01.26.21

Links 26/1/2021: Mozilla Firefox 85.0, Tails 4.15, Zentyal Server 7.0, GNOME 40 Alpha

Posted in News Roundup at 7:28 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Desktop/Laptop

      • The Serval WS, A Powerful Linux Workstation: Review

        In need of a computer that can handle just about any AAA game you throw at it? Better yet, a computer that comes with Linux pre-installed, with the benefit of portability? Look no further than the Serval WS.

        Note: this is a review unit provided by System76. That being said, this is still a no-bars-held-back review.

        The Serval WS is a laptop/workstation hybrid assembled by the folks over at System76. Their company is based in Denver, Colorado, USA. System76 is also responsible for Pop!_OS — the Linux distribution that’s based on Ubuntu.

        Going to System76’s website, we can see that they sell a wide range of desktops, laptops, servers, and even mini desktops. Though the parts for their machines are from China, the components are assembled in the US.

        As far as their laptop lineup is concerned, the Serval WS is the only one that has an AMD processor. Their upcoming Pangolin also features a non-Intel CPU, but this unit is not currently available for testing yet.

    • Audiocasts/Shows

      • Eating the License Cake | LINUX Unplugged 390

        Successful open-source projects all seem to struggle with one major gorilla. Who it is, and what their options are now.

        Special Guests: Drew DeVore and Jonathan Corbet.

      • The Raspberry Pi is a great way to get started with Homelab! (How to Homelab Episode 4)

        If you’re looking for a low-cost way to enter into the world of Homelab, look no further than the Raspberry Pi! These small computers are plenty powerful to run quite a few Homelab apps, and in this video I give you my thoughts on why that is. In a future video, we’ll explore running some apps on the Raspberry Pi but I wanted to create this video as an introduction to the concept of using a Pi in this way

      • Tabliss Is A “New Tab” Plugin For Firefox and Chrome

        Tabliss is a beautiful, customisable “New Tab” page for Firefox and Chrome, and the browsers that base of Firefox and Chrome (such as LibreWolf and Brave). In particular, it solves the “empty tab” problem that I was having on LibreWolf

    • Kernel Space

      • Linux Says Farewell To Intel’s Smartphone Attempts With Clearing Out Moorestown / Medfield

        Not only are some old ARM platforms and some obsolete, obscure CPU architectures on the chopping block for some spring cleaning in the Linux kernel, but the Intel Moorestown and Medfield “Mobile Internet Device” platforms are being phased out from the Linux kernel this spring as well.

        Moorestown was Intel’s early Atom platform geared for handheld mobile Internet devices and smartphones.

      • With Linux 5.12 Set To Boot On The Nintendo 64, The N64 Controller Driver Is Now Queued – Phoronix

        A few days ago we wrote about Linux 5.12 to see support for the Nintendo 64 more than two decades after that MIPS-based video game console first shipped. While the practicality of Linux on the Nintendo 64 is particularly limited given only 4~8MB of RAM and the MIPS64 NEC VR4300 clocked under 100MHz, it’s going upstream and now the N64 controller driver is also queued for this next kernel cycle.

        The code talked about a few days ago was getting Linux to boot on the Nintendo 64. With those 200+ lines of code in the MIPS architecture space is enough to get Linux booting on the Nintendo 64 when using a Flashcart device to be able to load the arbitrary code onto the game console.

      • Corellium to offer cloud-based iOS virtualisation to individual accounts

        The company, which only recently ported Ubuntu Linux to work on Apple Silicon Macs, has announced on their blog that they will now offer their virtualisation tools for iOS to individual accounts on their CORSEC platform. Previously, only enterprise accounts could access the service, while individuals could only access virtual Android devices.

      • Getting started with SystemTap on Oracle Linux

        There are a wealth of tools available for tracing and debugging the Linux kernel on a live system. These include Kprobes, Ftrace, trace-cmd, Dtrace, eBPF, SystemTap, crash, gdb, etc. Among these tools, few allow the user to develop and re-use scripts that can filter events and collect data more than just function arguments and returned values. Dtrace, eBPF and SystemTap are the ones among these tools that do.

      • Anticipating Your Memory Needs

        The Linux kernel organizes physical memory in units of pages of a certain size called base pages. For example, the default base page size when running on Intel processors is 4KB. These pages are allocated to user and kernel tasks as they need memory. When processing large amounts of data from slower disk devices, the Linux kernel uses a page cache to cache contents, like disk blocks, to speed up access to frequently accessed data. See this article for more details on how various caches are used by the Linux kernel. This has the positive effect of improving overall system performance but the memory for page cache must come from the same memory pool that is used by rest of the system. The kernel allocates all the memory not currently in use to the page cache. As the kernel needs to allocate more memory for other tasks, it can reclaim pages from the page cache since the contents in the page cache can be restored from disk blocks when the need arises. Reclamation happens as the kernel starts to run low on free memory pages. Individual memory pages are the base pages. As pages are reclaimed, any contiguous base pages are grouped together (compaction) to form higher order pages. Higher order pages are groups of 2^n physically contiguous pages where n is the page order. Higher order pages can then be used to satisfy higher order page allocation requests, for example if an allocation request is for 8 pages, that allocation will be made from order 3 page group.

        The kernel recovers physical memory in the event of a shortage by page reclamation and/or compaction. Both methods are implemented in a similar fashion. As the amount of free memory falls below the low threshold (watermark), memory pages are reclaimed asynchronously via kswapd or compacted via kcompactd. If the free memory continues to fall below a minimum watermark, any allocation request is forced to perform reclamation/compaction synchronously before it can be fulfilled. The latter synchronous method is referred to as the “direct” path and is considerably slower owing to being stalled waiting for memory to be reclaimed. The corresponding stall in the caller results in a non-deterministic increased latency for the operation it is performing and is typically perceived as an impact on performance.

      • Graphics Stack

        • Nvidia 460.39 Driver Adds Support for Linux 5.10 LTS, GeForce RTX 3000 Series of Laptop GPUs

          Nvidia 460.39 is here three weeks after Nvidia 460.32.03 and introduces support for new graphics cards, including NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060, NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070, and NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080 laptop GPUs, as well as NVIDIA GeForce GT 1010. This support is available only for GNU/Linux and FreeBSD systems.

          Linux users would be happy to learn that the new Nvidia graphics adds support for newer kernels, such as the latest and greatest Linux 5.10 LTS series, restoring essential functionality like runtime power management, hot-plugging of audio-capable display devices, as well as S0ix-based system suspend.

        • Intel Announces Iris Xe Desktop Graphics For OEMs

          Intel today announced Iris Xe (DG1) discrete graphics cards are coming to OEMs with ASUS and Colorful being among the initial partners.

          The initial Iris Xe desktop graphics cards feature 80 execution units and a 30 Watt TDP. This is not the high-end, high performance desktop graphics but seems to largely be the Xe MAX discrete laptop graphics (but with 16 less EUs) now fitted for PCI Express cards for the desktop. The OEM cards are expected to feature 4GB of LPDDR4X memory. Other details are still light.

        • NVIDIA 460.39 Linux Driver Brings RTX 30 Laptop Enablement, Improved 5.10+ Kernel Support

          NVIDIA has released 460.39 as their latest stable Linux proprietary graphics driver build.

          With this latest NVIDIA 460 series driver is support now for the RTX 3060 / RTX 3070 / RTX 3080 laptop GPUs as well as for the low-end GeForce GT 1010.

        • VKD3D-Proton begins work to support DirectX Raytracing on Linux | GamingOnLinux

          There’s a few mountains that Steam Play Proton still needs to climb over the next few years, to enable more Windows games and more features in those games to work under Linux. One big one is at least in progress.

          Ray Tracing being one of the big things in gaming tech now, thanks to both AMD and NVIDIA having Ray Tracing cards out in the wild. With that, we can expect more games to begin using it.

          Thankfully, VKD3D-Proton, which is the Valve-funded fork of vkd3d to work with Direct3D 12 has a Pull Request open with the start of the work towards supporting Ray Tracing. Keep in mind though, while exciting for Steam Play Proton users, this is far from complete and not enabled directly for games as of yet as stated in the PR “Don’t expose any features to app yet, but allow overriding FL to 12.2 for local testing while bringing up DXR.”.

        • Mike Blumenkrantz: Samplin

          The goal in this post is to migrate a truckload block of code I wrote to handle sampler updating out of zink and into Gallium, thereby creating several days worth of rebase work for myself but also removing a costly codepath from the driver thread.

          The first step in getting sampler creation to work right in zink is getting Gallium to create samplers with the correct filters in accordance with Chapter 42 of the Vulkan Spec:

          VK_FORMAT_FEATURE_SAMPLED_IMAGE_FILTER_LINEAR_BIT specifies that if VK_FORMAT_FEATURE_SAMPLED_IMAGE_BIT is also set, an image view can be used with a sampler that has either of magFilter or minFilter set to VK_FILTER_LINEAR, or mipmapMode set to VK_SAMPLER_MIPMAP_MODE_LINEAR. If VK_FORMAT_FEATURE_BLIT_SRC_BIT is also set, an image can be used as the srcImage to vkCmdBlitImage2KHR and vkCmdBlitImage with a filter of VK_FILTER_LINEAR. This bit must only be exposed for formats that also support the VK_FORMAT_FEATURE_SAMPLED_IMAGE_BIT or VK_FORMAT_FEATURE_BLIT_SRC_BIT.

          If the format being queried is a depth/stencil format, this bit only specifies that the depth aspect (not the stencil aspect) of an image of this format supports linear filtering, and that linear filtering of the depth aspect is supported whether depth compare is enabled in the sampler or not. If this bit is not present, linear filtering with depth compare disabled is unsupported and linear filtering with depth compare enabled is supported, but may compute the filtered value in an implementation-dependent manner which differs from the normal rules of linear filtering. The resulting value must be in the range [0,1] and should be proportional to, or a weighted average of, the number of comparison passes or failures.

    • Applications

      • 10 of the Best Linux Debuggers for Software Engineers

        Debuggers are essential for locating bugs in programs. There is a plethora of robust Linux debuggers that make it easy to find weak points in your applications. We will outline some of these applications in this guide. Try some of these tools to get a feel of how debugging works in Linux.

      • PDF Arranger 1.7 Release Makes Managing PDF Documents on Linux Easier

        PDF Arranger is a GUI tool for splitting, rotating, cropping, and rearranging pages of PDF files. It is actually a fork of pdfshuffler. PDF Arranger has been around for some time now and is available for both Linux and Windows.

        Even though it is one of the best Linux PDF editors already, a new release potentially makes it even better.

        The latest release introduces features like the ability to edit document info, selection of odd or even pages, option to crop white borders, and more.

        Let’s take a look at what other changes this release has to offer.

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • Linux: Delete file & folder using command line terminal – Linux Shout

        As we know Linux is slightly different from Windows for various tasks even in deleting files and folders. And here we will see the quick Linux commands to delete a file and directory using the terminal.

        However, just like in Windows, system files or the important folders are only accessible by admin, in Linux, they are under sudo or root users. Therefore, if want to delete any system file on Linux using GUI, then you should log in as root but that is a bit risky because you don’t want to run all your applications under an admin user.

      • Automate setup and delivery for virtual machines in the cloud | Opensource.com

        If you’re a developer or hobbyist using a Fedora qcow2 image for the cloud, you always have to do a bunch of initial configuration before an image is ready to use. I know this all too well, and I was eager to find a way to make the setup process simpler. As it happens, the entire Fedora quality assurance team feels the same way, so we developed Testcloud.

      • How to Run a Shell Script in Linux [Essentials Explained]

        Using #! /bin/bash indicates that the script is bash shell script and should be run with bash as interpreter irrespective of the shell which is being used on the system. If you are using zsh specific syntax, you can indicate that it is zsh script by adding #! /bin/zsh as the first line of the script.

      • Simple guide to secure Redis Installation – The Linux GURUS

        In our previous tutorial, we learned how we can install Redis on the Ubuntu server & CentOS/RHEL server. But if we leave the installed Redis service to default state i.e. with default configurations, it might be susceptible to intrusions. So we should know how we can secure the Redis installation to avoid unauthorized access or operations on our Redis server.

        There are a number of things we can do to secure the Redis installation. We will now list them down one by one.

      • Running syslog-ng in Bastille – revisited

        Bastille is a container management system for FreeBSD, similar to Docker or Podman on Linux. The historical name of containers on FreeBSD is jail, and they appeared a lot earlier than containers on Linux. Managing jails was not always easy. When I started to use this technology in production in 2001, nothing was automated. Using Bastille, you can easily create, configure, or update jails at scale. It has a template system to install applications in containers and there is a template also for syslog-ng.

      • Oracle Linux Virtualization Manager: Administration and Deployment made easy with short training videos

        In this week’s Training Tuesday blog we will begin with the first in a series of blogs about Oracle Linux Virtualization Manager training videos. Each blog provides pointers to free, short videos that you can take at your own pace to get a better at understanding of the product.

        Oracle Linux Virtualization Manager is a server virtualization management platform, based on the oVirt open source project, that can be easily deployed to configure, monitor, and manage an Oracle Linux Kernel-based Virtual Machine (KVM) environment with enterprise-grade performance and support from Oracle. This environment also includes management, cloud native computing tools, and the operating system, delivering leading performance and security for hybrid and multi-cloud deployments.

      • How to install LeoCAD on Linux Mint 20.1 – YouTube

        In this video, we are looking at how to install LeoCAD on Linux Mint 20.1.

      • How to install Python 3.9 on a Chromebook

        Today we are looking at how to install Python 3.9 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.

        If you have any questions, please contact us via a YouTube comment and we would be happy to assist you!

      • How To Change The Default Shell In Linux – Linux Uprising Blog

        This article explains how to change the default shell in Linux. Using this you can set Bash, sh, Zsh, Csh, Fish, etc. as your shell.

        The article includes instructions for changing the login shell from the command line using chsh, or changing the shell only for a particular terminal application. While the article is targeted at Linux users, this should also work on other Unix-like systems.

      • How To Enable Minimize And Maximize Buttons In Fedora – OSTechNix

        Today, we will see one of the post installation steps in Fedora desktop. This brief guide explains how to enable minimize and maximize buttons in application windows in Fedora Workstation and Silverblue editions.

        As you may already know, there is no minimize and maximize buttons in Application windows in Fedora Silverblue as well as Fedora Workstation editions. If you want to minimize an application window, you need to right click on its title bar and choose the minimize option from the context menu. Unfortunately, you don’t even get that option in Firefox with your mouse. To minimize Firefox window, you should hit the Left ALT+SPACEBAR keys and choose Minimize option.

        I don’t know what is the benefit of hiding most frequently used buttons. Ubuntu GNOME desktop has the min/max buttons, but Fedora hasn’t. If you want to bring back the minimize and maximize buttons in Fedora GNOME and Silverblue editions, you can enable them with the help of Gnome Tweaks utility and Dash to Panel extension in Fedora.

      • How to Find Top 10 Running Processes by Memory and CPU Usage

        Linux is quite popular for its command-line utilities, which not only make any task at hand easier but also saves a lot of time, which is otherwise wasted in graphical UI based utilities.

        This is one of the reasons why Linux is a preferred operating system for servers and administrative machines. Combine the knowledge of Linux commands and shell scripting and you have a proper toolkit of system administration at your disposal.

        Today we will see how to see the top 10 heaviest memory and CPU resource-consuming processes in Linux using a command-line tool called ps command, which is used to display information about running processes in Linux.

      • How to Install Ansible on Ubuntu 20.04

        Ansible is an Infrastructure as Code tool that allows its users to control many servers from a centralized location. The benefit of using Ansible is that it uses SSH along with YAML files for configuration without any need to require other configurations. In this tutorial, I will describe how to install and configure Ansible on an Ubuntu 20.04 system.

      • How to Upgrade a Single Package in Ubuntu

        On Ubuntu to install newer versions of the packages we run apt-get update followed by apt-get upgrade commands. This will update all installed packages which have new versions available in the repositories.

        In some situation we have to upgrade only a single package such as PHP, Apache or Nginx.

      • How to Self-host Plausible Analytics [Complete Guide]

        As an ethical website, we try to keep Linux Handbook as much Google and tracking free as possible. In that regard, we refrain from using Google Analytics for website traffic measurement.

        Instead, we use Plausible Analytics. It is a simple, lightweight (<1 KB), open-source and privacy-friendly alternative to Google Analytics (GA).

        It may not give you as many details as GA, but it gives you an idea about the traffic you are getting on your website along with the bounce rate and visit duration.

        You can also see which pages are getting most visits, from where your website is getting the traffic, bounce rate and duration on page. You can also measure traffic based on geographical region and devices.

      • How to View and Change Boot Sequence in Linux Terminal

        Have you ever had a need to change your boot sequence via terminal? Maybe you’re doing so remotely via SSH, or maybe you can’t manage to get into the BIOS during that two second sweet spot when your computer is first turned on. In this article, we’ll explain how to easily change the boot sequence via terminal.

      • How to create Cloudwatch alarms for RDS (MySQL) on AWS

        Monitoring your RDS instances is very important, and the same applies to other resources. In this article, we will create a simple alarm for an RDS MySQL instance which will check for free storage space on the instance. There are different metrics too which can be used to create alarms, click here to see the list of available metrics for RDS instances. The “FreeStorageSpace” metric checks for the storage space available on the instance and depending upon the condition specified the alarm gets triggered and sends notifications to SNS Endpoint. The “FreeStorageSpace” metric accepts the value in bytes and not percent.
        Before we proceed with this article, I assume you are aware of the basics of RDS instances and already have one in your account to create alarms for.

      • How to Send An Email With File Attachment from Command Line

        The key to becoming an advanced Linux user is to use more of the command line and less of the GUI; more of the keyboard and less of the mouse! As the diaspora of Linux command-line tools grows, not only administrative but several non-administrative, in fact, crucial day-to-day tasks, are performed using the command line.

      • How to Install Ubuntu 20.04.1 LTS to your Windows PC

        If you read the last article on How to create bootable Ubuntu 20.04 on windows 10 in that We have promised we’ll make a complete get started guide on Linux.

        This is the second article on Get started guide on Linux. I’ll not cover the Ubuntu Operating System features rather than I’ll show you a simple way to install Ubuntu on your Windows PC.

        Without taking any further moment, let’s start the Installation process first check the basics system requirement to Install.

    • Games

      • With some epic 8-bit styled artwork Cyber Shadow is out now | GamingOnLinux

        Cyber Shadow from Aarne “MekaSkull” Hunziker and Yacht Club Games is an epic throwback to the likes of Ninja Gaiden and Shadow Of The Ninja and it’s out now with Linux support. Nice the see Yacht Club give a hand to another developer, after their success with the Shovel Knight series.

      • Monster taming and farming mix in Ova Magica is up on Kickstarter and already funded

        Ova Magica, a blending of casual farming in the spirit of Stardew Valley and Harvest Moon blended with monster taming and battling like something out of Pokemon is now live on Kickstarter. It managed to get fully funded within the first 2-3 hours, which I’m really not surprised about. The early tech demo was promising and it has such a great idea.

        Thankfully it’s another that will support Linux too and the developer has been very clear about this. The Kickstarter campaign also lists it nice and clear as “The game will be released on PC DRM-Free, on Steam (Windows, Mac OS and Linux), Nintendo Switch, Playstation 4, Playstation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S.”.

      • Plex Arcade is a retro video game streaming service that excludes Linux users

        Unfortunately, there is one big catch — Linux users are being left out.

      • Seriously deep monster-catching dungeon-crawler Siralim Ultimate releases in March | GamingOnLinux

        Ready for a run through the dungeons? How about to catch 1000s of monsters? Siralim Ultimate will see return of the deep RPG when it enters Early Access on March 12. As confirmed in a Kickstarter update, the Linux port is also now available and ready for the release with Beta backers already having access.

      • Colony building sim Maia surprises with a big feature release, gets ray-marched shadows

        I always have a soft spot for Maia, a colony building sim from Simon Roth of Machine Studios with its very different take on building up a space colony on a distant world.

        Unlike RimWorld and other colony building games, Maia is more about looking pretty and providing some hard-science. It’s a little difficult, in some ways a bit buggy but it always has such huge potential to be awesome. After a break, Roth is back to updating the game and this latest release is huge. One of the big additions is a new “ray-marched voxelised shadow system” which is pretty fancy and allows “every light in your base to cast accurate dynamic shadows into the world”.

      • Try out Luxtorpeda, a Steam Play tool to run games in native game engines | GamingOnLinux

        There’s quite a few games available on Steam that either don’t support Linux, or do support Linux but like the Windows release there’s a better way to run it perhaps with an open source game engine. Luxtorpeda will help with that.

        It’s a project we briefly mentioned in a previous article talking about Boxtron, another Steam Play compatibility layer to run games on Steam that use DOSBox in your native install of DOSBox. Remember – Steam Play is just a feature, that runs different compatibility layers on Linux so anyone can make one. What Luxtorpeda does, is allow you to run various games (an expanding list) on Steam inside a native Linux game engine be it open source or otherwise.

        The original Luxtorpeda project only supports a few titles, but there’s also the much newer Luxtorpeda-dev that is continuing the development which will hopefully merge together one day. Luxtorpeda-dev works with games like Cortex Command, Caesar 3, DOOM 3, Doki Doki Literature Club!, Freespace 2, Good Robot, Gothic 2: Gold Edition, RealRTCW, Return to Castle Wolfenstein, RollerCoaster Tycoon 2: Triple Thrill Pack, WRATH: Aeon of Ruin, Warzone 2100 and plenty more.

      • Super sweet chilled-out game Kind Words has a nice free content update | GamingOnLinux

        Kind Words is one of the most chilled-out games around, although calling it a game feels a little weird. You write anonymous caring letters to real people around the world and it really is sweet. The developer mentioned how over 3 million messages have now been exchanged in game and thousands go through it each day.

        Writing about the update, the developer said “We are humbled to have Kind Words become a regular part of so many people’s lives and, in keeping with long-standing international custom for developer-player relations, we offer you this traditional gift: a giant, looming beast and some mittens.”

      • GraviFire is a block-pushing puzzler with a gravity twist now on Linux | GamingOnLinux

        Love your block-pushing puzzle games? GraviFire released back in November 2020, and it recently gained Linux support.

        Taking the basic idea and pushing around blocks, it mixes things up with a few nice twists. The biggest one being that you’re also dealing with gravity, so all blocks will be sliding around towards the same direction at the same time. It looks like it adds a nice bit of complication to the genre.

        “The green fire has been abducted by evil aliens, who force him to solve puzzles for tests. Need to pass all the tests to be able to return the green fire back to his home. You have to brainstorm over 50 levels. Gravity, movement, killing lasers… What else the aliens have prepared?”

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • Should Ubuntu Adopt KDE Plasma as Default Desktop? [Opinion and Analysis]

          With the recent GNOME 40 design change and Ubuntu decides to follow the “wait-and-watch” principle for its adaptation, we analyze whether Ubuntu should adopt KDE Plasma as its Default Desktop, saying goodbye to GNOME.

        • Plasma Browser Integration 1.8

          I’m pleased to announce the immediate availability of Plasma Browser Integration version 1.8 on the Chrome Web Store as well as Firefox Add-Ons page. This release was originally intended to be just a bugfix update, but instead comes with new features, the usual slew of bug fixes and translation updates, but more importantly: it’s now available on the Microsoft Edge store (needs Plasma 5.21)!

        • Konsole Re-Flow Lines

          One day I was looking at the MR (Merge Request) and saw Tomaz Canabrava’s sketch showing the terminal re-flow lines while it shrinks, and I just thought it would be great to have it fully working.

          The first thing to have a line re-flow is define how to mark a line with “continues in the next line”. This is the most important thing, otherwise you can’t go back to original state. My first thought was to set a next line char with something not printable, and then the first screen re-flow on both ways prototype was done.

          To improve speed, and hold lines before send to memory, the next thing I did was change the _screenLines holder from an array to a QVector type. It was an improvement in speed, specially to re-flow. No need to a new memory allocation, no copy and no delete, it was just update the QVector content and send from the QVector to history, if needed, and resize it.

      • GNOME Desktop/GTK

        • GNOME 40 Alpha Released

          GNOME 40 is now available as the first step towards releasing this updated Linux desktop environment in March.

          GNOME 40 Alpha comes with a ton of changes — many of which we have been outlining in various Phoronix articles over the past few months. Among the main highlights of GNOME 40

        • Snapcraft GNOME Extension Update

          Snaps are confined software packages for Linux. They were originally designed / intended for IoT use cases so are optimised for size, bundling dependencies, are compressed on disk and auto update. They can also be used to package server software, like NextCloud, and desktop software like Signal Desktop. There’s millions of desktops, routers, servers and other interesting devices with snaps installed.

          There’s a bunch of common components that snap publishers started bundling in their snaps which bloated them out a bit. Snaps have had (for some time) a concept of “shared content” such that one snap may consume assets from another snap. The reason we use the hand-wavy term “assets” and “content” is because while it could be binary programs and libraries which are shared between snaps, it’s not just limited to that. A theme or bundle of themes can be shared too.

    • Distributions

      • Kali Linux hands-on: A look at the installation options

        Anyone involved in or even significantly interested in cybersecurity has probably heard of Kali Linux. Since its early days as BackTrack, it has been considered the standard in penetration testing and security analysis platforms. In my opinion, it also happens to be one of the best Debian GNU/Linux distributions available.

        It is based on Debian stable (currently 10/buster), but with a much more current Linux kernel (currently 5.9 in Kali, compared to 4.19 in Debian stable and 5.10 in Debian testing).

      • New Releases

        • Zentyal Server 7.0 Development Now Available

          Zentyal Development Team today announced the availability of Zentyal Server Development Edition 7.0. This is a new major community release of the Zentyal Linux Server, based on Ubuntu Server 20.04 LTS. This version comes with the most recent versions of all the integrated software, including Samba 4.11 and the latest stable SOGo version.

          Zentyal Server provides an easy-to-use Linux alternative to Windows Server®. Thanks to the integration of Samba, Zentyal provides native compatibility with the Microsoft Active Directory® and allows transparent management of Windows® clients. It is used by companies and public administrations mainly as a domain and directory server and a file server. The graphical user inferface that Zentyal offers helps to make Linux server management easier for all and specially for new Linux users.

      • BSD

      • SUSE/OpenSUSE

        • RHEL no-cost* vs openSUSE Leap

          Ever since Red Hat announced that they are changing the development model of CentOS and making it an upstream project rather than downstream, it left many CentOS users frowning. No matter what argument brought forward, CentOS users, especially running production machines, relied on the stability of an enterprise-grade Linux distribution. Compiled from RHEL sources, CentOS offered such stability that it powered many web servers and enjoyed a massive 20% share of the top 500 supercomputers of the world.

        • Compute confidently at the Edge with Rancher and Longhorn 1.1 | SUSE Communities

          Today’s announcement of Longhorn 1.1, a Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF) Sandbox project, is exciting news for users of Rancher, SUSE’s Kubernetes management platform and the Kubernetes community. Longhorn is an enterprise-grade, cloud native container storage solution that went GA in June 2020. Since then, adoption has increased by 235 percent. Now Longhorn is the first cloud native storage solution designed and built for the edge, with ARM64 support, new self-healing capabilities and increased performance visibility.

        • Longhorn 1.1 Offers ‘ReadWriteMany’ Support Across Containers

          SUSE has announced the release of Longhorn 1.1 which allows DevOps teams to manage persistent data volumes in any Kubernetes environment while bringing an enterprise-grade but vendor neutral approach to cloud-native storage.

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • Is Oracle Linux a valid replacement for CentOS?

          By now you’re probably suffering from CentOS exposure–it’s been all over the place. Every day, someone is writing about what Red Hat did to the beloved Linux distribution that powers so many data centers and services. The reaction has been so sharp, that many forks of CentOS have begun to pop up. Some of these forks look seriously promising, even drop-in 1:1 binary compatibility with RHEL 8. When those forks appear, the landscape will most likely shift. However, until then, where’s a business to turn?

          Do you go with CentOS 8 Stream? Some might. Others, on the other hand, see Stream as an impossible option, due to cPanel pulling support, which is a very big deal.

          What do you do? You could turn to Oracle Linux. Before you protest, I didn’t say you should turn to Oracle Linux; I said you could.

          Why did I feel the need to make that clarification?

          Let me explain, and then I’ll get into why Oracle Linux is a viable choice.

        • A brief introduction to Ansible roles for Linux system administration

          In this part one of two articles, learn to use rhel-system-roles with your Ansible deployment to better manage functionality such as network, firewall, SELinux, and more on your Red Hat Enterprise Linux servers.

        • From Docker Compose to Kubernetes with Podman | Enable Sysadmin

          Use Podman 3.0 to convert Docker Compose YAML to a format Podman recognizes.

        • Fedora Community Blog: Software Management (RPM, DNF) 2020 retrospective

          On behalf of the RPM and DNF teams, I would like to highlight changes that have appeared in our packages in 2020. Thanks everyone for your bug reports and patches!

        • Application and data resiliency for Kubernetes

          Using tools like Red Hat OpenShift and Red Hat OpenShift Container Storage, organizations are developing and deploying more stateful applications and microservices at an accelerating pace. According to a recent Enterprise Strategy Group (ESG) research study, 41% of companies currently use containers for production applications. Another 33% use containers for dev/test and pre-production only but plan to use containers for production applications in the next 12 months.

        • Red Hat Introduces Data Resilience for Enterprise Kubernetes Applications

          Red Hat, Inc., the world’s leading provider of open source solutions, today introduced new data resilience capabilities for cloud-native workloads with the release of Red Hat OpenShift Container Storage 4.6. This offering from Red Hat Data Services enables customers to extend their existing data protection solutions and infrastructure to enhance data resilience for cloud-native workloads across hybrid and multicloud environments.

        • Why Red Hat killed CentOS—a CentOS board member speaks

          This morning, The Register’s Tim Anderson published excerpts of an interview with the CentOS project’s Brian Exelbierd. Exelbierd is a member of the CentOS board and its official liaison with Red Hat.

          Exelbierd spoke to Anderson to give an insider’s perspective on Red Hat’s effective termination of CentOS Linux in December, in which the open source giant announced CentOS Linux was to be deprecated immediately—with security upgrades to CentOS Linux 8 ending later in 2021 rather than the 2029 end of support date CentOS users expected.

      • Debian Family

        • Tails 4.15 Anonymous OS Released with Tor Browser 10.0.9 and Thunderbird 78.6

          Synced with the stable software repositories of the Debian GNU/Linux 10 “Buster” operating system series, Tails 4.15 is powered by Linux kernel 5.9.15 for improved hardware support and comes with updated core applications, including the Tor Browser 10.0.9 anonymous web browser and Mozilla Thunderbird 78.6 email client.

          On top of these updates, Tails 4.15 also improves support for Ledger hardware wallets in the Electrum Bitcoin wallet app, adds USB tethering support for devices running Apple’s iOS 14 or later to share mobile data, and clarifies the error message about the size of the USB flash drive shown when starting Tails.

        • Tails 4.15 is out

          This release fixes known security vulnerabilities. You should upgrade as soon as possible.

        • Thomas Lange: Making Debian available

          This is the subject of an interesting thread on the debian-devel mailing list.

          It started with “.. The current policy of hiding other versions of Debian is limiting the adoption of your OS by people like me..”

          It seems that this user managed to contact us developers and give us some important information how we can improve the user experience. The following discussion shows that all our users need non-free firmware to get their wireless network cards run.

          Do we provide such installation images for our users?

          Sure. We build them regularly, host them on our servers, we also sign the hash sum with our official signing key. But we hide them very well and still call them unofficial. Why? I would like to have a more positive name for those images. Ubuntu has the HWE (Hardware Enablement) kernel. Maybe Debian firmware enablement images?

        • UBports: Packaging of Lomiri Operating Environment for Debian (part 04)

          Before and during FOSDEM 2020, I agreed with the people (developers, supporters, managers) of the UBports Foundation to package the Unity8 Operating Environment for Debian. Since 27th Feb 2020, Unity8 has now become Lomiri.

          Things got delayed a little recently as my main developer contact on the upstream side was on sick leave for a while. Fortunately, he has now fully recovered and work is getting back on track.

        • Debian’s Gunnar Wolf: Back to school… As a student

          Although it was a much larger step when I made a similar announcement seven years ago, when I started my Specialization, it is still a big challenge ahead, and I am very happy to pursue this: I have been admitted to a PhD program at UNAM, the university I have worked at for almost 20 years, and one of the top universities in Latin America. What program will I be part of? Doctorado en Ciencia e Ingeniería de la Computación (Computer Science and Engineering Doctorate… Quite a broad program name, yes, sounds like anything goes).

        • [Debian-based] SteamTinkerLaunch – SparkyLinux

          There is a new application available for Sparkers: SteamTinkerLaunch

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • Red Kubes Container Platform Flies Open Source Flag

        Red Kubes, a Dutch-based startup, open sourced a free community edition of its Otomi Container Platform in a bid to remedy the ongoing complexity surrounding Kubernetes configurations.

        The scalability, agility, and speed-to-market advantages that Kubernetes offers have been handsome enough to capture a growing share of the enterprise market, but this very strength can become an Achilles heel for container deployments. In this sense, it’s far too easy – and common – to create thousands or even tens of thousands of containers across applications. Not only does this create an operational money pit, but management becomes a herculean feat to any container newbie.

      • The Apache Software Foundation Announces Apache® ECharts™ as a Top-Level Project

        The Apache Software Foundation (ASF), the all-volunteer developers, stewards, and incubators of more than 350 Open Source projects and initiatives, announced today Apache® ECharts™ as a Top-Level Project (TLP).

        Apache ECharts is an intuitive, interactive, and powerful charting and visualization library ideally suited for commercial-grade presentations. The project originated in 2013 at Baidu and entered the Apache Incubator in January 2018.

      • Shots fired in disputes over OSS-as-a-Service

        Cloud services are the great disruptor of both IT organizations and vendors, and wrapping open source software around a service is the latest flashpoint.

        The open source development model has proven to be an incredible incubator of innovative software by democratizing and distributing the conception, design, implementation and debugging of new titles, advantages that were thoroughly explored more than two decades ago in the book, The Cathedral and the Bazaar.

        Although open source has since been adopted, encouraged and sponsored by every major software company, its origins were decidedly non-commercial with utopian overtones of liberating code from the tyranny of proprietary shackles. The earliest open source projects, notably Gnu Emacs and other tools from the Gnu Project, embraced this idealistic ethos with a restrictive, comprehensive license, GPL, that applies to derivative work using the code.

      • Web Browsers

        • Chromium

          • Linux distributors frustrated by Google’s new Chromium web browser restrictions

            While Google Chrome is easily the most popular PC web browser, it’s open-source big brother, Chromium, doesn’t have that many users, but it’s always had some fans on desktop Linux. Now, though, that love affair is in trouble.

            Google claims it recently found un-named third-party Chromium-based browsers integrating Google cloud-based features, such as Chrome sync and Click to Call, that were intended only for Google Chrome users. In other words, “This meant that a small fraction of users could sign into their Google Account and store their personal Chrome sync data, such as bookmarks, not just with Google Chrome, but also with some third-party Chromium-based browsers.”

          • Fedora’s Chromium maintainer suggests switching to Firefox as Google yanks features in favour of Chrome

            Fedora’s maintainer for the open-source Chromium browser package is recommending users consider switching to Firefox following Google’s decision to remove functionality and make it exclusive to its proprietary Chrome browser.

            The comments refer to a low-key statement Google made just before the release of Chrome 88, saying that during an audit it had “discovered that some third-party Chromium-based browsers were able to integrate Google features, such as Chrome sync and Click to Call, that are only intended for Google’s use… we are limiting access to our private Chrome APIs starting on March 15, 2021.”

            Tom Callaway (aka “spot”), a former Fedora engineering manager at Red Hat (Fedora is Red Hat’s bleeding-edge Linux distro), who now works for AWS, remarked when describing the Chromium 88 build that: “Google gave the builders of distribution Chromium packages these access rights back in 2013 via API keys, specifically so that we could have open-source builds of Chromium with (near) feature parity to Chrome. And now they’re taking it away.

        • Mozilla

          • Mozilla Firefox 85.0 Now Available As First 2021 Release

            Mozilla Firefox 85.0 is available today as the open-source web browser’s first major release of the year.

            For those more interested in Firefox now following the recent news of Google cutting off Chromium API access to various Google services in trying to steer more users to Chrome proper, Firefox 85.0 has arrived just in time. Firefox 85.0 is available this morning via the Mozilla FTP ahead of the official announcement.

            Firefox 85.0 comes with privacy enhancements like network partitioning, the password manager can now more easily remove all saved logins, and the Adobe Flash support is removed in full.

          • Version 85.0, first offered to Release channel users on January 26, 2021

            We’d like to extend a special thank you to all of the new Mozillians who contributed to this release of Firefox.

            At Mozilla, we believe you have a right to privacy. You shouldn’t be tracked online. Whether you are checking your bank balance, looking for the best doctor, or shopping for shoes, unscrupulous tracking companies should not be able to track you as you browse the Web. For that reason, we are continuously working to harden Firefox against online tracking of our users.

          • Firefox 85 Cracks Down on Supercookies

            In Firefox 85, we’re introducing a fundamental change in the browser’s network architecture to make all of our users safer: we now partition network connections and caches by the website being visited. Trackers can abuse caches to create supercookies and can use connection identifiers to track users. But by isolating caches and network connections to the website they were created on, we make them useless for cross-site tracking.

          • January brings us Firefox 85

            To wrap up January, we are proud to bring you the release of Firefox 85. In this version we are bringing you support for the :focus-visible pseudo-class in CSS and associated devtools… and the complete removal of Flash support from Firefox. We’d also like to invite you to preview two exciting new JavaScript features in the current Firefox Nightly — top-level await and relative indexing via the .at() method. Have fun!

          • Mozilla Firefox 85 is Here, This is What’s New

            We started with the biggest new feature in Firefox 85, which improves the browser’s privacy credentials. Firefox now has support for network partitioning — don’t worry; despite the name this (thankfully) isn’t anything to do with your OS partitions or local drives.

            Network partitioning is an anti-tracking feature that curtails the ability for cross-site tracking through shared cache resources using what’s known as ‘super cookies’.

            As per ZDnet’s writeup, network partitioning in Firefox 85 sees the browser store all of the temporary images, web fonts, and other cruft collected as you browse separately, on a per-website, instead of in a grouped “pool” that all website can use.

          • Mozilla Firefox 85 Released with Enhanced Privacy Protection

            Mozilla Firefox 85.0 was officially released today with improvements to privacy protection, bookmarks, and password manager.

            Firefox 85 introduces a fundamental change in the network architecture. It now partitions network connections and caches, including HTTP cache, image cache, favicon cache, HSTS cache, OCSP cache, style sheet cache, font cache, DNS cache, HTTP Authentication cache, Alt-Svc cache, and TLS certificate cache. So it protects you from supercookies.

          • Ubuntu Emailing With Thunderbird And Android’s K-9

            Continuing email beginner’s guide, now we Ubuntu users who have Android can read our emails anywhere anytime in both devices. It’s a wonderful experience. On computer we use Thunderbird, while on phone we use K-9, both are free software. This tutorial uses Disroot email account as example, thanks to its gratis IMAP feature. Now, let’s go!

            Fortunately, Ubuntu users do not need to install anything anymore. But for Android users, you will install K-9 Email Client, it is available at free software center F-Droid.

          • Firefox 86 Enters Beta with Multiple Picture-in-Picture and AVIF Support by Default

            While Firefox 85 introduced a couple of new privacy features, Firefox 86 promises some other cool changes, such as basic support for the AV1 Image File Format (AVIF), a powerful, lossless, royalty-free and open-source image file format designed to encode AV1 bitstreams in the HEIF (High Efficiency Image File Format) container, enabled by default.

            Basic support means that advanced features like animated images and colorspace support aren’t supported at this time. AVIF support landed in Firefox a few months ago, but only now it’s enabled by default as Mozilla considers it ready for the masses. Therefor, you could enable AVIF support in previous Firefox release by setting the image.avif.enable option in about:config to true.

          • About:Community: New contributors to Firefox 85

            ankushsinghal1995: 1674611
            gero: 1674806
            manekenpix: 1664768
            Andrey Cherepanov: 1678839
            Ankush Dua: 1671579
            Arnd Issler arndissler: 1679331
            David Ward: 1679664
            Florent Viard: 1674622
            Kartik Gautam: 1677247
            Liz Krane: 1650956
            Moritz Firsching: 1588310
            Neha Kochar: 1589103
            WGH: 1680909
            ZaWertun: 1550074

          • The Mozilla Blog: Why getting voting right is hard, Part V: DREs (spoiler: they’re bad)

            This is the fifth post in my series on voting systems (catch up on parts I, II, III and IV), focusing on computerized voting machines. The technical term for these is Direct Recording Electronic (DRE) voting systems, but in practice what this means is that you vote on some kind of computer, typically using a touch screen interface. As with precinct-count optical scan, the machine produces a total count, typically recorded on a memory card, printed out on a paper receipt-like tape, or both. These can be sent back to election headquarters, together with the ballots, where they are aggregated.

          • Jessica Rosenworcel’s appointment is good for the internet

            With a new year comes change, and one change we’re glad to see in 2021 is new leadership at the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). On Thursday, Jan. 21, Jessica Rosenworcel, a longtime FCC commissioner, was appointed as acting chair. It’s an important role that will drive policy discussions affecting the internet and all of us who use it. Her appointment gives us hope that under her wing, the agency will develop strong policies that look out for everyday people. Here are a few reasons Jessica Rosenworcel’s appointment is good for the internet.

            [...]

            We look forward to working with the FCC to reinstate net neutrality protections and close the digital divide. Jessica Rosenworcel’s ascent to acting chair of the FCC bodes well for the future of both issues. And we can imagine a brighter future for a healthy internet if she were to be nominated for the role permanently.

      • Productivity Software/LibreOffice/Calligra

        • The round-the-world trip to fix a bug

          Mrs. Vera Cavalcante (@veracape), from Brazil, a long-time contributor for the Portuguese documentation on LibreOffice, was reviewing the translation of the Calc Guide and double-checking the translated text, with respect to the current user interface and the Help pages. Vera noticed that the Help pages on conditional formatting were not correct any more, and reported in the Brazilian team Telegram group (Bugzilla is still very hard for non-native English speakers).…

      • CMS

        • Ingo Juergensmann: Migrating from Drupal to WordPress

          If you can read this on planet.debian.org then migrating my blog from Drupal to WordPress was successful and the feed has been successfully changed by the Debian Planet Maintainers (thanks!).

          I’ve been a long term Drupal user. I think I started to use Drupal since it was included in Debian. At some point Drupal was removed from Debian and I started to use Serendipity instead. Later Drupal was included in Debian again and I moved back to Drupal. I think this must have been around Drupal 4 or Drupal 5. No idea.

          I even became active in the Drupal community and went to one of the first Drupal barcamps in Germany, namely in Cologne. This was shortly before Dries Buytaert started a business off of Drupal and went to the USA. I met with many devs of Drupal in Cologne and enjoyed the community and started with others a local Drupal User Group in Rostock.

          [...]

          So, after all the years my Drupal journey will come to an end. It was a long time with you. Sometimes joyful, sometimes painful. I wish you all the best, Drupal!

      • FSF

        • GNU Projects

          • Write GIMP scripts to make image processing faster

            Some time ago, I wanted to give a blackboard-style look to a typeset equation. I started playing around with the GNU Image Manipulation Program (GIMP) and was satisfied with the result. The problem was that I had to perform several actions on the image, I wanted to use this style again, and I did not want to repeat the steps for all the images. Besides, I was sure that I would forget them in no time.

            GIMP is a great open source image editor. Although I have been using it for years, I had never investigated its batch-processing abilities nor its Script-Fu menu. This was the perfect chance to explore them.

        • Licensing/Legal

          • AWS to Fork Elasticsearch as Elastic Moves Away from Open Source

            Elastic’s license change from open source ALv2 to SSPL appears to have moved Amazon Web Services to “launch new forks of both Elasticsearch and Kibana.” Elasticsearch’s move towards the more restrictive Server Side Public License has already begun to ruffle feathers among developers.

      • Programming/Development

        • Excellent Free Tutorials to Learn Tcl – LinuxLinks

          Tcl (Tool Command Language) is a dynamic programming/scripting language based on concepts of Lisp, C, and Unix shells. Here’s our recommended free tutorials to learn Tcl.

        • Python

          • ROC and Precision-Recall curves – How do they compare?

            Both curves offer two useful information: how to choose the positive class prediction threshold and what is the overall performance of the classification model. The former is determined by selecting the threshold which yield the best tradeoff, in adequation with the prediction task and operational needs. The latter is done by measuring the area under the curves which informs about how good the model is, because by measuring the area under the curves, one computes the overall probability that a sample from the negative class has a lower probability than a sample from the positive class.

            With scikit-learn, the values can be computed either by using the roc_auc attribute of the object returned by plot_roc_curve() or by calling roc_auc_score() directly for ROC curves and by using the average_precision attribute of the object returned by plot_precision_recall_curve() or by calling average_precision_score() directly for PR curves.

        • Shell/Bash/Zsh/Ksh

          • Bash wait Command | Linuxize

            wait is a command that waits for the given jobs to complete and returns the exit status of the waited for command.

            Since the wait command affects the current shell execution environment, it is implemented as a built-in command in most shells.

            In this article, we’ll explore the Bash built-in wait command.

          • Santiago Zarate: Cron do not send me empty emails
        • Rust

          • Rust & the case of the disappearing stack frames | Inside Rust Blog

            Now that the FFI-unwind Project Group has merged an RFC specifying the “C unwind” ABI and removing some instances of undefined behavior in the “C” ABI, we are ready to establish new goals for the group.

            Our most important task, of course, is to implement the newly-specified behavior. This work has been undertaken by Katelyn Martin and can be followed here.

  • Leftovers

    • Opinion | Walter Bernstein Survived the Hollywood Blacklist – And Lived to Be 101

      The screenwriter was my friend and my hero, a brave opponent of right-wing repression during a dark period of our history.

    • New Auto Safety Report Demands Biden Strengthen Federal Programs Now

      Since its creation by Congress in 1966, NHTSA has had some bright moments which made motor vehicles more crash-worthy and operationally safer, with less pollution and more fuel efficiency. Since then, over four million lives have been saved and many more injuries prevented. Property damage was diminished and insurance premiums were lower than they would have been had the “wild west” non-regulation, “style over safety” manias been allowed to continue. Laissez-faire runs amok.

      In recent decades, however, under both Democratic and Republican Administrations, NHTSA was degraded into more of a sporadic, meek consultant to the auto giants, instead of a strong law enforcement agency. Its Administrators wafted sleepily in their few years at the helm and then retired to lucrative positions in the industry they failed to regulate.

    • The Geography of the Nomos

      Walking to the gore through a geography of madness Built by the cult of the Nomos’ Civilization Ensnaring the globe In screaming roads At least back to Ur, The herdsman’s home Old Abraham, the nomeus Appeals to the Nomos Secure me (se curas, Rejection of care) declares That he’s prepared To sacrifice the cosmos To the Nomos The vacuum Whose bottomless throat Would swallow all If unchecked by Physis, which Appears through the cracks Of the codes As trees, encoils the branches, Or under Mary’s heel The slender creatures slip Through well, escaping Addled Nomos’ attempt To swallow whole the whole The black hole — Gravity and light Capture and escape The grave and the snake That shape the mind, And all of its mines, and roads And texts Extracting and wasting its depths In the Nomos’ unconscious Sacrifice complex And yet, as immanence, In Eden, in Egypt, In the nerves of the codex There’s glimmering Physis Revealing Nomos’ toxic falseness

    • Steve Earle Performs A Tribute to His Late Son, Musician Justin Townes Earle
    • Some Burns Night Warmth
    • Bad Henry’s Lesson: Henry Aaron 1934–2021

      To succeed as a Black person in White America, we were always told by generations of our elders, it isn’t enough to be good at what you do, or better than good. You have to be as close as you could possibly get to perfection. Near or absolute greatness, if need be. Then—and only then—will you prove your worth, and perhaps your people’s worth, to white people, to the country, maybe even the world.

    • Let’s Not Lose Ourselves in Euphoria Over Trump’s Exit. Anti-Blackness Persists.
    • Biden Executive Order Ends Transgender Military Ban Established by Trump
    • Science

      • Sometimes, real innovation is the COURAGE to refuse fake innovation | Stop at Zona-M

        Subtitle: Is it overpriced hype, or do we actually like it?

        ME: one does not exclude the other

        Magnets Squared: We’re all-in on Apple’s new MagSafe wireless charging standard

        In October of last year, Apple rolled out its latest smartphones with the iPhone 12. While there are some similarities to previous iPhones, there’s one notable difference under the hood that enables a new accessory: MagSafe, a magnetic connector that can wirelessly charge your phone. What’s so special about MagSafe?

        MagSafe is both a magnetic induction charging and a magnetic connector technology. The MagSafe trademark is re-used from an entirely different magnetic charging connector for older generation Macbook Pro laptops phased out in early 2019.

        The disc-shaped connector contains rare-earth magnets that allow it to snap and firmly attach to the back of an iPhone. It is about twice the diameter of the magnetic charging connector already in use on the Apple Watch. Unfortunately, the two are not compatible with each other.

        The anatomy of the MagSafe coil and connector assembly inside the iPhone 12

    • Education

      • Congressman Asks House Education Committee To Look At Pre-Crime Program Targeting Florida Schoolkids

        Late last year, the Tampa Bay Times broke the news the local sheriff’s office had set up a “pre-crime” program targeting schoolkids in Pasco County. The same program used by the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office to harass residents into “moving or suing” (yes, those are the Sheriff’s words) had been retooled to target minors, utilizing highly questionable access to students’ records.

    • Hardware

      • Nvidia Gets Certifiable About Systems

        If the emergence of Nvidia in datacenter compute shows anything, it is the value of controlling the software stack as you come to dominate the compute – and the revenue and profits – in the hardware stack.

        When it comes to AI, the combination of open source frameworks from the wider AI community, which Nvidia contributes to, and closed source libraries and tools that make up the Nvidia GPU Compute software stack that is underpinned by the CUDA environment, gives Nvidia the kind of control over a complete software/hardware stack that we have not seen in the datacenter since the RISC/Unix server days of the dot-com boom and earlier with proprietary systems from IBM, DEC, and HP, as well as IBM mainframes since the dawn of the data processing age.

        There are some differences this time around, and they are significant. The operating system is consequential, of course, but with all AI workloads being deployed on Linux, it really doesn’t matter which one you pick. Linux is about as interchangeable as DRAM memory modules in the server and it really comes down to preferences and a few technical differentiations. And to a certain extent, the X86 server that houses the Nvidia GPUs is fairly interchangeable, too. But fi you want to make GPU compute fluid and easy, then you have to realize that not every can – or wants to – buy an Nvidia DGX-A100 or DGX-2 system. Hyperscalers and cloud builders have their own ODM suppliers, enterprises have their own OEM suppliers, and they want to be able to run the Nvidia AI stack on platforms from their suppliers rather than having to add a new vendor into the mix.

    • Health/Nutrition

      • An exceedingly ambitious undertaking: Meduza’s readers describe the successes and failures of Russia’s COVID-19 vaccine rollout

        On January 18, Vladimir Putin declared, “We’ve already transitioned to widescale vaccinations. We must transition from widescale to mass vaccinations.” The president ordered the shift to begin immediately. That same day, Meduza asked readers to describe the vaccine rollout in their regions. (Spoiler alert: Putin may have overstated Russia’s progress.)

      • [Old] They Pledged to Donate Rights to Their COVID Vaccine, Then Sold Them to Pharma
      • [Old] Oxford’s COVID vaccine deal with AstraZeneca raises concerns about access and pricing
      • Poor Nations Left Reeling After Bill Gates Advised Oxford to Ditch Open Source COVID Vaccine

        Europe is reeling from the shock news that biotech giant AstraZeneca will not be delivering anything like the number of vaccines it promised. The company informed European Union officials that they will only be supplying 31 million doses to 27 E.U. countries, rather than the 80 million they had promised would arrive by the end of March. Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conti predicted that the news would reap “enormous damage” on the continent that has already sustained over 32 million confirmed cases and 703,000 deaths due to COVID-19.

      • ‘Abolish Billionaires’: Oxfam Report Shows Combined Pandemic Wealth of Richest 10 People Could Pay to Vaccinate Entire World

        “Rigged economies are funnelling wealth to a rich elite who are riding out the pandemic in luxury, while those on the frontline of the pandemic… are struggling to pay the bills and put food on the table.”

      • Agroecology and Post-COVID Plunder

        Reliance on commodity monocropping for global markets, long supply chains and dependency on external inputs for cultivation make the food system vulnerable to shocks, whether resulting from public health scares, oil price spikes (the global food system is fossil-fuel dependent) or conflict and war. An increasing number of countries are recognising the need to respond by becoming more food self-sufficient, preferably by securing control over their own food and reducing supply chain lengths.

        The various coronavirus lockdowns have disrupted many transport and production activities, exposing the weaknesses of the food system. If the current situation tells us anything, it is that structural solutions are needed to transform food production, not further strengthen the status quo.

      • Antivaxxers’ efforts to undermine confidence in COVID-19 vaccines continue apace

        Think of this post as a continuation of a series related to COVID-19 vaccines. You might recall that, right before the New Year, I predicted an impending tsunami of adverse events (AEs) falsely attributed to COVID-19 vaccines that would be spread by the antivaccine movement as the Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines found their way into more and more arms around the world and more and more bad things happened to people by coincidence soon after COVID-19 vaccination. I won’t take any credit for the prediction coming true, as anyone who’s followed the antivaccine movement for a while could have predicted it (and did). After all, every pre-pandemic antivaccine trope in the book had already been picked up, dusted off, and recycled for use with COVID-19. Examples abound, including the claim that the COVID-19 vaccine renders females infertile, permanently alters your DNA, causes autoimmune disease, or even kills. The only claim, it seems, not yet made by the antivaccine movement about COVID-19 vaccines is that they cause autism, but give them time – the vaccines are not approved for children yet. I fully expect that when young children start receiving the vaccines, antivaxxers will claim they cause autism just as they have for nearly every other vaccine.

      • The Problem With Mental Health Awareness

        “Do you have a friend that’s struggling with their mental health?” reads a yellow public service billboard at a Towson University bus stop. The other day on Facebook, one of my suggested invites was to an “Opioid Overdose Awareness BBQ” hosted by a local nonprofit. I started writing this essay in September, which is Suicide Prevention Awareness Month. In a few months it will be May, also known as Mental Health Awareness Month.

      • Groups Launch Grassroots Campaign Urging Senators to Reject Tom ‘Mr. Monsanto’ Vilsack for USDA Chief

        “Tom Vilsack has proven not to be the leader we need.”

      • Trump’s Vaccine Distribution Plan Has Left Millions of Doses Unaccounted For
    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Security

          • Another Sudo Root Privilege Escalation Vulnerability Got Patched, Update Now

            Sudo 1.9.5p2 was released today and it addresses two security issues. The first, CVE-2021-3156 (a.k.a. Baron Samedit), was discovered by Qualys Research Labs and could allow local users (sudoers and non-sudoers) to obtain unintended access to the root (system administrator) account.

            In addition, the new release patches CVE-2021-23239, a vulnerability discovered in Sudo’s sudoedit utility, which could allow a local attacker to bypass file permissions and determine if a directory exists or not. This security flaw affected Sudo versions before 1.9.5.

          • New Linux SUDO flaw lets local users gain root privileges
          • Security updates for Tuesday

            Security updates have been issued by CentOS (dnsmasq, net-snmp, and xstream), Debian (mutt), Gentoo (cfitsio, f2fs-tools, freeradius, libvirt, mutt, ncurses, openjpeg, PEAR-Archive_Tar, and qtwebengine), openSUSE (chromium, mutt, stunnel, and virtualbox), Red Hat (cryptsetup, gnome-settings-daemon, and net-snmp), Scientific Linux (xstream), SUSE (postgresql, postgresql12, postgresql13 and rubygem-nokogiri), and Ubuntu (mutt).

          • WordPress security & hardening, the definitive guide

            WordPress is massively popular. Around every one in five sites on the Internet uses WordPress in some form. Be that to run a humble blog, or a multi-site Content Management System (CMS) or eCommerce site. As a result, it is no surprise that WordPress websites are a very popular target for both experienced hackers and script-kiddies alike.

            The last thing any webmaster wants is to find out that their website has been hacked; maybe taken hostage and is part of a botnet, spreading malware, or partaking in Denial of Service (DoS) attacks. In this article we’ll be sharing a number of tips and strategies to help you harden your WordPress website.

          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • End Two Federal Programs that Fund Police Surveillance Tech

              Police surveillance tech is a multi-billion dollar industry. Police departments find as many avenues to fund it as they can. This technology is not just deployed against suspects after acquiring a warrant—often police use it for dragnet surveillance of cars and people. Examples include automated license plate readers (ALPRs) that track cars as they move about the city (including to or from places of worship and doctors’ or attorneys’ offices), and drones or CCTV camera networks that police use to monitor protests. Departments have even bought police robots programmed to identify supposedly “suspicious” people, which is an invitation to further racial profiling.  

              Beyond municipal budgets, there are numerous ways that police receive the funding that allows them to purchase drones and license plate readers, and build surveillance command centers known as real-time crime centers. Federal grants, wealthy individual benefactors, private foundations, and kickbacks from surveillance companies all contribute to police departments’ massive build-up of surveillance tech. Then police use it to track, listen to, and identify people going about their business. 

              Two of these methods can immediately be addressed by the Biden administration. 

            • Defense Intelligence Agency gathered US smartphone location data without a warrant

              According to the memo, the DIA has gotten their hands on American smartphone location data via this loophole method five times in the last two and a half years. Besides the DIA, the IRS has also admitted to doing the same thing.

            • TikTok tracks you even if you never made an account

              However, TikTok’s privacy policy clearly states that they do track users without email addresses. The language looks like this, with TikTok granting itself the right to:

            • Google (BigBrother) is watching the user (no matter where the user browses) via JavaScript – no js no content no functionality = too much js

              …an npm package (a JavaScript library) containing malicious code designed to steal confidential files from the user’s browser and Discord app.

    • Defence/Aggression

      • ‘This isn’t how politics is done’: Putin compares opposition protests in Russia to the storming of the U.S. Capitol

        During a video conference with university students to mark Russian Students Day (a public holiday that falls on January 25), President Vladimir Putin was asked to share his thoughts on the countrywide protests in support of opposition figure Alexey Navalny that took place on January 23. In particular, Putin was asked to comment on young people’s involvement in the demonstrations. Here’s what he had to say.

      • The ‘Insurrection’ and Its Discontents: ‘American Exceptionalism’ Revisited

        History is being written in the United States today. Even the most pessimistic about the prospects of American democracy have rarely ventured out this far while offering a bleak analysis of America’s future, whether in terms of political polarization at home or global standing abroad.

      • Opinion | Yemen Can’t Wait: Why a Global Day of Action Has Created a Chance for Change

        Joe Biden has suggested a new direction on Yemen—we must seize the opportunity to protest in his first week as US President to make sure he keeps his promise.  

      • Opinion | Covid-19 Is a Massive Killer Home and Abroad—Just Like Our Endless Wars

        The massive and unseen costs of America’s post-9/11 wars at home and abroad.

      • Indirect Deaths: The Massive and Unseen Costs of America’s Post-9/11 Wars

        This veteran’s remark may seem striking to many Americans who watched this country’s post-9/11 wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, and elsewhere unfold in an early display of pyrotechnic air raids and lines of troops and tanks moving through desert landscapes, and then essentially stopped paying attention. As a co-founder of Brown University’s Costs of War Project, as well as a military spouse who has written aboutand lived in a reasonably up-close-and-personal way through the costs of almost two decades of war in the Greater Middle East and Africa, my Marine acquaintance’s comments didn’t surprise me.

        Quite the opposite. In the sort of bitter terms I’m used to, they only confirmed what I already knew: that most of war’s suffering doesn’t happen in the moment of combat amid the bullets, bombs, and ever-more-sophisticated IEDs on America’s foreign battlefields. Most of it, whether for soldiers or civilians, happens indirectly, thanks to the way war destroys people’s minds, its wear and tear on their bodies, and what it does to the delicate systems that uphold society’s functioning like hospitals, roads, schools, and most of all, families and communities that must survive amid so much loss.

      • Opinion | Condemning Insurrectionists Is Easy, But If Corporate America Cared About Democracy It Would Support the ‘For the People Act’

        If they were actually committed to democracy, CEOs of big corporations would permanently cease corporate donations to all candidates.

      • Inspector General Launches Probe Into Whether DOJ Officials Tried to Overturn Presidential Election

        “Unconscionable a Trump Justice Department leader would conspire to subvert the people’s will,” said Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer in response to allegations against former Acting Assistant AG Jeffrey Clark.

      • Canadians Against War on Yemen Block Shipment of Armoured Vehicles Headed to Saudi Arabia

        The direct action in Hamilton, Ontario coincides with hundreds of events to pressure the new Biden administration and other world governments to stop arming Saudi Arabia.

      • ‘I should have said: not yet’ During Saturday’s protests in St. Petersburg, a police officer kicked a woman in the gut and sent her to the ICU. Now she regrets accepting his apology.

        On Saturday, January 23, a police officer in St. Petersburg brutally kicked a woman to the ground during a rally in defense of the jailed opposition figure Alexey Navalny. The woman, 54-year-old Margarita Yudina, had tried to confront three officers in riot gear who were escorting a detained protester to a police van. After footage (warning: this video contains disturbing content) of the attack circulated online, the city’s police department and district attorney’s office announced separate preliminary inquiries. On January 25, the news outlet 47 News published an interview with Ms. Yudina, which Meduza summarizes below.

      • January 23rd, in photos Meduza looks back on the countrywide protests and mass arrests that rocked Russia last Saturday

        On Saturday, January 23, tens of thousands of people in various cities across Russia came out in protest against the detention of opposition figure Alexey Navalny. These demonstrations (which took place without the permission of the authorities) are the largest protests the country has seen in recent years. They were also accompanied by an unprecedented number of arrests, with law enforcement officials detaining more than 3,700 people countrywide. Meduza looks back on the events of January 23, as captured by photojournalists across the country.

      • French Court Hears Case Against Chemical Corporations Over Agent Orange Use in Vietnam

        “I’m not fighting for myself, but for my children and the millions of victims,” explained plaintiff Tran To Nga.

      • Robert Malley for Iran Envoy: A Test Case for Biden’s Commitment to Diplomacy

        President Biden’s commitment to re-entering the Iran nuclear deal—formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action or JCPOA—is already facing backlash from a motley crew of warhawks both domestic and foreign. Right now, opponents of re-entering the deal are centering their vitriol on one of the nation’s foremost experts on both the Middle East and diplomacy: Robert Malley, who Biden might tap to be the next Iran envoy.

      • Opinion | Rob Malley for Iran Envoy: A Test Case for Biden’s Commitment to Diplomacy

        Biden’s response to the far-right uproar against Malley will be a test of his fortitude in standing up to the hawks and charting a new course for U.S. policy in the Middle East.

      • With Likely Victory of Andrés Arauz, Ecuador Will Join Latin America’s Anti-Imperialist Surge

        If the country’s polls are to be believed, Ecuador is set to become the latest Latin American nation to move away from the United States and elect a strongly progressive, anti-imperialist government. Successive public opinion studies have shown Andrés Arauz of the Unión por la Esperanza coalition holding a commanding lead over his rivals, with some suggesting he may receive double the votes of his nearest challenger.

      • Why History Matters: the Legacy of Slavery

        When recalling Lincoln, many New Yorkers may remember the famous speech he gave at Cooper Institute (aka Cooper Union) in February 1860 calling to limit the extension – but not the end – of slavery.  It was a critical campaign speech that helped him secure the Republican Party nomination for President.  In November, he was elected, and, in December, South Carolina was the first state to secede from the Union.

        Unfortunately, few American – and likely very few New Yorkers – will recall that Lincoln’s speech was strongly attacked by city business leaders and the Democratic Party, many assailing him with the racist slogan, “Black Republican.” More important, Lincoln’s election sparked a strong movement in the city, led by Mayor Fernando Wood, to join the South and secede from the Union.

      • South Carolina Justices Seem Unimpressed By Government’s Inability To Honestly Answer Questions About Forfeiture Abuse

        South Carolina’s civil asset forfeiture programs are abusive and unconstitutional. That was the conclusion reached by a South Carolina court late last year.

      • Amnesty Calls on Biden to Close Guantánamo and End Military Commissions ‘Once and For All’

        The group says the prison symbolizes U.S. “use of torture, rendition, and indefinite detention without charge or trial—in complete violation of internationally agreed-upon standards of justice and human rights.”

      • Opinion | The ‘Humanitarian’ Left Still Ignores the Lessons of Iraq, Libya and Syria to Cheer on More War

        That “defence industry” needs villains, like China and Russia, that it must extravagantly arm itself against. And that means fixating on the crimes of China and Russia, while largely ignoring our own crimes, so that those “defence industries” can prosper.

      • The Trauma of the Death Penalty in Texas

        Dalton Coble didn’t know his grandfather particularly well, but stories of Billie Wayne Coble have cast a shadow over his family since before he was born. In August 1989, Billie murdered his estranged wife’s parents and brother. The slayings shocked Waco, and the Coble name continued to raise eyebrows as it surfaced in headlines about appeals in the case over the following three decades. Billie’s son from a previous marriage, Gordon Coble, was only a teenager when his father was sentenced to death. In an attempt to shake the stigma, Gordon moved his family to outside Austin when Dalton was a child. He grew up meeting his grandfather through birthday cards and the occasional trip to visit him across from a cage walled off with plexiglass.

      • As deportations soar, Afghan returnees struggle on home soil

        Uprooted by conflict, forced home from abroad: 1.2 million people were on the move in Afghanistan, adding to surging humanitarian needs.

        [...]

        “In Iran, conditions were harsh, but at least I could make ends meet,” Hussaini told The New Humanitarian by phone.

        Hussaini said he bought flour, rice, and cooking oil after he was deported in December, but the supplies are drying up and he hasn’t found work since his return.
        “We don’t have much to eat for dinner and lunch,” said Hussaini, a father of three. “I have not paid the rent for two months now, nor have I paid the bills for water and electricity.”

    • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

      • I Assert the Right to Live Free From Disinformation

        We know the tired, recycled charges. The “radical left” has started a war on Christmas, downgrading Christ’s birth to a “holiday.” College liberals so detest Christians that they try and denigrate their campus organizations or muzzle their speakers. Houses of worship and their arm-swaying congregants have been forbidden under Covid-19 lockdowns to gather. Christian film and music stars, especially country singers, have a tougher time getting gigs than their secular counterparts since the entertainment industry is biased against the faithful.

        This is mumbo-jumbo. Just look at the cultural and historical force of Christianity in America where 70 percent are looped in: the massive voting blocs of Catholics and Evangelicals, the millions of crosses on church steeples seen everywhere, the two-dozen Christian channels that proliferate on my DirectTV, the solicitation of God on our money and in our pledge of allegiance, the Christ-adoring superstars from Reba McEntire to Chris Pratt, and the testimonials after Covid scourges or West Coast firestorms by those who survived, apparently, due to divine intervention.

    • Environment

      • As Kerry Touts US Commitment to Climate Diplomacy, Biden Urged to Follow EU Lead by Ending Dirty Energy Subsidies

        “Biden should act boldly on his campaign commitments to end finance for dirty energy projects.”

      • The Climate Crisis Is Worse Than You Can Imagine. Here’s What Happens If You Try.

        Peter Kalmus, out of his mind, stumbled back toward the car. It was all happening. All the stuff he’d been trying to get others to see, and failing to get others to see — it was all here. The day before, when his family started their Labor Day backpacking trip along the oak-lined dry creek bed in Romero Canyon, in the mountains east of Santa Barbara, the temperature had been 105 degrees. Now it was 110 degrees, and under his backpack, his “large mammalian self,” as Peter called his body, was more than just overheating. He was melting down. Everything felt wrong. His brain felt wrong and the planet felt wrong, and everything that lived on the planet felt wrong, off-kilter, in the wrong place.

        Nearing the trailhead, Peter’s mind death-spiralled: What’s next summer going to bring? How hot will it be in 10 years? Yes, the data showed that the temperature would only rise annually by a few tenths of a degree Celsius. But those tenths would add up and the extreme temperatures would rise even faster, and while Peter’s big mammal body could handle 100 degrees, sort of, 110 drove him crazy. That was just not a friendly climate for a human. 110 degrees was hostile, an alien planet.

      • A ‘Disasterologist’ Talks Climate Change
      • Energy

        • Activists Occupy Site of Proposed Lithium Mine in Nevada

          One of the activists is Will Falk, a writer and lawyer who helped bring a suit to US District Court seeking personhood for the Colorado River in 2017. He describes himself as a “biophilic essayist” and he certainly lyrical in describing the area where they set up:

          I’ve spent enough time in the Great Basin to attest to its beauty myself: the dramatic ranges, the expansive flats, the gnarled trees, the stiff-stemmed wildflowers, and the lean, sinewy jack rabbits; they are all expressions of endurance in a landscape imbued with the echoes of the ancient. How long ago it must have been, when waves lapped the foothills, yet the shapes they left are unmistakable. The sense is palpable of being elevated, inland, and isolated from the ocean—the waterways here don’t run to the sea, hence the name “basin.”

        • Let Nuke Plans Run for 100 Years?

          Comments from the “public” were strongly opposed to the NRC’s desire for it to let nuclear power plants run for a century.

          “I request you pause and consider before you go ahead on this reckless path,” testified Michel Lee, chairman of the New York-based Council on Energy & Conservation Policy.

    • Finance

      • ‘Poverty Mode’: App-Based Drivers Slam Lyft’s Latest Pay Cut Scheme

        “The digital economy today is part of the problem and not the solution,” argues one labor advocate. “It’s not too late to change that.”

      • Opinion | Five Ways the Biden Labor Team Can Defend Workers Against the Lawless Digital Economy

        The Biden administration must break the unprecedented nexus of capital concentration and big data hoarding or it will have no power to protect workers or citizens.

      • Susan Collins, Supporter of $1.5 Trillion in Tax Cuts for the Rich, Claims $1,400 Survival Checks Not ‘Targeted’ Enough

        “Weird that Susan Collins didn’t care so much about the ‘rich people getting more than they need’ issue when it was massive upper income tax cuts on the table.”

      • Rev. William Barber Says Biden Admin Must Not Sacrifice Racial & Economic Justice for False Unity

        We look at how COVID-19 has increased economic inequality with anti-poverty campaigner Reverend William Barber, who delivered the homily at the official inaugural prayer service. Barber says President Joe Biden’s focus on unity cannot come at the expense of major reforms needed to fight systemic racism, poverty, environmental destruction and more. “It cannot be just kumbaya. It has to be fundamental change,” he says. “We cannot be the wealthiest nation in the world, where billionaires in this country made a trillion dollars between May and November during COVID, while poor and low-wealth people of every race, creed, color, sexuality have suffered and continue to suffer.”

      • “They Came Away with Their Dignity”: Striking NYC Workers Win Wage Hike After Surge of Solidarity

        Workers at the Hunts Point Produce Market in New York City have overwhelmingly approved a new three-year contract, ending a week-long strike that captured national attention and galvanized the community behind the essential workers at the Bronx-based business. Some 1,400 members of the Teamsters Local 202 union walked off the job on January 17, demanding a $1 raise and recognition for their work to keep New Yorkers fed during the pandemic, with the Hunts Point Market supplying about 60% of the city’s produce. Management had offered a 32-cent raise instead. But after a week on the picket line and widespread support from the community, workers won raises of $1.85 per hour over three years, as well as improved terms for family health benefits. “They were resolved with each other, and they were standing shoulder to shoulder with each other on the basic premise of being treated decently,” Daniel Kane, president of Teamsters Local 202, says of the workers’ job action. “They fought, and they came away with their dignity.”

      • UN Labor Agency: Pandemic Job Losses Four Times Higher Than After 2009 Financial Collapse

        “This has been the most severe crisis for the world of work since the Great Depression of the 1930s. Its impact is far greater than that of the global financial crisis of 2009.”

      • Sanders Wants to “Act Now” on COVID Relief But McConnell Is Holding Up Senate
      • Media’s Deficit Hawks Fly Again—as Soon as a Democrat Takes Office

        A Democrat has assumed office, and so, like clockwork, corporate media are here to play their favorite game of pretending to suddenly be deeply concerned with the deficit and the national debt. Debt has risen sharply after a Covid-induced economic crash and rounds of enormous Trump tax cuts (the last of which gave 82% of the benefits to the richest 43,000 Americans, while only 3% went to those earning less than $100,000 per year). While media had little problem with those tax cuts as they were happening (FAIR.org, 2/28/18), the party is now over, and it’s apparently time for austerity.

      • The Hunts Point Strike Is Just the Beginning

        When 1,400 laborers at the Hunts Point Produce Market, a 113-acre distribution hub in the Bronx, decided to strike earlier this month, their demands were simple: a $1 hourly raise and better health benefits. Their employer had offered them a 32 cent-per-hour increase, which the workers considered an insult. After all, they’d worked nonstop through a pandemic that had killed six of them.1

      • Striking Workers in New York City Win Wage Hike After Surge of Solidarity
    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • Opinion | Trump Gone, But the Right-Wing Leadership Institute Promises to Keep Trumpism Alive and Well

        Largely flying under the radar has been the training operation for right-wingers to be taught how to work the media, infiltrate government and otherwise promote a right-wing agenda in the United States.

      • The Empire Is the World

        Omelas, the utopian setting of Ursula K. Le Guin’s 1973 short story “The Ones Who Walk Away From Omelas,” is built on deception. Le Guin introduces the city on a day of celebration, dwelling on its merry crowds, gorgeous architecture, and picturesque proximity to a bay and snow-capped mountains. As the narrator roves through this vista, describing the sights with pride and wonder, the admiration grows defensive. “Do you believe? Do you accept the festival, the city, the joy?” the narrator asks. “Then let me describe one more thing.” The deception ends, and we’re taken to an emaciated and abused child incarcerated in a dirt cellar. The child is barred from leaving this prison, but everyone ignores its misery; they believe its suffering is necessary for Omelas to thrive. Those who cannot stomach this injustice quit the city, an act of silent protest.

      • Members of Congress Reportedly Facing Death Threats Ahead of Trump Impeachment Trial

        Amid “ominous chatter about killing legislators or attacking them outside of the U.S. Capitol,” thousands of National Guard troops are expected to remain in Washington, D.C. as Trump’s trial proceeds in the Senate.

      • My Favorite Moderate

        Collins laments having worn heels to the January 6 Capitol insurrection and her inability to find parking when she returned to the capitol post-insurrection to rubber stamp the Electoral College.

        It gets worse.

      • Opinion | Let the Loathsome Lies Begin (Again)
      • ‘That’s Insane… He Still Has the Money’: SCOTUS Tosses Emoluments Lawsuits Targeting Trump

        One watchdog critic angered by the court’s decision said, “Congress must act now to ensure that no future president can profit off the presidency.”

      • Disingenuous, Lying, Whining, Bloviating, Insurrection Encouraging Senator Josh Hawley Given Pages Of Major Newspaper To Explain How He’s Being Silenced

        In Netflix’s recent release, “Death to 2020,” Lisa Kudrow does an absolutely pitch perfect parody of whiny “conservative” upset about non-existent “cancel culture” over “conservative views.” Kudrow, playing the role of a Trump campaign spokesperson/conservative commentator, talks about how she has to keep saying that “Conservative Voices Are Being Silenced,” including on a variety of popular media interviews and, of course, a NYT best-selling book by the same title:

      • Basic Notes on Victoria (“Fuck the EU!”) Nuland

        For four years the Democrats have pilloried Trump for “coddling” Putin, although in fact Trump has heaped sanctions on Russia bringing relations to their lowest point since the early Cold War. Now they want some more serious anti-Russian measures. They want their president, Commander-in-Chief of the Exceptional Nation and Leader of the Free World against its adversaries, return us to Clinton-Obama normalcy. That means “getting tougher” with Russia. But what does tougher mean?

        Nuland is eminently qualified for the task of making things much worse, even provoking war with the other superpower that while lacking foreign bases, and spending a fraction of what NATO spends on military defense, has over 6000 nuclear weapons. (Remember? The U.S. developed and used nuclear weapons in 1945, the only country to ever do so. The Soviets followed by developing their own bomb in 1949, in self-defense. That’s when Truman established NATO as an anti-Soviet, anti-communist military alliance.)

      • The Fall of Trump

        For Donald Trump, that tragic flaw has been unbounded narcissism.

        For four years as president, Trump could focus on only one thing: himself. He preferred to be in front of cheering crowds than behind the desk in the Oval Office actually doing work. He cared only about his appearance, his reputation, his legacy. Trump pursued various foreign policy initiatives – such as meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un or pushing for a peace deal in the Middle East – only to get a Nobel Prize not because he genuinely cared about the lives of the people in other countries.

      • Budget Chair Sanders Dares GOP to Criticize Him for Using Reconciliation to ‘Protect Ordinary People, Not Just the Rich’

        “If they want to criticize me for helping to feed children who are hungry or senior citizens in this country who are isolated and alone and don’t have enough food, they can criticize me.”

      • “The ‘I’m Rubber You’re Glue’ Defense to Treachery”: Hawley Files Ethics Complaint Against Dems Who Filed One Against Him

        The Missouri Republican is facing growing calls for his resignation or removal from the Senate for inciting the deadly mob attack on the U.S. Capitol earlier this month.

      • We Balk at ‘Law and Order,’ but Democracy Needs the Rule of Law

        They are still deciding what to call the events of January 6. Riot? Insurrection? Coup? From the Wilkes mob and the Gordon mob in 18th century London to our own Seattle and Portland mobs, hyperbole and euphemism have fought a close contest in this area. Consider two stock phrases that look synonymous but have come to mean very different things. “Law and order” may convey the preconditions of a free society, but the use of that slogan—by Richard Nixon’s campaign in 1968 and its successors in 1988 and 2016—gave the words a dubious odor. Repression of speech and assembly and ordinary freedom of action could be hidden under the seemingly harmless phrase. Yet no such opprobrium has ever attached to the instruction to abide by “the rule of law.” Why not?

      • ‘They’re brainwashing our citizens’: Putin comments on his alleged ownership of billion-dollar residence

        In honor of Russian Students Day, a public holiday that falls on January 25, President Vladimir Putin held a video conference where university students had a chance to ask him questions. A student by the name of Chemezov Danil seized the opportunity to ask Putin about the billion-dollar “palace” supposedly built for him on the Black Sea that was recently the topic of an explosive investigation by Alexey Navalny’s Anti-Corruption Foundation. Here’s how Putin responded. 

      • Inquiry Opened to Determine If DOJ Officials Tried to Overturn Election
      • Despite His Attempt to Tie MAGA to Anti-Semitism, Biden Will Preserve Trump’s “Israel First” Legacy

        The cantankerous end to the turbulent Trump presidency has imbued the incoming administration with a halo of bright expectations by simple virtue of the disastrous four years that precede it. Like a stand-up feature act that follows an opener’s bombed set at a comedy club, the Biden-Harris duo takes center stage with an easy advantage that requires only the slightest effort to win over a disappointed crowd.

      • A Fresh Start
      • The High Cost of Quieting Down Trump

        The source of Donald Trump’s strength also turned out to be his Achilles’ heel. When the major social media giants, notably Twitter and Facebook, shut down Trump’s ability to post, he became a much-diminished figure on the world stage, even before his replacement, Joe Biden, was sworn in. Without social media, Trump hasn’t been able to bully Republican lawmakers with quite so much success nor rally his followers so effectively. It’s notable that calls for protests at state capitols, following the botched putsch of January 6, have fizzled.

      • Budget Chair Sanders Wants to Use Reconciliation to “Protect Ordinary People”
      • Former Trump Lawyer and Conspiracy Theorist Sidney Powell Launches New Super PAC
      • Trump Has Made Threats to Launch a New Political Party — the “Patriot Party”
      • Dominion Voting Systems Files $1.3 Billion Lawsuit Against Rudy Giuliani
    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • End the Filibuster: Calls Grow to Retire Relic of Slavery & Jim Crow to Make Senate More Democratic

        President Joe Biden has promised swift action on the pandemic, the economic crisis and more, but much of his agenda hinges on whether he can get enough support in the Senate, where an unprecedented number of bills in recent years has required a 60-vote supermajority in order to overcome filibusters. Many progressives and civil rights groups have urged Democratic leaders to kill the filibuster, warning that if they don’t, Senate Republicans will obstruct Biden’s plans just as they did with the Obama administration. Former Senate aide Adam Jentleson, author of the new book “Kill Switch: The Rise of the Modern Senate and the Crippling of American Democracy,” says the filibuster has historically been used to stop racial progress and thwart majority opinion. “The framers … did not want the filibuster to exist,” he says. “When they created the Senate, it was an institution that had no filibuster power. It was designed to be a majority-rule body.”

      • It’s raining snowballs In the past, Russia has charged protesters with felony assault for chucking plastic bottles at the police. What happens to the demonstrators who threw snow last weekend?

        This past weekend, large crowds of people across Russia marched to demand the release of the jailed opposition figure Alexey Navalny, braving icy weather and warnings from local law enforcement. The largely unpermitted demonstrations ended with more than 3,700 arrests nationwide. Unlike most recent political rallies in Russia, many activists were willing to clash directly with the police. In hundreds of videos shared online, for example, protesters rained down snowballs on groups of riot police. Meduza looks at several questions many people are now asking about these acts of defiance.

      • Lawyer working for Navalny’s Anti-Corruption Foundation forcibly deported from Russia

        Belarusian national Vladlen Los — a lawyer working for Alexey Navalny’s Anti-Corruption Foundation, who was given notice of his expulsion from Russia last week — was forcibly taken to the Russian-Belarusian border on Sunday, January 24. Los described the incident himself in a video released on Team Navalny’s YouTube channel.

      • Team Navalny announces more protests planned for Sunday, January 31

        Following last Saturday’s countrywide protests in support of jailed opposition figure Alexey Navalny, the head of his Moscow headquarters, Leonid Volkov, has announced more rallies planned for this upcoming Sunday.

      • Are We Witnessing the Emergence of a New ‘Lost Cause’?

        One way to decisively convey that treasonous white-supremacist insurrectionists are unwelcome in the US Capitol might be to remove all the statues that venerate treasonous white-supremacist insurrectionists from the US Capitol.

      • Louisiana Legislature Approves Tepid Police ‘Reforms’ That Won’t Do Much To Give The State Better Police

        Police reform efforts are being mounted all over the nation, but very few appear to be capable of creating any lasting, positive changes. Reforming law enforcement is difficult to do. Legislators, for the most part, still “back the blue,” if for no other reason than cops are also government employees. Powerful police unions are firmly entrenched, providing the biggest obstacle to reform — fully capable of gutting reform bills by leaning on legislators and threatening less law enforcement activity.

      • The Republican Dam on Immigration is Cracking, Now They Must Pay for Their Racism

        Anticipating Biden’s executive actions on immigration, the Trump administration created some potentially difficult hurdles to Biden’s agenda, via a series of so-called Sanctuary for Americans First Enactment (SAFE) agreements between a handful of states and the Department of Homeland Security, which signed them during Trump’s final days in office. These agreements require cooperation between the Department of Homeland Security and law enforcement agencies and require a 180-day notice of intent to terminate. It was Trump’s parting shot to a nation that uses and abuses immigrant labor, revenue, culture, and other benefits.

        But President Biden has not restricted himself to executive actions on immigration. He has sent an outline of a comprehensive immigration bill to Congress for consideration that has as its centerpiece a pathway to citizenship for nearly 11 million undocumented residents of the nation. It is a bold move but precisely the correct one in a nation reeling from four toxic years of Donald Trump. Given that Trump rode into office on the winds of anti-immigrant hate that he vigorously fanned during his campaign, it is fitting that Biden begins his term by undoing the damage by whatever means he can—legislative and executive action.

      • “Thugs” and “Riots”: Legitimizing Police Violence at Protests Against Police Violence

        Note: The NLG National Office, in collaboration with NLG Review, is publishing a 4-part blog series exploring questions around policing in the United States. Guild members are sharing pieces analyzing the policing of social movements, the role of police in maintaining current power dynamics, and alternatives to policing from community power to defunding to abolition. The goal of this series is to generate discussion and conversation among our members and the public regarding the current state of policing and to envision new strategies of social organization. Please also read the Guild’s recent resolution supporting the abolition of policing passed by the membership in 2020.

        In the third article of the series, law professor Cedrick Heraux discusses how the language of violence and bias impacts policing during social movements, particularly when it is the excessive use of force by police that is being protested. He notes that both legal and moral norms are violated most often when those protesting are members of minority communities, with little accountability for those violations.

      • The long road to sorting out US refugee resettlement

        When Joe Biden was elected president of the United States in November, Yasmin Aguilar’s 11-year-old niece – who began the US refugee resettlement process in Afghanistan when she was five – told her family: “Joe Biden will hopefully put me on the first plane. He’s a friend of [Barack] Obama, and Obama loves Muslims.”

        The story was sobering for Aguilar to hear. “I didn’t know what American presidents thought of Muslims when I was her age,” she said. “My life wasn’t at risk.”
        Aguilar, 50, came to the United States as a refugee from Afghanistan in 2000, but she has only been able to see her brother and sister and their families twice in the past two decades, on trips she took to Afghanistan after receiving her US citizenship.

        Both her siblings’ families were on the cusp of being resettled to the United States as refugees when former president Donald Trump took office in 2017. Like thousands of other people around the world, their cases then became stalled. Both were told by Resettlement Support Center Asia – a Department of State-funded group run by NGOs, international organisations, and American embassy contractors – that resettlement would now take a lot longer as the Trump administration had reduced yearly admissions.

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

      • For Many, the Arab Spring Isn’t Over

        Despite setbacks, much of the work that was started in 2011 is still ongoing.

        A decade later, the fallout from this upheaval has taken countries in different directions. While Tunisia immediately abolished its entrenched Internet censorship regime and took steps toward democracy, other countries in the region—such as Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and Bahrain—have implemented more and more tools for censorship and surveillance. From the use of Western-made spyware to target dissidents to collusion with US social media companies to censor journalism, the hope once expressed by tech firms has been overlaid with cynical amoral profiteering. 

        As we consider the role that social media and online platforms have played in the U.S. in recent months, it’s both instructive and essential to remember the events that took place a decade ago, and how policies and decisions made at the time helped to strengthen (or, in some cases, handicap) those democratic movements. There are also worthwhile parallels to be drawn between calls in the U.S. for stronger anti-terrorism laws and the shortsighted cybercrime and counterterrorism laws passed by other countries after the upheaval. And as governments today wield new, dangerous technologies, such as face surveillance, to identify Black Lives Matter protestors as well as those responsible for the attempted insurrection at the U.S. Capitol, we must be reminded of the expansive surveillance regimes that developed in many Middle Eastern and North African countries over the last ten years as well. 

      • New Interim FCC Boss Jessica Rosenworcel Will Likely Restore Net Neutrality, Just Not Yet

        With Trump FCC boss Ajit Pai and his giant coffee mug headed for the revolving door, the Biden administration has tagged existing FCC Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel as the new boss of the agency. Rosenworcel is well liked by consumer advocates and industry insiders, and largely opposed the Trump FCC’s efforts to lobotomize the agency’s consumer protection authority, kill net neutrality, eliminate decades-old media consolidation rules, and effectively turn the agency into a rubber stamp for Comcast, AT&T, and Verizon’s every policy pipe dream.

      • Twitter and Interoperability: Some Thoughts From the Peanut Gallery

        It’s been more than a year, and Twitter has marked its progress with an “ecosystem review” that sets out its view of the landscape of distributed systems. The world is a very different place today, with social media playing a very different role in 2021 than it played in 2019. Locked down, with the legitimacy of the US political system under threat, with social media moderation policies taking on national significance, the question of how a federated, decentralized internet would work has become even more salient…and urgent.

        It’s a safe bet that no one is thrilled with the moderation policies of the Big Tech platforms (we sure aren’t). But while we can all agree that tech has a moderation problem, there’s a lot less consensus on what to do about it.

        Broadly speaking, there are two broad approaches: the first is to fix the tech giants and the second is to fix the Internet.

    • Monopolies

      • Google Threatens To Pull Out Of Australia Entirely; Australians Demand That It Both Stay And Pay News Orgs For Giving Them Traffic

        For the last year, we’ve been highlighting how Australia’s rush to create a Google News tax is so stupid. It follows similar efforts in Europe and a few other places, where newspapers that spent years dismissing the internet and doing little to adapt, are now whining that Google is… sending them free traffic and not paying them for it.

      • Patents

        • 2020 IP Law Year in Review: European Issues [Ed: History will repeat itself? History shows that UPC fails, courts reject it. Classic Team UPC spin. This latter part about opening a court is an obvious lie due to Brexit and other complaints. Far too much of the so-called 'media' we see, especially in the area of patents, is just pure lobbying, marketing, deliberate lies, and false prophecies trying to fulfil themselves by projection.]

          On 18 December 2020, two new constitutional complaints were filed against the current German UPC ratification act. It remains to be seen whether history will repeat itself, and if and when Europe will finally have a UPC.

          [...]

          The UPC is expected to open its doors in 2022 at the earliest, save any constitutional issue in Germany.

        • Law School Canons: X Marks the Spot (X = Summary Judgment)

          Exigent owned U.S. Patent No. 6,651,885, a “multi-function transaction processing system,” which includes a transaction processing system with the ability to attach a payment to a user account, among other functions, and alleged infringement literally or through the doctrine of equivalents. U.S. Patent No. 6,651,885 (filed Jun. 8, 2000; issued Nov. 25, 2003); Exigent Tech., Inc., 442 F.3d at 1303-04. The general idea was to expand the traditional debit/credit card transactions by issuing “authorization codes” to purchasers on a card, which could have other purchases attributed and stored on it. U.S. Patent No. 6,651,885. The system was designed to rid merchants of the cost of selling multiple cards that only contained singular access codes, like a pre-paid minutes card for calling long-distance, and put them all on one larger card assembly (shown below). Id. The above illustration shows a familiar looking terminal (20) but includes a large card printer (where the purchased information is stored) (37). Id. at fig.1.

          [...]

          Celotex turned out to be bad news for Exigent, who argued in the Federal Circuit that Atrana did not properly support their summary judgment motion with admissible evidence showing non-infringement. Exigent Technology, Inc., 442 F.3d at 1308. This was in reference to an arguably inadmissible declaration from Atrana’s CEO. Id. The Federal Circuit noted that it ultimately did not matter whether the declaration was admissible as evidence because Atrana, the moving party, successfully discharged their burden of proof on the dispositive issue of non-infringement, by pointing out that Exigent had no evidence of infringement. Id. at 1309. The Federal Circuit held that Exigent did not advance any argument or bring any evidence of infringement, and therefore summary judgment was proper. Id.

          Summary judgment is a remedy that arguably helps the courts “secure the just, speedy, and inexpensive determination of every action and proceeding.” Fed. R. Civ. P. 1 (2020). The irony is not lost on me that a remedy that can speed up an action resulted in further litigation, stringing out the action for both parties.

        • FOSS Patents: Continental brings complaint against Nokia in Delaware state court: new U.S. FRAND litigation strategy may protect Daimler

          Automotive supplier Continental brought FRAND litigation against the Avanci pool and several of its contributors, particularly Nokia, in 2019. But its federal lawsuit was transferred from the Northern District of California to the Northern District of Texas (i.e., Dallas), and in September it was dismissed. Continental has appealed the dismissal to the Fifth Circuit. But “Conti” (as the company is commonly referred to in the automotive industry) isn’t just waiting for the appellate proceedings to unfold (a decision will likely take about a year from now). Instead, Conti has now brought a new complaint specifically against Nokia in Delaware state court, and that one has the potential to become one of the most interesting FRAND cases worldwide (this post continues below the document)…

        • Lavoix wins for Peaccel and University of Nantes at Paris Court of Appeal

          Codexis filed a suit against Bernard Offmann and Peaccel at the Tribunal Judiciaire in Paris (case ID: 15/10224). The latter specialises in protein engineering and design, and synthetic biology, with Offmann its vice president for research. Peaccel had linked to the university professor’s online tool on its company website.

          After a seizure operation (saisie contrefaçon) to secure evidence from Offmann in May 2015, he deactivated the tool. Then, Peaccel applied to be released from the action, claiming no responsibility for the object of the suit. The court dismissed the application on the grounds that Peaccel had presented itself as co-developer of the tool on its company website. Furthermore, the court also found it had provided a link to Bernard Offmann’s site.

          As such, the first instance court dismissed the infringement suit in April 2018 but found EP 879 valid. Codexis appealed against the ruling.
          The Court of Appeal has now upheld the decision of the Tribunal Judiciaire as, according to the judges, Bernard Offmann’s tool does not reproduce the claims filed in the patent. The court also did not accept the argument of infringement by equivalents. As the university professor deactivated his tool immediately after the seizure operation, the payments imposed by the court on Codexis are relatively small.

      • Copyrights

        • BMG, Aggressive Champion Of Copyright Enforcement, Accused Of Copyright Infringement By Jehovah’s Witnesses

          Readers here will not need to be reminded that BMG, a prolific music label, is also a prolific enforcer of copyright. BMG has been party to some of the most notable instances of copyright enforcement, from its lawsuit against Cox, to its use of Rightscorp to troll internet users and lie to them, up to and including taking down news videos of President Obama singing an Al Green song. There are plenty more examples after those, leaving anyone perusing them with the distinct impression that BMG super-duper respects the strictest enforcement of copyright laws, presumably in order to protect creators of content.

        • Impact of the proposed EU Regulation on Markets in Crypto-assets for IP applications

          Decentralised ledger technologies (DLT) such as blockchain are the object of broad international regulation efforts. Presumably motivated by Facebook’s Libra/Diem project, the Chinese e-yuan and the growing financial volume of the crypto market, governmental institutions seeking to strike a balance between protecting public interests while simultaneously fostering innovation in the crypto space (“regulate innovations in and not out of Europe” and “respecting the principle of technological neutrality”).

          This goal was promoted last week by prominent participants in the workshop of the EU BLOCKCHAIN – OBSERVATORY & FORUM, a European Commission initiative to accelerate blockchain innovation and the development of the blockchain ecosystem within the EU. The workshop considered the European Commission’s proposed Regulation on Markets in Crypto-assets (MiCAR). Although the event did not specifically address intellectual property applications, various use cases could fall within the scope of the Regulation, as commodities, such as art, and intangible assets, such as intellectual property, can also be tokenised.

          [...]

          Businesses within the scope of the MiCAR will have to meet strong capital and other requirements, such as drawing up a crypto-asset white paper in accordance with Article 5 (with Annex I). Once adopted, the MiCAR will directly apply to all Member States, without the need for implementation in national law.

          According to the proposed Regulation, a ‘crypto-asset’ is a digital representation of value or rights that may be transferred and stored electronically, using distributed ledger or similar technology (Art. 3 (2)). This definition might also cover crypto currencies such as Bitcoin and Ether (“catch-all category” for all crypt-assets not covered elsewhere in financial services legislation and e-money tokens). However, these public blockchains do not have an issuer or service provider according to the MiCAR.

        • YouTube Takes Action Against Piracy Tutorials, Stream-Ripping and Cheating

          Google has filed a WIPO domain dispute against Youtubeconverter.io, a site that helped people to download audio and video from YouTube. In a recent filing sent to the UK Government, YouTube classifies the action as an anti-piracy move. In the same letter the streaming platform also notes that it is taking action against piracy tutorials and cheating videos.

        • YouTube Class Action: Not Even One Instance of Copyright Infringement Identified

          A class-action lawsuit filed by musician Maria Schneider and Pirate Monitor against YouTube claims that the video platform restricts access to takedown tools and fails to act against repeat infringers. However, in a case management statement, YouTube points out that the plaintiffs have failed to allege even a single instance of infringement.

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