02.21.21

The Focus on Delivery Style Rather Than the Substance is an Extension of Cancel/Censorship Culture

Posted in Deception at 9:29 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Woman yelling at cat DnD: You are rude; I only explain what happens

Summary: Don’t look away because some bits of information are new and unfamiliar; there is always suppressed information and companies tend to pay publishers to publish material contrary to what is true (to seed confusion and urge for a false sense of “balance”)

A pattern related to ad hominem or generalisations is mentioned in passing along with other patterns that we itemised last year. It’s the idea that someone saying something should be ignored merely because of feelings invoked (like supposed ‘offence’ or discomfort).

“Paid-for media indoctrination, for instance, keeps telling people utter junk like “Microsoft loves Linux” even though nothing could be further from the truth.”We keep saying that every now and then, e.g. when autocrats such as Benoît Battistelli and António Campinos look for excuses by which they justify censorship. They try to prevent the EPO‘s workers from reading Techrights not because it is wrong but because it embarrasses EPO management. It exposes corruption and might even lead to accountability, however belated or overdue.

TokenDon’t fall for these tricks. Sometimes reality is simply not comfortable, especially to those who are introduced to new information for the first time and it contradicts prior perceptions. Paid-for media indoctrination, for instance, keeps telling people utter junk like “Microsoft loves Linux” even though nothing could be further from the truth.

We live in a world where we must coexist with Public Relations spinners and liars. It’s inevitable that some things we see in the mass media will be false. That’s just their business model, sometimes known as “perception management” (Bill Gates has been paying a lot for that lately).

Yes and noIn the case of the EPO, they’ve gone as far as bribing scholars for biased 'research'. Maybe that sort of ‘research’ helps comfort propaganda sites like IAM, which prefer to look the other way when presented with evidence of EPO corruption. In the case of Microsoft, there’s no lack of cash-strapped people in the media, looking for opportunities to spread a bunch of lies. Microsoft Inside — Part III and Microsoft Inside — Part IV are almost ready to go now (on Sunday we published the first part and second part) and we believe they contain quite the ‘smoking gun’. Microsoft has evil plans for Linux and those who refuse to learn from history will fall for it or even become complicit/accomplices.

Microsoft Inside — Part II: Microsoft Has Plans for the Raspberry Pi or Linux SBCs in General (and It Hides Its Role in That)

Posted in GNU/Linux, Microsoft at 8:41 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Nice product you got there...  would be a shame if something happened to it

Summary: Some ‘former’ Microsoft employees are looking to hire GNU/Linux developers/employees without revealing who they are and who they still work with (Microsoft)

IN THE first part we explained in general terms that Microsoft is intruding entering the digital territories of its competition in order to disrupt and undermine, or simply to switch people over… back to Microsoft’s proprietary software. People who believe otherwise ought to reassess their views based on objective evidence, not Public Relations stunts (e.g. “Microsoft loves Linux”).

“This is no joking matters and Debian GNU/Linux developers were extremely unhappy about what the Raspberry Pi Foundation had done.”We recently became aware of a bunch of worrying stories in light of the story we broke and exposed regarding Raspberry Pi and Microsoft. We’ve been writing a lot about that since then. In short, Microsoft is trying to leverage Raspberry Pi devices to get people ‘addicted’ to Microsoft’s proprietary software. It can also leverage data gathered from these devices for programmes such as EDGI and leverage these secret deals to impose Microsoft traps on pupils at schools. This is no joking matters and Debian GNU/Linux developers were extremely unhappy about what the Raspberry Pi Foundation had done. Their code was being misused to prop up Microsoft monopoly, via the Raspberry Pi Foundation. It never even bothered explaining what exactly it agreed on with Microsoft and why (or what for, e.g. how much money was paid for it). Some of those developers spoke to us privately. They were definitely not happy.

Additionally, a recent story was shared with us, illuminating the sort of relationship Microsoft is trying to forge with such developers. It’s akin to an absorption — the kind of trick Microsoft used against rivals in the recent and distant past (e.g. Borland). The details may be revealing to those involved; but for those not “in the loop” the identities will remain unknown. For those who are not familiar with the Borland story, here’s an old report:

Borland and Microsoft

Here’s some raw evidence and another old article:

Borland lawsuit

A month ago a recruiter/contact reached out to a GNU/Linux developer, saying: “I’d like connect w/you re: a [redacted] remote Linux Tech PM consultant w/STRONG tech doc skills.”

Need:
1. Linux OS focused on OS development.
2. Embedded devices- building OS & modifying hardware, drivers.
3. Silicon architectures & embedded boards: ARM devices, [redacted]

This may sound benign on the surface. The recruiter asked: “Know anyone?”

This was followed by another contact/message:

Sorry my 1st msg was light on information. …restricted the letter count…

The developer then responded: “…What you are looking for is a unicorn. I can ask around. Need someone who customizes distros? For like Dev kits that are iot based?”

The contact responded with: “Yes!!! Here’s a post I made to a group in [redacted]. It’s an unicorn!”

HIRING [redacted]: TECHNICAL PM – LINUX. REMOTE

I am an executive recruiting consultant helping a technical consulting firm in [redacted] staff a [redacted] consultant role. Info notes below.

Skills & knowledge we are looking for:
1. Strong Linux OS skills much more focused on OS development vs App development or Sys Admin.
2. Strong experience with embedded devices-building embedded OS and modifying hardware, drivers, etc.
3. Experience with silicon architectures and embedded boards such as ARM based devices, [redacted] & Raspbery Pi.
4. 5+ years experience as a Technical PM.
5. Strong technical documentation skills.
6. Expertise with Github and related tools.
7. SME with hands-on experience that can build and customize an OS (rather than interview SMEs and write it up.)

Notice Microsoft proprietary software toolsets w.r.t “Raspbery [sic] Pi”. The location is near Microsoft.

On it goes:

Key knowledge & skills: (not all required but as much of this experience as possible is highly desired due to goals of this position.)

1. Embedded Linux,
2. Ubuntu,
3. Canonical,
4. Edge IOT devices,
5. Red Hat,
6. Yocto,
7. Wind River Linux,
8. ARM,
9. NXP

If you or someone you know are looking for a [redacted] Tech PM gig that requires Linux expertise, strong documentation skills and will last up to 6 months, please send your resume to me at… Thank you!

The developer likely lost interest, seeing where the job is and words like GitHub. It’s a prison in PRISM, and moreover an attack on Free software.

But the contact persisted: “If you or anyone you know is open to this gig that’s up to 6 months and can lead to other great [redacted] consultant type opportunities, please let me know…”

Seeing that there was little understanding of the basics, the developer responded: “So canonical and Ubuntu…are the same…”

Notice how they list “Ubuntu” and “Canonical” separately.

The contact said: “It’s for a consulting company of senior tech ppl that left Msft and now do projects with the teams.”

“The developer likely lost interest, seeing where the job is and words like GitHub.”So there we go… those are people from Microsoft, who still work with Microsoft (“the teams”).

Funny how this wasn’t mentioned upfront, right?

“Oh yeah,” the developer replied, “that’s a good question.. will the person need to use proprietary software or is it completely free and open source?”

The contact apparently knew nothing about what s/he was talking about. The reply? “Oh! I didn’t realize they were the same!! I’ll ask about the question above which is great!”

“Yeah,” the developer responded. “Canonical is the company. Ubuntu is the product/Distro…”

“Notice how they list “Ubuntu” and “Canonical” separately.”In the next part we’ll see that not only the team (working with “the teams” i.e. Microsoft) but also more people are in fact working for Microsoft or were working for Microsoft. Why are they trying to sort of ‘poach’ developers?

Remember this deals with “Raspbery [sic] Pi” and GitHub (Microsoft). That was a month ago, just about a week before the Raspberry Pi Foundation covertly inserted Microsoft keys and repositories into millions of Raspberry Pi devices.

Stay tuned for the next part. It gets better (or worse, depending on where you, the dear readers, stand).

Links 22/2/2021: Oracle Solaris 11.4 SRU30 and Lubuntu in Focus

Posted in News Roundup at 7:36 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Linux lands on Mars – A victory for open-source

      In one of humankind’s historical moments, Linux-powered Perseverance Mars Rover has made a successful landing on Mars. Its landing software is powered by Linux – and open-source software that has been touted for its safety.

      Tim Canham mentioned the importance of Linux in the Perseverance Mars Rover success to Mars. In discussion with IEEE Spectrum, the Mars Helicopter Operations Lead at NASA’s Propulsion Laboratory said that “This is the first time we’ll be flying Linux on Mars.” He also touted how it was important for the team to use a proven and safe.

      The NASA expert was also not shy away from saying that, “It’s kind of an open-source victory.”

      The live telecast of the Perseverance Mars Rover making it to the land was watched by 2 million people on YouTube. The whole scene was mesmerizing and beautiful.

    • Linux Weekly Roundup #118

      Welcome to this Linux Weekly Roundup.

      KDE Plasma 5.21 has been released and it is really good!

      Netrunner 21.01, Void Linux 20210218, and Endless OS 3.9.3 have been released this week!

    • Audiocasts/Shows

      • Episode 259 – What even is open source anymore?

        Josh and Kurt talk about the question “what is open source?” Why do we think it’s broken today, and what sort of ideas about what should come next.

      • Going Linux #404 · Making Linux Installation Media

        Creating bootable USB media to enable you to install Linux has changed since we last talked about it on the show. We discus burning a CD/DVD and today’s methods of creating a bootable USB media from Windows, macOS, and Linux.

      • Linux Action News 177

        We share some exclusive details about the Linux-powered gear that just landed on Mars, and the open-source frameworks that make it possible.

        Plus a major new feature coming to a Linux distro near you.

      • GNU World Order 394

        GNU autoconf from the Slackware software series **d**.

      • 139: Linux 5.11, Linux On Mars!, KDE Plasma 5.21, Linux Mint, Fedora, Kodi | This Week in Linux – TuxDigital

        On this episode of This Week in Linux, we’ve got a HUGE week of news with the latest release of the Linux kernel with Linux 5.11. KDE has announced the release of Plasma 5.21. We’ve got a lot of Distro news from Fedora, Linux Mint & Devuan. Later in the show, we’ll talk about news from Pine64 about the PinePhone, Kodi entertainment center has a new release and we’ve got some exciting news for GNOME Software. Wait wasn’t there something else? Oh right. Linux Is Now On MARS! All that and much more on Your Weekly Source for Linux GNews!

    • Kernel Space

      • Intel eASIC N5X, Snapdragon 888 Support Land In Linux 5.12 – Phoronix

        There is a lot of new hardware enablement with the ARM platforms and DeviceTree additions for the Linux 5.12 kernel merge window.

        The various kernel pull requests from Arnd Bergmann were merged on Saturday night following the nearly week long delay due to the PNW winter weather thwarting the start of the merge window. Some of the ARM/DT highlights for Linux 5.12 include:

        - Lightening up the kernel by some 21.4k lines is the dropping of many old/obsolete ARM platforms. Nuked this time around are EFM32, PicoXcell, PRIMA2, Tango, U300, ZX, and ARCH/C6X.

      • Linux 5.12 Git Seeing New Code Land Following Winter Storm – Phoronix

        While the first week of a new merge window is often one of the busiest times for Linus Torvalds in overseeing the Linux kernel, until last night there was no actual Linux 5.12 code being pushed into the Linux Git repository. Linus was offline most of the week due to winter storms preventing him from pushing to the Git repository and interacting much with the mailing list.

        Texas had all the attention this past week for their massive outages, but Portland also experienced a brutal winter storm last weekend. The Oregon winter storm knocked out power to thousands and ended up interfering with the start of the Linux 5.12 merge window.

      • Linux 5.11 Supports Syscall User Dispatch Which Could Allow More Windows Games With DRM To Run Under Wine In The Future – LinuxReviews

        Many Windows games use direct system calls in their implementation of DRM and anti-cheat features. This is a problem because Windows API re-implementations like Wine do not get to see these syscalls and the Linux kernel has no idea what to do with them. The newly released Linux 5.11 kernel has a solution.

      • Faster IO_uring, BFQ + BLK-MQ Improvements Among The I/O Fun For Linux 5.12

        The block subsystem and related storage changes were merged today for the in-development Linux 5.12 kernel.

        The IO_uring changes for Linux 5.12 continue to be quite prominent for this very compelling feature of the Linux kernel. In particular, continued work on making IO_uring even faster. With request recycling and task_work optimizations, IO_uring with Linux 5.12 is now in the range of 10% to 20% faster for workloads that are mostly inline. IO_uring is also now fully under memcg protection, SQPOLL fixes, LOOKUP_CACHED support, and other clean-ups and optimizations.

      • Graphics Stack

        • NVidia Cripples Proprietary Graphics Driver In Order To Sell Specialized Crypto-Mining Cards

          The American technology giant Nvidia has announced that their closed-source graphics driver now features a intentional digital restrictions management (DRM) bug that cripples performance on certain specific workloads such as mining digital Ethereum (ETH) currency. Nvidia story, which does not hold water, is that they are doing this to ensure retail-availability of their RTX 3060 graphics card.

        • The State Of ROCm For HPC In Early 2021 With CUDA Porting Via HIP, Rewriting With OpenMP – Phoronix

          Earlier this month at the virtual FOSDEM 2021 conference was an interesting presentation on how European developers are preparing for AMD-powered supercomputers and beginning to figure out the best approaches for converting existing NVIDIA CUDA GPU code to run on Radeon GPUs as well as whether writing new GPU-focused code with OpenMP device offload is worthwhile.

        • Mesa Lands New Single File Cache To Help Steam’s Pre-Compiled Shaders, Space Savings

          Mesa’s on-disk shader cache, which is used for speeding up game load times by avoiding the redundant recompiling of shaders on successive loads and also helping performance for software that compiles shaders on-the-fly, is seeing a big improvement with Mesa 21.1. Mesa 21.1-devel merged this weekend the new single file cache implementation.

          Mesa’s new single file shader cache has been in the works by Valve contractor Timothy Arceri the past few months. The single file cache doesn’t help with load times any further beyond the existing multi-file cache layout but can help in space savings. By tucking all the cached shaders into a single file is the possibility of better on-disk space savings. Arceri estimates the multi-file cache behavior as is used right now inflates disk usage by more than 3x of the single file cache.

    • Applications

      • Cine-encoder 3.1 Is Released

        cine-encoder is a handy tool for quickly converting between video formats. It support for preserving HDR meta-data and hardware encoding on Nvidia, and only Nvidia, graphics cards. The latest version has a “improved” design, bug-fixes and support for drag and drop.

        Cine-encoder is a simple program designed with one purpose in mind: Converting files between video formats. It is not a linear video editor like kdenlive and it’s not useful for splitting or editing audio like you can with avidemux. Cine-encoder is much more similar to Video Trimmer in terms of features: It lets you re-encode video files and that’s all it does.

      • Why Rhythmbox’s Much-Needed Makeover Might Not Be Happening

        Ahh, Rhythmbox: a solid, dependable music player for the Linux desktop which, like a classic Madonna album, is both great and of its era at the same time.

        But could it find favour with a whole new generation of fans? As Madonna can attest, a well-received reinvention is but a solid vision and a few productions tweaks away.

        “Joey,” you say. “Express yourself, dude; what is this all about?”

        Cue a bedtime story…

      • Dmitry Shachnev: ReText turns 10 years

        Exactly ten years ago, in February 2011, the first commit in ReText git repository was made. It was just a single 364 lines Python file back then (now the project has more than 6000 lines of Python code).

        Since 2011, the editor migrated from SourceForge to GitHub, gained a lot of new features, and — most importantly — now there is an active community around it, which includes both long-time contributors and newcomers who create their first issues or pull requests. I don’t always have enough time to reply to issues or implement new features myself, but the community members help me with this.

      • SGTK Menu: Who Wants A Graphical Launcher

        While why favourite app launcher is dmenu, I get that some people prefer a more graphical solution so today we’re looking at something to address that, this is SGTK Menu, a desktop agnostic GTK app launcher.

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • How to install Android Studio in Ubuntu

        If you’ve switched to Ubuntu from Mac OS or Windows to do Android development, you’ll need to know how to install Android Studio. In this guide, we’ll show you how to do just that. Follow along as we go over how to install Android Studio on Ubuntu.

      • How to use the Epic Store on Linux

        The Epic Games Store is quickly becoming a competitor to Steam by adding exclusive PC games to it. Sadly, unlike Steam, it does not have a native Linux release, and there are no plans for Epic to release on Linux in the future.

        Not to worry! With a little elbow grease, you can get the Epic Store working on your Linux PC. Here’s how to do it.

      • How to install Shotcut Video Editor on Linux Mint 20.1

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

      • Install Adobe Reader on Fedora Linux – Linux Hint

        Adobe Acrobat Reader DC or simply Adobe Reader is a popular software for document viewing, printing, and adding comments. It can also add signs and annotate portable document format or PDFs. It is primarily built for handling PDF documents. The premium version, Adobe Acrobat Pro DC, has more features than Adobe Acrobat Reader DC. For example, you can create PDFs, convert to other formats, edit and protect them.

        Adobe now also provides online document cloud services for Adobe Acrobat Reader for managing your work from anywhere and from any device.

        Adobe Inc develops the Adobe Acrobat family. The Adobe reader is available for direct download on Windows and Mac OS. It can be installed on Android and IOS as well. There are multiple languages available for installing Adobe Reader. Adobe does not provide a direct download option on the Linux systems as it used to do earlier. In this guide, we will see some workaround for installing Adobe Reader on the Fedora operating system.

      • How to install Pencil2D on a Chromebook

        Today we are looking at how to install Pencil2D on a Chromebook. Please follow the video/audio guide as a tutorial where we explain the process step by step and use the commands below.

      • How to Update Ubuntu in the Command Line

        Knowing how to update Linux in the command line is an absolute must for skilled users. Staying updated keeps your system safe, secure, and stocked with the latest features. Today we’ll learn how to update an Ubuntu desktop or server from the terminal, or through an SSH connection.

      • Use btrfs compression in Fedora 33 – Lukáš Zapletal

        Btrfs have been available in Fedora for quite some time and starting from Fedora 33, new installations of Workstation edition use it by default. Btrfs is pretty capable file system with lots of options, let’s take a look on one aspect: transparent per-file compression.

        There’s little bit of misunderstanding how this works and some people recommend to mount with compress option. This is actually not necessary and I would actually strongly suggest NOT to use this option. See, this option makes btrfs to attempt to compress all files that are being written. If the beginning of a file cannot be effectively compressed, it’s marked as “not for compression” and this is never attempted again. This can be even forced via a different option. This looks nice on paper.

        The problem is, not all files are good candidates for compression. Compression takes time and it can dramatically worsen performance, things like database files or virtual machine images should never be compressed. Performance of libvirt/KVM goes terribly down by order of magnitude if an inefficient backing store is used (qcow2).

      • Read Manpages With Less, Bat, Vim or Neovim – YouTube

        Did you know that you can change the MANPAGER that your shell uses? The MANPAGER is the program that is used to read man pages. By default, this is usually the ‘less’ program, but you can change it to be whatever you like. Some common choices include bat, vim and neovim.

      • Oil Paint image transformation with Raspberry PI and OpenCV – peppe8o

        Beside being a fantastic tool for Artificial Intelligence computing, OpenCV also makes available a number of options to create cool effects applied to pictures. One of these is Oilpainting, which creates an oil paint from your image, able to run in a Raspberry PI

      • Install HPLIP 3.21.2 In Ubuntu 20.04 / LinuxMint / Fedora 33 | Tips On UNIX

        This tutorial will be helpful for beginners to install HPLIP 3.21.2 in Ubuntu 20.04 LTS, Fedora 33, RHEL, LinuxMint 19.x, and Debian 10.7.

        HPLIP – HP Linux Image and Printing, developed by HP for Printing, scanning, and faxing with HP inkjet and laser-based printers in Linux platforms.

        The latest version of HPLIP 3.21.2 contains new printer support and added support to the new Distro’s and the hplip installer is available for download from SourceForge.

      • How To Install Kodi on Manjaro 20 – idroot

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to install Kodi on Manjaro 20. For those of you who didn’t know, Kodi (formerly XBMC Media Center) is an open-source and very powerful project that provides all the necessary tools for transforming your regular PC into a bona fide HTPC, which, if used in conjunction with a big-screen TV and a Hi-Fi audio system, will transform your living room into a veritable home theater. Currently, Kodi can be used to play almost all popular audio and video formats around. It was designed for network playback, so you can stream your multimedia from anywhere in the house or directly from the internet using practically any protocol available.

        This article assumes you have at least basic knowledge of Linux, know how to use the shell, and most importantly, you host your site on your own VPS. The installation is quite simple and assumes you are running in the root account, if not you may need to add ‘sudo‘ to the commands to get root privileges. I will show you through the step by step installation of Kodi on a Manjaro 20 (Nibia).

      • Setting up a local repository on Ubuntu 16.04 – The Linux Juggernaut

        Having packages available locally is helpful in a number of situations. Your organization might be using certain packages which are not available on public repositories. You might also be building your own debian packages and would prefer to have them available locally on the system.

        In this article, we will show you how to set up a simple local package repository on an Ubuntu 16.04 system.

      • apt command examples for package management in Ubuntu – The Linux Juggernaut

        In our earlier articles on package management for Debian bases distributions, we’ve covered dpkg, apt-get, and apt-cache tools. In this article, we will cover the apt tool for managing packages on our Ubuntu 16.04 system. The command line options for apt are very similar to those available with apt-get and apt-cache because apt encompasses features of both these tools into one package management tool. Apt is a front-end tool which works with dpkg in the background to maintain software on the system.

        To interact with the apt package manager, we use the apt command along with the appropriate options.
        We’ll now take you through some examples to help understand how we use the apt package manager.

      • How to add Capacity Providers in the existing ECS Cluster? – Kernel Talks

        In our last article, we walked you through the basics of Capacity Providers. In this article, let’s create them to test their functionalities. You can create Capacity Providers and add them to the running ECS cluster without touching anything in the cluster.

      • Lukas “lzap” Zapletal: Installing Unifi Controller on Fedora 33

        Installing Unifi Controller in Fedora 33 is easy. Step one: install MongoDB from the official site since it is no longer available in Fedora due to licensing reasons.

      • Lukas “lzap” Zapletal: Remove rsyslog and use journald in Fedora

        I am reinstalling my home server from scratch, I want to start using BTRFS which seems like a great fit for what I am doing (NAS, backups). Installation was smooth, no problems, however I noticed that Fedora Server 33 installed both journald and rsyslogd and journal was configured to do persistent logging.

        You know, this is weird. On Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7 and 8, journald is configured in volatile mode and it’s set to forward all logs to syslog. On Fedora 33, it looks like both rsyslog and journald are logging (/var/log/messages and /var/log/journal respectively). No forwarding is going on. This is weird, I am going to file a BZ for folks to investigate.

      • Jon Chiappetta: Configuring an OpenWRT Switch to work with SSID VLANS on a UAP-AC-PRO

        On the OpenWRT Swtich page, I have set the LAN ports 1 & 2 as VLAN trunk ports (tagged) to allow both to carry the traffic through to the VLAN access ports (untagged) (home = VLAN 3 && guest = VLAN 4). This will create the sub-interfaces eth0.3 and eth0.4 that will contain the separated Layer 2 ethernet traffic to/from those different WiFi clients (ARP, DHCP via dnsmasq, mDNS, etc).

      • Please do not put IP addresses into DNS MX records

        I want to highlight a common misconfiguration in the DNS records for e-mail servers.

        When a domain is configured to receive mails usually a DNS record of the type MX is configured pointing to the host name of the mail server.

        Notably, according to the respective RFC 1035 the MX record must contain a domain name and may not directly point to an IP address. However some mail servers do configure an IP address. Many mail servers are lenient when it comes to this misconfiguration and will deliver mails nevertheless, so this may stay undetected.

        I happen to use a mail server that is less forgiving (Courier), and every now and then I cannot send a mail due to this. It’s rare, but it does happen. If your mail server has such a configuration you may not receive some legitimate e-mails.

      • Completely uninstall MySQL-server in Ubuntu 20.04

        Many times we face issues while starting the MYSQL server or on installation on Linux System. There may be a couple of reasons for this issue. Sometimes configuration file already exists in the system and is not removed properly. In that case, we have to discard the MYSQL package and configuration file and reinstall it again.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • [PCLinuxOS] KDE installation ISOs have been updated 2021.0215

          KDE installation ISOs have been updated with Kernel 5.10.17 LTS. KDE Plasma desktop 5.21.0 and the latest Nvidia 460.39 driver along with the normal package updates from the software repository. Please note if you are fully updated from the software repository then there is no need to do a fresh install from these ISOs.

    • Distributions

      • Announcing Oracle Solaris 11.4 SRU30

        We’ve just released SRU30 for Oracle Solaris 11.4. It is available via ‘pkg update’ from the support repository or by downloading the SRU from My Oracle Support Doc ID 2433412.1.

      • Oracle Solaris 11.4 SRU30 Is The Biggest Update We’ve Seen In A While

        Oracle continues maintaining Solaris 11.4 with monthly stable release updates but there still is no public sign of anything past 11.4 for this operating system that was once exciting during the Sun Microsystems days. But with this week’s 11.4 SRU30 release, at least there are many package updates.

        Oracle this past week released Solaris 11.4 Stable Release Update 30 in it being nearly three years already since Solaris 11.4 was introduced. There are a number of prominent package updates with Solaris 11.4 SRU30 including Python 3.9, Perl 5.32, GNU Debugger 10.1, LLVM Clang 11.0, OpenSSH 8.2, and many other package updates. Solaris 11.4 SRU30 also includes updating many of the GNOME desktop components against their 3.36/3.38 state. There are many other package updates that were also carried out in the name of security.

      • Reviews

        • Review: Septor 2021

          Septor is a Linux distribution which provides users with a pre-configured computing environment for surfing the Internet anonymously. It is based on Debian’s Testing branch and it uses Privoxy, a privacy-enhancing proxy, together with the Tor anonymity network to modify web page data and HTTP headers before the page is rendered by the browser. The distribution uses KDE Plasma as the preferred desktop environment and it also includes the Tor Browser for anonymous web browsing and OnionShare for file sharing.

          Septor is in the same family of distributions as Tails, which we talked about last year. Tails is also Debian-based and is intended to be used for anonymous web browsing and file sharing. One of the big differences between the two projects is Tails uses the GNOME desktop while Septor uses KDE Plasma. Another difference is Tails is typically run as a live distribution from a USB thumb drive, often with persistent storage. Septor, on the other hand, can either be used as a standard live disc or installed to a hard drive via Debian’s system installer.

          Septor is available in one edition for 64-bit (x86_64) computers. The ISO file we download is 1.8GB in size. Booting from this media brings up a menu asking if we would like to run the live desktop or launch the installer. When running in UEFI mode just one install option was visible, but in Legacy BIOS mode I could select either a graphical installer or a text installer.

          Taking the live option brings up a graphical login screen. We are shown a mostly empty screen that tells us we can sign in to the live desktop using the password “live”. There are drop-down menus for choosing our session type (only KDE Plasma is available) and our keyboard layout (only US is available). Signing into the default user account brings up the Plasma desktop with a blue background. A panel sits at the bottom of the display. The desktop is fairly quiet and empty, though browsing through the application menu presents us with several useful tools I will talk about later. We are automatically connected to the Tor network when we open a web browser or other tool, allowing us to browse the web with a degree of anonymity.

      • New Releases

        • CoreELEC 9.2.6 Released with ZRAM Support, Bluetooth Improvements

          CoreELEC 9.2.6 is a maintenance update that comes almost four months after version 9.2.5 to introduce ZRAM support into the Linux kernel, which should dramatically improve the performance. ZRAM creates a compressed block device in RAM with on-the-fly disk compression, but it’s currently only supported on the Amlogic variant, not Amlogic-NG.

          This new point release to the 9.2 series also introduces some Bluetooth improvements, such as automatic connection after boot and automatic switching to Bluetooth audio devices. On top of that, it improves media handling and playback.

      • Debian Family

        • Debian-based Netrunner 21.01 ‘XOXO’ is the perfect Linux alternative to Windows 10

          Here at BetaNews, we report on many Linux distribution releases, because, well, there are a lot of them. Not all of these operating systems are great, and only a handful are legitimate replacements for Windows 10. With that said, Microsoft’s operating system is very good, so if you are happy with Windows, you should probably just stick with it. Don’t switch for the sake of change, folks.

          Unfortunately, some people strongly dislike Windows 10, and they are eager to move onto a Linux-based alternative. If that is you, I have some great news. One of the best Windows alternatives, Netrunner, has a new version. The Debian-based operating system, which uses the excellent KDE Plasma desktop environment, now sits at version 21.01 and carries the moniker “XOXO.”

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • Best Wallpapers for Lubuntu Desktop

          Desktop wallpapers always show a user’s feelings and nature but emphasize a system’s look. Sometimes, wallpapers also help you stay motivated and focused on your goals, so it is essential to have an amazing wallpaper for your desktop/laptop. If you are a lightweight Linux distro user, then there is little chance to choose wallpapers. Before the latest update of Lubuntu, there were lesser options to customize the system according to the users. We have shortlisted for you some of the best wallpapers for the Lubuntu desktop so that you can choose one of them for your Lubuntu system.

        • Customize Lubuntu Themes

          Lubuntu is a lightweight OS based on a Linux kernel developed by Ubuntu distribution; this Linux distro has evolved in the GNU license like an open-source tool. Hence, Lubuntu is open source, a completely free, fast, and lightweight operating system that provides an easy-to-use and simple interface.

          [...]

          In this method, we will provide brief details on changing your Lubuntu system’s appearance completely.

          First, change the desktop background to select the appropriate dimension image because it will help you maintain the performance.

          In case you want to check the monitor resolution, go to the Menu -> Preference, then Monitor Settings.

          In the Monitor Settings, check the monitor configuration, so make sure to download the wallpaper as per the monitor configuration.

          Once you download the image from the internet, go to the Menu -> Preference and select desktop preferences.

        • Lubuntu vs. Linux lite

          Suppose you don’t have a high-end device to run Linux distros like Ubuntu, Kubuntu, Debian, etc. You can go for Lubuntu and Linux lite as they offer excellent compatibility for low-end devices. These are lightweight Linux distros that provide appropriate features and options for low-end devices having 512 MB of RAM and lower. However, it is confusing to choose between Lubuntu and Linux Lite as both of these Linux distros have adequate resources. We have briefly overviewed the Linux distros, given information, and a comparison between Lubuntu and Linux lite. Our information can help you to choose the best one according to the requirements without compromising.

        • Lubuntu Review

          Mario Behling designed Lubuntu, Julien Lavergne developed it for many years. It is a lightweight operating system based on the Linux kernel created from the Ubuntu distribution. This Linux distro was developed under the GNU license as an open-source tool, which is entirely free. Lubuntu is a fast and lightweight operating system that provides an easy-to-use and simple interface. Lubuntu aims to work on low-end systems without compromising on performance because it uses LXDE/LXQT.

          Many people complain that Lubuntu does not have any animations or effects because this Linux distro aims to improve the performance, eliminating the higher customization scope. You can use Lubuntu in your low-end system because it only requires 256 RAM to work correctly. If you want a brief Lubuntu review, this article will work best because we will cover complete details about Lubuntu.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • Programming/Development

        • GNU Parallel 20210222 (‘Ang Sang Su Kyi’) released

          GNU Parallel 20210222 (‘Ang Sang Su Kyi’) has been released. It is available for download at: http://ftpmirror.gnu.org/parallel/
          Please help spreading GNU Parallel by making a testimonial video like Juan Sierra Pons: http://www.elsotanillo.net/wp-content/uploads/GnuParallel_JuanSierraPons.mp4
          It does not have to be as detailed as Juan’s. It is perfectly fine if you just say your name, and what field you are using GNU Parallel for.

        • Reading stdin with Emacs Client ― mina86.com

          One feature Emacs doesn’t have out of the box is reading data from standard input. Trying to open – (e.g. echo stdin | emacs -) results in Emacs complaining about unknown option (if it ends up starting in graphical mode) or that ‘standard input is not a tty’ (when starting in terminal).

          With sufficiently advanced shell one potential solution is the –insert flag paired with command substitution: echo stdin | emacs –insert <(cat). Sadly, it’s not a panacea. It messes up initial buffer (and thus may break setups with custom initial-buffer-choice) and doesn’t address the issue of standard input not being a tty when running Emacs in terminal.

        • Perl/Raku

          • rt.cpan.org to remain online

            Despite rt.cpan.org still displaying the sunset message, it is in fact not going away forever on the 1st of March, but will have an ‘extended downtime’ while it is moved elsewhere. In future it’d be nice if communications of such things, and even allowing others to have a say on the matter, could be handled better.

          • Perl Weekly Challenge 100: Fun Time and Triangle Sum
        • Shell/Bash/Zsh/Ksh

          • How do I Create an Alias in Bash? – Linux Hint

            Bash alias is a command-based shortcut title. Every alias comprises a single word (or maybe even a single letter), which can be used rather than a relatively long command. In the Linux system, there have been several instructions that we’ll need to utilize daily. If we can run some popular instructions by typing quick instructions, it would be very beneficial for all of us. Via bash aliases, Linux users can conveniently build commonly used shortcut commands for big commands. Bash aliases are not just used to ease the job and thus save users’ time.

          • How to Simulate an Array of Arrays in Bash – Linux Hint

            Bash is indeed an interpreted, interactive language, and how much space to reserve in advance does not have to be known. It is also possible to make ready a new array dynamically without declaring it or extending a previously defined array to include further entries. Still, multidimensional arrays aren’t supported by bash, and we can’t get array components that are also arrays. Fortunately, multidimensional arrays can be simulated. This article will provide some illustrations of the simulation of an array of arrays in a bash script.

          • Remove a Specific Element from an Array in Bash – Linux Hint

            Although the entire process is not very simple and might seem like a hack, you could perhaps remove an element from the existing array. We could be using more than one method to remove an element. One of the methods is “unset,” which is used to delete an element from a specific index and afterward replace it with some other array. Several other sets of elements can be deleted using: also. You can remove the list element from the end but only the solitary one using the pop() method. Let’s have some examples for this.

        • Rust

          • Erich Schubert: My first Rust crate: faster kmedoids clustering

            I have written my first Rust crate: kmedoids.

            Python users can use the wrapper package kmedoids.

            It implements k-medoids clustering, and includes our new FasterPAM algorithm that drastically reduces the computational overhead. As long as you can afford to compute the distance matrix of your data set, clustering it with k-medoids is now feasible even for large k. (If your data is continuous and you are interested in minimizing squared errors, k-means surely remains the better choice!)

  • Leftovers

    • Monopolies

      • Patents

        • Appealing Denial of Summary Judgment (without a subsequent JMOL motion)

          A jury sided with Ericsson with a $75 million verdict for the patentee. (See the verdict image above). On appeal, the Federal Circuit flipped the verdict — holding that the asserted patent was ineligible under Section 101. In a new SCT petition, Ericsson challenges the decision on procedural grounds — arguing that TCL did not properly preserve the eligibility issue for appeal. In particular, Ericsson argues for waiver because the defendant did not raise the issue in a post-verdict R.50(b) motion for Judgment as a Matter of Law.

          During the litigation, TCL had argued that Ericsson’s claims were ineligible under Section 101. Before trial the district court denied TCL’s motion for summary judgment. TCL did not raise the issue again at trial or in a motion for JMOL under either R.50(a) or R.50(b).

          Normally, denial of summary judgment does not preserve an issue for appeal. Rather, the moving party must follow up with a pre-verdict motion for JMOL and then a post-verdict renewed-JMOL motion. Unitherm Food Sys., Inc. v. Swift-Eckrich, Inc., 546 U.S. 394 (2006); Ortiz v. Jordan, 562 U.S. 180 (2011).

          [...]

          A key element of the majority decision is that – for a question of law – denial of summary judgment of ineligibility fully decides the issue and acts sub silento to effectively grant summary judgment of eligibility. “[T]he district court here did not merely deny summary judgment. Rather … it effectively granted summary judgment in favor of the non-moving party by deciding the issue and leaving nothing left for the jury to decide.” The Federal Circuit majority opinion was written by Chief Judge PROST and joined by Judge CHEN.

          Judge NEWMAN wrote in dissent and argued that the majority erred in its approach to summary judgment motions — “The majority announces new law and disrupts precedent.”

        • Software Patents

Technology Will Become More Inclusive When We Identify and Tackle the Root Causes, and Choice of Words Ain’t That

Posted in Deception, IBM, Microsoft, Red Hat at 5:27 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Video download link

Summary: The troublesome misdirection from real issues (such as imperialism and racism that beget social apartheid) means that mainstream media hails corporations as the solution to the very problem they contribute to (for profit)

THE world’s giant technology companies, which see themselves as “master of the universe”, start consortia and Web sites (cheap or low-cost PR campaigns) that help shift attention from their racist policies, racist past, and contracts that help them profit from racism. The corporate media is more than happy to participate in these PR campaigns, which perpetuate their power over society, rendering billions of people around the world "digital slaves".

“The corporate media is more than happy to participate in these PR campaigns, which perpetuate their power over society, rendering billions of people around the world “digital slaves”.”Recently, the Linux Foundation decided to lend the name “Linux” to this, in effect whitewashing a racist past (again, for profit!) and failing to point out sheer hypocrisy.

I am aware that this is a sensitive subject, but I’ve written enough about those matters to speak about it unprepared and unscripted. Towards the end I critically assess the PR campaigns and why they may be missing the point or overlook the real problems.

We Need to Keep the Word ‘Master’ to Explain What Large Corporations Have Become to Society (Same Corporations Trying to Abolish This Word)

Posted in Deception, IBM, Microsoft at 10:15 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Back in October: IBM: The Word “Master” is Rude (Except When We Use It Ourselves)

My Master Welcomes You: Developers, Only I can say 'master'

Summary: There are corporate consortia and a media obsession with supposedly offensive language; little attention is being paid to the blood spilled by those same corporations, usually consciously and for profit

EVER noticed how large corporations and their media/chiefs just love accusing their critics of being “toxic”, “negative” etc. while they themselves do vastly worse things, including killings of projects, companies, and sometimes even people?

“People’s feelings matter. Women who lost spouses and kids (or even their own lives) to racist/imperialistic wars of conquest are a lot more hurt than people who might feel uncomfortable with terms that are barely even connected to slavery (depending on the context).”The hypocrisy is surface-deep. It’s not hard to spot. Companies and people who work for the Pentagon (to help bomb civilians) and for ICE (to kidnap children and forcibly sterilise imprisoned moms) tell us that having a Git branch called “master” is a bad idea and we should be shamed/humiliated until that gets ‘corrected’ (never mind if they don’t own Git and actually attack Git through GitHub).

Master Chief's Plan-(Despicable Me Halo): Welcome to Microsoft, We make violent computer games, But you are insensitive, For calling a git branch 'master'

Days ago the Linux Foundation and IBM had the audacity to portray IBM as pro-Jamaica (hijacking the flag) and pro-black, perhaps consciously distracting from what IBM had done there.

People’s feelings matter. Women who lost spouses and kids (or even their own lives) to racist/imperialistic wars of conquest are a lot more hurt than people who might feel uncomfortable with terms that are barely even connected to slavery (depending on the context). We’ve already written many articles on this matter, which seems to be a corporate ploy to distract the masses.

Gemini Space is Growing and Techrights is Growing in That Space

Posted in Site News at 9:33 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Not part of the space program, which it is named after (port 1965)

Project Gemini

Summary: The momentum is building behind the Gemini protocol; we’re just early adopters of something that’s growing in terms of demand (because the Web is no longer suitable for many things)

TWO years ago we considered serving the site as a static site (no database, no backend processing in the so-called ‘dynamic’ fashion), albeit there are many downsides to such an approach in fast-moving (active) sites. Gemini lets us lower the weight of the site, escape the Web’s bloat, and also turn everything into a static page. Due to the nature of the simplistic (or simplified) syntax, once we convert a page to a static object in the capsule it is unlikely we’ll ever need to convert it again. We’ve been converting the site, article by article, in an ‘offline’ fashion (not on the server side but locally, on a PC). We’re uploading one or two years’ worth of articles per day and we’ll finish everything some time this week.

“Gemini will hopefully become as big and famous as the space missions.”Our goal isn’t to become the biggest capsule (even if that seems to be happening regardless) but to be a light and widely accessible platform. Based on the latest trawl of Lupa, in a page that requires Gemini to see (gemini://gemini.bortzmeyer.org/software/lupa/stats.gmi), we’re marching to the top as more years get added. The below numbers do not include more than half of what we’ve added since.

Gemini space survey

Being the largest space on Gemini or the broadest capsule doesn’t say anything about quality or about traffic, but each day we’re seeing and have seen growth. More people are entering the space, which saw major growth in recent months. Earlier today I was compiling a bunch of GUI clients for Gemini (there are about a dozen of them). We suspect it’s only a matter of time (not much time, either) before GNU/Linux distributions add some of these to easily-accessible repositories. Gemini will hopefully become as big and famous as the space missions.

Microsoft Inside — Part I: Don’t Get Close to Microsoft, It’s Not a Love Story

Posted in Deception, GNU/Linux, Microsoft at 9:01 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

As Sir Humphrey Appleby famously said in Yes Minister: “It is necessary to get behind someone in order to stab them in the back.”


Summary: Today we start a mini series about how Microsoft plans to ‘deal’ with GNU/Linux (of course while pretending to “love” it; that’s just a very old modus operandi of Microsoft)

THERE is a tendency to wrongly assume that Microsoft is not trying to kill GNU/Linux (probably because it cannot anymore; it’s almost too late). Nothing would please Microsoft more than killing GNU/Linux and pushing Windows to fill the newly-created gap; the whole “Microsoft loves Linux” thing is “sour grapes” in reverse; they lost the battle (in most areas or form factors), so they pretend to be happy about it regardless (and want to steal a share of the pie, e.g. with Azure). As we keep reminding people, Windows is fast becoming minority market share in more segments of the market, with desktops/laptops being a last-remaining stronghold (that monopoly too is waning as Windows rapidly drops in share). They don’t like to admit this, so they rely on biased and ridiculously selective measures (to make the shareholders think they maintain about 90% of “the market”). The takeover of GitHub wasn’t just expensive; it’s an ongoing money burner with no signs of turnaround (GitHub is “successful” in the same sense Uber is). They bought it in an attempt to occupy the competition (spying, imposing disproportionate censorship, undermining one way or another). If they don’t pull it off, it’ll be another write-off like Nokia. More losses. Remember that last year Microsoft shed off a lot of staff, including in supposedly “successful” divisions like Azure. There were layoffs and Microsoft is exceptionally paranoid about its clients and shareholders finding out.

“In this series we will share some stories we’ve heard throughout the month. Microsoft has some rather malicious plans and by explaining those plans we hope to ‘inoculate’ the community, developing a sort of “herd immunity” (to the tactics or the generic strategy).”Earlier today I caught up with video coverage about what Microsoft had done to the Raspberry Pi. Having already seen plenty of articles about it (almost 50 articles, not even counting forum threads, social control media, comments and so on), I belatedly turned to video coverage. It takes a lot more time to digest video as it cannot be ‘scanned’ like text. I’m pleased that we at Techrights were the ones to break the story — a fact publicly recognised even at the front page of Raspbian. Following that revelation of ours a lot of the media brought highlights and spotlights to the backlash, putting intense pressure on Raspberry Pi (Foundation), which instead of making things better only made things worse, at least in the short term, probably due to secret contractual obligations. Half a decade ago we did the same to Lenovo, which resorted to censorship of customers (because Lenovo didn’t want to change its misguided policy, at least not immediately). Based on what happened with Lenovo (in years that followed it gradually warmed up to GNU/Linux, even if just to avoid the hate) our prediction is that if Raspberry Pi has some potential for expanding a Microsoft partnership, it would give that a pass. They hopefully learned their lesson/s; Microsoft tried something similar several years ago (putting Windows on Pi devices). That’s just how corporations work (even if they call themselves “foundation” instead of “limited”) and engaging with them on a financial level and PR level is the only way to accomplish something. I know this having spent like half a decade of my life (at expense to myself and my health) opposing Novell. It worked. It really worked. A decade or so later Novell's last CEO still feels hurt by the whole thing.

In this series we will share some stories we’ve heard throughout the month. Microsoft has some rather malicious plans and by explaining those plans we hope to ‘inoculate’ the community, developing a sort of “herd immunity” (to the tactics or the generic strategy). The patterns are mostly familiar, we’ve covered some of these before (e.g. EDGI), but they merit emphasis in light of new examples, not a supposedly ‘old Microsoft’ but this year’s Microsoft.

Links 21/2/2021: Netrunner OS 21.01, Mesa 21.0 RC5 and PipeWire 0.3.22 Released

Posted in News Roundup at 7:57 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Linux Is Now on Mars, Thanks to NASA’s Perseverance Rover

      The article also notes that the helicopter-like drone Ingenuity “was built using off-the-shelf parts, including Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 801 processor, a smartphone chip.”

      “Ingenuity is purely a technology demonstration,” notes ZDNet. “It’s not designed to support the Perseverance mission, which is searching for signs of ancient life and collecting rock and dirt samples for later missions to return to Earth. Its mission is to show that it’s possible to fly on Mars using commercial off-the-shelf hardware and open-source software.”

    • Desktop/Laptop

      • KITE Brings out New FOSS Based Operating System

        The state-run Kerala Infrastructure and Technology for Education (KITE) has released new customised Free and Open Source Software (FOSS)based Operating System, the K’ITE GNU-Linux Lite 2020,for the benefits of computer users in the state.

        The same Operating System (OS) suit would feature in lakhs of the student laptops that are being provided as part of the Vidyasree project of the state government, an official statement said here.

        Completely based on an Ubuntu free software platform, the new version of the OS comes pre-loaded with a bunch of software ranging from office packages, language input tools, Database applications to DTP- Graphics Image Editing software and so on.

        In addition to internationally acclaimed educational software such as GeoGebra, PhEt and GCompris,the OS suit also features several utility packages like G-Image reader which provides the image to text conversion, it said.

    • Audiocasts/Shows

    • Kernel Space

      • Matthew Garrett: Making hibernation work under Linux Lockdown

        Linux draws a distinction between code running in kernel (kernel space) and applications running in userland (user space). This is enforced at the hardware level – in x86-speak[1], kernel space code runs in ring 0 and user space code runs in ring 3[2]. If you’re running in ring 3 and you attempt to touch memory that’s only accessible in ring 0, the hardware will raise a fault. No matter how privileged your ring 3 code, you don’t get to touch ring 0.

        Kind of. In theory. Traditionally this wasn’t well enforced. At the most basic level, since root can load kernel modules, you could just build a kernel module that performed any kernel modifications you wanted and then have root load it. Technically user space code wasn’t modifying kernel space code, but the difference was pretty semantic rather than useful. But it got worse – root could also map memory ranges belonging to PCI devices[3], and if the device could perform DMA you could just ask the device to overwrite bits of the kernel[4]. Or root could modify special CPU registers (“Model Specific Registers”, or MSRs) that alter CPU behaviour via the /dev/msr interface, and compromise the kernel boundary that way.

        It turns out that there were a number of ways root was effectively equivalent to ring 0, and the boundary was more about reliability (ie, a process running as root that ends up misbehaving should still only be able to crash itself rather than taking down the kernel with it) than security. After all, if you were root you could just replace the on-disk kernel with a backdoored one and reboot. Going deeper, you could replace the bootloader with one that automatically injected backdoors into a legitimate kernel image. We didn’t have any way to prevent this sort of thing, so attempting to harden the root/kernel boundary wasn’t especially interesting.

      • XFS File-System With Linux 5.12 Has “A Lot Going On This Time” – Phoronix

        XFS maintainer Darrick Wong characterized the file-system driver changes for Linux 5.12 as “a lot going on this time, which seems about right for this drama-filled year.”

        On the feature front for Linux 5.12, this mature file-system has seen work to speed up freezing when read-only workloads are still running, refactoring to the logging code, faster fsync and garbage collection scans, and continued work towards being able to support shrinking XFS file-systems.

      • Graphics Stack

        • mesa 21.0.0-rc5
          Hi list,
          
          This is very delayed, but mesa 21.0.0-rc5 is now available. RC5 has
          roughly two weeks of work in it, so there's a lot that's changed since
          RC4. We've got a few issues left open blocking the relase, but hopefully
          we can get those all taken care of by next week for a .0 release.
          
          Cheers,
          Dylan
          
        • Mesa 21.0-RC5 Released For Testing This Q1’2021 OpenGL/Vulkan Driver Collection – Phoronix

          The Mesa release train once again fell off the tracks for Mesa 21.0 but on Friday the fifth release candidate managed to ship.

          Mesa 21.0 is running behind schedule for release and there ended up being two weeks since the prior RC4, but in any case Mesa 21.0-RC5 is now available for testing. Given the extra time between release candidates, Mesa 21.0-RC5 does come on the heavier side. There are also still open blocker bugs left so it’s possible a Mesa 21.0-RC6 will be warranted in the next week or so before announcing Mesa 21.0.

    • Applications

      • Top 3 Internet Download Managers for Ubuntu Linux

        The internet is a wonderful tool to have and use. Many of the services we rely on for our daily convenience have since moved online. Every day, we find ourselves needing to download various things from the internet; documents, music, videos, ZIP files, you name it.

        Of course, all internet browsers have built-in download managers that do serve their intended purposes well. But sometimes, you need a little bit more functionality—scheduled downloads, control download bandwidth, resume capabilities, and so on.

      • PipeWire 0.3.22 Released With Many Improvements

        With Fedora 34 aiming to use PipeWire by default for audio use-cases currently handled by PulseAudio and JACK, the Red Hat developers working on PipeWire remain very busy in addressing bugs and wiring up new functionality for this audio and video framework/server.

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • ZFS pool partial (selective) feature upgrades are coming in OpenZFS

        The good news is that OpenZFS’s development version just landed a fix for this, in fact a very general one. The simple version is that there’s a new ZFS pool property called ‘compatibility’; if set, it limits what features a pool will be created with or upgraded to. You can set it to a wide variety of general choices, which include things like ‘OpenZFS 2.0 on Linux’ and ‘what Grub2 will support’.

      • Use Centmin Mod for The Fastest WordPress Website

        Centmin Mod is a CLI installer for the LEMP stack. In this tutorial, we’ll show you how to use Centmin Mod to install a WordPress website on a CentOS server.

        Centmin Mod is an auto-installer of the LEMP stack which is already optimized and configured for the best performance by default. In short, if you want an optimized, fast website without doing too much manual work, this tool is perfect for you.

      • How to build your own dyndns with PowerDNS

        I upgraded my home internet connection and as a result I had to give up my ~15y Static IP. Having an ephemeral Dynamic IP means I need to use a dynamic dns service to access my homepc. Although the ISP’s CPE (router) has a few public dynamic dns services, I chose to create a simple solution on my own self-hosted DNS infra.

      • HP Linux Imaging and Printing (HPLIP) Drivers Now Support Fedora 33 and Manjaro 20.2

        The HP Linux Imaging and Printing (HPLIP) drivers have been updated to version 3.21.2, a release that adds support for some of the latest GNU/Linux distributions and lots of new HP printers.

        HPLIP 3.21.2 is here more than two months after version 3.20.11, which only added support for the Ubuntu 20.10 (Groovy Gorilla) and Debian GNU/Linux 10.6 “Buster” operating systems. This new release adds support for the Fedora 33, Manjaro 20.2, Debian GNU/Linux 10.7, and Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8.3, 7.9, 7.8, and 7.7 operating systems.

      • 15 Quick Wget Command Examples in Linux

        Wget is a command line utility in linux to download files from the internet. It provides many features such as downloading multiple files, resuming stopped downloads, limiting the bandwidth, downloading in the background and can be used for taking mirrors of the site. Wget supports HTTP, HTTPS and FTP protocol to connect server and download files. In this article , we are going to learn wget commands with 15 quick examples.

      • How to measure the average CPU utilization of a Linux process

        Sometimes you may want to know the CPU usage of a particular Linux process. As the CPU usage of a process can fluctuate over its lifetime, you will want to measure the average CPU usage or CPU utilization of the process. For this purpose, a Linux tool set called sysstat may come in handy, which contains a collection of performance monitoring tools for Linux, reporting statistics on disk I/O, CPU, memory, networking, and other system activities. One of the utilities contained in sysstat is pidstat, which can measure the average CPU usage of Linux processes.

      • How to mount USB in Ubuntu Linux

        Do you have a USB flash drive, USB SD card reader, or USB external hard drive? Want to mount your USB in Ubuntu Linux but can’t figure it out? We can help! Follow along with this guide as we show you how to mount USB devices in Ubuntu Linux!

      • How to play Stardew Valley on Linux

        Stardew Valley is a simulation RPG developed by Eric Barone. It was released on Microsoft Windows in 2016. Later, it made its way to Mac OS, Linux, PS4, Switch, Xbox One, iOS, Android, and even PlayStation Vita.

      • How to Install Custom Fonts in Linux – Linux Hint

        This article will explain how to install custom Fonts in Linux using various graphical and command line tools. You can use these methods to install system-wide fonts that will be automatically available to all major apps installed on your Linux system.

      • How To Install KeeWeb Password Manager on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS – idroot

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to install KeeWeb Password Manager on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS. For those of you who didn’t know, KeeWeb is an open-source password manager. It can store passwords both offline and online and syncs with online storage tools such as Owncloud, OneDrive, GoogleDrive, and Dropbox. It is compatible with KeePass and also available as a web version and desktop apps.

        This article assumes you have at least basic knowledge of Linux, know how to use the shell, and most importantly, you host your site on your own VPS. The installation is quite simple and assumes you are running in the root account, if not you may need to add ‘sudo‘ to the commands to get root privileges. I will show you through the step by step installation of KeeWeb Password Manager on Ubuntu 20.04 (Focal Fossa). You can follow the same instructions for Ubuntu 18.04, 16.04, and any other Debian based distribution like Linux Mint.

      • How to test the microphone on Linux | FOSS Linux

        If you have multiple audio-input devices connected to your Linux PC, it often becomes necessary to know which ones work properly. Otherwise, you might think that your high-end external microphone is at work capturing audio when in reality, your system is using the default in-built low-quality microphone.

        To help you out, we have put together a comprehensive guide on how to test microphones on Linux. We will be showing you both a GUI method and the Terminal method for testing microphone input.

        The terminal method is universal and will work for all Linux distros.

      • How to Install Slack on Linux Mint 20? – Linux Hint

        Slack is a popular collaboration tool and arranges communication in channels. It is explicitly designed for professional environments and is used by many professionals around the globe. By using Slack, you can create channels for teams to ensure effective communication. Moreover, it enables us to search the previous conversation, share documents, and make video and audio calls.

      • How to reset the root password on Ubuntu 20.04 if forgotten? – Linux Hint

        You have forgotten your root password, and now you have no idea how to retrieve your Ubuntu 20.04 LTS Operating System? In this post, we will guide you on how to reset your root password on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS System from the GRUB menu. The Grand Unified Bootloader or GNU GRUB menu is a boot loader and software or program that loads and transfers control to the Operating System like Linux- it runs when a computer starts. So, let’s begin with the step-by-step guide of resetting the password of the root.

      • 3 Ways to install GIMP graphics editor on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS – Linux Shout

        Edit, retouch or optimize your images using the free and open-source GIMP editor by installing it on Ubuntu 20.04 or 18.04 Linux distro, here we are showing 3 ways of doing that using GUI and command line methods.

        The free image editor “GIMP” offers professional tools and retouching functions for photos. Its name is actually an acronym for GNU Image Manipulation Program and it is one of the best free alternatives to Adobe Photoshop for private and semi-professional use.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • unique_ptr difference between libstdc++ and libc++ crashes your application | blogs.kde.org

          Thanks to the KDE FreeBSD CI, which runs our code on top of libc++, we discovered an interesting difference between libstdc++ and libc++’s implementation of unique_ptr. This is quite unexpected, and the actual result for users is even more unexpected: it can lead to crashes in specific situations. This happens when a widget — using unique_ptr for its d pointer, as is customary these days — installs an event filter. That event filter will be triggered during destruction of child widgets (at least for the QEvent::Destroy event, I’ve also seen it with QEvent::Leave events for instance). And, depending on how the event filter is written, it might use the d pointer of the widget, possibly before checking the event type. That’s where it gets interesting: the libc++ implementation of unique_ptr sets it to null *before* calling the destructor (because it’s implemented in terms of reset(nullptr);. In libstdc++ however, unique_ptr’s destructor just calls the destructor, its value remains valid during destruction.

        • Join the KDE e.V. – Ignorance is bliss…

          The KDE e.V. is a registered non-profit organization that represents the KDE Community in legal and financial matters.

          The KDE e.V. is for example responsible for paying the servers that run our GitLab instance and all our other web services. The e.V. takes care of sponsoring developer sprints and contributor travel costs, too.

          You did participate at some Akademy? This wouldn’t have been possible without the KDE e.V., both by sponsoring and helping to organize the event!

          If you are an active KDE contributor, consider to join the e.V. to be able to vote on its future direction. This includes very important things like the KDE Free Qt Foundation.

          At the moment, already a lot of our KDE community members are e.V. members, too.

        • Season of KDE 2021 and my first ever blog

          Hi everyone! I am Rohan Asokan. I am currently doing my undergraduate studies in Computer Science in IIITH, a university in India. I can program quite proficiently in C, C++, Javascript, Python and have some knowing some basic Q#, R, FORTRAN, QBasic (I don’t think even primitve coders know about this anymore). I am interested in AI/ML (obviously, cuz that seems to be trend anyways) and any tech that seems really simple but is infact as good as it gets, out of which my favourite is Ray Tracing and Ray Marching – I do have some projects on this, do checkout my github.

    • Distributions

      • New Releases

        • Netrunner OS 21.01 Released with Linux 5.9, Based on Debian GNU/Linux 10.7

          Dubbed “XOXO,” Netrunner OS 21.01 comes a year after Netrunner OS 20.01 “Twenty” which celebrated project’s 10th anniversary release. This release is powered by a newer kernel, namely Linux 5.9, which reached end of life two months ago, and carries the latest updates and security patches from Debian GNU/Linux 10.7 “Buster.”

          Linux kernel 5.9.15 is included in Netrunner OS 21.01, which was pulled from the Debian Buster Backports repository, which also provides updated firmware for Wi-Fi and Ethernet cards, as well as improved printer drivers to support more modern hardware. Mesa 18.3.6 and X.Org Server 1.20.4 graphics stacks are also included.

        • Netrunner 21.01 – “XOXO” released

          Netrunner 21.01 ships with all the latest security updates provided by Debian and a new beautiful wallpaper showing of the new Codename of this release.

          With the activated Debian Buster Backports repository we provide updated firmware for wifi and ethernet chips aswell as improved printer drivers to allow more modern hardware support.

          Firefox-ESR and Thunderbird were updated to the latest stable LTS (long term supported) versions, which get regular security updates provided by Debian security.
          Netrunner maintains its georgous look and feel from the previous version based upon Breeze Window decoration and the red colors cursor.

        • Netrunner 21.01 Released For Customized KDE Desktop On Debian

          It’s been nearly one year to the day since the release of Netrunner 20.01 as this desktop Linux distribution focused on providing a good KDE-based desktop environment and backed by Blue Systems. Today Netrunner 21.01 has been released as the latest step forward for this KDE desktop distribution built atop a Debian base.

          Netrunner 21.01 “XOXO” is the new release that is based atop Debian 10.7 “Buster” but switching to the Linux 5.9 kernel and other backports. The Linux 5.9 usage allows for much better hardware support than is provided by the stock Buster kernel that tracks Linux 4.19.

      • SUSE/OpenSUSE

        • openSUSE Breeze Dark Plasma Color Scheme Published

          About two years ago, I started using Kdenlive to do video editing. The dark theme I had been using, a modified version of the “openSUSE dark alternate” theme, was not getting along with Kdenlive and I had to use the “Breeze Dark” theme to be able to properly distinguish the widgets and such on the application. Shortly there after, I set out to modify the Breeze Dark theme to give me that openSUSE feel I have been enjoying for years. I have made it available on this page of my site but I decided to push it to the “KDE Store” which I previously thought was “look and feel” but is now called Pling. Yes, I am confused but I’m sure I’ll get it cleared up eventually.

          The smart thing to do would have been to study and get a good, solid understanding of the history of all this but instead, I have decided to just leave my ignorance on full display. I am using this post as a note or reminder to myself on the process of publishing things for the Plasma desktop in the future. I will be soon, when I can get the little bits and bobs worked out on the specifics as my knowledge gaps are kicking my rear, but I’ll get it figured out soon enough.

      • Debian Family

        • Tokyo area Debian meeting Feb, 2021 was held on online

          I gave a short presentation – WAF on Debian.

          Especially, I talked about usage of ModSecurity-nginx.

        • Louis-Philippe Véronneau: dput-ng or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Hooks

          As my contributions to Debian continue to grow in number, I find myself uploading to the archive more and more often.

          Although I’m pretty happy with my current sbuild-based workflow, twice in the past few weeks I inadvertently made a binary upload instead of a source-only one.1

          As it turns out, I am not the only DD who has had this problem before. As Nicolas Dandrimont kindly pointed to me, dput-ng supports pre and post upload hooks that can be used to lint your uploads. Even better, it also ships with a check-debs hook that lets you block binary uploads.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • Internet Communication without Phone Number or Email

        You can video call without phone, number, nor email. Here, if you can video call, of course you can do group chat, voice, upload files, and share screen too. Thanks to Element and several other choices, now this is possible. It is very useful for everybody in teams or groups today especially when work from home becomes a norm. What to prepare and how to do it? This article explains it briefly special for you and your friends.

      • Web Browsers

        • Mozilla

          • Tantek Çelik: Life Happens: Towards Community Support For Prioritizing Life Events And Mutual Care, Starting With The #IndieWeb

            A couple of weeks ago I noticed one of our newer IndieWeb community participants found an example on the IndieWeb wiki that no longer worked, and it was from someone who hasn’t been around for a while.

            [...]

            When these things happen, as a community, I feel we should respond with kindness, support, and understanding when someone steps back from community participation or projects. We should not shame or guilt them in any way, and ideally act in such a way that welcomes their return whenever they are able to do so.

            Many projects (especially open source software) often talk about their “bus factor” (or more positively worded “lottery factor”). However that framing focuses on the robustness of the project (or company) rather than those contributing to it. Right there in IndieWeb’s motto is an encouragement to reframe: be a “people-focused alternative to the corporate […]”.

            The point of “life happens” is to decenter the corporation or project when it comes to such matters, and instead focus on the good of the people in the community. Resiliency of humanity over resiliency of any particular project or organization.

            Adopting such values and practices explicitly is more robust than depending on accidental good faith or informal cultural support. Such emotional care should be the clearly written default, rather than something everyone has to notice and figure out on their own. I want to encourage more mutual care-taking as a form of community-based resiliency, and make it less work for folks experiencing “life happens” moments. Through such care, I believe you get actually sustainable community resiliency, without having to sacrifice or burn people out.

      • Productivity Software/LibreOffice/Calligra

        • Mocha tests in Collabora Online

          We have many data structure classes in Collabora Online. Most of them are complex enough to warrant unit tests for their correctness. We already have cypress tests in Online which does integration testing, but we need unit tests for the internal data structure classes too. Mocha testing framework is a good match for this. With this we can do asserts via its BDD interface. In fact we could use any assertion library like Chai or Expect.js. You can now add Mocha tests in Online to test its any existing typescript classes or functions.

      • FSFE

        • Free Software development for the public administration

          On 17 February I participated in a panel discussion about opportunities, hurdles with and incentives for Free Software in the public administration. The panel was part of the event “digital state online”, focusing on topics like digital administration, digital society and digital sovereignty. Patron of the event is the German Federal Chancellor’s Office. Here a quick summary of the points I made and some quick thoughts about the discussion.

          The “Behördenspiegel” meanwhile published the recordings of the discussion moderated by Benjamin Stiebel (Editor, Behörden Spiegel) with Dr. Hartmut Schubert (State Secretary, Thuringian Ministry of Finance), Reiner Bamberger (developer at Higher Administrative Court of Rhineland-Palatinate), Dr. Matthias Stürmer (University of Bern), and myself (as always you can use youtube-dl).

          [...]

          I also plead for a different error culture in the public administration. Experimentation clauses would allow to be test innovative approaches without every bad feedback immediately suggesting that a project has to be stopped. We should think about how to incentivize the sharing and reuse of Free Software. For example if public administrations document good solutions and support others in benefiting from those solutions as well could they get a budget bonus for that for future projects? Could we provide smaller budgets which can be more flexible used to experiment with Free Software, e.g. by providing small payments to Free Software offers even if they do not yet meet all the criteria to use it productively for the tasks envisioned.

          One point we also briefly talked about was centralization vs decentralization. We have to be careful that “IT consolidation” efforts do not lead to a situation of more monopolies and more centralization of powers. For Germany, I argued that the bundling of IT services and expertise in some authorities should not go that far that federal states like Thuringia or other levels and parts of government lose their sovereignty and are dependent on a service centre controlled by the federal government or another part of the state. Free Software provides the advantage that for example the federal state of Bavaria can offer a software solution for other federal states. But if they abuse their power over this technology, other federal states like Thuringa could decide to host the Free Software solution themselves, and contract a company to make modifications, so they can have it their way. The same applies for other mechanisms for distribution of power like the separation between a legislature, an executive, and a judiciary. All of them have to make sure their sovereignty is not impacted by technology – neither by companies (as more often discussed) nor by other branches of government. For a democracy in the 21st century such a technological distribution of power is crucial.

      • FSF

        • GNU Projects

          • Alex Oliva: longest debugging session

            Victory! I’ve just hunted down a bug that has haunted me, and had me baffled, for a couple of weeks.

            I often enjoy bug hunting war stories, so I figured I’d write this one down, while running a full build and regression test cycle with the fix.

            Context: I’ve been porting GCC and binutils for the Libre-SOC project. We’re designing and building a PowerPC processor with various extensions and lots more registers to make it efficient as a CPU, GPU, VPU, APU… I’m calling it hapPU, if you get one.

            Adding the hundreds of new registers required renumbering some preexisting registers in GCC’s internal register file. Since several parts of GCC used numeric literals instead of symbolic names to refer to certain registers, one of my first tasks was to hunt those down and adjust them for the new numbering. Some of that amounted to grepping for suspicious constants, some of that was only caught with regression testing.

            Eventually, I was down to a handful of stack-check fails in the Ada testsuite. The tests and the failures were similar: create a task to run a subprogram that recursed infinitely, to make sure that the stack overflow was detected, handled, turned into an Ada exception out of the signal handler, caught by the task subsystem and made available for the task initiator. All really simple stuff, right?

      • Programming/Development

        • My XML sunk cost

          I’m often around people who hate XML (because yeah, it is pretty awful, almost as bad as as YAML or JSON) and I kinda squirm during the two minute hate sessions because I’ve spent so much time learning a bunch of XML-related tech.

        • A fold is a map

          OK, Scheme students, this is gonna get dense. Start at the top, don’t skip ahead, and when you’ve found the one you need, stop reading, grab it and get back to work.♥

        • Lupa~

          Lupa is a Gemini crawler. Starting from a few given URLs, it retrieves them, analyzes the links in gemtext (Gemini format) files and adds them to the database of URLs to crawl. It is not a search engine, it does not store the content of the resources, just the metadata, for research and statistics.

          Lupa is written in Python.

        • Gemini stats

          Gemini server statistics (2020-12)

          Statistics on Gemini servers, gathered on 2020-12-22 (give or take a few days), based on the list of hosts found at gemini://gus.guru/known-hosts

          To get complete results, get-tls-supported-versions.sh and get-tls1_2-supported-ciphers.sh need to be executed at least 2 times each, as connections might fail for various reasons.

        • Perl/Raku

          • Inline::F2003

            I started the Inline::F2003 project in 2017 because I have a strong interest in modern Fortran and Perl programming.

            The project features the Perl module Inline::F2003. This module allows modern Fortran source to be inlined and called from a Perl program. The module compiles the Fortran source and builds an executable shared library that is loaded into the Perl system.

          • An easy way to use WebSockets?

            It’s often (for work or for personal projects) that I need to create a real-time feature for a website. This can range from a simple notification whenever an event happens on the server of an existing website, to implementing a real-time multiplayer game or adding a feature inspired from social media websites.

            Unfortunately the increase in complexity in code (Perl & JS) and architecture involved in setting up a reliable solution, very often made me forego the opportunity to use WebSockets for many of these projects, and instead resorted to http polling to keep the solution simple for the others to maintain.

          • New compression module Gzip::Libdeflate

            I’ve turned the libdeflate compression library into a CPAN module:

            Gzip::Libdeflate

            This is the gzip compression method, but updated.

            It’s supposed to be much faster and better than libz (the original gzip library).

            Sometimes I am getting compression of as much as 30% better on some files.

        • Rust

          • Handling Unix Kill Signals in Rust – DEV Community

            Like many of you, I am a software developer. For the past few years, I’ve been working with Python, both at work, and writing small hobby projects at home.

            One of the most common things I do with Python is write Linux services/daemons. A linux daemon is a program, in our case written in Python, that runs in a loop, usually by SystemD, and only exits when it receives a kill signal.

            A few months ago, I decided to teach myself Rust, and after reading the Rust book (which I highly recommend), and watching lots of youtube videos, I tried to write a Rust Linux daemon.

  • Leftovers

    • Ephemera

      Each morning I sit in silence, time slides, changes in my heart, a moss covered cavern where its fire wakes me to a camaraderie of light, my wife waking

      upstairs to walk to her window to pray, to gaze outward at the pasture where Wappinger people eyed white men making laws to own people and the land.

    • A Tale of Two Bookcases

      Let’s begin with two bookcases.

    • Unfortunate things about performance reviews

      About a year ago, I finally came to the conclusion that I would not put anything on a performance review writeup for a coworker that could ever be used against them. Now, keep in mind what I said about skilled managers being able to turn a large accomplishment into a big negative, and you’ll realize that’s harder than it sounds. So, what you do is you look up the official descriptions of what a person at level X does, and mention the ones that they managed to do.

    • Education

      • Thinking Critically About Critical Thinking

        Attempting to teach young people critical thinking as a general skill that can be developed through practice is a little like corralling a group of teenagers and running them through a series of experiences where they give someone an injection, talk to a patient, participate in surgery, change a hospital bed, and inspect the stomach contents of a corpse with the aim of developing “medical thinking.” In fact, where this analogy falls down is that “medical thinking” would be a far more restricted field than critical thinking.

        As Dan Willingham, Professor of Psychology at the University of Virginia, has pointed out, young children are capable of thinking critically about subjects they know a great deal about, whereas trained scientists can fail to think critically in areas where they are less knowledgeable. This serves to caution us against a bias that afflicts our media. Just because someone is an expert in a particular field, it does not make them qualified to pronounce on a different field. Trained scientists making claims about public policy are likely to be as wrong as any other educated commentator, but we tend to take them more seriously.

        Willingham has written a report for the government of the Australian state of New South Wales in which he states that, “scientists are united in their belief that content knowledge is crucial to effective critical thinking,” before setting out a plan for developing critical thinking abilities within each of the traditional subjects of the school curriculum. This will give little comfort to those who constantly seek to strip content from the school curriculum (to “declutter” it) in order to make way for the experiences they believe will deliver more critical thinking, creativity, or whatever other abstract nouns they deem desirable.

    • Hardware

      • ENIAC Turns 75

        The history of computing is filled with mythical figures, but often lost in the shuffle is the accomplishment of John Mauchly and J. Presper Eckert, Jr. On February 14, 1946, the pair publicly unveiled the world’s first true computer: ENIAC (Electronic Numerical Integrator and Computer). From their lab at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, they launched a revolution that truly changed the world.

        On its 75th anniversary, ENIAC is once again in the spotlight. “It was the big bang of the information age. It set in motion a paradigm that has become the underpinning of daily life, as well as of deepest science,” observes Bill Mauchly, an inventor and software architect who, as the son of John Mauchly, has also become a historian for the computer.

    • Health/Nutrition

      • Little is known about the effects of puberty blockers

        All drugs offer a mix of harms and benefits. But despite their popularity, the effects of puberty blockers remain unclear. Because they are not licensed for gender medicine, drug firms have done no trials. Record-keeping in many clinics is poor. A 2018 review by researchers at the University of Melbourne described the evidence for their use as “low-quality”. In December British judges likewise flagged the lack of a “firm evidence base” when ruling that children were unlikely to be able to give meaningful consent to taking them. Britain’s National Health Service recently withdrew a claim, still made elsewhere, that their effects are “fully reversible”.

        The studies that do exist are at once weak and worrying. The day after the court ruling, GIDS published a study that found children were happy to receive the drugs. But there was little other evidence of benefit—not even a reduction in gender dysphoria. Two older studies of Dutch patients given puberty blockers in the 1990s found that gender dysphoria eased afterwards. But without a control group, it is impossible to tell how patients would have felt had they not taken the drugs.

      • Disha Ravi: Indian climate activist becomes symbol of crackdown on dissent

        Since November, tens of thousands of farmers have been camping out in the capital to protest new agricultural laws that they say could destroy their livelihoods and leave them open to exploitation by large corporations.

        Ravi fervently backed the cause, tweeting her support for the farmers as they pose a rare and major challenge to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s authority. Farmers are the most influential voting bloc in India and a key part of its economy.

      • India jails climate activist for supporting farmers’ protests

        But the farmers are worried that the reforms will leave them at the mercy of large corporations that will buy their crops for low prices, leading to their financial ruin. Their cause gained even more international attention earlier this month, when international celebrities including pop star Rihanna and Thunberg tweeted about the protests.

        But that online support also drew the attention of Modi’s right-wing nationalist government, which has sought to control the narrative around the protests and suppress dissent. The latest action in response to the toolkit is part of that effort.

      • Disha Ravi: the Indian Climate and Animal Defender Accused of Sedition

        “The climate crisis is already here. Those in power have congratulated us countless times because ‘we’re going to change the future’,” Ravi wrote in an opinion piece for the Thomson Reuters foundation that she co-authored https://news.trust.org/item/20200917201445-4iew6 in September.

        “They choose to ignore that the climate crisis is a problem we are facing today.”

      • Climate activist Disha Ravi arrested in India over farmers’ protest ‘toolkit’

        Tens of thousands of farmers have been demonstrating for months against new agricultural laws, which they say will devastate their livelihoods.

      • RPT-Disha Ravi: The Indian climate and animal defender accused of sedition

        Ravi, a vegan and a member of Greta Thunberg’s Fridays for Future (FFF) movement, has been detained by Delhi police for questioning over involvement in an online campaign guide that the Swedish climate activist promoted in support of farmers protesting India’s agricultural reforms.

      • Indian Climate Activist Disha Ravi Arrested, Caught in India’s Sedition Dragnet

        Ravi’s environmental activism has been what the New York Times calls “passionate, but fairly limited.” She started the local chapter of Fridays for Future, Greta’s “global people’s movement for climate justice,” organizing climate strikes and clean-up drives. In 2019, she told an African news outlet that she had been inspired to join the cause because she had seen her grandparents, who were farmers, suffer the effects of climate change. On February 19, Greta showed support for Ravi on Twitter, writing, “Freedom of speech and the right to peaceful protest and assembly are non-negotiable human rights. These must be a fundamental part of any democracy.”

      • Norway to Decriminalize Personal Purchase, Possession, and Use Of All Drugs In Small Quantities

        The Norwegian health policy agency, the Ministry of Health and Care Services, sent legal proposals to legislators on Friday that would retain the illegal status for prohibited drugs but abolish all criminal penalties for “the use of drugs and the acquisition and possession of a small amount of drugs for own use.” Instead, police will confiscate drugs and refer their owners to municipal advisory units that could refer them to counseling (and fines could be imposed if treatment is not sought).

      • Water crisis expands beyond Texas

        The big picture: Millions of people across the South have been told to boil water, with thawing temperatures expected to reveal the extent of the damage to infrastructure.

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Google Fires Researcher Meg Mitchell, Escalating AI Saga

          Mitchell had become a fierce public critic of Google and its management after Gebru’s exit. Gebru, one of the few prominent Black women in AI research, said she was fired in December after refusing to retract a research paper critical of a key Google technology or remove the Google authors from it. The company has said that she resigned. Mitchell was a co-author of the paper. Former colleagues expressed outrage over Google’s handling of the matter.

          The Alphabet Inc. company had accused Mitchell of downloading files from its systems and said it would review her conduct. For five weeks, Mitchell, who had co-led the Ethical AI team with Gebru, was locked out of all corporate systems — unable to access her email or calendar.

        • Security

          • Please don’t make me choose a username

            I hate username fields in registration forms. The usernames I want are, of course, already taken. Many services won’t let you change your username later, so you might get stuck with it. Who wants to settle for a name they don’t like? Just please don’t make me choose a username.

            Personal identity is hard. It molds and changes over time. Online identity is harder, but can often be more permanent. Many services won’t let you change your username without deleting the account and making another one. You’ll lose all your data with the service in the process. (Assuming you’re allowed to delete your account and set your email address free.)

            Many services make do with just your email address. Your email address isn’t truly yours, but just a rented identity. However, everyone still needs a unique name for services where you interact with other members.

          • Introducing Crowdsec: A Modernized, Collaborative Massively Multiplayer Firewall for Linux

            CrowdSec is a massively multiplayer firewall designed to protect Linux servers, services, containers, or virtual machines exposed on the Internet with a server-side agent. It was inspired by Fail2Ban and aims to be a modernized, collaborative version of that intrusion-prevention tool.

            CrowdSec is free and open-source (under an MIT License), with the source code available on GitHub. It uses a behavior analysis system to qualify whether someone is trying to hack you, based on your logs. If your agent detects such aggression, the offending IP is then dealt with and sent for curation. If this signal passes the curation process, the IP is then redistributed to all users sharing a similar technological profile to “immunize” them against this IP.

            The goal is to leverage the power of the crowd to create a real-time IP reputation database. As for the IP that aggressed your machine, you can choose to remedy the threat in any manner you feel appropriate. Ultimately, CrowdSec leverages the power of the community to create an extremely accurate IP reputation system that benefits all its users.

            It was clear to the founders that Open Source was going to be one of the main pillars of CrowdSec. The project’s founders have been working on open-source projects for decades – they didn’t just jump on the train. Rather, they are strong Open Source believers. They believe that the crowd is key to the mass hacking plague we are experiencing, and that Open Source is the best lever to create a community and have people contribute their knowledge to the project, ultimately make it better and more secure.

          • Many Computer Users Never Run Updates

            A large percentage of computer users never update their operating systems. This is true of desktop Linux users as well, which may be surprising to some since Linux users are supposed to be a bit more tech-savvy than Windows and Mac users. R

          • Linux Mint users are surprisingly irresponsible regarding updates

            Linux users are more knowledgeable regarding computer maintenance than Windows users, right? Maybe. That is certainty up for debate. With that said, Linux user may not be very responsible computer users. Well, Linux Mint users, at least.

            You see, in a stunning development, it turns out Linux Mint users are often very behind in installing both operating system and application updates. In other words, Linux Mint users are often running outdated software, which could be no longer supported, or even worse, it could contain exploitable vulnerabilities. For example, a surprisingly high number of these users are running Linux Mint 17.x, which is unsupported since 2019!

          • How the Internet Has Turned Into the Modern-Day Battlefield

            When it comes to geopolitics, the so-called ‘cyber’ and the realm of the internet has become a serious battlefield and a space where enemy states have traded disinformation campaigns and can have things like a power plant knocked out by a string of code. Since 2011, New York Times journalist Nicole Perlroth has been reporting on the secret world of cybersecurity and the arsenals of malware that nation states are stockpiling.

          • Ransomware Gang Says It’s Selling Data from Cyberattack That California DMV Warned About [iophk: Windows TCO]

            This is quite alarming, given that the California Department of Motor Vehicles announced yesterday that it is a longtime client of AFTS and that the February attack may have compromised approximately 20 months of data it had shared with the company, including the “names, addresses, license plate numbers and vehicle identification numbers (VIN)” of millions of Californians.

          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • Google sacks senior scientist as dispute over research grows

              Alphabet Inc’s Google has fired staff scientist Margaret Mitchell, they both said, a move that fanned company divisions on academic freedom and diversity that were on display since its December dismissal of AI ethics researcher Timnit Gebru.

              Google said in a statement Mitchell violated the company’s code of conduct and security policies by moving electronic files outside the company. Mitchell, who announced her firing on Twitter, did not respond to a request for comment.

            • Deleting Facebook

              I migrated the few outstanding chats I had to Signal or SMS or email. I reluctantly accepted WhatsApp as a fallback if absolutely necessary, since even if you stay within the Facebook Inc. empire it’s probably better to shrink your footprint. Even the people who I expected to call me a tin-foil-hatted-dweeb were sympathetic to my motivations. No one actively wanted to stay on Facebook and very few people I co-ordinated with posted anything publicly anymore. We were all just victims of those sad network effects who wanted to be able to talk with our friends. I posted about my plans a few weeks before I hit the button, and several people who I used to to like a lot but haven’t spoken to for years got in touch to swap off-Facebook contact details. I’m hopeful that we’ll be friends again and that deleting Facebook has brought us closer than using it ever did. If all you want is a messaging platform then you have a million alternatives, and some of them aren’t even wholly-owned Facebook subsidiaries.

            • Confidentiality

              • Brave Browser leaks your Tor / Onion service requests through DNS.

                This is especially worrisome for those of you who use Brave browser from your normal residential IP and (for whatever reason) use the Tor feature built into the browser to access Tor sites. Your ISP or DNS provider will know that a request made to a specific Tor site was made by your IP. With Brave, your ISP would know that you accessed somesketchyonionsite.onion .

                [...]

                EDIT 2: The mods of /r/privacy won’t let this be posted. They say: [...]

              • Brave browser’s Tor feature found to leak .onion queries to ISPs

                Earlier today (February 19), a blog post from ‘Rambler’ claimed that Brave was leaking DNS requests made in the Brave browser to a user’s ISP.

    • Defence/Aggression

      • Report of Illegal $80 Million Arms Transfer by Erik Prince to Libyan Warlord Raises Question of Who’s Backing Former Blackwater CEO

        Prince has “been linked to the Trump administration, the Emirati leadership, and the Russians,” noted one expert.

      • Luxembourgish presumed jihadist Steve Duarte to remain imprisoned in Syria

        The northeastern parts of Syria remain a tinderbox, both politically and militarily. Turkey has taken control over the border region and intends to push back Kurdish forces. Ankara further actively supports Islamic groups that pressure the Syrian Army and president Bashar al-Assad in an attempt to destabilise the region even more. The Syrian border to Iraq also remains in a precarious situation. For several weeks now, the Iraqi army has been requesting international support in the fight against IS forces.

      • Saudi Arabia to Invest More Than $20 Billion in Its Military Industry Over Next Decade

        Saudi Arabia will invest more than $20 billion in its domestic military industry over the next decade as part of aggressive plans to boost local military spending, the head of the kingdom’s military industry regulator said on Saturday.

        The Gulf state wants to develop and manufacture more weapons and military systems domestically, aiming to spend 50% of the military budget locally by 2030.

      • Citizen Lab Response to the U. N. Working Group on the Use of Mercenaries

        In a recent report to the General Assembly (A/75/259), the Working Group on the use of mercenaries identified “cyber mercenaries” as one category of actors that can generate mercenary-related activities. This entails a wide range of military and security services provided in cyberspace, including data collection and espionage. Private actors can be engaged by States and non-State actors in various proxy relationships to conduct offensive or defensive operations, to protect their own networks and infrastructure, as well as to carry out cyber operations to weaken the military capacities and capabilities of enemy armed forces, or to undermine the integrity of another State’s territory. Individuals carrying out cyberattacks can cause damage remotely, across various jurisdictions. As such, they can be considered as undertaking a mercenary-related activity, or even a mercenary activity if all the qualifying criteria are met.

    • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

      • Finland’s secret weapon in the fight against fake news: its kindergarten children

        The lessons are ever-more important as the children are bilingual, she says. “Children learn English very well, and so all cultures are available to them. They may see English stars or influencers who spread misinformation – it is very important that children can tell the difference from an influencer’s [opinion] and the news.”

    • Environment

      • Why the US Rejoining the Paris Climate Accord Matters at Home and Abroad — 5 Scholars Explain

        The United States is formally back in the Paris climate agreement as of February 19, 2021, nearly four years after former President Donald Trump announced it would pull out.

      • Energy

        • Wind turbines can handle the cold just fine. Just look at Iowa.

          Let’s get the facts straight. Every type of power plant — whether powered by coal, natural gas, nuclear, solar, or wind sources — in Texas was impacted by the ice and freezing temperatures that arrived with Winter Storm Uri over the weekend. But it was natural gas — the state’s top source of electricity — that failed most significantly as wellheads and power plants froze over. Wind turbines, meanwhile, were responsible for 13 percent of the total lost electricity output, according to the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT), the state’s nonprofit grid operator.

          But there is nothing innate about wind power — or natural gas — that caused these power plants to fail. It’s merely a matter of preparation, Hui Hu, a professor of aerospace engineering at Iowa State University who studies wind turbines, told Vox.

          Places reliant on wind energy that are no strangers to cold and ice — from Sweden to Iowa — are proof that the freezing of turbines in Texas was not inevitable. The difference: Unlike in Texas, those turbines were weatherized to operate in the cold.

        • The Energy Policy Culture War Is an Absurd Fantasy

          What a surprise — the Texas energy disaster has been turned into a yet another culture war scrimmage field, pitting right-wing advocates of fossil fuels against liberal supporters of renewable energy. But the red vs. blue framing conceals something important: when it comes to the climate, Texans are far to the left of their representatives.

        • Elon Musk, Who Moved to TX For Less Regulation, Is Furious That the Power Went Down

          All told, it was a textbook case of infrastructure collapse. Uninsulated pipes started buckling under the pressure, grocery store shelves stood empty — and right wing political pundits attempted to shift the blame on renewable energy while racing off on holiday to a balmy Cancun.

          Compounding the trouble, Texas had previously shut itself off from the rest of the country’s electricity grid, meaning that it wasn’t able to import power from neighboring states to keep its inhabitants from freezing to death.

          That also means Texas isn’t beholden to federal regulations — one of the qualities that drew Musk to the Lone Star state in the first place. A whole decade ago, grid regulations warned Texas that its power plants wouldn’t be able to survive plunging temperatures, as Bloomberg reports. Recommendations to insulate and heat pipes fell on deaf ears, leading to households flooding across the state this week.

        • Texas Power Grid Came Within Seconds of Catastrophic Failure, ERCOT Officials Say

          Without immediate action, it was feared that the network could implode with substations catching fire and power lines collapsing—physical damage that could have taken an “indeterminately long” time to fix.

          Magness said blackouts “could have occurred for months” had his team not stepped in to limit supply to homes and businesses and protect the grid.

    • Finance

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • Ten years’ prison for threatening far-right Wilders over Mohammed cartoons

        Junaid I. was sentenced to 10 years in prison by the appeals court for threatening an attack on PVV leader Geert Wilders in 2018 after the far-right politician announced a contest for the best cartoon featuring the prophet Muhammad. The sentence is equal to what the Pakistani man got when this case was first tried in 2019.

        The court said it took into account that I. was planning to murder a parliamentarian, and that this is considered an attack on the Dutch rule of law, NU.nl reports. Behavioral experts also concluded that I. has a penchant for violent extremism and the chance of recurrence is great.

    • Freedom of Information/Freedom of the Press

      • Capitalist Finance Is Incompatible With a Free Press

        Last Tuesday, the news came down that newspaper giant Tribune Publishing was merging with hedge fund Alden Global Capital. Alden’s 31.6 percent stake already made it the company’s biggest shareholder, but the $630 million deal will see it take full ownership of the struggling firm — if, that is, it gets the go-ahead from regulators and Tribune’s other shareholders, including Patrick Soon-Shiong, the biotech billionaire and LA Times owner who owns 24 percent of Tribune’s stock.

        To understand why this is such a big deal, you have to get a sense of how sprawling Tribune Publishing’s ownership is. Tribune owns: [...]

      • Algeria frees prominent journalist, dozens of activists after presidential pardons

        Algeria on Friday released prominent journalist Khaled Drareni and dozens of “Hirak” protest movement activists from jail under presidential pardons issued ahead of the second anniversary of a popular uprising.

      • Assange Case — What next

        District Judge Vanessa Baraitser has blocked Julian Assange’s extradition! While her ruling adopted the U.S. government’s extremely dangerous arguments undermining press freedom, the judge found that because U.S. prison conditions are so deleterious, it would be unjust and oppressive to extradite Julian. Almost immediately the lawyers representing the U.S. announced their intent to appeal that decision.

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • Allegations of planted evidence raise questions about [cracking] ecosystem in India

        Recent allegations that planted evidence may have been used to frame an activist in a terrorism case are raising new questions about the surveillance and [cracking] ecosystem in India.

        The human rights activist in question, Rona Wilson, is one of several people accused of plotting to overthrow the Indian government in connection with a violent demonstration in Bhima Koregaon, India in 2017. Wilson is among the several activists accused of instigating violence at the demonstration. Cases against the defendants have largely relied on digitally-collected evidence, according to Amnesty International. He has been incarcerated for nearly three years.

      • Complicity, incompetence, leadership and Capitol Police

        In the aftermath of the Jan 6 Trumpist putsch at the Capitol, the world reeled – not just at the spectacle of the Capitol building overrun by deranged armed insurrectionists, but also at the manifest incompetence of the Capitol Police.

        The Capitol Police command $460m/year, 10% of Congress’s total budget. They had ample warning that murderous, anti-democratic revolutionaries were converging on the Capitol. They had a long track-record of over-responding to protests with overwhelming shows of force.

        Given the track-record, the budget and the warnings, could we truly attribute the failure to contain the insurrectionists to incompetence? Did the shots of police officers taking selfies with members of a lynch mob mean that the force was complicit with the traitors?

      • Indigenous Water Protector Jailed In North Dakota For Refusing To Cooperate With Secret Grand Jury

        Opposition to DAPL rallied thousands of environmental and Indigenous rights activists to the Oceti Sakowin prayer camp at Standing Rock, ND in 2016 and 2017. These Water Protectors were met with heavily militarized intervention from the oil company’s private security forces, the Morton County Sheriff’s Office, and numerous assisting agencies. Since March, 2017, DAPL has leaked over 1000 gallons of oil into sensitive water sources, and the Energy Transfer link connecting DAPL to Texas has leaked over 5000 gallons of oil. On January 26, 2021, the appeals court in Washington D.C. upheld a lower court ruling which found that the permit allowing DAPL to cross beneath the Missouri River — on unceded Lakota / Dakota / Nakota lands – violated key federal environmental laws, by failing to consider the risk the pipeline poses to the Standing Rock Sioux and other Indigenous nations who depend on the river for drinking water, as well as cultural, spiritual, and economic survival. After years of struggle and irreversible harm to both land and people, the rulings affirm the positions of the Water Protectors, and mean that DAPL is currently operating illegally.

    • Digital Restrictions (DRM)

    • Monopolies

      • Patents

        • FOSS Patents: Ericsson’s escalation strategy against Samsung may provoke another presidential veto against SEP-based U.S. import ban–5G at stake

          Ericsson v. Samsung is the first massive 5G patent spat in the industry. Unless the two “lovebirds” settle reasonably soon, the dispute threatens–or in some people’s eyes perhaps promises–to raise a number of important issues. One of them involves antisuit injunctions, especially multiple-anti ones. Samsung’s reply brief in support of an expedited Federal Circuit appeal of Ericsson’s anti-antisuit injunction from the Eastern District of Texas reinforced the need for speed, but also revealed the kind of playing field on which Ericsson wanted to arbitrate the terms of a cross-license. Samsung’s motion succeeded in part, and its opening brief is due tomorrow (Monday, February 22), but Ericsson will have until April 2 to respond–ample time, as it wanted.

          [...]

          In reality, Samsung doesn’t favor SEP injunctions anymore. About ten years ago, they were countersuing Apple over SEPs, and at that point they were interested in maximum leverage from that category of patents. But even in the Apple-Samsung dispute, SEPs quickly lost relevance. Samsung is far more interested in a strong product business than Ericsson, which wants to have it both ways but increasingly relies on patent licensing revenues.

          In that Apple-Samsung dispute, the ITC actually decided in Samsung’s favor, but the import ban (which wouldn’t even have impacted Apple’s flagship products at the time) never took effect because the United States Trade Representative (USTR), to whom President Obama had delegated his veto powers against ITC import bans, vetoed the exclusion order as he was concerned over SEP enforcement harming the economy.

          A presidential veto might happen again. With Ericsson and Samsun battling each other in the ITC, the theoretical outcome would be that–of the big three vendors in a market from which Huawei is excluded for trade-war reasons–only Nokia could import 5G-capable mobile base stations into the U.S. market. And occasionally even Nokia is under attack.

          History might repeat itself in a way next year. And this time around, Samsung would welcome a presidential veto, provided that it’s symmetrical, which I’m sure it would be.

        • Software Patents

      • Copyrights

        • Some viewers of Metallica’s BlizzCon performance heard the least metal music imaginable

          Viewers on many platforms (including Blizzard’s own Twitch and YouTube channels) heard a performance of Metallica’s 1984 tune “For Whom The Bell Tolls.” Several Twitch streamers broadcasting BlizzCon muted the feed during Metallica’s appearance to avoid any potential DMCA troubles.

        • Hollywood & Netflix Win New Streaming Piracy Blocking Order at UK High Court

          After several years’ hiatus, the major Hollywood studios of the MPA have obtained a new site-blocking injunction at the HIgh Court in London. Apparently handed down this month, the order compels local ISPs to block several web-based streaming sites using the ’123movies’ branding.

        • University Runs Massive BitTorrent Seedbox to Showcase Music Streaming App

          The Tribler lab at the Delft University of Technology has released a new Android app showcasing how the music industry can be revolutionized. With BitTorrent, a blockchain, and cryptocurrency, music streaming no longer needs any middlemen. “We fixed the ‘predatory intermediary problem’ by showing that music industry overhead can be 0%,” project leader Johan Pouwelse says.

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