on Kubernetes
      • How to Enable Dark Mode in VLC Video Player on Linux
      • Transfer Files Between Any Devices Using Piping Server – OSTechNix
      • How To Install ELK Stack on Debian 10
      • How To Install HAProxy on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS
      • date command in Linux with Examples
      • How to create MySQL admin user (superuser) account
      • Hako: Stupidly simple DIY web archiving tool

        I can’t code to save my life, but that doesn’t stop me from trying. My latest creation is a case in point. Since stuff tends to disappear unceremoniously from the Web, I usually save local copies of interesting articles. Up until recently, I used the SingleFile Firefox add-on for that, but the process involved too many manual steps for my liking. After several failed attempts to make Archivebox work, I decided to roll out my own tool based on monolith. It’s a simple command-line utility that saves complete web pages as single HTML files. It took me a few hours to cobble together a crude but usable tool that I named Hako (it means box in Japanese, and it sounds a bit like hacky, which I find somewhat appropriate).

        Here’s how Hako works. To archive the currently opened web page, select the title and click on the Hako bookmarklet. This sends the URL and the title of the page to the Hako PHP page that passes the received values to monolith. The latter then saves the page using the title as its file name. The very same page also shows a list of all archived pages. So it also acts as a no-frills read-it-later tool. That’s all there is to it, really.

      • Find Jenkins Home and change the JENKINS_HOME directory location – Coffee Talk: Java, News, Stories and Opinions

        When Jenkins runs, it stuffs all of its logs, cloned repos, plugin configurations and build artifacts into the Jenkins Home folder. Basically, every ounce of configuration that exists for your Jenkins installation is contained in the Jenkins Home directory. The Jenkins Home folder represents the heart and soul of your CI/CD instance.

      • How To Install Steam on Debian 10 – idroot

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to install Steam on Debian 10. For those of you who didn’t know, Steam is a digital distribution platform for video games. As Amazon Kindle is a digital distribution platform for e-Books, iTunes for music, similarly Steam is for games. It provides you the option to buy and install games, plays multiplayer, and stays in touch with other games via social networking on its platform. The games are protected with DRM. Recently, over 4500 games are available through Steam, and 125 million active users are registered with the Steam platform.

        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 Steam on a Debian 10 (Buster).

      • How to install OSU! lazer on a Chromebook

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

      • How to deploy a Jupyter Notebook for interactive Python development

        A Jupyter Notebook serves as an interactive computing environment for developers to author notebook documents which contain live Python 3 code, interactive widgets, plots, narrative text, equations, images, video, and much more. Think of this as a digital scrapbook for your development project, one that also allows you to run your Python 3 code from within a web browser.

      • Install and Configure StrongSwan VPN on Ubuntu 20.04

        A virtual private network is used to create a private network from a public internet connection to protect your identity. VPN uses an encrypted tunnel to send and receive the data securely.

        strongSwan is one of the most famous VPN software that supports different operating systems including, Linux, OS X, FreeBSD, Windows, Android, and iOS. It uses IKEv1 and IKEv2 protocol for secure connection establishment. You can extend its functionality with built-in plugins.

      • How to Install CDH and Configure Service Placements on CentOS/RHEL 7 – Part 4

        In this article, you will learn how to install and configure CDH (Cloudera Distribution Hadoop) in RHEL/CentOS 7.

      • How to Check PHP Version (Apache/Nginx/CLI) – TecAdmin

        PHP (Hypertext Preprocessor) is an popular programming language generally used for the web development. It was originally developed by the Danish-Canadian programmer Rasmus Lerdorf in year 1994. It can be used either via the command line or used with the popular web servers like Apache or Nginx. Apache has PHP module to directly run php files but Nginx required PHP-FPM package to work with PHP files.

        This tutorial will help you to check PHP version installed on your system. Also what is the active version of PHP on command line as well as the check PHP version used by Apache or Nginx. As we can install multiple php versions on single system, it can be the there are different version’s active on CLI and Web servers.

    • Games

      • YouTube Becomes Premier Sponsor of the OBS Project

        We’re excited to announce that YouTube has become a premier sponsor of the OBS Project! Since the earliest days of the program, a large number of our users have used OBS to create video content specifically for YouTube, whether live-streamed or recorded for post-production. We’re incredibly humbled to have YouTube, the largest content creation platform on the internet, as one of our sponsors.

      • OBS Studio has managed to pull in YouTube as a new sponsor | GamingOnLinux

        Seems that Blender and Godot Engine aren’t the only open source projects pulling in wide support, as OBS Studio has announced a new funding partner.

        Announced yesterday, December 7, the blog post mentions that YouTube are now their newest Premier Sponsor which is the highest possible level to support OBS Studio. So they now join Twitch and Facebook by giving at least $50,000 in funding over a year. It’s not clear how much because the level below Premier at Diamond as the $50K minimum on it so it seems they’re doing quite well.

      • Steam Play Proton 5.13-3 rolls out restoring controller hotplugging

        Valve and CodeWeavers have rolled out another smaller update to the Steam Play Proton compatibility layer.

        Continuing to clean up the issues left from the big 5.13 release that now uses the newer container runtime, Proton 5.13-3 brings with it (hopefully) fixed controller hotplugging. Something I am sure many users will appreciate as that can be a nuisance when it doesn’t work needing you to restart games.

      • You can now build a theme park online with others in Parkitect | GamingOnLinux

        After being out for two years, Texel Raptor have now added online multiplayer to the theme park builder Parkitect. Not exactly a small feature for such a game, and it’s a free update for everyone too.

        You can team up with 7 people so there’s a max of 8 players total, all working on the same park where you get to see exactly what everyone is doing. This is true for sandbox park and campaign scenarios too, and most mods should be compatible with multiplayer too. DLCs are supported too but people will need to own the DLC to play with you.

      • The Long Dark has a big new Survival Mode update out now with a new region | GamingOnLinux

        The Long Dark is probably one of the most beautiful survival games, and quite brutal too. Ready to get cold again? A big new update to the Survival Mode is out now.

        Gameplay in The Long Dark is split between playing through the episodic story (with Episode 4 due in 2021) and the open-world Survival Mode where you do whatever the heck you want. This latest free expansion named Hesitant Prospect adds in the Ash Canyon region where you “might find an abandoned mine that hides treasures worth more than gold to any survivor” but to get there you have to cross some worn out looking rope-bridges — eek!

      • Crumble might be the best 3D platformer I’ve played in ages with swinging physics fun | GamingOnLinux

        Crumble from BRUTE FORCE is a fast-paced 3D physics platformer, one that released with Linux support on December 4 and it’s pretty awesome.

      • Firaxis reveal the upcoming Civilization VI free December update | GamingOnLinux

        Pulling in some much requested features by users, the upcoming free December update for Civilization VI sounds like it’s going to be quite nice. This might not be as big as some of the previous updates but still some very useful additions coming.

        One major addition is the City State Picker, allowing you to go that little bit further with your game customization by letting you hand pick what City States you want to be in your game. You can switch between the default random, or sort your own custom list.

        There’s also going to be the usual assorted balancing changes, with Firaxis mentioning a “significant” balancing pass on social policies and the tech and civic boosts. In addition they’ve done a few AI tweaks like them not making so many demands if you’re clearly stronger than them or if they’re doing badly in a war, plus there’s finally a Stop Asking button if a particular civ is pestering you.

      • A new Steam Client update has rolled out with PS5 Controller support and Linux fixes | GamingOnLinux

        Valve have pushed out the latest updates for the Steam Client to everyone, and this update is a little on the exciting side with new hardware.

        When it comes to new controllers being released, Valve seem to act pretty quickly on getting it all hooked up with Steam Input. As of this Steam Client release, you should find that the Sony DualSense (PlayStation 5 controller) should now work including trackpad, gyro, lightbar, and rumble functionality with any games that support Steam Input. Valve also added in a directional swipe mode for trackpads and gyro, better support for games that use raw input and some bug fixes.

      • Rogue-lite dungeon crawler Tallowmere 2 is over the top and ridiculously fun | GamingOnLinux

        Tallowmere 2 could easily be a contender for my own personal Early Access GOTY as developer Chris McFarland has managed to craft an absolutely brilliant game here. Note: personal purchase.

        You’ve played action platformers before, you’ve done plenty of dungeon crawling and seen many rougelikes and rogue-lites but Tallowmere 2: Curse of the Kittens is a whole new breed of nuts that also adds in some bullet hell blended with melee combat and magic. You are a cat, sort-of anyway and you’re tasked with a ritual of finding Lady Tallowmere’s kittens spread throughout the world. The whole setup is just completely crazy but it works so well thanks to the the loot, the action and all the fancy effects that happen.

      • Windows vs. Mac vs. Linux: What’s the Best OS for Gaming?

        Linux boasts different operating systems, all based on the Linux kernel. We don’t recommend it for beginners, due to its complexity and lack of compatibility software. But if you’re a tech enthusiast, you’ll enjoy Linux’s powerful features and flexibility.

        With regard to gaming, Linux lacks quality due to how niche it still is. The distro you choose makes a different too, with SteamOS obviously handling games better than distros not optimized for gaming.

        There’s been a ton of improvements though and you can still enjoy your gaming sessions with Linux. Let’s take a closer look at its pros and cons.

        Game Selection

        Linux has come a long way in terms of gaming compatibility. Steam boasts more than 4,000 Linux-compatible games at the moment. Prior to wider Steam support, Linux users had to rely on Wine for their gaming sessions. This software allows you to run a Windows program in Linux. Otherwise, you’d have to wait for the launch of Linux games, which arrived infrequently.

        Proton was also launched as a compatibility layer for Microsoft Windows games. This software is bundled with Steam and allows you to run almost any Steam games in Linux. Aside from Steam, you have other alternatives.

      • Skater XL on Linux | Ubuntu 20.04 | Steam Play – YouTube

        Skater XL running through Steam Play on Linux.

      • Proton 5.13-3 Released For Powering Steam Play With DXVK 1.7.3 + Fixes – Phoronix

        Proton 5.13-3 is out today as the latest version of this Wine downstream that powers Valve’s Steam Play for running Windows games rather well on Linux.

        Most notable with the Proton update is pulling in DXVK 1.7.3 that released last week with many different game fixes and other improvements.

      • Wolfenstein – Blade of Agony Chapter 3 gets a teaser, overhauled Chapter 1 & 2 coming | GamingOnLinux

        The very popular story-driven FPS powered by GZDoom, Wolfenstein – Blade of Agony, will be getting a third chapter in early 2021. Not only that, the first two chapters will be getting a complete overhaul too that will bring them up to scratch with the next part.

      • Google’s game streaming service Stadia arrives in more countries | GamingOnLinux

        Ahead of the Cyberpunk 2077 release, Google has expanded the list of supported countries for their game streaming service called Stadia.

        In the blog post update from Samuel Peterson who is the “Head of EMEA Business Development” at Stadia, they confirmed these newly supported countries: Austria, Czechia, Hungary, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia and Switzerland. If you already have a Google and/or Gmail account – you’re good to go. It may take up to 24 hours for it to all roll out fully though.

      • Godot Engine – Announcing the new showcase for projects made with Godot

        We are proud to announce the official Godot showcase is making a return after 3 years of absence! The new showcase focuses on high-quality, published projects but also features a few projects that had successful crowdfunding campaigns.

        We’re thrilled to be able to finally showcase the most amazing projects from the Godot community on our website. Thanks to all the developers involved for letting us use their work to promote the engine.

        Despite being a by-product of Godot’s development, application design has become a notable target for developers. Due to this, this showcase features not only games, but also features several applications made with Godot.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • First beta of Krita 4.4.2

          The Krita team is releasing the first beta of Krita 4.4.2. With over 300 changes, this is mainly a bugfix release, though some key new features, too!

          Note: this release also includes a possible for an issue where sometimes modifier shortcut keys stopped working. This fix has not yet been confirmed by the reporters, so please help us by testing this release thoroughly!

      • GNOME Desktop/GTK

        • Georges Basile Stavracas Neto: Switching to PipeWire

          I just realized that, once again, I’ve spent half of a year without publishing. Oh no! To me, the frequency of blogging is an indicator of the work/life balance – if I have time to blog, that’s good and healthy. The past months have indeed been intense, and in addition to that, I’ve been burning my writing energy with the Mutter & Shell blog ยน.

          Anyway.

          A couple of months ago, I wanted to have another look at PipeWire, and how it was progressing. My primary contact with PipeWire comes from screensharing code, such as Mutter and obs-xdg-portal. At this point, nothing except a couple of isolated tests with PipeWire’s JACK replacement libraries were made. Nothing serious. Nonetheless, I’ve been cheering from the sideways that the day I could routinely use JACK through PipeWire would come.

    • Distributions

      • Snap vs Flatpak vs AppImage: Know The Differences | Which is Better

        Every Linux distribution has its own package manager tool or command-line based repository system to update, install, remove, and manage packages on the system. Despite having a native package manager, sometimes you may need to use a third-party package manager on your Linux system to get the latest version of a package to avoid repository errors and server errors. In the entire post, we have seen the comparison between Snap, AppImage, and Flatpak.

        Snap, Flatpak, and AppImage; all have their pros and cons. In my opinion, I will always prefer the Flatpak package manager in the first place. If I can’t find any packages on Flatpak, then I’ll go for the AppImage. And finally, Snap is an excellent store of applications, but it still requires some development. I would go to the Snap store for proprietary or semi-proprietary applications than main applications.

        Please share it with your friends and the Linux community if you find this post useful and informative. Let us know which package manager do you prefer to use on your Linux system. You can write also write down your opinions regarding this post in the comment section.

      • Reviews

        • AntiX Linux: Not Pretty but Highly Functional

          The antiX distro offers a solid operating system that many other Linux communities fail to deliver. It is unassuming, but reliable, and focuses on performance rather than prettiness.

          That last element goes a long way to giving users distraction-free computing power. That does not mean antiX is not appealing visually. This distro has a no-nonsense appearance.

          Instead of lighting up the background and displaying decorative themes, it provides a plain, mostly dark view that lets you concentrate on the computing tasks at hand. Within this bland screen setting is an array of outstanding Linux applications and computing tools.

          Another great design feature is antiX’s ability to make older hardware vibrant and useful again. This handy and innovative approach keeps aging computers fast and active. It is also an energy infuser for new computers.

          I started playing around with antiX when looking for something different to keep some older computers out of the trash heap. AntiX runs the extremely lightweight IceWM desktop environment by default. Two other versions are available running either fluxbox or jwm.

          Do not confuse antiX Linux with Artix Linux, however. These are two totally different products that have little in common.

      • New Releases

        • Endless OS 3.9.1 Arrives With Updated Hardware Support And More

          After a month of development, Andre Magalhaes has announced the release of a new stable version 3.9.1 of Linux-based Endless OS. Let’s see what Endless OS 3.9.1 has to offer:

          Starting with the issues reported in the previous version 3.9.0 release, which the latest version 3.9.1 has now resolved. For instance, it has added a few changes to the Linux kernel to fix keyboard support on some Asus laptops and fixes for calendar/notifications menu, which failed to show when its size was too big for the screen.

      • Screenshots/Screencasts

      • SUSE/OpenSUSE

        • Advancing openSUSE Images for The PinePhone

          Awareness grew after a post in an online forum appeared in June about openSUSE images for the PinePhone, which is a smartphone developed by Pine64 that allows user to have full control over their device and run mainline Linux.

          “I am working on porting openSUSE for PinePhone,” the post began. “I am working on some improvements porting all packages to openSUSE. I am working with Open Build Service, so soon we will have news about it.”

          Replies to the post began to fill the page and word spread. At the moment the animation of the logo became visible on the PinePhone screen, pictures were taken, posted to social media and comments began to spread on Twitter.

      • Slackware Family

        • Today, Plasma5 replaces KDE4 in Slackware

          Finally. It’s the major step towards a first Beta release of Slackware 15.0!

          Pat used this past weekend to merge the ‘vtown’ packages in the Slackware-current testing area into the core distro. The result is a ChangeLog.txt entry that is 680 lines long… lots of package removals due to KDE4 having been replaced with Plasma5.

        • Big Merge Updates

          This is the day!!! This is the Big Merge ™ day of Plasma 5 and newer XFCE from /testing into main branch. This is also the day of Qt4 and ConsoleKit2 removal from Slackware since it has been replaced by Qt5 and elogind. It took time for Patrick to push all these changes but finally all is in the main tree now and it’s time to polish this tree for best release ever of Slackware 15.0.

          Since there are a lot of changes (new, removed, upgraded, rebuilt) entries in the changelog, pay attention in the new and removed parts since you don’t want to miss them.

        • Early Preview Cinnamon 4.8

          After the big merge ™ event, i respun two new fresh VM based on latest update on -current and rebuilt all packages for MATE and Cinnamon to see whether there’s a breakage or not and it turns out it works very well for MATE. You can use the same script to rebuilt all the packages if it’s broken due to the big update.

          As for Cinnamon, i’m using this good chance to push the updates for Cinnamon 4.8.x that has been pushed by upstream developers. I had prepared for this launch when vtown was introduced few weeks ago, but i’m stuck at elogind that didn’t get pushed to main tree since it’s one of the main dependency for Cinnamon packages besides other things. I’m really glad that it was finally pushed and i can push my changes for Cinnamon 4.8 and provide early preview for Cinnamon 4.8 for Slackware-Current users.

      • Arch Family

        • 9 Best Arch Based Distros with GUI for 2021

          Arch Linux is a lightweight and highly customized Linux distribution meant for Advance users, where on the one hand, beginners, those who want an easy-to-use Linux OS, generally, opt for Linux Mint or Ubuntu.

          It is because people thought it is tough to operate Arch because of the command line, and yes that is true. But there are some good Arch-based Linux Distros available with a graphical user to interface out of the box such as Manjaro.

          Even the users don’t need to create partitions and other settings via command line that can also be done using a GUI based installation wizard. The story doesn’t end here like Ubuntu, the graphical package manager to install various software from the official repo, AUR, SNAP, and Flatpack are also there, especially when I talk about Manjaro.

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • CentOS Linux 8 will end in 2021 and shifts focus to CentOS Stream – nixCraft

          CentOS is an acronym for Community Enterprise Operating System, and it is a 100% rebuild of RHEL (Red Hat Enterprise Linux). While RHEL costs money, CentOS offered as a free community-supported enterprise Linux distro. Developers and companies who are good at Linux and don’t want to pay RHEL support fees always selected CentOS to save money and get enterprise-class software. However, the free ride is over. Red Hat announced that CentOS Linux 8, as a rebuild of RHEL 8, will end at 2021. CentOS Stream continues after that date, serving as the upstream (development) branch of Red Hat Enterprise Linux.

        • CentOS Linux 8.3 Released

          CentOS Linux 8.3 has been released. CentOS Linux 8.3 is based on Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8.3.

          Announcement from the CentOS…

        • CentOS Linux 8.3 Released, Based on Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8.3

          Six months in the works, CentOS Linux 8.3 is derived from the source code of Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8.3, which means that it inherits most of its improvements, new features, bug fixes, and security updates.

          Among these, there’s a new layer of security configurations, improved consistency and repeatability when configuring disk encryption and logging, as well as improved configuration of corporate networks and renewing of security certificates.

        • CentOS 8 Ending Next Year To Focus Shift On CentOS Stream

          Well here is a surprise for those that have long used CentOS as the community-supported rebuild of Red Hat Enterprise Linux… CentOS 8 will end in 2021 and moving forward CentOS 7 will remain supported until the end of its lifecycle but CentOS Stream will be the focus as the future upstream of RHEL.

          For those relying on CentOS 8 to enjoy the reliability and features of Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8 but without the licensing costs, etc, that will end in 2021. At the end of 2021, CentOS 8 will no longer be maintained but CentOS 7 will stick around in a supported maintenance state until 2024.

        • CentOS Project shifts focus to CentOS Stream

          The future of the CentOS Project is CentOS Stream, and over the next year we’ll be shifting focus from CentOS Linux, the rebuild of Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL), to CentOS Stream, which tracks just ahead of a current RHEL release. CentOS Linux 8, as a rebuild of RHEL 8, will end at the end of 2021. CentOS Stream continues after that date, serving as the upstream (development) branch of Red Hat Enterprise Linux.

          Meanwhile, we understand many of you are deeply invested in CentOS Linux 7, and we’ll continue to produce that version through the remainder of the RHEL 7 life cycle.

          CentOS Stream will also be the centerpiece of a major shift in collaboration among the CentOS Special Interest Groups (SIGs). This ensures SIGs are developing and testing against what becomes the next version of RHEL. This also provides SIGs a clear single goal, rather than having to build and test for two releases. It gives the CentOS contributor community a great deal of influence in the future of RHEL. And it removes confusion around what “CentOS” means in the Linux distribution ecosystem.

        • CentOS is dead, long live CentOS Stream
        • CentOS Stream: Building an innovative future for enterprise Linux

          In September 2019, we announced CentOS Stream, an upstream development platform designed for CentOS community members, Red Hat partners, ecosystem developers, and many other groups to more quickly and easily see what’s coming next in Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) and to help shape the product. Since its introduction, we’ve seen great enthusiasm from partners and contributors around CentOS Stream and the continuous stream of innovation that the project provides. Given this, we’ve informed the CentOS Project Governing Board that we are shifting our investment fully from CentOS Linux to CentOS Stream.

          Before we jump into details, it’s worth sharing examples where we’ve seen our ecosystem embrace CentOS Stream as a “rolling preview” of what’s next in RHEL, both in terms of kernels and features. Facebook runs millions of servers supporting its vast global social network, all of which have been migrated (or are migrating) to an operating system they derive from CentOS Stream. While Facebook continues to drive internal innovation on CentOS Stream, the company has recognized the value in collaborating within the Red Hat ecosystem to further push their platform’s capabilities.

        • FAQ: CentOS Stream Updates

          Following up on our September 2019 announcement of the creation of CentOS Stream, we are now announcing that our sponsorship of CentOS Linux will be changing in December 2021. We have worked with the CentOS Project Governing Board as part of this change.

          CentOS Stream is an upstream development platform designed for CentOS community members, Red Hat partners, ecosystem developers, and many other groups to more quickly and easily see what’s coming in the next version of Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) and to help shape these capabilities. Since its introduction in 2019, we’ve seen great enthusiasm from partners and contributors around CentOS Stream and the continuous stream of innovation that the project provides.

        • Migrating CentOS 8 to CentOS Stream 8

          CentOS Project announced today an end to a classic CentOS Linux as you know it, ending an era of CentOS as a RHEL rebuild. CentOS 8 will continue as a Stream version that you should upgrade to before the end of 2021. Here’s how.

          First, if you missed it, here is the announcement by CentOS Project. And here is some more on how CentOS Stream will become the upstream of Red Hat Enterprise Linux.

          That means that if you are on CentOS 8 sooner or later, you should switch over to CentOS Stream 8, which should provide roughly the same system (there might be issues with EPEL packages, as I understand it).

        • CentOS Linux 8 Ends in 2021 Replacing CentOS Stream

          The CentOS Project announced that CentOS Linux 8 would be the last free CentOS Linux and ends in 2021. And the replacement would be the CentOS Stream.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • Ubuntu 16.04 LTS upgrade vs extended security maintenance | Ubuntu

          Ubuntu 16.04 LTS Xenial Xerus is transitioning from its five-year standard security maintenance window in four months, leaving many asking the question: can I manage an Ubuntu 16.04 LTS upgrade by April 2021, or do I need more time to plan this migration?

          In the Less than 6 months to Ubuntu 16.04 ESM: 6 things to prepare blog post, I provide a guide to start thinking of your whole stack and multi or hybrid cloud infrastructure estate when answering this question – from the Linux kernel up to your open source applications, and from OpenStack to containers to the public cloud. When creating your plan, it is important to identify the risks and associated costs, as is recommended with any major upgrade.

          Outlined below are two major risks to incorporate into a migration plan, which will be unpacked with more detail in our upcoming webinar, Ubuntu 16.04 LTS moving to Extended Security Maintenance: Six considerations, with Ubuntu Server Engineering Manager, Rick Harding.

        • 9 must-do tips to secure Ubuntu Server – TechRepublic

          In today’s world, if you’re not constantly working to secure your servers, you’re already 10 steps behind every hacker on the planet. And if you happen to be a Linux systems administrator, you might think it doesn’t apply to you.

          It does.

          Even though the Linux open source platform is considerably more secure than many other operating systems, there are still things you must do to harden those deployments. If you ignore these tasks, it’s not a matter of if but when your machines will be compromised.

        • Ubuntu Fridge | Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter Issue 660

          Welcome to the Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter, Issue 660 for the week of November 29 – December 5, 2020. The full version of this issue is available here.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • Collaborate on text with Etherpad, an open source alternative to Google Docs

        Sometimes you just have to edit text on the cloud. Maybe you’re using a computer you don’t own to work on a document you want to keep. Maybe you need to collaborate with other people on a shared document. Or maybe your primary computing interface is a web browser, and you have no interest in using local applications or local storage.

        For many reasons, it’s pretty common these days to use the network as your computer, and it’s always important to have open source tools for your work. For several years now, I’ve been a happy Nextcloud user—and a serious user of its default text editor, but it is not a public platform by design. So for collaboration with friends and colleagues, I use Etherpad.

      • Best Free and Open Source IaaS Software

        Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) is a service model where an organization outsources the equipment used to support storage, hardware, servers and networking components. In other words, IaaS offers access to computer resource in a virtualised environment, known as the Cloud, across a public connection. With IaaS individuals can rent cloud infrastructure, server storage and networking on demand.

        IaaS is one of the fundamental service models of cloud computing. The other service models include Platform as a Service (PaaS) and Software as a Service (SaaS). We examined the finest open source PaaS software in the following article: PaaS Software.

      • Google’s Fuchsia Open-Source OS To Begin Accepting Community Contributions
      • Expanding Fuchsia’s open source model

        Fuchsia is a long-term project to create a general-purpose, open source operating system, and today we are expanding Fuchsia’s open source model to welcome contributions from the public.

        Fuchsia is designed to prioritize security, updatability, and performance, and is currently under active development by the Fuchsia team. We have been developing Fuchsia in the open, in our git repository for the last four years. You can browse the repository history at https://fuchsia.googlesource.com to see how Fuchsia has evolved over time. We are laying this foundation from the kernel up to make it easier to create long-lasting, secure products and experiences.

        Starting today, we are expanding Fuchsia’s open source model to make it easier for the public to engage with the project. We have created new public mailing lists for project discussions, added a governance model to clarify how strategic decisions are made, and opened up the issue tracker for public contributors to see what’s being worked on. As an open source effort, we welcome high-quality, well-tested contributions from all. There is now a process to become a member to submit patches, or a committer with full write access.

      • Web Browsers

        • Mozilla

          • Guest Blog Post: Good First Steps to Find Security Bugs in Fenix (Part 1) – Attack & Defense

            Fenix is a newly designed Firefox for Android that officially launched in August 2020. In Fenix, many components required to run as an Android app have been rebuilt from scratch, and various new features are being implemented as well. While they are re-implementing features, security bugs fixed in the past may be introduced again. If you care about the open web and you want to participate in the Client Bug Bounty Program of Mozilla, Fenix is a good target to start with.

            Let’s take a look at two bugs I found in the firefox: scheme that is supported by Fenix.

          • 2019-2020 State of Mozilla
          • State of Mozilla 2019-2020: Annual Impact Report – The Mozilla Blog

            2020 has been a year like few others with the internet’s value and necessity front and center. The State of Mozilla for 2019-2020 makes clear that Mozilla’s mission and role in the world is more important than ever. Dive into the full report by clicking on the image below.

      • CMS

        • 10 Best WordPress Notification Bar Plugins

          A notification/floating bar is an effective way to alert users about important information such as sales, coupons, privacy policies, and these days, COVID-19 updates. The nicest ones are simple and non-intrusive as they take up just about 30px in height.

          When it comes to notification bar plugins, however, the market is filled with a lot of them. Not all of them allow you to customize your message depending on the section they’re displayed in or allow you to make use of dynamic elements such as call-to-action buttons, countdown timers, and animation effects.

      • FSFE

        • German Corona tracing app available without Google services [Ed: FSFE: Google and Microsoft sponsor us, so we’re OK with state surveillance disguised as “safety” and “health”]

          A handful of Free Software developers today achieved what official bodies have been missing for months: They have made available the German Corona Warn App for tracing Covid-19 risk contacts in a version that is completely free of dependencies on Google and available in F-Droid, the Free Software app store.

          Already in April this year, the FSFE formulated two fundamental requirements for so-called Corona apps. First, there must be no obligation to use them, and second, they must be available as Free Software. At first glance, the German Corona Warn App (CWA) published in June, meets these criteria, like many others in Europe by now. However, the exchange of device keys via Bluetooth, on the basis of which the risk is calculated, is handled by an underlying interface.

      • FSF

        • GNU Projects

          • Bash-5.1 release available
            Introduction
            ============
            
            The first public release of bash-5.1 is now available with the URLs
            
            ftp://ftp.cwru.edu/pub/bash/bash-5.1.tar.gz
            ftp://ftp.gnu.org/pub/gnu/bash/bash-5.1.tar.gz
            
            and from the master branch of the bash git repository
            (http://git.savannah.gnu.org/cgit/bash.git/log/)
            and the usual GNU mirror sites.
            
            Bash is the GNU Project's Bourne Again SHell, a complete
            implementation of the POSIX shell spec, but also with interactive
            command line editing, job control on architectures that support it,
            csh-like features such as history substitution and brace expansion,
            and a slew of other features.  For more information on the features
            of Bash that are new to this type of shell, see the file
            `doc/bashref.texi'.  There is also a large Unix-style man page.  The
            man page is the definitive description of the shell's features. 
            
            This tar file includes the formatted documentation (pdf, postscript,
            dvi, info, and html, plus nroffed versions of the manual pages). 
            
            Please use `bashbug' to report bugs with this version.  It is built
            and installed at the same time as bash.
            
            Installation
            ============
            
            Please read the README file first.
            
            Installation instructions are provided in the INSTALL file.
            
            New Features
            ============
            
            This is the fifth major release of bash.
            
            Read the file NEWS in the bash-5.1 distribution for a complete description
            of the new features.  A copy of the relevant portions is included below. 
            
            This release fixes several outstanding bugs in bash-5.0 and introduces
            several new features.  The most significant change is a return to the
            bash-4.4 behavior of not performing pathname expansion on a word that
            contains backslashes but does not contain any unquoted globbing special
            characters.  This comes after a long POSIX discussion that resulted in a
            change to the standard.  There are several changes regarding trap handling
            while reading from the terminal (e.g, for `read' and `select'.) There are a
            number of bug fixes, including several bugs that caused the shell to crash. 
            Details are appended. 
            
            The most notable new features are in the random number engine. There is a
            new variable, SRANDOM, which gets its random data from the system's entropy
            engine and so is not linear and cannot be reseeded to get an identical
            random sequence. The PROMPT_COMMANDS array variable can be used to run
            multiple commands before printing the primary prompt. Associative arrays may
            be assigned using a series of key-value pairs within a compound assignment.
            `wait' has a new `-p' option which stores PID information about the process
            reaped by `wait -n'. Process substitution is now available in posix mode.
            There are new parameter transformation operators. There is no new `compat50'
            option; use the BASH_COMPAT variable to select the compatibility level.
            All the new features are described below.
            
            The most visible new feature is in Readline: the addition of `faces', which
            highlights the text between the point and mark (the region, so this is also
            called the 'active region'). This was added to show visibly the text
            inserted by bracketed paste, and also marks the text found by incremental
            and non-incremental history searches.  Faces are currently tied to
            bracketed paste and are enabled and disabled along with bracketed paste
            mode.  Bracketed paste mode is enabled by default. 
            
            There are a few incompatible changes between bash-5.0 and bash-5.1. The
            change to pathname expansion means that words containing backslashes, but no
            special globbing characters, will not undergo pathname expansion. While
            the bash-5.0 behavior was POSIX-conformant, the change was not well-received.
            Changes to the random number engines mean that seeding RANDOM will produce
            a different numeric sequence. Set the compatibility level to 50 to revert
            to the bash-5.0 behavior.
            
            Bash can be linked against an already-installed Readline library rather
            than the private version in lib/readline if desired.  Only readline-8.1 and
            later versions are able to provide all of the symbols that bash-5.1 requires;
            earlier versions of the Readline library will not work correctly. 
            
            A complete list of changes between bash-5.0 and bash-5.1 is available in
            the file CHANGES; the complete list is too large to include in this
            message. 
            
            Readline
            ========
            
            Also available is a new release of the standalone Readline library,
            version 8.1, with its own configuration scripts and Makefiles. 
            It can be retrieved with the URLs
            
            ftp://ftp.cwru.edu/pub/bash/readline-8.1.tar.gz
            ftp://ftp.gnu.org/pub/gnu/readline/readline-8.1.tar.gz
            
            and from the master branch of the GNU readline git repository
            (http://git.savannah.gnu.org/cgit/readline.git/log/)
            and the usual GNU mirror sites.
            
            The formatted Readline documentation is included in the readline
            distribution tar file.
            
            A separate announcement listing the changes in Readline is being
            distributed.
            
            As always, thanks for your help.
            
            Chet
            
            +========== NEWS ==========+
            This is a terse description of the new features added to bash-5.1 since
            the release of bash-5.0.  As always, the manual page (doc/bash.1) is
            the place to look for complete descriptions.
            
            1. New Features in Bash
            
            a. `bind -x' now supports different bindings for different editing modes and
               keymaps.
            
            b. Bash attempts to optimize the number of times it forks when executing
               commands in subshells and from `bash -c'.
            
            c. Here documents and here strings now use pipes for the expanded document if
               it's smaller than the pipe buffer size, reverting to temporary files if it's
               larger.
            
            d. There are new loadable builtins: mktemp, accept, mkfifo, csv, cut/lcut
            
            e. In posix mode, `trap -p' now displays signals whose disposition is SIG_DFL
               and those that were SIG_IGN when the shell starts.
            
            f. The shell now expands the history number (e.g., in PS1) even if it is not
               currently saving commands to the history list.
            
            g. `read -e' may now be used with arbitrary file descriptors (`read -u N').
            
            h. The `select' builtin now runs traps if its internal call to the read builtin
               is interrupted by a signal.
            
            i. SRANDOM: a new variable that expands to a 32-bit random number that is not
               produced by an LCRNG, and uses getrandom/getentropy, falling back to
               /dev/urandom or arc4random if available. There is a fallback generator if
               none of these are available.
            
            j. shell-transpose-words: a new bindable readline command that uses the same
               definition of word as shell-forward-word, etc.
            
            k. The shell now adds default bindings for shell-forward-word,
               shell-backward-word, shell-transpose-words, and shell-kill-word.
            
            l. Bash now allows ARGV0 appearing in the initial shell environment to set $0.
            
            m. If `unset' is executed without option arguments, bash tries to unset a shell
               function if a name argument cannot be a shell variable name because it's not
               an identifier.
            
            n. The `test -N' operator uses nanosecond timestamp granularity if it's
               available.
            
            o. Bash posix mode now treats assignment statements preceding shell function
               definitions the same as in its default mode, since POSIX has changed and
               no longer requires those assignments to persist after the function returns
               (POSIX interp 654).
            
            p. BASH_REMATCH is no longer readonly.
            
            q. wait: has a new -p VARNAME option, which stores the PID returned by `wait -n'
               or `wait' without arguments.
            
            r. Sorting the results of pathname expansion now uses byte-by-byte comparisons
               if two strings collate equally to impose a total order; the result of a
               POSIX interpretation.
            
            s. Bash now allows SIGINT trap handlers to execute recursively.
            
            t. Bash now saves and restores state around setting and unsetting posix mode,
               instead of having unsetting posix mode set a known state.
            
            u. Process substitution is now available in posix mode.
            
            v. READLINE_MARK: a new variable available while executing commands bound with
               `bind -x', contains the value of the mark.
            
            w. Bash removes SIGCHLD from the set of blocked signals if it's blocked at shell
               startup.
            
            x. `test -v N' can now test whether or not positional parameter N is set.
            
            y. `local' now honors the `-p' option to display all local variables at the
                current context.
            
            z. The `@a' variable transformation now prints attributes for unset array
               variables.
            
            aa. The `@A' variable transformation now prints a declare command that sets a
                variable's attributes if the variable has attributes but is unset.
            
            bb. `declare' and `local' now have a -I option that inherits attributes and
                value from a variable with the same name at a previous scope.
            
            cc. When run from a -c command, `jobs' now reports the status of completed jobs.
            
            dd. New `U', `u', and `L' parameter transformations to convert to uppercase,
                convert first character to uppercase, and convert to lowercase,
                respectively.
            
            ee. PROMPT_COMMAND: can now be an  array variable, each element of which can
                contain a command to be executed like a string PROMPT_COMMAND variable.
            
            ff. `ulimit' has a -R option to report and set the RLIMIT_RTTIME resource.
            
            gg. Associative arrays may be assigned using a list of key-value pairs within
                a compound assignment. Compound assignments where the words are not of
                the form [key]=value are assumed to be key-value assignments. A missing or
                empty key is an error; a missing value is treated as NULL. Assignments may
                not mix the two forms.
            
            hh. New `K' parameter transformation to display associative arrays as key-
                value pairs.
            
            ii. Writing history to syslog now handles messages longer than the syslog max
                length by writing multiple messages with a sequence number.
            
            jj. SECONDS and RANDOM may now be assigned using arithmetic expressions, since
                they are nominally integer variables. LINENO is not an integer variable.
            
            kk. Bash temporarily suppresses the verbose option when running the DEBUG trap
                while running a command from the `fc' builtin.
            
            ll. `wait -n' now accepts a list of job specifications as arguments and will
                wait for the first one in the list to change state.
            
            mm. The associative array implementation can now dynamically increase the
                size of the hash table based on insertion patterns.
            
            nn. HISTFILE is now readonly in a restricted shell.
            
            oo. The bash malloc now returns memory that is 16-byte aligned on 64-bit
                systems.
            
            pp. If the hash builtin is listing hashed filenames portably, don't print
               anything if the table is empty.
            
            qq. GLOBIGNORE now ignores `.' and `..' as a terminal pathname component.
            
            rr. Bash attempts to optimize away forks in the last command in a function body
                under appropriate circumstances.
            
            ss. The globbing code now uses fnmatch(3) to check collation elements (if
                available) even in cases without multibyte characters.
            
            tt. The `fg' and `bg' builtins now return an error in a command substitution
                when asked to restart a job inherited from the parent shell.
            
            uu. The shell now attempts to unlink all FIFOs on exit, whether a consuming
                process has finished with them or not.
            
            vv. There is a new contributed loadable builtin: asort.
            
            2. New Features in Readline
            
            a. If a second consecutive completion attempt produces matches where the first
               did not, treat it as a new completion attempt and insert a match as
               appropriate.
            
            b. Bracketed paste mode works in more places: incremental search strings, vi
               overstrike mode, character search, and reading numeric arguments.
            
            c. Readline automatically switches to horizontal scrolling if the terminal has
               only one line.
            
            d. Unbinding all key sequences bound to a particular readline function now
               descends into keymaps for multi-key sequences.
            
            e. rl-clear-display: new bindable command that clears the screen and, if
               possible, the scrollback buffer (bound to emacs mode M-C-l by default).
            
            f. New active mark and face feature: when enabled, it will highlight the text
               inserted by a bracketed paste (the `active region') and the text found by
               incremental and non-incremental history searches. This is tied to bracketed
               paste and can be disabled by turning off bracketed paste.
            
            g. Readline sets the mark in several additional commands.
            
            h. Bracketed paste mode is enabled by default.
            
            i. Readline tries to take advantage of the more regular structure of UTF-8
               characters to identify the beginning and end of characters when moving
               through the line buffer.
            
            j. The bindable operate-and-get-next command (and its default bindings) are
               now part of readline instead of a bash-specific addition.
            
            k. The signal cleanup code now blocks SIGINT while processing after a SIGINT.
            
            
          • GNU Bash 5.1 Released With New “SRANDOM” Variable As A New Means Of Randomness – Phoronix

            Beyond the usual bug fixing, Readline updates, and other mostly mundane changes, one interesting addition to note with Bash 5.1 is the new SRANDOM variable. The SRANDOM variable provides random data from the system’s entropy engine and cannot be reseeded. In particular, the SRANDOM variable provides a 32-bit random number that relies upon getrandom/getentropy — with fall-backs to /dev/urandom or arc4random or even another fallback after that if necessary.

          • Bash 5.1 and Readline 8.1 released

            Bash 5.1 is out. “This release fixes several outstanding bugs in bash-5.0 and introduces several new features. The most significant change is a return to the bash-4.4 behavior of not performing pathname expansion on a word that contains backslashes but does not contain any unquoted globbing special characters. This comes after a long POSIX discussion that resulted in a change to the standard. There are several changes regarding trap handling while reading from the terminal (e.g, for `read’ and `select’.) There are a number of bug fixes, including several bugs that caused the shell to crash.”
            The readline library used in bash 5.1 has also been updated to version 8.1. “There are more improvements in the programming interface and new user-visible variables and bindable commands. There are a several new public API functions, but there should be no incompatible changes to existing APIs.”

          • Gnulib helps you avoid integer overflow vulnerabilities

            Gnulib’s intprops module has new macros INT_ADD_OK, INT_SUBTRACT_OK, and INT_MULTIPLY_OK that support portable overflow checking while doing integer arithmetic. On GNU platforms the macros typically use only a single machine instruction more than ordinary integer arithmetic would.

      • Programming/Development

        • Qt 6.0 Officially Released

          The Qt Company has officially released Qt 6.0 as the latest major release to this open-source, cross-platform toolkit.

          The Qt 6.0 toolkit brings many Quick 3D improvements and other graphics stack changes including more work around Vulkan and other modern graphics APIs, a package manager for extra libraries, next-generation QML support, C++17 support requirements, tooling improvements, host/platform updates, and much more.

          Not all of the modules of Qt5 have been ported yet to Qt6 so some features may remain missing until Qt 6.1, 6.2, or later. Among those yet to be ported modules are Qt Multimedia, Qt Bluetooth, and Qt Virtual Keyboard. The Qt Company is transparent in acknowledging that Qt 6.0 isn’t as feature complete as the current Qt 5.15 toolkit.

        • Qt 6.0 Released

          Qt 5 has been a fantastic success over the years, and we have seen an enormous growth of our user base and Qt usage over eight years since we released Qt 5.0. But the world has undergone significant changes since 2012. Qt usage in embedded systems has skyrocketed, C++ has evolved, and new 3D graphics APIs have emerged. These are examples of factors that have directly affected Qt.

          As a cross-platform framework, Qt needs to adjust to those changing requirements. We have managed to adapt very well to many of those requirements during the lifetime of Qt 5. However, maintaining full source and binary compatibility within the Qt 5 series made certain things impossible to fix within its lifetime. With Qt 6, we now have the opportunity to make changes and build Qt to be better suited for the years to come.

          Thus, the mission of Qt 6 is to enable Qt to be the productivity platform for the future. Qt 6.0, as a major release of Qt, gave us a higher degree of freedom to implement new features, functionality, and better support today and tomorrow’s requirements. Qt 6.0 is a continuation of the Qt 5 series, and we have focused on making migration non-disruptive for users. I published a Qt 6 vision blog post capturing those ideas around 18 months ago.

        • Add-on support in Qt 6.0 and beyond

          We are well aware that most users depend upon at least some add-ons. While we do provide some of the commonly used add-ons with Qt 6.0, there are also many widely used ones not yet available. We wanted to create a solid baseline in Qt 6.0, so we focused our efforts on the essential parts of Qt.

          In the subsequent releases we want to provide more add-on modules as quickly as possible. For many of them, the porting work is relatively straightforward, and some can actually be built on top of Qt 6.0 now. Some modules require a bit of work before introduced to Qt 6, and only a few modules need a major re-work. In addition to improving the functionality provided with Qt 6.0 and adding important new features, bringing the add-ons to Qt 6 is our key task.

        • AMD Zen 3 Support Published For The LLVM Clang Compiler – Phoronix

          After Zen 3 support was sent out and merged into GCC 11 last week, the LLVM Clang compiler support has now been published for this newest member of the AMD Zen family.

          The LLVM/Clang equivalent to last week’s GCC enablement patch is now under review. The LLVM patch introduces the -march=znver3 target (and wires up the -march=native support). But like the GCC support is currently basic in that it flips on the now-supported instructions but doesn’t yet have any optimized cost tables / scheduler model for helping to generate optimized code that will really roar on Zen 3… Those optimizations to the Znver3 target are expected in the coming months.

        • Perl/Raku

          • Spying on return | Playing Perl 6 b6xA Raku

            Matthew Stuckwisch wrote a module to help with spying on return values. That made me wonder if one could wrap return.

          • Advent of Code 2020 Day 1/25 in the Raku programming language – Andrew Shitov

            OK, I solved a few days of the on-going this year’s Advent of Code, so maybe it is a good idea to document it a bit so that those who like Raku can look at it too.

            So, the problem of Day 1 is to take a long list of integers and find such two neighbouring numbers that add to to 2020. The second part of the task is to find three such numbers.

          • Day 8: Raku web templating engines: boost up the parsing performance – Raku Advent Calendar

            A templating engine basically provides tools for effective metadata interpolation inside static files (templates). At web application runtime, the engine parses and replaces variables with actual content values. Finally client gets a HTML page generated from the template, where all metadata (variables, statements, expressions) has been proceed.

            Raku ecosystem has a few modern templating engines: Template::Mojo (last commit on 12 Jun 2017), Template::Mustache (last commit on 25 Jul 2020 — it’s alive!), Template6 (last commit on 20 Nov 2020 – active maintenance), Template::Classic (last commit on 11 Apr 2020), Template::Toolkit (by @DrForr, unfortunately it idles now) and HTML::Template (last commit on 28 Oct 2016).

            Also there is the handy multi-module adapter Web::Template — a simple abstraction layer, providing a consistent API for different template engines.

            What engine should you choose? My criteria was: the project should be alive and be the part of Rakudo Star Bundle distributive. Well, Template::Mustache is the chosen one.

        • Python

        • Shell/Bash/Zsh/Ksh

          • How to Pretty Print JSON File in Linux Terminal – It’s FOSS

            JSON files are awesome because they store collection of data in a human-readable format. However, reading the JSON file can be a pain if the JSON file is minified.

          • Learn Bash by writing an interactive game | Opensource.com

            Learning a new programming language can be fun. Whenever I try to learn a new one, I focus on defining variables, writing a statement, and evaluating expressions. Once I have a general understanding of those concepts, I can usually figure out the rest on my own. Most programming languages have some similarities, so once you know one programming language, learning the next one is a matter of figuring out the unique details and recognizing the differences in it.

  • Leftovers

    • ‘Sports Illustrated’ Chose the Wrong Activist Athletes

      Sports Illustrated certainly got the headline right. This year the magazine gave its much celebrated Sportsperson of the Year award to “The Activist Athlete.” During a year where the wall between politics and sports was not only breeched but obliterated, it was really the only choice. After the police murder of George Floyd and the massive demonstrations that followed, athletes stepped up. They took to the streets. They pushed for people to vote. And they defended their right to speak out.

    • John Lennon Still Lives Among Us

      When icons become “media friends,” their impact can be unexpected and powerful.

    • The New Humanitarian | In conversation with war photographer Lynsey Addario

      Pulitzer Prize-winning American photojournalist Lynsey Addario has spent the last 20 years documenting humanitarian crises. Her work has shaped the way the public sees conflict, shining light on wars and their aftermath – from Afghanistan and Iraq in the early 2000s to Syria and Yemen more recently.
      But lately she has turned her sights on emergencies confronting Western governments at home. She speaks to The New Humanitarian about what has surprised her most, and why she thinks the pandemic is making it harder to garner attention for crises overseas.
      Here is the interview, edited for length and clarity.

    • Education

      • German university fears AI takeover could narrow mission

        Academics at one of Germany’s most successful private universities fear for their jobs after local politicians announced that it could be taken over by software companies and turned into an artificial intelligence institute.

        The struggle to find new backers for Jacobs University, an English-speaking campus set up in 1999 in the northern port city of Bremen, illustrates the problems that private universities continue to face in almost fee-free Germany, despite such institutions enjoying a renaissance over the past two decades.

    • Health/Nutrition

      • Giuliani’s COVID Diagnosis Forces Arizona Legislature to Close for the Week
      • Two thirds of Russians support official measures taken to combat COVID-19

        Two thirds of Russians (65 percent) approve of the measures the authorities have taken during the fight against the coronavirus, says a new survey on the “social well-being of Russians” from Moscow’s Higher Schools of Economics (HSE), cited by Kommersant, RBC, and TASS. 

      • The Great Reveal: A COVID-19 House Party

        COVID-19 has killed more than 1.5 million people, and injured many, many more. It’s flattened economies and driven millions into poverty. It also happens to have forced a lot of minds to refocus, and face some uncomfortable truths. Essay by Paige Leacey.

      • ‘The Future We Are Looking At’: Wall Street to Begin Betting on Water Scarcity

        “If nothing else does it, this should make you passionate about climate change.”

      • ‘Insane and Pathological’: Head of Iran’s Central Bank Says US Blocking Covid-19 Vaccine Purchases

        The Trump administration is allegedly using sanctions to thwart Iran’s efforts to obtain vaccine stock through the WHO’s COVAX program.

      • Doctors On Covid: We Have Failed Magnificently As A Country
      • Create a Coronavirus Commission With Sharp Teeth

        The Democrats are the most forgiving of political parties, always ready to turn the other cheek to the sins of their opponents—or, for that matter, their own leaders. When Obama was inaugurated in 2009, he inherited an apocalypse in the Middle East that had been created by the frauds, deceptions, and war crimes of the Bush administration. He chose to give the torturers in the White House a pass in order to win support for his own program of troop “surges” and assassinations by drone. Likewise, after a financial meltdown that cost 10 million Americans their homes and destroyed most of the housing wealth of Black and Latino families, his Justice Department spared the heads of the megabankers—arguably the greatest group of white-collar criminals in US history—and restored their power and annual zillion-dollar bonuses.

      • Xavier Becerra, Biden Nominee to Lead HHS, Said in 2017 That He ‘Absolutely’ Supports Medicare for All

        “We’ll get to see how much he meant it.”

      • Argentina Approves Tax on Millionaires to Fund COVID-19 Recovery
      • Argentina Passes “Millionaire’s Tax” to Fund Covid-19 Recovery

        “We’re coming out of this pandemic like countries come out of world wars, with thousands of dead and devastated economies,” said one senator.

      • Why Contrary to Normal Patterns, the Workweek has Actually Gotten Longer in the Pandemic Recession

        The unemployment rate fell 0.2 percentage points to 6.7 percent in November, however this was entirely due to people leaving the labor force, as employment dropped slightly. The employment-to-population ratio (EPOP) fell by 0.1 percentage points to 57.3 percent.

        The decline was entirely among men, who had a drop in labor force participation rates of 0.4 percentage points. Employment rates for men have actually fallen somewhat more over the course of the downturn than for women, with the EPOP for prime age men down by 4.8 percentage points from their year-ago level, compared to a 3.9 percentage points drop among women.

      • Florida State Police Raid Home Of COVID Whistleblower, Point Guns At Her & Her Family, Seize All Her Computer Equipment

        This is insane. Earlier this year, we wrote about Rebekah Jones, the data scientist working for Florida, who put together that state’s COVID-19 database (that had received widespread praise), and who was fired by the state for her failure to fake the data to make it look like Florida was handling the pandemic better than it actually was. Governor Ron DeSantis had made it clear he wanted data showing good results in order to justify reopening the state.

      • A Senate committee calls science denialist crank Dr. Jane Orient to testify on COVID-19 vaccines

        If you follow me on Twitter at all, you’ll know that over the last few days I’ve been asking why there are so many horrible people with horrible anti-science and antivaccine views in health care. What led me to ask this question over and over again are examples of physicians saying they never wear masks around their patients as they deny the severity of the COVID-19 pandemic and a nurse posting Tik Tok videos making fun of the shocked reaction they imagine from their colleagues upon their learning that outside of work she doesn’t follow COVID-19 safety guidelines or even wear a mask in public. Of course, my interpretation is that there have always been this many horrible people in medicine and that the pandemic has brought them out of the woodwork and shined a light on them as never before. After all, I’ve been covering such quacks for nearly 16 years, including antivax pediatricians, cancer quacks, and quacks pushing unproven and ineffective treatments against COVID-19 even as others deny that the disease is anything to worry about, as at least one of them has a history of claiming that cysts and endometriosis are in fact caused by people having sex in their dreams with demons and witches. This brings me to someone whom I’ve discussed before, Dr. Jane Orient, who, I learned last night, has been invited to testify before an important Senate committee.

      • The Most Dangerous Thing About Marijuana

        On December 4, the US House of Representatives passed, by a margin of 228 to 164, the Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement Act. If passed by the Senate and signed by the president, the MORE Act would  remove marijuana from the federal “controlled substances” schedule. While the bill unfortunately includes provisions for regulation and taxation of the plant, it’s a move in the right direction.

      • Toward a ‘New Normal’ in Post-Covid U. S. Health Care

        Markers of the Devastating Impact of the COVID pandemic in the U. S.

        Nine months into the pandemic in this country, these markers document their scope and unparalleled impacts:

      • Jab Me If You Can: How Political Endorsements Defeat Vaccinations

        On SiriusXM’s The Joe Madison Show, Obama held up his hand. “I promise you that when it’s been made for people who are less at risk, I will be taking it. I may end up taking it on TV or having it filmed, just so that people show that I trust this science.” Clinton did the same, albeit through the medium of spokesman Angel Ureña, who stated on December 3 that he would do so “based on the priorities determined by public health officials. He would also “do it in a public setting if it will help urge all Americans to do the same.”

        Bush’s chief of staff, Freddy Ford, informed CNN that his boss had been in touch with the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Dr Anthony Fauci and Dr Deborah Birx, the White House coronavirus response coordinator, letting them “know that, when the time is right, he wants to do what he can to help encourage his fellow citizens to get vaccinated.” The vaccines would first “need to be deemed safe and administered to the priority populations”. Once done, Bush would “get in line for his, and will gladly do so on camera.”

      • PFAS Chemical Associated With Severe Covid-19
    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Pseudo-Open Source

          • Privatisation/Privateering

            • Linux Foundation

              • Download the Report on the 2020 FOSS Contributor Survey [Ed: Made using proprietary software on a “Mac” PC again]

                Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) has become a critical part of the modern economy. It has been estimated that FOSS constitutes 80-90% of any given piece of modern software, and software is an increasingly vital resource in nearly all industries. This heavy reliance on FOSS is common in both the public and private sectors, in both tech and non-tech organizations. Therefore, ensuring the health and security of FOSS is critical to the future of nearly all industries in the modern economy.

                To better understand the state of security and sustainability in the FOSS ecosystem, and how organizations and companies can support it, the Linux Foundation‘s Core Infrastructure Initiative (CII) and the Laboratory for Innovation Science at Harvard (LISH) collaborated to conduct a widespread survey of FOSS contributors as part of larger efforts to take a pre-emptive approach to strengthen cybersecurity by improving open-source software security.

              • New Open Source Contributor Report from Linux Foundation and Harvard Identifies Motivations and Opportunities for Improving Software Security
              • The Janssen Project Takes on World’s Most Demanding Digital Trust Challenges at Linux Foundation

                Online trust is a fundamental challenge to our digital society. The Internet has connected us. But at the same time, it has undermined trust. Digital identity starts with a connection between a person and a digital device. Identity software conveys the integrity of that connection from the user’s device to a complex web of backend services. Solving the challenge of digital identity is foundational to achieving trustworthy online security.

              • The Janssen Project Takes on World’s Most Demanding Digital Trust Challenges at Linux Foundation

                The Linux Foundation, the nonprofit organization enabling mass innovation through open source, today announced the Janssen Project, a cloud native identity and access management software platform that prioritizes security and performance for our digital society. Janssen is based on the Gluu Server and benefits from a rich set of signing and encryption functionalities. Engineers from IDEMIA, F5, BioID, Couchbase and Gluu will make up the Technical Steering Committee.

        • Security

          • Security updates for Tuesday

            Security updates have been issued by Debian (minidlna, openssl, and trafficserver), Mageia (oniguruma, php-pear, python, python3, and x11vnc), openSUSE (minidlna), Oracle (kernel and net-snmp), Red Hat (kernel, mariadb-galera, microcode_ctl, and net-snmp), Slackware (seamonkey), SUSE (thunderbird and xen), and Ubuntu (xorg-server).

          • Ransomware attacks pose 2021 challenges for Congress [iophk: Windows TCO]

            Targets in recent months have included hospital systems in Vermont and New York, and school districts in Miami Dade County, Fla., and Baltimore County, Md. In all cases, operations were significantly affected, slowing critical services.

            Key leaders on Capitol Hill say they are aiming to take action to address these concerns next year.

          • Zero-click ‘wormable’ RCE flaw uncovered in Microsoft Teams
          • Foxconn Mexico outlet hit by gang using Windows DoppelPaymer ransomware

            A branch of the global technology company Foxconn — known as Hon Hai Technology Group in its original domicile Taiwan — has been hit by a group using the Windows DoppelPaymer ransomware which has leaked a few company documents on the dark web.

          • Flight Centre breached customers’ privacy, during 2017 hackathon, OAIC finds

            Retail travel agency Flight Centre has been found to have interfered with the privacy of about 7000 of its customers by disclosing their personal information to third parties, without asking for consent.

          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • New Release: Tor Browser 10.5a5 (Android Only)

              Tor Browser 10.5a5 is now available from the Tor Browser Alpha download page and also from our distribution directory.

              Note: This is an alpha release, an experimental version for users who want to help us test new features. For everyone else, we recommend downloading the latest stable release for Android instead.

            • Missed the RJI-EFF Event on Deciphering Data Privacy? We’ve Got You Covered

              EFF recently partnered with the University of Missouri’s Donald W. Reynolds Journalism Institute on a virtual event, “Deciphering Data Privacy.” This event aimed to foster a conversation with journalists, technologists, and privacy experts on the ways that we can make the conversation about privacy—how companies view it, how it affects you every day, and how you can stand up for your privacy rights—more understandable to everyone.

              The event featured an opening keynote from EFF Project Manager and student privacy activist Lindsay Oliver on the landscape of data privacy, from current threats to pending legislative efforts with a particular focus on the privacy invasions facing students at all grade levels.

            • „Electronic Evidence“: No simplification for digital investigations yet

              No less than three international organisations are working on different agreements to ease access to servers abroad for police and judiciary. In the Council of Europe, the EU Commission might pre-empt the United Nations. Problems arise with demands from the USA.

            • Massachusetts Poised To Become The Next State To (Temporarily) Ban Facial Recognition Tech

              Another state is looking to join California in banning facial recognition tech by law enforcement. Massachusetts legislators have just passed a bill that would outlaw facial recognition use in the state, following up on similar bans passed by cities within the state.

            • TikTok Trounces Trump’s Attempted Ban

              The ban was set to take effect in September and would have prevented U.S. users from downloading the app onto their phones or installing updates. TikTok sued and then sought emergency relief from the court through a preliminary arguing that the ban exceeded presidential authority, violated users’ First Amendment rights and flouted the Administrative Procedures Act because it’s arbitrary and capricious. (ByteDance was also mulling a partnership with Oracle for its U.S. operations, but that deal appears to be in limbo.)

            • TikTok sale deadline passes with no conclusive deal

              The deadline had already been delayed twice last month, and uneventfully passed again last week without a clear path forward for President Trump’s executive order from August calling for the Beijing-owned ByteDance to sell the app or have it banned in the U.S.

            • Covid-19 spurs national plans to give citizens digital identities

              However, Aadhaar is a complex system with its own set of application program interfaces, known as the India Stack, that could not easily be replicated. Having learned lessons from Aadhaar, Mr Nilekani proposed a different approach: building an open-source foundational ID platform that could be taken up by any country free of charge. The result is MOSIP, which stands for Modular Open Source Identity Platform.

              With financial support from the World Bank, two countries—Morocco and the Philippines—are implementing national ID schemes based on MOSIP, which will be rolled out early next year. Three more—Ethiopia, Guinea and Sri Lanka—are working on pilots. Several others, including Ivory Coast, Togo and Tunisia, are keen on using MOSIP. There are plans for countries across west Africa to have a shared interoperable ID platform, allowing cross-border authentication. The aim is that by 2023, at least ten countries will be operating MOSIP-based digital-ID platforms and it will have become an international standard, each country having learned from the others’ deployments. And the covid emergency is lengthening the queue of countries at MOSIP’s door.

              The MOSIP project, which got going in March 2018, is nested in Bangalore’s International Institute of Information Technology (IIIT-B) and endowed with funding of $16m from the Omidyar Network, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and Tata Trusts. What it set out to do was to give countries with far less IT capacity than India’s a basis for establishing a cost-effective foundational identity system that was, in effect, “Aadhaar in a box”. Bangalore, according to C.V. Madhukar, Omidyar’s lead on digital identity, was the obvious place to base MOSIP. It could draw on technical know-how from Mr Nilekani’s original Aadhaar team, who were mostly still there, and on the resources of the iSPIRT Foundation, an organisation of volunteer engineers who donate their time to build software as a public good.

            • YouTube censorship? Users set to be warned before posting rude, offensive comments

              What YouTube will do is warn users whenever they are about to post what appears to be an offensive comment. Hence, it will make users reflect before they post.

              The platform will also be testing a new filter in YT Studio. The new filter will look at potentially hurtful comments which have been held automatically for review. With this filter, the channel owners do not need to look at the comments if they do not want to.

            • YouTube to Warn Users Before Posting Offensive Comments, Rolls Out Features to Support Diverse Communities

              YouTube is introducing new features to its platform to support diverse communities and encourage respectful interactions. The streaming platform will warn users when a comment they are about to post may be offensive to others, giving them the option to reflect before posting. YouTube will also test a new filter in YouTube Studio for potentially inappropriate and hurtful comments that have been automatically held for review, so that channel owners won’t have to look at those comments if they don’t want to.

              Announcing the updates in a blog post, YouTube said that the platform was working to close any existing gaps in how YouTube’s products and policies work for everyone, specifically the Black community.

            • Microsoft to Spy on Employees
            • Microsoft software would detect, score and report obnoxious workplace habits
            • [Old] Microsoft Patents Idea for Monitoring Employee Work Habits
            • Microsoft patents software that detects lazy employees
            • Confidentiality

    • Defence/Aggression

      • Trump’s Pernicious Military Legacy

        From the forever wars to the cataclysmic wars.

      • ‘We were desperate, get it?’ After weeks on the run from Azerbaijani encirclement, two Armenian volunteers return home to a country disillusioned with Russia

        The war in Nagorno-Karabakh ended the night of November 10 in Armenia’s defeat, expressed in a ceasefire agreement signed with Azerbaijan, brokered by Russia. Thousands of people on both sides of the conflict were killed and hundreds more went missing. Many of these individuals are civilians who volunteered to fight on the frontlines. Meduza special correspondent Liliya Yapparova traveled to Yerevan and spoke with combatants who were forced to retreat, fend off ambushes, and break out of enemy encirclements during the final weeks of the war. 

      • Putin and Merkel discussed Navalny’s poisoning today, but the Kremlin didn’t mention it

        Russian President Vladimir Putin and German Chancellor Angela Merkel talked about the poisoning of Russian opposition figure Alexey Navalny during a phone call on Monday, December 7, a spokesperson for the German Cabinet of Ministers told the Russian state news agency TASS. 

      • Report Blames Trump Admin for 330% Rise in Afghan Civilian Casualties

        “In 2019 airstrikes killed 700 civilians—more civilians than in any other year since the beginning of the war in 2001 and 2002.” 

      • Bringing Our Troops Home Is Not Enough

        By the end of this year, the White House will reportedly have finally brought home a third of the 7,500 troops still stationed in Afghanistan and Iraq (against the advice of President Trump’s own military leaders). While there have been stories galore about the global security implications of this plan, there has been almost no discussion at all about where those 2,700 or so troops who have served in this country’s endless wars will settle once their feet touch US soil (assuming, that is, that they aren’t just moved to less controversial garrisons elsewhere in the Greater Middle East), no less who’s likely to provide them with badly needed financial, logistical, and emotional support as they age.

      • How Progressive Media Promoted a False Story of ‘Conflict Beef’ From Nicaragua

        There are some 40,000 Indigenous families in Nicaragua, and nearly a third of its territory is legally owned and administered by 300 Indigenous communities. Reveal and PBS focus on Bosawás, the largest tropical rainforest reserve in Central America, which has seven territories belonging to Mayangna and Miskitu Indigenous groups, whose land claims have been recognized by the government. (Since 2006, the governing party in Nicaragua has been the socialist Sandinista Front, a longstanding target of US hostility.)

        For decades, non-Indigenous (or mestizo) settlers have entered these areas, some “buying” land from Indigenous communities, even though it cannot legally be sold, and others simply taking it. A history of legal, quasi-legal and illegal land occupation, along with intermixing of mestizo families with Indigenous people, have produced a multifaceted, volatile situation, which occasionally causes violent disputes. A local NGO, CEJUDHCAN, in February 2020 counted 40 deaths of Indigenous people over five years connected to land disputes, with further mestizo deaths uncounted.

      • For the US in Afghanistan’s Endless War, Surrender is Apparently Not an Option

        Launched on October 7, 2001, while the ruins of the World Trade Center were still smoldering from the 9/11 attacks five weeks earlier, the war is now in its 19th year, making it almost nine years longer than the Vietnam War.

        And yet, over the years, almost any time a president has attempted to ratchet down the war, or to talk about ending it — while that may have been a popular desire among the American people — the media, conservative and liberal alike, have started talking about how such a thing would be “premature,” or would lead to disaster with the Taliban moving back into power (see FAIR.org: 1/31/19, 9/11/19 and Extra magazine 7/11, 9/11).

      • Trump’s Pernicious Military Legacy

        People seldom notice that Trump’s approach to military policy has always been two-faced. Even as he repeatedly denounced the failure of his predecessors to abandon those endless counterinsurgency wars, he bemoaned their alleged neglect of America’s regular armed forces and promised to spend whatever it took to “restore” their fighting strength. “In a Trump administration,” he declared in a September 2016 campaign speech on national security, America’s military priorities would be reversed, with a withdrawal from the “endless wars we are caught in now” and the restoration of “our unquestioned military strength.”

      • Christchurch shooter was radicalized on YouTube, New Zealand report says

        “What particularly stood out was the statement that the terrorist made that he was ‘not a frequent commentator on extreme right-wing sites and YouTube was a significant source of information and inspiration’,” said Jacinda Ardern, New Zealand’s Prime Minister, according to The Guardian. “This is a point I plan to make directly to the leadership of YouTube.”

      • Royal Commission of Inquiry into the Attack on Christchurch Mosques on 15 March 2019

        Ten days after the devastating attack of 15 March 2019, the Government announced that a Royal Commission of Inquiry, generally reserved for matters of the gravest public importance, would be established to investigate and report on what had happened.

      • ‘This Must Be Your First’: Acting as if Trump is trying to stage a coup is the best way to ensure he won’t.

        In political science, the term coup refers to the illegitimate overthrow of a sitting government—usually through violence or the threat of violence. The technical term for attempting to stay in power illegitimately—such as after losing an election—is self-coup or autocoup, sometimes autogolpe.

        Much debate has ensued about what exactly to call whatever Trump is attempting right now, and about how worried we should be. It’s true, the whole thing seems ludicrous—the incoherent lawsuits, the late-night champagne given to official election canvassers in Trump hotels, the tweets riddled with grammatical errors and weird capitalization. Trump has been broadly acknowledged as “norm shattering” and some have argued that this is just more of his usual bluster, while others have pointed out terminological issues with calling his endeavors a coup. Coup may not quite capture what we’re witnessing in the United States right now, but there’s also a danger here: Punditry can tend to focus too much on decorum and terminology, like the overachieving students so many of us once were, conflating the ridiculous with the unserious. The incoherence and incompetence of the attempt do not change its nature, however, nor do those traits allow us to dismiss it or ignore it until it finally fails on account of that incompetence.

    • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

      • Federal Court System Pushes Back Against Free Access To Court Documents

        Never underestimate the desperation of a government entity being asked to manage its money better. After years of mismanaging the millions of dollars the court system rakes in every year, The federal judiciary has believed for years that “free and open access” to court documents should be way less than free. The court’s PACER system puts a paywall between citizens and court documents. On top of this, it places an antiquated front end that further separates citizens from court documents, charging them per page of useless search results.

      • OPCW executives praised whistleblower and criticized Syria cover-up, leaks reveal
      • What’s At Stake in Julian Assange’s Extradition Trial

        Julian Assange’s extradition trial in London this fall revealed the lengths to which the US government was willing to go to secure the return of the WikiLeaks founder to America. It also threw light on a disturbing abuse of process in the English courts.

      • Roberto Lovato’s Journalism of the Soul

        In the summer of 2015, the journalist and activist Roberto Lovato returned to El Salvador to do some reporting on why his family’s homeland had become the most violent country on earth. A few years earlier, he had ventured there to bury his mother’s ashes, but that ceremony was cut short when he was chased out of the cemetery by members of the gangs—better known as maras—that dominate Salvadoran society. Now he was intent on getting to the bottom of how the constant battles between the maras and the Salvadoran police and military had led to a state of affairs every bit as perilous as El Salvador’s devastating 12-year civil war.

      • The radios went silent How a deadly warehouse fire tore apart the Moscow firefighting community

        In September 2016, eight firefighters were killed while putting out a fire in a warehouse in East Moscow. The leaders of the effort to extinguish the fire, Dmitry Shirlin and Sergey Barsukov, now find themselves on trial. But in a dangerous business like theirs, should fire chiefs be held responsible for the deaths of subordinates? Meduza correspondents Kristina Safonova and Maxim Solopov report on the deadliest fire for Moscow firefighters in the last 70 years.

      • Istanbul court deports arrested ‘NTV’ film crew from Turkey

        An Istanbul court has ordered the release of Russian nationals Ivan Malyshkin and Alexey Petrushko, reports RIA Novosti, citing a source familiar with the situation surrounding their arrest.

      • Eleventh Circuit Rules Against NSA Whistleblower Reality Winner’s Appeal For Compassionate Release

        The 11th United States Circuit Court of Appeals ruled against NSA whistleblower Reality Winner’s request for compassionate release from a federal prison, even though COVID-19 remains a pervasive threat.Narrowly, the appeals court decided [PDF] a lower court did not “abuse its discretion” when it refused to grant Winner a hearing to present evidence about her specific medical conditions that put her at risk at Federal Medical Center Carswell.“It is true that the court ruled, without holding an evidentiary hearing, that Ms. Winner had not shown ‘that her specific medical conditions under the particular conditions of confinement at FMC Carswell place her at a risk substantial enough to justify her early release’ and that she ‘is in a medical prison,” the appeals court declared.The court added, “This ruling, while succinct, does not constitute a ‘fail[ure] to apply the proper legal standard’ or a failure ‘to follow proper procedures in making its determination.’”“We are devastated,” Billie Winner-Davis, Reality Winner’s mother, stated. “It seems like there is so much bias against my daughter,” and, “Even though I had tried not to get my hope up, I am still crushed by this denial.”Winner filed the appeal on May 12. She urged the 11th Circuit to reverse a district court ruling and release her into home confinement.Her attorneys warned, “The entire basis for Reality’s motion—and so many like hers—is that she cannot afford to wait until she is removed from FMC Carswell in a stretcher, or worse, before she is afforded relief.”Winner tested positive for COVID-19 in July, as confirmed cases in Carswell spiked over 500. However, the appeals court showed no sense of urgency as the virus spread in the facility.Finally, on November 17, the 11th Circuit convened a hearing and granted Winner’s attorney an opportunity to make the case that a district court had wrongly ruled against her.The 11th Circuit has a notorious reputation when it comes to appeals from prisoners. In June, Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor stated, “The 11th Circuit is significantly out of step with other courts.”According to the New York Times, the appeals court tends to require that prisoners use a form that is so small one is lucky to fit 100 words. That submission can be the basis for rulings on appeals without “even an individualized response from the government.” The 11th Circuit acknowledged that Winner “suffers from depression and an eating disorder, both of which affect her ability to ‘cope with stress and uncertainty, such as incarceration and the invasion of a novel disease.’”

        “For Ms. Winner, her ‘routines allow her to cope and hold the things she is unable to control together.’ But as a result of the lockdown of the federal prison system on account of COVID-19, she cannot engage in her regular routine and is left with ‘no way to exercise any coping mechanism for the stress of her own underlying conditions,’” the appeals court further noted.

    • Environment

    • Finance

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • Supreme Court rejects Pennsylvania Republicans’ attempt to block Biden victory
      • Armed Individuals Surround MI Sec of State’s Home Demanding Overturn of Election
      • Georgia GOP Sen. David Perdue Skips Debate Amid Scrutiny Over Stock Trades
      • Georgia’s 2nd Recount Officially Confirms Trump Lost State by Over 12,000 Votes
      • Group Sues Georgia for Purging 200,000 Voters Ahead of 2020 Election
      • Citing ‘Historic Abuse’ of Judicial Process, Over 1,500 Attorneys Call for Sanction of Trump Campaign’s Legal Team

        “Every attorney, including the organized bar and disciplinary authorities, should disavow lawyers who trample the truth and undermine democracy through their false statements.”

      • The Biden Presidency: a New Era or a Fragile Interregnum?

        The question is not whether the incoming Biden administration will follow, in reaction, a more centrist, orthodox course. It will. The question is, will such a course be successful?

        There seems little doubt that, especially with so many neoliberals and neoconservatives deserting Trump and the Republican Party and supporting Biden, and with the people surrounding Biden coming mainly from the Clinton-Obama wing of the Democratic Party, a Biden presidency will instinctually hew to the center in its political-economic approach.

      • Why Biden Should Forgive Billions in Student Debt

        She’s right. About 45 million Americans have a whopping $1.6 trillion of student loan debts, and a significant number have made no progress in paying them off. After home mortgages, student loans are the second most common debt in the United States. There is no mystery as to why this is the case. While the cost of higher education has risen, wages have simply not kept up, and debt has slowly ballooned. The burden of debt repayment has held people back from buying homes, moving out of their parents’ homes, having children, pursuing further education, starting businesses, and more. In other words, it has dragged down lives and the economy.

        Senator Warren asked Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell, “If people who, instead of spending that money in the economy, are spending that money by sending money back to the federal government on their student loan payments. That is a problem for the economy, is it not?”

      • Why Jeh Johnson Would Be a Better Defense Secretary Than Michèle Flournoy

        Flournoy has repeatedly demonstrated throughout her career, both in her official Pentagon positions in the Clinton and Obama administrations and in her published writings and statements, that she actually believes in the normalization of war.

      • Georgia Senate Peach
      • Georgia Runoffs: Democrats Aim to Take Senate as Republicans Back Trump Attack on Election Integrity

        Two Georgia Senate runoff elections on January 5 will decide who controls the upper chamber and whether the Biden administration will be able to pass its ambitious policy agenda. If Democrats succeed in unseating Georgia’s two senators, Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue, the Senate will be split 50-50, with incoming Vice President Kamala Harris able to cast tie-breaking votes. In two debates Sunday night, Perdue skipped his debate with challenger Jon Ossoff, who took the stage opposite an empty podium, and Loeffler faced off against Reverend Raphael Warnock. We play excerpts and host a discussion with author and Emory University professor Carol Anderson, as well as Democratic state Representative Bee Nguyen, whose district includes Atlanta.

      • Mitch McConnell’s Ghoulish Plan to Exploit Covid Desperation to Shield Corporate Crime

        What the United States desperately needs is a multitrillion-dollar stimulus package to provide the resources to fight the current coronavirus surge, to provide for the unemployed and underemployed, to keep small businesses and small farms afloat, to fund state and local governments and schools, and to organize and implement the distribution of the vaccines that are vital to ending the current crisis.

      • Trump Is Hijacking the Georgia Senate Race

        It was supposed to turn out so differently for Georgia Republicans.

      • Black Voters Matter: Group Sues Georgia for Purging 200,000 Voters Ahead of 2020 Election

        On the voter registration deadline for Georgians who want to vote in two Senate runoff elections on January 5, we speak with Cliff Albright, co-founder and executive director of Black Voters Matter, about why the state is “ground zero” for Republican voter suppression efforts. Black Voters Matter has filed a federal lawsuit alleging Georgia’s current secretary of state improperly removed nearly 200,000 voters from the rolls. Those voters “were purged illegally” ahead of the 2020 election and almost certainly affected the results, says Albright. “At the end of the day, this election … should not have even been close.” We’re also joined by Emory University professor Carol Anderson, who argues President Trump’s attacks on the legitimacy of the presidential election reflect the entire party’s attitude toward voting. “He’s not an aberration,” she says. “He is the culmination of decades of the Republicans hollering voting fraud, of creating the theater of voter fraud as a means to justify massive voter suppression.”

      • Covid-19 Is Feeding the GOP Addiction to Conspiracy Theories

        The Washington Post has surveyed the 249 Republicans serving in the House of Representatives and the Senate to get them to answer a simple question: Did Joe Biden win the presidential election? The newspaper was able to find only 27 congressional Republicans who were willing to affirm this simple truth. Of the remaining 222 congressional Republicans, two declared Trump had won, and 220 (approximately 88 percent of all congressional Republicans) refused to say who won. Learning exactly who is willing to acknowledge reality is even more dismaying. As the newspaper details, “Of the 15 House Republicans who recognize the true winner, six are retiring from politics at the end of this month and two more represent districts that Biden won convincingly.”

      • ‘Perdue Pleaded the Fifth’: Ossoff Debates Empty Podium as GOP Senator No-Shows Amid Scrutiny Over Stock Trades

        “It shows an astonishing arrogance and sense of entitlement for Georgia’s senior U.S. senator to believe he shouldn’t have to debate at a moment like this in our history.”

      • Iran Sends Oil, Gas Flotilla to Venezuela. Will Trump Attack It to Sabotage Biden?

        The odious Elliott Abrams, warmonger-in-chief and old-time supporter of nun-killing right wing death squads in Central America, is now in charge of Iran and Venezuela for Trump and is warning propagandistically against Iran sending missiles to Venezuela (for which there is no evidence at all).

      • Sorry, Johnson Will Not Disappear

        It is currently popular among those who make money writing media articles about politics, to argue that Boris Johnson will implode next year and be replaced as Tory leader by someone more rational and conventional. I very much doubt this: the most important reason for that doubt being the power of the atavistic English nationalist forces that Johnson has unleashed in British politics. Astonishingly, despite the UK government’s hideously inept performance in the Covid crisis, and the corruption and looting of the public purse on a massive scale for which the pandemic has been used, the Conservatives still lead Labour in the UK opinion polls.

      • If Biden wants to unite the country, one thing is clear: Dump the corporate lobbyists

        When asked the same about potential nominees with backgrounds as lobbyists for major corporations and industries, though, respondents were firmly opposed. Sixty percent of respondents said they disagreed with the proposition that potential nominees with backgrounds as corporate lobbyists should be prioritized in the new administration. While a large majority of respondents, 67 percent, agreed that backgrounds in nonprofits that advocate for the public good is a plus for potential nominees, only 31 percent said the same about backgrounds in Wall Street.

        Democrats are not going to maintain the coalition they built in the 2020 election, let alone expand it, by appointing former corporate lobbyists and executives to key posts. Americans are divided on many things, but on the issue of corporate influence in government public opinion is clear, whatever elites in Washington may say: Biden should look to qualified public servants and experts, not titans of the corporate world, for positions in his administration.

      • With guns drawn, police raid home and seize computers of COVID-19 data whistleblower

        But in May, Jones was fired by the Florida Department of Health for reportedly refusing to manipulate that data to justify reopening the state — and now, Florida state police have raided her home and taken the equipment she was using to maintain a new, independent COVID-19 tracker of her own.

      • Agents raid home of fired Florida data scientist who built COVID-19 dashboard

        Jones — who launched her own COVID-19 dashboard after she was fired, and used crowdsourcing to raise money to support it — said the agents knocked on her door around 8:30 a.m. that morning, took all her “hardware and tech” after showing her a warrant based on a complaint filed by the Florida Department of Health.

        A video accompanying the post shows Florida Department of Law Enforcement agents in vests at the front door with guns drawn, asking who else was in the house. She said her husband and two children were inside as they escorted her out of the house.

        The video shows an agent entering the house with his gun drawn, calling for her husband to come down the stairs. When an agent told her to calm down, Jones said, “He just pointed a gun at my children!”

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • Anti-censorship team report: November 2020

        Tor’s anti-censorship team writes monthly reports to keep the world updated on its progress. This blog post summarizes the anti-censorship work we got done in November 2020. Let us know if you have any questions or feedback!

      • A Dangerous Move to Crack Down on Protests Against Israel

        Pompeo’s decision to brand the BDS movement as anti-Semitic has bipartisan support. Will Biden let it stand?

      • What it’s like to get locked out of Google indefinitely

        Entrusting your data to big tech platforms can be highly risky.
        Users who have been banned by Google for supposedly violating its terms of service have been left without access to key parts of their lives.
        Many have appealed the suspensions but have received automated responses.
        They don’t know why they have been banned. “This is just how life is when you’re dealing with trillion-dollar faceless corporations,” said Aral Balkan.

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • Saturn Devours His Own

        Leaving home to visit distant museums is no longer a requirement to see horror first hand in this the most exceptional of societies where many have come to worship “shock and awe,” or, during the late 1960s and early 1970s, the horrors of the Vietnam War flashed nightly on the three major TV networks of that time. It, the horror of contemporary society, doesn’t require leaving home to experience the reality of death.

        Like Saturn, many here make plans to consume their own children, or to put into place policies that will harm children.

      • Voters Complained About Threats, Aggressive Electioneering and Racism at Polls
      • On First Day in Office, LA County District Attorney George Gascón Announces Move to End ‘Unsafe and Unjust’ Cash Bail

        “I recognize for many this is a new path… Whether you are a protester, a police officer, or a prosecutor, I ask you to walk with me.”

      • Five Women in Sanctuary Call on Biden to Free Them Through Executive Actions
      • 140+ Rights Groups Demand Congress Leave Corporate Immunity Provisions Out of Covid Relief Deal

        “This would be the worst time to disincentivize businesses and employers from doing everything they can to protect the health and safety of working people and consumers.”

      • Provision Added To Defense Bill That Would Make Federal Officers Policing Protests Identify Themselves

        We’ve heard a lot about the latest defense authorization bill in recent days, thanks mainly to President Trump’s (empty) threats to withhold funding for the military (the guys he says he loves!) if it doesn’t include a Section 230-stripping poison pill (aimed at the guys he hates!). Congress has belatedly developed a backbone and is threatening to override the President’s promised veto — something Trump is promising to do because, apparently, funding the military is less important than making sure people on Twitter don’t treat him like the idiot he is.

      • As World Teeters on Brink, Over 250 Scientists and Scholars Warn of Full-Fledged ‘Societal Collapse’

        “It is time to invite each other into difficult conversations, so we can reduce our complicity in the harm, and be creative to make the best of a turbulent future.”

      • Georgia Court Streams Ridiculous ‘Kraken’ Lawsuit Hearing On YouTube; Then Tells People They Can’t Repost Recordings

        We have lots of concerns about court transparency, and how more transparent court systems would be nice. One of the more interesting consequences of the pandemic, in which many court hearings are now done virtually, is that courts have been much more open to allowing more realtime access to these court hearings. In one of the more high profile (and more ridiculous, if that’s possible) lawsuits challenging the election results — the so-called “Kraken” lawsuit in Georgia — there was a hearing earlier today. The court announced that the audio would stream on YouTube:

      • Civil Rights Lawyer Bryan Stevenson Wins “Alternative Nobel” for Work Against Mass Incarceration

        Civil rights attorney Bryan Stevenson, who founded the Equal Justice Initiative, was one of four human rights defenders to win this year’s Right Livelihood Award on December 3. “I work in a country that has the highest rate of incarceration in the world. I work against a system that treats you better if you’re rich and guilty than if you’re poor and innocent,” he said in accepting the honor. “We work to overturn this horrific era of mass incarceration in America that has been brought about by the politics of fear and anger.” We feature his full acceptance speech of the Right Livelihood Award, widely known as the “Alternative Nobel Prize.” This year it was also given to Indigenous rights and environmental activist Lottie Cunningham Wren of Nicaragua, Belarusian pro-democracy activist Ales Bialiatski and Iranian human rights lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh, who was returned to prison one day before the ceremony after being temporarily released last month due to her worsening health.

      • NYPD Cops Cash In on Sex Trade Arrests With Little Evidence, While Black and Brown New Yorkers Pay the Price

        One summer night in 2015, a community college student was driving home through East New York in Brooklyn when two women on a street corner waved for him to stop.

        He thought they might need help, so he pulled over and cracked his window. But the pair had something else in mind. “Do you want to have some fun?” he recalled one of them saying. “Whoa, no thank you!” he responded, and drove off, laughing to himself. It was like something he’d seen only on TV.

      • “We young, bro”: My friend lost a decade of his life, but I can’t go back to our youth with him

        And when I see these young dudes, his new friends, on social media talking about how COVID was created to kill small businesses by Bill Gates, who also needed the virus to control the population so that he can make us think that 4G is actually 5G, even though it’s just 4G moving faster because so many people are dead due to the disease they say is made-up, I shake my head. Yes, you read that right — that’s how they talk. Reading it makes me feel like I’m closer in age to the 80-year-old Teethy called us that last time over drinks, and very distant from the bar-crawling young man my friend still gets to be.

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

      • Colorado’s Broadband Internet Doesn’t Have to Be Rocky

        It’s 2020. The Internet should be reliable and powerful regardless of where you live, but that’s not the case for millions of Americans. In many ways, Coloradans represent a microcosm of the demographic diversity across the country, with groups from farmers to business owners, students and young professionals. This makes the job of a regional service provider like us challenging.

      • AT&T, HBO Put Another Bullet In Antiquated Theatrical Release Windows

        Among the dated and dumb business concepts exposed as folly during the pandemic is the traditional Hollywood film release window, which typically involves a 90 day gap between the time a move appears in theaters and its streaming or DVD release (in France this window is even more ridiculous at three years). The goal is usually to “protect the traditional film industry,” though it’s never been entirely clear why you’d protect traditional theaters at the cost of common sense, consumer demand, and a more efficient model. Just because?

      • The Broadcasting Act Blunder, Day 12: The “Regulate Everything” Approach – The CRTC Conditions

        (prior posts in the Broadcasting Act Blunder series include Day 1: Why there is no Canadian Content Crisis, Day 2: What the Government Doesn’t Say About Creating a “Level Playing Field”, Day 3: Minister Guilbeault Says Bill C-10 Contains Economic Thresholds That Limit Internet Regulation. It Doesn’t, Day 4: Why Many News Sites are Captured by Bill C-10), Day 5: Narrow Exclusion of User Generated Content Services, Day 6: The Beginning of the End of Canadian Broadcast Ownership and Control Requirements, Day 7: Beware Bill C-10’s Unintended Consequences, Day 8: The Unnecessary Discoverability Requirements, Day 9: Why Use Cross-Subsidies When the Government is Rolling out Tech Tax Policies?, Day 10: Downgrading the Role of Canadians in their Own Programming, Day 11: The “Regulate Everything” Approach – Licence or Registration Required, Broadcast Reform Bill Could Spell the End of Canadian Ownership Requirements)

      • The Law Bytes Podcast, Episode 72: Emily Laidlaw on the Good, the Bad, and the Missed Opportunities Behind Canada’s Privacy Reform

        CTV News, Government Introduces Privacy Bill

      • FCC: The Trillion Dollar Broadband and Accounting Scandal

        From H.O.P.E. 2020

        https://scheduler.hope.net/hope2020/talk/HLFYGQ/

      • [Old] POP QUIZ: Can You Answer Basic Questions about the Verizon NY 2019 Annual Report

        This financial report shows billions in cross-subsidies, diverting the state utility construction budgets for the wireless cell sites, while charging local phone customers. And it shows a massive dumping of corporate operations expenses into the state utilities. These financial machinations made America’s entire wireline infrastructure appear unprofitable. Thus, upgrades to the wireline networks didn’t occur—and it is now called the “Digital Divide”.

        Every State is Impacted: New York is the only state we know of that still requires a full annual report and these financials and cross-subsidies are based on FCC federal rules that are still in use. However, it appears that every state is using identical FCC deformed formulas, even if the State doesn’t realize it.

    • Digital Restrictions (DRM)

      • MGM Inks Cloud Computing Deal With Amazon in Search for “New Revenue Opportunities”

        Under the terms of the deal, the studio, which owns the James Bond and Rocky movie franchises, as well as TV shows like Fargo and The Handmaid’s Tale, will move its entire library to the AWS cloud and utilize AWS software to power its distribution efforts across platforms. The deal will centralize the studio’s media supply chain within Amazon’s servers, allowing it to transfer, process and package its films and TV shows for distribution to linear networks, streaming services and other entertainment providers.

        The deal will also see the studio utilize AWS software to develop new business opportunities and speed up existing ones. MGM will use Amazon SageMaker software “to predict content viewing and sales trends so they can forecast demand for their vast content library,” the company says. It will also use Amazon Rekognition software to tag every frame of its movie and TV library, “making it easier for MGM’s partners to find and license film and TV shows for their lineups.”

    • Monopolies

      • Govt yields to some demands from digital platforms over media code

        Digital platforms Google and Facebook have managed to change a number of terms in the news media code, which has been given the name News Media and Digital Platforms Bargaining Code, with the government giving ground on the interval for informing publishers of algorithm changes.

      • Alibaba Runs Into Europe’s Great Wall of Culture and Competition

        Live streaming by Chinese influencers like Wei Ya and “lipstick king” Li Jiaqi, peddling everything from skincare products to toilet paper, lured millions to Alibaba Group Holding Ltd.’s biggest binge-shopping day last month, posting a record $75 billion in sales. In Europe, the event barely made a ripple.

        While Alibaba’s Tmall platform in China logged 583,000 orders in one second at its peak on the Hangzhou-based company’s Nov. 11 Singles Day, infomercials in France on its platform during the event rarely got more than 1,000 views.

        As Asia’s biggest company’s push into European markets takes on greater urgency with Beijing’s crackdown on [Internet] and fintech giants, it’s learning that what works in China doesn’t always cut it on the continent.

      • Emirates News Agency – Worldwide trademark and industrial design-creation activity rose in 2019: WIPI

        Worldwide trademark and industrial design-creation activity rose in 2019 even as the number of global patent applications dipped slightly on weaker demand in IP powerhouse China, WIPO’s benchmark World Intellectual Property Indicators, WIPI, report showed.

        Trademark and industrial design filing activity increased by 5.9 percent and 1.3 percent respectively. A 3 percent decline in global patent applications, the first fall in a decade, was driven by a drop in filings by Chinese residents. Excluding China, global patent filings rose 2.3 percent.

      • USPTO fees hike worries counsel but should cut bad behaviour

        New trademark fees will make budgeting more burdensome for brands but should help the USPTO fund activities and deter problematic behaviour

      • Patents

        • Unwired Planet Judgment and the French Riviera: je t’aime moi non plus

          The Unwired case recently concluded by the UK Supreme Court is undoubtedly one of the most high-profile cases in European patent litigation in the last ten years [1]. Among other things, the judgment refers to French law to which it reserves a strange fate, a real legal “je t’aime moi non plus”.

          But, beforehand, a brief reminder of what this is all about: in 2014, Unwired Planet brought patent infringement actions against Huawei and several other smartphone manufacturers. The patents at issue relate to the 2G, 3G, and 4G wireless telecommunications standards developed under the aegis of the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (“ETSI”), which is headquartered on the French Riviera, in Nice. In 2017, the Honourable Justice Colin Birss, then sitting in the High Court of Justice, considered notably that the patents were valid and infringed and that a worldwide license should be negotiated [2]. This decision was upheld by the Court of Appeals [3] and recently by the UK Supreme Court.

          I do not intend to provide here a detailed analysis of this last judgment. That being said, French breakthroughs in FRAND litigation are rare enough to be noteworthy, particularly when a judgment of the UK Supreme Court cites and interprets the said law, as in the Unwired Planet case. It is only this part of the decision I choose to comment here, because the Court attitude seems to me to be somewhat schizophrenic.

        • Delhi judge believes inefficiency weighs down the IP system [Ed: Cherry-picking judges for patent maximalists to rush things, get fake patents through the door, run trials in a hurry instead of doing things ]

          Mukta Gupta says quicker patent grants and speedier trials are key directions for improvement

        • EU Commission unveils Action Plan on Intellectual Property
          [Ed: So "the Commission advocates the rapid roll-out of the unitary patent system" which is illegal and unconstitutional]

          As a step towards this goal, the Commission advocates the rapid roll-out of the unitary patent system (ratified by Germany on 30 November 2020) in 2021, which promises to make patenting in the EU more cost-efficient and transparent. For 2021, the Commission is also looking into improving the framework for supplementary protection certificates (SPCs), possibly including the introduction of a unified SPA grant mechanism or unitary SPC title.

        • EU Commission sets out new intellectual property action plan affecting SEPs, patent pooling and EU design protection [Ed: Reposted. The EU Commission, now with crooks inside of it, is discrediting itself by promoting illegal, corrupt and patently unconstitutional agenda of Team UPC]

          The implementation of the Unified Patent is seen as a priority in the action plan, indicating that it will reduce fragmentation and complexity, and will reduce costs for participants, as well as bridging “the gap between the cost of patent protection in Europe when compared with the US, Japan and other countries”. The action plan also indicates that it will “foster investment in R&D and facilitate the transfer of knowledge across the Single Market”.

        • Software Patents

          • Patenting AI for Medical Diagnostics [Ed: Disguising illegal software patents as "medical" or "life-saving" (not a new trick, hardly novel)]

            Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) have revolutionised the field of data analysis. Trained AI and ML models can now outperform humans in many analysis tasks, including those where humans require years of study. One example where AI and ML models have particularly helped is in the field of healthcare and medical diagnosis.

          • B# On Demand patent determined to be likely invalid

            On December 8, 2020, the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) instituted trial on all challenged claims in an IPR filed by Unified against U.S. Patent 9,553,880. Owned and asserted by B# On Demand, LLC, an NPE, the ’880 patent discloses a system that transmits a catalog of electronic files to a requesting user, sets up customer accounts, processes payments from customers to establish file access authorizations, and enables transmission of user-selected files to customers. It is currently being asserted against Spotify.

      • Trademarks

        • CJEU assesses the scope of ‘genuine use’ and considers that the resale of vehicles and replacement parts thereof amounts to ‘genuine use’

          Does the resale of vehicles and replacement parts thereof amount to genuine use of a trade mark under Article 12(1) of Directive 2008/95/EC (the former Trade Mark Directive) [now Article 19 of Directive 2015/2436]? Is there genuine use – pursuant to that same provision – when the trade mark proprietor offers services which do not use the trade mark but are intended for the goods already sold?

          These, in a nutshell, were some of the questions referred to the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) in a recent referral for a preliminary ruling from Germany.

          The Court answered them in the affirmative in Ferrari SpA v DU, C–720/18 and C–721/18.

          The judgment is relevant in that it further clarifies the concept of ‘genuine use’.

      • Copyrights

        • Thanking Diane Peters for Her Service to Creative Commons

          Diane led the work to launch the 4.0 versions of CC’s licenses, the CC0 public domain dedication, and CC’s Public Domain Mark—legal tools that have become the gold standard for institutions and individuals wanting to make their copyrighted works freely and openly available for use by anyone in the world. She’s been a critically important figure in supporting and championing CC’s global community, and her leadership of the Open COVID Pledge has been a great demonstration of her innovative thinking. Additionally, her hard work in the GLAM sector has resulted in many major collections of academic materials and cultural works being made openly available to the public—freeing knowledge and culture everywhere for everyone. 

        • Udemy Uses DMCA To Delete Video Showing How to Access Courses Free & Legally

          Major online course provider Udemy has used the DMCA to delete a video on YouTube that showed students how to legally access 6,000 courses for free via a schools and public libraries partnership. According to the course provider, using screenshots containing the Udemy logo amounts to an infringement of the company’s copyrights.

        • New Improvements in the CC Search Browser Extension

          The CC Search Browser Extension allows users to search, filter, and use images in the Public Domain and under Creative Commons licenses. It is heavily inspired by CC Search but at the same time, it offers an experience that is more personalized and collaborative. One of the primary goals of the extension is to complement the user’s workflow and allow them to concentrate on what’s important.

        • 24 x Open Education Lightning Talks

          The CC Open Education Platform is hosting a series of open education “lightning talks” in which open education practitioners will discuss their work (7 minutes) and take questions (2 minutes) in a supportive space. Everyone is welcome. Join us!

        • Team-Xecuter Defendant ‘GaryOPA’ is a Flight Risk and Remains in Prison

          The U.S. Government recently indicted three alleged members of Team-Xecuter, the masterminds behind various Nintendo hacks. A federal court has now ruled that Gary Bowser, the only defendant in custody on US soil, is a flight risk so will remain in prison for now. In a separate civil action, Nintendo also booked a success against Team-Xecuter, by taking over domain names of several piracy hack stores.

        • Bob Dylan Sells His Songwriting Catalog in Blockbuster Deal

          Fifty-eight years, more than 600 songs and one Nobel Prize later, the cultural and economic value of Dylan’s songwriting corpus have both grown exponentially.

          On Monday, the Universal Music Publishing Group announced that it had signed a landmark deal to purchase Dylan’s entire songwriting catalog — including world-changing classics like “Blowin’ in the Wind,” “The Times They Are A-Changin’” and “Like a Rolling Stone” — in what may be the biggest acquisition ever of the music publishing rights of a single act.

        • What Bob Dylan Selling His Music Catalog Does and Doesn’t Mean

          It’s important to note that the deal only covers the publishing side of the two-lane road of music rights, not the recorded music side. Recall that Taylor Swift’s $300 million catalog acquisition by a private investment group covered recorded rights but not publishing — the opposite of the Dylan sale. The owner of publishing rights typically controls whether or not songs are cleared for inclusion in TV, film, and ads; so, in Swift’s case, that’s Swift, and in Dylan’s case, it’s now UMPG. Which means…

        • Bob Dylan Sells Entire Songwriting Catalog to Universal Music Publishing

          This is one of the unique tics of Dylan’s catalog that makes it so valuable in the music publishing world: Dylan wrote most of his own songs by himself, and thus the royalties don’t need to be split up. (The acquisition does includes a few tracks Dylan wrote with other songwriters and just one on which he’s not a writer, but owns the copyright — “The Weight,” written by Robbie Robertson and recorded by the Band.) Additionally, Dylan’s catalog will not only be lucrative for UMPG in and of itself, but because Dylan is, and remains, one of the most widely covered artists in music, UMPG will collect publishing royalties each time another artist covers his songs.

          As part of the deal with UMPG, the company will gain 100 percent of Dylan’s publishing and collect on the income he would’ve received as the songwriter and controller of each song’s copyright. It doesn’t, however, include any future songs Dylan may write.

        • Bob Dylan Sells Entire Catalog of Songs to Universal Music Publishing

          Terms were not disclosed, but a source tells Variety that the deal was easily in nine figures. Since 80% of Stevie Nicks’ publishing catalog was acquired by Primary Wave last week for a reported $100 million, the Dylan catalog probably drew a number well above that.

        • Universal Music buys Bob Dylan’s entire back catalogue

          Music royalties are a complicated business. When a song is recorded, copyrights are created both for the composition of the song and the recording itself. Each of those rights is in turn split into mechanical rights (generated when a song is sold in a physical format or streamed), performance rights (when it is played on the radio or live at a concert) and synchronisation rights (when it appears in a film, television programme or a video game).

          Universal has bought Mr Dylan’s composition rights. These were particularly highly prized for three reasons. First, his songs provide much of the bedrock of the contemporary rock and folk music canon. (His lyrics even won him the Nobel Prize in Literature in 2016.) Second, cover versions by other artists, which also yield income for the writer, are popular too. Last, Mr Dylan tended to compose his songs alone; the royalties for these do not need to be split with collaborators, making them even more lucrative.

        • Today: Tell Congress Not To Bankrupt Internet Users

          We are at a critical juncture in the world of copyright claims. The “Copyright Alternative in Small-Claims Enforcement Act”—the CASE Act—is apparently being considered for inclusion in next week’s spending bill. That is “must pass” legislation—in other words, legislation that is vital to the function of the government and so anything attached to it, related to spending or not, has a good chance of becoming law. The CASE Act could mean Internet users facing $30,000 penalties for sharing a meme or making a video. It has no place in must pass legislation.

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DecorWhat Else is New


  1. IRC Proceedings: Thursday, January 27, 2022

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  2. Links 28/1/2022: GNU Poke 2.0 and OPNsense 22.1 Released

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  3. Links 27/1/2022: Archinstall 2.3.1 and Nix 2.6.0

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  4. On the Internet, Trust Should Not Become Centralised

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  5. Microsoft-Connected Publishers Suffer and Perish With Microsoft (While Peddling 'Fake News' for Their Beloved Sponsor)

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  6. Links 27/1/2022: Mabox Linux 21.11 Herbolth and PipeWire 0.3.44

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  7. IRC Proceedings: Wednesday, January 26, 2022

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  8. [Meme] EPO: Pursuing an Eastern and Western District of Europe (for Patent Trolls and Software Patents)

    With the EPO so flagrantly lying and paying for misinformation maybe we should expect Benoît Battistelli and António Campinos to have delusions of grandeur… such as presiding over the Eastern and Western District of Europe, just like Mr. Gilstrap and Mr. Albright (political appointment by Donald Trump, ushering in “the swamp”)



  9. Gemini at 2,000: 86% of Capsules Use Self-Signed Certificate, Just Like the Techrights Web Site (WWW)

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  10. [Meme] UPC: Many Lies as Headlines, Almost Exclusively in Publishers Sponsored by EPO and Team UPC to Produce Fake News (Lobbying Through Misinformation)

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  11. EPO as the 'Ministry of Truth' of Team UPC and Special Interests

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  12. Microsoft 'Delighted' by Windows 11 (Vista 11) Usage, Which is Only 1% Three Months After Official Launch and Six Months After Release Online

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  13. Links 27/1/2022: Preinstalled GNU/Linux (Ubuntu) and Arch Linux-Powered Steam Deck 30 Days Away

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  14. Don't Fall for Microsoft's Spin That Says Everything is Not Secure and Cannot be Secured

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  15. At Long Last: 2,000 Known Gemini Capsules!

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  16. Links 26/1/2022: Gamebuntu 1.0, PiGear Nano, and Much More

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  17. IRC Proceedings: Tuesday, January 25, 2022

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  18. Links 26/1/2022: No ARM for Nvidia, End of EasyArch, and WordPress 5.9 is Out

    Links for the day



  19. Why the Unified Patent Court (UPC) is Still Just a Fantasy and the UPC's Fake News Mill Merely Discredits the Whole Patent 'Profession'

    Patents and science used to be connected; but now that the patent litigation 'sector' is hijacking patent offices (and even courts in places like Texas) it's trying to shove a Unified Patent Court (UPC) down the EU's throat under the disingenuous cover of "community" or "unity"



  20. Links 25/1/2022: Vulkan 1.3 Released, Kiwi TCMS 11.0, and antiX 19.5

    Links for the day



  21. Gemini Milestones and Growth (Almost 2,000 Known Gemini Servers Now, 39,000 Pages in Ours)

    The diaspora to Gemini Protocol or the transition to alternative 'webs' is underway; a linearly growing curve suggests that inertia/momentum is still there and we reap the benefits of early adoption of Gemini



  22. [Meme] Get Ready for Unified Patent Court (UPC) to be Taken to Court

    The Unified Patent Court (UPC) and Unitary Patent system that’s crafted to empower EPO thugs isn’t legal and isn’t constitutional either; even a thousand fake news 'articles' (deliberate misinformation or disinformation) cannot change the simple facts because CJEU isn’t “trial by media”



  23. The EPO Needs High-Calibre Examiners, Not Politicians Who Pretend to Understand Patents and Science

    Examiners are meant to obstruct fake patents or reject meritless patent applications; why is it that working conditions deteriorate for those who are intellectually equipped to do the job?



  24. Free Software is Greener

    Software Freedom is the only way to properly tackle environmental perils through reuse and recycling; the mainstream media never talks about it because it wants people to "consume" more and more products



  25. Links 25/1/2022: Git 2.35 and New openSUSE Hardware

    Links for the day



  26. IRC Proceedings: Monday, January 24, 2022

    IRC logs for Monday, January 24, 2022



  27. Links 25/1/2022: GPL Settlement With Patrick McHardy, Godot 4.0 Alpha 1, and DXVK 1.9.4 Released

    Links for the day



  28. Proprietary Software is Pollution

    "My daughter asked me about why are we throwing away some bits of technology," Dr. Andy Farnell says. "This is my attempt to put into words for "ordinary" people what I tried to explain to a 6 year old."



  29. Microsoft GitHub Exposé — Part XV — Cover-Up and Defamation

    Defamation of one’s victims might be another offence to add to the long list of offences committed by Microsoft’s Chief Architect of GitHub Copilot, Balabhadra (Alex) Graveley; attempting to discredit the police report is a new low and can get Mr. Graveley even deeper in trouble (Microsoft protecting him only makes matters worse)



  30. [Meme] Alexander Ramsay and Team UPC Inciting Politicians to Break the Law and Violate Constitutions, Based on Misinformation, Fake News, and Deliberate Lies Wrapped up as 'Studies'

    The EPO‘s law-breaking leadership (Benoît Battistelli, António Campinos and their corrupt cronies), helped by liars who don't enjoy diplomatic immunity, are cooperating to undermine courts across the EU, in effect replacing them with EPO puppets who are patent maximalists (Europe’s equivalents of James Rodney Gilstrap and Alan D Albright, a Donald Trump appointee, in the Eastern and Western Districts of Texas, respectively)


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