A Call for Calm and for Unison

Posted in Site News at 9:27 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: Please do not get carried away by people who try to tear Free software apart

THE events of the past week were not news. They were a phony old ‘scandal’ resurrected for selfish purposes of corporations that hate the C word (“community”) and the F word (“freedom”).

“Over the weekend we’ll post some calm analyses of recent events.”We have not said much about this topic. This was intentional. Infighting weakens us. This is what they want. Angry mobs want us to fight. Let’s not stoop down to the mob’s level. Let’s do better than that.

Write positive things about software freedom. Don’t resent. Forget and forgive. Move on.

Over the weekend we’ll post some calm analyses of recent events. We’ll attempt to show the forces at play and their objectives/agenda.

All based on the underlying facts, not emotions (like anger and hysteria).

Links 27/3/2021: Wine 6.5 Released, Data Blaster, Livepatch Has Issues

Posted in News Roundup at 9:18 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Desktop/Laptop

      • 10 Best Linux distro based on Ubuntu for laptops or PC 2021

        Performance is generally not the first word that comes to mind when someone mentions laptops. More portability and battery life are one of the primary requirements. Of course, no one wants to sacrifice power or speed and that is why more and more people switch to Linux. Some do it to revive old hardware and others generally have tried and grown to love the open-source garden. The added security is also a great selling point during these times.
        Linux mint has been time tested and is the go-to recommendation for Ubuntu-based laptop distros. It runs on minimal resources and is extremely lightweight for the punch that it packs. We all have come across distros that make us install basic tools later. Ain’t nobody got time for that.

        We have to be up and running as soon as possible. Mint eliminates this hassle as it ships with almost all the basic tools that you might require. It is also easy on the eyes and does not deviate too much from the look and feel of the mainstream OS’s and closely resembles layouts that you might already be used to if you’re new and switching to Linux.

        However, if you switched just to leverage the insane customizability options that Linux offers or maybe you just don’t like the stock look and want something a little more aesthetic, Mint is based on Ubuntu and most desktop and window managers should work out of the box without a tonne of setup or tinkering. Mint also receives a huge thumbs up for supporting Nvidia drivers. Great for machine learning developers, gamers, etc.

        Well, what if you don’t want to use Linux Mint because it is not the only Linux distro that is based on Ubuntu and that’s why we are here with some best and well-known Linux distributions based on Ubuntu to offer an easy to use interface and its own flavor…

    • Audiocasts/Shows

    • Kernel Space

      • OpenRazer 3.0.0 Adds Linux Support For 15 New Razer Devices

        OpenRazer is a user-space driver daemon graphical programs can interact with to give you control over Razer keyboard, mice, mousemats, headsets and several other devices. The latest release adds support for 15 new Razer devices including the DeathAdder V2 Mini and Pro, the Huntsman Mini and the Chroma Charging Pad.


        Don’t worry if you have a Razer device that is not listed above; those are only the ones that are new to this release. The complete list of all Razer devices suppoted by OpenRazer, which can be found at openrazer.github.io, is much, much longer. Any Razer device you happen to have that’s more than a month old is probably supported.

        You can acquire the source code for OpenRazer 3.0.0 from github.com/openrazer/openrazer/releases/. Keep in mind that it is just a driver daemon, you will need a graphical program such as RazerGenie, Polychromatic or Chroma Feedback to actually control your Razer device(s).

      • NZXT Kraken Driver Queued For Introduction In Linux 5.13

        Last week we noted how a kernel driver for NZXT’s Kraken AIO liquid cooling devices was under review for the mainline kernel. Shortly after that point the driver did get successfully picked up for hwmon-next and thus should be appearing in the upcoming Linux 5.13 cycle.

        For those with an KZXT Kraken X42 / X52 / X62 / X72 all-in-one liquid cooling setup, Linux 5.13 should be mainlining this community-maintained driver. This driver was developed via reverse-engineering the NZXT Kraken USB protocol. This has been years in the making with the NZXT Kraken support for Linux with this “nzxt-kraken2″ kernel driver previously maintained out-of-tree as part of the Liquidctl project.

    • Benchmarks

      • Samsung 980 NVMe SSD Linux Performance

        Earlier this month Samsung announced the 980 (non-PRO) NVMe solid-state driver offering a combination of speed and affordability for consumers. Many Linux readers have been curious about this Samsung 980 DRAM-less SSD so here are some initial benchmarks of it. Overall, it’s been working out well under Linux.

        The Samsung 980 SSD offers good performance at a lower price than the Samsung 980 PRO and other more premium solid-state drives. By doing away with the DRAM is one of the cost savings. The Samsung 980 leverages Host Memory Buffer (HMB) usage and new sixth-generation VNAND in helping to overcome the lack of DRAM and its usage of TLC memory. The Samsung 980 is also a PCIe 3.0 drive, not PCIe 4.0. The Samsung 980 uses a Pablo controller. The 1TB Samsung 980 NVMe SSD drive launched at $129 USD, the 500GB version for just $69, and the 250GB version for $49.

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • How to install ReactJS with Nginx proxy on CentOS 8

        React is a free and open-source JavaScript library developed by Facebook. It is used for creating web frontend and UI components. It is often used for developing Web Applications or Mobile Apps. It allows developers to create reusable components that are independent of each other. It can be used with other libraries including, Axios, JQuery AJAX, or the browser built-in window.fetch.

      • How to Install and Configure VNC on Ubuntu 20.04 | Linuxize

        Virtual Network Computing (VNC) is a graphical desktop sharing system that allows you to use your keyboard and mouse to control another computer remotely. It is an open-source alternative to the Microsoft remote desktop protocol (RDP).

        This article explains how to install and configure a VNC server on Ubuntu 20.04. We’ll also show you how to securely connect to the VNC server through an SSH tunnel.

      • How to install the Pritunl VPN server on Ubuntu Server 20.04 – TechRepublic

        At this point in the game, you probably have several employees that will be working from home permanently. That being the case, you might need to deploy a VPN or two, to virtualize your private networks. There are several tools available to make this possible. One such VPN is the open source Pritunl VPN Server. One of the reasons why I like Pritunl for this task is that it includes a very user-friendly, web-based GUI for the management of the VPN.

        I want to walk you through the process of installing Pritunl on Ubuntu Server 20.04. The process is fairly easy and should allow you to start configuring your VPN to perfectly meet your needs within minutes.

      • How to install Gimp 3 Beta on a Chromebook

        Today we are looking at how to install Gimp 3 Beta on a Chromebook. Please follow the video/audio guide as a tutorial where we explain the process step by step and use the commands below.

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

      • Celebrate 30 Years of Linux With Training & Certification Offer

        On August 25, 1991, Linus Torvalds posted the now famous Usenet message announcing he was building a free operating system. In the 30 years since, that operating system – Linux – has become the most important open source software project in history, powering all supercomputers, serving as the backbone of the cloud and internet, running a majority of mobile phones and mainframe computers, and even operating on the International Space Station.

        After all this time Linux is more important than ever. In fact, the 2020 Open Source Jobs Report from The Linux Foundation and edX found that Linux is the most in demand skill amongst technical hiring managers. This is largely due to rapidly growing adoption of cloud technologies which run on Linux.

      • Microarchitecture rpm macros

        During Hackweek 20 at SUSE I created some rpm macros to create packages easily that use the glibc-hwcaps feature. There’s a post with the journal from the hackweek in case you want to read it. Here I’ll just explain how to use the new macros I created.

      • LetsEncrypt SSL certificates for vhosts within the mail stack – via Postfix (SMTP) and Dovecot (IMAP)

        For a long time, I didn’t care about using self-signed SSL certificates for the mail stack because 1) they still secured the connection to the server, and 2) those certificates weren’t seen or utilised by anyone other than me. However, for my datacentre infrastructure which houses clients’ websites and email, using self-signed or generic certificates (even for the mail stack) wasn’t a very good solution as mail clients (e.g Thunderbird or Outlook) notify users of the problematic certs. Clients with dedicated mail servers could use valid certificates (freely from LetsEncrypt) without problem, but those on shared infrastructure posed a different issue—how can mail for different domains all sharing the same IPv4 address use individualised certificates for their SMTP and IMAP connections? This article will explain the method that I used to assign domain-specific certificates for the full mail stack using LetsEncrypt’s certbot for the certs themselves, the Postfix MTA (mail transfer agent [for SMTP]), and the Dovecot IMAP server. This article is tailored to Gentoo Linux, but should be easily applied to nearly any distribution.

      • How to install OpenOffice 4.1.9 on a Chromebook

        Today we are looking at how to install OpenOffice 4.1.9 on a Chromebook. Please follow the video/audio guide as a tutorial where we explain the process step by step and use the commands below.

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

        This tutorial will only work on Chromebooks with an Intel or AMD CPU (with Linux Apps Support) and not those with an ARM64 architecture CPU.

      • How to install Gnome 40 on Linux early

        The next generation of the Gnome Shell desktop is here, and it is called Gnome 40 (AKA Gnome 4.0). It comes with a completely redesigned desktop that Linux geeks are sure to love. In this guide, we’ll show you how to try it out early, before it’s released into the wild.

      • How To Install Moodle on Debian 10 – idroot

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to install Moodle on Debian 10. For those of you who didn’t know, Moodle is a free and open-source learning management system written in PHP and often deployed in Linux under Apache/Nginx web servers with PHP and MySQL/MariaDB database management system, also known as LAMP or LEMP stack.

        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 the Moodle on a Debian 10 (Buster).

      • Automatically Set Bing’s Daily Image as Wallpaper in Ubuntu 20.04 [Ed: Bad idea. This helps #microsoft spy on you and potentially your movements, too. We know what they can do with such data.]

        Want to automatically set the background & lock screen wallpaper once per day to Microsoft Bing image of the day? It’s easy to do this in Ubuntu via an Extension.

        For Ubuntu 18.04, Ubuntu 20.04, Ubuntu 20.10, and all other Linux with Gnome Desktop, a lightweight Gnome Shell Extension “Bing Wallpaper” make it possible to set Microsoft Bing image as background and/or lock screen wallpaper.

      • How to install the Equilibrium GTK theme on Linux

        The Equilibrium GTK theme is based on LinMOS. It presents a mid-2000’s Mac OS skeuomorphism style. If you’d like to try out this theme on your Linux PC, it’s easier than you think! Here’s how to get it going!

      • Easily Back Up Your Partitions in Linux with Apart GTK – Make Tech Easier

        If you have full partition backups, you can restore your data or even your operating system when disaster strikes. The main problem is creating the partition backup. Most tools for backing up disks and partitions on Linux feel complicated. Some expect you to use commands in the terminal. Others come with old-school interfaces or use cryptic lingo. Luckily, there is Apart GTK.

        Apart GTK is a GUI for partclone that allows you to clone your partitions to compressed image backups. Then, you can quickly and easily recover them from those backups whenever you wish. Let’s see how you can keep your data safe with Apart GTK.

      • The Hosts File on Linux

        All operating systems with network support have a hosts file to translate hostnames to IP addresses. Whenever you open a website by typing its hostname, your system will read through the hosts file to check for the corresponding IP and then open it. The hosts file is a simple text file located in the etc folder on Linux and Mac OS (/etc/hosts). Windows has a hosts file as well,

      • How to install the NoSQL database server MongoDB on Linux – TechRepublic

        MongoDB is a cross-platform, document-oriented database that is classified in the NoSQL family. That means it’s human-readable and scalable to meet the high demands of enterprise businesses. MongoDB works on all types of computing platforms, whether they be cloud-hosted or on-premises, and can serve as the backend for numerous use-cases.

        I’ve covered the installation of MongoDB for Ubuntu Server 16.04 (see: How to install MongoDB community edition on Ubuntu Linux), but the process has changed since 2016. This time around we’re going to install MongoDB Community Edition on both Ubuntu Server 20.04 and AlmaLinux (the CentOS fork). In an upcoming piece, I’ll show you how to then create a MongoDB cluster.

      • How to Download and Install Spotify on a Chromebook

        If you’re working or surfing the web on your Chromebook, you might like to have some music playing in the background. If you are a regular Spotify user but don’t know how to download it on your Chromebook, this article will help.

      • How to Install XAMPP on your Ubuntu 20.04 LTS System

        XAMPP stands for cross-platform(X), Apache(A) server, MariaDB(M), PHP(P) and Perl(P). It is built by Apache Friends and basically serves as a local host or a local server. Through this local server, you can install this software on your system and test the clients or your website before uploading it to the remote web server or computer. XAMPP is most widely known by Windows users, but there are XAMPP packages for Ubuntu Linux as well. In this article, we will describe a step-by-step method for installing this application stack on your system. You can then verify the installation by using a few URLs. You can also go through the uninstall process that will help you in uninstalling the software if the need arises.

      • How to Create Sudo User in Ubuntu – ByteXD

        The sudo command is one of the most popular and powerful commands in Linux distros. It originally stood for superuser do, and it allows a user to execute commands as root or an administrative-level user.

        A sudo user is a non-root or normal user who has administrative privileges ordinarily reserved only for the root user.

      • How To Install CSF Firewall on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS – idroot

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to install CSF Firewall on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS. For those of you who didn’t know, ConfigServer Security & Firewall (CSF) is a popular and open-source Stateful Packet Inspection (SPI) security tool for Linux. Further, it provides a simple interface for the iptables to protect the Linux servers. The CSF has multiple features like a stateful packet inspection firewall, intrusion-detection, a login-failure daemon, DDOS-protection, and control-panel integration.

        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 the ConfigServer Security & Firewall (CSF) on Ubuntu 20.04 (Focal Fossa). You can follow the same instructions for Ubuntu 18.04, 16.04, and any other Debian-based distribution like Linux Mint.

      • Getting bytes to disk more quickly — 2021 — Blog — GNU Guix

        Let’s face it: functional package managers like Guix provide unequaled support for reproducibility and transactional upgrades, but the price to pay is that users often spend a fair amount of time downloading (or building) packages. Download times are okay on day-to-day use but they’re a pain point when performing large upgrades or when installing Guix System for the first time.

        With that in mind, it should come as no surprise that Michael Stapelberg’s excellent 2020 Arch Linux Conference talk and the installation speed achieved by distri were a great motivation boost. Michael proposes radical ideas to speed up package installation, such as downloading and mounting ready-to-use SquashFS images. Not everything can be transposed to Guix as-is, but it certainly got us thinking.

        This article dives into improvements made over the last few months that will be in the upcoming 1.2.1 release, and which are already one guix pull away; they all contribute to making substitute download and installation “faster”. This is an evolution of the existing mechanisms rather than a revolution, but one that users will surely welcome.

    • Wine or Emulation

      • Wine Announcement
        The Wine development release 6.5 is now available.
        What's new in this release (see below for details):
          - OpenCL support updated to version 1.2.
          - More support for IE compatibility modes in MSHTML.
          - More windowless RichEdit work.
          - A few more WinRT library stubs.
          - Various bug fixes.
        The source is available from the following locations:
        Binary packages for various distributions will be available from:
        You will find documentation on https://www.winehq.org/documentation
        You can also get the current source directly from the git
        repository. Check https://www.winehq.org/git for details.
        Wine is available thanks to the work of many people. See the file
        AUTHORS in the distribution for the complete list.
      • Wine 6.5 Released With OpenCL 1.2 Support

        Wine 6.5 is out today as the latest bi-weekly development snapshot of this software for running Windows applications and games under Linux and macOS.

        Wine 6.5 most notably comes with its OpenCL support being updated against OpenCL 1.2. Previously Wine’s OpenCL library (DLL) code was stuck at OpenCL 1.0 while Zebediah Figura took care of getting it to meet OpenCL 1.1 and then 1.2 specification requirements.

      • Wine 6.5 Is Released With OpenCL 1.2 And 25 Bug-Fixes

        The latest development-release of the popular Windows compatibility layer WINE supports OpenCL 1.2 and additional Internet Explorer compatibility modes in MSHTML. There are 25 game and application-specific bug-fixes.


        25 bugs have been squashed since Wine 6.4 was released earlier this month. Those bug-fixes include a fix for applications rendering graphics in system memory which helps Zoo Tycoon, TOCA Touring Car Championship, The Sims and Conquest: Frontier Wars, a very game-specific audio fix that makes music work in Jedi Knight: Dark Forces II and Outlaws, a workaround for the anti-cheat engine in League of Legends 8.12+ and a general fix that makes a lot of .NET 4.x applications that would previously fail to install due to a lack of MsiNetAssemblySupport actually install as they should.

    • Games

      • Space station management with a little RTS, Spacebase Startopia is out now

        Spacebase Startopia sells players the galactic dream: managing their very own donut-shaped space station. It’s out officially today along with full Linux support from Realmforge Studios and Kalypso Media.

        Overseen and assisted (when she feels like it) by the base’s sarcastic on-board AI, players will play Commander to their floating home-away-from-home on the station’s three unique decks with a variety of gadgetry while tending to the wants and needs of a diverse array of vacationing extra-terrestrial lifeforms. In multiplayer, up to 4 players can work together to build the galaxy’s greatest getaway, or seek oblivion unto their rivals with daring feats of economic sabotage.


        No review key was available for us before release but we have a request in, so a more traditional review / thoughts article may come in future. From a few reviews gone up by more traditional Windows-focused websites, it sadly sound like it’s not been a great release and fails to live up to the original but hopefully we will see for ourselves. Doesn’t seem like it’s bad, just alright.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • SoK 2021 March Report

          In the february post, I mentioned how I ordered the material that was on Carl Schwan’s MVP for the Index page, explaining Okular’s main features. Now that that was set, I had to add support for i18n, as it can be difficult for translators to work with a raw html template.

        • KDE on FreeBSD 2021o2

          Gosh, second octant already! Well, let’s take a look at the big things that happened in KDE-on-FreeBSD in these six-and-a-half weeks.

        • Advanced Comic Book Formatting

          Peruse is a comic book reader application which also comes with a creation tool, made by the KDE Community, and since a while now, we’ve been working on support for the Advanced Comic Book Format, or ACBF. ACBF is a way of augmenting Comic Book Archives (commonly referred to by their suffix, usually cbr or cbz).

          One of the things ACBF supports is what is referred to in the definition as Text Layers. In reality, these are translations: Each Textlayer is tied to a specific language, and each contains a number of Textareas, which in turn contain paragraphs of semi-rich text, all of which can be styled in a variety of ways, including with truetype fonts also shipped in the book archive.

          Until recently, Peruse lacked support for this crucial functionality, which yielded the result of ACBF books being read in Peruse being untranslated, which, with that being one of the core features of the format, meant that it was just not reasonable to say that the tool properly supported the format. For a little while now, while our highly engaged newest member of KDE’s Peruse subcommunity, Mahmoud Khalil, has been working on supporting the interactive-fiction focused Jump feature of ACBF, i took it upon myself to finally getting around to adding in support for Textareas, and writing these words, i pushed the merge button a few minutes ago, so it’s all manner of exciting and new and shiny! :)

      • GNOME Desktop/GTK

        • Christian Hergert: A Piece+Tree (Augmented B+Tree)

          Most of my career I’ve been working on a text editor product in either a hobby or professional capacity. Years ago I had an idea to combine a B+Tree with a PieceTable and put together a quick prototype. However, it didn’t do the nasty part which was removal and compaction of the B+Tree (so just another unfinished side-project).

          Now that we’re between GNOME cycles, I had the chance to catch up on that data structure and finish it off.

          Just for a bit of background, a B+Tree is a B-Tree (N-ary tree) where you link the leaves (and often the branches) in a doubly-linked list from left-to-right. This is handy when you need to do in-order/reverse-order table-scans as you don’t need to traverse the internal nodes of the tree. Unsurprisingly, editors do this a lot. Since B+Trees only grow from the root, maintaining these linked-lists is pretty easy.


          Anyway, here it is, and it seems to work. Finally I can move on from having that bit of data-structure on my mind.

    • Distributions

      • BSD

      • Screenshots/Screencasts

      • SUSE/OpenSUSE

        • Hackweek 20: glibc-hwcaps in openSUSE

          This week we’ve held Hackweek 20 in SUSE so I’ll try to explain here what I’ve worked on. I recently noticed glibc 2.33 introduced hwcaps support which means it’s now possible to install libraries using an expanded cpu instruction set from recent CPUs in addition to the regularly compiled libraries and glibc will automatically choose the version optimized for the current cpu in use. This sounded very nice so I thought I’d try to work on that for my hackweek project.

          My plan was to work at the package building level: Add/modify rpm macros to make it easy to build packages so that subpackages optimized for the different microarchitectures are (semi-)automatically generated and SUSE/openSUSE users can easily install those packages with optimizations for the specific cpu in use.

        • openSUSE Tumbleweed – Review of the week 2021/12

          This has been a week in which we focused a little bit less on Staging, as it was SUSE HackWeek. ‘Less’ does not mean we ignored it of course. We still managed to release 4 snapshots (0318, 0319, 0320, and 0321) during this week.

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • Top New Features in Fedora 34

          My first install of Fedora was Fedora 19, codename “Schrödinger’s Cat,” named after the quantum mechanics Schrödinger’s cat thought experiment. Back then, Fedora versions were released with a number version and a code name before the naming convention was dropped, “What a bummer!”.

          However, I have never looked back since, and fast-forward to 2021, and Fedora 34 is upon us. I am excited about the latest Fedora 34 release, its latest features, upgraded toolchains, and GNOME 40.

          The new Fedora 34 will feature new numbers to get excited about; Gnome 40, Ruby 3.0, OpenSSL3.0, and many new numbers and features highlighting in this article.

        • Call for Code Spot Challenge for Wildfires Predictions: Comparing approaches

          Wildfires are among the most common forms of natural disasters in some regions, including Siberia, the United States, and Australia. It is important to improve forecasting for wildfires to help firefighters to prepare and respond, and to help to mitigate wildfires in the future. In the Call for Code Spot Challenge for Wildfires, teams both outside and within IBM (internal challenge) worked on predicting wildfires in Australia using data sets extracted from the Weather Operations Center Geospatial Analytics component (PAIRS Geoscope).


          No IBM or Red Hat employees could participate in the public challenge.

        • DevOps Acceleration Program: Training and resources to begin your DevOps journey

          DevOps transformation is more important now that ever. In today’s world, the challenges we face and the opportunities the market has presented — the path has never been clearer. But how does that journey start? This is the question that many companies face. A DevOps organization isn’t built in a day. At IBM, we believe that the DevOps transformation is a journey best walked together with our customers. That’s why we have made available our DevOps Acceleration Program, a team of experts, evangelists, and practitioners, all focused on one thing: success with DevOps transformations.

        • Self-paced and instructor-led digital training for your DevOps journey

          Every piece of an enterprise-level DevOps transformation is essential: Identifying the resources, putting the tooling in place, building a rollout strategy — it’s all necessary for you to reap the greatest rewards. This includes quality training that enables developers to seamlessly transition over to DevOps practices and tools.

        • Red Hat Integration Delivers New Change Data Capture Capabilities

          Red Hat has announced the availability of Red Hat Integration, a comprehensive set of integration and messaging technologies to connect applications and data across hybrid infrastructures.

      • Debian Family

        • antiX-bullseye-alpha2 iso files available. 64 bit only

          We have 2 versions for experienced users to try.

          * sysvinit – antiX-bullseye-a2-x64-full is an alpha quality release for experienced testers of antiX to test and provide feedback.
          Do not use this as your main OS.

          Some basic differences from a1.

          * 4.9.261 and 5.10.22 kernels on the live iso. Please try both in your tests.
          * no virtualbox-guest packages

          Hopefully many of the bugs found in a1 have been squashed.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • Nextcloud Hub Ubuntu Appliance Now Available For Raspberry Pi 4

          Canonical, Collabora and Nextcloud have joined forces to announce the availability of a content collaboration platform for 64bit ARM for both consumers and enterprises.

          Building on the prior Nextcloud Ubuntu Appliance and with Collabora Online, it adds the viable self-hosted web office solution on the popular Raspberry Pi 4 platform.

        • Nextcloud offers content creation setup on ARM platform

          Open-source file syncing and sharing software company Nextcloud has teamed up with Canonical, the firm behind Ubuntu, and online office productivity suite provider Collabora to offer a content creation solution on the ARM platform.

          A statement from the company said Collabora Online was now available for devices like the Raspberry Pi which use the 64-bit ARM platform.

          “This enables tens of thousands of Raspberry Pi users to turn their Pi 4 into a self-hosted content collaboration and document editing solution in minutes,” Nextcloud said.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • FSF

        • Red Hat Pulls Free Software Foundation Funding Over Richard Stallman’s Return [Ed: Slashdot brings this back to headlines, even though most people have moved on]
        • The Free Software Foundation and Richard Stallman

          The Free Software Foundation and Richard Stallman

          I served as a director and as a voting member of the Free Software Foundation for more than a decade. I left both positions over the last 18 months and currently have no formal authority in the organization.

          So although it is now just my personal opinion, I will publicly add my voice to the chorus of people who are expressing their strong opposition to Richard Stallman’s return to leadership in the FSF and to his continued leadership in the free software movement. The current situation makes me unbelievably sad.

        • Michael Meeks: 2021-03-22 Monday [Ed: The underlying facts have not actually changed, so it makes absolutely no sense that Meeks suddenly changes his position]

          Read the news; oh dear. Previously I was willing to cut Richard a lot of slack on the grounds that I don’t think attacking hippies for being that is terribly broad minded and inclusive. However. The way in which Richard totally failed to engage with any nuance of his critics’ arguments, articulate any degree of personal growth, give any ways to address concerns about his behavior is & was in my view horribly disrespectful to those who (often at some risk) raised those concerns. In my book you don’t have to agree, but you do have to listen. An indefensible lack of finesse & clear communication for a leader. Or did I miss something. Very disappointing indeed, and probably symptomatic of the problems RMS and the FSF have.

        • Molly de Blanc, arrest and prosecution for cyberbullying

          Molly de Blanc has recently started a “petition” asking people to harass a volunteer, Richard Stallman.

          That is not a petition. As the vendetta is all about one person, it is cyberbullying.

          Mr Stallman is not a politician or highly paid CEO of a multinational. He is a volunteer on the board of a small non-profit organization, the FSF. He is not paid. Citizens who serve on boards like this are entitled to privacy and respect. He is 68 years old.

          Most organizations only give gratitude to somebody of this age who has been contributing for so long. de Blanc, on the other hand, is stripping away human dignity.

          The offender, de Blanc, resides in Somerville, Massachusetts. If you experience harassment from de Blanc, please do not copy her dirty tricks. Do not start a

        • GNOME Board Members Must Resign In Disgrace

          The current leadership of the GNOME Foundation has shown itself to be a dangerous and divisive force in the free and open source software communities. I urge the GNOME community and the greater free software and open source communities to call for the immediate removal of the entire Board of the GNOME Foundation, who have flagrantly violated their own Code of Conduct and enabled others within the GNOME community to do so.

        • Charles Plessy: GR toxique

          Many quickly reacted to the return of rms to the FSF and asked that he leaves again; some also asked for the whole board of directors to resign and some not. Meanwhile, Debian discusses a general resolution on that matter. Maybe it was not the original intent, but in practice the object of the GR is about FSF’s board of directors. Perhaps we will have the result after rms resigns? Like many GRs, it will divide Debian and leave scars, at least a tally sheet of who voted what, and who voted like whom.

        • GNU Projects

          • More on RMS’ return

            We should not let them win this. This is not just RMS, it’s a fight for truth. If we, and FSF, step down, we give them power to do anything simply because they want to.

            The first mistake was made back in 2019 when the FSF bowed down by not standing up to the mobs. That sent the message, “we listen to you.” It’s only natural that the mobs will try again, with renewed violence.

            If we had same attitude 40 years ago, there would be no FSF and GNU. It took someone like RMS to create what we have.

            Canceling someone because he explained the meaning of some words is crazy and dangerous. And there’s more. Once they realized the issue with the words was not enough of an excuse, they started looking for more, resorting to intentional misinterpretations, exaggerations and lies.

      • Programming/Development

        • What is MLOps? Machine Learning Operations Explained

          Until recently, all of us were learning about the software development lifecycle (SDLC) and how it goes from requirement elicitation → designing → development → testing → deployment → all the way down to maintenance.

        • Why You Should Learn SQL if You Want a Data Science Job

          Machine learning and AI may dominate the tech headlines, but the most important skill in the data science industry is something much older — almost 50 years old, in fact! Despite its age, SQL is still the most important language for data work.

        • ActiveSupport::Notifications is Rad!

          One of the lesser known parts of Rails core is the ActiveSupport instrumentation framework. ActiveSupport::Notifications includes all the things you need to implement pub-sub in Rails. Pub-Sub is a software architecture where you publish (send) a message without being specific about who should receive it. Fire and forget.

          Receiving a message, and doing something with it, “just” requires you to subscribe to it. Because the publisher doesn’t need to know about the subscribers (as they are decoupled), this provides nice opportunities for organization and scale.

          Let’s explore the joyful shenanigans of this.

        • Let’s build Software Libre APM together

          Alright, you learned about ActiveSupport::Notifications, InfluxDB, Grafana and influxdb-rails in the two previous posts. Let’s dive a bit deeper and look how we built the dashboards for you. So we can study, change and improve them together.

        • Measure twice, cut once: App Performance Monitoring with influxdb-rails

          Now that we learned how truly magnificent ActiveSupport::Notifications is in the previous post, let’s explore a RubyGem Chris, others and me have built around this: influxdb-rails. Together with even more awesome Software Libre, it will help you to deep dive into your Ruby on Rails application performance.

        • Python vs. R: What’s the Difference?

          Explore the basics of these two open-source programming languages, the key differences that set them apart and how to choose the right one for your situation.

          If you work in data science or analytics, you’re probably well aware of the Python vs. R debate. Although both languages are bringing the future to life — through artificial intelligence, machine learning and data-driven innovation — there are strengths and weaknesses that come into play.

        • Perl/Raku

  • Leftovers

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Security

          • Security updates for Friday

            Security updates have been issued by Debian (firefox-esr, jquery, openssl, and thunderbird), openSUSE (openssl-1_1 and tor), Oracle (firefox and thunderbird), Scientific Linux (firefox and thunderbird), SUSE (libzypp, zypper and openssl-1_1), and Ubuntu (firefox, ldb, openssl, and ruby2.0).

          • Google’s top security teams unilaterally shut down a counterterrorism operation

            Instead of focusing on who was behind and targeted by a specific operation, Google decided to take broader action for everyone. The justification was that even if a Western government was the one exploiting those vulnerabilities today, it will eventually be used by others, and so the right choice is always to fix the flaw today.

          • Google’s top security teams unilaterally shut down a counterterrorism operation (Technology Review)

            Technology review covers the controversy that has resulted from Google’s disclosure and fixing of a number of security vulnerabilities being exploited by Western intelligence agencies.

          • How to do a Checkup on Linux
          • Livepatch 2021-03-24 incident investigation report

            A defective livepatch for kernel 4.4 in Ubuntu 16.04 LTS (Xenial) was not caught in internal testing processes because the defect was a race condition, triggered by workload-specific behaviour, under load.

            The livepatch would cause the madvise system call to block indefinitely, and thus cause lockup to the processes using the call. These conditions were not replicated in our test environment.

            After passing internal testing, the livepatch was published to our free tier users (typically personal systems). Canonical services also run in this tier as an early warning system, and the defect was noticed at that stage. Customers with systems configured for this tier were also impacted. The livepatch causing the defect was retracted one and a half hours after publication, however the standard update process is designed to patch all online systems within one hour.

            The faulty livepatch was addressing a Medium severity CVE (CVE-2020-29372). This CVE fix came in as part of our normal SRU processes. The livepatch was tested in combination with an embargoed high severity CVE, and at no time did we see any issues with systems as we tested the combined livepatch. As part of the analysis of the lockup we have found that systems that are running under load may obtain a lock that is not handled correctly after the livepatch is applied. If the lock was obtained after the livepatch was applied then all is fine. Linux kernel livepatching is a complex process that we stabilize through our testing, and our tier deployment process.

            In addition to our internal testing processes, we follow a tiered deployment policy that releases livepatches to our customers, to reduce the risks associated with kernel livepatching. Customers should only receive a livepatch after all the internal embargoed test systems and the free tier, successfully apply it.

    • Digital Restrictions (DRM)

      • Colorado’s right-to-repair

        In our everyday lives, we have the means to fix many of the tools we use on a daily basis. Even though many still choose to hire professionals, taking apart your blender, bike, or even your car takes only some simple tools and curiosity to find out how things work. When it comes to consumer electronics, however, the landscape is very different. Here at System76, we believe the right to repair your computer should be the same as the right to repair anything else—sadly, many of our representatives in government don’t feel the same way.

        Yesterday, the state of Colorado held a hearing on Right to Repair legislation, known as the Consumer Digital Repair Bill of Rights (HB21-1199). According to the Colorado General Assembly, the bill would require electronics manufacturers to provide people with the resources needed to repair their equipment. This includes, “parts, embedded software, firmware, tools, or documentation, such as diagnostic, maintenance, or repair manuals, diagrams, or similar information.” As part of this effort, System76 Founder/CEO Carl Richell and Principal Engineer Jeremy Soller traveled to the Capitol to speak in support of this legislation.

    • Monopolies

      • Patents

        • Pre-Litigation Investigation of Patent Validity

          I previously wrote about the Federal Circuit’s decision in WPEM, LLC v. SOTI Inc., 2020-1483 (Fed. Cir. Dec. 9, 2020). The case focuses on pre-filing investigation — the amount of investigation that a patentee must conduct before filing a patent infringement lawsuit.

          Here, WPEM filed an infringement action against SOTI, but later dismissed the action after learning that the patent claims were very likely invalid. The district court awarded attorney fees to the defendant based upon the fact that “WPEM conducted no pre-filing investigation into the validity and enforceability of the Asserted Patent.” WPEM, LLC v. SOTI Inc., 2020 WL 555545 (E.D. Tex. Feb. 4, 2020). On appeal, WPEM argued that the law strongly presumes that a patent is valid and, as such, does not require any pre-filing investigation of patent validity. The Federal Circuit did not disagree with this argument in principle, but found this particular case to be a special case because the accused product is also the prior art. According to the Federal Circuit the fact that the accused product was on-sale before the patent’s priority date means that the dismissal also very-much about infringement.

        • Software Patents

          • A word of warning for patent revocation seafarers: if you do not set the first stone of the “problem-solution” approach correctly, you may sink [Ed: Citing the bogus approach for patent granting, so as to basically bypass the EPC and grant loads of illegal European Patents because something "problem" and something "solution"]

            On 28 December 2020, the Barcelona Court of Appeal (Section 15), one of Spain’s most experienced courts on patent matters, handed down a judgment which is interesting from a wide array of perspectives (how to assess inventive step, novelty, infringement, etc.). This blog will focus on the first aspect (i.e. inventive step) and, more specifically, on the dangers of combating inventive step applying the “problem-solution” approach if the court ultimately finds that the first step of that method has not been correctly addressed. The facts of the case can be summarized as follows:

            The claimants, a French manufacturer of automotive parts and its Spanish subsidiary, were the holder and licensee of the Spanish validations of European patents EP 764.811 (“EP ‘811”) and EP 933.254 (“EP ‘254”), which protect vehicle lighting or signaling devices having specific features. They filed a patent infringement action against the defendant, a Spanish supplier of spare auto parts, which had sold spare headlamps and signal lights for cars that allegedly infringed the claimants’ patents. By way of counterclaim, the defendant filed a revocation action against various claims of the patents in suit, namely Claims 1–6 of EP ‘811 and Claims 1 and 18 and their respective dependent claims of EP ‘254. In a judgment dated 6 March 2019, Barcelona Commercial Court No. 1 dismissed the infringement action and partially upheld the revocation counterclaim, revoking certain claims of EP ‘254 on grounds of lack of novelty. However, the Court confirmed the validity (in particular, inventive step) of patent EP ‘811. The claimants lodged an appeal before the Barcelona Court of Appeal. They argued that the defendant’s spare parts did indeed infringe Claim 1 of EP ‘811 and disagreed with the first instance decision’s finding on the novelty requirement. The defendant, in turn, lodged a cross-appeal, disagreeing with the first instance findings on the validity (in particular, inventive step, of EP ‘811).

          • $1,000 Awarded for Ryujin LLC prior art

            Unified is pleased to announce the PATROLL crowdsourcing contest winner, Herb Cohen, who received a cash prize of $1,000 for his prior art submissions for U.S. Patent 7,577,559, owned by Ryujin LLC, previously a J. Szarzynski entity but now an affiliate of Endpoint IP. The ’559 patent generally relates to a system and method for delivering media content to a user and had been asserted in district court against Plex Inc. and Synology Inc..

            We would also like to thank the dozens of other high-quality submissions that were made on this patent. The ongoing contests are open to anyone, and include tens of thousands of dollars in rewards available for helping the industry to challenge NPE patents of questionable validity by finding and submitting prior art in the contests. Visit PATROLL today to learn more about how to participate.

Incentives to Cooperate

Posted in Free/Libre Software, Videos at 9:40 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: RMS on “playful cleverness” and sharing

Links 26/3/2021: OBS on Wayland and Diffoscope 171

Posted in News Roundup at 9:31 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Server

      • Why you should care about service mesh

        Many developers wonder why they should care about service mesh. It’s a question I’m asked often in my presentations at developer meetups, conferences, and hands-on workshops about microservices development with cloud-native architecture. My answer is always the same: “As long as you want to simplify your microservices architecture, it should be running on Kubernetes.”

        Concerning simplification, you probably also wonder why distributed microservices must be designed so complexly for running on Kubernetes clusters. As this article explains, many developers solve the microservices architecture’s complexity with service mesh and gain additional benefits by adopting service mesh in production.

    • Audiocasts/Shows

    • Kernel Space

      • Linux 5.13 To Bring A Huge Speed-Up For MD RAID10 DISCARD Handling

        For those running Linux MD RAID10 arrays you may have found the performance around discard requests such as when running MKFS and FSTRIM operations to be rather slow… Well, with Linux 5.13 it will be lightning fast.

        For years there have been reports of slow DISCARD handling for RAID10 MD block devices under Linux…


        This dramatic speed-up from 280 seconds to less than 1 second has now been queued into Linux-block’s for-next branch ahead of the Linux 5.13 kernel from md-next. Thus barring any issues from coming up, this optimization will be found in Linux 5.13.

      • Linux 5.13 To Fix Its Handling Of Unused ACPI Power Resources

        Two fixes were queued this week into the Linux kernel’s power management “linux-next” branch that could help improve the power management behavior for some devices as up to now the Linux kernel was not properly following the ACPI specification.

        An Intel discovered and fixed issue was Linux not turning off unused power resources during initialization. For select platforms there may appear to be power resources not associated with any devices physically present on the platform. The ACPI specification outlines that the OS should turn off such unused power resources, but the Linux kernel currently doesn’t do this — with Linux 5.13 that will happen.


        Following that is this patch to turn off unused power resources unconditionally. This should help for ensuring unused power resources get turned off regardless of what is being reported by the BIOS should its state get confused.

      • Graphics Stack

        • Collabora announce PanVk, an open source Vulkan driver for Arm Mali Midgard and Bifrost

          Open source consulting firm Collabora are certainly busy. While they work with Steam owner Valve on various things, they also work in other areas of Linux like driver development – their latest being PanVk.

          Extending the Panfrost driver which currently supports OpenGL and ES across Arm Mali Midgard and Bifrost GPUs, they’re now looking at Vulkan support now that Panfrost is getting quite mature. PanVk itself is already being worked on, with enough of the Vulkan API implemented so that vkcube can run but it’s still overall in the early stages of development so real-world applications need more functions added and optimization is not yet a focus.

        • Another Intel Gen12 Performance Optimization Coming For Mesa’s Vulkan Driver

          A small but measurable and seemingly widespread performance optimization is currently being buttoned up for Intel’s open-source “ANV” Vulkan driver within Mesa to benefit latest-generation Gen12/Xe Graphics.

          A pending merge request is providing 1~3% better performance on Intel Gen12 graphics hardware with the ANV Vulkan driver. Games like Dota 2, Rise of the Tomb Raider, Shadow of the Tomb Raider, Fallout 4, and others have been tested and confirmed to benefit.

        • Lavapipe CPU-Based Vulkan Performance Looking Good Compared To SwiftShader – Phoronix

          Google’s open-source SwiftShader has been supporting a software-based Vulkan implementation for some time, building off its prior OpenGL / GLES and D3D9 support. While SwiftShader’s Vulkan implementation has received heavy investment and attention from Google, it turns out Mesa’s Lavapipe software implementation is beginning to pull ahead.

          The CPU-based Mesa Lavapipe Vulkan implementation started by Red Hat’s David Airlie and continued to work on part time by him and other Mesa developers is actually looking better now than Google’s SwiftShader, at least according to Airlie’s recent benchmarks. David meanwhile continues working on many different areas of Mesa, maintaining the DRM subsystem for the kernel, and his other areas of attention at Red Hat. Granted, Lavapipe is able to leverage existing Mesa infrastructure, but the results are looking real well against Google’s SwiftShader receiving full-time attention.

        • Mesa’s Intel Vulkan Driver Introduces A Null Hardware Layer – Phoronix

          Intel’s latest addition to Mesa 21.1 with their “ANV” Vulkan driver is… A null hardware layer.

          This “nullhw” Vulkan layer is to disable all rendering and compute commands in the command parsing hardware. This null hardware Vulkan layer was written a year ago but only merged now.

        • New OBS Plugin Offers Game Capture Solution on Wayland (for Vulkan renderers)

          One of the issues cropping up in the migration from Xorg to Wayland is the desire to capture part or all of your screen for recording and/or streaming to others – in many cases, applications designed for Xorg simply capture a black screen, with few workarounds.

          However, for games and applications that can run with the Vulkan API, there’s a new plugin from David Rosca (nowrep) for OBS Studio called obs-vkcapture (OBS Plugin Forum | GitHub) that aims to work around the issue and get your gameplay ingested directly, bypassing the built-in Xorg ‘Window Capture’.

    • Applications

      • NAVER Whale Is Released

        The South Korean Internet giant NAVER has released a new version of their feature-rich proprietary Whale web browser. It features a online video conferencing solution called “Whale On”, which has been greatly improved in the latest release, and a music player, a calculator and many other interesting features other web browsers do not have. Whale is available for Linux, Windows, macOS, iOS and Android.


        The toolbar above the web page area has a button that lets you control the built-in music player, a button that lets you take a screenshot of a part of a web page, entire web pages or the entire screen, a button that lets you split the web browser window in two and a button that expands or closes the feature-rich sidebar.

        The sidebar is full of features that are unique to NAVER Whale. There’s a toolbox with a clock, an alarm, a calculator, a calendar, a conversion tool and other useful tools, a scrapbook, a bookmark manager, a language translator, a music player, a comic strip reader, something called “NOW” and a few online services you can only use if you have a NAVER account.

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • How to Install Tomcat 10 on Debian 10 – TecAdmin

        Apache Tomcat is an open source web server with servlet container for publishing Java based web applications. Tomcat is developed and maintained by an open community of developers under the auspices of the Apache Software Foundation. As of today, Tomcat 10 is the latest stable version available for the installation on development and production environments. To know more about the Apache Tomcat visit apache official site http://tomcat.apache.org/.

        This tutorial will help you to how to install Apache Tomcat 10 on Debian 10 Buster Linux system.

      • How to Add a New Device to BTRFS File System in Linux

        BTRFS – an abbreviation for the B-tree file system, is a modern Linux file system and logical volume manager optimized for fault tolerance, error detection, and repair. BTRFS uses the Copy on Write (CoW) principle and it provides features such as snapshots, RAID, and self-healing.

      • How To Install Canon Printer Driver in Ubuntu Linux

        Canon is one of the largest printing giants in the world. It is used widely for both industrial, office, and home usage. Normally, using a mobile printer is easy and doesn’t require a lot of computing knowledge. On Windows, you can find the official software driver for each printer device. But, in Ubuntu Linux, it automatically detects the printer, and the CPU transfers the print command to the printer. However, if you have any issues setting up your Canon printer on your Ubuntu system, you can install a few packages on your system and make your printer ready. There are a few methods available on the web that you can use to install the Canon printer driver in Ubuntu and other Debian distribution-based systems.

      • 10 Helpful Tips for Managing a Nextcloud Docker Instance

        Nextcloud needs no introduction. It is the most popular open-source software for self-hosting a collaboration suite that gives you access to document collaboration, file hosting, project management boards and chat service.

        We have been using Nextcloud for managing our team activities on Linux Handbook and It’s FOSS. We self-host our Nextcloud instance, obviously. This self-hosting experience has taught us several important lessons and I am going to share them with you. This will help you if you happen to be a day-to-day Nextcloud administrator.

        I assume that you use Docker to deploy Nextcloud. Most tips are centered around that while some are generic advices that are valid for all kind of Nextcloud deployments.

      • How to Integrate Nautilus File Manager with Git

        Nautilus file manager is the software of choice for many Linux users who enjoying using GUI apps for directory management. Personally, I like to work with Git via the terminal because I learned to be more efficient in working that way.

        The last time we talked about this, I had to use an extension to make it work. This is the reason why I am now happy to tell you that you can also be efficient using the GUI thanks to Nautilus integration capability for Git on the GNOME desktop environment.

        This is particularly good news because some users have had to employ third-party apps to achieve the same goals and that no longer has to be the case. What is required to integrate Git with your file manager? Nautilus, a Git account, and sudo privileges.

      • Network address translation part 3 – the conntrack event framework

        This is the third post in a series about network address translation (NAT). The first article introduced how to use the iptables/nftables packet tracing feature to find the source of NAT-related connectivity problems. Part 2 introduced the “conntrack” command. This part gives an introduction to the “conntrack” event framework.

      • A sysadmin’s favorite Linux history command line hack

        Like many people working with Linux machines, I prefer using the command line interface when possible and when it makes sense. In some cases, it is easier to find, inspect, and modify some configurations using your fingers because they just “know” the commands you need to type, and it’s quicker than opening a GUI and searching for the sequence of menus that you need to click.

        Sure, there are some cases when using the GUI is faster, and you’re only doing that task once or twice, so who cares, right? But if it’s something that you’ll need to do multiple times, maybe with some variations, your sysadmin brain ponders, “Can I automate this?” In many cases, the answer will be, yes, but the effort to automate the task isn’t worth it in other situations.

    • Games

      • 2 Years Later, Valve’s Hands Off Approach To Adult Games Is Still Confusing, Still Very Much Not Hands Off

        Back in 2018, after a year of truly hammering down on independent game studios producing what many would consider “adult” or “porn” games, Valve finally relented and said its Steam platform would be more open. As part of the announcement, Valve indicated it would take a hands off approach to game curation and allow more adult-style games generally, later clarifying that it intended to prevent only “troll” games. If all of that sounds incredibly vague and ripe for creating a massive and confusing mess, well, that’s precisely what happened. Developers saw the chance that Steam would accept their games as a crapshoot, with some making it through and others not. The reasons for denials were equally vague and arbitrary.

      • Google Chromebooks could soon be surprising gaming laptops — here’s how

        Chromebooks may get a new “game mode” that will make Google-powered laptops a lot more useful for gaming — which would in turn play into long-rumored plans to bring Steam to Chrome OS.

        According to Chrome Unboxed, a new entry in the Chromium Gerrit hints at the possibility of a game mode toggle for Borealis — an upcoming Ubuntu-based Linux container. Specifically it looks designed to automatically activate game mode when you open or close a game.

      • Sid Meier’s Civilization VI has finished the New Frontier Pass with a Portugal DLC | GamingOnLinux

        The sixth and final DLC pack is out as part of the New Frontier Pass with a Portugal DLC for Sid Meier’s Civilization VI. Available to all who purchased the pack, or as an individual DLC. It includes the Portugal civilization with João III, the Nau unique unit, and two unique structures, the Navigation School building and the Feitoria.

        You also get access to a new Zombies Defense game mode. In this optional game mode, the dead don’t stay dead for long and present an ever-growing threat to the world’s civilizations. On top of that you also get a new Wetlands Map Script and two new World Wonders.

      • Them’s Fightin’ Herds is now available on Linux with the 2.0 update out now | GamingOnLinux

        Ready, FIGHT! Them’s Fightin’ Herds from Mane6, Inc. and Humble Games has now been officially ported to Linux with the 2.0 patch release and the Shanty character DLC is out now too. Them’s Fightin’ Herds is an indie fighting game featuring a cast of adorable animals designed by acclaimed cartoon producer Lauren Faust. Beneath the cute and cuddly surface, a serious fighter awaits!

        This 2.0 update is the biggest yet, so big in fact that their patch notes are ridiculously long. The highlight for us here is of course their new fancy Linux build! It works to perfection too, I’ve been playing it today and it’s very smooth and looking fantastic.

      • Sub Rosa, an experimental online multiplayer FPS finally enters Early Access | GamingOnLinux

        After being around in some form for quite a few years now, Cryptic Sea and Devolver Digital have now released Sub Rosa into proper Early Access on the Steam store.

        “Sub Rosa is an experimental online multiplayer FPS with a focus on orchestrating deals and coordinating a team of players to increase their wealth and perceived status in the game. This requires a great deal of iteration and testing with how a growing numbers of players understand and react to the possibilities laid out before them in Sub Rosa. Early Access gives an opportunity to tinker with many facets of the game in an attempt to better the experience for everyone.”

      • Shadow Tactics: Blades of the Shogun – Aiko’s Choice standalone expansion announced | GamingOnLinux

        Shadow Tactics: Blades of the Shogun was one of the best games from 2016 easily, it helped to revive a classic style of tactical stealth games and it’s coming back with Shadow Tactics: Blades of the Shogun – Aiko’s Choice.

        This is a standalone expansion from the same developer, Mimimi Games. Now they’re finished with Desperados III they’ve come back to their first proper hit. Set in Japan around the Edo period, you take control of kunoichi adept Aiko and her deadly assassin friends to hunt down the ghosts of her past.


        So that’s good news for us that they still plan to continue their Linux support.

      • The Remote Play Together Sale & Livestream is live on Steam

        Ready to bring some friends together this weekend but still social distancing because of COVID-19? Valve have your back here with a big sale now on for games that work with Remote Play Together. This follows on from the big Steam Client update with the ‘Invite Anyone’ feature, along with the Steam Link app finally coming to Linux.

      • Popular Game Titles Metro Exodus and Total War: Rome Remastered Releasing for Linux in April

        Metro Exodus is popular as a post-apocalyptic setting first-person shooter game as a modern sequel to Metro 2033 and Metro: Last Light. And, Total War: Rome remastered is just a reboot of the classic RTS game which was quite popular as well.

        Recently, they’ve both announced that the game titles are also releasing for Linux with native support in April.

        Considering the promising work being done by Steam with Proton, Linux is probably going to become a first-class platform for games soon. And, the arrival of popular game titles like Metro Exodus and Total War: Rome remastered is just something that re-affirms that hope.

    • Distributions

      • BSD

        • Buffer overruns, license violations, and bad code: FreeBSD 13’s close call

          At first glance, Matthew Macy seemed like a perfectly reasonable choice to port WireGuard into the FreeBSD kernel. WireGuard is an encrypted point-to-point tunneling protocol, part of what most people think of as a “VPN.” FreeBSD is a Unix-like operating system that powers everything from Cisco and Juniper routers to Netflix’s network stack, and Macy had plenty of experience on its dev team, including work on multiple network drivers.
          So when Jim Thompson, the CEO of Netgate, which makes FreeBSD-powered routers, decided it was time for FreeBSD to enjoy the same level of in-kernel WireGuard support that Linux does, he reached out to offer Macy a contract. Macy would port WireGuard into the FreeBSD kernel, where Netgate could then use it in the company’s popular pfSense router distribution. The contract was offered without deadlines or milestones; Macy was simply to get the job done on his own schedule.

          With Macy’s level of experience—with kernel coding and network stacks in particular—the project looked like a slam dunk. But things went awry almost immediately. WireGuard founding developer Jason Donenfeld didn’t hear about the project until it surfaced on a FreeBSD mailing list, and Macy didn’t seem interested in Donenfeld’s assistance when offered. After roughly nine months of part-time development, Macy committed his port—largely unreviewed and inadequately tested—directly into the HEAD section of FreeBSD’s code repository, where it was scheduled for incorporation into FreeBSD 13.0-RELEASE.

          This unexpected commit raised the stakes for Donenfeld, whose project would ultimately be judged on the quality of any production release under the WireGuard name. Donenfeld identified numerous problems with Macy’s code, but rather than object to the port’s release, Donenfeld decided to fix the issues. He collaborated with FreeBSD developer Kyle Evans and with Matt Dunwoodie, an OpenBSD developer who had worked on WireGuard for that operating system. The three replaced almost all of Macy’s code in a mad week-long sprint.

      • Arch Family

        • Manjaro Linux 21.0 “Ornara” Is Released in Xfce, KDE and GNOME flavors

          The latest version of the Arch-based community-made GNU/Linux distribution Manjaro comes with a better and more intelligent installer and Linux Kernel 5.10. It is available in three desktop flavors: Xfce 4.16, which is the most popular one among Manjaro users, KDE Plasma 5.21 and GNOME 3.38 (not 40).


          The updated installer is the main highlight in this release. The “Calamares” installer used by Manjaro will now lookup your location using a GeoIP database and use that information to propose language settings, keyboard settings and time-zone. It will only propose defaults based on where it thinks you are, you can override its suggestions if you want to.

          Manjaros improved installer will, for some reason, propose “No swap” as a default in the disk Partitions section. It is possible to change that. It is also possible to enable Encrypt system with a single check-box. The rest of the options you have to configure are strait forward with the Users section being a notable exception. It won’t let you proceed without entering some string in the What is your name? field – like that’s somehow any of Manjaros business.

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • Taking the plunge into open source

          Finding a new open source project might seem daunting, but it may not be as hard as you think. If you are passionate about any hobby or cause in your life, you can probably find an existing open source project that is closely related to your interests.

          Do you sew clothing? Projects exist that build open source patterns or feed inputs into sewing hardware. Passionate about flight? Investigate some of the many open source drone projects. Within any of those projects, whenever you catch yourself thinking that something could be better or different, seize on that impulse. This could be your first contribution waiting to happen.

          It doesn’t have to be an earth-shattering change either. You might find a broken link or a typo in some of the project’s text. Or you’re a user of the project and you notice something is not working as expected. This is your chance to not only start contributing and improving a project, but also making your cause or hobby that much better!

        • Running Oracle Linux in public clouds

          Research from the Enterprise Strategy Group (ESG) indicates that 78% of organizations run different Linux distributions in the public cloud than they do on-premises. This can mean different management tools, different administrator certifications, different support contracts, and even different levels of patching and security compliance. The same ESG study shows that two-thirds of surveyed organizations regularly move workloads between public clouds, but find these migrations painful because of the differences in technology stacks, and the resultant issues with performance, security, availability, and in-house skills. (ESG Research Insights Paper Survey: Today’s Top 3 IT Challenges with Modern Application Environments, March 2021)

          To help reduce this complexity, Oracle’s Linux distribution is consistent across deployments on premises, in Oracle Cloud Infrastructure, Microsoft Azure, and Amazon Web Services.

          When running Oracle Linux on premises or in clouds, customers have access to the exact same code and packages. Oracle Linux improves performance of all workloads and is optimized–out of the box–for Oracle software. Oracle Linux is 100% application binary compatible with Red Hat Enterprise Linux. Since 2006, Oracle Linux has been completely free to download and use. Free source code, binaries, and updates. Freely redistributable. Free for production use.

        • Feeling brave? GNOME 40 is here and you can have a poke around in the Fedora 34 beta

          The GNOME project has released version 40 of its Linux desktop, with a new design for finding and launching applications and updated core apps.

          GNOME is the default desktop for numerous Linux distributions including Ubuntu, Red Hat and variants such as Fedora and CentOS Stream, SUSE, and many more.

          Version 40 is the first to use a new numbering scheme. The previous version was 3.38, but the project did not want to get to 4.0 out of concern that it would be perceived as too big a shift. “If we ever did release 4, then people would see it as a huge change in [that] everything’s going to be broken again, and that’s not really what we’ve got,” executive director Neil McGovern told The Reg last year.

          There is history here: GNOME 3.0 caused considerable grief and was described by Linus Torvalds, creator of Linux, as “crazy crap” and “really annoying”.

        • How to Upgrade to Fedora 34 Beta Right Now

          Fedora 34 will be releasing next month. Fedora 34 beta is already released and it features the awesome new GNOME 40.

          If you are running Fedora 33 right now and want to enjoy GNOME 40 and all the other features that come with Fedora 34, you can easily do that.

          In this tutorial, I’ll show the steps for upgrading to Fedora 34 beta using terminal as well as the GUI method.

        • Friday’s Fedora Facts: 2021-12

          Here’s your weekly Fedora report. Read what happened this week and what’s coming up. Your contributions are welcome (see the end of the post)! The Final freeze begins 6 April.

          I have weekly office hours on Wednesdays in the morning and afternoon (US/Eastern time) in #fedora-meeting-1. Drop by if you have any questions or comments about the schedule, Changes, elections, or anything else. See the upcoming meetings for more information.

      • Debian Family

        • Raspberry Pi OS Is Now Powered by Linux Kernel 5.10 LTS, Improves Support for Raspberry Pi 400

          The Raspberry Pi Foundation released today a new version of their Raspberry Pi OS (formerly Raspbian) distribution for the tiny Raspberry Pi computers, finally upgrading the kernel to Linux 5.10 LTS, which brings numerous new features and improvements and is supported until December 2022.

          Linux kernel 5.10.17 is included in the new Raspberry Pi OS release, which also improves support for the Raspberry Pi 400 computer by ensuring the keyboard country is correctly read in the startup wizard, adds support for NVMe devices to SD Card Copier utility, and ports the Recommended Software app to GTK3 for a more modern UI.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • Full Circle Magazine #167
        • What’s in a snap?

          Snaps are several things, all at once. They are confined, standalone Linux applications that bundle all their necessary dependencies, which means they do not need to rely on the underlying system, and can run independently of it. Snaps are also packaged as compressed Squashfs filesystems, using the .snap extension. For most users, they are an abstraction to get software on their Linux distro, in a simple, straightforward manner. But you may wonder, what lurks inside?


          Your snap (or a snap) could have only a handful of folders, or a whole range of them, including custom paths and structure. The contents will differ from one application to another, but at the end of the day, there is no great mystery about what snaps are. Anyone can download, unpack and inspect any snap, and see exactly what they do. In many cases, you will have an exact trail of environment variables and commands that run. If you want to learn a bit more about what else to expect inside a snap, you may want to check the snap format documentation for other useful details.

          Finally, if you want to experiment, you can try the handy snap try command – to make quick, live changes to snaps, and test modified behavior. This can be quite useful if you want to speed up your development. That’s all we had today. If you have any comments or suggestions, please join our forum for a discussion.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • 10 open source tools for content creators

        There are a lot of well-known open source applications used in web design, but there are also many great tools that are not as popular. I thought I’d challenge myself to find some obscure options on the chance I might find something useful.

        Open source offers a wealth of options, so it’s no surprise that I found 10 new applications that I now consider indispensable to my work.

      • SongRec – open source Shazam client

        Shazam is an app that identifies multimedia. The program stores a catalogue of audio fingerprints in a database. Shazam works by analyzing the captured sound and seeking a match based on an acoustic fingerprint in a database of millions of songs. It generates a spectrogram (a time/frequency 2D graph of the sound, with amplitude at intersections) of the sound, and maps out the frequency peaks from it (which should match key points of the harmonics of voice or of certain instruments).

        Shazam can identify music, movies, advertising, and television shows, based on a short sample played either through the microphone of the device and also when you’re listening through your headphones.

      • The Apache News Round-up: week ending 26 March 2021

        Farewell, March –we’re wrapping up the month with another great week.

      • SaaS/Back End/Databases

        • Catalyst Cloud is wooing Oracle DB users with PostgreSQL offer

          Catalyst Cloud is now offering PostgreSQL as an alternative to proprietary databases in its new managed database service.

          The company launched the managed database as a service offering into tech preview five months ago, saying the fully automated database infrastructure allowed customers to focus on delivering what really mattered for their businesses

      • FSF

        • The Stallman wars

          So, 2021 isn’t bad enough yet, but don’t despair, people are working to fix that:

          Welcome to the Stallman wars

          Team Cancel: https://rms-open-letter.github.io/ (repo)

          Team Support: https://rms-support-letter.github.io/ (repo)

          Current stats are…

        • Free Software Community Condemns Richard Stallman’s Reinstatement to FSF Board of Directors [Ed: No, they are not the "Free Software Community"; people who attack RMS are typically those working for openwashing]

          Stallman’s reinstatement came with a staggering lack of transparency from FSF’s board of directors and has triggered a cascade of condemnation from individuals and organizations across the tech industry. Among the many critical responsibilities it maintains, the FSF currently holds the copyrights to enforce the GPL.

        • Update on work to improve governance at the FSF

          The voting members unanimously agreed to elect a union staff member, selected by the FSF union staff, to be a full voting member and director. The first such representative will be elected as soon as the staff chooses one. The FSF will adopt by-law changes to implement this as a requirement going forward.

      • Programming/Development

        • Create Golang Virtual Environments Using Conda In Linux – OSTechNix

          Since Conda is a language-agnostic package and virtual environment manager, we can easily create virtual environments for different programming languages. We already knew how to create Nodejs virtual environments and Rust virtual environments. Today, we will see how to create Golang virtual environments using Conda in Linux.

        • NGRX Actions

          This is what defines an Action.

          Ngrx implements a message passing architecture, where Actions are dispatched.

        • How to read and write files in C++

          In C++, reading and writing to files can be done by using I/O streams in conjunction with the stream operators >> and >>. When reading or writing to files, those operators are applied to an instance of a class representing a file on the hard drive. This stream-based approach has a huge advantage: From a C ++ perspective, it doesn’t matter what you are reading or writing to, whether it’s a file, a database, the console, or another PC you are connected to over the network. Therefore, knowing how to write files using stream operators can be transferred to other areas.


          Reading and writing to files in C++ is not that complicated. Moreover, if you know how to deal with I/O streams, you also know (in principle) how to deal with any kind of I/O device. Libraries for various kinds of I/O devices let you use stream operators for easy access. This is why it is beneficial to know how I/O steams work.

  • Leftovers

    • Opinion | Bigger Than Her
    • Science

      • National Security AI Commission Recommends Ramping Up a Military Tech Race with China

        The national media paid scant attention to the release, on March 1, of the final report of the National Security Commission on Artificial Intelligence (NSCAI). In high government circles, however, it is receiving close and admiring attention. That’s because the report bolsters a widely held perception among senior policy-makers—Democrats and Republicans alike—that the United States is engaged in a protracted struggle with China for global supremacy and risks losing out to its more tech-savvy adversary. “For the first time since World War II, America’s technological predominance—the backbone of its economic and military power—is under threat,” the report asserts. “China possesses the might, talent, and ambition to surpass the United States as the world’s leader in AI in the next decade if current trends do not change.” If this country is to avert such a calamity, “the US government must embrace the AI competition and organize to win it.”

    • Education

    • Health/Nutrition

      • Opinion | Greed Drove Big Pharma Companies to Privatize Vaccines Developed With Public Resources

        Boris Johnson claimed the UK’s vaccine breakthrough was brought about by ‘giant corporations that wanted to give good returns to shareholders.’ Nothing could be further from the truth.

      • Who are the 10 Biggest Pandemic Profiteers?

        Here are highlights from the last 12 months of billionaire wealth growth:

        The 10 biggest “Pandemic Profiteers” saw the greatest percentage increase in their wealth—at least 300 percent. [See Table 2]

      • Pandemic Profiteers: How U.S. Billionaires Like Amazon’s Jeff Bezos Saw Wealth Grow by $1.3 Trillion

        A new report reveals that as a record number of people in the United States lost their jobs and struggled to put food on the table during the past year of the pandemic, the combined wealth of the 657 billionaires in the country grew more than $1.3 trillion, nearly 45%, including Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, who saw his personal wealth increase by $65 billion — more than $7 million every hour. “They are often leading companies who have benefited from the pandemic conditions by having, essentially, their competition shut down,” says Chuck Collins, author of the report on pandemic profiteers by the Institute for Policy Studies and Americans for Tax Fairness. “These folks have reaped enormous windfalls in this pandemic.” The massive gains come as pressure grows on lawmakers to impose new taxes on the top 1%, with both Senators Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders proposing new measures to address growing economic inequality.

      • New York State Reaches Deal to Legalize Recreational Marijuana

        The deal would put a 13% sales tax in place for cannabis and would allow people 21 and older to use the drug recreationally. The changes reportedly won’t impact existing medical marijuana dispensaries.

        According to Bloomberg, 9% of the total tax would go to the state and the remaining 4% would go to local governments. The move to legalize marijuana would create a new revenue stream for the state — around $350 million in annual tax revenue once fully implemented, according to an estimate from Governor Andrew Cuomo’s office.

      • Pollution from fossil fuel combustion deadlier than previously thought

        A new study found that fine particulate pollution generated by the burning of fossil fuels was responsible for one in five early deaths worldwide in 2018—far more than previously thought. Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health’s Aaron Bernstein said that the people most at risk are those “who can least afford it.”

        Bernstein, interim director of Harvard Chan School’s Center for Climate, Health, and the Global Environment (C-CHANGE), discussed the study in a March 19, 2021, interview on the PRX radio show “Living on Earth.”

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Security

          • The Hidden Danger Behind Double Reporting Of Vulnerabilities – OSTechNix

            This detailed guide talks about why security teams are overwhelmed with vulnerabilities, the danger that hides behind the double reporting of vulnerabilities, and how to mitigate such vulnerabilities using live patching tools like KernelCare.

            We know that the cybersecurity threat is growing, with matching growth in the efforts to try and mitigate the threat and the associated costs. But evidence suggests that mitigation is not progressing quickly enough.

            According to a joint analysis performed by McAfee and the Center for Strategic and International Studies, 2020 will see the global cost of cybercrime rise past the $1tn mark for the first time – a massive increase of 50% over the 2018 total. That is a rate of change clearly outpacing any comparable metric such as GDP growth, or growth in IT expenditure.

          • Reproducible Builds (diffoscope): diffoscope 171 released

            The diffoscope maintainers are pleased to announce the release of diffoscope version 171. This version includes the following changes:

            [ Mattia Rizzolo ]

            * Do not list as a “skipping reason” tools that do exist.

            * Drop the “compose” tool from the list of required tools for these tests,

            since it doesn’t seem to be required.

          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • Data Broker Looking To Sell Real-Time Vehicle Location Data To Government Agencies, Including The Military

              Location data is the new growth market. Data harvested from apps is sold to data brokers who, in turn, sell this to whoever’s buying. Lately, the buyers have been a number of government agencies, including the CBP, ICE, DEA, Secret Service, IRS, and — a bit more worryingly — the Defense Department.

            • ‘Focus on Structural Power’: Lawmakers Told to Press Big Tech CEOs on ‘Toxic’ Business Model

              “Tech CEOs want to talk about their content policies and moderation efforts—because they know their core business models are indefensible.”

            • Roskomnadzor puts forward draft order requiring passport data for new user registration on social networks

              Roskomnadzor (Russia’s Federal Service for Supervision of Communications, Information Technology, and Mass Media) has written up a draft order that will require new users joining social networks and messengers to provide their passport data, address, telephone number, and email address, reports the Russian business newspaper Kommersant. 

            • Everything you wanted to know about “surveillance advertising” – and how to avoid it

              What makes this latest initiative different is that it has an associated Web site that draws together a wide range of information about surveillance advertising and its problems. For example, it points to recent market research carried out by GQR in January this year among 1000 people registered to vote in the US. It shows 49% were strongly opposed to companies that track behavior online and collect personal data in order to target people with ads; 25% were somewhat opposed, while 19% were somewhat supportive, and only 7% strongly supported the practice. Even allowing for the fact that the sample was quite small, and may not be completely representative, it’s clear that ordinary people are well aware of the dangers of micro-targeted advertising based on constant surveillance, and unhappy about it.

            • Privacy Talks: Interview with Micah Lee from The Intercept
            • Filmmakers Around the World Team on Cloud Production Test: “It’s Part of Our Future”

              Each production implemented COVID safety procedures and used different combinations of technologies, allowing the participants to experiment with numerous workflows that enable remote, cloud-based production tasks including live review of camera footage, dailies, and participation in editorial, color grading and mixing sessions. The experiment involved the Amazon, Google and Microsoft clouds, as well as a range of technologies from participating manufacturers including 5th Kind, Adobe, ARRI, Avid, Bebop, Blackmagic, Colorfront, Evercast, Frame.io, Moxion, Sohonet, Teredek and Teradici. The shorts were also made with the collaboration of many companies from VFX house Framestore and Skywalker Sound (which mixed four of the shorts).

            • Twitter’s ‘unofficial mayor’ Chrissy Teigen quits platform after years of harassment

              Chrissy Teigen, a prolific tweeter the company once called the mayor of Twitter, quit the social media platform Wednesday night. In a series of now-deleted tweets, Teigen said Twitter “no longer serves me as positively as it serves me negatively, and I think that’s the right time to call something.”

            • Chrissy Teigen Deletes Her Twitter Account: ‘It’s Time for Me to Say Goodbye’

              After more than a decade on Twitter, Chrissy Teigen has had enough of the social network.

              The model, TV personality, author and entrepreneur on Wednesday posted a thread on Twitter, telling her more than 13.7 million followers that she was leaving the platform — before she deleted the account.

            • Facebook, Google CEOs Blasted in Congress Over Apps for Kids

              At a hearing focused on disinformation and extremism, lawmakers pressed Facebook Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg and Sundar Pichai, CEO of Alphabet Inc. and Google, which owns YouTube, to answer questions about whether their products are designed to keep kids addicted and pose a threat to their well-being.

    • Defence/Aggression

      • Opinion | Will Drones Really Protect Us?

        Drugs, surveillance & the war on terror.

      • Prison officials describe Alexey Navalny’s health as ‘stable and satisfactory.’ His lawyers say he’s in ‘severe pain.’

        According to the results of a medical examination, opposition politician Alexey Navalny’s health has been deemed satisfactory, Interfax reported on Thursday, March 25, citing spokespeople for the Federal Penitentiary Service (FSIN) in the Vladimir region.

      • Opinion | Waging War at the Supermarket and Abroad

        When the killing is done in the context of war, it’s not murder.

      • The Urgent Need for a Biden-Putin Summit

        Whatever you think of Biden’s assertion during an ABC News interview that Russia’s President Putin is “a killer” — and whether or not you think the label might apply to Biden, given his pro-war record — the existential imperative of U.S.-Russian relations is to avert a nuclear war. Biden’s claim during the same interview that Putin does not have “a soul” indicates that much of the new president’s foreign-policy thinking is stuck in a cold-war rut.

        No doubt many Americans have welcomed Biden’s holier-than-thou stance toward Putin. But an overarching reality is routinely hidden in plain sight: Everyone’s survival on this planet hinges on Washington-Moscow conflicts not spinning out of control.

      • Opinion | A Personal Recollection on the Day That Launched the Iraq War—and Its Lessons for Us 18 Years Later

        We’ve seen where dehumanization leads: to violence, war, and regret.

      • Upholding Hawaii Law, Federal Court Rules ‘No Right to Carry Arms Openly in Public’

        “This is much-needed good news following recent high-profile gun massacres in Atlanta and Boulder,” said Kris Brown, president of the gun control group Brady: United Against Gun Violence.

      • Opinion | U.S. Joins “Rules-Based World” on Afghanistan

        It is a sign of hope that Biden and Blinken are turning to legitimate, multilateral diplomacy in the case of Afghanistan, even if only because, after 20 years of war, they finally see diplomacy as a last resort.

      • US Military Ordered ‘Clandestine Burning’ of Toxic Chemicals in Poor Neighborhoods: Study

        “Congress needs to throw cold water on the Pentagon’s mad dash to burn toxic firefighting foam,” which “threatens the health of millions of Americans.”

      • The Supreme Court May Be About to Blast Another Hole in Gun Control

        In America, returning to “normal” means returning to the constant drumbeat of gun violence and mass shootings. We are the only wealthy country in the world that refuses to protect ourselves or our children from gun violence, and the year of pandemic-induced isolation did not make us any less barbaric.

      • Reminding South Korea Who is Boss: Biden’s Enforcers Pay a Visit

        That approach found a receptive audience in meetings with Japanese officials, who recognize it as offering a path to remilitarization. Results in South Korea were more ambiguous. By a substantial margin, China is South Korea’s primary trading partner, and relations between the two nations are generally solid. South Korea has no rational reason to join Washington’s fanatical anti-China campaign, no matter how much pressure the United States applies. A difference of opinion between Washington’s envoys and South Korean officials can be inferred by comparing the joint U.S.-Japan statement with South Korea’s, as only the latter lacked China-bashing verbiage.

        Blinken and Austin appear to have been more successful in reminding South Korean officials that no independent action should be taken to improve inter-Korean relations and in making it understood that Washington calls the shots. The two sides agreed to establish a “working-level diplomatic dialogue” process to align policy regarding North Korea and other matters. [2]In their joint statement, Korean and American officials affirmed that their two nations “are closely coordinating on all issues related to the Korean Peninsula” and that “these issues should be addressed through a fully-coordinated strategy toward North Korea.” [3]

      • Democracy Game Theory for Pakistan

        This commentary offers several game strategies that promise political stability and might even prevent military coups. Unfortunately, the game theory does not fully comport with the conventional principles of democracy. By no means is the democracy game theory superior to representative democracy. The game theory builds on the realism norm that the stealth player will continue to influence democracy in the foreseeable future. The game theory is irrelevant if the stealth player no longer interferes in the democratic process.

        Six Chambers

      • 1 in 5 Capitol Insurrectionists Tied to U.S. Military
      • Insurrection
      • US, Lobbyists and Arm Dealers Scramble to Reposition Amid Impending Saudi Defeat in Yemen

        In his last months in office, former President Donald Trump gave American defense contractors like Lockheed Martin and Reaper drone manufacturer General Atomics Aeronautical Systems billions in projected earnings through a controversial $23 billion arms deal with the United Arab Emirates (UAE), a deal now “under review” by the Biden administration.

      • Militias Still Recruiting On Facebook Demonstrates The Impossibility Of Content Moderation At Scale

        Yesterday, in a (deliberately, I assume) well-timed release, the Tech Transparency Project released a report entitled Facebook’s Militia Mess, detailing how there are tons of “militia groups” organizing on the platform (first found via a report on Buzzfeed). You may recall that, just days after the insurrection at the Capitol, that Facebook’s COO Sheryl Sandberg made the extremely disingenuous claim that only Facebook had the smarts to stop these groups, and that most of the organizing of the Capitol insurrection must have happened elsewhere. Multiple reports debunked that claim, and this new one takes it even further, showing that these groups are (1) still organizing on Facebook, and (2) Facebook’s recommendation algorithm is still pushing people to them:

      • Armed drone power Airbus

        The German armed forces want to arm their drones. Germany, France, Italy and Spain are also to decide on combat drone swarms.

      • After 10 Years of Civil War in Syria, US (Quietly) Declares Defeat but Won’t Go Home

        This March marks the 10-year anniversary of the Arab Spring and the protests that rocked Syria, which were a starting point for the ongoing civil war. That conflict has led to over half a million deaths and nearly 13 million people displaced, according to some estimates.

      • Yemen Enters 7th Year of U.S.-Backed, Saudi-Led War That Caused the World’s Worst Humanitarian Crisis

        As the world’s worst humanitarian crisis enters its seventh year in Yemen, we look at the toll of the U.S.-backed, Saudi-led air war. A new report by the Yemen Data Project summarizing the impact of air raids over the past six years finds the bombing campaign has killed almost 1,500 civilians every year on average, a quarter of them children. Journalist Iona Craig, who heads up the Yemen Data Project, says there have been almost 23,000 air raids since the war began in 2015. “We’re still seeing mass civilian casualty events,” says Craig. “We’re still seeing a large number of airstrikes on residential areas and, of course, on civilian infrastructure, which has been absolutely decimated over the last six years of the conflict.”

      • 1 in 5 Capitol Insurrectionists Tied to U.S. Military; Soldiers “Targets” for Extremist Recruitment

        Nearly one in five people facing charges related to the January 6 insurrection at the Capitol had some connection to the military, including at least two active-duty troops, prompting Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin to order a 60-day stand-down across the services to address extremism. Ahead of the first deadline on April 6, the House Armed Services Committee held a hearing Wednesday on extremism in the U.S. military. We speak with one of the experts who testified. “People who are connected with the military are prime targets for extremists,” says Lecia Brooks, chief of staff at the Southern Poverty Law Center. Despite the decades of inaction, she says, “the conversation is moving forward” in Washington, as lawmakers are finally speaking openly about white supremacy and white nationalism.

      • QAnon and the Trump cult: Expert Steven Hassan on whether they can be saved

        QAnon, the anti-Semitic and white supremacist conspiracy-theory cult and live action roleplaying game, may actually be a new type of American religion, as Caroline Mimbs Nyce argued in a recent article at the Atlantic. In an interview with CBC radio, sociologist Edwin Hodge offered this complementary insight: [...]

    • Environment

      • Russia trolls Suez Canal with northern ‘alternative’

        Russia has invested heavily in the development of the Northern Sea Route that allows ships to cut the journey to Asian ports by 15 days compared with the conventional route through the Suez Canal.

        As the route becomes increasingly free of ice due to climate change, Moscow is planning to use it to export oil and gas to overseas markets.

      • Protect fish to increase catches − and cut carbon

        There is a clear way to get more value from the seas: protect fish. New research confirms an old argument.

      • Families and Indigenous Youth Vow to ‘Not Give Up’ After Top EU Court Dismisses ‘People’s Climate Case’

        “We will keep fighting for justice and for the protection of fundamental rights that are threatened by the unequal and diverse impacts of climate change.”

      • Energy

      • Wildlife/Nature

        • California Coastal Commission (Finally) Bans ORVs

          For forty years, the Coastal Commission has been arguing with the California State Parks and Recreation that thrillcraft jeopardized the area’s natural values, including the destruction of nests of endangered least terns and snowy plovers. There are ten species within the Park listed under state or federal laws that the Park agency is obligated to protect.

          But with thousands of dune buggies, dirt bikes, 4WD pickups, and other motorized thrillcraft tearing up the beach and dunes, protection of plants and animals is not among the Park’s priorities.

        • A Rare Good Move for Grizzlies

          Ranger Davy wrote: “Research indicates use of helicopters has significant negative impacts to denning grizzly bears, a threatened species. Wildlife biologists have documented occupied grizzly bear dens in the vicinity of the proposed use. Based on a preliminary review of this project, U.S. Fish and Wildlife agreed with Caribou-Targhee determination of an adverse effect to denning grizzly bears as well as an adverse effect to grizzlies emerging from their dens. Helicopter use would likely cause injury to denning females and possible mortality of cubs of the year. Some of the areas proposed for skiing and landing a helicopter are located within known avalanche prone areas creating a risk to public health and safety. This use as demonstrated by the applicant can be accommodated on lands other than National Forest System lands.”

          After the Forest Service first indicated that they were going to grant the permit for helicopter skiing, Yellowstone to Uintas Connection, the Alliance for the Wild Rockies, and Native Ecosystem Council jumped into action and submitted comments to the Caribou-Targhee National Forest pointing out that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s own maps showed the area is occupied grizzly bear habitat.

    • Finance

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

    • Censorship/Free Speech

    • Freedom of Information/Freedom of the Press

      • Government-Inspired Attacks on Female Journalists in El Salvador are Increasing

        For the first time in the 29 years since the signing of the peace accords, a president and several members of his cabinet have been called out for their repressive actions and for inciting violence against critics, in ways that echo the military governments of the 1980s.

        Last week, the Association of Journalists of El Salvador (APES) presented its report on attacks on journalists, freedom of expression and freedom of the press. According to the APES report “Freedom of Expression in El Salvador 2020”, aggressions against journalists doubled between March and September of that year. The organization registered 125 cases in 2020 and 77 in 2019, while in 2018 there were 65. The main culprits of threats and aggressions against journalists and media included President Nayib Bukele and several officials of his cabinet.

      • As it turns 50, Bangladesh is doing well, despite its politicians

        It is not just opposition activists, but also journalists and other critics of the government who increasingly wind up behind bars. In 2018 the government introduced the Digital Security Act, supposedly to curb religious radicalism and pornography online. But its vague provisions, which include stiff jail sentences for those who post “aggressive or frightening” content, have been used to silence critics of all sorts. Mushtaq Ahmed, a writer, was arrested last year after criticising the government’s response to covid-19 on Facebook. He died in prison last month, having been denied bail six times.

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • Recordings, Transcripts Show Police, Prosecutors Lied To A Grand Jury To Bring Gang Charges Against BLM Protesters

        More information has come out about the disastrous attempt by Arizona prosecutors to turn anti-police-violence protesters into a street gang. Phoenix police officers waded into the protest comprised of (checks official documents) 17 protesters, showering them with pepper balls and arresting them all. Charges were brought, including one very damaging one: assisting a criminal street gang. Gang charges are automatic felonies with hefty sentence enhancements.

      • ‘Vicious Attack on Voting Rights’: Georgia Governor Signs GOP Suppression Bill

        “This is why federal voting rights legislation is necessary.”

      • ‘All In for the EACH Act’: Rights Advocates Applaud Bill to End Hyde Amendment

        “Congress has the opportunity to bring us one step closer to a world where access to abortion care doesn’t depend on where you live, how you are insured, or how much money you have.”

      • Opinion | Holding Our Breaths on AUMFs, Drones, and Guantánamo

        Three ways to begin to end the war on terror.

      • The Ghosts of Tortures Past

        A barely tolerated opposition magazine had published an excruciating interview with him, and I forced myself — having recently returned to my native land after 12 years of exile — to devour it with a mix of perverse curiosity and obvious dread. It was a tale of multiple horrors, detailing how Valenzuela and his fellow state agents had abducted dissidents, applied electricity to their genitals, dumped the corpses in rivers and ravines. I knew some of those victims personally and was aware that the viciousness inflicted on them and so many others could very well erupt into my own life.

        Overcome with revulsion, I resolved to forget that name, Andrés Valenzuela. As if banishing him from memory could deny his ferocious persistence. Because here he is again, the protagonist of Nona Fernández’s novel “The Twilight Zone,” translated fluidly into English by Natasha Wimmer. Given my initial distressing experience with the magazine interview, I approached this book with trepidation, also wary that a plethora of investigations, memoirs, films, fiction, essays, plays and poems had extensively covered the themes of terror, memory and the obstacles to national reconciliation since Pinochet’s loss of power in 1990. Could anything original still be expressed on the subject?

      • We are Living Through a Time of Fear – Not Just of the Virus, But of Each Other

        We are now firmly in a time of fear – not only of the virus, but of each other. Fear destroys solidarity. Fear forces us to turn inwards to protect ourselves and our loved ones. Fear refuses to understand or identify with the concerns of others.

        In fear societies, basic rights become a luxury. They are viewed as a threat, as recklessness, as a distraction that cannot be afforded in this moment of crisis.

      • The Border-Industrial Complex in the Post-Trump Era

        The Homeland Security vehicle soon pulled up next to us. An agent rolled down his window and asked me, “What are you doing? Joyriding?”

        After I laughed in response to a word I hadn’t heard in years, the agent informed us that we were in a dangerous construction zone, even if this part of the wall had been built four months earlier. I glanced around. There were no bulldozers, excavators, or construction equipment of any sort. I wondered whether the lack of machinery reflected the campaign promise of the recently inaugurated Joe Biden that “not another foot” of Trump’s wall would be built.

      • Bernie Sanders Is Heading to Bessemer During Last Days of Amazon Union Vote
      • Team Bernie vs. Amazon Executive: War of Words Erupts as Sanders Backs Alabama Union Drive

        “I am proud to stand in solidarity with Amazon workers in Alabama who are fighting for better wages and better working conditions.”

      • The Debt We Owe Edward Said

        “Edward Said was our prince,” the Egyptian novelist Ahdaf Soueif recently said in a conversation reflecting on the Palestinian public intellectual’s life and writings. An incomparable thinker, Said is credited with founding postcolonial studies, penning histories of cultural representation and “the Other,” and, in so doing, upending the Anglo-American academy. His Orientalism, published in 1978, is among the most cited books in modern history, by some accounts above Marx’s Capital and Darwin’s On the Origin of Species. Throughout decades of essays, books, and reviews, Said showed his care for form and the structures of feeling, seeing in their examination a means of understanding music, literature, the world, and Palestine, his home.

      • “Tragic Moment”: Rohingya Suffer New Blow as Cox’s Bazar, World’s Largest Refugee Camp, Burns Down

        We get an update on a massive fire at the world’s largest refugee camp: the Rohingya refugee camp in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh. The fire killed at least 15 people and displaced 45,000 this week, with hundreds possibly still missing. Bangladeshi authorities are investigating the cause of the fire, which destroyed about 17,000 shelters as the blaze ripped through the crowded camp, leaving behind scenes of utter destruction and despair as people were separated from their loved ones. Nearly a million Rohingya refugees live in southern Bangladesh, often in squalid and dangerous conditions, after fleeing a brutal military crackdown in Burma in 2017. Tun Khin, Rohingya activist and president of the Burmese Rohingya Organisation UK, says it is a “very, very tragic moment for the Rohingya people.”

    • Monopolies

      • Patents

        • Intentional Over-billing of Clients Leads to 2-year Suspension

          A partner at a major firm had been suspended initially for six months for intentionally over-billing certain clients for 450 hours of work she and other lawyers had not performed. (Apparently, one justice initially decides the penalty in a bar proceeding there.). Bar counsel then argued to the entire court that six months was insufficient, and the Massachusetts Supreme Court agreed.


          And, related to that, many state disciplinary rules, like the USPTO Rules, require certain members of firms to have in place policies to ensure compliance with the ethical rules, and so one lawyer’s misconduct could cause ripple effects.

        • EPO to continue VICO hearings, despite legality appeal[Ed: Notice how propaganda apparatus/think tanks of the EPO's management cover up the scandal and the blunder about kangaroo courts at EPO deciding on 'courts' over webchat]

          The EPO has said it will continue to hold hearings by video-conference without parties’ permission, despite the fact that an appeal questioning the legality of that approach is pending.

          In a statement on Wednesday, March 24, an EPO spokesperson said that after a “careful weighing up of the impact for legal certainty and access to justice”, president António Campinos had decided oral proceedings would continue under current practice.

          At the moment, oral proceedings before examination and opposition divisions, and at appeal level, can be held by VICO without both parties’ consent.

          Earlier this month, an EPO Technical Board of Appeal made a referral to the Enlarged Board of Appeal (EBoA) seeking to clarify whether that approach was permissible under the European Patent Convention.

          The referral to the EBoA concerns appeal proceedings, but also extends to oral proceedings by VICO before examining and opposition divisions.

          According to the EPO, hosting oral proceedings by VICO in examination and opposition was introduced to ensure the functioning of the office during the COVID-19 pandemic.

          Before this was introduced, the pandemic had a “significant negative impact” on legal certainty for parties because almost none of the scheduled oral proceedings could take place, an EPO spokesperson said.

          The EPO said it would immediately implement the EBoA’s findings once it rules on the matter.

      • Copyrights

        • Free as in Climbing: Rock Climber’s Open Data Project Threatened by Bogus Copyright Claims

          Viet Nguyen, a climber and coder, created OpenBeta to bring open source software tools to the climbing community. He used Mountain Project, a website where climbers can post information about climbing routes, as a source of user-posted data about climbs, including their location, ratings, route descriptions, and the names of first ascensionists. Using this data, Nguyen created free, publicly available interfaces (APIs) that others can use to discover new insights about climbing—anything from mapping favorite crags to analyzing the relative difficulty of routes in different regions—using software of their own.

          Rock climbers get a lot of practice at falling hard, taking a moment to recover, and continuing to climb. Mountain Project should take a lesson from their community: dust off, change your approach, and keep climbing.

          The Mountain Project website is built on users’ contributions of information about climbs. Building on users’ contributions, Mountain Project offers search tools, “classic climbs” lists, climbing news links, and other content. But although the site runs on the contributions of its users, Mountain Project’s owners apparently want to control who can use those contributions, and how. They sent a cease-and-desist letter to Mr. Nguyen, claiming to “own[] all rights and interests in the user-generated work” posted to the site, and demanding that he stop using it in OpenBeta. They also sent a DMCA request to GitHub to take down the OpenBeta code repository.

        • Court Hears Arguments in Canadian Pirate Site Blocking Appeal

          TekSavvy went up against major media companies including Bell and Rogers in Canada’s Federal Court of Appeal this week. The Court, which has to decide whether the country’s first pirate site blocking order can stay in place, heard arguments from both sides and intervening parties including the Canadian domain name registry.

        • Courts Sentence Men for Pirating Thousands of Movies & TV Shows, Including Via Plex

          Following the dismantling of several private trackers in 2020, a man has been sentenced for sharing thousands of TV shows and movies via now-defunct torrent site DanishBits. In a separate case, another man has been convicted of sharing 9,440 movies with a relatively small circle of family and friends using the popular Plex media server.

        • City Of London Police Parrot Academic Publishers’ Line That People Visiting Sci-Hub Should Be Afraid, Very Afraid

          Techdirt has been following the saga of the City of London Police’s special “Intellectual Property Crime Unit” (PIPCU) since it was formed back in 2013. It has not been an uplifting story. PIPCU seems to regard itself as Hollywood’s private police force worldwide, trying to stop copyright infringement online, but without much understanding of how the Internet works, or even regard for the law, as a post back in 2014 detailed. PIPCU rather dropped off the radar, until last week, when its dire warnings about a new, deadly threat to the wondrous world of copyright were picked up by a number of gullible journalists. PIPCU’s breathless press release reveals the shocking truth: innocent young minds are being encouraged to access knowledge, funded by the public, as widely as possible. Yes, PIPCU has discovered Sci-Hub:

IRC Proceedings: Thursday, March 25, 2021

Posted in IRC Logs at 2:37 am by Needs Sunlight

HTML5 logs

HTML5 logs

#techrights log as HTML5

#boycottnovell log as HTML5

HTML5 logs

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#boycottnovell-social log as HTML5

#techbytes log as HTML5

text logs

text logs

#techrights log as text

#boycottnovell log as text

text logs

text logs

#boycottnovell-social log as text

#techbytes log as text

Enter the IRC channels now

IPFS Mirrors

CID Description Object type
 QmPtgEzFCLZ2aWR2135zkpCWpkgdZBvqk5SJg4q2dqXPbc IRC log for #boycottnovell
(full IRC log as HTML)
HTML5 logs
 QmeHhu9i9mnupooh4YWnusVPBTELME9Hak7HDFmmGC5KYv IRC log for #boycottnovell
(full IRC log as plain/ASCII text)
text logs
 QmYPyqAds45FEoHSTMh62cVyZ378Mt1jKbXCBAsmsbtwwJ IRC log for #boycottnovell-social
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 QmWAgwJaC8e4LhLEgrSdSsGuAxHW7UFguFC7ALqDmVTYry IRC log for #boycottnovell-social
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 QmWxfwXhPNBKXrFWBYGSjp39mr7m9Tz9su2GgcBXxSnYz3 IRC log for #techbytes
(full IRC log as HTML)
HTML5 logs
 Qme4aMQXmwiafqE5vRwDewJoLgQmzyKf9D8SaUfoJdGSY4 IRC log for #techbytes
(full IRC log as plain/ASCII text)
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 QmdQvmcNhqnFgdHXJhaVHuquUoRP1sM34t9XKn7Qpi8yHw IRC log for #techrights
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 QmUwJmoSfAUiyj9ZaWm7z52c69BoUVBZM1eW28t49R6wpF IRC log for #techrights
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text logs

IPFS logo

Bulletin for Yesterday

Local copy | CID (IPFS): QmZKx5MdRst26pF2CyyKi12vx2w2fEiBPxuFKUtWVa8fRW

Links 26/3/2021: Alpine 3.13.3, Istio 1.9.2, and OpenSSL 1.1.1k

Posted in News Roundup at 1:00 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Desktop/Laptop

      • Chromebooks could finally become proper Linux gaming computers

        Linux for Chromebooks has come a long way since Google introduced it in Chrome OS 69 a couple of years ago. On supported devices, it opened the door to an extensive library of desktop apps for users, like video editing tools and IDEs. GPU acceleration was an important milestone that made graphic intensive Linux app usable on Chrome OS. This is thanks to Virgil 3D, a component that allows the Linux container to tap into the hardware’s GPU. In exciting news shared by Luke Short from VMware, Google is working on adding Vulkan passthrough into Virgil to improve app performance.

        A round of commits spotted on GitLab shows that Google’s Chia-l Wu has been working around a year to add Vulkan passthrough support into Virgil 3D from the QEMU hypervisor. Wu helped Valve in the past by submitting a set of patches for Mesa — an OpenGL library — to reduce load times in games. Work-in-progress code allows commercial and Proton-based Steam games to run on Chromebooks.

      • System76 Updates their Pangolin Laptop

        System76 does many things very well. One of those things is listen. The consumers have spoken and they wanted an AMD-powered version of their most popular laptop to date, the Pangolin. The Pangolin has the title of the first System76 laptop to be powered by the AMD Ryzen line of mobile processors. And with the Pangolin, you can configure a laptop all the way up to the Ryzen 7 4700 CPU and AMD Radeon graphics. As for memory and storage, the Pangolin can be spec’d up to 64GB of RAM and up to 2TB of NVMe storage.

        The 15″ laptop includes multi-colored backlit keys with tactile feedback, a large, multi-touch trackpad, and a 1080p matte display.

    • Audiocasts/Shows

      • Krita speedpainting timelapse – The run

        Here is a timelapse of a speedpainting using Krita that starts with a thumbnails in black and white; then most of the recoloring and painting of the main blocks is done at a distant zoom level. It helps at managing the overall aspect of the picture. To finish only a small part of the artwork was detailed: the characters. This way, the depth of field is not managed by a blur added (for eg. reducing the detailes of a colored line-art) , but by the lack of details all around. It’s a technique that works fine with staged characters, little silhouette and background with organic shapes. It totally falls appart as soon as I apply that to a reaction shot for a comic, or on a complex perspective that require precise guideline. But I’ll keep practising because I really like the feeling of ‘freedom’ this technique offers.

      • Ubuntu Podcast from the UK LoCo: S14E03 – Tiny Spider Transmitted

        This week we’ve been migrating to Bitwarden and upgrading servers. We round up news from the Ubuntu community, events, and our picks from the tech news.

        It’s Season 14 Episode 03 of the Ubuntu Podcast! Alan Pope, Mark Johnson and Martin Wimpress are connected and speaking to your brain.

      • End Of LBRY TV A New Bright Future For Odysee

        I’ve been a big supporter of LBRY since I first discovered it but a major change is coming to the platform. LBRY TV is being retired in favor of Odysee as the web client which I think is a great direction for the platform.

    • Kernel Space

      • Linux 5.10.26
        I'm announcing the release of the 5.10.26 kernel.
        All users of the 5.10 kernel series must upgrade.
        The updated 5.10.y git tree can be found at:
        	git://git.kernel.org/pub/scm/linux/kernel/git/stable/linux-stable.git linux-5.10.y
        and can be browsed at the normal kernel.org git web browser:
        greg k-h
      • linux 5.11.10
      • Graphics Stack

        • Mesa 21.1 Wires Up Lima Shader Disk Cache

          When it comes to open-source Arm Mali graphics on Linux, the Panfrost Gallium3D driver is what’s talked about the most given that it’s for supporting newer generations of Mali graphics hardware. But the Lima Gallium3D driver effort remains ongoing for supporting older Mali 400/450 series hardware.

          For those with older Mali 400 Utgard GPUs in various Allwinner SoCs particularly, the Lima Gallium3D effort continues maturing. The newest feature that is complete is an on-disk shader cache.

        • AMD ROCm 4.1 Is Released With A Fine New Notice Saying “GUI-Based software” Is “Not Supported”

          The latest AMD Radeon Open Compute (ROCm) stack brings a few new features for AMDs data-center customers. OpenCL, which is what most GNU/Linux desktop applications use for GPU compute, is not even mentioned in the “What’s New” section of the release notes. There is, instead, a shiny new notice on the ROCm documentation website saying “GUI-based software applications are currently not supported”.

        • Mike Blumenkrantz: Layin That Pipe

          It’s no secret that CPU renderers are slower than GPU renderers. But at the same time, CPU renderers are crucial for things like CI and also not hanging your current session by testing on a live GPU when you’re deep into Critical Rewrites.

          So I’ve spent some time today doing some rewrites in the *pipe section of mesa, and let’s just say that the pipe was good with zink before, but it’s much, much better now.

        • PanVk: An Open Source Vulkan driver for Arm Mali Midgard and Bifrost GPUs

          The Panfrost project started as a reverse engineering effort to understand Arm Mali Midgard and Bifrost GPU internals. It quickly evolved to focus on the development of a Gallium driver based on this reverse engineering effort, which was progressively extended to support new GLES and GL features (we recently reached a point where we are almost GLES 3.0 and GL 3.1 comformant, and GLES 3.1 is in the pipe). Last year, a new compiler backend was added to support Mali Bifrost GPUs.

          With the Panfrost driver getting more and more mature, the natural next step was to work on an Open Source Vulkan driver for those GPUs.

        • PanVK Started For Open-Source Vulkan On Arm Mali GPUs – Phoronix

          Panfrost has been the Gallium3D driver providing open-source OpenGL for Arm Mali Bifrost and Midgard GPus while now “PanVK” is in development as an open-source Vulkan driver.

          Boris Brezillon formally announced the start of PanVK today. With Panfrost Gallium3D becoming quite mature, PanVK is the new focus in providing Vulkan API support for Arm Mali Midgard/Bifrost GPUs.

          PanVK is already in good enough shape to run the basic Vulkan cube demo but is not yet a conformant driver nor running most real-world applications. Performance optimizations also haven’t yet been a focus until all core features are in place.

    • Benchmarks

      • AMD AOCC 3.0 Compiler Performance With The EPYC 75F3 – Making Fast Even Faster

        Launched last week with the AMD EPYC 7003 “Milan” processors was the AOCC 3.0 code compiler as AMD’s downstream of LLVM Clang with various patches now catering to optimized for Zen 3. Last week some preliminary benchmarks of AOCC 3.0 on the Ryzen 9 5950X were carried out to good results. Since then I have begun putting AOCC 3.0 through its paces on a AMD EPYC 7003 series server to overall great results.

        The AMD Optimizing C/C++ Compiler 3.0 is catering to AMD EPYC 7003 (Zen 3) processors, re-based from LLVM Clang 11 to LLVM Clang 12, adds in tuning for the AMD Math Library (AMDLibM 3.7), and offers improved Fortran language support with the FLANG front-end. The extent of AMD’s Zen 3 / Znver3 tuning though isn’t clear given that AOCC remains a binary-only compiler without the sources being publicly available. In any case, the benchmarks we are seeing out of AOCC 3.0 on Zen 3 processors are looking quite favorable.

      • Dave Airlie (Red Hat): sketchy vulkan benchmarks: lavapipe vs swiftshader

        Mike, the zink dev, mentioned that swiftshader seemed slow at some stuff and I realised I’ve never expended much effort in checking swiftshader vs llvmpipe in benchmarks.

        The thing is CPU rendering is pretty much going to top out on memory bandwidth pretty quickly but I decided to do some rough napkin benchmarks using the vulkan samples from Sascha Willems.

        I’d also thought that due to having a few devs and the fact that it was used instead of mesa by google for lots of things that llvmpipe would be slower since it hasn’t really gotten dedicated development resources.

        I picked a random smattering of Vulkan samples and ran them on my Ryzen

        workstation without doing anything else, in their default window size.

    • Applications

      • qBittorrent 4.3.4 Released! New Sorting Logic, Drop Ubuntu 18.04 Support

        The free and open-source BitTorrent client qBittorrent 4.3.4 was released. Here’s how to install it in Ubuntu 20.04, Ubuntu 20.10 via PPA.

        qBittorrent 4.3.4 reworked the sorting logic. To get the old sorting order for the “queue number” column, first sort on the “Completed On” column and then sort on the “#”(queue number) column.

        The new release now requires Qt >= 5.12. Ubuntu 18.04 is no longer supported via the official PPA due to outdated system libraries.

      • QEMU 6.0 On The Way With LTO Support, AMD SEV-ES Guests, Multi-Process Experiment – Phoronix

        This week marked the hard feature freeze for QEMU 6.0 along with the tagging of QEMU 6.0-rc0. The QEMU 6.0 release should happen around the end of April for this important piece of the open-source Linux virtualization stack.

        QEMU 6.0 is a big feature update and will be seeing weekly release candidates until the stable release is ready to ship around the end of April.

      • Gigolo 0.5.2 Is Released

        Gigolo is a simple graphical program, primarily for the Xfce desktop environment, that let you bookmark, mount and unmount remote filesystems supported by GVfs. The latest version is mostly a bug-fix release with non-visible changes beneath the hood.

      • Announcing Istio 1.9.2

        This release note describes what’s different between Istio 1.9.1 and Istio 1.9.2.

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • How to Install HestiaCP and Create a New Website on Ubuntu 20.04 – ByteXD

        HestiaCP is a free and open-source web server control panel and is a fork of the popular Vesta Control Panel. It provides a simple and clean web interface, and it offers the possibility for administrators to easily manage core features of their web server, including managing and deploying websites, mail accounts, DNS zones and databases.

        HestiaCP also offers a command line interface that you can read more on in the HestiaCP docs.

        A nice feature of HestiaCP is that it offers Quick Install Apps, which means it offers a quick way of installing popular web apps. At the time of writing it includes WordPress, Drupal, Joomla, Opencart, Prestashop, Laravel, and Symfony.

        Given that HestiaCP is relatively recent, it doesn’t have a documentation of all the features it offers. On the other hand, thanks to the fact that it’s a fork of Vesta, some solutions/answers coincide with that of Vesta.

      • Install Apache Solr 8.8 on Ubuntu 20.04

        Apache Solr is an open-source search platform developed in Java. Searching is a very important part of an application. When comes to searching terabytes of data it would be important to consider speed and availability. Solr provides a rich set of features for search.

      • How to Connect to a Debian 10 Server via Remote Desktop Connection using xRDP

        xRDP is a free and open-source implementation of Windows Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP), that started in 2004.

        With RDP you can connect to a another computer over a network and control it through its graphical user interface, and use it almost as if you were sitting right in front of it. You also control the remote machine from operating systems that support RDP, which includes Windows, Mac, Linux, Android and iOS.

        xRDP allows non-Microsoft operating systems such as Linux and BSD to provide a fully-functional RDP-compliant remote desktop environment.

        The xRDP server is full-screen and doesn’t require any special client-side software to be installed. xRDP allows RDP clients to present an X Windows desktop to the user. It works by bridging graphics from an X Windows system (Unix-like OS) to the client (the one receiving commands) and relaying controls back from the client to X.

        This tutorial explains how to install xRDP on a remote machine running Debian 10, how to install multiple desktop environments on the remote machine, how to connect to it from different operating systems, how to fix a few common issues, and a few optimizations you can make to possibly improve a laggy connection.

      • How to play Valheim on Linux

        Valheim is an early access survival and sandbox video game by Swedish developer Iron Gate Studio. In the game, players are Vikings and have to craft tools and survive. The game works on Linux reasonably well. Here’s how to set it up on your system.

      • How to install DBeaver MySQL client on Ubuntu

        DBeaver is a sophisticated SQL client software management tool and database administration tool. It is open source and works on all platforms, including Linux. In this guide, we’ll show you how to install the DBeaver program on Ubuntu.

      • How to copy items from one DynamoDB to another DynamoDB table using Python on AWS

        Python to copy items from one DynamoDB table to another. The same script can be used to copy items between DynamoDB tables in different accounts. Before we proceed with this article, it is assumed that you have a basic understanding of Python. You need not write anything on your own, you would just need to execute the script to get done with the copy operation. If you need to understand the script and the code written in it, then you need to have a basic understanding of Python.

        You can execute this script from any machine with access to the internet and Python installed in it. You need to have Python and Boto3 installed on your system. This script is tested with Python 2.7.16, you can try with different versions available in Python 2.7.

      • How To Install and Configure Sysstat on Linux Desktop

        Sysstat (system statistics) is one of the most lightweight and best system monitoring tools for Linux distributions. If you’re a system administrator, you might know that monitoring every single parameter of your system is important to keep it functional. As the Sysstat is a command-line-based system monitoring tool, it provides real-time system info. Furthermore, you can also troubleshoot your system through the Sysstat tool. Installing the Sysstat system monitoring tool is quick and hassle-free on a Linux system.

      • How To Install Hestia Control Panel on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS – idroot

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to install Hestia Control Panel on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS. For those of you who didn’t know, Hestia Control Panel is designed to provide administrators an easy-to-use web and command-line interface, enabling them to quickly deploy and manage web domains, mail accounts, DNS zones, and databases from one central dashboard without the hassle of manually deploying and configuring individual components or services.

        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 the Hestia Control Panel on Ubuntu 20.04 (Focal Fossa). You can follow the same instructions for Ubuntu 18.04, 16.04, and any other Debian-based distribution like Linux Mint.

      • How to Install CMake on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS

        CMake is an open-source, cross-platform family of tools designed to build, test, and package software. CMake is used to control the software compilation process using simple platform and compiler-independent configuration files, and generate native makefiles and workspaces that can be used in the compiler environment of your choice. The suite of CMake tools was created by Kitware in response to the need for a powerful, cross-platform build environment for open-source projects such as ITK and VTK.

      • How to Integrate Edge Impulse Neural Network on Raspberry Pi Pico – IoT Tech Trends

        Raspberry Pi Pico features a powerful RP2040 chip that supports a wide range of use cases. Machine learning is one such use case, as the board comes with a higher clock and SRAM compared to its previously-released competing boards. This tutorial guides you through integrating the neural network trained with Edge Impulse on your Raspberry Pi Pico.

        You will need three components to build the use cases explained in this tutorial: Raspberry Pi Pico, Seeed’s Grove Shield for Pi Pico v1.0, and Seeed’s Grove – Light Sensor v1.2 – LS06-S phototransistor. You will also need an Edge Impulse account for deploying purposes.

      • Beginner’s Guide to Podman Containers on Linux – Make Tech Easier

        When talking about the Future of Technology, many seasoned techs know that virtualization and containerization are very much that path. They allow for greater application and service security, and they’re easily managed through other services that allow for snapshotting, templates, and greater customization than you get with the one-server-per-application model. However, it’s not always completely clear how you should get started with virtualization and containerization. We’ve covered virtualization on Linux, Windows, and macOS many times before, but containerization tends to be a bit of a different beast. We’re providing you in this article with a beginner’s guide to Podman on Linux, a great tool for containerization.

      • How to install Friday Night Funkin’ Hatsune Miku / Full Week on a Chromebook

        Today we are looking at how to install Friday Night Funkin’ Hatsune Miku / Full Week on a Chromebook. Please follow the video/audio guide as a tutorial where we explain the process step by step and use the commands below.

      • Learn to Use Linux the Arch Way With ArcoLinux

        Many Linux users would like to use Arch Linux, but its intense DIY philosophy can seem intimidating. What if there was a distro that wasn’t just Arch-based, but one that actively trained you to become a full-blown Arch user?

        Enter ArcoLinux, a distro that’s also an educational course. Today we’ll explore ArcoLinux along with its unique philosophy and features.

    • Games

      • Them’s Fightin’ Herds: Linux Version Now Live!

        Yup, it’s here, and with the update comes quite a long list of changes. Buckle up, we’ve got a lot to cover in this massive 2.0 update.

        Though Them’s Fightin’ Herds — a 2D fighting game featuring ungulates — works flawlessly through Proton, I’m happy to report that, as promised from their Indiegogo campaign, the Linux version has finally made it. After personally testing it I can confirm it runs just fine on Arch with NVIDIA; no stutters whatsoever throughout the time I played the game, and online multiplayer works.

      • Total War: ROME REMASTERED announced with cross-platform multiplayer

        Feral Interactive have turned from porter to a full game developer here with the announcement of Total War: ROME REMASTERED, bringing over one of the few Total War titles we didn’t already have. This is not some minor revamp either, Feral Interactive went back and upgraded all parts of the game for a full release across Linux, macOS and Windows.

        Originally created by Creative Assembly in partnership with SEGA Europe, this brings a lot of fun sounding enhancements to a very popular game along with Linux and macOS support.

        “Working to remaster a classic such as Rome has been an exhilarating challenge: a bit like re-cutting the crown jewels” says David Stephen, Managing Director of Feral Interactive. “We are delighted with the result and hope that fans of this fantastic franchise will be too.”

      • Total War: Rome Remastered + Metro Exodus Coming To Linux In April

        Besides Valheim, there hasn’t been much in the way of native Linux game releases recently to really get excited about with much of the activity these days being through Valve’s Steam Play for running Windows games on Linux. But in April there will be at least two high profile native Linux game releases.

        First up, Metro Exodus will make its native Linux debut. Metro Exodus was released by 4A Games back in February 2019 as the newest Metro game under Windows. While users have been successful in getting Metro Exodus working with Steam Play / Proton, 4A Games has been working on native ports to Linux and macOS.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • Why the Xfce desktop is reminiscent of early Linux desktops, but with a modern sensibility

        I was recently asked by a reader to review the latest Xfce (version 4.16). Although I haven’t used this particular desktop environment for quite a while, I thought it’d be a treat to spin up a virtual machine and give it a go–I’m glad I did.

        I opted to test the Xfce desktop on Manjaro, so I can be sure to get the latest version of everything needed to get the most out of the environment. Be aware, this isn’t a review of Manjaro (which is an outstanding Linux distribution), but rather, Xfce. However, I will say that Manjaro helped to make the process quite pleasant. This also isn’t a review wherein I get into the technical nuts and bolts of the desktop. This is about end-users and useability, but that’s a story for another day.

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • Using maliit-keyboard in a Plasma Wayland session

          For some time Plasma Wayland had built-in support for Qt Virtual Keyboard. This got dropped for better support based on the Wayland input method protocols. An application supporting this protocol is maliit. In this blog post I want to describe how to enable and configure maliit in a Plasma Wayland session.

          The support for Qt Virtual Keyboard was added by me as it is quite important to offer first class virtual keyboard support out of the box. Unfortunately the best technical option, maliit, was unavailable back then in most distributions. This made it rather impossible to built on it and instead Qt Virtual Keyboard was used. Given that I am very happy that now maliit support gets added to distributions. When installing maliit please make sure to install the newer maliit-keyboard instead of the older maliit-framework and make sure that it has an up to date git snapshot.

      • GNOME Desktop/GTK

        • Introducing GNOME 40

          GNOME 40 is the latest version of GNOME, and is the result of 6 months’ hard work by the GNOME community. It contains major new features, as well as many smaller improvements and bug fixes. In total, the release incorporates 24571 changes, made by approximately 822 contributors.

          This release is dedicated to the team behind the GNOME Asia Summit 2020. GNOME Asia is the major annual GNOME conference in the Asia/Pacific part of the world, and is only possible thanks to the hard work of many volunteers. This year’s event was forced to be held online due to the COVID-19 pandemic. We are very much looking forward to meeting our friends from all around the world again in person in the near future.

        • Let’s Try GNOME 40

          I am pleased to witness the coming of GNOME 40 (also spelled Forty) the user interface of most prestigious GNU/Linux computer operating systems. Below you can download and quickly try it from the latest GNOME OS or alternatively Fedora or openSUSE in live session right from the bootable medium or simply run it on a virtual machine. Welcome GNOME Forty and congratulations to all GNOME developer for this awesome release!

        • The New GNOME 40 Release Video is Seriously Slick [Watch]

          And boy is it impressive.

          The minute-long clip whisks watchers through a number of reasons why they might want to use GNOME 40 to help them be productive.

          In a break with previous GNOME release videos the new one does not use narration. It also doesn’t call out specific changes and instead focuses on relaying more general improvements, like “intuitive gestures” rather than a description of which gestures they mean.

          You can see the new clip here…

        • GNOME 40 – First Thoughts

          GNOME 40 was released this week, and I couldn’t wait to check it out. In this video, I go over some of the new features and will give you a look at the new activities overview and workspace arrangement. This video goes over the final version of GNOME 40, tested on Fedora 34 (beta).

        • Video: GNOME 40 on Fedora 34 beta

          Jay from LearnLinuxTV on YouTube does a pretty good job showing off GNOME 40. Enjoy.

        • Top New Features of GNOME 40

          GNOME 40 is out! Like you, we are also excited about the possibilities and new features that it brings to the table. We have followed GNOME releases in the past. However, if you focus on the numbering, you will find that the last one we covered was GNOME 3.38, and now we have GNOME 40. This new numbering system is one of the changes you will see in the latest releases onwards.

          GNOME 40 is released on 24th March 2021 while showcasing the new numbering system.

          In this post, we will be taking a look at the top new features of GNOME 40.

    • Distributions

      • AlmaLinux vs CentOS

        The release of AlmaLinux in 2021 was spurred by the change of CentOS Linux from an enterprise-stable operating system to an upstream development branch of RHEL.

        With AlmaLinux being branded as a replacement for CentOS, and giving users the option to migrate to AlmaLinux from CentOS, you may be wondering what the differences are between these operating systems.

        In this guide, we’ll look at what makes AlmaLinux and CentOS so similar, and why new differences between the distributions are causing many to distro hop.

      • New Releases

        • Alpine 3.13.3 released

          The Alpine Linux project is pleased to announce the immediate availability of version 3.13.3 of its Alpine Linux operating system.

      • Screenshots/Screencasts

        • Manjaro 21.0

          Today we are looking at Manjaro 21.0. It comes with XFCE 4.16, Linux Kernel 5.10, and uses about 700MB of ram when idling. Enjoy!

        • Manjaro 21.0 Run Through

          In this video, we are looking at Manjaro 21.0.

      • SUSE/OpenSUSE

        • How SUSE & Partners Are Accelerating IT Transformation During The Pandemic

          The way we work has changed dramatically over the last 12 months. What’s more, those challenges are likely to stay for much of 2021. But there are organizations who are using this opportunity to double down on their digital transformation.

          I asked two of our Platinum partners – Mark de Groot, CEO of BPSOLUTIONS, based in the Netherlands, and Nicolas Christener, CEO & CTO, Adfinis Sygroup, based in Switzerland, about how we can and are helping our customers be more agile and innovative in the face of difficult marketing operating conditions.

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • Amazon and Red Hat Announce the General Availability of Red Hat OpenShift Service on AWS (ROSA)
        • Containers need standard operating environments too

          In the not-so-distant past, everyone had a standard operating environment. SOEs—which typically include the base operating system (kernel and user space programs), custom configuration files, standard applications used within an organization, software updates, and service packs—are designed to increase the security posture of the environment, simplify processes and automate code. Admins implement an SOE as a disk image, kickstart, or virtual machine image for mass deployment within an organization.

        • Announcing the Red Hat Enterprise Linux Certified Ansible Collection

          Today we’re thrilled to announce that the RHEL System Roles Collection is now certified with Ansible Automation Platform and is being delivered to organizations through Ansible Automation Hub. Starting with the forthcoming RHEL 8.4, this means that the system roles Collection is immediately available under technology preview support and planned to be fully supported by both RHEL and Ansible Automation Platform product support experts.

        • Fedora Community Blog: Community Survey Results Summary

          As a part of the Community Outreach Revamp the Objective co-leads, Mariana (marianab) and Sumantro (sumantrom) along with FCIAC, Marie Nordin (riecatnor), tried to capture the “bright spots” of what motivated the engagement of Fedora Ambassadors. The team approached the situation by developing a set of questions and implementing a community survey.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • Open Source Artificial Intelligence: Leading Projects

        Open source artificial intelligence projects don’t always get a lot of publicity, but they play a vital role in the development of artificial intelligence. Because these open source projects are often pursued as passion projects by developers (sometimes in colleges and universities), the advances are creative and particularly forward-looking.

        Typically freed from the constraints of a corporate setting (though some are supported by companies), these open source AI projects can dream big – and often deliver ground-breaking machine learning (ML) and AI advances.

      • Web Browsers

        • Mozilla

          • Mozilla Addons Blog: Friend of Add-ons: Mélanie Chauvel

            I’m pleased to announce our newest Friend of Add-ons, Mélanie Chauvel! After becoming interested in free and open source software in 2012, Mélanie started contributing code to Tab Center Redux, a Firefox extension that displays tabs vertically on the sidebar. When the developer stopped maintaining it, she forked a version and released it as Tab Center Reborn.

            As she worked on Tab Center Reborn, Mélanie became thoroughly acquainted with the tabs API. After running into a number of issues where the API didn’t behave as expected, or didn’t provide the functionality her extension needed, she started filing bugs and proposing new features for the WebExtensions API.

            Changing code in Firefox can be scary to new contributors because of the size and complexity of the codebase. As she started looking into her pain points, Mélanie realized that she could make some of the changes she wanted to see. “WebExtensions APIs are implemented in JavaScript and are relatively isolated from the rest of the codebase,” she says. “I saw that I could fix some of the issues that bothered me and took a stab at it.”

          • MDN localization in March — Tier 1 locales unfrozen, and future plans

            Since we last talked about MDN localization, a lot of progress has been made. In this post we’ll talk you through the unfreezing of Tier 1 locales, and the next steps in our plans to stop displaying non-active and unmaintained locales.

          • Firefox Nightly: These Weeks in Firefox: Issue 90
      • FSF

        • Positive alternatives to Codes of Conduct

          In other words, Carnegie doesn’t propose a Code of Conduct, shaming with a petition, punishment and quest for submission: he proposes respect.

          On the challenges of censorship, I feel that public speaking is a powerful tool. In fact, many of the people who have been subject to public shaming in the free software community have been attacked after standing up to speak. In my case, I had asked a question at a UN forum and within a few weeks, all kinds of people were running around in the shadows looking for ways to hide my blog or censor mailing lists.

          The fact that these people behave like this suggests that they fear independent volunteers with leadership skills. They simply want to have their cake and eat it too. When somebody is doing the wrong thing, they need to spend many hours on a shared document crafting an email that has a semblence of credibility. When somebody is acting with integrity, they have less fear about standing up to speak in front of a group.

          Public speaking is a powerful buffer against censorship and oppression. Whenever students and interns ask me for advice now, instead of recommending a program like Google Summer of Code, I suggest they start by joining a Toastmasters group before they become too involved in free software.

          Being a successful speaker is a skill that is honed with practice. Giving very short speeches every week, in a Toastmasters group or any other setting, is like adhering to a fitness training program or regularly practicing a musical instrument.


          Rather than running around with petitions and vendettas, if somebody develops a better philosophy than Richard Stallman and has a better way to communicate it, Stallman himself may become one of your followers. That is the means of change envisaged by Carnegie.

        • “An Open letter in support of Richard M. Stallman” Reaches 2000 Signatories

          Honorary doctor Richard Stallman set out to create a truly free computer operating system on September 28th, 1983. He begun writing all the necessary components, including core components like the GNU Compiler Collection (gcc), and made them freely available under a new kind of license he invented called the GNU General Public License. Linus Torvalds came along with his Linux kernel much later. The combination of Torvalds Linux kernel and the already-existing GNU operating system, which lacked a kernel of its own, is what become what we today think of as “Linux distributions” such as Debian, Ubuntu, Fedora and Linux Mint.

          Stallman founded the Free Software Foundation on October 4th, 1985. Stallman was pressured into resigning from his position as president of the FSF in September 2019 following some silly 白左 overblown drama over some comments Stallman wrote on a MIT mailing-list and some low grade “journalism”.

          Stallman recently announced that he is back on the FSF board as a regular board member, not president, in a live video stream at the virtual LibrePlanet 2021 conference. Big tech didn’t like that and they are currently trying very hard to make the FSF board reverse that decision.

          “An open letter in support of Richard M. Stallman”, which can be read in full at rms-support-letter.github.io, urges the Free Software Foundation to keep honorary doctor Richard Stallman on its board. The letter has been signed by over two thousand people thus far, and support is growing. You can sign the letter by adding a comment to rms-support-letter at codeberg.org.

        • Red Hat statement about Richard Stallman’s return to the Free Software Foundation board

          Red Hat is a long-time donor and contributor to projects stewarded by the Free Software Foundation (FSF), with hundreds of contributors and millions of lines of code contributed. Considering the circumstances of Richard Stallman’s original resignation in 2019, Red Hat was appalled to learn that he had rejoined the FSF board of directors. As a result, we are immediately suspending all Red Hat funding of the FSF and any FSF-hosted events. In addition, many Red Hat contributors have told us they no longer plan to participate in FSF-led or backed events, and we stand behind them.

        • Red Hat joins ranks of companies seeking Stallman sacking

          The world’s biggest open source company, Red Hat, has pulled funding from the Free Software Foundation and any events hosted by the foundation due to its allowing its founder, Richard Stallman, to rejoin the board.

        • Pro-Stallman group issues open letter, wants him to stay on FSF board

          A group of supporters of Free Software Foundation founder Richard Stallman has hit back at those calling for his ouster from the FSF, by putting up their own open letter calling for him to stay on in his current position.

          The pro-Stallman letter, initially published on 23 March (US time), has gathered 1897 signatures from individuals as of this writing. Unlike the anti-Stallman missive, there are no original signatories or organisations on this list.

        • SUSE joins open source bodies calling for Stallman to go

          German open source vendor SUSE has become the most prominent FOSS organisation to add its voice to the push for Free Software Foundation founder Richard Stallman and the entire FSF board to resign.

        • The Free Software Foundation: it’s time for a new beginning [Ed: This is false. The description of what RMS said is borrowed from libellous reports, to the anger is basically based on a misunderstanding or media inciting him]

          In 2019, Richard Stallman was forced out of the FSF, the organization he started. This after he called Jeffrey Epstein’s victims of sex trafficking as “entirely willing”. This week, Stallman announced that he is reappointed.

        • Statement about Richard M. Stallman and the Free Software Foundation [Ed: What it does not say is that Italo Vignoli, who wrote this, has long been in the OSI. The OSI has long been an enemy of the FSF, so there's some bad blood there; also Novell and GNOME connection]

          Dear LibreOffice Community, Dear FOSS Community,

          All of us at The Document Foundation are following the discussion in the global free software community about Richard M. Stallman’s return to the Free Software Foundation (FSF) board of directors. We do share your concerns, and we do take this situation very seriously.

          Our worldwide community is strongly committed to have a safe, welcoming, harmonious and inclusive environment, based on dignity and support. We absolutely do not tolerate harassment of any kind. Working together in trust requires mutual respect and understanding. These standards are also part of our guiding statutes that we expect all our community members and affiliates to follow.

        • Free Software Foundation urged to free itself of Richard Stallman by hundreds of developers and techies

          Richard Stallman’s return to the board of the Free Software Foundation (FSF), from which he parted ways less than two years ago, has not been well received.

          Following word that Stallman – who resigned from the FSF amid an outcry over his offensive remarks, past behavior, and warped opinions – had returned to the fold, open source organizations and members of the technical community responded with disbelief and dismay.

        • A new “board process” at the FSF

          The Free Software Foundation has announced changes in how its board of directors is selected. “We will adopt a transparent, formal process for identifying candidates and appointing new board members who are wise, capable, and committed to the FSF’s mission. We will establish ways for our supporters to contribute to the discussion. We will require all existing board members to go through this process as soon as possible, in stages, to decide which of them remain on the board.”

        • Fight against idiocy; support RMS

          I’ve been asking those who signed letter to remove RMS from all leadership positions whether they’ve read RMS statement/email that lead to all the controversies we’re now experiencing but not a single person have read the complete message/statement.

          This is madness. All those who I asked have got their info on the matter from news sites that only quoted very specific part of RMS’ message out of context. They’re asking RMS to step down from his job simply because they don’t know what he said exactly.

          Let me give you a backstory.


          Few days ago, RMS announced that he’s back. Many people cheered this decision and announcement and some were upset. Well, many were upset and many are asking FSF board and RMS himself to resign over this decision. Complete idiocy.

          This makes me mad not because I’m a fan of RMS’ work but because of idiotic cancel culture that is going on software libre world. Misleading media and news, among those who just hate RMS are pushing lots of pressure on FSF and Stallman to make them resign from their jobs.

          We should resist this. This is very dangerous. Giving organizations power to control literally the future of software libre movement is dangerous. I would support a debate between RMS and anybody who wants to debate him on his claims and statements but quoting only part of his statement out of context to cancel someone is dangerous to all of us.

          Imagine this. You say “those who say ‘rape is good’ are bad people.” Then I write a blog post about your statement and quote “rape is good” from you and ask people to cancel you. You literally said the opposite but because I quoted only specific part of your saying out of context, people get mad and try to ruin everything you stand for or have.

          RMS is a diamond for software libre world and we should keep him. Nobody can lead the movement and the Free Software Foundation better than RMS. I’ve always said, the difference between us and Open Source people is our principals. We stand by our principals and values no matter what.

        • Fight against idiocy; support RMS
        • GNU Projects

          • How I do my Computing

            inspired by the computing page of rms


            My librebooted ThinkPad X200 computer is the machine I use the most and where I do most of my computing. I also have the privilege of having access to a fleet of servers through our school’s Computer Science Club that I use for some more computationally intensive tasks every now and again, and also for hosting this very website.

            GNU/Linux distribution

            I used a wide variety of distros over the years; but I have since found Trisquel to be my favourite and it’s put my “distro-hopping” days behind me. Sometimes I pair it up with GNU Guix. For the kernel, I usually use GNU Linux-libre from jxself’s APT repository.

          • LibrePlanet 2021: Jami and how it empowers users

            I am giving my very first LibrePlanet talk today on March 20th. I will be talking about Jami, the GNU package for universal communication that respects the freedoms and privacy of its users. I’ll be giving an introduction to Jami and its architecture, sharing important and exciting development news from the Jami team about rendezvous points, JAMS, the plugin SDK, Swarm chats, and more; and how these features each help empower users to communicate with their loved ones without sacrificing their privacy or freedom.


            I have been an attendee of LibrePlanet for some years, and am very excited to be giving my first ever talk at LibrePlanet 2021 this year! You can watch my talk and other speakers’ talks live this weekend, from the LibrePlanet 2021 – Live page. Attendance is gratis (no cost), and you can register at https://u.fsf.org/lp21-sp.

      • Programming/Development

        • Functional Programming in JavaScript for Beginners

          Functional programming is not a new approach to coding, but it has grown in popularity in recent years.

          This is because, once programmers understand the basics behind the technique (and are able to write clean and reliable code using it), applications written using a functional approach are much easier to work with.

          Because of this, it’s worth gaining an understanding of functional programming once you’ve worked through this JavaScript beginners’ handbook.

          If you are frequently working with JavaScript, using this approach can save you time, and can make your code easier to work with and potentially more secure.

          In this article, we’ll look at the basic principles of functional programming, and then outline a few of the key tools for using this approach in JavaScript.

        • 40 JavaScript Projects for Beginners – Easy Ideas to Get Started Coding JS

          The best way to learn a new programming language is to build projects.

          I have created a list of 40 beginner friendly project tutorials in Vanilla JavaScript, React, and TypeScript.

          My advice for tutorials would be to watch the video, build the project, break it apart and rebuild it your own way. Experiment with adding new features or using different methods.

          That will test if you have really learned the concepts or not.

          You can click on any of the projects listed below to jump to that section of the article.

        • Perl/Raku

          • Ruby off the Rails: Code library yanked over license blunder, sparks chaos for half a million projects

            On Wednesday, Bastien Nocera, the maintainer of a software library called shared-mime-info, informed Daniel Mendler, maintainer of a Ruby library called mimemagic, which incorporates Nocera’s code, that he was shipping mimemagic under an incompatible software license.

            The shared-mime-info library is licensed under the GPLv2 license and mimemagic was listed as an MIT licensed project.

            “Using a GPL file as a source makes your whole codebase a derived work, making it all GPL, so I think it’s pretty important that this problem gets corrected before somebody uses it in a pure MIT codebase, or a closed-source application,” wrote Nocera in an Issues post.

        • Python

          • Natural language processing with Python

            Python has become the most preferred language for Natural Language Processing (NLP) because of its great library ecosystem, platform independence, and ease of use. In this post let’s find out what are the common real-world uses of NLP and what open-source Python tools and libraries are available for the NLP tasks.

          • Python SQL – How to use the SQLite, MySQL, and PostgreSQL Databases with Python
          • How to Pretty Print a JSON File in Python

            Like many other programming languages, Python works well with JavaScript Object Notation (JSON) data. It can pull this data in from a few sources and work with it like any other file. This is helpful when you want to pretty print a JSON file in Python.

            In this post, we show you how to pretty print a JSON file in two ways. Both will involve using the Terminal and command line, although you may not need Python knowledge at all for one of them.

        • Rust

          • Linus Torvalds weighs in on Rust language in the Linux kernel

            As of now, the Linux kernel is written in the C programming language—essentially, the same language used to write kernels for Unix and Unix-like operating systems since the 1970s. The great thing about C is that it’s not assembly language—it’s considerably easier to read and write, and it’s generally much closer to directly portable between hardware architectures. However, C still opens you up to nearly the entire range of catastrophic errors possible in assembly.

            In particular, as a nonmemory-managed language, C opens the programmer up to memory leaks and buffer overflows. When you’re done with a variable you’ve created, you must explicitly destroy it—otherwise, old orphaned variables accumulate until the system crashes. Similarly, you must allocate memory to store data in—and if your attempt to put too much data into too-small an area of RAM, you’ll end up overwriting locations you shouldn’t.

          • Async Vision Doc Writing Sessions II
          • Announcing Rust 1.51.0

            The Rust team is happy to announce a new version of Rust, 1.51.0. Rust is a programming language that is empowering everyone to build reliable and efficient software.

            If you have a previous version of Rust installed via rustup, getting Rust 1.51.0 is as easy as:

            rustup update stable
            If you don’t have it already, you can get rustup from the appropriate page on our website, and check out the detailed release notes for 1.51.0 on GitHub.

        • Java

          • Get Started Coding with Java!

            Java is one of the most popular programming languages. It can run on all the major operating systems and can be used to write native Android apps.

            We posted a beginner’s Java course on the freeCodeCamp.org YouTube channel.

            This course was developed by Matt Speake. Matt has been programming for over 20 years. He has many popular courses on Udemy and other platforms.

  • Leftovers

    • Science

      • Schadenfreude Is Not Always An Unpleasant Feeling

        The Association for Molecular Pathology released a survey last week regarding the state of reimbursement for medical diagnostic testing, according to GenomeWeb.

        It seems that the state is parlous, with reimbursement for “data analysis, test interpretation, and reporting requirements” being inadequate. This reflects a need for “qualified molecular laboratory professionals” and of course reimbursement for these efforts. These efforts are significant, with the majority (65%) of respondents reporting that these reports require extra effort (compared with more conventional diagnostic laboratory tests) and greater time burdens. The only exceptions are so-called “single-gene tests,” and oncology tests were typically delivered most rapidly (reflecting adequate time and personnel and, perhaps, their importance to proper diagnosis of what is, despite recent developments, frequently a deadly disease).


        So maybe patents on genes weren’t the problem after all, Myriad not the avaricious monster AMP made them out to be, and being permitted to infringe with impunity not the pot of gold they expected. Which was not entirely unexpected (see “The ACLU, Working for the Man”).

    • Health/Nutrition

      • Written Description: How are COVID-19 vaccine developers and regulators responding to variants?

        The remarkable news of record-breaking COVID-19 vaccine development has been clouded by the increasing emergence of new variants of the SARS-CoV-2 virus. Like other viruses, SARS-CoV-2 mutates over time, due to random errors in copying its genetic sequence. When one of these mutations helps the virus survive and reproduce—such as by making the virus more transmissible—that variant will spread more rapidly than the original virus through natural selection. The global effort to control the pandemic has thus been framed as a race between the vaccines and the variants: can the world be vaccinated before the virus evolves to evade the vaccines? In this post, we examine how COVID-19 vaccine developers are responding to the spread of variants, how the FDA plans to regulate updates to the vaccines, and other innovation policies governments should consider to combat the variant spread.


        Once variants exist, it is important to know what, where, and how widespread they are. This means genetic surveillance—sequencing infected patients to know which variant they have contracted. Genetic surveillance is a problem of nonexcludable innovation, which suggests that private actors are unlikely to spend enough on it, leaving governments to fill the gap. Some governments do genetic surveillance very well; the United States doesn’t, at least nationally. Such surveillance should also help scientists understand how effective existing vaccines are in managing the spread of variants.

        Better understanding the performance of vaccines suggests its own potential policy intervention. Each vaccine was tested in a different time frame, with different populations, in different places, and—crucially—with different variants at different levels circulating in the population. As a result, despite headlines trumpeting different vaccine performances (and some policy reactions), no one really knows whether Johnson & Johnson’s or AstraZeneca’s vaccines are actually less effective than Moderna’s and Pfizer–BioNTech’s. Even less is known about how a vaccine modified to address a variant would compare with any of them. Running comparative randomized controlled trials between multiple different vaccines seems unlikely—indeed, comparative trials are underfunded generally—but at the very least policymakers should consider robust systems for collecting observational data to understand how different vaccines perform.

        Once vaccines are approved, getting them made remains a challenge—and with variant vaccines, that challenge will continue. Flexible manufacturing platforms should make it easier to get variant vaccines into scaled-up production more rapidly, and further investment in such platforms could help with that challenge. As we’ve noted, older processes to manufacture vaccines were materials intensive—some involve incubating viruses in chicken eggs. mRNA vaccines, on the other hand, are less resource intensive and seem especially well suited to variants, since the encapsulated mRNA sequence can be easily altered without changing other production parameters. Government efforts to improve manufacturing generally, and especially around mRNA or other flexible manufacturing platforms, could be essential to producing variant vaccines if COVID becomes endemic and continues to change.

        Finally, getting vaccines into arms is always the last step, without which nothing matters; investing in better vaccine roll-out is essential if variant boosters will become routine. An example for this exists, of course: the annual flu vaccine. Someday we all may get annual COVID vaccines, tailored to that year’s new variants. But for that to work, the health system would need to do a better job keeping track of who gets what, whether first and second vaccine shots can be mixed and matched, and how to insure that ongoing distribution is efficient, affordable, and equitable.

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Security

          • Security updates for Thursday

            Security updates have been issued by Debian (firefox-esr and lxml), Fedora (jasper), openSUSE (gnutls, hawk2, ldb, libass, nghttp2, and ruby2.5), Oracle (pki-core:10.6), Red Hat (firefox and thunderbird), SUSE (evolution-data-server, ldb, python3, and zstd), and Ubuntu (ldb, linux, linux-aws, linux-aws-hwe, linux-azure, linux-azure-4.15, linux-dell300x, linux-gcp, linux-gcp-4.15, linux-hwe, linux-kvm, linux-oracle, linux-signed, linux-snapdragon, and linux, linux-lts-xenial).

          • OpenSSL issues updated version to fix two high-severity bugs

            The open-source OpenSSL project has released an updated version of its software, 1.1.1k, to fix two vulnerabilities, the severity of both of which has been described as “high”.

            In an advisory issued on Thursday US time, the project said the issue had been reported by Akamai’s Benjamin Kaduk and was found by Xiang Ding of the same firm.

            The vulnerability was a CA certificate check bypass with X509_V_FLAG_X509_STRICT flag. This was because of an error in the implementation of an additional check to disallow certificates in the chain that have explicitly encoded elliptic curve parameters.

            Red Hat’s Tomáš Mráz created a fix for this vulnerability.

          • OpenSSL 1.1.1k Is Released And You Should Upgrade If You are Using OpenSSL 1.1.1

            The OpenSSL developers made one very unfortunate and very embarrassing mistake between version 1.1.1g and 1.1.1h that rendered the entire security OpenSSL is supposed to provide moot. The latest OpenSSL 1.1.1k security release fixes that and an equally serious security problem, present in all OpenSSL 1.1.1 versions, that could allow services that allow TLS 1.2 to be crashed with a evil renegotation ClientHello message. Upgrading is a great idea.

          • March Firmware Threat Report

            Beware the Ides of March. On the heels of the ongoing SUNBURST supply chain campaign, several other impactful campaigns came into full light this month. While the Halfnium MS Exchange attacks dominated headlines, there were other equally disturbing supply chain revelations like the damaging Accellion FTA device extortion campaign. This was carried out by the Russian TA505 (aka ‘CLOP’ group), who set aside their own ransomware in favor of a much more direct technique: targeting the firmware of hundreds of devices to exfiltrate files and extort victims.

            Never down for the count, the TrickBot group raised eyebrows with yet another massive campaign, with CISA releasing an alert making direct mention of TrickBot’s UEFI-targeting TrickBoot module. This alert coincided with an eye-opening report from Switzerland that ties the recent SolarWinds activity to a host of potential criminal actors, ranging from TrickBot, to EvilCorp, to TA505/CLOP. Shared infrastructure and tactics across these groups further illustrates the convergent trend between APT and criminal actor activity.

    • Monopolies

      • Patents

        • “Anti-suit injunctions are a road to nowhere”

          A new chapter in the short but intense history of global ASI disputes is opening. Anyone that files an anti-suit injunction as an SEP implementer – for example at a Chinese court – can expect the Regional Court Munich to treat them as an unwilling licensee in future.

          But there could be dramatic consequences. In patent infringement proceedings, the Munich judges would no longer examine whether the SEP holder had made a FRAND-compliant offer. Instead, the court would charge the implementer directly with patent infringement. Then would emerge a threat of a German-style automatic injunction, and a sales ban in Europe’s strongest economy. That would make any smart businessperson think twice.


          In Germany, the ruling in InterDigital vs. Xiaomi is providing some clarity. JUVE Patent has learned from sources at Chinese companies that they are examining more closely whether to file for an ASI in China. Whether this marks the beginning of a trend reversal remains to be seen.

          From what JUVE Patent hears, Xiaomi has not yet filed an appeal against the Munich ruling. But observers expect the Chinese company to do so in the near future, due to the far-reaching consequences of the ruling.

          Whether its InterDigital against Xiaomi, or Ericsson against Samsung, no party has yet gained a decisive advantage in the major ASI disputes. So far, observers are convinced that the main parties to financially benefit from ASI disputes are the courts and the lawyers.

        • Ford v. Montana: Supreme Court on the Scope of Personal Jurisdiction

          Markkaya Gullett was killed in a Ford Explorer crash near her home in Montana. Gullett’s estate sued Ford on a product liability type claims. Ford argued that the state lacks personal jurisdiction over the global auto company. The Supreme Court has sided with Gullett’s estate — finding that the 14th Amendment does not prohibit this case from moving forward.

          Over the past decade, the Supreme Court has tightened-up the 14th Amendment personal jurisdiction test both in terms of General Jurisdiction and Specific Jurisdiction. Although the U.S. Constitution serves as the foundational basis for the large number of precedential cases, the text is quite short: “nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law.” The Constitutional requirements of personal jurisdiction are due process requirements.

          General Jurisdiction: Ford has a longstanding permanent relationship with Montana, advertises heavily in the state, and receives hundreds-of-millions-of-dollars in revenue from in-state sales. Still, under Daimler AG v. Bauman, 571 U. S. 117 (2014), state courts will not have General Jurisdiction over the the company since it still isn’t “at home” in the state.

          With Specific Jurisdiction, the Court’s recent decision in Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. v. Superior Court of Cal., San Francisco Cty., 582 U. S. ___ (2017) refocused attention on a required nexus between the the defendant’s contacts with the forum state and the cause of action. The decision suggested to many that defendant’s connections should have a causal-link with the cause of action. BMS also rejected a sliding-scale approach that would allow for fewer related minimum contacts in situations where the defendant has many ongoing unrelated contacts with the forum state.


          The majority opinion was authored by Justice Kagan and joined by Chief Justice Roberts and Justices Breyer, Sotomayor, and Kavanaugh. Justices Alito and Gorsuch both wrote concurring opinions with Justice Thomas joining Justice Justice Gorsuch’s opinion.

          Justice Alito, who penned the BMS decision explained that the difference between those cases is whether the state has a “legitimate interest” in hearing the case at hand. Here, he found that no question — injury on Montana roads is enough to give Montana a state interest. And, there is nothing fundamentally unfair about having Ford litigate these cases in the state.

        • Patent applications filed from Luxembourg

          While the EPO received 180,250 patent applications in 2020, 0.7% fewer than in 2019, demand remained high, in some fields more than others.

          The strongest growth was recorded in pharmaceuticals (+10.2%) and biotechnology (+6.3%), while medical technology recorded a +2.6% increase in inventions. The previous year, the strongest growing sectors were digital communications and computer technology. Transport showed the strongest decline at -5.5%, particularly in the sub-sectors of aviation and aerospace (-24.7%).

        • IPO & JPO to be competent ISA & IPEA to each other under PCT, EPO publishes patent index 2020 and more

          The European Patent Office (EPO) last week published the patent index for 2020. According to the data published, patenting activity in 2020 was primarily driven by innovation in healthcare and medical technology. While, medical technology emerged as the leading field for inventions in terms of volume, pharmaceuticals and biotechnology were the fastest-growing areas. In terms of geographic origin of inventions, the top five countries filing into Europe were USA (44 293 applications), Germany (25 954), Japan (21 841), China (13 432) and France (10 554).

        • Software Patents

          • All CII patent applications should be treated the same, EPO Enlarged Board of Appeal confirms [Ed: This decision like many others is trained by rigged panels designed to just say "yes" to Office president without even considering the evidence, the law, the EPC]
          • EPO Decision G1/19 Addresses Patentability of Computer-Implemented Simulations in Europe [Ed: This decision should be rendered void for coming from panels rigged by the very party they are to judge]

            On March 10, in decision G1/19, the European Patent Office (EPO) Enlarged Board of Appeal held that computer-implemented simulations are not per se unpatentable and warrant the same treatment as other computer-implemented inventions. Like other computer-implemented inventions, simulations may be patentable if an inventive step is based on features contributing to the technical character of the claimed simulation.

            The application at issue, European patent application 03793825.5, relates to simulation of a pedestrian’s movements in an environment. According to the application, while prior art approaches modeled crowds from a macroscopic perspective, the subject application took a more granular approach, modeling multiple individual pedestrians having, e.g., individual intentions, preferred walking speeds, step lengths, and even preferred clearance tolerance or personal space. Simulating the movement of pedestrians in this manner, as described in the application, may be used to verify whether a building design meets certain requirements, for example, in case of evacuation. The claims recited, in part, a method of simulating movement of an autonomous entity through an environment. The claims as filed did not recite specific inputs or outputs rooted in physical parameters.

          • Another Velos Media patent challenged in China

            On March 19, 2021, Unified Patents filed a Chinese invalidation request for CN103238328B owned by Velos Media. CN103238328B is related to U.S. Patent 8,768,077, and its extended patent family is the largest family known to be owned by Velos.

          • IP Bridge patent challenged in China

            On March 19, 2021, Unified Patents filed a Chinese invalidation request for CN1312936C owned by IdeaHub, Inc. CN1312936C has been designated as essential in the SISVEL’s VP9 and AV1 pools and as essential to HEVC Advance. The patent is part of a large family of patents with several members designated as essential to those pools as well.

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