02.25.21

Gemini version available ♊︎

Links 25/2/2021: RHEL for Open-Source Infrastructure, GNOME 40 Beta, LXPanel 0.10.1

Posted in News Roundup at 2:29 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Audiocasts/Shows

      • BSDNow 391: i386 tear shedding

        Follow-up about FreeBSD jail advantages, Install Prometheus, Node Exporter and Grafana, Calibrate your touch-screen on OpenBSD, OPNsense 21.1 Marvelous Meerkat Released, NomadBSD 1.4-RC1, Lets all shed a Tear for 386, find mostly doesn’t need xargs today on modern Unixes, OpenBSD KDE Status Report, and more.

      • Payment Required | Coder Radio 402

        We open the robe and share some vintage career origin stories.

        And we save Mike’s soul by answering a few emails.

      • The Linux Link Tech Show Episode 895

        monitor, odroid xu4, automation, docker, github actions, 3d printing

    • Kernel Space

      • kcmp() breaks loose

        Given the large set of system calls implemented by the Linux kernel, it would not be surprising for most people to be unfamiliar with a few of them. Not everybody needs to know the details of setresgid(), modify_ldt(), or lookup_dcookie(), after all. But even developers who have a wide understanding of the Linux system-call set may be surprised by kcmp(), which is not enabled by default in the kernel build. It would seem, though, that the word has gotten out, leading to an effort to make kcmp() more widely available.

        The kcmp() system call was added in 2012 to address a problem encountered by the checkpoint/restore in user space (CRIU) effort. The CRIU developers are working (with some success) toward the goal of being able to record the complete state of a set of processes to persistent storage, then restart those processes at some future time, possibly on a different machine. This would be challenging in the best of times, but the CRIU developers have taken on an additional handicap: doing the entire job from user space. Over the years attempts have been made to implement a kernel-based checkpoint mechanism, but none have even come close to being considered for merging. The user-space approach appears to be the only realistic way of solving the checkpoint/restore problem.

        CRIU may be banished to user space, but the kernel community has still allowed the addition of features where needed to get the job done. For example, userfaultfd() helps in the migration of process memory, and various features of the clone() system call help with recreating processes that look the same as they did at checkpoint time. These helpers have made the checkpoint/restore job doable while still keeping most of the work out of the kernel.

      • Introducing maple trees

        Seen from outside, the internals of the Linux kernel appear to be stable, especially in subsystems like the memory-management subsystem. However, from time to time, developers need to replace an internal interface to solve a longstanding problem. One such issue is contention on the lock used to protect essential memory-management structures, including the page tables and virtual memory areas (VMAs). Liam Howlett and Matthew Wilcox have been developing a new data structure, called a “maple tree”, to replace the data structures currently used for VMAs. This potentially big change in internal kernel structures has been recently posted for a review in a massive patch set.

        Linux is a virtual-memory system. The address space for each process contains multiple virtual memory areas represented by vm_area_struct structures. Each VMA represents a contiguous block of address space and represents a range of memory of the same type, which may be anonymous memory (not backed by a file), a memory-mapped file, or even device memory. A virtual memory area, as seen from the process, is contiguous, while the supporting physical memory may not be. In addition, the address space contains holes between the VMAs; the kernel fills those empty blocks (leaving space for unmapped “guard” pages to catch buffer overflows) when it needs to add a new mapped area, for example when loading a library or in a response to an mmap() call.

        Almost anything one can do in the system involves memory, so the operations on the structures representing the VMAs must be fast. These operations include lookups (finding out which VMA corresponds to a given virtual address, finding out if the memory is mapped, or locating an empty gap for a new memory area), and modifications (growing a stack, for example).

        VMAs are currently stored in a modified red-black tree (rbtree) with an additional, doubly-linked list that allows the kernel to traverse all of the VMAs in a process’s address space. Kernel developers have been unhappy with this data structure for some time, for a number of reasons: rbtrees do not support ranges well, they are difficult to handle in a lockless manner (the balancing operation of the rbtree affects multiple items at the same time), and rbtree traversal is inefficient, which is why the additional linked list exists.

      • Development statistics for the 5.11 kernel

        The 5.11 kernel was released on February 14 — the most romantic sort of Valentine’s day gift one could hope for. This kernel saw the merging of 14,340 changesets from 1,912 developers; it is certainly not the busiest development cycle we have seen recently, but it still saw a lot of activity. Read on for our traditional look at where the code merged for 5.11 came from.

        [...]

        The 5.11 development cycle, thus, looks fairly average and unremarkable in general — a middle-of-the road 5.x kernel. That said, the number of developers involved remains over 1,900; 280 of those developers made their first kernel contribution during the 5.11 cycle. The 5.11 kernel contains 608,000 more lines of code than 5.10 did.

      • Google: We’re funding developers to work full-time on Linux security

        Silva will focus on “eliminating several classes of buffer overflows” as well as fixing bugs and developing defense mechanisms for the Linux kernel, The Linux Foundation said. Meanwhile, Chancellor’s work will focus on triaging and fixing all bugs found with Clang/LLVM compilers.

        “I hope that more and more people will start to use the LLVM compiler infrastructure project and contribute fixes to it and the kernel – it will go a long way towards improving Linux security for everyone,” said Chancellor.

        The move comes roughly six months after the formation of the Open Source Security Foundation (OpenSSF), a collective of big tech industry players working to improve the security of open-source software as it becomes pervasive in big industry applications, including data centers and critical infrastructure.

      • Linux Kernel security to be boosted by Google funding developers | GamingOnLinux

        Linux is pretty secure right? Well, like everything else, there are and have been problems. Google is aware of this and they use Linux for a lot and now they’re providing funding to help boost Linux security.

        Announced by the Linux Foundation funding has been provided to prioritize two full-time maintainers, Gustavo Silva and Nathan Chancellor, who will focus solely on Linux Kernel security development to ensure “the world’s most pervasive open source software project is sustainable for decades to come”.

      • Graphics Stack

        • AMD Radeon “Aldebaran” GPU Support Published For Next-Gen CDNA – Phoronix

          Last week I noted “GFX90A” appearing in the AMD LLVM back-end and now the AMDGPU Linux kernel driver patches have appeared for “Aldebaran” that appear to be the codename for the next-generation CDNA part making use of GFX90A.

          A set of 159 patches were just posted today for the Radeon Aldebaran enablement. The kernel patches indeed confirm this being GFX9 / GFX90A, putting it as CDNA rather than Navi/RDNA as is the case with GFX10. Aldebaran is likely the successor to the Radeon Instinct MI100. Other takeaways and signs of Aldebaran being the Arcturus (MI100) successor include XGMI support, among other features aligning it for HPC like RAS and watchdog support.

          Most exciting with GFX90A that we have seen is it will support full-rate FP64. Aldebaran has VCN 2.6 video encode capabilities.

        • AMDVLK 2021.Q1.4 Brings More Performance Tuning – Phoronix

          AMD has released AMDVLK 2021.Q1.4 as their newest snapshot of this open-source Radeon Vulkan driver for Linux systems.

          AMDVLK 2021.Q1.4 is quite a small release with updating against the Vulkan 1.2.169 header files and then more performance tuning for the game Mad Max. That’s it in terms of official changes.

        • NVIDIA Linux Driver 460.56 Released with GeForce RTX 3060 Support

          NVIDIA announced a new release for the 460 Linux driver series today.

          The new NVIDIA 460.56 driver added GeForce RTX 3060 support. The RTX 3060 features 5,888 CUDA cores, 1,777MHz GPU boost clock, 12 GB of GDDR6 video memory, and 170W TGP.

        • NVIDIA 460.56 Linux Driver Released With GeForce RTX 3060 Support – Phoronix

          NVIDIA has updated their 460 series Linux driver to provide launch-day support for the GeForce RTX 3060.

          The GeForce RTX 3060 is launching today — assuming you can find one in stock. The RTX 3060 features 3584 CUDA cores, 1.78GHz base clock, and 12GB of GDDR6 video memory. We have not been provided with any review sample and as such no Linux benchmarks today — at least there are the RTX 3060 Ti Linux benchmarks for those interested.

        • Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 goes out today, new Linux driver released

          For the release of the hardware, it’s probably going to be another “paper launch” as we fully expect stock of the GeForce RTX 3060 from NVIDIA to sell out pretty darn quickly just like all the other releases have done so. Thanks in part to high demand and scalpers continuing to buy up as much as they can to sell on for a profit – amongst other things. However, NVIDIA are trying to cut down on crypto miners using standard GPUs by limiting the hash rate of the cards through a mix of a “secure handshake between the driver, the RTX 3060 silicon, and the BIOS (firmware) that prevents removal of the hash rate limiter” (source) plus dedicated cards for miners. So hopefully in future we will see more cards available for standard consumers and gamers.

        • Lavapipe CPU-Based Vulkan Ported To Windows – Phoronix

          Getting this software-based Vulkan implementation working on Windows also included implementing the Windows Vulkan windowing subsystem integration (WSI) as the first Mesa Vulkan driver running on Windows (still out-of-tree is also the work getting RADV on Windows).

    • Applications

      • Best Messaging and Communications Apps for Ubuntu

        The popularity of Linux has been able to replace Windows at many workplaces, and the same scenario was also reported for personal users. Hence many popular apps from various platforms such as Android and Windows are being integrated into Linux and its distros.
        Business emails/chats are also being replaced by instant messaging and communication apps as they provide more options to share files, photos, and videos, making the whole process easier. It would be great to use messaging apps on the Linux desktop that we use on our mobile devices. According to your mood, apps like these give you the flexibility to use the messaging app wherever you want.

        This pandemic also taught us the importance of messaging and communication apps because these apps made it possible for many businesses to run smoothly in the time of crisis. So, in this article, we’re going to have a look at the best messaging and communication apps for Ubuntu.

      • Blender 2.92 Adds a Brand-New Workflow for Editing Meshes, New Physics Simulation Methods

        Blender 2.92 is here three months after Blender 2.91 as a major update that introduces a completely new workflow for editing meshes, the ability to create your own custom modifiers, a new option in the Grab tool to shape silhouettes, a new Elastic Snake mode that lets you deform a mesh using a kelvinlet, as well as Mesh Fairing to let you visually remove parts of your mesh.

        Also new in this release is the ability to allow inverting of the Erase Displacement mesh filter, a new Paint Studio Light preset, Sculpt session stats, Face Set Edit delete Geometry operation, Plane deformation fall-off for the Grab tool, the ability to edit Grease Pencil strokes as curves, support for image sequences in the Trace Image feature, and support for interactively creating primitives with just two clicks.

      • Get Notifications On Your Desktop Or Phone When A Long-Running Command Has Finished With Noti

        Ever wanted to get notified when a long-running process / command has finished, not only on your desktop but also on your phone? Noti can do that.

        Noti is a command line tool for macOS, Linux and Microsoft Windows that monitors a process / command, and triggers a notification on your desktop or phone when it has finished running.

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • How to Install the Latest MySQL 8 in Ubuntu

        MySQL is a relational database system owned by Oracle Corporation and it has been a part of the Ubuntu repositories right from its earlier versions. The release cycles of Ubuntu and MySQL do not exactly match; hence in some older Ubuntu versions, the latest MySQL version will not be available in the repository.

        Today, we will see how to install and configure the latest MySQL 8 on Ubuntu.

      • How To Install VMware Workstation Player on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS – idroot

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to install VMware Workstation Player on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS. For those of you who didn’t know, VMware Workstation Player is a desktop virtualization program that allows you to run multiple, isolated working strategies on an unmarried machine. With VMware Player, you can create and run your personal virtual machines and evaluate software dispensed as a virtual appliance from many program vendors accessible from VMware’s Solution Exchange.

        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 VMware Player on an 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 use the Linux anacron command | Opensource.com

        In 2021, there are more reasons why people love Linux than ever before. In this series, I’ll share 21 different reasons to use Linux. Automation is one of the best reasons to use Linux.

        One of my favorite things about Linux is its willingness to do work for me. Instead of performing repetitive tasks that eat up my time, or are prone to error, or that I’m likely to forget, I schedule Linux to do them for me.

      • 2 Ways to Upgrade Nextcloud [Command-Line & GUI]

        It’s important to keep your Nextcloud server up to date with the latest security and bug fixes. This tutorial is going to show you how to upgrade NextCloud using the updater app, which automates many steps of a manual upgrade.

      • How To Install Signal Desktop on Ubuntu 20.04

        Signal is an popular messaging application as an alternative of WhatsApp. It is available as Desktop application for Windows, Linux and macOS systems.

        In order to your Signal desktop application, You must have signup for Signal application with your mobile number. To create new account, install Signal application on your Android or iOS device and create new account.

        This tutorial help you to how to install Signal desktop on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS Linux system.

      • Install and Use Guacamole Remote Desktop on CentOS 8

        Apache Guacamole is a free, open-source, web-based, and clientless remote desktop application that supports standard protocols like VNC, RDP, and SSH. It allows you to access Linux and Windows PC from a web browser via RDP, SSH, or VNC. It is clientless so you don’t need to install any plugins or client software. It is made from two components Guacamole Server and Guacamole Client. Guacamole server provides server-side and native components required to connect to remote PC while Guacamole client is an HTML 5 web application used to connect to the remote PC.

      • How to use Virt-Manager GUI to manage Multipass Ubuntu VMs

        Virt Manager by RedHat is a popular graphical application developed to manage Virtual Machines running on the KVM hypervisor. Here we will learn the process to install it on Ubuntu 20.04 TLS Linux for managing Multipass VMs.

        The Virtual Machine Manager also called virt-manager or VMM for short offers a uniform user interface for creating and managing virtual machines. VMM is based on libvirt, i.e the virtualization solutions that libvirt also supports are supported. These include QEMU, KVM, and Xen, but not VirtualBox or VMware Player.

        VMM offers both a graphical user interface and several command-line programs. VMM is written entirely in Python.

      • How to install Qemu/KVM and Virt-Manager GUI on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS

        When it comes to running virtual machines on home Linux systems or for personal use most of us either go for VirtualBox or Vmware workstation player, however, there is more best option i.e KVM/Qemu. Qemu and KVM both are open source platforms for performing virtualization on Linux platforms. KVM stands for Kernel Virtual Machine, where QEMU is an emulator that can also be used as a virtualizer with the help of KVM to provide a native speed by accessing Intel VT-x or AMD V technology of modern processors.

        KVM is a virtualization module that can easily be installed in any Linux kernel to allow it to function as a type 2 hypervisor.

        Thus, the installation of KVM becomes a lot easier, we only need a Linux-based system such as Ubuntu and a processor with intel-v / VT-x or AMD-v support. All new processors have this instruction set extension. Only the small processors, such as the Atom from Intel, or very old processors may lack this feature.

      • How the oc debug command works in OpenShift | Enable Sysadmin

        Try a new way to connect to and debug your Red Hat OpenShift Container Platform cluster nodes.

      • Adding a New Disk Device to Fedora Linux

        Storage is one of the cheapest IT commodities in today’s market. Running low on disk space? Just grab a brand new high-capacity storage device from the market. Need high-performance storage? Then grab a high-performance SSD.

        After the device is connected, it should be recognized in the system. However, at the software level, it still requires some configuration to use it properly. In this guide, check out how to add a new disk device to Fedora Linux.

      • How to extract Tar GZ archives in Ubuntu [Guide]

        Not all Linux programs come in DEB or RPM packages. Some programs are distributed to Linux users inside of Tar GZ archive files. These files are compressed and the user must manually extract the contents.

        A whole lot of new Ubuntu users do not understand how to extract Tar GZ archives. As a result, many users give up on Tar GZ archives. This guide will show you various ways you can extract Tar GZ archive files on Ubuntu.

      • How to install Gimp in Ubuntu [Guide]

        Are you using Ubuntu Linux and need to install the latest Gimp for photo editing or graphic work? Can’t figure out how to get the app working on your system? We can help! Follow along as we go over how to get Gimp working on Ubuntu!

      • Useful Tips & Tricks of Kubuntu KNotes

        Kubuntu computer users benefit from its useful tool KNotes that is helpful to use everyday. For example, you can keep frequently used text in it and copy paste them quickly at any time you wish, such as chat group rules (including classrooms) and your online payment information. This is a list of tips and tricks using the sticky notes. Hope you will like it!

      • How to Install and Use PulseAudio-Equalizer on Linux Mint 20 – Linux Hint

        The PulseAudio is an open-source volume control and audio effects tool. It allows us to control and tune the audio settings. The PulseAudio Equalizer has a multi-band interface. Therefore, you can easily adjust the slider when the audio is playing.

        As PulseAudio is a popular open-source tool, it is included in Linux Mint 20 standard repositories installed from there. Moreover, it can also be installed on Linux Mint 20 from the external PPA repository.

        This post explains the installation of PulseAudio-Equalizer on Linux Mint.

      • How to use arithmetic operations in bash

        When you are writing a bash script, sometimes you may want to crunch numbers quickly inside the script. For example, you want to convert a unit of data you are working with, round a divided value to the nearest integer, increment a counter in simple loops, etc. Every programming language has built-in support for basic arithmetic operations against common data types. However, since bash is not a general-purpose programming language, but rather a command-line interpreter, it comes with limited support for arithmetic operations.

        In this tutorial, I present tips on how to perform integer or floating point arithmetic operations in a bash shell script.

      • How to fix “bash: /usr/sbin/ifconfig: No such file or directory” on Linux – Linux Hint

        You were trying to know the IP address of your Linux Operating System, and an error occurred with the message “bash: /usr/sbin/ifconfig: No such file or directory,” and that error has brought you here. Don’t worry; you are reading exactly the right post. But, the question arises that it was working before; what happened?

      • How to Install Git on Linux Mint 20 – Linux Hint

        Git, developed by Linus Torvalds, is the most popular distributed system for version control. Git is a very efficient platform for open-source projects. Using Git, you can collaborate with the other developers, upload the new changes, keep track of the changes, and many more.

      • How To Install And Setup TinyProxy On Your Linux Server – Linux Hint

        Tinyproxy is an HTTP/HTTPS Proxy. It is lightweight, fast, very easy to configure, and an open-source proxy service. Tinyproxy is configurable as a reverse proxy as well. It is good to be used as a small proxy with fewer system resources because it is very lightweight.

      • How to Enable Snap Applications Support in Linux Mint 20 (Recommended Method) – Linux Hint

        Snap is a package manager for Linux-based distributions, and snaps refer to the application packages that are available for IoT, cloud, and desktop. Snaps are multi-platform, easy to install, secure, and dependency-free applications. One of the biggest advantages of snap applications is that they update automatically.

        On Linux Mint 20, the snap support is disabled by default. There could be a situation that you are interested in installing any particular application, and the application version is only available from the snap application manager. In this situation, you will require to enable and install the snap-on Linux Mint 20.

      • How to Undelete Files in Ubuntu: 3 Tools for Linux Data Recovery | IT Pro

        Here’s how to undelete files in Ubuntu, although the tools and methods should work on any mainstream Linux distribution.

      • How to Use Two-Factor Authentication with Ubuntu

        Over time, the traditional username and password authentication has proven inadequate in providing robust security to applications and systems. Usernames and passwords can easily be cracked using a plethora of hacking tools, leaving your system vulnerable to breaches. For this reason, any company or entity that takes security seriously needs to implement 2-Factor authentication.

        Colloquially known as MFA (Multi-Factor Authentication), 2-Factor authentication provides an extra layer of security that requires users to provides certain details such as codes, or OTP (One Time Password) before or after authenticating with the usual username and password.

        Nowadays multiple companies such as Google, Facebook, Twitter, and AWS, to mention a few provide users the choice of setting up MFA to further protect their accounts.

      • How to Run the Same Command Multiple Times in Linux – Linux Hint

        When programming, you may encounter a situation in which you need to perform the same task multiple times. A simple solution is to manually repeat the process as many times as it is needed; however, it is not productive to do so. That is why the concept of loops was introduced to programming. The basic goal of a loop is to repeat a task several times, depending upon the value provided for the iterator and the termination condition of the loop. Loops allow programmers to avoid the hassle of repeating processes manually.
        Suppose that there is a command that you wish to run multiple times. There are several important reasons that you might need to run a command repeatedly, so you want to be sure that a certain command produces the correct output every time it is executed. The more you run a command manually, the more certainty you will gain each time you run the command.

        But how do you do this programmatically? Well, there are several methods that can be used to run the same command multiple times, as well as for verifying the output of the repeated command. This article shows you how to create a repeatable command using Linux Mint 20 as the host operating system.

    • Games

      • Valve launch a Beta for Remote Play Together – Invite Anyone, no Steam account needed

        The invites work through the Steam Link app, which has one big caveat at the moment: Valve doesn’t currently support a normal Linux desktop with it.

      • Hadean Tactics, a realtime auto-battler with deck building, launches today | GamingOnLinux

        What happens when Slay the Spire has a baby with DOTA Underlords? We’re about to find out in Hadean Tactics. Ready to launch later today into Early Access, Hadean Tactics is a fascinating mash up of roguelite auto-battler, and deck builder. You take on the role of the Inquisitor, aiming to vanquish the six wings of Hell.

        Core gameplay follows the DOTA Underlords mechanic of placing your units on a grid-based battlefield, then watching them choose their targets and pound away, dealing damage according to their DPS (damage per second) stat, and special abilities which are powered by mana. All very familiar so far.

        What sets Hadean Tactics out from that setting is that the frenetic action is paused every 7 seconds and you’re dropped into a Slay the Spire mechanic. You’re issued with 3 energy and five cards are drawn from your deck. Most cards cost at least one energy to use, and how you play them will affect the ongoing battle when you “end turn”, having played your cards.

      • Gloomy and tough arena shooter Devil Daggers gets a 5 year anniversary update | GamingOnLinux

        Devil Daggers is really something else and I fear for my free time again, as the recent 5 year anniversary update is a great reminder that it begs to be played.

        It’s a high-score chasing arena shooter, inspired by 1990s FPS and arcade games. You get dumped into a small and dark arena to face off against never-ending waves of demons armed with only your magic dagger and quick movement. You just fight to survive as long as you can and see if you can beat your friends and the world on the leaderboards.

      • Linux support for Skullgirls to continue, everyone upgraded to Skullgirls 2nd Encore free | GamingOnLinux

        Quite a bit of ground to cover on the popular fighting game Skullgirls, now that the dust has settled with Lab Zero Games imploding and Hidden Variable Studios / Autumn Games taking back control.

        Firstly, there’s no longer a 2nd Encore Upgrade. Instead, everyone has been upgraded to that edition with all previous DLC being bundled into the main game as a free upgrade. Why?

      • Top 7 Predictions for Linux Gaming in 2021 – Boiling Steam

        Following yesterday’s piece about predictions for 2021 for the world of Linux Gaming, let’s have a second look by combining the predictions of all people involved in order to get a better picture. After all, if the wisdom of crowds holds true, the more often a prediction is made, the more likely it is to be correct (as long as the predictions are made independently).

      • Valheim still growing with 4 million sales, hits top 5 of most played games on Steam ever | GamingOnLinux

        Valheim Valheim Valheim, it’s all we’ve been hearing lately. We’re guilty of it, other websites and content creators have covered it a lot and so expectedly it’s hit new highs again.

        Less than one month since entering Early Access, Iron Gate AB and Coffee Stain Publishing have announced they’ve managed to sell 4 million copies. Not only that, Valheim managed to hit over 500,000 players online at the same time on February 21, which means more people were in game than there were actual Vikings in human history. A more modern detail is that it makes Valheim now on the top 5 of most played games on Steam — ever.

        Other fun details include the game being played for “a combined total of 10,000 years” and it continues to climb the Steam Top 250 leaderboard for the best reviewed games of all time and they’ve hit over 92,000 reviews on Steam.

      • Can Linux Run Video Games?

        Linux is a widely used and popular open source operating system that was first released back in 1991. It differs from operating systems like Windows and macOS in that it is open source and it is highly customizable through its use of “distributions”. Distributions or “distros” are basically different versions of Linux that can be installed along with the Linux core software so that users can customize their system to fit their specific need. Some of the more popular Linux distributions are Ubuntu, Debian and Fedora.

        For many years Linux had the reputation of being a terrible gaming platform and it was believed that users wouldn’t be able to engage in this popular form of entertainment. The main reason for this is that commercially successful games just weren’t being developed for Linux. A few well known video game titles like Doom, Quake and SimCity made it to Linux but for the most part they were overlooked through the 1990’s. However, things have changed a lot since then and there is an every expanding library of popular video games you can play on Linux.

        [...]

        There are plenty of Windows games you can run on Linux and no reason why you can’t play as well as you do when using Windows. If you are having trouble leveling up or winning the best loot, consider trying AskBoosters for help with your game.

        Aside from native Linux games and Windows games there are a huge amount of browser based games that work on any system including Linux.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • LXPanel 0.10.1 released.

        After long period of time without releases, another core LXDE component which is the panel, got a long waited release with few fixes. No new features yet but fixes are also good ones. Features will be later, that is certain. Anyone are welcome to contribute, as always.

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • KDE vs. GNOME – everything you need to know

          The fight for dominance in the Linux desktop environments has mostly been a tug of war between GNOME and KDE. It is difficult to portray a winner in this tug of war. The user community influence and its user preference determine which Linux desktop environment to choose as an adaptive platform. This presumed stalemate in the Linux desktop arena portrays KDE and GNOME as the main major players.

          It is common for a Linux user to side with either GNOME or KDE desktop environment based on the Linux community influence, other users’ influence, or usage popularity. This article is here to make an analytical comparison between these two Linux desktop environments. We will explore both the strengths and weaknesses of these two Linux desktop environments. At the end of the article, your decision to go with or remain with either of these two Linux desktop environments will be based on their marketable feature strengths and their evident weaknesses that your Linux lifestyle can accommodate.

      • GNOME Desktop/GTK

        • Christian Hergert: GTK 4 NGL Renderer

          I spent a lot of time in 2020 working on projects tangential to what I’d consider my “main” projects. GtkSourceView got a port to GTK 4 and a load of new features, GTK 4 got a new macOS backend, and in December I started putting together a revamp of GTK 4’s GL renderer.

          The nice thing about having multiple renderer backends in GTK 4 is that we still have Cairo rendering as an option. So while doing bring-up of the new GTK macOS backend I could just use that. Making software rendering fast enough to not be annoying is a good first step because it forces you to shake out performance issues pretty early.

          But once that is working, the next step is to address how well the other backends can work there. We had two other backends. OpenGL (requiring 3.2 Core and up) and Vulkan. Right now, the OpenGL renderer is the best supported renderer for acceleration in terms of low bug count, so that seemed like the right way to go if you want to stay inline with Linux and Windows backends. Especially after you actually try to use MoltenVK on macOS and realize it’s a giant maze. The more work we can share across platforms (even if temporarily) the better we can make our Linux experience. Personally, that is something I care about.

        • Federico Mena-Quintero: Librsvg, Rust, and non-mainstream architectures

          Almost five years ago librsvg introduced Rust into its source code. Around the same time, Linux distributions started shipping the first versions of Firefox that also required Rust. I unashamedly wanted to ride that wave: distros would have to integrate a new language in their build infrastructure, or they would be left without Firefox. I was hoping that having a working Rust toolchain would make it easier for the rustified librsvg to get into distros.

          Two years after that, someone from Debian complained that this made it hard or impossible to build librsvg (and all the software that depends on it, which is A Lot) on all the architectures that Debian builds on — specifically, on things like HP PA-RISC or Alpha, which even Debian marks as “discontinued” now.

          Recently there was a similar kerfuffle, this time from someone from Gentoo, specifically about how Python’s cryptography package now requires Rust. So, it doesn’t build for platforms that Rust/LLVM don’t support, like hppa, alpha, and Itanium. It also doesn’t build for platforms for which there are no Rust packages from Gentoo yet (mips, s390x, riscv among them).

        • GNOME 40 Beta Released With Many Improvements

          The beta of GNOME 40 is out today, one month ahead of the stable release of this big open-source desktop environment update.

          GNOME 40 beta brings many changes including:

          - GNOME Shell has landed the redesign of the overview area, out-of-date extensions are now disabled by default, and other improvements.

        • Stunning GNOME 40 Beta is Ready. Download and Test Now!

          The GNOME team announced the availability of the official GNOME 40 Beta images in an email announcement. You can download and try the images now to experience the design overhaul.

        • GNOME 40.beta released!

          GNOME 40.beta is now available. It also marks the start of the UI,
          feature and API freezes
          (collectively known as The Freeze). Any string changes need to be
          announced to the i18n mailing list in advance of the string freeze
          which should start next weekend. If you’d like to target the GNOME 40
          platform, this is the best time to start testing your apps or
          extensions.

          You can use the 40beta branch of the flatpak runtimes, which is now
          available on Flathub beta. The highlights of this branch is the
          addition of GTK 4 (although other libraries such as WebKitGTK and VTE
          are still using GTK 3, and GTK 3 will be kept in the runtimes for some
          time), as well as libhandy and librest.

    • Distributions

      • Building Programs from Source on any Linux Distribution in a simple way

        For new Linux users, compiling and installing programs from source code for the first time might be a nightmare. But it’s not; compiling from source code opens possibilities to use your favorite packages for any distribution.

        Today we will guide you on building and compiling your first program in Linux, and trust me, it will be a good adventure.

      • New Releases

        • Kali Linux’s First Release Of 2021 Brings in New Hacking Tools, Linux Kernel 5.10 and Xfce 4.16

          Kali Linux 2021.1 is the first release of this year. This release brings in Linux Kernel 5.10 LTS and comes packed with a lot of new tools for penetration testing. It also includes an updated Xfce 4.16 desktop environment and some terminal tweaks.

          [...]

          As the first major release of Kali Linux this year, the latest version is powered by the Linux Kernel 5.10 LTS.

          That was a much-needed update. But that is not the only big change that comes baked in it. Since Xfce is the default desktop environment of the distribution, Kali Linux offers the latest Xfce 4.16 in this version.

          Not just limited to that, for those who prefer KDE, the plasma environment also got a version bump to KDE 5.20.

      • BSD

        • From Clean & Green Mockup to OpenBSD cwm(1) desktop

          If the words CGA or Hercules raise sweet memories from your far away youth, the Mockup Clean & Green from u/awareofdistractions may hit you right in the heart. And if you like it so much, it may be used for real-life desktop environment using OpenBSD stock and ports material.

      • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandriva/OpenMandriva Family

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • Christian Hergert: Sysprof and Podman

          With the advent of immutable/re-provisional/read-only operating systems like Fedora’s Silverblue, people will be doing a lot more computing inside of containers on their desktops (as if they’re not already).

          When you want to profile an entire system with tools like perf this can be problematic because the files that are mapped into memory could be coming from strange places like FUSE. In particular, fuse-overlayfs.

          There doesn’t seem to be a good way to decode all this indirection which means in Sysprof, we’ve had broken ELF symbol decoding for your things running inside of podman containers (such as Fedora’s toolbox). For those of us who have to develop inside those containers, that can really be a drag.

          The problem at the core is that Sysprof (and presumably other perf-based tooling) would think a file was mapped from somewhere like /usr/lib64/libglib-2.0.so according to the /proc/$pid/maps. Usually we translate that using /proc/$pid/mountinfo to the real mount or subvolume. But if fuse-overlayfs is in the picture, you don’t get any insight into that. When symbols are decoded, it looks at the host’s /usr/lib/libglib-2.0.so and finds an inode mismatch at which point it will stop trying to decode the instruction address.

        • Extending no-cost Red Hat Enterprise Linux to open source organizations

          Today, we’re announcing a new, no-cost program tailored for the needs and requirements of projects, foundations and more: Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) for Open Source Infrastructure. Joining a growing set of no-cost and low-cost programs, RHEL for Open Source Infrastructure provides a simpler, clearer and documented process for projects, communities, standards bodies and other not-for-profit software groups engaged with open source to gain access to RHEL subscriptions. While we plan to continue to refine this latest program, we wanted to outline what is available now for interested parties.

        • Red Hat Announces Free “RHEL For Open-Source Infrastructure”
        • Red Hat Closes StackRox Acquisition

          By bringing StackRox’s Kubernetes-native security capabilities to Red Hat OpenShift, Red Hat aims to deliver a single, holistic platform that enables users to build, deploy and securely run nearly any application across the entirety of the hybrid cloud.

        • 3 solid self-review tips for sysadmins | Enable Sysadmin

          At every job I’ve held, the general opinion about self-reviews tends to fall into one of two categories. Either employees view them as arduous and frustrating or they simply don’t care about them. However, I believe that a well-written self-review can help you accelerate your career, whether your goal is a raise, a promotion, or merely some well-deserved recognition for your efforts. In this article, I’ll discuss my approach to performance reviews. While there is no one-size-fits-all strategy, this approach has served me well through several organizations and positions.

        • Red Hat OpenShift drives a strong 5G open RAN ecosystem

          As the telecommunications industry ramps up its evolution towards cloud-native architectures and containers, communications service providers (CSPs) are working to scale their networks to support increased demand. In this effort, open radio access network (RAN) solutions offer standardized disaggregation of the RAN, decoupling hardware and software, to give CSPs more freedom of choice. Many organizations are looking to implement a container platform like Red Hat OpenShift that is ready to take on the intensive demands of this evolution for their RAN and for new 5G use cases, such as network slicing, IoT and industrial IoT. Moving to a cloud-native platform creates the opportunity for many of them to work with new suppliers, boost innovation and better differentiate using new operating models.

          Red Hat is excited to play a key role in this transformation. Last year, we shared the news of our expanded collaboration with Altiostar to develop an infrastructure and workload automation framework for a container-based RAN reference architecture that allows a consistent approach to a disaggregated RAN for both our customer and partner ecosystem. We’re now excited to build on this momentum by extending our architecture in collaboration with Mavenir, to transform mobile network infrastructures.

        • AIOps vs. MLOps: What’s the difference?

          In late 2019, O’Reilly hosted a survey on artificial intelligence (AI) adoption in the enterprise. The survey broke respondents into two stages of adoption: Mature and Evaluation.

          When asked what’s holding back their AI adoption, those in the latter category most often cited company culture. Trouble identifying good use cases for AI wasn’t far behind.

        • Debuginfod project update: New clients and metrics – Red Hat Developer

          It’s been about a year since our last update about debuginfod, an HTTP file server that serves debugging resources to debugger-like tools. Since then, we’ve been busy integrating clients across a range of developer tools and improving the server’s available metrics. This article covers the features and improvements we’ve added to debuginfod since our last update.

          [...]

          Debuginfod is a part of the elfutils project. Tools that already use elfutils to find or analyze debugging resources automatically inherit debuginfod support. Tools like Systemtap, Libabigail, and dwgrep all inherit debuginfod this way. In Systemtap, for example, debuginfod offers new ways to specify which processes to probe. Previously, if you wanted to explore a running user process, you would have to provide either a process identifier (PID) or the executable path. With debuginfod, Systemtap can probe processes according to build-id, as well. So, it is possible to investigate specific versions of a binary independently from the location of the corresponding executable file.

          Debuginfod includes a client library (libdebuginfod) that lets other tools easily query debuginfod servers for source files, executables, and of course, debuginfo—generally, DWARF (debugging with attributed record format) debuginfo. Since last year, a variety of developer tools have integrated debuginfod clients. As of version 2.34, Binutils includes debuginfod support for its components that use separate debuginfo (readelf and objdump). Starting in version 9.03, the Annobin project contains debuginfod support for fetching separate debuginfo files, and support for Dyninst is planned in version 10.3.

        • Fedora Community Blog: A sneak peek at Fedora Zine

          So my Outreachy internship is winding to a close, as is the creation of the first-ever edition of our very own Fedora Zine!

          It has been a crazy journey so far and I have thoroughly enjoyed working on this awesome project, especially getting to see and work with all of these great submissions from the community. I have learned so much; from how to balance my design visually, how to pair fonts and use other typographic effects, how to use guides for a perfectly aligned design and also that you should read your printing specs very, very carefully before getting to work on a project.

      • Debian Family

        • What goes into default Debian?

          The venerable locate file-finding utility has long been available for Linux systems, though its origins are in the BSD world. It is a generally useful tool, but does have a cost beyond just the disk space it occupies in the filesystem; there is a periodic daemon program (updatedb) that runs to keep the file-name database up to date. As a recent debian-devel discussion shows, though, people have differing ideas of just how important the tool is—and whether it should be part of the default installation of Debian.

          There are several variants of locate floating around at this point. The original is described in a ;login: article from 1983; a descendant of that code lives on in the GNU Find Utilities alongside find and xargs. After that came Secure Locate (slocate), which checks permissions to only show file names that users have access to, and its functional successor, mlocate, which does the same check but also merges new changes into the existing database, rather than recreating it, for efficiency and filesystem-cache preservation. On many Linux distributions these days, mlocate is the locate of choice.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • Kubuntu vs. Ubuntu

          There is a massive list of Linux distributions available for the users, and these distros are not limited due to their features and compatibilities for different systems. Linux distros like Ubuntu, Lubuntu, Kubuntu, Arch Linux, Debian, Fedora offer unique options and features to the users. Many people are turning their way towards Kubuntu because of its compatibility. Still, there is always an argument that Kubuntu is based on Ubuntu, and it is less capable than Ubuntu. We shall overview Ubuntu and Kubuntu’s side by side in this article to provide complete details and a brief comparison between them.

        • Canonical Released New Ubuntu Kernel Security Update to Fix over 20 Vulnerabilities

          The most important vulnerabilities patched in this new major Linux kernel update for Ubuntu are a flaw (CVE-2020-25704) discovered in the perf subsystem that could allow a privileged attacker to cause a denial of service (kernel memory exhaustion), and a security issue (CVE-2020-27777) in the PowerPC RTAS implementation, which could allow a privileged local attacker to arbitrarily modify kernel memory and bypass kernel lockdown restrictions.

          Also patched in this new Ubuntu kernel security update is a race condition (CVE-2020-25656) in the console keyboard driver, race conditions (CVE-2020-25668) and a read-after-free vulnerability (CVE-2020-29660) in the TTY driver/subsystem, an information leak (CVE-2020-28588) found in the syscall implementation on 32-bit systems, and a flaw (CVE-2020-28974) in the framebuffer console driver. All these flaws could allow a local attacker to expose sensitive information (kernel memory).

        • Xubuntu 21.04 Progress Update

          Today, February 25, 2021 marks Feature Freeze for the Ubuntu 21.04 release schedule. At this point, we stop introducing new features and packages and start to focus on testing and bug fixes. Feature Freeze also marks Debian Import Freeze, which means that packages we have in common with Debian will no longer automatically sync to Xubuntu for the rest of the cycle.

          This makes it a great time to update you on the goings-on in Xubuntu 21.04. So far, we have a pretty impressive list of changes, both technical and user-facing.

        • Xubuntu 21.04 to Ship with Xfce 4.16, Ayatana Indicators, and New Apps

          Xubuntu 21.04 (Hirsute Hippo) promises the be an awesome release, shipping with the latest and greatest Xfce 4.16 desktop environment by default, which is already a huge change in the upcoming release since it adds numerous new features and enhancements, including a new look and feel.

          Moreover, Xubuntu 21.04 will feature many internal and visual changes to enable mouse cursor support for Snap apps, support for smaller screens like those of mobile phones, window focus support for the PulseAudio plugin, a new “Sound” entry in the Settings Manager, and Xfce Terminal featured in the menu.

        • Ubuntu Aims For Higher Quality LTS Point Releases – Phoronix

          New restrictions will be in place beginning with Ubuntu 20.04.3 LTS this summer to try to enforce better quality releases with less regressions by enforcing better quality control.

          The change beginning with Ubuntu 20.04.3 LTS will require that stable release update (SRU) procedures are followed even for release blockers. This will require that every fix follows the same verification, regression analysis, and aging period process. The tighter quality controls will likely lead to slips in release targets if bugs are found in the release candidates for new point releases, as it will first need to go through the verification and aging process.

        • DFI and Canonical offer risk-free system updates and reduced software lead times for the IoT ecosystem

          DFI and Canonical signed the Ubuntu IoT Hardware Certification Partner Program. DFI is the world’s first industrial computer manufacturer to join the program aimed at offering Ubuntu-certified IoT hardware ready for the over-the-air software update. The online update mechanism of and the authorized DFI online application store combines with DFI’s products’ application flexibility, to reduce software and hardware development time to deploy new services. DFI’s RemoGuard IoT solution will provide real-time monitoring and partition-level system recovery through out-of-band management technology. In addition to the Ubuntu online software update, RemoGuard avoids service interruption, reduces maintenance personnel costs, and response time to establish a seamless IoT ecosystem.

          From the booming 5G mobile network to industrial robot applications, a large number of small base stations, edge computing servers, and robots will be deployed in outdoor or harsh industrial environments. Ubuntu Core on DFI certified hardware and Remoguard brings the reassurance that no software update will bring risks and challenges of on-site repair.

        • DFI Partners With Ubuntu For IoT Hardware, OTA Updates – Phoronix

          Most of you probably haven’t heard of DFI much in nearly two decades since the days of their colorful “LanParty” motherboards that were well known at the time, but these days they are focused on the industrial computer industry and have now teamed up with Canonical to partake in the Ubuntu IoT Hardware Certification Partner Program.

          DFI is the first industrial computer vendor joining the Ubuntu IoT Hardware Certification Partner Program for Ubuntu-certified hardware focused on the Internet of Things and embracing over-the-air software updates.

        • What is MEC ? The telco edge.

          MEC, as ETSI defines it, stands for Multi-access Edge Computing and is sometimes referred to as Mobile edge computing. MEC is a solution that gives content providers and software developers cloud-computing capabilities which are close to the end users. This micro cloud deployed in the edge of mobile operators’ networks has ultra low latency and high bandwidth which enables new types of applications and business use cases. On top of that an application running on MEC can have real-time access to a subset of radio network information that can improve the overall experience.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • Web Browsers

        • Mozilla

          • The Talospace Project: Firefox 86 on POWER

            Firefox 86 is out, not only with multiple picture-in-picture (now have all the Weird Al videos open simultaneously!) and total cookie protection (not to be confused with other things called TCP) but also some noticeable performance improvements and finally gets rid of Backspace backing you up, a key I have never pressed to go back a page. Or, maybe those performance improvements are due to further improvements to our LTO-PGO recipe, which uses Fedora’s work to get rid of the sidecar shell script. Now with this single patch, plus their change to nsTerminator.cpp to allow optimization to be unbounded by time, you can build a fully link- and profile-guided optimized version for OpenPOWER and gcc with much less work. Firefox 86 also incorporates our low-level Power-specific fix to xpconnect.

          • Learning more about our users

            At the Tor Project we practice user-centered design. This means we put our users at the heart of our development process, making a conscious effort to understand the contexts in which people use our tools and paying particular attention to the bumps they encounter along the way.

            Many digital product companies rely heavily on data gathered from invasive tracking scripts to better understand their users’ behavior, further fueling the surveillance economy. However that’s not how we do things at Tor – instead, we aim to conduct research that respects the basic principles of privacy and consent.

          • New Release: Tor Browser 10.5a11

            Tor Browser 10.5a11 is now available from the Tor Browser Alpha download page and also from our distribution directory.

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

      • FSFE

        • FSFE20 +++ IloveFS +++ Job vacancy

          In our February Newsletter, we interview our founding president Georg Greve as part of our publication series to celebrate 20 Years FSFE, we reflect on I love Free Software Day and our FOSDEM participation, we advertise our new job vacancy and as usual we report on our diverse community activities.

      • FSF

        • Licensing/Legal

          • 4 new open source licenses

            As the steward of the Open Source Defintion, the Open Source Initiative has been designating licenses as “open source” for over 20 years. These licenses are the foundation of the open source software ecosystem, ensuring that everyone can use, improve, and share software. When a license is approved, it is because the OSI believes that the license fosters collaboration and sharing for the benefit of everyone who participates in the ecosystem.

            The world has changed over the past 20 years, with software now used in new and even unimaginable ways. The OSI has seen that the familiar open source licenses are not always well-suited for these new situations. But license stewards have stepped up, submitting several new licenses for more expansive uses. The OSI was challenged to evaluate whether these new concepts in licensing would continue to advance sharing and collaboration and merit being referred to as “open source” licenses, ultimately approving some new special purpose licenses.

          • Keeping platforms open

            My previous article, Whatsapp and the domestication of users, got more attention than I was expecting. Some responses gave me a lot to think about,1 especially regarding actions we can take. I suggest reading that article first; it explained what “user domestication” is and why it’s a problem. It enumerated three countermeasures: FOSS, simplicity, and open platforms.

            Hard problems, by definition, lack easy solutions. Simply choosing (or creating) a platform that avoids user domestication isn’t enough if that platform can change. The price of freedom is eternal vigilance; in addition to settling on the right platform, we must ensure that it honors its users in both the present and the future. Keeping a platform FOSS and simple is more straightforward2 than keeping a platform “open”.

            How do we keep an open platform from becoming a closed platform in the future?

      • Programming/Development

        • 6 Top Data Analysis Tools for Big Data

          Big Data is an all-inclusive term that refers to data sets so large and complex that they need to be processed by specially designed hardware and software tools. The data sets are typically of the order of tera or exabytes in size. These data sets are created from a diverse range of sources: sensors that gather climate information, publicly available information such as magazines, newspapers, articles. Other examples where big data is generated include purchase transaction records, web logs, medical records, military surveillance, video and image archives, and large-scale e-commerce.

          There is a heightened interest in Big Data and Big Data analysis and the implications they have for businesses. Big Data analysis is the process of examining huge quantities of data to find patterns, correlations, and other useful information that can help firms become more responsive to change, and to make better informed decisions.

          Big Data analysis can be performed with data mining software. However, the unstructured data sources used for big data analysis are not necessarily suitable for investigation by traditional data mining software.

        • 50 Years of Pascal

          Pascal was easy to teach, and it covered a wide spectrum of applications, which was a significant advantage over Algol, Fortran, and Cobol. The Pascal System was efficient, compact, and easy to use. The language was strongly influenced by the new discipline of structured programming, advocated primarily by E.W. Dijkstra to avert the threatening software crisis (1968).

        • Python

          • How to use Django Serializers – Linux Hint

            Serializer is used in Django to convert the model instances or querysets into python supported data types that can be easily rendered into JSON, XML, or other formats. The deserialization can also be done by serializers to get back the original data from the serialized data. This feature is available in Django REST Framework. So, the users have to install this framework to use the serializers. Any webpage of the website may contain HTML, CSS, and data from the database tables. But the API does not understand these types of content, and it can understand the raw data only, that is, JSON data. How the serializers can be used to convert the model instance into JSON format has shown in this tutorial.

          • How to use queryset in django – Linux Hint

            Most of the web applications are implemented with the database now. queryset is used in the Django application to retrieve records by filtering or slicing or ordering the database table without changing the original data. The model used Django to create the table in the database. So, the knowledge of using the model in Django is necessary to understand the use of queryset. The main function of the queryset is to iterate the records of database tables by converting them into SQL queries. It can be used from the python command line or by writing the python script to display the browser’s output. The uses of queryset for retrieving data from a database table in different ways have been explained in this tutorial.

        • Shell/Bash/Zsh/Ksh

          • What Is BC in a Bash Script? – Linux Hint

            BC, which stands for Basic Calculator, is a command in Bash that is used to provide the functionality of a scientific calculator within a Bash script. This can be useful for scripting with various arithmentic use cases and scenarios. This article shows you how to use BC in a Bash script.

        • Rust

          • This Week In Rust: This Week in Rust 379 [Ed: The usual paradox of developing "openly" while requiring people to get an account with Microsoft and then use proprietary software of Microsoft, which attacks Free software.]

            This Week in Rust is openly developed on GitHub.

  • Leftovers

    • Universality or Fighting Over Scraps

      I don’t claim to have a universal answer to all such questions. There are some questions that I would certainly answer differently if they stood alone. If the rotten U.S. political system were condemned to remain unchanged except in one single regard, then, sure, I’d vote for slavery reparations. By the same token, I’d vote for term limits just to get different corrupt faces into the news, rather than working to make it possible to unelect incumbents.

      But I think that there is a consideration being missed by all of these questions, and that it is an extremely important one that usually ought to tip the balance. It is the value of universality. It’s not a theoretical value. It’s what makes Scandinavia a desirable place to live. It’s what makes Social Security and public high schools so popular. It’s why people campaign for Medicare for All, not Medicare for the Worthy. It’s why we’re outraged at the idea of a fire crew asking to see paperwork and check qualifications before putting out a fire.

    • Opinion | Rest In Poetry
    • Yappy Hour

      Newton, Mass.—During lockdown last March, one of the few approved excuses for being outside was to walk your dog. In Newton, a suburb outside of Boston, stir-crazy folks with the requisite pet in tow began congregating, six feet apart, at Braceland, one of our local parks.

    • The Front Lines

      Atlantis so thoroughly fails the Bechdel Test that its two female characters—the minimum required to pass the assessment—never even meet, let alone converse. Granted, they’re educated professionals who talk about their work and not guys. Even so, this film—set in Eastern Ukraine in 2025, “one year after the war”—focuses almost single-mindedly on men, especially those who are no longer in combat but remain in uniform, one way or another. Some keep ready for firefights by donning their old outfits on weekends, driving to a snowy ravine, and shouting their way through target practice—just in case, or because they don’t know what else to do with themselves. Others have moldering tatters of fatigues clinging to their bones when they’re dug out of mass graves.

    • The Jackie Robinson of Architecture

      Undaunted, the pandemic can’t stop the Pan African Film Festival and in that immortal show biz tradition, the show must go on! Albeit virtually, as this year in order to stay cinematically safe, America’s largest and best yearly Black-themed filmfest since 1992 is moving online and starting later than usual, kicking off on the last day of Black History Month. 2021’s 29th annual Pan African Virtual Film + Arts Festival is taking place from Feb. 28 – March 14.

      Co-directors Royal Kennedy Rodgers and Kathy McCampbell Vance’s Hollywood’s Architect: The Paul R. Williams Story is a nonfiction biopic about the African American talent who rose to become the so-called “Architect of the Stars” when Jim Crow was still the scourge of the land. Born 1894 in L.A., Paul Revere Williams’ real-life story, overcoming adversity, is remarkable, even if it is unremarkably told in this conventionally albeit professionally made documentary.

    • Science

      • Only the USA, Liberia and Myanmar still use imperial weights and measures

        Here in Australia, we get those TV shows from the USA, house restoration, building off the grid, etc., and I find it amusing when they talk in imperial units.
        For example, they will measure a length of timber as 5 foot, 3 and 3/8 inches. The thing is, math calculation is messy when doing it in fractions. It is also messy to have non-metric conversions, for example 12 inches equals 1 foot.
        Then there is ounces, which could mean a weight or a volume. Messy again.

    • Health/Nutrition

      • “V-gasm”? A confused antivaxxer likens COVID-19 vaccines to sex and religion

        I debated whether to write about this or not, for the simple reason that I always wonder if it’s a good idea to give such fringe, “out-there” posts a boost, even as modest a boost as this blog provides, even while commenting negatively on an idea. However, when I came across the post and the idea being promoted, I was just so struck at how it resonates with previous antivaccine posts that I deconstructed long before the pandemic began that I thought it was worth a brief mention, even at the risk of readers reacting with a hearty, “Why did you waste your time on this?” I’m referring to a recent post that I inadvertently stumbled across on that loony antivax conspiracy site that’s even loonier than the average antivax conspiracy site, BolenReport entitled Was the V-Gasm Good for You?, complete with a photo of a woman apparently in the throes of an orgasm.

      • So You Got Vaccinated … And Then You Got COVID. Now What?

        But odds are fickle things. In a game of chance, not everybody gets to win, even if the odds of winning are high. Flint rolled … and he lost, diagnosed with a mostly asymptomatic case of COVID-19 on Jan. 25. That, by itself, wasn’t a shock. He’d known that some people would still get the virus despite being vaccinated. Even the mRNA vaccines’ famed “95 percent efficacy” was really a measure of how well the vaccines prevented symptomatic cases. But Flint didn’t expect to be one of the people who slipped through the cracks. More importantly, though, he expected somebody to care. “I thought there’d be some mechanism,” he said. But nobody asked him about his vaccine status when he got tested. There was nowhere to file that information with his doctor. And that was the part that confused Flint. “Shouldn’t somebody want to know?” he asked.

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Finnish IT Giant Hit with Ransomware Cyberattack [iophk: Windows TO]

          Norwegian business journal E24 reported the attack on Espoo, Finland-based TietoEVRY on Tuesday, claiming to have spoken with Geir Remman, a communications director at the company. Remman acknowledged technical problems with several services that TietoEVRY provides to 25 customers, which are “due to a ransom attack,” according to the report.

          Remman told E24 that the company considers the attack “a serious criminal act.” TietoEVRY turned off the unspecified services and infrastructure affected “as a preventative measure” until it can recover relevant data, and restart systems “in a controlled manner,” he said.

        • Pseudo-Open Source

          • Privatisation/Privateering

            • Linux Foundation

              • Sysdig Announces First eBPF Contribution To The CNCF

                Sysdig has contributed the sysdig kernel module, eBPF probe, and Falco libraries to the Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF). This extended Berkeley Packet Filter (eBPF) contribution is the first eBPF project to be added to the CNCF and it is one of the largest eBPF code bases in the open.

                The contributed source code has taken more than 100,000 hours to write and with the announcement today, it has moved into the Falco organization.

        • Security

          • Update CentOS Linux for free

            As you may know, in December 2020 IBM/Red Hat announced that CentOS Linux 8 will end in December 2021. Additionally, the updates for CentOS Linux 6 ended on November 30, 2020. If your organization relies on CentOS, you are faced with finding an alternative OS. The lack of regular updates puts these systems at increasing risk for major vulnerabilities with every passing day. A popular solution with minimal disruption is to simply point your CentOS systems to receive updates from Oracle Linux. This can be done anonymously and at no charge to your organization.

            With Oracle Linux, you can continue to benefit from a similar, stable CentOS alternative. Oracle Linux updates and errata are freely available and can be applied to CentOS or Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) instances without reinstalling the operating system. Just connect to the Oracle Linux yum server, and follow these instructions. Best of all, your apps continue to run as usual.

          • Malware in open-source web extensions

            Since the original creator has exclusive control over the account for the distribution channel (which is typically the user’s only gateway to the program), it logically follows that they are responsible for transferring control to future maintainers, despite the fact that they may only have the copyright on a portion of the software. Additionally, as the distribution-channel account is the property of the project owner, they can sell that account and the accompanying maintainership. After all, while the code of the extension might be owned by its larger community, the distributing account certainly isn’t.

            Such is what occurred for The Great Suspender, which was a Chrome extension on the Web Store that suspends inactive tabs, halting their scripts and releasing most of the resources from memory. In June 2020, Dean Oemcke, the creator and longtime maintainer, decided to move on from the project. He transferred the GitHub repository and the Web Store rights, announcing the change in a GitHub issue that said nothing about the identity of the new maintainer. The announcement even made a concerning mention of a purchase, which raises the question of who would pay money for a free extension, and why.

            Of course, as the vast majority of the users of The Great Suspender were not interested in its open-source nature, few of them noticed until October, when the new maintainer made a perfectly ordinary release on the Chrome Web Store. Well, perfectly ordinary except for the minor details that the release did not match the contents of the Git repository, was not tagged on GitHub, and lacked a changelog.

          • Apply Security Updates Now

            Nonetheless, many users fail to apply updates or perform upgrades in a timely fashion. For example, he notes that between 5% and 30% of users run Linux Mint 17.x, which no longer receives security updates. “If you are still using Linux Mint 17.x you need to back up your data and reinstall a modern version ASAP,” he says.

            The blog post provides simple steps for finding out which version of Linux Mint you’re running and applying all necessary updates to your machine.

          • How often should I rotate my ssh keys?

            My story for today is about ssh and how even public keys, while much better than simple passwords, are still not a perfect solution.

            The danger is credential theft, which is a fancy way of saying “someone stole your private keys.” Back in the 1990s, that problem was pretty far from our minds; Windows 98 didn’t even have the concept of a separate administrator account, never mind the idea of app sandboxing or the inkling that someone might intentionally want to load malware onto your computer and encrypt all your files for ransomware. Those were the days when some people thought ActiveX controls (essentially loading .exe files from web sites) might be a good idea. Actually, maybe even a great idea as long as there was an “are you sure?” dialog box first.

          • 4 of the Best LastPass Alternatives

            LastPass has recently changed its free account usage policy to be only available on one device, and a lot of its users are not happy about it. If you are a LastPass Free user and are looking to switch, here are four great LastPass alternatives you should check out. These services reserve their pricing tiers for more advanced, business-oriented users while still leaving free users with a powerful set of features to safeguard their online accounts data.

          • Security updates for Thursday

            Security updates have been issued by Arch Linux (ansible-base, keycloak, mumble, and postgresql), Debian (firefox-esr and nodejs), Fedora (dotnet3.1, dotnet5.0, keylime, php-horde-Horde-Text-Filter, radare2, scap-security-guide, and wireshark), openSUSE (postgresql, postgresql13 and python-djangorestframework), Red Hat (Ansible, firefox, and thunderbird), Scientific Linux (firefox and thunderbird), SUSE (php7, postgresql-jdbc, python-cryptography, rpmlint, and webkit2gtk3), and Ubuntu (dnsmasq, linux, linux-aws, linux-aws-5.4, linux-azure, linux-azure-5.4, linux-gcp, linux-gcp-5.4, linux-gke-5.4, linux-gkeop, linux-gkeop-5.4, linux-hwe-5.4, linux-kvm, linux-oracle, linux-oracle-5.4, linux-raspi, linux-raspi-5.4, linux, linux-aws, linux-aws-hwe, linux-azure, linux-azure-4.15, linux-dell300x, linux-gcp, linux-gcp-4.15, linux-gke-4.15, linux-hwe, linux-kvm, linux-oracle, linux-raspi2, linux-snapdragon, linux, linux-aws, linux-azure, linux-gcp, linux-hwe-5.8, linux-kvm, linux-oracle, linux-raspi, linux, linux-aws, linux-kvm, linux-lts-xenial, linux-raspi2, linux-snapdragon, linux-oem-5.10, linux-oem-5.6, screen, and xterm).

          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • Covid-19 vaccine passports for travel and work are coming: what are the implications for human rights, privacy and surveillance?

              These green passports will also allow residents to travel abroad without needing to be tested for the virus. The idea is beginning to spread. Air New Zealand will trial a digital vaccine passport on flights between Auckland and Sydney. The UK’s Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, is said to be considering the use of “Covid status certificates” – effectively vaccine passports – to allow people who have been vaccinated more freedom within the UK. One suggestion is that the UK’s Covid-19 tracing app could be used to display a person’s vaccine status. The Ada Lovelace Insitute, whose mission is “to ensure that data and AI work for people and society”, is troubled by this prospect. A group of experts convened by the Institute points out that:

            • Big Tech’s Top EU Data Watchdog Hits Back at ‘Ludicrous’ Critics

              Dixon’s agency has 27 privacy probes open targeting Apple Inc., Google and other tech companies that have set up an EU hub in Ireland, according to the latest annual report published Thursday. Facebook accounts for nine of these investigations and more are pending into its WhatsApp and Instagram units.

              The workload has sparked criticism that the authority is too slow to take action. Noyb, a group set up by privacy activist Max Schrems, called on EU authorities last year to “take action” against the Irish Data Protection Commission over its failure to issue any significant fines since the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation took effect in 2018.

            • Controversial EU Plans For Blanket Message And Chat Control: Second Trilogue Takes Place Today

              In 2020, the European Commission presented a legislative proposal that would allow providers to use error-prone technology to search all private chats, video conferences, messages and emails in a fully automated manner, without suspicion, for allegedly illegal depictions of minors and attempts to initiate contact with minors. If an algorithm reports a suspicious case, all message contents and contact data are automatically forwarded to a private distribution centre and on to police authorities worldwide without human verification. According to the police, up to 90% of the automated alerts incriminate innocent users. The users concerned are not notified. No judge needs to order this search. Trilogue negotiations on the controversial proposal are ongoing. The EU Commission is preparing follow-up legislation to make the error-prone content screening mandatory for all communications service providers.

              In recent weeks, experts, data protection commissioners and a child sexual abuse victim have sharply criticised the proposed legislation (so-called „ePrivacy derogation“). The bill was originally to be passed in a fast-track procedure and is now expected to be voted in April.

    • Defence/Aggression

      • Twitter’s Attempt to Suppress Grayzone Reporting Backfires as Warning Label Becomes Meme

        SAN FRANSICO — “These materials may have been attained through hacking.” That is the warning message that any Twitter users coming across a recent Grayzone investigative report are met with, replete with a large exclamation point (!) signaling danger.

      • The Empire’s Hidden Hand: How The US Established, Sustains and Benefits From Morocco’s Occupation of Western Sahara
      • Opinion | The Answer to the Climate Crisis Is Not More US Militarism

        Climate change poses an existential threat. That doesn’t mean we should further empower an already bloated Pentagon.

      • Syria, Right Now

        Syria has been such an amoral, deadly conflict, though conflict may not be the right word. It’s an all-out assault on the citizenry by the Syrian Defence Forces (SDF) and their partners, and enemies. Almost all the main arms manufacturers, including local players, have used the country for target practice. The SDF, eschewing the high-tech ordnance of their allies/foes, have just cut the crap and filled barrels with explosives and chucked them out of helicopters wherever they think unlucky civilians might be cowering below. It’s so low-tech it’s reminiscent of Greek fire. Yet deadly, and absolutely terrifying.

        6,000,000-plus have fled the country, with all the attendant horror, grief, personal loss, and regional destabilization that inevitably follows this horseman of the Apocalypse. Perhaps another 5,000,000 are internally displaced persons, or IDPs.

      • Biden signs executive order calling for semiconductor supply chain review

        President Biden signed an executive order Wednesday addressing growing concern over a global semiconductor shortage hampering the production of goods like automobiles and smartphones.

        The White House’s executive order directs the federal government to conduct 100-day reviews of supply chains in four sets of products, including computer chips and large capacity batteries, like those used in electric vehicles, according to administration officials.

      • Biden Orders Review to Shore Up Supply Chain Resiliency

        On top of the 100-day review of the four key industries, Biden’s order will also direct yearlong reviews for six sectors: defense, public health, information technology, transportation, energy and food production.

        Biden said his administration will implement the recommendations as soon as they are available. “We’re not going to wait for the review to be completed before we start closing the existing gaps,” he said.

      • Technology Executives Say All Evidence Points To Russia In Major Hack Of Computer Networks

        Smith told the committee that the true scope of the intrusions is still unknown because most victims are not legally required to disclose attacks unless they involve sensitive information about individuals.

      • Suspected Islamist insurgents strike northeast Nigeria’s main city, ten dead

        It was the worst attack for a year on Maiduguri, the government’s stronghold in the northeast and the heart of its conflict with Boko Haram jihadists in a shattering, decade-long war.

      • Abu Walaa, the preacher guilty of supporting ‘Islamic State’ terrorism

        The court in Celle on Wednesday sentenced him to 10.5 years in prison.

        Abu Walaa was arrested with four other suspects in 2016. The trial began in 2017. Prosecutors have sought sentences ranging from 4 1/2 to 10 years for three of the men. The other confessed and was sentenced to 3 1/2 years in April 2020.

        Abu Walaa even had connections to Anis Amri, the Tunisian refugee suspected of carrying out the 2016 Christmas market attack in Berlin, in which 12 people died. Amri was later killed in a shootout with police in Italy.

      • War for Water: foreign investor firepower over Australian farmers in water deals

        Murray Darling Basin expert Maryanne Slattery, director of Slattery and Johnston, believes that “the water market has been a disastrous experiment not just for the environment but for a whole lot of our industries and communities”.

        Slattery finds arguments in favour of a water market a bit like “first-year economic students claimed that the water goes to the highest value use”. A vast amount of water is being drawn away for various new foreign-owned tree nut farms downstream in the Murrumbidgee, she says.

    • Environment

      • Q&A with IDA Advocate Michael Lewis

        Michael Lewis is a dedicated advocate for dark skies and astronomy education. He met the founder of International Dark Sky Week, Ms. Jennifer Barlow, at an astronomy event years ago and it sparked his passion for protecting the night sky. Michael is also a member of the Richmond Astronomical Society and the AAVSO Variable Star Observers. He is actively working on Urban Night Sky Place designations to help more people in cities understand the value of a dark night sky. Get to know Michael and his work with the Q&A below.

      • Journalists and the Looming Superstorm of Climate Disinformation

        Texas had only just frozen over. In the wake of a devastating winter storm, millions in the state were without power and struggling to find warmth. They boiled snow for water; some were dying. And against all evidence, the climate-science-denying political right was grousing about windmills and blaming a Green New Deal that doesn’t yet exist.

      • The Green New Deal Threatens Republicans’ Bread and Butter (It’s not Just Competition in the Battle of Ideas)

        Even Texas’ deregulated energy market is still highly regulated. It is possible to have hugely different outcomes and incentives by structuring the market in slightly different ways. For example, since the supply of electricity to individual homes in inherently a monopoly relationship (no one will have two electrical hookups), the burden can be placed on the provider to ensure electricity in a specified price range, rather than structuring the market so the risk lies entirely with consumers.

        The latter makes little sense for free market types, since consumers both have no ability to assess the risk that their providers are taking, nor the ability to take steps to reduce the risk. If contracts were written so that the risks fell to the providers, this would provide the sort of market incentives that fans of the “free market” claim they value.

      • Energy

      • Wildlife/Nature

        • From Capture to Culture: Aquaculture in the US

          Now that the new administration is in office and rapidly attempting to reverse many of the policy priorities of its predecessor, marine advocates are watching to see what their posture will be toward aquaculture. But the push to expand fish farms is spurring a fiery debate, prompting calls from the U.S.-based commercial fishing industry for more support while drawing skepticism and critique from many marine biologist and environmentalists.

    • Finance

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • Biden’s Possible Strategic Blunder

        There is no sign of new thinking on our most important foreign policy problems, however—our relations with Russia and China.  Biden’s unnecessarily harsh campaign messages to Moscow and Beijing were designed for a domestic audience, but it means that Biden’s national security team is on a “short leash,” not only for reengaging both capitals but, more importantly, for trying to prevent movement toward a Sino-Russian alliance.

        There is no sign that Biden recognizes U.S. responsibility for the difficult relations  with  Moscow and Beijing.  The expansion of NATO and the aggressive deployment of U.S. and NATO forces in East Europe and the Baltics in violation of a verbal understanding between then-president George H.W. Bush and Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev is a key component of Russian-American friction.  Trump’s trade and tariff war as well as gratuitously tough rhetoric toward Beijing is part and parcel of Xi Jinping’s annoyance with Washington.

      • First English, Then American, and Now Muslim Francophobia

        C-Phobias

        In broad terms, phobias are sore beliefs about things, creatures, events, peoples, and nations. Prominent phobias involve persons and communities. Personal phobias are anxiety-producing states of mind, such as fear of heights, flying, and crowded spaces. By contrast, communal phobias (c-phobias) such as Islamophobia and Francophobia are disdainful stereotypes about race, religion, ethnicity, and nations. Racism, xenophobia, religious fanaticism, and supremacism nurture close bonds with c-phobias. Unlike personal phobias, no therapies are available to resolve c-phobias.

      • Amid Scrutiny of Tweets, Tanden’s Role in Killing a Union Website Should Not Be Forgotten

        Neera Tanden, president and CEO of the liberal Center for American Progress (CAP) think tank, may or may not be confirmed by the Senate as the Biden administration’s budget chief. Republicans and one conservative Democrat, Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia, may reject her based on her past of posting overly personal attacks against Republicans on Twitter. Those attacks also extended to independent socialist Sen. Bernie Sanders, although it is expected that he’ll vote for her (Newsweek, 2/11/21).

      • Facebook Remains a Threat to Democracy

        The Trump presidency will be remembered as the era when the absurdity of reality outpaced satire. Even with Trump out of the White House, it’s hard for any caricature to be quite as grotesque as what actually happens. On Monday, one of The Onion’s typical attempts to parody the daily news began, “In an effort to curtail the organization’s outsized influence, Facebook announced Monday that it would be implementing new steps to ensure the breakup of the U.S. government before it becomes too powerful.”

      • Opinion | Rush Limbaugh Was Vital to the Conservative Movement—and Paved the Road for Trump

        Limbaugh’s show taught disparate parts of the right that they should be one big happy family. 

      • Limbaugh Helped Create the Conservative Movement—and Paved the Road for Trump

        Rush Limbaugh died on February 17, leaving behind a legacy of lies, bigotry, science denial and conspiracy mongering—as well as a media and political system significantly transformed by his influence.

      • ‘We Can’t Act Like This Isn’t Happening’: Marjorie Taylor Greene—and House GOP Caucus—Rebuked for Bigoted, Anti-Trans Speech on House Floor

        “We’re gonna pass the #EqualityAct today, protect our LGBTQ+ family, and make the world a little bit better,” tweeted Rep. Ocasio-Cortez following the remarks. “Nothing is going to stop that.”

      • The Mass Deception Machine of Computational Propaganda

        Today, these techniques are increasingly used on voters in democratic countries by politicians, lobbyists,  astroturf PR and political parties. Telling organised lies and creating mass deception helps right-wing politicians get elected and stay in power once elected. Britain’s BoJo and Donald Trump are prime examples. Boris Johnson’s lies got so bad that a special website has been created: boris-johnson-lies.com while Trump runs on the “15 most notable lies” and well above 20,000 falsehoods.

        Today, in conjunction with computational propaganda, the mass deception machine has made sure that in several democratic countries, political leaders have been elected. They tend to reject scientific findings – on global warming, for example – and the concept that governmental decision should be based on evidence rather than myths, conspiracy fantasies and alternative facts.

      • Romney Says Trump Will Be GOP Nominee If He Runs in 2024
      • Russia’s opposition will mark the sixth anniversary of Boris Nemtsov’s assassination with a memorial event, not a march, due to pandemic restrictions

        A coalition of opposition activists and politicians is calling on supporters of Boris Nemtsov to mark the sixth anniversary of his assassination by leaving flowers at the Bolshoy Moskvoretsky Bridge in Moscow, where the former deputy prime minister was shot and killed on February 27, 2015.

      • In a new interview, Putin’s alleged illegitimate daughter says ‘a lot of people’ look like the president

        In November 2020, the investigative news outlet Proekt reported that a woman named Svetlana Krivonogikh owns a minority share in Rossiya Bank, which she apparently owes to an intimate relationship with Vladimir Putin. Journalists also discovered that Krivonogikh’s daughter, Luiza Rozova, bears a striking resemblance to Russia’s president, leading to speculation that Rozova is Putin’s illegitimate child, though the Kremlin has dismissed these rumors as “tabloid” speculation. 

      • Sheryl Sandberg and Top Facebook Execs Silenced an Enemy of Turkey to Prevent a Hit to the Company’s Business

        As Turkey launched a military offensive against Kurdish minorities in neighboring Syria in early 2018, Facebook’s top executives faced a political dilemma.

        Turkey was demanding the social media giant block Facebook posts from the People’s Protection Units, a mostly Kurdish militia group the Turkish government had targeted. Should Facebook ignore the request, as it has done elsewhere, and risk losing access to tens of millions of users in Turkey? Or should it silence the group, known as the YPG, even if doing so added to the perception that the company too often bends to the wishes of authoritarian governments?

      • Twitter removes hundreds of accounts it says are linked to Iran, Russia, Armenia

        The company said it had taken down 238 accounts operating from Iran for various violations of its policies.

        Twitter said 100 accounts with Russian ties were removed for amplifying narratives that undermined faith in NATO and targeted the United States and the European Union.

      • Australia passes law requiring Facebook and Google to pay for news content

        The News Media Bargaining Code requires Facebook and Google to pay a negotiated fee to link to or use news content, and includes a mandatory arbitration process if an agreement on fees can’t be reached. It also asks tech companies to give advance notice to news organizations about upcoming algorithm changes. It’s the threat of arbitration that both Google and Facebook had hoped to avoid, a process whereby an independent body decides the value of news content in news feeds and search results.

        The law is currently designed to target Facebook and Google specifically, but in the future it could be expanded to other platforms “where fundamental bargaining power imbalances with Australian news businesses emerge.” However, amendments to the law mean the government can also take into account any commercial agreements a tech company has made with news publishers before formally designating it as a platform under the code. The law is due to be reviewed a year after it comes into effect to assess its impact.

      • Australia Passes Law Making Facebook, Google Pay for News

        Among key concessions, Google and Facebook are free to decide themselves which commercial deals to pursue. And if the government decides they’ve made a sufficient contribution to the local news industry, they won’t be designated under the law. If the government does decide to apply the code, the companies will be given one month’s notice, and will also have more time to strike deals with media publishers before they’re forced into final-offer arbitration as a last resort.

      • Special Forces to build ‘influence artillery’ for online campaigns

        The center, to be based at Fort Bragg, will consolidate the command’s psychological operations capabilities and will wrap around other information related capabilities such as cyber and space, Col. Ed Croot, chief of staff at 1st Special Forces Command, said in a Feb. 17 virtual presentation for AFCEA TechNet Augusta.

      • Facebook Pledges $1B in News Investments Over 3 Years

        Facebook on Wednesday pledged to invest at least $1 billion to support journalism over the next three years as the social media giant defended its handling of a dispute with Australia over payments to media organizations.

        Nick Clegg, head of global affairs, said in a statement that the company was willing to support news media while reiterating its concerns about mandated payments.

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • Opinion | Guardian’s Firing of Nathan Robinson Over Israel Joke Highlights Paper’s Rightward Drift

        “What this shows is that even at the Guardian, the editors want to very tightly police what writers say on Israel/Palestine.”

      • Twitter Deletes Dozens of Russian Accounts for “Undermining Faith in NATO”

        Social media giant Twitter announced yesterday that it has deleted 373 accounts it claims were linked to Russia, Iran, and Armenia. In a blog post entitled “Disclosing networks of state-linked information operations,” it claimed that it had taken the decision to remove 69 Russian accounts primarily because they were “undermining faith in the NATO alliance and its stability.”The move sparked controversy on Twitter itself, with many users joking that their own fealty to NATO was insufficiently zealous.

      • Facebook has triumphed in govt stoush and nothing has changed: Budde

        While all the information blocked by Facebook could be found on the publishers’ individual sites, Budde said Facebook was a well-known, integrated platform and used by a majority of Australians. Thus the organisations that provided services to the public would be the ones that suffered due to the blocking of content.

      • Author Osman Haneef on his debut novel and being an ‘outsider-insider’

        The novel, which was recently republished for Pakistan, is about a Christian boy accused of blasphemy ― a crime punishable by death. Though the novel is a complete work of fiction, according to Haneef, it hits close to home because the trial is inspired by an actual one from the 1990s.

      • ‘The United States vs. Billie Holiday’ Review: Scattered but Scorching, and a Must-See for Andra Day’s Performance

        “The United States vs. Billie Holiday” opens with a ghastly historic photograph of a Black man being lynched. Holiday rose to fame in no small part because of her nightclub performances of “Strange Fruit,” a poetic and spellbinding evocation of the horror of lynching — but from the start it was a dangerous song, and the story of “Strange Fruit” is at the heart of the movie. The way Billie performs it, it’s not just a haunting number; it’s a news bulletin, a work of the fiercest possible political art. That’s what makes the song (and her) a sensation, and why racist forces within the government, led by J. Edgar Hoover, decide that they have to shut it down. The movie, written by the playwright and novelist Suzan-Lori Parks (“Topdog/Underdog”), jams a lot of the overheated drama you’re expecting into the first half hour. It’s 1947, and even the officers of the Federal Bureau of Narcotics, led by the angry weasel Harry Anslinger (Garrett Hedlund), concede that they can’t arrest a performer for singing a song. But they know that Billie is a heroin addict, so they decide to go after her on drugs. The movie is matter-of-fact when it comes to shooting up; it shows us how Billie hides her track marks and functions (rather ably) from high to high. (She also likes to use before going onstage, as many jazz musicians of the time did.) She’s married to her manager (Erik LaRay Harvey), who treats her like property, but she forms a bond with Jimmy Fletcher (Trevante Rhodes), a veteran who keeps showing up in uniform, hanging out backstage, all warm supportive smiles. He’s drop-dead handsome and sincere, but he’s a touch mysterious and seems a little too good to be true. Which he is.

        Arrested for using narcotics, Billie spends a year in the slammer, gets clean, and at that point — right? — it’s up to her to turn her life around. Yet Daniels’ view of Billie is more complex, more radical than that. Billie chooses to stay on the smack, but the pain she’s exorcising comes from circumstances that are beyond scalding. (We see glimpses of her childhood, with her prostitute mother trying to turn her out when she’s just 10.) Back from jail, she’s popular enough to pack Carnegie Hall (and her performance there is a triumph), but she’s denied her cabaret card, so outside of Philly and Washington, D.C., she can’t play in any club, which effectively chokes off her career. Her punishment for singing “Strange Fruit” is to have her life as an entertainer placed in chains. She forms an alliance with John Levy (Tone Bell), a domineering smoothie who owns Club Ebony in New York, and who has paid off the cops to let her sing. But as she discovers, that’s a Faustian bargain too.

      • The Threat Against Free Speech on Hungary’s Airwaves

        Klubrádió has been highly critical of the current government—among other reasons, because of the Memorial for Victims of the German Occupation, which the government erected in 2014. It marked the 70th anniversary of the systemic deportation of Jewish Hungarians from the whole country, with the exception of Budapest, in 1944. The monument puts the blame on the Germans, but the deportation was arranged with brutality and record speed by the Hungarian administration itself.

        As an open forum for public discourse, Klubrádió has challenged a range of government policies, including those bearing on public memory and press freedom. Klubrádió was the only major independent radio station on the air in Hungary, where the governing party has abused its two-thirds majority in Parliament since 2010. The government started with a media law allowing itself to select all five members of the FCC-like Media Council—possible in a member state of the European Union, which lacks a federalist safeguard against such a fundamental threat to free speech.

    • Freedom of Information/Freedom of the Press

      • U.S. report on Khashoggi death expected to single out Saudi crown prince: sources

        In 2019, a U.N. human rights investigator, Agnes Callamard, accused Saudi Arabia of a “deliberate, premeditated execution” of Khashoggi and called for further investigation.

        “There is sufficient credible evidence regarding the responsibility of the crown prince demanding further investigation,” Callamard said after the six-month probe.

        A classified version of the report was shared with members of Congress in late 2018.

      • New public report to blame Saudi crown prince for 2018 killing of Jamal Khashoggi

        White House press secretary Jen Psaki told reporters Wednesday that Biden would communicate with the Saudi king, rather than his son the crown prince. She said the declassified report was being prepared for release soon.

      • US Report on Khashoggi Death Expected to Single Out Saudi Crown Prince, Sources Say

        A declassified version of a U.S. intelligence report expected to be released Thursday finds that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman approved the 2018 killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, four U.S. officials familiar with the matter said.

        The officials said the report, for which the CIA was the main contributor, assessed that the crown prince approved and likely ordered the murder of Khashoggi, whose Washington Post column had criticized the crown prince’s policies.

      • Scoop: Biden will call Saudi king ahead of damning report

        President Biden plans to call Saudi Arabia’s King Salman on Wednesday, ahead of the public release of a potentially damning intelligence report about the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, a source briefed on the call told Axios.

      • Man sentenced to 15 years for murder of Maltese anti-corruption journalist

        One of three men accused of carrying out the 2017 assassination of Maltese anti-corruption journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia pleaded guilty on Tuesday and was sentenced to 15 years in jail.

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • Biden Canceled Trump’s “Remain in Mexico” Policy, But Asylum Seekers Still Wait in Squalid Refugee Camps

        One of the most controversial Trump-era immigration policies — the so-called Remain in Mexico program, officially called the Migrant Protection Protocols — left about 25,000 asylum seekers stranded on the other side of the border while their cases progressed through U.S. courts. President Joe Biden has suspended that program, but immigrant advocates say his administration needs to move more quickly to undo the damage. Although dozens of asylum seekers have been allowed to trickle in, many thousands are still waiting in dangerous conditions for their chance to cross the border, including in the Matamoros refugee camp across the border from Brownsville, Texas. It is the largest camp of its kind and holds hundreds of men, women and children seeking asylum, most of them fleeing extreme violence and poverty in Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras. “We’ve gotten very little government support on the ground with this transition,” says Chloe Rastatter, a field engineer for Solidarity Engineering, a humanitarian organization that provides support in the Matamoros camp. “They say MPP is over, but there’s a camp of 1,000 people still here.” We also speak with Dison, an asylum seeker from Honduras who works with Solidarity Engineering, and investigative reporter Valerie Gonzalez, who covers the Rio Grande Valley.

      • Opinion | What Is a Migrant Worth?

        Communicating the value of people and nature in financial terms comes at a cost.

      • Putin signs law that raises penalties for disobeying law enforcement and makes it harder to finance demonstrations

        Protesting in Russia just got a bit riskier. On Wednesday, President Putin signed legislation that raises the penalties for disobeying police officers, including at public assemblies, and for violating new rules on financing mass demonstrations. 

      • ‘Anything to further my Communist agenda’: Another day’s developments in Navalny’s loss of ‘prisoner of conscience’ status at Amnesty International

        Some new details emerged on Wednesday about the human rights organization Amnesty International’s decision to rescind Alexey Navalny’s “prisoner of conscience” status. As reported yesterday, the group has determined that Navalny’s past advocacy of anti-migrant positions constitutes hate speech. Today, more of the organization’s staff in Russia confirmed Navalny’s new designation. Also, several new encounters online fueled additional anger and ridicule. 

      • Protest Song Of The Week: ‘Different Streets’ By Made Kuti

        Fela Kuti was a pioneer of Afrobeat and one of the most important socially conscious musicians of all-time. He was also announced as one of 16 nominees for induction into the 2021 class of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. The nomination is a long-overdue acknowledgment for an influential artist who transcended genres.

        Fela’s legacy has been carried on by his oldest son Femi and youngest son Seun, who have both established themselves as successful Afrobeat artists. And now, Made, who is Femi’s son, hopes to follow in the footsteps of his father and grandfather.

      • Whistleblowers: Flawed Software Held Hundreds Of Prisoners Past Release Dates

        In June 2019, Arizona enacted SB 1310, a bill that allowed inmates with drug convictions shave up to 30 percent off of their sentence if they completed programs that help inmates get their GED or train for a job.

        But ACIS can’t handle SB 1310 calculations, the whistleblowers told KJZZ, and their bosses were well aware of the problem. That means that inmates who were either eligible or even already completed the SB 1310 programs still ended up serving their entire, original sentences.

      • The Yazidi Women Who Do Not Want to Be Known

        More than six years later, many of these women prefer to be known as IS wives rather than members of the ancient religious group they were born into. They fear that by revealing their identities, they could permanently be separated from their children, according to experts and Yazidi survivors.

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

    • Monopolies

      • Devialet: Navigating ‘the Wild West of online sales’ [Ed: The "Sponsored by" part of this post says who paid for such propaganda of robber barons and their lawyers]
      • Patents

        • How beauty brands take personal care of their patents [Ed: Patents of so-called 'beauty brands' (not trademarks but patents) serve to show how perverse and laughable patent law has universally become because of lobbying/bribery (law on sale)]

          Counsel from three beauty companies explain how they draft better patent claims and why freedom to operate opinions can be challenging

        • Obviousness of a Substitution

          The HFCs and HFOs apparently have lower global environmental impact, but lack the lubricant-performance of chlorine-containing CFCs. The invention balances these factors by mixing them all together. The prior art disclosed the combination of A&B and also the combination of B&C, but did not expressly disclose the full three-way combination.

          Substitution: In its discussion, the court focused on the obviousness of a substitution because the prior art spoke of two forms HFO-1234yf. One form that only contains HFOs (B only); and another form that includes small amounts of CFCs (B and C). The PTAB and FedCir agreed that, in this case it would have been obvious to start with the A&B combination and then substitute the B&C version of HFO-1234yf in place of the B only version found in the primary reference.

          The US Supreme Court most recently wrote about obviousness substitutions in KSR Int’l Co. v. Teleflex Inc., 550 U.S. 398, 416 (2007).

        • Sisvel v. Haier II: Further insights on German judiciary’s FRAND approach

          IPKat friends, Professor Peter Georg Picht, and PhD student Erik Habich, from the university of Zurich, share with us further insights on the German FRAND approach.

          Only seven months after the German Federal Court of Justice (Bundesgerichtshof) handed down its first decision on the CJEU’s Huawei/ZTE mechanism for licensing Standard Essential Patents (SEPs) on Fair, Reasonable and Non-Discriminatory (FRAND) terms (FRAND-Einwand; Katpost here), the Antitrust Senate (Kartellsenat) had to decide again, in parallel proceedings between the same parties, and handed down the written reasoning this week.

          The decision FRAND-Einwand II confirms the Court’s stance taken in FRAND-Einwand. However, the Court clarified several important, additional questions that had been controversial before lower courts: Summarily speaking, the reasoning (i) proposes a process-oriented approach to FRAND as opposed to a content-oriented approach, (ii) reemphasizes the importance of willingness to license, (iii) adds flexibility to the Huawei/ZTE conduct obligations, (iv) asserts that the Court’s position is in accord with Huawei/ZTE and Art. 102 TFEU, and (v) rejects a patent ambush defense against subsequent SEP owners.

          [...]

          Almost 20 pages longer than FRAND-Einwand, FRAND-Einwand II devotes roughly one third of the written reasoning to patent infringement. However, this post shall focus on the implementer’s competition law-based right to a compulsory FRAND license, framed as a procedural defense (kartellrechtlicher Zwangslizenzeinwand) against the action for infringement.

          Regarding market dominance as a prerequisite for the applicability of Art. 102 TFEU (and the parallel provision in German competition law), the Court reiterates its findings on this point from FRAND-Einwand. The Court assumed a separate licensing market for a patent that is (as a matter of fact) essential to the standardized technology and non-substitutable by any alternative product configuration without losing important functionality on the product market. Any mobile communications device that does not implement the teaching would not be competitive. Noteworthily, the Court made less of an effort than in FRAND-Einwandto describe how exactly the invention is essential and non-substitutable (without loss of important functionality), although the case concerned a different standard than FRAND-Einwand. While restating that, despite the legal barrier to market entry created by the patent, exceptional circumstances may prevent a finding of dominance of the SEP-owner, the Court again did not find such circumstances to be present.

        • Impact of Brexit on IP law [Ed: This piece spreads falsehoods about UPC, saying "plans are still underway for the Unified Patent Court," which is what they've been saying in vain for a decade or more]

          Plans are still underway for the Unified Patent Court, which would enable proprietors of inventions to apply for a single, pan-European Unitary Patent covering most of Europe, and would create a single court to hear and determine patent disputes on a pan-European basis. Whenever the Unified Patent Court is finalised, the UK will not form part of it, and a pan-European Unitary Patent will not cover the UK.

        • “Opt-Out” – Companies With Business Interests in Europe Need to Assess Their Patent Portfolio Now [Ed: Incredible lies this week about the UPC which is failing again and again; Squire Patton Boggs wants to make “sales”, so it is lying to clients and the public]

          The Unified Patent Court (UPC) is one major step closer to entry into force, as the German upper parliament (Bundesrat) recently voted on and approved…

        • Software Patents

          • In-house: FRAND wars coming to connected homes [Ed: Software patent wars going after homes now, and patent zealots couldn't be happier (they back trolls, take money from trolls)]

            SEP owners and implementers warn that the same battles seen in the automotive industry will soon spread to the IoT

      • Copyrights

        • Denuvo Cracker EMPRESS “Arrested”, Blames Repacker FitGirl & Reddit For Witch-Hunt

          Last year, games cracker EMPRESS told pirates that if they wanted Denuvo-protected games cracked and placed online, they would have to help fund that. While controversial, over the past few weeks this proposal has been overshadowed by a catastrophic social-media-fueled meltdown that has culminated – if reports are to be believed – in EMPRESS being targeted by the police.

        • Record Labels Blame YouTube For a Lot of Things But Continue to Upload Music

          A UK parliamentary inquiry has once again revealed that many music industry insiders are not happy with YouTube. The platform is a source of piracy and doesn’t pay nearly enough to rightsholders, they claim. On top of that, it’s also seen as an important reason why subscription services such as Spotify can’t raise their prices. Meanwhile, labels continue to upload their music to YouTube.

        • Open Minds: Celebrating Smithsonian Open Access With Effie Kapsalis

          To mark this occasion, we reconnected with Effie Kapsalis (Senior Digital Program Officer, Smithsonian) for our new 20th-anniversary podcast, “Open Minds…from Creative Commons.”

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DecorWhat Else is New


  1. IRC Proceedings: Friday, October 22, 2021

    IRC logs for Friday, October 22, 2021



  2. [Meme] [Teaser] Crime Express

    The series about Battistelli's "Strike Regulations" (20 parts thus far) culminates as the next station is the Balkan region



  3. Links 23/10/2021: Star Labs/StarLite, Ventoy 1.0.56

    Links for the day



  4. Gemini on Sourcehut and Further Expansion of Gemini Space

    Gemini protocol is becoming a widely adopted de facto standard for many who want to de-clutter the Internet by moving away from the World Wide Web and HTML (nowadays plagued by JavaScript, CSS, and many bloated frameworks that spy)



  5. Unlawful Regimes Even Hungary and Poland Would Envy

    There’s plenty of news reports about Polish and Hungarian heads of states violating human rights, but never can one find criticism of the EPO’s management doing the same (the mainstream avoids this subject altogether); today we examine how that area of Europe voted on the illegal "Strike Regulations" of Benoît Battistelli



  6. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part XX: The Visegrád Group

    The EPO‘s unlawful “Strike Regulations” (which helped Benoît Battistelli and António Campinos illegally crush or repress EPO staff) were supported by only one among 4 Visegrád delegates



  7. [Meme] IBM Has Paid ZDNet to Troll the Community

    Over the past few weeks ZDNet has constantly published courses with the word "master" in their headlines (we caught several examples; a few are shown above); years ago this was common, also in relation to IBM itself; clearly IBM thinks that the word is racially sensitive and offensive only when it's not IBM using the word and nowadays IBM pays ZDNet — sometimes proxying through the Linux Foundation — to relay this self-contradictory message whose objective is to shame programmers, Free software communities etc. (through guilt they can leverage more power and resort to projection tactics, sometimes outright slander which distracts)



  8. [Meme] ILO Designed to Fail: EPO Presidents Cannot be Held Accountable If ILOAT Takes Almost a Decade to Issue a Simple Ruling

    The recent ILOAT ruling (a trivial no-brainer) inadvertently reminds one of the severe weaknesses of ILOAT; what good is a system of accountability that issues rulings on decisions that are barely relevant anymore (or too late to correct)?



  9. Links 22/10/2021: Trump's AGPL Violations and Chrome 95 Released

    Links for the day



  10. [Meme] How Corporate Monopolies Demonise Critics of Their Technically and Legally Problematic 'Products'

    When the technical substance of some criticism stands (defensible based upon evidence), and is increasingly difficult to refute based on facts, make up some fictional issue — a straw man argument — and then respond to that phony issue based on no facts at all



  11. Links 22/10/2021: Global Encryption Day

    Links for the day



  12. [Meme] Speaking the Same Language

    Language inside the EPO is misleading. Francophones Benoît Battistelli and António Campinos casually misuse the word “social”.



  13. António Campinos Thinks Salary Reductions Months Before He Leaves is “Exceptional Social Gesture”

    Just as Benoît Battistelli had a profound misunderstanding of the concept of “social democracy” his mate seems to completely misunderstand what a “social gesture” is (should have asked his father)



  14. IRC Proceedings: Thursday, October 21, 2021

    IRC logs for Thursday, October 21, 2021



  15. Links 21/10/2021: MX Linux 21 and Git Contributors’ Summit in a Nutshell

    Links for the day



  16. [Meme] [Teaser] Miguel de Icaza on CEO of Microsoft GitHub

    Our ongoing series, which is very long, will shed much-needed light on GitHub and its goals (the dark side is a lot darker than people care to realise)



  17. Gemini Protocol and Gemini Space Are Not a Niche; for Techrights, Gemini Means Half a Million Page Requests a Month

    Techrights on gemini:// has become very big and we’ll soon regenerate all the pages (about 37,500 of them) to improve clarity, consistency, and general integrity



  18. 'Satellite States' of EPO Autocrats

    Today we look more closely at how Baltic states were rendered 'voting fodder' by large European states, looking to rubber-stamp new and oppressive measures which disempower the masses



  19. [Meme] Don't Mention 'Brexit' to Team UPC

    It seems perfectly clear that UPC cannot start, contrary to what the EPO‘s António Campinos told the Council last week (lying, as usual) and what the EPO insinuates in Twitter; in fact, a legal challenge to this should be almost trivial



  20. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part IXX: The Baltic States

    How unlawful EPO rules were unsurprisingly supported by Benoît Battistelli‘s friends in Baltic states; António Campinos maintained those same unlawful rules and Baltic connections, in effect liaising with offices known for their corruption (convicted officials, too; they did not have diplomatic immunity, unlike Battistelli and Campinos)



  21. Links 21/10/2021: GIMP 2.99.8 Released, Hardware Shortages, Mozilla Crisis

    Links for the day



  22. How Oppressive Governments and Web Monopolists Might Try to Discourage Adoption of Internet Protocols Like Gemini

    Popular movements and even some courageous publications have long been subverted by demonisation tactics, splits along unrelated grounds (such as controversial politics) and — failing that — technical sabotage and censorship; one must familiarise oneself with commonly-recurring themes of social control by altercation



  23. [Meme] Strike Triangulations, Reception Issues

    Financial strangulations for Benoît Battistelli‘s unlawful “Strike Regulations”? The EPO will come to regret 2013…



  24. [Meme] Is Saying “No!” to Unlawful Proposals Considered “Impolite”?

    A ‘toxic mix’ of enablers and cowards (who won’t vote negatively on EPO proposals which they know to be unlawful) can serve to show that the EPO isn’t a “social democracy” as Benoît Battistelli liked to call it; it’s just a dictatorship, currently run by the son of a person who actually fought dictatorship



  25. IRC Proceedings: Wednesday, October 20, 2021

    IRC logs for Wednesday, October 20, 2021



  26. [Meme] EPO Legal Sophistry and Double Dipping

    An imaginary EPO intercept of Administrative Council discussions in June 2013...



  27. Links 21/10/2021: PostgreSQL JDBC 42.3.0 and Maui Report

    Links for the day



  28. [Meme] [Teaser] “Judge a Person Both by His Friends and Enemies”

    Fervent supporters of Team Battistelli or Team Campinos (a dark EPO era) are showing their allegiances; WIPO and EPO have abused staff similarly over the past decade or so



  29. 'Cluster-Voting' in the European Patent Office/Organisation (When a Country With 1.9 Million Citizens Has the Same Voting Power as a Country With 83.1 Million Citizens)

    Today we examine who has been running the Finnish patent office and has moreover voted in the EPO during the ballot on unlawful "Strike Regulations"; they voted in favour of manifestly illegal rules and for 8.5 years after that (including last Wednesday) they continued to back a shady regime which undermines the EPO's mission statement



  30. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part XVIII: Helsinki's Accord

    The Finnish outpost has long been strategic to the EPO because it can help control the vote of four or more nations; evidence suggests this has not changed


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