Gemini version available ♊︎

Links 11/12/2020: MAAS 2.9, Zenwalk Current 15.0, OpenWrt 18.06.9 and 19.07.5

Posted in News Roundup at 6:37 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Audiocasts/Shows

      • Bad Voltage 3×18: Ultracrepidarian

        Stuart Langridge, Jono Bacon, and Jeremy Garcia present Bad Voltage, in which we are ultracrepidarian, the Apple phone becomes slightly more annoying…

      • BSD Now 380: Early ZFS-mas

        We read FreeBSD’s 3rd quarter status report, OpenZFS 2.0, adding check-hash checks in UFS filesystem, OpenSSL 3.0 /dev/crypto issues on FreeBSD, and more.

      • Ubuntu Podcast from the UK LoCo: S13E38 – Giving yellow flowers

        This week we’ve been playing with OpenMW and Raspberry Pi 400. We discuss cloud gaming, bring you some GUI love and respond to all your feedback.

        It’s Season 13 Episode 38 of the Ubuntu Podcast! Alan Pope, Mark Johnson and Martin Wimpress are connected and speaking to your brain.

      • The Linux Link Tech Show Episode 884

        service now woes, couchbase woes, documentation, mandalorian, nice hair, centos stream

      • Multitouch Gestures in elementary OS 6 (and any other distribution) with Touchegg

        Using Linux on laptops has always lacked something special: good trackpad gestures. I looked for solutions to this issue, and I could only find one, that didn’t really work like I wanted. But now, there’s a project that is swiping my doubts away, and that will definitely satisfy your gestures needs in a pinch.

      • Rofi Is Like Dmenu But Sucks Less – YouTube

        Rofi is a run launcher similar to dmenu but it comes with more configuration options without the hassle of patching. Rofi, like dmenu, will provide the user with a textual list of options where one or more can be selected. This can either be running an application, selecting a window, or options provided by an external script.

    • Kernel Space

      • Linux: One Million Code Commits Over 29 years | Formtek Blog

        Linux may not be the operating system that’s easiest to use for end users, but as a server OS, it ranks as the most widely used. All 500 of the world’s fastest supercomputers use Linux. Linux is even more widely used on Microsoft’s Azure cloud than Windows Server.

        Linux has been available for 29 years and over that time gotten source code commits from over 20,000 contributors. In August 2020 the number of source code control commits crosses the one million mark, according to the 2020 Linux Kernel History Report.

      • Intel

        • Intel AMX Programming Model Lands In LLVM Compiler – Phoronix

          One of the big features to look forward to with Intel’s Xeon “Sapphire Rapids” is the introduction of AMX as the Advanced Matrix Extensions. While Sapphire Rapids looks to be at least one year out still, the company’s open-source compiler engineers have already been hard at work on the software infrastructure support.

          AMX is Intel’s new programming paradigm with a focus on better AI performance both for training and inference. AMX is built around the concept of “tiles” as a set of two-dimensional registers for representing a larger memory image and accelerators that can operate on said tiles. Initial AMX features are for BFloat16, TILE, and INT8 while the design is extensible for new accelerators to be added later.

        • Intel Releases oneDNN 2.0 To Bring The Open-Source Neural Network Library To Its GPUs – Phoronix

          Intel’s Deep Neural Network Library currently known as oneDNN as part of the oneAPI suite (and formerly known as MKL-DNN and DNNL) has reached version 2.0 as an open-source project.

          This neural network library has long provided the “building blocks” for deep learning applications with very fast performance across x86_64 processors. The oneDNN library performs very well with these neural network primitives and seems to be gaining a fair amount of industry traction. With the continued adoption, oneDNN has seen experimental support for ARM64, POWER9, s390x, and even some level of NVIDIA GPU support.

        • Intel’s Cloud-Hypervisor 0.12 Released With Better ARM64 Support – Phoronix

          Cloud-Hypervisor building atop KVM and Rust-VMM while catering to cloud workloads continues making interesting progress with several other hardware and software organizations engaging on this performance-minded, security-focused, thin hypervisor. Cloud-Hypervisor in 2020 has seen Kata Containers support, VFIO device hot-plugging, ARM64 support introduced, IO_uring storage support, other I/O improvements, and initial bring-up around Windows guest support.

    • AMD

      • AMD Provides A CPU-Based HIP Implementation For When Lacking A GPU – Phoronix

        AMD’s HIP C++ Runtime API / Kernel Language for allowing portable, single-source applications on AMD and NVIDIA GPUs can now run on CPUs too.

        For the past several years AMD has been working on HIP for single-source C++ programming that can work on NVIDIA CUDA-enabled GPUs and AMD Radeon graphics. Their “HIPIFY” tool allows automatically converting CUDA code to HIP. To date HIP has just been about GPU programming but now it’s becoming a heterogeneous API at the same time Intel is now promoting their oneAPI alternative.

      • AMD Has Some Last Minute Updates For The AMDGPU Driver In Linux 5.11 – Phoronix

        The Linux 5.11 merge window is expected to open next week and while AMD has already queued several rounds of updates into DRM-Next ahead of that period, some last minute items were submitted overnight for this next Linux kernel version and what will be the first major kernel release of 2021.

        Previously in anticipation of Linux 5.11 AMD already sent in Van Gogh APU and Dimgrey Cavefish support. There were also more RDNA 2 updates, buffer modifier support going back to GFX9/Vega, and even some Renoir improvements. There were also an additional round of improvements that made it to DRM-Next at the end of November.

      • AMD Adding Experimental Video Mode Optimization To FreeSync – Phoronix

        At least under Linux AMD is currently working on a new and currently experimental video mode optimization for FreeSync.

    • Applications

      • Subtitld Is A Powerful New Subtitle Editor

        Subtitld is a new* PyQt5 subtitle editor for Linux and Microsoft Windows (macOS support might come in the future). The software can be used to create new subtitles from scratch, edit, synchronize and transcribe subtitles. It supports reading SRT, SSA, TTML, SBV, DFXP, VTT, XML, SCC and SAMI file formats, and writing SRT subtitles.

      • Kubernetes 1.20: Kubernetes Volume Snapshot Moves to GA

        The Kubernetes Volume Snapshot feature is now GA in Kubernetes v1.20. It was introduced as alpha in Kubernetes v1.12, followed by a second alpha with breaking changes in Kubernetes v1.13, and promotion to beta in Kubernetes 1.17. This blog post summarizes the changes releasing the feature from beta to GA.

      • Istio / Announcing Istio 1.7.6

        This release contains bug fixes to improve robustness. This release note describes what’s different between Istio 1.7.5 and Istio 1.7.6

      • Daniel Stenberg: curl 7.74.0 with HSTS

        This time around we have no less than three vulnerabilities fixed and as shown above we’ve paid 1,600 USD in reward money this time, out of which the reporter of the CVE-2020-8286 issue got the new record amount 900 USD. The second one didn’t get any reward simply because it was not claimed. In this single release we doubled the number of vulnerabilities we’ve published this year!

        The six announced CVEs during 2020 still means this has been a better year than each of the six previous years (2014-2019) and we have to go all the way back to 2013 to find a year with fewer CVEs reported.

        I’m very happy and proud that we as an small independent open source project can reward these skilled security researchers like this. Much thanks to our generous sponsors of course.

      • The syslog-ng Insider 2020-12: web interfaces; Grafana Loki; Amazon Linux 2;

        This is the 87th issue of syslog-ng Insider, a monthly newsletter that brings you syslog-ng-related news.

      • Try FeatherPad as your Linux terminal text editor

        There’s always room in my Activities menu for a utilitarian text editor. Of course, the exact meaning of “utilitarian” is different for each user, but for me, it means a text editor with all the features I need and not much else. So far, FeatherPad has proven in many ways to fit these requirements.

        FeatherPad is developed for and tested on Linux, so it makes no guarantee about its performance on other platforms. On Linux, you can install it from your distribution’s software repository or directly from source code found on its Github repository.

        There is some support for macOS and Haiku. Whatever your platforms, you can compile Featherpad from source code and try it out. If you know C++ and Qt development, you may even be able to help bolster cross-platform support.

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • Using pidof and pgrep to list process IDs

        The pidof and pgrep commands provide listings of process IDs (PIDs) for process names that you provide as arguments. This post shows how to use these commands and illustrates the differences between them with a series of examples.

      • How to List Open Ports on Linux? – Linux Hint

        In networking, a port is an interesting feature. It’s a way for network traffic to identify the destination app or service. Each process/service gets its unique port. A port will always be associated with the IP address of the host along with the protocol.

        This is a favorite metaphor of mine to describe what a port is. Imagine a ship loaded with cargo, which will travel to a distant land. What information is needed to reach the destination properly? For the sake of simplicity, let’s say it needs the country (the IP address) and the port the ship will dock.

      • How to Install PHP 8 on CentOS/RHEL 8/7

        PHP is a popular open-source server-side scripting language that is integral in developing dynamic webpages. PHP 8.0 is finally out and was released on November 26th, 2020. It promises lots of improvements and optimizations which are set to streamline how developers write and interact with PHP code.

      • How to Install PHP 8 on CentOS 8 / RHEL 8

        Hello Geeks, recently PHP 8 has been released officially. It is a new major version and comes with lot of new improvements and features. In this article, we will demonstrate on how to install latest version of PHP 8 on CentOS 8 and RHEL 8 system.

      • How to List and Remove a GPG Key in Ubuntu

        Some time ago we wrote an article about removing the PPA repository from the Ubuntu system.

        The PPA repository keys will not be removed as part of removing the PPA repository, and they will remain on the system.

        Today we are going to show you how to list and remove the added GPG keys from Ubuntu system.

      • How to Install Minecraft Server in Raspberry Pi 4
      • How to Set Up a Raspberry Pi Network Monitor? – Linux Hint

        Zabbix is an open-source monitoring tool in which you can monitor your servers, virtual machines, networks, cloud services, and many more. It is a very useful tool for small, medium, and large IT organizations.

        You can install the Zabbix on the Raspberry Pi and monitor the network of other computers/servers in your home network using it.

        In this article, I am going to show you how to set up Zabbix on your Raspberry Pi to monitor the network of other computers/servers in your home network.

      • Install Mesa Graphics Drivers on Ubuntu [Latest and Stable]

        Mesa itself is not a graphics card like Nvidia or AMD. Instead, it provides open source software implementation of OpenGL, Vulkan, and some other graphics API specifications for Intel and AMD graphics hardware. With Mesa, you can play high-end games and use applications that require such graphics libraries.

      • How to upgrade FreeBSD to a newer version – Linux Hint

        FreeBSD is upgraded on a fairly consistent basis, and with each new update comes new a suite of newly added features. Not to mention the introduction of newer patches with every update, which protects your FreeBSD system from security issues, and a host of other reasons why you might want to keep FreeBSD updated.

      • Install Apache, PHP, and MySQL on FreeBSD – Linux Hint

        In this lesson, you’ll learn how to install Apache, MySQL, and PHP programming language on FreeBSD. This combination of open-source programs is better known as the FAMP stack, FAMP being an acronym for the three. The FAMP stack is essentially a suite of software utilities that provides a FreeBSD server with the necessities to host dynamic webpages. If you’ve ever used Linux, you probably see the similarities to the LAMP stack, which serves a similar purpose on Linux.

      • Install Nano on FreeBSD – Linux Hint

        Nano is a text editor with an incredibly straightforward and easy to use interface. It is commonly used with Unix-like operating systems, including FreeBSD. It is quite similar to the Pico text editor but includes a host of features that are entirely unique to itself. There’s one drawback that it cannot be used in several different modes like other text editors for FreeBSD.
        This is going to be a quick tutorial on how to set up nano on a FreeBSD system. Plus, there’s going to be a section in this lesson that’ll help you get started with this text editor.

      • How to Customize the Task Switcher in KDE Plasma

        It is often the little interactions with a desktop environment that makes up for a good user experience and task switcher is something that most of the users fiddle with.

        I’ve recently about customizing the task switching experience on GNOME but what about the most customizable desktop environment, KDE?

      • Top 25 Linux Commands

        A developer’s best friend is the command line. It ought to be fused into their routine work. It helps make a system more efficient and manageable. For instance, you can write various script-codes to quickly produce and automate time-consuming processes.
        Here, we have compiled all the top Linux terminal commands that will help beginners, as well as intermediate and advanced users.

      • What does “git merge –abort” do? – Linux Hint

        Before understanding the usage of the “git merge –abort” operation, we must realize why do we need such an operation in the first place. As you all know that Git maintains a history of all the different versions of a file or a code; therefore, the different versions that you create are known as Git commits. Also, there is a dedicated current commit, i.e., the version of the file that you are currently working on. At times, you might feel the need to merge a previously committed file with the one you are currently working on.

        However, during this merging process, it can happen that any other colleague of yours is also working on the same file. He might discard the changes that you have kept or modify the lines that you have just added to the file. This scenario can lead to a merge conflict in Git. Once a merge conflict in Git arises, and you try to check the status of Git, it will display a message that a merge conflict has occurred. You will not be able to do anything with that particular file until you manage to fix that conflict.

        This is where the “git merges –abort” operation comes into play. Basically, you want to go back to the old state where you can have your current version of the file unchanged, and you can start making the changes all over again. In this way, you will ensure that no such conflicts arise again in the future. So the “git merge –abort” operation essentially terminates the merger that you have just carried out and separated the two versions of your file, i.e., the current version and the older version.

      • Setup let’s encrypt on FreeBSD – Linux Hint

        This tutorial is about installing Let’s Encrypt, a Certificate Authority (CA) that alleviates the process of TLS/SSL certification. The TLS/SSL certification, in turn, serves as an indispensable element of HTTPS authentication on an online server. Let’s Encrypt comes with a software client named Certbot that employs automation techniques to strips the certification process of any intricate technicalities for the user’s convenience.

      • How to install Gimp 3 Beta on Ubuntu 20.04 – YouTube

        In this video, we are looking at how to install Gimp 3 Beta on Ubuntu 20.04.

      • How to install Kubernetes on Ubuntu Server without Docker – TechRepublic

        Kubernetes is deprecating Docker support. That’s right, all that hard work you’ve put into learning the container orchestrator is about to change. Even from the very beginning of the journey, how you use Kubernetes will not be the same.

        I’m talking about the very installation of the container management tool. You certainly cannot deploy Kubernetes in the same fashion as you once did–installing Docker as your runtime. With that in mind, what do you do? I’m going to show you.

        Together, we’re going to install Kubernetes on Ubuntu Server 20.04, without Docker.

      • How to install Sonic Robo Blast 2 (SRB2) on a Chromebook

        Today we are looking at how to install Sonic Robo Blast 2 (SRB2) 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.

      • Install Home-Assistant in Raspberry PI with Docker – peppe8o

        Smart devices are spreading the world because of their low costs and fast availability.

      • Install XFCE Desktop on Arch Linux

        Arch Linux officially supports many desktop environments. Some of the supported desktop environments are Budgie, Xfce, Cinnamon, Deepin, Gnome, KDE Plasma, Mate, Pantheon, etc. Pantheon is the default desktop environment (DE). You can install your favorite DE and switch the default.

        Xfce is a lightweight desktop environment that uses less memory, CPU and disk I/O. Obviously, it’s not fancy but responsive compared to other Graphical user Interface.

        The latest version Xfce is based on GTK 3 provides excellent user experience such as xfwm4 window manager, file manager, xfce4-panel, Xfconf so on. This article shows how to install XFCE 4.14 Desktop Environment on Arch Linux.

      • How to Run Cyberpunk 2077 on Linux | SegmentNext

        One of the biggest surprises to come from CP 2077’s release is that it can even run on the Linux OS, which isn’t much known for its gaming-centric capabilities.

        However, to actually run Cyberpunk on Linux, there are a few pre-requisites that you need to meet to be able to play the game.

        A new update of Steam Play’s Linux equivalent, Steam Play Proton, has just arrived, titled Steam Play Proton 5.13-4. This update has been made specifically by the developers to make CP compatible with Linux.

      • How to Easily Resize, Convert and Modify Images from the Linux Command Line

        I often worked with images while preparing a technical article for 2DayGeek.

        I took a lot of screen shots as part of the article preparation and will edit them before adding them to my blog article.

        Mostly i use the compression option to reduce the actual size of the image to load them quickly on the web.

      • How To Install Atom Text Editor on Debian 10 – idroot

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to install Atom Text Editor on Debian 10. For those of you who didn’t know, Atom is an open-source text editor that is modern developed by GitHub. Atom is built using HTML, CSS, JS, and other web technologies. It supports more than 35+ programming languages by default. Atom is a desktop application built using web technologies. Most of the extending packages have free software licenses and are community-built and maintained. Atom is based on Electron (formerly known as Atom Shell), a framework that enables cross-platform desktop applications using Chromium and Node.js.

        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 Atom Text Editor on a Debian 10 (Buster).

      • Adam Young: Content Based Access Control in Messaging

        In an OpenStack system, the communication between the compute nodes and the scheduler goes through a messaging system such as RabbitMQ. While there have been different models over the years, the basic assumption has remained that all actors identify themselves to the broker via a password and are trusted from that point forward.

        What would happen if a compute node was compromised? The service running on the node could send any message one the bus that it wanted. Some of these messages are not ones that a compute node should ever send, such as “Migrate VM X to Node Y.” If the compromise was delivered via a VM, that hostile VM could then attempt to migrate itself to other nodes and compromise them, or could attempt to migrate other VMs to the compromised nodes and read their contents.

    • Games

      • Cyberpunk 2077 is playable on Linux at launch thanks to Steam Play

        Linux gamers won’t be left out in the cold with Cyberpunk 2077, as the game is now playable on Linux thanks to an update for Valve’s Steam Play service.

        As you may be aware, Steam Play lets people play Windows games on Linux using Proton – a compatibility layer (actually a specially modified version of WINE) – with Proton just having received an update to version 5.13-4.

        That’s an update which solely brings in support for Cyberpunk 2077, with the caveat that you’ll need to be using an AMD graphics card (and you must have the Mesa 21.0-devel Git).

        Of course, how the game will actually run on Linux distros in these early days is another question – considering that there are already plenty of question marks over the amount of bugs when running Cyberpunk 2077 natively on Windows, at least going by some reports.

      • CyberPunk 2077 Safely Lands on Linux on Day 1 – Boiling Steam

        This is a day for the History book my friends! No, I am not talking about trivial, insignificant things that you may have seen on the news, but the fact that CyberPunk 2077 made it to Linux on this holy day of December 10th, 2020.

        This is a feat enabled by Valve and their partners through a last minute release of a new Proton version, apparently focused on AMD at this stage, while the game has been reported to work both on AMD and Nvidia hardware so far. You want proof? Sure.

      • You can Play Cyberpunk 2077 on Linux Right Now (If You Have AMD Graphics)

        CD PROJEKT RED released their highly anticipated game of this year, Cyberpunk 2077 today. The game stars Keanu Reeves in leading role.

        Cyberpunk 2077 is available on PS5, PS4, Google Stadia, Xbox and Microsoft Windows. Who cares about Linux, right? Steam does, thankfully.

        Today Valve also released their Steam Play Proton compatibility layer’s new version. With this you can play Cyberpunk 2077 on your Linux rig.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • KDE Applications 20.12 Arrives as a Major Update with Many New Features

          KDE Applications 20.12 introduces a new app called KDE Itinerary, which acts as a digital travel assistant for storing all the information you need while on the go. The information it can provide includes timetables and locations for trains, airplanes or buses, as well as hotel or event bookings.

          In addition, KDE Itinerary lets you import data from several sources, such as your email client, give you suggestions for local public transport, and provide you with train and coach station layout maps. The app will soon arrive in the software repositories of your favorite distro using the KDE Plasma desktop environment.

    • Distributions

      • New Releases

        • Zenwalk Current 15.0 Santa Claus edition

          Zenwalk Current 15.0 10 12 2020 “Santa Claus” edition is available.

          In short you get the latest Slackware current system with elogind, pam and the release candidate yet stable XFCE version 4.16 : installed in 15 minutes on your drive.

          The Zenwalk Desktop is what we believe to be the most modern and user friendly desktop environment available for computers in 2021 : full “dock based” window management, designed for modern ultra wide displays.

          Plethora of applications and games are ready to go with Flatpak or dependency aware package manager.

      • BSD

        • Free BSD vs. Linux compared

          FreeBSD is a Unix-like operating system and an iteration of the older Unix distributions better known as the Research Unix. It is open-source and publicly available for free, and actually only one of the many Berkeley Software Distributions (abbreviated BSD, hence, the OS is named FreeBSD), the other notable iterations being OpenBSD, NetBSD, and DragonFly BSD.

          Linux, as a derivation of Unix, naturally has much in common with the BSDs. Like BSD, Linux distributions are free and open-source as well. Despite the fundamental similarities, Linux has largely overshadowed BSDs in popularity, with over 74% of modern smartphones being Linux based.

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • CentOS project changes focus, no more rebuild of Red Hat Enterprise Linux – you’ll have to flow with the Stream

          The CentOS project, a non-commercial Linux distribution that tracks Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL), is changing to become only CentOS Stream, based on a development branch of RHEL and therefore less suitable for production workloads.

          The implication may be that Red Hat has decided that the availability of CentOS undermines the commercial side of its business. “If you are using CentOS Linux 8 in a production environment, and are concerned that CentOS Stream will not meet your needs, we encourage you to contact Red Hat about options,” said CentOS Community Manager Rich Bowen.


          Red hat started way back in 1995, with the partnership between Bob Young and Marc Ewing. Ewing brought his nascent Linux distro, named Red Hat Linux after the fedora red lacrosse cap Ewing was known for wearing. Red Hat Linux quickly introduced a set of killer features, such as the Red Hat Package Manager (RPM), the Anaconda installer, and ELF binaries, to name a few. By 2003, Red Hat Linux was split into two separate distros, RHEL and Fedora Core. RHEL was the subscription-only distribution, while Fedora Core was the bleeding-edge distribution available for free. Just a note, I was running Fedora on my machines since before they dropped “Core” from the name.

          The RHEL product, while open source, is only available for paid subscribers, or developers in non-production environments. Because it’s open source, there is nothing preventing a third party from removing the branding, and recompiling the packages for free. This is exactly what Gregory Kurtzer and the other founding members of CentOS did back in 2004. CentOS version 2 was the first such release, bringing an Enterprise Linux to the Community.

        • Lilbits: The death of CentOS Linux, the rise of RISC-V, and last call for the F(x)Tec Pro1 X
        • The Future of CentOS Is CentOS Stream

          Red Hat’s senior vice president and chief technology officer Chris Wright says, “CentOS Stream isn’t a replacement for CentOS Linux; rather, it’s a natural, inevitable next step intended to fulfill the project’s goal of furthering enterprise Linux innovation. Stream shortens the feedback loop between developers on all sides of the RHEL landscape, making it easier for all voices, be they large partners or individual contributors, to be heard as we craft future versions of RHEL.”

        • Nobody Owns Linux, But You Can Pay For It – Or Not

          There is nothing quite like the open source community to demonstrate the principles of freedom, democracy, and meritocracy – and the difficulties of bringing those principles to bear and keeping them pure when money is involved.

          Open source software is not just about having access to source code, but that is a kind of protection against tyranny if parts of the community, particularly corporate sponsors who cut the paychecks for a lot of the developers – either directly or indirectly – who create open source software, particularly the Linux kernel and the operating system that is stacked up around it in various distributions.

          Quite a big stink is being made their week as Red Hat has made some major changes to the CentOS variant of its Enterprise Linux. And that is mostly because since its creation CentOS has been what amounts to a community supported variant of Red Hat Enterprise Linux that sits downstream from the RHEL development – meaning, it is rolled up from the source code after Red Hat is done – and Red Hat has reversed the polarity of the CentOS project it took over in 2014 and plans to move it upstream, as CentOS Stream, thus turning it into yet another development release like the Fedora project has been for many years and which also feeds into RHEL in some fashion. (Don’t even start thinking about how CoreOS Linux, which Red Hat acquired in January 2018 and which underpins its OpenShift Kubernetes container platform, fits into all of this.)

          As the world’s largest company devoted to the development of commercial grade open source infrastructure software and arguably the only company that will ever be able to make this model work from a commercial standpoint at this scale, Red Hat can afford to have many different kinds of Linux that its employees contribute code to. The company rakes in somewhere north of $3 billion a year selling support contracts for such software, and has a vested interest in making sure the Linux operating system keeps getting more and better features added to it as well as support for successive generations of hardware. And to be fair, Red Hat does its share of this work and has since the company was founded decades ago. It is in this sense, though, that companies really are paying for Linux.

          CentOS Stream was announced somewhat innocuously in September 2019, two months after IBM closed its landmark $34 billion acquisition of Red Hat. That timing might be coincidence, but maybe not. IBM has promised to keep a hand’s off approach to Red Hat, and is a just as likely that the Red Hat team is making this change all on its own as it is likely that Big Blue is coercing it.

          CentOS Stream was designed to create a half-way point between the Fedora development release, which is changing like crazy all the time, and the commercial-grade Red Hat Enterprise Linux release, which changes on a regular, predictable, and relatively infrequent cadence of about twice a year. To be more precise, CentOS Stream is the code-base for the minor RHEL releases, and parts of RHEL development were actually moved into the CentOS project to get everyone collaborating. Which was good.

        • Migrating CentOS 6, 7, and 8 to Oracle Linux

          With CentOS Linux 8 announced dead by the end of 2021 and CentOS Stream being an entirely different release and support model, one wonders if it’s possible to switch to Oracle Linux.

          What’s Oracle Linux? Like CentOS, it’s a Red Hat Enterprise Linux rebuild, with some Oracle patches on top. One of the key differences is choosing either RHEL-compatible kernel or their own Unbreakable Linux kernel. To know more about Oracle Linux, read this PDF or head over to their homepage.

          Oracle has 6.10, 7.9 and 8.3 versions ready to download. Since many infrastructure providers such as Digital Ocean do not have Oracle Linux on offer and given the OL similarity to CentOS, one can try to switch directly from the CentOS system.

        • Rocky Linux is go: CentOS founder’s new project aims to be 100% compatible with Red Hat Enterprise Linux

          Gregory Kurtzer, the founder of the CentOS project, has kicked off a new venture called Rocky Linux, the aim being to build “a community enterprise operating system designed to be 100 per cent bug-for-bug compatible with Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL)”.

          Just days after Red Hat CTO Chris Wright declared that “we will shift our investments to CentOS Stream exclusively on December 31, 2021,” the Rocky Linux project has been formed with a new distro “currently under major intensive development by the community,” although there is “no ETA at present for a release.”

          CentOS Linux and CentOS Stream are free community distributions. The problem with CentOS Stream is that it is a development build, although one that is only just ahead of the production release of RHEL. This makes it unsuitable for production use.

        • CentOS founder’s new distro, Rocky Linux, to replace what Red Hat killed

          The founder of the CentOS project, Gregory M. Kurtzer, has set up a new distribution called Rocky Linux, and aims to replicate what he did with CentOS – provide users with a distro that is similar to Red Hat Enterprise Linux, apart from the trademarks.

        • After CentOS, the next one to bite the dust will be Fedora

          Gutting CentOS will mean that Red Hat will have to devote less developer time to it; what time is put in for the new so-called CentOS Stream will be essentially QA time for RHEL.

          And what of Fedora? I don’t want to sound like a prophet of doom but the days of the so-called community distribution are numbered. Why would Red Hat expend energy and developer time on Fedora when it can ask users of this distro to switch to the CentOS Stream instead?

          All the Fedora user complaints, fixes and mailing list posts would serve as excellent free labour for the CentOS Stream. And that is essentially the point. In true gig economy fashion, Red Hat will be getting developer hours free.

          GNU/Linux was once an operating system around which there was some idealism. Now, Red Hat has ensured that the only thing one sees when looking at a penguin is the greenback. Or the British pound. Or the Australian dollar. Or the Philippine peso. Or the UAE dirham. Or maybe the South African rand. And don’t forget the euro.

        • Fedora program update: 2020-50 – Fedora Community Blog

          Here’s your report of what has happened in Fedora this week. Fedora 34 Change proposal which require infrastructure changes are due on Wednesday, 16 December.

        • Accelerate Red Hat OpenShift Container Platform workloads with Red Hat Ceph Storage and Micron all-flash storage

          Scalable, resilient, highly performant storage. Today’s businesses need it, particularly for data-intensive workloads like analytics, artificial intelligence (AI), and machine learning (ML). All these workloads can significantly tax their underlying infrastructure, and scalable, high-performance storage lets organizations achieve their goals across multiple workload categories, including:

        • Red Hat Builds Native Edge Computing Features into RHEL and OpenShift

          The features are meant to make it easier for customers to add edge deployments to their existing infrastructure.

        • Release of cockpit-composer 27

          We are happy to announce the release of cockpit-composer 27. This release has no major new features, but contains useful fixes.

        • So long, and thanks for all the fun – Marcin Juszkiewicz

          It would be nice to replace Mustang with some newer AArch64 hardware. From what is available on mass market SolidRun HoneyComb looks closest. But I will wait for something with Armv8.4 cores to be able to play with nested virtualization.

        • Avoid systemd’s emergency mode on mount failure

          This had not happened for a long time, but today it bit me once again. I knew I could force systemd to continue booting but how exactly had faded to the back of my mind. A quick visit to Google later, I discovered that systemd services and targets can be masked via the kernel command line . So, for a future me, or you, if ever you get locked out of your system because systemd wants to enter emergency mode, simply mask the emergency service and target like by adding the following options to your kernel command line: [...]

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • MAAS 2.9 is now available

          Canonical is happy to announce that MAAS 2.9 is now available. We’ll get to the details of installing it in just a moment, but first, let’s walk through a brief overview of the new features and fixes. Later on in this post, we’ll cover some of these features in much more detail.

        • F(x)Tec Pro1 X smartphone with keyboard and Ubuntu Touch or LineageOS [Indiegogo]

          With less than two days left to go in this crowdfunding campaign, this is your last chance to reserve a special edition version of this unusual phone.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • Create a DevOps culture with open source principles

        As this article goes online, DevOps teams are rounding the bend of eight months of remote work. Some teams were remote by design. Other teams had remote work forced on them. Now is an excellent time to take a refresher on what it means to be a high performing DevOps team that just works remotely.

        Remember that people come before tools for a remote DevOps team. Here’s how you keep your people operating and feeling refreshed during these times.

      • Tor in 2021

        This year has been difficult for all of us. As individuals, we’ve had to adapt to the new normal of COVID-19, and as an organization, the Tor Project also had to adapt to our “new normal” after we made the difficult decision to let go of one third of our organization. Although challenging, we have managed to reorganize in order to meet the goals we originally set for 2020, and now, it’s time to look forward to 2021.

        Continuing User-First Development

      • Top Open Source Predictions to Watch Out for in 2021

        The use of open source software will witness an incredible surge credited to its control, training, security, and stability capabilities. By using open source, people will have more control over their software. It can help people willing to take a closer look at open source software to become better programmers. As open source code is publicly accessible, students, as well as tech enthusiasts, can easily study it as they learn to make better software.

      • Programming/Development

        • GoComply with OSCAL & FedRAMP :: Introduction to OpenControl

          So, let’s get started with the introduction of one simple file format that you can use to store your compliance related data. OpenControl calls itself A YAML-Powered Antidote To Bureaucracy, it is file format developed and adopted by dozen’s of industry partners. OpenControl presents this simple yet powerful idea that compliance data should not really be stored in excel sheet print outs, rather the data should be machine and human readable to lower the cost of compliance.

          OpenControl Format is so easy to understand, that I won’t be wasting your time describing it. Instead, let me just reference one OpenControl document that contains Control Responses to NIST-800-53 for OpenShift Container Platform 4.

        • GoComply with OSCAL & FedRAMP :: Introduction to OSCAL

          This blog post is gonna write itself, official OSCAL web page is well maintained and documentation is detailed yet easy to comprehend.

          OSCAL stands for Open Security Controls Assessment Language. It is an industry wide effort lead by NIST (National Institute of Standards and Technology) to develop set of formats expressed in XML, JSON, and YAML. These formats provide machine-readable representations of control catalogs, control baselines, system security plans, and assessment plans and results. OSCAL is still under development.

          When compared to OpenControl, OSCAL is better funded, less minimalist, and way more complete attempt to introduce machine-readable file format for automated compliance operations.

          Lastly, let me here stand-up and applaud NIST for developing OSCAL completely in open. Everything that goes to the sausage is available for public to review, comment, or re-use. NIST maintains public chat channel, mailing-list and bi-weekly conference calls to spur collaboration across the industry. Very well done!

        • node-firebird status for Firebird Advent 2020
        • Practice coding in Groovy by writing a game | Opensource.com

          Once you understand these concepts, you can start figuring out what makes one language different from another. For example, most languages have a “way of doing things” supported by their design, and those ways can be quite different from one program to another. These include modularity (grouping related functionality together), declarative vs. imperative, object-orientation, low- vs. high-level syntactic features, and so on.

        • Free Books to Learn Kotlin – LinuxLinks

          Kotlin is a cross-platform, statically typed, general-purpose programming language with type inference. Kotlin is a more modern version of Java. It adopts functional ideas such as immutability and first-class functions, out of the box, and it is also object oriented.

          Kotlin is designed to interoperate fully with Java, and the JVM version of its standard library depends on the Java Class Library, but type inference allows its syntax to be more concise. Kotlin mainly targets the JVM, but also compiles to JavaScript or native code (via LLVM).

          Kotlin has been making waves since it was open sourced by JetBrains in 2011; it has been praised by developers across the world and is being adopted by companies.

          Kotlin is published under the Apache License 2.0.

        • Qt for Python 6 released

          It is with great pleasure to announce that we have released a new version of Qt for Python for Qt 6 and a range of new features.

        • Qt for MCUs 1.6 released

          Exactly one year ago, Qt for MCUs 1.0 was released. It brought the convenience of the QML language and the power of the Qt Quick APIs to platforms that had always been out of reach for Qt: microcontroller-based embedded systems. With the introduction of the Qt Quick Ultralite engine and an all-new QML compiler optimized for ultra-low memory footprint, memory requirements for Qt were brought to record new lows. Instead of a dozen of megabytes of RAM required to run an optimized basic QML application with the regular Qt Quick framework, you could now fit the same application within a couple hundreds of kilobytes.

        • How to merge objects in PHP – Linux Hint

          Although there is no built-in function, there are several ways to merge objects in PHP. For example, a new object can be created by adding the properties of two or more objects using a loop. Alternatively, the required objects can be converted into arrays, which can be merged by using array_merge() or array_merge_recursively(), and then reconverted to an object.

        • Perl/Raku

          • Strawberryperl.com – https any time soon? | Martin McGrath

            Throwing this one out to the wider community, if anyone can assist in adding https support to strawberryperl.com that’d be great, with browsers and corporate firewalls moving towards a stricter mode of operation.

          • Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey

            Most operating systems have a version of libpng, the library for reading and writing the PNG (portable network graphics) image format on them. Unfortunately, though, the libpng is often fairly old.

            I wrote a CPAN module which links against libpng, but then trying to get the module tested with CPAN testers, a lot of bugs would happen. It was frustrating because I couldn’t work out what was going wrong with the tests unless I could find out what version of libpng was installed on the testing machine.

          • Day 11: Santa Claus TWEAKs with a Class – Raku Advent Calendar

            Santa [1] [2] was browsing the eTrade magazines on his iPad one morning and came across an article referenced in the latest O’Reilly Programming Newsletter about how ancient COBOL is the programming language still used for the bulk of the world’s business software.

            He had been aware of that since his huge operations with millions of elves [3] had always been at the forefront of big business practice over the cenruries, and he was very proud of the cutting edge efficiencies in his maximally-automated toy factories.

        • Python

          • The split() Function in Python – Linux Hint

            Strings are an important data type and are used to store information in a system. When programming, you may need to break down a string into multiple chunks to get the most important information from a large block of characters. A function or built-in mechanism is necessary, in this case, to split a string into multiple parts.

            Python provides the built-in split() function to split strings into separated pieces. The split() function separates a string into multiple strings, arranges them in a list, and returns the list. The split() function breaks down or splits the string according to a defined separator, which can be any special character (“,”, “:”, “@”, etc.).

          • Python 3.9.1 Released with macOS 11 Big Sur Support | UbuntuHandbook

            The Python programming language 3.9.1 was released a few days ago as the first maintenance release of Python 3.9.

            Python 3.9.1 comes with 282 changes since 3.9.0. It is the first version to support macOS 11 Big Sur. With Xcode 11 and later it is now possible to build “Universal 2” binaries which work on Apple Silicon. See the changelog for more.

        • Java

          • Why Java developers love the jEdit text editor

            Java is a powerful language. Maybe because it’s often seen as an “industrial-strength” tool, you might not expect it to be the foundation of a text editor. After all, text editing is almost too easy for such power. In fact, in most modern programming toolkits, the component accepting text entry is a pre-programmed widget. Using a Java toolkit, a simple text editor can be written in about 100 lines of code. So what can jEdit possibly offer to justify its existence?


            Which text editor you choose depends on what you intend to do in your editor. This one calls itself the “programmer’s text editor,” and I feel it’s a very strong contender for serious Java and XML work. However, it doesn’t have quite the same feature set when editing Lua code and Bash scripts. Compared to something like Emacs, for instance, jEdit’s code folding is less flexible (I couldn’t get it to fold a Lua function without additional markup). While it does have a rich plugin selection, I was unable to find anything particularly persuasive for work in AsciiDoc and other non-code formats.

            The most appealing feature of jEdit, for me, is its foundation in Java. Because it runs in a JVM, you can be confident that you can use it regardless of your platform and possibly regardless of whether you have permission to install applications outside your own home directory. Java is a popular and active language, so jEdit’s features and plugins are well-maintained.

            You should try jEdit if you’re a fan of consistency, or a Java developer, or just an XML geek trying desperately to get out of oXygen. It’s easy to get started, and it’s a lot of fun to explore.

  • Leftovers

    • Making all the puzzle pieces fit together – David Revoy

      The main rule of this new thing I caught from I don’t know where (probably aging, I’m approaching 40…) is simple: my energy drains now super quickly into the exploration of certain path and certain solutions. It drains me to the point it gives me headaches and sometime I even need short nap to recover.

      On the bright side, it also works a bit like a reversed compass. By avoiding with trial and errors the penalties, I’m sort of guided slowly toward new solutions and perspectives. This process has been contagious to many aspect of my life and continue to spread. I estimate it started after the release of the self published book: it was probably a process put on hold during all that time.

      What it will change? It’s hard to tell, I don’t have enough distance, we will see. Tiny specifications of my style, my character design, my storytelling patterns will just probably slowly shift to something more personal and authentic. At least, that’s what I hope.

    • Health/Nutrition

      • Raid on COVID Whistleblower in Florida Shows the Need to Reform Overbroad Computer Crime Laws and the Risks of Over-Reliance on IP Addresses

        All too often, misunderstandings about computers and the digital networks lead to gross miscarriages of justice.

        On the first point, it seems that the police asked for, the prosecutors sought, (and the Court granted) a warrant for a home raid by state police in response to a text message sent to a group of governmental and nongovernmental people working on tracking COVID, urging members to speak up about government hiding and manipulating information about the COVID outbreak in Florida.

        This isn’t just a one-off misuse: in other cases, we’ve seen the criminalization of “unauthorized” access used to threaten security researchers who investigate the tools we all rely on, prosecute a mother for impersonating her daughter on a social network, threaten journalists seeking to scrape Facebook to figure out what it is doing with our data, and prosecute employees who did disloyal things on company computers. “Unauthorized” access was also used to prosecute our friend Aaron Swartz, and threaten him with decades in jail for downloading academic articles from the JSTOR database. Facing such threats, he committed suicide.  How could a text message urging people to do the right thing ever result in an armed police home raid? Sadly, the answer lies in the vagueness and overbreadth of the Florida Computer Crime law, which closely mirrors the language in the federal Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (laws in many states across the country are likewise based on the CFAA). 

      • Stop government attack on COVID-19 whistleblower Rebekah Jones!

        President-elect Joe Biden has issued no statement in defense of Jones or the right of access to data on the spread of the pandemic. Instead, in a speech Tuesday, Biden stated, “It should be a national priority to get our kids back into school and keep them in school,” adding that he “will work to see that the majority of our schools can be open by the end of my first 100 days.”

      • A new civil war? It’s here: The right’s grievance politics is killing thousands every day

        The answer, unfortunately, is because of the American culture war, which is getting uglier and more uncontrollable all the time. While the right used to mock “identity politics,” the tribal sense of identity among conservatives seems to trump all other considerations these days. Displaying such tribal loyalty by attacking and antagonizing liberals matters more to many conservatives than their own health and safety. That’s doubly true in the face of a disease that is disproportionately affecting poorer people and people of color, allowing white conservatives to imagine that their “tribe” is not being hurt by the pandemic.

      • Appendiceal Cancer Shows Age-related Somatic Gene Variants with Potential Diagnostic Relevance

        Cancer of the appendix is a very rare form of cancer, having an incidence of 0.12 per 1,000,000 person-years (Siegel et al., 2020, Cancer statistics 2020 70:7-30). Incidence is rising (by 232% from 2000-2016 in the U.S.) without a known etiological basis, particularly in individuals less than 50 years old, and accordingly it has become more than a curiosity as a target for cancer research. Treatment (perhaps not surprisingly) involves surgical removal of the appendix, but typically is detected after metastatic disease has spread to other areas of the patient’s body.

        A recent publication in the New England Journal of Medicine, entitled “Spectrum of Somatic Cancer Gene Variations Among Adults With Appendiceal Cancer by Age at Disease Onset,” by a research group from Vanderbilt, has identified an interesting pattern of genetic variants that may become a basis for differential diagnosis and screening. The study encompassed 385 patients diagnosed with appendiceal cancer, and found that patients diagnosed at less than 50 years of age showed a “unique somatic variant patterns in PIK3CA, GNAS, SMAD3, and TSC2″ compared with patients diagnosed when they were older. One of these markers (GNAS) has previously been associated with overall survival rates (Ang et al., 2018, JCO Precis. Oncol. 2:1-18).

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • A new macbook pro — first impressions

          Krita itself, the x86 build, runs fine: the performance is much better than on my 2015 15″ macbook pro, and rosetta seems to even translate the AVX2 vectorization instructions we use a lot. Weirdly enough, X86 Firefox doesn’t seem to be able to load any website, and Safari is very annoying. Looks like the macOS build of Kate isn’t notarized yet, or maybe I need to use the binary factory build for that. XCode took about two hours to install and managed to crash the system settings applet in the process.


          MacOS 11 is also really annoying, with an endless stream of notifications and please-use-your-finger-to-unlock for the most innocuous things. The visuals are appallingly ugly, too, with really ugly titlebars, a cramped system settings applet and weird little pauses now and then. And if the performance monitor can still be put in the menubar, I haven’t found the way to do that.

        • Pseudo-Open Source

          • Openwashing

          • Privatisation/Privateering

            • Linux Foundation

              • TTTech Industrial launches commercial product based on the Linux Foundation’s ACRN hypervisor

                TTTech Industrial is launching the first commercial product based on the Linux Foundation‘s ACRN hypervisor for the industrial market.

                With the latest release of its Nerve Blue industrial edge computing platform, TTTech Industrial is making ACRN 2.0 available to customers in a commercial, fully supported software solution that runs on a variety of Intel processors in an array of industrial applications. ACRN Project members include ADLINK, Aptiv, Intel Corporation, LGE and Neusoft Corporation.

                ACRN is a flexible, lightweight reference hypervisor built with real-time processing and safety-criticality in mind. When developing ACRN 2.0, the community prioritized three key requirements for hypervisors in the Industrial IoT and edge environments: functional safety, real-time processing and resource sharing for additional flexibility.

                TTTech Industrial and Intel are actively engaged in the project and have worked together to shape ACRN technology and rapidly integrate it into the Nerve Blue edge computing platform.

        • Security

          • Cyber Actors Target K-12 Distance Learning Education to Cause Disruptions and Steal Data

            ZeuS is a Trojan with several variants that targets Microsoft Windows operating systems.

          • Security updates for Thursday

            Security updates have been issued by Arch Linux (ant, cimg, containerd, libproxy, libproxy-mozjs, libproxy-webkit, libslirp, python-lxml, tomcat8, tomcat9, and xorg-server), CentOS (firefox and thunderbird), Debian (apt, linux-4.19, python-apt, and sqlite3), Fedora (ceph, chromium, containerd, matrix-synapse, mingw-openjpeg2, openjpeg2, python-authlib, python-canonicaljson, and spice-gtk), Mageia (chromium-browser-stable), openSUSE (chromium and pngcheck), Slackware (curl), SUSE (clamav, curl, openssh, openssl-1_0_0, openssl-1_1, openssl1, python-pip, python-scripttest, python-urllib3, and xen), and Ubuntu (apt, curl, and python-apt).

          • Reproducible Builds in November 2020 — reproducible-builds.org

            Greetings and welcome to the November 2020 report from the Reproducible Builds project. In our monthly reports, we point out the most important things that have happened in and around our community.

          • Josh Bressers: Episode 236 – Door 11: Should you get on a 737?

            Josh and Kurt talk about the safety of a 737

          • UK sec firm chief says FireEye using ‘fancy terms’ to hide failings

            The chief executive of a British security firm has criticised the American firm FireEye — which had its Red Team tools stolen by an unknown adversary recently — of using fancy terms in its advisory about the attack in order to hide its own failings.

          • Trickbot trojan, poor security led to FireEye intrusion: claims

            American cyber security company FireEye, which announced a couple of days ago that it had been compromised by unknown attackers who stole its offensive tools, has been accused of having poor Internet-facing security by a British company that specialises in PKI.

          • The Internet’s Most Notorious Botnet Has an Alarming New Trick

            Security firms AdvIntel and Eclypsium today revealed that they’ve spotted a new component of the trojan that TrickBot [attackerfs] use to infect machines. The previously undiscovered module checks victim computers for vulnerabilities that would allow the [attackers] to plant a backdoor in deep-seated code known as the Unified Extensible Firmware Interface, which is responsible for loading a device’s operating system when it boots up. Because the UEFI sits on a chip on the computer’s motherboard outside of its hard drive, planting malicious code there would allow TrickBot to evade most antivirus detection, software updates, or even a total wipe and reinstallation of the computer’s operating system. It could alternatively be used to “brick” target computers, corrupting their firmware to the degree that the motherboard would need to be replaced.

          • Sophos fixes SQL injection flaw in some firewall devices

            Global cyber security vendor Sophos has fixed a pre-authentication SQL injection vulnerability in the WebAdmin component of its Cyberoam operating system which it uses in some of its enterprise firewall products.

          • Global minerals technology firm suffers hit from Windows Egregor ransomware

            New York-based global minerals-based company Minerals Technologies appears to have been attacked by cyber criminals using the Egregor ransomware that runs only on Microsoft’s Windows operating system.

          • US payments processor TSYS hit by Windows Conti ransomware

            American payments processing company TSYS, that has global operations, has suffered a hit from the Windows Conti ransomware.

          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • CA Notify App Is A Useful Arrow in the Fight Against COVID-19

              CA Notify and apps like it meet most, but not all, of our standards for exposure notification apps

              These apps use mobile phones’ Bluetooth functionality to determine if a person has come into contact with someone who recently tested positive for the virus. (In iOS, there is no app to download; the “Exposure Notification” feature can be turned on via the settings.) If an app user tests positive for COVID, the app will notify others with the app who have come into contact with them, without giving information about the individual who tested positive. While the Bluetooth technology that powers California’s app and others like it is the most promising approach to COVID exposure notification, there are still important privacy and equity concerns. And, ultimately, COVID tracking apps like these can only be effective if deployed alongside widespread testing and interview-based contact tracing.

              CA Notify and other apps built on Google and Apple’s API meet several of the key proximity tracking and exposure notification safeguards that EFF has been looking for from the start, including informed, voluntary, opt-in consent and data minimization (both in terms of what data is collected and where it is shared). They also allow users to uninstall the app, turn off the functionality, and opt out at any point. Google and Apple have not yet, however, met our standards for information security (including open-sourcing their code and subjecting it to third-party audits and penetration testing), nor are we aware of any individual app developers publishing transparency reports. 

    • Defence/Aggression

      • The veteran spyplane too valuable to replace

        “The U-2 really attracts the kind of pilots who want to say ‘I fly the most difficult aeroplane in the inventory’,” says Greg Birdsall, Lockheed Martin’s U-2 deputy programme manager. “They take a pilot candidate and put him in a trainer aircraft with a seasoned instructor pilot in the backseat to see how they take to the peculiar handling characteristics of the aeroplane.” Only around 10–15% of pilots who apply to join the programme are accepted.

        In the age of automation and algorithms it is easy to imagine that these spy planes and their pilots with the “right stuff” are a relic from the Cold War – but that would be wrong. For the 31 years since the fall of the Berlin Wall, the U-2 has been intercepting speech or text, acquiring electronic signals, taking photographs and using a special form of radar to capture digital imagery.

        The U-2 has also acquired new roles, like that of a data relay. Its ability to fly high in the sky meant that it was in the perfect position to relay information from the battlefield to headquarters. In the process it has outlasted rival planes and seen off the surveillance satellites that were supposed to make it redundant.

      • Rush Limbaugh Goes Viral for Talk of Secession, Now Claims It Wasn’t His Idea

        Hugely influential conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh took some heat after saying that the country is “trending toward secession.” So, the very next day Limbaugh said he was misunderstood and was only relaying the speculation of others.

        During his Wednesday broadcast, Limbaugh did mention that he’s seen the topic of secession written about but then seemed to make it clear that because of the current political and cultural environments, he thinks “we’re trending toward secession.”

    • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • ‘Seditious abuse of judicial process’: States fire back at Texas’ Supreme Court election challenge

        More than two dozen states filed motions with the Supreme Court on Thursday opposing Texas’ bid to invalidate President-elect Joe Biden’s wins in four battleground states, a long-shot legal move that Pennsylvania blasted as a “seditious abuse of the judicial process.”

        “Overturning Pennsylvania’s election results is contrary to any metric of fairness and would do nothing less than deny the fundamental right to vote to millions of Pennsylvania’s citizens,” the state’s Democratic attorney general, Josh Shapiro, wrote in response to Texas GOP Attorney General Ken Paxton’s bid to toss out the presidential election results in Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Georgia and Michigan.

      • Susan Rice Will Leave Netflix Board to Join Biden Administration

        Susan Rice, an alum of the Obama administration, will exit the Netflix board of directors to take a top policy position in president-elect Joe Biden’s White House.

        On Thursday, Biden announced the appointment of Rice as director of his Domestic Policy Council, which will give her broad influence over the incoming administration’s approach to immigration, health care and racial inequality.

      • I Know Rahm Emanuel, and He Shouldn’t Be Anywhere Near the White House

        Rahm came into office with his crosshairs set on our union, successfully pushing for state legislation to limit the right of Chicago teachers to strike. He used his handpicked Chicago Board of Education to cancel teachers’ annual raise, claiming it was unaffordable. He followed that up by closing 50 majority-Black public schools on the South and West sides of the city. And while imposing austerity on traditional neighborhood schools, he expanded publicly funded, privately run charter schools, and diverted $58 million from Chicago Public Schools to the city budget to cover past “security services.”

        On criminal justice, Rahm opposed a federal investigation of the Chicago Police Department, fought efforts to revamp the civilian police oversight authority, failed to establish a promised community oversight board, and resisted judicial oversight of the CPD—while closing half of the city’s mental health clinics. But Rahm’s most significant legacy is his handling of the 2014 Laquan McDonald police murder case, which he covered up until after he won reelection in 2015.

    • Censorship/Free Speech

    • Freedom of Information/Freedom of the Press

      • Neo-Nazi sentenced for plot to target journalists, anti-Semitism advocates

        In his plea agreement, Garza admitted that he conspired with the other defendants via an encrypted online chat group to identify journalists and advocates to threaten in retaliation for the victims’ work exposing anti-Semitism. The group focused primarily on journalists and advocates who were Jewish or people of color.

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • “40 Years a Prisoner” confronts the police we’re supposed to trust “telling bold-faced lies”

        Africa Jr.’s journey is brilliantly related in the new HBO documentary film, “40 Years a Prisoner,” directed by Tommy Oliver and available now on HBO Max. Featuring an all-star ensemble of producers including The Roots, Common and John Legend, “40 Years A Prisoner” is a compelling film about the horrors of America’s criminal justice system. The story begins in 1978 when Philadelphia police raided MOVE, a back to nature organization based on love, among other peaceful principles. Africa’s parents, two MOVE members, were arrested during that raid on trumped up charges and convicted before he was born. In the film, Oliver documents Africa Jr.’s life pursuit of freeing his parents, along with other MOVE members, and a decades-long battle with the Philadelphia police department. I recently got a chance to talk with Africa Jr. and Oliver about the film on an episode of “Salon Talks.”

      • Revenge of the secretaries: The protest movement that inspired the film 9 to 5

        In November 1973, 9to5 began organising public meetings. “If we don’t fight for dignity and respect on the job, who’s going to fight for us?” Nussbaum said in a speech included in a new documentary, 9to5: The Story of a Movement.

        Cassedy quit her job to work for the 9to5 Association full-time and they set up base in a tiny office in the Boston YWCA, planning actions their members could get behind, even if they didn’t think of themselves as activists or feminists.

        “People would have been scared to hand out a leaflet on a street corner – what if their boss walked by?” says Cassedy. “So we developed this kind of personality, this kind of sassy in-your-face, light-hearted way of going about things. It worked.”

        Humour and ridicule became their secret weapons.

        They decided to target National Secretaries Day, when bosses were supposed to buy their secretary a bouquet of flowers or a box of chocolates to thank them for their year of hard work.

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

      • The Broadcasting Act Blunder, Day 15: Mandated Confidential Data Disclosures May Keep Companies Out of Canada

        (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, Day 12: The “Regulate Everything” Approach – The CRTC Conditions, Day 13: The “Regulate Everything” Approach – Targeting Individual Services, Day 14: The Risk to Canadian Ownership of Intellectual Property)

    • Monopolies

      • Patents

        • PEB (seems to) confirm that candidates will not be disqualified for writing during the time allocated for screen breaks and upload time

          Last week on IPKat we reported the release of further information for pre-EQE and EQE candidates (IPKat: EQE 2021: Further details on examination timings and paper format released). In addition to making the exams online for the first time, the EQE organisers have taken the surprising decision to also change the format of some of the exam papers so as to include enforced long breaks. The EQE FAQ have since been updated and can be read here.

          The release of the EQE information understandably prompted many comments from concerned candidates on both IPKat and DeltaPatent’s EQE blog. The IPKat post also received comments from Sarah Boxall, Chief Examiner for the UK patent exams. Sarah Boxall had previously used the IPKat comments to provide further examination information to candidates for the UK patent exams (IPKat here). Unfortunately, in the latest instance, Sarah Boxall’s comments heightened as opposed to alleviated candidate anxiety. In response to candidates’ criticisms of the new EQE structure, Sarah Boxall commented that “Candidates should also be aware that the EQE’s are taking learnings from what did not go so well with the PEB exams, namely candidates not taking screen breaks and using that time and the upload time to continue writing when the actual exam time had finished, i.e. writing beyond the time allocated for the exam. Such behaviour would result in disqualification in an exam hall and the matter is being considered by the PEB Governance Board this month”.

        • Who Says its Not Convenient? Mandamus on 1404(a) Convenience

          In November 2020, the Federal Circuit granted Apple’s mandamus petition and ordered the case of Uniloc v. Apple to be transferred from W.D.Tex. (Albright, J) to Apple’s other home-court of N.D. Cal. In the Federal Circuit’s opinion, the district court had clearly abused its discretion in finding that N.D. Cal. was not clearly the more convenient forum. Notice the double-use of the word clearly above — the district court will transfer only when the proposed forum is “clearly more convenient”; and mandamus will only be granted for “clear abuse of discretion.”

          Uniloc has now petitioned the court for en banc rehearing–arguing that the appellate panel failed to provide the double-deference required for mandamus review of a discretionary transfer decisions. As Judge Moore wrote in her dissent, “There is no more deferential standard of review.”

        • Software Patents

          • $3,000 Awarded for IP Edge Entity Prior Art

            Unified is pleased to announce the PATROLL crowdsourcing contest winners, Rahul Vijh and Candy Khemka, who split a cash prize of $3,000 for their prior art submissions for U.S. Patent 7,567,622. This former Panasonic patent is now owned by Swirlate IP, LLC, an NPE and IP Edge entity. The ’622 patent generally relates to digital modulation and transmission errors in wireless communication systems (e.g. cellular radios).

            The patent has been asserted in district court over 10 times against ResMed, Livongo Health, Corning Optical Communications, Badger Meter, Continental Automotive, and others. The accused products include ventilators (ResMed) and blood glucose monitors (Livongo Health).

          • Endpoint IP entity, Eighth Street Solutions, patent challenged

            On December 9, 2020, Unified Patents filed an ex parte reexamination proceeding against U.S. Patent 7,664,924, owned and asserted by Eighth Street Solutions, LLC, an NPE and Endpoint IP entity. The ’924 patent is related to securing a computer system by selectively controlling write access to a data storage medium. The ’924 patent has been asserted against Sophos, Trend Micro, and McAfee.

      • Copyrights

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DecorWhat Else is New

  1. Microsoft Staff Trying to Subvert the Freedom of Gemini (Without Disclosure of the Paymaster)

    Looking back at the past couple of years, it seems like Microsoft staff and boosters were more than eager to steer developers away from freedom and into Microsoft's cage

  2. Gemini Gone Mainstream: German Media Now in Geminispace

    With the likes of TAZ embracing Geminispace/Gemini Protocol we seem to have reached some sort of inflection point; taz.de did in fact add official presence to Geminispace

  3. Links 28/1/2022: LSFMM 2022 and 2021 UI Study Results From Elementary's Distro

    Links for the day

  4. IRC Proceedings: Thursday, January 27, 2022

    IRC logs for Thursday, January 27, 2022

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

    Links for the day

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

    Links for the day

  7. On the Internet, Trust Should Not Become Centralised

    “Trust” is a word that lost its meaning in the era of “TPM” and fancier names for 'Palladium'; we need to reject this idea that computers need to check with Microsoft if the operating system is trusted (not just Windows!), check with Gulag/Chrome if a Web site is trusted, and whether it's OK to run some application/s on one's own computer (as if Jim Zemlin et al get to decide what is trusted)

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

    IDG and other fake news outlets/networks/sites (selling to companies flattering articles about themselves or renting out 'news space' to them, not just ad space) want us to think Microsoft is doing very well, but it's just that same old Ponzi scheme

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

    Links for the day

  10. IRC Proceedings: Wednesday, January 26, 2022

    IRC logs for Wednesday, January 26, 2022

  11. [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”)

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

    As shown in the charts above (updated an hour ago), the relative share of ‘Linux’ Foundation (LE/LF; same thing, same office) in the capsules’ certificates has decreased over time; more and more (in terms of proportion) capsules choose to sign their own certificate/s; the concept of ‘fake security’ (centralisation and consolidation) should be rejected universally because it leaves nobody safe except plutocrats

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

    Lest we forget that EPO dictators, like Pinky and the Brainless Benoît Battistelli and António Campinos, have long littered the EPO's official Web site as well as publishers not directly connected to the EPO (but funded by it) with disinformation about the UPC

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

    The 'Ministry of Truth' of the patent world is turning the EPO's Web site into a propaganda mill, a misinformation farm, and a laughing stock with stock photography

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

    Microsoft boosters such as Bogdan Popa and Mark Hachman work overtime on distraction from the failure Vista 11 has been (the share of Windows continues to fall relative to other platforms)

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

    Links for the day

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

    Microsoft keeps promoting the utterly false concept that everything is not secure and there's nothing that can be done about it (hence, might as well stay with Windows, whose insecurity is even intentional)

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

    The corporate media, looking to appease its major sponsors (such as Web/advertising giants), won't tell you that Gemini Protocol is rising very rapidly; its userbase and the tools available for users are rapidly improving while more and more groups, institutions and individuals set up their own capsule (equivalent of a Web site)

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

    Links for the day

  20. IRC Proceedings: Tuesday, January 25, 2022

    IRC logs for Tuesday, January 25, 2022

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

    Links for the day

  22. 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"

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

    Links for the day

  24. 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

  25. [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”

  26. 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?

  27. 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

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

    Links for the day

  29. IRC Proceedings: Monday, January 24, 2022

    IRC logs for Monday, January 24, 2022

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

    Links for the day

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